Friday, September 30, 2005

Kickstart My Heart

How'd you like to wake up to this?

No conversation last night before bed. No "heads-up." Just cold turkey.

I think it's safe to say it's previous to 6AM and the adrenaline rush should carry me right through to midnight.
H. E. Double Hockey Sticks

Texas summers are brutally hot. Throw the hottest September in the history of ever on the end of it, and well, I'm sick of hot weather.

And what's weird is that the weatherman on the news last night talked about how this weekend it should be pretty mild with the highs around 90 and the lows around 75. The anchors said, "Yeah, Troy, that'll make for a nice weekend." We've lost our minds when 90 is talked about as mild.

So, goodbye, September. Weather-wise, I'm very glad to see you go.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Guy Bonding

Every six weeks or so, our senior guys small group Bible study does something for fun...last night I scored a deal to go laser bowling complete with free pizza and sodas and an hour and half of glow in the dark loud music fun for a nominal price. It's one of the few youth pastor "perks" in that owners of businesses like that know that there's gold in them thar teenagers, and whenever the head youth pastor calls, deals for smaller events seem to pop up out of the bushes. Suffice to say this head youth pastor was definitely pleased with the Wednesday night deal the manager props to Main Event. I feel sure it's safe to say we'll give you some of the gold in them thar teenagers.

After about two frames, the game de-volved into Austrailian rules bowling. Ice chips were thrown while lining up the shots. Hats slid across in front of bowlers in progress. Stomping. Coughing. Girlfriend's names were used. Fake puking. Simply walking beside the other bowler while he was approaching the lane. My personal favorite was when someone would slide their foot across the line while you bowled, causing a loud buzzer to go off and the computer to give you an F instead of how many pins you knocked over. I won't go much further because of the sacredness of the guy bonding...but you get the idea.

And people wonder why I like working with teenagers more than working with grownups...gee, why do you think that might be?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Open Memo To The Working Staff at U.A.B. Hospital

A lady's going to check in for chemo treatments today somewhere between 8AM and 9AM.

I guess I expect professionalism and quality care. It's your entire raison d'etre, so I won't bother with the "do your job with excellence bit." Just do what you do day-in and day-out.

I'm sure that you have to have some emotional distance in order to do the work you do day-in and day-out, too. The gig comes inherent with losses and I'm sure you've learned over time to disengage in some ways.

But for those of us who don't have the ability to disengage from that particular patient's situation, please do your very best to make sure she's comfortable and truly cared for today...and maybe Friday depending on how it goes (but let's just plan on her leaving first thing tomorrow morning, eh?).

Because, while we'll be able to visit sooner rather than later, my sister and I can't be there today. Or tomorrow for that matter. She didn't want us to come...yet. But we will be there.

So, for today, remember that lady who's going to check in for chemo treatments today somewhere between 8AM and 9AM is our mom. She's pretty special to a Dallasite and San Franciscan who can't be there...

...or maybe tomorrow...

...but will get there sooner than later.

So, just a little bit over and above the call of duty today, huh? It would be appreciated more than you know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

W.W.J.D.?: The Dark Side?

Those little bracelets were trendy among teens for a while.

It made a lot of grown-up types very happy, too. Lots of teenagers would be making wise choices, behaviorally speaking, if they asked that question, right? Couldn't hurt to have that little reminder around the old wrist while you're trying to decide whether or not to (insert parental fear here), right?

I saw one flaw in asking that question instantly: Most teenagers didn't really know what Jesus might do in any given situation. Most teens are, well, do i say this tactfully?...a bit fuzzy on what Jesus might do in the situations they face moment-by-moment. They have a handle on the "biggies" but there's plenty of gray between holding hands and sexual intercourse. WWJD doesn't exactly help out there.

Another possiblee "flaw" (reality?) I saw clearly only yesterday (thank you Kenda Dean--see book reference to the right--and her discussion of the bracelet craze of a few years back)

"A youth ministry that aspires to 'imitate Christ' must recognize the risk involved, for the young people and the church. 'Imitating Christ' entails more than moral formation...The objective of the holy life is conformity to God in Jesus Christ, whose self-giving love enables our own. After all, what if an adolescent we know actually does identify with the God of the cross, and therefore does love somethign truly, with the kind of passion that exposes all lesser ones, including the greedy, self-fulfilling ones on which human society stands?"

Jesus Christ does not create 'good teenagers' or 'wholesome youth programs.' (He) creates radicals and prophets--people who reveal the root of cultural deceits with the searchlight of Christ's love, and who unmask avarice, violence, rivalry, and smallness, exposing them like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain."...

"When Christian theology cannot embrace God's suffering love as it focal point--or worse, when it denies passion as the crux of Christian identity--the church has no basis on which to challenge the culture's claim on young people. Passionless Christianity has nothing to die for; it practices assimilation, not oddity. Passionless Christians lead sensible lives, not subversive ones; we are benignly 'nice' instead of dangerously loving."

For some reason, today, as much as I don't want to admit it, I feel I've been benignly nice instead of dangerously loving. God, forgive me for that.


He'd expose the Wizard of Oz with the searchlight of His love. And I don't think He'd wait.

There are risks. For them. For their parents. For our church.

And so it begins...right here, right now.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday Morning Provocation

From author Mark Steele in flashBANG: How I Got Over Myself.

"This is what holds most performers back. It's called chorophobia, or in short: the fear of dancing. Not a fear of choreography. Believe me. There is a distinct difference.

Choreography is the dance that is planned. No one trained to dance fears a dance that is planned. Yet so many--even those who love to dance--fear the dance of the spontaneous moment, the dance of life. The willingness to aggressively and with great abandon follow as life and God lead. To be the improvisational partner, leaning entirely on theother as the dance progresses. It's is the risky choice. The dance that is so frightening and so satisfying and may turn the corner to disaster at any given moment because, despite the fact that we are flexible and passionate, we do not know what step will come next.

That is the dance that we fear."
Tom Petty Got It Right

Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Defragmenting My Brain

Lots of stuff kicking around in my brain today, but none appear to have a common theme. So, maybe if I defragment my hard drive up there I can gain some semblance of linear thought. Sorry you're being brought along for the ride.

1. Secretly, I think weathermen get a big kick out of bad weather. It gives them a chance to use their education and their training and have other people watch them. I'm from the Bob Dylan school of not needing a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

2. I wonder if all those people in my community who loaded up on bottled water and filled their cars up with gas were planning to share with their neighbors if needed or if they're looking out for number one. I want to believe the former, but I really believe the latter. Not only that, but it didn't even sprinkle here. It wouldn't bother me if this "severe drought" we're in ended, either...but there's no hope for rain for another week. I can't remember a time when Texas weather has worn me out as much as this summer.

3. I think we're getting what we deserve from Hollywood (the movie makers...not my old college roommate, although both may be true!). I watched a movie last night that I thought was well-done and very creative. Nobody went to watch it because it was dialogue driven and what most teenagers would call "slow." Nothing blew up. Nobody's naughty parts (thank you, Church Lady) were visible. By and large, people cared about each other. We simply went over a 7-year relationship in a creative way. Box office suicide.

4. I think the next 12 months are going to be a stern challenge to me professionally, emotionally, physically and existentially. All the evidence points that way, anyway.

5. My college football team is winning, and I don't seem to care too much. That's weird. My wife even mentioned that I should try to contact friends and maybe get tickets to the big rivalry game...and the thought of it annoyed me rather than excited me. I have no idea why I reacted that way considering just going there when nothing's going on excites me...and to go there on the High Holy Day of the Auburn-Alabama football game should've caused some sort of blood pressure/heart rate rise.

6. Many of you know that I truly enjoy the daily miracle that is the newspaper. I found out yesterday that one of the papers in my hometown went out of business yesterday...which ended the "two paper" town. I believe that having two competing papers in a town is good because they usually have differing slants which gets people thinking. I don't think most people read a newspaper very much these days...they get news off the internet.

7. The loathed Yankees are in danger of not making the playoffs. There are some 7 games left and it would make me very happy to see them lose 5 of those and sit home with their $200 million payroll. Why do I get so much pleasure out of the potential failure of that one particular team?

8. This is a very weird way to start a Sunday morning. My mind is in a million places at once and really going nowhere. Strange...but I gotta go to work anyway.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It Seems So Obvious

Friday, September 23, 2005

Everybody Out!

Ever seen about a million people trying to evacuate an area that's not designed to transport about a million people?

It isn't pretty.

Everybody's being extra cautious in south Texas. Lessons have been learned well lately when the subject is hurricanes.

So, the mayors said everybody's gotta get out. Good call.

Now the issue is generally traffic related: Interstates (of which there are only two of any significance) and highways are clogged. It takes people about 10 hours to go 50 miles. And, since this state is gloriously close to the sun, people sitting in 102 degree temperatures going nowhere are getting sick without enough water and their cars are overheating, they're running out of gas, hotels are full off I-35 until you get north of Oklahoma. Tempers are flaring.

In our little community (keep in mind we're some 275 miles north or Houston), gas stations were running out of regular unleaded as of last night and people have already called our church looking for some help for minor things...

This is so surreal when it's sunny and 102 degrees outside.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Yesterday, as are all third Wednesdays in September, was an event known as See You At The Pole. Basically, it is a grass-roots effort by Christian teenagers, started some 13 years ago in which kids a public high school and middle schools gather around their school's flag pole to pray. Actually, it goes on all over the world.

Generally, I don't get too involved in it. I mean, I remind my teens about it and all that, but I don't really make that much ado about it because everybody else does.

This year, I didn't get the flyers reminding me to hit the website to report the number of students at the flagpole at my teens' schools (not that I ever did, but I didn't even get the flyer).

This year, I didn't get the e-mails from the local school sponsors telling me what time their school was starting.

This year, I didn't get the reminders from the youth pastors who have bands and all that for "See You After The Pole" parties at their churches.

This year, when I drove by (and, granted, I was passing by at the start times, so lots of teens could've been fashionably late so don't read too much into this one) it seemed as if the crowds were smaller than I remember.

This year, not one of my teens mentioned it to me, and I'm surrounded by more teens on Wednesday than any other day.

I can't be sure as it's only my personal observation based on my own little corner of the world, but it seems that SYATP may have run it's course...and that's kinda sad in a way to me. It was free-speech and grass-roots and energizing and community inciting and all sorts of the best things about working with teenagers. Sure, it had it drawbacks (mainly inherent disorganization which led to teenage politics, such as which church's guitar player would lead worship or why that "hypocrite" was leading prayers, etc.) but I really think it's an indication that the new generation of high schoolers and middle schoolers don't have much desire to have their spiritual lives be on public display.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wake me up when this one's over, okay?

My mom's cancer is back.

After less than a year.

And it has spread to places you'd just as soon not have cancer attached to.

I had a friend wonder on her blog recently if use of the "F" word was ever appropriate. I could think of two times.

I just thought of a third.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Concerning Trend

I'm two-thirds of the way through September and I haven't finished reading one book yet...I'm halfway through with three, but none finished.

...and I haven't started writing the ones I'm supposed to be writing. Well, a chapter and some outlines (one's even written down)

it just seems that lately there aren't enough hours in the day and I really gotta figure something out.

Something's gotta give. Any suggestions?



Any help you could give would be appreciated.

Monday, September 19, 2005

You Say It's Your Birthday...

Hey everybody! Cheri O'Teri turns 40 today! Let's all celebrate by...

...getting bit parts in movies of other Saturday Night Live cast members.
...imitating Barbara Walters on The View impeccably,
...and getting Spartan Spirit and working on "the Perfect Cheer."

It's also Jimmy Fallon's 31st birthday, too! Let's all celebrate by...

...giggling uncontrollably in sketch comedy skits on SNL.
...hanging out with our friend Gobi doing a webcast show from our dorm room,
...and writing satirical songs out of current pop music tunes and co-starring with Drew Barrymore in romantic comedies.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yesterday Wouldn't End

Yesterday, I had to work during the morning...well, I guess if you can call officiating a wedding ceremony "work" then I was at work yesterday morning. Tracy had a photo shoot early as well.

The girls each had stuff going yesterday during the day so we had an "empty nest" moment and decided to just get out of the house and do something. Turns out the local DFW Auburn Club hosts their football watching parties at a local Sports Grill & Bar about 20 minutes from our we had our date there. We watched Auburn score at will against a sorry team (for some reason Tracy really wanted AU to score 70 points...they only got 63...something about being tired of only beating 'cream puffs' only like 35-0) and had a good time and all that.

So we're home at like 4:30PM.

By 7PM, it seems like the day has gone on FOR....



Of course, I could've mowed the lawn still...but at 7PM it was still about 90 degrees outside. Maybe it's the heat...

...but when you go on a date or see a movie in the middle of the day, it seems to make the day go longer.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Just Like Heaven

Yeah, I saw the movie, which was surprisingly enjoyable and relatively unpredictable.

But right after work (and I mean RIGHT after work) I picked up Shelby and we had a "daddy/daughter date night."

Dinner at Chili's in the mall...I splurged for the chili pepper which she colored for restaurant wall display while covering excellent conversation.

Saw some friends in the theatre and chatted while waiting for the show.

Off to the movie theater where we rated the previews as to our willingness to see the movie they were promoting.

Goofed off in the car on the way home.

Tucked her in.

Yep. Just like heaven.
They're Not The One But They're The Only Ones Who Can Make Me Feel Like Thiiiiiiisss

The Crystal Method came to town.
So did Moby.
As did Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

And, alas, The Foo Fighters and Weezer were in town two nights ago...they got rave reviews from not only critics but from people I know who went (Marky Mark and Kristy, so shouts out to them).

What has happened to me? Why aren't I going to shows I really would enjoy going to see?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Today It Seems Like Bizzaro World

I gotta ask: What did the adults around this know and when did they know it?

Since I spend so much time around teenagers I could easily see how this can be confirmed by plenty of anecdotal evidence.

And you don't even wanna know about the report on teens and the increase in oral sex, or "technical virginity."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

To Quote Wally Exactly, Here's Some Stuff That I Like

My friend Becca does this little thing on her blog when she's having a blah day where she justs starts listing stuff she likes. Smart girl, that Becca.

Here's some stuff I like...

...standing in a parking lot talking to a couple of teenagers after the rest have all gone home.
...laying in my hammock.
...Stavesacre. Any song. Loud.
...listening to the audio "radio calls" highlights after an Auburn win on the Internet.
...flipping through old photo albums.
...the quiet of the early morning, reading the Word devotionally from The Message.
...the first cup of coffee.
...reading the daily miracle that is a newspaper, when you have time to go cover-to-cover with it.
...weddings of former teens I know well who've chosen well.
...watching my current group of senior guys be so engaged in what we're studying. dog Lloyd and how he always is so excited when we come in, even if we've only been gone for 10 minutes.
...when my wife doesn't let go after I thought the hug was over.
...watching the look of intensity on Shelby's face when seriously working on dance moves for ballet, followed by the smile of self-satisfaction when she nails it.
...watching Kelsey standing on 2nd base and trying not to smile after she rocks a fast-pitch softball with more "pop" in her bat than I ever had. hammock and a good book.
...when rabble-rousing and free-thinking is celebrated, or maybe that should read "when the status quo is challenged" the right way.
...Dumb & Dumber, Zoolander, Bottle Rocket and Raising Arizona.
...Gilligan's Island & The Brady Bunch.
...Calvin & Hobbes. iPod, which is such a brilliant invention, and I'm sure it'll be even cooler when I use it to it's full capability.
...when my wife chooses a picture for her studio (which used to be our dining room) because I know she knows she's a good artist who happens to take pictures.

There. I feel better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I've got two people I care about awaiting the results of medical tests & evaluations. They've already had the tests and are waiting for the lab to do whatever it is labs do and then for doctors to interpret the results.

It wears on me.

I can't imagine what it's doing to them.
The Funnies Are Us: Welcome To Our World

These are from the comic "Heart of the City" by Mark Tatulli yesterday and today:

While they may be true, investment in your child's passion, financially or emotionally or any other way, could not be more of a pleasure.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nose To The Grindstone

My day off yesterday was filled with stuff. Not bad stuff. Just stuff. A little of this here and a little of that there. A chore ignored here one done there. Read a little here, a little video game there.

And I didn't rest.

And I'm exhausted.

And this week will be busier than the last.

Why is it that the concept of "rest" is one that I struggle with moreso than any of the others?

Monday, September 12, 2005

So, Today I'm Thinking...

...that sometimes the coolest answers to prayer actually require that you spend more time in prayer dealing with the answer to the prayer.
...Monday morning coffees with my daughters, even though I'm exhausted, are highly enjoyable and easily worthwhile.
...I'm excited my higher-order life-liver sister Jilly has a three-hour layover at DFW today and I'll get to see her for an hour or so.
...that those helping out with the hurricane evacuees in our area are moving from "crisis" phase to "long term care" phase and this is going to be some of the most significant (and most difficult) help.
...that the 9/11 remembrances were surprisingly low-key. I wonder if the NFL and MLB shouldn't take the day off. Of course, we don't do much for December 7 anymore either, but that was almost 70 years ago.
...I'm amazed at how the Christian community dislikes rabble-rousers, whether they agree with them or not. does Auburn win 28-0 and drop out of the polls? College football's "rankings" are a complete sham. church better get serious about technology, and soon. We're a large church and somehow seem to fail miserably in that area. Podcasts, anyone?
...I'm really proud of my wife for starting her own business. It's pretty gutsy and all, and she's officially past the usual "failure" time for small businesses. That was never really a danger, though. She's good at what she does. reading pace has slowed to a complete stop as of late, either fatigue or mental tiredness or other responsibilities have jumped into that space.
...same for my half-marathon training, so I'm starting over today. Moved back to Feb. 25 for the Cowtown half.
...the Cowboys won, and our town is in a good mood again.
...Beck's "Odelay" is a really good record.
...the "minichurch" (our church's code word for in-home small groups) Tracy and I met with on Friday night was one of the most encouraging groups to meet with. They were fun and enthusiastic and enjoyable and interesting and growing in Christ.
...our pastor's series on Galatians, with it's emphasis on Law vs. Grace, is something every Christian needs to hear.
...well, gotta go have coffee.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

In Manhattan In My Mind

If I were in New York City today I would take the "1" Subway (or the "3" or the "9" for that matter) to Chambers Street.

I'd find the nearest bench at Battery Park.

I'd check my watch at 8:46AM.

I'd check it again at 9:03AM. I'm sure some bells would toll to remind me.

I'd be still and silent, and I read a list that contained 2,749 names.

I'd think of their families and loved ones. What they went through. What they're going through at those moments.

And I'd remind myself that any religous text that doesn't say, "Blessed are the peacemakers" and have "love" as the highest manifestation of it's inner realities, can be horribly vicious when taken to wretched extremes...(and let's be honest: any particular religious text can be taken to wretched extremes, too.)

And I'd hope that no one forgets the significance of this day.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Tribe Gets It Right!

Headline in the local paper today: "Churches have been their rock: Houses of worship win praise for swift response to evacuees' plight."

Our own church, over 500 miles from New Orleans and 30 from Dallas' main temporary housing shelter, is doing lots of good fact, our biggest problem right now is that so many people are wanting to help in some way that their well-intentioned service creates unnecessary "doubling up" on some facet of the work to do.

When fruit of the Spirit is evident, especially "love"...well...we're being what we were created to be, and whether that is a headline in the paper or an unseen hug and a Wal-Mart card in a hotel, it's a glimpse at "the better angels of our nature." (props to Abe Lincoln for that description).

Friday, September 09, 2005

And, You Don't Even Have To Spend $60 At The Diner, Either

Last night I'm walking through the room and a commercial for the retail store The GAP comes on. It's a bunch of well respected and popular musicians who are saying the names of songs and the group that performed them. At the end, each artist is filmed one last time asking, "What's your favorite song?"

The fine folks at The GAP have got all these artists' favorite songs on a CD they're giving away to anyone who makes a $60 purchase at their store for a limited time.

So, what I'd like to do today is film our own commercial for our own CD. You gotta list your FAVORITE song, regardless of genre, style, etc. and the artist or group who performed it...Everybody has a favorite song (as opposed to having an opinion on some youth ministry quote, etc.) so we could easily have 100% reader comment participation in our little blog community...and you can save $60, too. What's not to like? I might even make a mix CD of it when we're done, too.

I get to start.

*My big face on the screen, hair down*
*black and white camera work*
*eyes shift to the right, then look directly at the camera*

"You Know You're Right" by Nirvana.

(camera cuts back to me about 15 seconds later)

*My big face on-screen again*
*black and white camera work*
*eyes shift to the left, then look directly at the camera*

So, what's your favorite song?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

One Ringy Dingy, Two Ringy Dingy's

First of all...38 bonus points for anyone who can remember the allusion in the headline: Who said it and on what show. Of course, if you know it, you'll likely be admitting your age as well, but's all worth it for 38 points, right?

Anyway, yesterday highlighted one reality: On phone call can totally change your day. It can send you to a happy place, or, as Dr. Suess says, "a most useless place."

Powerful inventions, those phones.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I meant to comment on this a few days back...

...and I got sidetracked by football and natural disasters and cartoons. My mind can be all over the place at times.

Anyway, as many of you know I'm a huge fan of RealLivePreacher.Com as he is what I'd like to be as a blogger...and he was commenting on the marketing of sacred things the other day and I thought I'd put this out there as food for thought:

"By and large I have no connections to the mainstream, corporate church experience. One of the benefits of being a pastor with a “real job,” as they say, is that my church isn’t driven by an intense need for constant growth just to keep up with the ever-growing staff that is needed to keep up with the constant growth. See how that runs in circles? Sound familiar? It should. That kind of circular logic drives much of our marketplace today.

"I need new hardware to keep up with my new software that is designed to take full advantage of my new hardware."

At Covenant, we are free to be who we want to be, even if there are only a handful of people in our area who want to join us. And to tell you the truth, a handful of people has always been descriptive of us. It seems like there is always a handful of weary pilgrims who want to step out of the ecclesiastical rat race. Somehow they find their way to us. A lot of people attend for a time and then move on. That’s okay. There’s a zillion generic, mega-churches around, but there is only one Covenant Baptist.

Now at the same time that churches are trying so hard to be “relevant” (whatever the hell that means) to our culture, businesses are trying to be relevant to churches. Church is big business. REALLY big business. There's a lot of money to be made in the god game."

Your thoughts?

If you'd like to check out the overall entry, you can get it here and scroll down to August 27.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fasten Your Seatbelts...We're In For A Bumpy Ride

My friend Adam The Lutheran recommended a book that I've listed on the left on the topic of youth ministry. I started reading it on Labor Day. So, yeah, this is in the freakin' introduction:

"Teenagers are quick to point out the oxymoron in passionless Christianity, quick to smell danger in suppressing their emotional range, quick to question faith that fails to register on the Richter scale, and quick to abandon a church that accomodates such paltry piety. Not only does a church without passion deform Christian theology, it inevitably extinguishes the fire behind Christian practice as well. In short, without passion, Christian faith collapses. And young people know it--which may be why most of them are not spending much time in church."

You want some more?

How about this:

"In 1993, a Rolling Stone headline asserted: 'If the symptoms are rapid increases in teen deaths from murder, suicide, car crashes, alcohol and drugs...The Disease is Adolescence.' But adolescence is not the 'disease.' Rather, young people reveal society's fault lines, including violence, despair, technological dependence, and poverty, precisely because they are so sensitive to the tremors of culture."

One last one:

"My guiding conviction is this: If the church is to make sense to adolescents, then our ministry must be predicated on passion--the Passion of Christ, the passion of youth, and the passionate faith that is made possible when these two things come together."

So, yeah...I only read the introduction and all synapses are firing. I really enjoy it when a book lives up to the billing. I'll keep you informed.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Oh Blah Dee, O Blah Dah, Life Goes...RAH! La La La La Life Goes On

The people did it after the London bombings in WWII.

The people did in after 9/11 in Manhattan.

In the midst of ongoing chaos, they did their best to live in some semblance of normalcy. It's probably the best coping mechanism I know of.

Yesterday, in the New Orleans French Quarter, some folks swept up a couple of blocks. Cleaned up as best they could, anyway.

They drank warm beer. They handed out party beads. They had a parade...led by an acoustic guitar.

It was small and probably only had a few onlookers.
It was probably forced and hokey.
I'm sure more party beads hit the ground than landed in people's hands over that quarter mile.

Definitely a small and forced and hokey attempt at normalcy.

But it's a start nonetheless.

And, I was moved at the resiliency of the human spirit.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Cold Reality

Georgia Tech 23, Auburn 14.

Auburn fans are going to have to grow up with our sophomore quarterback. In his first game as a starter he did some good things (passed for 342 yards) and some dangerously bad things (5 turnovers, 4 of those interceptions).

And don't get me started on our coach's, early in the 3rd quarter on 4th and 5 we have an all-conference kicker and don't even try a tying field goal from 47 yards? Throwing 44 times? Ummm...Tub...we averaged 4.5 yards per-rushing carry. Silly stuff.

We haven't lost a game since November of 2003 and I was getting used to winning a lot. From the looks of it, we'll probably lose 2 or 3 least we didn't look as bad as OU did today.

Maybe we can go to the Cotton Bowl...


Saturday, September 03, 2005

14? Already? You're Kidding.

Okay, so...let's be honest...

Am I too young to have a 14-year-old daughter?

Apparently not. I mean, next year we'll be getting a learner's permit, I'd imagine.

But for today, kiddo...happiest of birthdays, Kelsey. I'm so proud of you and love you very much!
725.8 Miles 7:45PM CST...Tonight

Game Day.

Game Day...



GAME DAY!!!!!!

It is time:

Auburn-Georgia Tech.

Game face: On. Let's rock.
What Happens When Irrelevant People Try To Make Church Relevant

Friday, September 02, 2005


I meant to blog about this yesterday but I got hung up in all the excitement about "five on the first" but this is certainly blogworthy.

As of Sept. 1, Nathan Lee completed his fourth year of service at Crossroads Bible Chruch. Long tenures in youth ministry are rare (if you believe the accepted numbers, the average stay of a youth pastor at a church is 18 months), and I'd imagine they're a bit shorter when you're not the "head" youth minister.

But, in this case, it's been a blast and looks like we'll both be there a while. So, Nathan, congratulations on four very profitable years for The Kingdom. I hope we have many more together.
One Down, Thousands To Go

As hard as this is to believe, the city of Dallas opened Reunion Arena to those displaced masses from the New Orleans flooding. Already, over 1,000 people are there. That's 521.1 miles from home.

What's even harder to believe is that in our community refugees are booking hotel rooms. So much so that an agency is having area churches "adopt" them by hotel. Not to pay their bill per se, but rather to help them with transportation, basic material needs, recreation, etc.

Our church took a hotel that is 60% booked with those from New Orleans and surrounding areas. Some pastors from our church went down to visit with them and sort of interview them as to what they really need from us. Mostly it came down to jobs and education for their kids.

Lady (not a member or even attender) calls our church. Offers her spacious home for a couple of weeks...she can keep 6 people. Schools are close by. Oh yeah. Her husband has a business that needs temporary, seasonal employees. She wanted to know if the receptionist was aware of anyone that needed help?

One family fit the bill. Check out and move in was supposed to take place yesterday afternoon...I'm assuming it all went as planned since I left before I heard.

Welcome to our fair city, folks. And we hope you enjoy your stay.

Say what you want about the lousy aestetics of this state, but Texans are some of the friendliest people you'll ever run across.

He Shoots, He Scores!

Yesterday, the local National Hockey League's Dallas Stars held a free "open house" at the arena yesterday Kelsey and I headed off. Saw Modano and Morrow signing stuff. As well as the head coach and even had a minor league hockey game going on, too.

Despite the oppressive heat, I'm ready for hockey season.

All is forgiven.

In the words of Wayne & Garth, "GAME ON!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Five on the First

I stole this little interactive thing from another web-site, where, in an effort to develop community, they asked a question on the first of the month to get to know each other a little bit. Tried to create their own little top-5 lists about various things about know, favorite restaurants, vacation spots, etc. I liked it, so I'm doing it.

For today, please list the top-5 choices you REALISTICALLY wanted in a college or university when you were in high school (if you're in high school, list the top-5 choices you realistically want to attend):

1. Auburn University--I was in love with that place from the time my dad took me to my first football game there when I was 5 years old. Trips to Auburn with him are still in my fondest childhood memory vault. It was my first choice, and I never really seriously considered anyplace else.
2. Mississippi State University--It was the dream school for anyone who wanted to play college baseball in the early 1980's. Rafael Palmiero, Will Clark, Jeff Brantley and several other major league stars played on one team. I had no shot at playing ball there but I sent my ACT scores there just in case. Hey, you got three schools to send them to free, so I thought I'd take a shot. I got accepted into the school, but never really considered it.
3. The University of Southern Mississippi--A terrible baseball school at the time, but I was interested because they had just sunk a bunch of money into something called a "computer lab." Seemed like a good time to get into this trend toward personal home computing. It all sounded so space-age and cool...never mind the fact that I suck at math & science, which no one bothered to tell me were important in that field.
4. Troy State University. In fact, I had a series of one-year scholarships that totalled a four year education at that school. When I told mom they'd invited me to walk-on to their baseball team (which was highly competitive in NCAA Division II, in fact, they won the world series three years later) she said, "That'd be nice if you could play baseball for them, but you'd still have a degree from Troy State of all places." Any enthusiasm I had for that school was immediately squashed.
5. Samford University. It was a small, private school located close to my house and I had a friend that went there. It was a little to khaki and Southen Baptist for my tastes, but it is a nice school with a beautiful campus. I really didn't want to live at home and go to college, though. I don't think I got in based on my scores.

Notice the trend? In Alabama, you tend to think in "close to home" terms. I'm glad my children mention schools all over the country when they're asked about colleges...I never thought that way.
Books I Read In August

Record-keeping purposes only...sorry to bother you.

i am Not but i know I Am by Louis Giglio
The Screwtape Letters

Apparently, getting a PlayStation2 and having school/Bible studies start up slows down your reading...