Wednesday, January 16, 2008

didn't know it would be like this

i promise i haven't been lazy. i know it's been over 2 weeks since i posted and no one is probably checking anymore, but settling into this new season in life has been extremely demanding so far. i am taking 5 classes this semester and one of them is going to be the hardest class i'll take in college. not because the stuff we are doing is hard, it is just so time consuming. of course, being a historian is time consuming so one should expect learning to be a historian should also be time consuming i guess. i am sitting in the library right now (it is 10:30pm folks) and i have to do a preliminary bibliography for my research topic this semester. the problem is that i keep changing my topic. i am focusing on yellow journalism (primarily william randolph hearst) and it's effect on public policy... especially as it relates to america going to war in 1898 (the spanish-american war or the war for cuba's independence). this might be too narrow of a topic to take me out to 20 pages so i am also looking for ways to expand it.

i am also in a biographies class where we are reading 8 books this semester (some as long as 600 pages).

also, history of Christian thought will keep me reading quite a bit as well since i'll be doing a 15 page research paper on... something i guess.

mysticism shouldn't kill me. just some tests and a group powerpoint presentation.

religion as culture will be good and challenging but not as difficult as the two history classes.

all in all, i've got a busy semester ahead of me. if you read this regularly, you're going to hear about hearst, early church history, mystical experiences, and other religions for the next few months. it's going to be a bumpy ride and i'm going to sleep for a week when this semester is over.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Lost and Found

oh the drama.
by the way, happy new year. last night my wife and i rang in the new year with a couple friends of ours. they called us up and said they had a gift certificate to outback (yum!) and then we were going to go "crash" a wedding. so we go eat and then drive to this really swanky beach resort in palm coast florida. i had said earlier that we should probably dress up so that we could sort of blend in at the reception but the plan was just to wear jeans but nicer tops (dressy up top, party on the bottom)... i mean it is a beach wedding in a tent right? WRONG! it was a complete black tie affair. all the guys were in tuxedos, all the women in red carpet gowns. now, the folks we were with new the band that was playing so we had an excuse to be hovering around watching the reception but we definitely stuck out.

so we hung around and watched the festivities... all the time planning on heading down to the beach, opening a bottle of wine, and toasting at midnight. but we just kept staying up by the reception. then, they started to give us champagne for the toast. then we got appetizers given to us. then the bride's grandmother gave me a new year's hug. it was hilarious and definitely a new year's eve to remember. we did eventually go down to the beach and sat and talked until 2am when we all decided it was time to make the hour drive home.

this is where the real adventure begins. about 10 minutes before we got home, kristy gasps in the passenger seat. i asked what was wrong and she said she didn't know where her watch was. her new watch. her expensive watch (or course she got a great deal on it, but it still cost us $40 bucks even though the original price was around $300), her watch she said she would have the rest of her life. where was it? so, we pulled over to check the bag in the trunk. we called our friends to see if it was in with their stuff. nope. she must have dropped it in the sand at the beach.

crap. what to do? it is now 3am, we are tired and the beach is pitch black dark. well, she wanted to drive back down and look for it so we got home, made coffee, got the dog and drove an hour back to the beach. the whole time, kristy is really upset. she is praying that she can find it. then it starts to rain. now she is praying that she finds it and it's not ruined. i am just praying that our new year's day isn't miserable because of this.

we finally get back there (4am) and let the dog out and we take our flashlights and start the search. we looked for about 5 minutes when i heard kristy shout, "i got it!". it was barely sticking out of the sand but it was right by where we had sat on the beach. it still worked and no sand had gotten in the watch. what a relief!

we ran the dog a little on the beach, got back in the car, and drove home. as soon as we walked in the door, we crashed. it wasn't until this morning that i began to think about the parable of the lost coin. a woman loses a coin (and we get the idea that it's not just a penny she's missing) and turns her house upside down looking for it. when she finds it, she tells all of her neighbors, friends and family to rejoice with her for something valuable that she lost had been found. that's how my wife reacted last night. she text messaged people to let them know what had happened and to rejoice that she had found it.

i know it's just a watch. but it gave me a little taste (and i think it gave my wife a bigger taste) of how God panics (not really but you get the idea) when one of His creations is lost and separated from Him. and how He celebrates (in ways that puts our weddings and new years eves to shame) when His own are found. i pray i can see myself as that precious to Him and that i can see others as that precious as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


oh yeah! tomorrow my wife and i get to go watch the "toilet bowl" between the miami dolphins and the cincinnati bengals. obvious from the picture who i am rooting for. hopefully we don't get beat up by the rabid south beach dolphin fans (they might scratch my eyes out!!).


(this year... most)

Friday, December 28, 2007

what a bum

i know, i know. i haven't published in a few days. you might be thinking that i have just been sleeping all day, but it's not true! i have been on a crazy cleaning streak. i set up an office for myself (of course kristy is welcome to use it too) in our little studio cottage, cleaned everything except the bathroom and reorganized everything so that it seems like we actually have more space than we do. it's such a satisfying feeling to work hard. it's easy to forget that when you are in the middle of a 20 year nap, but to actually finish something... to go all the way with it is an awesome feeling. accomplishment is the word that comes to mind. now to do it in the harder parts of life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

the real reason

i absolutely love "the Charlie Brown Christmas Special" that is on every year. i think it's my favorite holiday special. why you ask? linus. when charlie brown is at his wits end with the reason for Christmas, linus puts it all in perspective. Jesus. God incarnate. The Word made flesh (and, as eugene peterson says in The Message, "...and moved into the neighborhood."). it is the event we date time by and it is the real "reason for the season".

thank you linus for this great reminder.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


i am far from a perfectionist. any of you who know me and read this (does anyone read this??? ) know that this is true. however, i have discovered that once i get going, if it is possible to do something perfectly, i do become a bit of a fanatic about it until it is no longer perfect.

one example is cleaning. i never had the cleanest room growing up. my room mates in college know i was not the cleanest room mate (i was also not the dirtiest thank you very much). my wife has gotten frustrated with me throughout our marriage because i can just step over something on the floor and honestly not notice it. the flip side of this is that when i start to clean (and this is something that was true when i was younger and i've recently experienced about myself again), i want it to be perfect. so i will go and go until it is. once it is "perfect" (or at least my interpretation of perfection), i am a bit fanatical about keeping it that way. that is until my idea of perfection is tainted (like kristy leaving her clothes on the floor in the bathroom or me letting the dishes go a little too long). once this happens i lose all motivation to keep the perfection going.

would this qualify me as a lazy perfectionist? or a perfectionist without hope?

i am packing up my office at the church and i want to do it exactly right. not just to leave it excellent for whoever is next, but to make it easier to move the stuff into storage or home. one of kristy's favorite games is tetris. packing is very similar in that i get all these different size boxes and miscellaneous things and have to make them fit just right. we are going out to the storage unit today to re-organize it. this is dangerous because i could spend a week doing it. i don't have a week though so i'm gonna have to be okay with it once we are done, but also keep the motivation up for keeping it as organized as we can. my idea of perfection may not be possible, but that is no reason not to strive for great (not perfect, but excellent).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

just like family

kristy and i are in a great small group. it formed in the fall of '06 and we are still going strong into '08. we lost a couple (to a job move) and we added a "couple" (TWINS!!) as well as a few more kids, and have really grown to love each other. we've had some great discussions about God and scripture and life, and some great discussions about how annoying Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is (women, the problems in your marriage are not completely your fault as some would have you believe). kristy and i don't have kids and it has been a real joy to get to be around our friends with kids and see the love they have for each other. just in the last year, we've gotten to see their kids grow and mature. it's such a blessing to "do life" with these people. i highly recommend community. the small group seems to be the model we get from the early church. people coming together, supporting each other, loving each other, and reaching out to others... together.