Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dr. Vaughan...

When upperclassmen at ETBU found out a new student had Dr. Vaughan, their one statement was, invariably, "Watch his eyes. He never blinks." With this information in hand, how could we do anything other than look at his eyes? It turned out to be true. He never blinked. About once every minute or so he would deliberately close his eyes, but never anything close to an involuntary movement. Rumor was that Dr. Vaughan was in the Korean conflict and suffered from shell-shock. As is the case with most in his generation, he made comments about the generalities of being in the military, but never brought up specifics.

What wasn't a rumor was his well-known love for his students. John Vaughan grew up an orphan in the Buckner Baptist Children's home system, and had no immediate family outside his two brothers. (An interesting tidbit about his time at Buckner is that one of his "sisters" at the Children's home was Lulu Roman of Hee-Haw fame.)
Because of this, he students were his family. If your birthday fell within the semester of the course you had with him, you would receive in class recognition and a card that included a gift certificate for no-small-change. (Mine was $30 to Pizza Hut.)

Dr. Vaughan's hangout was the Dairy Queen over on Hwy. 59, until it closed down, at which point he transferred his coffee cup to the Whataburger on 80. He was a late nighter who often would walk in well past midnight to interrupt students studying for an exam, usually one he was to give the next day. He would sit with them and immediately begin to talk about baseball. He loved the game and was an encyclopedia of baseball history and statistics. We loved listening to him, even if we weren't that interested, because he was hilarious. His humor was the kind that you needed to pay attention because he would dryly drop a joke in the middle of innocuous statements, and you needed to be on your toes in order to notice it. He would then make the statement that he needed to go, he had to get some sleep so he could deliver a "killer exam" the next day. These encounters rarely lasted for more than a few moments, but they always left the students with a smile before they returned to their studies.

Dr. Vaughan retired from ETBU in 2002 and passed away two days ago. He was 72 years old. Raise your glasses to professors who love students as much and more than they love their subject.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stop the Presses...

Today I ran an errand over at the Waco Tribune Herald offices. I met a reporter in the hallway of the news room to give her a book for a story about an event going on at the store next week. When we finished chatting I got to go inside to say hello to one of my former coworkers, and present Trib writer, Emily. I ended up lingering for a while and visiting with Chad, a friend from UBC who is a sportswriter, and Wendy, who I know from the infamous Waco's Hottest Bachelor story.

It felt like standing in the middle of a more sedate Daily Planet, and it seemed to be my place. I have loved ready newspapers since I was a kid. There's something about local papers that make you feel you're in the middle of a history book, and the characters are those who you could possibly rub shoulders with on any given day. Stories develop and you're in on the scoop.

Who knows, maybe a career change is in order...

No Anymore, hey yay a yay a yeahhh...

Here's what I've learned lately about "telling it like it is": It has to be a natural part of your personality to want to reveal the truth as you see it, regardless of what others may think, and you have to have done it for a very long time. If these conditions are not in place, as they have not been for me, then the second you reveal what you really think, you come across as just-plain-mean.

Some people in work or social situations can just pull off truth-telling better than others. When they do it, it makes them strong, independent, intelligent. When others, like me, do it, it makes them over-emotional, immature, resistant to change.

I suppose when you hold your tongue for the better part of your life, once you decide to not be silent, to not be quiet anymore, it's more than just the situation at hand you are railing against. It's years of bottled up opinions being unleashed on one or two people. When this happens, you don't get promotions at work, and you always feel on the outside in other contexts, because people decide you are not being the nice guy anymore, and they don't want to have such volatility swirling around them. The decision then becomes, do you retreat back to keeping your thoughts to yourself, or do you just try to become more practiced at speaking your mind. That is the question.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Are you as excited about November 2 as I am?...

The Kite Runner has staying power. From the moment I read the last page until now, the story has lingered around my psyche and haunted my comfortable sense of cheap-redemption. If you haven't read it, do so now. The movie comes out on November 2.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Let's Converse...

Brian McLaren spoke at church this morning. If you've read my blog since the beginning, you've no doubt sensed that this guy's writings have been pretty influential on my life. He's put my mind and beliefs on new playing fields and has given words to those deep feelings many of us have in our gut that things just aren't right, but that they can be.

The previous paragraph was one of those pleasant disclaimers I give before offering a critique. The next paragraph will be one of those critiques I give after the pleasant disclaimer. You know how the game works.

He basically, without actually using the "E" word, walked us through the history of the Emergent, (or emergent, depending on your fancy,) conversation. He made distinctions between Renewal, which is just repackaging the same old answers to the same old questions in new, more hip terminology, Reformation, which provides new answers to old questions, and Revolution, which asks a whole new set of questions altogether. Of course, if you've ever heard a preacher, you know the third one is always the best. In stating some of the "new questions" that many people began to ask in the mid-90's, he mentioned several good ones. But then he brought this question up-- "Why are so many Christians pro war, anti poor, and anti environment?"

The phrasing of that question disappoints me, in that it's tone is completely antithetical to McLaren's other writings. A New Kind of Christian suggested an alternative to the old way of describing things as left or right, conservative or liberal, and encouraged us to move away from the demonizing rhetoric often used to discredit those with differing beliefs. If I found myself in a circle of God's Politics totin', Social Justice screamin', Environment saving Christians, and the subject of abortion came up, how do you think I would be treated if I referred to those who believe abortion should be a legal option as "pro abortion," or "anti life?" Surely I would get the "I don't believe in abortion either" speech then the "But there is more to 'life' issues than abortion" speech, then somewhere along the way I would be encouraged to be a little more sensitive in how I refer to those that differ from me. Yet how is this any different than calling those who believe war is an option "pro war?" Of course I believe there is room for discussions on Just War and pacifism and how they relate to following Christ, and even how they relate to our position with the state, but I don't believe there is room in a so called "generous" movement for the name calling McLaren resorted to in that "question." In fact, it wasn't a "new" question at all, but rather an accusation.

And on the idea of the "anti poor" statement, McLaren is on shaky ground here. If he wants to accuse Republican political policies as being negligent of the marginalized, minorities, and poverty stricken, that is one thing. (And it's one thing I might could start believing very soon.) But his "question" was directed to Christians, and presumably conservative Christians, not to the Republican establishment that used Christians to get elected. Legion are the amount of evangelical churches that take care of the poor. Perhaps they do it purely out of soul-saving hopes, but a full belly on a previously hungry child is just as full with the food given by soul winners as by the government, (which could, at times, be adequately described as soul takers.)

My fear is that McLaren has cast his lot too much with Jim Wallis, who in my mind is nothing more than Pat Robertson or James Dobson, just with a different political agenda. It's hard to preach a distrust of the Religious Right's proximity to power when guys like Wallis are whispering in the ears of Hillary and Obama, the two people who will very likely be in the White House in a little over a year. None of this takes away from McLaren's influence on my life, and he has still written some damn good stuff. But my numb-minded, critique free infatuation with him is over.

Let's just see if there is still room in the conversation for people like me...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friends as Home...

I've written a lot over the past few years about home. From the little town I grew up in, to my ever flowering love for this famous-for-being-a-little-crazy City of Waco, all the way to a certain building over on Dutton Avenue. Something about the idea of home swirls around my head and seems to be the carrot I'm always reaching out for, trying to grasp just a sliver.

There is another home for me and it is not a place, but rather a sense of belonging with an amorphous, roaming band of people who feel as much like family to me sometimes as do those who share my DNA. There's around ten to a dozen of us, depending on who is not talking to whom at a particular time of our lives, and, as far as my involvement is concerned, our roots can be traced back to the year when I, for no apparent reason, decided to leave a possible career in politics to return to ETBU to work for a few pennies an hour. On the surface it seemed like a decision that served no good purpose other than to return me to my comfort zone. But if you are a person who believes God at least nudges us at times in certain directions, as I have slowly (and somewhat reluctantly) come to believe, then you could actually say it was one of the most significant and God-present decisions I've ever made.

We are all over the world, from Bangkok to Seattle, Newton to Waco, Dallas to the Netherlands. One of our lot tends to be nowhere and everywhere all at the same time. We are Reformed, Arminian, Republican, Democrat, Megachurch, Progressive-Church, Country Church, Emergent, agnostic, drinkers, abstainers, cussers and non. When we gather we ask who has heard from the others. The irony is that our distance seems to be the glue that holds us together. Our memories of each other are fond and great affection, almost EMBARRASING affection, is expressed by each member toward the other.

Today a few of us were together. There was Jason, Robert, Mark, along with spouses, friends, family and others. These are not people I share everyday life with, but they are people I share strong memories with. Our past is the trajectory that keeps us moving.

This morning I met Jason for breakfast. Later I had conversation with Mark and those hilarious glances Robert and I give each other to signal when we are both thinking the same (usually inappropriate) thing. These were actions and they were feelings but, above all else, the air surrounding us and the dirt underneath us and the time pushing us forward to yet another temporary exit where we await the next entrance was, for me, Home.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have connectivity! After a couple of days frustrated that the house had wireless but my computer was not cooperating, one of the new roommates, Rock and Roll Hero Brian Patterson, helped me get set up. So I am now ready to resume regular blogging.

It's been an interesting, and interestingly complicated and busy, few days. Truth is, I'm exhausted physically and emotionally. Things are good and I've got to wear shades, all that jazz, but man, I could use a vacation.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Dallas for a welcome home party for the Edwardses, and am really looking forward to seeing them and Robert. Sunday, McLaren is speaking at church, I have my fantasy football draft, and have commited myself to having all my stuff out of the old house by then. After all that, I'm hoping to find some sense of normalcy, whatever that means.

And time. Here's something cool. My friend Jonathan Reynolds has demanded that I have the first draft of a book to him by Christmas, or he'll no longer be my friend. Losing friends is the worse, so here I go, trying to do the book thing again. Let's see where that takes me.

Anyway, good to be back full time in cyber-world. Hope to see you soon...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Being Visible...

All the new roommates are in place and we are busy settling into the house, trying to get a feel for each other's moods, tendencies, and preferences. It's almost as if we are silently asking ourselves "Ok, how is this going to be?"

This morning I woke up early to take Jane on her walk. As I was leaving the house I noticed on the kitchen counter a white dry-erase board with the following quote written on it:

Where can I go to be the most visible?

I read it and thought to myself, oh, so we're going to be THOSE kind of roommates. You know, the Christian kind. The ones who leave each other motivating and inspirational messages all around. I was already a little worried it might turn into that, and I am partly to blame. For the past few days while Jane eats her breakfast, I have me a bowl of cereal at the dining room table and use that time to read the Bible. When I finish I leave the Bible on the table, open to the daily passage, because I'm too lazy to close it. I've secretly felt a little ashamed at this, not wanting to be the most "Christian" of all of us. If there's anything I've learned, you want people to know who you are, but you don't want to be considered TOO Christian. Believe you me.

So I saw the note, and with my recent Scripture reading at the table I started to worry. What was next? Will we start going around asking each other how we can pray for them today? Will we have those dreaded accountability times where we share our deepest darkest sins? Are we just a step away from a "Bro" night? Lord God, please don't let it be.

I then began formulating my verbal tirade against the quote, ready to deconstruct the author's presuppositions about being visible. Surely Jesus told us to let our light shine, but didn't he also preach humility and the value of stepping back into the shadows? I had my weapons ready. No one was going to define what kind of roommates we would be without my permission.

And then I realized, "Where can I go to be the most visible," was, in all likelihood, not directed to the reader, but to the dry-erase board itself. Communication is necessary in such a large group, and someone in the house was considerate enough to provide a means for it, and wanted to know how to make it work best.

Just another example of how truly jacked up my mind can be.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Sam looks up from his Sunday paper
And says "Boys, you're on the wrong track
The secret of life is there aint no secret
And you don't get your money back..."
The secret of life is in getting up early
The secret of life is in staying up late
The secret of life is to try not to hurry
But don't wait...
--- Faith Hill, The Secret of Life

"Our lives are made in these small hours
These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate
Time falls away, but these small hours still remain..."
--- Rob Thomas, Little Wonders

I suppose it was somewhere around a half-dozen years ago when I began to realize that it was no longer relevant whether or not my ship came in. The little rusty things in my life began to look a little more holy than I had ever recognized them to be, and I made a conscious decision that I'd plant my feet and allow the ordinary hours to wash me clean, rather than wash me away.

Yet for those of us raised in the Age of Celebrity, there's always that tug toward the Magnificent, the belief that we'll sleep just a little better if there is more adrenaline flowing throughout our days. For those of us raised in the church, we looked to God to legitimize, and provide for, that desire. Few of us ever made it out of the honeymoon stage of relationships, movements, or beliefs until we decided that it was more desirable to follow the Spirit than to wrestle with the angel. There are friends from my past who have followed the Spirit for millions of miles, in and out of churches and marriages, and are still looking for that shiny moment to last.

But I am in no position to judge. "'Cause after all, we know we all are after all the same things," Bebo Norman sings, and it only takes a few years of living on the same dirt with the same people to realize how true this is. I suppose whether we loyally embrace the ordinariness or keep our eyes over the horizon for the parade of excitement, what we are really looking for is nothing more than an acknowledgement that we are here and that we are alive. It's nice to know that a few people like you, and at least some of them think you are funny, and that they hope sometime soon to be around you. That's about it, really.

So I'm sitting here, a few weeks from 33 with a big pimple on the tip of my nose and a beautiful dog at home waiting for me. There's lunch today with a friend who always pushes me to write that book and then this afternoon I'll go to work where I'll try to sell some books so I can pay some bills. There are people real close to me, in spirit and proximity, that I love dearly enough to wrestle through difficult conversations and ordinary, somewhat boring moments. In my group of people there are little kids and babies crawling all around, and into, the crevices of our souls where their tenderness and spirit-of-exploration is the Balm of Gilead that God uses to patch up these torn pieces of flesh.

It's as if I really have somehow inadvertently stumbled upon buried treasure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Speaking of Churches...

While waiting for a friend to build a small fence in the back yard for Jane to run around in, I've spent the past couple of days walking her into exhaustion so she doesn't go crazy in the new house. Early this morning, on our hour-long walk, I noticed an interesting sight on a relatively nondescript office building in that section of Washington Avenue that alternates Commercial to Residential at random intervals. A plain white wooden sign in black letters read "Bethany Romanian Pentecostal Church."

My first thought was that I never knew there was a Romanian community in Waco, much less one sizable enough to merit a church, and a Pentecostal church at that. I then questioned my spelling abilities (which are impeccable,) and wondered if the way you spell the word indicating someone's origins are from Romania is"R-O-M-A-I-N-I-A-N." This made sense in my head because I know of many small churches out in the country whose names derive from a particular book of the Bible they would like to be identified with. There are Berean Baptist churches, because the Bereans were those in the New Testament held up by Paul as an example of not taking him at his word, but of diligently studying the scriptures to see if he was speaking truth. Not too far from the place I grew up is a Corinthian Baptist Church. They named themselves this because the Corinthian church in the New Testament spoke in tongues, and they speak in tongues as well. Of course they probably haven't quite figured out that the church in Corinth gave Paul more grief than all the others, but that's neither here nor there.

My supposition, then, became that the church down the road from my house wasn't a gathering place for Christians whose roots are in Romania, but rather named after the book of Romans. This pentecostal church was Roman-ian. But I came back to earth and realized that Romanian actually was the proper spelling to describe the people from Romania. A Romainian church would have something to do with a particular type of lettuce, and I couldn't quite figure where the significance in that would be.

I lauged out loud at what was going on in my head. Jane looked up at me like I was an idiot, but she loves me anyway.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just South of Reinsdorf...

A couple of years ago I was telling a friend about a church with an organizational structure that would look relatively flat if drawn on a diagram. Its size and demographics made it impractical to use a democratic system of making decisions where everyone has a vote on even the smallest minutiae. But it also sought to avoid the great American temptation of running it's affairs like a corporation, where there is a guy at the top "casting vision" and making decisions, a few people under him executing that vision, and a mass of followers. Instead, the people of this church chose to live life with each other and sought to move as one. If a picture was needed, he could just imagine a group of people traveling on a path together, heading in the same general direction. Occasionally small groups would decide to fan out onto smaller trails, but would eventually converge back with the larger group. Rarely were large unilateral decisions concerning direction made by one person, or even a small group of people. When they were, everyone was in on the scoop, because everyone was together, as one.

My friend gave me his nicer, more measured version of "Hogwash!" He insisted that it was a universal fact that when people got together, someone would inevitably emerge as the shot-caller, the prophetic voice with the bull horn leading the people out of the wilderness. I refused to budge, telling him this may be his experience, but some churches do actually exist outside the box of Corporate Christianity.

Since that conversation I've had moments when I doubted my assessment of the church I was speaking of. Maybe Machiavellian royalty, even with the best intentions, will always emerge out of a congregation. Perhaps this is the way it should be. It's possible I was describing to my friend an imaginary place that was more wishful thinking than reality.

But one can dream, and if such a place does actually exist, I think it might look something like this...

Every congregant's view of each other would look similar to that of Paul's in the beginning and ending of the letters he wrote to churches. This is to say, though differences inevitably exist and personalities clash, love and mutual affection will always be the primary template.

Knowing that, while a church is not a business, business does need to get done, there would be a few people who walk to the front of the path to look ahead and every now and then tell their fellow travelers "Hey, what do you say we go this direction?" Everyone, trusting these people because they actually know them, and live their days together trying to figure out how to be Christ's people, will more or less say "Ok," even if they disagree, because being with each other is more important to them than being right.

Every now and then the whole congregation would gather together to have a heart to heart about the journey-- celebrating where they've been, assessing where they are, and dreaming about what is to come. Everyone's voice would be heard, because everyone is equally important. It should be understood that, because everyone has an opinion, these gathering may be contentious, something like a meeting of British Parliament. Egos may become bruised, hearts disappointed. At the end, though, no one would have to guess what was going on with the journey. Everyone would know, because the process was transparent. If they felt strong enough that the direction wasn't a good one, they would be free to leave. Yet few would exercise this option, out of deference to the loyalty, love and affection they have for the group of people they are traveling with. At the end of these difficult meetings everyone would make a trip to the local watering hole and enjoy each other's company over their beverage of choice.

There would be no "Shot-Caller" or "Decider."

The phrase "Behind the Scenes" would hold no relevance in this church.

The church would hold in high regard, and seek to continue moving in the direction of, it's original mission. Yet it would also recognize the absurdity of refusing to change and be molded by the ideas of new travelers it has picked up along the way. This delicate balancing act would be continually acknowledged and the subject of frequent conversation.

Children would be held in the utmost regard in this church.

Every traveler would be encouraged to do whatever it is they do with excellence. When this happens, celebration should occur. When other groups of travelers, heading in the same general direction, take notice of this, they will begin to ask what is going on. What was cause for celebration-making with the original group will be cause for celebrity-making with those on the outside. When this happens, careful attention should be paid to ensure that celebrity doesn't unduly elevate.

Everyone, over time, from those at the front to those at the back of the pack, should have permission, and access, to speak into each other's lives.

This church would think itself special and unique, yet not exempt from the trappings and downfalls of other churches. It shouldn't be so arrogant to think that other congregations, traveling in close geographical and philosophical proximity, have nothing to say to it. From time to time it would reach out to these fellow pilgrims, asking for prayer and guidance.

People in this church would be encouraged to practice what they are good at, what Christians call their "gifts."

And finally, although the church may be meandering in and out of the orthodox trails, it should continually recognize a few orienting principles-- namely the preeminence of Christ and the necessity of his perfect life, death, and resurrection. It should be understood that the journey should ultimately lead to Him.

That's a church I would recommend to anyone looking for a place to call home.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Little Longer...

I'll hopefully be posting more regularly toward the end of this week once I get cable and internet hooked up at my new place. As it stands now, I'm finding time here and there to visit the various places throughout town that offer free wi-fi. While there I feel the need to make a purchase, which is a hemorrage on the bank account, and that needs to stop. There are too many hidden costs associated with moving, and I'm experiencing them. So, anyway, be on the lookout, I'll be back.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Called Out...

Peter saw animals of all kinds ascending and descending from the heavens, which was God's declaration of not only what is permissible, but who is acceptable. From that moment on he lived under the umbrella of widespread Grace, which allows not only Jews into the kingdom, but all who would come to Jesus, regardless of previous affiliations.

In Antioch Peter feasted with those he formerly viewed as unclean, inadmissible. It was his calling, his reckoning for living a life that excluded all, save for himself and the righteous few. He ate, drank, and celebrated Grace that was for everyone.

Yet as Magnolia taught us, the past is never done with us. The past clings and haunts and always seeks to be our home base.

Others from Jerusalem arrived, those who believed only those converted to the law were allowed to be converted to Jesus, and Peter put his fork down. Embarrassed by his company, he excused himself and eventually landed at the table of the new arrivals, the old guard. It was as if the status-wars of Junior High lunch hour had returned.

Paul saw this and, in his letter to the Galatians, notes how he confronted Peter of his hypocrisy in front of the entire group of people eating.

But that's all we get. Just that Paul confronted Peter. We don't get Peter's reaction, or anyone else's for that matter. I read this and actually feel a little sympathy for everyone's favorite New Testament stomping boy, Peter. Of course, he was clearly being inconsistent with what he knew to be the inclusive nature of the Good News, and needed someone like Paul to help remind him. But if I was Peter, I would have been a little defensive at being called out in front of everyone. Because, after all, who the hell did Paul think he was? My desire to win-and-be-better-than-you would have mentioned something about Paul's history of murder and persecution of Christians.

But we don't know, and maybe this is best. Perhaps Peter did have a golden comeback for Paul, but Paul left it out of his description out of self-preservation, and also to prevent people like me from using excuses for my bad behavior. Or maybe Peter recoiled in shame, which is also not a healthy response at being told you are wrong.

I suppose it will make a good conversation some day on the other end...


I've left incomplete information in bits and pieces over the summer as to my living situation, but the flow of my thoughts have never led to a full explanation. I've realized this over the past few weeks as I've received around a half-dozen emails (and notes on my various social-networking sites) congratulating me on being a first time homeowner. So I guess it's time I caught everyone up on where I'm laying my head.

Last week ended over four years of perhaps the most humorous roommate relationship in UBC history. The cause for chuckle was the fact that Tom and I almost seemed to be in a continuous competition to see who could know the absolute least about the other's whereabouts and life activities. Two stories highlight this--

A party a couple of years ago at our place over on Austin was held and the theme was a Luau. A good time was had by all and toward the end the comment was made by Beth that she had to hurry up and get packing. My obvious question was "Where are you going?," which caused uproarious laughter to ensue. Not seeing the humor in the question, I looked around dumbfounded. I was then informed that a trip to Hawaii was about to occur, the next day, and everyone knew about it but me.

Kyle and I were having lunch at my place and he asked me how Tom was enjoying his new car. "Tom has a new car?" Kyle shook his head, the way he did, and said "Nuh-uh," also the way he did, in sheer disbelief that my roommate could have owned a new car for over two weeks and everyone at church knew about it except for me.

Anyway, it was a great run, but all good things must come to an end. I'm now renting a place on Washington Ave. that I'll be sharing with some guys for the next academic year. It's an old large house that has quite the history, a big front porch for congregating, and a large side yard for playing. The cast of characters include a couple of Baylor undergrads (UBC'ers,) a couple of new Truett students, and a guy in his early 30's who is probably way to old to be living the way he does. Oh, and a bitch. (My dog Jane.)

In the meantime, I AM looking at finally owning a home in this great city. The next ten months will be me preparing for that next big step.

I'm waiting for everyone to get in town before I put down the money for cable and internet at the house, so my posting may be as sporadic as it has been for the past few days.

To all of you who keep up with me through my blog, thanks. It makes me feel good when I hear from you.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Just after I finished the previous light-hearted post, I checked and found out about the tragedy in Minnesota with the bridge collapsing. Which reminded me of something else... if you are a praying person, please keep a particular family in mind tonight...

A few years ago I wrote THIS POST about the early stages of experiencing community through church. A couple who were characters in the post was Elbert and Mildred Thorn. My mother called me this morning to tell me that Elbert was killed yesterday, along with his niece, in a terrible wreck that happened on the Lake Palestine bridge, just south of Chandler. Mildred was also in the wreck and is not doing well, and, from what I understand, has not heard of Elbert's death. Please keep her and the rest of the Thorn family in your prayers, if you do that sort of thing. If not, please think about them. Elbert was a kind and gentle soul and comforted you with his presence.

(You can read the story about the accident HERE.)

All the more reason to laugh and love and take each other a little more seriously...and to catch up.

Still Busy...

So here's what my next few days looks like... Tomorrow I begin moving into my new place over on Washington. This weekend I'm preaching a wedding, so Friday afternoon is rehearsal etc., and Saturday evening is the wedding. This weekend Jason and Christy comes back from Thailand, which excites me to no end. Oh, yeah, I also work every day from now until next Monday, including the days I do wedding stuff and move.

I hope you keep checking in from time to time. I promise that once stuff settles down I'll be consistent with writing. In the meantime, here are the five most recently played songs on my Itunes...

1. It Ends Tonight by All-American Rejects.
2. Wasted by Carrie Underwood.
3. Strange Fire by the Indigo Girls.
4. Nothing Left to Lose by Mat Kearney.
5. Shame by Matchbox 20.

...and the five most recent books I have read, but not necessarily completed...

1. Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen. (Ended up being a great book. And scroll down to the post I wrote about it. The author commented, and I'm a little embarassed with some of the things I said.)

2. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. (I'm trying to pick one author and all their stuff. McCarthy is definitely one of the best writers alive, but it can be a bit dark at times... definitely not light Sunday afternoon reading.)

3. Traveling Mercies by Ann Lamott. (This is probably the book I've reread the most in my life... I'm reading it now because this fall I'll be co-leading a Sunday School small group over it.)

4. Lottery by Patricia Wood. (I can't remember if I've mentioned this. I picked up an Advanced Readers copy of this and zipped through it. This is a great story about a simple life that understands where true meaning is found.)

5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. (Another masterpiece from Hosseini.)

...and here's a clip from one of the greatest Seinfeld episodes ever. Kyle and I used to secretely reference it in many of our conversations...

...and if you're still bored, check out this promotional video for Waco, and be fully envious of those of us who live here...

until we meet again...
Oh, one more thing, if you're looking for a great new taste sensation, check out Blue Bell's 100th Aniversery Cake flavor. There are huge chunks of cake INSIDE the Ice Cream. WITH frosting. Those people are genius.