Thursday, June 11, 2009

Umm ... Who needs video games?

Who needs video games?!? I have a fuel system to play with!

I had to replace the corroded parts. This just didn't look safe to me.

Looks good to me. Now it is time to stick it in the tank. I hope this part goes well!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's out!

It's out!

Big Red (Day 2)

I could summarize the entire day in one sentence:

"I spent 2 hours and 15 minutes trying to loosen 2 bolts."

Yeah, that about says it all, but here are a few pictures of the first day. I am currently waiting for the dew on the ground to be sufficiently dried up before I go out there. I will try to post some more pictures later.

I have a fear of the vehicle falling on me, so I make sure that it is securely jacked up.

Taking off the clamp on the big hose where you fill the tank.

This is at the beginning of the 2hr.15minute brawl that ensued between me and the tag-team bolts!

Say hello to my little friend!

Lowering the tank down with a jack.

The tank is now lowered, but now I have to disconnect everything from the top of the tank.

In case anyone might want to search this out,I will put in a few key words:
this fuel pump replacement is for a 1995 Chevy Astro Van.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Big red

Big RedMy first official day that I am not in school.

Normally this would result in heading off to work... my other work. In the summer I am a mover. (If you didn't already know this... they you haven't really been reading my blog.) And usually the very first day after school I am headed off to my summer job.

This year is different though. This year I have a ton of work to do right away, because I am getting ready to move. It looks like everything is going well on the house selling, so I need to get to work fixing the things that I agreed to fix.

I need to replace a glass window pane. I need to put in soffit vents. And there is some electrical work to be done. (I can't do that last one myself.

So, here I am, all ready to get to work on this lovely Monday morning, and guess what... Big Red won't start.

My wife's parents were here, so they took her to work on their way out of town, but that still leaves me with a big red, big pain! I think that it is the fuel pump. This has happened before. (Read about it here and here.)

God has used vehicle repairs in my life on many occasions. While I am replacing alternators, God is replacing attitudes. While I am putting in a new fuel pump, God is putting in new trust. While I am swapping out belts and pulleys and fluids, God is swapping out faulty beliefs about Him. I am not joking with you. Broken down vehicles have resulted in more change in my heart than almost any other thing.

So, pray for me today. Pray that as I tackle this fuel pump... which is located inside of the fuel tank... (equals giant pain!), that I will also be receptive to what God has to teach me today.

Without any further ado, I am off to get the parts that I will need. Big red, here I come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stay at home Dads?

My view of Mark Driscoll just jumped up about 100 notches. It is his response to a question about stay-at-home dads.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Evangelize Them!

Ok. I saw this a week or so ago, but I was re-visiting it in my mind today, and just had to share it with all of you.

The post is titled, Soul-Winning Made Easy. It is from, one of my new favorite blogs.

It is completely worth a few moments of your time.

don't call me, I'll call you...

This is why I don't normally give students my phone number. When I do, I usually get some weird, random voice mails, like this one.

Goodbye, old friend.

In just a few days I am going to be computerless. The laptop that I have been using for the last two years belongs to the school. I lugged that thing home every single school day. I have accomplished alot of work on it: tests have been typed, curriculum overviews have been written, grades have been entered, rubrics created, school calendars, teacher web pages, on and on...

In my spare time I have done a little blogging, twittering, and have even made my own website. But now it is all coming to an end. The computer must be returned to the school permanently and I must move on. It will be an emotional day for me.

Oh sure, I have an old-cracked-screen laptop and I have a couple of outdated computer towers that take 10 minutes to load the operating system, but I am going to miss this particular laptop. It has been good to me.

I would love to be able to go out and purchase a replacement, but lets face it... I am a school teacher. If you don't know anything else about school teachers, then know this: we don't make the big bucks! Sure, maybe after 30 years and 20 degrees and 200 workshops... maybe, but for now I am scraping by. (and I am OK with that.) Tack onto my occupation the fact that I am moving and trying to make some basic repairs on my house... yeah.

So, here is the question, is there anyone out there that would like to support a teacher by gifting them with a laptop? I want to start a "laptop for every teacher" program! Starting with me!

Ok. I am (mostly) joking. I just wanted to let you know why you might not hear from me as much this summer. But if you really did want to donate towards a laptop... Feel free to use that little paypal button on the left side of this blog!

Just kidding. Sorta. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One more picture

One more picture

One thing I love about summer

Here is a poem from Garrison Keillor's: The Writer's Almanac that is a nice little reminder of one thing I love about Summer

The Ordinary

by Kirsten Dierking
(from Northern Oracle)

It's summer, so
the pink gingham shorts,
the red mower, the neat rows
of clean smelling grass
unspooling behind
the sweeping blades.

A dragonfly, black body
big as a finger, will not leave
the mower alone,
loving the sparkle
of scarlet metal,
seeing in even a rusting paint
the shade of a flower.

But I wave him off,
conscious he is
wasting his time,
conscious I am
filling my time
with such small details,
distracting colors,

like pink checks,
like this, then that,
like a dragonfly wing
in the sun reflecting
the color of opals,
like all the hours
we leave behind,
so ordinary,
but not unloved.

"The Ordinary" by Kirsten Dierking, from Northern Oracle. © Spout Press, 2007.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Killing of George Tiller

Here are a few links from this recent news story. I just think that it is so cool that we can hop on the internet and hear the thoughts from the "Preachers of our age". When current issues come up, we can get current Biblical thoughts to go along with those issues.

To Kill and Abortionist
by James MacDonald
I like this one. James MacDonald's blog is called Straight Up, which is a fitting name. He always seems to get right to the point. He really nails this one quite well. I appreciated his words.

A Wicked Deed in Wichita -- A Test for the Pro-Life Movement
by Albert Mohler
This one is worth a read. He brings in the similar case of John Brown from American History.

Some thoughts on the Killing of Abortionist George Tiller
by Randy Alcorn
Randy Alcorn always has a great eternal perspective. His blog post includes some other links that you might find interesting, including a "horribly misguided" one from Frank Schaeffer (Francis Schaeffer's son).

To give my opinion, I am going to quote Al Mohler. He states at the end of his post:
Murder is murder. The law rightly affirms that the killing of Dr. George Tiller is murder. In this we must agree. We cannot rest until the law also recognizes the killing of the unborn as murder. The killing of Dr. George Tiller makes that challenge all the more difficult.

If I find anymore good links out there, I will pop them onto this same blog post. Also feel free to contribute other links or your own thoughts in the comments section.

Young Pastors make mistakes?!?

Here is an interesting little video from James MacDonald. It is about the common mistakes made by young pastors.

(original post)
As many of you know, I am planning on moving back to my homeland. In the years I have been away from home, I have filled pulpit, taught youth groups, and taught an introductory Biblical Counseling class. So, even though I am not a pastor, I am hoping to be in a leadership-type role at the church in my hometown. They do not have a pastor right now, and because of the size of the church, it may be some time before they get one. Therefore, I am hoping to have some opportunities to fill pulpit (when needed) and to teach the adult School class. (I would like to share more of my heart on this opportunity in the coming days...)

I really appreciated the points that he was making in the video. I have often noticed that there are good speakers and... well... not-so-good speakers. We all know it, and we don't want to be overly critical or judgmental, but its true. I just don't want to be classified as "not-so-good".

Please understand though, it isn't because of an inflated ego or a enjoyment of praise. It is because I truly believe in this Gospel message. I believe that it is true. I believe that it is valid. And I truly want to share this message in an understandable way to as many people as God would allow. So, to be a better speaker is simply a desire to be able to more effectively relay the good news. We trust in God as the God of the harvest, but we want to be the best laborers that we can be.

As a teacher of 9 years, I have learned some of these lessons the hard way. The first one that he mentioned as a mistake of young pastors is a mistake that I have made more often that I want to admit. I only have one other thing to add to that conversation: Be aware of the people that are listening. I know that he alludes to this in the video, but I have known too many teachers that have no idea that their students aren't engaged in the lesson.

So, Thanks James MacDonald for sharing these common mistakes.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A Prayer for Monday: Humiliation

(from the Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett)

When clouds of darkness, atheism, and unbelief come to me,
      I see thy purpose in love
           in withdrawing the Spirit that I might prize him more.
           in chastening me for my confidence in past successes,
           that my wound of secret godlessness might be cured.
Help me to humble myself before thee
      by seeing the vanity of honor as a conceit of men's minds,
           as seeing between me and thee;
      by seeing that thy will must alone be done,
           as much in denying as in giving spiritual enjoyments;
      by seeing that my heart is nothing but evil,
           mind, mouth, life void of thee;
      by seeing that sin and Satan are allowed power in me
           that I might know my sin, be humbled,
           and gain strength thereby;
      by seeing that unbelief shuts thee from me,
           so that I sense not thy majesty, power, mercy, or love.
Then possess me, for thou only art good and worthy.

Thou dost not play in convincing me of sin
Satan did not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
      for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin
      lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
      as in the greatness of the person sinned against.
When I am afreaid of evils to come, comfort me, by showing me
      that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
           but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied;
      that I am feeble and unable to do any good,
           but that in him I can do all things;
      that what I now have in Christ is mine in part;
           but that shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven.