Saturday, April 21, 2012

My SaTuRdAy!

Ah...Saturdays.  Well, at this stage in our busy lives, full Saturdays to tackle the "to do" list seem few and far between.  Today I was determined to get a few things done.  It always amazes me how fast the hours fly when you have a long list of little projects.  But this was a good day, and I'm thankful to the Lord that the pain in my back has improved enough to allow me to manage these few tasks.

Let's see, my daughter Sarah had a couple friends sleep over last night, so I got up early and quietly, around 5:30AM I think.  Brewed some coffee.  Watered our newly seeded lawn.  Then worked for a couple hours.

This is the public website for the company I work for
I work for Fingertip Formulary.  We manage pharmacy formulary data, tracking the formulary status of over 1500 prescription drugs on every health plan currently operating in the U.S.  We provide a comprehensive suite of critical market data for....blah....blah...blah....yes, I'm boring you by now. 

Next I decided I would tear down a painful eyesore on our property.  A couple years ago I built a little rack to hold fire wood.  I built it quickly out of 2x4's and it served its purpose for the time.  But my neighbor just put up a nice brand new fence, and this little home-made wood rack detracted from his hard work (in my opinion at least).  So I chopped it up into bits. 

What you see in the picture to the left is what is left of the rack and the wood that was on it.  What you also see is the hay covering the newly seeded section of our lawn.  We had to replace our septic system last year.  Our contractor, Dale Bangma (highly recommended!) came back and seeded for us earlier this week.  We should be having little grass babies popping up in 7-10 days.

Kitty litter, paint cans - soon to be mixed!
We have had some old cans of paint piling up in the basement.  OLD stuff...rusty cans...paint that was well beyond using.  Our trash collection company recommends dumping the used paint into bags of kitty litter, letting it harden a bit, then throwing it into the trash.  So...I emptied out a few cans of paint.  This will need to be an ongoing project.  We have lived here for about 17 years...and I'm sure we aren't the only ones with extra unused cans of paint laying around. 

Speaking of living here for 17 dear wife has always wanted a wood or pellet stove.  She just loves the HEAT they throw.  Well, we have finally decided to go ahead and make the investment.  We had a relatively mild winter this year, but in spite of the threats of global warming, I'm thinking we are due for a really cold winter soon.  So I have been kicking tires - so to speak - at several stove shops in the area for the past few weeks.  Today I decided to go and put a deposit on the pellet stove insert we are going to buy. 

The picture above is a picture...of a picture...of the insert we are getting.  I am going with the Winslow pellet insert, a Lennox Hearth product (based in Nashville, TN).  We are going with pellets instead of wood because pellets appear to be a better value, burn cleaner and just seem easier (storage and burn time superiority). 

Here is a picture of what our fireplace opening looks like right now:

Here is a picture of a stone fireplace that I like.  I am going to get a quote to see how much it will cost to re-do our brick fireplace with stone, before we install the pellet.  I may have to donate an organ or two. We'll see:

Anyway, after putting down my deposit on the stove insert, I put a call into a stone mason they recommended.  He will be out in a week or so to give me the quote. 

Next on my to-do list was mulch.  I swung (swang?) by the garden shop in Uxbridge and had them put a yard of red hemlock in the back of my pickup.  The guy had a bit of a challenge due to the kayak racks that I have (yes, kayak racks...but no kayak yet...don't rush me!).  But he managed to dump in a full yard and got nearly 100% of the yard right inside the bed of the truck.  Good job!

I took it home and mulched the front plant areas.  Earlier, I talked Kathryn into weeding out those areas so they would be ready for the mulch.

Left side of the entry way.

Full front view...grass is a bit worn out where the kids play
baseball in our yard.
Kathryn needed a few things at Walmart, and so did I, so we took a trip together.  She got some crafting supplies - she wanted to make a shelf to store her nail polish. 

I needed to find something to fix a VERY squeaky bed.  We had to get new rails for our bed frame last year.  They fit...but they were quite noisy. 

So I found this:

Yes, yes it is actually meant for a chain saw...or similar power equipment. said it stopped SQUEAKS!!  So I took off each bed rail from the head board and bottom...sprayed the metal parts with this stuff...let it sit for a few minutes and put it back together.  Guess what??? No squeaks!  Well, almost no squeaks.  I would call it a 90% improvement. 

Next, Kathryn wanted me to help hang her newly created nail polish shelf.

Here it is:

Good job Kathryn!

I also made some clam dip today.  I don't know why.  Just had a craving.  I think it turned out pretty good:

The day ended with Joshua and I playing a game of Hidden Chronicles on Facebook.  He loves that game.  We sit next to each other trying to find the hidden objects.  Kind of an evening tradition.

I helped Joshua with his shower.  While he was cleaning up, I sat and read a little from an old favorite book, "The Reformed Pastor" by Richard Baxter.  I'm not a pastor.  But I do have the privilege of teaching and sometimes sharing the gospel with others.  His words were a sobering reminder that it is possible to be very zealous for the souls of others...while be very careless for your own.  He says "God never saved any man for being a preacher; but because he was a justified, sanctified man, and consequently faithful to his Master's work.  Take heed, therefore, to yourselves first, that you be that which you persuade your hearers to be, and believe that which you persuade them to believe, and heartily entertain that Savior whom you offer to them."

I did also manage to get in my 10 chapters of Bible reading today too.  More information on this reading plan can be found HERE

Okay, so that was my Saturday.  And now I'm ready to call it a night, looking forward to Sunday, church, lunch with friends and family, and rest. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter - Intended for Doubters

“I will not believe….”

John 20:25b

Not feeling especially religious this Easter?  Never really understood or been convinced that Jesus was someone special?  Not particularly impressed with the testimony about Jesus you have heard from others?  Are you somewhat doubtful that the things said about Jesus are really true?  In fact, are you pretty sure that it would take a miracle to convince you to change your mind about Jesus Christ?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter - Someone to plead for me

“Oh that one might plead for a man with God!”
Job 16:21
Next Sunday is Easter.  It might sound funny coming from a Christian, but I have mixed feelings about this holiday.  On the one hand, there is nothing more precious to me than my resurrected Savior Jesus Christ.  That event - on which the history of the world both before and after hangs - cannot be proclaimed loudly enough.  I love it.  On the other hand, the Christian emphasis upon Easter Sunday sometimes seems to set apart 1 Sunday as being “special” and suggests that all the other 51 Sundays per year are just “ordinary.”  For the Christian, every Sunday is supposed to be Easter Sunday. 

But the perpetuating of a special Sunday to bring particular focus on the resurrection has some positive effects.  My heart is given liberty to dwell a bit longer on themes related to the events just prior to the cross, the crucifixion itself, and the remarkable circumstances surrounding the empty tomb on Sunday morning. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Colossians 3:13b - Christian Forgiveness (or, True Christian Mercy part 4)

Sunday school notes from 4/1/12

The following are the rather raw and unpolished notes used for teaching in my sunday school class.  If anyone is called upon to teach from Colossians and would like to use these notes as a resource, I would be happy to email the Word docs to you.  Hopefully you have access to several good commentaries, which will fare you far better than anything you find here. 

Colossians 3:12-13
12 “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
IV.    Forgiving.  The last of the 4 words that Paul uses to describe the truly Merciful Christian is the word “forgiving.”  He says “and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 
There are primarily 2 words used in the NT for “forgive.” 

The first word, the one used nearly 150 times, has to do with what we might call the “legal” or maybe “official” act of forgiveness.  It has the idea of a debt being cancelled or covered.  Imagine I owned a pharmacy and you are very sick and out of work and you come to get your prescription filled.  It is a very expensive medicine, but I give it to you and tell you that I’ll send you a bill at the end of the month.  The end of the month comes and you are still out of work, you have barely enough money to feed your family, and you come into me with the bill and say “Jason, I’m sorry, I don’t have the money yet – but once I get well I will be able to repay it.”  And I take the bill from your hand and I tear it up.  I tell you that bill no longer exists.  It has been erased from the record books.  That is the first word “forgiveness.”  It describes you right now if you are a Christian.  God has torn up your debt.