Sunday, July 31, 2005

It only takes a minute

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflication so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor. 1:3,4)

It was one of those days that you cannot stand to be inside. The skies were bright blue and the temperatures were in the high 70s. I had decided to take a walk during a slow time at work because I needed the exercise and had done what I needed to until something else happened.

As I was walking near the National Archives, I saw a man who goes to church with me standing in line with a group of people to see the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. He was with a young man in a baseball cap, who spoke with a slight accent. My friend introduced me to Alex, a 16-year-old exchange student from Germany.

He was from Dortmund, and come to find out was a big fan of Borussia Dortmund soccer club. We chatted for a while and Alex seemed pretty impressed that this stranger was able to talk with him about his club. His passion for the club was evident. It was like being a Yankees fan or a Redskins fan. He seemed blown away that I even knew the name of the club.

After a few minutes I started feeling guilty about being away from work for too long, so I said goodbye to Alex and walked off feeling pretty good about being able to make him feel at home here in America.

I learned today that Alex remembered that talk up until the day he died.

See Alex went to Austria and Spain on holiday after he left the United States and was involved in a mountain biking accident and died from internal injuries within 10 minutes. But his sponsoring family sent my friend an e-mail that included this note:

"Can you please tell the sportswriter (forget his name .... I'm in such shock, I've probably forgotten my own name) who knew of Borussia, Alex's favorite team? Alex thought that guy was the greatest American cuz of that!"

He really was blessed, and couldn't get over meeting and talking to some American who knew just what his passion was for his local soccer team. It really, really made his day.

It made me think about how the little things we do in a day can make a world of difference. I'm not blowing my own horn here. I had my own purposes for being out that day, but I believe that God arranged a meeting with a special kid who had a passion for a certain soccer team.

So I guess I should remember that the next time someone ticks me off. If you think of it, pray for Alex's family. They are obviously in a lot of pain.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

In Vinca, Veritas!

So I took this picture of a planter on our front porch yesterday morning after it had rained.

I kept promising myself I would take the camera and try to capture some of the really beautiful things that God has provided all around me. So this is the first one. I am not really sure how to get a macro setting on the digital camera (I know how to use the old film one) but this was about as close as I could get and still maintain focus. I think it turned out pretty good (click on the photo for a better view).

The funny thing was, I put this photo into the Roxio Media editor I have and tried all kinds of textures and effects and other changes to try to make it "more artistic" but the more I played with it the more I didn't like it.

My efforts to "improve" on the simple beauty of God's creation were like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa; what God put there is beautiful enough and I can't really improve on it. I could only distort it.

There's a lesson in that somewhere. Sometimes I wonder if my attempts at "making it better" aren't more of a distortion than an improvement.

O God, O Good beyond compare,
If thus thy meaner works are fair,
If thus thy beauties gild the span,
of transient earth and sinful man,
How glorious must the mansion be,
Where thy redeemed shall dwell with thee!

-Henry Carey, 1723

Friday, July 29, 2005

You make me wanna ...

Image hosted by I guess it's my time to learn something. I woke up this morning to discover that someone - I am not sure who - had hit the gate on my fence outside the house and broken the thing in half.

I remember hearing someone who sounded like they were struggling with the motor on their SUV early this morning and I am wondering whether that was it. No note, no nothing; just a broken gate and a couple of pieces of their vehicle.

It might even have been a friend of mine; I am not sure. But I guess I am learning to deal with problems and forgive people. God knows I need forgiving a lot. And isn't that the nature of forgiveness? Letting someone off the hook. Canceling a debt and incurring the debt yourself? Isn't that what Jesus did?

So to whoever did the damage to my gate, I forgive you. You don't have to pay for it, fix it, or even admit you did it. You're free. And now, so am I.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Forest Theatre Photo hosted by Photobucket.comSo the weather has broken here in DC, and the temperatures have moderated some. The highs are supposed to be in the 80s for the next few days, and it reminds me that my favorite season of the year, autumn, is just around the corner.

I remember when I was a kid thinking that the end of summer was the worst time of year, but now that I am an adult, I have a different point of view. I love the autumn. I love the colors, the coolness, the harvest, the way the sun angles as October turns to November.

If you went to the Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC, you would see one of my autumn memories. In the light tower on the house left side (stage right) I carved my initials in November of 1980 when I was a doofy little freshman at Carolina. Unfortunately the last time I tried to find my crude piece of artwork, the tower insides had burned and one could no longer climb to the window ledge to see the sill where I was one of the many who had etched their personal messages into the 2 x 4.

But I will never forget the day.

I had been taking a theatre tech class at Paul Greene Theatre, and was on my way back to my dorm when I decided to climb into the tower of the theatre to see what was there. Not much, spider webs, a couple of old beer cans, and of course, graffiti.

But I decided that I would add my message to the hundred of others there, so I took out my knife and carved "D Byrd was Here, Nov. 4 1980" in the window sill. It was a perfect day -- sunshine, blue skies, cool, and the sycamore trees were resplendent yellow against the -- of course Carolina Blue -- sky. I wished I could capture that moment and hold it forever. Live in it for more than the few moments I had in the tower. I knew I couldn't so I did the next best thing, I carved something in the tower to remember me by. I wonder if it's still there.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's Too Darned Hot!

We have had a blast of hot weather here in DC the past few days. The kind of hot that curls your hair and lets you know what a sausage feels like in the skillet. The weatherman has said the heat index is up around 107 with the humidity in the 90% range and the dew points in the high 70s, which means of course you can sweat just by looking out the window.

It reminds me of August in Pinehurst!

People would come from hundreds of miles to play golf in the blazing NC sun at midday. And they would pay large dollars for the privilege of being taken to the hospital with heat exhaustion. The natives knew better. We would stay inside or by the pool in the heat of the day and if anyone wanted to do any outdoor activity, they did it after 5:00 in the evening. Unless of course you had to prime tobacco. That was a fate worse than death.

See tobacco plants are grown in sandy soil and sprayed with a nematicide that kills the worms that eat the plant. And it smells like Bhopal. And when you snap the leaves off the plant, it spits tar, yes the brown sticky garbage that is in cigarettes, all over your hands. It gives you a contact head rush that if you are not careful can result in nicotine poisoning.

And the people who pick the weed work from 4:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night in the blazing sun with no place to hide. And they don't get paid all that much. Not to mention battling the snakes and other critters who hide beneath the tobacco plants to get out of the sun! Think about that the next time Joe Camel tries to persuade you it's a good thing to put a bunch of leaves in your face and set them on fire.

Alas, but parting is ....

Probably something that happens to all of us eventually. I got so tired of fooling with the old scribe template that I decided to go with a new one.

Behold the new DavzRaves!

Not exactly what we had before, and I am still editing my links list. But this one is a new generation. Some of my readers were complaining that the old template changes were not lining up when they tried to read it. Others said that Firefox or some other server was not reading it correctly. So, the "wine was sour, so I poured it out!"

Look for more photos and new stuff on this blog. The only thing I kept from the old one was the background image. I created that one using a Roxio Media Creator and a photograph I took of the woods near my house in the snow. I faded it a little with the brush command and then washed it with a green wash. Later!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Biotry I don't know who this lady is, but she can write! She came across my blog while trolling a little I guess, but she left a comment. In order to return the affirmation, I visited her site. If you can't hear the music in these words, you have died and you need grab a lilly and lie down!

Friday, July 22, 2005

More changes!!!!!

Space Needle hosted by Photobucket.comSometimes when you reach for the stars, you need a little help along the way. I asked a couple colleagues what they thought of the changes I have made,( a dangerous proposition among journalists; they always have an opinion on something) and they had some interesting suggestions. One said "don't change on me, Dave! I liked it the way it was!" Another had a very helpful recommendation about the date header, which I have incorporated. But I am still not sure about the sidebar color. It kind of looks like pea soup or something. But I wanted it to stick out a little and not be the same old brown POS that I had before. So I hope you enjoy. Again, I am just learning to do this stuff. Who knows, I might one day get good at it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Soooooooo I made some more changes to the template. I noticed that the text in the sidebar and the main articles was running together, so I put a box around the posts and changed the color of the date box.

I also used the archive tag to make the sidebar smaller, although I just figured out how to make a box around the whole sidebar. I will try a few things and see if they work. But I wanted to make this rag a little easier to read, and I hope you enjoy the changes.

If you are using Netscape 7.0 or higher this might not work. They were done using Internet Explorer, so the changes might look schitzoid on a Netscape browser. Again I am still learning.

Aye, Aye Captain

James Doohan as Scotty from Star Actor James Montgomery Doohan, who played chief engineer Montgomery Scott on the TV series Star Trek has died at age 85. Doohan, who was actually from Canada and took part in the Normandy invasion in World War Two, played the quintessential go-to guy for years, even when he "coulna beam up a flyyyyyyy."

Doohan was suffering from Alzheimer's, but died of pneumonia and other complications. He began his career on the stage, at New York's Neighborhood playhouse and built a reputation for being able to do foreign dialects. It was reportedly a fellow soldier in WWII who was the inspiration for Scotty, and the role would take Doohan to worldwide fame and recognition, even though his character was a supporting role.

Scotty was always fixing the ship, which Captain Kirk did his best to get into trouble. When Kirk's bacon was in a sling, it was Scotty he would call for more power, more phasers, a photon torpedo, or to beam up. By the way, the phrase "Beam Me Up, Scotty" never occurred on the TV show. Kirk would always call the ship, sometimes Scotty, and tell the number to beam up ("Mr. Scott, Kirk here, two to beam up," etc.)

And Scotty would always find a way to provide what Kirk demanded. Whether it was more power (even though "I cannu break the Laws of Physics!) or transportation (We cannuh beam up a flyyyy) or a drink (well, its ... it's greeeeen).

Scotty provides us a life lesson - being the go-to guy is a vital role. What if Kirk had no phaser power or Spock had no ability to scan or - heaven forbid - the shields failed. The whole crew would have been toasted, nueralized or absorbed by a giant space tube. But Scotty always found a way to get Kirk what he needed.

And that was vital. Spock had the science, Kirk lusted his way across the galaxy, McCoy was the medical genius and had fights with Spock, but it was Scotty who was the everyman. He was there to do his job and always found a way to do it.

Doohan accepted that he had been typecast in the role and embraced it. He was always a highlight to fans who gathered at Star Trek conventions.

Fittingly, Doohan's death came on the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. And According to his agent Steven Stevens, the family will fulfill Doohan's wish to have his remains shot into space on a "Memorial Spaceflight" provided by Space Services Inc. of Houston. G'bye Scotty. Here's to yah, lad.

It's Tennis, where love means ...

Bec Cartwright's All Seats Taken well you know. I hear today that Lleyton Hewitt, the former Wimbledon Tennis champion and Australian Davis Cup star has wed a pregnant Bec Cartwright at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney. This comes after Lleyton, who has been described as "a lovely guy" proposed after losing to Marat Safin in this year's Australian Open.

Television footage showed Cartwright in a white gown with a sweeping train. Lleyton wore a traditional wedding suit with an ivory tie. Police patrolled the grounds of the Sydney Opera House to make sure no irritating paparazzi or even fans snapped a photo of the lovely couple. Why? Because they have sold the exclusive rights to their nuptials to an Australian magazine!

Cartwright is the star of the Aussie Soap Home and Away, and her former co-star Lynne McGranger said that the wedding party was on a "magical mystery tour." Ken Roche, Hewitt's mentor and Davis Cup coach said the marriage was "a big test" but that he thought Hewitt could handle it.

Hewitt, who once was engaged to Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters, and Becs announced in May they were expecting a child.

The wedding party went on a sunset cruise in Sydney Harbour and then to the Taronga Zoo for the reception. Who knows, maybe Lleyton and Becs will be the Andre and Steffi of Australia or the Beckham and Posh Spice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Clear River Missions

Clear River Missions This is a link to a missions homepage I have designed for Clear River Community Church. I did it originally for a class I was taking at Regent, but now I am hoping it will encourage people in the church to learn more about missions, as well as to become involved in reaching out to our world with the Good News. Take a look.
Right now there is an interview posted with a missionary from the Netherlands who visited CRCC a few weeks ago. In the future I hope to have more information on short-term trips, interviews and prayer requests from missionaries serving in the field, photographs, even journal entries or letters from folks are are taking the Great Commission seriously in the least-served areas of the world.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sometimes I thank God ...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI wanted to share this because it's really neat. Cornelia and I have joined a home group in our church, because we felt like we needed to, and because I have been studying The Second Reformation by William Beckham as part of my studies at Regent University. Little did I know what God had planned for this group.

I am one who believes that prayer is not so much us telling God what we want Him to do, but Him causing us to ask for what He wants to give us anyway. It is in that vein that I tell this story.

Our home group is basically four couples in their 40s with one of the leaders in the church as the facilitator. One member of the group suffers from Meniere's Syndrome. The sad thing is that she is a classical violinist and this disease threatens her hearing. But at our last meeting, we sensed that we should pray for her and we asked her husband to stand in for her as we prayed.

The Bible says that if anyone is sick they should call for the elders of the church to pray for them for healing. Since the leader of our group was what our church calls "a member of the design team" which is basically the elders, we were in keeping with the Biblical mandate. But that's immaterial; God was not asking us to keep an exact formula, He just wanted us to pray for this woman.

I'll let her tell the rest of the story:

I want to thank you all for praying for me last night.? I want to share my experience with you:

Yesterday, as I'm sure Bob told you, my Meniere's decided to give me a hard time. By noon I had a raging headache, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, nausea (from being dizzy), pressure in my earslike whenen you're ascending in a plane, except I can't "pop" them), my usual ringing in my ears was about 3 times
louder, my balance was off anso aboutut the only thing I could do was just lay there, which I can't stand because I'm the type of person that has to always be doing something. (This is all typical when my Meniere's gets bad.

I just thank God that I didn't have the vertigo that occasionally goes along with it. Vertigo - imagine, if you can, getting as drunk as you possibly can,then riding the Tilt-A-Whirl at an amusement park. THAT'S what the vertigo feels like, except it usually lasts anywhere from 6 to 36 hours.) I had taken all my appropriate
medications to contromy symptomsms, which helped but I still felt pretty bad.

Sam offered to make dinner after Bob left for small group. hadn't feltlt like eating all day, and I wasn't really hungry anyway. Bushe offereded, so she made some tacos. When they were done, I actually found myself being hungry, and ate 4. (me pig!!? LOL)

Also I noticemy headachehe had eased up, my eyes has stopped
jumping around, anmy dizzinessss had all but gone away. I thought "hmmmmm, the 'drugsmust'veve kicked in finally." It wasn't until Bob came home when I realized what happened. He said you all had prayed for me.

I asked him about what time was that. He said about 7:30; THAT was about the time I started feeling better!!

This morning, I woke up with no headache, no dizzies, and justhe normalal "aftermath" of fatigue but even that's not as bad as usual. Typically when this happens, I'm affected for 2-3 days, thefatigued foror another 2-3 days. We all KNOW that prayer works. But we don't always get to see Him working. And it's so awesome when we do see it!

So Praise the Lord, thank you, God, and my most humble thanks to all of you for your prayers.? I don't know about you guys, but I'll be spending most of today in thanks and praise for Our Lord who loves us past understanding.

Blessings and peace,

Some would say that's coincidence, but as a wise old guy once said "the coincidences happen more often when I pray."

So I got a little tired ...

of looking at the same old format for this blog. I tried playing with the colors of the different fonts, I tried using pictures, I tried all kinds of crap, but it was still the same, boring piece of paper that I started with.

So I changed a few things, most notably the background.

Now it looks like I stuck this thing on the wall in Baghdad or something. But at least it's a little different. I am still learning how to design webpages, so this is the first of several experiments. Not that anyone reads it anyway, but I did it for my own enjoyment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Say It Ain't So Jack

Jack Nicklaus by PGA Tour.comSo as part of my duties at work, I had to write a report about Jack Nicklaus and what could be his last tournament, fittingly at the home of golf, Saint Andrews, Scotland.

I have always been a fan of "the Golden Bear" and will be sad to see him go. But Jack isn't giving up so easily -- he still thinks he could win this thing.

I have memories of Jack from what used to be called The World Open, a tournament played in my home town of Pinehurst until it was canceled back in the 1970s. I actually put on my best shoes, dress pants and a sweater to follow Jack around the course one year. I got blisters on my feet, but I can say I saw the Golden Bear live.

He ended regulation tied with Billy Caspar after four rounds. I remember the sun was setting over Pinehurst No. 2 when they started the first playoff hole. My brother and I thought we would get a jump on the crowd because Nicklaus had parred his first playoff hole and Caspar had a three footer to force another hole.

As we trotted towards the second green, we heard a roar come up from behind us, and realized that Caspar had missed the putt and Nicklaus had won the tournament. We didn't get to see the finish, but I did get to see the Bear.

That was 30 years ago, and now he's 65 and has had hip replacement surgery and probably won't make the cut this week. But he had class. I got the chance to see his portrait in the World Golf Hall of Fame when it was at Pinehurst. There was the Bear, smiling, wearing one of his six Green Jackets from the Masters and holding a trophy.

Now Jack says he wants to enjoy playing with his grandchildren and not having the pressure of having to prepare for a golf tournament every week. I think he's earned it. He has provided some great memories for all of us.

I remember some of the duels he had in majors with Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. And I'll never forget that autumn afternoon on No. 2 with Billy Caspar.