May 31, 2009

God moves in a mysterious way

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

William Cowper

Blog Header - May 31, 2009

Today’s header is a photo I took at the Barboursville Vineyard and Winery in Barboursville, Virginia. This gorgeous estate was once owned by Governor Barbour, close personal friend of Thomas Jefferson. In one part of the estate you can walk through the ruins of a small duplicate of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello—complete with octagonal central area with two wings extending to either side. Jefferson built this house for Governor Barbour and Barbour’s family lived in it until it burned down on Christmas Eve a few decades later.

The Barboursville estate fell into disrepair and ruin for quite some time until the mid 1980s when an Italian winemaker purchased the estate and established the Barboursville Vineyards and Winery. This winery now produces some of the best wine our country has to offer. In fact, the wine expert from the 5-star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, has declared Barboursville Octagon wine to be the best wine available in the world.

If you’re interested in visiting this beautiful vineyard, you’ll find it just a few miles north of Charlottesville along Rt. 29. It’s well worth the visit.

May 30, 2009

The proven benefits of coffee

For those with little wit
Coffee is a brightener.
The most barren of authors
Is made fertile by it.
It has in it a virtue
Strengthening the memory,
So that a pedant can talk,
Without rhyme or reason,
Spouting fable and history.
Coffee works a miracle,
Sharpening the brains of the stupid.
No author refreshed by it
Need languish in silence.
Coffee's strength and virtue
Double the memory.
Every drop empowers us
To gabble continuously,
And, discarding the crutches of rhyme,
To spout fable as history.

About how coffee can make anyone intelligent and can turn anyone into a poet (18th Century)

May 29, 2009

The weekend’s here! (May 29, 2009)

J.S. Bach!

What's in England's drinking water?

I love to watch American Idol. It's great to see the talent and cheer for my favorites. But when I compare American Idol to Britain's Got Talent, I can't help but wonder what England is doing that makes them so much better than us. Of course, none of the people in these three clips could qualify for American Idol. Two are too old; one is too young. And none of them have "the look," or "star appeal." But, man, are they talented.

They are not allowing embedding on this first one, so you’ll have to click this link to see Susan Boyle. But come back here to see the others. They’re all amazing.

This one can’t be embedded either, so you’ll need to click here to see this Flawless performance.

May 28, 2009

Blog Header - May 27, 2009

Today’s blog header is a photo I took of my good friend Joe and his daughter for Easter. I thought this one looked good in black & white and after playing with it for a while I decided it needed to become a blog header.

May 27, 2009

For your dining and dancing pleasure

Here's a little blue Sarah Brightman—not “Blues”, but actually blue.

I love the Fifth Element.

Tired of the instant response of a digital camera?

Eh? Did I read this right? Polaroid fans are trying to bring back Polaroid film and cameras?

Here’s the article.

May 26, 2009

What is sustaining grace?

Not grace to bar what is not bliss
    Nor flight from all distress—but this:
        The grace that orders our trouble and pain
        Then in the darkness is there to sustain

Pastor John Piper, Minneapolis, MN

Fine, Funky Lynchburg

I don’t often agree with The Washington Post but this article is wonderful. I am in full agreement. It just serves to remind me of another of the many reasons I wish we didn't have to move away from this wonderful city.

Fine, Funky Lyncyburg, Va., The Washington Post

HT: Laura Cullen

Blog Header - May 26, 2009

The train in today’s blog header is Klondike Katy. This train is almost a hundred years old and is actually a military veteran, having served in World War II and in Korea.

Klondike Katy is now stationed at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. David rode this train at least once per day when we spent a week at Dollywood last summer. He has always loved trains and this actual steam locomotive was a dream come true for him. He talked with the engineers whenever the train was parked at the station and probably would have been happy doing nothing else other than riding the train for the entire week.

May 25, 2009

Remembering our nation's heroes

Happy Memorial Day!

Today Americans of all demographics will get together with their families. They will head to parks, beaches, and playgrounds. They will fire up some charcoal and cook steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. They'll drink lots of Kool-aid, and lots of beer.

Most Americans will take full advantage of this national holiday and will enjoy their day off of work.

Still other Americans will spend today away from their families. Some will stand watch. Some will sit back and miss their families even though they know that duty calls them to be away from their families at this time. Some will spend the day in bunkers, firing shots from time to time at the enemy and being shot at. Some may die.

It is these folks and those who have gone before them who we are to remember today. The soldiers overseas and at home who are engaged in the battle for our freedom and the battle to bring freedom to others. They are America's best. May we remember them not just today, but every day. And may each of us take the opportunity, when we see one of these courageous men and women, to approach them and say, "thank you." They need to know that we appreciate them—and not just for the day off of work."

Happy Memorial Day. And thank you to all of you who serve. You are greatly appreciated!

May 24, 2009

Happy birthday, David

Jack Kerouac

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars...

Fourteen years ago today our son David was born. He spent the night in the hospital, but 24 hours later we drove him home from the hospital through an incredible storm to the warmth and safety of our house. We didn’t fully see the storm’s parallel to what life was going to be like for David.

Kim and David on a porch swing

David lives in a perpetual storm state. He bristles with energy. He changes moods with seemingly no more reason than the winds change their direction. Others find him as uncomfortable as a serious storm would be and, in fact, will establish all sorts of boundaries to keep him (and us along with him) at bay. But he is our son, and we love him dearly. The quote from Jack Kerouac describes our David to a “T.”

David is creative, loving, smart, and funny. He loves to help others. And he longs to impact the world for good. It has been an exciting and eventful 14 years. And we don't know what we would have ever done without him.

Happy birthday, David!

May 23, 2009

Making the best of what we've got

I ran across this video searching for something completely different. This is truly amazing.



Lonely, waiting in the heavy darkness
All thoughts consumed by the thought of You.
If not for the promise of Your coming,
How would I ever make it through?

My heart is a slave and what is its burden?
This deep longing for my innocent Lamb.
Oh what a sweet eternal mystery:
My Redeemer is also the Great I Am!

Unquenchable thirst, my heart parched and dry.
Yet, because of my longing, tears form in my eyes.
What is the remedy, what can water my soul?
Only when I hear the sound of Your coming...
For then, then at last, I'll be made whole!

Lance Fuller 2008

King Coffee

May the drink that I love,
Rule by divine right!
Wean the wine drinker
    from his grape;
You are far better than wine!

Song sung in Greek by a coffee vendor who went from house to house selling cups of black coffee (1690)

May 22, 2009

The weekend's here! (May 22, 2009)

Watch more AOL Kids videos on AOL Video

Take Courage

Here's an interesting happening. Early this morning Mary and I were both writing blog posts to be posted today. We had not spoken to each other. We had not consulted in any way. But we are both filled with the same Holy Spirit who moves us in the necessary direction to accomplish the goals of Almighty God. I am going to post Mary’s post and mine together here, as I think God is saying much the same thing to both of us at exactly the same time.

Praise be to God!

Take Courage

Mary Fuller

Acts 27:21–25

No one had eaten for a long time. Finally, Paul called the crew together and said, “Men, you should have listened to me in the first place and not left Fair Havens. You would have avoided all this injury and loss. But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”

In my scripture reading this morning, I read about Paul’s shipwreck on Malta and the events leading up to it. A particular segment popped out at me as if it were a three-dimensional object against a two-dimensional setting. Beginning in Acts 27:21 (in the callout box)

Suddenly I saw Paul in a new light (no, I’m not on my own road to Damascus). Paul was terrified. His faith was in a weakened condition. Why? Because in the verse just before this Paul says, “until at last all hope was gone.” Even Paul despaired of his life. But wait, wasn’t he hoping for heaven? Wouldn’t that have been a good thing?

You see, I’m coming to realize something about the apostle Paul as I’ve been studying him recently. Paul had a “dream” to go to Rome. He’d been to some mighty cool places on his missionary journeys, but he really wanted to go to Rome, the center of the Roman empire. I don’t think this was a spiritual desire, but a physical, emotional one. I think that’s why even our dear apostle Paul had lost hope.

But what does God do for his faithful servant Paul? Does God rebuke him? No, instead, God sends a messenger to Paul to say, “Look, Paul, I know you have your heart set on Rome, and you will get there, but I have this Divine Delay right now. Don’t be afraid, BUT TAKE COURAGE, you will get to Rome.” WOW!!

Paul has been facing days of crashing, crushing waves—waves that certainly will destroy the vessel. In their despair of life, the crew cast all cargo and even the instruments overboard. All hope was lost. BUT GOD, (that's my favorite phrase in the Bible) says to Paul in the midst of this, “TAKE COURAGE.”

Interesting words, aren’t they? The New American Standard Bible says, “keep up your courage.” The greek word Euthumeo () is translated in the following ways: to put in good spirits, gladden, make cheerful, to be of good spirits, to be cheerful, to be joyful, be of good cheer, of good courage. All of these things involve an act of the will to “be” something. It implies an embracing of sorts—take, receive, hold onto courage. Boy, when your ship is about to go down, you hang onto anything solid you can get your hands on. So God gives His dear servant a life raft. He gives him courage and tells Paul to hang on to it for dear life. WOW!

Then, the most remarkable thing about this passage is what Paul does next. He shares this wonderful news with everyone on the ship. He doesn't hold onto it and hog it, he shares it!! Paul was so encouraged by this angel’s visit that he wanted others to have that same confidence, and he shares this wonderful news with an unbelieving crowd.

The end of the story is that the gale force winds did not stop, they pounded and pushed the ship right up to the rocks on the Isle of Malta, yet just as Paul said, not a life was lost. Paul began to understand that this trip wasn’t just about him, but about the other men on board with whom God was sharing the truth. I wonder how many of those shipmates we’ll see in glory someday because Paul took courage in the shipwreck.

Sometimes, the storm isn’t for us, it’s for the ones watching. Certainly, God had things for Paul to learn, too, but His greater good in this instance, I think, was demonstrating His existence to the men who were traveling with Paul. Perhaps one of them had asked Paul for “proof” of God’s existence. I think they probably got it!

So, take courage! You'll notice that this phrase occurs twice in this passage, along with “Do not be afraid.” Repetition implies importance. Again, with the apostle Paul I say to you, “TAKE COURAGE!”

Help Wanted

Rich Gelina

Matthew 9:35–38

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Jesus looked at the crowds following him and referred to them as a field ripe for harvest. Although it’s not easy to commit to personal evangelism, many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would show them how. In Matthew 9, Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to this need for workers. Often when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. So I need to be prepared for this possibility.

As we prepare to move to a new community, I am praying that God will guide us to the people in that community who need to hear the message that Jesus died to save sinners. And I am praying that God will give me the boldness to share the good news with them.

It seems that many of the things I have experienced in my life have been a preparation for sharing in the sufferings of others. Having a special needs child has shown us that it is very hard for others to understand our situation unless they themselves are experiencing or have experienced the same sort of issues. That makes us feel quite lonely at times because most people cannot understand what we deal with on a day-to-day basis. But it also makes those few who do understand uniquely able to share in our difficulties and to encourage us through the tough times.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Our family is going through some serious things right now. Perhaps God is preparing us for someone who needs to be comforted. Perhaps we can comfort these folks and help them find their way through the difficult times because we have been helped with our problems by God and his laborers. It’s a good system, if we participate.

ADDENDUM (by Mary's request):

May 21, 2009

I want him to know me

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Blog header - May 20, 2009

This was the view out our front door at about 5:30 last Saturday morning. I love the beauty of nature—even when there are phone lines in the view.

May 20, 2009

When it rains...

Waves are waves. They’re a bit of high water that hits hard and then is quickly gone. You have to time it just perfectly to get a surfboard on the crest. But tsunamis.... A tsunami is a wave that keeps coming ... and coming ... and coming.

I am in the middle of a tsunami. I don’t know if it’s the beginning of the tidal wave, the middle, or the end. But it’s been coming pretty hard and heavy for a few weeks now. Here’s the latest huge amount of water to crash over me:

Driving home from work yesterday afternoon my car began to make some seriously disturbing sounds. I was in the middle of the mountains in a very rural area, so I didn’t immediately pull over. But at 170,000 miles, I knew this car was nearing its end. I just didn’t realize how near.

The sounds got worse. The power dropped to the point that the car had trouble making it up the hills. Then, about 10 miles after the sounds had begun,


A huge concussion came from the engine compartment and everything shut down.

I was in Faber, Virginia. (No, I had never heard of Faber before either.) I was nowhere near any road signs in either direction. And I was about 50 miles from home.

I called for a tow truck. An hour and a half later my car was on the truck and we headed toward Lynchburg. Another hour went by and I was paying the tow truck driver $208 for getting me (and my car) home.

So now, in addition to needing to find and buy a house, we need to find and buy a car. We might be able to make do with just our other car. After all, it has only 167,000 miles on it.

But, God is in total control. He promises that this is the best thing for me and that it will bring glory to him.

A few things to note:

  1. This car’s five-year-note was paid off last week.
  2. The engine could have blown anywhere along the very long stretch of dangerous twisty roads in the mountains, but it blew just prior to a convenient and inexplicable gravel turnoff area.
  3. Our other car, which was already in the shop, will require only a starter and battery to get it into “good condition,” according to the mechanic.
  4. The other car gets quite a bit better gas mileage, which will help since I’ll be commuting into DC every day instead of just once a week.
  5. The car broke down just 52 miles from our house—not nearer to my office, which is 220 miles from our house.

God is on the move. These are exciting days. Tsunami or not—I’m in good hands.

May 18, 2009

Touching the hem of His garment

Mark 5:25-34

In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had gone to many doctors, and they had not done anything except cause her a lot of pain. She had paid them all the money she had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse. The woman had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely touched his clothes. She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well.” As soon as she touched them, her bleeding stopped, and she knew she was well. At that moment Jesus felt power go out from him. He turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples said to him, “Look at all these people crowding around you! How can you ask who touched you?” But Jesus turned to see who had touched him. The woman knew what had happened to her. She came shaking with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then she told him the whole story. Jesus said to the woman, “You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain.”

I read the scripture passage to the right this morning as I began my day. It's interesting how we can read passages of scripture that we have read many times before and they suddenly take on a new meaning—or at least a new application because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. And this morning as I read the account of this woman's healing, it struck me that we all have our own need for healing.

This past Saturday our son had Saturday school again. This means that our family loses an entire Saturday that we might have used to accomplish other tasks. Instead of working on those pressing things, we must wait for more than four hours for David to finish his schooling. To offset the inconvenience of Saturday school, Kim and I try to do some thing that we really enjoy about Lynchburg. But, of course, this past Saturday those things took on a new bittersweet meaning because very soon we will not be living here in the city that we have grown to love so much.

So after we dropped David off at the school, we headed down to the Lynchburg market. We have always tried our best to support local businesses. More than 20 years ago we chose to go to the small "Mom and Pop" grocery stores rather than the big franchise stores because we wanted to support those local businesses. We were willing to pay slightly more for our milk and eggs in order to help these folks stay in business.

The Lynchburg Market has local grown produce, crafts, and other local products. It's a delightful place to get a taste of Lynchburg living. We go there even during the winter months when the vendors are scarce.

But this past Saturday, the market vendors were plentiful and the consumers were abundant. Local grown vegetables and flowers were bursting out all over the place. Myriad colors and scents were mixed in a pleasant cacophony of greeting, buying, and selling. It is a wonderful thing to behold and we really love it.

I spent some time as a youth in Pennsylvania Dutch country. I grew to love the Amish and Mennonite people and to appreciate their lifestyle. So it's great to see the Mennonite farmers and their families at the booths. We've gotten to know some of the other local farmers there at the Market too. The owner of Chateau Z Vineyards from the Roanoke area of Virginia and another vegetable farmer from just outside Lynchburg both know our faces and greet us warmly when they see us. We've tried to purchase from them regularly, even purchasing apples from the farmer to feed the deer in our yard during the coldest part of the winter.

But this past Saturday we had a little bit of difficulty as we talked with these friends. It was difficult because we realize that this may be the last time we will see them and the last time we will visit the Lynchburg Market. Because we will be moving soon.

As we took in the smells, sights, and sounds of the market this past Saturday, we were struck with an odd nostalgia about this city that we have come to love. God blesses us in so many ways and the Lynchburg Market, although this may seem a bit strange to some, is one of the things we see as a blessing that God blessed us with for the past couple of years.

After walking through the Market and talking with the local farmers that we have come to know over our many visits, we crossed the street to one of our other favorite Lynchburg locations—The White Hart coffee shop.

I've told you before about this unique and delightful place. They have the best coffee around and the atmosphere just can't be beat. But again, this time the visit was bittersweet as we took in the atmosphere of the White Hart for what will likely be our last time. It's hard to say goodbye—even when you're saying goodbye to a barrister, or to the brick & mortar shop that houses the place of interest.

So then, what does all of this have to do with the woman whose flow of blood was healed by Jesus?

I know, I know—this may seem like a bit of a leap. But I think this is sometimes the way the Holy Spirit guides us into the truth.

Kim, David, and I are hurting. We thought that God had moved us to Lynchburg to settle in for good. Kim and I have attempted to move out of Northern Virginia since we first got married 23 years ago. We've made multiple attempts to make that happen, but until David was placed in a Lynchburg hospital, none of those attempts ever worked out.

And then God moved us to Lynchburg. It was a wonderful wave of relief to finally get out of the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC, area and we were so happy that it had finally happened. In addition to the relief of leaving Northern Virginia, we found that Lynchburg is a wonderful little city with tremendous history and character. It has been a welcome relief to get to know this city and her people. And we were hoping to retire here.

But that was not God's plan. We're now moving on and the move is exciting, but difficult. It is very hard to say goodbye to Lynchburg. Our souls are hurting. We don't have an issue of blood, but we have wounded souls in need of healing.

The woman in the scripture passage was not healed by touching Jesus' garment. As Jesus told her, she was healed by her faith in Christ. And that's where the application seems to fit. Kim, David, and I are in need of healing and this passage tells us where that healing will come from. We must have faith. We must have faith that God is Jehovah Jireh—the Provider. We know in our heads that God is sovereign and is working all of these things for his glory and for our benefit, but our souls need the healing of resting in the fact that he is in control and that we are safer in his loving embrace than we would be if we pursued what seems right to us.

May 17, 2009

Where did the time go?

Today marks the 23rd year of our marriage. And, of course, a completely new path in a journey that has had more twists and turns than a good suspense/thriller novel.

Jim Croce wrote "The Hard Way Everytime" many years ago. I thought at the time that it was probably the story of his life—and it may have been. But from my vantage point today, looking back at almost 50 years of life I realize that this song was also a somewhat prophetic song about my life.

I have told many people that God has to hit me upside the head with a two-by-four to get my attention. I guess that's a more theological way of describing the same thing Jim Croce said in his song: "I've gone the hard way every time."

But my almost 50 years of life has included almost 25 years of marriage, and I think Jim Croce's final phrase in the song applies to that part of my life: "But when I look back today, I wouldn't have had it any other way."

It pains me to think of what I've brought my wife through during 23 years of marriage. It has not been an easy road. But through it all she has remained solid as a rock. She has always loved me, defended me, and pointed me in the right direction when I got lost. She's a fantastic wife, an unbelievably dedicated mother, and sexier today than she was when God allowed me to snag the most amazingly gorgeous woman in my church.

Kim on our honeymoon in St. Thomas, USVI

And now, after 23 years of marriage we're preparing to move to a new location—someplace we have not lived before. We don't know the people there. We don't know the culture there. But it seems that God is directing our paths, so arm-in-arm and dragging our son with us, we walk off down this new path—another branch in the road of our life that has been so full of twists and turns.

Happy anniversary, my love. I could never have made this trip without you. And I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. While the tempest has swirled non-stop around us, God blessed me with you—my solid rock shelter in the midst of the storm.

When I look back today,
I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Kim and me in Minneapolis when Kim was awarded
National Photographer of the Year 2006

May 16, 2009

Anniversary flashback

Tomorrow is our 23rd anniversary. Here's what I was thinking one year ago:

Over the Black Coffee

Arthur Gray (1902)

Coffee makes a sad man cheerful; a languorous man, active; a cold man, warm; a warm man, glowing; a debilitated man, strong. It intoxicates, without inviting the police; it excites a flow of spirits, and awakens mental powers thought to be dead....

When coffee is bad, it is the wickedest thing in town; when good, the most glorious. When it has lost its aromatic flavor and appeals no more to the eye, smell, or taste, it is fierie; but when left in a sick room, with the lid off, it fills the room with a fragrance only jacqueminots can rival. The very smell of coffee in a sick room terrorizes death.

May 15, 2009

The weekend's here! (May 15, 2009)

Some jammin' Animusic to launch your weekend:

May 14, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I had the privilege of attending the graduation of some of my young homeschooling friends this last weekend. I am blessed to know such creative, driven, and delightful young people! I cannot wait to see what God has for them.

While there, I realized that it was 25 years ago to the day that I had graduated from college. That was a quarter of a century ago, if you think about it! Actually, thinking about it was what got me on Facebook several months ago. Since then I have connected with many of my former classmates and fellow collegians, and even some professors!

The "virtual reunion" has given me great courage for the future. I look back to who I was then, and to where God has graciously brought me, and I'm entirely amazed. No, I don't want you to think it has been a life of bliss and euphoria; far from it! But I see God's hand at work in my life and in the lives of those with whom I spent four of the most fascinating years of my life. He truly is conforming me to the image of Christ ever so slowly, it sometimes seems!

Shortly after joining up on Facebook with friends like Rich and Lydia, I wrote a song called "The Reunion Song" (original title, huh??) I'm posting the lyrics here, but also linking you to my one hit song on Garage Band so you can hear it as well. As you look forward and look back, I pray that you will see the hand of God directing you and conforming you to the image of His dear Son!!

Here are the lyrics:

The Reunion Song

Grateful, so grateful to see you once again.
A little older, maybe wiser, than we were back then.
As we remember, the old days, the joys, the heartaches too—
I know my life is much richer because of mem'ries made with you.

And now we're trading our stories, the triumphs and the tears,
And we're recounting, how our God has been faithful through the years.
And as we look back on who we were and who we have become
It gives me courage to face the days that still are yet to come.

And though we look back to old days, and all that's gone before,
We're looking forward to a New Day when we'll meet on Heaven's shore.
And when we see Him, we'll praise Him for all He's brought us through
And I will thank Him for old days, and the joy of knowing you.

Yes I will thank Him for old days, and the joy of knowing you!!

May 13, 2009

How to clean a toilet

This came in an email from my dad. I just had to share it. What a wonderful mental picture!

How to clean a toilet

  • Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.
  • Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
  • In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.
  • The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.
  • Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a “power-wash and rinse.”
  • Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.
  • Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift the lid.
  • The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.
  • Both the toilet and the cat will be sparkling clean.

And here’s the dog after the cleaning is done:

May 11, 2009

A shelter from the storm

Romans 8:26-32

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Blog Header - May 11, 2009

Today's blog header is a photo from our church's Easter egg hunt.

May 09, 2009

Blog Header - May 9, 2009

We won't be living here in this house much longer, so I need to use the photos from this house relatively soon. Today's blog header was taken last fall as the deer at apples from the ground around our apple tree. The local deer love the apple and pear trees and have a particular fondness for the bushes and ground cover directly in front of our house. After a while they learned to trust us and would stand and watch us from a distance instead of running away when we drove into the driveway or walked out of the house. But after it got a little colder outside and they had more trouble finding food, we began to buy apples from the market and leave them on our sidewalk. The deer quickly learned that we were a source of food and lost all of their natural fear. Many times they have eaten the apples from our sidewalk while we stood in the doorway or on the front stoop, just a few feet away from them.

We hadn't seen the deer for a month or so and then a couple days ago as I worked near our front window, I looked up and saw a young deer walking through our front yard next to our car. He was probably no more than 15 feet from the window and just casually strolling along.

We'll miss the wildlife.

May 08, 2009

The weekend's here! (May 8, 2009)

Who’s who?

Jesus tells the parable of the weeds

Matthew 13:24-30 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer sowing good seed in his field; but one night as he slept, his enemy came and sowed thistles among the wheat. When the crop began to grow, the thistles grew too. “The farmer’s men came and told him, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that choice seed is full of thistles!’ “‘An enemy has done it,’ he exclaimed. “‘Shall we pull out the thistles?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied. ‘You’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest, and I will tell the reapers to sort out the thistles and burn them, and put the wheat in the barn.’”

The Kingdom of Heaven is not a geographic location, but a spiritual realm where God rules and where we share in his eternal life. We join that Kingdom when we trust in Christ as Savior.

The Coming Harvest

The young thistles (weeds) and the young blades of wheat look the same and can’t be distinguished until they are grown and ready for harvest. Thistles (unbelievers) and wheat (believers) must live side by side in this world. God allows unbelievers to remain for a while, just as a farmer allows weeds to remain in his field so the surrounding wheat isn’t uprooted with them. At the harvest, however, the weeds will be uprooted and thrown away. God’s harvest (judgment) of all people is coming. We are to make ourselves ready by making sure that our faith is sincere.

One Year with Jesus, © 1994
The Livingstone Corporation.

May 07, 2009

If thou must love me

If you’re wondering why I’m posting so many romantic poems and other things along those lines, I should probably say that one week from this coming Sunday will mark the 23rd anniversary of my marriage to the world’s most wonderful wife—well, at least in my eyes. May 17th will be quite hectic this year and we will not be likely to do a whole lot of celebrating, but I don’t want it to all pass by without my being able to pay tribute to the wonderful gift God gave to me in my wife.

If Thou Must Love Me

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,

“I love her for her smile—her look—her way
Of speaking gently,—for a trick of thought
The falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day”—

For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,—and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love's sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love's eternity.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806–1861

May 05, 2009

A summer’s day

Kim (my wife of almost 23 years)

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
    By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
        So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
        So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

Domestic Terrorist Alert!

With the help of Homeland Security, police zero in on a possible domestic terrorist.

May 04, 2009


Somewhere there waiteth in this world of ours
  For one lone soul, another lonely soul—
Each chasing each through all the weary hours,
  And meeting strangely at one sudden goal;
Then blend they—like green leaves with golden flowers,
  Into one beautiful and perfect whole —
And life’s long night is ended, and the way
Lies open onward to eternal day.

—Edwin Arnold, 1832–1904

Love is in the air

Song of Solomon 2:12

The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.

May 03, 2009

House hunting 101

Our landlords have decided to put their house to a different use. We have been asked to look for a new place to live—soon.

This past weekend we were visiting my in-laws in Fort Valley, Virginia. We are not interested in moving to this location. It is far too rural and off the beaten path. But since we are currently in the looking-for-a-home frame of mind, we saw things from that angle.

There were quite a few homes that caught our attention as we drove over the mountain and through the woods. But we found the perfect place to live when we visited one of our favorite places on our way home from Grandma's house—Thomas Jefferson's Michie Tavern.

The pictures here are from the Michie Tavern, owned by Thomas Jefferson many years before he became the third president of the United States. This was a place that became known to travelers as a nice place to spend the night when they were traveling through the area. It is now a wonderful restaurant with some great scenery maintained in the style that existed when Thomas Jefferson saw these same sights.

The two photos shown here are exactly the type of home we would love—surrounded by trees, simple and beautiful. They're not likely to be found in Lynchburg, Virginia, but then we haven't checked every single house available here yet. Maybe they're out there somewhere.

Think we're shooting too high?

Blog Header - May 3, 2009

I took this photo yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia. The clouds hung low on the mountains and there were many areas of dense fog as we drove through. In this photo the fog is resting along the tops of the trees in the distance.

It was beautiful.

May 02, 2009

Into Focus

I wrote this poem about ten years ago when I was in a situation where another believer had said and done some injurious things. I had done my best to reconcile with her and tried to be patient with her mood swings, but it just got to the point where it was overwhelming because it was affecting other relationships around us and my own attitude toward church as well. Finally, I surrendered the outcome to the Lord, and this was my heart-cry.  

Please take my focus, Lord, off me
And then direct it upon Thee.
Then as in thee I find relief,
So lift my eyes above my grief.
Change my view from fellow man,
To look upon Thy sovereign plan.
And as from "self" you set me free,
Lord, help me serve Thee faithfully.

—Mary Fuller 1999

Tired of looking for a parking spot?

May 01, 2009

The weekend's here! (May 1, 2009)

More Animusic.

Daniel and Darius

The story is told of Daniel of old
  Who each morn knelt down to pray.
In spite of the thing declared by the King,
  Three times he would kneel each day.

He honored his Lord, the God he adored;
  His promise he would not forget.
And when at the throne, his deeds became known
  His decree would the king soon regret.

For he realized then, it was off to the den
  For the servant he'd grown to admire.
And he could not revoke the words that he spoke,
  Though that was his deep desire.

The lions that night had a terrible fright,
  When angels appeared in the den.
The lions behaved, and Daniel was saved;
  But not so for all the kings' men!

—Mary Fuller, 1998

Encouragement from William Cowper

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
  But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
  He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
  Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
  But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
  And scan his work in vain:
God is his own interpreter,
  And He will make it plain.

—William Cowper