Monday, October 20, 2008

Sympathy for the One Armed Paper Hanger

To my half dozen loyal readers I apologize for being a bad blogger. Truth is I have been busy. Last week I officially registered my very first business. I'll be planning events to raise money for charities and non-profits that focus on at risk kid's, single mom's, people with special needs, seniors and the incarcerated. It's sort of a Matthewesque sheep and goat set up if you get my drift. Beyond that there's the program I'm in front of, just got elected to term number 10 as President And of course there's work and family.
Beyond that I will do my best to throw a post up here with some type of regularity. It's my sanity point and I have a lot to write, just not a lot of time to write it.
Regardless, I love you all and thank you for your continued support.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Heretic Looks at 40

Actually I'm 43, the title was a an attempt to be clever with a Jimmy Buffet song (A Pirate Looks at 40). I'm not sure if anyone caught the humour but I'm laughing hysterically at my keyboard.

The title came to me as I thought about this post. Anyone who has followed my blogs over the past 3 years will know about my past. If you're new to this page I'm a died in the wool Christian with a a heritage that dates back at least 400 years in the Faith. I'm also a survivor of a Charismatic Christian cult. The leaders didn't ask the membership to drink Kool-Aid together or start stockpiling an arsenal but I left at the same time Jimmy Swaggart was caught red handed, Jim and Tammy's Wonderland came crashing down and the so called (mega) church I was attending sent a form to all members asking us to list all expenses and income in detail. The plan was for us to turn our finances over to the church leadership. I was hit particularly hard as I was a dedicated militant holier than Thou Christian.

Int he wake of leaving my life turned to a pile of garbage. The economy went into a recession. I was living in Orlando, Florida, where the economy depended on tourism and a big military budget. Orlando and area is built upon amusement parks, missile and tank factories. I had a friend who painted MX missiles for a living. Painted missiles? Why on earth would you paint a missile? Anyway I digress.

As the econmy slid backwards, my marriage of 7 years went in the same direction. I started drinking, smoking and carrying on in the same way I did when I was a dedicated young christian growing up. Jobs became scarce, my then wife left me for ner Ex whom she never got over and I could not find a church that I didn't have an issue with. When I lost the house, cars, kids and last smeblance of self respect I hit bottom. It took several years to climb out of the hole.

After several years of trying several churches and finding none that suited me I turned to serious prayer. After nearly 30 years of being a Christian, you might as well say my entire life as I made the "decision when I was 7 years old, I admitted I had more questions than answers. By this point I had read the Bible cover to cover over 4 times chronologically in almost as many versions. I came to the realization I really didn't understand what the Bible was about. I understood that Jesus was LORD but I really didn't understand what that meant other than confessing HIm as LORD and Saviour. I couldn't explain the Trinity, every time I read Romans I had new revelations (from the same passages). I couldn't explain why the Old Testament was relevant if it was wiped out with Jesus' sacrifice. If anything I had more questions. Questions that I couldn't answer.

So I prayed. I asked the LORD to give me some direction. By this time I was relatively cleaned up from outward appearances, kicked cigarettes and drinking my face off and living a not so virtuous life. I was married to a wonderful wife and beginning to start a family over again. I still had a burning desire to be a servant of Jesus. I desired to have a priestly knowledge (immersed in the Faith not necessarily referencing my friends in the Catholic wing of Christianity). I figured if Solomon was blessed because he asked for wisdom then I might as well start there. I also wanted Knowledge and Understanding. I wanted to know what the Word was all about. To really know who Jesus was and not accept that there are still mysteries that we will come to grips with someday.

For the past six years my prayer has been and continues to be answered. The revelations have been very settling and comforting. Some of the answers have pushed me outside of my comfort zone and contradict some age old teachings that are laid deep with the foundations of my psyche. The single most defining principle is that Jesus remains at the center of everything I have learned. No philosophies, people or institutions are lifted up. Jesus is it. Every step of the way the focus i son Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life. Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus, the Word who has always been and will ever be.

The struggle I am faced with is that I feel a little like Elijah when Jezebel was hot on his heels. Alone. I know there are there are millions out there who are on the same track but those in my immediate circle, friends, family, fellow church members are not quite there. At least I don't think they are.

This first step to bridge this gap will be using this page to work some of the challenges out. I'm not an expert or anywhere near being a priest but am stil pursuing the goal. pray for me.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Love, Liturgy and Lettuce

The year was 1985, I was 20 years old, a full time student and full time employee at the local funeral home in a small town outside of Orlando Florida. One of my jobs was to drive the town's only priest, Fr. McGee to and from funerals he was asked to deliver. The old priest took a shine to me. I told him how I was planning on becoming a preacher, he tried to recruit me, I explained that there was no way I'd ever swear to a life of celibacy. Give up pizza for life, maybe, the act we do not speak of, never.

One hot August afternoon the priest tried again. I confirmed once again I would not make the vow. He asked me my age. I told him twenty. He went into a story.

The effects of the population explosion in Florida was being felt in our little town. Dozens of new members were joining the church every month. All new members were required to attend a series of classes. Once the classes were successfully completed the candidates would make a sacrifice for the church, much like Lent. The priest would determine the sacrifice each member in waiting would make.

Recently, there were three married couples in the group. A couple in their 50's, a couple in the 30's and a newlywed couple in their 20's. "I called the three couples into my office together", explained Fr. McGee in his authoritative tone as I drove the tree lined streets leading to his home.

"As you are all married, I thought I'd ask each of you to make the same sacrifice." he recounted. "I would like you all to go three weeks without relations".

I laughed then immediately felt embarrassed, the Padre was so serious. I apologized for the disrespect.

Fr. McGee went on seemingly not noticing my rude outburst. He explained that the three couples looked at their respective spouses searching each others eyes in silence for affirmation. Almost in unison the group of six looked back at the priest and said, "It's for the Church Father, we'll do it."

Three weeks passed. Fr. McGee explained that he called the couples in separately to discuss their sacrifice as it was now a confidential matter.

The couple in their 50's came in.

"Welcome back, how did you do with your sacrifice?" asked the kindly old priest.

Without looking at his wife, the husband snorted, "we haven't had relations in three months Father, three weeks was a breeze."

I was astonished but the priest didn't notice. He went on.

"No, no, no" he admonished the indignant husband, "you go out right now,take your wife to a nice dinner at Mario's. Get a table in a dark corner where the candle light illuminates your beautiful wife's face. Go home and fulfill your marriage vows." Fr. McGee recounted the speech as if he was delivering it right there in the funeral homes big black Fleetwood. "Welcome to the church."

"Next I called in the couple in their 30's. The wife looked very nervous, constantly smoothing her dress. The husband was biting his nails and looked very edgy" said the priest looking up to his right as he remembered the scene. "Well," Fr. McGee asked gently expecting the worst, "how did you do with your sacrifice?"

"We made it three weeks Father!" the husband said almost screaming. "When is this sacrifice over?"

Smiling gently, the priest warmly replied, "Welcome to the church, go home and bring forth lots of children for the flock."

Finally the newlyweds came in. The wife couldn't make eye contact with the priest. She fidgeted with her hair nervously. The husband had a sheepish grin on his face looking like the cat that ate the canary.

"Well, how did you make out with the sacrifice?" asked the priest warily.

"Father you are a man of the cloth, I'm not going to lie to you." the husband started out sounding like he wanted to negotiate a deal.

"The first week was tough but we made it." said the husband. "The second week....three cold showers a day." now looking down sullenly, the husbands countenance changed. "Father, the third week, my wife bent over to pick up a head of lettuce. Father I lost control, forgive me but we made love right there on the floor"

Fr. McGee fought with his emotion not wanting to delver the bad news. "My son, I appreciate the fact that you made two weeks but the sacrifice called for three. You are an honest and noble man but I'm afraid I cannot accept you as members".

The husband's head snapped up and he exclaimed, "That's OK Father, we're not allowed int he grocery store anymore either".


Friday, October 3, 2008

A Gregarious Loner

Let's face it, blogging can be a chore. First it's sitting down and attempting to bang out a piece that your hope is slightly amusing to the couple of dozen readers who drop in on a regular basis. Writing the post is only the beginning, then there's the proof reading. Mama Mia I don't have the patience for that but I have too especially since I'm so dyslexic my Mama started and organization to fight the condition called Mother's Against Dyslexia (D.A.M.) Now the post is written and formatted (Justify, it must be neat) and you publish it. Giving it a view and see there's no bloody spaces between the paragraphs! Frustrated, you go back to the draft and try to manipulate the format by triple and quadruple spacing. Finally giving up, you let the paragraphs fall where they may.

Now that the post is written you hopefully have some time left over to browse the Favorites on the sidebar. In my mind this is the best part of blogging, reading the fare you have come to enjoy so much. It's not enough though just to read the posts you must leave a little note to let them know you've been by (even though Site Meter and Extreme Tracking leave their own trails). Then you proof the comment and hit SAVE and what? Must go through verification with those funky Timothy Leary inspired codes. I tried typing in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds the first few times hoping that would crack the code but no luck.

Folks with verification codes enabled, I want you to know that when you see a comment from me , it means I really care. It takes me at least three attempts every time to get the thing right those codes are a dyslexics worst nightmare. Speaking of that did you hare the joke about the dyslexic guy that walked into a bra?

Back to the point of this post, at this point you've spent an hour of your night or early morning surfing your best reads and commenting that you realize you're one of those. One of those people you used to think were a bit odd spending all their time on the web conversing with total strangers hundreds to thousands of miles away. And then you realize those peo;e are kinda cool.

Personally, I've always been a bit of a loner. I don't need to be around friends all the time if at all. I'm not anti-social. As a matter of fact I'm the exact opposite. The worst job I ever had was a two year stint as a consultant working out of the house. I was very successful because I always had appointment's set up and built relationships with clients just to be with people. Recently I did a contract at a fairly senior level but was glad to get back into middle management when it was done. The Mucky Muck role saw me holed up in an office most of the day strategizing over a spreadsheet or MS Project. It was rather lonely. I want to be with people...when I'm at work. Off time I don't caire if I don't see another human, outside my family, for the entire weekend. Blogging on the other hand, allows me to maintain friendships with some very special people in a very unique way.

That's what makes blogging great. I've met some very interesting people. I get a great laugh reading some off the wall blogs. I wept when I read the post about the passing of Cliff's brother. I've learned new things that I wouldn't normally be interested. in. I've virtually visited Wales reading Sian's posts. I'm encouraged by many and amazed by others.

When I really think about it blogging isn't such a chore after all, it's a gregarious loner's blessing. A wonderful avenue to share a coffee with a friend you wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.
Now that I have another post in the can, I'm going to see what you have to say.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sarcastic Sonofabeach

If you look at my DNA under a super duper microscope you will see a sarcasm gene. It will be hard to detect at first because it's disguised as a sense of humor. There is a large string of legitimate sense of humor genes like not taking myself too seriously, goofy, nut bar, cornball and tease but the sarcastic gene is in there too. I'd say the majority of my day is spent smiling or laughing. One of my favourite schticks is to make ridiculous statements with a very serious face and then watch people look at me like they want to be polite but wow is this guy off in left field. I get the biggest kick out of it. The best joke was when I finally realized my 16 year old was playing the sane joke on me. I was getting worried about the kid until one day I caught the smirk. Here I thought he was a stupid teenager when all along I was being a judgmental fuddy duddy. Good on ya Jr.
There's this side of me that has the knack for picking out the painfully obvious too. When a juicy opportunity presents itself I have to jump. It's a reflex. I didn't realize it until a couple of years back when someone pointed it out. Mind you he was laughing hysterically when he said, "You're so sarcastic!". I hadn't realized it until that point. Then someone else said it. A coincidental misinterpretation or fact? I started to watch myself and *gasp* it was true. I did tend to be a wee bit sarcastic.
A New Year's resolution in 2007 was to stop making fun of my partner at work at the time. I realized that I was picking on him. I tried to rationalize that the friendly jibes went both ways and that I got a kick out of the barbs flying my way. I went out of my way at times to set myself up for a gag. But what if my jabs weren't so funny to him? He would laugh when he was the target but was he just doing that or was he trying to fit in?
Lately I've noticed that the sarcastic lines still roll off my tongue. The past couple of days I've caught myself. Then I began to wonder how I'm coming off on on this page? Am I a tad bit condescending at times? I dunno. I don't want to be anymore.
From now on I am committing to make every editorial and comment that comes out of this sparsely covered head positive and edifying. It's my deepest intent anyway. I want to help and build others. Maybe it's the Bizzaro Pilgrim that fighting inside me that is my challenge.
My new month's resolution is to stop being a sarcastic jackass. I will now be an edifying jackass. There you have it. I've written it down, the first step to achieving a goal. Pray for me Gentle Readers.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kyle Schmyle

Before I went to bed, around 11:00 PM Atlantic Time, (12:30 Eastern) Kyle was at hurricane strength in the Atlantic just off New York. It was still tracking to hit New Brunswick around midnight. Locally we were warned to have flashlights, batteries and fresh water stored up and prepare for flooding, downed trees, damaged roofs etc.

As a last minute precaution I ran out to double check the tarp covering the makeshift tent/carport we store our wood in (for winter heating). A fine rain was falling but was it ever coming down. In the 90 seconds I was outside I was drenched. It wasn't a driving rain but it was wetter than your average rain.

As I write at 4:30 AM, my normal rise and shine time, I Googled Hurricane Kyle. The latest news result, 48 minutes ago, gives me a report from the Hurricane Center in Miami. Kyle has made landfall, and has been downgraded from a Tropical Storm. I guess this makes Kyle sad in a near Equator way. He is or is in a Tropical Depression. Poor Kyle. Maybe that accounts for all the rain, he's sad. Anyway TDK, as those most familiar with him will now refer to him has slowed his progress down to a crawl but apparently is still providing 60 mph winds with gusts up to 70 or 80. (120 kph). Sounds more fierce in metric doesn't it?

From this Bloggers seat there's no wind right now just the same misty rain. There's lots of it though. The low areas in the back yard are under water, a little more than normal in torrential downpour, like the ones we've grown accustomed to this year.

Anyway, Pilgrim and family are dry and secure with lights and a roof overhead. Nothings blown away and all the trees are where we left them before the Sandman hearkened. I'm grateful that Kyle gave me enough material to fill two posts.

Until next time I remain,


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hatches are Batented?

The last I checked, Hurricane Kyle, a category 1 hurricane, was creeping up the Atlantic coast of the US. The eye was targeted to hit Saint John, New Brunswick, about 90 km (50 miles) south of here. The experts expect Kyle will lose steam though when it gets into the northern waters and downgrade to a tropical storm. Nonetheless, deck furniture, toys, gardening implements and whatever else isn't nailed down has been stowed.

Now we sit and wait for more rain. Mama Mia. Precipitation has drowned us the past few months. Over the winter over 13 feet of snow fell in our area. A little north of us they had almost 20 feet of snow. One person I talked to in April told me the snow leading to her pasture was over her head!
Then the rain fell.

We actually had two weeks of summer in July. It was hotter than, well, July. Enough time to bring the coming years hay in. Then the rain really came. We may have had a day or two of sun in August but I'd be hard pressed to swear to it. While much of New Brunswick flooded we were spared though glory be to God. .

Now Kyle or whatever is left of him is blowing in. Rain until the end of the week. And the good ole Farmer's Almanac is calling for a very cold winter with lots of snow starting in early December.

Oh well. Someone once said, "Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it." That being said I'm going to make sure my car windows are rolled up, there's lots of fresh water stored up in the event of a power outage and hunker down.

Bring 'er on Kyle, I'm ready for ya.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where's Pilgrim?

The better question is, where's Pilgrim been? Not so far really, just been busier than a one armed paper hanger. That and submitting the keyboard to my DW for a couple of reasons. Maybe three.

One, I love her and would do anything for her, including giving up the seat I'm currently in.

Two, because it's a break for her from a harried day looking after the boys, keeping the house in order, baking fresh bread, gardening, making meals for everyone and generally being a Proverbs 31 woman.

And last but certainly not least. She gets paid to blog and I don't. Here you go Honey, the Dell's all warmed up for you....

Besides that, work (paid and unpaid) is keeping me hopping I just finished up the second round of a Hebrew perspective Bible course. tons of yard work, barn chores, the Summer Olympics, a reintroduction to camping and generally trying to be a decent dad. There wasn't a lot of time left over. Did I mention I'm trying to learn the guitar again. It's about my 152nd attempt but I'm thinking I may stick with it this time.

The good news is that over the past 6 months I've stowed away lots of material for some posts. I have to build the habit again though so don't get too excited yet. Wait until I have a few dozen consecutive posts under my belt before you blow up any balloons.

Here's to getting back into an old familiar routine with some cherished friends. I've really missed this part of my life and am looking forward to sitting down to coffee with you all again.


Friday, September 26, 2008


Wow!  My User ID and password still work.  Imagine that?   Maybe I'll dust off the keyboard of the old Sony and start blogging agian.   


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Detox (Part Deux)

So I kick sugar. This is a huge feat gentle readers. I am a sugar addict. Cravings will hit at work or home and I'll stop at nothing for a fix. A Coffee Crisp or Coke from the vending machine at work. A brownie from the cafe in the mall at work. Robbing the last cookie from the jar on the courtier at home. Imagine, I was such a hopeless user I'd take the last cookie while my children weren't looking. What kind of father am I? Shameful.
Sugar in the morning, sugar at lurch, break time, after supper, before bed. Relentless.
After discovering how much it was affecting me I decided it was time to quit. And I did.
Then things started to happen and really quickly. I stopped crashing at work. Dozing of in meetings and in front of my PC. I always blamed my crazy schedule. Up at 4:30 in the morning, off to the gym or onto the laptop to work. To work by 8:00 where I'd work straight through eating at my desk. Taking breaks for necessaries and eh hem,, sugar fixes. Home by 6:00 or thereafter Play with the kid's them send them off to bed. Do some more work, do some work on the Torah study then off to bed by 11:00. After kicking sugar, the schedule hasn't changed much other than I'm not sleepy anymore. I'm actually quite alert and firing on all cylinders. I feel like a million bucks when I get home from the gym.
After a week and a half the spare tire around my midsection is also deflating! Oh, you ask my DW about the weight I've lost and her cute little nose wrinkles up and a "WTH" look crosses her face. I know that my pants are just that much looser trust me. The once former six pack still may be a bag of milk but it's going down and I'm not backing down.
Then I fell. Monday night DW breaks out a chocolate cake from the freezer. A home made delight she made for Little Pilgrim's birthday. I decide to have resolve and not indulge. Then I cave when I see the thick layer of home made icing screaming at me. Two larger than normal pieces later and the guilt and shame I'm expecting, stay at bay. No balling up into the fetal position and crying at the remorse of failing. Instead I feel like a bag of crap and get a headache.
Then it strikes me. That's the first headache I've had since putting a lid on the sugar bowl. I feel better.
Today the doughnuts came out at work and I resisted. It was a pivotal moment. I turned down a Tim Horton's Dutchie! Success!
Kicking sugar hasn't been as difficult as quiting smoking (11 years since my fingers lost their yellow smelly tinge). It has had much quicker results.
Next battle is to kick the excess fat in my diet. I'll let you all know how that works out when living without sugar levels out.
Kicking the habit wasn't that hard my friends and the benefits have been quick and welcome.

Detox (Thank You)

Blessings can be found in the most unsuspecting places. The purpose of the first part of this thread was to inspire others to stop eating junk. It's more than junk it's poison. I'll continue on in a moment. When I checked comments I was blown away to see comments offering prayers for me. It was very moving and and very appreciated. Although my mom is praying for healing like only a mother can, I never really thought of it as a prayer request. I just accepted that I was in this situation and that my sight won't be taken from me without a fight.
Thanks to you all for your kindness, you are all very kind and it is appreciated.
Time to start praying for healing.


"By law I have to report you to the Province to revoke your license," the Opthamalagist said, "however you have learned how to compensate very well so I'm not going to report you yet...." LOSE MY LICENSE! Mama Mia, when I was a kid all I lived for was getting my driver's license now I could potentially lose it for life!?! I love driving.

Needless to say I was a wee bit shaken when DW and I walked out of the office a few weeks ago. I knew my eyesight was bad, I've been told that for the past 20 years but lose my license? What's worse, there's no corrective lenses, it is what it is.

When I saw my MD a few days later I asked him what the what what was. Turns out the condition that is robbing my sight is related to the arthritis that affects me from head to toe and both are stemming from an under active thyroid problem that plagues me. Drat that little metabolism controlling gland!

The macula;r degeneration, can't be cured. I can possibly slow down it's progression maybe even stop it from getting worse by taking mineral supplements and Omega 3. The mineral supplements are deadly at first, I was driving the porcelain bus for a few days trying to get used to them.

Then it gets interesting. Mom sends me some pages ripped out of a medical journal she has. I'm supposed to eat lots of spinach and dark greens and reds. Ingest flax seed oil, yummy. Then I pick up an old Prevention magazine for some light reading. DW buys the little health periodicals at the thrift store for a dime. There are articles on macular degeneration and under active thyroid. Both talk about diet. This months Reader's Digest comes in. A piece on macular degeneration and how diet can help. Another article on good cholesterol and how flax seed oil, yummy, is good for arthritis. All articles point to cutting out refined sugar. I read another article in Prevention on the evils of carbonated soft drinks. Sugar, is once again picked out.

Pilgrim goes cold turkey off of sugar and starts adrinking two glases of OJ with flax seed oil, yummy, every day. It wasnt easy to kick the sugar, I'm an addict. I started to get used to the flax sed oil, yummy. You wouldn't believe what happens next.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Kid on the Blog

Today marks the launch of my DW's professional blog career. Two and half months after writing her first post on Blogger, DW launches into the majors. Please drop by Organizing Connections and drop a note on the blog. You might as well add it to your link list whle your on-line because both of her blogs are some of the best reading you will ever find.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Not So Scared After All (Sky Is Falling Part 2)

OK so maybe the sky's not falling. I don't believe we'll be living in cardboard boxes any time soon. It's too cold up here for that. I don't think the world economy is going to collapse either, that's a wee bit dramatic. The paranoia of a pending doom is benefiting me though. As Mrs. Pilgrim and I move to live a simpler life I'm finding I'm much happier. The less TV I watch, limited to a few dozen laps of NA(p)SCAR and coming to a TV near you in April.....BASE-A-BALL.... the more time I have for other things. The more I try to live with what I have, the less preoccupied I am with getting more stuff. Cutting down on tube time and techno lust frees up more space in my head and calendar for nicer things, like playing with cars on the floor with the wee ones or siting in a cafe for a couple of hours with my oldest getting caught up and planning a book about some pretty exciting events and lessons that the young fella has learned.

No I don't think the sky is falling. I think that maybe the world, like water, is seeking it's own level. The balance is off and the free market is seeking to right itself. The only thing that can come of that Hobbesian phenomena is good.

The only thing falling from the sky right now is snow and plenty of it, over 13 feet since December 1. I'm good with that because it's going to be April soon and that means new birth is around the corner. Blossoms and beautiful green grass. Young deer running through the pastures and trees full of leaves. Gray and white will turn to green and blue.
Life is grand.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

S'More Blue Rodeo for Liquid

While the US/Canadian cultures may be mirror images of each other, one thing the U.S misses out on is some really good Canadian musical talent. I'm not sure if anyone from the US or UK has heard of this Celine Dion chick but she can really belt out a tune.

There was a period in the 80's that a lot of Canadian talent made it's way onto the world stage. Bryan Adams and eh-hem, Loverboy come to mind. There are gobs of other artists you haven't heard of though. Even I missed out on Blue Rodeo while I was an ex-patriot living in the Sunshine State for 10 years. Upon my return I thought their radio played material was so-so. Then one fateful day in '98 I was offered two tickets to a Blue Rodeo show in a small theatre out here on the East Coast. It was a last minute offer. Acting impulsively and an avid lover of live music I snatched them up.

What a great decision. That was probably one of the best shows I have ever seen. I was blown away by the talent. They were tight and played simple tunes that swept me away. They border on the country/blues/rock crossover line, not really falling into a definitive genre. I can't really compare them to any other bands. There's lots available on the web if you are so inclined. Amazon carries them also.

This next video is dedicated to Liquid. If you liked Bad Timing you will also dig Try.



Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday Night Videos on a Saturday Afternoon - Now Tha's Bad Timing

Earlier this afternoon I was listening to Blue Rodeo on the MP3 while I chopped wood. There I was outside the wood shed swinging an axe and singing Bad Timing at hte top of my lungs Imagining I was harmonizing perfectly with Jim Cuddy and Greg Keeler. For those listening it was "Just bad TUNING, that's all".

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Sky is Falling?

A very good friend of mine once said, "If you're paranoid, you probably should be.". While I don't necessarily think I'm paranoid I am afraid of a pending doom. I want to run through the streets shouting and warning people to prepare themselves. My problem is I'm not an effective orator. When I start talking about my passions I tend to sound preachie. That's a turn off, even to me. The thought then occurred to use this medium to at least begin sharing but there again when I start plotting out a thread I tend to go down roads that put people to sleep. Personally I find my best writing comes from inspirations I've been recently mulling over. I've come to rest on the solution that I'll simply tell everyone what I'm doing and let them decide if there's any merit.

The doom that is giving me the heebie geebies has to down with Western civilizations economy. I fear that we are going to be thrust into an economic down turn that may make the Great Depression look paltry. I fear that we (Westerners) have lost perspective with how wealthy we rally are. But I won't preach, I will talk about my position and what I've been doing.
My .beautiful and intelligent wife has done a wonderful job of grounding me even further than I was previous to meeting her. I have always been of the mindset that I need to live below my means. Unfortunately I haven't made the brightest decisions in the past and wound up paying a very heavy price. After 16 years of bailing out from those missteps I am finally able to have a little bit of savings in the bank instead of paying gobs of money in interest every month. Now that I'm getting clear though I'm finding that my desire to live below my means is not so easy. I make a decent salary, a bit above the average but by no means anywhere near the double income that my DW and I brought in when she was working full time outside the home.
Still we are wealthy compared to most of the world. We have one car but there's no doubt it will start every single morning. We have a lot of living space. I think we still need to do more. DW goes to great lengths to be frugal. She actually does a wonderful job of making meals from scratch. Heck, she even makes laundry and dishwasher soap from scratch. Maybe it's the Mennonite in me that makes me worry. Could it be genetic?
As the fear looms in my mind I find I am becoming more passionate in everything I do. My work, my chores and my relationships are becoming more intense. I am finding myself moving away from the luxuries of my life and desiring a simpler more plain life. I enjoy chopping wood on the weekends. I really find I am caring more for coworkers and customers. I want to make a difference in others lives more than ever before. The difference is that I don't have to force it anymore. By keeping things simple I find my head is clearer.
Maybe it's not a fear of doom but simply the fact that I'm becoming (gasp) mature? I don't know but 'm enjoying the way things are turning out. Maybe this is the midlife crisis I thought I was starting to enter. If it is I'm really liking it. Except for the part of the pending doom but if there is trouble around the corner I'll be ready.

Denial Above the 49th Paralell

Although most of my Canadian brethren and sisteren will never admit it, Canada is a very willing Annex of the United States. We are more than just culturally aligned we are melded right in. We may have a slight taste of our British foundation in the way we spell some words and the pronunciation of the last letter of the alphabet (zed as opposed to zee) and some other pleasant nuances but there's not enough to make us distinct. The differences are not as drastic as say the cultural differences between California and New York. Let's face it we are one and we love it.
This was supposed to be a preamble to a completely different post but it took on a life of it's own.
In closing I want to ensure everyone knows I love you all equally.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

....And Ridin' the Range Once Again

Thank you to all my friends in webville for your kindness and support. I am alive and well and living in New Brunswick. A lot has happened in the past few weeks but I am alive and kicking. One of the biggest setbacks has been the crapping out out of our back-up laptop at home. My lovely wife loved the 10 year old Sony Viao, it's actually quite a cute little machine. Alas it needs a new hard drive so we're shopping ebay for a trustworthy vendor with the right stuff. Right now we're coming up short but I'm sure it will be humming again soon.

Now that we're a one laptop household with two bloggers it come down to some hard decisions. I've been blogging for two and half years. I have 20 to 30 loyal readers who visit me regularly. My lovely wife has been blogging for two months, she has upwards of 200 loyal visitors daily and is now being paid to write a blog for an organization that scooped her up. What the? I'm the devoted writer in the household and she's the, well, she's the one getting paid enough to let her stay home with the kids. I guess that trumps me. Blog away my darling. Work those pretty little fingers and weave the gold that emiantes from your beautiful mind. Do you think you could wrangle a new computer into your compensation package?
I will try to get on when I can. Right now she's down at the barn lunging her horse and the two youngsters are asleep in their beds so I'm stealing a moment to jump on the keyboard. I will do my best to keep this site updated. I'll try to jump on to your sites during the day while at work or early in the morning. I will be back regularly though. I have lots to write after my hiatus.
You've been a beautiful crowd, I love you all and wish I could take you home with me. Good night!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Thanks everyone for your comments and e-mail to the last post. I promise I will be responding to that post and meme's in the coming days. Some troubling news from back home has monopolized my attention for the time being. I will be back here as soon as I'm able.
Thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Two sincere questions for my small but very dedicated and appreciated audience.

What is humiliyt?

How do we force ourselves to become humble?

Humility is near and dear to my heart. Moses is described as the most humble man on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). That's humble. Proverbs is full of commands and quips about humility and of course my all time favourite passage, the Sermon on the Mount (Matt chapters 5-7) isfull of references of humility, meekness and all round righteousness. I know it's important to be humble but I hear how do we attain such a lofty (?) position?

Of course I have an opinion or at least a leaning on the subject but I'm eager to hear from you. What say Ye?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Do You Believe in Love? - Guest Post

The following is a guest post written by my good friend JC Freak. The original piece has been edited however the origial intent and message are fully in tact.

Do You Believe in Love?

Do you believe in love? Do you believe in true love? There’s a loaded question. I like to listen to the local news/talk radio station. Theres a news radio show that usually covers issues related to the Maritimes. They have guests on the show, and listeners are allowed to call in. A couple of months ago they had an author on the show. I apologize that I do not recall her name or even the title of the book that she was promoting. It was the topic of the book that I found interesting. The author had followed around 9 young ladies, 3 in their last year of high school, and 6 in their early years of university. Her goal was to try to understand why the girls of our day were blatantly more promiscuous then the girls of her day. The girls gave her 2 major reasons.

First was that they all believed in equal rights as they had been taught in school. Whatever men could do, women could do. If certain activities were socially acceptable for men to do, then they should be socially acceptable for women to do. Social acceptability and equal rights are completely other posts.

What piqued my interest was the author’s second discovery: Every one of these girls confessed to looking for love, but they all said that love was not real and did not exist. They wanted to believe, but could not. This seems to be a sentiment of our society. Love is a wonderful concept, but it is not real. People are looking for love, want love, but do not believe in love. Why? I went to my two trusty sources to find out what it was that they were looking for. The first source was my trusty dictionary, which has never let me down when I needed a definition. The Oxford dictionary defines love as, “intense feeling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing

Is this really what love is? No wonder people can’t find it. No wonder people do not believe in it. No wonder people are looking everywhere for it. Who has ever had this intense feeling of deep affection for a person, and sustained it over very long periods of time? Not me!!!! Feelings are interrupted by other feelings. Have you ever felt annoyed? Have you ever felt annoyed by the ones that you love? Family? Friends?

If you say no, you are a better person than me. Feelings of annoyance or deep anger replace the feelings of deep affection. What happens then? Is the love gone? According to Oxford dictionary---yes. No wonder people don’t believe in love. This is a kind of love that cannot be sustained. This is a kind of love that will leave you. This is a kind of love that will send you in all directions, to all different kinds of people, looking for it again and again.

The definition also says that this feeling is for a person or thing. WHAT!!! A thing can create love in another? Can a thing be loved? I love my car! Look at this ring he bought me, I love it. I loved that movie. I love turkey dinners! I love my job. I have seen people have an intense feeling of deep affection for their car. I have seen this feeling outlast the one they had for their loved ones. But eventually the feeling goes away, as a new car enters the picture.

I don’t know about you, but I have very little faith in putting hope and trust into my feelings and emotions. They have failed me too often.

I went to the second source that I have come to trust. My Bible. OK, you are saying, this should have been the first source I went to, and you are probably right. I just wanted to know what love meant, and the dictionary is always right, isn’t it? Apparently not. God’s word clarifies what love is for all of us. 1 John 4:7-21 is a passage that clearly defines what love is. 1 John 4:7-21 uses the word love 28 times.

HMMM, my dictionary was wrong. Love is not an intense feeling of deep affection. Now this intense feeling could be part of love but it definitely does not define love. Love is an action and it does not come from within, it comes from God. 4:7 says “Let us love one another for love comes from God” Through God’s grace and wonderful love, He gives us the free will to choose.

We can choose to love or not to love. “Whoever does not love, does not know God”. WOW---you get to choose whether you want to know God more! Do you want to know God more? Then choose to love, for verse 8 says God is love!! Words are meaningless without the actions to back them up. Look at how God backs up his love for us with action. Verse 9. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him”

There have been many amazing events throughout history. The great flood with Noah and his family living in a boat for a year, Moses leading millions out of Egypt, Gideon defeating tens of thousands with a handful of men, Joshua walking around a city seven times and the walls crumbling, Paul’s remarkable conversion, all amazing historical events. BUT…none of them even come close to the biggest event of them all. God allowed His Son, Jesus to be beaten, tortured, bloodied, spat on, ridiculed and humiliated for YOU and ME!!! For you and me!!!! A lot of people have done things for us, but nothing compares to this. Why did God do it? Because He loves us.

This is why we love Him! Because He did this for us. We did not love God first, He first loved us. Do you want others to know the love of God? Do you want them to come to Jesus with outstretched arms? This is more than testifying that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Verse 11 may be one of the greatest understatements of the Bible. John says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Could you see us standing around having tea and coffee and I say, “Attention everyone, I need to share something with you all that just came to me. Do you think that maybe, since God sent His Son to die for all of us to show His love for us, do you think that maybe we should, you know, love each other? It’s just a thought, but I felt I should share it with you all."

What kind of looks would I get? Or better yet, what comments. “You are a pastor and you are just figuring this out now? C’mon pastor Freak, it’s the essence of why we are all here, to love God and each other.” Then why does John say it? Because as obvious as the statement is, we do not always do it. Look at final verses, 19-21.

Is there someone that you brood over, that you hate, that you have an intense feeling of dislike for? God gave us the model here of what to do. We love God because He first loved us. We are to love others first, before they love us. Love is an action and it is a choice. Love is something that we choose to do, not something that we feel.

You may say, “...I can never love my wife, husband, ex-wife, ex-husband, parents, children, the best friend who turned on me or my neighbors. We could all possibly come up with someone that we might say we don’t love or can’t love. In a society that focuses so much on our individual rights, realize now that God has taken away our right to say that! After all the Sins we have committed, after all that we have done to God, and knowing what He allowed his Son to go through for us, we have NO RIGHT to choose not to love someone!! Especially, and I stress especially the one who has hurt us the most! I have heard that the best way to get back at your enemies is to love them. Who knows, they just may end up loving you back---because you first loved them.

Still not convinced? Look at the two greatest commandments that God gives us in Mathew 22:36-40. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Jesus doesn’t tell us one or the other, He commands them both. Love is an action word. We love God by loving our neighbor; we love our neighbor by loving God.

Is there someone out there that you cannot love? God can teach us how to love by putting the unlovable in our paths. You may feel like you could never love them, but God tells you that you can! Not only can we, but we are commanded to.

Now here is the great news for those of us that struggle with this command. God’s love is not conditional on us loving others. He will never take his love away from you. When you stumble and fail in loving others do not beat yourself up over it! Jesus has already taken that beating for you! God loves you so much that he sacrificed his Son for you. Draw on the love of God to help you love others because this is where love comes from. Love is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. I look forward to the day when we can open our dictionary, look up the word love and see a one-word definition---God!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Follow-up to Sorrowful Rant

Thanks all fro the comments on the Sorrowful Rant post. Generally I write at least one psot a night. The number of drafts far outnumber the published posts that appear on this page. I was hesitant to post the Sorrowful Rant post as I felt it was a bit too acidic. After reading the comments I'm glad I published it. Now that I've had a day to relax, reflect and read your comments I would like to follow up as I need to explain further. I don't want to leave the impression that I'm bitter and ready to shoot birds at the institution of organized religion.

JC Freak is absolutely correct that we have to love the judgemental souls who are isolating those that need Jesus. Transgression is transgressiona and we have to love unconditionally.

If I may I'd like to bend your minds a bit and venture out a little further at the risk of offending absolutely everyone who stops by this page. As always I'm open to feedback no matter whether you agree or not. I love to chew on this stuff.

The following is in response to Kathy's second comment on Sorrowful Rant about sinners flaunting their sin. I had a similar conversation with a friend last night. The point as I understood both is that we should not celebrate sinful acts such as gossiping, sexual immoratily, witchcraft, idolatry etc, etc. I agree. Here comes the mind bending part.

On January 28, I posted Camping Out, a piece about being outside of God's blessing after transgressing. Miriam was sent outside the camp for seven days after slandering Moses' wife.

When we sin we are put outside of God's blessing we find ourselves in a chaotic state. Being outside of God's blessing we are open to curses, sickness and diesease. All symptoms of chaos. Matthew 12:43-45 talks about demns returning to the orignal house and finding it swept clean and unattended returning with seven more demons more wicked than itself. We open ourslves to this attack when outside of God's blessing.

There is no joy in sinning. Walking outside of God's plan opens us to chaos. It doesn't mean we are not saved, it means we are left ot our own devices. God desires order. When we wlalk in God's plan, His teaching and insturction, keeping our eyes on Him we achieve order. But we can't achieve order without Jesus because we are human. I don't believe adulterers enjoy committing adultery. I don't believe you will ever find one child molester who feels complete within themselves.

I know the struggles I am challenged with, have been all my life. I've tried everything to overcome them and I keep coming back time and time again. It wansn't until I started to understand that I am powerless to overcome the sin in my life. I realized that's what Jesus did on the cross. I finally understood what humility is. I cry out to Jesus when temptations start eating at me. When I hear a juicy piece of gossip I hang my head and ask for power from Jesus to keep me from repeating it. Sometimes pride sneaks up on me. When I am fully under the blessing I recognize it from far off and begin my ritual of asking for strength and protection.

There is no celebration in sin. It's ugly. If people tell you they enjoy living under the chaotic state they are being dishonest with you and themselves. They are headed for destruction and they know it. If it's not apparent immediately it will become so rather quickly. You can't have an affair on you spouse and not feel repercussions from it. There is no joy in slamming someone else. There is no satisfaction in telling lies or stealing. Any satisfaction is fleeting and hollow.

Don't take my word on this, pray aobut it. Ask the LORD for the truth. I desperately want to know more abut walking in God's teaching and instruction. I want to get the word out to the church to stop the suffering. I desire more than anything to share with brothers and sisters in Christ. I desire order.

Happy Valentines Day DW

Happy Valentines Day DW. (That's Darling Wife in chat speak I've come to find out. Some of you NASCAR fans may be thinking something else.)

From your Splenda Daddy
(Just like a Sugar Daddy but none of the wealth).

Love you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Sorrowful Rant

What would your church do if a gay couple showed up next Sunday morning? Would the pastor and congregation accept them or shun them? How would Jesus react to the same couple? My guess is that most churches will put on a front of love but then quickly escort the new guests out the back door wishing them good riddance and never come back.

I'm very angry tonight Gentle Readers. I am once again growing disillusioned with the Church and it bothers me.

Let me ask more questions. How many parishners in your church are having affairs on their spouses? How many secret alcoholics are there? How many people sitting all pious in the pews run home Sunday afternoon and spark up a big doobie or log on to porn sites? How many Christians think they are so much better than other sinners?
I'll tell you right now that I am not able to judge anyone that engages in activities that break the LORD's commandments. I'm struggling with my own demons. I am doing my best to stay n step with Jesus who I am yoked with. I understand that I can not carry the yoke at all but rather that it is Jesus who is bearing the entire load. I often take my eyes off Jesus and stumble. Right now I'm fighting the temptation to judge the Church for it's pride. Takes one to know one and I'm one proud son of a gun. I was one of the Pharisees holding court on those around me. My world came crashing down.
Oh how I yearn to see the Church wake up and say I'm not perfect let us welcome the thieves, prostitues and junkies and offer them rest. Show them the love that Jesus desires to share with his people. Imagine if we started healing from within, loving each other and caring instead of casting out the wounded among us. People would be beating down the doors to get into our sanctuarys instead of laughing at us.
Teach us to love LORD Jesus, show us the way. Forgive me for my wicked ways and help me bestow unconditional love on all those around me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Most of you who frequent this page are freinds with Cliff at WIXY's Gone Bananas. He has sent out a request to remember he and his family in prayer. Please join Liquid and Cliff's other friends in lifting him up before the LORD.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Pilgrim Jr, and I were sitting eating oatmeal one cold morning. Few words were exchanged as I read the paper and he sipped his coffee trying to shake out the cobwebs.

JR broke the silence.

"You know" he said slowily "If my Great Grandfather were alive today he'd be world famous".

Dropping the paper I looked at him for a second absorbing the comment. My grandfathers, his great grandfathers were regular guys.. One was a teacher and the other a factory worker. I didn't know JR's great grandfathers on his mothers side. Both were born in Italy, one in Sicily the other in Naples. They both immigrated to the USA were they raised families. I realized I didn't know anything about these fellas.

I bit.

"Why?" I asked genuinely interested.

Looking down at his oatmeal, JR replied, "Because he'd be 120 years old".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Delayed Response to a Meme

My good friend Sian tagged me on this meme way back on 01/24. I told Sian I would follow through and I really anticipated to respond much earlier. Sorry for the elay.

Go to the current book you are reading, on page 161, and copy down the 5th sentence

:"....And fun."

From: The Partner by John Grisham. It's a Grisham novel so it's about lawyers. This one is a tale with about a crooked partner with slow twists and a far fetched plot but nevertheless a good read.

I tag anyone who wants to join in. Let me know if you do.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Night Video's - Boo Boo's

Sting is another one of my top 10 artisits. While I've always enjoyed I Hung My Head, video below, it really hit home recently when I heard Johnny Cash's versio As I get older I appreciate lyrics more and more, thus my appreciation for Gordon Lightfoot. The guy isn't that great a singer but man is he an amazing lyricist and song writer. Anyway, I Hung my Head's lyrics jumped out as a metaphor to so many gaffs I've made in my life. While I've never picked off a lone rider with a 30.6, I have made some serious errors in judgment in my life. Momentary lapes of sheer stupidity. Like my mother always said, "PIlgrim" a long pause "just because you look dumb, doesn't mean your'e not!" and then walk away shaking her head. OK so my mother never really said that or anything like it but it's a really good dramatic effect.

Seriously, this song sums up in a dramatically effective manner as most good songs and stories do, the times I have done dumb things that at first seemed innocent but resulted in serious consequences. What I really appreciate about the song is the storyteller's reactions and remorse. He realizes he did something seriously wrong. Give it a listen and let me know if it gets you the same way it gets me.

Sting's Original Version

Below is Johnny Cash's cover. Cash's melodic baritone has a haunting element to it. I love the Jazz feel of Stings original but Cash brings out the lyrics.

Here's Johnny's Version for Good Measure

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bye Bye Little Duece Coupe

I'm hitting midlife crisis.

Forty-two years old qne what have I done with my life?

Next week I will pay my last child support payment. I had planned to go out and buy a Vette when the support payments ended. After years of handing over my checks to pay for swimming pools, Volvo's , Mercedes and a handful of minivans I planned to take care of Pilgrim. Paying child support didn't bother me after the sting of the divorce wore off and the court cases stopped. I still harbour a wee bit of resentment for being pulled back into court over silly things and being put in a postion to assist lawyers with their BMW payments but after 16 years I've finally paid all that off too.

Now that child support is ending though, there will be no Corvette as I have started all over again. Having kid's fits me better anyway. I'd rather have a house full of kid's and a station wagon than a two seater anyday. Wait. I'd rather have a house full of kids a station wagon and a two seater but I know the limits.

The mid-life crisis has nothing to do with fast cars, fast women or fat cigars. I love my wife and kids and consider myself blessed. My crisis is that I've lived half my life (Lord willing and the creeks don't rise) and what have I done? I'm a corporate wonk in middle management without the talent or desire to be the top dog. I don't have the competencies to be a mover and shaker. I'm more tuned to be a farmer and Quaker.

The truth was driven home this past week. I watched the most disturbing movie I've ever seen, Trade, about the internaltional sex slave trade. (The language was alittle rough but othewise the film was very well done. I'd recommend it to those with a stronger constitution, it brings awareness to an issue that should be exposed in a tasteful but very jarring way). I was brought in to help two women in physically abusive relationships I listened to an executive who is losing control. I heard about a friend who is going through a divorce and the list goes on. I don't mind listening to or helping anyone. I love dealing with people. My crisis is that I'm 42 and I have done nothing to make the world a better place. The realization of the degree to which the LORD desires action doesn't make me feel any better.

I know the pat answer, pray about it Brother but tonight that doesn't make me feel any better. I'm having a Lamentations moment. I desire to help the world become a better place. I want to do soemthing to see the abuse stop, to see marriages healed to know that seedy, perverted, ugliness that goes on behind drawn curtains is no longer profitable. I desire to see the hearts of people change so we don't have to hold our children close to our sides. I want to see the world in a better spot than it's in.

There, my rant is out and I need to go to bed. I know that it's all in God's time. I will push forward but soemtimes it's hard and I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Revisting my Christopher Pauchay Stand

The reactions to my post on Christopher Pauchay have been interesting. Most everybody think I'm off my rocker for having compassion for the man.I understand those who hold Puachay in contempt, I would have been first in line to throw stones at the man not too long ago. I've had a change of heart though over the past while. I'll try to explain myself a little better.

Pauchay's negligence was criminal and must be addressed. A civilized society can not tolerate his actions. Even though I'm a sworn Apolitico, I still swing way to the right. People have to be accountable for their actions and lives.

My compassion is centered on the person Christopher Pauchay. What brought him to the point of losing common sense? To be able to drink two pints of Vodka and several beers, the guy ahd to be a seasoned drinker. Even in my days as a drunk I never came close to consuming that much poison. I would have been face down on a carpet somewhere after a binge like that. . I wouldn't be able to find my feet let alone two kids. Why would someone even want to drink that much? No, there was/is something deeper than the horrendous events that saw two precious babies perish in a frozen hell. I believe the man must be punished for his crimes but I can't bring myself to judge him for his sins. That doesn't make me special, it just means that by the grace of God I didn't kill any innocent people while I was steeped in foolishness.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

What a Start

Congratulations has to go out to my best friend, Minimalist Mommy. She started the blog just over three weeks ago and is already getting over 150 hits a day! It's hilariuos because she's a bloging neophyte and gets upset when she only gets 70 or 80 hits a day. Youngster.

Her success has parlayed into a paying gig to boot. A start-up web business has hired her to write blog posts for them. She's a wonderful writer who is also aextremely attractive, a good cook and very patient.

Hat's off to you Nicole, I'm very proud of you.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Night Videos - For Liquid and WIXY

I posted this on a since past site. At that time I dedicated it to Liquid. Tonight I once again dedicate it to Liquid because she means a lot to me. I also dedicate it to WIXY because he's such a genuine fella. I know they both have a spot in their hearts for this number just like I have a spot in my heart for both of them.

Thinking Bloggers Award

This award comes from a very good blogging friend who has stuck with me theough three iterations of blogs. I enhoy her posts, the e-mail I receive almost daily and her friendship on Facebook. I really appreciate the support Sindi has afforded me ove rthe past few months. This award means a lot Sindi, especially the comments that went with it.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Serial Intercessor - Christopher Pauchay

The story is so tragic that I can not link it. You don't need to know the details other than two toddlers, ages 3 and 1, were found frozen to death in a Saskatchewan field wearing only t-shirts and diapers. It's not a news item, it's a horror story. The girls 25 year old father, Christopher Pauchay was passed out drunk at the next door neighbours house while the two little girls wandered around outside in -50 C windchill.

I guess it's human nature that the overwhelming attitdue is disgust for Mr. Paulchay. That he would neglect two precious little girls and let them die in such a horrible way. I am not part of the majority. No one needs to tell Christopher Pauchay anything, he will be living in hell for the remainder of his days on this earth. I'm praying for Paulchay. I can't for one second imagine the guilt that he has to be feeling tonight. The guilt that will plague him forever. What I do know is that Jesus has enough mercy to forgive me and He has the mercy to forgive Christopher Pauchay. Please join me in prayer for the families of the girls. Please pray for Christopher Pauchay, he really has nothing left in this world.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Camping Out

Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
Romans 6:16

The death and righteousness Paul is referring to have a little different context from a Hebrew perspective than what I normally read into this passage To be in death is to be outside of God's blessing. Righteousness, is being under God's blessing. There are two realms, the realm of life (righteousness) and the realm of death. Neither have an effect on salvation. Confess Jesus as LORD, accept His sacrifice on the Cross as atonement for your sins and receive salvation. Living in death or life comes down to obedience.

Numbers 12 tells the story of Miriam and Aaron gossiping and slandering their brother Moses over their sister-in-law. The LORD is angered, Miriam is stricken with a skin affliction and has to leave the camp for seven days. When she returns she's all better. Because of her sin/transgression (slander is a sin, Lev 19:16) Miriam was in the realm of death, put outside the protection of the camp.

When we transgress we are put outside the LORD's blessings. He still loves us, we are still saved however we are put outside the camp. While outside the camp we are to examine our ways. Pray for guidance and revelation, play back the tape of our lives in our minds. Today I know when I'm outside of God's blessings. I'm moody, things seem to get in the way, there is general discord in the house. Sometimes I can relate to a direct sin or transgression sometimes it's not obvious. When I've had enough of the frustration I pray and examine my ways. I always come to an understanding during one of these periods.

When I have identified the transgression and I always do, loud and clear, I know there is no way that I will be able to overcome the nagging problem on my own. I'll try and fall flat on my face again. This is where the magnificence of Christ comes in. I lean on Him to deliver me. Being in the realm of death, outside the camp, actually strengthens my relationship with Him.

When the transgression rears it's head again, and it always does, I start to pray like a fiend for strength to overcome. It's hard. When I'm obedient then I start to feel the blessings, I feel confidence like I've never felt before.

As Paul states in Romans 6, obedience leads to righteousness. Jesus gives us the strength to obey. When we obey we live an ordered life. God desires order. When we live an ordered life we bless others, it's inevitable. It really is a perfect plan.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You Cheer Me Up Award

"Most of us know who and what cheers us up .
What we don't know is how we cheer up others.
Or if we're making a difference in their lives.
That's because we let too much time go by
Without telling those we appreciate
How much they mean to us.
Until it's too late.
And the opportunity
slips away."
This award means a lot to me as it comes from one of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with. The fact that she recognized me with this award means more to me than words can express. Thank you Liquid.

Biggest Heart Award

Kasper created and awarded the Biggest Heart award. The award is for encouragement and positive feedback to other bloggers. It's fitting that a Blogger who encourages and provides positive feedback on a consistent basis created this award. Thank you Kasper, I appreciate the fact that you created this and that you thought I was worthy of receiving it.

I actually have a long list of recipients I'd like to award however I'm going to hold on for future specific instances. With the group that supports and encourages me, I'll be handing these out like candy in the coming weeks.

Thanks again Kasper.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Beethoven's Last Symphony

I read this one a few years back. One of the kid's toys plays Ode to Joy over and over and over..... It reminded me of this. Author unknown.

A music teacher on sabbatical took some time for an extended visit to Vienna. One night late in the evening he took a stroll through the graveyard where Beethoven was laid to rest. As he quietly strolled he could hear music playing from the center of the grave yard. The teachers interest was peaked because he recognized the tune but there was something odd about it.

As he walked towards the melody it became louder and louder. He was perplexed, he knew the tune but there was something wrong. As he came upon Ludwig's burial spot he realized the music was coming from the grave. It hit it then that it was Beethoven's 12th Symphony but it was different IT WAS BEING PLAYED BACKWARDS!..

A little creeped out the Teacher stayed until the last note.

The next night he went back to the graveyard and he heard the music again. It was coming from Beethoven's grave again, and again a very familiar tune but not quite right. It was the legendary composer's 9th Symphony only it was again being played in reverse.

The next night the Teacher brought a friend with him. The same thing. Beethoven's 7th this time and there was no doubt it was being played backwards.

The following night a large crowd gathered around Beethoven's grave. As mysteriously as the preceding evenings music began to play. The crowd was in awe as they heard Beethoven's 5th being played backwards. They debated and theorized as the all too familiar melody played backwards.

The crowd became anxious and louder as the symphony played on. The Cemetery's grounds keeper went up to the crowd to see what the commotion was. all about.

The Teacher explained the situation. The first night he heard the 12th Symphony, then the 9th, then the 7th and tonight the 5th coming from Beethoven's grave. All being played backwards. The crowd was quite alarmed.

The Groundskeeper pushed his hat back on his head and stared at the crowd in disgust. Isn't it obvious he exclaimed in a agitated tone. He's de-composing!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Night Videos - A New Love

Am I getting older or do really have a great taste in music? If you ask my wife about my taste in music she would shake her head at some of it. I love all types of music, from Blues, Chopin, Disco and Easy Listening to Hard Rock you name it I have it somewhere in my collection. Bocelli to Hendrix, Abba to ZZ Top, I love music. I recently rediscovered an old favorite though thanks to a friend of mine.

Rediscovered in that my favour was rooted in nostalgia more than an actual appreciation. It started back in the early 70's when I was a wee lad. Dad loaded the family in a car and drove us down to Nashville to record an album at Superior Studios. The Studio was owned by Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys. The album was a recording of Dad and my brothers doing mostly Bill Gaither covers. While in Nashville we went to Jimmy Snow's church. Sitting in the pew that hot Sunday morning my oldest brother gave my a nudge Ianthe ribs a few minutes into the service and pointed to the back. Johnny and June Carter Cash had sneaked in to the back row. I was awe struck. They snuck out a few minutes before he service ended. Later that day we drove past the Cash home and saw the Man in Black getting into his Cadillac.

I was a Johnny Cash fan from that point on. I read his autobiography watched a couple of his movies, enjoyed his guest star role in Columbo and may have had one of his albums on vinyl. I didn't listen to him regularly though.

Fast forward to present day and my appreciation still hung on but I couldn't really get into a real fanboy conversation about Cash's material. Then Johnny passes on and the movie comes out. All of a sudden everybody's a Johnny Cash fan. I refused to jump on board the band wagon. I put my boyhood feelings aside and went on with life....until yesterday.

A buddy brought in 4 CD's for me to listen to. Three of the American recordings and the VH-1 session with Willie Nelson ( I've worn out no less than 3 copies of Nelson's Stardust). Buddy is a die hard fanboy so I only kept them over night but now I'm hooked.
Band wagon be darned, I am a Johnny Cash fan once again.

Following is a song that for better or worse brings back some memories of an emotional period in my life. I had just moved out of my house, leaving behind my two kid's and wife. In my place her new (old) man moved in. U2 had just released Actung Baby, my favourite U2 album This track was on that recording. The song was written about one of the band members divorce. The song still makes me take pause, especially in the mellow baritone's rendition.

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Johnny Cash singing One.