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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Great Outdoors

Leslie, the girls (including Flossie) and I had a fabulous time camping this weekend with friends. We fished, canoed, hiked, ate, drank and were pretty darned merry. A great time was had by all. The venue was graciously offered by our good friends, the Fitches, who have a hunting cabin set in some beautifully wooded acreage near Efland, NC. (note: check out the rope swing into the pond.)

I am also grateful, because this gave me an opportunity to test out some new camping gear in preparation for my "platform camping" in the NC swamp, in two weeks. That trip will consist of me, George N., Chris N., Bryan C., Mark P., and Steve B. Our guide is set to be none other than the famous BBQ/blues man, Elijah "Stringbean" Wilson. For those familiar with Stringbean, you'll know that he grew up in the Tupulo swamps of NC, along the banks of Devil's Gut. I look forward to that adventure, but am still reflecting on the one just finished. What a wonderful weekend, so far.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Did you say something?

"Marinated vegetables with LeSeur peas, baked beans or broccoli salad?", Leslie asked from the kitchen. She was wondering what we could take to the cookout this coming Saturday and I was sitting here, bored, trying to come up with a worthy entry for the blog. So here's what crossed my mind...

I had to ask Leslie to repeat her food list three times. The reason? I really don't care what we take to the cookout. She'll come up with something great and I'll eat it. End of story. I simply asked her to repeat it so I could put it verbatim in this entry. The fact is, I don't really even know what a LeSeur pea is, or why it would be in marinated vegetables. Before your ostracize me for being... well, a man, think about it. If the tables were turned, she'd do the same thing to me.

Imagine me standing over a bathroom sink with a leaky faucet. "Honey, do you think I'll need the channel lock pliers or an adjustable wrench, oh and do you think the flat head or Phillips head screwdriver will be needed"? Let's face it, I was tuned out before I got the word "adjustable". Bottom line, she really doesn't care what I fix it with as long as she can brush her teeth tonight.

Well, as long as I'm thinking about it, I always did like baked beans.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Trying to be more like a Jewish Carpenter

As a Christian, I am constantly seeking to be more like Christ....and constantly failing quite miserably, thank you. That aside, I am fascinated with the practice of Judaism and Jewish culture. After all, the one I follow, in addition to being the Son of God was also quite the dedicated Jew. Or haven't you heard? I'm also horrified of the persecution the Jews have faced throughout history and continue to face in the Holy Land.

Jenna (my 9 year old) recently asked me about the Holocaust, since she is reading about Anne Frank in school. We had a long discussion regarding hate and evil back in the 40s, but also the hate and evil that Israelis face in 2008. They are literally surrounded by folks in robes who would love to see them destroyed, some of which have said so very recently.
Of course, the Eastern Europe of WWII witnessed the quintessential example of evil, with the killing of some 6 million Jews by German Nazis. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, comments: "There is no precise figure for the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The figure commonly used is the six million quoted by Adolf Eichmann, a senior SS official. Most research confirms that the number of victims was between five and six million.There were about 8 to 10 million Jews in the territories controlled directly or indirectly by the Nazis (the uncertainty arises from the lack of knowledge about how many Jews there were in the Soviet Union). The 6 million killed in the Holocaust thus represent 60 to 75 percent of these Jews. Of Poland's 3.3 million Jews, over 90 percent were killed."

As a reminder, 6 million people is the current population of Tennessee. Or Arizona. Or Washington or Indiana. Take your pick. No matter who you are or how you look at it, the whole thing is (and always will be) downright depressing and shameful. Truly it is the greatest shining example of a fallen and broken world. A world, now more than ever, in need of the benevolent love of the Creator. And for me what is needed is the guidance, direction and love of that Jewish Carpenter from the Iron Age- who was there from the beginning.

I'll never understand all the terrible things that happen in this world. He never said I had to. But, as I told Jenna that day, I'm so thankful that He's with me in it, and will never leave me. That's a promise from a practicing Jewish carpenter, and you can count on it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thesbians, unite!

Well, I don't know exactly how it happened, but this weekend I was in a play. No, not some dinner theater or way-off-Broadway deal. This was a church production at its best. I was the dad in the play, "King of the Jungle", which is a really cute children's story with a great message. It held a lot of great musical numbers which included (of course) a rendition of Stephen Curtis Chapman's "King of the Jungle".

The kids did a great job and remembered all of their respective lines. I remembered very few of mine, but was able to fake my way through most of it. In fact, at the last minute and without the permission of the director, I used a notebook as a prop. Of course as you can guess, it secretly held my script which I from time to time perused as if taking notes. All while the kids sang. Cheesy and yet effective!
How did I land this coveted role, you might ask? Well it helps when your real life daughter lands the role of the "daughter" in the play. Enough said. When asked, I accepted the role before realizing that I had to memorize over 8000 lines. Oh well. Meredith knocked 'em dead with her performance as "Cassy", Jenna wowed 'em with a solo, and I... well, I managed not to fall off of the stage and soil myself. All in all a good day.

By the way, even at 40 the word thesbian still makes me giggle.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Well, today, Leslie and I celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary (May 2). And as every year, I just can't understand how time flies by so quickly. It has been a great and wonderful adventure with my wife.

Perhaps, if you attended our wedding so many years ago, you may recall that we were couple of kids who had known each other for only 7 months prior to the big day. For four of those seven months we were engaged. God apparently had a plan and He continues to work in our marriage, enriching it every day.