Wednesday, August 31, 2005
10. 10 is 3/4 of the way to 15
9. It takes TWO hands to hold up 10 fingers
8. 10 is more than 3
7. 10 has been a goal of mine
6. You can score 10 points playing racquetball
5. 10 means you're not completely out of somebody's league
4. 10 is a respectable score if you have to loose
3. 15 to 10 doesn't sound too bad
2. I got 10 points playing racquetball this morning.
1. I got 10 points playing racquetball against Chuck this morning!
P.S. If this post doesn't make sense to you, read previous posts!
We took Boo and Sully with us and headed out on our adventure. Our first stop was McDonalds for a chocolate shake for Amanda and a chocolate dipped cone for Daddy. Then we headed over to Lake Arlington. We knew this might be "interesting" because Sully (or Schnauzer) is a BIG chicken dog and he barks at everything that scares him. So when it was time to walk, we kept telling Sully what a good and brave boy he was, and he did pretty well. We walked, Amanda played on the playground, we watched some boats get put into the lake and then we watched the geese walking around. The part about watching the geese didn't last too long because Sully saw them...and started barking at them...NON-STOP. It was time to go home anyway, so we loaded everybody into the car and headed home.
Once home, Amanda got a bath (to wash off all the mud she picked up walking near the lake) and she got into bed around 8:30pm. I always lay in the bed with her and pray with her (and usually get coerced into telling an animal story as well), so I laid down and we prayed. I was tired, so I thought I'd take a quick nap. Well, the quick nap lasted for an hour until I got up and moved into my own bed. I woke up at 10:15pm when Brooke came home, but I didn't get up. I slept in until 5:15am this morning, so I guess I got in my 8 hours of sleep for the night. All of that fun just wore us out!
Monday, August 29, 2005
On Saturday, Brooke called and MaMa Gin seemed to be doing a bit better. She was moving her left arm and when Jill put the phone to her ear and Brooke spoke to her, her eyes light up.
On Sunday, Brooke called, Jill put the phone to MaMa Gin's ear and after Brooke said, "I love you Mama Gin, and I'm praying for you", MaMa Gin said "OK, thank you"...she was talking!
Today, she is talking more, doing what the doctors are asking her to do and was even sitting up tonight. The doctors say she will probably need 24 hour care now, but they are encouraged with how well she is doing. We are thankful for prayer and that God answers!
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Teach me, O Lord, to follow every one of your principles. Give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for y our decrees; do not inflict me with love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, which is for those who honor you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; your laws are all I want in life. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Psalm 119:28-40, NLT
I love Psalms 119...almost every single verse (all 176 verses) mentions God's Word. I had a conversation just this week with a very educated man at the place where I play racquetball. I got to talk to him for 30 minutes (mostly I listened) as he explained how he is a Christian but he sees no incompatibility between Scripture and the theory of evolution. He went on to explain how the Bible is full of spiritual truths but a lot of it is allegorical and should not be taken literally. He even went so far as to say that two people could come up with two completely different (i.e. contradictory) "truths" from the same passage and both of them be right. I listened to his thoughts about evolution since I had originally asked his opinion and about something and wanted to listen since I asked, but when he started talking about the Bible as mostly allegorical and subject to personal interpretation, I had to speak up. I agreed that two people may walk away from a passage with two different truths, but if the truths were contradictory, one or both of them had to be wrong. God was not confused when he spoke to the men writing the Bible and He does not contradict His Truth. I also took issue with the subjective nature of the Bible. God's Word is an absolute, objective standard. I could argue that from the Bible itself, but even from the standpoint of logic, this must be true in order for the Bible to of real value in living life. If God's Word is only as good as a person's interpretation, a crazy man's interpretation would have to be as good as Jesus himself when he quoted and explained the Old Testament prophets. It just doesn't work...God has given us objective Truth in His Word...it is our job to study and apply His Word to the best of our ability. Two people may get two different truths from the same passage, but if they are truly God's Truths, they will not be contradictory.
Teach me, O Lord, to follow every one of your principles. Give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart. (Psalm 119:22-24, NLT)
Brooke picked up this treadmill at a garage sale for $15 last weekend. We were told it worked, so we got it hoping it really did. We plugged it in on the back porch and it worked, so we cleaned it up and brought it in the house. The treadmill part worked, but the digital part that shows how far you walked, how long, how fast, etc. did not work. Brooke found a battery compartment, replaced the batteries and "fixed the problem"...until the next day when the digital part quit working. Oh, they come on and show pretty "0's" across the display, but they never move. But hey, at least the treadmill part still works, so we're happy for $15.
When Amanda say it, she could not wait to use it. We put her on it and she wanted to run. I told her it was more about how long she could do it than how fast, so she determined to go LONG time. She walked about a mile and a quarter and decided she had enough. When she got off, she was a little wobbly and said, "Daddy, it feels like my legs are controlling me instead of me controlling them!"
Thursday, August 25, 2005
So on Wednesday, we called around and found a motor the same RPM and same horsepower. The guy took the motor out for me (complete with 26 inch fan) and I hauled all of that to the motor place he had called. Now keep in mind I am a "motor idiot"...I know nothing except "this is a motor, it is broken, I need a new one just like it". Short version of the story is, this place had a motor with similar specs except for the housing which was important since it had to go back into a very specific spot!
So Wednesday afternoon I called Lennox (since that is who made the AC unit, I thought that was a pretty good idea). They did have a motor, but it had to be ordered and picked up by an authorized Lennox dealer (which I am not at this current time). The handy man said call Grainger's (a super-cool monster part warehouse by the way) and see if they can get the motor. I called, gave them the model number and specs of my motor. They said they had one, so I drove the 30 minute drive to pick it up. Again, short version...right specs except for the size of the housing. Another major problem.
Well, I don't want to give the version that is so short that we miss all the "fun" stuff. First of all, remember I drove 30 minutes to get to this place. Then I bought the motor which came in a sealed box. I paid for it, loaded it into my car and started to leave. Then I remembered the other motor, you know, the other one that had similar specs but didn't fit. So I parked the car in a different parking spot and opened the box. Lo and behold, the motor had the wrong size housing again. So I got to stand in line for another 15 minutes to return the motor I just bought. And a short 30 minutes later, I was back at church.
On the way back to church, I called our AC guy...the one the church PAYS to come work on our stuff. He came out, took the old motor with him, got a new one, took the old fan blade off and put it on the new motor since NOBODY makes those fan blades anymore, and installed the motor. When he was done, I asked if I needed to sign anything or if he would just mail me the bad news. He said he'd mail it and then told me "You're not gonna like what they charged you for that motor". I told him the one I looked at from Grainger was $125. He looked at me like "We're not even talking in the same ballpark here." Oh boy, that will be fun when the bill comes in.
So, I called our handy man and told him what I had to do. I greatly appreciate the handy man's help (and he did do a lot of prevenative maintenance on our residential size air conditioners at church), but I've had a crazy two days learning about AC motors, where to go to have motors repaired and visiting the coolest industrial supply place around.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
After church, Brooke informed me we were going out to lunch with our friends the Windles. Sounded good to me, so we met them (and a few teenagers/college kids) at Mercardo Juarez. Having polished off a LARGE plate of chicken quesadillas and WAY, WAY too many chips with salsa, I was sitting there thinking how miserably full I was. About that time I looked down at my watch and noticed it was 2:35 PM. Just a few moments after that, I remembered I was supposed to meet another friend, Aaron, for a 3:00 PM racquetball game! Not only was I STUFFED, but we did not have our check and I was running out of time to get there. Brooke told me she would catch a ride home, so I took off. I got home, hung all of my clothes over a chair, changed into my gym clothes and headed to the Maverick Club. It took about a game and a half to get all that Mexican food digested enough to play for real, but I managed. We played six games of which I won but two (sad).
Having sweated off what felt like 20 pounds (it looked more like 20 ounces), I headed for the showers and then came home. When I walked into my office to put my clothes away that had been hanging on the chair, I noticed my dress shoes (a Christmas present from Brooke) in the middle of the floor. I knew, if they survived, they would at least be missing shoelaces courtesty of whatever dog had dragged the shoe into the middle of the floor. Sure enough, I was missing the shoelaces from both of my shoes...along with the tongue in one of the shoes! I picked up the shoe and looked at Sully...he was ready to play fetch. I looked at Boo who immediately hunkered down and ran into the other room. "Accidently" the shoe "slipped" from my hand and went hurling in her direction as she ran for her cage (where she stayed locked up for the next hour).
So I was mad at Boo for the next hour thinking about my ruined shoes. But then Brooke let her out of her cage and she came running up to me to apologize (really). How can you stay mad at something that cute...and that genuninely sorry? OK, if you're not a dog person, I guess you could do it, but I couldn't. I loved her and now my dress shoes are but a fond memory. Guess I'll have to wear the ones Brooke thinks are ugly...until she gets tired of them again and buys me another pair.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's. ...
The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. ...
But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children's children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments.
Wednesday was a bit more interesting. Brooke took Amanda to the dentist because she has a molar that is either chipped or got a very large cavity very quickly. They wanted to clean her teeth first, but she threw a fit, started crying...the whole works. Brooke tried talking to her and I tried "talking" to her over the phone as only Daddy can do, but that didn't work either. She now has to go back in two weeks and try again. Mommy has promised her Polly Pockets or a Barbie if she is good, Daddy has threatened her within an inch of her life if she is not good. Hopefully one of those two approaches will work!
Wednesday afternoon, Brooke was not feeling to good so she decided she would not work at church that night (which she has done every single Wednesday since she went on staff). It was REALLY GREAT to have her at Life Group with me this week. I'm hoping she might be able to find somebody to rotate weeks with her so she can come to Life Group at least every other week.
Last night, I went with Dad to his church's men's meeting. I was invited to come and share and appreciated the invitation. We had some GREAT BBQ...brisket, sausage, hot links, baked beans and slaw (the only item I passed on). After the meal and hanging out for a bit, I shared my message using the letters of the word H.E.A.R.T. to share what God's Word says about our heart and how we can better overcome sin in our lives by serving God with our whole heart. It went well, the guys were very nice and the food was GREAT.
Today I was surfing the Internet before I posted this. I came across a page about the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The information there is copyrighted and I could not do it justice with a summary, so I'll just put the link HERE. I've linked to their FAQ page, and there is less than 5 minutes of reading there, but it is fascinating to read of the dedication of those guards and the honor they show at the Tomb. If you like to feel a patriotic beat to your heart, check it out.
Brooke is out getting some blood work done and will be back shortly so we can go have lunch with Amanda at school today. I skipped breakfast, so I think I'll grab a bite before we leave.
A father watched his daughter playing in the garden. He smiled as he reflected on how sweet and innocent his little girl was.
Suddenly she just stopped and stared at the ground. He went over to her and noticed she was looking at two spiders mating. "Daddy, what are those two spiders doing?" she asked. "They're mating," her father replied "
What do you call the spider on top, Daddy?" she asked. "That's a Daddy Longlegs." Her father answered. "So, the other one is Mommy Longlegs?" the little girl asked. "No," her father replied. "Both of them are Daddy Longlegs."
The little girl thought for a moment, then took her foot and stomped them flat. "Well, it might be OK in California or New York...but we're not having any of that going on in Texas."
Monday, August 15, 2005
Amanda, Brooke and I went to Amanda's school to meet her teacher for the year. We've been praying that she get a certain teacher, and we were thrilled to see that is who she got. Amanda was mostly excited that her best friend from last year is in her class once again. Amanda was very excited to start back to school.
Thursday night I had a meeting with our church Life Group leaders. It went well and was an encouraging time as leaders shared what was happening in their groups. I made a cherry cheese pie and lemon icebox pie to go along with the coffee for the meeting. (Note to self: next time make two lemon icebox pies and forget the cherry cheese pie. On the other hand, since less than half of it was gone, I actually got to bring some home. Scratch note to self.) Right after that was a meeting with the greeting team at church (ushers, greeters and the people who run the info booth). Pastor ran that meeting but I had notes, job descriptions and schedules to take care of. I was pretty tired by the time I got home.
Some friends had given us tickets to Hurricane Harbor water park, and so as an end-of-summer blowout, Brooke, Amanda and I headed to the park for a few hours. It was fun and nobody got sunburned to bad, so it was a good day. That evening, I went with dad to the races in Grand Prairie. The sprint cars were there again and it was a good race.
Saturday we slept in a bit, ran a few errands and then I spent the rest of day getting ready to Sunday.
Pastor and family are out of town, so I got to preach on Sunday. You can visit our church web page, www.theVineFellowship.com and click on the "Sermons Online" link to listen to the message if you are so inclined. I shared a vision for Life Groups at the Vine. My parents came to church, as they usually do when I preach, and we went out to eat together afterwards (as we usually do). Then, to keep in the "as we usually do" pattern, I came home and took a nap, exhausted from the day. Silly me, I slept from 2:15pm to around 5:45pm, so when it was bedtime at 10:15pm, I could not sleep. An hour I got up. Instead of doing the smart thing and finding a book to read, I sat down and did some work on the church web page. I finished up what I was doing around 2:15am. Needless to say I did NOT get up at 5:15am to play racquetball this morning.
Amanda got up at 7:00am and got ready for the first day of school as a first grader. We all walked to school together and Amanda was ready to go. She walked into her class like a big girl, found her own locker and never looked back at Mom and Dad watching her from the classroom door. She is growing up way too fast for her Daddy! I keep trying to tell her she does not have my permission to grow up so fast, but she keeps doing it anyway.
And sometime between now and the last time I posted, we took Sully to the vet because of "stink problem" from his backside. To spare you the gross details, the doctor recommended Metimucil to "bulk him up" a bit and this would hopefully help clear up his problem. (If that doesn't make sense to you, I'm sorry, but I'm just remaining vague to spare you nasty details!). Anyway, he likes the orange flavor and it seemed to do it's job today. So that was one of the highlights of my week, too...giving Metimucil to my dog!
Monday, August 08, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
Brad is a great guy; a true friend and my right hand when I was in youth ministry. Brad came to our church in 1998 or 1999 when we were looking for a worship leader. Our church did not select Brad as worship leader at that time, but Brad knew he heard from the Lord that he and his family were supposed to be at our church, so they stayed. That says a lot about the kind of guy Brad is. Brad proved himself faithful (and more than up-to-the-job) and has now been our church's worship leader since 2003.
I can't say a lot about Brad's musical ability because I have so little ability in that area, but I know he is a man of integrity who knows the Word, is a gifted teacher and has a true pastor's heart for the people he works with. (Now don't get me wrong, Brad is a good musician and I enjoy his music...I'm listening to "Mercy" pre-release copy as I'm writing this...I just can't say describe his musical ability the way a musician could). You can visit our church web page at www.theVineFellowship.com and click on the STAFF link to see Brad's many accomplishments as a musician.
I didn't know Brad all that well until 2000 I think it was. I was youth pastor at the church and we had a youth worship team, led by youth group members. Jamin Gore had the vision to start a youth worship team and he left a legacy for No Compromise Youth that continues to this day. Ryan Kerr followed in Jamin's footsteps leading youth worship after Jamin graduated, but then in 2000, Ryan graduated as well leaving me with members of a worship team but nobody to lead them. As I prayed about it, Brad's name came to mind seemingly out of the blue. I had been thinking about and praying about the issue for several days before Brad's name came to mind. I took Brad out to lunch and shared my heart with him about youth worship and my desire to have him come work with us. Then the strangest thing happened...Brad told me he would love to do it, but he was just too busy at the time. It's not strange for people to be busy, and I actually appreciate the quality in people that allows them to say "no" when they can't do something to the best of their ability because they are doing too many other things, but it was strange that Brad would answer that way. Why? Because I knew the Lord told me to ask him. And then another strange thing happened...I just said "ok" and didn't think much more about the entire issue. I didn't have a worship leader, I had nobody else I felt good about asking, but I didn't stress about it (me not stressing about something is VERY strange!). It was almost like I didn't even think about it again until Brad told me a week or so later that he needed to talk to me. We got together again and Brad told me the Lord told him he was supposed to do youth worship. I didn't know that was going to happen, but I wasn't surprised either. I guess because of the "kookiness" I see in some people who say "the Lord told me...." I don't say that very often. I believe I hear from the Lord, but I rarely say, "the Lord told me...". But Brad working with the youth was one of those things I knew the Lord told me, so I was just excited when he said "yes".
And from there, a friendship began that is one of my dearest at our church to this day. As Brad started working with the youth worship team, it became obvious that this was a PERFECT fit. Brad had the skills to lead the team, but he also had a pastor's heart. He pastored the youth on the worship team and developed them as musicians, worship leaders and Christians. Because of his incredible pastor's heart, I often talked to Brad about how to say things to individual youth when I was dealing with an issue with them (because I am WAY too direct and inflexible sometimes). During the hard times when I questioned if I was doing things right, Brad was always there to encourage me. And he could make observations or suggestions that never felt like an attack. One of the things I appreciated the most about Brad was that I could let him do anything he wanted without the slightest concern that he was doing anything contrary to vision I was casting for the ministry. Brad has a unique ability to hear your heart and vision and run with it making it even better in the process. Brad was not only my right hand man...he WAS MY RIGHT HAND. After he started working with me, I wondered how I ever did it without him. He was always willing to do whatever I asked, he was a great encourager, a sounding board and a counselor.
I speak of those things in the past tense because I am no longer the youth pastor at our church, but I still admire all of those things in Brad. One of the things I miss most about youth ministry is working with Brad. We still work together since we are both on staff the church, but it's not the same. But Brad is still the great friend and very qualified minister he has always been. You should check him out online at www.BradIrons.com If you're a pastor or someone with "say so" in your church, you should consider allowing him to come minister at your church.
But you know what my favorite thing about Brad is? He pays SO WELL for shameless promotions like this! I will be able to take my family out to eat three times with what I will get for writing this post! Of course I'm just kidding...Brad does not even know I am writing this. I was just sitting listening to his song Mercy Street and was thinking about how much I enjoy the album and what a great friend he is. Head on over to Brad's web page and listen to some of his music. You will be encouraged and blessed...kinda like I am for having a friend like Brad.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Momma is gone to Nicaragua this week, so Daddy and Amanda have tried to find time to do a few special things. This was it for last night...ALL of Amanda Kay's animals got to sleep in bed with her. We haven't counted how many there are, but there a ton of little ones up at the top of the bed. Nine of them didn't make it through the night...they were on the floor this morning. But Amanda was happy and gets to do this one more night before putting them back in the big purple tub where they "live."
So to catch you up from where we left off. Sunday night, when Amanda went to bed I gave both dogs a badly needed haircut while I finished listening to The Shark Mutiny on CD. Got to the end, finally. It was a very good book. On Monday, Amanda went to VBS at a church around the corner from 9:00-11:30am. She cried when I left but quickly made friends and enjoyed herself. Through the day, her sore knee got better. Monday night, George came over for dinner and we grilled hamburgers. Good food and lots of fun hanging out with George. Today, Amanda went back to VBS and then our evening plans were changed. We were supposed to go over to somebody's house for dinner but they had family come in town unexpectedly. So, Amanda and I went swimming at the Kerr's, grabbed a bite at McDonald's and stopped by the movie store with the intent of renting one movie for Daddy. Well, I ended up renting two movies (good violent war movies to watch late at night by myself) and Amanda brought home Racing Stripes to keep.
We came home Amanda got a bath while I chatted with my parents on the phone. She's brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed while I blog for the night. I'm going to go pray with her and then start one of my movies.
We're getting by while Brooke is gone, but we can't wait for her to get home (I bought her a "welcome home" present today...gosh, I wonder where I put it?). According to our countdown clock, Mommy will be home in 2 days, 23 hours and 18 minutes (approximately).