Thursday, June 29, 2006

Flashback to the Old Days

Sue and Lynn crusin'
Originally uploaded by susanlprince.
It's been kind of a downer being back home in TN. I had such a great time in Ohio that being back here feels like a letdown, just like the day after Christmas or something.

I guess right now I am feeling a bit "stuck". Being home in Ohio, made me long for the "old days", you know, those days where fun was king and responsibility was next to null. In those days I wasn't doing much thinking about the future, or how all the bills would be paid, or how decisions I was making now could effect my life or the lives of others. It is not that I was ever overly irresponsible, but I was a kid once, and sometimes I want that time back again!

I want the biggest worry of my day to be I hope Lynn's mom will let her go to the movies tonight, or I need to study for the civics exam, or when is Gram gonna make the next batch of beaten bisquits? Ahhhhhh, those were the days.

Come to think of it, those civics exams were pretty big stressors. I guess in twenty years, the things that are making me feel "stuck" today will be what I look back to as "nothing" and will long to return to again.

I wonder if Jesus ever reminisced about the "old days" and asked "Hey, Ma, remember that time you and dad took off and left me in Jerusalem, and left me alone for three days?!" or "guys, remember when that wedding celebration in Cana started to wind down and a little bit of wine jumpstarted it? Yeahhh...those were the days!" It bloggles the mind!

Monday, June 26, 2006


I have really enjoyed my vacation thus far. It is so nice to get away from work and even to just be out of my own home for awhile. I am getting some quiet and peaceful rest at my parent's house this weekend and it is nice.

You know, I've been able to see some old friends this weekend and play "catch up" and that is nice and I have really enjoyed it, but most of all I've enjoyed sitting around not doing much of anything.

My parent's have a quiet existence here in Medina, OH. There's a swing out front that is nice to sit on and sway while reading or simply watching life pass by as kids roll by on their bikes and adults are out excercising with a brisk walk. Some pet owners are walking their dogs and other's are working in their yards.

Dad likes to watch tv so I've been sitting in the living room watching some with him. I enjoyed watching the Indians play this evening and in the 7th they are leading the Cardinals 9-2, yay!

Gram spends much of her time reading and doing crosswords, just keeping her mind sharp and I am just astonished as to how she can answer all the Jeopardy question, or rather, question all the answers! She blew me away in Wheel of Fortune too tonight!

Mom plays around on the computer some, checking email and playing Suduko, and so I often meander to see what she is up to. We sit and chat for awhile and it is such a blessing.

I'm really getting some rest and it feels good. I've enjoyed my time alone during my long drive here and I'm also enjoying the calm environment of my parent's home. Not alot goes on here, and sometimes I say it is boring, but this time I have tried to embrace the inactivity and enjoy just lounging around. I can honestly say I'm happy doing that. I love my mom, dad and Gram, and I have really enjoyed just being around them.



I got to go to Swenson's! I got to go to Swenson's!

For years when I've come home to visit, getting a burger at Swenson's was something I have wanted to do. Unfortunately, Swenson's is closer to Akron and the drive is a bit out of the way. Today, however, Mom and I made our way over to Montrose, and placed an order at Swenson's.

Swenson's, is an old-fashioned drive-in. When you pull in and park, it is necessary to turn on your headlights to let the carhop know you need attention; to get a menu, to place an order or to ask for more ketchup. The carhops literally run to service their customers so the place is abuzz with carhops dashing to and from cars and shouting orders into the kitchen. When they come out with your food, a tray is hooked on to a partially opened driver-side window.

Swenson's, while it's look has been updated, the food is just as I remember it. I love the cheesburgers! Yum! They have a "sweet" taste, (from a special secret formula) like no burger from any other place I've eaten. Sonic, the drive-in around my area in Tennessee, has nothing on Swenson's!

Swenson's burgs are absolutely delicious, so if you are ever in the Akron, OH area, I urge you to check out Swenson's. Wow! What a treat!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just Pray

While my friend Deb and I were chatting, we started wondering about how Christians can become so ensnared in sin that they backslide and seem to turn away from the faith. At one point I said "sometimes all you can do is just pray".

Deb took exception to the fact that I said "just pray". She was asking why we sometimes say, when we have seemingly tried to do everything to help in whatever situation, that all we can do is "just pray". She said we should pray in every situation and that saying "just" pray diminishes the role of prayer and the power in contains. I think she speaks truth!

I explained that humans have a tendency to want to "fix" things, or do something. We want to be able to do something to help, and that seems natural. When we surmise that we are unable to help, we default to "just praying" for whatever situation. Deb said, and she is correct, that prayer should be the first thing we do!

In an email back to Deb, after I pondered what she had to say about "just pray" during my drive home, I wrote:
"It is amazing how conversation can bring forth tiny tidbits that can revolutionize one's thinking. You know, your pointing out why we say "just pray" really stopped me in my tracks. I've been pondering that since you brought it up and realize that praying IS doing. If we "just pray" we are basically admitting that we aren't believing God can do what He says He can do. If we pray, we are recognizing God will do what He says He will do and we are praying with faith. Praying is asking God to do what He can do, since we can't do anything. You are right, praying it is the best thing we can do."
I think I'll start a campaign, "I don't just pray, I PRAY" or (in line with "don't just sit there, do something!") "Don't just pray there, PRAY THERE!"

Saying "just" would seem to indicate that we lack the faith to believe prayer changes things. It says, in a way, that "I can't do anything, I don't see a way out, so I just pray". Where is the faith in that? "So I just pray." Where is the confidence?

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
James doesn't say "just pray"...he encourages us to PRAY! He tells us that prayer is "powerful and effective"! Prayer is an offensive weapon in the spiritual battle. While we may put on our spiritual armor in defense of satan's attacks, prayer gives us an offensive weapon to battle with. The weapon is "powerful and effective".

So, when spiritual warfare is at hand, and the battle near, I plan to PRAY FIRST and ask questions later!

Home - Sunday

I woke up early today so I could meet up with Deb at 8 in Amherst, about an hours drive from Medina. I always make it a point to get out to see Deb when I am home. She is an ex-colleague of mine from my teaching days, and is one of my spiritual mentors. We have so much great conversation when we get together and it is time I really enjoy.

I arrived a tad early, but Deb was ready and waiting. She came out to greet me as soon as I arrived and said she was going back inside the house for something. When she came back out, I got out of my jeep and said "you want to drive?". She seemed excited to drive the jeep and hopped in. I figured since she knows where she is going in her hometown it would just be easier.

We headed to Bob Evans because I love the dinner rolls there. Unfortunately, they are dinner rolls and not available at breakfast time. Drat! Anyway, we prayed over our meals and ate. We spent time talking and then when breakfast was over she asked "You wanna go see the lake?" and I always like to go up to see Lake Erie. It was a beautiful day, bright blue sky with not a single cloud to be seen, and the perfect temp on a cool morning, but not cold enough that I needed a jacket. We found a place at one of the local beaches and sat on a bench overlooking the area. There was a volleyball tournament going on, so there was a lot of activity for an early Sunday morning. Deb and I chatted for about 2 hours there and then decided to go to the pier. Well, we drove over there but couldn't find the way in so Deb kept driving and we eventually ended up in downtown Cleveland. I snapped some pics as we drove by the Cleveland Brown's Stadium, Jacob's Field, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Burke Lakefront Airport which had the Grand Prix running today so it was a flurry of activity.

We drove around downtown a bit and I marvelled at how nice the city looked. Snapped a shot of Terminal Tower and headed past "The Q", what used to be Gund Arena. (I always thought the Gund Arena sounded like a venereal disease, so that's a good name change!) That was a nice drive on a Sunday afternoon and then we headed back to Amherst. There, we checked out Hotdog Heaven where their specialty is pizza. No! I lied! It's hotdogs! After we ate lunch, we went across the street for some soft serve ice cream that was a real treat!

It was so great to spend the day with Deb. I feel so blessed to talk with her and it seems each time I do, we get to pondering and discussing so many issues. I just love it. Deb can challenge me with great questions and I always come away having learned something new. What a great day!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Lynn and Sue

Lynn and Sue
Originally uploaded by susanlprince.
Mom organized a reunion of sorts to celebrate a number of things. One thing we celebrated was my homecoming. We were also celebrating landmark birthdays in 2006 as later this year I will turn 40, Dad turns 70 tomorrow and Gram will be 90 in the fall. That's a lot to celebrate! Another thing to note is that today mom and dad have been married 45 years! Woohooo!

I shared in the previous post about how my dad met my mom, and I retold that story to the gathering today and it was a huge hit!

I got to see my god-parents who I haven't seen in seven years, and Dee, a very close friend of the family. I saw people I once went to church with eons ago when I was in high school and college. My sister drove up from Columbus with her husband so I had time to chat with them and with my niece Pilar. I met some new people and had a good time all around.

One of the biggest treats was that Lynn, my best friend from high school, came too! Wow! We've managed to stay in touch every now and then over the years, but it had been three or four years since I'd seen her. She came up for the homecoming celebration and we had a blast together! In fact, we went crusin' and drove back to our old high school, reliving some memories and sharing a bunch of laughs. It was just like old times...well, all except for the fact that it is so easy to get lost because so much has changed! Amazing how one can get lost in an area that we once knew like the back of our hands!

I really had a wonderful time today, so thanks Ma!

After 45 Years I Finally Learned...

how my parents met.

While we were out running a morning errand, I asked my dad today how he met mom. This is what he shared with me:

"I was cruisin' in my powder blue convertible with dark blue interior and usually when I came to this one intersection, I would take the main road because it had a traffic light. Then, one time, I decided to go straight and go an extra block. At the end of that little street, there was a house and you would pull right up to it if you kept going straight and didn't turn."

He continued,

"I looked up to the house and on the porch was this girl, twirling a baton (Mom was a majorette!). I thought to myself 'she's cute', so being the brave man I was I went to my friend's house, picked him up and said 'c'mon with me'. As we were driving back to the cute girl's house, we saw her walking with a friend on the sidewalk. I pulled up to them and your mom said 'Hi Don!' and I was shocked because I didn't know her, but she obviously knew me. (Later Dad learned that Mom knew him because he had once dated her cousin.) The girls explained they were headed to the drugstore and I said 'hop in, I'll drive you down', and so they did! That was the day I picked your mom up!"

So, my dad was stylin' and cruising and literally picked up my mom! I think that's pretty cool!

Home - Friday

After waking up and showering I was able to leave in a very short amount of time. That is the neat thing about traveling alone...I'm on no timetable and I have to wait for no one at all! Woohooo!

I headed for Ohio, traveling up 71 N and within about an hour and a half I crossed the border and was in Cincinnati. I was enjoying listening to the radio and my Flyleaf CD. It was a somewhat rainy day and I was hearing reports on the news of the terrible storms that had left two people dead overnight. One 16 year old was killed in his tent when a tree branch fell on him while camping, and a firefighter was drowned rescuing two other teens. Dad told me to bring the rain with me since it had been very dry in Ohio until that point, but I don't think he meant for me to bring the wrath that struck overnight.

I really didn't run into too much heavy traffic, although things did get a bit squirrely around Columbus. I was getting very anxious to arrive in Medina, and finally, at around 2:15 I was here!

Medina, OH has grown considerably and so much new commerce has sprouted up everywhere along with huge residential areas and new subdivisions. I got to Medina alright, but once I turned off a main road, I was so disoriented and got lost. Traffic in Medina can easily cause road rage because it clogs easy on the narrow, lane-deprived streets. It never fails, I kept getting in the "wrong" lane which would force me to turn off and when I thought I was on my way, I would only end up "lost" again. I don't know how I managed it, but I finally pulled in to my parent's drive at 2:45 or so. I was home!

It is so good to see my parents and Gram! It has been about 2 years!

I had a great time talking with them yesterday afternoon, and the steaks off the grill for dinner were a real treat! Yum! After dinner, Mom and I went out to try to find a USB cable for my digital camera because I had forgotten mine at home in TN. Drat! We can't find one that will work and I was hoping to upload some pics to Flickr today...because today will be a major event for this family! We are having a small "reunion" with many friends and family stopping in to celebrate my parent's 45th wedding anniversary, my dad's, gram's and my own birthdays, and whatever other reason we can think of to celebrate!

I'm so excited to see these people which will include my god-parents, my best friend from high school, friends from church when I was still home here in Ohio, my sister and her husband and little 3 year old Pilar. Woohooo! It's gonna be so fun!

Friday, June 23, 2006

I'm Home!

I was so excited to leave work and start my trek home yesterday. Not only was it exciting to be coming home to Ohio, but I was also excited to spend some time with myself, alone, in my car.

No distractions. Just me, my jeep and the road.

I left late afternoon and had a goal to reach Louisville, where I'd find some place to rest and sleep overnight. I had no reservations anywhere, I just planned to pull off at anyplace to find a hotel.

I drove and drove and loved every minute of it! I listened to some Family Force 5 (which is great happy music and great to drive by!), listened to some talk radio, and some outstanding messages delivered by Pastor Sipe. Oh baby they were good messages! I finished listening to "The Noah Code II", his message "Why don't we celebrate Pentacost?" and another great one on "Transformation." I love the passion Pastor Sipe has for God and for other's to come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. He is a delight to listen to, not only because of the intelligent teachings, but because of the fire and passion he has to spread the gospel message.

After reaching the Louisville area, it was close to 9:30pm and it was a good time to find a place to spend the night. I pulled off at one exit and turned the wrong way and wasn't finding any of the places the highway signs said would be there, so I got back on the highway and started up 71 N until the next exit where I stopped off at a Holiday Inn Express. I went in to the hotel clerk and she only had rooms with two beds, and the cost was more than I wanted to pay, so I asked her if any of the other hotels in the vicinity were cheaper. She was kind enough to direct me to the Best Western where "they are nice and a little less expensive than we are", she said. Then she added "just don't go to the Days Inn, they've been condemned and are scheduled to be burned down next week, and they are still renting out rooms!" I said "no, I had a bad experience at a Days Inn once, and I should have known at the time it wouldn't be good when the 'y' and the 's' were missing. I stayed at 'Da Inn'! LOL" Well, I headed to the Best Western and it was a good stay and reasonably priced.

I had fun being alone, yet I did chat with Katie on the phone some. I was having some dog boarding problems. Apparantly my dog, Whyzer (weezer), is co-dependant. BAD! Bad co-dependant and he just was not very happy about staying with my friend Carol. Katie said "I've had to leave the house at midnight for kids before, but never for a dog!" (We were letting Whyz spend the night at my friend's house to see if he would adjust, because Katie is also out of town this weekend visiting her mom in Arkansas. ) It became evident that Whyz was too stressed out being in an unfamiliar environment and being without me, so Carol is kind enough to drop by my house twice a day and hang out with the Whyz. I'm so blessed to have the friends that I do.

Since I don't have tv at home, beyond the one local ABC affiliate, I do not watch tv. Being in a hotel is somewhat of a treat for me because I have a tv to watch with a remote and everything. For two hours I laid on the bed flipping channels never finding anything worthwhile to watch. it seems everytime I check out the tv during hotel stays I am reminded that I don't need tv.

I finally went to sleep around 1am, but I was now in EST time, so I had lost an hour, it was really 2am. Oh well, I had travelled an hour longer than I thought I would, so I'd sleep until whenever, then get up and go! Woohooo! So, this morning, I got up, showered and left!

The best part is that I am travelling alone and I'm totally on my own schedule. I had to wait for no one! I LOVED IT!

There are advantages to being alone!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"The Case of the Missing Flip-Flops"

Somebody is wearing mismatched "Flip-Flops" (I carefully choose to substitute this word in place of the word thongs...which is what they really are. There could be some confusion with the double meaning.) Anyhow, so ummmmmmmmm......Tiff thinks Leana has her shoes and when Leana gives them to her, they're two different sizes. So, Leana comes back to swap the one shoe with the other so they will each have their 0wn black flip-flop. When they get together, they realize that the odd pair was neither of theirs but a set that belonged to somebody else. That somebody else is wearing one of Tiff's shoes and one of Leana's. So...........The search is on! Who has the missing flip flops???????

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hot and Ready

When people go to the bank drive thru, it's usually because they need to make some type of financial transaction. When people go to the pizza drive thru they usually pick up a pizza. But, who ever heard of going to a bank drive through and making a pizza drop? ME!

Today, I went through the drive through to make a deposit into my account. As the teller was performing the transaction, she noticed I had a "hot and ready" pizza from Little Caezar's in my car. She commented that she loved the "hot and ready" pizza and that she had it for dinner the previous night. She said it's great for somebody on a budget. It told her that they do have great prices and then, I told her I'd be glad to deposit a slice in the drawer. She just laughed (as if she wasn't taking me seriously). So, I got out a slice of pizza, and put it on a deposit envelope (I didn't have any napkins). Then, when she gave me my receipt, I took out the receipt and deposited the pizza. She pulled the drawer in, and while laughing hysterically, she picked up the slice of pizza and thanked me as she took a bite. I just smiled, said you're welcome and waved as I drove off into the sunset.

I did something today that I've never done before. I deposited pizza at the bank. As we drove off I smiled as I listened to the praise of my son when he said, "Mom you are the coolest mom, ever! You are awesome! I love it!" What can I say? Who knows me more than my own kid?

I've had some really funny experiences at drive thru windows. I think this one takes the cake. Or should I say, pizza?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Going Home

going home...going home...going home!



I have not been home to see my parents in 2 years!

I'm very excited to see Mom and Dad and Gram and my sister Connie and my brother-in-law Aaron and my niece who is now three and my uncle Bob and I will hopefully get to see Dee too and I'm so excited!

I may even get a chance to catch up with some old friends!

Amazing...even at 25-15 (almost) years old, it is still exciting to go home!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Great Flood

I don't think I've ever seen it rain like this in one day before. We've had almost four inches today! It looks like we live in a resort with all the flood waters....lakes all over the place! Today, I drove by this one road and there was literally a river flowing over it with a huge waterfall. This is what remained after the waters receded. One lane of this road was washed away. The cave underneath was very deep and very wide. If only this picture could show depth! Makes me wish I had flood insurance! Many roads have been closed in Gibson and Madison county and there are still several flash flood warnings in effect. On the flip side of the storm, we had the most breathtaking sunset tonight. I wish I had been able to get pictures of that as well.

To help get the effect, look at the leg of the person standing beside the hole.

* * UPDATE 10:00 PM * *

Katie is on her way to help a man from church whose garage is being overtaken by rising water. He lives near a small creek, that is more like a river tonight, and he needs help moving tools and other belongings to higher ground. That rain has stopped, but the water is still rising as the rivers and creeks continue to rise due to water runoff.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Frog Legs

The frog was the hit of the party! Oh, the kids had a blast chasing the women around with the frogs!

This is a pic of Melissa giving us a preview of dinner...well...not really. LOL

This evening was another church fellowship and this time our SaLT group combined with another for even more laughs and lots more fun!

Check out more pics HERE!

Katie shares in her post below about rejoicing...well, we can rejoice in the family God has given us in these people.

Let Us Rejoice!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessolonians 5:16-18 NKJV)

This is my prayer today. Rejoicing is often difficult for many. Many people have a tendency to dwell on the negative. I am certainly no exception. This is a human weakness that is used by the enemy to keep God's people in bondage. God does not get any glory when we are living a defeated Christian life. So many of us fall into this snare. It's so easy to love ourselves to the point of wallowing in self-pity when things aren't going the way we want them to.

I rejoice that God's word is so perfect! His first and greatest commandment is to love Him and next to love others as we love ourselves (see Mark 12:30-31). Notice that the scripture doesn't say that we should to love ourselves, but to love as we love ourselves. That's because people have no problem loving themselves. There is so much hype today in regards to people having a "low self-esteem". It seems apparant that everybody has it in one form or another. This doesn't mean a person doesn't love himself. In fact, just the opposite is true. People do love themselves very much! We want to be prettier, we want nicer clothes, we want greater popularity, we want a more comfortable life. Some of us, like me, just want to find a place to "fit".Katie in the cotton fields

A person may hate their nose, feet, hair, or teeth. They may hate that they can't sing, or that they are clumsy. But, people don't hate themselves even if they think or act like they do. The fact of the matter is that we hate the things that keep us from being happy, beautiful, popular, etc... The reason we hate these things is because they keep us from having the life we want to have. This is because we love ourselves. There may be an issue with pride, or in the case of a low self-esteem, reverse pride, but it's all about loving self (1 Corinthians 13 could take us in another direction altogether because love isn't selfish or prideful, but let's try to stay on track).

The way we "rejoice always, and in everything give thanks", is by placing our focus where it should always be....on God. We don't necessarily rejoice because of our circumstances, (I seriously can't see being happy about a migraine headache), but we can rejoice in our circumstances. We simply need to adjust our focus a away from our circumstances and toward the One who is Lord over them. We can always rejoice in salvation, eternity in heaving with Christ, the promises of God, His love for us. These things are a constant through the worst of trials and suffering. We can rejoice knowing that "God works everything for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)"!

I am my beloved's and He is mine! If I could practice living this word from God in Thessolonians, I think I could find joy to spread even in the worst of circumstances!
"Pray without ceasing"....that is something else to rejoice about! No matter how bad things get, God is in the middle of it and we can pray. Even if we don't think He is listening, we can know that when we humble ourselves and pray, He will hear us and heal us (see 2 Chronicles 7:14). We can know that we will find peace just by presenting our requests to Him (Phil. 4:6)!

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"...Why? Should I thank God for a headache? Not necessarily. But, I can thank God that He is bigger than my headache! I can thank God that even in the midst of my pain...His promises still hold true and I am still His beloved (Eph. 1:5-7)! I have God's inheritance...His Kingdom awaits! My salvation is secure!

So, when life gets hard, we don't need to just remember this verse in 1 Thessolonians, we need to believe it and live like we do (even if we don't feel like it)! We need to remember to count it all (trials) as joy (James1:2), such a sweet fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)! Remember also that "...the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)", and we are to seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness...(Matt. 6:33).

Finally beloved, I would like to encourage you to "...walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorius power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:10-12, italics added)".

Remember Also....
God is Who He says He is!
He can do what He says He can do!
You are who God says you are!
You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!
Believe God!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Parental Guidance for Elements of Faith?

Wow! This looks like a movie I want to see! I love a good sports film, and this one is about a Christian high school football coach who desperately seeks God to help him battle fear and failure. I'm sure it will be a very powerful movie for a family to view.

But, oh, wait a it appropriate for kids? There's no bad language, or gratuitous sex scenes, but...OHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, there's a Christian message! How evil. A PG rating has been slapped on this film for it's faith message.

I wonder if it were a movie containing Islamic themes, or Buddhist themes what the rating might be? Should faith elements be given the same consideration as language, sex, or violence contained within a film?

Plugged In Online reports that the movie Facing the Giants, has received
a PG rating for "thematic elements." Among the themes the MPAA believes are worthy of a parental warning are strong Christian messages and characters who evangelize others.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Young Men, a Cross, and Iraq

ChaplainBlake joined the Army a few years ago. He is serving in the ministry as a chaplain's assistant. The young man has such a heart for God and joined the Armed Services with full intention and hope to be sent to Iraq. He wants to reach people for Christ.

Instead, his first destination: He was sent to Honolulu. Poor thing.

Anywhere Blake goes he has always served in God's Army. When he lived here, he was a good mentor to Justin who badly needed a male role model in his life after suffering rejection of his father for most of his life. When Blake left for the United States Army, God provided another mentor and friend for Justin, but Justin has always had a place in his heart reserved for Blake.

Blake was home on leave and spent some time with Justin. Blake is now being sent to Iraq. When they said their "goodbyes" tonight, Justin gave Blake the cross he has been wearing around his neck since Christmas. It is so heart tugging because Justin has used that cross necklace to evangelize at opportuneDisciple's Cross moments, and he loves that cross! I never really see him without it! He cherishes that necklace because of what it represents, and then he took it off of his neck, and gave it to Blake, who graciously accepted it.

I asked Katie, isn't Blake afraid? She told me he shared some concerns with her earlier in the evening but that he is keeping himself busy and not doing too much thinking about his deployment to Iraq. He knows God has called him to Iraq and he is perfectly content with that, but he does have a small anxiousness about a certain role in his ministry. Blake said his biggest concern will come when he will be called upon to help comfort someone in distress, and possibly dying. He understands that could be something he is called upon to do, and he will be ready to deal with that, but it is one of those difficult parts of being a chaplain. It is one of the ministries that a chaplain provides that one hopes will not be needed.

When it came time to leave, Blake said "I'll see you in 18 months!" and left after a short conversation out at his car.

Justin came into the house and cried.

Thank you Blake for your service to our country, and may God be with you as you carry His message to all the faraway places you go.

Sunday Seven

Courtesy of Patrick's Weekender

If you had to categorize the subject matter of all of your posts, and you couldn't have more than seven categories, which ones would you choose?

  1. Christianity
  2. Music and/or Movies (Games)
  3. Funny Stuff
  4. Framily Stuff
  5. Work and Career
  6. Current Events and/or News
  7. Potpourri

My Verses For Today

Mark 13:13
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Luke 21:17
All men will hate you because of me.

John 7:7

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.

John 14:16-17
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
I sometimes find it necessary to recall these verses hidden in my heart.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Noticing that Katie's cellphone case was empty, I asked her "Where is your phone?"

"In the bathroom".


She noticed a my coffee cup on the counter near the kitchen sink and exclaimed "I washed the dishes earlier, why is this here?!"

I explained, "I went to rinse it out, but there was a carpet in the sink."

Then Katie remembered something and said "that's okay, the kitchen chair is in the backyard" and then pointed out laughingly that the "lawn chair is here in the kitchen".

So we catalogued these items that were obviously displaced:
  • cellphone in the bathroom
  • carpet in the sink
  • kitchen chair in the backyard
  • lawn chair in the kitchen
That gave us a good chuckle and then when she went to bed, she yells "WHY IS THERE DOGFOOD IN MY BED?!"

  • dogfood in the bed
Believe it or not there are reasonable explanations for these displacements!
  • cellphone in the bathroom: Katie was chatting while cleaning the shower
  • carpet in the sink: Katie got bleach on it while cleaning the shower and rinsed the rug out in the kitchen sink.
  • kitchen chair in the backyard: Katie was cleaning the chair cushion and it was outside drying in the sun.
  • lawn chair in the kitchen: I have no idea why there is a lawn chair in the kitchen, but it is very useful there!
  • dogfood in the bed: Katie's dog prefers "take out" I guess. She grabs a mouthful of food from her bowl, travels to Katie's room, hops on the bed, spits out the food for a feast. I guess the dog missed a kibble or two! Weirdo.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Day of Fire "Cut & Move"

Day of FireRead my review of the new Day of Fire CD "Cut & Move" at: .no frills .no gimmicks .just reviews

"Day of Fire will soon be a recognizable name to all Christian rock music fans everywhere, and most likely any fan of rock music period. There is no denying that these guys know how to rock! Their music is high energy, fast-paced, fist-pumping, and head banging, but there is no way to miss Who the source of all their energy is."

Read Review

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hyper Static Union

Hyper Static UnionRead my latest review on the debut release of Hyper Static Union!

Here is a teaser "Hyper Static Union is a rock band that infuses infectious melodies together with a dynamic, rhythmic funk that is the foundation for it’s driving solid rock sound. Lead singer and main songwriter, Shawn Lewis, has a smooth vocal quality with amazing range that lifts the music right off the disc, through the ear, and into the part of the brain where melodic hooks get stuck."

Read the review at

Monday, June 05, 2006

Blogrolling is Down


My blogrolls have been down. I don't know for how long, but I first noticed it when I went to visit some of my favorite blogs late this afternoon, and the rolls all came up blank. Boo!

So I went to and was taken to a Tucows site with nothing there about Blogrolling. I started to consider the possibility that my rolls were forever gone. Vanished into cyberspace! POOF! This would not be a good thing! I never realized how dependent on my blogrolls I am!

Then I found my way to where I saw:
Please note that is curerntly down for maintenance reasons. We have been experiencing technical issues with the database and have to take down the entire service in order to repair the problem in a quick fashion.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The BR team.

I take some relief from that.

* * UPDATE: 10:00PM * * ALL IS WELL NOW * * Whew! * *

Resistible or Irresistible?

I was given a question to ponder this week, by one of the leaders in my church.
"Is the Spirit moving around you resistible or irresistible grace?"
I've been pondering this question and having trouble a bit. Tom said he posed the question to me because he knows I "go home and think". I naturally am inclined to say resistible because of free will, but once I personally noticed the Spirit moving in my life, it was irresistible. I'm still pondering this question that bloggles the mind!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

On Humility

Nichole Nordeman, recording artist and now a contributing editor of CCM Magazine, ponders humility in her inaugural column. She makes the observation that "humility in Christ is inseparably linked to confidence in Christ" which is a profundity I've heard before.

People often mistake humility as something that would not allow a christian to ever receive praise for anything, or wouldn't associate a leader as being humble, as they are two seemingly incompatible things.

There was one part of the column that I particularly took note of, and that is a quote Nordeman shared from Thomas Merton, a Franciscan monk, who said:
"a humble man receives praise the way a clean window takes the light of the sun. The truer and more intense the light is, the less you see of the glass."
Dare I pray for humility?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Laura VanRyn

From USA Today:
Family members of Taylor University student Laura VanRyn used a blog to keep friends updated on her recovery from a car accident April 26 - until Wednesday, when they announced the woman they had been caring for actually was Whitney Cerak, another Taylor student. Whitney was mistakenly declared dead in the accident; the real victim was Laura.

Can you imagine caring for a car accident victim for 5 weeks thinking she was your daughter, your sister, your friend? And then you learn that in fact, your loved one is dead?

Can you imagine mourning the loss of your daughter, sister, or friend in a car accident and then 5 weeks later learn that in fact, your loved one survived the accident?

Can you imagine being the coroner who pronounced the wrong woman dead?

This is a tragic story, and this is a snippet of what I read on the blog that chronicles Laura VanRyn's recovery. The blog is kept by Lisa VanRyn, Laura's sister, and Wednesday it was learned that Laura was actually the one who perished in the accident. In fact, Lisa, Laura's sister was posting about Whitney's recovery. Obviously a surprise to all involved and for some it marked a new tragedy, for others elation. Here is what Lisa posted about the news:
What may come to us as a shock, does not shock the One who made us.

There are some other amazing things to read at that the blog Laura VanRyn and I urge you to check it out.

Laura VanRyn, at

In the Spotlight

Guess who's In the Spotlight!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Digital = Disposable

Did you know that if you drop your expensive digital camera, that it becomes a disposable camera?

That's all it took, one impact.


Christian Carnival CXXIV

The latest Christian Carnival is posted at Parableman. Check it out! My post below "Would I Be Convicted" is one of the featured posts, and there are many other great ideas presented from other Christian bloggers. The carnival is a great way to find the best posts from the last week.