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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes

May our week be full of mystery and adventure. May we look to Jesus and each other for encouragement, comfort, and love this week even if life should not bring our way the things for which we hoped. Grace, peace, and Go Cubbies!

Prayer Of The Weak

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Weekend Warrior

It's a busy weekend here in the Rings' house. Lots of packing. Lots of playing. And lots of studying.

The house is lined with boxes that Kelly has packed and taped shut. It's wild to see your home become a house as the personal stuff like pictures, decor, and the like slowly get put away. I'll be packing the Lexus (just flipped 200,000 miles about a week ago) on Sunday with another load full. Last week my parents drove in and out on Saturday and loaded their SUV and trailer with boxes. These little trips will be a big help when it comes to packing our moving van come moving day.

The playing has been happening, big time, too. We went out last night with our friend Kate and her daughter, Olivia. Bill, her husband, was out of town and we all needed some good time together. We went to Chick-fil-a, had a great meal, great connection, and a great time playing in the play land. We finished up the night by watching a compelling movie on the awful story of the genocide in Rwanda that took place in the mid-90s called Beyond the Gates aka Shooting Dogs. Ill try to post some of my stirrings on the movie at a later date. This morning we are playing with lots of Cars and even playing beauty shop.

Finally, after I get some packing and playing out of the way, I'll have to do some studying. I've got a huge midterm (9 chapters and boat loads of content) that I will be studying for. I will also be finishing up a paper for this week. Welcome back to college. Tonight we'll finish up with watching Children of Men and watching the season premier of Heroes.

And then we'll repeat it all again tomorrow! Woohoo!

p.s. Big ups to my nephew, Alex, for acing his driving test. You are so Ricky Rudd now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Acoustic Stud - Andy Mckee

There are a few things I wish I could do: 1. Communicate like Haddon Robinson. 2. Shoot a sky hook like Kareem. 3. Pitch middle relief like Jesse Orosco. 4. Have passion like Bono. And 5. Play the acoustic guitar like Andy Mckee. This guy is simply amazing. Here are two of my favorite videos/songs - one original (I think) and one cover. I have no doubt you will totally enjoy these and every other song he plays.

(over seven million views on You Tube on the above video)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Indexed Blog

I found this blog via a friend of mine, Dave Booram, and posted on it here. The blog is INDEXED. Here is Jessica Hagy's take on her blog:

This site is a little project that lets me make fun of some things and sense of others. I use it to think a little more relationally without resorting to doing actual math.

Here are a couple of my favorites as I've rolled through the posts:

Out of the woodwork


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Prayer Of The Weak

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Rings Wedding Weekend - Fun Pics Part Deux

Here are some fun shots from the wedding day:

A great shot of Bret and Leigh Ann

Ana Kay and her Granny

Big bro and little bro

Melissa and Marcie

Sarah and her rose petals (I love this shot)

Rings Wedding Weekend - Fun Pics

Random shots from the rehersal on Friday night:

Parker scores a racing suit (thanks, Aunt LA!)

A great pic of Mom and Dad!

Alex, Ana Kay, and Uncle Bret

Blane and Alex with Crystal's boys Griffin, Hayden, and Landon

Sarah and her new BFF, Melissa, Crystal's daughter

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rings Wedding Weekend - The Hitch

The Big Day was awesome. The Bride was beautiful and Blane was a big stud! All the kids were amazing, too. Lots of friends turned out from Peoria along with the families to celebrate what God was grafting together and finally seal in this simply and honorable ceremony. It was a priviledge to officiate the wedding with my bro-in-law, Don. But how cool is it to be able to perform the wedding ceremony of a sibling. That was too cool and I am humbled to have been apart of it.

Along with some pics, I've included Blane and Crystal's vow's to each other. They wrote them for each other and had people talking during the reception. It was tender and real.

Blane : I promise to love you without reservation / because of you, I laugh, I smile, I live again! / I look forward with great joy to spending the rest of my life with you / caring for you, nurturing you, cherishing you / being there for you in all life has in store for us / and I promise to be true and faithful for as long as we both shall live!

I marry you with my eyes wide open. / And today, I come to give you my love / comfort you in times of distress / encourage you to achieve all of your goals / laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit / always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

The Brides Maids (minus Melissa who is standing with her mother)

The Groom Dudes (and half of me)

Blane and Crystal Rings

Evan and Crystal

Uncle Boo and Sarah

Can't Tase This

I must be in a sick mood. I was laughing out loud at this video remix based on MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" and the UF student who got tased at the John Kerry speech. Hy-ster-i-cal! Or so I thought.

Our New Home in Ohio

Just thought you'd like to take a look at the new house that we bought in Ohio (click right here). It's a very nice all-brick ranch in Kettering. It is literally about one minute from my parents house. That is a great location given that my mom is going to be watching the kids four days a week while Kelly and I work.

The house is located in a cul-de-sac and we even have kids next door that Sarah and Parker can play with (we were praying for that). The lot, as you can tell by the pictures, is a great size and will give Kelly the opportunity to do her flower thing and me a chance to do my mowing/grassology thing.

Though we've downsized, we still have an extra bedroom. That means we'd love for you swing on by and spend a night or two. Can't wait to see and hang with you and yours!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Album Covers That Changed Everything

I love music and so found this article on album art and covers very interesting. It deals with the influence of album cover art pre-Mtv (mostly). Very cool. Many of the bands that I grew up listening to myself or via my older brothers and sister are on here. Here is the intro to the piece:

Long before MTV, performers expressed the visual dimension of their art through their album covers. Every music fan has his/her favorites, but several covers stand out for their brilliance, their impact and their ability to make as much of a statement as the music they represent. Every art form has its giants, and album cover art is no exception. The work of the designers featured here spans over 40 years of music.

U2's War album has to be one of my favorite album covers. Not sure why other than it just sticks out in my mind. The boys eyes, facial expression, and bruised lip along with his hands behind his head are very raw and haunting to me. What is he trying to say? What is he telling us about war, violence, and our lives through that gaze of his?

What albums covers stand out for you?

(bu to Mental Floss via blog)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Funny Mom Blog

I'm not a mom nor have I played one on tv, but this is pretty funny. Her name is Dawn and the name of her blog is Mom2My6Pack or Because I Said So (changing lives, one diaper at a time, since 1994).

My wife thinks that she may have gotten famous with this hysterical ebay auction. Read the whole thing. It is pretty freaking funny.

To all the mom's out there who read my blog (all two of you, thanks, Mom and Kelly!), put this on your blog roll and enjoy!

(bu to my wife, Kelly, via email)

Sign of the Apocalypse

Senator v God.

From my home state of Nebraska and my hometown of Omaha, I share with you this:

State Sen. Ernie Chambers sued God last week. Angered by another lawsuit he considers frivolous, Chambers says he's trying to make the point that anybody can file a lawsuit against anybody.

Chambers says in his lawsuit that God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."

The Omaha senator, who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, also says God has caused "fearsome floods ... horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes."

He's seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty.

This I would think could be a clear sign of the Apocolypse. Here is a link to the full AP article.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dead Man Alive

Did you catch this story from Reuters:

CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy.

Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face.

"I woke up because the pain was unbearable," Camejo said, according to a report on Friday in leading local newspaper El Universal.

His grieving wife turned up at the morgue to identify her husband's body only to find him moved into a corridor -- and alive.

Reuters could not immediately reach hospital officials to confirm the events. But Camejo showed the newspaper his facial scar and a document ordering the autopsy.

Can you imagine? What would you think if you were the coroner? How would feel if you were the wife? And to be that guy...I hope life is a bit sweeter for him now.

Here's the link to the article.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NFLRush Blitz Bots

I thought that in light of the onset of the NCAA and NFL football season I would post a game I found on Addicting Games. It's sort of a cross between Space Invaders and a quarterback challenge. It's kinda hard and I'm not very good. Have at it and enjoy!

Go Huskers!

Prayer Of The Weak

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rings Wedding Weekend

I'll be away from Dayton and Indy this weekend and in Peoria, IL, to marry my brother. Wait. That sounds bad. Let me put it this way, my brother-in-law, Donny, and I will be performing the wedding ceremony of my brother, Blane, and our future sister-in-law, Crystal Carr. It's going to be a really cool time to celebrate what God is grafting together: two lives, two souls, two families into one flesh with the power and grace of One God.

Can't wait to party with the fam. Matt and Toni, you will be missed! Can't wait to meet the new fam and party like it's 1999 with them! Good times will be had by all, especially Sarah. She is so excited about going to Uncle Boo's wedding. And she's really excited about staying in a hotel!

I was thinking about doing a live blog update (for friends and family that can't make it) during the wedding ceremony, but somehow I don't think Crystal would think that is very cool. Bummer.

It maybe a couple of days before I post again. Who knows. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sign of the Apocalypse

This may be the start of a new series. Found this video and thought to myself, "Oh, my." You be the judge: MC Hammer - a creative educational tool or a sign of the apocalypse. Maybe my friend, Graham, will post a comment on about his thoughts on this.

But as for me, right now, this is funny, cute, and crazy all at the same time. And maybe, just maybe, a sign of the apocalypse.

(bu via Boing Boing)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Humbling Reminder

I was humbled today (looking at the time, it was really yesterday). I was humbled by the fact that as much as I love God and long to share with Him my hopes and fears, desires and struggles, I am so reluctant to do so. In fact, I find it easier and sometimes a bit more natural to look to me, to make the way, to determine the answer all on my own with no regards to it's consequences for my soul, my family, or other relationships.

There are some stressors in my life right now that I am struggling with. I long for the day when they are a thing of the past. But right now, they are standing me straight up, looking me in the eye, and daring me to crumble. In my defiance and pride, I have decided (for the most part) to stand up for myself. By myself. Me and my will against the aggressor! I will overcome! But as I choose to live this way, I find myself getting weary. I am tired and frustrated as the stress closes in harder and faster.

And then the cold water hit me square in the face today. While I (and I do mean I - even though others were present) was thinking of how I was going to win this battle and I was going to deliver the goods, a friend of the family said, "Why don't we pray?"

Whoa - that water's cold!

And there it was...the humbling reminder that God was there, calling me over to share my struggle and give me wisdom. Us and Him. We and together. And so as the day moved on, I found myself coming to Jesus, finding rest, and gaining wisdom and peace that humbles me.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Prayer Of The Weak

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Phil Collins, a Gorilla, and a Chocolate Ad

This is outstanding. I have no idea what it has to do with marketing chocolate, but I don't care. I love everything about this ad! Enjoy.

(via Hemmy)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Back To College Life

It's still a bit surreal that I am back in college. Weird. But it's also really cool. And really stressful. And very engaging. And a bit boring. It's life!

I am three weeks into class at UDayton and four weeks into the graduate position at DECA. Time has flown by. So much so that I am already behind! Yikes. Hence I am studying (and, yes, blogging!) at Noble Coffee and Tea Company here in Noblesville. But at the same time while the school stuff has flow by, time feels to be dragging as it pertains to my time away from Kelly and the kids. It's awful.

But that will change sooner than later with the selling of our house and subsequent full move to Dayton.

Here is a list of the classes that I am taking:

Intro to the Profession of Counseling
Intro the the School Counseling Program at UDayton
Program Development for School Counseling
Lifespan Development
Cultural Diversity and Counseling

That's 12 hours total of class hours. 12 down and 36 to go.

Good profs and good people in the classes. Early on stuff has gone a bit slow and is a bit redundant as to class overlap and previous education. But I am sure that will change as the semester heats up.

I'll keep you posted on how things go and how the semester progresses. Learning is fun. It's just the work that I don't like! Talk with you later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

YouTubes Got Talent - Ronald Jenkees

Where do these guys come from? YouTube seems to be loaded with average joe's who love to play music, skateboard, or anything else that makes them unique and thus a star on places video sites like this.

But here is this guy, Ronald Jenkees. When I first looked at him, I thought maybe he had downs or something (plus he talked kinda funny), but then he posts on his video blog that he is a "perfectly normal and healthy guy." And sure enough, he is and seriously talented! People love him, his beats (hip hop is his genre of choice), his piano tracks and improvs, and I think is infectious personality and humility.

Thus I lay down for you a couple of his videos that I liked. I bet we see this guy on a Ellen Degeneres or Jimmy Kimmel show before we know it. You can also check him out on his own website here. Enjoy.

"Canon in D"

"Theme from Rocky Remix"

"Ain't No Thang - Music Video"

And my favorite beat he lays down:

(bu to Boing Boing)

Monday, September 03, 2007

It's Never Too Early... start shopping for Christmas. So in light of that, if you have that special someone in your world that is hard to buy for or someone who simply "has everything", then this may be the gift for you/them. It's the Video Game Sweater featuring Space Invaders! How geeksational is that? I just want to know when Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and Joust are coming out!

(via Boing Boing)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

To Own A Dragon

I read the book, To Own A Dragon, this past spring and am just now getting around to posting about it. It is written by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller, and a mentor of his, John MacMurray. They collaborate on this work that deals with manhood, the fatherless, mentoring, and identity. Miller moves through this work with ease, honesty, grit, and tenderness as he explores the ramification of his life without a father, but with significant father/mentor figures in his life.

I think that this is a must read for all those that are working with young people, especially young men and boys. Whether you are a youth worker, volunteer, teacher, counselor, friend, or parent, this book has insight for you. These ideas and observations that Miller writes about are core realities that we struggle with as men from the time we are very young. He brings fresh perspective to timeless issues such as manhood, girls, sex, spirituality, integrity, work ethic, and education.

There are powerful ideas in this book about how we as men can be very influential in the lives of the next generation. The ideas in this book are not formulaic, but instead come from a pursuit of the relational. An intention that we bring something to the table every time we connect with those in this world that we lead as they look to us for guidance.

Like I said before, I think every male youth worker, teacher, coach, counselor, and parent/guardian should read this book. Read this book that there are young men out there dying to have someone step into their world to walk with them, talk with them, and show them the way to own a dragon.

Prayer Of The Weak

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Riddle

So my brother Blane tells me about this song, The Riddle, by Five For Fighting and how he's been totally diggin' it. I tell him to send me the video and so he sends me the link from CMT to watch. But, along with the link to the video, he sends the lyrics.

Wow. Very thoughtful. Very meaningful. I love it.

It's the kind of story/relationship that we long for with our fathers/parents. It's also what we fathers/parents long for with our sons/children. Here are the lyrics:

There was a man back in '95
Whose heart ran out of summers
But before he died, I asked him

Wait, what's the sense in life
Come over me, Come over me

He said,
Son why you got to sing that tune
Catch a Dylan song or some eclipse of the moon
Let an angel swing and make you swoon
Then you will see... You will see

Then he said,
Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I...

Picked up my kid from school today

Did you learn anything cause in the world today
You can't live in a castle far away
Now talk to me, come talk to me

He said,
Dad I'm big but we're smaller than small
In the scheme of things, well we're nothing at all
Still every mother's child sings a lonely song
So play with me, come play with me

And Hey Dad
Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I...

I said,
Son for all I've told you
When you get right down to the
Reason for the world...
Who am I?

There are secrets that we still have left to find
There have been mysteries from the beginning of time
There are answers we're not wise enough to see

He said... You looking for a clue I Love You free...

The batter swings and the summer flies
As I look into my angel's eyes
A song plays on while the moon is hiding over me
Something comes over me

I guess we're big and I guess we're small
If you think about it man you know we got it all
Cause we're all we got on this bouncing ball
And I love you free
I love you freely

Here's a riddle for you
Find the Answer
There's a reason for the world
You and I...

I love that line, "I love you free, I love you freely."

I'm loving my kids in such a way that they pursue, struggle with, share, and hopefully understand the riddle...Who am I? You and I.

So where are you at with that riddle? Are you pursuing to find the answer with reckless abandonment? Are you struggling with the answer you've come up with given your particular season of life? Are you sharing your insights with others that you are living life with? And are you gaining some understanding as you listen to that still small voice that whispers: I love you free, I love you freely. You and I.

Here's the link for all you You Tube peeps.

Thanks, Blane.

(I think I might have found a way to get the video on my blog...let's try this):

Music Video Codes by VideoCure

(I don't think it's working. argh.)

The Hunger Site

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