south of the border

I'm leaving tomorrow morning to head to Ensenada for our mission trip. We'll be putting up windows and doors, and helping to clean up the medical facility that we drywalled last year. Hopefully this place will be up and running soon, and we'll have a safe trip. If you pray, pray for us. Have a great week!


jeremiah 20:9

I was recently asked what my favorite Bible verse is. It's difficult for me to pick one out, as there are a number of verses that have meant a lot to me at different times.

One verse I keep coming back to, though, is Jeremiah 20:9. It goes like this:

"But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."

So often it seems like trying to share God's word with others is a fruitless endeavor. It feels like people hear but don't listen, people catch glimpses of God and the life He has, but don't embrace it. So many of us (myself included) keep getting drawn back into different things that tear us away from God. It often seems pointless. It's discouraging to spend your time, energy, heart, and soul trying to point people in God's direction, only to watch them walk away.

And sometimes I just want to forget all about it, to walk away and be done with it. Not worry about others or trying to talk about God or His grace or any of it. Sometimes I just want to shut that part of me down. The only problem is, like Jeremiah, I can't do it. There is nothing else. Not that I have reached some spiritual pinnacle - I only hope that I am growing in my understanding of the life I am calling others to. But ministry can be heartbreaking sometimes.


On Sunday, my wife and I signed up for a membership at Bally's, which has a club about 7 minutes away from us. I have up to this point in my life scorned health club memberships, believing them to be a waste of money for something you can do on your own for free. I realized, however, that in order to get in the kind of shape I want to be in, I need to incorporate some weights and whatnot into my exercise. Just running will help me lose weight...but I need some other stuff too. So we signed up on Sunday, and this morning I had an "introductory meeting" with a personal trainer named Ray.

I was a bit intimidated about going into the gym, having never been in one before, and feeling vastly out of place in such an arena. I was also worried that my trainer would be some big hardcore dude that would spit with contempt when confronted with my weight-lifting ability. Thankfully Ray was a nice guy, probably in his 50's or maybe early 60's. He went through a workout with me, mostly resistance stuff. I did a lot of sitting on a ball against a wall, pushups, jackknifes (a new terror to me), and other such stuff. He was patient and did a good job of explaining why we did what we did. If I were independently wealthy, I might pay to have more time with him so he could really get me going on the right workout track. I have no doubt that were I to spend a few months with him, I would start to get into better shape, and have better muscles all around.

Anyway the bottom line is, I am glad I'm signed up, even though I feel weak right now. Apparently Ricky has a membership there and has been dying for someone to work out with, so we will probably be doing that some in the near future.

Part of my motivation is the fact that I have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Apparently at my current weight I have a 5300% increased chance of getting diabetes. That is not a typo. So for any number of reasons, it's time to stop messing around and at 24 take my health seriously.

I want to live long enough to become some awesome kind of cyborg.


coldplay - x and y

So Coldplay's new album came out this week, and thanks to Napster To Go I legally downloaded it and all that.

Right now I'm on my second listen-through, and I'm not really that impressed. "Speed of Sound" is a great song...but many of them just seem to run together. Plus a lot of them are depressing songs about how "you don't want me in your life" and other such stuff. Maybe I need to give them more of a chance...but I'm pretty unimpressed.

Also, today I had a physical. It was weird. I also got two shots. The lady laughed at me and told me she could tell I didn't get shots often. I'm sure it was because of the absolute lack of fear I showed when confronted with the needles. She probably assumed since I didn't so much as bat an eye I didn't know what was going to happen. I'm hardcore.


japanese robot suit

Dude! Things just keep getting cooler and cooler!

Check this out:

Japan has taken a step into the science-fiction world with the release of a "robot suit" that can help workers lift heavy loads or assist people with disabilities climb stairs.

"Humans may be able to mutate into supermen in the near future," said Yoshiyuki Sankai, professor and engineer at Tsukuba University who led the project.

The 15-kilogram (33-pound) battery-powered suit, code-named HAL-5, detects muscle movements through electrical-signal flows on the skin surface and then amplifies them.

It can also move on its own accord, enabling it to help elderly or handicapped people walk, developers said.



the joy of grilling

Kabobs on Grill
Originally uploaded by actionjax.

For some reason, the camping trip last weekend made me want to use my Weber grill more. I haven't used it more than a few times, and not at all since I've been married. This past weekend I just cooked up some dogs and burgers, and it awakened something in me.

I remembered I had this quality grill at home and that I hadn't used it much. So I decided when I got home that I wanted to use it. I subbed Tuesday and spent some time checking out online grilling sites and all the accessories I could get for my grill.

Tuesday night we had some friends over and Janelle and I made chicken kabobs. I got some cool stuff for my grill, like a thing that hangs on the side to hold tools, a vinyl cover to keep it from getting all nasty outside, a new wire brush to clean the grill, and a bbq mitt to protect my delicate hands from the ravaging heat. I had a lot of fun.

I think I am going to start grilling more. I want to grill with my kids and hang out with them outside and stuff. So, yeah.