This last week an esteemed brother minister was telling me that, in speaking to a man who professed to have been converted, he asked him which sin remained as a load upon his mind. “Well,?” said the man, “I have to see after cows, and I have often beaten the cows very badly.” “What do you do now?” “Oh, I coax them instead of beating them.” Now, I have no doubt, that in his peculiar calling, cruelty to animals would be most strikingly laid upon his conscience, but the pastor had to say to him, “Yes, quite so; but the great sin in your fault is, that the cows are God’s creatures, and that he is angry if we treat his creatures unmercifully.?’
Spurgeon (May 16, 1868)



Alabama Christmas - Day 1

Our day flying out to Alabama was a long one. We rose at 3:30 am in San Jose in order to be on time for our 6:20 am flight. When we arrived the checkin counter line for Frontier and all other airlines was very long. It was not long after being in line that we heard an announcement that the flight was delayed.

The new time was 7:45. We were somewhat grateful that it was delayed since the line was so long. But after a little time in line, we realized that the line is taking longer than usual because the delay is requiring the counter to reroute people. If the delay didn’t happen, the line would likely travel faster and we would make our originally scheduled flight.

We also needed to be rescheduled in Denver because the delay would cause us to miss our transfer in Denver. When we arrived at the counter an hour later (6:30) we learned that our rescheduled flight would be leaving Denver at 2pm and we would arrive in Nashville at 6pm. Our original schedule was for us to arrive in Nashville at 2pm! A 4 hour delay.

We passed time by walking over to the indoor playground and letting Matthew run around at the playground. Boy was that a surreal experience. I was not in a playful mood, but here I was running around on a playground with my son. After a short while, I actually started to enjoy playing. Security was quick as there were not many people in line. This was a small section of the airport that I learned was nicknamed “Happy Hollow” by the security agents because of the low traffic and easy time they have working the area.

We settled in at the gate and waited for an announcement to board the plane. They new schedule was 7:45 and boarding time was approaching. There was a Togos selling muffins, bagels and juices, so we bought a couple things to eat. Matthew was having a real hard time, crying and fussing. The boarding time passed, so I asked the counter when we were boarding. They said they were waiting for the crew to arrive and didn’t know when that would be. Sounded crazy to me. They don’t know where their crew is and how long before they arrive?

At around 7:30 parents with children started heading for the gate for preboarding. We were all standing around waiting for the announcement to board. Surely it would be any minute since they were planning to leave at 7:45. They soon announced that the plane would be delayed another 30 minutes! So many of the parents in line just sat down on the floor. Matthew was now asleep, so we just sat where we were and placed him on a jacket on the floor.

30 minutes later they delay again, until finally they announce boarding at 9am! A cheer was heard throughout the gate.

At take off, we learned that the delay was due to ice on the wings. They could not take off with ice on the wings and they didn’t have any de-icing equipment to get the ice off. Frontier didn’t expect ice in San Jose, so they didn’t have any equipment at the airport to handle it. The other airlines also refused to help Frontier be loaning equipment. So basically, the aircraft sat in the sun until it melted off.

We flew through Denver, which was uneventful and we made it to Nashville with all our luggage. Later, we learned this was a real blessing because a couple days later the Denver airport was shut down due to snow and over 1500 people were stranded in the airport for more than a day. Denver airport is actually a very risky airport to fly in and out of during the winter. American Airlines through Dallas would probably be better in the future.



Stupid Cupid

Last night in junior high ministry we played a game called Stupid Cupid. It involved splitting into groups and using clues to drive around and gather proof that we went to various locations. The point is also to find something or someone that is “Stupid Cupid”. Last year stupid cupid was a little stuffed animal that was held by someone.

This year, Jenn, I, Matthew and 4 other girls piled into the SUV and headed off to find Stupid Cupid. It was a little difficult this year because the clues were much harder. We were driving in the wrong direction and wasting time. One of the clues read something like “The Dangerous way is full of troubles, but the ____ ____ is secure and easy”. So we had to go to Safe Way. Unfortunately, we were already headed in the wrong direction when we did this. Jenn wasn’t able to stay with us the entire time because Matthew was getting fusy and started crying in the car seat. I dropped Jenn and Matthew at a Starbucks and picked them up later.

Another clue read “Small 2 1/2 _________” The answer was “Big 5”, a sporting goods store. While at the store, a lady stepped up to the car and asked for some money. She even had a print out of the hotel she was trying to stay at with her and her family ($40 per night). I gave her some money, but when the girls had saw that I gave money, one said that you shouldn’t give money to the poor because they could spend it on drugs. Well, hopefully they don’t spend it on drugs, and I agree to some point. But people should help them in any way they can, and it’s the responisbility of the homeless person to make use of the resources given to them. If I give a homeless person money and they blow it on drugs and remain hungry and homeless, then the irresponsibility lays on them, not me.

Ideally, it would be nice if I always had some spare food on me, or had enough time to really help someone find shelter or a job. The reality is that money is much easier and convenient to give than my time and efforts.

I also talked about this with Jenn this morning and an important point came up. God blesses us with so many things, and how often have we misused those blessings. I think nearly everyone is guilty of misusing the blessing from God. So then, what position are we to withhold a blessing to a poor person because they might misuse it. We are not in this position. Besides, even if you give to 10 people and only 1 person uses the blessing appropriately, it is still worth it to have helped 1 person.


Family Giving Tree

Toshiba is helping kids get Christmas presents this year by participating
in the Family Giving Tree, an organization that fulfills Christmas wishes
for children who would otherwise go without gifts.

Here’s how it works. Christmas tags are displayed in the lunch break room.
Each tag has a little information about the child; name, age, and their
gift wish. Employees can choose a tag and go Christmas shopping for the
child. Employees bring the gift and tag back to Toshiba. The gifts are
collected, wrapped and distributed by the Family Giving Tree organization.

Check out the warehouse—donated by Cisco—filled with gifts. It’s an
amazing sight. Imagine how big a Christmas tree you would need for all
those gifts!


Baby Mateo

Last weekend we visited with our church friends over dinner. Alejandra and Raul brought their young son Mateo. In the picture above, Mateo is enjoying a swing in a portable aquarium swing as he stares up at his dad. Vijay and Karen hosted the dinner with their son Nathan.




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Holloween at Work

If you want to see what it looked like at Toshiba on the day of Holloween,
take a peak at the gallery. We had a pumpkin carving contest, costume
contest, and cake. I did the photography. There are always some very
innovative and impressive pumpkins as well as some entertaining costumes.
It’s not in my normal gallery, so please go click the following link to go
there… Toshiba Gallery