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Showing posts from January, 2015

double down dog

ummm......really? is anyone else ever embarrassed to be a part of this culture, or is it just me? i'm just imagining trying to explain this to Marley, our little girl we pray for and support in hondoras. i was in honduras.  i remember meeting Maria, who got up at 4 in the morning to start making little flour tortillas in her 2-room "house" so that she can sell them on the street for a cent or two a piece. what would Maria say if i showed her this advertisement? what is wrong with us? not that i'm beyond this, believe me.  i can binge with the best of them, and my excessive personality has put me in situations that i'm sure i would be quite ashamed of in my more "balanced" moments. but at a moment like this, when i see the whole world and think of all of God's children, i wonder about the injustice of my excessive comfort, and what i can do about it.  i'm not trying to be preachy here, or tell you not to enjoy your double extreme bacon

jackson's tenth birthday

wait...what?   ten?   seriously?  i feel like i just wrote these words .  turns out that was five years ago.   half his life  ago.  how the flippin' flip did that happen? however the wide and wild world of science and time want to explain it away, the truth is that it happened.  somehow, our oldest son has been beating out his own heartbeat in this crazy world for ten full years.  the last week and a half have been more or less dedicated to celebrating the insane reality of that with grandparents and cakes and presents and special meals and phone calls from singing aunts, uncles and cousins, just to name some of the festivities.  it's been fun. and it's all been for jack.  our budding little artist, who loves sketching so much that he wanted his mother to make him a sketchbook birthday cake, which she artfully obliged, as you can see below. i love birthdays for lots of reasons, but primary among them is that they give you the chance to pause the relentless racin

the awesome around us

in an article entitled " almighty God in the age of exaggeration ," which was written by Megan Hill and appeared in the november 2014 edition of 'christianity today,' this quote is expressed and defended: "if everything is awesome, then nothing is." the defense offered is that only God is truly awesome (eliciting terrible awe) and therefore the word (as well as other adjectives, punctuation marks and emoticons) ought to be reserved for the God who alone is holy. this, in my humble opinion, is bologna. old, slimy, slightly sour bologna. "say to God, 'how awesome are your             works !'" - psalm 66:3 the truth is, the poet recognizes that it is not merely the self or substance of God which may elicit a holy sense of awe (or even righteous fear, as isaiah could attest to), but also the works of God; that is, the things that God has done and is doing. like what?  what could the psalmist possibly be talking about?  well

my happy mistake

it's the middle of january.  red and green have been packed away in boxes and replaced by january white or even the pink hearts of saint valentine.  just this weekend we finished the epic efforts required to put away the christmas decorations (i'm thinking of hiring a moving company to do this next year...there are that many  boxes), but i had previously de-christmased my office back at the end of december, getting ready for the new year.  i have several nativity scenes which get placed around my office during december, so i wrapped up all the wise men in white tissue paper, and made sure the sheep were properly packed away, joining joseph, mary, and the tiny newborn Jesus and the rest of the ensemble in a cardboard and newspaper hibernation, until next year. at least that was the plan. but a couple of days ago, as i was doing office-ish things in my office, i noticed something that i had missed.  peering out at me from under the light of my lamp were the holy plastic pa

suitable shelves

there are a few things i'm not that bad at doing.  i can beat box.  i can talk steelers football.  i can tell a pretty tall tale.  see, i've got skills.  and i didn't even mention that i can eat a whole box of cinnamon toast crunch in one sitting.  i've got mad skills.  but carpentry isn't one of them.   which is why i'm fairly happy that i was able to build these shelves for jackson's room without a)losing a digit or b)destroying a load-bearing wall.  i had to cut and sand and build and pre-treat and paint and hang them, which is a considerable amount of verbs with which i prefer to remain unfamiliar.  however, i did it, and while they aren't perfect or even very good, i daresay that they are approaching the 'suitable' range, which is a major win for this beatboxing, cinnamon toast crunch-eating, tall tale-telling steelers fan.  

my new toy

i love getting toys for Christmas.  here is a lego vw bus i got which i had a blast building, and will now display in my office.  the doors open, it has an awesome looking engine (in the back of course), an accelerator, brake pedal and gear shift, plus great living accommodations with a sink, chairs, bed, table, drawers, a mirror, and more.  it even has the center section in the roof that lifts up for ventilation, and a roof rack. i love getting books and music, and even a shirt or two for Christmas, but nothing beats getting a toy.  makes you feel like a kid again, and makes it much easier to remember to have that childlike joy and wonder, not just at Christmas, but all the time.  Jesus said something about that being the best way to enter the kingdom of heaven. maybe because he knew that when we let down our pretenses and our defenses enough to play and dream and enjoy  this incredible world, we will truly begin to experience it the way it was created to be experienced.  with ho

for life.

yeah, they lost.  it happens.  two teams play; one has to win and one has to lose.  that's just the way it goes.  i could choose to mope and complain and be a complete grouch about it, or i can choose to celebrate what i love about athletics, competition, football, and the pittsburgh steelers.  i choose the latter. it was a great season, however up and down.  it was a crazy roller coaster ride, with more thrills than chills, and i, for one, am happy to have ridden it. it was interesting to have an nfl game late on saturday night.  i am normally in bed by around 10pm on saturday nights, with plenty to think about as i prepare to lead worship the next morning.  but this weekend i tired to have every t crossed and i dotted before the 8:15pm kickoff.  as soon as the final whistle blew, and the season came to an end, i was already mentally preparing for worship in the morning, and by the time sunday morning came around, and i was about the work of proclaiming Good News into the d