Philosopher’s Wax

I thought about waxing philosophical on how indifferent I am to New Year’s Eve and all of it trappings, but as it turns out I’m to apathetic to even write about it.

However, I am now intrigued by the concept of waxing philosophical. I know this is an old timey phrase that dates back to when the word wax mostly meant to grow. Such as a waxing moon. As opposed to a waning moon.

But, I still want to invent a product called Philosopher’s Wax. I’m quite certain that it could be used on both a convertible and a finely groomed mustache. A mustache like that kid at Subway has that Willy admires from a distance.

I’m told that New Year’s is a time for new beginnings, but it seems to me that to arbitrarily wait for one certain point in Earth’s orbit around the sun to make drastic or necessary changes in one’s life is silly, but not in a good way like the putty. Make those changes when you realize they need to be made and one certainly shouldn’t wait an entire year to reflect on their life.

So to New Year’s and all of its trappings, I say “Bah! It is a humbug!” Besides the time with family and friends. The day off from work. All the good food and football.

I thought I would throw out the picture for September while I was at it.

This is a picture of a moonflower.

Thelma and Louise

On Sunday night we took Jesse out to Buffet City to celebrate his birthday. Ever since that night I have had the song The Crawdad Hole stuck in my head.

You get a line and I’ll get a pole Honey!
You get a line and I’ll get a pole Babe!
You get a line and I’ll get a pole
And we’ll go down to the crawdad hole
Honey… Baby of mine

Big ole crawdad struttin’ round Honey!
Big ole crawdad struttin’ round Babe!
Big ole crawdad strutin’ round
Like he’s the King of Crawdad Town
Honey… Baby of mine

I’m gonna see that crawdad on my plate Honey!
I’m gonna see that crawdad on my plate Babe!
I’m gonna see that crawdad on my plate
With a bowl full of butter and a sweet patate
Honey… Baby of mine

Crawdad’s hangin’ onto my toe Honey!
Crawdad’s hangin’ onto my toe Babe!
Crawdad’s hangin’ onto my toe
I shake and shout but he won’t let go
Honey… Baby of mine

What are ya gonna do when the hole runs dry Honey!
What are ya gonna do when the hole runs dry Babe!
What are ya gonna do when the hole runs dry
Sit on the banks and have a crawdad fry
Honey… Baby of mine

See that crawdad winkin’ his eye Honey!
See that crawdad winkin’ his eye Babe!
See that crawdad winkin’ his eye
Let’s turn him into crawdad pie
Honey… Baby of mine

Fry them crawdads nice an’ brown Honey!
Fry them crawdads nice an’ brown Babe!
Fry them crawdads nice an’ brown
Grease ’em good so they’ll slip right down
Honey… Baby of mine.

Here comes a man with a sack on his back Honey!
Here comes a man with a sack on his back Babe!
Here comes a man with a sack on his back
Haulin’ all the crawdads he can pack
Honey… Baby of mine.

It just might be me, but that is perhaps one of the most romantic songs ever written.

But the reason this song stuck in my head is because as we were sitting around the table conversing about the important matters of the day we noticed a person walking by with their plate stacked full with crayfish.

Then a few moments later the dutiful employees of Buffet City restocked the crayfish supply immediately a guy from another table got up and put every single solitary last crayfish on his plate. It was an impressive feat in its greed, gluttony and structural engineering.

A few minutes more passed and a dutiful employee of Buffet City restocked the crayfish supply. Immediately the same gentleman got up and took every single last crayfish and heaped them onto his plate and returned to his table.

I got up and walked over to the where the crayfish formerly resided. All that was left was some murky looking water and assorted crayfish parts. It reminded me of a seen from a shipwreck movie.

I picked up the tongs and slashed the crayfish brine around. The crayfish man was thorough, but not thorough enough. I found a couple of crayfish in the bottom.

Thelma & Louise
Thelma & Louise (Crayfish Style)

You didn’t honestly think I was going to eat one of these creatures?

Merry Christmas

As you may know, Building 429 is one of my favorite bands. This year they released a new albums and thus one of my new favorite songs. Here in the Christmas season I felt it was necessary to share the lyrics to the song Always.

I was standing in the pouring rain one dark November night
Fighting off the bitter cold when she caught my eye
Her face was taught and her eyes were filled, and to my surprise
She pulled out a photograph and my heart just stopped inside
She said, “He would’ve been three today
I miss his smile, I miss his face”
What was I supposed to say, but

I believe always, always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and his promise remains
He will be with you always

He was living in a broken world, dreaming of a home
His heart was barely keeping pace when I found him all alone
Remembering the way he felt when his daddy said goodbye
Fighting just to keep the tears and the anger locked inside
He’s barely holding onto faith
But deliverance is on its way, cause

I believe always, always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and his promise remains
He will be with you always

Friend, I don’t know where you are and I don’t know where you’ve been
Maybe you’re fighting for your life or just about to throw the towel in
But if you’re crying out for mercy, if there’s no hope left at all
If you’ve given everything you’ve got and you’re still about to fall
Well hold on, hold on, hold on, cause
I believe always, always
Our savior never fails
Even when all faith is gone
God knows our pain and his promise remains
Always, always, He will be with you always

Christmas Eve

Tonight is my favorite church service of the year. I love Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve! It is one beautiful service that manages to completely encapsulate the season of Advent for me. It is one service where I definitely can feel Hope, Love, Peace and Joy.

Plus I love the symbolism of an entire church being filled with the soft warm glow of candlelight. The room starts completely dark except for the light coming from the Christ candle. Then the Christ candle lights one candle. That candle lights another candle. Until every candle in the room is lit. All the light having originated from one candle.

When the congregation sings Silent Night, I feel that song more than any other song the entire year. I would not be lying if I told you that at the end of the service when the bell strikes midnight and it is officially Christmas I always get goosebumps.

I hope your Christmas Eve is as wonderful as the one I believe that I will have.

I wanted to share a story from Andrea’s sermon on Sunday because I believe it is both funny and a story worth reflecting on during the Christmas season.

A guy was standing near a cliff all by himself. He was taken by a rush of courage and curiosity and moved close to the edge.

Then he moved a little closer.

The ground underneath his feet began to give a little bit, but then it seemed to hold.

He moved a little bit closer, just to get a little bit better look at the valley below.

The ground gave out underneath his feet and the man fell down the face of the cliff. But after only a few feet his hand caught a small root and his life was spared.

But it was only for a moment. It was a small root and it quickly began to give way as well.

The man shouted out, “Is there somebody up there that can help me? God if you are there, help me!”

Then the man heard the voice of God ask, “Do you have faith in me?”

The man replied, “Yes, of course. I have total faith in you.”

“Then let go.”

The man thought for a second and then shouted, “Is there anybody else up there?”

I got Mark’s newsletter this week:

The Taiwan Times
By Mark Wolfram

Merry Christmas! It is that time of year again where we can rejoice and celebrate the birth of our Savior, who brings us peace, joy, and hope. In the season of Christmas it is easy to get caught up in all of the “stuff” that we have to do or things that are going on. I pray that God would help all of us remember why we celebrate, and that in this message we would find the peace that comes only from Jesus.

Here in Taiwan, there are many activities that I am involved with during Christmas time. I know I have written about some of these in the past, including various skits, songs, and Christmas parties. Last night was my personal highlight of the Christmas season: Christmas caroling. Teachers and students who live at school went outside of the campus last night and sang Christmas songs at some of the local businesses. Then we gathered together to sing to the faculty and staff that live here on the campus of Concordia Middle School. Walking on the streets with the guitar and hearing the students joyfully sing praises to God always warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.

In addition to the Christmas caroling, yesterday the students of Concordia Middle School decorated their Christmas trees. Every December, the school holds a Christmas tree decorating contest. Each class is given a tree or large bush in the central part of campus. They then need to create a tree based on a Bible story. Some popular stories include: Jesus feeds 5,000, Jesus turns water into wine, the parable of the lost sheep, and Noah’s ark.

Students work in their free time in the weeks leading up to Christmas to create items to put on the Christmas tree. Part of the goal of the competition is for students to make the tree using recyclable materials such as boxes, cans, and paper. They also can have lights, but they are not supposed to buy fancy decorations. Yesterday morning and afternoon students were outside working on their trees, and then in the evening, they lit up the trees. It was beautiful. The competition is also a great way to get the students excited about Christmas, read the Bible and build cooperation and teamwork.

The school leaves the decorations up for a couple of days and one of my favorite things to do during the days after Christmas is to walk outside in the evening. I usually wait until about 9:00 and I bring my I-pod and headphones. I then walk around and look at all of the trees as they light up the night. I will also take time to stop by each one of my classes and pray for the students in those classes.
I thank God for the chance to do this, and I rejoice at the mission of this school. Most schools in Taiwan don’t celebrate Christmas, and in fact they have school on Christmas day (we actually do too). However, for the students of CMS it is not just another part of the school year. It is a chance to celebrate and understand why Christmas is important. I pray that the message of Jesus’ birth will change the lives of these students, and give them new life in Jesus.

It’s Prayer Time!
1. Please pray for the students at CMS, that they will understand the true meaning of Christmas and believe it.
2. Praise God that my online classes have finished and that I will have a little bit more time in my schedule.
3. Please pray for my teaching. We will end the semester in a couple of weeks and pray that God will help me to end well and continue to show His love to my students.
4. Please pray for my Chinese language learning. That God would help my stay focused and work hard as I attempt to learn the language. Pray also that He would present opportunities for me to use Chinese as a witness to Him.

I wish you all the peace of Christ this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!!!


If I don’t see you before then, I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas!

Advent Study Gift

Teresa and I took part in an Advent Study at church on the 4 Tuesdays of Advent.

At the end of one of the studies, the one that Teresa skipped, George Eckstein came across the room and sat on my couch. He handed me a bag and said that he had a gift more me and Teresa.

I thought this was a little bit strange, but I opened the bag up. What was inside was a very pleasant surprise.

Slice of Life Postcard

George had come across and old postcard that my dad had made for my dad’s postcard company, “Slice of Life”. He scanned and printed a couple copies and framed them. It was an awesome present.

Boone Taxi Driver

I’ve done that thing where I have fallen behind again. I have much to post, but I will do this in somewhat of a random order.

Many of you don’t know about the Boone Taxi Driver. You should consider yourself lucky that you don’t know about the Boone Taxi Driver if you don’t for if you know about the Boone Taxi Driver you have surely wasted upwards of 45 minutes of your life in a vain attempt at entertainment.

That being said, the Boone Taxi Driver was always the highlight of any scene that he was making and he always had the most colorful way of describing the weather. I wandered about campus a little bit on Monday night.

All I can say that it was cold enough enough that I was in physical pain, but I’m sure that the Boone Taxi Driver would have had a more colorful way of putting it. Something about Wiccans and mammaries.

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

I’d like to think the pain was worth the effort.