Blood:Water Mission
Compassion International
International Justice Mission

Friday, January 30, 2009

Captain, she canna take much more!



Caddyshack pool candy bar
I'm glad he was wearing his little corduroy overalls. They absorb a lot without much getting through. This is very, very, very important when a hull breach occurs.

What on earth is Euphrony talking about? Well, the other night - just before Wednesday night classes started at our church - my son's diaper had a hull breach. And I'm talking total failure, here. It's amazing how a kid almost two can run around and play, not a care in the world, while half of his leg gets coated in poop oozing out from its failed containment system. And, of course, not being at home, I had no change of clothes with me. I say "I" because Mrs. E (to her benefit) was absent this experience. It's truly amazing how a child of a mere 28 pounds can produce his own body weight in scat in a single "sitting". I feel I should call the EPA and report the trash can I threw that diaper in a Superfund site. But, alas, that is not my problem now.

Overall, though, Lil'er E has been less of a #2 problem than was his big sister. When she was a newborn she would wait until we started to change her diaper before letting go. And when I say let go I mean it - it was projectile poop. Seriously, we had to clean crap off the walls five feet away from the changing table. More than once. In a single day. What a parent won't do for love. In comparison, Lil'er E has been a tame excrement factory. At least, nothing flies across the room with him.

Well, maybe I should amend that last sentence. I should say that the brown stuff rarely flies with him. A couple of weeks ago Mrs. E had put the two kids in the bath together - always a fun playtime for them. She stepped out the the bathroom for a minute and as she did I was walking up to the bathroom door. What I saw I will never forget. There was Lil'E jumping out of the tub. Little brother had "dropped a snickers bar" in the bathwater. And picked it up. And threw it on the bathroom floor. And was he ever laughing the whole time.

Ah, memories. I'll cherish these when I'm 102 and the kids have to change my diaper.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If I could . . .

acoustic guitarSo, here I was thinking the other day about how I have a hard time seeing some of my favorite artists in concert. The reason, I was guessing, is that many of these artists tend to perform in small, acoustic settings. And Houston just doesn't have anything set up for small venue acoustic concerts that includes Christian artists in the mix. (By "Christian artists" I mean artists who predominantly produce CCM style music. I know that there are plenty of artists that hit the small Houston venues who are Christians.)

So, as I said, I was thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) that I would absolutely love to open something like a coffeehouse which would regularly feature live acoustic performances from some great Christian artists (and by "Christian artists" i mean - well, we've talked about that). I can name a laundry list of people who I would invite in to play. Jason Gray, Pierce Pettis, Andrew Peterson, Steven Delapoulos, JJ Heller, Cindy Morgan, Sara Groves, Shaun Groves (no relation), Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Charlie Peacock, Matt Brouwer (he's here in Houston, so that shouldn't be hard), Fiction Family (seriously, have you heard this collaboration between Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek?), Andrew Osenga, Emily DeLoach - and that's just for starters.

I only forsee two problems with ever pursuing this dream:

  1. I have no business acumen and less ability to promote events. Seriously, I'm lousy at selling anything or running a business.
  2. I detest coffee. I mean, I even hate the smell of the stuff. I'd get nauseous being in a coffee house for too long. (Maybe I could go with more of a pub theme?)
So, other than those two setbacks, I could be well on my way to my dream.

What would your dream job be?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Bart Millard is the lead singer for MercyMe. You probably know that. His baby girl, Sophie, is in the hospital with RSV and has been since Sunday. She's not doing well and they moved her to ICU this morning. Please pray! (Read updates on Bart's Twitter.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

joy comes in the morning

I'm a pretty serious person, really. Mr. Euphrony will occasionally ask me if I'm unhappy, because I just don't seem to smile. It's not that I'm sad, just serious.

I guess that's who I am - an engineer who looks through eyes for the best, most efficient (perfect) way to do things; for what needs to be fixed and how; for cause and effect, a chain of events that leads to this moment and beyond. I can't shut it off, can't even imagine what life would be like if I did. This is to my detriment, at times. As you can imagine, it has caused a fair amount of friction in interpersonal relationships over the years. It causes problems with my relationship with God, too. I've talked about how my approach to God can be too analytical and I will forget that it should be a pursuit of the heart, as well.

That's why I need art.

There is an ongoing debate in modern Christian music about the necessity of artistry. Some of the most popular groups on the radio today are lauded because they "bring the word" and "sing the name of Jesus" in every phrase of every song; and they and their fans will argue that any lack of artistry should be excused or is irrelevant because they are singing about Jesus. I'll be the first to admit that I need that, at times. I'm rather pig-headed (yeas, Mrs. E, I admit to it freely) and sometimes I need that 2x4 up against my head to knock sense into me. I need the reminders, both of God's promise and faithfulness and of His call to live a life of righteousness.

But I still need art.

I need art because I need to pursue God with my heart, and art speaks to the heart much more than the mind. Here is a video of Rich Mullins' "The Color Green", from A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band. How can anyone call a song about a color an amazing, powerful work that can draw you near to God? And yet, it does so magnificantly because of the artistry of the song.

The last two minutes of the song don't even have words, just a repeating melody that, were it ever to get on the radio, would be chopped off to make room for other songs in the playlist. But these two minutes leave my mind reeling as I visualize the idea of running free through green fields. And I experience joy.

I experience joy, because the artistry of the music, the beauty of the simple words, the heart of the artist in his work, they all bring me to a moment when I truly experience God in all His majesty. I find again that I love God, beyond the minutia of daily life and deep within my being. And that is a moment of true joy.

We read in Psalm 30:5 "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." I think there is a good reason for saying joy comes in the morning. The hope of a new day; the beauty of God's pallet.

Part of Bloggable Music Network's Music Monday.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the Taco Cabana of football

As many of you know, I am a proud and loyal Aggie. Despite the fact that the recent incarnations of the football team bears little resemblance to the teams fielded in my day, I still love my Texas Aggie football.

But after watching this video I can honestly say that I've been like Hitler. And yes, that is somewhat disturbing.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


kids kissingYikes!! Lil'E went to a friends birthday party today. On the way out one of the boys there, who is in her class at school and was on swim team with her, kissed her!

Run for the hills, everyone, Lil'E is bringing 'em in!

If he had kissed her on the lips, we may have had to sit ad talk a little bit. Okay, a lot. I asked Lil'E what she thought about him kissing her - she said it was funny. I almost told her it was sick, disgusting, and she would get cooties. But I knew that Mrs. E would kill me and she would need years of therapy later, so I refrained.

But I'm still somewhat off-kilter. I just can't believe she's getting this old already. Typical daddy feelings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lil'E is growing up

Lil'E and Lil'ESo the other night at bedtime, Lil'E run's downstairs is is very excited about something.

Lil'E: Guess what! My bottom's big enough now that I don't have to use that thing on the potty!
Mrs. E and I: ? ? ? What . . .
Lil'E: That white thing. I don't have to use it anymore!
Me: Do you mean the toilet seat!?!
Lil'E: Yes! The white thing you put your bottom on! I'm big enought that I don't need it!
Mrs. E: Sweetie, that's the toilet seat. Everyone uses it. Mommy's bottom is much bigger than your's and I still use it. You always need to use it!
Lil'E: Oh, okay. (but still confused as to why)

I must say that I've never heard women so freely discuss the size of their bottom's before. I'm still laughing at this who episode.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I talked to the guy behind the president

Signing ceremony for the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act
So, here I am looking at a photo of a guy I interviewed, and he's standing behind George W. Bush at a signing ceremony at the White House. I'm thinking "that's pretty cool". I know it's not as if I was the one standing behind the president, but still pretty cool.

For those who don't recognize the man I'm referring to, that's Gary Haugen - president and CEO of International Justice Mission. And he was there, with others from various human rights groups, for the signing of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (originally passed in 2000, this reauthorization will increase funding and institute several policy reforms). A pretty big occasion, if you ask me. Sure, laws are passed all the time, but they all mean something and we should all have an interest in them.

Oh, and speaking of IJM, I'm not the only one speaking of IJM. They've been in the news a lot lately. The New Yorker just ran an article on IJM and Gary Haugen, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Samantha Power. You can read the article here, which I recommend. In fact, I'm not the only one who recommends the article. You can read some comments about it from The Wall Street Journal Law blog, who were quite impressed both with the article and the subject.

Oh, and I've a new post up on Inspired to Action. It's about Nicholas Kristof, an editor at the New York Times, and some of his recent articles on modern slavery and the sex trade. Not about IJM, but closely related to their work. Check it out and tell me what you think, okay?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm qualified, sign me up!

Job on the Great Barrier Reef islands
Job responsibilities include:
  • Exploring and reporting - There’s so much to see and do, so you’ll have plenty to write about in your weekly blog. And with so much life above and below the water, you’re sure to capture some entertaining moments for your video diary and photo gallery. To keep you busy, Tourism Queensland will organize a schedule of travel and events on the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Your schedule could include sampling a new luxury spa treatment at qualia on Hamilton Island, trying out new snorkeling gear on Heron Island, or bushwalking on Hinchinbrook Island.
  • Feed the fish - There are over 1,500 species of fish living in the Great Barrier Reef. Don’t worry – you won’t need to feed them all.
  • Clean the pool - The pool has an automatic filter, but if you happen to see a stray leaf floating on the surface it’s a great excuse to dive in and enjoy a few laps.
Having reviewed these job responsibilities, I believe I am more than qualified to spend six months on the Great Barrier Reef islands and get paid $100,000 to blog about it. I know I just started a new job last month, but I could come back to it later - this sounds better!

Hinchinbrook Island
Hurry, there's only 39 days left to apply.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

cause you don't mess around with a Norse God

Copyright 2008 News Group Newspapers Ltd
A builder scared off a house-breaker by running at him dressed as the Norse god Thor.

The terrified intruder leapt from a first floor window to escape Torvald Alexander, who was dressed as the Norse god of thunder in a red cape and silver helmet and breastplate.
Sometimes it pays to read The Scotsman. Really, I can't say anything else - mainly cause I'm laughing so much.

By the way, for those who are thinking jumping from the first floor window is nothing - in Europe, the first floor is the second story (above the ground floor).

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Friday, January 09, 2009

These dreams (or, a little therapy)

So, many of you may realize that I am a little bit on the weird side. I like math, I read encyclopedias (don't let me get started on Wikipedia, or I'll never get off), I look for new words and try to use them, I talk about rheology, etc. Well, lately my brain has been vividly releasing the more peculiar of the random firings of neurons in the old gray cells. I've had some doozies of some dreams.

In the spirit of getting things off my chest, while simultaneously giving you something to laugh at me about, I'll share. Aren't you the lucky ones!

So, here is one of the more traumatic of my recent dreams. The Euphrony family is driving in the euphony-mobile (a lovely minivan, if you must know). We pull up to a shopping mall of some kind, and we're near the doors - still in the car. I start getting everyone out of the car when suddenly a couple of guys jump out. One is unarmed but the other is holding a knife on me and shows me a gun in his coat. (You know, like all the bad guys do in the movies.) They proceed to rob us and then let us go. I get back in the car and drive the family around (I don't know where) and we end up back at the crime scene, talking with the police. I'm trying to explain that we were robbed but they don't know what to think; you see, the thieves didn't take everything we had. They left some money in my wallet, but took the big bills. They took my camera but left the telephoto lens. They took some things, but left enough that the cops don't think we were robbed. I look up and the next thing I know I see the guy who had the knife and gun walking out of the mall, like nothing had happened. I start yelling to the cops that that's the guy, but they look at me like I'm crazy or accusing the Pope of taking candy from a baby. Then I wake up.

So, what do you think? Am I loony? Have you had dreams like this? Hey, at least I didn't get stabbed (that was in a dream two weeks ago).

Next time, I'll share one of my favorite childhood dreams. If you care. (Hint, it involves a popular fairy tale.)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Things you don't know about me, and probably don't really care about (but I'm telling you, anyway)

When I was around three years old I got sick and was extremely dehydrated. My parents had to put me in the hospital, the dehydration was so bad. They hooked me up to an IV, and I didn't eat anything solid for I don't know how long. My mom had to sleep with her arm draped over me; this was to keep me from getting out of bed and trying to drink from the toilet.
kid on airplane

(I only have vague memories of this event, but my parents tell this story to this day.)

Finally, the doctors said I could have some plain, dry bread to eat. I was hungry, and they said I could have BREAD! Not good enough, in my three-year old mind. So I tell my parents, in what must have been my best "I'm 3 and know it all so do what I say" voice:

Man shall not live by bread alone. So put some ham on that!
Now, I bet you all feel like you know me a little better.

FYI, I'm still just that smart. And I'm still just that much of a wisenheimer. And how many of you would use "wisenheimer" in a sentence?

Any funny stories about you as a kid?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Music Monday: iTunes for Christmas!

Happy Music Moday New Year, everyone! I know all my readers (and after the holiday hiatus, I think that includes Mrs. E and myself) have been long awaiting more posts about music. Here it goes!

For Christmas, Mrs. E got me a $50 gift card for iTunes! Don't ya just love her? And, even though I found it two weeks before Christmas I refrained from pulling the trigger and buying until yesterday. Such decisions take time, you know? So here is the list of the official Euphrony Christmas Gift Music buyout.

  1. First on the list was one I had been holding out for the last two months - Andrew Peterson's Ressurection Letters, Vol. II. As I knew it would be, it's worth the wait.
  2. Next up, I had heard many good things about Jason Gray's live album, Acoustic Storytime (Live Songs and Stories). It's a blend of music from his latest album (All the Lovely Losers) and older music, with some stories in between. I love it.
  3. Next up was one that I had just heard about, from Stephen's blog - Béla Fleck and the Flecktones Jingle All the Way. If you've never heard the Flecktones or Béla play then you're missing out. One of my new favorite Christmas albums - it even has me listening to holiday music after New Year's!
  4. I'd never really listened to Sandra McCracken's music before the Arts*Music*Justice Tour, but I fell in love with her voice and style there. So I decided to get her latest album, Red Balloon.
  5. A few years ago I borrowed a copy of Down the Old Plank Road, a collaborative work between The Chieftains and a bunch of others. I played it solid for a couple of days, until I felt like I had to give it back. Why it took me so long to add to my collection I'll never know.
  6. Now we're into some bonus time. But this is a small one. Laura Story recently released a single, Emmanuel. It was worth adding onto the list.
  7. Okay, now I'm just cheating. And this isn't through iTunes, either. I pre-ordered a copy of Pierce Pettis' upcoming album, That Kind of Love. I should get it in the mail soon!

Now, who out there can count the musical connections in the above selected artists? I've got just about all of them connected, in one way or another.

This is part of the Bloggable Music Network's Music Monday.

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