… Boom … word shot – reviews – opinions – musings –

Author Archive

if you don’t drink enough water you will die, no I really mean it. you will die a horrible slow painful death…

youch! it’s hot out there…

Hydrate like a champ folks.

0. gym: legs – 3×20@135lbs standing calf raises, 3×12@80lbs leg extensions, 3×12@80lbs seated leg curls, 3×20@45lbs squats (bar only)

1. run: 1mile mixed sprints: 1/12 at brisk pace (8:30 min mile) then 1/12 at full gas.. 33sec (6:30 mile pace). no breaks.

Weighed in at 209lbs today, 14lbs shy of my body fat goal. It feels like these last 14 will take longer that then prior bunch, but really looking at my past they should drop at the same steady rate. I have also reached a point where getting the protein I want daily is a bit of a challenge. I just don’t have the same oversized appetite anymore. All I really want is some cold water… odd… must be the heat.

have I ever mentioned I hate running, I do. that said I know it has some great benefits for me and can really help my cardio, but really I still loathe it.

Don’t be a Cretan…

“One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith,” Titus 1:12-13


0. gym: arms & shoulders 3×20@90 triceps press, 3×20@25 front plate raises, 3×20@80 preacher curls, 3×10 wide grip pull ups (palms out)

1. walk: 1 mile


0. swim: 45 mins towing james on my back in the lanes. (he did 100meters on his own at the end!)


0. gym: back & core: 3×20@90 wide lat pulldowns, 3×40 ab coaster, 3×20 absolo, 3×20 extentions

1. track: 1 mile walk

2. bike: 3 miles in 12 mins.

3. row: 2000m in 12 mins

4. swim 100m sprint swim, 3 mins


-31 lbs and counting


One week back at it, and stopped by the scales on the way out today from the gym… 210 lbs!

that’s roughly equivalent to 3 gallon jugs of water.

9lbs per gallon

9lbs per gallon

9lbs per gallon

Today’s work:

o. Empty one overfilled trailer with tree parts

1. gym: legs – 3×20@80lbs extensions, 3×20@80lbs curls, 3×20@95lbs calf raises

2. track: mix sprint/walk for 1/2 mile – sprint 1/12 run 1/12

3. row: 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m for pace (30S/M)

4. swim: 4x25m sprints  @ 35 secs each


and we’re back

After an unintended arduous break, it was great to be back in the gym again this AM. And great news Pandas, the Pool is open!

for the time being I will be working on a 5 day plan


0. Gym: 3×15@90lbs Cable Triceps Press, 3×15@90 Cable Wide Lat Pulls, 3×15@40lbs Cable Chest Flys, 3×15 @90lbs Preacher Curls, Ab Work

1. Track: 1.5 Miles Brisk Walk mixed with short sprints.

2. Swim: 200 Meters, 8 mins

scaled in at 217 lbs, not bad for 2 weeks in the Taco Triangle, then a week in Scout Camp…

Even the young Pandawans want to swim

A few weeks back I stalled at the 500m row for time, blocked by a wall of time known as the 2:00 minute barrier…

Wall Broken…


The Good: time in at under 2:00 mins, 1:57 flat, solid form throughout.

The Bad: I want a solid 41S/M for the whole 500m, not there yet, but getting at it.

0. gym: 3×20@90lbs Cable Pull Downs, 3×20@80lbs (pec dec) flys, 3×25 Ab Coaster, 3×20@115lbs standing calf raises, 3×20@65 seated leg extensions, 3×20@65lbs, 3×20@65lbs, seated leg curls

1. walk 1/2 mile

2. Row 500m @ 8 drag, 1:57, followed by 2000m row.

3. used a few tape measurements to estimate my body fat, right now it is around 19-20% losing my planned 20+ pounds should land me at around 10% body fat, which is about where I want it to be.

Brought the oldest out with me this AM and had him work some body weight activities and then run the cardio with me, He did great, but like me longs for the pool to be back up.


A Panda A Day…

0. gym: 3×12 @40lbs high cable flys, 3×20 @ 50lbs seated flys (pec dec) 3×12@70 standing cable press downs, 3×12 @70lbs standing cable straight bar curls, 2×20 hyperextensions, 2×20 ab coasters, 2×20 incline sit ups.

1. walk 1/2 mile

Dr’s check up today,

BP 112/60, resting HR 72, thoughts on knee pain, not Patellar Tendonitis, more likely is it is Osteoarthritis (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Suggestions are to take a anti-inflamatory on active days, and will get an xray done to rule out other possbilites.  In addition, keep up with the weight loss plan trying for about 1lb a week and go ahead and increase the running distances up to about 2 miles a week, broken in small segments as I progress.

PubMed Health. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

pandapocalypse now

4 workouts this week, here was todays, mainly cardio need to let my body heal up a bit.

0. gym: light shoulder work, dumbbell side bends, dumbbell shoulder shrugs, plate lifts

1. bike: 2 miles @ 8:00

3. walk: 1.16 miles



Panda Arrested in Attempted Pool Break In…

Tuesday I met up with 2 friends at the gym to offer some support as one restarted an exercise regimen.

Upside: got to help a buddy get back at it.

Downside: the extra cardio, demos, and such came at a cost.

0. track: 1/3 mile walk, 1/12 mile “sprint”
1. gym:Light Core Work, (Abs/lower Back)
2. row: 2x500m @ 2:30
3. bike: 1 mile @ 4:50

Today, I was back in my normal routine, (though a bit earlier in the day)

Pandas in jail

o. gym: machine flys 3×20@70, standing cable curls 3×12@80, seated lat pull downs 3×20@70 mixed with 10 close grip palms in pull ups per set, standing calf raises, 3×20@951. 5k+cardio: 2k run/walk 50% running at a 9 min mile pace, 50% walk, rowing 1x500m,400m,300m,200m,100m 29S/m per, 2k walk brisk pace.my thighs and abs are angry today, oddly the knee does not hurt at all at rest.

Zombies Hate Fast Food!!!…

Run, Slacker Run!

0. gym: 3×12@70lbs seated military press, 3×20@65 seated leg curls, 3×20@65 seated leg extensions, 3×20@60 close grip locked lat cable pulled downs, 3×20@70 standing cable curls.

1. run/walk: 1mile… for each 1/6 mile I ran 1/12 after walking 1/12. avg. time for runs, 44 secs… pace would be a mile in 08:48, I stopped at 1 mile, though I am sure I could have added another mile+ with the same pace.

2. row: 2@500m 2:30

3. walk: 1/3 mile cool down.

When I started training in Jan, I tried to “run” the best I could produce was a mild jog, then pass out… 😉 not really but running was not any kind of option. This was compounded by a knee issue that was easily aggravated by any activity. Walking, Hiking on inclines, etc.

Since then I have steadily built up my endurance, moving from I can’t swim more then 25 meters to 400 meters (and then some more); rowing 5k and then swimming, and now, though not a huge gain for some, I just ran, and not only ran, but did so with some modicum of success. I actually almost enjoyed it. (it’s gotta be the shoes, no really, they make a huge difference…)

The run today was for at least 3 reasons: 1. I’ll meet with my Doc on Monday and I want some recent action on my knee to talk about. (I have notes from the past to compare to) 2. check and set some benchmarks, and 3. a buddy informed me he has been running for 4 weeks already in prep for the upcoming 5k mud run….

2012 Habitat Mud Run

our team is almost set, just getting the 5th member’s commitment.

sad Pandas sighted …

A few folks asked for a more detailed list of my gym side workouts so here goes…


0. gym: 3×15@70lbs cable lat extensions, 3×10@70lbs standing preacher curls right into 10 pull ups for each set, 3×15 hyper extensions, 3×15 hanging leg lifts, 3×20 ab coasters, 3×15 air squats, and 3×15 thrusters. Limited rest between sets and reps.

1. walk: 1/2 mile

2. bike: 1 mile in 4:90

3. walk 1/2 mile

4. row 4x500m at 2:15 @5drag

5. walk 1/2 mile

Keep in mind my goals are Functional Endurance & Physical Leanness. I also have an issue with my right knee that is still being addressed. Once that is solved the walk’s will give way to Zombie runs, and I will be able to do a bit more Leg Work in the gym.

after 10+ years of not buying a true athletic shoes I finally picked up a pair of 2011 Nike Air Max’s… Wow, was that a good idea…


My plan is to wear these down and then move to something like the Nike Free’s 2.0’s

Forging my day to something better…

“Courage is fear holding on one minute longer” ~ George S. Patton

Charlie K., Sent mm this link:

“Ok I am writing this thread to clarify the drag factor on the Concept 2 rowers. Many people comment me “Chris – I row with the damper on 10 because its the hardest and thus im doing the most work.” I shake my head in dismay. To clarify how the drag factor works imagine that you are in an actual boat. A drag factor of 10 is the same as rowing in a Central park row boat – 8 feet wide, 10 feet long, and impossible to flip. It’s heavy, its slow, but if you can get it moving it has quite a bit of inertia. A 4-5 on the damper setting is the equivalent of a racing shell – 24 feet long, 18 inchs wide, and the slightest off weight tilt will flip you – a set of 5 strokes gets this boat moving. A 1 on the damper setting – There is no boat.

Now what is the best damper setting for you?

This depends on many factors – primarily weight. Workout being second.

To make my point clear a damper setting of 10 (8 for women) should only be used for pieces under 150 meters. This is not a rule – but a suggestion. The reason I say this is that unless you have been trained with the proper stroke for years – you will cause damage to yourself at this setting. 150 meters is a sprint/muscle piece that no matter what you do – it wont kill you.

Now I will discuss weight before going back to distances.

The following is a layman’s chart of where you damper should be around for your weight. (Applied for 500meter+ piece)

250lbs – 6-7
200lbs – 5-6
175lbs – 4-6
150lbs – 3-4
125lbs – 2-3

Now that you have a general idea of where your fan should be – realize that this is not final. Every erg is different. If you want to make sure that each erg you get onto has the same “drag factor” there is a function that lets you determine exactly what your fan is set at.

On the model C (grey and black) erg hold down both the “rest” and “ok” button at the same time. In the bottom right hand corner a little “drag” should appear. Hop onto the erg and pull 5-10 strokes fairly hard – a number will appear. The following is a chart regarding recomended drag:

250lbs – 139
200lbs – 132
175lbs – 125
150lbs – 120
125lbs – 114

(Note first generation Model D users – Go to options and the last selection is “more options” under which is “Drag Factor”(Not sure about subsequent generations – they revised the computer 4 months after initial release))

So that now you know where drag is you must realize – these drags are considered in the rowing world to be the most efficient for how a rower works. These drag factors rely on endurance and aerobic ability more then anarobic. Moving higher to the 10 setting emphasizes strength more and more – but subsequently takes much more strength to move the fan (This will make you much more tired sooner then at a lower drag). Remember – it may look easy – but anyway you slice the cake (erg?) it will hurt.

The athlete’s anerobic threshold, the point at which the body’s muscles have exhausted their oxygen store and start burning other fuel. For regular folks, reaching that threshold is quitting time; anaerobic work is 19 times harder than aerobic work. But rowing is all about harder. Elite rowers fire off the start at sprint speed — 53 strokes per minute. With 95 pounds of force on the blade end, each stroke is a weightlifter’s power clean. Rowers cross their anaerobic threshold with that first stroke. Then there are 225 more to the finish line.”

I was running the C2 at around 8-10 drag, I have moved to a 5. Secondly I am focusing on form and technique that will allow the greatest gains in my personal goal, endurance. I did 2500m on the row above, after the first 1000m at a easier pace I did the final 1500 at a 2:00m per 500m pace. Subjectively I was far more “work” than what I was doing before. Even now 3 hours after the row’s I can still feel the satisfaction of a good workout.

Also I was forced to go shopping and buy smaller clothes. Let me just say how much I loathe crowded malls….

An Invincible Summer Within

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.

In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.

In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.

I realized, through it all, that…

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” Albert Camus

8 things about fitness I understand better now…

I have been more successful fitness wise in the last 4 months than at any time I can recall. A few friends asked me what is different now and here are a few highlights.

0. you can’t out-train a bad diet

No matter what you do, what you eat matters. Soda is the death of my fitness goals, and diet soda is worse. Water is my king. If it comes is a plastic container you had better have a good reason to eat it!

1. gym time should be work time

When at the gym, get to work, nothing bothers my success more than some chatty chappy “networking” 

2. it hurts

Sometimes it does, after 3 mos of success, the hurt is far less and I can almost feel my body feeling better.

3. i feel bad

There have been days when the last thing I wanted to do was go train, on those days training was the very best choice, EVERY TIME!
4. i failed

I always have concrete measurable goals (time or weight) in mind every time I go to the gym, I don’t often get all of them knocked off the list, but I don’t stop until I complete everything

5. my body type…

DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL, fat is fat. Lean is Lean

6. i don’t know what i am doing

yep, and often I still don’t, but I go slow watch my form and keep at it.

7. i am my own worst enemy

yes yes I am.

Valentine’s Day…

Tomorrow is noted not only by every Hallmark Store, but most folks as Valentine’s Day. Without respect to how you may feel about the contrivance which is the modern observance of the holiday. Tell the ones you love how you love them, do it well and do it often.

Below you will find what might be one of the most enduring love letters I have ever read.

Sullivan Ballou volunteered to serve in the Union army when the Civil War commenced. A week after writing this letter to Sarah, he was killed in the Battle of Bull Run. One has no doubt he loved his wife.

July the 14th, 1861

Washington D.C.

My very dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days-perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure-and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing-perfectly willing-to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows-when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children-is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death-and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and “the name of honor that I love more than I fear death” have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me-perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar-that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night-amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours-always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.



The second most terrifying aspect of writing….


The blank page so full of hope soon to be doused with the ink of anguish…

eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation

” Avoid being unclear, support being clear”

es·chew  [es-choo]
verb (used with object)
to abstain or keep away from; shun; avoid: to eschew evil.

ob·fus·cate   [ob-fuh-skeyt, ob-fuhs-keyt]
verb (used with object), -cat·ed, -cat·ing.
1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy.
2. to make obscure or unclear: to obfuscate a problem with extraneous information.
3. to darken.

es·pouse   [ih-spouz, ih-spous]
verb (used with object), -poused, -pous·ing.
1. to make one’s own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.
2. to marry.
3. to give (a woman) in marriage.

e·lu·ci·date  [ih-loo-si-deyt]
verb (used with object)
1. to make lucid or clear; throw light upon; explain: an explanation that elucidated his recent strange behavior.
verb (used without object)
2. to provide clarification; explain.

Communicating effectively is at the very least a challenge when the stakes are high. Even when the subject matter is of fairly low value it can be a confusing mess. The language mixes up the simple to arrive at a stellar mess!

Consider the following…

it’s a hoodie…

A hoodie (also called a hooded sweatshirt or hoody) is a sweatshirt with a hood. They often include a **** sewn onto the lower front, a hood, and (usually) a drawstring to adjust the hood opening, and may have a vertical zipper down the center similar to a windbreaker style jacket. I am sure we could list off the vast number of variants for what most folks consider acceptable as a hoodie. Such a broad term can at times mean we need to clarify which “hoodie” we speak of. Such as the green hoodie with the biohazard symbol on it. Then there is the whole question of whether a hoodie should be considered a jacket.


One word I recently noted in a study text was the honor. For the most part it is used to convey the sense of respect due to a special subject or person. A less common use comes across with the idea to honor ones debts. The sentence in question was similar to this: “God will honor our choices, even our bad ones” Given the sentence there it might be construed that the author was suggesting that God did not care what we did. Clearly this not being the case we chase down the word tree and find its application in the similar vein as one honoring a commitment with a slight twist that God will allow us to honor ours.


Does this mean then we should never break out what I call the 10$ words? I really doubt I could. It is wise though to be aware that we might just create some unintended obfuscation when we seek simple to espouse elucidation..

stuff to be in 2012…

1. be writing

If there is one part of my work at proclaiming the Gospel that I like the least it would be writing. Once the words are inked to the page, that’s it! No tinkering with the prose, no slight shift in method or a second go round to make sure you are being clear.  Last year I was able to complete a number of written projects and this year I want that to grow even more.

“But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” Ecclesiastes 12:12 (NASB)

2. be flexible

Jill is enrolled at Tennessee Tech as lower division nursing student. (She expects to be enrolled in the nursing program in the spring of 2013) Over the years I have found a great advantage in my solid and steady schedule.  I am learning to accomplish as much (or more) than before, but without the routine.  It’s odd that I can spend the same effort and time on a project but when you shift around the schedule even a bit from what is comfortable it changes more than you thought it would. (sometimes in unexpected ways for the better) Learning to reach beyond that should leverage my productivity in a way to make her success and our families far less stressful.

I love that she has such amazing goals for herself and will do all I can to help her reach for them.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NASB)

3. be simple

Society is increasingly complex, full of messes of monumental proportion. In the midst of that doing more with less will be an uncommon choice. Given some of my other goals this might seem counterintuitive. I have slowly been inching this way in small bursts and hope to make this path full blown for the year.

“9 That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun” Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NASB)

4. be fit

nuff said.

“A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.  What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?” Ecclesiastes 3:8-9 (NASB)

A Philosopher Desiring to Destroy Parental Influence « Apologetics Snapshots




A Philosopher Desiring to Destroy Parental Influence « Apologetics Snapshots.

A Philosopher Desiring to Destroy Parental Influence

by Doy Moyer

Richard Rorty was a philosopher who taught at Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Stanford. He was known for his extreme and bold liberalism. The following is what he said about religious parents and his unabashed efforts to indoctrinate his students. Any parent looking to send kids to college need to see this:

“It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ‘needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions’ … It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own … The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ‘American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students … When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank… You have to be educated in order to be … a participant in our conversation … So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours … I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents … I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der Stürmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause.”

– ‘Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-2.

What is Rorty’s status now? Inconsequential. He died in 2007. What is his legacy? The destruction of faith. And frankly, I have little doubt that now he would do anything he could to change that.

From Watchman Magazine: Lessons From the Tragedy of September 11, 2001

Just as a hole still resides in the heart of Manhattan’s skyline so does a wounded heart find itself pressing forward in the hearts of many on this day.

Our life on this earth is marred far to often with tragedy and pain…

Lessons From the Tragedy of September 11, 2001

  • I wrote this article just weeks after the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. I have reprinted it here for our consideration on the tenth anniversary of this event.

As President Bush has said, none of us will ever forget where we were and what we were doing when we heard about the terrorist attacks on September 11th. I saw a little bit of footage on the morning news as we were getting ready for the day. I was too busy to stop and listen and left the house thinking that there was just a fire on one of the floors of the World Trade Center. After I dropped Paige off at school, I turned on the radio to find that all the programming had been preempted. It was then that I realized that something serious was taking place. After a few moments of reporting the radio went silent. Then I heard Peter Jennings say in disbelief, “The north tower has just collapsed.”

It wasn’t until I got home for lunch that I got to see the footage for myself. I went numb when I saw the airliner crash into the World Trade Center. All those passengers killed against their will and at that exact moment. What horrors they must have gone through! I was overcome with the thought of the towers crumbling to the ground, killing the thousands of innocent people who had not managed to get out of the building. That evening I sat in our basement listening to the radio with the lights off, feeling like the world as I knew it had just come to an end. Like the rest of the nation, I felt helpless and mortified. For the first time in my life I did not feel safe.

Lives were changed by this tragic event. Only time will show the true significance that this event will have upon history, but the short-term changes are being felt and seen already. There are some lessons that need to be learned from this tragedy. Some are more obvious than others, but all of them are important.

1. Evil Exists in this World.Why do things like this happen? Why do innocent people have to die in such a tragic manner? The Bible indicates that there is no way to avoid this reality. We live in a fallen world that has been cursed by the presence of sin (Genesis 3:17-19). As long as we live in this world, we are subject to the effects of sin and evil. Since the nature and working of sin and evil are mysterious (2 Thessalonians 2:7), we are left to wonder “Why?”

God has not promised to take evil away, or to build a hedge around us to protect us from its effects, but God has made a promise to Christians that we will never undergo any burden that is greater than we can bear.“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”(1 Corinthians 10:13).

2. The Terror of Helplessness.The Bible says that hope is an anchor.“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil”(Hebrews 6:19). An anchor is used to keep a ship steady and on course in the midst of a storm. Hope serves the same purpose. People can endure almost anything as long as they have hope, but once hope is gone, all is lost.

One can only wonder what the passengers on those four airliners felt once they realized that the plane they were on was not going to land. There was no way to escape. They could only sit and wait for their death. How about those in the World trade Center who were trapped on the floors above the impact of the airliners? Advancements in technology and architecture had raised those buildings so high that these people were out of the reach of any hope of rescue. No one was able to help them. How can we ever forget the scores of people who made their way to “ground zero” with pictures of their loved ones who were unaccounted for? They had spent days wandering through hospitals and armories in a desperate search. Many of them told reporters that they were still holding out hope, but their faces told a different story.

3. Judgment Will Be Sudden and Unexpected.No one had any way of knowing what was going to happen that day. The people on those planes and in those buildings were simply going about their normal business. No one was prepared for what was going to happen. There was no warning – just instant terror!

The Bible says that the Second Coming of Christ is going to take place in the same manner.“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape”(1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). Jesus tells us to“watch” and “be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42, 44).

The victims of this tragedy had no opportunity to escape. Time did not pause just for them. Judgment will be the same way. It will come suddenly and those who are not ready will be lost. Are you ready?

4. Some Things Really Are Not Important.Within hours of these events, the announcements of cancellations started to pour in. Our daughter’s Open House at school was scheduled for that evening. It was canceled. Major League Baseball games were called off for one day, then for two more days, then for the entire weekend. The entire Minor League Baseball season was canceled and champions were announced. The National Football League canceled their slate of games for that weekend, which led to the cancellation of all college games for that weekend.

What was the explanation for these cancellations? Over and over again we heard athletes, coaches, and team owners say, “There are some things that are more important than sports.” How right they are. It is sad that it takes a tragedy like this to get people to realize this fact. Don’t get me wrong. I am a sports fan, but the fact is that sports were not any less important the week after this tragedy than they were the week before.

People need to get their priorities straight. How many spouses and children are neglected in the name of sports and recreation? How many senior citizens are left alone while their children and grandchildren run here and there doing unimportant things? How many church buildings do these sports fans pass by on Sunday morning to get to the big game? How many people are going to face God in judgment unprepared because they have wasted their life away with unimportant things?

5. Good Will Triumph.Some ask why an all-powerful and benevolent God allows such tragedies to take place. God has His reasons. Times of suffering and pain are opportunities to test our resolve and prove what we are made of (James 1:2-4). America is passing this test with flying colors (the most prominent being red, white, and blue!!!). Our country has grown closer and stronger as a result of this tragedy.

We have a long way to go. The families left behind will have to mourn and put the pieces back together. The Pentagon and World Trade Center will have to be rebuilt. The airline industry will suffer, which will most likely have a domino effect upon other parts of our economy, but in the end we will come out of this better than off than we were before September 11th.

On a much more important level, we hope this recent tragedy will awaken the hearts of men and women to see the need for God in their lives. Now more than ever Christians need to be letting their lights shine (Matthew 5:14-16). People who were once indifferent are now looking for answers and hope. May their find what they are looking for (Matthew 7:7-8), and may their hearts be good and honest when they find it (Luke 8:15), and may they serve God faithfully for the rest of their lives (Revelation 2:10).

Watchman Magazine » Lessons From the Tragedy of September 11, 2001

Whats a Good Logo?

Whats a Good Logo?.

But I want Flaming Skulls with Meerkats and a Ford truck all at once!

Soccer Season is upon us with full force

Growing up in what might be called Soccer City USA (Pleasanton, CA home of The Ballistic United Soccer Club) seems to have skewed my expectations just a bit. I keep wondering where is Krazy George and why is he not leading the Parade to open the season! Even more odd, there is no soccer parade!  It felt like every kid in town was on a team, we held practices everywhere.  I vividly recall getting my first red card (I ran screaming like a banshee at an opposing player and while no contact ensued I was sat down and reprimanded). Over time I learned that while I could be confused easily for Alexi Lalas while in College (due to a stellar goatee). I am not really a soccer player. I run when someone chases me. Otherwise I burn dead dinos to get around.

The boys seem to be doing well so far, James is rocking on a team with his buddy Jude and with some focus should make for an exciting time!  Jesse really enjoys playing and has a number of friends and classmates on his team. His coach is gearing up for some extra practices so that should really tie them together.

So bring on the soccer!

GOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! (Jesse has been forewarned of my willingness to invoke this parody with all my copious lung power…..

When should you let your kids use Facebook? | Jon Acuff’s Blog

When should you let your kids use Facebook? | Jon Acuff’s Blog.

Later than they want.


Because posting a photo online is like getting a digital tattoo.

Once you post it, you can never delete it. It’s on there forever, traveling across the world on servers you will never have access to.

So, would you let your 12 year old get a tattoo? If the answer is “no,” then don’t let them get on Facebook and post photos. They don’t know that college admissions counselors are going to Google those photos. Future employers are going to background check them on Facebook and Twitter for years and years to come. And those are people who are actually looking with good intentions.

The entire world is going to see that photo, and though a small, small, small portion of that world represents their friends, a bigger proportion represents people who might not have the best intentions for that photo.

Scary? A little.

Realistic? A lot.

When should let your kids use Facebook?

Later than they want.

Further, given that Facebooks TOS limit participants to 13 years of age or OLDER…

Christophobia (via Mike’s Bible Notes)

Even as the gospel makes inroads into the hearts of a man, It seems all the more often we hear of the response of society trying to crush and demean those of faith.

I often ask or state, that if your faith does not encounter trial perhaps your faith needs a closer look!

Well, I thought that I had come up with a new word that should be added to the cultural dictionary of our time. As it turns out, the work already appears on Wikipedia. It is defined as follows: Anti-Christian sentiment is an opposition to some or all Christians, the Christian religion, or the practice of Christianity. Christophobia or Christianophobia are also according to Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) names for “every form of … Read More

via Mike's Bible Notes

Grilled Pizza!

… Did that just say Grilled Pizza?

… You Don’t Grill Pizza!

Why Not?

… Pizza, at least GOOD pizza comes from someone who can toss a great pie in some huge oven!

Great pizza, sure, but you can get good pizza off the grill…

… Lies

Really you can grill Pizza, and it tastes really swell!

… Swell you say, let me here you idea.

Okay, the idea is not original to me, but here is how I make it happen.

1. We use Pizza dough from Mama Rosa’s here in town. We tried some other options, even making our own, but in the end theirs just tasted and works the best. (one dough to go = about 2 pizzas)

2. Prep that grill, I run mine about 350 degrees and clean the bars up nice. (sometimes I will add a bit of wood for an even richer smoked flavour.

3. We stretch the do over the backside of a cookie pan and I have found I can just flip the pan over onto the grill and then peel the Pan off.

4. I then grill the dough for about 3-4 mins on that side then flip it over (try and be careful of your grills hot spots. You can burn the pizza in no time!

5. Now add your Sauce, toppings, etc to your preference. Fresh Stuff tastes better, but do what you like!

6. At this point you need about another 9-12 mins to finish it off, I cover mine up and keep a close watch on the hot zones.

7. Slide off and enjoy!