Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Reagan on Bureaucracy

Beginning with the traumatic experience of the Great Depression, we the people have turned more and more to government for answers that government has neither the right nor the capacity to provide. Unfortunately, government as an institution always tends to increase in size and power, and so government attempted to provide the answers.

The result is a fourth branch of government added to the traditional three of executive, legislative, and judicial: a vast federal bureaucracy that's now being imitated in too many states and too many cities, a bureaucracy of enormous power which determines policy to a greater extent than any of us realize, very possibly to a greater extent than our own elected representatives. And it can't be removed from office by our votes.

To give you an illustration of how bureaucracy works in another country, England in 1803 created a new civil service position. It called for a man to stand on the cliffs of Dover with a spy glass and ring a bell if he saw Napoleon coming. They didn't eliminate that job until 1945. In our own country there are only two government programs that have been abolished. The government stopped making rum on the Virgin Islands, and we've stopped breeding horses for the cavalry. --Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Keep Praying for Paul and Reiko

Paul has updated his blog. Remember to pray for him and Reiko.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Enchanted - Happy Working Song (clip)

I loved this movie.

Can ya tell?

Enchanted - A Hollow Tree (clip)


Disney's Enchanted (trailer)

Go see this movie.

It has a 92% fresh rating on rotten tomatoes.

We saw it Saturday night (missed you Mark, but thanks for staying home with Will so Nikki could come) and it is the best picture winner of the Linda Dugan Academy Awards! (Keep in mind that it replaced "Night at the Museum" as best picture of the year!)

The story is sweet. And, it lets little girls be princesses if they want to be instead of telling them they have to make their mark in the world.

But, it's not really a message movie. It's just plain Disney fun. The songs are catchy, clever, and hysterical. The casting is perfect. I mean, Susan Sarandon as the wicked, evil stepmother. How perfect is that!

Go see Enchanted. And, if you want someone to go with you, give me a call cuz I want to see it again real soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Thanksgiving

We had a nice Thanksgiving.
We ate yummy food. All the usual suspects.
Turkey, mashed potatoes,
sweet potatoes in the brown sugar butter sauce,
the green bean casserole with the fried onion rings,
stuffing, cranberry sauce,
and pumpkin pie.
Katie entertained Will with the singing sheep.Mark posed for a nice picture.Grandma got to hold Will.
Apparently Grandma likes to hold Will this way.
She seems to always talk into the top of his head.
But, he likes it, so she'll probably keep doing it.
The uncles had some bonding time.
Uncle Chris told Will a funny joke.
Auntie Beth fed Will his Thanksgiving dinner.
Great Auntie Carol held him for the first part
of his after dinner nap.
Great Grandma took her turn.
Finally, there was the trip down to Grandma's basement
to choose the retro game of the day.
The kids chose The Barbie Game.
Tim got Poindexter.
Chris got Bob.
Beth got Ken.
Katie got Tom.
Tim won.

And that's how we spent our Thanksgiving.
The end.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Message to Will

Hey Little Buddy.
Grandma here with a warning.
Grandma loves to hold you.
So does Grandpa.
So does Auntie Katie.
And, Auntie Beth.
But, seriously, watch out for your aunties.
They do this to you while you are sleeping.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pray for Paul

Here is a photo of Paul and Reiko Sunde (seated in the front). He has been a pastor in Japan for over 30 years and they are dear friends of ours. Paul's colon cancer has returned and spread. He is starting his chemo this week. If you are reading this, please take a minute to pray for Paul and Reiko.

Also pictured is Paul's brother Dave (standing behind Reiko) and Jon and Hiromi Dugan (missionaries in Japan for over 20 years) and their family (Michael, Lydia, and Rebekah). Pray for them all, as well.

Be sure and read Paul's blog for his updates.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007


By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Isaiah 66:1,2

Thus says the Lord: Heaven is my throne,and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:1,2

Read This.

If you know Gary Miller (or even if you don't), you need to read this blog post.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Confidence is an interesting thing. It seems that lately I have been running into people who are bursting with it and it's deadly partner assertiveness. It happened again yesterday.

I'm not a really confident person and you know how when you were in school there were people who had talent. Some were gifted in sports, or music, or writing, or science, or acting. Well, I had no gifts. Really, seriously, all I could do was bake cookies and chat with people.
That's what I was good at.

Those were the gifts I brought into my marriage and family.
Cookies and conversation.
That evolved into loving to have people over to my house to eat and talk.
Because of that, I have set many a table in my 53 years.

So, it came as a surprise to me yesterday when I was setting the brunch table for a mom's brunch of 11 guests when one of the mom's who had arrived early began to help me. I had planned a lovely Fall tablescape (that's the word that Sandra Lee always uses on the Food Network). The tablecloth was down, the fall paper plates from Target were in place, and I had brought silverware from home
to add a touch of class and save on the budget.

My 40 year old helper grabbed the bag of silverware and napkins and began putting them by the plates. I looked at the place setting and noted that the napkin was to the right of the plate with the knife (blade out) and the fork next to it. The spoon was at the top of the plate, nothing was to the left of the plate. Plus, the silverware was slightly askew
so I figured she was just
throwing the pieces next to each place for me to arrange.

So, I began. Napkin to the left or on top of the plate with the fork on it. Knife to the right of the plate with the blade facing in and the spoon to the right of that. My friend looked over at me and said, "Oh, is that how you want to do it? I was doing it the proper way,
but if that's how you want it, that's fine."

Now, keep in mind, I was in charge of this brunch. So, I said, "Oh, I thought you were just putting the pieces by the plates for me to arrange. The way I always was taught was to put the knife to the right of the plate with the blade facing in and the little gimmick
I taught my kids was to think
that the knife protects the plate from the spoon."

She said, "No, I taught etiquette plus I worked for a caterer for 5 years.
The fork always goes to the right of the plate
because most people are right handed."

Now my dilemma. I'm 53. Never, have I seen the fork to the right and the spoon above the plate when only three pieces of silverware are being use. It looked really goofy, but I thought, she must know, she taught etiquette, after all. So, goofy as it looked and intimidated by her assertiveness, we set the table her way.
Plus, you choose your battles in life
and silverware is not the mountain I am going to die on.

Of course, what I did immediately upon arrival at home was google "How to set a table" and after that "How to set a formal table."
If you have a 5 course dinner in the making and are using a dessert spoon and a seafood fork, they go on the top, but if you are only using 3 pieces of silverware,
the napkin goes on the left, with the fork on top
and the knife goes blade in on the right with the spoon on the outside.

So, now you know how to set a proper table. The thought that I am pondering is the idea of confidence and lack of knowledge.
I have no doubt that this person thought I was in the wrong
and she in the know.
The only issue was that she was confident and wrong.

It's been a theme of my life lately.
People who are confident and wrong.
I have tended to defer to them.
Sometimes it's a good thing to defer
(like when your dealing with silverware).
Sometimes it's a sin
(like when you're dealing with truth).

I want to have confidence to stand up for the things that matter
and grace to tolerate the things that don't.

And, always remember the knife protects the plate from the spoon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

City Church: Find God and a Hot Wife


The City Church Chicago You Tube video that was featured here has wisely been removed from You Tube.

It featured Carl telling us that most churches "suck", but not City Church where the pastor has a "hot wife".

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I'm not an apostle. Insofar as I open my mouth and am faithful to this [The Word], I speak God ordained truth. When I depart, I don't and your job is to be a Berean and to know the difference. When I'm off and when I'm on and God uses the Word.
John Piper says the obvious here. Perhaps this kind of leadership, God honoring leadership, explains why Bethlehem Baptist has grown from 1,234 in 1998 to 3,985 in 2007. Authoritarian leaders who demand devotion to themselves and not faithfulness to the Word frighten me. Believers always have the right and I might add the duty to challenge any teaching that is not consistent with The Word.

There are no apostles today (in the sense of NT apostles who were the guys who actually saw Jesus) and if anyone tells you they are, WATCH OUT!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stop It!

This takes the Cake

Cakes are funny things.

You go to the bakery.
You tell them exactly what you want in a cake
and what you get is often interesting
and never quite what you want.

There was the time I ordered Terry a Telecaster cake
for his 40th birthday.
I even brought them a photo.
He said it looked more like a Les Paul.

But, then, they were cake decorators, not musicians.

The same bakery delivered Nikki and Mark's wedding cake.
There was a large divot in the bottom layer!
Vi, the florist worked wonders and hid the divot with roses.
So, it looked lovely when she got done with it and no one noticed.

Then, last July, the kids got us a lovely photo cake.
The bakery couldn't work with a disk, so Chris had a print made.
The print came two to a page and Chris didn't have any scissors with him.
He brought both photos and carefully explained that,
of course, he only wanted one photo on the cake.
He even wrote a note to make sure.
Well, you guessed it, there were two identical photos on the cake.
We enjoyed it all the more
and put it in the "What are people thinking?" category.

But, I have to say that what I found on the Girl Talk blog takes the cake!
The instructions were to
"Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that write "We will miss you."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Katie's Half Birthday is Coming Soon!

Aarghhh, Maytees, it's almost Katie's half birthday!
Let's celebrate because we love Katie!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

Grandma's Little Punkin

Here's a photo of the cutest punkin in the entire punkin patch.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Down Memory Lane

I found this on Nikki's Facebook old photos page.
The Lilac Wedding.
Nikki was the bride (in the pink bathrobe?).
Erin was the groom (in the Newsies cap?).
Shannon, Ali, an Ashley were bridesmaids.
And, Chris was the cigar smoking priest, of course.