Wednesday, May 27, 2009


When the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ occurs, hope becomes irrelevant.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Breakfast Eggs

What are you saying? A Cadbury Cream Egg isn't a breakfast food?

It's an egg!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Banana Splits

I don't like bananas.

The following is amazing information I recently learned about that which I do not like (thanks, G.S.)

A banana divides into three equal parts, lengthwise.

I don't like bananas.

I have been tearing apart bananas with my bare hands just to experience this phenomenon.

And I don't even like bananas!

(Did I mention that I don't like bananas?)

My Friend(?)'s Insights

My friend Megan has a new post up on WorldMagBlog today. I say my friend, because she has, at times, responded to my comments on her personal blog with en e-mail, and so I consider her my friend. We could dispute that...after all, I visit her blog regularly and know her family by what she posts, but she knows absolutely nothing about mine...

Regardless, her insights were appreciated today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finished: Mark Twain In Hawaii: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii in the 1860's

If you want a description of Hawaii in the late 1800's mixed with caustic wit and a good dose of wry humor, then this is what you'll want to read.

If you're not into that type of thing, don't bother reading it.

Mark Twain In Hawaii: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii in the 1860's

Now, I'm Not Complaining, But...

Think back for a moment over your conversations of today.

Is it just me, or is there a whole lot of complaining going on in the world?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finished: James and the Giant Peach

I was disappointed with this, by "the world's most scrumdiddlyumptious storyteller", whereby the boy James is charged "Marvelous things will start happening to you...and you will never be miserable again in your life."

I am a huge fan of imagination, of which this book overflows. The story unravels well, and the adventures encountered during the grand peach flight are real in an incredible sort of way. But I was dismayed from the onset, and perhaps this tainted my view of the book.

I think it a true test of an author's imagination to create a story where the plot does not involve killing off the parents, bringing misery into a young boy's life and having him be raised by 2 mean old ugly aunts who beat him and make him work all the day while they indulge themselves in selfish pursuits...and the peach rescues him.

Start the story with imagination, and I'm a fan. Maybe I'll rewrite the beginning, just to enjoy the rest of the story...

James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

Monday, May 11, 2009

Aboutface Facebook

I'm not on Facebook. I'd never make it there. There's just way too much sin involved.

I went "on" Facebook Saturday evening.

Mind you, I wasn't on Facebook, I was just "on" Facebook. And you know what started it? Someone commented to me about how an old friend looks now, and I thought I'd see for myself. STUPID!

I was compelled to click on people whose names I knew, just to see what theylooked like now, what they were interested in, were there anymore "friends" on there pages to link to...

Here's what happened: a foray into my brain... "Does he really look like that? I wonder if that picture is her daughter. She got married? Why did she do that to her hair? She looks happy, finally! Is that what he's doing now? Oh, look at the politicians listed under 'favorites'. Go figure."

YUCK! I don't want to be like that. Facebook does that to me.

No, I guess I do that to me.

But if that's what Facebook brings out in me, I'm not going there. My motivation is all wrong. I know it. And I'm cutting the right hand off. It's just not for me. I made a brief entrance and discovered a me I didn't like...a gossippy self-absorbed coveting mess of being. I know that's there without Facebook, but I'm not going to encourage it. I can't handle it.

No, Facebook's not for me.

At least, not until I can approach it with the right motivation: a compassion and desire for people's good.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finished: Tales From the Other Side

This book was written by my cousin's wife's father. (I felt the need to really get the exact relationship there.) As 'tales' go, it is an interesting the manner of Lord of the Rings, but lighter. There were a lot of characters to be introduced to in this, the first book. Fairies, elves, trolls, ogres, gargoyles, gryphons.

The premise of the book is that there is another side of our universe, the imaginary realm...where God is worshiped.

One of the things I appreciated was that the troll characters were written as subservient to whomever their master was...and their masters changed all of the time. These creatures were slaves by nature, but the gospel message was offered to some, eagerly accepted. I liked the way the concept of being a willing slave to Christ was portrayed.

Tales From the Other Side, Matt McGrath

Excerpt: Mark Twain in Hawaii

"The natives still keep up an old custom of theirs which cannot be comforting to an invalid. When they think a sick friend is going to die, a couple of dozen neighbors surround his hut and keep up a deafening wailing night and day till he either dies or gets well. No doubt this arrangement has helped many a subject to a shroud before his appointed time.

They surround a hut and wail in the same heart-broken way when its occupant returns from a journey. This is their dismal idea of a welcome. A very little of it would go a great way with most of us."

Mark Twain In Hawaii: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii in the 1860's, chapter VI

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We Really Are Helping Him

Tim Challies' blog this morning resonated with me. In it he quoted an excerpt from Gorden Cheng’s Encouragement: How Words Change Lives (published by Matthias Media). The entire blog post is worth the read, and if the amount of text is intimidating, skip to the last paragraph, but the quote is below:

When the entire family decides to plant baby lettuce on a Saturday afternoon in the backyard, certain realities apply and certain home truths about family dynamics and gardening knowledge must be taken into account. My wife is extremely well aware of these realities; the rest of us are somewhat aware in a descending order that begins with me, and gradually drops down to our seven-year-old (who, truth be known, is starting to get quite good and is beginning to ask question about my ability in this area), down to our four-year-old and finally to our three-year-old. The latter two contribute enthusiasm and a certain degree of, let’s say, unrestrained passion about how things ought to be done and who ought to do them first. As a direct result of this scenario, it is fair to suggest that every single task that needs to be completed in the garden takes three to five times longer than if Fiona (my wife) were to do it herself. Digging a furrow takes longer. Putting plants into the furrow takes longer. It is an activity fraught with risk both to the baby lettuce and to the dogs underfoot. At least one adult is employed for the entire gardening period keeping an eye on the most recent location of the pitchfork, and helping recover small plants from under a layer of newly thrown mulch. Snails, as the oldest of us have now realized, are not potential pets—but we haven’t yet had the heart to tell the two youngest, and so the location of their mollusc collection has also turned out to be one of those things that just has to be carefully monitored.

But for all the slow, distracting and sometimes dangerous things that happen in our garden, there is no doubt that all of us really are gardening. Every single one of the children’s mistakes, and a good number of mine as well, will be overruled by grace. The good things we do really are good things. In the kindness and providence of God, the children (and I) are becoming better gardeners than when we first began. When we stand in the garden in the summer sunshine we will be happy because we really did it.

And that is how it is with God and us, his fellow workers, in his church. We really are helping him. Those who see our efforts may laugh at what we do. We ourselves may become frustrated and upset by mistakes and lack of competence. We may become dimly aware, from time to time, that what we thought was useful and helpful was, unfortunately, nothing of the sort. But provided that we keep our focus on what God says in his word, and continue to speak that same truth in love, the gospel we speak will continue to transform our own lives and the lives of others. And that gospel work will result in a growth that bears fruit into eternity.

Ten Years Ago!

Remember the photograph taken of the small hand reaching out of the womb during a surgery to correct spina bifida? That picture was taken ten years ago. Fox News has a great article about the boy and the photo here. The boy's mother sums up the controversy around the photo well:

"So if he reached out, I don't know. If Dr. Bruner reached out, I don't know. The fact of the matter is it's a child with a hand, with a life, and that's meaningful enough."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finished: Hank the Cowdog Books 1-4

I would be remiss if I did not include in my record of reading John Erickson's fully boy meanderings detailing days in a cowdog's life. These are definitely boy books, and while I would not put them in the class of edifying, or even remotely edifying, they are a fun read. Some topics a bit mature for a 6-year-old, but since I've read them, I'm prepared...

Hank believes himself to be "all that". There just isn't a cowdog better prepared to handle all that may go wrong on the ranch. And my son believes him. In fact, he was really upset when Hank got injured in a dogfight and couldn't get up for days. But Hank always recovers and saves the day, even though the day would have been much safer without him.

John Erickson, Hank the Cowdog series

Finished: Hard Times

Harder than some, but not as hard as might be. Trials find themselves to be tempered by the constancy of a friend, who allows Fact to not rule, but persists in Hope.

Charles Dickens, Hard Times