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Probation Officer and Adult Volunteer Leader for the High School Ministry of Granger Community Church.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Well... I did it. That's right. I got inked... branded... tattooed. I actually didn't think I could go through with it. But I did. Right on my left shoulder (picture below). I chose the Hebrew word for Shalom (peace). Here's my research for why -
A word study in the New King James version for SHALOM says: Completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb Shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid. Sar SHALOM (Prince of Peace) is one of the descriptive names the Bible uses to indicate the ministry and personality of the Messiah: Isaiah 9:6 - The Son of God is completely perfect in all things. So in essence, when you speak out the word SHALOM - you are not only proclaiming peace, but all the above meanings of the word over that person - that's a mighty blessing!!!
How cool is that! I want my life tattooed, if you will, with Shalom. Not only that, but as a Christian, my sins have been paid in full and I am perfect and complete in Jesus. So, if you're wondering why I chose what I did... that's why.

Numbers 6:24-26: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His face upon you and give you SHALOM. In the name of SAR SHALOM - the Prince of Peace.

So with that said, here are a couple of photos:

Originally uploaded by toddruth.

Do you know what you're getting into?

Originally uploaded by toddruth.

That wasn't that bad... Oh wait, that's just the stencil drawing.

Originally uploaded by toddruth.

Is that a needle in your hand? I thought I was just getting a washable tattoo.

Originally uploaded by toddruth.


Originally uploaded by toddruth.

Inked! The finished product 30 seconds after he finished.

Friday, August 26, 2005


I know, I know. It's been almost a week since my last post. Maybe I had blogger depression – or not. Or maybe, everytime I was online I was busy doing research for my next project (post to come). In any case, here are a few highlights from my week:

Sunday -
-Euchre Party with our friends from Mexico. We split one game a piece. That means we're still up 3 games to two. From the little spanish I know, I caught one of them trying to tell their friend to tell her all of the cards my partner had. Ya, missionaries cheat... or at least try to. Started second game where we were up 4-0 and then got talking, I'm thinking we might have taken that one 10-0, but we never finished.
Monday -
-We did something. Hmmm, why can't I remember what we did. Oh well, maybe we didn't.
Tuesday -
-Day off... played MLB 2004 for Xbox... watched Fox News... watched MSNBC... watched CNN (Ya Lindsay, I watched something other than Fox News)... watched Cold Pizza... searched internet... basically, I did nothing but veg out and play with Carter.
-Saw a friend walking across the street from our car, called friend over, asked him where his car was, started screaming at the top of my lungs telling him to get away from our car, cars around us looked at us, light turned green, drove away from my friend
-Birthday dinner for my wife at Outback with thirteen of our family and friends. Happy Birthday Jami!
Wednesday -
-Had dinner over at my parents' house
-Searched internet
-Side note – I'm still amazed (and annoyed sometimes) at what students will do to get attention...
-Had a bowl of Kix
Thursday -
-Day off... watched Fox News, did laundry, played MLB 2004 (in playoffs now)... searched internet... did dishes... played with Carter
-New Community, our midweek service at church
-Had a glass of milk
And that brings us to today... work, chili dinner for our friends Matt and Julie, and then it's a late night adventure if all goes as planned – we'll have to wait and see, but I'm pumped. So basically, this was a post to say that I've posted. I'll resume my regular posting tomorrow. As they say at the Outback... good'ay.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What's in here?

Oh, it's water. I thought it was cherry coke with a little lime... how dissapointing.

Friday, August 19, 2005

School Is Coming

I know that a lot of kids are in a state of horror with the start of school. And parents in a state of jubilee. So, in honor of school beginning everywhere, here's a fun site to mess around on sponsored by our good friends at Old Navy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Soldiers Storm Synagogues

I'm trying to get my mind around what has been happening for the last two days. If you've been living in a cave, Israel has ordered the evacuation of all Jewish settlers (9,000) from Gaza. As a result, protests have been taking place in various settlements. Today one of those protests took place in and on top of one of their synagogues. Soldiers and the SWAT team entered unarmed to breakup and remove the protesters. As they made their way to the roof they were doused with sand, water, soap, gasoline and acid. The only force from the soldiers was in the form of a water cannon spraying blue soap. The officers chose blue because it is the color that symbolizes those who are in favor of the Gaza pullout. Even though five officers are seriously injured, you could see soldiers hugging protesters, who are both Jews. After all, this is an area that is surrounded by the Palestinians who would, on a normal day, be firing rockets and mortars at the Jews. I am in awe of the restraint that these soldiers are showing despite the violence and derogatory words being directed their way. And I just can't understand how those Jewish settlers feel as they are kicked out of their homes, some who have lived there for some 30 years. A home where they have been under constant literal and physical fire. A home where some have lost children, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. A home, where they believe, is a place they are commanded to go to worship. This is a highly emotional time for every Jew. And even though I'm not Jewish by human standards, as a friend of Jesus (He calls us friends) and a member of God's family, the scenes that are being played out hurts my heart. There are few places where I wish to be – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran – those three aren't at the top of my list. But this is a place where I wish I was right now.

Boycotting the Locals

I have now been a XM Satellite Radio listener for two days. It's been good so far. I just haven't been feeling our local stations for quite some time... actually, if I'm brutally honest, they suck – especially our two "Christian" stations. I've found that I have my eyes on my radio trying to switch stations more than I do on the road. And I'm not willing to die in a firey crash just so I can make a feeble attempt to find good programming. So, I instead am trading $12.95 per month to receive 150 Channels of music, sports, talk and entertainment. I will, however, probably stay away from Opie & Anthony.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Workin If For The Camera

Here's Carter's seven month photo shoot.

No, this isn't the suitcase we were going to try to smuggle Carter to Mexico in.

He does have a rubber ducky at home. Only, he's usually trying to bite the head off.

Don't get used to this shot. He's usually not on his back for long. Normally, he's wiggling all over the place.

Great grandpa Ruth actually holds his hand the same way at times. Must be in the family.

Yes, he's wearing clothes with baseball bears on them... what else would they be!?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

10 Reasons Not to do a Triathlon

Men's Health Magazine recently included an article on 20 Reasons to do a Triathlon. That's a lot of good reasons to do a triathlon. It almost convinced me to try it... NOT. Instead, I decided to do my own list – but I only need 10 –

10 Reasons NOT to do a triathlon

10. You could get a leg cramp in the middle of a deep body of water
9. Having to wear that ridiculous head cap when you swim
8. Having your feet locked into bicycle peddles as you ride
7. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26 mile run
6. Biker shorts – need I say more
5. There's no garauntee that the guy in front of you isn't peeing in the water
4. Having to wear a race number – I'm more than a number
3. Having people screaming and yelling at you to keep going... if you're that excited you do it
2. Having to try to reach out and grab a tiny cup of water as you stumble through the run portion of the race
1. Trying not to step in puke from the geniuses who decided to have a big breakfast before the race.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Little Longer...

I'm tired. Six hours, four hours, four hours... that's the amount of sleep I have gotten the last three nights. I know, break out the violins. But it's been non stop since this past Thursday. I'm not just tired, I'm almost completely out of gas. But, I just have to get through ten hours of work today, a friend's birthday dinner and then I'm off Tuesday which means I can get some real rest. A wise man once said... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... what an inspiration... thanks Little Engine.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Still Going...

Yesterday (8.11.05) kicked off Willow Creek's Leadership Summit. I would go into some of the notes that I took, but you can find most of them on one of Tony Morgan's assistants blog, Kem Meyer. (That's an inside joke... sorry) I know it's probably not kosher to make inside jokes on public blogs read by people who won't get the inside joke. If I were to make rules to regulate blogs, I would probably include a "no inside joke" rule... oh, sorry... that's another inside joke. In any case, there was also discussion at our lunch table wondering who would be bold (or stupid) enough to blog about the comment Bill Hybels made that woke up a previously sleepy teenager... contrary to my previous thought in the day, I don't think I'll be the one to repeat it in my blog... yeah, it's either that funny, or that edgy... probably that edgy.

So, at this point I'm sure you're sitting in your chair going, "huh". If you are, I apologize. There's a good reason for it. Here's a rough estimate of my schedule:
6 a.m. (8.11.05) Woke up for the day.
7:30 a.m. Fed Carter.
8:15 a.m. Dropped Carter off at my parents' house.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Willow Creek Leadership Summit.
5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Picked up Carter and had dinner.
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Our mid-week church service.
9:15 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. Get ready to go to work.
11 p.m. - 8 a.m. Work.
8 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Drive to Leadership Summit.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Leadership Summit.
5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Get ready and drive to my brother's wedding rehearsal.
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Wedding rehearsal.
7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. ish Rehearsal Dinner.
10 p.m. ish to ???? (8.12.05) Maybe hang out with my brothers and some friends.
So I apologize for anything that doesn't make sense... like the first part of this entry. But by my calculations (by the way, I sucked at math. So please feel free to recalculate my calculations.) I will be up for roughly 42 straight hours. I'm currently typing this at 4:15 a.m. so I may crash before the actual 42nd hour hits, but that's what I'm looking at right now. I'm kind of curious to see how I'm going to be mentally and physically later on. I already know what Jami is thinking... CRABBY! Maybe, but I'm thinking this is going to be a challenge... and I love a good challenge. Anybody got any No Doze!?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

He Said What!?

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet.
~ Theodore M. Hesburgh

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Blogging Picking Up Steam

Check out these quotes from an article posted on
A new report out by a leading Internet research company has revealed that fully 30 percent of American Internet users visited blogs during the first quarter of 2005.

According to the report, Behaviors of the Blogosphere (PDF file), from comScore Networks, almost 50 million--or one in six--Americans spent at least some time on blogs during that time frame. That's a 45 percent rise over the year before.

"I see blogs as an important emerging piece of the media landscape," said Rick Bruner, who helped get the comScore study off the ground but who is now with DoubleClick. "But they're not well understood yet."

"People are being engaged by blogs and doing more Web reading by following the links from the blogs," Marks said. "Once they discover Web logs as a thing to read, it also becomes a discovery tool. That's something we believe, but it's nice to have some confirmation of that."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You So Crazy...

I was listening to the radio on my way into work yesterday and overheard a couple of talkshow hosts talking about this book called, Admit It, You're Crazy! Quirks, Idiosyncrasies, and Irrational Behavior. The following are a couple of clips from the book:
A friend of mine marked all the faucets in his house with a little piece of colored tape so that he could turn them to the exact desired temperature with just one twist. When he takes a shower all he has to do is turn the hot knob three quarters of a turn and the cold a quarter of a turn to the tape and it's the right temperature.

I have to spread the toothpaste across the full width of the bristles of the toothbrush. If it doesn't extend across the full width, I'll wash it off and start again or I won't brush my teeth.

I have a friend that counts (1, 2, 3...) when she goes to the bathroom and tries to end her peeing on an even number.
Now for a couple from me... Each time I walk down the basement stairs I tap the wall above my head like the Irish do to the "Play Like A Champion" sign. And when I use public restrooms I raise the toilet seat and flush with my foot.

I'm sure there's more I have, but that's weird enough for now. So what about you, what idiosyncrasies and irrational behavior do you have that you're brave enough to share?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Partly Cloudy

This is a photo of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Monterrey, Mexico. This view is spectacular in person. There are times when the whole mountain is covered in clouds. There are times when the whole mountain is completely visible. Then there are times like this, when part of the mountain is visible while the rest is covered. This is one of those times. There must be hundreds of feet that are covered by these clouds. During my second trip down there, as I looked on at this cloud-covered mountain I thought about Moses and what his view must have been of his Cloud-covered mountain. So I decided to explore Exodus 24 once again. I was simply wanting to get a picture of the awesome view that Moses must have had. But God had something different he wanted to say to me. Check it out:

God said to Moses, "Climb higher up the mountain and wait there for me; I'll give you tablets of stone, the teachings and commandments that I've written to instruct them." So Moses got up, accompanied by Joshua his aide. And Moses climbed up the mountain of God... The cloud covered the mountain. The Glory of God settled over Mount Sinai. The Cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called out of the Cloud to Moses... Moses entered the middle of the Cloud and climbed the mountain.
Exodus 24:12-13 & 15-18.

God told Moses to do something that I cannot stand – He said, "Wait." That is one thing that I find really hard to do well... actually, I just don't do it well at all. When I have to wait for certain things emotions start creeping in on me like anxiousness, frustration, crankiness, and sadness to name a few. So when I see that God tells Moses to wait I wonder what was Moses thinking. Was he scared? Was he nervous? Was he frustrated? Was he like, "Dude I can't wait to get in that cloud!" I don't know. But I do know that Moses had to wait, not five minutes, not five hours, but six days. And I also know that there are times in my life when God tells me to wait. And when He says wait, there are days that I struggle with that. But check it out, just after God tells Moses to wait, He let's him know that He's gonna come through on His end. He tells Moses, "Yo chief, I'm gonna give you what you need, My teachings and My instructions." You see, just like with Moses, God fulfills His promises to those He calls and to those He says, "Wait" He says, "Yo dude and dudettes, I'm gonna give you what you need." And within the Cloud, God will reveal His majesty, glory and goodness. I just find it hard to wait for God's voice to call me into the Cloud to climb the mountain.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Rides... Food... Poop. It's Fair Time

I have never been a fan of county fairs. Maybe it's because, when I was young, I knew that school started about two weeks after the summer fair. It could also be because of the dirty farm animal smell that radiates around the fair grounds and makes me sick to my stomach. Or, maybe it's because of the numerous guys wandering around rockin the mullet hair style. Or, it could be that I HATE most, if not all of the rides. I just don't do well on rides that spin you horizontal, vertical, slow, fast or psychotically fast. About seven years ago my wife, then girlfriend, talked me into going on the Zipper. I should have known by the name that I wouldn't like this ride. I lost my change, I nearly lost my car keys and I almost lost my cookies. And no matter how loud I screamed or how serious my voice got, the ride operator kept it going, sped it up and laughed his evil laugh even as I walked away. Yes, I was around 22 years old. To this day, Jami laughs at me. I give you all this background info to tell you that we took Carter to his first county fair on Friday. He did great. He always loves it when there are tons of people to look at. He had some steak and potatoes, salt-water taffy and a butter pecan shake... ok, he didn't but dad did. He loved the tractors and the animals... yes we washed his hands after the petting zoo... that's just gross. He didn't like the no-name band that played one song for what seemed like 15 minutes. You can check out part of his adventure below.

Friday, August 05, 2005


Some things just don't go together... like a racing helmet, Ryan Newman shirt and a moped!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Made To Be You

I'm currently reading, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. Here's a clipping:
God will not ask us, "Were you like Mother Theresa or the prophet Daniel or Peter or your father or mother?" Instead, God will ask us, "Were you the 'you' I made you to be?" You are to be who God meant you to be.
So, "Are you being the 'you' God made you to be?" It's gonna look differently for everyone.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My smallest Cubs fan! Go Cubbies!

I've been looking for something like this since, well since before Carter was born. But I couldn't find anything except an outfit at O'hare Airport that should have been outlined in diamonds based on the cost. Jami and I were walking around Baby's R Us (happy date night!) when I saw this outfit by mistake on the way out... I think God wanted Carter to have it... ok maybe not, but daddy did. Maybe this will be the Cubs' year... then again, there's always next year.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Love Letter from My Wife

Here's an email you might get if you're married to a communications expert:

From : Jami Ruth
Sent : Monday, August 1, 2005 3:57 PM
To :
Subject : blog
| | | Inbox
First paragraph – charades – is misspelled.

Third paragraph – tranlation is misspelled.

Fifth paragraph -- children't is misspelled

Seventh paragraph -- We went their (should be there)

Truely is misspelled

Priviledge is misspelled

The first testimony about not worrying was from a 9 year old girl…the second was the 15 year old.

Eighth paragraph

Truely is misspelled

Ninth paragraph

bottle lip – should be bottom

it was a really good entry, but thought you would want these edits.

Ok, I have to go make these changes to yesterday's post.