Friday, March 31, 2006

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You...

Okay, yes, I haven't been posting much lately. No excuses, but for those of you still checking in frequently, I thought I'd preview what's coming up. Just so's you know I haven't left this little experiment in writing.

(BTW, Praise you in the Storm is on the radio now. Have Casting Crowns ever put out a bad song? Methinks no...)

I haven't done a series for a while, and since I'm afraid Ed will revoke his title of master of the series genre" if I don't get to another one, look for a series starting next week. This one will be on the Dalits of India.

Following that, I will (finally? unfortunately?) get to an oft-hinted-at series on politics, just to get it out of my system. I do have a very strong interest in politics, and love good (civil!) political discourse; I just don't feel that should be the primary purpose of this blog. Especially since I think that section of the 'sphere is already well filled.

I'm also planning a series on mercy and grace, something Catez thought would be interesting. I tend to agree, so that's a coming attraction. (Speaking of Catez, continue to pray, please for this dear sister.)

Finally, I have some more ideas about tweaking this site a bit, especially in regards to making the left sidebar useful. Suggestions are welcome.

Gotta go prepare for my fantasy baseball draft tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

God bless!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

For one Shining Moment...

...I caught the Ecosystem in a good point in the data collection cycle and was no longer a mere Marauding Marsupial.



Alas, my infrequent posting of late seems to have dropped me to my rightful place.

Trippin' 'Round the 'Sphere - 3/29/06 Edition

Catez posts beautifully on beauty, including a personal testimony of this interesting topic. It's a must-read.
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Speaking of must-reads, Ed's series on the church is quite good. Unfortunately, I can say "been there" (or worse, "am there") while going through it.
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Dr. Ronald Nash has gone on to glory. Please pray for the family of this brilliant man of God.
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I'd like to think there's a rational reason for the government to sell off national forests and start allowing obtrusive advertising in areas heretofore verboten to raise money for schools (um...yeah, that's where the $ will go...suuuuure) but I don't see it yet. Can't we, you know, cut some non-essentials from the budget first?
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I'm not a huge Jay Mohr fan, though I'm not antipathic towards him. And while I don't necessarily agree that we need to let our kids learn humiliation first-hand, I wholeheartedly agree that the way we try to overprotect our kids is shameful. No winners, no losers - no home runs? I hesitate to pop-psychologize (made-up phrase I'm sure) an entire generation, but methinks the boomers in control of too many things are just sore from losing in their own lives and try to remedy their childhood problems retroactively through their children. Part of being a parent is teaching our kids how the world works - and how to handle winning and losing appropriately is part of that. And we also need to be grown up enough to remember that we are not failures when our kids lose in a baseball game. Let them play, help them learn. Over-protection leads to huge problems when the kids leave the roost.
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I've got to get me one of these. (HT: Rebecca Writes.)
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Finally saw Walk the Line this past weekend. I can't say whether this film deserved to be an Academy nominee, not having seen many (read: 1) other 2005 movies, and certainly none of the other Best Pic honorees. But it was a pretty durn good film, which is surprising considering my lack of fascination with Johnny Cash's music. Interesting life that man led, if but half the movie is true. And Reese Witherspoon was outstanding. Here ends the...um, third movie blurb in the history of the NBB.
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Spring is finally here! On the calendar, anyway. Plus, baseball (I'm still leading my division in the Beginner's Luck Baseball League - go Sox!) is around the corner. Which means softball/golf season is nigh upon us! So, of course we have our eldest daughter in ice skating lessons. Only in Minnesota.

God bless!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

How to Find the Northern 'Burbs - 3/28

I am finding that people stumble into this hear neck o'the sphere from searches that I find...surprising. Or enlightening. Some of the latest:

  • "color of bread twisters" - I was trying to keep the great sport of bread twisting alive and well, but we don't really care about the color of the twisting equipment.

  • "non biblical references" - Is this someone's way of telling me to incorporate more scripture into my blog?

  • "my husband does not love me" - I reallllly hope this wasn't a search my wife did.

  • "figure skater teach hockey twin cities" - Sounds rather Cutting Edge to me. Could explain this though.

  • "blog trying to get pregnant with 2nd child" - I already have a 2nd child, and as far as I know this blog is hoping to remain free of offspring as I don't have enough to spend on this blog, let alone another!

  • "Behaviors law does not tolerate" - This blog needs a lawyer.

  • A series of related ones: "purposes of marriage," "men agape your wives," and "truth about marriage and sex" - A good marriage has a purpose, includes agape love and truth - especially about sex. By writing that, I've guaranteed another dozen searches will end here and garner no new information. My apologies.

  • Another series, which I see a lot of (considering I posted on this, like, once maybe): "what will happen to slippery slope if euthanasia is legalized," "euthanasia arguments," "should euthanasia be legalized blogs." - This blog is against euthanasia's legalization. And with that sentence, I've guaranteed another dozen hits this week from people looking for information on euthanasia. I apologize that none is forthcoming from this post.



God bless!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Baseball Update!

Yeah, I know most of you don't care. But, as "owner" of the Red Sox in Always Right, Usually Correct's Beginner's Luck Baseball League , I'd like to point out that I'm in first place in my division.

I attribute my success to my canny ability to (1) pick good team, and (2) let the computer-chosen defaults stand.

Sometimes laziness is the best way to success.

Trippin' 'Round the 'Sphere - 3/17/06 Edition

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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Yes, I know, it's been a while. Sorry, busy week.
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What is the commonality between this and this (HT: Hewitt)? Demographics have consequences, and when aggregated, birth rates determine how goes a society. Want future generations to share your values? Have kids. They really are the future, inane songs by Ms. Houston aside.
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Like music? Classical? Get teary wheneve you hear Pachabel's Canon in D Major played during a wedding? You'll love this. And, turns out the hamster's gone upgrade on us. (HT: Blogotional, the home too of this fun nugget.)
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Having some blog writer's block? You can get ideas for posts at Evangelical Update (topic: Gender, Homosexuality, Celibacy--Confusion!!!), the next God or Not (topic: Evil, location: Buridan's Ass), the next Vox Apologia (topic: "In order for someone to be forgiven why must there be punishment at all?") and the next Vox Symposium (topic: "The Fear of The Lord".) Please visit the linked sites for details on submission deadlines and format.
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This can't be good for anyone. Are men treated "fairly" in all matters reproductive? Certainly not; men who want to keep a child can be legally thwarted by a woman choosing an abortion, and men wanting nothing to do with a child can be thwarted by a woman seeking to keep a baby and request child support from the aforementioned male. But this lawsuit seems to me a wrongheaded way to seek redress of these grievances.
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I enjoy the irreverent (warning! language and, um...crudeness issues) rantings of The Koolaid Report enough to find out which of the KAR gang I'm most like. Turns out, I'm a budding Learned Foot:

Which KAR blogger are you?

You are LearnedFoot! Women want you. Ben Worley wants to be you. And you are always willing to learn something from Iron Maiden.
Take this quiz!








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Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy Birthday...

...to me! Well, so far anyway, excepting NBB youngest has come down with the fever bug that NBB eldest and I shared last week. So, we won't be able to take advantage of the absolutely fabulous weather today.

So, 36 is starting out to be an auspicious year...beautiful day, sick daughter. Pray for her please. 103 is a bad temp for a soon-to-be 4-year-old.

Thanks, and God bless!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Trippin' 'Round the 'Sphere - 3/8/06 Edition

Thanks to those who prayed for NBB Eldest. Her fever topped out just over 104 on Sunday, and dropped from there. She's back to normal now, but thanks to our sharing lessons she decided I must enjoy the bug too. My fever's not nearly so high as hers was, but my dreams have been interesting of late. I'm hoping this blog entry says what I think it says when I go back in a few days.
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I should be able to ace this considering the five quarters of calc-esque math I had to take...
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

(HT: Blogotional.)
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Apologies all. Last week's Christian Carnival was hosted at Wittenberg Gate due to a communication issue. I never updated my link. This week's should soon appear at Adam's Blog. If for some reason it moves, I'll update quicker this week!
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More blogger tributes to Kirby linked at Bogus Gold. Most are MOB-sters, obviously, with the Minnie connection.
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Reminder: Vox Symposium entries due 3/10. The topic is "The Fear of the Lord." If I'm able, this will be the topic of tomorrow's entry...
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Speaking of the fear of the Lord, the Scott's have a new son who will soon be taught much in regards to fearing the Lord. Hop over and see Charles Liam Scott.
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Please pray for Haleigh.
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God bless!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Memories

An icon in this area passed away yesterday, at an age too young for most. For those of you not from Minnesota, perhaps Kirby Puckett's passing is a sad moment, but for many of us in this state, the death of the Twins' best ever center fielder is a significant event.

I loved watching Kirby play ball. He approached the game with a joy that was unsurpassed, and a heart bigger than anything. A few of my happiest memories include watching the Twins win the World Series in 1987 and 1991 - and in 1991 I can still remember Jack Buck announcing, "and we'll see you....tomorrow night" as Puckett's 11th inning home run landed in the stands, forcing a 7th game to the best series I've ever seen. I vividly recall cheering in my girlfriend's apartment (my roommate was dating her roommate at the time) and opening the windows to hear the cheers from downtown Minneapolis and the streets below. My wife (the girlfriend in the aforementioned scene) remembers this too. Puckett was literally one of a kind, and I'm sorry to see him die so young. I'm grateful for the memories though.
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There are other memories for which I'm very grateful. My maternal grandparents lived in Chicago, while we were growing up in Minneapolis. We would visit once or twice a year, and those trips were always important. Sometimes we would watch 8mm movies, either recorded family events or Mighty Mouse cartoons. My grandmother passed on some years ago, but my grandfather still lives in Chicago. Memories like watching those movies with my grandparents are very precious to me.

Tonight my girls and I brought out the 8mm movie projector and held a "movies on the wall" night. This is something I love to do, in large part because of the times we spent on the north side of Chicago watching movies with the family. My daughters love to watch the movies, and the uniqueness of the experience is helping to build memories (I hope!) for them. And we're very sure to spend time with our own parents so the girls have the same good memories of extended family that we both have had.
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Memories are important. Our history makes us who we are, moreso even than our genes. God understands this. (Um, duh.) He impressed upon Israel the importance of remembering the things they'd seen. The priests were to wear memorials. Joshua built a memorial for Israel after the nation crossed the Jordan river.

God wanted Israel to remember the things He'd done for His people. He also wants us to remember the things He's done for all of us:

14When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."

17After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

19And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
- Luke 22:14-19

Memories are powerful. They help us see the path we're travelling by showing us where we've been. They inform future decisions, and provide comfort in times of grief. God wants us to remember things; He gave us memories for a reason. We should enjoy them, and think back fondly to those things with which God has blessed us.

The most important memories, though, are those we don't remember from our own lives. None of us were there when Israel crossed the Jordan, or when Jesus and the Disciples partook of the Last Supper. But these are things that are of utmost importance for us to remember too. God is powerful. God is merciful. God is faithful. This is why God gave us the Bible - so we can "remember" and rejoice in His might, His grace, His love.

I'll likely never forget Kirby, and I know I'll never forget times watching 8mm movies with my grandparents - and passing that along to my own children. Those are wonderful memories, the likes of which make me feel extremely blessed. But the best memories for me to pass along are those of how God has worked, is working, and has promised to work.

God bless!

Friday, March 03, 2006

NBB Updated!

Okay, I got tired of pink. I mean really, I hate pink, but it was the default color for this template, which I liked better than the others. Only took me about fourteen months to actually go in and change the color scheme. I may change again, but for now I think it's an improvement. Let me know if you agree that the format is more readable.

If anyone knows of a good banner maker, or is creative and can make one, let me know. I'm not sure when I'll get around to updating that.

I'm also curious about something else. When I look at my blog, the right sidebar content often doesn't appear until/unless I scroll-over. Does anyone else have this issue on my blog? Just want to know how much effort to put into fixing it.

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NBB Eldest has some sort of bug...fever, stomach and throat sore, loss of appetite. Seems to be getting better, but that explains my absence yesterday. I'm not 100% myself -- gotta love the seasonal transitions for one's health -- so prayer is appreciated if you think of it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Taking Offense

Please don't take offense. Apparently some cartoons instigated some hard feelings among a certain segment of the world's population. I don't get it, and I'm looking for some help.

First of all, it takes a lot to offend me. Perhaps that's my problem in comprehending the current, um...passionate response to the Danish cartoons. I mean, even outright blasphemy against my faith doesn't offend me personally very often. Personal insults do not either.

There are a few reasons for this, aside from my understanding that the First Amendment guarantees that there will be speech/actions with which I vehemently disagree and find to be utterly insulting. First, I tend to discount anything I perceive to be false. So, if someone blasphemes God, I recognize the lie inherent in the assertion, and so take one of two approaches depending on the situation. I either try to clear up the ignorance, or I write the episode off as being unworthy of offense. After all, who cares what an idiot says? In such cases, I'm not offended so much as I'm concerned about correcting error. If someone is blaspheming, they are treading dangerous ground, and the loving response would be to restore that person to a true belief -- or at least to demonstrate the lie so that others are not led astray.

Second, by taking offense, I am allowing others to dictate my feelings to me. In other words, I let the actions of others determine how I feel. If someone is rude, do I let their rudeness affect my disposition? I'm not sure I should. Again, correction or disdain seem to me more appropriate actions.

Third, I think taking offense is generally a sign of insecurity. This ties to my first reason. If I know something to be wrong, or ignorant, or false, and have sufficient confidence in the rightness of my position or belief, then it's hard for me to be offended. Instead I tend to pity the idiot, I mean the other person involved.

Finally, I expect offensive words and actions to come my way. Jesus promised it would happen. In fact, He even commends it as a blessing when we are aligned with God to the point that the world deems us worthy of insulting. If I weren't tracking with God, the world wouldn't care enough to slander me, nor would I really care what they say about Him. Jesus' response was to love and forgive those who persecuted Him. It is up to God to deal with insults, not us. Our job is to try and show people the way of truth and love.

Should we be offended as much as we are? Should we take attacks so personally, or should we really be looking for ways to respond as Jesus would - with truth and love?

I'm not saying that insults can't be damaging, or that blasphemy should be ignored. But how does it help to take things so personally, and get so bothered in our hearts that we forget the offender needs to learn truth? Should I let my feelings get so hurt that I lash out, selfishly trying to reclaim honor, or should I instead try to help the offender understand and correct his/her behavior?

Perhaps it's because I'm from the U.S., where dissent and debate are (allegedly) encouraged and accepted (though there are some out there who try to squelch free speech.) Perhaps it's because I believe Jesus when He said we should love those who curse us. But I really need help understanding why taking offense is such an accepted thing for so many people. I don't get it.

God bless!