Saturday, October 29, 2005


I am a firm believer that God puts people in our lives for a reason.

The reason I mention this is that last night after the crummy movie (see previous post) Kathi and I walked over to Starbucks to get some Joe. Side note: speaking of Starbucks this weeks Opus is awesome. While waiting for the barista to work her magic, a guy I knew from high school (Matt) walked in. He wasn't a close friend or anyone I hung with, I really didn't know him all that well, but I knew his mom and brother. We struck up a conversation, caught up on life, jobs, marriages, kids, church, etc. Seeing Matt reminded me of his mom.

Matt's mom, Judy, was our church's secretary. I got to know her during my last year of high school anf my first couple years of college. Judy and I used to sit and chat while I waited at the church for an event, bible study, or a meeting.

It was during my second year at the community college that I would discuss my next school move with Judy. Judy would always tell me about where her other son was attending college in southern California and that I should go there. He was at Pacific Christian College, a college that was not on my selected list of future schools. She would tell me that I just needed to talk to her son and he would convince me that it was where I should go. I always just blew her idea off.

After a number of conversations I finally caved and told her I would contact the school. To make a long story short, I attended Pacific Christian College that next fall.

During the summer prior to that fall I went on a missions trip with my church to Mexico. The majority of the interns on the trip were PCC students, one of which was my future wife.

I believe that God used Judy to nudge me in the right direction. Prior to hearing about PCC I was looking at state schools in Montana and Arizona. PCC was not even close on the radar.

To this day I remember those conversations and the decisions made without really knowing why they were made. God was ever present during this formative time in my life. I owe Him a great deal of gratitude, and thank Him for using Judy to help guide me in that one important and life changing decision. Without her I wouldn't have Kathi and the kids.

Movie Note

Last night my wife and I went to see a movie.

We spent $17 bucks plus snack money to see "The Weatherman" starring Nicholas Cage and Michael Cane. This movie-going experience reminded me of why I wait for the video release on movies like this. My standard rule is to see movies on the big screen that are enhanced by the size of the screen and the quality of the sound system, movies like action adventure, sci-fi, LOTR like movies, epics, etc. This movie would have been the same watching it on the screen of a PSP.

This movie is not going anywhere on my list of favorites. Quirky, foul, odd, numb, directionless, Godless, and lacking a decent plot. The f-bomb was a bigger star in the movie than Mr. Cage. There was an occasional chuckle, but not enough to list this as a comedy. I have always enjoyed Nicholas Cage movies and he is the reason we chose to see this one. In the future he will not be the deciding factor on the movies we choose to see.

The story is about a man (Nicholas Cage) who is lost and lonely in life. He is a successful weatherman at a Chicago TV station, divorced and seemingly unattached to his kids. He desires to have the life he thinks he deserves; a good job, a perfect family, the respect of his father (Michael Cane), and a white picket fence. Throughout the movie he tries to deal with his failure as a husband and father, his life as a public figure, and his relationship with his father, all while courting with a national network for a job on Bryant Gumbel's early morning show.

Never does he look to God for answers, only to himself, his earthly father, and his bow and arrow. The archery aspect of the movie is interesting and quirky but really comes off as a substitute for true answers to the meaning of his life. Usually in a movie like this God gets a gratuitous mention, but this movie He is obviously absent.

When the movie ended I could only feel sadness for this guy, some sympathy, but mostly sadness. It is almost as if he ended where he began, unhappy and directionless. The situations in his life has changed but the meaning stayed the same. The only thing that he resolves is that he is a weatherman and he is okay with that. In his closing statement he states that he is satisfied that he is behind Bryant Gumbel yet ahead of SpongeBob.

Next comes Narnia. A movie that is essential to see in the theater and a movie that is sure to contain more meaning than a high paying job and being ahead of SpongeBob on the food chain.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Techno Not

Sometimes I think it is good that I am not a wealthy person. If I had cash to burn I'd be the technology geek that most desire or dream to be. I love new technology and the things, gadgets, gizmos, and fun toys man has dreamed up.

The reason I mention this is because our family, thanks to Verizon, is joining the new millenium. WE ARE GETTING DSL. A technology I've been desiring for a while, but the price has kept me away.

I didn't order it because we need it or because of peer pressure and definately not for work, but because it is so cheap. For only $5 more than we are paying for dial-up we can get a dsl connection. What? Are you laughing at me? Yes, we do currently have a dial-up connection. It is true. I admit it. I am cheap. Too cheap to spend extra money on something that is just not absolutely necessary. However, $5 is worth the price to have a fast connection that allows us to be on the phone at the same time. Cool.

We're pathetic? Yes we may be.

It wasn't until our daughter was born in '97 that Kathi and I owned a microwave. At the time of that purchase we considered it joining the 80's, a decade and a half plus late, but we joined none the less.

We ended up buying the microwave to help heat the milk for late night feedings. We considered it a safety precaution. Have you ever stood over a hot stove at three in the morning when you can barely keep your eyes open? I have. The warmth from the stove is inviting. I would have hated to burn myself trying to snuggle up with the burner. Plus, the time we saved heating up the milk in the microwave, versus the stove, added to the precious sleep minutes new parents are commonly deprived of.

Our other big move in technology was ordering cable TV for the first time. At this point I guess we were again joining the 80's. That was about three years ago. Before that it was the classic rabbit ears. Our friends would laugh and point at us as if we were three headed circus freaks. The breaking point on the cable came after we moved into our new house and I discovered that the Fox channel didn't come in too good. I couldn't stand that. Fox has football. Life without the Raiders... I don't think so. Okay, I hear the booing and hissing, enough of that. Just know that Raider fans could kick the @$$ of any other teams fan base. We know this because half of our fans have served time. Well, that is a discussion for another time, and yes I know the Raiders suck bad this year, as we all know it's a "rebuilding year(?)".

For the record our cable bill is less than $10 a month. We got the bare minimum. It does, however, come with AMC movies, the E! channel, and Discovery.

At this rate we will have an Ipod by 2017, and Treo cell phones by 2021. By the way if you want to help me beat the 2017 Ipod date, you can help me get a free one by clicking on the link to the right.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More Miller

Donald Miller, the writer of Blue Like Jazz, has a new website.

If you have not heard of him, or his work, check it out.


My brother sent me these office photos. They had some foil fun with the office of a guy returning from a five week sabatical. The pictures speak for themselves.

Good one Kev!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Home Away From Home

For about 10 hours a day I sit here:

First, you will notice the wood paneling; this gives us the comfy wood cabin feel Kramer was searching for on Seinfeld. Or is it the 70's smoky office feel of Barney Miller. Not sure.

The second thing you may notice is that the computer monitor takes up a bunch of real estate. It is a bit of a beast but it's 21" corner to corner screen allows me to have lots of things going on at the same time. Multitasking. I am hinting around about the 23" flat panel from Apple.

Third, comes the clutter. Yep. Sorry Mom, old habits are hard to break. But you must know that there is a lot going on here and I need things accessible.

I have adorned my office with touches of home; photo's of the family, the kids art work, gifts from siblings, etc. They are things that remind me why I do what I do and why I sit here for so long suffering the curse of Adam from Genesis 3.

Got a picture of your office? I'd love to see it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Law Enforcement

Have you ever been driving along minding your own business when some jerk cuts you off or flies past at the speed of light and you thought to yourself "Man, I wish there was a cop around to see that"? Today my wish came true.

There is a road I take on my way home from work everyday. At one point it ends and you have to turn right or left. Everyday but Wednesday I turn left. It is a well traveled road. So often traffic backs up for about a half to a full mile. Today was a mile. When I got to the back up I looked in my rearview mirror to see if the lady behind me on her cell phone was going to stop. She did. However, I noticed the peeved look on her face that she had to stop with the rest of us mortals. It didn't take long for her to see that the shoulder is wide enough for her to drive down, so she did just that.

As most drivers know a shoulder marked with a solid white line is for emergency parking only. Or in this roads case, it is commonly used for the many bicycles that travel our roadways.

So my satisfaction came about 3/4 of a mile later when I noticed the motorcycle officer that had a couple of cars pulled to the side of the road. Among them was our friend on the cell phone. She did not look happy. It got better. As I sat and watched the officer writing up each car I noticed him pointing at cars coming down the shoulder and waving them in for a little visit. He was a busy man. He was pulling over every single car that was using the shoulder as their personal lane. Sweet justice.

I mentioned earlier that I turn left everyday but Wednesday. On Wednesdays I do turn right, and I do wait until the road divides to pull forward. Not because I am heading to church and think that God is watching and will strike me down, but because I would hate to hit a bicyclist or a guy changing his tire because I was in a hurry.

Please don't think of me as a saint behind the wheel. I am not. I, like most, get that sick feeling in my stomach as a pass an officer at a speed greater than that which is posted. You know what I mean.

Sometimes in life we need to slow down and obey those little rules we think are silly. It would have saved this lady a few bucks and actually got her to her destination a little sooner.

God bless our law enforcement friends.

Gamble Away

On my way to work yesterday I heard a disturbing advertisement on the radio. The ad was promoting the building of a new casino in the Columbia Gorge. The ad was touting the addition of new jobs that the casino would bring both in its construction and its operation. It spoke of how these jobs are needed in this tough economic time. Hmm?

What it doesn't mention is the effect that gambling has on families. It doesn't talk about the addiction, the heartache, the financial devistation, or any other problem that gambling can cause.

Unfortunately I do not remember the website the ad directed you to at the end. Probably for the better that I don't.

My brother mentioned to me the other day that of all of the wonderful, beautiful, marvelous things to see in Oregon, the two leading tourist attractions are casino's. He mentioned this because third on the list is the Evergreen Aviation Museum where the Spruce Goose is now on display.

I want to give kudo's to Mr. David Wu for opposing the construction of the casino in the Columbia Gorge, it is one of the few things I've agreed with him on.

Does Oregon, or this nation for that matter, need another outlet for gambling?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Are Christians Funny?

Today a friend sent me a link to In the spirit of The Onion, The Wittenburg Door, and other brilliant sources of satire, Lark News takes on the world of Evangelical Christianity with a wit of its own. I wish I would have known about this site earlier. I guess I'll have to hit the archives section.

A bit of warning, for those with no sense of humor or those that take themselves to seriously, this is not a site for you. However, if you like to laugh, if you can take a joke, or you secretly store jokes about Carmen or Benny Hinn in your head, this is a site for you.

If you have any question about the integrity of the news reported or about the content in an article posted on the site please review the disclaimer linked at the bottom of the page.

Christianity Today article/review did a review on the site for those that would like a truly professional opinion before diving in.

PS: Thanks Sarah ~ your email hit the spot today.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Napoleon the Theologian

I used the following passage in our high school Sunday school class last year to help in a discussion on the influence Jesus has had in the world. I thought I'd share it again.

I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity…
Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by himself. His ideas and his sentiments, the truth which he announces, his manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things.
The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me; everything remains grand, - of a grandeur which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of a man. There is a profound originality which has created a series of works and of maxims before unknown. Jesus borrowed nothing from our science. One can absolutely find nowhere, but in him alone, the imitation or the example of his life.
…I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or anything which can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am ale to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary. The more I consider the gospel, the more I am assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the march of events, and above the human mind.

-- Napoleon Bonaparte

Bonaparte, Napoleon, “Conversations with General Bertrand at S. Helena,” in Anthology of Jesus, arr. and sel. Sir James Marchant, ed. Warren W. Wiersbe (1926; Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1981), 260

Saturday, October 01, 2005

God's Eye View

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in space and look down upon the earth? Maybe even zoom in and get a birds eye view on a city? Well, the people of Google have made that possible.

Check out Google Earth. It is a techies dream and makes me wonder what the government has available.

It is an amazing toy, tool, resource, etc. We use it on occasion at work to get an idea of where a customer is located. I use it at lunch for just browsing the world.

It is full of cool features, gadgets, and gizmo's. A high speed connection is recommended.