Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I did it! I climbed the wall! And I am here to tell you it was
murder. You go almost straight up while your lungs scream like crazy
and you wheeze at every third step. Then on the way down your knees
are ready to disown you. Thank heaven for the hand rail. I wouldn't
have made it without it. I thought I was doing pretty good for an old
geezer until a 79 year old Chinese man roared past me.
I thought Brian would appreciate the pic of me at the big pot. No,
it's not for cooking missionaries. It is the fire suppression system
in the Forbidden city. A kind of ancient sprinkler system. In the
winter when it gets really cold they put a fire under it to keep it
from freezing. Hmmm, I guess you could cook a missionary if the
Coming home today and looking forward to Chula Vista and all the nice
things of home.
SamSee and download the full gallery on posterous
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Here are three young ladies who served in the staff room at the school
where we held our workshop sessions. They furnished coffee and
cookies, kept the place clean and neat, and showed me where the
computer lab of the school was located. They are special friends who
I hope will get on facebook and keep in touch.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
We finished the conference on Thursday and took the day off on Friday.
On our day off we went to the Russian border and to the valley where
Chingiss Khan recaptured his wife who had been kidnapped by his
enemies. They have a huge rock there as a marker. The first
conference was a great success, even though we had a hiccup in the
middle when the Education Superintendent felt we were being too
This conference got off to a great start with more participants than
the last group. My Walk Thru was enthusiastically received and I look
forward to three more good sessions. Here are some pics of me in
action, at the border and at the Chingiss Stone memorial.
Having fun in Suhkbaatar,
SamSee and download the full gallery on posterous
Sunday, November 9, 2008
It has been a good day. We met our interpreters and began to bond.
Mine is one of the best which is good and bad. Good that she is the
best but bad that she has to interpret for two other people.
I have some pics for you. Enjoy!
The young girl is our waitress at the hotel. Notice in lthe photo of
the Ger they have a dish outside. We may not have solid walls but we
do have our TV. I wonder if they are watching Dancing with the Stars.
You will recognize the sign outside the restrooms.
We crank it all up tomorrow so, again I implore you to pray.
SamSee and download the full gallery on posterous
Saturday, November 8, 2008
We are still in the training mode. I have been drafted to become the
official photographer for the conference. I get to roam around and go
where ever I want. I also get to spend time playing with my computer
and it is officially OK.
We have found three internet cafes and we are out every after noon
explloring the city. Interesting time. I will meet my interpreter
tomorrow and we will begin to work on my Walk Thru the Bible
presentation. Then on Monday everything cranks up.
I love you all and really appreciate your Prayers.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I have arrived safely in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. There were no
hitches and even though I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the
Beijing airport I find my team and all is well. Here are a couple of
photos for you to peruse. The young lady was the smiling face at our
hotel..See and download the full gallery on posterous
Monday, November 3, 2008
Since, I (Grandmother) am still learning how to work the computers,
pics, etc.( notice I don't know the language yet) I'll be using
granp's twitter, etc. Here's how I spent Monday afternoon. Mixed
one lb. of butter with 3 cups of flour a little conf. sugar and a lot
of cutting with the blender. Notice the crust is pressed into the
pan. After a wonderful browning of the ingredients walla, out comes
a golden pan of crust. Next the gooey part. 8 eggs, 4 cups of sugar
Yikes..... these are not for gramps. a lot of lemon and lime juice, I
mean a lot, a little zip of zest, more stuff and then poured on the
golden brown delicious crust. You should have seen me trying to get
the pan into the oven. It was sooo full I had to have help
transporting it from the counter to the oven. Gramp's was eagerly
helping. He thinks he's getting some. Maybe one.....Had to take a
break and get the product out of the oven. All done except the
dusting. Well they are too warm to get into the mail today, if they
last, maybe tomorrow. Jaclyn gets half since she was on a cleansing
during her birthday and she didn't get her request for lemon bars. So
Geoff, enjoy, diabetes here I come.See and download the full gallery on posterous
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
For lunch today, I had lobster bisque, spinach lasagna, Philly cheese steak, salmon, spagetti, chicken rolls, chicken tacos, chicken stir fry, chocolate covered macademia nuts, pumpkin cake, zipfiz energy drink, apple crisp, a hot dog and a coke. Can you guess where I ate?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
However, things haven’t slowed down without the Ecola schtik. I have been busy teaching a seminar for Walk Thru the Bible entitled, Raising Up a Child. This is a new parenting seminar from WTB and I am teaching it for the first time at Bonita Valley Baptist Church. On top of that, I was the mission speaker at Carlsbad Community Church, and the speaker for the Pinewood Derby races for AWANA at Bonita Valley Baptist Church. I have also been asked to fill the pulpit for the Santee Community Church before I leave for Mongolia.
I also had another interesting conversation this month. One of my long time friends and colleagues in ministry and I took a half day and talked about how to finish up ministry. He is still actively in the pastorate and all his kids almost out of the house and the next big step would be retirement. Just what that would look like is anybody’s guess. I certainly have found retirement an interesting adventure and the years ahead hold just as much thrill has any years I have experienced. I just don’t know where they will lead. None-the-less, we want to finish well and be an asset to the kingdom of Christ until He takes us home. You may hear more about this as time goes on. If you have a comment, I would like to hear it. Let’s all finish well!
Mongolia is coming together well. I have my ticket, my presentation is pretty well set, I have my flu shot, I have been collecting all the odds and ends, I have purchased gifts for my interpreter, Janiece has laid in plans for how she is going to spend her time, (She has even worked out an itinerary for the train that I would not have figured out), so, I guess everything is on schedule. I met a lady in Berean Christian Store yesterday who is also going on the trip from San Diego. That was an unexpected delight.
I am working on a sermon for Santee Christian Church and I feel drawn to Philippians 4:6 which says to be anxious for nothing. Anxiety seems to be the elephant in the room in a lot of people’s lives these days. With the Wall Street Rollercoaster scattering our emotions all over the landscape and the impending election raising all kinds of issues it is no wonder that people are anxious. I think this is a time to assess just what we believe about God. Does a $31,000 lost in our portfolio spell disaster, or is this a reminder that our real confidence is in God and His loving care. It chases me back to the scriptures (Matt. 6:33) that admonishes us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
He knows, and He cares!
As difficult as things are in Southern California there are others who are struggling more than we are. Let’s not miss this opportunity to uphold our brothers and sisters who are facing insurmountable difficulties.
Oh, by the way, my baby boy turned 45 this week. Happy birthday Jon! He also, this month, pulled off a major involvement in the San Jose Aids Walk. He challenged four churches to recruit 600 walkers and raise $20,000 for the Aids Health Fund. He missed his goal. The four churches recruited 802 walkers and raised almost $30,000. The boy is doin’ good. Papa is proud. Not that I’m not proud of the other two, this was just Jon’s turn for the spotlight.
Suhkbaatar, here I come,
Be sure to check out my blog at smacktalbert.blogspot.com
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
A couple of years ago we bought a Cumquat tree. We kept it in a pot for a while then we planted it out near our gazebo.
It has struggled and finally it produced a crop. I went out today and hauled in our cumquat harvest.
Yep, that's it. Two whole cumquats. Aren't they pretty? I can't wait to enjoy my delicious citrus fruit.See and download the full gallery on posterous
I don't know if you have ever eaten a cumquat. They work great on salads and in other combinations, but to eat them alone is an experience of a lifetime. You eat them whole. The peel tastes slightly sweet. To balance this the inner pulp is sour. When you eat them you get a mixture of both these tastes which is quite interesting.
Here's how you do it. You put the whole thing in your mouth and bite down.
Then you enjoy the splash of intense tastes.
Sometimes one taste overpowers the other. Can you guess which one dominates?
Maybe the next crop will taste better.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The first Sunday of October is always British Car Day. This year it was at the Admiral Baker Park in San Diego. About 177 cars pre registered. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Austin Healey Sprite and that mark was featured. My Sprite was in the center of the show along with a dozen others.
Janiece came too and hung out in the 'quick shade' canope. We had a McBreakfast and strolled around looking at all the variety of rolling artwork that came from mother England.
There was even a bagpipe marching band.
They were pretty good, I think. I don't really have a category for judging bagpipe bands. The little girl who played the drum and twirled her drumsticks was cute though.
Here are a couple of photos of interesting sights.See and download the full gallery on posterous
Looks like the photog is having a hayday.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
A couple of years ago I went to Papua New Guinea to visit Steve and Tracy Geis and in the process I was introduced to Passion Fruit. Later I found a vine at Lowes and planted it on our fence. Well, it has begun to produce fruit. The fruit looks like a huge plum with a thick tough skin.
Open it up and it is filled with a juicy, gelatinous pulp and seeds that looks like frog eggs to me.
If you can get pas the looks the pulp is tart and sour but tasty. According to the internet is high in vitamin A. I think I am the only one in the house at the moment who likes it. So, I guess I will be able to have all I want.
I'm sure there are some exotic applications that will be delightful. Wanna try some?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It was 1996 that I last worked with the International School Project, connected with Campus Crusade for Christ. They found my name buried in a file somewhere and invited me to accompany them to Suhkbaatar, Mongolia, and I accepted.
On Nov. 3 I leave for three weeks to conduct two teacher convocations in that city. Where is Suhkbaatar, you ask. I had not ever heard of it either and had to find it on a map like the one here.
You will find the city in the north center of the country just below the Siberian border. Also just south of Lake Baikal.
I will fly to Beijing, then to Ulaan Baatar, the capitol of Mongolia, then take some kind of ground transportation to Suhkbaatar. It is along a river in a mountainous region and at about the same lattitude as Canada. You remember I said I was going in November. I expect it to be COLD!!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
A little history. In 1992 the Soviet wall came tumbling down and Campus Crusade, Assoc. Christian Schools Int'l and Walk Thru the Bible joined forces forming the International School Project to reach that country that had been closed to the gospel. The tool was to offer a new curriculum to Russian public schools emphasizing ethics and morality, using the Jesus film. We began conducting Teacher Convocations in major cities throughout the former USSR. In 1992 Janiece and I participated in Convocation #3 to Moscow and Ivanova. I returned for another shot in 1996.
Out of the blue the International School Project called me again and asked me to come with them to Suhkbataar, Mongolia. After discussing it with Janiece I decided to go.
Here is the itinerary for that trip:
Date/Time Depart Flight # Arrive Date/Time
11-3/905p San Diego United 5595 Los Angeles 11-3/1000p
11-4/1240a Los Angeles Air China 984Q Beijing 11-5/530a
11-5/820a Beijing Air China 901Q Ulaanbaatar 11-5/1045a
11-20/1145a Ulaanbaatar Air China 902 Beijing 11-20/145p
11-22/900p Beijing Air China 983 Los Angeles 11-22/430p
11-22/712p Los Angeles United 5580 San Diego 11-22/805p
From the capital, Ulaanbaatar, we will take the train to Suhkbaatar. We will conduct two separate convocations there in two different places. I will be one of the plenary speakers, teaching Walk Thru the Bible, and I will also be a small group facilitator.
This is a great opportunity for me as I will get to speak 8 different and have close input to two different small groups.
Keep watching, I'll post more as I move ahead in this challenge.
Friday, September 12, 2008
A while ago our kids took us to a studio and had a portrait photo taken of all our grandkids. Last weekend when everyone was here for our anniversary we restaged that photo. Take a look at a 'then' and 'now' comparison of that portrait. There have been some changes.See and download the full gallery on posterous
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I thought this was a great picture, and it is. Then I took a closer look at Colin's shirt. I wonder what his mom was thinking when she bought it for him. Either she didn't look closely or she was accommodating his teenage urges.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I took my healey (see a picture in my last post) to the El Cajon Classic Car Show this evening. As I was driving down Main St, one of the officials signaled me to pull into the Promenade at the center of the Show. Mine was the only Healey parked there. I was next to a Rolls, an Anglia, a couple of Morgans, a couple of Jags, and two MG's. Mine was a lowly little Healey in pretty heady company.