December 31, 2005

current background





This is my current backgroud, thanks to Portland Studios.

I just loved this picture when I saw it. I don't know, it kind of reminds me of myself. You should check out their site. They have several different really cool designs, and they even have a section of e-cards that you can send. Great stuff.

December 30, 2005

pet peeve #3

pet peeve -- n. Informal
Something about which one frequently complains; a particular personal vexation.


The left turn lane.

There are many stop lights that have a left turn lane. It is a really great idea, you can get out of the way of the other drivers while you are waiting to turn left. That way, all of those people who are wanting to go straight can get going.

Some of these stop lights even have a left-turn arrow. Another great idea. This way you can make your left turn quickly, before the light allows all of the oncoming traffic to go.

But sometimes you don't quite make it through in time. The arrow changes to yellow, and then it disappears. This means that you can still turn left, you just have to wait until the oncoming traffic has cleared before you can go.

So... What do you do?

You pull out into the intersection and await an opening. And if that opening doesn't come, you can make that turn when the light turns yellow and the oncoming traffic has to stop.

This is OK. In fact, I can remember being in Driver's ED, and learning this principle. You are supposed to pull out into the intersection! Don't stay back. If you stay back, when the light turns, you have to wait until the next green arrow!

Someone needs to spread the word! "PULL OUT THERE!"

It is driving me crazy. I love living in the southern part of the United States, but nobody has taught these people how to use this turn lane!

Oh well.


pet peeve #1
pet peeve #2

December 27, 2005

A Christmas Miracle...Maybe?

(posted by Charity)

I can remember being a little girl and truly waiting in expectation for each Christmas to bring some sort of magical "miracle". I bought into the theory that December 25th can produce a joy you did not anticipate in a way you could not imagine.

Then I grew up.

Sadly, as many of you can attest to, Christmas is usually only as special as you make it with the right focus and a heart of giving and thanksgiving. It can, in fact, be a difficult day with disappointments and reflections that can actually bring pain on this joyous holiday. Loved ones that are absent are missed and the day usually ends, for me, with many sad good-byes.

Several people in my life has asked me to write about what I am learning during the recent loss of our baby this past month. I used to have a blog that I enjoyed very much but having given it up, I don't have opportunity to share like I used to. I will in time find a way to record all the things that have happened and the journey that we have taken but for now, I'll share this.

A couple of days after we arrived home, my father-in-law called me into the front room to watch a program that was on t.v. It was a telecast of a local church service that featured a testimony of one of my elementary school teachers, also a good friend's mother. My friend passed away a few years ago and recently, my former teacher also lost her husband. She was sharing how she intended to face the holiday season while enduring the painful absence of her beloved family members. She explained that she had a collections of photos of her husband on her refrigerator and in the middle a sign that read, "Don't cry because it's over...smile because it happened."

I cried as she recited the saying that had become such an encouragement to her and knew that providence had led me to that couch at that moment to know that it is okay to "smile" and move on from our loss without guilt and with a peace that what was best for me-had undoubtedly occurred.

I knew that I would write my teacher a letter or drop an e-mail to let her know what her vulnerability during a difficult time had meant to me and that she had truly been a blessing.

In a sad and empty moment for me this past Christmas morning, I walked into a church I had not attended before and as I rounded the corner, there she sat-my simple messenger of hope that had no idea she had taught me something...all over again.

She jumped out of her seat and as she walked towards me, we both started to cry. I whispered a few things in her ear along with a kiss and a "thank you". It was a weird, mysterious run-in that delivered a joy I had not anticipated but was much needed and extremely special.

So, this Christmas...


I'm smiling-just because it happened.

-Charity

December 26, 2005

Per Request...

(posted by Charity)

I've been asked to post some of my favorite pictures from our Christmas visit home. It was hard with so many to choose from but here are a few. We still have to open gifts with the boys this week due to the unexpected ice storm that drove us North early and I'll be sure to feature a few of those later.

Enjoy and Happy holidays!

-Charity

(Click to enlarge)



Mom and Charity and the "Christmas Candy" extravaganza!


GG looking at the album that I made for her for Christmas.


Final candy results...mmm-mmm good!


All of the siblings together for the first time in 2 years!
Bill, Jeannie, Julie, Charity and Travis

Siblings and Spouses
Christmas 2005


Little sister...Big Boss!
Charity still tells everyone how to organize.
Brandi (Travis' wife on the far right-
gave us a special surprise with the announcement
of a new baby. We had fun crying and laughing together
this year...Thanks Brandi, for my special gift.)

Dad's Christmas shirt for this year.

Jeannie, Charity and Julie
Big sisters have a way of making everything better!


Lori and Charity
(We may have gotten busted but we had fun in the meanwhile!)


Stephanie (my best friend) and Charity
At our annual Christmas dinner with
Sandy and Amanda.


The Lathrop Christmas Tradition

December 19, 2005

The ICEing on the cake.

So...

Last Wednesday they told us at school that there might be an ice storm, and they handed out the back-up schedule for the last two days, in case of a delay or a closing due to the weather.

Having lived up in the northerly parts of the United States, where they don't close school no matter how "bad" the weather gets, I didn't think much about it.

But sure enough, early Thursday morning the ice had accumulated. School was of course cancelled, much to my relief, because I had actually slept in and would have been late, which is one of my biggest fears. I have 4 alarm clocks set in my room each night just to keep this very thing from happening. I didn't wake up until 8:30, and frantically raced around the house until I could figure out whether or not there was school.

We immediately decided that with my day off, and the hardships of the past few weeks, we should go out for breakfast. We deserved some IHOP (International House of Pancakes). We set off on our journey, right after the power in our house went out. We figured, why stay home if there is no power? So off we went.

After driving around for a few minute, we decided that this was going to be a little more difficult than we thought. The roads weren't slick, but there were trees down everywhere. It was really quite amazing. Powere out all over the city. We heard later on the radio that our county alone had over 300,000 customers without power.

We finally settled for a McDonalds. Not our first choice for breakfast, but it was the only restaurant that we could find open.

After 45 minutes of waiting line, we settled down in our booth to enjoy our newly acquired food. Only to have Sam drop his pancakes on the floor.

We went to the mall for a little while (which amazing had fully functioning power) to do some shopping. When we were spent there, we headed home to assess the damage. There were wires down in our backyard and trees down in our front.

After we realized that nearly all of the hotels in town were booked or empty because of the lack of power, we accepted some good friends offer to put us up for the night.

Shortly before bed time, one of the teachers at the school decided to call and let us know that school was going to be cancelled the next day as well because the school was still sitting in the dark. So we thought, why stay here for another day. So we drove back, packed up, and headed home.

So, here I am at my Mother-in-law's computer giving you this update. It doesn't even come close to the roller-coaster ride that we have been on the last few weeks. But we have both agreed that we have learned so much through all of this. It has solidified us and grown us so much.

Thanks again to all of you for your prayers and encouragement through all of this. And thanks for reading Harmless Thoughts!

December 13, 2005

Update:

She's Home!

Last night after the doctor came to visit her room, he reluctantly said that she could go home. The infection isn't all the way gone, but he felt like she was healthy enough that she could go on home with a couple of prescriptions.

He released her around 6:30, but the nurse didn't get around to taking the IV out until almost 10! So, we sat up there one more evening, watching our AFV.

Now we are just hoping that she will be well enough that she can travel in a week. We are really (...REALLY) looking forward to this Christmas break. Probably more than we have looked forward to one for a long time.

Some rest, some relaxation, some family, some friends... all of these things are looking really good right about now.

Thanks again to all of you that prayed for my family these last few weeks. We have needed it, and it is truly appreciated.

December 11, 2005

Family Time

As I said before, it has been a hard couple of months.

But you know, you can have family time anywhere! And America's Funniest Home Videos can always bring on that smile. It is currently my children's favorite show, and no family night would be complete without it... Even a family night at the hospital.

On a serious note: I would truly appreciate your prayers at this time. We are hoping that this new antibiotic does the trick, and that she will get to come home tomorrow. And even after she gets home, it is still going to be a difficult road to complete recovery. It has been almost three months of non-stop sickness of one form or another. We are really, really ready for a nice restful Christmas break, and it would be nice to have one with a healthy family.

Thank you all for your encouraging comments and e-mails. They really have meant something to me.

Harmless' Law

Well, since the last post that I typed, it has been a busy time.

On Thursday, while I was still at school, I received a call from my wife saying that the doctor needed her to come in again. I guess that there was some of the placenta left after the first D&E (Dilation and Evacuation). The first one was really hard. Mostly for my wife. Right after finding out that we had lost our baby, she has to go in for this procedure. And it is a pretty extensive procedure. I personally feel like anything that you need to be put under for, is a little scary. So here we are a week and a day later, and they tell us that we need to do it again! Not good news.

So, we go in for this procedure. I am really feeling for my wife, but I am also trying to get geometry papers graded while I am sitting in the hospital.

After the procedure is over, all I am hoping for is that my wife can start to get healthy again. It has been so long, that neither one of us can remember what normal life was like. The next day, I head off to school, thinking that maybe things will start to get back to normal. At this point, the school work is starting to pile up. I have final exams to type, tests to grade, grades to figure, etc.

We make it through Friday, but by the end of the day she is starting to feel sick. The antibiotic that she is on, to fight the infection in her uterus, is reacting incorrectly with her system. Next thing you know, she is being admitted into the hospital. Right now we are waiting to find out if she is going to have to stay there for another day. There is a possibility that the infection has spread to other parts of her body. At this point, that wouldn't surprise either one of us one little bit.

Have you ever heard of Murphy's Law? You know, the one that says, "If it can go wrong, it will go wrong." Well, I am firmly convinced that Murphy's Mother's maiden name was Harmless. I just keep thinking that things are going to get better, but then something else goes wrong.

Now, just so you know, we are trying to keep the right perspective. As I have been traversing back and forth through those hospital walls, I know that there are those there that have a much harder situation. In fact, I know that there is a children's hospital attached to this one, and there is a whole floor of children with terminal cancer.

Whatever the situation, I know that God is in it, and that He is wanting to use this in our lives. But the body and the mind wear thin. There is fatigue and stress, worry and fear. Trusting in God doesn't mean that these things are absent. But instead it means that God's grace is present. And God's grace is always in an equivalent quantity to the trial that we are going through.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know the current status of the Harmlesses.

Thank you all for your prayers!

December 8, 2005

"Held"

(posted by mommy)

....As HE holds our little one, I find myself being held. How comforting to know that His arms are big enough for the both us.

Held

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays-
It seems appalling.

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred NUMB our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

-Natalie Grant

December 7, 2005

Three

On Tuesday, October 25, 2005, at around 11:30pm, my wife woke me up and showed me a pregnancy test. I wasn't all that surprised by this pregnancy test, that was being held in front of me. I was expecting her to take one sooner or later. I was a little surprised that she was showing it to me in the middle of the night, but only a little... I have known my wife long enough to not be too surprised about pregnancy tests in the middle of the night.

I also need to mention that we weren't too surprised about the results. This is something that the both of us were hoping for. As soon as she showed me those two little blue bars on the test, I was immediately convinced that we were going to have another baby, and that I was now going to be the father of three children... great (I thought) now it is time to go back to sleep.

Five pregnancy tests later my wife was convinced.

Because of some symptoms that my wife was having, we decided to see the doctor a little earlier than originally planned. Everything seemed fine, and when we went back for the ultrasound, we were able to see the baby, and when I saw that little heart beat, I was unashamedly giddy. I love being a daddy!

As the days progressed into weeks, we began to tell a few people about it. Especially because after that first appointment and seeing the little flutter of that heart, the doctor told us that the chance of miscarriage was only about a 1% chance. We were so happy about about this new life. In the words of my wife, "...there is no dream that you will attach yourself quicker to than the dream of a child". You see, you begin thinking of names, wondering whether it will be a boy or girl, pulling out the baby clothes, etc.

But then things started going bad. My wife always suffers from morning sickness in her pregnancies, but this morning sickness was abnormally bad. My poor wife was sick 24 hours a day, but there is always a light at the end of any tunnel. We knew that once the baby reached a certain age, the hormones would let up and all would be well.

We went in for our second appointment last Wednesday. Everything was going as well as could be expected. We had the camera with us in the waiting room, we were talking about names, we had our blank tape to record this ultrasound: it was like being first-time parents all over again. We went back to the ultrasound room and as they got ready, I anxiously awaited the sight of my child.

When the ultrasound screen fired up, it was my wife who first noticed that there was no heartbeat.

I could see the baby's little body, but that little flutter of the heart was absent. When the nurse left the room to get the doctor, we both knew what it meant. You can tack whatever term you want onto this, but we lost a child.

The baby had stopped developing a few weeks earlier, but my wife's body (so much like my wife) would not let go. She doesn't give up easily, so it was no surprise to me that the placenta was still pumping the hormones and trying to nurture this baby.

But it was time to let go, and that is what had to be done.


There have been many times in my life that I have heard about this or that couple losing a child this way, and I don't think that I have ever put much thought towards it before. But now, having gone through it, I understand the grief they were experiencing.

As I write this post, I realize that it so inadequately expresses exactly what I have felt this last week. I don't care what anyone says, there was a life, and it was our child. My baby has died before I ever had a chance to see it or hold it. Before I could smell its little feet and kiss its forehead. We have wept and mourned this last week, and even though we are moving on now, that baby will never be forgotten.

Even though it will never come to me, one day I will go to where he (or she) is.

When all is said and done, I am still the father of three.

December 6, 2005

Diagnosis!

I think that my 8th grade prealgebra class is suffering from a severe case of logorrhea.

Thankyou Dictionary.com word of the day, for providing me with the final diagnosis for this class' problem!

November 28, 2005

Language

For quite some time I have been wanting to write a post about words, about the language that we use. It never seemed like such a hot topic to me, but lately I have met several people who, even though they are professing Christians, don't seem to have a problem using different forms of profanity.

Growing up, that was never an issue, those were bad words. And even when I went through a time when I used those words (sorry mom), I never tried to support their usage: I knew they were wrong and out of place for a Christian. In fact, when I finally decided to put my full faith in Christ, that was one of the first things to go in my pursuit of godliness.

Now, I have always considered myself an open-minded person, so each time someone has come along in my life and has questioned my beliefs, I have always tried to reconsider whether or not these beliefs were biblical or personal. I have found some to be personal and some to be biblical, and have been man enough to admit when I have been wrong.

But it seems like more and more the people that I know are chalking too much up to personal preference. Suddenly the Bible doesn't have anything to say at all, it is all preference.

Well. That's wrong.

The Bible does have something to say about language. It does have something to say about the words that we use. If you don't believe me, check out Ephesians 5. Do a word search. Study a topic. You don't have to be a Biblical seminarian to read the word of God and understand it. All you need is the Holy Spirit living and dwelling in your heart.

But here is the problem that I see: Laziness and Pride.

Laziness. There are way too many lazy Christians out there. I say that because I have struggled greatly in my life with laziness. I can also say that because it is true. There are way too many out there who are depending on their pastors and teachers to find all of the truth to live their lives by.

Also, if there is a topic that they are unsure about do they seek to "find out what pleases the Lord" (Eph 5:10)? Of course not. They begin formulating and hypothesizing based on their own understanding of the topics.

Pride. I see this as a problem as well. When you go to yourself for the answers to problems, you will inevitably develop a deep sense of pride in yourself.

To be honest, I see this all of the time in the blog world. Oh, you can find all sorts of blogs out there with self-proclaimed spiritual gurus, who are so enlightened that even the mention of the Biblical truth is met with mocking and ridicule. You leave these blogs as if they just patted you on the head and said, "you poor dear soul... we know that you haven't been as enlightened as we have. We will pray for you."

Frankly it is infuriating. Believing that the Bible is absolutely true does not make me hard headed or obtuse. As a mathematician by trade, I believe in absolute truth. And if I have found it, that doesn't make me crazy.

If you would like to read another's opinions on this topic of language, and probably a better put together writing on this topic, the check this out: What the @*&#...? A Christian Critique of Swearing

Queen Anne


My wife has a friend named Anne.

I don't know why, but whenever I hear her name mentioned, I think of the Queen Anne's Lace flower. It is probably just the name, but Anne has been a real God-sent for my wife.

She met Anne just at the right time, just in time. They have been a great help to each other, and have become true friends.

I have become very thankful for Queen Anne.

November 24, 2005

Thanks be to God.

I will exalt you, O LORD,
   for you lifted me out of the depths
   and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

O LORD my God, I called to you for help
   and you healed me.

O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
   you spared me from going down into the pit.

Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
   praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment,
   but his favor lasts a lifetime;
   weeping may remain for a night,
      but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said,
   "I will never be shaken."

O LORD, when you favored me,
   you made my mountain stand firm;
   but when you hid your face,
      I was dismayed.

To you, O LORD, I called;
   to the Lord I cried for mercy:

"What gain is there in my destruction,
   in my going down into the pit?
   Will the dust praise you?
   Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
   O LORD, be my help."

You turned my wailing into dancing;
   you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
   O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.


Psalm 30 (NIV)

November 15, 2005

posting

When I first started blogging, there was the novelty of the whole thing. I could post something with this service, and they would put it up on the internet. It was new, it was cool, and I was excited about it. My posts didn't have much sense to them (not that they do now... no comments), but it was fun.

Then I felt like I was on a mission. I started doing book reviews and little lessons from the Bible. The teacher in me felt it necessary to post things with meaning to them: something that would leave my readers thinking.

Then I felt like I was in bondage to the blog. I couldn't get away from it. If I didn't post nearly everyday, I felt like I was letting the internet down or something. Stupid, I know. But I still felt that way. This was right about the same time that I started paying attention to my different statcounters. I wanted the numbers, and I knew that the best way to keep the numbers up was to post everyday.

Now I am back to the fun stage. I post when something crosses my mind. OR if I find something interesting on the internet or in the news. Some family stuff makes it on here. Quirky little thoughts make it here. You might find a verse or two on here and my thoughts on those things, but don't get antsy if I don't post... :)

If there is one thing that I have learned about blogs, the blog usually reveals about 5% of the person at most. It is easy to think that the blogs that you read are telling you everything about the person, but that is so far from the truth.

So anyway, if I have an interesting thought, it might make it to the blog, it might not. Even now, I have a little more that I would like to say, but frankly I am tired of typing.

So I will see you all around!

November 13, 2005

Student Quote -- #3

This is the best complement that I have ever received as a math teacher:

I hate math, but you make it bearable.


A couple of other Quotes:
Student Quote -- #2
Student Quote -- #1

Student Quote -- #2

Here is an insult that I overheard one student hurling at another student:

You're gross. Shouldn't you be smart?


If you think about it, it is actually a double insult. But I am not quite sure whether or not this particular student even knew what they were saying.

Another Student Quote:
Student Quote -- #1

November 10, 2005

He hears.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
   and his ears are attentive to their cry;

Psalm 34:15 (NIV)


God is watching.

He sees everything that we are going through. Nothing escapes His attention. When we cry out to Him, He hears us. Even when our prayers don't seem to reach beyond the ceiling... it doesn't matter, they don't need to reach beyond any ceiling, in fact, they don't even need to pass beyond our own lips. He hears even when no one else can.

November 8, 2005

that little icon...

Alrighty, I figured it out. I finally figured out how to put one of those little icons next to the address up in the address bar.

It should look like this now:




If you add me to your favorites, then it should show up in your favorites list as well.



If you would like to add your own icon to your own site, then here is what you need to do:

First: Create your icon, making sure it is 16x16 pixels and has the name favicon.ico

Second: Save your icon on your webserver.

Third: Somewhere between the tags <HEAD> and </HEAD>, you need to place this code:
<LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="http://www.mydomain.com/favicon.ico">

After that, it should work...


Update: To see the little icon (if it doesn't show up on its own). Watch this video.

The New Evil !

That's right ladies and gentlemen... Christian Conservatives are the new evil. Not only are these Christians the new evil in America, they are going to be destroying society.

...well, at least that is what Jimmy Carter is saying in his new book.

Check out this article on that book. I couldn't believe it when I read it.

November 7, 2005

a little fun

Want to have a little fun?

Check out this site... hilarious!

Student Quote -- #1

After discussing the standards in my Algebra II class,

"This isn't challenging, its hard."


hmmm...

taking a walk

"He who thinks he is a leader but nobody is following...
    is just taking a walk."

~John Maxwell


I can't remember who John Maxwell is, but when I was in college (back in 1994...) I wrote this statement down.

Here I am a few years later, and I have to say that I still agree with this quote. However, I would like to add one thing to it: He who thinks that he isn't a leader but has many following... will still give an account for where he has walked.

I want to add this last part because I have seen many a person disclaim leadership. They are even repulsed by the word, but so many are following them. I have come to believe that there are certain people that God has gifted with leadership. And even if they don't want that gift, they have it, and God will hold them accountable for the stewardships that he has gifted.

November 3, 2005

shine

May God be gracious to us
    and bless us
and make his face shine on us,
    Selah.

Psalm 67:1 (NIV)


This is my prayer today, at this moment.

Shut Up

When words are many,
    sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue
    is wise.

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)


Some people just need to learn to shut-up.

Close your mouth, zip the lip, say no more!

Between the mouth and the brain there is a flow valve. The brain thinks something, and the valve decides whether or not to let it pass to the mouth. Some people have non-functional valves. Thoughts just flow right out of the mouth: Some good, some bad, some ugly.

The most interesting thing about these people who don't know when to be quiet, is that you really get to know who they are. Jesus put it this way, "...out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." When something spills out, saying, "oops, I didn't mean that..." isn't exactly true. The truth is: you said exactly what you meant.

October 31, 2005

stolen

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
      you have stolen my heart
      with one glance of your eyes,

Song of Solomon 4:9 (NIV)


16 years ago today she stole my heart and never gave it back.

October 29, 2005

For the kiddies!

I love reading stories to my boys. I have lots of fun with it. And I think that I have the most fun with a little Dr. Seuss. So, I decided to post one of my favorite readings. The audio quality isn't the best, but I hope that you enjoy it.

Marvin K Mooney (mp3 audio)
(It might be best to right-click and save before you listen to it.)





October 28, 2005

e-mail icon

I have noticed several different blogs with these nice little e-mail icons.



So I found the site and decided to share it with you.

Here it is!

October 27, 2005

the other cheek

I have been reading a book called How To Overcome Evil by Jay E. Adams. It is an interesting book, but it isn't what I expected it to be. I thought that it was going to be a book on how to overcome the evil in our own lives, I wouldn't say that is exactly what this book is about.

For starters, it is an exposition of Romans 12:14-21. This always makes a good book. Anytime someone takes the time to exposit a certain passage of scripture, they are bound to uncover some excellent truths.

The reason why I am sharing all of this with you is because I was reading in it recently, and I ran across a very profound thought concerning the turning of the other cheek, as described by Jesus.

I have always liked the idea of turning the other cheek, but for some reason, in the back recesses of my mind, it never seemed quite right. Are we just supposed to let people walk all over us? If someone takes our cloak, are we really supposed to offer our coat also? But the real problem was my understanding of Christ's examples.

Jay Adams cleared a little bit of that up for me though. He starts of by describing how we are supposed to attack evil. We are to attack it with good. In Romans 12:21 we read, "do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Be aggressive, attack evil, but use the right weapons! You can't defeat evil with evil, evil must be defeated with good.

Anyway, check out this quote from Jay Adams concerning the turning of the other cheek:

"One doesn't turn the cheek in every sense; only in the sense of returning good for evil. He has sinned. Caring for him in his sin, you give the other person the opportunity to repent and do the right thing instead."


Wow. I had never thought about it that way before. Turning the other cheek is this aggressive act of good, in order to advance the kingdom! We are soldiers in this battle against evil, and if we are going to win (overcome), we must use the right weaponry.

"In effect by returning good for evil you are demanding better of him than he has given you thus far. You aggressively refuse to accept his sinful behavior and thrust forth your other cheek for a kiss rather than a slap."


I don't know about the kissing part, but I get the idea.

"That is not passivity. That is an active, aggressive, demanding response that requires something different from the persecutor. Doing good to another involves the most violent sort of attack upon him. It is a pointed thrust at his basic stance toward you and ultimately toward God."


This is a great book, with a lot of helpful, practical teaching. And it is very useful in everyday life. Probably everyone of us has been hurt or wronged in one way or another... respond with the right weapons: respond with good.

Check it out:

October 25, 2005

three is better than two

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesaistes 4:12 (NIV)


Yup.

Three is definitely better than two.

Home

Everyone is at home and safe tonight.

October 23, 2005

Day #9 - Alone

I am hearing voices...

OK... not really.

I spent the entire day Saturday and all afternoon today, working on my car. That wasn't really what I would have liked to do on a weekend, but that is what I did. In fact, the entire time that my family has been gone, I have been extremely busy. It was for the best that they weren't here because of all of the stuff that I had to do.

And in my free time, I have been trying to get ahead in my school work. I am hoping that when they return, I will have lots of time to spend with them.

October 22, 2005

Day #8 - Alone

I am on the 8th day of being alone, and I am very much looking forward to my wife being home. I love my boys very much, and I am looking forward to seeing them, but it is my wife that I miss the most. She has become part of me, and without her, I don't feel like a complete person.

This morning I was thinking about her and these two verses came to mind:

"The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life."


Proverbs 31:11-12 (NASV)

I think that it was the first phrase that stuck in my mind the most. In the NIV it says, "Her husband has full confidence in her..." and I do. Even though I worry from time to time that something might happen to her, I never have to worry about her. I don't have to worry about what decisions she makes, I don't have to worry about how she is parenting the children, I don't have to worry about how she is spending money, I don't have to worry about her.

But I still can't wait until she gets back.

Lord, bring my heart back safe.

That City

At our church we have been going through the book of Hebrews. It has been very interesting, and I have learned a lot about the book. We are almost at the end now, and the book has several different thoughts that we are going to be covering. The verse that for tomorrow is:

"Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come."

I am looking forward to this verse because this is a thought that I really love. I love this planet. I love my family just the way it is. I love both of my boys, with all of their perfections and imperfections alike. I love my wife and could ask for no other.

But.

This city doesn't last. No matter how I build it up and no matter what kind of walls of protection I put up around it, it won't last. The sands of time wash over my city, and eventually it will be no more. And "...here we have no lasting city..."

So, along with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, "...we seek the city that is to come." A city that will last.

Even if it isn't the same as this city, it will be good. (In the truest sense of the word good.) There will be king who is merciful and kind. It will be a place where love will reign supreme. And all glory will be given to the God who created us, loved us, watched us fall from glory, conceived of our redemption, promised it, and kept that promise by sending his own son to pay the penalty of our sin. It is the most amazing masterpiece of a story ever conceived, and it is real.

So, seek that city. Don't forget that Jesus has gone to prepare it for us 2,000 years ago, and he will come again. Whatever you do today, remember that the city that you are building here won't last. It is just a temporary dwelling until we are called to that city.

October 21, 2005

Day #7 - Alone

One of the few nice things about being a husband staying alone, is that people feel sorry for you. Then when they feel sorry for you, they invite you over for food. And even if they don't invite you over, they don't feel awkward if you invite yourself over.

All of that to say that I am going over to my sister and brother-in-law's house tonight. I think that we are going to our favorite place to eat. I would put the name of the restaurant up here on the blog, but I am not quite sure how to spell it.

I am not quite sure what we are going to do after that, but I am sure it will be fun. I am guessing that it might include some kind of gaming or movie watching.

Well, only a few more days left. I can't wait to see them again.

October 20, 2005

Day #6 - Alone

Yes, I am still here, and I am still alive.

There is a cat that keeps coming to the house. It started coming a few weeks ago, and the boys loved it, especially Josiah. They were giving it food and letting it come into the house. They loved petting it and loving on it, probably because the only cat that we had ever owned before was Willow, who was a hairless cat. My boys just weren't used to these furry cats.

Well, since they have been away, I was thinking that the cat would get the picture, and stop swinging by to mooch off of us.

Unfortunately tonight when the cat came around to see if anyone was home, I caved in and gave it a little snack. A little bowl of milk and a bite of meatloaf. I just couldn't help it.

Darn Cat.

October 19, 2005

Day #5 - Alone

Food.

My meal choices are much, much different when I am alone.

That's all I have to say about that.

Pumpkin Patch Jo!

I couldn't resist putting this picture on the blog.



Click on the picture for a larger version.

October 18, 2005

Day #4 - Alone

Nobody calls me.

I am a very happy Vonage customer. I love all of their extra features that come free with the service: call waiting, call forwarding, voice mail, voice mail sent to your e-mail, etc. But there is one service that I am hating this week: the call record.

If you look back over the last month, there are literally dozens upon dozens of calls each day. Some lasting as short a minute, some lasting much, much longer. But you can mark the day down that my family left the house. There has been one call each day. And both of them are from my wife! Nobody has been calling the house!

I don't know why I am surprised by this, when I am home, and I answer the phone, they never want to speak to me. They usually just say, "...oh hi Matt, is your wife there?" I think that Sam even gets more calls than I do!

...

But wait. Why am I complaining about this? I don't really like talking on the phone anyway.

Soccer Season

Well, another soccer season has come to an end. I don't have alot to say about it, but I did want to do a post just so I could have a good excuse to put this little soccer guy on my blog.

I do enjoy coaching, but I don't like being away from home so much. Especially with little ones. If I stay for practice, then I only get to see my boys for about an hour or two a day. And if there is a game, then I won't get to see them at all.

As they get older, I am sure that things will change, and it will be me at home while they are out and about. But for now, I am going to try to enjoy their littleness for as long as I can.

October 17, 2005

Day #3 - Alone

Alright, today I noticed a new I'm all alone behavior: I talk to nobody... out-loud!

That's right. I have caught myself talking out-loud to nobody. There I am, having a one-sided conversation with... the air. And it is one-sided. I am not actually answering myself, but I do occasionally answer nobody.

It sounds something like this:

me: I wonder what I should watch tonight

nobody:

me: Yeah, that is what I was thinking, but I don't know if I want to stay up that late, I mean...

nobody:

me: I know, I know, but I never get to bed early! I don't care how lame it sounds.

nobody:

me: Sure, I guess I could watch that tomorrow, but what about...

nobody:

me: That would work.

nobody:

me: I'm hungry too, what should we have?

and so on...

October 16, 2005

Day #2 - Alone

Fear.

Twice today my mind began to drift. Actually it drifts all of the time, but today there were two very specific drifts that occurred. Both of these drifts really stuck out in my mind, because they were both fear-based.

Two times today I began to contemplate the loss of my family. I hadn't really thought about it, but I suppose it is because I am alone right now. So my mind drifted off to a reality where I had lost a member of my family. How would it feel? What would I do? Could I handle it?

There are a lot of people in this world that I have close contact with on a weekly basis, and many of those people I truly care about. But there are only three people that I can't imagine being without: my wife and my two sons.

Losing any one of them, or all of them, is my greatest fear. If I allowed myself to think too long about, I could almost get panicky wondering where they are and what they are doing. Are they safe? Are they being careful? And then... God, are you watching out for them.

Of course, He is.

Today, right when I was in the middle of one of these mental drifts, I was snapped back into reality when my pastor was quoting from the Bible. He was saying, "...Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever."

And there it was.

I set my fears aside. I re-focused my attention on to what is today. God has always been good. He is good today. And whatever future lies waiting for me. God is there, and He is good.

October 15, 2005

Day #1 - Alone

I genuinely do not like being alone.

I used to think that I was a loner. One of those people who could survive on a deserted island, and actually like it! You know how it goes: I have my coconut dishes, my bamboo plumbing, that goes to my completely fortified tree house, and my only concern is how am I going to get food for the next day.

But as I get older, the more I have realized that I don't do so well being alone. I get lonely.

Now, I don't need alot of people. There are some that are like that, they need people around them all of the time. I am not like that, which is why I was originally led to believe that I could do well alone.

And even as I am typing this, I am realizing that it isn't that I need people, it is that I need people to need me. I love serving and working for my family. There are jobs around the house that I genuinely don't mind doing, because my family needs it. But put me alone, and those jobs become tedious and boring. The things I do, when I am alone, seem purposeless, even when I know that ultimately those things are for my family; if I don't get the immediate satisfaction of helping, they feel like torture.

You might be wondering why I am writing this post. Well, it is because my family has left me here for 10 days. They have traveled home to visit with family, and I have been left behind because "daddies need to work." So, here I am, all alone, trying to do the jobs that I need to do, like mow the yard and fix the car, but the jobs are seeming like an overload, because there is no one here to say, "hurry up daddy, so you can play with us!"

They have only been gone since this morning, and I am already wanting them to come back.

October 12, 2005

Found.

I have to thank Tim for this link:





I was a little disappointed in tonight's episode. No questions were answered, and there weren't any really new questions to ask. Which is usually my favorite part of the show; you know, answer a few questions and introduce enough new stuff to ask some more.

I will say that I am probably drawn to the show because of the 27 connection.

Every 108 minutes? Sure enough that is 27 minutes, 4 times.

Paul Tripp Conference

Dr. Paul Tripp is coming to our church.

I have heard him speak on two different occasions, and both times he was great. I have even heard part of this particular conference. He has great wisdom and insight, and he pulls some great stories from his own life to help illustrate different points.

If you live anywhere near Greenville, SC and would like to go, drop me an e-mail. He will be here November 4-5, and I am sure that there is some small cost, but I would love to have you. You must register by October 30th, so let me know quickly.

Template Changes

My students were testing today, so I ended up with a study hall that lasted from 7:50 to 11:15. (That is a really long time to be in study hall.)

So, while they were quietly sitting, I decided that it was time for a new template. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time, but just never had the chance. It still needs some tweaking, but I wanted to go ahead and get it up.

Well, time to actually do some real work. Gotta go!

October 7, 2005

I'm back from Windy Gap

Well, I survived another Windy Gap experience.

Some personal highlights:

1. Played on the Faculty Men's team against the Varsity, and only lost by one point.
2. Made a fool of myself again on stage, doing those teacher skits.
3. Drank a raw egg.
4. Ate some baby food.
5. Had another teacher crush an egg on my head.
6. Hooked kids up in the zip line, and I didn't have any of them fall to their death.
7. Helped organize the unloading of 4 charter buses in the rain.
8. Pulled a muscle in my leg.

And many other interesting developments.

I do love being a teacher, but sometimes I think that it would be really fun to work at a camp full-time. You would miss the opportunities to develop those long-term relationships with the kids, but man would it be lots of fun. I also think that it would be a great place to raise a family. But hey, that is just me.

Talk to you all later. (After I recover from these last couple of days.)

October 4, 2005

Well, the school where I teach is off for Windy Gap tomorrow. It is a beautiful camp, there is lots to do, it is great being with all of the kids, etc.

But...

I miss my family. I really hate being away from my family. I hear about these dads that like to get away, but I really don't understand it. I love my family.

My wife is the greatest! She is absolutely my best friend! She is fun to be around, she is funny, intelligent, and I just love her and love to be around her. I could not have asked God for a better wife, and my heart aches when I am not around her.

My boys are great as well. I really think that they are about the greatest two kids that a parent could have. I might joke around from time to time about them being bad, but I really believe that they are about the best behaved kids.

So, I hate being away from these people.

I feel bad sometimes. If there is the option for a school event, I always opt not to go. If I can leave early, I do. If there is a way out, I take it. I always choose them, because I love them.

So, I am looking forward to Windy Gap, but I am also looking forward to it being over.

October 3, 2005

Normal

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Man! I just want to have a normal life! I want to go to work, come home, play with the kids, watch some TV, and go to sleep!" Have you ever thought that? I have. Many times over.

Every time something bad happens; the car breaks down, one of the kids is in the hospital... major life changes always seem to be happening to me, and there are all of these people who seem to be living these normal lives. So I sit there and I think, "I just want to have a normal life!" But as I get older, I start to wonder if there is actually anyone who exists, with the coveted normal life.

Sure, there are people out there who might seem to be leading a fairly normal life, but as you get to know them... well, they're not. It seems that nearly everyone that I know has a messed up, trouble filled life! This normal thing doesn't seem to exist! It is all a big conspiracy!

But consider Romans 8:18, 24-25,

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us... For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."


I need to stop hoping for the normal life. (I am not going to get it anyway.) I need to increase my expectations. I am too easily content with the hope of normal, when I am going to be getting glory! And even though it is something that is not yet to be seen, it will be, one day.

October 1, 2005

Inquiry

Lately I have been reading through the book of Joshua. The other day I read through chapter 9, and read the story of how the Gibeonites deceived the children of Israel.

Right after the children of Israel cross over the Jordan River, they encounter the city of Jericho. Most people know that story. After that they set off for the city of Ai, which is much smaller, but they get defeated because there is someone in the camp that did not follow God's commands concerning the treasures of Jericho. Shortly after that the Gibeonites send a group to talk to them.

The group that the Gibeonites send, disguise themselves like men from a far off country. They come to the camp of the Israelites and ask them for a treaty. The children of Israel are suspicious, so they examine the men, who came complete with worn sandals and moldy bread. Verse 14 says this,

"The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD."

When I read it, I had one of those, "hmm... I've never noticed this verse before..." kind of moments. I think that it is very interesting that the author noted that they did not inquire of the Lord.

Obviously, the leaders of Israel are deceived, they make a pact with these men, and later find out that the Gibeonites are right in the middle of their land.

When we make decisions, so often we think that all we need to do is examine the details, and make a wise decision. But everything that we do needs to be bathed in prayer.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

September 26, 2005

New Writer

If you hadn't noticed, I have a few other blogs.

One of my favorites is called Let Me Not Wander. I have a button for it on my sidebar, that looks like this: Daily Bible Reading

It is a daily Bible reading blog. I post a verse a day, Monday through Friday. I try to keep the commentary on that verse simple. If you would like to read a full explanation of that blog, read here. And if you would like an explanation of the name of that blog, read here.

I have really enjoyed this blog since I started it, but from the very beginning, I have known that it would be a difficult project, so I have been looking for another writer, to help with the load. And I think that I have finally found the person... My Sister!

If you have never checked this blog out, I would like to strongly encourage it. Especially if you aren't currently in the Word every day, this would be a great way to start. Swing on by and check it out.



Daily Bible Reading

September 23, 2005

Math... it even helps the dull!

"...those who have a natural talent for calculation are generally quick-witted at every other kind of knowledge;

and even the dull, if they have had an arithmetical training, although they may derive no other advantage from it, always become much quicker than they would have been."


~Plato~





(Being a math teacher, I couldn't resist posting this quote. Dang, I want this guy's beard!)

September 22, 2005

Sent Home

My church had a team down along the gulf coast. They were helping at a church, and doing several other things while they were down there. We were also going to send another team down this weekend. They were going to leave last night. My wife was very excited because she was going to go on this trip.

Unfortunately, because of Hurricane Rita, the fire dept. of that city was going around encouraging people to evacuate. The team that is currently down there is packing up their stuff and heading back.

I do think that there is a family that they are bringing back with them. We had decided, as a church, that in addition to any supplies and work that we could bring to the gulf, we also wanted to help at least one family completely relocate.

So, a couple of weeks ago, we had an impromptu offering and collected $25,000 (in one offering). Needless to say, we were all stunned. So, we are going to use that money to help a family, that lost absolutely everything, to relocate to Greenville.

I still can't believe that the same area is being hit again. We need to keep them in our prayers. We also need to be praying that the church can stay strong, so that God will be glorified during these disasters.

flyin'

My sister has become quite the photographer. The last few pictures that I have posted on here have been taken by her. Maybe I am biased, but I think that they are very good.

She just scanned this one and sent it to me the other day, so I thought that I would share it with you.

I love this one because this is exactly what Sam likes to do. He likes to swing, and I think that he could literally swing for hours. If I am working outside, I usually make him go out there with me, and he will usually hop on the swing and within a few moments, he has himself flying through the skies.

Can you remember when it was like that? Life was so simple then wasn't it?

September 20, 2005

NHCC Hurricane Relief

If you have been reading my blog lately, you may have noticed that I was able to take a trip to Pascagoula, MS. It was absolutely amazing. It was really hard work, but I was filled with joy every step of the way.

Well, my church has decided that they want to finish strong with this endeavor. They do not want to start something up, and then after a few months we have no involvement with those who are in need. It will take years to get this area back to normal, so we want to be a part of this for as long as we can.

Because of this mind-set, there is more than one way that we are trying to help. This was never meant to be a one time trip down there. This was also a scouting party. We went looking for needs, and man did we find them.

We have already adopted a family that lost everything during the storm and helping them relocate. We have lined up housing, job interviews, and have started purchasing all of the necessities of life. Everything from the kitchen table to living room furniture to bath towels to... you name it!

Also we are sending a second work team down there. The church that we visited during the first trip was almost entirely staffed by people who had lost their own homes. There were people who basically had no where else to go, so they decided to spend this new-found time at the church, sorting donations. But a person can only do that for so long. Eventually they will run out of energy, and they also need to spend some time on their own families needs.

Well, my wife who was dying to go on the last trip, is getting her wish. The second work team is going to be leaving on Friday and returning on Sunday. My two sisters are graciously going to be watching my boys on Friday.

I hope that her trip goes well. And I hope that they are able to minister to many people while they are down there.

The name of Christ is being lifted up on the gulf coast, because of the work and dedication of the Christians. May His name continue to be glorified!

Stupid!

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)


This is one of my all-time favorite verses. It has been for quite some time. But I had forgotten about it until yesterday. My pastor, who is currently preaching through the book of Hebrews, mentioned this verse, in correlation with the passage that we were studying.

I originally liked this verse as a teacher. It came in quite handy when I was trying to correct a student. There are always those students who just don't handle being corrected as well as other students. So when one of them got a little testy, I would break out the Bible and have them read this verse.

Now, if you didn't know this already, when someone is being corrected and they are handling that correction poorly and then they are asked to read this verse, their reaction can be quite interesting. Mostly because of that one word... stupid. Notice that it doesn't say that there were stupid actions taking place, it says that the person who hates correction is, in fact, stupid. If you are being corrected and you are not liking it, well then, you are stupid. At least, that is what God says.

Now I could never actually walk up to a student and say, "you're stupid." I would be getting a parent phone call, and I am sure I would end up in the principal's office. I have been there many times before, and I don't want to go back. But when I have the child read it for themselves, then it isn't me that is saying it. It is the author of the Bible!

Oh sure, I can echo the words, but I would never want to claim them as my own. That would also be stupid.

But as time has gone by, I have begun to appreciate this verse for other reasons. I have realized that it doesn't just belong to the young. It doesn't just belong to the students and the children, it belongs to us all. The discipline of God should not be hated, it should be loved. Not that we are a bunch of oddballs who love pain, but that we love the result of the discipline. We love the God who knows what is best for us. His disciplines can be hard, but the reward is worth it!

Don't be stupid today.

September 18, 2005

Voice Mail


Thanks to the people at Google, there is now a brand new messenger out there. And I must say, I really like it. I have even had a few voice conversations with my mom, who lives about 12 hours away, and she is still using a modem. But the conversation sounds good.


But I would also like to thank the people over at HotRecorder... They have an application that will work with Google Talk and several other Voip applications. It has a recorder, player, and even a voice mail feature.

Today, I recorded my first Google Talk Voice Mail Message. And this is one unique voice mail, because I used my newly acquired guitar and guitar skills (both thanks to my sister) to compose a voice mail song.

Click here to listen to my new voice mail message.

September 17, 2005

Blogger for Word.

I am typing this post in Microsoft Word.

Blogger recently released an add-on for Word, so that you can type your Blogger posts in Word, and publish them from there. I can definitely see the benefits to this, but I don’t know if I will actually do this.

If you would like to try it out for yourself, then simply go here.

Some Trip Pictures

(To see a large version of the picture, just click on the thumbnail.)

Here is a picture taken at the donation site. My wife, who really wanted to go on this trip, but was unable to, ended up being one of the major contributing factors in making the trip a success.




In front of the church there were mounds of clothes that had been donated. Just try to imagine losing everything that you own... That is what those people are in need of.




They were also pumping free gas out in front of the church. We talked to people who had been waiting in line for over 2 hours for free gas. One lady's car died right when she was the next one up. When I popped the hood to take a look, there was mud up around the engine. Many of the cars in the city had been flooded. The Church parking lot had 4 feet of water at one point.




This is where we set up to prepare the food. Over the course of the day we fed nearly 1000 people. We brought meals and lemonade to the people in the line for the free gas. We also took meals out to several of the apartment complexes. There were several different groups of children out playing that we were able to bring a warm meal to.




Each room in the church had been converted into a store room of sorts. This picture is of the "water room." They also had a canned goods room, a toiletries room, and a medicines room, along with about anything else you could think of.




Here is a picture of the Pastor's wife when we gave her the banner from our church. The Pastor, his wife, and many others at the church had lost their homes due to flooding, yet they were there at the church donating their time and energy to helping others in the community.

September 16, 2005

Behind

Man, I am so far behind, that it's not even funny!

I am so glad that I was able to go on this trip, but now I am paying for it. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely worth it, but I have spent the rest of the week trying to catch up.

Hopefully after the weekend I will be all back to normal. Which for me is only a little bit behind.

September 13, 2005

Home

I am back home.

But already, as I sit here, I am thinking about all of the people that I met in the last few days that don't have a home to go to. I am specifically thinking about the people at the church where we were helping. Some of them had lost everything and there they were with a smile on their face, dedicating all of their time to the church.

Amazing.

Hurricane Katrina Relief - On the Road Post #4

(Click to listen to the audio post.)

this is an audio post - click to play

September 9, 2005

a start

water signEven though in the last two weeks the school where I teach has put together over 300 shoe boxes of toiletries for the victims of the hurricane, and even though they have had bake sales to raise money, and even though they have had "t-shirt day" fund raisers, and even though they only had two days' notice...

They still wanted to help with the trip that I am getting ready to go on.

They called each other on Wednesday night and then they promoted it in their classes on Thursday. And by the end of the day today, the highschool had donated over 80 cases of water.

water

Thank you Shannon Forest!

September 7, 2005

We're Going!

Well, after much distress and trial, we have a truck.

Cardinal Moving and Storage has graciously donated the truck and they are also going to pay for the fuel. It took them a little while to find a truck that wasn't already scheduled for something, but they pulled through.

Also, I thought that I would mention the ministry that is working on supplying the food. It is called Food for Life ministries. Paul Blumer, who is the head of that organization is working with the pastor of my church to organize this effort.

As far as I know, the town that we are going to was hit pretty hard, and I don't think that they have been given any type of aid from anyone else yet.

The whole thing is pretty exciting. Mostly because I feel like God has used me in some small way. And there just isn't anything better than being used by God!

I will keep you informed on how it goes.

By the way, if you live in Greenville, or know anyone who lives in Greenville, and would like to donate to the cause, we will be parked with the truck outside of North Hills Community Church on Sunday Morning.

Thank you for your prayers.

September 6, 2005

A Possibility...

During the summer I am a mover. I work for Cardinal Moving & Storage, a North American Van Lines agent. So, today I called my boss and asked him if he would be willing to donate the use of one of his moving trucks and the cost of fuel, so that I could go down to the New Orleans area with a shipment of supplies. Now, I don't actually have any supplies, but I just wanted to ask.

My boss said that he would love to do that, but I still needed some stuff.

So then I called the Red Cross. I think that they are a little overwhelmed with donations and help, and they said that they really appreciated the offer, but they didn't have anything that needed shipping, that wasn't already being taken care of.

So, truck... but no stuff.

Then I called my church, North Hills Community Church, and sure enough, there was a guy that was organizing supplies for a town. He had a truck that was going to be used, but the offer kept falling through. So he had stuff but no truck.

You might be wondering why the title of this post is "A Possibility..." Well, I am still waiting on my boss. I need to know if he has a truck available from the 11th to the 13th. He is supposed to call me back tonight to let me know.

If you are a praying person, I would like to ask you to pray that this all works out. I should know by morning whether or not the truck is available. But we are also in need of some plastic totes to put the supplies in. We are hoping that we can get enough totes so that when we distribute supplies, we can just hand each family a tote full of supplies.

I will post as soon as I know if the truck works out. And then I will keep you posted on any other developments.

Thank you for your prayers.

Google's Earth - Sightseeing #2

GoldenGateAre you ready for some more sightseeing?!?

Here we have the Golden Gate bridge, located in San Francisco, CA.




GoldenGate_closeThis shot is a little closer. You can even see the cars.


September 5, 2005

Labor Day

Literally...

I know that it seems like being a teacher, you get all of these days off. All of the holidays, and special observances, but it only seems that way. In reality, as a teacher, I stop looking at these three day weekends as a short vacation, and start looking at them as a chance to get caught up.

My whole life I have been about one step behind where I need to be. Always having at least one more thing to do before I was completely able to relax. So, being a teacher, this has only been heightened. Every night I bring home about 3 or 4 things that I really need to get done, and I think to myself, "If I could just get these few things done, I would be completely caught up." But it never happens!

I get home and I want to see the kids, and I want to chat with my wife, and there is this errand to run, etc.

So, when an extra day comes along I think to myself, "...an extra day! Man, I can get caught up!"

Unfortunately, in my house, I am the only one who thinks of these days as extra work days. So, I end up in the same boat... not getting anything done, staying behind...

Oh well, I guess they made Labor day for something.

September 1, 2005

Flickr!

I have been using Flickr to host all of my pictures since I started blogging. I have never had anything to say against them. They have always treated my well, until today!

For some reason they have changed the way they host pictures, so now, all of my pictures have the wrong name, so they aren't showing up on the blog. This is very frustrating.

Google's Earth


I pretty much like about everything that Google does. They do cool stuff.

One of my favorite new programs that Google has come up with is called Google Earth. To the right I have added a picture of Google's Earth. I know that it may not seem that impressive at first glance, but then you start to zoom.

All of the images are real satellite images. And you can really zoom in. It is awesome! Find your house, find your school.

But then, I really got to thinking about this. I could see the sites! I could visit (via Google's satellite imagery) some of the wonders of the world! So I have started a trek, and I would like to share it with you.

I decided to start with one of the oldest, and most impressive ancient wonders. The great pyramids. I looked along the Nile River, and there... right where they were supposed to be... The pyramids!

Of course, I could only see them from the top, but it was still awesome! I was looking at THE pyramids. And the coolest part about it is that this picture was taken from a satellite. I can't get my mind around it.

So here they are. And I have come to the end of my first Google's Earth Expedition. But before I go, I will zoom in on one of these pyramids, so you can see the ruins in front of the pyramid.

Enjoy.

August 31, 2005

Destroy Cloy. (update)

I just refurbished the "Destroy Cloy" T-shirt. After I e-mailed my pastor, he made a couple of suggestions, but in general, he really liked it!

Here are the updates.

Once again, if you can't read it from the picture, it says, "Destroy Cloy." And then in small print, "Go for Real Joy! (Ps. 16:11)"