Showing posts from October, 2006

The story of my life lately

I had a very vivid dream last night that seems to be summing up my life lately. I was in a Sunday School class at the church I gather with and I was asked to give a rundown of my favorite verse. I read a passage from Jeremiah (which I am in right now in my Bible reading program) and gave quite a stirring explanation as to how God worked in my life through the verse. The whole class was excited about what I had said. The Pastor then tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted to meet with me after the service to discuss something. I assumed the topic of the meeting was the Peacemaker material that I handed in a bit earlier in the month. It was turning out to be a good day. Then I looked at the clock and noticed that I totally forgot something. I was supposed to be in the Sunday School class helping my wife with the 2 and 3 year olds. I quickly gathered my things and ran down the stairs only to find that they had already dismissed the class. I totally missed it and let her down. The

Seuss and O'Keeffe

I have written, in a previous post, about how there are certain artists that tap into something inside of me and either sing, draw, paint, or write something that resonates with me. Here are a couple of more that I have recently run across: From there to here and here to there, funny things are everywhere. - Dr. Seuss I don't know why but I get goosebumps every time I read this. What is it that makes this little sentence such a joy to read and ponder? My wife and I went to the Memorial Art Gallery here in Rochester on our Anniversary to the Color and Conservation exhibit that showcased the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and her interest in preserving her work for future generations. There was a painting there that caught my eye and I think it is my favorite piece from her. I don't know what it is about the painting, but I do know this - I love the deep greens that O'Keeffe paints. They are so deep and rich and the image in this post does not do the painting justice. Kind of

St. Anthony and Charlie Peacock

One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dali. Of course being a surrealist his images are amazing and even grotesque at times, but they ring true in my experience and I identify with them on so many different levels. One of the more fantastic paintings from him is the Temptation of St. Anthony where Anthony is presented with numerous temptations that he must confront and overcome through the power of God Himself. There is a song by Charlie Peacock that conjures up this image in my mind called Insult Like the Truth: I've run my ship aground on the rocks of the soul There's no lie like independence there's no demon like control I've fanned the burning embers til my house was on fire There's no parody like power There's no fever like desire I've drained the wine of darkness to the dregs of deceit There's no drug as strong as pride There's no blindness like conceit I've railed against the mountain With a pick axe and a file There's no minefield li

Sanctification and do-overs

The sermon delivered on Sunday reminded me of one of my favorite definitions of sanctification: Sanctification is the work that God does in our life in order for me to live out practically what I am in position. My wife thought it was a bit freakish that I have a favorite definition of sanctification. I will consider my parenting a success if my boys have one. I say this a bit tongue in cheek but I do want them to pursue the deeper things of the faith and reject surface-level belief. My youngest left quite an impression (positive) in his Sunday school class yesterday. One of the teacher who we have a fondness for, said that he was very polite, attentive, and often quite amusing. He is a good boy with a big personality. I just pray that he does not fall into the same traps I did when I was growing up. Especially in high school. I was such a jerk that I vowed that when I went to college that I would not repeat the same mistakes. God got a hold of me and I didn’ t. Thank God there

Put off this....put on that

I have a family member that is struggling with a sin in his life. We have all counseled him on a biblical way to solve this problem, but he just doesn’t seem to be interested in grabbing a hold of the solutions we have proposed. One suggestion we have made to him is something that I have found to be very powerful and that is called the replacement principle. The Bible constantly talks about putting off something and putting on something else. This is the negative paired with the positive and, the way God wired us, both have to operate in our lives for us to see any positive change. He is trying to put off the old, but putting on the new is escaping him at the moment. And his frustration mounts. As does mine. I guess this is what it means when we do things "in our own strength."

And the curse continues

He died. My uncle died and I know that things will never be the same again in my aunt’s life, the life of my cousins, and the life of our family. It really hasn’t hit me yet. We are to go to the funeral mass next week and it really is so sterile here. Just waiting and dreading the time that I will be there to see what sin has wrought. To see the ones he has left behind. To reflect on the impact that he has had on my life. To wonder what this means for her. To trust, yet again, that death has no dominion over my wife and I. All of this as I look her in the eye and say those words I never, ever, want my wife and children to hear: “I am so sorry…”

It is too easy to be lukewarm

It worked, well sort of. I did get out of bed this morning and onto the treadmill but I felt so much better this morning than I did on Monday it was not even funny. When I took a step back to assess how I felt I was amazed at the difference. I was even up before 6:00 a.m. and off the treadmill a little after 6:30. Good for me and for the oldest who needed a little motivation to get up today. I finally caught up in my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program (I had been behind since my last trip out of state) just starting the books of Jeremiah and Hebrews. This year has been a little easier than years past as I do most of my reading just before bed. I am up to 16 minutes jogging (out of 30 minutes) on the treadmill. That is good for me because I was at 12 minutes for far too long. I need to reject stagnation and improve myself by reaching for higher ground. In everything.

A million dollar motivation and what it says

I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Well, it was more like I wouldn’t. I may have to start to apply the motivation test to me getting out of bed, much like I have had to do with all sorts of good habits I have endeavored over the years. It goes something like “if someone said to you that if you [insert good deed here] for [insert time period here] that they would give you a million dollars would you do it?” So if someone said that if you read your Bible for 20 minutes every day for one year that they would give you a million dollars would you do it?” Of course the answer would be yes. And of course that would reveal where my motivations, treasure, and heart is as well.

A bit of a surprise this morning

This morning I had a pleasant surprise. I was reading my parents mail (we are collecting for them as they are away) and I came across the Rochester Cursio newsletter where I saw the phrase “make a friend, be a friend, win a friend to Christ”. I thought that sounded a bit familiar to me. Looking on the back of the newsletter I found an email address to a priest that I had lost contact with named Father Joe Catanise. Unlike most Baptists I really am thankful for the time that I spent in the Catholic Church where I grew up and the Catholic schools I attended. Quite frankly, the people that I interacted with there led me straight to Christ. Now I know that my experience had more to do with my parents than my Catholic friends and extended family, but God moved me into a desire for Him and it culminated in a real relationship with Christ. He used people like Mike Haugh from Cardinal Mooney and Fr. Joe to show me genuine faith and place in me a hunger for Him. I was allowed to express my

Last night at Awana

Last night I was walking my two boys to their respective Awana clubs (one is in Sparks and the other is in Cubbies) and had them both by the hand. The youngest let go at some point and I thought he was following behind me so I walked on. He must have taken his eyes off of me for a time because he started to cry and scream “Daddy! Daddy!” I was only a few paces in front of him, but he was looking back into the gym from where we just came from for me. I walked briskly back to him calling his name. Finally he heard me and the look of horror on his face having lost me was replaced by relief and happiness. He yelled “Daddy” again and ran toward me. This got me to thinking of the times when I have “lost” God in my life. I can be assured that He is not behind or in front of me. Rather, He is a God who is near and not far off. But my reaction when far from Him is too often not one of horror or sadness nor seeking to correct the problem. Complacency, relief, even happiness creep in when He is n

Stories and getting published

I have been telling my boys stories about “my best friend” growing up and they seem to really like them. I think I want to try to see if I can get representation to get my idea published as a children’s book or as a series of books. I have always wanted to write and get something published so I think I am going to try. The maddening thing is I know I am going to need to work with an agent. I have a family member who is a successful artist who, obviously, has representation so I may need to visit with him and get some wisdom of the ins and outs of working with someone like this. Or maybe this is just a wild fantasy of mine and nothing will come of it. I remember working on a book in college that I thought had some novel ideas primarily around the imagination and how we could have never imagined the non-physical with purely physical experiences. But that never went anywhere. I don’t even know where the “manuscript” is. At any rate I will track my progress on this idea in this blog. Maybe

There it is - the moon

I have never, in my life, been more active than I am now. Between exercising (which I didn’t do this morning, btw) and working outside this year has been the most active ever. That having been said today, after a lot of work yesterday, I feel like a train wreck. Maybe it is because of a cold that I have that is hanging on just a bit too long but I do not feel good today. It was still worth the effort as yesterday was a quintessential (whoa, spelled that one right the first time) warm Autumn day. A real jewel not to be missed. We even sat outside last evening at ate ice cream at the Coldstone Creamery in Pittsford. The youngest saw that it was getting dark and started shouting “Where’s the moon? Where’s the moon?” It obviously hadn’t risen yet, but he was still insistent on seeing it. I saw it this morning on the way into work. A classic waning gibbous. It is fun to share those times with the family. I wanted the youngest beside me this morning as I saw our lone satellite. It would have

When will I learn?

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single cubit to your height? Wayward son, drink these words in. May they quench the hellfire that worry is in your life.

Maybe I'm just dense

There’s no strength like utter weakness, There’s no insult like the truth. – Charlie Peacock OK, it seems like day to day I have no idea what strength through weakness is. Is it the fact that I am too busy not to pray? Is this it? Or is it the fact that I acknowledge that I cannot, in and of myself, know right from wrong and need a guide to bring me to that knowledge? Is this born out when I trusted my salvation to the finished work of Christ on the cross? Is it in the way I spend my time in and out of work, home, from the presence of the church? Is it a combination of all of these things? When I look at my life (or a dispassionate observer does) will they see strength through utter weakness? If they were to get into my head and see into my heart and really assess what is happening there will they see anything qualitatively different than my neighbor who does not give a rip about God? Truth as insult I have no qualms accepting. All you need to do is see the beads of sweat on my head an

Duct Tape and Super Cool Video Night

OK, here are the interesting pictures of the night. This was our first outreach night at North Baptist Church Champions club for 3rd-6th grade. We had over 50 kids there and it was a great time. Well worth doing again.

King of the Jungle

Wow. Last week was quite the ride for us as a family. I was gone for a couple of nights and then we had our Duct Tape and Super Cool Video Night outreach at our Champions kids club, Thursday we signed our wills and I went to contest our assessment (yet again!). We also got news that our oldest is not doing as well as we though in Kindergarten so we need to meet with the teacher to map out a strategy for his success. That threw both of us for a loop, but we have had time to process it and talk to quite a few people about it so that helps. I am nervous and excited about it all at once. It is kind of a strange feeling, but it is something that we need to power through and pray that we react in a way that is reflective of our position in Christ. The weekend was a bit busy with the oldest son’s birthday activities/festivities and church activities on Sunday. Last night we had some friends over and they stayed much past our bed time (yeah – to be young again), but it was a great visit. Tonig


All my days on earth are like a vapor. And the time that I waste - that is simply gone never to return - is absolutely criminal. If ever there was a time when I needed to take heed of this warning this is it. Today there is a family member of mine that is so badly injured he may not recover. Did I take the time to hold Your hand, Lord? The punch in the stomach that his condition is to me is profound. Surely, Lord, today is the day of salvation. For me and for him. Will You enable him to call out to You? Please, Lord, another day for him; another chance for me.