Saturday, June 28, 2008

Our Babies

Jess took some cute pictures of our they are...

Leo got a haircut. He looks so much better. He also smells a lot better!

This is the first time I've ever seen Belle lay on a pillow. Weird. She usually prefers to lay on blankets or plastic.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My apologies to the Reds

Just want to apologize to all Reds fans for the Jinks I passed their way by posting the previous blog. That's all.

My Thoughts on a Blockbuster Trade and other Sports Related Stuff You Probably Don't Care About

Ok, lets be honest...its not blockbuster. However, its huge for the Pacers. I LOVE O'neal and wish he would have worked out in Indy. But, he was part of that awful melee in Detroit with Artest and Jackson, which led to the eventual tumbling of this Eastern Conference powerhouse. He made way too much and left the Pacers with no cap room for 2009. Now, Bird can start the rebuilding process and hopefully start building around some young talent in Danny Granger and Dunleavy. The Pacers have historically picked well in the draft and hopefully tonight that trend will continue. I'm hoping they grab one of the big men in the draft to replace O'Neal. I like Hibbert, Lopez, and Koufos. It would be wise of them to grab a point guard at the 17th pick to back up Ford, who like O'Neal, has a history of injury problems. I'm a dork, but I'll probably watch the draft tonight...while flipping back to watch the best pitcher in the National League face the Blue Jays.

Speaking of Volquez. What a pitcher! When the Reds faced Boston, many thought he would crumble under pressure...nope...7IP 2ER and 9SO! So, his next start was against the red-hot Yankees...crumble?...nope...7IP 2ER and 5SO. With the exception of his first three games (Baker seeing what he could do), he has given the Reds 6 innings of quality pitching in EVERY START. He should get the nod at the all-star game to start or follow Webb.

Anyways, I'm taking a break this week from blogging about forgiveness to blog about sports. I hope to start a new book on the subject. I enjoyed reading Getting Rid of the Gorilla and hope that if you are looking to forgive someone you'll take some time to read it. I'm out...gotta get back to writing a new sermon series.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Indianapolis Baby Shower

Jeremy and I just got back from our baby shower in Indianapolis. We had a great time and his sister Shelley did a great job hosting it! Here are a few pics. This is Shelley preparing the riblets we had.
Jeremy had to put a diaper on a bear while blindfolded. He did pretty good except I think he put it on backwards!
We love our new diaper bag, thanks Shari!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And as promised.....

O.K. Here it is (Bethany and Mindy). This is me at 7 months.

Cincy Baby Shower

Sorry I haven't posted any pictures yet, I've been busy. Here are just a few shots of the shower in Cincinnati. This is so cute!
Amberlee made this cake herself. It was awesome - thanks Amberlee!
Hangin out
The last time we took a picture like this Mindy was pregnant with Allen. Now Allen is in the picture and I'm pregnant w/Eli! Crazy!
The shower was so much fun - thanks everybody that came, it was so great to see you. A special thank you to everybody that helped, you know who you are and I love you all very much!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Don't Buy American

Ok, maybe that's a little harsh...but Thursday our A/C Compressor Clutch when out in our Jeep. That's now three times we've had this thing in the shop since we bought it. (Including two days after we bought it when the 4X4 went out) My dinky little Zx2 only had one shop visit. Anyways, if you know anything about cars you know that the A/C Compressor controls the air conditioning. So, as several self-proclaimed mechanics have told me, "Just don't use the air conditioning!" Well, the clutch is off balance, which means we've got metal rubbing against metal even when the air is turned off. I can't drive it more then 8 miles before the smell of burning metal and smoke causes me to pull over and let it cool down. So, Tuesday I have to get the whole compressor replaced. I'll never buy a General Motors vehicle again. Sorry, all of you hard working Americans...maybe they should focus more on building a decent car instead of snazzy names and onstar capabilities.

Ok, I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent.

Jessica is back from her business trip/family trip. So, things hopefully will slow down enough for us to post some pics from our Cincy trip. We're looking forward to this weekend. My sister is throwing us a baby shower in Indianapolis. Hopefully, I'll see some of you there! I better get back to at you later...

UPDATE: I'm an idiot and just realized that Jeep is a Chrysler product. I still won't buy GM or Chrysler again for that matter!

Man in the Mirror

I've continued to read Getting Rid of the Gorilla by Brian Jones. What really spoke to me was his chapter on forgiving oneself. Guilt, Jones explains, has two faces. One face is God-inspired guilt that leads to repentance. The Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, which leads me back to God. The guilt I feel when I sin is the Holy Spirit poking me in the gut. I then go to God asking for forgiveness and He forgives.

However, for me there is always a guilt that follows this exchange. Jones calls this phantom guilt. "Man, I can't believe I did that." "Why do I do that?" These are the comments that immediately follow God's incredible forgiveness of my sin. I humbly ask God to forgive me and then proudly do not accept His forgiveness. Then for days or weeks I beat up on myself for failing.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this struggle. But, I believe that my journey towards forgiveness begins with looking in the mirror and forgiving myself. "Jeremy, let it go. God has forgiven you." These are the hardest words to say. But, releasing myself of past sins will help me to release others of their sins against me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Journey

Recently, I (Jeremy) have been involved in a pretty intense Bible Study. In this Bible Study, we've been studying about drawing our hearts closer to God. I've learned that everyone has wounds that go deep to the heart. Some have wounds that are small and some are big. Anyways, I've been asking God to reveal to me wounds in my heart that keep me from drawing close to Him. I believe that He's telling me that I have unforgiveness in my heart. Now, before you think I've gone crazy or having an emotional breakdown, remember that this is a blog and its hard to put into words this journey. I'm talking about the journey that God takes all of us on towards spiritual growth and maturity.

My journey starts with forgiveness. I decided to start reading a book on the subject and I came across a wonderful book by Brian Jones: Getting Rid of the Gorilla. If you have ever struggled with unforgiveness, this is a great read. Anyways, I'm going to post a few blogs here and there that will share with you some of the highlights of my journey towards forgiveness.

Two days ago, he opened by eyes towards a passage of scripture in which I've always struggled. Jesus says in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Jones also struggled with this passage and couldn't understand the meaning behind it. How could God really not forgive someone who doesn't forgive? I mean, I understand if you cut me off in traffic and I don't forgive, how this could apply. But, what about the father who's daughter was molested? What about wife who lost her husband to a drunk driver? How can we expect them to forgive?

Jones found some relief as he really dug into the Greek. Aphiemi is the Greek word here that as a verb is translated "to forgive." He found out that there are 142 instances in the New Testament. 45 of those instances the writer uses it to describe the sense of releasing something closely held or trapped. If you think about it, forgiveness is nothing more then releasing. If you owe me 5 bucks, I have the option to release (or forgive) you of that debt. Jesus Christ died to release or free us from the penalty of death. Now read that passage using the word "release."

I believe the reason God does not "forgive" us when we don't "forgive" others, is because until we release others, we ourselves are held captive by bitterness, rage, hate, and all other sorts of sins. Jesus is saying, release others so that you can be released as well. I'm working towards releasing people who have caused me pain in my life. Do you know someone who needs to be released as well? Ask God to reveal that person to you, so that you aren't held captive by your unforgiveness.

Sorry for the long post and horrible grammar. I'll do better next time and it'll be shorter...especially since I won't need to explain why I'm writing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ken Griffey Jr (and some other thoughts)

Kurt Snibbe at ESPN's Page 2 did a nice little cartoon that illustrates Junior's legacy. I was at birthing class and missed the home run. I had been watching (and listening) to as many games as possible to make sure I got to hear it. Oh well, being prepared to have a baby is really more important. (Seriously, no sarcasm.) Anyways...I'm happy for Griffey and glad he made it to such an elite club. In my opinion, Griffey should go down as the greatest player in my generation. He'll definately be mentioned among the greats: Ruth, Aaron, Robinson, and Williams. While Barry Bonds wrestles with the feds and Sosa remembers that he can speak English, Junior will quietly and unanimously walk into the hall of fame as a first balloter.

Jess is headed out of town today. Her employer is sending her to a conference on addictions in Morgantown, WV. She'll spend the weekend with her family in Beckley.

We just got back from Cincy. I was hoping to post some pics...but we haven't had a chance to sit down and upload them. Hopefully, we can get that chance here soon. Thanks to Sheryl and Bethany for planning the baby shower and for those who got us so many wonderful items. And also to Bob, Justin, and AJ who kicked my butt in golf. Seriously, I had fun. You all rock!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Some Random Thoughts

Jessica and I went to a friends house last night to play some Wii Olympics (fun times). They are a recently married couple and 8 months pregnant. She was at Starbucks last week and the lady at the counter actually said these words to her: "You're not going to have that thing here are you?" To make matters worse, she obviously thought she was making a joke and decided to go on and say things like: "So, are you having a boy or a girl?" "Have you picked out a name?" and stuff like that. Why do people get so weird around pregnant people?

Don't you hate it when you buy toilet paper from Sam's Club and then six months later you realize that you don't have an endless supply like you thought you did when you bought the 1000 roll pack from Sam's Club? It's so deceiving!

We are watching a friends dog this week. Cosmo. Cosmo is a black lab/pointer mix. She's a wonderful dog as long as no one comes over. She's very quiet and nice. However, as soon as someone comes over she becomes ultra-hyper like a pomeranium or chihuahua. Belle hasn't come out of hiding much. I don't think we can scar her anymore then she's already scarred. She is the spawn of satan you know...

I'm waiting for the bug guy to come by the Church. I told him I think I found some roaches. He looked around and didn't see any indication that I had seen any roaches. Then he proceeded to explain what kind of bug I probably saw. So, I killed some roaches last week and bagged them up. They've been sitting in my office. Hopefully, no one thinks I'm weird. But, he has to be shown the error of his ways, even if this costs me my job because visitors visited our Church only to find the minister had a bag of roaches sitting on his desk. Anyways, that concludes Jeremy's random thoughts for the day.