Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bye-Bye, Tom

Well, my experiment at MySpace, short-lived as it was, is over. I did not like going to my "space" and seeing an ad for a dating service with a seductive-looking lady staring at my friends visiting my site. I tried to keep it clean by setting up my site so that I had to pre-approve comments before they were posted. But when I went to the page to approve appropriate comments, there were more pictures even more inappropriate than what was staring at my friends on my page. And then today, I got an event invitation. The picture that came with it had a lady who was laying down so you couldn't "see it all", but she weren't dressed! And the links that came with the invitation explained quite clearly that she wasn't so "modest" if you visited her site.

So it was all too much for me...and I let Tom know. I guess he's the guy who started MySpace or at least runs it?
There are 60,000+ MySpace members in a group called Tom, Change the Advertising, but it seems he ain't heard 'em yet. I was a part of this group for the few days I was part of MySpace, and I had planned on being an activist for this cause. But then the porn started getting delivered to my door (i.e. my MySpace Inbox) and well...I don't want to play the fool.

So I am here to stay at Blogger. I figured out how to customize my template a little, and that made me happy. And then just tonight I found out I could take the slide show I liked so much on MySpace and post it here, so hey...it's all good. Bye-bye, Tom.

- Rob

Our Little Superstar

Great Night For a Bike Ride

Homework is in full swing in second grade (at least I hope this is full swing; anything more is going to be...more!). By Wednesdays, Amanda Kay is tired and doing homework starts getting tough. So, at least for now, Wednesdays have become "nap day" and she takes about an hour nap from 4-5pm. It does not seem to keep her from going to sleep any more than usual and it does seem to help her feel better after supper.

Today was only the second Wednesday to test out my theory, and Amanda is never too excited to take a nap, but then again, she is never too excited to get up from a nap, either. Since the weather was SO NICE today (finally broke our 19 day 100+ degree weather streak) and because I knew it would help "grease the wheels" for the whole nap thing, I asked Amanda if she wanted to go for a bike ride this evening. After dinner we studied for Friday's spelling test and then went for a long bike ride. We worked up a little sweat, but it was nice just relaxing and spending some time together. It was a great night for a bike ride.

- Rob


Also posted on MySpace

Top 10 Benefits of Gossip - #6

The book of Proverbs will talk about you like you're a hero.

Proverbs 10:18 - He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander (gossips) is a fool. (NIV)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Too Old for MySpace?

A couple of things happening at one time led me to create a MySpace. After vain searches for backgrounds that I liked (and that fit on one screen wide so that it is not necessary to scroll left and right), I finally created my own MySpace layout. Now I've spent a couple hours "perfecting the look" and I'm asking myself, "Now what?"

So why did I do this again? First, I read in an article:

Young people see it as a good way to reach an elder - a teacher or parent - or to receive an attached file. But increasingly, the former darling of communication is losing favour to instant and text messaging. "In this world of instant gratification, email has become the new snail mail," says 25-year-old Californian Rachel Quizon. (Source: Snail Email, Fox News)

And then the same week I read this, I was talking with some friends about the "interesting" cell phone habits of those whose generation was pre-cell phone. One such person said, "If you will tell me when you're going to call, I'll turn on my cell phone."

So what does this have to do with me and MySpace? Well, I've checked out MySpace a couple times since it is so "hip" and "with the times" (although I don't think the word "hip" is hip anymore), but since I already blog at Blogspot (The Hurts in Texas), I did not see the need. Besides, MySpace seems more about social networking, and my social network doesn't use it much. (Like I'm really much of a 'social person' anyway?) Maybe I'm just too old for MySpace.

Now I'm not trying to stay twenty-something forever (about a decade too late for that!), but I don't want to get "old" either. So after watching Brooke on MySpace for a while, I thought I'd give it a try. Now that I've got my site up, it seems pretty cool the first few visits, but then it's like "Well, I've seen that before." I'm looking for something new if I am going to return to somebody's site. To me, the key is blogging. If a person is blogging, there is something fresh that makes it worth coming back.

So now I'm looking at the pros and cons of MySpace and Blogger:

* Just figured out I can't do a bulleted list on MySpace (1 for Blogger)

* I can do a slide show on MySpace but not on Blogger (1 for MySpace)

* I've only been on MySpace for a couple days, but posting to Blogger is much easier using the FireFox browser that I prefer (2 for Blogger)

* I like the fact that my 'favorites' is easier to find on MySpace (2 for MySpace)

* I can only post my geocahing stats (in graphic form) on Blogger (3 for Blogger)

* It is much easier to make a customized MySpace layout so I don't look like everybody else out there (3 for MySpace)

* I don't see an easy way to posts lists of links on MySpace like I can on Blogger (4 for MySpace)

* I saw a countdown thingy on Brooke's MySpace that I really like and could not do it on Blogger (4 for MySpace)

* BIG downer for MySpace...WAY, WAY, WAY too much stuff is advertised with girls who ain't wearing enough to be decent! It's in the ads, it's in the free layouts, in other free customizations for your site and even on the page where I OK messages to make sure they are not inappropriate. The message is appropriate, but the girl in the bikini advertising a "personal" date certainly is not. This definitely scores some negative points for MySpace.

So, for now I'm going to post the majority of my blogs in both places and see what kind of response I get. I think I'm also going to continue to look for way to put a photo slide show on my Blogger site.

Have an opinion? Let me know what you think.

- Rob

P.S. Oops...no spell check for MySpace blogging? Lose another point!

Added 8/31/-6 - See post dated for Aug. 31. Everywhere I turned on MySpace there were ladies WAY under-dressed. Too much for me to feel good about. Bye, Bye MySpace.

We'll See What Comes of It

Don't know if you noticed or not, but I've changed up my blog template a little. Just a little...I added the photos at the top. I've been noticing all of these offers to "update" my layout and template, but the "new" stuff doesn't appear to be all that new. Is it just me?

But I did get tired of looking like everybody else. I looked at some other templates online and found just one that I liked, but I had trouble getting it to work correctly. I finally picked apart the template code enough to figure out how to do the picture thing.

For a while now, Brooke has been on MySpace. I have not been all that interested in it because I have no real need for the networking aspect and I'm very happy with Blogger for my blogging needs. But I did like the slide show stuff Brooke did on MySpace, the countdown dealy-bop she had was also cool. So tonight, with some help from Brooke, I got a MySpace. I'm gonna keep my blogging here, but I'll see what comes of the MySpace. I tried to post one blog there to say come to Blogger to read my "real blog", but the feature is messing up tonight. One more reason to stay with Blogger. So stay posted...this is where it's at.

- Rob

Top 10 Benefits of Gossip - #7

Peace will follow you wherever you go.

Proverbs 17:9 - He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (NIV)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

When It's OK to Worry

Don't worry about what you do not understand in the Bible. Worry instead about what you do understand but do not live by.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Top 10 Benefits of Gossip - #8

You can pass on "the facts" about what "really happened"

Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Top 10 Benefits of Gossip - #9

Gossip leads you naturally into God's presence.

Psa 15:1-3 –
Lord, who may go and find refuge and shelter in your tabernacle up on your holy hill? Anyone who leads a blameless life and is truly sincere. Anyone who refuses to slander others, does not listen go gossip, never harms his neighbor. (TLB)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Top 10 Benefits of Gossip - #10

Everybody will come to you when they need to share something personal.

Prov 11:13 - A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. (NIV)

I Love Your Word

Psalm 119:29-40, NLT

Keep me from lying to myself;
give me the privilege of knowing your law.

I have chosen to be faithful;
I have determined to live by your laws.

I cling to your decrees.
LORD, don't let me be put to shame!

If you will help me,
I will run to follow your commands.

Teach me, O LORD,
to follow every one of your principles.

Give me understanding and I will obey your law;
I will put it into practice with all my heart.

Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.

Give me an eagerness for your decrees;
do not inflict me with love for money!

Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.

Reassure me of your promise,
which is for those who honor you.

Help me abandon my shameful ways;
your laws are all I want in life.

I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

When NOT to Call a Psychic

You will meet a beautiful young lady who will want to know everything about you," said the psychic to the frog who had telephoned her hotline.

"That's fabulous. Where will I meet her? In the park, along the seashore, on the trail to the woods?"

"No," countered the psychic. "Next semester in her biology class."

Overheard

A woman on a cell phone: "Why would I read your blog? I don't even like talking to you."

San Francisco Chronicle, submitted to Reader's Digest by Ellen Denmead

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Windows Vista To Ship in 33 Different Versions

Here's the story.

Sorry, a little geek humor.

- Rob

More Discussions With the Humanists

I was reading the Humanist News blog again tonight (I do so from time-to-time in order to dialog with them), and I ran across this posting:

A provision requiring that textbooks describe the significant accomplishments of gays and lesbians in United States history has been removed from a California bill. The bill now only prohibits teachings and activities that "reflect adversely" on individuals based on sexual orientation.

While I applaud the state's effort to include protection for gays and lesbians in their existing anti-discrimination law, denying the achievements of the gay rights movement in America by excluding it from school textbooks is detrimental to all students. History books recall the struggles of the women's right to vote in the early 20th century and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. How is this any different?

Politicians can't hide the truth forever. The gay rights movement plays a critical role in our nation's history and it deserves the same respect and prominence in history textbooks as other movements that fought for equality and rights for all Americans.

- Maggie

I generally get a frank but friendly response to my comments on the posts at their site, and I try to be equally amiable but direct. I'm not sure what kind of response I will get after the comment I left this time, but you can click on the link to the article above and find out if you are so inclined. My comment was as follows:

HOW FAR DO WE GO?
I do not mean to be crude or disrespectful to anybody here. Feel free to delete my comment if you find it offensive, but what in the world does a person's sexual orientation have to do with their service or accomplishments for this country? Do we need to go back through history and find those who were born with a bestiality gene and make sure that we recognize them in our history books as well? If they did something noteworthy in history, then let's recognize them. We don't need to point out they were gay or lesbian (or whatever you call a person who is into bestiality) just because it is politically correct to show that we are tolerant of people and that we are no longer allowed to have an opinion on what is right and wrong. Let's recognize a person's achievements based on the merits of that achievement and leave the rest out.

- Rob

What's Wrong With This Picture

Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Look toward the top of the tree...see that split? What you are looking at is not the bushy side of a tree, it is a branch that is supposed to be 15-20 feet off the ground. When I looked outside this morning, I saw the branch hanging down to the ground. This evening, I heard it rip a bit more and then this is what it looked like.

The thing is gonna have to come down so I can cut it up (wow, now THERE'S a fun job), but I'm not sure how to get it down. I suppose I could wait until it blows down, but I'm concerned it may fall on my fence which will undoubtedly crush it. The alternatives? I don't know...climb up in the tree, tie a rope around the limb and try to pull it off to the side with a pickup truck? I don't know.

For now I'm just gonna post this picture and ponder what to do next. If it falls and crushes the fence at least I will have learned one thing...I pondered for too long! Guess maybe I'll try to talk a friend into helping me tackle this thing on Thursday. (I don't want to mention any names here, but the friend I was referring works with me, has a white pickup and reads my blog. You available on Thursday, friend?)

- Rob

Monday, August 21, 2006

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

I get furious when I hear Al Gore and pals rant on and on about "global warming". It's an outright lie! Check out this news story from WeatherStreet.com

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Things Looking Up Today

Yea! Today was a good day...a nice break from the routine these past two weeks. First of all, Brooke felt good enough to go to church today. She had two big pillows to sit on and stayed seated pretty much the whole time, but that's an improvement. She's been a little depressed being in constant pain and not being able to do anything. I think today brought back hope. Lots of people have been praying for her, and more prayed for her at church today. We thank our friends for praying and the Lord for moving on Brooke's behalf. We have a Dr. appointment and an appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow.

We had good grub for lunch today, too. Amanda and I ate at the Newcomers' Reception after church and Brooke started on some wonderful chicken a friend at church fixed for us today. (Thank you to those of you who have fixed meals, too).


After lunch, I took a nap which felt wonderful. After that, Amanda and I went out geocahing...the first time in two weeks! (see stats after today) Man, this was a great way to relax and take a break from the hectic schedule these past two weeks. Thank you, Lord, for a good day. Think I'm ready for the week now. And we're believing we're gonna see more improvement in Brooke's back, so that will make for a good week, too.

So here's a few photos for the week:


The torture continues. Yes, Boo literally has a monkey on her back...Amanda Kay strikes again!


The cousins are visiting. My parents are camping this weekend, so we're keeping their dogs.
Left to right: Buster, Ralph, Boo, Dooley, Sully


Ralph making himself at home with Sully and me


Sully letting Brooke know he is "there for her" as she recuperates from back problems

Friday, August 18, 2006

Robot Bartender

A man walked into a very high-tec bar. As he sat down on a stool he noticed that the bartender was a robot. The robot clicked to attention and asked "Sir, what will you have?"???

The man thought a moment then replied? "A martini please".???

The robot clicked a couple of times and mixed the best martini the man had ever had. The robot then asked "sir, what is your IQ?"? The man answered "oh, about 164."

The robot then proceeded to discuss the 'theory of relativity', 'inter-steller space travel' 'the latest medical break throughs' etc........

The man was most impressed. He left the bar but thought he would try a different tactic. He returned and took a seat. Again the robot clicked and asked what he would have??

'A Martini please'.

Again it was surpurb. The robot again asked "what is your IQ sir?' This time the man answered "Oh about 100". So the robot started discussing Nascar racing, the latest basketball scores, and what to expect the Dodgers to do this weekend.

The guy had to try it one more time. So he left, returned and took a stool.... Again a martini, and the question "What is your IQ?"??? This time the man drawled out " Uh..... bout 50"..

The robot clicked then leaned close and very slowly
asked " A-r-e y-o-u-r p-e-o-p-l-e g-o-i-n-g t-o n-o-m-i-n-a-t-e H-i-l-l-a-r-y?

E-mailed from a friend

Picture: First Day of Second Grade

With everything else that has been going on this week, my "little" girl done growed up and started second grade. With that in mind, I thought I'd go ahead and post this now. In a few years, I'm just going to photocopy it and hang the copies on the front door!

Application for Permission to Date my Daughter

Notice: this application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, criminal history, driving history and psychological evaluation.

1. Name ____________ Date of Birth _____________

2. Height ____ Weight ____ I.Q. _____ G.P.A. ______

3. Social Security # _____ Driver's License # ______

4. Home Address _____________________________

5. Telephone # _________ Pager # _______________

6. How fast can you run 40 yards? ____ 2 miles?____

7. Do you own? A) A van ___ B) A motorcycle ___ C) A waterbed ____

8. Is any part of your body pierced? (Includes earrings) ___ Tattooed? ____

[NOTE: IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO ANY PART OF QUESTION 7 OR 8, DISCONTINUE THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND LEAVE THE PREMISES!]

9. What does LATE mean to you? __________________

10. What does DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER mean to you? __________

11. What does ABSTINENCE mean?______________________

12. Church you attend _____ How often attended __________

13. Best time to interview your Minister___ Mother ___ Father ___

14. Answer by filling the blanks. Please answer freely. All answers are confidential.

a. The last place I would like to be shot on my body is ______

b. If beaten, the last bone I would like to be broken is ______

c. The one thing I hope this application does not ask about is _____

d. In the event of my untimely death, please notify _____

e. My greatest fear is _____

f. When I meet a girl, the first thing I notice about her is ____

IF THE ANSWER TO "f" BEGINS WITH THE LETTER "B",DISCONTINUE THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND LEAVE THE PREMISES

15. What do you want to be IF you grow up? ________________

16. Have you ever been fingerprinted? _____ Had a DNA sample recorded? ____

17. Your dentist is __________________________

I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT, NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE AND RED HOT POKERS.

Signature __________________________________________________

Thank you for your interest. Please allow four to six years for processing. You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. (It could cause disqualification and injury to your body).

Stress Check

I follow a number of my friends' blogs, and one of those is Pastoral Ponderings which belongs to Pastor David. Great posting today entitled God Brews the Coffee, Not the Cups. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Guy I Really Admire

This is a picture of Dirk Wood, his wife Elizabeth and their daughter Abigail. I don't even begin to know how to describe Dirk if you've never met him.

Dirk is a fireball for God who loves the Lord, loves His Word, loves people and loves telling people about Jesus. When I first met Dirk, I guess I felt convicted all the time because I couldn't share Jesus like he did. He is the boldest, craziest and most creative witness for the Lord I have ever met. I've since come to accept the fact that God didn't make me like Dirk Wood and doesn't expect me to be like him, but the challenge he leaves in my heart in the area of witnessing is certainly of God.

Dirk is a missionary currently serving in South Africa. I just finished reading his July newsletter and wanted to share it with you. Check it out...you'll get a hint of what Dirk is like and I think you'll be challenged in your witnessing for the Lord, too.

And if are reading this post and are not a Christian, go ahead and read the newsletter and ask yourself, "What {or who} could radically change a person and so influence them to do what this guy does?"

I admire Dirk. He's taken flak even in Christian circles for his approach(es) to evangelism, but I doubt anybody who has ever attacked him has been anywhere near as bold as Dirk is for Christ. One bummer though...lots of things in this life I can say, "When I get to heaven, I'll be able to do that (like dance with rhythm!)." I don't think I can say, "When I get to heaven, I'll be able to witness as creatively as Dirk does"!

Instead, I'll just say I'm glad God has put us together as His family and Dirk is my brother. I think he's cool and he certainly challenges me in my witness for the Lord and love for His Word.

God bless you, Dirk. Saying a prayer for you today. Thank you for not being ashamed to be who God created you to be!

- Rob

106 Degrees and Al Gore Was Right

Welcome to Texas! That's right, the weather people said the high for today is supposed to be 106. That danged George Bush and all his Republican friends. Thanks to them we have global warming and all of these record high temperatures.

I ran across this newspaper story that tells it like it is. I sure am thankful for honest news reporting from papers like the Liberal Lab. (see article above)


Even after reading this, I am still a little confused. The record temperature for today was 110 degrees set in 1943. Wow, I didn't realize George Bush was president way back then. What were the Republicans doing in 1943 to cause global warming?


Monday, August 14, 2006

Computer Problems

Tech support:  What kind of computer do you have?
Female customer:  A white one...
  ===============
Tech support:  Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer:  Your left or my left?
===============
Customer:  Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says 'Can't find printer'.  I've even lifted the printer and
placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't
find it...
  ===============
Customer:  I have problems printing in red...
Tech support:  Do you have a colour printer?
Customer:  Aaaah....................thank you.
  ===============
Tech support:  What's on your monitor now, ma'am?
Customer:   A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.
  ===============
Customer:  My keyboard is not working anymore.
Tech support:  Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?
Customer:  No. I can't get behind the computer.
Tech support:  Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.
Customer:   OK
Tech support:  Did the keyboard come with you?
Customer:  Yes
Tech support:  That means the keyboard is not plugged in. Is there another keyboard?
Customer:  Yes, there's another one here. Ah..that one does work...
  ===============
Tech support:  Your password is the small letter "a" as in apple, a
capital letter V as in Victor, the number 7.
Customer:  Is that 7 in capital letters?
  == =============
Customer:  can't get on the Internet.
Tech support:  Are you sure you used the right password?
Customer:  Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.
Tech support:  Can you tell me what the password was?
Customer:  Five stars.
===============
Tech support:  What anti-virus program do you use?
Customer:  Netscape.
Tech support:  That's not an anti-virus program.
Customer:  Oh, sorry...Internet Explorer.
  ============ ===
Customer:   I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.
  ===============
Tech support:  How may I help you?
Customer:  I'm writing my first e-mail.
Tech support:  OK,  and what seems to be the problem?
Customer:  Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get
the circle around it?
  ===============
A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.
Tech support:  Are you running it under windows?
Customer:  "No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point.
The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his
printer is working fine."
  ===============
And last but not least...
Tech support:Okay Bob , let's press the control and escape keys at the same time. That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen. Now type the letter "P" to bring up the Program Manager."
Customer:  I don't have a P.
Tech support::  On your keyboard, Bob.
Customer:  What do you mean?
Tech support:  "P".....on your keyboard, Bob.
Customer:  I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hodge Podge From a Crazy Week

It's been a crazy week and I haven't posted anything since last week, so I thought I'd throw a few random thoughts, pictures and links online before I sit down and try to relax and do a little reading.

Right now, I'm reading The Jericho Sanction, a novel by Oliver North. It is the second in a trilogy. I
enjoyed the first book, Mission Compromised, but I think I like this one a little better.

I am enjoying some good worship music from AllWorship.com while sitting here.


Here's a link to a great commercial in the Ameriquest "Don't judge too quickly...we won't" series. A friend sent me this clip this week and I've watched it (and laughed) several times.


The youth group had a family night Mud Bowl this past Wednesday night. Pastor Shaun rented a tractor to till up the ground in preparation for the fire department coming to flood the area, but he got stuck in traffic on the way to the church. I helped out with the tractor and this is my best Farmer John impression.

Amanda could not wait for the pit to be created. She wanted to watch the youth group kids get all muddy, and after she saw it, she wanted to be a part. So, Wednesday night after youth group, I took her out and let her have at it.

I kept trying to get Amanda to waller in the mud a bit for a picture. She refused...until I offered her a dollar for it. Here she is earning her dollar.

So did I mention it's been a crazy week? Bless her heart, Brooke has been having back problems again this week. She has a history of back problems and had a flair up before we went to Alabama on vacation. It got bad enough she went to the doctor. He gave her a steroid prescription, and after a couple days, she was feeling better. After returning from Nicaragua, she started having problems again, and it got bad enough this week that I had to take her to the doctor again. He gave her another prescription for steroids and a referral to a physical therapist for two visits to learn how to do some exercises to help this not happen anymore. The steroids are not working so well this time and she has been pretty much on her back all week. Besides being in a lot of pain, she is getting frustrated that it is taking so long to get better and list of "things I've got to do" continues to grow. We would appreciate your praying with us for a total healing.

So this has made for an interesting week as I've been trying to get ready to preach today while being Daddy, husband and housekeeper while Brooke is down on her back. I went grocery shopping on Friday...the three week grocery shopping trip. I didn't know one could spend that much money on groceries! Brooke made out a very detailed list. I did have to make several phone calls to make sure I was buying the correct brand and to ask where one or two items were located, but I thought I did pretty well. Somehow, all of that stuff fit in just one basket, and I only had
to go back for 4 items that I did not catch on my first pass through the store!

So all of this taking care of Brooke and taking care of Amanda threw my sermon preparation schedule off a bit, but we had a great service today. I absolutely love teaching and am thankful that my pastor give me the opportunity to preach when he is away. Should have the sermon online this week at the church web page (www.theVineFellowship.com) if you would want to check it out. I taught on Two Lessons From the Two-Talent Servant. Just one teaser from the sermon. Did you know "talent" in the parable does not mean "talent" as we typically think of it today? I've taught that we should use our talents, gifts and abilities for the Lord from this parable and believe that is an
acceptable application of this story, but Jesus had something specific in mind when he taught about the talents. That's all I'll tell you...you'll have to check out the sermon to see what specific thing Jesus had in mind when he talked about "talents" in this story.

My parents usually visit the church on the Sundays I preach (which I think is cool), and we usually go out to eat with them afterwards. It was just Amanda and I with my parents today because of Brooke's back (we brought her back something). After that, I slept from 2:30-6:00pm! Guess that's why it's almost midnight and I'm still awake.


And then, to top off the crazy week, I went to take care of my pastor's pool one last time before they come home tomorrow sometime. I don't know exactly what happened, but when I got there tonight it was green and stuff was growing on the sides of the pool! I am not much of a pool expert, but I've taken care of his pool when he's out of town enough to know this is NOT how it's supposed to look. I desperately started scrubbing the "yuck" off the sides of the pool making it even greener. And then the brush broke! I found something else to use, but it did not work near as well. I checked the chemical levels in the pool and (obviously) the chlorine level was almost nill. I treated it, according
to the instructions I was given, on Wednesday. Check the chemical levels on Thursday and they seemed ok. On Friday, I took Amanda swimming and cleaned the pool and added water to fill it to the level it was supposed to be. Since the chlorine was running a little low (I was trying to conserve for today's scheduled shock) and the levels looked good the day before, I did not test the water. Saturday got totally out of hand taking care of Brooke, Amanda and other home stuff while trying to prepare to preach, so I did not make it to the pool on yesterday. Well, obviously the combination of all these things was a DISASTER! Tonight I turned on the pump, scraped the "yuck" from the sides, shocked the pool and am praying DESPERATELY that things clear up by tomorrow, but I'm not real hopeful. I don't think Pastor will read this before he gets home, but after I check it in the morning, I'm probably gonna have to call and prepare him for coming home to a green pool (not something I am looking forward to). I'm still trying to figure out if it is ethical to erase this blog posting and not say a word if I get up tomorrow and by some miracle the pool is more blue than green!

One last funny story about the pool (Pastor, if you are reading this, I understand you are finding nothing humorous in this..sorry). I was stressing out in a major way when I saw the pool tonight, and after getting onto Amanda for jumping into this green mess, I was telling her what a poor job I had done (apparently) of taking care of pastor's pool. She suggested I just call him and ask him what to
do, then after thinking about that, she said, "unless it means you will lose your job". Well, I didn't call in hopes that it will look at least a little better tomorrow when I probably will have to call, but I did appreciate my daughter's concern.

One last picture...Little George trying to escape the heat. I don't know if turtles are often described as "friendly", but George is. Even when he's buried like this, he always sticks his neck out to greet you when you get into his pen.

- Rob

Sunday, August 06, 2006

TWO HUNDRED

Today I found my 200th cache with my
favorite geocahing partner, GeoPunkin.
You can click on the photo above
to see a slighly larger version of
the collage of some of my
favorite geocaching moments.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Past Is Your Friend...

...as long as you remember its place.

That is all I have been thinking the past 10 minutes I have been awake. The message was so strong, I had to get up and write about it. You see, it was sometime yesterday I remember thinking about "the good 'ol days" when I was in college, and for the first time, I thought about those days in light of "I'll never see those days again" instead of "I am thankful for the great times I had." I wasn't really melencholy, but I wondered if that meant life was going to have more of those moments as I got older.

So I think that was what was on my mind when I was dreaming right before my alarm went off this morning. In my dream, I was back at a college campus. It was not exactly like my Alma Mater ONU (Olivet Nazarene University), but I knew that's where I was. First I tried to go to dinner. I was late arriving and had forgotten my student ID. I went back to my dorm to get my ID, but I got confused and went to a girls' dorm instead. And then once I got to my dorm, I couldn't find my room. And as I was trying to get to my dorm, I remembered the band concert I was supposed to be playing in (which is odd because I was never in band in college). But I knew I was late and was not going to make the concert. And then, when I got to my dorm, I was disappointed because it was supposed to be all festive and decorated for Christmas, but it just felt empty because everybody was gone (presumably to the band concert I was missing). I was very lonely and I had no friends. Most everything was pretty much the opposite of how I remember my college experience. I woke up feeling sad and lonely.

When the alarm went off, Brooke didn't move, but our doggies did. Sully came over and nudged me wanting to be loved. Boo came over to remind me it was breakfast time. As I woke up, I was still trying to shake off the sad and lonley feeling. It is not often I have a dream that really affects me emotionally after I wake up, but this one did. I could not figure out why I hadn't experienced any of my happy college memories (I had lots of them) in my dream.

As Sully nudged me again, and as I rolled over and looked at Brooke, I said to myself, "Well, if I lived back then again, I wouldn't have the family I have now" and it made me thankful for my family. And then I got up to let the dogs out, and I walked by Amanda's room and closed her door. If I lived back then, I wouldn't be Amanda's Daddy right now. And I was thankful for my life once again.

So I began to reflect on what the dream meant, which again is odd because I never think about my dreams having a meaning. But the thought that kept coming to me was, "The past is your friend as long as you remember its place." So I took just a moment and remembered my college days the way they really were. There were lots of good times, and there were times I just thank the Lord for his forgiveness.

But the past has its place. I am thankful for the good times and the good friends. I am also thankful that the sins of my past are past. There have been a few times where the devil has reminded me of some stupid decisions I made back then trying to affect my walk today. And I guess I tried to re-live the past as I thought about the good times yesterday.

But as I woke up this morning and asked the Lord about my sad and lonely dream, I think he taught me an important lesson. I cannot live in the good times of the past because they are gone and things will never be the same. Besides, look at all the good things I have now that I would miss out on. And there are bad things from the past, but they are in the past. They don't have to affect my life any longer. I really don't have to deal with many negative things in my past affecting me today very often, but I felt the Lord say this was also part of the message. I just got out of bed and I feel like God has already spoken to me today...and that's pretty cool!

The past is your friend as long as you remember its place.

Where's The American Press On This One?

THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons. {click link to see pictures and read more}