Monday, November 29, 2010

To Absent Friends ...Leslie Nielsen was beautiful

"Serious actor"-turned-Naked Gun and Airplane star Leslie Nielsen died Sunday at age 84 due to complications of pneumonia.

Hurts me ...

"I am serious . . . and don't call me Shirley."

Here is an online collection of some of his funniest stuff.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Aunt Ethel's Go-To Goatee Diet Plan (Of Last Resort)

(Reprinted from The Times and The News-Star, Nov. 28)

These are the times that try men’s … colons?

Even the most casual eater, wandering aimlessly thought The Land of the Leftover, has got to be heads up in these post-Thanksgiving days. Cheese dip here. Sausage ball there. Week-old giblets, ripe for the taking.

Food jitters.

For some reason, we are robotically drawn to seasonal foods, even though there are plenty of holiday experiences available that should cause us to lose our appetites. If you can’t relate, then you’ve never been hugged right before a holiday meal by a great aunt. With a goatee. Who’s dipping snuff.

Welcome to my world.

(A have a friend who once lost 15 pounds during December. She didn’t mean to. But right before one Thanksgiving dinner, her uncle said to her, table-side, “Honey, I wonder why God took all the hair off my head and put it on my back?” She was able to eat solid food again, but not until somewhere around Valentine’s Day.)

Another dietary issue this time of year: stadium food. Close to Football Bowl season. Pressure’s on. So we eat either to relieve the stress of a stretch run or because we’re bored stiff because our team IS a stiff. I have yet another friend who shared with me his digestive system misgivings after Saturday’s joyous time in a football stadium occupied by a team that’s more up and down than a prairie dog. “My most painful lesson from the weekend,” he said, “was that pre-prandial and post-prandial reflections on a stadium corn dog are two very different realities.”

Prandial means “of or relating to a meal.” It’s from the Latin “prandium,” meaning, “I should not have ate that.” As you have surmised, to use those kinds of high-dollar words, my friend is pretty smart – but not smart enough to call time out in the corn dog line. You do not toy with a mass-produced corn dog in a competitive atmosphere far, far from your home locker room. You don’t do it.

Let this be a lesson to us all: your digestive system doesn’t know you have a high IQ. Faulty plumbing due to pilot error puts us all – the prince and the pauper, the duke (excuse my French) and the serf -- right there on the same page.

The corn dog on a stick I ate was more than just inviting.
Too bad I didn’t think that later it would do the biting.

Food jits.

If our own lack of self control and the overpowering temptations of the season weren’t enough, the food world and Mother Nature herself might be conspiring against us. My own personal mother, of all people, alerted me to this tragedy.

The Nature Conservation Research Council, which sounds like an important thing, forecasts a chocolate shortage. Because African farmers are ditching their cocoa farms for other easier-to-grow crops, chocolate might either disappear or increase drastically in price. This means that in 20 years, a Baby Ruth could well be out of my price range. My mother’s grandchildren call her “Sweeter,” so you can imagine how this is affecting my family. Let’s hold hands and …

No Twix? No Bliss? No Hershey’s Kiss,
No chocolate dip fondue?
The question we must pray is
“What would Willie Wonka do?”


Thursday, November 25, 2010

How To Make Thanksgiving (and Every Day) Great!

(My notes from church at FBC Ruston, Dr. Chris presiding...)

1 Thess 5:16-18

1. Live Joyfully
v. 16
Rejoice always; be joyful always
Make joy the pattern of your life
The author, Paul, understood trials; he is talking of an inward source of joy and cheer; happiness from what happens ... it fluctuates. But ...

Joy comes from...

a. Right Relationships..
First with Christ, and with other people
Gal 5:22 ... Fruit of the Spirit
Without Him there will always be a fundamental void in your heart and spirit
b. How I Choose to Perceive Life
Lincoln: "We're about as happy as we choose to be."
Phil 4:8 -- "whatever is pure, whatever is good ... think about these things.."

2. Choose To Live Dependently on God
v. 17
Pray continually
Luke 18:1 "pray and don't give up"
Keep the lines of communication open to God always

a. The Power of Prayer ... "Prayer can do anything God can do, and God can do everything." -- Falwell
b. Keeps me mindful of my Dependence on God
Matthew 5:3 -- "blessed are the poor in spirit..." meaning, the people who realize their need for God and depend on Him ...
Learn to draw on the power of God

3. Choose To Live Thankfully
v. 18
"..give thanks in all circumstances.."
The Biblical "thanks'' means to acknowledge a blessing; VOICE your gratitude
150 New Testament texts tell us to give thanks
Study after study shows that those who practice sincere gratitude are more healthy and satisfied

A life of joy pleases God and blesses both others and us

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

(Reprinted from The Times and The News-Star, Nov. 21)

I have never been on an open-sea cruise aboard a luxury liner. I have never even been on an open-sea cruise aboard a run-of-the-mill, secondhand liner, one where the live band is a knockoff of Herman’s Hermits and the most important thing in the buffet line is the microwave.

And I doubt I’ll ever take a cruise, for a couple of reasons. One, too many episodes of “Gilligan’s Island.” I like “Gilligan’s Island.” A lot. On television. Near a bathroom and an icebox that I know will be there, come hell or high waves. It would be neat to get stuck with Mary Ann on a deserted island, but not if it were so deserted it didn’t have cable. And a Wendy’s. Just sayin’…

The second reason – and this is the biggie -- I have some pretty serious Stump Fear. Even in open waters, your Atlantic or your Pacific, my theory is that, well, you just never know.

I did take a bath with a toy tugboat once. And I enjoyed that. At least for a little while, until the water got too dirty and I couldn’t see the bottom and I thought I felt a stump, which is a whole other story…

What I’m getting at is last week’s “problem” with the broken-down cruise ship 55 miles off the coast of San Diego, and how it made me jealous. It was all over the news, as you recall. Engine woe aboard the Carnival Splendor led to loss of power. It took three days to get the more than 4,000 tourists and crew back to shore.

With the ship’s ovens stalled, the U.S. Navy dropped Pop-Tarts and Spam aboard. Drinks were on the house. The cruise lines offered free transportation home, full refunds, and free future cruises to the inconvenienced passengers. Yet what did I hear from that sorry lot of spoiled vacationers? Massive complaining. A mini-mutiny. A “high seas nightmare.”

Really? Even with free Pop-Tarts and Spam!? HA! That is my kind of boat! And it’s all FREE! I mean, what does it take to PLEASE these people?


Spam and Pop-Tarts, Pop-Tarts and Spam,
What’s not glam
’bout ’Tarts and Spam?

Too bad your
Dreamboat struck a snag,
But good for you
There’s no price tag!

You’re next trip’s free,
And this one too.
Still we have
More good news for you!

Instead of crab
And steak and lamb,
We’ve ordered out:
Pop-Tarts and Spam!

You do not like
Pop-Tarts and Spam?
Do you think you are

You will eat
Pop-Tarts and Spam
Or we’ll break out
Green eggs and ham!
(Or starve! I just don’t
Give a …. dang!)

You can gripe ’til
Red’s your throat,
Just point me toward
The next big boat
And I will ride this
Wave again,
Rebouyed by
Pop-Tarts and Spam.

(All I can cram?
Oh thank you ma’am!
I love my free
Pop-Tarts and Spam!
It’s like a Love Boat
Food Program!)

So sail on, captain
Of this boat,
And I will keep
My dreams afloat
Of Spam and Pop-Tarts, ’Tarts and Spam,
What’s not to love
’bout ’Tarts and Spam?
From Bali Ha’i to
(Especially when they’re
On the lam!)

Can we get more
Once we’re on land?
If not, hide me as


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: (or) The Grass is Always Greener (And More Tender) on the Other Side(line)

My friend Other (say OH-thur) files his latest on The Madder Hatter...

At Monday's press conference Coach Les Miles dazzled us with more insightful football speak.

On the matchup between Arkansas' passing attack and LSU's defense...

"I think it will require us to play the run and the pass. I think they have a balanced offense, not so much in yardage but in the fact that you can be just as hurt when they hand that ball to Knile (Davis). We're going to have to have a plan that allows us to defeat the run first and foremost. The opportunities to have that passer move his feet is something that we must do. We have to be able to get a pass rush. We all know that. We like our secondary. We feel like there is some experience back there and some speed and the ability to get a hand on the ball. It's going to be a great matchup. In that piece when they go back in the pocket and throw, it will predict a lot of the success that they have."

He will eventually replace Lou Holtz as college football's premier coach/analyst. No doubt.

(Teddy note: This is one of the reasons I love college football. And America. It does NOT take a rocket scientist to do some of this stuff that people assume is a big deal....Anyway, I am thankful for The Hat. If you do not have a dog in the fight, he is a pure watching "Hee Haw" was a joy...)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Make Things Better

(Note taking from FBC Ruston, Dr Chris being the starting pitcher...)

Acts 6: 1-7 (NIV)

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a] among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

*What we need to do to leave GOOD footprints in the sands of time...? Make things better! If yo uwant to be a good leader, husband, etc., make things better.

1. Problems and Needs Exist Everywhere
v. 1 -- the church's needs led to the forming of a deacon body

2. The Need to Improve and Push Forward is Always There
v. 7 -- "the word spread..."
* the priests/Saddueces SEE men honestly and earnestly serving, and it helps to change them
* As long as there is one lost person or disenfranchised family within walking distance of your church, it's God's charge for the church to grow (paraphrasing California minister Rick Warren)

3. To Make Things Better, You Have to Continually Be Getting Better Yourself
* Be willing to become better, and work toward that
v. 3 ... "seven men full of spirit and wisdom..."
IQ and wisdom are not the same thing...Christ's diciples were fishermen, a tax collector, etc...

Gal 5:22-23 ... fruit of the spirit ..... "seven men full of SPIRIT and wisdom..."

Be in church. Read your Bible. Pray. God then empowers us to make a positive difference.

Romans 16 -- Paul lists people who've made a difference in his ministry and for Christ....'ordinary' people trying to make things better...

It takes no effort to make things worse. It takes a bit of effort and prayer and will to make things better.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Thessalonians Series...

(From FBC Ruston, Dr. Chris, if you trust my note taking)

1 Thess 4: 13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

* Christians have the greatest future immaginable
* This text is more early theology from Paul to the new Christian church
* In the Greek, "hope" is a stronger word than it is in English; in Greek it is a confident assurance that some certain thing will come to pass...

1. Christians Who Have Died Are With Christ
(v. 13-14)
Phil 1:22-23 "... desire to depart and be with Christ."
Jesus to the thief on the cross: "Today, you will be with me in paradise."

2. Christ is Coming Back
v. 14-18
Paul's words are not an exhaustive study, but this text is a 'complete' study.

No one will miss the Second coming
Matt 24:27

Rev 1:7
This will be the most immediately known event ever...

Matt 24:36 -- " one knows the time..."

1 Thess 5:2 -- "...will come like a thief in the nite..."

3. Christians Who've Died Will Come With Him
v. 14

4. Believers Will Be With Christ Then and Forever
Eph 2:2 "the ruler of the air..."
"the air" would have been a term then referring to Satan's Jesus return, we meet him "in the air" and dislodge Satan...
1 Thess 4:17

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thessalonians Series (Part 6, or so!)

(Notes from FBC Ruston, and Dr. Chris...)


1 Thess 4:11-12

Pious is the idea of being real and sincere in your spirituality. These days the connotation is a BAD thing and it's come to mean the opposite to the masses...

1. Live Humbly and Peacefully

* v. 11 -- a 'quiet' life, one at peace and at rest.

* It is impossible to be a positive influence for Christ if you are a troublemaker

2. Focus Your Corrections on the One Person You Have Control Over

* v. 11 -- "mind your own business"

* 2 Thess 3:11 -- "they are busybodies..."

* We are experts and wise at correcting others.

* Often those who don't have enough to do, focus on others

* Make your world better. How do you do that? Make yourself better

3. Do Honest Work

v. 11 Honest work is a good thing; in the Greek culture at the time this was written, Greek culture looked down on manual labor.

Church at Thessalonica was excited about the Second Coming, but Paul is reminded them that they need to stay about God's work in the meantime....Why?

a. For own welfare

v. 12 ...

2 Thess 3:10-12 .."work" equals "you get to eat"

Work if you can an earn your own way

b. It's good for the whole community

v. 12 -- spend life in positive activity

4. Live In a Way to be a Positive Influence ...

"so your daily life will win respect ... "

Lost people are watching us

Live to be a Positive Influence on the World


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whale Wars! (The Exciting Conclusion...)

Notes from church...(Dr Chris at FBC Ruston)

The Heart of the Problem is the Heart

God's Main Concerns are People and the Advancement of His Kingdom...

I. God's business is about ...

1. Reaching All People

Jonah 1: 1-2 and Jonah 3: 1-2 ... God says "go."

Jonah 3: 10 and Jonah 4:11 ... God's compassion...

Ezekiel 18: 23 and 32 "Repent and live"

2. Seeing His Kingdom Advanced

Jonah 3:8

II. Most of the Time These Are Not Our Main Concerns ... why?

1. Most of the time these aren't on our minds

Jonah 4:1 -- Jonah is mad at God

4:2 - "God I know you are super abundant in your love, SO, take my life...

4:4 -- God to Jonah ... "Have you any right to be angry?"

Jonah is prejudice, which is universal...We don't look at people as we should or love people as we should.

2. We're More Concerned About Ourselves

a. We favor our agendas over God's

Jonah 4:2 ... Jonah was mad at God for not killing the Nenevites, but instead giving them a second chance

b. We're more concerned about our comfort .

Jonah 4:5-10

Advancing the kingdom is not always comfortable

c. We're More Concerned About the Temporary Than the Eternal

Jonah 4:9-11 ... Jonah is like us ... worried about the temporary when people bound for hell are sitting on a pew with us...

There are 44,000 SBC churches...the projection for the number of SBC churches in 20 years is 20,000.

94 percent of all churches in America are flatlining or declining

III. Invest Your Life in God's Priorities

Jonah 3:10 and Jonah 4:11 -- pictures of the compassion of God

People are the reason God has left us here now. Pray that God will make us people who will make HIS priorities our priorities. Pelple are more important than facilities or prejudicies...People are why churches exist and why we are here.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Like Fine Wines and Fine Grasses That Taste Better With Age, He Keeps Getting Gooder

Why does the LSU coach always say "the back end of the game" instead of "late in the game"? I guess because it sounds all footbally and whatnot. Sophisticated. Which just adds to the aura that is the grass-eating LSU coach.

Here is the latest report filed by my friend Other (pronounced OH-thur)...

Since we are at the back end of the schedule, on Monday Coach Les Miles gave some analysis of the way teams are chosen for the national championship game.

When asked if an undefeated team from a non-automatic qualifying conference should normally be ranked ahead of a one-loss team from one of the major conferences…

“I think that there is a difficulty in comparing strength of schedule. I think with that difficulty creates a hailstorm of opinion, and who knows? The only thing I can tell you is you get to the back end of a schedule in this conference, and you first assign a young coach to find out how many of their players are no longer with them. So, in other words, they go through a schedule, and there are a number of guys who aren’t playing, so who have been their backups? I think there are a number of real quality conferences that play great football week-in and week-out, and I think there should be serious consideration to that. I only know this about this conference. The highest ranked team to come out of this conference should well have an opportunity to play in the national championship game. Certainly I’m prejudice, but the reality of it is I don’t know if there is a finer, more competitive conference in America, and certainly at some point in time and it has in certainly the last half of decade, it will be very significant when it comes to who plays in the game.”

“Understand this. Great teams are great teams. It’s based on a championship nucleus. It’s based on skill and ability. It’s putting it together and the chemistry of that team. Great teams can come from any conference. There isn’t any question, but it’s that team that can prove over a length of schedule that they have played the best and deserve the opportunity to then represent all of college football in that game. I’m being as evasive as I can be. I’m certain that it creates great opinion and great conversation as we go forward. I hope to be very interested in that opinion and conversation as we go forward.”

Other has nothing to add to the conversation as we go forward.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Grass Eating Edition

Les Miles was fed up. Or not. Here's the deal....

Not only did he eat grass on the sidelines during LSU's Saturday win over Alabama -- go here for more (I thought, watching it live, that he'd dropped a sunflower seed and, during the defining moment of the game, took the time to reach down and pick it up. Sometimes, when you really crave a seed, I mean, you REALLY crave a seed! I've been there) ... but he also ... well, I'll let my friend Other explain ...

After enduring weeks of criticism and bellyaching from fans Les had enough.
We weren't satisfied with seven wins and only one loss (and that to the Heisman guy).
Even when they'd win we'd complain about play choices and time running out and whatnot.
Some of us would even voice displeasure from the stands during a win.
Les was tired of it so I guess he showed us.
He decided to throw the ball down field, make some unpredictable play calls, utilize more of their talent, and manage the clock.
Just like we had been begging him to do.
I think he did it out of spite.

There were many gems in Monday's press conference including more info about
using a pinch of Bermuda between cheek and gum but this was my favorite:

Here's Miles at his weekly news conference, on if the big plays in the passing game have been there all year and just weren't executed...

"I think the open week, we took time to do some things in the passing game that we needed to do and redo and things that have been there all year, yes, but that we needed to execute better and continue to press in the same direction. I think our football team recognizes when they see us practice that we can throw the football, and we're coming. It just needs to stay there, and we need to continue to execute it that way. Show what we have, not necessarily malfunction for some reason."


So, I (teddy) conclude that, in all phases of the game – eating grass, calling or not calling plays, press conference rhetoric – this may have been Coach Miles' finest hour.

Next up for LSU: ULM, Saturday night in Tiger Stadium, where the grass takes good.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

40 Years and 63 Yards Ago ...

Monday was the 40th anniversary of one of the most famous moments in National Football League history and in New Orleans Saints history.

Click here to read Monday's column from our old friend Peter Finney at The Times Picayune and see video of the kick.

A sidebar: Mr Finney, one of the most beautiful human beings ever and a wonderful columnist, was covering the game and left the pressbox during the final minute of the game to get down to the field and locker room to write up what appeared to be another Saints loss. He was in the Tulane Stadium elevator when Dempsey's kick cleared the crossbar.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More from 'You Can't Make This Stuff Up...'

Opening Statement gems from the Nov. 1 LSU/Alabama Game Week press conference in Baton Rouge from the man under the hat, as chosen by my friend Other, who appreciates a good quote, even if he doesn't understand it:

"Offensively we worked both quarterbacks and we will stay with both quarterbacks.
It is a necessity that we need both quarterbacks' skills."

"I think our defense is looking forward to focusing on tackling tailbacks
and focusing on preparing for a very talented offense,
but one in which we understand the complexities a little bit better."

"I can tell you that we look forward to big games,
and whenever you line up against Alabama, it's a big game.
It is one in which will be approached with the mindset of
let's just play and let's enjoy how we play."