Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

"And it came to pass in those days that a decree
Went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world
Should be registered. This census first took place
While Quirinius was governing Syria.
So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city
Of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of
The line and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary,
His betrothed wife, who was with child.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed
For her to be delivered. And she brought forth
Her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths,
And laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them
In the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the
Fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them,
And the glory of the Lord shone around them,
And they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings
Of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the
City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe
Wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
Heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them
Into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another,
"Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing
That has come to pass, which the Lord
Has made known to us."
And they came with haste and found Mary
And Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made
widely known the saying which was told them
Concerning this Child. And all those who heard
It marveled at those things which were told
Them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things and pondered
Them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned,
Glorifying and praising God for all the things
That they had heard and seen, as it was told them."
Hey everybody! Merry Christmas! May you and your family have a blessed and joyful day! Let us remember our Lord's heart and love for us during this wonderful time of celebration!
"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace,
Goodwill toward men!"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Silent Night

This is our Advent log with all of the candles but the white one lit.

"Silent night, holy night.
All is calm, all is bright.
'Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace."
Silent night, holy night.
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar.
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia.
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!"
Hey everybody. Merry Christmas Eve! Wow. I don't know about you all, but this Fall and Advent season seems to have blown right by. Before I get on with tonight's post, I just want to thank all of you for reading, for your comments, and for allowing me to share some of the joy and blessing that we have with Advent. I hope it has been enjoyable for you guys too. Okay, here we go. As I thought about what song to do tonight, I was thinking about doing one that Matthew had requested [no I didn't blow you off- I couldn't find anywhere to listen to it. I'm not saying which one it was in case you decide to do one more :), but I kept coming back to Silent Night. Of all Christmas songs, this has to be one of the absolute best known ones. The simplicity and truth of the words and tune is very beautiful. It almost sounds like a lullaby that Mary might have sung to her new-born baby on that Christmas night over 2,000 years ago. Despite all of the cosmic, earth-shattering, amazing, unfathomable, glorious news and implications wrapped up in the birth and life of this Child; He came on a regular, silent night. It was the night that fulfilled God's promise to Abraham, it was the "on-switch" to the amazing plan of Grace, it was God - coming in person, it was the Ultimate Christmas gift, it was overwhelming, it was Christmas. As I think about the story of Jesus's birth, with all of its facets and implications and glory, I find myself completely overwhelmed and dumbfounded and humbled by the unending love that our Lord has for us. These few weeks of Advent posting [though I obviously didn't make it every day ;), have really been a blessing to me because it has caused me to really think on and about the glory of Christmas, and the time of celebration and eager excitement called Advent. I pray that for each and every one of us these thoughts and truths would not leave our hearts and minds as we clean up the wrapping paper tomorrow morning, but that they would launch us into a year of living and abiding in the Joy and Love and Grace and Peace of our Lord. May God bless you all, and give you a very merry Christmas!
"Silent night, holy night.
Son of God, Love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of Redeeming Grace.
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth!
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

O Holy Night

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born!
O night! O Holy night!
O night divine!
Hey everybody. Sorry it has once more been too long since my last Adventish post. I have been, getting home pretty late this week, and that hasn't been conducive to writing Advent posts. Oh well, so now let's get on with it. You are probably pretty familiar with "O Holy Night", but it, like some of these other songs we've been through, has [to me] a much more mysterious, joyful, and wonderful, message than we might normally realize. The beginning of this song starts out simply enough be describing the "night of our dear Savior's birth". The next sections here are my favorite parts: "long lay the world in sin and error pining", ever since sin entered the world, we live in a place of sin, broken hearts, broken lives, and lost and confused people desperately trying to make sense of it all and find a place of rest and comfort. Too often, we are deceived into looking everywhere and trying everything to feel good about ourselves, or to "get it right", and we miss the Lord's heart for us and our lives; in fact, what we miss is the whole heart of Christmas. Jesus knew all about this world of sin and error, and then some. He knows how distraught and distressed we feel when we are trying to jump through enough spiritual hoops to reach that ever-elusive place of "okay-ness". While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And to do that; while we were yet sinners, Christ was born for us. All of this is because; while we were yet sinners, Christ desperately loved us. That's why we have Christmas. Still, it is a very realistic assessment of us and this world to describe us as, "in sin and error pining". If this song ended right here, it would be more depressing than "Auld lang syne"; and we wouldn't have much to celebrate. We know, however, that this is only setting the scene for the most glorious story ever heard of. Take a look at the at the next part of the song, "'til He appeared and the soul felt its worth". What's that talking about? Well, we were at a Chris Tomlin concert last week, and Louie Giglio was talking about this very line. Basically, he made the very good point that our fallen souls have never felt "worth" anything [if anything, we'll tend toward a dooming sense of worthlessness in our own fears and failures], until we hear of the amazing, incredible, unending love of our Savior Jesus Christ. We certainly want to be worth something, some of us dare to hope we are, but we can have no concept of our true worth to until we come face to face with the wonderful reality of God's love. When you begin to understand even a little glimpse of this astounding truth, what can you do but "fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices!" and know that this was indeed a Holy Night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Child Is This?

"What Child is this
Who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.


Hey everybody. How's it goin? Sorry I haven't posted for a good while now, alot of you probably know that we just had my graduation last Sat. [which I'm going to do a post about, I just was thinking I might wait for the pictures that are coming], and we've been real busy getting back into the routine of work, house, etc. Anyways, I'm back and excited to continue with this Advent post series! O.k., the verses that you see above come from the classic hymn, "What Child is This?". Though we can sometimes get caught in the "hymn-sing mode" [where we just kind of rattle off the song without taking in the words], this song has a very powerful and beautiful message. The events surrounding the birth of Jesus were anything but ordinary; pregnant women are not usually visited by angels, fiancees are not usually given divine dreams, old women are not usually told that they are going to have babies who will prepare the way for their Savior, shepherds are not usually visited by the hosts of heaven on otherwise silent nights, enormous stars are not usually used as birth announcements, newlywed taxpayers are not usually housed in stables, eastern kings are not usually prompted to travel miles to bring expensive gifts to small children, but, on the other hand, I guess the Lord and Savior, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, coming down to live with us in our sin-ridden, hopeless [without Him] world, is anything but usual. What Child is this? This Child is the long-awaited answer to a promise hundreds of years old. What Child is this? This Child is the Son of a carpenter. What Child is this? This Child is the Son of God. What Child is this? This Child is the Creator of all time. What Child is This? This Child is your maker, who loves you enough to die for you so that you could have peace and be with Him forever. What Child is this? 

"This, this is Christ the King;
Whom shepherds guard 
 and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary." 

Friday, December 4, 2009

O Come All Ye Faithful

"Yea, Lord, we greet Thee
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father,
now in flesh appearing.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!
Hey everyone. Sorry I didn't get to knock out a post last night; but things are very busy [in a good way:) Anyways here I am now. Okay, the lines above are the words to the second verse of the well-known Christmas hymn, "O Come, All Ye Faithful". After the greeting of the verse, it says, "Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;". So this seems to lay out the idea that Jesus is [of course] worthy of all glory. I think that we all believe that, but what struck me was the next statement in this song. "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing." Jesus was God's Word that had been promised centuries ago. The fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham and Sarah, the True King of Israel, the "Savior, who is Christ the Lord". This promise had been in the hearts of the nation of Israel for years and now, in the strangest and most wonderful of ways, it had been fulfilled. Who could have ever guessed that the King of Kings would make His "royal debut" in a small-town shed? Jesus is the "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing"! We call the birth of Jesus the Incarnation- God in human form. It follows that he is also the incarnation or missing piece, or outcome, or whatever you want to call it, of the holy promise of God to send a Savior to His people. Our God is the definition of "Faithful". He never once "re-considered" or "thought better of" His promised plan. No. It was His Joy, His favorite thing to do, to come and rescue us from the pit we had jumped into. This Advent, may we remember this; and just as a Christmas dinner brings together family, as a pile of presents around a tree bring children with eyes full of excitement and expectant wonder, I pray that the manger would irresistibly draw our hearts, minds, and thoughts to the Wonder that it holds.
"O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Joseph's Lullaby

"Go to sleep, my Son;
This manger for Your bed.
You have a long road before You.
Rest Your little head.
Can You feel the weight of Your glory?
Do You understand the price?
Or does the Father guard Your heart for now
So You can sleep tonight?"
Hey everybody. I think it was last year that I heard this wonderful song by MercyMe for the first time. During Advent, I love thinking about how the Christmas story would look through a given person's eyes. Just imagine what sort of thoughts and questions were racing around in Joseph's head on that night. Here he was, a newly married man to a young lady who had just had her first baby. The events of his courtship and marriage were filled with angels, miracles, and dreams from Heaven. Could either Mary or Joseph even begin to fathom the meaning of where God's plan would take Jesus? As Jews, this couple had heard from the time they were little of the promised Messiah who would be their Savior. What did that mean? When would that be? Who would that be? These questions probably were about as clear to them as all the details of Jesus's second coming is to us; we've heard and studied and thought and talked about it, but still, there is still a certain air of mystery about the whole thing. This Jewish couple were just your average, everyday, kind of people, who loved God and served Him with their lives. Who could have ever imagined that Gabriel -who Mary had grown up hearing about from back in the story of the prophet Daniel- would visit this young girl to give her the message that she would be the mother of God's Son, the Messiah. This would be mind-blowing! Then think about it from Joseph's side of things. Even after he's assured that he should still go ahead and take Mary for his wife, there were still so many unanswered questions. How in the world could you parent God's Son?! Not only that, but the One who created you?! Was the Messiah sent to drive out the Romans, or was it alot more than that? If Joseph was well versed in Old Testament Prophecy, he may have known more of what kind of Savior the Messiah would be. If so, would he have ever thought that visiting shepherds and wise men would one day be traded for crowds that screamed, "Let Him be crucified!", that those same tiny hands would one day be pierced by nails, that the wood of the manger would one day be replaced by a criminal's cross, that the baby cries would one day be exchanged for, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?", that a borrowed stable would be traded for a borrowed tomb, but then, even if Joseph could have imagined a glimpse of those things, could he have have ever dreamed of the glorious outcome of this mission? When three days later Jesus Christ would walk out of that tomb as the Savior of the world who had conquered the Enemy, and Death, and made a way for our
Forgiveness, and Hope, and Peace, and Safety, and Rest? Amen.
Alot had happened since Bethlehem.
"Go to sleep, my Son;
Baby, close Your eyes.
Soon enough You'll
Save the day,
But for now, dear Child of mine,
Oh, my Jesus,
Sleep tight."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

"Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn king."
Good evening everybody! During our Advent time tonight, we sang this well-known hymn. Once again I was struck by the way it so beautifully encapsulates the heart of the Christmas story. Though all the verses are wonderful, the second verse [above] really stuck out to me. Basically, in about four sentences, it tells us who Jesus is [Christ the everlasting Lord], how He came into this world [offspring of the virgin's womb], Jesus's "secret identity" on this earth; as well as a recognition of His being all God while still being fully human [Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, hail the incarnate Deity], and then, [probably my favorite part], this song reminds us of how Jesus felt about this whole plan, [Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel]. Note that it doesn't say, "Tolerates being a man and dwelling with men", or, "Is resigned to coming to the earth", or "Does it because it's the right thing to do" or anything like that. The truth is, even after being fully aware of the cost of being our Savior, Jesus took pleasure in giving us this gift. I suppose we could almost compare it to the pleasure that we get when we buy or make the perfect gift for someone; as we watch them open up the package we aren't usually thinking, "I can't believe I paid $27.95 for that little thing", but rather we experience almost more joy than the receiver of the gift in our excitement to bless them. [Now I know that what Jesus did is way out of comparison, but I'm just noticing a down-the-line parallel]. This Advent, I hope that we will all come more and more to the realization that the gift of Salvation [indeed, the gift of Christmas], is not at all one given begrudgingly, or out of a "I guess I have to" spirit; but it is given out of the heart of a Father who loves His children enough to lay down His life, and the tenderness of a Shepherd who protects His sheep, the security of dad who will fight off the bullies, the mercy of a loving King to His subjects, and yes, the meekness of a Baby born on a silent night.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Welcome to Our World

"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking;
How we need to hear from God.
You've been promised, we've been waiting,
Welcome holy Child,
Welcome holy Child."
These lines are from one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard. It's called "Welcome to Our World", and it's by Chris Rice. As we move through the Advent season, I pray that we all are filled with awe and wonder as we're reminded of what we celebrate during this time. This world is a place full of broken hearts, broken lives, and people who desperately need a Savior. Left to our own sinful nature, our default action is to self-destruct. We grow attached to our bitterness and anger and eventually become afraid to live without it. We try to fill a hole that can only be filled by the love of Christ with any number of things, people, places, etc. The result is a complete "lostness" that wounds us and others. It was into this world that our Lord chose, even desired, to come. He loved us so much- though not because of anything we had done- that He brilliantly crafted the most intricate and selfless rescue operation of all time. This plan would involve the King of Kings being born in an outbuilding, the Creator of the universe living as a carpenter, and the Author of Life being tortured, mocked, and murdered by the beings He breathed into existence. The miracle of Advent is that all of this vast plan that started before the birth of time, was made for.... you. And for me. The heart of a King who loved and cherished His subjects gave us "A Babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger". This is the heart of Advent. This is Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

"O come, o come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel.
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee
O Israel."


Hey everybody. How's it going? For those of you who read yesterday's post, you may have noticed something at the end talking about Advent. I am sure that some of the readers here have heard of Advent before; and may even celebrate it. For those of you who have never heard of Advent, or don't really know what it is, allow me to explain. It started in the year 381 A.D. Back then, it was a three-week time of fasting and prayer before a holiday celebrating the revelation of Jesus to the Wise Men from the east. Around the year 600, Gregory the first refined the time to its present form. Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas [today] and it is not so much a time of fasting now as it is a time of prayer and worship all leading toward the celebration of Jesus's birth. There are many different Advent traditions, but one continuous thread that you usually find is the lighting of candles as a way of counting down to Christmas. Mom and Dad have done "Advent time" with us for as far back as my memory can reach. In our family, we have a time each night of the Advent season [until Christmas day], to read a devotion [there's a enormously wonderful series of books for Advent by a man named Arnold Ytreeide], and sing Christ-centered Christmas carols. At the beginning of each devotion time, we light the next candle on our Advent log. It's a log about 5 feet in length with holes drilled along the top to hold a candle for each night of Advent. On the first night we light a candle on far end of one side, and the next night the far candle on the other side. We keep switching back and forth lighting one more each night as we make our way to the center of the log.[When we light the next candle, we also re-light all of the ones we've been through.] The very center candle is lit on Christmas morning. It is usually a special color to signify Christ's birth. So every night by the light of the candles we have gotten to so far, Mom reads the next chapter of the devotion story, and we sing Christmas songs of worship. Over the years, we have treasured this time more and more. While it might seem to be "just another thing to do during the busy Christmas season", for us it has become a huge blessing to be reminded every night of our Savior's love for us and His masterful and wonderful plan that gave us a Baby in a manger. It is my hope to be able to share with you some of the joy and excitement we have during this season of Advent. I think I'll try to get at least some sort of post off every day, though we'll have to see if I make it every time. By the way, the word "Advent" basically means "coming" or, "the coming of". So when we celebrate Advent, we're really celebrating the Advent [coming of, or birth of], Jesus. Okay, now that I have done my best to explain what Advent is, I will proceed with this series of posts.

"The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined." (Is. 9:2)
"For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful,
Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace." (Is.9:6)
In church this morning, we talked about how Christmas started long before a lowly stable in Bethlehem. The prophet Isaiah spoke about this Coming hundreds of years before the shepherds met the angels. The fact is, the birth of Jesus is the "on switch" of God's masterful and daring rescue plan that He had in place since the beginning of time. Bethlehem was in our Lord's heart even as the first bite was taken out of the forbidden fruit back in the Garden of Eden. Even as His words created space and life, the lives of a certain young girl and her Baby were ever in the mind of our God. The groundwork for the manger included 12 tribes, 10 commandments, the giving of the Law, faithfulness, treason, Divine Love, sinful hatred, righteous kings, wicked tyrants, and the other parts of the saga of the One True King and His love and heart for His people despite their constant rejection. The cries of prophets and the screams of raging hearts, the chants of Baal worshipers, and the songs of a repentant nation, were heard in Israel long before the crying of a newborn broke the stillness of a starry Bethlehem night. It is my prayer that during this Advent season, we will realize more and more the love of our Father as we remember and think about His coming into our world.
"Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel
Shall come to Thee
O Israel."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving, Birthday, Bonus package!

Wow! 6 days since I last posted. Sorry chaps and chappesses, but I've been quite on the busy side with preparations-friends-and-family type stuff. Okay, Matthew was not the last blogger ever to post about Thanksgiving. However, because at least 2 blogs are already featuring our own Thanksgiving, I will not do another replay. I will only say that we had a very blessed time with our family and we finished up by looking toward the celebration of our Savior's birth. The next morning [yesterday morning], Dad and the girls and I went black Friday shopping. I had never really done that crazy crowd thing before, and as it turns out, there it was not anywhere near as crazy as it might have been.[must be the economy or something]. I couldn't find anything I wanted in the mall [or at least anything I wanted bad enough to pay that much for it :), so we finished up there and went to Music and Arts to see if they had any sales over there. I walked in with a very innocent unassuming manner, and came out with a new Fender Squire sky-blue electric guitar with a new amp and free gig bag. [No I wasn't hustled, I've been looking at pawn shops, ads, etc, for about 2 years for an electric guitar to expand my guitar playing horizons. Also, my sisters will testify that I'm not going to turn into one of those "electric guitar rocker types" if you know what I mean.] Anyway, the Lord allowed me to get an incredible deal on this thing and I'm really blessed to have it :) By the way, the whole reason we were out doing all that shopping and stuff, was that yesterday was my 19th Birthday!!! Thus, we went over to a bowling alley where we went and bowled and shot pool for a few hours [with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for poooool :) I did okay at bowling and a little better at pool. I was really fun. That evening, we had calzones for dinner and cake, ice cream, and presents. Some friends [of our whole family ;) gave me a book on how Hollywood influences our culture, and one about the Spanish Inquisition. Mom and Dad got me the new Casting Crowns c.d., a Christmas music guitar book, and a new volleyball. Grandma June got me a new bed-spread setup. Leah got me the Glory in the Highest c.d., Anna got me a Chick-fil-a gift card [can I use it 7 times a day?] Benjy got me a jar of my favorite mince meat pie filling [to eat not as a pie, but with a spoon. Yum!] Abby got me a bunch of gourmet hot chocolate mixes, and Rachel and Sarah's present is that they're going to buy the 3 of us tickets to the Chris Tomlin Glory in the Highest concert!!! Thank you every single person who has helped me celebrate my birthday! [and no, I haven't forgotten about Matthew's pool stick he gave me, and Aaron's gift card]. Thanks to you guys too! Okay, if you've made it this far, I have one more thing to tell you. Tomorrow is the first day of Advent time. It is my fondest desire to do a blog post for each day of the Advent season. If you have never heard of Advent, I'll do my best to fill you in with a kick-off post tomorrow. If you and your family already celebrate this time, enjoy, and have a blessed season of looking toward our Lord and Savior's birthday! Thanks everybody and see you all later!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cheerio

Good evening to all you bloggers! How's everybody doing? I'm doing pretty well, though mentally kind of tired. Mom and Dad are out w/my uncle and Aunt for her birthday, and we're watching everyone around here. We had church today at our house, and it was announced that we'll continue to use our house for the winter months for church. As the Lord has been growing us, it's getting harder to fit all of our church family into one place. That's kind of a good problem to have :) Alrighty, let's see here. Oh! Thanks to Miss Shaina and the Butler family for signing on as followers. Hope you enjoy it! Well, I was pretty busy this past week with storm clean-up and the Wilson's turkeys. They had a really great day of turkey business yesterday from what I hear. I'm also trying to work on stuff for my graduation. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving [and my day-after birthday:), and the start of the holiday season! Hey, I want to thank everyone once again for the fun with all of the question and answer stuff. You all had some really great questions [as well as some really weird ones ;), and I hope the answers were satisfactory. [As far as slavery goes Oliver, I don't think there's any one verse in the Bible that says, "Thou shalt not own slaves", but I think if we look a little deeper, we see our Lord's heart on this issue. I believe that slavery is not of the Lord. Jesus Himself came to this earth to free us from the ultimate level of slavery- the bondage of sin. I can't see how it would rationally follow to feel free to enslave a fellow sinner that Jesus was willing to die for. I'm not talking about criminal justice or anything like that, but the buying and selling of human beings as a matter of course. That's pretty much my world-view on this issue]. Okay, moving right along. I want to let you guys know that I have some [what I think are] pretty cool ideas for blog posts coming up pretty soon. I'm not at liberty to tell you all of what they're about because then they wouldn't be "fresh, new, and exciting!" =) hee hee. Well hey, I'm going to sign off here because Benjamin and I are going to do some nighttime wood chopping outside. [as in we're not going to do it inside ;) I hope that you all have a good evening and I hopefully you shall hear from me in not-to-long-of-a-time! p.s. How's everybody enjoying the fall? I love this time of year and it's looking really beautiful around here!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act III

Hey there! It's time for the final act of "The Great Question Adventure". I've had alot of fun [and some groaning] as I've been answering all of your queries, and I'd like to thank each and every asker for asking! Alright, here's the moment I know you all have been waiting for! :)

Q: Are you bringing your guitar to the barn dance?

A: I did, but I never pulled it out.

Q: Should I [Matthew] bring a drum?

A: You did, but sadly, we didn't use it either.

Q: You like that little rhyme?

A: It was fine, but if that's all I get for my graduation you won't be! ;)

Q: When you are listening to music, do you find yourself singing and dancing along to it?

A: Ooo. Man. Ya' had to go and ask that didn't you. Honestly, I always find myself singing and dancing along to it. Just ask my sisters, they'll tell you. But hey, I almost figured out how to do that boot dance thing from "Bella" :)

Q: What is your view on our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Should we be there fighting terrorism or pull out?

A: Okay, this is a complicated issue that goes back all the way to Jacob and Esau. Seeing as I don't have time to address all of ancient history, I will talk about this issue in relation to terrorism. We need to be concerned about our nation's security and take steps to protect our country from terrorism on the inside as well as from the outside. Radical Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan do pose a serious threat to our safety as well as the safety of other nations. In that respect, I believe that we should deal with that issue [including war when necessary]. The government systems over there are historically weak and vulnerable to mob rule; thus, I can see that it might prove necessary to move our forces in to provide direction, discipline, man-power, etc. While we should stay away from "taking over their government", we do have proven and helpful advice on how to have a successful nation. I think, though, that our primary concern over there should be about the threat of terrorism as it gets outside of "in-country" terms. [Not to say at all though, that we shouldn't have a great concern that causes us to take action for the liberties and safety of all individuals. God has designed and made each of his human beings with "certain inalienable rights". All I mean is that having a great amount of our national defence energy constantly involved with sorting out "little" issues that could be solved by a nation's own government wouldn't be the wisest choice]. Back to the point however. I think that what we're in right now [starting all the way back at Desert Storm and 911] does warrant military action on our part. I'm not going to nit-pick each and every little decision throughout the whole process, or lay out exactly what I think the master strategy should be [because I haven't thought it through that much]. I do, however, believe that we have at least some responsibility to "finish what we started". If we made the move to become pretty involved over there, it is not a very honorable thing as a nation to "get sick of it and leave". We should be cautious as to how "linked up" we get with any government, but we need to protect ourselves and not be wishy-washy about finishing what we know to be right and just. I don't have all of my thoughts completely shined up, but I think this is a rough idea.

Q: Have you ever picked 200 grubs out of puddles?

A: No. I have picked grubs out of other things though.

Q: When are ya gonna answer thees here questions?

A: Right about now.

Q: Have you read any good books lately?

A: Definitely. I love to read, and do a good bit of it. In the non-fiction category, I've loved reading a book by John Eldridge called, "Epic". In the fiction category, I really liked "The Scarlet Pimpernel". I'd never read it before, but did so on recommendation by my sister and her friends.

Q: Whats your favorite type of clothes to wear(casual, formal, etc.)?

A: It depends of course on the occasion; but I love to be "all dressed up". Almost as much as I love "a pair of jeans that fit just right".

Q: How far away from home have you been in your life?

A: Probably either California or Oregon. [I think Oregon as it's up higher than California.]

Q: How many fingers am I holding up?

A: No more than 10. :)

Q: What was the prettiest sight you ever saw?

A: In the outdoors at least, it would probably be Bash-bish falls or the surrounding area in the Berkshires.

Q: If you were the president, what would be the first thing you would change about the USA?

A: I think that I'd encourage people to be alot bolder about using and developing a Biblical world-view to filter decisions that they might make [in personal life, as well as public and civic arenas].

Q: Are you scared of the dark?

A: Not the dark itself. But I have been scared of things in the dark [or that could be in the dark:)

Q: Are you gonna cry at your graduation?

A: We'll see.

Thanks for all of your reading and asking. I will look forward to more posting! Before I sign off, this is the official thank-you to Miss Leanna and Miss Elizabeth for becoming followers of this blog! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act II

Hey there! It's Sunday evening and Mom and Dad are out with my sister Anna [it's her birthday], while us older kids watch the house. We have had a great [and very busy] weekend. We went to a birthday party on Friday night, we had an early birthday party for Anna on Saturday morning, and after that we went to the highly-anticipated Alexanders' Barn Dance! That was so much fun guys, thanks for having us all out there :) It was very, very, well done and well planned. We left there at about 9:00 pm and made the 2-hour trip back to our to our place. Of course we had to wind down [and have a midnight snack:), so we probably didn't get to sleep til 1 or something. This morning we hosted church at our house, where the pastor from a church in Romania that we support, came with his son and spoke to us all about their work in Romania, their church, their government, etc. He has come several times before, and really makes a huge effort to visit us each time he comes to America. By the way, every time he comes, he's driving all the way from Chicago! He drives all the way to our part of VA just to speak for a relatively short amount of time, and head back! All that to say, I have just gotten a chance to sit back down to the computer and work on answering some more of these questions. So without further ado, here's some more answers:

Q: What's your favorite kind of car?

A: Hmm. Let's see. My dream car would have the ruggedness of a Hummer, the power of a BMW, the comfort of the Plaza, the sleekness and shape of a Chrysler 300, Dodge Avenger/Charger, Mustang combo, and the price of............. a candy bar. Or a '87 Subaru GL

Q: When you eat M&Ms do you sort them and if so which colors do you eat first?

A: Sometimes I sort my M&Ms [or at least pick out which color to eat first], and when I do, I'd probably eat the greens and blues first.

Q: Which is better the Redskins or the Cowboys?

A: I have to say I don't really follow football much, so I don't have much of a reason to say one or the other. But maybe I'll go with the Cowboys because my brother has a Cowboys helmet. Or maybe I'll go with the Redskins because they're closest to me. Probably whichever one is the underdog but still has a hope :)

Q: What do you think is the hardest language to learn?

A: Probably Gaelic or some other dead language. [Though I've never tried of course].

Q: What is the Immaculate Conception?

A: That's what they've called God's allowing Mary to become pregnant with Jesus.

Q: What is the Immaculate Reception?

A: I had fun with this one. a: How Joseph took the news, b: When the Redskins or Cowboys actually catch a hail-Mary pass.

Q: How many sodas do you drink a day?

A: You all must think that I only drink soda or something. I usually drink one 22 or 32oz cup of soda on an average work day.

Q: What is your favorite character in Monsters Inc.?

A: I like Sully, Mike, and of course, Boo. [also Roz and the CDA] [and occasionally Randall :)

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Oh, that's way too subjective for one answer:) Depending on what I've had recently, it could change. But here's something at least: I have to have protein [mostly meat] or I'll get to feeling all headachey and jittery and stuff. I love meat.

Q: What is your favorite ice cream?

A: Probably cookie dough or cookies and cream.

Q: What would scare you the most, finding a snake on your pillow, getting locked in a dinosaur museum all night or milking all of our cows by yourself?

A: Hmm. Not the museum [I'd just go to office or something][ wait, it would be really scary if it was like "Night at the Museum"]. Milking all of your cows by myself would mostly confuse me.[ Though it should terrify you]. So probably finding my mortal enemy, the snake, on my pillow.

Q: What is your least favorite chore?

A: Well, because I work in the business every day, I don't have many scheduled inside chores. But I think my least favorite chore-related thing is when a chore that sounds [and should be] simple, goes wrong or messes up, or the tool breaks or gets lost, etc. That really irritates me.

Q: Have you ever thrown food under the table that you were supposed to eat, but didn't like?

A: I don't think so. I'd tend toward feeling guilty for not liking it and start thinking I should make myself eat more. [At least when I was little. And believe me, that's no better or easier a problem to have].

Q: What is your favorite school subject?

A: I love science from a Biblical world-view. I also love history. I tend to do pretty well with math, and I love the math when it "clicks" in my head. When I can teach it back to you, that's when I love it. I don't always love what it takes to get there though.

Q: What is your view on Christian rock vs. hymns?

A: Okay, this can tend to be a touchy subject, but I'm going to try to shoot straight. First, I need to know what you mean be "Christian Rock". Some people consider Casting Crowns, Third Day, and Steven Curtis Chapman, to be rock. I get that. [it is rock and roll beats, etc.] I've also known people who define rock only as screamo, yelling, type music. I do not endorse that kind of music. I think though, that you are talking about the first type of rock. [like something on K-love]. I will proceed using that definition. I don't think that there needs to be Christian rock VS hymns. [As if they're in some kind of boxing match]. I have many hymns that are close to my heart as well as many "Christian rock" songs that are close to my heart. I feel in no way called to have a "hymns only" mindset. When I evaluate music, the very first thing I pay attention to are the words. I try to understand the "heart" of the song. That the words speak the Lord's truth is a very key factor. If you think about it, some of the worldliest [is that a word:) songs are slow ballads filled with immorality. I believe that hymns are treasures from God that have been passed down to us by God's people, and I believe that God is still moving in his people [including contemporary Christian artists], to write new songs for us to treasure that minister to our hearts. And also, are really great music! :) I hope this kind of answers your question :)

Q: What is your least favorite food?

A: This should be shorter. I do not like watermelon or butter. [I mean, I like butter in stuff, but not like buttering my bread].

Q: Do you believe in the right to secede from the Union?

A: Well the barn dance is over, so you can't lock me up =) As I mentioned the other day on here, I am not very polished up at all on secession rights. I believe that all of our rights should be protected, and should never be "given" to us by our leaders. Our rights are given to us by God. As far as a right to secede goes, I'd have to look in the books and see what's there. The "rights" issue aside though, I see a whole lot more wisdom in unity than division. Just as a house divided cannot stand, a nation divided isn't much better. [I mean, not some socialist, brain-washed, everyone's forced to believe the same thing idea, but just that I believe that God planted this nation here for His plans, and He has great ones]. Let us be active as citizens who bear His name. Representatives of our state, and more than that; representatives of our Lord!

Q: Do you believe that the federal government has the right to invade a group of former states, brutally kill its citizens, burn down many of its citys, and justify it all on a small group of slaves that were treated like family by their masters?

A: Wow. That's kind of a loaded pair of dice there. If I boil down your question, I get something like this, "Do you believe that the federal government has the right to make war on former states because they owned slaves?". Well, that would tend to suggest that the North's only "excuse" for the Civil War was slaves. If that's the only one, it doesn't line up with what I've heard. In fact, seeing as you seem to tend more toward "unNorth", I would think that you might have a few more "excuses" to tell us about. At any rate, I thought the issue was that for whatever reason [I don't really know if it was good or bad], the U.S. gov. didn't recognize the South's secession. I don't know the particulars very well, but did the South meet the criteria [if there are any] for secession? So, if to the gov., the southern states weren't "former" states [because they'd never left], it wasn't making war on a separate nation, but squelching a group of rebels. I'm not saying I agree with everything there, because I haven't done as much research as you probably have. I was just laying out what I thought the Northern reasoning was. If the situation was truly as you described it, I could see your point. Hopefully, I'll have a better answer for you sometime. :)

Alright, that's it for now. I'll be back soon with Act III :) Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Answers for the Questions Act I

Whew! What do you all think of this storm?! It's been pretty fierce out there for the past couple of days. Man alive, you all do me quite an honor to ply me with such a varied, tricky, insightful, funny, smart, and sometimes politically loaded array of questions! I thank you all for asking away. Well, to start off I'll keep with my tradition of thanking the new followers....... [drum roll] Thank You Miss Anna for signing up to our growing [though slower than my wonderful sisters] blog! It's my wish that all of the readers enjoy these postings and have as much fun as I do! And now for our answers, right after the break [intro into Coke commercial] =) Ha.Ha. Okay, I have been mulling these little fellers over in my lil' ol' head and I'll give you at least some of the answers. So here goes nothing:

Q: If you had the choice of playing volleyball or playing guitar w/ friends who also played, which would it be?

A: Hmm. If it was volleyball with all of our regular crowd, I might pick that [first at least] because it would include alot more of the people and be really fun! [Not to slight the great fun we have guitar playing:)

Q: Do you like to go to big concerts [like at Scope] or smaller scale concerts [colonial heights church (Tim Hawkins)]

A: I would have to say that for a music concert I'd tend toward the Chrysler Hall, Scope, big area type venue. [Although some guys it's just more fun to see in a smaller setting i.e. Michael Card.]

Q: Who would you have fought for if you lived during the war between the States, and why?

A: Okay, this is one of those politically charged ones. I know that in VA home school circles it seems to be a trend to stick with Dixie Land [and more than that I am known as "The Gentleman From Virginia"], but I'm going to try to give you my true feelings/beliefs on the issue. [I know that sounds like a, how did you put it, "Stompin' right Yankee" Oliver :) Here's the deal. I must confess that I'm not as studied up on the Civil War as much as I'd like to be [hats off to all of you C. war historian types], but as far as who I'd fight for, I'd have to put my locational allegiances aside and chose the side that I believed the Lord wanted me on. That said, I'm not in love with all of the aspects of the South or the North. I absolutely agree that slavery is wrong and needed to be eradicated from our nation [no matter how much like family they were supposedly treated]. However, I also believe in States' sovereignty and protecting their rights in our constitution. I am rusty as I previously admitted and I'm not very up to date on secession rights. [though others seem to think Texas and VA only have them now]. Anyways, I am definitely against a hasty or rash secession no matter what the rights are. I think that our country is safest and has had God's blessing as the United States of America. I would be against secession for petty or short-sighted reasons. [I don't, however, know the particular reasons for each state's desire to secede. I'd appreciate enlightenment:) I do believe though, that there were godly men on either side of the Mason-Dixon and I would have to put much prayer and more thought into official "signing up". One last thing to this long answer: I would not at all make my decision with just the typical "it was about slaves, slavery is wrong, go North, North, North" mindset. I believe there were errors on both sides that are very worth considering.

Q: What's your fav. Christmas arrangement of a song?

A: Ahh. A lighter answer. I love Christmas music and many different Christ. songs, so I'll have to pick just one and give my favorite arrangement. I'll go with Steven Curtis Chapman's version of "Carol of the Bells". It's always a beautiful song and his version is extremely well done with alot of guitar!

Q: What is your favorite style to play on your guitar?

A: It really depends on my mood and sometimes how tired I am. [I hope I don't sound like the moody artist type. Just think of David and the psalms:) If I'm fresh, and not groggily tired, I will often chose a very upbeat song with complicated strum patterns or ornamentation. If I'm at the end of my day [or in a rainy day like these], I might tend towards working on "Carol of the Bells" or "Mary Did You Know" with some really nice finger picking.

Q: Have you ever owned a pair of penny-loafers?

A: Several times when I was younger. [complete of course, with brand-new, shiny, pennies :)

Q: Do you like nuts?

A: I am nuts. Seriously though, I love salted peanuts. You can have those unsalted excuse-for-a-peanut things. As far as other nuts go, it's not that I hate any kind of nut, but I don't typically choose them. [for the record, as far as nuts inside of treats and things- don't even make me go there. If they were supposed to have nuts in them, they would have been born with 'em.

Alright, I'm kind of sleepy so I'll get finish these up later. By the way, feel free to ask any more Qs that you care to. We're still open :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Any Questions?

Hey guys! Happy Tuesday. Alright, here's the deal. I'm starting one of those Question and Answer posts. I will be happy to answer any questions that you are inclined to pose. It is my hope that this does not come off as "more of the same". Although there have been many QA discussions recently, there has not been, to my knowledge, one done from a boy's point of view. All that to say, this might be fun to pay attention to. I will also put this out there- I am not going to do one of those "if I don't get any questions I'll be a failure" type comments. I would love to get some questions and provide some answers; but if you just don't have any I won't scratch you off my list :) I think that I'll let this run until Monday or Tuesday, though if I have a good number of questions I might start my answering much sooner. Well, I guess that's it. Start your asking and have a good day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What I've Been Meaning To Say

Hello Everybody! You may [or may not] have noticed that I haven't posted since election night. I guess that's because I've been pretty busy since election night. Wednesday was work [as were Thursday and most of Fri.] On Friday afternoon I got to spend the night at my grandparents in V.B. I don't get to spend very much time with them now that I'm a "country boy", so it was really fun to see them and talk and get kind of spoiled. The reason for all of this was that they were going to take me shopping on Sat. for my birthday/graduation present! What we were shopping for was kept secret from me until Fri. night when they told me that they wanted to go to J.C. Penny and let me pick out a suit coat. [my first "grown up" one :) This morning we got up to a biscuit breakfast and they took me shopping for not only a coat, but a shirt, a tie, and two pairs of dress pants! =) [If any of my friends see me in this stuff, they might not recognize me. It's alot nicer than jeans and a t-shirt]. We had a great time and I'm so thankful for Grandaddy and Grandmomma. Anyways, all of that is just the reason why I haven't posted for a few days. Let's get down to what this post is really about. Thankfully, I've had alot of [what I think] are great post ideas recently, but this one is the idea I briefly referred to at the end of the election night post. I want to just take a minute and fill everybody in on some of what the Lord has been doing in my life this year in relation to the election process and Biblical worldview in relation to politics and patriotism. By the way, the picture is of Mr. [Now Attorney General Elect] Ken Cuccinelli. He's a homeschool dad, a senator, and a guy who I've been supporting for quite a while. O.K. back to the point at hand. During the first part of the year, I started going to the Generation Joshua club that the Tates had started. God had been really putting on my heart and interesting me in politics and our role as Christians and His ambassadors to our nation. Sometime in March or April probably, Mr. Larry [who's been a great advisor/teacher/coach/bus driver:) in this area] told me that a guy named Ken Cuccinelli was coming to Suffolk to speak as he was running for Attorney General. I talked with Mom and Dad, and was able to make it over to hear him talk. I really liked what I heard and came home telling everyone about it. Somewhere along the way, the Tates also told me about the need for delegates to the Republican State Convention where the GOP would nominate their candidates. Dad and Mom and I talked and prayed about it, and felt that it was something we should do. So in May I believe, Dad and I trooped up to the Richmond Convention Center with several friends [including the Tates and the head of FQ Farm, Mr. Scott Wilson]. That was so much fun! It also was a huge opportunity for me. God had been showing me that instead of complaining on election day about terrible choices for candidates and just voting for the guy with the "R" beside his name; we need to be involved much earlier in the process. This primary was just such an occasion. We heard all of the candidates speak and witnessed an overwhelming roar of applause when the "underdog", this Ken Cuccinelli guy, walked out onto the stage to accept his party's nomination. [One thing about that was that he was definitely not the favorite to win that nomination. I believe that one of the reasons he did though, was the presence of the many conservative families that came out to voice their beliefs and convictions. It was great!] After the Convention, I spent the summer doing different things with our GenJ club including, fundraisers, hosting a Restore the Founders' Vision lecture, visiting Congressman Randy Forbes to talk about the Parental Rights Amendment, going to D.C. to meet with other leaders about the same thing, working on two videos that won prizes in the PRA video contest, and then phone-banking for the election and working as a poll-watcher. God has blessed me with many opportunities this year to be involved in our community and nation and the process that we use to elect our leaders. I've had so much fun, learned alot more than that, and was so thankful to see the payoff last Tuesday with a sweep of what I believe to be some pretty good leaders! I feel so privileged to have been placed in a country like ours, and would encourage us all as Christians and Ambassadors to learn about and be involved in our nation's government! Thanks for reading, and I hope to post again soon! Have a great night!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Voting Day

Hey everybody! This will be pretty quick. Basically I want to give you the quick run-down on how my/our election day went. Earlier this week I was talking to Ms. Gina about how I wished I could have made it to the Student Action Team that GenJ was doing in V.B. [It just wasn't working with our schedule]. Anyway, she told me that Rick Morris, the guy who's basically the head of the Republican party in IOW, was telling her about a need for poll-watchers in our county on voting day. I thought poll-watching was something about holding the rule book and inspecting the way the process was being run. It might be usually [ I don't know], but what this was was that they gave me a BlackBerry device that had a complete list of the registered voters in the precinct. As a voter walked up to the sign-in table and gave their name, I started typing in the first few letters of their last name. The BlackBerry would narrow down the list more and more as I typed more and more letters. Then I would find the person on the list and press the "space" key to mark them as having voted. That info got sent to a database in Richmond where the could custom-tailor the phone-banking lists to call only those who had not voted yet. So last night I went to a quick training session on what to do and how to use the device [I'm not one of those kids who already knows how to use every piece of technology because they already own it], with Matthew. I had to convince them several times that no, he wasn't voter age; and that he wasn't going to be there tomorrow. [ Sometimes political people have the, " You're another body that can move, breathe, and do such and such!? Here! Have a BlackBerry!" :) Anyways the trickiest part of the whole thing was probably getting up at 5:15 this morning after going to bed between probably 11:00 and 11:30 last night. I made it however, and I'm eagerly awaiting the results! I also took my sisters over to the Thompson's for a girls chorus thing. No, I didn't sing Mr. Matthew and Daniel T. I did math on the screen porch while they sang. [and sounded really good might I add :) Okay, we're setting up for our stolen-from- the-Alexanders homemade victory party so I'd better go. I will post sometime with more info about the election [and hopefully celebrating a victory :), as well as with probably a little thing about what this whole election cycle has done in my life and what I've done in it's life. Alright, have a great evening!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Double Birthdays

Ahhh. It's another rainy, perfectly fallish day. I am staying home today to do school [right after I blog ;) We have had quite a busy weekend with Morgan's graduation [which, I believe, has been thoroughly covered by the various presses out there. I will only say that it was a great time and I hope she enjoyed it! :) On Sun. we had church at our house [Aaron brought an old friend of mine and a new friend of his, Dyland Adams]. That was alot of fun. Mr. John led worship and Dad and I spoke for the teaching time. It was raining for the greater part of the day [and wet for the rest]. What with the inside time and all, I noticed a very singular fact. On the rainiest, most wet days, when they must stay inside, the small children are drawn like nails to a magnet toward the harmonicas, dress-up, swords, sticks, and other things that make the general volume on the loudish side ;) [Has anyone ever witnessed the first practice of "The Children's Harmonica Choir"? You can usually get back to normal once you've finished proper counseling therapy. Anyway, we still had a really good time yesterday, and people could go outside eventually. Now, my title here suggests something of a festive nature does it not? I shall elaborate. Today, November the second of the year two-thousand and nine, is the 44th birthday of my bestest Mom! [I think that my teacher has a birthday somewhere around this time of year too]. I am very pleased to make this announcement and wish Mom a very happy birthday! But wait, the fun isn't over yet. Not only is it Mom's birthday, but it's also the 3rd birthday of Princess Grace Lorraine! She and Mom are both to be honored on this special occasion. I am extremely thankful for the both of them, and I hope that they feel very special and loved [because they are]. So that's the reason for the title. Oh! Here's a thing that should interest you if you have any little bit of adventurous, explorerish, fun-loving, mess-making, spirit in you. Yesterday my brother Benjamin and his entourage of young boys dug a tunnel straight through our big dirt pile in the front field! They spent the whole afternoon mining away. I overheard Benjy telling Will Wilson [he had to call him last night and let him know the final outcome of the expedition as the Wilsons left a little bit earlier than some :), that, "We started digging on either side of the pile, and when we heard the metal clink [of the shovels] we knew that we were through!" :) I'll also say that consistent with their nature, several of the moms had several of the dads "check out that tunnel to make sure that it doesn't collapse on them". [It's really not a long tunnel; when an average sized boy lays full length in it, he almost sticks out of one end or the other]. I have always wanted a good tunnel since I was those boys' ages. Whenever I started any major excavation back at the townhouse though, I was known to bring some not-too-pleased neighbors knocking at the door :) Oh, well, I was almost as excited as the boys to see their work :) So that's the end of that tale. I guess I'd better get going so that I can design my graduation invitation and get some math done. See ya later!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Jokin' Around

Hey guys! I don't know if anyone caught it last month [maybe because you had never heard of this blog last month if you're new], but I had wondered in one of my posts if anyone had a favorite joke that they'd like to share. I didn't get any responses though. So here's the deal: I think that the problem may have been that I just kind of stuck it in between the rest of my ramblings that day. Miss Kendal suggested on Rachel's blog that a joke request would draw a huge response. I have decided to take her advice for myself and give all you readers a chance to salvage your humor reputation. If ANYONE has any good, clean, hilarious [or even not so hilarious] jokes BRING THEM ON! If we get a really good turn out, I might even pick my favorite and give that person quite a commendation as a joke teller :) I KNOW that between just a few of the readers of this blog I could start a comedy club [mr. greenblog, talkalot, and many of the rest of you]. So for the sake of joke-tellers and enjoyers everywhere, send them on in. [For the moment I'm not going to give you one of my own for fear that it might be the one you were going to do. I'll probably put one as a comment though]. Hope to see lots of :) ;) :) [smiles] !

Oh, by the way, I heard the suits talking about starting a Q&A for "Unscripted". They know that it's been done recently, but they realized it was only girls so far. Keep watching.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nocturnal Monologue

That's what "nighttime blog post" turns into if you think about it too much : ) So anyways, I am here at night posting for the first time this week. I have been a little slack in posting for two reasons: the first is that I/we have been extremely busy this week. [though that's no excuse for some of you I know]. This brings me to my second reason: Several of the other bloggers in my blogging community have been keeping tabs on me [or I've been working at their house] and posting those on their blogs. Hence, it's probably old news to tell you all that I was working at all sorts of odd jobs and yard work at the Wilson's for Tuesday and Wednesday. You probably also know that the reason we went over there was to help get ready for Morgan's graduation on Saturday. So what do I post? I guess I'll tell you about some fringe things that I did in the cracks in between. Let's see, on Monday we did a small pruning and mulch job in V.B. We worked pretty late that night in a wonderful Fall mist and generally blustery evening. [ the lady at the 7-eleven afterwords said in reference to my appearance, "you soaki wet!"] Tuesday at the Wilson's for me was all sorts of bush and shrub trimming and pruning. As well as limbing up the crepe myrtles down the drive way. It came out pretty well. Oh- On Tuesday afternoon Mr. Scott sent me down to Capron with the stock trailer to pick up 3,000 lbs. of feed for the animals. That was a good trip. On Wed. I went back to the Wilson's with Dad and Anna and Leah to finish up the yard work and do other little things. Mom came and picked up the little Wilson's to take them back to our house for the afternoon. She also took Anna back and dropped Leah off at the Thompson's house. When I was done that evening, I drove over to the Thompson's to pick her up. I was supposed to time it right so that we could play some volley ball, but I stayed too late doing milking shows for the Wilson's. [much to some people's good natured chagrin : ) Well, the Ts took pity on my muddy and grassy appearance and fed me a turkey sandwich, freshly grown broccoli, and tortilla chips with salsa. They even gave me an homemade apple dumpling for dessert! [here's a little side note: I made Mom and the girls jealous by telling them about the dessert, so they got the recipe today and made them tonight! :) Okay, today was lawns with Matthew, and they went well. He faithfully brought his Ipod, [Thanks lil' music buddy :) and we only got drizzled on a little bit. One last thing, please remember that next Tues. is voting day! Please be active in your role as a representative of Christ in our Nation! Also, I think this weekend is time change time. [that's a little random] Well, I think I'm going to go try one of those apple dumplings! I hope you all have a good night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Which The Gentleman From Va. Tells About His Sunday


Today was Sunday. Yep that's what it was. Suunndaayy. Yup. I'm not talking about Saturday or Friday, but good ol' Sunday. Okay guys, that's a filler if I ever saw one:) Well hey, we have some important business at hand! Ahem, ahem, ahem, I would like to personally thank Mr. Daniel Tate and Miss Abigail for signing on as the most recent followers of this helter-skelter business that we're about here. :) O.K. that's enough with the formalities. Ooh. Look at the nice brace of dueling pistols up there. [but please don't read anything into them-none of you guys get to me that bad]. :) :[] ; ) These little pea-shooters were photographed up in Boston-nice place- when the girls and I were visiting our Aunt and Uncle a couple of years ago. Anyways, back to today. We hosted church at our house because some of the Wrights hadn't been feeling too well. It was quite a crowd because the Thompsons had brought some friends that were visiting them [the H. family] Plus, almost everybody else was there. I love when we have church at our house; and I especially love when alot of people come to church -wherever it's at. We had Bible Boot Camp time and then went out to play volley ball and many other wonderful games for the afternoon. By the way, I feel positively OLD tonight. I'm sore, and tired, and when I sit too long in one position, it hurts so much to get out of it. Man, maybe someone needs to cut up my food for me. Or just blend it all up so I can drink it. [ Or maybe I just did a good bit of sliding and jumping and running today and I stayed up late last night : ) So after everyone had left from church, some of the Thompsons stayed over for dinner. That was fun! [for the record, us kids love impromptu plans]. One other thing about church. Uncle David brought the drum set again! After we wrapped up with the actual "service", some of us gathered around and had a little jam session. That was fun too! O.K. guys, I'm gonna' go see what the commentary on "Nanny McPhee" looks like. Bye!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, we meet again. Hey guys, what do you think of our ski picture? This is from our trip to NY last Feb. For all of you Narnia fans out there, this was as close as it gets to Lucy's first visit:) Anyway, you might be getting irritated with the "wintery" feel of these last two posts, but let me explain. I just finished practicing my Christmas music on my guitar. It can get a little frustrating because I really want to learn some cool arrangements this year. Needless to say, I'm no Mac Powell, or SCC, or even some one-album artist; so when it comes to arranging music pieces I don't have much [or any] experience. Nevertheless, I've been intently studying some of my favorite C.d.s, and I hope to come up with at least a few pretty neat things by December. But hey, it's also fun and good practice. So that's the roundabout reason that I have Winter and Christmas on my mind. And that led me to pick this little photo to show you all. [Yeah, that's how my brain works sometimes:) Alrighty, today we went over to the Tate's in the morning and "processed" our chickens. [appearantly process is a very versatile word, because I've been through several different kinds of processes in my life and I'm still alive and well. Unlike the chickens.] After that we had planned to do lawns, but looking at the today and tomorrow, we decided that we'd stay around the house and do equipment repairs and truck work.[That's the other side of a landscape business]. Hey! Lots of thanks to Oliver! He left me this tip about the timezone thing for the blog posts. [He left it as a comment on two posts back]. Anyways, no I hadn't found that out yet, but as soon as I heard I fixed it up. Thanks again! So now if I do one of my late-night postings I can't hide it by 3 hours:) Anyways, that's most of what I've got for now. Oh! One more thing actually. On Saturday it looks like I get to go with the Wrights to a Tim Hawkins concert! He's a really funny guy! Okay, that's it. See yous guys later!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thurs. Eve

Do you get it? If Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas, than Thurs. Eve is the day before Thurs. [Today:) Okay, I know, I know, cheesy and complicated. Well, we just finished cleaning up after dinner [which was chicken that we got from the Alexanders- it was delicious guys, thanks again!]. I don't know about the rest of you, but our Fall is in full swing and even coming on towards thinking about the holidays! Our schedule is pretty busy and full. However, if I haven't told you yet, the time from about now through New Year's is one of my absolute Favorite times of the year! It's usually packed with work as well as parties, bonfires, candy corns, pumpkins, scarecrows, hot cider, friends, family, present making, and, well, you get the picture. I love the Fall and I probably love even more as the end of the Fall ushers in the time of early winter and looking expectantly toward the celebration of our Savior's birth. [More on that as we get closer to the end of the Fall]. Hey, sorry if I just about blew the tops off of the people's heads who are still trying to finish up Summer. In many ways we are too. I guess I just got excited looking ahead. Well I know this doesn't have anything to do with the price of tea in China for Wed., Oct. 21st; so I'll move on to some pertinent topics that are at hand. We met the Wilsons over at a place in Norfolk so that they could pick out the cabinets for their kitchen remodeling job. Then we went to work finishing up lawns and picked up the cabinets for the Wilsons on the way home. Tomorrow it looks like we're going to process our broiler chickens in the morning. [Sarah's excited to get rid of them:) In the truck today, I played the William Wallace talk for Rachel because she didn't get to hear it when Dad and I did. Oh! Just for fun I'll tell you all about a dilemma I'm having. I am trying to figure out the deal about the San Antonio Christian Filmmakers Academy. I have heard several different stories about when it is going to be held along with something about another event called the filmmakers boot camp. I'm a little confused and have gotten in contact w/Vision Forum themselves so that they can clear it up for me. If any of you happen to have heard something about it that I haven't heard, please let me know:) So that's what's going on. I think I'm gonna' get going too. See you all later!

Speedy

Hi guys! I've gotta make this really quick. 2 things- first , last night I went to a Republican H.Q. and phone-banked for the evening with GenJ. They had some cool machines over there, and we felt kinda fancy. Second, when I got home I found out that the Walkers had given Dad the This Moment Steven C. Chapman C.d.! And I had just been talking about wanting more S.C.C. c.d.s! I loaded it to the mp3 and I'm sure we'll enjoy it today! See you guys later and have a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hooray!

Hi everybody! I just wanted to give you all some news that I heard yesterday but didn't post on the blog. [drum roll please.] ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta-rat-tat-tat! Here it is: at church I was informed that the results were in for the Parental Rights ProClaim Video Contest! And not only that, but we placed 2 Times!!! We came in first place in the Youth category with the older kid commercial, and second place in the commercial category [all ages if I'm correct]! Here's a big thank-you to everyone who helped out with those projects. They were a ton of fun and I can't wait to do the next one! Thank you God also for allowing our little commercials to do really well in a nation-wide contest! You know, we really had a great time working on the videos and it also was a great chance to have to put into words and shots our beliefs and convictions about this battle in our country. [though it was actually Grace Tate and her friends who planned most of that out:) [But we were like, "yeah that's just what I was thinking" ;) So anyway, it would have been still really fun if it never went any farther than that, but God decided to give us the encouragement of the contest results as well! I pray that this encourages us and spurs us on to proclaim the Lord's Truth even louder than before. So congratulations guys, and I hope to see you soon! Hey, if you haven't seen the finished commercials or you want to see them again, just click here [our videos are " We Too Support the Parental Rights Amendment" and "From the Very Beginning, Mom and Dad" See you all later!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Visit to Avery's Branch Farm



The sunrise over some of the farm's outbuildings


Hey guys! How's everybody doing? It's Sunday night and I am finally getting a chance to slow down and think about my weekend. I got back last night from spending a few days with the Alexander family at their farm in Amelia. I thought that I'd post a quick run-down of the time that we had; along with a few pictures that I grabbed from my video. So here it goes:) I left my house on Thursday in my trusty old Subaru with map-quested directions in hand and my stuff in the back seat. It was rainy and gray out; but I had a fresh load of songs on my mp3 player and expected to enjoy the drive. After stopping for some lunch on Rt.460, I finished the rest of the drive in one chunk and was blessed to see the full beauty of fall as I got farther and north and west. When I got to the Alexander's, their dog Sammy greeted me as I made my way up to the house. Mrs. Alexander welcomed me into the house and called Elliott and Oliver in from the barn. They toured me all around the place and it is a really nice set-up. [If I'm correct, it was a fairly large dairy operation at one time.] After the tour, it was time for the evening chores. They showed me the ropes [and guys, I hope I didn't come off too, too, naive:), and I got to see the typical drill.


Milking time

We had a great dinner and played a card game until bedtime. We woke up at 5:00 the next morning to what sounded like a orchestral fanfare and scared me half to death:) Elliott took pity on me and gave me some coffee to help me finish waking up:) It was actually really cool to be doing a bunch of stuff outside before there was any hint of light in the sky.[seeing as I hardly ever do that]. I got to help with the chickens a good bit [which was neat because it was kind of like the stuff we do for ours- though on a much larger scale and with many improvements]. Speaking of improvements, I took away some really good ideas for waterers and double-checked a feeder design for our chickens. [Thanks guys!]. Oh! Right here I have to mention the attack turkeys. I'm sure it was quite amusing for my hosts, but every time I went to feed the turkeys, they all surrounded me and pecked and herded me to their feeder. I've never seen The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, but it seemed like this might be pretty close.


The Attack Turkeys-go on, laugh, they're alot fiercer than they look!


For the rest of Fri. we processed 112 chickens and got really cold. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander left [to go deliver milk I think], and us boys made dinner. It was the ideal meal for workers that are tired and wet and cold: ham steaks, chicken tenders, and pork sausage. Actually, Oliver made dinner while Elliott and I sat out on the porch with him while he grilled it all up. The rest of the family patiently waited for our masterpiece:) and we all had an excellent [though maybe a little late] dinner. That night we played Balderdash once Mr. and Mrs. Alexander had returned. Mr. Alexander won, and we got ready to go upstairs. Right them we had a scare because Elliott had what turned out to be a seizure. He had to go to the hospital and didn't get back until 6:30 in the morning. Thankfully he was feeling much better on Saturday after Oliver and I came in from doing the morning chores.[It was good to see you back to more of yourself Elliott, and you're definatley in our prayers]. For the rest of Sat. we didn't really have any pressing thing to do, so we went upstairs and played our instruments for a little while. For the last bit of the afternoon, we looked at some Ray Comfort and Tim Hawkins videos on the computer. I headed out after saying goodbye to everyone and being sent off with some farm's wares to take home.[Thank you all very much, we made the best hot chocolate today with some of the milk!] I had a great trip home and was reunited with my family and sisters who had just gotten back from camp. All in all, I had a wonderful and blessed time [although there was plenty of excitement]. Thanks to the Alexander family for having me out, and I hope to see you all soon!




O.K., I better get going, but here's some other pictures for you:

Here's the barn and cow stalls,

Here's the cows in the stalls,


Here's Oliver outside of one of the hoop houses,



And last but not least, here's little Miss Sheridan with the pillow that she named after me. She calls it her "children":) Can you see the resemblance to me? :)




Goodbye everyone, and have a good week!