boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.


31+ things about me (in roughly chronological order)...

As it's my 31st birthday, and as blogs are generally exercises in vanity and attempts at inflation of self-importance, I thought I would list 31 or so facts or events from my 31 years of life, offered in roughly chronological order.

1. I was born on July 24, 1978, in Omaha, Nebraska.
2. My first address was 5825 Fowler St., Omaha, NE, 68104.
3. One of my first memories is of my mom marrying my step-dad. I was 3 years old. At some point during the ceremony, one of my uncles was holding me, and he had very chapped lips.
4. My first best friend was named Jimmy Ruffin.
5. I went to Kindergarten at Mount View Elementary School, Omaha, NE.
6. I have 3 brothers.
7. We moved to Elkhorn, NE when I was 5 years old, just before beginning first grade.
8. I attended Skyline Elementary School, 1st through 5th Grade.
9. I saved up $62.00 toward the purchase of my Nintendo Entertainment System, with my parents paying for the rest (I believe they were $199).
10. A couple of friends and I were kind of obsessed with fire for a while, and one time we almost burned down some woods near my house.
11. I started playing golf at about age 11.
12. In 7th grade (I think), I memorized all 130 lines of the poem, “Paul Rever’s Ride,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for an English assignment. I still have the first 16 lines down cold. I can think of no useful purpose for such an assignment.
13. Near the end of 8th grade, I served a 5-day out-of-school suspension for prank-calling a teacher and making crude and threatening statements on her answering machine. I really had no ill-will toward her; I just thought I was being funny and cool in front of some friends. I was an idiot. It is still probably the most shameful thing I’ve ever done.
14. During the summer between 8th grade and Freshman year, my friend Michael and I played tennis nearly every day, all day, no matter how hot it was. The court was by his house, and we would break in the middle of the day for lunch, during which time, we would take off our hats that were saturated with sweat and put them in his freezer so that they would be cold when we went back out to play.
15. I attended Elkhorn High School, 1992-1996.
16. I actually cried at the age of 15 when Boston College beat Notre Dame in football in 1993, ending Notre Dame’s perfect season and ruining any hopes of a national championship.
17. My first job was at Subway. This may sound like bragging, but it is utterly honest: I am still the best Subway Sandwich Artist I have ever encountered.
18. I ran on the cross-country and track teams in high school. My fastest mile time was 4:34, and my fastest 2-mile time was 10:28.
19. I was rejected for admission to the University of Notre Dame. I may have cried about that too.
20. I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1996-2000.
21. My intended roommate for freshman year in college did not show up, so Jim, the guy across the hall, whose roommate left school and went home after about a week, moved over to share my dorm room. That began a great friendship, even though his girlfriend, Becky (who became his wife), was scared of me because I had a poster of the movie “The Crow” hanging in my room.
22. In August of 1998 I began to experience a spiritual renewal and conviction of the truth of biblical Christianity upon reading Philippians 3:13-14. This renewal and conviction has continued to grow ever since.
23. On December 31, 1999, I proposed marriage to Suzanne Young; she accepted.
24. The following Sunday we attended Zion Church in Lincoln, NE for the first time and decided that would be where we would be married. It became a great first home church.
25. I continued in college for an extra summer term so I could complete my honors thesis, “Sword of the Bard: The Use and Purpose of Biblical Allusion in Shakespeare’s Drama.” I graduated with distinction in August, 2000.
26. I did not attend my college graduation because I was on my honeymoon with Suzanne in Estes Park, CO, after having been married on August 5, 2000.
27. We moved to St. Louis in May, 2001, so that I could attend Covenant Theological Seminary, from which I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in May, 2005.
28. I began working at Covenant Seminary Bookstore in June, 2001.
29. After graduating from Covenant, I was rejected for admission to the University of Notre Dame M.A. in Early Christian Studies program. I was crushed again, but I don’t think I cried.
30. I was accepted into the St. Louis University Ph.D. in Historical theology program, but I was never granted an assistantship (to help pay for the program) so I never enrolled.
31. I have been a foster-dad to three girls: Destiny Grace (“Gracie”), Leah, and Lyric (the latter two being sisters and currently living with us).

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."