Showing posts from October, 2008

Closing my eyes today...

At one point I closed my eyes as I listened to the Forum album from one of my favorite bands (Undercover)... I could feel myself driving the old 1981 brown Chevy Impala station wagon down the Lake Ontario parkway in the middle of the Summer. I sensed the smells and the heat as I rode along that stretch of road. The only thing that I wasn't in touch with was whether I was 18 again or if I was as old as I am now. My age is almost a non-issue as those memories wash over me as they are absolutely timeless now. I need to resist the urge to romanticize them though. It wasn't all good times, but they were full of youth - full of the outlook, insecurities, tempestuousness, fear, and frivolity of youth.

Climate control

I spend most of my time in an environment that is climate controlled. That is not so surprising. What is surprising to me, or something that piqued my curiosity, is the feelings I have toward different types of climate control. Stepping from a cold environment into an artificially warm one (the current state of things) I feel a sense of comfort and security. Stepping from a hot environment into an artificially cool one offers me a sense of relief but nothing that I could characterize as comfort or security. I wonder why that is the case. Why wouldn't the climate control offered to moderate the extreme outside temperatures evoke the same feelings from me? I can say that I feel more satisfied and secure in shade than I do in an air-conditioned home or building. Maybe I need to be exposed to more extreme heat - as extreme as the cold gets in this neck of the woods - in order for me to feel the same about air conditioning than I do heat. Or maybe I am just as in touch with my emotions

The best of all possible creations

There is nothing in the Bible (that I am aware of) to suggest that God created the best of all possible creations even before the fall. It is not a stretch to assume that we, currently, do not live in the best of all possible creations now because the narrative in Genesis 1 and 2 points to a better one. But what of His creation before Genesis 3? Will the best of all possible creations be achieved when he brings about the new heaven and the new earth? Or will He reserve creative acts that will be engaged in after this cosmos has been remade? Or will He simply be done creating? I can't see this happening because, for some reason, He seems to have a drive to create and re-create. Just like I do. These questions popped into my head yesterday. It seems to me that I need to find my rest, more and more, in questions rather than answers. Is it intellectual laziness that finds me resting there or extreme faith? I don't even want to answer that.

Vivid dreams

I have felt very well-rested the past couple of days which is quite unusual for me. I have obviously had some very sound sleep and am thankful for it. What makes this even more unusual is the fact that I have had some very vivid dreams - so vivid in fact that I have had a hard time shaking them and their content has been encroaching into my consciousness numerous times throughout the past couple of days. The content isn't anything that strange or unusual and that is probably one of the reasons why they are so hard to shake or separate from "reality." Normally I have had vivid dreams when I had eaten anything past 7:00 p.m. or so. That was usually the tipping point of when I would be graced with some intense dreaming that would take me to sometimes strange places. Curiously, though, I have not had the inclination (nor the time) to "boredom eat", but the dreams still come. As they did last night. I wonder what tonight will bring.

Is anything ever optimal?

I was thinking about something being ultimately optimal (ultimate optimalbility?) in light of the realization that there will always be something that will diminish something else. I am not a pessimistic person, but I think that embracing the fact that we will never find an experience or condition on this planet, in this life, that ultimately optimal may help my perspective somewhat. I was dry-fitting some components in my mind for a CO 2 reactor for our home aquarium and thought I had come up with the optimal design. Well, the optimal design for the equipment I have anyway. I quickly realized that the tube I was looking to use is just a tad too thin to hang on its own and I would need to adhere it to the piece it needs to connect to on the power head I was planning on using. Then I thought of a few other things that would make it better...but then I realized that I just needed to make it work with what I have. So there it is. I will be making a reactor that will be better than the di

Pointing to the Bible

Maybe I am just myopic but it seems to me that I don't hang around a lot of people who are unaware of what the Bible says. Most people that I am in contact with, like me, struggle with the desire to implement what the Bible says they ought to rather than figure out what the Bible says about a given topic. I have recently been in the opposite situation and have found it very satisfying to have the opportunity to provide certain people with the Biblical approach to various situations and found a great deal of satisfaction in doing that. The Biblical knowledge that I have had opportunity share go beyond the theological implications of the nature and attributes of God and rest firmly in how to please Him. It is less of the what and more of the how. That is different for me as well because I can excuse the "what's" (I am not that smart) but have no excuse for the "how" (God has equipped me to do His will). Prayerfully I will have other opportunities to do this. I

But would she wear it?

I could see myself wearing this shirt: if my wife would wear this: We'd be quite a pair wouldn't we?

Maybe...just maybe...

Opening my self up to input or direction seems to be more difficult for me than it should. A couple of experiences, one this weekend and one just this morning, is leading me ever down the path where maybe, just maybe, someone knows a little something more than me. This weekend we had to get some slats for the bed and I thought that some nice 1x4's would do the trick. I don't recall ever seeing anything thicker than that on a bed frame so I had it in my mind that those would fit the bill. Of course my wife had it in her mind that some nice 2x4's would be better so, reluctantly, I went along with her. Well, $7 and three cuts with a circular saw later and the bed is as solid as it has ever been. She made a good call, but, hey, at least I didn't rain on her thought parade. So that's good, right? This morning the weather was less than stellar with cold temperatures, wind, and rain. We were scheduled to go on a field trip with the youngest's kindergarten class and I w

Why I am twisted/mental/[insert description here]

Many people find me and my sense of humor to be twisted or mental. Other than the fact that I enjoy the moniker I often wonder why that is. I think that growing up in a large family absolutely had something to do with it (plenty of fodder and audience) but I also think that there were some significant events or inclinations that have led to it as well. I think that my early attraction to subversive (i.e challenging the status quo) comedy - especially British comedy ala PBS - led me to think that there was nothing out there that was sacred. Nothing that could not be held up to derision. Obviously my views on this have been tempered somewhat, but there are very few things that I will not make light of - even if only in my mind. Being exposed to this type of humor also led me into different musical tastes. I would listen to anything from new wave and punk straight through to classical and new age. Again, this is not what the majority of my friends were listening to, so I would look elsewh

I don't have high blood pressure

I gave blood last weekend and found out that my blood pressure is 116/68. That is as normal as popcorn and means that I do not have hypertension. I was looking at the following list of things one would need to do to lower their blood pressure: Stop smoking Reduce weight Exercise Eat low salt foods Eat low protein foods Consume no caffeine Mild sedation Sufficient Rest Don't oversleep Well, I don't smoke so out of the remaining items I am only attracted to mild sedation. Maybe I should be thankful that I do not need to do any of the things on this list. But maybe I should ponder why I am still attracted to mild sedation.


Whether I care to admit it or not there are things that I am not very good at. I think my wife is more in tune with her strengths and limitations than I am because she is constantly filtering out opportunities that come her way in light of what she is able to do well. I, on the other hand, need some encouragement to make sure that I am not biting off something that I will not have the ability to chew. Part of that problem stems from me not liking to say "No" to anyone or anything that is urgent. I always sacrifice the important things (or so it seems) and I am growing in this area which is a nice way of saying I still screw things up. There was an incident that happened today that reminded me that I need to make sure I am well-equipped to handle things if the spiral into areas that I am not adept at handling/ This "well-equippedness" may entail calling other people alongside me to compliment my gifts and abilities or it may entail a re-tooling of what I thought I wo

Random thoughts

Some thoughts are so random that there is no way they could occupy an entire blog post. Here they are: I love the automated package kiosk at the post office. It is amazing how much better I feel after I exercise. During my exercising I feel like I am going to die. There is a marked difference in the way I feel (for the better) while exercising when I jog two days in a row compared to jogging after a break of a week and a half. I saw a balding man in a blue blazer, smoking a cigarette and holding a banana the other day. I thought it was a piece of performance art until he entered the same building I was going into. The reason why I would want to have three hands has nothing to do with opening the door while my other hands are full. I would want to use it to join the circus. You should hear how the initial bass line in "All Things New" by Steven Curtis Chapman rattles the speakers in my car. Well, that's all I have for now. We'll see if I can get a regular cadence of no

No big deal

Lately we have had to introduce the saying "No big deal" into my son's second-grade teacher's lexicon to deal with some issues that she was having with our oldest boy. He gets frustrated easily and is, surprisingly, overwhelmed by what seems like some very minor things. We have to reassure him that it is "no big deal" when this happens and it seems to give him a shot of confidence, or peace, or whatever. I know where he got this tendency to obsess over trivialities: me. This morning I noticed some emerging nastiness that I need to take care of in my son's fish tank. I was obsessing about it when I got into the car this morning to head out to work and I found myself chuckling a "no big deal" to my heart. It really isn't an awful thing that I need to deal with and I really need to just chill out and take it easy...gather all of the information I can and try this and that to see if I can make progress at it. This too shall pass, one way or ano

Constant beginnings and endings

There is so much in my life that is ending and beginning. I have to wonder which one, the beginning or the ending, I pay more attention to. I do know that if the situation is unpalatable to me I relish the ending much more than the beginning...and vice versa. I wonder if I need to focus on the exact opposite in the situations where I find myself longing for a beginning or an ending. I would think that if my flesh yearns for something that it does not have, I ought to be looking to the exact opposite to sow to the spirit. Is it that easy? At least right now I think so. But I could be wrong. I hope that I am conscious enough to catch my fleshly yearnings to test this and see if I am correct.

Thinking about a few things

First the nonsensical one: Can a list have only one item? Or is that just a statement or inquiry? Now something more substantial: With the gas prices falling a little bit every day (we're down to $3.59 a gallon from about $4.15 not that long ago) I am concerned that fuel economy will now not be the hot topic it was even 6 months ago. I am not a tree-hugging greenie, but I think that fuel economy and decreasing our reliance on oil is something that will increase our national security, drive our foreign policy in a new direction, and become a key differentiator for our economy over emerging markets like China and India. I think it is an effort that needs to be redoubled and something that we should have embraced after the first oil embargo in the 1970's. This is not something that I think we need to do to reverse the warming of the planet, but something that will serve us and the planet well. I think it is a moral issue as well. I have to think that pursuing clearner energy sourc

Gardening at night

There is an old R.E.M. song called "Gardening at Night" that has nothing to do with this post. In my mind when I I think of gardening at night it is usually in reference to an activity that is being engaged in at a time that is out of place. Like mopping the kitchen floor at 10:00 at night or browning ground beef at 3:00 in the morning. I am beginning to believe that in my life, as full as it is, there is no such thing as an activity that is "out of place" at any time of day or night. I know that there is a rhythm that my body has and that I violate that rhythm at my own peril, but I am beginning to find that I need the beat of a different drum...or a different instrument altogether...more and more. It is almost like I have three lives - the one before the boys get up, the one at work, and the one after they go to bed. I am trying with all my might to not stretch it into 4 lives (after my wife goes to bed). I need to manage the lives I have better so that does not h

When ministry "begins"

Driving into work today I was thinking about when ministry ends (if it ever ends) and "just life" begins. I then wondered if I can draw that line clearly.Is ministry simply when I am preparing and delivering a sermon or a Bible lesson or can it be sitting with my wife watching Dancing with the Stars fully embracing my God-given role as husband. Is it reading Bible stories to my boys, or can it encompass a game of Trouble or Go Fish? Quite obviously there are times, in a traditional ministry role, when I am not ministering. I do too much in the flesh and know that there are things that I have done "for the Lord" that were really done "for myself" or "for someone else". But, when I leave the confines of the church building or am engaged in something other than Biblical instruction (i.e. "this is what the Bible says...") am I not ministering? Can "Biblical instruction" be defined as modeling God-given roles (like Dad, Husband, an