Monday, August 27, 2007

The Surreal Life

No, not the craptastic VH1 television show.

My life. The past week. It's honestly been surreal. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. A city underwater. A river reaching near-record levels (depending on what measurement you trust). My city on the national news night and day, the lead story on every Toledo newscast.

And yet, I was only inconvenienced by it. The street we live on flooded on Tuesday and was not drivable.
It dried up by Wednesday morning. I couldn't work because the roads connecting to mine were closed, under emergency orders and the such, but that was only an inconvenience, not a threat to myself, my belongings, or my future.

I'd read in the newspaper that the city looked similar to New Orleans after Katrina. I didn't believe it, because it didn't look that way when I peered out the window. It wasn't until I saw the aerial shots (as shown above) that the actual impact of the flood started to hit.

But it still doesn't feel like it happened in my city. Findlay feels too small to have such an impactful thing happen and not really impact me. And yet, I know it happend. It just doesn't feel like it. It just seems so ... surreal.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Repost from this time last year

This is an entry I posted last year on this date. I'll post it again:

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Happy Anniversary Rachel.

I love you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rainy Days

I've never been a fan of rainy days.

As a child, rainy days weren't really a good thing. Sure, sometimes you got puddles to jump in, but in general it didn't make things safe. It canceled the picnic. It temporarily closed the roller coaster. It postpones the baseball game. It makes it more dangerous to drive.

At least snow has the ability to cancel school when we got enough of it. Rain only caused my school to close once: my freshman year of high school, when the roof leaked so bad the entire top two floors flooded. So, they released us, but not until we got there. But even then, I had to walk home (just under 4 miles, as the crow flies) ... dodging pop-up downpours as I went. Yeah, what fun that was. And when I got home, there wasn't even snow to build with: only wet pants to take off and smell.

I'm just not a big fan of rainy days.

Today was a rainy day in Findlay. Downpour on and off in the morning. And apparently, Findlay can't handle that kind of rain, because we lost power this morning. Which delayed the start of my work week. And then coming home from the grocery store, the rain and wetness must have decreased visibility, because the guy across the street almost backed into me as I was driving down the street.

Rain, rain, go away ...

Friday, August 17, 2007

When Technology Fails You ...

So, I went to load my Dynasty mode on NCAA Footbal 2005 today for the Gamecube. And my file was corrupted! I was about to go after my fifth straight national title with the Buckeyes and challenge the all-time record for consecutive wins, too! I was so sad!

I ultimately decided to start over, this time with Army.

Oh well

Monday, August 13, 2007

Coincidence? I think not

So, the other day, Rachel, her mom, and I were shopping at Kohls. Now (and this might be hard to believe, for all you guys out there) I wasn't really in the mood to look through women's clothing and/or shoes. So I wandered off on my own.

After a good bit of time (which would have probably felt eternally longer had I been with them in the women's section), I get a text asking where I am. I reply with a text stating that I am in mens.

However, upon entering it, I learn that the default for the keys 6367 (which gives you "mens") is actually "odor" on my phone.

So, you want mens, but get odor.

So mens=odor

Coincidence? i think not

iTunes and Music

I love iTunes. I hate DRM and I'm often described as a copy-leftist, but I love iTunes. I love being able to buy just one song and be over-charged for it. I love that no longer do I have to shell out 13-18 bucks to buy a CD, when I only want 1-3 songs on it.

A little bit ago, I got a $30 iTunes gift card as a thank-you. To date, I've only spent about half of it. I've enjoyed the freedom to let a song come to my mind, let me think "I really wish I owned that song" and then go and buy it ... without actually spending a penny of my own money!

Anyways, I'll list the fifteen songs I've purchased, so you can get a taste for how odd my music likes are, then see if you can offer any suggestions for good songs I'd enjoy owning as well. Here they are, in order of when I purchased them:

  1. Made to Love, by Tobymac
  2. Searchlights (Indoor Soccer Remix), by Falling Up
  3. Love Addict, by Family Force 5
  4. Fully Alive, by Flyleaf
  5. You Never Let Go, by Matt Redman
  6. My Savior, My God, by Aaron Shust
  7. Open Wounds, by Skillet
  8. Anna, by Ellery
  9. Your Owls Are Hooting, by Showbread
  10. Time After Time, by Spoken
  11. Rise Up, by Disciple
  12. Everything You Ever Wanted, by Hawk Nelson
  13. The Invisible Hook, by House of Heroes
  14. Remember the Name, by Fort Minor
  15. Pride (In the Name of Love), by U2

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I really, really, really hate Stupid "Christians"

Pet Peeve 1: Christians who view Christianity as a "Get Out of Hell Free Card"

Pet Peeve 2: Christians who protest/picket an event without actual knowledge of the event, the patrons of the event, or the Biblical principles they think they are representing.

Pet Peeve 3: People who can never see the forest for the trees, or the trees for the forest.

You know what, just watch this:

and visit the horrible website

The Great Misunderstanding

There seems to be something that gets lost in translation when an imperfect people (that's all of us, folks) try to represent a perfect being, and explain what and why He is.

There seems to be something that gets lost in translation when people with an agenda (that's all of us, folks) try to explain what exactly a being that is 100% love expects and wants from us.

Ryan asked a question tonight at jOURney. I'm not going to quote it exactly, but I'm going to try my best to capture what I believe was the intent. He wanted to know (in the context of Acts 11), how to respond when God asks us to do something that is outside of our norm. When we've spent years doing things a certain way, and then suddenly, God asks us to change.

How can we know it's really God? How can we know that a change is needed? Why wouldn't God have stopped us before if he wanted it a different way?

My thoughts are that the truth is, we have a misunderstanding of God. And we've thought he was a certain way. That his way lead to a certain stance. And when we start to see Him more clearly, more perfectly, more accurately, we have a need, a desire, to change the way we've done something.

Maybe that change is to be more accepting. Or perhaps it's to be less accepting. I've known people on both ends of that spectrum who claim to be representing the almighty. Hell, I've been on both ends of the spectrum, on both parts of reception!

Maybe that change is to accept that we're just sinners, and that's how it is, and we can't be perfect. Or maybe that change is to accept that we need to strive to live for more than just sin and mediocrity. Again, I've lived both ends of that spectrum.

Maybe that change is to listen more, and advise less. Or to advise more, and listen less. Or maybe that change is to ponder less and act more, or act more and ponder less. Or so many things, that upon reflection, I almost feel bipolar, or at least spiritually bipolar.

Maybe I've just reached a place on my journey where I don't need to focus on the destination, because I know it. But I need to focus on the journey towards it. And because of that, I reflect on the path I've taken so far, and I'm afraid I've misrepresented God so often, and over corrected so often, that I just hunger to find the right spot, and I'm not even certain that spot exists.

Or maybe ... maybe faith is about maybe. True faith is about accepting maybe, and understanding that we'll never understand in certainty. And that the great misunderstanding, is that we can understand it all.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Utinni Update

I've already got her negotiated down to our 8th kid being named Utinni. And that if the 7th/8th or 8th/9th are twins, we get to name them Utinni and YubYub.

She cracks so easily. By the time we're actually in a position to start a family, I have no doubt I'll be able to negotiate my way to an even more attainable Utinni.

Good Food, and Good Friends

As I posted a little while back, I've been in a funk. I struggled with work, I felt no forward motion in many areas of my life, and I was frustrated that my wife couldn't get a job. I hadn't been blogging because I didn't want to just emo all over the place. I know how Quinn gets around Emo, and I didn't want to have to face that.

However, I think the corner is being turned. The black cloud of funk is being lifted. The ... well, I'm sure you can think of a better cliche than I can.

And it all revolves around what I should have figured in the first place:

Good food, and good friends.

This past Wednesday, Rachel and I made the trip to Ada to have dinner with the Hoseks. We'd made a bet a few years ago, and I finally got him to pay up. We went down, had dinner, played boche ball, and talked with another married couple for a few hours about the struggles of early years in marriage, tight finances, and all sorts of topics. It was a really good way to break up a week.

Then, this past weekend was STE National Officer Advance. It's always a blessing to see and interact with those guys, even if i couldn't do better than second place at a poker table. Even if Krispy Kreme donuts are better than Dunkin. There was plenty of bonding, plenty of laughter, and plenty of growth. Not to mention the fact that Shan makes a wicked awesome steak, Skyline is awesome for lunch, and LaRosa's isn't bad for dinner.

The funk is lifting. I can feel it. Good things are gonna happen. Rachel's got a job. A full time job. And I've got hope for my job that something soon will break and be good. Very good.

I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on. There will be an end to the struggles. But until that day comes. Still I will praise you.