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The past few weeks have been quite interesting for my family. Last week our neighbor’s dogs managed to enter our fence and attacked my wife’s cat, Tucker. Our dog Beau tried to fend them off, but it was too late. Tucker is now recovering from multiple lacerations and a dislocated elbow.
In addition to this, some other things that have been going on outside of my family that have left me and little down and even a little bitter. I’ve been a follower of Christ for a few years now, and I definitely know that bitterness, anger and the like are NOT fruits of the Holy Spirit, but these are part of my old nature that I struggle with quite often. I struggle and fall into those so easily…
Finally yesterday morning I resolved to pray about this bitterness and let it go. That’s when the blessings started. After I’d been a few hours at work, my neighbor’s insurance called to ask a few questions. Later they called to say that they’re covering Tucker’s veterinarian bills. That was only one of the blessings!
I find myself in awe of God’s handiwork. I know that he’ll provide, but all too often I worry. I know that God can be trusted, that he’s always faithful, but all too often I live like I have to do this on my own.
Again I find God having to remind me of these simple concepts:

  • Trust God.
  • Forgive.
  • Pray when you have trouble doing those things.

Ethan’s mp3 player (a Christmas present from last year) kicked the bucket last night. So we made a quick trip to Target and found something in the same price range with the same features.  It became apparent pretty quickly, though, that they saved a ton of money on the user manual (by paying someone with English as a second language).
First, as a side note I have to mention that it’s ridiculous that so much theft of electronics in retail occurs that they have to package electronics in Kryptonite!

Here are a few excerpts:
“NOTE: Do not throw the product into fire to avoid danger of explosion”   Should I be concerned that this thing may explode?  I could understand if my son decided to put Jonas Brothers on it.   I’m pretty sure if I were an mp3 player, I’d want to spontaneously combust if I had to play something as horrible as that.  (Wait a second!  Is it really that spontaneous if it’s done on purpose?)

“We Want You Listening For a Lifetime”  This is an unrealistic expectation and contradictory to you warning to “not immerse into water or get soaked since the battery charging function will be lost”.  Nevermind the possibility of mild electrocution!  So if I can’t throw it into fire if I suddenly feel like it will explode, and I can’t immerse it it water, what do I do??

From the troubleshooting section:  “My computer goes wrong when I disconnect the Player.”  I promise I’m not making this one up!  I don’t even know what to say about that.  I’ve been in somewhat of a support role for about 8 yrs, and I’ve never heard anyone use that terminology.  I have to say that I’m a little curious.  Maybe I’ll unplug and plug it back in until I see what happens.  Oh wait.  I better not do that.  The mp3 player is apparently prone to explosion as indicated in the notes….

If you haven’t heard of Fiction Family you should definitely check them out.  I was playing around on Youtube and came across them covering Radiohead’s “Idioteque”.   They actually transition to their song “Elements Combined”. It’s pretty sweet!

My project for the year:  to restore my Dad’s Fender Telecaster bass.  This thing was in decent shape when I first started learning to play bass….so long ago I’d rather not mention.  I put some hours on this thing as you can tell by the wear at the edge on the bottom left.

I think it’s a 72, if this site is correct.  The serial number on the neck plate is in the 350000’s.

This is what it’s should look like.

I started this blog because I’m “addicted” to music.  My free time on the internet is usually divided between sarcastic and/or silly replies to someone’s Facebook status 🙂 and looking for new music.  Because of this it always seems like music is the most frequently chosen way that God speaks to me.  It is a rare occurrence, but I’ll hear a song where lyrics are so impacting they rattle around in my head for the remainder of the day…and sometimes into the next.  Often I dwell on the words, and a high percentage of the time, find them, almost verbatim, in the bible.  I started this blog to share those occurrences.

Yesterday was one of those instances where a song really hit me.  I stumbled across a MySpace page called Enter the Worship Circle.  The third song in the player, “Orphan’s Song” by Karla Adolphe, is what hit me.  You can preview  it on here or check out this youtube video that has the music in the background.

It’s a simple song, just her vocals and a guitar, but the message is really strong.  I can so identify with the first verse, since it was only a few years ago that I found Christ, and still remember that emptiness…

Here are the lyrics:

We are the orphan boys, we are forgotten girls
We are lost and far from home
We are the fatherless, born of dust and nothingness
We are lost and far from home

There is no love like Yours in all the earth
There is no love like Yours in the universe
There is no love that heals my broken heart
There is no love like Yours at all

I’ve heard about a foreign land, about a son and His great big dad
I’m making my plans to be there
They say it’s a beautiful place, full of big wide open spaces
I’m making my plans to be there

There roads have familiar names, this town has not changed
I’m finding my way back home
You call me daughter, you call me son, you call me back into Your arms
I’m finding my way back home

This is old news, but there’s supposedly an Eggo shortage.  I was thinking this morning about how my family goes through two boxes of pop tarts each week….maybe more…and thanked God that whatever ill fate the Eggo factories suffered didn’t affect Pop Tart production.

I have hungry kids, especially in the mornings.  They get up and go straight for the Pop Tarts.  If they are without food for even 5 minutes, they develop Meat-O-Vision (as is illustrated to the left) and consider cannibalism.

Dear Lego,
Hope you guys are having fun sitting in your cubicles laughing at me! As I search stores and the web for this one particular Bionicle toy that apparently doesn’t exist, except for in display cases in the major retailers, I realize the genius of your marketing. You guys released a movie a few months ago to build up hype. Now that it’s Christmas time, my kid wants the Bionicle figure of the main character/hero, Mata Nui, and I can’t seem to find it anywhere.
I do find the tags on the shelves, and I even found it online once on one of the major retailer’s websites…or I thought I did. I read the description and was moving my mouse to the add to cart button, when my browser refreshed and it suddenly went out of stock. Before my very eyes, the hopes of completing my shopping list vanished. I bet you guys fell out of your chairs laughing so hard!
However, if I were so inclined, I could buy the extra-large Toa Mata Nui for $50. There are plenty of those online. I’m onto you guys!  I’m watching you! Just so you know.

This morning got off to a most awesome start. Totally exhausted last night, I mistakenly set the alarm to the wrong setting. There seem to be 4 settings/notches between OFF and the normal ON setting, for a total of 5 settings overall. I’m not 100% sure what these other settings are used for, but I’m prepared to guess.

  1. Off: This setting works best for those that are currently unemployed, or would like to be.
  2. Set someone else’s alarm to PM instead of AM: Unfortunately with current alarm clock technology you can’t determine the poor individual who will be very late for work because of this calamity. If I could, I honestly don’t know if I could resist the temptation of changing the alarm of the one person that chronically leaves out my extra order of hash browns from my McDonald’s orders. That way someone else would have a chance to get my order right and save me from making a U-turn in the Mickey D’s parking lot and getting dirty looks from the Coffee-Sipping Codger Convention. I’m sorry my U-turn interrupted your newspaper reading, sir. My bad.
  3. Switch Wiring of Snooze and Off Buttons: This is one of my faves, though the dependability is definitely not 100%. Dependability is often determined by Optimum Condition Scale (or OCS as I will now dub it). OCS is determined by several factors: recent history of waking up late, level of importance of the first meeting of the day, whether or not a job interview will take place that morning, etc. In short, the more negative the impact of waking up late, the higher the OCS, and hence an increase in likelihood that the snooze button will activate the Off setting (see #1 above)
  4. Delay Alarm: This setting allows for the alarm to actually go off when it’s not needed. It is another smart setting that takes into consideration OCS. However this setting checks date and time for the lowest OCS possible. The time the user goes to sleep is also taken into consideration. The alarm is delayed until a morning when the user has only achieved 5 or less hours of sleep, and the OCS is low. Because of these factors, the likelihood that the alarm will sound on a Saturday morning is very high.
  5. On: You know what this does. If you aren’t sure, or are in a group mentioned in the description of the first setting, here is the noise. I’m actually convinced that this setting is sometimes faulty and may actually trigger the Off setting.

Last night when I went to bed, I must have hit setting #4, as I woke up at 7:20, no thanks to the alarm. In a wild scramble, my wife and I somehow managed to get the kids dressed, fed and in the school building by 7:45. Take that #4! Teamwork FTW!

I fully expect the alarm to go off this Saturday at 6:20 am. If so, I will take pictures of the alarm after it suffers a slow and painful death. I’m thinking a little gasoline+matches action.

P.S. If you are curious about the Time Bomb Alarm clock, it is an actually product that ticks and makes an exploding noise.  You can get one at amazon here.

I have to admit, I still have an irrational paranoia of electronic instruments killing rock music (developed long before Guitar Hero, even).  At first these instruments seemed pretty cool.  That was until I watched the walk-through videos.

Here are the cons for me:  They are so flexible that they’d probably take as much effort to really learn as any instrument, you have to have software running to use them, and they are expensive!  I’ll take the less evolved Gibson Robot, please. 🙂

Pessimist: A person who expects the worst.

For years, probably since my teen years, I had this attitude that if I expected failure, I would never be let down. What a terrible place to live. There were tons of things I didn’t pour much (if any) effort into because of that expectation of failure. If you let that attitude shape your life, it can ruin it.

At 17 and directly out of High School I was enrolled in college and dropped out before I finished my first semester. A while later I enrolled at another university closer to home, made it through a few semesters, and quit again. It took three attempts at furthering my education before I finally stuck with it (and much support from my wife…yeah…this was years later).

It even took a few times of trying to get Christ in my life before I really dedicated myself. I was afraid to really ask Him into my life because I was afraid that I’d fail and disappoint Him. When I finally asked Christ into my life it was only after I realized that I didn’t have to perfect first. In fact I didn’t realize this until my wife coerced me into going to church, and I heard the worship team sing these words: “A thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains”. Those words worked on me for a while, and I was tired of failing. A lot of things in my life seemed to be going wrong, and I knew that I couldn’t make it any longer without some sort of hope.

Hope is what I got. I realized that things wouldn’t always go wrong, and even when they did, it wasn’t “the end of the world”. This isn’t to say that I don’t have bad days and I don’t chicken out. There have been a few years since I finally chose hope over doubt. Some days I still hold back and don’t take the chances that I know I should. However there are certainly more days now that I’m reminded that even when I think I’ve failed, God still loves me. Keep trying even if the odds seem to be stacked against you. There is purpose even in our perceived failures. Romans 8:28 (NIV): “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Not that it really needs any proving, but I am living proof of the truth in that verse. How’s that? If I hadn’t “failed” at my two attempts at going to college, I would not have moved back in with my parents, met my wife and made it to church only to hear the message that God could love a “failure” like me.