Thursday, October 26, 2006

World Series @ 9

Tuesday night we had a game night with a group from church. It was a good evening. Good food, good conversation, and good games.

During the evening the World Series was on the TV. Since the sound was down I was telling my daughter (nine) what was going on. When I announced that Albert Pujols was up my daughter fell into a fit of laughter. One of those fits where she could barely speak. I didn't get what was funny. Then she blurts out "you said poo-holes". Ah. Only a nine year old. I've heard the name for years and never heard it like that.

Tonight I turned on the game to see the score... guess who was up? I can't win.

"Dad, oh my gosh, that is poo-holes. POO-HOLES. Buh-wah-hah-hah."

Only by some miracle of God my five year old son missed the whole thing. Thank you Lord.

Monday, October 23, 2006


When I wrestle with my kids they, mostly my daughter, have learned that their breathe usually doesn't smell that good. So when I hide from them under a pillow they breathe into my air hole to get me to come out. It is effective. Sick, yet effective.

That is my typical association with breathe. Bad. Mostly not good.

That is until I listened to a sermon a couple weeks ago by Rick McKinley of Imago Dei. He was speaking on the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Wow. God literally breathed life into man. Into us. That is the sweetest breath. I've read this verse a thousand times. It isn't new, I get it. Yet the way Rick tied it together with the next verse is too cool.

In John 20:21-22 it says "Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" This is another verse I've read a bunch, however, I never caught what was said. Jesus breathed on them. Picture him standing amongst them going HAAA right on them. And with that he gave them the Holy Spirit. A new life given to them from his breathe.

Like God imparted life into man, Jesus imparted the Holy Spirit to man. John, who starts his gospel with an account of creation, ends his gospel with another symbolic reference to creation. Jesus, as God, gives us the "Breath of Life" in his Spirit in order for us to live.

The Bible if full of references to breath or breathing as the essence of life. Without breath man dies. Psalm 104:29 states "when you take away their breath, they die and return to dust." Without breath we are dead. Sure enough. Without God's Spirit then we must be spiritually dead.

Yes, I can do without my kids stank breath creeping in on my nostrils, but I can't go another day with out the Breath of God in me. He has given me life, a life that I am to live for Him, to the fullest. Full of breath.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Feeling Defeated!?

A couple weeks ago the wind took half of our tree in the front yard. Our plan has been to replace it this week. It was a good plan. We have been told that this is a great time of year to plant trees. While I was in Australia Kathi went to Al's and bought a Sun Valley Maple. We wanted something with good color in the Fall and nice shade in the Spring and Summer. This tree should do nicely.

The key to any tree is getting it in the ground. The problem I have right now is the stump from the old tree that is in the way of the new tree. I had a plan. A good plan. The plan was to dig around the old tree, uncover the roots, and cut them. With that done the stump should easily come out... right? Wrong. This is one stubborn tree.

After a few hours of digging, scraping, cutting, pushing, praying, pulling, twisting, cussing, shoving, spraying, asking the tree nicely to cooperate, more cutting, more digging... the stump is still there. Darn tree. I just want our new one in so it can start planting its roots. I don't think the tree knows that I am going to win... I must win. Tomorrow we will be contacting a tree service and get some prices on having the stump ground out. That'll show that tree.

Speaking of roots...

As Christians should have roots that are this stubborn. Roots so ground in the Word that when situations, temptations, trials, and tests come along we are so firmly grounded we do not fall.

The first Psalm paints a beautiful picture of this:

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand
in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates
day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in
season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the
assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the
wicked will perish.
(emphasis mine)

This is my goal with my morning schedule. As much as I don't like mornings I know that being in the Word first thing is important for the day. It gives me that needed reminder of what is truly important for the day ahead. It also provides food for thought that I can think about and meditate on as I move along throughout the day.

I long to be solidly grounded. I long for a root system that helps to keep me from falling into old patterns and temptations. This I pray.

Funny Stuff

My whole sleep thing is off... way off. So I am up late surfing blogs and stuff. I ran across this on From The Morning. Enjoy.

You may not find it funny, but I do. A friend and I used to watch and make fun of Robert Tilton in college. Hal I hope you've seen this.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home At Last

I made it. Doing okay, just a little pooped. I need to stay awake until at least 10 now to try and get back on schedule. I am sure jet lag will set in at some point.

So... what was I doing in Australia? Glad you asked. Here is a photo of the two machines I was working on. They are the two big yellow units.

They run ground up construction & demolition debris through these to screen for particle size. Both machines were stroking too high. It was my job to make sure they were running properly before I left. I was successful. Yea me. Basically, on the last day I convinced them to undo most of the modifications they had done to our machine. So for three straight days I climbed in and out, under and over these two machines to get to the root of the issue. What you can't see in this photo is the amount of dust that is in this place. I was covered in it and breathing it all day. Talk about dirt boogers. Tons. The shower at the end of the day was great.

On the flight home my connection to LA from Australia was in Sydney. Talk about beautiful. Flying into Sydney was one of my favorite things about this trip. It is post card beautiful. I want to go back there. Just the view from the small plane window was breathtaking. It helped that it was a beautiful sunny day. The sun was glistening off everything. I was too slow with the camera.

One of my other favorite parts of the trip was the people. Everywhere I went where people would hear me speak they would say "ah an Amireecan". Then the conversation would go on from there. Always polite, always pleasant, and very interested in what I thought of their country. Most were sad to hear that all I was seeing was a waste facility.

The street my hotel was on reminded me of NW 23rd in Portland. There were trendy shops, restaurants, and pubs. I got to eat at two nice places. One was the Royal Oak which feature live music. The other was The Pink Pig. The food at both places was excellent. My favorite was the peppered steak at The Pink Pig. The customer service at every step of the way was excellent. Whether it was at one of these restaurants or the mini-mart down the street. People were just down right friendly. If they were faking it, they were the best actors.

While I was gone, Kathi and I made the paper. Somehow Michelle, a friend of ours, spotted us in the photo. Kathi had read the article and missed us. The Oregonian did a nice story on Imago Dei, one of the churches we visited this summer. Click here to read the story. On the Sunday they took the picture we were there. Can you find us? I've provided a little help.

Almost Home!

I am currently sitting in LAX looking like quite the modern day traveler. I've got my wireless laptop hooked up, my Ipod, and of course a Starbucks. Grande Latte if you were wondering. I love technology. All the comforts of home or office packed in my REI Traverse backpack.

My flight boards in a few. Ciao.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time Draws Near

Back at the kiosk.

So far I have seen Australia through their rubbish. Seriously. That is about all I've seen. The plant I have been working at is a construction and demolition recycling facility. Basically trash. For three days I have crawled in and out of our machines working with the customer to get things fixed. Today went well. The units are finally running as they should. Not without a little sweat and blood. Literally. I cut my hands about four times so far. And the sweat... plentiful.

I look forward to getting home to the family. I am a little bummed I didn't get to get out and see much but it gives me a reason to come back. Everyone I've met here has been gracious and friendly.

Today I had a long conversation with a few of the guys at the plant about our gun laws. For some reason it intrigued them. They found it interesting that I even own a gun. They are convinced that we still live with an Old West mentality. It was a fun conversation.

Since I have only had one real meal this whole trip I plan to get out tonight for some good grub. Plenty of choices.

I leave tomorrow morning, which is Thursday here, and arrive in Portland on Thursday afternoon. The time thing is wild.

Ta ta for now.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Writing from an internet kiosk from the Land Down Under.

Beer does flow and men chunder.

So far so good. I don't have much time to write much as the timer on this thing ticks fast.

No sightseeing to be had. It's all been work so far. That is going well. Slow but well.

Australia is much like America except they speak with an accent and drive on the wrong side of the road. Accually tonight I was told that I speak with an accent. Strange. I've never thought I had one. Driving on the left is pretty easy. The first day I was nervous as heck but today went smooth. It took a little brain retrain but I am doing well.

I will try to write more later.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Heading Down Under

Yesterday morning as I walked into work all was well. At 7:10 that all changed. A call from one of our distributors in New Hampshire had a customer in Australia with some serious problems. A couple hours later I was booked on a flight for today heading to Adelaide, Australia.

I leave in a couple hours and 19 flight hours on three separata flights I'll be in Adelaide. This will be my first time south of the Equator. This is not quite how I wanted to see Australia for the first time but it'll be an experience none the less. I return this Thursday so there won't be much time for sight seeing.

Hopefully I'll be able to post from there. G'day for now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Next Car!

My 1995 Toyota Camry has 160,000 miles on it. Yep. That's up there. This year we had to put a chunk of change into it to keep it running for the next 160,000. I like my car and have no reason to get rid of it. However, if there is some generous and wealthy person out there that wanted to provide me with a fine new ride I'd choose this one:

The Ariel Atom

My dad would say "That is so impractical." and I would say "I know, but it goes 0 - 60 in less than 4 seconds." The website says this "Even in base model form, the Atom's power to weight ratio exceeds that of a Porsche 911."

No windshield, no leather, no heater, no AC, no navigation system, totally street legal, no bumpers, probably no cup holder, and no... ah, who cares. This is a drivers car. Raw as it gets. And yes, I'd drive it year 'round. I'd just get my self a rain suit and helmet and go.

I am in the wrong line of work. I should have been a Rock Star or a NASCAR driver.

Brammo Motor Sports of Ashland Oregon is the licensee to manufacture this car in the States. That makes it a cool new product of Oregon. Add that to our cheese, beer, Dutch Bros., trees, and liberals and you've got a good mix. Check out the car at If you don't find it sweet get to a doctor immediately.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Just Do It!

Last night at church we were challenged by Justin to be doers of the word. He was teaching from James 1:19-27. James tells us to hear the Word and go do what it says. To not be like a man who sees his face in the mirror and soon forgets what he saw. Taking this teaching to heart I was up early. For years I have been determined to get up, make coffee and breakfast, and spend some time with the Word. For all those years I've tried and failed. Now I pray to read and do. Not to read just to read and know for knowings sake. That is not acceptable.

Today I determined that I need this morning ritual more than I need the sleep. You need to first understand that I love sleep. I don't just like it, I love it. I'd marry it if I could. Well, in reality I love sleep less than I hate mornings. I am slow to get up and slow to get moving. I would rather stay up all night before I would choose to get up early. In short, I am not a morning person. In college it was torture to have a class before 9am. Pure torture.

This morning was good. I found it easier than normal to get up and get moving. We'll see how the next few days go. Each week I'll set the alarm just a little earlier until I get down to 5am. Today I was up at 5:30. My time in the word wasn't long enough because of the extra long shower I took to help the wake up process.

Today I had to leave work early due to a "tree-mergency" we had at home. Our 25+ foot Flowering Pear tree in the front yard split and loss half its mass. It was frustrating because I just pruned the tree and made it look real nice. Sorry... this is a rabbit trail... just know that Saturday I'll be taking this tree down and shopping for a new one to take its place. So sad. This tree was barely six feet tall when we moved in. Maybe this was the enemies way to distract me. However he looses because on my way home I had the Ipod on shuffle and the song Overhead by Hyperstatic Union came on. Read the lyrics posted below. This song was the perfect confirmation of Justin's teaching from James and what I am committing to. I hear it and read it as an all too familiar prayer. One I have spent many nights praying.

The things I want are tearing me apart
I knew this from the start
They’re daggers to Your heart
Though I desire to trade my will with Yours
I’m shutting open doors and crawling on all fours
I need Your touch, open my eyes
Cut me down to size, I’m dying to rise

I promised I’d be less and let You be more
In my attempt to do what I have read
To die is gain, I want to serve the One I adore
But it appears there’s too much overhead

I’d rather stay than give my life away
The life that I have made, a price I just can’t pay
So I ignore Your calling from the shore
You offer so much more but the cost I can’t afford
Short-sighted eyes, my spirit’s demise
Listening to lies, dying to rise

I need Your touch, open my eyes
Cut me down to size, I’m dying to rise


Friday, October 06, 2006

Shoe Controversy

One of my bosses hates these shoes. I don't know why but he does. The first day I wore them to work he was beside himself and didn't know what to say. Prior to this I had no idea that he disdained them so. His brother couldn't explain the hate.

Since that day I've worn them on average about twice a week. I can't wear these shoes to work without my boss bringing some kind of attention them. Whether it's a comment, a look, or him pointing at the shoes and asking somebody nearby "would you wear those things?".

Right now my boss is gone for lunch. When he returns he will find the photo below on his computer set as his wallpaper. Fueling the fire I guess.

As you might have guessed we have a very casual dress code. In reality we don't even have a dress code that I have ever seen. Specifically no written dress code. He is threatening to write one for the new building we'll be moving into in March of '07. He says he'll add a line banning Converse All-Stars in any color. Until then... these are the shoes of choice for work.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Halloween... Not!!!

For many Christians Halloween is a quandary. Do we participate or do we not? If I do, am I supporting evil? If I don't, am I lame or out of touch or isolated?

We participate. Our kids trick-or-treat and love it. It is a great time to get out in the community and meet and greet neighbors. This year Alex will be Darth Vader and Brianna is going to be a princess.

This past week we had some good friends over for dinner. Part of the conversation rolled around how their church participates in the festivities. They don't do Halloween, they do what many churches do, they put on a Harvest party. The kids get to dress up in costumes and I'm sure there are games and prizes. However, the clincher is the costumes have to be biblical characters. This helps keep it wholesome.

Well it is probably a darn good thing that we aren't going there. My wife and I started to laugh as we thought of biblical characters we could dress our kids up like. Here are a few:
  • They could team it up as Adam and Eve - the costumes are cheap. Very cheap.
  • Brianna could go as Rahab.
  • Alex could go as Beelzebub.
  • or drunk and naked Noah.
  • or Nebudchadnezzar when he went mad for seven years.
  • or the demon possessed man Jesus healed at Gerasenes.
  • Another team idea is that they go as Balaam's donkey. They could flip a coin or wrestle for who will be the...
  • One of the four creatures covered with eyes from Revelation.
  • A Nephilim.
  • A beheaded Goliath or John the Baptist.
  • A pillar of salt.
  • A serpent.
  • Robbers on the road to Jericho.

You get the idea. I don't mean to make light but... okay I do. Restricting the kids to biblical costumes a first glance sounds innocent but many characters in the bible weren't. I'm sure the people that put together the fest are expecting shepherds and angels and other such familiar characters. I would just love to see the reaction if someone showed up in a costume listed above.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Here's an oldy but goody. Look corner to corner and try to get the wheels to stop moving.