Thursday, June 29, 2006

Turning 40...

Yesterday, June 28, 2006, I turned 40.

I have always wanted to turn 40 since it seems like a real age - maybe somebody will take me seriously now!

Probably not.

I don't expect you to understand this... but I had the best birthday of my life.

Yesterday was a full day of meetings and special activities, so although I got a little lunch picnic in with the family, it was mostly a work day. That was fine and I was happy.

But today - they surprised me. All of sudden they all ran into my office, grabbed my arms and dragged me out to be unceremoniously blindfolded while sitting on the steps. I was ushered into a car and informed to keep quiet - which I never did!

We drove around for a while with the customary U-turns, spins, reverses and such... until I was fully disoriented. After a few more minutes, the van stopped and I was dragged out and marched along in the black.

Suddenly, the blindfold was ripped off (ow!) and sitting in front of me was my good friend Darren's automotive shop... and a 1991 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton pick up!

Here is the part I don't expect you to understand... I have always wanted a truck. An old, beat up, haul your trash to the dump and don't worry about it truck! I have dreamed of having a truck. And my family bought me one for my birthday.

I don't deserve it.

But man do I love it!

I have already named her - Ecclesiastes. We call her "Cleezer" for short.

Why that name? Because it seems to me that one of Solomon's big points in that book is to enjoy what the Lord gives you. And to let him take it away when He sees fit. That is just how I always want to think about this old truck. Believe it or not, it has been a launching pad for much joy and delight in the One who never needs wheels to get around.

"There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind."

My wife and kids are so cool it makes my head fall off.

Anyway, I am so thankful and happy I just felt like telling everybody about it! Here are a few pics if you care to see. I will try to post one of Cleezer herself if it ever stops raining!

Getting kidnapped by my kids!

Moments after the presentation at D & J Automotive!

"This can't be real!" Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Injury Wars: The Last Chapter

Nikopedia: I win!!!

Nikopedia wades into the Great Injury War... and wins.

I officially yield (to Nick... not the Fighter Jet!!!!!!!!!!)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Book Review: Future Men

(Douglas Wilson: Calvary Press, 2001)

So the thing about Douglas Wilson is... you are never at a loss to know what he thinks about a matter! And such is the case when it comes to raising boys.

Having a man-child of my own, I was particularly interested to read what Wilson had to say and enjoyed this book a lot. The work proceeds in four sections: Understanding Future Men; Molding Future Men; Future Men Against Themselves; and Future Men with Others. If you have not figured it out yet, the idea is that the little boy we love to play with and tease and kick a ball toward... is one day going to have large feet and big muscles – he will be a man. But real manhood is more than stature, it something arrived at after a process of shaping and molding. Hence, we need to view our boys as our future men.

I loved the whole premise and the “call to arms.” It reminded me of one of my favorite poems from The Book of Virtues:

A boy that is truthful and honest
And faithful and willing to work;
But we have not a place that we care to disgrace
with a boy that is ready to shirk.

Wanted--a boy you can tie to,
A boy that is trusty and true,
A boy that is good to old people,
And kind to the little ones too.

A boy that is nice to the home folks,
And pleasant to sister and brother,
A boy who will try when things go awry
To be helpful to father and mother.

These are the boys we depend on--
Our hope for the future, and then
Grave problems of state and the world's work await
Such boys when they grow to be men.

(Taken from The Book of Virtues, William J. Bennett, editor)

Wilson covers all the major concerns of shaping boys into real men: laziness, sex, secret sin, courtship, girls, friends, fights, school work, and sports to name a few. Each section is written with that “serrated edge” he is known for, so you need to read with a smile and not take offense if you are to gain from many of his good insights.

The section on maintaining a covenant home was a valiant attempt to explain how to treat our sinner boys as Christians without immersing them in some presumptive regeneration hoogly. As you can imagine that was not an easy task and I do not think Wilson succeeded – not for lack of effort, but simply because the position is untenable. Other than that, however, the book is a good read and full of excellent advice for North American fathers in particular.

If nothing else, you will be entertained and challenged. Wilson is a vivid author and when combined with a subtle wit, it makes his work quite compelling. And the whole concept of thinking about our boys as boys – read here, “not girls” – is so vital in a feminist-dominated culture that I think every dad should read this – whether he has boys or not. There is a lot of value in the book for raising our young women, too.

So, I highly commend the book to any parent or person that works with kids. You will be personally challenged in your manhood (if you are a man) and find many excellent helps for raising those future men, should the Lord bless your quiver with one or six.

The Seinfeldism of Soccer - Why it is a non-sport!

The "Game" About Nothing...:

"Mostly soccer is just guys in shorts running around aimlessly, a metaphor for the meaninglessness of life. Whole blocks of game time transpire during which absolutely nothing happens. Fortunately, this permits fans to slip out for a bratwurst and a beer without missing anything important. It's little wonder fans at times resort to brawling amongst themselves in the grandstands, as there is so little transpiring on the field of play to occupy their wandering attention. Watching men in shorts scampering around has its limitations. It's like gazing too long at a painting by de Kooning or Jackson Pollock. The more you look, the less there is to see."


Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to Toronto's CN Tower (NOT the space needle!!!) Toronto's CN Tower celebrating 30th birthday:

"Those who had a part in designing and building the CN Tower didn't think it would reign as the world's tallest for as long as it has, but that record could be surpassed when the current Burg tower in Dubai is completed.

Officials of that structure won't reveal the target height, but promise it will shatter any existing record. The tower is expected to top 700 metres. It passed 50 storeys this month (the CN Tower is 181 storeys tall)."

I was 9 years old and captivated by the tower when the final pieces reached the top - my name is still up there! (I am so famous!) A neighbour took me and his son down to a park where you could sign your name on the last 4 sections (before they were lifted by helicopter, one by one, to the top - with some whacked dude clinging to the tower to connect them!)

Mock it if you will, but it is certainly better than this and filled a young mind with months of fascination!

Happy Birthday, Old Friend!

kwellum Changes Gears...

Redeeming The Time: A Time of Change

My dear brother Kirk Wellum has finished his ministry at Pilgrim Baptist Fellowship and begins full-time duties at Toronto Baptist Seminary. This is very good news for TBS and now we need to pray that the Lord surprises us by His kindness to Pilgrim!

Monday Chuckle...

You Might Be Emerging If… - purgatorio

Everybody has probably already seen this, but I just stumbled across it now.

I got to meet Marc at the Bloggers get-together at Together for the Gospel. He's a pretty funny guy!

But not as funny as me.