Sunday, November 17, 2013

Camping Genius: Building a Fire Pit/Campfire Site

A good fire pit helps prevent out of control fires.
The highlight of my days at Lone Star MV Camp were the campfires. If you work with youth groups at all, the campfire is a useful tool for working with young people. The link I just gave you is to a blog post I wrote on the subject of campfires as a witnessing tool, just in case you've never witnessed the power of a nice fire for helping focus a group of kids.

Safety is a huge issue in constructing a proper campfire. More than one youth leader has overbuilt a fire or made one that was a danger to those sitting around it. Bonfire and campfire building is an art.  We start today with the Fire Pit.  This article on building a fire pit was published in "The Art of Manliness" weblog. It gives you a lot of great tips for building a safe and useful fire pit. It even includes a design for benches.  I've also written an article on how to build a simple sturdy campfire area bench that works for campfires or outdoor chapels.

You can have even more fun learning to cook over a campfire with simple homemade equipment like the tin can billy.  If you've got a spot in your backyard and it's legal, a ready made fire pit is really handy to have along with some canvas folding chairs, a guitar, a can of Vege-links, bag of marshmallows and some pointy sticks. If mosquitoes are a problem the smoke will help and you can set up a homemade mosquito repellant to drive away the ones the smoke doesn't get.

Nothing better on a crisp autumn evening.

Have fun and save me a vege hot dog.

Tom King © 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christian Manhood: Making One Plus One Equal Wonderful

Let the wife make her husband glad to come home and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”  

  - Martin Luther

There is a little trick I have learned over the years that has made a huge difference in the quality of my relationship with my beloved wife. It is the pause and the quiet breath before speaking. In that moment, whatever is happening, being said or done, I try to think before I speak. What is really going on? What is she really trying to say. What does she need. It's merely an application of the Golden Rule - Treat others as you want to be treated. But it is more than that. It's putting yourself in her place and trying to understand what need I can fulfill. Sometimes it's not exactly the one being requested or the situation is not as it seems. If you are confused or do not understand, even if you are hurt or offended, stop and think about her first. Take that long quiet breath - careful, it's not a sigh you're going for. It's oxygen to the brain.

She does this for me all the time - thinks of me over her own needs. It is why we've lasted 39 years. It's wonderful to be loved so much, but what is even more wonderful is to love so much. In this way, 1 plus 1 equals wonderful.

© by Tom King