Tip of the Day:

Never wear two left shoes if you have to make a whole bunch of right turns.



Tip of the Day:

While Acetone may be outlawed in Europe, here in America, it's still a perfectly safe way to remove unsightly scars and skin blemishes...as well as all sorts of automotive adhesives, some greases, oils, nail polish and paints. It also helps in refining cocaine. Hmmmm



Tip of the Day:

If you can't hold a note when singing, then it's best to just sing as loud as you can. That way, people will think you are "special".



The song is my favorite Christmas song. The video, as emotional and hopeless as any depicted, gives this season the contrast it usually lacks.

It is not my intention to sadden you on this Christmas Eve. But it is my hope that as Merry as our Christmas may be, that we will remember to bring hope out of it to all those who are suffering the deepest emotional pain a human being can imagine, and in some way, may it spur us on to search for, find, and administer healing to all in this world.

God Bless us all, every one of us.

John Lennon/Happy Christmas (War is Over)


Tip of the Day:

Some are lawyers, some are doctors. Many are bankers, business men, and computer techies. But none of you have a town named after your profession like I do. Check out Carpentersville, Illinois, baby!

I have never heard of Lawyersville, or Bankersville, or Pschychiatristsville, or
Chiropractorsville, or ITville, or Politiciansville (what a horrid place that must be), or Candlestickmakersville, or Exterminatorsville, or Authorsville, or Baptistspreachersville, or Nunville, or Nurseville, or Doctorsville, or Gangstersville, or any other profession, except maybe Bakersville.

I guess my tip is, if you want the really prestigious jobs, you are going to have to be a carpenter or a baker.



Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

It's almost Christmas! How did that happen?

As this "season" sprouts its wings to full length, I have observed several things in the process. Here they are:

1. My daughter and I did not do a Christmas tree this year. You know what? Christmas doesn't feel any different. I wonder if there is a lesson there...somewhere.
2. I still haven't learned how to wrap a guitar as a gift. "Here, Daughter. Bet you can't guess what this is."
3. It being Christmas, you'd think the dust bunnies would head south for the winter.
4. There are so many people in this world.

Yes, I finally noticed that. I admit; it took me a while.

6. I'm ready for Christmas, and I haven't even broken a sweat doing it. Why does everyone else seem so out of breath?
7. Walmart's parking lot isn't big enough.
8. It turns out the local Ice cream parlor's parking lot is too big. There's hardly anyone ever parked there. Go figure.
9. It's really hard to pack snowballs right now. The rain water just keeps slipping through your fingers.
10. Shopping at Pick n Save on the Saturday before Christmas isn't a good idea. I saw one guy roll his eyes up into his head a dozen times as he waited with two grocery carts in the aisle next to mine. He was behind an elderly lady who somehow had enough money left over for three grocery carts. How do you do that, anyway?
11. That noise on the roof isn't Santa. It's the Red Squirrel from hell, and he's cold. Won't you let him in for a while?
12. One of my neighbors is Clark Griswold. I usually think nothing of his decorations this time of year. However, as I was walking past the power pole next to his house, I noticed a strange humming sound coming from the transformer. Do you think I ought to tell him?
13. It's cool, because ever since Clark's Christmas lights came on, I haven't had to turn on a single light in my house.
14. I won't decorate this year. The grass is already green. What with Clark and his lights, and the green grass, how much more Christmas color could a fellow want? If I need any white, I'll just grow my hair out. I'm sure there's some white in there.
15. Should I take down my Easter decorations yet?
16. I know its Christmas, but my calendar says it's July 16th. Is this wishful thinking, or did Christmas start early this year?
17. My house is a big mess right now. So, in keeping with the season, I am giving myself the gift of a clean house. Now, if I can just find that phone book so I can call a maid in before Christmas day.
18. Does the word "Yuletide" remind anyone else of donkeys?
19. I tried to lasso a buck the other day. I wanted to tie him to my sleigh so I could drive to my parent's house using an alternate fuel. Damn! They're quick! The buck got away, and now he won't come near me. I'm thinking of using a doe decoy, though. How far should I have her bend over for the proper effect?
20. Last night, in preparation for the big Christmas holiday, we got four inches of rain. Excellent!



Tip of the Day:

Never wash your hands with Nitric acid unless it is absolutely necessary.



It struck me today how long I have been at this blogging thing. I think my log-in button said there had been 469 posts since I first began? Is that right ? Being curious, I looked back to find my first ever post. (Don't worry, I won't post that ugly thing here, other than to say Bruce was the very first commenter here ever) It was on June 20, 2004. That means I have been in Bloggyland for two and one-half years, to the date. How time flies.

So, I asked myself, "What's the laziest way I can celebrate that, and share it with all of you?"

I think I found it. It's a post regurgitation, from the year 2004. It's called Sunday Evening Thoughts. I have not changed it one bit. My daughter is fourteen now, though she was twelve then. The list of rules still applies. Read on, and I hope you enjoy.

It’s Sunday evening, and it’s raining. What has this world done to my daughter?

I asked her if she wanted to go outside with me in the rain, and just play, run around like a bunch of nuts. You know what she did? She gave me that LOOK. You know the one. It’s the look that twelve year olds are famous for, and I have been getting it quite a bit lately.

It’s the look that asks, “Daddy, are you an idiot?” I love watching her grow up, but I’m not sure about this look. Did she learn it from me? I hope not!

And hey!!! I told her to stop growing up four years ago! What’s with this gross disobedience? Did she learn that from me as well? What punishments can I levy for this? I clearly told her, ”No more maturing, no more growing. From now on, you will be eight, forever.” What is this world coming to when our children misbehave like this?

Seriously, I am looking forward to the next few years, say four or five, with anticipation, and a very, very heavy dose of anxiety. Let’s see, she is twelve now…………..so in five years, she will be seventeen. Aaaaaagggghhhhh!!!!!!!!#@!@#!!

I have so much to look forward to, and so much to worry about. Take for instance, dating. My daughter isn’t going to date until she’s married. What’s that, you ask? “How can she get married if she doesn’t date?” Now you’re gettin’ it.

Okay, so I can’t keep her from dating, I know that. But this I also know; the poor chap who kisses her first will be beaten within an inch of his life, so he better wait until he asks her to marry him. Then, I might only pound him with my baseball bat a FEW times. We’ll see, it all depends on how I feel that day, because you never can tell, right?

Actually, none of that will PROBABLY happen, but I make no promises at this point. I just am really not looking forward to it all. I know how I was at seventeen. So she better steer clear of guys who are like I was. And I will be able to tell.

I will simply meet this fine upstanding youth at the door, ask him inside, and lay down the ground rules. Here they are, or at least a partial list:

1. Kissing is as far as you can go with my daughter.

2. Kissing is forbidden, so rule # 1 is really just built-in redundancy.

3. If you pick her up at 8:00 pm, she must be home at 8:15 pm, on the same day.

4. No driving is allowed, so rule # 3 is again, just built in redundancy.

5. If she says no to anything, and you disregard it, I will kill you.

6. If you go further than rule # 2, I will kill you.

7. If you think my daughter is a punching bag, run fast, because I’m one of those guys who LIKES hitting men who hit women.

8. Holding hands is allowed (hey! I’m not an ogre!), …………..so long as you wear surgical gloves.

9. Throw away the breath mints, or breath spray, you won’t be needing them tonight. Kindly see rule # 2.

10. Bow to me upon entering, and leaving, for I am king. : D

There is going to be a whole host of other rules, but for now, I have time, this will have to do.

Now, where’s that baseball bat?



Tip of the Day:

Just because the grass is greener on the other side doesn't mean it tastes better, too.



Tip of the Day:

All joking aside, I recommend driving with your eyes closed if you are prone to road rage. That way, you won't have to watch what everyone else is doing to piss you off while driving.



Silence? Solitude? The quiet moments when realization of a path opens for the first time? When old paths finally end, and new ones begin?

What is this hope we have, when at once we suddenly understand that within us lies all of the power and knowledge we need, and the freedom to make use of it? And how do we come to this?

For each of us, it is different. I have tried solitude and silence, as well as passive meditation while working. I have tried walking, running, exercising, sleeping, dreaming, smoking, drinking, eating, screaming, laughing, talking and listening. Answers to my hardest questions have arrived while spending time doing each of these things. Answers have arrived while I was doing nothing.

So many of us have heard that in order to hear "the small quiet voice inside", we have to be silent enough to hear it. My experience is different. Silence works. So does talking. Working works, too. Each of the items I just listed above have at times, produced moments of intense clarity and understanding.

We may call these moments "Eureka!" moments. We may call them any old thing we like, but the thrill of the moment is the filling up of hope into an emptying cup. It is sometimes the moment before we run dry, and pass out from exhaustive searching. It can be the moment right before we are about to make a bad mistake. It can also be right after we have just arrived at a different "Eureka!" moment, and even greater clarity lies inside of our grasp.

Whatever the moment is called, whenever it comes, I have found that nothing works every time, for everyone; especially not for me. Within my experience, I have learned that everything can work, sometimes, and sometimes, nothing works ever.

Sometimes we just put too much pressure on the moment, and other times, not enough. Sometimes we fight the voice within, and other times we lean too much on some new piece of knowledge, and forget that we may already know what we need to know.

In whatever way we arrive at the "Eureka!", it has been my experience that it is different each time. I have striven to force that moment sometimes, and never have I been able to bring it about on my own. The recipe was never complete enough for me to pull "Eureka!" out of the oven of my brain without just the right amount of seasoning.

I am left in the knowledge that the greatest seasoning we can apply to the greatest moments of clarity in our lives is just to live and let these moments season by themselves. Sure, one "Eureka!" moment may come some day while I am in solitude. But there is a much greater chance, I think, that it will come whenever it comes, regardless of what I am doing at the moment. The only thing I have to do at that moment is to be alive to experience it.

This is life at its most patient; beginning to understand fully that all things are seasoned not by my effort and willfulness, but by events and circumstances that are for the most part beyond my control. I do what I can do. I am what I am, and I am who I am. This is life at its best.

These are the best of times.



Tip of the Day:

It's just plain silly to believe that a lite beer weighs less than a heavy beer.



As I have been fairly active these last few weeks in attempting to rehabilitate my life from the devastation of divorce and bankruptcy several years ago, my most recent foray has been into the jungles of home mortgages.

I have lived in the same house for eleven years; the same house which once I owned, then lost in foreclosure, rented for the last five years, and now am trying to buy back again. It's not easy arranging financing with a bankruptcy and foreclosure in the past, two items, I might add, that were more or less forced upon me as the result of my divorce. That was an extremely large and difficult pill to swallow. Swallow it I did, and I have been chewing the cud of it for the last five plus years.

I made a decision, though, about a year ago, to not be a victim anymore. I may have been a victim in my divorce, and several bad things may have happened, but I decided last year to not let those things happen again if it were within my power. This process of arranging financing has tested the resolve of my decision to be a victim no longer. It would be so easy to just whine and give up, and tell myself, "This is just too hard". Four years ago, I would have given up.

The truth is, though, that I am sick of playing a victim. I am sick of living life by other people's rules, whims, and insensitivity's. I am long sick of believing I am at the mercy of others when it comes to things like this. Please understand, the easy path would be to simply stay a "victim"; it's such a handy excuse. At least that's how it seems.

But I just can't do it. I envision MORE. I envision fully being what I am made to be, and stretching the limits of even that. Playing the part of a victim destroys that vision utterly.

I asked myself in pity the other day, "How long am I going to have to pay for the mistakes of others?" What a silly question. The truth is, I don't have to pay, I simply have to decide to forge ahead, and leave the past behind. In essence, the past is not a wall in front of me, barring my way, although it is simpler to view it as such. Rather, the past is a wall behind me, protecting me from dwelling in it, and making the same mistakes over and over again. Everything in front of me is new; I haven't been here before, and isn't it all grand to behold?

It would be so easy to just stop the hard work of arranging financing to repurchase my home. At least that is what it looks like from behind the wall of the past. But I am not behind that wall anymore, and the clearness of my vision nowadays tells me that the lie is behind the wall; the lie that shouldn't be trusted, the lie that tells me to give up. It's a lie because giving up only seems easier. There is this incredible quantity called momentum, which is easily maintained once the initial inertia of standing still (quitting) is overcome.

It's all friction. That's all that it is, really. Overcoming friction when you are already moving is actually easier than stopping and giving up. A victim would do the hard work of stopping. That victim, however, lies dead and buried behind the wall of the past. He can't come out to play anymore.



Tip of the day:

Contrary to rumors, drinking Titebond Wood Glue is not a suitable substitute for eating an actual meal.

It's only about half as nutritious as real food.



Tip of the Day:

When setting a deadline for an important project, it's advisable to not put off every decision concerning it until after the deadline.

Just thought you should know that.



Sometimes just getting through the day is going to have to be enough. So often, we hear people saying, "I have to do this" or "I have to do that". It gets even worse when we tell ourselves these things.

Why do we think we "have" to do anything beyond the absolutely essential? Why do we drive ourselves crazy with activity? Why, when we have a few moments to relax, do we sometimes find ourselves looking for something to do? Is it because we think that's what's expected of us? Is it because we expect that of ourselves?

There are truly some people in this world who must remain busy most of the time, such as single parents or people involved in a fight against starvation spending all day looking for ways to feed themselves and their family. But not everyone is in such dire need as this.

What's behind it? Do you know? Do you find yourself nodding your head as you read this, thinking, "Yeah, that's me. Why do I drive myself with so much activity?"

Just before I wrote this, I almost fell asleep on my couch relaxing. It was 6:00 pm! What a wonderful treat just to let go and be. What I have accomplished for this day is just going to have to be enough.

You ought to try it sometime. I think I will again later.


Tip of the Day:

Just because you can't hear the voices I hear doesn't mean they don't exist.

It really just means you're jealous.



I wonder what Jesus meant when He said, "You must be born again."?

Nicodemus wondered the same thing. But Nicodemus was a made man, how could he not know what Jesus meant? Was it possible that he didn't know the meaning exactly because he was a made man? Was it likely that everything Nicodemus "knew" about himself was false, because his original premise of God and His relationship with man was false?

"The foolish man built his house upon sand". (Somewhere in the bible)

"You must be born again".

How much did Nicodemus really know?

How much do I really know? Was I ever really myself, or have I been brought up to be someone else? Someone whose every thought and action was predicated on a lie?

This is no hit on my parents; they were the best. They forgave me so many times, even times when I couldn't forgive myself. They always loved me and my siblings, worked their asses off to keep good food (and I mean GOOD!) on the table, a good roof over our heads, and a good sense of confidence. In no way is this a slant on them.

But it is a slant on who I was, and why I wasn't me.

The fact is, I wasn't ever me, because I never knew how to be me; there was always some reason to be something different, something likable (or so I thought), something that others would accept. I never learned how to accept me, because I never knew I hadn't.

"You must be born again" begins to make some sense to me now. Start over, because what you knew, or what you thought you knew, was built on sand. All of your life, you believed God was, or could be angry with you. All of your life you spent measuring up to a God who never expected you to. All of your life, you spent earning something that could only be given. It's no wonder you didn't know that you didn't know who you were. You didn't know who you were because you believed you knew who you were, or at least believed you could find out.

You must be born again; start over. Throw away what you know about God and yourself, and rediscover the joy of living in His protection and love; the freedom He gives for us to live as we were born to live. You've never known what that was, because you've never known or been told that God wasn't angry with you, that He wouldn't get angry at you, and that His love depended only on His nature, and not yours.

But if you did know, then you know how fortunate you are to be embraced and included by our Father who embraces all that He has made.

Freedom lies in love, not in fear.

"Can a man crawl into his mother's womb and be born a second time?" (somewhere else in the bible)

Physically, it isn't necessary. But to be spiritually reborn, you have to begin at the beginning, and that can only happen by dying to yourself; to everything you have ever known. It is the final realization that indeed, a contaminated piece of soil spoils the entire well; a little bit of yeast can work through the entire dough. We can be wrong, and because we do not know, we can be entirely lost, and not know it.

Who can rescue us from this wicked state? Thank God, who sent His son to tell us the truth, and to show us the mighty and amazing life that is definite when you know God is pleased with you.

And He is pleased with you...



Tip of the Day:

Don't antagonize an already angry elephant by telling him he's fat.



Tip of the Day:

A lion's teeth don't really hurt all that much.

It's their breath that kills you.



Tip of the Day:

Reading the bible backwards doesn't make sense.

Any questions?



If there is one thing I know, it's that a perfect plan works. And because it's perfect, it always works, every time, for every one. It couldn't be perfect otherwise.

Imagine calling God a "loving God" who loves me so unconditionally that instead of demanding that I believe in Him, he gives me faith instead. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Call that same God "loving" when I turn around and tell the next person that he or she must believe in order to be redeemed. Continue to call Him "loving" as I tell that person that it isn't my faith, but the faith He gave to me that saves me, but still, "you have to believe to be redeemed".

Are you getting confused? I am.

It is true, however, that this is near to the way that Christians teach "unbelievers" about how to be redeemed. We may tell a man who doesn't believe that if he doesn't believe, God doesn't love him. We may tell that same man that once he believes, it wasn't his faith that redeemed him, but that the faith was a gift from God. Now are you confused?

Why bother telling someone to believe at all if all along, we know that this faith that redeems isn't from ourselves? What are we trying to pull? Yet many, many, many believers spend minutes to hours each day telling "unbelievers" exactly this.

"Oh, me? I believe! I know I'm redeemed. That's how much my God loves me. If you want to be redeemed too, you have to believe also."

Now does that sound like faith that isn't my own? Does that sound like I'm not boasting? Ephesians 2:8-9 is quoted widely amongst Christians, and is one of the verses they teach new believers as well as one they quote at "unbelievers".

Again, I ask the question, why do we bother telling anyone to believe, if what we believe is that our faith did not redeem us?

Or maybe you really don't believe that? Maybe you see the words, but you can't connect the dots? Maybe it all seems a bit cloudy and contradictory? I have news for you; it seems that way because it is cloudy and contradictory. You cannot claim to have saving faith, and claim to know you are redeemed because you believe, and yet claim also that the redeeming faith is not from you. If you know you are redeemed because you believe, then ipso facto, you believe you saved yourself because you "believed". I'm not even going to go into the fact that you don't know what kind of faith you have, if it is enough, what moment you had enough or the right type, or whether or not you have had doubts since. (I know you have, every Christian does)

It is clear to me that "redeeming" faith isn't something I came up with by myself. It took me a long time to come to that conclusion, but I kept bumping into the same contradiction you are running into; that if I believe therefore I am redeemed but I am redeemed only by faith that is not my own. The beginning of that contradiction makes redemption my choice. The end of that contradiction makes redemption decidedly not.

For what is belief? Is it my decision? Is that belief? My beliefs change with the wind along every topic and decision I have ever encountered. "Christian" belief, I have experienced, has been no different. Is my loving God only affected by that kind of fickle "belief"? Are you telling me that I control His love for me merely by saying "I believe......wait, now I don't believe"?

Is God tied to a yo yo somehow, that He is so affected by my ups and downs that one moment, I believe so strongly, and thus I am redeemed, and the next, I don't believe, but it still doesn't matter, because once redeemed always redeemed? You mean God is a prisoner of my belief?

I don't believe it anymore.

God is not my prisoner. He is not "waiting" for me, or anyone, to make up their minds about Jesus, and about redemption. He is not tapping His fingers on the nearest cloud impatiently, just hoping He is going to get to love me. Anywhere you read in our big black book, God loves first, God acts first, and man reacts to God.

Why would redemption be suddenly and totally different? I don't believe it.

This faith that is not our own so that we may not boast...tell me... do you have enough of it? You better hope you do, because if you don't, it's burn, baby, burn. If God is a prisoner of a decision you may or may not even make, of a decision you may never even have been presented with, then just about everyone you know is in big trouble.

If God is waiting on our "decision", how do you know that your decision is final? How do you know that some day, you won't curse God completely, and commit the "unforgivable sin"? Oh, you can predict the future, can you? You know exactly what is going to happen in your life? You know that you won't suffer tortures unspeakable (currently, thousands of Iraqis have suffered said tortures), and in a moment of weakness, completely deny God?

How do you know that God believes you? You could have been fooling yourself for many, many years. What if God doesn't believe your faith is genuine? If He doesn't, what recourse do you have?

How do you know that when you die, God is not going meet you and say, "Sorry, buddy, but you never really believed in me."? How do you know that your idea of "faith" and His idea of "faith" aren't two completely different things?

How do you know?

I'll tell you a secret. The secret is; you couldn't possibly know if your idea of faith and His idea of faith are the same thing. If you are a bible reading or studying Christian, you already know that your bible tells you exactly this. And if you believe what your bible tells you, then you know that you couldn't possibly know. For His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. You know where that verse comes from even better than I do.

What if he says to you on the day you die, "Buddy, you only said you believed because you got scared in Sunday School one day by all that talk about fire, and hell, and it all seemed like such a long time, being eternal and all, and it was all a bit scary, wasn't it?"

How do you know He won't?

I'll tell you another secret. The secret is, because your faith is not your own. It's the faith of Christ that was given to you; the same faith that was given to the entire world and everyone in it, because the world is clueless as to what kind of faith is "redeeming" faith, and so are you. So am I.

How do you know that you are redeemed? Because redemption doesn't, didn't, and can't ever, depend on you, or your faith. If it did, you couldn't possibly know whether your faith was legit.

So the question is, are you legit enough to quit? Are you legit enough now, to finally admit that you have no idea what kind of faith it takes to redeem? Are you legit enough to stop telling people that if they don't believe, they will burn in hell? Are you legit enough to claim that "your" faith, whatever that is, is not enough to save you?

Listen, if Christ died once for all sins, and Christ is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, then a non-contradictory statement would have to be that he gave that redeeming faith to everyone whose sins he took away. Your bible tells you He took away all the world's sins.

Are you finally going to believe that?

I have another secret. The secret is, finally believing that is one of the keys to freedom; you know, the kind of freedom you have always longed for. The freedom to be yourself without hangups, the freedom to love your neighbor, to actually be tender towards them without worrying about what everyone else will think. The freedom to say you love them and mean it, and not be faking it.

Because man, when you finally believe that, the whole world is yours to love, and your heart has been waiting for so long to feel real love for people. I know, we talk about it in church like we should all automatically feel love for everyone, and when we don't, we beat ourselves up.

But you don't have to beat yourself up anymore, because love comes and lives with you when no man or woman is any longer your enemy; the tenants of hell. Now, they are all your brothers and sisters truly, each one related to you in ways that open up to you like never before. There is no hell to condemn them to, except the hell here on earth of rejection because they don't see things the way you do. That is the hell of Jesus' gospels. Hell exists where love does not.

You can pour love on the flames of hell right here and now. Are you going to finally believe that no one is rejected, and that everyone is included in the statement, "I did not come to condemn the world, but to save it."?

Read the rest of Ephesians chapter two from that perspective, and see what it sounds like now.


New York City has done it. They accomplished that most important of all prohibitions, the banning of trans fats from all of their restaurants. Read about it here.

I guess if we try really hard, next we can ban breathing polluted air. And after that, we can ban baseball caps, Red Bull, Snickers bars, and String Cheese.

What a world.



Tip of the day:

When dining at a bachelor's house, don't bother asking him, "Where are the napkins?"

He's bound to tell you, "just wipe your hands on your pants", even if you are the pastor's wife.


Tip of the Day:

When wrestling alligators, always remember that it is much easier to wrestle one at a time.

Two could prove a bit troublesome.


I am a history reader. I grab as many books as I can find on history, and recently, I have been reading about World War Two as well as World War One. Without a doubt, the one thing that impacts me most about these wars is the suffering of the innocent, those whom no one could call combatants.

I shake my head and my heart as I read about atrocities committed against them; about death visiting the citizens of a simple small town or a farm in the countryside.

Then I shift my focus to the news for the last week or so, and I listen to a dozen talking heads, as they diligently argue whether the war in Iraq is a civil war or not.

We are arguing about what type of war is being fought in Iraq. Does it really matter what name you give the war? Has anything changed?

As far as I can see, innocents are being slaughtered, the poor and the downtrodden are made more so, and children are being exploited and killed. Fathers and Mothers leave for the day, and don't come home, ever again.

A fragile nation struggles towards some form of government, be it democracy or some other type. But beneath the surface lies the one thing that every soul longs for; freedom.

It doesn't matter if this is a civil war or not. It doesn't matter if democracy reigns or not. What the soul wants is freedom, and the war in Iraq is pitted against it.

What kind of a nation are we that we spend hundreds of hours arguing whether or not this war is a civil war or not? If we get the name right, does it mean that everything will turn out peaches and cream? I think decidedly not.

All of the intelligence and thoughtful conversations about what to call this war show one thing; we are committed to arguing about nothing, and thus, we are committed to accomplishing nothing in Iraq, and in any other place where we set our talking heads down upon.

Meanwhile, deep in the souls of the silent, the unheard from, the people who should be on the nightly news, freedom goes untalked about, hopes of a society where a man or woman can semi-determine their path is being lost.

I cry about this. I cry because it seems as if we haven't learned the lessons from the first two world wars.



Tip of the Day:

Never, ever, hide weapons of mass destruction in your own backyard. Bury them, instead, in one of your neighbor's.



I saw such beauty that I had to stop paying attention to the road, and start taking pictures.

On Friday, we experienced a small snowstorm, which began around seven o'clock in the morning, and subsided sometime early in the afternoon. I managed to experience more of the storm than most, having to drive eight miles or so to the end of the road I live on, several times, in the heaviest moments of the snowfall.

As I was driving, I enjoyed the silence that comes with a snowfall. That was about all I could enjoy of my drives as the roads were treacherous in every location.

One of my customers lives at the end of my road, and Friday was the day we had scheduled for me to begin installing their new kitchen. I worked for eight hours, keeping in mind all of the while that my large driveway was going to be full of snow when I got home. Snow blower notwithstanding, cleaning the snow from my driveway is never pleasant, because the wind seems to come from every direction at once. Have you ever breathed super-cooled snow? It can freeze your lungs in an instant.

But before I could arrive home, I once again drove the eight miles of forest road home. I love the road I live on; the scenery at just about any moment is enough to knock your socks off. But this day, I had a special treat. I drove that old forest road just after the snow had finished, just as the sun began peering through the clouds; just before the snow had a chance to fall from the branches and pine trees, but not before the roads had been plowed at least a little bit.

I saw such beauty that safety was forgotten for several minutes, as I pulled my camera from my console, turned it on, and began snapping pictures. I am sorry to say, the pictures are only a shadow of the actual beauty, because to see this beauty in all of its glory, you have to be there; you have to see it not only with your direct vision, but with your peripheral as well. To see all of the beauty, you have to look at it as it happens. A photo does a nice job of capturing a split moment, but the scene can never be captured by a camera the way your eye sees it.

I share with you a mere glimpse of the beauty I saw. Even as I look at these pictures, I find myself marvelling at this creation, in wonder at the God who uses color when he never had to, who paints scenes we will never forget, or never expected to see in the first place.

Be sure to click on the images for a larger picture. You can begin to see more beauty if you do. It's not like being there, but it's as close as I can bring you.