First of all, I got a new car yesterday. I'll post about that tomorrow with pictures and story. Thank you for your prayers!

Last night at our High School 2W2 - Second Wednesday Worship - we spent the night reflecting on the suffering of Jesus. Good Friday is tomorrow, the day that Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross to give God glory and to pay for our rebellious ways.

We watched part of The Passion of the Christ, read scripture, and sang songs that reminded us of the suffering He endured for us.

After remebering and thanking Him for His suffering, we spent time seeking forgiveness, while listening to "Mighty is the Power of the Cross" by Chris Tomlin. Beautiful words. Our group then came together as a community to take communion, remembering His sacrifice again.

Then we looked at 1 Peter 3, where we are told to not worry if suffering comes to us, but to keep on doing good. We asked the question: What good could you begin doing that might result in suffering? If you're like me, sometimes we stay away from doing the good or right thing because of the suffering, ridicule, or pain it may cause.

I don't like suffering. Jesus doesn't call us seek suffering, but to not stop doing good because of suffering. He does, however, call us to die daily to ourselves...hmm...maybe He does call us to suffer.

It was a wonderful time...refreshing. It helped me take my eyes off myself and remember that it is all about Him.

I hope you have a great Easter, and remember why we celebrate!


CSI: Portland

First of all, I am okay, I thank God that I am alive and walking around!

On the way to Fred Meyer to buy toilet paper and ice cream after youth group on Wednesday night, I was in an accident. A not so good accident...a head on collision. It went something like this: (Scroll below for pictures)

I was driving in the left lane heading North and there was a guy behind me in the right lane. There was a car heading South in her left lane. She had her left-turn light on and begun to turn left into my lane. I was going 35-40 and realized that she wasn't slowing down or turning away so I slammed on my brakes.

All I remember was seeing that we were going to hit, and hit hard...then I'm rolling forward and my ears are ringing. I see that I'm rolling slowly toward the curb now so I hit my brakes again and stop.

I look around. I'm starting to hear okay again. Something smells really bad. What is that? Woah! Is that my air bag?! Check my teeth, my face...hmm my nose is bleeding a little. Arms? Yeah they move, legs? Yup, them too. Okay. Thank you God that I am alive and don't seem to be too hurt!

I look around and see the gal's car now turned 180 degrees toward the North. I better get out I think. I walk over to their car. She and her passenger are moving around and look alive.

When they hit me, they shoved my car into the right lane and I hit the guy who was behind me and to the right. He also seems to be moving around just fine.

So I go back to the gal's car and ask if they are okay. They don't really say much but look hurt. I call 911 and within 40 seconds, there was a police officer there. The ambulance came next.

I called Alison and told her I was okay, but had been in an accident. She asked where and I told her just to keep can't miss an ambulance and 3 police cars.

After we were all checked out I walked the crime scene. I looked at the skid marks, thinking about CSI and how they would investigate. You can clearly see my straight skid marks in my lane suddenly jetting off at a 45 degree angle at the point of impact.

Then I noticed somebody's windshield laying on the street. No way! Somebody's windshield popped out?! I walked back to my car and realized it was mine as I put my hand through where it used to be!

So two days later, I still have a sore neck and nose from where the airbag hit me. And now I'm looking for a new car. The other driver's insurance company claimed responsibility so there has been no hassle in dealing with them. In fact, if I ever leave Country Insurance, I'll take a look at Progressive.

It was just a car. But it's no fun having to shop around again. I am most thankful that I am alive.
One final note, I realized how much of a blogging nerd I am with this accident. Here was the order of events:

Crash, Thank God I was alive, get out and check on other people, call 911, call Alison, think about how to get a camera to post the scene on my blog....

These were taken the next day at the towing yard.

The Front End

Safety Equipment is Good

My new "See-through" hood

Side View

Probably not going to work real soon

My removable windshield


Quote 'O Matic

Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television. --Woody Allen

Full circle

I drove up the long winding road on Mt. Sylvan to the PCC (Portland Community College) Bookstore today to purchase a couple books for an online course in reading drama. It would have been music theory if they would offer it online, but...oh well. I can learn that on my own.

It was just a short 8 1/2 years ago ;) that my Dad and I drove up to PCC for the orientation to college. (And yes Chris, I know some people that go to school for so long are called doctors.) 8 1/2 years, 3 schools, a change of majors, failed classes, a marriage, 4 moving days (turned into weeks), 2 jobs, and much learned later...I return. I return to finish up a series in literature. English 104, 105, and 106: Fiction, drama and poetry. Fiction was full, so I chose drama.

I can say that I would make better choices when it came to going to class or not, and putting forth my best work, but I am still pleased at where I am now. I have a wonderful wife, a great job where I humbly get to try to help people follow the direction of Jesus.

I still have a lot to learn, but look forward to ending the vast monetary spending for education. (But no, I do not look forward to paying back that money!)


McCarthyism and Mammals

Alison and I watched Good Night and Good Luck this weekend. It is the film set in the mid 50's around the time when McCarthyism was dominate and - according to the movie and the "DVD extra interviews" - people lived in fear of voicing their opinion on Communism. It seemed to be a pretty scary time, where people could be brought to trial without the evidence being seen by the jury, and yet be convicted. Those who stood up to the method of uprooting Communism were called Communists themselves!

My favorite part of the movie came in a news broadcast by Edward R. Murrow on March 9, 1953 where he said some profound things that have impact for today.

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one... We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

I suppose I especially like his line about not confusing dissent with disloyalty. It is an important concept not only for America, but even moving forward with unity in the church.

On a lighter note...I've been enjoying squirrel watching recently. Our cat is...well...large. Our vet recommended a new diet food, and a bird feeder outside to keep her mind active. Well the birds come, and so do the squirrels.

Each day, kitty and I sit at the back window and watch the squirrel come and eat the sunflower seeds off the deck. We'll sit there with our noses against the window and the squirrel will watch us right back, standing on its back legs. It's quite fun!


Trench it or Play it

In the spirit of The Amazing Race "detour", I chose the title of my blog to reflect my day yesterday. Although it wasn't an either/or choice, I got to do both.

In trench it, Justin, my friend, has a clogged sewer line from roots growing within. Bummer. Instead of shelling out a couple of grand, he decided to shovel out a trench himself, ranging from about 2 1/2 feet by the house down to 3 1/2 by the street. Fortunately for us, the ground is saturated with water from this past month, so the chunks of dirt came out quite nicely.

I must give my upmost appreciation to all the trench diggers that dig and dig every day for 8 hours straight. I went 2 1/2 hours with an hour break in the middle and I am sore all over the place today.

In play it, Justin also purchased a used Taylor 314 guitar that is in great condition. We spent time playing a few songs. What a nice guitar. What a nice time.