Thursday, February 3, 2022

Just A Little Grace...

That's a line from a song, "Grace" by "The Choir" a band first introduced to me by Terry Davis while he was the youth minister at Westside Christian Church in Jacksonville. I tell you all this because I've been listening to this song since the summer of 1992. It was part of a mixed tape Terry created (copyrights included) for the summer. More than almost any other song on the album, this one has stuck with me. Go on,take a listen and read the lyrics:
  Lyrics from
Grace Lyrics


[Verse 1]


Screaming at the newsman Telling him to take it back I'll sue him if he won't retract Crying to the hangman Begging him to render slack If I could, I would go back


[Chorus] Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace


[Verse 2] Were you talking to the shrubbery? Did you cut the roses down? Someone oughta till that ground You thought I had a pure heart, well I thought you were an angel, girl Mercy is the silver pearl


[Chorus] Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace My mother deems me ever dear I'm less a liar than sincere


[Guitar Solo]


[Verse 3] When you cut me in the alleyway You don't have to turn that knife I'll suffer in the afterlife Praying to the Father Sorry, did I grieve the Ghost? You're the one I love the most


[Chorus] Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace You gotta give me You gotta give me grace Just a little grace Will you extend me Will you extend me grace? Just a little grace My mother deems me ever dear
I wish I could take you on a mental journey back to 14 year old Me, figuring out the world. I was high on the love of God, and the youth group at Westside had my back. I cannot emphasize to you the importance of "belonging" to a young man of that age, but I will say this again: This song has stuck with me, it helped me understand that I existed as a person right where I belonged. I knew it was an important song then, but I didn't know how important it would be to me now. First, let's look at it's stucture. I took the song as a pastiche of several of Jesus' parables about Grace. Notably, I believe we're given a scene of people, some refusing to show grace, others begging for grace, and the point is the question that keeps being asked: "Will you extend me grace?" In the first part of the song, I think the question is being asked to people like you and me. Will you give me grace? I think the implied rhetorical answer is "usually not." This brings us to the second part. The People (Church) who are rhetorically answering "No" in part one, are now under attack, and they are asking "Will you extend me Grace" to the Lord. The rhetorical answer is supposed to be yes, as emphasized by the begging line: "You gotta give me grace". There is danger is obliging God to do anything, it's far better to trust God to keep his Word, and listen to Him. Here's how the Lord commands us to be in matters of Grace and Forgiveness:
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Matthew 18:21-35 ESV, copied from Bible Gateway
This is really kind of a simple parable. If you call out to God for forgiveness, you must expect to forgive others too. We can't earn the forgiveness we beg God for, but we can be grateful for it. If we're grateful for the grace we've received, we will show it in kind. That is all. Enjoy the music! Show some grace. No I don't know why the album date is 1993, and I know for a fact we had that song on a mixed tape earlier than that. the only thing i know is that Terry Davis is The Man.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Satellite Thrills

 In October of last year, I managed my first confirmed OSCAR contact. OSCAR stands for "Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio". So far it's been awesome and heartbreaking, like everything else I do in ham radio, LOL.

First Pass Where I Made a QSO

My gear, a Kenwood TH-G71a and Baofeng GT-3


Things I've learned so far:

  • Weekend operations are a challenge. It's hard to hit the FM birds with a 5w HT and rubber duck antenna, even if the antenna is a "gain" antenna. Persistence and high angle passes are essential.
  • Don't forget to QSL! Lots of people are on LOTW, and confirming your contacts for awards is easy.
  • Move around a little. People like it when you activate different places.
  • The satellite community is an amazing group. They all know each other, and have been very welcoming to me so far.
  • Everyone gets testy when the birds get swamped. It helps to take a minute to listen.

 Projects I need to do for the birds:

  • Hand held tape measure yagi. I'm pretty close to achieving this. I've built a tape measure antenna for 2m before, and  have cut the booms, I have a tape measure, and need some dowel rods, and other odds and ends.
  • Really could use a Yaesu FT-818. Actually could use two ( the "Yaesu FT-1636" ) to work the linear birds. I especially want to work AO-7.
  • It would be nice if i could get my mobile radio working again to get 10w into AO-27. 

Here's where I've worked and activated so far:


it's pretty common for people to use a grid tracker spreadsheet to mark what they have.

So far, I've worked 3 countries (USA, Panama, and Mexico) with my HT's. I can't wait to work something else!

Thursday, April 22, 2021


I'm struggling with the where and when to post this. bear with me.... 

Today I am a special kind of tired. 

 Ever felt the pain of the day when the day begins? That's me right now. Over all, I'm pretty well rested. Got 6+ hours of sleep list night even though I'm on call. Didn't wake up once. I should feel good right? Well, I realized as soon as I woke up, I still have much the same work to do today that I did yesterday. 

It didn't get any less or easier, it's still there. 

It's the tired you get when you realize the work's not done. 

 It's never done. I'm just moving from one task to the next. I'm always expected to be certain things. We all are expected to be certain things. The labels I have on me weigh me down. Some I give to myself, some are given to me, all of them are mine and no one else's. 

You're this tired when you realize that the work is yours to do, and no one else's.

Contingency is an interesting concept to ponder and work with. On the one hand, nothing about my existence is necessary. I could have never been, or I could die tomorrow, and the universe can continue to exist. On the other hand, there's this work I'm doing raising kids, earning money, teaching others, hearing their concerns, all things that I have been called to do, but sometimes, I just want to embrace that contingincy. The world doesn't need me. I just want to feel rest. 

That's when the scripture comes in: 

I feel this tired when Hebrews 12:1 moves from being a memory verse at church camp to being the first verse in a page that convicts my efforts.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

(Heb 12:1-29) 

It's the tired that makes you thankful for grace. 

Deeply thankful for it. 

I can't sleep, exercise, rest, or share away this tired in me. I just need God's grace to help me endure. 


Father God, I am grateful for this unshakeable kingdom. I can rest there. Every day until I will bear with being tired. Tiredness and weariness in my bones can't compare to the rich peace you offer us in Christ. Please bear me over to that kingdom. In the name of Jesus I ask this AMEN.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

So My Best Friend and I did a Thing....

...we started our own PODCAST!
The Gravy and the Great Pumpkin, together again...
I'm pumped.

The name of the Podcast is "Turn the Light On".
We talk Faith, Jesus, Church, Evil Chickens, Logic, current Events, and we poke fun at ourselves and our culture.

Find and Follow us on Facebook:

Please subscribe!



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John 1:5

Thursday, July 2, 2020

itching for a QRP Radio Kit

I'm itching for a kit radio, something like an SW+ only better receiver performance. the QCX+ looks like it has potential, cost is right, features look groovy. It's not shipping right now though because of a supply chain snafu.

I'd like other recommendation too. Anybody got any newer designs they'd suggest?

Must Do QRP on 40m, 20m or both.
Must take a straight key.
Well documented
Optional: Built in Keyer

I'd really like a PFR3 and a RockMite in 20m.
I'm also interested in modern designs using Raspberry PI.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Several Points of Connection

Frontal cortex is overloading, so i'm trying to record this freeform.
picture a man frustrated with his morning because he's up on time, but others aren't they're not happy because the routine is off, but hey that's life right, try telling a five year old that's life.
it doesn't work
they're blocking progress, wife is frustrated, but functinoing, getting the others out the door, she's working at their school today. oldest is helping, you are working through frustration by physical activity. unload load function, progress, doing something. trashbag out and in, more coffee.
the mellow has been harshed.
wattaya do with a crying 5 year old  upset at the consequences of her action. I'm trying to be rational. I'm rational. I'm trying not to be angry. mostly it works. I'm just frustrated.
I don't want to be up either, well, that's not true, i do want to be up, but not like this.
i want harmony.
a phone call.
whoops, mixup at school, wife not working there today, instead she's coming back for the youngest.
pause, decompress, compress, reevaluate.
a brief exchange of words and Vision as she walks in gather's chicken, takes her off, a look, and she says "I want to be open, what if this happened for a reason, I was supposed to go and not work there"
flood of remembering:
Ester was there for "such a time as this"
each day has enough worry for it's own.
For such a time as this we are here now.
I'm overwhelmed, She's my helpmeet.
this is why.
cortex processes to next task.
less frustration.
still seeking home, but going to remember i'm here for such a time as this....

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Brief Emissions of Radio-activity

I'm cleaning up/packing up my shack in anticipation of replacement.
I should have been done by now, but I'm not.
In the mean time, I only have one working antenna on HF deployed right now, a full wave 20m loop, oriented vertically with the broadside facing North/South.
And it gave me some contacts recently thanks to a few sunspots.
20m is an easy band when the ionization is there. It's the band people most associate with DX. In about a hour and a half, I got 4 different countries on 20 using Voice (USB, 100w PEP). The day before I had 7 contacts with 7 different states, both from running a frequency calling CQ, and from searching and pouncing on a couple of callers.