i can’t believe i get paid for this

i absolutely love the fact that i get paid to be a minister. this afternoon i was given the name of a church member who i haven’t met before (it’s a large church) who was at home with her husband watching him slowly pass away. five days ago he was told that because of liver damage he would have about 4 to 6 months to live before his body would give out. since, the doctor said that he has gone down hill incredibly fast. yesterday he slipped out of consciousness and this morning the doctor came to their house and told his wife that he would probably die at any second. i was the minister who received the opportunity to go to their house. there is not much that you can say that a woman who is soon to be a widow and knows it. there aren�t many words that will do for a time like that. so i simply sat with her and her husband for an hour. GOD was already in that room. the LORD was already there taking care of her. my only purpose there was to remind he of the GOD who cares about her and her husband. so for an hour i sat there and held his hand and listened while she told me about his love for fishing, building his pond, his stubborn nature, and love for reading. i left her with the only words I knew that would make any difference �GOD is here for you and HE says that HE will comfort those who mourn and are in pain.� it is easy to see the difference that JESUS makes in life when you watch someone as they are dying. this family knows CHRIST and that makes all the difference.

it was an honor to be there with them. i can’t believe doing that type of stuff is actually considered a part of my job. i love my job.

please hold for a phone call from GOD

tonight my cell phone started to ring and i grabbed it ready to answer it. as is my custom i looked at the screen on the front of the phone to see what the caller id would tell me about the phone call. usually if it is from someone who is in my phone book it says “(person’s name) is calling” and then i know for answering purposes who is on the line. tonight when it rang and i looked at the front screen it said “GOD is calling.” i’m dead serious that is what it said. it really threw me off. i mean i didn’ know that i had GOD’s personal line listed in the phonebook of my cell. of course, being GOD HE could make sure it was in there. the problem was even though i spend alot of time talking with and listening to GOD in prayer i’ve never really had a phone conversation with HIM. it seems like the etiquette for a phone call with GOD would somehow be different than that of prayer. how do you answer the phone when it’s GOD? “hey bud” just doesn’t seem right for the CREATOR’s phone call. i was so engulfed in this question that i simply kept letting the phone ring. but then i paniced because it seems even worse to leave GOD hanging on the line. it�s one thing to answer GOD�s call wrong, but it is quite another to simply ignore GOD�s call. this was becoming a serious dilemma. i’m a minister for goodness sake, you would think i would have been trained in handling something like this. there should have been some professor during all my education telling me how to respond when GOD calls my cell phone. but no! that’s to practical for 3 years of graduate education and 4 years of undergraduate. well allot of good that education has done me. i can’t even answer the phone properly to speak to the ALMIGHTY. save your money kids, if college can’t tell you how to answer GOD�s call correctly then what good is the algebra, composition, counseling and other stuff they teach you?

eventually i remember that bill pruitt, our pastor, was the last one to have my phone and he must have changed his name in the phonebook to say GOD (thinks allot of himself apparently). while, i might not know how to answer the phone when GOD is calling i certainly did know how to answer bill’s phone call after all the confusion he had caused me. here’s the point of my story…be prepared for any phone call, it could be GOD calling you (or it could just be a pastor who likes to play jokes on people).

btw, i am now taking suggestions on how to get bill back for causing me to have such a crisis of faith.

bill gates is the anti-christ

i really don’t like microsoft. i’m not real sure why but i know that i don’t. i think it is the fact that software-wise microsoft owns everything. they are such a corporate giant that they simply swallow up new things as they come about. they are the roman empire of the programing world. i fairly sure that i wouldn’t have liked the romans if i had lived in the 1st century and i know that i don’t like their 21st century equivalent.

what saddens me is that i have microsoft stuff on my computer. ahhhhhh! i feel like such a hypocrit. i would swap to linux but that would confuse pam and i don’t want to do that. i have to use microsoft at the church because that what our systems guy uses. now i’ve gotten so use to microsoft junk that i have trouble doing things for other platforms. i started using mozilla as my browser as an attempt to get away from explorer and now i’ve found that i didn’t code the student ministry page right for anything other than ie. i hate microsoft. i think i am going to purposefully start avoiding everything microsoft again. this might tear down my work for awhile but i think i would feel better.

manna from heaven

i love chili dogs. there is simply nothing as good as a greasy chili dog. in fact they taste so good that it seems impossible for them to actually be bad for me.

this is the sad part about living in baton rouge (a town that i love living in). baton rouge has some of the best food in the world, except for a really good chili dog. a good chili dog usually comes from a dive, hole in the wall, failed health inspection type of restaurant. now there are several places around town, but they all seem to serve seafood or cajun food. you would think that some local business would realize that we don’t have a chili dog worth diddly squat and then jump on it. nope. it just doesn’t seem to happen. i would set up such a restaurant but i suffer form a distinct fear or failure and bankruptcy. i fear that starting such a restaurant would ultimately lead towards my kids have to beg on the street. that’s why i just sit here and type about how there aren’t any good chili dogs in town. i find complaining much easier to do than actually trying to correct a problem.

my name is, my name is, my name is…

one of my children frequently sleep walks (i’m not saying which one because if anyone actual does read this thing there is a slim chance that you might know my kids and i don’t want you walking up to them and saying dumb stuff about him sleep walking). last night this dna match of me apparently decided it was time to sleep walk again. pam and i were laying on our bed talking about the day when my little blood twin got up and walked into our room. pam asked him what he was doing and as he walked around our bedroom intently looking for something he said “i’m looking for my…..” and then it faded out. pam asked again and while he continued to walk around the bedroom he said “i’m looking for my…..” and once again it faded off. one last time pam said “what are you looking for?” this time walking zombie responded by saying “i’m looking for my name.”

apparently he found his name at that time because without saying goodbye or anything he turned around and went back to bed. of course, he didn’t remember anything this morning. i really just think he is trying to set things up for when he is a teenager. that way if he tries to sneak out of the house he can really say “oh, i was just sleep walking.”

wierd science

i really like messing with everybodies heads. nobody had any idea why we had the view set up differently tonight. it was all the more fun just to leave them hanging and not explain it. i think everyone was confused for the first 10 minutes of the service. around the 11th minute i think most everybody got it and started get into the whole thing but the first 10 minutes nobody but those leading the thing had any idea what was going on. for some reason i really love that.

turned out to be an amazing view tonight. the worship was great.

betrayed

today somebody did something that cut me deep. someone that i have invested alot of time into betrayed me. i doubt seriously that this person knows that he/she betrayed me or considers their actions as such but they did. if the rolls were reversed they would be screaming for me to repent and talking to brother bill about my job. but since their decision involves church it’s “okay” to do what they did. therefore, i can’t say anything about it. it wasn’t anything sinful but still it took all the trust i had built into this person and smashed it. my stomach hurts. ministry would be awhole lot easier if it wasn’t for all the people.

of course, that’s really the point isn’t it. JESUS has called all of us to work with very fallen people (myself foremost amonst them). in return for people caring about us we do really stupid things to them. we did these stupid things to JESUS and still HE loved and work with us. so if i’m going to follow in HIS footsteps then i have to be prepared to serve and sometimes be betrayed and then love and serve those people anyways. it still stinks though.

on the road again, and again, and again

after a long and exhausting day my family and i are now back home in baton rouge. at 11:30 this morning we started our trip back home from a wonderful weekend at gulf shores, alabama. we figured the traffic would be a little heavy so we had planned on allowing an hour and a half, or at most two hours, to make the trip to mobile, which normally takes 45 minutes. turns out we were way off. apparently all the drunks and just generally bad driver in the southeast decided to get together over labor day around gulf shores and hold a “how not to drive” convention. it would appear that part of this convention was a demonstration on highway 59. the bad driving demonstration clogged up 59 all the way from gulf shores to the interstate (about 30 to 40 miles). it would appear that the bad drivers were having such a good time chocking up the roadway that they quickly voted and unanimously decided the take their convention into mobile via interstate 10. this of course messed up i-10. the trip from gulf shores to mobile lasted until 3:00 p.m. (almost 4 hours!). that made for a world of fun, in fact too much fun for us, so we decided to stop and finally eat lunch and visited with my parents. this took about an hour. we figured by then all the crazies would have left the road. we had three hours worth of driving ahead of us between mobile and baton rouge. we were looking forward to a pleasant journey for the rest of the time. of course, i hadn’t thought of the fact that the people leaving the bad drivers convention would be going in all directions and spreading havoc as they went. our three hour drive extended itself to 5 hours. all in all this made our 4 hour trip into a nearly 9 hour trip. we averaged about 33 miles per hour. pretty excellent speed for a horse, but not for a 626.

here’s the point of all this. my kids decided to start asking questions. what place would you most like to go it? not a restaurant, but what geographic place (i.e. state or country). what car would you most like to drive? etc. my 9 and 6 year old made the journey enjoyable. without them I probably would have just fumed over the long trip. instead, i laughed a lot with my family. life is a journey… try to enjoy the journey. i’m trying real hard.

man’s best friend

i hate my dog!

i can’t say that enough.

i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog! i hate my dog!

for some reason my dog, whose name is “hero”, has decided that it is fun to escape from the back yard and run around the neighborhood. he’s not suppose to be able to do this because he has tendons in his back right leg which are messed up. he walks fine but running is suppose to be a no-no. well he has recently started finding ways under the gate of the backyard fence. of course, since he can�t run very well it is usual not a problem to catch him. a crippled dog owner typically has the advantage in a dog on man race (i highly recommend crippled animals as pets, it usually makes life much easier). today, i was in front of the family abode shooting air rockets with adam and noah (the air rockets are incredible) and out of the corner of my eye i saw hero escape form the backyard. i started after him thinking that as usual it would be no big deal to catch him. apparently, unbeknownst to me, someone has been slipping drugs to my dog because he didn’t act like his normal maimed self. no! instead of hobbling around hero would run in front of me staying just out of arms reach. i believe i chased him for 3 miles, uphill, both ways, in the snow. it was awful. i swear the dog was laughing at me. if there had been a shotgun in my hands i would have killed “man’s best friend” and left his body there to be eaten by cats and other dog hating animals.

after much sweat and shouting i finally catch the mutt, scold him, and carry him all the way back to the house (i didn’t bring a lease with me). i place him back in the back yard and decide to get some cold ice tea to cool off with. as soon as i get inside that hound begins to whimper and limp around the back yard looking for sympathy from me. sure his leg is find while he’s running from me, but once he is back home it hurts and he wants me to take care of it. i hate my dog!

thank you very much

well i tried something this morning at sunday school that apparently didn’t work. i have the david crowder song “o praise HIM” stuck in my noodle and have had it there for about a week now. this morning i decided that i would try to lead the teens in singing it but during practice i realized that all but one part of it was working and it was going to take a little longer to figure out how to make that chorus work with my voice. so i decided to do the next best thing, i needed an opening for our discussion on GOD accomplishing great things even through the worst moments of our lives and i figured a terrible rendition of the song might convey at least part of the “worst moments”. so i decided to vocally trash the song and i did quite well at it ( i may have found my calling in life – wierd al without the vocal talent or lyrical abilities or even the accordian). in fact i did so well at trashing the song that people began to roll up paper and throw it at me. kind of like a bad vauldvile act except without the vegetables. of course, i deserved the stuff being thrown at me because i was really bad. like i said i have a talent for bad singing.

the humor is that now i can’t convince anybody that i purposefully sang the song bad. now don’t get me wrong, i could never do the song justice. i sing like a cross between michael bolton and elmer fudd (except without the mullet or hunting cap). i’m not a great singer, maybe not a decent singer but i don’t normally sing as bad as i did today. but i can’t convince anybody that it was an act. naturally if i try to sing that song again i’ll be written off before i could every prove that i’m at least a little better than what i did today (maybe they would only roll the paper up but never actually throw it at me).

cool thing tonight was that i got to lead a guy named michael to the LORD. his a college student and he needed some gas for his truck. chris m. and i drove him back (he had walked from prairieville – home of many fine prairies – to baton rouge – home absolutely no big red stick that i’ve seen) to his truck and in the process got to talk to him about life. since, i’m convinced life is about being in love with JESUS we naturally went there. it was simply cool. i love being able to talk with people about the deeper issues of life, even when they don’t agree with me. michael and i talked about these issues and he became convinced that he needed CHRIST in his life. life is really good.

just found out that my nine year old son doesn’t trust his mother and i to paint his room. we are going to paint it in a week or two while he is at school. adam now says that he is afraid that we want do things up to his standards or pick the wrong colors or something like that, so he wants to be in the house while we paint it. figures that way he can keep tabs on our work. yep, nothing like having your taste questioned by a nine year old.