Haven't taken a snapshot of things since last February, so I'm due.
What I'm reading: "Unlearning Church" by Mike Slaughter and Warren Bird. It's about how the church needs to "unlearn" traditional methods of connecting people with God because we no longer live in traditional times. (There are some who would say that's a shame. Not me, but I understand the sentiment.) It's the kind of book that makes me put it down every few pages because something will grab my heart or my mind and I'll have to spend some time meditating and digesting it.
What I'm hearing: Not any one CD right now. My musical energy is focused on a couple of upcoming gigs my band is playing. The first is as the warm up band for national recording group "Big Daddy Weave." That's kind of a big deal for us. The other is the very next day as we play at the inaugural Arts Festival in Lapeer, Michigan. There have been a couple of songs that have grabbed my attention recently, however. One is "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. I love the lyric in the refrain: "God bless the broken road that led me straight to you." The other is the new single out by Mercy Me: "So Long Self." It's got an infectious 1960's style melody and some great lyrics. That band just keeps turning out great song after great song.
What I'm watching: Not much since the summer rerun season has begun. I enjoyed the season finale of "NCIS"; Gibbs won't quit for long because that show would collapse without Mark Harmon. We taped the season ender for "Lost" but we haven't watched it yet, so NOBODY TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS. Other than that I'm just keeping an eye on the baseball highlights.
What I'm celebrating: The successful refinancing of our home over the past couple of weeks. Without going into all the gory details, we were in some pretty severe financial straits in 2003 but with some good professional advice, some smart living and good choices, some long hours on the overtime list, and the grace of God (always the grace of God), we're back on top of our game, or nearly there. Not only were we able to sign contracts for $21,000 of external home renovations, we also are getting the bathroom remodeled, paid off both mortgages, tucked some extra cash in the bank, and still lowered our monthly payment by nearly $200. The only drawback? The mortgage that had only 14 years left to its payoff date now has 30 years once again. Hopefully we can add a little bit to the principal each month and get that date drastically shortened.
What I'm trying to get done: The aforementioned renovations, the aforementioned concerts, and get my son home safely for the summer months.
What I've paid money to see: "RV" was very pleasant, indeed, and certainly more enjoyable than the critics led me to believe it would be. We also got a big kick out of "Over the Hedge" and especially appreciated its gentle jab at our conspicuous consumerism. We're going down to see the Detroit Tigers play some baseball tomorrow afternoon and that's bound to be pretty good, too.
The smartest thing I've done lately: I'd like to say "hire the right builder" but only time will tell. The renovations start June 5.