Designed to lighten up your day.

Don’t take on the USS Montana, unless…

I ran across this YouTube video the other day, and just loved it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvjQPHDu5xE]

It makes me wonder at how often we blind ourselves to advice and promptings which would otherwise ensure our own spiritual safety.  Sometimes it’s arrogance, sometimes it’s tradition, sometimes it’s simply that we aren’t paying enough attention.

Rusty

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A brief history of me – why I think we’re not limited by our past

I’ve moved this post to my new Life-Engineering blog, dedicated to motivating people to achieve their goals and change their futures by taking control of their lives.

You can now find this post here:

http://life-engineering.com/a-brief-history-of-me-why-i-think-were-not-limited-by-our-past/

Swimming in the devil’s pool

The Devil’s Pool is a natural rock pool at the top of Victoria Falls in southern Africa near Zimbabwe.   During most months, the water surges down the river, shoots over the edge and slams into the ground 300 feet below, sending mist all the way back up.

But from September to December the water levels decrease, making it possible to swim in the Devil’s Pool, without being washed over the edge.  You can swim up to two inches from the very edge of the pool and peer over into the chasm below.

It’s such an exhilarating experience, that many tourists go there every year, during this time, to try it.

Here are some photos to show you exactly how close you can get to the edge…

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVN9KnWy-H8]

 

 

I can only imagine what a stunning and frightening experience this must be. I think the people that do this have got to be far braver (or crazier) than I.

Still, I can’t help but consider the spiritual analogy so strikingly illustrated in these photos.  How it is that we try to get as close to the edge as we can.  Blinded by the exhilaration of the moment and overwhelmed by the emotions of the now, we convince ourselves that we’re only looking, as we ease closer and closer to the brink, and peer into the chasm below.

So I ask you, are you swimming in the devil’s pool? 

Are there aspects of your life where you may be getting too close to the edge?  Are there others in the pool with you?  Are your children too close to the edge?  Are you standing by watching someone swim in the devil’s pool, without exerting any effort to help them out?

If you’ve felt any of these questions striking too close to home, then I exhort you to step back, look hard at your surroundings, and take stock of the precarious nature of your position.  For the floodwaters can come unexpectedly, and when they do, you don’t want to be found in the devil’s pool.

Please, get out now.

Rusty

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Advice From Bill Gates?

This has come to me in email a couple times.  It’s apparently an extract of a speech given by Bill Gates at some school.  Looking online, that appears to be in question, but regardless, the principles are worth reading…

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school and you won’t be a vice-president until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Rusty

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Radiating the glory of the Son

Rusty

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2,000 year old seed sprouts

Today I ran across an interesting article through Digg that tells of three seeds that were found way back in the 1960’s in the Masada Fortress on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel.   Recently, these seeds were planted, and one of them actually germinated.

Curious to their age, they carbon dated the two dud seeds and found that they were 2,000 years old, meaning they dated back to the life of Christ, and making the one that germinated the oldest seed ever to do so.

My take away is that you should never give up on that tiny seed of potential in someone you care about, regardless how long it may have lain dormant in an extended hot and dry environment.

Never give up hope, and never stop praying.

Rusty

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Do you want a donut? A lesson on the atonement.

The following story came to me in email today.  If you happen to know who originally wrote it, please let me know so I can give them credit.  Until then, thanks… somebody.

Do you want a donut?

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In this Seminary classes are held during school hours. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules. Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson’s Seminary class.
 
 Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.
 
 One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro.
 Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, ‘You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?’
 
 Steve’s answer was, ‘Yeah, I do.’
 
 Then Brother Christianson asked, ‘How many push-ups can you do?’
 
 Steve said, ‘I do about 200 every night.’
 
 ‘200? That’s pretty good, Steve,’ Brother Christianson said. ‘Do you think you could do 300?’
 
 Steve replied, ‘I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.’
 
 ‘Do you think you could?’ Again asked Brother Christianson.
 
 ‘Well, I can try,’ said Steve.
 
 ‘Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,’ Brother Christianson said. Steve said, ‘Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.’
 
 Brother Christianson said, ‘Good! I need you to do this on Friday.’
 
 Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the ro om. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited-it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.
 
 Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, ‘Cynthia, do you want a donut?’
 
 Cynthia said, ‘Yes.’
 
 Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, ‘Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?’
 
 Steve said, ‘Sure,’ and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.
 
 Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, ‘Joe do you want a donut?’
 
 Joe said, ‘Yes.’ Bro. Christianson asked, ‘Steve would you do ten push- ups so Joe can have a donut?’ Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut.
 
 And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Bro. Christianson came to Scott.
 
 Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. Then Bro. Christianson asked, ‘Scott do you want a donut?’
 
 Scott’s reply was, ‘Well, can I do my own pushups?’
 
 Bro. Christianson said, ‘No, Steve has to do them.’
 
 Then Scott said, ‘Well, I don’t want one then.’
 
 Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?’
 
 Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, ‘HEY! I said I didn’t want one!’
 < BR> Bro. Christianson said, ‘Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.’ And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.
 
 Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.
 
 Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, ‘Jenny, do you want a donut?’
 
 Jenny said, ‘No.’
 
 Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?’ Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.
 
 By now, the students were beginning to say ‘No’ and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of eff ort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.
 
 Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row.
 
 During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.
 
 Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.
 
 Steve asked Bro. Christianson, ‘Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?’
 
 Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, ‘Well, they’re your pushups. You can do them any way that you want.’ And Bro. Christianson went on.
 
 A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, ‘NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!’
 
 Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, ‘No, let him come.’
 
 Bro. Christianson said, ‘You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him.’
 
 Steve said, ‘Yes, let him come in.’
 
 Bro. Christianson said, ‘Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?’
 
 ‘Yes.’
 
 ‘Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?’ Steve did ten pushups very slowly an d with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.
 
 Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.
 
 The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, ‘Linda, do you want a doughnut?
 
 Linda said, very sadly, ‘No, thank you.’
 
 Bro. Christianson asked Steve, ‘Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?’
 
 Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. ‘Susan, do you want a donut?’
 
 Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked , ‘Bro. Christianson , can I help him?’
 
 Bro. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, ‘No, he has to do it alone, Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?’
 
 As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
 
 Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. ‘And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.’ .
 
 When everyone in the classroom heard what the teacher meant by it and realized everything. Steve smiled on the ground where he laid in his own sweat and began to cry.

(Again, thanks for whoever wrote this)
Rusty

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USS New York – Made from the World Trade Center

USS New York - Made from the World Trade Center

USS New York - Made from the World Trade Center

 Built with 7 1/2 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center, the USS New York is the fifth in a new class of warship.  It’s designed specifically for missions that include special operations against terrorists.

It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines that can be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft at a moment’s notice.

The steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ships bow section.  When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, “those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence”, recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there.  “It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.”

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand, and “the hair on my neck stood up.”  “It had a big meaning to it for all of us” he said.  “They knocked us down, but they can’t keep us down.”

As you can see from the ship’s side, her logo is “Never Forget”. (Note:  You can click the images below for a larger view).

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSHlpuv1Uwk&feature=related

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTX8ctkzYpk&feature=related

For many more photos and media on the USS New York, it’s construction, christening, and history, you can visit www.ussnewyork.com (note:  The site appears to be going down regularly, likely due to heavy traffic). 

Rusty

A master puzzle maker

Gizmodo has an amazing article that is well worth perusing.  Eric Clough, an architectural designer, designed a huge 4,200 square foot Park Avenue apartment (that coincidentally cost $8.5 million dollars).

 What the buyers didn’t know is that he secretly built the whole apartment as one giant scavenger hunt, complete with ciphers, riddles, hidden doors and compartments, keys, the works…

According to the article, they found that decorative door knockers could actually be removed and pieced together to form a crank, which opened hidden panels in the dining room, where they found multiple keys and keyholes.  When the correct keys were used opened drawers with acrylic letters and a giant (table-cloth-sized) crossword puzzle, whose answers led to a secret panel in the den, which concealed a magnetic cube, which acted as a key to open the remaining 24 panels and ultimately revealed, in large type, a poem written by the architect.  You can view the article and many of the photos here.

Amazing.

I couldn’t help but see the analogy that our lives are simply one drawn out puzzle, where one clue leads to another, as we slowly piece together our comprehension of a tremendous plan of salvation of the Master Architect.  And when all the right panels have been opened, and we’ve correctly used all the keys we’ve been given, culminates in our seeing the poetry of our Lord and Savior in our lives.

Rusty

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That’s not my job

I’ve moved this post to my new Life-Engineering blog, dedicated to motivating people to achieve their goals and change their futures by taking control of their lives.

You can now find this post here:

http://life-engineering.com/thats-not-my-job

The cross we bear

The following cartoon sequence came to me in email the other day, and I thought it was worth posting here…  If anyone knows the creator or source of this cartoon, please let me know, so I can give them adequate credit.  Until then, thank you …. Somebody.

cross.jpg

We often complain about the cross we bear, but we forget that it’s preparing us for the chasm ahead that only the Lord can see.

Rusty

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The Blind Painter

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Polly Pocket doesn’t growl

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God grant me wisdom

I’ve moved this post to my new Life-Engineering blog, dedicated to motivating people to achieve their goals and change their futures by taking control of their lives.

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