Sunday, December 28, 2008

movie reccomend

Great movie that maybe you have already seen - Tender Mercies - much Gospel content.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

dec 2008

Our whole crowd was here for Christmas. Three kids, two son-in-laws 5 Grandkids plus Barb and I. Fun to see the Russians-- ages 7 and 9 -- and their excitement for Christmas.
On Dec 24 we had another gang at a community hall - most of our family and all of my
brother's family - about 25 in all. We do this every year.

Nothing newsy to report.

Watched a video last night that we highly recommend - John Q - it is a well made film with Denzell Washington and Robert Duvall and is well-done propaganda for National Health Care. (A great idea but how do we do it?)

Most snow and cold weather we have seen since we moved to Bellingham. Will try to update the blog more in the coming year.

They have strict laws in Maine about hitting animals on the hiway. I recently heard of a man who hit and wounded a pig. The driver thought no one saw him as he drove off. The next day a policeman came to his door with a ticket for $500.

When the man asked how he knew he had hit the pig, The officer replied that the pig had squealed.

Silly jokes cheer me up once and while. I am not seriously depressed - but I do get bored. Can only read so much and the stuff on the TV is awful. Teaching sunday school next year on Leviticus may prove to be a good thing.

The weather has kept us from getting out much but it is warming up today and the forecast is for warmer weather.

May Christ's presence be real to all my friends -


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

HI bloggers

Big News - Planet Narnia (book title) was published about a year ago. It solves a mystery. For 50 years scholars have wondered about two thing related to the Chronicles of Narnia. 1) Why would as scholar write a book for children? Scholars don't do this. 2) What ties the books together. Aslan is not important in all the books and different kids appear in different books. The author Michael Ward (Website: Michaelward) has solve the mystery. Each book is based on the mythology of one of the seven planets as view my 16th century cosmology. Read the comments on his blog site.
Scores of scholars have read book and they all agree with his interpretation. They says that this work will even more contribute to Lewis's reputation as a scholar.
Apparently Lewis never told anyone about this. The book Planet Narnia is in my opinion unreadable. It is a phd thesis. I have emailed the author and he says a rewrite for lay people is due out next summer.

Free insight about Lewis:
When Douglas Gresham (Lewis's stepson) was asked if he thought Lewis was a genius he replied:
"Oh, absolutely, there's no doubt about that. He was a complete genius. He also was a very fast reader, but he had honed the talent and perfected the strange memory that resulted in never forgetting anything he had read. Now he could, he could ask you to pick any book off of his shelves, and you would pick a page and read him a line and he would quote the rest of the page; in fact, quote the rest of the book until you told him to stop. He had this enormous capacity to remember everything he'd ever read."

This book Planet Narnia is causing quite a stir. The Chronicles of Narnia will be taken a lot more seriously and many may now be reading more of Lewis's other works. The next Narnia movie will be out next summer with more to follow. Hope I live long enough to see the all.

Other news - My sister (Carol) and her husband (Denny) are coming up to visit us from
Nebraska this week end (Dec 6). We don't like them and tried to discourage them from coming but they are coming anyway. They have been here before and we told them not to come back but I think they are deaf and like free food. Denny likes jokes:
A man's wife had just completed writing her first book so he went to get her some flowers and candy to celebrate. The clerk asked if he was celebrating some thing and her told her "Yes, my wife has just completed her first book."
After a pause, the clerk replied "Slow reader?"

We are doing quite well as we approach our two year anniversary of my accident (Dec 16) Life is good again after it not being so good for a long, long time. Still not driving as I can't seem to get any co operation from local mechanics to install hand controls on my Van. We think that life will get better and better as time goes by, at least hit has recently. Care taker here every day until noon. I usually am up the rest of the day and to bed about 10:00. Watch lots of football on the tube. Read, to email and putter at my desk. Football - our washington huskies have the longest loosing streak in the nation.

Interesting note: Plato points out that our conscience speaks out loudly when we are about to do something we know we shouldn't do but is much more quiet about neglecting things we ought to do.

Our grand daughter going to Westmont College in Santa Barbara survived the fire but there was much damage to the college classrooms, dorms and faculty housing - 13 faculty housed burned to the ground. They had a very long Thanksgiving vacation but back to school this week.

Christ is King.

Had a great thanks giving at Suzanne and Jamie's house 24 people.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

need visitors

Suzanne here, popping in to say that Dad's van is in the shop and has been for quite awhile, so he can't go out and is getting a bit restless. If you can fit a visit or a phone call into your schedule, you would be a blessing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

end of sept

Another month has flown by. Getting out more and more and feeling much better from week to week.
Movie tonight - "Grace is Gone" a very touching true movie about a Father and two daughters whose wife and mother is killed in Iraq. Getting out this week to a lecture and a men's group. WE get the grand kids twice a week while Suzanne teaches two nights a week at the local community college.

A group of men continue to get together in my home on Saturday a.m. We read books
together. We have been meeting for many years.

Am reading two good books - Fly Boys about the part played by the Navy pilots working off of air craft carriers in WWII. George Bush senior was one of them. The other book Reason for God is by a Presbyterian Pastor - Timothy Keller. He is head of a 5000 member church in New York City and has been involved in starting 100 churches with in New York City. The book is called "Reason For God" and is an intellectual defense of Christianity. It is very good.

You can all send my sister a Birthday card in October (17)
Margaret Holmes
Oakland, Nebraska
(It is a small town)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

summer almost over

Hi to all you who occasionally look up my blog.
We seem to be doing better every day. Controls on my Van should be done in f couple of weeks. I am up in my chair now all day with an occasional nap.

I supervised the installation of a Basket ball hoop in our drive way for our grandson Andy today. Now I need to find a basketball.

Just started a new book call Flyboys recommended by an onld college friend.

Barb has made peace with our new life. She and Suzanne and the two grandkids just got back from a week on Vancouver Island.

We have had absolutely beautiful weather for a few weeks so I have been outside a lot.

This gal from Alaska has made quite a stir - who would have ever predicted it?

We are ok and appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Life is good again because God has made it that way. I wish it was good for everybody.


Friday, July 18, 2008

bad day

Scroll down for blast about the Shack.

Today is great but yesterday was a bummer. I take about 10 pills every morning. Barbara takes them out of bottles and puts them in a cup. We have been doing this for a year and a half. Yesterday we had a pill that came carded and Barb tore it off and put it in my cup reasonably assuming that I would take the pill out of its container. I never look in the cup so I put the pills in my mouth and swallowed the whole thing.

The card was about 3/4 of an inch square with very sharp edges. The pill was inside a little plastic container with tin foil on the back. Of course it got stuck in my throat. I thought it was just a stuck pill so I drank a ton of water but could not get the 'pill' to go down. I called Barb for more water and she brought it and wondered why I was having so much trouble and then asked it I had taken the pill out of the plastic container. I asked "what container" and then we both knew what had happened.

It was starting to hurt especially when I swallowed. We called the doctor and said to head for the emergency room at the hospital. I got there at 10:30 am and got home at 6:00 p.m. with the pill gone. They knocked me clear out for about 25 minutes and shoved a little camera down my throat and them pulled it out with some sort of grabber.


But I was pleased with the doctor even though it took forever waiting for different doctors and nurses and paper work. All's well that ends well. I am now a little hoarse but otherwise back to 'normal' with no pain.

Getting out a lot lately for different activities.

Best Wishes to All,

Don Holmes

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


We are having absolutely beautiful summer weather in Bellingham. I am now up in my power wheel chair all day some days without getting tired out. Life is truly getting better again. Hope to get my car equipped soon so I can drive and release Barb from chauffeur duty. The grand kids were over last evening and I had hoped to play chess with Andy but I got upstaged by "Marry Poppins". They never get tired of watching Mary and Bert.

Finished "Post American World'. It is our book club book that meets this Friday. I can tell from the book if I should be discouraged or encouraged about the place of America in the future.

Tim is in the midst of negotiations to buy a power boat that sleeps 4. He would moor it near where he works so he could get some solitary time. He works two weeks on and two weeks off, 24 hour days with three others in tight quarters but has lots of free time in between boats and putting our oil booms to absorb oil if there a spill -- kind like a fireman's job. He says that it would be great for the family for he and my two son-in-laws to go fishing and for the new grand-kids to go boating overnight to some of the islands in the San Juan Islands.

Still fuming about the "Shack". The more I think about it the worse it is in my mind. The feminization of the Trinity is just awful. The profound differences between the feminine and the masculine should be respected. We are all feminine before God. We are his bride and He must therefor be best represented by masculine imagery. It stands Christian theology on its head to promote female imagery as approproate imagery for the Trininty.

God is ever-present and we have no complaints.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

doing well

Hi - We are doing quite well. Getting out more and more to Church, meetings, kids' homes - they all have ramps except for Tim.

Just finished a book on tape - The Long Walk, a book published in 2006 about 7 men who escaped from a Russian Prison in Siberia and walked 4000 miles in about a year across the Gobi desert and Himalayan mountains to India. It is number 4 on Amazon.

Video - Broken Brides: Great drama on reconciliation.

Very hot here - nearly 90 degrees which in hot for Washington.

There is a reunion this week in Nebraska for my family. I have two sisters in Nebraska. Counting all the kids there will be quite a crowd. My brother and most of his family is going.

Life is beginning to get good again. For a long time I thought is would never happen. I have a caregiver from 9-12 a.m.every day. Neither Barb or I could get along with out them. We see Suzanne's kids quite a bit. I help Andy to read and we play chess.

Will keep you posted about books and videos. I still dislike The Shack even though it is very popular.

I passed my eye test and driver written test so I will be able to drive when I get hand controls put on our Van.


Friday, June 20, 2008

life is good and getting better

Hi -
Friday evening and I am off to watch Jake Locker and the Bellingham Bells play baseball. Greg, My son in law is taking me. Barbara just called for supper so I will add more soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Shack

My summary criticism of the Shack is that the author apparently thinks that Christ came to take away our pain rather than to deal with our sin to make us presentable to God. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away (not our pain) but our sin".
Scroll down two blogs for more criticism of the Shack. I heard the author speak recently - very sentimental.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


For the Shack review - scroll down to next blog

We are doing well. It has taken me a long, long time to get adjusted to this new life.

Getting out 3 or 4 times a week. Going out for dinner tonight. Routines are working and my spirits have been very good. Wonderful to see summer come. Our book club meets next week. Going to Vancouver next week to Regent college where the author of The Shack is having a discussion with the Regent faculty. I am taking tomatoes. I will report the outcome.

Thanks Ira for the long letter and to Dan for the several emails.

Our two new grandkids are a continual joy. They were here all day Friday doing yard work.

Will share our discussion at Book club after we meet Friday.

Don and Barbara

Monday, May 19, 2008

review of a book The Shack - a runaway best seller

The Shack - A very critical review.


Mackinzie Allen Phillips (Mac), who has had his young daughter murdered in a shack during a camping trip, is invited by God to revisit the shack four years later. At the shack he is met by the Trinity in the form of a large African woman (God the Father), an Asian woman (The Holy Spirit) and a Jewish man (Jesus) He has apparently been invited to the shack by God to help him deal with the pain of the loss of his daughter. (P.92) There is some attempt by God to help Mac deal with a variety of theological questions.

What do we know about Mac?

1) He was raised in a rather harsh Christian home.

2) Family devotions were tedious and boring.

3) His father had a drinking problem

4) He has been to seminary

5) He is a rather superficial thinker as he never faced up to the problem of the evil in the world until he experienced the loss of his own daughter.

6) He has some familiarity with church and with church beliefs.

The author of the book has declared on a web site that the Mac in the book is really a picture of himself. He has also stated clearly that the book is a book of fiction.

The book, in many ways, is a theological disaster. The first and most glaring error is the feminization of the Trinity. The biblical writers, from cover to cover, all seem to think that the masculine image is the most appropriate image to represent the Trinity. Nobody suggests that God is a man -- only that the masculine image is the best image to represent God. C.S. Lewis says that the whole universe is feminine before God. God gives and the universe receives. Even in sex, the male gives and the woman receives. What justification do we have to declare that the Biblical writers and 2000 years of church history are wrong in preferring the masculine image to the female image to represent God? Any religion that puts the feminine at the heart of the universe rather than the masculine would result in a religion very different from historic Christianity. This is important. (See C.S. Lewis - 'Priestesses in the Church' in God in the Dock.

A second error is the clear assertion that there is no hierarchy of office within the Trinity (p 121-123). The whole New Testament speaks of hierarchy of office. The Father sends the Son, not the other way around. The Son prays to the Father, the Father doesn't pray to the Son. The creeds say that the 'Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son', the Father does not proceed from the Holy Spirit. The author of this book boldly puts words in God's mouth that don't square with the Biblical record. The whole tone to the relationship of the members of the Trinity the each other is annoying. They kiss each other all the time, They call each other and Mac sweetie and honey.

Odd things about the story:

1) God twice refers to the possibility that Macs pants might be or get full of poop (p 88, 121).

2) All three members of the Trinity became human in the Incarnation (p. 99)

3) Suggests that Jesus is physically ugly. (p. 113)

4) States that God the Father has scars on her writs that match the scars on the wrists of Jesus. (p 95)

5) God loves everyone equally but he especially has love for Missy (the dead daughter p 92). He is also especially fond of everybody (119). The word especially loses its meaning if it applies to everyone. Verbal confusion.

6) God is bigger than the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Why?)

7) God cries (p 95) (the author does not seem to realize that there is a strong theological support for the idea that God is impassible)

8) The attempt to discuss the problem of free will is very superficial (p. 94-95)

9) “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” God explains this to Mac by saying that Jesus was wrong, He was not forsaken, He only felt forsaken. This complex problem is explained away quite simply - too simply.

10) “When all that humans can see is their pain, perhaps they lose site of Me” (p. 96). This is only true if humans have not had good teaching in church. The whole point of the book of Job is that a man can suffer terribly without losing his faith in God. Suffering should not have any effect on a person's belief system.

11) When God tries to tell Mac that He is more than just a large human, Mac says that His explanation does not make much sense. (p. 98) Why not? It’s not that complicated.

12) “When we three spoke ourselves into human existence as the Son of God we became fully human - - we became flesh and blood.” (p.99) Where in the world did the author get this idea?

13) Mac seems to think that we learn truth from our experiences (p.102). This is true if by experience he means thinking but not true if he means his feelings. Mac is a bit weak on thinking.

14) Jesus is clumsy (drops a bowl of batter) (p.104). God calls him ‘greasy fingers”.

15) Mac is very impressed they way the members of the Trinity treat each other. (p 105). “How different this was from the way he (Mac) treated the ones he loved” How?

16) There is a frequent subtle hostility through out the book against theology, seminary, rules, law, obedience, religion, authority, power, judgment, repentance, guilt, responsibility, expectations (p. 112, 123, 148, 158).

17) God uses slang. “Those things will give you the trots if you ain’t careful (p.121). “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet’ “(p 203).

18) Jesus and God the mother are so dense that they can’t understands Mac’s questions about hierarchy within the trinity (p. 121, 122).

19) God is very disparaging of human's ability to determine what is good and evil (p.147). This is theological and philosophical nonsense ( see C.S. Lewis - Abolition of Man and the book of Romans)

20) “power in the hands of independent humans - - does corrupt” Maybe often but not always

21) God is critical of Mac for judging the actions of other people (p. 158). This is contrary to common sense. We are not to judge motivations but are compelled to judge actions.

22) God says that judging requires that you think yourself superior over the one you judge (p. 159). More nonsense. All we need to judge the actions of others is common sense. We don’t need to think our selves superior.

23) Jesus loves people who he had judged worthy of His love (p.163). This is a flat contradiction of God’s grace. We are not loved because we deserve it. He loves us in spite of the fact that we are not worthy of it.

23) Jesus says that he has no desire to make non-Christians, Christians (p.182). What kind of nonsense is this. He has no desire to make people his followers?

24) Mac asks ‘why didn’t you tell me about Missy (the killed daughter) before?’ (p. 176) What has he learned at the shack about Missy that he didn’t know before? We are never told.

25) All the evils of the world are all related to religion, politics and economics. (p. 179) A silly assertion.

26) The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules (p. 197), yet Jesus said, ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’.

After Mac’s encounter with God in the Shack the great sadness of the loss of his daughter was gone. Is this a good thing? How would anyone want this kind of sadness to be gone?

Why is this book receiving such a positive response? Because it presents a very mushy and undemanding God, one that satisfies our emotions and makes no demands on our minds. If laypeople were better educated theologically this book would be a colossal flop. If people are being ‘blessed’ by this book, it only means that God can use even bad teaching to a good end.

Apparently the author went to seminary. I wish he had stayed awake in class and would have avoided writing this awful book.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


not dead yet - alive but not kicking. We are settling in to a routine that will probably be reflective of the rest of our lives. Care givers work we me til about 11:00 or 12:00. Up in my wheel chair til 9 or 10. Watch news and videos with Barb. Fortunately reading has become possible. For a long time I did not feel up to reading - I don't know why but I just could not get interested in anything I read. For the last week or so this has changed and I am now looking forward to reading. It will probably be my main activity in life. We get out as much as we want, Church, shopping, visiting kids and grand kids. Our Van is working fine. Hope to get controls put on the van so I can drive - probably within a few months.

Andy, our 8 year old grand child has learned to play chess well enough that I have to pay attention or he will take my pieces. It is actually fun for me. Juliana, age 6, likes to play and knows how the pieces move but she can't really play.

Hope the Obama beats Hillary and that McCain beats Obama. The talking heads on TV are going wild with over analysis and predictions. We usually watch Rick Steves at 7:00 week nights and his travel series.

Delighted to see summer coming. Barbs flower garden is blossoming and she is anxious to get back to gardening. She loves to work in her garden. I think life is now good again for her and meI need less and less help. I can get in and our of bed to my wheel chair by myself and am perfectly content to be home alone if she needs to get out and about.

In spite of the fact that we seem to be doing better, I can not avoid admitting that being in my situation is a real bummer. I can't complain (who would I complain to?) as millions of folks are a lot worse off than I am in a variety of ways.

Will we travel again? Hard to say as the ideal seem fraught with logistical problems at the moment but we know others do it so who knows.

Will try to let you know when we see a good movie or read a good book.


Friday, February 29, 2008

leap year day blog

Hi my friends -

I am pleased to update all on my blog. Feeling better and adjusting better every day. The doctor today told me that most people in my condition almost feel that life is almost back to normal after a few years and we are beginning to think that it may be true.

We are getting out more and more. I got a new power chair recently that was too big for the lift on our van so had to get another van which we found at a very good price. It is working well. Yesterday we even went to the mall for some shoes. Why do I need shoes? - to protect my toes when I don't drive carefully.

We are getting more and more back into our evening reading when we don't watch videos we get from netflix.

About once a week we get one of the grand kids from Suzanne for an afternoon. They are a handful but we are delighted to have a new set of grand kids in the family.

Greg (Christy's husband) is in the process of turning a closet in my room into a bathroom so I have something to entertain myself in the daytime - watching him. Has to tear out a small wall and then do the plumbing. It bugs me to watch when I would love to help.

We have two care givers that alternate days that work from 9:00 to noon every day. At first I did not thing we would need them but don't see how we would get along without them. Hard to explain but with laundry, meals, daily exercise of my legs (called range of motion to keep my joints limber) assistance to get on and off the commode and assistance getting a bath - it is a load. I have a guy 5 days a week and a nurse two days a week. We may not need them forever as I get stronger and am more able to take care of myself. No longer going to physical therapy as I exercise at home.

Following the election closely - I want Obama to beat Hillery and then for McCain to become president. Newt Gingrich was my first choice but --. Did you hear that Chelsie Clinton asked McCain who he most feared and said "Osama, and Obama and Yo Mama."

The frogs are beginning to peep at night which we hope is a sure sign of spring. It has been an easy winter with little snow and almost no freezing.

How do we survive financially? Quite well - Medicare and our medicare supplement have taken care of almost everything. Our retirement income has been sufficient so we are not going backwards. (Except for today when the market dropped 315 points) We feel fortunate as some folks in my condition have to spend all ther resources and then end up on medicare in a nursing home -- a miserable existence -- I was there for three months before I could start therapy.

Looking forward to Prince Caspian movie which comes out in May.

Best wishes to you and thank you for your prayers,

Don Holmes

Friday, January 25, 2008

We are doing great

Hi to all -
Yesterday I received a new power wheel chair to replace the one that had been given me that really did not fit very well. The new chair is really great - I thank you all who pay taxes as Medicare paid for it - that is you.

We have gotten out a lot lately - Church, mens groups, errands. We are reaching the point where life is good again - a long path, but I think we are making it.

Reading a really great book - Amazing Grace - on the life and work of Wilberforce. Recommend it to all.

Don't really have anything more to write - ask me questions and I will answer.

Great to be alive and to know Christ is present.


Sunday, January 6, 2008


First blog of the new year -

I have been living in a kind of mental fog ever since the accident on Dec 14 2006. About a week ago I began to wake up clear headed and with a new since of optimism and have felt real good lately. We are getting out more to events in or town, seeing friends, church etc. Haven't felt much like reading until lately. We joined NETFlix so watch videos several times a week.

Watching the race a lot lately. Delighted to see Obama ahead of Hilary but my man is McCain.
Read both books Obama wrote. Fascinating person. He know what life at the bottom is like.

The older grand kids are all gone again. Kara teaching in L.A. Kelli a Junior at Whitworth and Kayti a freshman at Westmont. It was wonderful to have them home for Christmas vacation.

The Siberian transplants, Andy and Juliana are doing well. They added a new dimension to Christmas this year. It is fun to look forward to watching them grow up.

I turn 73 next week and even though I have no legs am delighted to still be in good health. I sleep and eat well. Barb is having some soreness in her legs which she is looking in to next week at the Doctor.

We are doing better as a team to work out how we are going to make our lives work. This is a MAJOR adjustment for the both of us.

We see all of our kids a lots. Doing well - appreciate your prayers.