Archive for February, 2008

The laptop is in the shop, so my on-line time is limited to office time.  While I’m in the office the next few weeks I’m working on sermons.  I’ll be preaching on the “presbyterian” son, actually the 2 ways to run from God (yes, I’ve been listening to a lot of Tim Keller as I’ve driven to supply pulpits the last 3 Sundays).  I see Winter Haven as an older son kind of town.  People are generally good and decent and this obscures their perception of any need for Christ and His righteousness.  But we tend to preach as if they are all reckless, rebellious sons.  Perhaps this is why the Reformed churches here are not bearing a whole lot of fruit (in addition to the consumer-mindset-satisfying churches).  There are a few other projects I’m working on as well, which limit my time in the office.  One of these days I’ll replace the resistor for the A/C fan in my car too.

Posts will come, as time permits for the next week or so when the Geek Squad either fixes the laptop or decides to replace it.  I say “Praise God for extended warrenties!”

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It comes up in every interview: what happened, why did the church close?  I understand that question and answer it as best I can.  Many things contributed to the final result.  More than I could probably list.  But it feels like picking at a scab, keeping it from healing.

For some, the stigma is too much.  Tainted goods.  They can’t see the fact that this happened after 9 years of service and perseverence.  I know, I’ve had these conversations.

The bottom line is we have all failed.  Some of our failures are little known or very common.  Who didn’t fall off their bike?  But most of us got back on and tried again.  Some of our failures are bigger, and less common.  As a result some people crawl into a hole and give up.  Some learn and try again.

Terry Francona failed.  Yep, he of the 2 World Series championships in 4 years as manager of the Red Sox.  His first managerial job in Philly was a failure.  When he was hired by Theo I thought “what are they thinking?”  But they saw something all Red Sox fans who now sing his praises missed.  Such a failure is the result of many factors.  Sometimes it really is about being the right guy in the right place at the right time.  And failure is one of those things being wrong.  You have the skills, but you are in the wrong place at that time.

I heard of a church planter who planted 2 very successful churches.  We are talking about one that was over 1,000 and another over 500.  His third church plant only grew to about 150.  Most people would consider that a success.  He considered it a failure.  He never planted another church.  He missed the point, and made numerical success an idol (I think).

Me?  I’m looking for another chance.  I believe in the God of second chances.  The God who didn’t give up on Moses, Abraham, David, Peter, Paul, Mark and so many more.  Failures all!  But by the grace of God they tried again and eventually were the right guy in the right place at the right time.  So I wait for the right place at this time.  And I trust the Spirit will work so some group of people will say “this is the guy God wants for us”.  There are people who will look beyond failure to see how it shapes a person, prepares a person, humbles a person.  Maybe it is because they too failed at something important.

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Considering Pitching

The big news out of Ft. Myers is not the arrival of the ever-expanding Bartolo Colon.  Apparently he thinks he’s reporting to Angels’ camp, since his travel bag is one of theirs.

The really big news, from my perspective, is the development of Dice-K and Clay Buchholz.  Last year had to be a difficult year for Dice-K, with all the adjustments and half the Japanese media following his every move.

The “Man of a Million Pitches” has added another pitch.  No fancy name, like Okajima’s new “Doki Doki”.  Sounds like a live 2 seam fastball.  But he isn’t really talking about it.  His teammates are talking about his stuff though after a 40 pitch session in which he got J.D. Drew to miss completely on 3 straight pitches.

“His fastball was probably the best, but all of his stuff was great,” Kottaras said. “He had command of everything. Everything was on.”

And so was his pitching coach, Farrell.

“His location was good, he missed just four pitches,” Farrell said. “His pitches all look to be in better shape than last year. I was most impressed with his fastball’s location today. His changeup was so-so but he had a good cutter.”

The young kid, on the other hand, faced Papi, Manny and Lowell.  And they were raving about him.

“He had electric stuff,” Lowell said. … “He has a fastball that moves, a really good changeup, and a good curveball,” Lowell said. “That’s a pretty good mix to have when you can throw them all for strikes, and I think that’s what separated him when he came up last year, that he threw them all for strikes.”

 Big Papi’s assessment?  “Cy Young Award winner, one of these days.”

“He was filthy,” Cash said. “His changeup and curveball were great, but his changeup was even better than his curve. He really has them all, a 12-to-6 curveball, the changeup, and his slider is really nasty, too. He pretty much had it all going today.”

Beckett seems to have picked up where he left off.  The starters for the Red Sox look formidable.  Consider the line-up too.  You probably won’t get the same production out of Mike Lowell, but Papi’s power #s were down due to the newly-repaired knee, Manny had an off year and looks to be in fantastic shape, Drew and Lugo had off years too.  If Drew regains his end of the year momentum (when he stopped standing in the troughs dug my Papi) they can match Detroit’s lineup.

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The push is on to get you to buy and use compact flourescent bulbs.  They do use less energy.  But it is reductionistic to have that as the one criteria.  As one who worked in the men’s department of a store as a teenager, they make colors appear differently than they do in natural light.  Not a huge concern, but here is one that should be a huge concern.

“Compact fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of toxic mercury that can vaporize when the bulbs break, creating a potential health risk for infants, young children, and pregnant women. If a lamp does break, follow these cleanup procedures:

  • Keep people and pets away. Open windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before beginning the cleanup.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner, even on a carpet. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust and potentially contaminate the vacuum.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container, preferably a glass jar with a metal screw top lid and seal like a canning jar.
  • Next, scoop up the smaller pieces and dust using two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards.
  • Pick up fine particles with duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape, and then use a wet wipe or damp paper towel.
  • Put all waste into the glass container, including all material used in the cleanup. Remove the container from your home and call your local solid waste district or municipality for disposal instructions.
  • Continue ventilating the room for several hours.
  • Wash your hands and face.
  • As a precaution, consider discarding throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women. Otherwise, open windows during the next several times you vacuum the carpet to provide good ventilation. SOURCES: Maine Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management; Mercury Policy Project  Article copyrighted by the Globe Newspaper Company.
  • The bottom line: these things are dangerous for your health and the environment.  Some states do not permit you to put intact bulbs in the trash because they can obviously break, and spill mercury (imagine hundreds and thousands of these breaking in your local landfill).  Which is a greater threat to us, carbon gases or mercury?  Pick your poison.

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    We sang this one 2 Sundays ago, and it fit in very well with my sermon.  And for my place in life.  It is on Chris Tomlin’s most recent album See the Morning, but was written by Brenton Brown and Ken Riley.  The song is Everlasting God, and it is a mediation on Isaiah 40.

    Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord

    We will wait upon the LordWe will wait upon the Lord. 

    Our God, You reign forever

    Our hope, our Strong Deliverer

    You are the everlasting God

    The everlasting God

    You do not faintYou won’t grow weary. 

    You’re the defender of the weak

    You comfort those in need

    You lift us up on wings like eagles.

    This song has some great truths to keep in mind as you wait upon the Lord.  He does provide strength as we wait.  Our God does not change, and that means he continues to reign and continues to deliver his people from earthly and eternal trials.  Though we grow faint and weary, he does not.  Instead he continues to defend the weak and comfort us in our times of need.  In due time, we will be lifted up.  Some great truth to ponder while we wait.  And singing it helps!

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    Keith and Kristyn Getty (along with Stuart Townend) are among some of the best worship song writers today.  They write music that bridges the gap between traditional hymns and modern worship with what has been called “modern hymns”.

    Keith: “I don’t think of music as only teaching, but I do think that what we sing profoundly affects how we think. It profoundly affects how we feel. It affects, therefore, our emotional and our didactic relationship with God. But what we sing is for people of all ages.”

    This is what I like to hear from a musician- he senses a great need to be responsible for properly shaping the life of churches.  Music does affect us emotionally, and so should worship.  It is best to have our emotions stirred by deep truth (Edwards would call this religious affections).  The best church music stirs hearts AND minds.

    Keith: “The radical thing about a church service is that people of every age and every wealth bracket and every background come together and sing together. So we write these quasi-folk melodies that everyone can sing, and we hope there’s an enduring quality to them.”

    It is more than the “personal worship experience”, but corporate worship- adoring Christ together as the One who has brought us together in union with Himself by faith.

    Kristyn talks about how they work with pastors and theologians so they don’t go astray theologically.  What a great idea!  It also shows great humility on their part.  They are the type of songwriters we need (and there are others out there) producing music for the church to use in its times of public worship. 

    You might want to check out the rest of interview.

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    It is hard to believe that CavSon has been here more than 3 weeks.  It is nearly time for our 30-day evaluation.

    He has made some great progress.  In the past couple of days we have noticed that he is beginning to imitate our speech.  His English vocabulary is slowly expanding, but expanding it is.  We are very excited about this.

    There is the standard “bye”, Elmo, ma-ma, hello there, there you go, and who knows what else we’ve missed because of the cleft palate.

    Even better- his green card arrived in the mail today!  Next week we begin another round of paperwork as a result.

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    Arlen Specter take note of this interview with 2-time Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson on reportedly on WFAN during Super Bowl week (he reiterates much of what he has said earlier on national TV, but apparently not everyone was listening).

    Q: How about the spying thing Jimmy. You’re a coach does that bother you what Belichick did?

    JJ: Oh please. I’ve said it on our show. Eighteen years ago a scout for the chiefs told me what they did, and he said what you need to do is just take your camera and you go and zoom in on the signal caller and that way you can sync it up. The problem is that if they’re not on the press box side you can’t do it from the press box, you have to do it from the sideline. This was 18 years ago.

    Q: You think the NFL came down too hard on them?

    JJ: No, no, I said it on the show. He was wrong for doing it for the simple reason that the league knew this was going on not just in New England but around the league. And the league sent out the memorandum to all of the teams saying you cannot do this. And so that’s when Bill Belichick was wrong. After he got the memorandum saying don’t do it any more, he did it.

    Q: Did you ever steal signals?

    JJ: Oh in a heartbeat, yeah. Yes I did.

    Q: Via video, Jimmy? Or no?

    JJ: Oh yeah, I did it with video and so did a lot of other teams in the league. Just to make sure that you could study it and take your time, because you’re going to play the other team the second time around. But a lot of coaches did it, this was commonplace.

    Q: But did you do it by taping the signal caller?

    JJ: Yeah.

    Q: Oh you did.

    JJ: That’s what I’m saying. I was saying one of Marty Schottenheimers scouts, Mark Hatley, who has passed away now, Mark told me that’s how they did it, and Howard Mudd their offensive line coach with Kansas City, who now coaches for Tony Dungy, he was the best in the entire league at stealing signals.

    Q: Where’d you put your guy who was videotaping? Where was he?

    JJ: My guy was up with my camera crew in the press box. So you’d just put an extra camera up with your camera crew in the press box who zoomed in on the signal callers. That’s the best way to do it, but anyway you can’t always do that because the press box camera crew might be on the same side as the opposing team. If they’re on the same side as the opposing team that’s when you need to do it from the sideline.

    It is time for Specter, and some former NFL players to put all their righteous indignation aside.  This practice has been going on for years, and was done by many, if not most teams.  It doesn’t make it right, but let’s get this notion that ONLY the Patriots did it to rest.  Perhaps this is why Specter feels “stonewalled” by the Patriots, Jets and other teams.  Most teams of have done this, and it really is a league matter.  It does not involve the health of our youth, but league rules.  The league therefore determines the proper penalties.  I still don’t understand why Specter feels the need to stick his nose in this, aside from his perspective of a private citizen who is an Eagles fan.  He should not abuse his political power in such a matter.

    Now, if it is proven the Patriots taped the Rams last practice (and that would be the Patriots, not Matt Walsh doing his own thing and taping it), which means there is a tape of the practice, and documentation that the organization or a superior had prior knowledge and consent, then the NFL should impose additional penalties.  Here we are dealing with something more than the actions of an individual, but an organizational conspiracy that must be proven.  The existence of a tape does not prove that the Patriots’ coaching staff told him to do it, or used it in preparation for the Super Bowl.

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    Patriots Reloading

    Usually Super Bowl teams lose members of the coaching staff.  The Patriots gained an experienced defensive coach in Dom Capers.  He has head coaching experience, as well as being a defensive coordinator.  Dean Pees remains the defensive coordinator, but Capers brings lots of experience in the 3-4, particularly in pressuring the QB.  The Patriots had a problem with that after Rosevelt Colvin went down with his foot injury.  This problem set up the Giants Super Bowl victory: they pressured Brady, and we couldn’t sack Eli Manning on the final drive.  This is an important move that should improve the Patriots’ defense.

    Larry Izzo is back.  He’s a key guy on special teams, and is a team captain.  He played for the Dolphins before coming to the Patriots.

    They brought in some more Dolphins’ cast offs- LB Zach Thomas and WR Marty Booker.  No signings yet, but perhaps Izzo will make a special offseason play by reaching out to Thomas.

    Randy Moss was not given the franchise tag, which leads most to speculate they have a verbal agreement with their #1 receiver.

    They really need to pick up some guys for the secondary and linebacker to be ready to return to the Super Bowl.

    Update: Reports now have Thomas signing with the Cowboys for 1 yr. & $3 million.

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    This Tim Keller quote was sent from a colleague from seminary and Ligonier:

    “Most churches make the mistake of selecting as leaders the confident, the competent, and the successful. But what you most need in a leader is someone who has been broken by the knowledge of his or her sin, and even greater knowledge of Jesus’ costly grace.”

    Is this my problem?  Not confident & successful (from a wordly pt. o’ view)?  This would be an example of the negative enculturalization of the church.

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    … would you survive?

    The number I could take in a fight,


    I suppose I could be locked in a room with a kindergarten class and make it out alive, unless they were rabid beasts like the Dark Seekers.  Then I’m dead. 

    You just never know….. but you might want to find out.

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    Considering No Country for Old Men

    I must be the last cool person in America to see the Coen brothers’ latest masterpiece, No Country for Old Men.  It finally came to town with the Oscars Sunday (you’d think I live in the middle of nowhere).  With the Coen brothers, no 2 films are alike (Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, O Brother, Where Art Thou and more).  The one closest to this would be Best Picture Oscar Winner Fargo.  It has some similarities with Fargo: small town sheriff trying to stop murder spree initiated by a complete nutcase.  But Tommy Lee Jones’ sheriff is world-weary, lacking the innocence of Frances McDormand’s pregnant sheriff.  Also missing are the off-beat characters like those played by William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi (‘a funny lookin’ guy’).  Also different is a win for the good guys.

    It takes place in 1980 on the Texas-Mexico border.  A Viet Nam vet (Josh Brolin) is out deer hunting when he stumbles across a drug deal gone bad.  Instead of reporting it, he ends up taking the case with $2 million.  He sees a ticket out of his dead end life, but gets more than he bargained for.  He gets an insane hitman on his tail who will stop at nothing to retrieve the money, and kill him for such an act as taking what wasn’t his.  Played by Javier Bardem, he is an odd character with his own unique sense of right and wrong in his nihilistic, chance-ridden world.

    Trying to put an end to this is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played to perfection by Tommy Lee Jones.  He is world-weary, and fears the tidal wave of changes happening around him.  Evil and suffering seem to be overtaking his world, and there is no end in sight.  The brothers Coen essentially show us a world without God, and without hope and justice.

    Near the end Bell visits an old friend or relative who was in law enforcement until being shot and crippled.  He laments how life turned out to the old man.  “I used to think that God would come into my life when I was older.  (pause)  He didn’t.  (pause)  And I don’t blame him knowing me like he does.”  He lives in a depraved world (we do) without grace (here’s where he’s wrong).  The despair is eating away at him.  So many people live there too.  In some ways it is a window into a world where Jesus never came- and I’m glad I don’t live there.

    This is a slow paced movie with bursts of energy (just like life).  The scenes with Tommy Lee Jones move particularly slow as his character plods along trying to catch up, but always seems to be a few minutes too late.  Those moments of action are often very violent, so the squimish need not watch.  This is not an easy movie to watch.  It is quite disturbing at times.  But these are disturbing times.

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    Bath Time is Fun Time


    Bath time is one of the few times where there is little/no whining or complaining.  The kids love taking a bath and splashing around.  A little too much splashing at times.  CavDaughter is sporting her new “towel” from Nana.  I guess it is a bath towel wrap- it has a place to put your hands, and a hood.  Here you see the large flower petals.  Quite feminine.  CavSon has a blue teddy bear one.

    Meal times are much better.  I think we didn’t have any tantrums today during meals.  He’s more consistent with saying “please” and more willing to allow the meal to end.  My “adoption diet” is pretty much over.  He is still eating lots of food, but not as much as when he first got here.  He’s got a little Bhudda belly.

    He’s also showing great improvement when he wakes up.  He may cry for a moment, but is now okay with hanging out with a few toys until we come get him.  He’s not panicking anymore. 

    Today was also his first haircut since he’s been here.  His hair was getting a little long in spots.  He has these tiny sideburns- quite funny.  But his hair seems to move toward the front of his head, which looks odd to me.  I thought he wouldn’t mind a haircut.  He was fascinated by the razor when CavWife cut my hair recently.  I thought this would be like “old home week”, and I was right.  He stood up and we gave him a crew cut.  He was wiggly at times because he has to be the most ticklish human being alive (he has taken the title away from me).  It was very cute, and we were done in 2-3 minutes.  With improved nutrition, his hair should thicken up.  It is quite thin at this point in time.

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    Like the Steroid hearings, this baby just won’t go away.  Some new tidbit stirs up the dust again.  Apparently former Patriots’ videotaping assistant Matt Walsh thinks he holds the key.  The question might be, is it authentic or a counterfeit?

    Walsh wants immunity and protection from lawsuits (understandable since he would have in his possession materials that don’t belong to him).  Okay, that makes sense.  But he and the NFL can’t agree.  He wants protection from lawsuits even if he is not truthful.

    “Michael Levy, Walsh’s Washington, D.C.-based attorney, said his client has videotapes. But before releasing them to investigators, he wants protection against being sued.

    “The two sides traded proposals last week but have yet to reach a resolution. The league’s proposal offered Walsh protection on two conditions. According to commissioner Roger Goodell: “(He) has to tell the truth and he has to return anything he took improperly.”

    “Levy doesn’t believe the agreement offers enough protection, particularly if Walsh is accused of being untruthful.

    “Under our proposal, Mr. Walsh is only protected if he is in good faith truthful,” Levy said. “And he will be.”

    “The NFL wants the same thing, and in a statement from one of its attorneys, questioned Levy’s contention.

    “Eric Holder, a partner in Covington and Burling, the NFL’s outside law firm, said: “No responsible investigator would offer blanket immunity to a potential witness without a commitment that the witness will be truthful. Any witness who refuses to make that commitment doesn’t deserve immunity.””

    Sounds to a reasonable person that Matt Walsh wants freedom to lie without consequences.  Sorry, but he does sound like a bitter former employee who sees an opportunity to make a name for himself.  If I know I’m telling the truth, all I would need would be freedom from violating my non-disclosure contract.  That is it.  He wants more, and continues to drag this whole question of whether or not the Patriots taped the Rams’ walkthru in 2002.  The Patriots can’t prove they didn’t.  Walsh is the only one who claims he can, but he isn’t.

    This is similar to the Steroid mess.  Clemens can’t prove he didn’t take steroids.  But McNamee has provided evidence he has- at great risk to himself.  McNamee goes to jail if he lies.  This, and the coorboration of Andy & Chuck, make him a despicable though credible witness.  He admits previous lies he told to others (when he was not under oath).  Roger talks in circles hoping no one realizes that he isn’t answering the question.

    The Patriots have answered the question.  No evidence has been provided.  The only guy who claims to have evidence wants to remove the only thing that would grant him any credibility- penalties for lying.  See, though similar these 2 cases have a significant difference.  I can’t believe Roger at this point, and neither can I believe Walsh.

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    Traded again.  Looks like Jason Kidd can’t believe he’s going back to Dallas, where his NBA career started.  He was part of a young core there who hoped to emerge as superstars.  Jason, Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson hoped to begin a period of success after the Roy Tarpley debacle.

    They didn’t, but were torn apart by petty jealousies.  Soon they were all shipped out of town.  Kidd went to Phoenix for Steve Nash (who later returned there as a free agent following a successful period in Dallas).  Success eluded Jason there too, though he was recognized as one of the best point guards.  The Suns floundered, and Jason was packing his bags for New Jersey.

    It was there that team success finally matched personal success.  The Nets were among the best teams in the East for a number of years, and he had his shot at the NBA title.

    Injuries and personal disappointment have marked his life in recent years.  He and his wife had a very acrimonious and public break up.  The Nets lost ground in the improving Eastern Conference.  Once again it was time for Jason to move on- back to the beginning.  Interesting how his career is paralleling that of Steve Nash.  Both are trying to finally win an NBA Finals before their careers slip by.

    Jason is clearly in a better place than he was.  But is he in a “good enough” situation?  Is he where he wanted to be?  If he’s wearing that face, I’m guessing not (that picture is the reason for this post, I couldn’t pass it up).  The Mavericks are a very good team, but they still lack the defensive presence that championship teams are built on.  This is why I’m still picking the Spurs to come out of the West, assuming they are healthy.

    Hopefully whomever comes out of the West will be fodder for the Celtics.  But there is a whole lot of season left, and anything can happen.  Jason wasn’t sure this trade would happen- but it finally did.  It is a new start for him, but it’s not a new body which may become an issue.

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    This morning I took CavDaughter to breakfast for a special treat.  If you don’t like parenting stories… stop right here & head to the picture below!

    She’s been “stuck” in potty training.  She exhibited a great reluctance to pooping in the potty.  To provide incentive CavWife once again volunteered me, this time to do a special dance just for her.  The girl didn’t want a dance, she wanted breakfast with me.  I was stunned.  I figured she’d want to be alone with her mom.  Nope… yours truly.

    Yesterday I stayed home long enough to kiss the kids good morning and headed off to preach in Vero Beach.  My 2 Sundays there were great.  The people seemed very receptive to God’s Word.  When I got in the car to head home, I called home.  CavDaughter proudly announced that she’d pooped.  “You mean, in the potty?”  “Yeah”

    To make this even stranger, she wanted to make sure I got to see it- as if it were some trophy or prize bass she’d caught.  So, after my nearly 2 hour drive which included a stop at Tijuana Flats to pick up lunch for CavWife & I, I got to examine the specimen.  ‘Nuff said.

    So this morning was the big event.  We ended up at Denny’s to enjoy our breakfast together.  She’s getting to be such a big girl- quite mature in ways.  She’s growing up so fast, and apparently had a huge growth spurt so none of her shoes fit.

    CavSon is doing well most of the time.  His tantrums wear us out, but I spent a whole 30 minutes with him yesterday due to responsibilities.  This morning after breakfast I watched both kids while CavWife went to the YMCA to teach aerobics.

    Last week I started reading Paul Tripp’s A Quest for More: Living for Something Bigger than You.  It is a series of meditations on living for God’s kingdom, and how prone we are to live for the smaller kingdom of Me.  It has been great so far, and I will do a post on the book when I am done. 

    Perhaps the first chapter will pique your interest, so you can read it here.  And the WTS site has a video of Paul talking about the book.  This got me to thinking about one of my upcoming sermons that I had no clue about.  I think I’ll do a mediation on “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness”.  This book, and idea, has a lot to say to us as we live between the advents of Jesus.  It should overflow into how we approach work, parenting, hobbies etc.  Much of it is stuff I’ve thought of, and communicated to others- but he has spent more time pondering it, and says it better than I am right now.  Unless something happens in the next 100 pages, I’ll strongly recommend the book- so you may want to get a head start!

    Now I need to start getting on with my day!

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    We’ve been putting the kids on a chair in the living room to discipline them when they are having crying/screaming fits.  CavSon was in rare form tonight, refusing to say “please” (he knows the sign for please).  It was a battle of the wills, and he was screaming pretty loudly.

    It began when he wouldn’t ask for the seconds he wanted for dinner.  Instead of signing ‘please’, he pitched a fit.  After we took it to the chair he would not sign please to get down.

    I asked CavWife if we should look on EBay for a cone of silence like Maxwell Smart used to have.  Of course, that didn’t work very well.  I’m sure technology has improved since then.

    Anyway, he sat on that chair until bath time refusing to say “please”.  I’d ask him and he’d shake his head.  He is one stubborn cookie, and I’m in for trouble.  At least it provides an apt sermon illustration for this Sunday. 

    Maybe a pina colada IV would do the trick.  I guess there might be some ethical/moral issues with that- but I’d certainly feel better in the short term.

    Update:  Apparently they are releasing a new Get Smart movie this June starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway.  A type of Get Smart Begins, as Max is just an analyst when all of Control’s agents are compromised.  He is promoted to field agent under the guidance of the only agent whose identity is not compromised- Agent 99.  Could be great, or it could really stink.

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    Pitchers and catchers reported today in Ft. Myers.  Papelbon is one happy cat, and so are the Sox fans.  Hope springs eternal, and most of the World Series Championship team will be returning.

    Schilling is in town to rehab his shoulder.  Now that Hansen gets a good night’s sleep, perhaps he’ll return to the form that made him a bonus baby when he signed with the Red Sox.  Buchholz has put on 10 pounds of muscle.  Lester is about 25 pounds heavier than last year, returning to his usual playing weight.  Word is Josh Beckett has some extra weight around the waist.  Dice-K has been in town since Sunday.  Okajima has been working out already.  Wake is recovered from his shoulder problems.

    Youkilis has arrived already among the position players.  Let the fun begin!

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    Cracking the CMS Code

    We had a breakthrough in the quest for treatment for CavSon’s cleft palate.  We spoke with the nurse who runs the cranio-facial team in Orlando.  He said that cleft palates were one of the exceptions allowing you to receive service out of district.  This means we will be able to have the surgeon we have had highly recommended to us perform the surgery.

    I still have no idea why this other person was giving me faulty information.  The Team Nurse worked with me and was very helpful.  Unfortunately the appointments for February are already filled, so we have to wait until the 4th Thursday of March.

    In similar good news, I found the answer to why my homeowner’s insurance had doubled.  My agent was wrongly informed that we were not renewed.  As a result, the new policy was much more expensive than our sweet policy.  But we had in fact been renewed (there was no reason for them not to renew- no claims filed) and the other policy is unnecessary.

    Today was a great day in which lots of these loose ends were cleared up.  For that I am thankful!

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    I was watching C-SPAN last night, partaking of the Comedic Caper that took place on Capitol Hill yesterday.  Here are my thoughts:

    1. McNamee seemed more believable to me.  He admitted to his lies to reporters, and the process by which he was essentially caught and had to tell the truth.  Apparently Congressman Burton can’t understand the distinction between lying to reporters in 2005 and lying to Congress under oath in 2008.

    2. Roger can’t answer a question to save his life, and he was in way over his head intellectually (which is surprising considering how dumb most of the Republicans looked).  He couldn’t understand that 2 conversastions with McNamee about injecting his wife with HGH qualify as conversations about HGH with McNamee, which he repeatedly denied having earlier in his deposition.  If my wife was having a reaction to an injection to HGH, I’d certainly call my doctor and study up on HGH fast.  Yet, Roger claims he knows next to nothing about HGH.  Mind boggling how goofy this guy comes across.  Great pitcher, but the IQ of a turnip.  He was caught in a number of inconsistencies, and offered no reasonable explanation for them.  His abuse of the English language was comical.

    3. Sadly this was politicized.  By and large the Republicans went after McNamee.  Souder, who was burned by Palmeiro in 2005, was the exception.  I guess his autograph parade through the offices last week paid off (Souder again declined).  The Democrats, who did look far more prepared than the Republicans, pretty much went after Clemens.  Congressman Mica of Florida, aka Master of the Obvious, was doing his best Forrest Gump imitation, seeming entirely clueless.

    4. Lost in the comedic caper, by most of the participants, was the testimony of Pettite & Knobloch.  Hmmm, Andy increased the number of times he admits taking HGH.  Why can’t McNamee remember more accurately over time?  But in those instances McNamee told the truth.  Why would he be lying with regard to Roger?  Roger never explained that.  Roger tried to throw Andy under the bus with his wife and agents by saying he “misremembered” Roger.  Andy’s conversations with Roger show that Roger intended to lie (or had deceived himself).  Could Roger come up with any compelling reason for Andy to say this?  No.

    5. The Nanny Gate aspect is interesting, though not conclusive.  She does not remember a party, but did remember the whole family, including Roger, getting a tour of Jose’s home.  She thinks that Roger played golf with Jose.  This does not mean much regarding McNamee’s testimony, but the fact that Clemens himself met with her prior to her deposition is disconcerting.  His lawyers?  Yes, that would be normal.  But Roger should not have been there- it could easily be considered intimidation.  And intimidation is Roger’s bread and butter as a pitcher.  This also seems to be the way he has gone about defending himself.  I missed this part, but apparently Roger admitted he may have been at the party. 

    “After all the denials, Clemens basically said, ‘Well, yeah, it’s possible I could have stopped by Canseco’s house, maybe dropped off the family, swung by after golf and before going to the ballpark….’ Hmmm. How did Davis follow up on that admission? Well, he didn’t.””

    Last night I caught the end of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry won’t admit to watching Melrose Place to a woman he was dating.  He faced a lie detector test, since she was a policewoman and smelled a lie.  He asked George how to beat the test.  “If you believe it, (pregnant pause) it’s not a lie.”  As I’ve said in other posts, I think Roger really believes he’s telling the truth, but he’s not.

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