07 February 2014

Funnel Cakes, The Sixth Sense, and a Life Lesson...for me at least!

So, in my teaching days, I would have various daily grades and quizzes that would vary what day of the week they were on.  Except 1.  Every Monday, we would do “Current Events.”  When I started teaching, it had to be an actual newspaper article taken from a hard copy newspaper.  The article had certain parameters it had to meet, and once a month, they could choose to do a sports article or perhaps a celebrity article…just to keep it fun.  They would then have to stand in front of the class and give a brief summary of the article and take 2 questions.  Often they didn’t have access to the answer, but it was fun to take part in this event every week.
Then…the internet.

Now instead of heading to the local hometown paper or the USA Today if they could con their parents into getting one on the way to school, there was every type of article imaginable.  The favorite of the students was when they could find “Off Beat News” articles.  This became a once a month allowable incident.  And I must admit…those were not only the student’s favorites, but mine as well. 

We live in an Off-Beat World, right?

05 December 2013

The All-Time Champion of Jesus Jukes!!!

OK, I am going to admit something here.  Like I haven’t admitted 50 things “here.”  But I love the Jesus Juke.  It is a way of speaking that was brought to light a few years back by Jon Acuff, so I can’t take any credit for it, but he is spot on.
If you don’t know what a Jesus Juke is, it is basically someone who turns any conversation or phrase said back to religion-ese.  It is annoying.  Aggravating.  It is the Christian equivalent of the old Debbie Downer SNL skit. (yes, I know SNL is debased and to reference it probably means I am not truly saved, but…I am , so get over it.)
“Man, this Starbucks coffee is soooo good.”

“Well, with the money you spent on that, 12 orphans in Uganda could’ve received shoes for Christmas.”
JESUS JUKE Guilt Trip.

02 December 2013


We tend to look at things with such a small perspective.  Our minds are so shallow, really.  There are issues that I can study, research, etc and learn about, but do I ever truly grasp them?  I am not so sure.

In a sermon recently, one of my areas of small-sightedness (new phrase coined?  Feel free to use it) was revealed to me.  Often when this happens, it is to my detriment.  See my “I will pray for you, but probably not” post.  When I try to search my heart, what I often find is nasty and gross.

The truth that was revealed to me was not that.  It was sweet.  Awe-inspiring. Humbling.  Affirming.

22 November 2013

TOP POST: I am MAD at my Pastor...

I think it is semi-sad this is my most viewed post.  I assume it is because alot of people are typing in that they are mad at their pastors, and they must be doing ALOT of reading about it to find my blog!!!  I have to be waaaaay down the list.  Then, I am no help, because I am actually not angry with my pastor after all...

Anyway, this is the most viewed post...so far:

I am upset with my Pastor.  He is a wonderful, godly man who I have known for years.  He has an impeccable reputation.  He started our church not quite 9 months ago, and we have an average attendance of right at 1,000 every week.  Awesome personality.  Fantastic teacher of the Word.  He has an amazing vision for what our church can be!

But, boy, am I mad at him right now....

21 November 2013

I don't even know what this is supposed to look like...kind of like Twerking.

Man, so much to say.  So little worth saying.

Not trying to sound like a lyric or poetic, but that is how I feel.

I have started typing a blog post so many times in the last few months and I usually get about 3-4 paragraphs in, and self-doubt creeps in.  I start questioning my own premise.  Not sure I am worried about being right or wrong.  I am worried about what whoever reads it will think of me.

If you are reading this, you are probably one of the few who read regularly, and a couple of you know me personally…anonymous writing had advantages, but there is always the being known.

Also for me, because I am running from something, hiding out here, I feel vulnerable to unforeseen dangers. 

What if this person finds me here?  What if word gets out I have a blog? What if, what if what if?

I feel I have something to say.  Only a handful read it, and I have had positive feedback.

It’s the shame of my past.  I have no right to write anything with authority.  Who am I that I should be able to critique or even have an opinion on spiritual and moral matters?

I am not sure if this is a farewell post or not.

This blog started as a journal, suggested to me by someone who was counseling me through a very rough patch in my life.  One that I am not sure will ever end here on earth.

So, if a journal, I feel freedom to type this rambling, open-ended crap and don’t care that you think it is stupid and a waste of time to write it. 

I just don’t know if I should put it all away or start again under a different anonymous name.  Start one with my face on it?  Keep this all to myself?
We’ll see.

For now, I will re-publish some of my earlier posts…can’t hurt.  Maybe that will inspire…

20 March 2013

David vs. Goliath...who you got in your bracket?

So, it is that time of year!  Statistically the worst time of year for employers because employee production slows tremendously.

Three different phenomena/events are all happening RIGHT NOW!!!  Combined they are a boss’s NigHTmArE!!

1.      First Week of Spring

2.      Turkey Season (possibly a southern thing only)


Yes, that is right.  The 68-team tournament to decide who the Collegiate National Champion is in basketball.  People who have watched approximately-exactly ZERO seconds of basketball will now fill out brackets and enter picking contests with abandon.  My Dad is one of those people.  He couldn’t tell you a single NCAA player’s name from any of the 68 teams.  Not one. But he has already entered 4 contests and printed out each bracket and will mark each win and loss....

04 December 2012

Change in Perspective...from 4 Feet Away.

So, there I was, minding my own business...

I had done all the Saturday morning running around I had to do, but had the unfortunate, dreaded afternoon shift at the retail store where I work part-time.  I had an hour to kill, and frankly didn't feel like fast food.  This might surprise a few of my friends.  If you ever meet me, I will gladly sing the praises of what has to be the most amazing eating establishment ever opened on earth.  TACO BELL!  So tasty...and CHEAP!  (wait, is it o.k. to be a believer and not think ChickFila is the best...isn't it God's chosen fast food?? )

16 October 2012

Nikolai Volkov and "Father-Kid-Sing-a-Song-a-Palooza!"

So...there I am singing away with my children driving home from MeMaw's house.  It was a typical trip.  Me in the front seat, trying to keep the kids entertained. 

My awesome 6 yr. old free spirit son, BB, singing when he wants and changing the last word of every line to something excruciatingly not funny, but to him...HILARITY!  Example: "Who's the King of the Jungle?  Who's the King of the sea (water, water, water)? Who's the King of the universe and who's the kind of Apples?"  or "Trees"  or "Toots"  He rarely uses "Toots" because he knows that will get a light little smacky-smacky smack on his leg.  Sometimes, though, he has to take that blow...for the sake of the art.

My determined  ALMOST 4 YR. OLD little gal, Peach, singing evey word perfectly, and though not quite able to hit that fifth note to harmonize, it won't be long.  She even looks determined like this is a free throw to win State!  Go Team!  Seriously, if you saw her singing in the backseat, you would think she was singing the Russian National Anthem alongside Nikolai Volkov in the old WCW days.  (if you don't get that reference, I truly feel sorry for you)  And the way she can block out the insanity in the seat next to her spewing from BB's mouth is quite remarkable!

26 September 2012

DC Talk and "The Trash Can Party"

We live in the woods. 

At the end of a two lane gravel road.  Close enough to a Walmart and city folk to be comfortable, but just off the beaten path enough to have peace and quiet…most of the time.

This is great for my wife and me.  We love it down there.  Private, secluded.  The only people who come onto our property are there for a reason.  You don’t just “happen by” our house.  In 12 years, we have had 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses and zero Mormons.  And zero protestant churches.  (Perhaps a post for another day.)

My Children though…they aren’t keen on it.  Yet.

10 September 2012

Spaghetti Sauce Stains, Restoration, and Justin Bieber

My kids are awesome. So fun. Love life. Moody. But sweet as can be.

One of the best traits of my kids(BB and Peach, for those who haven't read from when I first started ths blog)is their desire to help out around the house.

BB is my 6 year old, flighty boy who will gladly help out...for a good, rock solid 20 seconds before he wants to move on to other things. He is the same way with schoolwork, and is probably how I was at that age.

Peach is my almost 4 year old little girl who is doggedly determined in everything she does. Very temperamental. But when she sets her mind to something, she locks in and gets the task done. And she wants to do it right, or she starts crying.

This difference, as you can imagine, can lead to some vicious fights that would make the Hatfields and McCoys cringe.

That's a post for another day.

Last week, BB decided to help wash the dishes.

That's right. I said WE wash our dishes...WITH OUR HANDS. No fancy, new fangled electronical machine to do it. I often kid with people that our dishwasher is 41 years old...get it? And we still don't have internet at the house. Our house was built in 1969, and we have decided to live that way still today! (For some reason, my mind just started singing "Party Like It's 1969"...no offense, Prince, but I like my version better)

After cute little BB went off to bed, I went into the kitchen to put the dishes up. BB only washed his and Peaches' dishes that are those 2 compartment plates like some cafeterias have to keep the mystery meat from getting green bean juice on it. (Hey, I wrote a post about Green Brean Juice...go read it!) One is an Owl and the other is a Dog.

Well, in the drying rack, they fit stacked perfectly together. The Dog was on bottom and the Owl on top. I grabbed them both and was reaching to put them in, when I decided I better check them.

If you are a parent of a 6 year old flighty boy, you know what I found. The top plate was clean. The Owl was very clean. But the bottom of Owl and the top of Dog was filthy. Covered in spaghetti sauce and flecks of beef and tiny smashed noodle shards (does that work?) were all over them.

So, here's the question...what did I do?

COMMON SENSE would say...I cleaned them up.

I grabbed the washrag and detergent and got them clean. And that is what I did. Doesn't that make common sense?

What does NOT make sense would be if I said "I was grossed out by them, so I just threw them away." Agreed? Please say that you agree with this, or the next portion of my post will be useless to you...With some effort and time, I was able to get the plates usable again. Throwing them away would be..well...stupid.

Now...let's go to church.

What do we do when we find out that Deacon Jones, who looks clean on the top--- he is addicted to porn?

How about this...we find out that Sally-Sue in the youth group who goes on missions trips and sings solos on Sunday nights--- she's 2 months pregnant.


What should we do?

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should RESTORE HIM in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."- Galatians 6

Now, there will be a follow-up post written about my own train-wreck experience that started this entire blog and also gave me the name Lazarus...

I don't know much...but I know this. There is time for proper church-discipline. A good friend of mine and I have been hashing this issue out lately, and the Bible teaches there is a time for this.

But those times are rare.

Yet, I have seen many of my friends hurt, damaged, shunned, belittled, thrown out and banished without ANY effort on the part of the church to RESTORE the person.

Like me having to physically invest TIME and EFFORT to get that plate as clean as I could, so should the church invest TIME and EFFORT to restore.

I have no idea who reads this blog. I don't know where you are, who you are, or why you happened here. So, even though I don't know you, I still want to challenge you...

DON'T THROW PEOPLE AWAY WHEN THEY GET DIRTY! Put TIME and EFFORT into RESTORING THEM! Perhaps on the other side, they will be stained. They may never regain the luster they once had, but that's o.k. LOVE them and help them clean themselves up the best you can.

There have been a few people in my life who have come along and, whether they know it or not, have been vital in the process of my personal restoration. I was one of those thrown out, shunned and damaged. I have teetered on the brink of...alot of things, but there have been a few people who KNEW what I had done and LOVED me anyway and PRAYED with me and for me, and took genuine interest in my life...

So, to Joe, Eric, Lamar, Angela, Lindsay, and Scott....thank you.

Only JESUS could save my soul, but you saved my LIFE.

Don't throw people away.

I beg you.