Friday, May 14, 2004


Sometimes I run my budget a little bit tight. Not always by my own choice, but often because of mistakes I make with my spending. But I've have yet to be left completely out to dry. Somehow, when I need a few dollars, a few dollars always seems to find me. Its happened this way my whole life, even back when I was married (well, I'm still married, but you know what I mean). I can't help but believe God is watching out for me. I'll give you a for-instance.

Just yesterday, when I took my daughters to my mom's 75th birthday, I was thinking, OK I have anough money for this dinner, and I THINK I'll have enough for gas next week, and I should be able to just coast through to payday. Ok, turns out I forgot a few things, and there was really no way I'd make it. And what do I get last night at the dinner party? A birthday card from my brother with $40 in it. What a treat, what a kind gift, and what a timely surprise.

Things like that have happened for me my whole life. I remember about 7 years ago, we went camping for a few days. We spent every penny we had on the trip, and it was July 4th the next day. We got back in town with zero money in pocket or in the bank. What was in the mail when we got home? A check from the IRS for about $120 for an error they made. A check from the IRS in July! Go figure.

So, I can't help but think God's got some bigger purpose for me that He's trying to teach my by making me trust him. I always wanted to be a preacher when I was a youngster. Maybe, some day, my path will lead back that way.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Mom turns 75

Ok, Milestone #3 this year: my mother turned 75 today, and a spry 75 she is at that. All my brothers and sisters, along with several of my neices and nephews, and all our families, got together at Back 40 Texas Bar-b-que in Roseville for Dinner. Dave and his family drove in from Utah for the weekend so they could be here. It was really nice getting everyone together in once place. Here's a few photos of the night.

Me and LMJ
My Mom, the birthday girl
My oldest brother Glenn (on the right) with family friends Gust and Mary Thomatos
Alexis, CLJ, and LMJ
My brother Jack (far right), sister Roberta (2nd from right), her husband Paul and their daughter Rachel

Lots of food and good talk. I have a great family, and I love them bunches.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


I found a neat website called Photobucket. It's online storage, and I can post photos there, and access them from here on Blogspot. Geocities won't let me do that. So, here's a few of the photos I took for Mother's Day.

All together
And again, all together

I was pleased how well they turned out.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Opening my Bible

I find it interesting how many people have Bibles in their homes, and yet they hardly ever read them. Families seems to keep them around like an antique decoration, something to display next to the Victrola, or the picture of dear old grandma and grandpa. And yet the very book that sits ignored in almost every American home is probably the most influential, far-reaching, life-changing book in human history. I was amazed at what I learned when I began actually reading my Bible several years ago.

Do you realize Jesus actually claimed to be God?

In John, 10:22-30, there was a feast in Jerusalem, and Jesus went. Many people were in the temple area when Jesus was there, too. The people who listened to Jesus and watched his miracles finally said to him "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ (or Messiah, the long awaited savior the Jews had been waiting for) then tell us plainly."(v24)

Jesus tells them in v25, "I did tell you! You don't believe what you've seen. All the miracles I've done in my Father's name, they speak for me, but you don't believe because you are not my sheep." See, Jesus knew these people in the temple were not looking a spiritual savior. The wanted "The Christ" that would reclaim for Israel it's lost lands, prestige, and power. They wanted an earth-bound leader that would lead them back to their former military and social might. But that's not what Jesus was.

Jesus had been talking earlier about how he is The Good Shepard, the one that watches out for his sheep, and will give his very life to save even one. Now, in v27, Jesus tells these people in the temple with him, "My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me." See, these people didn't want to believe. They wanted something different. They were looking for another type of fulfillment. To be honest, they probably didn't understand in the least what Jesus was offering. So Jesus tells them.

V28 "I give them (my sheep) eternal life, and they shall never perish: no one can snatch them out of my hand." Now the people in the temple were beginning to get a little worried. See, only God can grant eternal life. In the Jewish culture, this claim was no mere exaggeration. It was truly blasphemous. Horrifying to the learned Jews of the day. No mere man can grant anyone longer life. Only God himself can do that, and yes Jesus was claiming that he could.

V29, Jesus goes on, "for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me." Now, this seems a little confusing to many people, because Jesus, if he is God, is saying his Father is more powerful. People ask, how can Jesus be God if his Father is greater? This brings into play the dual nature of Jesus. He is God, but he is also, at the same time, a man. Jesus often weaves both perspectives into his speech. Here, he speaks both of being God (granting his sheep eternal life), and his humanity (acknowledging that nothing is greater than God Almighty). There is no contradiction, just two different frames of reference from which Jesus spoke.

And now, the kicker. V30, Jesus says "I and the Father are one." Pretty plain speech, in my opinion. Jesus couldn't make the claim any clearer. He claims to be one with the Father. Make no mistake, in Jewish culture, he was making clear, absolute reference to God Almighty. Jehovah. And its clear the Jewish people in the temple knew what Jesus was referring to, because they got angry and wanted to stone him! (v31).

So Jesus asks the people that were bent on killing him, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these miracles and good deeds do you stone me?" The people replied that they were going to stone him, not for the miracles, but "for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

I've heard people argue that Jesus didn't really claim to be God. After all, he'd have to be a nut to claim to be God, right? But the Jewish people here clearly heard his claim, and were angered by it. No doubt at all about what Jesus was saying.

I don't believe Jesus was a nut. I believe in him as the one promised from long, long ago, that would take away the sins of the world.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Whirlwind weekend

Had a great time Friday night at my kid's mom's house. They had me over for birthday dinner, and D bar-b-qued chicken, and C made lots of food. The kids bought me a new Canon i560s printer for printing my digital photos. It rocks! CLJ and EFJ both gave me framed letter commemorating my 40th birthday. Both touching to the depths of my heart. We all hung out and played cards. It was a nice birthday, and very gracious of the kid's mom and her boyfriend to host it. I thank them for that very much.

While at the party I took some photos of the girls, and with my new printer, we printed out some photos. EFJ and I bought some frames, and we framed several pictures up for Mother's Day. From what I hear, their mom liked them very much.

Lisa took CLJ to church with her crew today, and kept CLJ with them all day. CLJ really likes their family, and gets along great with Lisa's kids. This evening Lisa took everyone (by "everyone" I mean, CLJ and I, Lisa's sister's family, her own family, and her mom... 9 of us) to Hometown Buffett for dinner to celebrate Mother's Day. She never does anything on a small scale, but what she does on a grand scale usually works out real well. It was a wonderful evening.

A busy weekend, but as wonderful a weekend as I can remember having in a long, long time. I hate to be beating this kettle drum so much lately, but it's good to have friends and family.

I think it was last Thursday I decided to commit myself to reading my Bible on a daily basis, and praying each and every day. God is good, and it's clear He provided a great experience for me all throughout this weekend. The encouragement is great.