Wednesday, March 31, 2004

March Last

It's March last, as Cole calls it. Hey, makes sense to me. We do say March 1st, don't we? Why not March last?

If there's one thing that Fred Rogers taught us, it's that "it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Lots of strange commotion going on at the now abandoned "Lesbian house" across the street. Police and fire department officials are over there, but no fire that we can see. Even the dog catcher made an appearance, hauling off the two giant Rottweilers the "girls" so kindly left to starve to death in the yard. These dogs have a history of getting out of the yard and wandering around.... I'm glad they didn't get hungry enough to eat some of the neighborhood children. Our kids have run home more than once scared of loose and loud Rottweilers. They know daddy has some 00 buckshot at the ready... just in case any Lesbian dogs jump the fense and come after the children. No need to worry about that anymore, Lesbians and neglected German dogs, GONE. There's a notice sign posted on the building now, but I can't read it from here. No doubt it says something about it being safe to go in, now that the Lesbians and Rottweilers are gone.

Anyone else struggle between making lawful use of the beautiful things in this world, and worldliness? In an attempt to do the former, and avoid the latter, I went out to eat with a co-worker and our mutual buddy. We went to our favorite place to go, a place called Kclinger's. It's got "the East Coast's largest beer selection," which is nice. We had some good food, good drink, and there was quite a musical treat. A band that I never heard of before was there... Little Charlie and the Nightcats. They play a style of blues that I'd call "jump" or "swing" blues (think Bill Haley and the Comets, but more bluesy and with way more of a Jazz element). In the audience was a fella named Steve Gieger, a Philadelphia "harp" player (not the big stringed instrument, but a "mouth harp," a harmonica). He came up and jammed with the Nightcats, and boy, did he and the band's singer (who also plays harp) ever treat us to some incredible harmonica blues. Just fantastic. There's a word I need to use more, "fantastic." Anyway, what a fantastic display of harp playing. We had a nice time.

Harmonica blues is a style I've not had the pleasure of delving into that much, but I'll be looking into it a bit more. Maybe I'll pick up a Sonny Boy Williamson CD, or perhaps a Sonny Boy Williamson CD. Yeah, that one had me confused for a while myself.

"March last" is a million times better for me than last March.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The Big Five

Big Five Test Results
Extroversion (48%) medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, optimistic, sociable and affectionate.
Friendliness (66%) moderately high which suggests you are good natured, trusting, and helpful but possibly too much of a follower
Orderliness (50%) medium which suggests you are moderately organized, reliable, neat, and ambitious.
Emotional Stability (50%) medium which suggests you are moderately worrying, insecure, emotional, and nervous.
Openmindedness (52%) medium which suggests you are moderately intellectual, curious, and imaginative.
Take Free Big Five Personality Test
personality tests by

Pretty much scoring right down the middle, except I'm supposedly friendly. :p
I'm encouraged by being 50% emotionally stable. I'll have to remind myself of that when I'm polishing my shotgun repeating under my breath "I am the angel of death, and the time of cleansing is at hand." Relax, Jer. You're 50% emotionally stable, let's focus on the positive! "Oh, ok... maybe I'll go knit or something." Now, I don't knit, mind you. That takes skill, patience, and a daintiness that I just don't have. I guess I'm not "good enough" to be able to knit. I'm such a loser!!! Wait... breathe deep... you're 50% emotionally stable, Jerry. Now get back to work, you slacker!

On 03/07/04 I posted a portion of a book called "The Heidelberg Catechism, with Proof-Texts and Explanations as used in the Palatinate, translated from the German by Rev. H. Harbaugh, D.D., with Forms of Devotion." I noted that after the Catechism section of the book, there follows a section called "Questions and Counsels as Helps to Self-Examination." I then posted the questions. I now post the first three counsels, and I intend to eventually post all of them, may the Good LORD be willing:


1. Remember that you are an immortal being, an that many enemies beset you here, and that especially “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Ask yourself the preceding questions carefully and prayerfully, that you man not be self-deceived. When you find yourself doubtful or deficient in any point, let it not discourage you; but labor and pray until you shall have made that attainment which will enable you to answer it in the affirmative. Remember the promises of God, and claim them for yourself.

2. Do not feel satisfied unless you are constantly growing in grace. The great means of growing in grace are, secret prayer, reading the word of God, watchfulness, and self-examination. Let these be your constant resort on every occasion of doubt, or of temptation, and let these be your daily spiritual food. Have also, if possible, some good religious reading on hand always, especially books of a practical and devotional kind. The works of Arndt, Krummacher, Doddridge, Baxter, Bunyan and Owen[*], have been blest to the souls of thousands. But the best of all books is undoubtedly the Bible itself. Let this precious book be emphatically “a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your path.” It unfolds the consoling doctrine and the directing precept, the warning and the promise. Flee the modern novels and light literature. They are not only a waste of time, but a poison to the soul.

3. Strive to attain eminent holiness. Let it be your aim to live religion, not merely to profess it. Let it go with you and be with you at all times, on the Sabbath day and the day of labor, at home and abroad. Avoid a gloomy, morose spirit, but give not way to levity. “Be sober.” Flee all temptations. “Flee youthful lusts.” Flee improper employments. Flee dangerous situations. Flee evil companions.

[*] While these authors no doubt have written some very edifying works, I must encourage the reader to follow these and all other authors as they followed Christ, but discourage you from following them as they departed from Christ, such as in the cases of Baxter's neonomianism, Bunyan's anabaptism, and Owen's independency. If I were to compose my own list of recommended authors, I would include Calvin, Rutherford (also spelled Rutherfurd), and the excellent Reformed Catechisms called the Heidelberg and the Westminster Shorter, for starters anyway.... there are alot of good old books available by which the careful reader may be edified.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Cooking is Fun

Cooking is fun now that I sharpened by cleaver. Come to think of it, I think I can kill two birds with one stone... or two cats with one cleaver. Who wants to come over for Chinese food? Sign up now, I'm sure there's going to be a waiting list.

In other news...

Our house continues to fall apart. It's a hundred years old, and it seems like just when you fix one thing, something else breaks down. It reminds me of this fleshly tabernacle I live in... trying to stay healthy in this life is like fixing a building that is breaking down all around. I guess we try to keep our houses nice, like, by not letting cats pee in them, but we must realize that the house is coming down... we won't be living here forever. And that's a good thing.

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." -- 2 Corinthians 5:1-4.
Problems with Cats

Harley and Blackie have been peeing on the kids stuff. Yesterday they unloaded on some comfortors and sleeping bags. Yesterday being the Lord's Day, I just figured today I would look up stuff on how to stop this behavior in cats. My wife's response was... umm... a little different. Once I find the cats again (if they are alive, I mean), I think we may try some things to stop the behavior. If that doesn't work, then I think the cats are going to take a drive with fat Clemenza to pick up some cannolis, if you know what I mean. I can see it now. "Dad? Where are the cats?" "Son, Harley and Blackie sleep with the fishes."

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Remembering Anita

Here's the review on (click the pic to go there):

"The story of Anita Bento's life will lift you to new heights through the love and compassion this woman embodied. As you read the book you will be drawn deeper and deeper into the transcendent mystery that informed her life and indeed all of life. The simple, clear, straightforward style Dr. Shaak employs is so refreshing and allows the story to unfold naturally and lucidly. This book is riveting. It can transform you. It will surely help you see how truly precious life is and how full and unbounded it can be."

Dr. Shaak is my grandfather, and he wrote this book. Whether or not this book will "lift you to new heights" or draw you "deeper and deeper into the transcedent mystery" or whatever, I can't say. I haven't read it, though my wife typed it. Frankly, we get a chuckle out of reviews like this. But hey, my grandfather got a book published and the cover is pretty. Good for him. Hey Oprah (I heard she may read my blog), get him on your book club, would ya?

Friday, March 26, 2004

The Fly

You can't be still for a moment, and your annoying little buzzing sound grates on everyone.
You are very mobile, one moment in one place and the next you are in another room, and please drop that nasty habit of touching everybody's food!

I wish this was more specific... I mean, am I one of those green flies that hang around... well... you know...?
The Big Bucks

Things are looking up, people! Not only is the warm weather making an appearance here today (supposed to be 70 degrees), but I also got a check in the mail as a result of a class action lawsuit filed (not by me) against Citibank. I hesitate posting this here, for fear of provoking envy, but I hope rather that folks can just rejoice with me in my windfall. I work today, but believe me, all day long I'll be dreaming either of being outside in 70 degrees, or else how I can blow my new found money! Maybe I should just put it way for the kids. The Proverbs talk about an inheritance for our children's children. Maybe I'll just save it then. Anyway, can you imagine the thrill of opening an envelope and seeing in big bold black letters, PAY TO THE ORDER OF [me].... ZERO DOLLARS AND .70 CENTS!

I hope this doesn't become a burden, like the guys who win the lottery, only to have every distant "cousin" call with some sob story about how they need a piece of the pie. BACK OFF, COUSINS! Get your own class action lawsuit. 70 degrees, 70 cents. Coincidence?

I think not!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Tear Jerkers

If Robert Johnson taught us anything, it's "If you cry about a nickel, you'll die about a dime." Which got me to thinking about some of the saddest songs I can think of. Here’s my list of 5 songs that can get me choked up.

1. Motherless Children by Blind Willie Johnson.

Lot’s of people have done this song, but Blind Willie’s just tears me up. Willie’s mom died when he was just a kid. His father remarried a rather nasty woman. One day, as Willie’s father and step-mother were fighting, the step-mother, reportedly in a jealous rage, threw lye-water into Willie Johnson’s eyes... and at 7 years old, he became Blind Willie Johnson. When you hear Willie growl “Nobody treats you like your mother will,” it’s quite powerful. I’d link to the lyrics here, but (1) they aren’t anywhere on the net that I can find -- not the way Blind Willie did it anyway, and (2) you have to hear it -- it’s not just what is sang, it’s who sang it and how.

2. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll by Bob Dylan.

Hattie Caroll, who was by all accounts a kind and gentle (black) woman and mother of 10 children, was beaten to death with a cane by (white) William Zanzinger, because she wasn’t bringing him drinks fast enough. Zanzinger received what did not even amount to a slap on the wrist for his murder. Dylan wrote an amazing song about the incident. Dylan does not rhyme any words outside of the chorus except once where he matches up the word “table” three times, to show how mundane Hattie Caroll’s life was. The last verse chokes me up every time I hear it.

3. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton Oh, come on! Conner, just a toddler, falls from window to his death. This song is Clapton asking the question every parent who has lost a child must ask. When I first heard this song, I was sad for a week straight.

4. Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. Anyone else who grew up like this knows what I'm talking about.

5. Der Kommisar by Falco. Just kidding.

5. Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan. Yeah, so I got two Dylan songs on the list, who cares! What do I want you to bring me back from your trip? Yourself, unspoiled. And if I can't have that, just bring me some stupid boots so I can get to walking.

Ok, there's my list. I'm quite pleased that I was able to assemble a list that contained exactly no sappy girly love songs! (Boots of Spanish Leather is NOT sappy, nor girly, and it's more of a folk song than a love song, IMO).

What's a song or two that you would put on your saddest song list?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Coming to a neighborhood near you???

The "gay flag" that used to fly from the bathroom window of our neighbors across the street is gone. The manly looking girls packed up their boxes and loaded them onto pickup trucks (note: NOT THE SAME AS A BUCKET TRUCK) and drove away. The cars they drove are all gone. Yes, it appears that the apartment building across the street, affectionately known as the Lesbian House, is empty! There was a little boy who stayed over there sometimes, who would come over to play with our kids. Poor kid. He thought he lived with his mother and 4 "aunts." The kids will miss their little friend, but I won't miss seeing their abomination waved in the faces of all their neighbors in the form of their God-daring banner.

This morning I'm foregoing the coffee, and having some green tea and honey (i.e. grass steeped in hot water, and bee puke).

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


What's you're favorite beer? Or, what beer have you been drinking lately that you recommend? In the fridge now we have Bass Ale, which is a nice, crisp, ale... but not wimpy and tasteless. At this very moment, I'm having a Mackeson XXX Stout. Mmm... think chocolate covered cherries... and a hint of coffee too. Yummy. While you're enjoying your favorite brew, in moderation, for the glory of God, perhaps you might spend just a few seconds to consider....

What is your inner pie?

Find your inner PIE at

Monday, March 22, 2004

Waybright @ Googlism

Ok, I stumbled upon this site called Googlism. The site claims to be able to show you what "Google thinks of you." So, I entered "Waybright," and here's what I got.

waybright is president of trinity international university in deerfield
waybright is first and foremost a floral artist
waybright is a floral artist
waybright is an eighth grade math teacher at jefferson middle school in champaign
waybright is the lead designer and content manager for the aua
waybright is a member of the society
waybright is proud of his farm
waybright is one of my greatest supporters
waybright is currently director of bands at the university of florida
waybright is back in this issue continuing his advice on bucket trucks
waybright is a certified trainer with the northeast public power association
waybright is on internet; can furnish family if ever needed
waybright is listed as the first spouse of calhoun by michele money
waybright is also the instructor of floral design at the new york botanical garden as well as
waybright is back after being out with an injury the past five games
waybright is responsible for inputting information into the system for michigan cat and finds it quite simple to use
waybright is the new cross connection program coordinator
waybright is
waybright is board certified in biofeedback training
waybright is rd for region four
waybright is dhhr's regional director for region iv
waybright is looking for inspiration
waybright is a trumpet player and has his phd in band conducting
waybright is a housing counselor with the emmaus services for the aging with the mennonite voluntary service
waybright is part of a new state
waybright is #77
waybright is co

Let me get something straight right now... I am NOT a floral artist!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The Carpet Crew

About 6 hours late, the carpet guys showed up. Two non-English speaking guys, neither of them much taller than my 7 year old (think Herve Villachez x2 and a giant language barrier). "Is good? Okay, okay." They worked out of a van that which appears they may also live in. Now look, if I lived in Loobania, and didn't speak much Loobanian, I don't even know if I'd have the gumption to run such an operation to earn a living, so I gotta hand it to these guys. But it sure doesn't make it easy telling them what you want, or answering their questions (I THINK they were asking questions). One guy said "Medda?" I responded, "I don't understand, are you saying "middle".... maybe metal? Look, just do what you think is best." "Okay okay!" I still have a headache, but the carpet looks nice.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Busy Days

Yesterday was busy. I had "Therapeutic Crisis Intervention" training from 8am to 10am. So I'm ready if a therapeutic crisis breaks out. Then back to the house where we moved everything we owned into little Danno's room, so the carpet guys can come today -- I'm confident that they will not lay anything down that makes me homocidal, like my kitchen flooring does (seriously, DON'T ASK). Then back to work for a busy 3-11 shift. Today will involve more furniture moving and perhaps a hernia. Anyway, time for my second cup before I hide my guns so the carpet guys don't find them. Outside, the 6 inches of snow we got is rapidly melting, big chunks of slush falling from the trees, roofs, and power lines, like so many semi-frozen tears.

"The sky is cryin. Can't you see the tears roll down the street?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Now that's a hoot.

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

"Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do,
got a honey jar stuck on his nose.
He came to me, asking help and advice,
and from here no one knows where he goes.
So I sent him to ask of the Owl, if he's there,
how to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear."

-- House at Pooh Corner, by Kenny Loggins.

I'll give you "take out"!

Just to mix things up (cuz we’re crazy like that), we decided to get some take out food. So I grabbed by pipe and my wallet and drove to the Downtown Lounge to pick up the grub. Something happened there that has never happened to me before, and it has me worried about the state of the world today. As I was waiting at the bar to pick up the food, a woman next to me turned to her male companion, who was himself smoking a cigarette, and said, "Eew, he’s smoking a pipe… (cough cough)." Now what in the world is going on? Marlboro mullet-man’s big tobacco cancer stick is just fine and dandy, but aromatic cherry cavendish is unbearable??? Okay, okay… maybe she’s allergic or something, but then again, maybe she’s not. And what then? I politely stopped puffing. I mean, I didn’t want to interrupt her steady inhaling of nasty funk by introducing my therapeutic scents. Is this what things have come to? Nice = bad? Nasty = desirable? Whatever the case, I know this… next time I go to the Downtown Lounge, I’m not going to smoke my cherry cavendish. Mocha maybe.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Heavy Hearted

I'm in a weird mood today. Not exactly depressed, but I'm not at peace either. I'm very heavy in the heart. I have a family member that has thus far expressed an intent to carry on in a course of gross, scandalous, soul-destroying, family-ruining sin. As a result, the rest of us are needing to seperate (as much as is possible) from this family member. It's not easy on the kids, who are not going to be able to understand this situation fully for a number of years. I'm not even sure I understand it. Sin has a way of blinding us, convincing us that God's Law applies to everyone else but me. It can't apply to me. God wants me to be happy, and so He will wink at my sin. Is that so? No, it is not so. It is blindness and foolishness to think that way. May God have mercy on my family that has been so afflicted over the past few years (nay, for generations -- adultery and drunkenness are plagues on my house and my name). Remember us, those of you who pray to the Most High. I am not crushed, however. God is upholding me. Praise be to Him.

(And no, I'm not talking about my wife)

The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz
The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz

Perhaps the greatest "quiz" I've found so far.
Thinking and Wondering

So would you take me for a ride,
and let me know that I'm alive?
Oh, sometimes I wish I never
had a question for a clue to anything.
All this wondering, and this thinking
and wondering, and this thinking
and wondering, what I'm gonna do.
So many reasons to believe.
I am so easily deceived.

-- (Thinking and Wondering) What I'm Gonna Do, by King's X.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Personality disorders

I work in a psychiatric treatment facility, so I think it's important that continue to foster my own mental problems. Seems I have some work to do however:


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

The question "are you ever tempted to drive your minivan up someone's front porch" was surprisingly absent from the survey. Not that I am tempted... I'm just saying.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

You're a Glass of Wine!

What Type of Alcoholic Beverage Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ok, so I'm a glass of wine, like my friend. I was thinking I'd be a beer, but I guess I didn't pick enough of the rude options in the quiz. I'm fine with wine, and wine's fine with me! Red or white? Hmm... that depends -- are Cicadas considered "white meat" or what? Look, I think I'm going to go with a Reisling for now. But not quite yet, as I'm still working my coffee.

Now playing: Otis Rush, "Ain't Enough Comin' In."

Friday, March 12, 2004

Year of the Cicada (Yummy!!!)

In Pennsylvania, it's soon time for the 17 year Cicadas to swarm again.

In honor of this, I offer up this recipe for Cicadas I found on the internet:

Cicadas are a delicacy in the city of Shanghai, China, where this creative recipe originated.

Cicadas, anises, salt, rice wine, mashed garlic, celery, turnip greens.

1. Boil the cicadas and anises in salted rice wine for five minutes, then remove the cicadas.
2. Sauté the mashed garlic, adding water and rice wine to make a paste.
3. Deep-fry the cicadas, then skewer them with bamboo picks. Arrange them on a plate with the turnip greens, celery, and garlic paste to look like the cicadas are climbing out of a mud pie onto green foliage. Bon appetit!

No kidding, I used to know a girl who ate these things... alive.

Thursday, March 11, 2004


I don't know what was going on today (maybe it was the near perfect weather) but there were two, count 'em, two car accidents on my normal route to work. The second one I encountered was a run of the mill person-in-a-hurry-trying-to-pull-out-into-traffic-but-failing-to-account-for-the-oncoming-vehicle accident. The first accident I came across, however, is the one I want to focus on: a minivan drove up onto the sidewalk, up a few front porch steps, resting with it's front left tire on someone's porch, the frame being jammed on the steps pretty well. What was going on there, I can only guess (maybe the driver dropped his bottle opener?). I didn't realize a minivan was that versatile. The whole scene has given me a few ideas... I have a minivan, you know.

I hope no one was hurt in any of these particular accidents. Too many people are hurt and killed driving motor vehicles. If we all walked to work, and smoked pipes, I bet there would be far less pipe-related walking injuries and deaths than there are motor vehicle accident related injuries and deaths. Then again, that's a long walk. So, I'll be driving again tomorrow... hopefully not up somebody's porch. But like I said, I got ideas.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Babies? Figures.

Babies' laughter: Warm, kind and loving; a baby's
laugh represents you. You are very innocent and
enjoy the simple things in life. You are
probably very good with children and have a
positive, happy soul. (please rate my quiz)

What Sound Are You?(now w/ pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't know about the positive, innocent, or happy part, but I think I'm pretty good with kids... once they shut up and pay attention. So I'm babies laughter, huh? It's appropriate, I guess, though I thought I'd be something more along the lines of a constant mocking high pitched buzz. Babies laughing is one of my favorite sounds, next to cats shaking their heads making their ears flap.
Drug Lords

The best thing about my job is the drug lords. Pharmaceutical companies hire guys to peddle their wares. These peddlars are affectionately referred to as "drug lords." What's so great about them? Their chiefest method to get people to listen to the latest tests results and statistics about their company's medications is to bring food for everybody. Drug lords = free food, and free food = Jerry's having a good time. Today? Chinese food... mmm.... I ate my fill, but two hours later I was craving more drug lords.

Monday, March 08, 2004


Huddie Ledbetter, also known as Leadbelly. They say his skin was very dark, black with almost a red tint. I don't know, never saw him in person. He died in 1949, but the black and white pictures I've seen seem to confirm that. He was one of the first African-American artists that gained a Caucasian audience. Most of the recordings of Ledbelly that exist are far from good quality by today's standards. They were mostly recorded near the very advent of recording. But I'll tell you what... it's some moving stuff. I've grown to love the blues over the past 2 years especially. I had some personal struggles that made music nearly intolerable to me. Music has a way of bringing back memories, stirring up emotions, painting pictures with sound. The way I was feeling, I didn't want to remember things, I didn't want certain emotions stirred up, and the pictures painted by the music I was accustomed to lost some lustre. So I started listening to stuff I never listened to before.... Ledbelly, Blind Lemon, Blind Willie Johnson, Elmore James, and other blues and roots music. I love it, and it helps me understand so much about music today. Leadbelly was one of the best. But the fact is, Bob Dylan was right.... "no one can sing the blues... like Blind Willie McTell."
Cat Guest

Yesterday (Lord's Day), there was a cat with a bell tied around its neck in our yard. This was not our cat. We already have two cats, one of which is Harley pictured above, and we do not need a third. The kids opened the back door, and the cat came right in the house. Friendly cat. We asked the cat to leave (ahem), and he did. And that's the end of my cat story.
Charlie Brown
I’m Charlie Brown! Get a load of that, Withee!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, March 07, 2004


I hold a little book in my hand called, "The Heidelberg Catechism, with Proof-Texts and Explanations as used in the Palatinate, translated from the German by Rev. H. Harbaugh, D.D., with Forms of Devotion." It was published in Reading, PA., by Daniel Miller. On the inside near the back of the book is an inscription, written in pencil, apparently by a child, which reads, "I gave my heart to Jesus, And I mean to keep my vows. A.A.R."

After the Catechism section of the book, there follows a section called "Questions and Councels as Helps to Self-Examination." I typed up the questions here, and plan on typing out the counsels later:

Let each one ask himself or herself these questions. Make a pause after each one; and bring the conscience, the heart, and the life, solemnly to these tests. It is better to answer these questions now than to meet them in the day of Judgment. Oh! be honest with your soul!


1. Have you been made to feel that by nature you were in a lost and helpless condition? Have you experienced the conviction that your heart is the seat and fountain of sin, and that you have committed many acts of transgression and sin against God? Have you felt that there is no way of escape from this condition of misery, save through the Cross of Christ? Have you hence been led to despair of yourself, and your works, and to throw yourself altogether on the free mercy of God in Christ?

2. Have you been willing to acknowledge that this depravity and helplessness of your nature comes from sin? Have you felt that in punishing you for your sin, God is just? Have you been willing to acknowledge that God has a right to require obedience to the whole law? Have you felt that you are altogether unable to deliver yourself from misery and want, and that a DIVINE deliverer alone can save you?

3. Have you hence turned towards Christ as the God-man, and as such the only one able and willing to save you? Have you sincerely turned unto him, accepted of him as your only hope, and thrown yourself unreservedly upon his sacrifice for salvation?

4. Have you reason to believe that Go has accepted of you, and that you are truly converted to him? On what is your hope of acceptance with God based? On your reformation? On your sorrow for sins? On your prayers? On your tears? On your good works? On your religious acts? Or is it on Christ alone, as your all in all? Has Christ appeared to your soul as the one altogether lovely?

5. Do you love God? Can you call him, “Abba, Heavenly Father?” Do you desire to live to his glory here, and to praise him forever hereafter? Is it your great comfort to now that you belong to the Saviour? Have you the consciousness of pardoned sin? Do you delight in religious worship? Do you delight in serving God?

6. Do you hate, and desire to be delivered from sin? Do you love and strive after holiness? Do you live near to God?

7. Do you pray? Do you love prayer? Do you love the Scriptures? Do you see a loveliness in the truths of the Bible? Do you desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of God? Do you desire to live so as to promote the glory of God, as the chief end of your life?

8. Do you feel the importance of adorning religion by a holy and blameless life? Do you seek sincerely so to honor and adorn religion? Are you jealous for the honor of religion?

9. Do you hate sin? In others? In yourself? Does the sight of sin really pain you? Do the strivings of sin in you give you penitence, humility, and deep distress of soul?

10. Do you love holiness? Is the beauty of holiness to you the highest beauty? Do you desire that others might be holy? Do you long for a holy church? Do you desire to be holy? Is holiness to you one of the chief attractions of heaven?

11. Have you any bosom sin? Do you yield to any indulgence which you know to be sinful, and which you nevertheless love? Are you willing to part with it? If you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not hear you.

12. Are you at all times humbly and anxiously endeavoring to be a Christian, and to seek holiness of heart? Or do you only manifest this concern at special times? Such as Communion seasons? Do you, after these seasons, go back again to your former course of life?

Good questions, indeed.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Hip Green Shag

Why anyone would cover natural wood with lime green shag carpeting is beyond me. When we bought the house, several rooms had this horrible stuff in it. In Daniel's room, we tore up the monstrosity to find a nice wooden floor underneath. A little sanding, some finish, and it looks real nice. Of course, it's not exactly as "pimp chic" as the shag, but we like it much better. Today, I started tearing up the green stuff in Calle's room. Uh oh! Results? My back hurts and the wood sure ain't as nice as what was in Daniel's room. Holes in the wood, big chips, not very much use to me. We're gonna end up carpeting it with something nice.

Flooring is very important to me, believe me. The flooring in my kitchen and dining room provokes homocidal ideation (don't ask). I try not to look at it when I'm making sandwiches.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Pic of (some of) my kids:

The older kids at the Hands On House in Lancaster, PA.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Building a Mystery

Two mysteries solved today, one continues to haunt.

Mystery one: The hematologist has pieced together an acceptable thesis on what in the world happened to me in late December 2003 through early January 2004. I have a "Factor 5 Leiden Gene Mutation" of the heterozygous type, which makes me prone to blood clotting. Labs reveal that in late December I had a virus which attacked several organs in my body, including my liver. The liver helps produce a protein that prevents blood clotting. Decreased blood clotting stuff, plus body's tendency against effectively using that protein, equal Jerry's legs hurt like all get out cuz he's got superficial thrombophlebitis. Good news is that I won't need medication on a daily basis, though I've been advised to hit the gym 3x weekly to keep my blood moving.

Mystery two: The plumber found my wife's toothbrush, which he had just about given up on. At the last minute before he was about to get in his truck to go get a new toilet, he shook the mode until the teethbrusher fell out! So ~that's~ what Daniel flushed!

But this leaves one very disturbing mystery to haunt me....

Where is my underwear?

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Gay Marriage is A-OK with me!

Let me go on record that I am for gay marriage. I mean, if you are going to get married, it might as well be a gay marriage. Why be in a doleful or despondent marriage? Jesus was at a gay wedding - keep the wine coming, we’re having fun now! Nothing wrong with gay, people.

As for homosexual marriages, let’s not be absurd. There is no such thing as homosexual marriage. It’s an oxymoron, like a married bachelor, or cruel kindness. Look, marriage existed and was defined long before the United States of America came along, and it is not our right or duty to alter the historic and universal meaning of marriage by redefining in it a way to reflect our own sinful perversion. God instituted marriage. God has defined it, and marriage is man and woman becoming one flesh, NOT people of the same sex doing that which is against nature. “Homosexual marriage" is therefore meaningless. As far as I’m concerned, we should cease our attempts to make all manner of uncleanness to fall under the sanction of the undefiled marriage bed.

No matter what the courts decide to call it, no matter what amendment may be added to the U.S. Constitition, homosexual acts can never be properly called marriage.

Monday, March 01, 2004

I confess... I'm an idiot.

Oh, that went well! Talk about Total Depravity. I am fully unable to help myself. I have the capacity only to destroy, wreck, and ruin. The ability to restore, heal, and repair, is utterly beyond my power.

My little partner Conner and I got our gnarly toolkit and hit that toilet like nobody's business. I mean, we tore it up.... in a Humpty Dumpty kinda way. The plumber should be over soon.

Note to self: Next time you think you can fix it, YOU CAN’T. Just call someone, PLEASE!
Toilet Wrestling and Two-year Olds

Ok, I was late for work today, 6 minutes late to be exact... but I don't blame coffee, or blogging this time. I blame the toilet and my two-year old. The toilet is chronically clogged the past few days, and I had a wrestling match with it this morning. What does this have to do with my two-year old? I'll tell you. My underwear is missing. Do the math, people! Clogged toilet + missing underwear + two-year old = __________. When I get home from work today, I plan on taking the toilet apart and digging around in there to see what it is that is causing the problem. I tell you, little Daniel flushed something down there that don't belong, and I'm going to get to the (gross, disgusting) bottom of it!

Who reads this stuff?

Late for work....

Do you know why I drink coffee? Sure it tastes good, but that time I spend each morning with a hot cup in my hands is very relaxing... so much so... that I'm late for work almost every day. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not like 15 or 20 minutes late everyday, but may 3 or 4. While this may sound awful, you must realize that I've been trimming that time down over the past few years. How? I'm trying to get up earlier to have my coffee. Of course, now that I got this blog thing, I have an whole other reason to be late... so, I better get going. I have to finish my coffee... mmm... relaxing.