Monday, February 28, 2011

A Prayer

I have a cousin that is a public school teacher in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Like other public employees he will be significantly effected by the outcome of whatever happens in Madison, whether the bill passes or not. He wrote the following prayer. Amen, and amen.

Father, Our state and our country are in conflict. We are torn apart over how the wealth of our state should be used. We are experiencing a growing sense of anxiety because we feel those things we value and believe to be our right are being threatened. At times like this it is easy to embrace fear, anxiety and contempt. We confess that we have focused too much on our positions on the issue; and those news reports that feed our bias and stereotypes. We have looked for evidence that justified our belief that those on the other side of the issues are wrong; and more than wrong they are worthy of contempt, slander and misrepresentation. We have questioned motives and assigned blame and spoken with confidence about things for which we have inadequate information. We confess that this week we have often forgot civility, humility, respect, love and service. We have given voice to our inner fear and embraced worry. We have not sought to understand before being understood. We have exaggerated, mislead and ignored issues important to others.

Father, we admit that we have been angry, afraid, hurt, prideful, selfish and not as honest as we should be. Father, as your children we ask you to heal us. Give us the courage to rise above the fear and the pride. Give us the wisdom of your Son. The Prince of Peace. May we begin every day in your presence through prayer. May we pray over every issue. May you help us to pray for those who, in our heart, we have come to believe are our enemy. People who we have characterized as them, others or stranger. May you give us hearts and eyes to see and believe that they are neighbors, brothers and sisters and children of God.

Father, I confess my greed and trust in wealth and the fear that my wealth will be taken away. Forgive me for bowing down to this idol.

Father, we pray for those who you have called into service of this state. The police and firefighters. The civil servants and public sector employees. These men and woman are our neighbors and our friends. People with families who this week has felt accused, and even attacked. We ask you to bless them, comfort them, and give them courage. We pray you protect their jobs and give them the ability to provide for their families. We are thankful for them remembering that when they do their work of service they serve you as well.

Father, we pray also, for those who serve the children of our state. The teachers, coaches, administrators and support staff. Those who clean and maintain the schools. And all those who make our schools stronger and better. We pray for those who serve our kids when they are in crisis. The social workers and the social service employees. They stand in the gap and serve you by serving the young. This week they have felt unappreciated, blamed and disrespected. We ask that you bless them. Remind them that as they serve they serve you. Let them know that we love them, appreciate them and know they sacrifice in ways very few see. Speak comfort to them as they face cuts in compensation, operation budgets and the possibility of losing their jobs. Please, protect their jobs, provide for their needs and give them the means to provide for their families. Protect their hearts from discouragement, resentment and contempt.

Father, we pray for the leaders of our state. We pray for Gov. Walker and all the men and woman of our legislature. Father, we ask you to give them a spirit of courage and compassion. Give them divine wisdom to lead us through these uncertain times. Give our leaders a spirit of respect and consideration for each other’s ideas, values and priorities. Change the political discourse from one of adversaries trying to win, to servants together trying to heal. Forgive me, for slanderous statements I have said out loud and cherished in my heart towards some of those who are called to lead our state. Forgive me for spending more time criticizing than praying for our leaders as you have commanded. Rise up not the leaders we deserve but the leaders we need. Elevate their hearts and their words. Help them lead us through this season of uncertainty

Father, May you give us all the courage to share the burden of these uncertain and difficult times. May we all adopt a spirit of service and sacrifice. Father, glorify yourself by making peace, bringing healing and causing us to prosper in every way that really matters. We ask this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cabin Ball!

Another night on "The Jump."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Light Rail is More Deadly Than Guns

Tragically, the 8th person to be killed by the Hiawatha light rail line since its opening in 2004 lost his life this past Saturday night. It's still unclear how the incident took place, but the fact remains that 8 people have lost their lives to light rail.

Joe Soucheray mentioned on his show this past week that the light rail train has been responsible for more deaths than the conceal and carry law that was passed in 2003. From what I can tell, after doing a bit of research (including reading the lengthy Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 2006 report), there has been 1 death caused by an individual legally carrying a firearm.

I remember when the law was passed, many of the people who were against the conceal and carry law (which isn't actually a "conceal" and carry law) insisted that Minnesota would turn into an old west style town, where people would be shooting each other over common disagreements and for better parking spots. That, of course, hasn't happened. In fact, it would appear Minnesotans are far more likely to be killed by a light rail train than by someone legally carrying a firearm.

Don't get me wrong: any death caused by either light rail or by a gun is a tragedy, but it seems the hysteria over the conceal and carry law has been unfounded.

New Chucks

I got my new All Stars in the mail today. I've been wearing Converse All Stars in one form or another since seventh grade. I love the shoe. To me, it's just the ideal form of comfortable footwear. It feels like I'm bear foot. That being said, if you like to keep your feet warm and dry, All Stars are not the shoe for you. But if you like to be comfortable, with a semi-retro flare, they're just the ticket.

I've custom made my last two pairs of Chucks. I like 'em brown, but they're not sold that way in the stores. It costs a little more, but I think it's worth it. Here's the pair I got in the mail today compared to my old pair.

Yeah, it was definitely time for a new pair.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My Greek prof used the following example as a way to open up our class tonight. He started by telling us about the death of Jim Morrison. Morrison moved to Paris, France in March of 1971 and died not too long after of a supposed drug overdose. The overdose was never confirmed by French medical authorities, so there has been some controversy surrounding the exact details of Morrison's death.

What does Jim Morrison have to do with Greek?

Morrison was buried in a borrowed grave (literally - it was leased for 30 years, which begs the question, what did they do after the 30 years was up? Re-up the lease on the plot or move the body?). At the time of his burial his grave had no marker, but the French government placed a "shield" around it which identified it as his final resting place. The shield was soon stolen, however. A bust of Morrison was crafted and placed at his grave in 1981 to mark the 10 year anniversary of his death, but that was defaced and eventually stolen as well. At some point in the 90's, Morrison's father made a flat stone to mark his son's grave, seen here:

As you can see, the marker bears Morrison's full name, the date of his birth and death, and a Greek inscription, transliterated as: "Kata ton daimona autou." After a little research about how this inscription came to be, I learned that his father had it put on the marker, and that he believes it to say "According to his own destiny," or as it is very loosely interpreted, "True to his own spirit."

I don't know who told Morrison's father that the inscription means "According to his own destiny," but that is certainly not what it says in Koine Greek, the type of Greek that the New Testament is written in. In New Testament Greek, the inscription literally reads, "According to the demon of him," or "According to his demon."

Admittedly, there are more types of Greek than just Koine Greek, so maybe "daimona" means something else, like "destiny," in some other form of Greek. But if you were to come across "daimona" (from "daimonion") in the New Testament (or in any other document written in Koine), it would mean one thing, and one thing only: demon.

It's kind of creepy to think about: the man's name, followed by the years of his life, and then the statement that it (his life) was "according to his demon."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Week I Don't Want To Repeat

Whew. I'm coming off one of the longest, most trying weeks I think I've ever experienced. And it wasn't because of stress at work, a busy school schedule, or anything of the like. Instead, it's been a week where I've been the sickest I think I've ever been.

About a week ago I posted about the initial effects of my illness, thinking at the time that the worst was passed, and that I was on the mend. However, it was not meant to be.

In that first post I mentioned that I don't remember ever throwing up as much as I had over that six hour period. What I didn't know at the time was that initial illness would morph into something else, almost just as bad, except lasting for about another five days, and I have still not completely cleared myself of the effects of whatever it was that got a hold of me.

My initial symptoms began late Monday night and lasted into Tuesday morning of last week. I spent most of Tuesday sleeping and resting. Wednesday found my stomach to be a bit more stable, although I still did not have much of an appetite. Thursday morning, I felt a bit feverish and had somewhat of a wheeze in my breathing and a small cough. I had my first real meal since the whole ordeal started on Thursday afternoon. By Thursday evening I went to class, thinking I could tough out the two hours and keep my small fever in check. But by 5:00 PM Thursday evening my head was swimming and I was feeling flushed. I left class, drove home quickly, and took my temperature to find I was running a fever of 100.5 degrees. Chills set in then, and I couldn't seem to get warm as I lay on the couch under a thick blanket. This lasted most of the night, and I didn't get much sleep as my cough became progressively worse.

By Friday morning I was coughing so hard that I could feel the coughs reverberate through my body when they came, and the fever was still high. Saturday was essentially the same as Friday. Keep in mind that I thought I was on the mend after the vomiting ended Tuesday morning. But here I was on Saturday, feeling like garbage. I spent the day Saturday trying to break my fever with cool, moist cloths on my head and pounding Advil. It didn't seem to be working.

On Sunday morning I was determined to go to church, so I got dressed and set off, even though I didn't feel any better. During worship team rehearsal that morning, I was clammy, sweaty, and felt like I was going to pass out. As soon as rehearsal ended I retreated to my office to await the beginning of Sunday School. Thanks to the Advil I was able to make it through Sunday School, and was even able to play through the worship set. I went home right after the set was over, though. On Sunday afternoon I feverishly made my way through my Greek homework, coughing so hard that it began to damage my vocal cords. My voice began to go, and the fever refused to break.

By Sunday evening I was dumbfounded that the fever had not broken as of yet. I couldn't imagine lying around the house sick for another day. I was so sick of doing nothing; so sick of feeling week and feeble; so sick of being sick.

Monday morning came and there was a slight break in the fever, for which I rejoiced. Instead of 100.5, it was now at 99.5. I spent another day at home, which was probably OK, since there was a lot of noise at the office due to the construction at the church. I did a little work and spent a lot of the day sleeping.

By about 9:00 Monday night I was sweaty and clammy again, and this time the fever was actually beginning to break. I did everything I could think of to help it along its way out. On Tuesday morning, the fever finally broke, and I got dressed and actually went into work for the first time since Monday the previous week. As I type this, I feel pretty good, but I can tell my body is still weak, and I am easily tired. But I think I'm on the mend for good, now.

All in all, it was seven days of illness. As I said before, I can't remember ever being so sick in my entire life - at least not for such an extended period of time. And my body has still not fully recovered. But praise God that I seem to be healing.

So what did I have? I'm not totally sure, but I've got a few guesses. My first thought is that I had some form of influenza that caused the vomiting and diarrhea that I experienced on Monday night and Tuesday morning, into Wednesday. Then, I think that form of flu morphed into a different type that effected my respiratory system for the last few days. From Thursday to today, my only symptoms have been fever and severe chest congestion, along with weakness and body aches. I did some research on the interwebs, and it seems that the respiratory flu best fits my symptoms.

Why not go to the doctor? Well, I originally thought the bug was out of my system on Tuesday. When the other symptoms crept up on Thursday, I thought it would just be a minor complication of my previous illness. But now I think it was another full-blown type of disease that I had contracted. So by the time I came to this realization, it was probably too late to see the doctor for him to be any help, plus it was the weekend, and I wasn't about to go to urgent care or the emergency room.

One thing I've been trying to get better at is to take a theological look at my life experiences. In other words, what is God trying to tell me or teach me (if anything) through whatever it is I am experiencing. I spent a lot of time in self-examination over the past week, asking God what it was he would have me see or learn from my week-long bout of illness. I think I got some answers. More on that in another post some other time.

Needless to say, it's been a long week, and I'm glad that it's over. And I'm glad I have learned what I have. But all things considered, it's not a week that I'm wanting to experience again any time soon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Last night I was the sickest I can ever remember being in my entire life. I threw up five times over six hours. It was awful.

At around 10:00 PM I remember feeling some minor stomach twinges. By about 10:15 I was at home and resting comfortably in my leather chair, and the twinges seemed to be getting worse. I went and changed into my pajamas and laid down on the couch and watched some TV to try and pass the time, and hopefully pass the stomach twinges. It didn't happen.

Around 1:00 AM I was feeling sick enough to maintain a vigil in the bathroom. I wanted to be ready if and when I ralphed, so I sat on the edge of the tub and read a catalogue. When I finally stood up, I felt the barf coming and got rid of it into the toilet. Little did I know that was just the beginning of my night.

I usually feel better when I throw up, like most people. After this time I felt better too, but only for about two minutes. As soon as I was done in the bathroom my stomach started to cramp up again, and I went into the bedroom and told Beetz what happened, and that I'd be sleeping on the couch. She brought me a blanket and a puke pail (no, not one of the kids). I tried to sleep, but it wasn't happening. My stomach was hurting and bloating like nobody's business, and around 2:30 AM came round two. After this round I waited for the usual feeling that things were improving after throwing up. Again, it was not to be.

Round three came at about 3:45, and round four around 5:00. I just could not seem to get whatever it was making my stomach so upset actually out of my stomach. By 7:00 AM, my mom had arrived to watch over my kids. Right when she walked in the door I told her that things were about to get ugly, and she might want to go into Ferg's room, which she did, and round five commenced. At approximately 7:30 I moved my nest down to the basement, so my mom and the kids could get going. By this time, things were finally starting to improve a bit.

I can't recall ever being this sick in my entire life. I do remember one time as a kid when I barfed a few times in a row, but never on an almost hourly schedule. I've heard that things are going around, but no one I've heard of who has been sick recently has had it this bad.

Perhaps the worst part of the night was that I couldn't sleep for more than 20 minute intervals. After each time I ralphed I would go and lay down quick and try to sleep, but the ralphing had gotten my system so worked up that it didn't want to sleep. By the time I actually fell asleep, my stomach was in such discomfort that it would wake me up so I could go empty out. I didn't really sleep at all until about 7:30 this morning. Blech. What a terrible night. Combine that with the fact that we had a terrible night at our house the night before this little adventure, and it's no wonder I'm sick!

So now it's 11:45 AM and my stomach seems to have calmed down a bit, although I don't plan on testing it. I think I'll fast today and just drink some water. No doubt I lost enough fluid with all the puking. I'm just glad the night is over.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Let's Build A Jump."

One of the most funnest things we do at our house is "build a jump." A jump is a big pile of pillows and soft blankets, stacked up in front of some sort of apparatus from which one can leap into the pile of pillows. The tradition of "building a jump" started at my mom's house. She's been watching our kids, and from somewhere she got the idea to stack up pillows and have the kids jump on them. They love doing it, and now they constantly beg us to build a jump. The last few times we built a jump at our house we've had the camera out.

We push the automan up against the wall and Ferg jumps off that
onto the pillows.

Apparently jumping is hard work. After a few goes, Ferg tells me he's
sweaty and the shirt comes off.

Han's approach to the jump is a bit different. She's too small to
jump off the automan, so she just runs across the room and faceplants
into the pillows. As she runs she says "Ready, set, go!" It's super cute.

Apparently Mom is immune to the excitement a jump brings, as evidenced
by her checking her email during the craziness.

Ferg shouts "Cabin Ball!" every time he jumps. I think he means
"Cannon Ball," but it's close enough.

Han eventually got up the nerve to let her brother drag her off the
automan onto the pillows. She still doesn't quite have the concept
(or ability) of jumping down.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black History Month

Every week I receive an email from Relevant Magazine. I'm a subscriber to the bi-monthly publication, so I guess that entitles me to a weekly email. The emails usually contain content from the magazine, as well as some other stuff. Most of it gets my blood boiling a bit, and I've posted about some of these instances here and here. It's a mostly liberal publication (politically and theologically speaking), and really the only reason I stay subscribed to the magazine is so that I can stay up to date on Christian pop culture (whatever that is). Or, I guess you could say that I'm trying to stay "relevant" (although that is very low on my list of concerns in life).

Anyway, the most recent weekly email from Relevant Magazine featured this article from Dr. Tony Evans on a Christian perspective on black history month, which is this month. The article is entitled, "Why Black History Month Matters." The author notes a common question asked by many, even in evangelical circles: "Do we really need a black history month?"

Dr. Evans' article had what I thought were some really great points about black history month, diversity, and unity. But before I go any further, I must confess that I was heretofore totally unacquainted with Dr. Evans, his writing, or his ministry. And not being familiar with the man or his beliefs, I wasn't about to fully align myself with him or endorse his beliefs. A quick Google search revealed that his radio ministry is broadcast on over 400 radio stations across the country. I was encouraged by a look at his website, which advocated church (rather than government) involvement in social issues and holding the word of God as central for providing lasting impact in people's lives. Other than that, I don't know much about the man. So take my endorsements of some of his views presented in this article with a significantly sized grain of salt.

Regarding black history month, Evans says:

God does His best work in the midst of unity. In fact, so essential is the issue of oneness in the church that we are told to be on guard against those who try to destroy it. (Romans 16:17). God has intentionally reconciled racially divided groups into one new man, (Ephesians 2:14-15) uniting them into a new body, (Ephesians 2:16) in order that the church can function as one (Ephesians 2:13). When the church functions as one, we boldly brag on God to a world in desperate need of experiencing Him.

But how do we as a Church function as one? We don’t. He does—both in us and through us.

When we got saved, we were baptized into the body of Christ. No matter what our race, gender, or class is, when each of us came to faith in Jesus, we entered into a new family. We didn’t create God’s family. We became a part of it.

That is so important to realize because far too often we are trying to force unity when authentic unity cannot be mandated or manufactured. Instead, God says we are to “preserve the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3). The Holy Spirit has created our unity. It is our job to preserve it.

The reason why we haven’t solved the racial divide in America after hundreds of years is because people apart from God are trying to invent unity, while people who belong to God are not living out the unity that we already possess. The result of both of these situations has been, and will continue to be, disastrous for our nation. Let alone disastrous for the witness of Christ to our nation.

I think there are several good points in these paragraphs. Allow me a chance to tell you what I think they are:

1) All true unity is made possible only through Christ. Any other kind of unity is totally manufactured by the world and will not stand. People are so different that the only way they can truly come together is by supernatural means. This leads to the second point:

2) The diversity and unity of the church is evidence of its divine nature, and this is a strong witness to the world. As Evans says, "When the church functions as one, we boldly brag on God to a world in desperate need of experiencing Him." Think about it for a minute: can you think of any other organization of people that is as diverse as the church but finds unity in itself despite individual differences? I can't. I don't think there is one. The reason this is possible is the commonality of Christ in all believers. The church should be so unified in and through Christ (in the face of individual differences) that the world has to stop and take notice.

3) The unity of the body is God's doing. We don't create unity, God does, because it was he who called us to be a part of his family. Anything else would be manufactured unity. This is what, in my opinion (maybe Evans would disagree with me on this), the world is trying to do with black history month: manufacture unity. It's just not going to happen - not without Christ at the center, and also because human beings are sinful and fallen and have the propensity to be prejudiced against any and everyone. It's also important for Christians to realize this, and not to try and manufacture unity based on the world's system, but instead upon Christ.

4) The church often falls into the trap of trying to manufacture unity by way of worldly means. The body of Christ is not politically correct. Nor does it operate by policies akin to affirmative action. It is neither of these things because the unifying focal point of the church is other-worldly. Unfortunately however, the church sometimes tends to take a man-centered approach to unity and forgets the trans-cultural/ethnic/socio-political nature of the body of Christ.

While I think these are great points, and I would readily affirm them, I part with Evans midway through his article, however. Evans defines "unity" as "oneness of purpose," and says that unity is achieved when different people work toward the same goal(s), and he sees community service and social action as the focal point for achieving unity in the body of Christ. In other words, if the church wants to be unified, it needs to work together through its individual differences to serve the world. To me, that seems to be putting the cart before the horse, and seems to be a type of the "manufactured unity" that Evans warns of. The basic problem that I have with it is that it does not keep Christ as the focus, but rather serving others. Don't get me wrong: I certainly have no qualms about serving others and social action within our communities. But serving the community with people of other ethnicities, classes, religions, or whatever will not produce biblical unity. Only Christ will. Serving the world together is a product of our oneness in Christ, not vice versa. In other words, Christ enables very different people to come together for the sake of the world. Christians do not come together to serve the world for the sake of being united in Christ. There's a huge difference there.

Evans goes on to talk about how, in order to best appreciate the unity we have in Christ, and in order to most efficiently work together for the kingdom of God, we have to know both ourselves and each other. I would offer a hearty "Amen" to this as well, and I would also add that it is the most efficient way for us to love one another as well, and also the best way of guarding unity that the Bible talks about. Evans sees black history month as an ideal way for these realizations to take place. I disagree. In my estimation, the best way for Christians of all ethnic/cultural/socio-political backgrounds is to live with one another and build relationships with each other. Certainly the "black experience" isn't bound up in black history month, nor is the "white experience" bound up in history books. It's personal. It's individual. I think the best way for Christians to move towards unity in Christ while at the same time knowing and understanding our ourselves and others is to simply live with each other and open up some dialogues with our fellow believers. To this end, black or white isn't even the issue. While I may be the same ethnicity as a lot of people in my church, I can guarantee you that we see and experience the world in vastly unique ways, which creates differences, which creates the potential for disunity. But that potential can and is overcome in and through Christ. Yes, it's going to take some humility, some honesty, and maybe even some discomfort, but the progress towards unity in the body will be well worth the effort. Then we can come together in Christ to be a witness to the world.

I don't want to celebrate black history because it's what the world says I should do, or because it's what the world says is acceptable or politically correct. I want to be united because it is Christ who has brought together sinners from every race, culture, and creed on the planet through repentance and faith for the forgiveness of sins - a message that transcends any and every worldly dividing line. To think about unity in any way that does not include Christ is, as Evans says, an attempt to invent unity where none is actually possible.

Perhaps Evans's article was doomed from the start, because any kind of comparison between the world's idea of unity (like designating a particular month of the year to focus on the history of a specific ethnicity) to that of the unity of the church through Christ is a comparison of apples to oranges, if ever there was one.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Touch 'Em All, Gordo

It seems as though every day I get some new reminder that I am not a kid anymore. Today's reminder comes in the form of John Gordon's announcement that this will be his last year with the Twins radio broadcasting team. 2011 marks Gordo's 70th year of life, and 25th and last season as the play-by-play announcer for the Twins. He shared the job with Herb Carneal for some time, but when Herb died, Gordo took over the main spot, and Dan Gladden became his partner. For my money, the Gordon-Gladden broadcasting combo is about as good as it gets.

What made/makes Gordon great is that he was/is a legitimate baseball fan (let alone a Twins fan). And his broadcasts were so effective precisely because he was a fan, communicating his excitement and love for baseball and the local nine. If nothing else (even if he weren't broadcasting for my local team), he and I could identify with each other on the basis of our love for the game.

My childhood memories are filled with a variety of life-experiences, but there is a common thread that flows through a lot of them. No matter what I was doing, there was usually a Twins game on in the background. There weren't many Twins games on TV back then (as there aren't now - I'm talking about broadcast television), so my family was automatically relegated to listening to the Twins on the radio. As I grew older and listened to more and more Twins games, I came to realize that listening to the games broadcast on the radio was the more desirable way to experience the game, and a lot of that is due to John Gordon.

It was through Carneal and Gordon that I came to know the game of baseball and the Twins players. Yes, the players were the ones who were playing the game, but it was Gordon who made them larger than life in my estimation. Part of this was accomplished just by the way Gordon called the games. His overly dramatic "Swiiiiing, and a miss!" is fantastic, bringing the potential for excitement to each pitch of the game. And of course, the signature "Touch 'em all!" is the stuff of goosebumps. Gordon's call of Kirby Puckett's game 6, 10th inning home run to force a game 7 of the 1991 World Series is absolutely classic. I recently discovered that this call was the only time he has ever repeated the "Touch 'em all" phrase in a single use. I can't listen to that call without almost getting choked up.

When Kirby Puckett died, I was actually pretty torn up. He was my childhood hero. And, like Gordon, a lot of my childhood memories involve Kirby, so for him to die was kind of a shock. John Gordon is the last remaining link to the baseball days of my childhood. Yes, Dan Gladden was a player then and is a broadcaster now, but it's different. Gladden wasn't a broadcaster when I was a kid. He was a player. Gordon has been there throughout my entire love affair with baseball. It's going to be strange to continue my relationship with baseball without Gordon mediating between the two of us.

Now that I'm a dad, one of my favorite things to do is play out in the yard with the kids. This past spring, summer, and fall, almost every evening was spent in the yard, with the Twins game on in the background, and John Gordon's voice bringing us every play. There's just something about baseball on the radio. It's like comfort food. It brings to mind pleasant memories of family and playing with my kids. And in some weird way, John Gordon has been a part of that throughout my life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday Happenings

Today seemed to be a weird day. But as I look back on it, it doesn't seem that weird. It seemed weird as it was happening, though. Here's some of what happened.

1. I had a crazy, pounding headache for most of the day. I don't get headaches that often, so when I do, it's something to take notice of. This one started around 11:00 AM and just kept getting worse and worse as the day went on. It made working difficult, and it didn't help that there was all kinds of demolition going on at the church today. Lots of loud noises plus headache don't usually go together too well. When I left the church around lunch time to go to the post office, the sun reflecting off the snow almost made me puke. I took some Advil around lunch, which I rarely do when I have a headache, and it didn't even make a dent. Around 3:00 PM I went up into one of the loft rooms and tried to lay down and shut my eyes for a while. It didn't really help. I bought some more Advil at around 4:30 and pounded a few more. Still not much relief. And by then I was heading to class.

2. One of my Greek midterms was tonight (I say "one of" because there are actually two midterms for this class, which is kind of weird). Needless to say, the headache didn't help with taking the test. Learning Greek has been a lot easier this time around than it was in college. I seem to be getting the concepts a lot easier this time, and recognizing the patterns of the language also seems to be coming easier. All that being said, I don't think I did too well on the exam. It's interesting, because the teacher lets us use whatever tools, cheats, or helps we want to on the exam (except for an English translation), but it's still very possible (even likely, to some extent) to do poorly. Part of this is, I think, just because the teacher makes the tests harder than the rest of the work (which I think is not the best way to conduct an exam). The test is also timed. All of our other translation work isn't timed, but when it comes to the tests, we find ourselves under the gun, which makes it quite difficult. Oh well. There's still another midterm and a final exam coming.

3. I got an interesting call from my sister this afternoon. More on that some other day.

4. As I was leaving Bethel tonight, The Mrs. called me and asked if I was in the garage. I responded that no, in fact I was just leaving the seminary. She thought that was weird, because from her vantage point in the house, she could see that the light in garage was on. I told her to just lock the doors and I'd be home soon. I couldn't find anything out of the ordinary when I got home. It's a mystery.

5. One of the books I read to my son tonight before bed was called "Diesel 10." It's a Thomas the Train book, but it is really strange. You ever heard about books that were written in English, and then translated into another language, and then translated back into English? Here's a good (and funny) example of what I'm talking about. I'm pretty sure that something like that happened with this Diesel 10 book. It makes absolutely no sense, and the story jumps around all over the place and introduces new characters without ever explaining where they came from. And apparently the Island of Sodor, as well as Thomas and his friends, are now fueled by some magical gold dust taken from the Magical Railway and is endorsed by a man named "Mr. Conductor." Some secret female train named "Lady" (who doesn't appear in the book until the second to last page) is apparently Mr. Conductor's supplier, and she brings him the secret gold dust from the Magical Railway. I'm not making any of this up. I don't think this is what Rev. Awdry had in mind when he wrote his first books.

6. I ended the day by watching a few episodes of River Monsters. This is a great show. We don't have cable, so I've had to rent the seasons. It's overly dramatic fish tales combined with some really weird and scary looking fish. And the host is pretty good, too. It's a bummer the seasons are only seven episodes long.

7. Now it's 1:00 AM, and it's bed time. Good night.