Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Got questions?

Have you ever been stumped on a biblical question and didn't know who to ask? Try going to got questions.org. Here is a sample:

Question: "What is the Rapture of the church?"

Answer: The word "rapture" does not occur in the Bible. The concept of the rapture, though, is clearly taught in Scripture. The rapture of the church is the event in which God removes all believers from the earth in order to make way for His righteous judgment to be poured out on the earth during the tribulation period. The rapture is described primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 describes the rapture as God resurrecting all believers who have died, giving them glorified bodies, and then departing the earth with those believers who were still alive, who have also been given glorified bodies. "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).The rapture will be instantaneous in nature and we will, at that time, receive glorified bodies. "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).The rapture is the glorious event we should all be longing for. We will finally be free from sin. We will be in God's presence forever. There is far too much debate over the meaning and scope of the rapture. This is not God’s intent. Rather, in regards to the rapture, God wants us to “encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Who is making the call?

FOOT FAULT was the call. I was in the middle of a hotly contested tennis match and the only High school match I ever played that had line judges calling everything instead of the players. My own coach, my tennis mentor was one of the two line judges…and to make matters worse, I asked for the line judges, actually demanded them. You would have too. In our league we played each team twice during the season. In our first meeting with this team a few weeks earlier I lost to this same opponent. I use the word lost loosely. This opponent was the worst cheater I had ever encountered. It made no difference where the ball landed, if he needed the point he would just call the ball out! My dad was watching the match along with some other players so NO, it was not my imagination. I protested to the coach but as a team we were in no danger of losing the match so the coach decided to just let it go and I took the loss. It was not right but that’s just the way it was. The next time we played that team he started the same thing and I walked off the court. If I was going to lose anyway it would not be on the court! The two coaches decided to be the line judges themselves to avert what would likely have been a fight. With line judges making all the calls my opponent could not steal any point he needed. He was a pretty good player but the extra eyes began to unnerve him. The coaches were even calling foot faults…that is when you step over the line while serving the ball…His coach called it on him and my coach called it on me. The difference was his serve got weaker with every call and mine got stronger. Why? I had spent months during the summer hitting serves to the critique of my coach. The foot fault call was so familiar I just made the natural adjustment and served it harder confident the flaw had been corrected by my mentor. I had a relationship with my coach he did not have with his coach. The foot fault call to me just meant a slight correction in my starting spot, to him it was a condemnation of his serve. He totally fell apart.
Life in Christ is like that too. IF we live in a close, loving relationship and fellowship with the Father, the Holy Spirit will guide us with the occasional FOOT FAULT call. It will not feel like a condemnation or rejection, just a slight adjustment call that will bring us to victory. the shack discussion guide, the shack study guide

Monday, March 30, 2009

Practice makes perfect?

1967 Varsity Tennis Captain I've heard it said that practice makes perfect. I seriously doubt that. I all depends on how you practice. I started school at 4 years old and was a little smaller and younger than my classmates. By the time I reached high school I was nearly caught up with the class and was doing well in sports. My dad loved tennis, I loved my dad, he had an old racket so I played tennis. Poor Coach, he had his work cut out for him. The coach was one of those fundamental guys. He made me practice serving a tennis ball 500 times every morning all summer. He critiqued every flaw until I could consistently hit the ball the same way nearly every time. Muscle memory finally took over and I could feel when something was not right. All those hours of coached practice led me to the #1 spot in the league and a full ride college scholarship. The RIGHT kind of practice does perfect the skills, but the wrong kind only ingrains the flaws. This reminds me of something in the Bible that at first glance does not make much sense. Hebrews 5:8 says Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. The thought of Jesus having to learn obedience trough anything that resembles practice seems strange. Why did he need to suffer or practice? It does not mean that Jesus passed from disobedience to obedience. Rather, he learned obedience by actually obeying. Jesus practiced doing it right every time all his life and when the BIG obedience came, His death on the Cross for all of us, He was totally ready. In my case, all those practice serves came together in the last game of my High School career. We split the first two sets and were dead even in the final set. It was a really hot day and getting hotter. Fatigue was setting in on both sides of the court but all that practice paid off in the 30th game of the third set. I won 16 to 14 because I had practiced it right. I can only learn obedience in my Christian walk the same way. Practice obedience in the small things and when the big challenge comes along I will be ready. I won then, not because I was the best athlete but because I did not skip practice. We really do learn to do things by consistantly doing it right, not by doing it wrong. The consequences of doing it wrong only motivate us to learn to do it right. We still must practice doing it right. If Jesus learned that way, could we learn any other way? The shack study guide, the Shack discussion guide,

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I was getting ready to go fellowship with some believers this morning and the thought hit me: Does anyone else find it odd that stacks of money and groups of churches are divided according to their denomination? Why is that? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Elsie pics

Elsie, Thelma and Ruth

Together forever

Elsie's Journey

Elsie the surfer girl

Elsies first house from Grandpa Z's photo album

I am supposed to be calling Ray right now but I am stalling. You already know why. I did this instead. I think Ill add a few more before I call.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Journys End

Elsie Zuercher and Her big brother Waldie, 1926 Aunt Elsie holding first Neice Annette, Waldie's daughter, 1947
My cousin Ray notes on his blog today that his mother Elsie will soon be reunited with her husband, brother and parents. It may already have happened. I didn't call Ray or Ron, at least not yet. I can't look at the first picture with clear eyes and the lump in my throat is to big to talk. If I were able to talk I would tell Ray that life will change soon. Life is different without your parents. There is a hole in your heart that never closes. A lump in your throat that comes out of nowhere. Most days it will be ok. The up coming wedding of Ray's daughter will be missing something. Mother's Day will be bitter sweet because she was a great mom. Some things will be harder, but that is ok. A quality life lived before us should leave a hole in our hearts. Some things will be far sweeter. They will visit in dreams and memories and stories told to grandchildren. It is not all pain and holes and tears. There is a renewed sweetness at the thought of heaven. Heaven becomes a little more real, a lot more familiar and intensely personal. There is not a sense of loss, only longing to be together again in a place with no pain or tears or holes. I would tell what I told people at my parents funerals when they expressed their condolences at losing my mother or father. I would tell them with certain conviction' "they are not lost, I know exactly where they are. We will be together again in the morning!" Paul said to comfort one another with this word. I'll call when I can, but I can't right now. I have every confidence the Holy Spirit will give Ray and Ron and all the family all the comfort they will need. I already asked Him to and He promised he would. See you in the mornin Aunt Elsie!

I'm not that religious

Black Hole in space...
OK I am a person of faith, I will admit it. I will admit to praying too, often in fact. To me, it is inconceivable that anything could exist apart from a God who created it all. (It is the only reational soultion to the uncaused first cause delimma.) For me, God is Jesus Christ. He is the only one who bothered to actually come to earth, do miracles NO other being has ever done and rise from the dead…with eye witness accounts of it all. Yes, I am a believer but I am not going to get religious about it. I agree with whoever said “religion is the opiate for the masses”. No way do I want to get sucked into that black hole but I feel like I am getting sucked in further every day…and I want out! Today my life is being dominated by powerful religious institutions that want me to pledge my allegiance to them alone. They want to restrict, control, direct and approve every aspect of my life. They say they know everything that is good for me in every aspect of my life form what to eat, where I go, when I go, how I get there, even down to what I say and think! They want me to believe in their denomination (which honestly I cannot tell one from another)…and give them more money so they can study it and build bigger buildings to house what they think they know and study it more….sorry, I am just not that religious. These religious people want me to go to their fancy buildings with the latest and greatest of everything, pay them big money to listen. They promise with passion that if I support them, their work will change or even save lives all over the world. Sometimes I feel guilty not to give when I hear the plea…Usually I just change the channel or hang up! To do even part of what they ask of me, I must suspend rational thought and believe what they declare to be the truth, the entire truth and nothing but the truth… even though it is totally not provable and even contrary to some known evidence. I hope they are well meaning (although I have my doubts, I suspect there is more in it for them than for me) but I just am not that religious nor do I have their brand of faith that is based on their observations and interpretations. Take for instance the religious institution of science. It is one of the denominations in the broader religious spectrum called Universities. Google “Dark Matter”. Here is the first hit on the research engine Ask.com. “Dark matter is just what its name implies; it is matter (or mass) in the universe that we cannot see directly using any of our telescopes.” They don’t know what it is, they don’t agree on what it does, they don’t know how it works (some think they do) yet to listen to them speak with absolute authority! Some of these religious zealots have the audacity to tell me they know what the temperature is going to be in the future when they do not even agree on what it was in the past! They are way to religious for me. They can keep their opiate. It requires too much irrational faith for me. I will stick with my personal relationship with Jesus. He said he loves me and I believe him. As a matter of FACT we talked just this morning. He called just before 6 so I got up, made a cup of coffee and we talked for a while. He was laughing (not the ha-ha kind but the can you believe it kind) about the foolishness of some folks who think He does not exist but think black holes do. It really isn’t funny. I think he laughed to cover the tears in his eyes and the lump in his throat. At least that’s why I laughed.
HEB 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jodi and Ryker (pulling an earring)
My dogs ran out of dog food the other day and I forgot to go to Wal-Mart until after our Shack study. I really didn't want to go late at night but felt to guilty not to. By "coincidence" I bumped into my daughter in law Jodi's mother and sister. Her sister looked at me and literally fell into my arms sobbing. Explanations were unnecessary. Julies 1 year old boy...a few days apart from Jodi's Ryker...fell against a searing hot wood stove and burned the palms of his hands to the degree that they flew him to the Maricopa County burn center. Thursday they got the news he would require multiple surgeries, scrapings, skin grafts and the like. Julie must remain in the hospital with him 24/7 for the next month or more. Julie's husband flew down from his job in Washington but had to return. Julie is/was in the process of moving to Washington to join her husband. Julie's 4 beautiful blond daughters have to be farmed out to her sisters for basically the rest of the school year. Julie has to sit day in and day out trying to comfort a baby who cannot possibly understand the depth of the pain he feels. Thus the puddle in my arms...and eyes. I would ask you to pray, but I know you already did...and will. Julies grief, her pain, her sorrow is so understandable. A mother's love meter pegs out when her child is hurting in any way. Grief and puddles are her constant companions. It can be no other way right now. It is the natural response of the depth of love she know for her infant son. We do not know the outcome and it is scary. The baby has no idea of the potential for infections and complications. He just wants to go on with life as he knew it before...but cannot or is not allowed. In many ways Julie has the larger share of the pain. The more he hurts, the more she hurts...and feels love and compassion for her child. That reminds me of a question I was asked the other day. I was asked what it means to Grieve the Holy Spirit of God. (Eph 4:30). Doesn't God get mad at us when we disobey? NOPE, but he does grieve or as we would understand and express it, feel pain and sorrow. But it does not effect Hislove for us. If anything, Hisgrief manifests the depth of Hislove. Our sin literally pains the Holy Spirit more than it does us because, like Julie, the Spirit knows the depth of problems it could and does lead to. Every parent can identify with this mix of love and grief. The pain of our children, self inflicted or not, really hurts deeply...but it never effects our love. If we can do that with all our imperfections, imagine how much God can love us...even in our sin. Live LOVED. the shack discussion guide

Friday, March 13, 2009

2 pages from The Shack

Doni, age 3ish at the shack we stayed in at Mount Hermon, Ca.
Last night was a night of insight for me in our Shack study. I thought I would share my notes from just two pages of the Annotated Shack discussion guide.

136 What happens when humans determine good and evil for themselves? What is the chief result?
A It allows man to play god in his self determination and independence without any of the prerequisite abilities for doing it successfully. Man becomes fuzzy in his thinking about God and seeking to be free ends up in a bondage he cannot break out of. Sahck study guide, shack discussion guide
What is Evil?
A The absence of Good. Read the third paragraph pg 136 for the complete description. Don’t overlook the implications of this teaching. If I understand this correctly, it answers the question “did God create Evil? NO, God only created good, love etc. Stepping outside of what god created is ALL evil from God’s perspective. Anything of any description that separates us from the Love of God is by definition evil. We have personified evil and given it a power it does not have. (Satan may be a personification of Evil but is not evil itself by this definition). The focus of our lives then should NOT be to stay away from evil, but to stay IN the Love and fellowship of God. Consider this: there is no scientific formula for darkness because it is not created. It is true nothingness and is described in Genesis 1 as darkness being prevalent in the pre creation state. GE 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. GE 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God did not create dark, he created light. Under the same reasoning, God did not create Evil. Evil is like dark, it describes the absence of Gods light. In practical application we need to place the emphasis of our lives on staying in the light more than just avoiding evil. We do not want to be like King Amaziah: 2CH 25:1 Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
Our challenge is to follow the instructions of John: 1JN 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. Walking in the light will go a long way towards taking care of the sin problem in man.

What are the implications of “Both evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence”?
A They do not have the power we credit them with having. Simply add light and the darkness disappears.
How does light and good actually exist? What are the relationship implications of that?
A They exist only in God. The further we are from him the darker it is. With God living in me, light exists in me, not darkness. 1 Jo 1:5-7
Why does independent living always result in evil? Are there any exceptions?
A It always ends in death and darkness because it is not where God is.
137 What is the difference between personal rights and being loved. What are personal rights, where do we get them, how to we keep or enforce them?
A Rights are something I determine and must fight for to protect and keep, even if it means infringing on your rights. First rule of rights is mine come first. I get to make them up as I go, change them on a whim and never have to communicate the lines to another until they are threatened. I will use any power, strategy, system, institution, threat, or force at my disposal to keep my rights as I see them. To surrender is tantamount to the death of me. Love is not something we can fight for. True and pure love is something freely offered and accepted
What does Sarayu mean “rights are were survivors go, so they won’t have to work out relationships”?
A Rights are a life long struggle to find and defend. Battle scars abound of every sort. Rights are a walled fortress that must lock out every other human being and God lest they be challenged and overthrown. I can only live in relationship to the degree I surrender my idea of personal rights.
When a person is demanding their rights, what are they actually doing? Where will that lead?
A choosing to live independently of everyone. To maintain their rights they will have to destroy another’s rights. It will lead to darkness, separation, loneliness, despair, grief and to exactly the opposite of what they think enforcing their personal rights will lead.
Can you get your rights by demanding them?
A of course. You have the right to be alone, live in the dark, trapped by unrealized dreams and desires, defeated, deflated and on the way to being destroyed, void of what you thought you were getting by demanding your rights.
What is the net result when we surrender all rights to God.
A Freedom, light, liberty, the pursuit and possession of happiness, the fruit of the spirit, confidence, life, purpose, power, fulfillment, adventure, mystery, surprise, glory, praise and the like.
In relationship to God?
A A peek into the depth of the love of God. Participation in his actual activities on earth now and for eternity. A chance to bring him glory. Understanding, loss of fear, regret, guilt and shame.
In relationship to others?
A The opportunity to love and be loved, to share, fulfill and be filled, to understand, fellowship, worship together. To be more than you could be alone. Be free of expectations, performance, demands and fear of abuse. To live and serve with no fear of being taken advantage of. To know friendship, experience a oneness like the oneness that exists in the godhead. To have a little bit of heaven on earth. To live and love free. When I give up my rights I don’t have to protect myself from you. I have nothing to protect thus nothing to lose but much to gain.
Why did Jesus give up his rights as God to become Man?
A To make all the above possible.
How does God react to our anger? Elucidate
A With eternal love of purpose.
138 What does the garden of your soul look like? Is it a mess or a fractal?. Why do you say that?
A Fractals are only possible when Romans 8:28 is in effect with God’s children. Without his working, it is just a mess, and ugly at that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dinner Time

I thought I would share two things with you. First, this is what a meal is supposed to look like. Deanna made if for me the other night and it was to incredible to just eat and it did taste at least as good as it looked. The Asparagus was fresh, baby carrots grilled, the potatoes were great, although from a box, but I don't care about that and the fresh mushrooms sauteed over the chicken was perfect. She has been preparing these kind of meals for me for almost 40 years. Do you see why I hate to eat out? No res truant can match my wife's cooking, never have, never will. I still take her out quite often, she seems to enjoy it and there is only the two of us now so it makes sense. I could talk about her cooking, countless cookbooks and incredible meals, but I have a second thought. It a little stretch, but in the same ballpark. Why do you think God gave the children of Israel manna every day in the wilderness and why did it not last overnight? Was it to give them something to do for 40 years or was there a greater point. He could have made it last longer, like camels milk which will store at room temperature for 2 years...really. Or he could have it multiply in the bowl like the widows grain. What he did was make them pick it up daily, except on Friday when they collected double and it kept all sabbath. What was the point? They needed the food and they knew they needed it and there was NO OTHER SUPPLY to be had. Even though they grumbled about it, deep down they must have been grateful. Since scripture is for our instruction I'm thinking the point, at least in part, was for us to remember that we must DAILY seek nourishment for our souls from Him. I seldom go a day without eating but do skip meals fairly often. Usually when I leave the house in the AM and am gone all day, I will not eat at all until I get home. By evening I am feeling it with some very specific signs. Truth be told, when I skip my time with the Lord in the morning, the same thing happens to my soul. I need a daily diet of his word and fellowship to stay healthy. It doesn't have to be a huge meal, but I must take time to "eat". Most mornings when I take the time to see what the Lord has prepared for me I find a feast that fuels the soul for the day. I appreciate the fact that you read this blog but I am not nearly the Cook Father is. Make sure you spend time with Him FIRST.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Was Jefferson right?

Our founding fathers were incredibly gifted and guided. The picture above is from the battlefield in Gettesyburg VA, a short walk from where Linclon gave his address.

JFK once said to an assembled group of scholars in the White House, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House ... with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

These Jeffersonian quotes below could prove JFK's point.

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe."

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

And last, in light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:"Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
This would GREATLY discourage me to the point of depression were it not for the fact that I read stuff much older that assure me God has everything under His Absolute control. Things may get rougher for a while, but I took a peek at the end of the book. In spite of Satan's influences in history to get us here, it turns out very well for all those who are in Christ Jesus. If your feeling troubled today read Romans 8. It's all good!. Live loved! The Shack Discussion Guide, discussion guide for the shack, Paul youngs,

Monday, March 9, 2009

Know the Author

One of the first sitcoms on television was “My Little Margie” played by Gale Storm. Does anyone else recognize her? The show aired 76 episodes from 1952-1955 and must have done a few seasons of reruns because there is no way I could have remembered this from TV when I was under 5…except for the fact that I have heard that the older you get the better you far term memory is and the worse your recent memory is. That probably is not true…what was I saying? oh yea, Margie. Anyway, I was reading something from Andrew Murray today that reminded me of one of the early episodes. For some reason, forgotten by me, (which hopefully nullifies the far memory/advanced age thing) Margie had to spend the night in a haunted house. The house belonged to a famous author and a bunch of his fans were invited to spend the night. Ghostly things began to happen that unnerved everyone but Margie. Nothing scarred her. When a hand appeared through a hole in the headboard while she was reading a book in bed, she gave it a pat and a dollar. By morning all the guest were ready to leave except Margie, who thought it was all great fun. This was the 1950’s so of course no one was hurt in any way. When everyone demanded to know why Margie was so calm in spite of all the ghostly activity, she just showed them the book they all claimed to have read. Everything the “ghosts” did was right in the book. She knew it was harmless and the work of the author to entertain his fans for the evening. Most of us claim to be people of THE BOOK, claim to have read it but are still scarred of the authors intentions and activities in our lives. Murray recounts how the disciples, when lost at sea in the storm wanted the presence of Christ to calm the storm….and then were afraid of Him when he did come to calm the waters, thinking HEwas a ghost:

The disciples had no reason to dread that “spirit” coming there, for it was Christ Himself; and, when God’s word comes close to you and touches your heart, remember that is Christ out of Whose mouth goes the two-edged sword. It is Christ in His love coming to cut away the sin, that He may fill your heart with the blessing of God’s love. Beware of dreading the presence of Christ.” (Google, Andrew Murray, The Deeper Christian Life to read the full context. It’s easy to find) teh shack discussion guide, discussion guide for the shace, paul youngs

The message of the story: If you read and believe the book, you do not have to fear anything the author is doing, even if it looks scary at the time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How's it cookin?

I was looking at some pictures of our October 06 vacaton to New England when I came across one of the trip highlights. We stayed in Boothharbor Maine for a few days, in a place overlooking the harbor. I watched the thousands of Lobster pot bouys bobbing in the bay, some not 50 feet from the dock. The fishermen would put a chunk of fish in a wooden box offering the lobster a free meal. Of course the lobsters took the offer. The really little ones and the really big ones got thrown back but all the ones inbetween were taken alive to holding tanks on shore where we picked up several beauties. When we got them back to the house, our host took fresh sea water from the bay and sut the live lobsters in the cold pots of water. He placed the pot on the stove and slowly the water heated, killing and cooking the lobster. The pot was small enough and the lobsters big enough that they could have gotten out if they had tried, but they didn't do a thing to escape. They were kept in the dark until they were done. Sometimes I think the American public is a lot like those lobsters. We are promised something that sounds good, get caught in a trap, kept in the dark and end up getting cooked by the ones who promised to give us something for free. This brings to mind my daugters blog on Obama's reversing President Bush's decision to ban embryo stem cell reasearch. Why would we kill our own children for any reason? Why would we remain silent while others do? How's the water temp in your pot? teh shack discussion guide

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The shack study guide

In the movie "Frequency" a man tunes an old radio that belonged to his father and ends up talking with his father and getting information that will change all their lives. If you missed it, it is a good rent. This is my father's radio. It was his prize possession. I remember when he brought it home in the early 1960's. It was Curtis Mathis, state of the art. The cabinet and shelves are solid 3/4 inch walnut, the latest turn table for vinyl records with stack changer, a HUGE 25 inch color TV and a crystal clear tube style radio receiver. The TV is long gone, the record player..let me pause here to explain, my youngest son Dustin did not know what a vinyl record is. They were 11" flat vinyl platters with groves in them. A tiny needle rode the groves and vibrated to make the sound...sort of. They scratched easily but were so cool when the old style DJ's would back spin them to rappers to give a wooossshhhing rhythm. Anyway the original does not work, but the replacement still plays dads old records. Sometimes I will go into the room where it sits and put on an old record and have a "visit" with my dad. He's been gone 18 years but that old consul is like a time machine to me. I think that is the only reason Dee lets me keep it in the spare bedroom. To her it is way short of a true antique and a lot closer to junk. To be honest, I snuck it upstairs when she was not looking and it is to big to get it out of the room now. The radio was working until I told one of our Praise Band members, Tony, he could take any tubes he wanted for his antique guitar amps. It was not much of a sacrifice for me and Tony needed them. They are very expensive to buy IF you can find them. Besides, every Sunday Tony blesses my heart with his spirit and talent on the bass. For me the bass makes the music and Tony is the best. The tuner on the radio was getting a little worn and it was getting harder to tune the radio anyway. On that old style there are no presets. The dial had to be turned to the middle of the frequency to get a clear sound. This model had the latest technology. As you approached the center of the frequency a green light (the round thing in the center of the dial above) would fan out glow brighter and then fade as you past the optimum tuning point. It made it easy to "fine" tune the radio. Remember the guy on "Frequency"? He had to keep fussing with the dial to here his dad. I love that old stereo. I suppose I should get rid of it, it really doesn't work and is not Dee's style, but I imagine my children will have to figure out what to do with it some day. For me it unlocks forgotten memories and transports me to a place and time I left 50 years ago. Worthless to some, priceless to me. The radio is a subtle memory jogger for me in a different way. It reminds me that I have no preset buttons to press when I am allowing the Holy Spirit to talk with me. I have to pause and watch for the brightest green light. I must get on HIS frequency, not ask Him to get on mine. There is way to much static on mine.