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Monday, December 31, 2007

Barbaric faith

This from the book The Barbarian Way, by Erwin McManus:

"...a life in God is one of risk and mystery.

And maybe even a little insanity. There's no way to escape that barbarians can appear out of their minds. No reasonable person would ever fully follow God everywhere He calls. God is simply unreasonable.

No matter how we try to spin the story, the Bible is filled with tribes of irrational people. When Noah built the ark, he did not live in a flood zone. When Elijah called down fire form heaven, he had never tried it before. Go ahead. Give it a shot. See if it works for you. I didn't think so. David should have left the giant alone. Hosea never should have married a prostitute. What was Moses thinking when he pointed his staff at the Red Sea--that it would move because he commanded it? And that's just to mention the more popular and highly admired followers of God.

Those people did not live normal lives. Their actions were ludicrous and irrational if you take God out of the formula. Given proper counseling, they would have known better than to do what they did. The vitality of their life in God moved them beyond the practicality of simply being reasonable. Their lives didn't make sense, their actions defied sensibility, because God drove them out of their senses. Anyone who risks listening to God and following His voice knows that to everyone who is deaf to His voice, your actions will seem as if you've gone crazy.

I used to serve on the board of Intercultural Studies at Biola University mostly because a friend of mine asked me if I would. But after a while I wondered why I said yes. I almost never went. I hate meetings. I would much rather be outdoors than in a boardroom. usually I asked, "Do you want me in the morning, afternoon, or evening?" I couldn't get myself to commit to the whole day.

One afternoon I happened to be there when the counseling department enthusiastically presented a plan for serving missionary personnel around the world. They were going to provide access to counseling and mental health to all those working overseas. Even while I was listening, I knew I should remain silent. I kept telling myself to keep my mouth shut: Don't say anything; don't cause any problems; don't embarrass yourself. But I just couldn't help myself.

Before I knew it I was blurting out, "Don't do it. Please don't do it."

They all looked at me with the strangest expressions of confusion.

Well, it was too late for me to hide in obscurity, so I knew I needed to explain. I went on, "Don't go around the world and make our missionaries mentally healthy. You'll ruin everything. You'll totally mess up the cause. I mean you have, let's say, a husband and wife from Kentucky and they have four kids and they believe God has called them to an obscure city in Central Asia. Suddenly they find themselves in the middle of two million people who don't speak a word of English, and they don't speak a word of Mandarin or Cantonese or any form of tribal dialect. And each morning they wake up excited and confident that somehow they're going to bring that entire city to faith in Jesus Christ. You go and make them normal, and they'll be on a plane back home the next day."

The board member making the presentation graciously responded, "Erwin clearly has a different view of professional counseling than we do."

These people have got to be crazy to do what they're doing and insane to believe that it's possible, don't they? They are not insane, but they are crazy. one day they just got up and took the barbarian way out of civilization.

If you are a follower of Christ and you have allowed yourself to be domesticated, you have lost the power of who you are and who God intends you to be. You were not created to be normal. God's desire for you is not compliance and conformity. You have been baptized by Spirit and fire. Asleep within you is a barbarian, a savage to all who love the prim and proper. You must go to the primal place and enter the presence of the Most High God, for there you will be changed by His presence. Let Him unleash the untamed faith within you.'"

Friday, December 28, 2007


Kyle said that if he gets to choose jobs in heaven, he'd like to make flowers. I'd like to take a class in making sunsets if possible.

Make sure you double click on the photos to see the detail.

A Wise Person

I did a little research and found out that gloves have been around possible since Homer's time. It didn't mention the creator of gloves, but he or she was a very wise person.

Today I went running again. Awe, it is so nice when you wake up and barely move while realizing that your legs are sore. At least I can pretty easily get around today. In the summer I was pretty immobile for a couple of days after my first run. As I said, it was easier today to run. Plus with a brilliant realization that the Bahers run with gloves I tried the idea out. I did run farther and walk less of the same distance I did yesterday. I was smart enough to not start out at such a quick pace. My chest didn't burn until the very end when I pushed myself to run to a light post, because I was determined to make it there. I knew I'd better run faster, because otherwise I was going to end up walking.

One of the great things about running is that you don't do it to impress anyone. Well, at least I don't. I'm sure people could walk faster than some of what I call running. But that doesn't bother me. I know that even if I ran for two months, Kyle would probably still run faster than me even if he hadn't run for months. Oh, oh, and the best part is that you can change from your pjs to running clothes and have a way messy hairdo and people wouldn't think less of you as a runner. Or at least that's they way I feel about runners. They're allowed awful hairdos simply because they're running. Who runs and expects nice hair at the end???

Another bonus, it has been overcast. I don't mind running when I'm not being blinded by the sun or overheated because it's hot out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


There is something special about running. Especially the first run after having not run in far too long. This run in particular burns and hurts to the point that you can't think of any good reason why you came out to run in the first place. My eyes blurred and I couldn't think about anything other than how my throat and chest seemed to be on fire while my hands are like icicles. But I know that in a few days the running will become smooth again and worth it. Because after a few days you can run farther and with longer strides. I'm sure someone walking could have ran faster than my last part of running, but I smiled to myself as I ran because there I was running and although it hurt, it felt great at the same time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


S: “And the king gave the command, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions-them, their children, and their wives; and the lions overpowered them, and broke all their bones in pieces before they ever came to the bottom of the den.” Daniel 6:24

O: The men who were trying to destroy Daniel were jealous of Daniel’s excellence and power. These men were satraps, political leaders over regions of Darius’s kingdom. Daniel was one of the three governors over the satraps. Daniel was doing so well that King Darius was considering setting Daniel in charge over his whole kingdom.

The satraps and governors let pride and envy run their lives. They sought to find fault with Daniel, but they did not find any according to the law of the Medes and Persians. Instead they presented to King Darius that a decree that boosted his own ego. They suggested that for 30 days everyone could only petition to King Darius, otherwise whoever petitioned to another god or man would be thrown into the lions den.

You have to hand it to Daniel for being faithful. He knew the decree but decided to continue to pray three times a day kneeling with open windows toward Jerusalem. Daniel didn’t try to justify changing his conviction of how and when to pray. He didn’t even choose to close his windows.

The jealous men caught Daniel praying and reporting it to King Darius. The King was mad at himself for making the decree. But he knew that the laws of the Medes and Persians could not change. The King had Daniel thrown into the lion’s den and said to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” Daniel 6:16

The King them fasted, wouldn’t be entertained, and couldn’t sleep. Early in the morning King Darius returned to the lion’s den and found Daniel alive because an angel shut the mouth of the lions.

Then came the verse I found interesting, verse 24. Not only were the jealous men thrown into the lion’s den, but so were their wives and children.

A: The sin of one affects many.

People all the time justify their sin. They say it will only affect them. Plus, they won't get caught. And if they do get caught, God will forgive them. Here is a deadly example of jealously, pride, and envy not just destroy those who possessed these feelings, but also those they loved.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Grandpa and grandma Eggleston have gone to Hawaii for Christmas. Tasha and I are driving my mom and Perry to the airport where they'll be flying to far away places. We'll get to see Nick as he is back from San Jose for the holiday. On the way back from the airport we're going to be able to spend the night at my dad's. He said that he is praying for snow so the grandkids can play in it. It'll be good getting to wrestle with my nephews. Then we'll come the rest of the way to spend Christmas with the Freckleton clan. Oma is in Indonesia but grandpa Jack is still state side and will be joining us in Bakersfield.

Boy, they grow up fast

Cleo and Issac are awakened when I lift the water dish to check on them. The dish sits on a bump so to make it level I put a stone under one side. It is their little den to hide and sleep in.

Sir Issac finally gets moving and didn't stop for 20 minutes as he explored the tank. He likes the rock river bed. The narled wood behind him is some drift wood I retrieved while snorkling in Jamacia. There's another piece on the hill to the right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dilbert who?

I never understood the Dilbert comic growing up. That all changed when I started working in an office. Sometimes I wonder if Scott Adams, Dilbert's creator, has cameras hidden in our office to gather material for his strips.

Our office assistant sent an email out that read “Dale and Sam brought back a box of goodies from a client. The box is in the kitchen. Please help yourself.”

I sent Dale and Sam an email saying, “Thanks guys. That'll give me more pounds for the holidays. Now my New Year’s resolution will be even a bigger flop than last year’s.”

Dale replied, “Helper and Giver sounds better than Pusher and Enabler.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sweet Candy Train

Michele made these trains for the office. She use elmers to "weld" the pieces together. This could be a fun activity for you to do with friends and family for the holidays.

Why JESUS is better than Santa Claus

Santa lives at the North Pole...
JESUS is everywhere!

Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water!

Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help!

Santa fills your stocking with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs!

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited!

You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name!

Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms!

Santa doesn’t know your name, All he can say is, “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”
JESUS knew our name before we did! Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too, He knows our history and future, and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads!

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS has a heart full of love!

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers health, hope, and happiness!

Santa says, “You better not cry”…
JESUS says, “Cast all your cares on me, for I care for you!”

Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes, and builds mansions!

Santa may make you chuckle, but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift, and died on a tree!

It’s obvious there is really no comparison!

We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about!

We need to put CHRIST back in Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stealing Cinderella

There are many things that I remember from my wedding day. One moment that sticks out in my head is the moment that Brad walked Tasha down the isle and gave her away. I remember the smile on his face, the tears in his eyes, and his embrace. I wonder how I’ll hold up if I someday have to give my own daughter away. This is one of my current favorite songs.

Chuck Wicks
Stealing Cinderella

I came to see her daddy for sit down man to man
It wasn't any secret I'd be asking for her hand
I guess that's why he left me waiting in the living room
by myselfwith at least a dozen pictures of her sitting on a shelf

She was playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes I’m Prince Charming
But to him I’m just some fella
riding in and stealing Cinderella

I leaned in towards those pictures to get a better look at one
When I heard a voice behind me say "Now, ain't she something, son?"
I said "Yes, she quite a woman" and he just stared at me
Then I realized that in his eyes she would always be

Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes I’m Prince Charming
But to him I’m just some fella
riding in and stealing Cinderella

He slapped me on the shoulder
Then he called her in the room
When she threw her arms around him
That's when I could see it too

She was Playing Cinderella
Riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him

If he gives me a hard time
I can't blame the fella
I'm the one who's stealing Cinderella

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our pets, thier food, and an uninvited guest

We had a scare on Saturday when we couldn't find Sir Issac the newt. We finally found him below the screen in the tank. I think he followed the crickets beneath it. They crawl beneath the screen and hide from the newts in the gravel to avoid getting eaten. I've got to figure a way to avoid that.

I bought some freeze dried bloodworms to see if the newts liked them. They don't even think they are food because they don't move around like the crickets do. The worms sort of blend in with the moss so maybe they don't even see them. The nutrition level in these worms is amazing though. Out of curiosity I put some in with the crickets to see if they'd eat them and they love them. Each cricket grabbed a piece and started munching. Now the newts will get the worm nutrients through the crickets. Ha.

I was beginning to vacuum last night and thought I'd better look around the couch to make sure nothing was going to get sucked up that shouldn't be. Tasha started a puzzle Friday night while I typed some journal entries for class. She was bummed that the puzzle was missing an edge piece and was going to have to write and ask for it from the company that made it. However, I found it just under the edge of the couch. But I also found this...

Newts and crickets and freeze dried bloodworms are cool with us but spiders are creepy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Illusion of Unity

Reflections of Chapter 10 in Donald B. Kraybill's book The Upside-Down Kingdom.
(ISBN 10: 0836192362 or ISBN 13: 978-0836192360)

"A gospel which only attracts similar people blurs the good new that bonds Jew and Gentile, male and female, black and white."

What is the body of Christ? This body is the church. Not a church fellowship but the church of God, all believers bound together in Christ. This is a beautiful image but where is it in actuality.

I am long been confused with the existence of denominations. As a kid, my family always went to Southern Baptist churches. Therefore, I always wondered why everyone wasn’t Southern Baptist. I grew older and met kids at school that said they were Presbyterian, Catholic, Apostolic, and Seventh Day Adventist. I learned that Protestants wore crosses without Jesus and Catholics wore crosses with Jesus. Some people would tell me not to worry about it but that we were all Christians. Others would tell me that only my denomination was right or that mine was wrong and theirs was right.

In high school my brother and I were asking each other what we knew about other denominations compared to our own. My brother’s Sunday school teacher told him that God had created denominations. My brother asked why since there was all this division. This man then asked my brother, “Is God smart or stupid?” Of course he was smart my brother answered. “That is why there are denominations,” he explained. “God knows that some people like to kneel and others like to stand and still others like to dance. He knew that some people like to hear a loud preacher and others like the Mister Rogers type of preachers.” So my new understanding was that denominations existed because of individuality and preference.

Now I am being challenged with this idea of what church is. I don’t think that church is a once a week refueling station. I think that we are limited in our power to do the work of God due to our factions. Church is supposed to be a living, growing organism that exists for community and thrives in community. If church is not what it should be then should I give up on it? That would be easier. Instead I will search for people that see what I see, and long for what we do not see. Together we will pursue it. The goal I think will forever in my brief existence be in need of reshaping and we’ll need to be redirected on occasion but God will honor this pursuit.

I am insecure

Reflections of Chapter 6 in Donald B. Kraybill's book The Upside-Down Kingdom.
(ISBN 10: 0836192362 or ISBN 13: 978-0836192360)

"Blessed are you when people hate you. Woe to you when all speak well of you."

I wonder what others think of me. I wonder if what I said in a class discussion or in a conversation was thought to be intelligent or dumb, funny or lame. I wonder what others say when I am not around. I wonder if I should speak of spiritual things with my coworkers or just leave it shallow and superficial. This worries me because the scripture says it is better to fear God than to fear man.

Where do I find my worth? The world says that to be worth anything you must dress, speak, and act how it says you should. My old pastor has asked many times, “Why do we buy stuff with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like?” If you resist being caught in this trap then you are a fish out of water. If you decide to stay in the water you have no choice but to swim against the flow or be swept down stream. How can we fight a current this strong? If I am always fighting then when do I rest? If I tire out then isn’t failure inevitable? Perhaps but it isn’t final.

When people speak well of you there is a sense of pride that comes with it. There is a passage that says, God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. It reminds me of the story Jesus tells of the publican and the tax collector. Each went to the temple to speak to God. The publican said, “Thank you God that I am not like this tax collector.” The tax collector beat his chest and cried out, “God forgive me. I am a sinner.” Whose prayer did God hear?

When people speak well of you there is also a sense of security that comes with it. Without this security blanket the world often feels cold and uncaring. There is another passage that says God draws close to the broken hearted. I wonder if being spoken well of by men results in being far from God.

I am still learning but I think I am getting closer. However, the more I learn the more I realize that I don’t know and how far I still have left to travel.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Let's Celebrate - 3 Years

Officially today, Tasha and I have been married for three years now! How'd it all start?

Near the end of my senior year in high school there was a fund raiser. The deal was that if you filled out thier questionaire and gave them a few dollars they'd run it through thier computers and see who you were compatable with. I went with Anthony Barboza and we both filled out the questionaire.

When we got back the results there on the page were listed - 10 people that would like you, 10 people that you would like, your best friend, and your worst enemy. We scanned through the names but needed a visual. We went to visit an insider to the yearbook. This person was able to get the photo proof binders for us to look through. As we went down the list, matching names and faces, we circled the names of the cute girls. Hey, we're boys.

Anthony looked at mine and said "hey, that girl is in your next class". He was pointing at a senior girl by the name of Tasha Freckleton. I told him that he was mistaken and asked how he'd know since he wasn't even in my class. To prove he was right he followed me to class, Mrs. Brundage's. Once the girl walked in, he laughed at me, and then left to go to his class.

The room was rowdy with everyone talking about thier results. I took this opportunity to go talk to this girl. Very smoothly I said, "Hi, it looks like we are compatible." I handed her the results and waited for her to see her name. When she looked up I asked, "What are you doing this weekend?" I don't know what I was expecting to happen but she pushed the paper at me, turned a very nice shade of red, and walked quickly back to her seat.

Later that week, I was hanging out in the quad with my buddies. Jacob Morris, who was on the cross country and track team with me, came up to talk. He was acting a little bit wierder than normal. However, normal didn't ever come close to describing Jacob. He asked if I had a date for the prom in a few weeks. I told him that I wasn't going. Then he said that there was this girl named Tasha Freckleton that wanted to go and was interested in me and that he was sent on a short recon mission. By this time my buddies had gathered around to hear the conversation. I looked around and loudly replied, "If she asks me then I'll go." My buddies broke out in a roar of laughter. Jacob skipped away to tell Tasha the news.

I went back to look over the results of the compatability quiz. I found something very strange...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Poem - Strings

God in heaven


each person by

a string.

When you sin, you cut

the string.

Then God ties

it up again,

making a knot –

and thereby bringing


a little closer to Him.




your sins cut the

string –

and with each

further knot God

keeps drawing you

closer and


and closer.

From “What’s so amazing about grace?” by Phillip Yancey

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Troy and Aimee

This picture makes me smile because it looks like it is mirrored. It was wonderful to see Aimee and Troy for Thanksgiving. I am so proud of them. Troy is working very hard on his school and Aimee is working very hard to support him and together they will be very strong for God's Kingdom. I am glad that Troy and I are both old married men now. :P

Here is a picture of a portion of the prayer garden at Troy's school. In the distance you can see Jesus holding a fishing net by the water. In this pretty large pond are some pretty large koi fish. Troy said that you can go to an office nearby and ask for dry cat food to toss to the fish. I think the Bahers would really love this garden. Behind the bench and across the walk is another statue of Jesus kneeling down and washing Peter's feet.

This small pool travels through a rocky creek bed and feeds into the larger pond in the previous photo. It too had large koi in it. It was so peaceful to walk around. The school definitely has done a great job to develop this area where you can go and escape to fellowship with God and his creation.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fun at work

I was sitting in Dale’s office chatting today. I saw Mikey through the doorway crawling on his hands and knees across the floor. He made his way up to a metal push cart that had a bunch of wooden pallets loaded on it on their sides that was up against the desk where Steve Finn, our boss, sits when he’s in town. Mikey came up off his hands and shook the pallets really hard. Dale and I heard Steve yell really loud. We all started laughing and walked out the doorway to see Steve shaking scared and mad. He was cussing up a storm using Mikey’s name as separator words. Mikey didn’t look like he knew what to do – run from Steve or laugh with us. Steve is deciding where to ship him off to.

Sad night

Thursday night I came home from work. I went to check on the newts to see what they were up to. It’s always fun to try and find them as they blend in so well in their tank. Their eyes tend to give them away though. I found Cleopatra and Isaac up on the moss hill and saw Lefty in the water. He was positioned weird so I reached in to check him out and found him dead.

I put Lefty aside and took Cleo and Isaac out in a dish while I cleaned out the tank. I did not know if Lefty died from the missing limb or from a skin infection. I wasn’t sure if that meant the tank was then unsafe for the other two. I studied them and they did not have any sores.

Tasha got home and I told her about Lefty. We got in the car and took him to the petstore to have them take a look. Herman was the guy at the store that talked to us. We told him about the missing limb, then the sore, and had him take a look. He said it looked like fungus or some sort of other wound. The store had medicine which we went to take a look at. They had some frog ointment that aided healing but did not have anything specific for newts.

He suggested some supplements to strengthen the other two by raising their immunities in case Lefty did have some sort of infection. He also pointed us to some water conditioner that removes impurities out of tap water and also contained ingredients to help the newts retain their electrolyte levels.

He didn’t know much about amphibians but he did raise geckos. He had 6 leopard geckos that he raised and bred. Like a proud papa he showed us still shots and video clips of them he had stored on his cell phone. It was very nice of him to take them time to talk to us about his geckos and about terrariums and such. I think he could tell we were upset about Lefty.

We went back up front to get another newt. Tasha pointed one out she liked and I reached in to get it. I flipped it over and said, “We’ve got a boy.” Herman did not know how to tell the difference so we have him a little lesson. Tasha noticed a sore on this one’s side, above his leg. It looked like the one Lefty had. We showed it to Herman and put it back. I picked up another one and found a sore on its tail. We did this a few times. We actually found a female with a swollen lower region and I asked if it was pregnant, but I don’t know how old they must be before they are able to reproduce and these were juveniles. It walked across my hand and I noticed a blood trail. We took a better look and saw that it wasn’t pregnant but infected. Herman commented that he’s wanted to separate the firebelly frogs and newts before but the store hadn’t. Maybe the frogs were being aggressive? Then we noticed the heating lamp that had been on top of the tank and wondered if it had overheated the rocks and the sores were actually burns. Herman is going to look into it. Maybe we inadvertently found an issue and the store can fix it.

Herman asked if newts could be housed in multiple males. I guess that his geckos cannot because they are territorial. So his male gecko has a 5 gecko harem. We didn’t know but to play it safe we chose a sore-less female to take home.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Newt Photos

Belly shot of Lefty while swimming.

Lefty trying to push Sir Isaac into the water with him.

Cleopatra traversing the narrow moss trail on the back side of the tank. Lefty is soaking his bum.
Cleopatra doing a nice dance on the rim of the water dish.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flavorful Tips

Kyle and I found a great Triskets flavor called cracked pepper and olive oil!

At Winco they have a really good minestorne soup in their bulk foods. It's super to put a cup of the mix and a quart of water and wala, yummy hot dinner.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Football

Today my parents flew into DFW. We all went on a short tour while in route to Crackerbarrel. While we were checking out the gift shop it started snowing. We stopped by the hotel to check in and drop off the luggage before coming back to Troy's apartment. The room is nice and big.

Once we got back to the apartment we turned on the Dallas game. Our buddy Paul is there with his wife Kristen. He called Troy earlier to say that they got field passes to go down before the game started. My mom is very jealous because she's a big cowboys fan.

Mom and my "bonus" brother, Paul

Troy, Perry, and I went outside to throw the football around. Troy put on ski goggles and gloves. I put on a nose/ear wrap thingy. Perry had mittens. It is hard to throw a ball when it’s wet. It is hard for me to throw a ball period but at least now I had an actual excuse. :) We came in once our mittens and socks were soaked through.

Troy and me showing off our football attire

This has been a great Thanksgiving. I miss my brother and Aimee lots. It is so good to be here with them. It is also good to spend a few days with Perry and Sherry. We all bonded so much on our trip to India last summer that it’s been hard not to see them so much. I've never played football in the snow with my brother, but I got to this Thanksgiving.

Ama and Apa

What are you thankful for?

Last weekend Tasha and I played a game. I said, "I'll start by saying three things that I am thankful for then it will be your turn. We'll keep going until we run out of things." She said, "And no repeats." We played for quite a while. You try it and see how long you can go.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Texas

Tasha and I are off to Texas to see Troy and Aimee. Perry and Sherry will be there too. We'll be coming back Sunday morning very early. As I type this my head bobs while looking at the time. 4am.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Charlie Hall

Going into college hour last week I saw a table with cds and tshirts for sale. Apparently we had someone coming in to do the music in our worship service. “Who is Charlie Hall?” I thought. Walking up to the table I saw a quote from him that read “"This music is for those people who want to change the world and for those who are trying to make it through the next few hours and for everyone in between." Wow, what a quote.

Ron Reed, our campus pastor, got up to introduce Charlie and his buddy. Rod proudly announced that it was bald man day! He has a rather large halo himself as did our guests. Before they began their set Charlie announced that there were cds for sale in the back for $12. Realizing that we were all poor college students, he did not want us to pay him in top ramen. Therefore we said that if we wanted a cd they’d take what you could give. Charlie led us through an intense time of worship. At the end of the set I was itching to get to the table and get a cd before they ran out. Flying Into Daybreak with Charlie Hall is my current favorite album.

Flying Into Daybreak album review

Track Listing
1. Micah 6:8
2. Marvelous Light
3. All My Love
4. Songs of the Redeemed
5. Your Glory Endures Forever
6. All We Need
7. Bravery
8. Closer
9. Saints and Angels
10. Center
11. Running with Your Heart
12. Come for Me

Charlie Hall biography

Monday, November 19, 2007

Update on the Newts

The official names are:
Cleopatra Isabella,
Sir Isaac Newton, and
Lefty Tripod

Searching for Fall

I've been on a search for fall lately. I took a different way home in search for fall, and I found fall. The odd thing is, you have to look for it. And truly if you look, you can find the beauty. What you don't see is the buildings along the same street as the orchard with bars on their windows and barbed wire on a fence. You don't see spray paint or broken down cars.
Sometimes we get so focused on the junk in life that we pass right by God. He is working. Today I was able to see Him in His beauty. I hope that you take the time to count your blessings, for we all have many of them.

Baher-esk Afternoon

Tasha and I decided to take a walk after lunch on Saturday. Along the way Tasha stopped and took pictures of flowers and trees. We came to the one mile mark where the library is and spent some time there.

The library has these really cool mats that can read what is put on it. It read all the books and the book on cd that I was checking in. I then got lost on the computer looking for anything on newts. I ended up with a book on Salamanders and a book on Cricketology. I had no idea there was a whole field of study on crickets. I was interested about it because we feed crickets to the newts. Maybe there is a field of study called Mealwormology we could check out because we are also feeding mealworms to the newts. :) We also found a vhs tape on creatures of the rain forest.

After we got back from our walk we hopped in the car and headed to the pet store. The pet store was going to unveil their new shark in their saltwater tank. The shark is a good 24 inches in length. It is a light tan color with dark markings on its head and tail. It glided through the tank so effortlessly. There were maybe 4 small fish in the tank that cowered in the middle bottom of the tank out of the sharks path.

While we were at the pet store I got a new bulb for the newt tank and some more moss. The bulb I had put in there was too hot, so I had already replaced it with a lesser wattage bulb, but I had to get another bulb that had even lower wattage. The tank was so hot that the humidity had gotten out of control and it molded in less than 7 days. Therefore the newts had a little bed-breakfast getaway while I redid the tank.

We think the newts like the tank a lot more now. They are spending a lot more time in the water dish now where before they were not even going near it. The hill became less drastic and the moss is more packed. I also replaced the big bulky cave with a small red clay pot. They love to hide in it but so do the crickets. It is wierd to see the crickets jump and crawl all over them. I just think I can hear them saying, "Laugh now cricket, you'll be lunch really soon."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday morning

Last night we were at Star Bucks. Tasha meets with some other ladies to work on their BSF. I go and sit at another table so that I can spread out and do homework. We like to sit outside because this location tends to play their music louder and the music is very different which makes it hard to concentrate. However, sitting outside we are subjected to the smokers. Last night I left feeling like someone had filled my ears with sewage. I had no idea that people could use swear words and cuss words as nouns, adjectives, and verbs. It is amazing how many cuss words this one man in particular could fit into a single sentence. Cussing is stupid.

This morning I was getting ready to leave for school. I could not find my backpack. I ran through the apartment a few times until I was ready to either give up or tear the place apart. **light bulb** I left it in Tasha's car. I called Tasha and confirmed this was the case, yep. I had to drive from Clovis to Easton to get my bag. Then from Easton to Fresno to get to school. Needless to say, I missed my first class of the day. However, he posts his lecture outline online so I can print it and go through the chapter to catch up easily. Maybe if I am really lucky he'll mp3 his lecture (he has been forgetting to bring the recorder lately).

Funny story to lighten up my off to a bad start morning - in Easton I stopped at the pump to fill up. While I was standing there an SUV was sitting at a stoplight. There was a black scottish terrier sticking its head out the window. It saw me and the other pumpers and barked at us. Without thinking I barked loudly back. It moaned and ducked back into the SUV. Ha, ha. I win!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Last night I was pretty bummed that we've been unable to find any newts. After dinner I was checking out the empty terrarium. I bought a 26W bulb which hit the humidity mark but was 5 degrees too hot. I remembered that there was a 13W bulb and I still had the receipt so I left to go switch it out. Why do homework when I can go walk around Pet Extreme?

I told the cashier what I wanted to do and he said to shop around and we'd switch out the bulbs once I was ready. I found the bulb I needed and then took a look at the other tank items they had for sale. It is crazy how elaborate you can get if you want to. I am satisfied with my set up though and it turned out to be a low budget project compared to what could have gone into it.

When I went to check out I had just the bulb I was going to swap. The cashier was busy helping someone in the aquarium area so I decided to check out the stuff in the front window. I came to the tank of fire belly frogs and noticed that they also put fire belly newts there too. Petsmart wasn't expecting to get another newt shipment for a few more weeks though. I was counting frogs and noticed a black clump underneath a pile of damp moss. It wasn't a group of frogs because it wast solid black instead of green with black spots. I pulled my head around to the side to get a better view and THERE THEY WERE! There were three, yes three, fire belly newts in the tank.

I left the bulb on the counter and ran over to the plastic transport containers because I knew I wanted to change up my set up before they entered it. I went back to the front and piled the stuff on the counter and said "I want the three newts too". She looked at me funny and said that they had no newts. I showed her where they were hiding and she boxed them right up for me. While she boxed them I grabbed a box of small crickets. Then I put the bag and the box into the car but remembered that I forgot something. I went back in for a more shallow water bowl than the one that was already in the tank to ease their access and egress.

On the way home I held the box in my left hand and drove with my right. I didn't want the ride to be too bumpy for them. At each light I put my ear to the side of thier box and listened to hear what they were doing. I think they were doing acrobatics but I wasn't sure. When I realized how silly I must look to the other drivers I wondered if they were asking themselves, "Why is that guy listening to his chinese food takeout box?" because that was what the newt box looked like.

When I got home I put gravel in the bottom of the plastic transportation container with moss on top and filled it to where the water was right up to the bottom of the moss. Then I carefully lifted each newt from the box and put them in thier temporary home while I readied their real home. I looked at the small crickets and realized that the holes in the lid of the terrarium were big enough for them to get out. I still had screen left over from when I put the gravel and moss in so I trimmed some and hot glued it in place into the lid. Now the holes were small enough to keep the food from escaping.

I periodically checked on the newts to see if they were okay in thier temporary home. One was hiding under the moss, another was pressing its belly against the side wall, and another was searching for an escape hole at the top of the lid. I positioned the water dish in the tank and filled it with water. Then I placed rocks around it and inside the dish near its edges. Then I repositioned the sticks to make my set up more interesting. Finally it was ready.

I had just put them in the tank when I heard Tasha turning her key in the door. She had been at BSF with Karin. I said, "We have newt babies! Where's Karin?" Tasha tried to register what I had said then went running after Karin trying to catch her before she left the parking lot. Tasha returned out of breath and limping a little. She had lost her footing on the copperstone path running to get Karin. I called Karin on the cell and said to turn around and come see the suprise.



Newt 1

Newt 2

Newt 3

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Here is the terrarium as it is now (pre newt inhabited). Gravel for drainage, screen to keep the substrate from setting down into the gravel, and moss on top. The humidity should be kept between 65-75% and the temperature between 65-75 deg F.

Full view shot

Cave zoomed in shot

Water bowl shot

The next step is to find newts which is proving to be difficult to get done. Fresno is out. Seems like they all get theirs from China. China has a higher demand right now for them so getting them exported isn't possible right now. The other problem is them making it all that way alive.

We were in Bakersfield this weekend. While visiting with our Hudson family, Donald asks if Ashley has shown me her fire belly newt yet. I look at Ashley and she looks away. "I am the one that told you about them. You didn't even know they existed. Now you have one before me?!" So, Ashley has a nice maybe 1 gallon plastic octagon tank. The newt, which she hasn't named yet, hides in a pile of underwater barrels. He is smaller than I expected at only maybe 1 inch length from nose to tail tip.

Today before we headed out of town to return to Clovis Ashley took us to the store where she had bought hers. She said they had plenty. We found their holding tank with only fish in it. No newts present except for the one pictured on the price tag. They had run out late last week. No more newts for a week or two. So we returned home newt-less but the search must go on!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Idol Worship

I’m very grateful for Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). I’ve been reading through Jeremiah, Lamentations, and am now into Ezekiel in the Old Testament. In the New Testament I’m in Revelations. Needless to say I’ve been a bit lost while reading. The reason I’m grateful for BSF is because it has given me opportunities to dig deep into God’s Word in a way that makes more since than where I have been reading for SOAP.
Last night for BSF I read from Matthew 7 including the following verses: 7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I haven’t been journaling due to a running late in the mornings, and also being totally lost in Scripture. So as I realized I’ll be in Ezekiel through most of December I prayed for understanding. Here is what I got today out of Ezekiel 6.
S: 6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. 13 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols. 14 So I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land desolate, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblah, in all their dwelling places. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’”’”
O: The Israelites had forgotten that God said in Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” They had put idols and themselves in the place of God. God sent prophets to warn the people, and they ignored Him. God sought His people, and they refused to turn back. So, God allowed them to fall captive to other nations.
A: I may not have an idol, burn incense, or bow down and worship a god on a mountaintop, however, have I put something, anything, before God? Is my selfish pride winning again? Am I taking credit for what God has done? Have I lost sight of the many blessings God has given me? What am I putting my time and energy into? Am I doing even the hard parts of my job with God in mind? Do I think about Him throughout the day?
P: Lord, thank you for answering my prayers to see some understanding into the Old Testament. Please help me to remember that you are worthy of worship, honor, glory, and praise. I pray that I will have an eternal perspective rather than getting wrapped up in the trivial things of this world.


NYC eatery offers $25,000 dessert
The Associated Press Thursday, Nov 8 2007 12:10 PM
Last Updated: Thursday, Nov 8 2007 12:15 PM

This is one rich cup of haute chocolate: A New York eatery is offering a $25,000 dessert bulging with top-grade cocoa, edible gold and shavings of a luxury truffle.
The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate was declared the most expensive dessert in the world on Wednesday by Guinness World Records.
The dessert is a frozen, slushy mix of cocoas from 14 countries, milk and 5 grams of 24-carat gold topped with whip cream and shavings from a La Madeline au Truffle.
It is served in a goblet with a band of gold decorated with 1 carat of diamonds and served with a golden spoon diners can take home.
The dessert was created by Serendipity 3, a restaurant popular with tourists and once featured in a John Cusack movie.

My thoughts:
It seems that the rich have run out of things to speed their money on.
I hope that they realize their foolishness when they defecate later.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What is the Kingdom of God?

I posted this on the FPU message board:
What is the Kingdom of God?

One gospel author says kingdom of God and another gospel author says kingdom of Heaven. The phrase “kingdom of God” appears in the NT 65 times. The phrase “kingdom of Heaven” appears in the NT 31 times. Neither phrase appears in the OT. Jesus tells many parables about what this kingdom should be like.

We see that the kingdom:
It is near
It has come upon us
It was preached
It is good news
It belongs to children
It is seen by believing in God
It is entered by receiving the spirit
Its coming should be prayed for
It is power
It is not inherited by the wicked

Is the kingdom an actual place or a sphere of rule?
It looks like I inadvertently hit a nerve. One of the comments I’ve received already was “is this an actual question or was this asked to just spark debate?” I am a bit perplexed at this comment. Are there feuding camps on this topic that I am not aware of?

Does anyone want to give their two cents on the subject?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Newt Tank - Part 1

Here's the newt tank development process:

First, play around with the layout of the tank. Cost of tank - free.

I was walking around the hardware store looking for things to put in the tank. I came across this plastic gutter corner and thought "cave!" There were brown and white components. I chose brown because I figured that I could mount vegetation or rocks on it to make it blend into the tank. Cost of cave - $6.

Because there are going to be creatures in the tank, you cannot use just any sealant/adhesive. I found this Aquarium Sealant which is safe for creatures, it doesn't shrink, or get brittle. Cost of sealant - $5.

Here are some river rocks I am going to use later on for decoration on the top soil around some small plants. Cost of rocks - already had.

Here is a view of a plastic screen which will keep the soil from sinking into the gravel bed. There was also fiberglass screening but I figured that fiberglass might harm our creatures. A tank must have gravel at the bottom for drainage, then the screen, then moss, and then soil. There's other options for how to form your terrain but this was the most common one I found. Cost of 36x24 screen - $4.

Newt Tank - Part 1 (continued)

Wood options for the tank. Don't buy it, find it on a walk through the park.
Left: vine from a crawling palm
Middle: driftwood
Right: branch from at the park

I chose the marble chips for the gravel bottom of the tank. This bag cost less than $4 and for our 10 gallon tank I only used about half of it. The size of the gravel varies from 3/8" to 3/4" in size. I read that the size needs to be big enough for your creature to not swallow it.

The gravel had lots of dust on it. I did not want that to transfer to the tank so I set up a cleaning station at the sink. I cut a square of the plastic mech to place over the drain so gravel wouldn't get caught in our sink pipes. Then I took a plastic bucket and drilled holes in the bottom of it.

Dirty gravel? Fill it with water, swoosh it around, and you've got clean gravel.

I took a large old towel and folded it in half on the floor. Then I took the wet gravel and poured them onto the towel. I swung it around a few times to pull the water off. I then positioned the tank where I wanted - do this first because it will get heavy and you don't want to break your back moving it later. Still using the towel I lowered the gravel into the tank and let it pour out gently as not to crack the glass bottom.

Photo Post

Golden Clovis sunset

Nanny and Minnie (Madison)

Thomas and Caitlyn

Kyle, Tasha, Grace, Tim at Avila Valley Barn in San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blessed on Halloween

Today was the best day this week. My kids were great! He got through our lessons very well. The party was simple and fun. I had a mom volunteer last week to bring cup cakes. Another one volunteered on Monday to bring goodie bags. And yesterday a mom volunteered to come and bring water. Water was a huge hit!!! Yeah for not having sugary soda!!! I ended up also get 2 more sets of cup cakes, a set of brownies, a bag of pencils, and another bag of goodies. The whole thing went over very well!!! It is so nice to have 23, well actually 21 by the time of the party for a party. It was really easy to handle. These kids are great!

The Golden Compass

I did not even know there was a movie out or almost out called The Golden Compass until I was sent this email. I did a quick image search and found images that I have seen before in advertisement. The images make the movie look very interesting and action packed. However, after reading this article there is more than meets the eye.

Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Read this article from snopes.com to learn more about it.
Anyone else have any input?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sin Boldly

Choosing what to do and knowing that it is God's will is a frustrating effort. I wonder how many times we miss the boat because we are so busy contemplating the jump that we miss the opportunity.

An instructor and I were talking after her lecture. During our conversation she quoted Luther saying "Sin boldly". I found the full quote after our conversation and here it is. “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.” Totally caught off guard by such a quote I asked its meaning. She explained that instead of missing the boat because we didn't jump, we need to just jump into it. If we find out down the river that we chose wrongly then God’s grace is more than sufficient to forgive us and His hand is strong enough to push us in the right direction. This means not to worry about all the details.

Abram is a great example for this. We read in Genesis 12:1 that God tells Abram to “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you”. Verse 4, “so Abram left, as the Lord had told him”.

This is faith that requires obedient action. As you obediently act so your eyes will get a glimpse of what God has for you. Don’t worry, just obey. He will tell you when you get there.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cool Creatures

I look at this guy and think, "God is into cool details!" Who says we just all fell together by coincidence. There are patterns, with stripes, spots, bumpy, pointed, hard, soft... Simply intriguing. I wish I'd taken the picture, but Kyle found it as our research for newts continues. We did see two of these fascinating guys in a reptile store today. One looked like he was getting ready for Halloween since he was molting a "ghost custom". Did you know that their eyes move independent of each other???

Friday, October 26, 2007

Three Pictures

I saw this picture and thought of my friend Greg Paradis. He loves exotic sports cars, especial these ones. [ferrari enzo]

I saw this and thought "Wow. God must have had so much fun creating all the creatures of the world." [red eyed tree frog]

I saw this and realized that not everyone knows what a newt is. This is a Firebelly Newt. Tasha and I are in the process of rounding up materials for a terrarium where we want to put a few of these guys in it.

Vist this wonderful site on newts! Super Newt

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Stress comes out in the strangest ways. Last year I had a long season of acid reflux. I was holding onto some very stressful things at work instead of giving them over to God. I’d give them over, and then quickly take them back. I’d give over again, but not fully. Thus a several long months of upsetting stomach issues ensued.

Someone asked me a question about food and I said that I do not like refrigerated bottled water. Those around the table found that very odd, so I explained that the super cold water hurts my teeth. Room temperature water is just fine for me. They then asked if I grinded my teeth. I do, and I even have a night guard I wear at night to help protect my teeth. The thing is, I realized I don’t just grind my teeth at night. During the day if I am stressed I clinch them tightly. So as I am getting used to jumping 3 freeways to get to work you bet I was grinding. In fact I was having slight moments of high adrenaline just because the traffic can be so intense here. So, now that I realized this, I’ve been working on relaxing and breathing while driving on the highly populated freeways and holding my jaw slightly open in an effort to not clench my teeth.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Zip It

Blah, blah, blah. This is what I hear when people complain. I think that its a trend or fad right now.

Tasha was telling me about a sermon she listened to this week. The pastor talked about complaining. "If you want to hate your marriage, COMPLAIN about it. If you want to hate your job, COMPLAIN about it. If you want to hate your house, COMPLAIN about it. If you to hate your car, COMPLAIN about it."

Do you see the potential here? Complain about everything and you will hate everything, and if you hate everything you will be miserable, and if you are miserable them you'll vex those around you... Complaining has great negative potential!

What if instead of complaining you choose, yes choose, to find the positive in all circumstances? This has great positive potential! This has the potential to enrich your marriage, make your job more enjoyable, make you grateful for your house, and thankful for your car. But it does stop there.

If you are a complainer, zip it. Then try finding the good instead of the bad. If you look for the bad then you will find it. If you look for the good you will also find it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. "

Monday, October 15, 2007

is this reality real?

Is it possible for there to be a world without poverty?
Why not?
Poverty has always been and therefore will always be.
If it could be changed, would it be worth trying?
Then what are we waiting for?
We are a people without imagination. A people whose hearts are numb to the needs around us. We live to increase our store rooms. In them is where moth and rust inevitably destroy. In them is where we hoard what we rob from those we choose to ignore. Apathy has filled the place where passion once lived. Passion is the capacity and readiness to care, suffer, feel, and or die for a cause. Don't we realize what we forfeit when we accept this reality? But is this reality real? I pray not. We can only find out by subjecting ourselves to a reality outside of our own. We do not exist for ourselves.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Has anyone heard of the five love languages?

· Quality Time
· Receiving Gifts
· Acts of Service
· Physical Touch
· Words of Affirmation

Which of these makes you feel loved? Which would you choose to do for someone else to show that you love them? Chances are that how ever you feel loved then you’ll want to express your love the same way. What if someone feels loved by another one of these and not by the one you are using? Then you aren’t speaking the same language and they aren’t feeling loved.

Tasha and I were given this book to read during our marriage counseling prior to our wedding. It provided us with wonderful insight into how we want to be loved and how to love each other speaking their love language.

On Dr. Gary Chapman’s site he provides a 30 second assessment to see what your love language is. Each of us usually has two primary love languages then the others follow in lesser strength. As a person changes, so does their love language. Taking this assessment every now and then will help you to effectively communicate love. All of our relationships are affected by communication, good and bad. If we learn to communicate our needs and to give to others what they need then our relationships will be deeper and more fulfilling.