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Showing posts from June, 2008

The Day After . . .

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I awoke this morning, drained and still very tired. So ... I will post some thoughts tomorrow about the wedding day - but if you have a moment to watch and listen to this video, this was the song I chose for our Father-Daughter dance. Enjoy!




Thanks for stopping by . . .
PJ (a.k.a. "The Father of the Bride")

"Dearly Beloved . . . "

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It won't be long now! In just a little over 9 hours I will be walking my daughter down the aisle. And shortly after reaching the front of the sanctuary ... the question will be asked, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" Wait a minute!! "Woman??!!" My little girl Kate is no longer a little girl but a "WOMAN??!!" It is true. Somewhere along life's journey - I looked away ... and when I looked back my little brown-eyed girl was no longer a girl - but a beautiful young woman. A college graduate. A successful high-school teacher. And soon - a wife! I can scarcely believe it! But I am so very glad for her and her soon-to-be husband!

As I look ahead to the wedding ceremony, I can't express how privileged I feel. Not only do I get to do what every dad gets to do (walk his daughter down aisle) - but I also get to officiate the ceremony, guiding Ryan and Kate through their vows in the process! I consider that a huge honor!!!

I am excited fo…

One More Day - But Who's Counting?

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Yesterday I had a great day celebrating with the groom in Washington, DC (in the photo the groom, Ryan is in the blue shirt). We took in, among other things, the National Archives (to view the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States), the WW II Memorial and a Washington Nationals vs. the Baltimore Orioles baseball game. Needless to say, by the time I got home (about 1:15 AM) I was one worn out Father of the Bride!

After a very short night, I was up and at it this morning ... running a few errands and then spending a few minutes with my daughter. At one point she made mention that tonight would be her last night at home ... for some bizarre reason, those words plucked my heart strings which in turn flipped on the switch to my tear ducts. We had a good cry together (but better here in the privacy of my living room than while walking her down the aisle before the watching gaze of 556 eyes (or 278 people)!
I am hoping to post tomorrow morning with some though…

Only Two More Days!

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In less than two hours I will be heading south with a bunch of guys who are going to celebrate my-future-son-in-law's impending marriage. Our day will include some sight seeing in Washington, DC, dinner and then a baseball game featuring the Washington Nationals vs. the Baltimore Orioles (now those who know my future-son-in-law will not be suprised about the day's itinerary. Baseball and U.S. history are at the top of his interests - but below his interest in my daughter!!!) . BUT before I leave on our excursion, I have to deliver all the reception favors to the resort (they need them no later than noon today). I will be glad to do so ... after all, I placed each and every one of the 556 truffles into their little white boxes (two per box and wearing these little plastic gloves while I did so). I sure hope the guests at the reception really (I mean REALLY) enjoy them! I spent several hours yesterday helping my daughter, wife and a few others putting the favors together. (I als…

Reflections of the Father of the Bride (part 2)

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At the beginning of this week, I had big plans to write a brief posting each day leading up to my daughter's wedding. Well as you can see, I missed doing so yesterday. Let's just say my day included some unanticipated "errands."
First we made a mid-morning stop at Willow Valley Resort (reception site). There we discussed all the last minute "make-sure-all -the-ducks-are-in-line" type of details for the reception. This meeting concluded with the final payment ("ouch!"). From there, my wife took our daughter out to lunch - a relaxed, reflective and very enjoyable dad, mom and daughter time (most likely the last before the big day!). From there we drove to Costco to pick up plums for the wedding reception (I think they are being used in conjunction with informing reception guests as to their seating assignment - and, Oh by the way, I NEVER dreamed how difficult it would be to decide who is sitting with whom at a reception!!!). After cleaning Costco o…

Reflections of the Father of the Bride (part 1)

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In just five days (God willing!), I will be walking my youngest daughter down the aisle to give her away to her soon-to-be husband. It seems like just yesterday that Kate was just taking her first steps! Where has the time gone?

Earlier this morning, I showed Kate my copy of the wedding ceremony (what a great privilege to be able to officiate the ceremony and walk Kate and Ryan through their vows to one another!). Her response was to jump up and down with excitement as she exclaimed, "Only five more days!" My response? Sweaty eyes! But I guess I'll experience more than that by the time this week is over!
Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

A Big Event's Coming!

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In just six days, our youngest daughter, Kate will be marrying her wonderful fiance, Ryan. It is hard for me to believe that all of our months of planning is almost over! Yea! So beginning tomorrow (Tuesday, June 24th), I will be out of the office so I can be available for any last minute "stuff" that has got to be done. My plan is to post a brief blog posting each day as I reflect on what's happening from my perspective as the Father of the Bride.

As I think of Kate's and Ryan's wedding day, my thoughts are drawn to another wedding day that the Bible talks about. Listen to the Apostle John's description:

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (F…

The Beef of the Bible!

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Yesterday I asked the question, "Where's the beef?" The sad situation within the Church today is that the average Christian has "dumbed down" his or her knowledge of the Bible. This is tragic for one cannot obey and apply what one does not know to begin with! For your weekend "fodder" I have included below some insightful comments about the Bible and our interaction with it. Take a moment and read through these ... and then examine your own practice of Bible intake.


"The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual growth. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian." --AW. Tozer




"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed." --Patrick Henry




"Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.&q…

Where's the Beef?

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Take a moment and view this 30 second commercial which first aired on January 10, 1984.






Where's the beef?" That is a good question that all of us need to ask when it comes to the "beef" of the Word of God. There is an alarming situation that is arising in the Church. On average, Christians today are reading, studying, memorizing, and applying the Bible less and less and churches are getting away from solid biblical preaching and teaching. Take a moment and look at your own interaction with the Scriptures. Read Psalm 1 and ask yourself if the psalm is a good description of you. And pray for our churches that we would renew our commitment to the Word of God!
Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Now That's Amazing!

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Dan Cohen just finished up his freshman year at Duquense University. He also just completed an amazing feat. He took a 4-by-4-by-4 Rubik's Cube and solved it in 46.03 seconds! Now that's amazing! And if you have ever struggled to solve one of these puzzling puzzles - you know just HOW amazing Dan's effort was! In fact, in doing what he did - he set a new world record, shaving .6 seconds off the old record which was set just last year by a Hungarian man.

Life can be a lot like a Rubik's Cube. We encounter a lot of different scenarios involving family, work, schooling, friends, health, finances, etc. And no matter how hard we try - sometimes we just can't seem to get the pieces to fall into place. When this happens (and sooner or later - more likely sooner - it will happen!) and you begin to feel anxiety and fear begin to grow in your soul, put into practice Psalm 46:10. In this verse God tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God." The words "Be st…

Do You "Own" Things - Or Do Things Own YOU?

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I was very relieved when I saw the recent list (put out by CCC Information Services of Chicago, an industry group that tracks theft and vehicle damage) of the top 25 automobile models that are targeted by thieves. Why was I relieved? Because neither of our two cars (a PT Cruiser and a Nissan Sentra) were on the list! But if you own a model of the Acura Integra you had better take extra anti-theft precautions. Six of the top 10 most-stolen cars were models of the the Integra!

Now what does this say about our society that there is an actual industry group that makes money tracking car thefts? For one thing, it shows that many give no regard whatsoever to the Eighth Commandment, "You shall not steal." But why do people steal? For some it might be a matter of personal preservation. They are so desperate to provide for their families, they see stealing as their only (or best) shot at doing so. Others steal to fund an expensive drug habit. Others steal for the thrill of it - the ru…

Why Am I A Christian?

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This intriguing question is behind a book John Stott wrote in 2003. In this book, Stott places before his readers 7 reasons as to why he is a Christian. Now some people might offer the following reasons as to why they happen to be a Christian: I was born into a Christian home, I accepted Christ as college student, I "went forward" at a Billy Graham crusade. Now granted, all of these are certainly part of the answer. Stott in his first chapter discusses what he considers "the most significant factor" as to why he or any of us are Christians. Read on and consider what he says,

"Why I am a Christian is due ultimately neither to the influence of my parents and teachers, nor to my own personal decision for Christ, but to "the Hound of Heaven." That is, it is due to Jesus Christ himself, who pursued me relentlessly even when I was running away from him in order to go my own way. And if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the Hound of Heaven I would tod…

Information to Application...

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Yesterday I wrote about the "hypermilers" and how they try to squeeze every last mile out of a gallon of gasoline. Late yesterday afternoon I drove my wife down to North East Maryland for a special sea food dinner (it was her birthday). After dinner we drove to Sandy Cove Bible Conference to walk and sit and enjoy the beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay. All in all we had a delightful time.
Now since I drove a total of 90 miles round trip, I had the opportunity to apply some of the tips of the hypermilers. And given that my car is equipped with a gauge that tells me how I am doing gas mileage-wise, I was set to test what I had read. The car I was driving was a 2006 Nissan Sentra. The best mileage I had been able to achieve to date (and we have had the car for one year) was about 36 miles to the gallon. Last night, when it was all said and done -- are you ready? -- I had achieved an astounding 43.7 miles to the gallon! So how did I do it? What tips did I apply? For starters…

Going the Extra Mile?

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Wayne Gerdes, of Wadsworth, Illinois is a "driven"man. He is obsessed with squeezing every extra mile out of a gallon of gasoline that he possibly can. And he has been surprisingly successful! He's been able to run a Ford Ranger pick-up so that it got 84 miles per gallon. And driving his current car, a hybrid Honda Insight, he's been able to achieve an amazing 180 miles per gallon! You see, Gerdes doesn't want just good or even great gas mileage - he is after "hyper" gas mileage. That's right, he's a breed of drivers known as "hypermilers."

Now how does he do it? For starters, he drives smart: a light foot on the gas pedal, less idling, no jack rabbit starts and stops. But Gerdes doesn't stop there. He does other things like checking his tire pressure every week to make sure the tires are at their maximum weight and learning to "sweat it out" on a hot day by forgoing the car's air conditioning (which can cut gas consu…

When It Comes to Your Life - Who Is On Center Stage?

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This morning as I was reading from Charles Spurgeon's Morning by Morning devotional, I encountered the following question that Spurgeon poses for his readers, Why does God leave us His children on earth when he could transport us to heaven the moment we trust Christ? He answers the question by saying, "We are here that we may 'live to the Lord' and bring others to know HIS love." Now of course we know Spurgeon is right on target with his answer. The Bible clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that "whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." So life is NOT about me - it is ALL about HIM!

However, all too often we get that reversed ... and we live life in a way that shouts to those around us that life is all about ME! Please take a moment and watch this video which makes this point in a striking way. Then take another moment before you rush back to whatever is yelling for your attention and ask yourself if your life is…

When Life Does Not Work As Advertised!

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Yesterday, I went to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play ... yes in Pittsburgh. Some might say that is a long way to go to see a baseball game. I agree. 225 miles and four hours of driving is quite the distance. That is why I don't do it very often (if twice in four years qualifies as "not very often.") But we had a great time, in spite of the mid-ninety degree temperatures (we managed to sit in the shade as did most of the other fans in attendance). And what made the trip so noteworthy - the Pirates won the game, rattling future hall of a famer, Randy Johnson in the process! So all in all ... it was a relaxing way to spend my day off.

On the way home, we stopped to grab a quick dinner at a new rest stop on the PA Turnpike. As we scoped out our options in the food court, we decided on Burger King, figuring we could grab a quick sandwich and drink and be on our way. So I walked up to the register (they were not busy at all) and placed our order for two whopper juniors, one ch…

Hmm ... Richard Dawkins on Evolution

I've always known that Darwinists take a huge LEAP of faith in embracing the theory of evolution - but when I saw the following video of Richard Dawkins doing his best to answer a rather simple question, it struck me at how huge a leap it actually is. His answer to the question makes no sense at all. Evolution teaches that through slow and gradual change across billions of years, new species arise from older species. If this is indeed the case, we should see evidence of this process (and lots of it) in the fossil record. However, the fossil record shows NO evidence at all of these alleged intermediate creatures that are in the midst of evolving from say reptiles into birds. Sorry, Mr. Dawkins - nice try but the total inadequacy of your theory is clear to see in your rambling answer to the question.

Watch ... and then pray for this man that perhaps he will one day "see the light" and bow before the God who made him.








Thanks for stopping by . . .

pj

Clay Pots and the Power of God!

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2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
The "treasure" Paul is referring to here is what he just mentioned in verse 6 - "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
The "jars of clay" in this verse were cheap and breakable clay pots most often used in Paul's day to hold garbage or human waste. So what Paul is telling us here is that in the whole process of salvation, it is not us who through our power can save ourselves or anyone else - but rather salvation is only and totally the work of God! It is through HIS power that the gospel advances. And incredibly he does it through us clay pots!
Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

Why Do Doughnuts Have Holes?

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Today, believe it or not, is National Doughnut Day (do you ever wonder who decides these things? I mean, why couldn't today be National Plant a Tree Day or National Hug Your Child Day? - both of which I think would be a better thing to do than eating a doughnut or two!).

As I got to thinking about doughnuts, I got to wondering why doughnuts have holes. I did a little research (about 2 minutes worth!) and came up with two interesting theories. The first states that bakers discovered that in frying up these pastry delights, it was difficult to get them to cook evenly throughout. But some baker somewhere learned that he could solve this problem by removing the center. Voila! The doughnut was born.
A second theory goes back to life on the high seas. Allegedly, a certain sea captain named Hanson Gregory, while manning his post one stormy night, found it impossible both to steer his vessel and to eat his fried cake. In frustration he took his cake and impaled it over one of the spokes of…

Pass the SPAM, Please?

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As fuel prices rise, people are making a number of changes. For one, they are driving less. Gas sales in the U.S. have been in decline in recent weeks and urban centers around the country are reporting a significant upswing in the number of people using mass transit. In addition, Americans are switching from gas guzzling SUV's to smaller, more fuel efficient cars. But all of this is not surprising. But what might surprise you is that SPAM is on the increase. Now I am not talking about the cyberspace version of junk mail - but rather the mystery meat product put out by the Hormel Food Corporation.

Hormel recently reported that the sale of SPAM is up some 14% over the last year. That surprises me. I don't know about you, but I have a lot of questions about SPAM. Like, for starters, what exactly is it? Some say the word SPAM stands for "Something Posing As Meat." OK. I think I'll buy that (the explanation for the meaning of the name that is - certainly not the produc…

Let the Little Children Come!

Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

You got to love this little one!




Thanks for stopping by. . .

pj

I Can't Believe It Happened to Us!

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Last Wednesday evening as I was reading the back page of the Lancaster New Era, the following article caught my eye:





Thieves drill into cars for 'liquid gold'

The Associated Press

DETROIT -- Dale Fortin is getting a new kind of customer at his Detroit auto repair shop, customers who have not just been in a fender-bender or had a windshield smashed by a rock. The soaring price of crude oil has turned gas tanks into a cache of valuable booty, and Fortin has replaced several tanks punctured or drilled by thieves thirsting for the nearly $4-a-gallon fuel inside. "That's the new fad," said the co-owner of Dearborn Auto Tech in Detroit. "I'd never seen it before gas got up this high."


While gas station drive-offs and siphoning are far more common methods of stealing gas, reports of tank and line puncturing are starting to trickle into police departments and repair shops across the country. Some veteran mechanics and law enforcement officers say it's an u…