Sunday, December 30, 2007

ski machine

So today I went out cross-country skiing for the second time this year. CC skiing used to be my number one sport in high school - I love to ski! Since the snow is so wonderful this year, I think I'm going to start training for the Mora Vasaloppet, a race I haven't skied since my sophomore year of college. I skied the 35K race every year starting in 7th grade. When the winters were brown instead of white, they held the race on Knife Lake and I just wasn't into that. I'm looking forward to it now! (and I have a good reason to get out and do some training).

I found this old picture from years past. It's always one of my goals to have frozen facial hair by the end of the race. There's also a link to the Vasaloppet homepage for any of you who are interested in signing up.

Link to Vasaloppet webpage

christmas with the carlsons

Well we had a great Christmas! It is wonderful to celebrate the birth of Christ and worship him as the one who came to save us from wrath. It's mind boggling when you think about it, he came to die, and to raise from the dead and thus secure for us an inheritance imperishable - how sweet and how free this grace! It IS the most wonderful time of the year.

Emily, Corban and I celebrated on the 23rd as we normally do. We had the special privilege of having Emily's mom here with us (she was still here helping us with Corban - what a blessing!) After we read from Luke and prayed, we exchanged some gifts and then spent the rest of the evening helping our son with his digestion issues - he had some major gas. Man, things sure change after having a child (both good and bad). By God's grace we will get a grasp on this!

As is the custom we traveled to my home town of Mora to celebrate with my family of origin. We had a wonderful time celebrating there. We went to church together and then came home for dinner and fellowship. My mom is such a gracious woman! She truly is an example of someone who gives selflessly and rejoices in the happiness of others. We also sad good by to my step brother Tim who left two days after Christmas for Denver. He's moving there to be near the girl he loves and to start a carpenter apprenticeship (taking after his older brother, even though he's already a better carpenter than I am).

On Christmas day we left Mora and came home for a while before going to my brother-in-law's for Christmas dinner. The Gamble side of the family is a bit larger and a lot more chaotic than the Carlson side. Five siblings, seven nieces and nephews, two grandparents, and Emily's parents - yeehaa! I'm bless God often for the wonderful family that I married into!

Here's a couple pictures for you to enjoy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

family nap time

How sweet is this?

Friday, December 21, 2007

snug as a bug in a rug

I don't know if I've ever been this cozy in my whole life!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

christmas memories

The Lord gave me an organizational/cleaning grace today. I was going through the office organizing and getting rid of so much unnecessary junk. I did come across this gem however. Oh the memories of Christmas at the Carlson household. I think the picture needs no explanation - boys will be boys. (my four-wheeling coat is very similar to my high school wardrobe...)

first day home

Corban's first day home was a good one. Emily is feeling good. Renee said that the third day is often the hardest day for new moms because your body finally realizes what just happened, your milk comes in, and the tiredness catches up to you. Emily's milk has come in, but Corban is still getting used to thing called eating - hard work when your so small and only three days old.

It was very special to bring him into his room last night. He likes it obviously, he told us so. It is very nice to have him on the same floor of the house with us. I'm so thankful to the Lord that he provided for us to build the nursery.

Please continue to pray that Emily would heal up and be more comfortable. Pray also that she would be able to establish a schedule with Corban as far as feeding goes.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Well, by the grace of God we made it home with our baby. We don't take it for granted that some people don't go home with their children - we are thankful to God for his mercy to us.

Today is going much better than yesterday. We feel like we're getting at least a little better at understanding what Corban is trying to tell us. We know how to change him, feed him, and keep him warm. We also know how to pray for him. I think he's going to be alright.

Thank you for your prayers. Emily is feeling much better than yesterday, and my cold didn't seem to slow me down today.

Here's a few pics of the little guy.

monday morning

I thought I was on the up and up with this cold I had, but this morning I felt like...welll...horrible. I don't want sympathy, just prayer. I know Emily is the one who has been doing the hard work in the family these days. My main priority is to make sure Emily is taken care of. Last night she got some good blocks of sleep. We've been getting as much help as we can with breast feeding. Corban seems to be doing great.

Pray that my cold would subside, and that I wouldn't get Emily or Corban sick.

We're pretty certain that we will get sent home today. I think this will be good for us. Not that we don't appreciate all the help we've received at St. John's, but because we came in later in the day and didn't deliver until 10:00, I think we've slipped through the cracks in a lot of regards. Nurses keep asking, "Have you done this?" or "have you been told about this?" Our answer is always no. I think it will be good to be home.

We are so blessed. Our little guy is so cute and lovable (like most babies). We are growing as a family already, and I've already felt more of a urge to provide, protect and serve my family. Pray that this would always be the case.

Emily is feeling a lot less pain today, but she still needs to take it easy obviously. My wife is so bigtime!

I hope you're all well. Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Emily and Corban are doing great! (Dad's doing fine too). You could pray that breast feeding continues to progress well. He's latching on and seeming to do a good job, but Emily is getting sore. Pray for her to persevere and that Corban would do what he is supposed to.

Emily is just finishing up a meal, and I'm about to go in and change a diaper and get him ready for his next feeding. We also have some other guests coming tonight. Thank you to all of you who have stopped by yesterday and today and celebrated with us.

Pray also that Emily would get adequate sleep tonight. She didn't rest very well last night, and we heard that the milk comes better when mom is well rested.

We're both very excited and very humbled. We feel very inadequate for this task, but we know the Lord will give us grace for this task. "And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Thanks everyone!

Corban Paton Carlson

Born last night at 10:01, weighing 8.18 lbs and 21 1/2 in. long, our son Corban Paton Carlson.

Thank you all so much for your prayers. Emily is recovering well, and all the check ups on both Emily and Corban come back perfect. Thank God for his mercy to us.

We would love for you to come and visit us. We will be here at St. John's Hospital until Tuesday morning. Please call me before you come so we know you're coming - 651.246.7359. The hospital is located right next to Maplewood Mall on Beam Ave.

Thank you again for praying for us.

The Carlson Family

Saturday, December 15, 2007


So far we've been at the hospital since 12:30. Emily need pitosen to start the active labor process. One the pit kicked in, the contractions came on strong. Emily is such a trooper - she's doing really well. The pain did intensify however and she choose to have an epidural. Since the epidural, she has been able to rest a lot more, and the labor hasn't even really slowed down at all. She is currently at 9 cm! Pretty soon I would imagine we would start the pushing.

Both of our parents are here now and have given us some encouragement. Keep praying for us please. I'll update as soon as I can with what's going on, and hopefully some pictures.

Friday, December 14, 2007

a family phoon

When we were on our way to Grand Marais last fall, we stopped in Duluth for a stretch and a stroll down the break water. While on this outing, my friend Josh and his talented son sported this sweet phoon.

another divine night

I posted this song last Christmas, but thought that since it is so uplifting I needed to post it again. This is a recording of some poor soul singing O Holy Night. I think he must be a trained singer because he breaks all the singing rules so perfectly. There's no other way to describe this than "painful."

The first time I heard this, the brother that showed it to me said, "imagine yourself as the pastor of a church, and this song was the special music right before you had to come up and preach. What would you say?"

I don't know what I would say...probably go straight to prayer.

(you might want to grab a box of tissues if you're listening for the first time and if you're a musical person, it may just be too much for you...try to make it through)

Listen here

Sunday, December 9, 2007

another site

I just created another sight where you can be kept up to speed with things concerning the baby. Look to the links section of the blog and you will see it listed as "philthecarl.mac"


Saturday, December 1, 2007

the nursery project

Well, it's done - praise the Lord!

Here are some pic's of before, during, and after.


Friday, August 24, 2007

fun sentence

Here's a fun sentence I just came up with. See if you can understand it (I believe it's a legitimate sentence).

The cool cool cooler cooler cooled cool coolers coolly to out cool the coolest cool cooler cooler to ever cool cool coolers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

superior hiking trail is superior

I just got home from a three day/30 mile trek up the Superior Hiking Trail in northern Minnesota. The SHT starts in Two Harbors and follows the lake up to the border of MN and Canada. We put in on CO RD 6 which is in Little Marais and hiked north to the Caribou River Wayside Rest. I went with my good friend Josh - this was his first backpacking trip, and he did 30 miles! Great job Josh!

Here's the breakdown of the trip. The first day was a 10.5 mile trek to Egge Lake (also the highest elevation of our trek - 1800 ft). Along the way we passed through many different habitats. One exciting site was the view from the top of Wolf Ridge (pic #1). Once we arrived at the campsite, we ate and were able to watch the beautiful sunset over Egge Lake (pic #3).

The next day we hiked further north to Sonju Lake where we had lunch and filtered some fresh water for drinking and cooking. We pressed on further not really knowing where we would camp that evening. We had a site picked out, but it was an aggressive distance away. We came within the borders of the George H. Crosby Manitou State Park where we came to the understanding that they had 17 sites along the river. We decided to reserve on of these sites, and we were so glad we did. This was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever stayed at. The Manitou River runs through a deep ravine and his huge boulders throughout the river (pic #4). The banks are clothed in large, old trees of various types. Our site was about twenty feet from the river where there was a small waterfall into a fairly large size pool. It was so beautiful!

The last day we had a leisurely 8 mile hike to the Caribou River. This hike however did contain some very steep inclines that humbled us. As we were walking up, we got closer and closer to the clouds until we were in them (pic #5). The wind was really blowing that day, and we thought that it might storm. It never did rain. We finally came to the Caribou River and put in for lunch on a large, flat stone in the middle of it (pic #6). Following lunch, Josh and I decide to hike up the Caribou without our packs and do some rock hopping which was very fun. Eventually we had to hike down the river and meet our ride back to our trail head. My extremely gracious mother-in-law came to meet us from Grand Marais to give us a lift - she is so wonderful!

The weather and lighting was amazing the entire trip, and the fellowship was even better. It was so great to get to know Josh more and deepen our relationships as brothers that we may sharpen one another to better glorify our Heavenly father who created and owns all that beauty we saw on our hike. It's amazing to think how God's beauty is so glorious we need glorified eyes to view it!

View from Wolf Ridge

Josh at the summit of Wolf Ridge

Sunset at Egge Lake

Josh filtering water in the Manitou River

View from Horseshoe Ridge

Lunch on the Caribou River

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

that's right!

You know you like it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

SE Asia 2007

We've been home for a week now. We had a amazing trip. Here's some pictures to look at for now. I'll do some more specific posts later.

Picasa pics of SE Asia 2007

new house

Well, we didn't get a new house, but it sure looks like one. Here's the story.

Back in May a fellow was coming door to door. I hear the door bell ring, so I answer it. He says, "hey, my name's Ted, I'm not selling anything." So I listened for a while. Turns out he works for contractor that goes around residential neighborhoods looking for houses with hail damage. They do free assessments and if they find damage, leave it up to you if you would want to make an insurance claim. I thought, free look for damage, go ahead.

After they had a look, I realized just how much hail damage was present on my roof and siding - I didn't even know and I'm in the field of remodeling (wasn't paying that close of attention). The only thing binding with this whole deal was that I pay my deductible and use their company to do the work.

At this point I could have declined them and looked into doing the work myself, but after I got to talking with Ted, I discovered that they were believers and that comforted me. They really have turned out to be great people.

So I had an adjuster come out to assess the damage. He went over the whole property with a fine tooth comb and $16,000.00 later, I decided this was a good deal. I made the claim, and I now have a new roof and siding. There were a few hiccup's here and there, but all and all a good experience.

Here's the sweet part. When Emily and I bought the house we knew that we were going to have to put some money into the roof, and siding if we wanted to make house look better. This is our third summer of ownership and we were just gearing up to drop about $4000.00 just into the roof. Ted showed up on my doorstep the week I was pricing out materials to do the work myself. As you know, I'm job searching, and that money we had saved for the roof has really helped us during this time of financial need because of unemployment.

The Lord is faithful!

first things first

There are now three Carlson's in this family. This picture was take back in April. Emily is expected to have the baby on December 8th. Lord-willing the baby will come a day late so we can still participate in the Gamble Family Christmas. We have had our second ultrasound and after seeking much counsel and opinion, did not find out the child's gender. There were many reasons for this, but I think mostly Emily and I didn't have a strong preference and wanted the surprise and anticipation (nothing against parents who choose to find out). We're going to be extremely happy either way.

Have you heard of the new gender neutral pronoun? The word is "Hu" and it takes the place of "he or she." It really is tricky to refer to the baby. Emily and I have taken to either referring to the baby as "Heshee" (he/she) or "Dia," which is the gender neutral pronoun in Bahasa Indonesia. We do have names picked out (no we're not telling), but that isn't really that helpful since we don't know the gender.

At some point I'm going to start a separate blog that you can link from this blog after we have the baby so you can view pics and keep up with the new family addition.

Gamble Family web page
Gender Neutral Pronoun

a long time's past


I realize my long absence may have caused some of you to quit checking my blog. At the same time I realize that technology is so fancy these days that you can subscribe to my blog, and IT will tell you when I've posted - pretty stinking cool!

Some reasons for my absence. As some of you may know I'm on the hunt for a job. I'm spending a lot of time on the computer, and I didn't want to spend any more time than I had to. Though it has now gotten to the point, because of the Lord's great faithfulness, that I need to post some of the amazing things that have happened to us over the past few months.

I'll post as soon as I can.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

new table

I built a new table for my porch. It holds a special meaning in my heart because I acutually cut down the tree, and cut up the log with my chainsaw. Here's some pics. I prayed that the table would serve our family well, and so far it has.

mechanics must be millionares

Since January I had been having problems with my car. I'm somewhat handy so I tried the basics in hope that it would fix the problem. None of these things seemed to be working so I just continued to drive it. Eventually the problem was getting so bad that it was actually annoying to drive - especially while drinking coffee. I brought it to my mechanic to see if he could diagnose something. He couldn't tell what was wrong, and told me to bring it to a place where they can hook it up to a fancy computer system (by the way, he still charged me for telling me nothing. Imagine if I, as a carpenter, stared at someones broken bookshelf, then told them that I was sure there was someone out there who was able to fix it, then charged them for the revelation - wow!).

Anyways, I was hesitant to bring it to one of these shops because I know that all car problems are costly, and honestly my car isn't worth that much. Well, eventually I decided to take it to a shop where they would charge me $100 to hook it up to the miracle machine and tell me what was wrong. After the diagnosis they told me it could possible be two things, a throttle position sensor, or a leaky manifold intake gasket - Both costly repairs and they said that fixing these doesn't mean the problem will go aways (talk about reassuring). I decided to try to replace the sensor on my own. I went and bought the fifty dollar part, took five minutes to remove and install the new one, and said a prayer. When I started the car, the problem seemed to be gone. I then praised the Lord, for he is faithful.

Why am I telling you this you may be asking...

Well...I thought about how we are all sinners saved by grace. God has saved us once for all, and he is saving us daily as we are sanctified by his grace. I thought of this comparison in regard to my car situation.

We all know we have problems, some of them even annoy us and hinder our daily lives. Sometimes we even have the skills to fix these problems, we just don't know where to start. I got to thinking about my sin. I know I have sin in my life, and that it affects my performance for the sake of the kingdom. Many times it takes a good friend to point out the problem, like a sensor. Some seemingly insignificant part that you would never look to as the root of such behavior. Once this is brought to your attention, do the work of replacing it by the grace of God, and keep on driving.

I'm thankful that the Lord has put people in my life who love me and aren't afraid to tell me where I'm lacking. Thanks be to God that he equips the body of Christ with everything it needs to become more and more a fragrant aroma of Christ unto God!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

trip to canada

Here are some pictures from out trip to Canada to see Emily's parents new land.

Friday, April 6, 2007

follow up

Just to follow up on our computer purchase, I love it! The Lord has answered our prayers that it would serve our family well. I'm especially like the iSight which is a built in camera that allows you to communicate via Skype or other video communication systems. My wife is in Korea currently visiting a friend with her sister and the computer has been a great way for us to talk with one another. It's free, and there's a live video feed so we can actually see each other in real time with hardly any lag time.

For you encouragement I have have a story about how the Lord provided for my needs. For months now I've been wanting a cell phone/PDA. I had been planning to buy a new phone in April, and thus had been saving up some money for the rather large purchase. Mid March my friends and I were at a gathering and I was mentioning how I was going to be purchasing a phone. My friend Kris offered me an extremely nice phone for free! How awesome is that! Two weeks before I was going to drop some money on a phone, the Lord provided a phone that exceeded my expectations. "And my God will do exceedingly, abundantly, more than all we ask or imagine." Then, to make the story even more amazing. One week after I got the phone, I accidentally dropped it and I noticed that the LCD has a small red blotch on it resulting from the fall. I was bummed about this, so I asked the Lord to remove the spot. I don't know how this works apart from asolute sovereignty, but the spot is gone, as if the spot had never been there. I actually watched it slowly disappear. The Lord is Lord over all.

Mac page

phil and em can't not see well now

Emily and I both had eye doctor appointments last week and we will be receiving our new glasses in the upcoming days. You all will be happy to know our eyes are healthy, except they don't see well. Some of you might be saying, "Emily doesn't wear glasses!" Well, you should have put two and two together a long time ago when we started dating. You should all be excited for the new look of Em and Phil. Also, Emily found some frames in Korea that are pretty hip. She's going to get lenses put in them. I'm actually really excited to see these new glasses.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

oyster cracker forge a chowder partnership

I read this on the back of an oyster cracker box. It brought my oyster cracker experience to new heights.

"There's nothing quite like a generous bowl of creamy, rich New England clam chowder, and to truly appreciate the experience, oyster crackers must be on hand. Of course, the oyster cracker integration style is critical to the overall success of the meal. Some sprinkle the tiny crackers on top, a hint of salt, and a hearty garnish. Some prefer the time honored Alternating Bites Method whereby a spoonful of chowder is "chased" by a tiny cracker. This ensures a crisp cracker as well as a steady ratio of cracker to chowder.

Whatever your personal style (we encourage you to experiment), oyster crackers make great soup partners. Being avid oyster cracker fans, we set out to find the best-tasting oyster cracker combined with the best texture. If you're familiar with the hunt for a good oyster cracker, you know that some can be flat-ish with a dense, bland, and not flaky consistency. After searching high and low, we found what we think is a pearl of an oyster cracker..."

Thank you Trader Joe's!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

exciting news

I'm proud to announce that my brother-in-law just played his first triple-triple during a Scrabble game today. He played the word "Picketer" and won 185 points. For those of you who aren't familiar with the game, a triple-triple is achieved when a word passes through two triple word scores on one play. So when you add up the points you triple the value of the word, then you triple the value of the tripled word. And, as in the case of any triple-triple play (usually), you get a 50 point bonus for using all your letters.

Great job Luke! We're all very happy for you, and want to be you (I've never had a triple-triple). Maybe someday...

Friday, March 23, 2007


Yesterday on my way out of the house, I was half way to my car when I realized I was still wearing my slippers. I paused for a moment and considered going back inside to swap them out for shoes. After I preformed brief cost benefit analysis, I decided it would be more beneficial to continue on my way the YMCA. I was actually pleasantly surprised how well they functioned as shoes, and my feet were nice and toasty in the car.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Anybody got any job suggestions for me?

Monday, March 12, 2007

scotts post

Check out this post by my dear friend Scott. Herein is the journal entry of our pastor on the night his father went to be with the Lord. Very sweet...

fish among fish

Our family is now officially a Mac using family. Luke, the beast has served me well, and may it serve someone else well (SPF) after you reapply the thermal paste. It's going to take some getting used to using a new operating system. I'm excited to learn more about how this new technological device can help our family serve the Lord in new and helpful ways.

Monday, March 5, 2007

think how we're saved and rejoice!

Today I was reading in Romans 5: 8-11

"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for the us. (9) Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (11) More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

1. God saves us while we were still sinners. There was no merit or righteousness involved from our end in our being saved. Purely grace from the Father...amazing!

2. Notice whats happening in verse 8. God shows his love in that Christ died...this is almighty teamwork!

3. Since our justification is sure, God declaring us "not guilty," how much more sure is our salvation in the end! We can have confidence, because the work of Christ and God is perfectly effective. God accomplishes all his purposes!

4. Since Christ has reconciled us to God, how much more sure and sweet is our salvation in Christ! He reconciled us while we were still enemies...again, amazing!

5. Verse 11 stands out to me. Paul says "more than that [salvation in Christ]" is our rejoicing in God through Jesus Christ our reconciler. There must be some profound glory given to God when his saints rejoice in the work his Son did to bring us to himself.

I hope this encourages you today and spurs you on to rejoicing!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

o holy night

I know it's no longer the Chirstmas season, but all the snow as of late has remined me of the Christmas songs. I recalled this version of O Holy Night that my friend sent me, I got a side ache the first time I listened to it. It's meant to be a joke...I hope.


Listen here

suffering americans

Today I again realized how narrow-minded I am. My wife and I spent an hour talking about what kind of computer we should buy, discussion which would be the best investment and serve us best down the road. I feel like we handled it well and were trying to be down to earth with balancing needs versus wants and ease.

Shortly after this discussion I read and email from a dear brother wherein I was reminded about what's happening in Gulu, Unganda. There, most of the young children flee to the city every night for valid fear of abduction, brain-washing, and enrollment in a violent and evil resistance army. I remember from the video "Invisible Children" how three boys sleep in a part of the sewer system each night after the daily commute to the city. After they mop up all the stale and rancid water, they have a "dry" place to rest for a few hours before they head back out into the open.

Oh Lord, have mercy on me a sinner! And help your children in need! Give me grace to keep things in perspective and to think globally for your names sake.

Invisible Children

Friday, March 2, 2007

You always remain

Brand new song I wrote today. Expresses some of the way I've been feeling as of late. The Lord is faithful. Suggestions are welcome.

I'll go away somewhere I can't find rain.
I'll go away somewhere I can't feel pain.
You remind me of who I've always been.
You, oh You, remind of who You are...

I'll stay away, this place where I've been hiding.
Stay far away, can't face this world today.
Frail, broken-hearted, a contrite heart have I.
You, oh You, won't reject me, for who You are.

Dreams fade away today my heart has stains
Dream away today, for You don't change, You always remain.

You say, "Stay away, I bought this one from slavery."
Chains loose their sway when Jesus Christ proclaims...
"You, my child, your pardon's sealed in blood."
You, oh You, remind me of who I am in You.

Dreams came today to stay, my hearts been changed
Dream away today, for You don't change, for You don't change,
Oh You don't change, You always remain.

Fade to Light

My last song was quite popular so I thought I should post a few more. This song is called "Fade to Light" and was written last spring. Enjoy!

You are the only God who saves;
there is no God, God like You!
Why should my eyes behold what's worthless?
Why should my gaze not be on You?

You've given me new eyes to see Your beauty.
You've given me new eyes to behold You.
You've taken off the blinders, I see! O Lord, I see!

You made the darkness fade away to light,
You made the darkness fade away.
You showered me with grace, and gave to me new sight.
You shinned Your light and showed me the way.

I've seen Your likeness in my life,
still I don't know the things I do.
Your perfect character enthralls me;
I want to be Lord, just like You.

jewelery boxes

Hey mom,

What do you think of these boxes? They don't have the final finish coat on them but, I'm not particularly fond of how the stain turned out. I should have left them natural because that's easier. At this point they can still be sanded down and worked with. I think what happened is I didn't do a good enough job on the finish sanding and so the stain didn't take well on the top of the box lids. Let me know what you would like done. If you want to take a stab at staining them that is fine, I know you're better at that then I am. Hope you doing well, talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Minnesota winters are back!

Some shots from Thursday - posted mostly so my mom could see just how snowy it is down here - man I love Jeeps!

Monday, February 26, 2007

work in progress: for Abraham to wordsmith

Hey Abraham,

This is a new song I've been working on from Isaiah 46. Please feel free to critique and rework as you think would be beneficial. The recording is solely for you to have a melody to keep in your mind as you look at syllables. I'm also wondering, should it be changed to from the first person to third person? Let me know what you think.

Isaiah 46

For I am God, there's none like me, for I am God alone
I am your God, there's none like me, declaring the end from beginning.
Call this to mind and stand firm, call it to mind you sinners.
Remember everything that I've done, for I am God alone.

When you are old, still I am He, I'll carry you to the end
That I have made, and I will bear, I'll carry and I will save.
Whom can you find that's my equal? To whom shall I be compared?
For when you cry I will answer, for I am God alone.

Come to me all with heavy heart, and I will give you rest
Take up my yoke and learn from me, finding rest for your souls.
My yoke is easy my burden light, come to me little children.
For I am gentle and humble, see that I'm God alone.

I've spoken, I'll bring it to pass
I've purposed and it will be done.
All I've spoken, I'll bring it to pass,
My purposes, all will be done.
They will be done.

Listen to me, you hardened of heart, you who are far away
I will bring near, all that I am, salvation will not delay.
I will save you
I will save you
I will save you
For my glory

Sunday, February 25, 2007

what ministers to you?

I've had a time grieving as of late. Something happened in our family that caused great heaviness in the heart. What is the healing balm that attends the broken spirit? Christ is the balm! What form does he take to do such ministering? Christ is seated in heaven at the throne of God. I'm not suggesting modalism, simply that Christ is in all, and is all!

When Paul talks about members of the body in I Corinthians 12 he uses language like, "hand, foot, ear, and eye." We, as many different members, are all part of one body, the body of Christ. In times of sorrow, how are the different members of the body ministered to.

Does the hand have the same needs as the foot? The ear the same as the eye? The hands need protection from the cold, bandages when scraped or cut. Or the foot, does it not need a covering to pass through rough terrain? The ear needs a buffer from loudness. The eye a shield from burning brightness. Are not all these things that which minister to the body? They are protection, healing, safety, but they are all different and minister in differing ways.

The first day of my sorrow after the news I was left to myself as I worked on a friends basement. I had my prayers, my time in the word that morning, encouraging words from my wife, but my thoughts wouldn't subside. They overwhelmed me. The next day my dear wife complied a play-list of songs and burned them to a CD for me to listen to while I worked. This make a world of difference for me!

Perhaps music is the glove that ministers to this ear. Consider nature being the shoe that minsters the hurting foot, and poetry that which peaches healing to the crying eye, and fellowship that which tends the overwhelmed hand. What are all these things except channels for Christ's healing to flow!

This week I have been so thankful to the Lord for giving me Christ-saturated music to listen to, and for healing my wounded spirit.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

funny search

My brother-in-law showed me this a while back. Here's what you do. Do a Google search for "French military victories" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. See what you come up with.

I've included a fantastic picture of my brother-in-law for your viewing pleasure...I hope he doesn't beat me up.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

understanding the scriptures can only result in worship!

Today I was reading out of the four gospels the passages on the Great Commission. I was struck as I read the portion from Luke. In verse 44 of the 24th chapter, Jesus is talking to his disciples saying, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Luke then records this amazing comment, "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures..." I can only take this to mean that up until this point, they hadn't been clearly perceiving who Jesus was, and what he came to do. Next in the passage Jesus states the purposes for which he came, and gives promises and commands upon his leaving. Then during the account of Jesus' ascension, after Jesus had led them out of the city and gave them a blessing Luke writes, "And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God."

When I think of the implications of this, I'm humbled. One of the promises of Christ was that he was leaving us his Spirit, the Helper, not just to come upon us as he did in the O.T. times, but to actually dwell within in us...amazing! As we read the scripture, the Spirit is continually opening our minds, the eyes of our hearts, to understand what we're reading, and our response should always be that of worship. I'm feeling very blessed today, though it's no different than any other day in that I'm blessed. I'm reminded of the passage in Ephesians wherein Paul is giving his thanksgiving and prayer for those in Ephesus. He writes, "For this reason...I never cease to give thanks for you, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you...the riches of his inheritance...the immeasurable greatness of his power..."

Pressing on to know Him with you, that we may glorify Him together!

the new/old picture

My wife recently commented on how she didn't like the picture I was using for the blog, so I decided to upgrade. I believe this was 4th grade. What ever happened to cool hair? (notice, this picture was taken pre-braces). Yeah baby!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My latest music purchase

Andy Mckee is a pretty amazing guitarist. I purchased his CD today, and am really enjoying it. I love when people can make instruments sing. Mckee is up there with Thile, Shimabukuro, Douglas, Shatz, Bela and Stewart. Enjoy this video: Keys to the Hovercar.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

don't think, just enjoy!

My friend Joey shared this profound thought with our class the other day. He was commenting on how when we stop to think about the thing we are enjoying, we are no longer enjoying it. For example, when you're engaged in worship during a church service, and you stop to think, "Man, this is sweet, I'm really worshiping." you've just ceased to be worshiping since your thinking about yourself, not God whom you're worshiping. Then last Tuesday at Perspectives class, pastor John was saying we experience things of great magnitude and grandeur, it's usually accompanied with a strong feeling of insignificance and self forgetfulness, and that's OK and probably right. How can a man be full of himself when he reaches the pinnacle of Mt. Everest? He of all people should realize how small he is in regard to the things around him God has created, and God himself. I am so amazed how God, being so big and perfect, can love a worm such as I - Thank you Lord for Jesus Christ!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

fun in the back yard

A couple of my students asked me to post this picture. Back when we used to get some snow in the winters, we would build jumps in the yard and pull each other around behind the snowmobile. In this picture we were using the four-wheeler because of a snow shortage. I hope that I can get home and partake of this fun activity this year. It's fun for the whole family...and it doesn't make my wife anxious at all!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

go to your Father

Today I listened to a passionately spoken sermon by our pastor on prayer. He really hit hard on the theme of God being our Father. I don't know how many of you had good fathers, or bad fathers, but God is a perfect Father. The text being, "If you [fathers] being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask?" Our heavenly Father will never say, "Come back later, I'm busy." or, "What do you want!" He is always ready and willing to freely give out of the overflow of joy he has in himself. Our Father is Great! And it is good to be a child of God! So...go to God in prayer, He stands ready.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jr. High Winter Retreat

Here's some photos of our worship team from last weekend. We lead worship at the Jr. High retreat. This was the first retreat the team has ever lead completely on their own; they did an awesome job, by the Lord's grace.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

It's good to be a Minnesotan

I always marveled at the Minnesota goodbye, while at the same time, enjoy them very much. For those of you who have no idea of what I'm talking about, allow me to describe for you a possible MN goodbye. Say you're invited to someones house for dinner. You arrive, you're greeted, all is well. The evening in progressing wonderfully and a good time is being had by all. However, hour is getting late so the party agrees to start the goodbye process. First, we would all agree that it has been a good evening, and give compliments to the food and hospitality that has been enjoyed. Perhaps even some formal goodbyes would be spoken as well as a parting blessing rooted in some past conversation from that evening. During all this, the couples are standing and moving in the directions of their coats. At this point, many different things could happen. The most common in the case of our family is we get side tracked. Perhaps I would notice a picture in the dining room and inquire about its origin while my wife gets detained in the kitchen trading cooking secrets. Next we usually get separated into gender groups. This goes on for a while until I see all the new toys and creations my friend has inquired since the last time we talked. The best MN goodbyes often include a trip to the garage. During this time things can often go deep since trust has been established by earlier conversation and one might share a deep struggle or pressing condition that would only be appropriate between men. I assume the same thing happens with the women, but will probably never know for sure. At some point, the couples reunite and continue their journey toward the door. Most of the time at this point a snack is in order, and since in many cases, you have to pass through the kitchen to leave the house, its only appropriate. Kitchens however usually contain multiple clocks, and is the room where this phrase is most often uttered, "Is it really _______ O'clock?" Here a strong commitment is made to leave swiftly out of respect for one anothers sleep needs. Perhaps a few conversational items will arise while stepping into ones shoes an putting on a coat like, "Hey that's a nice coat! Where did you get it?" "Oh thanks! I got it at REI. Do you two like camping?" "Yes! We love camping but we never have anyone to go with! Would you guys want to go sometime?" "Of course we would! Wow! Lets plan it out right now!" "Honey, we really have to go, it's 1:00 A.M." "Well, I guess it's time to go. We'll talk soon." And so on. At this point a cultural form of departing is exchanged, the door is closed, and this is usually spoken by both couples about the other, "They're great! We need to get together with them again soon. Time for bed."

So tonight I was chatting with a friend via Google chat, and I noticed that a MN goodbye was happening over the internet. I had to stop and's good to be a Minnesotan.

Monday, January 8, 2007

A week with Gus and Mari!

This is a little video I put together of the week we did some house sitting for some friends when they were in Cameroon. Enjoy!

The Lighting of the Fire!

Last weekend was BS 2007: the Man Weekend. The lighting of the fire is a sacred tradition. This year we doused a Christmas tree with gas, lobbed a gasoline filled beer bottle in the air, and shot it with a shotgun. I had the extreme honor this year of pulling the trigger. Blow the clip are URL's for other Man Weekend video clips.

Hets firing the SKS
Kris Crossing the Creek
Jeff's gas tree torpedo

Friday, January 5, 2007

To at least think about.

"The great grate grader graded grates gratefully to out grade the greatest grate grader greatly."
Created by Gus and philthecarl

Bigtime camera! Samsung NV3...

My wife and I bought this camera as a gift to ourselves, and we are very pleased with it. The sales rep didn't have much to say about it, but we thought we would give it a try. We were drawn to its functions as well as it's design. This camera is pretty sweet. This 7.2 mega pixel camera has four different picture taking modes, which allow for more than the average persons picture taking knowledge, an MP3 player, built in stereo speakers, head phone jack, video camera, video viewer (can download videos to the camera), and a document viewer. Also, the rechargeable battery charges while hooked in the computers USB port. This thing has everything but the kitchen sink. I bought two 2GB memory cards so I have a 4GB capacity. I have downloaded 20 albums, four 5 minute video clips, multiple text documents, and I can still take over 250 pictures at the highest resolution, and that's all on a 2GB card. I keep the second conveniently in my camera case. I've only had it for a week, but it has so far out preformed our expectations. If you're in the market, and you don't have an MP3 player, I highly recommend this camera. I think you definitely get more than you pay for.