Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hallelujah Chorus

There is something powerful in this little video. At least to me. To me there is something about the Hallelujah chorus that cuts through the secular stuff around Christmas.  It goes straight to the heart of the matter for Christians.  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth forever.

The lyrics for  George Frideric Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, from the Oratorio Messiah are at the end of this post.

As you may have noticed, Christians don't always agree.  We disagree about doctrine and practice.  Which may be a short sentence, but encompasses a remarkable number of things.  Hopefully, though, while we may question many things, what this Chorus sings about is something I hope we can agree on.

I used to wonder what the big deal about this musical piece was all about.  Same thing every year.  Except that now, what it declares moves my spirit.  Makes want to sing in agreement, in worship to the God that I love and for what he has done for me.

So ya, your mileage may vary, but for me this little video was an excellent reminder that Christmas is coming.  And that is something to be happy about.

If you're looking for a link with the piece played by some folks in a more traditional way, 
Hallelujah Chorus Performed by The English Concert & Choir on youtube, but no video.

|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|

|: For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
|: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! :|

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
|: King of kings, and Lord of lords, :|
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

And He shall reign forever and ever,
|: King of kings! and Lord of lords! :|
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

video game engagement

Me playing Operation 7
(and doing quite well actually)
earlier this year
I like video games.  Currently the games I'm playing most are Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook and a shooter game called Operation 7.  Wahoo!  I've spent countless hours of my life in video games. Most of the time I prefer it to television.

Okay, so what?  Well, I know I'm not alone, I read an article last month that said that people spend 927 million hours a MONTH on Facebook games.  Ya, that was staggering, even to me.  Activision's newest game Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies in the first 24 hour period, about $360 million dollars US worth.  Note that Black Ops is a game rated M and is for adult gamers.  That's some serious numbers about games.

Now some would argue that all this gaming is not a good sign.  I was challenged today listening to a TED video: Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain.  He cited the intense passion that many people have towards video games and noted 7 things that contribute to our collective obsession with them.  Essentially he was asking how does video games elicit such a strong engagement of it's players?

So my big question is this: 
Can we as a church learn something about how to get people engaged in growing as a Christian in a way that is similar, or at least informed by how games engage people?

Without trying to explain everything he spoke about, here's the seven points:

1. experience bars measuring progress
2. multiple long and short-term aims
3. rewards for effort (every effort no matter how small)
Me playing Runescape August 29, 2006
4. rapid, frequent, clear feedback
5. an element of uncertainty
6. windows of enhanced attention
7. other people

Gamers will often do repetitive and boring tasks over and over again in a game.  How does the game get people to do boring virtual things over and over again?  How does a game get dozens of people to spend a month building a virtual ship?  It appears (I've never played this game) that in EVE Online the Titan class of Capital ship takes that kind of work.

Can I as a pastor learn from any of this?  I was listening to another TED video: R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products, he gave this quote:

When you wish to achieve results that have not been achieved before, it is an unwise fancy to think that they can be achieved by using methods that have been used before.
-Sir Francis Bacon

So how do I engage people?  Are there things that we can do that will engage people more effectively in Christian devotion?  Or are video games and the spiritual disciplines too disimiliar for there to be any crossover?  What can I do differently in a church that would engage people in a way that is more encompassing?

What do you say?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Man up.

I realize that the title of this post is somewhat ironic.  Ironic in that I expect that most of my readers are female.  Of the 12 "followers" on my blog (followers as defined by google that is) 10 are women.  I do not begrudge that, they likely know me in offline life or they are aware of my wonderful wife's blog.

Speaking of Tara's blog, this week she was at Blissdom Canada.  Don't misread me here, I'm SO glad she went.  We've missed her terribly, but I think it's has been good for her to be away for a bit.  Especially getting to meet Shannon, but also in a place where she can talk blogging stuff with other women who are into this stuff as much (or maybe more!) then she is.  I don't resent her being gone at all.

But I did catch myself feeling sorry for myself a little.  There's a lot going on this week, even had Tara been home.  There's been a number of costume kind of events at the school.  Olivia's class had a costume parade, there was a family dance the other night, and then there was a costume fashion show.  Owen won a prize for the best "look a like" costume at the dance.  Aiden was amazing during the fashion show, and Olivia was just plain old cute!  Cool stuff!  So much fun!  However, it's put a fair bit of pressure on me to get my 'normal' stuff done for the week.
Have you ever got to the place where there's things happening and you feel like you're entitled to something to compensate for all the 'stuff' you've had to deal with?  Maybe you do deserve some recognition.  But the part that I want to zero in on today is that feeling of entitlement.  Who am I to say that I am entitled to something?
Proverbs 25:6,7a
6 Don’t demand an audience with the king
      or push for a place among the great.
 7 It’s better to wait for an invitation to the head table
      than to be sent away in public disgrace.

I suppose if I'm honest with myself - most, if not all, of the thing things in my life that I find as a challenge are really quite mild.  The world is amazing and nobody's happy, or so it often appears.  When you start to feel like you are "owed" something - you're really just feeling sorry for yourself.  If I'm just feeling sorry for myself because I did something that has drained me in some way, then why am I any different then the rest of the planet?  Do I really want to be the guy with the edge of attitude every time I do something for someone?  

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugI love that Proverb.  Don't worry about recognition, because if it's deserved, it'll likely happen.  Time and Truth go hand in hand.  Eventually, given enough time, the truth will come out.  If not in this life, then the next.  

Feeling sorry for oneself doesn't get much else done.  It doesn't help anyone, it doesn't even yourself feel better really.  So Mr. Doug, Man Up and get over yourself and keep doing what you should.  

Besides all that - Tara is home now.  She's awesome.  It's awesome to have her home and really that's all the recognition/reward/whatever I need.  Maybe all we need is just a little more patience.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This week

So this week I'm parenting on my own.  Yesterday we (all of us) drove to Thunder Bay and stayed at the Victoria Inn.  It was great, they upgraded our room without my even realizing it until we opened the door of the room!  (Hence the link love)  Great place to stay in our experience, although we've only been there twice.

The reason for our overnight stay in Thunder Bay was that today Tara was flying to Toronto for Blissdom Canada 2010. She jumped on her plane and flew off into the big blue yonder.  She landed before we had made it halfway home.  But due to the power of technology I found the following video on the computer when we did arrive home showing that Tara has in fact landed safely:

So Tara and Shannon are at Blissdom.  It seems there's a play by play of photos over on Shannon's TwitPic page.

So far, so good.  I hope all goes well in Toronto.

Oh, and just for fun...
Tara you missed Owen pulling that tooth out all by himself.
And it appears to be snowing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I went to an autism seminar today

So I went to an autism seminar today.  As you may know, my eldest son has been diagnosed with something on the autism spectrum.  What has he been diagnosed with you ask?  Some call it P.D.D.N.O.S. (pervasive develop disorder not otherwise specified - helpful no?), others call it an autism spectrum disorder.  I say he sees the world differently then me.
Nothing all that earth shattering as far as straight up learning goes, but our speaker guy had a great way of putting things in context for us.  It's often good to be reminded of things you already know by someone you don't know.  Good to hear things phrased a different way and in another context.

We continue the journey.

Friday, August 13, 2010

vacation 2010 part 1

So we went on big trip this summer.  Our biggest (this does not include the several months we lived out of our tent trailer, as that was just us in between jobs and places to live) to date.  We drove from Dryden to White Rock with lots of stops in between.

We got to see family and some friends along the way and it made it quite nice.  We drove in a car that was loaned to us by a nice gentleman in our church (thanks again Bill!!), we took advantage of his offer as it cost us some $30-40 to fill the tank in his car, and well, our 1996 GMC Safari has a much bigger tank, and doesn't get that much farther per tank.  I digress.  

A trip like that give you time to think, or just be, or gain some perspective.  For me, it did a little bit of two of those and lots of the other.  I got to "just be" most of the time.  I think one of the best parts of the holidays for me was just being with my family with far less distractions.  I enjoyed the extended times with the kids.  We were all a little more comfortable, I think.  

As for perspective, I think the biggest thing I've been *trying* to work on is my attitude towards the kids; especially when I'm distracted and frustrated.  There's room for improvement, and as I reflected some on the type of person I want to model and become for my family - well, it was a good 'gut' check.

I am by no means done going through my photos, but here's a slideshow of a few images that I have gone through thus far, I will be adding to this gallery over the next little while (or long while as the case may be).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

on me.

So it was pointed out to me recently that I often post very incomplete thoughts and allude to having things to say and then never say them (such as here).  So in an attempt to externalize some of the thoughts in my head, comes the following...

I want to be free.

Perhaps that sounds a little strange coming from me.  But like many, I struggle with my own abilities, wondering I can do all that I am called to do, all that I am asked to, all that I want to do.

I received an email recently that alluded to a list of things said at a graduation attributed to this one guy.  I generally check the validity of email forwards, not because I don't trust the people who send them to me, because, as a rule, the people who send me forwards have found something of value in them.  However, email forwards often become tall tales quickly.  The email looked very similar to this one that is set straight on Snopes.

The little tidbit that got me thinking the most was this quote,  (the rest is in the above link):
The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself
   The part of self esteem I struggle with is that I know that it's usually my own fear(s) that keep me back.  I'm self-aware enough to know that "there is no secret ingredient", and that almost everyone struggles with self-esteem.  Certainly some are less bothered, and others are crippled by it all.  Yet it is quite frustrating to know that your own lack of confidence, which resides entirely in your own head, is holding you back.  To know you are technically able to do something doesn't always seem to help when you feel the task is too important.

So what to do?  Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is to remind myself that I am free in Christ.  At first that sounds a little cheesy, even to me.  Yet, if I believe the Scriptures (I do), then when I feel trapped by circumstances and that I can't get done what I honestly feel should be done; I need to remember that I am free.  I am free to do what I need to.

 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Today, I need to remember that I am free.  That I live in a world created by God, that I was created by God, and he knows who and what I am, and he is the one who called me, to be a disciple, a husband, a father, a friend, a pastor and all the other things in my life.

One of the things I hope to work on within myself is letting go of the self-doubt and simply move forward in the things I feel called to do.  We'll see how that goes.

The reason I'm including this photo, is that it was really something to see in person, and one felt a little like God's work is still good.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


So I've been on vacation for the last few weeks.  Still am actually.  In my mind I had made all kinds of wonderful and witty posts about our misadventures.  Never quite got them written out here though.  So, use your imagination.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

more ramblings then thought today...

Today find me with some more random all over the place kind of thoughts, some of you may stop reading now...
a quiet place to sit and ramble on about the thoughts in my head.

on blogging:
I like the idea of blogging.  I feel like I need to write more to help learn how to communicate better.  Communicating better in writing should help me communicate verbally, especially in the teaching/preaching role I'm in.  Yet I find the hardest thing is finding out how to jump in*.  What thoughts should I share, what needs to stay locked up in my head so I don't get locked up for being crazy?  What is provocative thought?   What is ranting?  What is soap-boxing?  How does one create content that others will interact with?  How do stay consistent in all of this?
*hence today's random post.

on time and life and stuff:
helped with a grade eight graduation last night.  I'm still processing the funeral I officiated in Ottawa in May.  I turned 36 at the end of May.  Put the three together and I wonder how I have progressed from grade eight to now and where do I need to grow before I'm 97?  What are the things that are personality traits and what are character weaknesses?  Why is change so welcome in some areas of our lives and so difficult in others?  What do we have control over and what do we not have control over?

on some of my Scripture study as of late:
I've been chewing on the book of Ephesians.
Chapter 3:16-17
 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  (NLT)

How much do I trust Jesus?  What does that trust look like?

Was talking to one of the teachers the other night at the school.  Her students have been given netbooks to study with.  Most of her students don't see the potential of what kind of learning could happen with those machines.  Nor do they see all that they could do with them.  The class was to have made a presentation to play on the screen during their grad.  It was clear that not a lot of effort was put into that presentation.  I'm not trying to criticize, but to put it in perspective, it was black type on purple, which looked like an indigo kind of blue on the screen.  Difficult to read, rather dull to look at.  With even a modest amount of effort, that presentation could have been improved greatly.

Now, that might sound like I'm bashing here a bit, I think I do the same thing at times in my spiritual walk.  I do the bare minimum to get by.  I say to myself, that it was good enough for what I'm trying to do.  Are the goals I have for myself high enough? How am I doing in pursuing those goals?  What happens when I miss a goal?

I heard a line in a song a bit ago that said:

"It’s my habits that made my fingers weak, when my chances came I couldn’t grab them." 
 -from the song "Train Song" by Listener. (You can listen to the "Train Song" here, I recommend trying the "original" version, which is numbered 5)

on how different people see the world:
sometimes I feel double minded in that I see that positive thinking and exerting effort  to focus on the good can help move our lives forward.  Conversely, there are times where just pushing forward trying to focus on good things (I mean good in the largest most positive sense of the word) feels hollow, as if it's ignoring all the people and things that are so broken in this world.  

Maybe the road less travelled weaves between feeling the pain of the brokenness of this world and feeling the joy and hope of the gospel and of redemption.  Which is easier said than done.  More than that, we avoid the richness of experience, because the difference between those lows and those highs feel like too much to bear.  So we do our best to live in the middle.

on photos:
I am enjoying taking pictures.  I've been taking lots of pictures.  Where I've been struggling is editing them in a timely fashion.  Part of that is the ongoing technical challenge of all these files and finding solutions to sort them all out.  Mostly though, my default state of disorganization extends even to my computer files.  Although I'm better than I used to be.

on who I create content for:
if you have ever blogged, written a note for facebook or posted a picture on the web to share with people, you likely know that it's fun to see how other people react to what you are saying, creating and putting out there.
You can end up spending a lot of time looking at the number of comments or page hits, or views or whatever and less time thinking about the content.
For the record... all of my photos and all of my on-line writing is for me.  It is a cathartic process for me to share what's on my heart and head and to get it beyond just my thoughts, and my journal.  But I'm human.  I think we all like to see people comment on things.  I confess to be frustrated about the whole blogging thing because of a lack of response.  I also realize that infrequent posting and long posts (like this one) make following along harder.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Family Photo Progression.

We tried to take a family photo yesterday.  Here's how it panned out.  You should be able to click on it large to see the expressions in each photo.

Love these guys!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On waiting

Sometimes things don't work out the way you expect.  Things don't really take off the way you had expected. Problems come up.  Parts break, you get distracted, you make a little tiny mistake at the wrong time, the weather makes issues, people can't get there because life happens, we forget stuff.  And so, something doesn't happen the way you hope.  There are times to give up, realize that the cost is not worth it.  Other times though, you just need to keep going.  Because, when you're learning to fly, there are bumps and bruises along the way, but chances are... once you're gliding in the clouds.... you'll forget the little bumps.  


Or not. 
I keep dreaming of the clouds though.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

this week

A quick view at the email I got from the weather network this morning telling me what the weather will be like.  I'll (just me, family staying home) be heading to Ottawa for the greater part of the week... hope it's nice there too.  Let summer come....

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

sometimes you just need to start

So I haven't blogged as much as I would have liked.  I found this little tidbit from Henri Nouwen the other day, and it along with some other things he wrote prompted me to begin again on the blogging thing.  

Life is sometimes overwhelming.  I have found that I have a frustrating tendency towards laziness when I get overwhelmed.  Underachiever might be a way to describe it.  There comes a long list of things that need to be done and I decide I should then do nothing.  Then wait for the pressure of deadlines and other people's strained expectations to move.  This trait of mine, is frustrating to me.  I can only begin to imagine what it's like for those around me, waiting for me.

This, as you would know if you are acquainted with me, is not new.  There are times where I do better than others.  Recently, I read again Psalm 2.  It reminded me of the aspect of life that is like a battle.  Not as in me against you, but as in spiritual battle.  
There are areas of our lives we know need to be worked on.  There are things we know we need to start doing.  There are things we know we need to stop doing.  These are the kind of things that we don't need a sermon, or lightning bolts to show us.  No one else may know about them, but God does.  
Me? I need to work on being disciplined.  In moving towards the things I have as goals and dreams.  It's hard to steer a vehicle that isn't moving.  So I need to keep moving.  I may not have the energy of a three year old wanting to dance (see below - isn't she cute?) but I can keep moving.

A reminder that I need to blog some...

From Henri Nouwen:

Writing to Save the Day 

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Aiden needs TP...

Went to the store today with the boys, didn't find what we were looking for but as we walked in there was a very big display of toilet paper. I asked the boys how long it would take them to use that much... Aiden said: "A week?"
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another quote

From Henri Nouwen:
To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.
Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Me & the OPP

Interesting thing happened today.  I went to Winnipeg today on behalf of a local greenhouse (owned by some folks in our church) to pick up boxes of live plants.  I got picked up at 7:30am to go and pick up the rental van they were getting for me.  A very nice 2009 Dodge Caravan (the van is important in this story just go along with me here).  Picked up the van, went and got a Timmy's coffee for the drive and off we went to Winnipeg.  
I was driving one van and another couple was driving a second larger cargo van.  Picked up the plants in the 'Peg, had lunch and while the other van went to pick up some other supplies, I was full of plants and set off for home (after a quick stop at a camera store  ).  
Coming across the Manitoba/Ontario border I made a mistake.  Well, I failed to realize that the speed limit on highway 17 there is 90 km/h.  I was going too fast.  How fast? Fast enough to get pulled over by a member of the Ontario Provincial Police.  Doh.  
   Now I learned a long time ago, that it's best to have the stuff you know you're going to need ready for an officer.  So I got the rental papers and my license ready and opened the window.  I left the motor running as I was concerned about all the plants in the van.  As this officer approached the van I could hear her give the license plate to the dispatch officer on the other end of her radio.  All of a sudden she turned and returned to her patrol car, and said to me as she went, "Just wait in the vehicle sir, I'll be with you in a minute" (or something to that effect).  A short time later there was two other OPP cars very quickly approaching me and then boxing my van in.  As if I intended on going anywhere.  
  Then they proceeded to ask me to exit the vehicle with my hands in plain sight.  I did so.  Then I was told to put my hands on my head and then the top of the van.  Then I was quickly patted down for concealed weapons.  I was then told I was being detained for possession of stolen property.  


Detained for possession of stolen property.  Turns out, this van was reported as stolen by the rental company who owns the van.  I was then firmly, but not harshly, handcuffed and asked to sit in the back seat of a patrol car.  The car I was in was then moved a short ways away as it was blocking the eastbound lane of the TransCanada.  I could not see what they were doing as the car was facing away from the van, but at one point I turned (uncomfortably - I might add) and saw the back hatch of the van open. I counted 3 marked patrol cars and one unmarked patrol car.  Apparently this is a big deal this thing I'm involved in is.  So now, apparently, I was in possession of a stolen van, that was full to the roof with valuable plants.  Plants intended for distribution and sale in the city of Dryden.  I did not see them open any boxes, but I'm sure they felt compelled to check what kind of plants where in at least one or two of the 25+ large boxes of plants in the van.  

In time, it was established that the van had been reported as stolen some time before.  Except that the rental company had retrieved the vehicle back from another town four weeks previous and had failed to inform the OPP that the van was no longer stolen.  So when they routinely ran the plates of the van I had rented with dispatch, it was flagged.  They then responded as they are supposed to with a person with a stolen van.  The were polite but firm.  In the end they apologized, they did not give me the speeding ticket that I rightly deserved and sent me on my way.  I believe I mumbled a "sorry" and "thankyou" and walked back the van stunned.  

The speed limit the remainder of the drive home was 90 km/h, I had the cruise set at 88 km/h.  So now I know, and have respect for, the way police around here deal with suspects with stolen property.

There are at least a few people I know that will find this story at least mildly amusing.

What did you do today?

For the record - Dale - I was detained, not arrested; and no I do not have any video, I thought it would rude to ask them to bring me my phone and undo my handcuffs to video the experience.  

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Some thoughts by another

A quote from Henri Nouwen:

We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, "Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else's business." But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.
Jesus says, "No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house" (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let's not have "double lives"; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update on my "owie"

As you may or may not know a little while ago I hurt myself swimming with the boys (look here, here or here)
I thought I would update you all, as I know a few have asked about it.

First the story.
Took the boys and one of their friends to the pool, we were goofing around and while in the deep end (where I can still stand up-barely) I pushed off from the wall of the pool and attempted to swim beneath the boys.  Managed to drag my face along part of the floor of the pool, maybe the grate, maybe a wrinkle in the liner, I don’t know.  I knew at that moment that I had torn the skin open, just didn’t know how bad.  I swam to the end of the pool and got out and asked the boys to come with me to get changed as we had to go home.  We all got dressed, I took a band-aid from a guy in the change room and we left.  I took the kids to our house and then after checking in the mirror again and conferring with Tara left by myself for the hospital.
Didn’t have to wait too long to be seen.  While waiting I did take this picture with my cell phone.  It’s lousy, but there it is.

Then I snapped this one just after the doctor put the stitches in, ten very small stitches.

This is with the steri strips.

You can see Tara’s blog post for the next day pictures.
I had shaved just before going to the pool, which was a good thing as I’m sure it made stitching my lip up easier on the doctor.  Then I didn’t shave until yesterday because I wanted to be sure the wound had healed up real well before I started dragging a blade across it.  So I really did not have a clear idea of how it had healed until I removed the poor resemblance of a goatee and stache I had been sporting. Can you say "patchy"?  So here's the shot before the shave...
And after

And yes, I'm grinning like the Cheshire cat on purpose.  Because, that right there is my face, and now you've all seen way too much of it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

trucks, kids and garbage

Went on a dump run the other day with the boys.  After we emptied the truck (thanks Don for taking us), the boys rode in the bed of the truck to the gate.  I'll let the pictures tell how they felt about it.

dump run (11 of 13)

dump run (12 of 13)

dump run (13 of 13)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord ?
  Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
  speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
  or harm their neighbors
  or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
  and honor the faithful followers of the Lord ,
  and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5 Those who lend money without charging interest,
  and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

This was part of my daily reading of Scripture today (along with Proverbs 15 which you should read if you have a minute).  Today's reading, for me, was like a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room.  You know, when you have too many people in a room for too long and it's warm and slightly humid and stuffy and you go to the door and open it and that blast of fresh cool air hits your face you and instantly are more alert and refreshed and you want more.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Christmas 2009

Some photos around our house Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  There are captions on the flickr pages and if you click full screen and then "show info".