Saturday, March 31, 2007

Quote for 3/31/07

"Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation."
D. Elton Trueblood

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Thy will be done?

I have to admit, I'm a bit taken back by a recent post about "submission" that I read at Anna'a blog. While I realize that she's not talking about it from the context of faith that I am, there are some amazing parallels that I just can't seem to ignore.
I claim to be a Christian, and as such I believe that God loves me and not only has a purpose for me, but has my best interests in mind when He is dealing with me. I do believe this with all my heart. I do claim to love Him. And I do claim to trust Him since I have seen some pretty miraculous stuff happen in my life. But I know, beyond any doubt, that I do not submit to Him. At least, not in all my ways.
I know that I could be doing better in many areas of my life. I claim that He is my Lord, yet I withold myself from Him when it's not convenient to me. I place conditions on how much of myself I surrender to His will, because I worry that He might ask me to do something that I won't like. Or worse, something that will cause me to change.
So how can I say that I trust Him, when I clearly don't?
I could make excuses and say that Anna can submit because she has a physical person to submit to, but I don't have Jesus standing in front of me everyday telling me what I should do. But I have my Bible. And that is His word. So I at least have a "love note" from Him, telling me what He expects of me.
I could say that it was in Anna's upbringing. That it's not in my nature to submit. And even though this might be somewhat true, I also know that I submit myself to authority everyday. There are countless laws by which I must abide every day of my life. Far too many laws for my conservative/libertarian leanings, yet I submit because I know that by not doing so I could face even bigger, more negative consequences.
So where does this leave me?
I fall on God's grace.
I know that I do not love or trust Him perfectly. At least, not yet. I know that the relationship I have with God is still growing, and it will always be growing. So I still trust - and this is where I really do trust - to His mercy. I know that even though I may lack the courage and trust to do what He wants me to do, He will help to build these things in me by constantly showing me more and more of the miraculous. I didn't start out my journey of faith with the trust I already have. So I'm not surprised that I can still see where it needs to grow more, and where it needs to be nurtured. In time I expect to trust Him more than I do right now. In time I expect to submit to His will more readily. But until that time, I am thankful for His patience in this. I am such a work in progress.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quote for 3/29/07

"Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much."
Blaise Pascal

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As if it there was any doubt

First of all;
Thanks JT for posting your own results.

You are 100% Pittsburgh.
 

Great job! There's nooooo doubt about it. You're from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

How Pittsburgh Are You
See All Our Quizzes



The only problem with the whole quiz is that it doesn't even mention Isaly's chipped ham.
Believe it or not, I really don't have much of Da 'Burgh accent unless I'm really trying to make a point n'at ...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quote for 3/28/07

"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
E. B. White

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In alphabetical order

My thanks to Anna for posting her list.

A - Available or Single?
Shouldn't this be "Available or Attached"? I choose attached.
B - Best Friends?
JT, my son Bob, P.Dave, Trish, Merry
C - Cake or Pie?
Hmmmmm... I remember debating this before about whether cheesecake is a pie or a cake, but ultimately decided that a Vinnie Pie (pizza for the uninitiated) was my all-time favorite.
D - Drink of Choice?
Alcoholic: Rum-n-Coke
Non-Alcoholic: Either Cherry Coke Zero or Diet Wild-Cherry Pepsi
E - Essential Item?
My pocket knife - the one my son gave me for my last birthday
F - Favorite Color?
Purple. Yes, I said purple. You got a problem with that ?!?
G - Gummi Bears or Worms?
Worms - it's kinda like ghagh for the Klingon sweet-tooth
H - Hometown?
Plum Boro, PA
I - Indulgence?
A nice steak on the grill every so often
J - January or February?
February - it's closer to spring
K - Kids and Names?
Aliesha and Robert
L - Life is incomplete without?
Good friends to get in and out of trouble with
M - Marriage Date?
October 31, 1987 - February 22, 2007
N - Number of Siblings?
1 older brother
O - Oranges or Apples?
Oranges, because your hands smell so good after you're done peeling them
P - Phobias/Fears?
Nothing I can think of at the moment
Q - Favorite Quote?
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
C.S. Lewis
R - Reasons to smile?
Friends and family, the love of a woman, a good meal, a rose, a thunderstorm, the wind in my hair
S - Season?
Fall - "Oh, God... all that color... it looks like Walt Disney threw up." But I mean that in the nicest possible way.
T - Tag 3 People?
No thanks. You may post as you wish
U - Unknown Fact About Me?
I can almost turn my tongue comletely upside down... without using my fingers
V - Vegetable You Hate?
Onions !!!
W - Worst Habit?
Procrastination. But I've been meaning to change that. I'll get on it next week
X - X-rays You've Had?
Both hands, both wrists, both feet, both ankles, chest and I had my head examined the time I was dead
Y - Your Favorite Foods?
I like something from all four of the food groups - Beef Group, Pork Group, Chicken Group and Fish Group...
Z - Zodiac?
Scorpio

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Signs 3/26/07



My commentary below.

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Kinda lame

It was not my intention to start leaving comments to the Signs posts that I've been making. But I just couldn't resist with the above sign or the previous one.

Anyways ...

For some odd reason, it just seems to me that somebody wasn't really trying to come up with a good verse of scripture for this week. Let's face it, John 3:16 is probably the one verse of the Bible that nearly everyone already knows.
If they really wanted to get a good message out they should've gone with John 3:17

"For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

Isn't that what the gospel is all about? Not about us being condemned by our sins, but about us being forgiven from them. Isn't that what people need to know about God's love?

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

It sure is quiet around here

I was just noticing how quiet it's been around the house this weekend. I quess that with Bob being at his mother's for the weekend, there really is a sense of peace and calm around here. Which is a really good thing for me, and something I've needed for some time.
But I'm reminded that 3 or 4 months ago I wouldn't have welcomed this quiet time. Back then I would've felt this more like a crushing loneliness because of the way I was feeling about my then pending divorce. It would've seemed more like a haunting emptiness, more like a living Hell, than the mini-vacation that it feels like today. Things have really changed for me for the better.
Of course, now with my divorce being final, I've really moved on with my life. And with my Celebratory Dinner coming up on April 14th, things do seem so much brighter. I also have to admit that being in a great and growing relationship with someone really special has done a lot to lift my spirits since then, too. Trish and I still don't see each other as often as we might like, but that only makes the time we do spend together that much sweeter.
Yes, things are definitely looking up for me.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Quote for 3/23/07

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."
C. S. Lewis

One of my all-time favorite's from one of my all-time favorites. My thoughts on this particular quote are below.

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God is

In retrospect to the above "Quote...", and even to the conversation that has taken place in the comments section of my recent post titled Goodness, I thought I'd share a few more thoughts on a similar vein.
My friend/sister/co-worker, Merry, is quite fond of saying "God didn't fall off the throne just because... (fill in the blank with whatever dilema/situation has fallen upon you/me/us)". And she is right. God is still God, no matter what. And God's will is still being done in spite of our failures or flat-out opposition to it.
My sin does not negate His grace anymore than my "righteousness" negates my need for it. My lack of love for God does not mean He loves me any less. Nor does my lack of love for others make Him love me - or them - any less. Likewise, the disbelief of the atheist does not cancel God's existence or His faithfulness to keep the universe together by His own will. God is still God.
So, if God's will is going to be done, no matter what, then perhaps it's a good idea to be working toward that end?
Just a thought...

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Holy... Something

It's been like a whirlwind around here lately - hence, the lack of any significant posting since Monday.
Tuesday was our typical running around. And I was so wiped out afterwards that I just went to bed without posting anything.
Wednesday was a double dose of busy. I spent the day with my lady, Trish, since she had an appointment for some minor surgery. I took her to the hospital, stayed with her, and gave her a ride home afterwards. It was time well spent talking and getting to know even more about each other. I'm quite pleased to see how our relationship is growing. And I'm also happy to see that she feels comfortable enough to let me help her out like this. It's a good thing.
Also on Wednesday; Bob's 16th birthday. Why do I feel so old all-of-a-sudden? I bought him a digital camcorder, which he's had since last week. He really loves it. And Trish order a few T-shirts online for him, and they had just arrived at her house while we were at the hospital. So she managed to get them to Bob right on his birthday - which was something she was concerned about. Then Bob and I went out to dinner at our favorite chinese buffet.
Today I had another one of those really great affirming, and reaffirming, conversations with my friend/sister/co-worker, Merry. This time I managed to tell her a few things that really hit their mark. There was a really big impact for her in what I said because it completely reiterated something that she had been feeling for awhile. And stuff like that always strengthens my faith when it happens.
OK, I guess that about covers everything. I think I'll go look for a good "Quote" to post for tomorrow, since I'll be exceptionally busy after work taking Bob to his mother's - an hours ride away. OH, well...

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Signs 3/19/07



This sign definitely holds some significance for me. Read below for my thoughts on this.

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Goodness

When I saw this Sign, it actually brought me to tears.
I have so much to be thankful to God for. I have two great kids, a good job, a decent home, family and friends who care and support me, an Ex-wife who doesn't hate me, a girlfriend who loves me, and so much more. I am truly blessed !!!
I know that it is by His grace that I live and move and have my being. And I know that He requires nothing of me in the way of repayment. Still, I love Him and desire to do for Him, because of His mercy and His blessings and His lovingkindness toward me, even though I have done nothing to deserve them. And I know that is what grace is really about.
Then I reflect on some of P.Dave's recent sermons (and his most recent blog-post) and I'm reminded that these blessings do not belong to me alone. And they do not belong to Christians alone. Yet, so often, Christians believe that God's love and blessings are reserved only for those of us who believe. And quite often we act as if God's grace doesn't apply to unbelievers.
For too long the Church has been unloving to those in this world who need to see God's love the most. We are ungracious towards those who need His grace the most. And more than anything else, we forget that we also need His grace and His love and His blessings everyday. That we are all in the same boat when it comes to meeting the standard that Christ set for us by living a perfect, sinless life. None of us compares to that. None of us lives up to that standard. So who are we to act so selfishly and judgmental towards anyone?
So I've come to realize - and I've known this for many years now, I just need to be reminded occasionally - that even though there is no way to repay God for the goodness He has shown to us, there is a way to show Him that we acknowledge His mercy, blessings and lovingkindness. And that is by showing these things to others. No matter who they might be, or what they might believe. Isn't that what Jesus would want us to do?

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Friday, March 16, 2007

A day late

OK, this post should've gone up yesterday, but there was just too much going on around me that I didn't have time. So I'm posting it now.
Anyways...

Yesterday was the Ides of March.

I mentioned this to several of my co-workers, and all but one of them gave me that "deer caught in the headlights" kinda stare. So I felt compelled to explain the whole line "Beware the Ides of March." from Shakespear's play Julius Caesar. And, strangely enough, a few of them didn't even know that Shakespear had written a play called Julius Caesar.
I guess a high school diploma isn't what it used to be.
But the biggest let down was that their little lack of general literary knowledge really screwed up the joke I wanted to share with everyone because the punchline is;
"We come to sieze her berry not to praise it."
But if you don't know the line from the play that this punchline is a twisted version of, then it's just not funny.
Oh, well, sometimes it sucks to have all this information stuck inside my head. Curse my uncanny mastery of trivia !!!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quote for 3/15/07

"Music is well said to be the speech of angels."
Thomas Carlyle

Music has been a topic of many a conversation for me over the last few days. How appropriate.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Slam?

Had our Weekly Writers Workshop tonight. We didn't really do much writing, or even much talking about writing, but we did enjoy some of the possible topics that came up in our rather bizarre conversations. I did, however, offer a poem that I wrote a few weeks ago. But JT gave it a really awesome twist; he read as a piece of slam poetry. If you don't already know what it is, I can't really explain it, but trust me when I say it gives a whole new perspective to poetry. Anyways, here's the poem I wrote:

You burn me with a fire
consuming me
a passion that rages
devouring me
from the inside out

You were a single point of light
shining out to me
a candle's flickering flame
guiding me
piercing the darkness of my night

You are brilliant daylight
blinding me
bringing light to my weary heart
warming me
breaking the chains of my winter

Your eyes speak love to me
your touch burns my flesh
your words bring joy to my heart
time stands still when we're alone


(for Trish)
M+

Maybe next week, Becca will try to stay sober for the Workshop...

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And don't you forget it

I am the man !!!
I've given away a few containers of my Wedding Soup and so far all of the reviews are spectacular. I've shared it with a few co-workers who all agreed it was some of the best they've ever had. The only thing missing was some grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on it - I wasn't going to bring that into work with me. And, since I have high blood pressure, I didn't use any salt. So, that was something that was lacking. But the natural favor of all of the ingredients really comes through.
I love to cook. And I think it shows, because I'm good at it.
I still have a few containers to give away, too. I think most of them are spoken for. But if you'd like some, I'll try to squeeze your order in the next time I'm in the mood to make a batch of the good stuff.

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Quote for 3/13/07

"We see many who are struggling against adversity who are happy, and more although abounding in wealth, who are wretched."
Tacitus

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Healing

Well, the hurt is not completely gone, but the healing has begun. Things are moving in the right direction once again. I am thankful to God for this.

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Hurt

I have hurt someone who is very dear to me, and I am hurting because of it. I know things will work out, but that doesn't take away the pain or restlessness I'm feeling now.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Start planning

OK, for those of you who might be interested in taking a little road trip...

I am currently looking at Saturday, April 14th (at about 7:00-ish PM) for the Celebratory Dinner of my Divorce.

Yes, all are welcome. Details will be forthcoming. I haven't decided where yet. But I wanted to wait until after the Holiday to have this celebration. and I did want to get this out there so anyone who's interested can start to make their plans around joining me for this event.

It's kinda funny that I almost went with Friday the 13th...

But I didn't want anyone to have to miss-out on account of work.

I'm gonna keep this at the top of my page for awhile so everyone gets a chance to read it.

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Quote for 3/11/07

"It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start."
Mother Teresa

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Quotes from 2/2007

So disappointed with myself

Four "Quotes..." was all I came up with last month ? ....
That is sooooo not like me. And, NO, I'm not going to blame it on February being a short month. I guess my sources just aren't providing me with very much good material at the moment. That, and I've been feeling less inspired to go looking for new quotes elsewhere.
I must shake this off and start fresh.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

A labor of love

It seems that so many people around me have been kinda sick lately. So, when Trish told me that she was feeling particularly nasty I decided to do something about it. I made Wedding Soup...

It truly is a labor of love, and if you've ever taken the time to make it yourself you know what I'm talking about. You have to start it out right with boiling your chicken for a very long time. While it's boiling I chop all of my veggies and mix my meatballs - and I use a nice mixture of ground beef and ground pork to get the right zip. And since the chicken broth will be greasy enough, I boil the meatballs in a seperate pot of water (to be discarded later) to keep the soup from getting too much more greasy.
And when it's all done...

Actually, it usually looks a little bit better than this pic. I think the flash reflected too much on the broth.
And don't think that this little pittance of an offering is all the soup I made. This was all that was left after I filled nearly every container I own.

Of course, I'll be giving most of this away to friends and family members. But now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of the soup that's still in the pot.

I guess I should start eating right away...

And what a great dinner I'm having this evening.

Turkey on whole wheat (with a little mayo), chips on the side, and a nice bowl of homemade Wedding soup.

See ? ... Even my bowl is happy to have it !!!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Signs 3/5/07

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

I just remembered

I need a haircut...
It came up last night. I was having a little bit of a private celebration of my divorce with my lady, Trish. And that's when I remembered.
(I have a photo of her, but I didn't ask her for permission to post it, so I'll get back to everyone on that)
I also remembered that there were several things that I said I was going to do, once my divorce was made final. The haircut was one of them. The celebratory dinner that I mention in my last post was another - so I have to start planning that. And of course, for those of you who've been following my "Ink-n-Fire" updates, you know I'm having some body artwork done, too. But there was something else as well.
Back in October, I had posted a commentary to one of P.Dave's sermons. In that commentary I discussed, vaguely, a particular "worry" that I was holding onto. And that it wasn't really a worry so much as a situation that I was a little bit angry with God about. This is it;

Well...
Last night, as Trish and I stood in my kitchen sipping some champagne, I saw my "worry" - or my "anger at my situation", as it were. And I decided that it was time to get rid of it. After all, the biggest part of the anger was the situation of my divorce - me being forced to file and pay for it, even though I wasn't the one who wanted it. Then there was the problem of God telling me that I wasn't supposed to be dating when I had first started to. But that's all over with now.
My divorce is final. Eventually, I will be getting the money back from the stocks that I had to sell that had Jo's name on them. And I am currently in a really great and growing relationship with a wonderful and beautiful lady.
So I took my "anger", and while Trish looked on, I stepped onto my front porch and threw it away. We heard it hit the street in front of my house before it bounced across to the other side.
I feel much better now.

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