20080829

Football and/or Fallout Fridays

Hello fellow sports fans and welcome to the regular season of the NFL! Last night the Carolina Panthers played their last game of the preseason. As was the case of the previous three games it was meaningless in regards to the championship (otherwise known as the Super Bowl), but it was the last chance twenty two guys were going to get to try and earn a job. Think about it. As of September 1st over seven hundred guys are going to be out of a job! And that is not counting all the guys that went to training camps between May and July 1st, or the guys that were cut earlier this week. Even though the last four games for the Panthers are now erased from the record books (other than some small footnote) i enjoy the spectacle nonetheless. i am pulling for Rhys Lloyd the place kicker from Great Brittan - so long as he does not oust John Kasay. I like what i was seeing on the Defensive Line, the offensive line, the Running Back situation, the Tight End situation, and the Defensive back situation. (Wow, you would think i am ready to ride the bus all the way to Tampa Bay!) But one thing is for sure. Right now there are fans of 31 other NFL teams all excited about the possibilities of the 2008 season. One thing is for sure though... the 2008 NFL season has begun! WOO HOO! Only nine more days until the season opens in San Diego. All i need now is to get the draft done for my fantasy football team (the Redleg Boomers) and I will ready for gameday! Not much new on the Fallout 3 front. Well, at least i am not sure what to say about it (yet). There are new reviews out almost every day, and the spin machine from Bethesda Software is really doing their job well, but i tend to like to look beyond the hype and just see what i can see without someone telling what i am supposed to be seeing. The Fallout 3 blog has been doing an excellent job of posting both pro and con reviews, etc. I know most of the reviewers are talking about how great it is to be able to play the game in a "morally neutral" way, and to be honest it bothers me that people want to know if they can "shot the kid NPC's", but I think those kind of questions speak more to the gaming society at large (which is to say a large portion of our youth and young adults) than the game itself. To Bethesda Software's credit I have heard two things that I applaud. The first one was there refusal to include the option of being able to shoot kids in the game. Why is this even a topic under consideration and/or debate? They (Bethesda Software) has been essentially unwilling to compromise, or discuss such a compromise, such a thing. Bravo! The second was an instance where someone interviewing the company about the game and asked if it was possible to get into an x-rated situation (I am paraphrasing) and the company representative said "not interested", and "no it is not a possibility". I think it's great that they went to such great lengths to make things feasible (to include moral choices being possible that I may or may not agree with), but were unwilling to include such things (and probably more that I am not aware of). They were willing to draw a line somewhere. For color here is the video for the beginning of the game... I am going to be enjoying a rare three day weekend, so until next time - I hope you all have a great grace and peace filled weekend. Verse for today: Psalm 141 : 3-5a, ESV Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies! Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.

20080828

All i want for Christmas are my two front teeth

Last night i bit into something and immediately i had the sensation that something had gotten wedged up in between my two front teeth. You know what i mean. The sensation that there is something there, applying pressure to both teeth. Well, i went and got some floss but it kept shredding. So i get a third piece a look in the mirror to see what it's getting caught on. Imagine my dismay when i see a crack appear in one my two front teeth as pressure is applied backwards to get the floss down in between! Fortunately neither tooth is 'original equipment'. When i was thirteen i was running and missed a step (no wise cracks ;) ), landed squarely on my chin and took of the better part off of both teeth. They were replaced by something pretty hard, but the dentist at the time had said they would have to be replaced when i was eighteen. Fast forward to May of this year and whatever the material was, was finally starting to give out and they both had to be replaced. Not fun, but we have a pretty good dentist who we've been using since '92. Now, one of them has to be replaced already. :( Such is life. :) I am just glad i am not in a lot of pain. Lately i have been 'chewing on' Mark 4 : 14-23:
And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” [5] And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” [6] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (ESV)
I know this verse speaks in the context of food, but i have been thinking about this in terms of our other four senses. This is probably not something i can put together in a cohesive thought in written form, but here is my attempt. Basically i am going to concentrate on sight and sound as smell and touch often incorporate at least one of the other four. We live in a world, at least here in the United Sates, where carnal things assault our senses every day. It is a common notion that "sex sells". Now, is sex bad? Context, context, context. Sex with one's spouse is not bad, but outside of that - bad (i.e. a sin). Jesus was pretty specific, "I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28, ESV). Does that mean you can never look at a woman? No, it means you need to guard your heart about how you "digest" such a sight. It irritates me when i hear "that's the way God made me". Horseradish! That's the way sin has corrupted you! What about the things you listen to? Gossip, music, slander... None of these actually cause you to sin, but how do you deal with such things? Do you put in your own little quip? Or do you excuse yourself from the conversation? What about music? There are a ton of lyrics out there with suggestive content. Guarding our hearts has to be a full time occupation. It is impossible to fully shield ourselves from such input all of the time. We can make good choices to limit exposure, but unless you live in a hole somewhere, it comes at you. I've heard CJ Mahaney say on several occasion, "we need to talk to ourselves, not listen to ourselves". When we take a passive role in guarding and monitoring our heart outside influences wear down your heart. Sooner or later those influences move in and take hold. I was once a TOW gunner. The T.O.W. missile is still in use by the United States military as a viable anti-tank weapon. It replaced the Recoilless Rifle as the primary infantryman's defense against tanks. Why? Because a bullet in flight, even one as big that can be affected by outside influences like wind, but the T.O.W. is wire guided. It takes commands from the controller and actually makes mid-flight adjustments to make sure it stays on target. We need to be the same way in our walk with the Lord. Verse for today: Proverbs 4 : 23-27, ESV Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder [3] the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

20080827

I am too young to feel like this

I have really been enjoying getting into a routine where I work out in the mornings before work. I like exercising, like I am doing something about my health instead of proactively making it worse. But it has also revealed some old "Army" injuries. 1) My knees, specifically my left one, gets to about 30 degrees and then it wants to give out. Not all the time, but a lot of it. 2) My neck almost always hurts. The last few years while I was in the guard I could not tolerate wearing the helmet for more than a few minutes at a time. I got a 'special' pillow from the chiropractor but I wake up stiff. I have found it best to not use any pillow except a sliver of a one. 3) My hands... they ache... a lot. I have heard the dreaded "A" word - Arthritis. That last item may actually mean I have to give up Dr Pepper! :( Or at least drinking so much of it. I just got an e-mail from a blogging friend who has helped me with my dilemma! The name of the Opera I was trying to remember is - Orff's O Fortuna to Carmina Burana! I have tracked it down via You Tube and confirmed the melody! Thank you, thank you, thank you Alise! LOL Man that took a load off. Verse for today: Proverbs 27 : 1-6, ESV Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool's provocation is heavier than both. Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

20080826

Ever have a song running through your head...

...that just won't go away? It plays over and over and over again? LOL - i am there today. Last night my beloved was watching the opening ceremonies for the US Open and the song in question came on and it has been playing over and over in my head since then! This is not a bad thing as i LOVE this song. The problem? For the life of me i cannot remember the title to this song! That is the part that is driving me crazy. The melody is what is playing over and over with the whispers of the lyrics. How do you look something up on the internet when you have no "written word" to use as a parameter? This is all i know... It is a tempo piece, usually used to give the feeling of tension/conflict. The vocals are sort of an operatic. I have heard it used as background pieces in various sporting events like the US Open and even a movie or two, but rarely something like Football. Da da da da; da da da da; da da da da... da... da da - you see my dilemma? LOL If anyone happens to think of a possiblity PLEASE send it my way! I am willing to explore most options. Anyway... Ok citizens, go on about your business. There is nothing more to be seen here. The US Open started yesterday which means i am a tennis widower once more. I enjoy tennis. My beloved has really gotten me hooked, but I can still let it go until the highlights if it means I need to get some sleep. Same with Football - unless the Panthers are playing. Last night DD3 wanted me to take the training wheels off of her bike. It didn't last very long as we were going down the sidewalk but she couldn't quite get her balance. She never fell, but she got nervous enough for me to put them back on. Also last night was the "meet and greet" and DS2's school (my Aspie). He has been a little nervous for a little over a week now. He does not like change, and heading back to school is definitely change. We usually have a rough September before he settles into his routine. But we did get a good piece of news from last year. He scored "above mastery" in all areas of his proficiency tests. \o/ (proud papa). As I was stumbling through the house this morning (i really didn't want to get up) on my way out to the gym, DS1 was up and starting his day. He has never been very hard to get up, sort of a self starter when he sets his mind to it. Ok, I have totally lost my train of thought. LOL I hope that this finds each of you enjoying God's grace today. Verse for today: Psalm 127 : 1-2, ESV Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

20080825

Music Monday - 20080825

I had a hard time choosing a song today. It was a long weekend in that I am beat (tired) today and I actually had a few songs running through my mind. On Saturday I got ready to pour the cement for the footers for my beloved's deck and when I was double checking the holes one of them was off - thus I had to dig a ninth hole. :) I'm telling you what - by the time I was done that 16lb pry bar felt like 50lbs! LOL The whole time I'm digging that hole the song "Sixteen Tons" by Ernie Ford kept running through my head. That's not going to be the song for today though. If you wish, click here to listen/watch it on You Tube (by Johnny Cash). Then yesterday we had a family ministry team meeting at church right after the 11:00 am service. It was a long day mentally for me so I didn't really think of a song. I was just busy getting things done - so much for a day of rest. :( When I dragged my tired bones out of bed this morning the song that started running through my head was "Step by Step" by Rich Mullins...
Step by Step Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You I will seek You in the morning And I will learn to walk in Your ways And step by step You'll lead me And I will follow You all of my days Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You I will seek You in the morning And I will learn to walk in Your ways And step by step You'll lead me And I will follow You all of my days And step by step You'll lead me And I will follow You all of my days
This song sings of the ideal. Something I know I do not do 100% every day. I want to be ever praiseful, I want to be ever mindful of where He is leading me, I want to seek Him morning by morning. The truth does not waver though. Jesus is always my God, and He will always lead me. Praise God that I am redeemed, and I am being conformed into His image day by day. Verse for today: Revelation 7 : 9-12, ESV After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

20080822

Football and/or Fallout Fridays

The NFL pre-season is a little more than half over and pretty soon the Panthers are going to have to make some decisions. One that I am going to be watching closely is the 'battle' between John Kasay and Rhys Lloyd. For now it would seem Kasay's job is secure, but the truth is that in the era of free agency you are only as good as your last play. The Charlotte Observer had a good article yesterday about Mr. Kasay. I am hoping that the Panthers make room for all three of the kickers (Jason Baker being the punter) - but with only 53 roster spots... kickers are usually seem as a luxury. Tomorrow the Panthers take on the Washington Redskins and I consistently see the references to the fact that they are undefeated in the pre-season (The Panthers are 1-1, the Redskins are 3-0). But this is the pre-season people. I have news for everyone - including the sports writers out there. In twelve days there will be thirty two teams who are all undefeated in the 2008 season. Then over the seven days following that number will be cut in half. Pre-season is a time of evaluation, not fully dedicated competition. *sigh* Anyway... I am looking forward to being able to see more of the Panthers tomorrow because the game will be played on a local channel. Something that does not happen all that often. I was disappointed to find out this week that the release of Fallout 3 was pushed back three weeks to October 28th. It does not 'rock my world' because I know that, A: it's a game, and B: that means that the Bethesda Softworks is seeing the light at the end of their tunnel. From what I can tell (and I am not a corporate, or industry, insider) they have really put together a good effort to produce a quality product. I may not agree with many of those who are reviewing the game, or their choices of playing style, but I can wait until the company is happy with the finished product. I have been fascinated by the process they have gone through to get to this point. DS1 has intimated to me that he wants to get into game design when he gets older. He has that kind of mind. He is constantly inventing complicated games to play with his friends. He uses Lego's, K'nex, or even just his plastic toy soldiers to represent various ships or whatnot. Can you imagine - four years ago Bethesda Softworks spent over a million dollars just for the rights to make this game. Then, since then, they have been paying programmers, play testers, etc. to make the game. All of that before they have made one dime on the project. I decided to spend the extra $10 on the "Collector's Edition" because they are including a "making of" DVD. I have read that it sort of shows how a game goes through the process of being made, and I am hoping to share that with him. Who knows, maybe this is the direction God is taking him. If nothing else it will help him with his curiosity. There was more, but life interrupted me while I was typing this all in. May God grant each of you a wonderful weekend in Him. Verse for today: Proverbs 22 : 1-6, ESV A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. [1] Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

20080821

It's just like riding a bike

About once a year i would offer to teach DS1 (12) and DS2 (10) to ride a bike. Truth be told i dreaded the possibility of them saying yes. For one thing they might be able to go farther away from home - like i used to when i was their age, and another i didn't like the possibility of them getting hurt. I was still willing, and i think i didn't let me fear show through in my offers, but i was nervous none-the-less. Each time, though, they turned me down. They never explained it, they just weren't interested in it. Last Friday night something 'clicked'. We were over at a friend's house for a barbecue and swim time in their pool. It was a tad chilly so the swim time didn't last very long and the kids all got dried off and went to go play on the trampoline. At some point i went to go see the kids (the why is not important, besides - i don't remember it now) and there is DS2 riding around the driveway on one of their friend's bikes! I called my beloved over. At first she thought some one was hurt, but then we both just kind of stood there amazed. When we asked him he said he just wanted to ride. Oh kay... then, when his brother saw what he was doing he jumped on another one and started riding. We asked them where/when they decided to start riding a bike and it was then and there! \o/ They take after their dad. ;-) Now their sister wants to learn too! I think i know what is going to be on everyone's birthday and Christmas wish list this year. Including myself. I had loaned my old bike to a friend who has since misplaced it - but that's ok. The crank on the old one was stripped and it weighed a ton. I have gotten my money out of it. Maybe next spring we can all head out on a bike ride somewhere. In a side note, and in addition to yesterday's blog, i've trimmed down two of the other three blogs i had. I dropped my Hiku blog because i have not written anything new in a very long time. The other one was my Carolina Panthers blog. It was sort of redundant as i blog about the Panthers here anyway. I also didn't want either one clamoring for more time than i really had. One thing i am really trying to do is simplify myself so... One last thing, recently there was a "Behind the Scenes: Planet of the Apes" on the Biography channel. I know this may surprise a few people - but i do not actually know much about the older movies. I've seen the newer one, but really don't like the ending. Anyway, i watched some of that show last night. Pretty interesting stuff - well, to me. :) For example, did you know that when they made the first movie they didn't expect a sequel? It was made for $5.8m. When Fox Studios called for a sequel you would think they would use even more money... nope. It was made for around $3m. When they made that movie the writers and Charlton Heston didn't want to do it, so they compromised and in the final scene he blows up the world (in theory) by detonating a nuclear missile. But that didn't stop a third,fourth or fifth movie, or two television series, etc. Verse for today: Proverbs 21 : 1-3, ESV The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

20080820

Slimming down and shaping up

Yesterday afternoon I was approached by a coworker. He wanted to know if I wanted to join in on an office "Biggest Loser" contest. Starting next Tuesday those who want to participate will get weighed and measured, and give $50 up front. There after it will cost $25 per month to stay in the competition. That is pretty steep for me, but I told him I might be interested in playing along, just without money or a chance to win the prizes which will be based off of the most weight lost and most body fat percentage lost. I think it would still serve as a good means to motivate me and drive forward with my exercise regimen. (Hopefully) more to follow. In other areas... I have gone through and sold off a couple of books and DVD's that I don't watch or read. Not a lot, probably not as many as I should get rid of. Yesterday a good internet friend posted a blog that was based around "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. The video (below) is actually scary in the sense that it shows just how easily we can slip. In another blog I followed a link concerning how easy it is to become entangled. It was based off of Psalm 1...
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.
The image shared is of a (wo)man who is walking in and among such people. Which then leads into actually stopping to listen in, and then sitting down and participating. It is the "slow fade". "I will just meet with this person (who is not my spouse) for lunch." Which then becomes drinks, then dinner... you get the idea. But the "slow fade" does not just have to be in the area of adultery. What about idolatry? Slowly you spend more and more time 'meditating' on things other than God. Eventually it starts to creep into other areas, and then you are doing whatever it is instead of quiet times, or even going to Sunday services. This latter thing is something that I struggle with. They are not always 'bad' things either - but if it starts to vie for my time in worship or meditation on the things of God it has become an idol. What about covetousness, or bearing a false witness. It is no wonder we (mankind) are in such a need of a Savior. No wonder we need to "talk/preach to ourselves" more than we need to listen to ourselves. The enemy of our souls is crafty and knows where we are vulnerable. We must ever be on our guard, and in constant prayer asking for God to watch over and protect us. God has really been working on me in this area. Opening my eyes to ways I have been allowing little things to creep in. I think we all need that reminder from time to time. Verse for today: Ezekiel 37 : 21-23, ESV then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings [6] in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

20080819

Will it come to that?

For some time my beloved and I have seen things within our local church that have caused us no small amount of concern. I am also not sure how much I should, or should not, share here. I will err on the side of caution. Recently we had VBS at our church, and the pastoral staff has never really made it a priority to participate. I have seen their wives help out, but rarely the men. This past year, as a means to drum up some excitement among the kids a challenge was issued that if so many kids were able to come one evening then the next night a dunking booth would be donated and the kids could dunk the pastors. (Side bar: I was not thrilled with this tactic to bring in more kids, especially since we have a space issue - and on top of that I was not thrilled with the idea of dunking the pastor as, in my mind, it comes across as disrespecting the authority of the church leadership.) Well, the kids met the challenge and the dunking booth was set up. The pastors showed up, but then did not stay for the whole evening. One was there less than fifteen minutes - and he was the "youth" pastor. When he was asked about what he was doing for the middle schoolers the response we got was "he does not have a passion for Middle Schoolers". I was dumbfounded. Lately several families have left the church because of the current state of our children's ministry. When this was mentioned to the senior pastor the response was "people always leave during a building project". We are in the process of a building project, but you would not really know it. With the exception of a small project board with a picture on it, and a line that mentioned how much was donated towards it, you would not know. My beloved and I have known a few of the families, and the reason was not the building project. The final thing I will mention is that none of the Pastors (we currently have three) keep regular office hours at the church. They all work from home (essentially). At a business meeting where the Senior Pastor was present, a friend asked him to pray about having maybe a rotating schedule or something so that there would be a pastor available if needed. The response was sobering. My beloved was present at this meeting so I am confident in this account... the man lost his temper. I cannot remember the exact words, but in essence she was told that it was not going to happen, and that we needed to trust him. But what if someone in the congregation wanted to talk to one of them? What about someone who was in need walking in? I know there are thousand and one things that can distract a Pastor, and that to some extent they need to be shielded, but I feel that this response was out of line. Also, since it was in such a public forum, and he was not a little angry, an apology and some form of request of forgiveness should have been made. It never was - to my knowledge. There are quite a few other things that have really raised some red flags. I am praying over 'Gunny's' blog post about just such a thing. I am concerned because this is the second time I have run into this kind of situation in a SBC church. I know this is not unique to the SBC, and this is not a slight against them, but I am getting "gun shy". Both I and a friend who also attends the same church, have searched around locally for another church. So far, in each case there have been indications that we would not be real comfortable there. We are even considering starting a "House Church". I am both excited and nervous about such a prospect. I am excited because it would 'free' me up to pursue a more in depth teaching, a chance to use some of my (self perceived) gifts. But is also scares me in that cults are started in similar situations. The gospel of Christ can get easily mis-interpreted. There is less chance of direct accountability. Such things should NOT be taken lightly. IF we do this with this other family I am going to need a lot of prayers, but for now we are sitting still (staying at our current church), praying about what to do, and seeking God for unity within the body of Christ. Verse for today: Hebrews 10 : 19-25, ESV Therefore, brothers, [3] since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

20080818

Music Monday - 20080818

I didn't have a song in mind when I dragged my tired body out of bed this morning. My blog entry was the last thing on my mind as I didn't get to sleep until after midnight, woke up around 4:30 and didn't get back to sleep until after 5:00, and then - totally by God's grace - I woke up at 6:00 right on the button. Both of my alarms were muted, so if God has not woke me up I would probably still be asleep. ;-) What really prompted this song to strike me so was the fact that when I woke up at 4:30 it was because of a dream that I had. Even now that dream is fading from my memory, but I remember it really disturbed me. I do know it was along the lines of things of my past catching up with me.
You Reign Mercy Me Even before there was a drop in the ocean Even before there was a star in the sky Even before the world was put in motion You were on Your throne You were on Your throne You reign Glory in the highest You reign Let creation testify By Your name Every knee will bow And every tongue proclaim That Jesus Reigns Even before Your hand made the heavens Even before the breath of all mankind Even before we had to be forgiven You were on Your throne You were on Your throne Chorus Yesterday, today and forever You are God who was, and is and is to come Written by MercyMe and Steven Curtis Chapman © 2007 Simpleville Music / Wet As A Fish Music / ASCAP (admin. by Simpleville Music, Inc.) Sparrow Song / Peach Hill Songs / BMI (administration by EMI-CMG Publishing) All rights reserved.
This song actually followed along with a theme that God has been using in my life lately. That is my works have no direct impact on my life. Sure, things like when I pay a bill late I am charged a late fee, or if I open a door for some one who is disabled I will feel better about myself - but it does not determine, not just my standing before God but, my standing within society as a whole. It is God who places favor in my life, it is He who has provided my career and job placement. Even when I am not a good steward it is His hand who sustains me, and that no matter what state I find myself (but especially while I am experiencing prosperity) I need to acknowledge and praise Him. What an awesome God i serve. I am filled with wonder and amazement. I am dumbfounded that He would select me, reach down and touch me, reach down and bless me. That He cares for me. There was nothing good... there was nothing that would draw me out from the crowd. I am no one, or anything, special, and yet He has chosen to reach down and speak to my mind and my heart. Praise be to God in the highest. \o/ Verse for today: Philippians 2 : 5-11, ESV Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [1] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, [2] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

20080815

Football and/or Fallout Fridays

There are only 23 days, 4 hours, and about 20 minutes until opening kickoff for the Carolina Panthers, and about 52 days until the supposed release date of Fallout 3. The former is set in stone by the league, the latter is set by a company who has not made an official announcement and is probably still working to refine their product. :) Neither of which are terribly important in the eternal sense. But both are good for "filler" in the blogging sense. :) Last night Carolina looked a little shaky in my opinion. The first team offense was not very successful in moving the ball in their first two possessions, and the first team defense was still using the "bend but don't break" philosophy. With the weather delay due to lightning I didn't really get to see all that much, so my opinions are not based off of complete observations. Two take aways from what I am reading in the morning news though, Jake's elbow looks to be doing well, and the defense scored a touchdown off of an interception. Oh, and one more good point - John Kasay booted a 49 yarder. My all-time favorite, and last original, Panther is still looking good. Fallout 3 is still just a game, but I like to play games so I am still looking forward to its release. There are four things on my birthday/anniversary/Christmas wish list. 1) The brand new ESV Study Bible, 2) Fallout 3 for the PC, 3) The Unit, season 3 on DVD, and 4) an electric razor to use at the gym (my old one is over ten years old and leaves a lot of stubble behind). Fallout 3 is based in and around Washington DC and the suburbs so I was wondering if I'd be able to wander around my old 'haunts' or not. I was especially wondering if I could head over to Arlington National Cemetery or not. I figure at some point that I will stand at the Lincoln Memorial and try and look across the Potomac River to see if I can still see the Lee House. If you have ever been at either memorial and looked back across the "Memorial Bridge" it is really well done IMO. I like how the bridge represents the reunification of the North and South after the American Civil War. On the Northern side stands the Lincoln Memorial, then across to the South stands "Lee House", or the Robert E. Lee Memorial. I have read that the tunnels of the old subway system are ways to move around, so maybe I can actually get over there. Hmm... Ok, so this is supposed to be the Jefferson Memorial... but I liked the artwork. LOL I think, for me, the biggest thing I am looking forward to (and will probably be a disappointment somewhat) will be the ability to walk around the region of where I grew up, and have lived almost my entire life and see what they have done to it in the game. What the "artist's concept" is. Will I be able to travel out to Sugar Loaf 'Mountain'? What about National Airport? I've heard about the Capital Building and Washington Monuments. What about my old neighborhoods in Arlington, or Rockville? I know it will not be fully interactive, and I will not be able to go "everywhere" - there are just so much you can put into a game. But it still should be fun. Wow, I really can ramble on about very trivial things. :) May God richly bless each of you, and may you have a great weekend. Verse for today: Proverbs 15 : 3-9, ESV The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle [1] tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent. In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked. The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. [2] The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.

20080814

Thoughtless Thursday

I am at a loss for what to blog about. This past week has been a blur, and the past twenty-four hours even more so. The holes for the footers of the deck (which was my beloved's surprise birthday present) were approved this past week. Now I just need to get off my duff and to the local Home Depot to purchase the cement for the footers, as well as prepare to order all of the lumber. I am pretty nervous about getting the footers and the frame in. I am confident that once those are in I can pretty much handle the rest. I will measure success at that point by the number of boards I miss-cut (the more I do so, the less successful I will have been ;) ). I was finally able to get out and see Batman: The Dark Knight last night. I am not going to go on and on about how great this movie was. The truth is that it really was a good movie, but I wanted to comment on the various characters. Specifically Batman and the Joker. These two guys are an interesting study. Batman has "only one rule", and while it is never spoken out loud it would seem that it is that he will not kill any one - and this is the one thing that the Joker works hard to get him to compromise. As matter of fact, that seems to be the Joker's only motivation. Totally and complete anarchy. Many may see Batman as the 'ultimate good' guy, and the Joker as the 'Ultimate Bad' guy. I can see that about the Joker, but not so much Batman. I think I will have to think about this some more... maybe watch it a few more times when it comes out on DVD... but that will not be high on my priorities. Do you ever feel like there is nothing that you can do that can go right? Like what ever you touch turns to slag, not even lead. Lead can be recycled, lead can be reused. But slag is just burnt up and twisted. It's too contaminated to even be melted down to it's base elements because what it would use up is more than could be pulled back out again. That is where I find myself this morning (afternoon now). I clean out the car - I throw away some coupons and sales flyer's that my beloved was going to use. I complete my first full week of working out at the gym to begin a lifestyle change - and it is wearing me down to the point I am pretty much out of it come bed time for the kids. I start a house project (said deck mentioned above) - and I am filling up the schedule with things to do, the very thing I complain about (being too busy). I finally retire from the National Guard - and I have cut our income down too much. There are quite a few more but really, why go on... I think I've illustrated my point some. I am just thankful that I do not always get what I deserve. I love the saying, "I am doing better than I deserve" because that is the truth. Not just physically, but more importantly - spiritually. Verse for today: Psalm 103 : 15-19, ESV As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20080813

"No one is ever safe"

I have been rewatching season 1 of "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" this past week. (Again, I blogged on my bent towards this kind of genre... lol) I am glad that the series is more on a non-cable channel. This way I am able to enjoy the series without as much needless showing of "extra" "stuff". It was because of such things that I could never really get into "Battlestar Galactica" over on the Sci-Fi channel despite some seriously good plot lines, cinematography, and special affects. But such comparisons are not the purpose of my blog today. Last night, while my beloved was hosting a Tastefully Simple party I was able to catch the second episode. The one where they come to grips with being transported eight years into the future. An exchange between Cameron and John and Sarah Connor. Cameron states, "relax, you're safe", to which both the Connors reply, "No one is ever safe". This response actually got me to thinking about my life in general, and my walk with God. What is "safe"? Around the world there are millions of people who are not safe. They are lacking shelter, food, security. The lack community or friends to help them. But is our ultimate safety found in these things? No, not really. Our flesh craves these things because these are the things that comfort it. And trust me, when I get hungry I am not always the nicest person. ;-) Jesus shows us that our lot in life is not determined by our righteousness:
There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5, ESV)
A book that was recommended by my Pastors when I attended Covenant Life Church was "The Discipline of Grace" by Jerry Bridges. This book speaks really well on that whole topic of grace and things that happen, or things that we do. In the end, are we really ever "safe"? No, not in this world. Our 'securities' can fall out from beneath us. Our bank accounts drained by identity thieves, our homes could be lost due to an unforeseen accident that leads to such an event. An accident can take friends or loved ones. Even our health can fail. But can we feel secure? Yes. I cannot remember exactly where I heard this quote but it goes something like this, "A samurai views his life already as forfeit. When he enters into battle he is already dead so there is no longer a fear of death. He can focus strictly on his duty." To me this is pretty profound, especially in light of my personal view of myself as a "Christian samurai". I am in service to my Lord, Jesus Christ. I need to keep in mind that I am already dead (to the world), but that I am now alive in Christ. My ultimate safety will never be found in this world, but in the next where I get to see my Savior face to face. Does that mean I go out to hasten that event? In light of eternity this life is pitifully short. Even when man lived four hundred plus years, that is only 4% of all the recorded history of man thus far. God knows the day when I will be seeing Him in person and it is not up to me to try and pick and choose such a rendezvous. Am I safe? Do I feel secure? Yes, but it is not found in the things of this world - in which I am never "safe". Verse for today: Romans 12 : 1-2, ESV I appeal to you therefore, brothers, [1] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, [3] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. [4]

20080812

Freaking out and getting over it

As a Christian I know that the only thing I need to fear is God, and yet right now I am filled with dread. Why? Because I am applying for a new job. It is a job I have wanted for four years now but has finally just come available. I have the head knowledge of not needing to fear this, but my head and body are reacting totally contradictory to how I am supposed to. I have had a hard time just getting out of my own way, but I am now 90% done in getting the application together. The only problem is that it HAS to be in today. *sigh* Why do I do this to myself? My apologies for not having a "Music Monday" post this week. My beloved has come down with the 24 hour "Mongolian Death Flu" - or something like that. :) I am also fighting the affects from it, but I stayed home yesterday to help her, and me. Phase 1 of my deck project is complete! \o/ I originally asked just three guys to come over and help me dig the eight post holes (it will be a free standing deck) on Saturday. I thought I would be done by 5PM... silly man. In the end I did not finish, with the awesome amount of help from no less than five other guys! One guy dug the hardest one, with nothing but a post-hole digging tool - all by himself! The inspection was this morning and was approved for me to move forward. Anyone with stock in Lowe's or Home Depot, I think I will be helping increase share holder value pretty soon. LOL Ok, I need to get back and finish up that job application. God bless... Verse for today: Proverbs 12 : 1-5, ESV Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of evil devices he condemns. No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

20080808

Football and/or Fallout Fridays

Fridays are often hard for me to blog. For one thing, I am starting to run out of ideas on what to blog about, for another there is the 'pressure' of wanting to have something relevant to last for three days. ;) So, for a short while anyway, I have come up with an idea of a recurring theme. For some they will say "blah", others "who cares", but in the end I blog to ramble on for myself as a means to sort out my thoughts... so bare with me oh faithful reader(s). According to the Countdown clock I've set up on Facebook, there is only 30 more days until opening day of the 2008 NFL season! I know there is a game or something on Thursday the 4th, but those don't count because the Panthers don't play in them. ;-) The Panthers open their season in San Diego - what an awesome place to start! The weather will be great, and the excitement will be high. I am hearing good things about Beason, and Stewart, Delhomme looks like his arm has recovered nicely, and the receiving corps looks to be much improved. All of this looks great from the cheap seats, but only a regular season game will tell how things are really looking. I must say that I am disappointed with Steve Smith though. I don't know the whole story so I will not say much more about that whole thing, but I do want to comment on one thing though. It took a man to come back and own up like he did. He stood before his teammates, the media, and his fans and took responsibility for his actions. He did not try and make an excuse, he did not try and shift the blame. He said what he did was wrong and he said it was his fault. Those are the actions of a man. Slightly further away (at about 59 days) is the scheduled release of Fallout 3. I am not really sure what would be new enough to write about. I am liking what I am reading about how Bethesda Softworks has gone about doing the game tutorial. Older players (such as myself) need that extra help as we do not always play these modern games as much. I never really mastered the Pong controls, let alone the one time I actually tried Halo. LOL I am not really sure what I am all hyped up about. I enjoy video and role playing type games, but it's not like I am going to have oddles of time to spend playing it. If what all of the reviews are true (most of which can be read through this BLOG), I could spend a hundred hours playing this game and might not finish it. I like that if only because it will probably take me over a year to finish the game once. Anyway, if/when I actually get to play I might just use this time to update how well I am (not) doing. This morning I forced myself up out of bed at 6:00 to head out to the gym, even though I do not have my evaluation fully complete yet. I am the type of guy that needs to set up a routine, and then follow it. When I was asked what my immediate goals, and how many days a week I wanted to work out where I said my most immediate goal was to make this a habit. Weight loss and all that aside, if I don't change how I do 'life' then the other goals will not be very long lived. As for the number of days - five. If I only do three days a week all it will take is a bad morning where I tell myself I can sleep in today because I can just get up tomorrow, will soon become two days, which will eventually become one... and then eventually become none. I have to make it a part of my daily work routine. If I go to work, I go to the gym. That is my plan. Verse for today: 1 Corinthians 10 : 25-31, ESV Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

20080807

You have got to love eBay

eBay has to be the epitome of capitalism. You can find almost anything there, from things as obscure as a rare movie to some kind of rare collectible. It is also really useful for finding those everyday kinds of things. Last night DS2 cames to me and tells me that he lost a game for their Gameboys (the boys share their games) and wanted me to pick one up for him. With our upcoming calender pretty packed I jumped on eBay, compared prices, placed my bid and walla, it will be arriving in probably about a week. I even compared prices for retial (saved about $10!). I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my own home. What makes eBay so capitalistic is that the seller can charge whatever price they feel the market will bare, for a fee of both the starting bid and the final bid. Oh, and don't forget if you use their banking system (better known as PayPal) - there's one more fee. Then, as long as there is a buyer out there willing to place a bid on your item, you can sell it for whatever they are willing to pay for it! I have been a member of eBay since 1998 (I can't believe it's been that long either) and thus far still have a rating below 200. I just don't use it all that often - but it's nice to browse every once in a while. I have even used it to make the occasional sale myself. Once, I was getting interested in a game called Net Runner. I wanted to just pick up a few decks to play with my son, but I kept being out bid on all the auctions. (It's best to stick to your guns instead of going crazy and say "I-just-HAVE-to-HAVE-it!".) Well, out of the blue I get an e-mail (or message through eBay) from a guy who recently bought a kite shop. He wanted to know if I would be interested in buying out his entire stock - something like ten complete cases, plus a few odds and ends. The downside... he wanted $230 for the lot. SOLD! Although my beloved was not very happy (you spent $200 on what!), I sold only seven of the cases and broke even - on eBay of course. Both the seller and the buyer have to be careful though. As a buyer, check out the rating/reputation of the seller. Make sure this is not some one who has been getting bad ratings. If you are a seller, make sure that you require payment up front. For me that extra fee that gets chopped off the top of my sale is worth it. As a matter of fact PayPal is great from both ends of the sale. The biggest thing for me... be patient. Know how much I am willing to spend up front. Compare sellers, the lowest "Pay Now" price may not be the one to go with. Be willing to walk away. You will pay way too much if you get overly excited about something. As a seller I am completely honest about the condition of the item I am selling. Maybe to the point of being overly critical. I always insist on the buyer using PayPal, or a certified Money Order - and either way, the item does not ship until payment as cleared. For me PayPal has been great. I even use it as a sort of savings account because it gives better interest than my local bank. If you are not into yard sales, and you have a reasonable idea of what it will cost to ship various items, eBay is the way to go! P.S. before I go I have to share my latest piece of flair over on Facebook. I felt that it really spoke to me: Verse for today: Psalm 31 : 1-5, ESV In you, O Lord, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

20080806

Man am I hurtin' this morning

I really enjoy working as a contractor for the Gov't, but it does have it's downside. One of them is the seemingly never ending need for information dissemination. As a result I partake in no less than two conference calls everyday. With my boss being away on a much needed vacation, and me being the senior lead tech, I have been covering for him on one of his mandatory calls every morning. One that takes place at 0530 every day. (Just in case, that is 5:30 AM). My problem is that I am not used to it. I will be glad when 'Bossman' returns. When I know I have to get up early the next morning I have trouble sleeping for some reason. In the back of my mind I keep wondering what time it is, did I set the alarm, did I set it correctly, will I hear it? As a result I wake up about ever 45 to 90 minutes, check the clock, then struggle for five minutes or so to go back to sleep. It doesn't make for a very restful night. Two things I really want to try. The first is actually drinking that one glass of red wine that my doctor wants me to drink every day, the second is a cup of the chamomile tea. I have only every tried the tea once and I was out like a light in no time flat. Another thing that is adding to my sleepiness this morning is two nights ago my beloved had a 'girls night out'. I like to encourage her to do this because she doesn't do it often enough, but the other night she was out later than I expected and I don't sleep very well when she is not there. I remember when we first got married having a time getting to sleep because I was not used to having someone in the bed with me. Now it's just the opposite! LOL A good problem to have in my opinion. Before I sign off for today there are two things I could use some prayer on. The first is I am actually going to do something about my physical fitness, and the second is I am applying for a new job. My beloved has recently gotten concerned over my two previous blood tests. A good friend of hers is a nurse and recently asked her why I wasn't on something like Lipitor. This has gotten my beloved a little stirred up, and my recent desire and pursuit of doing something about getting in shape has probably helped fueled this as well. In any event I have my first assessment at the Wellness Center I am joining today, as well getting a blood test for my doctor. The Wellness Center seems pretty well set up to help a health novice such as myself. Both blood work and stress assessments are done periodically to make sure things are on track, as well as help in setting up a routine to work on. I need both of these because I am not a "take charge" kind of guy when it comes to my personal health. If I actually make this a habit I will probably move to something like a Gold's Gym, but for now I need my hand held. Once I get this going I will be getting up early every morning, but hopefully the net affect will be me feeling more awake. The latter subject is my applying for a new job. It is not entirely new as it will be in the same field and hopefully the same building and people (God knows how much I enjoy change). My biggest struggle right now is the "KSA's" (knowledge skill assessments). There are five of them, and they are essay type questions. It also doesn't help that I am running short on time. I am struggling over panic and how to try and answer these questions. My beloved has been very encouraging and helpful, but I am filled with doubt. Verse for today: Proverbs 6 : 16-19, ESV There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

20080805

Fallout 3 - be careful

While I was on active duty I worked the midnight shift (by design). The result was that when I was not on duty, or sleeping, most everyone else was working. I didn't get much of a chance to interact with the other soldiers. But I had my trusty ThinkPad and a really nice room I shared with another E-6. I quickly learned how to load up my music and a handful of computer games (I LOVE pinball sims BTW) I passed the time quickly. One day I picked up a copy of a game called Fallout, and I was 'hooked'. I enjoyed the storyline, the tongue in cheek humor. I liked being able to make moral choices while playing a game. When I learned about Fallout 2 I picked up a copy of that as well, but I never finished it as my tour of duty came to an end and it got placed on the shelf. I still own copies of both games. Given my affinity for the genre, when I learned that a new game based on the previous additions, I immediately started looking into it. Fallout 3 is not a game to be taken lightly. Especially in light of the current generations addiction to all things electronic, especially video games. A recent preview of this game the writer wrote the following:
So, in short, be afraid. Lock away your wallets and board up your front doors. Handcuff yourself to the furniture and demolish your hard drives and consoles – Fallout 3 is coming and as far as we’re concerned, it’s going to be as excellent as we could have ever hoped. When it launches then it will demolish your life, soak up your spare time and tear apart your relationships.
If that doesn't cause one to stop and think, I don't know what will. I know the intention of the author was to give his ringing endorsement, but as a Christian this helped me throw up a warning flag. ""Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive." (1 Cor 10:23, NIV) Anything can become an idol if we forgo the things of God to pursue such things. But it's not just the idol factor that I would want to warn my fellow Christians about. This game, and its predecessors, include some very "mature" content. The game is designed for the player to make their own decisions. Things like cursing out the town sheriff, helping someone blow up a town, or basically just shooting someone are all possible choices. but is that a reason to not play it? For some people the answer will be yes. I like the movie "Good Will Hunting", but it was a very "coarse". The language used is rough, the jokes can be vulgar, there is drinking and fighting, and most definitely some sex outside of marriage going on. But these were not the reasons I like that movie. The reason the language and the other things did not "put me off" is that they are a part of that culture. In those situations that is what you can expect to hear and see. Does that mean I think those things are OK? No, not by a long shot, but did Jesus shy away from these areas? The Gospels are full of examples of Jesus going out of His way to be in those situations. Not to engage in those things, but to bring the Light into the darkness. Even after spending about three years with the Master, Peter drew a sword and cut off a man's ear when they came to arrest Jesus in the garden. Several of Jesus' disciples were not refined men. Fishermen, tax collectors and the like. I guess what I am saying is that just because someone, or something, is not clean cut does not mean it must be avoided. What it does mean though, is that a Christian must never just delve into a situation without first considering the influences such an experience will have on them. Will they stand firm and help conform the world around them, or will they be conformed? As for me, I still plan on purchasing this game when it comes out around October. But I also need to make sure that I am not pursuing playing the game at the expense of the things of God and what He has given me (my relationship with Him, my health, my family, my job). This game looks like it is very well done, and if you are into playing such games I encourage you to check out the games website, read the reviews, and prayerfully consider if this is something that will be a hindrance to your walk with the Lord. Verse for today: 1 Timothy 2 : 1-6, ESV First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man [1] Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

20080804

Music Monday - 20080804

I have wanted to put my selection for today's Music Monday for some time. Sometimes I would just plain forget, other times another song took its place in the 'I-just-have-to-put-it-in-today' category. LOL
Take Me In Words and music by Dave Browning from Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out - 1989 Take me past the outer courts Into the Holy place Past the brazen altar Lord I want to see Your face Pass me by the crowds of people The priests who sing Your praise I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness And it's only found one place Take me in to the Holy of Holies Take me in by the blood of the Lamb Take me in to the Holy of Holies Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am
I remember my first impression when I heard this song. It was a sensation of craving, but not one that would go against the ten commandments. Have you ever craved God? To experience His presence? To be near Him? To hear Him? To just be still and sit at his feet? That is what this song prompts in my heart and mind when I hear it. The imagery that comes to mind (at least to me) is of being led by Jesus into the temple. There are throngs of people milling about. And when I stop to join them Jesus touches my arm, shakes His head, and leads me further in. We then come to the alter of God and I am struck by God's righteousness and my inadequacies. I move to withdraw, but He touches my arm once more. When I turn back to Him with tears in my eyes he lovingly shows me the scars upon his hands, feet, and side. With love in His eyes he brushes away a tear from my face, and leads me further in. We then come to the Holy of Holies. I can no longer stand and fall to my knees in worship. This song stirs my soul. It springs forth a desire to worship. What an awesome song. Verse for today: Isaiah 6 : 1-7, ESV In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train [1] of his robe filled the temple Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” [2]

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

20080801

Random entries for blogging

I've been dealing with growing pains and my new MP3 player (right). I am amazed at just how much it can hold even though it is 'only' a 2GB model. I love the sound quality, the ease of the controls, and how quickly this old fogy was able to pick up the basics of loading and use. I'm sure there are others out there who would better utilize it than I could, but I am happy with my purchase. I've even ordered a pair of "Skullcandy" ear buds for my tiny ears. I need the softer, more flexible, inserts to hold them in while I workout (more later). I've also ordered a 'skin' to protect it from my greasy/sweaty hands, and an armband, again to work out with. Last night I passed on my old stick MP3 player to DS1. He was happy to get it even if it wasn't an iPod, or a player as cool as this one. We fiddled around loading up his own music, and me showing him how to use it. Speaking of working out... Although I haven't done it yet, I will be signing up for a gym membership in the next week or so. I really want to get into shape. I am not going to go out and run a marathon, or weight lifting competition, but I do need to drop 20-30 pounds, and I want to live for a nice long time to collect on any retirement I might get. ;) Besides, I used to love to run, and even if my running days are behind me, I want to feel healthy again. The decision is down to either Gold's Gym, or a local "Wellness Center". There are a lot pro's a con's to both. I am actually leaning towards the local gym even though it's a little more a month. I like the 'coziness' and the proximity to my house - but I am leary because I have heard they "ask" you to get off of the machines after 35 minutes or so. I have plans of using said machines for up to 45-50 minutes once I am in shape again. I dunno, and it might sound silly, but I am praying about which one to join. A lot of people have been asking me how it feels to be out of the National Guard. To be honest, it still feels the same. I haven't even missed a single drill yet, but there is a sense of excitement that I do not have to go to drill this month. :) I am sure that feeling will wain in the coming months. Maybe not till next year, maybe never, but for now I am enjoying it. I have arranged to meet with two other 'old soldiers' who retired with me (within 30 days of me) for breakfast in September. Mostly to make sure we keep in touch. I also found out that they did not receive anything other than their orders to be transfered to the retired reserve. That was disappointing, especially since I received the unit's Guidon from our two week annual training this year nicely mounted. Since then I have arranged to right that wrong for them - even if it comes out of my own pocket (which I don't think it will, and ssh... it's a secret). I still haven't seen "The Dark Knight"! I know it's not the be-all, and end-all, of movies, but I am into the Superhero genre of movies, and I really liked "Batman Begins". Something as 'big' as this movie and you'd have thought that I'd have been there already - but no... My story has sort of lagged behind lately, but that's ok. I have been away on vacation, we had VBS, and my beloved's birthday is coming up pretty soon - so I have been a little busy. One of my WWW (blogging) friends recently asked about this, and was encouragingly nudging me to not let it fall by the way side. I still have all of my notes in 'hard copy', but I really want to get them into my 'Liquid Story' program. (For any of you writers out there I highly recommend this program.)The graphics are mostly to sell the product, but it is possible to insert them to help the writer visualize what they are working on. The program is also highly flexible in how the writer chooses to use it. I love it because I can 'flesh' out my notes on the characters and line up my outline (as much as I have so far) in a way that is helpful to me. Last, but not least by any stretch of the imagination, is that God has been working on me. Helping me learn how to set better priorities. I am a slow learner, but... oh look, something shiny.... Verse for today: Proverbs 1 : 1-7, ESV The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.