Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Old enough to nose better.

Dinner time with friends. Nothing fancy but enjoying their company at a local restaurant. One of the men is old enough to be my dad and is evidently to the point in his life where he feels comfortable enough to pick his nose during dinner. I don't mean a quick swipe with the side of a finger. Not an irritable little itch that needs the tip of a fingernail at the nostril opening. I mean he's knuckle deep, pushing his head back and wishing he had some pliers kinda nose-picking.

I know, you think I'm exaggerating. Surely it wasn't that bad. Surely if it was he must have gone to the bathroom to take care of this business, right? Nope. I promise. Right there sitting across from me at the restaurant table. He even finished his wife's story at one point with one whole fingernail completely involved in this dark business. I tried to not look but when he is talking it's hard not to notice.

Nauseated yet? Hang on. Let me just tell you how he finished up. At one point it literally took two fingers to unload this cargo and when he had given a good yank and was pleased with the effort he (I promise this is true, every word) commenced to rolling the treasure between his palms like Play-doh until it dried up and fell probably into his lap. He wiped his hands on his pants and sat back and gave a satisfying sniff. Mission accomplished.

I did not shake hands with him as we left.

Just be glad I did not include a picture for this post.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This time of year it is common to hear the name "Emmanuel" when speaking of Jesus. Most of us even know the meaning of the name, thanks to some popular songs. But what does it mean to you? If "Emmanuel" means "God with us" then what does it mean to have God with you? It might be very comforting to know that God is with you and it might be very discomforting, depending on what you are up to.

The first biblical mention of the name is in Isaiah 7:14. Isaiah tells King Ahaz to ask God for a sign that God was on his side but Ahaz refused. He said he didn't want to test God which sounds noble enough but what he really was saying was "I got this. I don't need God." Not a good choice when several armies had allied against him but he made his choice.

Even though Ahaz rebelled, God still sent the sign, a sign that was fulfilled by Jesus 700 years later. That's good news for you and me. It's good because it shows God's grace, that even when we rebel, He is faithful. There are consequences to our rebellion but God will always be faithful to protect and provide for our sake and for the sake of His Kingdom.

So, this Christmas season be aware that God is with you. He is with you when you are doing stupid stuff and causing Him grief so be mindful of that but he is also with you when it seems like everybody else is celebrating. He is with you when your own grief at not having that special person in your life is overwhelming. He is with you when your wife leaves, the boss fires you and your friends are taken from you. He is with you. The question is, are you with Him?

Friday, December 09, 2011

What really happened...

Ok, I know it looks bad but I can explain. My new girlfriend was at the Walmarts in Tulsa and was so shocked by how dirty it was she started mixing up some ingredients to clean the place. When the cops showed up, she told them she was making up a batch of "Death", which is what she calls her homemade mixture, as in, "Death to Dirt". It was not Meth, NOT METH, as is reported in this totally false news report:

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

December 7, 1941

I know I have posted this before but I love it and it is appropriate for today. This picture was taken on December 7, 1941. My friend, Dorky, is on the front row with the funny smirk and her arms crossed. Her mother made all the kids go out to the front yard for a picture because she heard they had been bombed and thought the world might end aand so she wanted the kids all together for a picture.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Our "guest speaker" today at church.

Have you ever had a crazy dream? A dream that seems so real but too crazy to have really happened? I want to tell you about a night I thought I must surely be dreaming, but it really happened.
My name is Hank. Hank the shepherd. I’m one of the shepherds mentioned in the second chapter of the book of Luke, verses eight through twenty. My name is not in the Bible and I’m not terribly important in the scheme of things and yet I had something wonderful happen to me many years ago. Allow me to tell that story in my own words.
Being a shepherd is hardly glamorous work. It is long hours and low pay and we are generally looked down upon by most people. I do not have much education nor much money and most of the time I smell like a sheep. One can see that with all of that going for me that I do not have many close friends.
There have been a few of us shepherds to go on to bigger and better things with our lives. King David is probably the most notable example. But most shepherds live and die in poverty and obscurity and to be honest that was fine with me. I never expected anything of note to ever happen in my life. I had gone to work when I was very young to support my mother when my father died and shepherding was the only thing I could do.
They were not even my own sheep. A man hired me to take care of his sheep but I took my job very seriously. During the day we would let the sheep graze on open land but at night we would round them up and put them in a makeshift corral and we would guard them there.
Nighttime was when thieves and wolves would come out so we would sit in the doorway of the corral and protect the sheep with our bodies. The secret was to have another shepherd there with you at night to talk to you. Not only did it keep you from getting bored and falling asleep but the noise kept away the thieves and wolves.
The other shepherds and I would talk about anything and everything during the night as one can imagine. Some of the other guys liked to talk about God and religion But I was not much into that. I had a hard time believing that there was more to this life than eating, sleeping and sheep.
The ironic thing about this one special night was that some of the other guys and I had just been discussing some of the prophecy in scripture about the coming of the Christ. They had been sharing with me that several prophets had predicted Christ’s birth. Moses, Micah and Isaiah had all predicted the coming of the Christ and that could be something I could get excited about if only I could really believe it.
They told me about the passage in Isaiah chapter seven that says, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Also, Isaiah chapter nine says, A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow. The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David's throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord's great love will make sure that happens. He rules over all.
That passage says that Christ will reign on David’s throne! I like that. I can relate somewhat to David because he was a shepherd - a lowly shepherd. Then in the fifth chapter of Micah it says that the baby will be born in Bethlehem. That is where I am from. That is my hometown! I started to feel some hope where previously there had been just despair.
We were, in fact, camped just outside of Bethlehem that night. I will never forget it. It was a beautiful, quiet, starry night. Some of the others were talking and I heard a noise. It started out like a low hum and gradually built up to a sound like a huge herd of horses were stampeding across the hills.
My first concern was for the sheep and so I stood up and listened and waited. On a typical night the most exciting thing to happen might be a shooting star so one can imagine how shocked I was when a bright light flashed and an angel was right in front of me.
I thought it must surely mean I was about to die! My heart was pounding, my knees almost failed to hold me up. I thought I should avert my eyes but I could not quit staring at this incredible creature.
The first thing out of his mouth was, “Do not be afraid!” Easy for him to say! One minute I am counting stars and the next minute I am face to face with Gabriel himself. And yet, while he was an intimidating and exciting creature, huge, powerful and stunning, he was at the same time strangely calming. He was like a good military commander who knows what is going on and knows what to do. I felt immediately like I could trust him.
He said, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people”. He could have stopped right there. He could have said no more and I would have been thrilled! “For all the people” included me! Nobody had ever included me and here I am being included to an invitation by no less than an angel of the Lord!
The angel continued, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Before I could catch my breath, and to my continued amazement, more and more angels appeared. Millions and millions of angels dressed all in white and with a glow like the sun spread from one horizon to the other and they began singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.” They were the brightest, loudest most perfect celestial choir and I was the audience.
Over and over again they sang “Glory to God in the highest!” Gloria in excelsis deo! “Glory to God, Glory to God!” I cried. I laughed. I sang with them! I worshipped. I hoped it would never end.
It felt like a dream but it was real. When the angels left I could not wait to accept Gabriel’s invitation to find the baby so we all left the sheep and ran into Bethlehem. I think I expected it to be easier to find the baby. After the unplanned angelic choir program I expected there to be long lines of people crowding to see a baby king laying in purple robes with bright lights and flying angels but there was none of that.
When we finally found the baby he was just…a baby. His parents were pleasant but looked a bit overwhelmed like every parent feels the first day and when we told them everything that had happened to us I was afraid they might not believe it. Joseph thanked us and Mary smiled with a mix of pride and gratefulness.
There is another passage in Isaiah chapter 61 that says, The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.
I feel like that passage might have been written about me. I could not keep from telling other people about what I had seen and heard that day. I wanted everyone to know about the Christ. I did not know much about this baby Jesus but I knew that he was the savior and I needed a savior. I needed the Prince of peace in my life.
The time in which I lived was undergoing what they called the ”pax Romana” or Roman peace which was a good thing in that we were not involved in any war at the time but I had no peace in my own heart. In the quiet times in the field with my sheep I often felt like there must be more to this life! The starry nights and snow-covered mountains fairly screamed of a divine creator but I had no joy and no peace in my heart until I met Jesus.
One more passage from the book of Isaiah chapter forty: He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Being a shepherd has it’s rewards sometimes. Sheep often stray off and are easily in danger of wild animals or malicious people but when I find them safe and bring them back to the herd I know it is for their good. It lets me relate to other shepherds like David but I now realize I have a greater connection with the Good Shepherd since that special night in Bethlehem all those years ago.
I will never know why God chose to reveal himself to me the way He did or why He wants me to have a relationship with Him like He does but I know now that I have that peace and joy that He promises as well as life forever with Him in Heaven and I will continue to celebrate that as the true meaning of Christmas and the meaning of my life everyday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Debate thoughts

I just got through watching the GOP debate on CNN and here are my thoughts. If you didn't see it you can quit reading and go back to watching Dancing With Idols or whatever it is. I happen to believe the Republican field is much stronger than it was 4 years ago and we should have no problem defeating BHO.

Newt Gingrich continues to impress. I say again that he could do this in his sleep while some like Ron Paul look like they are asleep. Newt is obviously a better debater and smarter all around than the others. He had a controversial idea tonight that I don't remember hearing before about illegal immigration. If the illegals meet certain qualifications they can stay here without becoming a citizen for a while but will no longer be illegal.

I think that's smart. First, there is no way we are ever going to deport 10-12 million people. That's a pipe dream. It hasn't happened yet and never will. This also curries a huge Hispanic vote that Repubs desperately need. Staunch conservatives may make noise about it being amnesty but it's time to make a bold step like this.

Ron Paul is out for several reasons but mainly, for me, it is because of his lack of support for Israel. The Bible makes it plain that Israel's friends are God's friends and its enemies are God's enemies. Go home Ron.

Santorum and Huntsman can go home too even though Santorum supports Israel and made some good points he is obviously out of his league here. Cain didn't do himself any good in this one and Perry looks like he is, as we say, all hat and no cattle. Perry wants to look tough but he can't make correct decisions. I don't care about the gaffes. He just doesn't have what it takes.

That leaves Bachman, Newt and Romney. I will take the heat for saying that this is no place for a woman. She's a strong woman and has some good ideas but she's going to get run over in the long run and she knows it. Go home Michelle. My prediction is that it will be Romney and Gingrich in the final with Newt becoming president. Run, Newt, run!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I'm not preaching on Genesis 13:12...

I am preaching through Genesis and have made it up to this point but I'm skipping this whole section altogether.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

The man that took this picture has more courage in his camera-clicking finger than everybody "Occupying" their tents in parks combined. Thank you to all my friends and family (known and unknown) who have served. Thank you.

Happy Belated Birthday USMC

Sorry I missed it yesterday.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

MJ's kids

Am I the only one who realizes that there is no possible way Michael Jackson is the father of these kids? I know mama was white and Michael changed to white later but these kids look nothing like any of the Jacksons. Probably Conrad Murray's fault.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My Cain bimbo theory.

Anybody else sick of hearing about Herman Cain supposedly doing something improper to somebody sometime somewhere many years ago? Yes, me too. Now I have said recently that

Newt is always going to be the smartest man in the room but I have a theory that Cain is the shrewdest. Everybody wants to know if Obama put these women up to it or was it Perry or Romney or who? I think Cain is doing it to himself and here is why I think he's the shrewdest guy in the room.

When I was in woodshop in high school I built a footstool for my mom. It was for her birthday and so I wanted it to be perfectly smooth so I would sand it down real good and then wet it. Wetting it made all the rough spots stand out and then I would sand them down again and then repeat it. That's what Cain is doing. He hired a few bimbos to say something completely untrue knowing that the media would have a feeding frenzy trying to give him a "high-tech lynching" as he called it.

What's in it for him, you ask? Well, it's a gamble but since it is completely untrue it will run its course and be proven false but then he can sand down the left-wing media for jumping on him but letting Bill Clinton get away from proven and admitted sexual crimes much worse than the ones leveled against Cain. So, hiring the women (who admit they need money so it wouldn't cost much especially since they have no shame) is just "wetting the board" (Dew, add your joke here) and now we just wait for him to sand down the rough media.

Pretty clever, I think. Either that or he's a pervert scumbag. What do you think?

Don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Somebody should "Occupy" Bausch & Lomb.

I told the Bausch & Lomb manager that I was going to tell all my friends about their scam so here goes. My eye doc told me that if I bought 4 boxes of contacts instead of 2 that I would be eligible for the mail-in rebate. I hate mail-in rebates because it is usually too much work and takes too long to get the money back but I went ahead and did it.

Six weeks went by and I got a letter in the mail saying my rebate was denied because I didn't send in all the required bar codes but they wished me a good day. I immediately called them back and politely told them that I had indeed sent in the correct number of barcodes. The nice lady looked up my account and said that it was not really because I hadn't sent in the barcodes but that it was because I was a new customer.

I politely explained that I had gotten a rebate from them last year for the same deal. She explained that was more than 12 months ago (14 to be exact)so I was considered a new customer. Mind you, 4 boxes of contacts is one year's worth and it takes 2 months to get a rebate so that doesn't make sense. Still polite, but with more urgency I explained the situation to the nice lady's manager who had the compassion of one used to dealing with customers that she could just blow off.

I proceeded to then explain that I knew where she lived and that I had seen where she slept and that her family would weep over what had been done to her but to no avail. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if she really did wish that I would have a nice day at all. Oh well. She will pay for it now. I'm boycotting B&L forever and that's gonna hurt them. Just ask Taco Bell.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I don't miss that.

Every so often I miss my wife (no jokes about my aiming getting better here). I really do...sometimes. You know, sometimes I have something funny happen and wish I had somebody handy to tell or sometimes I just need to vent, although she was never much of a listener in times like that. Her day was always worse than mine. Whatever.

Lately, though, I have counted my blessings a couple of times. I was walking through the Walmarts the other day with a married couple walking behind me about the same speed. I never turned around to see them but I knew the expression on the guy's face. His wife was droning on and on and on about some lady at work doing something and how she shouldn't have done it and that this woman told another woman and that woman didn't think she should but when they told Betty in Accounting...Oh, shut up!!!

I thought my head was going to explode as I remembered all the stories just like that I had heard and thought about all the hours of my life wasted listening to what sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher after a while. Whah, whah, whah. Whah whah. I wanted to turn around and tell her that just because her husband was saying, "Yes, dear. Yes, dear" didn't mean he was listening but I wouldn't do that to such a poor soul as him.

The great blogger Chupacabra has a post here about 8 words women use and what they really mean. I can't help but think this world would be a better place if when a woman said, "Nothing" when asked what was wrong, the man should just say, "Oh good. I thought you were going to whine about something meaningless again" and then go play golf.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My nightmare

I'm not sure which part of this I hate more. I've said here before I can't stand for someone to talk over me while I'm still talking and I would not tolerate being touched by someone in this scenario. Bad on Romney. Bad on Perry. Newt is obviously the smartest man in the room and did not have to stoop to any of this.

Now, here's my personal problems with this picture. To start, did your parents not tell you it was extremely poor manners to interrupt someone when they are speaking? There is nothing more rude. What you are saying is that what I have to say is more important than what you have to say and so I'm not even going to show you the courtesy of listening. That is immature and rude and shows your lack of debate skills.

The second issue is just my phobia with having someone touch me. Now you have to understand, this phobia is only in certain settings. I am very touchy, huggy friendly at church or with my family. I like to just stand with my arm around my mom or sister or even nephews. It's not gender-specific for me. My problem is if I were in Perry's position, I would have to remove his hand because in the back of my mind I know that a left hand on the shoulder comes just before the right hand uppercut. I know, I know, it's just my phobia. Maybe I grew up with the wrong friends. Maybe I didn't get enough hugs from strangers or maybe I got too many. Who knows? Just don't interrupt me and none of you freaks reading this better touch me either., Newt, run!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baby Jessica

It has come to my attention that we just passed the anniversary of an event that we have forgotten about but we all remember. On October 14, 1987, Jessica McClure fell down an 8-inch pipe and was stuck there for 2 days. Anyone old enough remembers the saga of workers trying to get down 22 feet to rescue her. The scene gained world-wide attention.

I did not know that there was a trust fund set up for Baby Jessica (I understand most folks still call her that) paid for by anonymous well-wishers from across the globe. People wanted to help and so, completely unsolicited, money came pouring in for months afterward. The trust fund was set to mature on her 25th birthday which was March 26, 2011 and on that day she received an estimated nearly one million dollars.

That says a lot about the goodness of people. It says that there is an innate will inside people to want to help. It also tells me that if you have a small baby...and a pipe..."C'mon baby, walk over this way. Walk toward your college fund!"

Monday, October 03, 2011


I told you earlier I would tell you this story about "The Incident" on the golf course, so here goes. In high school I was on the golf team. Everybody on the golf team, including me, was horrible but we had a good time. It's no wonder we were horrible since the best advice I ever got from our coach was, "Hey, Keebler, hit it straighter and farther."

We often had two-day tournaments where if you made it into the finals the first day you got to come back the next day to play for trophies or ribbons or whatever. None of us ever made it to the finals so all we ever really had were 1-day tournaments. In these tournaments you played with 3 students from other teams so usually nobody in the foursome knew each other.

We were playing at Mountain Valley down by Joshua. It's a beautiful course with a country club full of rich people who don't believe they are rednecks, but I digress. The day was beautiful but windy and a bit brisk. On this first day of the tournament all four of us were playing poorly which made me feel better since I played poorly on my best day. We played a couple of holes with all of us all over the course, taking forever to find our golf balls in the woods, and dropping balls this side of the water hazard that ate the previous shot.

After two or three holes like this one of the other guys jokingly suggested we should all just drop one shot after each hole just so we could save face at the end. We all laughed and agreed, purely joking, of course. The next hole was especially brutal for all of us again and as we got to the end and started to say our scores we all just looked at each other. "I'm in." "So am I." "Why not?", I said. What's it gonna matter anyway?

So, we did that. After each hole from then on we just subtracted one from our score and played the remaining 13 or 14 holes that way. "What's it gonna matter anyway?", right? Well, I'll tell you what it's gonna matter. Evidently, everybody else played pretty poorly and my "adjusted" score was good enough to get me into the finals the next day.

I don't know what happened to the rest of my foursome. I never saw them again because the next day I was playing with three other students, all of whom deserved to be there. This day was a Saturday and it was a big deal at the Mountain Valley Golf Course. Parents were there. (Not mine, I didn't tell them. They probably still don't know this.) There was even some local media there with cameras rolling for the evening news. I wish I was kidding.

I hit last out of my group. The others hit right into the fairway where golf balls are supposed to go. As I got settled in to hit I could almost feel people breathing on me. The excitement was high. The "Silence" sticks were held up by the judges. I planted my feet, wiggled my hips a little and swung for all I was worth. And for about one second that ball was soaring beautifully straight and high. Then it sliced so far right it looked like it must have stuck into an airplane.

I didn't bother wasting my time looking for it. I just calmly teed up another one and let the big dog eat. And then teed up another one...and another one. I seriously teed up four balls and then on the last one I just popped it onto the fairway with a light tap just so I could get off the tee box and out of the way.

I'll save you the play-by-play but what happened after that was even uglier. I have never played so bad in my life. In fact, I've never heard of anyone playing that bad. Long story a little shorter, I lost every one of my golf balls, either in the woods or the water. I was never so glad to lose all my balls because now I could just go home. Except now I had to walk through the rest of the course back to where I started with everybody asking me what happened.

Finally I saw the parking lot and the school bus waiting on me there. Yes, Coach Straighter Farther drove just me to the course on a full size school bus and when he saw me walking toward him after only a few minutes of playing time he bust out in a well deserved laugh and continued it all the way home.

Now, some would say that the moral of "The Incident" would be, "Don't cheat." Me? I'm pretty sure my luck would have been better if I had a gold plated divot tool, but who knows?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I learned about golf...

I had the opportunity to go to Colonial Country Club yesterday and be a part of a charity fund-raiser for The Gladney Center for Adoption. No, I didn't golf. I was just there to keep score for the foursome I was assigned. Evidently, somebody had to do it. I mean, any time I have ever been golfing that little task was done by those who were doing the golfing but not on this day. On this day things were different. I've not been much of a golfer since "The Incident" (more of that in an upcoming Storytime) and so I have been out of the loop about some important facts about golf, some of which I will share now. The first thing I learned was that I can't afford free drinks. On nearly every hole there were huge wooden containers filled with ice and all kinds of things to drink. There were cokes, water, Gatorade, and beer all free for the taking. I helped myself of the Coke and water as did the four caddies. The golfers each had maybe one beer during the course of the day but mainly water as well for them. I got to thinking about that. While I'm not much of a golfer I know that very few people just give away much of anything so I quietly asked one of the caddies about how much he thought these guys paid for the priviledge of playing at the Colonial for the Gladney Cup. I'm thinking it is probably something outrageous, like four or five hundred dollars. He said he wondered the same thing and had looked it up online the day before and it cost $10,000 for the foursome! Oh, ok, "free drinks", right. The next thing I learned was that gear don't make the golfer. Three of the foursome were pretty good golfers, each hitting about 4 or 5 over par. The fourth guy, whom you could barely see behind all of his equipment, shot 27 over. That's still better than I'll ever shoot but what got me was the amount of stuff, high-dollar stuff, he had. His poor caddie had to lug that oversize leather bag filled with every kind of club known to man with every pocket filled with gadgets and helps. I wanted to tell him that his laser, range-finding, GPS-enabled, hole-seeker thingee he was constantly using and slowing everybody up with was not going to help when you shank it into the woods every shot. And your golf ball retriever needs a snorkel on it there, big boy. Good thing he had that Personalized Full Grain Leather Bag Tag. It matched his Personalized Gold Plated Divot Tool and Cigar Holder. And I hate to think about how much that driver cost. No, not that one. The other one. (Yea, he had two.) Evidently, if you attach a mule's head to a custom club shaft it helps you hit the nearest tree every time. But the main thing I learned about golf yesterday was very important. In fact, according to the consistentcy of usage, the aftershot encouragement cannot be underestimated. You see, after each and every shot all members of the foursome are to encourage the ball and / or the golfer with two syllables. The ball is usually the first to get the encouragement. Common encouragements (remember, always two syllables) are "get up", "lay down", "get legs" or a simple "baby!". Next, the golfer will get his encouragement. It is always positive no matter what zip code the ball now has. Appropriate terms include "sweet strike", "nice out", "big dog", "boom town" or "Arnold" (Palmer or Schwarzenegger, I assume). I hope this lesson has been helpful. Please tune in later for Storytime when I continue my insistence that a good story needs to be told even if it makes me look bad

Put the WEE! back in Halloween.

The older I get, the more I realize the less I understand. When I was a kid our church had a haunted house (in the church) at Halloween. We loved it. I know now that we can't do that any more. Too many people get offended by all that and so, in order to provide an option on Halloween, our church will have bounce houses, food and games at our "Fallfest". On October 31. With candy. People will dress up. Some will say, "Trick or Treat!". We don't celebrate Halloween any more though? In case you are one of the few we have successfully fooled with this let me explain. Ok, wait. This is the part I don't really understand. I asked somebody the other day why they believed we shouldn't celebrate Halloween. I told them I know all about its origins as All Hallows Eve and that this was the big day for Satan-worshippers and all that stuff. But if this is Satan's biggest day, I'm not impressed. I never hear anything about Satanists ever doing anything on Halloween. Can't we go back to calling what we do "Halloween"? Their response to my question was that we don't celebrate Halloween because it's not Biblical. Well, duh! Neither is Christmas nor Easter. Those were pagan traditions as well but when anybody tries to call their Christmas tree or Christmas party a Holiday Tree or Winter Celebration we are ready to clobber somebody in the name of the Lord. All I'm saying is that we're not really fooling anybody with this. Even the kids. It's supposed to be about the kids so do they have to keep wearing their Halloween costumes they bought at the Halloween store to get Halloween candy at the "Trunkfest"? Somebody help me understand.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let's play, "Which one Doesn't Belong" again!

Which one of these people doesn't belong at the meeting of United Nations yesterday? Hmm...could it be the guy at the top left who you wouldn't see at all if he wasn't smiling? Or could it be Ronald Reagan top row third from right? Maybe it's Pablo and Achmed on the lower left who thought this was "business casual" day? Obama, who is doing his best Glamour Shots, tilt-the-head look, seems to think the guy on his right shouldn't be there but I'm pretty sure everybody else in the world seems to think our president is the only one who doesn't belong.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunrise in Paradise

For my 666th post I thought about posting something about all the evil in the world but who needs that? How about a beautiful sunrise over the thriving metropolis of Paradise, Texas? A beautiful sunrise or sunset always reminds me of Romans 1:20. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

"Fall" is in the air.

Yea, yea, the cooler weather is great but that's not the kind of fall I'm talking about. I'm talking about the kind of fall that hurts your pride and body; the kind of fall you don't see coming and to be honest, don't know if it is really going to happen until you are on the ground.

I went to clean the windows of a house yesterday and got there the same time some tile installers got there too. We were all getting our stuff out of our vehicles and chatting and trying to be cool yet professional. Don't act like you don't do it too. I have my bucket in one hand and my broom in the other. The broom is for sweeping the window sill and clearing out cobwebs.

I set my bucket down on the sidewalk and moved the broom to my left hand at the same time my left foot rested against a small stump in the grass. I'm too busy telling some witty story to the other guys to realize that my momentum was still easing leftward. Not very quickly, but still easing that way. I'm just to the really clever point in the story when I realize I'm slowly starting to lean.

No problem, the broom is there to hold me up and I'm comfortable with that. Ok, maybe too comfortable because now I'm leaning on it pretty heavily and my grip starts to tighten around the wooden handle. Am I falling? Not really sure. Still talking like nothing is happening but now the bristles on the broom start to fold under and I lean that much further over.

Wait, wait, uh oh, yep. I'm pretty sure I'm falling but it seems to be taking a really long time. My hand starts to slide down the broom handle and I see my right leg completely off the ground and rising. Now it's hard to look cool at this point and I don't remember what I was saying which makes me look even stupider as I continue to ease downward and to the left.

A few more minutes of this and I realize that I am for sure falling but the good news is that I only have about a foot to go before my left pocket hits dirt. It's too late to reverse course but I still have plenty of time to make needed adjustments and so I let go of the broom and put my left hand out to help me bounce right back up but there is a freshly clipped bush there and I cut my finger on it.

The reaction is to bring that hand up which now lets me fall even further over to the left and so I tried to squirm to the right but now where did all these bushes come from? I'm a turtle on its back for a couple of seconds thrashing around in a man-eating bush with a bloody finger and a story untold. I don't know what's worse. And the whole process seems to have taken about an hour and a half.

I'm not sure how I got out of there. I may have blacked out from a total lack of coolness, I don't know, but by the time I managed to get out of there most of the guys had politely averted their eyes and had gone to work. Heck, you can't watch a guy fall all day. Anyway, for their sakes I hope to catch up to them again to finish my story. But I may wait til spring.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What I'm afraid of.

When I was in high school, one of my teachers asked each of us to tell the class what we were afraid of. Actually, since she was an English teacher she probably asked us to tell of what we were afraid, but, whatever. As we went around the room, there were the expected answers of snakes, spiders, drowning, the dark, etc. At 16 years old, I had to think about it for a while and since none of that stuff scared me (I was, after all, 10 feet tall and bullet proof) I finally answered truthfully that really the only thing that scared me was accidentally running over a person, especially a child, while I was driving.

Now that I'm older (and about 5 feet tall and barely waterproof) I have a few more fears than I did as a kid but truthfully, that fear still haunts me. I think about it often as I drive, especially through residential areas, going slow and watching closely. It has paid off many times as I have seen the ball go rolling into the street and I'm aware enough to expect some little crumb-cruncher to come running after it. I've never even come close to my worst fear. Until today.

I wasn't in a hurry but I was pulling through the gas pumps at the local QT just a hair too fast. I was maybe doing 5 mph when I probably should have been doing 3. Not exactly Indy 500 stuff here but just almost too fast to see the little 2 year old run around the pump and stop literally inches from my front bumper, close enough she put her hand on my grill and then ran off again, continuing across the lanes of pumps until a lady grabbed her and hollered at her mom who was pumping gas three lanes over unaware that her daughter nearly had a really bad day.

I just sat there for a minute or two and composed myself. I wanted to say something to the mom but she had already thrown the kid into the backseat and taken off by the time I got around to getting out.

She will never know.

And hopefully I won't either.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Quote

‎"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." –John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1780

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Taps" played here.

It's the end of an era. A sad departure for two old friends who outlived most of their peers. Spicy mustard served me well for many years. Countless sandwiches were made...well, spicy by just its presence. An expiration date of September 2005 couldn't bring an end to our relationship until now and just last week it gracefully added just what was missing to an otherwise forgettable ham sandwich.
Yoplait Yogurt was a sad story. Never used. Never opened. It's sweet, yet nasty taste was never endured for the sake of saying I ate something healthy. It was finally laid to rest after spending what must have seemed like eternity in the back of my now-clean fridge. With its expiration date of last winter, may it rest in peace.

20 seconds with my dogs

Saturday, August 20, 2011


This is happening in my city this afternoon. The 11 year old son of a local firefighter accidently shot himself with his father's gun a couple of nights ago. Many area fire stations are paying tribute to him and his family and I appreciate that. I can't imagine having to go through something like that as a parent without having a relationship with God. I pray for peace for them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guess who's not sleeping in the bed tonight?

For the third time in as many weeks my dogs tangled with a skunk tonight. The two bigger ones managed to come out of it without a scent but Dori got it so bad her fur was wet. Luckily, I had stocked up on the ingredients to make a skunk-removal shampoo (peroxide, baking soda and Dawn soap). That stuff works great but there is still a slight odor although it may just be imbedded in my lungs and nostrils. Yesterday, Dori caught a dove that was flying too low to the ground. A few days ago she killed the neighbor cat and her greatest accomplishment was, of course, the feral chicken. I'm pretty sure the skunk made out better but it wasn't for her lack of trying.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Young love in bloom at VBS?

Vacation Bible School is for kids going into 1st through 6th grade, supposedly. I know we had a 7th grader and a couple of kids were probably in kindergarten but we didn't care. I saw this little boy sitting by himself during a break so I went over to him. He looked like he was 4 or 5.

What's your name?
You from around here?
Yes sir.
Got a girlfriend?
No sir.
Why not?
I don't really know.
Hmm...what kind of car do you drive?
I don't drive a car. My parents do.
That's probably why you don't have a girlfriend.

He thought about that and slowly nodded like it was all making sense now. About that time a little girl about his age just came up and sat down next to him sipping on a juicebox.

What about Sylvia?
What about her for a girlfriend? She's cute.

The girl and I both waited for his response. He raised an eyebrow.

Eh, maybe.

He moved just a little closer to her and as I walked off he asked her about the flavor of her drink. My work here is done.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chickens in the Trees

I don't know how many years ago I saw this on Sesame Street. Not lately is all I'll say. For some reason though it has stuck in my brain all these years. I evidently learned to juggle while watching this because every time I juggle I start singing this. No kidding. I'm not a great juggler. 3 balls, no more, no fancy tricks. But I have this catchy theme song and I can't juggle without at least humming, "there are chickens in the trees".

So, that's crazy enough, right? But wait, there's more. I bring this up because at our church this week we have had Vacation Bible School and to keep the kids in place while the teachers prepared something else, I got the juggling balls out and started singing this song (of course). And the kids loved it and sang along louder than any other song.

I should have known they would enjoy it. It even entertains kids who don't speak English. Several years ago I went to Mexico on a mission trip and found myself in a similar situation where there were a lot of kids with nothing to do for a few minutes so I started doing my thing, juggling and singing. And I sing worse than I juggle, by the way but kids don't care so neither do I. Anyway, even though they couldn't speak a word of English they sang "Chickens in the Trees" at the top of their voices!

Our last day in Mexico we were able to go to a market that was about 30 minutes away. We were shopping in this crowded market where nobody spoke a word of English, well off the tourist path. I was glancing at some souvenir potential when from behind some hanging serapes a woman sang out quietly in very broken English, "cheekens in de treees", and she smiled at me. She was evidently the mother of one of the kids at the church and had heard us singing. Now...go listen to something else so you can get the song out of your head.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I blame possums this time.


Since my last post had some vague response from Donald about possums and was probably just a subtle hint to go to his blog ( to see his post about a possum, I decided to tell my possum story. We've not had Storytime here in a while so sit back and relax while I unfold this cornucopia of characterization.

Many years ago at my parents' house my dogs were barking like crazy people so I went outside to scope out the problem. My years of deduction training kicked in as I looked up the tree they were gathered around and I found the possum clinging to the end of a small branch that was swaying like a drunken tax collector ("sailor" was too easy and this is mainly for Don anyway).

The dogs made it clear that this problem would not be quietly resolved so I did what I had to do. I crawled right up the tree after it with a chunk of firewood and a Concealed Chunk of Firewood License and banged on the limb enough until the raging rodent fell to the ground with a thud and was immediately attacked by the incorrigible canines.

I jumped down as quickly as possible and got the dogs off of the animal but it was obviously too late. Bleeding profusely, the unclean critter had probably died before he hit the ground. So, I reached down to grab him by the tail and was going to just throw him over the fence when the spirit of Satan himself inhabited the corpse and, still on its back, that beast hissed at me and showed me its tiger-proud teeth and claws like a sasquatch but it was the eyes that scared me the worst. Neon red, glowing and spinning and shooting molten lava from some other dimension of space, those eyes...eyes that had obviously been crafted at the workshop of master demons in a lake of burning sulphur, those eyes left scorched real estate in my soul.

It was fight or flight and I commenced to fighting for my life. All I could see were those devil eyes as I pummeled that mangled mercenary marsupial with my firewood chunk. Over and over I wailed on the beast until those cursed eyes finally closed to open no more. Breathless but as victorious as a brave knight battling a dragon for the honor of a princess, I stood over what was left of the motionless wreck of an animal. Had the chunk been a sword I would have cut off its head and paraded it around the back yard on a pike but instead I just kicked it a few more times, partly to make sure it was really dead and partly out of disgust. I then grabbed it by the tail and swung it over the fence.

I threw it over the fence because we had an electric fence to keep the dogs out and it was a hassle to undo. So after I hurled it over I just went through the house where the dogs were now giving me high fives and making up songs about my heroics. Humbly accepting their worship I moved into the front yard and then over to the side of the house where the beast was sure to be laying, fertilizing the St. Augustine with its lifeblood, but no! It was gone! A crimson trail marked the path to the neighbors...and beyond.

My counselor says the nightmares will someday end. It is, of course, the reason that I can no longer hold a real job. My wife left me a short 15 years later. Friends and family have been patient but most assume it's all in my head but it's not in my head! It is the EYES! THE EYES!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I blame Angry Birds

So, like, dude, there I was. Minding my own business. Playing a quick game of Angry Birds as I rode along. I had my skunk helmet on and everything so you know I was being careful when all of the sudden this crazy broad in a minivan pulls out right in front of me! I was just about to beat that level with the different kinds of birds at night in the city, you know? Dude, that rocks! Anywho, so like this chick pulls out and I slam into the back of her van. Next thing I know we're pulling into her driveway or something and I'm like, "Dude, hey lady bro! Take me back to my bike, man!" And she's like, screaming and stuff when she finally sees me. I guess she's never seen a skunk helmet before. That's how it happened.

Back in the good ol days

Back in the good ol days I would have posted something about this article ( but done it from the viewpoint of me being the teacher or principal. I could have had a a good time making fun of people from West Virginia, school teachers and meth heads all in one post. There would have been jokes about the teachers' lounge, how nobody in WV wears shoes and maybe even some witty commentary on the state of schools in general. But, no, I'm not going to do that. I've learned my lesson. I don't want to get any more phone calls, comments and emails asking me, "Were you really a teacher in West Virginia? Are you really addicted to meth? Where is the link to this other website you're talking about?" Nope, I'll never do that again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2 years ago

Two years ago this week I woke up in the hospital in the middle of Nowhere, Utah with a broken leg.

It was the end of the best motorcycle trip of my life even if you factor in the hospital stay (that I almost have paid off). I met some interesting people, saw flora and fauna to dream about and learned a lot about myself.

I also learned a little something about the ex-princess on my visit. She said it would be ok if I missed her birthday but only if I brought her back something good. I guess she should have defined "good" as expensive and blingy (and redundant) because my definition of "good" was a beautiful flower that I had picked from the side of the highest passable mountain in Colorado. I had to climb over a sign that said "Do not cross. Danger". I then leaned over the side of a cliff and picked the most incredible yellow flower and managed to keep it intact even through the crash. It was the first thing I checked on when I woke up. I think she actually threw it away in the hospital trash can.

I got rid of all my cool stuff shortly after that. Between her and the bills she left me with, I couldn't keep the bike, the boots, the guns, the TV, etc, etc. But of all the stuff I lost, I miss that Honda Shadow the most. Good times.

Monday, July 04, 2011

New blog for the church

I just now got around to making a new blog for our church at FBC Runaway Bay. I just got it set up and I'm still playing with it but here is the rough draft: Let me know what you think.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's not funny if you have to explain it.

I knew not everybody in the world would understand my last post but I thought my 4 loyal blog readers would at least understand my humor and know how my blog is set up. Just so everybody knows, that last post was written by me but is only my twisted humor about the article that is linked in the highlighted words at the beginning and end of the post. If you click on the highlighted words it takes you to this page:

See that guy? That ain't me. I'm much more ruggedly handsome. AND...when I drink Jagermeister it doesn't affect my vision.

See that? That, too, was a joke. Let's all laugh at Todd's funny joke. Sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How it happened

Okay, this is how it happened. A friend of mine got fired from his job a few days ago because his boss doesn't know how to do her job and just wanted to get rid of all the "troublemakers". A man needs to blow off a little steam at times like that so I went with him to the local meat market in Houston for a few drinks. We met a couple girls, one thing led to another and everybody was over-served. I remember leaving with one of the girls but don't really remember much after that.

The sound of the siren woke me up and I realized I was driving up I-45. I could tell that my car was driving funny and I couldn't see out the windshield very well. Stupid Jagermeister. It always affects my vision like that. Evidently it makes the girl I was with sleepy because she's not saying much over in the passenger seat. And boy, is she ugly! She's a mess. I guess we really had fun.

So, anyway, the stupid cop pulls me over and asks me to step out of the car. I knew that wasn't gonna happen so I told him to just get in and we'd talk but he would have to move the girl over. Next thing I remember was waking up in a jail cell. That's how this all happened.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Haven't we all?

I never did like anniversaries.

I always thought anniversaries were for the woman. Who ever heard of a woman forgetting an anniversary and the man being upset? Who ever heard of a woman forgetting an anniversary, period? That's pretty much the way it is all through married life, I guess. But maybe it changes after marriage. Maybe when it's all done she doesn't think about it much but the guy does. I don't know if that's always the case but I know it's common.

My friend Don ( recently said in a post that it was the fourth anniversary of losing his best friend. I remember when that happened, thought it was crazy that it could happen to him, and was glad it would never happen to me. Well, today I note the passing of one year since my best friend divorced me. I'm sure I don't have to point out the lesson to be learned there by all the married men.

So what do I say? I've thought about what I would say when this day came for a long while now. I had pretty much decided I would pour out my heart and say all the things I wanted to say to her, about how bad it hurt and how I couldn't believe this or that and how it wasn't my fault. But who wants to hear all that? And what good would it do? Although, one could argue that since only four people ever read this what good does it do to write anything if not for my own self-expression?

I then decided to take a more light-hearted approach and say I was going to make a list of all the things I miss about her and include all the things that made me mad but that would be a pretty transparent form of whining and we go back to, who wants to hear that?

Maybe I should wax eloquently about the topic of forgiveness. I certainly have trod that road in the past year and I believe I have made great strides down that road but I'm pretty sure I have not come to the finish line so until I do maybe I'll hold off on that subject.

Well, just so that this post was not a total waste of a reader's time like much of the other stuff I have posted over the years, let me just briefly say what I have learned in this process. Maybe it could possibly help somebody out there. The problem with saying what I have learned is that I don't like what I have learned and, honestly, wish I could say something different. But what I have learned can be summed up in two sentences. Don't ever get married. If you do, don't ever have kids. It's that simple.

Now, I know that all you married men out there (ok, you two married men) who have kids and have wonderful, fulfilling, satisfying lives are about to jump on me and say it's not true. You want to tell me about how great it can be to be married to a wonderful gal and how you have 2.5 great kids and a picket fence and a station wagon, just living the dream and how, yes, there are hard times but ultimately it is worth it and how you wouldn't have it any other way. Please don't.

You see, I've had all that too. I once had a beautiful, funny, smart Christian wife and two good kids I felt were my own. And now I don't. God has provided for me and blessed me in ways that I'll never understand and He has put me in the place where I am supposed to be with a great church and wonderful friends, a great family who supports me like crazy and for all that I will always be grateful. I just wish I had never gotten married. Nobody goes into marriage thinking that there is even a chance they will get divorced but it happens to half the population and there is nothing besides direct abuse that is worse for a child than to go through that.

I wish I could give some better, more uplifting advice but that is what I have learned. That is about all I can take away from eight years of marriage. Don't do it. It's just one more anniversary to "note" instead of "celebrate".

ps So that this is not at the top of the blog I am going to put something a little more light-hearted, yet appropriate as my next post. Enjoy that!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Advice from my Dad

My Father's Day tribute comes on the heels of a frustrating day yesterday. I bought some software that is supposed to make sermon prep a little easier. It has commentaries, dictionaries, different versions of the Bible. It even has a word processor built in that will cross reference your sermons to each other and passages of scripture will be cross referenced to others. Sounded pretty cool until about half way through typing out my sermon the program crashed. Dead. All my work gone. It's 10:30 Saturday night. So I restarted it and used it again really wanting all that sweet cross referencing. This time I got to within about three or four words of being completely finished and it did it again. Dead. Gone. Everything.

So now it's 11:30 and I have been working on this all week and I don't think I can do anymore and so I'm about to just go to bed and tell the congregation tomorrow what happened and maybe we can just sing alot or take testimonies or something. But I remembered what my Dad told me years ago. I called him in a similar situation on a late Saturday night before teaching Sunday School the next morning.

"Pop, I got nothing. What do I do?"
"Better get to work."
"But I mean I really got nothing. How am I supposed to do it?"

I don't know what I was expecting him to say. I guess he was supposed to tell me the magic prayer to pray and the Bible fairy will leave it under my pillow or something.

He just told me one more time, "You really better get to work then".

Then I remembered more than once years before driving by the church he pastored and seeing his office light on even in the middle of the night on Saturday night. I won't say what I was doing coming home in the middle of the night but I had to pass by there and I often saw his light on as I passed and now I knew that his words of wisdom were born of great late-night experience.

So last night I got to work and retyped the whole thing and it turned out well. I know God helps those who are diligent but sometimes he also sends a Godly father to give timely, wise advice. Thanks, Pop, and happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What I realized from the sun setting tonight...

I sent this email to a friend of mine tonight. Some of the names have been changed to protect my innocence.

I wish you could come take a walk with us up here sometime. We see the same doe almost every night now when we walk at about 8:30 or so. Tonight I didn't want to disturb her so we quit walking her way and turned around. The sun was down but the sky was still lit up and the few clouds were a crazy orangey-gray kinda color and I thought that the same God who orchestrates a different sunset and sunrise every day has been orchestrating my life. He's been putting the right people at the right place at the right time all of my life and I believe that, while this may not be the "reason for me being alive" necessarily, that my being here in backward ol' Perth is exactly what He wants me to do and He has been preparing me for this all of my life. Ha, I got all of that from a sunset!

Sunrise, sunset

Look close to see all three dogs enjoying the sunrise and sunset of our new home in Perth, Australia.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ok, I'm back

I finally got moved into my new house and have been pretty much internetless for nearly two weeks. The new digs are in Wise County but if anybody asks I moved to Perth, Australia. I moved to Wise County because I understand that's where all the really important bloggers are and I wanted to be close to them. I didn't know I would have to step back in time about 15 years to do it.

I have been known to make fun of "the Walmarts" ever so often but as I was walking through some old, smelly mom and pop place trying to buy groceries I realized how much I missed the Walmarts. Everything costs more and you have less to choose from. There is only one internet company in town and they know it. I called them to ask them to send me some literature on their different plans and the guy told me to go to their website. When I informed him that was why I was calling he said that whenever I do get the internet (through them) that I could then go online. Sigh.

I'm not exactly a partier anymore and it's a good thing. There's not much to do around here at night or on weekends that doesn't involve tipping over cows or sitting quietly. I understand high school football is huge around here so I'm thinking about just gouging out my eyeballs now to get ready for that.

The good news is that I get paid to preach the Good News and I am having a blast! I didn't know that for the previous 40-something years of my life I have been preparing to pastor but I see every day how God is using my life experiences to make me the man He wants me to be. I have a lot more to say about that and will soon but not tonight. I officiated my first funeral today and still have a lot to do to prepare for Sunday so I will check back soon. And remember, if anybody asks: Perth, Australia.

Monday, May 23, 2011

No thanks.

Why does everybody think I need a wife? It seems like here lately so many people have "somebody I'd like for you to meet." It's like asking President Lincoln if he would like to go back and see another show at Ford's Theater. Sure, there were some good parts about being married. Some of them even involved clothes. I was having a real good time up to the point where I was shot in the head by JW Boothe's great-great-granddaughter. Thanks but I really don't want to meet your friend with a great personality (and 3 kids) or the lady your wife works with (who is only slightly bi-polar). No thanks.
...but she's sweet!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hmm...I don't know.

Maybe I'm just too suspicious but something just doesn't seem right about these two emails I have gotten lately. What do you think?

Good day,

I am (Special Agent) Alessandro Signorino, From The Heathrow International Airport Security Service London, England and i hereby wish to inform you that we have recovered your inheritance payment/consignment (box) from the criminals who were trying to redirect it's delivery to another address totally different from yours. Are you aware of this move?

Because the consignment (box) was retrieved from these criminals during our last routine inspection suspected to be banking instruments worth millions of United States dollar notes in cash as indicated on the consignment papers. Reply immediately if you authorized the delivery change, and then re-confirm your full name, contact address, telephone/cell & fax for proper verifications.

Waiting your urgent response on email: (

Mr. A. Signorino
(London Heathrow Airport Security Service)

and then this one:

Re: Urgent Payment Confirmation:

Attention Beneficiary.

Did you authorize any Mr. Jerry Richard from Ohio U.S.A to claim your $1,500.000.00 million inheritance payment on your behalf?

The debt settlement department is about processing the $1,500.000.00 million inheritance payment via ATM card special mode of payment in favor of Mr. Jerry Richard as your representative, if alternatively you never permitted such request, urgently forward your objection to the office of the debt settlement department and also reconfirm your full names, address, telephone & any form of identification to the officer for verification.

You are to forward the requested information's to the debt settlement officer with his email contact stated below.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Mary Johnson.
Inheritance Payment Coordinator.

Friday, May 06, 2011

This made me laugh.

I'm not big on putting one video after another on here but this is worth it.

Caption this video.

Skip right to the 1:50 mark for your cop of the year nomination.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ok, I'm over it.

And I already know what to do for my Halloween costume. Should be pretty easy: a towel, a sheet, fake beard and some red paint.

Mixed feelings

Like everybody else I heard the good news last night that Bin Laden had been killed. I watched the news for a few minutes and was glad for what I saw and then went to bed grateful for our incredible military and wondering how much credit Obama was going to take for this. But I woke up feeling a little different. I once again turned on the news and saw the mass celebrations from coast to coast. Flag-waving and flag-draped Americans chanting "USA" and singing and honking horns in scenes similar to when our country has won a war.

So what's my problem? How come I don't feel like singing the National Anthem while draped in Old Glory and wearing a NYFD cap and kissing a baby?Maybe I'm getting older and that's the problem. The older I get the more precious life seems to get. I used to be a big deer hunter but I hate to admit it but now I would rather just shoot my camera at them. I still squash spiders and swat flies so I'm not totally soft.

Maybe my feeling stems from the fact that I realize we killed the leader of a bad group but the bad group still exists and didn't need much of a reason to hate us even more if that is possible. We have not won a war today with his death and the way people are celebrating looks too much like how people celebrate over there when one of our people gets killed and that disgusts me when it happens to one of ours so maybe that is part of my problem.

Lastly, as much as I know that Hell was made for people like Bin Laden who kill innocent people I also know that Hell was not really made for anybody but Satan and I hate to think of anybody (yes, even him) spending eternity there. Hell is a real place and much worse than we can imagine and I just can't help but wonder what wonderful things could be accomplished for the Kingdom by a man with Osama's passion. Think it couldn't happen? So did the first church in Jerusalem when they heard about Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus.

In the big scheme of things, yes, I agree, it is a day to celebrate the fact that justice has been done and who knows how many lives have been saved by taking out this dirtbag? Still, death is the end. And the end for someone without a relationship with Jesus is an eternal hopelessness that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." Proverbs 21:15

"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." Ezekiel 33:11

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"How great indeed" is this hat-tip?

Far be it from me not to show the love desperately demanded by one of the four loyal readers. How terribly rude of me not to mention the name of somebody who sent me a link to one of the most downloaded Youtube videos ever and one that I had seen posted any number of other places. Oh, the shame on me and my family for not writing "h/t dew" at the end of the previous post! Please, Dew, let me try to make it up to you. Now while this may not be the comparison of your great qualities next to the Holy Trinity itself that you asked for but I hope this will be the next best thing. the other three loyal readers of this blog, please let it be known that Dewey Wayne Taliaferro sent me the link to the previous post's video of "How Great Thou Art". It was only through his great thoughtfulness to hit the "forward" button on the email and type in my name that this blog was blessed to have that song. Thank you, Dewey, again for all that you do for "Blog? I thought you said Dog!"

For you other readers who have been edified to have read Dewey's hilarious and insightful and always thought-provoking comments in previous posts, you may want to thank him personally for sending me the link to the video. If so, his personal cell phone number is (817) 713-7788. For all of you email spammers and phishers out there please do not send him large amounts of junk email at about the best places to buy Viagara as he already knows that. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How great indeed.

I don't know anything about the faith of Underwood or Gill but it is a beautiful song and she has an awesome voice. I can't help but think about Philippians 1:18.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday to ya! (Letter to my church)

As I sit here writing this I wonder what was going through the mind of Jesus about this time on a Friday morning so many years ago. Betrayed and falsely accused, did He ever start to wonder if these people (me included) were worth the pain and suffering He was about to endure? Did He ever start to wonder why He had to die when so many people would reject Him? Almost as bad would have been the thought that some would accept Him but never tell anybody else about the joy and peace and forgiveness that comes with accepting Him into their heart.

Whatever His thoughts may have been, His prayer was "Father, may Your will be done". MAY YOUR WILL BE DONE! Oh, God, in my own life and in the life of my family at FBC Runaway Bay, I pray that your will is done in our lives! God, please use us as you see fit. Please forgive us all of our sins. Give us, please, wisdom and patience and grace as we deal with each others' imperfections. We ask that You would be mindful of our church and please protect it, for Your glory, from attacks from within and without. We don't have much but all we have we give to You.

Thank You, Jesus, for what you did on the cross for us but most of all thank you for the resurrection! Thank You, Lord, that we don't worship a god that we can only pretend has power but instead we can have a relationship with the all-powerful and yet all-loving Creator. I don't understand Your ways, God, but I trust you. You have proven yourself trustworthy time and time again so I give you my life and our church and just ask that whatever happens, your will be done.

Join me, church family, this Sunday to celebrate Resurrection Sunday at FBC RB. I love you and look forward to seeing you there! Praying that God's will is done through us so that His kingdom may grow. Todd

Monday, April 18, 2011

I knew Manson wasn't crazy!

Manson said: 'I think Obama is an idiot for doing what he’s doing. They’re playing with him.'

Read more:

'Everyone’s God and if we don’t wake up to that there’s going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we’re doing bad things to the atmosphere.

'If we don’t change that as rapidly as I’m speaking to you now, if we don’t put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we’ve butchered, if we don’t go to war against the problem...' he added, trailing off.

Ooohhh!! He almost had me believing!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Glad the week is over.

I know you don't care but it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to. I'm getting a new roof next week because of years of hail storms and wind damage and it seems to be going ok so far with the roofer and insurance adjuster. The problem started when the adjuster gave me a check. Never thought I'd say those words. The check is made out to me and the mortgage company. No problem, I'll just zip on down to the local bank branch and get them to endorse it. Two trips, several phone calls, some online research and who knows how much time spent sitting in offices and waiting for who knows what and waiting for someone to figure out who knows what but finally got the check endorsed.

Now I just need to run it over to my bank to get it cashed. Hahaha yeah right. You know, it's like people don't want to give their money away or something. Anyhow, I'll save you the details and I finally got it cashed and headed home. Oh, I didn't mention my power is out at the house and I'm doing all this running around in my neighbor's car because mine wouldn't start because I was stupid enough to check the air filter. Yep. Filter's fine. Now the car won't start. Turns out I had bumped what is called an inertia switch. This is a switch that shuts off the fuel supply when you are in an accident.

So here I go to the parts place in an '82 Chevy Pieceojunk that reeks of cigarette smoke but I'm so glad I have it. $50 later I get home and install the part. Still nothing. Check the owner's manual (yes, smart alec, I should have done that first) and it says that all you have to do is press the top of the switch to reset it. Deep sigh... No they don't allow returns on electrical items so I guess I paid 50 bucks to learn about inertia switches. And patience.

ps Every now and then I need to vent. Everybody does but it seems like everytime I do that here I go back and read what I wrote and think, "What a crybaby." I have so much to be thankful for, it's embarrassing. Really. I had the time to do it. I had the money. I had the ride. The neighbor was happy to lend me her car. And to top it off I have four loyal readers who feel sorry for me. Right?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A JD story

I have lots of stories about JD.  Some of them I have put down here but I was reminded of one lately when I went over to my parents' house the other day and saw the jacuzzi tub in their bathroom.  Many years ago my mom bought the tub at a garage sale.  The problem was she didn't have any way of getting it home so she called me to come pick it up in my pickup. 

So JD and I went right over there.  JD went with me almost everywhere except church (and even sometimes church).  I remember him going with me into the bank one time.  I didn't even think about it until we got in the door.  I probably should have at least put him on a leash for that but he did fine and nobody seemed to care.  Anyway, when we got to the garage sale mom had bought several other things and once we loaded up the huge tub in the bed and the other stuff in the cab, there was no place for JD.  So he just jumped into the tub and we took off.

On the way home we pulled up to a red light and the man in the car next to us was frantically waving for me to roll the window down.  Concerned that there was a problem, I quickly did so and the man yelled something about a dog.  My heart dropped.

"What did you say?"

"I said, your dog said he needs more soap!"

Something's gotta give.

Like Alan Jackson, I'm not a real political man.  I watch CNN (and Fox) and I see that the government is probably going to "shut down" this weekend because Republicans and Democrats can't see eye to eye on budget cuts.  If you want exact details, stats and graphs explaining this please go see my friend Don here at One Nation Under God.  If you want to read my mindless drivel about it stay here for just a minute.  I know I'm in over my head and will just tread water for a short time.

I say I am over my head because I can't believe this is such a problem.  Surely I am missing something here.  If I personally don't have any money left and every credit card is maxed-out and I have nobody left to borrow from, it is time to stop spending.  In fact, it's time to make drastic, painful cuts in my lifestyle.  This is gonna hurt but I have no choice.  I just heard a democratic senator say on tv that we can't cut the budget as much as the republicans want to because that would take money away from necessary items like cancer research, public broadcasting and national parks.  Look, I do understand that cancer research is important.  I don't want college kids to not receive grants.  I wish we could give more to national parks so they didn't have to rely on volunteers as much.  I love national parks but phooey on national parks if we have to go into more debt to maintain them!

This is going to hurt, people!  If it doesn't hurt your pocketbook then it is not enough.  It is time for us as a nation to sell the mansion that we live in and can't afford and buy a trailer.  Cut out the weekly manis and pedis.  Buy rice and beans in bulk and quit eating out all-together.  I am ready to do my part.  Quit subsidizing short, fat, bald guys.  I'm ok with that.  I just hope they don't cut any more from the cowboy poetry fund.  Some things really are necessary.

Oh, give me a home
Where the bull market roams,
And Harry and Nancy pay
For the ruination
Of this great nation
...And we never see BO again!

Monday, April 04, 2011

First Baptist Church Runaway Bay

513 Port O Call Dr.  Runaway Bay, Tx. 76426  Sunday School is at 9:00.  Worship at 10:00.  We're not worried about how you are dressed but bring your Bible if you have one.  Praying that God's will would be done through us so that His Kingdom would grow!