Well, in some ways I have removed the chock blocks form the 2 'balls' that I feel the Lord has me rolling right not. One is not moving very quickly, and the other seems to have picked up some speed - at least from my perspective. The first one I am involved in a discipleship class and I am enjoying it immensly. There are about nine others and we go to a weekly (3 out of 4 Monday nights a month) class led by the Pastor at my church. He is aware of all the details (which I will not expound upon here) and is encouraging. He has advised me that he will not 'push' for me to progress in this whole process. It is some thing I really need to pursue... and yet that is what I've not been doing - out of fear. The other one is kind of odd. I am really questioning my motives in all off it. It is essentially a business venture. One that I can make money with, but in my mind I am hoping to actually use it to bless others with someday. But with my own self doubts I drag my feet a lot. I do not want to be like the man who decided to build the bigger barns, etc... or like the rich young ruler who knowing that he was talking to one who had all the answers in regards to eternity, walked away because of his possesions. This one however seems to be accelerating. Nothing definete, still in the information gathering mode, but definetly movinf faster out of the gate than I had expected. Well, that is all I have for now. Pretty mundane I know. I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July. Verse for today: Romans 3:21 - 4:8, esv But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one. He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. What then shall we say was gained by  Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” amen
I had some thoughts this morning about what to blog about... I still have them, it's just my morning has 'exploded'... so I'm afraid there are no random thoughts of randomness today. If I get some breathing room later I'll come up with something. :) I hope and pray that the Lord finds each of you enjoying His unmerited grace and mercy this wonderful day. Verse for today: Mark 6:7-28, esv Jesus Sends Out the Apostles And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.  And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them. The Death of John the Baptist King Herod heard of it, for Jesus'  name had become known. Some  said, “John the Baptist  has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” But others said, “He is Elijah.” And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.” For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias's daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John's  head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
I may have shared once before about something I feel the Lord is showing me (and has been for a very long time). Recently (relatively) I have been feeling like the Lord is showing me something new. Not in lieu of, but in addition to the first. Well, in the past week and a half or so, and especially after reading some more of Grace’s “In His Garden”, it has come to my attention I am struggling with fear. I struggle with the fear of man constantly. I know there are times when I (do not) say or do things because I want to be accepted by those around me. And not just among non-Christians – but around other Christians, and even my family. I struggle with fear of failure. I want to succeed. I enjoy succeeding. I like the affirmation received when I succeed – even when it’s just my own. I struggle with laziness. I just don’t want to make the time and effort. With not knowing the end before the beginning I am reluctant to proceed. All of these are ultimately a lack of trust in God. I am saying that my friends or family are more important to me than God. I am saying that God is not sufficient to take care of me. I am saying that I know what is better for me – that it is all of my effort, and none of God’s grace. Is it a sin to call myself a fool? I have been sort of speaking with friends since returning from my vacation. I need to connect with others within the body of Christ at a biblical level. I want them to know that I need them to speak frankly, to know that I need them to pray with me. And I need to get on my knees more. I need to fellowship with my Savior more. And as I get to know Him, then I will begin to conform to the image of His Son. It is not to earn anything, it is to submit and realize Who truly has and knows what is best for me. Right now I am not even sure how to proceed in either ‘event’ that I feel He is taking me through. I am just trying to gather up the information and then sit at His feet… I would like to invite those who read these words to share with me (via the comments, or e-mail, or however God puts it upon your heart) things that God may have put on your heart. I am in need, and I do not wish to shun any avenue in which He may try to reach out to me. Thank you all for your time… please pray for me – and in turn, I want to pray for you all as well. Heavenly Father, thank You for Your incredible faithfulness. That You would take the time to even consider me. But like those whom You healed during Your earthly ministry – You reach out and You take compassion and touch them and heal them in their need. Lord thank You for what You have been showing me all these years, and especially these past few days. Lord I cry out to You. I am insufficient. I am inadequate. I need Your hand to heal me and to help me change into the image of Your Son – my lord Jesus Christ. Lord I would also like to thank You for those who come across this humble blog. Those that come intentionally – as well as those who ‘stumble’ across it. Lord I would ask that You would reach down upon each of their hearts and minds. Father God touch them upon their point of need. Help them to feel Your hand and Your presence. Lord I would ask that You open up their minds and their hearts to all that You would have. Lord, and I ask this for myself as well, I ask that You peel away all the walls and hesitations that they have to submit to Your desires. Help them to see Your glory, and to increase their trust and faith. Lord I believe that You are capable of all this and so much more – help me with my unbelief. I come and ask this in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, and for His glory. Amen. Verse for today: Proverbs 15:25-33, esv The Lord tears down the house of the proud but maintains the widow's boundaries. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure. Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,and good news refreshes  the bones. The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
What is it about romantic comedies? When I was in mlate teens/early-twenties I dispised romatic comedies. I thought they were the worst waste of an hour and a half. But now, after 14 years of marriage (actually this started a while ago), I really like them. Last night I watched "Just like Heaven" with my beloved. When she told me she was going to put it in at 10:30 last night I honestly told myself that I would start to watch it with her and then let myself fall asleep - but no! Within 10 minutes I was all sucked into it and watched the entire movie - and then some of the behind the scenes stuff! It's not just this movie either... "Serendipity", "Overboard", "Fool's Rush In", "Mr. Baseball", "Cheaper by the Dozen", etc. None of these movies ever won any kind of award that I'm aware of and yet I find myself drawn in every time. I know that unrealistic things are going to happen. That the plot does not make sense (usually), but I always want to see the two leads fall hopelessly in love. That no matter what the world has done to try and keep them apart they are going to get together and live happily ever after. What's happened to me! I know what's happened to me. Stalone, Schwarzenegger, Ford - they've all gone and got older! Not me... no, no, no. Seriously though, there has always sort of been a part of me that really liked the sappy and silly movies. The ones with the happy ending. But it's probably not best to take my movie advice since I also like movies like "The Razor's Edge" and "Tron". Well, that is all I have for my ramblings today. Oh, and that I am thoroughly enjoying a Bible overview course. I missed all of Matthew while I was away and I need to catch up on Mark. More on that later... Verse for today: John 1:1-5, esv In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,  and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Well, we had a wonderful time in Texas - but it was very nice to get home on Saturday. Well it was actually extrememly early Sunday, but I will expound upon that more later. The in-laws (both MIL/FIL, and SIS/BIL) saw too it that we were never bored or for want in something to do. I was able to swim some everyday, and the kids had things to do everyday. On our last night in town my brother-in-law (wife's sister's husband) took us to P.F. Chang's. I will never fully enjoy chinese food again. It just cannot possibly measure up to that wonderful meal. It was just awesome. The lettuce wraps, the red hot dumplings, mongolian beef... and oh so much more. Simply wonderful. The only meal that will be better is the wedding feast in heaven with my Lord. If there is one near you I highly, HIGHLY, recommend taking an evening to enjoy this resteraunt. There were slight tensions - to put it delicately - among the family. I will not expound upon that here, but I am always greatful to get home. And I know that I contribute to the tension as much as the next guy so I am not saying that I am not to blame in any of it. Now to my "lingering memory" to which I referred to above. We flew out of Dallas Saturday evening. We arrived for our flight over 2 hours early to ensure we had time to get through security and get dinner since flights are no longer serving meals, and anyone knows who travel with children - eating is very important. :) We checked the departure gate the night before, and when we checked in - it had not changed. When we finally get out of the resteraunt it had moved, not just one or two gates over, but to literally the otherside of the airport. We made the gate in plenty of time to board though. Then, while we are sitting in our seats the air crew makes an announcement that they would like the passangers to take their seats quickly as they would like to pull away from the gate in order to take off before a local thunderstorm grounded us. I am already preparing myself for the other end of this flight - some of you readers may already suspect what is going to happen. We land in Baltimore - on time I would like to add - and proceed to the baggage claim. It is now about 11 o'clock in the evening. There are 3 flights all vying for the conveyor belt... 15 minutes goes by and luggage is still coming out. 30 minutes later the conveyor belt still has luggage, but the crowd is noticably thinner, and then there is no new pieces of luggage arriving. I watch it go around 3 more times to make sure I am not missing anything... none of our luggage has made it to our destination. And this is where it gets "memorable"... I proceed to the baggage claim to file the lost luggage thing. I inform them that one piece of luggage is my child's car seat - which is required by law that I use when I drive with her in the vehicle. I am offered a booster seat, which she is too small for, and some other type of car seat which I am told "I am not even sure it is legal". Ok, now I am essentially stuck at the airport since I can no longer transport my child. I ask about options - I am given the following: 1) Rent a car seat from somewhere and I will be reimbursed. The only thing in an airport that I could possibly do this is a car rental place - all of which were closed by this time (after midnight). 2) I could buy a new car seat and I would be reimbursed. I have no way to get to a place to buy a car seat since I am at an airport an in order to get to a 24 hour place I would need to drive. 3) Wait until one of the two next flights arrives and see if the luggage is on one of them. I ask about the possibility of being put up in a hotel for the night to which I was told that they would not do this since it was weather related and not mechanical. At one point an airline employee actually told me, "what do you want us to do about it? We don't control the weather." I almost lost it... actually I did start to, but God in His mercy had my cell phone disconnect the call before I really got going. Now from my perspective the following things conspired to cause this issue: 1) Someone - most likely a human - moved the departure gate less than an hour before the flight was scheduled to leave. 2) While loading the plane someone made the decision to leave before it was fully loaded. 3) There was a sticking error in the buggage claim area where they had inadequete car seats. There was more, but I don't want to rant too much more. The long and the short of it, the airline made me feel like they did not care about my plight with having 3 small children in an airport many, many miles form home at 3 AM. I will have severe reservations of flying with this airline in the future. Please do not let this little tirade give the impression of it ruining my vacation. It was merely a speedbump in it all. Overall we had a great time and I am glad to be back to work so that I can try and catch up on some rest. :) Verse for today: Psalm 126, esv When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Well, I was able to get on-line so that I could get some driving directions to meet up with an Aunt and I thought, "you know... I've not blogged in a while so..." Anyway this will be totally 'random' thoughts... If I don't swim the rest of the year I will be fine. We have hit the water literally everyday since we arrived. Even today we will. It's fun and the kids don't mind. On Tuesday my sister-in-law and her husband took us out on their boat (Lake Dallas I am told) and it was fun. The pulled a large tub behind for the kids, but I think I had the most fun. I am sore, but I was able to stay on with speeds up to 30 mph so I'm told. I was going to be sseing both my Aunt and Grand father today but by Grand Father passed away a week ago Monday. He lived a long life (91) and he out lived 2 children and two wives (25 years to each). I love the house architecture here. No other way to say it. And compared to back home! One thing I don't like though... they are right on top of each other in most neighborhoods. Well, I need to get daughter in the tub and a shower for myself. May the Lord be felt among you all. Verse for today: Psalm 91, esv He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say  to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge —no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” amen
Well, I was called back into work tonight - the night before going on vacation, leaving the wife at home to pack for a family of 5 alone... and while I am sitting on a conference call waiting for further input from me I was perusing some other blogs the one I read tonight over at "Together for the Gospel" was just spot on for what I am going through right now. In addition to wanting to try and share the other picture here, I wanted to encourage those who read my blog to surf on over and read it. I think you will agree... thought provoking stuff... praise God... till we meet again.
Tomorrow I leave for vacation! But the problem is I am not overly excited about it. They are never very relaxing and I rarely get to do things that I like to do. Instead I am basically a shuttle service taking kids to and from various activities. When I am asked what I want to do I either give a non-commital answer or just say that I want to read or something. Then I am made to feel like a loafer or that what I really want to do must be something other than what I said. Now, I'm a pretty straight forward person. I tend to say what I am thinking and what I mean - at least when asked. Don't get me wrong. I like to get away from the daily grind of things and I really do want to help facilitate my children and my beloved's happiness on these trips. I want them to get away and have a good time too. Well, that is all I have for today. May the Lord watch over and keep you in the palm of His might hand until we "meet" again. :) P.S. - the image above is one I was trying to upload yesterday. That is the face of the battalion coin I was given... Verse for today: Luke 10:38-42, esv Now as they went on their way, Jesus  entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Well I am home from my abbreviated annual training for the Army National Guard. This year I was assigned to support an exercise for Battalion staff and above. Basicaly my job consisted of controlling a battalion of artillery on a computer simulation and relay and execute orders from the battalion. That really is a very simplified version of what was really going on, but it was a lot of fun. But it was also pretty low intensity from what I am used to. The simulation took place over about two days. The rest of the time was preperation to make sure all the computers and coms were talking like they are supposed to. If you have ever played a tactical wargame (as opposed to a first person sim) you will probably have a pretty good idea of what my point of view of the whole exercise was. One frustration was that we only had a 3 hour block of intruction on how to interact with this very complicated sim. How to move units, how to fire the artillery missions, how to request resupply, etc. Now, 3 hours to learn how to play what was (from my perspective) just a computer game seems like a long time, but I can tell you that it was not enough. After that we had another 3 hour block of practical exercise in an "off-line" sim that just involved the "fires" (Artillery cell) group. The first night (I worked from 2000 until 0800 - 8 PM to AM) all was going pretty well until about 2230 and then things started to get very busy. Having to control three firing batterys as well as their support units kept my fingers moving - not to mention trying to keep the information flowing to and from the Fires control center. At 2330 I noticed a platoon of enemy tanks (well, only 3 of them) moving up and getting ready to through the friendly infantry in front of one of my batterys. I called in a request to displace the battery and got only silence in return. I repeated this request several times until the battery come under direct fire from the tanks. To make a long story short the six 155MM howitzers shot over 20 rounds at the two tanks that had made it this far and did nothing to them. I lost the entire batterty, and the tanks escaped! This not only got noticed among the artillery community there, but the entire brigade and made to the overall AAR (after action review). *sigh* I should have fired barrages instead of individual direct fire shots. I also should have taken the initiative to move them without orders, but I was told that this is not my training cycle but the battalion officers so... the other twelve howitzers that I controlled performed very well and the only other 'losses' they sustained was a single soldier that had been injured somehow while the battery was emplacing - but even that was simulated for the brigade medical groups. They had to perform the evacs, etc. The second night went a lot smoother. Due to a variety of reasons (of which I can only assume) the sim was started from scratch once more. The same battery (Alpha, known as "Zues") was ambushed as they moved through a small town while moving to their second firing point. This time they were able to react much more quickly. The battery placed "effective fires" upon the enemy and defended themselves admirably with the loss of "only 10 men" and one howitzer. There is so much more that I could go into detail on, but over all it was a lot of fun. I was able to see how the various units within a brigade interact and how all the parts need to work together to effectively execute missions and get the job done. When we had a final formation I was surprised to be called forward. I was given a battalion coin for my work in the sim cell for "performing the functions of a Captain and for allowing an entire artillery battery to get decimated". :) I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I am more honored by receiving such a 'trinket' than getting some ribbon. I will have a post sometime about these little momentoes I keep, but for now this will do. :) "See" you all in another week or so. Verse for today: Matthew 6:19-21, esv “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust  destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Yesterday I had about 3 different ideas of what to blog about today. This morning, nothing/nada/zilch - like by boys like to say "we got zero x3". :) So, I will just ramble on... For a little over a week I've felt the Lord prompting me to give my father-in-law a copy of The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney and the chicken heart that I am was to scared do it. My FIL has been staying with us on most weekends as he transitions from living in the mid-Atlantic to retiring in the state of Texas. To make a long story short he has had some 'issues' with the church in the past. I really do not know where he stands on Christ as a whole, but he is at least willing to go to church with us unlike my own father. I have always respected this man since the day I met him. He really has been an example to me as one who gets things done and takes care of his family. But for some reason (fear of man) I have been very hesitant to give him this little book. :( Well, yesterday my beloved had taken the children to church early and I stayed with my FIL until the 11:00 service. I brought the book with me, but then instead of handing it to him I left it in his car and told him about it. I suck. I really wanted to share this book with him, but in the end I just left it for him to find it. I later told him about it, but... I just pray that God would use the book somehow, but I am feeling like such a coward. This man has been like a father to me, and I can't even share a little book about the gospel. Son # 2 in age had a music recital at church yesterday (which is why my FIL went to church with us). He performed great! I dreaded the possibility of him making a mistake and then melting down, or even worse, another child making a mistake and him losing it. By God was gracious and he really has come a long way in regards to just paying attention to his own music. His teacher says that he is really good at music. She told us that within a short period of time he had memorized his piece and he does not even need to look at his music sheet. Maybe this will be the venue God will use in his life. My oldest played baseball this weekend despite having a slightly fractured little finger on his left (glove) hand. A week and a half ago he took a ball right on the end of the finger. When we finally got him to the doctor's office they told us that unless it was braced there was the possibility of the tendon pulling away completely (ouch). No restrictions with the brace, "just what he felt comfortable doing", so I helped him put the glove on and tossed the ball to him and then had him practice swinging the bat. He said that it did not bother him so the coach let him play. He's not God's gift to baseball or anything, but he likes getting out there and playing the game with other kids. There is a Fall league too, so I am going to ask him if he wants to play again. My youngest is just adorable. The whole weekend she wanted to watch the movie "Zathura" with me. Due to running around I only got to watch a little bit with her, but for some reason she just loves that movie. She has watched it umpteen times and chases the boys quoting the robot, "alien life form..." Hehehe. When I was out grilling hamburgers this weekend and playing some badmitton (read me picking up the birdie a lot) she told me that she was growing up. I said, "you sure are, and I wish you'd slow down." Why does the world have to speed along so? I have so many things to do, and I try and I try to just get down on the floor and be with them... but it speeds by way to quick. A picture of my boys married and gone, and my daughter in a wedding dress flashed into my mind this weekend. I squelched it as quick as possible. I just don't want to deal with that right now. God willing I still have another decade or two... My beloved has scheduled a kid-sitter tonight. We had so many things going on that to my shame and discredit, I had not done so myself in some time. You see I am leaving for an abreviated National Guard annual training session first thing tomorrow. She asked me what I wanted to do. I had "zero x3" of an idea. I told her that I just wanted to spend the time with her doing nothing. No shopping, no errands. I have complained that we are too busy but nothing changes. Pre-school ministry, small group, baseball, music, horses for hearts (for my middle son - autism), discipleship classes. It is not unusual for us to have something going on no less than 5 nights a week. A good week IMO is only 4 nights a week. Please no comments on this. I am working on it. Well, I will not be able to update my blog for a while. I hope those of you that enjoy reading my blog will return in late June. :) Until then may God keep you in the palm of His mighty right hand. Verse for today: Psalm 144, esv Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples  under me. O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them! Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you, who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword. Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;  may there be no cry of distress in our streets! Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
Well this will be my 100th blog entry today. It seems too soon. :) Anyway, I have been told that an intresting blog entry on such an occasion is to present a list of 100 things about me so here it goes...
100 Things about me 1) I have been a Christian – since 1989
2) I have worn glasses since the 1st grade 3) I am married 4) I have three children 5) I am a National Guardsman
6) I enjoy being amidst a thunderstorm 7) I like watches / clocks 8) I enjoy Sudoku puzzles 9) I like to read 10) I work in the IT field
11) I dropped out of High School 12) I have 50+ college credits 13) I enjoy target shooting 14) I enjoy table top war games 15) I miss my pickup truck (for 8 yrs now)
16) I really like the DeLorean car 17) I love dark chocolate 18) I am right handed 19) I have never been divorced 20) I have never jumped out of an airplane
21) I ran cross country in high school 22) I like science fiction 23) The Song “Butterfly kisses” makes me cry 24) I like a wide variety of music 25) I like to write short stories 26) I have a desk fountain on my desk 27) I like scented candles 28) I am interested in Civil War (American) history 29) I love pinball, both stand alone and PC sims 30) I like to make and paint models
31) I’ve ‘rucked’ 12 miles in less than three hours 32) I am in love with my wife 33) I have had my appendix out 34) I dabble in the stock market from time to time 35) I do not have any pets 36) I enjoy American football 37) I enjoy the smell, but not the taste, of coffee 38) I was once a carpenter’s apprentice 39) I like Dr. Pepper 40) I enjoy getaway weekends with my wife
41) I have worked for the same company for over 10 years 42) I don’t really have a favorite color 43) I’ve lived on my own (mostly) since I was 16 44) I like ‘veggies’ on my pizza 45) I rotate the tires myself on all my cars 46) I do not go hunting 47) I’ve only played paintball once 48) My favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers 49) All but one car I’ve owned in my life have been used 50) I enjoy photography
51) Once watched the movie “Back to the Future” six times in a row. 52) I once ran the 2-mile ‘event for the APFT in 12:36 53) My paternal family tree has been traced back to the Norman invasion of England of 1066 54) I prefer manual transmission vehicles 55) I have spent the night in 16 different states, and 4 different countries in my lifetime 56) I love my wife’s laugh 57) The greatest sound God ever made is children laughing 58) I like to write love letters to my wife 59) I prefer Coke over Pepsi 60) I love math
61) I turned 13 on a Friday the 13th 62) I am not superstitious 63) I broke my collarbone while jumping my bike as a kid 64) I do not know a language other than English L 65) I still like to read comic books 66) I love the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (books & movies) 67) I have read the entire Bible (only once) 68) I wish I could practice Kendo 69) All four of my wisdom teeth have been pulled 70) I have never watched an entire NASCAR race
71) I have never intentionally carried a balance on any credit card 72) I have never served on a jury 73) I have never played golf (the real kind) 74) I do not enjoy fishing 75) I watch too much television 76) I do not read enough 77) My doctor considers me to be obese 78) I wish I could afford geo-thermal and solar systems for my home 79) My first American ancestor came through Jamestown, VA 80) I would rather be too warm than too cold
81) My brother stole my girlfriend while I was at basic training 82) I have not attended any of my brother’s weddings (x3) 83) I have only ever dated two women 84) I believe in Election 85) I also believe in free will and personal responsibility 86) I love to sing praise and worship songs 87) When I am in shape – I enjoy jogging 88) I do not enjoy camping 89) I consider myself a non-denomination Christian 90) I believe the spiritual gifts are for today
91) I believe we are to experience God with our mind as well as our emotions – while remembering that I am subjective while He is objective 92) I have allergies to dust, pollen, etc. 93) I collect Army patches of units I have trained/served with 94) I am interested in the history of Christian samurai in Japan 95) I lean more towards ‘license’ than towards legalism 96) I am not fond of change 97) I believe there is only one path to heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ 98) I like it when it rains 99) My handwriting is terrible 100) I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He was before creation, that He came upon the earth in the form of a human man, He lived a sinless life to be my perfect sacrifice, that He died upon the cross for my sins that I may be forgiven of them, that He rose on the third day and defeated death, and that He then ascended into heaven where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for me until He calls me home.
Verse for today:
Psalm 71:17-21, esv
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatnessand comfort me again.
I guess I get frustrated over being accused of being closed minded. I know it is a pride issue on my part. I don't want to be thought less of for any reason. In my ten years or so of actively being on the web I have engaged in more than a couple of discussions about my faith. Time and time again my heart will get to racing, or I will find myself getting all wrapped around the axle about not being taken seriously or just dismissed out of hand. Why? I am not responsible for what others believe. I am not even responsible for convincing them of what I believe is true. Romans 1 is pretty clear that those that choose to follow the world will have a hardened mind and heart - and yet they still stand condemned because even creation screams out and reveals the hand of God. I guess it also stems from a fear of man. I want to be accepted by those with whom that bring up such objections. I want them to see me as smart and intelligent. One who performs due dilligence in research. And yet God has not gifted me with an ability to memorize and recite by rote most of what I have learned. Oh, I have done my research. I have read books on both sides of the aisle. I have listened to the debates. I have weighed the 'facts' as presented on both sides and I have come to the only conclusion I see as making any sense. That there is a God in Heaven. That Jesus Christ is the 'God Man' who before time conspired with the Father to come to the earth to bear witness and provide a perfect sacrifice. That He then died and also rose again to defeat death. And that Jesus then rose into the heavens and sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for me. That through Him I am now assured of eternal life. And yet I cannot organize my own thoughts in debate. I am not able to pull off hand the information I have learned. So I am often discounted. I just pray that the Father would help me to not seek the approval of man, but to bear a faithful witness, and entrust the convincing to the Holy Spirit. Verse for today: Phillipians 2:1-11, esv So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,  who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,  being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.