Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I'm thankful for family and friends.

I'm thankful for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me.

I'm thankful for the things I've seen as roadblocks, for the things I've seen as hurdles, for the things I've seen as trials, disappointments, temptations, storms, and the battle scars of life. These things are blessings that God has seen fit to shape me with.

I'm thankful for second chances. At this point, even seven thousandth chances.

Most importantly, I'm thankful for the One who created me and Who died for me so that I might truly live.

Thank You.


Friday, November 14, 2008

I Step Aside

I've not posted in entirely too long.
Time to get the juices flowing again...


I Step Aside

You in your world and I in mine
With a tear in my heart, I step aside

Such times God's will the hurt sustains
Lately seems a constant refrain
Yet who am I to block your path?
To be His hands, a worldly salve

You in your world and I in mine
With a rip in my heart, I step aside

A heavy chested, bellowed roar
Frustrations I allow no more
In my meekness your embrace
For your love I fear to chase

You in your world and I in mine
With a wound in my heart, I step aside

A final grasp, chest to chest
Yet longer still at your behest
Oh, how I wish your heart to tend
But with a sigh and a tear I'll let it end

You in your world and I in mine
With a weakened heart, I step aside.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mt Hutchison church of Christ VBS 2008

Just thought I'd post a few pictures from Mt. Hutchison church of Christ's Vacation Bible School from last week. It was a whole lotta' fun!
Hey, wait a minute! No dancing, folks!!!!! ;^) The kids had a skit every day this week based on the VBS theme "Can You Dig It?" It was all about digging for treasure and archaeologists as a metaphor for uncovering the hidden treasure of the heart. Good stuff.

Not a bad showing for a country congregation. Actually, a pretty good teen turnout. I thought this next picture captured this guy's general attitude pretty well. He's a funny dude. ;^)

One of the younger students drew this picture up for me. I consider it a pretty cool award! Being that this was my first VBS (I've never even attended one, and I taught this one...), it's pretty high praise, indeed. Thanks, Cheyenne!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Place My Faith

A new song I'm working on:

I Place My Faith

I have no faith in human institutions
I have no faith in the things they say
I have no faith in government illusions
I have no faith in the taxes I'll save

But I have faith in Your Holy Son
And I have faith in what He's done
And I have faith in what He'll do
I place my faith in a loving You

I have no faith in worldly contributions
I have no faith in the price I'll pay
I have no faith in people's resolutions
I have no faith in preventing the grave

But I have faith in Your Holy Son
And I have faith in what He's done
And I have faith in what He'll do
I place my faith in a loving You

Out of the grave, into the sun
How does it feel to know that You've won
Out of my sins, into Your blood
I know it's real, I'm Yours to become

Out of the grave, into the sun
How does it feel to know that You've won
Out of my sins, into Your blood
I know it's real, I'm Yours to become
Once I put on Your mighty armor...

I have no faith in printed distributions
I have no faith in the words on their page
I have no faith in mass hallucinations
I have no faith in a worldly sage

But I have faith in Your Holy Son
And I have faith in what He's done
And I have faith in what He'll do
I place my faith in a loving You

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

The reason for our holiday celebration today:

Thanks to all of the veterans who helped to make this possible, and those who helped and are helping to keep this nation free.

Here is the text:

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I've a family of raccoons in my attic!

No kiddin', I saw 'em yesterday morning. I was headed out the back door to get my watering can to water my plants, and stopped before I opened it because I was staring straight at a pair of baby raccoons sitting on my trash can on the back deck. If I'd opened the door, I could've touched 'em--they were THAT close!

So I ran to get the camera, but it was out of batteries. All I had was my cell phone, and it only had room for two pictures. Grrrrrrr....

So once I had my cell phone ready, I got that first pic--and then Momma showed up. I watched her pull another baby out of the opening to the attic and then she carried it in her mouth up over to the rooftop.

Okay, so I printed out that second shot and gave it to Keith and Stella (my landlords), slipping it under the door just before Stella went to work. It must've made quite an impression, because Keith came over a li'l over an hour later to discuss this latest development. (;^)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Breakfast Change-Up

I had a li'l extra time this morning for a good well-cooked breakfast. But instead I decided to cook it myself. Heh.

I went with a familiar recipe and changed it up a bit. The original came from "The Joy Of Cooking," and consisted of:

1. Fry up some bacon.
2. Spray the inside of a muffin tin with Pam.
3. Sprinkle some Chile Powder on the bottom of the tin.
4. Wrap a strip of fried bacon around the inside of the tin.
5. Crack an egg into the tin.
6. Sprinkle Paprika and Black Pepper on top of the egg.
7. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
8. Chow down.

I started off by putting on a Tony Bennett album. This is important!

Well, I changed the recipe by making scrambled eggs, adding 1 cup of milk to 12 eggs in the bowl and beating it until it was well mixed. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, I gathered some Basil, Thyme, Rosemary and Parsley from my front porch planters.

I got the Green Onions and Bell Pepper from the fridge, brought the spices inside and chopped up everything but the Parsley. I also got out the Peppered Bacon and the Colby/Jack Cheese. From left to right you see Rosemary/Thyme, Bell Pepper, Green Onion, Basil.

Chopped Bell Pepper, scrambled eggs, chopped Rosemary/Thyme, chopped Green Onion, Peppered Bacon, chopped Basil, shredded Colby/Jack.

The Peppered Bacon was fried up, but was pretty greasy, so I drained it and allowed it to get somewhat sopped up by the paper towels on a plate.

I sprinkled some Chile powder in the tin, then dropped in the Basil, Thyme and Rosemary.

Then I wrapped the Bacon around the inside of the tin and filled the tin with the chopped Bell Peppers and Green Onions.

Then came the Scrambled Eggs.

Finally, I sprinkled the grated Colby/Jack on top and put it in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes. I change the baking temperature because my oven cooks it a li'l differently somehow...

Then, since Tony was done singing, I switched to The Oscar Peterson Trio and waited for the breakfast to bake.

It's ready!!!!! You can tell because the eggs and cheese are rising up over the tin like a muffin.

Now, we add the whole-grain toast, orange juice and Sumatran Sunset coffee by Boca Java, and we're ready to dig in. Mmmmmmmmm... Scrumptious.

Buddy wanted some, but he had to settle for cuddling up into the good-smelling cooking spot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Absolutely Inspirational

I just saw this video for the first time this morning. All I can say is, "wow!"

Some of you have probably seen this before, so it's no big thing to you, but this impresses me to no end.

Edited to say: Okay, so the video won't embed into this post for some reason. It's a woman with no arms taking care of her newborn baby, among other things. Truly impressive. ---Jeff

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Longest Day

[Photo: Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard]

It has been called "The Longest Day." In fact, a movie by that name was released several years later with John Wayne. The opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan captured the absolute chaos of the event that occurred sixty-four years ago today.

D-Day. The Invasion of Normandy. The largest amphibious landing in history. Out of a total of 130,000 troops landing that day, 29,000 were killed. But it was the beginning of the end for that era's "Axis of Evil."

I salute all who participated, and I salute your entire generation. As Tom Brokaw noted, yours has earned the right to be called "The Greatest Generation."

(Edited to say: I saw this speech on YouTube. It's by Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion.)

President Ronald Reagans Speech at Point-du-Hoc, Normandy:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oooooh! A Bug!

I saw this bug this morning, and I haven't a clue what it is. It looks cool, though. Kind of looks like a cross between a Mosquito Hawk and a tiny Grasshopper.

Any experts out there know what this is?

Edited to say: One of the guys I sing with, Bruce Caldwell, sent me an email and said,

"Hey, thanks for the photos. I have gone through all the insect guides I
have, and My best guess is a nymph, narrow-winged tree cricket (Oecanthus
niveous), but body shape across the back (winged area) and the "striped"
antennae don't really match exactly. So... Answer...I think it is a species
of tree cricket, but don't know which one for sure. BC"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

I took these pictures in 1988 on the big island of Hawaii.

We were on a training mission to Pohacaloa Training Area and we happened upon an old memorial site. If I remember right, it was a helicopter crash that happened back in the late 1970's sometime, killing all aboard.

As time goes by, the memory fades and names go away. Here's to not just remembering, but honoring those who've fallen in the service of our country.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lonely Egg

I saw a robin's egg out in the front yard today. After doing some other things and thinking about this egg on the lawn, some words came to me, and I'll probably put them to music. This is my first draft, so bear with me. Man, I still don't even have a title or a chorus or a bridge...

Is this what it's like to be alone?

Is it what it's like to be on your own?

Oh, mama take me back to my home.

Because I sure don't want to be alone.

I'm rollin' here, and it's far too far

From home

Sitting here in the open green

Not too far from the city streets

Or from the frying pan into the heat

They step heavy and I'm close to their feet

I'm rollin' here, and it's far too far

From home

Did you kick me out when I fell from the nest?

Did you move my burden from upon your chest?

Does my absence maybe give you a rest?

In your trial did I not pass the test?

I'm rollin' here, and it's far too far

From home.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

They Smell Beautiful

...but it's most definitely allergy season. Nothing like going around with broken glass at the back of your throat. Blech.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ah Gots Uh Frawg In Duh Gahrdayn....

Okay, so I was watering the garden today and found a frog. Just an ordinary frog.

I'm pretty sure he's camera shy, but he posed for this shot.

And then he tried to run. RUN, I SAY!!!!

But he wasn't fast enough for THIS frog-chasin' paparazzi!

Yeah, I know. It's not easy bein' green. Heh.

Edited to say: I've just been informed that this is not a frog but a toad. I obviously had no idea. The person who gave me the info also gave me a couple of sites that give the run-down on toads and frogs here:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Day At Broken Arrow 5/9-5/10-2008

First Day at Broken Arrow 5/9-5/10 2008

Boy, did I mess THIS one up. I've reposted with the next one.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Finals Week... Aaaaaaarrrrrrghhrghrghlglglrrrhhh!!!!

It's Finals Week. Blech. I'm soooooo bitter...
I'm stark. Raving. Mad. Mad, I say! Mmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaad!!!!
The question is: Why? Hmmmmmm...
Oh, I know, and I'm not happy!!!
Youuuuuuuuuu!!!! No, not you the reader...
Man. Glad I got that out of my system. Whew.
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