The Five Brothers

With the passing of my brother, I have been busy going through pictures as we try to prepare for the funeral and came across these group pictures of the five boys together. It’s amazing how few I actually have of all five of us. For my dear sweet sister’s sake, I have also included one with her and her mother and all of us.

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In Memory of Stokely Hammons, October 25, 1969 – December 27, 2014

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Stoke and his motorcycle in 2003.

We sat on the back porch, smoking cigars and listened to Stoke tell us stories about being pulled over by the cops. Pops and I were all ears, especially since neither of us had ever ridden on a motorcycle at 170 mph, muchless being pulled over by the police. Apparently, Stoke had it down to a fine art and knew exactly what to do. If you are going 170 mph, take the first turn off the highway and sit in the woods for four hours. If you are going less, go ahead and pull over. It seemed to work for him because he kept his insurance rates at about $1,200 a year, as opposed to $5,000 a year. I hadn’t realized the insurance would cost that much.

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The Boys & Santa!

Yes, I let the boys see Santa this Christmas. Don’t worry, they didn’t sit in his lap.

This Santa was actually outside the Corner Liquor Store in downtown Brenham, TX. The boys didn’t seem to mind at all.

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Merry Christmas

Some 2,000 years ago on this day, give or take 180 days, God became flesh and dwelt among us. Out of all the things that had happened before or since, none of them compare with what took place in the manger in Bethlehem through the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit. The Second Person of the Trinity became one of us.

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And Now From the Mind of Mark Driscoll

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to say that I’m back. I know, you’ve waited for what seems like forever for me to return. But you know, I had to do that old humble and contrite act us megalomaniacs have to do every now and then. So after much prayer and fasting, actually just sleeping late every day, I’ve come to the conclusion I should return to full-time ministry. When you are as coveted as I am, sometimes it goes to my head. But trust me, I’m completely under control now and won’t make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past. In view of it all, I’ve launched my new, improved web site… which is just a reflection of the new and improved Mark Driscoll! I know, some of you are asking, “How could I improve at all, I’m so darned perfect?” But alas, we can all improve, even if it’s just a tad.

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“I Covet Your Prayers!”

A dear friend asked me about the statement that people often make when in need of prayer, saying, “I covet your prayers.” Her concern was that coveting is associated with the Commandment not to covet your neighbor’s wife, or anything else your neighbor might possess.

If the Hebrew word itself was in the negative, then yes, coveting someone’s prayers might be a bad thing and we would not want to covet something that should be freely given.

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The Veggies Tales Rejection

The boys grew up watching Veggie Tales, the movies, the episodes, the works. It was only a few short years ago that Andy and I were anticipating the release of their last movie, hoping to catch it in the theaters. We missed it. It must have lasted about 2 days in the theaters because we never heard a word about it.

We did get their last movie on DVD. Andy and Joey loved it. However, over the last two years, since they have grown up and all, they have completely rejected the entire Veggies Tales collection! Actually, last year they protested the movies and episodes but would still watch it if I put it on. That was a little game I loved to play. Listen to them complain and watch them plop down on the couch nonetheless.

That came to an end this morning. Both boys flat out rejected my attempts to get them to sit down and watch it. Their rejection was complete! I can’t help but chuckle.

Now for the kicker: they both refused to watch it or even be in the house while it was on. They are outside playing, leaving me in Veggie Tales peace!

Kyle Field Implosion

I wasn’t sure I could get the boys out of bed this morning, but we were going to try. We heard that there would be an implosion of the west side of Kyle Field at 8 a.m. and we wanted to see it. I know that many foes of A&M have wanted to see that implosion for years, but that is another issue.

We made it with time to spare and found a great place to see the event. It helps that we didn’t need breakfast before we left the house. The church had donuts and fruit.

As we waited, we could hear the sirens going off telling us less than a minute. The crowd around us grew quite. Then… the loudest explosion I think I’ve ever heard went off and … about 18 seconds later, the west side of Kyle Field was rubble.

It was funny because Andy jumped behind me at the first explosion. It was that loud. Joey just stood ff.

When I get time, I will post Andy’s reaction. It’s priceless. But until then, here is one video of the destruction.

Operation Christmas Tree

I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but I really wanted to get a Christmas tree for the boys since they will be with me for Christmas. I knew I had a tight budget to work with and was hoping that I could use my bonus from the country club to pay for the tree. I was truly grateful I got a bonus. My other two part-time jobs offer nothing in the way of bonuses. Having anything at all in such a situation is a plus.

Last night I told the boys getting a tree was our plan for today, so they were ready to go this morning when we headed out. I had a bunch of ideas running through my head: a real tree? Maybe. I fake tree? Preferable. Cut something down on my father’s ranch for no initial cost, but definitely a trip to the ER? Better not.

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Half Day of School/Christmas Post

We only have a half day of school and the classes are only 20 minutes long, so there is not much getting done. In view of that, I had my first period class write down what they thought was important to know about Christmas.

Samantha wrote:

I love giving presents to kids who have nothing and can’t have Christmas.

From Bailee:

I want people to know that Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa.

Deisy added:

Christmas is when Jesus was born. That is more important than presents.

Joe wrote:

This Christmas holiday, remember it’s all about giving, not receiving. Be thankful for what you get.

And finally, Chloe wrote:

Christmas is not just about ‘opening presents’ or ‘eating a lot of food.’ It’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus, celebrating with your family. Don’t forget that.

Not a bad sampling at all. Seems that they have a pretty good understanding of the holiday.

A Review of Reviews for Exodus: Gods and Kings.

As many of you know, the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings… was released this past weekend to a plethora of reviews and criticism. I have no plans on seeing the movie simply because I don’t think Hollywood can make a decent movie about something out of the Bible. Plus, from the reviews that I have read, there just isn’t any compelling reason to go and see it.

Al Mohler did say that if you were mature enough, it might be an ok movie. But I think he really captured it when he quoted another reviewer:

The best single line analysis of the movie and its failure to garner either critical acclaim or more viewers was offered by Eric D. Snider of GeekNation: “This big dud isn’t blasphemous enough to be outrageous, emotional enough to be inspiring, or interesting enough to be good.”

Given that, I would say that Mohler is actually giving the movie a thumbs down.

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Can God Prevent Evil?

I found this little ditty in the comments section of a theological liberal:

Old Epicurean trilemma (although also attributed to Carneades the Skeptic):

If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful.
If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good.
If God is both willing and able to prevent evil, then why does evil exist?

It sounds profound and deep, but the Bible has answered this question over and over again in its denunciation of our own goodness. When the man said to Jesus, “good teacher…” Jesus replied that only God was good. He was not speaking in hyperbole. He was making a statement about the goodness of man. We don’t have any inherent goodness in us. We are conceived in iniquity and without God’s grace in our lives, we continue on in iniquity until we receive our just rewards in the after life, a punishment that no man wants, but fully deserves.

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I Am Definitely Blue

OK, I took a personality test on line and found out that I’m blue, as opposed to yellow, white or red. I’m not sure what those other colors mean, but here is what the testers said about blue:

Congratulations, Timothy, you are a BLUE personality. The Core Motivation that drives you through life is “Intimacy”. It is important to note that this does not mean sexual intimacy. BLUES need connection – the sharing of rich, deep emotions that bind people together. As a BLUE, you will often sacrifice a great deal of time, effort, and/or personal convenience to develop and maintain meaningful relationships throughout your life.

BLUES seek opportunities to genuinely connect with others, and need to be understood and appreciated, especially by their partner. Everything you do as a BLUE has to be quality-based, or you won’t do it at all. You are incredibly loyal to friends, employers, employees, and above all to your significant other. Whatever or whomever you commit to is your sole (and soul) focus. As a BLUE, you love to serve and will give freely of yourself in order to nurture the lives of others.

BLUES have distinct preferences and are the most controlling of the four personalities, although they may not acknowledge (or even realize) the fact. Your code of ethics is remarkably strong and you expect others (not only your partner and those closest to you, but everyone) to live honest, committed lives as well. You enjoy sharing meaningful moments in conversation with your partner as well as remembering special life events (e.g. birthdays and anniversaries).

I wonder, for those of you who know me, does that describe me? Or is that description so general and broad that it would apply to anyone who wants it to be true, sort of like a horoscope? You know how horoscopes are, they are so general that we can make anything we want out of them.

New York and the Movies

I watch a lot of science fiction movies because I like the genre. By doing so, I have come to the conclusion that the one city you do not want to live in, in the science fiction/super hero world, is New York City. Just think about how many times we’ve seen New York City blown to bits because it was getting invaded by aliens from another world, or got hit by a giant tsunami or turned into a penal colony. New York is not a great place to live, just because it is faced with the burden of the backdrop for hundreds of sci-fi/action-hero based movies.

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The Pledge of Allegiance

Please Note: I know what I write might be quite controversial. I’m not seeking to be. Feel free to respectfully disagree with me in the comments section, and even feel free to try and change my mind.

I heard on the radio this week, or maybe last week, that there is another challenge by atheists to have the phrase “under God” removed from the pledge of allegiance. This has been challenged many times by atheist. It is sort of a rite or passage for them, or a sacrament, you might say.

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My Son’s Salvation

I know that I’m like many parents when I worry about the salvation of my sons. This is nothing new to any believer that has children. I think though that my worries stem more from the fact that I have so little time with them, now that their mother and I are now divorced. I fear what my absence from them, and the divorce will do to their faith.

However, I was encouraged by an article by Kevin DeYoung reviewing the book Families and Faith by Vern L. Bengtson on two points.

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In Ephesus

Taken from a sermon that I preached at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lufkin, TX on November 30, 2014.

When people find out that I’m a Presbyterian pastor, I get asked if I believe in predestination. On one such incident, I told the man that asked me the question that I did believe in predestination and election. He then asked me for my support of such a belief.

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