Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trans Siberian Orchestra


A friend gave me a Trans Siberian CD a few years ago and I was hooked from track 1. I've always had this thing for classical instruments being used in rock songs. Call me sentimental or progressive or whatever you want to call it, but I love merging worlds and merging mediums. Throw in a little creativity, a whole heck of a lot of talent, a light show so bright one needs sunglasses for a few numbers lest your eyes tear up like you was cuttin' an onion and you've got yourself the TSO.

Tonight's TSO performance has been long anticipated. Well, since last year really when I splurged and bought myself an individual ticket for the fourth row. I had never been to anything so showy in all my life. Still haven't. I say showy, but I insinuate classy.

This year I took my father so that he could appreciate the uniqueness with me. I took a few pictures with my camera phone and attempted a short video clip. But genius me forgot to take my phone off silent so there is no sound. Grrrr! And I thought it was such a brilliant idea too! Oh well, at least you can appreciate a bit of the dramatics if not the music. MERRY CHRISTMAS!



video
Disclaimer: Amateur footage. May cause nausea!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rest

“Rest: the sweet sauce of labor” —Plutarch

“Sleep, silence's child, sweet father of soft rest, prince whose approach peace to all mortals brings Indifferent host to shepherds and kings; sole comforter to minds with grief oppressed”
—William Drummond

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blue Q Ranch



"Established in 2004 by former Charlotte Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins (who now plays for the Tennessee Titans), Blue Q Cattle Company is located in rural Montgomery County. Kerry learned the cattle business from his father-in-law, who ran a purebred cattle herd in nearby Monroe. With over 1,000 acres in Bermudagrass blended with Matua Bromegrass, Blue Q is one of the largest purebred Angus cattle operations in the area. With over 300 purebred brood cows (and growing), Blue Q is a wonderful cattle facility and farm."


http://www.ncacaa.org/2007mtg/NCACAAtours.html
Photos by Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Logic

So knavery puts on the face of justice; hypocrisy and superstition wear the vizard of piety; deceit and evil are often clothed in the shapes and appearances of truth and goodness. Now logic helps us to strip off the outward disguise of things, and to behold them and judge of them in their own nature. -- Isaac Watts in his book Logic

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Promise

"Is His promise only a dream?
Is it in our dreaming that we glimpse the fullness of His promise?"

--Frederick Buechner, The Son of Laughter

John Stott on Psalm 42-43

...Each stanza concludes with the same refrain (42:5, 11; 43:5). In it the psalmist speaks to himself. Talking to oneself is popularly said to be the first sign of madness. But on the contrary, it is a sure sign of maturity--though depending on what we are talking to ourselves about! Here the psalmist refuses to acquiesce in his condition or give into his moods. He takes himself in hand. Firstly, he questions himself: "Why are you downcast, O my soul?" His question includes an implied rebuke. Secondly, he exhorts himself: "Put your hope in God." For God is worthy of our trust. Thirdly, he assures himself: "For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." His double use of the personal possessive "my Savior and my God" is highly significant. He is reminding himself of his covenant relationship with God, which no fluctuating moods can ever destroy. --John Stott

Psalm 42-43

Psalm 42

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.


1 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
"Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation 6 and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock:
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?"
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.


Psalm 43

Send Out Your Light and Your Truth

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people,
from the deceitful and unjust man
deliver me!
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you rejected me?
Why do I go about mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

9-0


Jevon Kearse celebrates the Titans' win over the Chicago Bears, making Tennessee 9-0, by putting a piece of tape on his jersey!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Symphony In Lights

I was thinking about posting my favorite Saturday Night Live skit from this presidential season since I spent the last two hours in front of my friend's TV (because I don't have my own) watching SNL's Presidential Bash '08, which traditionally airs the night before election day. But in between intention and followthrough I checked my e-mail. I'm a subscriber to very few e-mailings, but I just got one from one of my favorite musical groups--The Trans Siberian Orchestra. May be I'll follow through with my previous intention within the next day or so (after we officially know who our next president will be) since I feel that we'll probably need a few laughs then more than now. So for now, I'm pursuing a fun rabbit trail. Ya gotta admit, this is pretty cool!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

8-0 Y'all!!!!!

If y'all don't know by now, Kerry Collins has been my favorite since Carolina. I figure a little bit of cheesiness (Packers pun intended) is in order after today's win which leaves us, once again in week eight, as the ONLY undefeated team in the NFL!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Candidate Labeled 'Osama' on Some Absentee Ballots:

TROY, N.Y.-ASSOCIATED PRESS- Who is running for president? In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for "Barack Osama."

To Americans, the best-known individual named Osama is Osama bin Laden, leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group behind the 2001 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City.

The Rensselaer County elections office faxed a statement in which the two commissioners, Democrat Edward McDonough and Republican Larry Bugbee, said they regret the typographical error. "We wish we could turn back the clock, but we can't."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jacob and the Persevering Love of God

"Jacob is a particularly important patriarch because he was the father of the chosen people, who came to be known as 'the children of Jacob' or ' children of Israel'. He is introduced in the Old Testament narrative, however, as a man who knew God's promises but could not trust him to keep them, so that he took things into his own hands to engineer their fulfillment. First he tricked Esau in Canaan. Then in Paddan Aram (Mesopotamia) he and his brother-in-law Laban spent their time deceiving one another. Jacob was more a schemer than a believer.

Now, on his return from Paddan Aram, we realize that 'Jacob was left alone' (Genesis 32:24). Yet God refused to leave him alone. He came to him in his aloneness. That night Jacob met God in a decisive and transforming encounter. It was in two stages.



First God wrestled with Jacob. We know that it was God (a theophany) because Jacob later called the place Peniel, meaning 'the face of God'. God wrestled with him in order by love to conquer him and continued the struggle until daybreak without success. Then when he 'saw that he could not overpower him' (v. 25), God touched and dislocated his thigh. A single touch of the divine finger was enough; Jacob surrendered. With us too God begins gently and perseveres in love. But if we still resist, he resorts to more drastic measures until he touches and breaks us.

In the second stage the wrestlers change place, and Jacob wrestles with God. 'Let go,' God said, but Jacob responded, 'I will not let you go until you bless me' (v. 26). It is as if Jacob said to God, 'You promised to bless Abraham, my father Isaac, and me. Now fulfill your promise and bless me!' So 'he blessed him there' (v. 29). God wrestles with us in order to break down our stubbornness; we wrestle with God in order to inherit his promises."
—John Stott

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sports Seasons Has Spoken

Out with Vince, in with Kerry! They've simply given voice to all of Tennessee by posting this little blue sign in their establishment, but boy howdy when you see it in print like this it just makes plain 'ol sense!



And can I just say, "Read my shirt: COLLINS"! I've been tellin' y'all this since Carolina!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

In All Fundamental Fairness

I have to admit, the best line ended up coming from Joe Biden in the Vice-Presidential debate this evening:

"Quote, I'm paraphrasing."


Monday, September 29, 2008

Sweet and Bitter

"I know no sweeter way to heaven than through
free grace and hard trials together."
Samuel Rutherford

Thursday, September 25, 2008

FCS: A Cultural Marker

I love this kinda thing. I love it when the students come up with it on their own. I love it when I'm reminded why I do what I do. I love it when I'm reminded that the vision for the future is so much bigger than me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On Not Taking Ourselves Too Seriously

My dear friend Jayme has been so kind to post the Saturday Night Live skit featuring Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton which gave SNL it's best ratings since 2002. This evening I stumbled across remarks from the McCain camp on the SNL portrayal of Palin which sounds at once both reactionary and protective. But then I read this tidbit--found on MSNBC of all places--about Sarah Palin's own response. After having read it, I really don't think I could like her any more than I do now. I've decided that tomorrow is the day to put on my newly purchased "Barracuda" bumper sticker! So while spokesmen for McCain were being protective...

"Palin, on the other hand, found the sketch amusing, according to her spokesperson. The governor and the press corps watched the sketch in the back of her plane, laughing at Tina and Amy’s satirical take on the two politicians.

“She thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween,” Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt told CBS."


Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, Monday.

Monday. A day to look back and wish that it was Saturday or Sunday.

Monday. A day to look forward to the fact that there are only five more days separating us from the next Saturday.

Monday. A day that never fails to remind us that we need to work to pay the bills.

Monday. A day that breeds temptation to hit the snooze button a few more times.

Monday. The second day of the week on most Protestant calendars and the first work day. It is a day of truth. One that sheds some light on why we do what we do. Is it because there are mouths to feed? Is it because work is a necessary evil and we have to earn a living somehow? Or is it because we believe in what we are called to set our hand to? Because we believe that there is purpose in the midst of our daily endeavors?

John Stott in his book Through the Bible Through the Year points out that the "Monday morning blues" bear witness to the fact that we are in need of an authentic Christian philosophy of work. Genesis 2:15 says that, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." God put the man that He created into the garden that He planted to "work it and take care of it". Why not take care of it Himself? He made the garden. He made the man to take care of the garden. Why not leave out one extra step and do it Himself? Stott goes on to say, "God deliberately humbled Himself to need Adam's cooperation." God could have tended the garden Himself. But He chose not to!

Stott sums up his thoughts on an authentic Christian philosophy of work with this:

"We need, then, to make an important distinction between nature and culture. Nature is what God gives us; culture is what we make of it (agriculture, horticulture, etc.). Nature is raw materials; culture is commodities prepared for the market. Nature is divine creation; culture is human cultivation. God invites us to share in His work. Indeed, our work becomes a privilege when we see it as collaboration with God."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sarah Palin

I've Googled it. No one's created a Sarah Palin pit bull yet. So instead of washing my clothes, cleaning my house, or otherwise being responsible I decided to create one of my own. I've titled it "Portrait of a Hockey Mom in Politics".

Portrait of a Hockey Mom in Politics


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin Heard Peggy

In an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan gave some helpful tips to John McCain and Sarah Palin on how to make strides and even win against Barak Obama's suasive rhetoric. Judging by the speech she gave at tonight's Republican National Convention, it seems that Palin took heed, and boy how she did it with style, pith, and wit! The gist of Noonan's article is this:

"America is a huge and lonely country. We are vast, stretch coast to coast, live in self-sufficient pods; modern culture tends us toward the atomic, the fractured and broken up. When two people meet, as they come to know each other as neighbors or colleagues, one of the great easers, one of the great ways of making a simple small human connection is: shared laughter. We are a political nation. We talk politics. So fill that area with humor: sly humor, teasing humor, humor that speaks a great truth or makes a sharp point."

The question has been raised, can Palin take the heat? And if she can, then will she simply make it through the onslaught of political backbiting or will she come out on the other side all the stronger in light of it, making her a candidate that people can envision as vice president? Well, this strait-talking, field-dressing Alaska woman sure did hand the opposition her reply to those questions this evening and did so with humor to boot! Here are a few of my favorite Palin lines and phrases from tonight's speech:

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities."

"That luxury jet [used for the Alaskan governor] was over the top. I put it on eBay."

"...there is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform--not even in the state senate."

"But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot--what exactly is our opponent's plan?"

"Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, he's worried that someone won't read them their rights."

"In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change. They're the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals."

"My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of 'personal discovery.' This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer."

“You know what the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is? Lip stick.”

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin and TR

In a speech given tonight at the Republican National Convention, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson presented the following thought provoking and relatively indisputable point of support for Republican Party vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin:

"I can say without fear of contradiction that she is the only nominee in the history of either party who knows how to properly field dress a moose ... with the possible exception of Teddy Roosevelt."

I couldn't find a picture of Palin with a field-dressed moose, but I did find one of her with gutted, but stylish, grizzly!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Two Quotes by Rutherford

O, what need have I to have the ashes blown away from my dying-out fire! I may be a book-man, and be an idiot and stark fool in Christ's way; learning will not beguile Christ: the Bible beguiled the Pharisees, and so may I be misted. Therefore, as night-watchers hold one another waking by speaking to one another, so have we need to hold one another on foot.

Our pride must have winter weather to rot it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Slight Clarification

Ok, so I've already gotten a little flack for dissing Hallmark e-cards. Let me start out by saying that if you take the time to look there are some pretty good ones out there. Between the time I posted the last entry and this one I have sent out three Hallmark e-cards. So I am certainly not dissing them! I simply meant that there are times to send a quick note with a picture, and there are times to send more thought provoking animated messages. Thanks to a dear friend for making me clarify!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bring Back iCards!

I'm sure I have had some kind of gripe with Apple in the past, but all possible complaints have been forgotten in the wake of the greatest travesty of all...no more iCards!!

Though I am saddened that I can no longer send a simple a-picture-says-a-thousand-words e-card to a friend to say I am thinking about them or to brighten their day, and though I hate to reduce myself to the gushy world of animated Hallmark e-cards, I do have to say that if this is my only complaint about a major computer company, I think life's going fairly well!


Friday, August 08, 2008

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

by Johann Sabastian Bach

Jesu, joy of man's desiring
Holy wisdom, love most bright
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned
With the fire of life impassioned
Striving still to truth unknown
Soaring, dying round Thy throne

Through the way where hope is guiding
Hark, what peaceful music rings
Where the flock, in Thee confiding
Drink of joy from deathless springs

Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure
Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"Until they rest in Thee"

"Everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being: Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." — Augustine




Once Upon a Time in My Home Away From Home...





Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rejoicing

"Rejoicing is a deliberate and purposeful act of trust."

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Windings and To's and Fro's

"My shallow and ebb thoughts are not the compass Christ saileth by. I leave His ways to Himself, for they are far, far above me...There are windings and to's and fro's in His ways, which blind bodies like us cannot see." —Samuel Rutherford, The Loveliness of Christ

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Peroxide

I just posted a comment on Facebook to the effect of "Peroxide: If it don't hurt, it don't work." I meant for it to have a double meaning but wasn't expecting anyone to acknowledge that but myself. Within minutes a friend responded by saying, "Yeah, I think anything worthwhile should sting a little." Today has been a day of odd confirmations and seeming coincidences, so all I could do was laugh.

I was recently reminded that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, in the words of G.K. Chesterton. A simple reminder that if something is worth doing it's simply worth doing—no matter what. Well, there's been quite a lot of doing going on around me recently and I've discovered that where there is diligence in the things worth doing there often follows close behind eminent change. As I have already mentioned, I am not a big fan of change. But in my search to make the best of it, to accept it, to excel in it, I have stumbled upon a rare and unexplainable peace. It is the kind of peace that steels the soul with the reminder that sometimes you know things are right simply because they are hard.

Change often causes me to ask God, "What are You doing?!" Yet it always holds me in awe when I get the answer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Hate Change

Having been through a number of computers over the last couple of years, I occasionally stumble across old files from long ago. Today brings just such memories to light as I re-discovered my college graduation speech. It's pretty apt considering that just a few hours ago I declared today "I Hate Change Day". I'm posting this speech mostly so that I can continue laughing, but also as a reminder that change can bring about good things.

***************************


I hate change—loose change or life change.

When I moved to Franklin and started living on a college student budget, I some how got the idea to have two collection stations for my loose change—my truck and my little miniature-plastic-combination safe that I’m sure I stole from one of my siblings. Some how more of the change ended up in my truck. I have this suspicion, looking back, that that was the case after I discovered how well loose change worked with the Wendy’s $.99 menu or the Sonic half-price-drink schedule. I still found myself grimacing any time I had to put change in my pocket and wait to deposit it in one of my two “accounts”—Oh, but when you taste a lemon-berry slush from Sonic—it’s Heaven!

Dave just moved back to Franklin this year to finish up school. In January he succeeded in kind of speeding up the process of the whole wedding thing. Some day, hopefully, in the near future maybe he and Danielle will be blessed with a family. But for now, he’s wrestling with being a practical Trinitarian visionary—along with our friends, the Graysons—and is planning to put his incredible wisdom and Moral Philosophy skills into rigorous action by joining with Robbie to reshape Stone Table Tutorial.

Kristin “joined the club” this year and was a bit apprehensive about how she would be received. Which is not surprising because it seems anything relating to Der sometimes has a reputation for being a groupie sort-a thing. But with her help, I think we’ve dispelled all notions of cliquishness. Kristin was dissatisfied with her college education. I’m sure that more than once it put her on the brink of tears because she knew there was something more—something richer. When she came to Bannockburn, we all knew she had found it. And we all became the richer for it. In the course of this year, Kristin too has found herself in a tizzy of wedding preparations. She and Alan, though, must wait until July, which gives them a few more months to eagerly anticipate the changes that the coming weeks and months will bring. Seminary in Jackson, MS is Alan’s call and thus is Kristin’s call at this time in life. They too, Lord willing, will in the future be blessed with a family of their own.

It was a hectic day for all three of us some weeks ago when I felt like starting a deep conversation—some thirty seconds before class was to start, I’m sure. “I hate change.” And in that thirty seconds as I read the faces of Dave and Kristin, the expressions said and unsaid seemed to reveal the same thought.

It seems that each year the following year is looked forward to only with anticipated dread. We’ve looked at this year of changes that the three of us have experienced together, and though we’ve grimaced quite a few times, we wouldn’t exchange it for the world. We’ve all had the thought that there’s no way next year can get any better than this. But in that 30-second-right-before-class-deep-discussion time, we realized that we had at one point or another said that last year and the year before and most likely each year previous—“There’s no way next year could be any better than this.”
But it can be, and most likely will. Though the unforeseen is a bit more frightening at some times than others, and though the mere idea of change will continue to make us grimace, we will continue to be reminded that our callings are sure because we’re investing in something so much bigger than ourselves. We may have to wait to deposit our loose change—Oh, but when you taste of the glories of God’s covenant plan—it’s Heaven!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lil Markie

None of my office friends have posted this yet so I feel that it is my calling to share this wonderful tid-bit of 80's-Baptist-mullet-loving evangelism. Keep watching. I got bored at first too but then the jaw dropped.



Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Mediator

Everlasting Creator-Father,
I have destroyed myself,
my nature is defiled,
the powers of my soul are degraded;
I am vile, miserable, strengthless,
but my hope is in thee.
If ever I am saved it will be by goodness
undeserved and astonishing,
not by mercy alone but by abundant mercy,
not by grace but by exceeding riches of grace;
And such thou has revealed, promised, exemplified
in thoughts of peace, not of evil.

Thou hast devised means
to rescue me from sin’s perdition,
to restore me to happiness, honor, safety.
I bless thee for the everlasting covenant,
for the appointment of a Mediator.
I rejoice that he failed not, nor was discouraged,
but accomplished the work thou gavest him to do;
and said on the cross, ‘It is finished.’
I exult in the thought that
thy justice is satisfied,
thy truth established,
thy law magnified,
and a foundation is laid for my hope.
I look to a present and personal interest
in Christ and say,
surely he has borne my griefs,
carried my sorrows,
won my peace,
healed my soul.
Justified by his blood I am saved by his life,
Glorying in his cross I bow to his sceptre,
Having his spirit I possess his mind.

Lord, grant that my religion may not be
occasional and partial,
but universal, influential, effective,
and may I always continue in thy words
as well as thy works,
so that I may reach my end in peace.

—from The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002)

Learning to Pray

I find that I am eloquent when I am not in need. When things are running smoothly or when someone else needs the encouragement of a friend to go before the throne of grace with them. Words come fairly easily then. I may not always have the right words, but I can always find something to say. At least, until I am made speechless by the encroachment of need upon my own life. Then I am left to stutter, mumble, or simply run through a series of images and snap-shots in my head hoping God will get the picture of what it is I'm trying to say and what it is I want Him to do in the midst of my messy incoherent cries for rescue. There's a reason God gave us a template for prayer. We are so bad at it. We feel the need for creativity and eloquence when talking to Him. We try to convince him that our desires are just and our wants are our needs. But I find that when I am stripped of eloquence and dumbfounded by vulnerability my mental capacity is only capable of verbalizing four words: "Thy will be done". And still there are other times when I am reduced to one word: "Help". When there are no more words, it is so bolstering to return to the prayer that Christ taught His disciples, or to read the prayers of those who have gone before and experienced the same longings of the soul and worries of the flesh. It is in these templates that we can find a sure footing when we know only to place one foot in front of the other to move on. It is in such examples that we find a simple means of grace and abundant stores of mercy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Point A to Point B. (Amendment)

How could I have forgotten the two day whirl-wind trip to North Carolina equaling 920 miles. So, I guess that brings my total month-long traveling millage up to a whopping 4,515 miles.

I have never been happier to report such mind-boggling news from the comfort of my very own bed in my very own home!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Wanna Go home

Point A to Point B. Repeat. Repeat.

In the last month have the following statistics to show for myself:

Monterey, TN: 275 miles
Romney, WV: 1,600 miles
Austin, TX: 1,720 miles
Total: 3,595 miles


My conclusion:

Home: Priceless

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Makers

by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Architect stood forth and said:
"I am the master of the art:
I have a thought within my head,
I have a dream within my heart.

"Come now, good craftsman, ply your trade
With tool and stone obediently;
Behold the plan that I have made—
I am the master; serve you me."

The Craftsman answered: "Sir, I will,
Yet look to it that this your draft
Be of a sort to serve my skill—
You are not master of the craft.

"It is by me the towers grow tall,
I lay the course, I shape and hew;
You make a little inky scrawl,
And that is all that you can do.

"Account me, then, the master man,
Laying my rigid rule upon
The plan, and that which serves the plan—
The uncomplaining, helpless stone."

The Stone made answer: "Masters mine,
Know this: that I can bless or damn
The thing that both of you design
By being but the thing I am;

"For I am granite and not gold,
For I am marble and not clay,
You may not hammer me nor mould—
I am the master of the way.

"Yet once that mastery bestowed
Then I will suffer patiently
The cleaving steel, the crushing load,
That make a Calvary of me;

"And you may carve me with your hand
To arch and buttress, roof and wall,
Until the dream rise up and stand—
Serve but the stone, the stone serves all.

"Let each do well what each knows best,
Nothing refuse and nothing shirk,
Since none is master of the rest,
But all are servants of the work—

"The work no master may subject
Save He to whom the whole is known,
Being Himself the Architect,
The Craftsman and the Corner-stone.

"Then, when the greatest and the least
Have finished all their labouring
And sit together at the feast,
You shall behold a wonder thing:

"The Maker of the men that make
Will stoop between the cherubim,
The towel and the basin take,
And serve the servants who serve Him."

The Architect and Craftsman both
Agreed, the Stone had spoken well;
Bound them to service by an oath
And each to his own labour fell.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No Safe Investment

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” — C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The 7th Day


In English class today we had a bit of a creative exercise. We are currently reading The Magician’s Nephew—chronologically the first book in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. We have just finished the part where Aslan has sung Narnia into existence. I wanted my students to compare the similarities and the dissimilarities between Narnia’s creation and the biblical creation as portrayed in Genesis 1.

The first part of the exercise was rather simplistic but remarkably telling. I had them take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle writing characteristics of the Genesis account on the one side and characteristics of the Narnian account on the other. They came up with everything from both had suns and stars, to God spoke the world into being and Aslan sang the world into being. It was an extremely enlightening exercise in the sense that it got the kids to ask why some things were exactly alike in both accounts and why others were either slightly or completely different. But the most enlightening thing for me occurred as I was going over the comparisons of one student in particular followed by the inquiry and short discussion of the students surrounding.

I had noticed on the student’s paper that she had written “creation in 6 days” on the biblical account side, and I corrected her by saying that it was 7 days. The student’s response was one we have all heard a lot: “But God created in 6 days and rested on the 7th.” I was feeling slightly argumentative at the time and wanted to test her a bit further, so what came out of my mouth next was more like role-playing devil’s advocate then a profound split-second thought: “Yes, God did rest on the 7th day which means He created rest on the 7th day.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth I realized that I had never really thought about it that way before.

One of the surrounding students replied by saying, “Well, that doesn’t really count!” To which I replied, “I don’t know about you, but some times it takes a lot of effort and deliberateness for me to rest.”

Of course, as young teenagers my students haven’t gotten to the place where they are “too busy” to rest. Recreation, rest, and boredom are the norm for them—it’s the industry, diligence, and effort that’s the deliberate drudgery and work for them!

All too often I get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent, convinced that something just shy of burnout for the Kingdom is the best way to minister and serve. Though in recent years I have come to see the value in “a change often being as good as a rest”, or the benefit of recharging or takeing time for my self so that I may more efficiently serve others, I have never realized how difficult it can be to deliberately rest. Nor have I thought about the idea of God creating rest on the 7th day. His was a purposeful, deliberate, intentional act of resting. Knowing that it would be hard for us he gave us an example in the very pattern of creation. It is much easier to acknowledge that we are sub creators under the Creator in areas of skill, industry, and creativity, but to understand that we are also to be sub-creators in the stewardship of our time and the structuring of our rest seems to be an idealistic, ivory tower sort of notion, either that or an altogether missed notion.

There were 7 days of creation. But we not only have to be deliberate in remembering the 7th day, we have to be deliberate in imitating it as well.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Fever


What have I done! I haven't been this sore in ages! The things spring fever makes you do!

Today a friend of mine and I started a 6 week soccer camp for FCS students. Being the first day back from spring break I wasn't really expecting a whole lot of people to show up. We ended up having about 14, which is about 10 more than I thought would show the first day. My friend Nolan is the one with the soccer skills, I have the organizational skills and I know the kids. So I've decided that I'm going to start calling him the "Guru from Peru". While we're working together on things to do for the kids, it's pretty obvious that I'm going to learn more than I'm going to teach. He has 9-12th grade ages and I have 5-8th. Works for me! Today was a boat-load of fun even if it was a bit crazy in all the unknown factors!

Did I mention that I haven't played soccer since I was in 10th or 11th grade myself? Yeah. That does put a bit of a damper on things. And seeing as my last year in the sport I was goalie, I really don't feel qualified for this job! But I suppose that's why I'm here, because I hear that teachers, or in this case coaches, end up learning right along with their pupils. And my, the weather sure is looking nice for some out door activity. I figure this'll help out with that nasty case of spring fever we school folks get this time of year. And what better way to battle the fever than right along side your students on the soccer field. Ahhhh, spring is here!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Todd Burleson (1965-2008)


My friend, mentor, teacher, and former headmaster has gone Home. My heart aches for my own loss but more so for the loss in Natalie, Austin, Dylan, Christian, Mary Claire, Jackson, and the rest of the Burleson family's lives. But at the same time--how ever feebly acknowledged at this stage in grief--my heart also rejoices in that Mr. B is celebrating that imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance kept in heaven for him, while in the presence of Life Himself.

The last time I saw Mr. Burleson face to face we were talking about what my calling as a teacher might look like in the future. Well, really he was talking about that. My little mind was busy scheming about the possibility of he and his family moving to Franklin so that he could become headmaster of FCS! He always did bring out the most random and conniving of my visionary traits.


Mr. B was a man of diverse passions, yet firmly grounded and marked by substance. He had a way of always bring a person's central focus back to the heart of Christ and the gospel without Sunday School moralisms or religious cliches. His sincerity and honesty were a large part of what made him so endearing. That...and his smile. I have seen no bigger, more warming smile in my life, and the laughter that would often accompany was always infectious. Despite of his enormous depth--or perhaps in light of--Mr. B was especially down to earth. He was the kind of man that would let you be an honorary member of the boys basketball team because there weren't enough girls to have your own team. He was the kind of man that would help you out when you were trying to make his last name into an acrostic just so you could forever remember that the "e" goes after the "l" and not before. He was the kind of man that was content being the second choice of a group of students who really wanted the unavailable Dr. Grant to participate in their 40 hour project, and he still didn't complain when we then subjected his Vaselined face to a paper mache masking endeavor!

It is because of all these things that I know about Mr. B that my prayer for his family is that their unutterable grief, in the loss of so great a trophy of God's grace, will soon be turned into a joy inexpressible and full of glory.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kriegel on Favre

One of my favorite sports writers on one of my favorite sports figures:

Kriegel on Favre

Tuesday, March 04, 2008