Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Little Helper

Today Q decided to help me wash dishes.  In the process, he decided to stand.  Also, check out his four teeth.  He is rather proud of them if you can't tell by the photo.Add Image

Monday, December 29, 2008


This Christmas season two significant things occurred:
1) I preached my first Christmas Eve service
2) Our house got robbed

Our house got robbed the Friday before Christmas while I was at lunch with a friend.  I had been spending the weeks prior to Christmas reflecting on the word Immanuel.  The mournful feeling left by being robbed unlocked a deeper understanding of what Immanuel means (God is with us).  Here is an excerpt from my sermon.  It follows the reading of the birth narratives found in Matthew and Luke.  

Our robbery came after a long line of unfortunate events for us. I'll name a few to give you the context.  We just moved from Portland to San Antonio to be closer to family and our condo has not sold.  I've been through 4 phones since September, my wife has been in the emergency room twice, and two months ago somebody created a counterfeit copy of our ATM card and emptied out our bank account.

Needless to say, when we found out that our house had been robbed, we felt all of the emotions of the loss and pain that we have been experiencing since we moved from Portland.  I guess I experienced the worst side of my humanity - loneliness, brokenness, hopelessness, and insecurity.

Then I had to get ready for this sermon.

And you know what? In my brokenness I began to feel God at work.

1.  While my wife and I embraced with tears slowly falling down our cheeks...there in my brokenness, in the midst of my paint, I began to experience IMMANUEL - GOD WITH US.

2.  That night when my son had my undivided attention and we played, sang, and read books...there in the midst of my brokenness and pain I began to simultaneously experience JOY IN MY WORLD.

3.  And later, as I rocked my son to sleep, there in the darkness and silence of his room my heart continued to hurt as I felt the weight of all that had happened...yet I sensed God picking me up and rocking me.  And, in the midst of the pain and brokenness I experienced A GLIMPSE OF SALVATION/DELIVERANCE here on earth.

Interestingly enough, a ton of people donated money so that we could replace nearly all of the things that were stolen.  Getting our stuff back was really just a bonus.  The ultimate blessing was all that I learned about faith, trust, the power of tears and hugs, and the importance of a loving community.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mr. Q

Q is a lot of fun. These days he spends his time crawling into tight spaces (and then crying until we free him), pulling sci-fi books off of the shelf (we are house sitting for some avid Star Trek/Star Wars fans), drooling, chewing on leaves, dumping Frodo's dog food all over the floor, and waving at people. He likes to impress strangers with his advances. Here are his most and least favorite things to do.

1. Waving
2. Saying "babababa"
3. playing tug-o-war with Frodo
4. wrinkling his nose
5. bouncing

1. having us wash his hands
2. having us wash his face
3. being put down for a nap
4. when I take his Star Wars books away
5. getting stuck in tight places

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dream Home

I'm sure the two of you who read this will not be surprised to find out that I have odd dreams. When I was in college my dream car was a VW GTI hatchback. Now it is a Honda Fit that runs off of compressed air (it doesn't exist...although there is a car in India that runs this way). When it comes to my dream house, my hopes are equally odd. I have three aspects that shape my dream home 1) functionality 2) sutainability 3) affordability.

I thought I'd list my top 5 house concepts:

5) Houses from Straw:
My sister turned me on to some straw house building websites. Here is one that I just found http://www.houseofstraw.com/. While I love the concept, I am terrified that my house would be overrun by rodents and/or eaten by cows.

4) Log Cabins from Scratch:
I once read a book about how a guy moved to this 100 acre farm in Montana and built a house using resources found on his property. He spent $10,000 on a 1,000 sq ft home. He, his wife, and his father-in-law built it. It also had a cool water system that recycled waste water into water for plants. I can't remember the name of the book...my sister took it from me a year ago and hasn't given it back. My only concern about this type of home is that I wouldn't be able to build it in the city. I'd have to live out in the woods where the building codes are relaxed.

3) Tiny House:
Apparently, there is a Tiny House Movement happening these days. There are individuals living in homes as small at 100 sq ft. I found a company not too far from me that makes these houses using 95% recycled wood and fixtures. They are pretty sweet. Check them out: http://www.tinytexashouses.com. My concerns about this one are a) they are still pretty expensive if you buy them from somebody else b) can I really raise a family in 100 sq ft?

2) Idea Box:
I LOVE this house. It is a prefab, modern, green, affordable home built in Oregon. Check it out http://www.ideabox.us. I have two concerns with this house a) it wouldn't be cost effective to ship a house from Oregon b) it would be tough to get a permit to have a prefab house placed in the city limits.

1) Cheap run-down home:
In reality, I don't have the space or the money to do my other ideas. I simply want a home with character that is in an ok neighborhood. I'm tired of being a slave to my stuff. So why not buy a cheap house in a poorer part of town and live debt free? Here's a house I found for $24,000 in a neighborhood that has an annual pushcart derby. Who doesn't like pushcart derbies?

p.s. Did I mention that I want to build my own Alaskan Skiff boat? More on that later.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm not spam

Right now blogspot thinks I am spam. I have never been accused of such an atrocious act...with the exception of when my sisters claimed that I poked a hole in the bathtub. At any rate, I'm only writing to convince the blogspot gods that I am indeed a real person and that I have feelings...