Monday, June 30, 2008

Snapfish and Guatemala

So I set up a user for the Agua Viva team to post their pictures on snapfish. I hope they post soon as I can't wait to start sharing day by day what happened. A picture says 1,000 words so before I share each day, I'd like to be able to include a photo as well.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Third Day Revelation

So my favorite band is putting out a new CD. Third Day Revelation... think about what that means. The disciples spent three years with Jesus and even knew that he was the messiah but it wasn't till the 3rd day that the scriptures were opened up to them and they understood God's plan. That Revelation is the rock of my salvation and I can't wait to hear what Third Day has to sing about it.

On that note, everyone go to Lifeway and purchase their new CD. If you preorder it, for $7.99 you will get the new Revelation CD, a third day t-shirt, and a $5 gift card for your next Lifeway purchase. What a deal! The other great thing about Lifeway is that a large portion of their profit goes to seminary scholarships and missions. A friend of mine had a lot of his South Eastern schooling paid for by them. Unlike Family Christian Bookstore, it seems Lifeway isn't just out to make a profit off of Jesus' name. As far as I can tell they seem genuine in what they do.

Dook sux

As a fan of UNC and a Christian, I feel compelled to hate the Dook Blue Devils. I read this article and it really made my day. In case you we unclear, the US judicial system now legally declares the Duke football program the worst Division 1 team in the country. That fact has now been written in the law books and Duke law school may now have to study that case when getting their law degree.

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A Kentucky circuit court verified Thursday what ACC fans have known since Steve Spurrier left Duke — the Blue Devils stink.

Duke won its breach of contract lawsuit with Louisville, according to the Courier-Journal, after its lawyers argued that at 6-45 over the past five seasons, the football program was so bad, any team would have been a suitable replacement for the Cardinals.

After a 40-3 loss in Durham in 2002, Duke backed out of a three-game series with Louisville. The Cards, in turn, sued for $450,000 for breach of contract. Except, as the Duke lawyers argued, the contract called for Duke to pay a penalty of $150,000 per game if a date with a “team of similar stature” could not be arranged.

Judge Phillip J. Shepherd, a Franklin, Ky. Circuit Court judge, sided with Duke's lawyers.

"At oral argument, Duke (with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty) persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower. Duke’s argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guatemala update 2

The best thing about working with kids is it is fun. I was listening to the Bible on CD the other day and I was in 2 Corinthians chapter 2. Paul was talking about not coming to see them because if they are hurt, "who will cheer me" other then those hurt. Doing God's work should be fun and encouraging to your faith. You should receive joy from doing His work and what better way then to play with kids. I can't wait to kick around with them and tell them about the things I've been learning recently while I do. Evidently English is taught there so at least I should be able to communicate with some of them.

PS,
Lord willing I'm taking them to a water park, hiking a volcano, and playing soccer with them all. How cool is that!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cat of the Day - 0617

In honor of the best movie of the summer, I leave this memorable quote from it's predecessor. One of the dumbest questions ever asked in a comic book movie but somehow it worked.

Tacos and Missions

I just had lunch with the mission trip director. I left encouraged and excited about the trip. I think CS Lewis put it well in his Prince Caspian book when talking about telling others. We have all kinds of fears about pointing others to God. When it comes down to it, none of them are valid. They may not believe at first but we are called to bring God to the world anyways. Will they see God and believe? CS Lewis wrote "Later on, it depends" which I think is pretty accurate. We can't know if they will believe but if they do! Oh, how exciting!

I'll leave you with my encouragement at this moment:
“Welcome child,” he said.
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak. But Aslan spoke.
“Lucy,” he said, “we must not lie here for long. You have work in hand, and much time has been lost today.”
“Yes, wasn’t it a shame?” said Lucy. “I saw you all right. They wouldn’t believe me. They’re all so—-”
From somewhere deep inside Aslan’s body there came the faintest suggestion of a growl.
“I’m sorry,” said Lucy, who understood some of his moods. “I didn’t mean to start slanging the others. But it wasn’t my fault anyway, was it?”
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “You don’t don’t mean it was? How could I - I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don’t look at me like that…oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, it wouldn’t have been alone, I know, not if I was with you. But what would have been the good?”
Aslan said nothing.
“You mean,” said Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out all right - somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! I am not to know?”
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.”
“Oh dear,” said Lucy.
“but anyone can find out what will happen,” said Aslan. “If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me - what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”
“Do you mean that is what you want me to do?” gasped Lucy.
“Yes, little one,” said Aslan.
“Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.
“Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on, it depends.”
“But they won’t believe me!” said Lucy.
“It doesn’t matter,” said Aslan.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Family dinner update

This just in. They've moved on from bbq chicken to bbq pork chops. Pork chops are also super cheap and probably a little easier so they'll probably be doing those for a while.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cat of the Day - 0613

Now that's just wrong! Seriously, can I really post that?

Friday Night

Aaron had his operation today. From what he told me, it sounds like it's going to be a really great thing. The doctor seems to think it will really improve life for him. Hopefully, if he's feeling up to it, Henry, Dave, and I are planning on going down to Henry's place to hang out tonight since he lives pretty close to Aaron. We'd hang out there but I'd hate to have everyone over when he just wanted to get some sleep. This way he'll be able to leave when ever he wants but still gets to see everyone. We'll play xbox or watch a movie or something. If you're looking for something to do tonight, be sure to stop by and wish Aaron well and maybe pick up some 1st person shooter action.

Father's day

Don't forget to call you father this weekend and wish him a happy Father's day!

This weekend I'm heading down to my parents house to celebrate father's day with the family. Anytime there is a birthday or some special occasion, we pretty much jump on the opportunity for everyone to come down and grill out. We were on a steak kick for a while but since steak can be pretty pricey, we started doing barbecue chicken. It's really pretty amazing how cheap chicken quarters are so they typically make a few more so I can take them back. For the next three days at work I'll eat really good.

Unfortunately both my brother and sister will be out of town this weekend so it'll just be me of the three of us. Daniel is in Jersey working and Amy will be in New York visiting Mike's parents. It should still be fun with out all the drama having a full house brings. Marcie said she would go with me Sunday so I'm sure she will keep them distracted. Hopefully she won't read this before going but I'm sure in their attempt to be nice to her they might single her out a little bit. I'll have to warn them to relax and not ask too many questions. It will be interesting to see what she thinks of my folks. Our life seems normal to me but you never know what others may think.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cat of the Day - 0612

Can some one explain where Hello Kitty came from? Was it a tv show that I just didn't know about or something? It seems every girl knew about it growing up but not me or my sister. Maybe it was a cool kids thing and the Blanchard family was just out of the loop. After all we didn't start listening to music till well into the 90s.

Guatemala update 1

So I made a list of prayer requests and the biggest ones right now were for God to get me there.

1) My boss said I could take off despite having some one else out that week. I wasn't too worried about asking off last minute as I was being too short on coverage for me to take off. Praise God for answering that prayer

2) I shipped out my passport last week. They said it would be ready in 4-6 days but you never know. I began to worry a bit when it didn't come in on Monday but Tuesday I had the FedEx letter on my door. Praise God that there were no delays.

3) The plane ticket was around $850. That's about what everyone else paid and they bought theirs a little while back God really provided there. Praise God for low ticket prices.

Now it's not all smiles yet though. I wasn't assigned a seat so it appears the flight is overbooked. Hopefully some one will change flights so I can fly down there with the rest of the team.

Please pray that God continues to provide as my focus switches from getting there to what I do while I'm down there. They'll probably ask Andrew and I to lead a few VBS lessons so I'll really need God's help there. I've never been much of a teacher. I tried it for a semester at Harnett Central High School but that didn't work out for me too well. I guess that's where I can be prepared but mostly just rely on God to help me overcome my shyness and lack of practice.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chimaltenango, Guatemala

It was so nice going to the China report last night. As they talked about everything that was done there, I became pretty excited about things. No, I don't know the language but neither did they. This is something I'm reallying looking forward to doing. The kids will be out of school for the summer so I'll take them around everywhere. Looking at the itinerary, I see I'll get to take them on a hike up a volcano. How cool is that? Then I'll play soccer with them in the sports camp. And I'm sure there will be crafts and other activities along with VBS type of lessons.

This is going to be such a blast. The thing I like the most about kids is no matter what happens, they are always happy. They enjoy life one day at a time and you can't help but be moved by their smiles. These kids in particular have so little in life and anything you can do for them really helps. Hopefully they will see God's love though me even if they don't understand a word I'm saying.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Patience

Patience has never been my strong point. I've always been pretty impulsive and when I get something in my mind, there is the temptation to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Luckily for important decisions I've been able to curb my enthusiasm for a while and think through these issues. I've made a lot of plans lately that I'm pretty excited about. Hopefully I'll be able to sort through the emotions and come to good logical conclusions.

One of those decisions is if I should go on the upcoming Guatemala trip. I'd love to do something like that and it will be really cool to see another country however I'm pretty nervous about the challenges such a trip would pose and I can't help to look at the financial aspect of the whole thing. I'm praying every night about this and several other decisions I'm currently making. God has always said yes to my prayers for wisdom and decision making abilities so I know he will answer that one as well. I guess I should also be praying for patience and peace while I wait for His advice. Yeah, peace and peace would be nice.

lolcats

There was some question about the lolcats I've been posting. If someone was not familiar with online culture, one might think I was obsessed with cats. That is not the case. A few years ago, an online fascination swept the internet community in the form of funny captions of cats doing something random. There are several variations of this which are each described in the lolcats wikipedia page HERE. Probably the most popular lolcats page is icanhascheezburger.com although many others have popped up recently.

As I was looking at that page, I was again amazed at how far people can take something. At first a cat on the ceiling was symbolized as God and in the basement was symbolized as Satan. After a short time, someone had the idea to translate the Bible into lolcat talk or Pidgin english as it is called. I don't know if I should laugh or be outraged but knowing the culture behind it, you have to admit at least they're creative. Probably the most popular translated verse is everybody's favorite, John 3:16.

John 3:16 - New American Standard
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 - lolcat standard
So liek teh Ceiling Cat lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleevs in him u wont evr diez no moar, k?

Yep, I don't think you'll see many people saved by reading that translation. Maybe however those actually doing the translation might realize what they are reading and learn from it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cat of the Day - 0602

There are several things that I'd like to write but I'm afraid I don't have the time to dive into them at the moment. I'll just leave you with this picture to enjoy.