Friday, December 29, 2006

Tundra games approacheth!



Hard to believe the first contest is less than a week away. This weekend me, and 20 other nuts will compete in the Ohio Tundra games. We are the only Winter games in the North. Absolutely goofy and a lot of fun! Thanks to Clayton for hosting everyone!

Monday, December 25, 2006

I just want to be "home for Christmas"


Not going to get too deep or whiny here. I really just want to be "home" for Christmas. Problem is that what I define as "home", generally speaking, is not just a place but a time. Complicating matters is that "home" can get romanticized by slips of darker things in memory and a magnification of the happier moments. I suppose that this is better than being haunted by the bad stuff that some poor souls seem doomed to dwell in (regardless of the decades between now and the point of occurrence). So right now with, my troubled wife asleep on the couch, my daughter taking a nap, my son playing video games, and rain on a Christmas afternoon instead of snow I find myself reaching back. Not only reaching back but reaching back to moments in time that are now long lost and, most likely, bathed in the mythology of the "best times" by many years past. Of the few pictures of past times this picture represents that legendary aspect of my life that most likely will only make sense to my siblings. I post it none-the-less and will most likely elaborate at an unspecified point in the future.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

From the shadows and into the Master's class in 2007



Not too bad for an old guy.

Kemper Crabb




This is a shameless plug for an excellent musician and teacher. I first saw him, and only saw him for that matter, about 25 years ago. His record "The Vigil" is a treasure for anyone who likes medieval styled music and who wants to hear something truly alternative. Nothing like it! If you don't believe me here's his site.
www.kempercrabb.net

Here is an couple of mp3's you are allowed to download as well as a video and other links. This will give you an idea. The CD's not expensive either. I think he's asking $12 for the Vigil. It's worth 4x's that amount:

http://www.feverdreamrecords.com/mp3/Kemper/wessex.mp3

http://www.feverdreamrecords.com/mp3/Kemper/downinyon.mp3

http://www.atomicopera.com/kemper-concert.mov

www.kempercrabb.net

This is the one you will want to buy first though>>> The Vigil

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What is the right denomination?

This subject has probably been beaten to death by many ministers and many denominations. People parody each other's denominations. People flat out condemn other denominations. I have some bad news for some and incredibly liberating news for others. News that is as old as the New Testament. There is no denomination that is the "right one". BUT There are denominations that are flat out wrong and are not a denomination at all but a cult.

How can you tell?

Simple in answer and tough in carrying it out: READ THE BIBLE. Test what is presented to you in church apologetics. Look for deviations from what you read in the bible compared to the denomination.

Some denominations are stronger in some areas of the christian faith than others and each definitely has weak spots. This is not the same thing as a cult.

The false denomination:
If there is a statement of faith or church politics that is in direct conflict with the Bible then you know you have a false doctrine. An example would be a denomination that sponsors a lifestyle in direct conflict with biblical teaching. Like a denomination that says it is ok to have a gay minister. That's probably the most extreme example on record but it is easily identified as a denomination with a false doctrine in their peripheral writings (writings other than New and Old Testament).

The "known for" denomination:
Many denominations are known for being very strong in an area of biblical teaching. Mennonites, for example, are very strong in helping others with physical needs: food, shelter etc. But they absolutely have a weak spot when it comes to evangelism. BUT, evangelism is not dismissed from the faith, it is just a weak area. This denomination is valid and has a definitive role in the body of Christ.

The other end of the "known for" spectrum would be the Pentecostal denomination. This denomination focuses largely on evangelism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are weaker on supplying the physical needs of the people around them outside of the church. They are every bit as valid as the Mennonites but very different in terms of church focus.

In between these two there are varying degrees of effectivity in both areas of the faith and other areas not mentioned here for lack of time and space.

Bottom line 1: STUDY THE BIBLE and be careful of judging one denomination as having a more important role than another. The one that seems more important to you is likely the part of the body that you are most closely identified with in terms of your desires to serve God. The one that has a church acceptance of a clea and biblically unacceptable principal as an official part of their church is a cult and not a Christian denomination at all. The devil will disguise himself as a number of things. It's really not that hard to figure out as long as you keep reading. Things will become clearer and clearer the more that you read and pray for guidance.

Bottom line 2: We are all, as Christians, the body of Christ. We all should have a yearning to serve God in a manner that we are best equipped to serve or desire to serve. Be careful not to condemn the hand if you are the foot etc... Be very careful not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. But also don't be suckered by liars. There are "churches" that are anything but churches. Keep your eyes open to lies and your heart open to God.

Why do I assume to write as one with authority on this? I am both Pentecostal and Mennonite...and neither. I belong to the majority of both denominations' stated principals but cannot bring myself to saying one has a greater role than the other. Only different roles. I have a desire to support the roles of both. Fortunately I can say with great certainty that I am a member of the body of Christ and that both of these extremely different denominations are parts of that body as well. Some would argue that these extremes are not compatible but most of those people have never actually been significantly involved in both. Either that or they put pride in their denominations in front of their faith in Christ.

Here's something to watch out for: Be wary of any church that talks about their pedigreed name MORE than they talk about Jesus. Be wary of a church that raises their specific passion/burden above the passion/burden of another church. That's pride and has little to do with Christ. There is nothing wrong with being positive about the role of a denomination but if it becomes a bragging point or a "historical" discussion that comes up more often than actually getting to people who need to meet Christ...or if a main driver of the the denomination is full of committees and councils and social affairs...then I will run the risk of saying that church is in danger of being full of crap and really ticking God off. Summed up, if souls aren't getting saved where you are going to church you are either in the wrong church or you are there to change that fact. Odds are you are there to change that fact whether you are comfortable with that or not. If you don't think the rest of that church's body, that you are in, can handle new christians and help them in their walk then you are definitely in the wrong church and need to leave.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Purging of the GOP and the Second Disillusionment for Christians

The first purging of "Popular Christianity" in America was back during the Jimmy Swaggart, Jim & Tammy, and others era. Amy Grant left her husband so she could screw Vince Gill. Lots of people lost their faith because they placed it in preachers, images, and leaders instead of going to Christ first. God will not be mocked and so a lot of folks were exposed for their evils done in/under his Name.

And now the second purging comes to our political base more than to preachers.

Purge #1...
Foley. A known pedophile that was hidden from view by the GOP. Enough said here. It's already old news in the world of sound bytes.

Purge #2 In process. Thank God for it if what the man says is true. Truth hurts but remains the truth.

Kuo's largely hyped book: Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction comes out today regarding the fleecing of the body of Christ. I don't know of a good reason to write this book other than for the man to expose a lie in earnest fashion. There is no doubt that this book will kill him politically with the GOP so the profit off of this book better be pretty high for him as he is essentially out of a job and all other political jobs. So the risk he takes lends me to believe, at least at this point, that the guy is telling the truth.

I read in one spot on the book that he says something to the effect that Christians should take a sabbatical from politics for a couple of years. I agree with him. We have been led around, or at least I have been, with a bridle of half filled promises.

The voice has been very dim if present at all for issues like fetal stem cell research, abortion, freedom of speech for Christians, and a host of other issues that truly conservative Christians have been listening for. I'm not just talking about Bush. Let's face it, most presidents are little more than figure heads for a much larger machine. They are the fall guy or the hero but ultimately they are a buffer for the much larger political machines of the democrats and republicans.

But let's look at the conservative machine I have voted for at every election and what they have/have not done for my issues:
-They stopped partial birth abortions. What I voted for Bush based on solely. But this is not a secured iron clad "it will never happen" vote/law. In fact it is very weak. In fact it only addresses the most horrific and arguably the least potentially used form of abortion. This was a shitty bragging right. You want to impress me? Make the "day after" pill illegal. Stop all abortions other than medical emergency. Heck I'll even concede pregnancy by rape instances even though I don't like that either. The bottom line here is that it isn't and won't be enough.
-They have not gone any further on abortion. (see above)
-They have not stopped the FDA from approving RFID tags for human insertion. Don't roll your eyes at this. It is more monstrous than you can imagine in implications.
-They have not stopped fetal stem cell research.
-They have not stopped pornography from becoming an industry with stock options.
-They have not stopped the harrassment of Christians in schools or even clipped the progressive elimination of the Christian voice in schools.
-They have let gays continue to come into elementary schools and preach alternative lifestyles.
-They have not stopped the court marshaling of military chaplians for using the name of Jesus.
-They have not stopped the ACLU from eliminating historically Christian symbols on local and national currencies, logos, etc.
-They did not stop the removal of the 10 Commandments from buildings.
And there is a ton of other "did nots" that reach much further out than the "dids" that a Christian would expect from a party that has held both the Whitehouse and the Congress for at least six years simultaneously.

So, what do we do as Christians? Who do we vote for? We must vote our conscience and not any particular party if we vote at all. It is your right as an American not to vote for that matter. I used to believe that if you didn't vote you didn't have a right to complain. Look where my voting got me though. Go ahead and complain. Vote or don't vote the way I feel right now is that it doesn't matter either way. Find your king in Christ. He's the only real king anyway. Everyone else has a false agenda it would seem.

But should you choose to vote, take enough time to read the positions of each candidate before you hit the donkey or elephant button. Otherwise hit no button at all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

That's what communion's all about Charlie Brown...



I wrote this down and sent it to friends back when it happened. I'm putting it here because I still get a charge out of what my son did and said:

This is too important to me not to write down. Yesterday was the first day of passover, April 12th 2006, and it was a Wednesday night when this happened. I went to church for a dinner and communion service with the family. Usually kids don't take communion as it is a serious ceremony when taken the way it is meant to be taken. As a matter of fact my son was out playing with kids and drawing pictures outside of the sanctuary until just before we actually took communion.

He came in and sat next to me, My wife and daughter were in the nursery, just as they were passing out the bread representing Christ's body. He said "I want some" and so I had to explain to him that the bread was part of something special and that it was a symbol of Jesus as would be the wine/grape juice for his blood. My son doesn't understand the word symbol so I had to use the word "expression" which is one he does understand. I told him that Jesus sat with his best friends and did this just before he was killed for us.

I asked him if he understood and he said that he did. I asked him to explain it back and he he gave me a pretty good account of what it meant. So I let him take part in the communion. I have to say that I was a little nervous about doing this but I didn't need to be. I figured it out that he had honored God when he told me right after taking the drink, in a whisper, "Dad, if I was alive when Jesus was here I would give him a hug. And when they killed him I would cry. A lot of people would cry." I just sat there and the only reply I could give was "You would?" and he said "Yeah".

I seriously couldn't think of a response. Here my six year old son, God bless him forever, got it. He really got it. What has taken me decades to get, he had gotten at the age of six.

I had to share this. It was too important for me to let fade with just another daily memory.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wonderful Mr. Tolkein...thanks for this....

When Spring unfolds the beechen leaf, and
sap is in the bough;
When light is on the wild-wood stream,
and wind is on the brow;
When stride is long, and breath is deep,
and keen the mountain-air,
Come back to me! Come back to me,
and say my land is fair!
When Spring is come to garth and field,
and corn is in the blade;
When blossom like a shining snow
is on the orchard laid;
When shower and Sun upon the Earth
with fragrance fill the air,
I'll linger here, and will not come,
because my land is fair.
When Summer lies upon the world,
and in a noon of gold.
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves
the dreams of trees unfold;
When woodland halls are green and cool,
and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me,
and say my land is best!

When Summer warms the hanging fruit
and burns the berry brown;
When straw is gold, and ear is white,
and harvest comes to town;
When honey spills, and apple swells,
though wind be in the West,
I'll linger here beneath the Sun,
Because my land is best!
When Winter comes, the winter wild
that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night
devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East,
then in the bitter rain
I'll look for thee, and call to thee;
I'll come to thee again!
When Winter comes, and singing ends;
when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough,
and light and labour past;
I'll look for thee, and wait for thee,
until we meet again;
Together we will take the road
beneath the bitter rain!
Together we will take the road
that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land
where both our hearts may rest.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Witnessing for Christ: Yank 'em by the collar, in love, if you have to. But just do it!

To my fellow aggressive Christians: When you witness to someone make sure you give respect to who you are witnessing to. Remember that this person is loved by Christ. These folks are our lost brothers and sisters and they are not our prey. This is not a score card thing to hand in to God. These folks have within them souls that are just as valuable to Christ as our own. A lot of these folks are our dear friends and family.

To my insecure brothers and sisters who say...."Witnessing is just not my gift."
News flash: Witnessing isn't a spiritual "gift". It's a command from God!
Yes, some of us have an easier time witnessing than others but make no mistake it is a mandate from God for all of us and for good reason. "I'm shy"...well poor "you" if this is "you". I hope it isn't but if it is...You just go ahead and be shy while your mom or dad die and don't make themselves right with God. Visualize your wife or husband on their descent into the pit because you didn't DIRECTLY tell them what they need to know and do...... I'm sure Jesus will pat you on the back and say "that's ok those whip marks, the spit in the face, the beating, the sword in the side, and the nails didn't really hurt that much for nothing I guess...just go feel good about your own salvation and play some more Amy Grant music while you sooth your conscience" (man, I hope this paragraph doesn't apply to you mr/ms reader because we are accountable to God for what we know). What's the worst thing that's going to happen? They reject what you tell them. If they reject, it is in their ballcourt. If they accept then you just helped rock the kingdom of heaven with another precious soul saved. Keep trying even if they do reject unless it becomes outright opposition to what you are saying. At this point there is a verse that speaks of not casting pearls before swine. Me personally, I've not met that pig yet. I'll find more pearls until the opportunity is completely gone. But I'm like that.

There are so many people needing His love out there and there are too few of us and we are not doing enough. Over 200,000 people per day die. How many of them are saved? How many of them are we personally missing the opportunity to share with? Want to put it in perspective? Check this page out if not the rest of the website: http://www.biblehelp.org/mortality.htm
I can't vouch for the whole site at this point and I only peeked at this page but it's a heavy visual to me.
Why not be direct? Why not love them enough? Someone loved you enough to tell you didn't they!!!??? Better to have them in heaven forever with you instead of just a few decades isn't it??? Imagine if they end up in hell and all we can say is "Witnessing is just not my gift".



Enough for now...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Highland Gamers. See a connection here???


Silly Monkies














These kind of guys are a WHOLE LOT of the reason I do highland games. I consider them brothers. You are hard pressed to find such good company in the world today!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Is the Prize for the Truth Worth the Cost of the Trophy?

I would say yes. Some of the time anyway. There should never be an apology for the truth. However, as I am finding out quite painfully, the truth on everything around you does not need to be blurted out.

The position of taking a stand is a noble one. But when there is little gain for the greater good of yourself or those around you I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing to just shut up. Wish I could have told myself this last week before I laid some heavy truth on someone who couldn't handle the weight. The fanfare was over so quick that there was no echo in my mind and in fact it ended up hurting me in the process.

If someone, or some people, has/have all of the following mental traits: weak, pathetic, soft, deceptive, weasely, evil, scummy, akin to racoon bile, akin to buzzard saliva, passive aggressive, self centered, self promoting, sociopathic, schmoozy, gossips, lies, cheats, steals credit for your work, steals credit for your ideas, would kill their own mother if it meant a promotion, etc. etc. etc................... Guess what I found out about them? Letting them know that they are these things and more will not change them. They will be all of these things for as long as they lack a conscience. They will be all of these things as long as they are the only person in the universe. You cannot change them.

There is only one thing you can do. Be better in spirit and mind than they are. Excercise grace with them even if it means putting a shock collar on and zapping yourself when you get the urge to enlighten them on how much better they could be if they would just start walking upright. Grace in the face of some of the slime around you is the toughest thing to practice. It is also tough sometimes to remember that Jesus died and rose for them too. It is VERY tough when you look back at some of your own past actions and catch just a hint of one or two of those traits being put in play at the time. But "that was different"....right?

If this doesn't make sense I'm sorry. I may delete this entry later I just wanted to write it out to get it out of my skull for a while.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Corrections to my Zodiac information

The blogger site has my information incorrect but I can't change it. This is what it should be:
Zodiac sign: Crest Toothpaste












Zodiac year: Year of the kazoo













Zodiac symbol:

Probably my favorite painting of my King

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Was the Amazing Mumford Muted by the Bosses of Sesame Street???

Ever since the latest troubles in the Middle East have you heard him say A la peanut butter sandwiches??? Has anyone actually seen him on Sesame Street lately? Perhaps he was kidnapped????

Yeah Mumford...sure you did. Sell out politically correct sissy #@$%# muppet ticks me off!!!

Papau New Guinea?


No man can make you a victim and no man can make you a hero

Influences can be both positive and negative. I don't mean in how they make you act but rather how you react to them. I don't believe anything makes you act. I think the core of who you are remains almost a constant even if the whole core isn't known to you yet. The best way to find out that core is to throw stuff at it. See what bounces off, what sticks to the outside, and what actually manages to permeate to that core.
Some things can change the core but they have to be very very very powerful influences.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ty Phillips of USSF www.ussfstrong.com


Not only could Ty squeeze a man into jelly he could recite the first act of Othello to that man while he's doing it! Fortunately Ty is a Rennaisance man and saves violence for those special occasions when nothing says "you are a bad boy, stop it!" like a fist through to the back of the cranium. In all seriousness Ty is a great guy and a tremendous re-source for people who want a field to throw and/or lift on. Check out his site: www.ussfstrong.com
The dork with the train hat on backwards is me. The other guy is Ty (also in the second pic).


What's a Caber???

This is a caber. This is what you do with it. God made trees to be thrown! :)





More of what I do for fun: A new wrinkle>Strongman



Monday, August 21, 2006

Want to throw stuff in the Highland Games? Go to these places.

If you are in Ohio or the tri-state area and you want to get in with some decent throwers and decent people in general go to www.ussfstrong.com for a great place to get started. Register for free and introduce yourself on the forum. A virtual guarantee that you will get all of the help you want here.

The place where almost all Highland Gamers go to find out about the games going on nationwide is www.nasgaweb.com . There is so much traffic on this page that you can get lost in the shuffle a bit.

How God Combined my Physical/Mental to make the base of who I am today.

So, how did my King put my physical/spiritual/mental inclinations and outside influences together? The ways are amazing (at least to me).

The neighborhood:

My neighborhood was rough and alienating a lot of the time when I was growing up and really stayed somewhat alienating in high school. I don’t think that this is unique to me as growing up anywhere can be cruel depending on the personalities making up the neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong though, there were a core group of friends who never stopped being my friends regardless of the politics/family opinions/pressures of the times. But I did spend a lot of time in my own little world, within a world, and I read a great deal. The more I read the more I wanted to know. So that cycle went on for many years. My King took this time to educate me in relationship dynamics with people of other skin tones as well as steering my education through my natural curiosity and desire to learn. Had it not been for where I grew up I might actually believe what the media and some “black leaders” say about black folks. Had it not been for my curiosity I would have never made it through school as a lot of my teachers were terrible. My cultural shock never really came until I was bussed into a wealthy white school.

I had friends in both arenas of life but never “belonged” to either socio-economic class. I didn’t have money and I wasn’t black. This taught me that friendship must be defined by something else. I came to the conclusion that friendship had to happen for friendship’s sake. Anything else that bonded people as a unit was artifice and largely based on things that they had no direct influence over in the first place. Melanin and wealth, or the lack of either, came from parents. Friendship was a matter of choice. I had a lot of friends with a lot of melanin and a lot of friends with money. I also was rejected by some people for having neither. The fact that no class or creed was an indicator of a friend or enemy taught me to take every human being one human being at a time. Make no assumptions about anyone.

My Grandma’s farm:
You could not find a more diametrically opposed environment from the neighborhood I actually lived in. This was a place of wild animals, uncut forests, stars at night with no city light, and silence a lot of the time. This was a place where I could see God’s hand without the influence of man. This was a place where I could talk without interruption with the Lord. It was in this environment when my earthly father most acted like my DAD. I don’t know if this was because this area of Ohio was his home turf, if it was because he wasn’t coming home from work, or if it was our mutual appreciation for the natural world but I do know that when we were here things went much better between us than any other time/place of the year.

My Family:
Their interests and life stories were wonderful training tools. The things they did that were good and the things they did that were not so good. I did my best to read all of what they did and the outcomes of their actions. I did my best to emulate the positives things I saw from them and avoid the less than positive things. I am of the firm belief that you do not have to be a carbon copy of your parents. I am also a firm believer that you can learn a tremendous amount from them and your siblings. But, needless to say, no matter how good these teachers can be and no matter how hard they try to help you, you make mistakes. I made a lot. Some mistakes were duplicate of mistakes my family members made and some mistakes were uniquely my own. Some good things they did/do I have yet to come close to emulating. I observed what lives lived apart from God’s direction look like. I have learned what lives lived with the heart’s desire to serve God look like. I have chosen the pursuit of Christ. I will, for as long as I live on this Earth, continue to strive to improve who and what I am. I will try to be a better servant both to God and to my fellow man. I know I will fall again and again but I hope to stay upright for longer periods of time between falls.

My Inclinations:
God took curiosity and turned it into enough knowledge that it allowed me to make it to college. As alluded to earlier, if I had only my teachers as a mechanism for education I would have failed my entrance tests, ACT etc.

God took my stubbornness and kept me from giving up in times of great stress like my father’s death. He also developed stubbornness into determination as I matured. (stubbornness=pride determination=perseverance).

God took my poverty/near poverty and allowed me to join the military. The irony is that I thought I was doing it for the G.I. Bill, which I never ended up using, but God was teaching me about my mortality. He was teaching me about the preciousness of life and the terribly cheap way in which it can be destroyed if we are not careful. He used this to teach me ever more deeply that the needs of my fellow man are much greater than my own.

God took my spitefulness for doubter’s statements and allowed me to gain a fair amount of physical strength for sports. Without this I would have never been looked at for football in college. Without the help of colleges, who wanted me for football, in finding financial aid I would have never known that college was possible for me. I always thought I was too poor. (I think I alluded to this in another post) Without the physical inclination there would have been no college. Had I not gone to Bluffton College to play football I would not have met my wife. Had I not met my wife I would have probably drifted further from the church. Had I not met my wife I would not have my son or my daughter. Had I not had my children, and my son in particular since I am male, I would not have healed from the unresolved issues with my father. In trying to raise my son better than my father raised his sons I have found a very strange balm. In the raising of my son with love I learned how to raise a daughter with love.

Ultimately out of all of this cycle God allowed me to know him early in life, to fall away from Him so that I knew how empty this life was without Him, and to find Him again. I believe he has done this for two reasons: 1. Because He loves me. 2. So that I can help others find their way to the fullness of life with Christ. I’m sure there is a bunch of other reasons too but these two things really stick out for me.

ABILITIES AND INCLINATIONS OF THE BODY

-At a very early age I liked to try to pick up heavy things. I think that was inspired in part by the song “Big Bad John”. I thought the song’s story was cool, still do, and that might be part of it. I used to pick up rocks the size of my head or bigger. I would get frustrated when I couldn’t and kept on trying. Weird.
-In elementary school, middle, high, and a little while in college I had asthma. I think what triggered it was the dirty environment I grew up in but I am not completely sure. Fortunately it was never officially diagnosed as such but I knew I had it and the doctor prescribed drugs for it even though it was never written down as such. Asthmatic is a label that can hurt you in areas where you are athletic and in some types of employment.
-When I was a kid I climbed trees. Lots of trees and not like other kids climb. I climbed to the tops to the point where the trees sway and are significantly taller that the two story house we lived in. I did it in part because it was there but I also did it because I was the only one there and wanted to see things a different way. At the time I didn’t know it though. I just did it. Looking back at the hours I spent this way I understand it. I didn’t realize I was exercising.
-I walked as a kid. A lot! I could spend 4-5 hours on the 100 acres and not know it. It was the pursuit of new things to see that kept me distracted. I would walk, look up at the trees, look down at the streams, turn over logs to see what was living there, play with random bugs, watch deer and other animals, but little did I realize I was exercising.
-I was skinnier than most kids my age and was laughed at when I went out for football and wrestling in high school. I never was in a competitive sport growing up until then. I ended up playing three years in high school and two years in college. Many of those laughing at the time are now in jail or hooked on drugs or dead. In my sophomore year of high school I started out at 160# and by the end of the year I weighed 210. At the beginning of my sophomore year I benched 150# and at the beginning of my senior year I benched 390#. I did realize I was exercising. Weights became a component of my living. You could always do more with it.
-Something key happened to my strength and sports development when I was a junior. I lost my dad the day after Thanksgiving that year. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. He died with unresolved issues between us and those issues stayed with me for well over a decade afterwards. In the newness of that pain my coping mechanism became weight training and anger and in my senior year of football I played far better than I probably would have.
-In the late Fall and early Spring of my Senior year several small colleges called me to consider playing for them. I ended up playing for Bluffton College. I actually had not considered college prior to the invitation as our counselors stunk and I was poor. Bluffton’s counselors were much better and showed me the well of grants and loans. The embarrassing thing is that I picked that school because it had several acres of woods on the campus. I gave no consideration to academic credentials and trivialized the capabilities of teachers my whole life. Why should college be any different? Fortunately it was for my sake. I learned more in college than 1st-12th combined.
-I have never taken well to anyone telling me I cannot do something. Consequently when I was younger I took a lot of stupid dares until I realized I was being manipulated. Other dares proved to be challenges that formed a great deal of who I am and how my life has turned out.

ABILITIES AND INCLINATIONS OF THE MIND AND SOUL.

-I learned to read when I was four.
-Read the Hobbit at the age of 9.
-Drew my first picture, of a bug, when I was 2. You could tell what it was. In college I only took one art class, in my last quarter, and my work ended up in a show. I wish now I had taken classes in high school and done art as a major in college.
-Had read through the New Testament a couple of times, and some parts dozens of times, before I was 14 and by my own choice.
-The first time I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail I was 8. Not the best thing for an eight year old but I still love it.
-I never went through the “hating girls” stage as a kid. I first kissed a girl when I was three. Chased them ever since…till I got married.
-Watched PBS by choice as a kid and not just Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street. Favorite shows: Anything about nature, science, folklore, and mythology. I learned far more this way than I did in school (including 80% of my college).
-Walked in fields with bulls and horses before I was in kindergarten. They were my friends though and they knew it and I knew it. I was never in danger.
-Often got lost on purpose on the land outside of Athens just to see if I could figure out how to get back.
-Read over a dozen collection of Peanuts comic strips and still love A Charlie Brown Christmas more than any tv show or movie ever made. Charles Schulz work and Spiderman comics were key teachers for me in terms of human relationships, systems of honor and sacrifice, heroism, perseverance, true glory, and love. While they are just comics I found them to be illustrations of Biblical principles that I didn’t find shown, as often as I should have, at home or in the church.
-Types of pets past and present: Dogs, cats, rats, mice, spiders, skunk, pigeon, doves, pirhanna and other fish.
-My IQ has tested several times and lands between 137 and 139 without fail. I don’t take stock in these tests but the redundancy of the results is interesting.
-I was in the 91st percentile on my military entrance tests.
-I am, beyond a shadow of a doubt, ADHD.
-I have been told on many occasions by people who don’t know each other that I am supposed to become a preacher. I don’t know how I will ever teach as I am always the student.

THE MAJOR INFLUENCES OUTSIDE OF ME

1. PARENTS and GRANDPARENTS:
-Parents from Southern Ohio. Both born in 1929 and grew up through the depression.
-Grandparents from Southern Ohio and West Virginia. Both grandpa's worked on railroads. Both Grandpa's and grandma's farmed. Both grandma's teachers. Only one grandparent alive when I was born. Mom's Dad could deadlift a barrel of tar and did so on a bet (he liked to fight I guess too).
-Father liked Classical, Truckstop country, some rock, and loved Bluegrass. Electrical engineer. Artist. Carpenter (built small house single handedly outside of Athens and Mom lives there now). Mechanic. Road rally driver. WW2 vet. Dad didn't go to church. Dad believed in the wee people and talking to trees. Dad never used the word love to anybody but sometimes in his limited way he showed it. His Dad died when my Dad was only 12. Nature freak. He died when I was 16. I didn’t really heal from this until my son was born. Even after that every now and then the wound still opens and I miss him with deep sadness.
-Mother likes gospel music and Big Band. Mom is Pentacostal. Mom is a story teller and a gossip. Animal freak (especially dogs). Mom forced Jesus down my throat from birth. Lots of fire and brimstone. Misguided but a huge heart. Crazy as a loon. I will miss her when she goes more than I ever missed my Dad and that scares me.


2. SIBLINGS:
-Oldest sibling is 54 (I think). Closest to my age is 7 years older. Hippie music-disco-80's pop-Christian rock. All 5 children artistically inclined. A formally trained artist/hippie/pseudo wiccan (and much more), a historian (and much more), a business woman and great thinker (and much more), a singer (and much more), and me. All of us draw. Some of us sculpt/carve. Some of us paint. All of us write. All nature freaks. All readers. Only one formal athlete (guess who).

3. ENVIRONMENT
-My neighborhood growing up was all white until I was 4-5yrs old. The neighborhood shifted to me being the only white boy in my sixth grade class. In middle school and highschool Columbus had “desegregation”. I was bussed from my poor black neighborhood, in middle school, to a poor white school. In high school I was bussed from my poor black neighborhood into a rich white neighborhood. Between weekends and Summers, until I was 16, I spent about 33% of my life in the country with 100 acres of woods and former farmland at my disposal.

This Is My King