December 14, 2009

Living Like Jesus

A few weeks ago I popped into the local Family Christian Store looking for a songbook for Christmas. I normally try to stay away from bookstores altogether because if I don't, I buy books and put them on the shelf behind me in my office. That is where the plan to read books are. So, I was taking a risk. To help me not buy anything, I took my girls along.

Unfortunately, Family Christian did not have the book I was looking for. I was ready to be in and out to control the temptation. However, Hannah got stuck in the kids section. Go figure. To kill a little time I looked at the church resource section. Luckily there was nothing there that I needed. From there I went to the Christian Living section, or I think that is what it is called. Its the good section between stuck in between the fiction and the charismatic section, I think. Its aisle 3. That is not the point, though.

While in the Christian Living section, a book A Year Living Like Jesus caught my attention. Ed Dobson was a minister at a large church in Grand Rapids. I have never interacted with any of his books, theology, writings, and such. I normally would skip right over him and look for one of the authors that my mind/theology resonates with. Yet, the title of the book, really gripped my attention. I thumbed through the book for a moment, looked at the back cover, and then put it back. Luckily my girls were ready to leave.

Later that week, I did a little internet looking for the book and for Ed Dobson. That's how much the title and idea caught my attention. It fits in so well with where I am at in my life. I'm not feeling down. I'm not feeling un-spiritual. I'm feeling like I'm in the middle of the road--not doing horribly, but not living epic (to use a word from my Merge students). I've been mulling and thinking about where I'm at for a few months now. I've been wondering how I change and add discipline to my life so I can move from the middle of the metaphorical road.

Last week I had lunch with a friend to talk about some other church stuff. In the process of that conversation, we talked about Dobson's book, and the book that he read that pushed him to live like Jesus for a year--A.J Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically, which my friend had just gotten as a birthday present. Needless to say, my consumer mentality was calling me to buy the book. I NEEDED it.

Last night I gave in and bought the book. I'm already half done with it. I couldn't put it down. I hope to finish it in the next two days or so. I plan to buy it for some close friends for Christmas.

Please note, its not about the book. The book is good. Its the concept that is shared in the book. The idea of allowing Jesus to shape my life in a day to day manner should not really be new to me--should not be as earth shattering as it is. But, it is what it is. There are especially two quotes within the book that feed my passion for this idea of living the life of Jesus--quotes from other people that Dobson shares. And, I would tell them to you if I had the book here beside me. The book is in the car so I would actually do the work I needed to do today rather than finish the book! And, as most of you know, I stink at memorization. You'll simply have to wait for the quotes.

Now to the reason I wanted to post this--these are the things I'm thinking about doing next year. They are not as extreme as what Dobson did (like not cutting his beard and eating kosher), but they are extreme for me.

  • Read/Listen to Gospels once a week
  • Read/Listen to NT once a month
  • Continue my study of the Pentateuch and look into the Talmud
  • Make prayer more than what it is right now in my life
  • Better eating habits
  • Get back to weekly fasting
  • No soda
  • Commit to and have a weekly/daily exercise routine
  • Observe Sabbath
  • Live out the Sermon on the Mount (this includes memorizing it)
I'm not telling you these things to gloat and say, "look at what I'm going to do!" Rather, I'm asking those of you that read this to pray about these things, about my crazy decision to do them Pray that I choose to do the right things, not for me, but so that I can reshape my life to be like Jesus. Right now the list looks daunting. It makes me ashamed that I'm not doing some of these things in my life now. It is what my middle of the road soul longs for.

Thank you for praying for me and for this.

December 9, 2009


The other day Frank, my senior minister, commented that he has not been blogging much lately. His specific comment was something to the effect of, "I'm blogging like Wally." While not being offended by his comment, it motivated me to blog more. . . or at least to try and blog more. We'll see how it goes.

I started a post a few weeks ago concerning Tiger Woods while messing with ommwriter for mac (which is a cool program for removing distractions while writing). I was rather frustrated with how much the media was hounding him about his little encounter with the fire hydrant and the tree. I didn't have time to finish my thoughts on that blog when I started it, so it ended up sitting on my desktop for a few days before I tossed it. At that point, i was more messing with the software than really collecting and writing my thoughts.

A couple days later the news broke about his personal downfalls. While I was not shocked with the news, I was surprised by the media's response. A famous man wrecks his car a few days earlier and tries to be quiet about what and why happened and everyone hounds him to speak up and share the story. I remember the headlines, "Tiger cancels his appointment with the state troopers again!" The media was relentless. Then, it comes out that he has been unfaithful to his wife and it seems to be second or third page news. One would think that his unfaithfulness would be more important or dramatic than than driving his fancy SUV into a tree. (Granted, his wife did extricate him from said SUV with a golf club. That to me is funny and ironic.) But it wasn't. By the time the truth came out, it seemed to me that the media and everyone who thrives on news had moved on to the new big thing.

What is it about our society that we chase after all the dirt and all the secrets. Why is it that we pry and poke and dig until we get the "truth" and in my opinion exacerbate the situation? I am certainly guilty of this. Every morning after I get ready for the day, I find myself perusing three or four websites to see what happened in the world the day before. And, unfortunately, I continue to check back to see if anything else has happened since the last time I looked. That, in turn, gets carried into other conversations with a simple, "hey, did you see this story or that story?"

We are a reality TV society. We thrive on peeping into the lives of those around us, those down the street, and those on the other side of the world. We want to see and feel their excitement, shock, and pain. We are so infatuated with the lives of others.

The question my mind then asks is why? Why are we so infatuated? Why are we so intrigued by Tiger Woods or our latest classmate from high school we found on facebook? Is it so we can compare ourselves to them and say things like, "I've turned out better than them!" Are we looking everywhere we can for people who are more messed up to feel good about ourselves? Or, is the bigger issue the fact that we don't want to think about ourselves so we bury ourselves in looking at others to forget? Either way, I think the big issue is that we are not happy with ourselves.

Jesus has something to say about that in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7). Why do you look at the sawdust in the lives of others when you walk around with planks in your own eyes? If I'm going to look at the world and "judge" or whatever it is I will do with the world, I first need to check myself and make sure I am ok. I think the second greatest commandment hits on this too, "Love your neighbor as yourself." While it calls us to loe our neighbor, it also calls to love ourselves. That is a challenging thing to do.

Its hard to love ourselves. We know everything about ourselves. We don't need the media to dig into our closets to reveal our skeletons to ourselves. We live there in the closet, continually replaying the past and wondering why we were so messed up. We can't let go and move on, even though we should.

In my journeying through Leviticus the last few months, I have been gripped by the way that the Israelites were challenged to deal with sin. Well. It goes a bit farther than that. They were expected to not intentionally sin. If you intentionally sinned, you were either booted from the community or stoned. If you unintentionally sinned, when you realized it, you were to take an offering to the tabernacle to make yourself right in order to keep you and the community in the right with God.

What if we were to take the lead from this and actually deal with our skeletons? What if we were able to deal with our past so we could live in the now, looking ahead rather than struggling with what is behind us? How do we do that? How do we somehow instill in ourselves the want to do that? How do we overcome the fear of saying, "this is me"?

Maybe we simply need the media to focus on us and hound us, dig at our pasts until they find the truth. Then we would have to deal with it, just as Mr. Woods is right now. I doubt my life is that interesting. . .

Lord, help us to be a people who chase after your righteousness and holiness. Help us to be a people who learn to love ourselves because you show us love and grace. May we be a people who learn to revel in that love and grace and show it to others, so they can know how great you are. Move us to deal with the the planks in our own eyes so we can help others with their own sight.

October 29, 2009

Waking the Giants

In the last few weeks or so I have been chewing on the idea of potential. It all started with a blog post from a seminary friend about some teaching he has been doing about money. The idea that struck me most in his thoughts was,
In week two of our series, I shared some stats. Discovery receives, on average, about $6450 per week. If each household earned $60,000 (which is much lower than our city's average household income) and each household tithed, which the New Testament would consider to be the very beginning point of generosity, Discovery would receive over $13,800 per week. More than double. Imagine what God could do with that? I asked our church to ask God that very question. "God, what could you do with an extra $7350?" I'd love to find out.
Those thoughts really dug into my mind. What potential is there really for any church if its people (me included) would do what we are capable of doing, rather than doing what we choose to do.

I shared the ideas with our staff here at South. We spent some time talking about it, drawing in some other quotes from some other reading. Our conversation spawned a sermon series idea called Waking The Giants that we decided to work on at a latter date.
On the heals of that I spent time in South Bend with some students that I got to know at Michiana Camp. It was good to reconnect with them and to see what God is doing in their lives. As I sat and talked with them, it was evident that they were doing everything they could to achieve their potential and putting their whole selves into the reign of God.

At that point in my mental pondering, I was really self reflective. Am I achieving my potential? Am I moving forward with my life in a way that really puts my whole self in the reign of God? Is where I am in my life where I should be? Could I have covered more ground and done more? Unfortunately, I think I felt more regret than I did accomplishment. And, being the good human I am, I began thinking about who has held me back from achieving what it is I could have/should have achieved, rather than looking on the inside. And, for that moment, there was some slight change out of all of the thinking (see here), not that it lasted long.

Alongside all of these thoughts is a study that I am doing with some adults from South on the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus, there is a definitive focus on making sure the community stays pure and right with God, so that their sin doesn't contaminate God's space and remove him from their presence. There is an expectation that they are going to live to their potential, and when they don't they immediately make it right. The two ideas married themselves together in my mind and continued to haunt my thoughts. (Well, maybe haunt is too strong of a word, but it is very Octoberish!)

Over the last few days, there have been more conversations about this potential thing. Many of those conversations happened during a planning meeting for camp next year. I pitched the idea of actualizing potential that I have been pondering. We discussed, chewed, argued and came out with a week long theme for camp about it called What if? We'll be looking at ideas like:

What if the church worshipped with their whole life?
What if the church was a place of healing for sin, rather than a place of judgement?
What if we lived out our lives under the reign of God rather than just dabbling in it?
What if we learn to share God's love outwardly, rather than just reveling in it ourselves?

Finally, in my reading this morning (and the whole catalyst for this post) in Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle, I came across this quote, which is yet another wrinkle/layer to this whole concept of potential. She writes in the First Dwelling,
Not long ago a very wise man told me that souls who do not practice prayer are like people whose limbs are paralyzed. Even though they have hands and feet, they cannot command them. And so there are souls so caught up in worldly matters that there is no hope for their recovery; they seem to be incapable of entering within themselves.
The entering here is to enter into the Castle of the Soul, where relationship with God happens - where the soul communes with the Father. She goes on to say,
These souls are so used to dealing with the nasty creatures that inhabit the outer walls of the castle that they have become almost like them. Even though they are naturally endowed with the power to commune with the Beloved himself, there is no remedy for them. Unless these souls strive to heal their profound misery, they will be turned into pillars of salt, just like Lot's wife was changed when she looked back.
Have I paralyzed myself by focusing too much on the world and not enough on God and his reign? Have I allowed sin too much of a foothold in my life so that it chokes away the potential that I have been endowed with? Even greater, how do I change to actualize this potential that I have? How do I grow some discipline so that my life isn't about brief moments trodding on a treadmill only to give up the next day? More stones to overturn in my chewing. . .

The staff here at South is going to hammer out the specific details on the Waking the Giants series that we will roll out in January. I'm beginning to think that its kind of a big deal since God hasn't let me move on from these thoughts . . . a big deal for me and a big deal for us here at South. Maybe it is be a big deal for you too. Are you actualizing your potential?

October 15, 2009

Soccer vs. Hockey

I've always been a fan of soccer ever since my school days at Great Lakes Christian College. It was always fun to watch and yell for our team. While at GLCC, I also began to watch hockey. I don't think there is anyway you can live in MI and not become a Detroit Red Wings fan. I like it for the pace and speed of the game--and for the intensity and quick shifts/swings in momentum. It causes much anxiety for me during the playoffs--because every moment of every game really means something. There isn't down time where batter stand, adjust, spit, read signs, adjust some more and so on.

Tonight I found a little soccer on the TV. Normally, the only time I find soccer on is on Sundays on Univision. I can't understand what the announcer is saying other than, "GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLL". And, even then, it normally only takes me a few minutes of watching before I'm headlong into my Sunday afternoon nap. So, my interaction with soccer is not as extensive as hockey. Now, that's not to say I don't know what the positions are, what is good form, bad form and so on. But, I'm really not writing to talk about my knowledge or lack there of of hockey.

What I am writing about is embellishment. Tonight when I was taking in some of the Costa Rica vs. USA World Cup Qualifier, I was appalled by the continual diving that the soccer players were doing. At one point, three people went up for the ball by the goal. The goalie went for the ball too. There was a bit of a collision, but nothing magnanimous by any means. Yet, the goalie fell to the ground thrashing in pain holding his unmentionables and his head. He laid there for at least 3 or 4 minutes while the trainers attended to him, all the while, the announcers continually commenting on the replay they were showing over and over (because of the lack of good action on the pitch) saying, "there's not anything there. Its time for him to get up and play."

All I could think of was, that will never happen in hockey. In hockey, you are going to get hit. You are going to get hit hard sometimes. Its a fact of life. You get hit. You marvel at who whooped you at that moment, then you get up and hit them back. Or, you marvel at him once you regain conscientiousness at the hospital, then you marvel at it and hope that your teammates took care of returning the favor. Its rather simple violence at its best. And, if by chance, if a player does embellish a little, he normally gets a penalty called against him. Its all fair. There's an expectation and an understanding of the ethic behind it.

Please. There's a point. No hate mail from all the soccer fans out there.

As I thought about this, I thought about how we all act in our lives. For some, when some are pressed for whatever reason, they respond with a fair amount of pity driven, look at how I've been slighted actions, much like the untouched soccer player who falls to draw attention to what happened in hopes of getting the other person to get a yellow card. This comes easy for us. "I've been wronged! You owe me something in return." Now, I do understand that sometimes there is good reason to be on the floor grasping at the injury. I'm not minimizing that. I'm simply making the observation that all too often when something happens, we focus on ourselves and how we've been wronged.

I grew up in an era where you only fell down when you really got whacked. There was no faking--because when you faked, you got it worse. Otherwise, you brushed it off and moved on. (Maybe this is why I resonate with hockey?) Be honest and true with what actually happened. Deal with it, and be who you are called to be in the situation. For hockey players, that means you or one of your teammates promptly tried to pummel the other guy with more violence. For us in that era, it meant you heard things like, "rub some dirt in it" or "walk it off".

For Christians, the response is love. I know. It makes no sense. As humans in 21st century America, we don't want it to make sense. But, as Christians who are basking in the grace and love of God, it should make perfect sense. We cling with everything we are to that love and grace that God gives through his son Jesus. What sense would it make if that love and grace couldn't deal with and overcome our continual pummeling of it with our sin, selfishness, and stupidity? It wouldn't. Luckily, that's not the way God and his love and grace are. And, I think we get this as Christians.

The thing I don't think we get is being that love and grace. We know how to bask in it, but we really, really struggle to give it--to BE it. Its hard to forgive the person who just wronged you. Its hard not to whine and say, but you owe me now--I have rights! Yet, Jesus says, "if someone forces you to go one mile, go with them two." Or, more pointed, he says, "Love your enemies." Our response to that is, "What? Why? How--NO!" If we are going to be people who bask in the love of God, then we also are called to be bearers of that same love and grace to all, no matter who they are to us--friend or foe. If we were to put this in hockey terms, you would get hit and knocked down. Once you got up, you would go hug the guy say, "I love you, I forgive you.--God loves you!"

God's love and grace makes life not about me. It makes life about him and how I am showing that love and grace to others, no matter how messed up and crazy it is no matter what their response is to me--the same way that God is loving me.

Imagine what the world would be if we as a people were able to BE that. How much more would the rest of the world search out us for hope and healing? I would guess it would be a much different world.

Lord, help us learn how to BE!

October 6, 2009

The Treadmill

I've been feeling the need to make some life changes lately. Well. Let me start over. I've been feeling the need to make some life changes for a long time now. I've simply never had the motivation to do anything about it. I used to play basketball at our church on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That was good for me. . . however, those days are long gone. They still play, I'm simply too busy. In the last month or so my excuse has been, "I have to go pick up my daughter from kindergarten."

Well. This week I'm staying at a hotel that has a workout room. I had planned to pack clothes to do something while I was here--to use the new environment and the new month as a catalyst for the new me. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack the workout clothes. When I told my wife that on the phone, she ridiculed me a little--which put me into macho mode. I promptly went out yesterday and bought some workout clothes at the local Super Walmart.

After a light breakfast of some orange juice and yogurt this morning, I made my way to the workout room. Picture this--me, a 6 foot, 3 inch, barely under 300 pound ugly walking down the hall to the workout room. Luckily, there was no one in the hall or in the room. They had 4 machines--stairs, an elliptical,a treadmill, and a stationary bike. Unfortunately, none of them had a book holder (like I was going to read while I actually exercised. I was hoping it would distract me from the pain and agony). I once used the stair machine back in the 90s. I remember it not being a pleasant experience at all. So, it was a no. In hopes of reading, the elliptical was also out, since I thought there would be too much for me to think about--big ugly on a contraption that has nothing but moving parts would have meant physical and mental overload. And, the bike just looked uncomfortable (not that anything in the room looked comfortable). So, i chose the treadmill.

The treadmill itself looked harmless. As I stared at it and contemplated, here is the conversation in my head: "I walk. Walking on a treadmill is just like walking. I have complete control of the speed and so on at my fingertips. I might even be able to hold my book and read while I walk. I can do this!" And, with all that mental encouragement to myself, I climbed aboard and pressed the go button.

I started slow at about 2 miles an hour. I know. Rocket speeds for a man of my size. It wasn't too bad. It took a little while to get used to walking on the moving belt, though. If I were a sailor, I would say that I had to get my sea legs on it. After a few minutes, I had two realizations. One, I'm not going to be able to read. I'm just now getting to the point that I can let go of the sissy bar and walk without holding on, which doesn't mean there wasn't a fair share of staggering here and there. It wasn't pretty. (The funniest thing was trying to let go of the sissy bar to take off my sweatshirt without falling off. It took awhile to get the sweatshirt off.) However, realization two was that I could do this, especially since there wasn't anyone else in the room with me. Otherwise, they would have wet their pants laughing and I would have went back to my room.

After a few minutes, I ramped up to about 3 miles an hour. For someone who hasn't been physically active, 3 miles an hour is comfortable, but not outlandish. We continued on for awhile at that pace. Then, being a guy, I had to play with the other buttons. Soon I was walking 3 miles an hour up a 4% grade. Then I went to 5%. At this point I had gone close to a mile. I wasn't feeling too bad. I was a bit frustrated that I wasn't covering distance fast enough. So, pushing more buttons, I went to a 1% grade at 4 miles an hour. That took me to about 1.25 miles. My treadmill legs felt normal. I wasn't staggering too much anymore.

Now, one thing I haven't mentioned. One the opposing wall--the wall I am facing--the hotel kindly put a wall size mirror. I assume this is in place to help encourage the normally ripped bodies that frequent such rooms to push on in their buffing out. For me, the 300 pound goon, not so much encouragement.

By the time I reached 1.25 miles I was frustrated that I was not covering ground fast enough. Plus, at this point I had built up a sweat, but wasn't really killing myself. I ramped up. the 7% incline came first. I had to slow my walk from 4 to 3 miles an hour. Part of that was because I had knocked my phone off the treadmill from the vibrations of my goonly walk up the 7% incline. I didn't want to break the thing!

At this going I was feeling really good--really proud of myself. Being the macho guy, I wanted to finish out well. I wanted to push it up a notch, especially since I still wasn't working really hard where it feels like the vein in my neck and my chest are going to explode from my heart working so hard. And, at this point, I had not felt like I was going to pass out or fallen off the darn thing. I was feeling confident. So, I ramped up to a 10% incline at 3 miles an hour. I did almost a quarter of a mile at this setting. At one point, I tried to look through the sweat that was pouring into my eyes at myself in the mirror. All I could see was this big lurch clodding up the 10% incline--half jogging, half clomping like a scary monster shuffling after his prey. All I could do was pray that no one would walk in the door.

In total I made it two miles in a half an hour. I'm rather proud of myself. I survived. I even pushed myself some. I achieved my goal for at least one day.
Unfortunately, I have to do it again tomorrow.

That's the thing with changes. Its not a one time deal and all is well. Its a daily, disciplined thing. Whether its exercise, studying the Bible, or learning to play a sport, you have to constantly be working at it to get improvement and change.

October 5, 2009

Crashing in South Bend

I'm in South Bend this week, leading worship each night for the youth group at North Liberty Church of Christ. They are doing a youth rally this week called, Seriously?? I'm using the time away from Lansing as a mini retreat--something I really think I needed. So, rather than crashing with Jody, the youth minister at North Liberty, and his dog, Napoleon, I snagged a room at a local hotel--which is why I'm posting.

When I was planning this trip, I started looking at options of where I could stay and get get lots of work done. I almost stayed at Michiana Christian Service Camp, but didn't want to spend a lot of time driving and so on, especially since I plan to connect with some ministry partners and camp students who live here in South Bend. I would have been driving from the camp to SB, then out to North Liberty. It would have not been fun and would have eaten away time just traveling. A solution was needed.

So, I emailed my friend Sarah and asked if the church she volunteers at had any hotel connections. Being the big church in town, I was trying to work the system. Unfortunately, they had no system to work, just some suggestions on hotels in the area. However, she forwarded me to the blog of Jason Powell, one of the staffers at Granger. Jason I guess has a knack for landing cheep hotel rates through Priceline. He has a post on his blog about how to use the bidding system and insanely cheep hotel prices for good hotels. He even has a video of him doing it. I watched, I learned, and I went bidding. The result, a sweet suite at a 2 1/2 star hotel in Mishawaka (technically not part of South Bend if you live here) for $35 a night. Seriously, $35 a night. It is hotel bliss for my retreat--except for the skunk coffee they have here. (I must venture out to Lula's for a good cup of coffee and some time at the big table--I'll try and post a picture later)

Here's the downside to the bidding thing. I've done it once and had good success. Now all I can think about is places I want to take my family just so I can bid on Priceline and get insane deals. Oh, how the world and our consumer culture invades us.


I received this from one of the people from South today. I thought it was quite funny.

September 8, 2009


Well. Hannah Grace heads off to kindergarten at Wilcox Elementary in Holt tomorrow. If you would have asked me a couple of weeks or months ago how I was doing with it. I would have lied to you and told you I was doing ok. Just a few weeks and months ago I was having some serious fears about giving my precious little girl to strangers for school. Granted, these fears also come about when she closes the car door by herself, too. I know. I'm a mess.

I think I will do fine tomorrow. Somehow my mind has worked through all the fears I had. Maybe its simply that the day is coming and will have to pass. Maybe its the fact that I am slowly coming to grips that my little girl is going to grow up whether I want her to or not. I can't stop it. I can't stop her teeth from falling out (she lost her two front teeth in the last month). I can't keep her from physically growing. Maybe I'm just fooling myself. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I have a feeling that Hannah will do much better than Steph and I.

September 7, 2009

5 Years

It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for 5 years. How times have changed. . . mostly the venue of coffee shop that I blog from, not that I blog that much anymore. Back in the day it was Il Baccio, the best coffee shop on the south side of Lansing. Unfortunately Dennis, the guy who owned it, decided to move to the beaches of Mexico for most of the year. I was lucky enough to run into him the other day at Taco Bell of all places. He and his wife are doing well, even though she has been battling breast cancer. We talked about coffee a little and about life. it was good to see him.

I miss some of the other people I used to talk to there regularly. When Il Baccio closed, we would sometimes run into each other at Cornerstone Coffee--the next best alternative to non-chain coffee at the time. But, that was very infrequent.

I really miss Il Baccio. It was a great mom and pop coffee shop. They were free to buy beans from wherever and make their own decisions. Dennis was a connoisseur of coffee--always having great selections to fill your bottomless cup with. It had a great atmosphere with plenty of space. It was a place close enough to the office that I could meet people there for coffee and a chat. Not that I can't do that at the chain coffee around now. Its just not the same.

So, this place here holds 5 years of periodic blogs about my life and what is going on around me. I really try to blog once a month to push myself to reflect and write. I haven't been very good at that lately--not that there hasn't been a plethora of things to write about. I guess you could say I've gotten out of this habit. I hope to change that soon. . .

To those of you who still read, thanks for reading and being patient with this place.

July 25, 2009

Mary B

While I was growing up, I went to Moreland Christian Church. It was your average church of the 70s and 80s. It was started in the 50s by the big church in the area (First Christian Church), like many around the Canton, Ohio area. It is the place that I called my church home from the time I was born till I left for GLCC in 1993. It is the place that I met my beautiful wife. Actually, I don't know if you would call that meeting--being babies in the nursery together. There's not much meeting at that stage of the game. But, that's not what this post is about, so I'm going to move on.

Moreland had a tradition of great music when I was growing up. It wasn't the rock band back in the day. Our worship consisted of hymns accompanied by an organ and piano. Now, one would think this is normal and typical. Honestly, it probably was typical. However, the ladies on the benches behind the piano and organ were not typical.

Mary and Jerry, when I got involved in the worship were in their 60s. They were wonderful, sweet ladies who loved our church and loved playing music for God. By that time, I would guess they had been playing music for our church for 30 or more years. I wouldn't be surprised if they played the music for my parents or Steph's parents weddings there at Moreland. They certainly played the music for our wedding. They would meet at the church every Saturday morning to practice the hymns they were leading, along with a prelude and an offertory piece. After each song, they would lean out around their music and converse about what they just played. It was a lot like the conversations between Chip and Dale, two chipmunks from Walt Disney. "That was lovely!" one would say. The other would chime in, "Indeed!" It was rather comical.

In the late 80s, Mary and Jerry finally gave in to recording some of their music. I had the opportunity to help another gentleman in the church record them. It took a couple of evenings with his good mics and his reel to reel tape recorder. We were rather high tech then! It was quintessential Mary and Jerry. We had a blast listening to them play and make their instruments sing. And, not surprisingly, it normally only took a single take to record a song. They were that good.

Actually, that brings me to the story that I wanted to tell about Mary. I would guess that Mary had been playing the piano since she was a little girl. She was certainly a master at what she did, with correct hand positioning and form. And, she could pretty much site read anything. At her worst, it would take her a couple of times before she had it mastered. One night during a choir rehearsal, I remember her finding a mistake in the music. Someone in the notation department had missed a natural mark or something minute. It didn't get past Mary. The funny thing about that is that she had to write it in to play it correctly. Her eyes and hands were so connected when she played that she couldn't play the right note until she wrote in what was missing.

Her other memorable gift in my opinion as a musician was being able to talk one rhythm and clap another. I remember we were working on Christmas music one fall. We always got a huge jump on the Christmas music because December's Night of Music was something spectacular at our church. This particular year we were working on the music from An Evening in December. It was a Capella music with rather difficult arrangements. One of the pieces had two different rhythms going on and of course, we were struggling with it. Mary showed us what we were doing wrong by clapping out the one part while she spoke the other part. Needless to say, we were in awe.

Mary spent more time behind the piano at the church than she did sitting in the pews. She had a passion for the church. She had a passion for the piano. She had a passion for her husband Harold and her family. She loved her personal trampoline (the ones that were only 3 feet across). She overcame cancer after I had moved away to college and continued so serve at Moreland.

Mary passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 89. Jerry passed away a few years ago. The music at Moreland is still quality. It is simply missing the special chemistry that these two ladies had as they made music together. But, they both ran the race well and are now celebrating in new ways, maybe on the benches of better pianos and organs!

June 25, 2009

Becoming Clarence (already there?)

This post was originally meant to hit the blogwaves around Father's Day in honor of my father. However, I stink at things and am just now getting to this post. So be it.

The other day I was doing something that I felt was important. I don't remember what it was, but I'm sure it was something of the utmost importance at that moment. While I was solving the world's problems, it was time for Hannah to go to bed. She was supposed to be going through her bedtime routine or putting away something before bed. As any 5 year old would do, she was stalling. if you don't pay attention to her, she'll take a half an hour to go to the bathroom and brush her teeth, spending countless minutes playing with the water in the sink.

So, doing what any father would do, I communicated my frustration to her from where I was doing what I was doing. That in itself is ok, I think. In all reality, the scenario probably goes like this: Steph expressed her frustration to me that Hannah was taking too long (ie. frustrated with me that I was letting Hannah take to long by solving the world's problems at my computer when I probably should have been up in the bathroom hurrying her along), which, in turn, I expressed my frustrations to Hannah, which generated the normal five year old response of, "I'm almost done!"

All of that said, the issue is not who was communicating or why they were communicating. The issue at hand is how I said what I said, which I don't really remember. All I know is that when I said it, there was a sudden horror that ran through my being because I sounded just like my father. You know the feeling. . . when you say something that you swore you would never say because it was something that we repeatedly said to you by one of your parents. It's a bad moment.

My wife is happy to point these moments out to me. I'll sneeze a certain way or let out a small little, "woo" for whatever reason and my lovely wife will say, "ok, Clarence." My mom is good at pointing these things out also. I'll be explaining to her something that I'm doing or a new piece of musical equipment that I'm looking to aquire, and she'll say, "you are just like your father!"

Those things sting a little, because when we are younger we really want to become our own person void of any outside influence. We want to be who we want to be.

As I reflected on the yelling moment, which in all honesty has happened more than I would like to admit, becoming like my Dad is not a bad thing at all. You see, my dad is a man who loves his family. He's not outwardly open with that love because he grew up in a time when men were tough as nails and didn't really show any emotion. But, I know that he loves us. You could tell it each day when he would get up at 5:00am to head into the factory to work on a metal brake for 10 hours a day so we had food on the table and a roof over our head. You could tell it when you asked him about a specific chord on the guitar--in about two seconds, he would show you 5 or 6 different options and then hand the guitar back, forcing you to work at it more. You could tell it when he would come home from work and hop into the Monopoly games, helping the one who was losing (normally me), and take a dire situation and win. You could tell when we were sitting around the dinner table eating whatever mom made--he would tell us it was goat or rabbit or something just to mess with us. You could tell it when he anguished over not having a job and not being able to provide for his family when the company he worked for for 26 years moved his job to another part of the country.

My father is a prideful man. He takes pride in his garden, planting seeds months before the garden is ready so the plants are big and strong when they hit the ground. He takes pride in making sure what he is doing is done meticulously and correctly--even if it means painting a board with the smallest brush possible to make sure its right. He takes pride in music--always on a quest for something better sounding. He took pride in carrying for our family with everything he was.

May I grow up to be like him. . . maybe without the yelling tone.

June 10, 2009

Jelly Toast

This morning I got up at 6:30am. This is nothing out of the norm. I was planning to head into the office early today to get my work done so I could get out early--today is our wedding anniversary! So, I get up, shut off my alarm, and begin to sleepily stagger to the bathroom to start my day. As I walk out of our room, I notice Hannah's door is open. This is not normal for her. So, I poke my head in cautiously to make sure she's ok. As I look I notice she's not there. This is very odd for the child. She's a good sleeper and she stays in her bed or room until we are up for the day. I figure she's in the bathroom. She's not there.

At this point, mild fatherly panic begins slowly sink in. I don't figure she's been kidnapped out of my own house while I'm sleeping across the hallway, but since the child is not in one of the two places she should be, panic is a common response.

Naturally, when you can't find someone in the house that you want to find, you start yelling for them. I called out for Hannah as I went down the steps, sleepily mind you, though the sleepies at this point had been panicked away. She responded, "I'm in the kitchen poppa, I'm making you and momma jelly toast!"

Now, the fact that she was making us jelly toast is cute and sweet. However, a 5 year old child waking up before 6:30am on her own without an alarm clock to make her parents jelly toast for their anniversary is rather concerning to me on many levels. One, how did she wake up so early on her own? Two, a five year old working a toaster that is right beside the stove on a step stool so she can reach everything holding a butter knife is an accident waiting to happen. What if she would have jammed the knife into the toaster? Three, what if the bread would have been moldy? She doesn't know to check for mold. Four and most concerning, Steph and I both slept through the child getting up, probably going to the bathroom, going downstairs, and making jelly toast? We have a baby monitor in her room which picks up the neighbors talking in their garage. We should have woken up.

So, at 6:30am, Steph and I sat in our bed and ate the best jelly toast ever made by an overly confident 5 year old for our 14th anniversary. If she's doing this at 5, who knows what she'll do at 10 or 20.

June 4, 2009


It is way too late to be writing a blog entry. It's really too late for anything . . . but I must write.

At about 11:00pm tonight, I got online to chat with one of our students at South about some family issues they are going through. We'd been trying to connect for awhile. Nothing in our schedules worked out except for chatting online. So, onto facebook we went.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of chatting online. I enjoy chatting with people. I've had some amazing conversations with people online on some old software like ICQ. I've been able to keep up with my friend, Marianne (who lives in the Philippines) through online conversations. It's all good. My problem is, once I'm online, I have a hard time logging out. Now, sometimes I get bombarded with chat requests. Everyone has that issue. Other times, I'm at fault because I like to catch up with my old students.

Tonight was no exception. In the matter of 3 or 4 hours I chatted with 7 past and present students from my youth ministry or camp. The challenging thing about tonight was that they were not all simple how's life, did you see the latest movie questions. They were weighty conversations, about life, relationships, forgiveness and so on. Good, healthy conversations about the present moment we are each living in. Good conversations about where God is prompting my friends, even in the darkness that surrounds them.

Tonight made me realize something. . . I'm not having enough conversations. I'm not having enough of the right conversations with those around me. I would guess I'm not even having the right conversations with myself. I'm too busy doing stuff, that while important, is still stuff.

Lord, help me to have more conversations. Help those conversations be centered around us learning to live under your reign in tangible ways. May you give peace to my friends as they struggle through life right now. Be their peace and hope.

May 25, 2009


Well. Since my last post, much has happened. The downstairs bathroom has been completed. I still need to hang a curtain and get the towel bars, tp holder and so on, but everything else is done. It turned out rather nice in my opinion. I think my girls like it too. . . Hannah was playing in there tonight. She was making food for momma on the dryer. Now, the only major things left inside to do is paint/trim and carpet in the family room and seal the walls and rafters in the basement. It's really good to finish projects inside.

In the last month we've also redone the roof, removed the rest of the shrub stumps, and, most recently, moved the brush pile that was left over from cutting down an Ash tree last October. The brush pile was a chore. It was bigger than Mobius (my truck). It took 3 trips to get rid of it all. I also got rid of some leftover wood from the deck and flower beds that I ripped up. The yard is now clean, nicely mowed, and awaiting landscaping--which will happen after we reside the house. Hannah and I even planted some grass tonight. We'll see how it grows in. It has been a busy month.

Now its time to think about the summer--camp, my niece's wedding at the end of June, and figuring out what I'm going to do for my wife on our 14th wedding anniversary.

Its time to rest now.

April 23, 2009

Updates and Requests

Well, I'm trying to become more regular with my blog. I'm actually blogging within a week of my last post. Things are on a roll. Maybe because its because I'm on "vacation". I haven't been in the office regularly this week. I had to pop in on Tuesday to do some work for the weekend, and I've been in a few evenings doing testing for Dave Ramsey's Town Hall. But, for the rest of the time, I've been on "vacation". By vacation, I mean, not working at the office, but working at home.

It's been over a year now that we've owned our house. We're about 2/3 of the way through the renovations. We did good till we moved in back in June. Then we got busy with summer and pretty much quit working on the house. My goal is to have it mostly all done by our 14th wedding anniversary in June. We'll see how it goes. I still have a lot of stuff to do. Recently, the downstairs bathroom has been the focus. I put up the last sheet of drywall tonight. I hope to paint it sometime next week and put in the flooring. Then all that will be left will be trim, installing the vanity, reinstalling the crapper, and putting in a drop ceiling. All in all, it should go quickly, depending on how the big project for this week goes.

On Monday I was hoping to start my roof. Its in really bad shape. However, when I plan to work outside, God decides that we need rain. Tomorrow is Thursday. We're starting tomorrow. Thanks a lot God. My prayer, and hopefully yours too, is that everything goes smoothly in the next couple of days so that by Sunday, we have a new, beautiful roof. Then all that will be left outside is new siding and landscaping. We'll definitely get the landscaping done this year. We'll see about the siding--because when the siding gets replaced, so do the windows.

Outside of church work and house work, my mind has really been chewing on who we are and what we are supposed to be as Christians. All of the thoughts stem from the class, Scripture and Christian Living, that I'm getting to teach at GLCC this semester. Its really made me think hard about what it is I do and why I do it.

I've been at South now for about 8 1/2 years. I think I've done ok ministry. I'm sure I could have done better ministry in that time, had certain cards played out. I've really had an effect on the lives of the students that were in my youth ministry at the start. Many of them have gone into ministry or are working towards that goal. That excites me and helps me to know I did something good. But, at the same time, I wonder what else I could have done? Since I can't change things, my mind quickly goes to what I should be doing now. How should I be doing ministry to really affect change in the lives of those I'm ministering to right now. How do I push us farther into being who God wants us to be? What does that even look like?

The challenging and sobering thing is, what I think that looks like (what we are supposed to be) is not something I have aimed for in the last few years. Rather, I've focused on what I need to get done for my job and that is that. I don't know that I've fully had a ministry mind. I mean, its there and that's why I do what I do. Yet, I'm not continually asking the question, where do we need to go and how do we get there? Normally, the questions of the day are what do I need to get done this week, and how do I get it done in the time I have?

My prayer is that all this reflecting and chewing, the study for class, and the subsequent discussions with some of my students (and the voices in my head), will challenge me to rethink who I am, what I am doing with my life, and what I should be doing for others under the reign of God. I'm curious to know what you might think those things might be--what they look like and how they get played out. Please feel free to comment below!

April 17, 2009

A Poor Excuse

It seems like its been ages since I've even thought of this blog. It seems like its been months since I've posted here. It's not that my mind has not been active. I have many things that I need/want to write about. Maybe someday soon, I'll find time . . . maybe someday soon I'll MAKE time to unpack my head of the thoughts, memories, and reflections.

For all 4 of you that read this, thank you for your patience.

March 12, 2009

Prayers for Bianca

When I first met Bianca, she was a high school kid who loved to play basketball. She was one of the 10 students who attended the first Deeper Life week of camp at Michiana Christian Service Camp. She was a good kid. Over the next few years, it was cool to watch her grow up and become a young lady and return to camp to serve as a faculty member. Then she got married and we lost touch.

A month or so ago, as I was continuing/feeding my addiction to facebook, I decided to look up some old students and see (i.e. spy through the Internet) how they were doing. Unfortunately, being as good as I am with remembering people's names, I couldn't remember Bianca's last name. This is not unusual for me. In fact, you should be impressed that I remembered her first name. (I know, I'm gifted) I tried scanning friends of others who have been connected to Deeper Life and so on, but had no luck and gave up, grumbling to myself that I need to do better with remembering important things like names.

Now, before I go any farther, my friend Dean continually talks about this thing called divine appointments. These are times when he thinks God has put specific people in his path so he can help and pray for them. In turn, he asks for prayer requests from anyone he comes in contact with--resturaunt servers, people he sits by on airplanes, and so on. He commits to pray for their request for one month. Not surprisingly, he has some great stories about what God has done through these connections.

Back to Bianca . . . even though I couldn't connect with Bianca, she was still in my mind and on my heart. In the process, I would periodically pray for her. It wasn't anything specific, since it had been years since I connected with her. Then, a few weeks ago, I get this email from her:


Hey! I was trying to find some contact information you, and I guess I did. I'm pretty sure you're the Wally Lowman I know. I also saw a picture of your family. I remember Stephanie, too, but although late, congratulations on your child. It's been a long time. I don't think I even knew you had a child. She's beautiful. I hope all is well with you.

Do you remember me? I used to go to Michiana Christian Service Camp as a camper and faculty. I attended one the first Deeper Life Camp and helped work at least one with you and Eric Christian. Unmarried, I was Bianca Baker, but now and am Bianca Ash. It's been 9 1/2 years since I got married, and probably at least 7 years since I've seen or talked with you. You were a great inspiration in my life as a high school students, and I still remember my times at camp. Your worship services were the best. I'm trying to get back to my "roots" right now. I have thought about trying to get in contact with you for awhile now, but now I need your prayers. I am teaching special education at Culver Community Schools in Culver, IN, and this is my 6th year but 7th year teaching. I work with students that have mild and emotional disabilities. I have three children now. Kennedy is 7 1/2, Collin is almost 6, and Riley is 4, and I am still married to Jim.

Collin began having seizures in November of 2007. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in January 2008 and was called severely epileptic in August of 2008. We have seen three different neurologists and have tried seven different anti-epileptic medications. The medications have not worked. This past summer, we found a local neurologist who thought that Collin should undergo a surgical evaluation for his epilepsy. He sent us to see Dr. Mary Zupanc at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Collin began the surgical evaluation in October of 2008. We were told he was an excellent surgical candidate because of the location of the seizures, his age, and short amount of time he has had seizures. Collin went through numerous tests including, multiple MRI's, a PET scan, a neuropsychological evaluation, and an 8 day stay in the hospital to monitor his seizures. On February 11th, we met with the neurologist and neurosurgeon. We went in thinking that Collin would be having one maybe two of the lobes from the right side of his brain removed. We were told that he was definitely having three lobes removed (temporal, parietal, and occipital). They then went on to tell us that they believe he has Rasmussen's syndrome which is a rare neurological condition. Once they remove the initial three lobes, pathology will be done on the brain. If the pathology confirms the diagnosis of Rasmussen's syndrome, he will go back to surgery, and they will remove the remainder of the right side of the brain (frontal lobe and motor strip). This will leave Collin with a limp on the left side (should be able to walk and run), and he will lose fine finger movements in the left hand (he is left-handed). This was an extremely difficult day for Jim and I. Surgery is set for March 26th. He will be in the hospital for about a week, and we will probably be home before they get the pathology back on the brain. But, I would have to say that the doctors sounded 99% certain that he has Rasmussen's.

I am asking for your prayers for Collin, especially, but for my whole family. This has been a long struggle or Jim and I as a married couple, and we are trying our best to get through it.


You can imagine the rush of emotion--excitement that this girl I was wanting to connect with was connecting with me at the start instantly changing to pain and sorrow for her and her family as I read about what they are enduring right now. Even now, a few weeks after the email, her story stuns and pains me.

I believe God was prompting me to connect with Bianca because she is in need. And, you and I can help with that need. I'm asking you to daily pray for Bianca and her family. Pray that God would remove the epilepsy from Collin and that there would not have to be any surgery. Pray that Bianca and Jim continue to have peace and hope, even in this painful, uncertain time. Pray that God will be the God he calls himself to be to them.

If you would like to email Bianca and encourage her, you can do so by clicking here. Thank you for joining with me.

March 4, 2009

For the last few years, I've been a fan of the comic strip Boondocks. Maybe its the author's fearlessness to use his ethnicity to make something funny, while at the same time questioning why things are the way they are. For example, a few weeks ago, following the Oscars, the Huey and Riley in the strip were lamenting about how most African American movies are not considered for the Oscars and how they mostly are horrible movies (these are the words of the characters, mind you). To make up for it, they were taking movies like Kate and Leopold and turning them in to African American movies. So, the new title was something like Jamal and Shaniqua.

This morning's Boondocks is of the religious nature.

The cartoon illustrates some of the ideas my friend Steve talked about at the Michigan Statewide Teen Convention this past weekend. Our theme was Exposed--the idea that as God's light shines on us, he exposes all of the ugliness inside. The three topics we kicked around were Legalism, Hypocrisy, and Sin. (I know, lightweight topics for a youth convention). The take home of those three sessions were that we need to be a people of love, a people of integrity, and a people who deal with their sins by confessing them and doing everything we can to sin no more.

One way of boiling down last weekend is the question, "how are we living out our faith?" This is a question that I have been chewing on for years now. It started to infect (in a good way) me in seminary and has not stopped since. How are we, God's people, living out our faith in physical/tangible to show we are living under God's reign? How are we being His kingdom here on earth? Are we showing things like love, joy, peace, patience, and so on in our lives? Are we bringing those things about in the lives of other regardless of where they are with God? Are we living "salvation worthy" lives (see John the Baptist's words to the Pharisees and teachers of the law)? Are we living cross worthy lives?

I know I need to raise my living. How about you?

I want to rewrite the last slide of the cartoon above. I want Huey continue on with his commenting about the "religious". I want him to say something like, "Rather, I choose to actually think about my faith every day and allow it to shape my every breath, every footstep, every word."

As a response, then, the little brother Riley would respond with, "cool!"

February 23, 2009

At A Loss for Words

Well. What should I write about? There is so much going on around me. I could write about the never ending snow in Michigan. Yet, I live in Michigan. That's a given. And, I like the snow. Even more I despise people complaining about the weather in Michigan. Hello, if you live in Michigan its going to be cold. Deal with it.

I could write about the upcoming weekend at Statewide. It is going to be awesome, especially since some of the guys and I from South get to lead the worship there. I had the chance to lead this event with some other friends back in 1997. We were in the Holi-dome in Livonia. They had a ska band play the concert that weekend, which made the room smell like 7th grade boys. It was disgusting. Plus, I remember the speaker talking about Eve being naked in the garden of Eden, which only agitated the 7th grade hormones. Maybe I'll write about this weekend's convention next time.

I could write about how cute and awesome my daughter is. She is one of the greatest joys in my life. I could tell you about Opera Chicken or about how her imaginary husband, Louie, is snoring different now, and keeping from sleeping good. But, there would be too much to write about because lately, as you can see, there at simply too many Hannah stories.

I could write about how much I love my wife. I could tell you that I find much joy in doing the simple things for her like washing the dishes, which is one task she despises. I could tell you about the wonderful things she bakes and cooks. I could tell you about how much I love to watch her and Hannah interact, play, and giggle. But, again, there is too much to write because I love her that much.

I could write about some of the rough spots our church is having. I could write about the financial strains we are having. But, I think every church is feeling the effects of the resession/financial crisis that is gripping our country and the world. I could write about how sin within the church is reeking havoc on so many things. But, unfortunately, every church is dealing with sin within the camp--chich breaks the hearts of many, including God. I would rather not dwell on the darkness of sin today, or any day for that matter.

I could write about how encouraged I am as I serve at South. Even with the struggles that loom, there is a deep sense of faithfulness and righteousness within our people. Our elders are leading through the struggles with integrity and wisdom. Their desire to do the right thing and to push our church deeper into living out our faith pushes me forward in my work. I could write about the people in the ministries I oversee and about how they continually exceed my expectations. It is nothing but pure joy to work with the people I do. They make me look better than I am. That is a good thing.

I could even write about the joys of the internet. It has allowed me to do much ministry. Just this morning I was able to connect with a student from camp who is studying abroad in China. At the same time, I chatted with Andy, who is serving his country in Kenya right now.
We were able to talk about life and encourage one another through simple clicks of the keyboard and facebook.

Yet, in all of that, I'm still at a loss for words. I don't really know why that is. There is much fear/concern in my world right now--money issues at work, figuring out where my daughter will go to kindergarten this fall, re-roofing my house this spring, how the fallout of sin within the church will effect others, and so on and so on. There are so many thoughts about the church, about God, about life going on in my head. At the same time, there is so much joy--joy with my family, with my work, with the friendships I have. The tension between the two make the conversations I am having with myself and with others about life and God rewarding, painful, intense, and, even at times, uncertain. And, I am ok with it. There is a peace in all of it.

February 6, 2009

I Am Alive

Where did this week go? First it was Monday. Mondays are always bad. Filled with good intentions of hitting the office hard and getting a jump start on the week, Mondays always get train wrecked somehow. Before I know it, it's time for 1:00pm staff meeting. Its always a good meeting, but afterwards I normally have a hard time getting motivated.

Then it was Tuesday. My schedule and my task list showed that Tuesday was to be highly productive--worship planning, some GTD, and Revel On Sunday band rehearsal. It was going to be a great day. And, in all actuality, it was a great day. It simply didn't play out as I wanted it. In the morning I was visited by my friend Greg. We had coffee, talked about life, planned our coffee roasting for donation to the SLCC Youth Auction, and made plans for the upcoming David Crowder concert. When Greg left, I was ready to dive into things. Soon afterwards, Mark walked in the door. Mark is a good friend who drops by periodically. Its always cool when he drops in. We banter back and forth about the problems with church, worship, and what have you. By the time he left it was lunch time. After lunch I had already planned to help another friend who had recorded some stories. That took a little longer than expected, but was well worth the time with Duane. There's always time for Duane--he's such a loving, soft spirited man. Nonetheless. Tuesday ended with nothing on the list being completed. Revel on Sunday rehearsal was awesome, as it always is!

Then came Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I woke at 2:00am for some bathroom business of the runny #2 kind. I went back to bed not feeling all that well, but praying that all was over and done with. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was up at 3:00am with more runny #2 and a whole bunch of puking. That cycle continued about every 1/2 hour to hour for the next 6 or 7 hours. If there is one thing I HATE, it is puking.

Now it is Friday. The last few days were spent mostly in bed, trying to recoup from the puking, dry heaving that followed. I also have a massive headache. I assume that is from the lack of caffeine in my system. I'm going to remedy that very soon with a coke.

So, I start my week again, here on Friday, with a HUGE amount of stuff that needs attention. And, I'm really not motivated to do anything yet. I just want to crawl back in bed and sleep some more.

I hate the pukes.

January 31, 2009

My Sweet Little One in Advertising

This is a picture of my daughter that our friend, Jackie, took last year. Hannah got to be a model for a seminar that Jackie was doing a seminar for area photographers on how to shoot children. Hannah had a fun day! This was one of the always amazing shots that Jackie took.

If you are ever in need of great photographer, check out Jackie and the whole Canfield Jenkins crew!

January 28, 2009

Mr. P Cartoon

I'm an avid fan/collector of Mr. Potatohead. This was in my yahoo cartoon section today. Funny, funny.

January 15, 2009

Ice On the Roof

Its been rather cold in MI. Actually, it's been cold everywhere. We've had more snow than normal. Not as much as up north in the UP, but for Lansing, we've had a ton. It's funny to hear people complaining about how cold it is and how tired they are of the snow. Hello people, you live in MI. Get over it.

I rather like the snow and cold. Snow and cold means long sleeves, sweatshirts, and coffee all day. If we're cold at home, it means my grannie blanket comes out. There's nothing like two layers of double polyester and some quilt batting to keep in the body warmth while snuggling on the couch with my girls.

One of the hazards of it being cold where we are at is mammoth icicles and ice dams. Our maintenance guy at church knocked down some of the dangerous ones today. One might say, "how can an icicle be dangerous?" Here's a picture of Frank, my boss, with the largest one from today. You be the judge.

I think Chris got fired shortly before this picture was taken because he brought this behemoth inside and laid it on Frank's floor while we were on a Speedway soda run.