Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Government run health care?

No one is arguing whether people should have health care needs met. Why bother debating whether it is a right? No decent person wants to see people who are sick be ignored and left to die or suffer.

The real issue is which institution will do the best job of delivering those services. Another factor (way too many people now disregard) is what does the Constitution say. Even if we throw the Constitution away (I know---I'm supposed to read between the lines so I can find justification for anything) we still have the question about which institution would do the best job of providing health care services.

Serious problems do indeed exist in all systems. We live in a fallen and imperfect world. My lack of confidence in government's ability to solve these problems is not just based on my experience in Alabama. For every one example of a successful government run program I could give a dozen examples of failures. I have to get ready for work soon, though, and I cannot afford to take a day of leave to start making that list here.

We are giving in to the ideas and principals that we as a country have sacrificed, bled, and died fighting against. America is giving up more personal freedom and personal responsibility every day in exchange for a promise by the government to solve a problem. Oh, and it's not just the Democrats. GW Bush was the one of the worst we ever had to do that. We already have a quasi-government run system. The government part is the least effective part too.

Here's a question: Which large country, similar in size and scope to the US, has a government-run health care system that you all think is better than our current system? Here is another question: What services do you all believe that the government currently does a very good and efficient job providing? It wouldn't take me very long to answer those questions.

Why do people put so much faith, hope, and confidence in an institution with such a poor track record as the government. Last I checked, the approval rating for Congress is in the 20's and the President's isn't much higher. Yet we want them to govern every aspect of our health care?

According to our Founders, our number one "right" is the right to life. The government's job is to protect it. I will give the government of the United States an "F" in protecting the right to life until abortion is at least against the law. We are killing babies hand over fist. Until the government can figure out a way to make that stop, or at least go way down, I have no confidence in the government providing me health care.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We have come a long way...



I was driving to my meeting in Montgomery a few weeks ago and happened upon this station by accident. It was a poignant moment for me. As the song was playing I reflected on the struggles this city and this great state have been through relative to civil rights. We have come a long way. And we have a long way to go. But our country needs to remember that civil rights has its real foundation in Biblical truth.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I AM THANKFUL:

FOR THE WIFE WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGS TONIGHTBECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.
FOR THE HUSBAND WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO,BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.
FOR THE TEENAGER WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHESBECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME, NOT ON THE STREETS.
FOR THE TAXES I PAY BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM EMPLOYED .
FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTYBECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.
FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.
FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING, WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING, AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME
FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
FOR THE PARKING SPOT I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOTBECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKINGAND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.
FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILLBECAUSE IT MEANS I AM WARM.
FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH WHO SINGS OFF KEY BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR. FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR. FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD. FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Independence Day



Lee Greenwood performed his song, "God Bless the USA" in 1985 at the CMA awards show in Nashville, Tennessee. He won the CMA "Song of the Year" award in 1985.

God Bless The U.S.A.
by Lee Greenwood


If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I'd thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I'm proud to be and American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

A random thought....

I am fortunate enough to remember being taken to the free movies for "patrol boys" in the fifth grade.

This video captures that memory well.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A trip back to 1985...



Part 2:


Part 3


This is the actual play by play call of the end of the Stars' SL Championship victory over the Charlotte Orioles. Rick Davis was the announcer for WFIX Huntsville and WFMH Cullman.

1985 Huntsville Stars 78 - 66
SOUTHERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

Southern League baseball came to Huntsville in 1985 with the Stars winning the league championship in their first season. The team had several stars, the first of which was Southern League MVP Jose Canseco. "Jose Parkway" hit .318 with 25 homers and 80 RBI's in just 58 games before being called up to Tacoma and then Oakland. 1B Rob Nelson led the team with 32 homers, still a franchise single season record, and 98 RBI. Stan Javier stole 61 bases and scored 105 runs, Luis Polonia hit 18 triples and scored 82 runs, and Terry Steinbach hit .272 and had 72 RBI.

The pitching staff included Tim Belcher (led the team with 11 wins), Todd Burns, who only made 4 starts but was 3 - 1 with a 1.19 era, Wayne Giddings (49 games, 12 saves), Pete Kendrick (6-4 but with 5 complete games and 2.45 era), Eric Plunk (8-2), Greg Cadaret, and Bill Mooneyham (2-1, 1.98).

But it was Rocky Coyle (.282-5-25) who won the hearts of all Stars fans with his charisma and hustling style of play, and it was Rocky Coyle who hit a solo home run in the 9th inning of the 5th and deciding game of the Southern League championship series, giving the franchise it's first league title.

Roster:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/roster...

Statistics:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/statis...

Team page on Baseballcube.com:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/statis...

I have been a Stars fan since their inception in 1985. My Dad and I hoped Huntsville would get a minor league team throughout my childhood years. When it finally happened, Dad bought us season tickets the first few summers.

The Stars have quite a history, all of which is documented on the excellent "Baseball Cube" website. Anything you want to know about the Stars' history can be found there.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Southbound, headed for a wreck

Recently as I drove north up the interstate I heard on the radio that there was a terrible wreck involving two trucks to my south. The announcer was advising southbound travelers that they should exit and detour to keep from being stuck in traffic. All southbound traffic was halted and being rerouted by law enforcement. As I continued northbound I saw numerous vehicles in the southbound lane. Most of them were unaware that they were just a few miles away from a traffic jam that would change the course of their day. Some of them would likely be stranded for hours. I saw 18-wheelers who were on a strict time schedule. There were probably people going to work, doctor appointments, visiting family, going to the beach, job interviews, classes, and many other things. Many of these people would be late, miss opportunities, lose money, and have disappointments due to the terrible accident that happened a few miles in front of them. That is to say nothing about the impact the accident had on the people involved in it directly.

One thing most, if not all of these folks had in common was that they were clueless. They had no idea that they were going down the “wrong” road. As I drove northward, part of me wanted to pull over and make a sign and hold it up to the people heading south to warn them of the impending problem so that they would turn around and find a better route. I felt so helpless not being able to do anything about it. Then I thought about this as a metaphor about life. As a Bible-believing Christian, I know from God’s Word that there is one any only one road that leads to heaven. That “road” is Jesus Christ. In John 14:6, He said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The road of life is like an interstate. There are lanes going to heaven and lanes headed toward hell. There are not as many on the road to heaven. Those of us on that road are there by the grace of almighty God. We may get out of our lane, take an exit, or get temporarily stalled on the side of the road. But, fortunately, we are going the right way. Our destination is sure and it will be awesome beyond our wildest imagination.

On the other hand, as we are on the road to heaven, we see many more “cars” heading south. Most of these people do not know what a terrible outcome awaits them. Some know but do not care. Some refuse to believe. Many are good people that are just going the wrong direction. The thing is, those of us that know we are on the right road never should forget that we have a responsibility to inform as many people as we can about the road conditions and show them the right way to go. To me this is one of the most difficult parts of being a Christian.

In what is commonly known as “The Great Commission”, Jesus said to His Disciples in Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Those of us heading north are supposed to proclaim and teach others about how to head “north” on life’s highway. We see people whom we know do not believe in Christ. We are unsure about where many others we know may stand. But if we know they are on the road to hell, or even think that they might be, is it not our duty and obligation to find ways of letting them know so that they will have an opportunity to avoid such peril? Of course it is. Logic dictates that but even more importantly Christ commands it.

I must confess I often feel like a failure at doing my part to fulfill the Great Commission. I have a tendency to be shy. I have a tendency to keep some matters private. I don’t like to offend people by telling them they are headed down the wrong road. I like to avoid confrontation and I try not to be too quick to judge. I am not creative in the way I communicate. I am not always as “full of the Holy Spirit” as I should be nor am I motivated by compassion and concern for the lost as I should be. Having said that, I have on many occasions and in many ways shared the “Good News” of salvation through Christ with others. I have usually and mostly lived a life reflective of what God has done. I suppose the fact that I am concerned enough to write this post indicates that I struggle with this and would like everyone to know God’s Way. I often pray for people, but not as often as I should.

One thing I do fairly often is think back to how some special people in my life saw me going south about 22 years ago. They gave me their unsolicited, but desperately needed time, energy, and attention. They listened to my arguments. They were patient and gave me the time and space to make my own decision. They framed the question so well that I knew the choice that I faced; that we all face. They suggested the place to go for the answer; the Holy Bible. God did the rest! I am very thankful they allowed themselves to be used in that way for my eternal benefit.

There are many reasons we should show people how to head north. Compassion, gratefulness, and the fact that God commands it all come to mind. In Mark 8:36, Jesus asked, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Doesn’t that sum it all up? We do so many things and are involved in so many activities. We read, we watch TV, we entertain ourselves. We spend our lives working, playing, and even helping other people. None of these things are necessarily evil or bad. But how much time and energy do we spend trying to help people turn around and head north? I can only answer for myself. I confess that I do not do it nearly enough.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fishing at Smith Lake for Spring Break


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

It was a beautiful weather day at Smith Lake Thursday for fishing. No, it was not a good day for actually catching fish. We were there for 9 or 10 hours and the fish caught more of us than we caught of them. I say that because Matt gave us all a big scare when he leaned into the water to get his hook untangled and he fell into the water. The boys said the never saw me run so fast. Another gentleman was closer and pulled him out. Prior to that David severely bruised one of his toes by walking around barefoot on the dock and hitting it on a metal tie back.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do you hate Hillary Clinton?

My good friend Sharp recently mentioned an article in Christianity Today entitled, "Hating Hillary". In the editorial, the author equates jokes, marketing, and satire with personal hate. I think it is possible as a Christian to love someone, especially a public figure, while at the same time making fun of their politics or persona. God has called us to love our enemies, not to like them.

Franky, in some ways, she is my enemy. She is a politician who actively promotes things that are adverse and offensive to my world view as a Christian. This is not only true on economic issues, upon which many Christians can have honest disagreement. It is mainly true on social issues. God is not a Republican, but I believe with my whole heart that He is pro life. I also do not believe that He is for gay "marriage" either. Everything I have read in the Bible tells me this is so. I could go into many more issues.

This article accuses some Christians of using Hillary's status as an "enemy" in order to create "a feeling of mutuality among those with whom we share dislike. The factions created around enemies may even bear a far-off resemblance to true community." I disagree strongly. I know of no such organization, formal or informal. I think we already have communities of evangelicals, called churches, whose membership is usually fairly like-minded in their world views. Senator Clinton came along later, spouting views that are diametrically opposed to those views.

The article goes on to say that, "vitriolic language directed at political figures does not, to use the Pauline metaphor, attract others with 'the aroma of Christ.'" Of course not! It is not designed to do that. Does cheering at a football game, singing at a concert, or laughing at a play attract others to Christ? Probably not, but I think that activity is permissible!

I believe God calls our politicians to be honest, especially those who claim to be Christian. I believe He calls them to take a strong stand for eternal moral truths that are contained in the Bible. I believe that He expects politicians to look at their office as an opportunity to serve, not as a grab for personal power. Everything I have seen, heard, and read tells me that Hillary Clinton does not even attempt to meet these high standards. No one can be perfect, but I at least want a President that understands the importance of these things and makes a valiant attempt to live up to these ideals.

I don't hate Senator Clinton. I just hate what she represents. And I hate the way she represents it. I think most evangelicals hate those things, but not her as a human being. I think the vast majority can make that distinction. Hating sin and hating her ideas does not equate to hating her.

I hate the fact that she lied about her trip to Bosnia. She said it proves she is "human." I say it is yet another in a mile long string of lies. But way more than that I hate the way she "lies" about how her ideas will help this country. She has not shown how socialized medicine will work here. She makes outlandish claims about crises that we are not having. If one does not agree with her socialist/liberal agenda, she seems to treat them like an ignorant backwoods snake handler.

I hate the fact that she sends her daughter out to campaign and work for her and then whine that she is asked tough questions. Tuesday Chelsea Clinton was asked whether her mother's credibility had been hurt during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She replied, "I do not think that is any of your business." I think that it is. I think questions about a candidate's credibility are very much our business. They are wanting us to "hire" them, right? If Chelsea can't handle the heat, she should stay out of the kitchen. I would. To me, if you want to lead the free world, or campaign for someone who does, then put up with it or shut up.

Most of all, I hate her support for abortion on demand. Is it all right as a Christian to hate abortion, lack of personal responsibility in leaders, condescension, socialism, liberalism, and lying? Sure it is! These are moral issues, ideas and character traits, not people.

Finally, we are told in this article that the most courageous thing we could do this year is love Hillary. I already do that, and it takes little or no courage. I want Senator Clinton to know Christ as her Savior and Lord. I want her to be blessed personally and professionally as she does that.

The most courageous thing we could do as Christians this election season is take a firm stand for eternal moral truths. We should write about them, talk about them, and live them out. We should even do it if (in so doing) we are branded as haters by others. That is courage!

I Dreamed About Jesus

By Parker and Evelyn McDonald...

Just a Little Talk With Jesus

From 1989: Evelyn & Parker McDonald and your's truly in 1989....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mamaw's story from 9/4/88

This is one of my favorite memories of Evelyn McDonald....

Sad news

I just got the call from David. "Mamaw" passed away this morning at 6:30.

I say "sad". I know she is not sad now! It's just a selfish sadness for those of us she loves.

Thanks, Lord, for letting me say goodbye, for now.

Obituary From the Cullmann Times:
Funeral services for Evelyn Ruth McDonald, 91, of Cullman will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at Moss-Service Funeral Home Chapel, with interment in Bethlehem Cemetery. Officiants will be the grandsons of Mrs. McDonald.

Moss-Service Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. McDonald passed away on Sunday, March 23, at Cullman Regional Medical Center. She was born on Sept. 4, 1916, in Cullman County to George and Alta Grimmett.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Parker McDonald; a son, Jerry McDonald; three brothers, Arnold, Bill and Don Grimmett; and a sister, Helen Dickerson.

Survivors include four daughters, Mary Ruth (Henry) Knight of Birmingham, Janice (Larry) Gambrill of Cullman and Paula (Ben) Knighten, both of Cullman, and Gail (Frankie) Wilkins of Helicon; a daughter-in-law, Celeta McDonald of Walker County; two brothers, G.W. (Faye) Grimmett of Blount County and Windell Grimmett of Cullman; three sisters, Rosalee Lynn of Pell City, Allene (Odis) Ponder of Cold Springs and Carmen Davidson of Birmingham; 16 grandchildren, Tony (Anita) Knight of Tuscaloosa, Terry (Pam) Knight, Pam (Barry) Todd, Sandra (Curtis) Garrison, Larry Gambrill Jr., all of Birmingham, Laura Oliver of Vinemont, Tim (Lori) Turney of Jacksonville, Fla., Angela Carroll of Kennesaw, Ga., Gina (Jeff) Bishop and Bobby Childers Jr., both of Dodge City,Teresa (Ricky) Bartlett and Lisa Childers, both of Cullman, Kim (Ronnie) Overton of Crane Hill, Darron McDonald of Wilsonville, Brent (Dana) McDonald and Ben (Lori) McDonald, both of Empire; four stepgrandchildren, Ann Carter of Florida, Chris Wilkins of Birmingham, Ginger (Norman) Bacate of Good Hope and Angela (Michael) Day of Holly Pond; and 27 great-grandchildren.

Visitation was Monday.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My little tribute to a great lady


The sky I wish Mamaw could have enjoyed at 6:45 p.m. tonight, just before I saw her for the last time....

There is a precious lady that tonight needs your prayers. She is one of my favorite people in the world, and has been ever since I first met her 20 years ago. Evelyn McDonald is the grandmother of my ex-wife. She is 91 and tonight she is in the hospital with a severe illness that is attacking her body, but not her precious spirit.

Do you believe in unconditional love? Do you believe that a life best-lived is the life that is centered around meeting the needs of others, rather than self? Do you believe in being positive when everything and everyone else around you is negative? Can a person do that while maintaining a healthy sense of humor? Do you believe that a human, other than Jesus Himself, can exemplify these characteristics? I do. I have seen it lived out beautifully in the life of Evelyn McDonald.

I am hesitant to even write for publication some of the things that she put up with. I don't like saying negative things about people. One of the things that she lived through, though, was the death of her only son. He was driving home from work after working way too long, and he fell asleep at the wheel. This happened in the early 1970's. I think she still grieves his passing. Her husband, when they were in their 70's, was unfaithful. Some would have told her to let him go. She continued to believe in him and hold out for him. She refused to completely reject the love of her life. When he decided to get his life right, guess who was there for him in his time of need? Guess who took care of him when he was on his deathbed? You guessed it!

If there was a family member or friend down on their luck, or just in need of a smile, laugh, company, or an encouraging word, where did they go? Where did people go to laugh, sing, and feel "at home"? That would be the home of Evelyn McDonald.

How do you respond when you learn that your granddaughter is getting divorced from a man that you love and respect? What if he is accused of heinous things that are not even true? I don't know what Evelyn thought, but I know one thing. She treated me with as much love as ever before. She never blamed anyone. She just loved and accepted people, no matter what. What is wrong with that? She didn't even seem to waste her time getting to the bottom of things or getting into who was right and who was wrong. She seemed to have the sense that everyone needed to be loved and treated with as much respect as possible. And she does love!

Tonight I went back. I went to visit Evelyn in the hospital. She has been in and out of consciousness. She can barely speak. She seems to have a hard time recognizing everyone and what is going on around her. She keeps saying, "OK" over and over, as if she is talking to someone and doing something for them. That is not surprising! That was her lifestyle: giving.

The first time I was by her bedside tonight, she looked into my eyes and seemed to light up with recognition, but didn't say anything. She just reached for my hand. I held her hand for a while and told her that I love her. There were a lot of people who came to visit her. I stepped out of the room for a little while and spent some time with my sons David and Matt. Joe was spending the night at his friend's house. David stayed up all night with his mom last night at the hospital. He was supportive and has turned into a young man. I was proud of him. Both he and Matt drank vanilla jungle coffee. I digress.

I felt strongly led to go visit Evelyn one more time. Almost as soon as I came in the room, she saw me. She said, "Mike!" loud and clear. I immediately went to her side, hugged her, told her I loved her, and said, "hang in there". I didn't know what to say other than I wanted her to hear how much I love and respect her. She pulled her oxygen mask off and my ex-wife's sister said, "She wants to kiss you!" I put my cheek up to her so she could and I kissed her back on the cheek and forehead. I hugged her.

I am so glad I went to see her! I am not good at going to hospitals. I am like a fish out of water. This was not easy for me to do at first, but I felt an overwhelming urging from the Lord in my heart that gave me an unusual desire to do it.

Before I left I prayed and prayed. I wanted to be a special blessing to her. I realized I had a unique opportunity. Not because there is anything particularly special about me. I just realized that few people have the ex husband of one of their grandchildren come and visit them like that to tell them they love them. Usually there are a host of reasons why that would not happen. I even struggled with that a little bit. I wondered who would be there and what would they think of me based on the things they have been told. I decided my love and respect for this great lady trumped anythings else.

We all have a tendency to think that great people are famous people. There is no denying that many great people become famous because of their greatness. Most great people don't become famous. One of the greatest is Evelyn McDonald.

茉莉花

I was part of a group who sang "Mo Li Hua" or "Jasmine Flowers" and "Amazing Grace" at the Chinese New Year Festival at the University of Alabama in February 1992.

This is what it was like to be in the audience.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

What a loser!

I will admit I have been concerned about Barack Hussein Obama. Why does he hate people to refer to his middle name, anyway? But I really didn't know exactly what he believed until yesterday, other than the fact that he has the most liberal voting record in Congress. I also know he is the least experienced candidate for President in either party.

Obama is a slick speaker, talking about "hope" "change" and various other nebulous, feel-goodisms. He has fooled so many people that Republicans I know say he is not as liberal as Hillary. Check his voting record!

People have spread lies saying that he was a Muslim, which were easily debunked. Now we all know what he believes. His 'pastor' for the last 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, gave him the title for his book and performed his marriage ceremony. Obama said that his church is not controversial and defended his so called "social gospel".

This is pure, unadulterated hatred. There is nothing at all in this message that resembles my blessed savior, Jesus Christ, who told us to beware of false teachers. Everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will not enter the gates of heaven.

I wouldn't vote for Obama for anything, except to say if you don't love this country, you are free to leave it! His pastor is a loser and since Obama supported him for 20 years until he retired, Obama is guilty by association. I am embarassed that my state voted for this clown!

This is some of the most vocal opinionated stuff that I have ever written on this blog, but don't take my word for it, listen and decide for yourself!







Saturday, February 16, 2008

I've been tagged...

Tammy has asked that I give a response to this blog post. I appreciate her asking, but I have struggled coming up with a list. I need to name 7 weird or strange things about myself.

I have been thinking about this for over a week. I even polled my boys. Their responses mainly focused on body noises.

1. My extreme interest in the weather. I have been a weather geek for at least 34 years. Nothing can illustrate why this is number one on my list better than this link. Numbers two through seven could easily be "weather" too. When bad weather threatens, you'll just have to excuse me. It is almost an obsession to learn about, observe, study, predict, and review. The number one topic of discussion in the world is weather. But, if you ask me 'how's the weather', look out! You better really want the answer!

2. My tendency to never give up is legendary. This can be good or bad. Do not tell me something cannot be done. I will die trying to prove you wrong if it is something or someone I believe in. I have been burned by this one: giving people second, third, and more chances to do the right thing. I have been severely used and abused by this on more than one occasion. Faithfulness is good, if it doesn't turn into foolishness. You know the song, "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears? It is a good soundtrack to #1 and #2 for me!


3. I am known as a "founding father". I was even called a "legend" when I told a college student at a campus ministry reunion my name. Actually I was just a regular guy placed by God in a really cool place at a really cool time. The Bible refers to believers as a "peculiar" people. I am a believer, and as a result, certain aspects of my life have certainly been unconventional. I do not feel compelled to follow the crowd. The journey of a person who tries to live by faith in Christ is hardly "normal".

My best memories of this aspect of my life were my college days. I was a new Christian and very hungry for learning, growing, and being discipled in the faith. Through a cool series of friendships I was introduced to a man with a vision, Al Baker. His vision was to claim the University of Alabama campus for Christ. Talk about ambitious! His first meeting as the new pastor of the Chi Alpha campus ministry was a radical call to discipleship. A nice sized group of well-churched college students attended. Then there were these other two guys named Greg and Mike who were new to this whole thing. Al told us, from scripture, that everything about us belonged to God. Time, money, you name it. He told us that God sent us to the University of Alabama for greater things than getting an education. He said God placed us there to be witnesses, make disciples, worship Him, and to fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. I knew that he was right.

Greg and I survived this "call". Evidently this was not the type of fellowship the others wanted. I could write about this forever, but God did some amazing things in our midst. But first we had our second meeting. Al, his wife Heather, Greg, and I were the only four in attendance. We packed it up and headed to Shoneys. It was the beginning of a lasting spiritual journey for numerous students from all over the world. I am proud to be known as a "founding father" of an awesome group of people. Only Heaven will reveal some of the amazing things God did in our midst. There are many people I loved dearly from this group that I haven't seen since college days. My friends have taken many different roads. I have friends who have struggled severely with sins that have taken a toll. I have other friends who have served God mightily in the ministry. I have other friends that are serving God powerfully through their families, churches, and workplaces. I love them all.

---

I think I took so long starting this because I knew how much I would get into detail.

Is that number 4? Probably!


4. I asked Joe and Matt, who happen to be sitting with me now for some help. They are playing Xbox while I update this blog. David is still sleeping. Anyway, Joe said that I like sports so much makes me a little on the weird side. Actually, I really do like some sports, but Matt pointed out that he and his brothers know more about some sports, like the NFL, more than I do. I tend to focus intensely on the ones that I like the most and not pay much attention to the others.

5. I am a fairly intelligent guy but my kids know way more than I when it comes to some things, such as animals. I just asked them for a few tidbits of animal knowledge. They could go on all day on that subject...
Koalas are picky eaters and only eat gum tree leaves
Possums have pouches like kangaroos
African elephants have bigger ears than Asian elephants
Crocodiles have 30 eggs per year but only one out of six live
Raccoons like to eat dog food
Joe's dog Lou likes to eat Ol' Roy dog food
Joe' dog is part basset hound and part beagle
Lou ate an aluminum cola can and survived without any signs of problems
Asian elephants help their owners drag logs and do other work

6. Matt said that I call people weird nicknames. Matt has been called "Ryno", I have called David "Gooseneck" when he was a toddler. I called them all "Boog" (the short version of booger), with the short 'u' sound. Matt said now we are getting into the personal stuff. I have plenty of other examples, especially when they were younger.

7. Matt had a great idea, I think! He said that you, the reader, can vote for number seven by making a comment!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mobile phone tracker...

This is kinda scary, it found me!

This is interesting... Just click on the link, enter someone's cell phone number, and the satellite map will show you where they are. It's called 'mobile phone tracker' and was first put to use to aid 911 responders. Using a satellite map track any connected mobile phone with coverage anywhere in the world.

To give it a try log on to http://www.satellite-gps-locator.com

PS: Works on your home phone also. Tracks right to your address and shows which end of house you are closest to. House phone must be off hook for this to work. Cell phone just needs to be turned on for it to find its location.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

A precious boy just turned nine. As is my tradition (that I got from my Mom) I asked this boy how it felt to be nine. Rather than the standard answer, "Just the same as eight felt yesterday," he had another response. He didn't actually answer the question.

He said, "I just had my first fart as a nine year-old."

I said, "Well.......how did it feel?"

"Great!" was his reply...

I will share this with his girlfriend someday.

Enough said.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

December 2007 with my family....

www.rickandbubba.com

I have listened to Rick and Bubba for 10 years now. It is amazing the spiritual maturity that has taken place in their lives during that time. They have always been very open about their lives on that show and as their faith has grown they have become more and more outspoken about their relationships with God. As much as I like Christian radio, I enjoy their program more because they keep things so "real" and do not sugar coat their lives. I am quite certain that they have impacted countless people for Christ over the years through their program. I think this tragedy, however, is something that satan meant for evil but that God is turning it around for good (as He always does) and causing numerous people to evaluate their own relationship with Christ. The message was not only a challenge to non-believers, but maybe even more a challenge to those of us who tend to become "lukewarm" in our faith. And we know what God said in Revelations 3 about lukewarm believers.

Listen to Rick's challenging and inspirational message here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The faith of a hurting family

Quotes from Rick Burgess regarding the death of his precious two year old son, Bronner.

Satan made a huge mistake attacking my family. He miscalculated greatly.

So many lives have already been changed because of the appointment God had with him.

The biggest injustice you can do to my son, to my family, to God, is to leave here unchanged.

Bronner is in the care of the only Father who loves him more than me, the Father who he really belongs to.

Satan you have kicked up a can of worms

The fight is on.

Bronner Burgess

From Rick and Bubba...

"We ask that you bathe Rick, Sherri, and the entire Burgess family in prayer as they deal with the loss of their youngest son, Bronner Burgess. We all are grieving together in this terrible loss. The Burgess's want to give all Honor and Glory to GOD for the many blessings He has given us, especially the life of Bronner Burgess. And while we do not understand, we know who is in charge and His will be done in life and in death."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sad news from Rick and Bubba

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

PRAY!

Bronner BurgessOn January 19, 2008, Bronner (Cornbread) Burgess, the two-year-old son of Rick Burgess drowned, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. Bronner Burgess loss is a tragedy that no one should suffer.

Shelby County deputies and North Shelby Fire and Emergency Medical personnel responded to a house in Indian Springs Village around 7:30 p.m. and discovered William Bronner Burgess had fallen into a pool.

Exhaustive medical efforts were unsuccessful to save Bronner Burgess' life and the child was pronounced dead at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, according to the sheriff's department.

Bronner Burgess was the son of the radio personality Rick Burgess, co-host of The Rick and Bubba Show (www.rickandbubba.com). Sadly, the Burgess junior had died , announced a message on the show's website. The cause of 2-year-old Bronner Burgess' death was not elaborated in the announcement:

We ask that you bathe Rick, Sherri, and the entire Burgess family in prayer as they deal with the loss of their youngest son, Bronner Burgess.

We all are grieving together in this terrible loss.

The Burgess's want to give all Honor and Glory to GOD for the many blessings He has given us, especially the life of Bronner Burgess. And while we do not understand, we know who is in charge and His will be done in life and in death.

At the current time, the arrangements and specifics are unknown. As more information becomes available, we will pass them along. To send your condolences to the family, please send those to prayers@rickandbubba.com.

May God bless Bronner Burgess and give patience to his parents and family members. This is very sad and our hearts are broken to hear and report this news.

About 300 children under the age of 5 drown each year in U.S. swimming pools. At the time of such incidents, most victims were being supervised by one or both parents. Nearly 70 percent of the children were not expected to be near the pool when they were found in the water, read the report from Mayo Clinic.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clanton's Peach water tower sunset





Last night on my way home from Montgomery I stopped and took these photos of the sunset at the peach water tower in Clanton. It was built in 1992 by the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. It is 120 feet high and holds over 500,00 gallons of water. The tank was built upon 114.7 yards of concrete with 11,550 pounds of steel. The weight of the tank without the water is 349,000 pounds and when water is added, the weight adds another 4,186,000 pounds to the structure. The tank is built to withstand 100 MPH winds. It is located at 7th St. South, Clanton, AL, just off Exit 212 (Highway 145) off I-65.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Catching up from the holdays and such...



I've had a busy but fun holiday. I had the boys from Wednesday December 19- Christmas Day. My sister flew down and arrived on Sunday the 23rd and stayed until December 30th. The boys had several "Christmases" in terms of gifts. I let them open gifts a few days before Christmas and then they got to open presents at my parent's house on Christmas Eve. Of course they did the same with their Mom's family the week after Christmas. As always my Mom made a great Christmas dinner. My sister continued her interviewing of my Dad to learn more about our family history.

I watched the Patriots game to see them become the first team in NFL history to go 16-0 in the regular season but I did watch a little Penn State and Paterno win yet another bowl game.
Of course I enjoyed the Crimson Tide's victory over Colorado in the Independence Bowl. I watched the first half with my Dad and the second half with my Mom. My Dad decided to go to bed at halftime and he said that if Colorado came back and won he wouldn't want to see that anyway. It almost happened. Bama had a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter hand had to hold on to win 30-24.

On New Year's Day I unexpectedly got the chance to get the boys and we went to the theater to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks, which was cute.

Thursday we had basketball practice. While the youngest two practiced, I defeated my 14 year old and his friend for the umpteenth time in a game of "21" by a score of 21-4-0. or something like that. Then David and I played against his friend and his friend's dad. We should have won because we were blowing them out but we lost our intensity and let them come back and beat us by one point. We had Dominoes Pizza that night. They talked me into getting the large Brooklyn style rather than the 3 mediums for $15. We should have gotten the three mediums because one large just isn't enough for the four of us.

We had a good weekend this weekend. Friday night we went to Tuscaloosa and watched the Tide defeat Chicago State 93-79. The best part was that David got to shoot free throws at halftime in a contest to win an Xbox 360. He did really well against a boy who was probably a coaches son or something because he was helping the team. They tied after the first round and were really tied after the second round. But the other boy shot one about 5 seconds after time was up and they awarded the prize to him because the teams had to get back on the court. I was more nervous than David. he said that he was "a little" nervous. It was so cool to hear Bama announcer Tony Giles calling my son's name out over the PA system. I regret that I forgot to save the game on my DVR because he might have been on TV. They competed during a time out about half way through the second half of the game.

On the way home I told Matt that he could choose somewhere for his birthday dinner. Of course he chose the Cracker Barrel. We stopped at the one on Academy Drive in Bessemer. While David and Matt went to the restroom I asked the waitress (who happened to be a cousin of Demetrius Jemison, one of Alabama's basketball players) if they could sing for Matt's birthday. She said most of their singers were gone but she would try to work out something. Little did I know that Matt overheard the conversation as he hid behind the partition on his way back from the bathroom. We were 'wowed' by what happened next. A young man with one of the best voices I have ever heard came out and sang happy birthday to Matt acapella. It was so cool! After he left I told the boys he should try out for American idol because he could easily be the next Reuben Studdard. Lo and behold our waitress came back and told us to look for him in a few weeks on American idol. His name is Walter Blair.

Yesterday we had basketball games all afternoon. Matt's team won their first game of the season so I took him to Dairy Queen for a banana split. Joe's team lost both games again but we celebrated anyway by eating chocolate chip cookies and watching "Facing the Giants". I love the inspiration that movie provides, especially from a Christian point of view. We will praise Him when we lose and we will praise him when we win. Lots of good lessons in that movie.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

"Things Left Unsaid"

...by Disciple:

Just a matter of time a few days ago,
I saw you you were fineRemembering what you said
About the book you read
The one I got you the begining of the end
Oh how we talked, for hours upon end
What I would give just to do it again
Your lying there in this hospital bed
Wont you open your eyes
And lets talk once again.
If you fly away tonight, I wanna tell you that I love.
I hope that you can hear me, I hope that you can feel me.
If you fly away tonight,
I wanna tell you that Im sorry,
That I never told you
When we were face to face.
Well Ive been here all night
And Im watching you
Breathe in and Breathe out
Is it really you or just a machine
Thats giving you life and
Making it seem that there could be hope
I could say it to your face?
If it werent for you then
There would be no grace
Thats covered my life.
You took the time to speak into my mind
And my harsh words were lies
If you fly away tonight
I wanna tell you that I love you
I hope that you can hear me
I hope that you can feel me
If you fly away tonight
I wanna tell you that
Im sorry
That I never told you
When we were face to face