Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bulletin Cover 09-01-13



Dear Vine Family,

If you had to guess which one ministry touches the most families outside our church, which would you pick? Here are some numbers of individuals/families reached by the Vine so far in 2013. 14 = number of guests at Rooted Student Ministries. 28 = number of families who filled out a guest card on a Sunday morning. 58 = number of families who filled out a card at Operation Backpack. 248 = individuals registered through our food pantry.

When an individual comes to the food pantry, they fill out a form, get a bag of groceries and are asked if there is anything they need prayer for. If they share a request, we pray with them. Many of our guests are touched when they return to the pantry two weeks later and workers remember their names and ask about their prayer request. We have had a number of testimonies from these prayer times!

We are spotlighting our food pantry in September and we all have an opportunity to support this ministry. The staff worked hard to find creative and FUN ways for all of us to participate. Please see the Feed Our Pantry/Feed a Family insert in today’s bulletin .

I thank God for a church whose vision is to reach those outside our four walls and to be a part of a church family that runs with that vision! How much/how many spaghetti, six dollar offerings, sandwich stuff and sponsorships do you think we can supply in September (see insert)? Let’s see!      

Serving With You, 
Pastor Rob


Sunday, June 09, 2013

Celebrating 20 Years

This June 12, I will be married to the love of my life for 20 years. It's hard to believe 20 years can fly by so fast. I am thankful for the life the Lord has given me and for the life partner I get to journey with. We went away Thursday-Saturday to celebrate.

Started packing on Tuesday night to leave Thursday morning. Could not wait to get away just Brooke and me.

Our first night, we stayed at the Bunkhouse at River Road Ranch. We (literally) had the property to ourselves...except for all the wonderful animals that kept us company! 

This was the view from our front porch of the Bunkhouse.

 
This was our room. The Bunkhouse had two full bedrooms and bathrooms, full kitchen and living room.

Us in the living room area on Friday morning wishing we could stay longer.

This was another part of the property where we stayed Thursday night. All of the buildings had been moved onto the property and restored.

Here's the friendly horse that came up into the car port to share the shade with our car.

The llamas were not particularly friendly. The darker one (you can only see its head here) put its ears back every time we got close, so we left them alone.

Here's the long horn that greeted us at the entrance of the property.

And perhaps the most fun animals (for me) were the turkeys. You can go here and see a video of us "talking" to the turkeys.

We went into Fredericksburg on Thursday afternoon and I think our favorite store was Rustlin Rob's.  They had every sort of sauce, salsa, jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades, rubs, seasonings...you name it. And what made it so fun was the cracker bins (seen here) so you could try samples. And we're not talking 10 or 20 samples. There had to be over 100 samples to try. We had to wait another hour for dinner after stopping in there.

I am thankful Thursday night was so great because THIS was our accommodations for Friday night. Before you think I am a terrible husband, trust me, there was NOTHING on the web site that looked like this. I knew we were going to have a "luxury tent" with carpet, beds, AC, etc, but none of the pictures looked like this!. I'm not even going to post a link for them...you can look it up if you really want to. Needless to say, this was a huge disappointment. If were were Spring Break camping, this would have been OK, but we were not. And even if we were, we would NEVER have paid that much for what we got.

But Friday was not a total loss. We had plenty of time, so we headed a little further south and visited the River Walk in San Antonio. Spent a couple hours there and had a great time.

Brooke and I on the River Walk. 

The weekend came and went WAY too quickly. River Road Ranch was better than we could have hoped and Serengeti was a big disappointment, but we still got to spend 2 1/2 days together and it was great. Brooke was already hinting that our 25th anniversary should be spent in Hawaii. I'm gonna start looking for that second job now!

Here's a link to all 70 pictures from the weekend. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

5-19-13 Bulletin Cover


    In youth on Wednesday night, we were talking about Jesus promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples in John 16:5-7.  “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going.6 Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. 7 But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. “ (NLT)
    Jesus was trying to tell the disciples that his leaving and sending the Holy Spirit was a GOOD thing, but they were feeling the exact opposite. Why was that? We discovered that Jesus told the disciples in the previous four verses that they  would be persecuted, and then he told them he was leaving. Jesus was trying to tell them all the Holy Spirit would do through them,  but the disciples couldn't hear it. Often times, we respond the same way.  When we are CONSUMED with our  own problems, we cannot see anything else. The disciples completely missed Jesus good news!
   Another point we observed was the Holy Spirit was sent to help us. We seem to be better at understanding this part that God wants to help us...or do we? God definition of helping us, through the Holy Spirit, is to  take over and CONSUME us. Then the Holy Spirit is in charge and we are equipped to share the Gospel (as laid out in John 16:8-11)
   The fact that we have the Holy Spirit living inside us and His power is available to us every day is GOOD news. Lord, help us to be CONSUMED by you and not ourselves!
Blessings, Pastor Rob

05-12-13 Bulletin Cover


     One of the classic scenes from the 2000 movie “Miss Congeniality”:
                      Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
                      Gracie Hart: That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
                      [crowd is silent]
                      Gracie Hart: And world peace!
                      [crowd cheers ecstatically]
     World peace...or just peace in general. A lot of people are in search of peace. As we looked to what the Apostle Paul said about peace last week (Philippians 4:6-9), we saw that the peace of God is not something that can pursued in and of itself. God’s peace is a response from our Heavenly Father as we are pursuing His purposes.  Regardless of what is going on around us or in our own lives, God’s plan for us involves our participation in the furthering of His Kingdom.  Sometimes we find that the storm in our life “blows us” into somebody else’s life whom we never would have come in contact with before. Coincidence? Or is it God, using our situation to give us an opportunity to minister to somebody? If we’re focused on our storm, how can we minister? God’s peace empowers us to pursue God’s purposes. As God’s peace stands guard over our hearts (Phil 4:7) we are able to focus on furthering His Kingdom and ministering to those he puts in our path. Saints, let’s continue to pray, think and act correctly so that we can be empowered by God’s peace to pursue His purposes.                             Blessings, Pastor Rob

Friday, March 29, 2013

Love the Kindle-Audible Partnership

I saw this book, The Second Ship, on sale at Amazon and although I have over 300 waiting-to-be-read books on my Kindle {mostly free}, I am always interested in a book that is part of a trilogy and draws my attention. I figure if I like the book, I know at least two others I am going to enjoy. So I paid the $3 sale price and got the book.

During our last trip to Alabama, I listed to my Kindle read a book to me. It was kinda rough listening to computer-generated voice try to figure out not only names, but punctuation as well, but it was still a nice option to have when driving. I planned on trying it again when I began reading about a partnership between Amazon and Audible. If you owned the Kindle book, you could get the Audible version for a GREATLY reduced price. And what was really neat was the fact that the Kindle book and the Audible boo were supposed to sync. I thought that would be awesome for the road trip to Alabama (have a professional read the book to you is WAY better than the Kindle computer-generated voice). So I started this book at home, listed to it on the road and finished the book while in Alabama.


As I had hoped, Second Ship was a good book and I was ready for the next two. Another GREAT thing about the Kindle is the ease of ordering a book.  I downloaded the second book, Immune, from the Rho Agenda trilogy and started it. Since the Audible version of the book was so reasonable ($4 instead of $14), I got it, too. So I started the book in Alabama, listened to in on the way back to Texas and finished it here last night.


I had planned on reading another book before reading Wormhole, the last installment of The Rho Agenda trilogy, but second book was so good, I could not wait. Downloaded this book last night and will start reading it tomorrow. Love my Kindle...and I'm loving this trilogy.

New Laptops

The conversation went something like this:

Brooke:  My laptop is SO SLOW!!!

Rob: I've been wanting a Windows 8 laptop. I'll get one and you have this one (my Dell Windows 7 laptop with 4 gig of RAM...still quit snappy).

Brooke: Yes, get it.

Rob: {pause as he has to make sure he heard correctly}

Rob: few days later orders Dell Inspiron 14r. 4Gb RAM, 500 Gb hard drive, Windows 8, touch screen

Brooke: What is all over your laptop (old, Windows 7 Dell). It looks like paint has been spilled all over it. {Translation: That computer is ugly and I do NOT want it}

Rob: {thinking: Where does this leave me? She wanted a new laptop. She was going to use mine. Now she is not going to use mine. MY new laptop is already ordered. Guess we all know what this means}. Had looked at Chromebooks before but did not have much interest. Considering what Brooke wanted a laptop for (almost 100% web browsing), I looked into it again. After showing Brooke, she wanted one.

Side note: Rob's Dell was ordered February 12th in hopes of having it in time to take it on Spring Break to learn Windows 8 and install software. Dell set delivery date at March 19! After Spring Break!!!  Brooke's Chromebook was ordered March 14 with a delivery date of March 19.


Due to the delay in getting my system, I asked Dell to throw in an extra power supply. Instead, they offered me a $50 voucher once my system arrived and was paid for and I could buy a power supply or whatever else I wanted from their shopping site. I asked for an email to confirm what they promised, and I had the email within 10 minutes. I must say, despite the long order time, Dell really impressed me with their customer service. EVERY time I called with a question or issue, Dell not only took care of me, but they also followed up with another phone call.  100% of the time I talked to someone overseas, but they were not hard to understand and they ALWAYS took very good care of me. A+ to Dell customer support. Computer was delivered on March 19.

Same day, Brooke's Chromebook was delivered. We considered the Samsung and the Acer C7. The selling point (for us) with the Samsung was the solid state drive which would make for lightening fast boot up. The Acer offered a 320 Gigabyte hard drive. Although Chromebooks do not Office documents, etc, storage for pictures and music seemed nice. In the end, considering what Brooke was going to do with the computer, we went with the Samsung. It does boot fast and Brooke absolutely loves it.

A couple weeks later, a friend gave me a couple laptop hard drives. I guess it was about a year ago, I did some computer work for a family and their daughter's Toshiba laptop died. The problem ended up being a dead hard drive. Since there has been major flooding in Taiwan, parts for hard drives were hard to come by and hard drive prices almost doubled. Between the cost of a new hard drive and getting it installed, the family decided it was not worth fixing. As payment for my time, they let me keep the laptop. Once I got the hard drives, another friend (brother of the hard drive gift-giving friend) gave me a (legal) copy of Windows 7. I put the new hard drive in, installed Windows 7 and copied Amanda's old files onto the new computer and Amanda was ready to go.

Everybody is upgraded and everybody is happy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break in Review

I have not done so well keeping up with my blog. Spring Break (March 11-18) was a couple weeks ago and I hadn't blog for a month before that. Anyway, here's some picture highlights of Spring Break in Alabama.

Amanda's friend Ryanne went with us this year. This is how the girls spent the early (and mid) morning hours on the way there.


Day trip! We had planned to visit a drive-thru zoo, but as we checked online to get directions and head out, we discovered that one had closed in 2010. After some searching to find family activities in the Huntsville area, we chose to to Harmony Park Safari Drive-Thru zoo. The back seat was full!


These are the folks in the front seat...along with the photo bomber from the back!


Seems kinda silly to tell you this is a zebra...but there's not much else to say about this picture. Except that it was cool to get to feed and pet a zebra (Oh, no...I didn't pet it. That was not allowed)


This guy was my favorite. Don't know why. He just seemed friendly.


This guy was HUGE. When he got in front of the car and didn't want to move...we just waited!


Matching hers and hers turtles.


Best friends!


We stopped at the frozen yogurt place in Decatur. The girls were never far from their phones.


Amanda has a slight Nutella obsession!


I saved the best for last. I think this is my favorite picture from Spring Break 2013.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Daddy Daughter Weekend

Brooke left around noon on Thursday for a basketball tournament with the school, so Amanda and I are having a Daddy Daughter weekend.

Thursday night Amanda studied for her tests on Friday and then we ate and watched Alaska State Troopers. After that, Amanda wanted to play a board game so we broke out an old classic!
It was difficult to hold the phone and get us both in the picture. The blurry part in the middle is the Battleship game.

Today, I got up early on my day off :( and took Amanda to school. Friday is doughnut day (Brooke always takes Amanda for doughnuts on the way to school), so we stopped there on the way. I came home, showered, washed clothes, ready my Bible and finalized plans/made reservations for Brooke's and my 20th anniversary. Because Brooke reads my blog, no more about that until after the fact!

I was supposed to pick Amanda up after school and then head to the vet's office to pick up heart worm medicine for the dogs, but I forgot that. Boo said it was OK...I can get it next Friday.


Instead of heading to the vet's office, Amanda and I headed straight to the mall. I got Amanda a gift card from Icing that she wanted to use today. She ended up with a couple cute headbands and some nice ear rings.


While we were at the mall, we had to stop at one place for me.
Yup, we both love us some Dippin' Dots. As you can see, I forgot to take the picture until we had almost finished!


After that we headed home. I don't know what Amanda was doing, but I laid down for a nap. When I got up, Amanda had fallen asleep on her bed, too. We got up and headed out for In and Out, one of our favorite Daddy/Daughter activities. We brought food home and watched some Hawaii 5-0 tonight.

Amanda wanted to watch a movie tonight, so we had to gear up for that.
As you can see, today was not such a great day for my diet! Movie snacks in hand, we started watching Band of Brothers tonight. This is one of my favorite movies of all times (I've seen it twice). I wanted to share it with Amanda to help her appreciate the bravery, selflessness and patriotism of a previous (and great) generation. This is my fourth time watching the mini-series and I am still in awe of the men who volunteered to fight for and protect our country. We watched 4 out of the 12 parts tonight and Amanda is ready for some more tomorrow. I have always wanted to share this story with her and I am glad we got to start tonight.

Tomorrow will be some quality room cleaning time and clothes washing time for Amanda Kay. We'll watch some more Band of Brothers and probably run some errands or do something to get out of the house tomorrow. We're both looking forward to Brooke coming home tomorrow night.

Fish Tank Update

Haven't blogged in a while, so I'm a little behind with the fish tank updates...and everything else.

Here's what I have in the tank so far:


Charlie, the upside down catfish hides in the cave ALL the time. I have seen him out in the morning twice not too long after I got him, and occasionally I can see him if I shine a light in the cave. I think it has been a week since I've seen him. The pet store said give him a week or two and he would be less bashful, but I don't think I'm gonna see him much. Kinda disappointing. {Just saw him come out while writing this}

The three mollies are a lot of fun. They are very active and seem to want to eat everything. They pick at the decorations in the tank and they eat on the algae wafer I drop in the tank for the snail and catfish each night.

The snail was named Houdini because he disappeared for a day and a half after we got him. He goes into the cave during the day and comes out at night now. He is VERY cool.


Amanda's fish got ich and we treated that with two different brands of medicine. From what I have been able to gather, ich is in all fish tanks but healthy fish can usually fight it off. If a fish gets stressed, they are more susceptible to ich. Amanda got 3 new fish and she did not have much in the way of plants or hiding places. Both of these (additional fish and lack of hiding places) can be stressors. In any case, all her fish seem to be doing better. Here is a picture her newly decorated tank.

Went to True Percula today to get water tested from my tank and was hoping to get some new fish. The ammonia level in my tank was a little high when I had it tested last week and they told me my tank was probably still cycling. Today, my ammonia and nitrate levels were only a little high. They said I could add fish today, but they recommended I wait and let the tank finish its cycle, so that's what I'm doing. This past week, it has gotten a bit more cloudy, too. The guy I talked to today said that was probably the bacteria in the tank growing to fight the ammonia. It is now "water borne" but should settle into the rocks and filter thus allowing my water to clear. Right now, it's just a waiting game. I don't like waiting...I want more fish!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The New Tank Is Up and Running

Dad finished the stand for my aquarium so it was time to get the tank up and running.

 It takes a little longer to fill the 30 gallon tank that it does Amanda's little one.


Here is a good shot of my tank on the stand Dad built.


Did a lot of reading about new tank cycling. Once the water is balanced you can start adding fish. Once the fish start eating and digesting their food, the ammonia level in the tank goes up. From there, a certain kind of bacteria begins to grow that turns the ammonia into nitrite. All of this is stressful to the fish which is why fairly hardy fish are recommended to start the tank. A different kind of bacteria then begins to grow that turns the nitrite into nitrate which is not so hard on the fish (unless the level is too high, of course). After the tank reaches this stage, it is "cycled". With filtering and regular water changes, the tank should now keep up with the fish. I bought a "Safe Start" additive that was supposed to help the good ammonia-eating bacteria start in the tank. After more reading online, I was not so sure it was worth the money ($30), but I already see green algae growing on the rock decoration in the tank. I think this is a sign that the good kind of bacteria is growing in the water, so maybe it did help.


Got my first three fish for the tank this Thursday. In this picture, you can see the orange Molly in the front. Bill, our "fish guy" at Petsmart, recommended adding just three fish at a time, give the tank a week and then add three more. I started with three Mollies. I got a Black Molly which Amanda named Shadow, a Dalmatian Molly I named Tux and an Golden Molly (orange) we ended up calling Porty. Porty is short for Portok├íli  which is Greek for "orange" We go with Porty because it's easier to remember. This weekend I plan to add an Upside Down Catfish and two Golden Dojo Loaches (also orange). Once the tank is established, I want to add 5 or so Cardinal Tetras (I was told then need an established tank).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aquarium Stand

During the Preach Better Sermons conference I attended in Duncanville today, Dad called saying he had finished staining the aquarium stand he was building for me and wondered if I could look at it. Since we were so close, I asked Philip if we could stop by on the way home and look at it. Here's how it looks so far.



I was so impressed with it, I couldn't help but think that he could sell these things. They would not be cheap because of the materials and the hours involved in making it, but I thought that people who buy expensive fish tanks might be willing to buy quality stands to make their tanks look better. I stopped by The True Percula, the fish store we recently discovered, tonight and asked them if they might be interested in selling quality, custom-built aquarium stands. The lady I spoke with suggested I email this picture to her along with contact information which she could pass along to the manager. I don't know where this might or might not go, but here is the email I sent this evening.


Hello {name},

My name is Rob Hurt and I spoke to you briefly Wednesday night about True Percula's possible interest in selling custom aquarium stands. You asked me to send my picture and information to you so that you could forward it to the store owner as he is the one who would make those kind of decisions.

We bought a 10 gallon aquarium for our daughter a few months ago and I just purchased all the supplies for a 29 gallon tank. My dad is making a stand for it and I'm anxious to get started. My wife, daughter and I have just discovered The True Percula and have stopped in several times asking newbie questions, looking at fish we would like to put in our tank and buying a few supplies.

My dad has enjoyed wood working for as long as I can remember. I remember him making complete chess sets (board and all the pieces) when I was a child. For the past several years, he has done contract work for a taxidermist in the Duncanville area making mounting plaques as well as several custom pieces of furniture such as gun racks, display shelves and a cabinet for displaying elephant tusks.

I stopped by my parents' house this afternoon and saw the stand my Dad is making. It is beautiful and will make the new aquarium a nice centerpiece in our living room. When I saw the the quality and beauty of the cabinet this afternoon, I couldn't help but think there are people who would appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of a stand like this and would want one to accent the tank they spend a lot of time and money putting together.  Knowing the quality of your store, I thought of The True Percula and your customers.

I just mentioned this idea to my Dad today so he is still working out the actual time and cost of building the stand as well as what he would like to sell them for (I am guessing it will be in the $300 price range), but I stopped by the store today with an in-the-works picture to see if you might be interested in seeing the finished product. I thought perhaps your store would be interested in displaying a stand with contact information for my Dad. Any sales made through the store would pay a commission, or you could buy them outright and re-sell them.

I am not asking for a commitment to buy or do business with us. I have a full-time job as assistant pastor at Vine Fellowship church here in Arlington so I'm not a high-pressure salesman. This is just an offer if you are interested. I am simply sending a picture and asking if you would be interested in looking at the finished product to see if this is something you/your store would be interested in pursuing. If not, I will look elsewhere and continue to be a customer of The True Percula.

I am attaching a picture of the stand in-progress. Would you please look at the picture, consider if this is something you might be interested in and then let me know if you would like to see the finished product? I am anxious to get it to my house so I can get my new aquarium set up, but if you would like to see it first, I would be happy to bring it by the store. I believe it will be finished this weekend or the first part of next week.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Rob Hurt


While I was at the fish store, I bought a couple African Dwarf frogs. They will add some "personality" to the tank. I hope they make it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Preach Better Sermons Conference

Pastor Philip and I didn't go into the office today. Instead, we headed to Duncanville and attended the Preach Better Sermons conference hosted by Preaching Rocket. The conference was excellent! We heard two sessions by Jeff Henderson and Reggie Joiner, a recorded session by Andy Stanley and a closing session by Pastor Brian Carter from the host church. Here's a few highlights I took away from the conference:

  • Prepare your sermon in the Crock Pot instead of trying to microwave it. Start early in the week so that, as things happen and ideas come to you, you can add them to the sermon. Trying to "microwave it" a day or two before Sunday does not allow this to happen. -Jeff Henderson
  • The essential ingredient for a great sermon is CONNECTIVITY. Connection, not information, is the difference between a message that falls flat and a message that soars. -Jeff Henderson
  • What is the single most persuasive idea I can convey? Think not about Sunday morning so much as Monday morning around the water cooler at work. Can those who heard you tell others what you said? If they can...that is a priceless moment. -Jeff Henderson
  • What you say doesn't matter {to people} because it's true. it matters when it matters. You should care so much about the truth that you make it matter to people. -Reggie Joiner
  • Say what matters in a way that matters. How we say something affects the way people receive it. Words matter...especially if you want your words to stick. -Reggie Joiner
  • Say it authentically so it matters more. What you say matters more when people know it matters to you. What you say matters more when people know they matter to you. When an idea you care about becomes a person you care about, it changes how you communicate. When people matter, you learn how to say something that helps them and that gives them hope. -Reggie Joiner
  • If you have the right idea but use the wrong approach, wrong approach will trump right idea every time. Does my approach to preaching the Scriptures support or trump my goal? -Andy Stanley
  • How to Preach With Unchurched People in the Room -Andy Stanley
    1. Let them know that you know they are there and you're happy abut it
    2. Choose A {one} passage of Scripture and stay with it. 
    3. Give them permission not to believe or oby.
    4. Avoid "The Bible Says" {wow, this was such a good one but too much to explain it all here}. Cite authors (Moses, Matthew, Paul, James, etc) not just "the Bible says". Don't quote Bible illustrations assuming people know the story. Assume nothing.
    5. Acknowledge the odd things in the Scriptures. Don't just go with, "This may not make sense, but it's the Word of God so it happened and that's all there is to say about that." Say what you think unchurched people are thinking about what you read/say. When you do, you gain credibility by it.
  • Unbelievers can be offended by a God who paid for their sin so they didn't have to (because they could not), and that is good. If they are offended by anything else in the sermon, that is on you. -Andy Stanley

Monday, January 21, 2013

Amanda Went Camping

This weekend, Amanda was invited by a friend to go camping with their family. She said she had a great time.

It seems the girls were bigger fans of staying up than they were of getting up.

Fun on the lake.

On Saturday, I went the Men's Breakfast at church while Brooke got to sleep in. When I got back, we headed out to do some grocery shopping and I took Brooke to The True Percula fish store. We had an enjoyable afternoon hanging out together.

At dinner, we continued my (extended) birthday celebration by having dinner with Daniel & Meagan Henning at Spring Creek BBQ. Love and appreciate the Hennings and enjoyed spending time with them. After dinner, Meagan came over to the house to hang out with Brooke while Daniel and I went to see Zero Dark Thirty. We both thought it was a pretty good movie.

Sunday we went to church, went to Chapps for lunch and then came home to relax. I sat in the living room working on the church web site and email announcements while Brooke watched some football on TV (with her eyes closed making a quiet snoring sound). 

Amanda Kay came home Monday afternoon having thoroughly enjoyed herself. Brooke and I enjoyed a relaxing and enjoyable weekend together.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Workout +

I had another enjoyable day today. I knew it was going to be a day to myself because Amanda had school and then is camping with a friend's family this weekend. Brooke is a part of the booster club and so I knew she would be spending the day getting ready for tonight's basketball games.

I slept in until 8:30 or so, checked Facebook, read some ChurchLeadership.com articles and then got ready to do my 30 Day Shred workout. I recently downloaded a Scripture memory app, and so I thought I'd try something while I worked out today.

I took three of the Scriptures I am working on right now (only two can be seen in this picture) and taped them to my walls. As I worked out, I memorized and quoted the verses. Two of the three verses today were review, but I think they really stuck. Plus, keeping my mind busy helped my workout seem to go more quickly. I really like it. Now I would like to type and print the Scriptures. I want to break them down, line by line, to make them easier to remember. I didn't get around to that part today. Maybe tomorrow.

After that, I gave George a call and headed over to his place. He purchased at 32 inch flat screen at the beginning of the month and has had a lot of trouble with it. I helped him pack it up and we exchanged it for a different brand. Not only did it save George $40, but the remote is set up differently and easier for George to use. 

After that, I called my friend Ken who is in the hospital after knee replacement yesterday. He said pain meds were making the pain manageable, but he was not able to do physical therapy because the nerve blocker still had not work off enough for him to be able to put weight on his leg. We prayed that would be remedied (as well as praying for a full, speedy recovery) so he can go home on Sunday.

Leaving the hospital from visiting with Ken and his wife Carol for a while, I headed home to get Amanda's bike read for her to go camping. I had just a few minutes before it was time to pick up Amanda from school. We came home, she grabbed her stuff and then I dropped her off an her friend's house. Got an IM from Amanda at 11pm saying they had just gotten settled in. She is looking forward to fishing, canoeing and good camp good this weekend.

Last night, after eating out, we got gas and Amanda saw a fish store we had not noticed before.  We pulled up right in front of the store, but before we could go in, the lady we pulled in next to asked if we could give her car a jump. Of course we did, but in the meantime, the store closed. Tonight, I went back to The True Percula. Wow! The place is incredible. They have both fresh and salt water fish. Live plants, giant tanks and even sell $249 fish! But the best part is they are very knowledgeable, friendly and will be a good resource. I will definitely have to take Brooke and Amanda to check out this place.

Sprint called me at home this evening in regards to a frustrated email I sent them yesterday. It's been a week that we have been without reliable cell service in our immediate area (home and church). I have been trying to tell Sprint that it is a network/tower issue and not my phone, but every time I call, I am told there are not network issues in my area. Once I am transferred up the chain, I am told, "Yes, there does seem to be an issue with a tower in your area. It seems to not be working at all." I was told twice a ticket had been issued to check the tower, then I was told I would have to go to a Sprint store and have them OK my phone before they would issue a work order for a tower. All in all, it's been a week and I've spent over 4 hours talking with Sprint, but I think I finally got through to the right department. I am hopeful the issue can now be resolved.

Brooke got home from the basketball game so she brought home a bite to eat and we watched a couple (old) episodes of Big Bang Theory. She fell asleep on the couch and then went to bed. I did a water change for Amanda's tank and I believe I discovered that we were not using the gravel vac correctly. I was never actually putting the vacuum down in the gravel. Before tonight, I just moved the vac through the water and drained the water. Duh! I am hoping that a few more water changes, and correct vacuuming technique, will get the chemical levels right so Amanda can add some more fish.

Having put away the fish tank supplies, I sat down, posted a couple blogs, and I plan to watch one more recorded episode of Big Bang Theory before going to bed. I had to take a Tylenol for my capped front tooth. The tooth is fake, so it is totally weird that it hurts. When it got loose last time and they had to glue it back in, my "giant tooth" looked even more giant because it sticks down further than it did before. I think, because it sticks down further, I bite down on it more than my other teeth and perhaps even when I sleep. This is what I attributed the pain to before because it usually hurts after sleeping. I took a 20 minute nap before dinner tonight I don't think that was enough to grind my teeth and make this one hurt like it does, but I guess we'll see what happens. The dentist told me there are not any options which are not VERY expensive. so I'm praying this will pass.