Friday, September 24, 2004


Today I was riding to San Angelo with someone who asked me for a kid story. I had three- but first a disclaimer.

The following stories are based on true events. However, the names may or may NOT have been changed to protect anyone who might not wish for these stories to be relayed in a forum that falls under the watchful gaze of five eyes. (Let's see, I think that comes out to me, my wife and a pirate.) Anyway, any similarities between characters in today's blog and any other people, living or dead (or in may case, about to be) in purely likely. Also, and this is very important and critical information that cannot go ignored in light of these events: Honey, I love you. (Not you, pirate. Shiver me timbers.)

1. Our house is in the terrible clutches of the chicken pox virus despite the chicken pox vaccine. Michal Kate is now the polka-dotted Michal Kate and it has done absolutely nothing to reduce her cuteness. I am still powerless. Anyway, Kendra and Michal were checking out her condition.

"You know," Kendra commented. "One spot by itself is called a pock."

"Really?" said Michal. "Which one?"

2. Later, talking to Addie about the situation, we told her that she might end up getting the chicken pox as well. "Well," she insisted. "If I get chicken pops, I'm gonna keep 'em."

3. The other day Addie was riding in the truck with Kendra and me.

"Mom," she said. "What does a "5" and a "1" make.

"5 and 1 make 6," Kendra answered.

Something about the way Addie asked the question and the fact that she and I had also had a similar conversation caused me to want to clarify so I said, "Addie, 5 plus 1 make 6, but if you are asking what it means when a 5 is next to a 1, then that makes the number 51."

"Daddy, you are sooo smart," Addie gushed, obviously impressed by my mathematical genius. "But I still love you, Mommy," she added quickly.

I couldn't hide a grin (especially with my lack of effort) as Kendra looked at me and said, "You may NOT blog about that."

Arrgghh. I'll try, matey.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Today I am going to the funeral of a former roommate's wife and three kids. Yesterday Grant Boone was asking about the arrangements. I told him that his mother-in-law's funeral was Thursday afternoon, but the one for his wife and kids was in the morning. He said. "Can you believe that sentence?" He was referring to the spoken sentence I had just uttered, but my mind went straight to the sentence of grief that Mike's life is in danger of becoming. I pray that through Christ that sentence is somehow commuted.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Bride of Frankly, Slime

I am proud of the woman I married. There are many reasons for that, and I am sure this will be a topic of many future blogs as it has several in the past. But I was thinking of how she is a Light in the classroom as she teaches.

Kendra teaches 2nd grade here in Abilene. It is tough for me to fathom what a tough job that is. Whenever I try to picture myself in such a role I picture that commercial where the cowboys are trying to herd cats. That would be me except the commercial stops short of the part where I am hauled off and torn to pieces by the ASPCA, PETA and Heathcliff (sorry Garfield fans). Where was I? Oh yeah...

Kendra is a class act when it comes to teaching (would you believe I didn't even see that pun coming?). She was telling me a story a day or two ago about a little girl in her class who comes from a pretty rough background. Kendra noticed that she didn't really have clothes to wear and was often wearing things for adults or boys. Seeing a need, Kendra went and got this girl some new outfits that she could wear. Friday, the little girl was wearing one of these new outfits under an adult-sized sweater. Kendra thought the sweater looked very familiar and she commented to the girl that she liked it. The girl responded by saying she had gotten it from a placed downtown that gives away clothes. Well that explained why Kendra liked it. It was a sweater she had given to that ministry only a few weeks before. What were the odds that this little girl would be wearing an outfit my sweet wife had given her directly under a sweater she had given her indirectly? I thought that was pretty freaky.

The fact is, nothing we have is ours and anything we think is ours was given to us either directly or indirectly by God. The ultimate benefactor gave us our lives, then he gave them back to us when we frittered them away and he keeps on giving them back even though we withhold so much from Him.

It all comes down to my biggest soap box lately: Until we deny ourselves, we cannot really follow Him. Until we follow Him, we are reacting thanklessly to every gift we have. So, I keep on trying to learn that lesson and dedicate myself to His service. Thanks for teaching me too, Kendra.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Dane it

Well, from the files of the mundane, here is how the weekend went.

After a Saturday afternoon soccer game wherein Addie scored somewhere between 4 and 200 goals, we went to the ranch. There was no agenda, just family time. The plan was to give a friend a ride to San Angelo and the go to the ranch and merely hang out. Sometimes, hanging out is perfect. We watched wildlife (deer, turkey, frogs, lizards, catfish) we caught some huge praying mantisses, we looked for snakes (no luck this time) we watched movies and basically just enjoyed being together as a family. I love watching the kids playing together and seeing how they have bonded. I truly believe they will be friends for life. Now, I am not so naive as to think they will always get along, but I do feel that there is a genuine bond that will endure.

Hey, Mun.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Experience is something you get just after you could have used it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I don't really care how bad you think your job is, it could be worse. I welcome your captions. Posted by Hello

Thursday, September 09, 2004

What Floor?

Today on my way to a meeting down town I had the unexpected and unique experience of getting stuck in an elevator. This event was nothing like what you might expect from seeing similar scenes on TV. There were no pregnant women. There were no flamboyant characters. There were no interesting characters with chips and hot sauce. There were no attractive females. It was just me in an empty elevator trying to make it to the 9th floor when a sudden loud clang brought things to a screeching halt between 5 and 6. I waited a few minutes to see if things might correct themselves, but when they did not I actually used the little telephone to call for assistance. The young man who answered asked me to try a few things to get the elevator going, but when they failed he agreed to call building maintenance and let them try before they called emergency personnel. After another 10 minutes or so I heard a voice above me announcing help had arrived.
"You comfortable in there?" the voice shouted down.
"Sure," I answered, at first thinking that maybe true comfort was a stretch. But at that point, I was actually okay. I was two under after 11 holes in the golf game on my phone and other than the nagging wish that I had gone to the bathroom before I got on this elevator, I was doing fine.
"Well, I don't think I can get you out right now. I'll try to go up to the tower and operate the car manually. If the door opens, don't get out unless it is at floor level. If it opens between floors and you try to get out it could cut you in half, okay?"
"Got it," I hollered back.
"You're not nervous or anything are you?"
"Not unless you are," I answered believing it. Still, on the 12th hole I shot a triple bogey as I was distracted by thoughts related to jumping at the exact right moment in the event of an elevator free-fall. I think, however, that I remember seeing somewhere that such an idea is a myth.
Finally, after another 15 or 20 minutes the elevator beeped and began moving downward and then stopped on the 5th floor. Then it beeped and went up again and down again a few more times before it finally stopped on the 6th floor. I got out and went to another elevator and attended my late meeting and then took an elevator to the lobby to leave. I shared this ride with a few guys from building maintenance who were discussing the whole matter. I laughed and thanked them for getting me out.
"That was you?" they asked, quite surprised.
"Well, you picked a great time to get stuck. We were downstairs talking to the elevator repairman while he was doing some banking business in the lobby when the call came."
"Well, I was careful," I said.
"Well, thanks for not getting mad."
"No sweat," I said and left.

The whole experience was a little surreal. I have actually helped people out of elevators before when I was an officer at a bank and they were usually pretty upset. Often they were ready to unload on the first person they saw even if that person was the one who saved them rather than the one that invented the elevator.

Perhaps I felt fine because I am not claustrophobic. Perhaps I was just tired. Perhaps I had plenty of other things on my mind. I don't know. But I thought about something for which the guys in my accountability group consistently chide me. They insist they cannot get a rise out of me and that I am just too laid-back. I really don't think of myself that way. I do get excited about things, but I have stopped reacting as strongly as I used to to things, both positively and negatively. Some argue that in the course of my life I have experienced some very low times and some great times and the extremes have left me somewhat emotionally detatched (although just this morning a friend said I was un-detatched). There is probably some truth in that, but I hope there is another element at work here also.

I would like to think that my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I would like to think that youthful angst is getting replaced with peaceful assurance. I would like to think that I am coming to realize that God is in control of this world. I would like to think that I am able to decide how to react to what this world sends my way and that blame or credit for my attitude lies in me rather than events or personalities around me. While these are the responses that I hope become more and more commonplace, I know that truthfully I have a long way to go to get to this high road; even longer now that I intend to take the stairs.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Things I do not Know... a work in progress.

I do not know why pinky toes are so unattractive on adults but cute on kids.

I do not know what to do when neighbors I am crazy about have a dog about which I wish very bad things.

I don't know why a delegate in an interview at the Democratic National Convention thought a good reason to vote against someone was the fact that they make faith-based decisions.

I don't know why people think tree rats (some people call them squirrels) are cute.

I don't know why we all don't get together and agree that wrinkled shirts are the preferred style.

I don't know why people waste resources as though no generations but their own were worth consideration.

I don't know how I managed to marry someone so above me.

I still don't know how they get those ships in those bottles.

I don't know another word for Thesaurus.

I still don't know why He bothered.

I don't know where socks go.

I don't know what the deal is with the Pilsbury Dough Boy.

I don't know why the chicken went anywhere.

I don't know why people like pictures of urinating cartoon characters on their cars.

I don't know why anyone thinks Whoopi Goldberg is funny.

I don't know why bad things happen to good people and vice versa.

I don't know why anyone roots for the Lakers.

I don't know why people like to watch violent images in film and on TV.

I don't know what was going through His mind when God made dogs, but I'd like to.

I don't know why music is so powerful, but it is.

I don't know why mosquitoes find me so irresistible.

I don't know why I struggle to remember important things but I can remember a grudge.

I don't know what the first guy to milk a cow was thinking.

I don't know why people can't see the logic behind term limits and the line-item veto.

I don't know why people do not see the irony when they criticize someone for being judgmental.

I don't know why ears keep growing after everything else stops.

I don't know why people call it rap music when it isn't.

I don't know anyone who retired before age 35 on Amway.

I don't know why they call them "Love Handles."

I don't know when I'll continue this list, but I certainly will because it seems to have the potential to be quite long.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Hey, Mun!

I have a friend named Mun from Denmark. He's somewhat interesting if you know him. If you do not know him, hearing of his world may seem- well- mundane. Nevertheless, his world closely parallels mine and if blogging is more journaling than grandstanding, I shall continue to write of Mun as well as more exciting things. Today, though, is Mun's day.

I have been out of the blogging mode lately- mainly because I have been traveling. I flew to Greenville, SC Thursday and spent a few days at an establishment of particular business interest. I also picked up a Thursday evening game of the Greenville Braves. Wow! They stink! They are a part of the Atlanta Braves organization but I don't think think I saw anyone about to be called up to the Big Show. I also visited a street festival in downtown Greenville while in town on Friday night. It was a very nice evening. Saturday afternoon I left town before hurricane Gaston arrived and got home that night so glad to see the family. I am so blessed.

I've got the worship leading gig this weekend. That's great except for the fact that it is Labor Day weekend and 50% of my team will be gone making replacements necessary. Still, I have a team assembled now and am excited and hopeful regarding Sunday.

I am a little apprehensive about the fact that my camping trailer is in Florida right now. A friend of a friend asked to borrow it and now it is right in the sights of Hurricane Francine (I think that's the name). It may be time to make a quick call to the insurance man.

I hate it when my foot falls asleep at work because that means it's going to be up all night.

Thanks, Mun.