Monday, December 29, 2008

New Years Resolution tag

I've been tagged by Bria, the subject being my New Years Resolutions.

Here goes.

Everyone needs to set goals that they wish to accomplish each year. Name ten of your goals for the upcoming year. Link to the person who tagged you. Then tag seven people and link to them. Tell the people you tagged that they are tagged!

Mike's goals for this new year

To honor God in all I do and follow all of His commands

To write at least five screenplays

To make at least one of these screen plays into a movie

To finish learning French

To learn how to play the guitar

To help at least five of the guys in my Troop get Eagle Scout

To become more proficient with our pistole

To weed our garden more often (last year it got to be quite a mess)

To finish reading all of the books I've started

That everything I do bring glory to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

I tag Livvy, Stephen G, Son3, Emmy and Ivey, Dad.
Not quite 7, I know, but right now I'm packing for my trip to TX tomorrow, so I reckon it'll have to do. :)

Thanks Bria!

God Bless,

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Universal Feeling

I just found this video on youtube, most of y'all will probably relate to this like I do. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Tribute to 777

About 2 years ago I joined Boy Scout Troop 777.
Troop 777 is unique, in that all of the guys are Christians, homeschooled and generally like-minded.

Before Scouts, most of my friends were neighbors, nine times out of ten they were not the right people to be around, more than once was I been ridiculed for not going with the flow. Thus, I figured that maybe I was more of the "lone wolf" type, it might not be as fun, but hey, at least I wasn't getting into any more fights with my "friends".

However, in October of 2006, I attended a meeting of Troop 777 after being invited by a fellow Reformed homeschooler I gotten to know at a VF event.
I met 14 guys alot like me, we might not have agreed 100% on everything, we still might not, but I'd have to say at the very least I agree 90% with my Brothers in Christ.

Each trip we went on started with a prayer, each evening ended with a devotion and before we started out the subsequent day we would usually start by reading a Proverb and discussing the wisdom contained therein.

Our Scoutleader is Mr. "SGT" Bill Neal, devout Christian, Vietnam Veteran, booby-trap specialist and all-around great American.
The Troop would not be the same without Mr. Neal, who has given countless hours to make sure we had a good time and got something out of it.

In May of 2007 we had a camp-out at Mr. Neal's house, I had advanced two ranks at the same time.
Mr. Neal sat down with me and told me I now had a chance at getting the lofty rank of Eagle Scout.
My response was "Well, that would be great Mr. Neal, but that means I got a long way to go and a short time to get there."
Mr. Neal encouraged me to do my best to get Eagle, even though at the time I thought it was nigh unto impossible.

That July I attended my first Scout Summer Camp.
This was really the first time I was away from my parents and surrounded with "Babylonian" peers, I came to realize not only how much Christians are ridiculed but also destained.
Evidently, we were "that Troop", the one made up completly of those "homeschooling nuts". When I stood up to one particular guy, who did not really care to be corrected for some garbage he spewed, I found five pairs of clinched fists backing me up. I decided I liked being surrounded by homschooling nuts.

That instance is just one of many.
Quite a few people have tried to put us down, but all they do is further cement our bonds of Friendship and Brotherhood in Christ.

This past May, I received the rank of Life Scout and thus the last leg of my journey had begun. The first thing I had to do was think up an idea for a Eagle Project.

The first project I had in mind was a solar hot-water heater for a low-income church in our county seat.
This was a great project idea, but it just didn't feel right.
I wanted to do something bigger, something I knew more about, something with more meaning. I've always been interested in military history, WWII especially, but I had no idea how to incorporate that into an Eagle Project. After brainstorming with my Dad, we thought that a Memorial to all of the WWII veterans from our county would be great.

So after much coordinating with my county, paperwork and the like I brought my idea before a project board which consists of 5 Eagle Scouts, and whose lone purpose is to approve or disapprove Eagle Projects. After deliberating with the Project Board for 2 hours, they agreed to let me build the Memorial, as long as it was dedicated to all veterans from my county.

It takes about six to eight weeks to build the type of Memorial I wanted, but first I had to procure the funding. I had been talking to a Mr. Oglesby, from Keystone Memorials in Elberton GA about having them build a Memorial for me, but I only had until mid-September to get all $3300 that I needed.
If I did not have it by then I would have to go with a much simpler and quicker project.

August came and went, as did the first week of September, to make a long story not as long, I received $2000 dollars from a company that would like to remain anonymous.
Very shortly after that I ordered the Memorial.

I also needed bricks for the pathway that led up to the Memorial itself, I again began seeking donations, a local wrecking company owned by Mr. Bill Reeves, who is an Eagle Scout, donated all 256 that I needed.

That done, I planned all of my Project workdays.
When I went before the Project Board, they told me that, even though all other councils do not require this, my Project must have at least 150 man hours.
The best way to explain man hours is like this.
If three guys go out and work for an hour they just worked for three man hours.

My Troop has grown significantly since I joined, from 15 guys to 23.
I sent out an email telling about my first project workday, I received 4 responses, but when I arrived at our designated meeting place I found everybody in our Troop and quite a few Dads ready and waiting to start my Project.
This was late October, I now had less than a month and a half to finish my Project.

Mr. Oglesby, who turned out to be a homeschooling Dad and Eagle Scout, rushed my Memorial and got it to me in record time looking wonderful.
We laid it on the 29th of November.
You can see pictures of the workday and the finished Memorial here.

After this, all I had to do was finish my paperwork and get it to the proper authorities before my 18th birthday.
Thankfully, this was done in time and I was granted an Eagle Board, which is convened the 2nd Thursday of every month, it just so happened to be on my birthday.
As Mr. Neal said at the time, it was hit or miss.

To sum everything up, I met with the Board, who asked me a few questions and then told me to wait outside the room. After a little while I was asked to come back in and then was congratulated for achieving Eagle Scout.

All of this would never have come to pass without the good Lord, and the help of everybody in my Troop, many of the guys put their own Eagle Projects off for awhile so I could complete mine in time, for which I'm extremely grateful.

Whenever I think about the camaraderie in Troop 777, I'm reminded of two things, the first is Proverbs 27:17 which reads: "As Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

The second is the rousing speech from the Shakespearean play Henry V, which is recited quite often in our Troop.

"Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day.
Then shall our names, familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,

We few, we happy few,
we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."

Thanks 777!

God Bless,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday My Own First Born Man-Child, My Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!

Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s painless play,
Sleep that wakes in laughing day,
Health that mocks the doctor’s rules,
Knowledge never learned of schools,
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flower’s time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell,
How the woodchuck digs his cell,
And the ground-mole sinks his well;
How the robin feeds her young,
How the oriole’s nest is hung;
Where the whitest lilies blow,
Where the freshest berries grow,
Where the ground-nut trails its vine,
Where the wood-grape’s clusters shine;
Of the black wasp’s cunning way,
Mason of his walls of clay,
And the architectural plans
Of gray hornet artisans!
For, eschewing books and tasks,
Nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks,
Face to face with her he talks,
Part and parcel of her joy,—
Blessings on the barefoot boy!

Oh for boyhood’s time of June,
Crowding years in one brief moon,
When all things I heard or saw,
Me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees,
Humming-birds and honey-bees;
For my sport the squirrel played,
Plied the snouted mole his spade;
For my taste the blackberry cone
Purpled over hedge and stone;
Laughed the brook for my delight
Through the day and through the night,
Whispering at the garden wall,
Talked with me from fall to fall;
Mine the sand-rimmed pickerel pond,
Mine the walnut slopes beyond,
Mine, on bending orchard trees,
Apples of Hesperides!
Still as my horizon grew,
Larger grew my riches too;
All the world I saw or knew
Seemed a complex Chinese toy,
Fashioned for a barefoot boy!

Oh for festal dainties spread,
Like my bowl of milk and bread;
Pewter spoon and bowl of wood,
On the door-stone, gray and rude!
O’er me, like a regal tent,
Cloudy-ribbed, the sunset bent,
Purple-curtained, fringed with gold,
Looped in many a wind-swung fold;
While for music came the play
Of the pied frogs’ orchestra;
And, to light the noisy choir,
Lit the fly his lamp of fire.
I was monarch: pomp and joy
Waited on the barefoot boy!

Cheerily, then, my little man,
Live and laugh, as boyhood can!
Though the flinty slopes be hard,
Stubble-speared the new-mown sward,
Every morn shall lead thee through
Fresh baptisms of the dew;
Every evening from thy feet
Shall the cool wind kiss the heat:
All too soon these feet must hide
In the prison cells of pride,
Lose the freedom of the sod,
Like a colt’s for work be shod,
Made to tread the mills of toil,
Up and down in ceaseless moil:
Happy if their track be found
Never on forbidden ground;
Happy if they sink not in
Quick and treacherous sands of sin.
Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy,
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!

by John Greenleaf Whittier

Thank you Mike for the Honor you have brought to your Father and Mother this week. May the Lord's richest blessings be yours. My darling boy, now man. I Love You!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not unto us O LORD...

Psalm 115:1

Non nobis Domine, Domine
Non nobis Domine
Sed nomini, Sed nomini
Tu o da gloriam

Not unto us, O Lord
Not unto us, O Lord
But to Your name
But to Your name
May all the glory be.

More posts following!