Thursday, July 28, 2005

Exciting days

These days are certainly getting exciting . . .

We just finished "Nick at Night", our VBS program at church. The format was based on John 3, Nicodemus visiting Jesus at night; however, the delivery of the program was patterned after the Nicolodeon game shows. The entire event took place on Wednesday evenings at the downtown public park. We had live music, lots of kids and plenty of games. I don't think many people went home very dry each night because of all the water games played (I made certain I was one of the dry ones).

Last night was so hot that with the heat index, it was about 110 degrees. Though I was sweltering, I kept the water flowing! The station I was in had no shade, so when I moved to get out of the sun at one point, one certain individual thought to be helpful and dumped a bottle of ice water down my back. I just about went into shock, to say the least.

August is just around the corner! I am teaching a Sunday School class more regularly now and some final decisions are being made as to our permanance there. I start teaching "Christian Ethics" on the 16th and "Pilgrim's Progress" on the 21st.

I am getting excited also about getting the Fall garden going. I would like to plant some 16" rows and mixed rows instead of single rows to increase our yield. I am settling into doing a salad garden as opposed to a full vegetable garden--though I would like to plant a fuller garden in the spring. Right now I am wanting to get lettuce, kale, radishes, carrots, cabbage, spinach, snap beans and perhaps some winter squash in the ground. If I get that much in, I will be happy. I think I missed the chili season, but cannot find anything stating it could not be a late summer/fall vegetable. Thinking about pumpkins, too.

Am loosing the battle of the summer squash bugs right now, but tomatoes are coming in nicely!

Poor astronomy this summer--either too cloudy at night, or the bug swarms were too much. Maybe those were clouds of bugs . . .

Oh, and congratulations to STS-114 on their successful launch. Happy flight and safe return ladies and gentlemen!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Church of the Swivel-heads

I was preparing to post the link found below when my wife called. Last night a horsefly got into the house and she had a hard time trying to kill it by wacking at it with a small roll of paper. This morning the fly (or a close relative) continued it's disturbance and she finally got it to go outside. My 6 year-old son says, "you probably wacked it so much you gave it amnesia and it forgot where it was supposed to go."

Ain't that a hoot?

In all seriousness, here is an awesome article I would venture to call "Church of the Swivel-heads", reminding us that the church does not have to try to "keep up" because the world does not want us anyway: "A Cry for Difference from the Culturally Weary."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pray 4 Zimbabwe

I received the following through a forward from a friend of mine who returned from South Africa not too long ago and reported these things were coming (I don't know if the author of what follows is a Christian):

"I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn. We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next . . . I mean they are actually plowing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was "too close to the airport".. so we are feeling extremely insecure right now. You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help?

Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us - that is a help - but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what's going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable. There is no ways we can leave so that is not an option. I just ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes... that's all. You can't just be in denial and pretend its not going on. To be frank with you, its genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are IN level seven (level 8 is after its happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation.

We need you to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa. This government has GONE MAD and you need to publicize our plight or how can we be rescued?

You can't just say "oh you attract your own reality". The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 people and a child on this property and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water. How can I take another family of 4 - and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?

I am not asking you for money, or a ticket out of here - I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and I want you to pass on our news and pictures and don't just press the delete button for God's sake. Help in the way that you know how.

Face the reality of what is going on here and SEND OUT THE WORD. The more people that know about it, the more chance we have of United Nations coming to our aid. Please stop ignoring and denying what's happening.

Would you like to be protected from the truth and then if we are eliminated how would you feel? Surely you would say "if only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way". I know we chose to stay here and so we "deserve" what's coming to us. For now we ourselves, have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those I can't fight for my rights.

We no longer have SW radio which told us everything that was happening because the government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of everyone's homes which are supposed to be "illegal but which a huge percentage of them actually do have licenses for. Please - have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can be DONE.

PRAY FOR THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE SUFFERING IN ZIMBABWE. EVERYONE IS SUFFERING. GOD DOES NOT WANT THEM TO SUFFER AND WE SHOULD STAND TOGETHER AS PEOPLE SHOULD CARE NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION YOU ARE. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE TREATED IN SUCH A MANNER. PRAY 4 ZIMBABWE."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

"No Discharge in the War"

Echoes of Kipling usher us from the close of our Intensive period in the Seminary through the rest of the summer and march us onward toward fall. (see his poem, "Boots").

We are holding our Vacation Bible School in a non-traditional format this year: each Wednesday night in July our church is hosting "Nick at Night" at the downtown public park. Though it carries supplies plenty of water games in the style of Nickelodeon, the premise is basedon Nicodemus'visit to Jesus. So each Wednesday night Leslie will be manning the First Aid booth and I will be involved in evangelism and counseling. I pray for cool weather.

I will also be preparing to teach two classes this fall: at church I will be spending 10 weeks journeying through "Pilgrim's Progress" on Sunday nights and 18 weeks wrestling with Ethics on Tuesday nights in West Columbia. Pray for me. I have a lot of writing to do and plenty of reading besides!

Leslie will be working a little each day and will be finishing her study in the Prophets.

The children are certainly growing--there seems to be less children around the house each day. With one son and two daughter pressing into and through teen-hood (and all implications forth-with), the level of seriousness is on the rise.

I am taking a week off from work, partially out of necessity (IT is taking my office computer for a few days) but certainly out of need.

CANNONBALL!

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