Monthly Archives: November 2008

Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup

  • I was running a bit late for service this morning; well it was later than I normally get there, anyway.  I usually arrive at around 7:00, but this morning I arrived at about 7:30.
  • Chris greeted me in the lobby between services or before, I can’t remember.  But he was upset that he forgot to make two picks last week in the second chance league.  He will probably use that as an excuse when I come back and over take him for the league lead!
  • The worship was a little different than normal for a couple reasons.
  1. Jesse was sick so he did not sing.  Instead, Mike B. led worship and did a great job.
  2. There was no keyboard so Bill grabbed an acoustic and I played the bass.
  • That left Julie on back up vox, Josiah returned to the electric twanger, Jesse played rhythm guitar, and Alex was the beat machine and was fantastic as usual.
  • We sang “Salvation is Here”, “Open the Eyes of My Heart”, “Your Love is Extravagant”, and for communion we sang “Holy is the Lord”.
  • This was Paul‘s last Sunday with LPC.  He will be missed.  Trav took a week off from speaking as Paul was bringing the message on this his final Sunday.
  • For his encore, Paul spoke today on Jonah regarding obedience to God.  It was appropriate considering this time of change was also a time of obedience to the Lord’s call in his life.
  • He also recounted the story of his first week here at Life Pointe in which we were snorkeling for lobster in the middle of the night and his experience trying to dive without weights.  He also noted that it was only his second time snorkeling ever.  I was not aware of that at the time.
  • Paul has promised that he would blog the answers to any questions anyone would ask. I look forward to his update since it has been a while. It must be a big occasion for Paul to blog!
  • Paul speaks on Jonah in his last service with LPC.

    Paul speaks on Jonah in his last service with LPC.

For another perspective on this morning at Life Pointe, be sure to visit:

Ritz’s Goosfaba

Chris’ Tossed Salad

Jesse’s “From the Stage

******In other news, there is a tornado watch for all of South Florida until 8:00 PM.  They also say we could experience sustained winds tonight from 25-40 MPH and gusts up to 60 MPH.  Please be advised.******

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Saturday Top 5: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

A couple of weeks ago, my mom and dad treated me and Marcela to a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert.  We have been fans of Mannheim Steamroller for years, so it was such a cool concert for us.  If you are not familar with them by name, I am sure you have heard their music.  They are most popularly known for their Christmas music which is described by some as 18th Century Classical Rock.  Chip Davis, the group’s founder said he does not believe in all accoustic, all electronic, or all digital.  He wants to make music where all those converge.  So when you hear “Angels We Have Heatd on High” with tympany drums, solid brass section, and a Moog Synth, that is Mannheim Steamroller!  This list will compile my top 5 favorite Mannheim Steamroller Christmas tunes.  It is definitely one of the toughest lists for me, because there were so many great songs to choose from.

#5. Pat-a-pan – From Mannheim’s third album, this is a very percussion infused song about a little boy who received a drum for Christmas, and when he went off to war as a drummer boy, he used the drum he was given.  The song is another medieval sounding combination of flutes, percussion, and synthesizers.

#4. Deck the Halls – I would imagine this is Mannheim Steamroller’s most famous Christmas rendition.  It’s the first cut off the first Christmas album, and like many of the songs Chip Davis composed or arranged, one layer builds on another until it releases you.  Since you are already familiar with the song, the tension that builds from expecting the song to go where it does not makes the chorus more rewarding.

#3. Good King Winceslas – This may be the most rockin song Mannheim Steamroller does.  It’s also off the first album.  They take a very traditional Christmas song and lay a model with great percussion and a synth lead.  Very cool.

#2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman (both the Christmas Sweet followed by the electronic version) – This is off the first Christmas album which sold over 6 million copies.  The way it comes out of the medieval sweet into the electronic synth version is one of the twists that makes this song so good.  I hope you enjoy the videos.  I found both to be more than entertaining, especially the air performance.

#1. Fum, Fum, Fum – Every time I hear this song, I want to grab a flute and dance around the room.  To me, it is the most happy and lively song from all of the Christmas songs Mannheim Steamroller does.  The composition by Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller sounds very Gaelic when in fact it is Catalan.

In conclusion, I could have listed 20 more songs that were worthy, but these were my favorites.  If you get a chance, check out Los Peces en el Rio, Faeries, the Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Hallelujah.  That’s still not enough.  Your best bet is to go out and buy a couple of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums.  My suggestion is to grab the Christmas Celebration album as it has some of their best tunes compiled on one CD.

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Friday Bottom 3: Holiday Food

These are some foods that are most commonly associated with Christmas, New Year, and Thanksgiving.  If properly made, some of these are not so bad.  They have developed a bad reputation because either they are difficult to make or people skimp on the ingredients because they are expensive.

#3.  Mincemeat Pie – Why would anyone spend as much as it would take to make this strange concoction of dried fruits, nuts, meat, spices, and (not enough) sugar.  The crust tastes good, though.

#2.  Green Bean Casserole – The truth is, this world famous holiday casserole is not bad.  The biggest problem is when you make it with everything coming from a can: canned green beans, canned of cream of mushroom soup, and canned fried onions.

#1.  Fruitcake – I have had a good fruitcake before, and it’s decent.  Unfortunately, most fruitcakes would be better described as a petrified cake.  I have heard of one fruitcake lasting for 73 years before someone tried to consume it.  On the day it was consumed, it looked like it had just been made.

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Thoughtsgiving

  • I love Thanksgiving so much.  I am so grateful to have the time available.
  • I was planning on having to work today, and I looked forward to the money that comes from double time for two days (tomorrow is also a holiday).  But I decided that a little extra money is not as nice as having the time to spend with my wife and family.
  • There is Christmas music playing in my living room, two freshly made pumpkin pies in the fridge, a ham in the oven, a broccoli casserole being prepared by Marcela, and a orange/cranberry relish being chilled.  My mom is making the turkey and dressing, Kelly is preparing the rolls, mashed taters, and sweet potato casserole.  We are going to have a grand feast!
  • Marcela and I will go out tomorrow and buy a couple of things, and I am sure it will be a madhouse.  But unfortunately, we do not have a plan except that we will look for a few DVD’s.
  • Today we will eat, watch some football, play a few board games and Wii, and hopefully get a chance to watch some Christmas specials.
  • Max just got finished running around like a mad dog.  It was funny seeing him try to keep up with the neighbor’s Belgian Malanois.  The neighbor’s dog’s name is Phoenix, and she loves Max.  But Max is so low to the ground that he has to jump up to play with Phoenix.  Phoenix is an expert fetcher, but Max is just learning.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday Quotable – Thanksgiving

Thank you Lord, for giving me such a great wife and home.  Thank you for my brother, sister-in-law, nieces, nephew, mom, dad, and all the other wonderful blessings of family.  Thank you for your provision!

Some hae meat and canna eat, –
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
~Robert Burns

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Fantasy Football Report

What’s up with this “see-saw” league? The top 3 teams lost this week, Pastor Trav is toast, Oral’s Bachrach squad has fought his way into contention, and the Turkey Buzzards made me its latest victim as a spoiler. That makes 3 in a row! The title of the leagues hottest team has been passed from me to The Buzzards.

Ritz lost his 4th, but despite the loss took over first place. Pastor Travis lost by just a few yards which he needed to make up the 1 point margin of difference. That makes a four-way-tie for first place with about 15 points separating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Jesse’s Fuser’s have one of the lowest point totals in the league and leaves him most vulnerable to being passed by points if he loses his remaining two games while Bachrach wins his two. Not one team has secured a playoff spot technically, because Bachrach has the leagues highest point total. A two game losing skid for any top 4 team combined with 2 wins for Bachrach would equal a disastrous choke and fall from the playoffs.

The League Standings

#1. Ritz 7-4
#2. The Citizen Cane 7-4
#3. Dead Skins 7-4
#4. Fuser Heads 7-4
#5. Bachrach 5-6
#6. Skins 4-7
#7. Big Doggs 4-7
#8. Turkey Buzzards 3-8

The playoffs are not yet set in stone as you can see. It has been a competitive league with parity from top to bottom. I believe at least two teams will clinch playoff spots next week, since there are only two weeks until the playoffs begin. If Bachrach loses, all 4 top teams will clinch playoff birth simultaneously, and at the same time too.

As for Vegas Pickem, I declare myself the winner since the other three teams have given up on passing me. I had a strong week with 9 correct picks out of 16.

In 2nd Chance, yours truly was the only team to successfully pick the New Yorks Jets to defeat the Tennessee Titans. That qualifies me for genius status. I also had the best pickset of the whole group for the second time this year. I still have a shot at winning that one. Until later…

Edited to update the standings.  I am actually in second place by one point.

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The Max Factor

When Ela requests something, you better snap to it!  Seriously, Max is a funny little fella.  I came home today and he had been tucked away in his day crate which gives him enough room to play a little, eat, and do his business on a puppy pad.  But he it’s still a cage, so it’s not like he has room to run.  I let him out and he ran to the door barking at me to open the door so he could get outside.  After I let him out to the park in front of my house off the leash, he goes to take care of his duties, and runs around in the park chasing leaves anything else that moves.  A fella walks by with his Spitz on a leash and of course, Max does not meet a stranger be it human or animal.  He loves to meet other dogs especially.  So he runs to “Brutus”, the Spitz, and tries to play with him.  All the while, Brutus is looking at him like he’s crazy.  He takes off running circles around the guy with his dog and I am yelling at him to stop and Brutus is chasing Max in circles wrapping his master up in the leash.  Anyway, I met the guy and talked for a while about the association, dogs, the economy, and internet services that are now available.  He really liked Max though, and I apologized for not having Max leashed and causing the trouble.  He was really cool about it.  If only people were like that, friendly with each other that is, not the running circles and playing with each other.  🙂

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Monday Armchair QB

What a wretched week/weekend for South Florida sports, especially football.

The Hurricanes were downgraded to a mere Tropical Depression by the Yellow Jackets running attack. Prior to the game, a GT fan said that Miami was going to be runn all over Thursday because of two coaching mistakes Shannon was making. #1. He instructed the players to swarm to the ball. Against this offense, it’s important to play assignment football, and the swarm mentality will leave players out of position, in overpersuit, and susceptible to misdirection. #2. Shannon instructed the players to tackle high in order to create turnovers. This mistake would cause players to be run over by the large RB HB/FB, QB, and WR’s who are operating this triple option. Miami needed to get lower than the O-Line and ball carriers to keep from getting run over, through, or having tackles broken. Both of these predictions came true and Miami gave up the most yards on the ground since 1944, the second most in school history. You just cannot give up 450 yards total, much less on the ground and expect anything less than a complete embarrassment. Strangely enough, the Canes are still in contention for an ACC championship depending on the outcome of VT’s upcoming match up, GT’s next game, and their own game against NC St.

As for the Dolphins, it was a fun game until late 3rd/early 4th Quarter. The Wildcat was tamed overall, but Pennington had a fine game scoring 3 passing TD’s. NE is now in second place in the division at 7-4, Miami falls back to 6-5 and has a tough road to a possible playoff birth.

In pickem, I was the only picker to pick the greatest pick of the week. I called NY Jets to beat the Titans, thank you very much.

In fantasy football, there will be another shake up. Unless Mason Crosby scores 30 points for me tonight (hahahaha), I am going to lose due to my own trade. It’s ok, I would still have traded Turner, but this week his 36 points beat me. I hit a buzz saw named the Turkey Buzzards who just a few weeks ago were winless. Now the Buzzards are going to have 3 wins in a row and have the week’s high score. I also made a mistake starting Denver on D and benching Thomas Jones who also had a big week.

Stand by until tomorrow for the Fantasy Football Report.

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Sunday Life Pointe Talk Soup Homestead edition

  • What a great Sunday morning at the Flagship Cinema as Life Pointe Church met for our Homestead services.
  • This morning, I had to go to work.  Report time is 0540 for briefing.  On weekends, they take volunteers to go home since we are overstaffed.  I decided that since I got called in for OT on Friday, my wallet could afford to volunteer to go home.  So the cool part is that I got paid 4 hours to show up for briefing.
  • I had to make a trip out to the office to grab the keyboard since it was not planned that I would be playing.  Jesse threw me in the mix on the keys and I was glad to be able to join the team this morning.
  • Mike B. was on drums for the 8:30 service, Alex played drums for the 9:45 and 11:00 services, Jesse played rhythm on the electric and sang lead vox, Bill played bass, I was on the keys, and we were short our lead rocker this morning.  Nyrian and Reina sang back up, Mike B sang back up vox for the 9:45 and 11:00 services.
  • For music, we sang “Point of Difference”, “Your Grace is Enough”, “More Than Enough”, and for communion “Devotion”.  During the greet we sang U2’s “Where the Streets Have no Name”.
  • The message was amazing.  If you were not here with us, you have to hear the podcast when it is posted.
  • Tom Sterbens who is on LPC’s Strategic Team spoke.  He pastors in Tennessee in the same fellowship as LPC and has a very professorially manner when he speaks.  He claims also to be ADD and LLI.  Since I haven’t seen him limping around, I would have to assume that he is talking about Low Latent Inhibition and not Leg Length Inequality I was definitely captivated by his message and the delivery.
  • He spoke on forgiveness.  Some of the key points is that forgiveness is necessary for you, it is not a noble gesture on your behalf.  The text came from Matthew 18:23-35 which is the parable of the unforgiving servant.  Why do we think that we can be made whole by getting back what someone has taken from us when we have been given so much by God?  All we need is God’s grace.  Unforgiveness screams in the face of God.

I have to work the next three days.  That means I need to get sleep tonight so I can get up at 4 AM.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make the Plantation service.  Stay tuned to some of our other most excellent bloggers for other perspectives on Life Pointe Church in Homestead and Plantation Key.

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Saturday Top 5: The Gun Cabinet

As many of you know, I am a gun owner. I believe in responsible gun ownership, but I believe that responsibility and privilege rests solely on the individual and not the government. Violent criminals, mentally adjudicated, substance addicted, and certain felons are among those I believe who have forfeited their individual rights. I don’t believe in mandatory gun registration, micro stamping, frivolous lawsuits against the industry, caliber restrictions, mag capacity restrictions, mandatory gun locks, “safer guns and safer bullets”, “closing the gun show loophole”, banning so-called Saturday Night Specials, punitive excise taxes on guns, restrictions on cheap guns that are totally unfair to the poor, or any of the other ridiculous infringements of our 2nd Amendment protections.

There, now you have my disclaimer. When I was 8, my Grandpa Roberts gave me a 20 Gauge single shot. My dad and grandpa taught me responsible handling and firing of this powerful gun. Since then, I have had a few various long guns, revolvers, and semi automatic pistols. These are the top 5 guns that I believe every serious gun owner should consider owning. In other words, if money was no object and I could have only 5 guns (and I don’t really think 5 is enough), these would be the 5 calibers I would suggest.

#5. Tactical Long Gun or Carbine – I like the AR 15 which is manufactured by many companies, since that’s what I am familiar with carrying every day. The 223 caliber ammo is widely available due to this guns popularity worldwide. Ruger also makes a 223 that’s a little less tactical. The Mini 14 is a great gun that is accurate, long ranged, and “accessorizable”. Also, the AK 47 and Chinese version of the same gun is very affordable though it uses a slightly different and less available round. These are good guns to have if you live on a farm or a ranch and you are going to be out in the field for long periods of time. They make good varmint guns, personal self defense weapons, hunting rifles, and even target guns. They are also quite fun because of their high capacity, accuracy, speedy repeating and reloading, and low recoil. For the record, I do not currently own one and I don’t know if our newly elected president is going to ban them because they look so mean.

#4. Hunting Rifle – These are for small, medium, and large game, like squirrels, rabbit, hog, deer, elk, moose, and hippos. Haha. Seriously, there are so many calibers to choose from and your selection would be based on the object at the other end. 22 WM, 22 Hornet are fine for smaller game, while 7mm Magnum or 30-06 Rifle will bring down a very large game. 308 WM might be a better round since it’s more widely available. But smaller calibers like the 270 might be more appropriate for those of us in the sound, unless you’re hunting large alligators. Rifles in bolt action, lever action, semi automatic, or even single shot are good options.

#3. Handgun for personal defense/concealed carry – This is one that I had to make broad enough for my top 5, otherwise I would have too many to list. I prefer the 40 caliber or 9mm compact or subcompact Glock, while other “experts” would have nothing less than a 45 caliber semi auto. 9mm is preferable because of the price of ammunition combined with the adequacy of the stopping power. A steel framed 357 Magnum Revolver is an extremely versatile piece. You can shoot 38 special cartridges (which are much cheaper) out of the same gun for practice. The 357 generates a whole lot of energy which translates to “stopping power”, but nowhere close to the power of the 44 magnum (see Dirty Harry). Revolvers can be extremely slim and short for great concealment. The drawback is the number of rounds is restricted to 5 or six and reloading is more difficult. This brings be back to my Glock, which holds 15 rounds in the magazine, and spare mags can be carried. Another reason the handgun does not make the top of the list is that while it is highly portable and concealable, accuracy and control is more difficult since it has a shorter barrel which effects the sights and only two points of contact, your hands. It has an added benefit of being able to accurately and effectively be manipulated and fired with one hand.

#2. .22 LR Carbine or Rifle – This is a very affordable and necessary gun. I prefer the Ruger 10/22 as a semi auto repeater due to price, availability, and accessories. It’s under $300 and the rounds are about $15 for a box of 550. That will keep you shooting all day. It’s also a great gun to learn the fundamentals of the long gun and shooting. For target practice, field pests (snakes, rats, and such), and “plinking”, it’s a gun that every gun owner should have in their cabinet.

#1. 12 Gauge Repeating Shotgun – This is the most versatile gun and one of the most affordable. For home defense, there is nothing that comes close. Control is achieved through three contact points (two hands and one shoulder). Accuracy is not required if you are using shot since you will get a good spread at 10 yards. Just the sound of a 12 gauge being pumped is enough to strike fear in the heart of any rational intruder, but for the irrational or hopped up bad guy, this is one of the few guns that will put an adversary (bad guy) down with certainty every time. Pistols cannot come close to the stopping power of a 12 gauge shotgun. Also, this gun can be used for bird hunting, and larger game like deer and hog at closer range. I recommend a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 as a great starter. For the ladies, a 410 or 20 gauge may be more appropriate since it has far less recoil. Both pumps and semi automatic are great, but the pump is more reliable if you are someone who does not keep a regular cleaning schedule. Cartridges show the versatility of this long gun. You can buy a rifled slug (one large bullet), buckshot (multiple large pellets with different sizes from which to choose), birdshot (a large number of BB pellets and smaller in led or steel, various sizes to choose depending on the game being hunted or target being shot), non lethal bean bags (they are lethal at close range, and I am not sure if these are legal for civilian use), and metal powder for door breaching.

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