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Showing posts from May, 2010

Fluttering Heart

Yesterday a man died on Silver Beach in St Joe, Michigan. Here is my experience of it.

I was on the beach with a group of friends, it was close to 90 degrees and sunny, and the sand was scalding hot. So hot that despite the dense sprawl of people enjoying the day and the cold water, the multiple volleyball courts - usually packed - were empty.

Mike & Sarah left to go for a walk in town, and when they got close to one of the entrances to the sand, they found a man laying face down in the sand. Other people noticed him too, and somebody rolled him over and discovered that his bowels had vacated. Pete G and Liz, both nurses, began assisting another nearby nurse in assessing his vital signs. As Dan B and I became aware of the situation, Dan suggested that perhaps our umbrella would help with what we presumed was some degree of sun stroke. I took the umbrella over and held it angled to shade the mans face and chest, and I remained there until the later-arriving paramedics took him …

I can't get over how much fun I had

It's about 2AM and I'm finally home for the day, but I still feel like posting my thoughts.

This afternoon my former roomate Ricky married his best friend, Allesha. I was one of the groomsmen so I got close contact with the entire proceeding without necessarily having much responsibility throughout it. I tried to support Kevin Connolly - the best man - as much as possible, and get to know the other groomsmen and ushers that I didn't know as well. It was a great experience to share with my roommate Pete and with the so so so many other people that took part in the wedding in various capacities.

They had friends in from Louisiana, Minnesota, Portland, Rockford, Muncie, Indy, Evansville, Toronto, Northern Virginia, California, and Florida, from the people I knew at least. They also had a wide variety of friends from around town. There was standing room only in one of the largest Catholic churches in South Bend, Holy Cross Parish. The wedding party intentionally had no t…

Of bachelor parties and brothers

Try to imagine 100ish guys filling the screened-in-porch behind the People of Praise center, overflowing in fact out onto the grass, with Ricky Thomas sitting in a chair in the middle. The party had miraculously quieted down so that a few guys could publicly honor Ricky. Now imagine me stepping forward and pulling out a folded up printout and reading it's contents to Ricky right next to me, in an awkward sort of way, while attempting to speak loudly enough for all to hear.
Ricky, I'd like to honor you for living in the moment. When I met you two and a half years ago in Allendale, we quickly struck up a friendship. We went for a few evening runs together and it was easy to share openly with you. Then when you moved back to South Bend the following summer, you continued showing us how to live in the moment. You fostered friendships with the Kottkamp boys and excitedly shared about them whenever you had a chance. "Excited sharing" is a familiar thing to those who …


A couple days ago I took part in a health screening offered to all LaSalle Company employees, which was fun. It included sampling for blood tests, and yesterday I got a call from my doctor's office that they had already received results from those tests. Apparently the liver function tests show elevated numbers for me, so they're asking me to wait 4 weeks and then take the test again. They didn't have any other information to give me, they said that the waiting would allow for any anomaly to pass, otherwise some more tests would be in order after that.

The cool thing is that they are giving me a month to pray for the Lord to clear up any condition! I randomly came across a favorite video of mine yesterday, a Ted Talk titled Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy?, and I thought perhaps it was a little reminder from the Holy Spirit.

Update: My LFT numbers are normal! Praise God!

Always remember these 3 little words...

"You're right, dear"

Yesterday I drove down to Muncie for 6 hours to witness the wedding of Ron & Sandy Mixell. I arrived at the same time as my parents and walked in with them and Terry & Patti Bomkamp in from Rockford. The deacon who had "prepared" them for marriage said that they were both the oldest couple he and his wife had ever worked with, and that they had scored the highest on the "pre-marriage inventory" quiz that he gave them, the highest in his 35 years of giving that quiz!

When they each lost their spouse recently, I regretted not making it down for the respective funerals. Barb & Karl were powerhouses in the Muncie branch. Surely they still are in a different way. So when Ron & Sandy announced their engagement, a shock of joy rippled throughout the community. This new step they are taking is some combination of "weird" and "perfect".

There were numerous honorings and thanksgivings at the recept…

I know Ryan!

Over the years at the lake cabin, we've grown close to the Daman family two houses down from where we are. My dad in particular has spent a lot of time with Brad, but we all pretty much share everything we have, from our time to our belongings. Their two sons have always called my dad by his first name, a pattern I'm not used to seeing since they're only just now in & approaching high school. Anyway, one of the boys, Ryan, has been pursuing a career in refereeing, and I just heard tonight that he had an article written about him!

We've got some cool photos of him here, here, and here, and the article is Teenage basketball official isn't kidding around on the court...

Awesome, Ryan!


A week ago my brother moved to Bangkok, and yesterday The Boston Globe's popular photo blog, The Big Picture, ran a Protests turn deadly in Thailand post. Greg follows web sources closely, and has even compiled a Twitter list, @gregory_walters/thailand-journalists, of some of the amateur sources. A journalist relayed this perspective:
Getting some traffic from farangs (foreigners) asking if their loved ones are okay. Farangs are in no danger so long as they avoid the fighting. The fighting is localized. There is no general state of war in Thailand. Farangs are safe. Normal Thai life is going on outside the danger zone and normal Thais are very ...friendly. (They are friendly even in the danger zone.)Greg is about 11 hours ahead of us in the U.S., and he posts photos to flickr. It sure makes you more interested in foreign events when somebody you know personally is very close to them!

Update: Another photo post: Crackdown in Bangkok

The Lord is listening to you.

I sat in a chair on the deck at my parents' lakehouse, surrounded by 7 other guys, ranging from 9th graders to a soon-to-be freshman in college. They all had their hands on my shoulders and head, as I had asked for their prayers, for the Holy Spirit, that I could take more leadership when I see the need. That I would know what to say when I see that something needs said. As we prayed, one of them told me that the Lord is listening to me. Another told me that the Holy Spirit would give me the words to say. Another asked if we could pray for my neck which I had mentioned during our earlier game of football.

When you speak, do you speak as if you are speaking to Christ?

Cut back on Facebook

I just disabled all of my FB information except for links to other websites of mine. It was very complicated but as I've been seeing more people do this, it made me realize that it is an option.

There are 3 basic reasons why:

1. I don't care for FB's advertisements which all users must endure.
2. FB's privacy policy has become a slippery slope to their profit.
3. A more personal reason, the prevailing culture in FB of indiscriminate intimacy spreads me too thin.

I'd like to redirect any energy I've given to FB instead toward stronger investments in loving my neighbor & the Lord.