Showing posts from May, 2007

How much do I really know?

I had a friend that said if you do not know the answer to a question then just insure that the answer you give is given with conviction and you will convince most people. I think that if I truly limited my speech to things that I knew for sure I wouldn't talk as much as I do now. And that would not be a bad thing.

Probably safe to say

I wrote a while back that it is probably safe to say that I am the only undergraduate in SUNY Brockport history to quote Stephen Crumbacher in a philosophy paper. I think it is also safe to say I am the only person who has ever used the term "angel heely dance" in a sermon. Please prove me wrong....please!

Carrying the day

This will always be a struggle for me in all the work I do, but especially in ministry. How much of what I do for Him is "me" doing it in my strength and how much of this whole thing is Him and His strength? I mean the obvious things are easy: When I preach the Word or I comfort those in need of it I know that has got to be Him. These are things that He commands me to do and when I do them I acknowledge His Lordship in my life and live in His strength. But what of the motive for doing these things? How much of what I do is actually motivated purely out of love for Him? How much of it is in my strength and born out of a sense of obligation or hope of future reward? If those are the motives than I can be assured that the work I do is in my strength even if I preach the Word. Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!

Synergy Client/Server

OK, at the risk of turning this into a tech blog more and more I just had to write about the Synergy Client/Server installation that I just set up. Synergy is a program that directs the keyboard and mouse input from a server to a client. I set up the Synergy server to be my main desktop (Windows XP) and the client is my laptop (Ubuntu 7.0.4). So, once the server and the client are started and connected, I tap the left edge of my server monitor twice and the input for the mouse and keyboard is transferred to the client. If I tap the right edge of the client twice, the mouse and keyboard input is now directed to the server. Pretty nifty. Now for the cooler part. I can copy or cut content from the client or server and paste it in the other. I can see some really useful things coming of that. I am often at web pages or in applications where the content is germane to what I am working on in another application. This way I can look at the content and efficiently modify what I am editing with

Ever the tinkerer

OK, so I found out there is a program that I could download to construct personalized treadmill routines on the new treadmill I just inherited. It is called i2Workout and it has a sound(!) interface with the new treadmill. I thought that was pretty novel. In other words, if I wanted a program that would interact with a piece of exercise equipment I would not have thought to use sound. So, what I do is hook up the computer to the treadmill via the headphone jack, press start on i2Workout and I have my routine. But then I thought that it was too much of a pain to bring the computer down to the basement every time just to get my customized routine. So, I downloaded Audacity from Sourceforge and, as I type this, I am recording the sounds that come out of the computer speakers to control the treadmill to an mp3 file. Now I can use a cheapo mp3 player to play the sounds that control the treadmill. In order to export the sound file as an mp3 I needed to download and decompress the compiled

A new treadmill

We inherited a new treadmill from my parents and it is so much nicer than the one that I sold a couple of weeks ago. It seems more solid and has some nice walking/running programs on it that go from Easy to Hard. There are two of each with increasing difficulty. After having taken a week off I started out on the hardest "medium" setting just to see what would happen. Well, that was a bit of a joke. The next day I went for the hardest "hard" setting. Equally a joke, but a little less so. There was way too much cool down I thought. So here's my dilemma: I just want to do the hardest hard setting and call it a day. Lazy, I can here my wife say, laaaaazzzzy...Yeah, I admit it, I want to just mail it in and rest in the knowledge that I can conquer the hardest pre-programmed setting on the treadmill. But where would that get me? Not far, I'm afraid, not far.


So much of who God is and what He does is complete mystery. I cannot understand. No I know that I will know as I am known in the future, but I have no grand delusion that I will have the ability to scratch even the surface of the knowledge of God. I am fully expecting there to be some "disappointment" (if there is such a thing in heaven) at what I am able to comprehend. Those who think that there is going to be a time when it will all make sense to them are delusional. That having been said, I think there have been some times in my life where things have fallen into place, and so much so that I remember those times vividly. When the purpose of the Lord's Supper or Communion was finally communicated to me in a way that I could understand...that was a fantastic Sunday. Also when I realized that God communicates to us primarily through the Scriptures and not through vague feelings or fortuitous circumstances...that unlocked a door for me in a real and personal way. There

Enamored with my son

It was a while ago, but I remember, one night, rocking my oldest son to sleep (yes, I didn't know any better - it was our first) singing This is My Father's World and then gently placing him in his crib. I remember sitting there watching him drift off to wherever he went when he slept and just watching him. There was nothing in the entire world except him. God, do you watch me drift off to sleep? I don't know where I go when I do. Are there times when there is nothing in your entire creation save me?

Setting my feet upon the road

God has already set my feet on the road. What He is doing now is allowing me to learn what His splendid provision is and how I am to rest in it. There is no question that, positionally, I have all of the peace and provision I need. That is assured. Resting in that is another matter entirely. That is where I feel God continually setting my feet upon the road. He does while I kick and scream sometimes, but He does it. And he does it well. We have had a couple of days of cloudy wet weather lately. It seems like God has sent it at just the right time. I was attempting to dig and weed in the dry packed soil last weekend and it was not at all what I considered fun. The weeds rejoiced in that I left more of their roots behind than I should have. Through the rain I saw God provide what the azaleas needed to send forth their buds into flowers. Well, two out of the three of them anyway. I am sure the third will blossom in due time. I have trusted Him with my sanctification and glorification; how

How preachy most of them are

It is funny to me how "preachy" most Christian blogs are. Obviously the clear and correct exposition of Scripture is very important and I am all for it. But there is something to be said about reflecting on a life and how it is lived out in light of the Scriptures. That is what, initially, drew me into the faith. I saw and heard people that had a vital relationship with Christ and how deeply that relationship affected them. I did not have that at the time but I wanted it so desperately. God produced a longing in me for Him when I saw what He produced in others. Of course I could not articulate that at the time but that was exactly what was happening. I can clearly remember the night on the Summer retreat between my Junior and Senior years in high school when, one by one, the teachers at Cardinal Mooney sat in front of us and told stories of closeness and intimacy with God that I never knew. He set a fire in my heart that night and I was changed. I can't say that I was sav

Forgotten by all but One

I get weary, Lord I don't understand How a seed get strangled in the heart of a man While the music covers like an evening mist Like a watch still ticking on a dead man's wrist Tick away - Jim Morrison's Grave , Steve Taylor So we go inside and we gravely read the stones All those people all those lives Where are they now? With the loves and hates And passions just like mine They were born And then they lived and then they died Seems so unfair And I want to cry - Cemetery Gates , The Smiths The cemetery is full of people that are, by and large, forgotten. When I die I will be forgotten in a generation (or two if I am blessed) by the people that inhabit this land where I sojourn. No one will know, will care to find out, or will have the strength or stamina to uncover what I had done while on this earth. That is all but One. Meticulously He records the good and evil that I continue in to this day. And, when this mortal is clothed with immortality, I will rise to meet Him. M

The youngest

In recent days my youngest son (almost 4 years old) gets "tired of walking" and wants me to carry him everywhere. He isn't light, but he isn't too heavy to hold for a while. Well, when I got him up from his nap yesterday he asked me to carry him downstairs. I had a few things to do upstairs before I was planning on going down so he waited, semi-patiently, to be carried down the stairs. As we were going down the stairs he touched the ceiling over the staircase. "Look what I can do!" he proudly exclaimed. "You're nice and tall when I carry you." I said. What a great picture of my life with my God. The ceilings I am able to touch are only by His grace as He carries me along. Even when He is carrying me down stairs that I think I can negotiate on my own.

Life's what I make it

Baby, life's what you make it Celebrate it Anticipate it Yesterday's faded Nothing can change it Baby, life's what you make it - Life's What You Make It , Talk Talk It's all there. All of it. The crispness of the air as I stepped out of the door this morning, the smell of the fresh cut grass, the hazy view of the downtown skyline, the man painting the newly installed suspension was all there this morning. The half-dead bushes and the stick that snapped under my foot when I stepped on it, my son's wet hair combed into his perfect part (that won't last through lunch today), the crow I thought I heard when I was about to exit my car this was all there today. The glance I gave the back deck to see if it had rained overnight, the dry packed soil that is in need of grass seed, the pachysandra that is growing so high that it is overtaking the tree stumps in our front yard, the fact that I spelled pachysandra right the first time, the click

Azalea starting to bloom

We have three azaleas in our front garden and are expecting to add a few more this Spring. We planted one last year and I tried to take very good care of it through the Summer and Fall last year. It has gorgeous pink and white flowers and I was interested in what would happen to it come this Spring. During our brief vacation it got a little dry and I know the plants did not received much water. That is bad for azaleas and especially the ones on the left hand side of our garden as they have a tendency to get a little too much sun for my taste. Well, my wife pointed out this morning that the azalea we planted last year is full of buds. I am looking forward to the flowers in a big way. The largest of the three is just about ready to open its deep red flowers and the smallest one has a few buds as well. That brings me a great deal of satisfaction and more than a little confidence that our planned plantings for this year will succeed. It also, I think, puts me in touch with the satisfaction

What a difference a day makes

This is the sound of your rooftop coming down it's time to meet the maker this is the sound of the floorboards caving in this is the knock of the undertaker - Murder in the Big House, Chagall Guevara I thought I was going to die yesterday on the treadmill. You would think with all the walking I had done at Disney and even the return to exercise that I had made on Monday that I would be all right. Nope. I was sure I was going to meet my Maker. This morning was a different story thank God and I feel pretty good for not having my morning coffee yet. I was walking down the main hall at our church's building last night before Champions club and one of the pastors remarked at how much weight I had lost to my older brother of all people. That was my motivation for getting on the treadmill this morning. I do not want to go back to the way I was. Not ever again. I do not want to be one of those people that lost a bunch of weight and then gained it all back. If anything I want to be mor

Holy discontent

The one constant in my life is change. I change every day and that change is either for the good or for the worse. The trick for me is to make sure I am taking many more steps forward than backward. I want to be a better husband, dad, friend, employee - all of it. It just so happens that drawing near to God is just the way to do this. Seeking the Kingdom brings about all of this good change in my life. The Immutable One also works His good will into my life so I am not alone in this journey of change. I think this will be the topic of my council time with the Champions this week. Powered by ScribeFire .

Back from vacation

I am back after spending a week down in Florida (mostly at Disney World) with my wife, boys, sister, brother-in-law, and their children. It was hotter and drier than I thought it was going to be but well worth doing. We visited some new attractions at Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, and the Animal Kingdom and the boys were super good even when they skipped their naps - which was every day but one. On the way home I sat next to a very talkative lady and took an opportunity to talk to her about God and faith. She goes to the church that is pastored by R.C. Sproul so she was well with it from that angle. I do not know if she was saved or not, but she was very articulate about spiritual things. I am thrilled that things worked out as well as they did and the trip to and from was, by and large, very smooth. Thanks, God, for the good gifts you showered on me and my family.