Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Ephesians 5:2-4 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
One aspect of being a Christian is a responsibility to the one who redeemed us. When I think of the word redeem, I think back on those Green Back Stamps mom would get at the Piggly Wiggly (down the street from George I. Pair). You would collect those stamps and then, when you had a lot of them, you could redeem an item from the Green Back Stamp Catalog.

And that is my life. I have been purchased for a price, and my body is no longer my own. So how am I to act? Sure, it's a work in progress that will never be complete, but that's were my Joy comes from.

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Wednesday Night

Hot Dog! Wednesday Night and no Orchestra Rehearsal because it's Halloween. Also, work let out around 4:00 today, so that meant something last minute was going to come up for me. And it did. NBD as they say.

I say this every year, but I have to say it again: If you come trick or treating and are over the age of 12, you should have one killer costume. This coming up dressed as a 16 year old just doesn't cut it. Besides, I'll give you those cheap dumdums and keep the top tier candy for the cute kids coming around the block.

So, what kind of PBJ do you like: crunchy or smooth? Jam or Jelly?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Cat's out of the Bag.

Katie lost another tooth last night. Well, that was the start of it. Sitting around dinner table, she commented that the Tooth Fairy was coming to give her four quarters. A few minutes later, both girls were laughing as they figured out (and had confirmed) that mom and dad (mostly mom) had been playing the role of Tooth Fairy.

As the dust was settling, Megan, laughingly, asks about Santa Claus.

I had not been looking forward to this question for several reasons. I have never had issue with Santa Claus because to me, SC represents a bit of fantasy and magic that is real to little kids. And, let's face it, after SC, there is not much magic left for a kid. They are definitely on the road to adulthood. The second reason was a fear planted by someone not too long ago. If the kids figured you lied about SC, what else have you lied about (the implication being that maybe mom and dad have lied about Jesus).

Putting on the best "you found us out" look and hanging our heads, we confessed to being Santa Claus. The kids reaction was unexpected: they laughed. "You ate the cookies?", "How did you get Butterscotch?", "Where did you get the Pet Shop from?" I probably should give them more credit. So, we asked them if they want us to still play Santa, or do they want us to wrap up their presents.

Both wanted them wrapped.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Comfort Zone

Yesterday, I took a half day at work. Our small group was preparing and serving meals at the Judeo Christian Outreach Center. I knew the location, and as it turns out, I had worked in a building that was a block away from the Center. What was neat was involving the kids in this project. As we were leaving, Katie looks at me, a little worried, and said "I don't want to feed the old people." I got down on her level and explained that this wasn't that type of place, but rather a place were people could go for food and shelter. The people were not necessarily old, but, did not have very much, if any, money.

We got there around 4:00, and started preparing the food we had brought. Other class members began showing up, and at 6:00, we were serving the people who had come. By 6:20, it was over. I found Katie and asked how it went (over at the drink station). She said it went great, and that she was glad she came.

This type of activity is definitely not in my comfort zone. But, it is one that grows me, just in the same way a good Bible study would. I forget what a "servant to all" looks like if I never become a servant to anyone. I hope that I am giving enough opportunities to the girls to get the bigger picture. The outreach center was an easy place to start (almost prepackaged), so where can we go from here?

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Biblical Racketeering

What many students of Biblical History do not realize is the organized mob and racketeering operations headed up by none other than the Apostle Paul. It had gotten so bad in Galatia, that certain brethren had to rob Peter to pay Paul.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It took me completely by surprise. I have known him for nearly six years, but I hadn't even a clue that Dumbledore was gay. My initial reaction was a mixture of denial and disbelief. Who better than the author to know the secret lives of her characters? Perhaps what sticks in my throat is that she allowed me to develop my own mental picture of Dumbledore, and then completely changed it with one press meeting. I feel somewhat duped.

But, I will share with you something what is going on in the cellar, something I will need to work out.

Since entering the world of Harry Potter, I have had to either justify my enjoyment of the books to fellow Christians, or completely avoid the subject. I see the witches and wizards of the Potterverse in the same vein that I see the wizards of Tolkien's works - pure fantasy. I do not put them in the same category as the Bible's "do not suffer a witch" verse. On the literary side, there is fantasy, and on the other, folks who tap into demonic powers. Has the Potterverse made me anymore accepting of the palmreaders in town? Not at all.

But now, I have to consider homosexuality, another topic with biblical directives. Can I still enjoy and recommend / defend the stories knowing that a main character is gay?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Monday, as usual, followed Sunday this week.

What a beautiful day Sunday turned out to be: cloudless blue skies, low humidity. Perhaps it would be better than the disappointment from Saturday's Gamecock Football Game. But Sunday had to be, after all, it was Katie's tenth birthday. We came home from church with an extra kid in tow, a friend for the day's main activity: horseback riding. Following a quick lunch at the BK Lounge, cake and ice cream, I pointed the car to Suffolk and the Mulholland Ranch. Once we got the horses saddled and warmed up, Miss Connie took us out for a trail ride. Katie was on her favorite horse, Red Dog, and I followed on Cha Chi. At one point in the woods, Katie was holding the reigns in her right hand, left hand free at her side, and she was singing. Joy. Back at our house, I crashed, but Katie cried: she was already missing Red Dog.


Back to the usual nine to five. The day before seemed almost surreal: so different from what I was doing now that it seemed like a dream. My boss asked me if I wanted to go have lunch at the Swan Terrace and interview a new candidate that we hope will come work for us. Previous times that I have been there it had been busy, but not today. After a while, I notice a cop walk in, look about and then exits. Interesting. Then, Pat Robertson enters and heads straight to the buffet. My initial impression is that Pat looks much older in person than on TV. My next impression, after eating a shrimp directly from the buffet and putting the empty tail back down, is equally impressive.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

My 10 Things

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
10 years ago tonight, I was watching Father of the Bride II. I only remember that because my daughter was born the next morning, and I could not get the music out of my head/
2. What were you doing one year ago?
Trying to reseed my lawn and begin and honest attempt at learning how to mange the verge.
3. What are five snacks you enjoy?
Ah, easy one. That would be Dry Roasted Peanuts, Popcorn, Goobers, Kettle Chips and Chipwich
4. What are five songs that you know the lyrics to?
Unfortunately, these will mostly be songs by Sting or the Police: Moon over Bourbon Street, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Walking on the Moon, So Lonely, All This Time.
5. Name five things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Again, somewhat easy, but perhaps rather boring. Finish my Emergency Fund, Make sure retirement is funded, fund the kids college, pay of the mortgage, Live like no one else.
6. Name five bad habits.
Late night snacking, spending too much time on the computer, procrastinating, eating too quickly, drink too much coffee
7. What are five things you like to do?
Watch movies, read books, spend time on the computer (see above), play video games, spend time with the girls (all three of them)
8. What are your five favorite toys?
XBox 360, Tom Tom, Tivo, Harmony Remote, Darth Tater
9. What are five things you would never wear?
Speedo, Leather Pants, Muscle Shirt, Low Rider Jeans, Ghostbuster T-Shirt
10. Name five things you hate to do.
Go to the Mall, Fill out Status Reports, Work on the weekends, Anything involving a ladder, Scrub Pans

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Welcome Old Pal

I like introducing my high school pals, and tonight I am happy to say that Steve has finally thown his hat into the ring. Steve and I met in freshman science class, where we were the bane of some guy named Bobby. I knew that I was going to like Steve when he and I broke out into a scene from Bladerunner while in the old downtown Taps department store. We would go on to lose many quarters together at the Barrel of Fun as well as pass many lunch hours in Rosco's room playing D&D or just watching a movie.

Graduating high school put us on a different path. Steve had some wild idea that he wanted to go into the Air Force and fly F16. So, off he went to the Citadel while I went to USC to be a Physics/Music Ed major. Our paths would cross in between semesters and somehow, we always managed to show up at the annual Todd and Jay birthday bash together. There was a rumor that we were gay lovers, but, it was only a rumor. Besides, I could never go with a guy who wore a Tan Members Only Jacket. Grey is the Only Way.

As it turned out, I did neither Physics nor Music Education because I got some wild idea that I wanted to load bombs on F16s. As it turned out, I ended becoming a mechanic on F15s and I think Steve became a maintenance officer. And then he became a pilot on the C17. At our 10 year High School reunion, I remember him telling stories of flying into Bosnia in the fog.

So, I am glad that Steve has planted his flag into the blogsphere. My only advice is write. Even if it is goofy, even if you find yourself disagreeing. Write about whatever, it is your space. Let your pals know about your family and all that good stuff.

See you over at

Friday, October 12, 2007

Debt is Dumb

I think debt is a dumb idea that has been sold to us as a necessary part of life. I like how the New American Standard puts it: The borrower becomes the lender's slave. I am particularly anti-credit card, as it is one of the easiest method to get an unsecured loan (try it at Kohl's. You can get one while you check out). I closed and cut up my last card this past March, and have not used a credit card since last November. My goal is to one day have a credit scar, er, score of 0.


Wanna know more, check this out:

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Just a few thoughts rumbing around...

Sometimes, reading a familiar verse in a different translation helps bring a fresh perspective. I had that happen with Phillipians this weekend:
For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-- though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (Php 3:3-7)
Perhaps my caffeine levels have been getting dangerously close to normal, or maybe I am just getting contemplative, but somehow, I wonder if I have missed something in my walk? Paul gives this incredible resume, a Jew among Jews, and he counted all of this as a loss. Granted, Paul sets the bar pretty high, but am I spending too much time in areas I am concerned about (weight, money, job etc)?

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Payday Part Deux - A Lesson

So, the kids got their commission dollars (all of five of them) for their hard work this past week. They put away some give, some save and some spend. And what do they want to do? Spend, of course.

Cindy and I are really gritting our teeth, but this is part of it. This lesson is that $2.00 is not a lot of money, especially when you consider tax. Ah, teachable moments. The best thing that happened was that Katie took a quarter that she had left over and bought some M&Ms from a dispenser for her sister.


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Pay Day

Since applying the principals of Total Money Makeover and attending Financial Peace University, Cin and I have decided that it is time to start teaching the kids about money. So, we have put them on commission. Ok, you might call it an allowance, but the word implies entitlement. The word Commission reminds them that if they work, they get paid. If they don't work, you don't get paid.

So the kids get five dollars a week for various chores. Today was fun, because it was the first payday. Their eyes lit up as I pulled out the ten one dollar bills and started counting them out (with a little drama and some flair).

There are three things we can do with money that we are trying to teach them: spend, save and give. To that end, they have three envelopes labeled with the names of those three things. We asked them to find a savings goal that would take them a while to save for. Katie has a model horse, and Megs is still thinking.

I hope this helps to begin teaching them things about money that I never knew, including insurance, investing, etc. But, one step at a time.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

American Idol ... Not!

So, today at 5:00, I get a call that says we have overpaid some speakers, and we need to go back into a database that was purchased over a year ago and see what the former company had contracted to pay them.


I find the back up of this database (which I had never seen), restored it and started digging into 100+ tables looking for something that would appear to me to be the information. Around 7:00, I finish and start to head home. One of my managers wanted to talk to me on the way out, and to be honest, I was only half listening. Sorry. I am not very good after 6:40.

Also, tomorrow is Cindy's Birthday, so I knew that I was taking the girls out to Bed, Bath and Beyond (and, Way Beyond). Luckily, they had scoped it out the day before, so they knew what they wanted to get, and they had their money ready. Thankfully, I had finished my shopping at lunch and all that was left was to sign cards and bake a cake. Did I mention my in-laws are in town.

I get in the car, pop in my headset and call Cindy to let her know that I am on my home. Then, I fire up the MP3 player, and throw on some tuneage. The headset was bothering me, so I took it off, I was struggling with it, but I did get it out and set in the cup holder.

Unknown to me, I had accidentally redialed home.

There I am, heading down the highway, singing in that way that you only sing when you know that you are alone. Or so I thought. After what my wife said to be about two minutes later, I realized that my phone was on. Oh, the horror and embarrassment. Cindy had a great laugh, and I was thankful she did not put me on speaker phone.

Or so she claims. Anyways, Happy Birthday Honey.

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