well, no projects this weekend…

So the weather intervened this weekend and I didn’t do any outside projects… apparently a high of 50 with the wind 25 mph from the north is not condusive for working outside. 🙂 I did get the lawn mowed, though. I live in a neighborhood that’s mostly old retired folks, at least one of whom seems to have his personal ambition to make everybody else’s lawns look terrible. This guy mows his lawn every 2 or 3 days, so it’s always immaculate. I try to get mine mowed every week or so, but it usually still ends up looking shaggy.

So instead of outside projects I got a bunch of inside stuff done this weekend, which was OK with me. My list of little miscellaneous projects is always long, so this weekend shortened it up some. Receipts are done. Meeting minutes are typed up. The downstairs is cleaned up and swept. All in all, a profitable weekend. Then I taught Sunday School on Sunday and then in the afternoon bought a used CD that I’m enjoying this morning: Eric Clapton’s Unplugged. I know, it’s a 13-year-old album, but I’m just finally getting around to it.

Such is my random life from this weekend. Hope you enjoyed it. 🙂


Springtime has finally arrived in Iowa, and that means that the weekends become project time. That also means that it’s time for my annual realization of how lazy I am. I like projects to an extent – specifically, I like the ones that are small, and have great observable effect when they’re done. But now that it’s spring time Becky has a list of outdoor projects that need done.

Now I’m not disagreeing that they need done; they do need done, and they will improve the way our home/yard/garden looks when we get done. I just have trouble getting motivated. I like my winter Saturdays when I can get up late, read a book, watch TV, and be lazy. I will remember that I like summer Saturdays, too; but they’re more characterized by work, sweat, and tiredness at the end of the day. Which is OK; I just have to remind myself that I do enjoy it – my laziness wants to tell me that I won’t enjoy it.

So to put aside the navel gazing and introspection, this weekend we’ll be doing some planters in the back yard. We’re buying the landscape timbers today, and tomorrow we’ll be cutting and assembling them. Maybe I’ll even take a picture or two for illiustration once we get done. Thinking about it now, it probably won’t even take that long – Becky’s got it all planned out how she wants it, so it should just be cut and assemble. At least, I can hope that it stays easy. Ahhh… the smell of sawdust. Now I guess that is something to look forward to.

Our Lady of Perpetual Obsolescence

A friend e-mailed me this link today: Our Lady of Perpetual Obsolescence Vinyl Rescue Mission and Orphanage – Severely Religious Wing. (Note to the wise: some of the other pages on the site are R-rated and worth avoiding.) There are some pretty funny album covers from old Religious records – worth laughing at for a minute or two when you have the time.

softball….. finally!

We had our first softball practice of the season last night. It was a beautiful night to be out, and fun to put the glove back on and play some catch. That being said, I was terrible! I couldn’t hit the ball to save my life. Now, I’ve never been a good hitter, but this was ridiculous. Becky was smacking the ball around such that I, in comparison, looked like a little weenie. 🙂

Well, that’s my embarrased rant for this morning. It was still a great time. Hopefully I’ll come up with something more substantive to post later on.

preaching on short notice…

It had been planned for about a month that I would fill the pulpit at my church on April 24th. Then about a week ago I got asked if I could switch to the 17th, to fill in for our youth pastor who has been sick. So, on short notice, I think it turned out OK. You can listen to the second half of the sermon here… apparently the audio guys only managed to record half of it. Arrrgh.

The topic of the sermon is “Three Characteristics of a Loving Follower”, from Ephesians 5:1-2. It’s not super-exciting, but one of my better efforts (of which only total 3, so I’m relatively inexperienced here). And that’s your little insight into Chris’s life for today. 🙂

nowadays the world is lit by lightning

Peggy Noonan (one of my long-time favorite columnists, and a devout Roman Catholic) has a column today on OpinionJournal in which she crafts a tale of a group of Cardinals discussing and thinking over the qualifications for the next man who would be pope. I think she manages to hit on some of the characteristics that really mark a great leader.

(Now let’s not let this get into a discussion on the theology of the RC church, or the relative merits of whether or not John Paul II was a believer… that’s not the point. He was a great man and leader regardless.)

In Noonan’s piece, a rather hardened and cynical old Cardinal is trying to understand why so many people felt so devoted to JPII, why this outpouring of devotion for an old sick man who was constantly telling people what they should/shouldn’t do in regard to moral issues… what was the appeal? And then comes a moment of realization. She writes:

Maybe–maybe . . . Maybe people, being imperfect and human, live whatever lives they live but deep in their hearts–way down deep and much more than they know–they actually notice when somebody stands for truth. And they actually honor it. Maybe that’s why in all the big modern democracies they’d burst into tears when John Paul came by, when he was visiting America and France and Germany. Maybe they knew they were not necessarily living right themselves but they were grateful–they were grateful on behalf of civilization!–that there was a man like him among us. They recognized him and honored him in their hearts. And then word came that he’s dead and suddenly their hearts told their heads: Get on the train and go honor him. Because he adorned us. Because he was right. And we can’t lose this from civilization, this beacon in the darkness.

I think she hits it here: “they actually notice when somebody stands for truth. As a believer, I have Christ in me and I am called to live his truth. And as a person, I respond similarly when I see it in others. The qualities of a life well-lived, lived to uphold the truth. People like JPII. People closer to home, like Bob Dye, who has led the local Youth for Christ chapter for 35 years and radiates Christ through the community every day. People… just normal people, but who live out Christ’s truth every day.

Near the end of Noonan’s story, the Cardinals are in discussion about the qualities that will be needed in the new pope. One argues that the need a holy, devout man. Another argues that they also need a “rock star” – someone with an image and personality that will appeal to the younger generation. Then the voice of wisdom kicks in from a third.

“It would seem our duty is to choose a great man who is not necessarily a dramatic or endearing figure. The Holy Spirit will give him voice. Our time will need greatness. ‘For nowadays the world is lit by lightning.'”

OK, so she’s quoting Tennessee Williams with that last line… but the point remains. The flashes of lightning that illuminate the world will be those that come from the hearts of the faithful. Thanks, Peggy, for the reminder.


I starting reading some of the other rmfo blogs and found David’s post on softball. I’m quite jealous that his season has already started; mine doesn’t start for a couple weeks yet. I’m looking forward to it hugely. Actually, I should call it “our” season… Becky and I play on a co-ed church league team. She’s the die-hard softball player (played in high school), I’m the recreational player.

This will be the first season that we’ll have a little kiddo on the bench to take care of – Laura was born right at the end of last softball season. It’s already been determined that I will be the one in charge of child care if somebody needs to sit with her during a game. Hey, I volunteered. I figure Becky missed almost all of last year (except for some heroics in the last game of the season… but that’s another story) since she was pregnant so it’s the least I can do. 🙂

Well this is kind of a boring post but I’m trying to figure out trackbacks and add some traffic to the new blog, so that’s what you get for the day.


German report on the Catholic Church

I just couldn’t resist posting this… it was too funny. Credit to James Taranto at Best of the Web Today.

“More than three-quarters of Germans want the successor of Pope John Paul II to be less ‘rigid’ about sexual morality and end the Church’s ban on contraception, according to a poll published Saturday,” Deutsche Welle reports:

About 78 percent of those surveyed said they were in favor of the Catholic Church ending its ban on contraception, and 76 percent wanted the next pope to authorize the use of condoms as part of the fight against the spread of AIDS, the poll said.

In addition, 77 percent of respondents said they wanted to see the ordination of women as priests and 74 percent think that imposing celibacy and chastity on priests is no longer expedient.

So, the Germans think the Roman Catholic Church is too conservative? Isn’t DW about 487 years late on this story? Coming next: Germany’s low-carb weight-loss craze, the Diet of Worms!

it’s a blog…

I’ve made the switch today from my old blogger.com blog to my new rmfo-blogs.com blog. Don’t get too confused; this blog hasn’t really been here since back in December. I just copied some of my old blogger entries over here to give this one a nice “lived-in” feel. 🙂

I will do my best to keep this updated. If you read this, post a comment so I know it’s being read! And remind me if I haven’t updated in a while…