Sunday, April 30, 2006


"The regression is hardly dramatic. It's not sudden. We start out with life, life, and more life. God is primary and present in all we do. But then while we're happily and innocently going about our work, our feet get tangled up in those cords of Sheol, those ropes of death. It is so casual at first that we hardly notice. But then one cord gets attached--who knows how?--to an anke by a double half-hitch. Then there's another and another. Before we know it, we are regressing. We are hobbled. We become less. We lose the immediacy, spontaneity, and exuberance of resurrection life."--Eugene Peterson


That happens an awful lot.

But, in one case, it most certainly hasn't.

See, my friend Nathan is getting ordained today.

Nathan came on board my staff almost 5 years ago. He was an intern. He held other jobs--notice that's plural--while he started seminary.

Then he became staff. Then an assistant. Now he's full-time...directing our middle school ministry.

But his spiritual growth has been consistent. He's been faithful to the tasks at hand. He's gotten married...which helps. And he's had a child...which helps. And he's worked in his ministry without losing his integrity and all the while staying true to himself. These are no easy feats.

But don't take my word for it. I mean, today...

...our board of elders will lay hands on him and endorse him for ministry.

They've tested him academically.

They've tested him Scripturally.

They've tested his lifestyle.

And Nathan has been found to live up to the Scriptural mandates for a life well-lived before Christ.

And, today...

...that is worthy of celebration.

*lifts a champagne flute after banging on it with a fork to get everyone's attention*

To Nathan, and his progression. May you never lose the immediacy, spontaneity, and exuberance of resurrection life.

*those in attendance say, "Hear! Hear!" and drink to the toast*

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Birmingham Chronicles Wrap Up


My chair.
My coffee made my way in my pot.
My Dallas Morning News, already rifled through.

The drive back was very uneventful. Well, unless you call Lloyd pooping and peeing at all three state-line rest areas an event. They all have "dog walk" areas so we took advantage. In Mississippi, they even have fake fire hydrants all along the pet area. Nice touch.

I listened half-heartedly to two sermons. I wasn't much in the mood for deep thought or interaction. The iPod car charger came in handy since my player has a six-hour battery life. I'm not sure why I bothered...Even the music was listened to half-heartedly. I was able to pick up the local sports talk station in Longview and listened half-heartedly to talk of the NFL draft. Currently, I don't think I have much left in the emotional tank.

I can say it is nice to arrive in Dallas in a misty drizzle and be mentally prepared for an hour or more to get to Flower Mound, only to come over every rise and say to yourself, "Hey...clear sailing on 635 for another mile or so." Or, "Hey, that interchange wasn't so bad." I got from Mesquite to my driveway in a little over 40 minutes...that's like driving at 2AM traffic, not 6:30PM DFW normalcy.

The family welcomed Lloyd and he welcomed them. I think I'll give him the week off after his week of work. I mean, this morning, he didn't even bother to get out of bed to get the paper and's our morning ritual and he's STILL out.

We watched "Vacation" with the fam. It's funny how they didn't know there was a precursor to "Christmas Vacation."

And the book I've been reading is all about the joys of travel. These two guys are seeing the world with little or no agenda, embracing all the snafus as part of a big adventure and such. I don't think I'm built that me, travel is a means of getting to a certain place. I'm not looking to meet people. I'm not looking for a good story. I want my trains on time and my reservations confirmed.

And most of all, right now, I'm glad to be home.

Even if I've got a full day of work to get ready for work tomorrow...I'll do it in my chair. Gladly.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Birmingham Chronicles, Day 4

My higher-order life-liver sister Jilly got in one of her compulsive cleaning moods, which I firmly believe she does in order to keep time from standing still, cleaned the closets, washed some clothes, and packed all the while stopping to pet and bab talk Lloyd. I unloaded the dishwasher and put the coffee on, and watched another round of Family Feud and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with mom. We all played to our strengths.

I've been engrossed in a reading-for-pleasure in any lull times I've been enjoying a good read I picked up on my sister's recommendation while on our Tea of Tardiness (see yesterday's entry) at Barnes & Noble/Starbucks. It's about a guy who got left at the altar and went on the honeymoon with his brother (since it was all paid for) and consequently got a demotion at work (as did his brother) and they took a year off and travelled. It's really a lot like a hilariously funny blog.

We were able to get Mom to ride to the airport with us, too. She got up and at 'em for the 2nd straight day...and well...I wasn't fully truthful there. When Jilly and I asked if she wanted to come with us, mentioning the beautiful day and a chance to get out, she was less than enthusiastic, and our attitudes were more or less like, "Okay. We don't want you to get too tired or whatever, we just thought you'd like to go." Before we verbalized these feelings, Mom asked, "Can Lloyd go, too?" So, being fully truthful, Lloyd sealed the deal.

On the way back Mom was up for some Pete's Famous Hot Dogs. Again, not fully truthful. She was up for us stopping and her husband running in to get the greatest hot dog on the planet (not even open for debate...they were even noted in Newsweek as such, and I have a painting of said establishment on my office wall) while she sat in the car with me and Lloyd. It's cool going to a downtown hot dog stand.

I went to visit my nephew & neice and brother/sister in-laws for a bit. This time I got to watch my nephew play video games and we talked about the possibility of him coming to Texas to watch the Rangers play and his baseball team stuff. This is very cool to me. My neice really played hard with Lloyd. When I got there their cul-de-sac was laced with fire of their neighbor's houses was severely burned and pretty much everything valuable was gone. Over the next surreal hour neighbors and church folk had rallied.

Then I made a quick stop by the bowling alley. My mother-in-law was bowling with her league team...and she was doing great until I got there. I watched her bowl three frames and she got splits and missed a spare opportunity. It didn't bother her because I got Lloyd to come to the door and as people were exiting they introduced him to their friends as their "granddog" and told stories.

I'll be leaving later this will Lloyd.

My suspicion is that he'll be missed greatly. The jury is still out on whether or not it'll be more than they miss me.
I Got Tagged

Generally, I'm not into this stuff. This one was pretty interesting, so I'm in:

Four jobs I've had:
1. Some form of youth ministry, full-time for almost 17 years.
2. Usher/Projectionist at Cobb's Hoover Square 6 Theatres.
3. Drove cars from one dealership to another while in seminary the first time.
4. Worked on Grounds Crew at Green Valley Country Club golf course.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Beavis & Butt-head Do America
2. Dumb & Dumber
3. Raising Arizona
4. J.F.K.

Four places I've lived:
1. Birmingham, AL
2. Auburn, AL
3. Flower Mound, TX
4. Rowlett/Mesquite, TX
(and that's really all the places I've ever lived)

Four TV shows I love (I took this to mean of all-time):
1. ESPN's Sports Center
2. M*A*S*H* (I dominated a special M*A*S*H* Trivial Pursuit edition)
3. Seinfeld
4. (tie) Dawson's Creek & Beverly Hills, 90210

Four concerts I'm glad I went to:
1. Social Distortion, Halloween of last year.
2. Stavesacre, early on at the Tooth N Nail Festival 10 years ago, and twice since then.
3. Son Volt & The Alabama Blind Boys at the Starplex in Dallas. Actually, John Mellencamp was the headliner and he was (much to my surprise) good, too.
4. (tie) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with Brad, Tara & Bryce; and get this one: James Taylor at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre with Tracy. I love excellence in all its forms and he was incredible even though I went because Tracy wanted to go.

Four places I've vacationed:
1. Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL (I'm not sure there's a better place for relaxation)
2. Winter Park, CO (GREAT in the summer or winter)
3. Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL (best vacation ever with my family)
4. New York City, NY (my favorite place on the planet)

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. My wife's lemon chicken
2. Philly Cheesesteaks
3. spicy grilled brats
4. a great New York Strip steak

Four sites I visit daily:
1. for a different viewpoint.
2. for Auburn Tigers/SEC sports coverage
3. My blog lists on the left
4. The Onion (well, weekly since it comes out once a week)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Back in my house with my family
2. Orange Beach in a condo with my wife for two weeks or so.
3. New York City (I'll take it anytime I can get it)
4. Anywhere but driving through Tuscaloosa, Jackson, Vicksburg, Monroe, Shreveport, Longview, Tyler and east Dallas. The minute or so you get to view the Mississippi River doesn't make it worth it.

Four bloggers I am tagging (no pressure and I understand if you can't/won't):
1. Big Nate & Spouse Kim
2. The Blog Mother
3. Becca & Katherine
4. AmyMac

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Birmingham Chronicles, Day 3

Yesterday we were able to convince my mom to get up, get dressed and go out to lunch with us. It doesn't happen much, but she was in a good mood, felt okay, ate well, and was cutting up. As expected, the event exhausted her, but my sister and I were glad we went, and I think my mom was, too.

Because it takes longer for my mom to get ready there was a bit of down time. I was so bored that I actually did one of those stupid e-mail games where it tells you to put your iPod on "shuffle" and then asks a series of questions to which the song title after you push the "forward" button is the answer. Most were nonsensical, but a few were funny:

"How are you feeling today?" The answer was a jazz song by Miles Davis titled "Half Nelson"

"What is the story of your life?" The answer: Another Girl, Another Planet.

"Describe your high school days:" The answer: Women in My Life.

"What will today be like?" The answer: Runnin' With The Devil.

"How does the world see you?" C'est la Vie.

"What song describes how you dance?" A Space Oddity.

As you can see I was very bored...there were about 30 questions.

At one point, I wondered how my friend Katherine's encounter with Anne Lamott went. She texted me later and said that the writer agreed to be her friend. See, Katherine likes to have her friends defined, so she simply asks people to be her friend when she feels the time is right. I like the question because it creates this tension in people when they hear it, and I also like it because Katherine only asks it to people after giving lots of thought to whether or not she truly wants to be friends. I'm glad Anne agreed. She won't regret it.

My higher-order life-liver sister Jilly and I ran some errands after lunch...just to return some clothes she purchased. We decided to get some coffee and just hung out. I'm not sure when or how she and I became such good friends...I mean, our childhood had the typical stuff you'd expect from a high school guy and a middle school girl, but at some point it changed. Yesterday, we chatted about all sorts of things from children to the first year of marriage to wines to good books to airplanes to what's for dinner and a lot of stuff in-between. When we arrived home after an hour and a half my mom seriously asked us, "Where have you two been? You told me you were just running to the mall to return clothes?" Moms are moms, I guess. Although, it felt very surreal, this return to circa 1982, and I suddenly felt the urge to threaten my sister by harming one of her stuffed animals.

Lloyd, the Great Dog, has won everyone over with his charm. I'm definitely glad I brought him.

The lead story on the nightly news last night was about the MINOR LEAGUE Arena Football team ( about being down real low on the sports food chain). They were having "faith" night...a promotion where they let church groups in for a reduced price. The team was going to wear jerseys in which, instead of the player's name on the back, it would read "Genesis 1" or "John 3" or "Ephesians 4." You get the idea. Now, apparently, this is in violation of the league's uniform policy and the players will only get to wear them in pre-game warm-ups. The story was followed by a new feature on the Gulf Coast web cam in which the view can be controlled by the person viewing the web shot of the beach. Apparently you can zoom east or west, but somebody discovered you can zoom in on sunbathing girls.

Speaking of news: There was a fundraiser in town in which policemen and firefighters were walking bare-chested down a runway and having women give them dollar bills for "votes" as to who would be on the "Heroes Calendar" for this year. Women were happily throwing the bills in the photo in the paper, and the tone of the photos and the article were along the lines of that this was for a good cause and it was all in good fun. But if it'd been female nurses and ambulance drivers in shorts and bikini tops and guys with the cash, I'd imagine the news coverage would've had a different slant.

Before bed, I watched the hockey game. How in the world do the Dallas Stars keep blowing leads in the last minute of the game? They're down 3-0 in the best-of-seven NHL playoffs first-round, so the season is looking VERY bleak and about to become a bitter disappointment. They should be up 2 games to 1, but now I guess we know what it's like to be Edmonton, when one year we won the series 4 to 0, but won all the games in overtime. Whatever. All this really does is allow me to focus on baseball season.

I was also bummed because I'd planned to watch my nephew play in a baseball tournament. I've never seen him play so it was well worth extending my trip a day to do so...and his team is scheduled to begin tournament play at 1PM Saturday. Dangit.

And, as you can see, I've gotten up at a decent hour today...I feel like I'm back in the groove.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Birmingham Chronicles, Day 2

There are lots of little things that need to be taken care of when there are two senior citizens in the house and one of them is sick. Little errands here and there involving post-office runs and trips to the store or things like that. My sister and I are zipping around doing them together, and that's fun.

Mom has good days and bad days, which I think is the nature of the beast. What's been interesting is to see how she responds to Lloyd. He hops up on her bed and she pays attention to him and he's his sorry self...and Mom watches him constantly and remarks on how cute he is. I think pets are good medicine.

When we brought up possibly going to lunch today, my mom didn't look too thrilled. I wondered if that's an indicator that she can tell whether or not the next day will be a good one or a bad one.

My mom likes game shows on television. I don't, but I play along anyway. I think I'd be a pretty good contestant on Jeopardy, Family Feud, and/or Wheel of Fortune...although the potential for dysfunction for my family on Family Feud on national television would keep me sticking to a game show where it was only me. Of course, then my own dysfunction would be out there for everybody to see, so I'll just continue to dominate the suckers on TV from the comfort of my mom's room.

I got to visit my in-laws for dinner last night. They're really nice people and I've been blessed in that area when I hear horror stories from my friends. An added bonus was that I got to spend the hour they watched American Idol (still not understanding why America's into it, however) with my neice and we chatted. Muppets, SpongeBob, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, stories of how she got that boo-boo on her foot (it involved playing kickball with flip-flops). She was pretty impressed with how many muppets I could name and new what color they were. I got 22 of them. I failed on remembering SpongeBob's pet snail's name (GARY! *smacks forehead with hand* I KNEW THAT!). She was amazed at my sunglasses and how they magnetically stayed on my glasses. We drew. She's at such a great age.

Called home. Shelby's sick. Yuck.

Came home and watched Boston Legal with my mom. Lloyd slept at the foot of the bed, which made her very happy.

And today, I slept til 7:30AM. This throws my whole day off kilter.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Birmingham Chronicles, Day 1

I was right: A long stretch of interstate with nobody but my dog in the car is a very good way to distance from a long stretch of work with too many things going on.

Now that virtually all my music is on iPod, I didn't plan well knowing that I only had 6 hours of battery life. I did get to listen to talk radio in east Mississippi and west Alabama, which really is it's very own little slice of entertainment. Resolved: Get one of those iPod chargers that work on the car lighter plug-in. As an added bonus, that should make my collection of iPod add-on gadgets complete.

Lloyd did great on the drive but he wouldn't sit in the back seat and rest. So I decided to put his blanket in the passenger seat, he happily rode shotgun. He really likes getting out and running around at the rest areas at every state line, whether or not he has any "business" to do there.

I passed a church van that said this on the back: First Baptist Church of Snohomish, WA. (above the church name) "Fueled by Faith" (below the church name) "Geared by Grace" Ugh. I'm not sure you can get more hokey. Of course, it's like most ads I see on TV, too. Usually when I watch some bad ad for a decent product I think, "There were a series of meetings about that, and not one person realized how ineffective and goofy it is?" I also wondered what they were doing in Louisiana (they were a long way from home) in a van, but then I remembered they were likely there to help with some form of hurricane rebuilding effort, so I cut them some slack.

I saw a car with a British Columbia car tag. It made me remember a time when my girls were little and we played this car tag game to keep them occupied. Within a ten-minute stretch they found a B.C. car tag, a Native American one, and one from both Alaska and Hawaii. After the first two, I told them I was unimpressed and bet them banana splits that they'd NEVER find one from Hawaii. The celebratory rejoicing when the next car we passed about three minutes later was indeed from Hawaii was worth the trip to Dairy Queen.

My sister had prepared dinner and it was warm when I got here. Cell phones are good for that kind of timing.

My sister had stopped by a local wine store and had a glass of wine ready for me after dinner. Sisters from so close to Napa Valley (who is also a wine snob) are good for that kind of timing.

I watched the Stars playoff hockey game and they're officially in deep trouble. How do you give up a short-handed goal in game 2 of the playoffs with 2 minutes left of a game you DESPERATELY needed to win?

This morning, going through the sports page of the local paper, the topics were of Auburn and Alabama's payments to the entire football coaching staff. Also of a college football bowl game coming here next December. Oh, yeah. And Talledega's got a NASCAR event on Saturday. Did I mention the NBA & NHL playoffs are underway? They did do okay with baseball, though.

I slept in until 7AM. I haven't done that since...well...the last time I was here. I feel like I've wasted half my day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

On The Road Again

I'm off to Alabama today.

iPod loaded with new songs & sermons.

Great Dog Lloyd riding shotgun (my mom requested his presence...such is the reality when you're a great dog).

After a long stretch at work a long stretch of Interstate seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

Alabama Chronicles to follow.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


I'm preaching today in big church.

Four services.

I don't like it.
Prom 2006, Round 1

It started out small.

Pretty much all my juniors and seniors went to prom together from my first student ministry at CBC. They stopped by once they got their limo driver directions, so we took their picture on our sidewalk.

The next year, those that went the previous year decided to do it again. Somehow, it became a tradition. I think because the third year they just assumed that's what happened every year.

Well, the group got EXTREMELY large about 4 years ago. Our ministry had grown...and they all went to pretty much the same high school. Now, the ministry has continued to grow and the respective groups have shrunk because now they're divided pretty much equally between two high schools.

Anyway, here's the group that stopped by yesterday before their big night out.

It's pretty cool to see the parents of the kids all get there before the kids and they stand around and wait for them to show up. Plus, the kids get a paparazzi type experience.

And then, there's always one who starts laughing before the shot it taken. Sorry, Jordy.

You might be asking why all those other girls are dateless. All I can say is that my group is traditionally filled with clueless guys.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

She Lets The Cracks Show

You can get the Dallas Morning News interview with Anne Lamott here.

But, if you don't want to read that, here's something to maybe think you might:

"You're so unconventional and irreverent. What do you think it is that enables you to connect with Christian as well as non-Christian readers?

Most of my readers are probably not Christian. They don't carry me in Christian bookstores 'cause I'm too irreverent and I'm an old lefty. I think readers connect because it's just a relief to compare notes. You feel so much less isolated if people will tell you the truth and not pretend to have this Hallmark life. Many of the people who come to my readings are people that ran screaming from their family-of-origins church – either they've been kicked out, they're gay or lesbian, or they ran because it was so dogmatic or such a terrifying spirituality, with a power-tripping minister and so much hypocrisy, and standards that no regular person could hope to live by. So they seem to feel relieved to hear me say, "Well, me, too."
The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's certainty. It must be nice to be so certain, but it's not true for so many people. You know, I do not have an interesting theology, but I know enough to take care of the poor, and I know enough to take thirsty people glasses of water.

Katherine, she's in town on Wednesday to discuss her new book and sign a few. You should call her and ask her to be your friend.

Stuff that happened last night at the Stavesacre show:

Kelsey thought that licking her handstamp and rubbing it on Heather's hand might actually work.

My friend Brian held hands with his fiance of six days. He's a very smart man to garner her affections for a lifetime. I was happy to see them happy.

Dinner at Cafe Brazil in Deep Ellum. I got Smoked Turkey Tacos. Kelsey got the award-winning grilled cheese. Cristina got a sneezer.

I was very close to being the oldest person in the audience. Top 5 for sure. I never felt awkward about that, though.

I thought about getting this for a tatoo. Keep hitting "next" until you get to the art for "The Trouble With Being Born." Very cool footprints. Multiple meanings on my wrist underneath my watchband. Yes or no?

Mr. Banta made a surprise appearance. I think I've seen four concerts with him.

My daughter moshed for the first time...and she held her own against some big boys. My friend Kristi provoked it, and I'm glad she did. Heather helped.

Marky Mark stayed on the fringes as usual, but was an intergral part of the team as usual.

Not a bad song in the mix. I wished they'd played some older ones, but nothing's odd about that.

"Wish you were with me
I’d do anything, anything
To know you were with me
Oh I, wish you were with me
I’m no wayward son
There’s so much to be done before the end
I’m no wayward son"
--From Stavesacre's song "The Trouble With Being Born

Nathan and I kept saying "back and to the left" as we drove past the Texas School Book Depository. We quoted movies the rest of the way home: Animal House, Splash, JFK, and Slap Shot were prominent.

Kristy can end any Nathan diatribe by humming the Mario Brothers theme song.

I thought about my sermon more than I wanted to.

There were several times during the show that were truly a deep worship experience. I'd like more of those in my life.

Friday, April 21, 2006

It's Beautiful Once You're Out Here




The Door.

My oldest and I are going to see the show.

I'm terribly excited about all this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Fashion Statement

Yesterday I told you that my youngest daughter woke up early in order to make a fashion statement. As you can see, she did. As you can also see, my oldest daughter (true to her personality) did not...unless not making a statement is a statement.

I like this one, too. Shelby also did her toes. Kelsey did not, but went with the always reliable Chuck T's.

All Part of the Process

This is the part of the sermon preparation process in which I have every single insecurity I possess flares up and I wonder why in the world I'm in ministry and why I'd even have any desire to do this job and nobody likes my teaching style and my jokes won't be funny or after this they'll fire me...etc.


I know it isn't about me.

But that still doesn't change this part of the process.
Free Concert Tonight @ Roads!

Don't forget that this Thursday (20th) Marcus Bowers, singer/songwriter from Austin will be playing @ Roads. The coffee house opens @ 5:30pm and music will start about 7:30pm.
The show is free!!! But musicians always appreciate tips.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lunar Influence of Some Type?

I woke up with a crick in my neck. This has never happened before.

My youngest daughter wanted me to wake her up early because, in her words, she wants to make a fashion statement today.

Everything in our house is impeccably clean, but about 6 inches from where it was yesterday. See, after doing her taxes, Tracy decided to treat herself to one of those "top to bottom" housecleanings. Everything is clean and smells great but just a little over from where it was.

My oldest daughter and I had a conversation of deep significance at dinner yesterday, only to be followed by 15 minutes of teenage girl silliness after picking up her friends and giving them all a ride. Maybe that rapid shift in gears gave my neck whiplash.

I went to bed not knowing what the final baseball game score was and watching seven innings. I can't stand our team residing in the Central time zone but playing in the American League western division. Hence, road games start at 9PM. I still don't know what the score is.

One of my staffers is going on vacation and the other is moving across town this weekend.

I've got to teach in big church on Sunday and I haven't started my sermon. Really. This is more oppressive than it sounds.

One of the high schools we serve is having prom this weekend, which means they'll be coming by my house in the early afternoon. Exciting, but for some reason I'm not looking forward to mowing the lawn for the inevitable photo shoot.

I'm already visualizing the drive to Birmingham next Monday to visit my Mom. I've made it so many times I can practically run a videotape of it in my brain.

Yesterday I unloaded a monster grill the team I'm taking to Mexico is putting on a monster trailer they purchased especially for the trip. Very surreal.

My Bible study guys are going to play Whirly Ball tonight. It's a game that involves those electric bumper cars, an old lacrosse-type game called trac-ball, and basketball backboards. If that doesn't prove my day is strange, nothing will.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It Ain't Rocket Science

I did my normal yardwork routine yeterday: Have iTunes download my sermon subscriptions from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Imago Dei in Portland, and Mosaic in Los Angeles. That usually covers my hour and 45 minutes per week to mow/edge/weedeat, etc. Then I load it on the iPod. Then I put it in the iSnug armband holder and get to work.

Anyway, I heard one of the most concise, effective and challenging Easter sermons. You can listen, if you have Quicktime, here.

If you'd like to download it, you'll have to subscribe on iTunes podcasts or you can go to their website, Mars Hill Church and click on their Easter (04/16/06, 1 Corinthians 15) sermon.

If you're alread a follower of Christ, you'll find an excellent overview of why we believe what we believe.

If you're not, you'll get to understand what we believe and why we believe it froma very unthreatening perspective.

Also, Imago Dei's Pastor Rick podcast on Palm Sunday was very challenging...very insightful regarding Global Night Commute, Vancouver. My friend Steve-O and his lovely wife Mish (who is also my friend!) will be there...and in fact, will be having a meeting with the band Switchfoot to try to help raise awareness to this incredible issue.

It may be 95 degrees in April, but yard work ain't all bad when you're listening to stuff like that.
At Least In Death Valley They Aren't Setting Records

We've already broken 7 records in 2006! Make sure to look at the chart.

The high yesterday was 101. It's April. There were rolling blackouts due to power usage. Uh-oh.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Guilty As Charged

Don't you loathe it when you are convicted the first thing in the morning?

"The workplace has always been a threat to spiritual formation because it is the place where we don't wonder very much. Wonder is pretty much banished on principle. In the workplace, we know that we are competent or that we are bored and inattentive. In today's culture, the threat posed by life diminished by wonder is accelerated many times over.

That is why Christian formation--formation by resurrection--demands endless vigilance. The workplace is the arena in which idolatry is constantly being reconfigured by putting us in a position of control and giving us things and systems that enable us to exercise our skills and carry out our strategies in the world.

Wonder, that astonished willingness to stop what we're doing, to stand sill open-eyed, open-handed, ready to take in what is "more and other," is not encouraged in the workplace."

--Eugene Peterson in his new book, Living the Resurrection

I'm most certainly convicted.

And I work in an environment that is probably more wonder-inducing than any other occupation.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Here's the photos from CBC's first ever Sunrise service.





7:05AM, from the other side...I thought getting the moon in the picture was nifty.

I was more or less responsible for the Easter week events at our church (which consisted of four days worth of family events), so I was feeling a great deal of responsibility for their "success." I'm pretty thankful that it was 65 & breezy for our sunrise service.

I'm glad everybody seemed to enjoy the events...from the Labyrinth to the Seder to the family picnic to the sunrise service to the normal Easter services...

...and now for a bit of rest.
Once More From Johnny Hart & B.C. Comics

Don't think I don't love the fact Mr. Hart has this yearly platform to use his gifts and talents for The Kingdom. May we all be encouraged by that reality to use ours for the same Reason.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Just in case you missed it yesterday...

Each and every year the author of the comic strip "B.C.", Johnny Hart, does a series of cartoons on holidays important to the Christian faith. Here's his offering for Good Friday:

Friday, April 14, 2006

Snow Day

We had an extremely mild winter in North Texas. All in all it was pleasant if you're into warm winters...very few days were near freezing, and those that were pretty much were sunny days. The worry among the locals was that it didn't kill the mosquitos and that should cause some discontent later this summer. I don't know if that's how it works or not but it's at least to urban legend status.

Except for a day in November.

It got all sorts of cold. Rain was most certainly on the way. Roads were going to get slick. Best stay in unless you have to go out. That sort of thing. So, we did. We didn't complain, either. It was nice to get a snow day in November. School was cancelled by the 10PM newscast so everybody could even sleep late. There was much rejoicing in our home.

Turns out it slushed up a bit that day. Especially early in the morning driving was dicey. It cleared up around lunchtime, but hey, I have no trouble with erringo on the side of caution when kids' safety is the issue.

And we knew we'd have to use one of the snow days our district puts into the calendar each year. They have a couple. It's really all we need.

Well, two of those days were around the Easter holiday weekend. A four-day special courtesy of the Lewisville Independent School District. Except now it's only a three-day weekend.

Except now it isn't. Now it's a four-day weekend again.

Our church planned an event that had traditionally been on one day for another day because now it didn't matter what took place on what day because the kids were going to be in school anyway on the day it said "SNOW DAY #1" on the posted calendar.

But we find out a month ago the school board decided to use "SNOW DAY #3" (which is in May AFTER what was the last day of school) instead of "SNOW DAY #1" because they said people might've planned out vacations and such and they didn't want to inconvenience folks.

Ummm...I'm befuddled.

What about a vacation I had planned for after school let out? (hypothetical, but so is theirs) I only have two months to fix that arrangement...and you knew in November when SNOW DAY #1 would be used.

To be honest, I really don't care all that much about this one particular incident. But it represents a pattern of the way the schools around here run things.

I've been notified of meetings to see the sex education presentation that were a mere 48 hours before the showing to my teen.
I've watched field trips be moved three weeks because of some sort of bus snafu.
I've seen parents have to rearrange entire schedules because of scheduling a band concert on a week's notice.
I've seen coaches keep my kid from 4:15PM until 10PM at a track meet, but no one seems to know when it'll be over when you ask beforehand.
I've seen sloppy & shoddy notes sent home that informed me of mandatory meetings in less than a week.
I've seen graduations and proms shift dates after January.

My point is ultimately this: If I ran my work the way the schools around here run, I'd be vilified. In fact, in some cases, I get blamed for being "inflexible" because I don't move something on my schedule because "the school added a jazz ensemble concert and now my kid can't go on the Pine Cove weekend." I mean, c'mon. If I can hand a parent a year-long planning calendar every September and stick to it...

...why can't a school? They're much more consistent year-in and year-out.

But, my kids and I will enjoy our weekend just the same. We just won't in May.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Don't Forget

Easter Week celebration begins tonight at our church with the devotional Labyrinth. For full details on this or the rest of the stuff going on, simply go to CBC's web site and click the info icon.
Strange Things Are Afoot At The Circle K

In an effort to get some semblance of connectivity to my home (I've been working ENTIRELY too much lately) I decided to knock off around 3PM since I didn't have to be at Bible study until 7PM. Figured it'd be good to have an hour with the wife and then be home when the kids got home on the day they have little on their schedules.

Tracy and I did chat about some stuff...taxes, her photography business, my job, how to be better serving our children. Good stuff, and we wanted to continue the discussion so we got in the car to pick up the girls after school.

And then a series of blogworthy events took place.

First, the lady across the street was doing yardwork. Yeah. Ummmm. IN HER BIKINI! Now, don't get me wrong, she takes care of herself and was simply using the good sun to work on her tan...but let's be honest. When you're really doing yard work (in this case, raking leaves) you know your body bends into positions that you wouldn't want your neighbors to see you in and the neighbors don't want to see you in. I thought of the Seinfeld bit where he talks about how there's "good naked" (like laying on the beach) and "bad naked" (like coughing). Tracy and I both squelched giggles at a particularly "bad bikini" moment.

Second, as we're pulling out of the driveway, we encounter Sam who also lives across the street. Sam's a widower. He's retired. He drives a Cadillac. He golfs. Apparently, he also has found a new time to loiter in his driveway. He's just standing there. Well, not really standing there. He, too, is making observations regarding "good bikini" moments and "bad bikini" moments. Tracy notices and we roll down the window and ask Sam what he's doing. "Working," he says. Now, keep in mind he's standing there in his empty driveway pretty much doing nothing but staring westward. Tracy says, "Uh-huh. Taken a new interest in landscaping, Sam?" "Yep. That's what I meant by 'working.'" We laughed and drove off.

At the stop sign about a quarter mile away we're getting ready to turn right. I notice a car up on small racks, so obviously a neighbor is doing some small mechanical repairs to a car. Only on this car, there were about four guys and a girl, most sporting full "statue of liberty" mohawks and wearing shirts for the Sex Pistols and Slipknot.

Then as we're parked in front of the school a big middle school guy comes walking out in a pink t-shirt. It reads: "Don't laugh. This is your girlfriend's shirt."

Tracy and I had continued our discussion while waiting for the bell to ring and were still engaged in it when Shelby arrives. "What're you both doing here? Are we moving or something?" We explain why we're both there and then Kelsey arrives a minute or two later. "What're you both doing here? We're not moving are we?" We explain it again only to have them both begin to list the cities they want us to move to, which consisted of every major city we couldn't afford to live in, and telling us that it really is okay if we moved and that if they were the reason we weren't moving that we could move because it was okay with them.

On the way home the car repairs continued but I couldn't hear what music they were listening to because of so many questions.

Sam was inside.

So was the bikini-clad landscaper. (Coincidence? I think not.)

And then we had spaghtetti.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

So, Today I'm Thinking...'s a little too early to say it, but the Texas Rangers might just be out of the race before mid-May.
...I need to slow down, but I can't until the 24th.
...I'm already concerned about my next sermon, but that's part of my process.
...iTunes makes music life so much easier.
...that while I understand it's a much more complex issue, I'm having a little trouble with illegal residents claiming "rights" when there are viable & legal ways to be part of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
...since I bash Texas weather when it's awful (which is pretty much 10 months a year) I gotta say this recent stretch has been hammock enticing. daughters are interesting people. wife is more beautiful to me today than the day I married her, even if I see her only in passing these days. That quick glance is nice whether she's coming or going.
...having lunch with the best man at my wedding on Monday was loads of fun. It's been kind of a reunion week for me as business has been bringing them to Big D.
...if I get hit by a bus today, the Easter week festivities at church will go on just fine. So will the student ministry, which is really cool to be able to say.
...the garage needs cleaning again.
...I'll get to play a great deal next week: Whirly Ball with my senior guys, a concert at The Door with my daughter and the kids going to prom will stop by before they head out on Saturday.
...I don't think those fake car-crash deals the schools put on to highlight drinking and driving before prom work on teenagers, but those mangled cars in the parking lot allowed me to make the mental note to talk with my children about it. book stack keeps growing rather than shrinking, and I've been reading a good bit.
...I may not have to wait for a bus to hit me if I don't start eating better and exercising. I haven't been to the gym in since December.
...our staff day should be a challenge today as we're working on planning/budgets for 2007.
...this week can't end fast enough if you ask me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


It's nothing new.

The discussion of the best-sellers list at Christian bookstores, I mean. I'm not the only blogger to notice.

But, because I work in ministry full-time, one of my tasks is to read books that people want to use to maybe teach a class or lead a small group or even try to get the author to come do a seminar.

So, I read books that others are excited about.

And sometimes I fail to understand why they are after I read the book. As in most cases, there is usually grass and weeds. But even in the cases where there is more grass than there are weeds it seems like much of that is common sense or simple derivations from reading the Bible. So, generally, I fail to see why others are so excited about the book.

Most of them are written poorly.
Most of them are loaded with "pats-on-the-back" examples of how the seminar that led to writing the book helped others.
Most of them are big because they managed to get the right promotion on the right radio show hosted by the right host.
Most of them glaze over the hard issues with a sentence or two, which comes across like happy talk.

And, then I think the same things are true in the cases of popular authors like Oprah and Dr. Phil and Dr. Laura and Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken.

But for some reason, I have a higher expectation of authors who happen to be followers of Christ.

Which might be one reason I'm hesitant to write anything for publication. I'm not sure I want to become part of the game.

Which might be one of the frustrations I have, too. The best books I've read have to be special ordered...generally speaking. And when I do recommend books to folks, most people don't take the time to do that, or when they do, usually come back with a "that was different" kind of response.

I'm feeling disengaged from my fellow man today.

And, (I'm not sure who said it but somebody did because now it's a saying) I'm not sure I'm enjoying living in an age where common sense is considered cutting edge.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Off Day To-Do List

I got stuff to do.

If I don't get the stuff done, the whole week gets dicey.

See, it's "Easter week" at our most churches in our area.

I'm the head of our church's Easter planning committee.

I'll have to work harder this week than I do most weeks.

But today I've got a bunch to do just to get ready to have a bunch to do.

I gotta get going.

I got stuff to do.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


My daughter Shelby's ballet company held their annual spring show, this year choosing to do a performance of Coppelia. As always, I was smitten with her performance. Even if I know little about what makes a ballet performance excellent, to me, she always turns in a memorable performance. Of course, all the other girls could've turned in memorable performances, too...but I wouldn't have seen them. My eyes were glued to my child the entire time she was on the stage.

The one thing that intrigues me about the ballet is the stories the dance is based on. In this case, a mad-scientist makes these life-like dolls. There's a couple in the small town that was thinking of getting married, but the hitch was two-fold: First, town legend has it that if true love is in the air, a girl can pick up a sheaf from the wheat harvest and listen to it, and the sheaf will whisper if the man loves her (it didn't). Second, the boy was seen blowing kisses to the life-like beautiful doll Coppelia.

Of course, the potential groom tries to make things better and came in, after a night of drinking, to discover that his intended had snuck into the doll-maker's house and gotten all the life-like dolls to dance. The doll-maker then slips the potential groom a "mickey" to knock him out so he can steal his soul and give it to the doll Coppelia.

It all ends happily ever-after as the spring marriage festival begins and the famous Waltz of the Hours takes place.

But see, the deal is that I wouldn't have picked any of that up unless I had read the story beforehand, which I did right out of the playbill I was handed. I simply don't get "dance" because of that. To me, it would make a great play...if the characters just walked and talked I'd get it. But I gotta say it's pretty darn cool watching the things ballerinas can do up on the tips of their toes and all that...I just fail to see how dance enhances the story.

But then again, I don't have to "get it."

I "get" Shelby.
And I "get" having a passion and a love for something.
And I "get" being supportive of dreams and goals.

So I can enjoy Coppelia just the same, even if it isn't for the reason the people putting on the production wanted me to.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Well if Axl Rose was driving down the highway, and saw Rex Manning stranded on the side of the road, do you think Axl Rose would stop and help him?

I kinda watched Empire Records last night while I winding down. It's a movie my friend Kendra introduced me to while she occupied the guest bedroom. I couldn't help listening to the lines. Watching with "older eyes," the movie itself isn't that great, but I really like it. So, I thought of some other movies that I think of fondly but really aren't that great as movies:

The Breakfast Club
16 Candles
Bottle Rocket
Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
This Is Spinal Tap
Dumb & Dumber
Raising Arizona
Napoleon Dynamite

There are others on my "guilty pleasures" list...what're on yours?

Friday, April 07, 2006

To Quote Wally Exactly, Here's Some Stuff That I Like...(and don't like

I like the NHL hockey playoffs.
I like spaghetti and pizza.
I like reading.
I like my iPod.
I like my chair.
I like my dog.
I like college football.
I like my youth ministry staff.
I like my hammock.
I like coffee.
I like the fireplace that uses real wood.
I like grilling meat.
I like baseball on any level it's played.
I like good sermons.
I like that my sister and brother-in-law are a couple.
I like hot dogs with mustard and onions...and chili without beans on it if possible.
I like watching my children grow up and all that entails.
I like snow.
I like Manhattan more than anyplace else.
I like when my former students keep in touch with me, no matter if it's in person, on the phone, or on a web page.
I like when parent's I work with not only get "it," but "get" me.
I like snow skiing and inner tubing behind a ski boat on a lake.
I like Mississippi Delta blues, early punk and late grunge.
I like fried mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce.
I like good stand-up comedy and improv.

I don't like dieting.
I don't like country music, classical or opera.
I don't like cats...the animal or the Broadway show.
I don't like bad preachers and Bible teachers.
I don't like cell phones or the people who use them driving or while conversing with others.
I don't like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or the last two Matrix movies.
I don't like poor parenting (in myself or in others).
I don't like root beer.
I don't like most candies except M&M's.
I don't like infrequent bloggers.
I don't like those Ultimate Fighting Championship deals.
I don't like any garishly expensive vehicle.
I don't like suburban architecture or mindsets.
I don't like aggressive drivers.
I don't like meandering meetings (if you call a meeting, have an objective).
I don't like pigeonholing, labeling or stereotyping...or people that tend to cause me to do that.
I don't like closed minds in any form.
I don't like soap operas in general.
I don't like morning radio DJ's or their TV counterparts.
I don't like militant agendas.
I don't like pop stars.
I don't like board games (except "Life" and "Trivial Pursuit").
I don't like gambling, but I like watching others do it.
I don't like politics.
I don't like contacts.
I don't like golf (playing or watching).


Thursday, April 06, 2006

So, I Was At Work Last Night...

...and my senior guys Bible study, after studying Mark 12 together, got into a discussion on the "components of hypocrisy." They kicked around ideas like "sin is not hypocrisy in and of itself" and "Jesus was harder on hypocrites than adulterers in scripture." Ideas worthy of serious discussion to be sure. We finished with lots of shoelaces untied...but genuinely intriguing talk--designed to help each other along the journey.

Sometimes, sitting in a room of senior guys having a discussion like that, you get reminded that you have the greatest job in the world.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

25 Years of Friendship here's me in 1983 with my high school girlfriend. We were hanging out at the senior patio.

And here's my best friend Hal in 1983 with one of our teachers, Mrs. Yarbrough. I think he was dressed up for toga day. I have no idea why he's wearing a cowboy hat with that get-up or why she's in scrubs.

And here's us last night at the Ranger's game:

We got caught up on family life and what not. Marriages, kids, jobs...the whole works.

We laughed about old times and checked up on old friends.

We tried to prank call another one of our high school buddies but it didn't work out that well.

We cheered the home team, who, this night, gave us a lot to cheer about. I even predicted a home run...down to the section it would land in. As in, "This guy's going to hit a home run. It's going to land right (pointing) there. I know it's existential, but I'm really feelin' it." When the ball landed in the seats, Hal told me to buy a lottery ticket.

He was in town on business, but we didn't talk much about shipping (although, if you have some freight you need delivered across the state or across the country, I know a guy that can help you out--so shouts out to J.I.T. Trucking) or ministry.

It was about catching up. Sure, cell phones and e-mails and blogs make that a bit easier. Those aren't like actual hanging out, though.

And, all in all, I've been friends with Hal for about 25 years now. There's very few people I can say that about.

And it's very cool to be able to say that.

And I had a GREAT time, too. Now I have to drive to freakin' Rowlett to get my cell phone that fell off the clip in his rental car.
12 years ago today...

"The first time he saw heaven came exactly six hours and fifty-seven minutes after the very moment an entire generation fell in love with him. It was, remarkably, his first death, and only the earliest of many little deaths that would follow. For the generation smitten with him, it was an impassioned, powerful, and binding devotion--the kind of love that even as it begins you know is pre-ordained to break your heart and to end like a Greek tragedy."

--Charles Cross, on Kurt Cobain's heroin overdose after Nirvana's performance on Saturday Night Live.

Kurt Cobain was found on April 8, 1994, dead of an apparent suicide. They believed he did it on April 5.

I really wish he hadn't done it. For a myriad of reasons.
But I really wish it hadn't ended like a Greek tragedy.
Images From Opening Day

I found the camera's three slices of Americana from Rangers opening day on Monday. I didn't take any of me and Kelsey together for some strange reason.

The scoreboard pre-game. Notice the gorgeous day surrounding it.

Here's the players lining up during the pre-game line-up announcements. How traditional is this?

Here's Kelsey in a preseason photo with our opening day 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler. He got his first hit that afternoon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

51,451 Sick People

Observations from Opening Day:

School attendence monitors are wise to the game. At my daughter's school, absenteeism was higher than normal...and I'd imagine it was higher than normal at their parent's work places. One of my daughter's teachers even put two and two together: Kelsey usually has perfect attendance. Kelsey loves baseball and today's opening day. Therefore...

We arrived two hours before game time. People were tailgating like crazy to the degree that even news commentators were talking about how this was signicantly more activity than normal. It was cool but they could learn an awful lot from any S.E.C. football tailgate party. Even on the soft games there's way more cooking out than what I saw yesterday. There was enough there to definitely appeal to the senses, though.

We watched batting practice and tried to grab a home run or two. No such luck, although a guy two rows in front of us caught one. It's amazing how loud the crack of the bat is in an empty stadium. Another nice appeal to the senses.

We went to see what new apparel and such were offered at one of the gift shops. Lots of new hats...the biggest trend seemed to be clothing for girls. Lots of logos on pastel hats and jerseys and such. Kelsey again lobbied for the pitching jacket that runs for $125. She told me she was cold and tried it on. It was 78 degrees outside, 72 in the store.

Our seats were just under the overhang of the upper deck, 30 rows off the visitors dugout. Sat all day in the shade with the breeze. Our friends Wes and Lizzie got sunburned in their seats two sections down and sat the last two innings with us.

My lunch was hot dogs with mustard and onions. As it should be on opening day.

There's no question that four F18 fighter planes can make a lot of racket. Charley Pride sang the national anthem, and held the last two lines to wait for them to fly over. Kinda cool. I didn't understand why the Texas band was there and their football head coach was being honored on opening day for their national FOOTBALL championship last fall. Sure, the owner is a UT grad, but c'mon.

Just before the first pitch, Kelsey said (to no one in particular), "I just LOVE baseball." I knew exactly what she meant because I thought the very same thing at the very same time.

The game was out of hand by the 5th inning. It looks like we're the same as last season: We only score when we hit home runs & our pitching staff gives up lots of runs. The high point before Hank Blalock's home run for us in the 6th was to watch our rookie 2nd baseman get his first major league hit and have his teammates rush to save the ball for him.

We saw some friends as we were leaving the park...we exchanged stories of calling in sick at school and all that. He told me he was taking his kids home and then heading to the Stars hockey game with his wife that night: The sports quinella! The hockey team lost, too, in overtime--I bet he was bummed at being 0-2 on the day.

We got in the car and got home relatively quickly. I know the back roads now. But I can tell you this much: Even when the home team loses, there's few things better than opening day with your daughter on a picture-perfect afternoon (I'll post some pictures once I find the cord to the camera...).

Monday, April 03, 2006

Opening Day

James Earl Jones, as Terrance Mann, in "Field of Dreams":

" And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon.

They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters.

The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."

1:05 PM.
Opening Day.
Ameriquest Field, Arlington, Texas.
Tickets fell into my lap.

My daughter and I will be most definitely coming.
And my hope is that we'll have memories so thick we'll have to brush them away from our faces.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tossing And Turning All Night

I woke up every 45 minutes last night.

"Curse you, time change!"

Well, either that, or "Curse you, late night pizza and Dr. Pepper!"

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fun-Filled Facts

Like most Americans, I loathe "Spring Forward" and relish "Fall Back." I dutifully set my clocks forward or backward before I go to bed. The next day my circadian rhythms marvel at the change in lighting know, "It doesn't seem like 9PM. There's still light.

Like most Americans, I didn't know much about the reason for daylight savings...only it had something to do with fuel costs during the war. So, I looked up some stuff on the day. Here some of what I found:

Benjamin Franklin was among the first Americans to discuss the idea of Daylight Saving Time. In fact, he proposed the idea while serving as U.S. minister to France as a way of conserving the cost of lighting for shops. The purpose has been to essentially utilize more of the daylight hours in spring and summer for daytime activities. Simply put, the Sun is up longer in the sky (rises earlier and sets later) in summer. Clocks and common mechanical timepieces keep what's called civil time, which roughly corresponds to the passage of a fictitious "average" Sun through our sky. This is necessary since the Sun does not rise and set on a regular basis, but changes by as much as 15 minutes throughout the course of the year.

In the U.S., the only states which do not use daylight saving time are Hawaii, Arizona, and most of Indiana. Since U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST) is UT-5 hours, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) is UT-4 hours.

While most of Indiana remains on Eastern Standard Time year-round (and is therefore has the same time as Central Daylight Time when daylight saving time is in effect, but is an hour different between October and April, at which point it has the same time as Eastern Standard Time), some portions near borders maintain the same time as the neighboring state, and therefore do shift to daylight saving time. In particular, five northwest Indiana counties (Lake, Porter, La Port, Jasper, and Newton) and five southwest Indiana counties (Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick, and Spencer) are part of the Central Time Zone and shift to Central Daylight Time. Meanwhile, five southeast counties (Harrison, Floyd, Clark, Dearborn, and Ohio) switch to Eastern Daylight Time on their own to stay on the same time as Cincinnati and Louisville.

In Arizona, many Indian reservations do switch to daylight saving time, while the rest of the state does not. For example, the Navajo Reservation does switch to daylight saving time, but the Hopi reservation, located in the middle of it, does not.

Alaska goes on and off daylight saving time concurrently with the rest of the U.S. However, ever since sometime in the early 1980s, Alaska has operated on Yukon Time (which is 1 hour earlier that Pacific Time). Because of this, Alaska is one hour ahead of the sun in the winter (Standard Time) and two hours ahead of the sun in the summer (DST). In Anchorage, on the summer solstice, sunset occurs just before midnight, sunrise is just after 4 a.m., and the "darkest" part of twilight is 2 a.m.

Daylight Saving Time was generally adopted by countries around World War I, but President Wilson repealed the United States' mandatory daylight savings law on March 31, 1918. During World War II, Daylight Savings Time was reestablished by law on a year-round basis, and later seen as a fuel saving measure during the Arab Oil Embargo crisis of 1973-74. In late 1974, standard time was brought back. During World War II, the U.S. and some other countries implemented "double" daylight savings time consisting of a two hour shift.

Europe also observes Daylight Saving Time, but the dates on which is goes into effect and ends are different than in the U. S. In particular, it shifts to daylight saving time one week earlier than the U.S. in the spring. In the southern hemisphere, insertion and removal are inverted from in the northern hemisphere.

So, on this April Fool's Day (which I don't "get" or enjoy, but the Simpson's episode about it was funny), I hope you enjoyed this "Learning Channel" moment. Just one more service we provide.