Saturday, February 27, 2010

Every Day

I heard a quote today that makes me think… “What you do every day is more important than what you do once in awhile.” (not sure who said it) What do I do every day? More about this in the future I’m sure. J.

How I sometime spend my weekend

Fishnet Theater is a ministry I belong to. Sure, it’s acting and all that but, it is a ministry. This will be my third season with Fishnet. I started out in a play called “The Shofar.” It takes place at the time of Christ at the temple in Jerusalem. The main character is a young priest whose job is to blow the Shofar at the time of sacrifice. The opening scene has four close friends joking around when all of a sudden a man claiming to have been healed of leprosy burst in to the temple to be declared clean. Seems some guy named Jesus healed him. The story never shows Jesus, just the effect he has on the friendships in the play. The controversy Jesus creates in their lives. I got the distinct pleasure of playing Annas. I get to plot against this Jesus. Sad, but playing a bad guy was easy! In the second season I played Malchus. The temple guard and one of the four friends. Jesus heals my ear after Peter cuts it off. I am profoundly affected by this event.

The play has a salvation message. After 2 seasons and some 80 performances many came to Christ through this one play. During the run of the Shofar not a single performance went by without someone coming forward to accept Christ. Some performances had 5 or more, truly a ministry.

This season I am directing the play, “Conquest of the Pirate Ship Reclaim.” It’s a comedy with a salvation message. Mumsy, a lady pirate, and her sons are set up to be the scapegoats for an evil pirate. Along the way the bumbling trio learns about the love of God from their hostages. It has a real life message wrapped in a light hearted comedy.

The set is amazing (see the picture) and very heavy. A cast and crew of 25 volunteers pull it out of a trailer; assemble the set, lights, sound, and all. The performance happens; the stuff is all broken down and reloaded for the next show. It’s a ton of work but, so rewarding.

I really love doing this stuff. I have always like theater but, here is theater with a purpose I can get behind. If you get a chance check out the web site: This Sunday we will be in Ocean Shores.

So this is how the weekend often gets taken up.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


While reading in Numbers 11 this morning. I was struck how like the complaining Old Testament Israelites I can be. The manna I am whining about is unemployment, scrimping as a result, or the same old same old, or doing whatever it is that I have to do on a given day. May I say like Paul “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.” Thank you Lord for speaking directly to me in your word. J.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Swell of National Pride

We’ve gotten really into watching the Olympics, Curling in particular. An interesting sport, something like a cross between Shuffleboard and chess, they slide granite stones down sheets of ice to a target. One person throws the stone; two people brush the ice in front of the stone to cause the stone to move more quickly or to direct it’s path a bit. A fourth person stands near the target giving direction. It’s a strategically, and physically challenging sport. The American teams didn’t have a good showing, but the Canadians are hot! This is their sport.

The other day they were in a heated match with Great Britain. The Canadians were down going into the last end. They were even heard over the microphones saying… “We’re dead” The home town crowd was loudly encouraging them and finally when the Canadian curlers were at THE moment, where they needed to place the stone in perfectly the crowd spontaneously sang, a few and quietly at first… “Oh Canada! Our home and native land…” Then as one voice they stood, all of them and sang proudly “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land, glorious and free! Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee! Oh Canada we stand on guard for thee!” The swell of the music was only topped by the swell of their pride and emotion.

The younger curler looked at the old man of the team who was readying his shot and asked “Have you ever seen anything like this?” The older man visibly moved shook his head. The clock was ticking yet he waited until the crowd was finished singing. The crowd stood silent, holding their breath waiting to see if their team could pull off the miracle shot. Quietly the curler crouched down, eyed his mark, paused(you could’ve heard a pin drop the arena was so still and silent)and then with skilled experience he began to move forward. With his eyes fixed on the exact spot he wanted the rock to land he slid forward and released that rock with smooth precision. The crowd, the watching T.V. audience, both teams, watched as the rock, seemingly in slow motion, buoyed by the hopes of a nation, slid into perfect position, knocking out the opposing rocks and coming to rest in exactly the spot that it needed to, to save the day for the Canadians. The crowd let out a sigh of relief and then went wild. The T.V. announcer exclaimed excitedly and the team embraced in emotional relief and awe. That one moment of unbridled patriotism and hope inspired a curler to dig deep and come through in a big way when he needed to most. It was something to watch. J.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Miserable Migraine

Following my bout with kidney infection and stones long about Thursday/Friday I was finally feeling a lot better. Then Sunday after lunch I suddenly got a migraine which two days later is still with me. The intensity is less, but it is still really bothering me. This is of course month end, and I have to work a lot of hours yet this week. Pray with me that my headache will subside. Thanks, J.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekend Bliss

Weekends are a little bit of heaven. I love having more time to think, more options about what to do and how to do them, the time spent with my family, the general pace of the days. This particular weekend has been gorgeous weather, sun shining, mountains clear and radiant. We had a lovely dinner with family and played games. What a blessing! I love my life! J.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Plank Eyed View

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

How easily I see the flaws of others and yet gloss over my own. Funnily the things that I see in others that I dislike the most…I find rampantly in my own life…if I would only look. Lord show me where I pick at others and am a hypocrite in my life. Give me your eyes and help me to see myself and others as you do. J.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had an interesting interview with a well know nonprofit. Seems they are not concerned with my skills. My skills actually show me as over qualified for the job. The real concern is that I am a 46 year old, White, Straight, Christian, Male. I was asked if I could handle the diversity of the organization. I responded with, “Well, as a 46 year old, white, straight, Christian, male, I thought I was just another patch on the very diverse quilt that makes up this nation.” He responded with, “Well said.” If I am not offered the position it will be because of prejudice. It is sad to me that if that happens, no agency will come to my defense and it will be seen as just fine for them to be hypocrites. Where is the good will here? Is that really equality? We will see.


If you have ever been constipated you will know what I mean when I say that I feel like my life is constipated…overly full, uncomfortable, stuck…no movement. :) Usually docusate sodium is the answer for constipation…so what is the equivalent solution for a constipated life?? What will get my life going nicely?? Ideas? J.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday Night BS

Tuesday night for nearly 9 years has been Women's Bible study night in our home. We are small but like James 1 says we “look intently in the perfect law” to find freedom. We have all been changed by our time in the Word together. Currently we are using a book called “A Quest For More” by Paul David Tripp. Last night we talked about what it practically means to have Christ as the center of our lives. It’s an easy concept…stepping out of our self-centeredness and allowing Christ to reign supreme in the center of our lives. Unfortunately in a million big and little ways every day we push Him out of the way and take the throne ourselves. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36. Lord that you would be our “source, motive, goal, and hope.” J.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Social Experiment

OK, so I bought a wheelchair for the church the other day. It arrived here at our home and I needed to take it over to the church. I had a meeting tonight at the church so I decided to take it with me. The only problem was Jeanne had the car. Enter the idea of a “Social Experiment.” Ride the Everett bus system to the church as a guy in a wheelchair. How hard is it, really?

OK, so as you may have guessed from the view, we live on a steep hill. Oh, and our neighborhood has almost no sidewalks. So going down to the bus stop was actually very scary. I thought I was going to blister my hands. Once at the bus stop several people lined up. They were all very careful to not look at me, talking to each other as if I wasn’t there. One lady even told her child, “Don’t look at him.” She didn’t say, “Don’t stare.” But, “Don’t look at him!”

The bus arrived and everyone scrambled to get on ahead of me. The bus was equipped with a ramp and not a lift. Without a sidewalk the ramp was stretched to street level and very steep. Man, was it hard to roll up it. The people behind me just watched me struggle to get up it. No one even offered to help. Once on board the driver flipped up the bench seat and strapped in my chair. He applied the straps wrong and the chair rolled around. I had to hold on to the flipped up bench. Flipping up the bench caused me to take up 4 seats. Those left standing just glared.

I had to switch buses at the station. Crossing the street to get to the right bus stop was interesting. A driver of a car refused to stop and even honked at me, holding up his hand as if to say, “stay” as he drove through the crosswalk. The stops were busy with all sorts of well dressed commuters. The funny thing was that the well dressed wouldn’t talk to me. When I spoke to them they would give a quick answer and move away. The only people who spoke to me were the young, tattoo covered, tattered clothes kids. They talked to me like they actually cared. They even offered to help if I needed it. The others around the stop, waiting for the other buses that use the same stop, visibly sighed with relief when they saw I was not going to board their buses.

The next bus ride was much like the first, people irritated with how long it takes to load and unload a handicapped guy and irritation over the loss of seating. Once downtown I had to maneuver the crooked sidewalks and cross busy streets with impatient drivers. The ramp at the church is at a good angle and wasn’t too hard to climb. Unlocking the door and getting inside was no small accomplishment either.

I have a new admiration for the folks who use a wheelchair to have a life. I have working legs and a strong back and this was no small accomplishment. It was tiring and frustrating. It is hard work and the world is not laid out to make it easier. People are really not helpful or understanding. You really do feel like a freak. I will treat the handicapped with total respect from now on! How hard is it really? Really hard!



While speaking yesterday on the phone with a customer, she said the most amazing thing. She was upset because we had charged the card we had on file for her. She said we couldn’t have charged her card because it hadn’t been provided for us. When I explained that she had provided it on our pharmacy agreement she said: “That must have been in the sheaf of papers I had to fill out when I dumped my mother off at the assisted living facility” I was silent. What do you say to that? Shameful! God was merciful to give that mother Alzheimer’s. With a daughter like that I hope she only remembers the good times. It’s SO sad. I love you Mom and Dad! I cherish every moment we have together and I promise I will NEVER dump you off anywhere. J.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Internal Reflections

I don’t have a lot of time to blog because I have to go in to work early, but I did want to say two things. First, my kidney stone has passed finally, and I am beginning to feel better. Phew! Thank you Lord!
Second, and most importantly, while in bed struggling with my kidney stone I had a lot of time to think about things. I am going to come clean about something that I am not proud of…so if you are inclined to impugn it would mean a lot to me if you would discontinue reading and have a lovely day. For those of you who love me enough to allow me to honestly open my heart and dissect my humanness here goes: I make lame excuses for poor behavior, lack of doing what I should, and doing what I should not. I’ve known this…but now I KNOW it. I have seen it, taken it out and looked at it, and am now going to begin to confront and deal with this in my life. I will no longer allow myself easily off the hook. I have determined to hear my internal conversation and require more of myself. By the grace of God it will stop. Lord thank you for being faithful to continue the good work you have begun in me. J.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Olympics

We are not sports people...we don't watch basketball, or football. I love to watch baseball, but rarely do it anymore. The Olympics is a whole different situation. We are riveted! In fact I found myself screaming with joy for Apollo Ohno tonight, and here I sit watching short track speed skating at 1:20 a.m. It is crazy! Seeing J.R. Celski skate around wrapped in the American flag celebrating his Bronze medal win stirred proud emotions(side note... it brought back memories of a young American girl who was visiting London at the time of 911. She was tightly hugging a hanging American flag and sobbing.) What is it about the flag? Anyway... U.S.A U.S.A U.S.A!!! J.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chaos - His Name is Jacob

Every evening he, Jacob, Timothy’s cat, wants to sleep in our bedroom. At some point in the night he evidently gets bored so begins climbing all over the dresser. In the process he spills the stack of mail on the floor. He goes from there into the closet and knocks everything off the shelf. When done in the closet he leaps from the dresser usually right into the middle of Jeanne. Next he proceeds to walk up our bodies to the window sill and then steps(every time!) directly onto Jeanne’s sore shoulder. He does this thing where he walks right up to you and puts his butt, tail up, right in your face. Timothy feels he is very smart for two reasons: 1: He lets you know he wants out of the bedroom by trying to turn the doorknob. The problem is that when you get up to let him out he won’t go. He runs into the bathroom and wants you to put water in the tub so he can have a drink. 2: Jacob LOVES to play. We have this feather boa on a string attached to a stick. Timothy flings it around in a fly-fishing fashion and Jacob leaps into the air doing acrobatics. When he is done he will take his toy back and put it away. Though excessively loving(translates to needy and attention starved), even while he is curled up cuddling in the crook of your arm he randomly, out of the blue, chomps hard on your bicep…he continues the bite and just tightens and loosens until you literally have to remove his mouth from your arm. Timothy’s “little buddy” though chaotic, keeps things interesting around here that’s for sure. T&J

Friday, February 12, 2010

My friend Yellow

There were scoffers(namely my beloved Father) when I painted our bedroom a warm, vibrant, sunshiny yellow. As I lay here in bed on a dreary, gray sick day my spirits are lifted by the cheerfulness of my beautiful yellow bedroom. It is made even more wonderful by the opening bouquet of daffodils my thoughtful husband brought to me yesterday(Thanks Honey!) Their smiling faces are saying “Feel Better! Cheer up!” Yellow has gotten a bad reputation being associated with cowards and so forth, but to me yellow is my hero! J.

Innocent Comments That Elicit Smiles

While at the walk-in clinic Wednesday evening, waiting to be seen for what turned out to be a kidney infection and stone, the young 20 something medical assistant while taking my vital signs, exclaimed about how low my blood pressure was(116/86). He commented "My blood pressure is really high...and I am young." J.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogging we are, creating our first posting. Our intent in starting a blog was to enjoy the process of sharing our lives using the current technologies. It's not that we have so much to say, or even that it would be interesting enough that anyone would want necessarily to read it. It's more that we think blogging would help us to stop and reflect on the things going on in our lives, what we are learning, who we are spending our lives with and so forth. We want it to be fun, thoughtful, and honest. With that let the blogging begin!