Sunday, November 30, 2008


When we first found out we were pregnant with Bowden, Sarah and I celebrated by eating Lobster at a nice restaurant in South Burlington. We have continued the tradition ever since by eating lobster every time we get pregnant. To me, Lobster is the tops. There simply is no better food. So during our recent Thanksgiving trip to see Justin and Rosie in Flagstaff we took advantage of Nanny's willingness to babysit and went out to celebrate.
Sarah wore her "date sweater," which she wore when we went on our first date back in August of 1996. She also wore this sweater when we got engaged in February of 1999. She pulls it out for such occasions.

She's awfully cute.

We are excited about having another baby. We passed the time while we were waiting for our lobster sipping on our cokes and talking about how good God has been to us, discussing our three kids and, of course, speculating about our fourth child. If it is a boy we think we will name him, Bradley Bull and if it is a Girl we are leaning towards Anita Rose. Originally I didn't care for the name Anita and Sarah didn't like the name Brad, but I have such a high opinion of my Mother-In-Law and Sarah's Grandmother that the name Anita now strikes me as a perfectly lovely name, and Sarah has heard enough about my storied late Uncle Brad to win her over to that name as well.

Then the food arrived.

Our appetizer was scallops wrapped in bacon and dripping in a peach bourbon sauce on a bed of onion rings. Mmmmmmm!

Sarah got the ultimate feast which she modified to include her favorite, Coconut shrimp. It also came with a lobster tail, crab legs and a side of rice.
I got a lobster tail with an incredibly tasty steak and baked potato.

I made short work of mine. That was the best meal ever!!!

For dessert we had an apple cobbler with ice cream.

These three biscuits were the only food that we didn't eat. I was stuffed. They gave us a little bag to take them home in though.

God knows my heart towards my kids. He knows the things I desire for them, and he has heard my many prayers. I cheerfully entrust the fourth "Tater-tot" to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within Sarah and me. It is my earnest and sincere prayer that none of my kids would know a day apart from the Lord, and that they would grow to love Him and his truth. I am humbled that God has chosen Sarah and I for this important ministry, and we are humbly resolved to give it our best with God's help.
I am grateful, as always, for the cross, and I pray that my kids would live their lives as an expression of gratitude to the Almighty for the indescribable gift of Christ and His sacrifice.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


Sometimes in late winter, when I used to live in VT, I would linger in the produce section of the supermarket. To me, it was like the Summer Embassy. The bright lights and the smell of fresh produce arranged as colorfully as a garden in the sun was a welcome change from the monotonous tyranny of winter. I remember many early morning visits to the Price Chopper where I would escape for a few minutes to just stand there with my snowy boots making a puddle on the freshly buffed floor. Then it was back out to my cruiser, my boots crunch-crunching across the parking lot with a frigid wind whistling between the cars. Once, I bought a pineapple and buckled it into the passenger seat...just for the company.

JAMES 5:7-8

"Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm because the Lord's coming is near."

I used to work with a guy who would routinely arrive at work 15 minutes late. He did as little as he could get away with and what little he did he didn't do particularly well. When we would talk about work he seemed bored but when discussion turned to his plans for his days off he became more animated. He would spend his shift dodging supervisors, playing games on the computer, trying to look busy, and making plans for the weekend. He was all weekend, no workday, and a horrible coworker.

As Christians we have a lot to be excited about. I have to confess, with a little shame, that until about a year ago I was too in love with this world to truly look forward to Christ's return, but today I find myself continuously longing for it with a fervor and an anticipation that I have never felt previously in my walk with Christ. Sure, there were moments, hours and even days before when I yearned for Christ's return, but today it is a continuous state. I live and walk in it. I want the clouds to part and to see Christ in all His glory. I want to see every knee bow. I want to walk through the untrammeled perfection of a new Earth. I want to sing God's praises in the new Jerusalem. I want to see the place that Christ has prepared for me, and to live in unbroken relationship with God, man, creation and time. My mind is not capable of perceiving how wonderful it will be, but my spirit directs my heart towards it as surely as a compass needle must point north. This is the weekend I am looking forward to...

...but today is not the weekend (O' that Christ would prove me wrong!).

There is work to do, and I catch myself at times possessing a similar attitude towards Christ's return, and the wedding that will follow, as my coworker held for the weekend. It tempts me to resent and neglect the present. For those who have passed from death to life we are already living in eternity. Not only have I been forgiven my sins, but I have been given Christ's reward. I am a new creation today and always. These are the last days when we can choose to deny ourselves. These are the last days when we can say "no" to sin and truly offer up ourselves as a living sacrifice- forgoing things we desire for something of much greater worth.

Just like the farmer in James 5 we have a day to look forward to, but the watchwords for today are "wait," "be patient," and "stand firm." Don't be a horrible coworker. Delight in today, and in the labor of your hands. Enjoy the challenges and pleasures that God has set before you. Give God what he wants to take and take from God what he wants to give. Watch a football game, get together with friends, go for a walk with your kids, and continue steadfastly in the work of the Lord and the study of His word. These days matter.

Friday, November 21, 2008


The thick silence which had settled between Kick and the little man was broken by the sound of the front door opening and closing. Kick remained slumped and unresponsive in his chair. To the little man he appeared stoned. His hands rested heavily in his lap and his eyes stared off into space- utterly expressionless as though fixed on a distant point. Kick made no effort to rise and greet whoever had entered the shop. The sound of voices, muted and indistinct through the walls, and the scuffing of feet on the old floor boards carried to the back bedroom.

A man’s voice, with a high and nasal tone called out “Hello. Anybody here?” Kick didn’t move. He just stared. After several minutes and several more “hello’s” the door opened and closed again and the shop fell silent.

Kick’s head turned and he looked blankly at the little man who was still imprisoned in the pretzel barrel.

“I guess I’ll let you go then.”

The little man looked at Kick as though he were sizing up a wounded raccoon on the side of the road. There was pity in the look but also a detached nonchalance.

“I think you’re confused, Kick. At this point, you are more my prisoner than I am yours. Even if you let me go I doubt my betters would let me leave. This arrangement, though unexpected, may prove very helpful to my people. We have needed the help of a Dindi proxy for some time, and now we have the means to leverage you into compliance. Personally, I find this sort of work very disagreeable, but I know the mind of the people above me and this plays right into their hands.”

“You’re blackmailing me,” said Kick without emotion.

“I’m not…I mean…I wouldn’t if it weren’t for my betters. I’m confident they will make me use what we know about you to ensure your cooperation.”

“Maybe, I’ll just kill myself,” said Kick matter of factly.

“Go ahead,” said the little man evenly.

After a long silence Kick unscrewed the lid of the pretzel barrel, poured the little man out onto the bed, and said “…looks like you’re at the wheel. What do you want from me?”

Saturday, November 15, 2008



I wrestled a skunk yesterday and won! Check out the action over at Camp Maranatha's blog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"It is better to face a monster that is seen and understood
Than one that's left a’lurking in the mind’s darkened wood."

Jarudet the Widjiwat

Tuesday, November 04, 2008




The Western Tates have voted. It is a rainy day here in Idyllwild which I think is just lovely. I waited outside with Jack while he was sleeping in the van so Sarah could go in and vote and then we switched places. While I was waiting my turn to do my civic duty I noticed this big incense cedar at the end of their parking lot. I think it is the biggest cedar I have ever seen. It was much more impressive in person. The polling place was held at St Hugh's Episcopal church.

I voted for McCain.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I wrote this lullaby when Jack was born (If you've been paying attention- I'm not posting these in the order that they were written.) On most days at around 12:30 or so I take Jack out onto the front porch where there is a swing, and I sing him to sleep. Incidentally, it is the very same swing that Sarah and I were sitting on as teenagers when I first confessed my love to her. So on most days Jack and I have a nice swing for about five minutes or so and then I lay him down inside. I filmed this video from Jack's perspective on the swing.

Are my nostrils really that big? Is that really a booger?



An eye! An eye!

With which to spy

The wonders God has made.

In birds in flight

And firelight

His handiwork's displayed.


An ear! An ear!

With which to hear

Of Christ who loves you so

Who gave His life

In sacrifice

To make us white as snow!


A hand! A hand!

Which God has planned

For use in helping men.

In all you do

He asks of you

Do it as unto Him.


A foot! A foot!

Which you should put

Upon the narrow way-

To live for Him

And flee from sin

Each and every day!


A voice! A voice!

How I'll rejoice!

How happy I will be

To hear you say,

"Lord, come what may,

Your follower I will be."


Don't judge me!!!


10. He’s pro pudding
9. He support’s Israel’s right to “party on”
8. He backs federal funding to get to the bottom of “the whole bigfoot thing.”
7. Coke better than Pepsi
6. He advocates raising the minimum age for the presidency from 35 to 48
5. In the east coast vs. west coast rap feud McCain was straight up West Saiiiide!
4. He’s a Staunch supporter of Justin Timberlake’s efforts to bring sexy back
3. If elected President he has promised to tap the strategic funk reserve
2. A true maverick, he sidestepped the boxers or briefs controversy by “goin’ commando.”
1. Free Bird is the best song ever!!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


"I'm not a big fan of playing there because it is loud, they're really good at home and they try to make their cheerleaders stretch in our tunnel before we come out of the locker room. That's just not good,"

I can't wait for Monday night!!!