Replacing the old Map Case

Even though I am close to getting out of the military, I still have a year or so to go. As I get ready for my annual training time I've come to realize that my old map case no longer works.

It was a gift from an old company commander when I was an MP (not a favorite time in my military career), and I was very happy to get it. Unfortunately it has also been referred to as my "army purse", despite it being olive drab in color, decorated with army patches, and worn from a lot of field use. It has served me well having been taken on flood duty, snow duty, it went with me when I was called up to active dity in '02, and it even went with me to Mississipi and Louisiana. But it's too small : 12" x 8.5" x 4.5":

Often, if I wanted to pack my lunch (and sometimes dinner) and rain/snivel gear, I would have to bring along my Butt Pack as well. But there were times when I did not need to bring my entire LCE (Load Carrying Equipment - also known as web gear) so I would just disconnect it to carry. But that bag has issues too. There is enough room for the food and rain gear, but when I need to pack field manuals too, it would be tight. And the bag did not have any handy carrying straps.

So I have gone ahead and ordered a new day pack. The new packpacks for the Army are more modular. The bag I've ordered is just the day pack. (15" x 15" x 9") It straps on to the larger field pack for the CPF-90 system. This bag has large enough compartments for everything I would need for a quick out and back trip and it has shoulder straps. The only thing is, I wish I could have gotten it in just black.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to get my patches moved over. :)

Verse for today:

Psalm 146, ESV

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

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.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!


It's good to get back to work for some rest

Wow, what a crazy weekend. My beloved and I went to a friends wedding reception on Friday night. We had a wonderful time, and my beloved was able to socialize with my fellow soldiers in a non-mandatory-fun situation. I thought that was the extent of our schedule for most of the weekend but I was so wrong. Saturday morning we were up bright and early to pick up kids from those who were kind enough to watch them overnight (and no, I was not able to take advantage of having the house to ourselves). We had to divide and conquer Saturday morning to get everything done before going to a friends house for a Barbeque - that was originally set for Sunday afternoon. And we stayed out WAY too late. :) Sunday morning we spent recovering. To my discredit neither I or the kids made it to church. My beloved had to get in because she helps out with the Children's ministry. Sunday afternoon a friend sought to get together to play cards. This quickly bloomed into another large get together and I was up way too late again. :) Monday I had to report to my unit for our participation in a parade and a salute. The day took a little longer than I had originally thought, but after this we yet again went over to a friends house for dinner. No long after I got the trash out after getting home I was paged for work. I had originally thought this weekend was going to be relaxing. I am not complaining because it was wonderful to spend so much time with friends. I really do not get much time to socialize and play games with friends so that was really nice. The kids did pay a price though. Not too much sleep. It was also good to have some social time with guys from my unit. But with getting paged last night I did not get much sleep and I am paying the price today. I am still grateful for all that God has been doing in my life lately. It is a growing period - which everyone knows can be both painful and wonderful. Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV 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.


Happy Memorial Day

Here is a prayer for a happy and safe Memorial Day for all our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. May the Lord watch over you and keep you safe. May He give you peace of mind and contentment no matter where you are this holiday weekend. May the Lord of Hosts give peace and strength to your loved ones as they wait anxiously for your safe return, and may the God who created the heavens and the Earth bring about your safe return.




For sometime now I have been wanting to blog about Luke 14:8-11.
"When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (ESV)
I am not really sure why this verse has been stuck in my mind lately. Maybe it's the times I see people cutting into traffic, or people that seem to demand that things go their own way. I am guilty of this too. It may not be obvious to all, like not allowing a merging car into "my" space, or when I get upset when something goes my way. Pride is such a deceitful thing. And it has so many forms. We all should be careful lest we slide down that slipper slope. Verse for today: Proverbs 16:18-20, ESV Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. Whoever gives thought to the word [1] will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.


Spring Wedding season

One of the advantages of being the member of the National Guard for so long is you can get to go to so many weddings outside of the normal "wedding cycle"(***) of a marriage relationship. In the next month or so I will be going to two weddings of some long time friends from the Guard. These guys are still 'kids', but they are both taking the plunge for the first time. I pray that they both will enjoy thei marriages for many, many years to come. Marriage is a hard thing. It is the source of my greatest frustrations and, but more importantly, my greatest joys. I used to hear that it is a 50-50 deal, but I disagree. It is a 100% effort on both parts, because when one of you are weak, the other can be strong. Looking back over my marriage I would definetly say that it gets better and better as time moves on. The first year was cake, but years 2 through 7 were hard. But my beloved is my best friend. We are going through a growth spurt (and we all know how uncomfortable that can be), but it is wonderful. We have a lot planned for the next year. I jsut want to get to the other side right now. *** The seaon of a relationship when all your friends are getting married at the same time. It goes away for a while, and then (supposedly) it comes back when your friends kids start getting hitched. Verse for the day: Proverbs 18:22, ESV He who finds a wife finds a good thingand obtains favor from the Lord.


Backtracking a little

Last week I wrote about how my son lost being allowed to go on a fieldtrip this past Monday. Originally we told DS2 that if he lost the fieldtrip that he would also lose the time we were going to the same recreational park. We did this because at first DS2 was saying, "I don't have to obey at school because I am going to the same park with mom & dad. After talking through this with my beloved we decided to allow DS2 to go ahead and go with us this past weekend. We continue to train him, but we thought it best to allow him to go. That's all I have for today... Verse for today: Revelation 22:8-21, ESV I John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant [4] with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, [5] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. [6] Amen.


Juggling Prosperity

Where is the balance? Or is there one? This Sunday we congratulated our graduating seniors from both college and high school. It is a tradition to send them out with prayers as they begin the next step of their lives. But the sermon got me to thinking about the balance between having and not having. The verse from yesterday was Jeremiah 29:11-13, esv:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare [2] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
The first concern I had was that this verse was essentially preached out of context with what the rest of the chapter was talking about. These words of comfort come within the context of the Isrealites being in the middle of their captivity. There was no mention of trials, no mention of these blessing to take place. The second concern I had was when I briefly thought about the "name it and claim it" type of preachers. They too preach that God wants to prosper us as His children - which He does. I jsut don't think it will be in the ways one would typically expect. I'm pretty sure Job did not feel like he was being blessed when he was in the middle of the torment. I'm pretty sure the disciples were not feeling prosperous when the various factiosn hunted them down and killed them one by one in their vain attempts to silence the preaching of the gospel. What of the saints and believers today who suffer hunger and persecution around the world for their faith? Why are they not being "blessed" with prosperity? The answer is that our true rewards are not seen in this life. They are not fully realized this side of Heaven. And we do not know the full meaning of prosperity yet. I think we as Chrisitans, especially those of us who live in the United States, need to realize that we are being tested with the gift of prosperity. Think about these two examples:
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. [6] And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44, esv)

And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! (Luke 18:18-24, esv)

These are two examples of what God considers to be the ideal. The wealthy may be able to put hundreds of dollars into the offering whereas the poor may only be able to place a dollar or two. What God sees is not the number of dollars (or Pesos, or Yen, or whatever) but the percentage of the whole. Whether it is being done in faith or with joy. What I want to tell the graduates, and my fellow believers, is that it is true. God does want to bless you with prosperity. but do not look to your own, or the worlds definition of what it means to be prosperous. Because God also says, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”. On that last day there will be untold numbers ahead of me. I am grateful with what God has blessed me with, I just pray that if He asks me to lay them all down that I would do so. Willingly, and with a joyful heart. What I am concerned about in my own life is, where is the balance? I do bring my tithes and offering into the storehouse of God (Malachi 3:6-10), but I also know I am not perfect in this. I also know I am not condemned because I am not perfect. But where am I holding on to what God has asked me to give up? Do I have an extra 'cloak' to give to my brother without? Am I hording up my wealth where rust and moth can destroy? These are my daily struggles when it comes to my own material prosperity. Verse for today: Revelation 3:15-22, ESV “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”


Misc. ramblings

Last night I was finally able to watch this week's episode of Heroes and I think it is one of my favorite already. Ok, I know it is the geek in me - not to mention my keen interest in the Samurai, but I was instantly drawn to the Hiro charecter. To be honest he was almost too meek and geeky for my liking at first, but he has really been developed through the season. I especially enjoyed the swordplay between Hiro and his father. I hope he is not one of the charecters to go. Next week will be an interesting culmination for the experiment that was 'Heroes'. Another show that I enjoy, and one that my beloved also enjoys is, Deadliest Catch on Discovery. There are times when I wonder how or why, but this show is gripping. Why in the world would anyone do that?!? :) One show I am rooting for to be renewed next season is The Unit. I enjoy this one because of my military time - but it is still highly enjoyable. And I like it enought that I actually wrote a note to CBS to let them know of my desire to see this back in the Fall! I think they are the last to announce their Fall lineup so I sit and wait. Mostly I can't wait for Football season! Anyway... that's all I have for today. God bless. :) 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 you when 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


Whatever happned to 'Leave it to Beaver"?

I am inclined to think that middle America was never so grand. The kids come home from school, maybe have a friend over - or they go to their house. The Father is home, dinner on the table, everyone sits down together. What I am getting at is the general slow pace of life. I don't think it is ever as slow as we would like it. Work, soccer, doctor's appointments, whatever. How can we slow down, and still provide a rich experience for our families? Verse for today: Psalm 84:5-8, ESV Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. [2] As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah


Long Days

I hope what I am seeing is not really a trend, but more of... an anomoly. Lately I have been having very long days at work. For example today my day started with a phone call while I was in the shower... not too early, only 7:30. But I am still at work, and that does not look to change before 9:00 or so. I cannot, nor should I complain. I am a high school dropout, with no college degree. By God's grace I have completed my equivilancy degree and taken a few college courses. The job I have now is all of God's grace and provision. I was delivery pizzas after moving to the state I now live. I attempted to enroll in the local college only to be told that I was considered an 'out of state' student. I could not afford that so I did not enroll. Shotly after moving I was married to my beloved. The next attempt to enroll I was informed that as a Freshman I was required to live in the dorms (?!?). So I had to get a job. I liked deliverying pizzas, but it does not pay all that well. A college friend of my beloved told me about this "IT" job. The only qualifications were that I knew how to turn on a computer, move a mouse around in windows, and have basic troubleshooting skills! I got the job. It did not pay much better than the pizza job, but it had long term potential - and they paid for all of my training. One thing led to another and I now have a wonderful job where I am able to provide for my family of five with just my income. I never dreamed that I would have such a job, or be able to do what I am doing, but here I am. Now, I am praying that such long days do not become the norm as I want to be able to see my family. I do not want to become like the man in the "Casting Crowns" song American Dream. Verse for today: Luke 6:46-49, ESV Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [3] But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”


What is a Father to do?

Yesterday was just a whirlwind. I did not even realize that I failed to blog until I was on my way home. Just before I left I received a phone call from my beloved. DS2 has lost a field trip next Monday. For the past several month DS2 has been on a 'merit' system to earn the priviledge to go on a fun field trip after the standardized tests. Long story short, he has been having trouble doing his assigned school work and when other kids do things they are not supposed to be doing he eventually hits the other kids. He had been doing so well - up until yestersday. During recess the kids were playing a version of Sharks and Minnows. At one point DS2 tagged another boy who responded "no you didn't". Ok 'nuro-typical' type behavior. The whole "did to", "did not debate" rages across every playground pretty much every day. But my son does not process those kinds of arguments like most of us. I'm sure DS2 was pretty frustrated at this point. Next round DS2 over hears the first "other boy" talking with two others saying "remember the plan"... the sharks call the minnows out - but then did not go for a single other student. They essentially ganged up on my son. I need to say here that the boys may have behaved unfairly, but they did not hit my son (that I know of, and I'm pretty sure my son would have told me if they did). Eventually DS2's frustration escalates to the point he 'hit' one of the other boys in the stomach. To make matters worse he knew he did not do the right thing and then when the teachers came over to sort things out he ran away from them. That was it. Months of hard work on my son's part lost. He was told he is not allowed to go on the field trip. What am I supposed to do!?!? I work with him all the time. We have an IEP (individual education plan) for him. The teachers (and more importantly his assigned aide) know that he does not handle competitive games well. But they gave him a choice (!?!? what !?!?) and he choose to play the game with the other kids. These are supposed to be people that are looking out for my son. They are supposed to know that they need to be within earshot, and maybe even arms reach, when he plays these games with others. I am not trying to say that my son deserves to go on the fieldtrip. There are, and has to be, consequences for things like my son did. He should not be allowed to get away with hitting other students or disobeying the teachers. But what about how these other students treated my son? I see "Charecter Counts" in most of the schools I walk into (conspicously missing in the main hall of DS2's school). I know my son was not quiet the first time the other boy "cheated" by declaring that he was not tagged. I know this because I deal with this at least weekly. The teachers should have seen the frustration rising in my son and pulled him out then. But then when the other boys ignored the rest of the students and then 'ganged' up to make sure they tagged my son what then? Teachers cannot possibly teach moral lessons and expect them to stick - especially if the parents are not teaching them at home. But, if a teacher is seeing a student being treated unfairly shouldn't they reach out? Especially if the 'target' is a handicapped student? I know my son looks normal - hell he even acts normal most of the time - but he has a diagnosed condition known as 'Aspergers'! He has an IEP! He has an Aide! Where were they? And why did they not intervene to help him sooner? Why did they let it get to the point my son felt the only thing left to do was to hit! I teach him ever day. I talk to him, I work with him, I play games and help him see the better way to react to things. But I am not there, I cannot be there, with him in school. My beloved and I do not himeschool for a reason. Sigh, I am just really frustrated right now. Verse for today: Ephesians 6:1-4, ESV Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


Kids and knowing it all

Wow did this day fly by. I just wanted to share something funny real quick. Last night my beautiful DD told me, "Daddy, I know everything." This brought a smile to my face and I asked her what she meant and she said, "I growing up and learning new things everyday so I know everything." That brought a smile to my face and I gave her a big hug and told her that she indeed was learning everyday and she did know 'everything'. ;) Have a blessed weekend... Verse for today: Matthew 19:13-15, ESV Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.


Questions and Answers

With having a couple of inquires about the questions I exchange with my beloved I thought it might be a good idea to expound upon it. :) Last Fall I was finding that my beloved and I had less and less time to talk about things other than what we were doing that week, that night, or that minute. We would talk, but it was always about what we were going to do for dinner, what the plans were to get everyone to where they needed to go, who had homework, who would run to the store, etc. It was even more difficult to just take her away on a date night. I can't remember how the idea came to me, but I am pretty sure it was not 100% mine. What about exchanging e-mails with my beloved? I e-mail friends and family all the time, but why not with her? There were always questions that came to mind when I was away, but when we were together my mind was focused on something else. And there were questions that I wanted (or had in the past) that felt akward when I said them outloud (I know it should not be that way, but it is really hard to get over that sin nature). First I approached my beloved with the idea. She seemed cautiously agreeable. :) The basics are these: 1) We take turns asking questions. 2) No question is off limits. 3) You allow the other person to answer before asking another question. 4) There is a one week time 'limit' to answer questions. 5) All answers must be completely honest, even if they do not directly answer the question. Now, we have not follwed these guidlines to the letter. For example there have been times it has taken one of us more than a week to answer, and there have been times when I rattled off two questions in quick succession. But for the most part this has been pretty helpful. Over time my beloved has grown more comfortable answering some questions, and others she has been more willing to tell me that she was not ready to talk about such-and-such. I think this has been a wonderful way for me to work on my communication with my beloved. It will never replace "face time", and I still struggle to find time for a regular date night, but it is a good opportunity to talk about things that might otherwise never get talked about. Verse for today: Ephesians 5:25-30, 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.


Misc. ramblings

This weeks schedule has really kept me off balance as far as keeping a consitant thought train going. So I will just ramble a bit today. :) * The Carolina Panthers sign Steve Smith to a 3 year extension. This makes me happy as a Panthers fan. Not necessarily because Mr. Smith is a good football player though. # 89 has been a consistant team player and he has produced quality play every year. He plays with his heart and he does not hold back. That is what makes me happy. His size and him being a big target for other teams to key on worries me long term. As of now he is under contract through 2012. That is a lot of football left to play. I pray for him to continue to love to play and that he would remain injury free. If God continues to bless his on (and off) the field performance I pray he would make the Hall of Fame. It would give me cause to go see that museum once again. * Alter Bridge - while I was at drill this weekend (I stay over night in the armory instead of driving all the way home) I picked up a copy of apparently the only album these guys put out. For those that do not know them they are the remnants of what was once known as Creed. I enjoyed the album, but I really like the Creed stuff more. * It is the lawn care time of year again. I really need to get some work done on the back year, and some anti-weed stuff down. I also need to dethatch the front flower beds and get some mulch down. I have a truck load of mulch and dirt coming today so it should be a busy weekend. * I have not been able to get out and visit other friend's blogs as much as I would like lately. I enjoy each of the ones I frequent so I miss them. I keep the bookmarks so I can still get to them later. I pray that each of them are doing well. * The military was kind enough to give me an over 40 physical this weekend. I was very relieved to find that they have changed how they check the prostate. It is now done via a blood test instead of the "probe" method. My teeth are in decent shape. My glasses are performing their required functions. I received a thirty day profile for my back. Although my back is still sore it feels stronger so I guess I am making progress. The biggest thing - my colesterol is apparently pretty high. 238! The last test I had it was in the 170's - less than 12 months ago. *sigh* I am working on it. I have paid more attention to my diet this week, and I made myself get up to walk for thirty minutes this morning. * My on going exchange of questions with my beloved have been a lot of fun. I encourage anyone who is having some difficulty talking with their spouse to try this. Well, that is all for today. May the Lord richly bless each and everyone of you this day. Verse for today: Psalm 41:1-3, ESV Blessed is the one who considers the poor! [1] In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. [2]


Wow! Is it after 1500 already!

Where did the day go! Not much to say today just that life has been busy today. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you where you may be, and see you through to where ever you may go. Verse for today: Proverbs 8:1-11, ESV Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands ,and right to those who find knowledge. Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.


It never ends

It was a busy, but uneventful weekend. I spent Saturday going through a military physical. That is to say that what would have taken me an hour with my primary care doctor took me the better part of a day. But then, they are trying to process over a hundred men and women through pretty much the same places. I found out that my colesterol was a little high. This did not make my beloved very happy. I was told to follow up with my civilian doctor in a few months after trying to heroicly change my diet, etc. I'm sure my love will help me with this. :) I tried to do a little reading on things I can do but it's pretty much what everyone knows already. Avoid red meat, avoid fried foods (like McDonalds :( ), exericise, Omega 3 fish oils are supposed to be good. But the reason for my post... after picking up DS1 from his soccer game, heading home so we both could take showers, we were heading to AWANA at our church and we were talking about some aspect of finances. At one point he blurted out, "How do you know all these things?" (Note: he was not proclaiming that I was smart...) "I mean, they should teach these things in schools!" Apparently he worries about not knowing enough when he gets older. In the end I told him that you never stop learning. For example when you learn how to drive a car you learn about the laws that you are supposed to abide by, how to operate the car, etc. But when you get into business you have to learn the laws that govern that. And so on. As the final example I tried to show him that how he relates to other people can be a little different depending on each person's personality. How one relates to one person is not how you should relate to others (epecially women ;) ). I just hope I did not overwhelm him with that. I wanted to let him know that no one knows everything and we each have to learn as we go. Verse for today: Psalm 33:10-12, ESV The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever,the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!


What a difference

I enjoy writing. It's a nice way to escape and just 'play'. For me I write about my hobby, and since I do not get to play it all that often I guess it's a way of prolonging the experience. Recently I ordered the latest books that is based off of the same game system (Necromunda) and I started reading one. Now, I've known this before, but it really struck me the difference between what I write and what makes it to a publisher. The funny thing is when I go to a fan based stories message board I am told that I get to sidetracked with description. That I take too long to develop the plot, etc. But when I read the books that is exactly what those authors do. Granted they probably do it better than I do, but still their writing is very descriptive. Well, since I write those stories for no one in particular I will just have to work on my 'atmosphere'. :) If anyone is interested I have a link on the side bar to the right (-->) that will take you to my short stories blog area. If not I will not take offence. :) Verse for today: Psalm 18:1-3, ESV I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.


The foundation of the body

In the past few weeks I have found the true foundation of the human body. It is the spine. A while back I had to replace one of the tires on our minivan. Although it was a little early (about 300 miles) I went ahead and rotated the tires, which I do myself. On the last tire I felt something 'tweak' in my back. So much so that I actually had to take a moment to 'settle down' again. The next day I was not in a lot of obvious pain, but my hands were shaking and it was very uncomfortable to walk or sit. Since then I have been seeing a chiropractor. Although I am feeling a lot better I have learned a bunch of new exercises and techniques. Praise God that there is no serious or permenant damage. I am a little dismayed that the Doc tells me that sometimes these things can take up to two years to get back to 100%, but I am happy with the recovery. I am also very happy that this doctor prefers the McKenzie method over drugs and surgury. He will use the later if needed, but they are not his first choice. I titled this entry as such because I have found out first hand that if your back is not right, there is not much else that is right either. Verse for today: Ephesians 2:19-22, ESV So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, [3] but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by [4] the Spirit.


Every wish you didn't know?

I am not sure how this is going to come across... Ever wish that you didn't know just how many times you screw things up? I mean as we walk with the Lord we become more and more aware of our sin - just how much His grace has overcome. Ane yet "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8, esv). I know that the Lord allows me to see these things, not in order to condemn me, but to allow me to see my transgressions in order to help me change more and more into the image of His Son. But there are times when it feels like I can't take the load any more. That I already have my hands full with what He has shown me yesterday, last week, last month, even last year. I see my sins against my Heavenly Father, I see my faults in how I relate to my wife and children. I see my deficiencies in my work, how I conduct, myself in public. I have thoughts that I know I need to not think. It is like the enemy of my soul is jumping up and down on my shoulders beating my head like a drum. (I do not actually hear or feel this - it is a metaphore) But two things come to mind to give me hope. The first one is the story of Job and the second is when Jesus tells Peter about his upcoming betrayal. (Job, Luke 22:31-32) In both instances the enemy has to ask for permission to tempt and/or torment - and in both cases the Lord limits the extent that the enemy may go. And in both cases the Lord brings them back to a place of righteousness and usefulness (for lack of a better word right now). In the end the relationship of these two men is unbroken and even stronger. And that is my source of my faith and hope and ultimatly my joy. Verse for today: Luke 22:31-32, ESV “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, [4] that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”


As the dust settles on the NFL draft

Ok, I know it is a change of pace. One minute I am talking about serious matters and the next the NFL. :) What can I say... it's how my brian works. :) Over all I am pretty happy with the Panthers draft this year. I was a little confused by Wayne Jarrett (WR) in the second round. I am not confused about if the man is a good football player or not. I was just confused as to why the Panthers took a WR in the second round. In hindsight, and after listening to the 'experts' it seems that it was a good choice over all. Really, only time will tell. I liked the Panther's first round trade to drop to 29th and take Jon Beason (LB). I watched the tape that the NFL channel had of this guy and he really does look like he will be a good fit - especially if Dan Morgan has trouble remaining healthy. I love Dan's heart, but his body does not seem to be able to keep cashing those checks his desire writes for him. I especially do not want Dan to continue to get concussions. Nothing is worth that. If Jon Beason is asa good as everyone says he is then he should be able to slide right into the defense. Center Ryan Kalil was an nice pick in my opinion. He looked a little 'off' in the workout shots I saw, but that could be a lack of working with the guy who was supposedly acting as the QB. But the Panther's offensive line really needs a chance to gel and for the men to stay in their roles throughout the season. I think those guys fight hard throughout the year, but I'd like to see them be more consistant - in their placement, not effort. As far as opening up holes... I can't really say how good a job they do since I do not get to see every game. And a lot of it really does have to do with how fast the backs can get to those holes and get through them. I know even less about the men taken in later rounds (Charles Johnson, Ryne Robinson, Dante Rosario, Tim Shaw, and C.J. Wilson). Unfortunately I just don't have the time to sit and induldge myself. :) I thought it strange that there is only one DB, and no Safties. But then, the Panthers have always seemed not too deep in the secondary. Almost as if they were one or two injuries from being in serious trouble. But that is my perception. Games I am looking forward to this season are: each division game, the Dallas game on 12/22, and especially the game versus the Jags on 12/09. The Saints have a strong simpathy following. I was almost rooting for them just after Katrina two years ago - and with the Panthers struggling to stay at .500 I was pulling for them in the playoffs. But no longer. It is back to division rivalry status for them! :) The Falcons... I just cannot get behind Micheal Vick. He is just the ESPN darling too much IMO. The man is a great athlete, there is no doubt, but football is a team sport and not jsut one man. Besides... he's burned the Panthers on too many occasions. :) The Bucs... most people say that when one team is beating the other consistantly it is not really a rivalry... I think this is still a heated rivalry. The Panthers and the Bucs seemed to take a step up and play with more intensity when they play against one another. Besides, I think Chris Simms is going to want to make a statement or two. The Dallas game I am really looking forward to because it will be the one game I know I will be able to watch. It will be broadcast on NFL network. Besides, I want Carolina's record versus Dallas to improve. It seems that the Panther's can beat them in the post season, but not the regular season. (Hey R. - maybe we can get together and watch the game?) Ok, now the Jags... Although the Panthers beat them in their inagural 'Hall of Fame' game back in 1995 it has been less glorious in the regular season. The Panthers are just 1 and 2 against this team. I want my beloved Black Cats to take out the Jags. I know the two species of cats are similar... but I am pulling for the melanistic version of these big game cats! Ok, well - enough rambling about subjects that only I care about. May God richly bless each of you. Verse for today: Psalm 1:1-3, ESV Blessed is the man [1] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law [2] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a treeplanted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.