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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.