All posts by admin

David and Cathy’s blog and 30th wedding celebration page

This summer (June 16th) Cathy and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We took our big trip during December to the Philippines as part of this celebration. On August 29, we celebrated our 30th anniversary by renewing our vows before our friends.  Cathy was beautiful in her wedding dress. As we did after our wedding, we had a square dance after this event, which was great fun.

I created a new blog for Cathy and I that has pictures of the event, the slide show we put together for the event highlighting our 30 years together, our vows, and “our story”.  You can see all of this  that at


Graduation thoughts for my niece

To my niece Bethany on her high school graduation

May 23, 2009

Bethany – congratulations on your graduation.  You are not a different person than you were yesterday, but your circumstances are changing in a significant way. You will not be going back to your high school; you will soon be moving from home; a great number of your friendships will change and others will come.

I think you have chosen well to serve in your church for the coming year.

You have been blessed as few have with loving and wise and discerning parents. God has also blessed you with a great big sister and great set of friends.  As you move on to the next part of life, do not fail to continue to benefit from them.

I want to briefly share a couple of verses that have meant much to me in my life journey. One is a verse with much encouragement; the other is a passage of challenge.

A verse of encouragement

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My girls could write the script of what I am going to share here as they have heard it at their graduations. Here is what I find encouraging:

  • V 8-9 God has brought salvation, not dependent on our good works and therefore uncertain, but based on His grace and gift, we can freely receive.
  • For me as a Christian, who have accepted that gift, I find verse 10 very encouraging.  It should be encouraging to all who call Christ Savoir as I know you do.
  • You are not an accident: you have been made by God. You are His work of art. While you and I may be imperfect in many ways, God declares you as suitable for His purpose.
  • You were made for a purpose: for good works. God has specifically made you Bethany for a specific life work that it is your opportunity to find and do.
  • You are not alone: God goes ahead of you. Finding and doing that work is not always easy. God promises that you are not alone in it. He goes ahead of you and will help you at each turn.

So be encouraged Bethany.  God has saved you and made you to be a blessing to this world. Find it and do it.

A verse of challenge

As good as life is much of the time, seasons of life come that are a challenge. There are times when friends will leave or disappoint; when your work may not be particularly fulfilling; when you will be called to do hard things.  Despite all the good I have in my life in wife, kids, church, career and blessings of living in this free land, I have had difficult seasons of life.

The scriptures speak to this. In the books of Colossians, Paul writes to the slaves of that city and era. I cannot think of a situation where one would feel more trapped. But even in such circumstances, which is so much more difficult than I might have to experience, one can find the ability to live excellently, to do right, and to find reward.

Colossians 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

The secret of contentment and progress in difficult seasons (really all seasons):

  • Do the work God has given you whole-heartedly. Even when parents, friends, employer or future spouse do not recognize you or praise you or reward you.  Do the work whole-heartedly.
  • Do it all to please Him, not people.  Three times in this passage we are told: we work for the Lord.
  • Realize God sees it all.
  • Realize God that will reward you for those labors to please Him even if no one around you does.

So when life is hard, do right anyway to please God. He will reward as parent, friend, employer, or spouse cannot.

In sum Bethany, do not forget the many, many blessings and benefits God has brought you. Chose and live well for many are distracted or stumble for lack of care of these things.

Uncle David

Oriented toward growth

[note: this posting is under construction; it is my first use of an audio clip; after I get that working, I will work on my written introduction and highlights]

More from the book/CD I have been reading/listening to: Integrity, the Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Below is a short 4 minutes that starts with his question:

What does it take to create growth? Listen below

More to come….

Oriented Toward Truth

“Reality is always your friend, everything else is a fantasy.”

“There are a lot of honest, non-fudging people that are not reaching their potential. The reason is not that they are lying but that they are missing parts of reality that are important to making things work.”

Those are a couple of the quotes hitting me from the book Integrity, the Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud that I am reading. I am getting a lot out of a book and will be summarizing it here. Below is a summary of two chapters on our orientation toward truth.      David


From Integrity, the Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud.Summary by David Barfield, January 2009. For my full summary: Integrity-includes-being-oriented-toward-truth.doc

From Chapter 7 – In Touch with Reality

Truth 101
•    Being “oriented toward truth” concerns honesty, ethical behavior, and this is a foundation of it, but not the whole of it.  It includes the ability to be honest, even in difficult situation, esp. then. It involves not fudging, even if it does not hurt someone.
•    To hide truth when there are potential consequences is part of human nature and sadly one that usually makes us incur more negative consequences than if we had told the truth.
•    “The consequences of deceit are usually greater than the ones of truth.”
•    Truth 101 = tell the truth and to give a representation of reality to others as best one understand it.

Truth 201 and above
•    Yet there are a lot of honest, non-fudging people that are not reaching their potential. The reason is not that they are lying but that they are missing parts of reality that are important to making things work. In the kind of successful character we are talking about [in this book], the integrated whole character, a grasp of truth is always present and increasing.
•    “Reality is always your friend, everything else is a fantasy.”
•    “For us to get results in the real world, we must be in touch with what is, not what we wish things were, or think things should be or are led by others to believe they are.  The only thing that is going to be real in the end is what is”
•    Confront the Brutal Facts.
•    High achievers face reality and deal with it [rather than blame others; circumstances; excusing self].
•    We can only make the universe we live in better by facing how it really is.
•    But to get in step with reality, we must see it as it really is first.

From Chapter 8 – What people in touch look like

•    Rich Warren’s example in starting a church. “What he did, instead [of assuming he knew what he was doing; what people wanted/needed in a church], was go door-to-door and ask people why they didn’t go to church. Then, he built a church that had none of those reasons.” He did not assume or think or act as if he knew what reality was. Instead, he sought it.
•    “The people who see reality as their friend, however, do not assume they have a grasp on it.”
•    Story of an executive of Proctor and Gamble who went to China and spent some time with them, working to understand them and how they thought. He learned how the Chinese view teeth (hard, impenetrable). This allowed them to correct this misunderstanding and sell their toothpaste. What accomplished that? Character. It has his character that did not assume that he knew it all.
•    People who have an orientation toward truth seek it out.
•    The opposite of actively seeking truth is avoidance.
•    There are three types of truth to be sought:
1) Truth about our world. What is the world really like? Are there new realities to deal with?
2) Truth about themselves. They don’t wait for feedback but seek it. They see feedback, even difficult (maybe esp. so) as a gift.
o    This is how we find out our strengths and weaknesses.
o    We excel by maximizing our strengths and finding ways around our weakness.
o    The less we look at our shortcomings, the more other do.
o    While it is natural to do so, we must not be afraid of find the truth about ourselves: that we have faults to do with, the my view of myself is fixed in non-reality or an old reality, that I lack skills I need to find, etc.
o    Ask people for 100% of their feedback as it is often the last 10% they hold back as it is difficult that is the most helpful and needed to be the best you can be. Sometimes that feedback can be a positive we do not want to embrace as it would require us to take responsibility for it.
3) Truth about other people. We can be blind about others when we are emotionally invested in them somehow (a boy or girl friend, a child, someone we hired, etc).
•    “Wise people are ‘cautions in friendships’ as the proverb says. They seek to get to know a person clearly, as the person truly is, before they hire him, marry him, become partners with him, or divorce him, fire him, or not go forward with him. We can be off in either direction, and the complete character is always asking, ‘Is this me, or him?’”
•    Judgment and Emotional States – we need the ability to control one’s thinking when emotions are inflamed
•    Often when we see things as wholly black or white, we miss a lot of reality.
•    “Resolving conflict is more than difficult, as resolutions usually requires an ability to see and work with the truth from the other side and integrate it into yours, finding a solution that transcends either polarity.”
•    Seeing It Differently: The Ability to Assimilate and Accommodate
o    It is a good thing for your view of the world to be the real one. But it is often not or it is incomplete.
o    We need the ability to make external reality our own.  First, to change, we need new information (assimilation).   Second, we need to make room for it in our view of the world.

We’re home; update on Cathy’s injury

1/9/09 update on Cathy – Cathy is recovering well. Yesterday Cathy got a walking boot so she is now more mobile.

Return home – We made it safely back to the US on December 30. The trip from Manila to Kansas is a long one, even under the best of conditions. With Cathy’s injury to her ankle, it was more difficult for her. But we were very well taken care of by Northwest Airlines and made it fine with all of our belongings.


Cathy’s broken fibula – Cathy went to the doctor on New Year’s Eve and found out the problem is not a severely sprained ankle as we had thought but a broken lower fibula (the smaller bone of the lower leg). She got a splint on Wednesday and saw an orthopedic doctor yesterday.  It looks like she will be in some form of split or cast for a number of weeks. She is not enjoying being a couch potato with her ankle raised above her heart (as it is still swollen) and asks you to pray for her perseverance during this time.  The swelling seems to be gradually subsiding and the doctor may give her a walking cast next Wednesday.

Dealing with jet lag – I have heard jet lag is harder to deal with as you travel east than when you travel west. I would agree with this assessment based on my experience.  When I went west, I was exhausted early and then wake up early. On traveling east, I went to bed and then was not able to fall asleep. Very frustrating. Last night I finally got 6 hours of sleep. Cathy however is a great sleeper and has not had near the time to adjust as me.

Giving up dial-up – I am now Megan’s hero as we finally have give up on the internet via modem, now using a Sprint AirCard (satellite was our only other option). So far the Aircard is working fine so far.

Work – I will be returning to work on Monday after three weeks off. It is good that I am fairly well rested as it is going to be a very busy next four months with a legislative session (that will be difficult due to budget problems that Kansas is experience with everyone else) and a trial on one of our interestate water disputes on top of the normal duties of the chief engineer position.