Showing posts from February, 2012

Memorial Stone Four: My first walk through the Valley of the shadow of death!

Death, just five letters that are harsh, that strike a chord deep within us, that reverberates with sadness, fear, and an acute awareness that no one leaves earth alive. "Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk.
It is walking toward me, without hurrying." - Jean Cocteau
In October of 1980 while sitting in a Hardin Simmons University dorm room the phone rang, the voice on the other end of the line, said “Mark, your Dad was hunting in Pogosa Springs, Colorado…and died.” I dissolved as a 19 year old into a pool…of little boy tears. 
My first real introduction to the “Great Interrupter” (Death) was cold, and stark and deeply disturbing.  Calls were made; arrangements were made to get me back to Colorado Springs, Colorado. A plane ticket was secured on Braniff International airlines, a college friend Richard Dodder at his own expense went with me. 
The flight home was a blur with one disturbing experience. My dad died on October 29th.  As you can imagine the flight home wa…

Memorial Stone Three, The Most Important Real Estate Decision of my Dads Life!

    Real Estate decisions if you have not made one you will. In this climate of underwater mortgages and economic duress one is wise to be very careful when purchasing a home. There was a time when it was easier, when homes increased in value, when the American dream to own your home, was worth all the effort to achieve it.  Today, the dream still beckons, but oh how careful we need to be!
In the summer of 1976 our North Carolina family was moving back to Colorado. My dad much like a frontier scout went  out ahead, to Colorado and found a five bedroom brick house, with mature lilac and plum trees. It was located on a busy street at 104 South Garo, the backyard boasted an incredible view of majestic Pikes Peak, towering 14,110 feet! 

The purchase price, are you ready for this? $26,500! That is not a typo, no need to put any more numbers in the calculation, it was $26,500!  104 South Garo,  is just two houses away from 116 South Garo. That is important!
Little did I know as 15 year old tha…

Memorial Stone Two, The Greatest Invitation!

       As I remember it, it was a typical Saturday in rural Naples, North Carolina. How wrong I was! Little did I know, I was about to begin a quest that would lead to the greatest invitation of my life!

As a teenager living with my family in our modest home, I remember a knock on the door that Saturday.

The ones doing the knocking (A Pastor and his son) were from the Calvary Baptist Church, in Hendersonville North Carolina. They had a bus ministry and on that Saturday they "just happened" (what some people call coincidence, we know is the will of God) to knock on our door.

Because of their mission heart, and invitation, my brother and sister and I began riding the church bus week by week to the church, where we heard the Word of God preached!

I must confess I was more motivated by the candy they would give you if you attended!

 Their kindness would set in motion my personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, and sow seeds of truth in my brother and sister's lif…

My First Memorial Stone- Growing up in a Loving Home!

My first Memorial stone, which I want to write about, is my home life growing up. Our home was not unlike perhaps millions of homes in the 60s and 70s, at least I hope so.
How do you begin to write about a place where you feel so valued so welcome so needed that even now having spent years away from that place, time has done nothing to diminish the memories that are rich and vibrant.... that have endured through my time on  this earth?
Robert -Dad- He was a man’s man who truly loved us and provided for us even after a stroke nearly ended his life. He worked so hard to carve out a hauling business in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado that became very successful.  He was fun!   
I well remember Friday night shock theater that he insisted be viewed in the dark. The cloak of darkness gave him needed cover….to sneak up on us and scare us…every Friday night! I knew what it was to be disciplined by him, and I needed it, and it was never excessive (though I probably thought it was at …