Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Forgiveness, and Hope, and Peace, and Safety, and Rest? Amen.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
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.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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
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
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
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
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
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
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.
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.
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!
Here's the barn and cow stalls,
Here's the cows in the stalls,
Goodbye everyone, and have a good week!