Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What to do for my Dad?

My dad came up to PA from VA today -- the plan was for him to (get this) go 4-wheeling with his brother (my uncle) during the day, and then come over to our place so we could all go out to eat together. Sounds nice, but I'll give you some time to think about part-1 of this plan....

and...

about...

what...

might...

possibly...

go...

awry...

(pausing for you to think)...

If you came up with "Dad gets crushed by 4-wheeler," YOU'RE CORRECT!!!

My 57 year old father flipped the 4-wheeler, and it landed right on top of him. He's now laying, heavily medicated, in an Emergency Room about 2 hours north of me, with 4 broken ribs (2 on each side), a broken clavicle, a separated shoulder, and a punctured lung. I'm not quite sure what to do. Dad's got his truck and 4-wheeler up here at my uncle's place, but he has 2 dogs back at his place down in Virginia (is someone taking care of them?), and he has a job down there (do I have to call someone about his not coming to work?). Other questions include, "How long will he be in the hospital?" "Will he be able to take care of himself after discharge?" and "How do we get him and his vehicles down to Virginia?" He's pretty snowed by the meds right now, so he's not able to answer my questions at this point. I already called off work for tomorrow, as I'm going to have to drive a bit to see him. I'm sitting here feeling like I should jump to action, but I have no clue what to do.

Some prayer would be nice, ok?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Look, the Pope is just creepy.

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Ok, at this point I'm pretty much convinced that the Pope can show up in public with a literal "666" stamped on his forehead, in full view, and still no one would get it!

And no, it's not just the creepy picture. It's the fact that the title the Pope bears, Vicar of Christ, is essentially the Latin equivilant of the Greek "AntiChristos," and yet his identity remains hidden. It's the disgusting reality of what the Mass he's pimping really is. It's the fact that he changes times and laws (I like to ask folks who wish me a Merry Christmas, "Who told you it was Christmas?" -- They never seem to have an answer. The correct answer is the Pope), just as predicted; that he sits in the Temple of God as if he is God, just as predicted, and yet...

We just don't get it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Purple

I am sore today. But that's ok, because I passed my belt testing last night. And by "belt testing," I mean "tortuous ordeal of pain and screaming." My legs shook involuntarily, but I got it done, and am now beginning to sniff at the elusive black belt. Next up, brown belt.

For now though, rest. Rest, and be available more for other things, like family and friends, answering all my hate mail, and trying to figure out what happened to Erica's big ski adventure that just disappeared!

Ouch.... I'm going to wobble to the kitchen and make coffee. I hope nobody attacks me today, cuz I'm too sore to do anything about it!

--edit--

Forgot to mention that the kids graduated to new belt levels too!

(turn the sound down, many will no doubt find the music irritating... though maybe it will PUMP YOU UP? lol.)

Here's Cole busting two boards like they were nothing with a palm-heel strike at belt graduation.

How 'bout Conner drilling "down-block, punch" at his graduation?

And, Calle smashes through one board with a palm-heel strike!

Speaking of Calle, watch her roll this girl in class... they were working on defenses against the "ground and pound" type of attack. My camera putted out just before she broke her partner's guard (see how the girl has her legs wrapped around Calle? That's "the guard."). Calle and her partner are right smack dab in the middle of the room.

Keep practicing, kids.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

On Family Worship

From James Fisher's The Shorter Catechism Explained:


QUESTION 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

ANSWER: The Sabbath is to be sanctified, by a holy resting on that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.



Q. 25. What is family worship?

A. It is the daily joining of all that are united in a domestic relation, or who are dwelling together in the same house and family, in singing God's praises, Acts 2:47 reading his word, Deut. 6:7, and praying to him, Jer. 10:25.

Q. 26. How do you prove family worship to be a duty daily incumbent upon those who have families?

A. From scripture precept, and from scripture example.

Q. 27. How is family worship evinced from scripture precept?

A. Besides that this commandment enjoins every master of a family to sanctify the Sabbath within his gates, that is, to worship God in his family; there are also other scriptures, inculcating the same thing, by necessary consequence; such as, Eph. 6:18 -- "Praying always, with ALL prayer and supplication;" 1 Tim. 2:8 -- "I will therefore that men pray EVERY WHERE. "If with all prayer, then surely with family prayer; if EVERY WHERE, then certainly in our families.

Q. 28. What are the examples of family worship recorded in scripture for our imitation?

A. Among others, there are the examples of Abraham, Gen. 18:19; of Joshua, chap. 24:15 -- "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord;" of David, 2 Sam. 6:20; or Cornelius, Acts 10:2; and especially the example of our blessed Lord, whom we find singing psalms, Matt. 26:30, and praying with his disciples, who were his family, Luke 9:18.

Q. 29. What should be the subject matter of family catechising?

A. What they have been hearing through the day, together with the principles of our religion, as laid out in the Shorter Catechism, with the helps that are published upon the same, which masters of families ought to use for their assistance in this work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I do karate because...

It helps me to RELAX!!!!!

Anytime I walk into my karate school, from this time forward, I may be plucked, and told it's time for my test. And I feel like I could just throw up. I mean, I'm a nervous wreck. Nice. I take karate because it helps me relieve stress... lol!

Friday, December 09, 2005

On Reading Books, Good Books, Reading Them Well.


If a man can purchase but very few books, my first advice to him would be, let him purchase the very best. If he cannot spend much, let him spend well. The best will always be the cheapest. Leave mere dilutions and attenuations to those who can afford such luxuries. Do not buy milk and water, but get condensed milk, and put what water you like to it yourself. This age is full of word-spinners, professional book-makers, who hammer a grain of matter so thin that it will cover a five-acre sheet of paper; these men have their uses, as gold-beaters have, but they are of no use to you. Farmers on our coast used to cart wagon-loads of seaweed and put them upon their land; the heaviest part was the water; now they dry the weeds, and save a world of labor and expense. Don't buy thin soup; buy the essence of meat. Get much in little. Prefer books which abound in what Dr. James Hamilton used to call "Bibline," or the essence of books. You require accurate, condensed, reliable, standard books, and should make sure that you get them....

Forego, then, without regret, the many books which, like poor Hodge's razors, of famous memory, "are made to sell," and do sell those who buy them, as well as themselves. Matthew Henry's Commentary having been mentioned, I venture to say that no better investment can be made, by any minister, than that peerless exposition. Get it, if you sell your coat to buy it.

The next rule I shall lay down is, master those books you have. Read them thouroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and re-read them, masticate them, and digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times, and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books which he has merely skimmed, lapping at them, as the classic proverb puts it "as the dogs drink of Nilus." Little learning and much pride come of hasty reading. Books may be piled on the brain till it cannot work. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. They gorge themselves with book-matter, and become mentally dyspeptic.

Books on the brain cause disease. Get the book into the brain, and you will grow.
~~C.H. Spurgeon, To Workers with Slender Apparatus.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Jesse Clip

Goofing around with our new camera -- it takes brief video clips, which is cool.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

The Shotgun Won (Oops, I ruined the ending!)

Ever wonder what gun would be most handy when you lost the key or forgot the combination? This guy answers the age old question: Which gun is best for blasting a lock open.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

England Daniel, Coffee and Sobaheg

Hello,
Yeah, it's been a while.
Not much.
How 'bout you?

Anyone else remember England Dan and John Ford Coley? Fast fact: England Dan's last name is Seals. Dan Seals. His brother, Jim Seals, was one half of Seals and Croft, of "Summer Breeze" fame. "Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing throught the jasmine in my mind." Ahh, who cares!

I'm just stopping in with a thought about my boy Daniel. Daniel likes to hand out compliments. To his mom, he says things like, "Mom, I love you. You're so beautiful. You look so pretty when you wear dresses." Well, today, Daniel said to me, "Dad, you're really big. You could stomp on somebody." And I'm like, (in my best Arkansas Josh accent), "Dern straight, boy. You best not forget it neither!"

Wanna know the secret to my "Winter Blend" coffee? I know it's not winter yet, but there's some snow on the ground, and it's cold, hence IT'S WINTER. So, we've been using a percolator thingy to make coffee, and it makes the best coffee ever. Pay attention, Brother John. This will make you love coffee. I put the coffee grounds in just like you ordinarily would. Then a half a spoon or so of Hazelnut coffee (not too much, we ain't making Hazelnut coffee!). Then, right on the grounds, sprinkle some Cinnamon, some Pumpkin Spice, and some Nutmeg. Again, not alot, just some. Percolate that and enjoy the smell. Pour your cup, smell it some more. Mmm... then add your sugar, cream, whatever you like to do. Oooh, so good. In the words of Robert Johnson, "The stuff I got'll bust your brains out, baby, wooo hooo!"

In other news: Had a bout with a stomach thingy the other day. Knocked me down for about 24 hours. But when I recovered, my pectoral injury was HEALED. So, back to the pushups, I only have a month left to get in the tippy topiest shape I've ever been in. No more 465 pushups a day though, I don't want to hurt myself again.

Ok, raise your hand... who's having Sobaheg today?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Now I went and did it...

Tonight I had to stop at 165 pushups because I injured myself! My left... well, everything related to my chest and arm hurt, like I pulled my pec. Can you pull a pec? I don't even know.

In other news: I was cold today. So cold that I put on long johns this morning. As I was putting them on, I thought, "It's a shame. John is a fine name. And yet it is used as a nickname for many things that just aren't worthy of the name: Underwear, toilets, people who employ prostitutes. What's up with that?" I like the name John. I like some guys name John. But I was cold today, and what was I supposed to do.

Let's Go, Covies.

Covenanters, here's a chance to show your good side! :)

A Covenanter challenge: Let us know what makes you a True Covenanter.

"You who call yourselves Covenanters, how do you endeavor to keep the Covenants? What are you doing to meet the ends of the Covenants? What makes you a true Covenanter, personally? ecclesiastically?"

I've been thinking about this for a number of days now, and it has been challenging and convicting to me, as I see how many ways I fail to meet up to my profession. I plan on posting a response when I have some decent time to sit and organize my thoughts on the matter.

If you feel so inclined to challenge yourself, and the rest of us as well, head on over to the Covenanted Reformation Club and add your two cents on how you, today, endeavor to keep the National Covenant and the Solemen League and Covenant.

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works" (Heb. 10:24).

Friday, November 11, 2005

This week in review

I sure don't seem to have the time I used to. Between work, family life, and working out, I just don't have the time to write stuff much anymore. Maybe in a way that's good. My "Christianity," as I practiced it for a couple years, helped me to grow out of shape and wise in my own eyes. Now, after some difficult but necessary life lessons, I'm less apt to think I got something you people need to hear, and I stopped just sitting around pigging out. I'm much less quiet, but way more active, now. Anyway, this week is interesting to me for a few reasons.

First, Tuesday was election day. In Dover, PA., a somewhat local town (York County), the folks decided that "Intelligent Design," a watered down compromise stopping far too short of Biblical Creationism, was intolerable and ought not to be suggested to our children. Every school counsel member that was up for re-election that supported Intelligent Design was voted out, in favor of people who promised to offer only Ignorant Design (evolution) to the children in the Dover School District. Pat Robertson offers this in response: "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city, and don't wonder why he hasn't helped you when problems begin."

And, just to clarify what he meant, Robertson explained, "I was simply stating that our spiritual actions have consequences and it's high time we started recognizing it. God is tolerant and loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in his eye forever. If they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles Darwin ... maybe he can help them."

Let's just quit kidding around. Schools need to adopt a statement like the following before I will beging taking them seriously:

"... as God, from the infinity of his being and goodness, has communicated a finite created existence to all other beings, framing them with natures wisely suited and adapted to the different ends of their creation; so by the same all-powerful word whereby they were at first created, he preserves and upholds all his creatures in their beings, and by the incessant care and invariable conduct of his divine providence, does constantly direct and overrule them, and all their actions unto his own glory; according to divine revelation; Gen. 1, throughout; Col. 1:16; Rom. 11:36; Psal. 145:17, and 33:9; and 119:91; Heb. 1:2,3; Confess. chap. 4,5; larger Cat. quest. 11; short Cat. quest. 8." -- Act, Declaration, and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation.

Second, yesterday, November 10th, was Martin Luther's birthday. May God send another man like this to thunder and to shake the world to Reformation.

Third, yesterday, November 10th, was the 30 year anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The 729-foot long 13,632 ton freighter was caught in an awful storm, and it, along with 29 men, sank in Lake Superior. It is my understanding that not one body was ever recovered.

"'Superior,' they said,
'never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early.'"
~Gordon Lightfoot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sometimes...

I feel really anxious, kinda scared, like I want to cry....

And I'm not sure why.

Monday, November 07, 2005

10% girl?

You Are 90% Boyish and 10% Girlish

You have a tough exterior - and usually a tough interior to match it.
You're no nonsense, logical, and very assertive.
Sometimes you can't understand women at all, even if you're a woman yourself.
You see things rationally, and don't like to let your emotions get the best of you.


Yeah, ok... 10% girlish, what because I don't curse like a sailor? That's BU*~&#$@!
I'm working on 465 pushups TONIGHT. (did over 1100 total last week).

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Letter of Samuel Rutherford on Being a Christian in Tough Times

DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, AND PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING.- Grace, mercy, and peace be to you, from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.

I always, but most of all now in my bonds (most sweet bonds for Christ my Lord) rejoice to hear of your faith and love; and that persecutions and dockings of sinners have not chased away the Wooer from the house. I persuade you in the Lord that the men of God, now scattered and driven from you, put you upon the right scent and pursuit of Christ; and my salvation on it (if ten heavens were mine) if this way, this way that I now suffer for, this way that the world nicknameth and reproacheth, and no other way, be not the King's gate to heaven. And I shall never see God's face (and, alas, I were a beguiled wretch if it were so!) if this be not the only saving way to heaven. Oh that you would take a prisoner for Christ's word for it (nay, I know you have the greatest King's word for it), that it shall not be your wisdom to speer out another Christ, or another way of worshipping Him, than is now savingly revealed to you. Therefore, though I never saw your faces, let me be pardoned to write to you, if possibly I could, by any weak experience, confirm and strengthen you in this good way, everywhere spoken against. I can with the greatest assurance (to the honor of our highest, and greatest, and dearest Lord, let it be spoken!) assert (though I be but a child in Christ, and scarce able to walk but by a hold, and the meanest, and less than the least of saints), that we do not come nigh, by twenty degrees, to the due love and estimation of that fairest among the sons of men. Therefore, faint not in your sufferings and hazards for Him. Where can we find a match to Christ, or an equal, or a better than He, among created things? Oh this world is out of all conceit, and all love, with our Well-beloved. Oh that I could sell my laughter, joy, ease, and all for Him, and be content with a straw bed, and bread by weight, and water by measure, in the camp of our weeping Christ! I know that His sackcloth and ashes are better than the fool's laughter, which is like the crackling of thorns under a pot. But, alas! we do not harden our faces against the cold north storms which blow upon Christ's fair face. We love well summer-religion, and to be that which sin has made us, even as thin-skinned as if we were made of white paper; and would fain be carried to heaven in a close-covered chariot, wishing from our hearts that Christ would give us surety, and His handwrite, and His seal, or nothing but a fair summer until we be landed in at heaven's gates! How many of us have been here deceived, and have fainted in the day of trial! Amongst you there are some of this stamp. I shall be sorry if my acquaintance A.T. has left you: I will not believe that he dare to stay away from Christ's side. I desire that ye show him this from me; for I loved him once in Christ, neither can I change my mind suddenly of him. But the truth is, that many of you, and too many also of your neighbor Church of Scotland, have been like a tenant that sitteth mail-free and knoweth not his holding whill his rights be questioned. And now I am persuaded, that it will be asked at every one of us, on what terms we brook Christ; for we have sitten long mail-free. Many take but half a grip of Christ, and the wind bloweth them and Christ asunder. Indeed, when the mast is broken and blown into the sea, it is an art then to swim upon Christ to dry land. It is even possible that the children of God, in a hard trial, lay themselves down as hidden in the lee-side of a bush whill Christ their Master be taken, as Peter did; and lurk there, whill the storm be over-past. All of us know the way to a whole skin; and the singlest heart that is has a by-purse that will contain the denial of Christ, and a fearful backsliding. Oh, how rare a thing it is to be loyal and honest to Christ, when He has a controversy with the shields of the earth! I wish all of you would consider, that this trial is from Christ; it is come upon you unbought. Do not now joule, or bow, or yield to your adversaries in a hair-breadth. Christ and His truth will not divide; and His truth has not latitude and breadth, that ye may take some of it and leave other some of it. It is not possible to twist and compound a matter betwixt Christ and Antichrist; and, therefore, ye must either be for Christ, or ye must be against Him. I know and am persuaded that Christ shall again be high and great in this poor, withered and sun-burnt Kirk of Scotland; and that the sparks of our fire shall fly over the sea and round about to warm you and other sister churches; and that this tabernacle of David's house, that is fallen, even the Son of David's waste places, shall be built again. And I know the prison, crosses, persecutions and trials of the two slain witnesses that are now dead and buried (Rev. 11.9) and of the faithful professors, have a back-door and back-entry of escape; and that death and hell and the world and the tortures shall all cleave and split in twain, and give us free passage and liberty to go through toll-free: and we shall bring all God's good metal out of the furnace again, and leave behind us but our dross and scum. We may then beforehand proclaim Christ to be victorious. He is crowned King of Mount Zion: God did put the crown upon His head (Ps. 2.6; 21.3) and who dare take it off again? Two special things ye are to mind: First, try and make sure your profession; that ye carry not empty lamps. Alas! security, security is the bane and wrack of the most part of the world. Oh how many professors go with a golden lustre, and are gold-like before men (who are but witnesses to our white skin) and yet are but bastard and base metal! False under water, not seen, is dangerous, and that is a leak and rift in the bottom of an enlightened conscience; often failing and sinning against light. Woe is me that the holy profession of Christ is made a stage garment by many, to bring home a vain fame, and Christ is made to serve men's ends. Know, secondly, except men martyr and slay the body of sin in sanctified self-denial, they shall never be Christ's martyrs and faithful witnesses. Oh if I could be master of that house-idol myself, my own mind, my own will, wit, credit, and ease, how blessed were I! Oh, but we have need to be redeemed from ourselves, rather than from the devil and the world! O wretched idol, myself! when shall I see thee wholly decourted, and Christ wholly put in thy room? Oh, if Christ, Christ had the full place and room of myself, that all my aims, purposes, thoughts, and desires would coast and land upon Christ, and not upon myself! And howbeit we cannot attain to this denial of me and mine, that we can say, 'I am not myself, myself is not myself, mine own is no longer mine own', yet our aiming at this in all we do shall be accepted: for alas! I think I shall die but minting and aiming to be a Christian. Is it not our comfort, that Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant, is come betwixt us and God in the business, so that green and young heirs, the like of sinners, have now a Tutor that is God! And now, God be thanked, our salvation is bottomed on Christ. Sure I am, the bottom shall never fall out of heaven and happiness to us. I would give over the bargain a thousand times, were it not that Christ's free grace has taken our salvation in hand. Pray, pray and contend with the Lord, for your sister church; for it would appear that the Lord is about to speer for His scattered sheep, in the dark and cloudy day. Oh that it would please our Lord to set up again David's old wasted and fallen tabernacle in Scotland, that we might see the glory of the second temple in this land! And, howbeit He has caused the blossom to fall off my one poor joy, that was on this side of heaven, even my liberty to preach Christ to His people, yet I am dead to that now, so that He would hew and carve glory, glory for evermore, to my royal King out of my silence and sufferings. I entreat you earnestly for the aid of your prayers, for I forget not you; and I salute, with my soul in Christ, the faithful pastors, and honorable and worthy professors in that land. Now the God of peace, that brought again our Lord Jesus from the dead, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight. Grace, grace be with you.

ABERDEEN, Feb. 4, 1638

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Real Quick

My computer's been shutting off unannounced, so that I often lose unsaved stuff as I'm typing, thus making it very difficult to email, post stuff on my blog, and consistently send posts to Calvin's Corner. So, I don't have much time to quickly post here and say "Hey everybody! How's it going?"

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Funniest Video In a Long Time

Props to Big Red for tipping us off to this video.
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Our family has been enjoying it repeatedly.

Crying Oranges

Found this pic on the web a few days ago:
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Monday, October 24, 2005

Back and cold with a cold

We made it back from our trip safely. Thanks for asking! It seems to be significantly colder now than it was before we left. Fall is here, folks. It looks like that daylight savings game ends this week too. Back to getting dark at 5:30pm.

I seem to have picked up a cold while away. A nasal sniffly thing. No matter, I still knocked out 325 pushups tonight -- this takes a while for me to do, and that frustrates me because it leaves little time for my situps, tricep dips, and wall-sitting. Why am I spending so much time and effort on pushups? Because the next test requires that I do 75 pushups at one shot -- and I'm pushuply-challenged. To make up for my inability to do many in a row, I'm doing excessive amounts over an hour or two. If all goes as planned this week, assuming we'll be doing pushups in class too, I should end up doing 1000 pushups this week, D.V.. But how to fit in the other exercises too? It's almost November and I'm starting to freak out a little bit.

Plus I need some time to respond to Erica's challenge! This is going to require some thought. Off hand, I'm thinking of using the following lyric which pretty much sums me up:

"Bawatiba da bang da dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogie said up jumped the boogie." -- Bawitaba, by Kid Rock.

But yeah, this will require some thought.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Another Weekender

Well, we're getting ready to head down to Virginia for the weekend. Because my wife is pregnant, "getting ready" to leave on a trip means "we need to move furniture before we leave." I mean big heavy dressers up and down the steps. This, falling on my pushup day, is making for quite a tired me.

In other news: We have a new porch. I'd show you pictures but our camera is broken.

Broken lines, broken strings,
Broken threads, broken springs,
Broken idols, broken heads,
People sleeping in broken beds.
Ain't no use jiving
Ain't no use joking
Everything is broken.

Broken bottles, broken plates,
Broken switches, broken gates,
Broken dishes, broken parts,
Streets are filled with broken hearts.
Broken words never meant to be spoken,
Everything is broken.

Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground

Broken cutters, broken saws,
Broken buckles, broken laws,
Broken bodies, broken bones,
Broken voices on broken phones.
Take a deep breath, feel like you're chokin',
Everything is broken.

Every time you leave and go off someplace
Things fall to pieces in my face

Broken hands on broken ploughs,
Broken treaties, broken vows,
Broken pipes, broken tools,
People bending broken rules.
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking,
Everything is broken.

Copyright © 1989 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Gut, it is a' changin'


Which Bob Dylan song are you?

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.



In other news: 210 pushups, and 210 situps yesterday. I'm sore for sure today.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tag, I'm it.

I recall being tagged once in the past, but I just ignored it. If I remember correctly, the question was about things I missed from my childhood. I skipped it because I don't like thinking about my childhood. Sorry!

But I recently got tagged by Liz, and this time I'll take a shot:

List five things people may not know about you and tag five other people to do the same.

1. I lack confidence in myself. I don't mean I lack sinful self-confidence. I mean I lack just plain old functional confidence that I can do stuff.

2. I've never met my maternal grandmother, or my paternal grandfather. My maternal grandmother drank herself to death long before I was around, and my paternal grandfather's whereabouts were unknown when he died in the 1980's, "and when he died, all he left us was alone."

3. Why don't you shut up because I just happen to like the Bee Gee's, especially the pre-disco Bee Gee's.

4. My handwriting is horrible. In fact, I don't write at all, I print.

5. This is terrible, but I'm more often late for work than I am on time. I really honestly feel bad about this, and I want to reform my ways.

Next up: Bro. John, Erica, Cheryl, Deejay, and Ann Coulter! Ok, if Ann Coulter doesn't do it, Josh can. Give Ann a couple of days to respond though, Josh, OK?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

In Birae Predestinas...

Arkansas Josh clued me into what has the potential to be my favorite beer ever:

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Now, if I could just try a taste.

Dear readers, Jerry has a nice, crisp, brand new ONE DOLLAR BILL for whoever can arrange for a case of Calvinus to end up on my doorstep.

Misc.

Me: Elisabeth, you're so cute I want to put you in my pocket.

Elisabeth: Me? In YOU'RE pocket? I don't know how I'm going to get in your pocket.

In other news --

Cole's birthday was yesterday. Rachel's is tomorrow. Mine's in February.

I got my eye on December as when I will be testing for my next belt (purple). So, I'm starting to focus again on pushups. This time I'm going to make sure I'm more ready with situps and wall-sitting too. My body's saying, "Ah, don't worry about it, just relax and take it easy." My mind is saying "You better start whooping into shape now, or you aren't going to pull it off."

Speaking of karate... it's a funny thing how sometimes if I'm having a good night it feels so good, like I really got this stuff down, and man, I pity the stiff that jumps me, but sometimes, like last night, I feel like I don't even belong on the floor with the other guys and I suck eggs. I don't golf. But I imagine that guys who golf have days when they feel like they can't be beat, and days when they can't hit anything. Maybe it's that way with everything.

The nunchaku. This month we started working with this weapon. It's kind of a scary one to learn, because the speed and force created by them makes it oh so simple to crack your own leg (shuddup, John!) or hand or head, or that of your neighbor, by accident. Kinda fun though.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day, it said "Elect Christ as Your King." I thought it was funny that someone was willing to use the word "elect," though in such a context. I wondered what kind of response I'd get if I talked with the driver of the car about how the Bible uses the word "elect." Maybe someday I'll get to find out. But for now, I must just wonder.

I heard on the radio that a certain professional football coach was taking time off due to a "heart infection." I thought to myself, "Heart infection. Yeah, it's called SIN, and I have it too."

I have it too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

'puter problems

Having computer problems. Plus, I haven't felt like writing anything in a while. So there. :p

Sunday, October 09, 2005

God No Respecter of Persons

God accepteth no man's person.
Paul is quoting Moses: "Thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty." (Lev. 19:15) This quotation from Moses ought to shut the mouths of the false apostles. "Don't you know that God is no respecter of persons?" cries Paul. The dignity or authority of men means nothing to God. The fact is that God often rejects just such who stand in the odor of sanctity and in the aura of importance. In doing so God seems unjust and harsh. But men need deterring examples. For it is a vice with us to esteem personality more highly than the Word of God. God wants us to exalt His Word and not men. There must be people in high office, of course. But we are not to deify them. The governor, the mayor, the preacher, the teacher, the scholar, father, mother, are persons whom we are to love and revere, but not to the extent that we forget God. Least we attach too much importance to the person, God leaves with important persons offenses and sins, sometimes astounding shortcomings, to show us that there is a lot of difference between any person and God. David was a good king. But when the people began to think too well of him, down he fell into horrible sins, adultery and murder. Peter, excellent apostle that he was, denied Christ. Such examples of which the Scriptures are full, ought to warn us not to repose our trust in men. In the papacy appearance counts for everything. Indeed, the whole papacy amounts to nothing more than a mere kowtowing of persons and outward mummery. But God alone is to be feared and honored. I would honor the Pope[*], I would love his person, if he would leave my conscience alone, and not compel me to sin against God. But the Pope wants to be adored himself, and that cannot be done without offending God. Since we must choose between one or the other, let us choose God. The truth is we are commissioned by God to resist the Pope, for it is written, "We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29) We have seen how Paul refutes the argument of the false apostles concerning the authority of the apostles. In order that the truth of the Gospel may continue; in order that the Word of God and the righteousness of faith may be kept pure and undefiled, let the apostles, let an angel from heaven, let Peter, let Paul, let them all perish.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 2:6.

[*] This statement must not be taken to mean the Luther would have approved of the office of the Papacy, or that he would have submitted to his anti-christian government. See Of the Power and Primacy of the Pope and Luther On Antichrist.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Arkansas Quarters for Arkansas Josh.

BULLETIN WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hang on to any of the new State of Arkansas quarters. If you have them, they may be worth much more than 25 cents. The U.S. Treasury announced today that it is recalling all of the Arkansas quarters that are part of its program featuring quarters from each state.

"We are recalling all the new Arkansas quarters that were recently issued," Treasury Undersecretary Jack Shackleford said Monday. "This action is being taken after numerous reports that new quarters will not work in parking meters, toll booths, vending machines, pay phones, or other coin-operated devices".

The quarters were issued in the order in which the various states joined the U.S. and have been a tremendous success among coin collectors worldwide.

"The problem lies in the unique design of the Arkansas quarter, which was created by a University of Arkansas graduate," Shackleford said. "Apparently, the duct tape holding the two dimes and the nickel together keeps jamming the coin-operated devices."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Biblical Rationalism vs. Psycho Assertionism

Vincent Cheung vs. Derek Sansone

If I had to pick my favorite part of this informal debate between Cheung (a Reformed Presuppositionalist) and Sansone (an atheist), I guess it would be when Cheung asks Sansone, "So again I wonder what happens if I punch you really hard in the face while you are sleeping?"

Friday, September 30, 2005

Something on what it's like to be me.

Today I asked a co-worker to bring me some coffee from the cafeteria. A rather mundane event, sure. But whenever I send a co-worker for coffee, and he or she hands it to me, I have this thing run through my head where I think it would be funny if I took a sip of the coffee, forcefully spit it out so it sprays everywhere, throw the cup across the room, and yell, "YOU FOOL! YOU CALL THIS COFFEE??!!" So far, I've not done this, but I am tempted.

How Silly Traditions Begin

OF THE TIMES OF THE BIRTH AND PASSION OF CHRIST.

THE times of the Birth and Passion of Christ, with such like niceties, being not material to religion, were little regarded by the Christians of the first age. They who began first to celebrate them, placed them in the cardinal periods of the year; as the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, on the 25th of March, which when Julius Caesar corrected the Calendar was the vernal Equinox; the feast of John Baptist on the 24th of June, which was the summer Solstice; the feast of St. Michael on Sept. 29, which was the autumnal Equinox; and the birth of Christ on the winter Solstice, Decemb. 25, which the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John and the Innocents, as near it as they could place them. And because the Solstice in time removed from the 25th of December to the 24th, the 23d, the 22d, and so on backwards, hence some in the following centuries placed the birth of Christ on Decemb. 23, and at length on Decemb. 20: and for the same reason they seem to have set the feast of St. Thomas on Decemb. 21, and that of St. Matthew on Sept 21. So also at the entrance of the Sun into all the signs in the Julian Calendar, they placed the days of other Saints; as the conversion of Paul on Jan. 25, when the Sun entered Aquarius; St. Matthias on Feb. 25, when he entered Pisces; St. Mark on Apr. 25, when he entered Taurus; Corpus Christi on May 26, when he entered Gemini; St. James on July 25, when he entered Cancer; St. Bartholomew on Aug. 24, when he entered Virgo; Simon and Jude on Octob. 28, when he entered Scorpius: and if there were any other remarkable days in the Julian Calendar, they placed the Saints upon them, as St. Barnabas on June 1, where Ovid seems to place the feast of Vesta and Fortuna, and the goddess Matuta; and St. Philip and James on the first of May, a day dedicated both to the Bona Dea, or Magna Mater, and to the goddess Flora, and still celebrated with her rites. All which shows that these days were fixed in the first Christian Calendars by Mathematicians at pleasure, without any ground in tradition; and that the Christians afterwards took up with what they found in the Calendars.

~Sir Isaac Newton, Observations on Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John, Ch. 11.

Some Dylan for My Loved One

You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
When they all come down and did tricks for you
You never understood that it ain't no good
You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
Ain't it hard when you discover that
He really wasn't where it's at
After he took from you everything he could steal.

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Awful Quote of the Day

When she told me, "We never wanted to have kids. Then we made the big mistake of having a child, and we don't want any more children. I told [my child] to never, ever, ever, have children, you will regret it," I briefly considered the concept of parental abortion -- a child's right to choose, ya know. But after I chased that idea from my head, I just felt sad for a kid to have to hear such horrible and monstrous nonsense.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ghosts

Ghosts in Scotland.

I guess I didn't realize that those dust particles that reflect the light back from your camera flash are ghosts. They're supposedly called "orbs."

There was an awful lot of such "ghosts" at the Covenanter Meeting House:
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stubborn Defense of the Gospel.

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Now the true Gospel has it that we are justified by faith alone, without the deeds of the Law. The false gospel has it that we are justified by faith, but not without the deeds of the Law. The false apostles preached a conditional gospel. So do the papists. They admit that faith is the foundation of salvation. But they add the conditional clause that faith can save only when it is furnished with good works. This is wrong. The true Gospel declares that good works are the embellishment of faith, but that faith itself is the gift and work of God in our hearts. Faith is able to justify, because it apprehends Christ, the Redeemer.

Human reason can think only in terms of the Law. It mumbles: "This I have done, this I have not done." But faith looks to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, given into death for the sins of the whole world. To turn one's eyes away from Jesus means to turn them to the Law.

True faith lays hold of Christ and leans on Him alone. Our opponents cannot understand this. In their blindness they cast away the precious pearl, Christ, and hang onto their stubborn works. They have no idea what faith is. How can they teach faith to others?

Not satisfied with teaching an untrue gospel, the false apostles tried to entangle Paul. "They went about," says Paul, "to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage." When Paul saw through their scheme, he attacked the false apostles. He says, "We did not let go of the liberty which we have in Christ Jesus. We routed them by the judgment of the apostles, and we would not give in to them, no, not an inch."

We too were willing to make all kinds of concessions to the papists. Yes, we are willing to offer them more than we should. But we will not give up the liberty of conscience which we have in Christ Jesus. We refuse to have our conscience bound by any work or law, so that by doing this or that we should be righteous, or leaving this or that undone we should be damned.

Since our opponents will not let it stand that only faith in Christ justifies, we will not yield to them. On the question of justification we must remain adamant, or else we shall lose the truth of the Gospel. It is a matter of life and death. It involves the death of the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world. If we surrender faith in Christ, as the only thing that can justify us, the death and resurrection of Jesus are without meaning; that Christ is the Savior of the world would be a myth. God would be a liar, because He would not have fulfilled His promises. Our stubbornness is right, because we want to preserve the liberty which we have in Christ. Only by preserving our liberty shall we be able to retain the truth of the Gospel inviolate.

Some will object that the Law is divine and holy. Let it be divine and holy. The Law has no right to tell me that I must be justified by it. The Law has the right to tell me that I should love God and my neighbor, that I should live in chastity, temperance, patience, etc. The Law has no right to tell me how I may be delivered from sin, death, and hell. It is the Gospel's business to tell me that. I must listen to the Gospel. It tells me, not what I must do, but what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has done for me.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 2:4,5.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

This Bob Dylan song's been running thru my head:

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best.

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.


Copyright © 1964; renewed 1992 Special Rider Music

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Failure

Ok, I thought this was kinda funny. Go to Google, type the word "failure" in the search box, and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Chuckle to yourself, and then get on with your life.

In other news: I got my head rattled. I mentioned earlier that I had a cold with some stiffness/soreness in my muscles. Well, the cold part went away, but the stiffness is hanging around. Yesterday I woke up with an awfully stiff neck. It hurt all day. After a heating pad and a good night's sleep, it loosened up significantly, though not perfectly. So here I am at Karate class, holding a bag for my partner, who happens to be one of the instructors, very strong, very fast. And I do believe he kicked that bag I was holding so hard, that I got whiplash... twice over. I felt like I might pass out. But I didn't. Later in the class... sparring, during which I promptly took a shot right in the kisser. I feel like I got clocked. I feel a little slow, and like I lost some IQ points tonight. I was wondering if I was concussed at one point, but I feel a little better now. I know it's Tuesday, and my name is Jerry. So that's a plus.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Devil's Kind of Christian.

I crucified Christ daily in my cloistered life, and blasphemed God by my wrong faith. Outwardly I kept myself chaste, poor, and obedient. I was much given to fasting, watching, praying, saying of masses, and the like. Yet under the cloak of my outward respectability I continually mistrusted, doubted, feared, hated, and blasphemed God. My righteousness was a filthy puddle. Satan loves such saints. They are his darlings, for they quickly destroy their body and soul by depriving them of the blessings of God's generous gifts. I tell you I stood in awe of the pope's authority. To dissent from him I considered a crime worthy of eternal death. I thought of John Huss as a cursed heretic. I counted it a sin even to think of him. I would gladly have furnished the wood to burn him. I would have felt I had done God a real service.

In comparison with these sanctimonious hypocrites of the papacy, publicans and harlots are not bad. They at least feel remorse. They at least do not try to justify their wicked deeds. But these pretended saints, so far from acknowledging their errors, justify them and regard them as acceptable sacrifices unto God.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:15,16, 17.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Haircut

He's "the super fastest Storm-runner," and he has a new haircut:
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Oh, yeah... he has the typical Waybright face rug-burn too.

In other news: I got a cold or something. Missed Karate class tonight. Feel like a wimp. I debated going anyway, to see if I can just work out the kinks in my muscles (which are really sore and achey), but I think it was the last class that helped exacerbate my condition. So, I'm sitting at home thinking about the big "Operation Extract Drunken Loved One from the Crack House" excursion that me and my brother are planning for this weekend. Fun! Hopefully there won't be a hitch, but there is potential for some bad things, so some prayer for our safety would be nice.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Floods

Speaking of floods, Pennsylvania has had a couple of memorable ones. The Johnstown Flood, up until recent events, was maybe the worst flood disaster in U.S. history, and a kind of strange tale. The rich folks in the hills built a dam, thus making a nice lake for their resort town. The dam broke, and the water flooded down into Johnstown, a working class steel town in western Pennsylvania. The account of that flood is too familiar to stuff on the news today. There's a video documentary of it if you're into that sort of thing.

And then of course there was Agnus. Agnus hit in 1972, and unpredictably just sat over the northeastern states in a holding pattern, dumping something like 12 inches of water all over Pennyslvania in a 24 hour period. My hometown was flooded, everything around the Susquehanna River were flooded, camping grounds in the mountains were flooded. Agnus was "the big one" in Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I was just thinking about this flood stuff while I was eating dinner.

When the Levee Breaks
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break,
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break,
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay.
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,
Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.
....
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
All last night sat on the levee and moaned,
Thinkin’ ’bout me baby and my happy home.

Conspiracy?

I think the government had prior knowledge of the hurricane.

3D Ultrasound

Looks like his dad, ain't?



"Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews." -- Job 10:10, 11.


Psalm 139

12 Yea, darkness hideth not from thee,
but night doth shine as day:
To thee the darkness and the light
are both alike alway.

13 For thou possessed hast my reins,
and thou hast covered me,
When I within my mother's womb
enclos├Ęd was by thee.

14 Thee will I praise; for fearfully
and strangely made I am;
Thy works are marv'llous, and right well
my soul doth know the same.

15 My substance was not hid from thee,
when as in secret I
Was made; and in earth's lowest parts
was wrought most curiously.

16 Thine eyes my substance did behold,
yet being unperfect;
And in the volume of thy book
my members all were writ;

Which after in continuance
were fashioned ev'ry one,
When as they yet all shapeless were,
and of them there was none.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hmmm...

I'm sipping my Vermouth and Bourbon, wondering why everyone's going with "Hmmm" as the title of their blog entry today. As I mentioned, we took a little trip over the weekend. We went down to see my dad again, who lives in a cool house in the mountains in Virginia. Daniel calls him "Happy Pappy Mountain Man." On Saturday, we drove along part of Skyline Drive, which was really cool. Pictures don't really do it justice, but here's the boys overlooking the Shenandoah Valley:
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And the girls:
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We stopped in at the visitors' center, where they had some stuff to buy, a short film about the Valley, and an exhibit about the wildlife in the area.

"Lookit dat cute bear, dad!"
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There were some places to go hiking off of Skyline Drive, some places had waterfalls and stuff. Next time we go, we may plan to do some hiking. This time we were just scoping the place out.
We spent the Lord's Day with my dad, which was kinda nice. I guess that's about it for the trip. I mean, there's other stuff, but I don't wanna bore anyone or anything. Oh, one more thing. These same four deer came by my dad's place, every day, looking up towards the porch asking us to throw apples at them, so we did:
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In other news: This refridgerator we just got, it keeps breaking. I mean everything about it keeps breaking. The ice-maker, dead. Water was shooting out the front spontaneously, so we shut off the water. The control panel in the front shorted out. Not cold enough in the fridge. Today I noticed the door handle got cracked somehow. I hate this fridge and it makes me angry. Not as angry as my kitchen floor makes me (I TOLD YOU NOT TO ASK).

Tonight we ate grilled pizza, made with the recipe Mrs. K gave us, and while I was eating it I was reminded that I love my Christian friends and should be around them more.

Before we at grilled pizza, I went to karate class where a large man named Glenn beat me up good. Glenn's a physician, but all he did was cause me pain tonight. It was fun though, and what hurts today will be stronger tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sweet Vermouth

We just got back from a weekend trip. I plan on posting about it later, but for now, as I sip my sweet vermouth, I want everyone to know that extra-dry vermouth is a hundred times better.

Monday, August 29, 2005

This just in...

I'm not a teenager anymore. Ever hear that joke, "I just flew in from Chicago, and boy are my arms tired"? Well, I just got back from karate, and boy are my hips sore! Tonight, after working on some weapons stuff, we worked on some sparring moves. The combination we drilled was backfist, *thrusting* sidekick. Now, there's two kinds of sidekicks in Isshinryu Karate. The first is a snapping sidekick, which starts by lifting the knee straight up in front of you, and almost placing your heel of your left foot on the inside knee of the right leg, ala Jethro Tull:
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And then snapping the foot out to the side, striking with the heel and edge of the foot, finishing in the same chambered position (ala Jethro Tull). This kind of a sidekick is quick and it stings. The other kind of a sidekick is a thrusting side kick. This starts by chambering the leg out to the side, pointing the knee opposite of the target, ala a dog peeing on a fire hydrant:
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This really opens up the hips, man! Yikes! Then the hips turn into the kick as the leg thrusts straight out into the target, and pulls out back into the chamber. We did it over and over and over, slowly, then fast, then kind of freestyle while the opponent is moving around. I'm aching, and I pay money for this? :P

Let me tell you something else. I sweat like there's no tomorrow. I never get two workouts out of my karate gi (that's what the uniform is called) before having to wash it, because I soak it, I mean absolutely drench it, like I can wring it out, with sweat. I'm not one to sweat much anywhere else. I mean, it's not like I sit on the couch sweating or anything. But when I'm at karate class, NO ONE sweats like me. My boy Cole says that I sweat the most because I'm working the hardest. Oh, I've thought about that possibility. I am giving it all I got. But, there's always the possibility that I'm sweating more than anyone else because I am the most out of shape lard out there!
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Gospel vs. Anabaptists and Papists

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Let every believer carefully learn the Gospel. Let him continue in humble prayer. We are molested not by puny foes, but by mighty ones, foes who never grow tired of warring against us. These, our enemies, are many: Our own flesh, the world, the Law, sin, death, the wrath and judgment of God, and the devil himself. The arguments which the false apostles advanced impress people to this day. "Who are you to dissent from the fathers and the entire Church, and to bring a contradictory doctrine? Are you wiser than so many holy men, wiser than the whole Church?" When Satan, abetted by our own reason, advances these arguments against us, we lose heart, unless we keep on saying to ourselves: "I don't care if Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, Peter, Paul, John, or an angel from heaven, teaches so and so. I know that I teach the truth of God in Christ Jesus."

When I first took over the defense of the Gospel, I remembered what Doctor Staupitz said to me. "I like it well," he said, "that the doctrine which you proclaim gives glory to God alone and none to man. For never can too much glory, goodness, and mercy be ascribed unto God." These words of the worthy Doctor comforted and confirmed me. The Gospel is true because it deprives men of all glory, wisdom, and righteousness and turns over all honor to the Creator alone. It is safer to attribute too much glory unto God than unto man.

You may argue that the Church and the fathers are holy. Yet the Church is compelled to pray: "Forgive us our trespasses," I am not to be believed, nor is the Church to be believed, or the fathers, or the apostles, or an angel from heaven, if they teach anything contrary to the Word of God. Let the Word of God abide forever. Peter erred in life and in doctrine. Paul might have dismissed Peter's error as a matter of no consequence. But Paul saw that Peter's error would lead to the damage of the whole Church unless it were corrected. Therefore he withstood Peter to his face. The Church, Peter, the apostles, angels from heaven, are not to be heard unless they teach the genuine Word of God.

This argument is not always to our advantage. People ask: "Whom then shall we believe?" Our opponents maintain that they teach the pure Word of God. We do not believe them. They in turn hate and persecute us for vile heretics. What can we do about it? With Paul we glory in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What do we gain? We are told that our glorying is idle vanity and unadulterated blasphemy. The moment we abase ourselves and give in to the rage of our opponents, Papists and Anabaptists grow arrogant. The Anabaptists hatch out some new monstrosity. The Papists revive their old abominations. What to do? Let everybody become sure of his calling and doctrine, that he may boldly say with Paul: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than ye have received, let him be accursed."
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:11, 12.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Where It All Went Wrong

I don't know much about this blogger, but I'll be checking him more, that's for sure. I found his entry entitled Where It All Went Wrong to be very good. It's about the problems with the Revolution Settlement of the Church of Scotland.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wearin' down

Well, I think I went and wore myself out. It's been non-stop for me for a while now, and today I woke up sick. I can't complain, though. Much of the stuff I've been doing has been kinda fun. Two nights ago, some friends from work, and my step-dad, went to Kclinger's for some good beer, and to see Guitar Shorty. Funny name, I know. He's not ALL that short, but short enough to be called Shorty, I suppose. And lemme tell ya, I know why he's called "Guitar." This guy played a blazing blues style that was jaw dropping at times. There were many highlights in the set, but for me two songs really stuck out. The first was an instrumental version of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" that almost made me cry. Like I said, it was an instrumental version, but I could almost hear singing. The other highlight for me was when Guitar Shorty played a blistering version of a song written by his younger but late brother-in-law. Yep, that was some rendition alright. The song? The song was "Hey Joe." Guitar Shorty's brother-in-law was a guy named Jimi. Jimi Hendrix. I had two beers, a Smithwick's (pronounced "Smiticks"), and something called Tupper's Hop Pocket, which was very hoppy. I liked it, but not everyone does.

In other news, the kids caught a Praying Mantis of about 4 inches in length. Very cool.

Alright, that's all I got. I'm going to go maybe eat something. I should drink something too. I got a sore throat going on. Maybe there's a Natural Cure "They" Don't Want Me to Know About, that I could take.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Progress

Guess what Jesse started doing about a 1/2 hour ago.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Frailty of Man and Importance of the Word.

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The article of justification is fragile. Not in itself, of course, but in us. I know how quickly a person can forfeit the joy of the Gospel. I know in what slippery places even those stand who seem to have a good footing in the matters of faith. In the midst of the conflict when we should be consoling ourselves with the Gospel, the Law rears up and begins to rage all over our conscience. I say the Gospel is frail because we are frail. What makes matters worse is that one-half of ourselves, our own reason, stands against us. The flesh resists the spirit, or as Paul puts it, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit." Therefore we teach that to know Christ and to believe in Him is no achievement of man, but the gift of God. God alone can create and preserve faith in us. God creates faith in us through the Word. He increases, strengthens and confirms faith in us through His word. Hence the best service that anybody can render God is diligently to hear and read God's Word. On the other hand, nothing is more perilous than to be weary of the Word of God. Thinking he knows enough, a person begins little by little to despise the Word until he has lost Christ and the Gospel altogether.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:11, 12.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?

I mean, the whole reason you buy a weight set is because you are a wuss, and lack strength. Now... getting (huff puff puff) this (ugh huff puff) heavy (did something just snap?) box into (huff puff) the (aaaahhhh grrrrr ahhhh) HOUSE!

Whew.

For my friends in Albany

Fun things to do in Albany, N.Y.

Now when winter arrives, you can always catch a River Rats game! (go Bears).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

You think I'm kidding?


Conner IS the BUTTERFLY MAN. Here he is with a Monarch AND a Swallow Tail!

Monday, August 15, 2005

August 15th, 1992

Today's our wedding anniversary.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"Calvinists" and other teachers.

"For do I now persuade men, or God?"
No man can say that we are seeking the favor and praise of men with our doctrine. We teach that all men are naturally depraved. We condemn man's free will, his strength, wisdom, and righteousness. We say that we obtain grace by the free mercy of God alone for Christ's sake. This is no preaching to please men. This sort of preaching procures for us the hatred and disfavor of the world, persecutions, excommunications, murders, and curses. "Can't you see that I seek no man's favor by my doctrine?" asks Paul. "If I were anxious for the favor of men I would flatter them. But what do I do? I condemn their works. I teach things only that I have been commanded to teach from above. For that I bring down upon my head the wrath of Jews and Gentiles. My doctrine must be right. It must be divine. Any other doctrine cannot be better than mine. Any other doctrine must be false and wicked." With Paul we boldly pronounce a curse upon every doctrine that does not agree with ours. We do not preach for the praise of men, or the favor of princes. We preach for the favor of God alone whose grace and mercy we proclaim. Whosoever teaches a gospel contrary to ours, or different from ours, let us be bold to say that he is sent of the devil.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:10.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Butterfly Man

Last month we signed up Cole and Conner to go to "bug camp." It was not really a camp, just an hour or two, for 5 days, of going out to a local pond and learning about insects and other things that creepeth upon the earth. For this "camp," we bought the kids butterly nets to help them catch bugs. The kids had a blast at the camp. Well, Conner has since been very much interested in butterfly catching. He has this container he calls a bug catcher, which is meant to put bugs in after you catch them. Daily, Conner brings his bug catcher to us to show us the beautiful butterflies he's caught. Lately, Conner has developed the skill of getting butterflies to land on him and walk on him! I've not seen anything like it, really.

Conner holding what he tells us is a Monarch.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Our trip (long post, sorry!)

Monday a week ago, we took off west down the PA Turnpike towards Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh wasn't our final destination, though. We were actually headed up to Erie to visit some family, but Pittsburgh is a nice stop to break up the trip. It's about a 4 hour drive to Pittsburgh, and then two more hours to Erie. So, we stopped at Pittsburgh and did alot of walking. I mean ALOT of walking. Pittsburgh is a city of bridges you see:

Rather than drive over bridge after bridge after bridge to get to all the places you want to see, it's easier just to park your vehicle and hike. We parked in the parking lot of Heinz Field (where the Pittsburgh Steelers play their home football games)... the sign said $5 all day parking, but there was no one there collecting money, so the parking ended up being worth way more than we paid for. We went to Point State Park, at the tip of the Golden Triangle, where the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers all meet. Small park, but pretty cool anyway. We wanted to ride the inclines and eat something, but we realized it was getting late, so we hauled to Erie and called it a day.

Tuesday, chill out and relax, and visit with the family.

Wednesday, Lake Erie. Lake Erie is a BIG LAKE, people. And it's almost like being at the ocean.


There were a whole bunch of stones of very cool and different shapes and colors:


Jesse says that Lake Erie was nothing to shake a stick at:


Ok, what day are we on now? Oh, Thursday. Thursday we drove to Canada to see Niagra falls. We went on the Maid of the Mist tour boat which takes you into the white mist at the bottom of the falls. That was very cool, and I recommend it to anyone. Here's a pic of the Maid of the Mist, but we were not on it when the pic was taken:


The American Falls:


The Horseshoe Falls:


The Family:


Now, getting into Canada is no big deal:

"What is your nationality?"

"I'm from the United States."

"Where do you live?"

"Pennsylvania."

"Where are you going?"

"To Niagra Falls."

"What are you going there to do?"

"Um... to see them."

"Welcome to Canada, enjoy your visit!"

Boom! In like Flynn. But coming back, man! Look, can't we just use racial profiling, and let the white Christian man back into his own country? We had to produce paperwork for everyone in the car, the border cop guy made us open up the doors so he could look in. I instructed the kids not to talk, and joked with Rachel how funny it would be if I quick handed a bag to the guy in the next line and asked him to hold it for a minute. We also chuckled thinking about our friend Tom who likes to speak in his best Nazi German accent of "Zee Liquor Control Board... Vee vill control your liquor." Well, in the end, no none had to disrobe, and everyone we took with came back, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Friday, we went to the Erie Zoo. It's not a big zoo, but they did have cheese fries:


Our family enjoys going to zoos, and I tend to rank them in my head. Best overall zoo that I've been to is the Baltimore Zoo. The best Primate House is in Philly. Erie might be the best kids oriented zoo. There was all kinds of stuff for little ones to do, and because it only took a few hours to get through, the kids weren't totally worn out at the end of it. Daniel enjoyed playing animal doctor, and Cole and Conner were the Zoo Directors:



Our favorite exhibit was the OrangeGutans. Big daddy and baby were really cute. Mommy was there too, but I didn't get a pic of her:



Saturday, we drove home, and we stopped in Pittsburgh again to do some things we missed the first time. This time, we went on the incline:




And of course we took a couple shots from up top, Mt. Washington:





Ok, this entry is long enough... so I'll close up fast. We ate some killer Chinese Food in the Burgh before we hit the incline, oh that was good. We also bought a bottle of Chablis from Heritage Wine Cellars, and that will be a nice reminder of our trip. That's it. Go do other things now.