Creative 'juices' running amok

Well, lately I've been really wanting to write a much longer and more coherent story. But I am full of self doubts, etc. I have a real vague idea of a story, but no specifics ro idea how it should flow. If I do I will keep my friends posted here. I am also hoping that it will some how distract me when other temptations try and rear their ugly heads. Including ones that cost money. This summer has been an incredible drain on finances. My car, the A/C, a various other maintenance around the house have all put a toll on the budget. The treatment and care for my DS#2 and his Aspergers are especially taxing. I am really feeling the preasure to provide, and with the desire to retire from the National Guard that reduces my monthly income even further. I know I need to rely on God for my income... but my beloved is exceptionally good at pointing out how much I am spending... *sigh* I feel like I am failing in my provision when it is my spending that is contributing. Well, who knows... Updates: Hiku, Yarns Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 13, esv If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, [1] but have not love, I gain nothing. 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. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


Short and Sweet today

Just some fun received from a cousin... The Way Children See Things! > > > > > NUDITY I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a Woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt! > > > > > HONESTY My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment then ran to bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago. > > > > > OPINIONS On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents." > > > > > MORE NUDITY A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?" > > > > > ELDERLY While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!" > > > > > DRESS-UP A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." "And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning." > > > > > SCHOOL A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!" > > > > > BIBLE A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear! Sorry for the recycled data... Updates: Hiku Verse for today: Galatians 2:19-21, esv For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification [3] were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.


When it all began

Well, I stayed up WAY too late watching Andre Agasi's final opening round match at the U.S. Open last night/this morning so my ideas for a post today are probably not as extensive as I would normally like - but... The picture of the coin above is the first unit coin I ever received. At the time (summer of 1989) I was in the Anti-Tank platoon of the 1-115th Infantry. Every year we held a compitition for the 'top tube' of the platoon. The 'contests' were in the PT test, rifle marksmanship, qualification with the TOW missile system, flash cards of tanks, a series of 'common tasks', and a small platoon specific set of skills (such as range cards, recon and identifying things for a report to higher). Back then I could roll out of bed and pass the APFT with only a slight concern about the sit-ups (now it's the run). But my real weakness was in the qualification with the TOW system (I know, not a good thing and being an anti-tank gunner :) ). I cannot remember off the top of my head now what the minim score was, but I was routinely a 'pass-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth' on this system. It was a pain. You had to smoothly track a target board several times. Each time the score was a 0-100. The more steady you kept the crosshairs on the target the better the score. While watching me qualify it was like watching gas guage sink to empty on a drag racer. Those were some of the longest 16 seconds of my life! But by the grace of God I actually did better than I usually did, but still... there were guys in the platoon who were much better at it than I was. And when there were a possible 1000 points in it... the difference seemed insurmountable when the APFT was a max of 300 points, rifle qualification was only a max of 40... and those were my 'stronger' areas. I was sure that the point differences were insurmountable. Well, at the end of our competition weekend I was declared the winner. I wish I could remember the point difference, but I remember it being a very slim margin. With this 'victory' I was chossen to fire the only live missile we had been alotted in over 3 years... and if memory serves it was at least another 3 or more years until the platoon received another one. I kn0w they had not fired another one before I left in 1992. I nailed it too. The flight was perfect and it nailed the target tank right between the turret and deck. Those in the stands watching said that the missile pentrated all the way through the tank and hit a tree, causing it to slowly topple over. Now that was a rush. I was given the coin at the final formation of that drill as well. Military coins are a tradition that go back some. I know they are used by soldiers - usually in bars. One soldier will bring out his coin and tap it on the bar. If you are a coin holder, and do not have it with you - you just bought the next round. I've heard of one instance when a group of Special Forces soldiers were going through an obstical course. One of them stopped halfway through an obsticale and tapped the bars with it. From what I've heard - there was an audible groan as none of the others had brought their coins out. As a result the soldier did not have to buy another round until after the course. :) I have to read up some more to understand this tradition some more. :) Updates: None today, but I am really working on a pair of short stories... :) 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, [1] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


One word

Isn't it amazing what power a single word can have? On Saturday I mowed my lawn for the first time in about 3 weeks. There just has not been enough rain to get it to grow. While I was out there is was mostly a dusty and hot experience. The grass was crunching under foot, and the little shards of hay were pretty wuch drifting everywhere. Well one little word for Saturday and Sunday night... rain. My grass has turned from predominatly brown to mostly green. I know we've not had enough to make a lasting difference, but it was nice to have. I have been selfishly praying for more rain. Mostly because I like rain. I like being out in it, I like sitting on my porch watching it. Not all the time, but most of the time I really enjoy it. Another example of a powerful word... divorce. In the past week I have had not one, not two, but three friends mention this powerful word. One friend is basically in a verbally and mentally abusive marriage. So much so that 'they' (I use 'they because I do not wish to say he or she) have been searching for a Biblical basis for leaving 'their' spouse. My beloved and I were talking about it last night and I will be reseaching it some more in the coming days and weeks. Another couple has basically seperated. After talking with 'them' it seems like it is basically over. 'They' told me that basically 'their' conversion experience was due to the crowd 'they' were hanging with. 'They' want to go out and see what else is out there. In regards to 'their' marriage... basically 'they' were tired of fighting all the time. The third friend as left the home. Not in order to pursue a divorce but in order hopefully trigger changes that need to be made. 'They' have sought to go to counsilling together with 'their' mate but thus far has not been successful. It is just scary. After being married almost fourteen years myself I have never had a friend even mention the word divore before and all of a sudden I have three of them facing this very real possibility. The last example of how a word can be powerful, and the one that actually triggered the title and them of this blog, was what happened to me last night. It was getting pretty late. My beloved was busy getting the last minute things together for the boy's first day of school. I was upstairs finishing up a few chores for the day and my beloved walked in (finished with her tasks) and she shared how much she appreciated and respected me. That was nice. We then got to talking about the upcoming week and she asked for my thoughts and I used the word 'unhappy'. Basically our entire week is consistantly booked solid - many times with 2 or 3 things going on in the same night. It is getting harder and harder to schedule date nights and I am not one who likes to be active all the time. I would prefer to be in bed no later than 10:30 at night, I like having things done before the last minute, and I like to have a chance to prepare for changes (not that I am any good at changes, I just like a chance to do it. :) ). Things went from nice warm to cold. I'm not saying she would not talk to me - but let's just say the conversation was pretty much over. *sigh* Updates: None - soon I promise (or at least hope...) Verse for today: Matthew 6:25-33,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? [7] 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.


Panthers 19 - Dolphins 10

Before anyone says anything - it is only pre-season! And the Panthers looked aweful IMO last night. If the outcome was based off of stats the Dolphins would have won hands down. The Panthers had a lot of penalties and could not move the ball on offense consistantly. The defense looked ok, but could not get their hands on Daunte Culpepper and he pretty much get the Dolphins moving. I think the Dolphins will have a much improved year this year with him running their offense. And their defense was also doing a superb job. I kept hearing that their secondary was the Miami weakspot, but it looked to me that they did pretty good. Carolina will have to improve on their team play IMO if they really want to live up to their potential. Don't get me wrong. I've liked what I've seen from them so far, but bad nights like last night will come up and catch them by the tail! That is all I have for today and the weekend. Updates: none Verse for today: Proverb 25:1-7, esv These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied. It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here, ”than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.


Southern Comfort Tour

The colors make this a little hard to read, but I've been wanting to add more pictures. :)

This is a design another soldier and I came up with while we were off helping with the Hurricane relief missions last year. The title "The Southern Comfort Tour" was a play on words. The command structure kept us hoping from place to place and someone (I can't remember who now) mentioned it was like being on tour. Thus a tour t-shirt motiff came up. With us traveling through the south and some of the fellas liking Southern Comfort it seemed to fit. With the title and dates set it gave us an outline.

The 'ying yang' was used because it was our task forces unit insignia up until TY '06 (training year). So it was the last time we were all going to be sporting the patch and it has a lot of history. The 29th division was first formed prior to WW I primarily from National Guard units from Maryland and Virginia. The history of at least on of these units has them facing parts of itself on the field of battle during the civil war. In many ways memories were still fresh of the Civil War and thus the blue and the grey. The division has served with distinction in both World Wars - most notibaly was their actions during D-Day. The only National Guard division to participate during the initial assault. I could fill up several days worth of blogs on this magnificant division. I began my National Guard career with them, and I am proud to be ending it with them.

The three regiments represented at the bottom are those that provided men to the task force.

The Hurican Relief mission was typical of what I love doing in the National Guard. We stayed at a high school where they cramed 30 of us in a small science room... it's one thing to have 30 desks, but 30 cots, with 30 soldiers 24 hours a day, and all their gear. We stayed in a big circus tent with not enough air conditioning. We even stayed at an emptied out JC Penney's. The chow was decent for the most part. On two occasions the forrest service had their chow trucks (and these are impressive set ups) doing the catering. I wish I had digital pictures of those deals. The forrest service also provided shower trailers and laundery service. Our missions varied from presence patrols - to - relief efforts (handing out meals, water, and tarps) - to - escorting convoys. It was not a five star guided tour, but the people down there were so nice despite all they went through. I even got to tour the French Quarter - a place I would not normally go. They were not quite fully open for business, but I was interested in the architecture and I did stop in one or two novelty shops. I couldn't help myself... I bought some Mardi Gras beads for the wife. :)

Well, it's not much... but it's all I got for today. :) God Bless...

Updates: None, but I have two stories in the works...

Verse for today:

Phillipians 4:4-7, esv

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Testing 1, 2, 3

I simple picture. We were at a pretty small firing point so this shot is from an adjacent section. I have some short video clips from this weekend and my attempts to upload them were unsuccessful.

This is a picture I took while the section was shooting.

I love taking pictures, sometimes I get some pretty good shots in. That's the reason I love digital cameras. I can take as many pictures as I want and just delete the bad ones.

Now that I seem to be getting the hang of things... :) Pictures may have to become more common! :)

Well, today has been just crazy busy so I am going to cut it off here.

Updates: none

Verse for today:

Psalm 115:14-18, esv

May the Lord give you increase,you and your children! May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence. But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forever more.

Praise the Lord!


Carolina Panthers 17 - Jacksonville Jaguars 10

I love my DVR. Recently I took advantage of being able to upgrade my satellite TV to include a DVR and it is both a blessing and a curse. One blessing is being able to record the Carolina Panthers whenever they come on (lately it's like 2-3 am). Now, I had already known that the Panthers had won the preseason game against the Jags on Saturday - but I was able to watch some of the game last night. I have liked what I have seen from the 1st string teams. As a fan I am getting even more excited about the season. Now, this was only a preseason game so the two wins so far don't mean anything in terms of the season. But it still feels good to me as a Panthers fan to beat our fellow expansion rivals. Due to the scheduling of interconference games these two teams will only face each other in a game that matters once every four years unless they both make it to the Super Bowl. The first game to mean anything substantial will be 10-September against the Atlanta Falcons. This is a team that the Panthers traditionally have had trouble with. Now they do fairly well against them at home, and alright in the season openers, so I will be eager to see the Panthers pull out a win. Well, that's all I have for now. :) May the Lord watch over and keep each of you in the palm of His mighty right hand. Updates: none - but soon - I hope Verse for today: Proverbs 27:1-8, esv Do not boast about tomorrow, or you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both. Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebukethan hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.


500 Miles

Well, it was actually less than 100 hours and a little more than 500 miles this weekend, but it behind me now. Sort of a bitter sweet deal. There is so much that I enjoy about being in the National Guard. Some things I don't, but overall I am a 'Happy Soldier'. :) Thursday was a long day. I got up at my usual time so that I could get out the door no later than 5 Am to make the 80 mile drive in time for 1st formation. One soldier did not make it in time because his car had been totalled and his ride to drill 'forgot' about needing to pick him up. I drove out to pick him up and then on down to AP Hill in Virginia. The rest of the day was spent having the sections that did not certify practice and prepare for testing. A lot of walking. The 'highlight' was Thursday night havikng to run all over our firing point (and for artillery it can be a fairly large one) getting names for those who needed to qualify with the M-16 the next day. Friday we certified the three remaining sections and got each of them 'occupied' on the firing line in time to get a few check rounds down range. I did not participate in the rifle qualification but 18 of 22 men who went qualified. Saturday was spent performing howitzer live fire missions. Pretty laid back and I was able to take some picture (more on this later) and some video as well as get on the gun again. Saturday night the guys from my battery gave me an ice water shower akin to the gatorade baths you see in sporting events. Man was that cold. After spending three days in the upper eighties with a pretty good humidity level it was a slight shock - but it felt good! The guys had heard that this was probably my last live fire weekend. Yesterday I had to drive back to the armory and then back to battalion/brigade headquarters to attend a retirement briefing. I went to try and get the overall picture of how to get the paperwork in, etc. I ended up with even more questions than I started with so I will be exchanging e-mails, etc. for a little while. One thing that made me raise my eyebrows some was that the IRR (individual retired reserve - which I need to go to if I want to have any retirement benefits) is the #1 source for 'experienced' soldiers!!!! *sigh* I have not shared that information with my beloved as I want to make sure I completely understand all the implications before I do so. Overall it was a pleasant weekend. The temperature was lower than it normally is in August, and there was no rain. The pace of fires was good once the rounds started going down range, and the pace of training was moderate. I really like the guys I train with, and to some degree I really enjoy the 'mission' of the Guard. But I love my family more than I love the Guard - and I miss them and the things to do with them on these weekends. Some highlights of my career are: Basic Training 'Top Tube' award as an Anti-Tank gunner and getting to fire a live TOW missile Flood duty - several times The response of my unit after 9/11 My active duty stint Hurricane relief last year Over all the Lord has blessed me with the priviledge of working with some great guys over the years. Not all of the duty assignments have been enjoyable and not everyone I've worked with has been chipper. But I am going to miss it. Updates: none Verse for today: Psalm 105:1-6, esv Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones!


100 hours

Well, tomorrow begins a four day drill weekend. The days will go quickly once they get started, but it feels like the gears are slipping as I get ready. My new duty position is essentially managerial, and with not passing the safty certification process, so there is not as much to do. Now there will be a slew of things going on at various times so I'm sure I will remain busy enough. We will be live firing the howitzers, doing individual weapons qualification (M16), and an APFT (the last two for those who have not passed so far this training year). I will be taking along the camera (against my beloved's wishes - don't spill the beans Rich) and I hope to get some good pictures. The one thing I really need to practice is getting the pictures from the camera to a medium I can share them, and get the printed. I know how, I just need to actually engage the mental and motor functions! :) Updates: None, been too busy with other things... sorry :) Verse for today: Psalm 77:11-15, esv I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah


No deep thoughts - again

:) What can i say. :) Last night S2 had his riding lesson - which he absolutely loves. He is also doing very well. Last night was the first time I went with him since my beloved usually takes him so I got to talk to the woman who runs the program. She tells me that he "soaks up the information like a sponge". Also the horse he uses every week (Lulu) is 'lazy' - so when my son gets on her he really has to get her to do what he's supposed to. She doesn't refuse to do it, but unless you are constantly getting her to trot, etc. she will just stop. My oldest (s1) has been getting pretty bored lately. He constantly wants to go out and do things. Things that usually cost $. With all the expenses we've been trying to tighten the belt. I am going to be making more of an effort to spend evenings with just the kids - playing games, what not. I am worried about losing him to whatever entices tweens to eventually 'discard' their parents. But he is such a good kid. I pray for him. I so don't want him to be lost to the wiles of the enemy. My youngest (d3) is smart as whip. All she talks about is starting school, playing with the Thomas trains that we bought a while back, flying on airplanes, etc. She is still pretty small (about 28 lbs. at 4 1/2) and she is dwarfed by the other kids her age. But she has all moter functions and her mental abilities are pretty sharp. Every morning when I leave for work she comes to her window to wave good-by... so cute. Well, that's all I have for today. May the Lord bless you and keep you in the palm if his might right hand. updates: none Verse for today: Proverbs 15:1-9, esv A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle [1] tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent. In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked. The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. [2] The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,but he loves him who pursues righteousness.


The beginning of a short/long week

Well, I have a short work week as far as my civilian job is concerned. I only work 3 days this week because I have a four day National Guard drill weekend. I've been doing this for a little more than twenty years now (I received my official letter a week ago) and the long weeks wear on me now. Essentially these become twelve day work weeks. Don't get me wrong, I've loved serving, but the weeks wear me down now. Although this might be my last drill weeekend. I'm not sure. More on that in some future blog. :) The Carolina Panthers won on Saturday night. I love DVR because the NFL channel is replaying a lot of the preseason games and I was able to record it (at like 7:00 AM Sunday morning) and watch it. The first string offense and defense looked pretty good. I know it's just preseason - the teams do not really game plan for their specific opponents, and the teams are rotating so many players in to see how they do, and the plays are not a full blown set. but it's fun to watch the team again. Next week the Panthers travel to Jacksonville - their expansion rivals. I like it when the Panthers beat them no matter when it is. But to be fair, the Jaguars have pretty much owned the Panthers during the regular season when they've met. I think they've met 3 times (I'll have to check my spreadsheet that I keep) and the Jags have won it twice - and overall the team has a better win-loss ratio. But with Coach John Fox the Panthers are much improved. And a 1-15 season is mighty hard to overcome record-wise. :) One thing I'd like to see some improvement on is the number of penalties I was seeing. Again, it's preseason, and it's the first game at full speed so... Yesterday I caught bits and pieces of a few shows that got me to thinking. One was Pay it Forward with Helen Hunt, and a couple of other actors (I'm terrible with theirnames). About a school project to try and make the world a better place. I am a gooshy movie kind of guy. I really do not like sad endings (usually) so I was disappointed with it. Another show was on ABC Family - 3 Moons over Milford. Now neither of these shows really kept me rivited to the screen. Mostly because I was doing other things at the time and just had the tube on for some background noise, but they did get me thinking. As a Christian we are to constantly be 'paying it forward'. Nothing in this world lasts and we are to store up our treasures where moth and rust cannot destroy. But sometimes its hard to know how or when to invest it. Lately I've been a little convicted in the cavalier attitude I've had towards my tithing. I want to make sure that I am not being legalistic about it, but at the same time there should be a reverences, an acknowledgement, of what it's about. The last show that had me thinking was The Ron Clark Story. At least that guy has, and I believe still is, making a difference in those he comes in contact with. There are times I wonder about how well I am doing. Updates: none today - yet Verse for today: Psalm 70, esv Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! Let them be put to shame and confusionwho seek my life! Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire my hurt! Let them turn back because of their shamewho say, “Aha, Aha!” May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!


The plates won't stop wobbeling!

Well, I've been pretty much non-stop since I got to work... and the "plates" just won't stop wobbeling. :) So, there will be no update for today... sorry... May God richly bless you all this day, and may you have a joy filled weekend. :) Updates: none Verse for today: Psalm 55:16-19, esv But I call to God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah


While drifting through my links here on my blog I read through "Pure Church", "Worship Matters", and "Together for the Gospel (aka T4G)". If you all have time I highly encourage you all to surf on over to each of these blogs and drink deeply God's grace. I am moved differently and to different extents each time - but I am never left the same.

Slow week

My pattern must be off. :) Since vacation I've been staying up too late and not getting up on time. Since Monday I've seemed to have learned how to turn off my alarm clock and not even break my sleeping rythm. Once night this week I missed a golden opportunity, and my mind just feels cloudy all week. The worst part is that I've not been getting up to read. I try and only read three chapters a day, but I've just finished Matthew today. Last night we had a friend over. He has connections to get tickets for Washington Redskins tickets. Off hand I asked him if he could get tickets for the Panthers game in November. Well, for $250 I could get three tickets in the upper deck on about the 30 yard line. The seats are nice, and this may be comparable to what the going rate is, but I just don't think I can afford what will amount to at least a $350-$400 day. For a 3 hour game. That's just me... and I'm glad there are others out there who can and want to do that. But it's just me. I encourage you all to just take some time this week. Relaxe, get away from the din of life, and spend time with the Lord and your family. Before I forget... I've really been trying to get to know other men in my life. By this I mean - taking the time to get to know them, help them around the house and develop a friendship with them. I don't want to be a 70 year old man and not have any friends. But I am still in a season of life where things are going constantly. But as a means of fighting this the husband of one of my beloved's friends and I sort of formed a 'barnraising fellowship'. Nothing fancy, but the second Saturday of the month we try and get together and help one another around the house. If the Lord blesses it - I'd like to see it expand where we are maybe going out and helping a widow or single parent with things around their house too. Hmm... who knows. Updates: 'Yarns' Verse for today: John 12:1-8, esv Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table. Mary therefore took a pound [1] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii [2] and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it [3] for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” This is probably not a real parallel of my journal for today, but this verse came to mind when I was thinking about what verse to put in today. These verses are so deep. One could juggle this around in one's hands for some time...


The fog

Well, things are just a little off kilter here at work. Just too many spinning plates today so I do not have anything to really put down today... :( May the Lord keep and shower His peace and mercy upon you all. :) Updates: Campaign, Hiku Verse for today: Proverbs 9:1-6, esv Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, [1] and live,and walk in the way of insight.”


Coffee break

I received a copy of this in my e-mail. With nothing more "deep" to go with today I thought I'd just share it... A group of alumni, established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversations soon turned into complaints about stress at work and with life. Offering his guests coffee, the proffessor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - some were porcelain, some plasitc or glass or crystal. Some were plain, some expensive others quite intricate. When he returned he told his guests to help themselves. After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the proffessor: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress." "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consiously went for the best cups, and then began eyeing each other's cups." "Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us." God brews the coffee, not the cups... enjoy your coffee. Updates: None today - yet Verse for today: Psalm 36:7-9, esv How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.


Home Again

Well, we got back on Saturday and it was nice to get away. On Thursday we checked into the hotel and then went to Luray Caverns in the afternoon. Before we got there the kids were all excited adn were chatting incesantly - but once we got down into the caverns... "are we done yet?" "I want to get out!" *sigh* what are you going to do. For the most part they behaved nicely and enjoyed the sights. S2 really got into the spirit of things. Afterwards the kids and I hit the Garden Maze which is a lot of fun. Afterwards we went back to the hotel we hit the pool and relaxed. Friday we stayed local and checked out a Farmer's market - which was fun. I love those places (usually) and really enjoy the smells and the wares. We then went back to the hotel and hit the pool again. Later we went to one of our favorite chain resteraunts - Chili's where we had fabulous service. Walked around the mall some to walk off dinner and picked up a couple of Christmas presents, then kicked back and watched an in room movie - "RV" with Robin Williams. It was a lot of fun, and the boys were laughing out loud. Our poor little girl though - she passed out hard! We enjoyed the movie so much we are considering getting the DVD at some point. On our way home we drove along the "middle section" of Skyline Drive. Beautiful scenery - and the weather was very nice. Low humidity and very good visibility. There are so many overlooks and hiking trails - one could plan an entire vacation just along this road. With a 35MPH speed limit throughout one does not make very much headway so after about 90 minutes and 30 miles we decided to head back down the mountain and get on home. We capped of the weekend with having a few friends over Saturday night, and then after church yesterday we just stayed home and relaxed. Well, a little. A lot of organizing and rearranging. But not too much. I read through my previous posts and it seems like being tired was a theme. Hmm... I hope it was not too boring. I always seem to have more ideas of what to write about than I have actual time to put down... updates: Hiku, and campaign blogs... Verse for today: Proverbs 7:1-5, esv My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden [1] woman, from the adulteress [2] with her smooth words.


Day Trip

Well, I am back at work for today and then I am out again on a mini-vacation till next week. My mid-section still feels like I maxed out the sit-up section of the APFT for a 22 year old male. I finally have my hydration levels back to where I do not have a consistant headache, and I am enjoying soup once more. If I did not think that it was all just food in the digestive tract I'd be more happy about the 7 pounds I've lost in two days. But on the good side I was only off my feet a day and a half, and my beloved took very good care of me. :) I was going to post on Monday about my favorite American Football team - the Carolina Panthers. A lot of the 'trade' magazines have picked them as Super Bowl favorites which is disapointing to me. Not that I don't want them to go, but when every one expects them to go and they fall short it is disapointing. I just want to avoid the hype and enjoy football season again - which for me starts on 12-August when the Panthers open up the pre-season against the Buffalo Bills. Now, everyone knows that, the preseason does not mean anything towards anything other than player evaluation and the chance to practice game speed against unfamiliar players. But it does mean that I will be able to see some of the Panthers on the field for whatever reason. It's say an appetizer to get me to the main course - the regular season which begins (for me) 10-September when the Atlanta Falcons come to visit the Panthers in Charlotte. But I am most looking forward to the following games: 15-October @ Baltimore Ravens - why? Because most of the guys in my National Guard unit are Ravens fans. :) 26-November @ Washington Redskins - why? Because the Redskins used to be my favorite team until what they did to Art Monk. And the post Joe Gibbs era. But they faded from my fancy when I realized that the only reason I liked them was because my parents liked them. So I rebelled and struck out on my own when the NFL announced their expansion teams in Charlotte and Jacksonville. 17-December vs. Pittsburg Steelers - why? Because a very good friend of mine is a Steelers fan, and it has been many a year since these two teams have played against each other. The last time coming (if memory serves - which is touch and go ;-) ) when the Panthers beat the Steelers in Charlotte. Oh, and since the Steelers are the current Super Bowl chapions - it jsut makes it more fun. I also enjoy all of the divisional games. Atlanta just seemed to own the Panthers for the longest time. Even before the Panthers I was anti-Atlanta most due to Deon Sanders. his arrogance just seemed to annoy me to no end. But now with Micheal Vick this, and Michael Vick that - blech. The Saints have never been a consistant contender, but they always seem to play the Panthers hard, and many memorable games (for me) have come from this divisional rivalry. And for some reason I look forward to the Bucanneers games the most. I think this comes from when they were SB champs and Warren Sapp talking all that 'smack' and then getting their tails handed to them like 3 out of 4 games after their Super Bowl win. But one thing I love is the Bucanneer flash video's that they create for their website. They are fun to watch, and tastefully done. Well, I have rambled on long enough. And I could probably go on for a lot longer. But I really need to get back to work. See you all next week... and thank you again for your prayers. I will try and catch up on all the blogs I visit frequently - but I am not hopeful. please know that you guys are in my prayers as the Lord brings you to my mind. :) Verse for today: Psalm 8, esv O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [2] and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!



I've been... indisposed for the past couple of days. Nothing glamorous to add today. Just wanted to let those who frequent my blog. I took my beloved out on a date Sunday afternoon/evening and apparently I got a bad batch of something. After spending most of the night, and some of yesterday, purging my system (I will leave the details up to your imagination) I feeling a little better today. I've lost 5 pounds since Sunday, and food comercials turn my stomach - but I feel better. I had to go renew my military ID today since I will be away for a short vacation later this week and I was able to get a military discount on the hotel room. I also had to pick up my car from the shop. $500 later - I hope everything's fixed. Well, I am going back to bed for now - I still feel pretty tired. Verse for today: James 4:13-17, esv Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.