rick & 1j13
Saturday, August 30, 2003
Gamecock Football 2003 starts today:
  • USCSports.com
  • Gamecock Central
  • Go Gamecocks

    I've been playing USC vs. UL-Lafayette all week on the Gamecube, and the average score has been something like USC 38, ULL 10. Hopefully it'll be close to that tonight at The Brice.

    UPDATE: USC 14, ULL 7. The defense didn't give up a touchdown (points were on a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown) and they got three turnovers, but the offense is going to have to step up and play next week. Officials won't take my Gamecube scores.
    SI.com - Golf - Mickelson auditions for spot with Mud Hens - Friday August 29, 2003 9:21PM
    I keep trying to say this all the time: if you can't win a major - pitch.
    Friday, August 29, 2003
    TGI Friday Five:

    1. Are you going to school this year?
    No, but my kids just started back - does that count?

    2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
    Graduated from high school in 1986, from college in 1990

    3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
    hmmmmm.... Probably a British Lit course my sophomore year (the professor was British - way cool, like taking a Monty Python class)

    4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
    Compiler Construction my last semester - forcing me to one more semester: with real strong Indian accent, "This does not work, so I do not understand how you thinkj you can pass".

    5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
    English teacher in high school. Before AP came to our town, we had him for an advanced English curriculum, and I feel like he basically taught me to write.

    Pastor just told me about this new movie coming out in September. How did this one fly under the radar? Either it's not that good, or it's really good and artsy. Hope it's the second, and that it'll still be big enough to play Columbia....
    Dilberito from Scott Adams Foods

    Anyone see these in your frozen food aisles?
    SI.com - NCAA Football - Northern Illinois stuns No. 15 Maryland in OT - Friday August 29, 2003 12:34AM

    This is the kind of thing that I've always appreciated about college football. Being in South Carolina, I've never gotten into the pro game (until"discovering" fantasy football a few years back). But college has always captured my attention. The fact that a team that could win the national championship was beaten last night by a team that won't - that's priceless.

    Hope all the upsets get it out of their system before USC kicks off against the UL-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns Saturday night...
    Thursday, August 28, 2003
    Found this interesting article today (linked from RelevantMag), an interview with Os Guinness. Basically, the fact that we're trying so hard to be relevant might be pointing to how irrelevant the church is culturally today.
    Got this email twice: "Re: Fwd: AWESOME Pictures & Text! I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU!" Included is a *.pps file with a description of the "center verse of the Bible" being the center of God's will for your life. The "math" points to Psalm 118:8 - "It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man." That's a great verse, but I don't know about making one verse a cornerstone for my faith. Then, I googled this phrase - "center verse of the bible" - and got these links:Anyway, I'd warn against forwarding anything that has an attachment - too many screwy folks sending viruses these days. Also, know this: you don't have to include me in your "send it to 10 friends to bless them and receive your blessing" list. I already appreciate what a blessing you are in my life :).
    This is the anniversary of MLKJr's "I Have A Dream" speech. Hearing snippets this morning on the radio still gives me chills. I wasn't born yet in 1963, as he spoke that message to over 250,000 people in Washington, DC. But as I look around our little congregation - about one-third hispanic, one-third black and one-third white - I'm struck that there's so much still do, and that so much has already been done. As we reach out to more and more people to judge them "by the character of their heart and not the color of their skin", we are stronger for the diversity and honesty between all races.

    I got this in my inbox this morning, a Daily Dig from Bruderhof. This is another speech from MLKJr, maybe more poignant for today's church:It's not so much that we have attitudes of crime and violence - but we have definitely, within the culture and the church, developed "an edifice that produces beggars." My *dream* is that as the church changes, molded by God to partner with Him in the changing culture/society, we will restructure our foundations and our edifices to lift Him up.
    !Hero Store Online

    I just bought the double CD - don't know if I'd be able to get into the book or not, but the rock opera interests me. All that, and I'm a big Eddie Degarmo (Degarmo & Key) and Bob Farrell (Farrell & Farrell) fan from way back. Looking forward to this one - just hope it's not cheesy, you know?
    Wednesday, August 27, 2003
    Calvin and Hobbes -- Best Reason To Blog

    [thanks for the link, WIT]
    Let's take a quick peek at the news:

  • CNN.com - Ten Commandments monument moved - Aug. 27, 2003
    I've got my own thoughts on the need to have these or not. I'd rather rely on the commands & warnings & promises of God being written on my heart (Psalm 119), rather than some huge unwanted & ridiculed stone monument. But that's just me, I suppose...

  • CNN.com - 1,000 mink on the lam - Aug. 26, 2003
    I don't have anything funny to add to this one, except that animal rights groups are mammal-friendly.

  • CNN.com - 'Bug Bowl' addition: Cricket-spitting - Aug. 26, 2003
    There's nothing about the animal rights groups freeing thousands of crickets. Am I the first to notice the species-bias? Cold-blooded animals are animals, too... then again, "mink spitting" wouldn't be so pretty either, if we were to be totally balanced here.
  • Tuesday, August 26, 2003
    Just got this in my inbox - another dang email/hoax/virus. Wonder if any of this would be happening if the economy were doing better?You've been warned.
    CNN.com - Espresso tax worth a shot? - Aug. 25, 2003

    I need a new Bible.

    And I'm whiny about it.

    The one I've been using for most of the past three years is an NIV study bible, "spirit-filled" with notations and such reflecting a charismatic & pentecostal theology. I've enjoyed it, and it's stretched this formerly-SBC/currently-non-denom reader. But now the binding's toast, with two huge chunks, making up the Gospel all the way through to Hebrews, no longer attached - I'd like to replace it. I've got another study bible, NLT - I like it, but there are some passages that I don't like translated that way as much. Most of our congregation uses NIV, so it's nifty to pull out the NLT or something else from time to time, but I'd like to be on the same page, too.

    So why so whiny? Because I can't find the Bible I'd like to have. It would have very little in the way of margin notes or footnotes, but there would be a huge/valuable concordance in the back. And then, if I want notes - boom, they're there - either out of the way on the page, or hyperlinked somehow. That's right - I want an eBook Bible, where I can point and click, but it has the feel of a Bible, margins for my to jot my notes, etc. I want a Bible that's basically plain, but then with lots of stuff only when I need it.

    Any suggestions? What do you use, and how would you change it?
    Welcome to Mount Paran North Church of God

    This is where the Cleansing Streams Retreat has been moved for this fall. Closer to Atlanta, might shave some time off our drive. And we might be able to get some better deals on hotels. We've got nine people this time around - pray that all of us really *want* to follow through, and that we'll all go to the retreat and drop life's baggage at the throne.....
    Didn't take the chance to play last night, but I will tonight and some over the course of the week. I pretty much just vegged and watched MNF last night. But I'll get on and kick some electronic fanny tonite. Get your tickets today.

    Now - where's the coffee?
    Monday, August 25, 2003
    Are you ready for some football?

    USC plays host to U-Louisiana Lafayette - or the U-La-La Ragin' Cajuns. Hopefully, the Gamecocks will roll: 45-0.

    Also on the SEC/state slate, Clemson opens with UGA. Gotta pull for Georgia on this one: 35-21.

    Tonight, I'm playing NCAA 2004 on the Gamecube. USC will play against U-La-La all week, and if my headache leaves the building, I'll try the Bulldogs and Tigers tonight, too. I'll post scores/averages each week - and see how close we come to the real outcomes.

    As always, this is an exhibition, not a competition. Please, no wagering.
    Yahoo! Top Stories - Whole Lotta Hobbit Going On

    Screening the LOTR series, all three films, back-to-back-to-back on December 16th. Save me an seat, middle of the fourth row from the back.
    "We know too much, and are convinced of too little..." - T.S. Eliot

    This quote was the tagline to a daily email I received this morning. The rest of the post was a story of a man heading for the spirit realm after death, trying to deduce logically & mentally whether or not the heaven he perceived was real. In the end, the angels surround him told him that these things were only understood by the heart, not in the intellect of men. Good story, but not particularly pointed to me this morning.

    But then there is this line: "we know too much, and are convinced of too little..." This is so true, and as I find it more true in others, God convicts me yet again that it is true of me.

    I already know too much. I'm more and more unteachable every day; more and more unwilling to be transformed; more and more un-expectant when it comes to hearing God speak and call me to partner with Himself.

    And I'm not easily convinced of anything different, of anything transforming, of anything truly meaningful. I find myself wanting to bend truth into my own framework, instead of letting my framework be manipulated by truth. I see it in so many others, and Lord, I see it in me. Help me be teachable; challenge me beyond what I know I can bear - to where You want me to be, to become, to be changed.
    Sunday, August 24, 2003
    Open Door Ministries Inc.

    We are welcoming Neil Bush to CWO this morning. I'm looking forward to a "different" service - and praying that all of us gathered will be expectant, you know? I'll update this afternoon and share how things went.

    UPDATE: Good morning, into a good afternoon. Pastor Neil was very challenging and encouraging - asking why the church is missing out on what God's doing. When Peter first preached, it was to explain what God had just done in their midst. Today, our preaching tends to be about how God used to work a long long time ago, but not today. What a shame.
    Saturday, August 23, 2003
    FBI subpoenas ISP over SoBig - Aug. 23, 2003

    You know, if we all stopped using the Internet - email, usenet, chat, everything - for about a month, and do nothing with our PCs except offline word-processing, the world would be a better place. Maybe.
    Busy Saturday, but not too bad. Last night, the kids spent the night at my folks' house - woo hoo - and we finally got to see PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Best movie of the year, imho, with the only drawback being that I figured out a plot point at the end way beforehand - hate it when that happens. We went to Corky's afterwards - good food, but the "live music" - a guy with a keyboard/synth - was a little too loud and un-conducive to conversation.

    This morning, Cammi's at cheerleader camp with her friends, Trace and I have done some shopping, and when we came home I cleaned out the gerbil cage - Rudy & Jimmy ain't slummin' no more. We boys have been lazy here, watching JUSTICE LEAGUE and playing NCAA 2004.

    Now, a quick lunch before heading to Reagan's 4-yr-bday party at Pastor's house. After that, Cleansing Streams Session #2 - CONSECRATION (I'll post more on that later). So you see, we are way busier than a Saturday should be, but it's not that bad. Though I wish I'd won on NCAA 2004 - drat.
    Friday, August 22, 2003
    CNN.com - New Moby Dick? Boat crasher a rare white whale - Aug. 22, 2003
  • Well, don't call me Ishmael. I won't answer....... but that's cool.

    CNN.com - So you wanna be funny? - Aug. 22, 2003
  • "How to be funny" - and a photo of Algore?

    CNN.com - O.J. Simpson expresses sympathy for Scott Peterson - Aug. 22, 2003
  • This can't be good....
    Working from home today while the A/C guys work on our downstairs intake filter. Just got connected - hate dial-up, by the way - so I'm trying to get alot done. But at the same time - it's sweet working from home. Big TV in the living room to catch the PGA later, while sitting at the comfy kitchen table next to the coffee pot. I'll have to take a shower later - but for now, just slummin'. Sweet.
    Friday Five time, boys and girls....

    1. When was the last time you laughed?
    This morning, something funny the kids said - but don't recall right now.

    2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
    I never argue - always right............ Ok, ao I'm arguing with everyone/anyone reading this post, huh? Actually, it was argued with my daughter this morning about what she was going to eat for breakfast.

    3. Who was the last person you emailed?
    Don - told him thanks for copying files to the network for me.

    4. When was the last time you bathed?
    Yesterday - working from home today, just me and the A/C guys - and they won't notice will they?

    5. What was the last thing you ate?
    Bacon/Egg/Cheese McGriddle - sausage is better.
    Thursday, August 21, 2003
    I collect coffee mugs. I don't know when I first started drinking coffee, but I'm pretty sure my first coffee mugs were Far Side mugs with one-panel 'toons on the side. I've never liked "sets" where all the mugs come from the same pattern and match the kitched decor, with flowers or county scenes and such. Instead, I like mugs that (a) mean something, like we found a distinctive looking cup on a trip/vacation, or (b) that have a funny or poignant saying/cartoon on them.

    Then there are Disney mugs. A few years ago, the Disney stores had regular-sized mugs with a scene or panorama from the latest Disney film. These cups were all the "same" movie to movie in that they had a scene or the main characters, and then the insides would be a non-white color that didn't clash with the outside. We bought one from time to time because they were fun and we knew the kids would like them (they drink morning juice out of them lots of times). Anyway, I realized that this "set" was the only one I'd seen that I liked, so we started collecting - right about the time Disney stopped putting them in the stores. At least, I can't find them anywhere in the stores or online. I don't like the 3-d types of mugs or the character mugs with Mickey and Minnie and Buzz Lightyear, etc - I appreciate the movie mugs with the colors inside.

    Thanks, eBay. Do a search on "disney mug" and you'll find lots of different kinds, and a few of the mugs I want. Normally, I'm pricing these things at Christmas - we've got friends who have a few of these, too, so we can buy a couple for us and bid on a few for them, too. But we've been looking for a few different things on eBay lately, and I found a few mugs I didn't have. Cool deal - the one I won had three movie mugs, 2 Christmas mugs (saving as presents), and the seller was kind enough to send an extra movie mug with a little chip.

    Final tally? If my count/memory is correct, we've got 16 different mugs, no repeats. We do have two different mugs from Alladin, but they've got different pictures. Anyone know where I can get a better display/cabinet to put these in? We use them - it's either them around the house or travel mugs in the car - so I need something that'll hold them, hopefully three mugs high and however many wide to still fit under the cabinet.
    Wednesday, August 20, 2003
    Another worm? There are way too many geeks out there with way too much time on their hands. This one works with email, where the blaster virus last week worked through networks. Anyhoo, make sure you get your antivirus signatures updated any time you hear of a new one, and make sure your PC has a schedule to regularly download the latest/greatest virus stuff.

    Especially if you're going to end up emailing anything to me, ok?
    I just couldn't pass this one up...

    HBD, sweetie!
    Tuesday, August 19, 2003
    I posted a link to "an experience" a couple of days ago (thanks, Danielle!), and in the comments I mentioned that I'd had a few of my own "experiences" that have shaped me today. I wonder what I would've done differently if I'd been in high school when these things happened...?

    I grew up in the Southern Baptist denomination, so I've got alot in common with alot of people who went to Wednesday night youth group, sang in Christmas musicals, went on winter ski retreats and summer youth camps, etc. I also have alot of baggage, shared with some of those same people. But one of the things that I feel I was really deprived of was an understanding of the Holy Spirit. While things like demons and spiritual warfare weren't outright denied, they weren't objects of many studies either. Silence was tantamount to denial. The aspect of the Holy Spirit in one's life was as a guide, a friend, a conscience-helper for conviction - something like that.

    When we left the church I'd grown up in, we went first to another SBC church to serve in youth ministry, and then a year later - as God began really showing us things about Himself, the Spirit, etc - when the church voted us out, the Pastor started our current non-denom congregation. We've got charismatic leanings, pentecostal roots to be sure - but I also like that we're balanced in those traditions with the Baptist roots. We can walk in spirit *and* in truth - letting the Bible feed our experiences, and letting out experiences flesh out the Word, etc.

    One of my first "exepriences" was at a youth retreat just outside of Gatlinburg, TN. I was the driver, and Pastor was the featured guest for a friend of his taking his youth group on retreat. One evening, after the preaching and after the majority of people left the building, folks were still getting prayed for. Laying on hands, falling out, shouting and dancing - but it was so real and not at all "weird" to me, even though this was the first time I'd ever seen anything like this on a scale this big. What I remember most though was this: I almost sortakinda heard God audibly telling me to pray, to lay down and intercede, to get up and watch for a moment, to watch this person find ministry or this person over there seek forgiveness, now on your knees to pray again. It was like that, and I don't know if it could've been any more real if I'd been a puppet on a string.

    Another time, we were on retreat in Hilton Head. Charles Carron was teaching our leaders about the Spirit. The thing about learning is having to unlearn so much, right? There was such an air of healing, especially with people's backs. He showed us "how to do it" - one person praying and moving hands in such a way as to effect real adjustment. Really amazing, and some real healing took place. One man had poor back problems for years, and all of a sudden he was running full bore around the room - no pain, no hindrance. And the big thing was that he could feel it happening. This wasn't just a matter of divine suggestion, but as they prayed, he could feel his back being massaged and readjusted. That's something you never really forget.

    For all of the people I've seen fall out, I've seen most of them get back up and have nothing change. That's the drawback of stuff like this - either making it up or not allowing it to be real with real lasting change. But it doesn't make it any less real for me. At that same Hilton Head retreat, another friend was delivered from demon oppression, and he's still walking out that freedom today. Many of us were challenged to live what we're learning - and most of the people in that room are no longer a part of our congregation. For me, that's almost proof that it was "real", because you couldn't hide from shared experiences like that. It's either change or leave... I hope I've changed as God has led, because I haven't left yet.
    CNN.com - Baylor: Tapes provide new leads in cover-up - Aug. 19, 2003

    Where's integrity? How would he be able sit down in a recruit's living room and tell his parents that this university will take care of thir child? How can he sleep at night, knowing that thiry years of coaching went hand-in-hand with who knows how much compromise and deceit?
    I'm reading a new book: FLABBERGASTED by Ray Blackston. Set between the upstate of SC and the beach, it's right up my alley. So far, the main character/narrator is growing on me: sarcastic and thinks too much. I like Blackston's writing style - as much of it as we can get from his first novel - and his language is just descriptive enough for me without bogging the story down with too many details.

    I hope he can move on to a second and third book with as much fanfare. Lately, I've noticed that some of the biggest authors today aren't as much fun for me as they where in their earlier works. I really like Tom Clancy's RED STORM RISING, but most of the Jack Ryan series has gotten blah for me. I still think John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL was his best novel - even though it was "first" and not widely available until the others took off. Pastor and I were talking about Max Lucado yesterday - ON THE ANVIL is by far my favorite, his first one I think, but I haven't read anything of his in years because it all feels the same.

    All that to say that I hope Blackston continues to write, and that his stuff only gets better from here.
    Monday, August 18, 2003
    Conversation in my car this morning, on the way to school - my daughter wants a kitten for her birthday (still a couple of months away):

    Cammi: When I get the kitten, I don't know what to name it.
    Daddy (me): We'll see, darlin' - don't know if we're getting a kitten yet.
    C: But I want to name it after a Powerpuff Girl. I don't know if it'll be Blossom, or Buttercup, or Bubbles?

    [continuing conversation about pets, animals/names I had growing up, etc]

    D: Well, Cam, do you want a big bird like Papaw has?
    C: No.
    D: What about fish in a fish tank?
    C: No, I think I want to have a kitten.
    D: But kittens don't swim very well. They don't last long in fish tanks.
    Trace: But then you could call it Bubbles.

    That's my boy.
    Monday monday... another week, another dollar. Feeling better this morning - thanks for everyone's get-well-wishes over the weekend. It was nuts, with church and trying to get too much done on the weekend while (a)feeling like pus and (b)still wanting to be lazy and rest a little, you know? But it was good, and I'm actually feeling energized for this week.

    My wife's birthday is Wednesday - don't tell her ;) but we're going to start "birthday week" tonight. I think we'll have fun, letting the kids get involved in an no-holds-barred tickle fight to wear them out and then get them to bed on time. Then "us big kids" can finally try to watch THE GANGS OF NY so I can send that one back to Netflix. Double disc and almost 3hrs long - if I can't stay in tune for an hour, it'll go back unfinished. But I'm hoping it'll be better than that. We started watching DAREDEVIL last night. I liked it more when we saw it than she did, and it's still got a kick to it. Might have to own that one... enjoyed watching it a little with the commentary, which is really the biggest thing for me in a DVD over VHS.

    Anyway, we're all getting over the virus/worm/whatever at work, and now that my PC has been cleaned and rendered harmless, it's time to reboot and actually get some work done.

    Saturday, August 16, 2003
    I feel rotten. My right ear has been feeling like it's full of gunk, but then there's nothing there, then it feels like it's dripping and full, but nothing found on the q-tip - eeww. Now I just feel kinda yuck from the shoulders up. Matching the weather around here today - cloudy/overcast with a few thunderstorms passing through, one on the way. So while my wife and daughter run a quick errand before the bottom falls out, I'm making coffee. Gotta do whatcha gotta do.

    I met with Scott this morning, discussing chapter four of DIVINE CONSPIRACY. I'm really wrestling with How Did Jesus Teach? Our whole education system is built around passing along information - but Jesus and the teachers of His day and beyond taught to impart life-change. You wouldn't need to take notes - you'd remember a good teacher because his/her words would changee your life. We all remember where we were on 09/11/01 when we heard the news in NYC, DC and Pennsylvania. In part we remember because our lives were changed. Older folks remember where they were when JFK was shot; I remember where I was when the Challenger exploded. This like this make an impact - not a pagefull of notes from my fifth period junior economics class.

    What I'm pondering is why there are so few teachers who teach like that - changing lives, not just passing along "a word" or good information. And for the ones who do that, why are there so few of us learners who expect to have our lives changed, who expect more than a transfer of information? I'm on several email lists, and there's alot of debate - but no one's teaching and no one's learning. Getting fairly purturbed at it all...

    And yet the finger points back at me, doesn't it? Why am I so hardheaded and unteachable? And how do I really go about teaching to change lives, not just pass on some information or some new twist?

    Coffee's ready. I don't feel any better, but at least the java's good.
    Friday, August 15, 2003
    I very nearly missed it. Well, I did miss the *actual date* - but I think I can salvage something worthwhile...

    Today is the second day of the second year of this blog.

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the very first post on August 14, 2002 @ 6:58pm. I wondered then if I really needed another creative outlet, something I still wonder today. I've got a larger sidebar for links and such, and I've got who knows how many entries since that first one. But do I really need to write somewhere for others to see....? Yeah, what the heck.

    Other stats since adding eXTReMe Tracking (03/19/2003):
  • 3783 unique visitors
  • 5367 hits with reloads
  • 1891 visitors via referrers (thanks)
  • most hits from a searchengine: Google
  • most hits from a keyword: "ajgolf"
  • 286 hits in my highest week, averaging 171
  • 57 hits on my highest day 07/30/03, averaging 25

    All that to say... thanks for playing.
    The State: Five Points to get Starbucks - Downtown area buzzing with news of coffee shop in former Joyful Alternative

    That's what I'm talkin' about. The best part: this one might actually be "on the way" to work in the mornings. Woo hoo buzz buzz.

    The State: College students coming for lunch

    "At D's restaurant in Cayce, owner Scott Thurber and his staff are gearing up for bigger crowds. The restaurant just received about 2,000 boxes that will be used to pack tailgate lunch specials. That makes for a lot of chicken wings, and lots more customers."

    That's my buddy Scott. No picture online with the article, graciously. But I'm meeting him at "the old Starbucks" tomorrow morning @ 8am. Woo hoo again.
    Michele posted her story on the big blackout in the northeast at her blog. Almost made me want to be a part of it - all except the coffeepots-not-working part. They've got real guts up there. Storms knocked our power out for a few hours, but I never went coffee-less.
    1. How much time do you spend online each day?
    Too much - 3+ hrs "for fun", not counting programming/consulting work

    2. What is your browser homepage set to?
    I'm such a geek. I've got a family homepage on our harddrive that has some scripture verses, some quick links, and then links to our own pages. I've got a home page, my wife has one, both kids - but not the pets. I refuse.

    3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)?
    Not that much. When I do go on, it's mostly AIM - RickCWO. Might start with Yahoo! while doing fantasy football this fall - rick1j13.

    4. Where was your first webpage located?
    Hmmmmmm... well, this blog is just about at the year mark. Before that - I've dabbled, but really nothing more than church website and some on the freespace that came with PeoplePC.

    5. How long have you had your current website?
    About a year - woo hoo.
    Thursday, August 14, 2003
    My wife asked me the other day if she was the unteachable person I might've been referring to in an earlier post. No - at least, I don't think so. But she knows me too well. How do I write? When do I write? Normally, it's when something strikes me - funny or silly or profound or whatever. Sometimes, there's a catalyst - but I'd never do anything to name persons involved or single anyone out. That's not fair, and it's bad form for me on what's basically a public forum. Also, most of the time when I rant, I'm trying to get a handle on the "this is my problem, too" syndrome, letting it convict me where needed so that I can grow as an individual. So if I ever mention a particular person or conversation or somemthing, know that it's no one in particular.

    With unteachability, something I hit on again today, this is just a topic that's stayed in my craw for some time. It has to do with individuals, with congregations, and of course, in me.

    So there you have it - or at least a piece of it. What the heck makes Rick write.........?

    Besides, if I had a problem with my wife, I'd rather work it with her than here, right? That wouldn't be good - and making up wouldn't be any fun at all.
    CNN.com - Man survives after being pushed onto tracks - Aug. 14, 2003

    No need for him to buy any more lottery tickets, huh?
    Treasuring our Trash
    Martha Beck

    I have discovered that many of the things I thought were priceless are as cheap as costume jewelry, and much of what I labeled worthless was, all the time, filled with the kind of beauty that directly nourishes my soul...Now I think that the vast majority of us "normal" people spend our lives trashing our treasures and treasuring our trash. We bustle around trying to create the impression that we are hip, imperturbable, omniscient, in perfect control, when in fact we are awkward and scared and bewildered.
    ["Expecting Adam" by Martha Beck - in Today's Daily Dig, 08/13/2003]

    I'm finding that we not only "trash our treasures" and buy into the deception that "our trash is our treasure" - but we also can't be talked out of that very easily. We're so solid most of the time in what we already know, already trust, already "have all figured out," that we couldn't change our minds if we wanted to. We conform to each other, and then can't stand to have our minds renewed or our lives really transformed... And we nod our heads in agreement with a paragraph like Ms. Beck's, but then nothing changes. We affirm that we've taken in the information, and we feel more mature for the transaction - but in the end, pigs go back to the mud and those pearls of wisdom are fodder for the sty.

    but that's just me...
    Wednesday, August 13, 2003
    My wife has this notion that since I can take time to blog about her favorite realityTV show, that I should also share something about my favorite.

    Ok, I admit it - I can buy into BigBrother. I watched most of BB3, and now that BB4 is getting down to the end of the cast/competitors, I can enjoy it. There's strategy, and alot of $$$ at the end, but it's really more about people living together, getting to know one another - better than the Real World ever hoped to be. Most of the people are genuine, and the ones who play well while still holding onto their integrity are fun to watch.

    So go ahead. Sue me. Shake you head and tsk-tsk-tsk me. But if I'm allowed to stay in the house - watch out. Everyone's getting saved, and I'll tithe off the cash prize.
    Remember when I wrote this morning that I needed to stop thinking about sleep so I could get some work done? Man - am I sleepy right now. Three or more cups of coffee this morning, and a tank of Dr Pepper and a Diet Vanilla Coke this afternoon, and all it did was make me want to go to bed. Not a good idea, since I've for a half-hour drive from here to the house - but still, geez. Can't stop yawning. I should sleep at night. Definitely going to make a pot of joe when I get home - because if I fall asleep this evening, I'll be up all night again. Not good.

    In other news, I've got these thoughts going through my head:
  • Jesus used parables to teach us in a way that is life changing. He didn't just seek to transfer information, but to really impact the lives of His hearers, and us (Dallas Willard, my paraphrase).
  • How does obedience fit into theological & philosophical discussion that tend to rule out obedience in favor of a wopsided view of grace?
  • Am I a leader who successfully challenges folks with God's "what ifs"? Do I display the tools in my life, and am I adequately teaching others how to use those same tools? Am I self-leading, working on my own inner man after God's own heart?
  • Man, I'm so sleepy.....
    Two cups of coffee and I'm just now getting rid of cottonmouth. I hate it when I fall asleep downstairs, but that's what happens when I (a) need to run the gosh-awful-long virus scans on two PCs, and (b) I'm trying to give my wife a little peace and quiet by letting the dawg out. I did (a), but sadly missed it with (b) - she had to come downstairs and let the animal out, with me sprawled and inert on the couch. Tonight, I'm going to be at 6pm - naah, just kidding. 6:15pm.

    Our evening routine is ususally pretty decent, but since I sleep so hard, she's the one who gets nudged and cold-nosed in the middle of the night. Or, even though her side of the bed is all the way on the other side of the room, the kids will still go all the way over there to tell her about a bad dream and to crawl up into mommy & daddy's bed. I'm not complaining - but I do feel bad that her sleep gets interrupted while I'm mindlessly sawing logs. Don't know what we can do about it besides shutting the dawg's door to the attic, forcing her into a new schedule for potty time. And the kids will just have to get older & stop coming in that often. Meanwhile, I tend to stay up a little later, hoping to give her a break and let her at least try to go to sleep as deeply as she can.

    Enough talk about sleep though - geez. I've got to stay awake...
    "Up" way too late, I know. But I just finished virus-scanning my laptop and our desktop PC. Clean all around - but I was getting an error on the SVCHOST.EXE file that finally stopped when I went to apply a fix (laptop w/ Win2000). Hopefully we'll stay unscathed.
    Tuesday, August 12, 2003
    It's hard to teach someone who's unteachable. It's difficult for someone to change when they don't want to change. It's almost impossible for someone to see their faults & shortcomings when they think everything they do is already good enough.

    That's why we share parables, stories that lay alongside our major issues like innocent fuzzy little things - and then they smack us in the butt with their simple truths. Nathan did this with David in 2 Samuel 12, and Jesus did this all over the place. He taught in parables so that people ready to see something deeper and more spiritual would be able to make the connections, and mercifully the others wouldn't be held accountable in the hard-headedness if they didn't "get it."

    How unteachable am I? When I find myself finishing the teacher's sentences or thoughts with my own ideas or opinions, I'm finding that it means that I'm closing myself off from learning anything new, that I'm hampering the process with an "I already know this" mentality. It kills me when I'm teaching and I get this kind of feeling from the crowd, but I get caught up in the exact same thing. My next questions then are: how much do I do this without realizing it? And how many times have I lost out on something transformational because "I already know this"?
    The Smoking Gun: Rocco, There's A Fly In My Zuppa

    This is my wife's favorite show right now, and this won't keep us from watching it - but we're not making reservations any time soon.
    CNN.com - Experts: Web worm attacks Windows, spreads fast - Aug. 12, 2003

    Someone remind me to download the latest Norton's signatures, and then to turn the PC off tonight.
    Monday, August 11, 2003
    It's been one of those days today. Getting over stomach flu, finding out that work I'd been doing was not going to be needed by the customer, falling asleep on my left arm - really tight right now. All that to say - blahg.

    But life is good. I can't really complain, much. Whenever I start to point the finger, I find myself in the line of fire, needing to repent, in need of mercy and grace. Tonight, I want sleep - but I also want my wife to sleep well, even if the women's ministry meeting is over here tomorrow night. And I want our children to sleep well, knowing that tomorrow will be another huge adventure for each of them. I even want the dawg to sleep well, and not wake either of us up to let her out for her normal 2am fling.

    So I sit here at 9:31pm, writing something and writing nothing at the exact same time. It's what I do.
    Sunday, August 10, 2003
    Sunday morning 5:24am, and I'm up because I just couldn't keep laying there dozing in and out. Besides, I had to go to the bathroom (the only *real* reason anyone gets out of bed), and I've got to run the bulletins and stuff for church this morning. So I came to the PC while the coffee brews, and then I'm sitting down to the bright lights of the kitchen table to read my Bible, pray, seek Him this morning.

    Why is it that so many people never really seek Him? Why is it that I so often "seek Him" without really seeking Him? This morning, thousands of us will go to church all over the country, millions around the world. But this place would have a different attitude about it if all of us going to church were really seeking after Him. I want to be counted in the "really seeking" number. Printing out a BibleGateway search on "seek" to take with me to the kitchen table (restricted to NT, just to keep it simple and print on one page). I want to find a passage on seeking Him, pursuing Him, enjoying Him.
    CNN.com - Missing students found at Disney World - Aug. 10, 2003

    Parents just don't understand...
    Saturday, August 09, 2003
    It's been a busy Saturday, but not in a bad way. After breakfast at WaffleHouse and a couple of paintball whelps, the kids and I went swimming. Now, we're waiting for V to get home with dinner from Fazoli's. She's also stopping by Old Navy - I gotta get a new hat after almost ruining a decent Hilton Head one this morning on the fields of war.

    We got GANGS OF NEW YORK in the mail today from Netflix. Hopefully we'll get to watch it this evening, but if we watch it upstairs I'm going to asleep early. Don't know if it was the paintball or swimming or WaffleHouse, but I'm beat. Comes with getting old, or so I hear. I'd rather watch it downstairs in the home theater - the music sounds like it'll be much better in surround sound than through our TV speakers in the master bdrm. But that means either we (A) wait for the kids to go to bed and therefore stay up 'til after midnight, or (B) making the kids watch their Nickelodeon upstairs when supper gets here so we can start the film before 8pm. I'm voting for (B).

    Here's the thing with Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and the rest: I'm so tired of cartoons. I mean, I can laugh and giggle at most of these shows, and the kids know which ones are offlimits for not being funny, for crude humor, etc. That's not the point. By the time I've seen an episode fifty-seven times, I've pretty much wore out all the retinal nerve I want on that particular storyline. I'm excited with them when there's a brand new episode- but then I'm going to see it umpteen times within the next week. Right now, I'll take a little Weather Channel until FOOTBALL SEASON starts...
    Found a new question from Richard:
    Fight Club!

    What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Putting this one in my Netflix queue. I've never seen it, but heard of it's postmodern tendencies. I'm not too attached to the pomo-christian fad, but enjoy being able to flesh out & think out the possibilities.
    Heading out this morning to play paintball. Other than getting up way earlier than I would've chosen for a damp Saturday morning, I think I'm going to have fun popping the youth & leadership between the shoulderblades. Puh-puh-puh-puh-pow.

    UPDATE: Ouch. That'll leave a mark. Had fun, until my gun fell apart and then jammed (had to remove a pin to bring the velocity down). But next time, more camo and more woods play.
    Friday, August 08, 2003
    Friday Five time, boys & girls:

    1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country?
    San Juan, PR in May '03 - business trip
    Charlotte, NC/Carowinds in July '03 - vacation weekend

    2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling?
    Flying back from San Francisco, I had a four hour layover in ATL. I read books and newspapers, and finally dozed off, only to have one of the Delta personnel tap me on the shoulder, "Sir, are you on this flight? You're the last one..."

    3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go?
    Fly back to SFO for a few days with my wife, then up to Seattle for a visit with friends.

    4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car?
    If it's going to be more than a five hour drive, I'm going to sway heavily towards flying.

    5. What's the next place on your list to visit?
    Will probably head back to Puerto Rico in the fall - any time after hurricane season, please.
    Thursday, August 07, 2003
    WIN GAS ! ! !

    If you eat at Taco Bell, and order a drink, you might just win GAS... and you'll definitely HAVE GAS. So, is it guaranteed...?

    Back to school. Woohoo. C-girl, with her Bratz motif backpack and lunchbox, had her first day of public school today, having a fun-filled two hours with her new teachers and about half her classmates. I picked her up early and we went shopping and on a lunch date. T-boy had a normal full first day of second grade, enjoying his Hulk backpack and Hulk lunchbox.

    Wednesday, August 06, 2003
    Pet peeves:
  • listening to dialogue on TV, only to have the channel changed in mid-sentence
  • "eventual lefts" - folks on the interstate with the blinkers on for miles and miles and miles...
  • my draw
  • having to get the last word
  • Verizon commercials
  • my slice
  • KJV-only discussions
  • my putting
  • not being able to get my point across
  • pointlessness
  • pet peeve lists....
    CNN.com - Spoof site offers chimps as programmers - Aug. 6, 2003

    I'd hire a dozen monkeys to do my job. Low overhead, just pay 'em in bananas, probably a coffee break every now and then. And let 'em loose with a keyboard and a cordless mouse and see if they can fix my bugs. Sounds like a good idea to me :).
    CNN.com - Episcopalians approve gay bishop - Aug. 6, 2003

    ..... dang.

    This is wrong on so many fronts. I should be angry and up in arms that Truth has been twisted to allow this to happen. But I'm more sad than mad - sad that the foundations of the church have been mislaid, that real people have made a mistake that seems so right in their own eyes. We've allowed ourselves to be deceived through rationalization and compromise, and the fruit of that is playing out on a national and international stage. How can anyone be held to a standard when the Standard is disavowed and argued out of existence?

    I have no doubt that he is a good man, that he has ministered and served in many ways the people under his charge, that he has the intellect to carry on in "ministry" in the capacity of Bishop. But... that's not the issue. Where's conviction? Where's repentance? Where's a pursuit of holiness? At the very least, where's the ability to stop doing something that might rationalized as "legal" but is still so harmful and detrimental to others that it's not longer beneficial? Where is this "friend" laying down his life or his lifestyle for others?

    There's nowhere in the public marketplace to debate this issue, because everyone on both sides are so adamant against the other. But in the church, there should be no debate, no "taking our brothers to court" in order to come to a consensus opposed to the what the Bible says.

    My $.02.
    Tuesday, August 05, 2003
    CNN.com - Vote expected on gay Episcopal bishop nominee - Aug. 5, 2003

    Lord God, heal our land... wake up Your Bride... may she grow more lovely, more appealing to You... may her blemishes be washed away... may her sin be hidden from Your view, O God...

    I want to be mad here, declaring that anyone living a lifestyle of open and unrepentant sinfulness should not be allowed into a position of leadership... But I'm more heartbroken than anything else. We've compromised and rationalized ourselves, on all fronts, away from Christ. It's to our shame as the church in America.
    Yahoo! News - Car Crash Reveals Racist Church

    Makes me want to run my car into a few hardware stores in my little community, too.
    There's a good exchange so far on "on the way", yesterday's post where I started pondering why we get burned out on "doing God's work". On the email list, Ailina mentioned that she's just keeping her heart focused on getting God, spending time with Him, and how that's not leading to burn out but that she recognizes it could happen when things pick up in her schedule soon. She wrote: "in growing closer to God, my spirit is consistently renewed." That is so real, isn't it? Because when we do these things under our own steam, that renewal is missing. And that's where I think the burnout comes in today's christian circles.

    I think that's the direction I want to follow first - that burn out comes not because we're doing too many things, but because we are doing them with the wrong motivations. Pastor Mike asked an interesting question a couple of weeks ago: What would be left if God removed from the church all the things He never called us to do? I think it's like that in my life, so many things that I think might be "godly" in some way, but that God never called me to. Whether it's pride or "positive peer pressure" or wanting to impress church folks, if it's not energized by grace it's going to suck us dry, isn't it?

    That's a test for our schedules: how much of this stuff is making me more like Christ, is drawing me nearer to Him in prayer and study, is challenging me to follow Paul's course in Phil. 3:12-16? Or, how much of my time is boring, is sapping me of my energy and strength, is making me frustrated and angry with others, is pulling me away from prayer and the word?

    More on this tomorrow, because I want to get past improper motivation and really meditate on getting after God's heart...
    Monday, August 04, 2003
    Life does not consist in piety, but in striving to become devout; not in health, but in becoming healthy--as a whole, not in being, but in becoming. Not passivity, but practice. We have still not arrived, but we shall. It is still not done; it has not happened; yet it has been conceived. It has not yet shone upon all, but it has stirred all. We are not yet at home, but we are on the way.
    - "On the Way", Martin Luther
    Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already
    - Philippians 3:12-16
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
    - Hebrews 12:1-3

    For this week's "bible study/discussion time" (last week we looked at how God is "shrewd" with us - crossposting a little bit with the 1J13 email list), I want to look at how we are to live this Christian life. We all have different perspectives on how we're to live, what we're to be about, what God's will is for us individually and collectively, etc. But I want to dwell a little on the notion that we are to live a life that's always moving towards holiness, always pursuing righteousness, always growing and maturing in faith.

    Are you burned out on "church things"? Are you tired of not having personal time, feeling that all your time goes out the door to meet other "godly" obligations? Those things aren't bad; it's just that no one else will do them so you do them to get them done. I've been there, feeling used up and taken advantage of, and it's not fun. But where am I to go with it in light of the passages above? I've got alot of thoughts right now, and you probably do, too :). But I've got to get to work - so I'll leave the floor open for "whosoever will" to jump in with first thoughts.
    Sunday, August 03, 2003
    Well, Sunday night - where has the weekend gone? After enjoying the "blahg" yesterday and being a little lazy while still getting some stuff done, today has been pretty much a getting-after-it kind of day. Church this morning, lunch at Mom & Dad's, home for a nap and cleaning up this evening, getting the kids ready for bed.

  • CHURCH: The first Sunday of each month is "Cast The Net" - a time for special evangelistic emphasis, a little more laid back and less formal, where more people might be welcome to come and be challenged by the truth in an atmosphere of acceptance, honesty, and expectancy. We're like that the other Sundays of the month, too - but having a day where it's emphasized has helped us focus on it a little more, you know?

  • LUNCH: Most Sundays, we go to my parents' house for dinner, and my mother-in-law and Mr. Ron (her "beau") join us, too. Always a good time to be with family - getting on each other's nerves and all that comes with the territory of family. Today was good, and felt a little more laid back than usual. But we stayed longer than normal, not getting home until after 4pm or so.

  • NAP: Getting home later really screwed up my naptime clock. I'd been looking forward to getting out of church clothes and just stretching out for a bit. But when I finally had a real moment to do that, it was already five o'clock, and I slept so hard. 2-hour nap, slept through everything going on, probably ticked off the missus a little ("how can he sleep through that?"). But I'm awake now, getting some evening stuff done.

  • EVENING: This week, school starts back on Thursday. Whilemy wife the teacher does her pre-semester stuff at school, the kids will have a babysitter. So we've got to make sure there's a schedule, stuff to do, snacks and lunch stuff, etc. On top of that, the house needs to be clean and the toys need to be accessible, right? That's the kinds of things we're doing right now... Well, actually, I'm blogging, not getting anything done while my sweetie has run to the grocery store. But I'll get after it - promise.
  • Saturday, August 02, 2003

    UPDATE 12:24pm: enjoying the... sigh... blahg...
    Friday, August 01, 2003
    CNN.com - The man running 'The Restaurant': Chef Rocco DiSpirito opens his place to TV

    This is my wife's one reality show. No American Idol, no BB4, no ForLoveOrMoney - just lots of food and a pesky waitstaff.
    Thanks for the info, Jeb. Looking forward to Bubba Ho-Tep. Feelin' the funk coming back, baby. Complete horn section and leis for everybody.....
    What time is it boys and girls? Friday Five Time - hoo ha:

    1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?
    5:45am is the goal for a little quiet time in the house, coffee made before kids get up. But if the snooze button wins, it's 6:30am.

    2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?
    Really really late - 7am before the kids come in bouncing on the bed.

    3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?
    Bathroom - the only real reason why anyone would "want" to get out of bed.

    4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?
    Fifteen or twenty minutes if it's just me. We can get the whole family up and fed and out the door in just under an hour, but would rather have some of the "quiet coffee time" I mentioned in #1.

    5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?
    IHOP, or if driving thru, I really like the Suasage McGriddles at McDonald's.

    Powered by Blogger