Not in my backyard

What happened to the selfless generation of my grand parents? Well, maybe my recolection of them is tainted by the black and white images of "I Love Lucy" or "Mayberry RFD". Or maybe it was jsut that there was more room for things like quarrys or just that the amount of communication was just so much slower. I think the idea of sacrifice for the greater good has always been around. And it is usually paid for by those less fortunate (with notable exceptions of the French Revolution and the the rise of Socialist Communism - but even in those situations there were those who benefitted and those who suffered). A chronic "problem" I see with democratic processes where the governing officials are elected frequently is that too often those who want to do good are run out of office by others who want that power. They are not given enough time to really affect much change. An obvious solution to this is to allow people to serve in office longer so that they have more time to get the changes done that are needed. Unfortunately the reverse is true as well. If someone who is in there that screws things up those under them would 'suffer' longer. I have seen communites struggling to get more schools, more infrastructure, more parks, whatever finally begin to move forward only to have a group of citizens essentially say "not in my backyard". I see people saying how much they support the troops and democracy, but they do not want to allow their sons or daughters to enlist in the armed services. I do not know this answer, but where is the balance? Sometimes hard decisions have to be made. Sometimes that landfill or prison needs to be there. I guess what I am saying is that I get tired of hearing people complain about everything, and usually they are not the majority. They just get heard the most because they are the only ones doing the talking. Verse for today: Psalm 146:3-7, ESV Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry.


Change of mind

I had a really long blog for today all typed up and I was just about to hit the 'publish' button when I thought about it. In the end it just sounded like I was whining and complaining. I had been thinking over my military career since 9/11 and I was struck by the amount of time my unit has been activated - and there are many units that have been deployed more. My battalion is coming up on it's 5th activation since late 2001. Granted that includes the Katrina/Rita missions from a year and a half ago - and a mission where not everyone went. What struck me is how much 'Big Army' has come to need the National Guard (and the Army Reserve) since 9/11. The drawdowns from the late '90's are catching up. It would not be fair to jump on anyone for those drawdowns. No one can predict the future. But I kept thinking how little my active duty 'cousins' think of us (the National Guard). We are looked down upon. We are still considered by many in the active branch to still be like the soldiers depicted in the movie 'Rambo' as weekend warrios who only serve to hang out with our buddies and drink beer all weekend. The truth - as my brother is learning recently - is much different. We have 37 days a year to train and meet the standards that our active counterparts have 365. On top of that we need to maintain a totally (and usually unrelated) fulltime civilian career. With the reduced time to work in there are often times when we are called on to do administrative tasks on our own time, outside of our drill weekends. All of this is actually accepted among our ranks. I am not typing this to complain about the work. This whole thing is really to bring up the fact that when a reservist retires after twenty (or more) years of service we have to wait until we are 60 years old to draw any benefits for our service (unless the soldier is somehow disabled, then the medical costs for that disability are covered, nothing else) - while my active duty counterparts will draw their benefits immediately. I work with several ex-fulltimers who are essentially double dipping. Now, I am not saying the reservist should get the same amount as a fulltimer. I just think it's unfair that a reservist who has put in 20 years of commitment, should have to wait until he or she is 60. There have been bills before Congress to get that lowered to 50, even at least one to get it to be drawn immediately. But they all get voted down - and yet our representatives keep getting their payraises. Ok, I need to step down off my soap box for now. I'm sorry to have vented like this... I am just out of time and I can't think of anything else to blog about today... Verse for today: Luke 14:27-33, ESV Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.


Open loathing

For sometime I have frequented a message board that focuses on a hobby of mine. There are of course several forums that discuss various aspects of the game (rules, fan fiction, alternate rules, etc.), but there is one that discusses "off topic" subjects. There is a wide variety of topics that are discussed there. Quite frequently Christianity is brought up - usually in the negative bent. There are a few other Christians there. For myself, I've given up trying to discuss rationally about my faith there. Why? Because I am seen as irrational - as is anyone who believes in Christ in their point of view. To be fair they do not just bash Christianity but all forms of organized religion. My mind is racing with all kind of threads I can pursue with this blog entry, but I am not sure any of them are really helpful. There is a part of me that is heart broken. There is a part of me that is angry. All I can do is pray for them - even though they say that is offensive to them. *sigh* I am just grateful that in the end I am confident in my faith - a faith that was not just dreamed up, but reasoned through. I know I am not perfect, nor is my intellect. But I am content that I have not just accepted things at face value but I have read and thought through several points of view - to include theirs - and I am confident in my decision. In the end there is some sadness in knowing that not everyone will accept Christ. And why shouldn't there be? In Christ is perfect peace and joy. Without Christ there is gnashing of teeth. To be honest, there is a fear of what these people would do if they should ever become some form of policy maker. I fear for another Rome type of persecution. I doubt I would see it in my lifetime, but I fear for my children and their children. Even though I see it in Revelations, there is a part of me that does not want to see it. Things like this really do deepen the yearning for being absent with the body and present with the Lord. I am selfish in desiring a quiet passing when my time comes though. Verse for today: Romans 14:10-12, ESV Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,and every tongue shall confess [2] to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.


Still recovering

Since Last Wednesday night has been a long marathon. Thurday and Friday were spent dealing with an emergency here at work. I am very grateful to God that I was able to get that IOS loaded because that same device crashed later in the day. It eventually degenerated into what I fondly call a 'boat anchor'. That issue sort of settled down late Friday afternoon. It is still on-going, but it is not in urgent mode. Over the weekend my unit had its scheduled drill weekend. It was a pretty low intensity time. On Saturday I was able to welcome home some soldiers, and yesterday we did a lot of cleaning. One thing I did learn was that my supply sergeant's son was just diagnosed with a form of Autism. That reminds me that I need to follow up with him today and tomorrow with some articles, etc. Saturday night was fun. A friend of mine celebreated his 40th birthday. What a party. His father had a list of all the significant events from the Bible that all involve the number 40. It was fun to hear it. That is all for today. God bless... Verse for today: 2 Timothy 3:14-17, ESV But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom [1] you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God [2] may be competent, equipped for every good work.


I am having a layer 8 issue today

Man I am just not functioning on all cylinders today. Last night I was unloading the dishwasher and the bottom was just full of water. So much that it filled my little 6 gal shop vac before it was completely empty. I checked the drainage line - it was empty, almost completely dry all the way up to the back of the dishwasher. I checked the trap inside and although I found something (I think it was a napkin) but when I cleaned it all out it still would not drain. In the end I just called in for a service call. They (Sears) will be out next Tuesday morning. I am not really sure why but I was also up until past 3AM this morning. I don't really know why either. I was so tired I was shaking at one point. When I came into work I was copying a simple config to NVRAM in preperation of some upcoming work. I got the following question: "Erase flash: before copying? [confirm] Without a second thought I hit the key... *sigh*... it has taken me the past two hours to reload the operating system files on a device that has reloaded 3 times in the past five days - the reason I need to have the config saved. \o/ Praise God the device did not decide it was time to reload again before the images were reloaded. I should just go home now and get back under the covers. :) Oh, before I forget. Larry King had several people on last night, including Bill Cosby, discussing Autism in America - and really the world. An organization call "Autism Speaks" is attempting to be a central point to drive lobbying for funding and to bring it home to the public. One thing that struck me was that Polio affected 1:3,000 and it was treated like a National Epidemic (and rightly so). But Autism will affect 1:150 (1:94 boys!) and there is no mainstream drive to fund research. That ratio (ackording to what I heard last night) is greater than cancer, HIV, and one other thing that is escaping my sleep deprived mind right now - combined. One thing that was said I did wince at... one grieving father said, "when a child dies from cancer it is over, but a child stricken with Autism lives on - and the families have to continue to deal with it." I feel that was unfair to those who have lost a child - to any illness or accident. I have a son with Aspergers and I see this father's side of what he was trying to say, but the grief the other familes deals with is somewhat more intense for that time - and many never fully recover. In the end they are our children. We as parents will do almost anything for them. Verse for today: Luke 18:15-17, ESV Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”


Is it just about the money?

Sometimes I wonder if things like a "check engine" light is really a way to get car owners to come into the dealerships more often. Yesterday after about 3 hours, and $42, I was told that it was only a random cylinder miss-fire. They suggested I add a 'fuel stabalizer' - for a mere $21 more. I coughed a little and asked if they would recommend any kind of after market brands. They "could not recommend" any thing. I sighed as I have a friend since High School who has told me about some of the 'scams' he experienced working for a dealership. I know not all dealerships are like that, but it makes me nervous. Especially since I've had this car in there a couple of times before. In the end (after talking with a car buff here at work) I picked up two bottles of Valvoline Complete Fuel system cleaner. We shall see. :) Isn't it sad that in general we really need to be so wary of things that could take advantage of our good nature? And yet, there is no way we can be even moderately familiar with everything out there. There are general things we can look for... but at the end of the day we still need to make a decision. I want to trust everyone, but I need to not trust anyyone (until I get to know them). A consistant prayer I am having is that God would give me grace to cover my lack (which is a pretty big gap!). There are times like now that my soul groans for Heaven. Verse for today: 2 Corinthians 5:1-9, ESV For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on [1] we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.


Rogue Wave!

I was awoken from my slumber this morning by a call from work - and my day has not slowed to take a breath yet! :) We have a location trying to cram 2.8 MB of data across a pair of T-1's (and it's probably a lot more since these are in 5 min averages)... I have a router failing causing six 'children' locations to lose connectivity... My car needs to be at the shop NLT 1300 EDT this afternoon... I am on my second conference call of the morning, and another one scheduled for the same time I need to have my car at ths shop... And then my DS1 has soccer practice this afternoon... But God in his grace has used a friend of mine to send me a little note... If you have time click on this link to see a wonderful message. :) I need to run, may God bestow upon each of you a peace that surpasses all understanding in whatever storm you find yourself in today. Verse for today: Matthew 8:23-27, ESV And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”


Take ownership of what God has entrusted to you

I am sure anyone who might stumble across this little blog has heard of 'Global Warming'. I do not know many of my frequent visitors beyond that of what could be considered as an aquantence, so I am not sure where each of you might stand on this issue. As mentioned in my profile, and my frequent writings here, I am a Christian. Now, as an over generalization, we Christians are considered anti-global warming types. There are a few exceptions (one in my immediate sphere comes to mind), but in general I think the former is considered the 'majority'. Well, that is really neither here nor there I guess. I am writing as one who is not all "hot and bothered". All of the talk comes across as hype and sensationalizing. Even listening to the various reports many appear contradictory. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 there was a lot of talk about core sample from the barrier marshes, etc. Many of the indications showed cyclical transitions of conditions. Much of our historical weather data goes back only to the late 1800's (I am not sure of the exact date). I know that specific things like temp. and rain fall was not widely recorded. It is also acknowldged that just prior to this period we came out of a mini ice age. I have one friend who vehemently denies that there are any credible scientists who disagree with the global warming position. This man is very learned. He has a PhD in stuff I could not even begin to understand. He is wicked smart. He also walks in the scientific community circle. He is incorrect in this statement though. There are many scientists that are not on-board with this theory. A recent "convert' (if you will) was a prominant French climantologist who was qouted in (former) Vice President Al Gore's 'documentary'. Please do not misunderstand me. Even before Mr. Gore's public statements I have been concerned with the depletion of our natural resources. Common sense would dicatate that there is only a finite amount of oil in the ground. Having lived in New York city once upon a time, as well as in and around Washington DC, I can tell you I am no fan of smog. In Gensis we (mankind) are commisioned to take car of God's creation. (Gen 1:26, 2:15) Good stewardship, in my opinion, is getting the most out of the least and recycling things when possible. I guess what I am saying is that making more efficient cars, energy sources, whatever; and recycling make sense to me. Not because I think the sky is going to fall and we are doiong irreperable harm to the environment, but because it is part of being a good steward in my opinion. I am also saying that hype and exageration do not really prove one thing or another. It only frightens people, or turns them off and they ignore you. In the end it causes division. Is the climate changing - it changes all the time. Our planet has endured Ice Ages (both short and long) - weather pattern changes - meteor impacts, etc. There is a lot of evidence to show the earth cools and warms in cycles - and not always in a pattern that makes much sense. It did it before man ever had much to contribute to it. There are evidences that the antartica ice shelf is expanding and not melting. And other factors - I cannot possible cite them all here. Before you freek out think of this... where did the ice on the polar caps come from? The air is so cold that it is impossible for moisture to be held in the air itself. The winds that carry moisture quickly lose that mositure as it freezes. In order for it to have been dumped there in any significant quantity it would have had to warm up enough to allow moisture to flow far inland. Take what I have as a grain of salt. I am neither an expert in weather, nor a scientist. But I am a reasonably intelligent fellow and so far I have not been convinced we are on the verge of some ecological catastrophy. There are too many things that seem to controdict the 'imperical' evidence. Do we need to do something about the worlds consumption of it's natural resources (oil, wood to name two)? Yes. Should we seek out ways to improve economy of energy? Yes. Should we seek to be better stewards of whatever 'talents' God gives us? Most definetly. All I ask is that we all keep an open mind and not wage eco-wars on those with differing opinions. Oh, and governments (like anyone with any real power read this) do us a favor. Help promote such alternative energy sources more. I for one have been researching solar and geothermal alternatives for my private home. My break even point is over fifteen years out - and that is with me taking into account the tax savings I might save (for one year BTW). If you want the private citizen to take things like this more seriously... you need to help us make it more obtainable. Verse for today: 1 Peter 4: 7-11, ESV The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Beware the Ides of March

I know some of the most "intresting" winter weather the DC area gets is in March. I've lived in this area for most of my life. You would think I'd be used to it, but it catches me by surprise every time. This 'storm' reminded me of what we went through with my 1st son. A week before he was born my beloved went into false labor. We made the thirty plus mile trip to the hospital (it's where her doctors where) and the weather channel was calling for 1-3 inches of snow. As the night went on it became 2-4 inches, then 3-6. By the time her doctor was able to get to the hospital it was up to 5-8 inches. When the doc finally realized that this was not the boys time he was going to send us home! I told him that he better be sure because it no longer looked like I was going to be able to just turn around and come back - the prediction was then up to 12-18 inches of snow - all of this within 18 hours. When all was said and done it dumped over two feet of snow and I was digging out our parking space and walkway from our apartment every six hours. All went well though. I'm sorry I don't have anything more. I had something better to write about, but I never wrote it down... and now I can't remember it. May the lord richly bless each of you with a joy and peace filled weekend. Verse for today: John 14:27, ESV Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.


Check Engine

Well, the check engine light has come on - again - in my '00 Toyota Echo. I am a little frustrated with this car right now. I love the little thing, but the past year and half has been killing me. I've replaced the oxygen sensor and cleaned several things. The only thing I can think of is the coils. I've replaced the airfilter, the plugs (twice), cleaned the injectors and the throttle body. I am unsure what else to do. I flirted with the idea of replacing it - but it only has 89k miles on it! Last night I was able to take my beloved out for dinner and a movie. We just needed the time away. We had friends who were willing and able to come over at the last minute (I called them at 3:00 in the afternoon and we headed out at 6:30). We had a nice dinner at Red Lobster and with the kind encouragement of my beloved I tried a roasted Tillapia (? sp)... it was delicious. And I am not a big fish person - but I am trying. Oh well... my day is getting of to a crazy start. May God bless each of you this day. Verse for today: Isiah 40:12-15, ESV Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his handand marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured [7] the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.


Wednesdays are becoming my least favorite day of the week

This morning - not only could I not get my lazy butt out of bed, but my beloved decided she was going to vent her displeasure of my shower techniques. At first I said nothing, I mean really what was I going to say? I knew I was going to say something stupid but she would not let up. Finally I told her I've been doing this for fifteen years and I didn't think I'd be changing anytime soon. That was basically the trigger to get the day off to a 'wonderful' start. Add this to a few other things I've been stewing about (and have tried to talk about) I decided to just get out of the house quickly. It should be a long day. Verse for the day: Ephesians 5:25-33, ESV Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. [1] In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.



Today has been pretty crazy! This Spring is going to be pretty busy. I will be visiting my brother and his wife for an evening in Fayetteville NC, then making a trip out to the Eastern Shore of Maryland (maybe), and a trip out to Ohio. I am SOoo glad that I am getting a return from my Federal tax return. Well, have to run again... God bless... and sing unto the Lord with a joyful heart! \o/


Daylight Savings Time and random thoughts

I always have a rough week after the start of Daylight Savings time. My body just does not want to wake up that one hour earlier. Yesterday I woke up at 6:40 and looked at the clock and rolled over. After all I didn't have to be up until 7:30... then it hit me. You guessed it... I failed to set the clocks the night before. Thank you God for waking me up. My beloved had children's ministry (as usual) and we had to be there. By God's grace we made it out the door on time. :) This morning was hard as well. Last week I was pretty good about getting up and getting a walk in and a little quiet time. This morning all I could think of is 'ugh'. :) I did get a little prayer time in, but no walk or reading. But it will get better. Ok, some fun things I learned this weekend. 1) Benjamin Franklin suggested daylight savings time, but it seemed to be in jest to Parisians (not sure if I spelled that right). It was along the lines of "early to bed, early to rise...". DST as we know it first began in the early 1900's. Ironically enough the big proponents of DST were golfers. It seems they wanted to be able to complete their rounds. :) The U.S. was not the first country to officially support DST. If my memory serves it was Germany, followed by Great Britan, then the U.S. Yesterday we had a good sermon on the book if Nehemiah. Our Pastor talked about each member had a spot on the wall. No evidence of complaining. no evidence of people saying "hey look at my work", but each person doing their part. Well, I have to run for today... God bless. Verse for today: Nehemiah 3:3, ESV And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”


Putting off and taking on

This morning I woke up at 4:30 and was wide awake. The theme of doing all things as if unto the Lord kept going over and over in my mind. I had a pretty good time of prayer and meditation until I fell back asleep sometime after 5:30. This morning I looked up the verse that played over and over in my mind this morning. Colossians 3:17. What a great chapter:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your [1] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: [2] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [3] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self [4] with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, [5] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

from the ESV

That is all I really have to say for today. Do all things as if unto the Lord.



Ever notice how we (as humans) like to try and negotiate our way through things. Maybe it's just the culture I live in. My kids will often ask "Can I see/do/have/go such-and-such?" And if they do not get the answer they hope for often their response is "please!" or try and justify or barter for what they want. Last night I went to see "Ghost Rider" with a friend that I've had since High School. It was an enjoyable movie because I knew it was a comic book adaption and I was not looking for "Gone With the Wind", but it kind of struck me. We try and negotiate with God. Lord I will follow You anywhere - but please let me _________", etc. We try and negotiate our salvation. Even those who know Him will do this from time to time. Then there are others who seem to boast that they've sold their souls. This disturbs me, but I know not as much as it should. God does not negotiate (neither does the enemy of our souls). God reveals Himself to his creation (Romans 1) and in the end there will be no one who can say "I did not know". Personally I don't know how God does this to all men... but that is what I read in His Word. My recommendation - don't negotiate. We should merely say "Yes Lord" and then seek His help in obtaining the strength and courage. Verse for the day: Matthew 14:28-33, ESV 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, [4] 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.”


An example of God's blessing

Back in 1997 my beloved and I were having struggles with the church we were going to. I will not go into detail but there were things we were seeing that we no longer felt comfortable raising our (at that time) two boys there. I searched out for local churches but ended up going to my first church over 50 miles away. Due to the distance the church discouraged us becoming members, and thus discouraged us from tithing. With no church home to speak of we were unsure of what to do about out tithe. I am sure there were better things to do but we ended up taking the 10% and putting it into a company stock purchase plan. For about eighteen months we were dropping the money into this account. Fast forward to mid-1999 and a move later we became members of the church we were attending. With that movc we stopped the employee stock purchases and began tithing to our church, and we left the money in the ESPP account. We were not sure what to do about it. Later in '99 our church (Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD) entered into a new phase of their building project. Perfectly normal for a church that is healthy and growing. :) Anyway, both my beloved and I felt an impression from the Lord that we should take the money we "tithed" into the ESPP account for this endeavor. It is important to note that this account had been multiplied immensly (I can't remember the specifics, but it was in the realm of 2x to 3x). Although my beloved and I differed on what we should actually give...one version was the original ammount that was deposited, the other was the full current value. After praying about it for a few weeks God brought us into agreement and we donated the full value of the account. We felt such a peace and a joy that it was litterally a relief. Remember this is 10% of our income for eighteen months - that has been multiplied significantly. It was a real test of our faith in what God was doing. Here is where God reveals his plan. The church does not hold onto stocks so once the shares were transfered to their account the sold them to convert it into liquid assets at a much lower risk. This was about December of 2000. Within two months the tech bubble burst. What was once in the realm of $40 to $50 a share became worth less than $5! If my beloved and I had held back anything from what we felt like God was leading us to give it would not have remained valuable. It would have been like a whisp of wind! God took our unconventional tithe plan... multiplied it... then asked us to give it in faith... it was used to bless a local church that does much for the community and the church body as a whole (as a member of Sovereign Grace Ministries)... and then in His mercy (in my opinion) showed us the folly of "building bigger barns". Verse for today: Matthew 6:19-21, ESV “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust [5] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Missing the boat

There is a reason that I do not work on Wall Street. My timing is all screwy. By God's grace my beloved and I do not live pay check to paycheck (unless we've been eating out a lot ;) ) and when my mom passed away we received a relatively small life insurance. We wisely put it away instead of buying a new car, etc. Well, I've managed to get it invested with a good company (if anyone is interested I will gladly sing the praises of "my guy" and would love to direct you to him as well) and I talk to my account manager from time to time. Now I am a pretty small fish in his pool of accounts but I keep an eye on it. Anyway there are times when I get an inkling about some stock or another. My problem is my timing is all off. I used to own 20 shares of Apple when it was less than $20 a share (and it was not really all that long ago!) but I got impatient... and now it's over $80! Alos, recently I bought a few shares of another company - mostly because I liked it. If I had sold them (less than two weeks later) like I felt inclined to do I could have locked in a 15% gain, but did I ... no! Not me. I really cannot complain because over time I am still in the black. I'm just glad that I do not do that sort of thing for a living! Besides, it complicates my taxes! :) For me the whole investing thing is not about getting the larger house, or the sports car, but being a good steward of what God has generously entrusted to me. Tithing the gains by supporting my local church. Someday I may get into a glorious way in which God multiplied an investment and what He did with it. When my time on earth is done I want to be able to know that the storehouses (if there is anything left) was distributed as God has shown me. (Sharing cloaks, etc.) Verse for the day: Matthew 25:14-19, ESV “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants [3] and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, [4] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.


System reset

Every once in a while the human body just needs to 'reset'. That happened to me last Thursday. My digestive tract decided that it was not happy with me and wanted to basically start from scratch - so it purged the 'system' from one end to the other. I was OK, no fever (that I could tell) - and the family and I had a similar diet Wednesday so I am not sure if what something I ate or not. Anyway, that's enough about that! :) Inspired by a blog I read frequently (2nd Cup of Coffee) I decided to track some fitness stuff. Right now I don't have any goals in mind (other than I'd like to lose about 20 pounds). She sort of tracks how many miles she's walked (or is it run?). This is what I will be tracking: How many miles: (1.68 today) How many calories: 280 (today) How much I weigh: *** (you think I'd post that for the world to see! :lol:) How many push-ups: 15 (today) How many sit-ups: 16 (today) Nothins stellar there to report. I'm pretty sure there's not a fitness magazine that will be breaking down my door to write an article or anything... but like it is said... the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I think I will try and come up with objectives and then track my progress against it. But I don't want to shoot myself in the foot. The first objective is consistancy. Well, I have a ton of work to catch up on. God bless.... Verse for today: Psalm 21:1-2, ESV O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,and in your salvation how greatly he exults! You have given him his heart's desireand have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah