Another shameless attempt

Ok, so we’re trying to make some money… is that so wrong?

One of the changes you’ll notice in the midst of our current facelift is some advertising and marketing. We hope it is not too invasive or distracting from all the amazing content on The Daily Burns. In fact, we hope that it actually helps you. For instance, clicking on the big Amazon box in the sidebar will help take you to No longer will you have to actually type in a m a z o n . c o m. Just click the box and you’re there! It is like magic!

What do we get out of it? Well We get a little kickback from amazon off of every purchase you make when you originate from this page. It won’t pay the bills, but every bit helps right?

You’ll also notice, as you scroll down, that we have added a bookstore to The Daily Burns. Now, the bookstore is still a work in progress, but we already have about 20 titles in stock and we hope to add more over the next several days. The thing about our bookstore is that it only contains titles that we think you should own. So, if you ever think, “I wonder what books Ryan and Jenn think I should buy…” then simply visit the store and start shopping. Again, buying your books in The Daily Burns “Books We Recommend” Bookstore is another way you can help support the cause. Namely the cause of us living.

Let me know what you think. Are we sellout? Do you love the new additions? Speak your mind!

Monday’s Musings on Sundays Sermon

OK, this is really just one “muse”, not at all about the main point of the sermon, but a rabbit trail my mind went on at one point. I thought I’d share it with ya’ll to give you a chuckle at my expense.

I often forget that I am quite “weird” when it comes eating. The health-food rabbit hole goes really deep and while I’m not nearly as weird as some, I am in fact, quite off from mainstream America. Like I said, I often forget this. I always feel like anything I think or do, or what happens to me is normal, because I see myself as an “average joe” kinda person. During the sermon yesterday I had another one of those moments where I realize there was probably not anyone else in the room thinking what I was….well…maybe a few….

So this all started when he read Psalm 63:5

My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

I was right with him…”yes, amen brother..” or whatever it is that I think when other people would think that. Then he lost me. I forget the exact wording, but he revisted the “marrow and fatness” phrase….to clarify. He sort of excused it as ancient biblical weirdness & said if you like you can substitute chocolate cake or something. I am embarrassed to admit, I totally didn’t get it & was sort of shocked. “how in the world can he compare MARROW to chocolate cake???” You see, I think of marrow as a super nutrient dense health food (here she goes…). This list is not nearly exhaustive but the cliff’s notes are that it has monounsaturated fat, & a host of minerals & protein. Marrow is fatty, so I assumed in the verse that fat just went with it…not to mention I think animal fat…well, let’s just say I’d use lard before margarine any day. Granted you can’t gorge yourself on it, with it’s high calorie content that would be a bad idea…but you shouldn’t gorge yourself on anything.

I digress.

As I was saying, as I read this verse I briefly paused, smiled to myself & thought about how cool it was that the Bible mentioned marrow as a nourishing food. Then comes the chocolate cake comment. I mean….really….even if it were somehow a whole grain cake (I doubt anyone’s mind went there), the large quantities of refined sugar, the tanins & caffeine in the chocolate. Well….I certainly enjoy empty calorie “treats” every now & again…but clearly it is not a satisfying, good for you food. In my mind it is quite the opposite, leading to nutrient deficit from all the white flour & sugar involved… So there I sat thoroughly confused. I’m not sure how long it took for me to catch up. Eventually it dawned on me that people think marrow and fat sounds gross & chocolate cake is yummy. I guess most people would not burst into praise (the second half of the verse) after eating roasted marrow spread on toast (mmm..i would…), but many would gladly sing the praises of a delicious dessert.

So, yeah. I got it. But I found it humorous that I honestly had to think for a minute where he could have possibly come up with that connection. As a side note, by bible does not say marrow. It says, “fat and rich food”. That’s sad. I like the “marrow” translation better.

New Book & the “5:00 club”

About a week ago I finished “God’s Big Picture“. It was an EXCELLENT book, I highly recommend it. I promise it’s not too “brainy” for you. It’s a small book & a great tool to help you see major themes that are throughout the entire Bible. There were quite a few good “nuggets” I got from the book, but the main thing that it opened my eyes to was reading the Bible & thinking, “What does this say about God?” vs. “How does this apply to me?”. The fact is, if it tells me about an aspect of God’s character, that is enough application in itself, which makes the Old Testament much less intimidating & frustrating. Interesting…reading the Bible to learn more about my creator vs. using it as a “self-help” tool….life changing indeed.

Speaking of which, my “new” book (one we’re using for the weekly “mom’s group”) is: “A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study“. When Dana passed out the books at our group, I have to admit. I internally snubbed it. I mean…just click through to that link & you’ll see what I mean. I definitely judged the book by it’s cover. Anyway, I was wrong & so far it’s a really great book. I’m looking forward to learning techniques for personal systematic bible study (to do on my own…without a book!). & to boot, she’s flat out hilarious.

Which brings me to the second half of this blog title. The chapter we read this week was about the nuts & bolts of getting started w/daily bible study time (note: not bible reading but STUDY). A very good point she made that I’ve heard numerous times throughout my Christian walk but never successfully implemented until a few months ago: You need to schedule time with God. I used to balk at this idea thinking it just felt so forced & “non-spiritual”, but honestly I was just being lazy. She’s right. If you don’t schedule it, it’s not going to happen. At least not on any consistent basis.

Portions of my life, such as visits to the dentist & working out, are characterized by complete randomness, but I schedule date nights, salon time (if i was born blonde, I can only assume God intended for me to stay that way), coffee w/girlfriends, events with my kids, and, yes, Bible study.

The women over at the Girl Talk blog are also advocates of this idea. They started what they refer to as, “The 5:00 Club“. Again, they make a great point. Thankfully for me, God has graced me with a life that has so far allowed me to join the 6:00 club vs. the 5:00…Honestly anything before 7am sounds too early for me, but anything before 6 just feels downright unreasonable. We’ll see if that will change once we move to florida & start spinning more plates.

So I just wanted to challenge ya’ll as well. I’m not saying you have to wake up ridiculously early, (it could happen during a lunch break) I’m just saying you have to schedule some Bible Study/Devotion time. Make a standing appt. I dare you to try it for 6wks & tell me it hasn’t changed your life.

Desire and poor judgment

Ok, if you are a regular reader of the daily burns you will remember that, about a month ago, I bought a jeep. It has been my dream car since I turned 16. The jeep I got is almost the exact dream jeep I wanted… I got a 1979 CJ7. It is big and loud and horrible to drive on the highway… I LOVE IT. I sit around and look forward to the next time I can take it for a spin. Despite the fact that the gas mileage is bad (all time 4 wheel drive) I take it to work every day. I love the jeep.

Which brings me to the title of the post.

I know that it was stupid to buy this jeep. Bad gas mileage, not family friendly, old and prone to problems… However, when I saw and drove it… I didn’t want to hear anything that would tell me not to buy it. The true indicator that I was making a stupid decision was that I didn’t call my dad before I bought it. See, my dad is a successful business man and my step mom has a degree in finance. So, whenever I am making big financial decisions I typically give them a call and get their advice (makes sense, right?). However, once I saw the jeep I thought, “I am not calling dad and cheri… I know EXACTLY what they’ll say.” In fact, I don’t think I ever told them… They found out by reading the blog. Only when dad called and mentioned it did I fess up to the purchase. (note: I also didn’t tell my mom because I knew she’d get on to me about “how dangerous they are.” (note to note: they are much safer than scooters and motorcycles))

Now, one month later I am selling the jeep. We’ve decided to keep the van (my irrational rationale for buying the jeep was we were selling the van and Jenn was going to drive the avalon) and I am confronted with the reality that this was just a stupid financial decision for my family.

Do I love the jeep… yes. Was it a stupid purchase for someone trying to consolidate debt and cut expenses so that he can attend seminary… yes. Did I learn my lesson… I hope so, but probably not. Will I ever own the dream jeep again… only time will tell.

So long friend… at least I can say I got to experience it for myself.

(Oh, yeah… it is for sale if anyone wants to buy it. Asking $6000 but will sell for $5500 if you mention that you read the daily burns.)


Those deep toddler questions

I try to be sensitive to impromptu moments to talk to Asher about the Gospel. Often those conversations are anything but profound & i’m left wondering if I’m just confusing him and/or if he can understand in the slightest.

This past weekend gave me a glimpse that perhaps it’s worth the effort after all.

We were at my grandparents house, who are Catholic. The room asher was sleeping in had a pretty good-sized crucifix on the wall. When I went in to get Asher & Grace in the morning I laid down on the bed beside Asher for a bit. This had us looking directly at the crucifix. Here’s the transcript:

“momma, is that Jesus on the cross?”

“Yes, asher it is…you’re a smart boy”

“momma….what’s he fixing?”

“well…he’s fixing our hearts”

“oh yeah…our hearts….what else?”

Then Grace started squealing in objection to having been left in the playpen during this conversation & we never got back to it.

A post for mom

So, I was talking to my mom this afternoon and she got onto me about not having posted in a while… it felt kind of odd getting reprimanded by my mom for not blogging. Strange times indeed…

Well, the only reason I have a moment to post is that I’m waiting for about a gizillion images to upload for a site I’m building for an artist. I’ll post a link when the site is up. The gig was a barter (site for a painting). The site is turning out to be WAY more work than I anticipated… but I really love the piece that I got out of it… so, every time my brain goes numb from the monotony of creating this page, I simply think of how I will have the painting for many years to come… and that helps me push through.

In other news, the house is getting some action… so that is nice. We had a showing on monday and have another on friday. That is more showings that we’ve had in two months combined. Very sweet!

Um… anything else?

Oh, the company I work for was named one of Virginia’s Growth Companies to Watch, so that is pretty cool.

Ok… pics are uploaded… back to work.

For Grace

While doing some research this morning into viral video marketing, I came across this amazing campaign by Dove (as in the soap). The campaign is focused on women and girl’s self-esteem and the definition of beautiful. Now, this would truly make for a great case study from a marketing and corporate responsibility angle and I thought about commenting on that, however, Tom Blue on has covered the Dove campaign on his blog. So, go there to read that stuff.

I, however, want to say, above all, that these two videos wanted me to go home and tell my daughter how beautiful she is. Dad’s, watch these videos and go fight the stereotypes of society. Your daughter is so beautiful… never let her forget it: