Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Learning to pray

Prayer takes time, and we're to pray all day every day, without ceasing. I know the devil's a good devil, the best in the business, and I know he loves it when we don't pray, when we neglect it.

I'm learning; of all the things in the Bible the disciples asked for, the one thing they knew they needed to be taught was how to pray. They never said, "Father, teach us to preach" or to witness or to study the Bible. But the scripture does say that "He taught them to pray..."

No matter what my prayers will specifically be about today or tomorrow or in the next few days or hopefully years, after a few months or praying, I feel my best prayers will always be these, and my guess is many of you feel the same.

"God help me."

"Thank you Jesus."

And like the daddy of the demon-possessed little boy, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief."

And finally the prayer of the tax collector, who wouldn't even look up to heaven but beat his chest and prayed, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

Monday, July 27, 2009

Let's see here...

Read in the Saturday paper about a guy going to jail on 10 counts of attempted murder. I wouldn't worry about him escaping; he's a guy who can't finish ANYthing.

But even outside the jail, it was a tough weekend...

* Two suicides this week touched my inner circle. That's a rough deal, no matter who you are or what league you play in.

* Bro. Allen probably headed back to the Atlanta hospistal with fluid on his lungs, the second time this has happened after his heart surgery seven weeks ago. They should be able to fix him up but he's been battling. Not an easy thing to overcome and I'm proud of him.

* Sick as a dog Friday night; something I ate. (And they were vegetables, too. That hurts me.) Recovered and drove the tag-team duo Family von Frapp to Shreveport Saturday. Watched them team up for three pair of pants, two shirts, a lipstick and makeup foundation in a good-smelling store for less than 150 bucks, then ate a baked potato, dry, while they enjoyed steak and chicken as a husband and wife deserve to do. I can testify that the buttered bread was good.

* Up at 6 Sunday, drove to Lafayette, picked up JC Penney, drove to Lake Charles, funeral at 2 for Rico's son. Then graveside action while lightning zippered the battleship-gray sky; one person was very scared. (Me.) Tons of people there, tons of people at Rico's house afterward. Me and JC were the last to leave. Just us three for four hours; me and JC listened to Rico talk; I would have missed that for very few things. It really was a privilege to be there. Got home at 615 a.m., up at 9, work at 930. My fingers are sort of shaky. Talk to you later and I hope your night is good. Thanks for reading.

John 9:24-25
"Give glory to God," (the Pharisees) replied. "We know this man is a sinner."
"He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Staying Out of the Kitty Litter

(Thought about this the other day when I caught 30 minutes of the British Open, which unfortunately was the 30 minutes it took for Tom Watson to make a 7 on 17. Gotta love your Tom Watson.)

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” -- John 1:6

"Dying ain't no way to make a living." -- Clint Eastwood in "The Outlaw Josey Wales."

Beloved teaching golf pro Harvey Penick told this story of a beginner who wanted to practice getting out of the kitty litter, golf lingo for sand traps.

“We’ll practice that in time,” Penick told him. “But first I want to teach you how to stay OUT of sand traps.”

We all hit into hazards. Not enough club. One gets away. Bad swing. Sometimes we fail to look for traps at all, just swing away.

And wind up in trouble. In the kitty litter. In the he Archie Bunker. On the beach. In the sand trash.

In real life, the Bible calls this sin and tells us it’s always the problem. And it always hurts somebody. And dishonors God.

Remember how painful and uncomfortable and costly it can be to forgive? So why are we still choosing to put others in that difficult position, sinning against them and God, then begging for forgiveness, begging for help out of the trap? Maybe we should practice more to avoid the traps in the first place. God always provides a bail-out area, a safe place to hit it.

You talk about a great way to save everybody some trouble ... stop hitting it into the traps. Just stop. See that big green spot over there, that safe place? Hit it there. That's the land of friends and love and peace and joy. It's a place where a "good lie" is a good thing! It's a clear shot to the pin. It's how the hole was designed to be played. That big safe spot is a place where people smile and arms and hearts are open. And that's a beautiful thing. Life's hard enough, plenty, without fiddling around with the traps.

We can't lead sinless lives, but we can lead sin-less lives.

Here's a thought, one that scares me because I've been there: If we continue to walk in darkness, play a risky game, maybe we haven’t accepted God’s saving and cleansing grace after all. It's possible to not know what you're doing because you don't know what you're doing. Make sense? Think! That's not "you." Get out of there. Aim for that big green open spot. Aim for the light.

Our walking in the light as He is in the light puts lots of hot coal between us and the more disastrous, life-altering sins. We can be conformed -- by the renewing of our minds, by reading his Word, by prayer, by staying close to brothers and sisters in Christ. That's how you stay out of the Archie Bunkers. Who wants to hack it out of that?

The more we keep it out of the traps, the more we can reflect the nature of Jesus and the image of God to a world that longs for Light. Be quick to forgive, and don't put others in a positon of having to forgive over and over. Stay out of the traps. Play the game the way it was meant to be played. It's hard, it's not always safe, but it's good.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hezekiah was ahead of his time

...because he said, in Isaiah 38:14, “Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter.”

Isaiah (left) and Hezekiah (right, sick, shown here without IPhone)

(Contributed by my friend Dr Cap)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Birthday... Branden Scot "Little Teddy" Ramsey. Five big ones today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Lunar Landing Day!

Hey, if you get a note from the health department warning you not to eat canned pork, just ignore it: It's SPAM.



I was very sleepy but battled and watched with my family as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon 40 years ago tonight. I don't know if I was able to stay awake long enough to watch Buzz Aldrin or not. It was between 10 and 11 in South Carolina when homey took the first step and I was very excited but very sleepy, even though we'd just gotten a new 52-inch plasma flat screen. (Neg -- it was a tiny black and white and the grainy NASA feed looked just like every other picture we ever got. Neil Armstrong came in just as clear as Bart Starr.) Like every other person, I went outside and looked at the moon, you know, just to see if I could see them. Couldn't. Besides, they were walking on the shaded part. And even if the astronauts were the size of the Jolly Green Giant, you still couldn't see them. But we had to look...I mean, we WERE in South Carolina...very rural South Carolina...We still looked up when planes came over.


Helped the Von Frapp family move their daughter Saturday. All I had to do was load stuff into a U-Haul, then eat, so it wasn't too bad. After helping people move constantly in the Young Years, I haven't helped anyone move but me in more than a decade. I do not want to be a professional mover. I did help move the church library a few weeks ago!, but that was mostly -- guess what? -- books. From one room to another. When you start moving clothes-washing machines and couches and antique tables through doorways and all, it's a whole other ballgame.


Sunday I churched it a couple of times, walked 54 miles and had my first ever order of cheese tater tots. And read most of a book called Every Day Deserves a Chance by Max Lucado; it's good. Will file a report later. I think you can actually read it online here.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The drought is over

Peaches: 100,000-plus
Teddy: 1

While one streak continued this week -- Tuesday night the National League lost its 143rd All Star Game in a row (and I didn't see ONE PITCH!?) -- a personal and painful peachless streak ended.

Louisiana Tech photographer Donny Crowe stood in line for an hour Saturday at Mitchum's Peach Orchard and came away with a sack of peaches. Thanks to Donny, I had my first peach of the peach season. I kept the pit; might have it bronzed. And I take back all the bad things I've ever said about Donny.


This week's Sports Illustrated has a 1969 Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver (shown here in 1970; love this picture) on its cover. The mag honors the Miracle Mets and catches us up on some others who celebrate anniversaries, in '59, '79, '89 and on like that....A neat twist: Featured are Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon and NFL Hall of Famer Lance Alworth. The tie of both to Ruston is more than just Cannon's being from Baton Rouge and Alworth from Mississippi and later, one of the greatest Arkansas Razorbacks of all time. Back in the late '50s, Pat Garrett of Ruston was a sprinter, a star of Ruston High's state championship track and field team, and he raced against both. He lost to Cannon a couple of times, once running for Louisiana Tech against LSU's Cannon at the Florida Relays. Garrett (semi-retired, a former head of Tech's English Department, still a Tech professor and still an early-morning runner) could beat Cannon for 90 yards but Cannon was fast AND huge and strong and could catch Garrett at the wire. In Shreveport at the Byrd track, Garrett beat Alworth in a match of Louisiana's fastest and Mississippi's fastest.

A couple of weeks ago Garrett, whose dad Hoss is a Louisiana Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer, and LSWA HOF member Cannon were talking just before the start of the organization's annual banquet. They were at the back of the Natchitoches Events Center and in a few minutes both would be needed up front for the Walk of Stars, the traditional beginning to the program. Cannon told Garrett, "OK, I'll go on up here and see you in a minute. I'll catch you at the wire."
And Garrett signed and smiled and said, "Well, you always do..."


My own personal mother ("Sweeter") called this week to alert me that Chick-Fil-A has great milkshakes. She'd just knocked out a peach one; she knows I love a milkshake.

I knew this, knew Chick-Fil-A had great storebought shakes. Wonderful on-the-go shakes. And there's even a Chick-Fil-A on the Louisiana Tech campus! The problem? It doesn't have a milkshake machine. My mission now: find out why, get this injustice changed, develop a milkshake mainline between me and the on-campus machine. My MOM is even trying to make some calls to get this problem straightened out. Anything you can do to help, feel free...

Hope you have a fun day...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you!'

Happy All Star Game tonight. I always laugh at how much the guy on the left, Prince Fielder, looks, in uniform, like his dad Cecil, on the right. Prince won the Home Run Derby last night; his dad clobbered baseballs for Detroit and the Yankees back the late-'80s and early '90s.


"Happy are those . . . whose hope is in the LORD their God." Psalm 146:5

I read this today: "Do you sincerely want to be a happy Christian? Then set your mind and your heart upon God's love and His grace."

For the longest time the "mind" part didn't get through to MY mind. "Set your mind" involves listening to sermons, to music, reading the Bible, talking to believers. It's not "easy" to set the mind; it takes time. But it results in a thought-out peace, the results of really thinking through the implications of your beliefs. I used to have a "stupid" peace, which is a whole other story...God gave us a brain; He really does want us to study and think. "Set your mind..." the Apostle Paul tells us...
"Pleasure-seeking is a barren business; happiness is never found till we have the grace to stop looking for it and to give our attention to persons and matters external to ourselves." J. I. Packer

"No matter how hard he searches, nothing beneath the skies and nothing above the skies can make any man happy apart from God." C. H. Spurgeon

"God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him." A. W. Tozer

JAWS UPDATE from JAWS memorabilia magnate and all-around good guy Jimmy Sandufer. JAWS was shown twice Saturday night at the Robinson Film Center...Nobody drowned or was chomped in half, so a good time was had by all...

Jimmy: "It was great. The first show was 80% full and the second was sold out - standing room only. Shelby and I introduced each showing (she got in a "you're gonna need a bigger boat" line on the second intro) and my Jaws "stuff" was on display - got quite a few comments/questions and it was a blast. Seeing it on the big screen again was a totally different viewing experience - awesome."

Friday, July 10, 2009

'Put out into the deep water...'

Q: What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
A: (sniff sniff sniff) "I smell...carrots?"

(Maybe that joke just caught me at the right time, but I love it. Probably works better in cold weather. See the snowman's nose is a carrot, and ... never mind.)
My big sis asked me what I was reading. I thought I'd start writing 'reviews,' for lack of a better term, so some of you who don't have as much time to read can catch up here, at least a little.

One of the books is "Jesus" by Chuck Swindoll from his "Great Lives" series. I'd read "David" and was about to jump into some "Job" or "Esther" or "Paul" -- you know, some of the usual suspects -- but figured I'd better go straight to the top. If you're well-versed in the Bible you can probably actually skip this book; it's a re-telling of what you already know. But if you do read it, it's hardly a waste of time since Swindoll expounds, as he does here, and gets you to thinking...The rest of the post is his words, a part I read earlier this week...It was a reminder that most of my problems -- most of anyone's problems -- are a result of not following the obvious will of God, not responding in obedience and gratitude in even the most simple things to the presence that is right beside us all the time. It's the age-old problem of self-addiction: each of us wants to be his or her own Master, if not in all things, at least in some things. It's entirely human, a chink in the human armor; it comes automatically with being born into a fallen world. Peter, Andrew and John were all in the same boat, literally. So was Martin Luther. We have lots of company.

Swindoll's writing is clear and easy to understand, not fancy, which is good for me.

(From "Jesus" by Chuck Swindoll)

The call to fulfill one's purpose doesn't come from within; existentialists and self-help gurus are wrong about that. I learned years ago that following a call -- fulfilling one's purpose -- isn't that complicated and it isn't as mysterious as it sounds. It begins with a realization that God has created each person with a unique design and a special purpose. The ancient Hebrew poet-king put it this way:

For You formed my inward parts;

You wove me in my mother's womb....

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,

And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.

Psalm 139: 13-16

Unfortunately, sin and selfishness make fulfilling that purpose impossible. Sin creates a barrier between our divine design and our ordained path, creating a tension that can be excruciating. Life becomes meaningless; a drab, colorless, paintless existence in which even pleasure and success bring no satisfaction...But that gnawing hunger for meaning can also create the opprotuntiy and means for God to heal our sin-sick souls and put us on the right path.

Os Guinness, in his fine book "The Call," tells this moving story about Martin Luther:

Painfully climbing up the steps of the medieval cathedral tower in the dark, he reached for the stair rope to steady himself and was amazed to hear a bell ring out above him -- he had inadvertently pulled on the bell rope and woken up the whole countryside.

Far from a man with a comprehensive vision of reform and a well-calculated plan for carrying it out, Luther struggled painfully for salvation before God and was surprised to set off the cataclysmic 18th-century movement that we now call simply the Reformation.

Luther struggled for salvation because none of his piety, none of his good deeds, none of the penance he paid or the rituals he followed would satisfy his longing to be justified before God. That hunger led him to discover FROM HIS READING OF SCRIPTURE that a right relationship with God cannot be earned or deserved because we can never work enough or become good enough to earn His favor. Only God, who gave us a design and a purpose, can ease the tension between them by removing the problem of sin.

(Sin is always the problem; humility, repentance and grace is always the answer.)

As Peter, Andrew and John labored all night in vain to fill their nets with fish, they came to realize that life apart from their calling would always come up empty. They had left on a journey to dig out their calling "from under the rubble of ignorance and confusion" and discovered they could never turn back. But neither could they assess the tension between design and purpose by merely switching careers or chasing religious knowledge or fighting for the right cause. There, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the men lived in a gray twilgiht of limbo.

Fortunately, Jesus didn't leave them -- or any of us -- without hope or direction. Where we fail, Jesus has succeeded. The only one who was able to recognize and follow His purpose from the beginning was Jesus........We can find and fulfill our purpose by resounding the clear, simple call of Jesus Christ: "Follow Me." He is the doorwary to fulfilling our destiny, where our divine design and God-ordained purpose live in perfect harmony.

The disciples' unprecendented haul of fish that day didn't prompt them to invite Jesus to becomae a senior partner. They understood the principle Jesus was teaching: with Me, you can do all things; without Me, everything you touch will come to nothing. When they were ready to accept this truth, they had eyes to see and ears to hear the call of God to pursue their purpose. Peter, Andrew, John and his brother James immediately dropped their nets, left everything behind, and responded to the call of Jesus. (Luke 5: 3-7)...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"It's really a miracle of evolution..." 'JAWS' at Robinson Film Center

My friend Jimmy Sandefur got a call a few months ago, Jimmy said, from "the nice guy over there at the Robinson Film Center. Said he'd 'heard there was a guy in Shreveport who had a lot of 'Jaws' stuff."
Jimmy said, "Well, you've found him."
And that led to this...

Coming July 11: JAWS Screening & Memorabilia Viewing
FILM SCREENINGS: Saturday, July 11, 5:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Free admission for members of the Supporting Cast annual membership program.
Regular admission applies to non-members.

The immense success of Steven Spielberg's JAWS forever changed the way films were released to theaters, creating the concept of the Summer Blockbuster. The Robinson Film Center celebrates this quintessential summer movie with a rare theatrical screening accompanied by a unique exhibit of JAWS memorabilia. Admission to the film is free for members of the Supporting Cast annual membership program, through which members receive benefits ranging from free movie tickets and t-shirts to discounts on space rentals and more. Learn more about the Supporting Cast.

Local resident Jimmy Sandefur has amassed a collection of JAWS memorabilia that includes rare theatrical release posters, promotional items, and even a costume worn in the film. See Mr. Sandefur's collection on display the day of the screening, 6:30 PM-8:30 PM. A special, Supporting Cast-only mixer will be held from 5:30 PM-6:30 PM.

We're inviting members of our Supporting Cast to a sneak peek at the memorabilia collection at 5:30 PM on Saturday, July 11. If you're a member, please join us so we can say "Thanks" for your support. If you're considering joining, come join at this mixer! A cash bar and refreshments will be available.

For more information:
(318) 459-4122

Show Times:
7/11: 5:00 PM & 7:30 PM

"Jaws" ... written by Peter Benchley & Carl Gottlieb

And finally,
Why I'll never wear a life jacket again...

Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?
Brody: What happened?
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin' back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you're in the water, chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn't know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it's... kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark would go for nearest man and then he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he's got...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces.
Y'know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men! I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand! I don't know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin' chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, boson's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He'd a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

(Days Since the Peach Festival Began: 18.
Number of Ruston Peaches eaten by Me Since That Time: 0.
You'd think over here in that amount of time you'd have run up on a peach just by misTAKE!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Sixth of July

Man. Work is getting in the way of things I want to do, like eat. I didn't get to eat dinner today, except a bowl of fruit, so I'm starvating to death. Anybody got a biscuit? I've had two salmonella (peanut butter) foldovers and a protein shake and those have WAY worn off.

I might be hungry because I walked about 100 miles this weekend, first in the sun which was beautiful and then in the rain Sunday for about two hours which was also beautiful.

Twice this weekend I saw Charlton Heston crash his plane into the back of the USS Enterprise, which brings the total to 123 times I've seen Pilot Heston do this. This is at the end of the movie 'Midway,' which is a Fourth of July tradition for me, mostly by accident. I sit down to eat late-night cereal and there is Charlton, each 4th of July holiday, trying to land a crippled plane. I never have quite understood why he didn't bail out. Regardless, we won the pivotal battle and, eventually, the war.

Also saw some of the 'Dirty Dozen.' Jim Brown got killed. Again.

And I saw some of "My Fair Lady," which came on after "Midway," for reasons I don't understand, since it had nothing to do with war, July, or even the Japanese. Or the Germans. I made it to the part where Audrey Hepburn sang "Wouldn't it be Loverly?" before I had to go to sleep. I wanted to watch it all.

Went to my big sister's Saturday. Keith, one of my two great brothers-in-laws, grilled BBQ chicken and some ribs. They deserved a blue ribbon. The beans were in a Dutch oven and they were on the grill too. Great. Sissy made potato salad. It rocked. She also made a flag cake; the red stripes were strawberries and Emma, who is precious and little, ate various stripes before we actually cut the cake. Greg, one of the twins, complained because he counted the blueberries, which were the states, and there were only 49. "I like a symmetrical cake," he said, and you can't really blame him. It ate good though; I had two pieces.

And Abigail was there. And Adeline. And Bishop. Along with Emma. They are all little people. I'm no longer ashamed to say it but I am still embarrassed that I didn't really know how precious they were until this past year. They hug me now and kiss me. Greg doesn't but he's old and married and doesn't like unsymmetrical cake so I don't want him to anyway.

It was a lot of fun.

Also saw Billy Graham -- late-night cereal again! -- on television. It was a 1979 crusade from Vanderbilt Stadium. Had to watch the whole thing. It was a break, too, because I needed it.

Sunday morning in Sunday school the subject of the 'image of God' came up and I studied up some on that Sunday afternoon. For the longest time I couldn't honor the image of God in you because it was broken in me. When that's the case, you trample on people whether you mean to or not. We do that because we don't really understand the image of God, what it means. I've got to study some more on that. I do understand now that everyone is made in the image of God, which is reason enough to treat everyone with a gentleness and courtesy. (Everyone except maybe my nephew Greg, when he talks about my sister's cake.) Anyway, I need to come to a better understanding of this. I do know the solution though: and that's to face Jesus. That reflection, his image, is what cures you. He was born poor, almost killed as a baby, eventually more or less lynched on trumped-up charges, the only human being to live a perfect life and perfectly reflect the image of God ... When you know he did that for you, or better when it moves from information to sensation, then it gets clearer every day. Facing that is what changes a heart. Another picture of grace. The short answer is that the problem is always sin, and the solution is always grace.
Every time. . . Every week I hear things I've heard all my life, like "the image of God," and I realize that what I know about it, really, is almost nothing. All the more reason to read the Bible and pray and talk to people like you about it ... More later...

Daddy update. Heart surgery was three weeks-plus ago. The doctor says he'll feel 100 percent better in about six weeks, but he won't be 100 percent back to where he was for a year. He says it's the toughest physical thing he's ever been through. Thank you for your prayers for him. He's hanging in there.

And I'm still very hungry.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Go Fourth

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1

Happy Fourth of July.

It’s easy for Americans to take the holiday, the freedom it celebrates and nearly all we have for granted. Is for me, anyway. You can get spoiled living here, in the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Even though days like the Fourth remind us of our God-fearing founding, the freedoms and opportunities of America are so great that we often dismiss them as rights, not privileges.

But the old Baptist minister Charles Spurgeon reminds us that "the Lord would have us active in obtaining grace." By singing His praises. By giving. Assembling ourselves together. Praying. Extending His grace to a world that needs Him.

Look to the spacious skies today. Enjoy the fireworks. Amazing they are -- but that’s the best we can do. Artificial. God is the real thing.

So look past the fireworks to the stars He holds in his hands. To the clouds. To the moon and sun. To the skies and wind and (hopefully one day soon) the rain, the showers of blessing.

Every galaxy, created just by speaking the Word.

Look at the world and our neighbors. At your nation. He has created it all yet can run the universe with his feet propped up. This is the mighty God you serve.

Thank him. Praise him. On our knees this weekend, we should glorify him for the freedom He allows, commit to one another to defend the freedom He provides, and spread the word of the eternal freedom only He can give.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Proverbial Post, Day 1

A few of the guys and me are reading Proverbs this month, a chapter a day. 31 chapters. 31 days. Sometimes, it just works out.

We're reading it only because we need to. Who knew?!

Lil' Tone has already figured out this morning that Proverbs 1:28 is one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible; Proverbs 2:1-5 are some of the happiest. is a handy 'Favorites' thing to look up stuff like this, in lots of different translations. If you wish to get in on some of this and comment through the author link at the top right, I'll post some; we can all use just about all the help we can get.

Speaking of help: helped move the church library last night. The good news is, it's a really good church library. The bad news is, it's a really good church library.

This means there was more than just a set of Henry Commentaries and some Golden Books. LOTS of stuff. I made it for two hours before leaving for a meeting. Lots of shelves and lots of dolly work. The ladies who run the library will be working for the next several days to get everything placed right in their nice big remodeled room they've moved into. And seriously, it's a good library and they do a ton of work to make it that way. And they make good cookies. And brownies.

Happy July. Maybe it'll get hot soon.