Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Talk About The Pot Calling The Kettle Blaaa…ummmmmmmmm


So. The POTUS scolded Congress today for taking too much vacation time. Seriously!? Mr. 75 rounds of golf a year. Mr. I’m going to Europe to plug Chicago’s chance for an Olympic bid. Mr. Martha’s Vineyard. Seriously?

This is great! Check out the article here.

And then take a peak here

Talk about the pot calling the kettle blaaa..ummmmmmmm. Maybe another analogy. (I’ve already had a long time “friend” call me a racist because I dared to state my opinion on his policies.) Let’s go with, “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

More Southern speak??? How 'bout this....
 He’s about as useful as a pogo stick in quicksand.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It’s Not About ME; Rescue From The Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy


In It’s Not About ME; Rescue From The Life We Thought Would Make Us Happy, Max has done it again. I absolutely loved this book. This has been my philosophy about ministry ever sense I first read Purpose Driven Life. It’s All About Jesus.

In Max’s easy reading style, he makes the point that we are dependent upon Christ alone for our salvation, success, and our ultimate satisfaction. Max takes on a discovery of why we must always feel like we must add to something that is in fact already complete. Full of vivid illustrations that are easy for the novice and compelling for the advanced theologian, It’s Not About Me is all about us. I loved the way he drives home our need for Christ.

If you know me, you know I have been in love with Max Lucado books ever since I read No Wonder They Call Him The Savior in the early 90’s. This newest book in my collection did not disappoint.

I ordered the book just before we left for vacation. While we were in the Smokies, we visited a discount book store. There was an older gentleman who was walking around and I overheard him asking for the book. We looked and finally found a copy for him. He turned to chapter 8 and told me that he remembered that story and had served on the McCall. “Very cool,” I told him. Very cool indeed.

Five Stars and highly recommended!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grizzly Adams; The Early Years

So we are headed home in a few hours. We arrived in Cherokee yesterday. Our trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park took several hours after the boys climbed Clingman’s Dome and we checked out a few streams. The boys were “starving” of course. So to avoid a second Donner Party Incident, we stopped at the first place we could find, a great little local dive called Granny’s. Good chow, letmetellya.

All in all it has been a great week. With a few notable exceptions and some anecdotes.

I left my razor at home so I look like Grizzly Adams; The Early Years. While we were walking around Cherokee, I had Indians trying to pay to have their kid's picture taken with me.

The s’mores and hot dogs over the fire were great, but the mosquitoes had just as much fun. I have at least thirty mountain mosquito bites. This is not your average mosquito, they’re hillbilly mosquitoes. There are so big that when they light on your body, they break out an alcohol swab and sterilize before they sting you. These bites are no pin-head sized reddish bumps. They average the size of a dime and a few are whelped up as big as a quarter. I look like I have leprosy. I tried dunking myself in the creek seven times, but I just got waterlogged and a few of the Pentecostal brethren though I was baptizing myself as an apostle. When we were at Burger King I heard some girl say, “awwww. Look at the diseased hillbilly.”

Cherokee, North Carolina has not grown much. If you’ve never been here, it’s just a mile long wide spot in the road with Cherokee Baptist Church at one end and Harrah’s Casino at the other, with a smattering of little souvenir shops in the middle. We came here because we wanted to see Unto These Hills, an outdoor drama about the Cherokee people. I hadn't seen the play in about thirty years. It made more of an impact on me as a teen. The boys renamed the play, "Why It Sucks To Be A White Man." We were surrounded by a Cherokee Choir of the Western Band Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a group of kids from a Jewish Summer Camp. There were times when I could relate to Custer. Shortly after the Army executed Tsali I was thankful that Will was the only one in our party with blond hair and blue eyes. My Great-grandfather was a full-blooded Seminole. That means my grandmother was 1/2, mom is 1/8, I'm like 1/32 or something. Luke would be like 1/132. That fact didn't deter him from asking Will on the way out, "What are you looking at, paleface?"

On our way to the play we saw a theater and I thought it would be neat to see the Green Lantern premiere at midnight. I stopped and asked the guy at the counter if they had any tickets? He told me they did and I ordered five. I asked him if they were expecting a big crowd and he says to me, “Oh yes sir! We’re going to have a big crowd. We’ve already sold seventeen advanced tickets!”  (Like I said, not a big town.) There were twenty-two of us in the theater. Nice to know the Cherokee crowd plans ahead. On the way to the movie we decided to get a midnight snack, albeit eleven o'clock. Everything was closed except the casino. We had to turn around to head back to the theater, and I turned into this Bates Motel looking place. The kids were not thrilled. Then someone turned in behind me so I had to go into the depths of what the kids have now dubbed, "Murder Inn." The farther in I drove, the creepier this place got. So, naturally, I rolled down the back windows feigning that I would ask for directions. Again, the kids were less than thrilled. I told them that there were only old people around. "Yes," said Will from the back seat. "This place is where the retired serial killers live."

Now. Back home to the bustling, cosmopolitan Cassatt, South Carolina…USA.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gatlinburg Day 4


Patty and I toured the RMS Titanic this afternoon while the kids did NASCAR.


We had lunch with some old friends from Kentucky. It was quite a coincident that we were here at the same time. Thanks to FaceBook, we were able to know that they were at Gatlinburg while we’re in Wear’s Valley. So we did Cici’s pizza together. My how Kaylee has grown these last four years. She will start first grade in the Fall. Unbelievable.  

The Kaylee I remember
 The Kaylee we lunched with today.

Tomorrow we check out of the cabin and head to Cherokee, North Carolina to see the Indian play Unto These Hills. Then home in time for me to preach on Father’s Day. All-in-all, it’s been a great week so far.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hard Rock, Stevie, and Lam Seng

So our adopted summer son Will made a new bff at Hard Rock Café’. He is here on a work visa from Malaysia. I think his name is Lam Seng Chou, but he has Americanized his name as Chad. He had a very inspiring story, and his life’s dream is to visit every NBA arena and watch a game. That’s cool because I’ve always wanted to visit every MLB stadium and watch a game. So far I put down one on my bucket list.

 Hard Rock was good, and Stevie got a souvenir glass and an ice cream Sunday.

Gatlinburg Day 2; Tubin' On The River

Today is Stevie's birthday, so we're going to her fav place for dinner tonight; Hard Rock Cafe'.

But today was about tubin' on the river. There were several great stories after we picked the kids up. All three nearly "drown" at some point. hardy har har. In actaulity the most harrowing event of the day was getting in and out of the tubes that would get stuck in the shallow water.

Got S'more?


Day 1 of the Southern Baptist Convention finds me in Wears Valley, Tennessee. No the SBC isn't meeting in Gatlinburg or even in Knoxville although that is a wonderful idea.

We simply could not afford to fly to Phoenix, so this year I used my standing reservation with Gideon Camp Camden to escape for a few days to the Glorious Smokie Mountains. Patty, Stevie, Luke, and our "adopted summer son" Will and I are staying in a great cabin, just a short 5 minutes from downtown Pigeon Forge.

Last night we had s'mores, and I ain't talking the Pop-Tart kind. Good, old fashioned s'mores with marshmallows sooty and caked in wood chips! Of course, the diabetic dad only had one, as did Patty. But a few hours later, all signs of marshmallows, Hershey bars, and gram crackers were extinct. This was Will's first taste of a s'more, unlike Stevie who being a retired Girl Scout has eaten quite a few.

Ahh. What an oooey-gooey mess. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Today, they all get their fist crack at tubing the Little Pigeon River.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, And Me

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, And Me

The title of this book is certainly captivating and intriguing. I was hooked almost immediately thinking about Ian Cron and his growing up in a spy family. It almost had the feel of James Bond or Jason Bourne.

It did not live up to the hype I had assigned to it. As I read the first few chapters, I began to feel like this was going to be a letdown, and it really was. Actually, I knew out of the gate that this book was not going to be what I had envisioned when I read the author’s first chapter confession that this was “a memoir…of sorts.” I did and do appreciate his candor at the fact that everyone brings their own particular point of view and memories to the recollections of their past. Every eye witness remembers slightly different details to accidents, as do we all to church business meetings and family reunions.

But I was hoping for an action tale. A yarn about a spook dad who is converted to Christianity and saves the USA from the Communists and his soul from Hell. Well, that’s what I got from the title, anyway. What I got from the book was a moving story about a boy growing up trying to please an un-pleaseable father. An alcoholic that happened to work for the CIA. A Riches to rags story of what alcoholism can do to a family, and the regrets that accompany words not spoken.

I would caution anyone interested in this book to think more along the lines of “A Boy Called It” as opposed to expecting a Tom Clancy-ish Christian fiction.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Greatest Steve Spurrier Joke Ever


Steve Spurrier gets an invite to the SEC Quarterback's Conference in Atlanta and takes Stephen Garcia with him. While he’s there milling around, he runs into Mark Richt. Steve says, “Hey, Coach. Tell me something. How is it you guys at Georgia always end up with great QB’s? I can’t buy myself a decent thrower.” Richt says, “Hold on minute, Steve. Hey Aaron! Come here for a minute.” Aaron Murray trots over and Richt says, “Aaron. Who is your father’s brother’s nephew?” Without missing a beat, Murray snaps, “Why that’d be me, Coach.” Richt thanks the boy a sends him on his way. He then says to Spurrier, “It’s all about finding the smart ones. A smart qb equals a smart offence.” Steve thanks Richt and walks off.

He soon sees Garcia hanging out with Greg McElroy and calls his qb over. “Stephen, I want you to tell me as quick as you can, who is your father’s brother’s nephew?” Garcia says, “Uhh…Can I get back to you on that coach?” Spurrier slams his visor to the ground and yells at Garcia, “Well make it quick!” Garcia jogs over to McElroy and the ‘Bama qb says, “What was that all about?!” Garcia says, “He wants to know who my father’s brother’s nephew is.” “Oh, that old trick? That’s easy. The answer is, 'It’s me.'” Garcia thanks his friend and runs back to Spurrier. “Well!?” spewed the Old Ball Coach. Garcia says, “I figured it out coach! My father’s brother’s nephew is Greg McElroy!” Spurrier looses it! He turns red, throws his visor, puffs his cheeks, kicks at the air, and then sighs, and says to Garcia, “No… you idiot! It’s Aaron Murray!

The Second Greatest Steve Spurrier Joke Ever

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Those Evil, Vile, Calvinists


So it should come to no surprise to those who know me that my theology is pastorally driven. In other words, I believe that the doctrines of the faith are of critical importance, and that it is the duty of each individual Believer to know the basics of the faith. However, when someone has just suffered a great loss, or they are in pain either emotional or physical, or they are in the middle of a crisis, they don’t really care too much about how theologically sound you are or what your view on particular redemption might be. They want/need to know about a loving God. As I like to tell the church folks, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

And, unfortunately, there are those among us who care more about finding out your doctrinal proclivities ahead of the needs of your heart. That’s one of the reasons I like Rick Warren. He is very practical in theological application. His preaching may not be doctrinally focused, but it is certainly not shallow. Rick has been under a relentless attack from some of the people that I respect the most, theologically anyway. So when I saw that John Piper had interviewed Rick, I thought, “Boy, that will be a doosey.”

The interview is 98 minutes and can be seen here. Warren Interview

That got me to thinking about this Doctrine thing. By “us”, I mean us Baptists. If you're an Arminian, I have all of eternity to show you how wrong you were. But in this life, I choose to minister instead of argue.