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.