12.31.2006

New Year's Eve

We worshiped at 4th Baptist this morning and Pastor McLachlan's message was on Philippians 1:27-30


Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.


I talked with Nancy C after church and she said "Maybe this is the year that Christ will come!". I think that if I thought about this potentiality - the imminence of Christ's return - that it would motivate me to live a life "worthy of the gospel of Christ"

Pastor mentioned the occurrences of "the gospel" in Philippians. Here at the 9 occurrences in Philippians!

What we are doing for New Year's Eve:


  1. We are entertaining Roger and Kathy for dinner
  2. Kathee is making stuffed pork chops, red potatoes, squash, green beans.
  3. It is snowy tonight ... I think we have received about an inch so far


Happy New Year!

Hodge on Mysticism

[Mysticism] differs from the Doctrine of the "Leading of the Spirit."

Neither is Mysticism to be confounded with the doctrine of spiritual
guidance. Evangelical Christians admit that the children of God are
led by the Spirit of God; that their convictions as to truth and duty,
their inward character and outward conduct, are moulded by his
influence. They are children unable to guide themselves, who are led
by an ever-present Father of infinite wisdom and love. This guidance
is partly providential, ordering their external circumstances; partly
through the Word, which is a lamp to their feet; and partly by the
inward influence of the Spirit on the mind. This last, however, is
also through the Word, making it intelligible and effectual; bringing
it suitably to remembrance. God leads his people by the cords of a
man, i.e., in accordance with the laws of his nature. This is very
different from the doctrine that the soul, by yielding itself
passively to God, is filled with all truth and goodness; or, that in
special emergencies it is controlled by blind, irrational impulses. (v 1 p 68)

12.29.2006

Moses' Objections


  1. Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh? (Exodus 3:11)
  2. (When) they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them? (Exodus 3:13)
  3. But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’? (Exodus 4:1)
  4. Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)


Comments: These are essentially the same objections that most Christians have today:


  1. Who am I?
  2. What shall I say?
  3. What if they won't listen?
  4. I'm not much of a speaker!


There is no higher privilege than being a spokesman for God and every Christian has been so called (Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations"). Its easy to question God with our doubt, but it is better to obey with a confidence that He is with us (Matthew 28:20, "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age").





  1. We had lunch with Barb and Scott M in Woodbury. We had a great time with them and their three daughters.
  2. I paid all bills and balanced the checkbook (starting the year out right!)
  3. Roger is on his way to Babbitt MN to spend the weekend at a friend's cabin
  4. We tried something new (at our friends' house) ... raspberry jam with chili pepper. We bought a jar today at Byerly’s: Robert Rothschild Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves

12.28.2006

Our 32nd Anniversary




Kathee and I were married 32 years ago today in Temple Terrace, Florida.

Kathee was 23 and I was 25.

We honeymooned in Florida. We spent the first night of our marriage at The Don Cesar.

For one week we toured Florida (in my 1973 Satellite Sebring) visiting:



  1. Sea World
  2. Cypress Gardens
  3. Bok Tower
  4. Cape Kennedy
  5. Saint Augustine
  6. Tallahassee, Florida


I had an Egg McMuffin for the first time in my life (as I recall we ate at McDonald's for more than one breakfast on our honeymoon!

Subsequent nights of our honeymoon, we stayed at "Day's Inn" (which at that time was $ 8.88 per night)

Today:

  1. Kathee was at the office until 11
  2. We met Dave and Colleen for lunch at the Crossroads Deli
  3. We took a brief drive and visited the sites of two of the earlier 4th Baptist's locations: 18th and Dupont (now a vacant lot) and 21st and Fremont






  1. We commenced Exodus tonight ... reading chapters 1 & 2
  2. MacArthur had an interesting comment on Genesis 50:26, "Exodus picked up the historical narrative, after a 280 year, ca. 1525 B.C. with the birth of Moses" (death of Joseph @ 1804 B.C.)
  3. I bought Kathee Foundations of the Christian Faith (James Montgomery Boice) for Christmas. Boice wrote in the late 70's and it was published by Inter Varsity in four paperback volumes. Now it is published as one volume.
  4. I read a couple of chapters (they are short) tonight.
  5. Here's a good quote: "In the Bible alone we learn of God's redemption of sinners in Christ; through the Bible the Spirit speaks to individuals. Therefore, as Calvin says, 'Our wisdom ought to be nothing else to embrace with humble teachableness, and at least without finding fault, whatever is taught in sacred Scripture.'" (p. 38)

12.27.2006

Star Tribune sold

This is one of the two papers we receive - the other being the USA Today.

What I like about the Star Tribune:


  1. The local news (it's my only choice! We do receive the weekly "Sun Sailer" with news of Plymouth ... but this paper is not much. The Pioneer Press is not available for home delivery in the West suburbs so it is not an option)
  2. The business section (because it has local business news that I would not get elsewhere!)


What I don't like about the Star Tribune:

  1. The editorial policy which is predictably left leaning
  2. The constant opposition to anything conservative or Republican
  3. It is expensive (no competition for the local news)
  4. Our delivery person is not reliable (sometimes the paper is wrapped in plastic ... other times when the weather is obviously inclement, the paper is not wrapped and is wet. Sometimes he just does not deliver at all!)


Now you know how I feel about the paper. Today's news tells the business value of it!

The Star Tribune was purchased 8 years ago fo $ 1.2 billion and yesterday it was sold for $ 530 million (a loss of $ 670 million! Perhaps if the new management could fix the things I don't like, it will increase in value!

Goldman Sachs Says 'Star Tribune' Sale a Troubling Signal for Industry

Private group buys Star Tribune




  1. Our lunch with Dave and Colleen fell through and we are going to meet them tomorrow instead.
  2. I read on and off: Hodge, Jimmy Carter Our Endangered Values, and Robert Spencer Islam and the Crusades
  3. Nathan came for dinner
  4. We finished Genesis tonight

Hodge - reading: 12/27/2006

On Rationalism
(For a current article on rationalism see the "virgin birth" post today!)


Rationalism assumes that the human intelligence is the measure of all truth. This is an insane presumption on the part of such a creature as man. If a child believes with implicit confidence what it cannot understand, on the testimony of a parent, surely man may believe what he cannot understand, on the testimony of God. (v 1 p. 41)



Men are prone to pronounce everything impossible which contradicts their settled convictions, their preconceptions or prejudices, or which is repugnant to their feelings (v 1 p. 51)



On the Scriptures:



the Bible ... teaches that a man must become a fool in order to be wise; he must renounce dependence upon his own reason or wisdom, in order to receive the wisdom of God. (v 1 p. 48)



The several books of which the Scriptures are composed were written by some fifty different authors living in the course of fifteen hundred years and yet they are found to be an organic whole, the product of one mind. They are as clearly a development as the oak from the acorn. The gospels and epistles are but the expansion, fulfilment, the culmination of the protevangelium, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpents head," as uttered to our first parents (Gen. iii. 15). All that intervenes is to the New Testament what the roots, stem, branches, and foliage of the tree are to the fruit. No one book of Scripture can be understood by itself, any more than any one part of a tree or member of the body can be understood without reference to the whole of which it is a part. Those who from want of attention do not perceive this organic relation of the different parts of the Bible, cannot appreciate the argument thence derived in favor of its divine origin. They who do perceive it, cannot resist it. (v 1 p 38)

For me, I know that I finite and a sinner. It seems presumptuous for a finite sinner to think that he can comprehend (rationalism) God without Divine revelation. The basic questions of life cannot be answered without revelation: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What will be my eternal destiny? How must I be saved?

On "the Leading of the Spirit":



Evangelical Christians admit that the children of God are led by the Spirit of God; that their convictions as to truth and duty, their inward character and outward conduct, are moulded by his influence. They are children unable to guide themselves, who are led by an ever-present Father of infinite wisdom and love. This guidance is partly providential, ordering their external circumstances; partly through the Word, which is a lamp to their feet; and partly by the inward influence of the Spirit on the mind. This last, however, is also through the Word, making it intelligible and effectual; bringing it suitably to remembrance. (1, 68)

Thoughts on Hodge: It is not easy reading. I have off this week and so it is relatively easy to read him (I have the time and my mind is fresh in the morning). When work commences next year, I may not be able to keep up the pace (frankly the old brain is a little tired by the time I get home from work!)

Liberal Theology and the Virgin Birth

Be sure to read this! Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth?

excerpts:

In summarizing his argument, Luedemann states: "The tomb was full and the manger empty." That is to say, Luedemann believes that Jesus was not born of a virgin and that He was not raised from the dead.


Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. The virgin birth does not stand alone as a biblical doctrine, it is an irreducible part of the biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.


Can a true Christian deny the virgin birth? The answer to that question must be a decisive No. Those who deny the virgin birth reject the authority of Scripture, deny the supernatural birth of the Savior, undermine the very foundations of the Gospel, and have no way of explaining the deity of Christ. Anyone who claims that the virgin birth can be discarded even as the deity of Christ is affirmed is either intellectually dishonest or theological incompetent.

12.26.2006

Copper Sole™ sport socks




Company claims copper clothes, fabrics heal

I've ordered 7 pair of these and am going to try them for a year! Read the full article on MSNBC above and then check out the company website below:

Cupron

Copper Sole™ sport socks, in addition to the extra cushioning for added comfort, use a breakthrough Cupron, copper containing yarn technology knit into the sole of each sock. The copper ions create a natural zone of protection that safely and naturally eliminates 99.9% of the growth of bacteria and fungi that attack sock materials and cause odor for the life of the sock.

Hodge - reading: 12/26/2006

Man was made in the image of God, and he reveals his parentage as unmistakably as any class of inferior animals reveal the source from which they sprung. If a horse is born of a horse, the immortal spirit of man, instinct with its moral and religious convictions and aspirations, must be the offspring of the Father of Spirits. This is the argument which Paul on Mars' Hill addressed to the cavilling philosophers of Athens. (v I. p 22)

With Protestants, the Bible is the only infallible source of knowledge of divine things. (v I. p 33)

A history of U.S. support for Israel

Good article on a history of American views of the Jews return to Palestine

Identifying with the Jews, a great many colonists endorsed the notion of restoring Palestine to Jewish control. Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress, predicted that the Jews, "however scattered . . . are to be recovered by the mighty power of God, and restored to their beloved . . . Palestine." John Adams imagined "a hundred thousand Israelites" marching triumphantly into Palestine. "I really wish the Jews in Judea an independent nation," he wrote. During the Revolution, the association between America's struggle for independence and the Jews' struggle for repatriation was illustrated by the proposed Great Seal designed by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, showing Moses leading the Children of Israel toward the Holy Land.

Full article

Interesting quotes:


  1. Generations of Christians in this country ... have embraced the concept of renewed Jewish sovereignty in Palestine.
  2. Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress, predicted that the Jews, "however scattered . . . are to be recovered by the mighty power of God, and restored to their beloved . . . Palestine."
  3. John Adams imagined "a hundred thousand Israelites" marching triumphantly into Palestine. "I really wish the Jews in Judea an independent nation," he wrote.
  4. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln said that "restoring the Jews to their homeland is a noble dream shared by many Americans," and that the U.S. could work to realize that goal once the Union prevailed.
  5. The Blackstone Memorial (1891), as it was called, urged the president to convene an international conference to discuss ways of reviving Jewish dominion in Palestine. Among the memorial's 400 signatories were some of America's most preeminent figures, including John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, Charles Scribner and William McKinley.
  6. Though his closest counselors warned him against endorsing the move, Woodrow Wilson, the son and grandson of Presbyterian preachers, rejected their advice. "To think that I the son of the manse [parsonage] should be able to help restore the Holy Land to its people," he explained.
  7. Truman listened carefully to these warnings and then, at 6:11 on the evening of May 14, he announced that the U.S. would be the first nation to recognize the newly declared State of Israel. While the decision may have stemmed in part from domestic political considerations, it is difficult to conceive that any politician, much less one of Truman's character, would have risked global catastrophe by recognizing a frail and miniscule country. More likely, the dramatic démarche reflected Truman's religious background and his commitment to the restorationist creed. Introduced a few weeks later to an American Jewish delegation as the president who had helped create Israel, Truman took umbrage and snapped, "What you mean 'helped create'? I am Cyrus"--a reference to the Persian king who returned the Jews from exile--"I am Cyrus!"


Biography of William Eugene Blackstone

12.25.2006

Charles Hodge - Systematic Theology



Theology is concerned with the facts and the principles of the Bible

My dear Mother gifted me with Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology (3 volumes)

"Charles Hodge (1797-1878) was the principal of Princeton Theological Seminary between 1851 and 1878. He was one of the greatest exponents and defenders of historical Calvinism in America during the 19th century."

In 2007, I am going to endeavor to read it in it's entirity.

From the first chapter:

The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the man of science. It is his store-house of facts; and his method of ascertaining what the Bible teaches, is the same as that which the natural philosopher adopts to ascertain what nature teaches.

the duty of the Christian theologian is to ascertain, collect, and combine all the facts which God has revealed concerning himself and our relation to Him. These facts are all in the Bible.

Christmas 2006


  1. Kathee had a nice breakfast for the family at 9:00
  2. We opened presents until about 11 and then just generally goofed off.
  3. We played a board game - Apples and Apples - twice as a family (the 2nd time after my Brother arrived) and had fun with that.
  4. Kathee made a standing rib roast for dinner. This is the 2nd time she has done this and it is spectacular.
  5. It is quiet at the house now and Kathee and I are relaxing

the Story Behind December 25

Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.

Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.

Full article is here: Calculating Christmas

It does not seem important to fix a date of Christ's birth, but it is important to celebrate His birth. And December 25th is good enough for me for this annualized celebration.

Second Life .. Get a Life

There was an article (that I cannot find on-line) in the print edition of the Star Tribune yesterday about "Second Life".

What is Second Life: It is a virtual world where you create your own identity and your own, well, second life. (As if the first is not complex enough).

Here's some links:


  1. Wiki: Second Life
  2. A Second Life? Thanks . . . but I'm busy with my first one
  3. SecondLife.com


I suggest to anyone with this much time (and imagination & energy) to waste: go out and find someone who needs some help in life (a widow, an orphan, a needy family) and expend your time, energy, and money giving them a "real life"

Even more bizarre: Virtual property rights




My "haven't had breakfast yet" Christmas message!

Ken Field's Christmas Message

Excerpt:

So what makes this birth so historically significant and unique? So unique in fact that we gather to worship Him on Christmas Eve some 2,000 years later? The Apostle John reveals the reasons Christ’s birth was so distinctively unique in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


In Bethlehem’s borrowed stable, God took on human flesh … and dwelt among us. This is what we call the incarnation. Jesus is God with skin on (fully God and fully man, two natures in one being). And in becoming man, and enduring the same temptations and suffering we face … and doing so without sin – He is qualified to be the sacrifice for our sins … the just for the unjust … that He might bring us to God. God came to sinners so that sinners could come to Him.


In Bethlehem’s borrowed stable, God unveiled His glory so that we could understand what He is like. When Mary looked into the eyes of her newborn son, she was looking into the eyes of the eternal God. Through the life and death of Jesus, God would reveal His glory to mankind. A glory only the Son of God could reveal through His supernatural miracles, His sacrificial death, and His sin-defeating resurrection.

12.24.2006

Vista flaws

This in the New York Times

"computer security researchers and hackers have begun to find potentially serious flaws in the system that was released to corporate customers late last month"

Flaws Are Detected in Microsoft’s Vista

This is of interest to me because I am the release manager for 57,000 workstations and we hope to have 15,000 on Vista by mid year.

Thinking of a new PC?


  1. If your preference is Windows, you should be safe with Vista. But be prepared to have enough hardware to support Vista: 2 gigabytes of real memory, dual-core processor, 128 MB video adapter.
  2. Consider MAC OS-X (which is UNIX based and is very solid
  3. Consider hanging on to older hardware and installing LINUX such as Ubuntu.

Christmas Eve

We were at 4th Baptist for worship this morning. Pastor McLachlan's message was from Matthew 1:18-25. Here was his outline:


  1. The Miracle of Christ's Birth - there are two inexplicable realities:

    1. His birth was prophetically announced (22,23)
    2. His birth was supernaturally achieved (18-20)

  2. The Mission of Christ's Birth - there are two redemptive purposes

    1. To become the Son of Man - "she shall bring forth a Son"
    2. To become the Savior of Mankind - "call His name Jesus"


Our house is full of activity. Kathee is preparing lasagna for after church tonight, setting the table, making dessert, etc. Rachel is wrapping presents. Roger (from the smells from the kitchen) is making an omlette.

Tonight we intend to worship at 4th at 5:00. Roger and Kathy are joining us and then we will have dinner afterwards.

Kathee and I have been discussing "The Nativity Story" last night and today. It really ministered to us - although (as does any movie) it had its flaws.

Aramaic in the Twin Cities

I found this article interesting:

"The Rev. Rodrigue Constantin belongs to a rare group of Minnesotans who can carry on a conversation in Aramaic, the language believed to have been spoken by Jesus 2,000 years ago."

Full Article

See also:


  1. Aramaic language
  2. Aramaic alphabet
  3. Learn Aramaic

12.23.2006

The Nativity Story

Kathee and I are going to see The Nativity Story this afternoon at 3 with my Brother and his wife.

Lunds today:


  1. The place was packed. The parking lot was completely full. I estimate that there was 4 times the customers as normal
  2. It was so crowded that I had a hard time navigating (I walk with 2 crutches), so I went to the loft area and waited for Kathee to finish
  3. There was a small combo band playing holiday music: a guy with a small drum set, a guitarist, and horn player. Interesting thing is that, while pleasant, was all secular: "White Christmas", "Jingle Bells", etc.


Holiday memories:

  1. Favorite presents: train set when I was about 10, and an English bicyle when I was about 13.
  2. Saddest Christmas: the year Dawn Wallace died out in Anaheim California just before Christmas. I flew to Oakland (from Denver) on Christmas day to perform her funeral on 12/26. As I recall she was 21 or 22.
  3. Worst Christmas: When Roger was in Iraq (USMC) 2 years ago. Oh how I ached for my son!
  4. Snowiest: In 1987 (my Mom, Dad, Roger, and his first wife were with us in Denver), we had 27" of snow. That was the year I was hospitalized for 11 weeks and had just been out of the hospital for a month
  5. Coldest: A couple a years ago it was -17 degrees here in Plymouth.
  6. First Christmas after I was saved: 1969. It was special ... the Christmas story finally was real to me!


Back from "The Nativity Story".

  1. It was very good and was "moving". What I appreciated about it:
  2. The human drama of a young woman with child ... trying to explain to her parents and Joseph that she had broken no vow
  3. The angelic appearances and vision (to Joseph) handled nicely
  4. Herod shown as a very wicked and sly man
  5. The scenery (although not filmed in Jerusalem
  6. The obedience and faith of Joseph nicely portrayed.


Kathee is making "white chili" (white beans and chicken) ... one of Rachel's favorites. All kids will be here for dinner.

My Son's Lincoln ... er Mazda



Here's the article: Lincoln MKZ / Mazda6

"The Lincoln MKZ is the luxury version of the Ford Fusion which, in turn, borrows much of its engineering from the Mazda6 sedan"

Extremophiles

New word of the day ... in this article:

Shotgun sequencing finds nanoorganisms

Banfield has been trying to understand how the extremophiles - microbes that live in extreme environments - live together and generate the acid drainage that makes such mines toxic hazards. The green runoff from the mine, captured and treated by the Environmental Protection Agency, is a hot 108 degrees Fahrenheit, as acidic as battery acid, and loaded with toxic metals - zinc, iron, copper and arsenic.

I'm not much of a scientist, but if I understand this concept - my Brother's Chevy Vega was crawling with extremophiles (based on how fast it turned to rust!)

12.22.2006

Christmas break

Kathee and I worked from home today.


  1. I think we need a new router. Ours really bogs down and I end up rebooting it a couple times a day. Maybe in January.
  2. I put my "out of office" announcement on my email and am out until Tuesday January 2nd. I am not going to worry about work!
  3. Sadly while Kathee has off all next week she has to write 11 reviews and needs to go into work briefly on the 28th.
  4. Kathee and I continued in Genesis tonight: Genesis 43 & 44



The second Person of the Triune God added a human nature to His divine nature a little more than 2,000 years ago! This stupendous and miraculous event was revealed to God’s people from the beginning of the world ...

12.21.2006

Middle Eastern History


I am firmly convinced of the following:


  1. God has a plan for the nation of Israel
  2. God promised land to the nation of Israel
  3. God is sovereign and will work out His plan for His people in His perfect timing
  4. The 2nd coming of Christ and the national redemption of Israel are future realites.


For an ancient history of Israel, a study of the Old Testament is required.

For a history of the region in the 20th century, these topics are essential:

Sykes-Picot Agreement

Balfour Declaration of 1917

Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire

Treaty of Sèvres

British Mandate of Palestine




Romans 11:20, "And so all Israel will be saved"

Revelation 1:7, "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen"

the Down-Grade Controversy

I found this on the Internet and it is a good read:

Spurgeon and the Down-Grade Controversy

"The first step astray is a want of adequate faith in the divine inspiration of the sacred Scriptures. All the while a man bows to the authority of God's Word, he will not entertain any sentiment contrary to its teaching. "To the law and to the testimony," is his appeal concerning every doctrine. He esteems that holy Book, concerning all things, to be right, and therefore he hates every false way. But let a man question, or entertain low views of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and he is without chart to guide him, and without anchor to hold him."

This brief article is a good resource: Socinianism

"Socinians held skeptical views rooted in reason and rejected orthodox teachings on the Trinity and on the divinity of Jesus, as summarised in the Racovian Catechism. They also believed that God's omniscience was limited to what was a necessary truth in the future (what would definitely happen), and did not apply to what was a contingent truth (what might happen). They believed that, if God knew every possible future, human free will was impossible; and as such rejected the "hard" view of omniscience"

This sounds to me a lot like the "open view of God" that is becoming popular!

Finally: SNOW!

Star Tribune: "A picturesque snowfall that arrived on the first day of winter in the metro area has the potential for a snow-globe slowdown to the afternoon rush hour."

Snow, winter arrive in time for afternoon rush hour

We left downtown at 2 as Kathee had a Doctor's appointment in Plymouth at 2:45. It took us at least 15 minutes to get to the entrance to 394 and another 45 minutes to get to Plymouth. We stopped at Chili's for dinner as Kathee's prescription was not ready at Walgreens when we arrived there. We were finally home at just after 5. I plowed Mrs Finke's driveway and ours. It was the first time I have had my John Deere out this Winter.

Both Kathee and I brought our laptops home and will work from home tomorrow. Our company policy requires that the security fob for the VPN (virtual private network) be utilized every 90 days or it is discontinued. Kathee regularly (almost every night) connects her laptop to work, but for me the last time was October 27th. I received the warning message yesterday to "use it or lose it" (the security fob). So I will connect tomorrow and work from home.

I had lunch with Mike M today and that was nice. Mike is a full time Cold Fusion programmer. For me I just dabble in Cold Fusion.

Work:

  1. Tomorrow is my last day of work for 2006!
  2. I left work today with just 1 email in my inbox. (Kathee has over 1,000 - this is one of her projects next week - to clean out her mail)
  3. Kathee received another gift package from work ... from her direct manager, Jim O.


Scripture:

We read Genesis 41 and 42 tonight. There are so many principles about "grace under fire" and God's sovereignty from the life of Joseph and we love this section of Scripture.

Here's one thought: Genesis 41:1 "Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream ..." Here you have just one phrase .. "two full years". Joseph is languishing in prison. He must have wondered: "Why? Where is God? What is the purpose of this? How will God be glorified by this? Has God forgotten me?" I've felt that way and I'm sure most have! But God is sovereign! He has a plan!

Genesis 41:46 "Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt ... " and 50-52 "And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” ". This was 13 years after he was sold into slavery by his brothers! He is somehow stronger and more confident in the Lord despite living alone among pagans for all of his adult life! There's some lessons here!

Kathee loves this section of Scripture (the seven fat years followed by the seven lean years) and often uses this section to teach the need to be prepared and to eschew presumptiveness about the future.

currentchristian.com

The latest "must visit" Christian site! currentchristian.com. I added this site to my links navigation section.

The editor and author is Greg Linscott. From the site: CurrentChristian.com is a roundup of news stories, commentary, and assorted links of note. Greg Linscott is the owner/publisher of the blog and serves as the primary contributor. Greg is a husband, father, and Fundamentalist Baptist pastor.

Other Greg Linscott websites:

http://greglinscott.wordpress.com/

http://www.fbcskowhegan.org/wordpress/

12.20.2006

Fourth Baptist - 125th anniversary

We went out to 4th tonight for our 125th anniversary


  1. Dr Straub presented information on one of 4th's first missionaries
  2. They opened the 1981 time capsule
  3. There was a piano quartet
  4. Pastor presented commissioning documents to Doug Roman
  5. Pastor gave a brief message on Romans 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”"


They had a dessert fellowship afterwards, but we were tired and skipped that.

Rachel is feeling better and intends to go back to work tomorrow.

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux


From the Star Tribune today:

"Historians using survey technology and supporting documents have rediscovered a Minnesota River ford near St. Peter that was used for centuries by Dakota Indians and white settlers." (full article below)

Historians rediscover ancient Minnesota River ford

Wiki: Treaty of Traverse des Sioux

TEXT: TREATY WITH THE SIOUX—SISSETON AND WAHPETON BANDS, 1851

The Dakota Indians called this place Oiyuwege, meaning "the place of crossing." French explorers called it Traverse des Sioux, or "crossing place of the Sioux."

Handover - It's a start!



I thought I would never see the day when we (US Troops) exited Viet Nam. And I have a little of the same feeling with Iraq.

The above picture seems a little crude (eating a live rabbit) but as some would say - "its cultural".

Here's the story: "Iraqi soldiers bit the heads off frogs and ate the heart of a rabbit as signs of courage on Wednesday at a ceremony to transfer Najaf province, home to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines, from U.S. to Iraqi control."

Iraqi soldiers eat frogs, rabbit at handover ceremony

U.S. Hands Najaf Province Over to Iraqi Forces


The lesson for the U.S. - "its harder leaving that it is entering". I hope this lesson is learned before our next war.

12.19.2006

Fleeing sin (Genesis 39)


  1. The temptation: And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” (vs 7)
  2. The refusal: But he refused (vs 8)
  3. The reasons:

    1. Disappoint his master: he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife (vss. 8-9)
    2. Disapproval of God: How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (vs 9)

  4. Persistence: So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her (vs. 10) (she persistently tried to seduce him ... he persistently refused!)
  5. The trap: when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” (vss 11-12)
  6. The escape: he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside (vs. 12)


New Testament perspective:

  1. 2 Timothy 2:22, "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness"
  2. James 4:7, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
  3. 1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
  4. 2 Timothy 3:12, "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution"


Comments: Seldom a month passes without news of some pastoral indiscretion. Christians are called to live a distinctive lifestyle that brings honor to our Savior . Sexual sin damages marriages, children, churches, and communities. We need to follow the pattern of Joseph who fled sin to honor his God!




  1. Quiet, non-productive day at work!
  2. Rachel home with the stomach flu. Kathee and I hoping to avoid!
  3. News that a friend of ours (Marilyn W.) has ovarian cancer. She is a Pastor's wife.
  4. Kathee received a large holiday gift basket from her big boss at the house today
  5. The QA group had a holiday party at work today and I poached three cookies from them.
  6. Kathee and I read Genesis 39 & 40 tonight

Retirement planning calculators

Not that I'm thinking of it (ha!) but sooner or later one is going to be "worn out" and ready to ditch the corporate life for something more fulfilling.

My wife would like to be a bee-keeper (really!). I don't think that is going to work out in Plymouth, but we may move someday.

Meanwhile, here are three retirement planning calculators:


  1. CNN: Money
  2. Fidelity Investments
  3. American Century


This much I know:

  1. While my Dad worked for 40 years for A.T.&T. and had a full pension ...
  2. Those days are gone! (for most of us). We live in a post-defined-pension world! We also live in a post-my-company-will-take-care-of-my-health-care-costs world (when I worked for IBM ... we paid nothing for health care. The company paid it all!
  3. It's best not to rely upon the government (or one's children)
  4. I used to think I would Pastor a church until I died (sounds naive to me now!) but that was my plan.

Time's non-person of the year




I thought that Time could have done a better job with "Person of the Year" (POTY).

The "Great Man" theory of history is usually attributed to the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, who wrote that "the history of the world is but the biography of great men." He believed that it is the few, the powerful and the famous who shape our collective destiny as a species. (From Time: Person of the Year: You)

Here's a history of this designation.

I think that Pat Buchanan has something in suggesting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have been a more appropriate choice. Here's why Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should be "center stage" for anyone who follows world events and why he would have been a better POTY selection:


  1. He is a "Hitlerite". Threatening Israel with another Holocaust
  2. Israel is the "apple of God's eye" (Zechariah 2:8, "For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.")
  3. Ahmadinejad quotes:

    1. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
    2. "Remove Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations."
    3. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of a war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land. As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."
    4. "If the West does not support Israel, this regime will be toppled. As it has lost its raison d' tre, Israel will be annihilated."
    5. "Israel is a tyrannical regime that will one day will be destroyed."
    6. "Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm."
    7. "Today, it is the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime which are doomed to disappear as they have moved far away from the teachings of God" (Ahmadinejad: Britain, Israel, US to 'vanish like the pharaohs')



Mahmoud Ahmadinejad moved onto the world's stage just a few short years ago, and I'm afraid he will be a major character on that stage for years to come (I truly hope I am wrong!). He is one of "the few, the powerful and the famous" who could well shape Israel's destiny!

12.18.2006

Lost on a Mountain


I've been reading the profile of Kelly James whose body was recovered from Mt. Hood today.

From the CNN link:

His pastor, Gary Brandenburg of Fellowship Bible Church Dallas, said James was a religious man who understood the dangers of his hobby.

"He knew the risk of what he did and yet he was always the kind of guy who could see past the summit and know that when this life is over, it's not over," he said.


I visited the Fellowship Bible Church website where I read this from Pastor Brandenburg's Sunday sermon. It ministered to me and I think it will minister to you as well:

We have agonized this week over the predicament of three men lost on Mt. Hood. I have been asked, “How do you encourage people in a time like this. It must be hard.” I try to gently explain that even though these are unusual circumstances they are no different than what people deal with every single day. John Damaskinos, Sydney Thweat, these are people who are fighting for their lives right now. And the truth is, whether we are on the side of a mountain or hooked up to hoses in a hospital somewhere, we are all terminal. We will not stop asking God to bring Kelly home, and we will rejoice. But it is only a temporary reprieve. Death will come calling at a later date. I don’t know if Kelly was prepared to spend a week on that mountain but he didn’t go up that mountain unprepared. John is prepared, little Sydney is prepared. Are you?


And then this prose:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things.

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for but got everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all people, most richly blessed.


For a good mountaineering article about May 1996’s fatal summit to Everest, read Jon Krakauer’s article Outsider Magazine: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. Also a book



I was privileged to have my own mountain climbing experience in August 1987 (just weeks before my neck injury that has forever changed my body), when I climbed the 11,428 feet Twin Sisters - Colorado. It was a thrill to be more than 1,000 feet above the tree line and experience the personal triumph of this accomplishment!

Sen.-elect Amy Klobuchar

While I did not vote for Amy Klobuchar, I like her proposal!

Klobuchar wants ban on privately funded travel

Sen.-elect Amy Klobuchar said Monday she will work to ban privately funded travel for lawmakers and to prohibit free meals and gifts from lobbyists. Klobuchar, D-Minn., said she will refuse privately funded trips no matter what Congress does. She said ethics reform is needed to end corruption as well as to ensure better public policy.




  1. Kathee and I read Genesis 37 & 38 tonight
  2. I was downtown briefly from 8:30 until 10:30
  3. Kathee made Christmas candy and chex party mix
  4. I wore my newly resoled Filson boots with Scholls inserts. There was no pain walking but my ankle still swelled up. Still it is an improvement
  5. Nathan was by for dinner tonight
  6. Roger and I are watching football


Genesis 37:28, "Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt"

This is one of my favorite Old Testament stories as it illustrates so clearly God's sovereignty and how He superintends over all the evil intents of mans heart and seemingly negative circumstances and events to bring about His will! Our God "who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Ephesians 1:11)

Compare Genesis 50:20, "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive"

How God sovereignly worked His will in the death of our Savior: "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;" (Acts 2:23)

Ostentatious Eating

Jakarta hotel puts $110 hamburger on menu

A hotel in Indonesia is dishing out a hamburger that costs more than twice the monthly minimum wage in some parts of the country. The $110 hamburger offered by the Four Seasons is made of Kobe beef with foie gras, Portobello mushrooms and Korean pears -- served with french fries, of course.

For me, I'll have a hamburger but I will never eat foie gras. The most expensive hamburger I have ever had was on a business trip to San Francisco. It was at a Hilton and it was $ 25.

12.17.2006

125th Anniversary Sunday

This month Fourth Baptist has been celebrating the church's 125th anniversary.


  1. Each Sunday has had something special including a "retro" copy of an old church bulletin. One week from 1918, last week from 1931, and today from 1956
  2. Last week we had a history lesson by Nancy Cox
  3. This week Pastor presented his challenge for our future. We are to have a 1st century emphasis in the 21st century. His text today was Acts 2:42-27


Acts 2:42-47

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

A First Century Church in a Twenty-First Century World:

  1. A passion for spiritual truth - "apostles' doctrine"
  2. A passion for sacrificial ministry - "fellowship"
  3. A passion for corporate worship - "in the breaking of bread, and in prayers"
  4. A passion for Christian witness - "those who were being saved"


Our choir under the direction of Roger Kilian, performed the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah.



Tonight was the Christmas musical at 4th. It was WOW!

  1. Handbell choirs
  2. Youth choirs
  3. Full orchestra
  4. 4 pianos
  5. Organ
  6. Full choir ... I estimate 60-80 in the choir
  7. We had a whole row of friends with us: Colleen and Steve T (plus Steve's Dad and their son), Dianne E and Deanna. Plus Roger and Rachel.
  8. Afterwards Roger and Rachel went to a singles' fellowship and we went by Roy and Jan's for a bite to eat. I sat by Jeremy V.D. and his wife Sarah. Jeremy is a student at Central Seminary.


Tomorrow:

  1. We have off but I am going into work for 2 hours (max!).
  2. I need to get my glasses repaired
  3. Kathee is going shopping at Macy's (I'm not going) and is going to make Christmas candy


I am icing my ankle tonight. The ice really alleviates the pain and reduces swelling. My strategy is that if it has not improved in a week, I'm going into Park Nicollet the week between Christmas and New Years. I had three years of back pain that stopped 2 years ago when I have back surgery, and now this has started. I don't think it is a big deal and I think that the solution will be easy.

12.16.2006

Roger's USMC PFT

Roger had his annual USMC Physical Fitness Test today and these are his results


  1. He ran 3 miles in 25.5 minutes (must be done in less than 28 minutes)
  2. He did 18 pull ups and
  3. 100 crunches (sit ups)



Full house tonight: It's rare when all the kids are here for dinner and tonight was one of those nights. Kathee had made a huge pot of chili and we finished it off.


  1. Rachel arrived home from Mankato and will be with us for 4 weeks (she will be working at West Thompson for 4 weeks over Winter break
  2. Nathan called at 11:30 and left a message on our answering machine that he would be with us for dinner. We did not notice the message and were surprised when he arrived at 5:30
  3. Roger got back from USMC reserves at 5:45





We read Genesis 35 & 36 tonight (36 is a difficult read. Kathee and I alternate and as our routine sorted out tonight, I read 35 and she read 36)

Genesis 35:11 (God's covenant with Israel): "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. 12 The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land."

Bluetooth in your car - what is it?

My Sister told me this week that they are planning on replacing their 1994 Camray with an new 2007 car. She said, "we want something that has Bluetooth".


Since, I've been wondering what it would mean to have Bluetooth in one's car. Well here is what I found: What the Heck Is Bluetooth and Why Should I Care?

Here's another article: The Bluetooth Car

In a car like the Acura TL, Bluetooth is icing on the cake. You set up HandsFreeLink by pairing the phone with the car. Then you can control the phone from the dashboard whenever it's in or near the car. Press the Talk button on the steering wheel and say a name or number and your cell phone dials the number from the car's phone book. Dialing and caller information as well as signal and battery strength appear on the instrument panel


I'm about 5 years away from a new car but I could see the value of this.

Warmer than normal



NOAA Winter forcast


  1. We just got back from the grocery store. I just went in for the olive bar (two olives stuffed with blue cheese) then went back to the car and waited for Kathee.
  2. I sat in the car with the window down. 45 degrees. Young grocery baggers were delivering groceries in short sleaves!
  3. I do want snow. I like the look, I like plowing snow, I like the cold. So BRING IT ON!
  4. I had lunch with my Brother at his place: he served ham sandwiches, tomato soup, and cottage cheese
  5. Kathee is making hot chili tonight and we are waiting for Rachel's arrival back from Mankato

The world's theology




Here's a great quote from James Montgomery Boice:


"The world's theology is easy to define. It is the view that human beings are basically good, that no one is really lost, that belief in Jesus Christ is not necessary for salvation."

James Montgomery Boice - Foundations of the Christian Faith

From Great Christian Quotes on Saturday 12/16/2006

12.15.2006

Jacob's gift to Esau

Genesis 33:10-11, "And Jacob said, “No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” So he urged him, and he took it."

Why Jacob gave a gift to Esau :


  1. Because he valued his relationship with his brother - "inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God"
  2. Because his brother valued his brother Jacob = "and you were pleased with me" (I think you can say they had a mutual love relationship despite difficulties in their relationship.)
  3. Because of God's grace to Jacob - "because God has dealt graciously with me"
  4. Because of the abundance of Jacob's possessions - "because I have enough"




Work:

  1. I had a good week. My time with Scott yesterday really encouraged me. I hadn't seen him for three or four weeks.
  2. Breaking the 50,000 mark (software upgrades to workstations) was satisfying, although I had expected to reach this threshold by the end of October.
  3. I was supposed to have coffee with Larry N. today, but he called me just before 9 to say he wasn't feeling well.
  4. I saw Jeff W. my first Norwest manager this morning at 8 and it was nice to see him (a dear friend from Colorado who moved to Minneapolis a year after we did).
  5. I'm scheduled to get a new, more powerful PC to run Vista. I have an older Dell desktop with Vista on it now (as well as a Lenovo Thinkpad with XP)
  6. We have a three day weekend for which I am thankful. I do need to go into the office for several hours on Monday to meet one of the new managers (visiting from Salt Lake City


Life:

  1. Kathee and I read Genesis 33 & 34 tonight.
  2. My left ankle and heel were very sore all day. Kathee iced it before dinner and there was some relief
  3. We had our old standby, grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner
  4. Colleen T. from the Metro Women's Center is coming by the house tomorrow for discussions.
  5. Every Christmas present ordered or sent has arrived.
  6. I intend to sleep in (maybe 7:30) tomorrow.
  7. Roger has USMC reserves this weekend.
  8. Rachel arrives home on Sunday
  9. Our package sent to Lindsay T in China finally arrived (took almost 6 weeks!)

Bob Barr - Libertarian



Bob Barr, conservative Georgia Republican, announced today that he was joining the Libertarian party.

My thoughts: Increasingly conservatives are becoming dissatisfied with actions of the Republican party. Why?


  1. Runaway, seemingly unrestrained, government spending
  2. A sense that Republicans have "sold out" to special interests be it big business or the religious right
  3. A sense that Republicans are not the party of reform or ethics.


As for me, I am still a registered Republican. No matter what party you claim (or if you are an independent), the "Are you a Libertarian" quiz is interesting (and compelling)!

Hwy 169 "the devil's triangle" redo delayed

MnDOT delays Hwy. 169 project

Crosstown wins out over devil's triangle

I don't have to drive this direction often and when I do it is off hours. But this section of roadways is one of the most dangerous in Minnesota

Full 57 page report (PDF)

Below is an extract with safety and traffic findings:



Safety

US 169 at 85th Avenue (CSAH 109)

From the years 2000-2002, sixty-three crashes were reported in the Transportation Information System (TIS) database at the intersection of US 169 and 85th Avenue including three “A” crashes and one fatal crash. The crash density of 21 crashes/year is twice the metro average. The crash rate for this intersection was the same as the metro average of 0.8 crashes per million-vehiclemiles, however the severity rate of 1.6 is higher than the metro average of 1.2. This intersection ranks fourth by crash costs on the statewide Top 200 High Crash Cost Intersections (Top 200) list for 2002. For the Top 200 list, a monetary value is assigned to each severity level and intersections are then ranked accordingly. The intersections on this list typically have a high number of crashes, several severe crashes, or both. Seventy-one percent of the crashes at this signalized intersection were rear-end collisions which is higher than average for urban signalized intersections.

Nineteen percent of the crashes were right angle collisions including three “A’s” and one fatal crash. Further investigation of the Traffic Accident Reports revealed that all twelve of the right angle crashes were the result of red-light running with the driver on 85th Avenue being sited for the violation in 75% of the crashes. In ten of the twelve crashes, the driver on 85th Avenue was traveling eastbound. In eight of the twelve, the driver on US 169 was traveling southbound. A cursory field review revealed a small hill in the northwest quadrant of the intersection. Removal of this hill will not prevent drivers from running red lights, but it will perhaps give drivers additional time to see an approaching vehicle.

US 169 at CSAH 81

This intersection had 119 crashes, which was the highest of the three intersections studied. The crash rate of 1.6 crashes per million-vehicle-miles and severity rate of 2.7 were at least twice the metro averages of 0.8 and 1.2 respectively. The crash density of 39.7 crashes per year is almost four times the metro average of 10.5 crashes per year. This intersection ranks third on the Top 200 list.

There is a high occurrence, almost 70%, of rear-end collisions at this intersection. Nine percent of the crashes at this intersection were sideswipe passing. Left turns into on-coming traffic and right angle collisions accounted for 14% of the crashes at this intersection. Although there were no fatalities at this intersection during the study period, 45% of the crashes at this intersection involved injury.

CSAH 81 at 85th Avenue (CSAH 109)

This intersection had 33 crashes during the three-year study period. Approximately one-third of the reported crashes were rear-end collisions. Rear end collisions are common at high-volume signalized intersections. Right angle collisions or left turns into on-coming traffic accounted for, a higher than expected, 54% of the crashes at this location. Although there were no fatalities or “A” crashes during the study period, these types of crashes are typically more severe in nature.

US 169 at Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BN&SF) Railway tracks

There have been four train/vehicle crashes at this crossing during a five-year period in the years 1999 through 2004, resulting in five personal injuries. Of the 4,552 public at-grade crossings in Minnesota, this crossing is ranked as the most hazardous crossing in the state with a .3535 Accident Prediction (AP). The next highest AP in the state is .194. Accident Prediction was developed by the Federal DOT to identify and rank high hazard crossings. The formula calculates numerous factors to determine risk at every crossing (e.g., number of trains, AADT, train speed, vehicle speed, type of road surface, number of roadway lanes, urban/rural, etc.).

There is one through train per day on this line, with a 25 mph timetable speed, and numerous switching movements. With the high AADT on USTH 169 and CSAH 81, along with necessary switching operations by the railroad, the train/vehicle conflict is, has been and will continue to be substantial as evident in the AP and accident records.



Traffic Congestion

A traffic operations capacity analysis was conducted for the a.m. and p.m. peak hours at the intersections of TH 169 and CSAH 109, TH 169 and CSAH 81, and CSAH 81 and CSAH 109. Capacity analysis results identify a level of service (LOS). LOS is a qualitative measure that describes operational conditions. There are six levels of service, A through F, which define the full range of driving conditions from best to worst. LOS A indicates the best traffic operation, with vehicles experiencing minimal delays. LOS F indicates an intersection where demand exceeds capacity and drivers experience substantial delays. LOS A through D is generally perceived to be
acceptable by drivers. LOS E is characterized by unstable traffic flow where the intersection is operating at, or very near, capacity. The LOS calculation method used was from the 2000 Highway Capacity Manual. The LOS calculations are based on 2000 traffic data. Due to the high traffic volumes on TH 169, the first intersection “meters” the volume to the next intersection, reducing the demand at the next intersection. This is due to the high traffic demand at all three intersections. The capacity is routinely exceeded which causes substantial queuing and delay, and contributes to increased accidents. These conditions are expected to worsen if no improvements are made and as traffic volumes continue to increase.



Some business and conservative leaders favor raising Minnesota's gas tax to fund projects like this. I'm one of them!

12.14.2006

Work progress


  1. We finally got out current release out to 50,000 workstations.
  2. 6,000 still need remediation.
  3. Work continues tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night.
  4. Our company has a "year end freeze" that commences on Monday and continues into the first two weeks of January. So upgrades not completed by Sunday night will wait.


This last 7 months have been the most stressful and hardest of my career. I'm afraid that because of perceived missteps that my annual review will not reflect this effort, but I am trusting the Lord about this.

I had coffee with my friend Scott today. He and Barb celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary this week. Scott may have an opening in his department next year and if he does I may be interested.

Also I cleaned out my email in box ... and have it down to 7. I hope to have it empty when I leave work tomorrow night.

Recognition: We have a couple of recognition programs here at work. One is called "Service Excellence" and the other "On the Spot". This week I nominated 6 for S.E. and 2 for O.T.S. These folk have worked hard to help me accomplish my work objectives this year.



Kathee and I read Genesis 31 & 32 tonight

Jacob's prayer: 32:10, "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant ..."



I am going to bed at 9. I was awake from 2 until 4 am (or so) and I am exhausted

Don't go overseas with more than $ 5.01 in change


As it turns out, your pennies are worth more than a penny - that is, the intrinsic value of the metal (copper) is worth more than .01! I really can't see me with 501 pennies in my pocket or any combination that adds up to $ 5.01 (but if my wife's coin purse may have this combination!):


  1. 20 quarters and 1 penny or
  2. 100 nickels and 1 penny or
  3. 50 dimes and 1 penny or
  4. 10 quarters, 20 dimes, 6 nickels, and 21 pennies or
  5. You get the drift (almost like a 3rd grade math problem!)


The Feds seem to be concerned about this: The rule also bans the exportation of the coins, beyond traveling with $5 worth

My view of the good old penny is this -

  1. I'm old enough to remember a 3 cent stamp,
  2. A 10 cent bus ride,
  3. A 5 cent cold frosty A&W root beer!


It's time to retire this coin! I don't even carry them in my pocket anymore. I won't bend down to pick one off the sidewalk. At work, I have a collection of pennies on my desk around my stapler. At home I drop them in the bed of a little red metal pickup truck (that's about 12" long!).

I wonder what kind of set up one would need in their basement or garage to melt pennies. Sounds dangerous. I'm not going to try it!

Meanwhile ... don't fly overseas with more than $ 5.01 in coins. You could end up in jail (I find this hard to believe but this is the letter of the law!)

For those who are interested in the intrinsic value of coins, check this site!

Up in the middle of the night

Now past 2 and I have been awake since 1. I'm sure that blogging will not make me sleepy but here I go anyway.


  1. I have a slight cold. My left ankle hurts. I am complaining! STOP IT!
  2. Peter Boyle died:

    • "Everyone Loves Raymond"
    • "Young Frankenstein"

  3. Interesting news on Sen. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota. I am praying for him!
  4. I ordered this book from Amazon: Tithing: Low-Realm, Obsolete & Defunct. I don't have an "ax to grind" about this doctrine but I don't believe it is New Testament teaching.
  5. I am actually feeling better about work. I am having a good week. Portend of good things to come?
  6. Why I am leery about eating out: Taco Bell
  7. Why my daughter has straight A's in College: Good grades? (I'M JOKING!!)
  8. Jack Kevorkian pardoned. My friend Powers Payton once jokingly sent me a fake coupon for a free office visit to Jack!
  9. Roger's Christmas gift finally shipped and should be here tomorrow.


Clock just chimed 2:30 ... I am going back to bed!

12.13.2006

Princess Diana - Five Fatal Decisions

Some interesting links about Diana

WIKI: Princess Diana


  1. Diana put her safety and privacy in Dodi's hands.
  2. Henri Paul - the deputy chief of security - was inebriated.
  3. Someone decided that Paul should drive. A vehicle he was not used to driving, plus he was impaired.
  4. Three who died did not wear a seatbelt. The one who wore a seatbelt survived.
  5. The most direct route was not taken and in fact there was no need to leave the hotel.


Article: Five Fatal Decisions

Jacob's love for Rachel

Genesis 29:20, "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her."


  1. We actually left work on time tonight ... 5:00 p.m.!
  2. Nathan was at the house and Kathee made chicken sandwiches
  3. Roger got home late (8:00 p.m.). He is out running tonight as he has his USMC PFT this Saturday
  4. I started my John Deere tonight ... fired up right away. The battery seems strong.
  5. I upgraded my Lenovo (Thinkpad) with our release 2.24. The upgrade took approximately 6 minutes.
  6. Kathee and I read Genesis 29 & 30 tonight.


What goes around comes around: Jacob cheated Easu of his Father's blessing ... Laban cheated Jacob by giving him Leah instead of Rachel.

George Will: Ahmadinejad And Thin Ice

Click on link for the full article.


How gruesome was 2006? The year's most consequential person was Iran's president, who says the Holocaust did not happen and vows to complete it

In order to show "tolerance of people's beliefs," government workers in England's West Midlands were told, after a Muslim complained, to remove from sight all pig-related items, such as a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet

Wells Fargo - Wachovia merger?

Kovacevich also told the news service that the San Francisco bank could one day merge with an East Coast rival.

a merger partner?

Having survived the Wells Fargo - Norwest merger, this would be fascinating but stressful!

12.12.2006

Life and Work

Work:

  1. We were at work until past 6. The skyway was locked closed so I drove out of the garage and picked up Kathee on the street at 6:15.
  2. My release ... I am at 49,800 of 57,000. I have change records in place for distributions overnight tonight, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I have 6,800 left to go. Because laptops are the hardest to target (they are turned off at night) we might be lucky to get 25%. This is the last distribution of the year.
  3. I imaged my desktop at work with the production version of Vista.


Life:

  1. We picked up dinner at Sweet Taste of Italy on the way home.
  2. Roger had his Economics final today
  3. My plantar fasciitis on my left foot is really acting up.
  4. It was drizzly all day!


Scripture:

We read Genesis 27 & 28 tonight. One key verse:

Genesis 28:1, "Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan"

Lesson: Don't marry a pagan!

Growing tide of Anti-Semitism?



Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Thanks to people's wishes and God's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want ... Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out"


The Iranian Holocaust Conference:


Details
Blair Shocked
Merkel condemns
Bush denounces

When I was a child in middle school, we watched old B/W newsreels that showed the horrors of the concentration camps. It left an indelible impression upon me!

McCain: Iran ‘possibly deranged,’ ‘dangerous’

Psalm 122:6, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you."

12.11.2006

USMC Maj. Megan McClung



Maj. Megan McClung, 34, a Camp Pendleton public affairs officer who was serving with the I Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, was killed Wednesday in the insurgent hotbed Anbar province in a roadside bomb explosion in the city of Ramadi.

Full article

Full list ... lest we forget

While this would be impossible, if I could give my 57 years to redeem 2 younger people I would (or would I?!)

Compare Romans 5:6-8

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

A difficult birth - a lost life

Genesis 25:23-26, "So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob."

Tonight's reading was Genesis 25 & 26. Since it's been at least two years since we have read Genesis, it is refreshing to read it again.

Esau is is a key character - Esau in the N.T.

What we know about Esau:

Hebrews 12:15-17, "looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears"


  1. He typifies those who "fall short of the grace of God"
  2. He was profane (NASB = "godless person")
  3. He "found no place for repentance" (he was lost!)
  4. He regretted his lostness!


Work:

  1. Not an easy day. I had off on Friday and seems like every day I have off, I come back to work to issues
  2. I am having some serious thoughts about whether I will look for a different job in 5 months. I want to be able to go on vacation and not come back to unaddressed issues (Kathee wants to take a 2 week road trip to visit her brother in Oregon.
  3. I met the guy that "walks worse than I do". He parks in the same garage. He works for our same company. His name is "Jim" and he is on the 11th floor. He walks with shoulder crutches (I walk with forearm crutches). He said his shoulders really ache by the end of the day. For me ... its my ankles.


Rachel had her tax final today. Roger has his economics final tomorrow.

Jeff the Cutco salesman is here. I am not in much of a mood to spend $$. Kathee is in the kitchen looking at his wares.

Weather: still no snow. My tractor is ready (I haven't started it for a month ... probably should make sure the battery is strong!). Misty rain on the way home from work. Medicine Lake is frozen over.

12.10.2006

Unseasonal Greetings



We don't send many Christmas cards but I found this article interesting: Christmas cards are losing their religious message

Only one in 100 Christmas cards sold in Britain contains any religious imagery or message, a Daily Mail survey has revealed.


Traditional pictures such as angels blowing trumpets over a stable, Jesus in his manager, the shepherds and three wise men following the star to Bethlehem are dying out.

Instead, scenes of the Nativity has been replaced on cards by designs or jokes with little or no relevance to the Bible story and the true meaning of Christmas.

One 'offensive' card risked provoking Christians by suggesting the shepherds only saw the angel appear on the hillside because they were hallucinating after smoking drugs.

Pastor McLachlan's message at Fourth Baptist was on "Peace ... the Gift of Christmas" from John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"

This was interesting: the word "leave" in "peace I leave with you" is the Greek Word for "forgive"! It could be literally translated (as the Pastor said .. not good English but good Greek!): "Peace I forgive to you."

Our driveway was very icy this morning, Roger slipped and fell going out to get the paper.

Kathee is making meatloaf for dinner.

Understanding Transfats




My Son, Roger was explaining this to me.

In hot oil

BanTransFats.com

Wiki: Trans Fat

One thing we don't agree on ... Jiffy Peanut butter verses natural peanut butter.

peanutbutterlovers.com

Does Peanut Butter Have Partially Hydrogenated Oils?

Regular peanut butter does contain a tiny, tiny amount (far less than 1%) of partially hydrogenated oil. It keeps the oil from separating out of the peanut butter and rising to the top of the jar, makes the peanut butter creamier, and dramatically increases the shelf life of the peanut butter.

The resulting amount of trans fat in regular peanut butter is so small that, under the proposed FDA labeling guidelines for trans fats, the peanut butter labels will list 0 trans fats. The proposed FDA rule indicates that trans fat amounts of less than .5g cannot be accurately measured and will be listed on the label as 0.


Editorial: Watch New York on trans-fat ban (Star Tribune 12/25/2006)