Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On the way home...

Good grief - accident on highway 72 between Madison and Athens. There weren't any ambulances...I hope that's a good sign.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Like a second look...

I came across this video on YouTube purely by accident, but it's got some cool stop motion effects (always interesting when done with live people).  And the song's pretty good, too.  The singer is Lisa Mitchell, and I'd never heard of her, but she apparently got popular on the Australian American Idol

It's called Incomplete Lullaby.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Way better than the "Can you hear me now?" guy...

Another cool foreign commercial.  This time it's for a cell phone company...but you'd never know that...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mmm...Tahitian Treat Fruit Punch Soda

Good stuff!

(owned by Dr. Pepper / Seven Up!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ghost Town

I guess Ghost Town just too good of a movie to come to Florence.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 80%, and MetaCritic gives it a 70.

But what am I complaining about?  We've still got Disaster Movie (0% and 15)and House Bunny (40% and 55).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Met Wendy!

We're at Wendy's for a fundraiser, helping to raise money for a track and a pavilion for our soccer fields at church. Pictured here with my son Max, is our wonderful Children's Minister, Gena Killen.

Here Comes the Sun...

I think I see it peeking out from behind the clouds.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Communication

I missed getting a picture of it (the above pic is from last night), but I just passed a church sign that said, "Patience is trusting in God's timing."

*sigh*

God teaches us in many ways.  I sometimes wish it didn't take so long.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

On Weathering Storms

I was sure by now,
That you would have reached down,
And wiped our tears away.
Stepped in and saved the day,
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

Why is it that that we wait until we're in so deep before we go to the place we should have been all along? We have to wait to get burned before we step away from the fire, or hit the bottom before we try to climb out of the well.

At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to spend more time with God.  To pray more.  To read His Word more.  And I've been praying at least once a day.  And, at least over the last several months, I've been picking up my Bible at least a few times a week. But I've known that's not a real commitment. Though it's more commitment than I've had most of the 3-and-a-half decades I've been around.

Throughout the last month, though, I've stepped up my commitment. Praying has become nearly an hourly thing (or at least several times a day). And reading has become at least a daily thing. What's prompted me to become so disciplined?  Is it because I'm spiritual?  Is it just because I made the decision to be disciplined and I'm sticking to it?

No.  It's because of external circumstances creating an intense need to figure out how to keep God as an integral part of my life - not just an afterthought. Over the past month, my job's become extremely stressful. The kind of stress that makes you obsess.  Obsessing through nearly every waking hour.  And some of the sleeping ones.  From the time the feet hit the floor in the darkness of the early morning to the time the head hits the pillow in the darkness of the late evening. Every thought consumed - in the shower, having dinner with family, even when watching a movie or trying anything to try to tear my mind away from the constant compulsive thought. Jesus said, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Why can't I do that? I've begun to empathize with David, when he wrote things like
O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
In the midst of all this, a couple weeks ago, I was reading about Solomon's great grandson Asa. He was fighting for God, and at one point, God told him, Be strong, and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.  I don't really believe in coincidence. And though sometimes it's hard to connect with a God who I cannot touch, who seems to far away to my closed eyes and unlistening ears, I know He's there, He's listening, and He talks to us.

And I've finally found some peace, some relief. I finally figured out that there are things in our lives that we need God's strength to overcome. So I've begun to scratch the surface of what Paul means when he says, Pray without ceasing.  To get a glimmer of what Moses is talking about when he says,  Memorize God's laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning.  And at last, Thursday night, even though work hasn't much changed, I was sitting having dinner with my family, enjoying the time spent with my wife, daughter, and son.  And it was the first time in nearly 5 weeks that I was truly relaxed, living in the moment, without the nagging thoughts in the back of my head.

I wish I had realized some of these things before getting into situations like this.  Like sometime in the last 37 years. But then, I guess sometimes we need adversity to strengthen us. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James wrote that.)

As the thunder rolls,
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you.”
And as You mercy falls,
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives,
And takes away.


*************
It's always frustrating when you pour your soul into a bit of writing and it's taken away.  It's nearly impossible to get back the original flavor of something after you've recorded it the first time.  I finished writing this nearly an hour ago and just before I published it, Internet Explorer crashed.  About that time I remembered that this version of Blogger doesn't automatically save, so I had to recreate the entire thing from scratch.  A fitting final paragraph to this post, I think.

The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
                          -Job

(Lyrics from Praise You in This Storm, by Casting Crowns)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

By Comparison

Some days I appreciate my job more than others.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Managing Risk

Risk Management: leaving a massive cushion between you and the car in front of you because the person behind you thinks that a single car length is an acceptable distance between cars when going 80 miles an hour.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Storms

It's nice to see the sun break through the storm once in a while.