December 19, 2008

Look it up...

I heard about something on the radio last night, but just couldn't believe it. So, this morning, first thing, I did a little google search, and sure enough, there it was.

It seems that the Oxford Junior Dictionary has dropped several words from the dictionary.  

I am not going to attempt to repeat the entire article I read, the writer at the Christian Post did a great job of summarizing the story (go figure, a professional writer).  Instead, I will give you a taste, and then point you in the direction of the full article.

Some of the words that were dropped:
"bishop," "chapel," "disciple," "minister," "sin," and "devil"
Some of the words that were added:
"blog," "biodegradable," "MP3 player," "democratic," and "celebrity"
As much as I like to blog, should it really replace "disciple"?!?

Here is another little clip from the article:
The decision by OUP to discontinue particular words is a form of "verbal engineering," Erin Manning recently wrote on Beliefnet’s conservative Crunchy Con blog.

Manning cited Catholic moral theologian William Smith as saying, "All social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering."

"Deciding to drop a word that has already fallen out of use, become obsolete, from a dictionary is not a political act," said Manning on Monday, "but removing words still in everyday use just because you've decided they ought not be important in the vocabulary of a modern child most decidedly is."
Here is the full article, in case you were wanting to read the rest.  I do feel a little nervous about talking about it.  I wonder if big brother is watching.  I make a promise to all of my readers (all two of you) that I will refuse to adopt the newspeak on this blog as long as I can hold out!

December 17, 2008

Sacrifice

I have had a few thoughts bouncing around in my head lately. I haven't had time to "flesh them out" but I keep coming back to them. Here is the first thought. Let me know what you think.

Sacrifice is not measured by how much you give, but by how much you have left over.

This one came to me a little while back. It is based in the story of the Widow's offering. Here is that story, found in Mark 12:41-44:
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.
(ESV)


I don't have the time, or the energy, to develop this thought. It is just something that has been on my mind lately.

December 14, 2008

Logical Point of View

Great perspective on this controversy. Love the logic.



[HT: Mmmm, That's Good Coffee]

December 10, 2008

To live...

To live is so startling
it leaves little time
for anything else.

~Emily Dickinson

December 9, 2008

slightly new

I have a slightly new "look" for my blog.  I am not completely satisfied with it, but it is sufficient for now.  I swithched to the three column layout.  I'm not sure if I like it, but I had too much on the one sidebar.

I also added the third column to my Twenty Seven blog.  Then on that blog and on my Let Me Not Wander blog I am trying to incorporate the new Google Friend connect.  

So, if you haven't stopped by in a while because you are just skimming past me in your feed reader, stop by and let me know what you think of the new look.

December 8, 2008

It's Him! It's Him!


Can I touch the hem of his garment?

Wow. 

Just in time for the Christmas Season, we get to see what Christmas is really all about.  It's about hope and the promise of change.  It is about the "Son of Promise" and the "Child of Hope" finally coming to us in our time of greatest need.

Rush the aisles this holiday season and pick one of these up for your children.  May they treasure it all of their days.

And for you, maybe you should pick up one of his books... Words that were actually penned by this Great man.






To be honest now.  I don't know if I have ever seen anything scarier in my life.  I thought it was a joke when my mom told me about it, so I had to go online to see for myself.  If you don't believe me, here is a link to the Amazon page:  Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope


Diet - Day 8

Just a short morning post for the diet today...

I have found that a great snack to have is sugar-free jello (one cup) with a spoon of sugar-free cool whip.  It tastes really good (maybe, I am speaking in a dieting state), and it is almost like eating nothing.  The nice thing is that it satisfies that little craving.

Another snack that I have come to enjoy  is a spoon of natural peanut butter, whith a sprinkle of Splenda.  It tastes a little like a peanut butter cup.

I weighed myself this morning and I came in at a whopping 186 lbs.

December 6, 2008

Diet - Day 6

I didn't give an update on day 5 because... well... I messed up.  One of my students had a birthday, brought me a cupcake, and I didn't even remember until after I was done that I was on a diet.  I have to say, it was a great cupcake.  The truth is, I was wondering the whole time why it was tasting so good.

Even though that happened, I weighed myself this morning and i weighed in at 189 lbs.  Since I weighed 194 on Tuesday (or was it Monday?) that means that I have lost 5 lbs.!

I am feeling pretty good about that.

December 4, 2008

serving the younger

I teach a 9th and 10th grade Bible class.  We are currently studying the book  of Proverbs, but I try to throw other thoughts and ideas into the class.  One common theme that I hit on from time to time is the idea of service.  I believe that serving others is so important, but it often gets over looked or misunderstood.  

To help my guys I like to give them opportunities to serve.  Usually it is some mundane little task that involves cleaning, but yesterday I set them to work teaching.  They each had a different grade that they were going to "substitute" as the Bible teacher for that grade.

They loved it.  The elementary teachers loved it.  I loved it.  It was great!  Unintentionally it was on a day when there was a tour going around the school... They loved it too.

Here are some pictures that I snapped with my camera phone.  I didn't want to disturb them, so they are mostly through windows and around corners, but it was heart-warming to watch.








Coined Terms

I got an e-mail a little while back from a site called the Chapeau Blog Awards.  Never heard of it before, but I gave it a glance.

I didn't think much about it for a while, but then one day I got another e-mail inviting me to look at their BlogOh!Pedia page.  I really like the idea of a list of terms for bloggers.  It is fun to look at, as a blogger, so I couldn't help myself... I had to submit a couple of terms.  After a long time of searching through my vast knowledge of blogging (maybe 3 minutes), I came up with two terms.

Here are the two terms that I coined:

Blugh - That feeling that you get when you haven’t blogged in a couple of days and you are sitting in front of you computer with your hands on the keyboard… but nothing is happening.
(Obviously I coined this term because I experience this phenomenon all of the time.)

Conspirablog - A blog, with its small but devoted core group of readers, that is devoted to various conspiracy theories or “sightings”
(If you know me at all, you know that I actually have a conspirablog.  I just wish that I wouldn't have used the word "devoted" twice.  I feel like such an idiot!)



Anyway, I just went over there to get the right links for this post and noticed that they actually used one of my terms and said that it was one of their favorites!  The post where they mentioned me is called Over a Week Without A BlogOh!Pedia Post?  Alert the "Conspirablogs"!


Diet - Day 4

I weighed myself this morning and I have already lost 2 lbs.  I am feeling pretty good about that.

shift

I have seen these slide shows before, but this one is the best one I've seen.




[ht: Rodney Olsen]

December 2, 2008

Diet - Day 2

I made it through the second day of my diet.  Other than being hungry all of the time, I'm alright.  Breakfast was eggs and turkey bacon.  Lunch was a salad again.  Dinner was chili!  The chili tasted really good tonight, even though I didn't have any crackers.

Should I start posting weight loss?

Sure.  Since I forgot to weigh myself on Sunday, I will do a weigh-in tonight, and then do a follow up later this week.

December 1, 2008

diet - day 1

We just started a no (low) carb diet, so I thought that I would journal my way through it.  The last time I went on this diet, I lost 10 lbs in the first week.  And that is what I am shooting for.  I just want a jumpstart on my weight.  

Today was the first day, and it wasn't so bad.  Omlette for breakfast, salad for lunch, and leftover fajita meat for supper.  I love breads, so I am missing that, but barely.  Here is a picture of my lunch, just because of what my wife wrote on the plastic bag.  I thought that was hilarious.


The biggest challenge come for me at night.  Supper is over.  The kids are in bed.  I am winding down.  Then it hits:  the stomach starts calling me.  My nighttime savior is coffee.  Just a little cream and a packet of splenda curbs the appetite but I don't consume any carbs!

Thank You

I just wanted to pass this along from my wife.  It is from Steven Curtis Chapman's website.  It says:

Whether you voted for him & love him, or you’ve disagreed with all his policies and dislike him... Could we all agree on this? We owe President Bush a sincere thank you. As the historic Inauguration of President Elect Barack Obama approaches, StevenCurtisChapman.com pauses to thank our outgoing President for his service to our great country. This Thanksgiving weekend, we hope you’ll enjoy a new song by Steven written in President Bush’s honor.

Please click on the site and listen to the song.

Ethics Survey 2008

The Josephson Institute did The Ethics of American Youth Survey, and the results are in!  You can read the full article here, but let me give you a couple of highlights.

  • There were 29, 760 high school students surveyed.
  • 35% of the boys and 26% of the girls (30% overall) admitted to stealing from a store this last year.
  • 42% said that they sometimes lie to save money.
  • 64% said they cheated on a test this last year (38% did so two or more times)
You might think that those numbers sound bad, but get this:
  • More than 26% said that they lied on one or two questions on the survey (The site states, "Experts agree that dishonesty on a survey is an attempt to conceal misconduct.")
And the best part (or maybe the scariest part):
  • 93% said that they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character
There is so much that I would like to say about this article.  I would love to discuss how I am not surprised.  I would love to take a few paragraphs  to talk about how it is getting this way.  I would be more than happy to offer discourse on where this is going and how bad it could get. 

Instead of writing our all of that, I am simply going to take a moment to challenge you (and me) with two thoughts:

Number 1 - Re-evaluate your own moral character.  Where do you stand in these areas?  Have you become satisfied with your own "personal ethics"?
Number 2 - Pray for this generation.  Pray specifically for those in that generation who are trying to match their ethics with the ethics of the cross.  It is a challenging world to live in, and students who take a stand for what is right are getting to be more and more alone.  Pray for them today.

The Use of Knowledge

I just thought I would start of my week with a good quote.
"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."
Charles H. Spurgeon

I say it is a good quote, but as I copied and pasted it, I have to admit that I felt that little twang inside of me that said, "Listen to what you read,  You Fool!"

I have spent a long time in Christian School, in Church, in Bible Colleges, and now as a Bible teacher.  In all of that time I have learned quite a bit about the Bible.  I, in no way, consider myself a true Bible Scholar, but I have definitely become a true Bible student.  I have a regular flow of Bible knowledge coming at me, and I try to take it all in...  The question on the table, though, is, "Do I have a right use of that knowledge?"

I am not going to seek to answer that question in full on this blog.  Partially because blogs are not the best place to do a true soul-search, but mostly because I don't have the time.  I need to be getting ready for school not visiting blogger!

I will say that my use of knowledge is sporadic.  I know the right thing to do, but I don't always do it.  The areas that I forget the most lie in the categories of patience and diligence.  Quite often I become impatient with people.  I usually keep it hidden, but it is still there.  I let it out on my children from time to time.  Lord, forgive me for my faults.  And even though, in some circles, I have become known for my diligent labors (especially at the moving company) I still grow weary and begin to "demand" my down time.  Which of course leads to more impatience.

So there you go.  A post that was supposed to be a short little Quote of the Day kind of post has turned into something more.  Oh well.  If you read this far, feel free to share:  How are you doing with your use of knowledge?

November 30, 2008

Technorati Challenge Experiment

This is from The Mom with Brownies but I spotted it at Rodney Olsen's Blog.

Technorati Challenge Experiment! It’s pretty basic and straight forward. If you want to join from the beginning to get maximum results, here is your chance! :o)

1. Copy The List Below into a blog post on your blog(s). Don’t forget to comment on Brownie Mom’sOriginal post!

2. Add Your Link(s) To The List on your website.

3. Comment On This Post stating the blog address(es) you want listed so Brownie Mom can update the list to include your link(s).

4. Watch Your Authority Rise!

1. THE MOM WITH BROWNIES

2. Our High School Homeschool

3. THE BIG DOG

4. ARE YOU PART OF THE SERIOUS BLOGGER ADlog?

5. Thoughts From The Front Porch

6. My Opinion Counts

7. The Pond

8. Your Fun Family

9. 1stopmom

10. Juicy Alligator

11. Coupon Queen of Corning

12. Life Of A Star

13. The Life Of A Mom

14. Not Just A Mom Site

15. Red Dahlia in Bloom

16. Lyndonology

17. All Arkie Army

18. The Natural State Hawg

19. Healthy Moms

20. Idiot On A Stick

21. Our 5 Dangerous Boys

22. Red Dahlia in Bloom

23. Sojourner’s Place

24. Sojourner’s Place, 2

25. The Emblem of the Helping Hand

26. Moblog

27. Penny Raine

28. RodneyOlsen.net

29. Harmless Thoughts

November 29, 2008

More for Non-Sequitur

I know that Non-Sequitur probably won't care about this, but just thought that I would pass this one along as well.



[Additional HT: True Grit]

November 27, 2008

Sticky Creations #6 & #7

I can't just sit and listen. I just can't do it. I am 36 years old, and I still need to fidget.

If I don't have anything in my hands, I end up fidgeting with my goatee. I usually get mocked for that, so I try to keep something in my hands to fidget with. Since I am a teacher, one of my favorite things to fidget with is Sticky-Tack.

But I don't just fidget... I create!  Here are my latest sticky creations:

A die:




Gandalf and a Ring Wraith



Notice the little Frodo Baggins in the background.  Son #2 made that one.

Here are some other sticky creations:

November 25, 2008

Unfashionable

I just saw this great quote on Josh Harris' Blog. I am always tempted to add to the quotes that I find, but I am going to leave this one alone. I just wanted to pass it along.
The great guide of the world is fashion and it's god is respectability--two phantoms at which brave men laugh! How many of you look around on society to know what to do? You watch the general current and then float upon it! You study the popular breeze and shift your sails to suit it. True men do not so! You ask, "Is it fashionable? If it is fashionable, it must be done." Fashion is the law of multitudes, but it is nothing more than the common consent of fools.
Charles Spurgeon from a sermon on Joshua 24:15, delivered on April 18, 1875


[HT: Josh Harris]

November 24, 2008

Castle Personality Test

I haven't done one of these in a while. Mostly because... well, I'm an adult, but since I hang out with kids all day, I felt motivated to try one. I saw this one on a blog that I read.





The Castle Personality Test



You are scared of new experiences. It's hard for you to break outside of your comfort zone.



You like to think that people are impressed by you. You know that you have a lot to offer.



You are a very romantic person. You can't help but see the world as it should be.



Right now, you feel very trapped in your life. You often feel like there is no way out of your rut.



Overall, your life is calm and steady. Not much stirs you, and each day is full of joy.



You feel like the fate of the future partially rests in your hands. You believe you need to help make the world a better place.

November 22, 2008

Lock-Me-Up

I am at an all-nighter for the school where I teach.

I am sitting here trying to type up a post about this all-nighter, but I keep deleting what I have typed and starting over again.  I can't get the words to sound right, so I am just going to say a couple of things.

First, I came up with this idea because some of my best memories come from all-nighters when I was in High School.  I called the one for this school The Turkey Lock-In because it is right before Thanksgiving (or maybe because these kids are a bunch of turkeys).  I still enjoy these, but I am finding that they take more out of me than they used to.

Well, that is what I was going to say... I wanted to draw this post out a little more, but I'm tired.

Later.

November 17, 2008

Real Church

I have heard of Tony Campolo, but this is the first I had seen of him.




Thanks Rodney for sharing this one.

Be Careful!

I found this hanging on the wall in the elementary building. I am sure that they simply forgot to cross their "t" but I think that I like it better this way.



It is now my current desktop background.

Too true...

Found this a little while ago:





[HT: Without Wax]

Non-Sequitur?

In an earlier post I quoted Ronald Reagan.  Here is that quote again:

I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.
~Ronald Reagan, quoted in New York Times, 22 September 1980

I personally like that quote. I think that it really drives home an excellent point. That point, in my opinion, is that the perspective of these children is often dismissed.  To drive that point home, I had someone fulfill this by actually adding this comment to that post:

Non-sequitur. Everyone who is against abortion has already been born, too.
~anonymous commenter
"Non-Sequitur" is Latin for "it does not follow."  In other words, this anonymous commenter is trying to say that Reagan's statement did not follow logically.  Or that there is no absolute concrete evidence to support that statement.  The anonymous commenter, in an effort to support his criticism, then states that "everyone who is against abortion has already been born too. I would disagree with that statement.  I would say that there are those who are not yet born who would be against abortion.  This is, again, ignoring the perspective of the children.

To help validate this, what we would need would be someone who is an abortion survivor.  Someone who has survived, but had also grown up and could be a voice for those who do not survive.  I just saw this video over at True Grit's Blog, and thought that it fit in perfectly with this particular post.




One of my favorite things that she says in this video is a little after minute 7, when she says that she was laying on the table trying to survive.  Do you get what that implies?  "Trying to survive."  Right after that she says something about women's rights, but then she says, "What about my rights.?"

Normally it bothers me when people use the phrase, "What about my rights?"  But this is a case when it should be said.  Usually people say that in the midst of immaturity, and they are referring to small unnecessary items, but she is talking about life! 




This video is great!  My favorite part in this video is when she says something to the men.  She says something like, "You were made for greatness.  You were made to protect women and children."

To sum up:  In my house we celebrate the conception of a new child into our house.  We pray for that baby and talk about that baby.  When the baby doesn't survive, we mourn that loss of life, because that is exactly what it is... A loss of life.

If you are at all confused as to whether God sees an unborn child as a person, search the scriptures.  Consider Psalm 139.  Take in Jeremiah chapter 1.  Look in the gospels when it talks about the mother of Jesus and the mother of John when they meet for the first time.  Notice that it says that the "child" leapt in its mother's womb.  There are other scriptures as well, but I will pick this up again later.

I miss Reagan

I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.
~Ronald Reagan, quoted in New York Times, 22 September 1980

There is nothing like good, simple, straight-forward, logical statements.

November 16, 2008

"Children of the State"

It is an article.  It is a little long.  I usually don't read long articles when other bloggers recommend them... But, please consider reading this article:

November 14, 2008

Jobs?

Got this in an e-mail from a family member, and thought it was funny surprisingly accurate and scary.  So, I thought that I would share it with you!

November 13, 2008

The End of the World as we Know it.

I heard this quote on the radio on the way home yesterday. I thought it was pretty good, so I decided to pass it along to you.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

I have never been a doom-sayer. Usually when people start talking about doom and gloom I respond with "Oh. It could get a lot worse..." and then I drop it.

But I have to say, the way things are going, I have come to believe that I will see the end of America as we know it. We are just a hairsbreadth away from a very different society than we used to be. In fact, if you look at any area of our current culture: the educational system, our economy, the media, our entertainment, etc., you will see trends. The elimination of God, the declining of morals, the increase of federal government, the people's increasing desire to have the government (or someone in the government) to save us all. I find it disconcerting (not necessarily frightening...)

I would like to resurrect a previous quote from Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Did you catch that phrase? "From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury..." If that doesn't fit our current state, I don't know what does. We have moved from apathy to dependence. It just leaves me with a couple of questions: How much longer do we have? Can it be turned around? Should it be turned around?

November 9, 2008

I am attempting to do a post through Google Talk using ping.fm I will see if it works.

November 7, 2008

Could I have more soup please?

A strange species we are. We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us, save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much, and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy, sick.
John Steinbeck
Washington Post, 1960

November 6, 2008

Comments

The comments weren't working.  I am not sure what it was, but it seems to be fine now.  

If all two of you who comment could please come by and drop all of those comments that were missed out on, I would really appreciate it.

:)


Letter to Barack Obama

This letter was posted by the Girl Talk blog:

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Today I shed tears of joy, along with hundreds of thousands of Americans, for the great victory of your election. The significance of this moment cannot be overstated. Our African-American friends have been oppressed and cast aside for generations in this country of ours. Now, may the shame be completely wiped away and may the glory that this nation represents and strives for become a reality for more and more of our once silenced citizens.

I confess I did not cast my vote for you. Not because you failed to inspire me with your speeches, because you did. Not because you do not impress me with your leadership and vision, because you do. I cast my vote for another based upon my concern for another segment of our society which is downtrodden and cast aside, the weak, the innocent; the unborn.

Mr. President-Elect, I pray that your heart would be burdened as well to do all in your power to encourage the life that is even now forming in many to come to fruition, to share in this great moment in our nation’s history. We all know the times are difficult and no one will escape the trials at hand. Just as this is true, so is the gift and privilege we have to live it. May the millions of unborn get this chance as well. May the virtue of responsibility reign as mothers choose to carry the fruit of their wombs to term, to give the gift of life to another. I ask, President Obama, that you would prayerfully consider your pay grade since indeed it has now risen at this moment in our history. May you be the champion of all those who are weak yet share the same right to life.

May God bless you and your beautiful family.

Sincerely,

Margaret Buckley


[ht: Josh Harris]

November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

First Grade Pictures

My youngest son's teacher sent a link to some pictures.  So, for the family and friends... here are some First Grade Pictures .

Praying for Barack Obama

Quote from Josh Harris:

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sunday I told my church that after the election half the country would be elated, confident that all would be right in the world because their candidate won; the other half dejected and sure that the world had ended because their candidate lost. But Christians should realize that both sides are wrong. If you voted for Obama, he isn't worthy of your ultimate hope. And if you didn't vote for him, don't despair as though Jesus isn't reigning over the world.

Those who call Jesus their Lord can be filled with a quiet peace and confidence in all seasons. Our Savior is never in the White House. Our Savior is Jesus. We must turn to him with joy and faith. And as we do let's pray for our new President Elect that God would give him wisdom and grace to lead our nation in the days to come. My friend Justin Taylorshares the following helpful words:

No matter who you voted for--or whether you voted at all--it's important to remember that, as President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
  • We are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  • We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
  • We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7).
  • We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17).
There are many qualifications to add to these exhortations--for example, see this excellent post by John Piper--but it's still important to remember that these are requirements for all Bible-believing Christians.
Though I deeply disagree with Barack Obama on certain policy issues (most notably his support of abortion), I am committed to praying for him and his family in the years to come. And I am grateful to God that in his election our country has taken an important step away from its sad history of racism and prejudice.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 4, 2008

InDecision 2008

I voted.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure who I was going to vote for until I got into the booth.  I had been mulling it over all day, and was still in the undecided category.  I had read everything that I needed to read.  I had researched what I needed to research.  I had sought council from the proper channels.  So, when I walked into the booth, I made my decision and cast my vote.

Now we just get to sit back and watch the results.

I would also like to add... I don't think that I have ever seen or heard of such problems with full polling places before.  I have usually just moved right in and voted.  I was hearing stories today of people waiting in line for over 2 hours.  Crazy.

Here are a couple of sites for you:

Video your Vote where I got to see Kirsten Dunst cast her vote.

or

Google Election Maps where you can see how past elections have gone or see the current polls on an interactive map.




270

Just in case you didn't know it, you need 270 Electoral votes to win a presidential election.

Pre-Voting Test

November 3, 2008

Add This...

You know all of those cool little links down at the bottom of the post? The ones that all of the really cool bloggers have? Well, I always wanted some of those, but it seemed like a lot of work.

You know, go to all of those sites and figure out where the html code is... Figure out if I need to upload the icons... Hang out with the cool blogs to determine which sites I need to link to... You don't want to leave the most helpful sites off of your list.

Then you run the risk of cluttering up your blog. A few little icons are fine, but if you have 20 little pictures down at the bottom of each post, it can be visually overwhelming.

Well, I found an alternative. It is a site called Add This. You can visit them at http://www.addthis.com.  They have done all of the leg-work for you.  Notice down at the bottom of this post the "add this" button.  

Click it.  Try it out.  See what it does.

October 31, 2008

Pay Off

We just paid our kids out of Halloween.

We were on our way home and we were dreading the Trick or Treating thing.  We have never really disliked it, but we just weren't in the mood.  (And I had a feeling that they weren't really in the mood either...)  So, we made them an offer.  My wife said, "How much would we have to give you to NOT go trick or treating?"

Youngest son (with no concept of money), "A Hundred Dollars!"

Oldest son, "Um... What exactly do you mean?"

Me, "Well, we aren't in the mood for trick or treating, what else could we do instead?  Understand though, if you really want to go trick or treating, just let me know.  I don't want you not to go if you are going to feel sad about something."

My wife, "How about a toy, a pizza and a movie?"

Both sons (spoken with excitement), "Yes!"

Me, "sold."

You can't soak the Rich!

Here is a great article: (Warning: you need to have some level of intelligence to understand this one...)

You Can't Soak the Rich (The Wall Street Journal)


[HT: Finger Toe, who also wrote this little piece: Nobody gets it, Rich do not pay taxes ]

Obama vs The Willis Family

Not that anybody who has made up their mind is even listening...

Not that anybody who has made up their mind would even find this to be a bad thing for a leader...

Obama vs. Scott and Janet Willis

Reverend Scott and Janet Willis, whose six children were killed in a tragic accident involving a truck driver who had obtained his commercial drivers license through bribery, drive three hours to the state capital in Springfield to testify in favor of a “Choose Life” license plate; proceeds from the specialty license plate would be used to help fund adoption expenses. Echoing pro-abortion groups, Obama calls the issue “contentious.” NARAL calls it "aggressive propaganda," and the vice president of the Illinois National Organization for Women calls it "a violation of free speech." Reporters fill the hearing room, eager to record the expected emotional Willis testimony; Obama calls only his friendly witnesses, ignores Scott and Janet Willis, and then abruptly adjourns the hearing. Obama reconvenes the hearing the next day, after the reporters have returned to Chicago, listens to testimony, and then has his Democrat-controlled committee kill the legislation. [412,413,414]

[ht: A Little Gray Matter ]

October 30, 2008

Final Day

In January 2007, I was in desperate need of a job... A second job.  I had just been praying for an overly flexible job when a guy from the church called me up.  I can still remember it, I was standing in the backyard raking (and burning) leaves when he called.

I, of course, said yes to his job offer.  It didn't pay much, but it was really flexible, and just about the number of hours that I needed, without being too much.

It was a great job, and I have to say, it never really felt like a job.  It always felt like I was just serving at the church.  Especially when the paychecks started getting direct deposited... Then I didn't really see any of the pay.

My boys came to work with me almost 50% of the time.  Most of the time they would just hang out, but I would always try to give them a little job or two to do.  My oldest was really turning out to be a good worker.  He had learned how to do almost every job that I did.  He was such a good help that when I brought them with me, it would cut my time in half.  My yougest couldn't do as much, but he had amazing intentions.  He always wanted to help, so I would give him a little job or two to do.

They wanted to come in with me because it was the last time, so I took them to Sonic to celebrate the final day of cleaning at the church.  We worked together one more time.  It was alright.

I have to admit, I am feeling a little sad about the end of this job.

October 27, 2008

Monica Pryor




A Note from our Pastor This morning:

Dear church family,

This morning at 8:45 Monica Pryor went to be with Jesus! Her family surrounded her bed and sang and prayed as she slipped peacefully into eternity. God's empowering favor has been so strong in and through Monica and continues to rest on her family Please keep praying for them.

Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at NHCC, and her home going service will be Thursday at noon, also here at NHCC.

A few hours ago, as Monica's family gathered in her bedroom, 2 Corinthians 5 filled our hearts with hope:

"For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened - not that we should be unclothed, but that we should be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

2 Corinthians 5:1, 4-8

Remember, "He who has prepared us for this very thing is God…"

Peter H.



Also, on her Caring Bridge Blog, her father writes:

This Monica's father again, my sweet daughters struggle is over!!! She has been gently ushered into the presence of her Lord and Savior. There was much pain and struggle, but our prayer for a gentle departure was honored. Her labored breathing slowed then became smooth, then gently stopped. Her dear husband and our family surrounded her and sang "Just as I am"a song we often sang together as we drove to church. This was our last trip with her. To those who wrote and encouraged Monica with your notes of love. how can we thank you? You were a intregal part of her strength as this cancer progressed.

From Monica's Mum,

the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.



October 24, 2008

Nope

It is official.  I cannot get caught up.

The gods of chaos are working against me.  At the moment that they see that I am almost getting caught up, they bring about some new method to sway me away from my goal.  Somebody needs help getting moved, someone needs some computer assistance, there is a special school function that requires my presence, something, always something... They know my greatest weaknesses.

October 19, 2008

Lost and Found


So, last week was not a good week.

To top it off, we temporarily lost the dog.  I don't want to talk about how it happened, because it was my fault.  I also don't want any lectures about keeping his tags on him at all times.  I get it!  I know.  And it was my fault that he didn't have his tags on!

But, we lost the dog.  We even did the whole canvas the neighborhood thing... with posters!  I was actually driving around the surrounding neighborhoods putting posters on telephone poles!  The whole family was in the van.  I was armed with a staple gun and a handful of flyers.

It worked though.  

Some guy saw my poster, then realized that he had already seen a poster saying, "Dog Found" just down the street.  What a nice guy!  He actually went back to the first poster and got the number off of it and called me.  (Must be a dog-person...)

Sure enough, Milo had been picked up by a nice lady (who actually ran a dog obedience school) and she had been keeping him for the last couple of days.  She had made some posters and put them up around her neighborhood.  We had just missed each others posters.

I went to pick the dog up, endured the lecture from her about tags and neutering your dog... then I called the first guy back to thank him... go the lecture again... and returned triumphantly with the dog.

Within 5 minutes I was ready to get rid of him again.

[note: if you enlarge the picture, you can see that I even made an e-mail for the lost dog!  I also enjoyed adding in the "last seen wearing:" bit...]

October 15, 2008

decisions made in a pickup truck

We crawled into the cab of the truck, the boys and I.  We had walked out into the parking lot at a pace that was a little slower than normal.  They had their reasons for shuffling, I had mine, but we shuffled out there together.

I hadn't told them the news while we were in the school building, because I knew it would make that walk feel just that much longer.  So I allowed them their own thoughts on the way down that 'gravel mile' and kept my thoughts to myself.  The opportunity to mull those thoughts over one or two more times wasn't such a bad thing anyway.  So we shuffled to the doors and hauled ourselves in.

I stuck the keys in the ignition, but hesitated to start the truck.  I wanted to get going -- to drive home right now -- to arrive at my destination.  I wanted to turn that key... but I knew that would only be postponing the inevitable.  Sure, I needed to start the truck and get going, but they deserved to know where they were heading.  So, I hesitated.

"I have some news guys.  Momma went to the doctor's office today..." 

*there was a long pause*  I knew the words, but I didn't want to say them.  It had been good news... good news... good news... And now this.  Sure, things had been hard the last several weeks, but we were always up to the challenge.  Making our own meals.  Cleaning the house ourselves.  It was always about looking after Momma.  What can we do to help her... She's sick.  It had been in every prayer.  It was on our minds all of the time.  Now, I had to say these words to them...

"When she went, they looked on the monitor, but they couldn't find the heart beat."

*another pause* I could see it in their eyes.  That slow recognition.  That realization that the thing which we had been longing for, that thing which we had been sacrificing for, that thing which had caused someone that we loved so much difficulty and suffering... that thing.  That thing which was now a person to us was no longer a part of our future.  The little dreams and discussions we had had.  The hypotheticals of how old each person would be at different times.  Those things were now invalid points.  I could see it in their eyes.  They were sad.

"What are you thinking?"

[oldest] "Well, I can see how some people just, you know, get mad at God.  But I know that is wrong, because God is good.  We can trust Him."

[me]"Yeah.  yeah...  Mommy was a little worried that you might get mad at God.  Even though she is so sad herself, she was still worried about you two.  So, you're not mad at God?"

[oldest] "No.  I mean, how could you be mad at God?  He always does what is good for you.  And that baby is in heaven now, and that is a better place anyway."

*another pause* True.  It was almost like he was saying, "You keep talking about this heaven place and how good it is... So, how could someone going to heaven be bad?  Right?"

[youngest] *with an intrigued look on his face* "So, since we prayed so much for this baby, does that mean that God is just going to make it alive again?"

[me]*sigh* "You know bud, He absolutely could.  I have no doubt that He absolutely could.  But I don't think that He is going to bring this baby to us, but one day we will go to it. "

*pause*

[me]"You know, momma was also a little worried that it might be her fault.  What do you guys think about that?"

*both give puzzled expressions* Then youngest gives irrefutable logic: (and I quote...)

[youngest] "That's not right.  We know that if momma was in control we would have two living babies.  But God is in control."

[oldest] *nodding in agreement* "Yeah, and He always makes right decisions."

Not how I was going to approach it -- but, -oh- so much better.  What a great perspective!

[me]"That's right guys.  In Psalm 19 it says, 'The judgements (decisions) of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.'  All of God's decisions are the right decisions, so if we trust in Him, the we can know that the right thing happened."

So, we all sat there, on the way home, in our old pickup truck.  We had worked it all out and we were on our way, as quick as we could get there to our 'momma'.  Three men, ready to bring our strength (and our joy) to the one who was hurting.

October 13, 2008

Big pie


A friend at the school sent a pie home with us today.  It was pumpkin, so I was pretty excited about it... But then I saw the pie!  Now I am really excited about it!

October 10, 2008

impressionable

I was talking in class the other day and strayed into a mini-soapbox-rant about effort and grades.  (I couldn't be a teacher if I didn't do that every so often.)  I was saying something about how those students who are doing well were really working for it, as opposed to those students who were not doing well...  There is actually quite a bit more to this speech, so please don't take me out of context...

When I reached my first lull in my rant, one of my students, with a smile on his face, says, "...maybe we could take some extra points off the top of those high grade students and give them to those students who don't have as many points.  In my neighborhood, that's called fair."

He's a sophomore.

New Quote

Here is a new quote.  I love it.  I just love it.  It says so much.  I think that I can attribute it to John Wayne, but I haven't googled it yet to find out for sure.

"Stupid should hurt."

Love it.

October 9, 2008

Mail Goggles

Just to make sure you think twice before that e-mail.  (Or maybe to make sure you're thinking...)

Mail Goggles by Gmail

[HT: Sunday School Thoughts]

October 8, 2008

On Target for Halloween

I am passing along this post: Some thoughts about costumes on Halloween.

I have always liked Halloween.  I have several good memories associated with this holiday, but I had to agree with the tone of this particular post.

October 5, 2008

Internet

My linksys wireless router just died today. Why? I have always been good to it. It hasn't been mistreated in anyway. It just quit working.

So, I have been without internet all day. This is bad for a guy who does 90% of his work on the internet.

October 4, 2008

I know this guy!

This guy goes to my church.  I didn't even know that he went anywhere else to do his dramatic scripture recitation thing.



[HT: Rebecca Writes]

New Piano

I never thought that I would be able to own a piano.  I just never thought that I could afford one.

Well, my lovely wife found an awesome deal on Craigslist and informed me on Wednesday that I would be driving to get a piano on Saturday.  I was a little nervous about trying to pick a piano up and set it in my truck.  I didn't have a trailer that I could borrow and I didn't have any people that I could haul with me to get this thing, but my wife said that we were going.

Sounded like a good opportunity for me to point out that this particular furniture mover had never been able to purchase any straps for his old truck.  There was no way I was hauling a piano in the back of my truck without it being securely strapped down.  The accounting committee in my house (also known as my lovely wife) granted permission for the strap purchase.

The piano moving bill passed, along with my little bit of pork barreling, (didn't know what that was until this week ) and so we all piled into the cab of the truck and took off this morning.  After a McDonald's stop, an air pressure in the tires stop, and a bathroom stop, we arrived!

There weren't any problems in the transit or the delivery, and (with a little help from my friend Lee) before I knew it, there was a lovely piano sitting in my living room.  Just another in the long list of things that God has blessed us with.

Sorry for the poor quality of picture, it was taken with my phone and the lighting was bad.  I just can't believe that we got it for $125!