December 27, 2006

Some Christmas Pics

Here is a web album of this Christmas.

December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas



I hope that your Christmas Queen is as wonderful as ours.

October 24, 2006

mover quote

"They could train baboons to do this job."

Actually, I first heard this quote while working in a large distribution center, loading trailers. One of the guys that worked there used to say that at least once a day. His name was Dave Barney. He usually said it in a way that let you know he was mocking the whole lot of us, but there was always a hint of anger around the edges, just to make sure that you knew that he meant it.

A few years later I hear this same quote again at a moving company. One of the drivers that I used to work with sporadically would say this every once in awhile. (He had several other statements that would flow out of his mouth, but I won't get into that right now.) The quote would normally show itself shortly after a discussion on the right way to pick up a sleeper-sofa. If you didn't pick it up right away, sure enough you would hear it. Even though he wanted you to know that his years of experience had taught him the right way to move things, he also wanted to let you know that it wasn't rocket science.

Movers are for the most part a proud group. They are proud of what they do and they feel that you could probably learn a trick or two from them. Whenever I work with a mover, I will always probe their mind for ideas when I am trying to move something into a place that seems formidable. Most of the time I will pick up a new trick.

The new ideas that I have learned are usually followed by this thought, "...Baboons probably could have figured that out. I mean really, roosters can learn to press buttons, and Pavlov's dog will salivate with the ringing of a bell. Surely even a baboon could have figured this out given enough time and bananas." When I venture to speak my feelings on the baboon's abilities as a mover, it is usually greeted with a hearty round of agreement from all of the other movers present.

Every once in awhile I get a little bit of a reminder as to how true this really is. Here is a little example that I thought all of my readers might enjoy.

This box was packed in Kentucky, by a Kentuckian. (For a moment I thought it was French...)

October 21, 2006

keeping the testimonies


My soul has kept Your testimonies,
And I greatly love them.

Psalm 119:167 (Jay Adams Translation)


I finally finished the book, Counsel from Psalm 119 by Jay Adams. I set about reading this book quite awhile ago. Each time that I set about reading it, I made sure that I only read a verse each day. I had several interludes where I set the book aside, but I kept coming back to it, and now I have completed it.

Regardless of Jay Adams, Psalm 119 is now one of my favorite passages. I have decided to go back to the beginning and re-read through the Psalm, covering one section each day, giving me a different perspective of this passage.

I think that the verse that I have posted here explains much of why I love this passage. It is not about pride and it is most assuredly not about perfection, but without hesitation, I (along with so many others) can echo the words of this verse. This is the path of true Christianity. It may be the road less traveled, but it is God's road, and the disciples of Christ are following the master's footprints down this path. He cleared the way for us, now we are following, living and walking the way He did.

It may seem hard from time to time, but we Love it! At first it wasn't because of the path itself, we loved the end. We loved where the path headed, and that was all we needed. Eventually though, we begin to see God working in the path itself. We see His hand, turning every bump, every ditch, into a way to increase our abilities on this path and to bring us to the end of the path even quicker.

Counsel from Psalm 119
by Jay Adams

October 19, 2006

Rainy Day Coping Mechanism

Today Charity let the boys pass some of the rainy day in the house by giving them our digital camera (that's when you know you've really had something a LONG time...You let two boys have it!) and letting them go to town taking pictures of themselves.

Maybe this was so she could get a little peace?...

(Mom in her favorite chair!)

Here are a few favorites!






(A picture of Sam as a baby-such a cutie! Remember him like that?)

October 13, 2006

Willow

Today we found out that our former cat, Willow, has died.

We had Willow for a few years and she even made the move South but we sent her back up North because she was such a good cat to breed and we could find no one in driving distance that could become a "daddy" with her.

She was a great cat and while she was very vocal, few people met her that didn't find something to like about her.

We aren't sure what she died of but they are speculating that it could have been from a broken heart. Cats in general and hairless cats in particular are very prone to stress and depression when they are relocated and everything else about Willow seemed healthy.

This was Sam and Jo's first pet and through teary eyes they tried to finish their hotdogs today for lunch.

Willow was always very good with the boys and very loving with them. She saw them through every fever(which some may say was because of how warm they were!..But I like to think it was her compassion.)

Josiah was very confused why there wasn't a "kitty doctor" that could save Willow from dying. It was very sad.

Goodbye, Willow Naked Harmless! We hope you've gone somewhere very sunny.

October 3, 2006

I fell.

I fell down today.

Normally that wouldn't be such a big deal, but I landed on a wardrobe bar. (Pictured to the right.) When I stood up, I didn't think that I had hurt myself that bad, but then I started seeing drops of blood all over everything in my truck. After I bled down the hallway in the office where I work, I soon realized that the office staff had come to the consensus that I needed to have it looked at.

I fought against it for awhile, but when I couldn't get it to stop bleeding, I knew that I had to go. So, my 8-year-old son may have gotten stitches at a younger age, but now we are both part of the stitches club. I even got stitched up in the same room that he did.

Unfortunately I also had to get a tetanus shot. (Yes, that is how you spell tetanus! Look it up if you don't believe me!) The shot was rather painful, especially for a guy who doesn't like shots, and they say that my arm is going to be really sore for the next few days.

Mostly I am posting about this because I am a blogger. And bloggers think about blogging at all times and in all situations. We also keep our camera phones with us so we can illustrate all of these situations. So, I couldn't wait to post the pre-stitched photos. Here they are: Gash Picture #1 and
Gash Picture #2

September 30, 2006

Bit-O-Honey

Thanks to the Mast General Store, I have rediscovered the Bit-O-Honey.

I haven't had any since I was a kid. My dad used to get them all of the time. At least the way I remember it, it was all of the time. In reality, he probably only picked that candy a few times. Regardless of how often my dad purchased these little delights, they always seemed like an "adult" candy to me.

I can't actually remember any exact event that led me to believe this. Maybe it was because the adults wouldn't share their Bit-O-Honey's with me. Or maybe they had a fear that I would choke on it or something (...it is a very chewy candy). Possibly it was a little bit of both; they convinced themselves that I wouldn't be able to handle it's awesome chewiness, so they hoarded them all for themselves!

Eventually I was able to get my hands on one. I felt like I was intruding into the land of adulthood with my stolen bit-o-sweetness.

All of that put aside, I am lovin' these candies!

Unfortunately I can't eat just one. I stick one in my mouth, and it never lasts as long as I really want it to. I chew on it for awhile, enjoying every little squish of juicy honey-nutness, then suddenly it disintegrates. The flavor lingers for awhile, mostly due to the little bits that have attached themselves to my teeth. Once that last little bit has been wrenched loose with my tongue, I give it a quick chew then catch a glimpse of the jar out of the corner of my eye. I usually end up having a little pile of wrapper debris before I force myself to stop.

September 29, 2006

a poem (not my own)

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
       We will grieve not, rather find
       Strength in what remains behind;
       In the primal sympathy
       Which having been must ever be;
       In the soothing thoughts that spring
       Out of human suffering;
       In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.


—from "Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" by William Wordsworth

September 23, 2006

The Slowest Ever!

I have been asked to teach the counseling class again. I was really hoping that this would happen, because I really enjoyed the last time that I was able to do that. (And, I have to say that it is a good sign, when you are asked to do something again... It means that they must not have hated me the first time I did it.) This time the topic is Progressive Sanctification in Counseling.

First I have to say that every time I am given a topic, I seem to be hit with all kinds of things in my life to help remind me of why God has really allowed me to teach this class. I can assure you that God has not allowed me to teach because of my great knowledge on a particular subject, or because of my amazing ability to present a lesson. No, no, that is most definitely not the case. The reality is that God allows me to teach because of my great need to learn and grow myself. Quite humbling, if you ask me.

When I was given the Idols of the Heart topic, God began to reveal in me all of these idols! I was full of them! I thought I was doing pretty good on this idolatry thing, but no! Far from it!

Well, this topic has been no different. From the time the teacher told me that I was going to be teaching Progressive Sanctification to this exact moment, as I am typing this post, God has shown me over and over again in these last few weeks, that I have not arrived. I am still in great need of Sanctification myself.

Second, I also have to tell you that I am the absolute slowest note writer -- ever! I hate to sound childish, but it takes me forever to complete a set of notes. As you can tell, it is Saturday night, and I have to teach tomorrow, and I am still making revisions. Crazy. I find that the most difficult thing is just coming up with a basic outline that makes sense to me. I will spend hours trying to formulate the flow of the lesson: all of the transitions between points, nice illustrations, etc. When I was a school teacher, I just needed the basic material, and I could wing the rest. It always came so naturally.

Truth is, I probably over prepare, but hey, these are adults that I am speaking to. It just seems so different!

Anyway, I better get back to work. I still need to practice teaching this thing 100 more times before I feel comfortable.

g'night...

September 20, 2006

The Lawn Mower Man

(It is a "moving" story...)

I was in Jacksonville, MS. I was almost done unloading a 10,000 lb. shipment (which is a story in itself), when my boss calls me. He tells me that there is another driver that has an overflow. (For you non-truck drivers, an overflow is when everything that is supposed to fit on the truck, doesn't fit.)

The other driver had relayed to my boss that there were just a few items left over, nothing that one person couldn't get by himself. He also said that everything was moved to the garage. Sounded easy.

And it would have been easy if this other driver had actually been telling the truth.

I didn't arrive at the residence, which was way down near the coast, not too far from New Orleans, until about ten at night. Now remember, I had already unloaded an entire shipment of stuff, then I had spent nearly five hours driving to this location. To be completely honest, I was pretty tired before I had even arrived, but I kept telling myself that it was just a little bit of stuff. Nothing too difficult for a mover like me!

So, like I said, I pulled in about ten that night. Oh sure, everything was in the garage, but it was a three car garage! And it was full! There were a couple of dressers and an entertainment center, two entire lawn furniture sets, several pieces of exercise equipment, etc., etc., tons of stuff! I couldn't even begin to tell you how much stuff was there. The picture that I have here barely does it justice. All I can say is that it ended up being 4,500 lbs. worth. (That is about a half a truck load.)

I couldn't believe it. Right after I pulled up to the house, the owner came out and said, "Well, I gotta get to bed. Good luck. See you later."

Umm, yeah. Sure. I'll get all of this up here.

So, I started working. One piece at time I moved all of that stuff up there. I called upon all of my many moving skills to tote, drag, and roll everything up that ramp. Until...

It was about one in the morning. I had been ignoring it the entire time, glancing at it out of the corner of my eye, but ineveitably I had to deal with it. It wasn't a little riding mower, it was one of the big ones -- heavy duty stuff here. I thought that I could push it up the ramp. I have done that before with much smaller mowers. Didn't work. Then I thought that I might be able to pull it up the ramp, so I tied a strap onto it and I was able to get it about half way up, but then I had visions of it rolling back down the ramp and crashing through the back of the garage. I quickly rolled it back down.

Then I said to myself, "I am smart guy. I know geometry, calculus, advanced mathematics... I can figure this out." I stood there for about 10 minutes, and right before I dozed off in that standing position, the solution hit me.

I want you to know that I am posting this video, knowing that I will be made fun of for this. Please take into consideration that I had been awake since about 5:50 that morning, and it was now about 1:30 the next morning. I tied two straps onto the mower, and as I tightened the straps, it gradually pulled the mower up the ramp.




All I can say is that the mower made it up there. After it was in the truck, I quickly strapped it off and drove to the nearest hotel.

September 19, 2006

How to Overcome Evil - Review

How to Overcome Evil
by Jay E. Adams



Summary:
The subtitle of this book is a practical exposition of Romans 12:14-21, and that is exactly what it is. Jay Adams breaks down each word and each phrase of this section of scripture, and he does it in a very practical way.

We are commanded to be overcomers, and that is what we will be, if we are followers of Christ. The key is that we are to overcome the evils of this world, not by returning evil for evil, but returning evil for good. God's good is the only weapon that will legitimately defeat evil.


My Thoughts:
This book was an eye-opener for me. I have two other posts that I have done about this book that will help illustrate some of the specific points of learning that I experienced through reading these explanations of scripture. (Here is post one and post two.)

This book can serve as a great tool for anyone who is struggling with problems from other human beings. (I think that includes all of us, doesn't it?) Being a Christian does not mean that you are a floor mat for people to walk all over. It is an aggressive stance toward the freedom found in Christ.

We are given weapons and marching orders in this battle, a battle that is already won. If you have never read a Jay Adams book before, this would make a good starting place. It isn't that long of a book, but it is packed with valuble information.

free time

With my job right now I have lots of time at home. I didn't think that it would be that way, but it does seem to be working out for the good.

Now, I need to tell you, when I work... I WORK. Being a mover isn't easy business. Carrying hide-a-beds, taking refridgerators upstairs, and dragging pianos around to the back of a house is all part of a days work. There have been many, many times that I have found myself on the heavy end of a long, large dresser -- full of clothes, mind you -- wondering how I was going to make it up this long flight of stairs without crushing myself.

Then, when I am between moves, I am driving...
    ...and driving
        ...and driving
              ...and ...

I have gotten really good at spending time on the road. I listen to books on tape, sermons, etc.

When I am off of work, though, I am really off. That is one thing that you don't get when you are a teacher. When you are a teacher, you are never off the clock. You are a teacher 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even when you aren't doning anything that is directly related to your subjects or your students, the teacher mindset is always there. Always hovering at the back of your consciousness.

As a mover, I don't even have to think about my job. Sometimes, I don't even think about it when I am there! I have always said, you can teach monkeys to do what I do. (You might be able to say that about teachers too, but regardless of popular opinion, that isn't the case.) Taking stuff on and off of a truck without dropping it, isn't rocket science. Give me some well-trained gorillas, and I can get the job done.

The only problem that I am having with my downtime is that I tend to be lazy. Just like yesterday, I didn't have to work, so I basically didn't do anything at all. I could have been working on the yard, or reading some of my books, or studying for my next Counseling Class lesson... but instead, I just sat around and did as little as possible.

I think that I am going to have to come up with a way to manage this extra free time. I need to set some goals or something. If I don't, I am going to end up like a bump on a log.

September 15, 2006

Fixed

"Fix my footsteps in Your Word
And don't allow any evil to rule over me."
Psalm 119:133 (Jay E. Adams translation)

I think that it is amazing that God brings the right passages of scripture into our lives at just the right time. The verses that have been the most applicable to my current situations have been the exact same verses that I have found in my daily Bible readings. The verse quoted above is one of those verses.

I decided back in January that I wasn't going to sign on for another year of teaching. This might be news for some of you who only keep up to date through this blog. I did not make this decision lightly. I had surrounded it with prayer and wise and varied counsel.

Of course this decision left me facing in the direction of the unknown, (not my favorite direction to face) but I was sure that God was going to open some unforeseen door. Until that happened, I did know that I had a way to provide for my family, which was my primary concern and one of the motives for leaving education to begin with. I knew that I could be a truck driver as long as I needed to be, but I also knew that I wouldn't be doing that permanently, so the path before me seemed so clouded.

There have been times in my life when the path set before me seemed bright and cleared. That, of course, never lasted, but it at least seemed that way. But now I was facing a course where I couldn't even see a few feet in front of me.

I don't know about you, but when things get like that, I occasionally have a day or two of freak-out. I get this panicked feeling, and I want to get everything fixed as fast as I can. Sometimes that leads to un-thought-out decision making, and with me it almost led to a job that would not have been the right thing at all. Fortunately, God opened my eyes enough to see that before I signed on the dotted line (literally).

Shortly after that, I read this verse. Now I know, both by truth that has been taught to me and also by my own personal experience, that I absolutely need to remain fixed in God's Word. But when I read this, it dawned on me that fixing my footsteps in God's word isn't just some metaphorical phrase to be quoted to ourselves when we are feeling directionless. NO, it is the essence of practicality. God's word clearly lays out how we are to live.

The Bible is not a big quotation book for positive thinking. It is a living powerful book that has all that we need for life and godliness. And for me to "fix my footsteps" in it means that I will, by faith, do what the Bible says, trusting that God knows what He is talking about.

So, that is what I am doing.

I am walking down a path, with God's word as a lamp and a light, showing me exactly what the next step is that I need to take. I hope to remain fixed in His word by reading and studying daily, and by praying for His grace to be sufficient.

Idols of the Heart - Week 4

Here is the final week of the teaching.


powered by ODEO

To listen to all four weeks of the teaching visit my odeo podcast.

September 5, 2006

Idols of the Heart - Week 3

I have added the third week of the Idols of the Heart lesson. Here is a link to my podcast, where you can find the other two lessons and download the mp3's for listening to on your ipod.

Or, you could listen to it here:


powered by ODEO

September 4, 2006

The Trail

The sins of some men are obvious,
    reaching the place of judgment ahead of them;
the sins of others trail behind them.

    I Timothy 5:24


In my life I have fallen into both of these categories.

There have been times when my sins were worn on a badge on my chest. They were right there out in the open for anyone to see, anyone who was looking. Sometimes I was the only one who could not see these sins. I was under the impression that I was doing pretty well, when those who were closest to me were being hurt.

Other times I have kept my sins hidden. I was the only person who could see these sins. I held onto them the way a man might hold onto the last bottle of water during a drought. These hidden sins were the last remnants of a former self, a self that I clung to, even though it was detrimental to me.

A better illustration would probably be more like a man holding onto a bottle of sea water during a drought. Secretly taking drinks of it, thinking that it those cool drinks would be satisfying. But sea water can never satisfy thirst. It only heightens it. I would have been like that man, when there was a cool fresh-water spring within reach.

This verse was written as a warning, in the context of elder approval. When one is choosing an elder, great caution must used. There is always the possibility of hidden sins. You may not see them right away, but they will show themselves eventually.

Even though this verse was written to assist with the evaluation of others, I read it as a warning to myself. (It seems that most of the verses I read end up having their targets aimed at my heart.) I recognized how I fit into this verse. I don't want my sins to be leading the way in front of me, and I most assuredly don't want my sins to be following up behind me, leaving a trail of destruction.

I want to be the kind of person who is laid bare in the eyes of Christ, not withholding anything. I want my sins to be dealt with right now, today. Not in front of me or behind me. Right here. Let's get to the heart of the problem.

The Bible is the exact tool that I need (that we need) to achieve this. It is living and powerful. It is the only book that has the ability to cut to the depths of the inner being, and it will reveal the heart (Heb. 4:12). And the heart is the exact place where we need to go. It is the source, the wellspring of all sin (Mk. 7:21-23).

May God cleanse our hearts and renew our spirits (Ps. 51)before the trail of sin becomes irreversible.

September 2, 2006

The 27's...

As many of you know, especially if you are one of my former students, I have this thing with the number 27. I don't really want to get into the origins of the 27 right now, I will have to save that for another day.

I would like to share this e-mail that I received the other day concerning the 27. I think that you might find it to be entertaining.

Your site describes almost the exact same set of events that my friends and I have been experiencing for about a year now. We are thoroughly amazed that another person has experienced this, let alone with the same number as us.

We have a wealth of photographic and written evidence, and one of us is also planning to do a short comedy film (The Curse Of 27) based around the number (and possibly a comic, called the Chronicle of 27)

The first incident occurred whilst purchasing sweets. When asked what the price of a Drumstick lolly, one of those present replied off-hand "27 p" for no reason. Upon inspecting the Drumsticks, to our surprise we discovered the price to be exactly 27 p.
At first this coincidence led us to believe the number was lucky, and we noticed in many different locations.

Eventually though, the sheer number of 27s we found led us to believe that 27 was perhaps not as positive a number as we had first believe. A prime example is a building one of us found with a huge 27 on the side. A week later, he attempted to show one of us to the building in question, only to find it demolished.

We await your response.


:)

August 29, 2006

Therefore I love it.

"Your Word has been tested and found to be very pure;
Therefore, Your servant loves it."

Psalm 119:140 (Jay Adams Translation)


I do not doubt the truth of the Bible. When I pick it up and read through it's pages, I know that the words I am reading are true.

There are whole books that have been written about the truth of the Bible. They have evidenced the many attacks on these words, and have proclaimed the glory the Bible's amazing reliability... its amazing durability. No matter what challenge has come against its authenticity, the Bible has been proven right over and over again. It also continues to be a beacon of wisdom and hope, regardless of the moral dilemmas we get ourselves into.

All of these things I know and believe about every verse in the Bible, but there are some verses that I know and believe in a deeper way. In a way that has gone beyond accurate historical facts, and has cut deep into my soul, leading me and guiding me by its light.

This verse speaks of that truth. I love the Words of God, because it has been tested in my own life. I have experienced its teachings first hand. I have needed its hope, I have needed its wisdom, I have depended on its truth, and it did not fail me. Therefore, I love it.

August 28, 2006

hatchet boy

So I have this giant tree in my back yard.

It wasn't looking too healthy, so I had this guy come over and cut it down.

I thought to myself, "Great. This works out good for me, I have a fireplace in my new house, I ought to be able to use all of this wood. No need to have it hauled off. I will just split it, stack it, and this winter, life will be golden."

So, today I went off and with a little bit of my birthday money and my handy-dandy Lowe's card, I purchased some of the tools that I thought I would need to start splitting this wood. One of the tools that I purchased was a small one-handed hatchet.

(I didn't know if I would actually need this tool or not, but it seemed like a smart choice at the time, so I added it to the cart.)

Once I got home, I immediately set to work on the wood. I was feeling pretty manly and all, I was splitting wood with my axe, I had a fire going in the fire pit, I was profusely sweating, and drinking a (non-diet) coke. Oh yeah... A real man.

My sons watched me splinter through a couple of logs as if I had been doing this my whole life, but they weren't as impressed or as interested as I thought they would be. My 4-year old immediately went off to look at bugs or something, but the 8-year old spyed the little hatchet.

His keen, intuitive mind immediately deduced that this smaller version of the axe that I was using, must be for him...




Ok. So giving a hatchet to an 8-year old is never a good idea, no matter how manly you are feeling.

Don't worry. The injury was minor, it only required a trip to an urgent care clinic and some stitches. That isn't that big of a deal, right? I mean, every kid has to stick a hatchet in his big toe at least once in his lifetime. Sam just got it out of the way early.

I have to say, he was very brave through the whole process. Mommy wasn't there to be with him (...which, her being out of town, might have something to do with how we got ourselves into this mess to begin with...), but he took it like a man. The only time he started to cry was when they gave him the shot to numb it. He is a tough kid when he needs to be.

Right now I think that he is actually enjoying the attention that he is getting. He is all propped up on the couch, watching a movie and eating Double Stuff Oreos with some milk.

His official new nickname is hatchet-boy. At least that is what he will be called until he becomes hammer-boy or bike-wreck-boy.

(If you are really interested, click
here
to see the pre-stitched toe, and here to see the post-stitched toe.)

August 26, 2006

movie night

When the mommy is away, the boys will play... (and eat!)

Thursday night, when the children were supposed to be silently sleeping away in bed, we stayed up and had a movie night. And no movie night is complete without cinnamon rolls. (at least when it is one of my movie nights...)






Of course, I also had to introduce Sam to the wonderful world of the BIG Cinnamon Rolls! (He was impressed!)

July 31, 2006

another podcast

I haven't had any time to do any typing lately, but I just uploaded another podcast for your listening pleasure. It is the second in the series on Idols of the Heart. Check it out here.

Wondering what this is all about? Find out here.

July 17, 2006

gone

I haven't posted since the 18th of June, so I thought that it was about time.

I have to admit that in the past, when I would see a blog that wasn't being updated, I would think to myself, "man... must not be anything happening with them..." But now I know that the opposite is probably true. When life happens, the blog tends to get bumped down on the priority list.

I have been so busy since I last blogged. I have not had one moment of rest. I have purchased a house, moved myself into that house, assisted in remodeling that house, and visited Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland for my job.

I won't bore you with any stories right now, but trust me, if I ever have a moments rest, I will be sharing a few with you. Interesting things always happen when you are moving people.

June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day


Why do I love my daddy?

Sam says..."I love my daddy because he always plays with me and he has fun with me a lot of times. I know he loves me."
Jo says..."I love my daddy because I love him."

What is your favorite thing to do with daddy?

Sam says..."Play Star Craft with him."
Jo says..."I like him to swing me around."

What is your favorite memory with daddy?

Sam says..."Playing at the beach with daddy and going with him in the waves!"
Jo says..."Playing memory match with him in the closet!"

What makes daddy mad?

Sam says..."When I don't obey and arguing with Jo"
Jo says..."When I hit bubba!"

What makes daddy laugh?

Sam says..."When the big waves hit my face!"
Jo says..."When I scare him!"

What's daddy's favorite thing to eat?

Sam says..."Meat and bread"
Jo says..."Salad"

What is daddy's job?

Sam says..."The Moving Company"
Jo says..."He colors and works at his class!"

What is daddy's favorite song?

Sam says..."How Great is my God"
Jo says..."The song about I love you"

What makes daddy proud?

Sam says..."When I try new foods."
Jo says..."Getting a trophy"

What is daddy's favorite TV show?

Sam and Jo both say adamantly..."LOST"

What makes daddy sick?

Sam says..."A bee sting"
Jo says..."Eating flowers"

Happy Father's Day, Daddy! We know you pretty well!

Sam and Jo

June 13, 2006

summer fun



        

                

                            

June 1, 2006

Samuel and Hobbes

I have always been a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson developed an instant classic with the creation of this comic strip.

This is the only comic that I ever went to any measure of effort to follow. I think that I own all of the books, so I am pretty sure that I have the entire collection. I have kept the books in my classroom every year, and most of the time I have been willing to share them with my students.

A couple of weeks ago my son found one of these books.

I read a couple of them to him that I thought that he might find funny. He really enjoyed them and asked if he could borrow the book. I told him that was absolutely fine, partly because I thought that it was neat that my son was enjoying the same comics that I had enjoyed.

I could remember this one time, when I was a kid, that I found this really old Charlie Brown comic book. The book was pretty ancient, with old worn pages that were starting to look brittle and brown. I didn't care though, I read through the whole thing during one Thanksgiving day meal at a relatives house. I was remembering that event as I was watching my son through my rear-view mirror, reading through this comic book while we were on our way home.

He has now read completely through two of the books, and I am getting ready to go back up to the school to pick up some stuff, and I know I better come back with another of those comics.

I can't wait to show it to him.

That is one of the greatest joys as a father is to give your sons something that they enjoy. Especially when those are the same things that we have enjoyed.

May 29, 2006

podcasting

I have ventured into the podcasting realm.

I found a free podcasting service called Odeo a while back, but I didn't give it a try until last week. I titled my podcast The Goatee Speaks and did my first recording just to see if everything was working the way it is supposed to work.

Then I figured out that you can actually upload pre-recorded audio as well, so to see if that worked, I uploaded the first lesson in my Idols of the Heart series that I am teaching at my Church.

Everything seems to be working really well. If you get a chance to listen to the teaching, let me know what you think. I even have the notes available if you are really interested.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by.

the hat

I failed to mention in my last post that the skin grows back hat that I am wearing in the picture was purchased from my cafepress store. My dad beat me to it. He was the first person to buy something from my store. He bought one of the hats a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway. Feel free to visit my store. Everything in it has some meaning to something in my life. Swing on by and pick up a hat.

Later.

May 26, 2006

skin grows back

Yes, that is really what that hat says.

It is a mover's quote. I picked it up after hearing it on several different occasions from several different movers. The quote is referring to how a mover will keep his hands between the wall and the piece of furniture that he is holding to protect both the furniture and the wall. If you bump up against something, the furniture will be protected and the wall will be protected, even if your hand isn't. That is OK though, because... you guessed it... skin grows back.

I have to be honest, I really love this quote. I like passing it along to other movers. I like to tell them how to keep their hand in the right spot. After they crack their knuckles on the edge of a door or something, I like to say, "Hey, don't worry. Skin grows back."

I really enjoy saying it around non-movers as well. I like to watch the expression on their face when I explain to a non-mover the meaning of the saying. Most people give a little cringe and say, "oh... ow." I love that.

This little phrase has started to take on a deeper meaning for me though. I know that sounds silly, but it really has. I have started to think of this statement during times of difficulty.

You see, I believe that as a husband and a father, my role will many times put me in the position of the hand. I am to be there between the world and my family, to protect them as much as possible. When the need arises, I am to take the brunt of things. I am to stay strong and firm in my faith. I am to be unwavering.

But that is OK, because as you know... skin grows back.

May 16, 2006

Free Calls!

Have you heard of Skype?

I downloaded Skype almost a year ago, I think. I haven't used it much, because the only people that I know that are Skype users live on the other side of the planet, so when I might want to talk, they are sound asleep because it is the middle of the night for them.

For the most part Skype isn't much different that any of the other Instant Messengers. They have video and voice chat options. They also have the availability to purchase credits to make and receive phone calls to regular telephones and mobile phones.

Well, yesterday they announced that until the end of the year you can call any phone number in the U.S. or Canada for free! That's amazing!

Whe I received the announcement, I immediately had to try it out, and sure enough... it worked. I called my house from my computer at school. Then when I got home I had to call my own phone from my computer at home, just to talk to myself. Then I called my mom. She said that she couldn't even tell that I was calling from my computer.

Anyway, feel free to give me a call from your computer to mine through Skype.


Call me!

May 15, 2006

What are the schools for?

Here is a good quote that I saw on Douglas Wilson's blog.

"As the ongoing problem with illiteracy in the schools continues to plague us, politicians will continue to call for more programs to fight it. Of course, some of us are a bit slow about these things. We thought that schools were supposed to be the program to fight illiteracy."
(The Case for Classical Christian Education, p. 21)

May 13, 2006

My Current View

This Sunday I am teaching one of the adult Sunday School classes. The class is a Biblical Counseling Class, and the regular teacher is on vacation. He asked me a few weeks ago to be the substitute teacher for him, and I gladly obliged. The topic that I was given was, The Idols of the Heart.

Since he asked me to do this, I have been doing some major studying on this whole concept. I have heard this topic taught more than once, but anytime you have to teach something yourself, you want to be as fully prepared as possible.

Today, I am finishing up the notes for the first lesson, and I decided to make my "office" the deck outside my house. Here is a video of my view while I work.



(Don't worry, I haven't decided to add a video to every post that I do from now on...)

Tiger Camera Time

I am trying out the You Tube thing. I have seen it on a couple of blogs already, and it seems to work really well. I like you you can put the video right on the blog, and people don't have to go to a different site just to watch the video.

Here is the first video that I uploaded. It is a video of my youngest son, who for some reason has decided that he wants to be a tiger. He has been wearing this costume around for over a week now, and has even instisted on sleeping in it on more than one occasion. When I decided to record him in it, with my new phone, my other son did the classic, "get in the shot" walk-bys. I thought it was hilarious, and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.

May 11, 2006

PocketMod

I found this really cool little tool on the internet called, pocketmod.

Pocket Mod advertises itself as a disposable pda. Basically it is a way to print out a piece of paper so that when you fold it in the proper way, you get a six page organizer.

I have tried it a couple of times and it works really well. It has several different options for different pages. Everthing from calendars to lists to tip tables. It would work great for the person who likes to make those lists on the little pieces of paper anyway.

Check out the Pocket Mod.

Those crazy pleasure-seeking Puritans!

Thomas Watson (a Puritan) once wrote:

"God is the chief good. In the chief good there must be delectability; it must have something that is delicious and sweet: and where can we suck those pure essential comforts, which ravish us with delight, but in God? In God's character there is a certain sweetness which fascinates or rather enraptures the soul."


I usually think of the Puritans in a different light. When I think of them, the words like: delectability, delight, comforts, and enraptures; aren't the first words that usually come to mind. I would probably think of words like, stuffy and sad. So this quote goes against my perception of the Puritan. The Puritans weren't against joy and happiness. That is a false perception based on these pictures we have in our heads.

Regardless of perceptions, the Puritans had honed in on some deep truths. They had understood that true happiness and true joy come, not from the pleasures of this world, but from a true fellowship with God.

In the book of Hebrews, we hear of how Moses knew of this truth. Read Hebrews 11:24-25:
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time."
(NIV)


The pleasures of sin are not satisfying. Moses knew this, and made his choices by faith in this truth. The Puritans must have seen this as well. They were not weak in their desire for pleasure, but they were not going to be fooled into a false satisfaction. One of them even said, the pleasures of this world "only satisfy the deluded."

Even then, no matter how deluded you are, I do not believe that the pleasures of this world will even satisfy the greatest of fools. There are some who might think in their hearts that they have been satisfied, but it is, without a doubt, a false satisfaction.

We can see this truth demonstrated on a daily basis. Just consider the efforts put into pursuing money or fame or pleasure. It doesn't matter how much one gets, there is always a lust for more.

In the Chronicles of Narnia, the White Witch gives Edmund some Turkish Delight. Edmund loves this and immediately asks for more. In the book, C.S. Lewis makes a notation that the Turkish Delight had the power to cause the one eating it to be consumed with desire for more Turkish Delight. He even said that this desire would become so intense that if anyone had been given access to enough of the stuff, they would immediately eat themselves to death.

As humans, we do have a desire for happiness and joy. There is no doubt about that, it is the way we were created. We seek after it in so many ways, but all of the pleasures of this world will never bring the satisfaction that we crave. When we try to fulfill our desires with these worldly pleasures, we are selling ourselves far short of what has been offered us. C.S. Lewis put it this way:
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."


You see, God is not out to make our lives miserable. He is not making up commands to depress us and quench us. No! He is merely offering us the greatest good, the lasting good, the ultimate joy. He wants us to be happy, but He knows that the only way for us to be truly happy is through Him. He is the only one who can satisfy.

Let me leave you with two other quotes from Thomas Watson... The stuffy pleasure-seeking Puritan:

"[God] has no design upon us, but to make us happy."


~ and ~

"Who should be cheerful, if not the people of God?"

May 2, 2006

Idols of the Heart

When [Moses] relates that Rachel stole her father's idols, he is speaking of a vice that was common. From this we may gather that man's nature... is a perpetual factory of idols.
-John Calvin (as quoted by Elyse Fitzpatrick in her book Idols of the Heart)

I can remember as a child thinking about the whole idol concept. (I know... weird kid, right?) I mean, who was the guy who originally thought up the idol. There had to be a first guy that did this. There had to be some guy who thought to himself, "hmm... I think that I am going to make a god."

If you make your own god, how do you actually bow down to it. You know that it is just a piece of stone or some carved wood. I can understand how people generations later can live in a deceived state. Their whole lives they have been worshipping this idol, but what about the first guy.

Maybe, though, his original idea wasn't to make a god. Maybe it was to bring God to himself. Maybe, he was trying to understand the one true God, and decided to make an image to represent Him. That is what the Israelites did. When Moses went up to the mountain, and all of the smoke and thunder was going on up there, it must have been absolutely spectacular. It must have been something that was beyond their comprehension. So to try and understand this dreadful and awful God, they decided to make an image that they could understand.

The Israelites chose a calf, a golden calf. I can't say exactly why they chose a calf, or who decided it would be a calf. Maybe there was a committe formed, and after the manna and bird stew potluck, they took a congregational vote.

In their efforts to make God tangible, they picked a calf. The calf could have represented provision, because of all of that God had done for them. This calf was also controllable, unlike the God of the thunder and clouds that was at work in the mountain. The God that had said that if anyone even touched the mountain, that they would perish. Oh yes, a calf was much better for them. It would represent God to them, but in doing this, they had created their own God.

One of the matriarchs of the Israelites, so to speak, was Jacob's wife, Rachel. Many years earlier she had stolen some idols from her own father. We don't have all of the details as to why she did this, but Elyse Fitzpatrick makes some possible suggestions. Here is what she says of Rachel:

Perhaps she believed that there might be a god that ruled over the earth, but he was too far away and too unmanageable for her comfort. She couldn't trust him to order life as she desired. She needed a tamer, more docile god -- one she could control. She wanted a god that would give her what she needed. She wanted a god she could steal; one she could hide. She wanted a god she could keep in her purse.

She goes on to say that an idol isn't simply a stone statue or some carved replica, an idol is anything that takes the place of the one true God. I have heard others say that "...if you are willing to sin to obtain your goal, or if you sin if you do not get your goal, then your desire is sitting in the place that only God should hold."

Idolatry is not a dead concept in the lives of the civilized world. Maybe it is even more prevalent than ever. We might not have little statuettes sitting around our houses, but the idol might be there all the same.

Near the end of the Bible, during a time when you would have thought that idolatry was near extinction, the apostle John states in one of his letters, "Little children, guard yourselves from idols." (I John 5:21) I think that this warning is just as valid today as it was nearly two thousand years ago.

May 1, 2006

Crunch Time

Only three full weeks of school with one week of exams left. Amazing how fast time flies, isn't it?

April 30, 2006

Where He Dwells

An absolutely amazing verse:

For this is what the high and lofty One says—
He who lives forever, whose name is holy:
"I live in a high and holy place,

(pause)

...but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Isaiah 57:15 (NIV)

That THE GOD, the High and Holy One, would dwell in a high and holy place... well, that just makes sense. Where else would He dwell? Surely He wouldn't dwell with... ah yes, but He does. He also dwells with the contrite and the lowly.

What an amazing God we serve.

April 29, 2006

The purpose of the war... Peace

I have been reading several different books that I have started, but haven't quite had the time to finish. So, before I start any new books, I have purposed in my mind to finish these. One of the books that I am almost done with is How to Overcome Evil by Jay Adams. I have already written one post on this book titled, the other cheek, which was an eye-opening moment for me, regarding Jesus' statement about turning the other cheek when you have been struck on the first one.

The book itself is a practical exposition of Romans 12:4-21. So far it has been about our responsibilities in overcoming evil. (Hence the title.) As Christians, we have a Biblical command to make war against evil. War against evil doesn't involve evil though, it involves good. This goes contrary to the world's view of conflict. In the world we pay back evil for evil, but according to God's way of doing things we pay back evil with good. This is the only way that evil can truly be defeated.

Today I read a chapter in the book titled, Make War, Make Peace, which gets us to the goal of the war, which is peace. Romans 12:18 says, "If possible, so far as it depends upon you, be at peace with everybody." See, after all of this warring, fighting speech in the previous verses, there is this statement to, "...be at peace." That is the end statement of the war, its purpose.

Jay Adams says that if you set this as your goal at the outset of the war, "...it will condition even the way that you conduct the war. You will be careful to see that no unnecessary destruction takes place." For, you see, the true enemy is the evil, not the actual person.

This other person, with whom you might be in conflict with, may not have peace in mind though. That is why the verse says things like, "If possible..." and "...as far as it depends on you..." In some cases it is not possible to obtain peace, but this does not mean that you can give up on the goal. You are seeking peace because God has commanded it, not because of what you are going to get out of it. Many people's motives become clear at this point.

Some start out with peace in mind. They begin doing good in response to the evil that is coming their way, but when the peace doesn't come, they begin to fight fire with fire, so to speak. If you seek to do good and things don't turn out the way you think they should, don't give up. It is God who you are seeking to please, not yourself.

Anyway, it is an excellent book, and I would like to encourage you to check it out. I have put a link here from Amazon.com. It is amazing how cheap some of these books are when you purchase through them.

Check it out:

April 27, 2006

A Joyful Noise!

This post is a little late, but I had to post it eventually.

On Easter Sunday, both of the kid's choirs performed on stage. They were both extremely well done, and they even had live accompaniment, complete with a piano, a couple of guitars, and even a harmonica!

I thoroughly enjoyed the group that my older son Samuel was in, and I was even able to hold up my new cell phone and record the last little bit of their song. They were so excited and sounded awesome. I know that God was pleased with these small children.

Here is that audio clip. I am sure that you won't enjoy it as much as I did (being the dad and all), but I hope that it will bless you.

By the way, I have made this my new ringtone and I love it every time the phone rings.

Blogger Keyboard

Need help getting those weird/odd characters to show up on your blog post? Here is the perfect solution, the blogger keyboard.

Just click the link and give it a whirl.

I can't take credit for it. I don't remember exactly how I found it, but it belongs to this guy, and he gave me permission to host it and add a link to it on my blog. Anyway, I found it to be very useful so I thought that I would share it with my fellow bloggers.

April 26, 2006

Practice of Enmity

Here is part of a paragraph that I recently read in the book, The Chase, by Jerry Bridges:

If you were to say that a Christian can continue to live in sin over and over, you'd be crazy! It goes against God's plan for us as Christians. A writer three centuries ago put it like this: "What a strange kind of salvation do they desire that care not for holiness... They would be saved by Christ and yet be out of Christ in a fleshly state... They would have their sins forgiven, not that they may walk with God in love, in time to come, both that they may practice their enmity against Him without any fear of punishment."


The Chase is a book that I bought for my sister for Christmas. When she finished it, she graciously allowed me to borrow it. It has been a great book so far, and has been a really easy read. It is based on another book by Jerry Bridges called The Pursuit of Holiness.

This quote came from chapter 3, which is titled, Holiness Isn't an Option. This is such an essential point in any generation, because there are always those who will try to support the teaching that you can be saved by God, yet never live it. In fact, the author of the quote that is within this quote is Walter Marshall, who lived in 1692. You could even go even further back in history and find others who have battled against this concept.

Many want to believe it too. They want to get that ticket to heaven, but they do not want to follow the savior. Jesus himself said, "...if you are not willing to take up your cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple."

Anyway, it is a great book, check it out.


April 25, 2006

blooks?

Here is a news piece called, "Blooks" Are In Bloom. It has to do with blog writers that are being published, and like anything it seems any more, we had to give it a nice little name: blooks.

Even though I am sure that nearly every true blogger dreams of some big publishing company finding their blog, being amazed, and asking them to write a book, I think that we can all agree that not every blog should actually be a book.

April 22, 2006

take me out to the ball game

I took my eldest to the new Greenville Stadium tonight. A friend of mine had two extra tickets that he wasn't going to be able to use, so he offered them to me. They were corporate seats, so we were up on the top level.

They were great seats, and we were up where all of the "rich people" sit. We had our own little room next to our seats. There was a flatscreen TV, fridge, and a waitress. (Ridiculous, if you ask me.)

Almost in spite of the "rich people" seats, I decided to have a great time anyway. We did the typical popcorn and drink. Of course Samuel had to have the ice cream in the little hat.

Sam caught on right away to what was going on, and we had a good time rooting for the home team, The Greenville Drive. We chanted, "We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher" and "...hey batter, batter, batter... swing, batter!"

Overall a good time, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

ESV Bible RSS Feeds

The English Standard Version of the Bible is an excellent translation, from what I have heard.

The ESV Bible RSS Feeds have several different daily Bible readings that are available. From daily verses to memory plans to reading through the Bible in a year.

If you are looking for some daily reading, you should check it out. Especially if you are already using Bloglines, or another feed reader. I have already added the Verse a Day, the Weekly Memory Plan, and the Through the Bible Plan to my Bloglines.

If you want an extremely exceptional blog, that features a verse a day, then you should check out Let Me Not Wander.

April 21, 2006

perfectly good blog material...

I was referred to this comic by Pearls and Dreams, and I just had to share it here as well.



If you are any kind of blogger at all, then this comic has to really hit home.

April 20, 2006

The Oxymoron of Good Affliction

I have noticed in my own life that when things are going well, when everything in my life is functioning the way it is supposed to... Those are the times that my study of God's Word tends to fall to the bottom of my to-do list. I don't intend for this to happen, but reading my Bible and praying are at the back of my mind.

Now, this doesn't make any sense at all. You would think that when things are going well, I would have more time and more energy to spend in prayer and Bible study, but the exact opposite thing usually happens. Oh, I get comfortable and all, and then I forget to make these things a priority. I forget their importance to my daily life.

Once, when Jesus would have been hungry, his disciples offered him bread, but instead of taking the bread, he replies, "...man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word of God."

Yet here I am, living on the bread and forgetting the Word. Then along comes some trial.

You know what I am talking about don't you? Everything seems fine when all of a sudden, wham! It hits!

Now things are different in your head. At the very forefront of your brain is the thought, "...I must read my Bible! God I need you! I need to hear from you!" So, you begin to read your Bible, but not just casually anymore. You are reading it fervently, desperately, hoping to find some glimmer of hope and some semblance of comfort. Your being cries out to hear from God.

David experienced this often. You can't read through the Psalms without noticing it. Once he put it this way,

My eyes fail for your Word,
While saying, "When will You comfort me?!?"

(Psalm 119:82 - Jay Adams Translation)


You are reading your Bible and praying like there is no tomorrow. Your eyes are drying out, your body is weak as you seek after God. Your conscience is suddenly a little bit more tender, so you start eliminating those things from your life that you always knew you shouldn't have had there to begin with. In your desperation, you find that you are adhering to God's word because they are the Words of Life.

You may even be able to say with David,
Before I was afflicted I went astray
But now I have kept your word.

(Psalm 119:67 - Jay E. Adams Translation)

Affliction has brought so many of us back to God. Our thoughts, which have been meandering away from the truth, are throttled back into place. Our view is now changed. Affliction is good to us because of the good God that we serve. Consider two final verses before you go.

68 You are good, and what you do is good;
     teach me your decrees.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted
     so that I might learn your decrees.
72 The law from your mouth is more precious to me
     than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

(NIV)


Check out the book,

Counsel from Psalm 119
by Jay E. Adams

April 14, 2006

Today.

11:30pm Thursday, April 14, 30 AD to 1:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Garden of Gethsemane - Jesus waits for his arrest

1:00am-1:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Confrontation in Garden and Jesus' Arrest

1:30am-3:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Trial 1: Annas, former Jewish High Priest for 16 years - Jesus receives initial physical abuse.

Trial 2: Current Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin Court - Jesus bloodied by abuse.

3:00am-5:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Imprisonment at Caiaphas' palace.

5:00am-6:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Trial 3: All the Jewish elders, including the High Priest, scribes and whole Sanhedrin. They decide to ask the Roman government to kill Jesus.

6:00am-7:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Trial 4: Hearing before Roman governor Pilate, who declares, "I find no guilt in this man."

7:00-7:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Trial 5: Hearing before Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who had jurisdiction over Galilee. Jesus refused to answer any questions so Herod returned him quickly to Pilate.

7:30am-8:30am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Trial 6: Pilate repeatedly tried to release Jesus but the Jewish leaders continued to object. Pilate physically tortured and beat Jesus beyond recognition seeking to satisfy the Jewish leaders. However the Jews demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate resisted but eventually gave the order to execute Jesus.

8:30am-9:00am Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Pilate's Roman soldiers take Jesus into the court ("Praetorium") and enjoy mockery and continued torture, including driving thorns into his skull.

9:00am-12:00noon Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Jesus forced to carry his own cross, then actual crucifixion.

12:00 noon - 3:00pm Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Momentus final 3 hours on the cross.

Words: "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing."

Words: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus (quoting a line from the Jewish scriptures) cries out at a moment in time when he is not just physically punished, but spiritually separated from God, his Father. God separates Himself from Jesus because all of the evils of mankind are placed on Jesus. This spiritual separation is the heaviest sacrifice which Jesus pays of behalf of mankind, so that mankand does not need to suffer spiritual separation from God.


Words: "It is finished."
Once Jesus felt he had borne the penalty for the evils of mankind, he declared his mission as accomplished. This relates to Jesus' earlier mission statement to sacrifice himself for others: "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Jesus quoted by Matthew 20:28)


Words: "Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
These words, spoken to a thief also being executed with Jesus, indicates Jesus' belief that Jesus would continue to live in paradise (heaven) and that Jesus can choose who will be there with him.


Words: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

Event: Earthquake (recorded in Matthew 27:52)

Event: Skies Darken (recorded in Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44)

Event: Temple veil splits in half (recorded in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:44)
This event signified that there is no more division between man and God. In the Jewish temple, a veil blocked the area known as the "holy of holies." It was recognized as a place where God might be present. Only once a year was the chief priest able to enter the area to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The symbolism of the veil being torn in two is that with Jesus paying the penalty for mankind's sins, sacrifices were no longer necessary, and everyone can enter the presence of God.


Event: Spear thrust into Jesus' side (recorded in John 19:34) Roman soldier confirms Jesus is dead.

Statement by witnessing Roman soldier: "Certainly this was a righteous man!" (recorded in Luke 23:47) Jesus' innocence is recognized.

Statement by witnessing Roman soldier: "Truly this was the Son of God." (recorded in Matthew 27:54 and Mark 15:38) Jesus' prominence is recognized.


3:00pm Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Death

Later that day. Friday, April 15, 30 AD
Burial


(The information for this timeline was found at this site.)

Blogger's Fuel


I haven't tried it yet, but I just signed up to receive the complimentary coffee reviewer's kit from Boca Java. They have a program for Bloggers called Blogger's Fuel.

I was directed to Blogger's Fuel by a blog called Coffee Swirls. I was inspired to click on the link because of my love for coffee.

Anyway, whether you are a blogger or not, please feel free to click on the link and check out the coffee. Once I get a taste of the coffee myself, I will be posting my review of it.

Thanks.

April 10, 2006

New Phone!

I finally got a new phone! It is a Sony Ericsson Z520a.

It has been a long time since I got a new cell phone, and it was getting a little embarassing. Most of my students had nicer phones than mine, and mine was starting to look more and more like one of those oversized phones from the 80's. (Which, when I was in the 80's, those phones didn't seem all that huge at the time.)

April 8, 2006

Would you have invested?

A friend of mine sent this picture to me in an e-mail. It was one of those that had been forwarded on from person to person, so I can't give credit to the originator of this photo, but it looks authentic enough that I wanted to pass it on to all of you.



I probably wouldn't have invested, but I sure would have liked to interview for a position.

mars rocks!

Get it, mars rock?!? (double meaning...)

nevermind.

Anyway. Here is my current favorite picture of the surface of mars.

mars_rock_monster


It kind of looks like a face. The two dark blue spots are where the abrasion tool on the rover took some samples for study.

April 7, 2006

Ah...The Wonderful Discovery!



It finally clicked today for Sam...the joy of reading books!

So far, reading has been on a demand basis only, required of him by his teacher (mommy) and accomplished through a few minutes at our kitchen table so we can move on to the beloved subject-Math. I will never understand that, but...oh well!

I was straightening the house and I happened upon little boy Harmless engrossed in the comic book of his choice without prompting!

Good for you, Sambo!

No, it's not the classic literature I would hope for him to read but for now, Dad's old comic books will do!

(Final note- Lest you fear that this indoor hobby will turn him away from his outdoor adventures...double click on the picture and look at his feet! DISGUSTING! Boys really are gross!)

April 5, 2006

weakened morals (or) weekend morals

Last week I was discussing with some of my students the topic of cheating. A couple of them had been accused of cheating on a quiz and they were not happy about this kind of accusation. I wasn't exactly sure if they weren't happy about being accused falsely of the cheating or if it was just that they had been accused. Their responses didn't exactly clear this up.

But the accusation did lead into an interesting conversation about cheating. I started off as a passive listener, but then I overheard one of the students in the room state plainly, "...oh, it's just the quizzes, it isn't that bad. I mean, I would never cheat on a test. But cheating on a daily quiz, that isn't wrong."

When I heard those words, everything else in the room kind of zoned out, except for this one student. Then the phrase, "...isn't wrong..." which was still bouncing around in my mind, finally came to rest right on top of my sense of reason.

I snapped out of passive listening mode and said, "I'm... I'm sorry, what did you say? Um... Did you say that it isn't wrong to cheat on a quiz?"

Now, I knew that there were numerous reasons why I should get to the bottom of this philosophy that was being presented by these students of mine. And one of those reasons was because I occasionally give these students quizzes, and if they don't think that it is wrong to cheat I was going to have to keep a better eye on them.

"Well, yeah." The Student replied, very matter-of-factly. "Everybody does it, it isn't wrong." And though not all of them agreed, several of her classmates did, in fact, agree with her!

Being at a Christian School, I thought to myself, "hmm... I don't know. Let's bring the Bible into this discussion." So, I casually replied, "Well, what do you think the Bible says about that?" (Because, frankly, that is the only thing that matters anyway.)

I figured bringing the Bible into the situation would change the course of the conversation a little, but with the mention of the Word of God, they didn't altogether change their tune. They flinched just a little, and then they said, "...Um, well... I know that the Bible says that sin is sin, but... you know... It's just a quiz."

You might be asking why I am bringing this up, and I can tell you that the only reason why I bring this up (on this blog) is because I believe that this is an all too common mentality regarding things like cheating.

Let me share some research to back that up:
Statistics show that academic cheating among high-school and college students has risen dramatically during the past 50 years. The results of the 29th Who's Who Among American High School Students Poll (of 3,123 high-achieving 16- to 18-year olds – that is, students with A or B averages who plan to attend college after graduation) were released in November, 1998. Among the findings:

  • 80% of the country's best students cheated to get to the top of their class.

  • More than half the students surveyed said that they don't think cheating is a big deal.

  • 95% of cheaters say they were not caught.

  • 40% cheated on a quiz or a test

  • 67% copied someone else's homework


According to the results of a 1998 survey of 20,829 middle and high school students nationwide conducted by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, 70% of high school students and 54% of middle school students said they had cheated on an exam in the last 12 months. According to Josephson, the same question asked of high schoolers in 1996 prompted 64% to admit they had cheated. This demonstrates a 6% increase in only two years.
(This information came from this site.)

These statistics are alarming. Mostly because of the rapid increase of cheating, but also because of that second statement, that they do not think that cheating is a big deal.

But the real concern that I have is that this mentality is seeping in amoungst the people of God. That those who would claim the name of Christ, and choose the Bible as their rule of faith and practice, that those people would slide in their morals.

We have known for a long time that Christians sin. (There is absolutely no question about that.) We have hypocrisy flowing through our veins. But when we begin to actually justify the wrong things that we are doing and begin calling those things right, that is a whole different story.

Isaiah 5:20 says,
Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter.


Cheating is wrong. It is a form of lying and a form of stealing. The world has forgotten that.

As Christians, may our morality remain as firm and as strong as the Bible that it is built upon, and may it remain in our lives and in our thoughts, affecting our decisions, not only on Sunday, but through the rest of the week as well. I hope that we can me as much of a Monday morning Christian as we are a Sunday morning Christian.

April 3, 2006

March 28, 2006

The Biltmore Estate



After a weekend snowed in some cabin together and the day before we head off to Washington DC for another school trip, Dad and Mom whisk me away for a day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

We used to have a coffee table book of the Biltmore as I was growing up (funny, now that I think about it because we had never visited there) and I used to pour over it, amazed by the beauty and enormity of the estate and everything on its grounds.

So, it was like a "little" fulfillment of a dream to actually get to see it up close. It was beautiful and amazingly efficient for that time period. I have been sort of obsessed lately with information from that era so it was great to walk through the halls of a time that has become strangely familiar to me.

A little pricey...but I highly recommend it.

March 20, 2006

The Glasses Family

Those were his words. "Well, I guess I have really joined the glasses family..." And in a way he has. I knew that it was only a matter of time with both mom and dad wearing glasses.

After we picked up the glasses, when he first came outside, he said, "It is like a whole new world." Then he proceeded to lower the glasses and then raise them back up saying, "...old world ... new world ... old world ... new world ..." Then he stopped and said, "How long have those smudges been on the window?" They had been there for a long time.

It reminded me of when I first got glasses. I can still remember walking outside and looking at the trees. I couldn't believe that you could actually see the individual leaves from a distance. It was so weird at first.

Anyway, I think that he looks pretty sharp with those glasses on. But it makes him look older too, which I am not so sure that I like. For me it seems like he just started crawling yesterday. I am not ready for him to look this old.