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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
okay just a few minutes ago i was trimming the bushes in front of our house (yes when you get to be an adult you too will get to do such exciting things). apparently the bush i was trimming did not like me cutting on it and decided to release a yet unknown weapon against me. it would appear that bushes have a symbiotic relationship with yellow jackets. i don’t know the specifics but apparently the relationship works something like this – i’ll give you a place to live if you will insanely attack anyone who comes near me with clippers. i’m not sure how long these particular yellow jackets hav lived at these bushes because it has been around a year since i have approached this bush with clippers (though i have walked all around it without a cutting device in my hand and never been attacked – that’s the key – you must have clippers in your hand for the yellow jackets to live up to their part of the bargain). today though i had clippers in my hands and the yellow jackets decided to honor their arrangement and they actually seemed to enjoy keeping the bargain. they attacked me viciously. by the time i realized what was going on i had been stung 5 times around the ankles.
yet this was not the end of the battle because being a former boys-scout i was prepared. i had in my possession a can of wasp and hornet killer and i quickly ran for it (maybe hobbled toward it would be a better description). i came back with my own weapon and attacked both the bush and the yellow jackets. vengeance is mine saith the homeowner! as the yellow jackets squirmed i laughed over the bodies. i of course, ran away like a little girl when one of the remaining yellow jackets flew towards me, but still i laughed.
i’ll update you later on the battles of the bushes if there are any new skirmishes.
last night after the view i went out to calendar’s with james a, craig d, chris m, and brandon n to wind down a little. the time there was very enjoyable talking about basically meaningless things. about 9:30 or so i decided to go home. when i got home i noticed that i did not have my cell phone on my belt. convinced that it had probably fallen in my vehicle i went outside to locate it. to my surprise i was no where to be found in the protege. of course, i thought, i had taken it off at calendars and must have left it on the table. when i called calendar’s i spoke with a friendly hostess who promised me that she was looking at the table at which i had sat and she saw no poor forlorn communication device sitting on it. then i realized that i must not have looked in all the areas of the mazada and this time i decided that i would call my poor lost cell phone while i was in my small little red car. the phone was on vibrate but i knew i would ear the vibrations while i was in the car. after the sixth phone call with no buzz occurring i realized that the phone must have dropped off in the calendar’s parking lot and was probably now sitting on the asphalt in fear and danger of being turned into the electronic equivalent of mashed potatoes (with the lumps). i rushed to find my sad little call receiving friend. i searched through out the entire parking lot thinking that maybe my phone had crawled into some small area of the parking lot and was whimpering there believing that i had forgotten about it. don’t worry communication buddy, i’m coming. after an hour of having people laugh at me i finally gave up on the parking lot and feared the worse for my cell phone. it was probably lonely, choking for its last breathe wondering where i was and why i had rejected it. i drove home downcast and stopped at a convenience story for the encouragement that is only to be found within a diet dr. pepper bottle. with a somber face i turned into my drive way and in the grass the automobile lights hit a small, silver metal smile of hope. there beside my kids basketball goal was my motorola v60. the reunion was joyous.
if i search this hard for a stupid phone (no offense meant little communication buddy) imagine how desperately GOD searches for HIS lost sheep.
now i’m not going to get into the specifics here because i don’t know but that someone might actually read this, but for the past year and a half there has been a struggle related to the church that was affecting alot of the ministry that goes on here at the church. it was nothing major and didn’t do much harm but was almost always there creeping under all the stuff that was going on. i know personally that it was very frustrating to me and i believe it wa for several of the other pastors in the church. i couldn’t see how to fix this thing and apparently noone else did either, because all that would happen is that we would complain about it and never actually be able to do anything about it.
well today that changed. today was the first signs of cracking in the situation. today the solution began to appear. today is a great day just because the end of this frustration is at hand and it has worked out wonderfully.
for me this has been a reminder that GOD really does answer prayers. i have prayed about this on and off for the past year and a half. i have to admit that sometimes i began to feel like it was just going to be this way forever. yet GOD had better plans. HE answered the prayers and HIS people and will continue to. we really do have a great GOD.
11:28 p.m. i just wanted to add that i thought the view tonight was butt-kicking. riley, jessica, brandon, and craig did great with the music and megan did just as great with the message.