Monday, February 21, 2005


Barb and I are in a foster-to-adopt with a dog named Matches. She has been with us for 8 days. She is five months old and seems to be quite intelligent, and I don't hand off that kind of compliment liberally. She is getting used to Barb and me and we are getting used to being followed. We are currently getting pics developed and hopefully will have a few to post soon.

Check Matches out. Her picture and story is about 3/4ths down the page.

Some of you have commented on the personality and disposition of American Staffordshire Pit Bulls. On a temperment test given by the American Temperment Test Society "Pitties" received more favorable grades than: Cocker Spaniels, most Dachshunds, Collies, Chihuahua (insecure little fellas), Beagles, Dalmations, and Poodles. As a matter of fact, Pitties received a grade of 83.4% and Golden Retrievers received 83.6%. Check out the results.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Every Sunday the church I am a part of takes communion. We gather in two rows down the middle isle. Three people are at the front: one holding the bread in either hand and two on either side of the bread holder holding cups/goblets of juice. This goes on every Sunday I every Sunday I am touched by it. There is something special and powerful when a whole room comes together and moves toward a defined goal. It seems to me that they no longer come just as individuals but as a collective: one body of believers moving toward the one body of bread.

His body was crushed and torn for us. His blood was spilled for us. He then said that whenever we partake of this meal that we should "do so in remembrance" of him. I don't think that that is just a mental ascent or just thinking, "Jesus." I think it is saving a place for him at the table, or in our case, in line.

It is also powerful when friends you work with or play with or live close to are standing at the front serving you the body and the blood of Christ symbolized through the elements. You look into their eyes and you know that they know you, that they have seen your faults and still love you. Here is exemplified the fact of ongoing, enduring, steadfast love. And yet how great is the fact that Jesus is our friend, "No greater love has anyone than this that they would lay down their life for their friends. You are my friends if you do what I command."

I must give props to one person though. Eric Eckstein played his guitar and sang this morning. "I Came to the table...." Very beautifully done. It touched me because I know Eric. He was one of the leaders in the Alpha class that I took. He wants to know more about Jesus and what it is to live out an authentic loving relationship with God and with his family. So thanks, Eric.

And thank you, God.

Monday, February 07, 2005

AFA Follow Up

Okay, I have to do this because I said I would. It gives me no good pleasure, but for all of you loyal readers out there I have to stick to my guns. Two months ago I received an email asking me to vote for The Passion of the Christ for the CBS People's Choice Awards, namely for Picture of the Year. I emailed AFA and asked them why they thought it was important for the film to win and what if the film didn't win. What would that say. Anyway you can read that blog here.

Well, I actually have contacted AFA (American Family Association)three times and have gotten no response. I'm disappointed that I've been ignored and their credibility has lessened in my eyes. When I see "Contact Us!" I just expect to be responded to. Maybe the exclamation point is misleading. Anyway, I'm going to "contact them!" again with a link to this post. I told them I would write about it and post it, so I'll keep my word. Anyway, no big whoop.

For God's Glory and His Gladness

I have heard and have said many times that God's intention of sending Jesus was that he could redeem humankind and that this redemption is to be to the praise of his glory. I believe that very strongly but "for his glory" is only a summation and is not the whole of the matter. It is a point but is not the point.

In the book of Luke, chapter 15, Jesus teaches about God's emotions. The purpose of his telling of the story is that others were coming to him and saying that God had no or little positive interest in "sinners." Jesus is not just paradigm shfiting, he is crushing an incomplete doctrine. He says that there is rejoicing in the presence of angels when one "sinner" repents. "In the presence" shows us that it is God's own joy that is being displayed. It is not only for his glory but for his gladness!

That is a part of the dna of love: it identifies with the welfare of another. Any good and right father would take concern over their child. Every good shepherd worth his salt would be concerned over a sheep that has been lost. Any good and fit husband would be concerned over the health and wellness of his wife. It is no different with God for those three things (father, shepherd, husband) are used as metaphors in Scripture to talk about God and his relationship to us. It is an amazing thought to think that God is emotionally interested in my outcome and will only rest when I/we are home safely.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Plumbing the Depths

I put up a dog/deer fence Friday afternoon. My hands are still feeling quite raw. As I was putting the clasps on the fence, checking the stability and the tautness of the strand I kept thinking about having a dog, hopefully Murphy. I thought about how a deer could jump over the six foot high fence and destroy a lot of things in panic. All in all I was quite successful. If you ask Barb that is a monumental occurence. I noticed a problem with one of our doors leading into the garage area and she looked at me and said, "Promise me you will not try to fix it." It wasn't the frankness of her statement but the truthful implications of it, that bothered me. But I'm apparently out of my slump and can do anything. Maybe a house of cards.

Well, I was really looking forward to taking a shower and getting ready for the raucous night as two friends were going to come over and stay for a while. And as I turned the corner to the shower I noticed that water was coming back up through the drain. Hmm. I plunged it and then I snaked it. And while I was snaking it more water came back up and it was colder than the water I was stepping in. Oh, and then the toilet started girgling like a stew, a very slow boil. I realized that perhaps I shouldn't try to take the toilet out of its setting and that my arms just weren't long enough or skinny enough to do the job. So, I called a plumber.

The plumber was quite nice and as of 930 Sunday morning I can now take a shower and flush without trepidation. Metaphor: plumbing the depths of capability. Most of the time life is about common sense and having a fair calculation of what is possible through your skill. I know I have a lot to learn. The water coming back up into the shower was not the problem. Nope it wasn't. The water coming back up into the shower was a symptom signifying that something deeper was askew. Perhaps I need to consider some attitudes and behaviors as symptoms of a greater and deeper need.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Adoption of Murphy

Barb and I are in the adoption process. His name is Murphy and he is an American Staffordshire Terrier, also known by the name, "Pit Bull." Now, before you freak and ask why or, if you live in Marin, before you get the idea to sue me beforehand, let me explain a few things.

Pit bulls are not human aggressive, honest. It is not in their genes to be human aggressive. Pit bulls were reared to be fighting dogs. The owners of these dogs wanted dogs who were intellient, athletic, tenancious and had a high pain tolerance. If a pit bull was neither of these they would kill it. Since the owners had to separate the fighting dogs they would have to reach into the pit. If a dog bit the master it was a very good sign that the dog would later be killed. By doing this they actually elimanated from the gene pool pit bulls who would be aggressive toward humans.

Number 2, I'm a good person and promise not to slap Murphy in the head with pictures of you so that when he sees you he will go into some kind of Pavlovian fit.

Number 3, pit bulls are dog aggressive. They have to be watched when out in dog parks and have to be supervised when they play with other dogs. First of all, I've been to dog parks around here and I must say that I don't want any dog of mine hanging out with the riff-raff that I've seen--a bunch of yelping, ill-mannered hooligans.

Number 4, I'd just like to repeat number 2.

Here's a site: