I’m back from a four day!  I worked a Dallas trip (five legs the first day into Ft Smith) and then deadheaded (pilot talk for riding in the back on company business, in a funny and appreciated twist the Captain insisted the gate agent give me a first class seat) to LA and flew straight to San Diego.   The approach into San Diego is pretty cool, lets just say there’s this hill right off the end of the runway, and oh, they built downtown a bit close.   I had a long layover there, so I made my usual California pilgrimage to In-N-Out burger!!  I now have that all important sticker on my kit bag, so there’s another thing to check off the proverbial list.  I decided not to proffer or otherwise arrange my schedule, and just prayed that I might be able to go to church on Wednesday night.  The Lord is certainly good to his children, and a whole slew of crazy things happened so that I got done at the perfect time for church.  It reminds me of Psalm 16:1-3, one of my absolute favorites….

Nat

P.S. The next in the ambassador series will probably be up mid next week.

P.P.S I saw the trailer for Prince Caspian.  As those who know me will attest, I take The Chronicles of Narnia VERY seriously.  I’m not at all confident that I shall approve of this version, though I found “Wardrobe” acceptable, if not perfect.

Howdy all,

I’m finally back from a very long Chicago-based trip, which is very nice.  What’s better is that I am now based back in Dallas, so NO MORE COMMUTING!!!  I really enjoyed the actual flying in Chicago, O’Hare is one of the craziest and best run airports on the planet, but I’m sure I’ll be back often enough.

I’m hoping to post the first of several “shorts” on safeguard tomorrow, exploring what it really means to be an ambassador  here… I think it will surprise you.   Don’t ask about the end of the love series, it’s shaping up to be more like a book, and I still don’t really like any of it.

On the topic of thanksgiving, I was reminded this month why I’m so grateful for Countryside (my church).  Sure, the people are great (well, ok, they’re amazing!), the music’s awfully good (and no one gets a last word in like Mrs Hansen and her organ), and all the rest of those church things meet the high standards I’ve come to expect. But I get to see the people on more than just Sunday, and I’m surrounded by music (thank you iPhone), but I don’t get God’s word exposited and proclaimed with the grandeur and convicting weight that Tom delivers or the corporate worship anywhere else.  You go a month without it, and you realize how much it grounds you.  I’m not saying we should live from Sunday to Sunday, and the rest of the week is yours to do with as you please.  But God meant us to come together in solemn worship and study for a reason, and you have no idea how much like plunging into cold water on a hot summer day it was to be back for the evening service.

Also, my mother liked to go back through her planner and review the previous year around Thanksgiving.  She loved the story of Joshua’s hauling stones out of the Jordan to establish an altar to God’s provision and faithfulness; Thanksgiving was our time to look at those “pillars”.  I’ve talked about others elsewhere (you know who you are), but here’s one I thought of yesterday and is appropriate for this blog.

I was listening to Christmas music on my computer, and surfing through some old files.  I don’t know if I ever realized before how vast an amount of stuff I wrote for Civil Air Patrol.  I could easily assemble a book or two of collected writings and letters from just the good stuff!  Most of it is really pretty good, better than you’re reading here, and I owe all of that to my dreaded but excellent English lessons of ages past.  Thanks, Skipper!

Well, this has rambled on way to long, so I’ll sign off here….

Nat

Well, I’ve been struggling to finish up on the rather nice (if I say so myself) start I got on love.   In the meantime, I’ve been flying quite a bit, and am getting ready to work almost 11 days straight.  I say almost because I have two days off in the middle, but Tuesday isn’t much of a day off, and I will have to spend most of next Wednesday trying to get back to Chicago because the day before Thanksgiving is a very busy travel day.  I’m looking at it like pulling off a band-aid,  not very pleasant while you do it, but rather nice when it’s over.  After these 11 days I’ll have only one more short trip (two days), and then my commuting will be over!

The music part comes in because I’ve been really enjoying rediscovering gospel music (mostly The Cathedrals, and also the Gaither Vocal Band).  Of course, gospel music is full of heaven, and longing for home, and God’s boundless love….  I also found a very nice standalone track of choral music (which I love) with the words of Psalm 139.  Like my other favorite choral piece, it incorporates pure scripture (involving wings, of course), beautiful singing, and excellent music.  (The Wings of The Morning, by John Rutter and the Cambridge singers…. my other favorite is O for the Wings of a Dove) .

The movie part comes in because I’m curious to see Amazing Grace now that it’s out on DVD, but worried I won’t like it very much (and thus, not eager to spend money to see it).  I think I’ll wait til someone else can tell me if it’s worth the effort.

Nat

P.S.  I wrote a rather overly dramatic short story on thunderstorm flying on a napkin the other day, but I’m having trouble finding it.

The first of several posts on joy should go live today on safeguard4u, my co-authored theological blog.  Since I’ve already started writing the next subject, I thought I’d whet the appetite here….

“If one could, as an alien, peer into our world, across all lands and through history, he would find mankind obsessed with one idea: love.  So completely obsessed, in fact, that our poets and our authors, our music and our books, our relationships and their pleasures and grievances, even our measures of “good” and “evil” revolve around that little, elusive word.  All the great minds have contributed to this reality, so what I am about to write may seem bold or even absurd.  I submit that they got it ALL wrong.  They completely, utterly missed the point.  Sorry Shakespeare, but the truth hurts sometimes.

Oh, they (and we, less you start enjoying this too much) were right to obsess over love.  It IS the single most important idea, ever.  No, what I’m saying is that we have been like C.S. Lewis’s little child who, offered the joys of married life in exchange for his candy, kept the candy because he couldn’t begin to comprehend what he was missing.  To quote a favorite saying of my co-contributor, they simply had no idea what they were babbling about!”

Watch safeguard4u for the rest.  I’ll give you a hint, it starts with “God is Love”….

Nat

About the author…

Nat Simmons is an airline pilot, writer, and pianist. He's looking forward to "a better country, that is, a heavenly one;" he's content, however, to sojourn in Texas....