Thursday, December 29, 2011
12/29/10 found us looking into the year 2011
wondering what would come of it.
"Would we sell our home?" was the biggest
question going into the '11.
As we head into '12, the biggest question
is "how do we utilize the new home God
has blessed us with?"
Yes, it took 9 months (a little over one year)
of 2011 before we sold and bought, but
God made a way, did what he said he was
going to do, and...
... He continues to lead.
It wasn't any ordinary day.
It was a Wednesday.
It was Samantha's birthday.
It was the day a young couple was returning to visit our
previously owned home for the second time in three days...
a very encouraging sign in the selling process.
We took the kids out for dinner... then went to the park
to give the home seekers the opportunity to see the home again.
At the park I had discomfort in my chest... chalked it up
to post-tree trimming strains.
We went home... the pain got worse. I lost my dinner.
Had some terrible sweats.
At some point, I took two aspirin. Don't know why. I just did.
Sam drove me to the hospital.
The heart attack was no something that I planned for such a day.
Back to today. Back to peering into 2012.
This verse swirling in my head:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
What lies ahead?
I didn't know this day 2011.
I don't know moving into 2012.
All I know is this...
God was there through the home selling/buying process...
He was there July 26th 2011...
He is here today...
and He will be here tomorrow... and 2012... and beyond.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
You can take his deer.
You can take his elves, "who help him every year."
You can have the tree.
You can have the lights.
You can have the candles, that brighten all the nights.
You can keep the cards.
You can keep the songs.
You can keep your "Merrys", as you do all year long.
You can hide the shepards.
You can hide all three king.
You can hide the angels, no longer will they sing.
You can deny the crowded inn.
You can deny the manger.
You can deny the virgin birth, nothing could be stranger.
You can have my presents.
You can have my gifts.
You can have the peace and joy...
Eliminate Christmas, that's perfectly fine you see.
But you'll never remove the reason, who lives inside of me.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Monday, December 5, 2011
to create a well written piece of
blogliterature like I once was able
to wax. My life is a summary.
Minute (small) details. Incomplete.
It's a sad state.
Think back, I see why my substance-light
answers to the questions mom and dad
were asking me drove them bonkers at times.
They need details. I provided bread crumbs.
They desired loaves. I was well ahead of my
time and without the fancy contraptions tweeted
them to the best of my limited vocabulary.
Some promote this medium as a way to
practice the ability to be concise in getting
across a message.
I see it as a way (evidenced by many many tweeters)
of the futility of saying anything worth
"following" in such a limited amount of
Maybe I'm just becoming an aging fuddyduddy.
Or maybe, just maybe, we as a society are
promoting less communication disguised
as mass communication.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
My basket overflows,
with Thanksgiving for my Lord.
My heart mender, my redeemer, my friend.
My basket overflows,
with blessings from my Lord.
My leader, my provider, my sustainer.
My basket overflows,
with praises for my Lord.
My rock, my strong tower, my mighty fortress.
My basket overflows,
with mercies from my Lord.
His grace, His mercy, His love.
My basket overflows
My basket overflows.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
study at church. Righteous, awesome
read. I highly recommend.
And for reasons now known to me
I went to the mall today. Took the
3-year-old and we were almost
arrested together at the mall.
He was standing somewhere he
apparently was allowed to stand...
on the water fountain...
and the mall authorities asked
me 1) if the boy walking around on the
fountain was with me. (by the way I said
yes, even after I thought about saying no.)
And 2) if I could remove him from
the fountain (again, I almost told the mall cop to ask him himself,
but figured that after what I had just learned I needed to squash that bit
Back to the mall.
I went to the mall because there are people there.
All kinds of people.
Seriously, all kinds, even at 9:30AM on a Wednesday.
I use to have a professor at IUP who would tell
us to go to the Indiana mall, sit in the center of
the mall, and watch the people. He then would
would say to us, "watch the people, and tell yourself,
'I'm going to be all right.'"
Today, I watched the people at the mall.
And as I sat there I wondered what a person's
story might be... where do they live, work, play,
What kind of baggage to they carry?
Are they joyful or hurting?
All kinds of different questions went through
my brain concerning different people.
And then I knew why I was at the mall.
Everyone has a different story to tell,
but there was one thing that I did know
about each of them...
God loves them.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? Romans 10:14-15a NIV
And because He does love me, I don't need the people
at the mall to help understand I'm going to be all right.
But maybe it's time to tell the people at the mall
they can know for sure that they'll be all right too.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Writers for The Poynter Review Project (ESPN and The Poynter Institute have partnered for the Poynter Review Project, offering independent examination and analysis of ESPN's media outlets.)
wrote the curious line here.
Steering to me has fantastic meaning.
Without steering capabilities, every means of transportation
devolves into meandering chaos. Steering is what you do to
control those means.
I enjoy this strange dichotomy that exists in our society.
When the news media reports stories that a viewer, media gobbler
deem damaging or at least not in agreement with, the said
media can't be trusted.
At the same time, same viewership reference said media in
regards to "news" the deem equally as favorable.
The fickleness of the brainless is incredible.
One would imagine said media gobblers would deny this observation.
So back to steering.
What exactly is the responsibility of a media organization during the
progress of on going "news"?
Is it their responsibility to STEER the story... lead it to where they
want to go?
Or are they responsible to follow the leading of the story?
Certainly different than steering.
Steering? That scares me. That should scare all of us.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
the center of Pennsylvania under a firestorm
that in the end will tarnish a University for
125 younger men, who when the firestorm began
for the most part where in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.
125 younger men, who may or may not have
had the dream of pulling on the blue and white
of Linebacker U.
125 younger men, who must move forward in
the right direction, while the columns of Beaver
Stadium crumble around them.
Some have asked me what I will do this Saturday.
Will I root for a University that allowed the
most digusting crime (IMHO) to occur in its
supposed hallow halls?
My only answer to that is this:
I will be rooting for the 125.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
No one loves the Christmas holiday season more than me.
I however (which I have written about before) can not
stomach the push push push starting November 1st
for the next Holiday shop season.
Certainly Hallmark Channel's breaking out new Christmas
movies this coming weekend isn't really a push you
into their pathetically overpriced shoppes are they?
If you have a picture of a church marquee advertising
their upcoming Christmas cantata , drama or live nativity,
please let me know.
business, getting depressed and all that.
It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I
always get a lot of stupid toys, or a bicycle, or clothes, or
something like that.
Charlie: What is it you want?
Lucy: Real Estate.
Friday, October 28, 2011
How can what you write be true?
How can I be held accountable for
something that I didn't even do?
And really, it's this question:
God, are you really going to punish me
for something that I did not do?
But the bible can be no clearer than this:
James 4:17 So whoever knows what is
good to do and does not do it is guilty of sin.
The NIV version says it this way:
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
Not only are you guilty of sin... but by not doing good
you are ACTIVELY sinning.
So the ACT of not doing good is really the ACT of sin.
That takes my sin each day to a hole new level... as
if it could be any worse than already is, BAM!
My inaction to love (i.e. do good things) is sin.
Who have you ought to love today? And why didn't you?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
"By faith Rahab the prostitute escaped the destruction of the disobedient, because she welcomed the spies in peace." Hebrews 11:31
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised."
Hebrews 11 is the hall of fame of sorts of those
commended in the bible for their faith.
And there she is.
Not exactly the girl next door your momma wants
you bringing home for dinner.
In fact, her profession pretty much
makes her the lowest of the lows of any society,
past and present.
Yet, God used her.
And with that, I have a hope.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
On the verge of the fall season, I thought I would
make a list of things that I enjoy about fall.
1. Colorful Leaves.
We don't live in a black and white world.
God created the brilliance of color.
2. Jeans and Sweatshirts.
It's really about the cooler temperatures.
Warm in the sun. Cool in the shade.
Friday night, under the lights, high school football.
Throw in a hot cocoa and funnel cake.
4. The Pumpkin Patch.
Columbus Day at Hozaks with Samantha and the kids.
5. Thanksgiving Day
Yes, it's late November, but it's all fall.
Pilgrims, Pumpkins, Turkey, Stuffing...
6. Hunting Season.
Whether you're hunting deer, turkey,
rabbit, grouse, squirrel, etc... and no
matter your weapon of choice...
Fall is hunting season.
With school back in session, a new
routine begins. Back from the freedom
summer brings. Fall is about refocusing.
These are but a few of the reasons I enjoy
the autumn season.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
in the Trimble homestead. Numero Tres
kiddo (the child formerly known as
Lukenstein) went for his first day of
Yes, the hardest working 5 year old
in America... and most productive
Trimble house-cleaning child, went
for his first day in big K.
A few tears were shed. And then when
I realized I was to be home alone with
a crazy two (soon to be three) year old,
I cried a little more.
Three are now part of the schooling world.
Leaving one behind.
Time churns on like a locomotive full
of life saving importance... slowing
no where along the way.
After all the summer was... ALL that
summer was... I will cherish the
one on one time with the family
clown; and certainly miss the hours
separated from the trio of Trimble
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
and sent a scurry of shakes through many
states was nothing more than the belch
of a 2 year old during dinner:
It was loud, caused a ruckus; but in the
end did nobody any damage.
At least that's the early thoughts being
circulated through the 24 Hour News
For me, hundreds of miles away from
the epicenter in Virginia, I merely mistook
what I thought was the severe scratching
of the dog up against the love seat... and
discovered upon the instant media that
I love... and visual evidence of a sleeping dog...
that I felt the like many others the earth move.
A strange sensation it was... even this far away.
SO, I survived the Great Shake of 8/23/11...
as, apparently, everyone else did.
Now, we who survived it all must turn our
attention to the ocean, and the nasty lady
who is whipping up quite a stir.
Goodbye shaky shake... hello, Irene.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
was between here for a little while longer, or home
at the feet of the Savior.
If I were to guess, I would say that it wasn't all that
close given that it is only by His grace that I am
the remaining mist in this space and time He created.
I would say for sure that I never had a thought
that my life was ending... only the regret that living
so foolishly may have cut short the work He certainly
can carry on without me.
So what then does it matter? What significance do
I place on lying precariously in the hands of Jesus
hoping that a mending of my heart will allow me
more undeserved years on this earth?
And the only conclusion I can come up with that
makes all the difference to me is this: every second
of my day, ever day, I should and will be thankful
that is where my mending heart is, in the loving
arms of one who swallowed up death in victory
by paying for my debt with His very life.
It certainly is time to unleash it all to Him...
holding nothing back. For what really can
I hold back?
It's what I've always known... and what now
I am willing to give.
Some may question it...
but I'm the one with the stent in my heart that proves it to me.
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV
Monday, July 25, 2011
finally gave up the fight to bring forth to the
viewing audience whatever the viewer desired
to waste time watching.
On, off, unplug.
In fact, it was bought before there was a
united Trimble couple.
And to think, for the first few years of our
marriage, that's all we used to watch
Tonight, the 19 incher sits at the curb
waiting for it's mid day ride to its final
resting spot. (unless of course some one
special drives buy and decides to see
if they can breath another life into it.)
Not sad. Nope not really.
... Now I'm sitting here trying to make
some great leap from this not-so-sad
tale, to something overwhelming profound.
And well, I ain't got nothin'!
Sometimes, a TV is just that, a TV.
Sometimes, there is no "hidden" message,
no "other" meaning...
Sometimes, it really is, "what it is".
I wonder how often I over analyze happenings
in my life and try to give them "turning the corner"
status, when merely, they are just events that
take place and have no real life-changing meaning
OR, maybe I'm too naive to see what each event
is really pointing me towards, and fail to
recognize where a I need to change my thought
I can't really say for sure... not at this moment.
I think I'll go watch some TV now on the replacement
for the 19 incher.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Ask him what his name is, and until a few days ago,
he'd tell you that it was "me".
Oh, not that he thought it was "me"; oh no.
He's just thinks he's the funniest of all
2 year olds, past... present... future.
Ask him what his oldest brother's name is,
he'll tell you it's "Zane". It's not "Zane".
In fact, "Zane" isn't even close to Noah
in any way, shape or form.
We believe that after someone, (blame the
dad), used the word "insane" to describe
each of the children one to many
times... and apparently the oldest more
than the others... the 2 year old just
decided that Noah was insane... or
should I say "Zane."
He's coming around; says Noah more
often... unless of course he's in dire
need for a laugh. Remember, he's
the king of comedy in his little brain.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, pg 41
Colossians 2:8-10 (NIV)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The 9 year old penned... crayoned:
"Dad, Dad, Dad.
I love my Dad.
Even though you get mad,
You are the #1 Dad."
The 7 year old used the letters of F-A-T-H-E-R...
is this an acrostic, I never know...
"Fantastic, Awesome, Terrific,
Hero, Excellent, Real special."
"I love you because you take care of me."
The soon-to-be 5 year old presented a card,
with a $1.00 bill in it. I was eating breakfast
and asked if I could have all my cards
after I ate. So all complied. Presented with
the 5-year-old's card after breakfast...
the money was conspicuously missing.
I guess he decided to save it.
The 2 year old handed me a note card
with a lot of blue and green and ink pen scribbles...
but it was the raised arms and the shout out of "Happy Father's day"
that made me smile.
Treasures I will keep forever.
Tucked away in a "junk" drawer
in my dresser...
not really junk, but special things
Loved despite who I am.
The message of "we see you fail, yet we love you anyway."
The message of "we appreciate all you do, because you love us despite when we fail."
I certainly would never claim #1 Dad status.
I'm not a hero.
I can be completely opposite of fantastic, terrific.
Some time, to my shame, I don't want to take care of their immediate needs.
And yet, that's who I have to be.
And I thank God that he alone gives me
the strength to be what I can't naturally be:
a loving father.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
It was a little testy at first.
You know, dad's fault you can't balance...
dad's fault you can't use the breaks...
dad's fault you crash into the curb...
But after about 45 minutes she was cruising around.
Tonight, 6/15/11, we returned to the open high school lot
and a gave her the chance to cruise again. And this time,
she even started on her own.
And tonight, dad's fault... well, dad was without any...
if only for the night.
Congrats, Abigail. Another milestone reached in a long
list of life's milestones.
i would have put a picture of the event
here, but i can't seem to find the camera...
probably dad's fault... :)
Monday, June 13, 2011
Praying for those who persecute?
Not exactly the message of this world.
This world's message: It's payback time!
Avenge, Revenge, Get 'em!
Yet, that's not the way of God.
So there is Stephen. The bible says
his face was that of an angel.
And yet, for speaking truth, he's
stoned to death.
While they were stoning him,
Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell on his knees and cried out,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60
How impact full was this prayer?
We may never know, and yet:
dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. Acts 7:58
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. Act 8:1
The enemy... Saul.
Persecutor of the early church.
Early Christian public enemy numero uno.
But Stephen prayed for his persecutor.
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit,
... maybe your Saul will become a Paul.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Both held back from God,
lied to the Holy Spirit,
That sums it up.
I Surrender All
I've sang it...
and at times in my life,
I've was fully prepared to give it all.
Yet, I am not better than Ananias...
Understanding mostly that service to
Christ is sacrificial, complete obedience...
I hold back.
Yes, it's the sinful nature in me snuffing
out the light of His glory...
but with the Holy Spirit in me, the
sinful nature has no reign, it is defeated.
Yet, I hold something back...
lie to the Spirit...
and should be dead where I am.
Thanks be to God for His grace
to grant me each day the opportunity
to fully obey, claim the victory that
has been won and live a live pleasing
Saturday, June 4, 2011
(tonight it actually didn't rain
and did postpone our campfire night)
2. Poison Ivy...
And when the children have it,
I still itch... go figure.
3. Dog Poop...
as in... the neighbors, in my yard...
4. Stink Bugs...
beating a dead horse with this one.
But they certainly need on the list.
5. Kids Who Think They're Funny...
I guess I can't really be too harsh here,
I was one at one point.
6. Other Shoppers...
or should I say,
"the ones who don't obey proper
as in: block the whole aisle...
go down the wrong direction in an aisle...
those who talk on their cell and shop...
etc... etc... etc...
7. Bad Corn...
when corn is sweet, oh boy.
When it's not... oh blah!
8. Dog Puke...
our lab has been sick.
And thankfully, she's crated,
with a removable rubber mat
that you can spray off outside.
9. Notre Dame Fans...
10. The End Of Baseball Season...
because it occurs 4 days after the
last day of school... "I'm bored"
here we come.
Ten has got to be enough for now.
It's the little things.
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will
yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11 NIV
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
I chuckle at this time of year because as June 1st comes
the start of the Hurricane season comes as well.
Today it begins.
Yet, the humor in this to me goes like this:
What happens between May 31st and June 1st
that changes the status from NOT Hurricane
season, to IT'S ON... HURRICANE SEASON.
A search of the internet has netted me no
reason on why June 1st is the big day.
Or maybe I just don't care too dig deep
enough to find out.
For those of you interested in Hurricane Season '11,
this site is for you: http://flhurricane.com/
SO, tis the season. June 1st through November 30th
all eyes in the areas of the US, Mexico, Caribbean Islands
are ever glancing at the skies, checking their barometers
in the anticipation of what the ocean may bring forth.
2. ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful
The Bible says we should be alert as well.
We should be alert for the enemy:
1 Peter 5:8... "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
We should be alert for the Kings return:
Mark 13:32-33... "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come."
We should be alert to the point of prayer:
Ephesians 6:18... "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Hurricane season has a specific day
where those concerned go on alert.
There, however, is no certain season
to remain alert against the enemy,
to remain alert for the return of the King,
or to remain alert to the point of prayer.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Destroyer scanned the town from this rooftop perch.
"If Tal is so subtle, we will be even more so. If he
depends on the prayers of God's people, then we work
all the harder to keep God's people from praying."
He chuckled a sulfurous chuckle.
"You don't know about the little imps
I requested from the Strongman: Strife,
Division, Gossip, and a host of others flooding
this town at this very moment! These
humans are only of flesh, of mud, and
I suggest there is one force stronger than
their zeal for God: their own self-righteousness!
We will make them proud, pure in their own
eyes, vindictive, unjust judges over each other,
and stir up such a noise among them that the
simplest prayer will not be uttered!"
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV
Monday, May 23, 2011
Jude writes concerning Godless men:
"These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever."
"Clouds without rain" caught my attention.
And maybe since it hasn't stopped raining
in my part of the world for the better part
of six weeks, this three word description
just smacked me in the face.
What exactly is wrong with "rainless" clouds?
How is this a negative?
Well, thinking about it I came up with two
1. Clouds without rain are useless.
If you're a farmer and your fields are
in need of rain, seeing the rain clouds
come would be a grateful sight.
But what if that is all there was,
a cloudy day? NO RAIN.
Therefore, no relief to your thirsting
USELESS. No good. Empty promises.
2. Clouds without rain lead to doubt.
Suppose I was to plan a day for my family
to go to a Pirate game. I haven't bought the
tickets yet because I was going to do that
when we got to the stadium.
The game is at a certain time. A few hours
before we are going to head to the stadium,
the black rain clouds roll in.
Now the question becomes, is it going to rain
and ruin the experience, or worse, get there
and then the game is cancelled? OR, is it
just going to threaten to rain, but never will,
so by not going, we may miss a great experience?
Rainless clouds produce doubt.
Doubt. Mislead. Shake your security.
No one has room in their lives for rainless clouds.
They are useless doubt sowers who do damage.
Question? Are there days in my life where I am
acting as the cloud without the rain?
Do I sow doubt? Am I being useless in another's life?
God, produce in me a useful, thirst quenching rain
that others will see and glorify YOU for it.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
any sort of interaction with children, OR been
a child yourself...
The source of the some of the greatest questions
of all time have come from children.
The whys, whats, wheres, hows, hows comes,
whos... they ask them all, and usually they
are compound questions.
"Why is the grass green?"
scientific reasons answered.
"Why green, and not red?"
God designed it that way answered.
"Why did God choose green?"
who has known the mind of the Lord...
Bible explanation answered.
"Can we go outside?"
glad the green questions are over...
now the parade of new questions begins.
Is this just childish curiosity or just the
way children understand how to keep
the adult engaged in dialogue?
And why (oh no a question) do I not
have the persistence of a child in asking
questions of God?
Why do I just get things off my chest
and move on when I should be persistent
following up each question with another
Does anyone believe that a child is merely
asking questions to "get things off there chest?"
I would say absolutely not. They want to know.
want to understand. want to have meaning
It's not a way to clear the air and move on.
It's their way of drawing out answers that
satisfy... if even the answers are not the
ones they want to hear.
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend,
and he goes to him at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me,
and I have nothing to set before him.’
“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:5-10 NIV84
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
"I praise you 24/7!!! And this how you do me!!! You expect me to learn from this???How??? I'll never forget this!! Ever!! Thx Tho."
That was tweeted in late November by Buffalo Bills
wide receiver Steve Johnson after dropping what
would have been a winning touchdown catch in
the end zone in overtime in a game against the
He was disappointed. Not doubt about it.
Today, I sit disappointed.
We have journeyed 9 months through the
painful process of selling our home... in
order to purchase one that would accommodate
the family of 6 we have.
3 bedrooms, 1 bath... just isn't quite enough.
So as of 2 days ago, the process was streaking
toward a conclusion. Under contract to sell.
Under contract to buy. Just waiting for
home inspections to pass... and then
on to closings.
"Not so fast my friend." (that's for the college
football fans out there).
A problem has arised that seems more and
more likely to take us back to "On The Market"
status. Something out of our control.
Let me spell it for you:
D I S A P P O I N T M E N T!
To get this far and to encounter a closed
door is frustrating... yet, it's comforting.
Of course my prayers all along is for a sell
and buy scenario to succeed. Yet, in my
heart, I always defer to God's will and purpose...
always defer to His control.
And if that would mean closing the door,
so that I will travel according to his plan
to wherever He will take me...
then yes, disappointed... but joyfully.
Well... knowing this:
Philippians 2:13 " for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
He maybe closing a door... and this good.
He cares enough to do it.
I'll say it again, He cares enough to do close the door...
and for me, there is joy in the disappointment as well.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I've lived all my life in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania...
minus four years in Indiana County at IUP.
One of my favorite things about the
city of Pittsburgh is the view of the city
as you emerge through the Fort Pitt Tunnel.
(As seen above)
It has been, is and always will be to me
a special trip into the city through the
tunnel. At one moment you see nothing that
indicates a city is near...
AND BOOM! As you come out of the tunnel,
there it is... Breathtaking in my opinion.
So, in some way, I love tunnel vision.
Yet, how often has someone who is
accusing you of being narrow-minded
said that you have "tunnel vision"?
"You only see things one way."
"You are so narrow-minded"
And on some things in this life,
maybe we all need to see it 360.
However, label me narrow-minded...
label me thick headed...
label me as having "tunnel vision"
in all things biblical truth.
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."
"And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it."
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
"Therefore Jesus said again, I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep."
The bible is clear there is a proper way,
gate, path, highway... not only proper
but singular... as in the ONE AND ONLY.
That may seem single minded, narrow minded...
tunnel like... but it's God's truth... and I for
one would rather have a tunnel view of God
instead of a 360 view of everything else.
Friday, April 29, 2011
This is not another "How the Pittsburgh Pirates
Ruined Baseball in Western Pennsylvania" blog.
There are plenty of them out there, written by
me and others.
This is about 10-under youth baseball.
The first REAL baseball in youths life.
No more tees to hit off. No more coaches
pitching to you. Yes, some of the rules
are restrictive (4 outfielders, only can
steal third base, everyone on your roster
present for the game hits in the lineup...
just to name a few).
But it's baseball. A kid your age
pitching to you. You're first taste
of strikes zones, walks, hit by pitch,
stealing a base...
It's beginning to look like the game
Abner Doubleday put together.
(Minus the DH of course... blah!)
I have been looking forward to the
10-under (minor league) baseball
for a few years. Don't get me wrong,
tee-ball & coaches pitch are fine,
they're just... well, psuedoball.
So as we entered into lasts nights
season-opener (yeah, rain pushed
this back a bit) I was excited.
A little nervous how my 9-year-old
would respond to strikes zones and
fastballs and bean-balls. Really,
I was nervous about him taking his
first ball of his body while batting.
He did splendid. Struck out twice,
but went down swinging both times.
What are you suppose to do when
you've only had 3 practices up until
game time due to... well, you know
what... drip, drip, drip.
He fielded a ball cleanly in the outfield,
relayed it to second base just fine.
My worries were ironed out during his
second at-bat when he received his
first HBP (hit by pitch). In fact,
he backed up a step after taking the
blow, and then stepped back into the
batters box ready for the next one...
missing the whole point that when
you get hit, you take first. I guess
it should be explained at some point
that that's what happens when you
My fears and anxiety rode easily away
on the 30 mile an hour wind of the
night... but my perception of how
10-under baseball would be better
took a blow.
Pitching. Unless you've got a kid
that age who's got the natural ability
to throw strikes... well, for any parent
going to watch 10-under ball...
be prepared for walks, aka base-0n-balls.
If tee-ball is about picking dandelions and playing
in the dirt... and coaches pitch is about enduring
kids who can't catch/hit/run... 10-under kid-pitch
is about the WALK... 3 hours of them.
Then again, if we're talking about walks,
maybe this is about how the Buccos ruined
baseball in Western Pennsylvania.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
"If you think you've figured it out,
wait until the children come home."
"Grass doesn't care of the temperature.
It only cares about the sunshine and rain."
"Life is like an egg... hard-boiled."
"The other side of the pillow isn't really
always cooler, it's just that your head
is always a little warmer."
"Why do today what you should have
"Dandelions are not part of May flowers,
they're just a weed."
"I'm not snoring, I'm dreaming about chainsaws."
"Stay home, hug your wife, kiss you children.
Save gas like that."
"I love the part of spring when the trees actually
start to cast a fuller shadow."
"I don't do laundry because I like it. I do laundry
because other people don't want to see me naked."
"What is luck? It's where your lack of faith
meets God's grand plan for your life."
"Pizza. No matter how it's made, it's still
better than (name your least favorite vegetable here).
Thursday, April 14, 2011
be moved to April 14th. Yeah, we can
keep the 14, but the month has got
to be changed.
Last night, as I watched out the window,
I was privileged to watch the interaction
of two cardinals.
The male, in all his red glory, was visiting
our bird feeder. Hopping on the ground.
Flying back into the tree in which our
It was only after a few trips from the
ground to the tree that I realized what
he was doing.
He was eating a few seeds, then he would
fly up into the tree to feed one to his
mate. It was as if they he kept giving
her a kiss... a peck of sorts.
It was a beautiful display... truly it was.
The cardinals are in full court mode...
as are many other birds...
watching the robins and sparrows gather
materials for their nests...
watching the rabbits do the same...
watching the pigeons strutting about, almost
wild turkey like, in full "impress the
watching as the doves dancing together
in, always alert, yet fully focused on
It is a marvel to behold... and a solid sign
that spring is here, and the newness of
spring is marching full forward to the
next phase of courtship.
Forget February 14th. A hallmark
holiday in the middle of the doldrums
of winter... the black and white...
the deep freeze... and over the last few
years, the snowiest of snowy months.
April 14th. Spring. Rain. Flowers bloom.
The dance of the birds at the feeder goes
from surviving to courtship...
from death to life...
old to new.
It is a beautiful picture embedded into
His creation of all that He gives freely
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 NIV
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Who knew no sin
That we might become His Righteousness
He humbled himself and carried the cross
Love so amazing
Love so amazing
Name above all names
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Lord of all
His body the bread
His blood the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth trembled
And the veil was torn
Love so amazing
Love so amazing, yeah
Name above all names
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Lord of all
All our hope is in You
All our hope is in You
All the glory to You, God
The light of the world
Name above all names
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Lord of all
Chris Tomlin 2008
Monday, April 4, 2011
and the only reason this fellow would
allow me to share...
all Glory belongs to God!
There is a man I've known awhile...
an ordinary chap... a 40-hour work
week kind of fellow. Faithful to his
family, loving in his own, certain way.
A little rough around the edges...
a stick to his convictions type of guy.
Steadfast in his walk.
He is an encourager... spends countless
hours writing cards to folks... A man
who recognizes the gifts God has
given to him, and uses them...
Always the encourager.
5 months ago, he was attending just
another Sunday morning service at
his church. For reasons he didn't know
at the moment, he began searching
over the sanctuary... and finally
spotting a face he did not recognize.
Uncomfortable where he sat, and
motivated by the Spirit, he recognized
the call to approach a young woman
he did not know, and decided to be
faithful to the Spirit's voice to interact.
As the service concluded, he frantically
could not find that face. And as the people
began to exit, he dashed for the lobby
in hopes to find the one he was directed
Finally spotting his intended audience,
he dashed out the lobby door to engage
the one he was called to encourage.
A short encounter with the first time
church goer revealed the searcher
God intended to grab hold of.
After asking if he could give her his
number in case she had any questions,
she agreed... and the first meeting ended.
The following week, he scanned the church
and did not see her.
The next week, he received a call in the
middle of the week. She called.
Wanted to thank him for stopping her
and talking with her. Explained to him
that she had not come back the second
week due to the fact that she works
2 Sunday's a month. So he asked
her if she had planned on coming back
the following week, and if she was to
come, he invited her to sit with him
and his wife.
And for several months, 2 Sunday's a month
she came, sat with this man and his wife.
She shared with him and his wife things
about her life... building a relationship.
Two week ago, this man's pastor called him
at home. Not a startling development, but
phone interaction between the two was
not how the communicated best.
The pastor told this man that a young lady
had called to meet with him and the pastor's
wife. She had questions. And so they met.
And so for the first time in her life see saw
the open arms of Jesus... and she lept into them.
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?
Only servants, through whom you came to believe—
as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God, who makes things grow.
The man who plants and the man who waters
have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9 NIV
Now I know this man would claim nothing more
than what God has said through Paul in 1 Corinthians 3.
It's not this man's story... it's a story to God's glory.
But how awesome it is that the God of universe
who doesn't need us for anything, would privilege us
to be apart of his work?
I want to model my life after this man...
faithful to the voice of the Spirit to
go beyond fear and doubt
and to act.
Friday, April 1, 2011
It's just... April is like a bridge from somewhere
mysterious (March) to somewhere pleasant (May).
Now, yes... April hosts Easter from time to time.
I do know people who have been born in the
month of April, and married in the month of
Setting those things aside... April is just... well...
It's just there... it's the average looking girl/guy
at the party. You don't really see them,
unless they run into you.
Did you know that April statistically has the
highest suicide rate?
Do you remember Oklahoma City?
How about Columbine?
Tragedies, all of them.
April also has baseball's return...
which means nothing any more in
April is... well, it's April.
It's "Good-bye March... come soon, May."
"Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool."
Proverbs 26:1 NIV
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
the process of Financial Peace University.
We didn't do this the traditional way...
meaning, taking the 13 week course
offered at many differing places.
We simply bought the book, and
trudged along... working through the
steps outlined within.
Now, I'm certain the benefits of taking
the class and working the process
has many benefits to which we may
have missed out on; however, we have
successfully eliminated our debt.
WE ARE DEBT FREE!
The process has allowed us to take
back control of our finances. And as
we gear up to move into the next
phase of the FPU process, we can look
back over the last two years and say
with certainty that any sacrifice we
had to make to remove all of our
debt (mortgage not included) was well
worth it. And we would recommend
to all who can't seem to overcome the
"debt monkey" to take a serious look
at the process.
It's definitely a weight that we will not miss.
Much the same way, I am spiritually debt free.
Except, there was no FPU course to work
through to help me work out my debt.
No debt snow balls.
No gazelles running my debt away.
Quite simply, I can, can't, couldn't do anything about.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Colossians 1:21-22 NIV
"free from accusation"
Freedom from the debt I owe for the sin that is in my life.
Freedom from that debt...
well, that's not just weight missing...
That's weight forever eliminated.
And I for one am so thankful for the spiritual debt of mine
that has been paid in full.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
to determine where I am to serve with the
idea of this in mind: "For we are God’s handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do."
And over the past few months, the message my
heart has been receiving is just this: "get up
and start doing. Stop waiting for the great
big flashing neon sign to point you in a direction.
If it's some thing that is too be done sacrificially
in service for others, then do it. But if it is something
that leads your heart towards sin, then avoid it.
just GET OFF THE COUCH, HELP ANOTHER."
Therefore, I am declaring the beginnings of
G.O.T.C.H.A. I have no idea what this means
or where it's heading or how this is going to
be put into practice... It's just a starting point.
It's the first step. It's moving my behind
off the four-legged room filler and into
So, look for it.
G.O.T.C.H.A. is coming!
Monday, March 14, 2011
I stand in line to experience,
what most do call a rush.
The speed at which we travel,
in its seat I am crushed.
As we ascend the beast,
my heart is soaring high.
To the top we climb,
into the endless sky.
Whip around each corner,
my body takes to much.
And as we reached the valleys,
my nerves are calmed as such.
My stomach is full of uncertainty,
my lungs let out a cry.
I stood 3 hours in a line,
and feel that I can fly.
I'm on a roller coaster,
the highs and lows we glide.
I'm on a roller coaster,
with Jesus at my side.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:31 (NIV)
Friday, March 11, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
of the stuff that I wrote in years past. It's
a good reminder of how I have or have not
changed over time. It's a good reminder
of happenings from home that I may have
or haven't forgotten. It's a good reminder.
I found today from last March a rambling
of sorts of stuff. So, I figured, with spring
on the horizon to wonder aloud about
#1 I Contribute To The Obesity Of Nature.
Well, I thought the 18 inch, 3 inch diameter
bird feeder full of sunflower seeds was being
emptied by chickadees and finches.
Only to discover the 2 ton squirrel that
enjoys hanging upside down to empty it.
Yeah, this squirrel is so big...
supply your own punch line here.
#2 Listening Is Not Genetic.
In fact, listening is a skill that most
people have to work all their lives
#3 Laundry =equals= Lawn Mowing.
Both pointless activities that after completed
you can relish in the fact it is over and you've
Only to remember that in less than 4 days,
you'll need to do it again.
They are currently 3 inches out of the ground.
I love the spring flowers. When you see them
poking through the surface, you know there
is a hope for the end of winter.
#5 Pittsburgh Style Sandwiches.
Italian bread. Chopped up steak.
Provolone cheese. French Fries.
Cole Slaw. (optional onions, ketchup).
Mm Mm Good.
#6 Vacuuming, Dusting, Washing Dishes.
#7 Baking Cookies or Racing Cars.
4.5 year old Luke has been adamant for months
now that he's going to race cars when he grows up.
(Pray now please)
Yesterday, he had a change of heart due to his
most passionate love for all things cookies.
He decided he wanted to be a baker.
Which excited his 7 year old sister who informed
him that when she has a family, he then could
do all the baking for her families birthdays,
holidays, etc. free of charge.
Well, some time after the completion of the few
dozen chocolate chip cookies they baked
yesterday, he had a change of heart... he still
wants to be a race car driver.
I guess 2 things come from this:
the roads of Beaver County are safe only for
another 13 or 14 years, and...
sister better start saving for all those cakes
she's going to need in the future.
#8 The Greatest Kid Magnet.
No matter how far away you go...
Downstairs from upstairs,
Pittsburgh from Baltimore,
USA from Uganda...
if you are on the phone, your children
will find you.
Nothing at that moment is more important
to a child when you are on the phone.
#9 Sunshine, Blue Skies.
In Pittsburgh, it doesn't necessarily
indicate a play-outside experience
is going to occur on that given day.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Translated that means I'm a little
thick when it comes to understanding
God's leading in my life.
Maybe I strain to hard to hear a whisper
and actually tune out the loud response
He has given...
or quite the opposite. I'm so focused on
that earthquake, tsunami, hurricane
response, I miss the faint gentle
whisper of a loving Father.
Either way, I feel there are way too many
times that I miss it. But I continue
I do however in attempt to pin down
the whisper or blast, search God's Word.
"Congrats. That's a great call. That's the
first step... next to prayer."
Not so fast. I struggle everyday to even open it.
That's sad. Unfortunately I far too often use
the Bible as a recipe book, instead of a love letter.
Tangent... another blog for another time.
Back to the search.
I try the, open the Bible and read a verse.
I try the, pick a number to equate it to a page number.
I try the, expand on the verse of the day of bible.org
I have found myself from time to time, just saying,
"God, if only there were a verse written specifically
for me, for this situation... like, 'Jacob, sell you house.'"
But there's the danger for me. I can look up verses
that have my name in the verse, but may find this:
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him.
Then he commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman.
I don't even know where to find a Canaanite woman.
And besides, I'm guessing Samantha would not appreciate that.
(On a side note, thankfully Sam WAS the oldest daughter.)
You see. Sometimes, having a biblical name does have it drawbacks.
Yet, I'll continue to search... to pray... to shout after the Almighty.
Yes, shout. He's God. He's big enough. He can take it.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
with a windchill of -14 degrees.
That's cold... Terrible cold.
But It's not the cold that concerns me.
It's the total babyfication of our children.
For the 3rd time this winter, our school
has had a 2-hour delay due to...
TONS OF SNOW, RIGHT?
due to... frigid temperature .
Yeah, really. It's cold... oh no.
Give me a break.
I honestly don't ever remember having
a 2-hour delay due to frigid temperatures
when I was a kid. I can't... and I bet,
IT'S BECAUSE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!
(I'm sure I'll get all kinds of hate mail
telling me it did).
Soft... schools are turning our children
into soft pretzels... squishable beings.
Folks I know don't understand these
2-hour delays... they're recent transplants
to the area. To hear them tell it, to have
school closures due to snow or delays
to cold weather would pretty much keep
things shut down or delayed all winter
So my kids are soft,
Minnesota kids are tough...
What happened to the lost art of
standing at the bus stop in the cold?
So, yeah, unofficially this morning
according to the thermometer at
my house, it was 9 degrees at 7:50 a.m.
Wind chill I can't say.
At 9:50 a.m. (the new bus time)
it was 15 degrees.
Once again, Wind chill I can't say.
6 whole degrees different.
Come on, man.
Stop softening my kids up...
and please, let me be the one
who babies them.