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

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

FIFA World Cup 2006

I've never really liked soccer, or futbol, all that much. In fact, in high school, our entire baseball team called the soccer team a bunch of communists... I don't know why really... it was pretty stupid. In any case, I've gotten into the World Cup this year. Watched USA tie on Saturday. And just got done keeping up to date on how Mexico was doing this morning on MatchCast... losers 2-1 to Portugal. But Mexico still moves on to the next round because Iran and Angola tied 1-1 in the other game this morning... talk about a nail biter... I was completing paperwork and jumping in my chair as I monitored the two games. Tonight - Argentina and the Netherlands square off. Can't wait... but in any case... Viva Mexico!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Here's Carter's latest creation. He made it all by himself. It's a piece of paper cut into the shape of a tie – ok, maybe he didn't cut it – but he did use a dropper to drop the ink that made the colors.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

It's War

So this year I've gotten real serious about patching up and trying to take care of our yard. It was going great until I woke up and found that we've got moles... I'm not talking about one mole... there's got to be a whole family of moles with one goal... keeping the Ruth family down. Well, it's war. And I want their heads. Down with the moles.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Parents Not Making Grade


Interesting article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Teens Say Adults Not Making Grade. According to the article, some of the lower scoring categories include: leading by example, being honest, spending quality time with family and really listening to and understanding kids in their age group.

Student Quotes:

“When I leave home in the morning my parents are asleep; when I get home from school they are at work; when they come home, I’m asleep.”
“We rarely get a chance to see each other."
“Let’s turn the tables, you may learn from one of our lectures”
“Please get rid of the clever clichés and simple life solutions, there is no easy button”
“’A’ means perfect. We don’t want perfect parents, we want parents who are consistent”
“Adults hate it when we take a page from their young lives”
Teen Recommendations
Teen/Adult Study Guides
Uhlich Children's Advantage Network

Matt and Julie's Wish List

Here it is:

Wish List:
• For the kids: Individualized snacks, such as: little bags of crackers, cookies, fruit, apple sauce, etc; Season 2 or 3 of the Brady Bunch on DVD; age appropriate books (see ages below) -- Corinna especially likes to read, and Chloe too. Games: Connect Four or Checkers; Plug-in night lights

• For Corinna - age 6: Size 13 shoes/sandals; she says "a barbie"

• For Chloe - age 6: Size 13 shoes/sandals; she says, "a pink, purple or blue purse...or something that BIG girls play with"

• For Jake - age 5: Size 12 shoes/sandals; he says "Ice Age 2" (but I'm assuming it won't be out quite yet?)...or maybe some other movie appropriate for a 5 yr old boy

• For Cameron/"Cami" - age 4: Size 11 shoes/sandals; she says, "a barbie"

• For Caroline - age 19 months: she says, "Size 4 (or 5) Pampers Premium Diapers; Size 7 shoes/sandals; and Chewable Children's Tylenol (ages 2-6)

• For Matt and Julie (and the kids): Canned Chef-Boy-R-Dee Ravioli, Family Sized Craft Macaroni and Cheese Deluxe; any cool new worship CD, Crystal Light Iced Tea (peach or raspberry), Taco Bell Sauce (Mild, Hot and Fire), Season 1 or 2 of SmallVille (on DVD), Season 1 or 2 of Alias (on DVD), twizzlers licorice

• For Julie: Shower gel, Venus Razor Blade replacements; Jelly Bellies; Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke; peeps marshmellow candies

• For Matt: Mach 3 Razor Blade replacements, Edge shaving cream; Dr. Pepper Raspberry ‘n Cream (or whatever it's called); Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Peanuts and sugar-free wintergreen gum

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

You're Invited To Join Our Team



Let me tell you about two people who are making a difference in the lives of kids in Mexico - Matt and Julie. For teenagers growing up in a children's home not only is continued education financially out of reach, but at the same time there is often very little emotional support from one's family to go on to high school or college. Back2Back believes that two keys to offering hope for the future are a relationship with Jesus and an education. By offering the chance to go on to high school, Matt, Julie and Back2Back are attempting to break the cycle of poverty and help develop more stable individuals and parents for the next generation. Their ministry currently covers the educational expenses for nineteen students. God has called Matt, Julie and Back2Back to fill the void of parental support these kids so desperately need. What God is doing in these kids' lives is not just good news, but history in the making. In fact, Matt and Julie got to witness a young man named, Cesar, graduate from high school this past April and is currently attending college. This probably would not have happened if it were not for Back2Back pouring their lives into Cesar. What an awesome snapshot of the impact that Matt and Julie have as they show Jesus to these kids.

Our mission trip to Mexico is right around the corner. Not only do we get to love on kids who don't have family to love on them, but we get to work along side two of the coolest missionaries on the planet - Matt and Julie.

These two people (who are from our home church) have not only dedicated their lives to Jesus, they have dedicated their lives, and have become a mother and a father to children who have none. This couple is a great example of 1 Thessalonians 2:8 - "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." It is a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to give a part of my life with them for a week.

I say all of that because Corey and I are trying something crazy and new (at least for us). We want to give the blog world an opportunity to jump on board and make a huge impact on a family that is making a huge impact in Mexico. So here's the deal, you've got an opportunity to be a long distance team member for Mission Mexico. We want Matt and Julie to know that they've got partners around the country - and possibly crazier, around the world.

We've twisted their arms and received a "Wish List" of items, that if they could get, they would want. Now these guys would be the first to say that they don't need this stuff. But we want to bless them with extras that they could use.

If you're interested in participating, shoot me an email (toddcruth@hotmail.com), or leave a comment with your email address so I can send you the list of items.

I'm excited to give you the opportunity to give to a family who is living what it means to be Jesus. You have a chance to bring joy and laughter to a family who is bringing the same to children who would have a hard time finding that were it not for Matt, Julie, Back2Back and Jesus. I know that it might be hard to think of it this way, but when you give an item off of this list, you are positively affecting the lives of these same children. I know that you will come through in a huge way! Thank you so much - from me and Corey, on behalf of Matt and Julie, and Back2Back.

Mexico 2005

Monday, June 12, 2006

Criminal Golf-carting

If you own, or are thinking of owning your own golf cart, you might want to read this article first,Golf Cart Crimes Rise in Georgia Town. Aparently, in 2005, there were 16 drunken-driving cases, 41 thefts and 182 citations involving golf carts — more than double the amount five years ago. One particular quote I love came from Mary Beckham, 64, a retiree.
She said her main complaints were speeding, hogging the path, overcrowded
carts, driving on the street instead of the path and not blowing the horn before
entering tunnels.
Speeding!? You can speed in a golf cart. If that's the case, I would have figured that out a long time ago!

Storefront Churches

The Chicago Tribune has an interesting story about "Storefront Churches" in their newspaper today entitled, Hardy Souls: As neighborhoods change, small urban churches find a way to survive. Here's a great quote at the end of the article from John Cusick, a priest of the landmark Old St. Patrick's Church:
"I watch as services let out and I see something other people need to see.

"I see people dressed to the nines, in hats and dresses, suits and ties. Many of these people spend their week getting pushed around, scratching out a life, having people stare right through them.

"But here they are, walking out of these little churches looking like a million bucks, in essence saying: 'We are more than we might seem. We are the sons and daughters of God.'"

Sunday, June 11, 2006

iPod U2

The iPod U2 Special Edition makes its return. The red Click Wheel and U2's signatures engraved on the back give it some cool features. In addition, if you purchase this iPod, you receive 30 minutes of exclusive bonus video featuring music and interviews with the band. Of course, I'm sure Apple will release this video to the public in the near future found on iTunes... more money for them. Special addition cost is exclusively $329.00.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Success!

"What would it be like to have success in this life? Your definition of success depends on where your imagination has taken you." Dwayne Roberts. One Thing. page 44

Thursday, June 08, 2006

iPods More Popular Than Beer

The latest biannual survey completed by the Student Monitor revealed that the iPod is more cool than beer drinking. According to 1,200 students from 100 different U.S. college campuses, iPods are more "in" than all alcohol-related activities. The only other time beer wasn't number one was in 1997 when the Internet came in first... I'm sure Al Gore was pleased with that...

Complete Story: iPods More Popular Than Beer

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Evidence I'm Aging

So, I am definitely getting older. I'm not ancient, but I'm not young either. This was the most comfortable spot for me last night - on my back. You see, I had just changed Carter on the couch. Next step, wrestling time. Of course, when you wrestle, you have to throw your kid in the air. So, while I was sitting down, I decided to throw Carter up in the air four or five times. And of course, you can't just throw him up regular, you have to do tricks, like spinning him around. And of course, Carter doesn't stay straight while he's in the air. He gets a bug eyed grin giggle and contorts himself in a Taylor Hicks-like happy stance. So I didn't notice that I had done anything to my back until I went out to the kitchen to get a plastic bag for Carter's poopy diaper. As I bent down I could feel a sharp, achey pain. So for the rest of the night, and still today, I've got a back strain because I'm a 30 year old idiot who chose to throw a year and a half old baby in the air from a sitting position. And that's more evidence that I'm not getting any younger.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Race Spotters


Live A Revolution b-Votional – Race Spotters
Galatians 6:1-3

I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I'm starting to get into NASCAR. I still don't really care who wins. And I especially don't care if the winning car is a Ford or a Chevy. I'm not that much of a redneck. But, I love to watch for the crashes - not to see them wreck, even though they have some pretty awesome pile-ups - I watch to see who can navigate through the big ones. Sometimes, like the one above, the only way a driver can get through a huge crash, is to listen to their race spotter.The spotter is a team member with a radio who's placed in a high position where they can see as much of the entire track as physically possible. You see, the driver's vision from inside the race car is pretty limited - he just can't see everything. It's the job of the spotter to make sure his driver is safe during the race. You know, we're kind of like the NASCAR drivers, and God wants us to use spotters as well. Check it out:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's heavy loads, and in this way you will fulfill the
law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Galatians 6:1-3
You see, each one of us are running around in the race of life. We're speeding through - school, work, friends, family, free time, children, athletics - our schedules are packed. We're tired. Cranky. Hungry. Stressed out. Burnt out. Sad. Happy. Angry. There is a ton going on and, like the NASCAR driver, we just can't see everything. We've got blind spots. We don't always know when we're about to crash. That's why it's important to get someone to help us out - who can look ahead and tell us honestly that we're heading for a burnout, that we're about to crash - and who can point us in the right direction to get through the pile-ups of life. Because when we deal with all we have going on, we can't always see when we're about to total our life. Sometimes, someone else has a better view of our life, our attitude and our emotions. Sometimes someone else can spot better than we can when we're about to screw up. And even when we do see life getting messy, we need someone to guide us through it... we need a Life Spotter. You see, God didn't intend for us to live alone - he didn't intend for us to navigate life by ourselves successfully... because we can't. So go to someone you trust today and grab them for your Life Spotter. And then, you yourself, help your friends get around or go through their next big accident.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Next Stage

So this past May I hit the big Three Zero. It still feels weird to say, "I'm thirty," when someone asks how old I am. But I don't really feel any different. Well, I didn't until some co-workers asked me to go golfing this past Wednesday. I haven't gone golfing in two years. It has never really appealed to me – that is, not until last week. It actually appeals more to me than playing softball – which I've played since I was 19... 11 years ago. Now, I find myself looking online to find out how I can correct my slice. I guess, now at age thirty, this is the next stage in life... golfing – and I'm actually looking forward to it... so, yeah, I'm thirty... now I have to find a way to get my golf score down from 144 (yuck).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Basket Case

I feel like I have to confess this. Some people have to live out of a suitcase. It's just they way their lives are situated. Not a big choice. I on the other hand, don't have to live out of a suitcase. It's a good thing. But for the last month (and this is where the confession comes in), I have been living out of a laundry basket. I don't know how or exactly when it started, but, it's been going on for a while. And I don't even like it. I've wanted to put my clothes away, but haven't. And then I kick myself every morning when I have to dig through for socks. And I kick myself even more when I have to iron clothes I wouldn't have had to if I would have just taken two seconds to hang them up. So, I finally broke down tonight, but only when I realized that the one basket I have been living out of became two. PATHETIC! Now all of my clothes are put away... that is, until the next time we do laundry.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Style'n Footwear

It's amazing that the person who makes one of the biggest fusses over wearing socks with sandles, would dress our son this way. I am, frankly, very surprised. I wonder if I should be expecting him to begin wearing Michigan sportswear!

Friday, June 02, 2006

You've Got to be Kidding Me

(AP) Paris Hilton says her upcoming album will be a mix of reggae, pop and hip-hop, with the first single being a reggae song called "Stars Are Blind." I'm not sure what's worse, the new American Idol album, or this one... wait – ya – no contest – this one will be.