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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

A heavy heart...from Andrew's "sister".

Hello friends and readers of Andrew,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. With Andrew's wife's permission, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Major and I'm sort of Andrew's adopted sister.

I'm here today to ask for prayer for Andrew and Barbara.

As most of you know, Andrew faces some significant health challenges. So until he recovers enough to resume his blog, I ask that you leave words of prayer and encouragement for him and Barbara, and pray for them both, as they need it.

My apologies for not going into detail, but suffice it to say, he is not well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Greatest Gift

Thanksgiving is over, and Black Friday has begun.

Actually, it began yesterday...Thanksgiving Day. Go figure.

I'm not going to vilify Black Friday. A lot of people really enjoy it, and for many, the hopes of a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving dissolve in a wave of snide criticism and bitterness. The mall's an escape. Granted, it would be better to solve the problems and live in harmony, but until then...yeah, the mall can be better.

And what should you buy, for that one-and-only person who chose to marry you, who chose to spend their life with...you?

I have the secret!

Lean in. Closer. We don't want to tell the world, do we?

Oh. Right. We do.

Well, here it is.

Get your mate what he or she asks for.

Requesting a gift is something beyond buying for ourselves. First and foremost, it's an outreach for approval...."this is what I like, and is that OK with you?"

Second, requested gifts are very often an expression of individual hope, a statement that says, "this is what I want to become". Approval plays a big role here, as well..."this is what I want to become, and will you help me?"

Third, a request is an extension of trust, leaving it in your hands to find that which was requested.

All too often, we buy our spouses mirrors, gifts that reflect what we want in life, or what we would like them to be.

I spoke with a man who was utterly shocked that his wife greeted his gift with pained indifference. What did he give her? A clothes-pressing machine.

And the formal, button-down husband who got a half-dozen tie-dyed shirts also got the message..."I want you to change", which he translated to "I don't really like you the way you are".

Maybe he did need to lighten up (he did, actually). But this wasn't the way.

Give the greatest gift you can.


If you have the opportunity, please stop by at my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace", for a grace quote - from an unexpected source - and a short commentary. It's at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chosen To Marry

(Next week we'll start on our next series, "The Five Languages of Touch". Today is the day for a Thanksgiving-themed post.)

On this eve of Thanksgiving, it is perhaps a good opportunity to let your mate know how thankful you are for him or her.

You were chosen.

Think of that. You were wanted, above anyone else. Not just anyone else your spouse knew at the time, but all of those they had the future opportunity to meet.

It didn't end there. Your husband or wife has chosen to stay. In this age of drive-through divorces (which did exist in Las Vegas), your mate's chosen to stay.

Not because you're a thoroughly lovely person; no one is, all the time.

Not because he or she is 100% madly in love with you. Marriage tends to cure that.

Not because you're rich as Rockefeller and your spouse can't let go of the lifestyle...ever looked at the divorce statistics of rich celebrities and "beautiful people"?

It's because you were chosen, you're loved, and your mate made a promise.


We hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

(If you have the chance, please visit my other blog, www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, for a quotation and a short commentary of grace in marriage.)

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Zero Tolerance?

Last week a new hashtag emerged...high-school students were taking pictures of their "healthy" but unappetizing school lunches, and Tweeting them with #thanksmichelleobama, a reference to the First Lady's support of increasing the nutritional value of school meals.

While Mrs. Obama is being unfairly pilloried - she doesn't prepare the menus, after all, and we did need to move beyond pizza and doughnuts - the kids have a point. Some of the food looks like dog vomit, and would you eat "Spanish Rice" with no salt?

It's just the latest installment of the "zero tolerance" philosophy that has replaced reasoned thinking since the 1990s. If lunches are not nutritious...make the transition from pizza to bean curd immediately. That sort of decisive action will somehow make up for the years in which Pop-Tartswere considered one of the major food groups. Right?


What it's really about is control; it's a convenient way to wield power cloaked in what seems to be common-sense justification.

Telling kids they can't bring a pistol to school is one thing; telling adults they can't take a pair of fingernail clippers onto an airliner is quite another. One makes sense, because it can marry immature intent with capability; the other is moronic, because fingernail clippers have no capability beyond clipping fingernails.

Is "zero tolerance" common in marriage?

I'm afraid it is. Consider these scenarios, which are disguised as House Rules -

  • No eating or drinking allowed in the car
  • No feet on the furniture
  • Don't touch my tools
  • ...and so on
Again, they seem reasonable within certain contexts, but in terms of  "real life" they are typically put up not only to protect personal boundaries...but to project power.

No food or drink in the car? Sure, it'll keep the upholstery clean, and give the illusion of keeping up the value...but cars lose value over time. Fact. Period.

It's kind of like an Asian observation of Western time-saving techniques..."when they've saved all that time, what will they spend it on?"

The interior may be pristine, but a car with 150,000 miles on it is still old.

Feet on the furniture? I personally don't like it much, but after a hard day, someone - like my wife - just needs to put her feet up in a safe place,where she can relax and watch some television.

But furniture is designed to be used, and if I occasionally overlook B's feet on the sofa, she feels at home,and I have allowed a small bit of grace to pass to her...the grace defined by keeping my mouth shut.

But she should never touch my tools. I would much rather she have to drive into town to get a hammer if she can't find "hers", rather than use mine.

I mean, she might break it.

What zero tolerance in marriage accomplishes is the maintenance of distance. It makes my wife feel not only like a second-class citizen, but one under constant scrutiny. On probation.

Zero tolerance is a prison.

Your thoughts?

In you have the chance,please stop by my other blog, "Starting the Day With Grace" at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Did You Notice Them? - Five Minute Friday

Once again, it's Five-Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Montaug. The challenge is to write for five minutes on a given "theme word", posted by Kate on Thursday night...and then stop when the timer dings.

Today's word is notice.


Did you notice them?

They were in Wal-Mart today - the elderly couple. He was wearing a cap that said "Korean War Veteran",and a windbreaker with a small American flag pinned to one lapel. There was a little Korean flag pinned to the other.

She was in a wheelchair. He was walking straight and tall, and pushing her. She pushed the shopping cart. Quite a sight.

Occasionally he would rest one hand on her thin shoulder, and she would put up her hand to touch his.

Did you see them in the canned-food aisle? He was trying to reach something on the top shelf, when a young, tattooed homie walked past.

The gangbanger stopped, turned, and then took down what the veteran needed. Then he pushed the cart through the store for them. He called the veteran "sir", and called his wife "ma'am".

Did you notice them?

Did it give you hope?


If you have the chance, please stop by my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace", at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Respecting Your Spouse's Dreams - The Seventh Pillar

Today we're at the end of "Seven Pillars of Marital Respect", and it's fitting to conclude the series with a look into the future - the future held in your mate's dreams.

Most of us can assume that we have a relatively long and indefinite time to live stretching out ahead of us. We shape it through our daily actions, but we animate it through our dreams.

Hopes and dreams are what we used from childhood to propel us into tomorrow, to give reassurance that tomorrow would be all right, or much more than "just all right". Our dreams are sometimes what got us over a rough past, and can be the hook from heaven that can help us through a difficult today.

Dreams deserve respect, because they're the most personal and intimate part of a person...often hidden from everyone but God. They lift us up; not only the specific aspiration, but everything. They put a more pleasant and hopeful cast on life,and we all need hope.

Being entrusted with knowledge of your spouse's dream is a high honor.

And yet, it's often trashed. Consider the writer I know, who received some interest in a novel she'd been working on for years. She went to tell her husband about it.

His reply was, "Yeah, I guess it's based on something you read about." And he walked away.

I know the gentleman in question - he's given to offhand, cutting remarks, sometimes without a real desire to hurt.

But this time he did hurt. He devalued his wife's dream, and her enjoyment of the possibility of future success. She doesn't talk about her writing any more. Not to him, not to anyone. I don't know if she still writes.

I don't think the husband meant to do this; I believe he just wasn't interested, and wanted the possibility of having to listen to her description to go away.

Sometimes, the intention is malign, through a basis in fear. Some people feel threatened by a spouse's dreams, worried that they'll be somehow left behind.

Some simply don't want their spouse to achieve something separately, like the wife who kept putting trivial roadblocks in her husband's opportunity to take art classes...his clothes would smell of paint, and how could he justify being away from home one night a week? And what would the neighbors think, with him pursuing such an unmanly activity? Eventually he gave up the idea. I wonder if he might have been a modern-day Monet? We'll never know.

Togetherness is great; but God made us as individuals, and as long as one's hopes don't carry one away from commitment to the marriage, it's wrong to crush them out of fear.

What can you do to support your mate's imagined future?

  • Listen and learn - encourage your husband or wife to share their hopes for their future, without forcing a link to your together future. Make an effort to remember the details, because it's the details of a dream that bring it to life.
  • Contribute - offer to help, but be sure it's an offer you're willing to meet...if you're married to a writer, you may open yourself up to reading endless drafts of a manuscript. (If the writing's really bad, chalk it up tho the "for worse" part of the marriage vow and keep smiling.)
  • Give space - some people, usually men, will get so bullish on the subject of their spouse's dreams that they'll take them over in an effort to ensure success. "I want to do it myself!" isn't just for kids.
  • Celebrate success - understand what the milestones of success are, and celebrate their attainment.
  • Share your own dreams - be willing to be vulnerable, and share that which moves and motivates you
There's clearly a lot more that could be said...how to allocate family finances to support the restoration of that '32 Chevrolet, how to share household duties in a way that allows the writer to write...but their successful negotiation has to come from respect.

Please share - how does your spouse support your dreams? And how do you support theirs?

(If you have the chance, please visit my other blog, www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, for a quotation and a short commentary of grace in marriage.)

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Communication Breakdown

It happens in every marriage - suddenly you and your mate seem to be always at odds, talking at cross purposes...and you know it.

"You're not hearing me!"

"You're not letting me finish!"

"Now you're mad at me"

"You just aren't comprehending!"

Sometimes this is symptomatic of a deeper rift, when a couple has started growing apart. In those cases, counseling is definitely called for. run, don't walk, because if you can't communicate, the drift will only get worse.

But sometimes it's a "Wizard of Oz" paradigm...the lack of communication feels huge, but it's really just the Little Man Behind The Curtain. It's trying to be big and powerful and scary.

The only way it can harm your marriage is if your harm it yourself, in reaction to fear.

Our communication style, both talking and listening, is governed, to a large degree, by our emotions. Emotions are the mot changeable thing about us; a sad song can depress some people for a whole day, and finding a dim on the sidewalk can cause jubilation.

And so it goes with the way we talk to our mates. Generally, it all works out pretty well; they know our ups and downs, highs and lows,and unconsciously make allowances.

But sometimes, like two waves meeting at the peak, our 'bad' corresponds with our mate's 'bad', and we're suddenly talking at cross purposes...and at each others' throats.

How does a minor miscommunication escalate?

Simple. By labeling. If a couple isn't on the same page, saying "we're not getting through to each other right now, let's talk later" defuses the situation.

But when one or the other says,"You never hear me!", it's both an exaggeration, and an accusation.

The label of chronic miscommunication has long legs, and it sill survive far past the time when the original issue is forgotten.

How to avoid it?

  • Banish the words "you always" and "you never" from you speech and thought.
  • When a conversation starts going south, try to end it with the promise to talk later.
  • If the conversation is ended, don't reignite it. Some of the most damaging arguments come from a sharp but short disagreement, ending when one party leaves the room...and the he or she comes back to stir the pot, and it gets far,far worse.
What are your thoughts? How do you avoid letting a temporary breakdown in communication hurt your marriage?

If you have a moment, please visit my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace" at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com for a quote and short commentary on marriage.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Still Here- Five Minute Friday

Once again, it's Five-Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Montaug. The challenge is to write for five minutes on a given "theme word", posted by Kate on Thursday night...and then stop when the timer dings.

Today's word is still.


Today was hell.

I'm dealing with more physical pain, and more just plain fright, than I could ever have imagined possible. To those who have ever been shot, it's like being shot.

To those who have had kidney stones, it's like the mother of all kidney stones.

But wait! There's more! (I've seen too many late-night infomercials.)

Bleeding from various places (and today, for the first time, the nose...yee-ha).

Nausea and vomiting.

And, just to add insult to everything else, incontinence.

But I'm still here.

This life means something. God put me here for a reason, and I'm not going to sabotage His plans by opting out of involvement, or, heaven forbid, opting out of life.

Still here, and they're going to have to come in over the wall to get me.

I have something to contribute. I have kind things to say. I have stray dogs to comfort.

And I am still bloody here, and if the devil doesn't like it, he can go and...treat himself unconventionally.


If you have the chance, please stop by my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace", at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Respecting Your Spouse's Past - The Sixth Pillar

Today we'll talk about respect for what made your husband or wife who they are - their past, and their heritage.

Both are important; and both are subject to deep disrespect in far too many relationships.

Just consider the negative connotation from the expression "having a past"; it's particularly nasty when applied to women, unfortunately.

And for problems with heritage, when was the last time you heard an in-law joke? Not long ago, I'll bet.

Disrespect for either your mate's personal history or their heritage is a not-so-subtle way to disrespect the person. It's also a way to maintain an unhealthy form of control in the relationship.

When you marry, you don't build a life with a person new-spring from the palm of God's hand; you marry a complex web of past relationships, experiences, family, and genealogy. The wedding limousine can get crowded; not to mention the marriage bed.

Let's deal with your spouse's past, first. The approach to showing respect is pretty simple: never bring up anything negative from their past, and never, ever reference current behavior to what you know of their past.

It can take discipline, but it's absolutely necessary. When you bring up "those friends you used to hang out with", you're locking your mate into a past that they can't escape. They may have tried; they may have gone a long way from the irresponsible of younger days.

And when you bring it up, you're negating all the work they did, and saying "you really haven't changed at all".

Based on the past - you've appointed yourself judge and jury, with no hope of appeal.

What you know of your spouse's past, that you don't like...you've got to let it go. That's the beginning and the end of respect.

Respect for heritage is a bit different, because you have to key your respectful attitude to your spouse's view of their family history.

It can be a tightrope walk. Remember the old saying - me against my brother; my brother and I against our cousin; my brother, my cousin and I against the world.

There may be little love lost in your mate's family, but blood can be quite thick, and you're not "of the blood".

That means that your mate may feel fine being extremely critical of "the family"; but you try it and you'll find yourself pilloried,  and wondering what hit you.

By the same token, if you defend the "black sheep" of your spouse's family, you can wind up soundly disliked by everyone - including the black sheep.

The best way to show respect is to be agreeable..and never take any side expect that of your mate, and then only in a supporting role. Never take the initiative in either praise or censure of your mate's family, and make sure that your emotions remain as unengaged as possible.

Respect for your mate's past and heritage can be a challenge, the biggest challenge of all, because it fundamentally requires you to...

...keep your mouth shut, and your opinions to yourself.

(Please don't forget to visit my other blog, www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, for a quotation and a short commentary of grace in marriage.)

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Would You Watch Your Spouse Die?

It's been a bit over a week since Brittany Maynard killed herself. You may remember - she was the young woman diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, who given a terminal prognosis, chose to move to Oregon to take advantage of that state's "death with dignity" law.

It's not for me to criticize her. She was the only one who knew what she was going through, and the only one who, in the end, knew her own mind.

But there are things to say, and questions to ask.

Dying sucks. Having one's world and facilities narrow week by week is discouraging, to say the least. Going from an athletic life to needing help in the toilet...and then to incontinence...well, no one's going to line up for that ride.

The Oregon law (followed by several other states, including my New Mexico) allows an individual with a terminal diagnosis that will result in death in six months to get a prescription from a 'participating' doctor for a lethal drug. Two requests have to be made, fifteen days apart, and the doctor has to be convinced that depression is not driving the rush to death.

So, an overdose of barbiturates. Off gently to sleep, while one is still relatively whole and happy. The Death With Dignity websites paint an appealing picture...you die in your own bed, in the arms of your family, at a time of your own choosing. You have time to say your goodbyes, and you can lay to rest the fear of unmanageable pain and humiliation as the disease progresses.


What of the loved ones? If it's planned, and for 'everyone to be there' it has to be, they have a countdown...three days from now, at this hour, she'll be dead.

They have to wake on the morning of the day, and the hours that they're watching the clock and willing it to go slower will forever be etched in their minds.

They have to know the moment when the beloved has taken the dose, and know that a fuse has been lit. They have to watch the eyelids drop, and hear the speech slur.

And then...please excuse my describing this...they have to watch the body fight for life. The raison d'etre of the law is to allow suicide while the mind is sound and the body is capable, and such a body does not want to die.

Could you put your husband or wife through thaving to witness hat?

What of the doctor? Doctors have to take the Hippocratic oath...above all do no harm.

It has been argued that giving a patient a 'clean' way out does fall under the purview of the oath, that refusal to aid would be harmful.

I can understand this, but it requires some degree of mental sophistry, and undoubtedly a significant paradigm shift for the doctor. At least I hope it would be significant; we don't need more Dr.Kevorkians.

What of the effect on the doctor who writes the prescription? It's like putting a gun into the hand of a person bent on suicide. It's exactly like that.

And what of the pharmacist who fills the prescription...and, perhaps, the high-school student who's running the cash register? How can one compel them to help a person end his or her life, by being the link in the chain that passes along the drugs?

What of society? The flip side of "death with dignity" is that life in desperate pain and decreased function isn't worth living.

Is that the message we want to support, that only the young and the healthy and those not facing a brick-wall future have something to contribute?

Do we turn our backs on those at the doorway to eternity, and shush their voices with a pill and a Happy Talk Death With Dignity Poster?

Thi is already happening, under the new healthcare laws. Care is being rationed, and there are boards set up to decide who's going to get life-saving treatment, and who's going to get pallative care.

Age, not surprisingly, is a big factor in the decision-making process.

If you don't get the best effort to save your life, you'll get hospice.

Or, in the states in which it's legal...your new health insurance will pay for the suicide dose.


There are those who have called Ms. Maynard less than brave. I don't stand with them. I believe that she felt, in good conscience, that she was making the best choice she could. And there, for her, it should rest.

But I do stand against assisted suicide (and it was suicide, by any definition...this is not a place for euphemisms like "self-determination").

I have no quarrel with refusing extraordinary measures, or declining radiation and chemo. That's where I am in my life. We don't have to walk every road we're offered, and there's a huge difference between omission and commission.

Death isn't a scene in a movie, and neither is life. We can't, and shouldn't try to define how it "should" look.

We can only define how we react, when faced with it at last.

In our reaction is the final definition of our humanity, and the capstone of our legacy.

If you have a moment, please visit my other blog, "Starting the Day with Grace" at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, for a quotation and short commentary on grace in married life.



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Where Shalt Thou Turn? - Five Minute Friday

Once again, it's Five-Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Montaug. The challenge is to write for five minutes on a given "theme word", posted by Kate on Thursday night...and then stop when the timer dings.

Today's word is turn.


"To Mecca thou turnest, with burning eyes and lips that sweat, Ah, Hajji, where wilt thou turn, when thou art there, when thou art there?" - James Elroy Flecker, The Golden Journey to Samarkand

Ann Landers once wrote that a marriage isn't two people looking at each other, it;s two people looking together, in the same direction.

Presumably, looking into their future.

But what happens when they reach their their future?

It may be the well-established family, it may be the big house in the country, it may be the secure and active retirement.

All too often things fall apart, because they were focused on the destination.

They were looking forward. But in the end, it;s not looking ahead, or behind. It;s not even enjoying the journey.

The direction to turn is up, because marriage - and life - are hard.

And we need help from on high.

I turn my eyes to the hills, whence cometh Thy help.


If you have the chance, please stop by my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace", at www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Respecting Your Mate's Joy - The Fifth Pillar

Originally I was going to call this "Avocational Respect", but it sounded like adenoids.

Avocations are what we choose to do; the hobbies, the causes, the passions that, in many ways, define who we are.

They're often what led us to our spouses in the first place, meeting at a Habitat for Humanity build, or a concert, or at the gym.

In a surprisingly large number of marriages, though, spouses pressure one another to give up exactly those things that brought them together.

Why? Insecurity.

After the wedding, what's seen as an excessive involvement in optional activities is seen as taking away from the attention one is supposed to be getting from one's husband or wife. "Hey! Pay attention to ME!"

And it doesn't take a lot to trip the 'insecurity alert'. How many couples talked for hours about what they read during courtship...but now, "she's always got her nose in a book".

And how many spouses receive passive-aggressive opposition to their endeavours..."I'm delighted that you're writing, dear, but have you remembered that the bathroom needs painting?"

Sure, the bathroom needs a new coat of paint, but when the comment is delivered while one is in the midst of writing, it delivers another message..."why are you wasting time on that stuff?"

It's unfortunate, because the things that motivate us actually make us better spouses. The happy husband or wife brings that happiness to the living room, and to the bedroom...and invites mutuality.

People who are passionate about something want to share.

The best thing you can do, to develop respect for your spouse's avocation, and to communicate that respect, is to listen and learn.

Listen so you can take part in the sharing, and learn so that you can add value to the conversation by asking informed questions.

Nest, make time and space for your husband or wife to pursue their passion. Don't keep pulling them back with reminders of household duties or pointed glances at the clock.

Take care of yourself. Don't be waiting at the door for your wife to come home from her art class, tapping your foot all the while; do something yourself. Going your separate ways in hobbies does not mean your marriage is weak.

It can mean exactly the opposite, that both of you can stand alone, but choose to stand together.

Finally, brag up your mate's accomplishments in their avocation. If your wife's a writer, read her work, and talk about it. Look for the good, and praise it.

We all need that kind of support.

We need someone to help celebrate our joy.

(Please don't forget to visit my other blog, www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, for a quotation and a short commentary of grace in marriage.)

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Just for Fun - 20 Random Things About Me

1. How tall are you?

5'10" , still trying to reach 6'.

2. Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?

There are times when my talents ALL seem hidden, and my incompetencies showcased!

3. What is your biggest blog-related pet-peeve?

A blog that looks serious but is just a sales-pitch for a product.

4. What is your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve?

Rudeness and immodesty. There is no excuse for ungentlemanly or unladylike behavior.

5. What's your favorite song?

Linkin Park's "Iridescent"

6. What's your favorite Etsy shop that isn't yours?

What's Etsy?

7. What's your favorite way to spend free time when you're alone?

With a sanctuary for abused Pit Bulls (and friends) I'm NEVER alone. "Dad? I'm hungry!

"Dad? I'm thirsty!"

"Dad? I have to go...oh, never mind." WagWagWag.

8. What's your favorite junk food?

Chocolate is NOT junk food. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, seem to qualify, and I would eat them only under duress.

Well, bribery would work, too.

9. Do you have a pet or pet(s)? If so, what kind and what are their names?

Uh, yes. Here are two - Josie (rear)and Reebok (as puppies - they are BIG Ridgebacks now). This picture was taken about 20 min after they were pulled from death row at a pound.

Josie likes to be carried. Everywhere. Even though her feet drag on the ground when I carry her.

10. What is your #1 favorite fiction and non-fiction books?

Fiction - ""Round The Bend" by Nevil Shute.  Shute's unforgettable and gentle characters, and his willingness to ask how we see our faith, make for an unforgettable combination.

Nonfiction - "Xin Loi, Viet Nam", by Al Sever. This Viet Nam memoir by a very hard man has a sober, spiritual side that will make anyone stop and think about our place in Eternity.

11. What is your favorite beauty product?

My nickname is Mongo.

I don't do beauty.

12. When were you last embarrassed?

When my wife asked me what my favorite beatitude was, and I answered, "Ringo".

I was SOOO embarrassed! I had confused Ringo with George!

13. If you could drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Lo-Carb Monster Drink. Better than water, better than beer, better than coffee.

14. What's your favorite movie?

"Lone Survivor", hands down. 

I also love "Notting Hill", and would love to be able to channel Hugh Grant. Alas, I am more like Ken Watanabe on a very bad hair day.

15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Enforcer. We had a drug problem, and I decided to deal with it. At 5'10" and 230 lbs (I lifted weights), this was not difficult. The assistant Head was quite surprised one day when I tossed a dealer through a window, and the body didn't hit the frame. He didn't think it was possible.

Being the school 'janitor' gave me a lot of privilege - open campus, and the right to wear the biggest moustache I could grow. Which, for an Asian, isn't much.

16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

Right where I am, on a mesa in New Mexico. Wherever you go, there you are, so why leave?

17. PC or Mac?

PC. A mac is a small and inaccurate submachinegun (Mac-10), designed for...heck, I don't know why the thing was produced in the first place. 

18. Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

Well, my wife bought me an air compressor when my old one blew up...does that count?

19. Favorite celebrity?

Can I pick a pastor? Bobby Schuller, for his positive attitude.

20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with?

I have so many blogging friends! I would love to meet them all; and I don't want to single one out and leave the others left out.

Your turn! Tell me one random thing about yourself! 

Or more than one!

(And please take a moment, if you can, to visit my other blog, www.dailygracequote.wordpress.com, where you'll find a quote of grace, and commentary relating it to marriage)