Pop Pop Epistle #29 – Best Week of the Year


Dear Grandkids,

We are getting ready to start the BEST week of the year – at least from my perspective. I can think of at least 4 reasons why this week is so good.

Baseball is back – Opening Day this year is March 29 which is a few days earlier than usual. It has been about 5 months since the Astros beat the Dodgers for the World Championship. In the meantime we’ve had to put up with a lot of football and basketball but now we can finally get back to the greatest of all the sports. You may or may not know that baseball was and is my first love of sports. I played a lot of baseball growing up and was a huge fan of the New York Mets. They were in the World Series as recent as 2015. Last year was not so good but this week we start fresh and hopefully watch something amazing happen.

The Final Four – Unfortunately none  of the teams that I root for made it to the Final Four this year. Duke came the closest – they were just a roll away from making it – but there is always an intriguing story line that makes the Final Four interesting. This year it is with Loyola Chicago and their number # 1 fan Sister Jean.  Only one team will be left standing after Monday night and they will have earned the right to call themselves National Champions. Then we will say goodbye to college hoops for about 8 months.

The Masters – As much as I love baseball, The Masters is my favorite sporting event of the year to watch. This is probably because I grew up near the course and had a chance to go to The Masters in person more times than I can count. The Masters is never without drama which makes it so exciting and this year has promise to be as dramatic as any of them. I hope that as you get older we can spend a Sunday afternoon of Master’s week sitting and watching the tournament together and letting me tell you about some of my favorite memories. (I have blogged about these elsewhere if you want to check them out)

Easter – As much as I enjoy the first 3, this last one is what truly makes this week the best week of the year. Sunday is Easter – the day that we celebrate as Christians the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Without the resurrection there would be no Christianity. 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” The resurrection changes everything. It gives us hope. It proves that Jesus is who He says He is. It strengthens us with the same power that raised Jesus. It enables us to live as overcomers. It fuels us with joy even while living in a world full of darkness and despair.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy this next week as much as I will. But then I enjoy every week… and I hope that you do too.

Never ever forget that you are very very loved!

Pop Pop

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 11.14.54 AM

Pop Pop Epistle #28 – About “Potamus” Finding Milk


Dear Grandkids,

I always enjoy playing “Find the Potamus” with you when you are at our house. But do you know the history of the “Potamus”? You probably know that my favorite animal is the hippopotamus.  This is true for several reasons: 1) I think they have a really cool name that is fun to say, 2) they are magnificent creatures, and 3) they are incredibly graceful despite their size and weight.

Back in 2006, Nona and I and your parents all had a chance to travel to Botswana Africa for an International World Changers Mission trip which I had the honor of directing. While we were there we were able to visit a game preserve and to see hippos in their natural habitat (not in a zoo). They are quite fascinating. Anyway, while I was there I bought the  wood carved hippopotamus  that we use for our “Find the Potamus” game.


One time when we were playing I had found a particularly good hiding spot and you could not find the potamus. So we came up with the idea that drinking some “potamus finding milk” might help. And it just so happened that we had some in the refrigerator. (For those of you reading this who are unaware, potamus finding milk also goes by the name of Mapleview Chocolate Milk. Yum! Yum!)

image1 (1)And it turns out that drinking the milk does indeed help to find the potamus. So we make it a regular part of our game now and have created a fun little milk drinking tradition that I very much enjoy as we gather around a glass of milk and all drink at the same time using especially designed potamus milk drinking straws. Though I suspect that it will become harder and harder to do this once the 3 younger cousins are old enough to play.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how good that milk is… and it prompted me to think about a few verses in Scripture that you would do well to remember as you grow up:

1 Peter 2:2-3  – Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.  – Every time you drink a glass of milk or put milk on your cereal or play the potamus finding game be reminded that the gospel is pure spiritual milk that you desperately need each day so that your soul can be nourished and so that you can continue to grow up in your salvation. Without this milk of the gospel – the essentials of the faith –  you will stay a little baby and will not mature as you ought to. 

But there will come a time, hopefully sooner rather than later, that you will need more than just milk if you are going to continue to grow and be strong in the Lord.

Hebrews 5:13-14 – 1for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is (still) a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. You will need to learn to chew on the meat of the Word. You will need to let God’s Word satisfy you instead of allowing your appetite to be filled by the junk food that this world will continually offer.

Ponder these verses and ask your parents to help you to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And each time that we play the potamus finding game I will try to remind you of these things as well.

And never ever forget that you are very very loved,

Pop Pop

Screen Shot 2017-12-07 at 11.14.54 AM

%d bloggers like this: