Monday, May 31, 2010

It's entirely possible that this is why God created the internet

A five year old has written the best comic of all time, and his 29 year old brother has illustrated it.  Get ready for its awesome goodness.  And when you are ready, click on this link.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Psalm 117 (NLT)

Praise the Lord, all you nations.

Praise him, all you people of the earth.

For he loves us with unfailing love; the Lord's faithfulness endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jogging Advice

Okay. I need some advice from some of you insane people who are always jogging. What the heck do you people do with all the stuff from your pockets?

Here's the stuff I carry:
My MP3 player. So that I can play MP3s.

My keys. So I can get back into my house before I collapse on the porch.

My driver's license. So if I get hit by a car they know where to take my unconscious body.

My cell phone. In case I fall into a tiger pit or something.
The problem is that while I'm jogging all this junk bounces around in my pockets. And then I end up running while holding my cell phone and MP3 player in one hand and my keys in the other, which means that I am woefully unprepared if someone were, for instance, to throw me a gold brick and shout "CATCH IT AND YOU CAN KEEP IT!"

I am at an impasse. And because there are thousands of you insane joggers out there, I'm guessing there is some sort of technology or common sense solution to this problem. So... please enlighten me.

Side note: I noticed tonight while I was running that if I look off to the side instead of straight ahead -- say, to look at a bird which has startled up out of the marsh -- that my body keeps running without my eyes watching the road. Good job, body! That's a great trick.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Better, Stronger, Faster

I am slowly getting back into jogging and exercise.  When I started I could barely breathe.  I mean, six steps of jogging would be followed by about six minutes of pep talk about, "You're not going to pass out, Mikalatos!  Because if you do there are wild dogs in this neighborhood which would eat your fingers off!"

But I am getting stronger.  As someone who has never exercised much, I'm always amazed by the physiological changes as I start getting more time exercising.  It increases my mental energy, and my interest for new topics is piqued.  I find it relatively easy to think and have deep prayer times while running, which in turn creates a deeper desire for spiritual health. I am more thankful for simple things.  Like oxygen.  And the smell of antique roses in the rain.  My thought processes seem to expand (not that they're ever particularly contained) and I see strange connections I hadn't noticed before.  I feel more calm.  Also, I have an increasing desire to lay on the floor and concentrate on breathing and reminding myself that although my legs are complaining all the time, they are not the most important part of the body.  OBEY ME, LEGS!  Don't worry, I will master them eventually.

Also getting stronger... my smell.  Man, when I run I create an impervious wall of scent.  If some gang of men were to come against me and raise their fists to me I would have only to raise my own fists and they would be down for the count.  When the police found them, the detectives would say, "It appears that they were struck down by a semi hauling a giant container of musk."  That's right.  Musk.

And now you are wishing you had stopped a paragraph ago.  But that is the sort of discipline you can gain only through regular exercise.  I know for me personally, I never read more than one paragraph or a blog,  sixteen words of any given e-mail, and 97 characters of anything written on twitter. I will share more about that some other time.  In the meantime, you should know that soon I will be appearing in body building magazines, and I didn't want you to be shocked by the transformation. Just yesterday I couldn't find my car keys and had to lift and move my car out of the driveway.  I mean, it's only a compact, but I suspect I'll be moving the van within a few months.


Steve Austin

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In The Mailbox!

Faithbook of Jesus: Connecting with Jesus Daily In my mailbox today was Faithbook of Jesus by Renee Johnson.  Renee has written a devotional book aimed at 20-somethings, and I've heard great things about it (and her).  I'm looking forward to digging into it and seeing what she has to say!  Thanks, Renee and NavPress, for sending this along!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time Machine, Take Us To The 1980's!

Tonight, because of our friend Justin McRoberts Krista and I started talking about George Michael tonight. And during that conversation Krista revealed that she had NEVER SEEN A MUSIC VIDEO FROM THE 80s! She somehow missed them all!

Which REQUIRED that she watch George Michael's classic video for "Faith." You gotta have it. It is awesome. And now you need to watch it. WARNING: Elvis dancing and 80's style abound in this video.

Where do you start with someone who has never seen ANY music videos? Well, I immediately thought of "Take On Me" by Ah-Ha!

Krista's comments included:

1) It is awesome.

2) That girl in the video had Krista's dream 80's haircut.

3) That girl from the video has the same stereo Krista had! She is stealing Krista's dream hair and her boom box!

I then turned Krista's attention to "Happy To Be Stuck With You" by Huey Lewis and the News.

Then she made me stop. In fact, she didn't make it to the end of the video. Even though it is funny and rad. And Huey Lewis.

Then I tried to convince her to watch a David Hasselhoff video. But she politely declined. You need not do the same:

I know, that last one is not from the 80's. But it could not exist without the 80's, could it? No, it could not.

DISCUSS: What 1980's music videos must we introduce to Krista?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Little Boys Are Made Of

The kids came running out of swim class this week and A shouted, "Dad, dad, do you know what little girls are made of?"

Me: I don't know... puppy dog tails or something like that?

A: No!  Sugar and spice and all things nice.

Me: Oh.

Z: And do you know what boys are made of?

Me: No.

Z: Salamander tails and nails and all that fails.

Me: I've never heard that before.

Z: That's because I made it up.

A career in Beaver Dams

While learning all about the world's biggest beaver dam, I saw a link to get a "Beaver Dam Job."  I'm not sure what that sort of job is, exactly.  I'm pretty sure it's what I was thinking about yesterday... you're hired to do the beaver's job, you're given a pair of knives and sent out to build some dams.  Pretty exciting!

What's really cool about the CareerMatcher advertisment site is that you can make any job you want with a little editing of the address link.  So if you would like a job as a professional Burning Hearts Minion, CareerMatcher can help connect you with that. Or if you would like to be an UFO driver.  Or a dinosaur hunter.  Or pretty much anything you can think of.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beavers, Dams and Serving Jesus

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I was headed off to have a Day with the Lord.  I meant to share a bit about that immediately afterward, but I find that I have a difficult time putting into words my serious spiritual experiences... I can't just slap them together and throw them on the blog for public consumption.

One thing that interests me on my little getaways like this is "applying my heart" to the things that I see.  The idea behind this comes from the Proverbs, when Solomon wrote that he saw a broken down wall.  He said that he applied his heart to what he saw and then comes to the proverb itself, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come upon you like a bandit, scarcity like an armed man."

I try to take this sort of thinking with me on days like this and see what I can learn from observing the world around me, and trying to listen to the Lord in the context of my surroundings.

On this particular day, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon my first close-up beaver dam and lodge.  It started when I saw this tree:

I had never seen anything like this.  In fact, my first thought was, "Hmmm... that's how it looks in a cartoon when a beaver has been eating a tree."  Genius, I know.

I was amazed as I looked around and noticed more and more trees that had been chewed down.  Some of the trees were fifteen or twenty feet tall, and some had been fell and then stripped of their smaller branches.  Then I came across the dam, which was actually quite impressive, when you stop to think about how it is made:

And here's the lodge:

The lodge, as you probably know, has a hole in the bottom so that the only entrance is through the water.  Inside the lodge it's dry and warm and safe from predators.

Anyway, as I spent time thinking about and reflecting on our friends the beavers (I never saw one, by the way... I assume they were safely snuggled up in their lodge) I thought about this: here we have an animal a little larger than a cat which can chop down trees, build dams and build homes for themselves.  The scale of their accomplishments seem ridiculous to me.  If, for instance, someone were to give me a set of sharp knives and tell me to build a dam and a lodge, I don't know that I could replicate their industrious constructions.

Beavers are designed to do this marvelous thing.  Through industry, perseverance and a singular vision they accomplish something that I would say is impossible if I didn't already know it existed.  I wonder if I can't be like a beaver.  Is there any reason that I can't take what meager abilities/skills/tools that I have and use those to accomplish unbelievable things for the glory of God?  I don't think there is.  Certainly if I am willing to work hard and persevere and follow whatever blueprints he gives me, I don't see why this couldn't be the case.  If a thirty pound mammal can alter the geography of an entire area, there's no reason that I can't accomplish something amazing for the Lord.

My good friend Shasta sent me an article about the largest beaver dam in the world, which has been built by several generations of beavers.  Pretty amazing.

Anyway, this was one small bit of my day, but I thought I would share.  I want to take every little skill I have and use it to accomplish unbelievable, amazing things for God....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Children, Freedom of Speech, Jesus, and Alternate Theories of the World's Beginnings

My daughters, Z and A, were sitting in the hallway sorting their jewelry (is this normal? Someone help me out here.), and as I came up the stairs I overheard this conversation:

A: You're not allowed to talk about Jesus at school.

Z: Why?

A: Because it causes fights. At least in my classroom.

Z: What do people fight about?

A: Well, Sophia will say that the world started when a giant mountain broke down and then made the earth. And then Jacob will say, no, that's not what happened. God created the earth. Then I will tell Jacob, we don't talk about that here, this is school not Awanas.

Z: Does Jacob go to Awanas?

A: No, but I just mean that you talk about Jesus at Awanas, not school.

I walked up later and explained that in this country we have Freedom of Speech, which means that you can talk about whatever you want in school (except hurting people or blowing up schools, that sort of thing). And that this meant that our friends (like Jacob) are also allowed to talk about Jesus at school. And Sophia can talk about how the world was made when a mountain broke down.

Honestly, though, Sophia. The world was made when a mountain broke down? zWhat the heck?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

This Blog Might Just Save Your Life

I've spent a lot of time thinking about the coming world domination (in which robots take over the world).  Lest you think it's a joke, don't forget that there are robots who can eat you.  Right now.  Today.  In this world in which we live.

BUT today when I was out surfing the net I came across this fascinating piece of information from the human resistance, disguised as a comment form.  BEHOLD:

Looks like it's time for a trip to the tattoo parlor!

Monday, May 03, 2010

My Daughter Vs. Radio

Driving A to ballet on Saturday, she suddenly burst out, "WHY? DO YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS?  IT IS -- SO -- BORING!"

I was listening to A Prairie Home Companion, which is not boring.  But perhaps to a child it can be.  I tried to convince her not to listen if it bored her but she told me she couldn't stop listening because "It fills the whole car."

So I turned to a local Christian radio station. 

A: What was that song about?

Me: Uhh, something about God working in the lives of everyone and not giving up on them.

A: Is every song on this station the same?

Me: No, that was a different song.

A: But they're all about the same thing,

Me: Yeah. They kind of are.

A: Are they all sung by the same person?

Me: No, there are different singers.

A: Well, they all sound the same to me.