Monday, May 29, 2006

Confessions of a Church Goer

I was raised an Anglican but here in the US I go to a Baptist church. I like this church because it is informal, contemporary and very unconventional. It is called Horizon Community Church.

One Sunday, the youth worship team led by Pastor Tim himself, started playing Rolling Stones' Can't Get No Satisfaction. And a young singer, ran up the stage dressed in black and a feathered scarf and started belting out the song! There was much clapping and swaying from those in attendance. It was fun but at the end of the song, the singer inserted, "Where can I get satisfaction?" And that line was the lead in to the Pastor's message for the week.

Last Sunday, the worship team played a gospel song to the tune of Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door. It was a good presentation because the lyrics were based on the bible verse that talks about "knock and the door will be opened to you".

There are several talented people attending Horizon, and we have at least 5 different worship teams.

And as to the messages, they are always relevant and very bible based. The reason why Horizon is very informal is that it strives to be seeker-friendly. There are many who attend Sunday services who were never brought up in a Christian environment.

And this brings me to the "discussion" that Guruh and I had over at his blog. :-) He was complaining about how, among the spam mail that he had received, were "preaching" from well-intentioned people.

Guruh, a self-proclaimed atheist,says that he only recognizes the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. All other denominations, he considers them as practising "false beliefs". Don't tell Guruh, it is oxymoronic for an atheist to recognize any church at all! (Heheh, sorry can't help the dig, Guruh, because I know you'll be reading this!)

For me, any church that I worship in has to have Jesus at its core, and practises the true teachings of Jesus. Church traditions and rituals are secondary to me. Having said that, there are some church practises that I will not put up with, for example, praying to the saints or to Mary.

When I was a college student, I attended a chinese-speaking Presbyterian Church. Heheh, there was interpretation, of course, and so the service was rather long. When Doug and I lived in Michigan for a time, we attended a Lutheran church. To this day, I am very impressed by Pastor Barry's teachings.

What are the marks of a biblical church? Mark E. Dever points to six marks that a church must have to make it a biblical church.

1. True Biblical Preaching - 1 Peter 1:25; 2 John 1:9

2. The Right Administration of the Sacraments - Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:23-30

3. The Faithful exercise of church discipline - Matthew 18:18; Titus 3:10

4. Strong Biblical Leadership -2 Tim. 4:1-4; Job 33:23-24; 2 Tim. 2:24-25a

5. A Heart and Zeal for Biblical Missions - Psalm 96:3; Matthew 16:18

6. Biblical Worship - John 4:24

For a more thorough teaching of these six marks go here.

Man's chief aim is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1674)

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, a federal holiday, is a day where the armed forces of the country are recognised and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of the country.

Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning of summer. People celebrate by having backyard bar-be-cues and most of all go shopping for the great memorial weekend sale!

You can find Memorial Weekend Sale at most major establishments - car sales, mattress sales, home improvemnet store sales and most importantly, for me as least, is the sale at JoAnn, my favorite fabric and craft store.

Yes, I was there this morning with my discount coupons. I bought several photo frames which were half off, some fabric for a quilt, and some beads for jewlery making. Doug was at his favorite store, Home Depot, looking for stuff he needed for home improvement. As a veteran he was able to take 10% off on any one item he bought at the store.

Lest you think, I am only concerned about the sale at JoAnn on this Memorial Day, ... I do want to express my gratitude to those serving in the military, to thank the families who have had sons, daughters, husbands and wives who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of this country. My thoughts and prayers go to them.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The God who is there

What is involved in the question and importance of God's existence?

Man's very constitution, the way he is made, reveal that God exists. Whether we call him God is beside the point at this stage; the evidence shows that man has not been around from all eternity; he is made and the things around him are made. Something made has a Maker. An effect has a cause. A creature has a Creator. God's existence is much more obvious than my existence, but I write this as a "believer." This does not invalidate or weaken my statement. For "to believe" is not a lower form of knowledge than to "scientifically prove" something. Proving God's existence by scientific methods is nonsense, for scientific methods are limited and applicable only to material and physical objects, whereas God is pure Spirit and infinite in his being. "To believe" is the proper way when dealing with God. Augustine formulated the right approach: "I believe in order to understand." It is "Fides quaerens Intellectum," faith seeking understanding, not the other way round. "For he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS." This is the sine qua non in our quest. For this very reason, the Scripture, with utter consistency, never attempts to give a formal and reasoned proof of God's existence, which might be disappointing for the immature Christian, but elicits much joy in the Spirit-filled disciple.

When the bare intellect supersedes the faith principle, then proofs of God's existence become essential and of utmost importance. Thomas Aquinas devotes a good portion of his Summa to prove God, giving some five evidences, which are "fine" for the Christian, and really unnecessary for he already believes, not only in God but believes God. But the unbeliever remains unconvinced in the face of all the evidence, not because the proofs are weak or illogical (for they aren't), but because he does not want to believe. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. He finds no place for God in his life; he disregards the testimony, not only of Christian philosophers but, more seriously than that, the testimony of God himself, his works of creation which the creature simply cannot escape.

The existence of God, therefore, is not an intellectual issue, but a moral one. Man desires to "annihilate" God, and in his iniquity, he oftentimes carries his desire to its logical conclusion: there is no God. (This is analogous to what I heard happened in Libyan schools some decades ago: geography students were given atlases containing a map of Europe, but England was not indicated on the map. Why? Because Libya didn't want England to exist, not because England didn't exist.)

In the same way, Hume, Sartre, Camus and others have published long diatribes to convince others that God does not exist. But before they adopted such a stance, they entertained some notions of God and the corruptions of their heart led them to an atheistic philosophy. But no-one is born "a pure atheist."

Having your eyes open, you may choose to shut them tight, and then deny that anything exists, but the material world would still be around you. The problem, then, is not in the evidence afforded (which certainly renders man inexcusable before God), but in the one receiving and considering the evidence. God is, and He is not silent (Romans 1:19-20; Psalm 19:1-3; Acts 17:28), but because of man's alienation, running away from God, only Scripture and God's Spirit can reveal Him sufficiently and effectively for man's salvation (1 Corinthians 2:9-10; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 59:21).

There is a vast difference between knowing about God and knowing Him. The first spells one's condemnation, the second one's salvation.

In Aquinas’ footsteps Will it be beneficial for you to have a summary of the various evidences of the fact of God? If so, read on...

Someone did it

The cosmological argument states that the universe, this present order of things, is an effect. Thus there must be an adequate cause for it. The only sufficient cause is God (cf. Hebrews 2:4; Psalms 19:1; Genesis 1:1).

This must be so, for everything exists either from eternity, or everything gave existence to itself (which is nonsense) or else God gave everything its existence.

But if everything existed from eternity, then everything is necessary, and so everything must be immutable and indestructible. But experience shows us that the world is passing away (2nd law of thermodynamics) and so it could not be from eternity.

The only reasonable alternative is that God made everything that presently is.

A watch must have a watchmaker

Another argument is from the design we see in the universe. Chance, working at random, cannot produce design.

This is amplified beautifully in W.Paley's treatise "Natural Theology," of the 18th century. No critic has answered his argument decisively, though there have been many attempts, among them Richard Dawkins' "The Blind watchmaker."

In the universe we perceive a purpose and design, so this argues in favour of an existence of One who has a will and a mind to plan things.

I ought, I should, I must

Considering man as he is built up, with conscience and a sense of duty (cf. the "du sollst" argument of Kant), he is undeniably a moral being.

Where did he get his morality? If this is a relic of his primitive state, how come he is still "burdened" with it? How much easier to conclude that a Supreme moral Being fashioned him, to be somewhat like him?

Everyone knows about God!

There is also a universal belief in a Supreme being, even though this belief is warped and defaced.

Jesus is God

We cannot deny the historical fact of a Person who claimed, in the most explicit way, that he is God himself, and that he came from God. Jesus of Nazareth is a historical figure just as Julius Caesar, and his life is an irrefutable testimony to the fact that God is.

Source: Truth For Today

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Essentials of Christianity

Essential Christianity. We hear a lot of discussion about essentials and non-essentials, but what are the essentials of Christianity?

When we talk about the essentials of Christianity we're referring to the basic elements that make up and characterize our faith, and which, of course, separate it from other beliefs. Let's survey these doctrines.

First, we believe in the authority of Scripture, which is another way of saying that the Bible is God's inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word. It's the ultimate source for knowledge about God, as well as the definitive guide for our daily lives.

Next we affirm the existence of a triune God or one God in three distinct persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and loving. God created the universe from nothing and He rules over His creation sovereignly including both human and angelic beings.

We also hold that man is a physical and spiritual being who is created in God's image. But because of his sin or transgression, man has lost his fellowship with God. The extent of sin is so great that its effects continue to this very day in the form of cruelty, suffering, and death.

By God's grace, Jesus Christ - Who is fully God and fully man - was sent to save us from our bondage to sin. We believe that Christ was born of a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the dead, and will one day return to judge the world and deliver His people. Faith in Christ is the only means by which mankind can escape eternal damnation and judgment.

Finally, we recognize the church as God's ordained institution headed by Christ. The church is composed of all believers, and is organized for worship, for fellowship, for the administration of the sacraments, for spiritual growth and support, and for evangelizing the world.

Much more can and will be said, but we hope this summary has encouraged you to explore the links on the right and continue studying the essentials.

Source: Christian Research Institute

Friday, May 26, 2006

Gawai Dayak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gawai Day or Gawai Dayak is a festival celebrated in Sarawak on 1st June every year is both a religious and social occasion. The word Gawai means a ritual or festival whereas Dayak is a collective name for the natives races in Sarawak; the Iban, Bidayuh, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Murut people and a few more. Thus Gawai Dayak literally means "Dayak Festival". Dayak would visit their friends and relatives on this day. Such visit is more known as "ngabang" in Iban language. Those far away would receive greeting cards.

How it all started can be traced back to a 1957 radio forum held by Mr Ian Kingsley, a radio programme organiser. This generated a lot of interest among the Dayak community. The mode of celebrations varies from place to place. Preparation starts very early. Tuak (rice wine) are brewed and traditional delicacies like penganan (cakes from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk) prepared. As the big day approaches, everyone will be busy with the general cleaning and preparing the food or cakes. On Gawai Eve, glutinous rice is roasted in bamboo (ngelulun pulut). In the longhouse, new mats will be laid out on the ruai (an open gallery which runs through the entire length of the longhouse). The walls of most bilik (rooms) and the ruai are decorated with pua kumbu (traditional blanket).

The celebration starts on the evening of 31st May. In most Iban's longhouse, it starts with a ceremony called Muai Antu Rua (to cast away the spirit of greediness), signifying the non-interference of the spirit of bad luck in the celebration. Two children or men each dragging a chapan (winnowing basket) will pass each family's room. Every family will throw some unwanted article into the basket. The unwanted articles will be tossed to the ground from the end of the longhouse for the spirit of bad luck.

Around 6 pm, miring (offering ceremony) will take place. Before the ceremony, gendang rayah (ritual music) is performed. The feast chief thanks the gods for the good harvest, ask for guidance, blessings and long life as he sacrifices a cockerel. Dinner will then be served at the ruai. While waiting for midnight, the folks gather and mingle at the ruai and berandau (talk/converse). Meanwhile, drinks, traditional cakes and delicacies are served.

At midnight, the gong is sounded. The tuai rumah will lead everyone to drink the Ai Pengayu (normally tuak for long life) and at the same time wishing each other "gayu-guru, gerai-nyamai" (long life, health and prosperity). A procession up and down the ruai called Ngalu Petara (Welcoming the Spirits) will follow. The celebration by now will get more merrier. Some will dance to the traditional music played. Others will sing the pantun (poems). In the town, the Dayak will gather at the community centres or restaurants to enliven the evening.

Other activities that may follow the next day include cock-fighting, demonstration of blowpipe skills and ngajat competitions. On this day, 1st June, the homes of the Dayaks will be opened to visitors. In the longhouses, there is a practises called masu pengabang where guests will be served with tuak by the host before they can enter the longhouse. Dayaks will attend a church mass to thank God for the good harvest. Gawai Dayak celebration may last for several days. Visitors are most welcome to the homes of the Dayaks during the festival.

Up till 1962, British colonial government still refused to give recognition to the Dayak Day. Gawai Dayak was formally gazetted on 25th September 1964 as a public holiday in place of Sarawak Day. It was first celebrated on 1st June 1965 and became a symbol of unity, aspiration and hope for the Dayak community. Today, it is an integral part of Dayak social life. It is a thanksgiving day marking good harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or activities ahead.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Taylor!! Taylor is the new American Idol! :-) And yes, I did send in my votes, multiple votes I might add, via text messaging last night. The phone lines were jammed, so text messaging was easiest. Since Chris never made it to the last two, Taylor is the next best thing.

I love the debut single that Taylor sang as one of his three songs last night and also tonight after he was declared American Idol. It speaks so much of what the contest is all about, and how it can make dreams come true.

I know, I know, I said earlier I wasn't too sure if I was looking forward to the Americal Idol Finale. Heheh, the 2-hour results finale was one outstanding show! What a show! All 12 of the finalists were there, and some famous names included Meatloaf, Toni Braxton, Mary J Blige, Al Jarreau, Live, and Prince. Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood also performed.

Wow, I can't believe Clay Aiken's new look. He looks really sleek! His hair style kinda reminds me of those Hong Kong hair styles ... long over the eyes. It fits him really well, though.

Ok, back to Taylor. I am happy that he won the competition. I hope he sells as many records as Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol, did.

See ya next Idol season! :-)

Friday, May 19, 2006


Oh ya, he got booted out of American Idol. :-( I missed his appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly, but I found this video clip of his performance of Bon Jovi's Dead or Alive on the show. Awesome!!

P.S. That guy co-hosting with Kelly is not Regis. Don't know who he is, but he is filling in for Regis.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

Unless you have been living in a cave, you should have heard of The Da Vinci Code and the controversies surrounding it. The movie version of the book opens worldwide this Friday, May 19.

I am at a point where I am over-dosing on The Da Vinci Code. I can't turn on the radio or the TV without hearing the topic of The Da Vinci Code being discussed. Publicity and discussion on the book and movie, both positive and negative, are most certainly fueling the sales of the book and the tickets for the movie.

My church is even doing a 5-week series called Uncovering the Truth: The Da Vinci Code. The book blends fact and fiction so well that most people who do not know their theology and church history are inclined to believe the "facts" as claimed in the book.

"The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds," says Teabing in "The Da Vinci Code." "Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book."

For anyone who does not know his church history, that can be accepted as fact.

According to Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor at The Moody Church in Chicago, "People want to believe the Da Vinci Code so badly because they want a Christ who is manageable, a Jesus that is not going to challenge you or threaten your lifestyle."

I think Dr. Lutzer is right about that. It is easy to accept a Jesus who was just an ordinary man and not divine, had a wife and had a child with her.

I don't agree with the calls for a boycott of the film. I agree with Hank Hanegraaff of the Bible Answer Man, "Its the last thing anyone intended, but Hollywood just handed believers like you and me a significant opportunity to share the gospel with the world."

The tagline for the movie is "Seek the Truth", and this is what the evangelicals are advocating we all do - get the seekers out there to really seek the truth as found in the bible.

I read Marina Mahathir's commentary recently and she mentioned how the daughter of a friend wanted to read the Bible after reading the book. That is the kind of reaction I hope people would get out of the book or movie. And also to further learn about church history.

There are many books out there debunking some of the claims made in the book. One I find most helpful is Cracking Da Vinci's Code by James L. Garlow and Peter Jones. If you have questions after reading the book or seeing the the movie, do yourself a favor and find the answers to those questions. Dan Brown's claim that "all the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies - all of that is historical fact" can easily be refuted if you want to know the truth.

The Da Vinci Code's Top Ten Errors can be found here. The Da Vinci Code faith sharing strategies can be be found here, and The Da Vinci Code: A Biblical Response can be found here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

For My Mother


Thank You For Being There - Thank You for Love.
Thank You for telling of God up above.
Thanks for the diapers, the washing, the folding,
The changing, repinings and all of the Holding -
The Rocking, the Singing, the Healing, the Smile -
The endurance it took to cope all the while,
With so many children, so many... you know -
I think I'd have quit not continued to go
On with the Caring, the Loving, the Giving,
The unceasing frustrations of everyday living
With all of your children...
The cooking, the cleaning, the sewing and work.
Honor is due You for You did not shirk.
You did not cease and You did not run.
You did not give up as I might have done.
And so - For those Hours, those Days, all those Years
I Thank You Dear Mother... Forgive me the Tears,
The Heartaches, and All,
The Anger, the Rudeness, The Big and the Small.
Today may your heart be full to the brim
With Peace, Joy, and Love. May nothing seem grim.
God Bless You Mother...
May your heart know how Dear
You are to me
Now and each day of the year...

© M. (Garren) Morand 1981 revised 98

We Get the Idols We Deserve

This article by Robin Givhan took the words right out of my mouth! "Uninspired" best describes the remaining contestants. :-(

By Robin Givhan
Friday, May 12, 2006; C02

The departure of rocker Chris Daughtry from "American Idol" means that the squishy middle has won once again. Daughtry was voted off the show this week, leaving behind three uninspired performers who may appeal to the masses but lack any distinctive personal style.

After weeks of patiently watching, obsessing and praying for Elliott Yamin, Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks to reveal some sense of personal aesthetics, there has been nothing but disappointment. McPhee lacks zest and stage presence and the capacity to distinguish style from an assemblage of unedited trends. Yamin and Hicks lack Daughtry's supremely fine bald head and ability to wear a thick, macho wallet chain and not look as though he should be bicycling across K Street making a super-rush delivery.

Daughtry glared. He glowered. He did the rock-star growl during which he looked to be at risk of popping his jugular. He wore cool shades. Oh sure, he was cocky. But he should have been. He was the best. America, have you no soul?

Yamin seems like a nice guy. He has a nice voice and he wears a lot of tasteful blazers, which should serve him well should he ever find himself sitting in the human resources office of an insurance agency. McPhee seems like a pleasant girl. She has a pleasant voice. She's a brunette beauty with long legs and nice cleavage -- that she has amiably displayed -- which should all serve her well . . . no matter what. Last month, when Hicks wore that ice-blue Costume National suit, it seemed he had style possibilities. He refused to dye his gray hair and he has an interesting gravelly voice. But then he wore a paisley shirt, sang Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music" and writhed on the floor like a Joe Cocker impersonator. He wore paisley, people. He cannot win and he will be discussed no further.

In Daughtry, America had the opportunity to choose distinctiveness, confidence and cool. Instead, it chose bland and boring. Blech and blech.

All one can do now is savor the memories of Daughtry. There was the week that he embraced the cleaned-up-rocker look with his black trousers and matching vest. He wore one of those short-sleeve shirts with the cuffs that cut tightly across the biceps. Their sole purpose is to make a man's upper arms look Paul Bunyan big, as though he has spent his entire adult life chopping wood, hunting and gathering just for you. That was a very good week for Mr. Daughtry and his fans.

He sometimes wore a blazer, usually when he was planning to stand calmly behind the microphone -- rather than prowl the stage -- while yelling his lungs out. Typically Daughtry wore those blazers with a pair of jeans that were loose, but not baggy. He wore expertly faded T-shirts and macho silver jewelry. And he always looked like the same guy from one week to the next. He looked as though he had been groomed, but not dressed.

Daughtry had a cocksure style that might have irritated some voters. But he was the only contestant who seemed to understand that a pop idol needs an indelible image, swagger and self-confidence. While successful pop singers often have imperfect voices, they have something else that makes up the difference: a look, a sensibility, a point of view. They know who they are and they know how to communicate that in songs and through their stage images.

It may be that Daughtry was done in by the system. To attract voters, the contestants must be desperately humble. Aw shucks, pick me! Love me! They must display a freeze-frame grin for the camera and then flail their fingers around like they're practicing Chisanbop to remind viewers of which number to call to cast their vote. Winning "American Idol" requires the perfect balance of mediocrity and humility. The better the voice, the style, the package, the more self-effacing the performer must be. Whoever heard of a humble rocker? Daughtry was doomed.

Now that he's gone, there is a choice of nice Elliott, pleasant Katharine and the paisley karaoke king who shall not be named. As so often is the case, the quality of the candidates makes it hard to go to the polls.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ayu's Quilt

I made this quilt in two days for Ayu, Jared's 5 year old daughter. I know she will love this quilt because the fabrics I used are bright and the motifs are the kinds that kids will definitely love! :-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Chris is out! And after all the votes I sent in for him last night! :-( I am still in a state of shock, and just so, so, so disappointed! :-( Paula said, "See you in the finals" to Chris, and I could see that she was just as shocked to hear that Chris was knocked out tonight.

American Idol just won't be the same without Chris Daughtry. I thought for sure Katherine McPhee was going to be to one to be booted out tonight.

Simon Cowell predicted that Taylor, Chris and Kellie were going to be the final three. Looks like Taylor is the only one from his prediction who has made it.

The only consolation is that Chris has received the national exposure he wanted, and he has a loyal following and I am sure he will be offered a recording contract. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Now that Chris is out, I am not sure if I am looking forward to the American Idol finals at all.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Walk For Life

This morning I took part in a Walk for Life organised by the Pregnancy Resource Center in Lodi. It was a pleasant walk around a residential area in Lodi and since it was a cool morning, I hardly sweated! :-)

Before the walk, there was live music, breakfast was provided, and after the walk there were lucky draws. I didn't win anything. :-(

The Pregnancy Resource Center is funded by private donations and the Walk for Life is an annual event that is used to raise funds from supporters who are mostly from local area churches.

The services that are provided by the Pregnancy Resource Center are:

• Pregnancy tests and verification
• Pregnancy options counseling
• Ultrasound and nurse consultation
• Community referrals and resources
• Maternity and baby needs – clothing, furniture & supplies
• Abortion recovery help
• Sexual health awareness
• Classes
- parenting
- discipleship
- abortion recovery
- sexual healing
• Education Forums
• Speakers

Pregnancy can be a frightening time for women, especially for teenaged girls, who had no intention of being pregnant. The Pregnancy Resource Center provides help and support and especially an alternative to abortion. Women need to know that there are worse things in life than getting pregnant, and abortion is not the only way to solve the problem.

Music presentation before the walk.

We walked around a residential area in Lodi. It was a pretty neighbourhood with lots of mature trees lining the streets.

My friend, Kathy, is a pro-life activist. She is wearing the Walk for Life 2006 t-shirt. Everyone who raised over $150 got a free t-shirt. But I bought mine, because I didn't raise that much money, just my own donation. :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Last Saturday we took a trip to Sonora, which is about 70 miles from Galt, to pick up a sailboat mast that Doug had bought on ebay.

Sonora, a gold rush town, is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was a scenic drive, and we went through two other old gold rush towns called San Andreas and Angels Camp before reaching Sonora.

There was a spring festival going on in Sonora but unfortunately we were not able to stop because there wasn't enough time. On the way back the festival was still on but we still couldn't stop because we had the 25 foot long mast mounted on our truck and it was difficult to find a spot to park the truck!

However, we did stop in San Andreas for a late lunch, and there was plenty of space in the car park for our truck with the sailboat mast.

The town of Sonora.

The sailboat mast on our truck.

The reservoir on Stanislaus River on Highway 49.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Papa's Potato Garden

An old Jewish man lived alone in the country. He wanted to dig his potato garden but it was tough work as the ground was hard. His only son, Saul, who used to help him, was in prison for Insider Trading and Stock Fraud.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Solly,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.
Love, Papa

A few days later the old man received a letter from his son:

Dear Papa: For heaven's sake Dad, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the money & stocks.
Love, Solly

At 4:00 am the next morning, a team of FBI agents and local police arrived at the old man's house and dug up the entire garden area without finding any money or stocks. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day, the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Papa: Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love, Your son,