Sermon Notes

“A good sermon should be like a woman’s skirt: short enough to arouse interest but long enough to cover the essentials.” ~ Ronald Knox

The first step in sermon prep, after choosing a subject, is to create it in your mind and heart, and then splurge out the outline. I use a white board for that. Here’s an example. Next, prepare the PowerPoint, go over it a few times, refine PowerPoint, then create secondary materials.


“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The puppet show at our friend’s birthday party was funny – cf. this photo.

Sharks and dolphins and whales, O My!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~ Albert Einstein

In case you can’t recognize these three creatures, they are a shark, a dolphin, and a whale, according to my 4 year old boy. Gotta love the imagination when the electronics are turned off!

Ice cream makes me KWAYZEE!

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.  ~Don Kardong

Tuesday nights is dollar scoop night at Baskin Robbins. We go even during the winter because it gets us all out of the house instead of being cooped up, and it’s festive to get ice cream. Here’s my youngest mugging for the camera.

Sisters piggybacking

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.  ~ Marion C. Garretty

My oldest (the responsible one) and my youngest (the effusive one).

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.  ~Marion C. Garretty

Table Setting

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ~ King Solomon in Proverbs 25:11 (NKJV)

My 7 year-old daughter made the leaf with each person’s name on it, including the glitter around the edges. 12 people barely fit around my table. I need a bigger table, or two shifts! See closeup below.

Turnips and carrots

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~ E.P. Powell

Every family in the US probably has some unique dish that they add to the Thanksgiving staples of potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. Ours is mashed carrots and turnips. If you want to try it, it’s real easy.


  • 3 lbs peeled carrots, cubed
  • 4 medium turnips, peeled and cubed (medium = 3 inches in diameter)
  • 3 sticks of salted butter
  • 1/2-2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper


  1. Boil the veggies in one pot
  2. Drain, mash, mix in the other ingredients


I won, you lost!

“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.” ~ Richard Bach

Every morning when I drop my boy off at school, we go in the door to the right, pictured here. Also, we race down the jagged/curvy lines, and inevitably, he ‘wins’ and delights in telling me “I won, you lost!” I’m not naturally competitive (though I do like intellectual sparring ;), but my boy loves to win and hates to lose. He cries when I beat him to fastening the seatbelt every morning.

We’re slowly teaching him that losing is no reflection on his worth, but that’s gonna be an upward battle.

Barn with Palms

“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.” ~ Carl Hiaasen

The prevalence of palm trees here in the Central Valley of California still seems strange to me, especially when they sit in the middle of a field.

Up religion

Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and pulleys. ~ Emma Bull

Sometimes the security check words on Facebook are funny or even appropriate.  Here, I was fb’ing an article about young rapper Lecrae Moore who recently became a Christian, and ‘up religion’ was my security check verbiage. Reminds me of another humorous combo I got, see Mohamed found.

Like a gerbil

“I love to go to the playground and watch the children jumping up and down. They don’t know I’m firing blanks.” ~ Emo Philips

My kids love to play at the local FunWorks. Here’s a pic on the inside – yes, I go inside too :D.

Girl in a pipe

“It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.” ~ Eric Hoffer

My youngest makes great faces, esp. when she is concentrating.

Ready field

“Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.” ~  Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

I thought the colors of the brush, set against the dark dirt, were a nice photo. I’m not sure what will be planted here, but since this is one of the fields I pass every day, I’ll be sure to catch it when they plant. Below is a closeup ground view.