Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Retiring

My first blog was on Monday, September 13, 2004. Seven years of blogging! But like anything else in this life, times change. Blogs were really "in" seven years ago. Now people want shorter snippets of information. So Twitter and Facebook have moved blogs to the shelf.

Having said that, I am gratified to have people tell me that they follow my blog. At times, the ideas have flowed consistently. However, it seems that lately the ideas have come with much less frequency.

So after 7 years, I am closing up shop. I leave open the possibility of someday returning. After all, Brett Favre has done it several times.

Grace and peace to all. Keep your eyes fixed on THE Hope.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tough Love vs. Spanking

I saw this on a friend's Facebook entry and thought it was worth sharing:

Tough Love vs. Spanking

Most of America ‘s populace think it improper
to spank children, so I have tried other methods
to control my kids when they have one of ‘those moments.’

One that I found effective is for me to just take
the child for a car ride and talk.

Some say it’s the vibration from the car, others
say it’s the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together.

I’ve included a photo below of one of my sessions with
my son, in case you would like to use the technique.

Your Friend

Be sure to notice the speed on the radar in the background.

What were Pat Robertson and CC's Carpet Thinking?

Pat Robertson has determined that it is ok to divorce your spouse if he or she has Alzheimer's disease. He gave consent to the idea of a man beginning to date because his wife suffered from this illness. When questioned about the vows a couple makes, like "In sickness and in health" and "Til death do us part," he said that Alzheimer's IS a kind of death.

It seems to me that in a culture that is already looking for a loophole to commitments, Pat has just opened a huge one. Couldn't a person apply this same reasoning to many debilitating illnesses? The list could be unending.

Jesus said, "The two shall become one flesh. What God has joined together, let no one separate." One flesh! Does "one flesh" become "two flesh" because your spouse has Alzheimer's? Robertson's advice sounds very clinical. But it surely doesn't sound like love.

I have been seeing the ads for a few weeks as I watch the Rangers' games. CC's Carpet has been promoting that anyone who buys carpet or countertops in September will receive them free if Josh Hamilton hits a grand slam.

Guess what happened in last night's game. Yep.

The owner of CC's Carpet said the promotion has brought in $500,000 of business.

Yes, he had an insurance policy to cover this. So he made a handsome profit. Josh Hamilton probably isn't the insurance company's favorite Ranger.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9-11, Birthday Wishes, Wife's Wisdom

I was moved by the remembrances of 9-11 yesterday. Thinking back on that day still seems so surreal. That morning, a friend of mine had picked me up to go near Tyler for a golf outing with a dozen or so guys. As I got in his pickup, he told me that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers. Immediately, I thought of pictures I have seen from back in the 30s when a plane flew into the Empire State Building. I just assumed it was a freak air accident.

By the time we arrived at the golf course, the 2nd plane had struck, and the 1st tower was collapsing. Everyone was watching the TV in the clubhouse -- eyes bugged out and mouths hanging open.

Little did we comprehend at that moment that life would never be the same for us.

I continue to pray that God will cover the victims' families with His peace. And I pray for the hearts of those who promote terror, that they might be drawn to the love of the Father.

Today is my oldest son's 31st birthday. I don't know how a father could be any more proud of his children than I am. I continue to be a student of his Christlike heart for the poor and the disenfranchised.

I also CAN'T WAIT to spend time with him and his family in a couple of weeks!

Happy Birthday, Josh!

My wife never ceases to amaze me. She is so immersed in the presence of God that she speaks with great words of wisdom and power. Last night she was working on a talk and she shared a thought with me. She said, "Death creates a spiritual earthquake. It leaves you sifting through the rubble to find faith." Wow! That certainly describes my grief journey.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My New Toys

I did something last week that I wish I had done a long time ago.

Many of you know that I was once a drummer. While in college, I played in a band with Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks and Dunn). He was a really fun guy to hang out with, and we had a lot of good times. But it was during that time that I met Beverly, and we got married a year later. After our marriage, I was working 33 hours a week and taking a full load at school, so I sold my drums. That was 35 years ago.

I haven't really thought much through the years about returning to playing the drums. After all, they were SO loud -- not real complimentary to raising a family.

But recently, I have found myself thinking about how much I used to enjoy playing. And I figured, I am 32 -- and I'm not getting any younger (OK, so I lied a little about my age). I don't know why I haven't thought before about getting electric drums. You can play them with headphones on, and it isn't any louder than drumming on a book with pencils. But the sound on the headphones! WOW!

So I bought a set of electric drums last week. Lots of rust to be knocked off after 35 years (me, not the drums). But even in four days of playing, I can see improvement. I am loving it! It is very therapeutic. And guess what I have played to the most? Brooks and Dunn's best hits. Also enjoying the Eagles. And I had never been able to drum to any contemporary Christian music -- because it was just appearing 35 years ago with Amy Grant. So I have played some Steven Curtis Chapman. Will try Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith soon.

Who knows? In a few months, I may even try to find some hacks like me and put together a band.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Confusing Song Lyrics

Sometimes I am struck by how many songs I used to sing as a teenager -- with lyrics that weren't even close to what was actually written. I occasionally look them up now on Google, and want to laugh. This was especially true of many Rolling Stones songs, as well as Elton John.

Well, I received a text from my son Jonathan the other day regarding a conversation he had with my grandson Jed. He asked him what his favorite song was, and Jed said, "The one that says, 'I got two eyes.'"

Jonathan was no doubt confused by that answer. So he asked some follow-up questions. Finally he figured it out. Jed was referring to the Chris Tomlin song, "Let God Arise."


Monday, August 22, 2011

Anniversary Celebration

I spent precious time over the last few days with my wife of 35 years. 35 years! She has put up with me that long! We went to some fun restaurants. On Friday, we went to a movie together -- The Help. It was an inspiring movie set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. I lived there then, and although my life was pretty much lived in a different culture -- so much came back to me. It is still hard for me to understand how cultures can become so brainwashed to issues like segregation -- even though I myself could have easily been caught up in it.

Last night after dining at Texas de Brazil (1st time, it was a blast!), we drove around and ended up at an old cemetery in Wise County. There is a grave there for a 16 year old girl who was killed by the Comanches in 1868 while going to check on her father's horses.

We found another family plot, and I just stood at it wanting to know the story. My mind could only imagine it. Two graves were for children who were born and died the same day. A third grave was for a 5 year old from the same family. And next to the 5-year old was his mother, who had died 6 days later. So I got caught up in imagining the story of this frontier family. A woman who loses two children on the same day they were born, and then loses her 5-year old. Did she and the 5-year old die of typhoid fever or something similar? Or did her child die, and then 6 days later she too died of a broken heart?

I think I will look into this.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gear Up III

Yesterday was our third year for "Gear Up." We had over 220 volunteers on our church campus meeting the needs of people of Wise County. From immunizations to hair cuts to free books to clothes to food (hot dogs here, and canned goods to take home) to school supplies to Bible stories, puppets and crafts -- we met the needs of about 450 children and their parents. God is so good to have blessed us with this opportunity.

No event in my experience demonstrates on such a large scale how it is truly a blessing to serve. Although our intention is to serve in the name of Jesus, from the feedback I receive our volunteers come away feeling most blessed.

May God be praised! And may we continue to be involved in the in-breaking of His Kingdom in Wise County!