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.