Friday, September 29, 2006


Looks like it won't be four days after all. Everybody can breathe now. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Verse and Quote of the Day

Okay. Blogger's officially a punk. I started a post this morning and realized that I wasn't going to have enough time to finish. I tried to save it as a draft so as to edit later. Often when I try to post or save something I get a dialog that "The document contains no data." Sometimes after I okay that message I see that it did whatever I was wanting it to anyway. Nevertheless, I always check to make sure it did it. It appeared to have saved the draft (probably because today's post title is the same as yesterday's, mayhaps the punkitude is not all Blogger's) but didn't. So I'm reposting. If anyone knows anything about that dialog box, let me know so I don't have to explore Help or Google it.

Verse of the Day:
"All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your saints shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations." Psalm 145:10-13a (ESV)
I chose this verse in honor of Ann's comments to my 9/19 post.

Quote of the day:
"'I don't think, Mr. Frodo, that he's done much writing while we've been away. He won't ever write our story now.'
At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard. Then he roused himself. 'You see, I am getting so sleepy,' he said. 'And when I have time to write, I only really like writing poetry. I wonder, Frodo my dear fellow, if you would very much mind tidying things up a bit before you go? Collect all my notes and papers, and my diary too, and take them with you, if you will. You see, I haven't much time for the selection and arrangement and all that. Get Sam to help, and when you've knocked things into shape, come back, and I'll run over it. I won't be too critical.'" J.R.R. Tolkien The Return of the King

I've been meaning to post about this passage since sometime in the summer when I was listening to The Lord of the Rings on CD. I was reminded of it, and another which will be another post, when I listened to the BBC Dramatized Adaptation of LotR on my trip to Tennessee over Labor Day. I find this one of the most poignant passages, among many, in the Return of the King. The Hobbits are on their way home from the quest and spend some time in Rivendell visiting Bilbo. There they discover just what Sam observes and Bilbo confirms, despite all his plans and work the old Hobbit just can't put the material together. He doesn't have the energy. I don't know when this scene was written but I believe the whole of the LotR was complete by 1948 though it took another 6 years to get published. What I find touching is that this is almost a description of what would be the case for Tolkien himself. He spent his whole life working on the Silmarillion but never completed it and had to leave it to his son to collect and edit his notes into something coherent and publishable. There were people who came and spent time with him trying to help him get the notes together but his life's work was never completed. He had already seen some of this, if his story "Leaf by Niggle," written around 1938, is any indication. But there's something in Frodo and Sam's farewell scene with Bilbo that makes it clearer and sadder, as if Tolkien says, "This will be me."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Verse and Quote of the Day

Two in a row. Will there be a third? Stay tuned.

I'm glad Cora is doing okay. We had a good time at 3-D last night discussing Jesus as the Lion and the Lamb. If I never mentioned it we're doing a series called A.K.A. God. It's a study of what we can learn about God based on the various names and descriptions He uses in scripture. Last night's study was based on Revelation 5.

Verse of the Day:
"You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145:16-18 (ESV)

Quote of the Day:
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." John Piper
That statement is at the heart of what Piper likes to call Christian Hedonism and is unpacked in his book Desiring God and its successors. It's been on my mind the last couple of weeks relative to my post about the weekend of the 16th and the ensuing comments. I was was supposed to go to a conference at Piper's church in Minneapolis this weekend but it sold out before I attempted to register. Instead I'll be hanging out with friends and watching a movie with the guys from my 3-D small group.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

If It's Only Once a Week One Day's as Good as Any Other

Tuesday, Thursday, Eighthday, what's the difference? There's nothing going on there besides the usual foolishness. Gotta get the clutch replaced on my car which is definitely not cool. I like the independence that comes with a functioning car. I don't like having to bum rides whenever I need to get somewhere. It was only 11 years ago that that was my daily modus operandi but I'm way out of practice and I don't have a bike anymore. That takes care of my whining. I still got to have a typically fun and involved weekend. Saturday I went with my friend John to a local park where we walked around a lake and talked about what was going on in our lives and spent a good time praying about God's direction for our future. After prayer we went and saw the movie Flyboys. This was a good movie about Americans flying for the French before the U.S. joined in World War I with alot of good aerial combat action. John and I ate out at On the Border afterwards. It was nice to get to spend a with John as he is a good and godly man I admire. Later I joined Steve and his friend Stephanie in watching Jet Li's new movie Fearless. That was also an interesting movie with lots of martial arts action centered around a discussion of what the martial arts are for and why one should pursue them.
Sunday morning we heard a good sermon on God's pursuing love demonstrated in Jonah 1 delivered by our assistant pastor John. After church we had the first meeting of our Sunday morning prayer ministry team in over three years. We discussed why we have the ministry and how it relates to overall life of the church and how we could encourage more people in the church to participate by praying or receiving prayer. It was a good time. I also caught the end of the Bears-Vikings game which ended quite satisfactorily. The Bears are looking like a more complete team than they have in a long time. Sunday evening was spent at a potluck going away party for a co-worker who is moving to San Antonio. We had a good time but we'll miss Jacqui.

Last night we started a Bible study on I John with my LIFEgroup. We studied 1:1-4 and talked about fellowship and evangelism before spending some good prayer time.

Verse of the day:
"As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed." Prov. 26:14 (ESV)
I know I can be too hard on myself, but there too many mornings where that is an apt description.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not Just For Thursdays After All

Quick update from the weekend.

Friday night we had our church's monthly prayer power time. This used to be a 24 hour deal but over the summer had been reduced to 3. It was encouraging this week as we had three of the junior high youth show up to pray for the church and community. After prayer I met my roommate at a local theatre to watch The Illusionist. It was a good movie.

Saturday morning we got together with 14 students from the junior and senior groups and six leaders and went to Promised Land, a paintball course in Wisconsin, where we spent much of the day shooting at kids and adults from other youth groups. I once named a character in a shooter videogame Corpse. That's probably an appropriate paintball nickname for myself as well. There were two games that were over in less than 5 minutes but I was dead in both of them before 2. On the other hand I did survive our day's version of Little Round Top helping hold our teams position at the top in a king of the hill game under heavy fire for nearly 6 minutes. Also, unlike my last paintball outing, I'm pretty sure I killed at least two of the enemy and none of my own team. After paintball I joined some friends disc golfing down in Palatine by the reservoir. We had fun but only got to play about half the course before it got dark because we spent so long searching in the weeds for one of my errant discs. We never found it. After that it was over to the Newberry gang's for Guesstures, ice cream, conversation, and Scattergories, and then home around 1:30 where watched Ocean's 12 before straggling into bed.

Sunday morning had a good sermon from John Stephenson on a spiritual checkup based on the promise of the New Covenant in Hebrews 8. I know he was struggling to get that sermon together but God used it in several people's lives and in accordance with my own message to the youth last week to convict me of trying live out of my own righteousness and win His approval instead of trusting in His love and living for the joy He gives. I spent a long time in prayer with a friend afterward and felt God's healing. After church we had a youth leader's meeting. Then Dianne and I caught a quick game at the Mundelein disc golf course ("Small and poorly designed" according to the Pro Disc Golf Association website, well assessed) in a rain shower. It was fun. Later I met with a family in the church that is selling a product called Reliv. Reliv is a nutrition product that's really had some great results for them and other people. It sounds worth checking out.

Last night we had our men's group prayer night for my LIFE group. We had a good time. Mostly we hung out and talked before Steve led us in worship and we went into a prayer time. It was good.

Verses of the Last Week
"For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
or send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for that which does not profit.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the LORD,
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:10-13 (ESV)

"These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:11 (ESV)

"I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:7-11 (ESV)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Curry Surprise

I was sitting in my office innocently minding my own business trying to resolve series vs. set issues on a book I was cataloging when I began to notice a strange aroma wafting in from the break area. I puzzled over the smell and whether it was a good food smell or the bad smell of something else when one of co-workers came to my door and mentioned she had made curry and was offering to anybody who wanted some. Apparently she had made it for an international potluck that turned out to be a catered meal. It was a yellow curry with peaches, chicken, and rice. It was pretty good stuff and I don't like peaches. As almost everyone who tried some noted it was especially good on a Friday. On Friday morning we have a staff break at 10 a.m. Someone brings food each week (I usually bring Einstein Bros.' bagels) and we hang out and eat for about 1/2 an hour. This week we had two breaks, the one at 10 which was pretty good strawberry bread and a sausage and egg dish kind of like a quiche and then the curry break at noon. It was a good day.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursdays for Blogging

I seem to have gone from having one day a week that I couldn't (wouldn't) blog to having one day a week I would blog. I'd like to work my way back to the Monday nonblogging instead of the Thursday blogging. We'll see. September's just starting and already my end of the month plans have blown up. I tried to register for the Desiring God Conference that I was hoping to attend and have discovered it has sold out. So much for a conference at the end of the month. Last night I learned that my early October plans have been derailed by homework. I'm suddenly a little freer than I expected. This does open the door for my Coen brothers movie marathon to take place the first weekend of October. I might also take the money I had planned on using for Minnesota and instead do a personal weekend retreat here, maybe at St. Mary's of the Lake, where I went in December 2 years ago. Anyway for those who are curious I had a great weekend. I enjoyed my drive down to Nashville, Chattanooga, Georgetown, and back. I took a different route to Nashville, going down I-57 and 24 through Illinois and Western Kentucky. That was a fun chance to see more of Illinois and WKy than I had before and also to see what it would be like to drive to Champaign in case I end up in school at the UofI. It was also a good trip because I got to spend it listening to The Silmarillion and finally to hear the BBC dramatized production of The Lord of the Rings. That's some good listening.
I spent Friday night with Ann and Daniel. They made biryani and cicero chutney and later Ann made rice pudding for dessert. We watched Elizabethtown, which Daniel and I enjoyed. Ann made pancakes on Saturday morning. I don't what it is about the way she makes them but Ann's pancakes really are my favorite pancakes. I'd still rather have French toast or a waffle, but if I've got to have pancakes, I'd like them to be Ann's.
Saturday I drove to Chattanooga and met Geron and Lydia's friends Holly and Jeff and their son Brian as they came out the door to go home. I also met Cora Sophia, who is as fine a baby as I'd want to meet. I had a lot of fun holding Cora and watching tv with Lydia and Geron. Thanks y'all for letting me visit and play with your baby.
Sunday we took Cora to church for the first time. That was a lot of fun. It was also touching as Geron delivered the children's sermon and talked about the love of God the Father for His children. I thought it was especially neat when Geron talked about how he even liked it when Cora cried, because she was his and he loved her, and paralleled that to God's feelings for us. We had a lazy day of napping and watching tv, and a good lunch provided by some folks from the church.
Monday I slept in a little and watched some of the MTV Video Music Awards with Geron, and held Cora some more. I love my niece. On the way home I stopped by McKay's used book store for a few minutes and then drove to Georgetown. Between the bookstore and construction traffic I got there later than I planned. Mom and Dad made macaroni salad, another of my favorite foods when made like mom makes it. We sat around and talked and watched tv. Tuesday I drove back to Illinois. After that it's been a pretty normal week.