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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

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Practicing Congregation - Salvation and Growth

I'm reading a book entitled The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church by Diana Butler Bass. In it, Diana Butler Bass briefly compares two contrasting views of Christian salvation. One argues that salvation comes through the church functioning as community living out the values of God's kingdom; the other argues that salvation is a personal choice to follow the Messiah that is demonstrated by personal purity. She notes however that these are two extremes and that most Christians fall somewhere inbetween on a continuum between these two poles. As such in today's context, she calls this two pole paradigm dead; that today's postmodern context is calling for a new salvation paradigm.

I haven't read far enough yet to know precisely where Bass is headed. But earlier, she wrote that churches do not exist to provide rational choices. They are an alternative logic offering hospitality to the traveler and molding people both in community and as individuals through ancient forms of being in God. In the author's words, the church's alternative logic provides "a way of exploring moral, religious, communal, and personal identity that moves with purpose and intention through the ever-shifting terrain of the postmodern city." She also noted that the most vibrant of today's mainline Protestant congregations are those who are intentionally and innovatively reclaiming their historical chain of memory that ties its past, present, and future together.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Diary - A Full Schedule

It's been a busy but wonderful week. Saturday, Christmas Eve, was spent at church followed by a snack, fellowship, and game time at the Cosands with a few members of the Rice family and the Cosand family. Christmas day, the Rice family held its traditional dinner and supper with our parents and nephews and nieces. Monday evening I was at a birthday party for my youngest niece. Tuesday, I got my third hepatitus vacination shot in preparation for my Honduras trip with the MAMA Project in a couple weeks. And last night I spent with the junior youth group from my church playing wallyball and other activities. This evening, I spent about two hours preparing to teach the sixth grade Sunday School class at church on the beginning of Jesus' ministry as recorded in the book of John in Scripture. And as chair of church council, I've been working at preparing for our church's monthly second Wednesday council meeting and our congregation's annual business meeting coming up at the end of January.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Diary - Ark of the Covenant

After work yesterday, I briefly visited with Mom and Dad and went up in their attic and dug up my Spanish/English dictionary from probably a couple decades ago. Afterwards, I stopped at the home of one of my brothers to pick up two containers of my frozen blueberries. He and his wife invited me to stay for supper with them and my brother from Michigan. It was a good evening of conversation and game playing. My brother from Michigan introduced us to a new table game called "Ark of the Covenant." The game makers tried to make the game an allegory of the Biblical Israelites setting up their lives in the Holy Land. The allegory is weak but the game was enjoyable.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Diary - The Rice/Moyer Christmas Dinner

Yesterday, I attended the Rice/Moyer family Christmas dinner at church. I think there may have been between forty and fifty people there. In the evening I went to Mom and Dad's place along with some other siblings and their family members. It was a good time of fellowship, playing games, and too much good food. I brought back some yummy leftover potato soup and fruit salad.

This evening, I worked on my church council chairperson's report for the upcoming Annual Business Meeting in January. After that, I worked on my Spanish for a while. Tomorrow, I plan to bake some cookies.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

You are Comet!

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty:
You almost gave Santa a heart attack
when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice:
You always make sure the sleigh
is going warp speed

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You?

I don't really think of myself as a daredevil; although of late I am learning to step beyond my comfort zone -- sometimes to my regret but mostly to greater joy. And of course, there are times that I retreat back to operating within my comfort zones. But I still say, "Don't limit yourself to your comfort zone. The joys outweigh the risks." It is frequently a two steps forward, one step back process; but still worth it all.

Memories of Childhood Reading and Radio Dramas

A question was raised on the MennoLink discussion board about what we read as children. The following is the response I gave:

Among the books I enjoyed reading as a child were the Danny Orlis series, the Felicia Cartwright series, the Sugar Creek Gang series, a book entitled Treasures of the Snow, and of course the Narnia series. I know I read many more. I was always reading to the point that mom had to chase me out the house fairly often. And for children's magazines, I enjoyed reading Jack and Jill and also Highlights. As we grew a bit older, the stories in Reader's Digest became a favorite. I loved adventure stories and also Greek, Roman, Norse, and other mythologies. I also remember enjoying reading Baga Yaga witch stories. The Baga Yaga stories that I recall had a witch's house that stood on chicken legs.

As for radio dramas, I enjoyed Sailer Sam, Ranger Bill, and other children's radio series from Back to the Bible, Children's Bible Hour, and more. I also remember a children's program that every Saturday morning would play march music and we would follow our father marching around the dining room table in our house. Oh, there was also a radio program called Big John and Sparky.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

To Which Race on Middle Earth Do You Belong?

Take this quiz!

The Diary - Disappointment and Other Things

Today, I've been in sort of a fog and to some extent maybe all fall this year. Today, it was in part because I had to miss the bakery Christmas party and gift exchange at work because I had to be out doing deliveries and also in part because I'm not meeting my personal performance goals in one volunteer position I took on at church. At times, I wonder if I made the right decision when I took on the position. If you read this, maybe you can whisper a prayer for me.

While I was out doing deliveries this afternoon, it began to snow. By the time I left work though it had switched over to sleet. It's suppose to switch over to freezing rain sometime during the night and maybe regular rain later.

I received my four Spanish children's books in the mail today. I'm looking forward to working with them to help build my Spanish vocabulary. The four books are Huevos Verdes con Jamón, La Pequeña Locomotora Que Sí Pudo, Buenas Noches Luna, and El Pez Arco Iris y La Ballena Azul.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Diary - MAMA Project Preparation, Blogs, Etc.

Yesterday, I got the second of a series of three TwinRix vaccination shots for Hepatitus A & B in preparation for spending a week in Honduras helping at a MAMA Project medical clinic in January. These shots aren't cheap - $105.00 each time. I continue to work at a little basic knowledge of Spanish using a Rosetta Stone Latin America Spanish CD and watching some Spanish TV programs. I also have on order from Amazon several Spanish children's books that I'll use to help expand my vocabulary and understanding of Spanish.

As for other activities, I continue to explore a variety of blogs from people throughout America and the world. It's a good way to explore the world from other people's eyes although one needs to use a discriminating eye. I also bought some gifts from the Dollar Store in Dublin today and began preparation for teaching my sixth grade Sunday School class on Sunday. I had a couple Sundays off from teaching as my class along with other classes were practicing for the children's Christmas program which took the place of Sunday School this past Sunday. They performed very well. To see some pictures check out my Ramblings blog. I also ordered a mince meat pie for the Rice/Moyer family Christmas dinner at church on Sunday.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Diary - Snow

During early morning, I think we got close to eight inches of snow here in Souderton. It made me wish I was still a student. Because the sun came out before 10:00 a.m. and I wanted to go out and enjoy the snow. But I was at work and unfortunately as an adult I needed to be there.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

God's Gift by Dee Henderson

This morning I completed reading a Christian romance novel entitled God's Gift authored by Dee Henderson. It's a story of two people coming together in the midst of some of the dark sides of life; but at times torn apart by both new and continuing incomprehensible pain and suffering. It was a book that I often had a hard time putting down. This, too, is a book that examines the grieving process as well as some of the joys of life.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

ELCA Mosaic Online and DVD Videos

On Saturday, I watched a 40 minute video "Introducing the Old Testament" on Mosaic Television online. This evening I watched a DVD "The Life of Paul" also produced by Mosaic Television. Both productions provide a good basic overview. Mosaic Television has some other titles that I'm interested in viewing over the Internet.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

An Internet Assessment of my Sense of Humor

The Wit

52% dark,
30% spontaneous,
36% vulgar

Your humor style is CLEAN, COMPLEX, DARK. You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat. I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion. You probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here.

The test tracked 3 variables. This is how I compared to other people my age and gender that took the test: higher than 65% on darkness, higher than 17% on spontaneity, and higher than 60% on vulgarity. I take some issue on the vulgarity rating but maybe it is referring to that dumb can be witty as per previous paragraph.