The ground is level at the foot of the cross....recovering addict rescued by the saving grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Marina's Volleyball Picture

Here's Marina's volleyball picture for this fall.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Survivor Cook Island: Asian-Americans listed as Favorite Race.

For those of you who weren't aware, this season's Survivor contestants are organized by race. There are four groups, Asians, Hispanics, Caucasians, and Blacks. Now, imagine the conversations going on in our Mexican-Vietnamese Czech household!

I won't tell you what group lost, but the group that finished first today was........ wait for it...... The Asians!!!!! They were followed by the Hispanics, so in my mind everyone in the household won. There was a puzzle near the end and I told Mary that the Asians were going to win because of the puzzle. She threatened and is still threatening to kick my ass, but nevertheless, the hispanics were leading UNTIL they hit the puzzle portion. Mary just hit my shoulder so I hope that the hispanics win next week and the asians come in second.

According to Gambling911, the Asian Americans were listed as the favorite. Now, since Gambling 911 has a huge asian base, this shouldn't be a big surprise. The Asian-American forum, Yellowworld has a ton of comments as well.
There is a lot of debate about this season, but I think it's really interesting. The minorities all feel that they have to represent their race in a positive light, while the caucasians seem more interested in hooking up with each other. We'll see if that makes a difference in the long run.

Oh I have to go now. Anna's asleep and that means Mary and I can get some private time........ TTFN.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crocodile Hunter

Look, the latest fad! Gator Tagging!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Honoring My Wife

I was listening to a radio interview with Rob and Dianne Parsons, who run Care for the Family in the UK. It is similair to Focus on the Family. Caroly Parson hosts seminars for stay-at-home mothers, where she discusses the many challenges of staying at home. More importantly, she tells the mothers how truly important their services are. My favorite line of the interview went something like this:

"When a person asks me, as a stay-at-home mom, what I do for a living, I like to tell them that I am a Social Director that is currently working with three age groups. The first group are infants to toddlers, which requires a certain amount of expertise in psychology and a lot of hard work. The next group is with teenagers, and I confess that this program hasn't been going as well as we would like. The last group is a gentlemen who's in his late thirties to early forties and is exhibiting all the symptoms of a mid-life crisis. This one requires a great deal of patience anda degree in psychology."

I loved that tale and to me it real captures the importance and complexity of what Mary does every day with the kids (except for the mid-life crisis, I went through that in my mid-twenties so I could knock it out while I still had plenty of energy). There are many times, particularly when money is tight (which is most of the time), that Mary questions the value of what she does. Nevertheless, she is working seven days a week, almost 15 hours a day! If I had to pay someone that it would cost me an arm and a leg. More importantly, everday she is developing our kids into mature, God-loving, adults (the next question is when will I mature?) and there is no greater accomplishment than this.

So, I just wanted to publically thank, my wife, and all stay-at-home mothers, for all the sacrifices they do. It may be thankless to some, but for those that it really matters to, we can't thank you enough.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Podcast Ministries

You know what's incredible? Podcasts Ministries! I know, I know, what am I talking about? Podcasts are pretty much radio talk shows converted into a MP3 that you can download on your MP3 Player. The nice thing about podcasts is that you don't have to have a huge radio studio to make them.

Recently I've been listening to two ministries on my iPod. Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson and Family Life Today with Dennis Rainey.

Both can be downloaded at the links provided. I started listening to them shortly after getting my iPod because I had listened to all of my Doctor Who - Big Finish Adventures and the songs on the radio (yes even on my Sirius radio!) were starting to get a bit repetitious. Lots of time when I'm driving I'm unable to listen to an entire radio show because my drive doesn't exactly coincide with the show. A 20 minute drive just doesn't cover the entire 30 minute . Enter ..... the podcast!

These two ministries have really made me do a lot of thinking about my family and our connection with God. I realize that there were a lot of times that I have not set the best example for my kids by the way I act or speak. I listed to them for about a hour a day and they've also helped me start to begin the process of recovery from a lot of the life's pitfalls that I've found myself in.

Most recently, there has been a series of episodes about raising children in a society that is obsessed with sex. I believe that every parent is concerned about this. What I didn't realize though, were all the wonderful resources out there that help parents connect with both the Lord and their children in order maintain their purity. The Christian Contemporary artist Rebecca St. James and writer Dannah Gresh have set up a series call Secret Keeper Girl that organizes 8 mother/daughter dates to discuss these topics.

Marina seems to have a connection with Rebecca St. James and BarlowGirl, whose concert we will be attending in October. I pray that these positive influences will have a lasting impact in her life. I think the thought of my daughter losing her innocence is one of the most stressful thoughts I can imagine.

Also, there is a very eye-opening book, Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation, written by Eric and Leslie Ludy. I read the first chapter and it really made me want to sit down with Marina and build on our relationship. The other thing I realized though was that I have to start these talks with the kids at a much younger age, which means talking with Phillip and Nicholas. Children at their age are being introduced to society's image of sex already. This is a very disturbing thought, but if Mary and I ignore that fact then the influence of TV, music, peers, etc. will be how our kids form their view of themselves and of the opposite sex.

The thought of talking to my two boys about sex, purity, and God is pretty daunting, especially if you know my two boys. I wonder if I can somehow connect it to Star Wars to keep their attention?