You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2019.

Unknown-2Summer marks the time when vacations, house-projects, hobby-advancements, and sleep-ins can finally be entertained. We all work hard for 9 months and need a break or at least a change of pace. Variety is the spice of life that rejuvenates our soul, right?

Nevertheless, I found a number of amazing souls that challenge that kind of schedule with mind-boggling productivity. They are the summer school students of DTS-Houston. Each one is pursuing their graduate degree with the strategy that deliberately includes summer-time classes into their agenda.

Are you impressed? They don’t let the infamous Houston heat slow them down. When the average person realizes that these budding scholars are not only in hot pursuit of their Masters degree, but they also otherwise occupied, they are taken-back. Often they have family obligations, many with careers where they must interweave their courses with their work schedule, some are intensely occupied with children and spouses, and all are actively volunteering in their churches.

My hat’s off to them. Each one is collectively on my mind as I pray for their academic and spiritual success. My work calls for a very active schedule to undergird the structure that makes their academic pursuits a possibility. It is my delight to do so. I love my job!Unknown-1

We have a world-class collection of faculty to pour their expertise into their lives. These are men and women who choose underpaid positions be they believe in the potential of these bright lights. Our faculty have my undying respect.

With purpose I will leave my office and mingle among the students during their breaks. A smile, a brief exchange, some laughter, occasional prayer, and plenty of conversation reminds me of the importance of my responsibilities. They are vital for them.

Well done DTS-Houston Summer Student Scholars. Keep on living by faith, engaging in the diligent work of your programs, and always remember there are many of us who are diligently praying you through your exercises.

photos by brucefong photography

Every time I start my day and end my day, my calendar planning is a priority. Major events and daily habits are all included in this ritual. A small part of my planning is keeping interesting upcoming sports events in mind. The NBA championship made me pay attention while our Houston Rockets were in the mix. Once they were out a lot of my attention waned.

Houston Astros are playing very well. Even with key injuries the team comes up with substitute players that keep the winning ways rolling. They are a fun team to follow.

I am keeping a close eye on the US Women’s National Team in Soccer. They are in Group F of the World Cup. Sweden, Chile, and Thailand are their F Group opponents. 24 teams from around the world are competing for the championship. The USWNT are the defending champions and the look dangerous.

My day at the office and in the field were very productive. The next several weeks are also jam packed with travel, teaching, administration, and strategizing. After a ten hour day and an hour commute in both directions, I am ready for some relaxation. My bride and I had in mind to watch the first match USWNT.

I was so disappointed when I stepped into our house only to notice a news flash on my cell phone. It announced the final score of the USWNT over Thailand. On the one hand I was bummed that the game was already over. On the other hand I was thrilled that WE had won. The bewilderment set in. “I was sure that I had planned to watch the 7PM CT broadcast of this match. Everything was correct except the broadcast was technically a RE-broadcast. Bummer!

The individual talent on this year’s team is breathtaking. Teamwork was consistently astounding. Coaching the match strategy was tactically a winning approach. Durability and endurance showed how well prepared this team was.

Sure, there is some talk about “running up” the score. But, that is really a conversation for the sports pundits. We will just let that debate happen until the next story formulates itself on this world stage.

Meanwhile, I along with many others, marvel at the domination of the USWNT. It was amazing to watch how many touches in a row the team accumulated. Their patience and explosive athletic ability were stunning. Go USA!

photos by brucefong photography

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The kitchen by no means favors me in its room to ply my culinary art. My skills are definitely in the limited category: primarily survival food. Now, on occasion I can read the directions, follow them, and proudly present the final product. Thank God that His providence functions efficaciously and directs it to be edible!

When the grandkids were en route for a long stay, a menu popped into my mind. It included sweet desserts. One was “Rice Krispie” treats.

They always look inviting. Taste is a big win. Of course there is the sticky gooey fun of eating them.

On a recipe skill level, this dessert treat is EASY. Measure this, melt this, stir this, press it down, add fun sprinkles and let it cool. By the time our grandkids roared through the front door, it was waiting to welcome them.

Our oldest grandchild buzzed over to the colorful tray with a smile as wide as the Gulf of Mexico.

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“May I have some?” he questioned with the politeness that made me want to hand over the entire tray.
“You better ask your parents first,” was my safe Grandfatherly response.
“Daddy?” he looked with a longing hope.
“Sure. Which piece to you want?” his father asked.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the second photo shows the results of his request. It was the deepest part of the tray. He knew where to drop his line for the biggest fish in the lake.

I laughed. He smiled. His munching away was off-the-charts cute!

photographs by brucefong photography

fullsizeoutput_2f09My grandkids stopped in for a long visit. They are little tykes, just 6,4, and 2. Anything that Grandpa does that is just a wee bit funny, starts them giggling.

When they arrived, they ran into my arms for a long hug. Of course they took to their age and all talked at once. My Grandfatherly skills kicked in and I agreed to everything they were all saying.

If I had to I could deny everything and blame my bad memory or horrible hearing. Don’t worry, I would fulfill all my promises as they reminded me of each guarantee that we had discussed. In the meantime, their memory was worse than mine.

They each scampered around the house. This was their first time to our home. It was an endless array of new rooms, fascinating decorations, new toys, tons of niches waiting for the imagination of children.

I warned them that I had a helper upstairs. He was a friendly plumber making sure everything with water was functioning well for our very loved guests. “Be on your best behavior,” I urged them, “You don’t want to scare him.”

“Where is he?” they forced a calm on their faces and into their voices.”
“Oh, he’s upstairs. I believe I hear him in the bathroom that y’all are using during your visit. If you want, go on upstairs and say ‘Hello.'”

They scurried upstairs and I waited for the discovery. “Oh, Goong Goong! You’re funny!”

That’s the best reaction to a simple welcome for three lives that I love beyond words. Giving them a moment of levity after days of driving half way across the country to visit was special. Hearing these little lives laugh is more than a sound. It is the reverberation of the soul.

photograph by brucefong photography

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