Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weird, Weird, Weird

Well it was our first Sunday back in the church that my wife and I Pastored for almost 12 years. We have been gone over two full months and it was so weird to just sit in a service. For the last 12 years when we went to church it was time to go to work. We had to make sure everything was in place, including all the people who were doing various things in the church, that the sound system was working, heat and ac were working, that it was not too cold or too hot, that it was not too loud or too soft, that the sermon notes were printed, the doors were unlocked, the coffee was brewing, and everything was ready. Now we had a lot of help doing those things but as it stands, the boss is the one in charge and I take the notion that if it is not done or done incorrectly even if someone else does it, it ultimately is the bosses responsibility. And to walk in and not have to correct or make sure of things was a weird feeling.
What was weirder was my want to take care of things. I wanted to make sure everything was ready even when I was no longer in charge. Is that weird or what? I am wondering how long it will take me to get over being in charge?
Everyone told me the hardest part of a change is letting go of the things of the past... even those things that are a pain are hard to let go of.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Things I have learned remodeling an old house...

1) Never assume.
Never assume anything is reusable, standard, square or fixable in an old house. During my upstairs remodel I thought I would be cost conscious and a green builder and reuse some of the lumber. What I found out is that the old 2x4s were not the same size as the new 2x4s which was not a shock to me, what shocked me is that the old 2x4s were not the same size as the other old 2x4s. I had some that were thicker, some that were thinner and some that were in between. That really messes up your walls when you try to put in door casings and get your sheetrock flat.
2) Always plan for the worse.
When I was redoing my plumbing, I planned that I would be dealing with cast iron drain pipes so I got all the pieces to be able to work with that material. Unknown to me someone had already done some plumbing so I had lots of PVC to work with. Bonus! That was what I thought until I get to the edge of the house and saw where the PVC and the cast piping came together, in the middle of the foundation. Planning for the worse, I was able to work around it but if I had not planned for it I would have been in a world of hurt.
3) Nothing is as easy as it seems.
We decided to tear all the lathe and plaster off the walls and replace with sheetrock, easy right? Tear down the old lathe and plaster, and put up sheetrock, simple. Except when the lathe pieces are actually what is holding up a wall that is not secured to the ceiling or the other walls, now it is replacing the wall itself. A half day job turned into a week long nightmare.
4) Don't underestimate how much trash you will generate.
Who would have thought my house held 3 TONS of lathe and plaster. If my house was on "The Biggest Loser" it would be lapping the field.
5) Refinishing wood floors is cheaper than carpet.
Well this one is probably true, unless you figure up how much your labor is worth. Me, I work for beans and cornbread so I am pretty cheap, but after 40 hours of sanding, sanding, finishing, and more sanding, I am thinking carpet looks pretty good.
6) You never know what you'll find.
I was really hoping to find a bag full of money while remodeling, or jewels, yeah jewels would have been nice. But nope, no jewlels, no money. I found about a thousand old razorblades, a mouse and a bird skeleton (not in the same place, they did not shack up together), an old medicine bottle with the top broke off, an old newspaper and lots of mud dobber nest. Still searching for that bag of money though.
7) If it can fall, it will.
Never trust something to stand on its own. If it has the ability to fall, it will. Trust me, my couch shows the evidence of it.
8) Have fund.
No that is not a typo. Have fund, lots of funds! It will probably run you 10 to 20% above what you have estimated. It is kind of like the extra nuts and bolts you end up with when you are assembling something from a box of parts. Except when you are remodeling you end up short.
9) Have fun.
If you don't have fun doing it, well, you won't, you know, do it.
10) Enjoy it when you get done. No one else is going to enjoy it as much as you are going to, it was your sweat and blood that put it all together in the first place.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Been a while

well I have taken an extended leave of abscence from blogging. Not sure why but I have.
A lot has changed in the last six months of my life. My wife and I resigned our pastorate, started a new business, sent two girls off to college and decided to remodel the upstairs of our home.
As I said, a lot is changing.
I am kind of feeling that in my soul more so now than ever before. The last eight weeks we have secluded ourselves from being attached to church. We just decided that the new pastor needed time to establish himself and we needed a break from the people. This break has really stretched me, in more ways than one.
First I have found it is really hard to remain neutral in a work you have been neck deep in for over a decade. Decisions that are being made that I am finding myself evaluating them as if they were my decisions. It has been really much harder than I realized to just let go, both physically and emotionally. I have to be really careful that I do not let my emotions get the best of me, as my first instinct is to step in and fix it for everybody, well that doesn't work so well when you are not in charge.
Secondly it has been really hard on my to admit that I can fall into that trap of not going to church very easily. My schedule has been heavy, I am tired from my normally work related duties and throw in a house remodel on top of it and I am very weary, what better way to ward off weariness than the sleep in on Sunday morning? I will say it is nice to get up, drink coffee with your wife and not have to worry if you have enough teachers for the morning service, if the nursury will be covered and if you got all your notes printed off correctly for the service. But there is a lull that comes over you when you miss those appointed days in the house of GOD. I am not dry by any means, and I have continued in some personal studies, but I miss the experience of worshipping with people of like faith. I miss the congregational organism which is the church when all of its parts are together and one in the service. I miss the body of Christ.
Well our sabbatical is almost over, we will go back next week to our first service in over two months. Will it be weird just setting in a pew and watching someone else fret over all the details of the service, yes. Will it be good to just get to set among the people of GOD? Yes it will.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time does fly...

Time flies when you are having fun. That is the old adage. But I really do believe it. It has been fun to have all the kids home for the summer and it seems like summer has come and gone so fast. Last year we sent my oldest off to college and the house seemed somewhat empty with her not at home. Just three kids and a wife to cook for, we could take the smaller cars on trips instead of the mini van. It was weird.
Now this year I do not have just one going off to college but two! Gulp. Both the girls are heading to school and I am not sure how the house will respond when the testosterone level is three to one over the ladies. I am sure my wife will keep the house in balance if you know what I mean but it still going to be weird not having those gals in the house.
I am so proud of both of the girls for the way they live their lives, and the young ladies they are becoming. I am also somewhat scared to send them off into the big bad world but have to trust that the lessons they learned in our house will serve them for the rest of their lives.
So next week Trudy and I are one step closer to having an empty nest... or at least another bedroom we can put things in.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wrench Monkey...

Remember when auto mechanics used to be called Wrench Monkeys? I do not know where that came from but I have one in my house!
In our family I think I am the only one who actually will work on a car. My father never worked on cars and my mother never did as well. I do not remember my brothers ever working on their cars either.
So my youngest daughter, the one who was the cheerleader, model, actress and all around girly girl gets a new car. Well it is not new but new to her and there has to be some work to be done on it. So she keeps asking, "daddy, when are we going to work on my car?" and I keep telling her soon. Well the day came where we went out to work on her car.
And guess what? She went to town! She was pulling bolts, getting grease on her hands and was an all around great help as we tore the top of her motor down. She actually had the intake manifold in her hands, that she took off!
And then we put it back together and it still worked! Even better!
So never judge a book by its cover, those french manicured nails might just be hiding some grease beneath them!

Friday, July 8, 2011


The family and I are looking at going camping for a few days. Now with a family of six this is not a small excursion by any means. We have two boys who would be fine in the woods for three weeks if they have enough to eat. No showers, no teeth brushing, no hair brushing, they would be fine and probably enjoy it. My number one daughter would be somewhat OK but I am not sure she would want to be without technology that long. My number two daughter wanted to know what the rooms looked like. I told her we would be camping in a tent and she said, well just you boys right? She thinks roughing it is sleeping in a Holiday Inn when the cable is out.
And then there is my wife. God bless her, we don't have the disposable funds right now to go and stay in a condo for week, or a hotel for a few days for that matter but camping is not really her thing. But she is all for it, even though there are going to be bugs, and it is going to be hot, and we really don't have all the gear to really camp out, but she is game to go.
Should be fun and I am looking forward to a little family bonding as we spend a few days out in the wilderness, well as close as we want to get to wilderness.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It never ceases to amaze me how grown men can turn into children when they walk into a fireworks tent. Our church does an annual fund raiser where we man a fireworks tent. It takes a lot of work but it does a couple of things for our church besides raising money.
1) It gets outside the four walls. Too many times the church gets confined by the four walls of the structure that they never get outside of it. I spent the last weekend talking to guys who had too much to drink, gals who had not enough on, and people whose language would not be welcomed in most churches. You see when you explain to a guy that big hunk of fireworks is a 16,000 piece fire cracker, they usually use an expletive before they grin. It is good for our people to get out and interact with those we never see in our normal day to day lives. It lets us invest in their lives ever so slightly, who knows what might be sown.
2) It creates opportunities for team building, for conflict management and for problem solving. We needed all three when working with a rotating staff over an entire week where most were spending at least six hours a day in almost triple digit heat. Tempers did not have to go far to reach the boiling point when the tent was 120 degrees. And we also got to build team as the setup and tear down crew jumped in and did what needed to be done in record time. You should have seen them organize the battle plans when a huge thunderstorm headed our way. Everyone knew what they needed to do, how they needed to do it and when they needed to do it. I love it when a plan comes together!! And we had to solve problems. Like how do you tie down a loose tent flap, why with duct tape and a zip tie. How do you patch a hole in a tent? Well with the afore mentioned duct tape. How do you cool down hot tent workers? Well with an ice cold bottle of water or a diaper soaked in ice cold water. Hopefully that diaper was not the "used" kind.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It is finished...

Yes, those immortal word Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross. Well they were finally uttered from my mouth last weekend as we finally finished the bedroom.
Actually calling it a bedroom is not doing it justice, we now call it the master suite.
It all started ten years ago when we bought this old two story house. It wasn't the layout, the paint color or the landscaping that you see on these home shows today that made me want to "say yes to the Address", we bought it because it was cheap, and could sleep six.
It had its share of warts and bumps though. The weekend after we moved in we found that the main sewer line was somewhat collapsed when we our washing machine started letting water out on the floor instead of down the drain. Digging about sixty feet of sewer line and holding the section that was collapsed in your hands while one of your kids flushed the toilet is a memory I will never forget.
So we got that fixed, and then we found another problem that winter. All the water lines in the house were so corroded that at the first sign of a cold snap they would freeze up. There is nothing fun about six people getting up at the same time to get ready for the day and find that there is no water in the house. That has a tendency to ruin your whole day, not to mention that you look like a homeless person as you can't shower, shave or even brush your teeth. So we went to work on that and replaced all the old copper and iron pipe lines with this new plex line that will not freeze, or burst. Such a breakthrough in technology!
And then we decided to take on the bathroom. Our house was designed with an indoor running track. I am not sure if that was the intended design, but you could make the circuit from the living room, through the kitchen and into the bathroom, exiting to one bedroom and then end up where you started in the living room again. It was really convenient for those cold mornings when you did not want to go outside to run, but not so convenient on those using the bathroom as you ran through. Since the bathroom was almost as big as the bedrooms we decided that one large bathroom could be divided up into two regular size bathrooms so off to work we went again. We finished the main bathroom in a few months working around the plumbing but the master bathroom was a different story. It took all of almost four years to finally complete the master bath. Pretty much there were labor disputes from the start, I did not want to do it and no one could make me. But we eventually got there and finished the master bath just as our first child headed off to college. Bad timing on my part as it would have been better to have those high school years of sharing one bathroom not exist but life goes on.
So the next project was, the master bedroom. First off our bedroom was really two rooms, one we kept the bed in which had a really small closet, the other room we kept all the other junk in. It slowly became a man cave, as in it evolved over time. First an overstuffed chair ended up in there to hang clothes on, and then a actual chest of drawers to put clothes in that were stacked on the chair. And then someone brought an old color TV which went on top of the chest of drawers. A bookshelf, filing cabinet and eventually musical instruments and the man clothes filled the room. My wife started calling it my "sanctuary" as man cave was too rudimentary. Well we decided to remove the wall and open up the bedroom, expand the closet and really make it into something we could enjoy. So over five months we redid the closet for his and her sides in a walk in closet where we can throw all our clothes anywhere we want and then shut the door and no one knows. We redid all the wall finishes eliminating the old wood paneling and lathe and plaster and installed new Sheetrock and insulation in the walls so the neighbors could not hear us snoring at night. We put a new window in to replace the one that allowed the night air (both hot and cold) to come into our bedroom, new painted walls, new trim even a new beamed accent ceiling and lighting enhanced our master bedroom look. Throw in a new bed, new comforter, a fancy red chair, reading lamp and bedside tables along with the new plush carpet and we finally had our master suite which was sweet.
So last Saturday when we finally got everything moved back into the room after the carpet installation we kicked off our shoes, sat in our red chair and relaxed and said, "it is finished"...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Superhero or not?

Our church is doing our annual Kids Krusade this week and Pastor Lynda has picked a "Superheroes" theme this year. So of course everyone needs to come as a superhero, don't have a superhero outfit, have no fear, Pastor Lynda is here! She even made capes so if you don't have a supersuit, she will fix you up.
So here is where the delima is. We had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle show up for KK. Donatello to be exact with this staff. Some thought it was the Pastor dressed up in all black with a mask on and black tights and TMNT boxers on over the tights but he would never do that. So we may never know who that man in black really was. But it caused a ruckus because some do not believe that a TMNT is really a superhero. So in that man in black's defense I will rest this case of superhero or not.
1) Have you ever seen a six foot tall turtle? No, me either so I think that is super.
2) Have you ever seen a talking turtle? No, me either so super again.
3) Have you ever seen a turtle possess ninja skills? Nope, me either so super again.
4) Remember they were exposed to some kind of hazardous waste as young turtles which caused them to mutate to aquire their powers. Kind of like the Flash, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, and a slew of super villans. So I say super again.
5) Do they fight crime? Yes, so super again.
The defense rest, with the evidence placed before you we can indeed say, Cowabunga dude, the TMNT are Super Heroes!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So the Mavs won?

Who would have thought it? The Mavericks win the NBA title over the Thrice Blessed, Star Studded Trinity of DWade, LeBron and CBosh.
It just goes to show you that "team" will always prevail over talent.
I have played on teams with great players. And I have played on great teams with average players. One star does not a great team make, and now I guess we can say that 3 stars does not a great team make.
Team building is one of my passions. I love to surround myself with like minded individuals who put their own egos and desires aside and strive for the best for the team. It is not always easy, many times people do not want to take a back seat or a subordinate role for the best of the team.
I remember a story I heard one time about a large company CEO who challenged another large company CEO to a team competition. They met and decided that they would do a mock war simulation in a forest environment with a ten person detail. The way it worked was this, they would take their ten best, camouflage them up, give them paint ball guns, paint ball grenades and paint ball land mines and whoever captured the other's base won the contest and the bragging rights. The ego minded CEO (whose team we will call the red team) put himself as team leader and picked his ten biggest, toughest and strongest people in his company to make up his team. The other CEO (whose team we will call the blue team) picked people from his organization not based on strength or skill but on the ability to work as a team. Each of them spent a week training with a former military commander who went over basic maneuvers and tactics with each team. When the time came for the battle, the Ego Centric CEO led his troops from the front, straight to the opponents base. The other CEO carefully arranged his troops to best defend his position and attack the other team from the flanks instead of head on. Two of the smallest people on the blue team were sent out as scouts and found a place and hid, allowing the opposing team who all traveled together to pass them without knowing they were there. As the red team approached the blue teams base the CEO of the red team who was leading tripped a land mine essentially eliminating himself and two of the people behind him. The red team was in turmoil as the remaining seven big tough individuals tried to figure out who would be in charge now that the CEO was eliminated. Unknown to them the blue team had taken up positions around the ambush site and all started to open fire at the same time on the arguing seven red team members. Four went down in the first volley of paint and the remaining three turned to retreat the way they had came only to encounter the two small members of the blue team that had hid in the woods. They opened fire and painted two of the three red teams members eliminating them from the competition while the third ran off by himself heading for the red base. The blue team leader them gathered his troops and forced a surrender of the only remaining red team member. The blue team had won the battle with no casualties and had decimated the red team.
When the military commander who witnessed the battle commented later on the competition, he said that he knew before the battle started who was going to win. The ego of the red team leader doomed his more talented, stronger and bigger people because he was not the best suited to lead his team in this battle. In their week of training a couple of the red teams middle managers showed better instincts and tactical skill than the CEO had but he still relegated himself as the leader. Where on the blue team the military commander noticed that the leader was better suited to lead and direct from the back lines and not the front lines. They worked with their strengths and won the battle.
So I said all of this to make this point. Sometimes it is not the superstars that make a great team. Sometimes it is a leader who knows when to lead from the back, let his people do what they do best and stay out of the way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fall From Grace...

So many it seems lately have fallen from grace in our eyes. From Bret Favre sending pictures of his nether regions, Arnold Schwarzenegger fathering a child with an employee, and now a Senator admitting to numerous Internet liaisons it seems that infidelity is sweeping the headlines.
I wanted to write a how to avoid article for all men but realized that it probably would not do much good. So I will write a encouragement instead.
Guys, your family is too valuable to mess up for a one night stand. Those moments of passion are not enough to trade for years of stability and trust you share with your spouse. Once that trust is broken it is double hard to get it back, if at all. Those one time arrangements are not worth enough to damage your role as a father forever. Your children are worth more than that and they deserve more from you.
Also fellas, your reputation is more valuable than that moment of fulfillment. That moment will be gone the next day as will your reputation. And that reputation can never be gotten back. Guard that with your life.
And buddy, someone somewhere is going to find out, don't lie to yourself to thinking that you can keep it a secret. In the days before cell phones I was the first one to find out that my dad was cheating on my mom. He was seeing another woman at a cheap hotel on the edge of town. Just so happened that a friend of mine saw my dad pulling into the hotel in his Camaro (not the most invisible of cars). When he went by a few minutes later the car was parked in front of a room. My buddy split the beans to me one afternoon by saying, "hey, don't know if you know this, but your dad is seeing another woman out at the motel." I was stunned. I was 20 years old, recently married and could not believe that my dad would be seeing another woman, cheating on my mom. I made a mental note to check that hotel every time I drove by and sure enough I spied my dad's car there one night. It broke my heart. My mom and dad split up after that and my dad married the other woman and stayed with her till his death last year. But that relationship which wasn't great in the first place never got better. I think he felt shame and guilt for what he did every time we were together. I am not saying that he was all to fault, my mom I am sure was hard to live with too, but for the four sons who lived in that house, things were never the same in their relationship with their father.
So gentlemen, before you go chasing that swishing skirt, I want you to think for a moment of all the things that are on the line that you might loose, a devoted wife, a son or daughter, a reputation, your personal peace. Is it really worth just a few moments of passion?
Think about it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wisdom Teeth?

Why are wisdom teeth called wisdom teeth? All I ever got from mine was a lot of pain.
It started last Tuesday day, a dull ache on the right side of my face, took some Ibuprofen and forgot about it. By Wednessday mid day it was no longer a dull ache but more like a jackhammer had opened up on the inside of my mouth. It was so bad that I went and bought some painkillers while I was traveling. Three days later it still was aching and I made the decision to call the one person I try to never call, the dentist.
You see I have extremly hard teeth. I have never (knock on wood) had a cavity. I have had hammers, wrenches and even a chunk of wood hit my teeth and other than one small chip they bounced off. Now my teeth are not perfect, they are not straight and I have an overbite that would make Bugs Bunny envious but they are hard like rocks.
So after almost of week of pain I finally called the executioner, er I mean the dentist. It was either that or play like Tom Hanks in Castaway but I did not have an ice skate. I was able to grab an appointment the next morning for which I was thankful. I got to the chair, met the dental assistant and it was as if I was a stock car at the Daytona 500 and the dentistry crew was the pit crew. They were buzzing around, put this in, take this out, bite down on this, and on and on and on till the Man arrived. He was a pleasent looking fellow for a person who inflicts pain on people for a living. So he leans me back in the chair and starts to probe around in my mouth. Words like "impacted" and "soft tissue" and "bone invasion" chilled me to the core. What those things mean I eventually found out is that my hard teeth were hitting my hard jaw bone and neither one wanted to give.
So after about 30 minutes of grunting, sweating, cutting, drilling, pulling and prying my tooth finally came out in about three pieces. Two stiches later the dentist says, "you do have strong teeth" and his assistant tells me "you will be very sore tomorrow" which left me with a sense of foreboding. I was really sore now, what about this later or even tomorrow.
Well I can tell you, I was really sore, had to take powerful painkillers and talked like a loon most of the day. Wisdom teeth, who knew wisdom could be so painful.
I am really hoping they don't call wisdom teeth that because it would be wise to take them all out at one time...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dance, Dance, Dance

Had the pleasure to watch a performance this weekend called "Firstborn of the Dead". No I did not go to some horror movie bonanza or something like that. "Firstborn of the Dead" is a ballet that depicts the life of Christ from his birth to death to resurection.
No spoken words, just dance. I cried.
Yeah lump me in with the Tim Tebows of the world. Hopefully there will not be a "I saw Pastor Pat Cry" facebook page spring up anytime soon.
It was emotionally moving seeing the grace and artistry of the dancers as they played their parts. Mary the Mother of Jesus (one of my church kids) emotionally charged as she held her newborn son and beamed at baby Jesus, and emotionally torn as her son was arrest, beaten and crucified.
The guy who played both Satan and God. Was kind of weirded out with that. He had this white robe, tan skin and a nice looking goatee, if I do say so myself, as he played God the Father. Then the same guy comes out with this mask on and it is Satan. I was a little conflicted there but it was all good. He actually played a better Satan than he did God.
And the guy who played Jesus. Well he really embodied the character. In his actions, in his way he interacted, you forgot you were watching a ballet.
Oh and no tights on the guys... I was happy for that.
Very nicely done and if you are in the KC area and get a chance to catch Dramatic Truth do it, you will be blessed.

Monday, May 23, 2011

End of the World?

Well we are all still here as far as I know. We did not miss it. I don't think it has happened.
Many were believing that the rapture of the church, the great catching away of the people of GOD before the time of tribulation was to happen this weekend. Well as far as I can tell it did not happen.
But, just because it did not happen, doesn't mean that it will not happen. The Bible says that we are to be ready at any moment. We are not guaranteed one moment of time on this earth but are apportioned a set amount of time and then we will face GOD and give an account of how we have used those moments. It could happen at the time of the rapture, or it could happen when we are old and grey, or it could happen in a moment like it did for the scores of people who lost their lives in the tornadoes that just ripped acrost the midwest. When your life is called into account, be ready.
Just because one man missed it, doesn't mean that you need to miss it to.

Friday, May 20, 2011


So have I mentioned that I am in the middle of a remodeling project? I am sure I have but let me digress.
I am applying so many spiritual truths that are coming alive during my project.
Suff like,
To have a solid structure you have to have a "good" foundation.
My house moves all over the place on its foundation. The reason? Well it really does not have a solid foundation. It is what is considered a "mud sill" foundation which means the house is basically built up in the air on top of piers that sit on the ground. So when it rains, drys out or some other climate change occurs the house moves a little.
We can be like that in our spiritual lives if we don't "root" ourselves in following Christ.
When you "root" yourself in following Christ you dig down deeper than the surface. There you have holding power.
But when you are just a surface level Christian, you life will move all over the place. When the changes come to your life you will not be rock solid but you will drift and move according to those changes. You may not drift or move much but small compromises eventually lead to larger compromises and eventually lead to failures in life.

So build your house upon the rock! Get a firm foundation and don't be moved!!
Now where did I put that crowbar? Back to work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The end of the world...

Well it appears that end of the world is to occur sometime this month. I have heard that it will be on Saturday the 21st while others are saying the 22nd. Every few years or decades it seems that there is always someone who through rigorous biblical study seems to think that they can predict the end of the world. If you ask me when the world is going to end, I will reply when GOD says it is time. The Word says that "no man knows the day or the hour" and I will take it at that. So with that said I think we should be living our lives as if the next moment is our last.
But if the world is going to end sometime soon can I make a few recommendations.
1) I would like the world to end on a Monday, not on the weekend. I look forward to my weekends, thinking of Friday is the only thing that gets me through the week. It would make much better sense for the world to end on a Monday. Of course that might create some confusion as most people think the world really does end every Monday.
2) If the world has to end, can we have it end before the 18th? You see that is when the house payment, car payments and all the other payments come out. I would love to use that money on something else. Who needs a house or a car if the world is no more.
3) It seems like the last three or four times there has been an end of the world date set it has fallen in May. I just hate that. May is a time for everyone to look forward to summer finally getting here, the grass is coming in green, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing and Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. If the world has to end can't it be like sometime in late October? Or mid January when it is so cold out no one would really care?
4) And if the world is going to end, can we have it happen at the same time all over the globe? I would just hate it if we hear that Eastern Asia was wiped out and destruction was slowly spreading east. It would be like watching the political election updates on MSNBC. Whoa, Japan just went down, ETA Hawaii six hours, LA in 12.
5) I have another pet peeve with declaring the world is going to end with out declaring how. Is it going to be an asteroid? An alien race? A pandemic? All the machines in the world coming to life and trying to kill us? Someone should make a movie about that. What I mean is if you know that the world is coming to an end, surely you have to know how, right? So share the info if you would so I can get busy building that space shuttle to blow up the asteroids, guerrilla ware fare to take out the aliens, a super serum to counteract the epidemic, or a sailboat with no electrics to escape the evil and blood thirsty machines that are out to get me.
Oh, and if the end of the world really is about to happen, make peace with GOD, and live life to the fullest. Because who knows, it could happen today and if not today, tomorrow.
Be Blessed.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Come in Dick Tracey...

for those of you who are my age or older, that familiar line was a staple in the Sunday paper. You know how the Sunday paper went. Dad got the front page section and the sports, Mom got the local and the celebrity section and the kids got to share the funny pages.
Well Dick Tracey was always a favorite of mine. The vivid colors, the hero of course and the villians. But the coolest thing about Dick Tracey was all of his gadgets. He had all of these neato gadgets that every kids wanted.
Well as I was thinking the other day, most of the gadgets that Dick Tracey had we all have now. Bundled in one little phone package we have the most ingenious scientific gadget ever made. Have you ever really thought about what a "smart" phone can do?
Email? Check.
Day Planner? Check.
Clock? Check.
Adress Book? Check.
Calculator? Check.
Navigation System? Check.
GPS? Check.
Web Browser? Check.
Music Player? Check.
Video Player? Check.
Camera? Check.
Video Camera? Check.
Gaming System? Check.
Facebook? Check.
Pager? Check.
Memo Pad? Check.
And a Phone all wrapped into one little tiny box we can wear on our hip, put in our pocket or slip into a purse.
Calling Dick Tracey! Come in Dick Tracey! I have better gadgets than you do!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is in your hand?

Got to thinking about that passage of scripture where GOD asked Moses what is in his hand? Moses showed GOD his shepherds staff and GOD told Moses to throw it down and it became a snake, and then he told Moses to take it back up and he grabbed it by the tail and it became a staff again.
There are two keys parts of that story that I have been dealing with in my own life.

The first part is what was in Moses hand. I am sure Moses had that staff for a long while, it had traveled with him, herded sheep and was probably used for most everything while in Moses' possession. But Moses really did not understand what he held in the palm of his hand. I know that I am a lot like Moses sometimes, really not understanding the value that is right under my own nose and in the palm of my hand. To Moses that staff was just like any other shepherds staff, full of knots and blemishes, weathered, stained and really not that pretty to look at. But in GOD'S eyes that staff was a mighty miracle, used of GOD to help set a nation free. Why can't we see our own value when we are in the hands of GOD. Self doubt, feelings of inadequacies and our fears of our shortcomings being revealed cause us to see our own selves like Moses saw that staff, as ordinary. But did you know that just like Moses staff we are a miracle waiting to happen in GOD'S hands. Who knows what he might use you for, what miracles might be awaiting you if you will allow GOD to use you.

Secondly, Moses had to let go for that staff to become a snake. GOD told him to cast it down and when he let go of it miraculously it became a snake. And it must have been a pretty impressive snake as the word says that Moses ran from it. Sometimes when we have to let things go it can get pretty scary. As long as Moses held that staff in his hand, he was in charge. But once he let go of that staff and put it into GOD'S hand, well GOD was in charge and that can be a scary thing. Sometimes we need to let go of the preconceived notions, the shortcomings, the fear of failure and all those other things that make us hold on to the familiar and let go so that GOD can do something extraordinary with us. I love that GOD told Moses to pick up the snake right after Moses ran from it. He was assuring Moses that even though it might be frightening, that HE was in control. I can imagine Moses reaching out his hand ready for the snake to spin around and bite him as he reached for its tail. Imagine the wonder that must have fallen when he grabbed that tail and it transformed back into a gnarly, rugged and knotted staff that had been Moses' companion for so many years.

So in closing, what is in your hand today that GOD wants to use?
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Its the little things in life...

that make all the difference in the world.
So many times we allow the little things in life to bring us down, but we also need to realize its the little things also that will lift us up.
My top ten little things...
1) The kiss. My wife of almost 23 years still insist that I kiss her when I leave the house and when I get home. It is one of those things you take for granted but should cherish each day.
2) My kids saying "love you Dad" as they head off to bed. Puts the day into prospective.
3) Having my basic needs met. I don't live in a mansion, drive an expensive car or have great material possesions, but I have a house that the roof does not leak (it used to), a car that starts each time I turn the key and gets me where I am going (I used to have one you said a little prayer before turning on the ignition) and enough toys to keep me happy.
4) Good Friends. I mean those kind of friends whom will actually show up and help you move something heavy in their truck and not let you put gas in their truck when you are done. Those kind of friends.
5) Health. I am overweight, work too much, don't exercise enough but still healthy enough to do most anything I set my mind to.
6) Peace. I sleep really well at night knowing my family loves me and I love them.
7) Trust. I live in a town where you can leave the doors unlocked and the keys in your cars. If your car happens to disappear, it will show back up again, washed, vacumned and full of gas with a thank you note from the neighbor for its use.
8) Good Food. There is just nothing in life like preparing a great meal and enjoying it with friends.
9) Indoor plumbing. I remember having to "go" outside, in the winter, in the snow. Thank GOD for indoor plumbing.
10) Air Conditioning. Yep, it is the little things that will keep everything working together.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A little "traveling" music maestro...

I have been going like the enegizer bunny here lately. I kind of feel like Phileaus Fogg I have been traveling so much.
So in the last month I have been as far east as Florida and as far west as Las Vegas, as far North as Chicago and as far South as Dallas, TX. I have literally criss crossed the nation on flights the last few weeks. And in my travels I have noticed a few things...
1) Weather - the weather has been really weird here lately. From major storms to earthquakes to tornadoes the US has seen its fare share of wild weather. There is nothing like flying above a storm brewing below you and watching the billows of clouds and the streaks of lighting race across the sky. It is all nice and fun until the captain mentions a final descent and you realize you are going to have to go through that mess to get to the ground.
2) Of all the airlines - Southwest gets you there the fastest. Or at least it seems that way. I fly commercially all the time but each time I get on a Southwest flight it seems like the people who work there are wanting to "get away" more than I do. My all time favorite lines is this, "at Southwest, it is open seating, so grab the first seat you come to and take a load off so we can get out of here", my second favorite was, "come on people we are not shopping for furniture for the living room, all the seats look the same, just set down in one".
3) I love the National rental car Emerald Aisle - it is where you get to pick your own car out without going to the counter. You breeze right past everyone standing in line, pick the car from the aisle and drive away. It is always a fun day to pick out color, style and wether to go business casual or sporty.
4) Bellagio Rooms in Las Vegas - those rooms are pretty nice, but for my money they can't compare in price to the newest Holiday Inns where they are set up in suites. I was in on a few weeks ago that felt like a studio apartment in Manhattan's upper East side. It was actually bigger than the first apartment my wife and I looked at to live in.
5) IHOP - is there a better restaurant? You can get breakfast at ten o'clock at night. Who doesn't like that?
6) Best Airport - well the fastest airport to get through security is Tulsa International, those TSA people there have it going on. Worst, well Denver International wins this cake. Most frustrating? Dallas Fort Worth, because everyone in Texas who has never flew before flys out of there and they all try to bring their gallon sized shampoo on board with them.
7) Nicest City - well some my disagree but I like Pensacola, Florida. The people there seem genuine and nice, of course living on a beach will do that for you.
8) Toughest City - Chicago, have you ever flown into Midway and had to drive to I55? Enough said.
9) Best Airport Food - Cousin's BBQ in DFW Airport. Just make sure to eat AFTER the meeting, because you will probably get BBQ sauce on your shirt.
10) Craziest Aiport - Well that has to be Sioux City Regional Airport in Iowa. They have T shirts that have the call sign of the airport and the word "flying" under it. Their call sign? SUX.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunrise Service

So I am feeling a little convicted this morning. Yesterday was Easter and as I was heading to church in the morning I noticed that a few of the other churches that I passed were already having service. Then it dawned on me, they were having a sunrise service and I began to wonder if I had missed the voice of GOD.
I have never done a sunrise service. I am somewhat glad of that fact as I am not really what you would call a morning person. I am more of a mid morning person with a tendency to stay up too late. Call it what you want but I don't do mornings well and I know many people who share this trait with me.
So as I was driving to church I began to think about a Sunrise Service.
Who would attend? Would it look like a normal service but just at an earlier time? Do you need those guys with flashlights directing traffic in the dark as people come to park? Would the presence of GOD be more powerful at 6AM than say at 10:30? These thoughts raced through my mind as I pondered the very existance of a service at sunrise.
So as therapy I decided to list the pros and cons for a sunrise service. Pros first.
1) There will be just a few people there so finding a seat should be easy.
2) I bet there will be coffee available and it will be fresh, not left overs from the first service in the morning.
3) I betcha someone would bring donuts. Actually that would probably be the only reason I would even think of attending a sunrise service. I think it should be written into the bylaws that if you are at the church at 6AM you have to bring donuts with you.
4) No youth. Yep there would be no youth at the service banging on the drums and wailing on the guitars for sure.
5) Haven't had Brunch in a while, it would be a great opportunity to go eat at Dennys when no one is there as everyone else is at the normal services.
6) Nap time starts early. I might even be able to finish up those Saturday projects that did not get completed and still get a nap in right after lunch!
Ok the Cons...
1) You know it is going to be a long service. Pastor is jacked up on caffeine and doesn't have to rush because you know we are going to beat the Baptist to Golden Corrall today.
2) Leaving the house before sunrise will mess with your biological clock. Most people are getting in Saturday night late and then having to leave before the sun rises may mess up their entire week.
3) Do you actually watch the sun rise? Like sitting on folding chairs in the parking lot, in the pouring rain as the tornado sirens sound?
4) Kids. Enough said, we all know it takes an hour to get each one of them ready. And double that time on Easter when you have to doll them up in their Easter suits and dresses. Have you ever tried to put a tie on a one year old? We would have to get up about 2AM to make the service and I would be we would still be late.
5) What if you indeed showed up late for a sunrise service. Like 5 minutes after the sun came up? Would Pastor make you come back for the normal service since you missed it?
6) What if it is a cloudy day and you really don't get to see the sun come up? Does that really count?
7) Who will play the piano or any other instrument in the service that early?
8) Does the Bible say when Jesus rose from the dead and the stone was rolled away? What if it happened at 10AM, are we being unscriptual trying to rush GOD?
9) Does the Pastor have to preach the normal service also for all those that want to sleep in on Sunday? Man that is double the work for him.
10) And the number one question of having a sunrise service. Will the Pastor's wife make it on time? Does the service count if she is not there?

Monday, April 18, 2011

So whats new?

So whats new in your life? Well I can tell you in mine I have recently discovered a disturbing piece of news. My two sons spent all day Saturday working with Dad. May GOD bless those two boys as I am not the easiest person to work with. They always seem to be standing right where I need to go and for some reason they don't realize it until I have to tell them. So anyway we are sitting taking a break and my oldest looks over at me and says, "hey Dad, know what?" So I respond that I did not know "what" and he says, "you have grey hairs in your beard". "No I don't I replied, they are blond and it just looks that way as they are covered with sheetrock dust." At this point my youngest says, "Dad I don't think that is dust, sheetrock is white and those hairs are grey". So it is official, I am getting old. I have lost the hair on my head and I have started to see grey in my beard, it is all downhill from here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I wonder...

There are things I spend some time wondering about. Like... Why do buildings make such weird noises when you are all alone in them. Are those noises there all the time and you never notice them till the you are in the building all alone? It should be quiet in the place when all the kids are gone and your wife is away at a conference, shouldn't it. Peaceful right? But I find as soon as I am all alone in the a house, the house starts to make weird noises. Like it misses all the activity so it decides to make up for it. In the first church building we pastored we were sure it was haunted. Really, a haunted church. The church had originally started out as a hospital back in the early 1900's and in the 80's was purchased by the church and remodeled. Well remodeled was a loose term, the patient rooms soon became small sunday school rooms with a table instead of a patient bed. The childrens Pastor's office was originally the room where they shot the x-rays. There was an upstairs area where the nurses would sleep when not on duty, a kitchen and all sorts of little nooks and crannies that hospitals always have. All of that is well and good till you start realizing that people actually died in that place. Souls were seperated from their physical bodies all over that building. So when weird noises started happening when you were all alone in the building, you said a little prayer and moved the 9 iron a little closer to your desk. I know you are thinking, the 9 iron? Well yeah, if an aparition appears I really need a club that I can hit, so the driver stays in the bag. Anyway I digress. So not long after I took the pastorate I am in my office in the back of the church and I hear this noise sounding like someone running on the hall upstairs. It starts loud right over my head and then slowly gets quieter as the runner heads to the other side of the building. I did not count the steps but I am pretty sure it was 13 exactly, like I said I did not count them but I know if I did it would be 13 steps. So one day I am sitting in my office and I hear the "runner" going down the hall. Clutching the 9 iron I walk into the large expanse of the hallway and say with all the authority I have in my voice, "hello?". It kind of croaked out, it sounded more like Dorothy when she landed in Oz than Sylvester Stalone in Rocky. Of course received no answer, that would have been really frightening. I went back to my desk and attempted to resume my work. But just as I was about to sit down, wham wham wham again going down the hall. I jumped and ran to the hall to pear outside to see if the upstairs runner had decided to come downstairs. Again I said "hello?" with no answering call to ease my mind. At this point my adrenaline is running on overdrive, I am so thankful that the women's leader wasn't dropping by my office, it would have been really hard to explain how I accidentally bashed her head in with a 9 iron as we were makign the funeral preperations. So after I returned to my desk, before I even got halfway across the office I hear the runner again sprinting on the upstairs hallway. Finally fed up, I headed for the stairs to confront whatever was up there. The church really never did much with the upstairs area, it was a collection of rooms for the nurses to stay overnight, a small bathroom and a few storage areas full of stuff. But I climbed up those stairs and found myself standing on the very hall that the runner had been running up and down on. There was a fine layer of dust over everything, and thankfully no footprints going up and down the hall. Although footprints left in dust, as I learned on Scoobie Doo were a sure sign that it was not a ghost I was dealing with. So I made my way down the hallway just to make sure there was no one there when I heard it, a slam that made my heart jump into my throat and my pulse go into racehorse mode. That slam was followed by another and another as it reverberated down the hall. But there was no apparition that was apparent at that time. I know that I closed my eyes at the first slam but after the third slam or so I realized I was still breathing so I took a peek and saw nothing hovering in front of me. So as the slams slowly lessoned I worked my way toward the origin of the sound. I ended up at the end of the hall where there was a large closet, a couple of storage boxes and an old hospital bed. As I was examining the area I heard the slam again but this time from really, really, really close. It was right behind the closet door. So I opened the closet door, ready to fight for my life and saw nothing at all. It was just a closet with normal closet things in it except it had a window in the back of the room. Later I would find out that the last addition to the hospital had been made on that side and that window was the access to the attic. So as I made my way to that window which was propped open I finally solved the mystery of the runner in the hallway. It was not an aparition, thankfully, not really sure what a 9 iron would have done to a ghost but I am sure I probably would have pulled my head when I swung and hit it thin anyway. There was no ghostly activities happening, there was an old attic fan set into the side wall of the attic that we had never used. And apparently whenever the front church door opened, it created a vacumn in the building with enough force that the building would "burp" through the attic fan, 13 times starting very loud and slowly getting less forceful till the atmospheric pressure balanced. I realized this as the attic fan started burping as I was looking right at it. What had happened was one of the church parisioners was opening the front door and dropping off supplies into the foyer. She opened the door, laid down the supplies and went back out to her car, as the front door closed and the attic fan burped. Every time I came out of my office with the lame, "hello" she was back at the car getting another load. By the time I got back to my office she had opened the door, dropped off her packages and headed back to her car starting the cycle all over again. Again I am thankful that no one was injured by a poorly swung 9 iron. Although I did have a lot of fun messing with other people who were all alone working in the church by themselves.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Relational Evangelism

We are doing a series on realational evangelism on Sunday nights that is really thought provoking. What if... how many times have we asked "what if" and then failed to act on that impulse. What if, I purchased gas for the next person who pulled in behind me at the pump? What if, I offered to mow the neighbors lawn when they vacationed over the summer for free? What if, I offered to pick up some groceries for my neighbor and then refused to take their money? What if, I just walked across the room and introduced myself to the person who is all alone? What we discovered last night that we all entertain "what ifs" in our lives, but seldom do we act on them. So we made a list of the obstacles that kept us from taking that first step to reach out to someone. They are as follows: Fear Rejection Pride Laziness Communication Skills Lack of Knowledge Predjudiced Uncertainty Too Busy The company we keep Self Confidence Annoying People Appearance What we realized last night is that all of those "obstacles" were not obstacles that the person we are to talk to must overcome but they are "obstacles" we must personally overcome. Each of those "obstacles" (obstacles sounds so much better than excuses don't you think?) deals specifically with US. And in building relationships with other people it should be all about THEM. So what keeps you from stepping out and meeting a new friend? And how can you overcome the "obstacles" regarding it?

Friday, April 1, 2011

So what about the book...

A while back (three years to be exact) I started writing a book. It was one of those, I have a little down time so I sat down and started writing. It is a book that will not change the world, it is a work of fiction but it all comes from somewhere deep inside my cavernous melon. Now I don't want anyone to think I am Max Lucado (I am not that deep), Frank Perretti (I am not that creative) or Ted Dekker (I am not that crazy) but I enjoy all of their writings so I penned my work with some aspects of theirs played out in my story. In describing it to someone one day I said it is like an angelic battle of psychopaths played out in the recesses of someone's mind at the same time also in another realm of reality that is really not real. Confused yet? So anyway, I have these friends who are book publisist, not book publishers, but those that help get the word out about the new books the publishers are publishing. Confused yet again? Anyway, they know books, so I have gleaned all sorts of information from them. Stuff like how many words should a first novel have? In case you are wondering somewhere around 90,000 (I am at 39K right now, so I have some more work to do). How do you know if it is any good and worth publishing? They suggested that I let teenagers read it as they will tell you if it is good or if it is like warm puke, gotta love the honesty of the American teenager. So I made a first draft the other night and gave it to my 14 year old son to read, it sure is handy having a teenager in the house. He is a voracious reader and it is right up his alley as far as fantasy meets the fantasical and is fantasticlly unreal and impossible. So last night my son spent about two straight hours in the living room reading my book while his sister was watching "Prince of Persia" with Jake Gyllinhal on the TV. Talk about tough competition! And he has ADD to boot so keeping focus is an issue, but I apparently passed the teenage litmus test as he kept reading till bedtime. My wife picked it up this morning and found some notes he left for me in the margins for me, nothing too bad and he is over half way through already. So keep your eyes open for a new novel soon to find it's way somewhere, if I ever get it finished...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Religious post

I have been posting about sports for the last couple of weeks now, I thin it is time to get back to a Pastoral type post. The thought of suffering was brought up last night in small groups. Why would GOD allow suffering if he is a GOD of love and grace? That is a very good question. Why would GOD not just give us an utopia on earth, where no one got sick, no one fought, there were no wars, no scars and no death? Well he did actually, in the beginning. GOD created the heavens and the earth and then he created all the creatures of the earth and then he created man. GOD called him Adam and Adam worked as GOD'S overseer of a place called Eden. Eden was perfect. There was no sickness, no death, even the animals seemed to get along with each other, it was paradise. But Adam was alone, so GOD created woman and called her Eve and she was to be his helper and it was all very good, until this one day. You see the Devil has been around a while already, and described as a serpent he turned Adam's and Eve's eyes to look upon the world they lived in a distorted way. He tempted them and although GOD gave them very little limitiations in Eden, they disobeyed GOD. And because of that disobedience they had their utopia taken away. No longer would they be allowed to live in paradise. And with their banishment from Eden, Adam and Eve were forced to work the land for their substanance. To depend on themselves for every need they had. And with their banishment all the things in this life that afflict us today was allowed to affect their lives then. Pain, sickness, and even death now had equal footing with Adam and Eve in this new environment. And it has been that way ever since. Because of their disobedience suffering was allowed to affect GOD'S creation, man. Now the good news. GOD realized for a true utopia to be again, he needed to make a way to purge the world of the sin (disobedience) that caused sufferings in the first place. So he offered a sacrifice, one so holy and so valuable that the blood of this sacrifice could not only cleanse a person or a family of their sin, but an entire population. The blood of the sacrificial lamb was poured out willingly to redeem man from his disobedience. The blood of Christ. One day man will once again live in a world without suffering, without war, without hate, without death, but none of that would have ever been possible without the suffering of the Christ. It is somewhat ironic that the suffering that man inflicted upon himself with his disobedience was only absolved with the suffering of GOD'S only son. Be Blessed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It is HOW OLD?

So I live in a small town and bought this house about 10 years ago. The lady who had live there did so for the last 40-50 years and raised her family there. When she passed away we were fortunate to be able to purchase the house. Now here is where it gets dicey. We were told when we bought the house the estimated age was somewhere around 70 years. So we believed the house was built in the 1930's sometime. While I was working on my remodel of the bathrooms a few years ago I came across a couple signatures of the home owners from 1957 and their relatives from somewhere in Kentucky who apparently worked on the original bathroom remodel. That date felt about right since in our bathroom at that time it had PINK fixtures. I am sure it was called a "dusty rose" or something like that to look like one of the fancy cadillacs at the time but it sure looked PINK to me. So after the bathroom remodel I turned my attention to the master bedroom. Our house never really had a master bedroom, it had a small closet leftover from the bathroom remodel, and one large room that had a dividing wall splitting it into two small rooms, neither of which was big enough to really accomodate a king size bed. So our plan was to eliminate the dividing wall, take down all the lathe and plaster that covered the interior walls and insulate the exterior walls as there is no insulation in there now. So after spending a few days taking down all the lathe and plaster I discovered that when the house was built they used old clothe, bluejeans, burlap bags and newspaper to seal the area between the floor joist and the wall framed opening. I was yanking the old trash out of the bottom of the wall when I found a newspaper that was actually readable. I carefully unfolded it and found that it was the a paper from May of 1899! Yes, 1899! So I am trying to think how my house could have been built in the 1930's and have a newspaper put in as insulation from the 1890's? I smell a mystery here, going to break out my Scoobie Doo lunch box and go and solve this mystery!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Underdogs...

I just love an underdog story, don't you? Take a person or a team who isn't supposed to accomplish something, have them set their minds to accomplishing that goal that seems impossible and have them overcome tremendous obstacles on the way to achieving their goal. That is a movie ready to be made! I am following the Final Four as March Madness winds down and low and behold there are a pair or underdogs, or as they call them in the tournament; Cinderallas, in the Final Four. Granted, two of them have to play each other for a chance at the national title so it is set that no two Cinderellas will meet in the national title game but still, it is great to see the underdogs doing what no one expected. Viginia Commonwealth and Butler University are in the Final Four. Now Butler was there last year, riding on the talents of a great player who now plays in the NBA. But no one thought they would be back! And Virginia Commenwealth? They were not even a lock to make the tournament, they had to play in an extra game to even get into the field of 64, talk about an underdog! The story lines of underdogs are the stuff of legend. David versus Goliath, The NY Jets and Broadway Joe winning the Super Bowl, Texas Western winning the National Title over Kentucky, and now? Who knows? But it sure makes for an interesting story.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Madness I tell you...

The NC2A basketball tournament got underway this week. Did you know that the first Thursday and Friday of the NC2A tournament days are the most missed work days of the year? And those that are at work are more than likely watching the live stream on their computers instead of working.
I remember the first year that CBS started live streaming the games over the internet. I had a co-worker send me a link that the games were on. I just could not believe him so I had to click the link. Of course when the game booted up I had forgotten to turn down the sound on my computer so Billy Packer screamed out of the speakers in front of my computer to my embarassment. As quick as a cobra I hit the mute button and then sheepishly looked around to see if anyone had noticed. I am sure they thought I was talking to myself in one of my many voices like a ventriloquist without a dummy.
So as I sat in wonder with live basketball playing on my computer. I was in hog heaven when I noticed a button on the bottom of the screen that was labeled, "boss button". Well you know that I had to push that and low and behold a microsoft excell spreadsheet pops up on my screen. It had highlights and figures all layed out in some accounting type function, I am sure it was probably the P&L statement for CBS sports but it was genius. I am sure our bosses wondered why everyone in the office was working on a excell spreadsheet when we normally never used that program. So I got to wondering what other uses a boss button could be used for?

How about a boss button in your car, you know when you are late coming back from lunch. You could hit that button and have your best client's voice sound over the car speakers talking to you like you had him in the car. Your boss then would understand why you took a two hour lunch and you could then expense it to the company.

How about a boss button when the boss catches you for the fifth time loitering around the coffee maker. I am thinking something like a sheet that falls in front of you that looks the exact same color as the wall paper. You are standing there and the boss glances in and sees you and when he does his double take you hit the switch, the sheet falls and when he looks again you are gone! That would be awesome.

How about a boss button when you need to leave work early? You need to get out at 3 but you have burned up all your sick time and vacation time. How about a button that inflates a blow up replica of you that looks eerily like you sitting at your desk. Of course we would need a sensor that as someone walked past the hand would raise in mock greeting. That would be great.

Of course these are great ideas but I know that many would use them for purposes other than the NC2A tournament and the productivity of the country would go down the toilet. So for now we will just have to use the boss button on the CBS live feed. Just don't forget to turn down the sound, or you may have Billy Packer screaming out of your speakers, "GONZAGA DID IT!! CINDERELLA REIGNS IN INDIANAPOLIS!!".
Have fun everybody!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easter is coming...

With Easter around the bend we are doing a series on Wednessday nights regarding the final week of JESUS' life. Last night we studied over the Passover meal.
Did you realize that Judas had already sold out Christ at this point, willing to turn him over for 30 pieces of silver. But what I had missed in the story was not that Judas was as the Last Supper, but that Judas was also one of the disciples whom JESUS served by washing his feet.
Can you imagine the scene. The disciples are jostling for position to see who gets to sit on JESUS's left and his right. They are debating who the best disciple is, who get the special honor of sitting closest to Christ, and then JESUS comes in. He wraps a towel around his waist, gets a basin of water and goes to the first disciple and starts to wash his feet. The Bible does not say that JESUS even asked to wash that disciples feet, he just did it. All the disciples probably did not even notice when JESUS came in as they were arguing over who the best was. But I will tell you what, I am sure when that disciple felt the water on his feet and saw it was his Master who was washing them a hush fell over the crowd. But what is amazing is that JESUS even washed Judas' feet. The dude who would betray him, the guy who would turn him over, the man who would sell him out. JESUS knelt down and took Judas' foot in his hands and washed the dirt and such off of his feet. Feet which had just earlier that day trod into the High Priest presence with an offer of betrayal. Feet that would carry Judas back to the soldiers and then on to where JESUS was staying that night. Feet of the betrayer and yet JESUS washed them as well.
A true servant will even serve the one who will betray you later...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life goes on....

and on and on and on.
I read a statment the other day that kind of shook me up. It said, "some people never start living till they are told they are dying". Have you really thought about that?
If I were told today that I had one year left to live, I would have to seriously think about how I would use that year. I can tell you that I probably would not waste a single minute of it that is for sure.
So I got to thinking what would I eliminate from my time constraints if I had one year to live.
So here are my top ten.

10) Waiting in line for a fast food meal. I mean it is "supposed to be" fast food, I would walk to the front of the line and tell everyone I have one year to live and I can't stand around waiting for them to decide if they want a number one or a number two.
9) All my banking would be done on direct deposit and autodraft. Why wait at the bank to cash a a check or pay a bill. Just have them take it out and do it without you, they will get it all at the end of my one year anyway.
8) The DMV - I would never wait at the DMV again, period. I would not renew my tags, liscense or anything else by waiting in line at the DMV. If it could not get done by phone or email then it won't get done and whoever gets my car will have to pay the late fees.
7) Facebook - I know people whose whole lives are tied up in facebook. I guess they would put up a status post that they have a year to live and see how many would like or dislike that status. I would just quit it all together and let those friend request, mafia war helps, coins, pillows, flowers and whatever else gets given to your facebook account just pile up and up and up... I am sure some will get mad that I never did "friend" them after I am gone.
6) Waiting on Red Lights - Before you going calling for the Sherrif, I would just pull up to a red light and make a right turn if the light was red, even if that was not the direction I was wanting to go. Remember I am dying here, so forward moving is the goal.
5) Waiting in line for movie tickets, for movie seats for anything movies whatsoever. I don't really think Saint Peter is going to ask me if I saw "Inception" and what I thought about it.
4) Sports Events of any kind (unless I have an immediate family member participating) - Who knows, in a years time the only winter sport we might have will be hockey. But I am not going to waste my time watching guys play a game for hundreds of thousands of dollars when I can be out playing catch with my own kids.
3) Video Games - This one is going to hurt... yeah I really want to finish that seventeenth level and win the game finally but I have already wasted 12 days, 14 hours and 32 minutes sitting in front of the TV with controller in hand, no wonder I have a weight issue.
2) Home Improvements - I know that light socket needs fixed, and the receptacle by the TV needs a new plate but I figure when I kick the bucket there should be enough insurance money left to take care of those things.
And my number one Time Waster I will eliminate:
1) Blogging - I know you will miss me, you will miss the wit and sarcasm and the deep thought provoking topics and all but it takes too much time to just sit and write about things I would rather be out doing. So a fair warning, a heads up, if that call ever comes and you see that my blog has not had an update in a month or so, say a little prayer for me. Even if I have not been given a year to live, I probably need your prayers even more...
Be blessed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Its been a while

Well sports fans, it has been a while since I graced the blogosphere. So I am back to give you some random thoughts and insights as only I can.

So the NFL owners have locked out the players? I wonder how long it will be before we start to see those guys sending out resumes to get jobs other than playing football. I would love to sit in an interview room with a few of them.
Interviewer: So tell me about yourself.
Candidate: Well, I am 6'5" tall, weight 290 pounds and can bench press 450 pounds 16 times in succesion.
Interviewer: Thats impressive, but you know that you are not going to be bench pressing anything in this office. We do internet marketing for highly competitive creative businesses.
Candidate: Well I am ultra competitive!
Interviewer: Great. Lets talk about job experience, what have you been doing since graduating college.
Candidate: Well last year I was in Green Bay, pretty much worked each and every day with an emphasis on Sunday, knocked down other people and tried to kill the guy behind the lines. You know, ran through the grunts and middle management and then tried to pile drive the CEO of the company. I put that in company speak for you so you understand.
Interviewer: Well that is interesting. What kind of goals are you setting for yourself?
Candidate: I want to get 15 sacks a year and make the Pro Bowl.
Interviewer: No one gets sacks here, and we don't have a Pro Bowl.
Candidate: Oh yeah, I knew that.
Interviewer: Lets talk compensation; this job will pay you $40K starting off, with an option on bonuses and yearly reviews for compensation increases.
Candidate: A month right?
Interviewer: No we get paid Bi Weekley. Every two weeks, understand.
Candidate: Oh that is even better. $40K every two weeks is a little under what I made at my last job but you said that was just starting out right?
Interviewer: I think you misunderstood me. $40K is for the entire year.
Candidate: You mean $40K total, for August through January? That is like just over $6,000 per month. You have to be kidding me, my car payments are more than that!
Interviewer: Uhmmm, when I say the entire year, I am talking January to January.
Candidate: What kind of company are you running here. People can't live on that kind of money in this economy!
Interviewer: Well that is our starting wage, if it is not satisfactory you might want to look elsewhere.
Candidate: Well I do have a few more interviews, hopefully those companies will pay me what I am worth!!
Interviewer: Good luck.

I have a feeling if this thing drags on you might actually see this scenario play out in real life.
Can't wait, but I will miss football too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow snow everywhere.

Let is snow let it snow let it snow.
Man we are getting hammered by snow right now. As is most of the US.
But down here in the south we are unprepared for it and don't know how to deal with it.
I saw a guy go by a minute ago who had four shovels taped to the front of his car, not really but it would not surprise me.
So here are some wintery snow tips for us southerners to make it through the white stuff.
1) get a SNOW shovel. That little spade shovel is made to dig dirt, not snow. Go get a snow shovel and if you can't find one of those get you a big ole manure scooping shovel, it will work.
2) put chains on your car. Not like big old decorations but on the tires that drive your car. They will give you traction to drive out of the bar ditch you did not see, sometimes.
3) and most importantly, take it slow. Just because you have four wheel drive does not mean you are driving a tank and can go the speed limit everywhere. Take it nice and easy, remember traction is more important than anything and be safe.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Plumbing is like life...

I hate doing plumbing, it is the one thing about home improvement that I just do not like at all. Let me explain why.
1) You never have the right tools. Do you know why plumbers drive those big trucks always sagging in the rear? Because they have to have every tool known to man to make plumbing work. Usually I am using the only tool that will do what needs to be done and it is never the right tool which means plenty of bloody knuckles and lots of effort.
2) You never have the right parts. An adapter here, a reducer there, some joint compound over here. Every time you start a plumbing project you end up buying double the parts you really need and most of the time you have to make at least two trips to the store to finish.
3) It is cramped in there. Most plumbers have to work in small spaces. Under the sink, behind the toilet, in the crawl space of the house. As a big man I am space challenged when it comes to those kind of things.

Life in a lot of ways resembles plumbing.
We very seldom have the right tools to do lots of things that we are asked to do. Which results in a lot of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish something. But if everything was easy, where would the sense of accomplishment be at the end of a trial.
We seldom have the right parts laying around the house. Wether it is a bag full of money, a helping hand, an extra car, a replacement dishwasher, a replacement spouse... Usually we have to make do with what life has left us, we just can't run to the store in most cases when we are going through a trial in life. We just have to make do with what we have and see if we can make it work. And if we can't make it work we might have to ask for help or go somewhere to see if we cna get the right parts to complete the job.
And life can get really cramped sometimes. We find ourselves lots of times squeezed into small places without room to breathe. But take heart, remember that it is only for a time, it is only for a few agonizing minutes until we can stand again.
Be Blessed

Friday, January 7, 2011

Been gone for a while...

Hope everyone had a great Holiday and a great new year.
Here are some thoughts to start out the year...
1) It is never as important than you think it might be unless it is dealing with your health, your kids or your wife!!
2) Make time for you this year, sometimes we get so busy doing everything that we burn out. Take some time to read, write or even play.
3) Take time out for your family this year. Spend time with them, play, teach and most of all listen.
4) Pinpoint three areas in your life that you want to deal with this year. It might be your health, it might be family relations, whatever. Make a point to improve those three items the first half of the year and then celebrate the improvements the second half of the year.
5) Have fun. Remember, we have only one life to live. It would be a shame to live it and never have any fun!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vacation... sweet vacation

Been gone a vacation for the last few days, much needed. Some signs to tell you that you are indeed in need of a vacation.
1) you start to dream about work. We should never dream about work, we should dream about being off of work. When you start dreaming about getting that project done on time, it is time for a break.
2) you start thinking of excuses why you should not go to work. Excuses like, maybe I have menagitus, or some unseemly rash comes on after you haven't washed in a few days, or you have nothing clean to wear. Those type of excuses that don't hold water normally, become reachable when you need a vacation.
3) you start worrying wether or not you can afford a vacation. Come on, you don't have to spend a lot of $$ on vacation, you just need some Calgon and a good hot tub of water to get away.
4) you worry what your boss will think if you take vacation. Can I tell you that he does not worry about what you are thinking as he is jet setting himself off to Cancun!!
5) your wife starts dropping hints that you are starting to look like a tiger in a zoo. Here is the mighty desk worker in his natural habitat...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's your favorite Christmas time candy?

We asked this question of our kids and we got four totally different responses. You would think kids growing up in the same house, sharing a set of genetic codes from just two people would be somewhat alike, but not our kids, they all picked something totally different.
So I got to thinking about my favorite holiday candy, and I found that I don't have one. I know weird isn't it. All my kids have one, my wife has one (can you say chocolate covered strawberries?) but I don't have a favorite. I guess I am kind of a "one candy fits all" kind of person.
So I decided if my wife is reading my blog to give her some hints. So here are the top five...
5) The Ultimate Gobstopper. Now this isn't the little marble jawbreakers you get at the C store. Now the "Ultimate" is a the mother of all Jawbreakers. It is so big you can't bite it in half even if you tried. Actually I think you might need a diamond tipped cutter to make a dent in it. It is the greatest, and it last and last and last, and if you are in a pinch you can play marbles with it. Just dry it off first!
4) The Watchamacallit. I just love saying it when you went to the store when it first came out. You go to the counter and ask, "do you have a watchamacallit?" The clerk gives you a weird stare and you ask again. Then you look down and say, "well here it is" and you put it on the counter and try to keep the smug look off your face.
3) Mr. Werthers Original Hard Caramel Candies. My Grandfather used to keep these around the house. I assumed since he liked them they were nasty like polk greens. But one day I thought I would try one, and wow, it is like a caramel candy that last and last. I think I ate a whole bag in one sitting. Now the only problems with these are they are individually wrapped, so when you sit and eat a whole bag there are a bunch of wrappers and they are hard to hide.
2)M&M's. I don't know if there is a better candy than the good old M&Ms. Hard candy shell, with a chocolate, peanut or peanut butter center. It is one of those candys that you can feel confident eating even if you found it in the floor boards of your car. Kids, adults or even grandparents love them and a bowl of them will go for a long time. Pour them out into a bowl and unless my father in law is around they will last a long time.
1) Whoppers Malted Milk Balls. I think these are my favorites. I have always loved Whoppers, it is the only candy I have ever found that came in a recycled milk carton. I just love eating a whopper, letting the chocolate melt off of it and getting that puckered malt flavor at the end. You can eat about a handful and feel good about your self and still have half a half gallon left at the end of the day. And nothing beats those that the malt center has become gooey and it kind of like a soft nuggety center. Yum...

So what is your favorite.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Letting go...

I think with me letting go is a problem. I do not think I am quite at that "hoarders" stage but I can see the signs of that disease in my life. Now don't get me wrong, my house is not littered with old newspapers, magazines, pizza boxes and clothes strewn all over the place (OK well we are not counting the laundry room). But I find in my physical and spiritual life I have a hard time letting things go.
I was going through my closet a couple weeks ago and saw a suit that I have not wore in over 10 years. It is a great looking suit, double breasted, pin striped and about five sizes too small for me now. So instead of donating it to some foundation, I looked at it, wiped the dust off the shoulders and hung it back up thinking that I will one day be skinny again and put that dude on. When in reality if I get back to that weight I am not sure I want to be wearing a fifteen year old suit.
I was looking through my stack of stuff and found I have a briefcase fetish. I have about ten briefcases laying around my den. I have briefcases for all sorts of situtations. I have messenger bag briefcases (4), I have a briefcase that has a handle and wheels (1), I have a soft side leather briefcase (1), I have a hard side leather briefcase (1), I have a soft side egonomic laptop computer briefcase, I have a briefcase that will allow you to put a change of clothes in it as well as all the papers and laptops you might need (1) and I have a stainless steel clad briefcase I bought on a whim one time because it was cool. Okay, so I only have 9 briefcases but really how many do I need? I think I am going to get a backpack briefcase so I can have a nice round number of ten. See there I go again, adding and not releasing.
I have a hard time letting go of things. Do I need a stainless steel briefcase? No so why do I still have it? That is the hard question.
Do I need to work weekends? No, so why do I? Do I need to allow others to take on things I am doing currently? Yes, so why won't I embrace them and allow them to help me instead of wrapping my arms even more tightly around my problems?
Sometimes letting go is the hardest thing to do.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Was Chicago the last weekend and I have come to one conclusion, it is really COLD up there in Winter.
I started to wonder why people would want to live in an area where the temperature rarely gets up over the single digits for long periods of time.
Here are some must haves if you need to go to the frozen north sometime in the near future.
1) a HEAVY coat.
I live in Oklahoma, you know the place where if you don't like the weather hang around a few days and it will change. It gets cold here, but not cold like it gets in Chicago. You have to have a heavy coat. Something that will break the cold and keep the heat in. My coat is not a heavy coat, it is a middleweight coat, kind of like Sugar Ray Leonard. But in Chicago you need a Mike Tyson kind of coat, one that will bite the ears off of the wind if it has to. The happy people in Chicago in the winter are the ones walking around looking like the Michelin man. A Heavy coat is a must.
2) A furry hat.
Now you can do a regular hat but only the furry hats survive Chicago winters. I do not know if it is the fact that they were once alive, or at least partially alive still, but those furry hats will keep your noggin warm. I tried to wear different hats in Chicago but to no avail. You can wear a baseball hat only till the next gust of wind rips it off of your head. By the time you reach up to grab it, it will be in the next county and in 30 seconds will be somewhere over in Michigan. Plus baseball hats are meant to be worn in the summer anyway... You can try to wear a stocking hat, but only certain people can pull those off. You either look like someone spray painted your head a bright color or you look like you are somehow related to the clone heads from Jersey. And as far as keeping your head really warm, well they have a shelf life of about 15 minutes when at that time the stocking hat is colder than the outside temperature. You can also try to wear some of those "cool" hats, like a scottish driving hat (won't keep your ears warm), a beret (unless you are Phil Keagy or in the Special Forces please don't even wear these in the summer) or a cowboy hat (see wind notice here) nothing works like the animal pelt molded to your noggin. There is just something about fur around your ears and balding pate that just makes you warm. So when picking out your warm weather hat, go for the dead animal that has been turned into a beanie.
3) Gloves.
Gloves are also a must have in the windy city. And I am not talking those sheer skin driving gloves either. I am talking gloves that you can hold car keys in your gloved hand kind of gloves. Ones with fur on the inside AND the outside to keep your digits doubly warmed. My gloves are the nice looking, very distinguished leather looking gloves with a little fluff around the wrist area, that absolutely positively do not work in cold weather. I would have been better off making sock puppets and wearing them on my hands than those thin little wisp of what passed as a glove that I had. I would recommend again furry gloves that come all the way up to your armpits, if you can't get them that long at least settle for ones that will go up to the elbows. Believe me you will need it.
4) Boots.
You need adequate footwear if you are going to take on Chicago in the dead of winter. Lets just say that my topsiders and my slippers would not cut it, even with two pairs of socks. You need those boots that have insulation in them. Now in Oklahoma we have steel toed boots for rough work, in Chicago you need steel toes, heels, insteps and ankles if you are going to make it through the winter without getting frostbite. And don't get those slick soled bottoms either, get some that can grip in the winter, you might be walking on snow, ice or really cold mud that is only slightly above freezing that seeps into your socks and leaves you all day wondering if your toes actually ever did have any feeling in them. I have been in Oklahoma a little over 12 hours now and I still can't feel my toes, I hope they are still there.

So if you are heading to the great North, dress accordingly, or you might not make it back.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Staff...or Staph?

I will never forget the one time I told someone that I had "staff". They looked at me like they needed to immediately wash their hands. It was then that I realized what I had said. I should have said that "I have A staff" as there is a difference.
I am so thankful for the staff that I have. They are all pretty much home grown, came up through the minor leauges so to speak in our church.
Out associate Pastor John Dorsey is such a rare treasure. If anyone knew how much money we pay him for all that he does, they would snag him in an instant, just saying. He does it all. I used to joke with him when he was doing his studies at ORU when he was taking a carpentry or a plumbing class because all Sr. Pastors need to know how to do those things. But Pastor John really does know how to do all those things. He has a heart for our community, a real desire to make a difference in the people of our community. He even volunteered to serve on the city council when a seat became available, so he is either committed or needs to be committed, as to a psych ward. But he loves helping people. There is no one I know that if a widow woman calls because her toilet is leaking will get all giddy and excited about fixing a leaking toilet than Pastor John. When we first arrived in Welch he was a teenager just out of school and off chasing skirts and big money in the mining towns of Neveda. When he returned to Welch he started leading worship in our church and we had to put some limitations on him. Boy he did not like that one bit, even walked away for a bit but I am so glad he stuck it out. GOD is really making him into one in whom he delights. He took his schooling and applied to get credentials and for a while actually held higher credentials for a while than I did. It was at that point he was pushing me onwards and upwards. And his wife, Christina, she is the director of our day care. She is as much a blessing as Pastor John is. Servants one and all.
And then we have Pastor Mike and Pastor Katie, our youth Pastors. They are so much like my wife and myself it is scary. Katie is the pushy one, always on the run and always planning something. Mike is like myself, thoughtful to the point where we forget to move on sometimes. But they are really being shaped by GOD to be the couple that he will use for decades to come. I sometimes forget they haven't even hit 30 yet! They were not always on staff either. Katie grew up in the church, her and Mike got married and they kind of did their own thing for a while. I remember some of the gifts that were given at their wedding and thinking that they might have some problems later. They did, but they worked through them and GOD called them to do ministry as only they can. Katie leaped first in getting credentials and Mike followed soon after matching her. They are still working through their ministry style, still raising a family and working in carreers but the sky is the limit for them. One day the light will turn on and they will find their groove and then watch out world...
Pastor Charlie and Elaine are our music/performing arts Pastors. My wife and I have known them for a long time. We actually attended church together when we were all riding a pew instead of standing on stage. They were a crazy pair then, still are today. Elaine is a PK (Pastor's Kid) so she has been doing this all her life. She has seen it all and then some. Elaine was a stay at home Mom who took care of their SIX kids and Charlie was working for a dog food company as a design engineer. Our wives had a mutual interst in sign language which meant they left Charlie and I with his six kids and my three. So after one night of that Charlie and I found we both loved music and we both played trumpets so from that night on the screams of the kids were drowned out by the blasting of our trumpets. I probably owe my musical talents that I have today to Charlie, without him showing me, training me and challenging me I would have never rediscovered my musical talents. We spent a number of years with Charlie and Elaine until they decided to change churches. A situation came up and they left to attend another church, it wasn't long after that we took the Church in Welch. We of course asked them to come and be part of our new church when we started in Welch but they were just getting settled at their new church so they declined. Of course the relationship faltered as our common interaction dissolved into a once a month or eventually a once in a while visit. It was not until we opened our new building that we invited Charlie and Elaine to come entertain us with some music and acting. After that interaction my wife wanted to reach out to them but we put it on the back burner to make sure that GOD was speaking to us and not our own desires and wants. About two months later we met with them and offered them a staff position to be our Worship Pastors. I was not sure they would accept, but when they told us they were feeling called we rejoiced and they came and joined us at Gateway. It has been a few years now since they joined us, Pastor Charlie is now credentialed, and they are using their talents and their kids talents to bless our people. It is amazing how GOD has used them for his glory.
Pastor Lynda and Darrell are our Childrens Pastors. They have been with us since the beginning. Not as staff but as a part of our family. Darrell is my wife's brother, my brother in law. We had some childrens pastor at the time that they started at our church and Lynda mentioned that she would like to work with kids sometime. Unknown to us, GOD was working to prepare them for that work as our childrens pastors left about a month later and Pastor Lynda and her husband moved into that position. They served for a while before we asked about them getting their credentials and found out that Pastor Lynda actually graduated from a Bible College with her degree in teaching. Lynda applied for credentials and with her schooling was able to get credentials as a minister as well. Darrell decided he did not want to pursue pastoring was was willing to be a helper and a helper he is. They have been such a blessing, spending each and every sunday working with our churches kids, ministering to them and investing in their lives. I tell them all the time that their efforts are like planting an oak tree. They dig the hole and put in the acorn but it will be years before their labors are realized. But over the course of time GOD will reward them for their efforst.
So in our little old church, we have a gold mine of staff. And each and every day that I work with them I am blessed.
Many churches have staff, our staff is like a shepherds staff that you can lean on and will help you reach areas that you could never reach.
Other churches I have heard about have said that their staff is like staph, an infection that causes discomfort. I am so glad our staff is not like that.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How in the world did I survive?

I was thinking of my childhood this weekend and as the memories continued to flow by as I strolled down memory lane I had a dramatic moment where I realized I was lucky to be alive...
Let me recount some of my experiences...

I rode in the back of a pickup truck going down the highway. Yeah, I know what were my parents thinking? I guess they were thinking we only had a pickup truck, and with my Dad driving and Mom riding shotgun there was only enough space between them for my two youngest brothers. Which means me and my next youngest brother got to ride in the back.

I went through a auto accident once with my Mom and I was not wearing a seatbelt. I think we were in this big old station wagon. I remember brakes squealing and then hitting the big padded seat in front of me and ending up on the floor board. Then I remember Mom saying something she shouldn't have...

I remember owning a BB gun at the ripe old age of six, and I never shot my eye out with it. But I did shoot my brother once, right in the keister.

I remember drinking water straight out of the water hose...multiple times. I know, I was a daredevil.

I remember making a gasoline bomb out of a beer bottle and a hankerchief. It burned up the entire backyard and an acre of pasture.

I remember running through the house while my brother threw LIT matches at me. I grabbed a can of hair spray and just happened to catch one of the lit matches in mid flight with the spray, viola, FLAME THROWER.

I remember putting a speedometer on my ten speed and going down the biggest hill I could find. I got a little scared when I hit 70 about halfway down the hill. I think I coasted about a mile.

I remember eating dog food on a dare; trying to get the swing to go ALL the way around the pole it was hanging from; having BB gun wars with friends; and riding inside a tractor tire down a hill till I got stopped by the barbed wire fence.

And that is just the half of it... yeah, I am indeed lucky to be alive.