Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Awaiting / Waiting

to nobody in particular:

...the end of the year two thousand and eight is tomorrow, and the next year begins the following day...

...i don't ever remember being a very big fan of the whole "new year's" thing, but it is a big deal to some people...

...fireworks on new year's is a huge thing here in Berlin, and today, in order to compromise between the excitingly celebratory festivities of the city in which i live and my not-so-new-year's-emphatic-personality, i bought sparklers this afternoon...

...let the good times roll!...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: people will wait outside a tourist location (in this example, the Reichstag) for more than an hour in below-freezing windy weather, but i won't, because i have a stroller with me, and there's a side entrance for strollers and wheelchairs that you don't have to wait for -- suck on that, fully-abled of-age tourists!...

...today, i learned: i'm not really sure what the opposite of handicapped/disabled/physically-challenged is, so i'm just gonna say fully-abled, even though that might get someone somewhere in the world upset with me, because i can't think of the right word right now (if there is one) -- physically-unchallenged, perhaps?...


currently missing: British TVs "The Crystal Maze"

...always a favorite game show of mine to watch -- has the U.S. had a game show as cool as this or similar in any way?...i definitely miss watching this...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas & Football / Chili & Ice Hockey

to nobody in particular:

...Christmas was great...

...it was/has been nice to have Sarah's parents here for Christmas and, this week, New Year's, and it was super-special to be able to see my family on Christmas day via webcams...

...yeah, i am doing well...

...can't complain -- except...

...what is on my mind, is how my fantasy football team, after spending the first half of the season in the top half of the table, is fighting this weekend to play for seventh place out of eight teams...

...is there really a God?...

...yeah, i still believe there is -- and i'm wondering, if He had a fantasy football team, who would He have had on his team? would He have used His omniscience to His advantage and made killer trades? would He go for the dramatic comeback at the end of the season and take first place?...

...just curious, i suppose...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...three days ago, i learned: i really do miss my family...

...two days ago, i learned: Sarah doesn't make chili because she doesn't have a recipe for it...

...yesterday, i learned: there is always hope, but sometimes, things are just hopeless...

...today, i learned: how much i really miss being able to watch ice hockey on a regular basis...


recently listened to: MXPX

...ahhhhh -- mid '90s punk rawk...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve / Christmas Eve

to nobody in particular:

...the tree is up and decorated, the Christmas cookies are baked, the lights are on, the gifts are wrapped, the in-laws are here, the candles are lit, and the feet are warm...

...i love Christmas...

...thank God for Christmas, right? -- i mean, literally...

...Merry Christmas...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: i don't know if i have any good reasons for me to like cats...

...today, i learned: after two decades, i still believe that the young kid's program/part of the Christmas church festivities are the best around...


currently enjoying: Jesus' birthday (see calendar)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simply Complicated / Insignificant Disappointments

to nobody in particular:

...i was thinking today...

...in my opinion, i believe that i am a fairly simple man in many ways...

...i am very simple, yet so complicated...

...for example: i enjoy peanut butter, but only CRUNCHY peanut butter -- yet, almost as a contradiction, i enjoy orange juice, but only NON-PULP orange juice...

...i mean, how complicated can you get?...

...then again, i would settle for creamy peanut butter and pulpy orange juice -- that's not a big deal...

...but still...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: when your plans for a day are shattered, just get over it...

...yesterday, i learned: yeah, those burgers at Belushi's are tasty...

...today, i learned: tremendously helpful free services can sometimes be limited, annoying and time-consuming -- thus, proving itself to be a paradox...


recently watched: The Truman Show

...ahhhhhhhhhh -- beautiful...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Gift / Rainy Fridays

to nobody in particular:

...i like Christmas...

...i like it a lot...

...within the next week, i'll be enjoying Christmas Eve, Day and 2nd Christmas (26th)...

...here's a couple thoughts from something i put together recently...

"Wer ist dieses Kind?" ("Who is this child?")

„Denn uns wurde ein Kind geboren, uns wurde ein Sohn geschenkt.“

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given."

Wer ist dieses Kind?

Who is this child?

Warum ist dieses Kind uns geschenkt?

Why is this child given to us?

Warum ist dieses Kind so wichtig?

Why is this child so important?

Ein kleines Kind für dich, für uns, für alle?

A small child for you, for us, for everyone?



Wer ist dieses Kind?

Who is this child?

„Denn uns wurde ein Kind geboren, uns wurde ein Sohn geschenkt. Auf seinen Shultern ruht die Herrschaft. Er heißt: wunderbarer Ratgeber, starker Gott, ewiger Vater, Friedensfürst.“

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Dieses Kind ist: der Erste und der Letzte, Allmächtige, Diener, Licht der Welt, Wahrheit, unser Frieden, Retter, König der Könige, Helfer, Meister, Bruder, Treue und Wahrhaftige, Zuflucht, Freund, Leben und mehr...

This child is: the First and the Last, Almighty, Servant, Light of the World, Truth, our Peace, Savior, King of Kings, Helper, Teacher, Brother, Faithful and True, Refuge, Friend, Life and more...

Dieses Kind wurde uns geboren; uns wurde dieser Sohn geschenkt.

This child was born for us; this son was given to us.

Wie reagieren wir auf dieses Geschenk, auf diese Realität?

How do we react to this gift, to this reality?

Für mich ist dieses Kind: Treue und Wahrhaftige, Helfer, starker Gott, Freund, und viel mehr...

For me, this child is: Faithful and True, Helper, Mighty God, Friend, und much more...

Wer ist dieses Kind für dich?

Who is this child for you?

...this is what i did for our "input" at our brunch this past week -- Hannah did a great job as playing "Jesus" as a visual for us...

...although, this was only small glimpse of who this little 7-pound mushy vulnerable bag of innocent flesh was...

...here's a more complete picture...

Christ (Mt. 1:17; Mk. 8:29; Jn. 1:41; Rom. 1:16)

Jesus (Mt. 1:21)

Name is like Perfume poured forth (S.S. 1:3)

Immanuel (Isa. 7:14)

Messiah (Dan. 9:25)

Jesus of Nazareth (Mt. 21:11)

Beloved (Eph. 1:6)

Almighty (Rev. 1:8)

Brightness of God's glory (Heb. 1:3)

Altogether Lovely One (S.S. 5:16)

Shiloh (Gen. 49:10)

Amen (Rev. 3:14)

Head (Eph. 4:15)

Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22)

Rose of Sharon (S.S. 2:1)

Everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6)

First begotten of the dead (Rev. 1:5)

Guarantee (Heb. 7:22)

Horn of Salvation (Lk. 1:69)

Faithful & True (Rev. 19:11)

Deliverer (Rom. 11:26)

Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)

Counselor (Isa. 9:6)

Comforter (Isa. 61:2)

Fountain (Zec. 13:1)

Bridegroom (Mt. 9:15)

Desire of all nations (Hag. 2:7)

Overseer of Souls (I Pt. 2:25)

Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep (I Cor. 15:20)

Forerunner (Heb. 6:20)

High Priest (Heb. 3:1)

Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14)

Merciful & Faithful High Priest (Heb. 2:17)

Minister of the Sanctuary (Heb. 8:2)

Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:9-11)

Alpha & Omega (Rev. 1:8)

First & the Last (Rev. 1:17)

Last Adam (I Cor. 15:45)

Beginning (Col. 1:18)

Fulfillment of the Law & Prophets (Mt. 5:17)

End of the Law (Rom. 10:4)

Branch (Isa. 4:2)

Vine (Jn. 15:1)

Tender Shoot (Isa. 53:2)

Seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:19)

Root of David (Rev. 22:16)

Offspring of David (Rev. 22:16)

Offspring of Woman (Gen. 3:15)

Child (Isa. 9:6)

Nazarene (Mk. 2:23)

Carpenter (Mk. 6:3)

Servant (Mt. 12:18)

Friend of sinners (Mt. 11:19)

Sower (Mt. 13:37)

Rabbi (Jn. 3:2)

Teacher (Mt. 19:16)

Helper (Heb. 13:6)

Physician (Mt. 9:12)

Apostle (Heb. 3:1)

Prophet (Acts 3:22)

Messenger of the Covenant (Mal. 3:1)

Star (Num. 24:17)

Bright & Morning Star (Rev. 22:16)

Light of the World (Jn. 8:12)

Stone (Ps. 118:22)

Capstone (Ps. 118:22)

Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)

Foundation (I Cor. 3:11)

Commander (Isa. 55:4)

Arm of the Lord (Isa. 53:1)

Leader (Isa. 55:4)

Chief Shepherd (I Peter 5:4)

Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11)

Gate of the Sheepfold (Jn. 10:7)

Lawgiver (Isa. 33:22)

Judge (Mic. 5:1)

Intercessor (Heb. 7:25)

Mediator (I Tim. 2:5)

Advocate (I Jn. 2:1)

Life (Jn. 14:6)

Resurrection & the Life (Jn. 11:25)

Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35)

Life-giving Spirit (I Cor. 15:45)

Author of Life (Acts 3:15)

Author of our Salvation (Heb. 2:10)

Author of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)

Perfector of our Faith (Heb. 12:2)

Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5)

Lamb (Rev. 13:8)

Offering (Eph. 5:2)

Sacrifice (Eph. 5:2)

Atoning Sacrifice (I Jn. 2:2)

Ransom for all men (I Tim. 2:6)

Savior (Lk. 2:11)

Consolation of Israel (Lk. 2:25)

Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:14)

Holy Child (Acts 4:27)

Holy & Righteous One (Acts 3:14)

Mighty One (Isa. 60:16)

Just One (Acts 7:52)

One and Only Begotten Son (Jn. 3:16)

Rising Sun (Lk. 1:78)

Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2)

True Light (Jn. 1:9)

Truth (Jn. 14:6)

Refuge (Isa. 25:4)

Rock (I Cor. 10:4)

Same (Heb. 1:12)

Outstanding among ten thousand (S.S. 5:10)

Ruler (Mt. 2:6)

Blessed and only Ruler (I Tim. 6:15)

Ruler of Kings (Rev. 1:5)

Ruler of God’s Creation (Rev. 3:14)

Creator (Jn. 1:3)

Creator of all things (Col. 1:16)

Wonderful (Isa. 9:6)

Witness (Isa. 55:4)

Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5)

Son (I Jn. 4:14)

Beloved Son (Mt. 12:18)

Son of David (Mt. 1:1)

Son of God (Mt. 2:15)

Carpenter's Son (Mt. 13:55)

Son of the Blessed One (Mk. 14:61)

Son of the Most High (Lk. 1:32)

Son of Man (Mk. 8:20)

Man of Noble Birth (Lk. 19:12)

Man of Sorrows (Isa. 53:3)

King (Zech. 9:9)

King Eternal (I Tim. 1:17)

King of kings (I Tim. 6:15)

King of the Ages (Rev. 15:3)

King of the Jews (Mt. 2:2)

Way (Jn. 14:6)

Source of Eternal Salvation (Heb. 5:9)

Redeemer (Isa. 59:20)

Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)

All & in All (Col. 3:11)

Our Holiness (I Cor. 1:30)

Our Righteousness (I Cor. 1:30)

Our Peace (Eph. 2:14)

Our Passover (I Cor. 5:7)

Our Redemption (I Cor. 1:30)

Master (II Tim. 2:21)

Lord (1 Cor. 12:3

Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15)

Lord our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)

Lord of Glory (I Cor. 2:8)

Lord of All (Acts 10:36)

Word (Jn. 1:1)

Word of God (Rev. 19:13)

Chosen of God (Isa. 42:1)

God Praised (Rom. 9:5)

God’s Anointed (Ps. 2:2)

Glory of God (Isa. 40:5)

Lamb of God (Jn. 1:29)

Holy One of God (Mk. 1:24)

Gift of God (Jn. 4:10)

Wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24)

Power of God (I Cor. 1:24)

God (Jn. 1:1)

Mighty God (Isa. 9:6)

Jehovah (Isa. 26:4)

I AM (Jn. 8:58)

Image of the invisible God (II Cor. 4:4)

Exact Representation of God’s Being (Heb. 1:3)

Fullness of the Godhead in bodily form (Col. 2:9)


...i like Christmas...

...i like it a lot...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: just give out Christmas cookies -- it's a nice thing to do, and you'll make someone smile...

...yesterday, i learned: watch out for the surface!...

...today, i learned: rainy fridays have got nothing on rainy mondays...


recently watched: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"All" / "Input"

to nobody in particular:


sometimes nothing...

...is everything.



..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: i can lead the "input" aspect of a brunch/"church service" in German...

...progress! (yes, it was only three minutes long, but it was a good three minutes)...

...yesterday, i learned: i think the best my fantasy football team can place now is 5th of 8...

...today, i learned: "hast du was, bist du was"...


currently watching: nothing

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Teeth vs. Gums / Three Minutes vs. Thirty Minutes

to nobody in particular:

...Hannah's first two teeth are coming in already...

...now, i can call her Mobile Motivated Mandibles of Mayhem...

...or, maybe i'll just stick with "Hannah"...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: Hannah has teeth...

...today, i learned: preparing for a three minute "input" in German is way better than preparing for a twenty-five minute "sermon" in English, or any other language...


recently reminisced about: "Neighbours"

our good friend here in Berlin is returning to Australia on tuesday and we were recently chatting about this tv show -- she said it's still running strong (of course sans Kylie Minogue and others)

my wonderful sister used to watch this when we lived in New Zealand -- some of us would just laugh...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

freischwimmer_brunch / tree_carrying

to nobody in particular:

*the following is an excerpt from our family/life blog*

"As I (Ben) sit down to write this, we are in between our second Adventsbrunch and our third -- and the first two went really well! Our first Sunday (Nov. 30th) we had 19 people here with us at our apartment for our first Freischwimmer "Brunch with Input", which we have started during this Advent season, and last week we had 12 of us -- both weeks were great! It was a huge step for the project, and as our first "Sunday gatherings", or "services", for lack of a better word, they went very well and we are headed down the right path. Of course they weren't perfect, and of course they were awesome, but we will continue to learn and continue to move toward what God has for us and for Mitte. We are really excited about this new chapter in the Freischwimmer project, and our love for the project, the people and the city continues to grow and deepen. God is so good...

"In John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, which I am currently reading, the title character has many repeatable quotes, but one recently seemed to be in larger text for me during this phase for Freischwimmer. He is a boy of great faith, knowing full well that God made him for a purpose, but he mentions how he dislikes church services because it is for a mass audience, and how whatever faith a person might have, or how deep it is, that faith grows and moves at a specific pace relative to that person and their relationship with/without God. Now, while the church service issue is an opinion -- and likewise, that about his view of faith -- I think I would agree with him about the necessity for the personal "faith pace", and how, yes, indeed, certain aspects of the "Christian" life can come as a cookie-cutter facet. So, what do I do with this thought? How does Freischwimmer connect with it? Our "Brunch with Input" is a simple, non-threatening, "move-at-your-own-pace" atmosphere where nothing is forced, but nothing is really hidden. We come together, we greet each other, get to know each other better, eat together, maybe sing a song or two, or someone share a thought or two for all to hear, and chat and chat and chat -- how awesome is that?!?!

"Freischwimmer continues -- and thanks to many of you, it is continuing with the strength of prayer and encouragement from the Body of Christ...

"Sundays are very cool..."


...additional note: we have our Christmas tree, it has lights on it, it has decorations on it and the popcorn was strung and hung tonight...

...all is well with my soul...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...yesterday, i learned: if you walk along the streets carrying a Christmas tree on your shoulder earlier on in the month of december, you will have people stare at you with puzzled and almost disapproving looks...

...today, i learned: make sure you read ALL the instructions before you start working on the homework assignment -- that will make things easier...


currently enjoying: William Fitzsimmons

...he recently played here in Berlin, and Sarah went to the concert, as our good friend's husband is playing with him as he tours Germany -- so it was cool to see our friend again, meet her husband and enjoy some fresh music...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Alarm Clock / Flat World

to nobody in particular:

...yes, thankfully, tuesdays are light in the morning, and we are busy in the afternoon and evening...

...Travis, or sometimes as i like to call him, our natural-alarm-clock-somewhere-between-seven-and-seven-thirty-every-morning, decided to not wake up and come out of his room until after nine this morning...

...while i can't complain, i am just glad we didn't have anything going on this morning that we needed to be up and prepared for...

...maybe, until these darker mornings during the winter are over, i will set our normal alarm clock, or sometimes as i like to call it, that-annoying-wakes-me-up-and-makes-me-realize-that-even-though-i-just-slept-i-am-still-so-very-tired-on-most-mornings-thing...


...my next post shall be deeper -- i just know it...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...three days ago, i learned: Weihnachtsmarkts (Christmas markets) are great, but less great when superbusy...

...two days ago, i learned: yes, freischwimmer Adventsbrunch is killer!...

...yesterday, i learned: the world really WOULD be completely different if it was flat -- have you really ever sat down and thought about it?...

...today, i learned: kid's clothes were twenty-five percent off where i bought Travis a couple long-sleeved shirts -- hooray!...


recently watched: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

...love it -- possibly one of the best movies about relationships ever?...

...very great on all levels -- art, execution, philosophy, entertainment, acting, imagery, music, and much more...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Quote / Once

to nobody in particular:

John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany


..."you learn something new every day"...

...two days ago, i learned: if you go up to the top of the Reichstag with a stroller, they hold your lock for ransom (not really, but that's what it seemed like)...

...yesterday, i learned: just walk...

...today, i learned: "ein Mal ist kein Mal"...


currently reading: see above

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tired Text / Timed Times

to nobody in particular:

...just after recovering from a very busy weekend, i once again feel very drained...

...is that more tiredness, or not-so-great-relaxation/recovery-ness?...

...God is good...

...our thanksgiving meal with our friends was spectacular (thanks, Sarah), and our first Freischwimmer "Brunch with Input" was also fantastic...

...metaphorically, tomorrow looks bright (even though, in reality, it will probably be overcast, gloomy and bitingly cold)...

...i just started reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving...


..."you learn something new every day"...

...four days ago, i learned: it only takes fourteen minutes to bike from here to the Jones'...

...three days ago, i learned: Thanksgiving is always enjoyable with great food and good friends, no matter where (or what day) you celebrate it...

...two days ago, i learned: always, always, ALWAYS be flexible...

...yesterday, i learned: nothing is for everybody...

...today, i learned: from our place to Flughafen Schönefeld? -- forty-five minutes by Bahn...


currently watching: Children of Men