Friday, June 22, 2012

15 Years of Bliss(ish)

Fifteen years ago today a couple of crazy kids, Seth and Crystal, got married.  "Far too young and far too soon!" some people cried.

Nine months later, "far too young and far too soon" again, a beautiful baby girl joined their family....and they were off.

Since then Seth and Crystal have worked hard to create a household filled with love, noise, joy, noise, and acceptance.....and a few rambunctious (and amazing) kids.

A household where they open up a room, and their lives, at a moment's notice to someone in need of a place to live and heal.

A household where all are welcomed and encouraged, nay, forced to be themselves.

A household that shows its love for Jesus in the way it loves people.  Church people, family, friends, neighborhood people, that scary homeless guy, freaks and geeks, it doesn't matter, they might try to hide it under scary demeanors (not really), but they love them all.

A household that strives to be a safe place for hurting people in need of shelter from the storms of this world.

A household that has learned my mother's lesson that "more parties" is always better than "less parties".

I know it hasn't always (ever?) been easy, but I have been impressed with the insane determination to love each other that they have both brought to the marriage.

So please join me in wishing Seth and Crystal a happy fifteen years of marriage and our hope that they will get to experience fifteen more.....and then a bunch after that since, heck, they got married far too young, they have an outside shot at a Double Diamond Anniversary.

Love you guys!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Submarines! from TMQ

Submarines Gone Wild! Last year TMQ did an item on the disturbing tendency of nuclear submarines -- packed with super-advanced sensors -- to fail to detect large ships directly in their paths. Last week, the British nuclear submarine Astute failed to detect Scotland, beaching itself when neither the sub's crew nor its super-advanced electronics noticed the boat was headed directly toward a 640-square-mile island. But the nuclear weapons won't go off by accident. Trust us.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

the furious longing of God

Brennan Manning, the author, was working in a leper colony outside of New Orleans when he met Yolanda. A beautiful woman who has had her beauty taken away by leprosy. Her ex-husband had forbidden her children to visit her. Brennan Manning is told that she is dying and visits her one last time.

Below is an excerpt from the book the furious longing of God:

I anointed Yolanda and prayed with her. As I turned around to put the top back on the bottle of oil, the room was filled with a brilliant light. It had been raining when I came in; I didn't even look up, but said, "Thanks, Abba, for the sunshine. I bet that'll cheer her up."

As I turned back to look at Yolanda - and if I live to be three hundred years old I'll never be able to find the words to describe what I saw - her face was like a sunburst over the mountains, like one thousand sunbeams streaming out of her face literally so brilliant I had to shield my eyes.

I said, "Yolanda, you appear to be very happy."

With her slight Mexican-American accent she said, "Oh Father, I am so happy."

I then asked her, "Will you tell me why you're so happy?"

She said, "Yes, the Abba of Jesus just told me He would take me home today."

I vividly remember the hot tears that began rolling down my cheeks. After a lengthy pause, I asked just what the Abba of Jesus said.

Yolanda said:

Come now My love. My lovely one, come.

For you, the winter has passed, the snows are over and gone,
the flowers appear in the land,
the season of joyful songs has come.

The cooing of the turtledove
is heard in our land.

Come now, My love. My Yolanda, come.

Let Me see your face. And let Me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.

Come now, My love, My lovely one, come.

Six hours later her little leprous body was swept up into the furious love of her Abba. Later that same day, I learned from the staff that Yolanda was illiterate. She had never read the Bible, or any book for that matter, in her entire life. I surely had never repeated those words to her in any of my visits. I was, as they say, a man undone.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Myers-Briggs Report

Took a Myers-Briggs test the other day. Below are my results, I found it to be spot on. I highlighted a few areas of special interest, those areas that make me happy or sad, those things that make me tick. Anyway, here you go, let me know if you think this is me.

Your Type Description: ESFJ

• Warmhearted, conscientious, and cooperative
• Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it
• Like to work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time
• Loyal, follow through even in small matters
• Notice what others need in their day-by-day lives and try to provide it
• Want to be appreciated for who they are and for what they contribute

People with ESFJ preferences like to organize people and situations and then work with others to complete tasks accurately and on time. They are conscientious and loyal, following through even in small matters, and they want others to be the same. They value security and stability. Sociable and outgoing,

ESFJs are great at celebrations and traditions. They bring a very personal caring to the workplace and home.

ESFJs want to be appreciated for themselves and for what they give to others.

ESFJs use their Feeling primarily externally and radiate warmth and energy. They are encouraged by approval and hurt by indifference and unkindness. Conflict-filled or tense situations make them uncomfortable, and they work to ensure these don’t occur. ESFJs are likely to be warm, sympathetic, helpful, personable, cooperative, and tactful.

ESFJs focus on the present and base decisions on experiences and facts. Though they enjoy variety, they adapt well to routine and don’t like work that demands mastery of abstract ideas and impersonal analysis.

They enjoy their possessions and take good care of them. ESFJs are likely to be practical, realistic, down-to-earth, decisive, thorough, and consistent. They are sensitive to the needs of others and good at providing practical caring. Much of their pleasure and satisfaction comes from the comfort and pleasure of people around them.

ESFJs are energized by interaction with others and genuinely interested in others’ lives and concerns.
They feel most comfortable in structured situations and enjoy creating order, structure, and schedules.
They prefer to do things the traditional and accepted way. For the sake of harmony, ESFJs will
agree with others when they can. However, they also have strong values that they express clearly and confidently when they think it is appropriate.

ESFJs value family and social ties. They enjoy belonging and are good at celebrations and traditions. Others usually see ESFJs as sociable, outgoing, enthusiastic, energetic, organized, and orderly, and as persons committed to preserving traditions.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Crazy Christian and the Left-Wing Looney - A Story of Friendship

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

Lewis and Clark

Ben and Jerry

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemingway

Brutus and Sparrow

Jonathan and Jeff.

Friendship is weird.

Way back in 1993 when some pimply faced new kid in school with slicked back hair and a chubby, shy kid with a terrible hair cut first met, no one had any idea that they would still be friends over seventeen years later.

In fact, no one had any thought that they would be such good, close friends that people would think of them like a married couple.

We lived at each other’s houses and knew each other’s parents so well that we got the birds and bees talk from two sources.

People would come up to me and say, “Hey man, Sparrow owes me five bucks. We both know he is never going to pay me back, but he will pay YOU back, so why don’t you give me the money and you can get it from him.”

For a friendship to last this long you have to be willing to talk about issues, since when you are as close as we were and spent as much time together as we did, you are bound to get into arguments. Dumb ones mostly. Like how it was impossible that I couldn’t like a song that Jeff loved so much. We argued about that for almost two hours I think. Worst part was that it was a Goo Goo Dolls song.

There was one time we got in a fight about something moronic and didn’t see each other for two weeks. Kevin had to drive out to North East to pick Jeff up so we could “hug it out”. By the time the two weeks had passed we had no recollection about what the argument was anyway. Might have been Matchbox 20.

We are on such opposite sides of so many issues, religion, politics, alcohol (he doesn’t like beer), and other vital issues. However we manage to put that all aside, even the fact that he know that I really want him to think like I do on religion. I am amazed by how many friendships are destroyed by politics or religion….or alcohol. In regards to politics, we are all being screwed by our politicians so why fight about it? And religion? What good does it do me or him if I chase away a friend by harping on it? He knows my thoughts and feelings on the matter, one day he will realize I’m right. :)

So in closing, Jeff, I love you, although not in a move to Massachusetts kind of way, I can’t think of anyone else I would rather be practically strip-searched and kicked out of Canada with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Just so I can keep track of it.

Artist: C-Lite
Name: No Tombstone

Just posted it here so I remember it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Note From My Mom

I've been going through a lot of stuff in the house, getting rid of old stuff that I don't use and sorting things in preparation for moving next year and I found a notebook from my 24th birthday. My Mom had the idea that it would be neat for people to write something nice in a notebook and I could read the nice notes later.

My 24th birthday would be the last birthday I would celebrate with my Mom as she would leave us six months later.

I found the book recently, sitting on a bookshelf of course, and thought that I would share the note my Mom wrote to me.

To My Dear Son, Jonathan,

As I look back over the years, the one gift you have given me, which stands out, is laughter. From your baby smile, which you did with your whole body, to your obsession with the Dukes of Hazzard (“I’ll be Luke and you be Daisy.”) you’ve given me smiles and laughter. Remember at the dinner table when you practiced being windshield wipers? And Mr. Spoon? And the stories you would act out with whatever was handy?

Even ushering me down the aisle at Elizabeth’s wedding, you got your emotional Mom to smile and laugh.

And so in this coming year I would wish for you many smiles and much laughter.



Some songs to listen to

Chris Tomlin

Mercy Me