Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Symbols

I saw this in an email from "Freshministry" and wanted to share.

As I'm getting older, I find that I like some of the icons of the Christmas season that I once rejected. In the past, decorations and traditions seemed a bit sacrilegious to me. I thought that if I had a picture of Santa Claus in my home or if we went overboard decorating, we'd be missing the real meaning of Christmas. And I suppose that if those things were the final destination I'd have been right.

Today when I see a Christmas tree, I am reminded that the first Adam took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from his wife and sinned against a holy God (Gen 3:6), but that the second Adam, took the fruit of that sin and bled and died on another tree to pay the price of that sin. When I smell the scent of the evergreen, I'm reminded that the new life I enjoy because of what Jesus did on the cross gives me everlasting life (John 3:16).

The ornaments hanging on the tree also remind me of what Jesus has done for me. When I see the red ones, I think about the blood of Jesus that He shed for my salvation. The silver and gold remind me of God's blessings in my life and the candy cane reminds me that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). The white stripes remind me that Jesus was sinless (2 Cor. 5:21). The red stripes that He shed His blood for me (Eph 1:7). Both colors of stripes remind me that my spiritual healing comes only through His stripes (Isa 53:5). The angel on the top reminds me of my responsibility to tell the world that Jesus has come, just as the angel of old did (Luke 2:10).

When I see a Santa Claus, I don't think about the commercialism of Christmas, I think of St. Nicholas, the fourth Century Bishop who was legendary for his kindness and generosity.

All of these symbols are just that-symbols. They are not intended to be our final destination, they are just signs. This year, I pray that all the icons of Christmas pointed you in the right direction and were not your final destination.


Everyone loves "Carolers", right?

Saw this on a recent escape to Seattle with my wife. It was in the window of a shop called
"Toys in Babeland". I just couldn't resist the opportunity to capture the memory!


Image hosted by

Friday, September 23, 2005

On the next episode of "Inked- the family".....

Who says you're ever too young?

Image hosted by

Thanks to the great gals at Mehndi Madness
for doing these for my gals. They love having tatts "just like dad!"
BTW, THEY picked the designs! I'm gonna be in big trouble in about 10 years!

Brush with fame......

I have my own business. I am a service electrician. Not always a fun job, but I usually enjoy what I do. And I happen to think I am rather good at it.
On Thursday, I went buy my shop ( which is on my folks property) and my old man was there looking for something. I hadn't seen him in a few days so we caught up for a bit. Turns out he has been doing some work (he is also an electrician) for some rich guy a few miles away. Installing a electric gate at the end of the driveway. But he can't finish, so he asks if I can take care of the rest for him. Sure, I love working for people who have too much money! So I head out. He calls me just before I get there to warn me that the owner, who never seems to be there, is a bit odd (his word). As I pull into the drive way, the first thing I notice is that large log house that takes up most of the property. The second (and not the last) is the large frog statue in the front yard. OKAY?
Image hosted by
The job itself is fairly straight forward, so to work I go. Part of what I am doing requires me to connect some wires to the main house. As I am circling the house I notice several "odd" things. One is the large bay window in the front of the house. Now lots of people have bay windows on their homes. Heck, I have one. But not many have a life size "alien" corpse being watched over by a large stuffed black panther!
Don't believe me? Take a look........

Image hosted by
So, now I am intrigued. I go around the side and look through the only other window that is not frosted. And I almost wet my pants! Inside, standing at the edge of the loft, is a full size Darth Vader. Sorry no pic, but believe me, it freaked me out. Among the other "odd" things were the mass assortment of weapons- knives, swords, rifles...-hung on almost every wall.
About this time, the neighbor/caretaker shows up. He is like something right out of "Deliverance".

He rides up on a camo colored ATV with a rifle mounted on the handlebars "Just in case" he tells me later. Just in case! Just in case of what? A rabid squirrel? This is the Northwest, not the damn outback!
He starts telling me he watches the place while the owner (Popper is the only name anyone has ever said) is away. So I ask if he's ever around? I wondering when I'll see some money. He tells me "Popper" will be back from being on tour later this week, and may be playing at a local club. Tour? Playing? Who is this guy? So I ask, "What 'band' is he in? I hope its a band, I don't want to sound like I am clueless.
"Traveling blues or something"
!!!!! Blues Traveler, you mean? "Popper" is John Popper, lead singer!
Image hosted by
"Yep, that's the one. Never heard of 'em myself." (Travis Tritt would be proud)
Okay, being a sudo-musician myself, it was pretty damned cool to find out that the house I have been working on is owned by a famous rock star. But then it hit me.... The guy is frickin' weird!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

This is just too funny.....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Great new Praise and worship CD...Not!

Saw this on the Wittenburgdoor site........
Image hosted by

Friday, September 16, 2005

The weathervane.....

A stranger was walking through a small country town when he caught sight of a farmhouse, with a weathervane set atop. Nothing so special about that, except, inscribed on it were the words "God is love". Intrigued, that man found himself on the door step of the farmhouse knocking.
The door is answered by a stoop shouldered old man. His face is covered in lines. This is the faces that has seen hard times. Without a word, the farmer invites the stranger in and offers him a cup of coffee and a seat. They begin to talk. The farmer gazing out the kitchen window, the stranger's eyes fixed on his cup. Nothing too interesting at first. Mostly, the weather. Its been a warm summer, and might rain soon. But eventually the stranger askes the farmer about the weathervane. "Did you inscribe it, perhaps to symbolize that love is as changing as the weather?"
The farmer is quiet for a moment, then slowly he turns to the stranger. There is a brightness in his eyes the stranger swore wasn't there a moment ago.
"No." he says, stern at first, but then seems overcome by some long forgotten joke.
"No," he says again, this time with a chuckle. "I inscribed this weathervane such because no matter what way the wind blows, God is still love.
matter how bad it gets.
No matter how lost you feel.
No matter how alone you are.
No matter what way the wind blows...
God is there."
This last bit seems to echo through the other wise sleepy farm house. The stranger finishes his cup, thanks the farmer and rises to leave. But before he can, the farmer rests a time beaten hand on the mans shoulder and whispers, "No matter how bad it gets, He is always there."
Without another word, the farmer turns and shuffles off toward the back of the house, leaving the stranger with tears still wet on his cheeks, alone...yet not.

No matter what.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Bumbershoot, bad cameraphone, and a Man-Skirt...

The memorial for my friend, Mitch, whom the last post was dedicated to, will be this Friday at the local LDS chapel. It will be a rough day. So , today, I'm going to try and get a lot out before my brain shuts down for what will most likely be a long weekend.

Bumbershoot!, was this last weekend, here in Seattle. For those that are in the know, bare with me as I try and explain for those that don't. Imagine your local Fair. Food, crafts, crowds of people, performers and artists all gathered in one location. Now imagine that all the musicians and other performance artists that you would buy extra admission to see are FREE. Oh, and the crowds of people.... Some of the friendliest, non-pretentious, polite people you would want to meet. Not like the very much pretentious suburban yuppie scum that seem to dominate the crowds at the State fair here in PNW. You see, the majority of folks at the Bumbershoot festival...Freaks! In the best sense of the word. Everyone is different, so no one is. Better food (Thai, Indian, Mexican, Moroccan, Hawaiian, Greek, African, and all the traditional American Fair fare), interesting product booths (most of which is locally made and/ or organic) and things for the kids to do....For free (at least 10 different free crafts-beaded necklaces, paper flowers, musical shakers, candy-leis....) and did I mention the music?
So it runs from Friday-Monday (labor day) but Shannon (my wife) and I didn't get down till Saturday. The first thing we did was head to the Mainstage area for what I thought was the best mini "concert" of the whole weekend- John Butler Trio.

Image hosted by

They are my fav. band right now. Their set (about an hour on average for all the acts) was invigorating. By the end, my wife who will tell you she has no sense of rhythm, was starting to move with the music. You can see from the pic (as lame as it is- hence the title "bumbershoot, bad camera phone....) that there were a lot of people. But here is were that politeness I was talking about comes in. Everyone respected everyone else's space. We were never pushed, and when someone did bump us, they ALWAYS apologized!

Next, after a quick and yummy gyro, we headed over to an indoor venue to see Lemony Snicket do what we thought was going to be a reading.
Image hosted by
It turned into the funniest family friendly monologue I have ever heard. He spent most of the hour convincing us he was NOT Lemony Snicket, and in fact Mr. Snicket had been in an Unfortunate incident while at a picnic.

When we were able to catch our breath, we headed over to another indoor concert venue for Visqueen.
Image hosted by
I think this was one of the wife's favs. The sound quality in the building wasn't the greatest, but girls that play guitar like she did, ROCK!

Well, that was it for Saturday, but Sunday we came back with the kids (4 & 6). Unfortunatly my POS camera phone wouldn't take anymore pics.
We saw several other bands with them- Pretty Girls Make Graves, Headphones and the Duhks. These guys were probably the most fun. It started to rain about 1/2 way through their set, and by the end it was pouring. But no one left! Instead we were all dancing (including my misses). The kids, despite being soaked had a great time, and the music was super kewl.
Back again on Monday to close out the festival, we started the day off with Dashboard Confessional

I wasn't very impressed with these guys. Their songs all sounded the same, and this particular set was pretty lame. They took a lot of time between songs, yet didn't say anything.
Next we did some Polynesian crafts with the kids- Paper flowers and candy leis- and watched the Polynesian dancers for a bit
Image hosted by
before going to see Earlimart. These guys were pretty good, but the kids were restless, so we left early.

All in all, an excellent weekend.

So you've come this far, and you are wondering about the "Man Skirt".
So Saturday, whilst perusing the booths with Shannon, we came upon the Utilikilt tent. It didn't take much persuasion from the guys selling or my wife and I was trying on skirts, sorry, KILTS!
So here ya go.... Another Free man, thanks to the guys at
Image hosted by

Before I end this, already too revealing post, a big thanks to Jesse. After our conversation the other day, I decided to make this blog a little less anonymous.
Check out the profile here. Thanks J.
ME...I mean Matt

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bad Day....I

I was going to post about my weekend at Bumbershoot. I was going to upload all the pics of the bands I saw. I was gonna.
I found out this morning that a friend was killed in a car accident.
He was a good guy, a good dad (to 7 kids, the youngest is 3) and a good husband.
He was also Mormon.
As a Christian, I take comfort in the knowledge that if I were to die tomorrow, I would be w/ Christ in heaven. That if my mom or dad, or my wife or my children died, I would see them again in the Kingdom of God. But will I see my friend Mitch again?
There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past year. Changes in my Theology, political views, personal relationships, and my relationship with Christ. I recently had one of the teens in my youth group ask me about those who for whatever reason, may not have had a chance to hear the Gospel of Christ. What has or will become of them? Will God have mercy on them, even though they may not have called him by the same names we western Christians do? I'm starting to question my response. I had said that I do believe God will have mercy. I believe that perhaps those members of far off tribes who maybe worship some parts of nature, are in a way, worshiping Him that created nature, and that his mercy may extend to them.
Sounded right at the time. But what about those here in the west, who may subscribe to something not quite Christian. Mormons, JW's, Baptists.....don't ask, don't ask.
I know a bit about the Mormon faith. Enough to know that they believe in Jesus. But from there on out, its pretty fuzzy.
I realize that there are those religious righties, and hard core "christians" that think anything less than their way, is a direct route to hell. But who can say for sure? I know that for now, it is easier on the heart to lean in the universalism direction. For now (and maybe until I can ask God face to face) I will believe that my friend is feasting with the angels, and watching carefully over the rest of his family.
Well that's it for now, I can't see the keyboard through the tears. If you are of the persuasion, say a prayer today for My friends wife and children. That there loss will be tempered by the thoughts of their father and husband in a better place than this.
Peace be with you Mitch Buchholtz! I will miss you.