Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 28

Category: PhotoShop

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photos of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: NomNomNom & Snail Warrior

Sparrow VS Shrek

NomNomNom

Fruit Bats

Snail Warrior

American Gothic Goes Modern

Obam-ary

Think twice before placing those map pins!

A Happy Breakfast

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Dependence

I try not to be a Chicken Little. Even if the sky is falling, what good is it to shout it throughout the barnyard? Can the cow, the goat, or the pig do anything about it if its true? And most times, just as the actual children's story goes...the sky isn't really falling. And Chicken Little only managed to whip up hysteria and panic.

Last night President Obama and John Boehner made speeches about our financial status in America. The sky according to them is falling. The only debate is over how to best take cover. I could not help as I listened but to let my mind flash on images of the dollar crashing, people enduring hardships, further globalization measures, one world currency, religion, and every NWO conspiracy & End Times speculation fully manifesting within just a few years.

But then I stopped. Those are thoughts designed to instill worry and fear. And according to 2 Timothy 1:7 God does not give us a spirit of fear. We can be assured that if God didn't give it to us, its probably not worth having! The Israelites that fled from Egypt experienced one of the craziest times in recorded history. They had no country, they had no government, they had no income, they only had the possessions that they could carry with them and an Awesome God to provide for them. And provide He did...for forty years in a desolate dessert environment. Whether He made food rain down from heaven or water to gush from a rock...He provided.

He gave just enough for each day and commanded that there be no excess. Any who even tried to store up extra manna found it to be rotten by the next morning. God wanted His people to depend and TRUST in Him day by day, minute by minute. I feel led to remind you of this as you absorb the facts of the times we are living in!

God's Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Is God Punishing Me?

This weekend I was blessed to have Pastor Mike Messerli teach me a bit more about Hannah.  An Old Testament figure that Rachael and I can relate to as she struggled with infertility back in a day when medical help was not an option.  We find out through her story that God closed Hannah's womb intentionally to accomplish His purposes and glory through the child He would eventually grant her in that of Samuel.

Pastor Mike pointed out that Hannah, having no knowledge of God's plan was most likely wondering what she had done to deserve those years of infertility and chiding from Penniah.  We all tend to do that, don't we?  We look at our circumstances when they are challenging or difficult and assume that we are being punished.  And while sin and/or poor decision making always has a natural consequence of some type, Mike reminded me of a truth that I want to share with you:

God's punishment of our sins was finished at Calvary as Jesus took what we justly deserved upon His own battered body and died in our place.  So long as you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior there is no EXTRA punishment to take lest you desire to argue with Christ's final words, "It is finished!" 

Now...certainly we will still face difficult times just like Hannah did.  But these are to grow us and teach us dependence on our Heavenly Father...not to counteract or atone our failures and shortcomings.  James 1 - 2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Your thoughts?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 27

Category: Doppleganger

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photos of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: Clay Aiken

Taylor Lautner

Snoop Dog

Brittany Spears

Mel Gibson

Clay Aiken

Donald Trump

Angela Lansbury

Pat Morita

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today's Mailbag 5.0

I received an email forward that while funny, also emphasized the point of yesterday's post. 

Male Sensitivity

The room was full of pregnant women with their partners.  The class was in full swing.  The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe and was telling the men how to give the necessary assurance to their partners at this stage of the pregnancy.

 She said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you.  Walking is especially beneficial.  It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier.  Just make several stops and stay on a soft surface like grass or a path."

She looked at the men in the room, "and Gentlemen, remember -- You're in this together -- It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her."

The room suddenly got very quiet as the men absorbed this information.

Then a man at the back of the room slowly raised his hand. 

"Yes?" answered the Instructor.

"I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag while we walk??"


To submit your own Email contribution to Today's Mailbag send entries to capturedimage@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boys Who Can Shave

"Tu es buen Papa!" - said our waitress at Cristinas.

She was paying me a compliment for being a good daddy because I was feeding Joshua a bottle.  She went on to explain how her husband never helps her with their almost two year old daughter.  He never got up to help with feedings, he didn't change diapers, he just expected her to do it all.

So what was a flattering compliment at first ended in a confession that brought shame to fellow mankind.  And unfortunately this isn't the first story of this sort that I've heard.  Sadder still is that I am not exempt from this problem just because I am more hands on with the kids than some.

The problem is a general societal lack of expectation on men.  This of course is coupled with a Peter Pan syndrom that most of us have to varying degrees.  But there is a BIG difference between hanging onto some childlike qualities and remaining childish.  Our wives are not just 2.0 versions of our Mom's.  Let's act like Men instead of grown boys who can shave!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 26

Category: Yearbook Memories

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winners: Don't-cha just hate that & THERE he is!

Apparently so...

Epic

Don't-cha just hate that?

Awesome Quote

Life imitating art

High Aspirations

Rut-Roh

THERE he is!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Letter To Joshua

It is with deep sorrow and a lack proper words that I present today's post.  But I feel its a necessary step in my son's development and I might as well be as honest with him early on as I possibly can.  He will not fully grasp these confessions and just how unqualified my wife and I are to be his parents for a while.  However, it is only fair to him to start the preparation process now.  Perhaps that will remove SOME of the hurt and anguish we've inevitably caused. 

And if any of you that are reading this are of the same generation as me (Generation X) feel free to use this material for your own kids.  It's not their fault that they have US as parents!!  I just hope you have the courage to be truthful and the resolve to help pick up the pieces.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

YOU Can't Do It!

I've always been a "can-do" kind of guy.  Pick yourself up by the bootstraps (whatever those are) and make your own way.  As Nike would have you believe...Just Do It.  I used to pity the pitiful and believe that they just needed to adopt my kind of outlook on life.  And I wasn't just a positive affirmation kind of guy.  At one point I dove head first into true Mind Sciences and tried various techniques of meditation to "unlock" my hidden inner powers.  Like the Matrix on steroids I just knew that the mind was a powerful instrument that we had hardly tapped into and a key surely existed to get to a higher level of functioning.  And I didn't just believe I could have an improved memory or the power to persuade in order to be a better salesman.  I believed we could unlock ESP gifts and move objects with our minds...if only we could discover the hidden ability.

Blame too much science fiction or an overactive imagination that was aimed at feeding a very healthy ego even more fatty treats.  I put away all pursuits to this regard upon accepting Christ as my Savior.  And within the first year of my marriage as if to permanently teach me that SELF is an unreliable source of power...I endured a severe bout of anxiety.  This experience was one of the most difficult struggles of my life and literally brought me to lay prostrate on the floor, crying, and begging God for relief. 

My old way of thinking would have encouraged that I just get more mentally tough.  To overcome the fears, and worries, and physical ailments with my mind.  Perhaps there was still part of me clinging to the old system because I clearly remember trying to do just that.  But this was MUCH more powerful than my pea brain could ever handle.  After a year of struggling and several realizations, I made it through and haven't had any issues since.  The lessons learned were invaluable though.  Humility has many layers but in each one God teaches us that YOU are not "all that and a bag of chips."

Earlier this week in my prayer time I felt compelled to share this chapter of my life with you and especially repent of my interest in the Mind Sciences.  If you can relate to ANY part of this story, I urge you to seek God's will and that you prayerfully discern the truth!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Outsiders Welcome!

You don't have to be on this planet for very long before you discover its cruel condition.  Whether you've experienced being outside "the group" temporarily or have made a lifetime of it, we've all been there.  Human nature dictates that we subdivide and cling to those that are similar to us.  Economics, social status, interests, sense of humor, geographical region, and even education level can promote an us-verses-them mentality with small pockets of like-minded individuals.

Some might be able to move in and out of groups rather effortlessly while others seem trapped by their labels unable to break free.  In the times of Christ this was definitely an issue.  Pharisee's were the elite with impeccable Biblical knowledge & education.  Then you had common folk, perhaps fishermen like James & John.  You had the vile tax collectors and prostitutes.  Even lower on the social scale and perhaps at its bottom were the diseased ridden lepers and the lame beggars.

Jesus was often accused of hanging out with the wrong crowd.  He didn't abide by the unwritten rules about which group a person belonged in.  He didn't respect social status or the boundary lines.  In Matthew 9 such an instance occurred as the Pharisee's asked the disciples why He was eating a meal with tax collectors and known sinners? 

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Irony would have it that even the Pharisee's were sick and in need of a doctor but that was lost on them.  Amazing Grace tells the Christian story.  "We were lost but now are found, blind but now we see."  Christ made a way for us to break the ties that bind us to sin and death.  There is no longer any need that you should be on the outside...looking in!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 25

Category: IRL (In Real Life)

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed.  Winner: Fast Food.

Fast Food

Popeye

Mario Menace

UP's Russell

Barbie After Kids

It's-A-Me...Mario!

When Barney Attacks

Don't Make Him Angry!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ain't No Good

If we had a foot race between Santa Claus and a Good Person who would win?

It's actually a trick question because neither Mr. Claus nor Mr. Good exist.  Yet I spent most of my life up until my early twenties betting it all that the answer to this question was a Good Person because I believed such a mythical being actually existed and that I was indeed one of them.

It has taken many years of walking in the Faith with many hard lessons behind me to come to this conclusion.  And this is one of those issues that doesn't necessarily divide atheist and Christian.  There are many within church walls that believe they are good people and that somehow their goodness will have an affect on their salvation come Judgement Day.

If you are one of these people you have one, two, or perhaps BOTH of these issues:

1.  You have failed to understand the true depths of your own depravity.

2. You have failed to understand how Holy and Perfect God and His standards are.

For me it was mostly category one but I certainly have dabbled in both arenas.  Today as I was enjoying my quiet time I was compelled to expound upon this lesson and share the following video with you.  I hope it blesses you and perhaps helps you to avoid some of the difficult trials that have brought me to this realization.  Comments of agreement or dissent are certainly welcome if you'd like to discuss!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Worst Best Show

If you are going to give your kids their Best, Worst experience or their Worst, Best experience...neither are ideal but the latter is preferable.  That is the most accurate way to describe last nights adventure to go see fireworks.  For the first time ever we decided to go to the Denton show.  We wanted to be as close to home as possible so that we were not stuck driving home from Flower Mound with two kids that still needed a bath hours after their bedtimes.  Rachael elected not to go this year desiring instead to let the baby sleep and not be dragged to yet another location this weekend.

This meant me and the twins could get REALLY close to the show this year which is something they haven't ever experienced.  In shows past we usually sit in  parking lots a couple miles away so that we can make a clean getaway and not get bogged down in too much traffic.  But some of my best memories in Louisiana were sitting on the banks of the Red River with exploding fireworks directly overhead.  So I was out to recreate this memory even if it meant a little traffic. 

We arrived at Fouts Field after enduring bumper to bumper bottlenecks for the better part of 20 minutes, only to have the parking attendant tell us the lot was full.  I drove over to and parked in front of Clark Hall instead and the three of us hiked a half mile over to the Super Pit and found some prime real estate very close to but not actually IN the stadium.  Then it began...

  • Hot, humid, sitting & waiting.
  • Kids complaining that there was nothing to do
  • Other kids sliding down hill on cardboard.
  • We didn't have cardboard.
  • Hot, humid, sitting & waiting.
  • Thinking the show was supposed to start at 9PM only to hear someone say 9:30PM
  • Kids complaining of being tired and bored.
  • Other kids playing games on cell phones.
  • My cell phone dead.
  • Hot, humid, sitting & waiting.
  • It is 9:40PM and still no fireworks.
  • Kids complaining that they cannot wait any longer.
  • Dad offering to take them home.
  • Kids realizing the only thing worse than waiting even longer is going home without fireworks.
  • Hot, humid, sitting & waiting.
  • Dad finally asks what time it is and finds out its 10 minutes till 10.
  • Dad says seventh prayer that God supernaturally ignite the fireworks.
  • KABOOM!!!!
  • Enter THE BEST FIREWORKS SHOW we've ever seen exploding just overhead.  Amazing colors, sizes, shapes, sounds, and rapid fire sequences.  Every time we thought it might be over, they had more surprises in store for us.  The kids called it "Magical", "Amazing", and said "This is THE Best. We have to come here every year Dad!"
  • Redemption
  • Oops...wait!  Shows over, fight the crowds back to the car.
  • Get in car at 10:20PM with two overly tired 5 year olds and fight just to get out of parking lot for 15 minutes.
  • Finally breaking free, son decides he needs dad to pull over at hotel so he can pee.
  • Returning to car, finding a back-road to avoid highway traffic and viola!  We get home at 11:06 PM.
It was the BEST of times.  It was the WORST of times!  Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 24

Category: That's Punny!

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: "Well, well, well."

The Cat Box

Well, well, well...

Frog Parking

But not funny!

This is NOT a drill!

Anyone can see...

Lord of The Puns

T-Shirt Honesty