Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day in Dixie -Updated-

Hope you guys all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Danielle and I left with Brian & Rachel Wednesday morning at 7:30 and dropped them off in Bel Air, MD around 2:30. After a quick sandwich, we hit the road again only to get stuck in Washington/Baltimore traffic at RUSH HOUR the DAY BEFORE A HOLIDAY. Not good. We were sitting -- literally -- for three hours. I wanted to cry the whole time. We spent the night in Raleigh, NC (totally was getting way too late and unsafe to continue driving) with some dear friends of mine from my Florida days. Then this morning, we woke up, had breakfast, and got on the road again -- but not after surprising my best friend Chris' parents at their house in Raleigh with an unannounced visit! We had a nice, albeit quick, visit with them...although I think that his mom was a little bit embarrassed of our car in their neighborhood (it was caked white with road salt from up north). So she told us to wash it...and soon. Haha! Anyhow, we reached Myrtle Beach at 2pm, a full 31 hours after we left Erie yesterday morning. CRAZY!! Dinner was awesome, of course. And tomorrow we are meeting a couple more dear friends (Tom & Tanya) from college who are driving up to Myrtle Beach from Charleston. I can't wait to see them!!!!!

Because our trip down was so horrible, I don't think we'll be driving anywhere anytime soon. In fact, I'm not sure if I ever want to get in our car again. Ugh! So, Brian & Rachel -- looks like you're on your own for heading back to Erie on Monday. ;-)

Also, I know that I am going to cause a lot of controversy here, but I'm going to go ahead and say that I absolutely love the south.

Maybe it's the sun....maybe it's something in the water.....
But I just feel......happier here.

However, the south doesn't get snow. So, looks like the north wins (again).

the end.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Had to post this...

Erie Times News editorial 11/25/08

An early winter? Bring it on!

With so much snow coming so early, we might as well get out and enjoy it. The Old Farmer's Almanac didn't see this coming. It predicted a "mostly mild November" for the lower region of the Great Lakes, from Milwaukee to Syracuse. But now that we've been blanketed with so much snow that we could set a record for November, we might as well enjoy it.

This is for the intrepid folks who build snowmen with "Hug Me" emblazoned across the midsection.

This is for the guy we saw riding his bike down Parade Street, when skies
turned brilliant blue in between snow squalls.

This is for the folks who treat their snowblowers like toys to share, by
clearing off sidewalks and driveways for their neighbors.

This is for the people who know how to wield a snow shovel to scrape a
navigable path for postal employees, delivery workers and school children.

This is for the schoolchildren, who earn a few bucks by shoveling snow,

This is for the owners of Peek'n Peak Resort and Spa, who decided to open three days ahead of schedule after 51 inches of natural snow powdered the slopes.

This is for Peek'n Peak President Steven Lempke, who says the resort can
never have too much snow. He kept the snow-making machines working even as the lake-effect snow fell.

This is for the retailers who entice shoppers to buy a set of skis or a
pair of snowshoes as Christmas presents.

This is for the state and city employees and for the roadmasters who try to keep up with snow during blinding whiteouts.

This is for the tow-truck operators who rescue the drivers who get hung up in their driveways or stuck in the median strip.

This is for the kids who pester parents to take them sledding as soon as
the barren hills are coated white.

This is for the fun-loving parents who flap their arms to create snow
angels with their little ones.

This is for the grandmas and grandpas who warm up the kin with mugs of cocoa sprinkled with marshmallows.

This is for all of us fortunate enough to live on a lake that refreshes us
in summer and plays pranks on us in autumn, by cranking up a snow machine that requires no electricity but provides endless entertainment.

This is what I love about winter. It brings out the best in everybody! Except, of course, those of you who are sourpusses and decide to hate the snow and cold. ;-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is your sin unforgivable?

A friend of mine recently met with his Pastor about a couple of issues that he was dealing with in his life. He wanted to have an honest dialogue with a person in his life that he knew he could trust; a person who, he thought, would pour out wisdom to somebody who happened to be really down in the dumps. As he poured out his heart to his Pastor, do you know what his Pastor's response was? His Pastor told him that he probably 'ought not talk to others about this particular sin' because, as his Pastor put it, 'there is such a stigma attached to that sin, that people won't forgive....even God's people won't forgive'.

I cannot imagine how my friend must have felt as he left his Pastor's office that day. Obviously he was crushed and even embarrassed, but the overwhelming feeling he had that day was hopelessness. He was sure that if God's people couldn't forgive him, God surely wouldn't either. All he so desperately wanted was for this person, who happened to be his Pastor, to give him some godly advice and wisdom. Instead, what he got was a healthy dose of condemnation.

I hear stories like this all the time. It breaks my heart that God's people can be so cruel and mean-spirited. What gives any of us, as Christ-followers, any right to pick and choose what sins are forgivable and which aren't?

Sometimes, I am almost positive that Christians have forgotten the beautiful, glorious, life-changing truth that Jesus HAS overcome the world. And not just SOME of it; ALL of it. Christianity is not an exclusive club that is only open for certain people. I am so sick of a small but vocal minority of Christians spouting off their divisive words of anger, hate, and intolerance to those whom they disagree.

Do they honestly think that those whom they are trying to reach will react kindly to them? Or could it be that hatred will only breed more hatred?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend." Indeed, we are to bless and not curse; we are to do good to those who treat us badly; we are to pray for those who call us enemy. Doesn't God command that we deal with our enemies completely different than the way they deal with us? So then why do so many of the hurting, lost, and broken feel so utterly oppressed by those who claim to proclaim the Word of God?

If you were told -- like my friend was -- that your sin, whatever it may be, was unforgivable, would that make you want to repent and accept Christ? I highly doubt it.

It absolutely boggles my mind that [some] Christians have the audacity to determine what sins God will or will not forgive.

Last I checked, Jesus didn't leave a list of unforgivable sins as He died on the Cross.

Shame on us that we think we can make our own.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Erie Autumn

This is what we awoke to this morning:

Be careful out there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2 of the 41,000,000

Danielle and I are going to be 2 out of an estimated 41 million people who are going to be traveling 50 miles or more next week for Thanksgiving. We are going to be going down to South Carolina to see my Dad and his wife. It should be a fun time. Hopefully we have good weather on the way down, although there is a little part of me that hopes for bad weather (it makes the trip fun).

We're going to have a bunch of new music to listen to (although D and I are notorious for....GASP....having conversations while we drive long distances). In addition to having three full CD's of Christmas music (compliments of Aaron), Danielle downloaded the new Casting Crowns Christmas CD and Sara Groves' new Christmas CD. So we're set music-wise for the trip. I'm wondering if we'll even listen to them, though? We might have too much to talk about.

Another great thing about this trip is that is going to be HALF the cost of the exact same trip that we took just three months ago over Labor Day weekend. Consider that gas, at that time, was about $4/gallon. I heard on the news this morning that the national average of gas will fall below $2/gallon by Thanksgiving. Checking the trusty, I see that there are places along our journey that are currently selling gas as low as $1.69/gallon. In the same news report this morning, they said that it is entirely possible that we could see $1.00/gallon gas by midwinter. ONE DOLLAR PER GALLON?? I can't even fathom that. I mean, I've seen it before, but ask me two months ago if that was possible ever again, and I definitely would have said no.

It's strange, because I understand that the country (and the world) is suffering through really bad economic times right now. But for somebody who has nothing invested in the stock market or any other kinds of investments, I actually feel really good about the way things are right now. With gas so low, it's beginning to affect prices on other things too...which is awesome news. Is it bad that I am actually feeling hopeful in this time that so many people are struggling?

Well, I'm going to sign off. But, before I do, I realize that my love for all things winter is a little too obvious to those who know me well. Even here on this blog, I have been talking quite a bit as of late about the weather. But this blog isn't a weather blog, and I know that I must talk about other things once in a while. So today, I'm not going to talk about how AccuWeather says we're supposed to get another 18.5" of snow by Sunday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Awesome video

This video was shot last night during the thunder snowstorm that struck our area.

Unfortunately, this wasn't captured by me, but it's still a cool video (shot by YouTube user pitt9496 and posted at!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This Rocks.

This is the forecast for the next few days:

Can it get any better than this?! And it's only mid-November!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weather Forecast FAIL

Check out the weather forecast for next Thursday:

In case you can't read the print, this is an actual forecast on the National Weather Service website for next Thursday:
Now, I am not going to question what the guys at the National Weather Service do to put a forecast together. But something tells me that it is not going to be 80 below zero here next Thursday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not good.

Tonight, I laid in bed as I do on many nights and tried to read. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when I try to read something, I was unable to. Now, obviously I can read. It's just that when I do read, I do not/can not comprehend what it is I am reading. My mind is always going in a thousand different directions. I got really frustrated because this problem seemed to go along with so many other things that have been frustrating me lately about myself. So, I looked up some stuff online, took a depression screening quiz and an Attention Deficit Disorder screening quiz. These are my results:

For the ADHD Screening:

Serious ADHD Likely!

You scored a total of 101

It is highly likely that you are presently suffering from adult attention deficit disorder, according to your responses on this self-report questionnaire. You should not take this as a diagnosis of any sort, or a recommendation for treatment. However, it would be advisable and likely beneficial for you to seek further diagnosis from a trained mental health professional immediately.

For the depression screening:
You appear to be suffering from severe depressive symptoms commonly associated with serious depressive disorders, such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder or dysthymia. These symptoms appear to be causing you some serious impairment and distress in your normal, everyday functioning. You would likely benefit from the immediate attention of your physician or a trained mental health professional for further evaluation and a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program, you might also contact them for help and referral.

I'm not posting these things here for you to have pity on me. I am posting these results on here so that you can pray for me. Please please pray for me. I feel that I have reached a point where I no longer have any clue how I should handle life.

Whether or not these screenings are accurate is a moot point. All I know is that something is affecting my life to the point where I am completely unable to function....mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

I don't know what to do. I just don't.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008


I got this as I edited my profile in Facebook today:

Which example applies to you?

Right now your profile may be confusing. Please choose how we should refer
to you.
Please select either Male or Female

Dave edited her profile.
Dave edited his profile.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Thoughts

Undoubtedly, half of the country is waking up this Wednesday feeling let down, while the other half is jumping with joy with what an Obama presidency could mean to our country. As I watched the returns come in last night and I began to realize that there was no way that McCain could catch up to Obama's impressive road to victory, I found myself strangely calm in the midst of all that was happening.

Deep down, I am sure that most McCain supporters realized some time ago that it was a long shot at best that our guy would ultimately win the prize. And so we began the internal process of dealing with it and accepting it and wondering what it would be like in this new era of American history that began last night. It was a process that I think helped me deal with accepting the reality of what I believe is a less than ideal situation for our nation.

Like many of you, I watched McCain's concession speech. Full of class and integrity, my heart overflowed with gratitude for his service to our country and the campaign he ran. Let's face it: for all he had going against him over the last few months, he sure ran a close race right down to the finish line. Several minutes later, when Obama and his family walked on the stage, a whole new set of emotions set in.

I realized at that moment, that this truly was a defining moment in our history. We witnessed a moment that our grandchildren and our grandchildrens' children will learn about in school many years from now. We witnessed the American dream in it's most beautiful form: that, in the United States of America, anybody really could be anything they wanted to be.

I thought about what this election will teach our children and what it will show the world. I thought about how incredible this country is that something like this can happen. I felt overwhelming sadness for those living under regimes that will never allow them to know what it is like to participate in a free and democratic election. I felt so incredibly blessed to be an American.

All this to say that I believe this man has done a great job at brainwashing all of his supporters into believing he is some sort of messianic figure that will usher in peace, prosperity, and unity beyond our wildest dreams.

Although I may not have voted for Barack Obama, and I certainly disagree with him on just about every issue there is, he is going to be my President and I will pray for him. I will pray that his heart will be softened towards issues that I care so deeply about -- and ones that I believe God does as well. There's no escaping the fact that Obama will be the most pro-abortion president in history and I don't hesitate for one moment before I say that I believe he is leading us down the road to socialism. I maintain my belief that he is a dangerous man of whom we know frighteningly little about. No moment, no matter how historic, can trump the genuine concerns that so many of us have about this undeniably mysterious man that will -- in 11 short weeks -- be the most powerful man in the world. But he is who we have chosen and it is something we are going to have to accept. We exercised the greatest gift of democracy yesterday...and the beautiful thing about democracy is that we get to do it again in four years.

Four years may be a long time to wait. Much damage may be done by then. But for the sake of this great country, I hope and pray that he proves me wrong.

In the end, Jesus is still King and every person is personally accountable to a holy and righteous God. God's will WILL prevail. He is all we need.

We're gonna be okay. I promise.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Wife Was Right

Danielle has told me over and over again that I am addicted to the news. While I never really disagreed, I shrugged her off and said, "meh". But this morning, as I clicked through my daily list of sites that I visit for up-to-the-second coverage of Campaign '08, I couldn't help feeling that perhaps she was right. After all, I found it a little odd that, as I was reading, I felt myself getting a little noxious. Three different times, I felt my eyes well up with tears. And then I realized something. I realized that I am dreading Wednesday morning. What will I be feeling? What will I do in the event that things don't go well? The way things are right now in this country, half the country will be rejoicing and half the country will be dejected. I am rather afraid that I may be in the latter group, yet I cling to the hope that the polls are wrong.

It is difficult for me not to feel such emotion when it comes to politics. Of course, I trust God and I know that His dominion over all of us transcends any nations' petty politics. But I also know that while we are here on earth, the quality of life we enjoy is a direct result of the leaders that we elect. So it is hard for me not to be genuinely concerned that we may be on the verge of electing a man as dangerous as Barack Obama. Do we even know who he is? Not in the least. Do those who are voting for him even care who he is? Many, if not most, don't. Has the media done its job letting the American people know who and what this man stands for? HA! Don't even get me started. Does Barack Obama want to lead this nation or does he simply want to be President? There is a difference, and I think we all know the answer.

After what has seemed like an eternity, tomorrow is the day we've all been waiting for. Tomorrow, go out and vote. Before you do, however, I urge you to KNOW WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE VOTING FOR.

Millions of precious lives who have no say in matters having to do with whether they ever see the light of day or not. THREE supreme court appointments. Two wars waiting to be won. A dangerously and dramatically reduced defense budget. The possibility that my hard earned money may be redistributed against my will. Free trade. Nuclear proliferation. Tax increases that will stun everybody. A lopsided government that will be run by a single party (read: A LIBERAL SUPERMAJORITY). A much much much bigger government. Unfair and irresponsible legislation based on the myth of climate change. And the list goes on...

Do you see what is at stake tomorrow?

Now, I leave you with this (via Mrs.P):


An impassioned letter from a "nobody". But he gives his telephone number at the end.

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 3:19 PM

A letter from Illinois

Dear Fellow American:

My name is Joe Porter. I live in Champaign , Illinois. I'm 46 years old, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a homeowner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat.

I don't believe there are "two Americas" but that every person in this country can be whomever and whatever they want to be if they'll just work to get there and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.

The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long.

Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called "news", thinking that what they hear is always spun by whomever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials canregularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.

We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a privilege to do so. I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't evenagree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job.

I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?

I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it "change".

"Change what?", I ask.

"Well, we're going to change America", they say.

"In what way?", I query.

"We want someone new and fresh in the White House", they exclaim.

"So, someone who's not a politician?", I say.

"Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Obama", they state.

"So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news, and win his party's nomination for the White House that system's all wrong?"

"No, no, that part of the system's okay we just need a lot of change."

And so it goes. "Change we can believe in."

Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me.

In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois , so most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why, only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. "Change, change, change." I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in- Chief of themost powerful nation on earth other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change.

We've all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations.

Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, "What qualifies this man to be mypresident? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?"


I'll be forthright with you I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal media can explain why he should be elected.

Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton , look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes.

For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.

Here's a question - "Where were you five and a half years ago? Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time. My son has grown from a sixth grade child to a high school graduate. Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep. 6, 000 meals, give or take."

John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of- war camp.

When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He wasoffered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.

Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.

Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man.

A graduate of Annapolis, during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq.

Barack Obama is fond of saying "We honor John McCain's service...BUT. ..", which to me iscondescending and offensive - because what I hear is, "Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country, and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change."

I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced that he is qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. I know in my heart that he has the best interests of ourcountry in mind. He doesn't simply want to be President - he wants to lead America, and there's a huge difference.

Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change, can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in1981 and elected to the Senate in1982.

Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe"likeability" is a higher priority for them than "trust". Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated leadership certainly DOES.

It is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, "Enough." It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line.

It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.

There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.

I want a President who's qualified to lead.

I want my country back, and I'm voting for John McCain.

Phone: 760.434.1395