Saturday, December 27, 2008

Not nearly as bad as it seemed

So I'm sitting here tonight printing bulletins and trying to finish up my lesson for tomorrow and all I can think about is that as bad as I think my year has been, it has been just as bad and worse from some of my friends. God has driven that point home on at least 3 occasions this past week. I have had rough spots this year, but I have not had to worry about my home being foreclosed on, or my spouse abusing me, my parents divorcing and sticking me in the middle or having a parent in jail for this Christmas and the next several as well or any number of things that friends have confided in me over the past several days. We are 2 days from Christmas and there are reminders everywhere of why we need Christmas, why we have to have it. That this world is sick, dying and going to hell unless it grabs hold of the life preserver that Christmas offers. I am sitting here wondering what I can do to help ease my friends hurt and pain, I mean actual physical things that I can do and I keep coming up with nada. The only thing I know I can do is trust that God, in his wisdom, will turn what the enemy has meant for evil into good and that on that day when I get to ask Him face to face why all this mess has to happen He won't be too upset with the smart aleck accusatory tone in my voice. To my dear friends that are struggling and going through these difficult circumstances, please know that my heart aches for you and that I am, to the best of my ability, constantly in our Father's ear asking for relief on your behalf.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good Article

I read The Ooze with some regularity because it provides an interesting faith based perspective without the pat answers. I thought I'd share this article. I'd rate it PG for one phrase that's a little rough but definitely is worth taking the time to read.

A slightly different Christmas

So my house is quiet now, everyone else (dogs included) is taking some time to catch a well deserved nap. And in the quiet I am struck by several things this Christmas. First is the fact that it is the first without my mom, and while I certainly miss her I am not sad. My friend Juls suggested that we start a tradition of collecting angel ornaments for the tree in honor of mom and for this year we got an ornament that is simply a pair of angel wings to remind us that our angel is missing from us but celebrating Jesus' birthday with him. I am also struck but just how amazing that babe in the straw was. I was talking with my friend Peter the other day and he said he recently been struck by the total compassion and heart of Jesus. Christmas is such an awesome expression of that. Imagine giving up your warm home and family to go be born in a garage to fix a relationship with people who really didn't give a rat's butt about you. Would you do it? I know I probably wouldn't leave the trailer on Grassdale St. to do it, much less leave heaven. Yet Jesus decided that he loved me, and you, enough to give all that up and fix a relationship that we had messed up. The presents, food, music and all the other things we associate with Christmas are nice, but they should never cause us to lose sight of the reason we celebrate it. Merry Christmas to all of you and may that babe in the straw be born anew in your heart today.

On a side note, please say a prayer this Christmas for my friend Tiffy, she's had a rough one and could use them.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

Ok, first I'm gonna post a reminder of the basic rules for those of you that have forgotten or may be new to SLS. WHEN the contest starts, there will be a few additional ones.

1. The first person to post Song Title and Artist will be that weeks winner.*

* - in most cases I want the original artist but will take anyone who had some modicum of success with the song and that I can verify recorded it. But just because the garage band up the street plays it doesn't mean it qualifies. Disputed cases will be covered by rule 3

2. No googling (or otherwise searching the internet) for the answers. You folks will have to be on your honor for this one, but I trust ya. Any disputes will be settled by rule 3.
3. In the case of any disputes, the blogmaster (ME) will be make the final decision.

Here's this weeks lyric:

They're singing "Deck The Halls"
But it's not like Christmas at all
Cuz I remember when you were here
And all the fun we had last year

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Death's Dark Shadows Put To Flight

Did y'all miss me? It has certainly been an interesting last weeks for me and for that matter and interesting 2008. For the most part it really has not been my best year. For a number of reasons I have really struggled to find even an ounce of the "joy of my salvation." I was chatting with my friend Juls a couple of weeks ago and opining to her about how I was anxious for 2008 to be over and she reminded me to be careful not miss out on what God might do in the last 6 weeks. Well in the past week or so God has really reminded me of what an incredible thing Christmas is. Last weekend we went to 2 Christmas shows that friends were involved in. The folks at Covenant Church did an incredible job putting on Imagine, Christmas and one of the songs we sang was O Come, O Come Emmanuel and during the third verse we sang "Death's dark shadows put to flight" and while I heard the singers and the audience singing it, I also heard it in my heart. I don't know that words can describe it but after the past 2 days I honestly believe that it was God saying to me that this Christmas he was going to put the shadow of death that I have been letting myself live under to flight. And He did that in any number of ways this week but I'd like to share 2 of them. My father-in-law had ask me several weeks ago if I would take him to his dental appointment which was scheduled for yesterday, Friday 12/19. I told him of course I would and that while he was there I would find a coffee shop nearby and work until he was done. Well I found out Thursday night that it was located in the same medical complex that my mom's podiatrist was located. The last time I had been there was January 28, 2009 which was the Monday before she would go into the hospital and not come home again. Mom and I used to have a routine with her appointments where I would drop her off, made sure she got inside and then I would find a nearby coffee shop with wireless access and work until she called that she was done. We would then head back and maybe have lunch or a snack and I would finish out the work day while she read and dozed and we would head home. If I'm honest there was some trepidation about going. But once I got in the car I was completely ok with it. I dropped Steve off and went to the same coffee shop where I used to wait for Mom and the minute I walked in, the owner smiled and said "Hey there, where have you been?" I explained to him that since mom had passed I hadn't been to Hagerstown nearly as much we chatted and caught up and he smiled as he told what a joy his few conversations with Mom had been. Instead of being a day of mourning it turned into a day where I remembered so many wonderful things about my Mother, things that I had lost in the shadows of her dying

Today Muffin and I headed out to get supplies to make Christmas goodies for our friends and I started out with a get in, get it done and get home attitude. Let me tell y'all we went to Wal-Mart on a Saturday and I knew something was up when I got the second parking spot in line folks. While the store was crowded folks were very friendly and we even had funny discussion with a woman about getting recipes online. The cashier, while tired and a little rushed, was friendly and courteous. At another point we were walking through the mall, holding hands and older lady smiles and says "I can tell you're in love." and my reply was "You bet!" We then struck up a conversation with another lady about her late husband and his love for the Dallas Cowboys (Muffin and I were both wearing Cowboys gear.) This afternoon we spent some time with our good friends the Whitacres and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and time spent with them. God, in his goodness and mercy has definitely put deaths dark shadows to flight this Christmas and I am actually looking forward to celebrating!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Give Up

So yesterday I had the privilege of preaching for the second time. In the weeks leading up to the sermon I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to speak on humility. Well by the Tuesday before the sermon God had made it pretty clear that I was supposed preach on something entirely different. I used the internet as my concordance and found an outline, some illustrations and with some help from my friend J.C. found a video clip that illustrated exactly what I was trying to say. I honestly had my doubts going in, but even before I had spoken a word, it was clear to me that what I was going to say was what a lot of people (myself included) needed to hear. The sermon is called Don't Give Up and is based on Luke 18:1-8. Don't stop the video after I stop speaking or you'll miss the video clip.

As I stated in my previous post the band Our City Sleeps was in town for The Big Night - Take Two and had agreed to bless us by leading worship. After talking with their lead singer Shaun we decided to have them do a cover of The Glorious Unseen's "Hear Our Prayers" as an invitation which was right in line with the message I gave. The invitation itself didn't make the video so I have also posted a copy of the The Glorious Unseen's video for the song below, I really encourage you to watch it and listen to the words.

Lastly I will say that this message for me was one I've lived, especially this past year. It was not necessarily one I wanted to preach, but I needed to. I needed to know that we can't give up in our prayer life. I needed to know that Jesus doesn't give us that option. I needed to know that my God is faithful, even when I am faithless and I needed to know that he always keeps his promises. I hope the message meets you were you are and you find some encouragement from it.

For those that are interested the scripture I used was Luke 18:1-8 and the points are listed below:

1. Don’t Give Up There Is Too Much At Stake (verses 1-2)
2. Don’t Give Up When Circumstances Seem to Be Against You (verse 3)
3. Don’t Give Up the Answer May Be Just Around the Corner. (verses 4-5)
4. Don’t Give up God is Working Out the Answer (verses 7-8)
5. Don’t Give Up Jesus Always Keeps His Promises (verse 8)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

I know some of you are looking for video of the sermon I preached this morning. I have uploaded to GodTube and it should be available as soon as they get done with whatever content reviews they need to do. If that happens tonight I will embed the video in a post and if not it will be tomorrow. I honestly do appreciate the interest.

We had The Night last night and it was actually the conclusion of The Big Night which was cut short by rain. And it really was an awesome night. Our City Sleeps and Sunday Obsession rocked out and lead worship. The Nuteenz drama team did a powerful skit that used the song Everything by Lifehouse and Kyler Barr delivered an awesome message on going into the world and making disciples. I am really in awe of were God seems to be going with The Night and other ministries of involved with and even more in awe that he lets me be a part of it.

Here's your lyric for this week:

I'm scared and I'm alone
I'm shamed and I need for you to know

I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say
And you can't take back what you've taken away
Cause I feel you, I feel you near me
I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say
And you can't take back what you've taken away
Cause I feel you, I feel you near me

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Can't we all just get along!

So another election has come and gone. Democrats won pretty much everything, so I'm sure Armegeddon is right around the corner. I have become so weary of the "I'm right" attitude of both sides that it really makes me not even want to take part in the process. It seems that as a society we have lost the ability to disagree civilly. If you know me you know I love a good discussion and if I can get under your skin I will certainly do it but at the end of the dicussion I will laugh with you, hug on your neck and still try to be the best friend I can be. It just seems to me that in our effort to be proven right we forget that there are actual people with actual emotions and feelings that are getting run over. While it was certainly my desire that the outcome last night would be different the God whom I (and alot of democrats) serve obviously had a different plan and he has this, like he has all things, in control and "under his feet." As an American I think it's awesome that this process that has served us so well for over 200 years still works. I am in awe of the fact that 40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated we are going to see an African-American president. And as my president he has my full support and respect. Whether I agree or disagree with his politics I will pray for God's will and guidance for him and for our country.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

Thanks to all of you for checking out the video of my sermon last week. I'll be preaching again on 11/23 for those of you that are local and would like to stop in and hear. The message from last week was something that had several months to brew, so having to have something ready in just over 4 weeks seems a bit daunting but I already have several ideas brewing and I'm sure God will make it clear in plenty of time.

Here's the lyric:

Fearful tears are running down
The pain you've laid don't speak a sound
Don't take my heart away from me
And they think I fell down, again

Monday, October 20, 2008


Well yesterday I had the privilege of preaching at my church for the first time. I was admittedly nervous but I didn't commit any major faux pas and everyone seemed to enjoy and receive what I had to say. The video is below, it about 24 minutes long and you'll probably need to turn your speaker up to hear it but I hope you like.

There seems to be a teensy problem with playback. After a couple of minutes it abruptly stops - to remedy this, just restart it and move the play bar at the bottom of the video over to where it left off, and start it back up. There isn't any buffering if you have high speed internet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

Fall asleep...
Don't fall asleep...
Don't fall asleep...
[They lied when they said that the good die young]
They lied when they said the good die young... [Woah-oh oh-oh]
They lied when they said the good die young.
Stay with me, stay with me tonight.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Artist Of The Moment

I tend to listen to a lot of bands/artists that are not exactly mainstream. They're good but for various reason you're not likely to hear them on the radio or MTV. So to give you all a feel for some of them I'm going to start featuring a different "artist of the moment" in my playlist widget. It's over there <----. Just click the play button on the widget and give a listen. Feel free to leave comments with your opinions. The first artist is Anberlin. They've been around for several years and have developed into one of my favorite bands for the fact that they do rock oh so hard. Anyway enjoy and, you never know, it may help you with a Song Lyric Sunday down the road.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Prayer Request

If you get a chance say a prayer for my sister-in-law Sherry today. She's having some pretty heavy duty surgery on her shoulder. She's been told the shoulder will be immobile for 7-10 days and the rehab could be as long as 6 months so I'm sure she'd appreciate any prayers for a speedy recovery.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

We can load what we own in the back of a U-haul van.
Couple modern day Moses', searchin for the promised land.
We can go four hundred miles before we stop for gas.
We can drive for a day, and then we'll take a look at the map.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


It's been an interesting few days to say the least. My youth group put on the second annual The Big Night yesterday and all in all it really did turn out to be a great event. The weather threatened all day and we got a few hours of clear skies but when the skies opened, boy did they open!!! The rain was one thing, but with lightning all around us we really had to consider everyone's safety and call it about 3 hours earlier than we had planned on. We ended the night with the guys from Our City Sleeps singing "Rain Down" which was a perfect way to end things. Speaking of Our City Sleeps, if you get the chance to see them live you should go do it!!! They really are one of the best bands I've heard in a long time and genuinely nice guys to boot.

I also got some unsettling news from a friend yesterday. While it wasn't unexpected and I kind of saw it coming, it didn't make it any easier and right now I'm wondering if there's anything I could have done to prevent it. If you're familiar with the situation you'll know what I'm talking about, otherwise just call it a semi-unspoken prayer request and say a prayer cuz God will know what you're talking about.

Here's a song lyric for this week:

Cold rappin' for the King with a sting in my voice
Not condemnin' men or women, but relayin' a choice
Higher groud is the sound that I'm talkin of
Opportunity knocks through a different love
Not love like we know it, like ya love your girl
It's a love from above not of this world

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tidbits from my youth group

Even though I've been a youth leader for close to 20 years, teens never cease to amaze me. 2 examples from recent meetings:

2 weeks ago I did a lesson on how the kids view themselves, their future and why it's important to keep God first no matter where you think life might take you. I was asking a series of questions; one of which was "When you meet a person of the opposite sex, how do you see that person in relationship to yourself?" My experience tells me that this question had serious rabbit trail potential. So before asking I told the group that I wanted them to write down the first thing that came to mind, and not to over think it. Well that might work in a youth group without Kody L. in it, but Kody just has a unique way of seeing the world and has had the whole class in belly laughs with his comments and opinions on multiple occassions. So we're discussing the answers to the question and Kody L. raises his hand and says "you said the first answer that came to mind, right?" My brain went "ut oh" and I said "yes" and he said "OK, cookies and pie." Which preceded to send the whole group, myself included into what was probably a good 3 minutes of the aforementioned belly laughs.

And last night we were talking about Jesus healing the 10 lepers and just the one returning. I threw out the question "How do you think Jesus felt when only one returned?" After the standard "disappointed" "sad" "angry" answers, Abbey H. raised her hand and asked 'Why did he have to feel anything, he's God he knew the weren't gonna come back didn't he?' The question is even more insightful when you consider that Abbey just moved up to senior high 2 weeks ago. Carey and I explained that we don't know for sure that "man" Jesus knew everything beforehand and she seemed okay with that. Since Carey is her dad I'm sure it made for interesting car talk on the way home though :D

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never, Ever Forget

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Random Stuph 09/06

I know it's been a while, for some weird reason this time of year always seems to be a down time for my blog postings. No idea why, it just is.

I've had a pretty busy few weeks, took my old Taurus for inspection last Friday and they said it needs new ball joints and new tires and it'll be about a bajillion (ok, $700) bucks for us to do it. I told them to go ahead and put a rejected sticker on it and I'll see if I can get some help from some friends. I called my friend Homer and he said he could do the ball joints if I bought them. Well they cost me about 60 bucks and he has my car right now fixing it. Although after talking with his son yesterday, Homer may be regretting actually agreeing to do it. More on that in another post. Once the ball joints are done, it's off to Mr. Tire, Costco or somewhere that tires are cheaper than what the other guys want.

I rediscovered Larry Norman recently. Larry was really the first "Christian" rocker. He was an incredible musician and definitely did not fit into the mold that the church wanted him to. If you get a chance check out some of his music, it may sound a bit dated but the lyrics are incredible and you won't be disappointed.

Speaking of music, if things work out there will be another Song Lyric Sunday Contest soon. Now, I may post lyrics on Sunday between now and the start of the contest but there will be NO PRIZES until the contest officially starts.

I spoke at The Night last Saturday night and while I have been a youth teacher/leader for close to 20 years, this is the first time I've actually had to prepare something akin to a sermon and deliver it front of a crowd. I was a bit nervous but other than feeling like I rushed through it a bit I thought it went well. I got good feedback from several people who would have no problem telling me if there were problems with it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for the Drews Family. Last night their 3 year old son drowned in a pond behind their home. More info can be found here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Little bit of salt and light

Donald Miller has been a favorite author of mine ever since I read Blue Like Jazz so it was a great surprise to see him pray at the Democratic National Convention last night. Regardless of your political leanings, his prayer was a great example for us all. You can watch the whole thing below:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

Here's the lyric...

Now we're up to talking divorce,
And we weren't even married.

8/18 Update Dana's got the song title right and it was COMPOSED by Burt Bacharach but he didn't record it. Who recorded it???

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Has it really been a year?

If you know me at all you know I love dogs. Especially the small, cuddle up on your lap kind. I was blessed with a one of a kind buddy named Guilo and when I had to have him put down in January 07 I really didn't think I'd ever be interested in having another pet. Well last summer we were blessed with the addition of two bundles of major cuteness. Muffin calls them our "special needs kids" because both survived really rough births and have a couple of health issues. The first pic is from the car ride home a year ago today.

Aslan has had his share of health issues, including a leaky heart valve and hernia surgery. Just this morning he was at the vet for an infected hot spot on his tail. When we first got him he was all boy and determined to be the boss, well the hernia wasn't the only thing they "fixed" with that surgery and he's not nearly as domineering as he used to be. He's very much a cuddler and still loves to play. He has the "bay" of a hound and is quick to let us know when someone is near the house. He also loves be scratched on either side of his neck and will love you forever if you do that for more than 30 seconds.

Lilybet is actually fairly healthy , but she has shown some signs of Syringomyelia. Which is a spinal fluid condition that is fairly common to the breed and other than her occasional scratching episode she seems none the worse for it. She is 6 lbs of Diva, when she first came to us, she was timid and was pretty much completely dominated by Aslan. While she is still a tad timid, but she has made it clear that if there's any dominating to be done she will do it. She rarely barks, but when she does you better listen up. She loves to be scratched on her chest just under her chin and will like you a lot if you do it for more than 30 seconds :D

I won't say they've taken Guilo's place in my heart, but I will say they've made a pretty good place of their own. The below pic was taken today. Seems they have also made themselves a pretty good place on Dad's recliner.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

I got to go to Promise Keepers this weekend and what an awesome event. They're really aren't words to describe the feeling of worshiping with 10,000 other men. The speakers were awesome and challenged me in areas of my life that I needed to be challenged in. The event was made extra special because I got to spend it with my brother Dana and my nephew Kyle and we had a blast. The only drawback was that I have changed timezones every day for the past 4 days and I'm just little lagged right now :D Here's the lyric:

Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Just a little something

OK, first of all. There is currently NO CONTEST associated with Song Lyric Sunday. I know I had posted previously that there would be a contest in July but that hasn't worked out. I still plan to do one and when it happens, trust me you will know!

So over the past week I have been asked for my input on a couple of conflict situations that involve some very good friends. For some reason I seem to be one of those people that both sides of argument come to for advice. I really don't understand it either, because I'm not the type of person that's going to tell you that you're right just cause you're my friend and you want to hear it. In fact I tend to be blunt and will tell you if I think you're wrong. Both situations recently involved long term friendships that were being affected by miscommunication and/or things that had been left unsaid. I'm not gonna share details, because if you weren't involved, it's not any of your business. I will say that feelings have been aired, tears have been shed and both situations seem to be on their way to a resolution.

I posted a poem a while back about someone that had really disappointed me. Again I'm not gonna post the sordid details but I will say that God has been faithful and He has done an incredible work to restore a relationship that seemed very close to being irreparable.

So tomorrow I'm flying to Nashville so I can do promise keepers this weekend with my brother. I am very excited and looking forward to a weekend away and some guy time with my bro and other Christian brothers

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday, etc.

So it's been an eventful weekend to say the least. When we got home Thursday night, Dana called and said that Kyle and his team had won their game that night and they would playing on Friday night, with Kyle pitching. If they won Friday night, they would play for the state championship at 10 am on Saturday. When I got off the phone Muffin says, "we should go." Well after some emails and phone calls to make sure I could work 1/2 a day Friday we pulled out about 12:15 Friday afternoon, headed for Johnson City, TN. The game was at 7 and most mapping sites listed the drive at just over 6 hours. Well we made 2 quick stops, hit no traffic and had great weather the whole way down. We pulled into the parking lot at 6:30 and hadn't taken 10 steps when my brother and his family pulled into the lot. After lots of hugs, we headed over and watched the game. Kyle really is a very gifted athlete and he pitched a phenomonal game on Friday night and his team won 6-3. He also hit a double that scored 3 of his teams runs. Little League rules won't allow pitchers to pitch in back to back games so he couldn't pitch the final Saturday and Jimmy "Digger" Hollandsworth pitched a great game but they lost 5-1. They finished 2nd for their age group in the entire state and I am extremely proud not only of my nephew but the whole team, they played well, never gave up and did their town, families and friends extremely proud.

I took this pic from behind the backstop, right after I took it the umpire turned around and started walking toward me. It took me bout 3 seconds to realize I was probably not supposed to be there. I muttered a quick "sorry, blue" and beat a quick path to my seat beside Muffin.

Even though we only saw them for a few hours, it was great to spend some time with my family. My niece Cassie and my nephew Kullin even got to come back and spend the night in our hotel room. Cassie had a great time and even got to share some Fun Dip with Aunt Shasta. She was quick to show off her green tongue afterwards to:

We hadn't seen Dana's family since they were up for Mom's funeral and it was nice to be able to see everyone doing so well. The trip down was filled with a lot of very happy, simple memories of our previous drives down to visit Dana and his family and while it would have been nice to have Mom with us I know she had the best seat in the house and was cheering right along with the rest of us.

Here's this weeks lyric:

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it’s time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch ’em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) it’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!
Oh, put me in, coach - I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, coach - I’m ready to play today;
Look at me

Monday, July 21, 2008

Couple Quick Things

2 great news items happened in the past couple of days.

1. Muffin and I have another godson. William Joseph Petretta arrived at 6:15 pm on Weds. July 16. He is just as cute as a button and as soon as his photographer Father has pics on line I will let y'all know :D

2. My nephew Kyle's little league all star team started the Tennessee state 10-11 year old playoffs on Saturday and Kyle had quite the game. He pitched a complete game no-hit shutout and struck out 16. The pic below is from the story in his hometown newspaper. Go check it out for all the details.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

What a week

Well this week has been eventful to say the least. Shasta and I helped our friend Pastor Billy from Fellowship Bible Church out at their Summer Break this year. Summer Break is a week long event that is essentially a vacation bible school for teens. There was games, food, music and great teaching every evening. Shasta and I served as team leads for what I think was the smallest team there. It was a real challenge for our team to compete and score points in the games challenges but they more than made up for it by memorizing their verses and just gutting it out all. Props to Melissa who was one of only 3 attendees who memorized every verse (15 total) this week. For the first 4 days our team was either 7th or 8th of the 8 teams there and it was an inspiration to me to watch them continue to go full steam even against teams that in some case had twice as many members. Well when the final points were totalled, we were suprised to find that it was based on the average per team member and not total points. Our team ended up third overall but more importantly we had a great time and grew in the word!!!

Thursday night we decided to go catch the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight with several of the teens from our youth group. First of all, the movie very much deserves it's PG-13 rating. It is however an incredible movie, Heath Ledger's performance as Joker will be talked about for years to come. In my opinion his performance was a actually a bit tame compared to previous versions of the Joker, which is exactly what it needed. It would have been very easy for him to carbon copy Caesar Romero or Jack Nicholson's performances but he takes the character to a new place and pulls it off spectacularly. Christian Bale is just about perfect as Bruce Wayne/Batman. His understated performance as a conflicted, reluctant superhero will be overshadowed by Ledger's but is no less dynamic and the film would not have been nearly as good with out it. We got home at 3:30 am and I was up and working by 8:50. Lunch brought a 90 minute nap and with the help of 5 hour energy I made it through the last night of Summer Break.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fish On!!!

Well check out my nephew Kullin, he caught this fish recently and to quote his dad "He about crapped his pants." with excitement. Congrats Kullin!!!

And I know it's not Sunday, but here's a Song Lyric Anyway...

Now there's a chance that if I hurry
I could beg her to stay
But that water's right
And the weather's perfect
No tellin' what I might catch today

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tuesday, Tuesday

Congrats to Dana for getting this weeks Song Lyric. Shasta was right as well in that Vince Gill sang with Sara Evans on No Place That Far. I picked that song because it was 4 years ago this month that Shasta and I went down to Annapolis, got engaged and I surprised her with a Sara Evans show.

If you happened to be watching Raw last night you saw my sister-in-law Angela and her husband Matt in one of the crowd shots (although it was so quick we almost missed it). When my nephew Jonathon called this morning to tell me all about it he was quick to inform that he could "take" JBL with the 619. LOL. I know that if you don't watch rasslin that really means nothing to you. I will admit that there was a time when I didn't miss a show, but it has been several years since I've watched with any regularity and it doesn't hold nearly the fascination that it once did. My suspicion is there are a few of you out there that have been or currently are fans.

Speaking of my nephews, my nephew Kyle had an awesome outing for his little league all star team. With the exception of the last out, he pitched the whole game. He struck out 13, only gave up 2 runs and his team won 10-7. Way to go Kyle!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

If I had to run, if I had to crawl
If I had to swim a hundred rivers, just to climb a thousand walls,
Always know that I will find a way, to get to where you are,


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Every Breath You Take

Yes I know it was easy. I actually got the idea to use it when I was watching Nashville Star last Monday night and one of the contestants did a pretty decent version of it. Speaking of Nashville Star, last nights episode had to be one of the worst episodes of reality music television evah!!! But I digress. Hearing "Every Breath You Take" reminded me that when the song was a hit, back in the 80's I always thought Sting was singing "I'm a pool hall ace" and not "How my poor heart aches." Go ahead and laugh, we all have songs we're the lyrics sound like something completely nonsensical. You know you do. Feel free to leave comments with some of your own :D

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hey Y'all

First of all, if you're reading this and you are the one who sent Muffin and I a copy of The Shack. Thank You!! Muffin is reading it right now and I'll grab it when she's done.

The next Song Lyric Sunday contest will begin on Sunday July 7 and we actually have a sponsor and prize package and it will be like a real contest!!! It'll run for 8 weeks and the rules will be the same as the last one. Which means you'll be on your honor for not googling the lyrics!

Friday, June 20, 2008

mobile blog setup

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

We'll be doing a new contest starting in July, and the cool part is it looks like I actually have a sponsor lined up. I'll give more details later. Here's this weeks lyric

He said, “I just climbed out of a cottonwood tree
I was runnin' from some honey bees
Drip dryin' in the summer breeze
After jumpin' into Calico creek
I was walkin' down an old dirt road
Past a field of hay that had just been mowed
Man I wish you'd just left me alone

Monday, June 09, 2008

SLS Winners

Ok, I honestly thought that there was maybe one regular reader of my blog that would get yesterdays lyric. Well to my surprise, 2 people got it and neither was who I suspected. Kate and Dana are both right, Through The Fire was originally recorded by The Crabb Family and Randy Travis covered it on his album Glory Train, with The Crabb Family helping out on vocals. Congrats to Kate and Dana!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

First of all Congrats to Angie for getting the last SLS right. She guessed Heaven In The Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman. She got a little help from JC but what the heck!

Here's this weeks:

he never promised that the cross would not get heavy
and the hill would not be hard to climb
he never offered our victories without fighting
but he said help would always come in time

Oh and a quick prayer request for my buddy Aslan, he goes in for surgery tomorrow to fix a hernia and be neutered. It's actually pretty simple surgery but since he has a leaky heart valve, any surgery is risky. The vet doing the surgery specializes in dogs with his heart condition, so that much is a relief. Just pray that things go quickly and that this will be the last surgery he ever has to have.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

O, Canada

So not 10 minutes after I blogged yesterday, we finished loading up the car and when I went to start it, nothing, just clicking. Seems some idiot (me) had left the dome light on after he got done setting up the GPS the night before. I pulled our other car alongside and tried to jump start, but nothing, still just clicking. I was convinced it was the starter and so I proceeded to do what all mature, grown men do it that situation. I threw a tantrum :D. I called my good friends at Ameritech Tire and Auto and they said if I could get the battery up there they would test it and see if it was the battery or something else. I grabbed some tools and before I got started Ameritech called back and said the owner, Newman, was headed down with a HotShot to try to give the battery a boost. Well he got there, the hotshot worked and after a quick stop at AutoZone for a new battery, we were on our way.

By the way, if you're looking for quality work from good people, take your car to Ameritech. I really can't say enough about them.

I really have to thank Randy for letting us use his GPS. It kept us off the major interstates for the most part, we got to see some beautiful scenery driving through PA and NY and we avoided most of the tolls we would have paid if we had used the directions I printed from the internet.

Our room, is well awesome, we have had top notch service since we pulled in. Valet parking, the bell hop turned us on to some local restaurants and the internet techs were here within 5 minutes when I called about not being able to connect. The view is not the ideal one of the Falls but just being able to see them from our room is awesome. The pic below was taken from our room window.

I haven't been to Canada since the mid-90's and things are way more pricey then they were on my last visit. An example would be the two 1 litre bottles of Aquafina water sitting on the desk here that have a tag which says "Make Your Body Happy $9.95 + tax." I'm sure there's some fine print that says "And piss your wallet off." I just haven't found it yet.

That's it for now, I'll post more pics in another post.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Road Trip!!!

So in just a few minutes, Muffin and I will be headed to Canada for the weekend. Our very good friend Mamen hooked us up with 2 nights in Niagara Falls and we have been excitedly looking forward to it for the past 2 weeks. It has been a long time since we've had the chance to get away by ourselves and with the craziness of the past several months it is much needed. So the GPS is ready, we have a full compliment of MP3's and I am ready for a good ole fashioned road trip with the most beautiful woman in the world!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

70 x 7

Part of me wants to understand why you do what you do
Part of me doesn't give a rat's ass
Part of me has to forgive you, every time
Part of me wishes it was optional and wants to punch you in the mouth, every time
Part of me cares about you and hurts for what you go through
Part of me hurts more for the people I see you hurt
Part of me wants you to see and understand exactly what grace is
All of me lives in and needs that same grace every day

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

To stand in the pouring rain and believe the sun will shine again
To know that the grave is not the end
To feel the embrace of grace and cross the line where real life begins
And know in your heart you've found the missing part

There is a hope, there is a peace
That will make this life complete
For every man, woman, boy, and girl

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy (belated) Birthday, ya redneck!!!

Yesterday was my brother Dana's birthday. Dana is only 18 months younger than me so I don't remember a time when he wasn't part of my life. At times he's been a bit annoying and he's always, well, loud :D but if I could have picked a brother I don't think I would have changed him much at all. He's very quick with a remark and hilariously funny at times. He loves to hunt and fish and is handy with cars (all traits the skipped right over his big bro). He and his family moved to Tennessee about 5 years ago and have made quite the life for themselves. Since that move I have seen his faith grow in leaps and bounds and I know both Mom and Dad are very pleased with the man of God he's turned into. If you would have told me 5 years ago that Dana would be asking me about going to Promise Keepers with him I would have just chuckled at you, but we are planning just that for this August. The pic below is of him and my sister-in-law Sherry and does a great job of capturing his personality. So happy b-day BRO!!! You know I love you!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Prince Caspian

So as I stated in my last post Muffin and I went to see Prince Caspian. Overall I think it's a fantastic film, I'll try to give a fair review without spoiling it for anyone. I have few complaints, none of which are major. My biggest is the choice of Ben Barnes to play Caspian. The book is pretty clear that Caspian was a pre-teen or in his early teens at the oldest and Barnes is obviously much older. However this is forgivable and Barnes actually does an adequate job with the part. And for some reason the producers felt the need to add some romantic tension between Caspian and Susan that the book makes no mention of and really does nothing for the story line. I could nit pick other things but for the most part the movie is a faithful representation of the book. As for what I liked, oh my. where to start. Visually the film is absolutely stunning, the scenery is gorgeous and the effects are even better than the first film. Where LWW had at least one scene where the CGI was obvious, there were no such scenes in Caspian. The CGI animals are even more impressive than they were in LWW. Aslan comes across as even more life like and Trufflehunter the badger is done incredibly well. Personally it was awesome to see one of my favorite literary characters, Reepicheep the mouse, brought to life with incredible realism and personality that matches the one I pictured when reading the book. Even at over 2 hours, it was the type of movie that I was disappointed to see end and will definitely see again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

At The Movies

If you know me at all, you know that I am a huge fan of C.S. Lewis. I won't say I've read everything he's written, but I have read a substantial amount and The Chronicles of Narnia are high on my list of favorite reads. So when I heard that Walden Media and Disney had signed on to make all the books into movies I was cautiously optimistic. Well I loved The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and have been anxiously awaiting the release of Prince Caspian. Well tonight my wait ends, we have tickets to the 12:01 am showing that starts in just under 3 hours. It's ok, go ahead, envy me :D I'll let ya know how it is later.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day

*NOTE: We're under construction, please excuse any messes!*

Today is the first mothers day in my life that Mom hasn't been here for. While I miss her and the day has had it's mixed emotions it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. Every time I want to allow myself to get down I'm reminded, in one way or the other, that mom is so much better off. I told my friend Sam this morning on the way out of church that's she's probably still saying "Watch this!" to my dad and taking off at a dead sprint across heaven, with Guilo right on her heels :D I had planned to take flowers to her grave today, but the weather turned rainy and I can just see her saying "I'm not going out in that mess!" and so I'll take some by later this week. Even after my father passed I never visited his grave much. Graves hold little symbolism for me as I know neither of them are actually at the graveyard and that I can talk to either of them whenever I want without going to their graves.

I have been blessed to have my mother-in-law Flo with us since the day after Moms funeral and it was a blessing to be able to celebrate with her. She got a dozen roses and corsage and we did lunch at Sonic. Now you have to understand that until recently the nearest Sonic was 3 hours away in Pennsylvania, well last month one opened in Winchester which is a mere 30 mins from here. So Muffin and Flo were more than eager to do lunch at Sonic. And above you will see a pic of our first meal there :D

And to all you mothers that frequent this blog. I hope your Momma Day has been everything you wanted and more. Happy Momma Day to Flo, Kate, Kirsten, Joanne, Becky H., Mara, Tina, Becky P., Angie and anyone else I've forgotten, charge the forgetfulness to my head and not my heart because I have much love for you all. Last but not least a special Happy Momma Day to Julie for spending her mothers day coming up with this great new template for my blog. Julie's a great friend who moved Texas a while back and I miss her a lot. If you don't already, be sure to check out her blog "The Clearing."

Congrats to Alex for getting last weeks lyric correct. I would have also accepted Larry Norman for the artist. Larry Norman wrote the song and is considered by many to be the "father" of Christian Rock. He went home to be with Jesus in February but left an incredible legacy that won't soon be forgotten. And here's this weeks lyric

Lovin you is like food to my soul
Youre always down for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did
And you took up for me
When everyone was downin me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on
There was so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you come to me
And say to me I can face anything
And no one else can do
What you have done for me
Youll always be
You will always be the girl in my life

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Six Word Memoir

So my wife and several others have done this six word memoir thing and I got tagged to do it to. It's not as easy as it sounds but after some thought I came up with...

A work in progress, almost done.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Song Lyric Sunday

If you know anything about me, you know I love music. Music has been my confetti when I'm happy and my pillow when I'm sad. One of my biggest complaints about the church before I became a believer was that the music in church didn't appeal to me at all and if the church would get rockin then maybe I would be more inclined to go. Of course the way I phrase it at 38 is slightly different from the phrasing I used as 16 or 17. Well not long after my dad died in a car accident the president of our schools bible club brought me some cassettes by Amy Grant, Leslie Phillips and Mylon Lefevere and Broken Heart and not too long after that the schools metal head Tommy let me borrow a tape by the band Stryper. And I was honestly amazed, for a kid that had grown up with some very rigid rules of what Christian music could be I was a little overwhelmed and it actually took me several months to get my head around the fact that this music was "Christian." Well that music was instrumental in leading me to the Lord. It also lead to a friendship with Pete that is still strong to this day. I've mentioned in previous blogs that we actually had a pretty successful DJ service that provided a Christian alternative for those who wanted to dance without having to worry about what they were listening to. Well it's been several years since we have actually DJ'd together but several times a year my youth or a friend will ask me to do something and since I really do enjoy it I usually say yes if my schedule allows. Last night I got to do the local Home School Formal, which is basically a prom for the home school kids in the area. This is the second year I've done it and I really enjoyed myself. I was joking with my friend James that I have to be careful with what I play, because some of the stuff that I play 10-15 years ago that I like and is good music just doesn't appeal to today's teens.

I kind of wax nostalgic when I think about how far Christian music has come. Gone are the days of Pete and I traveling to the local Christian bookstores to stock up on all the latest music. Gone are the days of us filling up the back of his trooper with trays of CD's. I fit more music than we ever carried on a 150gb portable hard drive with tons of room to spare. And these days I buy more music at Wal-mart or off the internet and I honestly couldn't even tell you the last time I went to a bookstore. I miss the buy 5 get 1 free sticker promotions that gave an incentive to buy the music at a Christian bookstore. The fact was, before it became more mainstream, Christian music had sort of an underground feel to it and it was the neatest thing to be able to turn someone on to a band like The Prayer Chain, Sixpence None the Richer, P.O.D., Switchfoot and countless others and also get the chance to talk to them about Jesus. I'm not saying that the increased exposure for Christian music is a bad thing, it just makes me realize that things are different than they used to be and that time marches on. So in honor of that I'm gonna throw some retro Christian lyrics out there.

I ain't knocking the hymns,
Just give me a song that has a beat.
I ain't knocking the hymns,
Just give me a song that moves my feet.
I don't like none of those funeral marches
I ain't dead yet!

There will be another contest starting soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I'm the birthday boy!!!

Today is Aslan's first birthday. A year ago today, this little guy had a rough start to his life. Because he was deprived of oxygen during birth, he was born blue and required CPR. He hasn't really shown any ill effects of this and just seems to take life as it comes. Aslan is all boy and loves to play, chew, bark and generally has a happy go lucky attitude toward life. He finally seems to be getting the whole potty training thing down and at least goes to the door when he needs to go out. Of course going out to him could mean just some time outside. Because, unlike Lilybet, he's just as happy to be outside as he is inside. He seems to fancy himself a watch dog, even to the point of barking at his own reflection in the living room window. He is very much a kisser and has learned to "lick Daddy's glasses" pretty much on cue from Momma, grrrr. He is also very content to cuddle up on the couch with momma or daddy and just be. So happy b-day lil man!!!


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Couple Quick Things

First, the Song Lyric for this week was from the song "So Wonderful" by the band Undercover, the lead singer wrote it after going to his grandmothers (if memory serves me) funeral. It's long been a favorite of mine and when my mom passed it was one of the first songs that came to mind.

With regards to David Cook being undiscovered; I was told tonight that he has released a single at some point? I can't find any verification of this anywhere so if anyone has anything on this let me know. Independent, myspace, youtube and American Idol iTunes downloads don't really count.

And I've already ranted enough in the past about my growing disdain for Paula that I'm just not even gonna comment about THIS MESS

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol (bleh!)

OK, so I've been a fan of American Idol since the first episode of the first season. And in all honesty this season has been my least favorite ever. Despite all the hype that the level of talent this year is the "best ever." I'm just not seeing it. It's funny because the powers that be seem to have tried to "stack the deck" with a slew of almost beens and people who had their share of experience and can't really be considered amateurs. There's a very good article over on Vote For The Worst that details just how much the producers tried to force fed us people (e.g. Carly Smithson, Michael Johns, Kristy Lee Cook) who have failed at previous attempts to become pop stars. The funny thing is, the most original and talented of the bunch is David Cook, who from what I can see is the only one who would qualify as an undiscovered talent.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Busy Weekend and Song Lyric Sunday is back :D

So it's been a rather eventful weekend. We went to Eli's first birthday yesterday and his baptism this morning. It was a lot of fun and we got to spend a lot of time with some folks we had seen in quite a while. Keep an eye on Our Adoption Story for pictures cause I'm sure his parents will have some up soon.

I updated my playlist and it's got like 50 songs in it now, so take a listen and let me know what you think. If you happen to hear something that doesn't sound like the song it's supposed to be, please let me know!

Speaking of songs, Song Lyric Sunday is back, at least for this week. In all honesty I'll be hugely surprised if anybody but J.C. gets this one. J.C., I'm pretty sure you probably know it, but at least give everyone a day or two to get it before you answer :D

I came to see you one more time
I came to say goodbye
I missed you though you came to me
I felt you in the air
The smile of your spirit
The glory of your soul
Aren't you so happy to be free
And flying in the air

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring Cleaning

OK, figured it was time for a change on the ole blog so I thought I'd try out Yankees template. Since, it is like baseball season and stuff. Enjoy

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Love You More

For the longest time I honestly thought I would never find the "one for me." Friends had said you'll know when you find her, but I was in my mid-30's and had pretty much given up when I met Shasta and by our second date I knew she was it :D It's been 3 wonderful years and I don't know how it's possible but I think I fall more in love with her each. She continues to amaze me in every way. I love you so much muffin!!!

One of the reason we picked April 23 was because it was close to my fathers b-day. He would have been 64 on April 22. I'm sure he would more than approve of muffin and that mom has filled him in on how wonderful their daughter-in-law is. So happy birthday Dad!!!

Dem's muh boyz (and girl) :D

Just a quick shout out to my nephews Kyle and Kullen. Kyle is 12 and has been playing baseball since he was little. Well last night he hit his first 2 over the fence home runs!!! Not only did he hit 2 home runs, he pitched 5 innings and struck out 12! Kullen is 7 and just started soccer this year and scored his first goal on Saturday. Not only are the good athletes, they are good kids and I'd be proud of them even if they never hit another home run or scored another goal. Just like I'm proud of my other nephews Johnathon, Justin, and Cody and my niece Cassie.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guess who's 1 today!!!

Today is Lilybet's 1st birthday. She really is a sweetie, she can be very standoffish and skittish, especially around new people and she probably doesn't weigh more than 6 lbs but when Aslan gets on her bad side she really does wear him out. She never barks at people, only Aslan, and she is completely house broken. She is definitely a house dog and any time spent outside other than going potty is a waste of her time and she is completely content cuddled at Mommy or Daddy's feet while they watch TV. HAPPY B-DAY Lilybet!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Go Vote, like um now!!!!

My friends in Sunday Obsession have entered themselves in the National Young Guns competition for bands with high school age members. You can vote twice a day and starting at midnight on 4/16/08 you can vote once an hour. Click HERE and select best if you wanna help them out. You can also check out their MySpace for gigs and such. I'm sure they would very much appreciate the support.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Couple Things

First of all, I'm watching Idol and does anybody know who dressed Paula??? What the heck is the deal with that top? It looks like it's 2 sizes too small and somethings gonna pop out of it any second!

So we went to Hershey Park on Saturday and I was major disappointed. The last time I went there was this really neat coffee shop by the main gates that sold this awesome Hershey's Chocolate whole bean coffee that I have been wanting to get more of for the past 5 years or so. Well the coffee shop is now a stinkin Dunkin Donuts and the coffee is apparently no where to be found in the park. The good thing was we spent several hours at Chocolate World and found several flavors of Hershey Kisses that we either haven't been able to find or have never had. Including Cherry Cordial and Chocolate Marshmallow, both of which are wayyyy awesome.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Happiest, Saddest, Funniest

Mom's funeral was Weds. and a friend said afterward that it was "Happiest, Saddest, Funniest" funeral she had ever been too. I'd have to agree, we really wanted to celebrate Momma's life and the fact that she is at home now and I think we had a service that she would have loved. The music was great, the words shared were perfect and it truly was funny, happy and sad at the same time. I feel the need to say thank you to sooooo many people but in all honesty there is no way I could remember everyone or that words could express the depth of my gratitude.

As for me, it gets better daily I think. I miss her and that will not change, but I remember more of the good each day and let the emotions come when they want to. We picked up my mother-in-law Flo in Pennsylvania yesterday morning and she is going to stay the next few weeks to help around the house. She really is a blessing and it's nice to have just her presence around the house. I see in her a lot of the qualities that attracted me to her daughter and am thankful to God for extending my family to include her.

Weather permitting, we are headed to Hershey Park tomorrow with my brother and his family. My nephews have never been to an amusement park and this will not only allow them to go, it will allow us to spend some time together before they head back to Tennessee. It has been a blessing having them here and we truly have enjoyed our time together. Admittedly, I wish it would have been under better circumstances but any time Momma saw her boys together she was happy and we know she's ecstatic now.

There are several blogs you should check out that have written kind words about Mom. I know she was very special to me, but the fact that she was so special to so many is at times overwhelming and Y'all make me cry :D.

Eccentric Ramblingz
(my wife's blog) posted 2 wonderful blogs. I am grateful and thankful that God not only provided me with a wonderful wife but provided Mom an incredible daughter-in-law who loved her like her own mother.

Intrigue/Passion/Rebellion My friend Becky's blog. I found this blog comforting in that Becky and sooo many others shared in my family's suffering on Saturday and are now rejoicing in her "Forever."

My friend Julie did 2 posts
A touching and appropriate scrapbook page

And this one

And Keet did this one, which might be the one Momma would have liked the most because it talks about food.

Many thanks to each of you, and if I missed one please, please let me know. It does my heart so good to read them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


My house is quiet now, save for the breeze blowing through the windows and soft music in the background. It's actually kind of nice, the days have been hectic but filled with happy memories and of course some tears.

Martin got into town this morning, so all of Momma's boys are together and I'm sure she's smiling. We had a small private viewing this afternoon and it was actually a happy time. After the viewing we had dinner together and shared memories, smiles and laughter about the sweetest, most beautiful woman we know. I couldn't help but notice that she looks so peaceful and I know she's resting. The past 2 months were not at all restful for her, mainly because she was not at home in her bed. But we know now that she is AT HOME resting at the feet of the One whose scars paid for that home. While I miss her terribly, there is not an ounce of me that wants her back here because I know she is pain free, her body is whole and she is worshipping her precious Savior.

Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts and prayers. I hope to see many of you tonight at the viewing or the funeral tomorrow. If I choke up while talking about her, just give me a second and I'll be fine.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

This morning

I awake this morning knowing that the most constant presence in my life is gone. There's a part of me that desperately wants to fix my mom a cup of coffee that she said I made better than anyone and just sit and talk to her, but my heart knows that she is at rest and better off than any of us that are left here. For those of you that maybe didn't know her, I'm truly sorry for you, because everyone she came in contact with developed an affection for her. Here are just a few things that you might not have known about her.
She was the type that pretty much everyone called Mom or Grandma.

She loved to read (James Patterson was a favorite) and loved to talk and learn about Jesus. I was not unusual to find her studying that bible at 3 or 4 am.

She spoke her mind, whether it was appropriate or not. I used to tease her that she had an opinion and everyone was entitled to it.

She loved lottery scratch off tickets.

She loved her kids and her grandkids and would do anything for them.

In the past 6 months she battled several falls, a separated shoulder, MRSA, e-coli and staph infections, a partial foot amputation, c-diff bacteria, arthritis, some depression.

She loved to do search a word puzzles, watch game shows, Law & Order, CSI, Without a Trace and John Hagee.

She was a dynamite cook (her carrot cake was legendary).

Mom, I miss you and will always love you.

Ruth Estelle Douglas

Feb. 16, 1935 - March 29, 2008.
She and my father dance with Angels now.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


They moved mom to ICU yesterday morning. She was having problems with her blood pressure dropping and was retaining a lot of fluid. In a regular room they couldn't give her any medication to help drain that fluid because of the low blood pressure and the fear that it may drop further. To be honest the move to ICU sent my mind on a whirlwind of fear and doubt and since I was by myself I felt very alone and helpless. I prayed, actually cried out to The Father, and talked to some family and friends through those tears. The arrival of my wife eased the lonely feeling and began a process of God showing me that he is still in charge and his hand is upon us.

Since 2 of my brothers live in other states and are approximately 10 hours away, I was concerned if I needed to tell them they needed to be here. I got to talk to Mom's doctor around lunchtime and ask her if my brothers should come. And her response was "actually she's improving." As the afternoon went by, little bits of good news continued to trickle in. Her white count is down, which means the infection is clearing up. Her blood pressure is still a bit on the low side, but the medicine to clear the fluid has not caused it drop to the previous low levels and she is draining some fluid. Her heart rate and oxygen levels are good which means the fluid has not cause the onset of her Congestive Heart Failure. Her mind though is still fearful and full of distrust. Please pray that God will calm her mind while her body continues to heal.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back and Forth

My poor mom has had a rough few days. On Tuesday the nursing home took her to the hospital and she was admitted with what is a very bad Urinary Tract Infection, thankfully her foot is showing no signs of infection. Yesterday morning she was in a lot of pain and agitated with her arthritis and was also dehydrated from battling diarrhea. When I left last evening her mood had settled, her fever had broken and she was sleeping soundly. I pray that God continues to heal her and get her to the point where one day we can all glorify him through this.

In his Easter sermon my pastor talked about an author who had written a book about her husbands bout with cancer and the author ended the book with the line "there is no eye on the sparrow." While I don't agree with that author, I can certainly understand. There have been times these past few months when I have questioned my faith down to the very core. It has been extremely difficult to watch my mother, who to my knowledge, has done very little to harm anyone go through what must be some very difficult and painful things. I do know that God has been there through this. I have seen Him in my wife, in my church family, in my immediate family and in other ways to numerous to mention.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Away for the day

Yes, I know it's been a while. The good news is, there is a lot to catch up on and hopefully this post will be worth the wait.

First of all, mom continues to improve a little everyday. The hardest part for her is being away from home and there are days when she desperately wants to come back. The good news is, those are becoming less frequent and I think she is keeping her mind focused on getting better so she can eventually be home instead of just wanting to come home. We know that she will be home eventually and are trusting God's timing for that.

I had asked several of you to pray for wisdom and guidance for me as I tried to negotiate the process of applying for Medicaid assistance with her hospital and nursing home bills. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about dealing with West Virginia DHHR and after seeing the list of forms and things I needed to provide to apply I was not at all looking forward to the process. My appointment was yesterday at 9 am and I had all the forms they asked for, with the exception of 2 that I just couldn't provide. I prayed before I went over and tried really hard to trust God and not worry, but I had my doubts and fears. Well at 9:30 the case worker called me back and asked for 4 of the 4,000 (well maybe not THAT many) forms I had with me. I happened to look up at her degree and noticed her first and middle names were Dana Lynn, which just happen to my brothers first and middle name. I took that as a sign and was able to relax a bit. So we talked and joked about that and really hit it off. I also noticed that she was in a gospel singing group and since I manage a band and love Christian music we were able to have a great conversation about that. She was extremely friendly and took the forms back to copy and says "well that's it." And I asked "so she's approved?" and she chuckled and said she definitely qualifies. The really awesome thing is the approval is retroactive to Feb. 1 and will cover most of her hospital stay and surgery. My friend Terry used to say a lot times when we asked God for something, he'll say here's what you ask for and, oh yeah, just a bit more. So thank you to all of you who prayed and are continuing to pray for our family.

Shasta and I decided to take today and just get out of town and take the day for ourselves. So we went to Weight Watchers ( I lost 5 lbs and am down 20 since January). I picked up coffee and dropped in to visit mom for a bit and then we headed out. We stopped in to see one of the kids Shasta is a nanny for play basketball and that was fun and now we are in Germantown and Shasta is catching up with her good friend Mamen and we're gonna do lunch and maybe catch a movie at the theater were we had our first date and just relax.

Keep your eyes peeled because Song Lyric Sunday will be back soon.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Various and Sundry Items

Ok, well Mom is doing well. She is really anxious to get home, but she still has a way to go with her rehab and it's probably gonna be a few more weeks. So pray that she'll be able to relax and trust God's timing through this whole process.

Just got done watching Idol and for the most part I think the top 12 are the right ones. For some reason I haven't found one contestant that I really like this season, maybe once we get to the real competition that'll change.

So we've started watching New Amsterdam which so far is a very interesting series. The plot is that the main character is over 400 years old and was saved by some Indians using a spell that will keep him alive tell he finds his one true love. No, it isn't some sappy soap opera love drama thing. It's actually more of a crime drama. Although if you're going to watch I would recommend starting soon, it's the kind of series that is probably gonna be hard to start 5 or 10 episodes into it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Living Life

So mom continues to improve and the main problem right now is her spirits. She really wants to come home but until she progresses to the point were they are happy with her rehab that can't happen. As much as I would love to have here, we simply cannot give her the level of care she needs right now. Her therapy goes well and she improves daily but of course it's not fast enough for her. She's also a worrier and does most of her worrying at night which means she's not sleeping. That's not real unusual for her though; even when she was at home it was common to find her awake and doing a bible study or reading at anytime throughout the night. Her doctor has prescribed a sleep aid, which will start tonight and we're praying that it will help her to rest.

The needle of our life has moved very close to the normal range. Shasta and I both back to work and living at the house. We have our puppies back and what a blessing they have been. We even got them groomed and took them in to see their "grandma" last night and that really was a good visit. I apologize for taking so long with this update but even in the normal range my life can seems like it's filled to the rim.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Quirky Quote Contest Entry # 2

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S. Lewis

Quirky Quote Contest Entry

So Julie is running a contest and here's my first entry.

"I've always been skeptical of those television healers who are bald. I mean, if I had that gift, that would be the first thing I'd fix." - Tony Campolo

Monday, February 18, 2008

Better Every Day

As I said previously they moved mom to Shenandoah on Friday and while her first night there was pretty pain filled, the subsequent days have been better and she seems to feeling better and doing better each time I drop in to see her. The doctors seem to have gotten the right pain medication to manage her pain effectively and I think that's gonna be the key to her being a good patient. She has said before "when I'm in pain I can be a b****" and I can only imagine how much pain having almost 1/2 your foot removed would result in. She had her first round of physical therapy this morning and she said it went really well the therapists were even impressed with how well she could move from the bed to the bedside commode. Remember I said baby steps, and the ability to do that gives her back just a bit of the freedom she has lost in the past month. I have to watch my own thoughts and mind cause there are still timea when I get this sense of dread and gloom about the whole situation but God has been sooooo faithful that there's no reason for me to doubt him. Pastor Porky preached last week about how when we have those thoughts we need to take the time to say a silent prayer for 10 or 15 people that might be struggling with the same problem. I have tried to do that and it honestly works.

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to call, visit, or send a card to mom. My friend Pam joked the other day that the home might get tired of all the visitors that mom has by the time she's released :D But I know she really enjoys the visits, so if you have time head on by and say hi, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Big Step

So they moved mom to Shenandoah Health Village for her rehab and recovery. This is a big step in the process of getting her up and moving and rehabilitated and eventually back home. She was in pretty good spirits yesterday evening, but she called about 10 last night and asked me to bring a fan and she was down when I got there. Please pray for her spirits, it's been a traumatic 3 weeks for her and I know it hasn't been easy. If you live in the area and have the time I'm sure she would love a visit and some company.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good News

Well it looks like we are a go to have Mom transferred to Shenandoah Health Village tomorrow. She actually progressing very well and the sooner the rehab starts the sooner she can get back to living life and this is all part of the process. Please pray that everything goes smoothly tomorrow and that she gets a good long night of sleep tonight, I think tomorrow's gonna be a busy day for her.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Grasping at normalcy

First of all, sorry for not updating sooner. This weekend saw me go through a whole range of emotions but the past several days have been much better. Mom continues to improve and today has probably been the best day she's had since before everything began. She actually told me "I think I'm gonna make it." Prospects are looking good for her to move to the skilled nursing home for rehab as early as Friday, which would be awesome since her b-day is Saturday. I have started the processes to get assistance with her hospital bill and Medicaid for her stay at the nursing home and it wasn't as hard as I thought. Please continue to pray, I feel like I'm in a minefield where one wrong move will blow everything up for her. She deserves the best possible care she can get and I definitely wanna make that possible.

Shasta and I got to spend sometime with our friends Randy & Mara and their brand new baby Eli, what a great experience. It is awesome to see the joy that he's brought into their lives. We also got to visit with our puppies and last night I actually made dinner and we watched a movie at home. It was soooo nice to be able to do that and just spend time with my wife. I've said it before but I don't think I would have made it through this without her.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Well the past few days have been a yo-yo. I have been very encouraged to see mom make several really good steps with her therapy and to see her attitude and spirits much improved. Her sugar continues to be a concern, but the doctors are working on getting the right medicines to get that under control. I have been overwhelmed the past few days with the magnitude of what her bill will be and the arrangements needs for her skilled nursing care. Fortunately the hospital does offer assistance for her bill, unfortunately the paperwork is quite lengthy and I feel inadequate to the task. There's also the question of getting Medicaid assistance for her skilled nursing care. I called Friday and the earliest I can get an appointment to talk with someone is in March. Pray for confidence for me with both of these and that God will provide open doors so she can get the care she needs. We still do not have word on when they plan to move her and while I know she's going a bit stir crazy in here. I also know that the more time she spends here, is less time that will be required in skilled nursing. Please pray for God's will in everything and the willingness for me to accept it.

Shasta and I got to spend a night together in our own bed for the first time in over a week and it was very nice. Like I've said earlier, sometimes I can't shut my brain off and I woke up at one point worrying about the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I feel like I haven't given my incredible wife the attention she needs and definitely deserves. My cousin is planning on staying with Mom tonight and Shasta and I will spend some time with friends and visit the pups and have some quality time just enjoying each others company.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A light up ahead

Well not a long update today. Mom continues to improve and today she seemed to come to the realization that this is not going to be easy but she is up for it. We are already working on making arrangements for her skilled nursing care after she leaves the hospital and it looks like we are going to be able to get her into the facility that is our first choice. Please pray that God will open doors and guide me while I try to navigate the forms and complexities of getting her the medicaid assistance she'll need for her stay and after care.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Little bumps

So today really was a good day for mom. She got a full nights sleep last night and woke up, well, she woke up cantankerous. But I figure she's entitled to a little bit of cantankerousness (that a word?)with all she's been through. She's already had 2 physical therapy sessions and they've actually had her up on her feet. Because of the arthritis in her left leg, the rehab process is going to be a lengthy one while her right foot heals. She's going to have to learn some exercises and how to compensate for the temporary loss of the use of her right foot. Please pray for strength and encouragement for her and for all of us really. They did say today that the culture from the infection in her foot was MRSA, which can be very deadly. The doctor seemed to think he got it all and any that might be left can be cleaned up with antibiotics. The did have an infectious disease specialist come in to look at it and he's supposed to talk to her tomorrow about the duration, the meds, etc. On a bit of a lighter note; Shasta and I went out to grab a quick bite and when we came back this bed wheeled by us and Shasta said "that looked like Ruth. But no, couldn't be..." We get back to her room and she's gone. Mom, bed and all are not there. We finally looked at the white board in her room and it says X-Ray 21:10. We buzzed the nurse and she confirmed that the surgeon sent her down for X-Rays. I'm guessing it was to check and see if the infection has spread any. I did get to see the dressing change today, and not that I'm expert, but it looked cleaned and there was no sign of any yellowish drainage. And having seen how aggressive this infection was over the weekend and how quickly it spread and most importantly knowing the God who has carried her through this I am very optimistic that we are into her healing and rehab process.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Last night, they surgeon took about 1/2 of mom's foot to prevent what was a very aggressive infection from spreading further. When I talked to the surgeon afterwards, he said if they had waited until today to operate they likely would have had to amputate to the knee. So praise God for giving him the wisdom to do the surgery quickly and with as little foot removal as possible.

Today has seen much improvement in Mom. She is naturally experiencing a lot of pain in her foot but her mind is clearer, the color has returned to her face and she has eaten 2 full meals for the first time in several days. The doctor also said her vitals are moving more toward the normal range and he is very pleased with her condition. I've said before that we know this is going to be a long haul and it seems that I finally have a peace about it. Early yesterday afternoon after battling anxious moments repeatedly over the past 4-5 days I was comforted by a peace that had to be from God and I am thankful, grateful and praising him for his infinite mercy, healing and peace.

Job 11:15-20

then you will lift up your face without shame;
you will stand firm and without fear.

You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.

Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.

You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.

But the eyes of the wicked will fail,
and escape will elude them;
their hope will become a dying gasp.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Quick Update

Shasta and I stayed with Mom last night and she got much more sleep and seems to have rested well. She is very frustrated this morning with not being able to get out of bad. Please pray for peace and comfort for her. She is scheduled to have a stress test today to see if her heart can stand the surgery. Depending on the results of that they may operate on her foot tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for strength for mom and for our family. My brain has been on hyper drive and there are times when I wish I could just turn it off. I am worrier (like my mother) and I think I have run every possibility through my mind 100 times. So please pray for that I will be able to get some clarity and just be able to trust God with whatever comes of this.

"So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Baby Steps

Well today was simply a better day. No major improvements but mom's spirits were better and when we left she seemed be starting to get some much needed rest. Please pray for a supernatural slumber for her tonight and for all of us really. I know Shasta could use it as well as Dana or I. I talked a few posts ago about The Long Haul and each day we see a little bit more what that may entail. The literal flood of support and love from the body of Christ has moved me to tears at times and has been simply overwhelming.

Please continue to pray for mom. Pray specifically for deep sleep tonight, pray that the infection in her toe will clear up sufficiently that they can remove the toe with minimal harm to the rest of her foot. And pray for our family as a whole as we adjust to the need to support and care for her afterwards.

Tired but Thankful

Dana and I just got back from the movies and spending some time together. It was nice to be able to relax a bit in the midst of everything that's been going on. Today was not an easy day but even in todays, and the past several days I have found several things I am thankful for.

1. That we serve a God who has all things under his control. I am constantly remind myself of this
2. My wife and my brother. My wife is an incredible woman that has more strength than I ever imagined. My brother has shown empathy, brought humor and listened to my tears all without any judgment.
3. Today I am thankful that even with all the discomfort mom is in, she is not in ICU and the doctor has said she is not in a life or death situation.

I have promised myself and prayed tonight that I will lay this situation and the rest of my life at my Saviors feet. This is a real struggle for me, I like to have everything in order and as much under my control as possible.

A couple prayer requests, please continue to pray for mom and my family. Also pray for my friend Violet, she recently had heart surgery and had to be rushed to ICU tonight (in the same hospital my mom is in, incidentally). She apparently has an infection, although it's not around the heart. Pray for Violet, her husband Al, her daughter Sam and Sam's husband Frank as well her granddaughters Lacy and Kaitlyn.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Long Haul

Just a quick update on Mom. She is in a regular room today and her spirits are not as good. They have also put her on oxygen as she is wheezing a bit. She is very tired and said she needs to sleep but she doesn't wanna go to sleep. We discussed this with the doctor and she said it's most likely a result of her pain medication and she said she would give her a sleeping pill with her meds tonight to help her rest. I would say today is not a bad day, and while it's not as good as yesterday we'll take it and continue to trust God's will. Shasta is planning on spending the next couple of nights here at the hospital with her.

We did talk to the doctor and she said that she does have a long way to go but she's not in immediate danger and the major concern right now is her foot and how much she is going to lose due to the infection. This is going to be a long process and I am trying as much as possible to keep a positive mindset but it is difficult and there are time when I wish I could runaway and hide. I am extremely grateful that my brother is here and words can't express how much my wife means to me right now. Thank you to everyone who has prayed, called and visited. Please continue to do those things, but most especially we covet your prayer.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mom Update

Well God is certainly a God of miracles. When we left the hospital last night I'll admit I was hopeless and actually woke up several times last night with thoughts that were very dark to say the least. When we arrived here this morning she was sitting up, with no oxygen and sleeping. I spoke to the nurse and she said while mom still has a long way to go she wasn't critical and in fact they were waiting for a regular room to become available so they can move her out of ICU. I can't tell you the weight that lifted off my chest at that moment. Thank you so much to all of you for your calls, your prayers and your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


My mom is not doing well right now, we rushed her to the emergency room last night and tonight they are moving her from the hospital she's currently in to one that is better equipped to handle her problems. I did get to meet with her doctor tonight and she pointedly told me that mom is very sick. The list is long and the situation is such that need to try and clear up one thing so they can treat another. I really do believe God is sovereign and am trusting him (be it through gritted teeth) and his will right now. I know he can heal and will heal her the question is will the healing come to her physical body or will she be completely healed and receive the new body and reward that is awaiting her? Please pray for strength for Mom, Shasta (she truly is my rock and I would have come apart at the seams today if not for her), me and the rest of my family. My brother Dana is scheduled to fly in tomorrow evening and at least he will be able to be here with us for how ever this plays out. So pray for safe travel for him.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Can't Have Nuthin'

My friend JC will immediately recognize the title of this post, because well, it's like his favorite saying ever. We used to tease him that we were gonna have "He never had nuthin" engraved on his tombstone. I took mom to a vascular surgeon this week and as I usually do I take a book to read while I'm waiting on her to finish her visit. I've been reading Comes A Horseman by Robert Liparulo and was about 10 pages from the finish when she finished. So I collect our stuff, got in the car and headed out. I get home and look in the back of the car and my book isn't there. I had left it at her doctors, in Hagerstown!!! 10 PAGES FROM THE END!!! One of the first things that popped into my head was JC saying "can't have nuthin." and I chuckled. Fortunately one of the office staff realized it was mine and put it behind the desk. I can pick it up next Tuesday when she goes for her MRI.

A music recommendation for you. If you have any appreciation of rap/hiphop music you really should check Of Gods and Girls by Mr. J. Medeiros. It's a very good album and the song Constance is one of those songs that really deserves to be a hit but probably won't get played on mainstream radio because it's too Christian and Christian radio won't touch it because it deals with child porn.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Blowin The Dust Off

Ok, so it's been a little bit and quite a few things have happened.

1. I got to drive an 18-wheeler!!! Yessireebobber I did, I did. Muffin and I had breakfast with my in-laws a bit ago and on the way back Steve says "hey Dwayne you wanna drive the truck." And I'm like "YEAH!" and despite a minor protest from Muffin I was up in the cockpit and drove that sucker a whole 100 yards or so. Don't laugh, cause that's the farthest I've ever driven a stick shift. It was pretty awesome. Muffin and Flo stood safely by our car in the OTHER parking lot.

2. A bit of melancholy news today. CCM magazine is going the way of buy 4 get 1 free stickers and a lot of the other things that I remember from early days as a rabid fan of christian music. They are ceasing publication of their print edition with the April '08 issue.

And to wrap things up I'll leave you guys with my 5 favorite specialty coffee drinks.

1. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte - oh my this is just liquid crack. The best coffee drink evah! If you want to take the calorie hit, make that thing a Breve' and feel your pants get tighter.

2. Brew Mountain Coffee's Maple Latte - Just a simple latte made with maple syrup but they make it to perfection. I don't get by there nearly enough since my friends Randy and Mara moved out of Purcellville. Really nice atmosphere with great friendly people.

3. Panera Bread House Latte - Ok, I KNOW they make it from a mix but that's probably why, without fail, the thing taste so dang good every time I get it. I don't like that 16 oz. is as large as it goes, though.

4. The Coffee Table (Frederick, MD) Iced White Chocolate Mocha - A really well done, tasty iced drink.

5. The Lost Dog "Vanilla Wet Dog." Espresso, seltzer, cream and a slice of orange. An acquired taste but ohhhh so yummy for my tummy.

Honorable mentions Daily Grind Iced-C Iced coffee (when they have it) amd Starbucks Egg Nog Latte

Feel free to comment with your faves