Showing posts from February, 2008

From the "It's not so strange...really" department

Today I received an email note from Sparkle Gunther.

The snowman

Not last night, but the night before (it takes me a while, OK?) the whole family went out to take care of the snow. The boys pretty much got their sleds out and went down the hill that is our front yard while my wife and I shoveled the driveway. With her help it did not take long so we had some goof around time. She thought it would be good to build a snowman (our first one in a while) and I agreed. The boys were pumped. I pretty much ad to roll the snow into the three distinct pieces that all good snowmen are made of. It was a bit tricky, but what I found I needed to do was pack the snow around the ball until I could get it big enough that it would largely pack itself. So, up went the body and the head and the boys and my wife decorated him with a snowman kit that was given to us a while back by friends of ours. I had to put two nails into his hat because the wind was picking up and we did not want to go looking for the hat when it blew off his head. When we got in and the boys were i


My wife knows me better than anyone else on the planet. Every day of my life, it seems, I am subtly deceiving everyone I come into contact with. They have no idea who I am. She does. She has seen my dust and my dross and has also seen that which will survive the fire of His judgment and be presented back to Him as the fruit of His labor in me. Every once and a while when I am quiet she will ask me "What are you thinking?" As well as she knows me she needs me to let her into my wordlessness to better her understanding. That's no deficiency for she pursues knowledge about me out of her love for me. Yet there is One who knows my frame without questions or words. When I close my eyes to pray or meditate He has already considered it, formed it, and calls to my consciousness His guidance of it. My longing (that I can't even articulate at times) to be fully known and fully understood will be fulfilled when I am allowed to perceive this deep and perfect contemplation. What bl

A slight comment that left its mark

I can't remember when it was exactly said, but there was a leader that was part of the college ministry that I was a member of that said "I hope you don't sin every day." I am absolutely sure that he does not remember saying it and I am quite sure that I was one of the few in the room, if not the only one in the room, that heard it. My spirit fell and I was grossly discouraged over it because, indeed, I did sin every day. In fact there were some days where it felt like all I did was sin...and sin...and sin. I was sure that there was something wrong with me because of this. He seemed to have it all together and was very sure that sinning every day was a aberration and a sign that one was not regenerate. At least that is what I heard in his comment slight as it was. I have matured since then and still find that sin that my pride, self-reliance, selfishness, insensitivity, lust...all of it is rearing its head every day. Every hour. Sometimes every minute. Lord, if you cr

Fire and its effect

More than anything I'd like to see Better brighter days for you, for you and me Now that you're on fire, your voice is like the wind Now that you're on fire, let life begin again Now that you're on fire, a new day has begun Now that you're on fire, you are like the sun - Now That You're on Fire, MXPX Maybe this is obvious, but I have been pondering it lately. The song "Now That You're on Fire" from MXPX is a reference to the new life that we can have in Christ when we acknowledge our need for him as forgiver and accept his leadership in our lives. More than the individual changes this brings there are brighter days for the people that I am in contact with. There are brighter days for my wife, sons, family, friends, co-workers...all of them feel the effects of the fire that God Himself has kindled in my heart. God wants to set them on fire as well, through me and the work that He has done in my life. If there are not brighter days for those around

When will it end?

Anticipating the grand return Crying out for the page to turn - All Creation Sings, AD "All Creation Sings" is one of my favorite songs from the group Kerry Livgren was a part of after he left Kansas. My absolute favorites are "Lead Me to Reason" and "Beyond the Pale" but all of ADs songs are fine in their own right. All Creation Sings speaks of the groaning of creation and the fixation on the anticipation of Christ's return and for a new chapter to be opened in the history of the world. The events of last night made made me even more keen to ponder this and to groan right along with the creation. There was the announcement of an engagement and planned marriage this Summer. There was also insensitivity and hurt over some things that I had done. All of it reminds me that there is redemption for the filth that invades my life and that there is a bride waiting patiently for her groom. And when He comes to claim her the minor key that is the rushing wind

The last nonsense post for a while some hope

Or the post could be titled "Google is my friend". The other day I was thinking how funny it would be to do a take old the old show "Soul Train" by changing it to "Seoul Train". Well, searching for Seoul Train in Google I came up with this: Plot Summary for Seoul Train (2004) With its riveting footage of a secretive "underground railroad," SEOUL TRAIN is the gripping documentary exposé into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland and China. SEOUL TRAIN also delves into the complex geopolitics behind this growing and potentially explosive humanitarian crisis. I have been accused of being insensitive in the past and often am, but even I am going to show the restraint necessary to leave this one alone.

Some things I learned over the weekend

Just assorted things I learned: My Husky Air Scout air compressor is plenty powerful enough to run a brad or finish nailer. I literally took me 10 minutes to nail the baseboards to the wall with the nailer. Caulk is messy to work with and it is much easier to wipe up with a handi wipe or paper towel than with a sponge. My zig zag flag that I made looks like "monster teeth". An invading army that is taunted by people holed up in a castle with the words "We have a castle, you do not have a castle" in a fake German accent will send the invading army into fits of rage. Elmer's Wood Filler is nicer to work with and easier to clean up than caulk. It is also much more expensive and requires painting after it is applied. I need the wood filler to fill the larger gaps between the moulding and uneven walls in the dining room. Then I will caulk over the wood filler in hopes of not having to paint. The breaker marked "dining room" does not turn power off to the sw

I want to live on a planet where this is true

“The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Acceptance of wrapping the head of your toothbrush in fine grit sandpaper is based on its finding that the practice is effective in helping to prevent and reduce tooth decay, when used as directed.”

There's just something funny

I don't know what it is but there is something that is funny about the name "Klaus". I can't explain it. Kind of like when someone says "chocolate thunder" and I mention that was my nickname in high school.

An interesting dilemma

A week ago at the Champions club that I am now the director for (3rd through 6th grade boys and girls) we had a purse stolen. Last night we talked about stealing and said that the purse could be returned no questions asked by whomever took it. Well, we located the purse and found out who the two girls were who stole it. We also found out that the contents of the purse are gone and will probably not accompany the purse when it is returned. Because we only have dribs and drabs of what happened we can't come to any definitive conclusions about what actually went down. I am 99% sure that the girls that I confronted about the crime are more involved than they are admitting, but I cannot be sure. Therefore any conclusions I draw in the matter are judgments - albeit good ones I think. So where does that leave me? Part of me is disappointed that we have to deal with something like this in a church setting...and part of me is thrilled. The fact that I would be disappointed is obvious, but t

Bible Jeopardy

Last night we had our Bible Jeopardy night at the Champions club and things went very well. We had five teams with about 8 or 9 Champs each. Each team chose a captain and two clubbers to participate in the two separate individual rounds. We also had a third round which was a team round where the whole team was in on picking the category, amount, and coming up with the answer. I really liked the team round the best and I think we will be doing that again. The Bible Jeopardy game was constructed using this program and coming up with categories and answers which can be downloaded here: Round One Questions Round Two Questions Round Three Questions (If you use these questions make sure you use the .NET version of the program in the link above - it comes with the standard distribution) The Champs had to answer the questions rather than provide the question to the answer like traditional Jeopardy because that is just less confusing. The only thing I need to do is find a way to electronically

The Laundromat

Our dryer gave up the ghost yesterday after over 15 years of dutiful service in three different homes. Of course it was laundry day and we needed to dry a couple of loads of laundry. Off I went through the snow to the laundromat with the loads for a spin in the high-capacity dryer. Now, most people wouldn't consider this much of an event and certainly not fodder for a blog entry but it was unusual enough for me that I am writing about it. I remember the days (especially in Albany) where a trip to the laundromat was the only way anything would get clean. Being the novice laundry person that I was I just shoved everything into a high-capacity washer, set it for a cold wash, and then let it go. It was cheaper than doing it the "real way" and I had time to sit around. Of course then I had to take up a bunch of dryers, but it was less work. Coming home I would remark to my mom how much cleaner my clothes looked after doing the laundry in her washer and dryer. She thought it wa

The dining room

A couple of weekends ago my wife suggested that we paint the dining room. It was in need of a fresh coat of paint so we decided to go for it. We had to paint the ceiling and our hopes of saving the apple border by painting around it were dashed (by me) so that had to go as well. We decided to do a two color thing where the bottom color was a deep cranberry (that required three coats) and the top was a cream color that looked really good when paired with the cranberry. Then we decided that the chandelier had to go (it truly had to go) and that we needed new baseboards and a chair rail. I had only cut a few baseboards in my life so I set out to do the best I could with them. The hard part was, of course, mitering the inside corners with the typical 45 degree cut on either side. We have four corners so we needed eight cuts. They turned out a little better than I thought they would but we are going to have to put some wood putty in (I love wood putty) so that I can fill in a few small gaps

A piece of cake

There is a piece of cake sitting in the kitchen free for the taking. Do I need a piece of cake? No. Do I want a piece of cake? Yes. There is still a piece of cake sitting in the kitchen. I hope someone eats it soon. Powered by ScribeFire .

Yeah, I miss it

When I tell people that I used to be a social worker and what I do now for a living people usually ask me if I miss it. The answer is yes. I miss it a great deal. I was the Executive Director of a small organization (3 part-time employees not including myself) called Congregations in Ministry with the Elderly ( here is my first website ever ) and it was a fantastic experience. With all of the struggles that it entailed: the grant writing, volunteer recruiting, training, supervising...I wouldn't have traded any of it for the world. It was my first real job fresh out of my Masters program in social work at SUNY Albany and I got to cut my teeth on some real-world problems. We were even the United Way volunteer agency of the year in 1996. Woot woot! Am I happier now than back then? I think so because the job that I am doing now has allowed my wife to be a stay at home mom and allowed my children to get a solid Christian education. But, if I could get paid what I do right now and go bac - Super Tuesday

I think the smartest thing I ever heard anyone say about politics is that it is a "vehicle for change." That simple statement unlocked a whole new way of thinking for me and allowed me the opportunity to view it in a light I had never seen before. So, on to the events of last night. I don't delve into politics much at all on here but I did watch the results of the Super Tuesday caucuses and primaries with great interest last night. I am conflicted on many fronts hence this post. On the one hand I want to see anyone but Sen. Hillary Clinton nominated on the Democratic side just so that we are not going to have another Clinton in the White House. Ever. On the other hand it seems like Sen. Obama is more on the liberal side of things than even she is so I am not sure he is such a great alternative. On the Republican side of the house I am more inclined to support Romney and Huckabee because they are more conservative than Sen. McCain and they are former governors which means


But here inside this prison cell I keep remembering My parole officer Was the purtiest thing And I still know your number by heart Even though you no longer play a part Well I don't know if it's love or if I'm smart But I still know your number by heart - I Still Know Your Number By Heart, Chagall Guevara I may try this more and more. I scored three rare songs by Chagall Guevara (Tole O' The Twister, Treasure of the Broken Land, and I Still Know Your Number By Heart) and I played them over and over on my way home from work and on my way back in. The lyrics above from ISKYNBH concern a prisoner that falls in love with his parole officer. He is so delusional that the efforts she made to just do her job were misconstrued and taken by said prisoner to be reciprocal affection. It's a great country song with some nice Dave Perkins guitar. But it disturbs me too. What delusions do I hold onto? Are they concerning my rugged good looks and infectious personality (the women

It's not out there

There is a lot in this particular post that borrows from quite a few others that I have written and this " mashup " may not be as articulately stated as it needs to be, but I'll give it a go anyway. I spend entirely too much time focusing on what is out there and the impact that it might have on my life. For example, it would be great if there wasn't a bunch of junk on TV. Moaning and groaning about the fact that people who do not give a rip about God act like people who do not give a rip about God is so much wasted time and energy. It is time to move on from here. I need to spend more time focusing on me and the affections that I have. I am attracted to worldly and fleshly things and have a tendency towards sowing to the flesh rather than to the Spirit. I need to look for ways to sow to the Spirit. When I do that my affections will change and when presented with the garbage on TV (broccoli) and preparing for a ministry opportunity (Hostess apple fruit pie) I will cho

The Hudson River

My wife thinks I am a little daffy when I say that I want to travel every mile of the New York State Thruway. I don't know if it is a satisfaction thing or something that I feel I need to accomplish. There is just something about places that has always been with me. Looking at maps growing up and learning about places lit a fire in me to want to see them. Whether it is something as ordinary as the Hudson River or as "exotic" as the Adriatic Sea I have always been drawn to explore and do. It gave me such great joy to see the Hudson River when I went to school in Albany or turn towards San Francisco on the 101. To have "been there" and "seen that" holds a great attraction for me - it is hard to explain. So, one of these days, I am going to start at exit 61 and work my way East, then South to exit 1. I will cost me $20.26 (because I have an E-ZPass) but the 495 miles I will have traveled will be quite a memory and, I'm sure, solidify this place fixati