Thursday, January 15, 2009

Out with the new in with the old...

So my old blog was hacked into and littered with viruses. Since school began I stopped posting to it. I've become so active on Facebook and most of our family and friends are on there, so that defeats the purpose of the blog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Happy Mills is moving

Not far. Just drop the ".blogspot" from url.

I will keep this site as an archive because I don't want to transfer everything.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Joe Carter's Statement of Beliefs

If I never get the chance to write my own statement of belief's, I would gladly replace Joe's name with my own. You can read them here. I would also encourage everyone to read the Evangelical Outpost regularly. He is an excellent and thought provoking blogger who caught my attention last year.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never Forget

Photo courtesy of plemeljr via flickr.

Monday, September 05, 2005

New Pics Added

You can see the rest by clicking on the photos in the sidebar.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Could be our new home...

We are still not sure we want to go through with it. This is a new McCaffrey Home in NW Fresno. We have secured the lot but still have about 14 days to back out of it. There are more pictures from inside the model on Flickr (see sidebar).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ugliest Dog with owner

Friday, August 12, 2005

Sinking City

I was exploring Flickr and came accross this awesome picture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Pool Shark Carrie

We went to my mom's house tonight and played some pool. The current score is 4-3 in Carrie's favor. I won't mention that 2 of her wins came from me scratching the 8-ball.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sleeping like a baby

Monday, August 08, 2005

A picture of mercy

2 Chronicles 33:1-13 contains the story of Manasseh's reign as king of Judah. During his reign, Manasseh turned the nation astray. After a lifetime of disobedience, God allowed him to be captured and in captivity Manasseh cried out for God's help.

This is a picture of every one of us who knows the Lord. We were walking in disobedience, which makes us just as evil as Manasseh, and yet God had mercy on us. Manasseh deserved swift and severe punishment for leading an entire nation to worship other gods but, one act of humility and repentance brought about God's mercy. How are we spared from destruction? By repenting and believing. After a lifetime of disobedience God still wants to give you an eternity of blessings.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The home we let go

We absolutely loved this home when we looked at the model. It was even affordable but it was only in our price range because of the location. When we drove through what would have been our future neighborhood we were pretty disappointed.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Blogging every meal

BusinessWeek had an article about how blogs are so boring that some people actually take a picture of every meal before they eat it.

So here it is! My meal coming back from the CAMB in San Diego. It's a grande mocha from Starbucks and a Tornado from the gas station food mart.

You can thank me later for not doing this 3 times a day.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

How will they know?

Is the name of Christ important? Can a person be saved apart from knowing Jesus?
"9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved...14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:9-15
11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mommy & Lauren


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Just the 4 of us!

Carrie's mom, Liz, left last Thursday after taking off a week to help out while Carrie was adjusting. That was a huge blessing that delayed Carrie's stress of taking care of two kids, while I am at work. The bad thing about Liz leaving is that now Carrie expects me to replace her. One of the first things Carrie pointed out was how well the kitchen was wiped down (the toaster oven is actually white!). She even suggested that I take notes before Liz left. It's amazing how you can never find a notebook and pen when you need it. Thanks a lot for raising the bar Liz!

Another blessing has been the family and friends that have brought food to the house. We have enjoyed every meal!

Exposing Sin

How do you get around people saying, "Who are you to judge?" when discussing sinful behavior? This is something that comes up in conversation just as much as the idea of tolerance. Christians are seen as judgmental and intolerant. We are considered judgmental when we label someone's actions or attitude as sin, and we are considered intolerant when we claim that Jesus is the only way.

There is really no way around the argument of intolerance other than maybe clarifying what "tolerance" means. defines tolerance as "The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others." The assumption is that people will disagree. Tolerance means that we recognize people will disagree and can still "tolerate" one another. Tolerance does not mean that you can't have any opinions of your own. I've talked about this before regarding Spongebob and homosexuality.

But what about the charge that Christians are judgmental? How is anyone to defend against such an accusation? There are so many angles that can be taken for a Christian to argue here. I think one of the answers is in Romans 7:7-13. In this passage Paul explains the purpose of the law. It reveals sin. By pointing sinners to the law, the judgment comes from God rather than man. The best approach is letting someone condemn themselves. Rather than telling someone that they have broken the commandments of God, allow them to come to that conclusion on their own. Check out "The Good Test" from Ray Comfort's ministry, LivingWaters. It perfectly illustrates my point.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ugliest Dog Award

Meet Sam, the Chinese crested! Carrie and I couldn't stop laughing when we read this article in World Magazine:
"For the third year in a row, Susie Lockheed can return to Santa Barbara, Calif., with a rather inauspicious award: Ms. Lockheed owns the world's ugliest dog. The pooch, Sam, a 14-year-old Chinese crested, is almost ugly beyond description. What the dog lacks in hair (and it has almost no hair) it makes up for in warts. Below its neck hangs a droopy fold of flesh, and Sam's smile is crowned by a set of snaggle teeth. The judges were said to have recoiled in horror at the sight. "People are always horrified when I kiss him. He may turn into a prince yet. He's definitely a toad," Ms. Lockheed said during the World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin fair. "I always thought he'd be great on greeting cards or on a commercial for Rogaine."
As Carrie said, "That's GREAT journalism!" The comments left on World Magazine's Blog are pretty funny too. He looks like a cross between Yoda and James Hong from Big Trouble in Little China.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Daddy and Maddie at the Zoo

Maddie and I went to the zoo yesterday to give Carrie some extra time in the morning to rest. We got to the zoo right when it opened hoping to beat the heat, but it was still very hot by the time we were leaving. The heat is ridiculous right now and it is expected to get ridiculouser with 3 days straight at 106 degrees. Unfortunately, our home doesn't stay as cool as the office at work does (which John likes to keep as close to freezing as possible without losing all productivity from the staff).

We made it around the zoo twice, hoping to see the Hippo out of the water and the elephants in the water (none of which panned out). The tigers were play fighting in the water and it got pretty intense. I've never seen them play so rough. That was the first time that the tigers scared Maddie. There wasn't too much excitement anywhere else. I think all of the animals are dying from the heat. Most of them were just laying in the shade or water and barely moving. The monkeys of course were as loud as ever. They were the most active. Their is a baby monkey that is becoming a little more daring. It came right over to where everyone is standing and climbing all around the fence. They were pretty fun to watch.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Maddie Meet Lauren

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Home from the hospital

The picture is actually from the hospital this morning. I will take some more pictures tomorrow and upload them to Flickr.

Carrie is recovering incredibly well and Lauren Elizabeth is getting acquainted to her new home. Maddie has been interested in Lauren but not overly concerned. When we first got home she wanted to stay right next to her, but by the end of the night she was playing with her toys like normal.

We are so thankful for everyones prayers and concern. God had grace on Carrie and allowed this delivery to be very quick, she pushed for maybe 15 minutes. She is also recovering much faster than she did with Maddie. Lauren is very healthy, especially for being 3 weeks early. She is feeding well which is always a concern for newborns.

Friday, July 08, 2005

All cleaned up

It's a girl

She scored a 9.9 (that's out of 10 for those of you not in the know) on the APGAR test, which was better than Maddie's score.

Still no baby...

Carrie is getting some rest right now and progressing along very slowly. The doctor came in around 8am and decided that if her water has not broken by noon he will come back and do that. Once that is done things will speed up...hopefully.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We're Admitted

She is going to stay. The good news is that she will probably be having this baby early tomorrow. The bad news is that Carrie really wants a cheeseburger but all the nurse will let her eat is ice chips. ICE CHIPS...WHO EATS ICE CHIPS WHEN THEY'RE HUNGRY!

In the hospital again

We are walking right now to give her some more contractions. If she keeps moving along they will admit her but for now we are waiting. She is having contractions about every 4 minutes or so. They started around 7:30 so we are hoping that they keep going so she will be admitted.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July

With Carrie on bedrest we didn't want to go anywhere. Instead we went to the Wagners for some "safe & sane" FUN!

Back in when I was in high school my dad caught some kids playing down the street throwing and kicking the fireworks. They ended up starting a fire in the field next to our house. One of the local news stations did a story on it. Stupid kids!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Generations praising God together

Young men and maidens together,
old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.

Psalm 148:12-13
A couple of things stand out when I read this passage. One is the lack of mixed generations worhipping God together. We seem to segregate the young from the old too much. I can understand the need to provide children with teaching that they can understand but, I think there needs to be time when children see their parents praising God. Of course they should see that exemplified in the home but what about at church. Many families need to see how other parents worship God with their children. If a church never allows for that opportunity, I think they are compromising family for individual. Even single adults can benefit from seeing families worshipping God together. I'm not saying children need to sit through the pastor's sermons but, they should at least be there for the singing.

Mowing the lawn in 100 degree heat

This past week carried an onslaught of heat and allergies my way. My allergy medication could do nothing against its attacks. Mowing the lawn didn't help my problems either. Carrie and Maddie actually joined me in the backyard for a bit before all of us thought we were going to have a heat stroke.

Carrie is on bedrest for one more day. The doctor returns from his vacation tonight and he has pretty much given her the ok to act normal again. We are anxious to see Lauren Elizabeth. It's exciting but at the same time, scary to think there will be TWO of them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Abandoned Practice of Evangelism

God has been really hammering me lately in the area of evangelism. As I noticed our new next door neighbors leaving their home at the same time I was going to work this morning, I was once again reminded of my lack of effort to get to know the people living in my community. Granted, this couple is still in the process of moving in but, there are only two neighbors I have actually had a conversation with, that extended beyond "hello".

Why is it that sharing the gospel does not come easily for me? What keeps me from sharing this essential truth? If the consequences of not knowing the truth could result in eternal punishment, as the Bible says, (Matt. 25:46) I should easily be persuaded to speak up. The earnestness of the gospel should always be on my thoughts.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

How will the Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo vs. New London effect Fresno?

Read the update at the bottom
I posted this on FresBlog, which I recently started posting to again. I thought it might interest anyone who reads this too...

Everyone has been talking about the latest ruling from the Supreme Court regarding eminent domain. My concern with the Supreme Court's ruling is that they seem to be completely ignoring our nation's history. The framers of the Constitution by no means intended the fifth amendment to be interpreted in ways cities are doing so now. The latest instance in Connecticut is actually nothing new. CBS had an article on this very subject a year ago. The city of Lakewood, Ohio wanted to replace homes that aren't even in what could be considered "blighted" areas, in order to replace them with property which would bring more tax dollars. The transcript of Kelo vs. New London reveals a judiciary sentiment that is scary and far-removed from the words of our founding fathers.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states:
...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Supreme Court stated in their opinion in Kelo vs. New London "Without exception, the court has defined that concept (public pupose) broadly, reflecting its longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments as to what public needs justify the use of the takings power...The Court declines to second-guess the wisdom of the means the city has selected to effectuate its plan." This line of reasoning flies in the face of why the Constitution was ratified in the first place. The Constitution made sense to the 9 colonies that ratified it because it gave the federal government the power to protect against unjust actions of local governments. The "unalienable rights" that each man possesses to pursue life, liberty and property would be better protected under a central government.

James Madison argued in Federalist Paper #10
"The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens..."

The "legislative judgments", of which the Supreme Court refered to in its opinion on the case of Kelo vs. New London, are made in smaller districts and are therefore more likely to be involved in "plans of oppression" as explained by Madison. Leaving the interpretation of "public purpose" to the local legislatures is a BAD move and, in my opinion, it is not consistant with the the reasoning of those who wrote and ratified the Constitution. To see that there is still some hope for the Supreme Court, read the dissenting comments of Justice O'Connor which were joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice Scalia, and Justice Thomas.

So how does the Supreme Court's ruling effect Fresno?
This would allow the government to seize private property and hand it over to developers all over the country as well as here in downtown Fresno. Specifically it could affect Fresno's Armenian Town which developers have been interested in redeveloping in recent years. (KSEE-24)
Here is an example of what the city is interested in doing. Fresno Famous has an interview with the vice president of Fresno's Downtown Association (FDA). Here is someone who is opposed to eminent domain but has the ability to take advantage of the opportunity and make a positive change. FDA has been attempting to revitalize downtown Fresno for quite some time, being in business since 1955. I found an online copy of their 2003 Annual Report. Read it to learn more of FDA's vision. They know in order to beautify the area, some nicer businesses need to move in to entice regular shoppers to visit. That is something that the Supreme Courts new ruling could make a lot easier.

On the flip side you have Fresno's Redevelopment Agency (RDA) which will gladly take advantage of eminent domain. There business practices have already come under questioning from the Downtown Fresno Coalition (DFC).
Early in the fall the DFC sent a letter to City Council members raising questions about the RDA’s practices and financial status that should be investigated in the upcoming performance review or annual audit of the Agency. A recent Grand Jury report included criticisms of the RDA. Elsewhere in this newsletter is an article by Matt Maroot that suggests some of the questionable aspects of the RDA’s approach to development. The Fresno Bee’s December 2 article on the proposed Armenian Town development also illustrates why more public awareness of the RDA’s practices is needed. After spending $4.6 million to acquire the land for the Armenian Town development, the RDA will charge developers Richard Gunner and George Andros $636,000 for the land.

More citizens need to be asking why the RDA, which had its origins in a national initiative to provide our society with more affordable housing, has become deeply involved in the business of enriching a few developers at the taxpayers’ expense. (1000FriendsOfFresno)
Local congressmen were excited about the Supreme Court's decision. They can't wait to impede upon the rights of individuals in Fresno to own property. As James Madison turns over in his grave, the least we can do is vote for congressmen who openly oppose loose interpretations of eminent domain.

Update 6/28: Captain's Quarters posted this great information.
An investment group now seeks to build a hotel with a museum dedicated to documenting the decline of property rights in Weare, New Hampshire, the home of Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Actually, they want to build the hotel in place of the home of Supreme Court Justice David Souter:

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel [address redacted -- CE] than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

People who want to see Justice Souter's land put to better use than single-family ownership can e-mail the city at this link. Tell them that you'd plan on spending a week in the town as tourists at the new hotel and museum complex.
How long will this go on before the Supreme Court reverses their decision?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Carrie is on bed rest until Wednesday

I came across another Fresno blog that had this shirt posted. I guess someone found it in Santa Barbara. Anyways, I don't really think it sucks here, but Carrie is sure hating it right about now...I wanted to update what has happened since our visit to the hospital on Thursday. Carrie was released from the hospital after a couple of hours. The following day she went in to see her doctor. He told her that she would need to be on bed rest for at least a week and then she would go in to see him again. Her appointment is scheduled for this Wednesday and if everything is ok, Carrie will be off bed rest and will be given the green flag to deliver any time. Thanks to everyone for praying!

On a side note: I posted some new pictures of our trip to Pump it Up with the Calles'. They were in town last Monday and I took the day off to hang out with them all day. We had a blast on the massive slide.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

In the hospital

Carrie had a little bit of false labor today. The doctor wanted her to come in to make sure that she wasn't going into labor. Carrie is only at 35 weeks so it's a good thing that this wasn't the real thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Summer school begins

Another summer, another class. I just can't get enough. I'm taking Political Science 2 this semester which is American Government. I was preparing myself for a liberal professor, who was going to knock the Bush administration every lecture, but I was pleasantly surprised. The teacher is actually conservative. My first quiz is Monday, should be an easy one.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dinner @ Ducey's on the Lake (Bass Lake)

With a wonderful view and terrible service (almost a 2 hour wait for our food) we had a blast! I have not laughed as hard as I did tonight in a long time.