Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I'm back..
How are you?
I'm fine.

Got some news to post soon...

to prepare, I ask you to take a quick look at this.

Monday, December 31, 2012

It is Finished

2012 has come to a close... It's been a year of transition.  I changed my full time job (I didn't leave the Ex, I just changed assignments.. read a little about it here). I have learned new things and used a completely different skill set.  It has been great to exercise a new part of my brain and light up some new neural synapses.  I do station visits, I have some audit functions, but the biggest and hardest part of the job is recruiting seasonal drivers for "peak"...or Christmas deliveries.. I'm away from home a lot, but I think Donna likes the peace and quiet.  Our relationship is very good as we skype a lot and stay in touch via txt and phone calls.  So far, this has been very good.

 The evening service called "Mosaic" at Perritte Memorial Methodist Church came to an end.  I lead worship there for 2 years. The service had great people that have expended a large amount of energy to try and reach  a new group of people in Nacogdoches but it never got momentum.  I miss those good people but fortunately I'm friends with most of them on facebook.

My son Austin moved out of the house and got 2 part time jobs in the Webster Tx area.  I stay with him when I work in Houston.  Early in the mornings he is a package handler at the Ex and on weekends he works concessions at Kemah Boardwalk.
He really seems to be enjoying his new jobs and he loves NOT being in Lufkin.  There is a Chipotle' just a couple of blocks from his apartment and he loves living in that area with so much to see and do.

My oldest brother Richard passed away this year, and my family asked me to perform the service.  It was hard in a way but it was also a great blessing to talk about my oldest brother and laugh and cry with my family about him and his life.  My relationship was not always good with Richard but I was so glad that I had seen and talked to him a few times in his last months and in his last day he called me a hardhead and we told each other "I love you".  It was a good day even though it was his last.

Finally, as of midnight, December 31st 2012, I will no longer be a pastor at First Christian Church in Lufkin, Tx.  The new job I have requires full time travel.  I work in Houston when I'm not working in Lake Charles or Victoria or Corpus or Brownsville or Laredo or Uvalde or wherever else the company needs me.  This travel and the new responsibilities pull me away from my congregation and prevent me from fulfilling my call as pastor to this congregation.  It was a very hard decision but it's the right one.  I thought I could make it all work but I could  not.  Sunday was my last service and we did a little extra music.  It was a fun morning and I enjoyed being at the table for the last time.  You can go to church again here if you want.. :-)

2012 was kind of a hard year... I look forward to 2013 and what it has in store.  Hannah's graduation and what she will do after... Austin's work (he's already been told he'll go to full time at Kemah in February), weekends with my bride.  Donna and I looked back and realized that for the last 14+ years since we started Upward Basketball at FUMC Lufkin and we both started working in church services doing various things, we have been working 6 and 7 days a week for all those years.  Since I travel so much I will value some free weekends with my honey.  We're going to the Cotton Bowl to watch the Aggies beat the hell outta o.u. and we will celebrate our 29th anniversary a couple of weeks later.  We are still very young at heart and love being together.

Adios 2012...  2013 has lots to offer, but most of all.. as Jimmy Buffett says.  I Love the Now!

Ecclesiastes 3

12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The end of a long chapter...

Well today should be my last day at the Lufkin station of a small package delivery company that used to be called RPS. I can't use the actual name as the corporate folks are picky as to when and where their name is used and I get that. Most of you know who I'm talking about because I affectionately call it "The Ex".

I got here 14 years and 10 months ago. There were 7 routes and there was one package handler that unloaded the trailer and one that looked up bad addresses. A part time service manager that did check-in and myself. I had been a special assignment manager in Shreveport for several months so I had an idea as to what I was getting in to.. but I really didn't. This was a small small station. I unloaded the trailer my first day here as the normal package handler quit while the building was without a manager.

That was just the first in a long line of many things that comprise my life as "terminal manager" or "station manager" as we now call it here in Lufkin.

I've delivered routes..some for months while I was looking for and recruiting drivers and running the building. There were days I unloaded, delivered, loaded the outbound packages in the evening and dispatched the linehaul driver. Let's just say "chief cook and bottle washer" was a very appropriate title.

I've worked with many people. Some drove me crazy and I had very stressful and unhealthy relationships with them (cleaning out my desk and finding the zantak and other digestive meds in my drawer reminds me of the times when this place was much more stressful).

I was pushed to my limits many times here, for the hours I worked and the energy and life it took from me. I poured my heart and soul in to this place for a long time. I treated it as if it were my own business.

Through all the challenges and stresses I new I needed something bigger in my life. There were times I would go by FUMC's prayer room early early in the morning before going to work to try and find something I didn't have. I knew I couldn't do it alone. We later plugged in to church there and then later we started Upward Basketball here in Lufkin. That changed my life and how I dealt with people and with things.

I gave people I had experienced major fall outs with a second chance. I forgave and laid down huge burdens. I became a minister to the staff I had here at work. I encouraged them spiritually but mostly I listened and tried to help the best I could. I love these people. I'm going to miss working with them every day. I've sponsored a couple of them on the Walk to Emmaus and some I've just been here for when they needed an ear or some advice.

I've learned a great deal here. Treat people how you want them to perform. If you want them to be winners, treat them like winners. Recognize in public and criticize in private. Anger is a tool.. it should not be an emotion in the workplace. If you let anger rule you then you have lost your effectiveness. Diversity is an amazing blessing. It's not easy I assure you but you have the most creative answers through a diverse work group. Love your people. Be a servant leader. I'm not perfect nor will I ever be and I have stood up in front of my entire team and apologized before when I was wrong in the way I've done something or how I treated someone. (I think I was actually wrong once.. just kidding ;-) )

We had 7 vans all inside our building when I got here. We now have 24 trucks that hit the street every day. We have added 3 modular docks on to the back of the building to handle the additional trucks. We had 1 package handler and 1 PT svc manager when I got here. We have 14 package handlers, 1 service manager, 1 pick up and delivery coordinator and 4 administrative personnel. We have had 2 name changes since I got here and I've had 6 or 7 bosses in that time.

I'm taking on new responsibilities. It's not a promotion. I am simply doing something else. In fact it is actually 1 grade lower than my current pay grade but my pay will be the same. I've made some decisions in my life. They are impacting me now and I'm ok with that. When I got to Lufkin, I planned to be here 18 months and move on up to bigger and better things. We then found community and we put down roots. I wanted a stable life for my children. I wanted them to grow up and graduate here. My wife and I have strong ties of faith and friends here and we really didn't want to go either but I have a Gypsy bone in me that I'm sure I got from my dad. I have been restless. I stayed for the kids but once they got out of school I tried to get some promotions but the jobs I was applying for went to younger folks.. or people with "big building" experience. I passed on those things earlier in my career for my kids. I have no issues or animosity regarding the path I chose. I love where I am and I love where I'm going.

My new job will require me to work in Houston mostly but I will have stations from Lake Charles down to Brownsville. We are not moving as my wife loves her church ladies and does not want to leave the support and fellowship she gets from those wonderful "chicks". I'll work out something in Houston and come home on the weekends. I still have my work at FCC Lufkin to do. I am also continuing as worship leader at Perritte Memorial UMC's Mosaic service. I want to keep working on those responsibilities as that is my calling right now. But I'll have to figure out a living situation. My boy is looking to find a job in Houston so maybe we can share an apt as we live in to this thing.. I may be staying with family while I'm down there. Maybe I can find a bedroom to rent from someone. It will work itself out.

I feel I will end up back in Lufkin with a full time job some day. I believe that is my future, but you never know what might happen. I hope that my future is at FCC Lufkin but I've got to get kids employed/out of college and bills paid off before that can happen. And you never know what God has in store for you as you walk down the path of life. I never thought I'd be here this long... but I'm thankful that I have been. I really don't know what lies ahead but I'm thankful for the opportunity that God and the Ex has given me. It will be hard not doing the same thing I've done for the last 15 years.. I will miss these people I've been working with for so long. I've hired or supervised the hiring of every person in this building. This place is a big part of me and I have been blessed by all those here. I hope that I am a big part of this building as well. I hope that what I have brought here and left here will give these people wings to fly on and the power and direction to achieve whatever it is they want to do in life. I love them and I want nothing but the best for them. I will see them again down the road...but our daily routine is forever changed as of today.

I've packed my office and put it in the car. All that is left is finishing out the day today. I have Friday off and I hope to have a nice weekend with my wife away from it all. Monday I will report to work in Houston. I'm anxious about that and I'm sure I will miss my 3 mile drive to and from work. I'm also excited and have great anticipation about what is down the road. I hope in all of this that my faith grows stronger and my relationship with God and with my family is made better.

Let's turn the page...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A day of silence

I tried to begin a day of silence yesterday around this time... work kept that from happening but it did begin around Sundown.. Mountain time. Be that as it may it is something I hope to do about once a quarter. Sure I spoke a couple of times.. in error but for the most part I kept quiet and kept my Lord my focus.

Last night I read my bible for a while and read through some information for my sermon I'll be preaching in a couple of weeks. First Sunday of Lent so I'll be teaching a little about Lent, Ash Wednesday (we are holding an Ash Wednesday service for the 2nd year in a row..this time in the evening)...and then preaching a little about those whiny Hebrews in the desert wishing they were back in Egypt... and then God sends them manna and quail. You would think by then they would have faith in God.. after all they had seen.. I mean we have it all figured out don't we?


Got up this morning...shook Austin to get him off to work.... and read my bible some more. Then washed dishes (by hand..washer is broke) and cleaned up the kitchen while Donna is away working the Emmaus Walk this weekend.

Finished the dishes then I took a ride on my bicycle for about 16 miles.. it was hard..first ride in a while but my knee responded wonderfully and I'm feeling the work in my abs and legs right now. That's good..hope I can stand and play a guitar in church tomorrow.

Took a hot my bible some more..and dozed off for a bit.

Then I got up and planned music for mosaic for Sunday night and worked on this song a little bit that I'm supposed to do during lent called "Then the Quail Came". I have most of the chords figured out but I haven't charted it yet. If you know this song and have charts please let me know :-)

My day of silence is about to end when Austin gets home and we head out to Broaddus together. All in all it has been a great 24 (more or less...more less than more I think but that's ok) hours. I look forward to doing it again in the next 3 months.

Praise God from whom all Blessings flow!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Key West...Key Lime....

Key West was an awesome place.. we really fell in love with it. We would love to go back again and again. Riding around town on scooters. Eating great food. Beautiful beaches. Beautiful water. Great people. Just a different pace of life.

One of the things we did discover was what you can do with Key Limes..

We started seeing many many things Key Lime somewhere around day 2. We started making a list.. Then a friendly shop owner said if we really wanted to flesh out our list we needed to go to Kermit's

Let me tell you..some of this stuff is awesome.. the barbecue sauce and the cilantro chip sauce is fabulous. Key Lime Margaritas...not so much. A tad too tart. The wine on the other hand even had us non wine drinkers singing its praises.

Well enough with the details... here is the list of everything we found Key Lime on Key West.
In no particular order... Key Lime:

Ice Crush
Coconut patties
Bark (as in candy coating)
Pie on a stick
Ice cream
Pie cookies
Margarita Mix
Shortbread cookies
Strawberry iced tea
Tea cookies
Candy canes
White chocolate cookies
Mango poppy dressing
Barbecue sauce
Hot sauce
Mango chutney
Datil pepper
Strawberry jalapeno jelly
Bath jell
Fruit Squares
Cocktail dipping sauce
Guacamole dip
Florida bay spice
Citrus salsa
Jelly Beans

I don't proclaim that this list is all inclusive.. if you have had some other Key Lime "something" let me know and post it here...

Oh yes.. as like the pic says..

Key Lime Time

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Miami for a day… + some

We did a quick run in to Coconut Grove Saturday night… pretty cool place. Walked around a bit but was an interesting evening… Burn Notice has a warehouse there where they do all their stage shooting. They also do most of their “on location” shooting in the Coconut Grove area.

Then Sunday we went to Miami Beach.. we walked and walked and walked.. Some fun observations, experiences and encounters during the day.

The beach is amazing!!!

Met a really great lady that was the bartender at the poolside bar and The Clevelander hotel. She has two beautiful daughters and she’s afraid of going in to the remote areas of Florida where there are not many lights. She has the same feelings that many people from my part of Texas have when they go in to a big city. I had 2 margaritas there… it was actually before noon….

Then had a cigar a little later while walking down Ocean dr.

Later as Hannah and I are standing outside the Ghirardelli's. chocolate store contemplating a hot fudge Sunday.. Donna walks up and says “what sin have you found now?” My favorite quote of the day from family.

Later on at the beach near the Key Biscayne lighthouse, a local asks Donna “Do you speak English or do you speak Spanish?” Just never thought Donna looked like a Spanish speaking person.

Coolest observation of the day: Donna says “You know, I’ve noticed something about the groups around here”. I said “There are no lines… not like the ones we normally think of .. color..”

We were also the minority as English speaking people in Miami beach.

We have also designated Miami as “Smokers Paradise”. Dang there are so many people that smoke there. I guess it’s all the Europeans. I’m not hating… since I had my cigar there..but still. Lots of cigarette smokers. Lots of scooters too.

About 10 percent of the people I saw in Miami look like models.

The lady at Key Biscayne was very nice too. She was very sociable .. asked Donna to take pics of her and her son. We had her take pics of us too.

Most everyone we ran across was very friendly and nice. Now Donna had us marching all over Miami beach..the a little driving to Key Biscayne..then walked all over Miami beach again to get pics of the art deco hotels with their neon on at night…put blisters on my left foot. Wore us out. Felt like boot camp. It was about 15 kilometers.. Donna and Hannah named our day the Donna Anderson’s Miami Beach, 15K pro am fun run race for the cure (a la The Office). Still recovering..

We’ll have more observations from Key West..mainly how may different ways you can eat Key Lime “whatever”..


Forgot that the lady at Key Biscayne also asked Donna if we were from Northern Florida..because we sounded like her in-laws.


A guy in an al fresco restaurant ..the cafe at Books and Books..had a dog that was slobbering all over Austin.... He was too timid to say anything to them so Donna asked if they could pull their dog a very nice way. One of the guys asked us where in the south were we from..he then pointed at his SMU business school cap (with his Princeton t-shirt on too). We tried to bond a little by pointing out that our daughter was going to TCU but he would have none of it...