Pour salt on an open wound why don't ya!

Due to illness today's blog will probably be more brief than usual... Linda, from 2nd Cup of Coffee fame, was wondering why I did not comment on the pounding my Carolina Panthers took at the hand of her Super Bowl champions, the Indianapolis Colts. LOL - Payton Manning, Tony Dungy, and crew did what they do well. When one thing was not working as well as they wanted - they adjusted. In this case the went to the no-huddle offense, which the Panther defense could not adjust fast enough to. The Panthers had almost a complete first half of that game, but the game is played for sixty minutes worth of game clock. I wrote more about the game on my sperate Panthers blog. Well, to quote Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that." :) Still, the Panthers are leading the NFC South by half a game, but I am concerned about their ability to hold it. The 4-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Susan's (of Learning for Lifetime fame) favorite team, are still in a good position with a bye week still to come, and a "weaker" schedule (the combined winning record of their remaining opponents is 21-36, or 36.8%), only two of their remaining opponents have a winning record so far - Carolina being one of them. Even the Saints are not out of it at 3-4 - they too have a "weaker schedule (the combined winning record of their remaining opponents is 26-41, or 38.8%), who also only have two oppinents with a winning record remaining, one of which os the Carolina Panthers. Meanwhile Carolina will have to face the likes of the Tennessee Titans (5-2), the Green Bay Packers (6-1), the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2), the Seattle Seahawks (4-3), and the Dallas Cowboys (6-1) - three of which are their respective division leaders currently, and the only reason the other two are not are because they are in the same division as the Indianapolis Colts!. Coach Fox has a reputation (so far) of being able to lead his team through adversity during the second half of the season (he's 24-16 so far), but it's not going to be easy. The Panthers really need to keep their head in the game. With three injured Quarterbacks (one of which is on IR), and a relatively healthy undrafted rookie free agent in Matt Moore, the Panthers really need to get their Running backs in the game - and the other receivers need to get open because Steve Smith can't carry this team forever. Oh, and the defense... don't get me started on the defense. ;) By the way - the remaining opponents records for the Panthers is 36-28, or 56.25%. Verse for today: James 1:2-18, ESV Count it all joy, my brothers, [2] when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass [3] he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. [4] Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.


Long weekend

I have no idea how it could be Monday already. I mean, it was just a moment ago I was heading home for the weekend. Friday night - I can't even remember what we did... but I do remember getting to bed a little late. Saturday we had a few errands to run before an afternoon Fall party that my beloved was throwing (she is an awesome hostess IMO). Friends stayed WAY late (into Sunday AM). Sunday was a real blur. DD3 has a music thing at 8:30, and then we get the whole gang for 9:45 service. We (my beloved and I) were not slated to serve in the children's ministry, but since my beloved heads that ministry up we ended up serving (well she did) at the 11:00 o'clock service. After that we got DS1's hair cut.. ran to Sam's... then to DS1's last soccer game of the season, and then we split up. I took DD3 to Awana's and she took both sons to the season end soccer thing at Pizza Hut. When we got home around 7:45 last night there was still one more errand to run... as a result none of us got into bed at the time I would have preferred. And now it's Monday, and I am wondering where my weekend went. If anyone finds it, please let me know. :) In other news there were three things that God spoke to me about over the weekend. And they were kind of "whispers". The first one was during the sermon yesterday morning. It had to deal with "do unto others". Not just our friends, or those who are kind to us, those we get along with. But we are to be kind to our enemies too. What would we do for ourselves? Would we be really willing to do that for an enemy? And what about rejoicing when a foe suffers in some way? Do we rejoice? I really wanted to think about this one some more... what does it mean to love myself... and how does that reflect in my dealings with others. I'm mortal so I am going to look at my own house first (my beloved and children). The second thing was do I really expect the best when I pray. Do I expect the God's best in my life? Now, I have to admit that this point was given me through Joel Osteen. I was listening to his broadcast again yesterday as I was getting ready for church. When we come to God are we acting like "Eeyore"? We can come to God with joy and expecting our prayers to be "yes, and Amen" - even if the answer is "No" or "not yet". The greatest gift (Christ dying on the cross) is exactly what enables me as a Christian to have such a joy and expectation. I know Pastor Osteen has been criticozed for not taking a stand about the path of Christianity being the only way to heaven, and for not presenting the gospel in his sermons. He did conclude his broadcast yesterday with (albeit brief) invitation and sinners prayer for those who do not yet believe in Christ. While I do feel he should do more, Pastor Orsteen did present the message in light of the Gospel yesterday. It may not have been as thorough as I personally would have preferred - it was there. The last item, and most likely by far not the least, has to do with the sabbath. God made it a point to include it in His "top ten". It is not a little thing. Thinking through this entire post, and my real life scheduling of things. Do I take a sabbath day? Be it Sunday, Saturday, or any other day? There is a reason God made the sabbath for man. And that was because we are indeed limited. We require sleep, we require rest, we require sustanence. If we do not take that time to rest (let alone time to worship and reflect on the Creator) we will eventually just collapse (wither metally or physically). All of these things God spoke to me... and I really need to take some time - make some time - to reflect on them. Verse for today: 1 Kings 19: 9b-13, ESV And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. [1] And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”


The last weekend for the Fall U-12 soccer season

Wohoo! DS1's final game of the Fall season is this weekend! I know he loves to play, and his coachessay he has a lot of talent (one being a former professional soccer player), but the 2 practices and 2 games a week have been wearing me down some. Especially in light of the "spinning plates" I have going (which I never got to finish). DS1 is already talking about the Spring season so we will then have two in soccer come Spring (DD3 really wants to play too!).

We've also gotten through the time for DS2's Horse riding (therapy for his Aspergers) - which he is really sad about. Although he gives us trouble about going, he always enjoys the time while he's there. So we are now going to enter a somewhat subdued schedule time. But there are always things to take up the slack... to continue the spiunning plates list...

5) I really need to tend to the cracking caulking in our bathrooms. We have a lovely home, but like most new houses (when we bought it) the builder used a pretty cheap grade of caulking (not to mention a whole lot of other things). As a result I need to come along behind him and redo it. I've managed to get started on this, but I really need to finish it.

6) When we first moved into our house - over three years ago - I bought a ceiling fan for our bedroom. I still haven't put it up. Now, though, it will most likely go into the playroom - once I get up in the attic to reinforce the light box to hold it.
It has become almost a comical topic, "have I told you about the fan my husband bought? It's still sitting in a box, in the basement!"
7) Date nights with my beloved. Well, to be honest these are almost non-existant. It's not from a lack of trying - well maybe I'm just not trying hard enough.
8) Maintaing my skill set for my work. This is actually a little low on the priority list, but I do really need to do something to maintain and grow in this area.
Ok - I could really add to this list for quite some time. It all comes down to priorities, and making it work. A) God, B) my beloved, C) my family, D) my work - to include the National Guard.
On a parting note... if you all would pray for my Panthers this weekend. They will really need divine intervention to pull off an upset. I respect Coach Dungy and all, but I am a Panthers fan and I will be rooting them. If the Panthers pull it off I'm sure I'll be grinning from ear to ear for some time.
Verse for today:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.


I'm sayin', but I'm not sayin'

I have been receiving some really good, thoughtful, comments from my blog entry the other day, titled 'The Objective and the subjective'. But I think I am being mis-understood. In regards to God changing His mind. Did God really change His mind regarding Sodom and Gomorah, or was He teaching Abraham to be concerned with the welfare of others? Was it God saying, "maybe I shouldn't destroy these cities", or was it God shaping Abraham to teach him that He can interact with God regarding such things? I mean, in the end the cities were still destroyed. Only Lot and his daughters were saved. In the end, our input is heard by God, and I firmly believe if we "ask not", we will not see any changes. God desires our interaction that is for sure. His Word is clear in that we are to seek Him, petition Him, and ask Him for things. This is one of those things that we will enjoy getting to know about God as we walk with Him. The second item brought up was regarding 1 Corinthians 9:20-23. There is definetly no one right way to preach the Gospel. I fully believe Pastor Orsteen is sincere in his efforts to reach the lost for the sake of Christ. And I fully believe that he is doing that. But, if we allow those who are brought through the doors to remain in such a state they will at best remain ignorant of exactly what God has accomplished with Christ going to the cross, and at worst they will remain connected to the church because it is so welcoming - but remain seperated from God, never having seen the need to accept His work on the cross. America is full of people professing to be Christians, but having a schewed view of what exactly being a Christian means. And they are from all points of view. Some that are incredibly legalistic (*), while others are the exact opposite (God's grace in all things, no matter what I do). We have churches that are failing to grow spiritually, or even worse they misrepresent God. God is unchanging (Malachi), His ways are perfect (2 Samuel), He cannot lie (Numbers), and He cannot contradict Himself, thus my concern for what I perceive as a misrepresentation of God. Especially when it is in the context of we being able to change God's mind when it comes to 'difficulties' or 'hardships'. And when the message is consistantly leaning towards how good and gracious He is, without any mention of why God is so good and gracious to us, then I am concerned. I never debated that the situation changed for the King in 2 Kings, and I never said that Pastor Osteen was preaching a false gospel (if he ever mentions it at all) or that he is not bringing people to Christ. What I am trying to say is that - I feel - that it is a weakened presentation, and that it does not fully represent the God to whom he is calling people to. "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3, ESV) "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17, ESV) Some people when they come to Christ are not ready to hear what they have been saved from, others cannot be saved without knowing it. Some people come to Christ in an instant and/or when they are very young. Others after many years of faithful witness and/or when they are older. Some people are never ready to hear the "whistle of the train coming". No matter how we are brought to Him can we ever adequetly justify a complacency, an "I have arrived" type attitude if you were? And what about looking to ourselves for change? If you've ever heard "The Message" this is exactly what is being presented. When we constantly look to ourselves, we eventually fail. We "work out our own salvation" (Phillipians 2:12), but we never achieve the ultimate goal on our own - our salvation, without God's gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is one thing to presnt a "feel good message" in order to draw people to Christ, it is another thing entirely to present a false image of God. When that happens we are creating idols, and I think we know how God deals with idols. Before I "close out" this blog entry I think I need to also say that, when I stand before the throne of God, and my life is reviewed, I am confident that there are a great number of things (I dare say - most) that I will be mistaken on. I know that my views are not perfect. But I feel compelled to share these concerns - and thus I have prayed, I rely, and I trust that the Holy Spirit will use these imperfect words as He sees fit, and ultimately for His glory. If what we "know" contradicts what His Word says, we must carefully examine our own heart and mind, and ask for Him to reveal it to us - because ultimately we are subjective, and He is objective. Verse for today: Numbers 23:18-19, ESV “Rise, Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? * the definition I find most helpful was summarized by CJ Mahaney (in one place in his book "The Cross Centered Life", by Multinomah books, 2002, pg 25, para. 2), he summarizes it like this, "Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and acceptance by God, through obedience to God."


How many spinning plates are too many?

I think I am stretching myself too thin... here is, what I hope, a short list of what I've been working on lately:

1) I am planning on a weekend getaway with my beloved for next Spring. She has expressed a desire to go to Hershey, PA. We want to get "his and hers" massages, eat out at a nice resteraunt, do a puzzle together, and spend some one-on-one time. When I mentioned to her that the Park would not be open, she told me, "that's alright. We're not going for sight seeing." *sigh* I Love that woman. :) To be honest, I don't want to get my expectations all set up, because it will take way too long for the day to get here, and then the weekend will fly by way too fast.

2) I have at least three short stories running around in my head right now, and I can't seemed to get any of them sorted out and down on paper (or typed up in a Word document). One has to do with a small band of down-and-out sorts who stumble upon an old abandoned town and find out that it's inhabited by zombie-like cyborgs. Another is a back ground piece for a faction within a faction that is "spun off" as a result of a small civil-war. The last one is about a nomad type who wakes up in the middle of an apocalyptic desert with limited knowledge of his past and stumbles across an old something-or-other that contains a copy the Bible. The result is he ends up traveling from shantytown to shantytown spreading the gospel.

3) Keeping my blog up to date... there are times when my real life just get in the way. You'd think it would just give me more material, but... it seems to just confuse me. :)

4) Keeping track of "soldier issues" for my unit. With most of my unit "upstream", and me filling in for the First Sergeant, I have had my hands full of between drill activities. Soldiers to follow up with. "Beans, Bullets, and Bodies" - that's my new job function, and I'm not fully trained as a Platoon Sergeant. I put it this way - it feels like I am being pulled behing a bus and I can't quite keep my feet underneath me. The "funny" thing is, my BC (Battery Commander) is encouraging me to get to ANCOC (Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course) next summer. The "problem" is that I would have to re-enlist to go so I told him that "...it's not just one of my life's priorities" right now. But in the meantime I plan on holding down the fort until the real 'First Shirt' gets back to resume his normal workload. Then it's off to the "old Soldier's Home" for me.

Well, look at the time... which I am out of... there's more, but... I hope you all have a blessed day...

Verse for today:
Proverbs 24:3-7, ESV
By wisdom a house is built,and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filledwith all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is full of strength,and a man of knowledge enhances his might, for by wise guidance you can wage your war,and in abundance of counselors there is victory. Wisdom is too high for a fool;in the gate he does not open his mouth.


The Objective and the subjective

A week or so back (I'm pretty sure it was on the 7th) I was getting ready for church. I had the TV on (I use it to sometimes help me pull out of my slumber) and Pastor Joel Osteen was on. As I've mentioned in the past, I am not a reall big 'fan' of Pastor Osteen's message, but his broadcast is so much better than say news or even sports (gasp!) when I am trying to wake up and get myself and my family ready for church. Anyway, I was still fairly groggy when I heard, "...and he changed God's mind". That pretty much snapped me out of my half-asleep state. "What do you mean he changed God's mind?" I thought to myself. I couldn't have heard a Pastor say that a man, any man, changed God's mind, did I? I grabbed the remote, scrolled through the listings and saw that Pastor Orsteen's broadcast was going to be played on a different station during the next half hour. I quickly jumped in the shower so I could catch the sermon from its beginning, and I could then hear the entire message in context. Meanwhile all kinds of thoughts are jamming through my mind. To be totally honest, I was distracted as I "monitored" Pastor Osteen's broadcast the second time, and time has faded the 'edges' from my memory, but the item that I had concern with was his use of a passage from 2 Kings. God's prophet was told to go to the king and inform him that he would die. When the prophet confronts the king with this terrible news, the king pleads with the prophet (and thus with God indirectly), citing all that he had done to tear down the idols left behind by his father. How he had turned himself, and Isreal, back to the one true God. And that is when I heard it again, "...and He changed God's mind." I want to be perfectly clear in my next point... how is it possible for a man to change God's mind?!? We are finite, He is infinite, we are mortal, He is immortal, we are limited in what we know, He knows all things from all times, we are subjective, He is objective. I went back and read throught this account (2 Kings 20). I do not see God's mind changing, I see a king changing. I see a message being recorded for those whom come after. The story of Jonah - the whole purpose of Jonah going to Ninivah was not to destroy those people, but to bring a message of hope. The angels that went into Sodom and Gemorah were sent there to see if they could be redeemed. I feel that such messages, that man can change anything about God, are dangerous. It says that God can be molded into what we want. That He can be formed into a God who serves the creation instead of creation serving the Creator. If such a thing where possible how could we ever trust a God who changes at the whims of others - especially if there are two of us who may disagree on something. God's Word is clear: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8, ESV) God has known each of us, not just those called to His Son, but all of His creation. He knows all of our days... "in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalm 139:16, ESV). Therefor He is not surprised when the king of Isreal weaps and repents, God is not surprised when the people of Ninavah put on sack cloth and throw ashes on their heads - nor is God surprised when we are convicted of our sin and fall on our knees to beg forgiveness at His alter. I don't think Pastor Osteen's intent is in anyway to distort or mislead God's people. I really believe his intent is not to paint a misleading image of the Lord. I fully believe his intent is to have people believe in themselves, to pull themselves up by their boot straps (so to speak), and take a proactive role (from their subjective point of view) in their relationship with God. But what I think would have served Pastor Orsteen's congregatin better, and those who are in the audience of his weekly broadcasts, is to preach that it was not God who changed, but the king's heart and his view of God. The message of sin, and the terrible consequenses of them, is not to drag a person down into the mud to wallow in self pity - but it is to shed light on what Christ has actually accomplished on the cross. The gospel is not about what we accomplish, but what He accomplished. God knows it all. He knew it all before He even formed the earth. He does not change, but He uses our circumstances to change us (Romans 8:28-30). So when the Holy Spirit speaks to you (either through a 'prophet', or His Word, or just a 'gut feeling'), and you see the circumstances changing after you have reacted, remember it is not because God has changed - but it's because God was using something to change you, and He is revealing the change through external means. Verse for today: 2 Kings 20:1-6, ESV In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake.”


eBay, Capitalism's ultimate example

I have heard that anyone who sells things will sell their wares at the highest price that the market will bear. That is they will charge as much as they can for whatever they are selling. The only limitations that are placed on them is what their potential customers are willing to pay. eBay has to be the pentultimate example of this at work. I mean, where else would it be possible to see a used toilet plunger for sale!?! Has anyone else been "sniped" on eBay? You know what I'm talking about... you have found the perfect little gizmo, and it's reasonably priced at $19.99 too! You carefully place your bid and then wait for the auction to end, only to have someone come in at the 11th hour (and 59th minute) to outbid you, leaving you no chance to up your bid to some rediculous amount! I have been sniped, the sniper, and the wonderful recepient (being the occasional seller) of such a tactic. You can find almost anything on eBay. Has there been a movie that you just have to have, but for some reason all other retail outlets (you know, places like Suncoast or other outragously priced "brick & mortar" retailer) have been sold out for week? Look on eBay - chances are someone, somewhere, is selling it. But you have to be careful. Not all items are the real deal. Some are pirated movies, or are plain and simply not what you think they are. But if you are willing to be diligent in your research, careful in what you bid on, and willing to be patient - even to the point of being outbid time and time again - you can find some real gems. I remember once being "cold called" (via e-mail) about several cases of an out of print collectable card game (CCG for short). It was from a guy who recently bought an old kite shop, inventory and all, and had found them. All he wanted was $120.00 for the whole lot. I was reluctant, but in the end took him up on the offer. eBay helped me sell off most of cards, keeping just enough to have a game to try and play with DS1, and I still made a lot of money (ok, like $30 - but I could have made more if I was willing to sell them all). I have also found the occasional rare item that nobody else is really interested in, but for some reason I was. I highly encourage anyone who would like to bid on things... to be patient. Set the price in your mind that you are comfortable in paying, and then walk away of/when the bid out paces you. Be patient, wait until it comes up again - and it usually will. If you are always being outbid, re-evaluate what it's worth to you - but never, never, never allow youself get caught up in the "I have to have it!" mentality. I've done that... and it really hurts in the old pocketbook. :) Verse for today: Luke, 12:15-21, ESV And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”


Communication is Key

Everyone has teachers that they remember from school. It doesn't matter if they are 18 or 81. I have several myself, but the one I thinking of today was my 9th grade English teacher (the last English class I actually passed in H.S. by the way). I remember her going over what "communication" was. Since English is at the core a means of communication she felt it important to make sure we, her students, knew and understood the process. Well, tenty five plus years later, I don't have the materials readily at hand - but I am very thankful for the internet. LOL :) I will be using a webpage titled "Communication & Leadership" by Don Clark as my reference material... Communication is in essence the process whereby the 'communicator' (the one with the "message to be conveyed) is attempting to pass along an idea or concept to a 'receiver' (the one to whom the message is intended for). Now for this discussion it does not matter how many intervening "hops" there are. If the receiver does not understand the message of the communicator - communication is NOT taking place. I see a similar correlation in the process of Leadership. If a leader is unable to convey his/her message, and/or unable to convince others to follow him/her - Leadership is not taking place. Being a husband and father I am called to be the head of my household. In essence the leader (note: I am not saying Lord and master). Many of the troubles I shared earlier this week are as a result of poor communication and leadership on my part. Now, I know that I am not the only participant in this process. I have a wife who is my equal before God. She has her own thoughts, and ideas. She has her own contributions to the issues at hand, and she will be accountable for her actions before God (man that sounds like I am somehow condemning her - when that is NOT my intention, only a statement of fact - she is accountable for her own actions). But in my role I have failed her thus far. I have allowed the troubles of our communication to go on so long that we are at the place we are at. I have failed to identify (to include engaging her on her thoughts and ideas), I have failed to act (to include her on her thoughts and ideas), and I have failed to communicate with and lead her, thus I have failed to "Love her". I have failed to protect and provide. Fortunately nothing is beyond redemption, and we are not so bad as to just throw in the towel. I am blessed in that I am married to a very unselfish woman. She is just as frustrated as I am, and she wants to get through this as well. I am just not sure where else to go, or what else to do - other than pray of course. But communication is the foundation of any relationship, be it teacher:student, friend:friend, business:customer, husband:wife. God provides an example of what is possible when communication is working (Genesis 11). Although it may not be obvious, but God was the one who confounded speech to begin with, and His intention is not so much to cause us to fail as it is to make us turn to Him and to rely on Him... and that is something that has been happening. I feel like I am going through a regular old "1st and 2nd Kings" like experience... hopefully I am one of the kings who went through the land to tear the ashura poles down. Verse for today: Genesis 11:1-9, ESV Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused [1] the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.


Thomas Jonathon Jackson - aka "Stonewall"

For as long as I can remember I've had an affinity for the American Civil War (and by that I am referring to the one of the United States from 1861 until 1865 A.D.). Especially towards that of what was once called the Confederacy.

I'm not sure why really. Even my earliest memories about learning and studying of this war I remember knowing that slavery is (and was) wrong, and knowing full well that the morally correct side won (at least in that regards). Yet, I was (and am still today) was inspired by what the Southern soldiers, both private and officer alike, went through and accomplished. Sort of a sense of pride for what I perceived of some as-yet-unknown relative endured (I later found one such ancestor).

I have come to know that not everyone in the South supported slavery, and not all supported succession from the Union. But what they all did share was a love for their homeland, which was usually the state in which they were born into.

Two such leaders of the Confederacy were Generals Robert E. Lee, and "Stonewall" Jackson. Both men were men firm in their faith in God, and firm in their belief in what they were doing was the right thing to do. I've been reading the book "May I Quote You, Stonewall Jackson" and have really taken note of this man's convictions in regards to his faith and his philosophy towards war.

For example, there is a quote that says "A Chaplain should not be questioned as to what denomination he belongs to, but does he preach the Gospel!". And another in regards to his view of the war itself, "Every thing must be done to prevent war, but if that should fail the sword must be drawn and the scabbard tossed aside." (both of these are paraphrased as I forgot to bring the book with me today.) General Jackson was so devout in his faith (in one case he actually wrote a remorseful letter to his wife concerning a battle that took place on a Sunday where he says, "may it never have to happen again") that he was considered eccentric. He never shied away from proclaiming his faith, he never failed to let someone know where he stood in regards to his belief in his Lord Jesus Christ. I feel that the reason "Stonewall" was killed was because with him removed, General Lee would not be able to get the same kind of execution of the battle plans as with Jackson - and in the end, the loss of the war. At least sooner, rather than later. The only way the South could have won that war was if they had broken the will of the North to continue to wage war. Some believe if the South had won Gettysburg that is exactly what would have happened. I am not convinced of that, but then we will never know.

You will not see me running around with a Confederate Battle flag license plate, or attending some kind of rally wearing a bedsheet. I am convinced that, but God's providence, the Northern victory was the right outcome. President Lincoln's freeing of the salves was the right thing to do, even if it was not his original intention. But God has really been working on my heart of late. Especially in regards to dying to myself, discipline in life, and not always seeking out the 'softer' (or easier) road. In a very real sense, I see General TJ Jackson as a 19th century "samurai" in service to God.

Verse for today:
Ecclesiastes 7:8-13, ESV
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
Consider the work of God:
who can make straight what he has made crooked?


Purgatory revisited

Linda (her blog is "2nd Cup of Coffee") helped me to continue to ponder my post from yesterday. I think it's not so much that I want to be my beloved's "one and only", it's more that I don't want her to think I am imperfect in some way. The thing that "cuts me to the quick" is her words of disapproval of any kind. I will not elaborate, but she has a "gift" for saying just the "right" thing. So much so that I have taken a more "proactive" approach in some situations. Neither is very helpful - either her choice of wording, or my reaction. I blame myself mostly, because for her part it was the way she was raised, I mean a term of "endearment" from her parents is "You idiot". Not a term I would use, but it is pretty common in her upbringing, and my beloved tries really hard NOT to say such things. In my opinion I really over react, and it's mostly because an idol is being threatened in my life. In this case an idol of self. An idol of me wanting to be the one who she sees as the greatest thing since, well even before sliced bread. I also want to be perfect in and of myself. I don't like it when I'm wrong, I don't like it when I am the reason something did not go right. I am all full of patience and understanding (usually) when someone else screws up - but when I fail I fall pretty hard on myself. This is a glimpse of the "idol of self" - only God is perfect. I can work, and strive, but the very fact that sin is in the world (let alone my own sin nature) lends itself to making the perfect impossible to attain. We are to "work out our salvation", but in light of the cross, we cannot possible hope to achieve much success (at least not for very long) unless we look to the cross, we look and see what He has achieved, and what His grace has given, and then take up his cross and allow His grace to cover our lack. This is the idol that has been so prevelant in my life of late. So much so that my own sinful reactions have caused my beloved a lot of pain and confusion. Side note: I was reading about what a great time Susan was having meeting up with some blogging friends in Savannah, GA and it reminded me of the last time I had to visit my mother, outside of her hospital room, before passed away. I had taken my family down to visit her and my brother and his then wife (#2) for Thanksgiving and the long weekend. My mother had loved live music (of almost any kind), and especially Irish Folk music. She told us of a "great pub" in downtown Savannah, right on the water front, with good food and great music - so we caravaned all nine of us (my then family of four, my brother's family, and my mom) down to Kevin Barry's Pub and we had a great time. Sadly, less than a week later I was called back down to Georgia to see her one more time. By God's grace I was able to spend a few more hours with her and read to her from the book of Romans. When the burden of what we were going through was starting to get heavy my brother suggested we head back up to Savannah - which we did. Not to get drunk, but to revist the place we had such a good time at. That night will live long in my memory. If anyone who visits this little blog of mine is in Savannah, and enjoys live Irish music, and does not mind the atmosphere of a pub, I highly recommend Kevin Barry's Pub - really good food, and the music is just awesome. Verse for today: Luke 9:57-62, ESV As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus [7] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Woman, thy name is Purgatory

Purgatory, or "the final purification of the elect", is the process by which, according to Catholic doctrine, "all who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." - Wikipedia.com

I know I am not in hell, and I am positive I am not in Heaven. The only other choice could be is Purgatory.

When I got home late from my drill weekend on Sunday I was very tired, and to borrow a phrase from the military my hind-quarter was dragging in the dirt - both physically and mentally. I had not even had a chance to take a shower when my beloved races in the door to dropped of a slightly injured DS1 (he pulled something in his lower leg at his soccer game). Her intention was to drop him off and then, DS1 and I would just go out to dinner and hang out instead of going to AWANA. Well, it was an example of idols coming to the surface (on my part) and really poor communications. I totally lost it and we had an "intense time of fellowship".

I had arranged to take yesterday off from work because I knew I needed time to unwind from the weekend, and I really wanted to spend time with my beloved. It was far from an ideal time for us. I had to mow the lawn, and my beloved wanted time to exercise - neither got accomplished until after noon, and it was not because we were taking time for intimacy. We managed to get through the day until last night my beloved was going over the checkbook and bills (because she is taking the day to day 'operations' back from me since I've managed to thoroughly screw it up in the eight weeks I've tried my hand at it).

I want to declare here and now that as I walk through this time, and I spend time on my knees, I believe God is revealing an idol to me. One that has haunted me for some time now. It's related to me acting like a 'cameleon', and wanting people to like me. But with my beloved I think it goes even deeper. It seems like I want her to almost idolize me... like I want to be perfect in her eyes. This is an extremely dangerous place to be, the Lord God will not sit idly by and allow His children to form false idols or gods. In this situation I am seeing a painful side of Romans 8:28-29. The Lord does indeed use all things for my good - including painful confrontations with my beloved - in order to conform me into the image of His perfect Son, my Lord Jesus Christ.

I titled this entry as I did because I know that I am in the situation I am in with my beloved, because of my own screw ups. We do not have some "heaven on earth" marriage, but it is also - by God's awesome grace and mercy - not some "pit of hell" situation either. I really believe God is the author of marriage (especially mine), and He uses them to help us see our blindspots - and with His grace and mercy - work through the sin He mercifully uncovers in our lives.

Verse for today:
Exodus 34:11-16, ESV
“Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.


Discipleship in cyberspace

While I was reading through the blogs I frequent (see side bar for the links) I found out that Susan (author of the "Learning for Lifetime" blog) awarded me the "Mathetes Award". This award was started by a man named Dan King of Management by God as a way to recognize and encourage others. The name "Mathetes" comes from the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple is to make yet more disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). The intention of this award is to recognize five other blogs that have encouraged you in your walk with Christ (or in a way, discipled you). For my part the five blogs that have inspired me are:

Alise: I have really come to appreciate this woman's desire to worship God. I have been blessed to read through her struggles as a SAHM, worship team member, worship team leader, and lay(wo)man within her church at "Big Mama's Blog". We have similar life struggles and her candor and heart for God have been a blessing to me.

Dave Cruver: Dave has been a blessing to me through his blog, "To Tell the Truth", by expounding upon a wide variety of topics, but I love his love for the gospel of Christ. His blogs are always insightful and helpful, and he does a wonderful job of explaining what he believes, and why he believes it. I often come away from reading his blog contemplating some "piece of the puzzle". His blog is also a wonderful resource for other websites.

Thabiti Anyabwile: Thabiti is the author of the blog "Pure Church". A former Muslim who has come to love the Savior Jesus Christ, I learned about him through the "Together for the Gospel" blog (a group of Pastors from a variety of denominations). He really has a way of unfolding what he believes, and why. He has also been very helpful to me by giving me a point of view on some topics that I might otherwise not have seen.

Eric "Gunny" Hartman: As the author of "Semper Reformunda" Eric has been a relatively new addition to my "frequent visit" list of blogs, but I have grown to appreciate his words of wisdom. He has encouraged me, by challanging me in what he has to say.

Amy: This woman has been an encouragement to me in my life, but not in typical ways one might expect to be. Her blog entries at "How Do I Find My Way", and through sharing prayer requests, have really helped me to see and understand some things in my own life. Her struggles with being a single mother, trying to make ends meet, successes, failures, and just where she is in life and society have really opened my eyes to more than a few things. She has been both a means of grace received in my life, and a means for me to exercise some gifts.

There are others, and it was very difficult to pick out a "top five". I really wanted to "tag back" Susan, but felt that would not be fair. :) Thank you Susan for the kind award, thank you Dan for creating it as a means to encourage others to both be discipled, and to disciple others. I am honored, and humbled, that my blog would have an impact on anyone. May God continue to use me as He sees fit, and may He continue to use both Susan's blog, the blogs that I have listed as a being a blessing to me, and all those who call Him Lord, to further His kingdom for His glory. amen

Verse for today:
Matthew 28:16-20, ESV
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in [2] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


The Rubik's cube of my faith

This morning an interesting thought 'train' came through my mind. My knowledge of God, of His Word, is like a puzzle that I will be working on for the rest of my life. And it's a puzzle that every man and woman also work on. It's the same puzzle, but each one of us is working on our own individual one.

There are times when we interact with one another, when a piece of this puzzle - maybe set aside sometime back - is seen in a new light, and we can then maybe place that piece in its proper place (or vice verse, we are helping them put a piece in place).

The puzzle of course is our understanding of God - the One true God. Romans 1 talks about how all of creation speaks of Him, and so we are all working on this same puzzle. That does not mean we all worship the same god though.

And this puzzle, is not some simple little Rubik's cube either. It is a multi-layered, three dimensional, infinite piece puzzle. It could be called the MoaP (Mother of all Puzzles ;) ). Some days God is working on us in the section of humility, another day it may be dying to yourself, another may be worship of Him. And these sections are interlinked and sometimes we learn something new about God that 'disturbs' another section - but, if we know the guidlines we can better understand how to place the puzzle pieces.

For instance, God is omnipresent, omniscient , omnipotent, His Love is perfect, his wrath is just. It is impossible to decieve Him. He cannot contradict Himself (this one is very important). These 'guidlines' help, because if we think we know how a particular piece is to be layed out - but it contradicts something else - perhaps we need to revisit that other piece or section.

I love puzzles. Suduko, crossword, Rubik's cube, etc. And this is one I get to work on for the rest of my life - and on through eternity.

Verse for today:
Jerimiah 9:23-24, ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”


'Black & Blue' Tuesday

In the future, when I look back on what was 2007 NFL season, I may well remember this day. Yesterday afternoon it was announced that Jake Delhomme will have season ending surgery on his elbow. After reading about the pain he was experiencing, and was enduring apparently, I think this is the best for his long term career - but I am disappointed. Not that he decided to have the surgery (because I really do think it is the best thing for him), but because I was hopeful that the Panthers would be able to firm up and make a run for the NFC South this year. It is not a given that the Panthers will now fade away and end up with a better draft pick than originally thought, but it will definetly be a 'charecter defining' (i.e. hard work, blood, sweat, and maybe very little reward for the effort) experience from here on out. David Carr showed some real grit (in my opinion) coming back into that game last Sunday against the Saints. He was in a lot of pain. But I am worried about him as well. The kind of injury that he seemed to have sustained is not only career threatening, but possibly 'quality of life' threatening as well. I am praying that the coaches, doctors, and players involved really take a good look before pressing him back in to play too soon. I would rather see the undrafted rookie free agent (Matt Moore) play and fail, then for something really serious happen to David Carr (or any other player for that matter). It will be interesting to see how the 'charecter' of this team develops over the next twleve weeks - and hopefully longer. I am interested in seeing how players like John Kasay, Steve Smith, Julius Peppers step up and lead this team from within, and more importantly - display their faith for others to see.

Verse for today:
Exodus 4:10-12, ESV
But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”


Monday, already?

I feel like I've been run over this morning. The truck missed me, but that zippy little hybrid caught me right in the back of the head. :) Not really sure what it is, but it descended upon me Friday night and I've not been right since. Intestinal things, a constant headache, and both Saturday and Sunday I hit a wall where I just had to close the eyes for 10-20 minutes (and I mean as soon as they were closed there was no stopping the slumber). But I still find myself at work today. No fever or anything, just the yuckies - that and it's a government holiday, but not for my employer. That means I get a full day of work, but a whole lot less stress. :) I don't mind Mondays normally. Sure it's going back to work and all, but I like routine. I like schedules. :) So Monday is almost theraputic after the chaos that is home life with kids in school. :) I didn't start "The Cross of Christ" like I wanted to this weekend, but it was still a pretty decent weekend. We went to a friends house Friday night and played "Golf" for several hours (and stayed up way too late - LOL). Saturday was awesome... we had nothing planed. We had a nice family day pittering around the house (my beloved made cookies - which she loves to do, I played chess with DS1, we got the tire on the van fixed while we ate lunch at the mall, and DS2 had the opportunity to spend the night at a friends house. This last one was a real blessing because he does not get a chance to spend time with friends one-on-one all that much - not too many such invitations come his way. Sunday was somewhat relaxing, church in the morning (where my beloved and I served in the pre-school area), some football watching in the afternoon (along with one of those naps I was telling you about) which is always a goodthing, and then DS1's soccer game in the evening. My son's team lost (again), but he is really coming along as a "sweeper" and I am seeing him gain confidence in himself. He did have a couple of bad fouls in 'the box' (tripping, I think) - but I told him that I was glad to see him getting more 'confident' and that he was making a move on the ball. That his play (and the aim of his foot) will continue to get better as he practices and gains confidence in himself. And to top it off the Panthers won yesterday... granted it was an ugly win, by all rights they should have lost that game, but it is a win none-the-less. Next Sunday is going to be tough fight for them. I hope David Carr is alright this morning, after the sack he took in the 1st quarter, but I think Coach Fox will push Jake back to the #1 spot. *** How about that John Kasay, eh!?! His 9th game winning kick as a Panther, and I love reading his quotes in the post game interviews, "It was dancing a little bit, but by God’s grace it went in between the posts". Verse for today: Psalm 40:4-5, ESV Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.


Speaking of books

Recently a visitor to my blog drew my attention to the book "The Way of the Christian Samurai" (not really sure why ;-) ) and I really enjoyed it (thus my review of it yesterday). I really do feel as though it is an easy enough read that most Christians could gain something from it.

But once I finished it, it actually made me thirsty for more - reading that is. I have had "The Cross of Christ" by John Stott for what seems like forever, but I have never read it. I need to start that... but that was not enough. No. I have gone to the well known as Amazon.com and order yet three more books (which I am sure my beloved will laugh, and cry about).

I have ordered, "Living the Cross Centered Life" and "Humility: True Greatness", both by CJ Mahaney. The first one is a follow on to "The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing" and I am really looking forward to seeing what Mr Mahaney has followed up with. While I was looking at this book I saw the second book. Having been fed under Pastor Mahaney when he was the senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church I can honestly say that he, along with all those in leadership with him, lived out the principles of humility. Pride is a constant foe in my life and when I saw this title I immediately wanted to purchase, and then devour this book.

The last book I've ordered was "Seduce Me"by Darcy Cole. As a Christian husband I feel that it is my duty to make sure that my own "lawn" is well maintained and thus there will be no need to covet my neighbors lawn - if you know what I mean. There are some raised eyebrows - especially in my National Guard unit - when people learn that I am overtly interested in the pursuit of intimacy with my beloved. They chide me like I am doing something sinful, but then I am not ashamed to declare my love and "interest" in my wife. After all, marriage is ordained by God. He has used it to give an example of His relationship with his church, and there is an entire book in the Bible dedicated to such a relationship. But to be totally honest, I felt that I needed a fresh perspective on how I could pursue my beloved better.

Now, to get off my duff (so to speak), knuckle down, and actually read some books that make me think and can make a difference in my life.

Verse for today:
2 Timothy 2:14-19, ESV
Remind them of these things, and charge them before God [1] not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 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.”


"The Way of the Christian Samurai"

“The Way of the Christian Samurai” By Paul Nowak
There is a common misperception of their being a dichotomy between western and eastern cultures. This is especially true when it comes to the spiritual beliefs and pursuits of their people. Paul Nowak has managed to share his personal passion of the samurai, and that of being a Christian, and then shows how the philosophies of both are not so mutually exclusive. He has done this by taking the reader through three common areas – service, self sacrifice, and resolve – and provided examples of how the samurai can show us as Christians how to pursue a life of service to our Lord Jesus Christ. More importantly he has done this not by taking examples from the samurai and making them conform to some self imposed image of what our Christianity should be, rather he has done this by taking points from the Bible and then provided examples from the samurai to explain how such things can be pursued.
Jesus has said to us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, esv), and “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35, esv). The word samurai means “one who serves”, and although there are many things a Christian needs to be wary of when studying the ways of the samurai – this book is a good starting point in seeing how to dedicate oneself – as a samurai - in service to the greatest Lord, Jesus Christ.
For my tastes this book is too brief (108 pages). Paul Nowak has done a very good job in citing sources for examples of how the samurai example can help in our pursuit of following Christ, but there is so much more to be explored. Grace and compassion being two that comes readily to mind. I would also have liked to have many of the examples more thoroughly expored and unfolded. Don't get me wrong, this book makes its point, and the reader should have little trouble understanding how we, as disciples of Christ, can each see ourselves as samurai in service to the Lord Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this book for anyone, man or woman, who would like to seek a more passionate pursuit of God - no matter what their gifts and talents.
You can purchase this book by clicking on the image of the book above, or on the side bar to the right.


Misc. thoughts...

No man is worthy to succeed until he is willing to fail. No man is morally worthy of success in religious activities until he is willing that the honor of succeeding should go to another if God so wills.
I have subscribed to the "Tozer Daily Devotional" by Literature Ministries International, and it has been useful in pointing out things to think about. The quote above has been useful in my life of late. Especially in regards to my walk with the Lord. Although it is probably not directly recognized as such, it has really helped me re-evaluate my walk with the Lord - and my motivations. That and a few other things. :) Last night was pretty fun. "Transformers" was a fun popcorn munching, sci-fi, special affects, movie. It was pretty cheesy in place (ever hear a robot space alien 'preach' about the nobility of man...?), but over all it was fun to watch. Big Mama - to answer your question... I've only seen the 'Heroes' season premier, it was a lot like last years start. It was setting up the 'players' in their plot lines. Not much else going on. I have this weeks episode DVR'd and hope to get to that later this week. Between that show, 'The Unit', and any and all football I can watch, my TV time is pretty much taken. lol Verse for today: Psalm 94:10-15, ESV He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge— the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath. [1] Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.


Making my escape

Or at least for a 'time-out'. :)

I have started, and restarted this blog three times today. I'm just gonna go with this for today.

At my homegroup bible study on Friday I proposed the guys get out for a movie night or something. Unfortunately there is only two of us going tonight. One guy commutes over 90 minutes to work, another has to close his store, and the other guy lives too far away - so it's just the two of us.

Fortunately my beloved has stepped up and will take all three kids to soccer practice while me and my friend drive out to the $2.00 movie theater. We're going to go see "Transformers". It will be something I don't have to try and digest. I will maintain my guard, but I don't have to try and figure out the plot.

Verse for today:

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

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.


October is my favorite month

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. I love the cool, brisk mornings, that give way to the warm breazy afternoons, that then yield to the innevitable cool evenings, and night. I love that the kids are back in school, that it's Football season again, that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.

October is shaping up to be an even more busy month than I thought possible. :) But we will get through it... and I will be complaining that it is November already. :)

I have a book review coming soon - by Friday I hope. I've been given the opportunity to read and review a book on a topic that is near and dear to my heart - as you all will see when the review comes. :) No more clues than that though. :)

I pray that you all had a blessed weekend.

Verse for today:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, ESV
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, [1] you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children [2] of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.