October 31, 2003

my wife

14 years ago today,
  I met my girlfriend,

my highschool sweetie,
  my best friend,
my maker of memories and
  my sharer of memories,
my co-laborer and
  my co-dreamer,
my soulmate and
  my compensate,
my fulfiller and completer,
  my help-meet,
  my counselor,
    my lover,
    my heart,
      my soul,
      my strength,

my wife

October 26, 2003

lonely in the midst

Have you ever felt all alone? Even when you are around people. I think that if we were honest, we have all felt that way one time or another.

Loneliness is interesting. What defines if we are lonely? I mean, I have been aboslutely alone before, and the feelings of loneliness were far, far away. And then I could be in the middle of a group of people, not alone at all, and not had the slightest feeling of loneliness. Being alone does not make us lonely.

Well then, what is it? There are many in this world that feel alone all of the time. They feel as if they are on a deserted island, with nobody there to talk to. They mull through their day, with their plastic smiles on and nobody would know it, but they think that they are alone.

I know that when I feel the loneliest, it is usually when I think that noone is really understanding what I am going through. I feel like I as sending up signal flares and strarting big bonfires, and the passing ships don't even take notice of it. I am too far away. My signals are insignificant in the big ocean that I am stranded in. I am left alone with my imaginary friends.

But look around. Look out of your own loneliness island. You might see another signal flare coming from not that far away. When we are feeling lonely, we are never alone. We have all been there. You might find that right on your same island, there is someone else feeling stranded. In fact, you might find an entire city of lonely people living on YOUR loneliness island.

October 24, 2003

wired

The school has now gone online. because of that I will be trying to make my personal page look a little better. I am new at the whole website construction thing, so it might take awhile for it to start looking nice.

I have also figured out how to add a pic to my blog. So as with anything new, I will probably overuse it for awhile, before I find a good balance.

can't talk anymore now.

October 22, 2003

blogs

I don't normally just put in a commentary style blog, but I think that I am going to give it a good healthy attempt today.

I just finished reading several blogs of people that I don't know. Some of them were quite interesting. I love to see what the different titles are, and how people choose to describe themselves.

Sometimes it is difficult to read other people's blogs because you don't know anything about them. Some people write very extensive blogs, and it always seems like they are better bloggers, just because they have more to say. (That is why I am trying to write such an extensive blog today.)

I have also noticed that this blog thing is addictive. I am constantly thinking about what I could blog about. Most of the time it is something ridiculous. I would like to think that there are a few good ones in there too. (Like the ones about Son 1, or the poems about my wife.)

I would like to blog more, but it seems that sometimes my schedule is a little too constrictive for very extensive blogging. For example, this last week was very hectic...

  • On Monday, I had meetings at the school all day.
  • Soccer practice Monday evening.
  • Tuesday, was the last Junior High Soccer game. We spent several hours in the bus, to sit and wait for our game, which when the game started, it also started raining and sleeting. The game was canceled. We ate at Burger King (which lets the bus driver eat for free) on the way back. We didn't get back until late.
  • Wednesday was the last day of teaching the Faith Bible Institute Computer class. I enjoyed teaching that class, but I am glad that the responsibility is over.
  • Thursday, Love's Dad went into the Hospital. The guy is never sick, but when he is it is a doozie! Thursday night I had the kids by myself, while they were in their usual fun mood, I tried to get some work done.
  • Friday was the end of the quarter.
  • I gave an Algebra II test on Friday.
  • Bible projects were due on Friday.
  • Love went to see her Dad again on Friday (at this time they thought that he had SARS or West Nile Virus). She spent the night at the hospital Friday night.
  • I also drove the children to visit with Grammy so I could try to get some work done (you know, grades and such).
  • Saturday I had to help with the administration of the PSAT's.
  • I spent the rest of the day at McDonald's studying for the two sermons that I had to preach at Edgewood Baptist Church on Sunday.
  • I also had to enter all of my grades into the computer.
  • On Sunday, I woke up early, drove to Illinois, I preached, then I studied, then I preached.
  • Then I drove an hour with my two little ones, while listening to veggie tales the whole way, just to get back home.
  • Monday, I tried to finish up the grading that I had to do, and get prepared for classes.
  • Love went to see her dad again on Monday. By this time they thought that he had Anthrax poisoning.
  • I tried to work with the kids in the house, but it didn't go well.
  • All of the grades had to be finished by Tuesday at 8:00 am, and turned in, to the office.
  • I was being observed by Mrs. Sutherland (one of the best teachers in the world) on Tuesday, and I still had to finish entering the grades in.
  • Everything kind of slid together...
  • Love's dad came home, because the insurance company didn't want to pay any longer. He ended up with some disease that I have never heard of.

And now here I am, with so much to do that I just want to blog instead of doing any work.

Oh well...

Psalm 15 & 36

Psalm 15

"LORD,

who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,

who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue,

who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,

who keeps his oath even when it hurts,

who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken."


Always a convicting Psalm...

Here is one more Psalm

Psalm 36

An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:

There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much
to detect or hate his sin.

The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful;
he has ceased to be wise and to do good.
Even on his bed he plots evil;
he commits himself to a sinful course
and does not reject what is wrong.

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.

O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.
May the foot of the proud not come against me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
See how the evildoers lie fallen-
thrown down, not able to rise!


Both excellent Psalms. I hope that they have encouraged you. I know that they have encouraged me this day.

October 19, 2003

comments, please

You can now comment on each of my entries separately. I would love to hear your comments.

October 17, 2003

Bloggin

(To the tune of Truckin' by the Grateful Dead)

Bloggin' I got my words typed in,
Keep bloggin' like the dew-dah man
Together, write more or less a line
Just keep bloggin' on

I sit down and let all of my thoughts spill out
My fingers move, not quite sure to where-a-bouts,
I let them clickety-clack while my brain breathes out
Look at me now - pop - another gray hair

Bloggin', like the dew-dah man
Once told me "You got to blog your mind
Sometimes those thoughts ain't worth a dime
If you don't write 'em down"

Sometimes, the good times all fallin' on me
Other times, I'm on the bad-time sea
Lately, it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it's been

What in the world, ever became of free time
No study hall, not a minute called mine
Unless they all leave, to go work for Troy Grimes
Another bell rings, oh, ain't it a shame

Bloggin', up to my elbows
Been thinkin' you got to mellow slow
It takes time; you pick a place to grow
And just keep bloggin' on

Sittin' and starin' at the "to-do list" again
Too many things to type a blog refrain
but inspiration comes, no matter what the time
spew it out and get back to work again


Busted, down in the MRC again
Set up, a sneaky hall monitor grin
Knocked down, your blog's alookin' thin
They just won't let you be

{Refrain}
Bloggin', I'm a goin' home
Whoa, whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and edit my groans
And get back bloggin' on

(these words are adjusted from a song I used to know)

October 15, 2003

Thank You!

I would like to thank you all for your support. Because you are the ones who have made this possible.

On Oct. 1, I had 69 page views in one day. And on oct. 8, I had 57 pageviews. I have a grand total of 644 pageviews since the beginning of my blog.

First I would like to thank my wife for inspiring me to write these entries and for getting me started on the blogging. I would also like to thank all of my students. You are the ones who have made the harmless thoughts blog popular, and you all have also inspired several entries. I would like to thank all of the people at blogger and the people at google who have supported me from the beginning with their easy to use programming. I would like to thank Stephanie and Emily for their awe-inspiring blogs. I would like to thank Miss Wiebe for inspiring so many others to take up the blogging challenge. I want to thank blogskins for the free designs that they offer. I would also like to thank amanda's announcement, emily's expressions, the random laugh, what's shakin' bacon, ... and the many other student bloggers. And whoever that other mattharmless is, I would like to thank him for his website, I just wish he would e-mail me back.

If you are one of my many visitors, please say hi on my tag-board, or feel free to e-mail me at mattharmless@hotmail.com

I love you all, God bless.

ED-u-CA-shun kwotes

The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind.
--Jacques Martin Barzun

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality
--Albert Einstein

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.The great teacher inspires.
--William Arthur Ward

Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper.
--David Hilbert

Mathematics is written for mathematicians.
--Nicholaus Copernicus

Example isn't another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
--Albert Einstein

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
--Jacques Barzun


Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe and not make messes in the house.
--Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love", (Robert A. Heinlein)

Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.
--Albert Einstein

I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged.
--Roger Jones

I will try not to give any more quotes for a while. You will have to thank my wife for getting me started on the quotes. She was the one who was showing all of these to me. If you would like to find some other quotes, I got them all from quotes exchange.

October 14, 2003

some luv quotes

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
--Theodore M. Hesburgh

Platonic love is like an inactive volcano.
--Andre Pevost

If you love something, set it free; if it comes backs it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was
--Richard Bach

It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.
--Mother Teresa

The quality of love and the duration of a relationship are in direct proportion to the depth of the commitment by both people to making the relationship successful. Commit yourself wholeheartedly and unconditionally to the most important people in your life.
--Brian Tracy

A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path
--Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976)

You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.
--Sam Keen

Love is a gift of one's inner most soul to another so both can be whole
--Tea Rose

October 12, 2003

my friend "son 1"

(I know this is a long entry, I'm very sorry, but nobody is making you read it... right?)

Every once in awhile you might see something in your kids that reminds you of yourself. That happened to me today while I sat and watched Sam.

We were sitting in the McDonald's play park area today. We had just had lunch. (2 happy meals, ketchup only, milk to drink; 1 extra value meal #1, diet coke) and while I was letting Son 2 chew on some fries, I sat and watched Son 1.

While I was watching him I noticed that he went from kid to kid, saying little things, trying to get them to follow him down the slide or chase him through the tunnels. He was looking for a friend. Now Son 1 is picky about a lot of things, but when it comes to his friends, it doesn't seem to matter what they look like or who they are. Normally it is the first kid that will play with him. (I have watched him do this several times.)

Most of the time it is a younger kid that he ends up playing with. He might start with the older kids, but they are usually too wrapped up in their own little worlds to take much notice of him. I will watch him bring up something small, about the slide or a tunnel, or maybe something that he has currently been playing with (like hotwheels or swords). After a few attempts, the kid walks away, while Son 1 is left alone. He will usually go down the slide a few times by himself, until he runs into another kid. Then the process begins again.

Sometimes I will see him try to join in with a group of kids. After being ignored and snubbed for a while, he will move on. Every once in a while a kid will take notice of him, and will play with him for a while, until they see something else and move on. Sam will follow the kid around for a little bit. The kid will usually act like he is an annoyance; usually what Son 1 is talking about is little and trivial, and might seem like silly talk to the kid. Eventually Sam gets the idea and begins to look elsewhere for friendship.

The parent in me wants to go over to those kids and convince them that Son 1 is a great kid and that they would enjoy playing with him. But the real loving parent in me knows that I need to stay out of the way.

Eventually he finds some small kid that is just as eager to find a friend as he is, and just as eager to enjoy the little, trivial, and silly things of their small existence in the play park. Then they will play together until something more exciting distracts the kid or the parent takes the kid away. Either way, I have yet to see Son 1 walk away from the newfound friendship (unless I make him because I am tired of sitting in McDonalds).

Once Son 1 finds a friend, he has a friend for life, at least as far as Son 1 is concerned. I have seen him, on many an occasion, get ignored or rejected by someone he was looking forward to seeing. It was someone that he would refer to as "...my friend, ___________." And once he was reunited with his friend, the kid would act like he had never seen Son 1 before.

He is still young enough to not feel too much the cuts and hurts of life. It seems that his young naive mind is still protecting him from the painful attacks of human existence. But it won't be long. Everyday that goes by his memory gets stronger, and his understanding level increases. I know that I have very young memories of this exact thing. I can still remember, like it was yesterday, the many attempts to be friends with different kids, and the painfulness of those rejections.

Even though the years have changed me in many ways, I still think that I am just like Son 1 in this area. It was very interesting, watching myself, through my son.

Son 1 is one of my best friends. I hope that the things that interest him will never be too little, trivial, or silly for me. When the world rejects him, I want him to always know that he has a safe place with me. And I desperately want to point him to the friend, who although his ways are higher than our ways, is never too busy to stop and call us his friends.

October 11, 2003

some quotes

"When you die, you will leave everything you have --- you will take everything you are."
- Dr. Bob Taylor

"You can't take it with you --- but if you could, it would melt where some of you are going."
- Billy Sunday

"When I consider the cross and what He did, how can I consider anything I do as sacrifice."
- Amy Carmichael

October 8, 2003


"...and may the best man win."

A Word from the wife

o.k....not many funny things have happened to me lately, but I have to grin when I reflect on this one. The song listed below is by Rich Mullins, and I have found great comfort in it for many years. It has been a balm to me through fear, depression, loss, mistakes and heartbreak. The ironic, or maybe not so much ironic, thing about the deal is that I have been singing a line of it wrong the whole time. SO, I get on here to blog about it and find that the word I have been belting out in the car IS NOT THERE!!! Anyway, my favorite line is....
"He's been there before and he knows what it's like...you'll find He's there."

I have been under the belief that it says..."You'll find ease there." Frankly, I like my version better and I know that if Rich were still here he would change it for sure. I know this because after years of listening to this artist's music, I sense we have identical hearts...at least in the early, 20- something, "I'm going to do this my way" years. I find myself running to the Truth in his songs because they bring me so much comfort. The kind of comfort that comes only by truly "relating" to something.

So, I was thinking about the things that bring "ease" to me. My friends grin when I call myself someone who "camps in unhappiness", but it's so true. I guess, I'm just learning as of late why that is, but regardless, I find myself needing ease quite a bit. A good nights sleep, a hot bath, chicken noodle soup, tylenol....in high doses, a friend's voice, quiet, sunshine, a back rub, paid bills, vacation....all of these bring great ease, but they are so temporary. They come and go based on time and opportunity. I think that's the key to my position of mayor in the town of unhappiness. But, a constant "ease" in my life is God. I fight going...I fight the terms of how to get there, I fight with tightly clenched fists, but when I get low and I see who I am and I see even clearer who He is..yep, there it is...ease.

Bound To Come Some Trouble

There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't nothing to be afraid of
There's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
But reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

There's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't nothing to be ashamed of
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
Reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

Now, People say maybe things will get better
People say maybe it won't be long
And people say maybe you'll wake up tomorrow
And it'll all be gone
Well I only know that maybes just ain't enough
When you need something to hold on
There's only one thing that's clear

I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
But that ain't nothing to be afraid of
I know there's bound to come some tears up in your eyes
That ain't no reason to fear
I know there's bound to come some trouble to your life
Reach out to Jesus, hold on tight
He's been there before and He knows what it's like
You'll find He's there

October 7, 2003

Ode to spaghetti

with your red tomato sauce
and your long lovely noodles,
you remind me of sweaters
on little white poodles.

O I love to eat you
(not referring to the canines,
but to those lovely noodles
with the ground up bovines.)

I'll poke my fork in
and give a little twirl,
splattering tiny red dots,
all over that girl,

sitting right beside me
in her dress shirt of white
looking extremely mad
and overflowing with spite.

She doesn't love you spaghetti
the exact way I do
when at the restaurant
she never orders you

In fact, I think she's leaving,
"Hey where you goin',
don't you like spaghetti,
with the cheese overflowin'?"

Well, there she goes
the women are always leavin'
while into my mouth
spaghetti mounds I'm heavin'.

-me

October 3, 2003

October 1, 2003

A favorite Psalm

Psalm 62

1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

3 How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down-
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.
Selah

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah

9 Lowborn men are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or take pride in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what he has done.