Showing posts from August, 2010

Random Ramblings

- Stephanie is back at school prepping for classes next week...summer is over- Taking my first pill today to help energize me and give me focus - Can't believe Jake is 1st grade and Izzy is Kindergarten - Hoping the rain leaves so we can go to the State Fair tonight - Recovering from a long weekend at work - Looking forward to a haircut today - Excited to follow along online and see what Ben Arment's up to in 2011 - Pumped for football season and fantasy football season to start

A Case of the I Wants

Tonight at work I heard a woman say, "I have a case of the I wants." I thought it was a funny phrase and I wanted to share with you what my 'I wants' currently are.
1. To finish the basement in our home and make it a play room for the kids 2. For my wife to be able to do the remodel projects she'd like to do in the kitchen and the kid's bathroom 3. To sell our townhouse in Monticello 4. Buy a new vehicle - preferably a pick-up with extended cab/air conditioning/4x4 5. An Apple laptop 6. To go to another Twins game 7. Tix for the MN Gophers v. USC football game at TCF Stadium 8. To create an office in my home with hardwood floors, a nice book case, a writing desk, and a comfortable reading chair

Brenton the Handyman

Tonight Stephanie and I hung a shelf and some decorative letters on the wall in Jake and Drew's room. It was pretty fun. Stephanie doesn't think I'm handy, but I am. I'm just quiet about it. If I let on to my skills to much she'll start making me never-ending fix-it/build-it lists. Then I'll have to go to Home Depot and spend all our hard earned money on tools. Then we'll have to move to a small house, which will be old, so it will have lots of fix-it/build-it projects that I'll have to complete. And the cycle will go on and on until we live in a cardboard box held together by duct tape.
Darn. I guess the cat's out of the proverbial bag now.

Vacation Thoughts/Learnings

Well, my summer vacation is officially over as I head back to work tomorrow. I very much enjoyed my time relaxing with the family. I was able to travel to Michigan, read 4 books, get some projects done around the house, take care of some vehicle maintenance, visit the doctor, and most importantly enjoy time with my wife and kids.
The Lord has been doing some cool things in my life this month as well. July was spiritually dark for me, but the light of Christ has been shining in more and more. I have faced some sin and struggle head on by confessing it and asking for prayer. I have spent time with godly mentors talking and following in their example. I have heard from Jesus while reading His Word and a couple books that expound that word. Here's a few key learnings:
- confession to another Christian lightens the burden on the soul - confession is not easy because we'd rather self-forgive than expose our sinfulness - I continue to struggle trying to obtain the honor of man, ra…

Highlights from Vacation to MI

- swimming in the backyard pool- attempting flips and high dives- watching the kids go off the diving board and dive for rings - Cracker Barrel, Silver Beach Pizza, DQ - the St. Joseph Carousel - driving the John Deere with the kids on lap and in the trailer - reading some inspiring books - watching baseball in HD - seeing the tigers at the County Fair circus - going to the Notre Dame campus - watching Inception - watching the kids at the giant sprinkler in St. Joseph - coffee and ice cream at South Bend Chocolate Factory - checking off license plates from different states with Stephanie - Remember the Titans, The Devil Wears Prada, Letters to God, Dan in Real Life - playing Wii with Jacob and Izzy (and mostly losing every time)

2010 Fantasy Football Team

I'm playing fantasy football with some guys from my church. I haven't played in a league for about ten years so I'm pretty excited about it this year. We had our draft party last night. There are 10 teams in the league. We drafted 1-10, 10-1. I was pick #7.
Here is my roster, in order of how I picked it:
Frank Gore Andre Johnson DeSean Jackson Tony Romo Vernon Davis Chad Ochocinco Felix Jones Ricky Williams Carnel Williams Matt Ryan Derek Mason Shayne Graham Vincent Jackson Indianapolis defense Willis McGahee
How would you rate it?

Only One Source of Ultimate Truth

Everybody has a set of moral rules they live by. There is no one in the world who doesn't believe that some things are right and some things are wrong. Even the hardest person, who will say until he's blue in the face, "That's fine for you, just don't tell me what to do!," will be upset if his daughter is raped. It is simply undeniable that every person believes in a code of right and wrong.
The next part is where it gets sticky. Where people get their code of right and wrong is much looser, and still looser yet is whether someone else should agree and follow a certain code of conduct, or morality. For Christians the Bible serves as a guide and source of ultimate truth, for Muslims it is the Koran, for some it is Darwinism or Freudian psychological thought, for others it is logic or feeling or 'crowd' pressures.
There must be some ultimate source of truth that trumps all others, or else we're left battling each other or compromising our values…

More of Heaven Means Less of Earth

Do you ever look around as a Christian and wonder why it seems like everyone outside the church is having so much fun and getting along so well in life while you're feeling dried up and stuck in a rut? I've had those thoughts and feelings before. There are moments when the sinner's life looks like a lot more fun than than the saint's life.
Charles H. Spurgeon has a wise word for us when we feel this way. First he reminds us of the words in Proverbs 23:17, 18:
"Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off."
Then he comments, "When we see the wicked prosper we are apt to envy them...This is foolish and sinful. If we knew them better, and especially if we remembered their end, we should pity them.
The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all day long, however long the day may seem..…

The Lord Will Not Cast Off Forever

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke of his youth.
Let him sit in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust --- there may yet be hope; let him give his check to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.
- Lamentations 3:25-33 (ESV)

The Lord is My Portion

Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
- Lamentations 3:19-24 (ESV)

Hello I'm Brenton. And I'm Depressed.

Hello, my name is Brenton and I struggle with depression.

A few years ago I went through monthly counseling with a Christian counselor. The counselor helped me realize that, among other things, I was depressed. Not the can't-get-out-of-bed kind of depression, but a type that makes me lock-up inside my head. My depression takes away feelings of happiness and contentment. It makes me ruminate internally on things, bottle up my feelings, and disengage from the world around me.

Most of the time I can hide it pretty successfully in public. However if you know me well you've probably seen me shutdown at some point in time. Maybe a discussion wasn't going my way, or I felt like everyone was conspiring against me. If that is the case I most likely stopped talking, conceded some point of view, and walked off. I'm sorry. I don't hate you. I'm just depressed and something triggered a shutdown. And I wanted the situation to be over.

The place my depression hits the …

Behavior Is Confusing

Do you know anyone whose a real jerk? Here's a you think they choose to be that way? Here's another question, how does anyone choose to be anything? Do you choose to be empathetic, crabby, patient, understanding, rude, or kind? Do you think behavior is more nature or nurture, choice or circumstance, conscious or subconscious? I wonder how many people are even conscious of their behavior and what they look like to others. Do you know what you look like to others? And if you do, are people perceiving you the way you want them to? Can you even control that. I don't know. I think our behavior is a result of a sustained pattern of behaviors but I don't know when formation of character starts happening. And how do you break it and start over. Choice by choice. Instant by instant. That's exhausting. And when you break down and default how far back on the road of recovery does that put you? Questions abound.