Thursday, December 31, 2009

the new Milky Way "Simply Carmel" is simply out of line

On a lighter note...I had a new candy bar yesterday.

To me, there were always three candy bars that were the backbone to all other candy bars.  They are as follows, in this order:

Three Musketeers

Milky Way


 The Three Musketeers bar was the most basic, aside from just chocolate, having a nice creamy nougat center surrounded in delicious milk chocolate.  The Milky Way bar is basically a Three Musketeers upgrade with the addition of caramel.  And finally, the Snickers Bar brings it to another level by throwing in some nutritious peanuts.  So, as you can see, there is a lineage.

So where does this new Milky Way bar fit in?  It has the simplicity of a Three Musketeers with the glorious caramel of the Milky Way.  It surely doesn't fit into the traditional candy bar lineage.  For now, I will put it on par with the Three Musketeers since there are only two elements.

What's next, a Snickers Bar called "Simply Peanuts"?

a prayer for today

Lord Jesus, please take this burden from me.  I know your ears are always open and you are attentive to my cries.  Give me the joy that's mine as a sheep in your fold.  Cause my face to turn to you and be radiant.  Let my mourning be turned to rejoicing, for that is far better.  Give me grace to not worry about tomorrow, but trust in you for today.  Renew my soul, lift my countenance, save the soul of your servant.  Help me to be a confident father who trusts in you, and inspires confidence in my family.  Send your peace over me like a title wave and enrapture my soul with your benevolence.  Only in you, Jesus, is there any consolation for sorrow, and all the reason in the world for rejoicing and satisfaction.  Keep my mind fixed on you and rule in my heart.  Take it Lord Jesus, you are entirely trustworthy and good.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

encouagement from Scott

I received this email yesterday, and it blessed me to tears.

I also know what it's like to have emotions function as the engine of your train.  There are three cars to everybody's train: the mind, emotions, and will.  When we take our eyes off of our heavenly Father and the truths of his word we often start to let our emotions become the engine of the train.  Fight to keep you mind and intellect and the truths you know from Scripture as the driving force of your life.  Keep your emotions in check as the second car.

But this analogy breaks down in that our emotions ALWAYS follow what we're thinking.  It is NEVER the other way around.  If we're depressed it's because we can't see beyond the hurdle and trial in front of us, and thus we think things are hopeless.  If we're joyful, it's because we remember that God loves us (as you talked about loving Corban) and seeks to give us exactly what we need most at every given moment.  (Or we are just stupid and choose not to see any hurdles or trials before us.)

But you're not stupid and you do see the trials in front of you.  The difficulty you seem to be having is remembering the love God has for you and his promise to provide.  (Matt 6:25-34)  And don't forget Rom 8:32!!!  "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"  God already did the greater thing, how will he now not do the lesser for those he loves.

So brother, these days look often at Corban and Emily.  Meditate on and FEEL the love you have for them, and then transpose that into the love that God has for his children and that Jesus has for the church.  Let these truths lead your emotions.  "Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth."

glorious scripture truth

"And you, who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven..." Colossians 1:21-23

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

my prayer that the LORD heard and answered

Oh Lord Jesus, overwhelm my heart with peace today.  Cause me to wait on you, and put on the courage you have for me.  Give me a trust in you that surpasses human logic, and give me eyes to see beyond this momentary, light affliction.  You are good and faithful, ever extending your constant care over me.  Bring my countenance from fear and sorrow to that of joy and contentment.  You own the cattle on a thousand hills.  You clothe the lilies of the field.  You feed the sparrows.  You didn’t spare your own Son, but gave him up for me.  How will you not give me all I need?!  Oh God cause me to seek your kingdom and your righteousness.  You are gracious, good, and always faithful.  Thank you for loving me.  You are the great Provider, and you care for my soul.  I praise you Lord for the perfect peace found in you.  Give my soul rest in you.  I love you Lord.  Amen

Christmas day 4-wheeler ride

Corban absolutely loves riding the four wheeler...for about two minutes until he starts screaming.

giant Christmas snowman

The snow was perfect on Christmas day, what else would a 30 year old and his 28 year old sisters do?

sweet truth for today

"He has transfered us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom there is redemption and forgiveness of sins."

From the book of Colossians

Monday, December 28, 2009

A prayer request


We are spending the week up in Grand Marais for a time of prayer and planning.  Many of you know, mid October I was laid off.  Unfortunately Piper Construction had only enough work to keep one person busy.  I have been staying busy where I can, and the Lord has been faithful.

With much prayer and consultation, I decided to start a business!  It's called "Phil Carlson Custom Wood Craft."  I am registered with the state and have been working on logos and websites and all the other 100 things I have to think about during this time.  In the next couple days here I will be hopefully be launching the website, I will send you a link when it's ready.

Please pray:

that I would be wise with my time up here.  That I would devote much time to prayer and fasting, as well as getting on the computer and making things happen.

that I would get a clear vision and mission for the company, and that the Lord would use us to serve people.  Pray that the Lord would lead us to the people who need our help.

that I would have peace.  I have been very overwhelmed and worried lately, and that's not what the Lord wants for me.  Pray I would trust the Lord, and lean on him in all things and that he would continue to be perfectly faithful in our lives.

that the van would be sold.  I just listed a van on craigslist and I would very much like it to sell, its a big burden on me right now.

that our other vehicles would make it through the winter with out any major repairs.

that the bathroom remodel I'm starting on Jan 4th would go smooth and I would be prepared. 

This scripture has been very sweet and prophet to me lately.  Please also pray this text over me.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:14

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I love my son

I do, I really do. I love everything about him. I love also that he loves me. We have such good times together. No, he's not perfect and neither am I, but we absolutely hanging out together. I love that he tells me to sit down on the couch and then proceeds to hand me a book, climb up on my lap and say, "daddy read". I love that he asks me everyday to watch "big trucks" on Youtube. I love that he loves his jammies and will stay in them all day. I love that he gives hugs and kisses, and says sorry when he does something hurtful. I love that he colors me pictures, and how proud he is of them. I love how excited he is to see me when I get home from work, and how he can't wait to do something together. I love that he holds our hands when we pray, and will often ask to pray multiple times during a meal. I love that he wants to do what I'm doing, especially projects around the house. I love how excited he gets when we do new things. I love the way he talks, and love hearing him sing. I love holding him when he's hurt and comforting him.

I love him!

I can't help but be reminded of the fact that I am God's son. If I love my son this much, and I'm a sinful, earthly father, how much more must my heavenly Father love me?! It is good to be in the fold of God. May I, by His good grace, teach my son through word, deed, spirit, and truth about the love of the heavenly Father.

He loves us!

Monday, December 14, 2009

the only way to have a salad

Saturday, December 12, 2009

great morning conversation

So here's the backdrop. Phil and Corban are in the kitchen making French toast and Emily comes in after having just woke up.

Phil: Good Morning!

Emily: That was the worst night of sleep ever!

Phil: Do you see what I'm making?

Emily: This is the best morning of life!

We then hugged and laughed together before we enjoyed an epic French toast breakfast!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gamble Family Christmas

Check out this link, and seriously consider coming to the concert! We would love to have you.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I love thanksgiving!

Yesterday I said,"we should celebrate thanksgiving every month." Everyone in the family was excited about this idea. I'm excited to see what happens.

PS - I was almost at Walmart at 5 AM today. Thank goodness I had a bit of wits before I went to bed.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

oh the perplexity

Almost a week ago I went outside on my way to work and there sitting next to our house was very nice Schwinn mountain bike. I was confused at first, but then thought it was most likely Hunter's bike (the neighbor kid). I put the bike behind my three foot high fence that is literally six inches away from the side walk to give is some protection from passerbyers and stopped by neighbors on the way to work. It wasn't his bike.

How is it that the three times we have failed to receive packages through United States Post Office they say, "Well, blah blah blah, theft is and issue and blah blah blah", and that stinkin' nice mountain bike is still sitting in my back yard untouched!?!?!?

PS - the packages were all small enough to fit between the screen and main door.

PPS - concerning the third lost package: After talking with the post office numerous times and being told we were basically screwed, our carrier delivered the package late on a Friday night with a note stuck on it, "sorry, my fault."

PPPS - I know things happen and stuff gets lost, but seriously!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

your strengths weakness

I have been pondering as of late how our strongest personality traits are often our weakest link, or, the things that we're good at often give us the most grief. Here's an example:

Someone who is an exceedingly good visionary will often start things, but never finish them because before they finish they're off to the next great idea.

Somebody whose a very hard worker can err on the side of being a workaholic and wear themselves out.

A person who is very giving, can over-give of themselves and wind up empty and wore out.

A fella who is tender of heart tends to get tread upon.

Granted, the scripture calls us to suffer in some regard by way of following Jesus (give in your poverty, turn the other cheek, etc.), but that's not really what I'm getting at.

It seems to me, if we don't temper our strengths with intentionality they can lead to weariness or shortcoming.

What are your strengths? And have they ever been a weak point for you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

thanks for letting me know

Seriously, it's a blessing to us that you care about us! Thanks for reading and being interested in our family!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

so who reads this blog anyways?

Seriously, I have no idea who reads this blog. I just heard this week from a number of people who read it, and I was very surprised. If you read this blog, will you leave me a comment or shoot me an email? I'm curious to see who reads this stuff anyways!


deer hunting

Last weekend I was invited to the Harm's family annual hunting/Thanksgiving extravaganza. I tell you what, we had a great time. Not only did I get my first deer ever, we got to hang with the amazing Harms family all weekend. There are six brothers, one brother in law, one father, and one guest (that's me), and all of there respective families. So we had 9 hunters total, and when we were fortunate, some of the family members came out with us. Here's the story...

It was Sunday morning at 6:38, one minute after the legal shooting time. I was posted on the south edge of a field basically in a ditch with a gravel road and some wooded area behind me. The rest of my party was north of me posting the perimeter of the field. The night before we had a buck come down through this area and wounded him, but never found him even after and hour of searching. I was in the "clean-up" location, hoping to take a deer down if it made it though to me before it reached the woods. I was looking north when I heard some noise from the south. I got into the squat position and I could see the beast emerging from the woods behind me. He was about 20 yards away and it was still so dark I had a hard time telling if he was a buck. Once I could tell, I started praying he would cross the road. He did slowly. The ditch was pretty flat but had about a 6 foot embankment to get up into the field. I couldn't shoot him across the road nor could my bullet cross the road, so I waited. He walked the road and the ditch, but when he started for the embankment he took off! I stood and fired right as he leaped into the field and I got him through the neck. He fell on his side and never moved again. We are in a slug only zone so the he was pretty much done for.

Five minutes later after finding the blood trail from the wounded buck the night before, we shot and killed him also. He had been hiding out 30 feet into the woods behind me all night. Glad we got him and he didn't go to waste.

Thanks Harms for the memorable and fun weekend!

Corban kept saying "dead deer." He was pretty OK with it even though in this picture he looks a little skeptical.My young Jedi hunter.Ann and Grayden. Grayden was shooting his gun (the stick) and loving it!
Jesse, Julie, and Moses...our old neighbors. Praise God that they were able to sell their house, sad though we lost awesome neighbors.

Casey (Ann's husband, Grayden's dad, Jesse's brother) and Jesse
Sophie (Jason's daughter) with the two deer we got on Sunday morning. Jason is the one who had shot the deer on Saturday night.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

my beautiful wife

new favorite CD - Marijke Jane

Hey! You should check out this new CD by our friend Marijke. We met Marijke at Bethel and she has become one of Emily's favorite people. She sings wonderful songs, and she has a really cool name. You should check out her brand new album!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

latest corban pics

Monday, November 2, 2009

gender restraint

I heard an interesting statement the other day. A radio talk host was saying that at a young age boys are taught to control their aggression, but young girls aren't taught to restrain their emotions, which can be just as damaging as aggression.

I thought about it for a day or two and I see that here in America. We value being in touch with the emotional side of things, but aggression is seen as a bad character trait from men, especially toward women.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

a wintery fall grand marais morning

just for you Jamsco

Artist point was a bit dangerous for me to go walking around on it today.  The swells were actually breaking over the breaker.  I've never seen the waves do that before.  It would actually be quite fun if the water was warmer than 40 degrees and it was summer.  I have seen people jumping into the lake from this light house before, crazy people.  They scream and yell and get out as fast as they can.  I thought of you last night as we drove past Cascade and how you spent your anniversary there.  This weekend Emily and I are celebrating our 6th anniversary as a married couple, and 10th anniversary as a couple.

I hope I'm not creating too much envy by being here :-)

a very windy north shore

The waves are as big as I have ever seen them here.  The swells are about 4-5 feet high and are pounding the earth as they crash against the rocks.  I ventured outside and froze my fingers yet again today to bring you these pictures.

Glad to be inside...

winter bike ride

Went for a bike ride this morning after breakfast.  I set in at the Pincushion Mountain trailhead and stayed left on the Pincushion Overlook loop.  There were many down poplars blocking the trail in a serious way.  I decided to skip the single track loop near the overlook and continue on back toward the trailhead.

I thought I would try a different trail back since there were so many trees down.  Just past the overlook there is a trail that follows the main tail a while.  I was told once by a local that it ends up back at the trailhead so I thought I was safe.  About two miles in I realized I wasn't going to come out at the trail head.  There was way too much downhill and I seemed to be veering east.

I finally came to the bottom of a hill and I was in the back yard of a run down trailer house with a bunch of beater cars in the back yard.  I quickly road down the drive way to avoid the attack dog.  I came out on Hwy 61 about three miles east of town, which meant I was six miles from the trailhead, all uphill.  So...

I pedaled toward the Gunflint into about a thirty mile/hr. headwind (oh, did I mention it was snowing?).  I made it into town and rounded the corner onto the Gunflint, my hands, feet, and face were frozen.  I knew I was going to be in pain when my feet thawed.  About half a mile up the Gunflint a truck pulled over after passing me and I said, "YES!"  I pedaled up to him only to realize he stopped to take a picture of the fall colours.  I stopped and asked if I could hitch a ride to the top and he thankfully said yes!

I have to say, thawing feet is one of my least favorite experiences.  The whole ride back to Garry and Renee's I was in severe pain.

I love these types of experiences.  I hope I have many more while I'm still able to so them.

making distinctions

Our pastor in the very beginning of his book Desiring God eliminated a distinction by changing the word "and" to the word "by".  

"The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever."

Just yesterday while we were traveling up to Grand Marais we listened to a sermon Piper gave at the pastors conference on the life of George Mueller.  Therein pastor John was really driving home the point that Muller's chief reason for starting orphan houses was to "strengthen the faith of the children of God [the Church]."  His secondary reasons were for the faith and well being of the children and their physical needs.  Both Muller and pastor John were really trying to drive home the point that it wasn't about the children foremost.

My question is, why make the distinction?  So, instead of saying "we first care about the faith of the Church, and then the needs of the kids," why not say, "we care about the faith of the Church by meeting the needs of the children."

I was actually turned off by the sermon because it seemed to be more about this distinction than the fact that Muller strengthened millions of peoples faith by taking care of the needs of orphans.  These distinctions aren't helpful for me.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

song refrain

Just heard a song where the refrain was, "The only thing that's good in me is Jesus."

Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

fun with the hose

ps - yes I did give him a hair cut. It was hard to see the long curly locks go, but he's still pretty cute :-)

need I say anything at all?

Ry and Em's 10 year friendship

This time of year 10 years ago, a young lady named Ryin and another young lady named Emily meet each other in Nelson Hall at Bethel College. They ended up being roommates all through college.

Today they celebrated their 10 year anniversary by going to back to Bethel and visiting their old rooms and seeing what was new at Bethel.

We praise God for bring Ryin into our life! We love you RyRy!

24 hours of afton

At 5:00 pm on Friday I started a race that didn't end until 5:00 pm Saturday. It's an annual race held at Afton Alps called the Salsa 24 Fest. It's a 24 hour mountain bike race that zig-zags up and down the mountain.

I was on a four person team. You could only have one rider from your team on the trail at a time. The loop is about 8.5 miles, and takes the average rider about 1 hour to complete (the really fast guys do it in about 40-45 minutes!) I made a personal goal to get in 6 laps, and I did it!

Because I was the last person on my team to hit the trail, I didn't take my first lap until 9:30, so my first lap on a new trail was in the dark. I did have my high powered head light, but even still, it was a bit crazy at times whizzing past trees and over rocks and ledges.

I finished my first lap and then went out again at 2 am and rode a double lap (I was tired and hungry after that one). After some food and sleep, I took to the hills again at 10, 12, and 1:45. I contemplated doing a seventh, but my neck and back were really sore.

My friend Terry and I have already started talking about doing it solo next year, which means we would see how many laps we could each get in personally in 24 hours. I can see how people get into racing, it's a real rush!

This was the view of the start/finish from the chalet.

This was the start. The riders stage their bikes a ways away from the start line, then run to their bikes at the sound of the gun. This helps spread the riders out and avoids painful pile-ups on the trail.

This is my tent, and where I took some glorious, well-need sleep.

This was our "pit" and these were my teammates.