mercredi, décembre 28, 2005

Today is the last of my days off. I start daylight shift tomorrow.

I ended last night standing on an extension ladder, replacing the ceiling fan in the foyer. The ceiling fan has not worked since Hurrican Rita. During the storm water poured through the ceiling, down into the fan and filled the center light globe full of water. I started today doing the same thing that I ended yesterday doing. I had to take down the new light fixture and re-hang it. It’s a large 9-bulb light that hangs on a five-foot chain. It is very nice. Of course Lisa picked it out.

Next I removed three other lights in the hall (Lisa and Morgan did not like them) and I “safed up” the wiring in the wall and covered the holes with sheetrock. I did other odd and ends, then Jeff Nordstrom picked up the little boys and me and we headed for Longville.

On his trailer, Jeff had a compound mitre saw that he sold to Terry; we took the saw to Terry and then we loaded up a cord of wood (or so) on the trailer for Jeff. After that we went into Mom and Dad’s house and visited while enjoying a cup of Dark Roast Community coffee.

When the boys and I got home we fond that Lisa and Morgan had gone to eat at Chile’s. They returned with lights for Morgan’s room. I just finished installing them.

The one other thing I did today today was stumble onto a website titled I found my old Helicopter Squadron (HSL 33) at the site and then I found a few of my old Navy buddies that I have not heard from in years, some that I have not heard from since leaving the Navy in 1982. I'm pretty excited about contacting these guys.

now I am going to install another light in the upstairs hall; when that job is finished I plan to get a cold beer and head for the tub where I plan to soak for a nice long time with my beer and a book (Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945).

Coram Deo,
Ps. BTW I finally finished JND Kelly's book Early Christian Doctrine. Turnarounds, hurricanes, and post hurricane home repair have caused me to take way too long to read this work. I found it very informative. I also finished Athenagoras' A Plea For the Christians (circa 177 AD) which he addressed to Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus.

mardi, décembre 27, 2005

We had a very merry Lord’s Day Christmas. Our family opened gifts on Christmas Eve so we would not be rushed to get ready for Church on Christmas morning. We were rushed anyway because I forgot to set the alarm. We made it to worship services at Covenant (Sulphur) Church on time, but woke up to late to go to Bethel in Lake Charles.

Pastor Mark was filling both pulpits and he told me that we would have heard the same sermon no matter which service we attended. After Church we came home ate and got ready to go head for Longville and meet with my family (this was very unusual, we usually stay home on Christmas, and we like it that way, but the family could not get together earlier this year).

Monday after Christmas Lisa and I worked on storm damage (the saga continues ad nauseum). Pastor Mark came over as we were quitting for the day, so he and I went to the front porch where we each enjoyed a fine cigar, liquid refreshments, a nice fire and stimulating conversation (I enjoyed these things and I think he did also). It was a good end to a hard day's work.

Now I am off to say prayers with my young sons (who have been allowed to stay up extra late tonight). Then I hope to retire with a book.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, décembre 22, 2005

Hopefully this is my last shift to work until after Christmas. I work off in the morning and (if no one calls in sick) I will not return to work until next Thursday on days.

I spent the last three hours of my shift last night outside in 35 degree weather. We had some minor problems because of the cold that kept us out there. It shouldn't be as cold tonight and we are doing things to avert the same problem on this shift.

After having a busy late shift, I had to stay over for a couple of hours this morning. I did not get home until eight o’clock this morning. That cut into my sleep time a good bit. When I woke I did some more painting in the living room. We are trying to get it put back together so we can have one good, undamaged room in the house for Christmas morning.

Matt brought a couple of deer roasts to cook for our supper tonight, so we are hoping to eat good this evening.

My throat is scratchy and my nose is starting to run. This does not bode well for my days off. Oh well. We will make the best of it.

Corem Deo,

mercredi, décembre 21, 2005

I finished my first of four graveyards yesterday morning. After work I listened to a discussion between R.C. Sproul and Abdul Saleeb titled The Dark Side of Islam as I drove home. After arriving at the house I popped open a can of Guinness Drought and drank it slowly while I finished listening to this section of the 5 part series.

After that I went inside and went to sleep. Lisa woke me at 1 PM. I worked on hurricane repairs until it was time to get ready for work again.

lundi, décembre 19, 2005

These are busy times. We're making slow progress repairing hurricane damage around the house. I have taken the come-a-long off of the garage. I had used it to square the garage back up (after a very large oak fell on in during the storm). The garage still needs a lot of work, but I have been mainly working in the house during my last set of days off.

I took a break Friday and MK and I took our boys to see The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought it was very good.

Saturday too, I did not get much work done. That morning Gary J, Toney B and I made a run to Specs Liquor store in Beaumont, TX. It is big and has a very large wine selection. I bought some wines.

Sunday we worshiped at Covenant PCA in Sulphur.

Today I cooked breakfast for the family. I made pain perdu (that’s the Cajun name for what most folks call French toast) for everyone. It’s a favourite for the kids and is always a special treat.

The rest of the day was spent working on the house, napping before coming to work and starting this set of graveyards.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, décembre 07, 2005

Work, work and more work. I am now back on daylight shift. I worked of graveyards Monday morning. So my time off was only 24 hours and much of that was spent sleeping. When I was awake I was pretty useless due to a bad headache, which is unusual for me.

The only thing I did Monday that I would consider worthwhile was I to spend a little time with the family. That was good.

Coram Deo,

Ps. Remember Pearl Harbor (64 years ago today).

lundi, décembre 05, 2005

It is growing cold outside and it is very wet as well.

We have been fairly busy at work this evening, but that is ok because they are paying us a good wage to come here and do a job.

I work off in the morning, but have to come back to work on Tuesday days for overtime. I will have no days off this coming week. My next day off will be Thursday of the following week. Yuk.

I can use the money to get more work done on the house. I drove to night, so in the morning Gary and I will have beer (or Bourbon) at his place before I head home to sleep.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, décembre 01, 2005

I’m back working at the refinery. I worked on the garage and the house while on vacation for Thanksgiving week. I needed to come to work so I could have a break and let my body stop hurting.

During my days off I did get a new deck put on the garage and rebuilt its north gable. I also replaced a bunch of sheetrock in Morgan’s closet. I also got our insurance information to the mortgage company, so I am hoping they send us some of the money to continue house repairs.

We’ve spent about $10,000 on repairs thus far and have a lot more to do. I’m doing most of the work myself so we will have enough money to do the needed repairs, plus contractors are hard to come by. Most of the ones I’ve spoken with have said it would two or three months before they can even think about getting to our house. I can’t wait that long.

The vacation wasn’t all work. I did get to spend some time on our now cluttered porch with some friends on a number of evenings. Lisa and I spent some time on the Porch with, MK and Lisa, Pastor Mark and his lovely wife-Peggy, and Gary J. We had some good wines, beers, mixed drinks and even a cigar or two.

I read what I believe to be a VERY good article written by Pastor Mark. It’s titled The Westminster Standards vs. the Current Controversy (it is also here). I found it to be reasonable and refreshing to read on the current hoopla over so called “Federal Vision.”

I do hope reason well return to the Reformed Camp and these issue can be discussed without all the hyperbole and fireworks that been seen in the past.

Coram Deo,

samedi, novembre 19, 2005

Today was a big day. I got home this morning, poured me a Samuel Adams into an Ice cold mug and read some in F.F. Bruce's Commentary on John's Gospel. After finishing my beer I set down the book and went to sleep. The good/bad news for this morning was the roofers were coming today. They arrived early and started their work, which can be, and was, noisy. I knew they were coming so I put the box fan right next to my head and put in some earplugs when I went to bed. I hoped this would allow me to sleep. The roofers did wake me a couple of times, but I was able to go right back to sleep.

I got up at about 11:30, which is very early, to start getting ready for a wedding. Lisa and I went to Jared and Ashley’s wedding at Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Father Gilbeau conducted a beautiful wedding. After the wedding we went to Mazen’s (the best restaurant in SW Louisiana) for the reception. We ate some wonderful food and visited with friends for a while. I had to work tonight, so I only had one beer (New Castle Brown Ale) and we left the reception early.

When Lisa and I got home or roof was finished and looked good. The blue roof is gone!!!!

C. Cudd volunteered to cover me at work for a few hours so I did not have to go in at the normal time. I tried to sleep when I got home but was unable to so I watched the movie Troy (again) instead.

I got to work at about 7:30. I am tired. This is going to be a hard night’s work. The good news is I am on vacation when I leave here in the morning.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, novembre 18, 2005

After a very hard night at work (work was not hard –staying awake was hard) I went home and instead of going to sleep I spent two hours looking for our two missing Labrador Retrievers (a yellow and a black). They got out early last night. My wife and son both spent a good deal of time calling for them shortly after their escape from the yard.

Lisa and the little boys left early this morning, so they could run by Walmart before school. As she left the store, one of the boys saw the dogs sitting by the store entrance. We assume they saw Lisa and the boys go in and were waiting for them to come out. They were thrilled to see a familiar face and loaded up in the Jeep and came home.

With the dogs safe at home I finally went to bed. The dogs and I slept all day. I got up in time to pick up the boys, run an errand and I’m back at work.

We did have a delivery of roofing supplies in the yard when I woke up. They should start replacing our FEMA blue roof tomorrow. I had hoped to have the garage roof re-decked so it too could be re-roofed but all this overtime has killed that possibility.

I will do that work next week while on vacation.

Coram Deo,
I just found out how to put pictures on my blog, so I thought I would start by putting a picture of the man who I think is the greatest man in American history: Robert E. Lee.

Lee was a great Christian man. He did his duty knowing that it would very likely cost him everything he had (and it did). In defeat he remained a humble Christian who sought to serve others and continue to do his duty.

Lee was a man who was gifted by God and he used those gifts to serve the Lord in his calling.

Now on to my own stuff. We have to Labrador Retirevers (a Black and a yellow). Tonight the gate was not closed well and they got out of the yard and are missing. Christian is very upset because he dearly loves Oakley (the black Lab). I'm hoping they're home in the morning.

I did not get enough sleep today. Christian needed my help to run a couple of important errands, so he got me up early and I never go back to sleep. I still feel good but when it gets to 3 or 4 in the morning it gets really rough.

Cram Deo,

mercredi, novembre 16, 2005

Tonight is my first night of 4 nights of overtime. I was hoping to have the next few days off so I could replace the decking on my garage roof. Roofers are supposed to be at the house Saturday. I was hoping to get the garage finished so they could get everything done at the same time. Since I won’t be able to get the garage finished they will have to come back another day or I will have to do the job myself.

Tonight is my sixth graveyard and I have three more after tonight, then I will be on vacation, which I will use to work on the garage, house and yard. I will have 48 hours of overtime this week. We're going to need the money for lots of Rita repairs.

I’ve started reading F.F. Bruce’s Commentary on the Gospel of John. He does a very good job on chapter one of the John’s Gospel.


samedi, novembre 12, 2005

Things are still slogging along here in our post Hurricane Rita world. Our house and property are still looking bad, but we are all doing fine.

I’ve been putting in a lot of hours on my garage. I tore most of the deck (that was left) off. I removed all the facial boards off the front of the garage and I then hooked up a come-along and pulled it back to where it was square from east to west, but this through it off north to south. So let out on the come-along and then built a strong back for the north-south run.

It took a number of attempts, but it is now square. With Terry’s help, I’ve replaced the rafters that were destroyed and hope to but the deck on as soon as I get a day off.

At the age of 45 I finally own a new vehicle. We bought several for Lisa over the years but I finally bought one for me. We gave our old van to our niece Kimberlee and bought the bottom line Dodge pickup truck. I also signed for Christian to buy him one and we are looking at getting a vehicle for Morgan.

We went into the hurricane with four vehicles (3 of them were wrecks). After the storm we were down to one vehicle. Now we are up to three.

Rev. Mark Duncan, the new pastor of Covenant PCA here in Sulphur is now a near neighbour of ours. He was a lot of help to me after the hurricane and has stopped and visited with Lisa and me on the porch a few times now. I’m hoping we can soon get to know his wife soon too.

I’m working graveyard shift again. This week I’m driving and Gary is supplying the beer after work. It was exactly the opposite before I got the truck, but now that I have a dependable vehicle he can switch off. This morning Gary, Kevin C. and I all stopped at Gary’s and had a few Killians before heading home for bed. TK was supposed to join us but was unable to do so.

Lisa said that a FEMA rep was coming over to the house in the morning. (Sunday is not a good day for that, but folks with an ox in the ditch have to take these things as they come.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, novembre 06, 2005

Things are starting to get back to normal. Everyone is back at work and/or school. I’ve started working on things around the house (as opposed to cutting up fallen trees and limbs).

I started removing the deck off the roof of the garage. On of the large oaks we had landed on the garage and my work van. The garage is tore up pretty bad, about 1/3 of the roof was crushed and the front of the garage is leaning to the west.

I hope I can straighten it out by taking of the roof and facial boards, and then put it all back together. The insurance is not enough to pay someone to do it, and even if it were it would take months just to be able to get a crew to do it.

The damage in the house will have to wait for me to finish in the garage. I will need to put down new floors and replace a ceiling (sheetrock) and some walls in several rooms. Lisa and I were already planning to renovate the kitchen (one place where we got some damage) so I will do all this inside work at one time.

I am going to hire someone to re-roof (shingle) the house and garage. I’ve been trying to get someone to come out and look at it and give me a bid. I’ve called a number of contractors and have only gotten one of them to come by. He was out of the ball park with his estimate. He quoted me $300 a square (mega price gauging). I have a 12 on 12 pitch so I will have to pay extra, but that is ridicules.

I broke down and bought a new truck to replace the old van the tree landed on. I looked at several used vehicles and decided to get the bottom line new Dodge. This is my first ever official new vehicle and I’m only 45 years old. (My wife has had several new ones, but that doesn’t count.)

I’ve decided that I don’t like hurricanes. Rita has torn this place up. It has been six weeks since the storm and we have a very, very long way to go to get this place cleaned up and looking good again. Even with our damages we are blessed to be able to live in our own house and we still have jobs. That’s better than many of the people around us.

Coram Deo,
Ps. I have lots of work to do so my posting will continue to be slow for a while.

dimanche, octobre 23, 2005

My posting has been none existant since Hurricane Rita blew through here. I was posting things on the Semper Reformanda section of Christian Forums during that time. I am going to place that stuff here and I am working on a Hurricane article andwill post it when complete.

Here is the Semper Reformanda stuff:
22 Sept. 2005 -- 6:33 AM:
Well folks, looks like Rita has taken a more northerly course and we are now looks like SE Texas and SW Louisiana are gonna take it on the chin.I live less than 25 miles from Texas and about thirty miles inland from the Gulf, but most of what lies between me and the gulf is marsh land.

Keep us in your prayers. I've gotta go. There is lots of work to do before Rita slams into us here.

In Christ,
22 Sept 2005 -- 4:54 PM

Well, it has been a very hot sunny day here. I've boarded up all the windows facing South and east. The roads out of here are clogged, and I am beginning to think it will be better to be in my home instead of stranded in my car when this gal hits.

We are under mandatory evacutation orders, but you can't get out. I am on fairly high ground for these parts (13 feet above sea level, but 30 miles from the coast.), and I think we will have to ride her out in our closet.

My dad made it through Audry (1957) which was a cateigory 4 storm also. Audry killed over six hundred people in Cameron Parish (we don't have counties), which is just south of where I am. But this area where I live, while it took a lot of wind damage, was far enough inland to escape the tidal surge (which is what klilled all the folks in Cameron).

Thats the bad thing, they tell you to get out but the roads can't handle the amount of traffik that such an order produces.I will update as I am able. When the power goes out, it will be out for several weeks (I do own a generator), so I will be off line for a while.Keep on praying for us. We are doing all we can to stay safe. We are in God's hands.

BTW: Jon, you have given me good advice. If the roads clear out I will take it.

Soli Deo Gloria,
22 Sept. 2005 -- 10:32 PM
Thank You all.Here are is the latest info on Rita (there is good news. She has weakend from 175 MPH winds to now a bit over 140 MPH winds.)-- looking for a silver lining.

BTW: Buy all the gasoline you can. The refinery I work at shutdown today . We are a 250,000 barrel a day ( BPD) refinary. The price is going to shoot up. There are more than a dozen otehr refineries that also shut down. If we loose power, which we expect, this means we can not restart the refinary until power comes back. These things take a long time to bring back up. If we could start tomorrow it would be a couple of weeks (at best -- and that is unusual) to get it back up to speed.

25 Sept. 2005 -- 5:29 PM


Its me. We are alive and well, but I have Major property damage as do thousands of other people around here. I did manage to get a generator and I am shocked that I have phone line (land lines cell are dead). I have DSL so I can make a report.

This place is beat up badly. My own home had most the shingles ripped off the east side of my house and it is leaking like a lot all offer the house every time it rains. I had two large Oaks in my yard knocked down. One fell on my garage and a car. We have food and water to last a week or so. I only have a little gasoline so I will not be able to post often. It will only be on for a few hours every day to keep the Refridgerator cold. We will let the kids watch a dvd then as well.

Thanks for the prayers and please continue to do so.

The Lord bless y'all.
26 Sept 2005 -- 10:17 PM
Thanks. I have the generator on for a couple of hours. We are under lock down here. There are national guard and police at every entrance into this town and many others in east Texas and SW Louisiana. You can leave but it is very hard to get in, unless you are like me, and work at an oil refinery. The Gov. wants us here.

I SENT MY WIFE AND CHILDREN AWAY to friends who live about 70 miles east. They have electricity, is very HOT and MUGGY. but I have plenty of food and water. We are not New Orleans, so there are very few looters, but there are a few, so I am watching my place and my neighbours homes also. I am well armed (it is a Southern thing) so all should be ok. Looters are cowards and don't like to mess with others who have guns.

Keep us in your prayers. My widowed sister-in-law has a pine tree that fell through her house. Most of the heavy damage here is from uprooted or broken trees. It is unbelievable. It looks like a bomb went off in most neighbour hoods.

God has been good. Things could have been much worst; the storm lost 50 MPH of her winds before she hit. She had gotten to 175 mph winds but hit at 125 mph winds.

The damage from 125 is awesome. I don,t think my house would be here at all if Rita had stayed at 175.

Gotta go.
Thanks for the prayers.

26 Sept. 2005 -- 10:41 PM
I appreciate the concern. My generator is outside under my porch and I have extension cords running into the house. So it is running safely. Some folks have asphyxiated themselves? Unbelievable.

We are looking forward to a cool front coming through here in a few days. It is 95 deg. with a heat index of 105-110. 100% humidity. Yuck.

Food and water are available and there are workcrews from the power company out in force. It may be a couple of months in some areas before power is resatored.

In Christ our Saviour's name,
27 Sept. 2005 -- 4:41 PM
Everyone is OK. I am staying at the house trying to fix up and clean up. Mike [Seep] has been commuting between here and Arkansas. Mike's family is in Arkansas, but his house and property are fine. Mike is on his way back from Arkansas. He went there to pick up a couple of diesel generators for his inlaws. They live in Ragley and have no power, water or phones.

My property took a good hit. My garage is toast and I have major shingle damage, which allowed for some water damage inside, but it could have been much worse, and it was for a lot of people.

My wife and kids are staying with some friends (PCA elderand his wife) who live in Grand Couteau. She brought me ice and tarps today. I hope she can bring gasoline tomorrow.

How did your folks come out of this storm?

Coram Deo,
28 Sept. 2005 -- 9:10 PM
I am on generator backup power. The familyu is about 70 miles east. I'm still home guarding the homestead.

It is hot and muggy. The word today is it will be four weeks before we get power. I hope that is bad info. We will see.

The reports from here on will likely be pretty boring. "Worked hard and sweated all day will do same tomorrow" etc...

I have to give praise to the Southern Baptist relief folk. They are here in force declaring the love of Christ by their deeds. Most of them here are retired folk and they are feeding people (with food and Bibles), housing them, washing their (my) cloths, providing showers clearing downed trees. Most of the SBC folk working in my area are from Tennessee.

I praise God for them!!!

Coram Deo,
2 Oct. 2005 -- 9:17 PM
UPDATE:A lot of the same. No power here. There are a view places that now have power, but they are few and far between.

I went to Grand Couteau last night and spent the evening with my family. I spent the night and worshipped with the PCA folks at the Church in Lafayette.

I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow. The refinery doesn't yet have power, but they are working on it.

In Christ,
3 Oct. 2005 -- 9:35 PM
Update:I am back at work, but we have a long way to go to get things back up and running. I came to work this morning but volunteered for the night shift so I went home and came back this evening.

There is now electricity here and there in different neighbourhoods. It is not yet available in mine, so when we work off in the morning a number of us are going to a co-workers house that does have power so we can sleep in airconditioned rooms .

Looks like we will be working everyday for a good while.

The family is doing fine in Grand Couteau; I'm at work and things are moving forward.

In Christ,
4 Oct. 2005 -- 10:58 AM
Tell Sarah I said hello, and I hope she is feeling better.

Yes, my family is staying at Sarah's parents house. I joined them Saturday evening and we worshipped with the Lafayette PCA congregation Sunday morning.

Paster Stan delivered a very good message. He saw Rosalee, but Sarah did not come home for the weekend.

Dr. Mike is in town somewhere. I hope to get in touch with him today.

In Christ,

23 Oct 2005 -- 8:46 PM

Things are improving daily. Most stores are open. We did have a good bit of Christian support especially from the Southern Baptist. They did great work.

The PCA also sent some folks in to help with our widows and families really hard hit.

We are still waiting on insurance to come by the house. We will need a new roof and garage, but our roof is tarpped and secure from rain. We've had power for a little more than a week and that has gone a long way to making things normal again.

The local schools are supposed to start back Tuesday. They have been closed since before Rita hit a months ago.

We are well some folks here lost everything, especially those in the Parish (county for the rest of you) south of us. There is nothing left down there. The towns on the coast don't exist anymore. Some don't have one building left.We are about twenty five or thirty miles from the gulf and that makes a big difference.

This was our first direct hit from a major storm in 48 years. This time folks got out of the way and saved their lives, last time (1957) hundreds upon hundreds died.

Our refinery is limping back into production of gasoline (so we will see some savings at the pumps soon--I hope).

I am very thankful for your prayers.

In Christ,

I hope to my article on the blog soon.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, septembre 18, 2005

Tonight is hot and muggy even though the weather on the web shows that it is supposedly one degree cooler than it was last night. The humidity is way up from last night.

Gary and I did have a beer on the front porch yesterday. It was Abita Amber (which is a good beer) and we are planning on have another one when we knock off in the morning.

I slept pretty good yesterday. I got up a little after one in the afternoon, which is a little early for me but I am doing weell this evening. When I awoke, there was knowone home. I took the dogs out to do their business and then just vegitated until it was time to come to work. I did turn on Ben-Hur and whatched the first half of that great classic movie.

The only part of the family I saw today was Christian and that was only for a few minutes.

That is all for tonight,

samedi, septembre 17, 2005

This is my first night of Graveyard shift. It is an awesome night. I think we turned the corner on the summer. It's started cooling off in the evenings. That's something that does not happen here in the mid summer period. The local whether on the web shows 79 deg outside, but it seems a little cooler than that. It must be the breeze.

I'm top operator on the unit tonight. I'm pumped up into that position, and have been for a couple of years. Officially I'm still a board man (he's the guy who sits in front of six or seven computer screens and runs these units. The top is kind of like a working foreman. I have two "board people" and three "outside people" that I work with.

I just came inside after making a round through our units. It is a beautiful night; the moon is full and brillant and I have about more than two hours left to go for my shift. I rode to work with Gary. When we work off in the morning we're gonna have a beer (Abita Amber) on the front porch before he heads home and I go to my graveyard room.

I should sleep until about 2 pm. That is pretty normal for me on graveyards. Lisa and all the kids (grown and not so grown) were doing well when I came to work.

I pick up a couple of movies at Walmart this evening. One for me, Ben Hur, and one for Lisa, Singing in the Rain.

Time to get back to work.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, septembre 14, 2005

Yesterday I went with my dad to the VA hospital in Houston. He had to have an eye exam and needed somebody to drive back to Louisiana. It was great to spend a day with him, just visiting and discussing different subjects. We discussed theology a bit (which is not unusual), LSU football, family and lots of other items.

I brought lots of reading material because I assumed there would be a lot of waiting, and I was correct. The folks at the VA were running behind. They had lots of refugees from N.O. area to work in. I read a number of letters from John Calvin that I brought along.

I like reading correspondence from those in the past. Calvin’s Institutes are great, but you don’t get to see the humanity of the man who wrote them. You get to know people as people when you have the chance to read their personal letters.

I have work to do around the house (I don’t want to say “house work”) so this will be all the blogging for now.

In Christ,

vendredi, septembre 09, 2005

This summer my blogging has been sporadic at best. It’s been mid-August since my last instalment so let me see if I can catch things up a little bit. My Lisa and Lisa S. went to Utah for education a few weeks back. I took off from work to keep the kids going and maintain the house in some semblance of order. The children all did fine, but I don’t think my house keeping skills are the best in the world, but we did survive and Lisa returned home safely. She was awed by the beauty that she the country around where she was at.

I did not get as much reading done over the summer as I had hoped. I could not read in June because I was on turnaround and afterwards I was just burnt out and it took me a while to recoup and be in the mood to read a book (Though I did read short articles then.) Still I did get through FF Bruce and Bruce Metzger’s books on the Canon of Scripture. I also finished A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland by John Mack Faragher. This is a GREAT BOOK. I also managed to read the letters between St Jerome and St. Augustine (early 4th century). I enjoyed them. Some of the subject matter was very interesting. St. Jerome was pretty testy at the beginning of their correspondence but was not so in the latter letters.

I had to put Calvin’s Institutes aside, along J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines aside for a time, but I am ready to pick both of them back up and get them (at least Kelly’s book) finished soon. I’ve also started reading Federal Vision, so I can get a handle on the issues involved in this current controversy.

I will try to do a better job blogging this next month.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, août 14, 2005

My training at work, on our new unit, went well last. I still have a lot to learn, but I was able to trace some things out. I still need to do a lot more of the same.

Wednesday TK invited Kevin Clopton and me over for suds and conversation. He splurged and provided us with Chimay bière, boudin, chips and dip. We had a great visit and a wonderful time discussing history (church and otherwise) and theology.

TK and I both got of work at 3 PM on Thursday, so he came over after work for a beer. My neighbour Stan joined us (Stan had water) on the porch. TK and Stan are old friends. They worshipped together at First Baptist Church of Sulphur for many years. Then the mailman stopped by. He too is an old FBC member, but he has become a Calvinist and is looking around for a church that is closer to where he is theologically.

My good friend and fellow rescue team member, Ted Allen’s father died, so I went and paid my respects on Friday. Mr. Allen was WWII veteran. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Silver Star and a Purple Heart during the war. He was a true American hero. (Ted has written some comments about his dad on his on blog here.)

Saturday I attended the wedding of my buddy Fred Slawson’s daughter, Shawna. It was a nice wedding.

Sunday Lisa, the little boys and I attended worship services at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Mark Duncan, their new pastor, was preaching and I wanted to hear him. I have heard Rev. Duncan preach a number of times before, but I thought it would be good to hear him again. The sermon was from Genesis, and it was excellent. Another bonus was we where able to celebrate the Lord’s Supper today.

Mark Duncan has a website. It can be found by clicking here.

After Church we came home, ate dinner and I went to bed, so that I could work tonight.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, août 10, 2005

Things around the house have been ok, but not great. Lisa has been sick for more than a week. Last week she came down with strep throat and an ear ache. She was very sick for several days and was on the starting to feel better by Sunday, has relapsed some since then. Today she is going to see MK. He is going to give her a shot to get her over this stuff.

At work, I’m training on our new unit at work this week. We will be commissioning it soon and I have lots yet to learn on it.

TK has transferred to the docks and since we are both training this week, he was able to come over after work on Monday. We sat on the front porch, drank a couple of Killians and visited. It was nice, because we have been on different shifts and have not been able to get together much in the last few years.

Yesterday, Gary J. came by with some New Castle Brown Ale’s on ice so we sat on the porch, drank a few beers and watched a beautiful downpour and lightening storm.

Gotta get to work.

mardi, août 02, 2005

I had another good set of days off, after working off graveyard shift last Monday morning. Monday was a loss day. I slept until about two in the afternoon and then just vegetated around the house.

Wednesday the little boy’s and I went to Longville to fish. We visited with family for a little while, and then my brother Terry and I took the boys to Sandy’s to fish. The fish were not biting to good, but everyone caught a few fish (bluegill and small bass).

After a couple of hours of fishing we decided it was time to swim. So we swam the rest of the afternoon. We all had a great time including Oakley (Christian’s Labrador retriever) who had made the trip to Longville with us. Oakley and the kids had a great time in the pond. We even got Oakley to go off the diving board.

We were dog sitting this last weekend. Hammer, a 90 lbs American bulldog, was our houseguest from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. He’s massive but very good dog. He is also much bigger than any dog I would ever want to have.

Saturday we spent much of the day at the Seep’s. It was their son’s birthday and so we went over with the little boys. They had a great time playing videogames and then swimming in the pool. Mike and I visited outside while our wives visited on the inside. While we were there Josh P. and his son came over. The boy soon joined the other kids in the pool and Josh joined Mike and me. We watched the children swim, enjoyed a couple of drinks and discussed off shore fishing (which Mike and Josh did that morning), books and theology.

Sunday we worshipped at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sulphur. They had a guest pastor preaching. I have heard some very good things about him and I wanted to hear preach. Lisa, the little boys and I ate dinner at the church and visited with friends, before heading home.

Later that evening the folks at Covenant had a fellowship at the Church. Just after our dog owning friends picked up hammer, Gary J. called to see if Lisa and I were going to the fellowship. Lisa had started watching a movie with the little boys (at their request), so she was unwilling leave. Tommy K. (a.k.a. A.R. Minian) told Gary that he had brought a bottle of Terrazas Malbec. I spoke with Lisa and then headed out to Covenant. There was a good group gathered when I got there. Most of the young men were throwing a football around. Everyone else was sitting around talking. I found a chair and pulled up next to T.K. (i.e. A.R. Minian) and pour a glass of Malbec. That is a good wine.

I have enjoyed the Sunday afternoon Covenant fellowships every time I have been able to make one.

vendredi, juillet 22, 2005

This was a good week. I worked off Monday afternoon and only returned to work this evening. Tuesday I stayed home with the little boys. I cutgrass and spent time with the boys and our dog (a Labrador retriever). That evening Lisa and I went out to eat with Gary and Liz Johnson.

We went to the special wine dinner at Johnny Carino’s. It was awesome. The food was great. Three of the four wines were good, but one of the wines was very good. That wine was from Argentina and it is the first Argentine wine that I have ever had. It was wonderful. The wine was a Terrazas Malbec. I will be looking to buy several bottles of this wine. (BTW: You can drink all the wine you like at these dinners at Johnny Carino’s.) This was the fourth one of these events that Lisa and I have attended and each one has been excellent.

Wednesday I spent the day at home with the boys again. That evening I grilled some Ribs, pork steaks, steaks and dogs. It was Mike’s birthday and so Lisa invited the Seeps over. We enjoyed some good food and good wine. We also gave Mike a nice bottle of wine as a gift.

After eating supper Mike, our wives and I all went and sat on the front porch to talk. Mike brought a Scotch that he had heard was a fine whisky. It was a 16 year old Lagavulin (of course we only had two fingers each). Wow-- That is a fine Scotch whisky. It was like sipping on silk. We had a very nice evening sitting on the porch in our rockers (the men sipping whisky) and talking.

On Thursday Morgan, the little boy’s and I went to Longville. We visited with my folks for a while. I bought food for the kids on the way up there (I was not planning to eat). When we got there Mom had been frying pork chops, so I had to eat. It was so good.

It was good to visit. I spent time with Mom, Dad and Anne (my brother’s girlfriend). The boys played with their cousins. After a good vist and several cups of coffee, I loaded my crew, and Bailey my niece, in the Jeep and we went to my sister Sandy's place to swim in her pond. All the kids had a great time. I swam with them for a while, but then I got out and found a place to watch them from the shade. I don’t get much sun and it was a good thing I got out when I did.

I hope to repeat this trip when I am off next week, except next week I hope to do some fishing too.

Coram Deo,

samedi, juillet 16, 2005

I’m at work. Back on my regular shift, and glad to be here. Since then I’ve only had two full days off since the last half of May. Next week I should have three whole days off. I’m hoping to take the kids fishing for at least one of these days.

The last few days at work have been really busy. We first had instrument problems on a heater, then we had to deal with a plugged line and yesterday Steve Wood, Ron Metoyers and I spent about 8 hours on the side of a tower working on a level problem. Steve and I were back up there this morning. We’ve also had a couple of other problems this morning, but I think we are getting to a point where everything is lining out and (hopefully) the rest of our Saturday will be quiet.

We have a guest pastor coming to Bethel tomorrow. The Seeps, and Lisa and I are supposed to be taking the pastor, his wife and daughter out to eat tonight. We are going to Chili’s.

Our guest pastor is Rev. Duane Garner, he is associate pastor at Auburn Ave. PCA in Monroe. Sad thing is, I will not be able to attend worship services tomorrow because of work.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, juillet 06, 2005

Two years ago today my brother Gerry passed away, after a three year battle with colon and liver cancer. He died at his home. I was working at the time. Mike Seep, my brother’s doctor (and my best friend) called me at about one in the morning and told me that Gerry had passed away.

I rushed from work to my brother’s house. Mike was still there as was the whole family. I cried, sat next to Gerry’s bed, stroked his hair and told him goodbye.

I love him dearly and miss him terribly, but I am confident that I will see him again in glory. The Lord was gracious to my brother.

Cancer is a terrible thing. It slowly and painfully took my brother from us, but it gave him time to reflect and make things right with our holy God. Gerry made sure of his salvation and redemption in Christ while he was suffering.

I don’t know why the Lord took him. God keeps those secret things to himself, but He is sovereign and He blessed us with Gerry for forty-two years. In all things we are to give God honour and praise, even in a time like that, when our heart is broken and seems to us beyond mending.

Gerry I love you and miss you.

Soli Deo Gloria,

mardi, juillet 05, 2005

I’ve had one day off since my work on the turnaround ended on June 26. I was off this last Sunday and was able to attend Church with my family. Sunday school was taught by my friend Chester. He did a great job on an overview of the Abraham to Christ.

Lisa pointed out to me how good Chester did. She said he did not get bogged down in attempts to get into too much detail. This was a hint to me I do like to get into the minutia of a subject. I am supposed to be teaching this Sunday on the Old Testament Canon, and will try to follow Chester example, but I can make no promises.

After Church Sunday, the little boys and I drove up to Longville to spend the day. My folks were barbequing and so we spent the afternoon there. My brother, Terry’s children are down for the summer (they live in Oregon) and we had seen them since last summer. It was good to meet with them again.

With the turnaround over I have had more time at home. I’ve been able to get home between thee and four in the afternoon (instead of 7:30 at night). This gives me more time with the family. Last week I began reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe to the little boys.

I read this book, and the rest of The Chronicles of Narnia, to my older children when they were young, and I’m excited about reading it again to the little boys. The Chronicles of Narnia is such a great series of books. CS Lewis did a brilliant job writing them.

Yesterday, after working until 2 pm on the 4th of July, Lisa, the little boys and I went to Woody’s house for another barbeque (it too was very good). We spent the afternoon there and had a good time. There was plenty of good food and cold beer (always a winning combination). There were also several high dollar Bourbons that were that three of us brought for a taste test. The bourbons were Basil Hayden, Van Winkle Special Reserve, and Jefferson’s Reserve. All three of them are great bourbons. The Jefferson’s Reserve seems to have been the favourite, but I was most fond of the Van Winkle.

When we got home, Lisa found that the ceiling in the boy’s room was leaking. Our upstairs air-conditioner was leaking condensate and it messed up a small section of the boy’s ceiling, I will have to buy a sheet of sheetrock when I get off work today so I can fix the ceiling.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, juin 26, 2005

It’s Sunday and I’m at work finishing up the turnaround (TA) that I’ve been on since the beginning of June. Turnarounds always involve hard work and other difficulties, but this one was an unusually busy and difficult. I’m finishing up now and hope to leave work a few hours early today.

I’ve been working between 13 and 14 hours a day seven days a week (except for one week). I’m very tired and happy to see this TA come to an end. I’ve gotten home between 7:00 and 7:30 most every night, and I’ve been in bed by 8:30 just about everyday for the past month, so I’ve hardly seen the family. I am past ready to spend some time with Lisa and the kids.

I will write more when I’ve caught up on my family, my reading and my rest.

Coram Deo,

dimanche, juin 05, 2005

Today is Sunday and I am now in the thick of a unit shutdown/turnaround. Today is also my 14th day without a day off. I’m therefore tired. I’ve been working mostly 13 hour days. Yesterday I left the plant after only 12.5 hours. Wow!

When I get home I bath, eat visit with the family for a little while and go to bed. Last night I was a sleep by 9:30 and one night earlier this week I was asleep before 8:00. There was no one home that night when I arrived at home, so I bathed and laid down and fell fast asleep.

Today, Sunday, has been good. There is only a skeleton maintenance crew working, so my job has been much more relaxed. One of the ways I’m taking advantage of this day is to write this blog and catch up on email I’ve not had time to look at this week.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, mai 26, 2005

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately for several reasons. One reason is I’m not on my normal shift schedule at work; instead I’m working straight days getting ready for a turnaround. At home I trying to get some projects finished before the turnaround starts. These two things have disrupted my time for bloggraphy.

I did give my scheduled Sunday school lessons on the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. I think both lessons went well. After this turnaround I am supposed teach, at some point, on the development of the Biblical Canon. I’m pretty excited about this topic. I have already started reading F.F. Bruce’s book The Canon of Scripture. It is really good so far. I am looking at buying a number of other books to prepare for the class(es).

At home things a plodding along. I’ve been spending much of my time finishing the wooden fence I started. As of last night, it is all but complete. This needed to be finished before the turnaround, which starts on Saturday.

Do to my projects, the fence being the most important, I’ve been a bit slack in reading with the little boys, but I hope to correct that very soon.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, mai 11, 2005

This week I’m in class training on a new unit that my progression is getting soon. It’s still being built and we are to start it up later this year. I got to work at 6 AM to get caught up on some items and class started at 7 AM.

We finished up at 3 in the afternoon. The company gave us permission to stay over and train, but I would rather go home. I got home about 3:30 and went from there to a union meeting at 4:30.

After the union meeting I started working on my fence, but shut that down after a little while, because I had some company come over. Andy R. (from work) was going to the 7:30 union meeting and came over for a beer before the meeting. I had blogged many months ago that Andy was going to do this and it finally happened.

When Andy left for the meeting, I went back to work (with some help from Christian). I got a little work done, before I had to shut down for the night. After picking up my tools it was reading time. So I picked up the books the little boys are reading and went on the porch. They both read from their particular book. The oldest is reading a biography of Thomas Jefferson and the younger is reading a book on cats.

After family prayers we usually repeat either the Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles Creed. Last night before we said the Lord’s Prayer aloud together, I explained each part of it to them. I will be doing that with the creed as well.

It was a nice evening.

Coram Deo,

lundi, mai 09, 2005

The weekend was a good one. I started my Saturday morning by going to a Torah Class at Temple Sinai . The class was from 10 am until 11:30. It was an interesting class and I hope to make more of them when ever the Rabbi is in town.

After the Torah class I went home, picked up the little boys and took them shopping for Mother’s Day. They each picked out some jewellery for their mom. After returning from Mother’s Day shopping I then went with Lisa to the store. We picked up some groceries and a trampoline for the kids and a rocking chair for the front porch. The rest of the afternoon I spent grilling some food for supper.

Sunday we had a guest missionary at church. He taught Sunday school and gave sermon during the worship service. It was very interesting. After church we came home, ate, changed clothes and went to Rhonda’s house for a gathering of Lisa’s family for Mother’s Day. It was a good weekend.

Coram Deo,

samedi, mai 07, 2005

Today was a day that I did not accomplish very much work at the house. I had planned to work on the fence i'm building, but for lots of reasons that just did not happen. I woke up at about 7:30, did a little bit of work in the house. Then I fixed myself some breakfast, a cup of coffee and went out on the porch with my food, coffee and a couple of books.

I read for a little while and drank my coffee. While on the porch I received a call from the union hall. Leon wanted to talk to me at the hall. I picked everything off the porch and went to the hall, which is just around the corner from the house. I spoke with some fellows at the hall for a little while, then I stopped in at Lined Products and spoke with my friend Chester (Chester is a great guy, we go to church together. He is a former atheist/hippie and all around good dude.) Jimmy S. came in (he owns the business) and I visited with him too and headed for home.

Christian was working on his truck when I got there. Shortly after I arrived Brian (my niece Shannon's husband). We visited for a little while and then he had to get back to work. I then went with Christian. We took his dog for a walk on some trails in a small set of woods by the house. Then we went to get gas for his truck while doing about thirty miles and hour, his dog ( a black lab) jumped out of the bed of the truck, breaking her collar. Christian slammed on the breaks. He loves that dog and was scared she was dead, but after her tumble she came bounding to the truck. After that she rode with me in the passenger's seat.

When we got back to the house he and Morgan both took off and I was alone. I then remembered that the Wesley Center (United Methodist Campus outreach) was having a fund raiser crawfish boil and I had agreed to purchase 10 pounds. I meet my sister-in-law Lynn and niece, Lauren, at the center. We sat, ate crawfish and talked. I then took the second five bounds of crawfish home. I grabbbed a cold beer (Killian's), went on the porch and started on the second five pounds of crawfish. Christian came home and ate a few of them, but I dispossed of most of them, and a couple of beers, on my own.

After the crawfish I had to cleanup. After cleaning up I read a bit more and then headed to the local Synagog. I had mentioned to our friend Karen that I would like to visit and she invited me to meet her for Sabbath worship services. It was very interesting, and quite liturgical. Everyone was very nice; I enjoyed the service and would like to go again.

After all that I picked up the little boys from Rhonda, and we went to Mike and Lisa's to visit for a little. Mike was on call so we drank Diet Pepsie instead of wine, and he gloated about some books that he had just ordered. I told him it was no big deal, because I already had all those books. He knows every book I have so he didn't buy it. But it was fun telling him anyway.

After that I came home and I will soon go to bed. I got almost no work done, but it was an enjoyable day.

Coram Deo,

lundi, mai 02, 2005

Last week I was on straight day lights at work again. They had me off shift for turnaround planning. I had to put in an eight hour day so I came at 6 am so I could get out of here at two pm each day. It worked pretty well for most of the week, but Thursday I had to stay over for a couple of hours to attend a meeting.

Early during the week our youngest son got a bad stomach virus. The poor boy was so sick. I slept on the floor next to the bed so he could sleep in my spot where his mother could take care of him.

Friday started ok but it took a turn to the bad before the morning was over. Before noon my stomach began to ball up in a not and I just felt bad. About 12:30 I felt nauseated and decided to go home early. It was a good thing I did. This was the worst stomach virus I have ever had. I was sick all weekend.

I missed the book annual sale at Temple Sinai. I found some great deals there last year an really wanted to be there when they opened their doors Saturday morning, but there was no way (for me to miss this book sale I was had to be bad off).

I also missed Church on Sunday. By Sunday evening I was starting to feel much better. I know that from Friday morning to Sunday morning I had last more than four pounds.

I feel much better today and to makeup for missing the books sale, I talked myself (with Lisa’s blessing) into buying the 38 volume work on the Early Church Fathers. Lisa has been telling me that I should get them ever since I told her that CBD had them on sale for 81% off.

I have been hesitant to by them because I already have access to them. Rhonda still has all Ron’s Library and Ron and they are there. I am to only person who reads any of Ron’s books, but I really wanted my own set of these since they were t such a discount. This is a great value. They are high quality, hard bound works.

While I was in the book buying mood I went ahead and picked up The Oxford Dictionary on Popes by JND Kelly and Letter’s of John Calvin.

Coram Deo,

samedi, avril 23, 2005

I’m working the graveyard shift this evening. I started this round of graveyards Wednesday evening and I will finish them in the morning, which is one day early. I’m once again off my regular shift next week. I will be on turnaround planning again, I hope for the last time.

Today was a beautiful day. I woke up a little after noon and did not get back to sleep. So I'm operating on about two hours less sleep than I usually get. If I keep busy I should be alright.

The little boys and I went for a walk this afternoon before I came to work. We found some bike trails in a bunch of woods just north of our neighbourhood. We found, picked and ate some blackberries. They ran around the trails kicking up dust while I followed behind them.

My book reading has gotten out of hand. I'm reading way too many books at one time (I think I’m up to six. This means I am not reading enough in any particular book to finish it soon. So what I have to do is pick one or two books, knock them out and then return to some of the other books once I have finished these books.

We're having a guest preacher come to the church tomorrow. He will be teaching Sunday school and delivering the sermon. This means that we will be able to celebrate the Lord’s Supper tomorrow. We've not had Communion since our last pastor resigned.

MK's been teaching Sunday school and doing a great job. I know he is ready for the break and he will get tomorrow, but I'll miss his teaching. He's been teaching from the Proverbs and it's been very good.

He's recruited me to teach for a couple of weeks on the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. I am supposed to do this next month. I've owned Philip Schaff’s awesome 3 volume Creeds of Christendom for a number of years, I have John Leith's Creeds of the Church and I recently purchased Jaroslav Pelikan’s Credo. These three works, plus my books on Church history, should be more than enough material for me to prepare for the Sunday school lessons on the Creeds.

Now back to things happening at work tonight. Daved B. and Steve W. fed us tonight. They made scrambled eggs cooked with breakfast sausage, they also prepared some deer sausage, biscuits (itty bitty ones) with home made mayhaw jelly(yum), milk and orange juice. It was quite a feast, and we all had a great time teasing Dave about the size (or lack there of) of the biscuits.

Gotta go.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, avril 06, 2005

Monday morning I went to work at 6 AM. I am not on my normal shift this week. I am on turnaround planning, so I am on eight hour shift instead of the usual twelve hour schedule. This has allowed me to get home early the last couple of days. Monday afternoon I spent the afternoon racking and bagging leaves in the back yard.

Latter I did the regular routine with the little boys. One of them read to me while the other bathed, but then Elisabeth (a niece) and her beau, Woody, came over to visit. It’s always a pleasure to talk with them. Woody brought us a bottle of wine.

Yesterday I got home about 4 pm and the little boys and I walked to the park. They (we) played for a couple of hours and then we walked home and started our routine. That is the simple life here in the suburbs of Sulphur, Louisiana.

Coram Deo,

samedi, avril 02, 2005


This is my first blog in over a month. I was on vacation and then had to go to Texas A&M for a week of training (I’m on the refineries rescue team).

While I was gone Mk and I took his and my little boys camping and we took my nephew as well. I did a lot of “honey do” projects while I was off from work. All in all my time away from the refinery was rewarding and enjoyable.

Lisa and I have returned to Bethel PCA Church. Our pastor there resigned and the church was at a critical point, and we felt that we had to return and help out. MK volunteered me to help him with Sunday school, and I had to preach the Resurrection day sermon. I was told that if I could find an ordained minister to lead the service then I would be off the hook, but if not I had to do it my self. I tried very hard to get a pastor to come and lead us in worship, but was unsuccessful.

All went well with the sermon. Lisa, my Mother-in-law and MK all said it was good. They are not the most objective observers, but I too think it went ok. It was a lot of work. The theme of the sermon was the resurrection of our Lord (of course), and I Corinthians 15 was the text. For the Scripture reading I read verses 1-26.

I'm reading way too many books again. I am still crawling through Calvin's Institutes. The more I read him the more I like him. I am also reading J.N.D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrine and about four other books.

I still plan to visit other Churches when things at Bethel line out again. I would like to visit an Orthodox service and I would like to visit and learn more about Episcopal worship. We have some Jewish friends and so I'm also hoping to go to worship services at the local Synagog later this month.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, février 24, 2005

Friday night Lisa and I stayed home with the little boys.

Saturday I went to visit my PawPaw. He was home from the hospital and still very weak from what ever it was that went wrong (They seem to think it was a minor stroke.) Then MK and I took our little boys (his 1 and my 2) to the park. They played for a couple of hours, and while I did push them on the merry-go-round a few times, they mostly entertained themselves and Mike and I discussed had a good conversation. Later evening Lisa and I went out to eat with a number of her work friends. This was to celebrate Lisa’s then upcoming birthday which was still in the future. After a meal at Copeland’s we went out to a local club, where we meet my brother Terry, his lady friend and my cousin Kevin. We went to the Frosty Factory to her Morgan (our daughter) sing Karaoke.

Sunday we went to the Lutheran Church. It was a nice service. After Church we spent the day at home.

Monday was a do a little work around the house day. That evening I did the usual work with the boys. The boys read to me, which is our regular practice and did other homework. Once the homework was complete we went up stairs to the loft and wrestled. They consider this to be great fun. My job is to stay on my knees and get pummelled. I throw them around gently and do a good deal of tickling during these matches. After all that we had the usual round of baths and prayers before bed.

Tuesday I fixed Lisa and the kids breakfast (bacon and eggs) for her birthday. Later I went to see my Pawpaw again. He was doing much better. He strength has returned and was back to his old self. When I left there I ran errands (bought a few books) and then went home. Tuesday evening Lisa and I went out to eat with our friends the Klinemans. This was Lisa’s actual birthday. We had a good visit at Outback Steakhouse. After supper we came home.

Coram Deo,

samedi, février 19, 2005

I've had to work my normal 6 am to 6 pm daylight shift since Tuesday. Four straight daylights, during the week is always rough, especially now that I work the top operator position. It is a busy job on week days. I worked off Friday afternoon and don’t have to return to work until Wednesday night.

The most trying thing this week was yesterday. My grandfather, who will be 85 in a couple of weeks, seems to have suffered a mild stroke. Lisa called me yesterday morning and told me that PawPaw had been rushed to the hospital. She didn’t know which hospital or why. I was working but took time out where PawPaw was. I called the hospital and talked to Mrs. Esther (my step grandmother) and found out that he was doing ok.

After work I rushed home, got cleaned up and went to the hospital. Pawpaw was weak, but was doing ok. He is a very modest old man and is not comfortable in public. I stayed there for a couple of hours and helped as best I could.

At one point he told me that "It is good to die when you are young. It’s hard to be old and feeble." That made me so sad. PawPaw is such a wonderful man. I love to visit him at his house. He has such wonderful stories to tell. We sit in chairs nest to each other and he tells me stories from the past. Sometimes he forgets that I am not fluent French and he will tell start speaking to me in French. I try to keep up, but I only cathch bits and pieces. Once Mrs Esther told him top speak English, because my French is not good, but he told her that I knew French well enough to keep up. I did not have the heart to remind him that my ability to speak or understand Cajun is poor at best.

PawPaw, Adam Johnson (pronounced Ah-dahm Jean-sonne) is a Cajun. He learned what English he knows from his children. My mom spoke no English when she started the first grade. She learned English the hard way, in a school that would punish Cajun children for speaking their native French, even though they could speak no English whatsoever.

Paw Paw is getting old, but I remember when he was a very strong man. When I was 18 I worked at the Port now and then. We would fill the holds of ships with rice and the rice came on pallets in 100 pound sacks. PawPaw had been a farmer (sharecropper) but moved to Lake Charles and went to work at the port in the early 1960's.

By the time I worked at the port PawPaw, who was 58 years old, had worked his way up to the job of crane operator. He would operate the crane for and hour and then he would have an hour break. He would then come into the ship’s hold and throw my sakes so I could have a break. That 58 year old man could work circles around me when I was 18.

PawPaw is a devout Roman Catholic. He is a wonderful man. I love him dearly and I hate to think that his time on this earth is now growing short. His generation is the last of the Old Cajuns for whom French is a first language. When the last of his generation is gone most of our Cajun Culture will have died with them. Just thinking about that makes me want to cry. I love this culture but it is almost gone, even now it is only a vapour that is barely visible. I too is a victim of modernity and America’s Anglo hegemony.

I thought MK and I would get together this evening, but that did not happen. Hopefully we will share a bottle of wine later this weekend.

Coram Deo,

lundi, février 14, 2005

I had to work Saturday which should have been a day off. After work I came home, I got cleaned up and went to Outback Steak House to meet Lisa, Ytska and another lady friend of theirs. We had good food , drinks and conversation. Christian was working, as was Ryan, our nephew, so they passed by and joked or commented as often as they could. We all had fun.

After supper Lisa and I picked the little boys up at their Aunt Rhonda’s and came home. We went to bed early, got up Sunday morning and went to worship services at Covenant Presbyterian Church, here in Sulphur. After worship I took the little boys to Longville to visit the folks and Lisa went to Lafayette with Yska. They went to pick up Yska’s sister at the airport.

Sunday evening MK came over to our house with a bottle of red wine (Franciscan Oakville Estate Merlot 2001 [a very good wine]) and a Christian Book Distributers (CBD) academic catalogue. We drank our wine, drooled over the books in the catalogue and spoke with Morgan and Christian. There were several thousand dollars worth books that we wanted to buy, but we decided that we could only afford , between the two of us, a couple of hundred dollars worth of books. Mike is going to order his and my books and I will pay him back.

This morning Christian and I got up and went to court for a traffic violation that he had received for a fender bender he was in. The process was by alphabetical order so we got out of there quickly. Christian was the first one up.

Lisa and I are going to go out to eat this evening for Valentines Day.

Coram Deo,

samedi, février 12, 2005

Yesterday evening I left work and, as is my norm, I went straight home. Lisa and the boy’s were the only ones there. They were on our bed watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lisa had, after I told her of my plans to take the little boys camping, made arrangements to go out to eat with one of her lady friends. I had insisted that she keep her plans and I stayed home with the boys. I joined them on the bed and finished watching the movie with them. Lisa went to meet Yska for supper.

After the movie the boy’s wanted to watch the part disc about how the movie was made, so I put that on. While they watched that I took a hot bath. After I had bathed the boys wanted to draw skeletons so I got them paper and they would pause the DVD on the making of the movie on sketches of skeletons and draw them. They thought that was great fun.

I poured a glass of red wine and laid down with a book. We were all still together in Lisa and my room. I had to take frequent breaks from my reading to look at the latest skeletons that one or the other of the boy’s had just drawn.

We had a good evening with them drawing and me reading, drinking red wine and looking at their many pages of skeletons. I managed to finish His Excellency . It is a good biography of Washington, that does not mythologize him.

That is the gist of my evening. Just a quiet night with the little boys. This may seem like a boring evening to some people, but I enjoyed it.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, février 11, 2005

I’m at work today on my day off. I was called out this morning, because Peter called in sick. This killed my ability to take the little boys camping this evening. I’m glad I didn’t tell them about my plans. On top of that, Lisa called this morning to tell me that our youngest son was sick, so the camping trip might have been been cancelled for that reason as well.

Yesterday evening I was home alone reading. I heard the doorbell and went to answer it. Rev. Duke pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) had come over to visit. I invited him in and we talked for about an hour. It was a nice visit; Pastor Duke is a personable gentleman.

After Rev. Duke left I went back to my reading. I FINALLY finished reading an unabridged version of Homer’s Iliad. It took me some time to read this work. I took a sizable break from it at one point, but returned to it a while back. I read a translation by Samuel Butler. It was published in 1942 in Club Classics series.

I am also hope to finish Joseph Ellis' of George Washington this weekend. It is titled His Excellency: George Washington . I don’t have far to go to finish it, so if I have just a little time I can easily finish it this weekend. I've also finished John Calvin’s section of the Institutes that deal with the Ten Commandments. It was VERY good. I am now in Book II Chapter 9 of the Institutes.

Coram Deo,

mardi, février 08, 2005

It has been a while since I last wrote for this blog. Lisa and I have attended a couple of Mardi Gras Balls and I took the little boys to a Mardi Gras parade last Saturday. But we will miss the big parade tonight (Mardi Gras eve) because I’m working the night shift and will be at the refinery working instead. I would not trust anyone else to take my little boys to the parade, except for Lisa and she has no desire to go without me.

Our eight year old has finished reading a biography of Christopher Columbus to me. He was very proud of his accomplishment, and besides that I had promised a monetary reward for completing the book. That too made him happy.

MK and I are hoping to take the little boy’s camping this coming weekend or the next. Terry and dad have been working on the camp site in the wood at the back of Dad’s land.

This last Sunday, Lisa was not feeling well, so I decided to go on my own to the local Episcopal Church. I worshiped at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church here in Sulphur. The people were very friendly and helped me to navigate the Book of Common Prayer during the service. I enjoyed the liturgy and found the sermon to be quite good.

I was hesitant to attend this church because it is in the ECUSA, which is one of the most liberal denominations in the country. I had mentioned my desire to visit an Episcopal Church to Bill Smith and he told me that he thought the Rector of the local ECUSA Church was pretty good (i.e. conservative), so I visited and very much enjoyed the worship service. The liturgy was nice and I was welcomed to participate in the Eucharist, which meant a lot to me.

Bill and his family have moved to Louisville where he is now pastor of Community Presbyterian Church. I hated to see them go, but I do hope he uses this move to get his doctorate.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, janvier 27, 2005

Wednesday was my last day off. It was a very good day. Christian and I went to Longville to visit family. We took his Labrador retriever with us. We visited with my parents and brother for a little while. Then Christian and the dog went to my sisters place, so he could work the dog in her pond.

Terry and I planted trees in the front of my dads land. We planted a few hundred pines. Terry and my dad had already planted a hundred or more previous to my visit. After planting trees we went to the back of his property and cleared a spot in the woods for me, the little boys and MK and his son to camp.

I cut down scrub trees with a chainsaw while Terry or dad used the tractor and box blade to clear the brush. After we finished there I took up an axe and chopped firewood for a while. They had a Black Gum tree cut up and so I split it into firewood. I was whipped when it came time to head home.

After we left my parents (Christian had returned to pick me up) we went to Sandy and Brian’s place so I could see my new great nephew. He is a fine, handsome young man (so I think he has his great uncles good looks).

Christian and I went to Outback Steakhouse and picked up supper (to go) on the way home. He gets half off when there is only one other person, so we ate real good for half the price.

When I got home I ate, bathed, did spelling and reading with both of the little boys, said prayers with them and went to sleep.

Coram Deo,

mardi, janvier 25, 2005

I worked off of graveyard shift last Friday morning. I went to bed late that morning and had to get up early, after only two hours of sleep, to go pick up our truck, which Christian has been driving. The truck died on him and his friend Paul on their way back from Lafayette Thursday evening. Gary J. picked Christian and me up and we found the truck on the side of I-10 just past Jennings.

It was stuck in 5th gear so we were fearful that we would not be able to tow it home which was our plan. I decided to try and drive it back to town. I got it going and was able to get it to Lenny Sangers Auto Repair shop, which is co-owned by my bro-in-law; he confirmed what I had already decided. We need to cut our losses and get rid of the truck. (What am I gonna do without a truck? I need a truck. ah

So now we are down to three vehicle (two of which are semi-heaps), and we are looking for a fourth. There are four of us employed and logistically it is hard to get on with just three vehicles.

Saturday I spent the day at home with the little boys . We had a good day. We wrestled around on the bed for a couple of hours. I would tickle them until they fell off. It was great fun. We also spent a few hours at the park, where my chief job is to spin them, and what ever playmates they have there, on the merry-go-round. We then walked home. One then read to me while the other bathed and then vice verse.

I also read a bit for myself, while at the park, between my turns at the merry-go-round. I have to finish up a couple of books. I am reading four and that is just to many, not counting the Bible. That is too much. I am, BTW, now over 360 pages in Calvin. I know; that is slow even for me, but it is worth going slow ans savouring it.

Sunday we went to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sulphur. I found out that Bill Smith and his family will be departing for Louisville, Ky after next Sunday, and this would be my last Sunday to here Bill preach. The man is gifted, and I hate to see him leave, but it is as it is. After the service we stayed and ate with the congregation and said our farewells to Bill, Susan and the kids.

I’m not yet sure what Lisa and I are going to do for a home church. We are still members at Bethel, and I’m officially still a deacon there (I need to resign). We may return to Bethel or join Covenant. I don’t see us joining the Lutheran Church, though I have enjoyed worshipping there.

Sunday night, after Lisa and the little boys were in bed, MK came over with a Merlot (2002) that he got from the California Wine Club which he belongs to. This Merlot is a from the Fallbrook Winery and was a most excellent wine.

While Mike and I were sitting at the diningroom table enjoying the wine, Christian came home from work and he sat down and joined in the conversation for a little wine. Not long after that Morgan came home as well.

When the bottle was empty MK and I went for our walk and prayer time. Some of the guys at work seem to think this is a bazaar ritual that we have, but it is an old practice and it is almost always a good time of prayer and fellowship before the Lord.

Monday was spent to doing odd jobs around the house. It is 4:50 AM Tuesday morning and we shall soon find out what today has in store as well.

Coram Deo,
Ps. My good friend David H., who lives in Grand Coteau has just got his own blog site up and running. It is called Gumbo Filé .

dimanche, janvier 16, 2005

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I worked around the house with Lisa and the children. But yesterday evening we went to a formal Mardi Gras Ball. I know Mardi Gras is several weeks away, but in South Louisiana there are Balls an celebrations for many weeks before Mardi Gras arrives.

We had a very good time, even though I started to feel bad as the night went on.. I started feeling bad on Friday, but felt better during the day on Saturday. Saturday afternoon my throat became sore and I started getting hoarse.

Lisa looked beautiful (as usual) in a baby blue dress that she had made for the occasion, and I wore a tux (rented of course). We had a great time. Donna and Duke Benoit (pronounced Ben-wah) came and dressed here and we all road together to Lisa’s niece, Elisabeth’s home, were we had a drink before heading to the ball.

Though I my throat was a bit sore, we danced and had a great time. No one in our little group had too much to drink, but I can’t say that for everyone there. I had a little bourbon at the house and a Scotch ant Elisabeth’s. Lisa had, maybe a half a glass of wine. Duke was driving and had coke, Donna may have had a few glasses of wine.

Our friend Debbie and her beau, Bob, meet us there. It was a good time. We visited a little and danced a lot. But by the end of the evening I could hardly talk and I was feeling quite poorly. After the party Duke, Donna, Lisa and I went and ate breakfast (Waffle House) before the Benoit’s dropped us off at home.

About four this morning I woke up all sweaty and clammy. I think I must have had a fever. I felt bad and stayed in bed all day. I did not get up until about 7 o’clock this evening. I still don’t feel very good, but I slept all day and am not tired right now. Everyone in the house is asleep, so I thought I would write a short blog.

The thing I most regret is that I missed worship services today. I work two out of every four weekends and I hate to miss worship when I have a day off.

I think I will retire with a book and see if I feel better tomorrow.

Coram Deo,

vendredi, janvier 14, 2005

Its good to be off the turnaround. Wednesday I woke up at about 1:30 . I stayed awake so I would be able to sleep that night. I didn’t accomplish any thing during the day; I just sat around and vegetated and read some.

That evening I did the little boys’ homework with them and then they took turns reading to me. The youngest is reading a Dr. Seuss book and the 8 year old is reading a biography of Columbus. I love to sit on the couch with them while they read. It is a wonderful pleasure for me.

Yesterday, I had to go pick up a tux. Lisa and I are supposed to be going to a Mardi Gras ball tomorrow night, and it’s a formal occasion. I meet Jo-el Sonnier while picking up the tuxedo. I like Jo-el’s music and have had a link to his website ever since I started this blog.. I own a few of his CD’s. He has some good stuff.

After picking up the tux, I got the little boys and took them to a birthday party.

Today I am at work.

Coram Deo,

mercredi, janvier 12, 2005

I have been on graveyard shift working 12/13 hours a day for 14 days straight and I finish them at 6 AM. Hurray!!!

I am ready to get back to my family. I see some of them when I get home in the morning and some in the afternoon, before I come to work. I am ready to spend some time with Lisa and the children.

Yesterday morning when I got home, after a busy, sweaty (it’s warm here in SW Louisiana right now) night. I crawled into the tube and just soaked while I read from a new biography of George Washington. After my bath I got a cold Killians out of the refrigerator and took the beer and a book (the Iliad) with me to bed.

I read until my beer was gone, then I found a good spot to close the book. I closed the book, turned of the light and drifted into a day long sleep. That is about it. Later I got up said a few words to Morgan and Christian before they went to work, then left for work myself.

I have started posting on a new site called Christian Forums. I am mostly at the History site or the Reformed site. I have spent time in others, especially the Baptist site, but what I can do at this site is limited by the rules.

Coram Deo,

jeudi, janvier 06, 2005

I’m working nights still. We shutdown one of our units to make some repairs on a compressor and I am working the shutdown on nights. This is my seventh night in a row and I have about five or six more to go before we finish.

I’ve finished reading The Forgotten People: Cane River’s Creoles of Color by Dr. Gary B. Mills. It is a wonderful book about an amazing Louisiana family. I’ve had the privilage to call a number of the descendents of the Metoyer gens de couleur libre of Cane River friends.

Long before I ever met Ron, I knew Ron’s brother Russell. I remember the first time I met Ron it was at Russels wedding. I didn't see him again for years, then we met again when he came to work here at the refinery.

I am going to have to buy this book for my personal library. I have wanted to read it for years. I was not disapointed when I finally did get to read it. I recommend it to everyone. I am so thankful to Ron for loaning it to me.

I’ve already started a biography of George Washington and I am still working my way through Calvin (I will likely make this statement for at least another year).

I have a sweet potato in the oven that is almost ready to take out and eat, so I will stop here.

Dominus Vobiscum,