Monday, December 03, 2007


The past couple of weeks have been hard on my family. To protect everyone involved, I will keep it that vague. But something happened recently that just blew me away. I came home after a particularly rough day and had a good cry in my bedroom. Then I came back out to eat dinner with my wife and son. I looked at Marcy and said, "You need to pray." The three of us held hands as she started to pray. Then, I lost it. I started crying uncontrollably over my dinner. In response to this and her own emotions, Marcy started crying, too. So here we are, in the quietness of the evening, holding hands and crying. Then, out of nowhere, Colin started crying. Not just crying, but wailing! He saw his mommy and daddy crying, and he completely lost it! Never have I seen such empathy before. Marcy and I had to compose ourself quickly to go and comfort him. It was about the sweetest thing I have ever experienced!

Romans 12:15: Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NOOMA Shirts

I just received an e-mail from NOOMA is the company that produces the short videos based on sermons by Rob Bell from Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan. The e-mail advertised an auction that is being held to sell the t-shirts that were used in the latest video, 018/Name. The t-shirts are single-color with one word printed on the back. I was interested to find out how much the t-shirts were going for, so I clicked on the link, which took me to the Ebay site with the merchandise. I was intrigued to discover which items were fetching the high-dollar bids, and which weren't:
  • Committed - $115.50 - We all want to be seen as Committed...
  • Kind - $102.50 - And Kind.
  • Artist - $255.00 - I thought artists were starving!
  • Stylish - $255.00 - Well, of course.
  • Compulsive - $46.00 - I figured this would be more.
  • Double-Degree - $61.00 - Yeah, that's prestigious.
  • Insecure - $63.00 - That seems pretty secure to pay that much for a shirt that says that you're insecure.
  • And the bottom four are:
    • Self-Loathing - $17.50
    • HIV+ - $17.50
    • GED - $15.50
    • Anorexic - $15.00
It just breaks my heart that our society - and the Church, in many ways - has so shunned people that they feel like they have to stay in the shadows. Let us be Jesus to the world and embrace people so that they can come out of the shadows to strive to be all that He wants them to be.

Here's a preview of the video, by the way...

Monday, November 12, 2007

When Do We Lose It?

Colin is at a stage in his life where everything is exciting. Not just exciting things. EVERYthing! Colin sees a ball - one that he has seen hundreds of times - and he shrieks out, "BAW!" Or we'll be in his bedroom and he sees his bed and he hollers, "BAW!" Or he hears the horn of a train going by and he squeals, "BAW!" (Pretty much everything is 'baw') This persistent excitement about everything prompted me to ask Marcy yesterday, "When do we lose it? When do we stop getting so excited over the smallest things?" When does life get so mundane and boring that we lose the zest we once had when everything was new? I hope Colin doesn't lose it for a very long time...but I do hope he starts calling things by their real names, and not simply 'baw.'

The above image has nothing to do with this post. It was just too cute to keep to myself. We took it last night as we went to bed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Bunch of Colin

Here's a little something I recently put together while goofing around at Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2nd Ain't So Bad After All

I think I have finally become comfortable finishing in 2nd place. It had been so frustrating this year for all of my teams to finish in 2nd place, instead of just one of them breaking through to win it all. It started with the Buckeyes football team getting thumped in early January. Then, the basketball team did the same thing in March, although they didn't get beat quite as badly. Then, the Cavaliers found out what a team - as opposed to a one-man-show - looks like when they ran into the Spurs in the Finals. And most lately, the Indians finished in 2nd place. I know what you're thinking: "No they didn't. The Rockies did." Really? Did the Rockies put up a fight against the Red Sox? No. The Indians were the only ones in the postseason that gave them any trouble whatsoever, so as I see it, the Tribe was the 2nd best team in baseball this year. That's not too bad. That's better than 28 of 29 other teams. And the Cavaliers were better than 28 of 29 other teams, too. And the Buckeyes' teams were each better than over 100 other teams. So 2nd? Not so bad after all.

Now here's what happens when two guys have way too much time and money on their hands. Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Transition Time

Colin has now reached the age at which we are attempting to make a few transitions...or at least starting to attempt. One such transition is trying to get him used to using a potty, the first step in the arduous potty-training routine. No real newsworthy stories here, but it is a good excuse to show a picture that will haunt him later in life:

The other transition is from his crib to a Big Boy Bed. Some might call it a toddler bed, but not us. For us, it's a Big Boy Bed. Last night was his first attempt in the bed, and as near as we can tell, it went quite well. This afternoon, his nap attempt is not going as well. So far, he has come out of his room smiling at us twice. After a firm rebuking each time, it was back to bed. Now, it seems that he is staying put.

But the memorable moment for me in this first day of bed transition happened in the middle of the night. I went into his room to check on him, and found him laying in the fetal position sideways on his bed. Judging from the temperature in the room and the tightness of the curl in his body, I was guessing he was cold, so I quietly opened one of his drawers to get a blanket to cover him with, since he was laying on top of the covers on his bed. He apparently heard me enough to rouse him, so he started moving, which forced me to make a quick exit. But after I left his room, I kept the door open enough so I could watch him. As I did, I noticed his head was hanging off of the bed, and his body was slowly sliding in the direction that gravity was pulling his large cranium. I wasn't worried because the bed is not very high off of the floor. I watched as he slid head-first ever-so-slowly toward the floor. His head touched the floor, and then his body followed slowly behind. It was like watching a movie scene in slow motion to make sure you didn't miss something. When the rest of his body fell on the floor, he stood up and scampered to climb back in the bed. It was hilarious! I was glad that Marcy was awake so I could share the experience with her. I was also glad that he liked his new bed so much that he wanted to get right back in after falling out, instead of looking for Mommy and Daddy. Let's hope that continues...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Not Sure How I Feel

(I was asked to post on our church's blog during our 40 Days of Community campaign. Here is what I wrote.)

As my wife and I were reading the 40 Days devotional a few nights ago, a thought popped into my head. I wondered if this whole idea about small groups is a little biased. You see, I'm an extrovert, which means that I like having a whole lot of "friends," but to only get involved at what could best be called a shallow level with them. This extrovert-ness is a part of who I am, it's how I roll. So now, I'm supposed to cast aside that part of me that is integral to who I am so that I can invest and be invested in at a deep level. I struggle with that, to be honest. Could there not be a way for the extroverts among to be built up spiritually and to invest in each other that doesn't look like small groups and deep conversations? That is what I have been thinking.

But maybe, what is really at the core of the matter is that I really don't want people messing in my stuff. I know who I am, and there are times that I don't like that person. Why in the world would I want to get involved in doing life with someone else so that they can also know what a cruddy guy I can be? It's risky. It's scary. Maybe they'll find out who the man is behind the curtain and reject me or, worse yet, throw the curtain wide open for others to see. It's a gamble. But the fact of the matter is that God never promised that living in community would be easy or painless. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another." Iron is sharpened without the influence of anything else. Rather, it is sharpened when it comes into violent contact with another piece of iron. If iron could feel pain, it would probably reject the proposal of being sharpened in much the same way that I reject the idea of deep community in my life. But regardless of my rejections, if I want to be and stay sharp, it's what I need.

I remember being in a small group while at seminary. I joined it when I was going through a difficult time from a failed relationship. That small group was life to me! I had no idea that I would get to the level of intimacy that I did and share the things I shared. It was scary, and risky, and a gamble. But when I took the risk, the rewards of growth and relationship far outweighed it. The risk is worth it. Now, I just need to keep telling myself that...

Fitz, Youth Pastor

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Jones Soda Bottle

I recently have developed a fondness for Jones Soda Cream Soda. It is quite yummy! Marcy had me choose a yummy drink to take on our vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and that was my choice. I thought, "How cool would it be to get Colin's picture on one of their bottles!?" So I submitted one of his birthday pics. You can go here to vote on it and hopefully, they'll choose it...I mean, look at the kid. How could they not?!?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Great Voice Silenced

I just read that Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) died late last night after a battle with pancreatic cancer. What a sad day. He was able to do something for me that I would have previously predicted that no one would be able to do: develop an appreciation in me for opera music. His rendition of Nessum Dorma - his signature song - is one of the greatest musical performances ever:

Luciano, you will be missed...

A couple of trivia items regarding Pavarotti - Did you know:
  • That he would always perform with a bent nail in his pocket that he had found somewhere on the stage?
  • That he holds the world record for the longest standing ovation? Ninety minutes!!! Wow!

Monday, August 27, 2007

I am an Entertainer and a Creator

Or so says my personality profile. Inspired by my blogging buddy, DG, I retook my Myers-Briggs personality profile. I came back as an ESFP (which has changed, since I used to be an ENFP). The letters stand for:
  • Extraverted: a preference to focus on the world outside the self.
  • Sensing: Sensing people focus on the present, they are "here and now" people, who are factual and process information through the five senses.
  • Feeling: They are ruled by their heart instead of their head.
  • Perceiving: Perceiving people are flexible, like to keep their options open and think randomly.
Here is the description of that personality from the webpage:

ESFP - The "Entertainer"

ESFPs are cooperative, "here and now" people-persons that enjoy excitement and love new adventures. Because of their highly social nature, they are especially lively when they are the center of attention and hate being alone. ESFPs have a practical side that allows them to finish work efficiently and are often good problem solvers.

What do you think? Does this describe me? Let me know...

BTW, here is the badge created for me, which includes my results from that test and another one I took that dealt with multiple intelligences.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fantasy Football Draft Day

Tonight was Draft Night in the same fantasy football league I have been a part of for the past three years. Once again, I don't expect at all to do well, but I'm in it for the fun of it. I try to do well, but I am in no way self-deceived to think that I have a chance to win. If I do, bonus! Only time will tell. Here is the team I came up with, including their draft order and bye week. Let me know what you think:
  1. Larry Johnson - RB - 8
  2. Ronnie Brown - RB - 9
  3. Donovan McNabb - QB - 5
  4. Lee Evans - WR - 6
  5. Plaxico Burress - WR - 9
  6. Deuce McAllister - RB - 4
  7. Vernon Davis - TE - 6
  8. Mark Clayton - WR - 8
  9. Alex Smith - QB - 6
  10. Shayne Graham - K - 5
  11. Vernand Morency - RB - 7
  12. Bernard Berrian - WR - 9
  13. Baltimore - D/ST - 8
I'm a bit RB- and WR-heavy, but that way I have some players that are expendable when I need to pick up a TE, K, or D/ST during a bye week. We'll see if the plan works...I'm not holding my breath. :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Colin's Tricks

The Boy just keeps amazing and entertaining us. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I just read a story of 11 people getting injured on a Tom Cruise movie photo shoot when they fell out of a moving truck during shooting. The article says that "One of them was seriously hurt and had to remain in hospital." This caused me to wonder if Tom Cruise, the staunch Scientologist that he is, would have allowed himself to be taken to the hospital if he had been one of the injured. Scientology, as a "church", has "a long history of opposition to drugs and medical attention of any kind but their own." And it's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer of all things, once wrote that Scientologists that were taking courses were forbidden to seek medical treatment without permission from the "church," except in extreme cases. Now don't get me wrong, I believe that God - not L. Ron Hubbard, and not my own mind - has the ability to heal. But I also believe that He doesn't always do it in a miraculous way, as we would define miraculous. I believe that he works through doctors and medicine to heal His people and that it makes sense to seek treatment when necessary. For Tom Cruise and his fellow Scientologists to recommend otherwise is only harming themselves and their followers. He, as a main spokesperson, is only leading people astray.


I re-ran across this photo from our youth mission trip to Birmingham, and I still chuckle over it. It was taken in one of the churches we served while there. To me, it screams, "Irony!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Procrastination, Procrastination is Making Me Wait...

The life of a procrastinator is not a fun one. It is now getting to the point that I sincerely wish that I had a different personality, one that has everything planned out weeks in advance so that when something big comes up, all I have to do is wrap up a few minor details. But alas, it's hard for a cat to change its stripes (is that how the saying goes?). So now, I find myself in a whirlwind of activity trying to get ready for the fall semester of ministry. We just had a busy weekend that featured a kick-off dinner for our SIMYs (our adult leaders) and our annual youth outreach Mud Olympics. Over 150 students showed up to play in the mud, and it was great fun, but it was scramble time right before, even though we started planning two months ago. Tomorrow, we have a preview night for our new 7th graders, Sunday is our Sunday school kick-off, and next Wednesday is our first Porch youth group meeting. AAAAAUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!!! Crazy times! It will all get done, and done well, but it is insanity in the meantime. But as I always say, "Why put off until tomorrow what you can put off until day after tomorrow?"...It's sayings like that that get me into trouble...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Simpsons and Religion

On the heels of The Simpsons Movie - which was great, by the way - came up with a list of the Top Ten (Plus One) Religious Episodes on The Simpsons. It is fun reading! My favorite has to be Missionary: Impossible ("Save me, Jebus!"). Which is yours?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back to Blogging

I just received a request from our Executive Director to set up a blog for our 40 Days of Community website, which I am more than happy to do. But it also reminded me how lax I have been keeping this one up to date. And now, since I am mentioned in an official way on our church's website, I guess I'd better be more diligent in posting. Heck, there's been plenty to talk about - sports stuff, family vacations, a preaching gig - but I just haven't had the energy or time to post. Must drink more coffee and find more time to post!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm in Birmingham!

I'm in B'Ham this week with 36 of our students and eight other adults on a YouthWorks mission trip. For updates, check out our youth blog at: You can also see the first batch of pictures at: Talk at ya' soon...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Man, I needed that!

After having an interesting week, I was exposed to these two videos from Britain's Got Talent. Boy, did they come at just the right time. Good luck not crying during them, especially during Connie's...

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Now if we can just get a win in game three, then I'd be really impressed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Sad Day

I just learned from my weekly e-mail from Youth Specialties that Lee Eshleman, of Ted & Lee fame, died last week. Apparently, he has been suffering for a long time from depression. On May 17th, he succumbed to the pressure and took his own life. He will be missed by many in the field of youth ministry as he was part of a team that created great skits with excellent Biblical points that students enjoyed. We used their Insider's View of Jesus curriculum a couple of summers ago, which looked at the life of Jesus through the eyes of Andrew and Peter. Hilarious, and thought-provoking. I also greatly enjoyed seeing them at the YS National Youth Workers Convention each year. I will miss his contribution to the kingdom of God. Here is a bit from Ted and his partner in skit-crime, Lee.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

For all of you mom's out there - because I know so many of you read this blog - this classic video is for you. Enjoy:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I Am Convinced!

  • I am convinced that diaper rash is the worst plague known to man. Colin has a severe case of it right now and is completely miserable. He woke up this morning screaming and crying like I have never heard him before. And changing his diaper when he has The Plague is an adventure, and not a fun one. I guess I'll be heading to the drugstore later to find a better treatment for it.
  • I am convinced that being a dad is the best thing in the world!
  • I am convinced that Roger Clemens is the worst teammate in Major League Baseball. He is no more than a mercenary. When he announced his return to the Yankees, he spoke of how glad he was to be back in NY. Well, sure he was. They threw more money at him than did Boston or Houston. If one of those teams had given him more money, he would have been thrilled to be there, too. But what kind of teammate demands to be able to go home whenever he wants? It's one thing to want to spend time with your family, but for $28 million, I think you could maybe buy them a nice home in NY so you could be with them. And he doesn't just use that privilege to spend time with his family. He also uses it to play golf, according to his former manager Phil Garner. I would rather have a teammate that is committed to the team than one who is no more than a hired gun who can show up late and leave whenever.
  • I am convinced that MLB teams are doing the right thing by banning alcohol from their clubhouses, in light of the death of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock. I know, he didn't get drunk at the stadium, but why even have alcohol there? What other employer offers beer to their employers at their place of employment after a long day? None! Some - Colin Cowherd and Mike Greenberg on ESPN Radio - say that this is the wrong approach, that we need to stress personal responsibility instead. That's fine, but why put the temptation there for anyone that may be struggling with it? We might as well offer betting slips in the clubhouse but make sure we stress responsibility. Give me a break! I know that alcohol is legal, but also very damaging to many people. Get it out of the clubhouse.
  • Speaking of ESPN, I am convinced that they are coming close to losing me as a fan of their establishment (I know, it would crush them to know this). It ticks me off that more and more of the articles that they posy online are only available to Insiders, which means paying X amount of dollars for the inside scoop. I know they are in the business of making money, but they won't make my money this way. I'll look at a different website instead.
  • I am convinced that the local media in Cape Girardeau is too self-important. A couple of examples to prove my point. One, every time there is any kind of severe weather, the local TV station breaks into regular programming every few minutes for special updates, instead of breaking in once and then having the little map on the screen showing affected areas or the ticker at the bottom of the screen. For some reason, they feel it is vital to show off their triple doppler whatever and let Mom and Pop in Podunkville know that it will be raining in their neighborhood in seven minutes. And two, are there that many people in this area that care about SEMO baseball? While listening to the NFL Draft a couple of weeks ago, they were early in the broadcast of the first round when the local sports station cut away for a SEMO baseball game. OK fine, you have a contract with SEMO, but have the foresight to know when the second biggest day of the football season is so you don't have to cut away. Geez! And finally, when the shooting tragedy happened at Va Tech, and all of the national news programs were having special one-hour broadcasts instead of their normal half-hour programs, the local station cut away from the coverage to do their local news program. I know, local news is important, but I think that event takes precedence.
  • I am convinced that British TV is better than American TV. OK, so maybe just the few programs I have watched have been better - thanks, Oral - but they sure seem better. My current favorite is Life on Mars. Other favorites have been , The Office (British version), Cracker and Dr. Who.
Enough ranting for now. I'm sure Colin will be waking up soon. Must be ready...

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Fun Thought...

Colin is at the stage in his life where he is all over the place. He walks really well now, and is on the verge of flat-out running. But while he is so good at getting around, he still falls down quite a bit. Not falling down and getting hurt, although he is getting good at that, too. I mean the kind of falling where he will be standing there one second, and the next he is on his butt. The other night, he must have fallen down five or six times in a row, which led to much laughter from his parents (we weren't laughing at him, we were laughing near him). Marcy thought that the dog toy he was holding was throwing him off-balance. I don't know that those few ounces made that much of a difference, but that's really not the point. The point is, he falls on his butt quite frequently.

I thought recently, as I observed Colin's sometimes inability to stand up, what if adults were like that? What if, randomly throughout our days, we would simply fall on our butt? And there would be no reaction at all; we would simply stand back up like nothing ever happened. Imagine the scenarios:
  • You are looking at buying a brand-new car, and the salesman simply falls down on his butt.
  • As you walk through the mall, people are dropping left and right, falling on their butts.
  • While everyone is singing in church, people are sporadically falling on their butts throughout the sanctuary.
  • You're getting ready to kiss that girl for the first time, and she falls on her butt.
You get the picture, and if you do, it's a pretty funny picture. I think it has great potential as a skit on SNL or Mad TV. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What's Wrong with This Picture?

The Cavs just swept a playoff series.
The Indians are in first place.
The Browns just had a great draft.

All signs that the Armageddon is upon us...

Friday, April 27, 2007

With the Third Pick of the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns Select...

I don't remember a time when I have been this worked up about the NFL - or any - professional sports draft. Let's face it, the Browns stink and probably will for a very long time. And whoever they draft will either have a career-ending injury or will be a bust (repeat with me: Tim Couch - see above). But for whatever reason, there still is a glimmer of optimism in my spirit. Call it denial, if you like, but there's a hope deep within by being that says, "Maybe this draft will turn things around for my boys." Only time will tell, I guess. Here's my take on the top potential players that the Browns could pick #3 in the draft:
  • Adrian Peterson: He could be the franchise back the Browns need. Or - if he doesn't change his running style - he could be the next Courtney Brown, always sidelined with injuries. I was ready to be OK with the Browns drafting him until I heard that he re-broke his collarbone in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State and could require surgery. Now I'm a little more hesitant.
  • Brady Quinn: He is a good quarterback, but I will shoot myself (not really, silly) if the Browns select him. He's good as long as it is not a big game; then he folds like a cheap card table. On the other hand, since the Browns are never in a big game, it might be a match made in Heaven.
  • Joe Thomas: I would love to have him! It would give Frye/Anderson time to throw and continue to solidify the OL that Savage has worked hard to rebuild. But, they would still need to find a RB at some point because I don't think that Jamal Lewis is the long-term solution.
  • JaMarcus Russell: If he slips to three and the Browns don't select him, I may have to start rooting for another team. "Go Texans!" Nah, I could never pull that off. But if they do get him, watch him be the next Ryan Leaf or Akili Smith.
  • Calvin Johnson: If he slips to three and the Browns don't trade him to someone that is just drooling over him so that they can get him in front of the Bucs, well, see the above threat. We don't need him as bad as we need more picks. Trade, baby, trade!
Only 26+ hours to wait to see what they will do. I'm not sure if I'll make it. I should go mow the lawn or something...

P.S. I have already apologized to Colin for the fact that he will be raised a Cleveland sports fan. He doesn't have a choice in the matter - I will not let him pick the team he wants to root for - and it is a life of heartbreak. But, as Calvin's dad always used to say, "It will build character."

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Busy Couple of Weeks

Before I get into what has been going on in the wonderful world of Mike Fitzpatrick, allow me to apologize for the faulty music video that I posted earlier. I didn't know that it would only show the first 35 seconds of the video. Drag! But you can check it out here. Heck with

We had a great birthday and baptism celebration for Colin. We wanted to get him baptized, so we planned to have it done as close to his birthday as possible so if family came to The Cape, we could kill two birds with one frying pan, if you know what I mean. What a great weekend! We had Marcy's sister and bro-in-law and her mom and stepdad stay with us, while my mom and aunt stayed at a hotel. It was a little crazy having all of those people here, especially since we had had company two of the previous three weekends. We were wiped out by the end, but it was worth it. It was such a fun weekend! We celebrated the Boy's birthday on Saturday, complete with his own cake and #1 candles (he wasn't so good at blowing them out). As you can tell from this picture, he enjoyed the cake quite a bit!

I forgot to mention that he also got his first haircut that weekend by Auntie Ruthie. He had developed quite the mullet, so thank God for scissors and that my mom snuck them through airport security. :-) He got quite the motherload for a kid that's not even going to remember this day. I'm not sure what he liked more, the Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon or the envelopes that all of the cards came in. It's a toss-up.

On Sunday, we had Colin baptized. What a blessing! I told Marcy just before we went up for the ceremony that I was more nervous for this than I am when I preach. I'm not sure why, but it was the case. Colin couldn't have been more precious or well-behaved, as you can tell from this picture.

He just soaked it all up, and when he was held up for the congregation to see him at the end, and everyone clapped, he shook his arms and legs with joy. He really is the best boy ever!

Fast-forward a few days to that next Thursday (which was March 29th). The fam had all gone home. That night was our big Silent Auction & Dinner fundraiser for our student mission trip. This summer, we are taking around 35 students to serve in Birmingham in the name of Jesus, so we had to raise a lot of money. The theme was The 70's, and we had great funk music provided by Groove Conspiracy. The turnout was good and although the bidding wasn't as fierce as last year, we were still able to clear $6,500.00! It was a great night! I had to look the part, so:

Yes, that is a fun manchu on my face. That was the first time that Marcy had ever seen my chin. Colin wasn't really sure what to make of me that night. He just kept looking at my hair with a very concerned look on his face.

Then this past Saturday, I went with a group of our SIMYs to St. Louis for a training done by Youth Specialties on Helping Hurting Kids. What a tough day! It's just so hard to hear all of the crap that today's teens are dealing with. But it feels good to be used by God with these people. And I am SO thankful that I work alongside such great people that love the students as much as I do, if not more so.

That pretty much catches you up on my life. Except for the fact that I hate the state of Florida. And the fact that next weekend is our 30 Hour Famine with the youth. The senior high guys have challenged me that if they raise $5,000.00, I have to shave my head. To be continued...Before I go, can I ask you to do me a favor? Could you leave me a comment to let me know that you are reading this, even if you simply say, "I read this."? That would help me know if I am wasting my time keeping this blog up. Thanks...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Crowder vs. The Squirrels

So much has been going on that I haven't had much time to write. Sorry. Still no time today, but this new Crowder video is worth posting:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Competing Urges

One of Colin's favorite things to do is to look out the window that is right behind our couch. Ever since he was very small, he has enjoyed seeing the sights, staring at all of the various colors, and especially watching the cars go by. When he was younger, and was particularly fussy, I could take him out to the front porch and he would completely chill out while the cars whizzed by. He still loves that!

One of his daddy's favorite things to do is to cuddle him on the aforementioned couch. When he starts to get tired and whiny, and it's close to nap time, I like to take him over to the couch and let him cuddle against my chest. He doesn't always cuddle as good as he use to. He's more active and mobile now, so he tends to move around a bit. But, since he is so tired, he will stop moving, plop his head down onto my chest, and suck his thumb. It's one of the best feelings ever!

It is during these times that Colin faces a competition of urges. He is so tired, and he knows that he wants to - that he needs to - go to sleep, or at the very least, rest on Daddy's chest. But, the allure of the window is strong. He doesn't want to miss anything that happens out there, so he strains his neck and body to peer out the window, sometimes even crawling over me and standing on me to get a better view. But then the fatigue takes over and he drops back down to my chest to take a break. Then, back to the window. "What's going on out there? I think I heard something. Look! It's a car!" Then, back to the thumb and my chest. And the cycle continues until I finally take him to his room, sing him his song, and put him down in his crib to sleep. No more choices. No more tough decisions. Just rest.

I am so much like my son, it's scary. I deal with the same competition of urges. Only my choices have nothing to do with the window and the couch. My choices look more like, do I take time to read my Bible or check on my March Madness bracket? Do I set aside time at work to pray for my job or do I just jump in with both feet and get to work? Do I sit up later than I should to do essentially nothing online or do I get the sleep I so badly need? There's nothing intrinsically wrong with March Madness, or work, or checking out my web favorites. Just like there's nothing wrong with looking out the window. But there is a better choice. I feel like Paul, who said that he wants to do one thing, but ends up doing something else. It's not like I'm choosing between praying and robbing a bank, or reading my Bible and getting sloppy drunk, but there is still a competition for my time. And no matter how seemingly harmless many of the things are in our lives, there are frequently better choices to be made. I just know that I don't always - and sometimes, seldom - choose the better thing. But those times that I do, I can rest.

Jesus, help me to choose the better thing, and give me rest.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Heaven - I'm in Heaven...

This is the life! I am home for the afternoon since I have a work commitment tonight. And what better afternoon to be at home than the opening round of March Madness? I can't think of a better day. So far, I'm 4-0 in my picks. That won't last long, though. I just noticed that Butler pulled ahead of Old Dominion. Bummer! Either way, it's the best weekend in sports as far as I'm concerned. This is when all of the upsets happen and teams come out of nowhere to shock the world. I'm all about rooting for the underdog, even if I didn't pick them to win. That carries over to life, too, but that's for a different post. All I know is, I'm glad it's March...

I'm also in Heaven because my son is still alive. Before anyone goes and freaks out, there's nothing wrong with him. But, I have had him to myself since Tuesday morning when Marcy left for a conference at Willow Creek. She gets back tomorrow night. Four days, just me and Colin. That's a recipe for disaster! But it has gone well. We miss Mommy very much, but it's good to know that I can take care of my Boy if I have to. And I don't think it's a problem at all that he has eaten buffalo wings and watched Evil Dead 2 every night. It's good for him...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's a Nice Day!

I am sitting here, in my beloved recliner, thinking about how good of a weekend it had been. I am feeling significantly better than I did at this time last weekend, when I was just starting to come down with the plague. I am not at 100% yet, but I'm going in the right direction. The weather has been great! It is finally flip-flop weather. I know, I've done a lot of complaining about how we haven't had much of a winter to speak of, but that was February, and this is March, and I love not wearing shoes. The sun has been shining, it has been warm, and I've been loving it! We had two great friends come and visit for a too-brief weekend. And today, my Buckeyes sealed up a #1 seed in the NCAA Men's B-Ball Tourney. Now granted, I was jazzed about them playing in the national championship of college football, and that didn't go so well. Here's hoping this one goes much better. Either way, the ride sure is fun!

Today we had a SIMY meeting. SIMY is an acronym for Servants In Ministry to Youth. It's what we call our adult leaders in our youth group. We invited some of our students to discuss how things are going with the youth group. I think things are going well, but some of our students have had concerns, so I wanted them to be able to voice them. They did that today, and while I didn't like or agree with everything they had to say, I sure appreciate their guts to say what they did and their desire for our youth group to be all it can be for their spiritual transformation. As Emily's quote wall on Facebook says, "My kids are better than your kids!" Apparently, I said that somewhere along the way. It's true.

Thank you, Jesus, for the good life you have given me. Help me to not take it for granted...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Strange Injury

And I thought I was out of shape. It turns out that John Daly had to withdraw from the golf tournament he was in when he hurt himself trying to stop his backswing when a fan took his picture. Hee-hee...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Good Dad?

This weekend, our church is hosting author and speaker Tim Smith for a couple of parenting seminars. This morning's seminar was based on information from his book The Seven Cries of Today's Teens. The information in the book is pulled from research he did while a fellow at the Gallup Organization. He discussed the seven cries of teens: the cry to be trusted, to be loved, to be heard, for security, for purpose, and two others that I don't remember because I left my handbook at the church. We presented this seminar as a way to minister to our teens by ministering to their parents. It was money well-spent as it was excellent! I wish I could attend the seminar tomorrow also (based on his book Connecting With Your Kids), but I will be watching the OSU basketball game with Colin.

As I sat through the seminar, I kept fast-forwarding in my mind to when Colin is a teenager. I think I'm a pretty OK dad so far, but it's only been 10 1/2 months. I take time to hang out with him, I play with him, I kiss him and give him zerberts, I tell him I love him all the time, and try to make him a priority. But I wonder if I will still consider myself to be a good dad when he is 17 years old. Will I keep it up? Will I know and respond to his love keys so that he feels love how he needs to feel it? Will he feel trusted, and loved, and heard, and secure, and have purpose, and two other things that I don't remember because I left my handbook at the church? Will I be the spiritual leader that he needs me to be? It's an overwhelming thought, and it was this morning, as I found myself holding back tears a couple of times. Only time will tell the answer to these questions. Lord, help me to be a good dad and to point Colin to you...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

She's Losing It

I know I already posted today, but I had to get this out there. Guess who that is in the above picture. Go ahead, guess. It's none other than Britney Spears. Apparently, she shaved her head and got a couple of tattoos. What won't she do for attention? Keep an eye on her. I predict some really bad stuff is in her future as she continues this need to be noticed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What's Going On?

Maybe you've been asking yourself that since I haven't blogged in forever. And maybe not. I'll answer the question anyway. Here are some random things that have popped into my life and into my mind...hmmm, were have I heard that before?:

The highlight of the last couple of weeks concerns Colin. Surprise, surprise! Lately, he has been getting quite brave. He has, for several months now, been pulling himself up on furniture or on us and standing while hanging on. Only for the past few weeks has he been getting brave enough to let go. He will stand there, for 5, 10, 15 seconds or so, before plummeting to the earth, or to Mommy or Daddy. There have been a few times that he has swung his arms back and forth, enjoying the turning of his torso. But last night was the coup de grace. As I was playing with him on the floor, and as Marcy observed from the couch, he pulled himself up while holding onto my fingers. I encouraged him to let go, which he did. Then, IT happened. He took two steps toward me before falling into my arms. His first steps! It was so exciting, I started crying. Yes, crying! One of the hazards of having an extreme feeling-type personality. But I don't care because my boy just walked! WOO-HOO!

I was jazzed about watching the Grammys this year (no pun intended) as I heard that The Police were reuniting after being apart for 20 years. So Colin and I tuned in last Sunday while Marcy was at small group. They opened the show by exclaiming, "We are The Police, and we're back!" They then broke into a three-minute version of Roxanne, and that was it. As exciting as it was, it was also a little disappointing, as I was hoping for more. I guess it was just a precursor to their upcoming reunion tour. But seriously, how do you give The Police that small amount of face time, while giving Justin Timberlake two huge sets, including one of the most narcissistic performances I have ever seen (that mini-camera thing was just plain creepy)?! Screwed up priorities, I'd say.

I was pleased to watch as the Cleveland Indians made improving their bullpen a significant priority. I was, however, a little concerned because it seemed that many of the pitchers they were signing were older and had injury concerns/histories. It turns out that my fears were well-founded as Keith Foulke, the guy that was slated to be the closer, retired after experiencing pain in his throwing elbow. Yet another sign that the Curse of Rocky Colavito is real and alive, and that Cleveland is the most tortured sports city in America.

Yet again, the weathercasters in our area got my hopes up. They were calling for a snow advisory and a blowing snow advisory for our area. Now in Ohio, when snow was coming, there was no advisory - it was just going to snow, that's all. You don't need a weather advisory. Especially for the amount that we get here. It was a dusting when I woke up. Since then, we have gotten some more to make it bearable, but it''s supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow, so it will all be gone, dang it! But we did make sure to take Colin outside to experience the snow, because who knows when he will get the chance again. He either was not crazy about it, or not thrilled with his snowsuit. I think it was the snowsuit, since he started whining as I put him in it.

This is one of my latest favorite YouTube videos. It's what I wish Marcy and I had done for our first dance.

I guess that's it for now. Time to go start on the chores...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Six Degrees

Several years back, I heard about a great game called The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. In it, you had to be able to link any actor or actress to Kevin Bacon through working associations in movies or TV shows in six steps or less. It turns out that you can do this with anyone, even the dolphin Flipper. It also turned out that I was pretty good at this game. Today I discovered that Kevin Bacon is using this once-annoying-to-him game for good, as he has set up an organization that allows visitors to the website - - to donate to the charities of various celebrities. Or, someone can choose to be the 'celebrity face' for their organization and invite friends and family members to donate to their cause. I thought about setting one up, but it would be so hard to decide which cause I would want to put forward. Any ideas?

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Fitz Update

I am in Ohio, The Heart of It All, right now. I flew in last night with the single-minded purpose of watching the college football national championship tonight between The Ohio State University and some school from Florida. I'm very nervous about the game, but I think that's something that comes from being a sports fan in Cleveland - you can't imagine anything ever going well for your team. It will be a lot of fun to watch the game with my dad, cousins, and uncle. This was a plan by my brother who decided we should all come in for the game, and then backed out. What a goob! My best friend Joe said that it should be a Man Law that you can't plan something and then not show up. I agree.

My cousin Jason did something funny last night. I had reminded him of a time that we were up at 3:00am eating garlic bread and Breyer's chocolate ice cream. When I showed up, he had garlic bread in the oven and Breyer's chocolate ice cream in the freezer. Good times! It brought back fun memories and a not-so-good feeling in my stomach.

Christmas was good. We had fun hanging out with Marcy's family in Marietta, Ohio. I walked away from the holiday with an iPod charger/transmitter for the car and an Xbox, probably my two best gifts. We found out this Christmas that Colin enjoys all flavors of wrapping paper. He is so funny! He got all kinds of cool gifts for Christmas, but his favorite things at home are still the things he can't have: the dog's toys, the dog's food, the dog. Hilarious!

One last thing: Go Bucks!