Thursday, March 30, 2006

House of Refuge

A good friend of mine, Elizabeth, and her husband, Aley, have started a blog entitled, "House of Refuge" about their ministry in Donaldsonville, LA. This city is one of poorest cities in the country with an average family income of only $7000 PER YEAR.

As you will read in the blog, Elizabeth has been serving this community for over 5 years and her faithfulness to the people of the community has been amazing and very inspiring.

The post entitled "The Shed" gives a very good insight into their ministry. I look forward to seeing all that God does through them as they are truly living out the mission of Healing Place Church to be a "Healing Place for a Hurting World."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Success in a Bubble

Our team here in Iraq had an AWESOME last two weeks, with a couple of big successes. Unfortunately, I can't say anything at all about any of it due to it all being classified.

I'm learning that this is one of the problems with positive news out of here. Now don't get me wrong, there are still tons of positive stories that could be reported on if the reporters had such a desire. However some of the really great stuff just can't even be discussed with anyone, much less the media.

Years down the road as things start becoming declassified, a lot of people will look very dumb for saying some of the things they are saying today about what is really going on here in Iraq.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Meme Joins the Blog World

This is definitely a day I never saw happening. My mom, someone who until two months ago had never really used a computer (unless you count a Commodore 64), now has a blog.

It's entitled "Meme's Family Ties." "Meme" because that is what the grandkids call her and "Family Ties" because if you know my mom, family is extremely important to her.

I'll have to teach her a few blogging rules like length of paragraphs, but I'm looking forward to being able to keep up with her as I'm able to do now with my sister and one of my cousins.

The question is...Who's next?

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Get ready come the Tigers!!! Final Four bound for first time since 1986 after beating #1 seed Duke and last night #2 seed Texas 70-60 in OT. It was a great game in regulation with the lead changing several times and the biggest lead being 4 points.

Our inside game with "Big Baby" and Thomas dominated and Texas stayed alive by draining 3's. Then we just took over in OT and opened up a gap that they couldn't come back from, ending it with a 10-point win.

Just like the river in Oralsk when I was in Kazakhstan was a nice "home" feeling, last night's game really boosted spirits (not that they were to down...but definitely lifted them). Regardless of what happens next weekend, it was a nice taste of home for a night even though I had to stay up until 3am to finish watching it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My Favorite Sister!!!

Yeah...yeah...yeah...I know she is my only sister =)

My lil sis has joined the blog world and the name of her site, Smile-N-Cajun, fits her perfect. For those who say I smile a lot, she blows me out the water.

She decided to join so I could see my niece and nephew grow up even though I'm thousands of miles away in Iraq...isn't she the you know why she is my favorite =)

Welcome to the blog world lil sis!!! Thanks for helping me to stay connected to home!!!

Love ya bunches!!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Little Female Political Perspective

I've added a new link to my blogroll, Little Miss Chatterbox. She has a great site and is another conservative female news and political junkie to help Wardrobe and Kira balance out the genders on my list. Who ever said I didn't work for gender equity in the world =)

A Thank You Would Have Been Appreciated!!!

I don't think I've ever witnessed such utter lack of appreciation from anyone in my life. Three hostages were rescued by American and British forces, yet in their press release not a word of thanks is found.

Instead they continue to spew junk like this, “ for justice and for respect for the human rights of the thousands of Iraqis who are being detained illegally by the U.S. and British forces occupying Iraq."

You may not believe in the war, but at the very least you could wait a day to start bad mouthing the very people who SAVED YOUR LIVES!!!

Elite Eight...Here Come the Tigers!!!...Bitter Sweet

I was overjoyed this morning when I woke up to find out that LSU beat Duke last night 62-54 (in the college basketball world, that qualifies as a near blowout!!!) and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1987!!!

With Texas winning, it sets up an interesting personal interest game. I'm obviously so pumped that LSU won. However with us playing Texas (Cheryl's alma mater) I'm bummed that I can't enjoy the fun of this matchup with her.

That's what makes this so hard is all the memories. Next Sunday would have been 2 years since our first date and my feelings for her, despite being apart, have only grown stronger.

Sorry about bumming a little...just being real.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Highly Recommended

I finished "The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner" and was not disappointed at all. It is another home run in Bach's "Finish Rich" series.

His writing is so simple and understandable. The best part is that he gives very doable action steps at the end of each chapter to guide you down the path of homeownership and then to building wealth through homeownership.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wherever You Are

I was in the PX (army shopping center) last week and saw the new Third Day CD. The title completely captured my attention, "Wherever You Are." It really hit me being I'm definitely at a place in my life that would qualify as "Wherever You Are" in two major areas: physically being in Iraq is obvious and relationally facing the struggle of not knowing what the future holds.

I know what my desires are as they have not changed one bit. How do you let something die that is still very much alive in your heart?

I keep listening to it over and over because every song is speaking so much truth and life.

Here are a some examples:

You've got your disappointments and sorrows
You ought to share the weight of that load with Me

I tremble with this heavy weight
And I'm buried underneath my grief
I'll run to You and not grow faint
And I'll lay my burdens at your feet

Cry Out to Jesus (my favorite):
When you're lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out
You just cry out to Jesus

Keep on Shinin':
You're bruised and you're battered, your dreams have been shattered
Your best laid plans scattered over the place
Despite all your tendencies, God sees it differently
Your struggle's a time to grow
And you, you're a miracle, anything but typical
It's time for the whole world to know

We hunger and thirst for Your love
And your righteousness
We long for Your presence here, Lord
Be with us again

How Do You Know:
You're thinking you've got all the answers
You've got my situation figured out
But you're only seeing part of the picture
There's so much more you don't know about

Mountain of God:
Thought that I was all alone
Broken and afraid
But You were there with me

The Sun is Shining:
Yesterday I lost
Everything I had and loved
Then I cried out for You, Lord
And You came and picked me up

Rise Up:
In life or in death
Through joy or regret
And all the secret things you have done
No matter what comes, my friend
Nothing can keep you from the love of God

That is just a little taste of this amazing CD. It never ceases to amaze me how God gives me exactly what I need, even in the middle of a desert and a war zone!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sweet Sixteen!!!

LSU has made it to the third round of the NCAA basketball championships, otherwise known as the Sweet Sixteen. We barely got past A&M by one point, but a win is a win. Unfortunately due to it playing at 3am here, I haven't been able to watch any games.

If by some miracle, LSU makes it to the Final Four (that would mean beating Duke and Texas/WV), I'll definitely stay up to watch.


Blogger Issues

Apparently,, the company that runs this site, has had some server issues over the last few days. Just so happens that my site was on the server that had issues, so my site has been down. It isn't completely fixed yet, so it may go down again.

Thanks for all the messages of concern I received. It was very nice for so many of you to check in on me. =)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Kudos to NY Times

No I'm not sick...I promise I'm feeling ok...but yeah I am posting an article from the NY Times... I guess even a blind dog will find a bone sooner or later if he is in a graveyard.

Here is a great article that hopefully will produce more of the same from the Islamic world.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Know Thyself

I'm not a morning person. I've tried several times over the years to force myself to wake up extra early to do different things, but have never been able to be consistent due to staying up late. I do my best studying and work at night.

My latest try has been getting up at 6am to go work out with Jd. However yesterday I decided I was just beating my head up against the wall again on trying to force something that just wasn't going to happen being that would entail me being in bed by 10ish.

So, today I changed my schedule to work out in the afternoon. As much as I liked working out with Jd, I will do better this way and not feel guilty for missing morning workouts.

The good news is that since I wrote about my physical growth goal last Wednesday, I have gained 8lbs by eating 3000 calories a day and working out 4 days.

IT Nazis

The IT Nazis at the palace have decided to block all blogs for security reasons. Being that actually hinders parts of my job, we are lobbying to get them back up. Until then, being I can't use the computers there anymore and the wireless at the tents is very hit and miss for my laptop, I may not be able to post as often as I'd like.

I'll still do my best to update as often as I can with all the wild and crazy things happening in my world.

Editor's note: Lobbying efforts have paid off...access has been restored at the palace =)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Problem Solved!

Every single one of these people should be loaded on a plane, flown to Baghdad, wrapped in an American flag, left in the middle of the street at noon, holding signs with the Danish cartoons, and a recording playing on a continuous loop "Mohammed was gay!"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

First Major Sandstorm

I thought our tent was going to fly away last night. From inside the tent it sounded like hurricane force winds were blowing about. It wasn't quite that bad, but pretty close to tropical storm force.

Then this morning we wake up to a blanket of sand just hanging in the air and swirling around with still pretty strong winds. I probably inhaled several ounces of sand throughout the day. You can just feel it caking in your nose. Not fun!

It felt like one of those gloomy days before it rains, but no rain to clean the air. Not sure how many days we'll have like this, but hopefully not too many.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I'm definitely using this "desert" experience as a time for growth.

The main area is obviously spiritual. I've had some great quiet times and look forward to my daily time alone with my Creator. That is one thing I was definitely not consistent enough with in the past. I've also read some very good books on prayer, Biblical manhood, marriage, and brokenness so far.

The second area is financial. Thanks to the blessings of this job, I'm definitely putting my financial house in order and I'm on track to be completely out of debt by November if we are extended. (The likelihood of us being extended is very high and through prayer and counsel, I've pretty much decided that I'm staying until at least the end of the year, but as always, I'll cross that bridge when the time is right.)

The third area is physical. I had been working out in DC, but since I broke my ankle, I hadn't had a chance to get back to it. Jd and I started hitting it hard on Monday. It is a lot easier working out with someone, especially someone who knows what he is doing and is very motivating. My goal is to get to 185. I'm at 155 now being I lost 10 lbs since getting here.

My final area is mental/intellectual. Of course I'm reading a lot like always, but I've also decided to get a good foundation in Arabic since I'll be here for at least a year. I bought the Rosetta Stone online program for Arabic. It is pretty neat so far. I've also taught myself Microsoft Project since getting here.

Being there is absolutely nothing to do here but work, I have the time to do all these things and look forward to the growth that will occur.

What areas in your life could use some growth? What actions are you taking?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Shout Out to My Cousin

My cousin Michelle has joined the blog world. I look forward to where she goes with her blog b/c she always has very interesting insights and is always real. I hope she gets into at some point how her thoughts and beliefs have changed over the years and why. She has made quite a transition and has become more and more conservative...maybe I've rubbed off on her some ;)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

New Iraq Blog

I just found a new Iraq blog on Nancy's site, Midnight in Iraq. I linked it b/c it is pretty funny and gives another view of Iraq as he is a Marine stationed in Fallujah. Enjoy!

Cajun Tiger Unmasked

Not that it was any big secret to 99% of those who read this blog being ya'll know me. Also being anyone with an ounce of research skills can figure out who I am if they truly wanted to, I've decided to update my profile with my personal info. I'll still keep Cajun Tiger as my tagline b/c frankly I like it being I am a Cajun and I was Mike the Tiger for 3 years at LSU.

So, there you go. If anyone is losing sleep at night b/c they didn't know who Cajun Tiger is, sleep well tonight =)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Momentum Building

Another state, Mississippi, is a step closer to passing new legislation to ban nearly all abortions. Let the flood gates open to finally protect the unborn children!!!

New Format and Links

I figured I was overdue for some updates to my links, so here ya go.

As you'll notice, I've changed the format some. I've removed the news sites from my fav links and created a new section called "news and politics." This section will deal with mainly national sites. I've also added a section that highlights exclusively Louisiana news and politics. Feel free to offer suggestions for those two sections as I'm open to add more if the site is worth a link.

Also to steal the thunder of any smarty pants lefty, no, Right Wing News and Fox News, will not lead you to the same webpage!!!

One of the political sites I've added is the RSC's homepage. The RSC is the Conservative Caucus of the House Republicans. They have recently posted their Top 10 goals for the 2006 conservative legislative agenda. Well worth a look.

I've also included several new links and blogs. In honor of Jd's return, I now have Ann Coulter's site linked. In addition I've added a couple new blogs, The Wardrobe and the White Tree as well as David Bach. If you have never heard of Bach or any of his books, I highly recommend them. They are the simplest, most straight forward books on financial planning I have ever read. His workbooks walk you step by step through everything he teaches on getting out of debt, investing and homeowning strategies.

Enjoy the new fun and info!!!