Saturday, September 26, 2009

She's Got an Ax...










...and she knows how to throw it!








Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little Bits of Sunshine



One of the things the I love about the internet, and that becomes a regular feature on my blog is when I find beauty out there in cyberspace that I might never have known about otherwise.

These school kids are one of those things. This video is one of dozens their inspirational teacher "Mr. B" has posted on YouTube. You can find out more about the PS22 Chorus on their blog

I love this song they do by Bjork "Joga"
"Joga"

All these accidents,That happen,Follow the dot,Coincidence,Makes sense,Only with you,You don't have to speak,I feel.Emotional landscapes,They puzzle me,Then the riddle gets solved,And you push me up to thisState of emergency,How beautiful to be,State of emergency,Is where I want to be.All that no-one sees,You see,What's inside of me,Every nerve that hurts,You heal,Deep inside of me, oo-oohh,You don't have to speak,I feel.Emotional landscapes,They puzzle me - confuse,Then the riddle gets solved,And you push me up to thisState of emergency,How beautiful to be,State of emergency,Is where I want to be.State of emergency,How beautiful to be,Emotional landscapes,They puzzle me,Then the riddle gets solved,And you push me up to thisState of emergency,How beautiful to be,State of emergency,Is where I want to be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Andrew Camping Baker

video

I didn't realize what a big deal this would be for us until I saw him today. Yesterday at 1pm Andrew went over to his friends house to join them and a few other friends on a camping trip to Baker Park Reserve. Scott couldn't get the time off of work, and I couldn't afford a campsite, so our good friends offered to take him along. He comes back tomorrow late afternoon. I went out to visit with them for half the day today and he was doing just fine. Very tired, kinda dirty, definately didn't want to leave. It became clear to me just how independent he is these days in so many ways. So much his own person. I was surprised how hard it was to drive away. I was surprised how much I want to get up early tomorrow morning and drive back out there. The ravine you see toward the end of the slideshow is right behind the campsites they reserved. The kids were in heaven!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do you know what day it is?


If you have a school kid who talks to you about his/her day, you probably
do, or you will by the end of the day.

In 2004, the US Congress passed a
law which declared September 17 a day for school students learn about and
government officials to remember the importance of this important document.

This
day was chosen because it was on this day in 1787 that the Constitution was
signed. Most people my age or older can quote the Preamble:



We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect
Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the
Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.

Of course
what was signed in 1787 did not include the Bill of Rights. Several delegates to
the convention refused to sign the newly drafted constitution because it did not
include a bill of rights. Bills of rights were typically parts of the
constitutions of the several states of the day (and today), placed there to
ensure that certain rights were recognized by the government. Most of the
delegates did not feel such a bill was necessary, and other may have been on the
fence but were weary from the months of negotiations.
The lack of a bill of
rights was one of the main arguments that Anti-Federalists used to try
to convince the public to reject the Constitution. But the need for change was
all too evident, and it was not rejected. However, some of the states sent
suggestions for amendments to the Constitution to add an enumeration of certain
rights. The ratification messages of the states included many varying
suggestions, which the very first Congress took under consideration in its very
first session.
Representative James Madison, who was so instrumental in the
creation of the Constitution in the first place, drafted a bill of rights.
Though he originally opposed the idea, by the time he ran for a seat in the
House, he used the creation of a bill as part of his campaign. He introduced the bill into the
House
, which debated it at length and approved 17 articles of amendment. The
Senate took up the bill and reduced the number to 12, by combining some and
rejecting others. The House accepted the Senate's changes, voting on September
24th and 25th, 1789; twelve articles of amendment were sent to the states for
ratification.
The first two articles were not accepted by enough states, but
the last ten were. We know them today as Amendments 1 through 10. The second
article was eventually ratified as the 27th Amendment. The first ten amendments,
collectively known as the Bill
of Rights
, were ratified on December 15, 1791 (811 days).

Here is
the text of that original senate drafted document, with 12 amendments. What do
you think about the two that weren't ratified?


Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their
adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent
misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and
restrictive
clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public
confidence in the
Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its
institution.
Resolved
by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America, in
Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses
concurring, that the following
Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of
the several States as amendments to
the Constitution of the United States,
all, or any of which articles, when
ratified by three fourths of the said
Legislatures, to be valid to all intents
and purposes, as part of the said
Constitution; viz.
Articles in addition to,
and Amendment of the
Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by
Congress and
ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the
fifth
Article of the original Constitution.

Article the first ... After the
first enumeration required by the first
article of the Constitution, there
shall be one Representative for every thirty
thousand, until the number
shall amount to one hundred, after which the
proportion shall be so
regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than
one hundred
Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty
thousand
persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two
hundred;
after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that
there
shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one
Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article the second
... No law, varying the compensation for the services of
the Senators and
Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of
Representatives
shall have intervened.

Article the third ... Congress shall make no law
respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right
of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of
grievances.

Article the fourth ... A well regulated
Militia, being necessary to the
security of a free State, the right of the
people to keep and bear Arms, shall
not be infringed.

Article the
fifth ... No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in
any house,
without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner
to be
prescribed by law.

Article the sixth ... The right of the people to be
secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,
but upon probable
cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place
to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article the seventh ... No person shall be held to answer for a capital,
or
otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a
Grand Jury,
except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the
Militia, when in
actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall
any person be subject
for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of
life or limb; nor shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness
against himself, nor be deprived
of life, liberty, or property, without due
process of law; nor shall private
property be taken for public use, without
just compensation.

Article the eighth ... In all criminal prosecutions,
the accused shall
enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an
impartial jury of the State
and district wherein the crime shall have been
committed, which district shall
have been previously ascertained by law, and
to be informed of the nature and
cause of the accusation; to be confronted
with the witnesses against him; to
have compulsory process for obtaining
witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his
defence.

Article the ninth ... In Suits at common law, where the value
in
controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall
be
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in
any
Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common
law.

Article the tenth ... Excessive bail shall not be required, nor
excessive
fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Article the eleventh ... The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain
rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the
people.

Article the twelfth ... The powers not delegated to the
United States by
the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are
reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.

Frederick
Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House
John Adams, Vice-President of the
United States and President of the
Senate
Attest John Beckley, Clerk of
the House of Representatives
Sam. A. Otis Secretary of the Senate

This information and so much more is available at http://www.usconstitution.net/choose.html


What interesting facts do you know about our founding documents?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Psalms Four

I found myself unable to sleep last night...having similar problems tonight. The problem is two-fold: first of all I am restless, because my body is used to having at least half an hour of vigorous exercise everyday and for the last two days it hasn't gotten that. Secondly, my mind will not shut off. I have worries, and its hard to give them up and continue on to rest on some days.

Last night, after trying prayer, reading, a hot bath and some push ups, I finally tried opening my Bible. I'm not a big proponent of random Bible searches, but I was so tired, and so I thumbed open to Psalms, figuring I was in a David kinda mood. By whatever impetus, I started to read Psalm 4. A few minutes later I was asleep, a smile on my face.

Directed to God:

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress before
Have mercy on me now,
And hear my prayer.

Directed to his fellow man:

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood?
But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly.

Directed to himself as a reminder:

The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness
And put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?"
Lord lift up the light of your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine
increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep

Directed in prayer to God:

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

KC Trip: Supersized!

Here's another example of why I love the internet. Yesterday? The name David Garrett meant nothing to me. Today? "Met" him, fell hard, looked up his concert schedule, called my high school buddy Christine in KC where he is playing in a few weeks, got tickets, extended my vacation. Done. Of course I could just buy a CD, but lordy, lordy, then I would miss this:







Monday, September 7, 2009

Booklists


Last night I spent a few hours talking books with a couple of friends, and compiled a list of Want to Reads. Here it is, anyone else read any of these books and want to comment?

  1. Neverend: An Erik Winter Novel
  2. In The Woods
  3. White Tiger
  4. Pope Joan
  5. The Forger's Spell
  6. Iran Awakening by Shirin Ibadi
  7. Molokai by Alan Brennert
  8. Time Traveler's Wife (have I read this?)
  9. The Girl w/ The Dragon Tattoo
  10. The Devil in the Junior League
  11. Codex 632
  12. The Guernsey Literarry & Potato Society
  13. Beneath a Marble Sky
  14. The Book Thief (I know, I know!)
  15. The Coroner's Lunch
  16. Haunted Ground
  17. Playing for the Ashes
  18. A Thread of Grace
  19. A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss
  20. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  21. The Perfect Nest by Catherin Friend
  22. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  23. The Sonnet's and a Lover's Complaint by William Shakespeare
  24. David Golder by Irene Nemirovsky
  25. The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman
  26. The Adventuress by Audrey Niffenegger
  27. People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks
  28. In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream by Erik Dregni
  29. The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
  30. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

To Those Who Disparage Their Rulers


Something has been eating away at me in the background for several months now, and tonight I want to let it out. I want to talk about President Bashing. But first I'll talk about a subject I know almost nothing about, Armchair Quarterbacking.

Although I am completely outside the community of those who worship at the feet of the football gods, I am neither deaf nor impervious to their debates, clubs and catcalls. My father and brother were avid football fans when I was growing up, and so I was in the house during many game recaps and predictions. As I've aged, my circle of friends has never been without the odd football lover or two, so my "knowledge" has grown a little bit. But one thing that has always irritated me about sports fans in general, is the phenomena of "armchair quarterbacking". You of course all know what I mean, the tendency of fans to relive the game by judging, after the fact, each play and choice made by the team or coach or quarterback. I'm not sure why Fan 1 is so convinced that what they saw on the TV qualifies them as an expert on how that play shoulda gone down, but he/she is, and away they go, back and forth, approving or disproving each decision made, each play run. It is one of the reasons I dislike sports, because of all the judgement and hoopla that surrounds it.

Another sector of society also gets an inordinate amount of second-guessing, and its another sector of society I don't like talking about much. Of course I am talking about politicians. Now part of the reason I don't like talking about politics is because when it comes to politics I'm a Viking in Green Bay territory. Although I am neither a staunch Democrat, nor did I vote for our current "quarterback", I am a person who is politically a little left of center, and that is not a popular position amongst the majority of my friends and family. (Thank God for Tami!)

I am no expert on politics, although I have several in my extended family, and I don't spend a great deal of time searching the various media for updates on that front. I do believe that one of the things I most love about this country is that one can truly speak their mind, even when it is not a majority position, and fear nothing more than being ignored.

I am also not an expert on doctrine, although I also have several of those in my extended family, but I do know that the UGLY second-guessing and MOCKING and DERISION I have heard coming from the mouths of many among my family, friends and acquaintances feels very ungodly to me.

In Romans 13, Paul says

"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law."



I don't think what this is recommending is passivity and neither do I. By all means pay attention, campaign when it is the season, and lobby for the things that you have prayerfully considered. But I do think this passage is calling for respect, for entrusting the leadership of our country to God, who is over all leaders, even the President of the United States. The criticism I have heard in the first eight months of this young president's tenure takes my breath away. Oh we of little faith. God tells us with the faith of a mustard seed we can move a mountain with a single word, but we do not believe that God can guide this leader, that God can "mean it for our good".

This is the president and administration that we have. I don't care who you are, you do not have more information, have not been better informed, and do not have a clearer perspective on the complicated nature of that position than the man to whom God has entrusted that task. Pray blessing upon him. Thank God for His supreme position over all leaders. Have just a modicum of hope and faith that this young man, who entered the arena just a few months ago, during a time of great financial turmoil, will be used by God to further His kingdom.

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