Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Great excuse for a road trip!

My all-time favorite live band, The Clumsy Lovers, are coming back to town soon, and several times! Actually, I'm surprised to see so many Northwest shows; in the last couple of years, they've really been trying to build a nationwide fanbase, and have toured extensively to that end.

From their Gigs page:

Saturday, March 18: Kell's Outdoor Tent - Portland Irish Festival
Friday, March 24, 25: Kell's (though not my fave place to see them, since the room's always so crowded, I do love their shows on back-to-back nights.)
Saturday, April 29: Doug Fir Lounge (now there's a great room)

Some of the other dates on their schedule make me want to take a road trip. (Maybe Corvallis on March 3.) I've traveled several times to see them before; a Clumsy Lovers show is a good excuse to road trip, and the reward at the end is fantastic! (For you St. Louis-area readers, think about catching their June 6 show in Springfield, Ill.—it'll be worth it. And Kristen, their July 2 show in Sonoma looks to be only about 55 miles away from you.)

1 Talked Back:

At February 1, 2006 at 12:53:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

that's assuming i'm still in this area in july!! but thanks for the heads up.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Monday, January 30, 2006


Check it out, there's a site that lets you make a Google-style logo out of whatever string of letters you put in. Also, there's a link to a site that lets you Yahoo!-ize your name.

2 Talked Back:

At January 30, 2006 at 10:44:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

this is probably a ridiculous question (ok it's 2). 1. what exactly *is* dinglemunch? and 2. where did you come up with it? actually, 3. why did you decide to name your 'main' blog that, anyway??? just curious :)


At January 31, 2006 at 10:24:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

The name Dinglenumch started a few years ago when a friend and I wanted to come up with meaningless insult names for people. I don't even remember any of the other names, but Dinglemunch was so funny I couldn't forget it. In self-deprecating fashion, I eventually took that name upon myself as a screen name for just about everything. (I was involved with online comic strip message boards and other stuff.)

When I started this blog in 2003 (even though I didn't have anything to post), it was going to be integrated into my now-defunct Joel and Steve website, and I had titled it "The Leaking Mind of the Dinglemunch". Then when I started blogging in earnest at the end of February last year, my blog was simply called "stan". But that seemed too bland and self-centered, so I switched it back to just "dinglemunch".


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

'Cause I got tired of lookin' at 'em

I finally got around to updating some of my rotating banner images last weekend. In case you want to see the retired ones, you can click here:

Retired Banner Images

Update: For readers unable to see any images (e.g. some Firefox users):

Banner Images Currently in Rotation

5 Talked Back:

At January 30, 2006 at 5:17:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

That was fun to see the imagecodedump blog, since I never actually see your banner images. Yes, a firefox user.


At January 30, 2006 at 5:45:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I thought that was fixed. I think Jim uses Firefox and can see the images now...maybe you have an older version?

(Of course, if I knew how to fix the code so they'd show up in all versions, I would.)

Maybe I should post all of the images instead of just the retired ones. Easy enough.


At January 30, 2006 at 8:13:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

Stan, was it easy to put "pictures" on your banner?
Is that something I could do on my blog?


At January 30, 2006 at 10:43:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

yeah, how DO you DO it?


At January 31, 2006 at 10:16:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

It's a little bit of Javascript code that I added to the template. I looked for the same type of code used for rotating ad banners.

I don't remember where I found my code, but I think this page has almost the exact same code. Just put it somewhere in the <body> section of your template; you might have to experiment to find exactly where to put the code.

To avoid messing up your original blog, I strongly suggest creating a test blog and copying all of your current template over to it, and creating a few test posts, so that you have a template to experiment with. (See, having multiple blogs comes in handy!)

"If you want to add more banners, just copy the whole if (ad==?){...}, paste it after the fourth if(ad==4){...} statement and replace the ? with 5 and so on."


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

And it'll last another four months

Image: Josh Hoey

Hey, guess what? When it's September and October, I like the rain. It cools things off a bit, and it's nice to hear. But now it's January—almost February—and the rain is Re. Lent. Less. Come on, it's winter! What about the snow? Ice? Huh?

Don't worry about me...I get this way every year.

6 Talked Back:

At January 30, 2006 at 7:56:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

is the Ira Keller's Civic Theatre Forecourt Fountain near your office, it looks like a nice place to swim


At January 31, 2006 at 9:53:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Keller Auditorium is on the other side of the river from my office, but I have played in the Clay Street fountains (or whatever they're called now) in the summertime. They're fun.


At January 31, 2006 at 3:00:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I asked, because Josh has a really nice picture of it on his website (I was trying to figure out why you used someone else's photo)


At January 31, 2006 at 6:27:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I don't have any good rain photos of my own yet, so I Google-imaged "raining".


At January 31, 2006 at 6:38:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

this is the first image if you google you

[you can delete]


At January 31, 2006 at 6:39:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

if you google image me, the first image is a tombstone!!!!!!!!!!!!


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The List.

In another narcissistic informative effort to let you, the readers, learn more about me, I have started yet another blog. (Considering that I own millions of blogs anyway, what's one more?) I simply call it The List, and it consists of concisely described items that I either do or do not like. The items can be objects, people, songs, movies, concepts or other things that don't fit any categorization.

Several of these items I have written about previously in my other blogs; others have not warranted any explanation beyond a simple description. It's like McSweeney's Recommends, but without the arguments for (or, in this case, against).

22 Talked Back:

At January 25, 2006 at 2:29:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

so, it's been a really slow day???


At January 25, 2006 at 2:39:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

It was yesterday.


At January 25, 2006 at 7:25:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

you could combine all of them into one big blog -- the first megablog, or perhaps Stanology


At January 25, 2006 at 7:30:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

If I knew anything about adding RSS feeds, I suppose I could integrate The List into the sidebar...


At January 25, 2006 at 9:51:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

not sure there would be enough room for all of them


At January 25, 2006 at 10:18:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

yeah it'd be cool to see your weight for the day, your likes for the day, your thoughts for the day, quote of the day, and whatever else of the day all in one spot. neat. i'm going to check out the list right now.

hey what happens if you change your mind about something, is it noted? and how come some things are blue, some are white, and some are gray?

and what is that new ad in the corner??


At January 25, 2006 at 10:21:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

ah ha i see the blue ones are links!


At January 25, 2006 at 11:04:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

So many questions!!

I have given some thought to integrating the blogs before, but the reason I haven't is that they serve different purposes, more or less. I mean, I know that I tend to ramble on the 185 blog just as much as I do here, but 185 almost always comes back to the issue at hand, my diet. On here (dinglemunch), it's "anything goes", but usually it falls into the categories of either observation or introspection.

Zrharc! and occppa have their own purposes, too, just as Getaway Banjo Music and occasionl doodl did. The List is designed to be a minimalist view of what makes me tick (or ticks me off), and as such, it's open to your own further interpretation (and response).

That said, here's how the rules for The List work: Items I like are preceded by a green up-arrow, and are in white text. Items I don't like have a red down-arrow, and are grayer so as to further distinguish them from the items I like. Blue items are as you said: links. I don't know that I will link from any of the items I don't like.

I hadn't even thought about what happens if I change my mind. The items I have been listing seem pretty clear-cut to me, and I don't foresee myself changing my opinion of them. But who knows?


At January 25, 2006 at 11:15:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Jim's right: I do have more blogs than you know. I have created, at last count, 15 blogs, only six of which are "public".

Of the remaining nine:

2 are "placeholder" blogs (Notes to Self; Image and Code Dump)

2 are defunct blogs (GBM; occasionl doodl)

2 are future project ideas (Letters and Numbers; Funny Street Names)

3 are private journals, each with its own specific purpose.

I also plan on eventually starting another blog for [Joel Bedford's] Movie Grabs, and if I ever get my micro-comic idea off the ground again (The Bill Small Show), I'll start another one for that.

The way I look at it, it's better to have many ideas going at once and have some fall away than never to start any ideas at all.


At January 26, 2006 at 12:37:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

"Jim's right" should have been in bold


At January 26, 2006 at 12:41:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

You're right


At January 26, 2006 at 4:08:00 AM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i can hardly manage my 4. i don't know how you manage 15. that's just crazy. lots of ideas!


At January 26, 2006 at 1:29:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Kristen -- Stan has one blog for each of his multiple-personalities, he would have 16 but the drugs kicked in


At January 26, 2006 at 7:01:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Jim - you're assuming that "Kristen" is not one of my personalities. Are you talking to her or me? :)


At January 26, 2006 at 7:22:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

we do have a lot in common it would seem, in the spectrum of likes and dislikes


At January 26, 2006 at 8:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I notice now that you both have the same dress -- I thought for a long time that Stan and Scott were the same person


At January 26, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Actually, Stan doesn't exist - I'm a character created by several people (and one cat), who log in as Stan from time to time and ramble on and on about stupid crap.

All of these pictures of Stan (including the lemur) are from Google searches.


At January 26, 2006 at 8:57:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

I Don't Exist


At January 26, 2006 at 9:04:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

Don't have much to say, just felt left out, so I thought I would just drop by and say HI :)


At January 27, 2006 at 12:54:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Hi Scott -- I realized that you and Stan were not the same person when you posted a picture of Fred -- if Stan had a cat it would have three blogs of its own plus a community blog of photos of hairballs that look like rock groups.

Stan spelled backwards is Nats -- and Stan does look just like one of their pitchers


At January 27, 2006 at 12:50:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

pseudo-stan - your existence is flattering. nice photo.


At January 28, 2006 at 3:15:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Yeah... I can't keep up with all the blogs. I read this one. That's all I can take in at a time. Besides I just talk to you in person to get all the other fun anecdotes!


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I just need a new post to say...

...it doesn't hurt so much now.

If I dwell upon the breakup of our relationship, then it might bring up some sadness, because I know that she and I will never be in that place again. Honestly, though, I really know that to feel sad or depressed about losing her is not what God wants me to do. He's been warming my heart up in so many other ways that I cannot ignore Him like I used to. Dwelling upon the loss of the relationship becomes a distraction.

That's not to say that I shouldn't remember the good times we had. We definitely spent good, quality time together, doing all sorts of things, and we did have good conversation. The holidays, where I was able to spend a good amount of time with her and her family, were a very happy time. And we discovered things about each other and God that would not have come had it not been for our relationship.

Do I miss her? Of course I do. But am I happy? Absolutely! God is good, no matter what!

2 Talked Back:

At January 25, 2006 at 11:47:00 AM CST, Blogger The Phoenix said...

That's a good mindset to be in. Just stay away from the radio and saloons that play country music and you'll be alright.


At January 25, 2006 at 12:12:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

"If you lose your one and only
There's always room here for the lonely
To watch your broken dreams
Dance in and out of the beams
Of a neon moon"....



Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Friday, January 20, 2006

It hurts.

My girlfriend broke up with me last night.

And it hurts.

1 Talked Back:

At January 20, 2006 at 7:32:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i'm so sorry stan!!! i actually didn't know you had a girlfriend...but i'm very sorry to hear this news. you're a great guy! remember the big guy upstairs is looking out for you always...


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Out of the beaks of pigeons...

Once a month, I have to go downtown at lunchtime to pay for the next month's parking pass. I never, ever remember to have cash ready (and I never, ever write checks), so I always have to go to the ATM located right next to Pioneer Courthouse Square. Parking costs $70, and here's the weird thing—the parking company doesn't give change. So I have to take out $80, then find some way of breaking one of the twenties before going to the parking office. Easy enough, as there are several food vendor carts conveniently located on the same corner of the square as the ATM.

By far, my favorite cart of the four is Shelly's Garden. I may have posted about her Honkin' Huge Burritos before, either here or on 185. Shelly Sandoval, the owner/operator (duh), makes these awesome meatless burritos then grills them on each side before wrapping them up. You know those little square cardboard serving trays that every hot dog vendor on Earth uses to serve their product? Well, picture one of these, absolutely filled with burrito, burrito and more burrito. The "small" is anything but.

So anyway, here's the real point of this post. While I was waiting in line—Shelly's was the only cart with a line—I happened to look down at the ground in front of the adjacent kiosk. Somehow, a raw french fry had been dropped on the brick floor of the square, and several pigeons had taken notice. What followed was hilarious: a pigeon would run to the fry, pick it up in his beak, then try to bite or swallow it...but was unable to keep his grip. One wicked shake of his head would send the fry spinning into the air, landing a couple of feet away. This was repeated dozens of times. It was so funny to watch these little, stupid birds attempting to dismantle a simple stalk of potato. It looked more like a no-rules volleyball match than a pullastrine quest for lunch.

God is capable of using the antics of animals to lighten our spirits and remind us that He, too, has a sense of humor and playfulness.

1 Talked Back:

At January 19, 2006 at 11:52:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

What kind of place doesn't give change? That's absurd.

I dislike all pigeons, but especially seagulls. Rats of the air is what they are. YUCK.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Pick your favorite (or the least hideous, it's up to you)

I'm trying to decide what my next profile image should be. I'd like your opinions, unless you think that this is an overly narcissistic endeavor, in which case you can give me a good talkin' to for it.

Oh, and yes, I did get a new camera.

8 Talked Back:

At January 19, 2006 at 2:50:00 PM CST, Blogger nitsuj said...

Hmm, I can't decide.. How 'bout #199? It just looks like a profile picture to me for some reason. Either that or 122. Although who could resist a lemur? Hmm? That's right.. nobody.


At January 19, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM CST, Blogger nitsuj said...

You can delete this comment after you read it, 'cuz I'm not sure where else to contact you. Sorry I've been slacking on J&S. I was on a roll during Christmas break, then I realized I didn't have 20031101b, then college started up again and I've been short on time. But if you could email the missing comic to me (or post it if you want), I'll try to get back into the update swing. Gracias.


At January 19, 2006 at 6:55:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

My vote is for one in which you are smiling. Or is that just not an option? Otherwise, the lemur. Or maybe a ferret.


At January 19, 2006 at 11:48:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

I like Meagan's choice. The partial smile is a good one. Though the shades ones are fun. ;-)


At January 20, 2006 at 1:12:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


At January 20, 2006 at 2:43:00 AM CST, Anonymous slrsgirl said...

My votes, in order, are (1)lower right, (2)right center, and (3) center left. I think you had too much caffiene before you took the lower left one!! Slrsgirl


At January 20, 2006 at 7:34:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i like left center as well, along with upper right, and then the lemur.


At January 20, 2006 at 7:35:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i had no idea your eyes were so green! pretty!


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Candidate for a Pullet Surprise

by Jerrold H. Zar, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University

I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it's weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we're lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault's with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

© The Journal of Irreproducible Results, vol. 39, #1, January/February 1994, page 13, and vol. 45, # 5-6, 2000, page 20.

2 Talked Back:

At January 18, 2006 at 11:36:00 AM CST, Blogger Ben Heller said...

Excellent. Where did they get pinch my last blog post from ?


At January 18, 2006 at 11:55:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Pinch my last blog post? Where do you see that?


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My greatest handicap: Fear

I am beginning to be faced with a harsh reality, one which I have denied about myself because it is safe:

I am a coward.

I am terrified of leadership. This has been the sole reason why I have not done anything risky in my life:
Ambition for a decent career (I have just crawled through jobs avoiding responsibility, avoiding anything that requires me to lead other people; fearing failure and termination, which would leave me without income);
pursued a deep relationship with anyone (Accountability for my sin? Exposing the darkest areas of my life, including my crippling fear? Too SCARY);
gone to the mission field (I'm so messed up and ineloquent, how can I be considered competent or qualified to minister to anyone else? I'm afraid of leading someone the wrong way by showing or teaching them something I don't understand myself. There's also the issue of trusting God to provide the financial support, and the fear of asking people for help);
finished school (I've never been able to afford it, and now I'm deep in credit card debt—if I am forced to work less, I will default on my obligations, and, in the words of my dad, become a bum); among other things.

Obviously, the thoughts I have had (parenthesized above) are not how I should be thinking. They are defeatist and destructive, even if I understand why I think them.

I know that there are verses in the Bible that address the fears of men. For example, 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB) is pretty direct: "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." I have read some of these verses, and I understand them on the brain level...but applying them in my deep heart and soul is another matter. My cowardice keeps me from moving forward to overcome my cowardice! It's a pitiful existence, that I am so gripped with fear that I skulk around on my belly, believing these lies and avoiding risk, while hypocritically putting on a face that says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel. I am brave enough to talk to anyone about God, and I have confidence in my ability to lead."

I know that I need to just step out and do something risky (though not stupid—just risky), and that once I do, I will be rewarded with confidence to do other risky things. Failure should not be an excuse to stay home and hide under my bed; it should be a motivator to get out there keep trying.

What I desperately need is a mature male figure to come alongside of me in a mentoring capacity. There are many things that I just plain do not know, and modes of behavior in which I have never known how to act. I need someone to teach me how to do what my own father never taught me. I need someone to whom I can be accountable for my sin. I need to learn how to be a real man, who can step up to responsibility without cowering away in terror, who can act knowing that I might fail, but that failure allows me to grow. I need someone who can show me how to walk as Jesus walked.

I cannot do it on my own. I have tried that life, and it has failed me. Jesus, lift me up.

3 Talked Back:

At January 17, 2006 at 6:26:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


At January 19, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Hmmm... Deep thoughts by Stan. I'm praying for you that you get some help and guidance in this area. The fact that you recognize it is awesome, now the question is how to move forward. Let me know what you learn...


At January 19, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

By the way I think you can do any of those things!


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Friday, January 13, 2006

We Are Taking Enormous Risks - urgent bulletin

The Invisible Killer

Dihydrogen monoxide is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. For those who have become dependent, DHMO withdrawal means certain death.

Dihydrogen monoxide:
  • is also known as hydroxl acid, and is the major component of acid rain.
  • contributes to the "greenhouse effect."
  • may cause severe burns.
  • contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
  • accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
  • may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

Contamination Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions!

Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the US.

Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
  • as an industrial solvent and coolant.
  • in nuclear power plants.
  • in the production of styrofoam.
  • as a fire retardant.
  • in many forms of cruel animal research.
  • in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
  • as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!

The American government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations. Hundreds of military research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use.

The Horror Must Be Stopped!

Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and others throughout the world.


3 Talked Back:

At January 13, 2006 at 7:35:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

hehe, welcome back, it took me a few second and then high school chemistry kicked in


At January 14, 2006 at 4:30:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Sadly I'm stupid in this area and had to go Google it to get the joke. I think I need to take remedial Chemistry again...


At January 14, 2006 at 6:17:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

once you know and reread it, it's even funnier -- that kid was a genius


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Just in case you think it's no fun around here anymore

I am here to declare that no longer is the "wolf-howling-at-the-moon-with-eagle-and/or-dreamcatcher" T-shirt the tackiest tangible thing ever.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

Space Dolphin Beach Towel

5 Talked Back:

At January 13, 2006 at 7:48:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

I actually like that, which gives you some indication of how my house is decorated -- if it weren't 30 bucks I'd buy one -- they also sell "shower wraps," isn't that a towel??????


At January 13, 2006 at 8:22:00 PM CST, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

That reminds me of the fella who occaisionally set up his van at the corner of Linwood Avenue and King Rd (usually across from the Chevron station) who had all these velvet Elvises and Sacred Heart icons and tie-dyes and thus-n-such.

Such a playful combination of beauty and tacky taste! I can see this on the wall of any teenager's bedroom in Albany, circa 1985.

How do you find them?


At January 13, 2006 at 8:55:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

It's my "Tacky Search-Fu"


At January 14, 2006 at 1:09:00 PM CST, Blogger Ben Heller said...

"Space The Final Frontier"

I know that's what they're saying to each other.

What do they eat ?

Starfish I guess.

Yes it's tacky.


At January 14, 2006 at 4:28:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Oh man you know how I feel about the Wolf howling at the moon shirts/blankets etc... I still feel its worse that the Space Cowboy Dolphins for some reason. Maybe its because I can see my 10 year old neice thinking its cool.

Don't tell anyone but I had dolphin posters in my room when I was 14 or so. Sad... I thought I was cool.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wild at Heart

Men: Do yourselves, and your significant others, a favor and read Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secrets of a Man's Soul by John Eldridge. You will learn more about yourselves, and what the definition of a real man is, than you ever realized.

Women: I recommend it to you as well. You will learn a lot about the true nature of men, and what men should be.

2 Talked Back:

At January 13, 2006 at 12:57:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...

So there is also a great book that the same author wrote with his wife called Captivating. Its focused on how a woman is created and what it means to fully grasp and utilize the gifts God has given women. I think they are dead on.

I've also read Wild at Heart and it was so very insightful to have that view into a man's psyche. I feel I have a lot more compassion and understanding of male characteristics now. I can see the beauty and plan in how God created man in His image, male and female.


At January 14, 2006 at 11:55:00 AM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Hmm, I've got about 13 of "Wild at Heart" sitting in my office, left over from our last men's retreat. Perhaps I should read one!


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

You Are

Who is the only light of the world,
Who broke the terror of night in the world,
Who is the one who gives sight to the world,
You are, You are.

Who took my heart that was broken in two,
Who did the things that no other could do,
Who is the only one faithful and true,
You are, You are.

Who makes the sun come up in the sky,
Who always hears me each time that I cry,
Who went to Calvary for me, for me.

Who made the world with a wave of His hand,
Who makes the oceans obey His command,
Who is the Rock upon which I can stand,
You are, You are.

You are the One that the grave can't contain,
You are the One who will always remain,
You are the One with the beautiful Name,
You are, You are.

Randy Thompson, ©1981 River Oaks Music Inc.
And not anyone else. I must never put anyone in the place of God, for any reason. He alone is Lord.

2 Talked Back:

At January 12, 2006 at 12:40:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Is that a song?


At January 12, 2006 at 2:07:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Yes, and we sang it last Sunday night, the same night I received the message from Pastor Steele—well, really from God—about how we are to surrender everything to Him, and that if there is anything that we love more than Christ, we are to give it up.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I am hungry!

In the last half hour or so, I have been sitting here at my desk just absolutely electrified. I have never had as strong a craving for God's Word as I do right at this moment. It is not motivated by comparison to anyone else, nor by trying to impress anyone. They are pure, these intense pangs of hunger for Truth. I want to read the Bible cover to cover. I want to read commentaries. I am hungry! I want to read book after book of doctrine and theology and ancient language and interpretation and inspiring words and instruction. I want to learn the original Hebrew and Greek and Aramaic. I want to learn how to effectively reflect God's love to my world. I want to learn how to pray and pray and pray and PRAY without ceasing. I am hungry! I want to learn how to think better! I want to learn how to speak better! I want to learn how to write better! I want to learn how to express my devotion and joy and heartache and despair artistically, and learn how the greatest artists have done it in the past. I am starving! I want to learn music, and how to play instruments, and how to craft songs. I want to dance before the Lord, with graceful movements and groanings of praise and adoration for my King! I am hungry!

3 Talked Back:

At January 11, 2006 at 12:30:00 AM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i'm starving. for dinner, that is. glad you're hungry too :)


At January 11, 2006 at 2:28:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

Stan -- OFF TOPIC -- church with interesting name, and its own crisis of faith:

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church


At January 13, 2006 at 1:00:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Hooray! Let's dance, and then sing, and then dance, and then paint...all for God.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

My struggle, part 2

If every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17), and I take for granted Whom the gifts come from, then I am in the wrong. As I said in the last post, I believe that everything in my life, including my life itself, is a gift from God; therefore, everything must be subject to God's authority, and nothing really belongs to me at all. So what happens when I try to claim ownership? Am I trying to supersede God? That, my friends, is what I believe to be the definition of living "in the flesh", which is sin.

When I was born, and until the age of 15, I thought I had control of myself and everything I owned. (Well, I suppose my parents held the claim during my diaper years, but you know what I mean.) My emotions, thoughts and decisions were mine. My heart, in all of its joys and breaks, belonged to me. But on April 13, 1988, I lay my heart at the feet of Jesus, asking Him to take control of me, and to live through me. At least I thought I did. I knew that a transformation had taken place, but there were many, many things I wasn't giving up—most of which it took years to realize. I had heard the message over and over, that unless we give Him full control of our lives, we can't enjoy His full blessing. I had stored and understood that fact with my mind, but my heart knew that I still had things I wanted to hang onto. Only today am I beginning to grasp the full scope of what total surrender means.

This morning, I sat here trying to imagine what life would be like without the use of my five senses. Without vision, I would be in total darkness, except for what the eyes of my mind and my memories would see. Without hearing, there would be total stillness and silence, and I wouldn't be able to hear anyone's voice, or music. Without smell and taste, there would be no enjoyment of food, or a flower, or the wonderful smell of my girlfriend's hair. And without the sense of touch, my whole body would be totally numb, and I wouldn't even know if I was alive.

Without all five senses, how would I be able to communicate? How would I know when someone is loving me? Would I go insane? Or would I do the only thing that I could: to remember the promises of God, to worship Him with my mind and heart, to call upon Him for perserverance until the day when He calls me home?

After I came to that conclusion, I began to imagine life without the other gifts from God: available food and shelter, easy access to His Word, the love of family and friends, the relationship with my girlfriend, etc. Could I live without those? With a heart of total surrender, today it is easier to say yes. But do you know what? There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be without those gifts. Nobody has ever said that the only way to please God is to actually walk away from everything and everyone, living a hermit's life in the mountains with nothing but a loincloth and a sharp stick. God does not give us anything without reason. He wants us to enjoy life and be thankful for everything, even our very lives. He wants us to praise Him for his grace, that He has given to us when we deserved nothing from Him. (Ephesians 4:7) He wants us to fall at His feet and worship Him, God who is the Giver of life, who sent "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:3-4)!

God wants us to ask Him how we can use what He has given to us for His glory, not our own. (And then, when He tell us how, to actually obey Him.) Otherwise, why else would He have given anything to us?

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20

Monday, January 09, 2006

My struggle

Everything I have in this life is a gift from God. He has provided everything I need, from the very essentials of life to the sweet pleasures. These include:
  • My health
  • My five senses
  • My abilities and talents
  • My job
  • My home
  • My clothing
  • The food I eat
  • My money and things
  • My intellect and ability to reason
  • Relationships with my family
  • Relationships with my friends
  • My relationship with my girlfriend
  • My ability to enjoy life's pleasures
  • Every other blessing

If there is anything that God has given me that I have abused, that is, have come to love more than the One who gave it to me, then God very well could take that gift away from me. It's called idolatry, and God cannot tolerate it.

Unfortunately, I am guilty as charged. I am starting to recognize where I am loving what I have more than I love God, and I understand in my mind what the consequences of that idolatry are. I just have not confidently submitted those things to God. The main reason for this is that I am afraid to.

Why am I afraid to give up what I have? Perhaps it's because I have committed the sin of comparing myself to others, deriving my value from my things and accomplishments rather than my identity in Christ. In these comparisons, I have determined that I do not have what others have: A great job, good looks, a spouse and children, a home, a charismatic personality, abilities and talents far greater than mine. I also compare myself to other Christians, believing that I am so much more juvenile in my faith, and I envy and covet the spiritual wisdom, intellect, maturity, and command of Scripture that other Christians possess. (I usually feel like I cannot put two thoughts together when I am speaking or praying, so I just clam up.) But the measure of all of these things that I do possess is such that I don't want to give up what little I have. I just don't want to be left with nothing. And having nothing scares me.

The struggle that I am now entering is a real wrestling match with God, and I will not emerge until He has pinned me down and I have surrendered to Him. I cannot just hastily say, "Okay, Jesus, I am willing to release everything to You. You can take away from me anything You want, and I won't cling to it." To say that would be irreverent and untrue. God knows when I'm being honest with Him; and He knows when I'm trying to cover over my true heart with pious words. No, I need the struggle. I need to sweat about it, lose sleep, lose my appetite, maybe throw up a few times. I need to argue with God, to plead with Him, and even try to bargain with Him until I genuinely realize that my machinations are futile, and that only His love can cast out that fear of losing what He has given me.

When my fears are gone, or at least diminished, I will have a greater confidence in Him, knowing that He ultimately loves me and chooses to provide for me and bless me. I will finally have that peace that has been so elusive, where I can truly rest in His arms and worship, worship, worship my beautiful Savior.

2 Talked Back:

At January 9, 2006 at 4:34:00 PM CST, Blogger h-i-p said...

That is so completely beautiful. Thank you so much for your honesty. My love for you increases tenfold when I hear of your inner workings, what makes you tick.

[[I need to argue with God, to plead with Him, and even try to bargain with Him until I genuinely realize that my machinations are futile, and that only His love can cast out that fear of losing what He has given me.]]

So often we mistake "futile" for meaning stupid or juvenille. Remember that it just means without end, or without an end which is worth the effort.

It is oft the fighting which makes us realize we have only to surrender to win the prize.

Let us hear more of your wrestling match.


At January 13, 2006 at 12:51:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Sounds like we were listening to the same sermon on Sunday. :-) I love that you are wrestling this out and working it through. Continue to seek Him and be honest with Him. I definitely identify with your wrestling match.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Friday, January 06, 2006

Asking myself these questions

I just realized something about my recent self. I say recent because I feel like I've sort of entered a renaissance period of my faith, with a renewed commitment to living in the kingdom of God rather than in my own tiny, dark little world.

But here's what I am now faced with: is my desire to follow Christ motivated by a rekindled fire in my soul, a dry, cracked thirst for Him that can only be quenched by seeking His living water? Or am I, in the words of Peter Scazzero, "driven by a deep personal need to compensate for a nagging sense of failure"? Am I trying to make up for lost time, ashamed because I stood on the shores of the Old Country for so many years instead of sailing toward the New? Or am I ready to slough off the inadequacies of the past, broken and vulnerably poised with upstretched arms as the Spirit of God fills me to overflowing with His grace?

I'll definitely be seeking the answer to those questions today.

2 Talked Back:

At January 6, 2006 at 9:57:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i hope you don't try to find all the answers in one day. it sounds like a life's work if you ask me :)


At January 7, 2006 at 10:53:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Well in my opinion even if the latter is what has driven you forward its not a total loss. Because once we are in God's presence again he works in us despite how we got there. Are our motives ever totally pure? He knows the truth and he will help you see His direction.

I say just move foward where you are.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Come on, feel the Illinoise!

Yes, that's right, I have now immersed myself in the wonderful music of Sufjan Stevens. I bought his Illinois album on iTunes tonight, and downloaded a Christmas album too. They are amazing works.

4 Talked Back:

At January 6, 2006 at 1:56:00 AM CST, Blogger Jim said...

so you feelin' better?????


At January 6, 2006 at 10:03:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

I'm not bedridden with a cold, but there's still this lingering cough, which usually gets stronger in the evening (when my body's more fatigued). I hope that there isn't something else wrong with me.


At January 6, 2006 at 3:15:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

"I hope that there isn't something else wrong with me." <== a setup for about a dozen jokes!!!!!!!!!!!

but, I'll be good.


At January 7, 2006 at 10:49:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Okay you have to let me hear it. Foolish Knight has mentioned it many times. And I've been hearing so much buzz that I'm curious.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Catch a cold, heal a heart

Over Christmas break, I caught a cold. It almost went away; all that was left was that darned cough.

Right before New Year's, I caught a second cold on top of the first. It was terrible, and every symptom hit me all at once. I didn't go to work on Friday.

As I was laying in bed in between periods of sleep, I was earnestly praying that God would take away my sickness, and quickly. I didn't want to spend the last night of the year alone in my infirmity.

While I was praying, God spoke back to me. Not audibly, but in the midst of my thoughts. It always takes me by surprise when He does this, because I know that I don't talk to Him nearly enough, and I certainly don't listen for Him like I should. When He spoke, it was a very simple question: "Are you seeking the end of your suffering, or are you seeking Me?"

The question stunned me in its obviousness, and I had to stop and think of what was motivating me to pray. It made me realize that I was asking God to heal me quickly so I could have fun with my friends, rather than earnestly coming into His presence and expressing my desire to know His will. So often my requests (when I request them at all) are centered on what can make things easier for me, rather than learning how I can be used to advance God's kingdom.

So I changed my prayer to a simpler one: "Draw me near to You. Show me Your heart." I recalled the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33: "'But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'" And Matthew 7:7: "'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.'" He promised the answer to my prayer, but made it clear that my motivation should not be to have my "kingdom" restored to health, but to look for His kingdom first and foremost.

Four days later, he hasn't quite finished healing me from my cold, but my heart is certainly stronger than it was on that miserable Friday evening.

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." - James 4:8a

1 Talked Back:

At January 5, 2006 at 11:02:00 PM CST, Blogger kristen said...

i had no idea you were a religious fellow? nice work on the god connection. i bet you feel better just having figured that whole thing out.


Okay, now it's your turn | Home