mardi, mars 30, 2004

This morning as I left the house for work (5:35 AM) the sky was just beginning to lighten up and was a dark inky blue instead of black. As I stepped from the house I heard a rooster crowing, a mocking bird singing and the hoarse cry of a blue jay. I love the sounds of morning. The air was cool and refreshing.

MK and his son and my little boys and I all went camping last Friday night in Longville. The boys had a blast. Mk and his son had to come back to town early Saturday morning, but I took my boys fishing at my sisters pond which has been stocked with some hybrid Bluegill and Florida Bass. Christian and his buddy Paul also joined us as did my niece Reece.

The Bluegill were biting and the boys caught some nice fish. I spent all my time placing worms on hooks and removing fish from hooks. The boy’s had a lot of fun and they also provided us with part of our supper. I cleaned a mess of fish and baked them in garlic and butter sauce that same evening. (YUUMMM).

We came home Saturday night and the little boys, after a bath, drifted quickly off to sleep. I took a break and watched a DVD of Charade, which is an old Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn Classic movie.

Sunday morning the little boys and I went to church in Sulphur. The pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA), Bill Smith, was going to baptise he and his wife Susan’s sixth child (2nd daughter). It was a beautiful event. It’s always a great thing to see a covenant child baptised.

Covenant’s liturgy is longer than Bethel’s. Their liturgy is beautiful, but I think our liturgy (time wise) is better. Bill preached an amazing sermon. I have always liked his style of preaching. I think it is because Bill’s preaching is so similar to that of my late bro-in-law (Ron Davis). I do think Bill is probably the best Bible teacher within a hundred mile (or more) radius of this area.

Morgan and Christian attended Bethel and Lisa was out of town. So the it was just me and the boy’s at Covenant. We ate dinner at the church. They had a feast laid out and there was a lot left over.

Sunday night Bill and Susan had a party at their home to celebrate the baptism of their new baby girl. I would have loved to have attended, but it just was not possible.

mercredi, mars 24, 2004

The computer at home is still very dead. My buddy Izzy (i.e. Israel) has agreed to look at it for me. I am hoping that the computer is, like the Dread Pirate Roberts in the movie Princess Bride, "only mostly dead." I hope Izzy can fix it, but even if he can I think I am going to look into getting a second (inexpensive) computer.

The little boys are both sick, but they did feel well enough to go outside and toss a Frisbee around with Christian, Ryan (my nephew) and me for a little while.

Christian had Ryan cut off most of his curly hair yesterday afternoon. He now has a buzz cut (on most of his head) that would make a Marine D.I. proud. Lisa was not happy about Christian's new “do.” It's quite a contrast; Christian went from shoulder length curly yellow hair to nearly bald.

Morgan was not home yesterday. She went to visit my folks in Longville. My Sister's friend from Mexico is in visiting with her and Morgan wanted to see her (Vonia) while she's here, so she spent the night at her Aunt (Taunte) Sandy's.

Mk made it over last night for our usual wine and then walk-a-bout prayer time. We had a couple of glasses of a nice Australian red wine while we discussed all the world’s ills. We then went for a walk around the neighbourhood. We talked for a little while longer and then he led off our prayer time and later I finished it. We strolled around the neighbourhood praying for a good while (about two miles worth) praying. I find these prayer times to be very rewarding and useful.

When MK left and I came inside, it was just about midnight. Because of the late hour that I went to bed, I had a hard time getting up for work this morning, but I did manage to do so after hitting the snooze button a few times.

I have worked to do.

Dominus Vobiscum,

mardi, mars 23, 2004

My blogging is way down and there are two big reasons for this. Reason one is I am working straight (eight hour) days instead of my usual twelve hour shift work. The other (and bigger) reason is my computer at home has crashed and burned. It's totally dead.

Since my last blog I became another year older. Friday night Lisa and I went out to eat with our friends Gary and Liz and Tommy (TK) and Kelly. We all meet at Café Margaux for the wine tasting time, where we meet and visited with a number of other friends. Then we went to the Outback Steakhouse for dinner.

We feasted and visited. TK delivered a letter from his alter ego (Dr. A.R. Minian) and insisted that I read it allowed to all at the table with us. It’s a great letter, but it took me twice as long to read it as I should have because I laughed (Liz said I cackled) so much while reading it.

Saturday, Lisa and I were volunteers at the American Heart Association’s annul banquet and auction fund raiser. I had to rent a tux (it was a black tie affair). Karen K., who is on the board, was one of the main organisers and she asked if we would help with things. Lisa and I were happy to help.

The event was held at the Isle of Capri Casino. The food was very good. The local Newspaper donated the wine for the event and they had some good entertainment after the auction. We didn't get to enjoy the entertainment (an Elvis show) or dance to the music, because there was work to be done. But we did get to enjoy the food and a couple of glasses of wine. It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed myself and I think Lisa did as well.

Sunday we went to Bethel to worship the Lord with others. It was good to praise and worship the Lord for His many blessings that He has blessed us with.

Sunday afternoon the little boys and I went to a near by field and tossed around a Frisbee. We had a good time. Then, after they bathed, we I read several library books to them and put the boys to bed. MK and I were supposed to get together for our wine and walk-a-bout prayer time, but I didn't here from him, which usually means he got called out to the hospital.

Christian brought a young lady to church. He spent much of the day with her playing pool at his (maternal) grandparents house. Morgan came to church, but then had to work afterward.

Yesterday was my 44th birthday. It was also Karen K’s birthday, so Lisa and I went to supper with Karen and Harry. We (actually Harry) drove over to Carrabba’s in Beaumont, Tx. The food and the visiting were both very good.

I have to get back to more important matters.

Coram Deo,

lundi, mars 15, 2004

I had a good weekend. The little boys, a nephew (my late brother's son), Mk’s son, Mk and I all camped out on my parents land Friday night. While the boys played, Mk and I went to my mom’s house and ate some great pork jambalaya that my mom had made. They smoked the pork steaks, used in the jambalaya, in my dad’s smoke house. They were wonderful.

After eating we went back to the “campsite” and started the wennie roast and marshmallow roast for the boys. After they had eaten their full we lit the bonfire. It was huge and burned nicely. The boys had a blast.

We had lots of company my family) around the fire and had good conversation. Mk and I both brought a bottle of wine. His was a nice California “mutt” red and I brought a Chianti.

So it was a night of food, wine conversation out of doors. We visited and watched the boys play. Then as they slowed down we listened as they sat around the fire and told jokes and “scary stories.”

We finally crawled into the tents at midnight. The weather was perfect. The low for the night was 49 degrees. I slept like a baby. I got up at 6:30, and restarted the fire, drank a cup of Community Coffee and then cooked some eggs and bacon over the campfire. The others began to stir about an hour after I got moving. I cooked the all the same bacon and egg breakfast that I had made for myself.

Everyone had a good time. I spent the day in Longville with my boys but Mk had to come back to town.

Sunday was a normal day. We had a guest pastor at church because our pastor is on vacation. Rev. Mark Duncan filled the pulpit in Jim’s place. Worship was good.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, mars 11, 2004

I went for x-rays today and the ribs still look very broken, but they are feeling a lot better these days. They doctors still have me on restricted duty for two more weeks. This has helped me to get caught up on my operator training (yyuukk). MK said if they are feeling better than they are healing. He said it is hard to see this on rib x-rays.

Lisa isn't feeling well this evening. We are beginning to thing she may have gallstones. When I was on the phone with MK and described her symptoms, and he said that gallstones were a possibility. Lisa went to bed early. Both the little boys were concerned for her and they went in the room an kissed her and then prayed for her. Those were a couple of precious moments.

Except for Lisa not feeling well, this has been a pretty normal evening. Most of it was spent with the little boys and their school work. Christian spent the evening talking on the phone to a girl friend or outside with a neighbourhood friend. Morgan was at work and has now gone to visit here cousin.

The weather has been awesome lately. The evenings and mornings have been cool and the days have been bright and mild. This weather is supposed to hold out until Saturday evening. Mk and I are planning on taking my to young sons and his seven year old camping tomorrow evening. We are going to go to my mom and dad's place. They have cut down a number of trees and have a large pile of wood to burn. Dad has been waiting for the little boys to burn it. So we will have a wennie roast and then a bonfire.

I hope to then do some fishing Saturday. My job will be to put the worms on the hooks for the boys and take the perch off the hooks. If they're lucky they will catch some bass also. It is lots of fun to watch the boys fish.

I do have a Merlot and a Chianti to bring on the trip. I am not sure which of these two wines goes better with hotdogs cooked over an open fire. I guess we will have to try both. This is my kind of camping, because I can get up and go to mom's kitchen in the morning for breakfast and coffee.

Mk saw The Passion Of The Christ this week and he loved it. We got together the next evening for one of our conversation, walking, praying and wine events. We had a lively discussion on that and a number of other topics. He told me about a review of The Passion that is in Chalcedon Report. I read the review, which is by Brian Godawa. I've read many review of the movie, and this is the best that I have found. You can find the review here: Godawa Review.

I will miss the wine tasting event tomorrow night at Café Margaux. I hate to pass it up but spending time camping and fishing with the boys is priceless.

I have posted an article I wrote on religion and the American Revolution on the History blog . It is a bit long (between four and six pages) but I hope some folks will check it out.

It is time for me to finish the two fingers of bourbon (Jim Beam Black) in my glass and go to bed.

Dominus Vobiscum,

dimanche, mars 07, 2004

Yesterday was an uneventful day. I'm still on light duty because of my ribs. I didn't my unit, instead yesterday was our monthly Rescue Team training. I am on the refineries confined-space/high-angle rescue team. I was not of much use to the team I was just there. I was supposed to leave tomorrow for Texas A&M for a week long rescue class. Now I will likely be rescheduled for a ROCO Rescue school in Beaumont, Texas next October or November.

Today was a good day. I spent most of it with the little boys. Lisa and Morgan had a mom/daughter day and Christian spent much of the day with his cousin Ryan, so I took the little boys and drove up to Longville for the day. It was a beautiful day to spend in the country. We had a weenie roast and walked about to see how my dad's fruit trees, grapes (muscadines) and land was looking. The birds were actively congregating at the many feeders my parents have out. The Cardinals were there in full force and other birds were seen elsewhere on the property.

My parents (Bud and Dot), my brother Terry, sister Sandy, her daughter Recie were there, as was another niece Shannon (eldest daughter of my late brother). A couple of my parents neighbours had also dropped in for hotdogs and visiting. We had a good time. Later that evening, after the sun had set and a beautiful moon had come up, mom made a pot of dark roast Community Coffee. We sat around, drank coffee and visited some more. Then the little boys and I got back into my truck and headed back for home.

My mom, sister and nieces had gone to the Saturday morning garage sales at Fort Polk. Mom picked me up a framed, matted and numbered print by Clyde Heron. The print is of the great Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. It is very nice. You can see the print here: Lt. General N.B. Forrest .

This morning we worshipped at Bethel (PCA). Our pastor is out of town and Elder Ben filled the pulpit in his place. It was a good to worship the Lord with the liturgy and with the people at Bethel.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, mars 03, 2004

Last night I went to see Master and Commander with my buddy Chester. It is a very good movie. That's two movies I have at the theater seen since the first of the year, which is way more than I normally see in a couple years.

Today's big news is the book sale at our local (parish) library. I spent a good bit of time there after work and bought 24 books (all hard bound). I am very excited about several of these books. One of the best finds is Luigi Albertini's seminal three volume work: "The Origins of the War of 1914."

I was mostly looking for biographies and history, but I also scouped up a work by E.P. Sanders (a somewhat liberal) English theologian titled The Historical Figure of Jesus. I also picked up The Wayward Bus by one of my favourite 20th century writers, John Steinbeck. I also picked up several childrens books.

I am something of a bibliophile and would love to go into detail about all the books I bought today, but I think that would make this a very long post, and then I would want to discuss other books in my library. I would be up all night typing.

I did place a new post on As I see it! today. It is (obviously) something I find interesting.

This was a good evening. The little boys did their nightly reading and math work with Lisa and me. Now we have prayed and they (the little boys) have gone to bed.

It is warm and humid tonight winter is going; spring is coming and it will soon be, as it is every summer, very hot and very humid here in SW Louisiana. uuugghhh! Oh well, I think I will pour me a glass of wine (or maybe a cold beer) pick up a good book and read a bit before I go to sleep.

Dominus Vobiscum,

lundi, mars 01, 2004

I've not blogged since Mardi Gras day which was a week ago so I will try and catch matters up a bit. I guess the big thing I did was go to see The Passion Of The Christ . I personally found it to be a very good show. I was able to see the movie because my good friend Gary J had an extra ticket for the 4: pm opening day feature and he called me and invited me to go with him and Liz (the wife of his youth).

Wednesday evening, while the movie was still fresh in my mind I wrote comments about it. I posted them on MrWonder’s Bible Chat. Keep in mind that much of what I wrote was in response to other's questions and criticisms. Here is what I wrote:

First: This is a visually powerful movie and it is well made and not cheesy like so many "religious films" these days.

Second: On the subject of anti-Semitism This is what I have to say -- "If you find this movie anti-Semitic it's only because you've come to the movie predisposed to see anti-Semitism where it does not exist."

If this movie is anti-Semitic than so are the four Gospels and many of Paul's epistles. Gibson actually tones down the part played by the High Priest and Sanhedrin by editing out their words to Pilate where they say "His blood be on us and on our children." (Matt. 27:25)

Third: A non-Roman Catholic would likely have played down some of the Mary stuff, but GIbson, as a Roman Catholic, did not over do it either. I don't think he over does it in his portrayal of Mary, but had he pushed things much further he could have.

It is a good movie. I think some things could have been done differently, but I am not a writer, director or actor so I accept this as their movie. They did it their way and that’s that. It is very powerfully done and I think it is a good movie and highly recommend it to all.

It will not return America or Europe to their Christian foundations (no movie can), but it can be used as a powerful tool in the proclamation of the Gospel.

I then add these following comments:

The resurrection scene is very well done, and though short it makes the point. Had I been the writer or director I would have added to it, but I was not. Still even though short it is powerfully done and leaves no doubt that Jesus, who was dead, is risen from the dead.

Remember the title of the movie is "The Passion" and that has to do with the crucifixion of Christ. Gibson did not shrink from the Gospel. He presented Christ as Messiah, the Son of God and God who died for our sins and and conquered death when He rose again from the dead.

If I were a movie maker, I would have done several things differently, but I am not and never will be.

This movie harkens back to a time when Christian themes were treated respectfully by Hollywood. It is a great movie that stays very close to the Gospels. Gibson does do a few Hollywood things, but even these (for the most) part are well done.

I hope everyone will go see it and Gibson makes a ton of money. Then perhaps one or two Hollywood types will at least see that it pays to treat Christian subjects respectfully.

I was told that my pastor spoke out strongly against the movie this last Sunday (I had to work and missed Sunday services). From what I have heard I am sure I understand his position, though I differ with it. Then again, I have never met a person (even a fellow Reformed Christian) with whom I agree with on every point. I even disagree with John Calvin, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen and Rev. Ron Davis (my late Bro-in-law) on some matters, and they are the Christian preachers and theologians that I claim as my dearest theological mentors.

The only other interesting thing I did last week was go to another wine tasting event at Café Margaux last Friday. MK made it as did Gary and Liz, and Jimmy and Lois, as well as Jennifer, Karen and a number of other people I know. I did purchase a couple of bottles of one of the Merlot’s that we tasted. The best wine there was a Cabernet, but it was $45 dollars a bottle. That is way over what I can afford to pay for a good bottle of wine.

I worked all weekend and today I am being taken off shift, and therefore I have to start working week days today for 8 hour days. So now I won’t be following my shift or my normal crew. I would be working off today and would have been off until Friday evening. Now I will be working from 7-3 all week and will be off for the weekend.

This is all because of my broken ribs. I did get them x-rayed again Thursday. The good news is the broken parts are touching again. The bad news is they haven’t yet started to mind.

Coram Deo,