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Location: Telford, Pennsylvania, United States

My main blog: Ramblings generally focuses on telling a story via photography and words. These stories generally center around family, nature, and church although sometimes just about life in general. I also have a blog entitled Fingerprints. I post less frequently in Fingerprints. It serves as a catch all of anything that does not go in my Ramblings blog including memes, quizzes, and reports on books and movies.

The road awaits
Time doesn't
The road beckons
Time steps forward

Will we move
In step with time?
Will we step forward
Shaping our time?

Will we take time
To see the present?
Will we explore the past
And understand our heritage?

Will we laugh?
Will we wonder?
Will we touch?
Will we feel?

Time flies on
We have choices
Shall we go fast?
Shall we go slow?

We shall go forward
But we will choose the pace
We may dance with all our heart
Or bathe ourselves in a setting sun

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

God JR. by Dennis Cooper

Yesterday, I finished reading a short novel entitled God JR. authored by Dennis Cooper. It's a story of a father working through his grief. His teenage son died in a car accident caused by the father. The father sought to come to terms with this loss through going inside of a Nintendo game that his son spent lots of time playing. As he enters this Nintendo world, he keeps interviewing the Nintendo game characters in hope of discovering the son he lost. The book is a bit weird yet I think that it does give some insight into the workings of this kind of grief.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Junior Mennonite Youth Lock-In Activity

This past Friday night, I was one of the adults at the Junior Mennonite Youth Lock-In activity at my home church. The activity began at 7:00 p.m. with the youth playing touch football in our gym. Some of the other games we played included a variant combination of football and basketball, crab soccer, and a game in which two teams of youth competed to get the most Lifesaver candies without being spotted and identified by their sponsors.

The Lifesaver game was played in the church auditorium with the lights out but with the sponsors using a powerful flashlight to spot the players and identify them. The youth had to start at the back of the auditorium, get to the platform where the Lifesavers were scattered, and take the Lifesavers one at a time to the back of the auditorium without being identified through the whole process. If they were identified, they had to go to the back of the auditorium and begin again without the Lifesaver. To avoid being identified the youth got creative in the use of and exchanging of coats and sweatshirts. Some also formed a relay chain to minimize the chance of being seen and just scooted the candy from person to person while they remained under the benches. There was also a scoring pattern set up giving different values to the different colors of the Lifesavers with one color being a negative value. However the players were not told the values of the different colors until the game was completed.

Interspersed with the games, we had a devotional time and a prayer walk time within the church building with different stations focusing on world needs, congregational needs, church leadership needs, and local community needs. And before heading to sleep around 2:30 a.m. in the gym, we all watched Veggie Tales' "Lord of the Beans". The kids were great and participated actively in both the fun and the serious activities.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My Laughing Jesus

While browsing some blogs, I came across this blog entitled For God. It had a subsection entitled "My Laughing Jesus" which contained a lot of pictures of Jesus laughing. Too often, I think many of us forget that Jesus enjoyed life and so should we.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Diary

At my home church, I teach the sixth grade Sunday School class. And naturally, I'm totally delighted when totally unsolicited my students let me know that they want me to keep on teaching them. For example, yesterday morning I told them that there would be two Sundays in January that I would be unable to teach them. Immediately before I had a chance to tell them why, they asked me, "you're not going to stop teaching us, are you?" I said, no, and explained that I was planning to be a part of our church's January MAMA Project team to Honduras. With that explanation, everything was then okay. It makes one feel good to be positively wanted. And I like them. They make my teaching a joy with their active participation in activities and discussion.

The rest of the day I spent with my nieces and my brother & his wife. It was a good day. I enjoy spending time with them. Among other things we spent time playing table games and frisbee. And I enjoyed listening to two of my nieces and later my brother play piano. And later after the girls went to bed, my brother and I played a card game called Rook and had some good conversation time.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

TV and Me

A little over a month ago, I bought a TV. Before that, I was without a TV for a good number of years. Anyway,yesterday, it just kind of hit me while I was watching an episode from each of the two Stargate series as to how much more graphic violence I was now exposing myself. Before that, I mostly read books, listened to my local NPR & local Christian radio stations, and occasionally watched a movie over the Internet or as a DVD on my computer. And I'm now pondering as to how much violence I really want to expose myself. In some sense, I felt that I might be jading my peace beliefs.

I'm also watching a considerable amount of a Spanish TV channel in an effort to supplement my other beginning attempts to learn some Spanish. I find at this early stage that I learn the most from advertisements rather than the scheduled programming. I'm doing this because I am planning to be a part of my church's MAMA Project team to Honduras in January. What I have noticed on this channel (and my suspicion is that it is true to great extents with most non-public TV channels), is that with the exception of a few afternoon/early evening hours on week days and a few hours on Saturday mornings, there is an ever-present sexual element that disturbs me as being excessive. And, no, I don't have to watch during those hours and most times I don't. But I have to wonder what impact this has on our society today.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Diary

After work today, I went to the Q-Mart in Quakertown where I frequently buy my fresh produce, lunch meat, & cheese. But before I go there, I often stop at a WAWA to buy gas for my car. Today, I was shocked; gas was selling for $1.99/gallon. Since Katrina and the rising global demand for oil, I had thought the days of gas prices below $2.00/gallon were over.

Earlier in the day, I went to flu shot clinic at my doctor's office. They were quick; I doubt that I was at the doctor's office more than six minutes and most of that time was spent at the receptionist desk. This is the first time ever, I got the flu shot. But in January, I'm planning to go with a group from my church to Honduras under The MAMA Project. The MAMA Project is a group that seeks to provide healthcare and teach good health practices and nutrition to mothers with children in some of the poorer villages of Honduras.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Islands by Dan Sleigh

Over the past couple weeks, I have been reading the historical novel Islands by Dan Sleigh. It is a rerecreation of what life might have been like at the Cape of Africa during Dutch rule and colonization. It was a bit dull at the beginning but as I got further into the book it began to catch me. Unfortunately, I had to return the book to the library this morning unfinished having only read about 400 of the 750 pages. I just may have to borrow the book again at a later date. One theme in this book that I find significant is how often its main characters are low on a socio-economic scale and are often told by their superiors that they have a future; but in reality are permamently trapped in their socio-economic status.