September 28, 2005

No more playing games...

I got on a plane Monday after an enjoyable trip to Albuquerque. I did my usual. I went to the back of the plane and took my aisle seat. In a little while, two nice young ladies made their way down the aisle and asked if the seats next to me were taken. Of course I got up and let them take their seats. We made small talk for awhile, then during the flight I decided it was time to play my little traveling game. This is where I offer to give anyone fifty dollars if they can guess my vocation. People have guessed attorney, teacher, and even Texas oil tycoon. So now feeling comfortable in our conversation, I gave the young ladies a chance to win some money. They thought about the question, and I could see they were reviewing our conversation and looking me up and down to how I was dressed. I guess it was because I travel a lot, had on boots and jeans, and of course talk with a mean country accent, that one of the ladies said, “I know what you do, you’re a rodeo clown.” Well, you guessed it, this put an end to my little traveling game. Though I didn’t loose fifty dollars, I now, after all these years, have lost my desire to play this little game. I liked it a lot better when I was a rich Texas oil tycoon.

September 26, 2005

Spelling was never my forte...

I really love Albuquerque. The Sandia Mts. are just beautiful. The weather is great (hardly any humidity). And now just when I learned how to spell Albuquerque, I have to head back to Texas. As many of you know we have a Christian Fellowship Church in Albuquerque, and I visit there about three times a year. I always enjoy my time with Eddie and Mary Ann Howard. We have been friends for many years now. Well, I better get out of bed and get moving. I am sure Son of a Preacher’s Wife will have something for me to do on the new room addition when I get home. I just love serving that woman. I can just hear it now, “Hi Honey, welcome home! Hurry and pet the dog, remember you have been gone four days. You need to run to Home Depot to get the insulation because the man who is to install it will be here in just a few minutes, and fill up my car with gas on the way before the price goes up again, and don’t forget to clean the windshield.” “Yes dear, your wish is my command.” Just can’t wait to get back home.

September 24, 2005

Football is only a game...

Here I am in Albuquerque with my good friend Eddie Howard watching TCU play BYU. It is a showdown between the Mormons and the Christians. I am not sure what the outcome will be on the football field, but in other arenas with them I am much more confident. Now don’t get me wrong I think there are some very good people who are Mormons. In fact some probably outshine a lot of Christians in their conduct and behavior. But the question is not who is better on the football field or even the moral arena of life, but who embraces Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Not drinking coffee is one thing, but not acknowledging and trusting Jesus as the Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world is quite another. Now most of you, or shall I say the two of you who read my blog know that I am not usually this straight-forward, but like the Bible says, “Let God be true and ever man and man-made religion a liar.” I know a lot of people will say this is not religiously correct, but I am not just talking about being religiously correct, but rather theologically honest and Biblically correct. I guess it all comes down to which book you believe. Well, the final score is BYU 50 TCU 51 but remember, football is only a game.

September 19, 2005

To my children...

Philip--You were the first. I learned with you that you could love a child more than life. And I do. You’ve always been my favorite. I wrestled and played with you first. You also were the first child I ever spanked. Though it was tough, it needed to be done. I learned with you that a son can be more mature than his dad and a better father, leader and man. I know God will use you greatly to touch your world. Know this: I love you the most.

Amy--You were the first little girl. With you I learned that no two children are alike. I discovered with you that there is no end to affection and loving sensitivity. You are so kind, so warm, so loving, and such a servant. You are a wonderful pastor’s wife and mother. You have the best voice of all your siblings. Don’t tell your brother this. Your little sister already knows. None can compare to you. And you are my favorite--even though you find this hard to believe, it’s true. Yes, I tell others this. Know this: I love you the most.

Marlie--Though you came later and last, you were not an after thought. As you have always known you were my favorite. And I realize you do believe this. You are organized, creative, disciplined, diligent and thoughtful. You have a way of remembering the little things. And it is the little things in life that add up. Others would say you are spoiled, but you and I know better. You are not spoiled, you just had special needs. Know this: I love you the most.

September 17, 2005

The day that is before me...

I am not quite sure why I woke up at 4 a.m. I think it might have something to do with going to bed at 8 p.m. It also could have something to do with the day that is before me. You see we still have the project of the new addition to our house in progress. Of course my wife is seeing to it that it remains a work in progress. I worked all day until I was exhausted. I came in, cleaned up, had dinner, and sat down to relax. The first thing I heard after dinner was, “what are you going to do tomorrow?” Tomorrow! I said. “Woman haven’t you heard the Scripture that says, take no thought for tomorrow, that each day has enough trouble of its own.“ Needless to say she wasn’t in the mood to talk about Scripture and I wasn’t in the mood to talk about tomorrow, so we sat together quietly and watched television. Even though there was no mention of tomorrow, I knew that tomorrow would soon be upon me. Well, here it is tomorrow, and I am up at 4 a.m. All I can think about is her waking up in a few hours with that little smile, and hearing her say, “Are you ready to get started?” I should know by now after living with her for 37 years you don’t get ready, you stay ready. So here I sit, all dressed and ready to begin her day.

September 13, 2005

Distant Cousins...

I was told by Mom and Dad that they had seven children, but I just don't see it. There just could not possibly have been seven of us. Maybe the others were distant cousins due to the resemblance, but my siblings, I don't think so. The more I think about it there could have been two of us, but no more. Don't get me wrong, they are all nice people who have made a good life for themselves and as distant cousins any family would be proud to claim them. They say that blood is thicker than water and that is one of the reasons I invited my distant cousin Nancy to live with us. As far as cousins goes she is great. She is a hard worker, and has a great sense of humor. She is very resilient. She is a survivor of breast cancer twice in ten years. Her friends tell her she doesn't march to the same beat as the rest of the world. I guess they mean that as a compliment, but I would say she is a little eccentric and off beat. As you know my wife's father lives with us and now Nancy. She is a nice addition to our convalescent home. Her and Mr. Lupher get along rather well. Personally I love it because they both sleep a lot.

September 9, 2005

Mount Calm

Being the son of a country preacher and a country boy myself, I enjoy traveling the back roads of Texas. Much of my ministry takes me to rural churches in Texas, so I travel to and through some interesting places. A few weeks ago (Aug 27 Glory Bound) I wrote about Glory, Texas. Then of course on Interstate 10 out of San Antonio I discovered two towns called Welfare and Comfort. Though I mean no disrespect I get a lot of mileage preaching about these places. Yesterday, while traveling to Longview I came out of Waco on Highway 31E and low and behold if I didn't come to Mount Calm. Of course, I pulled over took a picture and sat there for a few minutes. I got to thinking that if there is really Calm in Mount Calm a lot of people I know ought to at least visit the place if not move there. Well, I gotta run. As Willie would sing, I am on the road again.

September 8, 2005

Feel better now...

What do you mean, where have I been? I have a job you know! I can't just sit around and write blogs all day. And the real truth is who would read them? I cannot think of anyone who would give a rip about where I have been or what I have been doing, but in case there is one, I will tell you. Anne and I went to Houston on Labor Day to be with our friends Ernie and Lyn Fitzpatrick. They were having an open house celebration for the renovation of their church. We had a great time. I leave today for Longview to be with Pastor David Benson for the weekend, then Anne will meet me in Dallas Sunday evening to have dinner with our daughter and son-in-law. Now I bet you feel better since I told you that. The addition to our house is about half way finished. I will write soon and bring you up to speed on that once sensitive subject. Truthfully the pain is just about gone.

September 3, 2005

KISS-Keep It Simple Saints

I try not to make this blog preachy, but from time to time I can't help myself. Let me give you this scripture I have been thinking about.
Paul said, "...I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3, NIV). The King James Version says, "...corrupted or led astray from the simplicity that is in Christ."
No one ever wants to admit that they are, or could ever be, deceived. But one of the greatest deceptions today is Christians being led astray from our simple, sincere and pure devotion to Christ. The opposite of simple is complex or complicated. Someone once said that God takes complicated things and makes them simple while man takes simple things and makes them complicated. I've decided for me, simple is the way to go. In fact for me, simple is the only way I can go. I am going to make my aim and goal for the rest of my life---loving God and loving others. Monitoring people's giving, conduct, and church attendance is not how I want to spend my time. Say what you want, but I am at peace with God and myself.

September 2, 2005

The Undeserved Paddling...

My memory took me back to Howe, Texas today. Howe is a small rural town in north central Texas. It has grown some but still remains a bedroom community to Sherman which is 8 miles north on highway 75. It was where I grew up and attended Howe Elementary and Howe High School. For some strange reason, I was thinking about all the paddlings I got, one in particular. It was the only one that I can think of that I didn't deserve. I know you're thinking, "but what about all those you didn't get that you did deserve?" You are so right. Why do we tend to focus on the things we think we got unjustly, and forget about all the things we got by with? I think it may have to do with entitlement. For whatever reason we start to feel we are entitled to certain things. Certain treatment, benefits or blessings. It is not entitlement we need, but grace. I am not sure about paddlings, but God certainly knows what we need and gives to us abundantly, not because we deserve it, but because he knows what's best and desires to bless us. Who knows, maybe I did deserve it after all.