Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." -Mother Theresa
She offered such great inspiration for each of us in our daily lives. It's the little things that matter. The consistent small acts of love that make others feel special...make us feel special. "Small things with great love." 8 pounds 9 ounces. Laid in a manger in a filthy stable in an obscure village in the middle east. Though He is not limited like we are, even God chose this example of such a small thing with such great love. And like our small acts, who could have predicted that this 8 pound "small thing" could give the greatest love of all...His life...for our eternal lives. There is a song, Mary did you know. 'Mary did you know this little boy you delivered, will one day deliver you?' There are tears in my eyes as I continue...because I believe she did know. A humble Jewish woman who "pondered these things in her heart," knew she was holding God in her arms. And yet He was so helpless in her arms.
This holiday season, this Christmas, take a quiet moment to consider to consider the humanity of Jesus. Born in a lowly way on a remarkable night (the angels and shepards thing). He lived a pretty normal life as a carpenter - I wonder how many times he smashed his thumb with a hammer? He experienced love and pain and trial. Moments of joy as well as sorrow. And then like Mother Theresa, like Mary, like all of us...he died. In this small package came the greatest gift of all.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
We skipped sunday school and I just held my little girl for an hour. It was an amazing experience. She was so helpless, so dependent. So sweet. It's the stuff like this that makes it all worthwhile. I love my girls...and yes, I did work it out with Hadassah later! It's amazing what bonding can occur in buying a lawnmower together.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Post Script - A great friend of mine warned me about my title...and I appreciate his concern. So let me say this in case anyone is wondering. Until you understand how God pursues us, until you understand the love of Jesus, this pursuing may not make sense. But I assure you, it is the purest of love - a love of a Father for his daughter...a love of a father for his daughter - and his pursuit of her heart.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
A while back I threatened to take my blogsite off the general population list. I was concerned about my daughters and my job. I just took some of the photos down instead. But alas...or perhaps I should just say, OH RATS! Courtesy of Local 435 Laborers Union. It's a long story that makes my head hurt.
Anyway, these are the kind of guys that I really don't want to know a thing about who I am...or what I do. So a big thank you to Shane Deal for saving the day and taking my presence off the web after a frantic cell phone call! I'd love to stay and chat longer, but I gotta go. Rat patrol...It's what I do! I should be back in the Army!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Moses, Jesus and an old man went golfing one beautiful sunny day. On the ninth hole, the green was located at the top of a hill with a pond in front. Moses hit an amazing drive, but the ball was rolling hard toward the water. He quickly raised his arms, the waters parted, and the ball rolled through and onto the green. He was putting from 2' out, and smiling proudly.
Jesus followed suit with an equally unbelievable drive, it too headed for the water. Just as he planned, the ball stepped off the bank and rolled across the top of the water and settled just 6" from the cup. He was beaming with excitement. Finally, after a very long time setting up, the old man took his shot. He duffed it towards the water, but nowhere near the green. Just before the ball splashed in, a large fish jumped out and caught the ball, only to be snagged by an eagle who had been hungerly waiting for this moment. As the eagle was flying over the green, fish now securely in its tallons, a brilliant bolt of lightning streaked down and startled the bird. The eagle dropped the fish to the ground and the ball and the ball rolled from out of its mouth. Seeing the ball and mistaking it for a nut, a squirrel picked it up and ran straight to the cup, hiding it cleverly before scampering away. Nobody said a word for a long moment, as Jesus and Moses just looked at each other in disbelief. Finally it was was Jesus who spoke..."Nice shot Dad!"
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
We work hard, think hard and play the politics. We lead our teams toward common goals that usually end with something brick and concrete, or pipe and rising hot air at the end. The stress is often high. I think it's the venting of the stress that makes it all worth it...it's the reason it's so fun. Oh...there's the trophy too. I'd insert a photo, but since lost last year, it's our turn to "improve it," and I don't want to give away the upgrade. Tune in tomorrow late for that.
And unless you think we're uncultured, may I offer a poem written just for the game.
A Golf Haiku
Golf, summer wind blows
Air whiffs past Ron's missed ball
Pink skivies scream HELP
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
I'm a dad. That means I get REALLY cool birthday gifts. It starts with sneaking up on me little girls who have this 'I'm up to something look' just before the sing Happy Birthday with smiles as big as China! And then the formal stuff. A cool rock...bigger than most years...but equally cool! A glow in the dark hand to put on my ceiling (I think I'll put it at my office). And a necklace of beads with a silvery cross that is still in the repair stage (at 6, the fine art of tying isn't quite perfected...especially with thread!).
It's gonna be a great birthday today - I can tell already !!!
So, what do you think the liberal media is saying when a Russian MI-24 is pulling away with America? I suspect that it's a silly media blunder where a clipart guy really didn't know what he was looking at...but then, these days you never know. I think it's great, I think it's funny and for them, I hope it's embarassing!!!
See what a few others have to say. Personally, I love the "Priceless" one!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
We were standing in line at a great restaraunt called Jestine's in Charleston, SC. There was an older than us couple standing just behind us. The woman had silver earrings with a larger shiney stone in them. Gavi commented on how beautiful they were. But let me segway about Gav for a second. My bride often says that a strange to Gavi is simply a friend she's yet to meet. Something connected between these two and they became instant friends. All the girls were engaged, but this was Gavrielle's moment. They talked..."you look about 36 she said." The woman gushed with approval at a childs inexperience with age! Soon, we were called to sit. We ordered, and then Gav colored a picture. It had to be perfect. Brown skin, blue shirt, the hair. She did a great job for an 8 year old. We delivered the masterpiece and sat back down. I watched her look at the crayonwork for a full minute...putting it down, picking it back up. I found it wonderful to watch the moment unfold. Though I don't know what was going on in her heart, my daughter had somehow filled a need. Isn't God cool!
The meal was southern and wonderful. Peanut butter with bananna for the girls (yuck!). Fried chicken, okra and sweet tea for me - Wow! The chicken was about the size of a small turkey. Corn fritters for the ladies (my wife and my mom). A charming hostess, a playfully sarcastic other waitress so much fun to watch. And ours was the posterwoman for good southern hospitality.
The woman came back to have Gavrielle sign her portrait. And then we returned to request a photo op. Out came the cameras and the smiles and the hugs. We exchanged e-mails and promised to exchange photos. And then as quickly as it started, with a wave out the window, the moment ended. They didn't share age, or friends, or a city, or even a skin color. But they shared something at the heart...and a love for beatiful earrings (now Gavi's most prized possession - she hasn't yet taken them off!). As for the woman, she summed it up well also, "Of all the souveniers I've bought on this trip, I will treasure this picture the most."
Magic happens in moments...and in places like Jestines. I have the photos to prove it.
Friday, July 20, 2007
The morning was busy despite the tragedy, but by 11 things settled enough. I wrote a letter to our churches prayer chain, and then prayed myself...in earnest. Small tears came. They surprised me as I pondered how someone I don't know that well, but see everyday, could have such a profound effect on my life in that moment. She was one of us. Unfortunately "was" is the right term. This afternoon the husband finally released what we all knew in our hearts...she had passed from this life. When I arrived home, I gathered my precious girls. Just held them for a moment. And then we prayed. For healing. For wisdom for the doctors. And that in some small ways God's will and glory might be revealed in this tragedy.
Life is so fragile...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
OK, just kidding...it was a fun tornoment, and we weren't in real contention for first place. And player A was probobally within the rules (like I would know) moving the ball a clublength (and a little). But it really is true isn't it? You can tell a lot about a man by the way he plays golf!
Maybe later I'll gather my thoughts about Fathers and Sons in the form of the last hole $2 challenge by our most senior player and his son. The game changes when there's pride and cash on the line!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
It took my father 20 minutes to recover (they've had the kids for 3 weeks now). And I had a million work things to juggle now - it's hard to take a week off in the middle of the summer. But the time has been great. We've beached it. Gone to the sculpture garden. Worked on my sunburn. Played. Worked. And today I golfed right after the "Old Guys" bible study. The bible study is really a thing. At 70, my father feels like a "youngster." The oldest man is 98. There were almost 30 men there...most over 70, most strong in the Lord. The pastor referred to the role of mentoring younger men - something appropriate for that group. As I sat there listening, I felt special, priveleged. I was in their world gleaning wisdom and perspective and having a good time as well.
After the study (excellent by the way) we did the traditional pilgrimage to McDonalds for coffee and a cheeseburger, and then off to the golf course for 18 holes. I played with my father, Eddie and Dick. Absolute gentlemen. When you think of the south and what southern people are...Eddie fits the mold perfectly. In fact, I think Eddie is the mold. "Shucks" appeared at every duffed ball! And Dick who is in his late 70s or more toward the end made my day. "You've got three girls right?" Yes sir. "You mind if I give you a little advice?" Please. "Spend time with them. Don't let your career take over your life. I meet too many men who are committees and traveling and doing things with their work. Then one day their kids are grown up and they don't know where the time went." Wisdom from a sage. You know, I try so hard to intentionally love my children, but still it's so encouraging to hear from those who know, that there is a benefit to the labor.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I'll stop here. Though it's nearly 4PM in Fiji (the time my blog is set at), it's after midnight in central New York. Good night!
Monday, June 18, 2007
That girl over there is Eli. It's not likely she'll ever make the cover of a magazine, but she's got those eyes that make a father tremble. They're like a storm on the sea, like the moon glowing at night...mesmerizing, beautiful, enchanting. They could melt a stone - it's a good thing I'm harder than that! She's disarming. She's also brilliant and tough as nails. What do you expect from a dad who was a once upon a time soldier : )
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
A kid asked me the other day, "are you a veteran?" Yeah, I said. "What war?" I'm not a war veteran, I said. For the 11 years I was in, we were mostly at peace. God was gracious to me, I know I'd be a different man today, had I gone to combat. I'm proud of my red beret, of my airborne wings and my DI hat. I'm proud I had a chance to serve. And I'm proud of all the men who've served before, during and after me. Combat or not. There are some things worth dying for, and though I feel blessed to be alive, it was worth the risk...Freedom is worth the risk.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Anyways, I built the building. I guess in a sense, I'm one of those who know it best. And apparently he likes engineer/architect types. So I stepped into the breach of the tour...pushed to the front with Mr. Caird. "We've formed a real community here," I started. "It's beautiful and popular and quite durable with slate and oak and such." He was thrilled. Everybody was thrilled. And then we all went our seperate ways. The event was over as quickly as it started. So much preparation. So much energy and anxiety by so many people to secure a wonderful experience for an aging man who had just pledged $3.7M and put his name on the building while some of his classmates looked on with pride.
I built Caird Hall. I got to tell its story just a little bit today. Then I drank a Pepsi, picked up a dedication pamphlet for my scrapbook, and went home to love my daughters intentionally. Life is good isn't it?! Sometimes that's what I do.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Life kind of exploded after that night. Sometimes life does that. And sometimes I write too much here. In life, like in battle, explosions are rule - not the exception. I gather my strength by embracing the pressure, feeling it, and expressing it (sometimes in words on this page). Sometimes that's hard for my friends. My life has been blessed with other men. A ranger buddy, a wingman, and a prayer partner (see below for all). ...and a father. Segway. I work for a college managing construction. We went right from graduation (May 15th) to construction with a 2 day trip to NYC in the middle. Personal matters were further burdening my life. Somewhere in the fury of it all, I called my day, and never gave it another thought. Until last week. My secretary yelled in, "It's your father." My father? I wondered if someone died. "I know you're busy, but I just wanted to call and say I'm praying for you. How are things going?" The call was short, I was late for a meeting. But the impact was immense. He was there. My wingman and my prayer partner were there too. And so many others. Sometimes the battle is won by the force with the stronges will and the greatest encouragement. And sometimes it's won because of close air support. I guess I'm blessed...I have both.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
...to be continued
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Enjoy the Friday Video
Thursday, May 10, 2007
"WE'RE SERGEANT BUTTON'S MIGHTY MEN!" they yelled at the top of their lungs (in case the bold type didn't give that away).
Then we acted out King David's mighty men. "Scare the women and children," I commanded them, and my mighty men let out a grown that made me proud." I challenged the crowd, "are you scared?" "No," they laughed. "Again," I demanded of them. Another growl, this one sent shivers down my back. To the crowd I now get serious..."I build for a living, structures that will stand for 200 years. It's rewarding, but that dims in comparison to the work I do with your sons. Thank you for honoring me with them this year."
And then it was the fathers turn to be uncomfortable. I get them for two years, 5th and 6th grades. The fifth grader get promoted to Sergeant from Pea Brain Pond Scums. And the Sergeants...they get promoted from "Sergeant to young men...I can't promote you so easily to men however, you fathers are supposed to do that." A pause. "But if your fathers aren't up to the task, come back and see me, and I'll take care of it." I was going for the Top Gun thing, you know, "if you don't get your rear at your duty station, call me, I'll fly with you anytime." I hope the dads squirmed just a little, knowing if they don't call their sons to be men, that someone else will. Some will think, 'I didn't even know I was supposed to.' And the boys, I know they heard the call clearly. Boys are to become men, and a man has to bestow that honor upon them. The question then is simple, 'what man?'
That's what I do...
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Most Wednesday mornings at 6AM I get together with a guy from church. Sometimes we just talk. Sometimes we just pray. And every once in a while we just sit there and look at each other suspiciously. We always bust on each. But what's most important is that we know each others stuff. Our pastor always say, "you need at least one person in your life who knows enough about you to put you in jail." Chip could put me in jail...I consider myself safe because I could send him there as well. We know each others family, children, fears, concerns...stuff. You know what I mean by "stuff" right. We draw close and distant in the ebb and flow of time and business, but in my heart I always know he's there holding me up, holding me accountable to the high calling we each have in Christ Jesus. I thank God nearly every day for my prayer partner - for Chip - and for the men in my life like him. We can't do it alone, and we were never meant to. Thanks brother...from my heart.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
That's a pretty complex question, but I have several answers. First, I suppose I write because I've always written. For as long as I can remember. Keeping a history, telling a story, sharing an experience; all these things are important to me. A friend today shared a couple of thoughts about my blog. At first he thought it was strange (maybe not quite his words), but as he read, he warmed up to the idea. A chance to get to know his friend a little better perhaps. But what I thought was really cool...a chance for me to record history for my daughters. I guess I better find out how to archive these things in case the system crashes. I wish I had deep thoughts about all this...I really don't. I just like to write, and I guess I'm blessed with an audiance no matter how small! So to you my readers, I say thank you. My life spills out here, and sometimes pieces of my heart, and for whatever reason, you care. I feel honored.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
About 10 years ago, our marriage was a wreck. Maybe non-existent is a better way to define it. Out of despiration, we attended the Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conference. It changed our lives...thank God it changed our lives. It's funny, our marriage didn't change overnight...the road was still long, but at least we could see it again. We returned a year later and were approached by the City Ministry Directors..."would we consider joining the team?" We said yes - I won't bore you with the details, If you want to read our story, click the link below. What I will say though, is that if you're married, you really need to go. (To learn more, click the link at the top the page). Nearly 10 years later, we're still on the team, working to save, or simply improve marriages. It's cool! We do it together. We make a difference. That's what we do!
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Or perhaps it goes like this..."FRIENDS - If you don't have the gift of SPEAKIN' in Tongues, why you just may not be SAAAAAAAVED!"
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
I'll be short and sweet. I think with the networks, it is an issue of green. I think he should have been pulled of the air years ago. And I think if CBS really cared about this agenda, he would have been quickly and quietly fired. Debates are run amuck on Don Imus, the fire is being fueled instead of quenched. TTFN!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
This house. I remember it as bigger and nicer. Maybe the paint was better 30 years ago. It sits on the crest of a hill around a curve. But it's not the house that's noteworth, it was the downs syndrom boy who used to occupy the front yard like a lawn ornament. I mean no disrespect, it's just that he was always there. And he had a propensity for communicating. You know, international relations, flipping the bird, giving the middle finger. To everybody, scowling all the way. We used to drive by just to watch him abuse us with his magical finger! It's the little things in life. We'll, these days the house is a wreck and the lawn boy is gone, but a memory is a memory!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
I sat one out while my three princesses twirled about, and talked with a young father of beautiful girls - the oldest is three. "Tell me what you think the secrets of being a good father are," he asked. The question to me aback for a second...not because it was hard, but because it's a question I often ask. I talked about being a man which means making jewelry with your girls is OK, but letting them paint your nails is not. (If you've made this mistake, it's OK - just don't tell anyone!). That there's no such thing as quality time without quantity time. That there is a time to debate and teach, that there is a time to teach by discipline... I'll see this man tomorrow. I forgot two things - two important things. The first is easy to say, but harder to do - Always make choices that will earn the lifetime respect of your children, rather than their momentary approval. In the span of a life it is always better to be respected than liked. And the second? It takes a lot of work, but the rewards are immense. Intentionally love your children and their mother. The love thing is hard, isn't it? Especially when the Bible says "Love your wife like Christ loved the church...and gave his life for it...through death on the cross." Yikes! Maybe I have some room for improvement : )
Friday, March 30, 2007
Here's what Steve says...
"This is a book for men. It's a book for men that talks about how to become an effective leader in your home. After 3 years of research and study, it is my conclusion that effective male leadership in the homes of America is going the way of the dinosaur. Some people are worried about the extinction of whales, condors, snail-darters, or baby seals. Those are legitimate concerns. But let me shoot straight with you. I'm a lot more worried about the extinction of the men who know how to lead a family. And the effective male leader who knows how to lead his family is already on the endangered species list." Point Man, P. 13.
I wish he were wrong, but I don't believe he is. Nor do I believe we any longer are, "One nation under God." I'm beginning to understand now how Rome fell so quickly. Free will vs. election no longer matter so much - maybe that's just a product of age. But KJV vs. NIV, pre or post trib., none of it is as important as shining as a light in a dark world, and intentionally leading and intentionally loving my family.
On a light note - I know this cool army song about baby seals (as noted above), anyone want to hear it? And don't forget to scroll down one entry, I updated my airborne log.
Monday, March 26, 2007
So, now do you want the truth? 60 jumps out of all sorts of high performance aircraft. Day time, nighttime, with green eggs and ham. 3,500 ft., perfect day, no pack, no gear...nothing by wind in my face and a gorgeous view of Mount Ranier. What can I say...there is a God! Days like this one made up for all the others; cold, wet and tired. The photo is from ca. 1985, I just scanned it today. Many more to follow, probobally on a web page as there will likely be many. I wouldn't change my life - but I do miss those days (grin)!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
A bit of history. PLF stands for parachute landing fall. There are typically two types of PLFs. The first involves landing on your five points of contact: 1.Balls of your feet 2.Calf 3.Thigh 4.Buttox 5.Push-up muscle. Hence, when you screw up - the Black Hat would often refer to you as "falling on your 4th point of contact!"
The less official PLF is much simpler (and much more painful). It's called the "Feet Knees Face" landing. You get the drift. And the stupidest question the military medical officers ask paratroopers..."Have you ever been unconscious..."
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Friday, February 2, 2007
OK, but really, she is a hot babe. My wife still turns heads. She definitely turns mine. And she's precious and dear and wonderful. As beautiful as she is, her love for our Lord is what truly shines in Stacy. I'm blessed. All my friends know it...or else they wouldn't keep asking her, "How'd you get stuck with him?!"
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
E co. 109 (LRRP). Stealth - Secrecy - Security. Infantry amidst the chaos; taking the oxymoron out of Military Intelligence in the 80's.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
I realized my Blog is backlogged like 6 thoughts. I wrote the title, maybe the first sentence, and then saved them as draft for later. One day the wind will blow that way and I'll pick up one of those drafts...hopefully just not all of them at once : )
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
...and my favorite, like the first but just a little edgier.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty well preserved body. Rather you should skid in sideways, throughly spent, completely used up and proclaiming loudly "Wow, What a Ride!”
PS-If you don't get it...you're on the wrong blog :)