Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ben Stein is Right On The Money

For years there’s been a public debate between those who believe God created the heavens and the earth and the theory of evolution. In recent years the term for creationism has been compromised to accommodate the scientific community and is put into a much broader idea known as Intelligent Design (ID for short).
In his new documentary, Expelled, Ben Stein, makes an excellent case for the opposition to and mistreatment of those scientists and professors who advocate ID within the scientific and academic community. He also explores the past and present effects of the idealism behind evolution.
These few paragraphs I’ve written to describe the film in no way begin to do it justice. This is a brilliant piece and is something every Christian should see. It will give you a perspective of just exactly where things stand in the creation vs. evolution debate today

Here's a link to the website:.GetEXPELLED.com - a resource website for EXPELLED the movie - in theaters 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Please Leave a Message

For those of you who are like me and not familiar with blogs I just wanted you to know that you can leave me your feedback for each posting. The “comments” section at the end of each entry allows you to let me know your thoughts about what I wrote. If you want to leave a comment just go to the comments link and click on it. You may have set up a Google account with a user name and password but that’s pretty easy to do. The comment section is kind of like an answering machine for my blog so please leave a message.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend @ Home

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve made an entry. Not really much of anything on my mind right now so this one will probably be rather short.

As I write this at 8PM at night our son, James, is on a plane on his way to Germany. As explained in my “Reporting for Duty” entry eventually he’ll be on active duty in Iraq. Our other son, Michael, as he usually does spent part of the weekend playing Air Soft war games with his buddies and the rest with his fiancĂ©. That means this weekend my wife and I were empty nesters.

I continued to sort, rearrange and organize the room in our house where we keep the dog crates. My goal when I am finished is to have a place in front of a wall mirror to practice my ventriloquism on a regular basis. I’ve been working on the room for about 2 months. I’m making progress and it’s nearly the way I want it to be.

Paula took on the task of cleaning our computer room to give the cable guy easy access to our cable modem. We are getting internet based phone service on Tuesday because it’s considerably cheaper ($25 a month). Right now saving money is what we’re all about.

Perhaps the most important things I did around the house all weekend (except for making French toast for breakfast on Saturday morning) was mow our front lawn and arrange for someone to come cut and bag our overgrown backyard grass. I would do it myself but I’ve let it get so tall that neither of our mowers can handle it anymore.

If you add in cooking chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner; watching the Stephen King movie “The Mist” on Saturday night; watching parts of two New York Yankees vs. the Cleveland Indians games; making pimento cheese sandwiches for a pot luck dinner and attending a special church meeting Sunday afternoon; taking a 2 hour nap on Saturday afternoon (while watching one of the baseball games) You can see that both of us had a full weekend.

As a matter of fact I’m somewhat exhausted after just typing it. So the weekend @ home is over and it’s back to the routine on Monday. For Paula it means back to work. For me it means working around the house and catching up on the things I didn’t get done this weekend. Oh yeah and looking for a job too.

Friday, April 25, 2008

God’s Lay Away Plan

The story of this entry begins back in July 2006. A local puppetry group known as “The Down Home Friends” came to my church to put on a puppet show during the Sunday evening service.

This was around the time I had decided to try ventriloquism again. I had made a attempt to learn it when I was 16 years old but didn't have the patience to stick with it. Now at age 45 I felt called back into it again.

The puppets they used were very professional and made of latex and fabric. They were expertly created by a man named Steve Axtell and sold by his company Axtell Expressions. You can see them for yourself at

On the Sunday evening after the performance the group was packing up the equipment and puppets. I helped them. They were kind enough to let me hold and practice with the turtle puppet they had. Even though it was for just a minute or two from that moment on I dreamed of one day owning my own Axtell puppet.

Now flash forward to earlier this month (April 2008). I found out through the Down Home Friends website that the group had decided that they were going to disband which meant they were selling their puppets.

I immediately emailed them and found out that they were selling the turtle and the owl puppet for about ½ of what they cost new. After nearly 2 years of wanting just one I had the opportunity own two Axtell puppets. The only problem was that I had just lost my job. The timing of the opportunity didn’t seem to be very good.

However God had blessed us financially earlier in the year so we had a little extra in savings. That and a clear picture of our financial status thanks to a Bible Study we had been doing at church helped me make a difficult decision. With Paula’s agreement I decided to purchase the two puppets from “Down Home Friends.”

As it turns out that Sunday night performance in July 2006 was the farewell performance of the “Down Home Friends.” Health problems and other things kept them from ever ministering again.

When I met with Frank, the group leader, to complete the transaction he told me something I found rather interesting. Neither of the puppets had been out of storage since that last performance. That means that I was the last one to touch the turtle puppet in 2006 until I bought it in April 2008.

In my mind that’s significant evidence of God’s providence in my life. It’s like He put the turtle on a special “layaway” plan for me until just the right time in my life. He then provided the means, the opportunity and the amount of trust in him I needed to take a step of faith and buy the puppets. Believe me taking $300 out of your savings account when you don’t have a job is really a step of faith.

The reasons I’ve told you all of this are these:

To honor and glorify God for continuously having His hand on my life.

To let you know that if are a Christian and are following Jesus Christ if you are obedient and faithful to Him he will work His will in your life.

Psalms 37: 4 & 5 says: Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.

This scripture had become true many times for me over the last few years? What does He have in store for your life?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reporting For Duty

This morning my wife, Paula, and I took our 19 year old son to the Nashville airport. He went back New Jersey so he can deploy to Iraq next week. My oldest son, Michael; and James; fiancé, Brandi went with us.

James was home on leave for 3 days. We picked him up at the airport on Sunday morning and came back to church. Afterward we went to lunch with Paula’s side of the family at my favorite restaurant in town, Mariah’s.

James spent some time with us while he was here but most of it was with Brandi or some of his high school friends. Last night we sat in our living room and watched 2 movies (“I am Legend” and “Cloverfield”). That’s the way he likes spending time with us these days. It’s fine with me because being together in our living room is my favorite kind of family time.

It took some time for James to mentally distance himself from being a soldier to just being himself again. What I mean by that is this. From the time we picked him up at the airport until he left to spend time with Brandi on Monday afternoon he was all soldier.

All he talked about was the men in his platoon, his training, his future mission in Iraq, and the never ending list of weapons, equipment and tactics (all referred to with either an acronym or abbreviation). My favorite reference was how he talked about the young man whose job it will be to drive the vehicle he’ll be assigned to in the Middle East. He always called him “my driver”. This kind of behavior really wasn’t very surprising considering that he’d done nothing but train 18 hours a day for 3 months.

For a while I was worried that he wouldn’t be able to remove himself from that military mind set enough to enjoy his time with us here back at home. Nevertheless I was convinced that he had finally relaxed as poked and punched and wrestled with his older brother on the couch on Tuesday night and as he ate a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream in the back seat of our Saturn Vue on the way to the airport. Although he was in his army fatigues he was pretty much the James everyone knows him to be.

Because it took a bit longer to get to the airport than we had anticipated I didn’t actually get to give James a proper “good-bye.” Knowing he would have to get in line for security as quickly as possible I dropped him and everyone else at the Delta airlines check-in desk outside the departure terminal. I tapped him on the knee before he got out, told him to be careful and read his Bible; then I went to park the car.

By the time I got into the airport he had said his “good-byes” to everyone else and headed for the security check. Paula, Michael, and Brandi were ready to head back home.

I regret not getting to see him off inside the airport and that I didn’t actually get to say a prayer for his protection before he left. However there is one thing I’m happy about. Before we left for the house this morning I had everyone pose for pictures with him. I will have these pictures printed and place one somewhere in my house so I will see it everyday.

This will assure that not a day goes by that I don’t ask God to protect and bless him as he serves our country. Our soldier has reported for duty and despite my doubts about his decision to serve I am very proud of him.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The First Factor

It is 12:30 AM on Tuesday April 22. I'm up late and at the computer creating a blog. I've wanted to create this blog for quite a while so a lot of my family and friends could check in on me even when we were out of touch. That's what this blog is going to be.
To answer the question "what are you going to write about?" I will have to list several things.

1. My realtionship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ: As I continue to grow gain in knowledge of how the Christian life should be lived according to God's Word, The Bible.
2. My family: This includes my wife, my sons, my family in Pennsylvania and my pets and my job (when I get one again).
3. My Church: As a deacon and the director of Children's Church ministry I always seem to be involved in one thing or a dozen at my church; especially the growing relationships with other members.
4. My Effort to become a working ventriloquist. Although this is last it is probably the most exciting thing going on in my life right now. I am a ventriloquist but right now not a very good one. I'm not known by many people outside of my family and my church. There will be a lot of entries that will be about , with God's help, my endevour to change both of those facts.

So briefly that's what you are going to be reading about in this blog but I will not limit myself to those 4 areas. I will try to make the entries as often and as interesting as possible. However like I said at the start of this entry this blog is for those I don't stay in contact with on a daily basis. Let the entries begin.

God Bless