Sunday, December 26, 2010

Skype Christmas

For the first time ever, not all my kids were home for Christmas but we made the best of it with Skype. We started with some greetings in the office with the cousins and then moved the computer into the living room for the rest of the evening. I briefly read the Christmas story for all the grand kids...not sure how well that worked on skype, but we tried. Daniel's family in North Carolina were able to see and hear all we were doing all night. That was better than nothing but I know just how Tori felt every time she reached for the screen to touch Graham or Braxton. Brooks parents were able to go be with them for Christmas except today Daniel stayed home with the kids while Brooke and her folks were given a boat tour of the inland waterway. It is supposed to snow there tonight so I know it is cold! The funny thing though is the boat broke down and last I heard they were paddling it back to a boat ramp. It is not really dangerous. They are on an inland waterway and very close to hundreds of boat docks and piers in the back yards of very nice homes. They can get out anytime they want to....I think...Anyway I did not hear any more so I assume they got home safely. Other than the kids being in North Carolina and Mom in the rehab center, it was a perfect Christmas for me. All my other grand kids and Daughter's in law gathered early in the morning to make our traditional German fare. I spent the day sampling the progress and playing with the grand kids. Watching the girls together in the kitchen was every parents dream come true. They had FUN together and they really helped Dee out a lot. They laughed and teased their way through the day. It was the best present I could ever hope for. What A great Christmas. I hope your day went as well. For the last time this year MERRY CHRISTMAS....and have a GREAT new Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wrapping the Box

There is a cute commercial running on TV right now. Grandpa is asking Dad on Skype how the baby likes the present he sent for Christmas. Techno savvy teen shows grandpa that the baby is having a ball with the box and ignoring the present. That happens every year. Babies always play with the box, but as they mature the box is just in the way of what they want. Sure they admire it and maybe even open it gently, (ok not with my grandson's but it could happen). Make it as pretty as you want and they still just want what's inside! All that money and effort gone in seconds, reduced to a pile of rubble. As a small child I remember seeing a huge box under my grandfathers tree. How I wanted it to be for me. Something that big must be wonderful to own. My whole attitude about boxes changed when Aunt Helen (I think) opened it. It was a suitcase! What a dumb gift! A box in a box! Of course I was to young to realize that the suitcase was just a way of announcing a future trip...that was the real gift. For fun I once got the biggest box I could find to put my gift to my sister in. It was ear rings. I used as many boxes in boxes with as much tape as I could find to make it hard to open. Now that was fun! Since I had to get her a gift anyway, I might as well make her work for it! That whole Present/box thing is to often a picture of the season. The real gift of the season, the reason for the season is not the box. As a matter of fact I have never seen a BOX that even remotely could contain the real gift the BOX is supposed to represent.....a real, personal relationship with JESUS, . To often Christians get so wrapped up with the box they never get to the true gift. There is nothing wrong with Boxes, just keep in mind they are ONLY BOXES and don't let them replace the real gift of God, a real relationship with His Son.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grandma's Cookies

Just thought I'd get a jump on the Christmas Nostalgia. Remember Grandma Z's (Anna) German Springerle (sp?) Cookies? This is the crystal bowl she used to make the impressions on the cookies. My sister Annette, gave it to Deanna after my mother's death. To be honest the cookies were not my favorite but the memories are. I didn't care all that much for the hot chestnuts either but I still love the smell.

From The Father's Heart

It's been a while since I suggested a good book, but I really like the message Charles Slagel bring in this daily devotional. Charles takes a passage of scripture and turns in into a brief letter from God that is in keeping with what the passage says and it totally affirming to all struggling children. In one letter Slagel reminds us that God is never ashamed of us as his children. He gives us time to grow and left infinite room for our imperfections and failures in the process. He reminds us that God's ways are NOT like man's ways (Isa 55:7-10). He is all about forgiveness. I haven't read it all yet, but every letter has blessed and encouraged me. Plus I got it for .99 from

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mom's Accident

Sorry this is so late, but I just got the data cable to download pics to my computer from my new phone.

Last Thursday a very excited friend of mom's came banging on the door yelling that mom had fallen and was hurt. Sure enough, mom had driven down to the trash and bent over to pick up a nail off the ground, losing her balance and falling/rolling behind the trash can. Her friend did not see her on the way up the driveway but went looking for her when she could not find her in her apartment. Mom fell at 9 AM and was not found until 9:40. Fortunately it was a warm morning. The Fire Dept. crew loaded her into an ambulance at 10:30 for her ride to the hospital. Tests revealed a broken hip...but not pelvis. Emergency surgery the next afternoon replaced the top of the femur where it enters the socket. She came through the surgery well and is now in a rehab center about 20 minuets from the house. We are expecting her to be there a couple of weeks, hopefully no more. When she comes home she will not return to her apartment immediately. She will stay with Dee and I in the main house where she and Poppy lived for a couple of years before we built the apartment. It was always the plan to have mom live with us at some point. Only the Lord knows if this it the time. Thanks for your prayers and concern for her.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crushed Dreams

I read this tweeter quote from a pro football player who dropped the game winning pass in the end zone this morning:


It reminded me of a moment in my youth. We were the league champs and playing for the CIF championship in So. California. As usual, I prayed with the team before the game and we beat the other team on every front...except the score! It was really disappointing. Crushing actually. In my defeated state I remember commenting to Dee (yes, we were in love way back then), but I prayed! The next morning the LA paper described the loss with the headline "THE CENTER WAS THE CENTER OF THE PROBLEM FOR THE VICTORVILLE JACKRABBITS". You guessed it, I was the center. The writer...who was not at the game...attributed a high snap for a punt and a down field fumble by the quarterback to be my fault and the reason for our losing the championship. There was NO consolation in viewing the video later that week that showed clearly that I had nothing to do with the fumble or the fact that the punter chose to throw the ball to the tackle instead of kicking it. I was really confused and wondered why God did not protect me and help me. I felt just like that pro....I praise you...I prayed...I DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS FROM YOU!...WE HAD A DEAL! That may be what started a downward spiral for a I didn't go crazy and do stupid things, like I said, I was a good kid...I had to be. I had a sizzling deal with God. If I am really good, then nothing bad is going to happen to me. Ok, I was young and least I'm not young any more, the rest is open to debate and interpretation. That unsettled state of trust lingered through the winter and into spring. When tennis season rolled around I found myself in the #1 position in the league. I frequently practiced against the coach. He could beat me as easily as I could defeat my team mates. All the same, I struggled in league matches. I still won but everyone around me knew something was wrong inside. My Dad quizzed Deanna, my coaches, my buddies and probably people I didn't know about to find the problem. I remember after one away game in Barstow my dad showed up. After we won the match my dad talked to coach Dudley and I ended up driving home alone with my dad. It was pretty much a silent drive. There were a few questions, like was I worried about being drafted and heading to Viet Nam...a big concern in the late 60's where the drafted the youngest first....What was wrong. Honestly, I had know idea. I know something was wrong but had no clue as to what it was, just that something deep inside was on life support at best. Dad got off the freeway one exit early and drove into the driveway of an elderly and godly black couple, Ma and Pa Phelps. He went in alone and after a few minuets came out to the car and invited me in. Not much was said as I was ushered to an old wooden upright kitchen chair in the center of their one room cabin. I had no idea what was happening until Ma and Pa put their hands on my shoulders and began to pray. I don't remember hearing a word they said or how long we were there. When they finished praying we left. Not much was said after that but whatever the cloud was that had chased me through the winter and into the spring left. Today, I know that it was, at heart, a spiritual problem. For reasons I still don't understand, I was at peace and it showed brightest in tennis. I never lost another match and hardly lost a set. It all began when I was confused about the true nature of God. It ended with the prayers of saints who lived in a one room shanty with little material goods and knew then what I know now. God Loves me all the time whether I am good or not. My current circumstances...good or bad at the moment... are not the measure of His love. Jesus is. I live in relationship with him as friend, not a bartering partner. He can be trusted even if I am confused by the circumstances. There is still a lot I do not fully understand but I don't find that black cloud hanging around very long these days either.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ancient tree?

Darin, Dustin, Shane and I wandered the desert this past weekend looking for a desert Mulie. Obviously we didn't find one but I found this juniper fascinating. My cell phone photography does not do it justice but if you click on the picture you will see a depth of character that draws you in. It made me wonder what stories it could tell if it could talk. The elements and man have taken their shots at it but it still stands strong, not defiant, but confident, courageous. At one time it's roots were totally protected, deep in the soil, but time has slowly eaten away at its base, exposing much of the life giving roots to the ravages of the heat and the axe of man. Because the roots went deep, the tree lives, scarred for sure, but beautiful in it's own way. At the time it made me stop and ponder the depth of my own roots. Waht is the earth I am rooted to? Clearly it must be bigger than me. Are my roots deep enough to withstand the storms, hacks and erosion of life? There is a rugged beauty to this tree, something that I want to be true in me also. I must be certain to do all my life what this tree has done to survive...keep getting the roots deeper and stronger. King David's Tree in Psalms 1 was rooted well, planted by streams of living water. I guess that's true for trees of all kinds, isn't it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Noah's Catch

  1. I was talking to Daniel this evening and he said Brooke was out to dinner with a local pastor's wife and he was going to take the kids fishing off the dock. I asked him to send me a picture.....yes, that's Braxton hooked on Noah's Crappie jig. He had to round up Brooke and head to the ER to get it removed....and a tetnus shot no doubt. I think this is about their 4th trip to the ER. I guess that's one way to meet people. Personally I'd stick with the dinner dates.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Change in Blog

Do to the increase in spaming and the vile nature of some spam, I have chosen to turn on moderation for all comments. I tried the spam filter, but junk was still getting through. Sorry, I do love to hear from you but I don't want to allow spamers to ruin it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hog Heaven

All the grand kids were over tonight for family night and...well to be honest we wanted a little peace and quiet so we sent them to play on the back patio. Zane came up with the idea of catching a javelina since as I noted in the last blog, they have been visiting frequently this week. David told Zane how to build a pig snare and I secured a rope for him to make it. Evidently David's plan did not suit Tanner and Zane so they devised their own plan. The place the empty Ice Chest at the edge of the lawn, put some dog food in it and around it and tied the rope to it. The plan was to drop the ice chest over on the baby when it went in to feed. We figured that might keep them harmlessly occupied waiting for the pigs to enter their trap. Tori, Tanner, Ty, Zane, Zandi, Ryker and Karsyn sat waiting. After a while Sweetie noted that it was really quiet out side and uncle Dusty got up to check on the trappers. He came back holding a crying Ryker and reported the rest were outside waiting for the baby to enter their trap. Sure enough, the little herd was feasting on the dog food provided by the GK's as they sat mesmerized by the sight 12 feet in front of them. Doni demanded we secure Tori from such a dangerous activity, but it fell on deaf ears. Finally all of us were on the porch watching the pigs do their thing. Doni insisted it was dangerous for the kids to be doing this but when Zane saw a flaw in his trapping system, (Pulling on the rope would cause the ice chest to fall the wrong way) Doni corrected his engineering problem and came back in the house....without Tori! The pigs did not come back but when Jim and Doni were ready to call it a night Jim had to literally wrestle a rope out of Tori's hands and pry her protesting little body out of the chair to get her home. She screamed all the way to the car that she wanted to catch the pig! The anuts and uncles went to a late movie so Zane and Zandi are staying with us till around 1 am. Zane fell asleep propped up on a chair watching out the window for the pigs to come back to his trap. Sorry Zane but I'm not going to wake you if the do come back. I'm afraid you will catch the baby in your trap and I do not wish to have to explain to that mother pig that we mean the baby no harm. I don't think she would beleive me. So that's what we do for entertainment around the Z house on Friday night. (I left the pic's full size so if you click on them you can enlarge it and see the pigs behind the ice Chest.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Say I Love You

Dee and I have been married for nearly 42 years now and I have noticed something about how she tells you she loves you. Before I met her she had really no interest in guns....truth be told, she still doesn''s not my fault, honest. I tried. My first Valentines gift to her (at 18) was a 20 gage if that doesn't say love and commitment, what does? OK her first kill with it was nearly me, but that's another story...(no she would not shoot me, more like wrap the barrel around my neck).Her first (and latest) kill was a side winder rattlesnake she shot with great glee. ( Snakes are the one thing she definitely likes to shoot, but only if they are on the porch. She even practices the shot! ) I think it is the only thing she really enjoys shooting...and she still does shoot them off the porch! But really, wonderful as she is in every imaginable way, she is NOT a hunter, shooter or anything of the sort. Not opposed, just not interested. So how does that explain this candid shot from last week? Zane was here for the weekend and ALL he wanted to do was sit on the lawn and shoot his BB gun. There is NOTHING but desert behind the house for 6 miles so it is safe. Zane expressed a hope to get a shot at a buck, knowing he should not shoot a doe, but none happened to walk into the back yard. He did his best elk call impersonations, a few duck calls and some calls I didn't quite recognize but he was persistant! Maybe the unidentified call was a lizard call. He did bag one of those. Mostly he managed to shoot holes into a few "Indian relics" laying about in the desert behind the house. Zandi collected a few of the undamaged relics for her collection. To me they looked an awful lot like old tin cans but Zandi assured me the ancient Indians had left them behind. Seeing as how they found them in the desert it must be true. Had they been merely old cans, a more responsible person would have put them in the trash! You can't legally remove Indian relics in Arizona so the question being raised, I best leave them lay where they are. In a yet undiscovered corner of the wash is some other "relics" of yesteryear which I was going to remove but am now considering leaving them for the grandchildren to discover. It will be interesting to see how they interpret historical "digs". I digress. If Dee were to have any quality time with Zane, it was going to have to be on his terms....with a gun, thus the picture. Sweetie added a few holes to the relics proving her worthiness to sholder the firearm. Zanw was delighted to the fact that....sorry David...when he saw his dad pull into the driveway something deep inside him moaned, "O no!" Of course Sweetie thought that was the greatest moan she ever heard! Fact of the matter we both laughed and felt very loved. Zane, buddy, I can tell you this for a fact. Your GrammieSweetie, really loves you. I know. She told me she loves me the same way a long time ago. She still does.

One of the things I do NOT understand about Deanna. She says Javalina are UGLY but the other night a herd was enjoying a feast of dog food just outside our glass bedroom door and they had a 2 lb baby with them nursing as mom gorged on Purina. Deanna said the baby was so CUTE! I have pictures to prove the baby is an EXACT copy of the big one, so why is it so cute and mom so ugly?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thoughts on Family from the Fog

I copied this off of cousin Ray's (far right, Derold, Left) blog . We didn't get the rest of the clan in the picture but we also were with Randy and wife Kimmie, Derold's wife Janna, and kids Shai and Devon and Dori, husband Steve and children Mat, Mike and Melissia. Randy and the kids had never met Ray and Derold saw him last near 30 years ago. Ray remembered the meeting well. Derold let him drive his new Camero (79), a treat for a farm boy. Things fell into place quickly because we are family. I'm sure we will all find more opportunities to get together as often as possible. I mentioned on an earlier post that I am in somewhat of a fog. A part of the fog is the season of life I am in. Several times on the trip Ray deferred decisions to me as the "patriarch" of the Zimmermann side of family. Technically I am #2 on the list but Derold's father Roland wasn't around so the mantal fell on me. Ready or not, it is that season. Hunting aside, the real motivation for the trip was to get the family together again, there was a longing to do it and I was not in any way disappointed. It exceeded my hopes. I have another kind of family here in Phoenix...and beyond...that I love to get together with too. Some would call it the church, but it is so much more than that. It is a group of people God has put into my life to share His Love with. Some of the Fog cleared this morning as I pondered he success of the trip and my desires for my other family. The trip was successful because we all got together to give, expecting nothing and needing nothing but the joy of each other's company and love. Had I gone looking to GET something, I likely would have been disappointed. I'm thinking that is were families, physical and spiritual, go wrong. Whenever a group gathers to RECEIVE from the family, they are essentially saying that Jesus had not given them enough so they had to find someone else to get it from. Since Jesus CREATED each and every one of us to receive ALL WE NEED from Him alone we will never really find it any were else. When we have received all we need from Him, THEN we are in a great position to really fellowship with all the family and share with them what He has given to us. If this only kind of makes sense to you or you want to think about it more with me, call me, you have my number.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To see Daniels New House via virtual earth

In a Fog

You'll have to get the full story from Darin or Josh or ask to see the video but the short version is Darin and Josh went bear hunting WITH ONLY ONE BULLET. Darin made a good but not perfect shot at 400+ yards and rolled the bear down the hill. When they went to inspect it, it CHARGED to within 30 feet....and they were armed with a knife and a video camera! Darin grabbed his knife and Josh shot video! All I can figure is the bear was camera shy and turned away. Wisely (if that term is appropriate given the circumstances) they left it alone and came back the next AM with another gun and MORE bullets. It had not moved far but it still needed 3 more direct hits to put it down. So tell me Darin, what where you going to do with that knife! Surpirsingly, Sweetie is looking forward to seeing this one made into a rug and mounted on our wall!

I spent last week with my cousins Ray, Derold and wife Janna, Randy and wife Kim hunting deer in New Jersey. Kim runs a company that specializes in hunting gear...a tree harnass to suspend a hunter way up in a tree, it is awesome, but not very practical in the desert or I would have brought one home...Janna doesn't hunt, but boy can she cook! We had not all been in the same place at the same time for 30 years. It was a great time together and the hunting was New Jersey standards.... (I only shot 4 deer) fantastic compared to any where else. It was warm and very humid part of the time. I have never seen fog in 75 degree weather. Daniel moved to North Carolina while I was gone and I still feel like I am in a fog of sorts. It will clear up in time, it always does. I did hear a great sermon at Derold's church. The missionary preacher said to slay a "giant" in your life: 1) focus on the promises of God, 2) Wait PATIENTLY for what God will do. 3) Believe Jesus has the power to do it all. I loved it becasue ALL the burden for results is squarely on GOD'S part. I need to remember that to slay a few giants right now and get out of my personal fog. Above is a view from one tree stand in Derold's backyard.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Bye

Daniel, a healthy Pregnant Brooke and the kids have loaded all their earthly goods and are jumping on I-40 east as far as it goes, stopping just short of getting their feet wet. We fully understand and support their moving even though we will miss them more than I can stand to think about right now. They are excited to begin a new adventure in a totally different place and we are excited with them As soon as the get place to live yet...Dee and I wll go out to see them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Shack: 1000 discussion guides

This morning I reached a milepost when I emailed the 1,000th copy of my Shack Discussion Guide to another reading group somewhere in the world. I have no idea how many may have been copy and pasted off the blog post. The Shack is now well in excess of 10m copies world wide and in a bunch of different languages. People love to hear the story of God's love for them told in such a personal and practical way.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Payson Rodeo

Yesterday everyone went to the Rodeo in Payson but I had to stay home to work. Dee was disappointed but went without me. I finished up early and got a ride up with David. I decided NOT to tell Dee I was coming. Technically I never lied to her. I told her I was going to find some cute, Hot girl and go to dinner. Can you pick out the one I took to dinner?

Karsyn, Braxton, Zandi and Nate Perkins Daughter with Jodi's Brother Jeremy

Darin and Ryker Nate and Macy Jo

Dan and Cozie


Mutton Busters Graham and Zane...They both rode....briefly! Graham got pretty good air time.

Watch Doni's blog for her photographic art of this event.

Hand's down, the cutest and hottest cowgril there....I did get her to come home with me again.....for the past 40+ years

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oregon Trip

I went on a "business trip" to Oregon with two really good friends, Steve Stanly and Lon Sidel. Lon and I have the same business and he "needed" help at a big FMCA rally in Redmond. Although the pictures don't show it, we really did the show...all three days. We stayed at a house right on the river with deer visiting daily. I took this pic from the couch in the den. Deanna kept asking why I was on HER dream vacation without her. She wasn't buying the work line at all. I dismissed it until I walked up to his spot on the river. Easy access and could not be more beautiful...exactly the way she likes it. By the way, this is what Oregon considers "HIGH DESERT". For some reason they do not distinguish between cactus needles and pine needles. A hint: Cactus needles are NOT green!

Steve tells me he stood in this spot once for 6 hours casting a fly into the same pool! I fished for about 5 minuets then sat under a tree and just enjoyed watching the river go by. He did catch one little one...and released it. Oregon is a great place to be in August. Before I left Phoenix I literally melted the soles off 2 pair of shoes working on pavement that was 167 deg. It felt like the dead of winter to me there! On the way home I spotted some black berries beside the road, so we stopped for lunch. Apparently there is some kind of rule that you have to eat as much as you pick to put in the bucket. I was worried about it but evidenty you cannot overdose on Blackberries. We started the trip gathing blueberries that were growing everywhere. You can't OD on them either. If anyone wants to fly to the area, don't overlook flying to Eugene from Mesa Williams Airport. Tickets are less than $100 round trip.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Escaping the Heat

Left to Right: Ty, Tori, Graham, Zane, Noah, Tanner, Braxton, Zandi, Cozette (Karsyn, Ryker and Cooper couldn't make the trip). It was just to hot to stay in the valley yesterday and I had a quick errand to run in Prescott so Daniel, Doni, David, Sweetie and I headed off to the cool mountains via the back way through Walnut Grove and a delightful creek for the kids to play in for a while. Sweetie got a little nervous when a magnificant huge black Angus Bull walked up to her holding Tori at the creek. He got within 4 ft. He probably never saw anything bigger than himself so nothing seemed to threaten him. I told Sweetie to just sit still and he passed on by. My theory is why run, I can't outrun anything any way so why try? After we left the creek we went inI to Prescott where the kids all visited the candy store. Everything was really great.....except for Zane gettiing car sick and throwing up about 10 minuits from home. Uncle Daniel had to make a late night trip to his old office to clean the seats, but it was no real biggie. Doni had her camera with her and got some great shots down at the creek which I imagine will show up on her blog soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

REALLY dumb dog!

Boomer is my DIL's mixed breed mutt. She told me he is not all that bright but he is really lovable. I keep him locked up far from the house at night because he feels it is his responsibility to comment on everything that happens all night around the house. He barks at everything and even nothing sometimes. You would think he had an opinion about this when I went to let him out this AM. IF he knew it was there, he wasn't saying anything about it! Fortunately I saw it before I stepped on it. It never made a move or rattled. I suspect he lives...with his buddies...under the barn which is about 6 feet away to the left. Gunner, his roommate did bark once but he has been snake broke and is really afraid of Rattlers. Last week Dusty exited the back door to find out what the dogs were barking at and narrowly missed a bite. A snake larger than this one was at the back door waiting...We get up often at night to keep the pigs out of the dog food. This week they moved the latched cargo box full of dog food out onto the lawn and popped the latches....without hurting the box! Still don't know how they did that. Now I put the dog food on top of the kennel at night. So far they haven't figured how to get it down. I was catching the snakes to release elsewhere but my grand kids were getting to fascinated with the captured critters....not something that was very popular with Sweetie. At least it keeps things interesting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why am I still here?

I was reminded this morning of a curious event that happened near 30 years ago. I had instructed a teenager (who had to serve time with me for some modest infraction) to dig a hole to put a pole in the ground for a new volley ball court we were building. He was a really good worker and made great progress until he got down about 30 inches. Some "roots" were blocking his progress, try as he might. I remember laying on the sand and extending my right arm full length to the bottom of the hole and feeling three smooth intertwined roots, each about as big around as my finger. I felt a nick in one root and what felt to me like a metal cable inside. A sinking feeling came over me that it was not a root but a buried electrical cable. I carefully got up and back on dry ground and saw that at the end of the volley ball court was an electric pole that had a big cable come down the pole and disappear into the ground. I felt really fortunate that we....since we were still alive....hit the ground line instead of the power line. I let the water in the hole dry out and indeed the nick had exposed the metal inside the cable. After it all dried out I cleaned it out and used some 50 year silicone and pipe to seal it up. Everything was fine...for about 12 years. The power in the main church building started to act funny and the air conditioners were not working. The Electric company determined there was a problem in the buried line connecting to the building. I remember advising the repairman to begin his search for the break where I had repaired the line years before. He listened to my story and dug where I suggested. Sure enough, my old repair, good as it was, did not account for the moisture in the line that I had sealed in. Over the years it had corroded the metal into powder. He went to the pole to disconnect the power but I told him it was safe, it was just the ground wire that was harmed. He shocked me when he objected saying NO it is a hot line. There is NO ground cable on this three wire cable! I told him when I discovered it and fixed it we were in WATER. Why were we not electrocuted? His dead pan response was "I don't know, You should have been....electricity sometimes does funny things". I don't know if there is a natural explanation to my good fortune or a supernatural one, but I do know that I was protected. Today Paul's reminder "you are not your own, you have been bought with a price" rings very clear. Not only did Jesus literally die to demonstrate his love for me, but he has saved me....litterally...several times in my life from what should have or at least could have been certain death. That memory makes it easier for me right now with all the uncertainty that surrounds me and the future. I know I can trust Him with whatever comes my way. I hope you know that too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do The Math

I was just watching a BP spokesman assuring us that the Oil Spill will be taken care of and that they would cover the wages of those who have lost income. For support he said over 18,000 claims had already been paid for a total of $51,000,000. Sounds impressive IF YOU DON'T DO THE MATH! Each claim was paid $2833.33. No wonder the thing is still leaking!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Our refrigerator is once again the display case for precious art. Zandi and Karsyn frequently present us (usually Sweetie) with their most recent art treasure. Is that stuff really important? It is to me. I still have the art I presented to MY father when I was young. It sat on his desk most of his life and now sits on mine. Zandi was fascinated last week with some clay duck images David made about 25 years ago. They were on display in my church office for years and now are enshrined in Sweetie's Curio cabinet along with 100 year old quilts and oddities of lesser importance. Zandi wanted to take them home but Sweetie politely declined her request. I imagine she will get them one day, but that won't be soon. By then she will know why they are so important to us. More important than the expensive Hummel and antique collectibles that surround them. Honestly, is it real quality art? Only to Sweetie, me and apparently Zandi. (David is not old enough yet to see their true worth). Thinking of art projects it reminds me of one Daniel presented me. He was somewhere around 5 or 6 and had unusual small motor skills. As a toddler he could pick a live fly off the window nearly every time...a skill I lacked and respected. On day he presented me an Disney quality drawing. I'm thinking a child prodigy here...It was so good I asked ..... ok Doni, it was more like the Inquisition....if he had traced it. He assured me he had drawn it all by himself. It was to perfect and looked exactly like a picture we had in the house. I got terribly fixated on the question of Daniel Lying to me...which he was not...He just did not know what the word "tracing" meant. This is the short version of that episode. I suspect that if you scroll down to the comments Doni will have added something. She still reminds me of it from time to was that bad! I don't have that picture. It had no significance (If you don't count paternal embarrassment). It was not an original, just a copy of a professional artist....and a very good hand drawn copy...IE traced very well. It was not unique or personal. Part of me wishes I had just praised the effort and let it go. I really hope Daniel doesn't remember it as well as Doni does and if he does remember I think by now he realizes I love him for just who he is, nothing more, nothing less. His value as my son stands alone with no of comparison to anyone else or anything else. I have four boys who are completely different in looks, personality and temperament and I love it. The only things they have in common is they have beautiful wives and incredible children. And they are all uniquely different....except for Ryker and Cooper who appear to have come out of the same mold so far. There definitely was no tracing going on with the family genes! All this comes to mind as I read this morning an Article from Wayne Jacobsen at He mentions that as a child he loved to color by the numbers and noted that evidently God does not. God loves to color outside the lines, blend, shade, and do all the things a true master artist does. He values each of us as his unique priceless and untraceable children. When believers are expected to be nothing more than a tracing of someone else or to be just colored all the same to match all the rest, it destroys our true value in the body of Christ...not to God...he refuses to see us that way. Each believer is truly an original hand crafted child of God. Don't let others try to color or trace you. Live as a free expression of what God is doing in your life.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I stole this off of Doni's blog.
Lately I have been trying to really curtail my driving and talking on my cell phone without the headset. I used to think I was doing just fine but when I really stopped to watch myself I found I had inadvertently developed a really bad that could be very costly. I noticed that talking on the phone was no big deal....but dialing was taking more of my attention than was safe. Even though I held the phone right in front of me where I could see out the windshield I was really watching the phone and glancing out the windshield. At freeway speed you can go a long way while dialing a couple numbers between glances. I have speed and auto dialing but that to is fairly distracting if the freeway traffic suddenly stops in front of you. Anyway, I am seriously trying to curb by dialing addiction. I place the call before I take it out of park and then with my really cool Bose headset I can talk all I want or listen to a download podcast without ever taking my eyes off the road. Now that I am getting that down to a routine I plan to work on another big problem I have that is similar. I tend to Watch the world and Glance at Jesus. I need to totally tune into Jesus so when I do glance at the world it will not be so distracting or dangerous to my soul.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cooper Allen Zimmermann is here!

All I know right now is 7lb 9oz Dee and I had Ryker and Karsyn and Zane and Zandi at our house while Jody was delivering. David just got here (10:15 P.M.) with the Darin's car so we are headed off to see #12. Check Doni's blog. She was the Labor coach and Photographer. Special thanks to Belindia and Amanda for the extra help. Darin was in Show Low when Jodi went into labor...but was here in plenty of time for the delivery. I still think it way to much that Jodi held off having the baby until after the Laker/Boston game was over....yes it was ON in the delivery room! Gotta go.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Salt free diet

Yesterday I had to say good by to Babe, my Boarder Collie of 13 years. I knew the end was near...cancer...and she passed peacefully. As Dusty and I buried her next to her sister Dusty commented that everything he loves leaves in June. I don't like to think about that, but it is true. Mom, dad and Poppy all left us in June. June has a bright spot too, we celebrate 5 birthdays in June too! (Jody tells me Cooper Allen Zimmermann will be here on or by the 11th). This is all just background, it is not really what I want to say today.

From the time I was 11 my Dad was on a "salt free" diet do to a heart condition...ya, like that ever worked. Mom tried every salt substitute available and he adamantly refused to use them. For him, fake salt was worse than no salt. I'm not sure how he knew that because he never really went the no salt route anyway! I'd have to agree with him. If it says "lite" or imitation on the label, I don't want it either...and YES, I can tell the difference. It occurs to me that a lot of religious life is really a substitute for the only thing God ever wanted or still wants today. We have all the rules, regulations, shoulds and shouldn'ts, work, service to do and services to know the drill....but we do not have what God freely gave to us. We try to preform or meet a standard to feel some measure of his Love and in some way return it. Wayne Jacobsen noticed that when Jesus asked Peter "do you love me?", he was looking past Peter's failure and pointing out that all our failures do not effect is love for us...or our love for him. Jesus want Peter to know that his failure was not a measure of his love! Because we are fleshly we will fail...but it is not a measure of our love for him and NEVER a measure of His love for us. That says it all to me. What does it say to you?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Congratulations Brittany....again

So far this year Brittany has tagged a Deer and Javlina (on the same day) in January, A husband in February and now a record class Arizona Black bear in May! (She also shot a nice ram and some hogs in Texas, but that was last fall) She shot this monster on a hunt with new hubby Josh on a hunt this weekend . Josh got a smaller Cinnamon phase black bear with his bow earlier in the hunt. This bear weighed in at over 400 lb and stands around 6'6" tall. Record skulls start at 18" and this one is 20+. His neck is 37" around! She used a 300 Supermag at 78 yards to kill it near instantly, dropping it almost in its tracks. For those who don't know, VERY FEW women, or men for that matter can or will handle the 300 supermag. It is about a big a gun as you can hand hold and fire....and Brittany is barely bigger than the gun! I suspect she will add a few more before the year is over. Lord willing a bunch of us will be going to New Jersey to hunt Whitetails with cousin Derold this fall. No doubt Cousin Derold will put her on another monster! Anyway, Congratulations guys!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


When I was a teenager some of my friends got jobs in service stations around town. They told me how they were taught to fake problems (or cause them) on cars that were traveling through our area. On a hot summer trip with my dad over the mountains to Bakersfield the check engine light came on....we had runt the air conditioning going up a very steep grade...Dad pulled into the only gas station at the top of the Hill and a teenage mechanic diagnosed the problem and offered a solution: An expensive radiator flush. Neither of us are mechanics but I insisted that it was just a con game. We drove on down hill into Bakersfield where the mechanic there fixed a faulty light indicator switch for a couple bucks! I have been burned a couple times by crooked mechanics since then, but NEVER twice by the same mechanic. I have learned to STICK with a mechanic who has proven trust worthy. One such is Gary, down the road. I once saw him inject oil into a strut that was squeaking and refused to charge the man. The man brought the car to Gary because the dealership wanted $600 to replace the struts! Our church bus mechanic and I once got into a brief disagreement over the Church Van. It needed the front end aligned and I insisted it go to my mechanic...Gary. My friend insisted it go to HIS mechanic. We were stalemated unwilling to surrender....until we realized we were talking about the same guy, Gary. Gary once told me he could easily raise his rates but why should he, there was nothing he wanted that money could by anyway. I was really disappointed when Gary retired a year ago, but delighted to see that he was back this week. Evidently retirement was not as much fun as fixing cars for him. Gary proved his integrity to the point that I stopped in the shop this week to say Welcome Back GARY!...and I didn't even need any work done. (He did diagnose a problem for charge of course! It is great knowing who you can really trust with a vehicle. That reminds me of how we can and should trust God. He proved his every intent towards us when he defeated and paid for sin on the cross. He is totally and completely trust worthy in every circumstance of life no matter how it looks at the moment. Surly we can trust this from Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

After watching a news clip of a popular "preacher" (who was PAID to come) spouting his political agenda and suggesting his audiance read the US Constitution, the Bible and be prepared to go to jail, I had to ask myslef, is this what Jesus meant to be a Christian? Personally, I prefer His own words:

Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Thursday, May 6, 2010


When we moved to Phoenix 33 years ago we were sequestered in an inner city tract house. It was quite adequate for survival but I was born and raised country and as the song says, I was very aware of my (as Blake Shelton sings) "hillbilly" bone. To satisfy my country yearnings I started to raise birds in the backyard...ok it got a little out of hand when we had thousands...litterally...but I loved it. If I had to pick one highlight moment it had to be the day my prize Cockatiel escaped the flight cage. He was a beautiful yellow male, one of my best birds. I hesitated a moment to long in closing the door as I left the cage and he shot past my head and rocketed straight up. I would have been really bummed out about losing that prize but the sight of that bird in full flight AND the sound of his song of freedom was so beautiful I was actually glad he escaped. As he rolled and looped for the first time in his life unfettered in the air he burst into song that touched my soul. A blind man could plainly see he was born for this. To this day my ears are tuned to that song...and I am hearing it more often. Cockatiel now live free in the area. Not many but when I see one I always pause to remember and watch because every one I have seen flying free sings the same song of freedom while dancing in the air. They just can't seem to help themselves. It would seem that Cockatiel know they were born to be free even though the vast majority of them are born in captivity. Why aren't we as smart as these little birds. We are born in captivity too but content to stay there. Jesus said the truth would make us free...we were born to be free. Why are we content to be in the cage? I'm thinking most folks don't even have a clue as to what true freedom is. Do you? Are you living free. To be truly free you must know why you are here, do you? I am beginning to learn what freedom really is. I can't say that I am there yet, but I am not were I was. One day soon I hope to break free completely and sing and dance in the sky!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Born Free?

About 60 miles north of my house there is a one square mile enclosure that contains about 100 Buffalo, a couple hundred Red Stag and some huge hogs. It is not a hunting compound because these animals can't get outside the fence but they are harvested for meat and skins. The fence is just 8' of common chain link that can be and has been cut or broken. I was there because occasionally some hogs would escape and provide a challenge for the local hunters. Hogs are smart and will disappear into the nearby riverbed very quickly...and they will not go back into the enclosure on their own. He really didn't try to get them back and I suspect he admired their will to be free and occasionally turned a few loose just to keep interest going at the ranch. More than one hog hunter has spotted a prime stag he had to have for his wall. I asked the rancher how he could ever get a 2,000 lb Buffalo back inside the enclosure if it got out. He said it was quite easy. Just turn out some common beef cows and the Buffalo would join the herd. Then just drive the entire herd back into the enclosure. The buffalo will follow just like the cows. Then I asked how he would catch the red stag....they are a lot like the elk that is indigenous to the area...He said that was even easier. Even if you leave the gate open, they will not leave the enclosure. The were BORN in the enclosure and have been there for 20 generations. They have NO CONCEPT of freedom and they are quite comfortable where they are. Everything is provided for them and until they reach maturity, there is nothing in the enclosure to harm them. It is nearly perfect as long as they are immature....

That reminds me of Paul's continuous admonitions to the early Christians. He kept telling them that they did not have to return to the old forms of religion now that they had a real living relationship with Christ. It was so real that NOT ONCE do any of the original disciples long for the good old days when Jesus walked among them. They found life and freedom in the Spirit to be BETTER than the life they had for the three years they had with Christ. He told them it would be like that and it was. We are all a lot like the critters in the compound. We were all born in bondage to sin that prevents us from being all God means for us to be. Are you like the smart hogs who try to escape to the perils of freedom, the Buffalo who follow the crowd or the Red Stag who don't even want to taste of the freedom on the other side of the fence? We were not born free, but we can live free.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Family Tree

My cousins, Ron and Becky Zuercher from Missouri and my Sister Annette Kacaleck are visiting this week. We have been going through old family albums setting things straight in our history. One teriffic aid for the relatives of Anna (Unfried) Zimmermann is her great nephew, Denny Unfired's family history sight. It has all the Unfireds and a lot of Zimmermann pictures and genology. Ron is working on a Zuercher site. Check out the home page for Unfrieds at:

The Zimmermann side is the upper right side of the picture

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Making Deals with Children...

When David was 3 He begged to go hunting with his older brother Dan and Me. He was to little to keep up so I told him when he was big enough to climb to the top of the swing (15') he could go. Unknown to me he worked on climbing to the top every day. In a matter of a couple weeks he took me by the hand, led me outside and said WATCH! He went straight up the rope without the smallest hesitation. ON returning to the earth he announced: "NOW I GET TO GO HUNTING!" He did and never slowed us down. You would think I would have learned but when he was 15 he asked if he could afford a truck, could he get one? I agreed and of course HE DID! Used it to start his own business. With the same determination he got his truck, he got his EMT, Fireman, Paramedic, Engineer and Captain positions...all doing the things he loves to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love Always Wins

This Picture reminds me of my college days. This is my Senior year! I know I look young becasue I was only 20 when it was taken. I went to college on a Tennis Scholarship....haven't played since. I managed to get my degree in 3 years because I really wanted to marry Deanna and move on in ministry. Dee and I were newly weds and it was a great season of life. I've learned a lot of lessons since then but none greater than the lesson taught in Tennis.


Monday, April 12, 2010

More Dino? pics

I added the remaining pictures I took with my cell phone becasue some professionals are viewing them to determine what they might be. First guess was IF it is the remains of something it is just the tail, but that was just the first impression of an expert. We may even get to go on a field trip with an expert to see what it is....OK I did not tell anyone exactly where it was becasue I want to take them to it. Even if it is just an odd natural formaton it will still be fun. I gathered from our brief conversation that this type of thing, IF REAL is fairly rare for this part of the country. Since my grandkids are home schooled it will be a science field trip for them. I guess Doni and I will have to come out of the closet offically as OLD EARTH (vrs Young earth). I know many readers of this blog beleive God created the earth in six litteral 24 hour days even thought the scripture does not really say that. The evidnece here (if it is real) and elsewhere demonstrate that creation came over a LONG period of time but in the same order as described in Genesis. IF this is a very ancient bone, I have no theological argument with it at all. Anyway, when I take the Grand kids to see it....which Brooke is insisting we do soon... I will tell them that God did indeed create all we see but probably not in 6 days. This could still all be nothing but it does represent something that is real. If anyone else is interested I will post the gps coordinates AFTER the experts have had a chance to determine what, if anything they want to do about looking into it further. Deanna is having a little fun with me on this. She has already named this new species of critter after me. She calls it a zimmerawesomeness. Brooke thought a saurous ending might be more fitting.

Desert Dino?

A bunch of us were fishing yesterday at a local lake and while walking by a sandstone cliff I saw what looked like the fossil remains of something really big. it was over 7' long and was shaped exactly like a spinal column. I have no idea if it is just a freak natural rock formation or a real dino bone. IF it is a dino bone would anyone care? It may have just been uncovered by the recent rains. Any thoughts? The pictures are from my cell phone so not great but you can get the idea. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The fishing finally improved

Aimee had to wade across in neck deep water to get to this spot. It took her until midnight to thaw out, but it was worth it.
Monday Afternoon we finally caught up with the fish we were looking for. We ended up with over 150 lbs (50 3lb to 5lb). They should be around for a while and we hope to stock up. This is only part of the group we caught.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Religious or Relationship?

On Easter we all gathered out at Pat and Dawn Morris' for a great celebration. It was something like the 30th year we have done this and it was wonderful again. This time there was about 125 gathered. Pat led us with a really great communion toast, a few remembered Him together in small groups as they brok bread together. I saw some healing, come growing, some service and a ton of love all afternoon. The children played, Pat shot people with a water gun...and a rattler with something more potent, the men played washers and a fribie game all afternoon. Everyone laughed, loved and celebrated what a life in Christ lived in fellowship is all about. If you are reading this you were probably there, if you missed it...sorry. We missed you to. That got me to thinking abut how different the religion of Christianity is from the reality of a life lived in relationship. Wayne Jacobsen asked these questions in a Body Life Article. See if you are living in relationship or Religion.

• When God is a distant concept to you instead of a real presence.
• When you find yourself following another man, woman, or a set of principles instead of following Jesus.
• When fear of eternity, not measuring up, or falling into error drives your actions.
• When you find yourself in empty rituals that do not connect you in a real way to him.
• When you are burdened by the expectations of others and feel guilty when you can't do enough.
• When you look at others who struggle with contempt instead of compassion.
• When the approval of others means more to you than remaining in the reality of his love.
• When you hesitate to be honest about your doubts or struggles because others will judge you.
• When you think of holiness as an unachievable duty, rather than a glorious invitation.
• When you think righteousness depends on your efforts instead of his grace working in you.
• When following him is more about obligation than affection.
• When correcting someone's doctrine is more important than loving them.
• When God seems more present on Sunday morning, than he does on Monday.

What do you think? Is it a religion or relationship for you?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cousin Ray finds one again!

If you ever feel really dumb or do something really dumb, watch Cousin Ray's blog today. You will feel like a genious in comparison to this congressman from Georgia. Just click it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Read the fine print!

A banner ad on MSN caught my attention promising a 70% savings on my electric bill for $200 in parts. I read through it with all the claims of the utility companies wanting to bury the information. I googled it for other opinions and found a great endorsement from "Consumers Guide". They claimed they built and tested the product and it worked exactly as explained in the book. They even included a link to get the best pricing on the book that told how to build these great solor panels and wind generator. At the bottom of the page was very small print almost the same shade as the background. I hi-lighted it and pasted in word. Following is the enlarged and readable copy.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved. This page is a fictious demonstration of what an individual who uses the advertised products could potentially experience. Results from using these services will vary. Your results can be better or worse depending on the effort you put forth within them. These recommendations are soley based upon opinion. "As Seen On" logos and tradmarks are owned by their respective companies. is paid a commission if a purchase is made through this website. All claims made by us are made up for advertising purposes only. One of more of the services we review has been previously written about or featured by those companies. We have no affiliation with those companies. We make no representation or guarantee of the quality of these companies. The rates, fees and information on this page, while accurate at the time of writing, is subject to change and may have changed since originally published. This site accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this site. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

It appeares to me they are admitting to lying about everything they said in their promotion of this wonderful product. I thought it was to good to be true.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Really big cat

Dustin could have grabbed this one it was so close.

It's Spring

Grandson Noah's first attempt down the mountain. He wasn't hurt. When he saw his bike did not fare so well, he said it was ok becasue he had another one at home. (Daniel was closer than I was so it's not my fault...and I did tell him not to go up the OTHER mountain.)
This little fellow was watching me fish the other day. He was about 4' long and very friendly. No noisy displays, just a calm, "I'll leave you alone if you leave me alone attitude". I did. I have another one from the day before that I found in my driveway. I put him in the barn until I can release him somewhere where he won't be a threat to my Grandkids...after I snake break my new puppy...I will have to defang him first so neither of us get hurt. Did you know they have several sets of fangs in case one breaks off? I'm waiting for the cut on my hand to heal before I handle him. Experience tells me that venom running down my hand to an open wound would be as good as a bite. And YES Deanna, I have to do it or the Puppy will get bit like the last one did.

Tanner (Doni's) and Seth (Heidi's son) went with me the other day to see if the white bass were in yet. They were. I planned to keep them dry all day, but Uncle Darin carried them across the deep part and then put them down in the shallow part. His response to my complaint "you never worried about keeping us dry when you took us fishing". Darin just does not understand that grandsons are different....or maybe not.

That's what I've been up to lately. If your craving somthing for the soul today, Check out Cousin Rays blog on the Missional Church. It is what we ought to be. Just follow the link to the right.