Friday, November 25, 2011

Not What My Hands Have Done


This weeks song is an old Hymn originally written by Horatius Bonar, first published in 1861, titled "Not What My Hands Have Done."  However, the version I have been listening to this week is performed by "Indelible Grace," again thanks to my wife for introducing this band to me!  I really love the words to the hymn, and Indelible Grace put a nice rock/folk touch in their work.
Obviously while working on a construction project here in Kuwait we all use our hands a lot!  Constructing takes a long time...especially when your contracted concrete plant is broke down for three days in one week...true story.  Besides the concrete plant, which is out of our control, we use our hands on our tools, instruments, and equipment all day.  We use our hands to work a shovel on the base course for the final correct elevation before the concrete form is placed down.  We use our hands to move the concrete form in place, double check for correct elevation, then either hammer it down with a sledge hammer or a pneumatic hammer.  We use our hands on tools to move poured concrete into the formed area for a concrete pad, and then give the top a smooth finish with a trowel.  We all have a different role in this construction project, but at the end of the day we all can look back to see what our hands have done.  It's pretty satisfying.
However, what is so amazing about this song is that it is talking about "NOT" what our hands have done.  It is from the hands of Jesus that our guilty souls are saved.  It is from the hands of Jesus that give us peace with God.  It is because of Jesus that we sing "I live because He lives!"  Early this week I finished reading through the gospel of Luke, and the more I read of the crucifixion of Christ the more I am amazed.  I challenge you to read Luke 23:39-43 before you listen to this song.  We can all relate to the second criminal that was crucified at the side of Jesus.  The criminal is like each and every one of us sinners, whatever that sin may be.  Just like the criminal, we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and His purpose as our Savior from our sins.  While nailed to the cross, Jesus is asked by the criminal to remember him once into the Kingdom of God.  It is the response of Jesus to the second criminal that confirms, "not what MY hands have done."
Enjoy the song, it's what I have enjoyed all week.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Something in the Water


"Song Of The Week For You To Seek"
This weeks most played song has been "Something In The Water" by Brooke Fraser.  Melissa introduced this artist to me probably about a year ago.  I just love her up-beat tempo and use of simple sounds of the acoustic guitar, pounding drum beat, and not to mention her rejuvinating yet calming voice.  This song reminds me so much of driving in the car with Melissa.  Whether we are make one of our many drives across Las Vegas (because we are way out by ourselves in the NorthEast part of the city), or taking a road trip to California, we are usually jamming to this song quite often!  I love the chorus of the song, "I'm crazy over you, there's something in the water that makes me love you like I do"  Recently Melissa and I have had to make a major decision in our lives, and the way we came to the conclusion together makes me love her even more now than days before.  Its not so much the outcome of the decision that makes me crazy over her, but the way we talked through our options, prayed, and at the end-finally opened up to what we wanted together in our lives.  For us, the something in the water is Christ, and the way He makes us love each other like we do.  1 John 4:11-12 says "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."  I feel God working in both our hearts, He is working on making His love better in our hearts.  I pray Jesus continues to work in our hearts and your heart!
The comical double meaning to this song is that there REALLY is something in the water out here in Kuwait.  Recently I went to our laundry facility with a buddy here at camp to do, well our, laundry.  We were surprised to see how brown the water was as it filled up the washing machine.  At first we thought it was a light brown tent to the water, but then we looked at the bottom of the machine to see it being filled up with orange water!  Either some real rusty pipes or just something in the water.  Good thing we had soap to go with the wash water.  This little experience I shared with my wingman reassured me why we should use bottled water when we brush our teeth...but now the shower has me a bit nervous.  I don't want to come out looking orange!!
Enjoy the song, it's what I have enjoyed all week.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Song Of The Week For You To Seek

This weeks pick comes from 1998, a song by one of my favorite musicians John Mellencamp, but most know him as "Cougar."  The title of the song is "Your Life Is Now."  I first heard this song while attending my first ever concert at Riverbend Cincinnati with my Dad in 1999.  We both enjoyed his style of American Rock of his Cougar days, and now he has a unique folk blues rock thing going on.  I remember standing at the concert with Dad, both of us in awe of John having so many fans wanting to come see him in person.  After the concert my Dad bought me Mellencamps new album (thanks again Dad!) which was on sale with the official vendors-which obviously included this song.  This week I have really enjoyed this song-mainly because of its slow tempo, and blunt statement of "your life is now."  Some days it is real hard to enjoy life right NOW being so far from my Wife and both our families.  The lyrics of the song remind me of a great bible verse that I want to share for encouragement for those days that you are struggling through, or perhaps you are just in a plain 'ol bad mood.
1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  I have struggled with this some days this week for sure, and I know in the past more days I care to remember.  But I like to TRY to keep this in mind during my trials-and remind myself "your life is now-and do all to the glory of God."  It's important to be aware of your character, actions, and work ethics in order to give glory to Gods plan for you NOW, right at this moment.
Enjoy the song, it's what I have enjoyed all week.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just the Two of Us


"Song of the week for you to seek" 

While deployed I will be posting my favorite song of the week in order to challenge you to check it out-whether it is YouTube, iTunes, or good 'ol fashion Compact Disc.  At night I listen to my iPod before I drift off, and there always seems to be a favorite song I want to share with others.  It could be a little look on what's going through my head at the time, or how I'm feeling about the week, or experiences.
My pick for this week for you to seek, "Children of God" by Third Day.  A true song of PRAISE to God that we have been seeked out.  Third Day was introduced to me by my sister as her favorite group years ago, then she shared with her husband Ryan years later-which he is now in eternal worship with the Lord.  Last Christmas my wife bought the Third Day Move album for me (which includes this song), and not until this week have I enjoyed this song so much.  I feel so blessed to be able to sing (in my head for now-I don't sing real well) and understand the words in this song. 
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  As Christians we are a new creation as a child of God.  We seek to worship and obey Him.  Sadly we still sin and rebel against our Father as christians do, but PRAISE to Jesus Christ for coming with his forgiving LOVE and GIVING us eternal life.
Enjoy the song, its what I have enjoyed all week ;)


Finally, the weekend. The weather dropped to the lower 60s this week, last week it was in the high 80s... so naturally, the kids in the school go crazy of course! So I am VERY thankful for the weekend!! School is going alright this year, it's starting to finally feel like my class. I'm finally getting my old kids out of my head and really enjoying this class. It took a long time, I feel, but at least I'm finally at that place. The next couple weeks are weird, we have two 3 day weeks and then soon after is Christmas Break!!! Horray! I'm doing tutoring after school with a group of 14 kids. I have to stay til 5:30... but it's beginning to be bearable and quite fun! 

I've made myself busy, sometimes I think I'm killing myself with business! I've been doing a lot with our church, teaching, fellowship groups, youth group, community group! Phew.... there's a lot! We did some pumpkin carving with the youth group kids. It was a lot of fun. I got really into the World Series this year, so did our piggies. ;) Last weekend, some friends and I went to Utah for a quick camping trip. It was cold... I don't like camping when it's cold. But my best friend Hannah was in town from Tennessee. 

Today, I got to talk to Jason on the phone for a good half hour which was a treat. We only get to talk like once a week on the phone. We got to talking about Christmas and Hallmark ornaments. Turns out, they went on sale today, so we were texting back and forth and I was sending him pictures. For the past two years we've just got one ornament that is meaningful to our year as a family. This year, we figured, since we're away, we'd get two. So Jason got "Prep for Landing" since he's working hard on a runway and I got "World Class Teacher" since I'm stuck in Vegas working. Then we got a star to go on the top of the tree, just because it's really really pretty! 

So that's my little update from Vegas, I figured I'd write one, since Jason did last time. Hope all is well! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Post from Kuwait!

It's the first of November, which marks one month for being in Kuwait!  Sadly, it's hard to believe its been ONLY a month, but we all feel nice and settled into our temporary home and family.  Work has been a bit slow at times, but will be picking up real fast next week.  We have completed section I and II of seven total sections of concrete, which will be nearly a half mile when complete.  Tomorrow we are paving asphalt for the parking apron shoulder, which makes for a nice change from sloppy concrete.  Some of our work is already being used by some Army medic choppers.  Our chow hall is pretty good, and its always a surprise as for what is to eat for the day.  I do miss being able to cook, or go out to eat at your choice though!  On down time I enjoy movies, playing wii sports-yep we have one, reading, and listening to music.  Lately music and reading have been my favorite, its funny that the simple things are what I enjoy the most!
The army medics using our new parking apron
Last week, a day after the final crete pour.
Our deployment uniform
My materials testing lab in a tent
After work yesterday a small group of us watched a Halloween movie to celebrate the holiday.  Hanging out with some of the guys like that reminded me of my college days, being with roommates and watching a movie.  As guys we don't always have something worth while to say, but we do enjoy being around each others most of the time-so movies are great for that.  While laying in my lil bed before I fell asleep I was listening to some music on my iPod when I heard something slapping at the top of our tent.  The slapping turned into what was a steady fall of rain, finally!!!  It only lasted for about 3 minutes, but it was so welcoming I took off my headphones to enjoy the sounds.  Rain sounds a lot like little drumbeats as they bounce of the top of a tent.  So far life is not bad, considering as much as I do miss Melissa and our comfy home.  I feel safe and content over here while doing our work, even though it really isn't that different from work at home.  Thank you all for reading and keeping Melissa and I in your thoughts and prayers.