Stranger Things Soundproof Houses

Watching Stranger Things with Pam and one thing I have noticed is that apparently everyone else’s house is easier to climb into and much more soundproof than any that I have ever lived in. These people can have very loud conversations in their basement and nobody on the floor above them can hear a single word. Also apparently anybody can climb onto the roof of a house and sneak into a bedroom without anyone noticing. Apparently these people have some very well insulated houses. I’m not sure who built them but movie houses are either high quality work or everyone in Hollywood is deaf.

Basset Hounds Make Great Guard Dogs

Just in case you have ever doubted that basset hounds make great guard dogs above is photographic proof of their superior ability in such tasks. I took a photo of Montana setup in her security post when I left on my rounds early this morning and took another photo when I returned home. As you can clearly see she has barely moved from her post. This right here is dedication folks. Obviously, Montana is a great example of diligence in protecting her family.

Presidential Parrots

While Pam and I were watching the West Wing last night I went on a Google search of various subjects tangentially related to what we are watching. Pam and I do this a lot. We see something on the show, search it out, and then end up talking about the subject and have to rewind the show. Makes for a more enjoyable watching experience for us. Last night this involved learning about the role of the Acting President, in the few situation were there is an Acting President, and the many different types of pets our presidents have had with them as companions.

The number of parrots that have been presidential pets is quite surprising. I really would have never expected one presidential parrot, let alone five.

Also, while I like Teddy Roosevelt every now and then I  think he had to be compensating for some serious feelings of inadequacy. I mean come on. He own bears, kangaroos, a coyote, a lion, a hyena, and a zebra?!?!?!? Sometimes, it feels like he was just trying to hard.

Anyhow here’s the link to the list that brought me a great deal of entertainment.

Two Things I Want to Blog About

Presently I am sitting at Emy J’s trying to work on this Sunday’s message for Tapestry, Monday’s message for InterVarsity’s first Large Group meeting (possibly my favorite name for a meeting ever – just descriptive only way I might like it even more if it was “Monday Meeting at 7 p.m.”), reading the 1st three chapters of the letter of James for the group that Pam and I are a part of that read and discuss each week, and also reading a little of “The Girl With All The Gifts” that Adam recommended I read. ((What’s with all the recent book titles that have the word “girl”?)). In between all the people I have seen and had conversations with (and the one person I saw but I was talking with someone else and I have now lost – that’s right I’m talking to you Tegan) I have been thinking about two things I want to blog about  but just can’t bring myself to extended time upon right now. They are:

  • Thing #1 Celebrity – I become a little more convinced every year or so that celebrity may be the most dangerous thing to Western Evangelical church and her leaders. I can’t put it all together but a lot of it for me comes from the belief I have that the bride of Christ is at her best when she is weak ((2 Corinthians 12:9 … for my power is made perfect in weakness.)) The desire for power and influence is great and it influences the church way too much. First you have a small stage (a church or a blog) and then someone comes and says you should write a book and reach more people. Then you start talking to wider audiences and the possibility for influence seems to be so much greater. I don’t exactly know what it is I want to write but I am pretty sure that when we are face to face with Christ we will learn that the people who brought the most glory to Christ are going to be people who we never would have wanted autographs from. Maybe that’s what I want to say – if someone ever wants my autograph then I have probably done something wrong. I don’t know. I’m just working on this.


  • Thing #2 Signalling – I have written about this before here but I am still fascinated with signalling theory. Talk to Pam or the boys and they will say that I talk about this all the time. Why? Well because it is all around us. What we wear, drive, eat. Where we live, visit, avoid. So much of this is about signalling. We are signalling that we are part of or not part of groups. Pam and I just had an interesting conversation concerning some of the health food/supplement thingies and also the minimalist movements probably coming out of an unexpressed desire to signal that you are a part of one group and not another. Face it, some of the minimalist and supplement crap I see can only be done but someone who is pretty well off. Maybe it is just another way of saying “I’m not poor” without thinking you sound like a jerk. Signalling is really all around us and I am convinced that many things that we think are important have more to do with signalling than they do our actual values.

Pastoral Ministry & Neo-Calvinism and Mega-Churches

I’m sitting here beside Pam as she watches the Academy Awards (I can’t really say that I am watching it because I am really just here because I like her and she likes the Oscars) and I am wondering if New-Calvinism and megachurch mindsets are killing pastoral ministry. Both seem to put all the focus of importance on a pastor’s preaching to the exclusion of pastors actually being involved in the lives and needs of their parishioners. I am wonder if Neo-Calvinism does this because of a mindset that right belief is all that matters (possibly a little Gnosticism here) and therefore preaching becomes the best thing a minister can do for his/her people, and in the megachurch because there isn’t enough time for the preacher to be involved in people’s lives. I believe this is why I run into pastors who brag about spending 30 hours a week in sermon preparation and not having any time to really spend with the people of the church. I’m not sure if this is really true or not, it is just something I am considering while I also wonder how many awards Mad Max: Fury Road is going to win.

It Was A Long Day Today

I am regularly with people when they are in the midst of pain. I’m not sure that I would say that it is a typical part of my normal day, but it is definitely a common part of my week. Most of the time I just bear with it and feel honored that I get to be a part of God bringing comfort to someone who is hurting. I would never say these circumstances are something that I have grown used to, because the pain is always visibly fresh for those going through it and I can feel it with them. Still being with people during their most difficult most is a part of being a minister and it is a role that I am privileged to get to play.

Still I have to say that the most difficult pain for me to be with someone during is the pain of a lost pregnancy. Other circumstances might affect other people more powerfully but there is something about the loss of the baby that you have been hoping for that really gets me. The only time I have ever completely lost it as a minister in the midst of someone’s pain was once with two church members who were going through the delivery of their still born child. I just sat there and sobbed with them.

I feel like fertility issues taint hope and I think that is part of why the pain affects me so strongly. Anything that is able to turn a period of hope into a a period of dred is horrific. I believe that infertility issues do just that. They attempt to destroy the hope that should be involved in the possibility of new life.

I really like some of what Miroslav Volf has written concerning the struggles (including his personal struggle) of infertility. You can read one of his articles here titled “The Gift of Infertility.” He talks about the pain of his familiy’s struggle to have children and how the adoption of his boys didn’t do away with but changed the pain. Without the pain and struggle he wouldn’t have had his boys who he now couldn’t imagine being without. I believe his thought helps to show how God can overcome and transmute the pain of miscarriages & infertility. I love that word transmute because it involves taking something and turning it into something else. It recognizes the real pain but says that God is able to change the nature and substance of that pain into something else. Something good.

Still I would never bring up Volf’s words in the actual moment of the pain because I believe the pain is too raw when you are in the midst of the D & C or the realization of the loss of the baby you had been hoping for. In the moment I am just there to share the pain. No words. Just presence. I think being with them in the midst of their struggle helps but they would have to be the ones who say if it actually does help or not. I believe we can face most things when we know we aren’t alone. Seems like that is a part of the gospel of Christ. Still for some reason sharing the pain of infertility taxes me more than any other pain. If it helps those who are going through the actual loss then whatever it taxes me is worth it. Their struggle is what really matters.

It was a long day today but an ever so much longer day for those whose pain I shared.

31 Days/2 – Duck Calls & Decoys

You might not know this but duck decoys don’t respond to ducks calls. I know this from experience because this afternoon I spent an hour and fifteen minutes calling a duck that was about two hundred yards away from me. The spot I like to hunt is close to a small dam and as you get close to the dam the current gets a little faster. Apparently the mallard liked the current because it moved around and dove in the same spot that entire time I was there. Yet no matter how much, or well, I called I couldn’t get a response from him. That’s because decoys don’t respond to duck calls. They don’t have the ability to hear the calls no matter how loud you call. I didn’t discover the mentioned duck was someone’s lost decoy until I was packing up and decide at the very least I would scare the stupid duck away from the spot it seemed to love so much. Seems decoys don’t scare either, so it didn’t move. Good news is that I know where I will be picking up a free decoy tomorrow.

Dad’s Obituary

Since the local newspaper only keeps obituaries online for a year I thought I would post dad’s obituary here on my blog. Also for those who want to attend dad’s memorial it will be Monday, October 19th at 6 p.m. at Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 9700 Celeste Rd, Saraland, AL with visitation an hour before the memorial.

Here is the obituary that Mom, Ken, Pam, and I wrote for dad:

Jun 5, 1944 – Oct 14, 2015 Floyd (“Buddy”) Bernard Terrell, 71, died peacefully at home in Saraland, AL on October 14, 2015 surrounded by his family. Floyd was born on June 5, 1944 in Monroe, Louisiana, the second child and only son of C.F. Terrell and Ruth Windsor Terrell Ezzell. His sister, Lynn Terrell Case Longshore preceded him in death earlier this year. Floyd grew up in Montgomery, AL and was a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School. After a stint in the Navy he married the love of his life, Evelyn Sansom Terrell. He worked in sales in various fields until 20 years ago he found his professional home at Bay Paper in Mobile, AL and retired(ish) in 2006. Floyd enjoyed being an active member of the Mobile Mustang Club, fishing, and previously served on the Kushla Water Board.

Those who knew and loved Floyd, know that he had much wisdom to share including life lessons such as these: You can say you hate cats and still feed & adopt half the strays in the area. When your wife reads a lot, you get to control the TV remote. Breakfast with friends is a great way to start every day, therefore, two breakfasts with friends is even better. Helping your son put a moonroof in his Ford Pinto is a terrifying but wonderful thing. When your child is in trouble help them first, but don’t forget to chew them out later. You can solve most of the problems you face in life with a pen, band-aid, pocket knife, and a quarter. Why buy something that you can make Always ask for a better deal. Making friends of all the people around you is the right thing to do, which just so happens to lead to lots of great deals. Be more valuable to your company than your paycheck. It is better to be the person helping to get something done, than it is the person complaining about it not being done.

Floyd is survived by Evelyn, his wife of 50 years, his sons Robert Adam Terrell (Pam) of Wisconsin and Kenneth Bernard Terrell of Colorado, 7 grandchildren, and friends from all walks of life. A memorial service will take place at Forest Lawn Funeral Home (9700 Celeste Rd, Saraland) at 6 pm on Monday, October 19. The family will receive visitors before the memorial. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society .

God As Word For Those With Language Disorders

Just a random thought so not a real post but, technically, an aside. Pam and I keep talking through the idea of whether or not people with language disorders understand the biblical idea of God doing so much through speaking and God the Son being described as the Word differently than those who do not have such language disorders. God speaking and being the Word are major themes that are found throughout the Bible. God speaks and creation happens. Jesus speaks and a man who is paralyzed is healed even though he is far away. God’s language is so much a part of Him that one of Jesus’s title is the Word, the Logos.

How is the realization of that truth affected by language disorders? Certain communication disorder affect a person’s very ability to understand language. i.e. language disorders. I don’t mean issues of fluency, articulation, and voice problems, which are speech issues. Language issues are a different matter and Pam and I find ourselves wonder how these language disorders affect the way people with them perceive and understand the God who speaks and is the Word.

Hopefully, if I post enough about this she will do some research concerning the question. ;) She has the opportunity to do some really cool research to present to ASHA and other organizations.