Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update on our "New Thing"

This morning makes three days straight of Allie and I having a quiet time together. We've kept it up. I told you guys to check in with me and some of you promised to keep my feet to the fire.

Well, I'm here to tell you, the changes in Allie's life since we've started doing our devotional together are amazing; quite a testimony really. She's quit cussing. She's thrown away all her cigarettes. Allie still struggles with spitting her food at me while I feed her, but I've seen some improvement in her attitude.

God's not done with her yet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sad News

Reality bites.

I love being a grandpa. But it's sad to be marketed to as a grandparent. Maybe not sad for you, but sad for me. I'm in a new demographic.

Someone emailed me about their product because I'm a grandparent with a website. I guess they figure I can be a shining example to other grandparents who might be a little less addicted to their computers than I am.

Oh well. I embraced my baldness at a young age; I guess I should do the same with my grandparentness...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Our New Thing

Ever since I became a Christian, I've been reading my Bible and having a quiet time every morning. Typically, I read through the whole Bible every year. But since we've had Allie, this has been a difficult habit to keep up with. She rises at about 4 am every morning. Sometimes, she sleeps in until five, which gives me time to either sleep in a little or get up and have my quiet time. But this only happens about once a week lately and I can really tell that it's affecting the way I treat people and respond to challenges.

This morning, I was awake at 3:45am and lay in bed until four. I was hoping that I would be able to have that time alone in my prayer closet. But Allie woke up as I was getting dressed. It's been more than ten days since I've been able to have that time alone.

I was pretty frustrated.

Typically, when Allie and I get up together, I put her on the floor, turn on Fox and Friends, change her diaper, make coffee, and make her bottle. Allie seems to like the voices on the show. Today, after I made the coffee and the bottle, I got down on the floor with her, muted the TV, and read my Bible to her. That's going to be our new thing. Check in with me and make sure I'm sticking with it.

Every morning, from now on, I'm going to read from Proverbs and the Gospels to her. The Bible says that God's Word does not return to Him empty, so I'm going to sow His Word in her every morning. I caught myself even explaining some stuff to her. She squawked and I got back to reading. I can take a hint.

I got this weird picture in my head: remember that Superman movie? The first one with Christopher Reeves that they made in the late seventies. Remember that scene when little super baby is in the space ship escaping from doomed Krypton? There was this video looping through out the entire trip teaching baby Clark all that he needed to know about being a human. That's what I was thinking about as I read from Proverbs and the Gospel of John to Allie this morning.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Allie & the Farting Santa

The charming and beautiful Susan unpacked the Christmas decorations last night after Allie was down. We we're so happy when we found the Farting Santa we unwrapped at a Yankee Swap office gift exchange either last year or the year before, I don't remember.

But while you all are out there getting Baby Einstein learning toys and trinkets tainted with lead-laced Chinese paint, we'll be giving Allie some real-life-lessons.

Friday, November 23, 2007


We had a blast at my sister's for Thanksgiving. My niece, Megan, and her fiance, Jed, brought over Spinners which is a cool game played like dominoes sort of. I came in second which I attribute less to beginner's luck than I attribute sheer brilliance. That means only one person did better than me. And two people did worse including the charming and beautiful Susan. Most of the time I let her win. Which doesn't help me win. But, pretty much, when the charming and beautiful Susan and I play games, if I win, I lose, and if I lose, I lose. But don't tell her I said so. I'll deny it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Black November

When I was a young turkey, new to the coop, My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop, Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow, And he told me there was something I had to know; His look and his tone I will always remember, When he told me of the horrors of.....Black November;

"Come about August, now listen to me, Each day you'll get six meals instead of just three, And soon you'll be thick, where once you were thin, And you'll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin."

"And then one morning, when you're warm in your bed, In'll burst the farmer's wife, and hack off your head. Then she'll pluck out your feathers so you're bald 'n pink, And scoop out your insides and leave ya lyin' in the sink."

"And then comes the worst part," he said not bluffing, "She'll spread your cheeks and pack your rear end with stuffing." Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat, I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat.

I decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked. I'd have to lay low and remain overlooked. I began a new diet of nuts and granola, High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola.

And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes, I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes. I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half, And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed.

But 'twas I who was laughing, under my breath, As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death. And sure enough when Black November rolled around, I was the last turkey left in the whole compound.

So now I'm a pet in the farmer's wife's lap; I haven't a worry, so I eat and I nap. She held me today, while sewing and humming, And smiled at me and said, "Christmas is coming....

Source: - Black November

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

making some headway

The main project I've been working on since starting with Shepherd's Staff is re-working the website. I've finally got a template for the website finished. It can be viewed here: link. The links on the site are not live.

I'd love to get your feedback...

HT: Bryon's Mission Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Got My Girls

Q: What does a man need to do to make himself feel inferior, dis-respected, and misunderstood?

A: Surround himself with a bunch of females.

I am always totally surrounded by females whenever I'm around family members. There's my sister Jennifer, the charming and beautiful Susan, the center of my universe Allie, my nieces Megan and Ambir, and now, Charity.

I can't wait for Christmas to get here. My son will arrive and strengthen the male numbers here. But until then, the only male ally I have is my niece Megan's fiance Jed (who, by the way, is the nephew of a high school buddy of mine; this is a small town). But, conveniently, he's at work a lot leaving me to fend for my self amongst all this estrogen.

This will be the first time since 1989 that I will spend the holidays with my sister and her girls.

I'm ecstatic to have Charity here. The charming and beautiful Susan and her had a mother/daughter day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Have you seen this?

Have you seen this picture? This isn't Allie and me; that's Charity. And me with hair. I'm like 22 in this picture.


Tomorrow I head to San Francisco to pick up Charity. She's here with us through the holidays. She'll stay with my sister Jennifer. Aaron will join us at Christmas.

This will be the first time that I spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my sister and her kids since 1989. This should be cool.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Crackin' Up

Whenever I don't blog for a few days, one of you is so kind to email me and hold my feet to the fire. It's funny how a few days of no activity on the internet is like an eternity. While one human year is seven dog years, one dog year is seven internet years. So, one human year is like forty-nine internet years. So not posting for 4 human days is like not posting for 196 internet days.

Get it?

Keep up.

Soooooo... everything is okay. We're really happy. And to prove it, here are some pictures snapped this week...

This is Allie in jeans. She knows she looks cool.

"Food is great!" Allie is finally on board with eating. Sometimes, we have to get creative and energetic. She sometimes needs to be entertained while eating. (see next frame)

Entertaining babies is right down my alley. Kids see me for who I am. Allie gets me. Allie is the most forgiving and understanding person in my and the charming and beautiful Susan's universe.

While I was busy not blogging, I was having a bunch of fun.

Celebrity Cribs

A buddy of mine was so good to point out the disturbing and disparaging in-equalities that exist among "stars". But I'm not jealous. Really. Not even a little.

Jennifer Lopez

Oprah Winfrey

Rod Stewart

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Courtney Cox

Eddie Murphy

Halle Berry

Howard Stern

Jerry Seinfeld

Ashley Simpson

John Travolta

Avril Lavigne

Billy Joel

Brad Pitt

Britney Spears

O J Simpson

Monday, November 12, 2007

Working through Forgiveness

Tonight it was my turn to put Allie to bed. It's kind of a chore, to be perfectly candid. She has to be bounced on one of those fitness orbs that have become so popular. It usually takes at least half an hour to put her down every night. We have soft music that plays in the background. Allie has a hard time relaxing even though she seems to look forward to bedtime.

When she fights the process, it can be frustrating. She's always fought going to bed. So I just bounce and pray. Her father often comes to mind. I just pray for him. I pray that he figures things out where he is and that, somehow, the Lord touches his life. Maybe you guys could join me in praying for Timmy. It's a tough request for me to make. Allie is really getting better, but she can't see very well and that makes me nuts. I don't think she knows, though. I wonder what she thinks; what she remembers.

These are the things I think about when I'm bouncing her and putting her to bed. So I pray.

She's up again and the charming and beautiful Susan is up taking a turn on the fitness orb.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Soup Face

Allie has been doing great the past couple of days. Thanks for your prayers. She's gotten a reprieve from the teething pain and has been flat out chowing down. I've been careful to keep my fingers away from her mouth so I don't lose any digits.

She changes loyalties without notice or any kind of regularity. One day she's my baby. Then she's the charming and beautiful Susan's baby for a week. I don't know what it's going to take to buy her loyalty so that she's always on my side. But she's definitely figured out how to keep me under her thumb. That's where I live.

Lentil soup is Allie Soup Du Jour. Everything the charming and beautiful Susan sets before her is devoured in short order. I've been the one feeding her the past couple of days so I wear a good amount of what Allie eats. She likes to spit. I've decided not to teach her that spitting is bad because I'm having so much fun spitting back.

This is the soup Susan is whipping up for Allie in a bullet. We give her regular food but we puree it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

what would the world be like if... - the view from her

What would the world be like if we actually...

...turned the other cheek? (Matthew 5:39)
...loved each other? (John 13:34)
...were not afraid? (John 14:27)
...were willing to be fools? (1 Corinthians 3:18)
...did everything in love? (1 Corinthians 16:14)
...overflowed with comfort? (2 Corinthians 1:5)
...lived a life of love? (Ephesians 5:2)
...submitted to each other? (Ephesians 5:21)
...considered others better than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3)
...did everything without complaining or arguing? (Philippians 2:14)
...were content in any and every situation? (Philippians 4:12)
...were not afraid to testify about our Lord? (2 Timothy 1:8)
...quit quarreling about words? (2 Timothy 2:14)
...saw to it that no one missed the grace of God? (Hebrews 12:15)
...were content with what we have? (Hebrews 13:5)
...were quick to listen and slow to speak? (James 1:19)
...always gave answers with gentleness and respect? (1 Peter 3:15)

What would the world be like if we actually would do what the Word says? (James 1:22)

Source: what would the world be like if... - the view from her

Shades of Relevant

Just a warning: the following post is not about Allie. If you keep reading, ranting, sarcasm, and a good dose of my personal opinion is what you'll get.

I was in youth ministry for years. When I started in my twenties, most of the kids I worked with thought I was really old and knocking on death's door. So I worked really hard to learn and use their slang properly and become an expert on the latest Christian Rock that mimicked the music thumping on boom boxes, car stereos, and Walkman cassette stereos. That dates me. I'm pretty sure I had hair in those days (a flat top), but my memory is hazy.

My attempts to be down with the teens while sharing the gospel or teaching God's Word made me look like fool. That's distracting.

Cool is a cult. Trying to be relevant is like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

For the past year, I've been really into a TV show called the office. The show is in it's fourth season. The show was on for three seasons before I found out how cool it is. That's how with it I am.

One of the main characters is a middle manager in a paper company named Michael Scott. He runs the office. He thinks he's cool but he's a buffoon and everybody knows it but him. He tries too hard to be relevant. He's hyper-relevant. He just wants everyone to like him.

Another character in the show is Dwight Shrute. Shrute really doesn't like anybody and I didn't watch the show long before I observed that he really doesn't care who likes him. He's a nut. He cranks heavy metal in his ears and frantically switches between playing air guitar and kick boxing a fake opponent to psyche himself up to go on a sales call or ask for a raise. He likes Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, the Lord of the Rings, anime, guns, knives, throwing stars, tear gas, and black jelly beans (I know way too much about Dwight). He's like a wanna be soldier of fortune. I call him anti-relevant.

So there's the opposite extremes of your relevancy slide scale.

"I read way to far down this post," you say. "What's your point?"

I'm just setting things up. I've been reading and commenting these posts: (1) & (2) over on the Simple Minded Preacher Blog, and for some reason, I can't get the topic out of my mind. There's always good information and discussion over there, but this one always rattles me. It shakes me up because it two camps within protestant Christianity that is currently constantly sniping at each other. One side for the sake of "conversation" and cultural relevancy says things that seem, on the surface, liberal at least and heretical at most, just to start a fight. Something like, "the church isn't very nice to homosexuals."

See what I mean? You want to fight now, right?

The other side, watchmen they call themselves, takes the bait and comes off so Pharisaical and stodgy that they are hard to take seriously. If they are in your camp, you are embarrassed by them but have to tolerate them like you tolerate your senile grandpa at family gatherings. He's accomplished too much good in his life to make him sit down and shut up, but you still wish he would.

Both sides say that the other side mis-represents, waters down, dilutes, poisons, compromises, sells out, changes, softens, blunts, splinters, or somehow funkifies the gospel.

But here's the bottom line: the gospel ain't gonna preach itself... it has to be presented.

But because I don't like the way you present the gospel doesn't mean you changed the gospel. I just don't like your style. Maybe I'm a stick in the mud.

But that doesn't mean I can call you Satan. You're my brother. Maybe you're my younger brother and I think mom and dad had an accident, but you're my brother and I love you. Maybe I don't get you. But don't hold it against me and I won't call you Satan.

Trends come and go, guys. Everybody has a different way of doing things. If you try too hard, you become irrelevant. If you refuse to try, you become irrelevant.

The gospel ain't gonna preach itself.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Working on that Six Pack

If you think Allie was unhappy about this picture, you are assuming correctly. What young lady likes the world to see her in her diaper first thing in the morning before she has a chance to take a shower and put her make-up on? Allie is no exception.

What we are looking at is a little sore where Allie's mic-key button used to reside. We are amazed at how quickly this hole has closed up and disappearing. I thought that she was going to have two belly buttons. Or that her belly button was going to have a "mini me" in the vicinity.

Here's what's cool: Allie loves to lay on her belly now. We can leave her relaxing on her front side for longer than we can on her back. The next step for her is learning how to turn herself over. That gets a little frustrating for her. She wants to move and do so much, but she is still so limited.

I have no doubt that the daily prayers of all our friends are what is helping Allie progress and heal. One other request you can pray for is that she'll get through this teething phase quickly. I know its a normal part of life for a growing baby, but in Allie's case where she needs so much attention and her mood and attitude contribute so much to her learning and recovery, teething has been a bit of a set-back.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Missionary Blogs

These are a few of my favorite missionary blogs:

Barrett Cruce
Jeff Jackson
Ed Compean
Stephanie Williams
Pedro Carrion
Robin and Tracy Shelley

These folks post pretty regularly so check them out and leave some encouraging comments.

If you know of any other missionary blogs that should be noted here, leave me a link in the comments.

HT: One World Mission Blog

Monday, November 05, 2007

Avocado Face

I know this looks a lot like the bowl of guacamole on the Chili's starters menu, but it's really Allie's face covered in smashed avocados. That's why you don't see any chips.

Allie is teething and refused to eat today. That's not helpful when she is supposed to be putting on weight. One of you emailed me one time when I wrote about her need to pack on some pounds and suggested we feed her avocado. I love avocados. But the charming and beautiful Susan doesn't. That's her only shortcoming. But there's a weird truth we all seem to live by; we think that whatever we don't like, nobody should like. I, of course, thought Allie would love avocado. But my wife had her doubts. Allie is hard to please when it comes to the eating department. But Allie surprised us all (not me) and chowed down that green fruit of the gods.

That bit of avocado was the only solid food Allie ate today. Except some cookie. Nothing beats a cookie.

The poor kid is teething and that's part of her finickiness problem. But the good news is that Charlene Nurse Superior weighed Allie today and she had gained 8 ounces today. That's cool because she's been losing weight over the past month. And Charlene Nurse Superior was none too happy 'bout that. But today, Allie is back on track.

Thanks to all of you that were praying.

By the way, that's not the charming and beautiful Susan's hairy hand. Her hands are delicate and dainty.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

this kid's gotta eat

This kid can be such a booger. We really need her to eat, but she gives us such a hard time. We really need you guys to pray because I tried to bribe Allie with a dollar bill to get her to chow down and she wouldn't bite (no pun intended). Then I tried a ten and no deal. She scoffed at me when I flashed a twenty. I asked her if she'd take a check and she laughed for a second and then started crying again. That's when I snapped this photo.

I didn't offer her my credit card. I'm holding off on that for as long as I can.

So pray that her appetite would increase.

Saturday, November 03, 2007