Faith, Hope, Love & Sunbeam 1-30-12

Jim Fransen was a good man. No, let me correct myself. Jim was a great man. Here is why I believe this to be true.

When you saw Jim, you saw sunshine. When you spoke with Jim, you felt like he cared. When you spent time with Jim, you never felt a hint of arrogance or selfishness. Quite the opposite, he was a true servant-always eager to help out when needed. Jim worked hard and played hard, yet he maintained a balanced life. He loved His Lord, his family and his many friends.

However, Jim had one glaring blind spot by the name of Patty. Like a pair of comfortable shoes, Jim and Patty walked through each day as if they just started dating. No pretense or nonsense. They were simply two people very much in love.

Unfortunately, Jim is gone. He died of a heart attack just a few days ago. He had played basketball that day, the same as he did every weekend for many years. Patty lost her best friend in an instant. The clock stopped, and time stood still. No more Jim. No more Jim and Patty…at least not in this life.

There are countless memories and photographs to scroll through for years to come. But there is one thing more. There is Hope…the kind of Hope that keeps people struggling to stay alive when all seems lost-and they do. The kind of Hope which says, “I will be with you again, my darling”. And they will.

Most are familiar with the Apostle Paul’s most poignant verses in any of his epistles…the Love song of 1 Corinthians 13. This is where Paul talks about all of the meaningless things we can do, but true living comes down to three things: faith, hope and love. He concludes by stating that the greatest of these is love. And, I agree whole heartedly. Yet, during this time of loss and disbelief, Hope is what will bring Patty and others through the darkness of lonely nights and bitter tears.

For Jim and Patty loved one another without reservation. Jim, like Patty, had a faith in the Creator who offered him a gift called salvation…and Jim took it. He believed it and he lived out the exhortation to become more and more like the God who gave him such a gift of grace.

So, Hope is what is needed most during this hour and the season to follow. Hope in the reality of the resurrection. Hope that she and Jim will be joined together again in heaven. Hope that she will not be forgotten nor forsaken. Hope, that love wins the day-and it will. A reunion is on the horizon for those whose Hope is based upon the promises of Christ; that there is more to life than what we currently experience. I am Hopeful. I Hope you are, too.

Field of Yellow Dreams



We visited this sunflower field yesterday, along with some good friends. It is located approximately 15 miles west of the western edge of Kansas City, near Tonganoxie. The owner / farmer planted a million seeds this year! Ted Grinter and his wife have been growing sunflowers for 30 years and invite the public to view them for free.




To give you an idea of the sunflower’s size, look closely and several people are visible walking in the field of flowers. The average height to top of flower is close to 6 ft.. The subtle change in color (between each field image) reveals the change in natural light. When we arrived just before dawn, it was cloudy and had just rained. Nevertheless, as each minute passed the sky became brighter. We were hoping to catch the sun’s morning rays filter over and into this field, but even though that didn’t occur, the result is still pretty spectacular. What a sight!




Triplets ! The average diameter of these sunflowers is 8 to 10 inches (petal tip to petal tip). The round center averages 4 to 5 inches in diameter. Some leaves are larger than the flowers, and the stalks are 3/4 to 1 inch thick at their base.




For each sunflower cut and taken, the farmer asks for a dollar which is deposited in a container at the field (honor system). Ted reinvests this money in the following year’s crop…or becomes a millionaire if all are taken!




While the face of the flower radiates a sense of joy, the back is more like a piece of poetry as the green petals mimic the yellow. The flowers peaked last week and their beauty will begin to diminish as they slowly discolor and dry up. We, and many hundreds of lucky folk, were blessed to witness such an amazing sight-this field of flowers.



Morning Walk

Took a walk with the pup this morning and this is what we saw. Well, maybe only I saw this panorama as Carson’s eyes are usually focused where his nose is headed to…tree trunks, sign posts, bushes, unexplainable things which shouldn’t be sniffed, etc. As Carson looks ahead or down most of the time, I tend to look up a lot. Moments like this are worth the extra muscle effort it takes to tilt the head back with eyes wide open! Here’s hoping you have a terrific day filled with reflection of all that is good.

60D to 9-1-15 042