10
Apr

Rustic Kitchen

   Posted by: John   in Rustic

Kitchens are awesome.  Kitchens are not just where food is prepared and eaten.  Many times they are the center of the home.  One of the things I really like is a well done rustic kitchen.  All of the functions of a modern kitchen, but with amazing rustic design.  Here are a couple that I would be completely at home in.

Rustic Kitchen

Rustic Kitchen

Rustic Kitchen and Table

Rustic Kitchen and Table

8
Apr

I Remember….Westerns

   Posted by: John   in I Remember...

One of the things we did not have when I was a young child was a working TV set.  There was a monster console Zenith that sat in the living room for years but it did not work.  Basically, it was a nice cabinet to put things on.

Every couple years we would visit my Grandparents in southern California.  They had a working 25 inch color TV that I thought was just fascinating, and it could get about 10 channels.  All kinds of shows.

In the evening, Dad and Grandpa would often sit down and watch a movie that was playing, usually a western.  John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Clint Eastwood…one of the channels would play them.

When we did finally get a TV that worked, and we would get a whole 4 or 5 channels, the westerns would be on.  One of the Portland TV stations would have them on all the time.  I don’t remember which ones, but there have been many made.  These are kind of fond memories, and while I did not really watch them myself, there’s something about a 1950’s western that is a lot more wholesome than so much of the garbage made today.

I guess that’s why I am trying to collect and watch a few of them.

8
Apr

2018-04-08 Daily Tens

   Posted by: John   in Uncategorized

As found on the Ten Mile Christian Church website, the Daily Tens for the week of April 8, 2018.

2018-04-08 Daily Devotions

Daily Tens

5
Apr

2018-04-03 Life Group Observations

   Posted by: John   in Life Group

The theme for this week’s sermon and discussion is

Resurrection Sunday: I Am With You Always

Click here to watch the sermon for this week

2018-04-03 Life Group questions

2018-04-03 Life Group questions

Things learned and observed from this Life Group session:

Loneliness

The sermon for Easter Sunday had a lot to do with how Jesus’ Resurrection had the power to help overcome loneliness.  There were several examples that Pastor Steve Moore gave as reasons people become lonely, namely Grief, Mistakes, Suffering and Uncertainty.

Loneliness

Loneliness

Some of the Life Group questions listed those four specific items and asked if there were some examples where we experienced loneliness and what we had done to overcome them.

I mentioned ‘indifference’ as a cause of loneliness.  The definition of indifference is ‘a lack of interest or concern’.  When asked to expound on what I meant, I talked about how so many people in various places in my life had been indifferent towards me.  These included my previous spouse, people at my previous church, people at my previous job.  There is crossover from some of the items that Steve had mentioned, but the general feeling was indifference.  It didn’t matter that I was there, or not, at least not until someone wanted something.  Essentially, what I had to do to overcome it was marry a person who loved and cared for me, find a church that was not filled with cliques and hypocrites and accept a job where I am appreciated for what I can do.

A comment was made that not all people respond or react the same to any of the loneliness causes.  This is true.  Some people are able to disconnect themselves and be able to function, and may even consider it normal (Normal being a relative term as it relates to a person’s perception and character).  However, most people, being social creatures, need to have positive interactions with other people.

There are some other contributing factors.  Laura and I talked about stress.  Earlier in the day, her doctor talked about stress and how it can relate to a specific thing (such as work) and bleed over into other parts of a person’s life (such as family).  One can be stressed at work but not at home.  Sometimes the work stress can and will show up at home and cause problems there.  A potential result is that a person may feel loneliness in a place where it does not truly exist.

Barbara mentioned that even though she has experienced isolation and loneliness in regards to her work, she has never truly felt alone because she has always been a believer in Jesus and has felt Him with her.  And that leads to…

 

How Jesus can always be with us

Steve Moore mentioned briefly in his sermon that Jesus had promised the Apostles (as well as his followers) that He would always be with them.  And that question was also a point of discussion at Life Group.

Always with us

Always with us

Jesus, being a man during his ministry, told his disciples that he would not always be physically present.  Matthew 26:11 says “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me”.  This same message is also given in Mark 14:7 and John 12:8.  Jesus meant that they would not always have him physically with them.  As a man, he was only able to be in one place at a time just like any other man.

However, after his resurrection, Jesus was no longer just a man, and his message in relation to being with his disciples changed to match.  Matthew 28:18-20 says “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  In other words, He was able to provide His influence and power to them without being physically present.

Another component of this message has to do with the Holy Spirit.  We know early on in Acts that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers.  The Holy Spirit’s job is to teach and testify and guide.  I believe that Jesus meant that He and the Holy Spirit would take the place of His physical presence and do so in a way that was even more powerful because it comes from a direct Godly source.  I believe that’s one of the reasons why the Apostles (who at times in Jesus’ physical presence showed great weakness and fear) became holy, confident and very stalwart men.

There is no question of Jesus and the Holy Spirit always being with us.  The question becomes us.  Are we always with them?  If we strive to be, their influence will help us overcome the loneliness discussed above.

 

The stone at the grave

Jesus was laid in the tomb just prior to the Sabbath. The Jewish rules regarding the Sabbath were very strict and the leadership harshly punished those who broke the rules.  Therefore, Jesus’ body was put in the tomb and any embalming or other ‘preparation’ set aside until after the Sabbath.  They closed the tomb by putting the stone in place.

Empty tomb

Empty tomb

After the Sabbath, the women went with spices to dress the body.  The Angel had moved the stone, greeted the women and told them that Jesus was risen.  The tomb was open for all to see that it was indeed empty.  There was some discussion about the events with the women and the angel.  The guards who had been placed at the tomb were overcome with fear and lying as if dead on the ground.  The angel told the women to tell the disciples that Jesus was risen and would be seen by them and others in Galilee and other locations.

One of the questions asks to share thoughts about Peter Marshall’s observation: “The stone was rolled away from the door of Jesus’ tomb, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in”.

We didn’t get to stay for the entire session, but I have thought about this for a couple days now.  Jesus will not force someone to follow Him but we have the ability to choose to follow Him.  His grace is always open to us.  Like the tomb, laid open for the disciples to enter, we enter His grace.  The empty tomb is a physical result of His resurrection and a reminder that the grave is not the final answer of this life.

4
Apr

Projects (Doggie Ramp)

   Posted by: John   in Projects

One of the things I made is a result of having and old and fat dog.  She can’t jump up on the bed like the other ones can.  She apparently needs to get off the bed several times per night to pee, get a drink of water, etc. I was spending all night putting her up and down and no time sleeping at all.  She’s mostly blind as well, so jumping up on a couple of things was out of the question.  Solution: build a ramp for the dog.

Pugoletto

Pugoletto

I went with a ramp instead of stairs so that the blind dog won’t fall down the stairs (funny to watch as that might have been).  There’s only so much width to a bed.  The ramp angle ended up being 32 degrees, but I carpeted it so the dog would not be spinning her feet trying to make it up the ramp (although that would have been funny to watch as well).

I had the sides of an old and previously dismantled wood shelf unit.  So, I got some 2×3 and dado’d out a slot in them wide enough for one of the sides.  Assembled so there’s a ramp and a small landing at the top.  I mounted these so they were on a frame.  Then I added a railing to keep the blind one from walking off the edge.

Doggie Ramp Under Construction

Doggie ramp under construction

Here’s what it looked like against the bed.

Ramp at foot of bed

Ramp at foot of bed

That was completed November 2017.  Note the open framework under the landing.  This week I added the facing to it.  It’s just cedar fencing that I ran through the planer to clean up the front of.  The material is a little damp so after a month or two I will sand and clear finish it.

Faced Ramp

Faced Ramp

So, not quite finished, but closer.  The dogs use it and I don’t have to get up several times per night to lift the pug up and down.  That makes it a success!

3
Apr

2018-03-27 Life Group Observations

   Posted by: John   in Life Group

The theme for this week’s sermon and discussion is

Crucifixion Sunday: Jesus Died, So What?

Click here to watch the sermon for this week

2018-03-27 Life Group questions

2018-03-27 Life Group questions

Things learned and observed from this Life Group session:

Jesus’ Crucifixion

Mormon theology states that Jesus, being part god, had the power to voluntarily give up his life whenever he was ready to.  The question was asked if that stance was correct, and if not, what is.

Golgotha

Golgotha

The answer, given by Pastor Steve Moore, is that he thought Jesus’ body had reached the end of its ability to live, having endured the Garden of Gethsemane, travels between there, the palace where Pontius Pilate was, and the temple where Caiaphas (the priest) was. Along the way he was beaten, scourged, tortured and hit. He was made to wear the crown of thorns and likely bled a considerable amount from all of the above.  Then he was made to carry his cross (as far as he could), then nailed to it and crucified.  Crucifixion is a rather tortuous form of execution as it forces the body to endure a very unnatural stance and painfully causes death from blood loss and asphyxiation over the period of some hours.

The question of why the thieves lasted longer than Jesus arises, but it seems that Jesus endured far more physical abuse prior to the actual crucifixion than they did, and they did not have the physical exhaustion of the Garden of Gethsemane events to begin with.

Jesus’ body had reached the end of its ability to live.

Timing, of course, is crucial. God being God, He knew what the timing would be. The crucifixion prophesies were fulfilled in that no bone in Jesus’ body would be broken.  When the Roman centurion came to accelerate the process of death by breaking legs, Jesus was already dead, so instead the centurion checked by spearing his side. Already dead, no reason to break his legs.

So, the answer appears to be that Jesus died as a normal person would have done.

 

Rise of atheism

One of the things that has been on the rise (and has been addressed in church service as well as the life group) is atheism.  Atheism, at its definition, is the disbelief of a God or supreme being.  Or in other words, not believing in a God.

Atheism

Atheism

Steve Moore mentioned that recent studies were showing that atheism is one of the fastest growing forms of ‘religion’ in the past few years.  It is difficult to imagine atheism as a religion, but the adherents to it show just as much fervor as people who are firm in the belief of God.  While I have often thought that the rabid environmental movement is very much a form of religion, I had never thought of atheism in that same way.  The argument can be made that any worship of a God, or in this case no God, is a form of religion.

Steve also made the observation that the higher education levels of people tend to lead towards atheism, and people of lesser education are more prone to believe in God.  Again, this is something I have thought from time to time.  Academia has always seemed to push towards the atheistic point of view.  The term ‘knowledge is power’ comes to mind.  Human achievement in the past two centuries is astounding.  Some give credit to God for the advancement of human race. More seem to credit man’s ingenuity and discount that God may have a hand in it.

The fact that a highly educated person tends to reject God intrigues me in some ways.  Reliability on one’s own self is desirable as a life skill.  We should not be dependent on others to provide for our necessities, and certainly not for our excesses.  To that end, education is a near requirement in order to adequately provide.  That responsibility increases with the additions of a spouse and family.

 

Churches teaching that there is not a hell (goes along with the ‘emergent church’)

There seems to be a new movement in which some churches are starting to preach that there is no Hell, or at least, Hell as it has been taught and viewed for many centuries, does not exist.

Again, going back to Mormon theology (as it is what I am most familiar with), Hell is a detour on the path to a ‘degree of glory’, albeit the lowest of the degrees.  People who gain the highest go straight there, people who go to the lowest will spend a thousand years in Hell prior to being relieved and going to their ‘degree of glory’.  Thus, in Mormon theology, Hell is a limited duration.  Note however, that Mormons also believe in an ‘outer darkness’ where Lucifer, his minions who are currently with him, and a handful of people who have lived on Earth will be sent at the end of the thousand years.  In that context, the everlasting ‘outer darkness’ might be considered everlasting Hell.

Steve Moore indicated that Hell was in fact a place that does exist as it states in the scripture.  If Heaven is an everlasting and eternal place, in my mind it makes sense that Hell must be as well.  In my mind, you can’t have one without the other.

It seems to me that removing Hell from religious belief goes hand in hand with the liberalization of people over the past couple generations. Participation trophies, ‘everyone wins’, blurring of genders and roles, no consequences for action (or inaction), etc…these are the things that cause people to not have values, morals, ambition or goals.  If there is no stigma in failure there is no pride in success.  Personally, I would view a successful life as one that got a person back to God. In order to do that, one must follow Christ, be responsible for themselves and their family, as well as the other things that are given to them in this life. And you must have the belief that the reward is worth it, otherwise what’s the point.  If there is no God, no Heaven and no Hell, there is no real point to even try to do things right.

Like so many things related to God, some of it is a mystery.  What we have is what we have, largely because we are not able to see things from God’s view.  What we need to be doing is focusing on our relationship with God and Jesus, our families and our responsibilities, in that order.  The rest will take care of itself.

24
Dec

Merry Christmas

   Posted by: John   in Sentiments

From my family to yours, may you have a very Merry Christmas!

26
Nov

Real Thanksgiving

   Posted by: John   in Uncategorized

Once again, I find I have not posted anything on here in a very long time. That seems to be what happens, I get busy and just don’t have or take the time.  However, I have had some time for some reflection and I determined there were some things that I was very thankful for this year.

First and foremost, I am so thankful for my beautiful and amazing wife.  Words cannot express how much I love and adore her.  She makes my life so incredibly complete, in everything she says and does.  I didn’t realize before what real true love was.  What makes it even better is that I know she truly loves me.  Thank you Laura, for being mine and for loving and wanting me always.

I am also so thankful for my family.  My children, all of them, are wonderful and amazing people who continually make me proud to be their dad. My sister Cathy is an fantastic person.  She is one of the most warm and loving people I know and her husband and children give her great happiness.  My wife’s parents, Dick and Jan are the most incredible people I could ever hope to have for my in-laws. They have welcomed me with open arms to their family and show me daily they care about me.  Thank you everyone for all you do for me.

I am thankful for the few close friends I have.  Mark and Pauline, who I have known for many years are my longest and closest friends. They have shown that true friendship many times and continue to do so.  Also, my friends Ed and Ammon, whom I don’t see as much, but regard as close friends.  And some others I do see and talk with often, Kimberly, Kail, Lisa to name a few.  Thank you all for being my friends and caring about me and my family.

And finally, I am so very thankful for everything else I have been blessed with.  My job, my home, the things I have which make my life easier and more enjoyable. I am grateful to have the means to have and keep them. I am thankful to live in this country, in spite of who is running it. I know there are very few places in the world that afford a person the opportunities and freedoms that I enjoy.

I hope this Thanksgiving Day that everyone takes some time and reflects on God’s grace and love and what He has blessed them with.  There is much to be thankful for.  May we all be worthy of the gifts and things we have and never forget what true thankfulness and happiness are.

6
Sep

I remember…Fall weather

   Posted by: John   in I Remember...

Well, the title is a little bit of a misnomer because Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the cooler weather after a hot summer, the fall rain, the harvest…lots of wonderful things in the Fall.

I do remember having this huge oak tree in the front yard of the house I grew up in. It’s still there, but seems to have been trimmed back some.  Years ago, there was a ton of ivy that wound it’s way up the trunk and covered the bottom third of the branches.  It was a big tree, lots of leaves.  I remember a few times when the leaves had been raked into a huge pile and we would crawl in them and hide. Nice thing about leaves like that is that they are not super messy. They don’t stick to you and don’t cover you in grass clippings. They are light and you can breathe when you are under the pile. It was a country road, so no people walking by on the sidewalk to scare. So, it was a lot of just goofing around and pretending.

26
Aug

Upgraded!

   Posted by: John   in Computer and Network

After a couple years of threatening, I have finally done it. I have upgraded the server and blog platform. The old 32 bit Web Server 2008 is done. That server was in place starting in about 2008 and has performed well. It made it 7 years without any major issues. It started off on a crummy old PC, was moved to a old Dl360 G2 server, and finally converted into a VMWare system in 2011.  As much as I dislike Vista, the server component was stable and ran without problems all that time.

Now, I have it running on a 2012R2 platform. In the process, WordPress was updated from version 2.9 to version 4.3. This was not a very easy project. I had issues getting WordPress installed and working on the new server. I finally found a site that had good setup information that resolved issues in IIS.  I had to update WordPress on the old server before I could move it. But, it’s up and running now. 4 CPU cores and 4 GB RAM have seemed to work wonders on it. It is responsive and works beautifully.

Now I don’t have any excuses…I should be putting lots of stuff on here!

25
Aug

Color Changing Fool

   Posted by: John   in Projects

Kristen wanted to have the color of her bedroom changed. It was the same brown color the rest of the house was and, while a nice color, was a bit much in a smaller bedroom. I brought home a variety of color chips and she picked out a couple she liked.

I actually did the work on the weekend of 7/25-26, but held off posting this until after she came home from California. This was supposed to be a surprise.

The goal was to give the room a brighter look and feel. It is a nice room with a vaulted ceiling. It is not a large bedroom, perhaps 11′ x 11′, with the closet of course.  Like so many other projects, I never seem to take before pictures. The after pictures, though are pretty amazing.

Note that I have not cleaned the carpet.

Closet doors and walls

Bedroom door and wall

Windows with new covering

The window originally had a pink covering over it, but pink would not have looked good in the room at all. The white sets off the window nicely and makes the darker blue trim stand out.

I do not have a picture of it, but the ceiling light fixture was originally a brown color, with some pattern on it. This would have looked awful. So, I got a can of dark semi-gloss spray paint and painted the metal parts. It turned out awesome and looks real good.

2
Aug

More Paint

   Posted by: John   in Projects

The paint has been so successful in areas of the house that I decided to keep on going in various areas. So far it has been a lot of fun and really made a difference.

This time I decided to do something in the master bathroom. The area where the sinks are is separate from the shower/toilet area. The counter and sinks are inset into the wall so it forms a sort-of alcove.  It was painted the same dark brown the rest of the house is.  I changed just that area to the lighter color and it made a huge impact in how bright and open the sink area is.

Bathroom sink area

Bathroom sink area

I made the comment to Laura that this lighter color has not become “old” in that every place I have put this color it has enhanced the room dramatically.

As a funny side note, while we were waiting at Home Depot for some different paint to be mixed up, we were looking at colors for the outside of the house.  One of the colors we picked is this same color. We have not decided if it would be a main or a trim color, but we both like it a lot.

Anyway, there are a couple more places I am going to put this color in the house. Not big areas, but the goal is to make the rooms brighter, happier and give some character to the place. So far that goal has been met and surpassed.