Monday, December 2, 2013

Psalm 66:18

Psalm 66:18
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, Yahweh will not hear me."

This has become my personal daily mantra if you will. This scripture was read this past Sabbath and it really struck home with me.  Why haven't we had kids?  Has it been my own prayers not heard because of the thoughts in my mind?  I dwell on way too much that should not be considered or thought.

In "Every Man's Battle" by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, there is a concept called "bouncing the eyes" which applies for when you realize you're gazing at something you shouldn't be (most commonly in reference to a woman's cleavage or backside) and you bounce the eyes away from that subject to something innocuous.  I like to use this term for more than just getting your eyes looking away, but kicking that idea out of your head when you realize that you are pondering something inappropriate.  Sending those thoughts bouncing down the road.

This one verse has popped into my head dozens of times since hearing it this past Saturday.  I've made this verse my lock-screen background on my iPhone and is a constant reminder of throwing thoughts out of my mind that don't belong there.  While the book I mentioned was helpful, I kinda lost the habit.  However, I feel this has a stronger impact on me because there is a defined cause and effect within this one verse.

II Timothy 3:16-17
"All scripture is given by inspiration of Yahweh, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for CORRECTION, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of Yahweh may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Scripture is true and good and a better source of life-changing advice than men.  Below is attached the background I created for anyone who wished to download for their phones.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creating a "Honey-Do List" using the Form option in Google Drive

I've received a few requests to share the "Honey-Do" form that I created in Google Drive.  However, I can't share the link because that form only posts to a list that my wife, Amy, and I can see.  You can create your own forms by having a Google Drive account (usually comes with Gmail).

I went into Google Drive and clicked on Create and from the dropdown, selected Form.  I named mine "Honey-Do List" and selected the Books theme.  From there, I added three questions as follows:

Question Title:  What do you need done?
Question Type:  Paragraph Text
Check the box "Required question".

Question Title:  How important is this project?
Question Type:  Scale
Scale values:  1 to 5
Label 1: No Big Deal
Label 5: Highly Important  (these two values can be swapped if you want 1 to indicate highest importance)
Check the box "Required question".

Question Title:  How long should this item take?
Question Type:  Choose from a list.
Enter these options:
   1. 5 minutes
   2. 30 minutes
   3. A few hours
   4. 1 day
   5. More than 1 day
Check the box "Required question".

Click on Done.

Now at the bottom are a few options to customize the confirmation page.

I entered "Your honey-do has been saved to the list!" in the text box.
I left the first box checked.
I left the second box unchecked.
I then checked the third box to allow for responses to be edited.

Now click on Send Form.  You are presented a new dialog box where you can just select the link to copy... select to share the link on a few social media sites... and you can enter in a few email addresses of people you want to use this form.

Click on Done and the form is sent to the email addresses you selected.

Finally, and this is the important part, you want to locate the option that says "Choose Response Destination" just below the menus at the top of the window.

You can choose to have the values saved with the form or sent to a spreadsheet in your Google Drive.  This is what I preferred and had it setup that way.  That spreadsheet I was also able to share with my wife, Amy, so she can make modifications and/or see what I've marked as done (I track the completed items by changing the color of the text or background of that row and it keeps that information when other responses are added later).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

When I Saw a Business Destroy Itself...

The following anecdote relates to an article on titled "How Modern Economics Is Built On 'The World's Dumbest Idea'":

In the summer of 1989, I started working at a new McDonald’s being built.  We trained at a few other stores so that we would be ready for opening day.  It was a great summer and a very exciting time for all who were involved.  We did everything by the book and had plenty of staff on hand to handle the customers.

The owner knew that it was common for a new store to lose $100,000 the first year.  His goal was to be the first to break even or even profit the first year.

So you can possibly guess what happened.  With the focus being on profits, having too many employees in the store during a slow time impacts those profits.

So while we had a great summer, when school started, he immediately reduced staffing by half to meet the new lower demand.  However, he failed to anticipate that this drop was temporary.  After all, it’s during the first week of school when everyone is trying to get back into their old routines.

A couple of weeks into the school year, business was picking up again.  The owner did not increase staffing to match this as he assumed this sudden increase was an anomaly.  Naturally, you have a breakfast, lunch or dinner rush and not enough staff on hand to get the food out fast enough, the customers get disgruntled.  Eventually they stop coming.  This drop is worse than the school year… so staffing is cut again.

Eventually, by Christmas, we were nowhere near the high-performing store we were those first three months.  He had destroyed his own business by seeking short term profit rather than focusing on long-term customer satisfaction.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Nationally Observed Made Up Holiday

Sure, you probably celebrated "Independence Day" today, but it is not the date of our nation's independence.  Ironically, it is not even the anniversary of the day our Second Continental Congress voted for a resolution of independence (which was July 2, 1776).  It is merely the day in which that same SCC approved the wording of the Declaration of Independence.

It is also not the day in which all members of that assembly signed the document.  Most signed it that day, but the final signature was not on the document until August 2, 1776.

Again, despite all this, the United States was not independent.  We were at war with a nation that we had come to despise.  That nation still held considerable control over our naval ports and many of those cities.  Today is the anniversary of the approval of the document announcing our intent to seek independence from the nation of Great Britain which had been resolved two days before, but would not reach fruition until 1783.

The date of this celebration mostly stems from the date of the document mostly signed on this date.  History has allowed the actual date of the resolution of independence to become obscured by this document's date.

In reality, the true date of independence when Great Britain would acknowledge the United States to be free, sovereign and independent states was on September 3, 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.  Ironically, we do have a holiday near that date, but it has nothing to do with independence.

So we have a day observed once a year that really has little to do with the actual date of independence.  Rather it's like celebrating the conception of a nation versus the actual birth of the nation in which we finally pulled free from the mother country.  We don't celebrate the conception of our children year after year, only when they were born.

Then again, this nation does tend to do as it will, but just wanted you to know your actual history, not the one that people assume because of marketing and merchandising.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Define Marriage

So, in this day and age, the question of who should be allowed to marry is coming up.  If, as some of the population believe, marriage should include gay couples, let’s look at what then how marriage becomes defined.  So how would you define marriage throwing out the biblical “one man and one woman” paradigm?

The following imagines such a discussion:

Person 1:  Define marriage that would allow for homosexuals to become married.

Person 2:  Well, I believe it is an agreement reached between two—

Person 1:  I hate to interrupt your definition, but on what grounds can you say that it is only limited to two?  As there is no longer any biblical basis to this definition, you have to throw out all of the biblical limitations because any of them could be considered discriminatory.

Person 2:  Okay, then.  It is an agreement between more than one adult—

Person 1:  Sorry, but I have to interrupt you again… who defines a marriage to only be between adults?  Is it not common in some societies for people to marry as young as 13 or even 10 years old?  How again can you not discriminate if you limit the options marriage?

Person 2:  Fine.  An agreement between more than one human being—

Person 1:  I feel I have to interject that an assumption is being made that only human beings can marry.  I understand that some primates can even speak through sign language and could possibly accept a proposal of marriage.  Are you going to discriminate between interspecies marriages between consenting beings?  Nevermind, we can just skip that one until that issue comes up later.

Person 2:  Sheesh… An agreement between more than one human being that is a union or contract for the purpose of providing specific rights or obligations between spouses.

Person 1:  So, tell me, what would a tax return look like between the married union of Bob, Mary, Steve, Larry, and Julie?  Filing “5 Humans Married filing jointly”?  How do Credit Reports get affected?  Can you apply for a Credit Card and get one for all four of your spouses?  
How does it work with medical insurance when most insurance companies only recognize one spouse?  How does it work if both female spouses are pregnant at the same time and who gets Family Medical Leave for whom?  What about someone deciding to marry their own child (for no specific limitations were given in that definition excluding specific relationships existing already between the human beings) so that they could get insurance covering them and their “spouse” which is cheaper usually than a family plan or “parent & children” plan with most insurance companies.
 We have a situation where the divorce rate will skyrocket when people are only doing it for convenience to handle certain financial/medical situations.  Speaking of divorce, when you divorce one member of the (not couple, but amalgamation of 5 human beings), who gets what percentage?  What defines ownership of property, especially in community property states.  Who pays alimony/child support to whom?  If Bob fathers a child through Julie, if Julie divorces the group, are Steve and Larry also responsible for the child support?  Who even gets the children in a situation where it may be that DNA tests must be performed to find out which child was fathered by which man?
It sounds as if, in order to include what is desired, we could be opening Pandora's box in what else is considered a "right" in the eyes of the law.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Goals for 2013

The following is a list of goals I have for 2013.  I do not adhere to the tradition of "resolutions".  These are goals, which means I intend to make a plan to complete each one this year (not just make up something while drunk and then not do it).  This means I also publish this with the intent of being accountable to all of my family and friends.


  • Lose 50 pounds this year (starting weight is 277.6 as of this morning).
  • Run and FINISH the Dallas Marathon in December.
  • Get many more miles in on my touring bike.
  • Get a promotion at work (while this has been promised to happen in the first quarter this year, the sooner the better).
  • Payoff all our debt outside of the house and the Jeep.
  • If Amy can get a job this year, we will replace her van with something much more reliable.
  • Get my business started up.
  • Build a library of lessons for the teens (that we don't currently have, but may show up)
  • Write a few more hymns to add to the church hymnal.
  • Tame the wild jungle that is the back yard.
  • Create a new outfit for Renaissance Festivals.

Getting my garage cleaned up and somewhat organized along with my home office has helped me see the end game for some of these projects because those being left undone made me feel more disorganized and unable to proceed with any projects.

Now it's time to go change the calendars in the house.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipe: Taco Soup

The following recipe is from my wife and she has made this twice in the last week (once for the Sabbath Meal at church and once for home as there were no leftovers).  The comments are hers.

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb browned ground beef or turkey (I season meat with my favorite seasonings or salt/pepper)
  • 2 cans pinto beans
  • 3 cans rotel (we like spicy)
  • 2 cans corn
  • 1-2 cans hominy
  • 1 8oz bottle taco sauce (La Victoria Red Taco Sauce has no sugar)
  • Sliced jalapeƱos, optional for your spicy level
  • 1 c water (just enough to make it a little soupy, not chunky like stew)

Put in crockpot on low in morning to be ready for dinner, or high if you have 1/2 day cooking before its served.

(Editor's note:  Depending on the size of the crockpot, you might cut out one of the cans of hominy or Ro-tel.)