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Eulogy for Larry D. Fowler

5/26/2016: I met Larry in 1951 when we both were doing on the job training in the hospitality industry   We were student workers, washing pots and pans in the kitchen at Campbell Resident Hall for women at Michigan State University.  We have remained good friends ever since.  His accomplishments in athletics and his professional service to our community are well known.  What may not be so well known is what I want to speak about today.   Larry’s non legal vocabulary included four unique declarations; “torqued my jaws”, “going sideways”, Bingo, and Razzel Frats.  I am able to spell the first three, but not Razzel Frats.  It might be two words.  I think it has 11 letters.  He used it often on the golf course after an errant shot.  After a pause, in which I assume a 4 letter word probably crossed his mind he declared the 11 letter Razzel Frats.   His optimistic perspective was that he never said anything was going bad or down hill.  He saw what otherwise was not optimistic with the statement “maybe this thing will go sideways.”  That was even his outlook when facing certain death with metastatic malignant melanoma.  I knew the probable outcome, but his view making future decisions was “if this thing goes sideways”.   His expression for something or some one who really did him wrong was to state that it or they really “torqued my jaws”.  This was another polite expression for what many of us would use more colorful language.   So most of us who knew Larry heard these expressions, but maybe we did not fully understand his world view.  He was not religious.  He told me his paternal grandparents were very religious; never missed church or a prayer meeting.  His maternal side of the family was not, according to Larry.  However, Larry did live by certain Biblical principles.  When asked about his religious perspectives he emphatically stated he lived by the Golden Rule.  End of discussion.  For completeness, the Biblical reference is found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.  Everyone who knows him or has had any dealings with him knows that his actions confirmed that belief.  He knew the reference was Biblical, but formal religion did not appeal to him.  This is not too unusual, since organized religion has it flaws.   However, Larry is more spiritual than you might think.  Perhaps you noticed I have been using the presence tense.  Let me explain.  My perspective is that we as people live temporarily in an earth suit, our body.  Common thinking is to see the earth suit as synonymous with the person.  That is not so.  We the people live inside this temporary housing.  As a medical doctor let me say there is very good scientific evidence that the earth suit is temporary housing.  Larry exists in our hearts and minds but he still exists, absent this earth suit.   I have been privileged to many spiritual discussions with Larry, short as they may have been.   He related once in a retort that the One True God spoke a prophetic word to him about something only God could know.  He elaborated so as to convince me.  So he was not unfamiliar with God.  He knew for certain the source of that message.   He knew it was spiritual, not mental or physical. The message was confirmed as true, so it was not a lying, unholy spirit.  He knew it was the Holy Spirit of God.   In recent days he had reason to invite the Holy Spirit to take residence in his Life.  He embraced the Love of God, by acknowledging out loud that Jesus Christ is who he said he is and there was salvation in no other name in heaven and earth.  At that moment he said the Holy Spirit was not just the one who sent him a prophetic message many years ago, but now a person who took residence with his very being.  This is known as a born again experience.  Kind of interesting to have a birth experience so close to physical death.  His birth experience was spiritual, not physical.   I have never witnessed someone so at peace with their circumstances.  He did not say “this torques my jaws”.  I did not hear “razzle frats”.  I did hear in his last days here on earth, “this thing might be going sideways”.   So let me say that Larry exists not only in our memory, or better yet in our hearts and minds, but he lives today. Something really good has happened.  The Lord God of this universe became a tangible reality to him in the person of Jesus and the Holy Spirit…..and as Larry would say ….. BINGO.

Tis the Set of the Sail and Not the Gale than Determines our Destiny

4/4/2016: “Tis the Set of the Sail and Not the Gale than Determines our Destiny” is a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that came to my mind today as I discussed competitive sailing with my grandson, Christopher Heideman.  I first learned of this poem as the title was the motto of my graduating class at Royal Oak High School in 1951. But to every mind there openeth, A way, and way, and away, A high soul climbs the highway, And the low soul gropes the low, And in between on the misty flats, The rest drift to and fro. But to every man there openeth, A high way and a low, And every mind decideth, The way his soul shall go. One ship sails East, And another West, By the self-same winds that blow, ‘Tis the set of the sails And not the gales, That tells the way we go. Like the winds of the sea Are the waves of time, As we journey along through life, ‘Tis the set of the soul, That determines the goal, And not the calm or the strife.

It is not a racial or gender issue, but one of righteousness

2/11/2016: This is a must read. Sad commintary. A very simple understanding is that the righteous practice righteousness. If I am on the Denver Broncos football team I will be practicing with the Denver Broncos team. Those not on the team are not practicing with them.

Perfect timing

12/13/2015: I would love to have perfect timing. My fault has always been, being too early. I recall inquiring of God why the idea He gave me did not work. Upon hearing, I immediately put it into action. He explained to me that my problem was timing. He said I gave you the idea or seed in the winter and you immediately planted it to no avail. The idea or seed was to be planted at a later time in the warm soil of late spring. The idea was so clever and looked like a sure success; I planted it right away without any other consideration. However, much to my surprise, there was no success. The timing was wrong. I love this following analogy from football. We can see on television the football coach looking over a sheet of potential plays to be called in the game. He assesses each situation and then calls the play he believes will be most successful in each situation. Even though he knows a field goal attempt has worked in the past, he does not call that play when his team has the ball on his own 1 yard line. It is not the best time for this call. On the other hand the timing may be right for a field goal. This is when his team is down by 2 points and there are 4 seconds left, it is fourth down on the 10 yard line he would not call for spiking the ball which was a good idea last week. This week to stop the clock would cause time to run out and he loses the game by one point. He would call for the most likely successful play at this time; an attempted field goal. If made he wins. There is a time for everything. For the Christian, God has a play book. He has written all the possible plays down or every known situation. i.e. Bible. There are so many that the right one might not come to mind for a given situation. However we have a coach who knows what is the best play. (John 14:26) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. So God has said He would bring the right word to our remembrance. However, we may by experience recall several like Words. Therefore it takes discernment to know which of the many “plays” would be best in the present situation. We then need the gift of discernment, plus the confidence (faith) in His Word to execute. Timing is very important. One play for this time and different play for the same situation at another time. (Ecclesiastes 3: 108) There is a time for everything. There may be a time for spiking the ball and another time for a field goal. 1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. As I read over the list I am going to start with improving my timing on when to speak.

Flash Mob of US Air Force Band

12/10/2015: Brought tears to my eyes.

Forsake not the assembling yourselves together!

12/10/2015: Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together is a commnand in the New Testament and I offer this perspective. There was not a church buiding for 265 years after Christ. So the new testament reports on house churches assembling and on one occassion an assembly of 5000 or more on the day Christ fed them. Today the megachurch is expanding so that satellites are springing up where the main pastor is seen on video in several locations at once. One such church here in San Diego lists their present financial needs as $75,000. All this outreach and all this debt? So here is my thought on this. There is no further Biblical definiton on the wording “to assemble”. I think now that electroic assembly may be a means to fulfill this command. If that is so then assembling electronically can be accomplished by television, audio CD, video CD, radio and Internet. Now it occurs to me; Why assemble with the back of the neck with 5,000 to 12,000 people you do not know. I think the idea of fellowship can be accomplished when any two of us are gathered together. Your take?

Silent Killers

10/16/2015: There are Silent Killers in our lives of which at the time they are creating havoc we have no awareness. This concept came to my attention years ago when I was puzzled about the lack of success in a certain matter of life. My prayer inquiry was answered when the Lord said “There is a Silent Killer at work in your life”. Now there are many obvious issues where I have fallen short of the Glory of God and I do not need anything more than a conscience to identify the problem. However there are many more times when I am walking up right the best I can tell and something is not going right. At that point I ask the Lord if there is a Silent Killer and if so what it is. When I get the word, I can rebuke and or remove the Silent Killer. As with ever issue of life there must be a Biblical foundation to know this is in truth. The Silent Killer is recorded in Joshua’s life. He successfully fought the battle of Jericho. The next battle he lost as well as thousands of men. He went to the Lord with an inquiry. Joshua 7:8-11. Joshua believes he was in right standing with the Lord and therefore puzzled by the defeats. The Lord said, “There is sin in your camp”. WOW! His men were instructed not to take any of the spoil at Jericho. Unfortunately they did not obey, unbeknown to Joshua. There now was a Silent Killer literally operational in Joshua’s camp. Since I have learned about Silent Killers I pray for awareness of any such factors that could be interfering with my life or walk.