November 14, 2013
For purposes of clarity, I will begin this post with two definitive statements:
- I do not hate dogs. I have been accused of this, but it is simply not true. I enjoyed dogs growing up. I even blogged about one of my favorites.
- What I do not care for are dogs in my house. So in that regard I am a non-dog-in-the-house guy. And herein lies the rub.
Non-dog-in-the-house guys are now the new smokers. We are not held in very high regard. Somewhere they are building little rooms for us to huddle in–separated from the majority–lest we spread our offensive attitudes. Perhaps legislators are considering slapping warning labels on us. In our crazy-for-canine culture we are dinosaurs.
Well, maybe it is not quite like that, but sometimes it feels that way–especially since almost everyone on both sides of my family now has one or more of the little (or not-so-little) critters running around in their homes. I feel the pressure. My girls do not understand why we don’t have dogs sharing our couches with us. My wife (who grew up with house dogs) and I have formed sort of a treaty of non-aggression on the issue, although I know in her heart that she would love to hear the pity-pat sounds of little paws dashing across our floors.
How did I get to this place?
- Early childhood trauma. As mentioned, growing up I was surrounded by dogs–all outside. I fondly recall another of my favorites named, Inky. Yep, he was jet black and fun to play with in the yard. My first experience with inside dogs came at a friend’s house. They had this small terror of a mutt who would growl and bite at your pant legs as you walked through the house. I despised that dog and am sure that from somewhere deep within me arose the resolve to never, ever let a mutt like that rule my household.
- It is about the furniture. When the furniture meets dog, furniture usually looses.
- I do not like to be licked. It is not cute. It is not fun. It is not sweet.
- Poop. Need I say more on this?
- Scratching, whining, barking, etc. I do enough of that for everyone at my house! 🙂
If you are a dog lover; a dog-in-the-house person; I hope this post is not offensive to you. I respect your right to have all the puppies you desire. When I come to your home I will not complain. I will pet your pooch. I will adjust and enjoy our visit. Likely, I will not think your version of “man’s best friend” is as cute and lovable as you do, but I will manage just fine (unless precious bites at my pant leg). I am at your house.
So, I ask for the same consideration at my house. It is already three-against-one and sometimes I find myself wavering, so I could use the help.
And besides, isn’t there a Bible verse somewhere stating that God intended for dogs to be outside?
April 22, 2013
I have been hanging around Churches of Christ almost all of my life. I have witnessed lots of changes. Some I welcomed. Others not-so-much. Occasionally my mind will drift around in the memories created along the way. And in the memories I will hear old school echoes about things largely gone but not forgotten.
Here are a few of those echoes:
- Direct Command, Approved Example, and Necessary Inference. This method of biblical interpretation was literally drilled into me during my college years. It was the normal, accepted hermeneutic process within Churches of Christ for decades. It is still not forgotten among us, but it is much rarer to hear about it now. During a recent “How to Study the Bible” class I asked how many knew about the CEI approach. Not many did. While this hermeneutic is far from the flawless model as first presented to me, it remains a useful interpretative tool; not the only one or perfect one- for sure, but still useful enough in many texts.
- 728B. Who can forget turning to the back of the song book to Our God, He is Alive! Singing good ole number 728B was happening back in the day. It became the Church of Christ national anthem. We don’t sing it like we used to, nor are there many songbooks left that include a 728B, but who could forget it? It was especially cool when the song leader led the chorus a second time and slowed it down for emphasis. Just wondering- does anyone remember song 728? I don’t.
- Flannel Boards. I have this VBS memory of- as a kid- somehow being in a classroom all alone and for an extended period of time. I do not remember why I was there- maybe I sneaked in, but I do recall playing with the flannel board! It was a blast putting the Bible figures, trees, houses, animals, etc. on the board and moving them around. That was fun. You certainly can’t do that now with a PowerPoint or DVD!
- Gospel Meetings. Yes, this is old school, but not the oldest. The two or three-week, overflowing, brush arbor, multiple baptisms, gospel meeting kind of days were before my time. My memories focus on much shorter meetings, (weekend, three-day, occasionally for one week), but they were still special occasions. I do recall most of the church gathering- even during weeknights- to hear a guest preacher pontificate. I also fondly remember the “eating meetings” to which I was invited to partake as the local preacher before each evening service. I always felt sorry for the guest- he had to work after enjoying such a feast. I could eat all I wanted with no such worries!
- Local Youth Rallies. I have noticed- for the most part- these are a thing of the past. Now, most youth rallies are really big deals- huge events. I fondly recall attending numerous smaller youth rallies hosted by local congregations in the bygone years. It was neat to see the kids network and build relationships through such events. I am certainly not opposed to the current bigger events- just recalling the blessings and charms of the smaller ones.
- Sunday Dinners. Specifically- those served by good sisters in their homes after Sunday morning worship. It wasn’t lunch- it was dinner and it usually involved chicken of the fried variety (home-made of course). We used to have a saying for this- “preach the word and pass the bird.” This indeed is a rarity now.
- “Separate and Apart;” “Ready Recollection;” and “Guide, Guard, and Direct Us.” These were phrases heard almost every Sunday without fail. The first was used to draw that clear line of distinction between the offering and communion. The latter two were uttered in prayers- one for the preacher to remember his sermon material and the other seeking God to watch over us as we dismissed worship and dispersed into our week. Not only do I hear these as echoes, but occasionally another old schooler will let one slip into the Sunday worship dialogue.
- Hats. I am just at that age in which I can remember all the marvelous hats worn by sweet sisters on Sunday mornings. They were a sight to behold. They are still around. Some ladies will still get hatted up, but nothing like back then.
These are my old school echoes. You likely have some of your own.
November 19, 2012
Okay, just a short little rant.
Why do we rush through the Thanksgiving holiday?
Tom Turkey’s time on the center of our table is getting more and more carved up by the big guy in the red suit. Christmas trees now hover over the Thanksgiving spread. Stores are opening up much earlier on Thanksgiving day.
I am a traditionalist. I used to think decking our halls the Saturday after Thanksgiving was early! Now that seems quaint.
So, why are yearning to stretch out the Christmas season?
One day our grandkids will be telling their grandkids– while they celebrate black Friday the week after Halloween– how their used to be this special day called Thanksgiving. The holiday that America forgot! 🙂
January 26, 2012
On January 12th, I underwent the knife- or at least the scope. Now I am without gall in this present world. Supposedly, this was the sole solution to end my on-again, off-again adventures in abdominal pain. “Poof” the doc led me to believe, “the suffering will disappear.”
At first he was right. I even preached three days after the “procedure.”
But disappeared, not quite so. My adventures have continued. I lunched one day and then felt like I had been kicked in the gut! Where is the refund line?
Right now, the rumblings have receded somewhat. The recovery process continues. I still do not fully trust food. And, I wouldn’t trust me if I were you. My abdominal adventures find a way to express themselves. 🙂
I have lost some weight however. I guess that is a good thing. I would not recommend the diet though.
Bottom line- unless you absolutely have to- hang on to that gallbladder God gave you. It is there for a purpose.
June 2, 2011
The following is a story my nine-year old daughter- Taylor- wrote as an assignment in her third grade class. She has quite the imagination. Just thought I would share. 🙂
One afternoon I was eating hot “wings” and watching a show about how to use fairy “wings.” My mom walked in the room yelling, “Honey, are you going to write your speech or “wing” it?”
All of a sudden I felt a strange tickle on my back. It felt like my back was being ripped open! I looked at my mom, she was staring at me in terror and then to my surprise she let out an earsplitting scream! She took me to my room, put me in front of the mirror and I saw what had happened. I had sprouted silvery, white fairy wings!
“Do you need to go to the doctor?” said mom. “I’ll take myself,” I said. But I didn’t go to the doctor. I went to the park. I was going to have so much fun! I flew in front of children and scared them to death. One of them started crying. I flew up into the clouds and made voices that told people’s future. I made one man look as mad as a wet cat! As I was laughing, I forgot to flap my wings so I started falling. I fell into a pond.
When I got out I tried to fly, but my wings were too wet and I never left the ground. I didn’t want to go home and get into trouble, so I rested by a tree. A few minutes later my wings dried. I flew around tall buildings and hills. But soon I got out of control, I started going really high and then diving lower and lower. I bumped into buildings, got bumps, bruises and many scratches.
I wanted it all to stop, so I tried as hard as I could to go toward the pond. It worked and when I was hovering over it my wings stopped flapping. I fell into the pond and when I got out my wings were gone! I went home and got grounded for lying to my mom. But at least I know, I never want to grow wings again!
March 16, 2011
Here are some of my favorite church cartoons. Just smile, laugh and enjoy!
February 28, 2011
A while back I had the following conversation with my five-year old daughter, Jordan.
Jordan: Daddy, what do you do?
Me: I am a preacher, Jordan.
Me: Do you know what that means?
Jordan: Yes, you go “blah, blah, blah.”
Talk about deflating! I laughed til I cried and then cried! 🙂 I am the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoons. Where is Rodney Dangerfield when I need him? I just don’t get any respect.
A preacher, doctor and a lawyer went hunting. As soon as they entered the woods a big buck jumped in front of them and all three shot. The buck fell dead and all three began arguing over who shot the deer. A game warden came along and heard the commotion. He volunteered his expertise to determine which one scored the trophy. After only a few seconds of examination he announced his finding, “The preacher killed the deer.” The doctor and the lawyer wanted to know how he could determine this so quickly. The warden responded, “Easy, the bullet went in one ear and out the other!”
See what I mean?
I should offer a long theological discourse on why preachers deserve more respect!
All I can think of right now though is, “blah, blah, blah!”
Have a good week! 🙂