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


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!


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?"


"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.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

We are not above the Scriptures.

"As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Paul herewith curses and excommunicates all false teachers including his opponents. He is so worked up that he dares to curse all who pervert his Gospel. Would to God that this terrible pronouncement of the Apostle might strike fear into the hearts of all who pervert the Gospel of Paul. The Galatians might say: "Paul, we do not pervert the Gospel you have brought unto us. We did not quite understand it. That is all. Now these teachers who came after you have explained everything so beautifully." This explanation the Apostle refuses to accept. They must add nothing; they must correct nothing. "What you received from me is the genuine Gospel of God. Let it stand. If any man brings any other gospel than the one I brought you, or promises to deliver better things than you have received from me, let him be accursed." In spite of this emphatic denunciation so many accept the pope as the supreme judge of the Scriptures. "The Church," they say, "chose only four gospels. The Church might have chosen more. Ergo the Church is above the Gospel." With equal force one might argue: "I approve the Scriptures. Ergo I am above the Scriptures. John the Baptist confessed Christ. Hence he is above Christ." Paul subordinates himself, all preachers, all the angels of heaven, everybody to the Sacred Scriptures. We are not the masters, judges, or arbiters, but witnesses, disciples, and confessors of the Scriptures, whether we be pope, Luther, Augustine, Paul, or an angel from heaven.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:9.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Home Again

Well, we've just arrived home... after logging about 1000 miles... safe and sound. It's late, and we have some Lord's Day and bedtime prep to do, so, I'll have to fill you in on the trip later. Until then, little Daniel wishes you all peace:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Monday, August 01, 2005