Friday, December 26, 2008

Off to the Sangre De Christo's

We are on our way to Colorado where I'm speaking at a Family Winter Camp at Horn Creek. We love going to Horn Creek in the summer, this will be a different experience for sure. One of the features of this camp is a ski package with Monarch Mountain close to Horn Creek.

I'm going to try snowboarding this year. Skiing is fun, but too much gear to lug around and coordinate especially with young kids in tow, hence the switch to snowboarding. I'll let you know how it goes. It could prove to be ugly and painful.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The Apostle John wrote as the first words of his gospel account-

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

On this Christmas remember:

1. Christ is our life. In him is life. There is no true life, no eternal life, apart from Christ. People may have a heart beating in their chest, at least for a short 70 years or so, but if they are not united to Christ by faith, they are in fact dead. If you trust on Christ, give praise to God that He has given you life. You are no longer dead in your trespasses and sins! Christ doesn't give just any life, He gives abundant life. There is so much vanity and waste that passes for "living the life" today. I'm sure some of my unbelieving friends would say I'm missing out on living. In reality, however, look at the "life" of a spiritually dead person. Would you really trade with them? No way. Life in Christ is real living.

2. Christ is our light. Christ shines on everything and reveals what is true about it. When light comes to darkness previously hidden danger can be seen and the pathway is made clear. Christ came to redeem us and give us life but He didn't stop there- He came to guide and direct us with truth (Himself). Those who are alive together with Christ are not aimless, purposeless, wanderers. The Word of God is made effectual and profitable by the Holy Spirit sent by the Father and the Son. The Word of Christ can now dwell richly in us. This is Christ as the Light. When we have Life in Christ we gain a new perspective. We see the world in light of the Light.

Christ is our life and light, please don't forget it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Newsflash: Santa is a fake

Just in case you didn't know...and in case you were tempted to lie to your kids. :)

Pope Pius on John Calvin

In my research for a recent sermon that required addressing the issue of materialism, I ran across a rich quote from Pope Pius IV. Pius was Pope in the mid 1500's during the latter part of the so-called "counter reformation" that saw the culmination of the Council of Trent. He was no friend of the protestant reformation, but did make a very telling statement about John Calvin immediately after the great reformer died-

“The strength of that heretic [Calvin] consisted in this, that money never had the slightest charm for him. If I had such servants my dominion would extend from sea to sea.”

I wish this could be said of me (not the heretic part...).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Nathan Clark George at Redeemer this Sunday

For those of you in the Kansas City area, you are invited to a special Christmas concert by singer/songwriter/guitarist Nathan Clark George this Sunday night.

Nathan and his band will be presenting a Christmas concert at 6pm in the Redeemer sanctuary. There is no cost for the concert, an offering will be taken instead.

Visit Nathan's site to sample his music. I assure you it will be a blessed night.

He was rich, yet for your sakes became poor!

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Christ was rich before coming to save us. Can you fathom that? He wasn't rich in the superficial way we describe “rich” as in having lots of money and stuff. Rather, before the incarnation, He enjoyed the richness of perfect fellowship and communion with the Father. There was nothing between He and His Father. There was not the limitation of a body to thwart perfect unity with the Father. For eternity past this is how it was. There could be no greater wealth than to enjoy perfect communion with the Father.

As imperfect as it is, human unity feels great. It feels good to be in one accord with each another. When our households are at peace because husband and wife have nothing between them feels so good. Unity in a local church promotes a great sense of peace and acceptance. To be worshiping our God in one accord with unity between us is a small taste of heaven on earth. The Psalmist captured this phenomena when penning these words- “How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” In an even greater way than this Christ was as rich as one could be. Paul captures this when He says “that though He was rich, for your sake he became poor.” And He certainly became poor. He subjected himself to a kind of broken fellowship with the Father for a time, took on the limitations of a body, and allowed Himself to be subject to His own creation to the point of death on the cross. There is no way to quantify the incarnation. It simply doesn’t make sense. At least not to my human way of thinking. God's Word clearly declares it and explains as much as I need to know concerning it, but I am still left in reverent awe when I consider the incarnation. The word “incarnation” includes the Greek word for flesh- karnos. It means that something previously without a fleshly body, takes on such a body. This is what Jesus did precisely.

The willingness of God to enact His plan of redemption and to fulfill it by the Second Person of the Trinity becoming man never ceases to blow me away. Yet, we read ever so clearly in the gospel of John- and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Eternal Christ, who for eternity past beheld face to face the glory of His Father, gave a great measure of that up (for a time) in order to dwell among us! Very bluntly, without this enigmatic, mysterious, even bewildering reality of the incarnation- there is no salvation. Packer states it well-

“The incarnation is in itself an unfathomable mystery, but it makes sense of everything else that the New Testament contains” -J.I. Packer

I hope we have become alarmed once again to the magnificence of God becoming man. It is so hard to imagine, yet it is so plain in Scripture. Perhaps to better grasp how amazing Christ’s condescension is, think of it in terms most of us can relate. When we go to the doctor’s office for a physical, it is because we want to be healthy people. The doctor conducts the physical and tells you upon its conclusion that several things in your lifestyle need to change in order to get healthy or stay healthy. Watch your cholesterol intake, watch your salt intake, get more exercise, lose weight, quit taking in so much caffeine, take this or that medication, the list goes on. We receive these instructions, yet we rarely make the changes for long. We want to be healthy, we want to do what it takes to live long and well, yet we seldom can make the seeming sacrifices to accomplish that goal. Now, if we are so reluctant to give up things in order to better our estate, how much more reluctant would we be to better someone else’s estate? Especially to better someone else’s estate who was rebellious or antagonistic toward us. If you told me I needed to change my lifestyle for my children, I might do it and have some success. If you told me I needed to change my lifestyle for someone who was an enemy, I would be very unmotivated to comply. Yet, Christ, for us rebellious and sinful people, gave up His eternal riches for a time, became man, and saved us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just itching to spend

What would you do if you were running out of money? Buy more stuff you couldn't afford by borrowing (against your future) or would you stop spending and start working (producing) to get money?

Well, like a person who just received a new credit card with a huge (ridiculous) limit cannot wait to break it in, it seems President Elect Obama is just itching to start spending.

Obama looking at $850 billion jolt to the economy
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Anxious to jolt the economy back to life, President-elect Barack Obama appears to be zeroing in on a stimulus package of about $850 billion, dwarfing last spring's tax rebates and rivaling drastic government actions to fight the Great Depression.
Obama has not settled on a grand total, but after consulting with outside economists of all political stripes, his advisers have begun telling Congress the stimulus should be bigger than the $600 billion initially envisioned, congressional officials said Wednesday.
Obama is promoting a recovery plan that would feature spending on roads and other infrastructure projects, energy-efficient government buildings, new and renovated schools and environmentally friendly technologies.
There would also be some form of tax relief, according to the Obama team, which is well aware of the political difficulty of pushing such a large package through Congress, even in a time of recession. Any tax cuts would be aimed at middle- and lower-income taxpayers, and aides have said there would be no tax increases for wealthy Americans.
While some economists consulted by Obama's team recommended spending of up to $1 trillion over two years, a more likely figure seems to be $850 billion. There is concern that a package that looks too large could worry financial markets, and the incoming economic team also wants to signal fiscal restraint.
In addition to spending on roads, bridges and similar construction projects, Obama is expected to seek additional funds for numerous programs that experience increased demand when joblessness rises, one Democratic official said.
Among those programs are food stamps and other nutrition programs, health insurance, unemployment insurance and job training programs.
Obama advisers, including Christina Romer and Lawrence Summers, have been contacting economists from across the political spectrum in search of advice as they assemble a spending plan that would meet Obama's goal of preserving or creating 2.5 million jobs over two years.
Among those whose opinions Obama sought were Lawrence B. Lindsey, a top economic adviser to President George W. Bush during his first term, and Harvard professor Martin Feldstein, an informal John McCain adviser and the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan.
Feldstein recommended a $400 billion investment in one year, Obama aides said, and Lindsey said the package should be in the range of $800 billion to $1 trillion. The aides revealed the discussions on condition of anonymity because no decisions had been reached.
"I do recommend $400 billion in year one and expect a similar amount in year two," Feldstein said in an e-mail message. "The right amount depends on how it is used."
Lindsey could not be reached.
Obama aides also pointed to recommendations by Mark Zandi, the lead economist at Moody's and an informal McCain adviser who has been proposing a $600 billion plan.
"I would err on the side of making it larger than making it smaller," Zandi said in an interview. "The size of the plan depends on the forecast — the economic outlook — and that is darkening by the day."
"Even a trillion is not inconceivable," he said.
Only one outside economist contacted by Obama aides, Harvard's Greg Mankiw, who served on President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, voiced skepticism about the need for an economic stimulus, transition officials said.
The advisers say they agree with economic forecasts that predict that without a government infusion unemployment will rise above 9 percent and not begin to come down until 2011.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday that Obama has indicated that Congress will get his recovery recommendations by the first of the year.
"He's going to get that to us very quickly and so we would hope within the first 10 days to two weeks that he's in office, that is after Jan. 20, that we could pass the stimulus plan," Reid said. "We want to do it very quickly."
In a letter to Peter Orszag, Obama's choice to be White House budget chief, Reid asked, among other things, that the stimulus package include tax relief for middle-class families, including a reduction in rates and an extension of the child tax credit.
Obama's aides have said they hope to work with Republicans in writing the bill, particularly in the Senate, where the GOP could slow action if it chooses. This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats were preparing their own recovery bill in the range of $600 billion, blending immediate steps to counter the slumping economy with longer-term federal spending that encompasses Obama's plan.
A stimulus package that approaches $1 trillion could run into significant Republican opposition in Congress. It also could cause heartburn for moderate and conservative Democratic lawmakers, known as Blue Dogs, who oppose large budget deficits.
"Republicans want to work with the president-elect to help get our economy on the path to recovery, but we have grave reservations about taking $1 trillion from struggling taxpayers and spending it on government programs in the name of economic 'stimulus,'" House Republican leader John Boehner said in a statement.
In February, Congress passed an economic stimulus bill costing $168 billion and featuring $600 tax rebates for most individual taxpayers and tax breaks for businesses. Pelosi largely bowed to President Bush's insistence to keep the measure free of spending on federal projects.
The upcoming effort would dwarf that earlier measure as well as a $61 billion stimulus bill the House passed just before adjourning for the elections. That measure died after a Bush veto threat and GOP opposition in the Senate.

Wow. Just wow. George Bush was irresponsible and unconservative in how he spent money. Obama will make him look like a miser in his first two weeks in office. Don't be fooled by the term "stimulus"- this is a "bankrupting our country's future" package straight up. Jolt the economy in the very short term? Maybe. Causing the inevitable but needed market correction to be more brutal in the not so long term future? For sure.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Miser vs Heat Miser, MMA style

Before the days of CGI (1974, to be exact) there was this funky sort of claymation we witness in the greatest Christmas special of all time- "The Year without Santa Claus".

Since I was a kid I have never forgotten the archnemesis brothers- Snow Miser and Heat Miser. I'll admit preferring Snow Miser over his brother, probably because he's a more "gregarious, friendly, jocular sort, given to gales of laughter and bad puns."(Wikipedia) Heat Miser on the other hand is a "vaguely demonic ogre-like being...a blustery, quick-tempered hothead."

What I'd like to see is a Celebrity Death Match type scenario with the two brothers battling it out, maybe in an MMA match format. Don't you think that would be cool? It would give a whole new generation of kiddies a vivid image of the two brothers. What warm memories it would make! Who do you think would win and why? In addition to stating your opinion in the comment section, be sure to answer the poll on the right.

Personally, I think the Snow Miser's superior reach and more agile movement would ultimately lead him to a rear naked choke victory over his chubby little long as "Mr. 101" doesn't find a way to burn him- keep in mind, what the Heat Miser touches only starts to melt in his clutch, turning to magma is not immediate, hence the Snow Miser has an opportunity.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More common sense

No more bailouts. They still mock Schiff. Amazing.

Listen closely to the Senator's complete and scary ingnorance concerning what a free market actually is.

For Facebook users

I have enjoyed participating in Facebook, a self-described "social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them."

As with any such things, Christians should approach with biblical wisdom. In this light, Nathan alerted me to a very helpful post, check it out:

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Dog House

One of the funniest advertisements I have ever seen...and a touch scary.

HT: Scott

Lay off the chin beard (updated)

"There are some details of the body which are there for simply aesthetic reasons, and for no practical purpose - for instance, the nipples on a man's chest, and the beard on his face, the latter being clearly for a masculine ornament, not for protection. This is shown by the fact that women's faces are hairless, and since women are the weaker sex, it would surely be more appropriate for them to be given such a protection." - Augustine (City of God, book 22, chapter 24)
"How shall we then live?" asked Francis Schaeffer. Apparently with a sweet looking chin beard.
Last year at this time I decided to branch out stylistically and sport a "soul patch" through the Advent season. This year I decided to grow a little chin beard, again in the spirit of Advent.

It's remarkable how open members of my beloved congregation feel in giving me their opinions about such facial hair choices. It's a mite funny.

Here's the thing about facial hair- a full beard itches and makes me look fatter, a goatee looks a touch satanic and accents my double chin issues (something I admire about Rick Warren's comfort with self), a moustache is too 70's, and I did the soul patch last Advent. I like the chin beard for now. My wife isn't crazy about it, but she didn't protest hard enough for me to shave it.

"There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless — boys and women — and I am neither one." -Greek saying

I received a funny response from a woman in my church (I will not mention Susan's name so as not to embarrass her) on my Facebook posting of this blog post. It shows how closely my dear parishioners pay attention to my various stylings, but it also makes a great point about the importance of wearing a robe-

"I must confess to being a little distracted in Sunday school. The combination of your Italian heritage, the black suit and the new facial hair somehow brought with it images of the mafia and I was actually on the verge of giggling. However, the robe during the service helped immensely and I now appreciate the pastoral robes (which are totally new to me) more than ever. I also confess that this probably says more about my maturity level than it does about your choice to wear a "chin beard." Giggling is not very becoming in one over 35."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Amazing predictions

Schiff was right on- in a very big way on virtually every front. Staggering. The "experts" push Goldman, Merrill Lynch, and Washington Mutual. Wow. What's sadly amusing is the way he is laughed at.

Watch the whole thing!

HT: Jake

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Foster to Adopt

As many of you know, my wife and began pursuing adoption well over a year ago. At first we were working through a private agency to potentially adopt a baby who was referred through a crisis pregnancy center in town.

About 8 months after being approved, we did not have a baby and in fact had only been reviewed by two biological mothers in that time period. Both passed us in favor of people who had no children. We began meeting people who have been waiting far longer and still had no baby. It's remarkable that over one million babies are aborted each year in our country while literally thousands of couples wait to adopt infants.

Some time in early summer Shari and I really began to wrestle with our motivation for adopting and even our method (a subject for a future post). At the same time God lead us to talk with people who were currently foster parents, one family in particular who was working to adopt the child in there present care. We found ourselves becoming more open to the idea of becoming foster care providers, something which amazes me knowing how closed to such a notion I once was.

We decided to enroll in the "PS-MAPP" class which is required to become a licensed foster care provider. This meant taking ten 3-hour classes from late August through October. Frankly our schedules just didn't have that time to give, but the Lord provided for several schedule provisions and special grace within our family structure to allow for taking it. During those ten weeks Shari and I began to catch a vision for foster care as ministry. There is a HUGE need for foster parents. There are hundreds of kids who regularly become temporary wards of the state for various reasons and need care. In preparation for adoption we had moved two of our boys in to the same room and consequently have an open room just sitting empty. That's not good stewardship in our minds, why not give a child or two a place to stay while waiting to rejoin their family? Better yet, we can help the family get their child back by mentoring and encouragement. Even better than all that, we can share Christ with these families and have opportunity to mentor them from a Christian perspective if they ask. I think this is what God wants us to do.

We would still like to adopt a child. If one of the children we care for becomes adoptable, meaning there is no way they can go back to their biological home, we will seek the Lord's will about adopting that child. We are reasonably sure this will happen eventually, which is exciting, but if it doesn't, being a foster family is something we can surely do, by God's grace.

So today we began to finalize our licensing process, just a few more visits by the state to become official and ready to take our first "placement". We've had to do all sorts of adjustments to the house and are a bit overwhelmed by the huge manual and all the rules and requirements we must some how remember and follow, nevertheless, we're looking forward to this new adventure.

We have decided to license for children aged 0-5 to start as our youngest is 6 years old and feel more comfortable fostering children younger than our own. We would be most grateful for your prayers in this endeavor and will keep you posted to how things are going.

I hate being right on stuff like this

For full effect, listen to this music clip from Youtube while reading the article below and recalling what I said in a previous post.

U.S. Could Take Stakes in Big Three

Lawmakers negotiate legislation that would give the U.S. government a substantial ownership stake in the auto industry and a central role in its restructuring.

Greg Hitt, The Wall Street Journal/Monday, December 08, 2008

WASHINGTON -- Congress and the White House inched toward a financial rescue of the Big Three auto makers, negotiating legislation that would give the U.S. government a substantial ownership stake in the industry and a central role in its restructuring.

Under terms of the draft legislation, which continued to evolve Monday evening, the government would receive warrants for stock equivalent to at least 20% of the loans any company receives. The company also would have to agree to limits on executive compensation and dividend payments, much like those contained in the government's $700 billion rescue of the financial industry.

In the case of General Motors Corp., such a move could give the government a large stake in the company and may hurt existing shareholders. GM is seeking about $10 billion in short-term loans and has a market capitalization of about $3 billion. The legislation didn't specify what kind of stock the government would take, leaving open the option it could be preferred, common, voting or nonvoting.

Assuming congressional Democrats and the White House come to agreement on the plan, the car industry would be the latest to submit to strict government scrutiny in return for a bailout, joining most prominently the banking sector.

The auto industry would undergo a restructuring process akin to bankruptcy reorganization, only with fewer rigors and with the government, not a judge, in control, and with many associated political complications.

The program would be overseen by an official, tapped by President George W. Bush, whom congressional aides and lawmakers describe as an "auto czar." This person would act as a kind of trustee with authority to bring together labor, management, creditors and parts suppliers to negotiate a restructuring plan. He or she also would be able to review any transaction or contract valued at more than $25 million.

"We call this the barbershop," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. "Everybody's getting a haircut here, in terms of the conditions of the bill," she said, noting the likely impact on labor, bondholders, shareholders, car dealers, suppliers and executives. "The management itself has to take a big haircut on all of this."

Senior congressional Democrats and top Bush aides wrestled late Monday with final details of the package, which the White House would prefer were even tougher on the car makers. GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have asked for a total of $34 billion to weather the downturn in the economy and steep slump in vehicle sales. GM and Chrysler say they need a cash infusion before the end of December to avoid shutting down.

Look out, a clone army might be next...

Friday, December 5, 2008

2008 Rifle Buck

Well, after a LONG bow season and facing only a few opportunities to hunt before the entire deer season closed, I laid down my bow and picked up my Remington .308 and headed out ready to shoot a mature whitetail buck.

I set up on the east side of a ravine that went North-South. There are several such ravines located on a wide open 500 acre tract of CRP field and cattle pasture. It's land that I hunt with my bow but usually end up frustrated seeing deer a long way off and unable to lure them to my various set ups. Not a problem with a scoped firearm.

The wind was light and from the southeast. I got to my spot an hour before sun up and sat in the 20 degree crisp December air again counting my blessings for being able to enjoy such solace and scenery. Daylight began to dawn, then the sun crested the horizon to the east behind me. I gazed across the ravine to the long grass beyond and saw two does travelling north to bed in a stand of timber a half mile away. I was now alert hoping a seeking buck might show up also. The rut is all but over, but it's possible to catch a buck out cruising hoping to get lucky one last time. The does were 150 yards away which should be a relatively easy shot for an experienced rifle hunter, which I am not. Since coming to Kansas I killed one buck with an open-sighted 30-30 in 2002 and have been bow hunting ever since. Before this year Kansas only allowed hunters to buy one buck tag designated for one season/weapon. I have been choosing "archery only" for the past 5 years. Well, this year the rule changed and you could buy one buck tag good for any season, meaning I could now take up my rifle during rifle season. This time, however, I had a scoped .308 I bought at a pawn shop for my father to use if he ever wanted to hunt. I have only shot 20 rounds through this gun, but had a good practice session a few days ago giving me the necessary confidence.

Sure enough, ten minutes after the does came a mature 8-point buck on their scent trail at the same 150 yards. I knew he was above average and mature (4yrs old or better), at this stage of the season I'm happy to let a deer of his caliber ride in my truck! He took a while to saunter in to a shooting lane. When he did, I put the cross hairs on him and dropped the hammer. He fell immediately. 2008 season over.

While I was not able to harvest a huge trophy buck with my bow this season, it was pretty fun gun hunting today. I can say for certain I still prefer all that goes in to bow hunting and will continue to pursue whitetails with a stick and string. Having said that, if December rolls around and I haven't tagged out with my archery tackle, I'm getting out the .308 and letting it bark again!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You can kind of see how this is going...

There's a slow, but sure evolution occurring...
Our Congress voted to give over $700 Billion dollars of our money to bail out poorly, if not illegally, managed finance companies, which by the way, were under direct governmental oversight and review through the U.S. Treasury Department. The bailout was for the purpose of buying bad mortgages to assist the lending agencies and came with assurance to U.S. taxpayers there would be a return on their "investment" as those purchased properties regained value. Good thing the government has such a long standing record of wise investing. Dang.

Then it turns out that much of the $700 Billion is going to be used to buy stock in various banks and financial institutions. Boy, I feel better already- the U.S. Government will have part ownership in various banks. Oh great. Now things will get better for sure.

Here it is today, and I listened to outrageous snippets of the "Big Three" auto execs begging for Congress to bail them out also. Unbelievable! It's sick. It's wrong. It's got to stop, but it won't. The U.S. Government will give a big bailout package to the U.S. Automakers in return for some kind of ownership or stake in the industry. Just wonderful.

So the government, who essentially had all this happen on it's watch, will now be given unprecedented stakes in our financial institutions as well as the auto industry.

What's left?

This socialistic governmental transformation sort of reminds me of something....

"In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the First Galactic Empire! For a safe, and secure, society." - Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

AJ's First Deer Harvest

This morning was one of a life time. My oldest son AJ and I went out on his first deer hunt, being the opening day of Kansas rifle season. He harvested a beautiful little 8 point buck just 6 minutes after sun up.

We were hunting on a brushy hillside that faces a long barb wire fence. While bow hunting I have seen deer travel along that fence line to an opening. Before first light we set up high on the hillside looking down at the fence line, but soon after daylight (which is approximately 30 minutes before the sun actually rises) I could tell AJ would have a very tough time shooting a deer from a kneeling position because there was too much long grass in the way. I decided to do what I never like to do- move just as it's getting light. The chances of a deer seeing you move are too great in most cases, but I knew there was little chance AJ would be able to kill anything from that spot,not being able to stand and shoot (the gun is a bit too heavy for him to shoot standing). We picked up and moved about 70 yards east and a bit closer to the fence line opening. We quick sat in front of a juniper bush and no more than 10 minutes later I saw antlers coming from the west right along the fenceline. I said, "there's a buck coming AJ.". I pulled the hammer back on his youth model Rossi .243 and handed him the gun, then flipped the safety off for him. He quickly came to shooting position, which for him is a low kneeling squat. He saw the deer moving slowly along the fence line 80 yards away and said a bit too loudly, "I see him!" The deer heard him and came to attention but couldn't see us as were dug in pretty good with the bush and long grass around us. The deer calmed down and proceeded as he was going. AJ was incredibly patient as we waited for the deer to get on the other side of a large bush before readying for the shot. I told AJ to be ready when the deer got on the other side of the bush. He followed directions well and positioned his firearm and was going to look through the scope when the deer seemed to come to alert again. We both froze. The deer calmed again and moved forward as AJ moved the gun up so his eye lined with the scope. The deer stopped at approximately 45 yards and just as I was going to tell AJ to take him- BOOM- AJ fired the gun, the deer mule kicked and ran straight through the fence opening obviously hit hard. We watched him run in to the woods until we lost sight of his white tail. I was pretty sure it was a lethal hit, but my rule is to wait 30 minutes before picking up the blood trail.

The next 30 minutes were awesome. We high-fived, AJ was just ecstatic, and so was I! It's hard to describe how it feels to see your son accomplish something like this. It really is quite a feat for a 9-year old to harvest a deer. I texted a few friends to tell them while we waited the 30 minutes, then we took up the blood trail. We followed the trail and found the deer about 100 yards from where he was shot.

Of all the great moments I have enjoyed hunting and harvesting deer, this experience with AJ surpasses them all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lego's rule

I want to thank the inventor of "Lego's" as well as the company that produces them.

From Wikipedia:

Lego, officially trademarked LEGO, is a line of construction toys manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's flagship product, "Lego", consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects. Kits are sold which contain all necessary pieces for a particular project. Some hobbyists try to collect, buy, and sell various other pieces in different shapes and colors, to construct other hobbyist-created designs. The toys were originally designed in the 1940s in Europe and have achieved an international appeal, with an extensive subculture that supports Lego movies, games, competitions, and four Lego-themed amusement parks.

Lego's have provided hours of enjoyment for my boys and I. Just tonight I came home for 90 minutes to see the boys before having to go back to church for a meeting. We played Lego's for 85 minutes straight. It's something Jordan can do at age 6 and AJ still loves them at age 9, and I think they are awesome at age 37. What else is like this? All the while we are creating various things, we are talking about stuff. I can ask them about school, their friends, their relationship with God. Conversation flows when you are constructing Lego masterpieces.

I really believe we will all look back at our Lego sessions with great fondness. Lego's rule.