Showing posts from September, 2008

Slogging it out

I get overwhelmed very easily. Last Friday I took a look at all the stuff I had to do over the weekend and into the first half of this week and was a little overwhelmed at the whole thing. I had plans of how to accomplish those tasks but got lost in the "what-ifs" and in the elements that I did not have in place to accomplish the tasks. Then there is always the ideal vs. the actual that drives me a little nuts: what I would like to do versus what I can reliably do. All of that having been said it looks like I will be good to go on accomplishing all of my responsibilities after tonight. I will be doing the taping (and maybe the editing that I have to do) tonight and the video should be accomplished by Thursday. I am ready (save a few small things) for the special ministry night that I have had on the books for Wednesday and it looks like the weather will hold for me to get some more wood cut on Sunday. Add to that the swim lessons and soccer camps, homework, and house maintena

Newscasts (this is how my brain works)

I have been tasked with writing some newscasts to introduce the "virtue of the month" for our kid's worship service called HighPoint. I got the idea to do this from a CD I was given and, hopefully, I have been able to carry it to more ridiculous extremes. What the ministry leader wanted was a newscast that used the same beginning sound of the virtue of the month. I did the first newscast live which was all right, but this next one is going to be delivered via video which I think will work much better. The virtue for this month (September) was "knowledge" and here is the content of the newscast: Good morning and welcome to HighPoint News Nicely Nestled Near Noon.  My name is Ned Noodlebaum sitting in for a nominally nonchalant Nancy Newhouse. Now, neighborhood news from Nevada:  A nationally-known, no-nonsense neurologist named Norman Newhart knew a nurse that was noticeably non-plused by her notoriously novel nostrils. Suffering from nosebleeds she notified Norm

Brand new

One things that I love about my kids is that there is so much that is brand new to them. Bible stories that are old hat to me are approached with plenty of interest and questions like "Are you kidding me?" or exclamations of the "Whoa..." variety. I remember a conversation that I had with my youngest son where he was wearing some pajamas that he had received as hand-me-downs from a neighbor and he was asking who the super heroes were on them. Spider Man (he knew)...the Incredible Hulk...Cyclops of X-Men fame, Iron Man and even Captain America were on there bringing back a flood of memories to me but a reveling in all things new to him. He was excited about his new found knowledge and rattled the super heroes off to his brother only forgetting who Captain America was. If I were to approach the sunrise, or the expressions of love my wife gives with such wonder I would be so much richer for it. Even my salvation ushered a newness into my life that I have not fully come

Obscure 1980's Christian music post

And if you tell me it's just imagination I won't believe it 'cause my heart tells me this is for real The revelry and the fascination When destiny draws near I'm standing on the last frontier This is the heartland - Heartland, AD One of the "super groups" of early Christian rock music was a band called AD. They never met widespread acceptance but they, for good reason, garnered critical acclaim. The front man for the group was Kerry Livgren who wrote two of Kansas' greatest hits: Dust in the Wind and Carry on Wayward Son. The musicians that he attracted to the AD were top-notch to say the least. I came across an mp3 to a song that I had not heard in a long time called Heartland from the album Art of the State. It has captured more of my mind share lately than any other song in my collection. I just so happens it was written by Michael Gleason who actually penned another one of my AD favorites off of this album Lead me to Reason. It is funny how I am drawn

Hurtling headlong

When it was dark outside last night at 7:30 I felt like someone had grabbed me by the collar and the britches and thrown me headlong into something that I had no desire to inhabit. I ran around around the house screaming (if only in my head) "fall back! fall back!" when my wife chuckled and simply said "Not yet." Ugh - not yet. I would have to wait a little longer for my precious daylight to inhabit my evenings. A little while longer still until I celebrate December 22, 2008 when, minute by minute, the darkness will give way to the delightful day. But what of it? Can I celebrate the darkness much like I was taught to celebrate the heat? Or is this altogether different? In the midst of my days time continues its march. Thanks be to God that it serves His purposes and His alone. It will find its fulfillment and lay down to rest when it is swallowed into eternity. Its legs must be so tired and its feet so swollen by now. Yet it still makes its way, its ever quickening

Isn't it strange? Or isn't it just like me?

Isn't it strange? Or isn't it just like me to change again. I live in a fire or isn't it just like me... The final hour. - Ban the Game, Men Without Hats Ban the Game, Men Without Hats, nor the Safety Dance has anything to do with this post, but I thought I would give some clue as to where the title of the post came from. At any rate I was thinking about Captain Slappy today. You know, the guy who, with a couple good buddies, declared today "Talk Like a Pirate Day"? I updated my Facebook status today writing that I remember Captain Slappy with fondness not even realizing that Talk Like a Pirate Day was today. For some reason, he just popped into my conciousness. It was only in my subsequent searching on the web that I found out that the holiday he invented is, indeed, today. It is absolutely amazing how the mind works. I remember a time when I was sitting in a social work class where the professor mentioned that there are life events that impact how we act or fee

Certain smells

There are certain smells that send me to different places. The smell of a gas stove will always remind me of my Grandma's house when she would cook and bake for the army of family (mostly all ours) that she would have over around the holidays. The smell of cow manure takes me back to the exit we take off of I390 to snake our way down to my Dad's home town of Wayland, NY. The smell of toast, especially burnt toast, brings me back to my childhood when my Dad would make his breakfast and always darkened his toast way too much because he liked it that way. The smell of mothballs and ammonia would bring me to the Barret's house and the fun we would have there mostly outside and in their pool. The smell of nicely aged aquarium water sends me back to the times when, as a child, I would marvel at this fishy creatures and clean their tanks at an all-to-irregular schedule. All of these smells, some pleasant and others that I could live without, remind me that I have been shaped. Than



Sweet sleep

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some chainsawing on the wood pile that my in-laws have out in Williamson, NY. It was hot, but not unbearably so, and I did end up getting a lot done. There was some reconditioning done on the saw recently and it is humming through the wood so I am very happy about that. I wasn't keen on going out yesterday because of the heat and the business of the day but there were a few things that pushed me in the right direction. The one was that I would have the opportunity to get some fruit and vegetables for my wife who has been a mad woman getting the "harvest" canned, frozen, and jammed. There was a bushel of 20 ounce apples waiting to be turned into sauce so that was a good thing to bring home. The second was that I wouldn't lose a lot of weekend time with the boys and that I would have some time to play with them in the evening when I got home. The third was that hard work satisfies me and that it brings on sweet sleep. I wonder if de

Whatever happened to...

He was just a goofy looking kid on a goofy looking bike, but he rode it up and down our street a lot. Or at least it seemed like a lot. So much, in fact, that we gave him a name. He was the Bionic Schnid. Now I just did a search on "bionic schnid" in Google and didn't get any hits so apparently the name did not stick. That isn't surprising, but it is a bit disappointing. I think that we, as kids, kind of wanted it to mark the one we were directing it at. But alas, our plans were foiled and I have lost track of whatever happened to him. Don't ask me what his real name was because I have no idea. The picture of this long-black-haired, spectacled kid on his bike (with front and rear fenders nonetheless) enjoying the Summer and riding this way and that up and down Strathmore Drive will be forver etched in my memory. And that memory will be taken to the grave I am sure unless it is carried along in the minds of my sons or whoever chooses to recall this post.

This verse sent a shiver down my spine

I was reading in Isaiah last nigh for my read-trough-the-Bible-in-a-year program (yes I'm behind, but I am catching up) when I came across this verse: Isaiah 5:25 Therefore the LORD's anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised. Isaiah paints a bleak picture of the results of the anger of the Lord, but even more striking is the final statement that "his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised." How amazing, awesome, and terrible this picture of God is. It is a glimpse of the time when He will pour out His wrath relentlessly on those who have rejected Him. There are many more sad pictures in the Bible, but I believe the one that strikes literal grief into my heart is in Lamentations 5:21-22: Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may return; renew our days as of old unless you

A tale of two days

You think I’d have it down by now Been practicing for thirty years I should have walked a thousand miles So what am I still doing here? - Chris Rice, Clumsy Yesterday was quite the interesting day. We were socked in with clouds and rain all morning and the mood in my heart (and around our house) matched the stark clouds perfectly. My wife was off to deal with an unreasonable person, the boys were semi-late for the bus, I hit all kinds of traffic on the way into the office, we were having issues with a minor home improvement project...there were all kinds of reasons to be foul - or so I thought. As if to let me know that I still need the Savior the afternoon was completely different. The burden of the unreasonable person was lifted (due, in no small part, to my wife's handling of the situation), the sun was so bright that I squinted the entire way home, the commute in the afternoon was nothing short of a pleasure, there was bacon for dinner, and we received a good report and some go

Last night

Last night I had the strangest dream I sailed away to China in a little rowboat to find ya and you said you had to get your laundry clean. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder I ate a little late last night and was dreaming that I was watching CNN. That isn't all that strange other than the fact that we do not have cable, but what made it weird was that they called New York and California for Obama in the 2008 presidential election and Texas for McCain. Of course with the election a couple of months away yet this was strange, but not altogether bold as I am sure the states will break that way come November.

This made me laugh

"Global warming doesn't kill polar bears. Sarah Palin does. With her bare hands."

Quite a production

My wife has undertaken quite a production these past couple of days and our family is better for it. We bought a lot of peaches at the farm market last week and they ripened in a hurry. In addition, my wife picked blackberries and raspberries a couple of days ago and they look great and have been taking up ample space in our refrigerator. Until yesterday. She was a flurry of activity after returning from a back-to-school breakfast with friends. She canned all of the peaches, made peach jam, and could not stop until the triple-berry jam (strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry) was complete. Today she is buying a lot of corn (I am not sure how many dozen) and she is cutting it off of the cob to freeze it. She even, only mildly, lamented that she needs to make blueberry jam (my favorite) and I am sure it is only a matter of time before she gets that done. It is easy to brag about my wife. I have never struggled with the way that she has taken care of me and our sons. That house runs like a

It's funny what I remember

Aside from the fact that this is a bone of contention between my spouse and I is the fact that I remember some pretty trivial things while recalling events and notables that are less important. The other day I was driving home from work and remembered, quite vividly, a conversation that I had with my great aunt Mary while we were either driving to her cottage on Seneca Lake or back to her home in Elmira. I asked her why she didn't open the window on her side of the car when she was driving. She mentioned to me that the reason was that her arms were too short to rest on the sill of the window and keep two hands on the wheel. She then when on to mention that my dad's arms were long enough to accomplish this feat and that is most likely why he liked to have the window open. I think that is where the conversation ended either because I was satisfied with the answer or something else was more interesting than continuing it. Looking back on it now, her answer was a little nonsensical

Life is so rich and full

How can anyone be bored? I guess I just don't understand it, but life just seems to be so rich and full right now it makes me almost burst. We had so many unique experiences over the four days I was off from work it is hard to know where to begin. Whether it was my son completely immersed in watching Mary Poppins (outside in the dark nonetheless!) or rejoicing in the eventual loosening of the tightened chain on the chainsaw and the productivity enhancement it garnered, I can't begin to convey the experience of it all. It is almost like being immersed in a relentless display of indescribable colors...there is nothing that can be conveyed to anyone that will accurately contain it all. It is all experience. My experience. And that frustrates me at times for I want people to share in my joy - not the joy that I can verbalize, but the one that is in my head; the one that is thrust from my heart. Will it always be this individual experience? Or will this, too, be swallowed in whole a