Thursday, December 27, 2007

Belated Merry Christmas

Enjoying the Christmas break with family. Heading out to see the National Treasure sequel this afternoon. We saw Enchanted while at the beach last week. Everyone enjoyed it and we would recommend it. Hopefully Disney gets this one right, too.

Picture is of Tammy, Terry, and Luke, as we sat down to Christmas dinner at mom and dad's.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Confessing past sins and making future promises

I've quit speeding.

No, I didn't get a ticket. I haven't even been stopped. It isn't a fear of getting caught, or what might happen to my insurance rates, or even the example I'm setting for my daughter - who should be getting her driver's license any month now - or for my son - who hopefully won't get a license for quite a while.

Nor have I paid much attention to guilt-trips, sermons, or lectures on the evils of speeding.

Nevertheless, I've traded in my lead foot for the law-abiding kind. No more "flowing with the traffic." No more doing the limit+9.

This is a major change for me. Since I began driving, I have consistently gone as fast as I thought prudent. That usually meant that I would "safely" speed, going 5-10 mph over the speed limit, so that law enforcement wouldn't feel compelled to pull me over. Of course, if I was in the middle of nowhere, that also meant that I would feel safe to go even faster. Or if I was on the highway, I would stay behind the fastest vehicle.

But over a month ago, I was contemplating a podcast sermon to which I was listening. I don't remember what the sermon was about. It wasn't about speeding. It wasn't about integrity. But as I thought about Jesus, one thing led to another, until I was thinking about integrity...and speeding.

All my thoughts suddenly coalesced into one thing - I can't speed anymore.

So, for more than a month, I haven't, and I don't plan to again.

The current vacation we are on was the big test for me. How would I do driving over 200 miles on the Interstate while under pressure to arrive as quickly as possible?

It was good. It took longer, but there was much less stress. I feel as though I am honoring Christ in this way. And I've also noticed how fast 99% of the drivers go. I try to keep out of their way.

(However - as you can see from the picture - I still take an occasional picture while driving.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Beach Bums

It is absolutely perfect weather this week. Sorry if you are in some miserable place with miserable weather.

There's not a whole lot to do around here, but that's okay, since I'm not looking to do a whole lot. We've been to WalMart a couple of times, found the bank and the post office, and have spent time at the beach and by the pool. Of course, the girls and Trudi have spent more time there than I have.

This picture was taken yesterday, before the morning chill had lifted. Today it is mid-to-upper 70's.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Not in church on Sunday

Rarely am I not in church on Sunday. In fact, I don't know when I last missed. (I'll save my reasons for another post.)

But today Trudi and I skipped going to church.

A friend of ours blessed us beyond measure with a week at a condo on Marco Island. (If you don't know where that is, look it up...there's not much south of here that's still in the U.S.) We had a very relaxing day today, getting up very late, having breakfast, taking a walk on the beach, watching football and movies and generally doing nothing.

Tomorrow we return home to take Sam to his basketball game, then we'll come back to the beach for the rest of the week. Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Scrooge is over, now we're pooped

That title is more literal than you might guess. We finished Scrooge on Monday, with mixed results. The cast and crew got better every night, and Sunday was a great crowd, full and very responsive.

Monday was small and "appreciative". All-in-all, everything went very well.

Now it's over, and I'll be spending most of the rest of the month out of the office. Yesterday was full of several errands and about 30 minutes in the office.

Today is the "pooped" part. Our septic tank at the house has backed up. Barry the plumber - a very nice man from church - is currently trying to determine whether there is a clog or if we need our drainfield redone. ("A drainfield for Christmas for me?! Oh, you shouldn't have!")

In the meantime, I missed the opportunity yesterday to wish my brother-in-law, Terry, a very happy birthday. So, happy late birthday, TS!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Scrooge 24/7

At least, it feels like it's Scrooge all-day, everyday at the moment. This is the last week of preparation before Friday's opening night. Monday's dress rehearsal was over at about 10:30pm. Last night was about an hour shorter. Last night was the first night for everyone in makeup, so that took some getting used to for the new cast members.

Tonight is church, and tomorrow is our final dress rehearsal.

This picture, from last week, made me laugh. Sam and Jeff Kirkland were taking their bows during Whaddaya Say. I was tempted to put it on the Scrooge blog, but I'll just keep it here for now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stretch Run

It's the last 2 weeks of our preparation for the 18th Annual Presentation of the Gospel According to Scrooge at Faith Assembly.

You'd think after 18 years (along with my 3 years of Scrooge in Ocala) this would be getting easier. Nope.

But neither is it less fun. The challenge of getting 120 people on the stage, along with all the stage and technical crews, moving in the same direction is always fun. Not always good fun, but fun anyway.

Here's a picture from last night during the "Ring the Bells" song. I'll also be posting this on the Scrooge blog.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Four...and Counting

Best sign from the game tonight - "You Have Been Percycuted".

I would add "and Tebowned."

The only Heisman question is - who's #2?

(Photo from Yahoo and the AP.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

List of Thanks 2007

  • "God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him." (Romans 5:8, The Message). Getting what I don't deserve; not getting what I do.
  • Family.
  • Friends.
  • A home to live in.
  • (lots) of good food to eat and a wife who loves to cook it.
  • The Gators.
  • My Powerbook, iPhone, and other computer goodies.
  • Sports on T.V.
  • Holiday movies.
  • Good health.
  • I still have (most of) my hair.
  • The sense of smell.
  • 82 and sunny.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Talking Turkey on the CDP

Just posted the latest episode of the Church Drama Podcast. It's our Thanksgiving Show, though no one dressed up as Pilgrims or Indi- uh, native Americans. Another fun show.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Claiming the Third Magisterium

An Entirely Other Day - The Third Magisterium.
Absolutely brilliant post. Or stupid. I'm not sure. I just wish I had said it first.

Friday, November 16, 2007

...and to all a goodnight

Before I head to bed, thought I'd fill in a couple of the gaps from the day. Hope you enjoyed it. It was an experiment for me, and a way to share "A Day in the Life" with you. Here are some tidbits that didn't make it into the blog before now, but which were part of the day...

- Between the groceries and dropping off paperwork, there was a picture I tried to get, but just missed. It was of Trudi passing me headed the opposite direction on the interstate as she went to pick up Shae from school. I snapped the picture, but my shutter was too slow to catch her.

- Before we went to Kohl's there was a quick stop by the church to pick up the receipt for Trudi's gifts that I left in my office. I should have taken a picture of my office. Just because.

- As we left Kohl's, we passed emergency vehicles blocking one lane of the road in front of the store. A fire truck blocked our view, so we couldn't tell if it was an accident or what, although Trudi thought it looked like a red vehicle on the other side of the fire truck had front end damage. We found out later it was the car of Kathy, a friend of ours. Chase Goss and her daughter, Trinity, were also in the car. Someone had pulled out in front of them. Kathy, Chase and Trinity all seemed to be fine. Chase told me all this when I dropped Sawyer off at the church. She had pictures on her iPhone of Kathy's car. (They would have made a good entry for the blog.)

That's about it. Trudi and Shae are getting up early to head to JC Penneys. I have to have Sam and Summer to the church for Upward Basketball by 9am and I'll pick up Sawyer from her sleepover then.

Good night.

Getting close to the end

Finally finished recording, editing, and posting the BQ podcast. Watching some football talk. Gators have FAU...on pay-per-view tomorrow.

Podcasting the night away

This is the setup I use when I'm recording at home. The output goes into Garageband on my Powerbook.

Getting ready to record an entry for the BibleQuizPodcast. I do this weekly though the day of the week sometimes fluctuates.

A night with Day

Shae, Summer, Trudi and I are watching "Romance on the High Seas" - one of Trudi's birthday gifts. They refused a picture, but Doris didn't seem to mind.

Pretty Pretty Princess

Just returned from taking Sawyer to the church for tonight's Missionettes sleepover. The girls were instructed to dress up as princesses, and this one's the prettiest. Lots of girls. Glad I don't
have to stay.

Dalton and Ravioli Soup

A cool evening gets us Ravioli soup (one of my favorites) and cheesebread (the kids' favorite).
Dalton - Sam's friend and our "adopted son"- joined us.

Making NFL Picks

My picks for this weekend in the USA Today pool I'm in. Other members of the pool mostly are connected with Assemblies of God HQ in Springfield, Missouri. Was invited by my sister, Tammy. (Hey - Tam - no fair looking at my picks. Specially since I'm ahead of you right now!)

Trudi's Treat

Returns plus some other shopping, then Trudi sprung for the coffee (hot chocolate for her) on our way home. Off to pick up Shae in a few minutes.

** In case the picture is too dark on your monitor - it's not on mine - it's a Starbucks cup.

Happy Returns

At Kohl's, returning some birthday presents. Trudi vowed to stay away from me today so as to not show up in the blog. So much for that.

Checking email

And fixing the spelling and spacing of some of my previous posts.

Medieval Summer

Well, she's not, but she was helping at the CCS medieval fair. After lunch and a quick check of my mail at the office, I stopped by the North Campus to pick her up.


Sam and Sawyer are my helpers for today. Summer is at the church.

Dropping off paperwork

Shae left some accident reports in the van, so I dropped them off for her on my way home. She works for Jorgensen Contracting/DBI.

Checking out

Coffee first

The only way to shop.

Time to shop

Accidentally hit send on last post. Shae drove to school without incident. Now ready for groceries.

Off to School

Getting ready

Paper, SMALL bowl of cereal and clipping my coupons.

Up and at 'em

Starting my day

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Testing for tomorrow

Waiting for dinner and tonight's Scrooge rehearsal. Testing blogging from my phone.

Busy days

Been busy. Very. But tomorrow's my official Day Off, so here's the plan...

I'll be blogging my day tomorrow.

I'm not exactly sure what all I'll be doing, but whatever it is, I plan to put it on the blog. Good or bad, exciting or dull, fair weather or foul, I'll put a picture and a blog post for each step along the way.

See you tomorrow!

(This picture has nothing to do with anything, other than it's old.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Even Good to be...

...I won't say how old, even though I don't think she'd really mind. After all, she is still young and beautiful. Happy Birthday to my lovely Trudi. Tonight we're going to let her open her presents, then we'll all go out to eat. At dinner we'll continue with a family tradition - on anyone's birthday or special day everyone takes a turn saying something nice about that person. We always have lots to say about her.

(This pic is from last year's birthday.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's Good to be One

A great big happy FIRST birthday to nephew Luke. This is a picture posted on his mom's blog from his first Halloween. Cute, no?
Host unlimited photos at for FREE!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More from Trunk or Treat I

I have all of our pictures from Trunk or Treat in a Web Gallery on .Mac. You should be able to view all the pix and download your favorites!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trunk or Treat I

We participated in our first Trunk or Treat Wednesday night. It was great. We had a big turnout. There were over 60 cars and a bunch of kids in costume. And a bunch of adults in costume, too.

Everyone seemed to have a good time. It was fun to walk around, seeing everyone at their decorated cars, passing out candy.

Of course, one of the most talked about things - or people - was the couple of Pastor and Naomi. At least, it looked a lot like them. (Sam and his friend, Adam, if you don't know. Sam has the wig.)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

You Can Only Have Harmony If You're Singing the Same Song

This article from the Birmingham (U.K.) Post on harmony between Muslims and Christians
is full of interesting tidbits. Of course, it's also full of babble, and babble can be interesting.

Harmony is a nice concept. The concept of harmony says that we all have different abilities and backgrounds and things we bring to every relationship, and we have to learn how to get along even when we're not alike. A successful choir will blend the different textures of the voices into a harmonious whole.

In other words, we can have unity without having uniformity.

But if you are singing two completely different songs, it's hard to harmonize. To quote the author of the article:
There do remain some major theological sticking points, in particular the idea of the Trinity, Jesus' Divinity and his Resurrection and Ascension.
Sticking points. You think? And who do you suppose is being asked to overlook these sticking points - Muslims or Christians?

Sorry. My song doesn't change.

Losing to the Dogs

First cats, now dogs. Gators lose. Painful.

Friday, October 26, 2007

CDP #49 Finally Ready

Finally got episode 49 of the Church Drama Podcast up and going. As always, the video version is shorter than the audio version. In the audio version I mention a thought-provoking post from the blog of Jeff and Melodie Leake. He's one of the guys that's involved in the FutureAG blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Wildfires

Santiago Wildfire, originally uploaded by Kevin Labianco.

Pretty incredible picture from Flickr of the wildfires in California.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Betzer's New Book

Attended our sectional minister's breakfast Tuesday morning at First A/G in Fort Myers. Dan Betzer gave the devotional. He said a lot of good things. Says he's going to write a how-to book for pastors. It'll be 3 pages long.

Page 1 - "Love your people."
Page 2 - "Feed your people."
Page 3 - "Don't do anything stupid."

Good schtick. I guess I've just blown future sales for him.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Scrooge Publicity

Here is the back of the new Scrooge flyers. Only 7 weeks from tonight. Yikes.

Lazy Day

After a work-filled weekend last week, decided to avoid it this week. Almost succeeded.

I knew the beginning of today - my official day off - would be work-related. The City of Fort Myers was getting rid of some computer stuff, so I went and snagged several computers for the church. The big prize was a mint Dell PowerEdge 2500, loaded with six drives and redundant power supplies, and...okay, I'll save all the non-geeks from the details. It was cool.

The next few hours were spent at my Friday chore - grocery shopping at WalMart. Our store is undergoing renovations, so the expedition was a bit long today.

After lunch Sam and I went and strolled through the new Sports Authority and our new SuperTarget, with an additional stop at BJ's and - one more time - WalMart.

Trudi made 5-star chicken enchiladas for supper, along with southwest eggrolls with cilantro cream sauce. Then some ice cream for dessert.

Good day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


While preparing my BibleQuizPodcast the other day, I was thinking about Paul's admonition to the Galatians to "live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." It seems that Paul is setting before us the choice of living naturally versus living -

Okay, this is where I got stuck, because my first inclination is to say natural as opposed to supernatural. That's fine, but I think it gives the wrong picture. Telling myself that I need to live supernaturally makes me think of walking on water, raising the dead, wearing a cape and flying faster than a speeding bullet.

Yes, I think that the supernatural manifestations of God's Spirit - such as healing the sick - should be evident among us on a regular basis. Certainly on a more regular basis than they are.

But I don't think that's what Paul was really driving at. The real point seems to be the natural versus the Spirit-natural. It's not the big, fantastic manifestations that are necessarily important. It is the regular, everyday manifestations of God's Spirit that should take over our lives.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. That's the real evidence of Spirit-natural living.

Saying - I can't help it; that's just the way I am - is evidence of living naturally. We are called to live above the natural, but that doesn't always mean there will be supernatural evidence - but there should be Spirit-natural evidence.

Bottom line: May I not depend on me, but may I live Spirit-naturally.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Way to go, Idaho!

That - among many - is one of my favorite lines from the movie Toy Story. We finally purchased the DVD and gathered to watch it as a family a few days ago. It would rank high on my all-time favorite list. We're gradually trying to get all the DVD's of our favorite movies that we have the VHS copies of.

Monday, October 15, 2007

From the Booth

I'm privileged to work with some great people. Some of the best are the guys that are part of our MediaTech Team. Rich, Doug, Curtis, Ken, Richie, along with Jon, Cliff, and Dana are dedicated and really care about the quality of each service. It's not always perfect, but we are always trying.

This pic was taken last night during worship. That's Curt working the computer for video projection. We have the best seats in the house. (And some good coffee.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

CDP Team Wishes

I just posted this over on the Church Drama Podcast website, but I wanted to make sure everyone that knows them saw this. Some happy, happy wishes to a couple of core members of the CDP team...

Happy 33rd Wedding Anniversary to MJ and her husband, Larry.

And Happy Sporty-Heaven Birthday to Steve Carlsen today!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Affectionate or Obstinate?

The first league match for Bible Quiz was yesterday. That's a different story. But the drive to Orlando and back gives me time to catch up on some of the podcasts I listen to.

One of those I'm trying to catch up with is Mark Carr's at MyTrueLife. I was listening to the first in his series on the book of Ruth, when I heard this verse.

"And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her." - Ruth 1:14

Read the chapter and there's no question that both Orpah and Ruth loved their mother-in-law. Much like we love God.

But are we obstinate or just affectionate? Do we only make a show of our love - even if the show is real, genuine and deeply felt - or do we cling to God for dear life?

Orpah was deeply affectionate, deeply moved by the thought of separating from Naomi. Ruth was obstinate, refusing to separate from Naomi.

Is there a point that we accept separation from the presence of God - painful as it might be - because we think we must in order to survive? Or do we simply refuse, no matter what it might cost?

The ending is instructional. Orpah does what she feels like she has to do for herself. She is not mentioned again.

Ruth's determination leads to the mention of her name in the genealogy of Christ.


Can't Hold That Tiger, Again

Yeah. Last year's Gators could finish a game. This year's group hasn't figured out how to do that yet.

No more Tigers on the schedule. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Electronic Generation

Getting to spend a couple of days with Mom and Dad. Dad and I will be at a Teen Challenge "event" tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Took this picture while they were looking at stuff online. Got this post up within 15 minutes (made the previous post about BQ first.)

Technology allows us to do all sorts of useless stuff - quickly.

New BQ Season

Can you believe they're playing hockey again already?

Well, the NHL doesn't have anything on Bible Quiz. Having just officially ended the 2006-2007 BQ Season with National Finals in July (the Stanley Cup Finals ended June 6), the new season gets underway this Saturday.

I'll be headed to Orlando for the the first league match for Pen. Florida. All the details are on the district TBQ website.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Seeing is Believing

...when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him - and in seeing him, become like him. - 1 John 3:2

Here is the teaser video we played on Sunday to announce the Scrooge Starter meeting.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Can't Hold That Tiger

Auburn 20, Gators 17. Sad. Hope it's not the Year of the Tiger, because Florida plays the LSU version this week. :(

Got it going

One of the things that kept me busy last week was getting ready for our Scrooge Starter last night. Unbelievably enough, it's our 18th go-around with the Gospel According to Scrooge. I've been working today to get the Scrooge blog functional again. (Some server problems that I won't go into.) It's up and running.

Crazy Week

Ever have one of those weeks when you feel like you're doing a million things, but not getting very much done? That was last week for me.

Most Christian blogs would have some deep spiritual insight at this point. Sorry - I'm fresh out. But I'll be back with some newsy posts today and tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Last words

Moving article and video from the Wall Street Journal. (The video is PG for language.)

I found it moving and sad - not sad because the guy is dying, but because God seems to be irrelevant to him in his most critical time. He has seemingly learned and experienced much in life - but I wonder if he has learned the most important thing.

Hopeful Iron-y

Spent Thursday and Friday at a great event hosted by Convoy of Hope at the Sawgrass TPC. It was a last-minute generous invite.

For those of you that don't know, Sawgrass is home to the PGA headquarters. We got to play the Dye Valley Course on Thursday, followed by the TPC Stadium course on Friday. Steven Porter and myself played the two-man scramble together, shooting an 82-80, finishing 2nd in our flight. (Yes, we were in the bottom flight.)

One great moment was on the famous 17th hole on the Stadium course. After making it safely on the green with my tee shot, I had almost the exact same putt as Tiger's famous "better...than...most" shot. His was better than mine, too, when mine BARELY lipped out. Still, a par there felt pretty good.

Got a few pictures (including some of the hotel that I didn't post) including the 17th and 18th holes, plus the clubhouse.

Convoy raised over $800,000 at the event to help their efforts around the world. Ironically, while I was there, I found out that my nephew, Nathan, is currently interning with COH and will travel to China in a few weeks.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. And what takes more hope than golf? Especially on a world-class course like the TPC?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More great stuff from my new favorite sports columnist

Gotta love it...
Adams: UT not keeping pace with Florida : Columns :
"So the Vols went out and supposedly signed one of the top groups of receivers in the country. One of those highly touted wide receivers, Brent Vinson, had a chance to demonstrate his talent on a reverse against the Gators. He lost 9 yards."

Knoxville Sentinel Writes About Tebow

The only thing better than a good putdown of your rival is when it comes from their own fans...

Adams: Tebow power drives Gators' show of force : Unknown :
"Leading 42-20, Meyer wasn't even thinking about playing it safe from his own 1-yard-line. Instead, he sent a message to one of Florida's three biggest rivals when he had Tebow throw from his own end zone. The message: 'You can't stop us.'"

Shiver Me Timbers

A heads-up just in case you forgot...tomorrow is one of the best holidays on the calendar. Even though it's not really a holiday (because we don't get off work and no cook-outs are involved).

Break out your eye patch - it's Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Best of all, the card companies haven't caught on to this and we don't have to troll the card aisle for a ridiculous card to waste money on.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

99 Cents for something I already have? I don't think so.

If you have an iPhone - and I know more of you are getting one everyday - make your own ringtones, without paying Apple for the "privilege". Read this article and use this program from Rogue Amoeba. Have fun!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Night Lite

Just got done with our Friday Family TV Night Tradition Thing. We love to watch Monk and Psych, two shows on the USA network. They have a weird schedule, where they show about six shows, then take a few months off. So, now we have to wait until January for new episodes. Sigh.

Numbers comes back (on CBS) in a couple of weeks. Another favorite.

Mr. Bean's Big Adventure

Trudi and I saw the new Mr. Bean movie the other night. Pee-Wee Herman is Mr. Bean's American cousin. Stupidly funny.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


September means football and football means...fantasy football and pick-em's and all sorts of other time-wasting activities associated with football.

So, after week 1, here's the update on my fantasy league pursuits...(and no, I don't spend much time on any of this - much.)

Game: Pigskin Pool - USA Today Pro Football Picks
League: PPL2007 - This is mostly members of Headquarters in Springfield. (invited by my sister, Tammy)
My Team: Great to Be a Gator - that's  a name that says it all.
Results so far: Tied for 2nd after picking 13 right in week one. Not bad.

Game: Pro Football Pick'em
League: Exit Pick'em Football - league started by our youth pastor, Jason Goss, and includes students and adults. (Exit is the name of our youth group.)
My Team: Controlled by Monkeys - don't you ever feel that way?
Results so far: Tied for 2nd after picking 9 right in week one. If only I would've used my USA Today picks.

Game: College Football Pick'em
League: Exit College Pick'em. ibid.
My Team: Own Ohio Renting the Other 49. A maybe-not-so-obvious reference to the Gators' total domination of Ohio State athletics in the last year. Big news if you haven't heard - the NCAA won't allow Florida and Ohio State to play each other anymore. It turns out that slavery is illegal.
Results so far: Tied for 1st after picking 17 correctly in week one. Missed the USF-Auburn game.

Game: Survival Football. This is interesting. You have to pick a winner each week, and you can't pick the same team to win more than once for the whole season. If you pick a team and they lose, you're out.
League: Exit Survival Football.
My Team: If I'm Lion I'm Dyin' - because I'm a Lions fan and they kill me every year.
Results so far: Alive. Picked Seattle to beat the Bucs. This is farther than I got last year.

Game: Salary Cap Football.
League: Exit Salary Football.
My Team: Hair is Overrated. Another obvious statement.
Results so far: Last out of seven. My guys had a down week.

Game: Fantasy Football. This is the kind where you draft players and have to keep up with it over the season. It takes the most time, but I don't expect to spend too much time on it.
League: Exit Fantasy Football. The league has a matchup element, where not only do we collect points, but we are competing head-to-head every week.
My Team: Flaming Platypi
Results so far: 1-0, and in 4th place after defeated Yo' Mama. I expect to get better - Ladanian Tomlinson is my main guy and he had an off week.

I won't give updates every week - but I'll let you know from time to time how it's going.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Rings: $1500
(Really, I have no idea. I'm sure Trudi could tell you to the penny, but the rings I bought her were from MaryAnn Ballance, who gave me a great price on a custom-made set.)

Reception: $1500
(Again, I'm just throwing out numbers. I know it was quite a bit, and that the only thing she got to eat was the bite of cake and a banana I grabbed on the way out. You can tell we weren't eating much by how skinny we were!)

Tux with tails: $120
(Alright, I really stink at this because - besides the fact that I can remember that I paid $3.88 per gallon for orange juice last week, while I only paid $2.79/gal for gas yesterday - I can't remember what I paid for anything. I do know that I had tails while all the rest of the guys had regular tuxes. And Trudi's dress was lovely and, no, I am clueless about what it cost, although I'm sure she told me, though I don't think she ever did tell me how much she paid for my ring. The bridesmaids dresses were red. The ceremony was at First Assembly in Ocala. Some things I remember.)

Twenty-one years with the love of my life: Priceless.
(It was all about the punchline anyway. Thank you, Trudi, for 21 years together, four wonderful children, and - yes - even the hairy dog.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Shae's First Gator Game

Got to go to G'ville and let Shae experience her first Gator game on Saturday. It was almost the full enchilada. Rode up with Gary Robles and his son Adam, parked in our traditional parking area, made the walk past the union and up to the stadium, then spent about an hour looking for tickets to scalp.

We were successful - as expected - and got half-price seats, though rather high. (It's a little harder to scalp for 4.)

The only thing we missed was walking on the north side of the stadium past the Krishnas and seeing the band come into the stadium.

But Shae loved it, the Gators won (despite a sloppy third quarter), and we got home safely - about 2:30am.

Go Gators.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Happy, Happy

I've really got to get better at this blogging thing.

Blogs are great places to celebrate your family and friends, and to give a shout out on special days. Sometimes I've done that. But this week has not been good.

So, a late and early Happy Birthday to mom and dad. Mom's birthday was Wednesday. Dad's is coming up this Monday.

Great parents, even if their son is lacking on his blogging.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Laborless Day

Summer thought it was funny that we call it Labor Day, but no one works.

Plenty of people work on Labor Day - firemen, nurses, cashiers at Sweet Bay. And it's a good thing, since I had to go to Sweet Bay for some rock salt.

That's right - homemade ice cream! With cookie dough! It was a great way to end a very lazy day. We ate our ice cream and watched old home movies from "back in the day."


(The picture at right - Summer, back in the day.)

Disciplined Writing

Jeff Leake posted another winner about effort vs. discipline. Great stuff.
Discipline is not the lack of effort. It is FOCUSED EFFORT used with LEARNED SKILL on CLEAR PRIORITIES that will produce LASTING EFFECTIVENESS.
Read the rest of his blog post.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Who Needs Piano Lessons?

If you haven't seen it, here's a kid who taught himself to play the piano by listening to Little Einstein CD's. (I saw this on Jeff Leake's blog.)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Bean

No, this isn't the best picture of her - but we think she's cute no matter what.

Another big day at the McDaniel hacienda - Sawyer Layne turns 8 today.

Genuine and likable - she is a joy and constant pleasure to her family and friends. We are blessed to have her.

Happy Birthday, Bean!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

College Girl

In 1995 we made the decision to begin Shae's formal education at home. We heard - and have heard many times since then - of all the dangers, drawbacks, and challenges of homeschooling. There are - even now - many misconceptions and myths about what it means to homeschool.

Our decision was not on behalf of anyone else - it only concerned Shae, and what we felt was best for her and our family. It was scary, especially for Trudi, because of the great responsibility.

At the time, we only committed to doing one year at home. We felt we could try it, and if it didn't work out, we could always try the public school system. Each year since 1995, we have renewed our one-year contract. For each additional child, we have asked, "Is this the best thing?" And each time we have felt it was the right thing.

It has been challenging. We have made mistakes. We hope we've done a good job. But Shae has been great. She is a wonderful young lady and has been a terrific example for her brother and sisters.

Last year, Shae experienced something other than homeschool for the first time when she dual-enrolled at Edison Community College, taking one class each semester in Punta Gorda. However, the bulk of her time was still at home, working on her high school studies.

Officially, she is still a high school senior. But last Friday she began classes at Edison in Fort Myers, taking 15 hours of college courses.

Bittersweet is a cliche. It's also an apt description.

3 more to go.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blogs on Fire

Procrastination gets me every time.

Back in December I purchased the MacHeist - a collection of software offered through MacZot that was only $49 for 10 applications. However, I didn't download or install any of them. I was waiting for the new iMac to come out since I thought I would be buying one for the house and I would install these applications on it.

Of course, the iMac wasn't upgraded in January like I thought it would, and when they finally were upgraded a few weeks ago, I didn't have the money to buy one.

So this week I've been downloaded and installing these ten apps for my Powerbook and I wish I done it sooner. My favorite app has been NewsFire. It's a great app for reading blogs and I could have mentioned it to my workshop class.

I guess I'm mentioning it now.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ministry on My iPod - Links and Notes

It was great fun to present the workshop at the ACMC. If you have any questions, let me know. You are also welcomed to post comments here on the blog.

Contact info:

If you look on the right side of the main page of this blog, you will see my podcasts, as well as some of the podcasts I like. You will also find some other blogs that I read.

Good email

Social networking;;;;
and I also mentioned YouTube and Flickr

Blogs I mentioned
Political - Instapundit
Mainstream Media - USA Today
Technology - Engadget
Christian - Evotional by Mark Batterson; God-Life-Stuff by Mark Lunsford

The Scrooge Blog

Blogging sources
Wordpress - and the WordPress software for your own site

Hosting providers - free bandwidth

Podcast Aggregators (the software that lets you subscribe to a podcast)

It's listed among the podcasts I like, but I would highly recommend Podcast411, both the website and the podcast. It is a great resource for you to begin or improve your podcast. I would also recommend a book by the Podcast411 creator, Rob Walch and co-author Mur Lafferty, entitled Tricks of the Podcasting Masters.

As I said at the beginning of the workshop, I'm a user, not an expert. I'd love to hear from you and what you are developing in the blogging/podcasting world for your ministry.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Workshop Notes and Links

Thanks to everyone that came to the "Ministry on My iPod" workshop on Friday or Saturday. I hope you learned some things to help in your ministries. I know I learned a few things in the process of presenting the workshop.

I am currently working on the links and notes from the session. I am also working on a video using the presentation slides that I will post here when it is ready. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Headed to Lakeland

I'll be in Lakeland this weekend for the All Church Ministries Convention, hosted by Lakeland Victory and generated by the Pen. Florida Assemblies of God.

I am teaching workshops on blogging/podcasting (yes, some in the class are looking at this right now) and Bible Quiz.

The blogging/podcasting workshop will be in the Media Center at 1:40pm Friday and 11:45am Saturday. The Bible Quiz workshop and Teen Bible Quiz coaches meeting will be in Room FLC 110 on Saturday.

For the "Ministry on My iPod" class, here's an example of using a YouTube video in your blog. (It's an old video we posted several months ago.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FIFTY (and 17)


The big five-oh. Halfway to 100.

I remember when we were kids, from time to time we'd look ahead and say, "When I'm ___, you'll be ____." Or, "when it's 2000, I'll be ___, and you'll be ____."

It was hard to imagine having a sibling this old. Or being this old myself. (Of course, I'm not there yet, but obviously it's not that far away now.)

So, Happy 50th Birthday to my sister, Cherie! (That's us, 41 years ago in Mansfield, Ohio.)

But that's not all.

Because it's also Shae's birthday - named Shaelyn Cherie to honor her much older aunt. Seventeen is a pretty big number, too, especially when it's my daughter.

Shae has been a constant delight. Monday was a sad day for us, as the other three kids began their homeschool year without their older sister for the very first time. (Even though she is officially a high school senior, she is taking all her classes at Edison Community College this year.) Instead of the usual Math, Bible, Latin and all the rest in the schoolroom, Shae went off to work at Jorgensen Contracting.

Happy 17th Birthday, Shae! (In the picture: cousin Jason, toe-picking Shae, cousin Ben, cousin Jenni.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Season 2 Begins

Finally got the 2nd Season of the Bible Quiz Podcast off the ground. I made some cosmetic changes to the show and I'm trying to focus more on Assemblies of God quizzing for the new season.

This is an example of a very niche podcast, and something I will be bringing up in my Blogging/Podcasting workshop at the Pen. Florida All Church Ministries Convention this weekend. My workshop is called "Ministry on My iPod" and the emphasis is on trying to get churches into the 21st century.

Fortunately, I have a list of good podcasts and blogs to point people to - without having them look at my pitiful offerings.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It Wasn't About the Honey

It was a good day.

I snuck a picture from the platform with my iPhone, hiding down near my legs to take the shot. That would explain the strange perspective which makes Billy's (Cole) legs look huge. (That's Mark (Nicholson) leading the choir.) Billy preached.

Tonight it was my turn. I told the story of Saul and Jonathan in 1st Samuel 14, the stupid decisions Saul made, and the good decisions Jonathan made - in spite of Saul. The title was "Bit o' Honey", but it wasn't really about the honey. It was about the battle - but Saul's stupid decision changed the focus to the honey.

I'm not sure if I made it clear that Jonathan's good decision - to attack the Philistines - actually looked like a stupid idea to begin with. But he submitted it to God, getting God's confirmation before he acted. Unlike Saul.

It's early, but the kids are in bed. School starts tomorrow!