Thursday, September 30, 2004

Thought du Jour: Music

A quote for the day:
Music is the universal eternal language of love.

It's true- music is the one thing that most everybody understands. People say that classical music is stupid and not worth listening to, but it's not true. People understand the feelings that music conveys, words or no words. Peace, excitement, whatever the emotion, people still understand it if it's conveyed through music. Classical music is classic because people have loved to listen to it for countless generations. If people suddenly stopped wanting to listen to it, the world would lose so much.

I love the music of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen. I have an instrumental version of it, and it is so awesome to listen to it and try to picture something that could be going on.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #24:

Dad: Son, I just want you to know that I have complete and total faith in you.
Son: Since when?
Dad: Since your mother yelled at me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Thought du Jour: The Best is Yet to Come

A quote for the day:
Don't try so hard...The best things come when you least expect them to.

You never know when the best things are going to come into your life. If you try to anticipate it, you'll probably won't be as happy when the best things come. Although they do say that anticipation is half the enjoyment.

So just put your future in God's hands and wait for the best!

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #23:

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Thought du Jour: Too Much to Do

A quote for the day:
People are so inevitably crazy, that not to be crazy would be to give a mad twist to craziness.
~Blaise Pascal

I am feeling so overloaded right now. Too much homework, too many activities, too many people pushing me to do things and be things that I don't know if I can be. I wish I could just retire right now. My friend Caity always says, "I don't like this game. I quit!" whenever she's feeling stressed, and I feel the same way at the moment.

But you know what? For some reason, I'm happy, and I wouldn't change life at the moment.

Well, except to get rid of certain classes. That would make me very happy.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #22:

Remember, as far as anyone knows, we're a nice, normal family.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Playing with Three Strings

Playing with Three Strings

We have seen Yitzhak Perlman
Who walks the stage with braces on both legs,
On two crutches.
He takes his seat, unhinges the clasps of his legs,
Tucking one leg back, extending the other,
Laying down his crutches, placing the violin under his chin.

On one occasion one of his violin strings broke.
The audience grew silent but the violinist did not leave the stage.
He signaled the maestro, and the orchestra began its part.
The violinist played with power and intensity on only three strings.
With three strings, he modulated, changed and
Recomposed the piece in his head
He retuned the strings to get different sounds,
Turned them upward and downward.

The audience screamed with delight,
Applauded their appreciation.
Asked later how he had accomplished this feat,
The violinist answered,"It is my task to make music with what remains."

A legacy mightier than a concert.
Make music with what remains.
Complete the song left for us to sing,
Transcend the loss,
Play it out with heart, soul and might
With all remaining strength within us.

-- Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

Thought du Jour: Eagles

Apologies for not posting yesterday's thought du jour...lot of homework to do. :-(
Anywho, today's thought du jour:

A quote for the day:
…But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

The big excitement at my school right now is the new soccer field that is almost done. The teams are practically falling over, they are so eager to get on it. We've had to rent a field a couple of towns away for our home field, so that the teams don't have to travel three hours to every game. Still, the "home field" is at least half an hour away, so they are bouncing. It's going to be done for next week- homecoming!

All the teams at my school are called the Eagles- from basketball to soccer. They are all the Eagles, and their theme verse is Isaiah 40:31 (see above). We aren't exactly renowned for being the best teams in the state- we won our first state championship last year- but we play hard and generally do very well.

More importantly, we've got good sports on our teams. In fact, last year, we won the sportsmanship award- something we're very proud of. After all, isn't that more important than winning? Winning or losing gracefully is an important skill.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #20:

I have a mobile home. Of course, it wasn't until last week's hurricane.

And #21, which is similar:

Having a teenager is like a hurricane. You board up the windows and in four years look at how bad the damage was.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #19:

All right, brain, it's all up to you....Be quiet, brain, or I'll stab you with a Q-tip.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Thought du Jour: Friends

A quote for the day:
A true friend is one who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

I love getting my yearbook at the end of each school year. I love to see the pictures of what happened that year, seeing the pictures of my friends, and I especially love getting people to write in it. They always write wonderful memory messages. There are only two problems. One is the fact that I always have a hard time knowing what to say. It's so hard to put what you think into words, hard to express what they mean to you. The other problem is when these friends are leaving. When you know that you may never see them again, it's harder still to express your thoughts. So I offer this to them, from the song For Good by Stephen Schwartz:

It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime, so let me say before we part:
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end, know that you've rewritten mine by being my friend.
Like a ship pulled off its mooring by a wind off the sea, like a seed dropped by a skybird in a distant wood.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better.
And because I knew you I have been changed for good.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #18:

Personally, I'm waiting for Caller I.Q.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Boston Red Sox : The Official Site

Boston Red Sox : The Official Site

Sure, they don't win all the time...sure, we haven't won the World Series since 1918...but who cares? We love them anyway!


Thought du Jour: Yesterday, tomorrow, and today

A quote for the day:
Yesterday was history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift- that's why we call it the PRESENT.

Maybe yesterday you made some mistakes. Maybe you said something you shouldn't have. Maybe you did something you wish you could reversed. Or maybe you had an awesome day, and you wish every day could be like it. Either way, don't focus too much on it. Yesterday is over. Positives and negatives alike, it's gone. Refocus.

Maybe you're really looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe you know something great is going to happen, maybe you have no idea what is coming. You never know for sure exactly what is coming. Tomorrow or a week from now, things change. Plan accordingly.

Today,'s a gift that's been granted to you. Whether you've got a schedule worked out or your day is completely spontaneous, it's still a gift. Make sure to take time to thank the Giver.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #17:

I would hurt you now if I wasn't deathly afraid of you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thought du Jour: For Good

From the musical Wicked
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

For Good

I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true,
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you…

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun.
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good…

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.
And now whatever way our stories end
I know that you’ve rewritten mine by being my friend…

Like a ship pulled off its mooring
By a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you…I have been changed for good.

And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness for the things I’ve done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know there’s blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore!

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun.
Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood.
Like a ship blown off its mooring by a wind off the sea.
Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
I do believe I’ve been changed for the better,
Because I knew you I have been changed for good.

Update: Granite State Challenge

My school's Granite State Challenge team taped their first show today! And WE WON!!!! It was sooooo awesome! The team was absolutely spectacular. They all answered more than one question, they worked together well....all told, they were phenomenal! We beat the other team 190-165! Cause for celebration, indeed! It was a great experience. I got to be on TV too! They filmed the alternates and coaches for the opening segment. Pretty neat. A great day.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #16:

Thirty-five years in show business, and already people don't remember my name. Just like what's-his-name, and who's-it, and, you know, that guy who always wore a shirt.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Granite State Challenge: An NHPTV Production

Granite State Challenge: An NHPTV Production:

"The competition emphasizes quick recall of factual material in all major disciplines -- math, science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts -- and a few questions about current events, movies and TV, sports and New Hampshire people, places and events. It's a rousing competition -- as spirited as any football game. "

My school has a team in this year!! I'm so excited! The taping of the first game is tomorrow, so keep the team in your prayers and keep your fingers crossed!

Thought du Jour: Smile

A quote for the day:
You may be only one person in the world; but you may also mean the world to one person.

You know when you have a really bad day, and you feel like no one cares about you, and you feel that the whole world is just selfish? And then someone, a friend you didn't even know you had, comes up to you and asks if you are all right, if you want to talk, if there is anything they can do. That can alter someone's day drastically. Many is the time that I've had a bad morning, and then I'd get a smile from a friend, a cheerful hello, a joke told, that made me smile all day long.

Once, when I was sick, one of my friends figured it out, and took it upon himself to make me laugh and forget about how lousy I was feeling.

Another time I was having a really bad morning. You know, tests that I was stressed out about, didn't get to eat much breakfast, didn't get a great sleep, spilled cereal on my pants, that kind of thing. That kind of morning. Then, I was walking to my first class, and a friend in passing just kind of reached out and tickled me in the stomach. Totally unexpected, and made me feel so much better that I smiled the rest of the day, whenever I thought about it.

Those little things you do can alter a person's day, or sometimes even their life. Remember- the little things, like that special smile you have, make more of a difference than you will ever really know.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #15:

The first thing to hit a tourist in New York City is the accent. The second is a taxi.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Wicked The New Broadway Musical - Official Website

Wicked The New Broadway Musical - Official Website

Lots of great music in this one...wish I could go see it...very, very clever musical adaptation of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch. Turns out they were friends in school...but one went evil, and one stayed good. Lots of moral values to be found in here. I highly recommend the soundtrack.

You Are Holy

"You are Holy"

You are holy (echo)
You are mighty (echo)
You are worthy (echo)
Worthy of praise (echo)

I will follow (echo)
I will listen (echo)
I will love You (echo)
All of my days (echo)

You are Lord of Lords
You are King of Kings
You are Mighty God, Lord of everything,
You're Emmanuel, You're the Great I Am,
You're the Prince of Peace who is the Lamb.

You're the Living God, you're my saving Grace
You will reign forever, you are Ancient of Days.
You are Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End,
You're my Saviour, Messiah, Redeemer, and Friend.
You're my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for you.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #12, 13, & 14 (please note, these were written by a guy and are not necessarily my personal views):

Girls are dynamite. If you don't believe it, try dropping one.

Guy 1: She's a knockout.
Guy 2: You mean she's pretty?
Guy 1: No, she's just a great boxer.

She was a cover girl. When a guy met her, she'd run for cover.

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 8

The Power of Love! (Part II)

Disciple Characteristic #6:
Loving Others With a Christ-like Love

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you will also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
~John 13: 34-35

The Picture of love: "even as I have loved you"

What kind of love are we talking about here?
1. "I love chocolate chip cookies." This kind of love means that you really enjoy something.
2. "Love at first sight." This kind of love means basically a physical attraction.
3. "Christ-like love." This is the kind of love a disciple loves with- the kind that seeks the highest good of the one loved.

That is the kind of love that means, even if you're angry at someone, you are willing to love them.

John 13: 1-5 showed the full extent of Christ's love. He would perform even the lowest, most menial job- washing the feet of His disciples. He had A SERVANT'S HEART.

The Priority of Love: "A new commandment I give to you."

For a disciple, love is not an option. You must love as Jesus tells you to love.

Matthew 22: 37-40 says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Love is the greatest of all the commandments.

The Purpose of Love: "By this all men will know..."

What is the purpose of love?

It is a true disciple's distinguishing characteristic.

John 13:35: Everyone will know you are a disciple if you love one another.

Sacrificial Love:
The ultimate expression of love was Jesus taking our place on the cross. Even though He knew that we deserved punishment, and He was innocent, He loved us enough to take our place.


What do I do now that I know all this? You:
1. Apply it to your life and
2. Share the info.

A disciple needs to be discipled and then disciple someone else.

Matthew 28: 19-20 says to go and make disciples of the whole world.

II Timothy 2:2 says to go tell what we learn to reliable people who will, in turn, pass it on.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 7

Who Owns Your Stuff?

Disciple Characteristic #5:
Recognition of True Ownership of Your Possessions
Text: Luke 14: 27-33


Illustration #1: Luke 14:27-30- Count the cost before the building begins!

Illustration #2: Luke 14: 31-33- Count the cost before the battle begins!

Don't make a commitment before counting the cost!


How much will it cost you to be a disciple?


Therefore, you have to recognize who truly owns your stuff.


-What is the definition of true ownership? It means that you get to keep it forever.

If that is true, then you own nothing but your salvation and faith.

-How much of your stuff do you get to keep?
All of your stuff is on loan from God. A true disciple will receive an inheritance from God- an eternal reward.

"He is no fool, who gives up what he cannot keep in order to gain what he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

You cannot keep your stuff.
You cannot lose your eternal reward for following Christ.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #10:

A friend is someone who forgives our good points and makes us feel stupid about our bad points.

And #11, which goes with it:

If we didn't have friends, who would make us feel stupid about ourselves?

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 6

Follow the Leader

Disciple Characteristic #4:
Allegiance to Christ's leadership
(Being willing to follow Him no matter what)

"If anyone would come after me, he must take up his cross daily and follow Me." ~Luke 9:23

The apostles dropped everything to follow Jesus.


1. Mr. Too Hasty (verses 57- 58)-- too dependent on the comforts of his life.

2. Mr. Too Hesitant (verses 59-60)-- bound too tightly by the cares of this world.

3. Mr. Too Homesick (verses 61-62)-- too concerned with companions to follow Jesus.

Jesus knew the hearts of these three guys.

They were too preoccupied with
1. Comforts
2. Cares
3. Companions
to be true disciples.

Hebrews 12: 1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."

Focus on faith: Remember to throw off what hinders you, run with perseverence, and fix your eyes on Jesus.

William Borden (would-be missionary who died on his way to his first mission field) wrote in his Bible:

No Reserves- don't hold back
No Retreat- don't go back
No Regret- don't take it back

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #9:

I have an electric toothbrush. Last month I forgot to pay my utility bill, so they came and turned off my teeth.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 5

Just Say No!

Disciple Characteristic #3:
Dying to Self

Matthew 16:24 says, "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."

I. Just Say No!

To deny yourself, in the context of the times, meant to fast. Today it means to say no to yourself, always.

The mark of a true disciple is that he or she will always say no to themself, no matter how hard it is.

II. Why Say No?

Because He knows that there is a war raging on the inside of us between God and a sinful nature.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The thief is Satan. His sole purpose is in coming is to destroy us.
'I' is Jesus. He has already come, and is here now. He brings life for any and all who want it. Not only life, but ABUNDANT life- you can live life to the full with Him by your side.

According to Galatians 5:16-17, the war is between the Spirit and the flesh.
Spirit = Holy Spirit of God
Flesh = sinful nature and desires of man

(Galatians 5:19-21)

-Sexual sins (immorality, impurity, debauchery)
-Sins of worship (idolatry & witchcraft)
-Relational sins (hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, etc.)
-Sins involving alchohol or drugs

(Galatians 5:22-23)

The Fruit of the Spirit:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control

III. How To Say No
(Galatians 5:24-25)


"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chris-ism #8:

A man sitting in a doctor’s office kept chanting, “I hope I’m sick, I hope I’m sick.” Another patient asked him, “Why do you want to be sick?” The man replied, “I’d hate to be well and feel like this.”

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 4

Go To The Gym!

Disciple Characteristic #2:
Regular Study and Devotion to God's Word (John 8:31-32)

* "You can choose your actions, or you can choose your consequences, but you can't choose both." *

For example:
Choose your consequence: good grades
Actions you have to give up are:
Sleeping in class
Not doing your homework


John 8: 31-32 said,
"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

What is the action? Hold to Jesus' teachings
What is the consequence? You are a disciple and will know the truth and be freed by it.

The word "hold" means to "sink your roots down into the soil."

Look at Hebrews 5: 11-14.

What is their, and therefore our, problem?

We/They are dull of hearing and slow to learn, and we are spiritual infants.

What's the solution to their/ our problem?
(Hebrews 5: 14)

Chew on the solid food of God's Word.
Get some spiritual exercise. Train yourself in God's Word.

I Will Sing

Don Moen


Lord, You seem so far away
A million miles or more it feels today
And though I haven't lost my faith
I must confess right now
That it's hard for me to pray
But I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to start
But as You give the grace
With all that's in my heart

I will sing, I will praise
Even in my darkest hour
Through the sorrow and the pain
I will sing, I will praise
Lift my hands to honor You
Because Your Word is true
I will sing

Lord, it's hard for me to see
All the thoughts and plans You have for me
But I will put my trust in You
Knowing that You died to set me free
But I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to start
But as You give the grace
With all that's in my heart

Chorus (2x)

I will sing
I will sing
I will sing.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

From...I don't know where...

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 3

The Power of Love (Part I)

Disciple Characteristic #1: Supreme and Incomparable Love for Christ

Supreme = the greatest possible
Incomparable = no comparison

I. Supreme Love

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10:37)

A true disciple's love for God overrules his love for anyone else.

II. Incomparable Love

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters- yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

Does this verse really mean that I should hate my family and my own life?

The answer is an emphatic NO!!

According to 1 John 4:20-21, if you say you love God but hate your brother, then you are a liar.

If you put God first in all you do- love Him above everyone else- loving everyone else will come more naturally.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chris-ism #7:

I was never an athletic kid. One year I played Little League baseball and my dad was the coach. Halfway through the season, he traded me to another family.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 2

Jesus: The Ultimate Personal Trainer

Have you accepted the challenge and entered the race? Have you decided to follow Jesus as His disciple?

A disciple is defined as a follower of Jesus.

Part I: The Risk of Discipleship (Matthew 10:16-22)

Following Jesus means going against the flow. You will stand out from the rest of the world.

A disciple runs the risk of being persecuted, wounded, and even killed.

Part II: The Requirement of Discipleship

Following Jesus means trusting the Trainer.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

In these verses, Jesus invites us to share the yoke with him. Being a disciple will be hard, but the good news is, you won't go alone. He'll be right there beside you the whole way.

So who are you going to serve?

Part III: The Reward of Discipleship (Matt. 10:25)
Following Jesus means true satisfaction.
We should be satisfied to be like Jesus.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chrisism #6:

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man grateful for coffee.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Discipleship: Thought du Jour 1

Laying the Foundation

What are you building your life on? Relationships, money, career, sports, education? You can tell by what you spend most of your time on.

While these things are not necessarily bad things, building your life on any of these is a big risk because there is no guarantee that they will last. (Ecclesiastes 3:11: "He has set eternity in their hearts.")

You must build a foundation that lasts! A relationship with Christ is sure to be the foundation you need. In fact, He is the only sure foundation.

But in order to understand the Good News, we need to understand the bad news first.

The bad news is, we have sinned and fallen short of God and His glory. (Romans 3:23)

Romans 6: 23a tells us that the wages of sin is death. The fact is, we have earned our wages.

Christ took our place in death! (Romans 5:6-9)

Salvation is a free gift! (Romans 6:23b)

Salvation is by grace and through Christ alone. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

You only have to ask for salvation. (Romans 10:9-11)


The Cost of Discipleship- Intro

The cost of discipleship. Seems to be a popular topic at retreats these days. At camp this summer, this was the topic the speaker for the week spoke about. He did a great job too. He handed out a little packet, which we were supposed to fill in throughout the week and take notes on. He entitled it, "Who You Gonna Follow?" All in all, it was an excellently put together presentation.

For the next few "Thought du Jour"s, I'm going to put together all my notes from that week. Here's a brief outline of the topics:

1. Laying the Foundation
2. Jesus: The Ultimate Personal Trainer
3. The Power of Love
4. Go to the Gym
5. Just Say No!
6. Follow the Leader
7. Who Owns Your Stuff?
8. The Power of Love! (II)

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chris-ism #5

I'd like to be a dentist sometime. I could tell people to shut their mouths and get away with it.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Thought du Jour: Inspiration and Motivation

A quote for the day:
"Some day when things are tough and the breaks are going against the boys, ask them to go in there and win one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be, but I'll know about it and I'll be happy."
~Ronald Reagan as George Gipp in Knute Rockne, All American

Sometimes things go really bad. A day, a week, a month- it's all the same when you're in a bad mood. It's times like that when remembering why you're keeping on keeping on can make a difference. Why are you doing what you're doing? Is it for money? Is it for your family? For friends? For God? Whatever it is, live your life FOR something or someone. A life without purpose is no life at all. Find a purpose, and you'll be motivated to do all you do with vigor.

It's hard times, too, when a word of encouragement from a friend, a family member, or best of all, a complete stranger can make a HUGE difference. If you're trying to lift something heavy into your truck, and it just isn't working, and a stranger passing your house offers to help you. If you're struggling with a math problem, and your mathematical wizard of a dad calls to see if you could use help. If you're having an emotional issue, and a friend calls to see if you are all right, to see if you want to go for a walk and talk about it. Nothing can make a bad day look brighter than a kind word and a smile.

"Thank God for the smile of every child
That makes my heart keep hoping.
There really is more to life than my eyes can see.
For every dreamer that keeps the stream of humankind a-flowing.
It's the ones who believe that keep the rest of us going."

Yeah, that was kind of impulsive...but rather appropriate, don't you think? Lee Domann song, by the way. "The Ones Who Believe." Great tune, with an awesome message, one that we should remember.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Chris-ism #4...

A young boy hated day care so much that he decided to escape through the window. Once he succeeded, he shouted, "I'm free!" Then a young girl walked up to him and said, "So what? I'm four."

Thought du Jour: Prayer

PRAYER (Words and Music by R. Lukianuk)

Like a child who chases shadows
I see only shades of grey
You who painted rainbows,
Can you help me find my way?
Loving Father, Heavenly Author,
Write your word upon me now.
Loving Father, Heavenly Author,
Make me worthy somehow.

Father, hear my prayer.
(Oh, hear her prayer)
Father, hear my prayer.
(Oh, hear her prayer)
Father of the Heavens,
(Mighty Father of the Heavens)
Listen to my prayer.
(Lord, are you listening? Lord, are you listening now?)

Take my life and give it meaning,
Take my plans and make them pure.
Let my words bring only healing.
Take my heart and make it yours.
Loving Father, how I praise you.
How I magnify your name.
Loving Father, how I thank you
For the man your Son became.

Father, hear my prayer.
(Oh, hear her prayer)
Father, hear my prayer.
(Oh, hear her prayer)
Father of the Heavens,
(Mighty Father of the Heavens)
Listen to my prayer.
(Lord, are you listening? Lord, are you listening now?)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Come Build Our Faith

God of Creation, Maker of all things, we gather in this place to pray.
We do invite you, come now among us;
Come and build our faith today.

Come build our faith with soul and spirit,
Come build our faith of flesh and bone.
We need no tower rising skyward;
No house of wood or glass or stone.
Come build our faith with human frailty.
Come build our faith of flesh and blood.
With love and grace its sure foundation,
It shall be built by the hand of God.

Let us see the tongues of fire.
Let us hear the great wind roar.
Let us know the awe and wonder that we've only glimpsed before.
Let us feel the strength of passion, which can make us laugh and weep.
Let us know this great awakening.
For so long we've been asleep.

Let us know the love unceasing
Which alone can loose the bounds.
Reaching out across the chasms,
Bringing walls of hatred down.
Let us taste the sweet communion, where the circle never ends.
Hold us in this sweet connection,
Turning strangers into friends.

Guide our feet in peaceful pathways.
Teach us peace of heart and mind;
Peace with God and all God's children;
'Til we leave our wars behind.
Surely joy will come and find us
Like a breeze that cools the night;
Like the rain upon the desert;
Like a candle's gentle light.

Come build our faith with soul and spirit,
Come build our faith of flesh and bone.
We need no tower rising skyward;
No house of wood or glass or stone.
Come build our faith with human frailty.
Come build our faith of flesh and blood.
With love and grace its sure foundation,
It shall be built by the hand of God.

("Come Build Our Faith"
Words and Music by Ken Medema)

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Isaiah

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covered the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." ~Isaiah 60:1-3

Thought du Jour: 9/11 Memories and Reactions

A quote for the day:
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die...a time to kill and a time to heal...a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to laugh...a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2a, 3, 4,8

My day on September 11, 2001 started out very much in a normal way. I got up early, I got ready for school, I went to school. I knew nothing about what was unfolding throughout the country. In fact, I didn't find out until about five minutes before the school day ended, when the principal came on the intercom and told us. My teacher told me afterwards that I had gotten a completely focused look on my face while the announcement was being made, and that I looked like I understood what was happening. Well, I did, to an extent. I understood to an extent how serious the events were, and I figured that there would be serious repercussions. But I didn't know everything that was happening, and so I couldn't really understand it.

Now, three years later, I know more about what had happened that day. I've met the members of the family of the co-pilot on one of the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center. I understand better why the attacks were done. And I realize that all the foreign policy-making that has happened since then has related to that day. The entire concept of the War on Terror came about because of 9/11. I watched, with the rest of the country, as we came together to bring justice to those who inflicted so much pain.

But I think that, in trying to bring that justice, we made a few errors. We forgot that mercy is a crucial part of justice. We forgot that, if we are going to go to war against another nation, we need to act by the principles of a just war. Principles like only waging a war as a last resort. Like discriminating between combatants and noncombatants. Like having legitimate authority from those we fight for. Like establishing a peace that is a clear improvement on what previously existed. We forgot to work for peace.

There is a time to pray and a time to fight. Is this the time to pray and end the fighting?

Friday, September 10, 2004

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Robert Frost

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Thought du Jour: Today

A quote for the day:
I have never passed this way before...

That quote is written in the front of my Bible. Last year, my Bible teacher was talking about how each day is a new day, and each day you are not quite the same person that you were yesterday, and the place you are walking is not the same as it was yesterday. So every morning, when you get up and start your day in whatever way you do, just take each day as if it was the first day of your life. I know people always say that you should live each day as if it were your last, and that's a good thing too, but you should never lose that innocence you had on the first day of your life, and become hardened and cynical. Look at a sunrise or a sunset, if you aren't a particularly early riser. Take a walk around your neighborhood, and try to notice something new about it, something you hadn't seen there before. Ask questions.

And take the new day as it comes, and make the most of it.

After all,

"I have never passed this way before..."

Stage Manager's Handbook

"There is no single definition or job description for the tasks performed by the person who accepts the title of Stage Manager for any theatrical production."
Stage Manager's Handbook:
A great site for prospective or current stage managers who want to know more about the job.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

One from archery class at camp...

I'd hate to be named Will if I was in the army. "Fire at Will!" "NOOOOOooooooooooo!"

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Welcome to Ultimate Goal Ministries!

"Making the soccer field our mission field."

Welcome to Ultimate Goal Ministries!

A great organization that spreads the Good News through a language most of the world!

Thought du Jour: Leaving

Last summer, I spent two weeks at two different camps. They were similar in several ways, but at the same time very different. One of the biggest similarities I noticed was that people anticipated sorrow on the last day. This made sense, but at the same time, it didn't. After all, hadn't we just spent a fantastic week together? Yes. And if we had spent another week together, would we have been able to guarantee that we would have gotten along as well, or had as good of a time? Weeeell....sort of. Yes, exactly. Sort of. It sounds cynical, but I sometimes think that it's best to let a good memory be, and move on, and be able to fondly remember it.

Also, why anticipate sorrow? It's the way to guarantee that you get it. Think positive, and when something you enjoyed is over...well, I'll leave you with the quote of the day to finish that sentence.

A quote for the day:
Don't cry because it's over. Smile, because it happened.

Adoption Prayer

Father of the fatherless,

You give your children a home in which to dwell; and like a loving mother, you gather us into your household.

We give you thanks for the child who has come to bless this family and for the parents who have taken this child to be their own.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, fill all adopted parents with trust, understanding, and affection, and through this child in our midst, enable us to better know the mystery that we are all your children by adoption.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Jack Prelutzky

'Homework, Oh Homework' by Jack Prelutzky

Homework, oh homework...
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you away in a sink!
If only a bomb would explode you to bits!
Homework, oh homework, you're giving me fits!

I'd rather take baths with a man-eating shark
Or wrestle a lion alone in the dark.
Eat spinach and liver, pet ten porcupines
Than tackle the homework my teacher assigns.

Homework, oh homework...
You're last on my list!
I simply can't see why you even exist!
If you'd just disappear, it would tickle me pink!
Homework, oh homework...
I hate you! You stink!

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Yet another Chris-ism...

'What if they had steroid Olympics?...

"Ladies and gentlemen, the American steps up to the pole vault...Oh my gosh, he hit the blimp!"

The swimming competition would be from Newfoundland to England and back.

The targets for the archery and range competitions would be 1000 miles from the starting point and they'd use TVs to allow the contestants to aim.

The rings competitions for gymnastics would be held for days.'

How many of those can you come up with?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Natalie MacMaster

Natalie MacMaster version

‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while
To spend much time on that old violin, but held it up with a smile.

“What will you bid, good folks?” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar, a dollar,” then, “Two! Two dollars, who’ll make it three?”
Three dollars once, three dollars twice and going for three”
But no, from the room far back, a fair-haired girl came forward and took the bow.
Then she wiped the dust from the old violin and tightened up the strings
And played a tune so pure and sweet you could hear the angels sing.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quite low
Said, “What’ll you bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, who’ll make it two? Two thousand, who’ll make it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice, and going, gone!” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We don’t understand!
What changes the worth?” Came this reply:

And many a soul with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine, a game—and she travels on.
She’s ‘going’ once, she’s ‘going’ twice, and going, almost gone.

But the Master comes and the foolish crowd, they never understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by

Thought du Jour: Right vs. Popular

A quote for the day:
What's POPULAR isn't always RIGHT.
What's RIGHT isn't always POPULAR.

In middle school, elections for class officers were always based on popularity. If a member of the so-called popular crowd was running for the office you wanted, you may as well not run, because there is a very low probability that people will even listen to your speech, let alone vote for you. This is not to say that no one cared if the best person was in the job or not, it's just that the people who did care were in the minority. Also, everyone thought the popular person would do the best job. Or they might have thought that, if they voted for the popular person, it would elevate their own popularity status. I don't know for sure. I don't think anyone really does.

I'm not sure you could really judge if they did what was right or what was popular in middle school class politics. I mean, no one ever really came up with ideas that were completely and totally wrong. [Actually, no one ever came forward with ideas and so nothing ever really seemed to get done.] But if you take the same idea and apply it to national politics, that the most popular people get elected, you wonder if our foreign policies, if our economic policies, if our health and education policies are made on a basis of what's right or what's popular. Was it right to go to war in Iraq? Maybe some people thought so...or maybe it was just a popularity scheme...which seems to have backfired, in my opinion... Was the No Child Left Behind policy a publicity gimmick, or was it because Mr. Bush firmly believes it is right to push teachers to make students learn at a certain level?

How can you tell? Difficult to say. Maybe you can tell by the amount of commitment that the policy gets. Maybe you can "just tell", for whatever reason you believe that. But anyway, the point of all rambling was to remind you that
What's POPULAR isn't always RIGHT.
What's RIGHT isn't always POPULAR.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

From my dad....

My friend, an army officer, at 14 pieces of corn on the cob one night. The next day, he was promoted to colonel.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Thought du Jour: Neutral or Combatant?

When the family is fighting over something, what happens?
(a) you escape to your room and hide out until the fight is over
(b) you passionately argue for your viewpoint
(c) you sit in your chair and listen to the argument
(d) you ARE the cause of the fight and therefore do both (b) and (c).
In other words, are you a neutral or a combatant?
Neutrals are generally the ones who act on Option A. They either have an opinion and are too concerned about what would happen if they voice it, or they don't care at all what happens, or they don't have any opinion whatsoever, don't know what to think. Do I go with Mom or Dad? What will Mom do to me if I side with Dad? Or vice versa? They're usually the shy ones sitting alone at lunch.
Combatants are generally the ones who have strong opinions and will fight about it with anyone. They exercise either Option B or Option D. They are in the middle of every disagreement in their immediate environment, no matter how ridiculous the matter may be. Like which is better: Oreos or Chips Ahoy? They'll often cause problems with their opinionated comments, and then argue their way out of punishment. Often people will suggest that they join the debate team at school.
Which one is better? You tell me.
My guess is, there's a time and a place for both.

Quote for the day: Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing in the game.

The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm - "WHAT THIS PAGE IS is a place where you can cast your worries aside for a moment and have a good, CLEAN, stress-relieving laugh. "

Great site for having a few laughs after a stressful day! :-)

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Will Rogers (5x)

1. Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you're ahead.

2. Personally, I've always felt that the best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can't ask his patients what the matter is. He's just got to know.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works.

4. I never met a man I didn't like.

5. Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Thought du Jour: Work

A quote for the day:
Work is meant to be a slice of your life, not the whole pizza.

I've long thought that workaholics will have a shorter life span than everyone else. A life that has no fun is doomed to end sooner than it otherwise would. A little leisure time is healthy. Besides, as the saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Or Jill a dull girl, if you will.

Workaholics would say, "But I'll be rich, and I won't have to depend on the government once I'm 70! I'll enjoy myself then." Well, yeah, but that's assuming you make it to 70 without breaking down from stress, and also assuming that you haven't become a cranky old man or woman. Working becomes a habit, and it's a good one, as long as it's not your only habit.

Then, too, being rich isn't everything. It's nice to have some money in your pocket, but if it means that you sacrifice the two absolute most important things- God and your family- then you'd be better off broke. Having no one to share your life and your wealth with would most likely make you into a miserable old miser. Share your wealth, even if you don't know who you're sharing it with. Also, riches won't make you happy for eternity. There's streets of gold in heaven, but you have to get there first.

On the flip side, of course, no work and all play makes Jack a lazy idiot. A little work now and again won't hurt you, unless of course your life's work is to be a target for an archery class.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

Another Chris-ism...

Two teens were in an Egyptian exhibit at a museum. They came across a mummy. The sign next to the mummy said "368 B.C." The first teen wondered aloud what that meant. The second teen replied, "Must have been the license plate number of the car that hit him."

Monday, September 06, 2004

Celebrity Thought du Jour: Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed;
Never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, and one for helping others.

~Audrey Hepburn

Thought du Jour: Triumphs and Mistakes

A quote for the day:
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

Whenever you start something new, look back at whatever brought this new event on. Think to yourself, what past experience could guide me in what I now face? If we remember the past, both mistakes and triumphs, we can keep the mistakes from repeating, and make the triumphs even greater than we could have imagined.

But while I'm on the subject- don't forget to give credit where credit is due- to the One who forgives mistakes and makes triumphs possible.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

One from my good friend Chris...president of the Sophisticated Morons for Life club, also the most randumb person I'll probably be seeing a lot of these...

And how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes something else out of my head. Remember when I took that wine-making course and I forgot how to drive?

The street bible

Untitled Document: "'No way is this the Proper Bible. It's a trailer for,
an intro to, an overview of The Bible (capital 'B') for those who've never read it, and those who've read it so much it's gone stale on them'."
A fantastic re-telling of the Bible, the street bible by Rob Lacey will either shock you or delight you, or both at the same time. Translate the Temple to "HQ". Translate Jesus to "The Liberator". Translate the apostles to "Team Twelve." You've got the idea of this book now.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Ran-dumb* Thought du Jour

(*Ran-dumb is a term that I use for thoughts that are both random and dumb.)

Today's Randumb Thought du Jour:

Krispy Creme donuts are one of the leading causes of obesity in the USA, being (basically) fried lard dipped in butter dipped in sugar- not to mention highly addictive. If this is so, then why hasn't the Bush administration shut the whole chain down in his crusade against obesity? Probably because it makes so much money. Can't you just see the Secretary of Commerce going up against the Secretary of Health and Human Services? Interviews - Christopher Paolini Interviews - Christopher Paolini: "Fantasy for me is just one of many ways to say something truthful about what it's like to be alive. That's the subject of all fiction, really. "
Transcipt of a conversation between three of the most prominent fiction fantasy writers of our time- Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials trilogy), Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness quartet, The Immortals quartet, Protector of the Small quartet), and Christopher Paolini (Eragon).

Thought Du Jour: Kid's Politics

What if a kid could become president? Wouldn't the way this country is run be a lot more simple? I mean, kids don't usually have political spins on things. War is scary. Period. Economics? How come people can't just sell lemonade on the corner for a living? What are these political parties? Why can't everyone just have a big slumber party and be friends and work together? Isn't that what we're supposed to do?
If only it was that simple, right?

A quote for the day: "Never attack the individual. We can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating them as a consequence." ~Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Former Prime Minister of Canada