Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2008


While all the world seemed to be shopping on “Black Friday,” the CavFamily spent part of the morning picking strawberries.  CavWife’s friend let us know of a new place to pick them.  The farm is only 2 years old, and it is hydroponic which is way cool.

Hydro-who-a-whatis????

Hydroponics (from the Greek words hydro water and ponos labour) is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, or mineral wool.

Plant physiology researchers discovered in the 19th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant’s water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching.

Other advantages include faster growth combined with relative freedom from soil diseases, and very consistent crops, the quality of produce being excellent. There is also a considerable reduction in growing area, weeds are practically non-existant, while standard methods and automatic operations mean less labor, less cost, and no hard manual work. Some plants can be raised, out of season, better control of crops naturally results in addition to no dirt and no smells. Waterlogging never occurs now. Chemically grown plants are not inferior to naturally reared ones in point of flavor, nor have analyses shown any deficiency in vitamin content. In fact, hydroponic fruits and vegetables are sweeter and more luscious than those grown in ordinary soil.

Soil-less farming.  Very interesting.  They had these rotating stryrofoam towers with numerous pots in them.  You didn’t have to bend down to pick anything if you didn’t want to.  All the nutrients are in the water.  They had 3 kinds of strawberries, and they were delicioso!  I couldn’t believe how red they looked.  The kids had a blast, though CavSon was a bit too exuberent- often picking green strawberries.

The farm also grows tomatos, squash, peppers, cucumbers and lettuce hydroponically.  They have lots of blueberry bushes that were hybrids designed to grow well in Florida.  They should be ready for picking in late March.  So we’ll go back.

After picking our berries, and tour of the other crops, we got to see the miniature horse they just purchased, and their other 2 horses.  They also had a catfish pond, so we got to feed them.  CavSon wasn’t able to toss it far, so the turtles will have to clean up after him.  It took a few minutes for the fish to do their thing.  I wish we could have taken one or 2 home for some good eatin’.  But we did bring home 4 pounds of strawberries that are so sweet and juicy.  A great way to spend a glorious Florida morning.  Way better than shopping.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


I missed this catagory on Steve McCoy’s Big 5 Books list- Big 5 for Seekers.

The idea is what books would you give to someone who is seeking to understand Christianity, or address a question keeping them from Christ.  Here goes!

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  It is a classic which is best for those skeptics with a more “modern” view of the world.

The Reason for God by Tim Keller.  The Mere Christianity for this generation.  Keller addresses many of the objections he hears in his ministry.  It interacts with contemporary and classic skeptics.  Love it.

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  There is something to be said for humor lowering defenses.  Miller gives a good, winsome, broader understanding for the younger crowd.  He moves beyond seeing salvation of individuals without neglecting that.

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller.  See above.  Miller talks about how we are all searching for redemption, somewhere, even if we don’t realize it.  Something about that imago dei thing.

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller.  I love the book, and think it would help many people make sense of the core message of the gospel.  Maybe I’m crazy.

Basic Christianity by John Stott.  Short and to the point.  I used to keep these as a give-away.

Knowing Christianity by J.I. Packer.  I haven’t read it, but knowing Packer it is solid.  This covers the basic doctrines of the faith.

I need to find more of these………

Read Full Post »


I’ve been wanting to read Marcus Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10 since hearing Marcus talk about it on the Glenn Beck show one day while doing hospital visitation.  It is a moving, and powerful story that I enjoyed greatly.  I recommend people read it to gain a better understanding of how crazy our Rules of Engagement are.  This is the underlying message of Marcus’ account.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about: Operation Redwing was an attempt to capture or kill a high ranking Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2005.  A Seal team of 4 men were dropped into the mountains to locate and attempt to capture him.  They were discovered by some goat herders.  Militarily, you can’t be sure they are not connected with the Taliban and make your presence known so that a much larger force drops on you like a ton of bricks.  With the strange ROE in this War on Terror- terrorists don’t wear uniforms, and may not be holding a rifle- they knew they could face criminal charges while at least being crucified in the press if they killed the goat herders.  They set them free … and only Marcus lived to regret it.  These 4 men took on 150-200+ Taliban soldiers for 90-120 minutes.  Seal Team 10 and a Rapid Response team answered their call of distress, but the helicopter was shot down and all were killed.  Badly wounded, Marcus was able to escape until finally taken in by a village elder who swore to protect him.

It was a very good book and interesting read, but here is what I’d change (as if anyone cared):

  • Move the material about ROE and the press to a separate chapter.  Since it is interspersed as part of the narrative, it loses some of its rhetorical power to more of a soap box feel.
  • Double check the material on the training.  I was confused with varying accounts of how many guys dropped out when and how long various things took place.  I thought they might be errors, but I’m not sure.

This does not diminish what Marcus is doing here.  It is a book that needs to be written, and read.  Prior to getting to the ill fated mission you hear about Marcus’ background and how he and his twin brother were preparing to become Seals even as a teens.  You gain a better understanding of how difficult it is to become a Seal- the most elite fighting force in the world.  And you learn about how the press bungled the post-battle coverage.  You learn about the mammoth vigil that took place spontaneously at his parents’ ranch, and the generosity of so many fellow Texans.

In describing the battle itself, I wondered if this Texan was telling some tall tales.  It just seemed incredible to read what these 4 men did, and persevered despite serious injuries.  But it all makes sense when you take into account their training which identifies and selects men who can’t give up.  Their bravery and perseverance humbles me.  If you have half a heart, you too will weep when he is finally rescued, says ‘goodbye’ to his friends and comrades in arms, and is reunited with his distraught family.  You also get a taste of Seal culture, for better or worse (yes, lots of bad language and what I would consider blaspheme from the mouths of men who are Christians).  But you also gain a better understanding of how politics and the mainstream media make the task we ask these soldiers to perform most difficult, put their safety and our in unnecessary jeopardy.

Read Full Post »


Songs for the Messiah will look at some of the more explicitly Messianic Psalms (for they are all Messianic).

11/30  Psalm 2  Song of the Great King

12/7  Psalm 16  Song of the Risen Holy One

12/14  Psalm 22  Song of the Suffering Savior (Ron Smith)

12/21  Psalm 72  Song of the Righteous King

12/28  Psalm 110  Song of the Eternal Priest

Read Full Post »


Tara Barthel did some live blogging of the recent CCEF Conference.  She has both the live blogging and the quick summaries of each presentation.

Preconference

Plenary

Workshops

 

Friday Round Table quick summary

Read Full Post »


When you spend too much time on rollercoasters, you start thinking in strange ways.  I ran across these things this morning- pondering the absurdity and irony.

Three prosperity churches are filing for bankruptcy and/or selling their facilities.

  • Church Without Walls International in Tampa is facing foreclosure.  Since the White’s divorce things have gone south of the border financially.
  • Bishop Thomas Weeks II was removed from the Global Destiny Ministries property, owing more than $500k in back rent.  How do you owe half a million dollars in rent???  This transpired in the midst of a service.  Priceless.  He also divorced his popular “preacher wife” Juanita Bynum.
  • Cathedral at Chapel Hill, founded by the oft accused of adultery Bishop Earl Paulk, has put its unique gothic building up for sale.  With the numerous sex scandals, and his son’s further departure from orthodox Christianity (3 cheers for universalism) have emptied the congregation.  They have fallen into debt, and the building into disrepair.

Christian online dating service, eHarmony, is being forced to launch a site for homosexuals.  The New Jersey Civil Rights division brought action against them based on a complaint.  I’m not sure what I’d do if I were Neil Clark Warren.  I might just say – too bad, how sad- and close up shop since it isn’t worth the headache, or the guilt of facilitating sin.

In the “it doesn’t fit, but hey” catagory- A 13 year-old boy was arrested for persistently passing gas in school in Stuart, FL.  Was that a 911 call?  Will we be hearing that absurd call on the TV?  Actually, he also turned off other students’ computers.  The “school resource officer” arrested the scofflaw.

Read Full Post »


A friend provided 2 comp tix for Universal Studies.  I had never been to Islands of Adventure, and really wanted to spend a day on the rollercoasters.  So my friend Danny and I headed north today to enjoy said rollercoasters.  It was a perfect day- 60’s and sunny with little to no wind.  There were not many people either.  We usually waited for less than 15 minutes, at times not waiting at all.

We started on the Incredible Hulk Coaster.  I was not sure what to expect, so when the car shot to about 40 MPH in 2 seconds while ascending the hill I was surprised enough to shout an explicative.  Hulk was a blast, with top speeds of 67 MPH and 7 inversions.  The 2nd time we were in the first row.  As we shot up that hill and I saw the quick inversion I had to close my eyes.  Too much for me.  We hit Hulk 4 times.

Dueling Dragons was a blast was well.  We started on Ice, and sat in the front row.  That was intense!  We immediately went on Fire.  We decided we liked Ice a little better since you approach the castle wall.  The Dragons go as high as 125 feet and 55 MPH.  There are several inversions, and a number of rolls as the dragons pass withing 18 inches of each other 3 times.  We rode Dueling Dragons 4 times.  So, we figure we were probably spun upside down about 40 times today.  And our voices were hoarse from screaming.  We routinely stopped to see the pictures.  Danny’s arms were routinely in the air and his mouth wide open in mid-yell.  My hands were routinely gripping the harness tightly and I was smiling.

In addition, we rode Spider-Man twice.  The second time was because 1) we rode Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges and got utterly soaked and 2) the temperature had quickly dropped.  We wanted to dry off & warm up from the flames during Spider-Man.  As a result, we rode in the front.  The 3-D effects were cool.  Despite our best efforts to dry off, our pants were still largely wet when we arrived home.  A hot shower was in order.

We also got wet, though far less wet, and earlier in the day when it was warmer on the Jurassic Park River Adventure and Ripsaw Falls.

We rode the Storm Force Accelatron for a change of pace.  It was the crazy tea cups on steroids.  Solid but unspectacular ride.  Doctor Doom’s FearFall was anti-climatic.  I thought it would be like Tower of Terror except you can see how high up you were.  I don’t like free fall and went reluctantly.  I really wanted off before we went up.  Instead of slowly lifting us to the top and dropping us repeatedly (I was thinking I wouldn’t look), we shot up and bounced like on a bungee.  I was initially scared, but then said ‘That was it?!”  Sort of disappointing.

The only real disappointments were the Sinbad’s Voyage stunt show (Not so funny, and I’m really glad the kids weren’t there since they lit the witch on fire and she ran around for half a lifetime before diving into the pool.  Not kid fare.), and Poseidon’s Fury.

A great day, and some GREAT rollercoasters.  More than worth the free tix.  I’d pay to go back, as long as it was an off day so we could ride them as often as we did today.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »