Thursday, June 30, 2005

#1 Ryan Castel
#3 Jackson Lancaster
#4 Brandon Appleton
#7 Connnor Durrington
#8 Jake Morrison
#9 Mikey Leal
#10 Jake McMillon
#12 Parker Willis
#13 Trip Dickey
#16 Jake Yarbrough
#17 Davis Hancock
#20 Caleb Cranford
#21 Blake Frampton
#23 Pate Hughes
#33 Sam Berry

Mgr: Trey Yarbrough
Coach: Brad Cranford
Coach: Matt McMillon

Our first game is this Friday night, July 1st at 8:00 on the Cedar Creek Little League Field.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Here is a great song by Pam Thum. Lament songs are not that popular, but she has a few great ones.

You turn the key
Then close the door behind you
Drop your bags on the floor
You reach for the light
But there's darkness deep inside
And you can't take it anymore
'Cause sometimes living takes the life out of you
And sometimes living is all you can do

Life is hard, the world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard
But God is good.

You start to cry
'Cause you've been strong too long
And that's not how you feel
You try to pray
But there's nothing left to say
So you just quietly kneel
In the silence of all that you face
God will give you His mercy and grace
Jesus never said
It was an easy road to travel
He only said that you would never be alone
So when your last thread of hope
Begins to come unraveled
Don't give up- He walks beside you
On this journey home.
And He knows

Life is hard
The world is cold
We're barely young and then we're old
But every falling tear is always understood
Yes, life is hard.
But God is good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It has been a full week. Full days at work followed by full evenings of baseball. Admittedly, this is part of the reason I have not been blogging as much as I used to, but I think there is more to it than that. Sometimes, I just don't have that much to say.

My interest in writing is in inverse proportion to the number of people reading, oddly enough. As I find out more people are reading this nonsense, I feel compelled to make it more worth reading. To do this, it becomes necessary to devote more time to pondering subject matter and even doing research. I don't have time for that. Nonsense really is my muse, if you will (or even if you won't).

I also subscribe to the notion that sometimes silence is golden. There are plenty of people who already like to hear themselves speak even when they have nothing to say. Perhaps that is why I sometimes have a hard time engaging with people. I am somewhat satisfied not to. I do not feel a desperate need to be a socialite. Instead I feel a need to hang out with my family.

All that having been said, I am left with this notion of blogging about nonsense with occasional flashes of mediocrity and wondering if it conflicts with all of this. Maybe it does; I don't know. But if a blog is a personal journal, nonsense fits. If it is worthy publishing, punditry appears to be the flavor people prefer. To heck with the fact that most topics have already been talked to death; one more voice is critically needed.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dog Days of Summer

Okay, I know it is not yet officially the dog days of summer, but the subject of dog bites came up the other night at baseball practice, and having been bitten several times myself, I was inspired. In fact, when I was four I had to get rabies treatment. I vaguely remember the series of shots over a period of several weeks. It was not fun. Anyway, all of this leads me to think of several quotes regarding dogs. So, here's to man's best friend:

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

"You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, 'My (Goodness), you're right. I never would have thought of that!'" -Dave Barry

"They say the dog is man's best friend. I don't believe that. How many friends have you had neutered?" -Larry Reeb

"Woof woof woof, woof. Woof WOOF!" -Rin Tin Tin

"Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative." -Morecai Siegal

"To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs." -Aldous Huxley

"Every dog should have a man of his own. There is nothing like a well-behaved person around the house to spread the dog's blanket for him, or bring him his supper when he comes home tired at night." -Corey Ford

"To err is human, to forgive canine." -Anonymous

"If a dog will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." -Woodrow Wilson

"Every dog is entitled to one bite." -English Proverb

"My dog is half pit bull, half poodle. Not much of a guard dog, but a vicious gossip." -Craig Shoemaker

"Dogs have more love than integrity. They've been true to us, yes, but they haven't been true to themselves." -Clarence Day

"Every dog has its day. Except when he breaks his tail, then he has a weak-end." -Dolly Parton

Well, there you go. A little tribute to the pooches out there. As one more parting shot, let's see if we can come up with songs about DOGS. I think this might be a repeat topic, but I'm okay with that.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We've Got Spirit! Yes. Do we?

Growing up I seldom heard discussion of the Holy Spirit. I don't remember any discussions at church from the pulpit or in class. I do remember my dad trying to explain it, but not the specifics of that conversation. I just remember that it really frustrated him to see it called the "Holy Ghost" in the King James version and I asked him why. His explanation might have been extremely profound, but I was pretty young and don't remember it.

As I have grown and tried to understand the mysteries of the Holy Spirit and, frankly, the Trinity in general, I have still not arrived at any great conclusion. I tend to think that trusting God's wisdom in things might be a better approach than trying to understand everything. Still, I think the role of the Spirit is largely to work in the minds and hearts of those who seek the Lord's favor (and, I pray, even in those who do not) to do the Lord's will while we are here.

This has always worked for me and I have never been one to question why things happen the way they do or why they are the way they are. The other day, however, "Why" began creeping into the dark, unoccupied corners of my mind. I don't know where Why got the key or if Why is only passing through, but Why did indeed visit. Perhaps the key was Grant's blog on Mary. Perhaps it is the frustration over seeing a single mother stare unblinking into the face of cancer. Perhaps it is seeing people recklessly chase false prophets. Perhaps it is the continued oppression of people all over the world. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

The other day I got downright frustrated with the Spirit. I was again listening to a discussion on the fight against poverty. The statistics were alarming in terms of how many people are living in poverty and how many die every day because of their conditions. But also alarming were the statistics on how the war on poverty has been proceeding. In the United States, $5 trillion have been spent on programs to fight poverty since FDR was in office. And yet, poor people still exist.

In 2004, an estimated $10-19 billion dollars went from the U.S. in the form of governmental aid and private donation to Africa. And yet, poverty still exists.

It seems to me that people do have a desire to help those who are oppressed and disadvantaged, but their efforts are much less fruitful than any of us would hope. So, I call on the Spirit to guide our efforts and make them productive as we seek to help people in God's name. Obviously, a mere flood of money is not the answer in and of itself. So what is? I doubt that venting (like I am right now) is the answer. But sometimes it just makes one feel better.

Monday, June 13, 2005

And so on

I had the interesting experience today of finding out I had been robbed by someone I had tried to help. My buddy and co-worker, Chito, had hired a laborer to help out the last week or two and I had commented to Chito that he seemed to be a good worker and we should find more work for him. Well, today Chito called to let me know that this guy had bragged about stealing stuff from "the white guy's (my) truck." Chito asked me what I wanted to do and I told him to give the guy another chance to make it right. In response, the guy basically sneered at him and told him he couldn't prove anything. Maybe, except we had a witness. Chito called the police and the guy ran. I would have gladly given the guy money if he needed it, but he never asked. I had also told him I was willing to try to help him find work. Now I am quite hesitant to vouch for him in that regard. Still, I hope some good comes from this somehow. We'll see.

Another interesting effort to help someone out has also had interesting results. I hired a guy who needed a little work on the side to come trim a tree in our back yard. Remember Rosie O'Donnell's post-coming out lesbian inspired haircut? Picture that on a 40 year-old fruitless mulberry. I have got to get over that image. How about a mid-80's Cindi Lauper instead. Well, it appears there are no real winners here.

I sang at a wedding Saturday night. It was very sweet. The groom was in his late 40's and it was his first marriage. It is interesting to see how a stage full of 40 somethings is much different at a rehearsal than a stage full of 20 somethings. Frankly, the difference in silliness was at times negligible but the hair was more gray. They were a great bunch of people.

Michael Jackson should buy a bunch of lottery tickets today. Sadly, though, it was as I predicted. That's all I have to say about that.

The mystery song last time was "Hip to be Square." I almost went with "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" so Katie gets special mention, but I had to go with Huey Lewis since he has a new CD out after a decade or so. This time it is a little broad, but let's go with songs that mention some kind of CONTAINER.

I loved Matt Ritchie's blog today. Give it a read if you have a chance.

Addie's secret handshake today involved high kicks and some freestyle. She is a NUT!

Ten years ago tonight Kendra and I were restless with the thought of getting up early to go to the hospital and inducing Connor's delivery. More about that later on the other blog.

Good on you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Well, the mystery song award goes to Chris. Van Halen's rendition of "Ice Cream Man" is ringing through my ears even now. Not as bad as the real ice cream man's efforts as he drives around my neighborhood, but you know what I mean. Next time we are looking for songs that talk about SHAPES. Weird, I know, but I do already have a song in mind. So when you think about how I am dumb as a bag of wet hair you should easily be able to come up with several if I can come up with one.

The drum beats of unemployment are beating more and more loudly. Prayer, please.

I led worship on Sunday and two interesting things happened afterward. Right after the service I was approached by a disgruntled member lamenting the fact that we no longer use sheet music. I am a little disappointed by our loss of harmony, too, but I don't know how feasible some of the options are. Much of the music we are singing now simply was not meant for four-part harmony. Valiant efforts have been made to convert them accordingly, but this has resulted in a greater degree of difficulty causing people to overwhelmingly sing the melody (also because they sing what they're hearing on the radio). Well, this guy was not satisfied with any of this discussion and said we should go back to books or use one of the multi-media hymnals. The problem with this is that many of the songs we sing are not in the books and though eventually available on the other products, updates aren't free. The answer? I don't know and neither did he. I will say, however, that praise teams can help fill some of that gap if they are consistent in singing songs as written. However, when praise teams approach their ministry half-heartedly and do not take the time and effort to learn the music, they add to the confusion. Oh well, that's enough about that.

The other thing that happened after Sunday morning was kind of funny. After one of our elders told a story about the blessings that come from adopting children I mentioned that although I had heard his story before, I still get "veklempt" at the re-telling. Sunday night I got a call from a member saying her IATW group had been discussing Mike's use of the word "perfunctory" but instead she wanted to know what "veklempt" meant. I did my best to define it for her and gave her the best spelling I could dream up, but I was still amazed at the call. I recommended a Yiddish deictionary, but I don't know if there is one in Abilene.

The finish line is in sight as far as the concession stand goes. Kendra has been a real trooper and the stand has done great, financially. But tonight it will close for the last time this season so there may be some bargains on the stuff that hasn't moved all that well. Anyone for some grape Laffy Taffy?

Mike has mentioned several times lately the concept of living below our means for the sake of the kingdom. This is a great thing to pursue, but extremely difficult in our society but a central theme in Christ's teachings. I was fortunate to grow up in the shadow of someone who modeled this very well, but I still struggle not to succomb to the pull of materialism. Let's all encourage one another toward better things than materialism. Since it is so difficult, encouragement from one another is key. Just a thought.

Have a great day.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

"ONE" Day More

I don't know if I helped anyone else enjoy it, but I enjoyed worship today. The sermon was also one I connected with. Mike has been on an extended kick about being in the world and active among all of God's people rather than just those we are like. I really wonder what this says about some things Christians champion like home-schooling or Christian schools or country clubs or other such things. I graduated from a Christian school myself (although it also bore the nickname of North Judge Ely Reform School) and perhaps in doing so was sheltered (although I rather doubt it). It is just interesting to think about things that are separatist in their very nature in light of being missional. I know that's probably controversial, but Jesus was kind of funny that way.

Speaking of controversy, how about I stick my foot in it a little deeper and come out against the "ONE" Campaign as I currently understand it. I have actually been thinking and praying about this notion of Third World debt forgiveness for a while now, and I see a danger there. Using Africa as an example, we are not talking about a poor continent. Rather, we are talking about a continent that is rich in natural beauty and resources but populated with an abundance of poor people. These people have been victimized by wealthy oppressors and increasing the power of these oppressors has served to further create hardships for the poor. I fear that to merely obliterate debt obligations might increase the power of the unscrupulous instead of helping those in need. I think debt forgiveness can only be done successfully if controls are established and enforced that allow the countries in question to be governed by the people so they are the ultimate beneficiaries. I suppose that to some this might sound like a transaction in exchage for democracy, but to do something without the proper controls would be irresponsible and true example of the paving potential of good intentions. Guarding against this would create an environment wherein trade and commerce could thrive and jobs would be created for many rather than wealth for a few.

The song we were looking for on SMILE was "Smile." I know, it was a real stretch. THe words are:

Smile and the world smiles with you sing a song
Don't be dreary. Just be cheery all day long.
Whenever your trials your troubles and your cares
Seem to be more than you can really bear
Just smile and the world smiles with you sing a song!

I know that one because I used to be a Kiwanian but that is for another blog. Anyway, nobody got that one. The next topic is ICE CREAM. Go for it (but don't get any on you).

**This just in: I have a really pretty wife. Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.**

Right now I am listening to four little giggling girls sing karaoke back in Michal Kate's room. They are singing the following lie: "We Got the Beat." It is very cute, but they scatter like scared rats if you try to go in there and watch.

That's all for now.