Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 27th 2008....One for the books!

Yesterday started out fairly normal.. Go to FedEx in the morning a little before 7 and be FedEx guy for a while... it was not Monday but it was the first workday of the week so there was a pastor meeting in the morning. Go be pastor dude (I'm trying this based on oldfart's recommendation) for a while. Meet with pastors, meet with staff, pastor and intern lunch then back to being FedEx guy.

At Fedex for maybe an hour and then something strange happens.... the world tilts just a little off of it's normal axis. Jupiter aligns with Mars. The moon (which we could not see) turns blood red..... actually...the moon is in the last quarter phase in the sign of Pisces. The moon square Sun at 10:56 p.m. on May 27th (I really don't know what any of that means) Thanks

Anyway.. the insanity begins.

You can read about the first of the fun things that happened yesterday below in my blog on the break in.

I go back to work and then head back home a couple of hours later...

I get home and find a couple of nice long lag bolts to screw the door shut with and I'm thinking all the craziness is over.

I walk back in to the bedroom and there is this big commotion in the corner.. my cat has a squirrel. It chews a little and then plays a little and so on and so on... I'm trying to keep Donna calm and see if I can get the cat away from the squirrel. He runs under the bed hanging on to the squirrel. Great! I run him out from under the bed in to the dining room and I don't see where he goes (I'm hoping he's out the doggy door) no... he's hiding under the bell cabinet. chomping... I run him out from under there and he heads toward the newly busted door with the doggy door in it. He stops right in front of the dog door and chews some more.... Donna is not handling this well at all. The cat is really pissed but won't go outside so I finally (against my better judgement) grab him by the scruff of the neck and pick him up. He leaves a headless squirrel carcass behind. I take the cat outside then I go retrieve the squirrel and discard him in a plastic bag in the trash.

Now it's time to pick up Austin's car from repair garage we dropped it off at and take it to Cox muffler so they can check his catalytic converter. He has an old bmw with a few issues. The handle on the driver side is kinda messed up so I start to open the window so I can open it from the outside... the window drops down in to the door. I'm just glad it didn't break. I worked for about 15 minutes to pull the window up but no luck. Well I couldn't leave his car with the open window at Cox so I drove it home. I work on trying to get the window to come up but just make it worse and also end up running the battery down messing with the electric window switch and trying to get the window up with a pair of pliers.

It starts to drizzle so I just push the car under the carport and hook the charger to the battery and leave it for another time...

Austin comes home from work at the CLC at FUMC and finds the needle nose pliers Donna and I neither one could find anywhere. He pulls his window up in about 4 seconds.

I order pizza from, pour me a tall cold diet coke, go climb in the bed and turn on the TiVo... by this time it's almost 10:00 p.m. I didn't plan music, we didn't hang wallpaper, I just blew a ton of adrenaline and frustration and got almost nothing done..and I'm hoping nothing else happens....well I did put those two lag bolts through my door/door jam so no one could get in... I've got that going for me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well that was interesting...

I received a frantic call from my wife this afternoon that someone had broken in to the house while our son Ausitn was there. I was stuck at work at the time and couldn't just up and run but a few moments later I took off for my house.

As I turned down our street I could see 5 police cars on either side of the road but they weren't at our house... they were a block closer to me than what I would have thought... then I see my wife trotting down the sidewalk pointing. Another police car croses my path on a cross street and then I get to that street and see 3 more police cars on the side of the road. I slow down and talk to Donna and she says she's seen them and they are trying to catch them (my wife in joint pursuit on foot with the local law enforcement agency). I asked if she wanted to get in and she said no. She was in hot pursuit. I turn right and make the block and pull up at my house.

I go inside because I want to see if Austin is ok. He's fine. Not even very anxious. I find out our dog (Austin's dog Baily) started barking. He then went upstairs and barked at Austin and Austin went down stairs to find a young man standing in our dining room. He says he's looking for a person and then leaves. This sounds like an episode of Lassie... anyway Donna comes in and all dote over the dog for his heroic act and then we see the police pull up in front of the house.

The officer comes to the front door and talks to us a little and finds out that our son saw one of them and that Donna saw 3 of them running between houses in the neighborhood. They have them apprehended in front of the CVS. He asks us to come to CVS and ID them. I drive Donna and Austin over to the CVS and sure enough it's the ones they saw. The one Austin saw in the house even points and nods at Austin.

They ask Austin and Donna to come to the station and write up a witness statement. This all happened in less than an hour. I head on back to work...and here I am letting you know about our little exciting moment today.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indy Jones and that Crystal Skull movie

I went and saw this movie with my kids Saturday afternoon. Todd and Chris have already posted many of my own thoughts on the movie. I just want you to know that I'll go see it again. For 2 reasons.. Donna hasn't seen it yet and I'll take her when she gets through working on the living room painting project or when she gets tired of painting, and because I liked it. I liked the first, the third and this one. Raiders is still my fav but this one was fun and I enjoyed seeing Karen Allen back in the story. I've had a secret crush on her since I saw her in Animal House.

Spend your money and enjoy! There will be things that you will have issues with just like I did but overall it was a well spent couple of hours.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


This came from here. Several.. well almost all my friends that I know blog have already been tagged but I'll do this anyway and I'll think of something.


1. Managing FedEx Ground
2. Contemplating ministry
3. Leading worship every Sunday @ FUMC Lufkin
4. Helping raise 2 children
5. Enjoying Memorial day weekend?


1. Watch the new Indy Jones Movie
2. Play electronic Monopoly with Austin
3. Shave my head
4. Avoid any and all honey-do's
5. Do this blog


1. Cold Oreo cookies and ice cold milk
2. Fund raiser cookie dough straight out of the freezer.
3. Crispedos (yes this is gas station food) and chocolate milk
4. Cheetos and diet coke.
5. Freetoes and diet coke.


1. A million to each of my brothers.
2. Stop working at FedEx
3. Be a full time minister with no salary.
4. Take my wife wherever she wants to go.
5. Fund a lot of ministries.


1. Poor eating habits
2. Poor exercise habits
3. Impulse buyer
4. Procrastinator
5. Don't read my Bible like I should.


1. Texas City, TX
2. Alta Loma, TX
3. College Station, TX
4. Austin, TX
5. Lewisville, TX (there's more)


1. Stock boy at Weiner's department store
2. Laborer on a construction crew
3. Resident adviser in Walton Hall @ Texas A&M
4. Food service at Sbisa Dining hall @ Texas A&M
5. Senior Manger @ FedEx Ground


1. Angela - Because I knew her when she was in Jr. High and she has grown to be such an awesome young lady with a great perspective.
2. Glover - Because Clay tagged him but he hasn't responded yet, and he's taking to0 long to come up with new content.
3. Sam- Ditto and because he got me in to this blogging thing to start with...even though he makes fun of twitter.
4. Shane-Because I've got him on my friends but he hasn't blogged in a long time.
5. Jimmy-He's my brother, he's a sports genius and is the only family member I know that has a blog.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday May 23rd

Was a long hard day. It started at 5:30 this morning (after getting home from an Astro's game last night around 11:30..more on that at another time). I hit the snooze a couple of times and then finally drug my sleepy self out of bed washed the sleep out of my eyes took care of other normal morning duties and responsibilities, pulled out my jeans (because it is blue jean Friday at work for those who made donations to United Way.. and my whole team does it because my management and admin folks area truly great folks) and my FedEx golf shirt, got dressed and headed for ... La Unica. I picked up a pile of breakfast burritos for a meeting I was having this morning. I got to the office around 6:30 a.m. and pulled out the TV and DVD player, the overhead projector and the projection screen. I had all the food set out, the presentation equipment and materials ready to go by 0700. I walked around and talked to some of the folks that were there. Oldfart (who is still working for me) told me about seeing me on TV last night while watching the Astro's game. I visited with a couple of other employees, contractors and drivers and then started on some morning reports. I didn't finish because it was time to get this meeting going. It was about 7:15 so I sent a text to all my contractors reminding them of the meeting in 15 minutes.

Took a walk around the dock 10 minutes later and tried to get everyone in. I made the presentation and reviewed the "settlement enhancements" the contractors were getting in the new fiscal year that begins in June. It took about 3o minutes to present and cover questions. Big thing #1 done.

Worked the dispatch window for about 30 minutes and then went and put my morning reports together and sent them off to the region. Took a glance at my blog and blog friends and then it was time to do a performance review.

It was time for one of my employees and I to sit down and do her performance review. I know most employees have anxiety about reviews but when I'm being reviewed I'm usually pretty calm. Doing reviews with my people is usually pretty much a snap. They all know what to do and do it well. I still like to review their areas of responsibility and critique things to help them grow. That takes some time and energy. We were done with that after 30 minutes or so and so she went home.. Now it's time to go through our HR manual and look at all the charts and guides to see what I can do regarding a merit increase. Fill out the paperwork copy the stuff and Express it to the region office. #2 and #3 done.

Cleared my desk of a few days of forms and reports and filed them. I pulled together a few things, checked my fantasy baseball team, e-mails, etc. #3.5

I had one more major thing I had to do today. I never like these things. It is an admission of failure in my part and it has significant negative impact on another human being. I have to pull all the paperwork for review and discussion. I also have to type up a mandatory form letter that the legal department has laid out for us to use. I get all that prepared and now I wait.

I've got several hours before I can address the issue. I head to the house and the TV is on. I don't pay attention to what's on the tube. I go make a turkey and cheese sandwich and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I sit down and realize it's the end of "Wyatt Earp". I've never seen it but know the story well enough from watching "Tombstone" that I know what it is. I eat my lunch and then one of my favorite movies "Hunt for Red October" (and one of my favorite books too) is coming on. I finish lunch and am watching it and doze off. I get awakened by my son busting through the front door with food from "Sam's" and asks me to help bring it in. He had been helping his mom with grocery shopping this afternoon.

I'm fully groggy with heart pounding now so I might as well go back to work. All I can do is wait until he returns to the building from the route.

#4 Another very energy draining event. He is sad and disturbed but he knew it was going to happen too. He admitted he had done it to himself. He's quiet and somber. I don't feel guilty as I always over communicate to all if there is any possibility that they may be getting in to trouble. I still empathize with what is happening. I'm concerned about their future. I do try to pastor to people in these moments but it is hard. This was a calm meeting but still draining.

#5 Then the paperwork. Documentation of the event. Processing in our on line system. E-mails sent to the appropriate company officials. I finally left the office around 6:50.

It was a long hard day.. time for a margarita at Cheddars where I saw Katie Anderson. It's always a joy to see her.

Oldfart prayed for me regarding what was happening today. I I'm pretty sure it helped. Praying always helps. Pray for the person I had to deal with this afternoon as well. I will be.

Todd, perhaps you can see why I didn't want to do my "tagged" today. This "5" things I must do today wasn't very fun. I hope to get to it tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter killed by car in driveway

I saw this here. I'm heartbroken for the Chapman family. I pray for grace and peace for them. I ask you to pray too.

Cafe du Monde

The pic above is actually the aftermath of having cafe' au lait and beignets the morning before we went on a family cruise during spring break this year (March 8-13 2008 cruise date). We departed from N.O. on this cruise because it was cheaper than Galveston and so we could go to Cafe du Monde before and after the cruise as well as meander around the French Quarter. FYI.. it was good..real good! We weren't drunk either LOL.. it was only 9 a.m. LOL. Love me some coffee and beignets!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the (re)blog

OK, I've already talked about my friend Cory and his (re)blog before. He's posted that he is thinking of "killing it before it dies". Responses have been minimal since he (re)surrected it.

He will challenge most of the folks in east Texas to think beyond the bible belt mentality we've grown up with while also being grounded in Christian theology that matches his liberal arguments. He's from here so he knows where most of you come from but he's also ventured to the northwest and has experienced and embraced a different "mindset".

Don't blow him off. Challenge him. Have conversation. He loves conversation. We all grow from conversation (see Proverbs 27:17) I need you to embrace his page... because I like reading it so much. I learn a lot from it. He may challenge you and question you but I assure you he has a big heart and does it all in love and for the expansion of God's kingdom. Check him out and give him some feedback.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Not to long ago.. because my son had been watching it... I began watching a show called House.

It's a show like I've never seen before. It is mostly a comedy I guess but it has drama aspects to it too. But it is also a pretty heady medical show. I mean the people that help write this thing must be medical geniuses or can really make up a bunch of medical stuff that fools the heck out of me.

The main character of the show is Dr. Gregory House. He is pretty much a loaner. He doesn't interact with the patients much because he really doesn't care about them (at least that is what we are to understand). He hates to work in the clinic and ends up creating some pretty funny scenes when he has to. He works through is medical staff to help with diagnostic problems that others cannot handle. He does that because it's interesting. Not because he cares but because it's challenging.. oh yeah..he's addicted to pain killers and likes to drink a little to much too.

I can remember seeing ads for the show months back thinking there was no way I could enjoy a show that was so hateful and mean. House is so demeaning to his staff, to patients and to his only friend Wilson.. a kind hearted oncologist that I can't for the life of me figure out why he likes and hangs out with House except that they wrote him that way.

Anyway..I've gotten hooked on this show. I love the caustic put downs that House comes up with. It reminds me of some of us at work who love to take jabs at each other. We love to "hate" on each other.. but in the show it's not friendly jabs but it is great ammo for work.

All the stuff they work on is trying to figure out what is wrong with someone when no one else can figure it out. The interactions between the characters are great and it's fun to watch how House's team work against and with each other to deal with patients and House and the game of figuring out what's wrong.

Last night it was the season finale... It's hard for me to think of it. It was the most depressing and sad season finale I've ever seen. I won't post what happened here because you might want to go to the link and watch it because if you know the characters at all it really had them show themselves deep down and real.. and there were things revealed about Dr. House that you may not have realized. It was a great show.. You could even read a little about it here.

There was also a great song at the end of the show that was haunting.. It was called "Passing Afternoon" by "Iron and Wine". What a cool song. I had to find it. My daughter knew who the group was when she heard them on the show so we then searched for it so I could hear it again.. We re-ran the TiVo a couple of times but I needed to know more about the group and the song.

You can check out the MySpace too but that song isn't on there. It needs to be but I think it's some pretty cool music. Hannah found a YouTube someone had done with "Passing Afternoon" in the background. I thought it was pretty cool so I thought I'd share it.

This may all be old news to you but the show blew me away and so did the music.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speed Racer

I don't know why I was excited about this movie. I'm 48 years old and you would think that a movie about a cartoon I watched when I was a kid would not affect me that way.. but it did. It was just something to do before I had to do homework after school. Or it was something to watch before I caught the bus for school. I was not a fanatic nor am I a fanatic now. A friend and I used to make fun of how they talked on the show when we were in college.. that's about how much I was in to it.

Then later in life when on long bus rides with kids or whatever singing the Speed Racer theme song was something that was done to embarrass the kids or impress them that I knew a song to a cartoon that they kids or kids from youth at church. watching the cartoon probably since the 1970's with an occasional visit in the 80's for a laugh.

So again, I don't know why I was so pumped about going and seeing this. Perhaps it was because I was so impressed with what the Wachowski brothers did with "The Matrix" and wondered what it would be like. Maybe because I still sing that theme song now and again just for fun. Maybe it was because I still remember how funny they sounded.

The commercials looked amazing.. somewhat of a crazy sensory display of light and color. I like bright shiny things... So I was hooked.

I loved the movie. I was slightly heartbroken in that there were I guess 3 profanities and one scene where the family is on an elevator about to leave a very heated discussion and Spritle gives the international high sign. A mom of smaller kids in front of me whispers to her kids "never do that". I would have been disappointed to take my kids to this movie when they were a lot younger.

This movie is not for them.. unless they hear those words already then I guess it's not a big deal but we don't curse at home... I try not to curse at all.. I feel it was a weakness of mine for years and I have given it up. I also felt it was the best way for my kids to know that it was not proper.. we don't say this at home so you know it's not appropriate... The movie had no F-bombs just a few words that were not necessary for the movie to be successful.

I don't think this movie was made for small kids although that was half the audience. The movie was made for me.. and adults like me that grew up watching this cartoon. As the show progressed memories of my youth and this cartoon rushed back. I found myself laughing to myself during the movie during parts that were not funny just because John Goodman nailed Pops. Spritle was pretty darn good and finally Speed confronts Racer X on his identity. No doubt I could not figure out how stupid this guy was that he couldn't see that Racer X was his brother... Racer X... Rex Racer... racer rex... rex racer duh!!!!

I won't reveal the outcome of that but I thought it was handled very well.

Chim Chim or the two monkeys that played Chim Chim were great. Inspector detector.. heck I forgot about him.. Inspector detector was great too.

The story line stuck to the story line of the old cartoons....and in case you forget about what that was all about the sound bites that run during the credits include audio from old cartoon clips that help you remember just how important it was that Speed win the races he ran.

I was blow away. It was so good.. it brought back so many memories and held so true to that old cartoon in so many ways... some of the action scenes.. the dismounting of the cars were real and yet cartoon like. The backgrounds were very colorful and you might have sensory overload if you are not careful.

I loved it as a movie for the adult that grew up watching it. Later, I even finally got to go see "Iron Man" after Speed Racer and I have to say that "Speed Racer" was much better... different .. but for me .. yesterday.. better.

Take all that for what it's worth. I'm no movie critic. I go to be entertained.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Sabbath, it is something that a bi-vocational or volunteer servant in the church may ignore if we are not careful. Heck, I know pastors that are full time pastors that struggle with sabbath. Sabbath is necessary. It's the way we were made. God gave us the sabbath to rest, recuperate, worship, disconnect, reconnect. There are plenty of people I know that have a hard time actually taking a sabbath. They feel guilty or useless if they are not doing something, if they are not working.

I get accused of this because of my addiction to the crackberry I carry. It belongs to FedEx but I keep it with me all the time. It's my cell phone that connects me to friends, family, church as well as FedEx. It also has e-mail capabilities and I get over 100 e-mails a day. When I used to go on vacation it would take me 2 days just to get caught up on my e-mails. I would send e-mails to friends when I got back from vacation telling them things like "deleted 727 e-mails this morning". They would do the same. Now when I go on vacation I can manage my e-mails while I'm travelling and forward them to staff for action and delete the ones I don't need on a daily basis. When I get back to work, I'm current. This actually gives me more peace than setting it aside and having to deal with 700+ emails when I get I am not addicted to work. I know the value of sabbath. I also know the value of not getting run over by a train...which is what work used to feel like on my first day back from vacation.

The family took a vacation in the middle of March, during spring break, and took a cruise. It was a wonderful time. It was the last time I have been able to fully disengage. Before that? Early January... You see with my responsibilities at church and at FedEx I have very busy days and very busy evenings most days too. Sunday starts early to get ready for our early contemporary worship service. I also have traditional worship at 11:00 and then I'm usually back to the church around 4:00 to get set up and practice and perform music for youth on Sunday night. Usually get done Sunday night around 8:00 p.m. Do I worship during that time? You bet! I worship while I'm at FedEx too! I tried to do all things as though I am doing them for Christ. In fact I do all things for Christ.. but is it sabbath? No. So, is Sunday sabbath for me? No. Too many responsibilities, to many things to think about, too many things to listen too. Sunday is worship but not sabbath.

With all that, Saturday is usually my sabbath. Be it work at the church or stuff at FedEx or whatever, it had to be something very important or critical for me to plug in to it, because Saturday was my down time day. It was my day to re-charge my batteries, to disconnect from the world and have some good reflection time. It was sometimes just shutdown time. We all need it and God made it known it was important. It's one of the big 10.

Well, since January I've been taking a Disciples (Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)) History class. I reflected on it some in an earlier post. It was a great class and I learned a lot and I wish that I had more time to do better on the work assigned...but just not enough hours in the day. With that day for sabbath became my day for study. Reading hundreds of pages, watching on line lectures and writing papers. Loved doing it but my day of rest disappeared. This class even loomed over the vacation we took because there were readings and assignments due the week of spring break. So that tension remained during that week of fun.

You can do this kind of stuff for a while but then it begins to wear on you. You begin to go through the motions on some things. Things that have meaning for you become burdens. Trudging through life becomes the norm instead of appreciating God, God's creation and all that surround us.

As I've said before.. the class is over. This Saturday is my sabbath. I am going to finally... after too long... disconnect. My day will be spent with my wife. We're not even sure what we're going to do. We may go to trade days in Nacogdoches, I may work on my daughters 67 mustang some, There are thoughts of a day trip to Galveston. I hope to find some time to read more of that book that is over in the margins of my blog. I've read 1 chapter in a week. I'll have to go back and re-read it because I can't seem to get enough time in a large enough block to read it in one sitting. I may forward a few early e-mails from my crackberry on Saturday morning to my staff that work that day..or maybe I won't. You might not be able to get in touch with me at all.

You see I believe all should do this. I think it is important to our mental health as well as our physical health. Like I said, God made us that way. It's essential to our well being. Time for me to practice what I preach.. and yes, I've actually preached on sabbath before..Now time to practice it after too long away from it. Perhaps I'll twitter my activities on Saturday and you can see it in the margin.. but that would mean I take my crackberry with maybe not.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Layout...

I guess I'm getting old or something but as I was searching around for a new template for my blog one of the main factors in my selection was readability.

Perhaps my friends could turn me on to ways to find new "cooler" templates but I think this one is a good match for the scriptural name of my blog. It looks good on it.

I wish it had little dots next to my "list" items like Todd's. I tried some that did but I kept coming back to this one.

Oh well, I'll change it after a while anyway. What does it really matter?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our star

Austin receiving his Lufkin HS alumni association scholarship
Austin with Mrs. Chandler (LHS alumni scholarship award donor)

Let me tell you a little about our son Austin. Austin was born with Cerebral Palsy. He does not have a bad case of CP but he does have poor muscle tone and also deals with the mental challenges regarding maturity that CP can cause. He also has what is called Duane's syndrome (it's a third cranial nerve palsy that causes him to be deaf in one ear and the nerves that control one of his eyes do not work correctly..he can't turn the eye in). He has undergone several eye surgeries to try and make his eye as straight as possible since he doesn't have good control of it.

Austin is also bi-polar.. you may have heard it called manic/depression in other times and places. He has to take medication to control that. He also deals with attention deficit disorder. Dyslexia is another challenge he deals with and it affects his ability to learn. Reading is a huge struggle for him. Austin gets overwhelmed easily in large crowds (I think he gets that from my dad and myself.. he has some normal junk like other people have too).

Life has been a struggle for Austin from the beginning. He has also been a fighter the entire time.. sometimes the fight has been with his mom or myself to NOT do what needed to be done in school.. but then again all parents deal with that too.

Austin has never made the greatest grades but he has worked hard to do the best he could. We get wonderful reports from his teachers. They like him. He is kind and helpful (his mom and I wonder who they are talking about..again, I think other parents have these experiences too).

Tonight the Lufkin High School Alumni association recognized that Austin is an overcomer. He has dealt with some major challenges in his life and has persevered. LHS alumni assoc is awesome. I have teared up several times since I got the news that he would receive this award. Tonight at the awards ceremony I started crying again. He has also received a scholarship from our church. Awesome!!!

Wow, my boy, who has had so much to deal with (and still has so much to deal with) has been recognized for his efforts and rewarded financially for it. I wouldn't have cared it it would have been twenty-five cents, the fact that he was recognized by his wonderful church and the wonderful people at the LHS alumni association was enough for me to be overjoyed.

I do love my community and my church. Thank you for recognizing the efforts of someone who has had so many challenges thrown at them. Blessings to you all.


I know that a key part of my ability to lead worship in my church is to listen to and find new music... or is it???? I have been a song writer in the past but it was something that just happened. The Lord inspired me, gave me words regarding scripture, things that were happening in my life, etc. It was not something that I sat down and did like a job. Well there were a few times when Chris Caraway and other friends (David McElveen, Tom Baker (T), Annie Gipson, etc..I hope no one gets mad) and I sat down with the intention to write a song...about a play we had in mind doing or for a group of new confirmands but so many times it was just something that came to me. It was usually when I had some time alone. I also know listening to music influences the ability to write.

Long drives to meetings... back when I used to have to go out and deliver (thank God that doesn't happen any more) those were times when I seemed to be blessed with inspiration from God. It put me in a habit of driving whith my radio or CD player OFF. My mind and my heart would reflect on God and God's work.

I've also been a person that usually does not listen to more than 3 or 4 artists at a time. When I was young(er)... ZZ TOP, Jimmy Buffett, Jerry Jeff Walker. Not a ton of chart topping musicians there in that group.. at least not when I started listening to them. But that was pretty much the 3 artists I listened to in college... throw in some Foreigner, Van Halen, SRV, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Gary P. Nunn...oh yes.. I did have my infatuation with E.L.O. for a while too, but most of the time I listen to just 3 or 4 groups/artists at a time.

Then comes MTV (yes I am pre MTV) and ZZ TOP becomes huge. I hear not too long ago that Jimmy Buffett is some kind of huge country music star and has actually put out an award winning song. JJW is still not a huge star although he has written a huge song (Mr. Bojangles)..yeah he wrote it.

With all of that, I usually listen to any of their older stuff... that's what happens to people that are not young(er) any more. I listen to K-FOX now and again to hear what the students listen to but it really doesn't sink in... (I do love "Hey There Delilah").. I know it's old and stuff but the melody and the chorus just says I love you like I want to say I love you to my wife.. ahh.. go ahead, make fun of me... anyway......

With all this, it makes it hard for least it is against my nature... to listen to a lot of music. I savor music. I hear things the 23rd time that I didn't hear the first 22. I listened to Third Day's "Offerings" CD a lot... and I mean a lot before "Love Song" suddenly kicked me in the gut and had me crying as I was driving down the road. I like listening to contemporary christian music. I like worship music. I liked Crowder when hardly anyone listened to him.. years before he was on the radio. I like Mercy Me.. not near as much as I used to. They haven't done anything to me.. it's not their fault. I loved them before they were signed to a label and were gigantumongous rock stars. But I still love to listen to "Worship Project" a lot. I love listening to my old passion CD's.. a lot. They still make me feel closer to God. I love Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. Heck I still listen to Among Thorns.

By the way this would be an appropriate time for me to give credit to Chris Caraway for turning me on to all this great stuff before hardly anyone else knew who they were. Thank you Chris!

All this leads to a couple of things....

Does worship music get old? It seems that worship leaders are always looking for and gobbling up new worship music like it was mom's apple pie. I realize the need for fresh music but I get intimidated by the fact that I like to do music that is 5 to 10 years old and I look at other worship leaders song sets and I don't do anything like they do.

How do I do a better job of finding new fresh music without putting my congregation in to culture shock? I still love Crowder... most of his stuff works at youth and I do love some of his slower stuff for the main service but no doubt there is a lot that is not doable for me in my main church setting. I have subcribed (as you can see from my "listening to" blocks to the right over there) to vineyards music club to try and help me expand my horizons a little but I have to say... with a 4 minute ride to work each morning and a 4 minute ride home... a full and I mean FULL time job at FedEx along with my part time duties at my church. I have a hard time digesting new music... (remember how long it takes me to get in to some music...most music... I bring up Third Day's "Love Song" again). How do I find new stuff to do without turning it in to a detestable excercise that makes me want to turn my radio "off" and listen to God in the quiet of it all??? Or the road noise of it all?

Anyway.. I want to know more, but it's also against my nature and the way I operate. I mean look at traditional worship!! They have books folks. 600 something pages of stuff they do over and over and over...and usually do only a small section of that.

My life is "rich and full" as I like to say which means I'm buried most days. I don't want my listening pleasures.. what few I have... to turn in to drudgery. I like doing "Not to Us" and "Let it Come", "Forever", "Sweet Wind" and "It's all about You (Jesus, Lover of my Soul) with a "Rain Down" thrown in there for a little spice. (Rain Down is actually an old song too... but was re-released on Crowder's "Remedy" CD.. I love it!!)


Friday, May 9, 2008

A snippit of Disciple History..

DISCIPLES NEWS SERVICE: In 1807 Thomas Campbell had immigrated to America. He left his eldest son, Alexander, in charge of the rest of the family and all their belongings. Once Thomas was settled, the family was to follow the next year.
And that is just what they attempted to do. In 1808, Alexander, all the Campbell family, and all their 'stuff' boarded a ship bound for the land of freedom. The journey lasted only ten days before the ship, caught in a storm, ran into the rocky coast off Scotland and wrecked. Alexander fished his family, his books, and himself out of the cold salty water and made his way to shore.
But, what at first seemed like a set-back was another of God's blessings in disguise. Since winter was setting in, it was now impossible for the Campbells to make the trek to America. Instead, they spent about one year in Scotland where Alexander was able to continue his education (entering the University of Glasgow) and to continue his personal pilgrimage of faith.
He had been started well on his theological journey by tutelage from his father Thomas. Now, he had the opportunity to intensely study the scriptures and to inquire of the great minds of history, and the University, on exactly how to interpret what God intended for us to hear in the sacred pages.
Interestingly, 1809 proved a banner year for both Thomas and Alexander. Separated by an ocean, the two were knitted together in thought and revelation. Thomas would pen his "Declaration and Address," showing that Christ's Church is a unified whole and realize he was reaching the end of his walk with Presbyterians. Alexander, among other things, would discover that he, too, had come to the end of his journey among Presbyterians.

In those days, on Sundays when Presbyterians were to celebrate communion (for it was not an every Sunday event), each communicant was examined by an elder to make sure that he or she was sinless enough to receive the meal from Christ's table. Once the elder was satisfied, a little silver token was given that could be exchanged for the elements during the Lord's Supper.
On that Sunday in 1809, in Glasgow, 21 year old Alexander Campbell was absolutely sure that God did not require that little token. So, he came to the table, dropped the silver piece down, and turned and walked away. In that moment, he abandoned one faith journey in order to start another. The journey of a Disciple. It was a journey he remained on for the rest of his life. And a journey that we are on still.

ME: I just got this in today.. I thought it would be cool to share this snippit of my church's history with you. No doubt, it took great bravery to step away in that moment. To make that decision and express it in such a way at a place that is so treasured by our church today. The table... which is open to all believers. I know we are not the only open table... but it is the centerpiece of our worship every week. It is a joy to celebrate it each week. Not doubt the story above is an igniting spark of what would become the Stone-Campbell movement. The origin of our church (and others).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Disciples History Class

Last week I completed a class that fulfills one of my requirements as a licensed minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It was a Disciples History class that was very similar to the same class that seminary students take if they attend Bright Divinity School at TCU. In fact Cory Glover took the class a year or so ago at Bright. Dr. Mark Toulouse who teaches the class at Bright gave us video lectures and a pile of reading to do. I hit the class with a vengeance and although I was very frustrated at times (because of all the reading that was required and I had lost my only real "sabbath" day to this class...more on that later) I stayed current with the assignments and kept up with readings and lectures...until Holy week. So much to do that week at church blew me out of the water on the class. I even had some other Saturday church responsibilities that slowed me even more. I am also a father of 2 and I had some dance competitions I had to go to support my daughter. All this led to a very minimalist approach to the last half of the course.

Of course future M.Div Glover told me that the class I was taking was 1/10th the reading and papers he had to do for his class (Look at Glover's blog and his summer reading list.. I hope I get through 2 books in a summer.. he's got like 47 up there so he could handle all that..) I heard through my Sr. Pastor that Dr. Toulouse said he had watered the class down as much as he could for the licensed ministers. We couldn't do less and really learn about our church. WOW!

It was a great venture, I really enjoyed the class and learned of the beauty of our denomination.. that for years we would not accept the moniker "denomination" because we were really a "movement". From the beginnings unity was important and setting aside man made creeds and rules were a part of the passion. It was a part of the make up of the early American frontier...our independence, self reliance, heck.. we didn't even HAVE to go to church any more much less be part of some state required church. It fit the personality of the American frontiersman.

An early motto was""In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things, charity". That has grown to mean that Christ is our only creed. We can talk, discuss, see things differently even argue passionately but we will part friends and brothers/sisters in Christ.

Our church still aches for unity and is very passionate about ecumenical ventures to serve and change the world. We have an open table that we celebrate weekly and although we baptize by immersion we accept all forms of baptism from those that may desire to become a part of our church.

I was very happy when the class was over but I was also disappointed that I was not able to give it the time and effort required to complete all the readings. I was also disappointed that I was not able to participate more in the on line discussions.

It also changed me and how I view things. How I view my Bible, how I view the "global church", how I view my role in it. It has wet my appetite for more. I have a desire to attend seminary some day.. I have an inner desire to be ordained but I also have to balance that against how many years I have left on this earth vs what I can get done. Am I doing it for me??? Pride??? Service to others and the greater church? It's something that is a discussion topic for me with others right now. I don't know the answers but I am enjoying the questions.

I look forward to more....after the summer. I need a break.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday's are hard.. and not so hard

I feel pretty confident that my Monday blogs will be insignificant at best. Go to work at 6:30 work till 8:30 go to First Christian Church, hang out and visit a little then pastor meeting at 0900, Staff meeting at 10:15, Pastor lunch then back to FedEx around 1:00 to 1:30. Get reoriented to being FedEx guy and then I have a conference call at 2:30 till around 3:30. Deal with a few e-mails, customer service calls, work on a thing or two, talk to staff and make sure they are doing ok and bam it's time to go.

I love my freight job but I do like it when I can be productive. I love my church job.. I love going and being with the other pastors, discussion pastor relations items, plans for upcoming weeks, working on special Sundays with the music director. I feel really good there. Starting Monday's with time at church is really an amazing blessing that I have in my life right now. I have such a wonderful staff at my full time job and they allow me the ability to step away for a while and be Pastor guy. Then I go back to face conference calls and catch up. It's a day that is a blessing but it is also a day that is pretty much a throw away too.

I'm not griping mind you, just giving you a glimps of what it's like. May not have time for much on Monday. So hard to blog.. not so hard to "work".

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Stewardship Stimulus Package

I received an email from The Disciples News service... it's news about things going on my church as a whole.. That would be the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

It was a real kick in the head for me.... more later...

I know everyone has been talking about what they were going to do with their "George Bush" money. Some are buying new cool things (I'm pretty sure that was the main point of the whole deal right?) Flat screen TV's, Tires, Gas, etc. etc. I know some that are just getting rid of the debt that they have built up over time trying to get their budgets back in line because of the new wacked out fuel costs we are all dealing with.

Me? Ever since I've known about the economic stimulus package coming out I have known that I was going to buy oldfart's Larrivee' guitar. He hasn't played it much and it is in beautiful condition. It is so much easier to play than my Takamine and sounds infinitely better. It's a cutaway too..ooohhh that's cool.. not that I ever go that far down on the neck.. Every now and then I do but I'm such a "basic" guitar player most of my chords are played within the first 3 frets.... Anyway.. beautiful guitar... that's where a chunk of my George Bush money is going. What is oldfart doing with my GW money? Paying off bills.

I've also got to pay for an air condition repair job that was done at the house.. Now that's sexy isn't it?? Yawn yawn. Boring, boring, boring... I came I saw I bored.. paying for home repairs.

There's still a little left. I was going to pay off a bill or something. Probably will put some of that money on a credit card but then....

The kick in the head.....

In the email from the Disciples News Service it talks about the Stewardship Stimulus Package... Several ways to put a portion of our GW money to good work stimulating the economy of those that have nothing.. or very little. Or perhaps helping with new church plants, helping your own church with needed purchases or help pay for a pastor to go to pastors week.

The article talks about how DOC's all across America would be receiving in total around $450,000,000 in stimulus $$$ That would amount to $45,000,000 if members of the DOC church would tithe that GW money.

I was convicted.. I will be giving 10% to do God's work in this world. I will probably direct it to new church starts. I see it as the best way to reach the unchurched and I still hope to participate in another church start some day.

So, what are you going to do? I'm not asking you to funnel your GW money through my church. I am challenging you to put a little of this economic stimulus package to work for others in need....

So.... what are you doing with your GW $$$? Let me know.

Friday, May 2, 2008


In resopnse to this
i am: Large
i think: I'm not to old to be what I want to be.
i know: so little
i want: a cooper, a new guitar, a more energy efficient house, peace and oh yeah, contentment.
i have: more than I can say grace over
i wish: the best for my children in their lives
i hate: nothing right now.
i miss: mom
i fear: snakes and lizards
i feel: fat
i hear: the printer whirring and Keith talking
i smell: air freshener
i crave: big soft sweet pastries with chocolate milk
i search: for acceptance
i wonder: when God will call me away from FedEx
i regret: nothing
i love: my family
i ache: when I sit too long
i care: what you think most of the time
i always: over eat
i am not: a great guitar player
i believe: we are called to do God's will on earth as it is in heaven
i dance: Not.. any more.
i sing: a lot
i don't always: do what I should
i fight: hatred
i write: horribly
i win: at fantasy sports....sometimes
i lose: at guitar hero
i never: eat liver
i confuse: people I work with for my own entertainment
i listen: to contemporary christian music..on CD's and pop music on the radio to try and stay in tune with my kids
i can usually be found: at Fedex or First Christian Church
i am scared: sometimes
i need: a Shiner Bock now and then.
i am happy about: my life

Thursday, May 1, 2008

and now what...

This is always what I have been anxious about. I know no one is really looking at this except maybe Sam because he put me on his friends list but now there is this looming expectation to produce... What is expected on something like this?

My friend Cory even invited me to mobblog his (re)blog. I hold my friend Cory in high esteem. He is a brilliant young man, has a great memory and has really helped me to stretch the boundaries of my theology and has encouraged me to continue down a path I felt I was going...he just made me run when I was wanting to crawl...

Anyway..Cory had this awesome blog when he moved to Lufkin, massive, great pics, super content, and he, I believe has a reputation based on that.

Now as I said before he invited me to be a participant on his blog (it's on my list..please check it out. You will be challenged!! Especially if you automatically write off people like Obama or Rev Wright.) Me? I seldom watch the news much less get in to such high level muckity muck. I'm a pretty basic guy and I really don't see my blogging exploits even entering the same stratosphere as Mr. Glover's. We have much in common but I look to Mr. Glover for insight, guidance, and comfort. He is my pastor.. No doubt, Mike is my pastor too, but when I was looking for a place to "be", to heal, he opened doors for me to serve but still just "be" and worship..not a lot of expended effort on my part to play 3 or 4 songs on a Sunday night. Great time for healing and I know he saw that... healing comes along and he moves me forward in my thought processes challenging my fundamentalist theology and beliefs... and remains my friend and confidant. I still remember him saying that I must think he's just a young kid that doesn't know anything but I hardly ever missed youth because I learned so much from him.

His (re)blog has been on hold for a while because he has been attending Bright Seminary at TCU but he completes that very soon so the (re)blog is getting resurrected.

I really don't know if my simple musings would fit in with Glover's... what do you think? Yes even you Cory if you happen to read this...