Categories
family frugality thoughts

My Childhood Story

This story below was originally written to be shared at my church.

When I think back to my childhood, I have fond memories of my parents, my interaction with them, the priorities they modeled. Now that I am an adult, and a parent, I even remember painful moments of discipline as a net positive experience. I come from a relatively large nuclear family. Two parents with ten children; eight boys & two girls (I am the second oldest, if you attend Edgewater Covenant Church you may know Uriel & Cuyler, they are the fourth & the sixth, respectively). My parents were married on July 7th, 1973 are are still married today, nearly forty years later.
My parents met at a church youth winter retreat, married young as relatively new christians who wanted to do life differently than they had experienced it,

Categories
Spiritual thoughts

Online Debates

Video Game Time It seems that a lot of my posts here are an overflow of what seems too long to just share on a single Facebook comment stream. I was engaging with a friend who seems to be subscribing to a lot of atheist news feeds that pump out lots of quotes and zingers about how God can’t exist, those who believe in God are stupid, or if God did exist, he could not be worth worshipping, because he does not turn us into a utopian society incapable of harming each other. I normally try to avoid getting into arguments just for the sake of arguing, but this friend has been willing to discuss beliefs in a civil manner in the past, so I feel pretty free to discuss these things with him.

Categories
cycling

Bike to work day?

I rode my bike to work today, like I almost always do, and a guy at work asked me if I knew it was ‘bike to work’ day. I told him that I had no idea that today was bike to work day.
Coincidentally, I recorded a time lapse of my ride to work with my handlebar mounted iPhone. I could not get a good view of the road in front of my bike, so I switched to the front camera, since the phone is angled for me to see my speed and elapsed time for my little trips like this. There is no sound, but I find it interesting.

Categories
Spiritual

20130428 Growth Group Homework

Which of the following characteristics from James 1:19-20 best describes you and/or least describes you? If you excel at one or more of these, please don’t be bashful. Share with your group how you have become better at that or share what you feel you could work on:

A) Being quick to listen.

Not great at this when I am distracted.

B) Being slow to speak.

I am comfortable with speaking plenty, but speak slowly at times.

C) Being slow to become angry.

I am pretty good with this.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

-James 1:19-20 NIV

DIGGING DEEPER

Categories
child family My Kids

Solo Dad day

Today, while Karyn prepared for and attended her sister’s wedding shower, I hung out with all five of my kids. I dug out the baby backpack from the garage and let Gideon try it out for the first time in his life. He did fine in it. I was grateful to be able to have use of both of my hands too.

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Karyn had ingredients for making lunch left on the counter for me, so I prepared nachos. After lunch, I had the kids clean up the kitchen and their rooms before watching some “My Little Pony” on Netflix. I heated up the Medela bottle of milk in the fridge and fed Gideon.

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Later, we all walked to the park, crossing a precarious crosswalk where local drivers do not normally observe the speed limit or notice pedestrians stepping foot into the street. This time, I asked all of my kids to raise their hands and wave at the cars coming, and it proved to be very effective. All of the cars stopped appropriately and waited for us to safely cross the street. This method sure beats my previous method of yelling and shaking my angry fist of fury as cars continue to approach us like we were a bunch of worthless grocery bags blowing in the wind.

The kids all played hard at the park and chased each other around. It is good to see them doing that outside which creates so much noise that normally irritates me inside the house. I should remind myself next time I catch them running around in the house that it has been a while since we have gone on a nice walk to the park. We had to walk quickly home, because Karyn called to let me know that she had no key to get into the house, and I am pretty good about making sure all the locks are secured before leaving the house.

This evening we went to visit grandma Arlene’s house, ate some sandwiches and had dessert (orange sherbet) while socializing.

I don’t normally blog about a given day in my life, but a friend gave me this iPad compatible keyboard he got as a gift, and he gave it to me because he does not have an iPad. I just figured I should really test it out. Even though I would not want to carry something like this around with my iPad, I am pretty impressed with it. pretty much feels the same as my Mac’s bluetooth keyboard. Thanks for reading!

Categories
family My Kids Spiritual thoughts wife

The Sponsored Move

FaceTime call with Karyn, Zion, Eden and me
I read Genesis 45 today, and was thinking about how nice it would be to have such a generous offer as this:

“You are also directed to tell them, `Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’ ”
-Genesis 45:19-20 (NIV)

Because my family can’t be replaced, but all of my possessions can be.

Once I have a possession that replaces another, the unused possession becomes relatively useless to me, and simply becomes a burden to manage.

My first thought as I imagined this offer from Pharaoh was to think of it as a generous company sponsored distant move. Any distant move at this point would not be very appealing to me. I really like living in California.

After further consideration, I thought: God did make this offer to me. He is preparing a place for me and I am encouraged to invite my family to come, but not to worry about bringing my possessions, because He has more than I could ever earn to provide for me and my family in this new place. I may have to wait a lifetime before I leave, but it will seem like only a moment in history.

My take-aways:

  • Family Matters
  • Possessions Are not worth worrying about
  • Pay attention to the king
  • There is at least one better place than California
Categories
Drawing Software

Animation

I used to love making flip books. I would cut pages and pages of white computer paper into small stacks of rectangular pages, staple and tape one end securely so that I could draw on each page and get the opportunity to see an animated version of my sketches. It was fun to show to friends at school, and family members. I was thinking about it, and I thought surely there has to be an iPad app for this. There is. So here is a 14 second silent looped sample of what sort of animations I used to make on my old flip books.

The app I use now is called Animation Creator HD, and it is capable of much more than I just showed, but it would take me much longer to create something really immersive, and I was excited to share about it sooner.

Categories
family thoughts

It’s the little things

Gideon Smiling in his sleep while being photographed

This photo really makes me smile. Gideon, as Karyn (my wife) takes a photo of him sleeping, spontaneously starts smiling.

Categories
thoughts youth

Unsolicited Advice

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Photo by Josiah Engle

If the passage of time depresses you, you will never recover from sadness, because time will continue to pass.

If your hope is only in your youth, you will end up hopeless, because youth is temporary.

Create thinking patterns that help you succeed, and research what happy and content people think about and do.

Nobody said you have to figure out everything on your own. Learn from the regrets of others you trust.

You only live twice. Enjoy making the first life matter, and the second life will be awesome.

Categories
politics thoughts

Peace is Better

Frustration
I am a Christian. When I say that, it means I keep trying to be and think like Christ. He got angry at religious hypocrites, loved all people, but hated their sin. He did not care what you thought of him when he hung out with otherwise rejected people. Unlike Christ, I am not successful at doing everything right, but that does not mean I do everything wrong either. The biggest challenge is recognizing when I have done wrong so that I can change it. I don’t like how criticism feels at times, but I welcome it. Respect demands listening with consideration.

There is a movement of “Angry Militant Internet Christians” who would like to coerce me into thinking that there is a “War on Christmas” and so I should not smile and greet those who greet me with a “happy holidays” cordially, but should instead be insulted that they have omitted the name of Christ on our sacred holy day. Perhaps I should reply with a snarky, “Merry Baby-Jesus-Christ-mas to you, fine heathen!” Because that would show the love and intentions of the Prince of Peace himself, yes? No.

Maybe there are politically charged folks out there just looking to debate everyone and slam the beliefs and practices of others. I just don’t want to join them. It is too easy to get all wrapped up in that sort of thinking, and makes peacefully relating to everyone else entirely too difficult.

I was reading in the news about Congress and The President who are in a time sensitive standoff about what sort of compromise can be had to avert the impending ‘fiscal cliff’ (that refers to hitting the debt limit of the United States while spending continues to rise). When nobody respects each other, everyone suffers.

Foreign policy around the world has a similar set of issues. Countries go to war, terrorists attack, sanctions and tariffs are levied. Generally because someone else has what they want, is benefiting unfairly, or is not playing by the rules the other party made up. Selfishness encourages more selfishness.

One day when Angry Militant Internet Christians have lost their “War on Christmas” and used up all their remaining grandfathered influence on society, they will be humbled outcasts in need of undeserved respect and acceptance from those who are inspired to love unconditionally and inspire others to do the same, just as Jesus did.

During this season of giving, think about how to be generous not just with your money toward family and friends, but also be generous with your gratitude, be generous with your willingness to love those who call you an enemy, and be generous with respect towards those who think differently than you do.

Merry Baby-Jesus-Christ-mas, my friends.

And have a happy new year as well!