I feel like I am on the edge of just shutting down. This whole week I could feel myself wearing out little by little, and sleep did not seem to take the edge off. It's been a slightly less hectic week than normal. I mean we actually had a night with nothing to do ;) This morning I woke up and I just could not get the motor running. I did a few routine things and I sat in my chair to read some. I barely kept my eyes open through two chapters and then fell asleep again - waking up just in time to get dressed and out the door for work. Last night I go the kids in bed at 9 - which is early for the summer time - and myself as well. At 10:15 I could not fall asleep so I took 1/2 of a sleep aid (always garunteed to make me groggy the next day) and was out about 10:30. The wife coming home from her meeting was the first thing that interupted my sleep. Then toss and turned. Then at 3:something a clattering toy - that fell of a child's bed - woke me for a little while. I've just not been sleeping well lately. The business venture thing is not going well - but I have some ideas to move forward. Things have been tense between my beloved and I - in a very real way I have let her down. She is not feeling secure in my care and I don't know how to get it back for her. There are times it feels like once I've lost that step it is near impossible to regain it. The kids are ansy and need to get back into the routine of the school year. I could go on, but why bother. It will just bore you all. And I know a lot of it is simply a lack of trust in God. If it was just me it would be an easy reset. I just keep preaching to myself and my mind set will change - but when it comes to preaching it and teaching it to others... it just seems to get lost in translation somehow and the burdens just keep piling up. And to take a cavalier attitude about it - just doesn't help. Verse for today: Psalm 136:1-9, esv Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; I encourage you to read the entire Psalm on this one. :)
While searching around the web I found a place called "Wrong Planet". It seems to be an on-line communitie for 'those with Aspergers (commonly mis-spelled Asbergers) and their families. I've just started looking around so I am not sure how good the resource is, but it looks promising... There seems to be an "ask Aspie" advice column as well as blogs. Lord willing it will, along with other resources I've found, help me learn how to relate to my son and to help prepare him to make it in society after High School.
Well, work was quick to vamp up this morning. Add on fatique and my mind is not holding onto thoughts very long. :) I have been adding new Hiku and an occasional short story that I do not announce everytime. I have the links over on the side bar to the right so please feel free to check them out if you so wish. I've also added yet one more blog, but this is for a solo run game campaign. This one is going to be a long process, and probably not of much intrest to most of you. But like this journal it is more for me than the 'public'. In any event that link is also to the right as well. I encourage those who visit here to browse through some of the links I have as well. I've tried to be concise in the descriptions, and I try and verify that they are all good links. If you find any that are not good, or are not what you would expect them to be please let me know by posting a comment - click on the little pencil - and I will take care of it ASAP. Before I go I want to share what I consider a humorous moment that came to mind this morning. Last summer, while I was at my annual training for the national guard, we had a little more than a half dozen folks come out to see what we do. Their unit was folding their flag and they were looking for new homes. Sort of an internal recruiting drive. :) Anyway, the folks that come under my net looked nervous. I tried to encourage them to sit down and relax but some just could not relax. Well, it was pretty warm and these guys had their flak vests and kevlars on. Since nothing was going on I encouraged them to just ground their equipment and cool off. I then pointed to the stack of 50+ 105mm HE rounds under the net and told them, "after all, if something goes wrong under here, there won't be enough to reassemble again." That didn't seem to make them relax though. :) Verse for today: Psalm 134, esv Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,who stand by night in the house of the Lord!Lift up your hands to the holy placeand bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion,he who made heaven and earth!
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30, esvI was reading this verse this morning and it dawned on me. I know I have been kind of going through a sort of "rocky/rapids" kind of season since coming off of active duty in the Spring of '03. I mean it has just been pretty much non-stop with various medical issues with my children, some financial issues, and relational issues with my beloved. And yet I felt like the Lord was telling me "to whom is given much, much is expected" (Luke 12:48). In the past I have always interpreted that as abundance. You know an abundance of material wealth. But this morning it sort of hit me. Our struggles are a blessing too. I mean, I've always heard that blessings are also a gift from God, but somehow it was different this morning. Don't get me wrong. I am not comparing my little triffles with real trajedies or sufferings. What I am going through is so minor as to not be considered equal... But in the passage above God is telling me, telling us, to come to Him. This passage along with 1 Cor 10:13 tells me that if He has allowed these 'travails' to be a part of my life, then He has provided me with the strength and the endourance to sustain. And in what I have learned, what I have been given, I need to share with those in need. (Luke 3:11) In my case we have been learning about how to be good parents and advocates for my DS2. Some of it we have had to 'cut a trail'. Some of it the Lord has brought people into our lives to learn how to work the system. But others He has brought into our lives to come alongside. To help them. I give most of this credit to my beloved. She has just been an outstanding mother. She fights, and fights. She digs for the nuggests of truth. She researches out what we need to do. And she is among the first I know to offer assistance to those whom God brings into our lives. Her 'tact' may be a little coarse, but her compassion is amazing - and I pray evident as a light on a hill. So, my encouragement to my half dozen readers or so is to see what God has given you two of, and seek whom He has also brought into your life that has none - and then share it. Weither it be blessings of materials, or blessings of struggles. 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.
During my quiet time this morning I was reading in Matthew and I started to think about the various people whom Jesus healed. Well, not just those whom He healed. A couple of instances in the gospels where Jesus heals some and then tells them to not tell any one! Could you imagine having leprosy and being essentially an outcast and cast down to the lowest tier of society - if one could even still be considered a part of society. Then you meet the Master and He not only has compassion, but actually touches you! But then His touch heals you of the very disease/condition which has sent you to this lowly state. Let's not touch on those whom did not give thanks, but what Jesus tells them. Go and show yourself to the priests and present gifts as required by the law... and don't tell anyone! And this was not just the man/men with leprosy... this morning I read about the blind man. It got me to thinking some this morning. We as Christians are proud when our Lord performs even the smallest of miracles in our lives. And we should be because each is an example of our God's extravagent grace. But I wonder if there are times when He would want us to be silent about them... I cannot think of an example in my own life right now where this might be true, but I am wondering... And on another note, but similar theme... how about those whom Jesus interacted with. Some He healed, others He taught - and they were so affected that they wanted to follow Him. In at least two occasions (and the exact references are escaping me right now) Jesus turned them aside (note: not away, but essentially He said 'no'). !!! For me personally that would crush me. But note Jesus never said that He was not to be 'followed' - that is He is not whim they thought He was. Just that they were not to follow Him around the countryside. I have heard it taught, and I think I agree, that the reason is that those whom Jesus turned aside, and those whom He healed essentially planted seeds for what would follow. That after Jesus was crucified and His disciples forced to scatter the word of Jesus, and the witnesses of the events that they would later testify about, would already be there. What a lot of critics seem to miss is that if Jesus was not who he said He was, when His disciples showed up and began to preach about Him there would be a multitude of people that would have contradicted, or at the very least no one to testify what they were saying was true or not. Well, my thoughts are beginning to scramble. It's given me things to think about for today. I hope it has spoken to you as well. Perhaps the Lord will speak to you about such things, or perhaps the Lord has something for me through you? I want to always encourage those who stumble across this blog to post comments. Verse for today: Matthew 8:5-13, esv When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant,  ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel  have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment. (Personal note: I often feel as this centurian. Oh how I long to follow after Jesus, but feel so unworthy to even come and ask Him for anything. But what an encouragement when Jesus talks about those coming from the East and West to sit at His table...)
The weekend flew by - as expected. VBS ended Friday night, the kids had friends over, we had the Aspergers conference on Saturday, Sunday we had the ice cream social and the church social. It's good to be back to work so I can rest. :) Friday night the kids had a blast. It was a little long due to various thank you's etc. but it was fun watching all three of my little 'arrows' get up and sing. now I just need to get the video from the digital camera onto some other media form. Afterwards a friend came over with her kids since she was going to watch ours the next day. The kids continued to have fun - way into the night. I was a little grumpy since I had to be up at 5:30 the next morning, but in the end they had a great time. With my darling daughter crying... "I want Audry... I'm never going to see her again!" And yet we saw them again at the pool yesterday. *sigh* Everything is so dramatic with this one. :) The conference was very informative. A quote that stuck in my mind was this. "A good thing about children with Aspergers is that they look normal, and they tend to be highly intelligent. The bad thing about children with Aspergers is they look normal, and they tend to be highly intelligent." Oh how true that statement is. One of the hardest things about Aspergers is that there are no set patterns for diagnosis. For instance, my son is not the 'little proffesor' where he rambles on incessantly about one topic. But he does diplay other traits such as the social que brakedowns, and the need to just move 'within his space'. The seminar was only 3 hours long, and the copies of the slide fit onto 16 pages, but we were each handed a binder with about 100 pages of articles, weblink resources, etc. My beloved is much more educated about this than I am, but I want to learn how to help my son. I want to learn how to be his advocate, and how to prepare for life - hopefully on his own one day. I tend to not want to dwell on the 'what-ifs' - just how-to's. One book that sticks in my mind is "Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals". I have not read this book, but the speaker highly recommended this book and suggested that it is an easy read and presents a really good summary to teachers, etc. My son is already 8, and it has taken us till now to really get the ball rolling. Since my son's diagnosis the Lord has brought several resources to us, and also at least two other parents of Autistic ('Aspies' in particular) children. My beloved and I are praying about if this is a ministry opportunity - long term that is. I feel like I am so far behind the curve... like I have failed him in some way already. Yesterday we opted to not go to church. My beloved has been dealing with digestion issues for about 5 days now. So much so that she's pretty much been on a mostly liquid diet. All three of the kids have also shown signs over the last five days - myself as well. We opted to sleep in, get the grass cut, and just take the day slower than expected. The pool party was a blast. My DD was so cold though... she was shivering but what a trooper. There was no way she was going to quit before the time was up at 9:30. :) Well, I'm exhausted just reviewing it all. :) My highlight was when we got back from the seminar and our friend's husband come over and I was able to show him my favorite game - Necromunda. :) Unfortunately it was pretty lopsided. He should be able to get back even when I play him in Axis & Allies. I hope you all had a great weekend. Verse for today: Matthew 6:25-34, esv “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Well, I received some pretty hard hitting news in regards to my potential profitability. As it stands I am looking at possibly only breaking even. Even including some tax breaks, etc. I am not sure what I am going to do. I may have to either take a hit now and walk away from deposits, or just take a slow drain until I can get it to profitability. Tomorrow my beloved and I are going to an Aspergers conference at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. About a 2 1/2 hour drive one way. Should be an intresting and long day. My #2 son is amazing and frustrating at the same time. Well things are crazy busy right now. Sorry that the blog is so short today. Verse for today: Psalm 103:6-14, esv The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame;  he remembers that we are dust.
Well, I am midstream for the week. I was 'ambushed' when I arrived at work this morning and right now my mind is blank. VBS is going pretty well. I've been going around with my # 2 son and his 'class' is averaging about 14 kids. One thing that bothers me a little is that several of the parents just drop their kids off - sort of like getting 2.5 hours of free baby sitting every night. And yet we struggle for workers every year (this is my 3rd VBS at my church). But I also remember being dropped off as a kid at the local church's VBS s0... who knows what influence this week will have on these kids in the years to come. With everything going on lately I tried to coordinate a date afternoon with my beloved for after church this Sunday - but wouldn't you know there's something going on! The Baseball season has been over for about 5 or 6 weeks now, and the coach is just now doing a little party. It just irritates me that a team that literally lost every game HAS to get together to pass out little trophys. I know the idea is to build up some team work, and get the kids out and exercise, but this is just another excuse for me to have to drag only one of my three to a little party - when I really want to be doing something else. A wise man once told me... "Free time does not schedule itself." And yet, I can't seem to get on top of it... Verse for today: Mark 2:23-28, esv One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Last night I watched the series premier of “The Closer” (DVR is going to be my down fall – I see it now). My beloved has gotten me hooked on this show. That makes 2 detective shows I watch whenever I get the chance. “Monk” on USA, and now “The Closer” - and two others I will watch occasionally (“CSI” – the original, and “Psych”). What is it about these detective shows anyway? Ok, I digress from what I was originally going to write about… The suspect in this show was a deeply religious Catholic who was misled into thinking that the person she was falling in love with was a man – when in fact it was a woman. In the “heat of the moment” this woman killed her would be lover (she was emphatic that they were not intimate). Over the years I have been disappointed by how “Hollywood” (a generalization) has consistently portrayed Christians in general. And it does not have to be denominationally specific either. In this case it was not the portrayal of the suspect, but the lead character’s (Chief Deputy Brenda Johnson) attitude towards the woman’s faith. Granted, I am still learning how the actors and writers are developing the characters personalities, etc. My point is Christians, at least the ones that it is made a point of portraying their faith, are almost always portrayed in some form of negative light. That is a foul taste or impression of the character is left – even when they are not the “bad guy” of the show. I do want to say here that Christians are not with out sin. I cannot stand before you and throw any stones at any sort of glass structure. Oh I pay “Caesar” what is his – I pretty much obey traffic and copyright laws. But I know I am not perfect. I’ve run red lights, I’ve lied before. I even struggle pornography. The Crusades, or even the Inquisition – leave a wrong impression to be sure. But why can’t there be a moral Christians that takes his (or her) family to church on Sunday and brings in the bad guys more often? Maybe I am just not seeing them because I want to be anti-Hollywood. I know there have been a few of them, but they always seem to miss the mark somehow. Christians are often seen in the news when they’ve lied about some huge thing and it is causing harm to someone… or how about the guy who bombed the abortion clinics and killed the doctors? What about Tammy Faye, or the generalization of the televangelist? I guess it is expected that we (Christians) are out helping the needy, or living our ‘perfect’ little lives so it is not very news (or T.V./movie) worthy. My original intention was to tie this whole rambling mess to the cross. It is when things like stem cell research or abortion views get so extreme that, what I hope are only misguided and well meaning, Christians do really non-Christian things. Oh I am pro-life (anti-abortion according to the media), and I do not agree with stem cells from a fetus to be used for research (a barely mentioned article of adult stem cells being used successfully is out there – sorry, I don’t have the specific link right now), but hurting others in any fashion is not going to really bring glory to Christ and His kingdom. When other issues take the place of the cross’ centrality, when the gospel becomes secondary we are not far from being hypocritical at best. There is a Casting Crowns song that comes to mind right now… “If we are the Body” that really speaks to this subject as well. I think the study verse for this week’s vacation Bible School at my church really sums it up best… Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, esv Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Well, this morning I go and meet with the finance people. I have rarely been this nervous. When it comes to investing, or business, there really is no such thing as a 'sure thing'. There are always risks involved. I doubt Donald Trump suceeded on every business venture. I'm pretty sure Henry Ford, J.P. Getty, and other business giants made mistakes and had misteps along their paths. One big difference between me and them - they had a lot more room for error. Although this journey sort of began in 1999 when I first became interested in it - it has not really gotten off the ground until now. I did have a brief dabble into it last year that was very successful IMO - but this is my first foray into it. To put it in a military term. Last year was sort of a probing patrol if you will. This is an actual movement to contact and take and hold. :) God willing (and I know I will not make it very far if He is not in this), once the beachhead is established I will begin to expand. I have struggled on the way. I keep having what I like to refer to as 'Peter moments'. You know where I profess that Jesus is the Christ, but then think I then know better than He on how His plans will come to fruition. Or where I am scared, but tell the Lord that I will come out of the boat only if He tells me to - then begin to sink in fear as I look at the storm around me. Well, I am now needing to run out the door to meet the "Man". Always keep the Lord in sight for even when you sink beneath the waves - His hands are always there to reach out and lift you back on top of the water. --- I encourage you to meditate upon all the aspects of that this day! :) Verse for today: Matthew 14:22-33, esv Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way  from the land,  beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind,  he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I am in the middle of a very busy season. Since last weekend (a week ago) I've had something going on every day. And it does not get any better in the week (plus) to come. Our church is running our VBS this week. Normally this might mean time for a husband and wife to get out together, or for one or the other to serve - or both to serve, but with my beloved serving I am having to follow my #2 child around due to his Aspergers. Plus all of the other things going on around the house (mowing grass, laundry, etc.). with it running from 6pm until 8:30 each night there is little time to get dinner on the table let alone anything else. As a result I am taking time off from work to get the required things done (like getting the cars inpsected). The this weekend I will be driving about 100 miles to a conference on Aspergers, and the church is having a pool party for the congregation. Then the work week begins again. Lord please give me strength and endurance for the days ahead, and I would also ask for wisdom in how to lead my family better. Verse for today: Matthew 11:25-30, esv At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
Maybe it's because I'm not getting enough sleep, or maybe it's because I've been filling in for my boss while he takes his daughter back to college. Or it could just be that I'm getting old - but i really don't have much to blog about today. I'm sure most of those who stumble across this blog are pretty busy - and even have seasons when you are extremely busy. I think I am in the extreme category right now. I literally have something on every day of the calander from now until the beginning of August. Ugh! I know the sabbath was made for man, but I really need to get back and delve into all that God has for me in how He has designed me. Have you ever given a thought to why God made us to require rest? I can't remember exactly the amount of time, but if a person goes without sleep for long enough they die! No matter how much no doze or caffiene one consumes the body will eventually just quit. Not to mention the halucinations that begin when the mind is fatigued enough. I was once so tired that I could have sworn an entire platoon of soldiers were marching through the woods not 20 yards from where I was at! C.J. Mahaney once preached on the gift of sleep. :) I nudged my wife on this one... he he he. Seriously though. It is a reminder of our place in the cosmos. God who does not require rest, who carries the suns and tells them where to go, is all present all the time. There is no where He is not. Nothing He is not aware of. But man, who was made in His image, requires rest. We are not infinite. And how helpless are we when we are asleep! I am a light sleeper, and usually the light footsteps of my children down the hall is enough to wake me up - but there are times when one can yank that pillow right out from under my head and I will barely break stride in my breathing rythem. :) Well, the next time you are sleepy remember to give thanks to the Lord. That He is the sustainer and protector of you. Verse for today: John 14:1-7, esv “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;  believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
I think I must have the best Dentist in the world. That's right ladies and gentlemen I did indeed say Dentest with kind sentiments in the same sentence. If he's not THE best then he is definetely in the top 10. Yesterday I had a dentist appointment to get a cavety taken care of. Now I already have a considerable number of fillings, but so far the teeth are holding together. Which is a good thing because I think my kids believe they are going to be able to spend some kind if inheritence before they go to college. Now this cavity, or I should say cavities as it was in between two teeth, had been noticable since at least last August when it was spotted during a routine exam. To make a long story short I kept having to reschedule the appointment to have it taken care of - and it was not because I was avoiding having the teeth drilled either. Anyway, I showed up a little late but I was ushered right to the chair and everything was ready. Now, because a drill on teeth is involved he felt obligated to give me a shot of pain killer. Usually a needle in the mouth! No way, but this guys gives the best shots. The only thing I felt was preasure on the jaw bone. As the lips and tongue turned to cotton we talked... then he gets down to business. A little pain on the drill contact. nothing to curl the toes, but it's there - so shot # 2 and I didn't even feel it. You get the idea. 20 minutes later I am on my way home - and this morning I feel no different than I did yesterday. The guys is simply amazing. Well, that's all I have for today. :) Verse for today: Psalm 61:1-4, esv Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to youwhen my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
Well, I finally was able to cut my grass last night. A combination of rainy days and busy schedule delayed me for about 10 days. Now if it had been as dry as it had been in June that would not really have been a problem. But with all the rain we've had (even though a lot of it just washed off due to quantity) it was pretty thick and deep. The new mower is working out pretty good. It cuts nice and the grass catcher on the back empties so much easier than my last one. Still, the self propelled mode is almost too slow! When I am in the "zone" (lol @ myself here) I want to move at a pretty brisk pace - which is not as easy with this mower because it weighs noticably more than the last one. But I still found myself wanting to move faster than the motor was so I was wasting energy. That's ok though. As I got used to it I just let the little guy pull me along. :) While I was mowing the lawn I had some really good 'deep' thoughts about God... but being all hot and sweaty I didn't have a pen handy, and of course I forgot them before I got back in the house (I give thanks everytime I come in and feel the cool air of air conditioning). Two things I can sort of remember... One was that it did not take me long to start sinking after "getting out of the boat" with this whole business venture. All it really took was for my beloved to tell me, "I sure hope you know what you're doing". She was trying to convey trust (in her own little way) in me, but it actually had the opposite affect. She quickly drifted off to sleep after that but I lay awake for at least an hour after that. Different scenarios running through my mind, not to mention the constant mulling over the things that I do not really know. It really feels like I k now just enough to get the ball rolling, but not near enough to know all the questions I need to ask. I also had to sign contracts and apply for loans - all without not one client, and no immediate sign of producing income to pay such loans. God has been very merciful and I have felt His peace. Without ay sort of introduction the Holy Spirit put the image of Peter beginning to sink in the midst of the storm - all the while holding his Savior's hand. That was all I needed. I immediately asked for forgiveness for my lack of faith in what I truly believe He is leading me through. I felt Him saying that He is my source - and that even though I do not know everything (who really does) that He would reveal and teach me as He led me through this. The second thing I meditated on was the brevity of our time on this earth. Our perspective is decidedly finite. 80 or so years seems like a long time... and the younger we are the longer is seems. :) But when we put everything in light of eternity, what is it really? The 'discomforts' (and we here in America really do not know the full meaning of that word IMO) we experience are trully temporary. I think people like Joni Eareckson Tada - and she is experiencing difficulties - how amazing is their faith. And yet her turmoil is but a blink of an eye in light of God and what she will experience in Heaven. The Bible tells us - there is no more suffering, no more tears. What a joy it will be when she walks into His arms. What about the things we work for here. The trinkets we receive through out life. I've spoken about the military coins I've received over the years. What about the house I am priviledged to live in. Let's not even think about the infite term of eternity. What about the next 100 years or so? I've heard some stories of my relatives - of one who was a civil war soldier who ate his boots on his way home (a walk of Richmond, VA to Washington DC) because he had no food or money. The house he built for his family no longer stands. The coins I currently have will most likely be at the bottom of some drawer at best, or at 'worst' in some landfill somewhere. The same for my home or car. And what about death? As I think about reaching another milestone again this year, and going to my wife's class reunion - there are those who will not be there because they have passed away. That is one thing no one can escape. I know there is a tinge of fear in my heart of the finality of it. And yet it is unavoidable. but oh the promises of beyond that event... Well, I have rambled on long enough for today. May the Lord bless each of you this wonderful day. :) Verse for today: Proverbs 12:1-4, esv Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil devices he condemns. No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. I highly encourage reading the entire chapter today. :)
Well I am not really sure what to write... with this new 'venture', and the summer-time change to the kids sleeping schedule... my mind is mush. Oh well. I did post a new short story over on my 'Yarns' page though. My oldest has really been wanting to spend more time with me. He's asked for some one on one time - and we went to the mall and then out for ice-cream. And then he's been showing some intrest in some of my hobbies. I am a little sad. I seem to have very little time to do anything other than things like mow the lawn, etc. I really want to, and I do as much as I can, but I want to do more. My middle child started riding therapy lessons last night. He was very worried about getting close to the horses - but once he got there he did great. The reason I mention him here is that he is not far behind the older. And I know he needs one-on-one time with me as well. And my daughter - well she is always after my time. Not in a bad way, but she always wants me to come see what she's doing, and showing off. Lord, I could really use that 25th hour, or maybe even a whole 8th day during the week. Last night we had some friends come over. It started when the Mrs. watched our kids while my beloved and I took care of some business for the new 'venture'. Afterwards they showed me a patio project that they (the friends) were working on... and my Mrs. said how nice it was and how it would look nice in our yard as well. *sigh* Yet more projects... then both the ladies took #2 child to his riding lesson as I watched the kids... then the Mr. showed up. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew it was after 10pm. We had a great time and had some good fellowship time. And by that I am not talking about just spending time together - we spent a considerable amount of time talking about the things of the Lord. By far it was very enjoyable. One last thing, I may have convinced one more close friend to start blogging. But I've not seen one from him yet. As soon as he gets it going I will post another new link. :) May you all experience then presence of the Lord and sense His pleasure in you this day. Verse for today: Psalm 51:1-6, esv Have mercy on me,  O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Well, I am taking a half day today. I will be having a few meetings to finalize and sign contracts. Now I just to get the income end of it coming in and things will be rolling. The 'theme' (if you will) that I've been getting from God all weekend has been - trust. He is the owner of cattle on a thousand hills - He knows every hair on my head, He calls each star in the heavens by name (and my son found out this weekend that there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the earth). I need to tend to other things this morning, and I've just realized that I've not put up any new short stories lately - but the good news is that I actually have an idea for a new one. Anyway, thank you all for your prayers. Please know that I am also praying for those with whom I know. Jeff, Amy, Bob, Grace, Alise, Rich - and many more. As the Lord brings each of you to my mind I lift up prayers for you. For those of you I do not know in person I am looking forward to the day I will get to meet each of you face to face. That is if I am not too busy worshipping. ;-) Verse for today: Hebrew 1:1-4, esv Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Well, I am about to 'step out of the boat'. In some ways this is a spiritual step, and in others it is more of a world-type step. For a little while I have felt the Lord prompting me to move forward with a business venture. I am very nervous as this means taking a step of faith. Don't get me wrong, I have done some research to ensure I can actually do this. It is the part of mind telling me that I can't do it. That I will fail. But the still small voice that I am hearing over the roar of the doubt is "trust me". If this goes as the glimpse seems to show me, then - Lord willing - and providing - this will become a ministry to help others. Today I would like to ask for your prayers. Please pray that I would clearly hear my Provider. That I would be a faithful steward of what He has provided. That when the time comes for me to give an account of what has been entrusted to me - that I would not be like the man who buried his talent awaiting his master's return, but that I would be like those whom multiplied what they had been entrusted, and that it would give glory to my Father in heaven. I would also ask for the feeling of peace would continue to surround me and my house. Thank you all in advance. May the Lord grant each of you a wonderful weekend. Verse for today: Matthew 14:23-33, esv And after [Jesus] had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way  from the land,  beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind,  he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
My day has just been a whirlwind. I wanted to blog earlier, but this is my first chance to come up for air! :) Last night as I was falling asleep I kept mulling over about knowing God, and more importantly being known by Him. We can know about God. We can study Him and learn about Him. In James (in the context of faith) it says "Even the demons believe - and shudder" (James 2:19, esv) On the final day there will be none who doubt about the existance of God. But when we know Him - are we followers of Him? Obviously God knows all things. He knows about each of us. But what does it mean for Him to know each of us? In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about the importance of this... "“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"(Matthew 7:21-23, esv) It is with fear and trembling I contemplate these words. Am I following Jesus? Am I doing works in His name? More than that does He know me? I am not fearful just to be afraid. The consequences are dramatic. There is no grey area here. Either we are known by Him and welcomed into His Kingdom where He has gone before us to prepare a room for us - or we are cast out where there is nashing of teeth for all eternity. I am concerned for myself first and formost. I need to drop on my knees before His throne and seek Him out. I need to keep Him ever before me, and seek to invite Him in that I may be known. Today Paul's words are ringing true and reasonating deep within my mind and heart... "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." (Romans 7:15-20, esv) Heavenly Father, I desperately need for You to dwell within me. I desire for nothing more than to be known by You. Lord I ask for Your hands to guide my head, my heart, and my limbs. Lord I ask for You to jealously guard me and my family. May we be counted among Your people. That is what is on my heart today.
Well, I am at a loss for what to write about again today. After seeing fireworks again last night - for the 3rd time in 4 days - perhaps that is what I will write about. :) On Saturday I saw the fireworks at the Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD. What a wonderful show. In addition to the set up at the battlefield you could see a few other townships nearby - so it was almost a 3-for-1 deal. :) These fireworks were realy nice, they were up close. It lasted about 20 minutes, and a really good variety. On Sunday we had the home variety. You know the kind (maybe). The ones you can buy legally on the roadside. Not really powerful, but they are nice. And the kids love them. We had several friends over for a BBQ, and two of them brought their supply. This one lasted about 40 minutes because we had to do it the old fashion way. I also had to do all the work. No one else felt comfortable handling these 'explosives', so. Last night we saw the 4th of July light show put on by Hershey Park. They were about 30 minutes long, and they were some distance away - in some cases the light show had faded before we heard the concussion. But it was probably the best fireworks display I'd seen in many a year. There was never a pause, and the finale was just awesome! I doubt my meager words really do any of it justice, but I thought I would write about it. When I was on active duty I had to work the gates in the Washington DC area. We searched cars from 12 o'clock right up until the fireworks were scheduled to begin. And I remember my disappointment - not for me, but for those who literally waitied hours to see them - when the display lasted a meager 15 minutes, and it was very lame show IMO. I have never really been one who got excited about fireworks. I'm not really sure why, but my family absolutely love them. Even my two youngest who hold their ears the entire time. Maybe I am just too synical or something. Oh well, I am not downing fireworks. I think they are spectacular. How those who make them can get the timing down and are essentially controlling explosions, and compiling the mixtures to get just the right colors and and shapes. It is amazing. Well, that is all I have for today. I pray that this finds each of you well. Verse for today: Proverbs 5:1-6, 15-23, esv My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge. For the lips of a forbidden  woman drip honey, and her speech  is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to  Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated  always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?  For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders  all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
I cannot think of anything to write about today. I had a few ideas over the weekend, but they are gone now. Who knows, maybe they will return later. I am feeling so very drained right now. I've woken up this morning, and yesterday afternoon (I took a nap after mowing the grass) and felt like I had no strength. I feel like I just need to roll into bed and sleep for a few days. Work is pretty slow today so not much to write about there. Tomorrow I am taking the family to Hershey Park. We love that park and look forward to going pretty much every year. But it looks like it's going to be hot! Yuck. So many things going on. I am in need of getting on my knees before the Lord. I just need to seek Him out and ask for His direction in so many ways. I hope this finds all of you well. May you enjoy rest and joy these next two days. Verse for today: Proverbs 3:1-10, esv My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success  in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh  and refreshment  to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus,  to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:1-5, esv) Greetings friends. Well, unfortunately I am at work on the day traditionally referred to as the the Lord's day. :( Unfortunately IT is a 24x7 environment, and since most of the "users" do not use the network off-hours (and in this case a Sunday) it is better to make changes during these times. And since it is for a health-care system... I would still rather be off on such days. Since my direct involvement is pretty much limited to monitoring a conference call I am typing while I listen. It could make for some interesting typos. :) Last night my Guard unit participated in the 21st annual Forth of July celebreations at the Antietam National battlefield. We gave the battlefield salute, as well as participated in the 1812th overture performed by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra (or MSO), and then a connonade at the end of the fireworks. This was our first year and there were a few hitches, but I hope that they were undetected by the masses. We had a lot of fun doing it. When the entire battery was letting loose it was quite a site to see. Since they were just blanks the concussion was not all that impressive IMO, but the fireballs coming from the end of the tubes was quite spectacular. but that was not all. Due to the inferiority of the charges, and there was assition smoke there were mini-fire balls coming back out of the breech when they were opened to discharge the previous round and loading the next. That does not happen when a live round is used so the #1 man was suprised to see those flames coming back at them! The result was a half second delay as the loader waitied for the breech to clear, but the crowd loved it. And since Antietam is referred to as "Artillery Hell" how appropriate. :) Side note... I sent an e-mail to a respected friend to encourage him to start his own blog - and he has! :) I've added the link on the left there. He is new to blogging so please be patient, but he has a sharp mind (IMO) in the ways of God. I am never bored discussing things about God with him. Rich always seems on fire for Christ, and if you were ever to meet him in person you can see his eyes light up as he talks about his Savior. As a means of introduction I met Rich about the same time I met my wife. He was a member of the Christian Student Union at the college they both attended. I believe he was one of the group leaders even then. After college he and his bride moved to take a job closer to his wife's family. To abbreviate it some, they have since moved back to the area I live in. They have three wonderful children, and at this time he is a stay at home dad. Well, I need to wrap this up for today. May the Lord bless each and everyone of you this day, and may you each have safe travel for those heading to other destinations. ybiC... Verse for today: Well, I shared it above. I was wondering about my motive, but I felt the Lord put it on my heart to share. In the end the work I am doing is helping patient care... but then there are things that I will be doing later that is not contributing to any form of rest... one area I know I want to work on, and not just for myself - but to instill it in my family - is to honor the day of the rest that the Lord gave us, and to use it as a day of worhip and reflection of God... like Jesus once said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27, esv) Maybe this is something I can meditate on the rest of today...