Showing posts from July, 2008

A picture of my eye


An almighty struggle and nothing in particular

This morning it was an almighty struggle to get out and run. I bought some new running shoes a couple of nights ago and, of course, the novelty of those wore off when I ran on Tuesday. They are so much more comfortable to run in than the ones they replaced and I like them a great deal. But struggle I did this morning, but I did go out and do my fun run so that was good. The "fishless cycling" of the aquarium is almost complete after about 2.5 weeks. My ammonia readings are at 0 ppm and the nitrites are between 1.0 and 0.5 ppm so that is good progress too. I am putting a little ammonia in every day to keep the bacteria happy and well-fed. I am going to be tossing some nice lower-light plants in there soon (anacharis, anubias, java fern) and then we'll invite the fish into their new home. I need to rebuild the caves that were knocked down and look for a better place for the submerged pirate ship the boys picked out. My next big project is to finished stripping the baseboard

My beloved

Take good care Take good care of my beloved's time Innocence becomes her anyway I would gladly keep her through the winter if I could Listen slowly to her lovely eyes - The Moon and the Blue Around, Undercover If you've ever seen her eyes you would know what I have known in these times. You would see the passion that lies behind them for her God, me,and her children. You would keep her through the winter for in the face of the coldest dryness her eyes would light a splendid fire. The bluest flame of character, devotion, and purity. Gladly innocence fills her for hers is a genuine fidelity and piety. She is all that I ever wanted which speaks nothing of the need that she has met by her unsurpassed beauty. When she turns I pray that it is toward me - ever more towards me - for her presence is the sweetest perfume, her gaiety my only drink, and her life both my breath and warmth. All of this she is to me and more. No one on earth is her equal.

Enjoying it

Gardening is a lot of work. Maintaining the garden can be an all-encompassing activity that never is exactly what I want it to be. Yesterday evening I wanted to look at the blooms and blossoms that are presenting themselves (we have much more color in the Summer from our perennials than we do in the Spring) and mightily try to ignore the weeds that have been mocking me given the recent rain. I only pulled a few of them up as I looked at the absolutely huge hydrangea bloom in the side garden. I noticed that the Solomon's Seal is holding its own just fine amidst the hosta and that the variegated hosta in flowering more whitish purple than the pure white I fancied it to be. The forsythia is stubbornly shooting more branches skyward - doesn't it know that it will get clipped for behavior like that? The clethra flowers are as fragrant as ever, but I find that I need to get my nose closer to them this year to take it in than last year. I'll have to see if that continues as I fal

More wet, mushrooms, and weeds

At the risk of turning this into a weather journal we have been humid and wet for the past two weeks and it is definitely beginning to show in our yard. I noticed that the weeds are beginning to assert themselves a bit in the left-hand corner of our front garden (by the forsythia) and that I need to get a handle on making them go away. I haven't even looked at the gutters on the back roof as I am sure the seedlings that are growing in my gutter are starting to get bark on their new trunks. I am not sure what this has done with the moss situation on the top roof and I am almost afraid to look. We also need to get rid of an ever-increasing crop of mushrooms that have found a happy home in out mulch around the play set in the backyard. It looks like mechanical removal via a shovel and some fungicide is in order soon - if it ever stops raining that is. On another note I noticed that the clethra I replanted is starting to get some new leaves on it and it looks like it has stopped dying.

The difference

There is such a marked difference between my two boys that it is hard to believe at times. Last night at the dinner table I mentioned that I would be in the hoosegow if I did something. My oldest son couldn't have cared less that there was a word that was uttered that he didn't know the meaning of. On the other hand, my youngest son immediately inquired about the definition of the word. When I told him it meant "jail" he mumbled "hoosegow" a couple of times and "jail" a couple of times almost in an effort to make the connection. I think I will ask the two of them tonight whether they remember what hoosegow means just to see if they do. Also, it would be interesting to see if the oldest retained the definition of the word that I gave to the youngest.

Excellent humility

Build the Kingdom with a cattle prod Tell the masses it's a message from God - I Manipulate, Steve Taylor How excellent it would be to receive a message from God that no one else has. How amazing it would be to have the God of the Universe single me out and convey to me a message that He wants the world to know. How zealous I would be in spreading this revelation for it would be its sole repository and expositor. It would be an incredibly satisfying experience and I would venture to guess that I would not be able to make enough of how wonderful it is. How much more excellent, rather, is the knowledge that the revelation is known and is (at least in some manner) fixed? There is but one source and more people than I care to imagine have a more intimate knowledge of it than I ever will. How humbling it is that all of the connections, applications, and even caricatures of God must be held in subjection to the Word itself. And this so much so that if I have insight into the Word that h

Faith and sight

An interesting "mini-conversation" that I had with my wife when we were driving home from a friend's house got me thinking a little bit. Of course I want to walk by sight and not by faith. Seeing is just so much more comfortable than not and it is what Thomas latched onto to overcome his doubt about Christ's resurrection. But I wonder if us "seeing" God's faithfulness, provision, love, etc. in the years that we walk with Him on this earth qualifies as sight? I know that there will always be an element of faith in anything this side of death, but I wonder if the seemingly unshakable faith that many of the senior saints have has to do with what they've seen? God was always calling the Israelites to remember and it largely had to do with great deliverances and physical signs of His provision and faithfulness...the fire and cloud that led them through the dessert, the Red Sea and its parting, the manna that they gathered every morning save the Sabbath. A

Perspectives on wet

The past two and a half days have been wet. Just wet. We had some heat and humidity last week and the heat has gone away, but the humidity has stayed and it is still very wet. Not that I am complaining as I replanted a couple of clethra that were beginning to bite the proverbial dust. I yanked them out of the ground yesterday in between showers and I think I found the problem. It looked like I barely broke the soil that came out of the pot so much so that the roots were not growing into the surrounding soil. So I beat the root ball ferociously (grrrrr...), put way too much compost in the big holes I re-dug and replanted them. Hopefully that will put an end to the nonsense that I was seeing in the form of drying out leaves. Again, hopefully, I did it in time. After I replanted the clethra the rains came again almost on cue. And it looks like it rained a bit last night as well. Summer rain is so refreshing and so welcome...unless you ask my eldest son. We bought a practically new bike fo

What has Phil Vischer been up to?

Most people who know our family know what fans we are of VeggieTales and, especially, Phil Vischer. Since Phil has found himself more loosely connected with Big Idea than he has in the past he has been very busy. The fruit of his most recent efforts has been a new Christian media platform called Jelly Telly. It is internet-based, promises to start small and expecting God to do great things with it. I believe He will. Check it out and spread the word . This absolutely is the ground floor of something that will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Taking the plunge again

Well, we purchased my son a ten-gallon aquarium for his birthday and it is currently cycling (on day 5) and I am looking at different ways to set it up before the fish arrive. I have some live hornwort (Ceratophyllum submersum) in there now and have a few strands floating around and some planted in the gravel. I think I will try to use some small suction cups to anchor the plants to the back glass instead of burying the stems. That way the plant will still be floating, but will not float all over the place like the small strands are now. I have successfully kept tanks in the past (with fancy goldfish) so this is not entirely new to me. What is new is the live plant and tropical fish aspect of it. I have found that some of the equipment that I thought I had I, in fact, do not have, but most of it is in use right now. I think I am still going to have to get a plant light bulb and a new filter (both on the cheap side) but at least the filter can wait for now. I am finding that I am more i

The Christian heavy metal experience

It my surprise some but I have an affinity for Christian heavy metal music. Some of the groups that record in this genre are quite bent on making sure the words are well-heard in their albums and tend to make the voice singing them as clear as possible. Others, well, not so much. I was listening a song by The Crucified called Mindbender and the experience was something like this: A nation of (unintelligible) (unintelligible) sheep (unintelligible) (unintelligible) (unintelligible) deceit led to believe (unintelligible) (unintelligible) (unintelligible) the (unintelligible) ears close your eyes release your mind a nation of puppets (unintelligible) (unintelligible) (unintelligible) God (unintelligible) close your eyes release your mind It gave me a headache that was quickly cured through caffeine cossumption upon my arrival at the office.

Simply put I hope

If my weekend was any example it looks like I don't need a job to stay busy. There were things that were left undone that I wanted to do and things that I hadn't planned on doing that I did. And not all that well mind you...well, according to my standards anyway. I think both me and my wife were running a million miles an hour (if only in our heads) and will be through tonight. Then we can breathe if only for a shortened time. Weekends like the one I just had impress upon me how easy it is to get busy with the trivial things in life and miss the big picture. It is so easy to miss all that is happening right before my eyes and leave it for someone else's observation. Or leave it unobserved and pining for attention. It is all too easily missed I'm afraid...all of it. The "loathsome" heat of the day, the blooming hydrangea, the little toads in the lawn, the sweet crisp cold breeze that lifts the choking, water-drenched veil, the ammonia cycle that is just beginni

Superhero geekery

I am not sure what it is but I was never drawn to individual superheros. As fine and powerful as Superman, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman are, I was more interested in them when they were part of a group. The Fantastic Four , the Justice League , or the Avengers , or even the Defenders (a non-group of sorts) were much more my style for some reason. I have not really analyzed any of this to any great extent, but I have a feeling it had to do with my orientation to cooperation (most of the time) or the fact that I never felt like I could make anything of anything on my own. It could also be due to the fact that I always fantasized ripping a single up the middle to drive in the winning run in a baseball game rather than the usual walk-off home run. At any rate, my favorite superheros were definitely the ones that were off the beaten path: Captain America, Silver Surfer, Submariner, Mr. Fantastic, and even ROM the Spaceknight. I was never into comic books whole hog like some of my friends we

The 101

We turned north heading back to San Francisco from San Jose. This is one of the places where I had longed to be...the 101! I was to be heading home soon as we thrust our way through the dizziness of the California sun. We moved quickly and even the unevenness of the pavement rang melodies in my mind. Is magic much too dim a word to describe the perfection that this moment had become? Yet, in all its glory this was far from complete. The revelry in the bliss of the moment was stricken in this awfulness: she was not by my side.

My youngest son, angels, and air guitars

My youngest son plays a mean air guitar...and he's only 5 years old. Heaven has been on the minds of our family lately with the passing of a dear friend so it wasn't anything too shocking when my youngest son asked me "Daddy, do you know what I am going to do when I get up to heaven?" I asked him what that was and he said, "I am going to rock and roll with the angels!" He then proceeded to strum his air guitar so maniacally that I thought his Fruity Cheerios were going to go flying across the table in a blur of white and rainbow. Like me my youngest likes to hear himself talk and does not mind being the center of attention. He is always asking questions (even the ones he knows the answers to) in an attempt to listen to his own voice and, I think at least subconsciously, dictate the tone and tenor of the conversation. Much like me when I play euchre and will make trump even though I have only the queen and nine of the particular suit in my hand. Maybe my off-

Death and conflict - the masterstroke

Don't be afraid Of the greetings of death - Greetings of Death, Deliverance Leave it to God to use the consequences of our fall, both conflict and death, to save, sanctify, and glorify us. I have no words to communicate my feelings concerning this. How could God redeem these and use them for His glory? That which is most hideous (death) and its foretaste (conflict) have been fully bought, to such an extent, that we can, as children of Him, not only not fear them but welcome them. We can sit with them at our table; we can drink them to the dregs; we can suck the marrow out of them and look to see our Savior revealed in all of His glory as a result. Simply put - it is awesome. God - you have truly given the masterstroke (as C.S. Lewis so poignantly put it) and all is yours. Well done, God. Well done indeed!

I know

A good friend of the family died on July 3rd and I had a chance to see him before he did. By the time I got to the hospital he had already slipped into a coma and would not be awaken again from it. As I looked at him and pondered what was happening, I couldn't help but think of the verse in Philippians (1:5-7) where we are told that God, who has started a good work in us, will be faithful to complete it. It was obvious that my friend was not dead yet so I couldn't help but wonder what that good work was. What was God producing (or perfecting) in him now as he lay dying? I can't presume to know, but I can find peace in the fact that it was something good...something that God wasn't apt to produce until then. Now that I have set my feet on this course I will have the same reassurance. Even as (or if) I lay in a coma I will have God's faithful work in me producing all manner of goodness. What will He accomplish that day...those days? What will He perfect in me? Thanks

I just noticed

I just noticed that my eyebrows are exceedingly soft. I am not sure why (I don't pay that much attention to them), but running my fingers across them now I am drawn to them. I am getting older and, for the first time in my life, the person that cut my hair actually trimmed my eyebrows. I didn't tip her more when she did it. I also plucked two long hairs from them on Saturday and buried another back in that was getting out of control. I wonder how long it will be before I will have no need to be vain about my eyebrows. I can't believe I am still typing about them. And if you made it to the end of this...well...we need to have a serious talk about you wasting your time.