Finding time for things that matter most

Last night, as we were settling in for bed, my beloved comments "I don't like being so busy all the time". *sigh* I have mentioned several times that I feel we are too busy, but then I am 'shown' all the 'neccessary' activities we participate in and I just stop commenting on it. There are times when experience is the best lesson. My main problem is that I don't have a reasonable explination, or idea, of what to do different (other than to stop everything). Right now this is an idea of our schedule: Monday: Gymnastics for DD Tuesday: Soccer practice for DS1 Wednesday: The schedule is free, but usually gets filled in with something Thursday: Soccer for DS1, therapy riding for DS2 Friday: Home group Saturday: Soccer game for DS1 Sunday: Church (which usually includes serving for at least one service in Children's ministry), Soccer game for DS1, Awana's This outline does not include music (additional therapy) lessons for DS2 which I can't remember which night that is on - or church council meetings for my beloved (Children's Ministry), or date nights (which are all too infrequent), running to the store for whatever, etc. I mean our evenings are so crowded with stuff, and we are so tired from running around all we want to do when the kids are in bed is crash ourselves - that is if we aren't folding laundry. I mean in order for my beloved and I to have any alone time I had to run home in the middle of the day to "bring her lunch". I have seen a lot of sermons, and other Christians, talk about how we make our lives too busy. How we crowd out so many other things. But I think it's more a sign of changes within our society. Have you ever seen the list of how anyone over the age of 35 is "lucky to be alive" - I need to find it and post it... it's pretty funny, but it's also a sad commentary of where things are (IMO). I can't really compare my childhood to what was the 'norm' for a middle class family growing up, because I didn't grow up middle class. But in many respects - things like being out playing till dinner (or dark in my case), and then going back out again till bedtime - wandering all over the neighborhood or even town. Those days are gone for the most part. People do not feel comfortable allowing their children to roam. I don't know how many times I've told my kids that they could not play down the block simply because I was not able to keep an eye on them. Is this because we are actually less safe as a society? Or are we more aware of the dangers? The truth probably lies somewhere with both of these statements. So we as parents feel guilty for keeping the kids couped up all day. We want them to get out, to run and play, to socialize with their peers. So, to ease our minds we get them "involved". And in the meantime we run ourselves ragged trying to keep up. In my case some of those things are necessary. My beloved and I really want DS2 to grow up strong and independant. But in order to give him that chance we need to make sure he gets certain 'training' (or therapy) that we are not able to provide. Meanwhile Ds1 and DD see DS2 out doing things... and do we just say 'no' to them all the time? Loving each one, and showing each one, how special and important they are... well, it's hard. I just don't want to get to the other side of parenthood (having kids at home) and regret not showing the kids how much I really love and appreciate each of them. Verse for today: Psalm 139:1-6, ESV O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.


Pieces of Memorabilia

Over the years I have been careful to not go crazy with various memorabilia for the Carolina Panthers. On my own I have never spent more than $5 on any piece of Panthers gear (eBay is a great thing). Over the years I've gotten a little more 'generous', but for the most part I do not like to spend a lot of money on these things.

Most of what i do have have been gifts either on my birthday, or for Christmas, or for my anniversary. This year I was just doing a random search on eBay for anything John Kasay (#4, place kicker for the Panthers, and last original Panther). What I was really hoping to find was one of the Panthers "throw back" blue uniforms - they are my personal favorite, and they only wear them twice a year - for Mr. Kasay. Why, you might ask? I have been wanting to get Panthers shirts, or sweatshirt, or Jersey of the three uniform colors to wear on game days (I have several items in black... I still need white and blue). But to cut to the chase, I found an autographed mini-Ridel helmet, signed by John Kasay himself.

After 1) seeing that it was to raise money for a cancer patient, 2) that the Panthers organization (supposedly) donated this helmet for said "charity", and 3) was signed by a man who I have considered a stand-up man for God, and example of a Christian man in the midst of success, a humble man - and of course the last original Carolina Panther; I quickly decided what my maximum bid would be and waited.

I was very happy when I found out that I had won this item. Those eBay commericals are coming back to me now. Anyway... I just wanted to share something silly... and now I am feeling a little bit self consious... and maybe even selfish...

I doubt Mr. Kasay would ever read this, but if he did I would like to tell him that as a Christian brother, I am inspired to be a better man of God by his remote example as displayed over the years. May God grant you the highest success - that of being drawn closer and closer to Him.

Verse for today:
John 17:1-4, ESV
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.


Fantasy Football - what a great marketing ploy

I am pretty sure the NFL was at least indirectly behind what is known as Fantasy Football. I don't know when this really got started, but there are a gazillion FFB services out there. (Personally I favor the Yahoo set up.) This has been a thing that really gets a fan to follow more than just one team. Watch more than one game. I know it has had that impact on me. When I was younger I could care less about any other team than the Redskins (they were my team because both my mother and father were fans), but now - in addition to watching any and all Carolina Panthers game I can - I will watch any other game (albiet with less intrest) I can. Sometimes it will influence who I root for, but over all it is just because I am actually more interested in the NFL overall. Susan commented on my blog yesterday about her brother having problems with his FFB QB. Man can I relate. This past weekend I got blown out in 2 out of my 3 Yahoo games, just because Steve Smith (I gotta have a Panthers on my roster somewhere... Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme, and/or John Kasay) did not have a big stat day. Sure he was an influence on the out come (read about how he rattled DeAngelo Hall at ESPN) of the game, but as far as FFB was concerened he was a dud. As a Panthers fan I was more than happy to lose those games though. So, I think people would be in agreement with me when I say that fantasy football is a good marketing ploy to get people to watch more football. :) Verse for today: Psalm 127:1-2, ESV Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.


Tuesday is for those who slept through Monday

Yesterday was a blur, and today is not much better. As a result I am going to have a bunch of random thoughts... my catch all. LOL

1) The New Orleans Saints looked like they could salvage their season last night. Up until halftime that is. After that is was pretty much a disaster for them. I really want to root for this team (when they aren't playing the Panthers that is), especially being priviledged enough to be down there shortly after Hurricane Katrina and Rita blew through - I sort of feel connected to that region now (please pray about perhaps donating either time or resources to Habitat for Humanity - there is still a lot to do down there). I had not know this for sure until last night... Since this team started playing in the NFL in 1967 they have had a whopping total of eight (8) winning seasons - I really can't say all that much. The Panthers have only had three since 1995.

2) What is the deal with Webkinz? LOL - my kids love this phenomenon. Ever since we bought my DD3 her little "Lucy" it has been a craze in my house. DS1 and DS2 each have their own, and I've caught my beloved playing this too. Then it happened... I found out that they now have a black cat... well, now this samurai has one! LOL - that's right! I wanted him because of the Carolina Panthers... and I have named him "Sir Purr". I'm sick I tell you. The company has it out for Halloween (my least favorite "holiday" of the year) - fortunately this little guy also looks like the mascot of my favorite NFL football team. :)

3) My best friend in life (who I've known since my Junior year in high school) has had a life long battle with his heart. Before he was eighteen he had had a valve replacement operation three times. Since then he's had one more (this one with a more 'premenant' solution). We've done almost everything together, or in parallel since then. I love football, he loves NASCAR. When I found my true love, he did as well (we were both married to gals who went to the same college, and were good friends there). My friends wife was instrumental in leading my beloved into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and I played a role in his salvation. We both enjoy playing strategy wargames. Well, recently (to my shame) I finally learned that his favorite Super Hero is Iron Man. Paramount pictures is working on an Iron Man movie (currently scheduled for release 2-May-08). I am planning on taking him to see this movie. The trailer has captured my attention... I am so looking forward to this movie.

Well, I need to run... after all, I need to save some randomness for future ramblings. :)

BTW - I tried to spruce up the ol' blog today. Hope you all ike it.

Verse for today:
Proverbs 25:4-7, ESV
Take away the dross from the silver,and the smith has material for a vessel;5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king,and his throne will be established in righteousness.6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presenceor stand in the place of the great,7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.


Too tired - is it Friday yet?

This past weekend was out church's family retreat weekend. I had to work some overtime Friday night for an emergency issue, but to make that part a little shorter - I arrived out at the retreat center about 9:00 PM, and got settled in. There was a nice get together around a bonfire until 10ish. We then got all of the kids to bed and we stayed up playing 'Golf' (a card game) until about 1:00 something or other. The next day we were up bright and early to get to breakfast and the various organized activities we had set up. I shadowed DS2 (my 'Aspie') to a basketball skills activity, and then to the pond for fishing (man he loves fishing!). We enjoyed a nice lunch and then some family game time. I helped out with the 'baloon slingshot' game (all the while keeping tabs on DS2, and two kids from our friends who were also staying in our same cabin). That was a hoot. After this I suited up and took all of kids down to the pool for a couple hours while my beloved tried to get a nap (which was impossible BTW). Spagetti dinner was enjoyed by all - my beloved had signed up to help to make and serve, while I was signed up to help with the clean up. In hindsight, I got the raw end of that stick. LOL - then it was off for another fun campfire - with some skits put on by two of our resident funny men. The night did become a little stressful - and here I will get even more brief. DS2 went off to play with a friend of his - one my beloved and I trust. About 15 to 20 minutes later I thought it best to just go check on him (by now it was close to 9:00 PM). I wonder halfway across the camp to find an several of my son's friends all playing touch football. but no DS2. I was told that he stomped off in frustration. For anyone who deals with these types of children you probably know, this means that they are getting into a 'mode' where they close down and they do not always respond to outside sources. It took almost 30 minutes to find him (he had returned to the cabin and was in his bed - thank You God), but I also found out the source of his trouble. He had an altercation with some older boys that escalated until it was essentially 4 on 1. In the end God made sure that the Holy Spirit was with me as I was able to really deal with the situation fairly calmly (including a second confrontation with the older boys in question). I could type out another hundred words on this - but, it really raised the stress level. We closed out the night getting all the kids to bed, and playing some more cards with our friends until about 12:00 midnight. For a variety of reasons I didn't get to sleep until about 2:30 (ugh). Up again at 7:00 AM for Breakfast, Chapel, and clean up. But we were home by 12:30. DS1 had a friend come over - which really was a blessing because, once I picked up McDonald's for lunch, and my beloved got 3 out of 4 loads of laundry started we both settled down and took naps while the kids played (with me in front of the tube for some football!). I kept up with the Panthers via the local Fox network (watching/sleeping-through the Redskins/Giants), and the NFL channel, and my cell phone - man they came close to losing that game. The Buccaneers come to Charlotte next week - and I don't mind saying that I am a little nervous for my Panthers in this one. Well, enough rambling for now... Verse for today: James 2:14-17, ESV What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good [2] is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.


Is this the state of corporate America?

There is a training class that my company wants me to attend (IPv6) to prepare for future deployments that is over fifty miles from the office I currently work at. They are more than happy to pay for the training, but they are balking at putting me up at a hotel, and even paying for my meals. I'm not asking to be put up at the Ritz Carlton, and I am not expecting Filet Mignon everynight. But I think that it's crazy that 'they' are so stubburn about the accomodations when the training class was encouraged (not required just yet) by them, and arrangeed for, by them. I also have trouble getting appropriate training for the other certificates that I am expected to carry. I have trouble with on-line courses. I do not do very well with them. But I am expected to use them because they are cheaper than live instructor led ones. I get so frustrated that I've considered paying out of my own pocket to pay for testing to see if I do indeed have some kind of learning disability. Sheesh... If they want an educated work force, there should be some kind of accomodation for it - IMO. Verse for today: 2 Timothy 2:15-19, ESV Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, [2] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”


Is it Thursday already?

I woke up very groggy this morning. I had a hard time remembering what day it was until I was in the shower. I could have sworn it was only Wednesday. Today is another practice day for DS1, and usually this would be a "light" day for me to work out. But tonight my beloved is teaching some social skills at out local Autism support group and she is nervous. So, I will be dropping DS1 off at the practice field (leaving my cell phone number with the coach) and then heading back north to be near her and DS2. Maybe I can get out for a jog when we are all done. Tomorrow we are taking the family on a church retreat. It should be a pretty nice and relaxing weekend. Nothing much to do, even Awana's will not be happening Sunday night. The only thing we will have is a soccer game at 5:30 Sunday. Although I keep most of my thoughts regarding the Panthers on my new Panther's blog I thought I'd comment here today as well. The team really is playing fairly well. Last week against the Texans was pretty bad, and there was plenty of blame to go around, I am still pretty hopeful for an above .500 season. A lot of people might be looking past the Falcons right now, but I am praying that the Panthers aren't. On any given Sunday any team in the NFL can beat any other team. The next three weeks are against division rivals (@ Atlanta, Tampa Bay, @ New Orleans). Each of these teams look to be ornery. Besides, there is still plenty of football left to play. Verse for today: Proverb 20:9-11, ESV Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”? Unequal [2] weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. [3]


Why do I do this?

It is getting close to my unit's APFT once again. For some reason I do not mainain my fitness level throughout the year, instead I wait until the last minute (i.e. - two to three months out) before I begin to work out again. As a result I end up torturing myself. I have been doing some light workouts for the past month or so. Last night I decided to "kick it up a notch". While I was at DS1's soccer practice I decided to utilize the track. What I decided on was the following:
  • Stretch lightly to give the muscle groups a 'heads up'
  • Wlk 1 lap in a brisk pace to warm up (this track is a little unusual in that it is 1/3 mile long)
  • Onlaps 2-10 (3 miles) I would walk 'briskly' around the corners and jog the straight-aways
  • The front stretch has two white lines painted across the track, approximately fifty meters apart... sprint (or jog as fast as I can) between these lines
  • After each lap perform one set of push up, and one set of sit ups - beginning with nine, and counting down after each lap (i.e. 9 first set, 8 the second, 7 the third, etc.)
  • Cool down by walking laps 11 and 12. After each of these another set of push ups and sit ups (10 then 5).
  • Stretch to ease the workout
I am still about two months out from the expected test date (maybe nine weeks). I am hopeful to keep this work out up by alternating between the one above and a more gentle one where I do one set of 30 push ups and 30 sit ups, and then jog out 3 miles - to start. Between each workout I will have at least one day of rest, and I know there will be some two day stretches. I will also slowly increase the "load" by adding laps to the distances, and about 10% to the push up and sit up reps. This all sounds very formal, but what I really need to do is make this a daily/weekly routine so that I am not in so much pain when I need to get ready for the APFT. :) Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, ESV Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, [2] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Pondering a change in careers

I visted an old friend's blog yesterday (for the first time in about a month) and saw that he had a link to a career website that is designed to help one decide on a career path. He encouraged everyone to take the "Career Matchmaker" quiz and share the results. Apparently I am best suited to be a "Crane Operator". :) Here are the top 40 careers that I am apparently best suited for: 1. Crane Operator 2. Heavy Equipment Operator 3. Airport Ground Crew 4. Ship's Crew 5. Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Tech 6. Production Woodworker 7. Coast Guard 8. Commercial Diver 9. Cable Installer and Repairer 10. Tree Harvester 11. Sheet Metal Worker 12. Computer Support Person 13. Carpenter 14. Millwright 15. Fisher 16. Welder 17. Enlisted Member of the Armed Forces 18. Vending Machine Servicer 19. Boilermaker 20. Elevator Installer and Repairer 21. Industrial Machinery Mechanic 22. Power Plant Operator 23. Lineworker 24. Automotive Painter 25. Survey Tech 26. Tilesetter 27. Stationary Engineer 28. Combat Engineer 29. Automobile Assembler 30. Drafter 31. Cabinetmaker 32. Infantry 33. Autobody Repairer 34. Landscaper 35. Glazier 36. Auto Detailer 37. Machinist 38. Tool and Die Maker 39. Computer Network Specialist 40. Nursery / Greenhouse Grower The funny thing is I am currently in my #39 and #17 (part time) 'best suited' career. I've also dabbled with #8 (Auot Parts delivery driver), #12 (first and second tier support), #13 (was an apprecntice for eleven months until I 'broke' into #12), #18 (my little candy store), #30 (took the class in H.S. and loved it), #32 (it was my first 'job' in the National Guard), and #34 (Loved it, but my alergies killed me). I like my job, but not love it. I also don't see Pastor or Bible study leader in there. :) Maybe when I retire I will retake the test to see what I can do to fill my days up. :) For those who are interested here is the link and instructions: 1. Go to http://www.careercruising.com/. 2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark. 3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions. I'd be interested in hearing about your results. :) Verse for today: Colossians 3:16-17, ESV 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.


Discipline - or the lack there of

Being a military man of over 21 years, and a samurai 'enthusiast', you would think discipline would be a defining charecteristic of me and my life. I am here to tell you that it is not. Well, at least not to the extent I believe it should be. By God's grace I was saved into a church that preached about, and lived, and discipled the importance of the Spiritual disciplines. Reading, memorization, quiet times, fasting, praying... but to my dismay and discredit - it is an area that I have never excelled in. I have never even been mediocre. *sigh* I consistantly struggle with sins in my life. The same ones, over and over again. Now I know that, short of heaven, I will never be free of this struggle. But to fall to the same ones repeatedly is discouraging. Why is it that I cannot get myself up consistantly just fifteen minutes early to read, or pray. When I am entrusted to teach or lead some form of small group I am rarely prepared like I should be. I am just really mad at myself for not being more disciplined right now... I should not struggle with this... but I do... every day. Verse for today: Titus 1:7-9, ESV For an overseer, [4] as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound [5] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.


Jersey Girl and the Mountaineers

Last night was a typical night around the old 'dojo'. DS2 has Horse Riding therapy to help him learn how to work through situations (animals are really supposed to help Autistic children open up, and for the most part I really think it helps DS2), DS1 had soccer practice. By the time we were all home together again it's close to 8:00 and there is still homework to get done and showers to be taken. Somehow all of the kids were under the sheets by 9:15. While making sure DD3 was getting her bath I happened to find "Jersey Girl" on one of the cable channels. With little time to actually sit down and watch it I changed to the channel, then the pause button on the DVR (Man I love that technology). Somewhere along the line my beloved got wrapped up in reviewing the daily 'log' sent home from DS2 aide at school - we've been working through yet another instance of my son getting in a scuffle with som other boys in the school yard. We made the mistake of only verbally telling my son's teacher and aide that he is not to participate in any competetive activities without some sort of direct suppervision. As a result my son actually tried to take on "5 or 6" other boys. The log entry from his aide yesterday included the words "I can't protect you" (referencing the discussion the aide had with my son). All we could say is "WHAT!". You can't protect my son! *sigh* My beloved has already requested another meeting to update the IEP - and I am going to place a call to the school myself later today. Anyway, this 'delay' while my beloved reviewed, thought it through, replied to the aide in the log book, and made sure their packs were ready for school this morning, didn't bring her upstairs until around 10:30. Meanwhile I am watching this movie (and able to skip all the commercials \o/ hurray!) and I get sucked in. I just needed a "hardluck" movie where the guy gets the girl, and the family is all hunky dorry in the end. So in that regard this was a fun movie to watch. Then this morning I stopped by Sheetz to get my ham/egg/cheese bagle and I saw the headlines that the Mountaineers whooped up on the Terps! Wahoo! Verse for today: Proverbs 14:1-3, ESV The wisest of women builds her house,but folly with her own hands tears it down. Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,but he who is devious in his ways despises him. By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, [1]but the lips of the wise will preserve them.


Have you ever been thirsty?

I mean really thirsty? Over the years I have been discovering that there is a thirst that truly no amount of water, or any other liquid, can satisfy. But what I have failed to do, well two things actually, is really dive in and satiate that thirst - or learn how to cultivate such a thirst (which is actually done by the former).
Psalm 63:1-4, ESV O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
I actually do feel such a thirst. It is stronger on some days than others, but it is always there. And yet it is never truly satisfied. If anything the thirst grows more and more prevelant. I have been told that a man can be driven insane by such cravings. Oh to be driven to such an extreme... but without going to the extremes of the cults that pollute God's truth. A heart like Billy Graham or Charles Spurgeon. In the end I struggle with even seeking to satisfy this thirst. I allow the world to seep in and rob me of my desire. And not just the world, I war with my own sin nature. Heavenly Father thank You that I am even aware of this thirst, of this need. Thank You that You have opened my mind and my heart to the fact that there is even such a need, and then not only shown me how to meet this need - but then provided it as well. Your word, in Romans 1, is clear that all of creation is aware of this need in one way or another. I do not even begin to know how to fathom the how, or why, you have revealed Your Son to me - but I fall on my knees in praise and thanksgiving, in fear and in trembling, at the works of Your hand. Lord God I ask for Your forgivness for the times I fear man more than I fear You. Lord I ask for a renewed passion, a new thirsting, to seek and to serve You. Lord God I pray for a renewing, yet again, of my mind and my heart. That I would firm up and press on. Lord, may all that I desire be to hear you say on that day, 'Well done' - for there will be no higher praise. I ask this in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, and may it all be done in accordance with Your perfect will, and all of it for Your glory. Amen. Verse for today: Revelation 1:17-18, ESV When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.


13 Days in October

Last night I watched "13 Days" with Kevin Costner. I know that media does not always "get it right", and that often what is presented can be "tinted" (to put it nicely) to a certain political view point. However, I think this movie was well done. I think they portrayed the military guys as over-zealous meatheads who only wanted war, but that may have been an accurate portrayal of the men. But it was not over the top either. It also did a good job of showing exactly how much tension there was in the world during this period of the cold war. Thanks to all who posted the encouragement yesterday. Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, ESV For I want you to know, brothers, [1] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ [2] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.


Catching up after a four day weeekend

A lot of little thoughts running around my mind this morning... 1) I just found out that there will be a sequel to the movie Tron! (Read about it: here) I am one of the few that actually seem to amdmit to liking this film. Last year (I think it was) I heard about a sequal to Tron and got all excited, only to find out it was a sequal to the video game. Now, I love video games but, I'm just at a season of my life where I do not play them too much any more. But this is about a movie sequel, and I am psyched. 2) I have a great friendship with my beloved, but we just don't make 'music' like we used to. I am not giving up, but I need to set my expectations a little lower when it comes to trying to imitate scenes like the one on the cover of the movie The Notebook. After almost fifteen years of marriage I guess that kind of magic has lost its 'novelty'. 3) After serving over 21 years in the National Guard I learned that I am not eligable to use the VA healthcare system when I turn 60! This came as a total shock to me. Unfortunately I made the mistake of assuming something without knowing the facts. For years I have been told that I am a 'veteran', that all these things are waiting for me when I reach the ripe old age of 60... and there are a lot of things that will be waiting... but not the same healthcare system as other veterans. To be completely fare, I do qualify for the Tri-Care insurance - which is a big deal. I just feel jilted. Like I am some kind of second class veteran. 4) The Carolina Panthers have given me hope of another good season of football. They soundly beat the St Louis Rams 27-13. 5) My children are really thoughtful. Over the weekend my beloved had to take care of the 'rugrats' on her own. As a result they had to visit several fastfood restaurants. Well at Burger King the picked up a mini-jersey of the Carolina Panthers. Steve Smith's to be exact. They brought it home and gave it to me when I got home Sunday night. That was really cool. 6) I do not like being the bearer of bad news. This weekend, since I am filling in as my unit's First Sergeant, I had to inform a soldier that he would be processed for discharge due to him failing a random drug test. What made it so hard was that I liked this kid as a person. When he was in uniform he was an excellent soldier. There is just no accounting for what these guys do on their own time. For me though, it was a perfect example of how to care for someone... love the sinners (of which I am one), but hate the sin. One thing I tried to do was encourage this kid to pull himself up, take some steps to correct his course, and stand up. 7) September 11th... so many things rush through my mind. I remember where I was, what I was doing. I remember what I did that day... and I remember being thankful that my mother never saw it. I remember wondering how it would change my children (my beloved was seven months pregnant with our DD). We should remember - but not dwell or linger on that dreadful day. We need to learn - and move forward. There's more... but that's all I have time for now. I hope this finds you all well... God Bless. Verse for today: Psalm 51:1-6, ESV Have mercy on me, [1] O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.


Getting used to watching the sunrise

I have had several opportunities to learn to appreciate a beautiful sunrise over the years. If I had to pick watching a sunrise, or a sunset, I like sunrises the most. Even when there is a chill in the air the rising sun has the promise of warmth. It also has the impression of promise. A promise of a new beginning. Like all things are possible. This morning I am at work once more - scheduled this time. The work went pretty well and I will be able to take off early. Unfortunately my brain is a little fuzzy due to the early hour. :) One thing I would love to comment on is that it is OPENING DAY for the NFL today! Tonight opens up the season with the New Orleans Saints playing the Indianapolis Colts. I am hoping to watch this game (if I can nudge my beloved off the from watching the US Open) because for 1. the Saints are in my Panthers division, and they look in good shape to lead the way in the NFC South, and 2. the Colts are the current NFL Champions. Sunday my Panthers open up their season against the St Louis Rams. Although I've started a seperate blog for me to comment and ramble on about my Panthers I do want to just touch on this game here . A friend and neighbor has offered to allow me and the family to come over at one o'clock to watch the game... and I am just itching to do it... LOL The Panthers are one point underdogs, which makes me feel pretty good since the home team is spotted three points. There are a lot of questions regarding the Panthers in my mind for this season - but the one thing I know for sure... "It is what it is", and nothing is for certain. I would like to see a reverse of the recent trend of the Panthers losing their opening day game - not having won on opening day since 2003. Well, I am off to go wrap things up, get home, and get back to bed... and a nice start to a long weekend. :~) Verse for today: Proverbs 6:16-19, ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.


Taking a voluntary 'Timeout'

Well, with some of the overtime acrrued (as recently as last weekend ;-) ) I am taking this Friday and next Monday off. I need the extra time to just get some things done around the house - minor repairs, that sort of thing, but I also want to just take a day to spend with my beloved. Little things keep creeping up around the house. Some caulking that is cracking. Some painting touch ups. And recently, and this is not really minor, the shower door in our bathroom has broken. We can't shut it all that way and I need to replace it. So Friday is fix-it day. :) Monday though is just for me and my beloved. At least for the time while the kids are in school. I am hoping to treat my beloved to some one on one time. A chance to focus on just each other without worrying about the chores, or the kids. Maybe get away from the house to walk/talk. Go to her favorite (or one of them anyway) resteraunt - we have a coupon ;-). Friday I hope to also get up early to help get DS1 off to school and let my beloved sleep in. Then the rest of the day will be taking care of practical things that I know my beloved wants done around the house. Unfortunately the weekend is shot with me having National Guard responsibilities, but then Monday I am really hoping for a slow down, one-on-one, with my beloved. Verse for today: Song of Solomon 6:4-5a, ESV You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners. Turn away your eyes from me, for they overwhelm me—


Jesus bring the rain

Not long ago I heard a new song. At least it was new to me... right now I am not sure how old it was. But the Lord has really been using it in my life. It's titled "Bring the Rain", and it's by Mercy Me. The chorus goes like this:
Bring me joy, bring me peace Bring the chance to be free Bring me anything that brings You glory And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain
And that has really been a desire of mine, but there are times when I struggle with this. Do I really want to go through hardships to being Him glory? What if God wanted me to lose my job? What about a serious illness? The book of Job has long been a favorite of mine. It is my favorite book in the Bible, and yet... to be honest... I don't want to have to go through that. I struggle in my flesh to really let myself go... to die to myself... daily. This Saturday I was called into work and ended up pulling an all nighter. There were times I was physically ill by what was going on. In the end it was resolved, and withing the customer's maintenance window. I did remember to give thanks in answer to my prayers that I was lifting up. As I slipped inbetween the sheets at o'dark thirty, just as the sun was beginning to crest the horizon, this song came to my mind once again. I remember chuckling to myself and smiling. Verse for today: Job 42:2-6, ESV “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent [1] in dust and ashes.”