Monday, December 31, 2007

Book #24 - Bethany: the Lord's Desire for His Church by Frank Viola

This ebook came to my attention through my feed reader a while back. I had printed it out and in my ongoing effort to conquer my ever growing reading list/ pile I picked it up. I was initially interested because of the ties to the house church. I thought that the message of the book would be directed toward that movement. What I found were a series of lessons that apply to any church.
The book is based around 4 Biblical accounts that occurred in the town of Bethany. These are then related to the contemporary church. The passages are as follows:
Luke 10:38-42
John 11:1-44
John 12:1-8
Luke 24:50-53
The book is a short read but a quality one. It gives insight, encourages, and gave me inspiration in my own efforts within the body that I attend. If you are interested, you can download it for yourself HERE.

Link Dump -- Dick Clark is coming Edition

5 Powerful Reasons to Make Reflection a Daily Habit, and How to Do It
Twenty Top 10's of 2007 [Best Of 2007] - Best Apps
The Quick Guide to Eggplant Roasting
Wii Baseball Accident
Pray for Tom Brady
Fight clichés (Zinsser) great quote for writers and communicators
10 To-Do's For Making Your 2008 Comeback
Top 2007 - Lists Galore
USC packs away 799 pounds of prime rib, a ... [Meat Sweats]
How to Test the Spirits
Joel Osteen vs. A.W. Tozer
Bacon Nation Unwrapped: Recipes for the New Year
Two Perspectives on the Bible and Contemporary Issues

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Book #23 -- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

I picked this book up as a "quick read" while looking for a new series to teach in Sunday School. It became the basis for my most recent Sunday School series. I have taught on spiritual disciplines a few times in the past but had never made the connection of how applying the disciplines will in fact allow us to arrange our lives to be responsive to the transformation process that the Spirit wishes to take us on.
That is the essence of this book; to arrange our lives in a way to become who God intends us to be. It has been most interesting to see how engaged the class has become in the discussions on these topics. That has shown me just how true these ring in the lives of those seeking the Father. Yet another reminder that we should not be trying to live our journeys alone but should rather be seeking out one another in an effort to do life together. The enemy seeks to isolate us and thus make us easy prey for his attacks.
While the material in this book is not something new to most who have studied spiritual discipline in the past, it is presented in a way that will give fresh insight to the young believer as well as the seasoned pilgrim. It is refreshing to see the author's honesty and transparency about her own personal journey of spiritual transformation. That was perhaps my biggest draw to the book. It is such a different perspective to learn from someone who you feel is on the road with you rather than one who seems to speak from a position of superiority.
I would recommend the book to anyone who is truly at a place where they are willing to open themselves to the Spirit and respond to His call to be transformed into Christ's likeness. The book can be read in a quick fashion but I think that the most can be gained by digesting it slowly over a period of weeks rather than a few days. I believe that it is also a book that I will return to as a reference for personal study as well as teaching.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Can you pass 8th grade science?

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

How many people died the day you were born?

131,535 People

Find Ultrasound technician schools near you

Unusual Deaths in 1971
Jerome irving rodale, an american pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on the dick cavett show. according to urban legend, when he appeared to fall asleep, cavett quipped "are we boring you, mr. rodale?" , which cavett has recently stated in a may 2007 new york times article was incorrect - the initial reaction to rodale was fellow guest pete hamill noticing something was wrong, and saying in a low voice to cavett, "this looks bad." the show was never broadcast.

Natural disasters in 1971
1971 San Fernando earthquake
1971 Canberra flood
1971 Kuala Lumpur floods

People who died on June 03 (various years)
2006 - Johnny Grande, original accordion/piano/keyboard player for Bill Haley's Comets
2005 - Harold Cardinal, Cree political leader, writer, and lawyer
2003 - Felix de Weldon, Austrian sculptor
2001 - Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born actor
1998 - Poul Bundgaard, Danish actor and singer
1997 - Dennis James, American television personality
1994 - Puig Aubert, French rugby league footballer
1992 - Robert Morley, English actor (b. 1908
1991 - Takeshi Nagata, Japanese geophysicist
1991 - Maurice Krafft, French volcanologist (eruption)
1991 - Katia Krafft, French volcanologist (eruption)
1990 - Robert Noyce, American inventor
1990 - Stiv Bators, American musician (The Dead Boys)
1989 - John McCauley, NHL official
1989 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian Shi'ite leader
1983 - Nanna, Rafi Khawar, Lollywood actor, Lahore
1977 - Roberto Rossellini, Italian film director
1977 - Archibald Vivian Hill, English physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate
1975 - Eisaku Sato, Prime Minister of Japan, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
1975 - Ozzie Nelson, American band leader, producer, director, and actor
1973 - Dory Funk, professional wrestler
1970 - Hjalmar Schacht, Nazi official
1964 - Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Finnish writer, Nobel Prize laureate
1963 - Pope John XXIII
1963 - Nazim Hikmet, Turkish poet
1955 - Barbara Graham, American murderer
1933 - William Muldoon, wrestler
1928 - Li Yüan-hung, Chinese general and political figure
1924 - Franz Kafka, Czech novelist
1899 - Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer
1894 - Karl Eduard Zachariae, German expert on Byzantine Law
1882 - Christian Wilberg, German painter
1877 - Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, Austrian musicologist (b. 1800
1875 - Georges Bizet, French composer
1865 - Okada Izō, Japanese samurai
1861 - Stephen A. Douglas, American politician
1858 - Julius Reubke, German composer
1826 - Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin, Russian writer
1780 - Thomas Hutchinson, American colonial governor of Massachusetts
1659 - Morgan Llwyd, Welsh Puritan preacher and writer
1649 - Manuel de Faria e Sousa, Portuguese historian and poet
1657 - William Harvey, English physician
1640 - Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, English politician
1615 - Sanada Yukimura, Japanese samurai
1594 - John Aylmer, English political theorist
1548 - Juan de Zumárraga, Spanish Catholic bishop of Mexico
1411 - Duke Leopold IV of Austria
1397 - William Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, English military leader
1395 - Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria

National Treasure 2

I made a rare trek yesterday with my wife and daughter to the movie theatre to check out National Treasure - Book of Secrets. We really enjoyed the first one and I was hopeful that the second would deliver as well. What we observed is that it IS possible to make a good action/ adventure film without gratuitous amounts of swearing or sexual content. And apart from one scene (in the Oval Office of all places) the new film was up to the task.
Will this film win Oscars? Doubtful. We we entertained? Absolutely! The addition of Ed Harris as a sympathetic bad guy was great. And like any good thrill movie we are left with the big question; what the heck was on page 47? Could be a lead in for future films or could be just a clever plot twist, we shall see. Although many reviews have been less than stellar, I wonder what they are comparing to. Are many of the plot twists, gags, and adventures redone from other films from the genre? Yes, but it delivers all that it promises. It does not pretend to be too serious.
We don't spend the time or money to often go to the theatre but I would recommend this film for the whole family, except maybe for the littler ones who might be scared by some of the action sequences. I relay hope this film does well to send a message that family movies do not have to be really corny (see my coming review of Underdog) or a cartoon. The Goofy short film at the front of the main film was hilarious as well. Big thumbs up for this one.
As an aside: If you have not checked out the digital projection at Encore cinemas in Elkhart you really should the next time you go out. It is amazing the difference!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It all started with a microwave...

My wife wanted an over the range microwave for her birthday. After spending some time shopping I took her with me to confirm that the one I chose was one that she liked. The intent was to purchase the unit, take it home and hang it, then spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and watching some football. That's when it started. Every guy who has ever embarked on a simple fix it project will know what I am talking about. It was then that we were informed that we needed either a cabinet or a heavy shelf above the unit for it to be properly installed. This led to trips to several of the big box stores in search of the right cabinet at a good price. Feeling fulfilled at finding it and the needed accessories we headed home. Once home we discovered that we have more room than we planned at our ceiling and in fact the 18" cabinet would fit, thus another trip to the store. A bit of setup and prep work led me to discover that I was in fact not going to be able to reach the outlet already in the area and would have to install one in the new cabinet, another trip to the store!

Making a long story short ; a project I hoped to have completed by 4 PM on Sunday was in fact , with delays and general life stuff, completed at about 7 PM on Monday. The upside is a great new appliance, more storage space, and a happy wife. The rumor is now that the wallpaper in the kitchen is old and maybe tile would look good on that wall...

No Search parties needed...

I completely checked out of the web (blog/ blogosphere, email, browsing, etc.) for 5 days. Believe it or not I survived. Funny how reliant we have bocome on some things that are very new. It was great to celebrate Christmas with family.
My mother in law rented a cabin at a camp ground on a lake at that side of the family spend Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning together. We played Bingo for prizes, board games, listened to music, watched a moview, played the Wii, and ate way more than we needed to. It was fun to connect in that way. We usually just get together on Christmas Eve.
My mom joined us at our house for Christmas day. It was a great time, just a bit hard being the first time without my dad. My mom got a great card from a friend that reminded her that he is now where it is Christmas every day!
I think that I watched more movies (5) in the last week than maybe in the last 5 months. I'm working up a post on them. I am also trying to avoid carpal tunnel or ealy onset arthritis from playing the Guitar Hero game that we got the kids for Christmas.
I also completed an improvement project in our kitchen that started out as a birthday present for my wife... that is a whole post in itself.
Along with a bit of reading it was a good time off of work and changing the pace. The kids are home for another week but I am returning to my routine. The only downside I have found is finding an effective way to clear my email inboxes and feed reader without missing the important stuff. Onward...

Link Dump -- Leftover Ham Edition

Man searches world for birth mother, only to find they work in the same store

Questions about the Mormon Church

3 Reasons To Memorize Scripture

Training Thursday: Train Yourself

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Final Thoughts on his Life and Death

2008 Presidential Candidates and Baseball - The Democrats

2008 Presidential Candidates and Baseball - The Republicans

Seven great “medical myths” revealed
A Child Armed for Battle
Thomas Nelson’s CEO Believes “God Is At Work” In New “Parenting Book” By The Mother Of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears
Books For Free: Merry Christmas!
Use Shredded Gift Wrap to Store Decorations [Household]
How to Set Up Your New Computer [Merry Christmahanukwanzaakkah]
Free Bundle of GTD Articles Written By David Allen [GTD]
Ten Universities with Free Online Courses [Free]
10 new alternative search engines
I Can't Believe This Book is Getting Published
100 Notable Books of 2007 - as posted by the NYT
Moneyball - A book about Baseball Loaded with Leadership Insights
Save Money For Next Christmas - Part 1

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Howmany 5 year olds could you take in a fight?


Looking for x-ray technician school?

Link Dump -- The Reindeer are doing pregame stretches Edition

Beverly Hillbillies "Bible Study"
Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2007 -- thanks to for several of these links again
It serves 125, takes eight hours to cook and is stuffed with 12 different birds … now that really IS a Christmas dinner -- The TurDucken on steroids!
10 Year-Old Girl charged, brings knife to school to cut steak --- ummmm common sense anyone???
Linus explains what Christmas is all about -- perfect!!
What Christmas Meant to C.S. Lewis
Highlights even in the meanest of times - even Notre Dame had a highlight reel this season
My Top 7 Books of 2007 - Tim Challies shares his favorite books of 2007
2008 Junky Car Club Calendar
World Trade Center Ship
Five Great Gift Ideas for the Health-conscious
Training Thursday meets Phriday Photos
Ryan Gracie, Member of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's First Family, Dies at 33 - a sad end for an MMA great
Open Thread: Questions for Christians
Open Thread: Questions for Atheists
The Problem With Real Christians
Setting 2008 Financial Goals - Part 1
Plagued with the Curse of Knowledge
The Krusty Sage: Quit Buying Crap You Can't Afford Just "Because It's Christmas." Sheesh. my vote for one of the top Christmas posts of the year!!
Breathe New Life into Your Old Gadgets [Feature]
“This is America. When ordering, please speak English.”
Unequally Yoked -- Does it apply to more than dating/ marriage
Morality is never enough
14 Stress-Free Ways to Kick Weight Loss in the Butt - get a jump on that New Year's resolution

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Book Reviews

I am behind in my reading and getting my reviews typed. I did not realize how much of a pain it was going to be to go without my laptop. Hoping that in January I will have another one. 4 books to do reviews on. I have a few in progress as far as reads. Will I make my goal of 30 books? Chances are looking slim but I still have a shot and will be close for sure. Hoping to catch up on a bit of typing on my day off... looks like I can do that while waiting for the next pile of snow to shovel.

Hopless Notre Dame Fan/ Real Men of Genius commercial

I am a die-hard ND fan. I also love the "Men of Genius" commercials and the spin offs that have come as a result. This is the combination of the two; even if it is kind of painful, there is an element of truth here. Here's looking to next season...

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Mitchell Report -- My 2 Cents...

The report finally came out. The long awaited work of Senator George Mitchell has been made public. As a life long fan of baseball here are my thoughts on the matter; in no particular order...
  • how authoritative can a report be if there was no one compelled to participate or tell the truth?
  • It does not seem fair to "name names" when in many cases there is little more, if anything, but circumstantial evidence. Many are based of the testimony of one person, often with an axe to grind.
  • $60 million dollars is a lot of money to spend on what I feel could best be described as a PR event. I could think of lot of good that could have been done with that money.
  • was the motive to really gather information, or to appease the public and Congress?
  • is it fair to persecute someone for taking something that was either not illegal or banned by the sport officially?
  • after all of this work only a select number of names surfaced when during the spring training testing samples of two years ago almost double the number of active players tested positive for "something"
  • MLB realizes, as is supported by Mitchell that to punish for what is in the past is silly, and quite close to impossible.

I love the game of baseball. DO I think that measures need to be in place to protect the integrity of the game ? Of course. But I think that the best approach would/ should be to draw an imaginary line in the sand and state that from that point forward everyone is officially on notice. There will always be those who cheat whether in the ballpark, the board room, the pool hall, the back yard pick up game, or even at Monopoly. Lets not let a few bad eggs spoil the whole farm. PLAY BALL!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Link Dump -- No College Football This Weekend Edition

Old Farts’ Quiz -- not sure what this says but I got 13 of 15
Top 10 Common Historical Myths
Birds Eye View of Famous Homes
Tis the Season to be Jolly, with Humor for Pun and Profit - prepare to groan
Romney on "Faith in America"
Huckabee on Immigration
Non-Sports: Put a Cap in that Cow! - this reminds me of that scene from Napoleon Dynamite
Bible Boost Part II
BookGem - a great stocking stuffer for the reader in your life
STAR WARS HUMOR - twisted, but funny
What do players eat before games?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and The Cost of Discipleship -- Reflections from Randy Alcorn
Roger Staubach: 'I Enjoy Sex as Much as Joe Namath, Only I Do It With One Girl' wish more athletes would speak out like this
Put your memory to the test! - an online version of Simon
Coffee Better Than Napping for the Sleepy Driver [Driving]
The 20 Best iPod Utilities [Feature]
The Golden Compass -- another perspective. I did note that at Rotten Tomatoes the movie is getting mixed reviews at best.
Favre and Ministry
The 5 Myths of Positive Mental Attitude
BBQ Sauce Reviews. all Barbecue sauce, all the time!
The 10 Key Actions That Finally Got Me Out of Debt; or, Why Living Frugally is Only Part of the Solution

New Prince Caspian Trailer...

Looks like the delays on the film might just be worth the wait. Check out the new trailer HERE

Friday, December 7, 2007

Game of the Week -- Gimme Friction Baby

Another addictive time waster... my high score as of this post is 21.

Get Your Channukah Hams Here

Thanks to Seth Godin we know where to get our Ham for Channukah
things that make you go hmmmm...

What's Your Grinch Name?

Thanks to Corey Mann's blog I found THIS fun item. It will tell you what your Grinch name is. You can call me...

Crabbyurchin Rascalshorts

Give it a trya nd feel free to share yours...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Van done got wrecked...

I mentioned briefly that our van got wrecked. Suffice it to say I am thankful that it does not look like the one in the attached photo. When I find a cable to get pics from my camera maybe I'll throw some up.
Sunday morning I left work and was heading to the church to make sure everything was ready. The roads had been very slick the night before, but it had actually warmed up overnight to the main challenge was the slush in the middle and on the sides of the road. I was cruising right along and a full size pickup truck just drifts across center right in front of me. I swerved off the right side of the road and missed the truck, but when I tried to get back on the road I slid on said slush and hit a tree. The entire right side of the van took a pretty good beating.
The topper? The driver of the truck never even slowed, let alone stopped. I managed to get away with just a few sore muscles and a headache. God was good. The adjuster came yesterday and looked things over, now we wait to find out if we are going to the body shop for repairs or to a car lot for a new vehicle. I hate the thought of getting back into a car payment but I;m not sure if we would get enough from the van for an adequate vehicle. We shall see.
The only good thing so far has been that our rental car is a 2008 Pontiac G6. Pretty fun, sporty, little car. Life sure has a way of throwing things your way to deal with when you feel like you can least deal with them. Murphy's Laws really come into play at times like these.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

December 3rd -- my blogoversary

I missed posting on the 3rd.

I have had a good time, learned a lot about myself and look forward to more to come. I also am seeing ways that this blog can be improved, more on that in the near future. For today, I just wanted to recognize the event. Any excuse for cake and ice cream...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Self Examination

Last week's Sunday School lesson was about self-examination; something that most of us refuse to do... here are the main notes about the process we discussed:

The Practice of Self-Examination
· Some people use this process daily, others have found it useful on a weekly basis…

· spend some time in silence, be still and know God loves you
· use Scripture, prayer, or other material to help you “settle in”
· invite God to help you look for evidence of His presence in your day
Review the Day
· Identify the major events (spiritual practices, meals, appointments, work events, interactions, etc.)
· reflect on each to discover where God was speaking to, guiding, or revealing Himself to you
Give Thanks
· thank God for the day and the moments that you have discovered
· notice a greater freedom from sin, love for God, others
· Using Psalm 139:23-24, invite God to bring to mind attitudes, actions, or moments when you fell short of the character of Christ or the fruit of the Spirit.
· Reflect on what contributed to the situation and how you might better respond in the future
Ask Forgiveness
· express your willingness to take the concrete steps needed to be more fully formed into Christ’s likeness
· be assured of His forgiveness (I John 1:9)
· ask God if there is anything you need to do to make the situation right
Seek Out Spiritual Friendship
· talk to a spiritual friend about what you are discovering, your confessions, and your resolve to pursue personal transformation

Game of the Week - Smokin' Barrels

Been neglecting the blog again of late. Lots on my mind, several posts "in process", just not following through... I really hate that my laptop is not working!!!!
Here is a game where you can practice your quick draw...