What a weekend

Last week i heard about Matt Bryant's tragic loss of his 3 month old son. I didn't comment about it last week because what can one say in such a situation. Especially since i do not know the man or his family. I am not even a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don't 'hate' any team within the NFL. When it comes down to it, it is just one group of guys trying to best another group of guys in a sport. Even when the Panthers play the Bucs and i want the Panthers to just wail on and dominate them (which the rarely do), i do not despise the opposing team's players - and i especially do not wish for them to be injured, or to suffer such a tragedy. This past weekend i became a temporary Buccaneers fan, to be more specific a Matt Bryant fan. I was glad to see him come in and "take care of business". But what broke my heart, and prompted me to blog about this today, was a picture i saw in the Charlotte Observer (on-line) of a picture of the Bryant family before the game on Sunday. The picture is of Melissa Bryant holding up their two year old son Tre, and Matt breaking down a little. You could tell he was barely holding it together in the post-game interview as well. I can not imagine going through that with one of my own, let alone holding it together in front of any size crowd. But he was man enough to hold it together and help contribute to his team's win. His three field goals was the exact margin of victory. No one would have held it against him, or thought any less of him if he asked to be excused for a game. I know my empoyler has provisions for me to take off up to two weeks if i were to experience such a tragedy. I don't have words to say, but i know that i can pray for him and his family. All the best to you and yours. May you find the strength and courage to go on. Continue to be the man you are for your son and your wife. May God pour out His Spirit to be with you in this time, and may you find favor in the eyes of the Lord.


Music Monday - 20080929

Wow, what a weekend. I am dragging pretty hard right now. Our church had our annual Fall retreat and a good time was had by all. It is located in such a beautiful place. This was our 5th year going, and we always seem to have a great time. On Friday i mentioned that i had found a friend through Facebook, and we've become "friends" again. LOL Anyway, i found out that he is in a Bluegrass band with other people from his church, and he has a link to a MySpace page that has a few of the songs they do together. One was...
Peace in the Valley Oh well, I’m tired and so weary But I must go alone Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes Well the morning's so bright And the lamp is alight And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There'll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me Well the bear will be gentle And the wolves will be tame And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes And the beasts from the wild Shall be lit by a child And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes There will be peace in the valley for me, some day There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray There'll be no sadness, no sorrow No trouble, trouble I see There will be peace in the valley for me, for me
I am not sure who the original author, but there do appear to be a large number of people who have enjoyed playing it over the years. :) Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, and on and on. But isn't it good to know that there will be a time when we can rest and remain by those still waters. Verse for today: Psalm 23, ESV The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. [1] He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness [2] for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [3] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely [4] goodness and mercy [5] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell [6] in the house of the Lord forever. [7]


Football and/or Fallout Fridays

It has been longer than i would like to think since i last blogged. Life has been busy and flustering of late - for me anyway. In any event on to blogging. I already blogged about last weekends disappointing lost so i will not 'bleed' that wound any more. :) This weekend has the Atlanta Falcons coming into Charlotte. The odds makers have the Panthers at 7 point favorites. Now, the base line is based off of stats and seems reasonable, but that all goes out the window once the first ball is kicked off. Atlanta is coming off some impressive wins against the Detroit Lions (who recently fired their president) and the Kansas City Chiefs, and also a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Right now i'd like to think that the Panthers are more like the Bucs than not, but i think this week will tell the tale. I think last week was more of an example of the chemistry taking time to re-gel between Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith. Not that it will just click over the past week, but it should improve. Also, the Panthers have a tendency to not really kick in the gear until November, December. Not something i am really happy about. I am continuing to count down the days until i can get my hands on Fallout 3. Only 32 more days until the game is released. Now, honestly, i am content to wait. I am not sitting on my hands trying to contain this bottled up excitement, but i am looking forward to it. Over on a site known an IGN they are running a series of articles. Some basic stuff like what weapons are available in the game, what different kind of skills and 'perks' there are, but the article from yesterday caught attention. One thing Bethesda Software is really proud of is the fact that you can go "anywhere" and do "anything" you want. Of course that is a slight exaggeration, but it would appear that this is larger than most. Now i know many would not like the fact that some one playing the game can pull out a pistol and shoot another character in the game in cold blood, but to me this is no different than the world we live in now. We are all presented choices everyday. "...choose this day whom you will serve..." (Joshua 24:15, ESV) I like the fact that i can act like a "good Samaritan" and be rewarded for my choices. Anyway, the article on Good Karma is a good read IMO. This whole financial meltdown has me getting irritated at the whole process here in America. I swear, sometimes politicians are so paralyzed by fear of what people think that they fail to actually lead. I am not going to post what my personal feelings are on this whole debacle because i am not an expert in such things. I just get so frustrated by the partisan politics on both sides of the aisle. Sometimes people have to act in ways that are not popular in order to move the greater good forward. This weekend we are having our local church retreat. Over time it has become less theological in the focus of discussions (or break out seasons), but the time of fellowship with other church members is why we go more than anything. It is a time of fellowship, service to others, and very little sleep to be had. :) I am sure I will pay for this weekend into next week, but it will be worth it. On a last note, on a whim i searched Facebook for an old high school friend last night, and i found him! I am nervous because we drifted apart over the years and others have sort of come into our lives, possibly whispered in our ears, and driven wedges. I hope not, but it's possible. This man was always an honorable person when i knew him over twenty years ago. I've read over what he has made public on Facebook, as well as a link he had for a My Space page he has for a group he plays in. It would seem we could still have somethings in common. We shall see what God has in store. Verse for today: Psalm 126 : 1-3, ESV When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.


Tongue tied Tuesday

Very first thing... i want to say thank you to Alise for pointing out that the song i chose for Music Monday was not written by Micheal W Smith, but actually Kelly Carpenter. I made the appropriate changes - thanks Alise! \o I am actually not really very sure what to blog about (as usual), so this will be yet another rambling blog entry. I hope it is helpful to someone other than myself - if anyone else actually reads it. lol The Panthers had the wind knocked out of them on Sunday. After the Panthers managed to jump out and get a 10 point lead it was all over once Antoine Winfield came in on a cornerback blitz and level Jake Delhomme. The resulting fumble return for a TD swung the momentum so much that the Panthers never got back into the game mentally. I know Steve Smith returned and all, but it still takes time to get the team back in sync when you change an integral cog like that. Now if the wheels come off this Sunday against the Falcons, i will ramp up the ol' concern-o-meter. Last week i had to replace the family home computer. In the end, the cost to repair the three year old machine was going to be more than a new one. The headache comes in that i am having to re-install several programs, and replace the printer cable. Now one would think that such an easy fix would be taken care of fairly quickly. Not so in the samurai dojo - no! Finally i gave up searching all of the local and neighboring towns. I just went ahead and ordered a 25-pin to USB cable on-line. My deck is still in limbo. After getting the eight holes dug, changing the design because of obstacles, and getting all of the lumber ordered and delivered, i am at a stand still. It dawned on me that I am going to have make the support posts a certain height, and i know where i want the deck to be at height-wise, so i subtract the decking, the joists, and the support beams and that comes to 12.5" - oh, and the beam brackets that mount the posts to the cement footers... it ends up that I am going to have to 'un-sod' the area and perhaps even remove a layer of top soil. I can do it, it's just sort of brought my "building train" to a halt short of the station. Apparently change just throws me. lol During my recent cable quest i found a laptop that might be good for what i am looking for. It was for about $200 less than i was prepared to pay so i checked my budget and realized that i might be able to afford it in a week or two. Well, wouldn't you know, when i went back to get it they were all sold out. The salesman failed to inform me that it was on sale. :/ Such is life - lol. One thing i think i have come to realize is that God is in control and that when i find something i am looking for, i don't necessarily have to pick it upright then if i am not ready for it. I can actually wait. This is a big thing for me. With not having been to the gym since last Friday i forced myself to get up and get out there today, and i paid for it. Ever try and run with a head full of flem? You might as well put a pro-mask on and run. There's just no way to get enough oxygen in your lungs. When i run i use interval training - that is periods of running fast, and periods of running slower - well today i had to drop the slow jog in favor of just a plain ol' walk so that i could catch my breath. I guess it's better than nothing, but i am paying for it now. This morning i have been trying to cough up both of my lungs in an effort to remove the congestion from my chest. The good news is that, although the flem is trying to latch on again, my head is fairly clear. Verse for today: Proverbs 23 : 1-5, ESV When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what [1] is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.


Music Monday - 20080922

What a weekend. Friday was spent moving and waiting between my house and the hospital that was over 25 miles away (the Urologists in my hometown do not take my insurance). Everything went well and we were home by 7:30pm. My beloved had a 4mm stone. Now, to be honest, when i first heard that i didn't think that was all that big, but after further consideration i think that thing was HUGE! I mean, picture a 4mm object trying to flow through such a tiny little tube... and then picture that happening to you! ;-) One bad thing is that i woke up Friday morning to the realization that a pretty decent head cold had taken a grip upon me. But it was not truly felt until Saturday. The rest of the weekend i spent in slow motion. Normally my beloved tries to make sure i can get rest when i am not feeling well but this weekend i had to be on my feet to make sure she was getting her rest. Poor kids ate a lot of PB&J. ;) Several friends helped out by watching them on Friday till we got home, and by bringing meals through last night. Very helpful, and a God send. I don't know if it was because of being under the weather, or if this is truly something God is trying to show me but it would seem that God has been showing me my 'place', if you will, within the body of Christ. I am not liking what i am seeing in regards to how i am actually doing/being/performing within the body, but in regards to my role/function i am remarkably comfortable. I always fancied myself as one who could be withing the leadership of the church, but in reality i am not much of a leader. I am a pretty good 'soldier' if-you-will, but not one who fashions ideas and plans. Not one who executes initiative. That is not to say that there are not times i should act in such ways, just that they are not my 'natural' inclination. When the realization of such things came over me i thought i should be more disagreeable, but God was fairly gentle in these revelations. He kindly showed me examples in my own life while unfolding it. I have been too busy trying to keep the house and kids moving to really meditate on this... i am hoping that it is not just me wanting to be lazy. Who knows, maybe it is a means in which God is trying to "wake me up". I mean, isn't it the "American Way" to always seek out leadership? To seize the initiative and show others the way to go? Ok, on to my usual blogging subject matter. I chose today's song because Micheal W Smith has long been an inspiration to me when it comes to worship. "Draw Me Close to You" is call we all really long to sing. Even those who never turn from their sins and accept what Christ has accomplished feel this tug. Just like his Word says, "...every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess [2] to God" (Romans 14:11, ESV).
Draw Me Close to You by Kelly Carpenter sung by Micheal W Smith (YouTube video below) Draw me close to you Never let me go I lay it all down again To hear you say that I'm your friend You are my desire No one else will do Cause nothing else can take your place To feel the warmth of your embrace Help me find the way Bring me back to you You're all I want You're all I've ever needed You're all I want Help me know you are near
Could there be anything more desirous? Anything more worth pursuing? May God be with each and every one of you this day. Verse for today: Psalm 25 : 4-5, ESV Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.



Fall is still my favorite time of the year, but when the kids get back to school my life speeds up so much that i don't really get much time to enjoy it. :( At least it feels that way. Don't get me wrong. Summers are pretty busy with family things and all. We go on the family vacations, we get a chance to catch up with friends, but once the school bell rings things just take off. DD3 has music and soccer. DS2 has horse therapy, social skills, autism support group (more for my beloved and i), as well as dealing with the various issues that come up. DS1, well he is almost a teenager. Thankfully he decided to not do any extra curricular activities, but he still takes some time - as all children do (and should). Like Calvin (from cartoon fame) once said, "the days are just packed". LOL. I don't know how single parents do it. Even with my beloved being "under the weather" these past two weeks, she has still contributed some, a lot more than it should be expected i think, and i am getting worn just trying to keep up with the little bit extra. Thankfully she will be back in the game a little bit more after tomorrow. Not at full capacity right away, but she will definitely be on the road back (i hope, and pray). Speaking of which, i will not be blogging tomorrow as i will be with my beloved all day so here is my nod towards football. Last week the Panthers had another great game! Of course it was 'great' because they won. ;) The defense made a late stand and stopped the Bears on a key 4th down at midfield. This week they travel to take on the Vikings (my best friend from High School's favorite team) and they will have their hands full. I know Steve Smith will be coming back, and I know the Vikes have been struggling, but I can't help be cautiously optimistic. The Vikings have benched their QB and have decided to go with Gus Frerotte. This is a QB that has done some good things coming off the bench in his past. He was a starter at one point in his career. He is also a QB that the Panthers will have limited game film on. Still, my fantasty team will hopefully get a boost with good ol' #89 back on the field. I hope you all experience the wonders of God's amazing grace this weekend. Verse for today: Psalm 86 : 8-13, ESV There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.


Wow, is it Wednesday already?

This week has been kind of a blur. I am still feeling the affects from this past weekend, but life doesn't slow down. :) No time to get off the Merry-go-Round to rest. Me beloved will be having out-patient surgery to have a kidney stone removed on Friday. This is a great thing, but it complicates other things. The complications are in that my brother is coming through town over the weekend and will be staying with us, and I was hoping to go and catch up with what I hope to be recurring breakfasts with some of my fellow retired Guardsmen. But, and more importantly, it is a great thing because my beloved is in so much pain. When a woman who has delivered all three children without a scalpel tells me that it is worse than childbirth - she has my attention. She has been dealing with this little rock for over two weeks now and has been a trooper. Always wanting to do more, always regretting when she cannot. My motivations for making sure she gets this thing taken out are purely selfish. The meds she has been taking make her highly irritable and to my discredit I have not been as understanding as I should. I have been picking up some of the load to help, but my attitude needs some work. I need to cut this short today... may God's perfect peace and grace meet each of you where you are today. Oh - P.S. - if any of you know how I can allocate a wider space for my sidebar (seen right), please drop me a note or post a comment. Thank you in advance. Verse for today: Proverbs 17 : 5, ESV Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.


Did anyone get the make and model of that truck?

It's been a little over five weeks since i started dragging my tired old bones out of bed at 5:45 to get out the door to the gym. I wouldn't say it's definitely a habit yet, but i am enjoying it more. Yesterday though i was bone tired. Saturday the church i go to had a youth trip planned to King's Dominion, but late the week before it was in danger of being canceled. Not wanting DS1 to be disappointed i called up our Youth Pastor (the one who said he didn't have a 'passion' for the middle schoolers) and told him I would like to help drive, or do something to save the trip. Long story short we found six adults willing to drive and chaperon and made the trip. It was a long, hot, day - but a good time was had by all. Sunday my poor beloved was still suffering from a kidney stones. I have never (so far) had them so I cannot quite relate to what she is going through, but i can tell she is not a real happy camper. I have been encouraging her to relax and just work on getting through this (call doctors, etc.). The end result has been me picking up a little bit extra to do. She feels terrible, but to be honest, i would rather her get through this thing and feel better, then to make it last longer and feel miserable. Besides, the medication the doctors put her on make her sleepy, irritable, and down right miserable anyway. She has a follow up appointment with a urologist this afternoon. Yesterday i woke up beat-dead-tired. It didn't help that i had stayed up WAY too late Sunday night trying to spend time with my beloved, but i forced myself up and to the gym anyway. By the time I got to work I was so fatigued that i was actually trembling slightly. I was considering going home and getting back into bed but the day had other plans. By the time i had a moment to update my little blog here i just couldn't get up the motivation. So my apologies dear readers. "Music Monday" will return to it's regular time slot next week (hopefully). Some misc. ramblings... I was very happy to see that the Carolina Panthers pulled out another win this past Sunday. What a game! The first half Chicago's defense was smothering the Panther's offense, but they came alive in the second half. I am not a sports writer, so my "coverage" of the game is not all that in depth. Besides, there are plenty of other sources better than me out here on the web. To be honest, when Steve Smith earned his suspension for two games I thought that if the Panthers went 1-1 i would be happy. At 2-0 i am an ecstatic fan! The NFL season is a long one, and there are still fourteen more games to be played. Some against some very formidable opponents (Tampa Bay twice, New Orleans twice, the defending Super Bowl champions, to name a few). There will be injuries to overcome, and some just plain bad weeks. But i hope i can enjoy the ride for a while longer. Our home computer was sliding into the grave ever so slowly. The video card was not working with various programs that it once was able to, both of the disk drives would no longer open (well, one was temperamental, the other was plan old broke) so when I took it in to get fixed the difference in cost between repair and replacement was very little - I opted to just replace it. Growing pains are being experienced by all. Today i should be able to pick up the new system complete with a full file transfer from old to new. One good thing though... i found out that i probably will not have to spend as much as i thought i would have to on a laptop. Sweet! That means i can start saving for something else sooner. My next goal is to save for a sizable portion to take the family on a longer vacation. Well, that's all for now. God bless. Verse for today: Proverbs 16 : 2-7, ESV 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. When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


Football and/or Fallout Fridays

Man that was an awesome win by the Carolina Panthers last weekend. The first half of that game the Panthers controlled the clock for over 19 minutes. It is telling of how good a team the Chargers are in that it was still only 9-7 at the half. Even with the Panthers going up by 9 in the 4th quarter I was not ready to say that it was won. I got so tied up in knots that I had to stop watching the updates on my phone when Carolina drove to the San Diego 14 with 00:02 left on the clock, and it was 4th and 1. I decided to stop clicking the update button and just step back, take a breath and wait for five more minutes. Then, the game would be over and I could just check the final score. A minute and a half later my dad calls to congratulate me and tell me all about the awesome pass Delhomme threw to Rosario catch in the end zone. What makes that such an awesome phone call is that my dad is a die hard Washington Redskins fan. It has taken him a little while to accept that I had left the Redskins fan club and become a Panthers fan like I have. But we still like to talk football from time to time. He's even taken me to several Panthers/Redskins games over the years (the Redskins have won each and every one of those games - that we've attended). This week I will be cheering for the Redskins as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. The Panthers are going to have a tough game against a very physical Chicago Bears club. The Bears manhandled the Indianapolis Colts last week. The slight edge in that Carolina will be at home and will not have to fly, but Coach Fox has had trouble winning at home - he is 25-24 at home while being 32-22 on the road. I won't be able to see this game live either, but you can believe I will be watching the play-by-play on my cell phone! It is only week 2 in the NFL and one cannot read too much into anything yet. Not even if the Panthers come out on Sunday evening at 2-0. There will still be 14 more games to be played. I am really trying to just enjoy football. The news on the Fallout 3 front will probably be pretty slim for the next six weeks or so. I am still pretty stoked about this game. I doubt I will be playing it for more than an hour or two a week so it will take me forever to complete the game - which is excellent. An interesting development was that Bethesda Software has changed the 'drug use' within the game. This is a link to an article explaining the specifics, but in general it is that they have taken out 'real world' name references and replaced them with generic names. Not sure what difference that makes, but... I have 'discovered' two people in the past week who have majored in "Psych" in college, but neither were currently using it. I've though about asking them if I should be worried about my interest in most things apocalyptic. But, do I really want to know the answer to that? :p lol 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.


September 11th

I am pretty confident that today's news, blog-sphere, and general water cooler commentary will be about the events that occurred seven years ago today. At least here in the United States. There are now four events in my life that i remember where i was when they occurred. This being the most recent and thus the most clear in my memory. I remember where i was, my immediate reactions, my reactions to comments made by friends, my contemplation of things afterwords, and how it affected me and my family over all. I don't want to overlay myself and my experiences on what happened. Each of us should take a moment to reflect on what did happen, and what God would have each of us do moving forward. Verse for today: 2 Timothy 1 : 3-7, ESV I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.


Samson, Delilah, Blade Runner, and 'interesting' connections within my brain

I know this may seem an odd string of thoughts, but please bear with me. :) Last night i was watching the season premier for Terminator: SCC (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and a few things stuck in my mind. The first was the background theme. Then there was the point where Agent Ellison was confronted by Chromartie, but was spared. Then lastly the spot at the end where Cameron was sitting in the chapel in front of the Crucifix. I've done some digging since last night (not very exhaustive due to time, etc.) and have found out that the shows 'theme song', and script was loosely based off of recording of Brice Springsteen's performance of a song called 'Samson and Delilah / If I had my way'. (Read Josh Friedman's blog entry about it here.) I was actually able to catch some of the lyrics of the new rendition of the song while watching the show and the references to the relationships within the show. It just struck me that a man of God such as Samson was brought low because of a temptation in his own life. I will not be specific here, but i drew some parallels of Samson (Judges 16) and my own life. Obviously I am no where near as strong, or influential, as he was. I was just comparing my own walk with the Lord and some of the struggles i go through. Early on in the episode Agent Ellison was the last man standing on an FBI SWAT-like botched raid. He was standing near the pool, trying to reload and get ready for what was coming when Chromartie confronts him. Anyone who knows anything about the Terminator series knows that Agent Ellison is dead where he stands, but no. As Agent Ellison readies himself for the inevitable killing blow Chromartie doesn't deliver. Instead he steps around Agent Ellison and walks off. This left Ellison to contemplate a lot of things. This character is already working through his own faith (he is a Christian in how he is portrayed within the series), but the events within the show really has him working things out. I like this character because it is a lot like how each of us will have to work through in our lives and our own walk with Christ. One of the last scenes has Agent Ellison standing outside a scene of a confrontation between Sarah, John, Cameron, and some 'bad guys' from last season - when Chromartie shows up. Agent Ellison tells Chromartie, "I will never lead you to them. If that's why you left me alive you might as well kill me now." The Terminator just replies, "We'll see." The last thing that struck me while i was watching the show (over the course of a couple of hours due to various obligations - thus i am not so sure how cohesive these really are - LOL) was when Cameron enters a street front chapel like place and you can tell that she (or would it be better to refer to her as it?) is taking in the Crucifix on the back wall. Fast forward, as i don't want to give too much away, near the end of the show Sarah comes into the room. At one point Cameron asks, "Do you believe in the resurrection?" Sarah replies something along the lines of, "with what I've seen I have my doubts". Isn't it interesting how we will use any excuse of what we experience in life to cause doubt to creep in. At one point Cameron comments, "I am not programed for faith", and yet we (human beings) are. If it's in Christ, or some other god, or science, or global warming, or evolution, or whatever. When we come to the end of our own reason and we can't explain something we believe in we rely on faith. All of this, and especially the question "Do you believe in the resurrection?", got me to thinking about not just Christ's resurrection... but my own as well. My death was not on a cross, but we are called to die to ourselves and this world and be raised in Christ. But what happens when we stumble and fall flat on our faces? Ultimately we will not be raised, or resurrected, until that final day. When we are finally able to shrug off the trappings of this world and fully immerse ourselves in the next. Lately I am seeing signs of arthritis in my hands. The pointers on both hands are twisting slightly and they have begun to ache. It looks almost like the robots from "Blade Runner", or at least it makes me think of them. How they fought to prolong their life, to try and figure out the meaning of their lives. In the end they had no hope of a resurrection - but glory to God i (we) do! \o/ Verse for today: 1 Thessalonians 4 : 13-18, ESV But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, [4] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Ramblings yet again (from yesterday)

Not sure what to post about... I had to take my home computer into the shop last night. For sometime the graphics card has been coming less and less compatible with the games my kids like to play. Games they once were able to play - like Lego Chess - no longer work. Then there are the two CD R/W drives that will no longer open, and it could use a good cleaning as well. So finally it takes the in-laws coming into town next month to push me to get it fixed. After all, Jidda's gift from last year just has to work! ;-) That brings up some "honey-do" items as well. I have to paint the stairway and the ceiling where we had to fix a drainage problem in one of the upstairs tubs. I am slowly running out of time. I will either run out of time to fix them normally or I will run out of time to sleep. ;-) I have recently "rediscovered" 'celtic rock'. I am leary of this style of music because of the affinity it receives from various groups. Particularly 'pagans' and some 'humanists', but the instrumental pieces are what I enjoy the most. Flutes, violins, mandolins, harpsichords, etc. Not sure why, but I like these kinds of instruments. One last thing before I run out of time today. Man that was a sweet win by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. There are still 15 more games to be played, but it's nice to savor such a victory for a week.


Music Monday - 20080908

Wow, is it Monday already? So many things running through my mind. The Panther's victory yesterday, i just found out about a Tron sequel (apparently titled Tr2n). But no, today is "Music Monday", and i have a desire to share some worship! :)
You are Holy Michael W Smith from the Worship Again album You are holy, You are mighty You are worthy, worthy of praise I will follow, I will listen I will love You all of my days

I will sing too and worship (You are Lord of Lords, You are King of Kings ) The King who is worthy (You are Mighty God, Lord of everything ) I will love and adore Him (You're Emmanuel, You're the Great I Am ) And I will bow down before Him (You're the Prince of Peace, who is the Lamb )

And I will sing too and worship (You're my saving grace) The King who is worthy (You will reign forever, You are ancient of days) And I will love and adore Him (You're the Alpha, Omega, beginning and end) And I will bow down before Him (You're my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend) You're my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You

You are holy, You are mighty You are worthy, worthy of praise I will follow, I will listen I will love You all of my days

I will sing too and worship (You are Lord of Lords, You are King of Kings ) The King who is worthy (You are Mighty God, Lord of everything ) I will love and adore Him (You're Emmanuel, You're the Great I Am ) And I will bow down before Him (You're the Prince of Peace, who is the Lamb )

And I will sing too and worship (You're my saving grace) The King who is worthy (You will reign forever, You are ancient of days) And I will love and adore Him (You're the Alpha, Omega, beginning and end) And I will bow down before Him (You're my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend) You're my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You

I will sing too and worship (You are Lord of Lords, You are King of Kings ) The King who is worthy (You are Mighty God, Lord of everything ) I will love and adore Him (You're Emmanuel, You're the Great I Am ) And I will bow down before Him (You're the Prince of Peace, who is the Lamb )

And I will sing too and worship (You're my saving grace) The King who is worthy (You will reign forever, You are ancient of days) And I will love and adore Him (You're the Alpha, Omega, beginning and end) And I will bow down before Him (You're my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend) You're my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You You're my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for You
Every time i hear this song i am filled with an urge to find a secluded space and immediately worship my Lord. Mr. Smith has been able to help me into a worship mindset like very few others. I know our worship of Christ is not supposed to be based on how we feel, but there is something felt when we are truly worshiping God. What an awesome thing to think about. No matter how we feel, by the blood soaked grace of God, we are able to enter in and worship. That in and of itself prompts me to praise God. Verse for today: Romans 15 : 8-13, ESV For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

And again it is said,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

And again,

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”

And again Isaiah says,

“The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


Football and/or Fallout Fridays

Finally we have football games back on the air! \o/ But i didn't watch the game last night... Why you may ask? Primetime at the US Open. :) Man Roddick looked BAD last night. He just can't get the angles. It's almost likes he relies upon his incredible serve (he holds the world record at 155mph!). Gjokovich played great and has been steadily improving his game. Fedderer and Nadal need to step up their games as they both look like they are vulnerable. Ok, back to football... The Panthers finally begin their 2008 season and they are only 9 point underdogs to the San Diego Chargers this Sunday. I won't be able to watch the game since i don't live in the Carolinas, but i plan on following it on my phone as much as possible - as well as whatever game i can get on the TV. We'll see. Speaking of the upcoming season there are a few games i am looking forward to: 14-Sep: The Chicago Bears - this game is sort of a personal rivalry thing. Back when i was called up to active duty my poor Panthers were struggling. They were coming off of their 1-15 season and was working their way through a 7-9 season under first year head coach John Fox. Any way my platoon leader, a die hard Chicago Bears fan, wanted to "make the game interesting". I relucantly agreed when he mentioned sweatshirts. I thought to myself, "how much could that be? $20-$30 at most?" It ended up he wanted to do the NFLshop.com! I gulped when i found out, but i was committed. By the grace of God the Panthers won. I still have the sweatshirt. :) The tradition has continued and i now have a nice hat and 3'x5' flag - all Carolina Panthers gear. :) I think that tradition is due to swing the other way - but this time my friend is serving over seas. Not sure what he might he might want - but I'd be willing to send him something, just to let him know i am still thinking about him. 12-Oct: @ the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - the past several seasons this has really developed into a nice rivalry. Each time both teams bring their very best effort. It is also a division game, and the Panthers tend to wear their 'alternate' uniforms. A dream present for me is an authentic John Kasay jersey. But i hope i never get it in a way... they are incredibly expensive. 19-Oct: The New Orleans Saints - Since Hurricane Katrina, with the exception of the season they played all 16 games on the road, have been playing with a chip on their shoulder. They have also really stepped up and actually performed with more than pride. Even before that though, the two meetings each season between the Panthers and the Saints have been some really good games. 8-Dec: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN) - for the same reasons above, but to include that this is the only nationally televised game for the Panthers so i will plan on sitting down and watching it. 28-Dec: @ The New Orleans Saints - for the same reasons above, but this is also the game that closes out the regular season. With God's provision this won't be the last game for the Panthers this year, but... we shall see. I also found a new button for my Facebook flair board: Sad, i know. LOL Not too much more to report other than it is still 52 more days until the release of the game. I've also been busy on eBay to try and pick up a few trinkets. All of them are sales like promos done by Bethesda Softworks. The first is a CD that i got when i pre-ordered the game from my local Game Stop. The label on the CD and the jacket were both done up to look like an old 45 lp. The songs are not all that great from strictly a music stand point, but are funny and fit the atmosphere of the game. The second item i picked up was the 'Vault Dwellers Survival Guide'. This is a tongue in cheek 'guide' for how a person who is used to living under ground all their lives should act in order to survive out in the nuclear wastelands. This was a promotional item available at a computer games convention known as the "Penny Arcade Expo" (or PAX for short). The last item i picked up for fun is a 'Nuka Cola bottle opener'. Since I am such a fan of Coke and Dr Pepper (especially in glass bottles for some reason) i thought i would pick this up. I am not sure if it is even usable as an actual bottle opener. All of these things will most likely sit on a shelf somewhere until i die and my kids are going through my personal affects and they say, "what in the world is this", and "what was he thinking"? LOL Still, they are interesting conversation pieces I guess. None of them cost very much, but I am sure I will feel guilty for spending the little bit extra it did cost me. Two countries, Australia and Germany, have restricted the game in some sense. Australia does not like the 'realistic' depiction of the use of drugs within the game (I totally understand their reservation here). Germany on the other hand has reservations about the graphic depiction of violence within the game (yet another "i get it"). I've considered trying to get the game from Germany but I am not sure. Part of the game is the 'campy over the top' of certain things. One of them is the result of combat within the game. Having said that i have also learned that it is completely possible to play the entire game in 'pacifist' mode. That is you would only have to kill one creature, and that is in the tutorial at the beginning of the game where you are trying to learn the controls of the game. Verse for today: Psalm 25 : 1-7, ESV To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!


Around and around we go...

The past few hours have been pretty swirly. So much so that i am not sure what to write about. Yesterday afternoon "Gunny" asked me why I chose the name for my blog (well, not just me. But i was one of the people he asked). It took me a little while to remember... lol. Anyway, i posted about it yesterday. Over on Facebook a fellow soldier posted some videos of our last AT together. I don't have a copy of them, nor do i know how to upload them from my PC (yet), but i am thinking if i learn how quick i will share one or two here. Tonight is finally the kick off for the 2008 NFL season. I know it's only the Redskins and Giants, but it is Football baby, and it is being played on National television.


Why "Samurai's Dojo"?

I chose the title 'Samurai's Dojo' because i like to view myself as someone who is similar to a samurai in the pursuit of service to his lord. Just in my case, my Lord is Jesus Christ. The reference to a 'dojo' is that it refers to it being a place where i work out the things i am trying to learn. Websters defines 'dojo' as, "a school or practice hall where karate, judo, or other martial arts are taught." God's word is referred to as being "sharper than any katana "(Hebrews 4:12). On my blog i seek to apply God's Word to both my life and my observation of the environment in which God has me. Although i do not always blog about 'spiritual' things, i do always try to work out my faith and help myself learn more about what God may be showing me. I blog publicly mostly because i want to invite others to share and help me learn and perhaps, by God's grace, help others grow as well.

It was a new day yesterday, but by God it is an old day now

It is amazing how fast time seems to fly, and the older you get the faster it flies. I used to think that it was just because i had children and my life was busier, but nope! Those who have children grown and out of the house say it is just as fast, if not faster for them now! 8/ bummer After missing four consecutive days at the gym over the weekend it was really hard to force myself up and out of bed both yesterday and today. I missed Friday because of the tooth i blogged about last week, and the first day of our yard sale. That set me behind, so i planned on making sure i got to the gym on Monday. God must chuckle when we think we have things all planned out. Sunday morning my beloved woke up with some severe pain in her lower abdomen and back. "Worse than child birth", she said. 8/ Wow... fast forward to Sunday night and we are in the ER. She has a kidney stone. Ouch! So despite having a few extra hours of awake time the past few days it still feels like they are flying by - even though my tail is draggin' in the dirt so far this week. :) I did, however, make it both yesterday and today, and today is our first weigh in at my work for our very own "Biggest Loser" contest. My first weigh in was: 205.8 lbs with a BMI of 31.40. :( When i got married i weighed a mere 165lbs - so it is obviously all my beloved's fault! ;) Seriously though, i am trying to control my eating habits and portion control. Soda Pop is like liquid crack for me. Especially Dr Pepper. I am already feeling a little better just having been going to the gym for about four weeks now. When they asked me what my goals where and i told them my short term goal was to just make getting to the gym a habbit. After that we can discuss the longer term goals. I had more to write about, but it has flown away and a shiny object has taken its place. :) Before i sign off i do want to want to say that my title for today comes from a Jethro Tull song. I pray for this man (Ian Anderson) and his group. I am not sure he would like that, but I like his music and feel it is a good thing. Verse for today: Luke 9 : 57-62, ESV As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus [7] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Music Monday - 20080902

Ok, i know it's not Monday but i wanted to get this one in this week. The parable of the "Rich Young Ruler" (Luke 18:18-30) has been playing over and over in my mind this past weekend. I know the parable does not reveal an anchor that is only money. The things we hold onto can be hobbies, or possessions, or even relationships. But God has told us that if we are faithful, if we turn from our idols (sins) and turn to Him, and call His name, he will draw us near to Him.
Call My Name Lyrics Third Day Songwriters: Anderson, Tai; Avery, Brad; Carr, David; Lee, Mark D; Powell, Mac It's been so long since You felt like you were loved So what went wrong But do you know There's a place where you belong Here in My Arms Chorus: When you feel like you're alone in your sadness It seems like no one else in this whole world cares And you want to get away from the madness You just call My name and I'll be there "Call My Name" You just call My name and I'll be there The pain inside Has erased your hope for love Soon you will find That I'll give you all That your heart could ever want And so much more Chorus: When you feel like you're alone in your sadness It seems like no one else in this whole world cares And you want to get away from the madness You just call My name and I'll be there You just call My name and I'll be there [these lyrics are found on http://www.songlyrics.com] You just call My name You just call My name Call My name say it now I want you to never doubt The love I have for you is so alive Call My name say it now I want you to never doubt The love I have for you is so alive You just call My name You just call My name You just call My name The love I have for you is so alive The love I have for you is so alive You just call My name You just call My name You just call My name © CONSUMING FIRE MUSIC
Are we really willing to leave our father and mother, brother and sister, our homes, our jobs, if God called us to? This morning i was reading in Matthew some things that really kind of caused me to wake up and pay attention (I was having a hard time dragging myself out of the warm covers this morning). If our Lord was to return today would we be willing to drop everything and respond to Him? I know we have to live our lives right where we are. We need to focus and live our lives and be prepared - but are we allowing ourselves to grow complacent? These questions are more for me today than any sort of challenge to a reader that may happen by. Verse for today: Matthew 24 : 15-28, ESV “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.