I am sorry that I have not been posting very much lately. Last week was a long week, filled with disappointments and frustrations, and at the end of the evening, I chose to vegetate on the couch and then crawl into the sack rather than write.

Over the weekend I had a chance to travel to the north woods of Wisconsin, and began making preparations for the annual deer hunt. It was exactly what I needed. I had a chance to spend some time alone, in the noisy quiet of the forest, as I built an alternate ground blind, and cleared shooting lanes. The day was warm and clear, and I considered it a gift considering the lateness of the season.

I also had a chance to visit with my former brother-in-law and father-in-law, something that happens rarely these days. We try to stay in touch, and once every year, we gather for this annual deer hunt, but this weekend we had decided to meet at the camp once prior to the start of the hunt to enjoy each other’s company. It was yet another gift, exactly what I wanted.

Having returned Sunday afternoon, I am again ready to take on the task of completing this long construction project which has drawn the greatest test of resolve I have yet experienced. I will finish this project, despite any problems, despite the owner’s seemingly constant changes and delays, despite all circumstances…I will complete it.

This weekend helped to remind me that I am not here to please myself. Rather, I am here to make the most out of what God has given me. He has blessed me with skill in construction and project management, and I will make the most of these things, despite any circumstances. I have seen, am seeing, and will continue to see a steady progress towards completion.

Sometimes, it takes the art of doing almost nothing for an entire weekend to remind me of that.

I am back; back in town, back at work, and back on my blog. How have you all been doing?



The only little brother I have is trying to adopt a daughter with his wife and four boys.

They are having a difficult time of it, having come very close already (within a couple of weeks) to bringing a new baby daughter home, only to find out the birth parents had decided to try and raise her themselves. I am certain this process has been exciting, and yet heartbreaking for them.

I wish there was something I could do, like “make an offer they can’t refuse” (Godfather fans) but that’s not the best way about things, is it? I have been praying for them, hoping for them, and they have been on my mind quite a bit lately.

So…if you could, please, remember my little brother and his family before God tonight, tomorrow, and the next night…and the night after that…and the night after that, etc, etc, etc.

They are the best adoptive parents anyone could hope to have, and I believe God knows that. They are being so patient, and I wish their dream would simply come true with Godspeed.

You see, you can’t really work your way into my heart easily by caring about me; although you can be cared about by me just for being you. But if you care about someone I love, well…then you’ll just about melt this block of ice I have for a heart.

Please care about my little brother and his family. Care for them with your prayers and thoughts. I can’t ask for a better gift than that.



I was told by T today, after he had a long weekend, that I am an inspiration to him. My.

I didn't know what to say, but he made that easy, by continuing to tell me that the things I had shared with him the other day helped him to open up to his wife in a way he never had.

I didn't expect that at all. That wasn't where I expected our conversation to end up, right square in the middle of his marriage. I guess I expected that I was doing what I always seem to do, excourage people to live a freer life, because that seems to be what I am here for.

It was a pleasant surprise, to say the least, but a bit of a shock, too. I am never aware that the things I say have any effect on people beyond the immediate moment. I guess I am rather short-sighted, aren't I?

Glad to see that God is not short-sighted. And it was nice to know that someone had been touched. We don't get to see that very often, do we? Overall, I don't know if I like knowing, because immediately, I felt sort of uncomfortable with the whole idea, and still do.

So long as T is living freer, that's all I care about. Lessen the guilt, weaken the hold of the "have to's" and "need to's", that's what I want to see.



Dear reader,

How many times did you walk past someone who needed what you had in your wallet today? How many times were you even aware they needed it?

How many cigarettes did you smoke today? Did you eat too much? As you ate, did you even bother thinking about the person who has nothing to eat?

Did you curse today, even in your mind so no one could hear? Did you get angry at the driver in front of you who should have known you were in a hurry and didn’t have time to pussyfoot around waiting for him because he was obeying traffic laws?

Did you say something that you now regret? Did you rush to the checkout line after you saw that other woman who seemed like she was going to arrive in line at the same time, and then you would have HAD to let her go first, because that’s what “Christians” do?

Did you steal from your employer today? Was every minute you were paid for a minute of work, or were there moments, even minutes where you daydreamed, or talked with a colleague about things decidedly not work-related? Are you visiting this blog right now while you are supposed to be at work?

I had a nice chat the other day with a new friend at the jobsite. He is someone who recently came to believe in Jesus. Since that time, he claims there is much joy in his life. But as I listened to him, I became aware that there couldn’t be much joy, because he was so damned concerned all of the time about the things he was doing wrong. Things like having quit smoking, but still chewing the nicotine gum as if it were a crutch. Or things like not being able to feel compassion for other people.

So, I talked, and he listened, after hehad talked, and I had listened. I cannot recall the last time I talked so long. I wish I could have said what I said in fewer words.

“T, the “church” is famous for preaching two gospels…the first is the gospel of grace, and the second is the gospel of works sanctification. The two mix in the church, and outside of it, for whatever reason, leaving us feeling unworthy, and unaccomplished. I can hear by what you are saying that you are still trying to fix yourself, which is no different a condition than before you believed.”

I could see T’s face as I said this, his eyes widening, his jaw dropping ever so slightly.

“T, if the gospel of grace is true, then the gospel of works sanctification is false, the two cannot exist together. It is either grace, or it is works, there is no mixing of the two. If God’s grace arrived upon you, then you are free from worrying about sin. Do you remember when you first believed, what happened?”

T answered almost immediately, “Yeah! There were some things in my life that disappeared altogether, almost immediately. Things which I never cared to control or change, because I didn’t believe they were wrong, I didn’t believe really even in God.”

Exactly what I thought I would hear, it has been true of every person I have met who came to believe as an adult, that there are things that change immediately without their effort.

“T, if those things changed without your effort, what makes you think that now it is up to you to change the rest?”

T answered, “But the bible says if we remain in sin (I think he was trying to quote Hebrews) that we are crucifying Jesus all over again, and there is no sacrifice left for us.”

I paused for a moment, watching T. Then I said, “You have to read the entire letter the author of Hebrews wrote to get to that verse, and yet we tend to quote just that one verse. I can see how that verse would frighten you if you hadn’t remembered the rest of the letter.”

“What do you mean, Tom?” T asked.

“The writer of that letter spent nearly every word up to that point building Jesus up as worthy, as being the one sent from God, as being God, worthy to be the sacrifice. That’s why it makes sense when he says the problem is in considering the blood of Jesus as being unworthy, or unclean. The problem isn’t action or sin. Remember, this letter was written to believing Jews who were being persecuted by Jews, the very Jews who considered Jesus’ blood as unclean.”

I could see a look of understanding cross T’s face, and I continued. “T, if God can give you the greater thing, which is redemption and life, can He also not give you freedom from sin? “

T thought about this for a moment, and replied, “Yeah, but…then that means I might go ahead and sin, and do whatever I want!”

To which I said, “Yes, you might, and many do, heck, in some ways, we all do. But that’s not the point. Change isn’t going to happen by you focusing on what’s wrong. Change isn’t going to come just because you keep trying harder. About all that is really going to happen is you will begin to lose the joy you say you have, and depression will set in, because you can’t ever seem to get over the hill. Change comes in us when we realize that we are already changed. For each of us, this has been true in the past, we have all experienced it, you said you did yourself. But there things in our lives that for whatever reasons, we haven’t believed have been changed, again, it’s true for all of us.”

“Yeah but…I don’t feel compassion for others, and we are commanded to love one another.” T retorted. Honestly, witnessing a friend defend their “wrongness” is not a pretty sight.

So I said the only thing I could think of at the moment.” T, the grace we give is the grace we have received. The love we give is the love we have received. Trying to feel compassion for another before you feel God’s compassion on you, or feel it to the point where people are no longer a threat to you is going about things ass-backwards. You can’t get there from here, and the harder you try, the less you will give. But if you come to an understanding of the love and compassion God has for you, I think it will be impossible for you not to feel compassion for others. Do you see the difference?”

“Not really. I mean, don’t I have to try?”

“T, try until you give up.”

T looked at me with a smile on his face, as if he thought I was joking, “What do you mean?”

“I mean, keep trying until you get sick of trying. Beat yourself up with it. Go to bed every night apologizing to God for being worthless, and cry yourself to sleep because you just can’t seem to get there. You want to, but all your efforts cause you to feel like nothing you do is good enough. Keep trying until you give up.”

T had this sudden look of understanding that I will never forget. “I think I get it! I can’t “get there” until I already believe I AM there. Is that right?”

“Something like that, but “trying” to believe isn’t going to help either. I guess the best way to put it is, remember what and how you were when God gave you faith. You understand already that your faith is not your own, it was given to you. Meet God back in that place, when He first made the gospel sound like it made sense for you. Meet Him there, get over yourself, meet Him as the beggar you are. You know God loves beggars, my God, look how many times we read about the beggars Jesus healed. Isn’t it obvious? God loves to give to beggars. Be a beggar. Ask Him for what you know you cannot do. I think, over time, you will come to realize that you already have it, even as you asked for it. Our problem is, we try to measure everything, and when we do, we place ourselves as our own judge. But God sees you as perfect through Christ…tell me…whose judgment is true? Yours or His?”

“His, of course!!”

“You say that like you mean it, T” I said with a hint of teasing.

“I do mean it, Tom.”

“Then acting like you do won’t take any time at all. I’d say the starting point is for us to stop measuring our success or failure, and just start living. I think measuring induces blindness. We become so concerned with our own little measurements that we fail to see any longer the grace by which we are truly measured. You just said it yourself, God’s judgment is the true one. So what business do you have judging yourself, and worrying about it on top of that?”

T didn’t give me an answer to that question. All he said was, “Thank you, Tom!! I never realized that. I always thought I had to try real hard to become a good Christian. I didn’t know.”

“And not knowing is why you aren’t guilty, T.” I smiled.

That entire first section of this post? We do those things every day. Some of us do ALL of them every day. Do you think God loves you any less because you do?

I think we act according to what we think we are. If we are sinners, well…sinners sin. But if we are saints, made holy by God, well…what does a saint do? What do you think you are, and do you realize that because of Jesus death and resurrection, it doesn’t matter what you do anymore? Nothing can separate you from the love of God, not even your sins.



I have this little piece of technology called a cell phone. Actually, I have used cell phones now for almost twelve years. I can't tell if I am sick of the cell phone, or sick of having a land-based phone line and a cell phone at the same time.

I admit that at first, making calls on a cell phone was pretty cool, being able to reach out and touch someone anytime, anywhere. That coolness wore off pretty quickly as I realized I also could be reached out to and touched anytime, anywhere.

I have almost completely decided to abandon cell phones altogether. I could get rid of my land-based line, but a problem exists in that my business is completely tied to it, and the effort to make the switch seems to be too great at this time.

I have become accustomed to using something I don't need, and oh how hard it is to let go. You can't imagine the arguments my mind is coming up with as I struggle ever closer to calling the cell phone company and cancelling coverage. The flesh truly wants what it wants, even if it makes no sense.

I'll keep you posted.

By the way, why can't land-line phone companies just offer our home number to be available on a cell phone as well, all for one low price? It seems to me this would solve a lot of problems.



This post is dedicated (sort of) to two people. The first is my daughter, and the second person is Crystal, who left a comment regarding yesterday’s post. I started responding to her in the comments section, but a brief conversation I had with my daughter earlier in the day crossed my mind, and I thought it might benefit more than just Crystal. I hope you don’t mind Crys.

After reading Crystal’s comment, I felt saddened a bit, and as I thought about how Crystal was feeling, I turned to my daughter, and asked her if she had trouble sometimes letting go of the things she did wrong. I asked her if she felt like she had to be a certain way in order to be loved, or if she felt she didn’t “measure up” to God’s standard, if that made her feel unworthy.

She sort of said yes ( in a teenager’s way, if you know what I mean), and then I told her, “I think it’s time you and I talked about that.”

The fact is, and I told her this, guilt and feelings of unworthiness can control our lives just as easily as love can. It can get so bad that guilt and unworthiness will take over complete control of us, leaving us feeling constantly unsure, and unloved, or unworthy to be loved. Out of these things will arise anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, depression, hopelessness, and even to a certain extent, insanity.

I truly believe that in our nation (I cannot speak for Europe or other nations), individualism is a major contributing factor to the multitude of mental disorders in our culture. Did you know that over fifty percent of all adults have been treated for some sort of mental disorder at one time in their lives? Whether it be an anxiety disorder, depression, or another illness, I can’t believe it was always this way. Bluntly, individualism is driving our nation insane. And it sort of fits with what I am talking about here, in that we are often so concerned with the image we present, with what we have, with how much we are loved, or with what we have done wrong that we lose focus on true freedom, which is to love another.

If there is one thing I will tell my daughter, and I will say it now for you as well, God loves you. I can’t tell you how much….I don’t know how much. I don’t think with God, it is measurable. But He loves you, and Peter said it best when he said,

“Be fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

That sentence seems to be a mirror of what God does for us. He is fervent in His love for us, and His love covers our sins.

Sure, there are times I am upset with my daughter, or angry for a moment, but never do I stay angry…I can’t stay angry, it’s impossible to do. Soon after I feel my anger, I find myself wanting to forget what she did, not because she is so great, not just because she does wonderful things. I find myself losing my anger because love covers a multitude of sins (not that she has a multitude, mind you). I don’t cover a multitude of sins; love does. I am drawn to love my daughter, by love. I am drawn to forgive her, to forget the bad, and always, always, always seek that unity in my heart with her. That unity is never missing, it can’t be, because that unity isn’t forged by her deeds or by me, it’s forged by love.

So Ally and Crystal, I pray you remember love, keep fervent in your love for one another, for your friends, for your husband Crys, for your children, for all your one another’s, and love will cover a multitude of sins.

It really isn’t about us, it really isn’t about the things we do. For our sakes, we are loved not for who we are or what we do, but just because we exist. I cannot love a daughter I do not have. If my daughter never existed, I couldn’t have loved her, but now, because she does exist, I love her just because.

Peter tells us also to remember that calling, and God’s choosing of us. He encourages us to remember that. He does not encourage us to remember what we do wrong, or that God saw it all.

Feelings of unworthiness may abound for you. I am here to encourage you beyond that, if I have a purpose at all.



How much grace do I have anyway?

As much as I can give? More than I can use?

Is grace a measurable quantity? Does it have life in and of itself? Is it somehow lessened when I fail to share it? Is it weakened when I am unfaithful?

I cannot see how that could ever be so, because if it were, then God is captive to my faithfulness.

Lately I have been feeling more free. I really can’t explain it too well. I just know that despite what I do in everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, God loves me.

I suppose I could talk to you about my prayer life (whatever that is) and how I haven’t made too many “lonely” appointments with God; you know the kind, where you are alone with God.

Rather, He seems to be even more so on my mind, either in the background, or very much visible to my mind’s eye constantly. I don’t know if that is considered stream of consciousness, or prayer, or both. I don’t really care. I just like Him to be there, and I am not so afraid of Him seeing me fail anymore.

I used to dread the idea of God watching me, when I was young, and even recently. I didn’t like the idea that He could see me. I knew grace filled me, yet I did not want God to see the things I did.

I can’t really say I want to do bad things knowing God is watching anymore than I used to, but overall, the idea of Him watching constantly is becoming a lot more comfortable to me. Or maybe I should say “comforting”? Don’t know…

In case you are wondering, I also don’t know how I got here. I guess I'll just thank God and be silent for now.

Peace my friend, and good hope to you from the Father.



In a discussion recently with a fellow on the jobsite, the subject of evolution came up. Once it did, I shut my mouth for a while, and listened intently as this very intelligent man proceeded to tell me everything I already knew about the theory of evolution and the “big bang”. You know the big bang, that’s where everything you see, over billions and billions of years, all originated from the spectacle of a single primeval atom exploding in “space”. “Space”? How could that be, my mind used to ask, if there was nothing before this atom, how could there have been a “space” for it to explode within?

My friend expounded upon the theory, one which I am very familiar with, as I had a chance to study it in high school, and as an elective in college (briefly, but that’s another story), and further studies beyond college, so convinced was I of evolution’s credibility. As I listened, my mind raced around to the reasons I used to believe in evolution, and raced back again to the reasons I no longer do. I listened for quite a while, giving my friend a chance to speak his heart. I truly did not want to destroy what he had faith in.

But a curious thing happened; he began to tell me why whites were superior, why women were weaker, and why it was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the theory of natural selection (which has been scientifically disproven too many times to count) was the only thing worth believing in; to him, it explained everything (and what it could not explain, my mind theorized, it could make up, thereby explaining “everything”).

At this point, I began feeling my skin crawl. It was the same as it had always been, evolution did not prove anything, except to me, it proved that those who believed so strongly in it sooner or later became very racial, and very chauvinistic. I wanted to end the conversation; I didn’t want to talk about this topic any longer. I also did not want to fall for the trap; that trap in which I begin to teach this man that everything about his “theory” is based on a lie. I didn’t want to destroy what he believed, but I also did not want to attack his moral view on the stance of the human race. Simply put, I wanted to walk away.

But he wouldn’t let me. He kept on, proceeding into the obvious, that the natural selection of men would mean that all races non-white would become extinct, as it was obvious to him, and anyone with half a brain, that whites dominated the world economically and politically exactly because they were the stronger. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I opened my mouth to speak, and before I could, He interrupted me, and said, “I already know what you are going to say, Tom, because I know you believe that the creation story in the bible is true. As far as I am concerned, I respect you, but your views are poppycock, and you ought to listen to reason, and not throw away good science trying to protect your God.”

I didn’t expect that. Here’s my answer.

“When I ever see good science again, I’ll stop trying to defend my view, but until then, so long as most of what we see in the scientific community is fairy tales and suppositions, I’ll open my mouth to give my opinion, because really, that’s all you just did; give me your opinion. Show me your scientific evidence.”

He then went into the theory again, acting as if I must not have heard him for the first twenty-five minutes he spoke. I headed him off at the pass, though, and said, “I said, show me your scientific evidence, I’ve already heard the fairy tale, believed in it when I was a child, and dismissed it as nonsense because there is absolutely no evidence anywhere in this world that what you just said is truth.”

My friend looked thunderstruck. I do believe no one has ever asked him for scientific evidence, so when I asked him, I think he believed that scientific evidence meant replaying a theory he had heard in school somewhere. I felt sad, for him, for me, for the world. What has happened to science? Why, when I asked my friend for scientific evidence, did he start telling me a story? Did he even realize that he was doing so?

As gently as I could, I apologized for my rudeness, and told him that I had believed in evolution for a long time, but as I studied it, I began to see that science had left the room when evolution had walked in. I searched everywhere for scientific data on the theory of evolution. All I found was circular arguments, and suppositions. To date, I have not found even one piece of evidence that was scientifically gathered in the field or in the laboratory that proves that even a shred of the “theory” is true. Honestly, it takes less faith for me to believe in the creation story than it does in evolution, for good reason. A God who loves can certainly do what is written in the bible. But nothing that feels nothing and knows nothing could ever create the order that we see amongst us.

My friend and I discuss things often; politics, love, children, work, and I can see that his belief in evolution affects nearly everything he knows, just as my belief in Jesus affects nearly everything I know.

We are friends, but we are on opposite sides of the aisle when it comes to what drives what in this world. How have we come to this? When I think of evolution, I think of LaMarck and Darwin, Freud and Hitler, even Stalin to an extent, certainly Lenin and Marx. I see the devaluation of life, as if life is random, unordered, and unworthy of love, hope, and protection. When I think of evolution, of randomness and natural selection, I think of the ludicrous idea that such a contradiction could even be thought to be true. Here’s my point, if all this is random, if everything we see is random, how does the theory of natural selection fit into randomness? The strongest survive? That’s not random, that’s design, even when evolution isn’t true, “selection” is design.

Do you see the trouble with these theories? There is no science behind them, and what our children are being taught is that people don’t matter, only randomness matters. They are being taught that the strongest survive. Can you see this theory being lived out? We better open our eyes; it is being lived out, right now, right here, in America.

Individualism is the bastard child of evolution. And sooner or later, whether it be random or not, so long as evolution is taught as fact, people will hate each other, devalue each other, and step on each other, because they have the power to prove they are the strongest, and we all know, only the strong survive. Yet even that “fact” is disproven day by day not only in our civilizations, but in the jungle of Africa. When the draught comes, it doesn’t matter how strong you are, no rain means no water, and no water means death, and death is not random, it selects everybody, no one escapes.

How have we come to the point where life means so little? How can a man who I consider to be a friend become so blind that he would consider other races inferior?

This is not the last time I will write about evolution and it’s affects on our world. I think there are many untruths floating around on this planet of ours, and they affect us, whether we know it or not. One simple fairy tale has proven this, the fairy tale of evolution, of which to date, there isn’t even one shred of scientific evidence to support it.



I think it's all about the approach.

If we approach ANY "commandment" with only concern for ourself, then that commandment is a prison to us.

However, is it possible that if we have concern for others, we are free to become obedient? Not that we earn anything by obedience, or that we have to worry about following a set of rules, but if our mindset is truly a concern for others as we approach the commandment "Love one another", are we free?

Lately, I have been concerned with myself, and I have found that when I am, I am miserable.

But when I am concerned with others, somehow, I am at peace. It's as if I do not even exist, as if I am free to care for another, and when that occurs, I find that loving one another is not hard to do at all. I only find that loving another is hard when I am concerned about myself.

So I am finding that these "commandments" aren't really a prison to me if my concern is for another, whereas if my concern is for me, I am locked up, miserable in prison.



"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Paul laid these words down on "paper" about 1950 years ago. This morning, I read them once again, and was struck by the simplicity of this statement. To me, the truth behind these words lies within the state of our minds, as directed by our heart.

I do not think it is possible for me to witness this in my life in my current state of mind. Yesterday, I was grossly affected by the circumstances I found myself in at the jobsite. It seemed as though nothing went according to plan, and I was constantly at the mercy of the trades who had come before me; trying to make shoddy work look good.

That's what I do, as a finish carpenter. I make rough carpentry look like finished carpentry. It''s not easy sometimes, especially when what I have to work with at the start isn't exactly what I would consider to be professional work.

However, it is my job to make anything, and I mean anything, look good. I know this, and I understand it. So why was I so affected yesterday? Why was I so angry with what I found? Why was I not able to simply accept what I found as a matter of course, and do my job without internally whining?

I do not often let myself be affected by the circumstances I find myself in on any jobsite, but for some reason, yesterday I was angry. Knowing what my job is, I should not have been; but there it is, I was what I was.

There is grace for me in this, and at this moment, I have found grace to give to those who came before me, to those who for some reason did not accomplish their task the way they were supposed to. I did not accomplish my task yesterday the way I was supposed to either. It's never easier to give grace than when we falter in our own misconceptions, and are given the miracle of recognizing that.

I cannot explain why I was so affected, nor can I explain why the work I found before me was not done well, why it caused more labor than should have been necessary. It looks like I am in the same boat as those with whom I was angry yesterday.

My state of mind is changing; grace is overcoming evil with good. Today, it means more to me than it did yesterday.



I found myself in a conversation with some friends the other day regarding the financial state of America, and more specifically, the financial state of the person who lives here.

Did you know that now, more than at any other time in our nation's history, we have more stuff? (This statement came to me via my pastor)

Did you also know that now, more than any other time in our history, we actually OWN less off it?

Thirty years ago, no one knew about the internet, save for a handful of people who envisioned a way to connect all people. Look at us now.

Seventy years ago, central heating systems were almost unheard of. Look at us now.

So what’s my fascination with these things today?

Seventy years ago, the family gathered around the fire in the “family” room (if they were blessed enough to have such a room), not merely to visit with one another, but to stay warm. The visiting and getting to know each other happened as a matter of course.

Today, every room in our middle class houses are heated, if we are fortunate enough to have a roof over our heads. The family rarely gathers around a fire anymore, because the whole house is warm, we can go anywhere within it, and we most often do. Now, we stay warm as a matter of course, but we don’t talk with our families nearly as much as generations earlier did. So…was central heating an improvement?

The television set had the inherent capability to restore that family visiting, when it was first introduced. The family would gather round the black and white, and watch the few television shows that were produced, together. Today, television sets are in several rooms of the house if you are blessed enough financially to be able to provide such abundance. What does that mean?

It means that not every one likes to watch the same show, and television production companies have obliged us with almost uncountable choices. Again, something good has happened, and again, the family has dispersed, each into his own room, seeing what he wants to see, and forgetting that his family is in the other room. Television has improved our way of life, or has it?

Then along came the internet. Now, we have even more choices. Now, we can hide in an office ‘til the early morning hours, coming out only for a soft drink and snack, probably saying nothing to our spouse or family as we sidle through the “family room” with the television blaring on our way to get something for ME.

There have been many other improvements and technologies introduced in the twentieth century, which was considered by many to be a golden century. Yet as we look at the family, at our neighbors, at our nation, can we really say that we have improved our way of life?

I will be the first to admit that I am impressed by all the gadgets we have, and love playing with them. But I am curiously struck by this question; if the electricity disappeared tomorrow, would be better off, or worse off?

I am of the opinion that we would be better off, WAY better off; we would be closer to each other, and we are community driven by our very nature. All of these “improvements” had the capacity to improve that community, but instead, one by one, we have misused these technologies to the point where we have become distanced even within the family community, you know the one, “nothing’s more important than family”; except heat, television, and the internet.

There is no doubt; we have come a long way since the turn of the twentieth century. The question is, which way have we come, backwards or forwards? Have we progressed, or regressed? Is mankind getting smarter, or dumber?

The biggest question I have is, if we want to say we are getting smarter, why are we so consistent with shooting ourselves in the foot? Why, when we are driven to community, do we do everything to avoid that community? Are we smarter, or dumber.

I’d love to hear your opinion on this matter, so fire away.



Thank you Bruce for dragging me into this “meme”, which, by the way, isn’t really a meme. In Bruce’s defense, he isn’t the one who calls these things meme’s. Somehow, the internet has taken to using a genetic term in the wrong way. A meme is actually a memory or learned behavior that is transferred from one individual (or animal) into another, with the new individual’s new memory becoming a retained behavior. At least, that’s as best as I can remember it from genetics studies. (cough, cough, can you say BORING?)

At any rate, these questions are being asked of me, and I will answer them as best I can.


1. Build a new house for someone I don’t know yet.

2. Actually refurbish the thirty foot boat sitting in my driveway for the last five years. ((Now I know who (Bruce ) could use it when they retire.))

3. Become a published author

4. Is this a wish list? Because if it is, I want to invent a one man rocket ship that can fly to the moon and back in one day. Oh yeah, I want to be the first to fly it.

5. Become as mature as my thirteen year old daughter.


1. I seem to have the ability to build anything I want to, whether I have the experience or not.

2. Type extremely quickly using the hunt and peck method.

3. Talk with almost anyone. Unless, of course, they simply do not want to talk, because I always do.

4. Vomit once every five minutes when passing a kidney stone.

5. Listen


1. Walk into a bank and say, “Hand over your pennies!”

2. Walk on water…yet. I AM trying.

3. My insurance company thinks I am a safe driver, and my record says the same thing. However, I know I cannot drive safely consistently. I love to go fast.

4. Tell the future.

5. Explain scientifically why if the universe is three dimensional, the way things appear in space never seems to change.


1. I am going to do my best here, because I do not know if I have ever really given this much thought. Someone who isn’t constantly checking their appearance in a mirror or looking at themselves as they walk.

2. An ability to converse.

3. Make me laugh!!!!!!!!

4. Someone who can accept compliments and encouragement without making excuses for themselves.

5. Someone who can forgive me for being an ass.

* FIVE THINGS I SAY MOST OFTEN ( Does Bruce really want to know this?)

1. I suppose…

2. It’s all about me (I am really only kidding when I say this, except for right now. It IS all about me.)

3. “That’s a natural characteristic of this type of material. It can’t be fixed.”

4. Did you try using a hammer?

5. You are huge (as a compliment of course.)


1. I don’t know that I have any celebrity crushes. But…let’s see if we can make some up. Kelly Monaco.

2. Jewel

3. Jennifer Love Hewitt

4. Anne Hathaway

5. A young Meg Ryan


Crystal, Fish, Messy Christian, Monica, and Reid


What is it going to take for me to be kind to everyone I see today?

Maybe outwardly I can LOOK like I am being kind, and maybe there is even some benefit to that. But inside, where no one knows my thoughts, what would it take for me to be kind on the inside to everyone I see today?


Thus, it will take Jesus Christ in me.



I spent the Sunday in Door County Wisconsin with my best friend Brett and his family, as well as my daughter, who was along with them for a camping trip. I was visiting, because I had to work Friday and Saturday.

It was A beautiful day, weather, company, and enjoyment all. When I arrived at their campsite this morning, Brett whipped up breakfast for all of us, and we sat around the picnic table enjoying a meal and each other’s company. Then, we whisked ourselves off to a corn maze.

If you are wondering what a corn maze is, let me try to describe it. As simply as I can say it, a corn maze is a maze through a field of corn. That being said, the mazes we walked through this afternoon were actual pictures of fall objects. Imagine walking through a jack-o-lantern maze, the shape of which you only recognize because of the detailed map you are given upon entering.

I learned something about different personalities today. Of the six of us walking together through the maze, only Brett paid any attention to the map. Brett’s wife, Sherrie, was willing to trust Brett, and follow him wherever we went. The children were carefree, not caring where we went, whereas I was just happy to walk, although every so often, would interject my opinion about which way we should turn. I was willing to follow for a time, but I didn’t wholeheartedly trust that Brett was REALLY paying attention to the map. I should have known better.

Brett was something to behold today, checking his map to the letter, and making sure of where we were at every moment. He was by far the more efficient at getting us out of the maze. I have no doubts that we would have found our way out of the maze eventually. As we entered the maze, I noticed the exit of that same maze was just to the left of the entrance. To me, that meant one thing; go left at every possible turn or “Y” unless forced to go right. Following that “sage” wisdom, I feel certain we would have eventually found our way out, map or no map.

My personality was set to enjoy this day, and I enjoyed it without map. But Brett enjoyed it every bit as much as I did WITH a map. See the difference? See the same result?