Back in the saddle

I am throwing up a quick post, but I will be adding some more later today. I have been under the weather pretty much since Monday. Dropped 9lbs though! You don't need the details. ;-)

What a crazy week. Last Saturday I was honored to be chosen to render the first salute to a graduating ROTC. We have known each other for about 3 years now. He's a smart, hard working kid. I gave him one of my ACU day planners that I had received from our unit (they replaced the old 'Leader's books'), and one of the St. Barbara coins I had bought for the guys over in Iraq. He in turn gave me the traditional Silver Dollar (a nice bicentennial piece) and a WW-I era Artillery Branch pin. Very nice. Yet another example of me working with a kid just starting off in his military career as mine is in twilight. On the way home I stopped by the place I bought my sons beds at and bought a pair of desks and some storage shelving/boxes for me. Oddest thing though, their warehouse was closed! On Memorial Day weekend!?! That has to be a crazy thing, and a not so good business decision.

Sunday we went to a friends house for a BBQ. A great time was had by all. I also had a chance to meet an old friend from high school and his 12 year old daughter. Through him I found out that another old friend may be reachable. This long lost fellow was the one I joined the Guard with back in '86. I need to pick up the phone and call him.

On Monday I went back out for my unit's annual Memorial Day parade. The town supposedly has the longest continually running Memorial Day parade in America. At the end we always perform a salute at the town cemetery. After it's all over the local American Legion Hall puts together a good spread for us. That morning is when I started to fell a little 'under the weather' and by the time I got back home I had to lay down for little bit.

The rest of the week has been a fight. I will not try and gross anyone out, but I am still dragging today. I had some other thoughts, but they have gotten lost in the process of getting through the day. :-) I hope you all have a blessed day, and weekend.
Verse for today:
James 5 : 13-18, ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. [2] Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.


What was a childhood hero?

When we are kids we say our hero's are Policemen, or Firemen, or Soldiers. Maybe it was the Six-Million Dollar man (showing my age now, aren't I ;) ). As we get older we choose professional athletes, or musicians/actors. But I think the true test of who/what our heroes are is who have the greatest impact on our lives. Who helped mold our lives. Last night I think I came to realize one of my heroes growing up was a character few would ever suspect... Walter "Radar" O'Reilly!

I (think I) know what you all are thinking... why him? Well, I am not sure really. I was having trouble sleeping and there was a M*A*S*H marathon going on on TV. The last two episodes I watched were the ones when Radar got sent home.

In part I he is on his way home from leave in Tokyo (I think), and the unit is struggling with their generators. He meets a woman who is on her way home. They have a "moment", and Radar eventually gets back to the 4077th. Of course Klinger has made a complete mess. Radar finds our he's going home, etc. etc. etc.

But as I made some chamomile tea (1st time I had ever done that - I would like to say here and now... that stuff works!) I was thinking. I really liked that character. I liked his innocence. I liked his honesty. I liked his work ethic. As I look at my life I really think that character had the biggest impact on who I wanted to be personally. I am not saying I went out and had a pet rabbit, or have an overwhelming desire to move to Ottumwa Iowa or anything. But I look at my personality now, and reflect on my reactions and opinions while watching the show from years ago, Gary Burghoff (aka Walter "Radar" O'Reilly) had a very big impact on my life. He's no Peter (disciple), or Lance Armstrong. But he had a way about him - even though he was a fictitious person only being portrayed by an actor. Without knowing about the novel, or the two attempts at a series after M*A*S*H, I want to believe that he went home and looked up that nurse, and the two of them lived happily ever after.
Verse for today:
Philippians 3 : 12-16, ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.


What am I scared of?

Or is it that I just don't like doing things without knowing how first? I still haven't tried out the new program I downloaded last week. Just type... that's what I do all day for work anyway. Point-click, type, enter... I mean, I'm not even on the hook for anything. I just want to do it for fun! Theodore Roosevelt said it best:

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds might have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Too often I am more among those on the sidelines, even in areas that I want to be a part of. I do not owe anyone this story that I want to write. There is no deadline. I am only writing really for myself. Sure I post them in a blog for all to see, but there are no expectations there either. And it's not just in my writing.

I get "camera shy" in other things I do. I've always wanted to do small time acting... but I get up there and I start to stutter, etc. Once, for church, I was in a small play and I had the only part where I could sit down and read my lines. Do you know I was the only one in our 3 day run that flubbed their lines! LOL

I like to write, I like to imagine, I like to pretend and play - it's just that I don't like to do those things publicly.
Verse for today:
Psalm 107 : 4-9, ESV
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.


Where do we go from here?

Wednesday is for rambling I guess. My mind is pretty cluttered right now. I laugh at, but I am also frustrated by, a "piece of flair" over on Facebook. There is one button that reads, "I'm not random, I just have many tho... Oh Squirell!!". I really need to get tested... maybe do something about it. Another button reads, "I know I came in to this room for a reason!" I feel like that a lot. Even when I am praying I will find that I have "wandered" off in some bizarre, often unrelated, thought. And I hate it. I know that when someone is talking to me, there had better not be some thing going on over their shoulder. It's gotten to the point where when I go out to eat with my beloved I ask to be seated with my back to the room.

I have been working on a story line in my head for about a month now. I'm really excited about it, but I am getting nervous that it will fall by the wayside and I won't get back to it. I still have to finish up the one "commissioned" (unpaid) short story that I started about the same time. This guy is counting on me to get it done and I am dragging my feet. At last count, I have four on-going character threads - all based in the "Necromunda" universe. I don't know why they are all based there. It's probably because I have so much material available to help me know what this fictitious place is like, and I am not able to come up with (and keep track of) such background. This new story idea is also bringing back a character that I used to write about two years ago... so I guess that makes five, and a sixth. Oh well...

I found out today (through yet another Facebook application) that they are remaking the Highlander movie. Now, I have never heard of this webpage before today, and I am not sure how reliable their sources are, but I am interested enough to see if this actually does come to be. I am at a different place spiritually, philosophically, morally, and personally from when the first movie was released... but it is science fiction and thus it has at least some of my interest.

Dan Morgan, formally of the Carolina Panthers, announced his retirement from professional football Monday night. The Panthers had released him earlier this year because of his on going health concerns... and not just from "what can he do for us lately", but for an honest concern for his overall well being. I am glad that he looked around his home and realized and how good he had it and decided to hang up his cleats before something much more serious happened to him.

Ok, before this begins to look like Gunny's, "Sounds like somebody got a case of the Mondays", I will wrap this up with a final tangent. With my up coming retirement from the National Guard, I have been looking into ways I can replace the lost income. Especially because my beloved does not want to go back to work (she has her hands full enough with children's ministry, family life ministry, and being a full time advocate for not just my son but all special needs children in our local schools), and I want to enable her to do that. My little candy store is just not going to cover the loss in income. I have two or three side business ideas floating around in my head, as well as perhaps seeking out a shift change at my work. God has been very gracious to us, but I do not want to just sit on the roof waiting for God to perform a miracle if He's already sending rescuers by other means.
Verse for today:
James 3 : 1-12, ESV
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, [1] and set on fire by hell. [2] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, [3] these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.


Music Monday - 20080520

Ok, I know... I am a day late. But I have a good reason. It's because I took yesterday off. :)

Over the weekend I could not get this song out of my head. It played over, and over, and over... and not in that annoying kind of way. I ended up downloading it so I could listen to someone who was actually a good singer, sing it. LOL

Agnus Dei
by Michael W. Smith
Album: Worship - 09/11/2001

For the Lord God Almighty reigns

For the Lord God Almighty reigns

Holy are You Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb

You are holy
Holy are you Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb
Worthy is the Lamb


I remember when I first purchased the DVD for this album. I won active duty and feeling kind of lonely around Christmas time. The entire album has left an impression upon me and I like to put the DVD in when I am pittering around the house. I guess the song came to my mind because this weekend was another drill weekend, and I am running out of those. The lyrics really do not reflect the power of the music. The lyrics are powerful, but when you feel them in your soul... music has a way of filling you with the words. You feel them for a lack of a better word. One thing has come to mind however... can you be this "worshipful" when it is just you and God? When it is just you and the Lord, singing with no one else - or even those you are not familiar with - around? I confess that I have a harder time when I am around those I am not 'comfortable' with. And when I am alone I sometimes struggle to stay focused. But, I still love to sing and praise the Lord.

I love music, I love to sing, I love to hum, I love to whistle. I once tried to teach myself how to play the keyboard, but got discouraged (in only two months). If I had more time I'd like to think I would take music lessons. I am almost jealous of Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in Ground Hog Day.

I hope you all had a grace and peace filled weekend.
Verse for today:
Psalm 42 : 1-4, ESV
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? [2]
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.


We're all fine here, um... how are you?

This has been an "interesting" week to say the least. With my beloved being home again (YEA!), and the kids in the middle of standardized test week, me trying to pull together some minor projects around the house, working on some short stories, and all of the other routine things that happen around my little "dojo"... my mind has really not been on blogging much this week.

Oh! One thing I would like to comment on for all you writers out there. I have been having trouble keeping track of my story ideas for this really long short story I want to write. I must have three different notebooks I have scribble notes in, not to mention some Word documents, so I have been searching on-line "how to outline stories". There are a ton of useful websites, but I am suffering through information overload. :-) There is a program out there that has a really flashy front. If the program is half as useful as the website is designed, then I will be forking over the license fee when the trial period is up. The program is called "Liquid Story Binder XE". I am going to give it a try over the weekend and see how much I like it.

If anyone has good advice on how to write a story, how to submit stories, or just plain story writing experiences, I'd love to hear about them.
Verse for today:
Proverb 16 : 1-6, ESV
The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.


I have nothin', so instead of trying to make it up on the fly, here are some blogthings...
What Your Taste in Music Says About You
Your musical tastes are reflective and complex. You are intellectual to the point of being cerebral. You are very open to new experiences, and even more open to new ideas and theories. Wisdom and personal accomplishment are important to you. You are naturally sophisticated. You are drawn to art, especially art by independent artists. You are likely to be financially well off... and not because you were born that way.
What Your Peanut Butter And Jelly Sandwich Means
Your eating style is gluttonous. If you like something, you're going back for seconds... no matter how full you are! You don't really have a sweet tooth. If you go for dessert, you tend to go for something light. Your taste in food tends to be pretty flexible. You may crave sushi one night, and your favorite childhood recipe the next. You belong to a class that's all your own. You resist rules and traditions of any sort. You are a tough person who isn't afraid to live life fully. There isn't a lot that scares you. Precise and controlled, you can be a bit anal retentive when it comes to how you like things. You're definitely a perfectionist.


Alternative energy - attempt # 2

Hopefully I can get my thoughts down today. Without rambling on about something else. :-)

For as long as I can remember I thought recycling just makes sense. I mean, there's only a finite amount of "stuff" out there. Why not reuse things? I mean, from a consumers perspective there has got to be more uses for that milk jug, or old carpet right? Well, since then I have learned about cost and how it is more expensive to recycle, or repair, things than it is to just make, or buy, a new thing. But that's not because it makes more sense, just more cents. I know the markets for recycled products is growing, and this is helping make things more cost effective to recycle. All of this is a good thing.

When I realized that I was going to become a home owner (well, at least the portion the bank doesn't own - I'm working on that), I liked the idea of making my home cost efficient. Like using solar energy to reduce my dependency (or possibly eliminate it all together) on the energy company, and a geothermal set up for my heating and cooling. It makes sense. I mean, how can a heat pump really cool or heat a house when the temperatures get into the upper 90's or below freezing? (Obviously I am not an expert on home systems.) But it is very difficult to find contractors that actually deal with these systems - at least in my area. When I have gotten estimates on purchasing and getting these systems installed the prices was staggering - at least to me. Maybe I am not looking in the right places, but when I take the cost and determine my "break even" point I am looking at a 7+ year time frame. I don't know about you all, but that is a lot of money to put up front, and since I don't have the money, taking out a loan only prolongs the break even time frame.

I currently drive a 2000 Toyota Echo, which I love. The reason I did not go with a Prius was that, at the time, the battery technology was too knew for my comfort level. Since then Toyota (as well as many other manufacturers) has really done some good work in progressing both battery tech, as well as over all engine efficiency. With everyone feeling the pinch of the apparently ever increasing gas prices, I am really enjoying my 8 year old car getting between 35 and 40 MPG. :-) God willing I will be keeping this car for another 10 years or so, or until it is no longer cost effective to keep it. ;-)

I want to say here that I have not bought into the whole global warming thing. The Earth is at least 6,000 years old and we have not really kept track of weather patterns for more than 150 years or so. As few as 30 years ago most of the "people who know these things" were predicting another ice age, and even earlier this year an "expert" was saying that the earth was cooling too. I am not going to try and debate this issue here. I am no scientist, nor do I know much more about the weather than what I hear on the weather channel, or what I can see out my own window. My whole point of my blog today is that God has made us stewards of this world, and we should be found to be good ones.
Verse for today:
Genesis 1 : 27-31, ESV
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


Charlie Wilson's & Alternative Energy

I am not really sure how these two things are connected, but they were both on my mind so I thought I would blog about them.

Over the weekend I watched "Charlie Wilson's War" with my beloved. If you can get around the nudity, and the constant alcohol consumption, and Lord's name being used in vain, this is an interesting tale. Like most people in America I had no idea how direct (i.e. covert support) America support was for the Afghanistan struggle against the former U.S.S.R. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Near the end of the movie Gust is talking to Charlie just after the they were watching the news report of the last Russian soldier to leave Afghanistan. Gust tells the Congressman that he needs to follow up and help the Afghans rebuild their infrastructure, while overhead the sound of an airliner can be heard. The next scene Congressman Wilson is seen asking some committee for $1M to help the Afghans build schools, it is insinuated that he didn't get the money. The quote, which I am not 100% certain is from Congressman Wilson, as the movie fades to black says, "We changed the world, and then we fucked the end game."

I am not saying that America should boast about how we help rebuild various countries around the world. I think that is something that should be expected. Those who are given much are expected of much. But in this case our failure to help provide basic assistance to a country in need directly affected what happened twelve years later - in my opinion. Yes, we covertly helped the Afghans oust the Russian army, but we did we fail to help them overtly (or even covertly) when it was all over? Since my assessment of the results are in the past I cannot speak authoritatively on if the outcome would have been any different. But I do fail it was a huge failure on our part.

We have something similar going on now. I am not going to drum up reasons why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan now. That is water over the dam and there is nothing that can be done to change it. What is fact is that we are there now. I know America as a whole does not feel this way, but the United Nations has not proven itself capable of affecting change. We need to make sure that those governments are up and stable before we just pull out. How that can be accomplished can be debated - and I'm sure will be. No matter who sits in the White House after January 2009, their Vice President should be very, very busy. Not to mention their Secretary of State. We cannot afford to let those who are unwilling to live in peace to walk in and secure a nation for them to move their plans forward.

Our leaders, whether I 'approve' of them or not, are appointed by God. My ultimate trust is in God. Until His return sin, and the enemy of our souls, will continue to ruin and corrupt our efforts. But we need to continue on, and fight the good fight, because in that final day there can be no greater reward than to hear, "Well done".

Well, I have rambled on long enough about the one thing. I will have to pick up on #2 tomorrow.
Verse for today:
Ecclesiastes 3 : 1-8, ESV
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.


Music Monday - 20080512

This past week has been kind of a whirlwind. My beloved finished out her last week at work, and although it looks like they are going to offer her another (higher paying) job, she is telling me that she isn't going to take it. She has been talking about wanting to really be home for the kids after school, and not wanting to work. So, I went out and took a large chunk of the money I was (am) saving for an elliptical machine and bought her a $100 gift card to A.C. Moore so that she can build up her painting supplies. She loves to paint and draw. I am hoping to find a way to encourage her to do this more often, maybe even show some of her pieces. Who knows, maybe God will use this talent of hers to provide an additional source of income.

It's hard to say where God is going to take us. So many uncertainties. God gave me a verse on Friday night at our caregroup. To summarize it has to do with Moses telling God how he feels inadequate to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. There has been a burden on my heart for a long time in regards to some kind of ministry. With me getting out of the Guard, my beloved not wanting to work anymore, and the economy going the way it's going... a lot of uncertainty. I know we can't tell the day or the hour, but the world just seems like it's going crazy at times.

Anyway, with all of this going on I really didn't have a song for today until a friend who I was IM'ing suggested this song. Although the author wrote it when his daughter was born, I think it really expresses where I am at right now.

by Written by Tremonti/Stapp

I lie awake on a long, dark night
I can’t seem to tame my mind
Slings and arrows are killing me inside
Maybe I can’t accept the life that’s mine
No I can’t accept the life that’s mine

Simple living is my desperate cry
Been trading love with indifference
yeah it suits me just fine
I try to hold on but I’m calloused to the bone
Maybe that’s why I feel alone
Maybe that’s why I feel so alone

Me…I’m rusted and weathered
Barely holding together
I’m covered with skin that peels and
it just won’t heal

The sun shines and I can’t avoid the light
I think I’m holding on to life too tight
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
Sometimes I feel like giving up
Sometimes I feel like giving up

Me…I’m rusted and weathered
Barely holding together
I’m covered with skin that peels
and it just won’t heal

The day reminds me of you
The night hides your truth
The earth is a voice
Speaking to you
Take all this pride
And leave it behind
Because one day it ends
One day we die
Believe what you will
That is your right
But I choose to win
So I choose to fight
To fight

From Creed's Greatest Hits Albumn

Well, I need to run along for today. May God richly bless each of you.
Verse for today:
Hebrews 13 : 2-6, ESV
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”


Ode to Mom

As opposed to good old Mom, eh? ;-)

Since we are coming up on Mother's day I thought I'd write a post about the 'moms' in my life.

The first "props" goes to my own mom. She was a single mother who fought for, and eventually won custody. Now, should she have had it, I dunno. She was a woman with a lot of faults, but loving her children was not one of them (no matter how misguided her attempts may have been). When I was very young she worked at least two jobs in order to take care of me and my brother. She worked hard to make sure that my brother and I were taken care of - even to the point of hiring a nanny (sort of) for during the week. She pretty much gave everything she had to see that my brother and I were taken care of.

The next goes to my step mother. She always bent over backward to make sure my brother and I knew that she loved and appreciated us. Even when we were not... the nicest we should have been. Part of my love for math comes from her (and my dad) making me study my multiplication tables (and things like that). I remember bringing homework on family vacations... *sigh*. Even now she goes out of her way to show, and share her love for me and my family. She has really taken care of my dad, which is a good thing. ;-)

My next goes out to my Mother-in-law. Unlike the common American stereo-type, I love my MIL. I am not really, shall we say, "tight" with my own family. I've just sort of been on my own - pretty much since I was 16 (this was how it ended up, despite my dad and stepmom's desires). But when me beloved first introduced us she has been nothing but nice to me. On the few times I felt like I had to step in and ask them (my in-laws) to step back, they did so. She takes care of me and my family, and in many ways has provided in ways that my own has not been able to (not necessarily because they didn't want to...). When ever I have called her up with a question, or to ask advice on something, she has always taken the time to help me out.

Last but by far not the least... my beloved. Before we even met, my beloved was told that it would be "difficult" for her to conceive, and she was up front with me. But when the Lord put it on our hearts to begin trying *BAM* along came DS1. Funny story - we were both working odd shift jobs, me starting level IT and midnight shift, she was a low level manager in a fast food restaurant. I had just come home and was trying to go to sleep (she was already in the shower - I also do not sleep well with ANY light around me LOL). She's getting ready and I am just on the edge of consciousness when she comes in and says, "I might be pregnant. I am on my way to the doctor's office now. Go back to sleep." LOL - like I was going to get any sleep that day! My only "regret" is that God did not allow us to "practice" more. ;-) When we decided to try for #2 *BAM* along came DS2. We had a little more 'trouble' with DD3. It was September 2000 when God put it on my beloved's heart about a daughter that He would give her. She has been ornery from the very beginning. Through it all my beloved has been an amazing mom. She has always sought out the very best for our children. When DD3 was diagnosed with CF (a very long and trying time in our lives) she dove in and learned what to do. Long before DS2 was finally diagnosed with Aspergers, she was involved, asking doctors and educators questions. For DS1 she has always been there for him, helping him with homework, baking his favorite cookies for him.

Women are amazing in general, but my hat goes off for mothers. I am amazed at how God has designed each of you unique for the role you play in your children's lives. Just like no two children are alike, no two mothers are either. May God pour out an overflowing supply of grace, mercy, strength, and courage upon each of you who come by here this weekend. Thank You God for mothers, and the work that You do through them.
Verse for today:
Proverbs 31 : 26-29, ESV
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”


Giving 110%

Does it bother anyone else when they here the term, "... gives a 110%"!? For me that seems to indicate that the norm is somewhat less than the whole. If a player gives a 110%, does that mean that they are not giving it their all the rest of the time? What about the rest of the team, does it mean that they are not pouring their heart and souls into whatever they are doing?

Now, I know that when we are giving our all (aka 100%) there are times when the results are not what we would expect, want, or what others expect, but it is still our all.

Anyway, that is my little rant for the day... God Bless
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.


Warning - interesting times up ahead

How does that old Chinese curse go, "May you live in interesting times"? Well, I think America is getting payback for all that work that was done in the 1800's, early 1900's in getting the railroads up and running.

To be up front I consider myself a Conservative, but after taking a couple of those online test things I found out I am really a Centrist. What ever that means now a days. The first election I ever voted in was for Reagan's second term. I have traditionally voted for his party (I dare not spell it out for fear of ending up on some mailing list), but I REFUSE to vote "straight ticket".

The up coming election in the United States is a pivotal race, and to be honest no one candidate has sold me. Although one has me concerned with some past issues, and I am not going to go into specifics here. For me I feel that everyone needs to know what is important, and how each candidate stands for. They need to make EDUCATED choices and not just punch a ticket because their political party is on the ticket.

But I feel the same way about anything you believe in. Don't just swallow the pill because it is offered. Pick up the pill, ask questions about the pill. And not just superficial ones, ask secondary, and deeper questions. Find out the why the first answers are true, and same for even the secondary ones.

There is only one just ruler, and that is God. And no matter how much we disagree with our leaders, both present and past, we must acknowledge that it was God who allowed that person to rule. For whatever reason, it had a purpose. No matter what, the world will continue to suffer under the influence of sin. And that will not end until Jesus returns.
Verse for today:
Revelation 6 : 1-4, ESV
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.


I finally know what I am going to do for Mother's Day

My mother passed away in 2000 so my preparations are slightly more focused. :) I 'only' have my beloved, and my MIL. Since there is a chance that she might read this I am not going to divulge my plans here, but i think she will like it. I've had our kids begin their preparations as well. Not easy when I only have about 1-2 hours a night. That may sound like I have a lot of time, but that is the window to get dinner, dishes, baths, and homework done. :) Tonight I will drop off DS1 at his soccer practice while I take DS2 and DD3 out shopping (their request).

I just need to make up a menu for dinner (since we will be going to church and breakfast will be hard to get done).

I will blog on the details of my idea next week. Even though it's not likely to be found out I decided to be discrete. But I think she will like it.
Verse for today:
Malachi 2 : 15-16, ESV
Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? [6] And what was the one God [7] seeking? [8] Godly offspring. So guard yourselves [9] in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, [10] says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers [11] his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”


Music Monday - 20080505

Ok... this was a weekend from... well, that would be an exaggeration. Nothing on Earth can actually match that kind of pain and 'gnashing of teeth', but it was not enjoyable. I heard this song while cutting my lawn over the weekend...

The Look
By John Newton (original lyrics), Bob Kauflin (alternate and new lyrics and Music)
© 2001 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

I saw one hanging on a tree
In agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath
Will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
“I freely all forgive
This blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live”

Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

From the Songs for the Cross-Centered Life album

Listen here

There are times in life when it feels like you just can't please anybody, but you muddle along doing the best you can. At least try and take care of the things you think are important. But sometimes even that is not enough. I cannot count how many times I feel like I let my Savior down. And yet His grace is perfect, it is complete, and from the cross He saw every one of my failures, even my failures to follow Him, and yet His cry "It is finished" states how complete His sacrifice is.
Verse for today:
Proverbs 5 : 15-19a, ESV
Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.


Today in history...

Well, not necessarily today, but...

For some reason I was doing the "remember when" thing last night and early this morning, and again when I woke up. Ok, it was kind of 'forced' this morning because I wanted to blog on it, but anyway...

One reason I like math and 'logical' things so much can be traced back to a teacher in the 5th grade. (I think they teach his level of math in the 4th grade now.) The first day of class he had taken up one entire large-bulletin board with four columns of numbers, =0 (zero) through =100. For the first couple of weeks he never mentioned the bulletin board, and when asked he would bring us back to the subject at hand. (Ok, it may not have happened exactly like this, but it is how I am remembering it.) Finally he throws down the gauntlet. He challenges his class to create a math equation to solve for each of the answers on the board, the catch? You can only use four 4's to do each of them! Ok, things like 16 were easy (4+4+4+4), and many of them were knocked out in the first few days, but then the 'leftovers' began to hang on. What about solving for things like 63? Or 97? He taught us the power of square routes and 'powers' and other such things. Most of it, I don't remember anymore (that was like 30 years ago), but I remember pouring my heart into it. I loved it so much that I solved over 1/4 of the problems, most of them were of the odd-ball variety (13, 87, 61, 63, 97, etc.). I know this part for sure because as the problems got more and more difficult fewer and fewer students were turning in answers. By the time it was just me turning in answers there were still over fifteen numbers left to solve for - and I eventually answered them all. It affected me so much that when I took 'Finite Math' in college I messed up the curve for the rest of the class, enough that the teacher told the class that he would disregard two of the grades (me and one other guy) for the class curve. Me and the other guy averaged 98 for the semester. I am actually kind of sad that I never took calculus or physics later on. I am no prodigy though. I am nothing like Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting", or anything. But I do LOVE math. I am almost motivated to try and do it again. Hmm...

There are several things that happened while I was a child that I remember doing for the first time and how it affected the man who I am today. Some good, some not so much. I think that's why it is so important for us as parents, and even those of us who are around children. Kids really are like sponges, and it's hard to tell what they are picking up, and what is just getting smeared. ;-)
Verse for today:
Proverbs 22 : 6-10, ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful [2] eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.


Wow, the time is really flying by.

Is it really May 1st? Wow...

The past two days I started an entry, but then life sort of intervened. And today is not looking much better either.

Only one more day until Iron Man! I am so looking forward to this movie. Actually May is looking to be a busy movie for me and my family. Iron Man, Speed Racer, Indiana Jones, Narnia are all movies that we want to see. Then, later this year, I know I want to see Hulk, Batman, and Wall-E. I think I will just go get that second mortgage on the house so we can afford it. :) (kidding folks)

Only five more evenings of my beloved working. Even though I am going to be relieved when this season is over, I know my beloved will also be very happy. We are talking about getting her art supplies, especially painting, built back up (it's been almost twenty years since she was serious) and perhaps doing the local starving artist thing.

Looking at the calender, another week closer to being totally out of the Guard. I have one more AT (Annual Training) left, but I will get to end my career with some enjoyable things. My last full weekend will be at a 'salute' where we get to perform synchronized shots (with blanks) to an orchestra performing the 1812 Overture. Then, my final act in uniform will be at a formal dining in. Life is good.

Well, it has taken me almost 90 minutes to get this little bit in for today. I hope you all have a blessed day.
Verse for today:
Psalm 1, ESV
Blessed is the man [1]
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law [2] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.