Friday, February 27, 2009

I am very thankfully excited that I'm getting (Lord willing, barring disaster or more faulty customer service) a Kindle 2 and the Hebrew Rosetta Stone software. And I should actually be able to use it since Brandy will have her own computer. By the grace of God I'll be speaking the language of the patriarchs in no time, while reading the complete works of George Mac-D, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Aquinas, and others for pennies! Thank you socialist tax return!
This will rock.

I had to explain to Josiah the other day what a transvestite is.

We were taking a family outing to the mall, and as Josiah and I were walking apart for a bit, I stopped for some reason or other and knelt down, as I did a transvestite came walking past, and I saw josiah do a double take, and stretch his neck out like he does when he's trying to get a better look at something unusual. The poor misguided thing walked past, and josiah watched it go with his little eyebrows scrunched up. Then he patted me on the back and said, "Dad, dad - that guy was wearing girl clothes!" So I said yes, he was, and explained that a small percentage of the population is messed up in the head, and because they don't know Jesus, and they don't know God, they don't know up from down either and want to be girls and want guys to like them so they dress like girls 'cause they think that will help. Josiah shook his head, with a half smirk and raised eyebrows, and laughed again at the silliness of the idea, and said - "ha!, a guy! wearing girl clothes! that's just wierd." Then he asked why the guy didn't believe in Jesus and I told him I wasn't sure, but that there are a lot of weird things like that in this world because lots of people don't know Jesus. Then we re-joined Brandy & the other two kids and headed for the gumball machine.

The Horrors of Customer Service

And the Wonders of Forgiveness.

I don't Know what else our apartment management and Fedex could have in common, but their customer service is one at least.

For the past three weeks ago people have been helping themselves to our parking spot, and we've (for the most part) not been able to catch the people going in or out of their vehicles. So it's been a tossup whether or not we're parking in the "visitor" spot every time we pull in. Half the time it happens when I'm away @ work, and the interlopers stick around until morning. We decided that most of the traffic came from the drug dealers a couple apartments over.

And Fedex was supposed to have delivered Brandy's new Macbook two days ago, but the pkg tracking has for the past two days read "Delivery attempted, residents not home or business closed" which is bogus since we've been doing little else but sitting home looking out the window for the FedEx truck, which never came. So after about five or six calls to their cust. svc line, with five or six different stories and excuses (none of which agreed with each other or made any sense) And three calls to Apple, I discovered that the contract Apple has with Fedex for deliveries dictates they're not allowed to talk to each other (what the heck?!?). So they can't help us. After another couple of calls to Apple I got a guy who gave us a 50.00 credit - nice of him- saying that I could go down to the FedEx hub and pick the pkg up, (which by the way, FedEx was adamant that we couldn't do) So I drove down there anyway in desperation to find a real live person to talk to. I did, a woman @ the actual FedEx office across the st. from the FedEx "home delivery" office (apparently they're private local contractors who work for FedEx but aren't really Fedex employees) who told me to call them again and have them hold the pkg tomorrow and she would go with me down to their office to straighten it out. Then I stopped a Fedex home deliver courier I saw parked in a lot and asked her if she had my computer, (she didn't) and she gave me some useful info that cleared up some of the babble we got over the phone. I've concluded that to people on the phone, the voice on the other end is just that - a voice, some kind of annoying noise that you've got to get off the phone as quick as possible by whatever means necessary. Talking to people in person is so much nicer. And so are the people.
So tomorrow I'm supposed to go down there and pick it up.
Also, I've nearly given myself an ulcer getting angry and frustrated over all this, even after Brandy & I had a talk about forgiveness and when someone has you carry something for them one mile going the extra, how Jesus told us to deal with ppl who step on our "rights", but I forgot in just a day, and went back to working on my ulcer, but today I was reading through James 4 which I was assigned to teach out of for Youth ministry, and the first part about why we get angry - because we want something and don't get it... Yeah. So I got better and prayed with Brandy, who I'd influenced over the past couple days to the point where she was upset and ulcery too, and we read through our Psalms & Proverbs for the day until it all got washed away in the great Antacid of Faith in a faithful God.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I got my acceptance letter in the mail from SPU today, it reminded me that last night (morning? I don't sleep at night so it must've been yesterday morning after getting home) I had a dream where the current president of SPU was voted out and was getting very surly while being forced to pack up and go. An unlikely and interesting dream, since it has very little chance of coming true and since I know so little about Pres. E. that I am surprised he featured in my dream.

Brandy & I also tried to watch Fight Club which Netflix had sent us because they didn't have the next item on our list readily available. I say "tried" because there was something wrong with the DVD that caused it to get all unbalanced in the DVD player and make an odd sound like a washer on spin cycle. So I took that as a sign of God's displeasure over us trying to watch that particular movie, which I wasn't at all surprised at because I was kind of wondering whether or not we should be watching it in the first place. I mean, I liked it when I watched it as a pagan, I appreciated its critique of American commercialism and inhumanity, but there's just so much to strain the conscience in it too, and I hesitated even trying to watch it. So when its imbalance cause the rumbling of Divine Wrath to emanate from our DVD player, I embarrasedly explained to Brandy my interpretation of this "sign", and we ended up reading Psalms and Proverbs instead, and the first couple chapters of Romans. I'm glad we did. Then I read her a little bit from where we left off in the "Fellowship of the Ring" and had dinner.

And now I'm @ work, praying that no one in Robbins or the Wesleys decides it would be a good idea to get drunk and noisy, and filling out an incident report about a "No Parking" sign that someone ran over.

I should honestly post more often because whenever I DO sit down to type I can't think of where to begin and what should be left out to make it readable...

The pastor's conference in the beginning of Feb was phenomenal. Not only did they have free espresso drinks and gluttony-provoking food catered in-house, the spiritual food and caffeine was fit to match it. We'd gone hoping mainly for some time together away from the kids (I had been disappointed by a "Men's Rally" sort of conference I'd gone to some weeks before and had very low expectations for the teaching portion) but the sessions were very worthwhile. The drive out was beautiful, I had Brandy read me "The Fellowship of the Ring" for as long as she could (which wasn't very long) but that was just about fine because the scenery through the mountains demanded too much attention to listen anyway. I saw Venus about a hundred feet up in the air, it looked like if I'd climbed to the summit of a nearby mountain I could've touched it. We got to stop at a perkins for breakfast with Jeremiah & Nicole (I haven't had a perkins breakfast in forever, and very few things are as fun as road trip caravan breakfast breaks).
When we were actually at the conference we had some good conversing time with pastor (my father in law) Don, Pastor Seth, & Pastor Chik - who screamed and performed his usual theatre at the catering table enough to make four hundred people stop and stare, until it felt like Appleton.
The conference began with communion and a request that we pray for one another concerning whatever was on our hearts, I asked some nearby brethren to pray for me about our future (to go to school or not, to move closer to Seattle or not, to start a bible study or not) and to keep me from pride (concerning the guys in youth group, who seem to consider me some sort of genius) - yes, I know it's lame to even have to fight pride over the compliments of 18 year olds, but everyone has their weakness, and mine (one of them) is being complimented. And that's exactly why I was begging for prayer. One of the guys all but accused me of repressing my wife who he was sure was just waiting for a chance to cut me down to size, he was sure of this because that's what his wife does. At first I bristled a little, but I figured I'd let him assume whatever he wanted to assume so long as he prayed for me, and if there was anything in need of remedying, God would remedy it. So they prayed for me and I prayed for them, after which I told Brandy about the conversation and asked her if she felt oppressed and if there was anything she would like to say to bring me back to the cold reality of my insufficiency as a human being, and she proceeded to tell me how gifted she thinks I am, which I told her didn't help my pride at all, but did make her seem a lot hotter even than usual.
Then the second speaker covered the subject of pride thoroughly enough to disembowel my self-esteem through my tear ducts, which I take to always be an act of God, and the one two later spoke about the future. Then at the lunch session on the second day P. Chik called me aside to exhort me to get to what we came out here for and start a church before I got old and fogeyey. I also took this to be the voice of God.

So Brandy & I have been praying about the where and how. Last week we went on a drive through the Magnolia district as it is close to the university and has no CC's within a fair radius. It was gorgeous. I declared a major today in the admissions dept, and picked up the requirement sheet for the "Classics" major. I also reveived the news from Fin. Aid that they won't really have anything to say to me re: my Fafsa until about April - which surprised me since they sent me an email a week ago telling me I needed to submit my FAFSA post haste since the time was fast approaching. Maybe they thought I was applying for spring semester.

Took Brandy out Arching with her longbow, it was a comical experience all round and worthwhile, but I've got to find a closer place for us to shoot at. Puyallup is kind of out of the way. Enoch was miserable the entire time at being in his stroller and not being allowed to wander in the line of fire, and he did his best to make sure everyone else was miserable too.
Brandy got better by the time we wrapped up for the day, she also got a lot of bruising on her left forearm from the string drag. We need to get her some sort of arm guard thingie.

My old best friend from High School Ian McDonald the agnostic lawyer finally emailed me back. I thought he was done with me and due to the influence of Seattle's atmosphere didn't want to talk to his fundamentalist friend Judah anymore, but apparently I was mistaken, he's been in self-imposed exile studying for the Bar for the second time. He suggested we go out for coffee or a run, I suggested we go with the coffee, and he also wanted to have dinner sometime & meet my kids. I was just praying for him a couple days ago for the first time in some months, so I don't think it's coincidence that he contacted me when he did. I'm really looking forward to seeing him again.

After sending out a stock email about my book of poetry I self-published via "" I received two email responses of "Congratulations" which was exremely embarrassing, I think they thought it was actually published by a publishing house of some kind. It made me feel like that time in Jerusalem when a rabbi was being effusively welcoming and friendly to me until he figured out I was not a Jewish youth contemplating making aliah - at which point he shuddered at the thought of having spoken to a goy such as I and sped away.
But another person is paying me to autograph and send a copy to them, to that almost makes up for it.

Donovan invited me to come visit him in Bellingham across the water, so with Brandy's leave I took the ferry there (which was glorious - I got some good reading done between scenery too!) when I arrived I quickly realised that it was a setup. Donovan had invited me there in order to sell me on the idea of becoming part of CC Bellingham and helping with the school of ministry out there and/or pastoring the church up in port Angeles (across from Victoria). I thanked him fo the tour of their gorgeous facilities (a renovated old-school theatre) and for the Teryaki spicy chicken that made me appear to have an emotional breakdown, and told him that I would pray with him and be open to any voice of the Lord moving us in that direction, but let him know that the direction we're currently being moved is the Magnolia district & school @ SPU (Lord willing). He was disappointed, and I was full of Teryaki and good humor. Although seriously, I am open to the possibility - but very much doubt it is the Lord's will for us at this time.

And all of this has become ridiculously long, so I will stop it here.