I pointed to one of the windows, upstairs on the right.
“See that room?”
Heidi said that she did.
“That’s the room where the LORD made me His own.”
We were driving across North Texas and I took a bit of a detour to show Heidi the house. In that room, upstairs on the right, is where I came to know the LORD back in November of 1990. I can’t remember the exact day, but I do know it was probably about 2 or 3 in the morning. It’s what I did when I got off work from the newspaper. I would go home, eat a quick meal, go upstairs to my bedroom and read the Bible. I couldn’t get enough of the Bible, to the point that it was causing me problems at the newspaper, and even my family.
My brothers would say, “Timmy found Jesus.” Or “Timmy got religion.”
Christ found me.
Actually, it was an injured arm that lead to the pursuit of more dishes for my lovely bride. I wanted to golf at a course in Canton, TX, home of the First Monday’s Trade Days (the largest flea market this side of the Mississippi). It’s also home to the Canton Dish Barn. For those who are into Fiesta Dinnerware, the Canton Dish Barn is the place to shop.
My wife and I appreciate Fiesta Ware. We like the color. We like the solid feel of the plates. We like the way the plates keep our food off the table, as plates are designed to do. Yes, the simplicity of the plates and the bright colors remind me of… kindergarten, when things were simpler. No confusing patterns. Just simply, color, roundness of plates, and thickness, giving a senses of durability.
My second cup of coffee is moments away from becoming empty as I sit looking out on my backyard where the leaves are falling and we are hearing our second train of the morning going through downtown. We love the sound of trains, especially on a morning like this one. It’s the LORD’s day, and because it is so, we are resting from our labors, looking forward to worship with God’s people.
After a long week, my mind is tired, my zeal is lacking, and now, my coffee is empty. But fortunately for me, my wife is filling my cup.
Now, on to the deeper things in life: breakfast!
If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37).
My wife and I, through normal conversations, have come up with questions that never need to be asked. I know this seems simple, because it is. There are just some things that when you give them some thought, don’t need to be asked.
“Do you want to cook steaks on the grill tonight?”
“What else do we need to eat tonight besides steak and salad?”
“Would you like a glass of wine with that?”
“Would you like some chocolate?”
“Should we smoke a cigar?”
What you are actually seeing is the anatomy of a date night for Heidi and me. This usually comes after we make the drive to Dallas to visit Trader Joe’s to pick out food for the week and flowers for the table.
As you can see, the simple things of life are the best of God’s blessings.
I remember the end of my fifth grade year in school. Just like most kids, I couldn’t wait until the end of school and the beginning of summer. The thought of endless days playing by the creek, or one-out baseball in the cul-de-sac filled my dreams. But something was different about the end of school that year. I knew I was going to miss my classmates and my teacher, Mrs. Williford. I couldn’t help but think that something important was passing away. Something important was being left behind as I left the school, for the last time, and headed into the summer. Part of it was that I was leaving Rummel Creek Elementary School for the final time. I started attending the school in the second grade, and between that first day there, and my last day in fifth grade, that school was part of my home. Leaving it was not easy. I didn’t break down and cry, just felt a strong sense of sadness as I left the school one last time. A period of my life was coming to an end. I was moving from elementary school to junior high.
Heidi took the Saturn in to have the tires rotated on Friday at Discount Tires. I’ve been using Discount Tires since I lived in Roswell, NM, back in May 2013. Back then, as I was driving back to Roswell one late evening, one of the tires that I got with the car began to disintegrate. I had to change it and limp back to a friends parents home to spend the evening. The next day is when I began my foray into the abusive relationship that one has with Discount Tires.
You know this relationship if you are a customer. They treat you so nicely and promise you free tire rotations and balancing, and even throw in free coffee and water while you wait. You buy their tires because they are sold at a “discount?” and you are promised things like “60,000 miles” of pain free driving.
November 1990. Twenty five years ago, the Holy Spirit moved in my life, replaced my heart of stone, gave me a heart of flesh and led me to the Savior. It was 25 years ago that God’s rich and unfathomable grace, was poured into my life and I was rescued from Satan and the kingdom of darkness, and brought into the Kingdom of Light.
Up until that point, I had been a child of the world, living for myself, pursuing satisfaction of the flesh and loving the life of debauchery. By His grace, after hearing the gospel through my cousin Hank, a Missouri Synod preacher in Wichita Falls and Tommy Nelson at Denton Bible Church, I trusted in Christ for my salvation.
I remember the night clearly. I worked all day at the newspaper and got off around 11 p.m. I rushed home, grabbed a bite to eat and headed up to my room in the house I rented with a photographer from the paper at 1801 Pearl Avenue. I never saw my roommate, so it was pretty much like living alone. I sat down at the table I used for my desk in my room and begin doing what I had done every night for the previous two weeks, I read the Bible. The words were alive to me like never before.
I have been going through all the videos I have taken over the past few years and uploading them to Youtube, so the boys could watch. You can see some of them on my Family Page. As I was doing so, I discovered an entire series of videos taken on Thanksgiving Day 2013. It was a classic Hammons’ family gathering because David, my older brother, had his Jeep with him and decided to take Andy, Joey and me for a ride around the pasture. He loves to show how it can get across any ravine, or ditch with it’s four-wheel drive power. Of course, he also loves to get it stuck. This was his second demonstration on Thanksgiving Day and in the same fashion as the last Thanksgiving demonstration, he got his Jeep stuck in the pasture. This angered the powers that be because Thanksgiving is supposed to be about family, not Jeeps getting stuck. As far as I was concerned, this entire day spent getting the Jeep unstuck was about family. What is so unusual about this? However, David has since been banned from taking his Jeep into the pasture.
In our attempt to add more curb appeal to our home, in order to sell it, I decided to paint the master bedroom, and eventually the living room. Neither room has had the joy of getting a new coat of paint in some time.
In any DIY job, there is always a learning process and the door pictured has been my learning process. What have I learned when it comes to painting such a complex door? Contractor, contractor, contractor. Hire someone. Especially given that the room has at least three coats of paint on every wall, door and window. I tried just sanding portions of the trim, and the last coat flaked off, meaning I needed to scrape off the last coat. So I’m scraping, scraping, and scraping some more. It is going to take a lot longer than I anticipated.
The interesting point about the door, after having sanded it, is that Heidi really likes it as it is. I can see her point. It has a real antique look to it. Just from a labor point of view, it would be truly easy to go with the antique look. But we are trying to sell the house, therefore I will paint it. That means, I have to sand it as well.
Hopefully, and prayerfully, my labors will not be in vain and there will be some buyer who loves the color I picked out for the room, and who won’t pay attention to too much detail. It won’t be a perfect job. But my hope is that when I finish, the job will be well done.
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.
[Note to my readers: the following is an incident that occurred back in the winter of 1984. I neither condone the actions, attitudes or events herein. This is merely what happened, as a part of my life, especially the part which Christ redeemed me from… you can read part 1 here.]
I looked at James who was in the back seat with me and yelled at him to get Richard to stop. We were heading down Gaslight Boulevard at ridiculous speeds trying to outrun a Lufkin Police Officer in Richard’s 1966 Delta 88. I looked back and could see that the officer had made the turn and we were a good half mile out in front of him. That didn’t bring a lot of comfort and I really wanted Richard just to pull over and take it like a man. I shouted a few more times. He kept repeating the only words his brain could latch onto: “I just can’t!”
“James, do something!”
[Note to my readers: the following is an incident that occurred back in the winter of 1984. I neither condone the actions, attitudes or events herein. This is merely what happened, as a part of my life, especially the part which Christ redeemed me from…]
My face was covered with fire ants, a cop had a foot on my wrists which were behind my back and was I glad to be alive, except for the part in which I was “about to be arrested,” and “those damn fire ants.”
“Officer! There are fire ants on my face.” I was trying to get his attention as he conversed with his fellow officers, who were busy arresting my three buddies, Richard, James, and Byron. Apparently, out of the 22 officers who moments before had had their guns drawn, safeties off, and pointed in our direction, they just couldn’t find four pair of handcuffs between the 22 of them. This is why one officer had his foot of my wrists and seemed perfectly content to let the fire ants camp out on my face and neck.
I felt my vest vibrate and saw the white flash that accompanies being hit. Someone across the vast range had hit me from a distance. I could see them hiding behind one of the multiple shields placed around the room. I ducked behind a shield as well and noticed that Joey was at my side. He had been there the entire time, just like I told him to do. We were in battle and we needed to stick together.
I took the boys over to College Station on Tuesday in order to bowl for Andy’s birthday. Once the boys found out that there was a laser tag arena, that is all they wanted to play. I was somewhat skeptical, never having played before. I wanted to bowl. Just given my size alone guarantees at least 2 strikes per game. I also love to bowl. Between golf and bowling, I always score about the same, which isn’t good, but at least I’m consistent.
It was just a simple map of the ranch, although the names of every thing on the ranch were a bit odd. There was the Blue Creek Fortress instead of Pop’s house, the cottage was called the guard shack, the road out front didn’t head to Brenham or Navasota, but to Rivendale or the Shire. The barn was Baby Sister’s Keep, the ponds were Lake Pleasant for the front one, and Poison Lake for the back one. Mount Doom rested on the back part of the property just about the same location as my father’s burn pile. And every grouping of trees had some mystical, elven sounding name. There was Myrkwood Forrest, Elven Woods, Samwise Garden and one area of trees with the warning: Trolls Hideout.
That is what I noticed first as I drove by a man who was standing next to his SUV. I was heading for the high school and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man raise his hand trying to flag me down. When I looked, I realized that his truck was on the other side of the fence, laying on its side, and he was struggling to stand next to it.
I made a quick U-turn and parked in the grass. I looked at him as I got out of the car and realized he couldn’t be older than 16, and… there was blood running down his face and out of his mouth. I grabbed the towel off my golf clubs in the back of my car, knowing it was the only thing I had that could help stop the blood.
Yes, you could say that I’ve been burned by the spirit of the Christmas party spirit. Please note the non-capitalization of the word “spirit.” That is intentional because as I review my recent Christmas party adventures, and ones even farther back than this, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas parties, and more broadly the celebration of Christmas itself, is not good for my spiritual well being and rarely involves the Holy Spirit.
I’m not saying it is bad for your spiritual well being. Just that I don’t think it’s good for mine. So given that stipulation and the fact that this is my blog, I’m completely and totally right on this subject… for the moment. I could change my mind with new evidence, but given the case before us, this is my position right now. (Nothing like taking a strong stand in the shifting sands of such a deep and important subject).
Who Am I?
I was raised in a Christian Science home and became one when I turned 21. However I confess that I never could reconcile life to the claims that those in CS were making. There were always these miracles taking place, but never real honest miracles. Lots of miraculous cures for the common cold and such. Most of the testimonies given by those in CS were of the nature that the giver was on “death’s door” and then they prayed, and were healed. Given that death’s door can be so subjective, I take it that most of these women giving these testimonies were getting over their menstrual cramps.
When I was 9, my family had a major car accident that left my mother paralyzed for life. I remember praying over her body as she laid on the side of the road, just as we were taught to pray as Christian Scientist, but she didn’t get up. She never would walk again even though she refused medical treatment as was the common practice, and would go to a special hospital for Christian Scientist where the nurses prayed for healings. My take from it: if the god of Christian Science wouldn’t answer the prayers of a 9-year-old boy, then he was no god at all. Read The Accident here.
Andy brushing Birthday Girl last time he was at the ranch.
I just came back from feeding the horse, Birthday Girl. Since moving back to my Dad’s ranchette, Blue Creek Ranch, it’s become sort of a ritual with us. We both go out, get on the golf cart, hunt down Birthday girl, bring her back, and feed her. It’s a simple and easy routine that keeps us going across the place almost every night.
Lord willing, this time tomorrow I will be loading up the U-Haul truck with all my worldly goods and possessions in order to head back to Texas. Given that, this is my last post for a while unless I can figure out that app on my iPhone and use it to post while in the hotel tomorrow night.
The over all point is that the number of posts that I make for the next few weeks will probably diminish. Here a few photos of my destination. This little cottage is where I will be living for the next few months.
There was a report out on ABC News Radio that says middle age doesn’t start until one reached the age of 55! This means I haven’t reached middle age yet.
Therefore, to all of my congregants, namely Dave and Marie, who gave me such a hard time when I turned 40, back years ago, I respond: Ha! I am NOT middle aged! I won’t be for another 4 years!!! (Does this sound like I have issues?)
The good news for Dave and Marie: you are not old age yet! That will not happen for years, since neither of you are in your 70s yet. Of course, Dave, it will hit you much sooner than it will for the lovely Marie. But the good news yet is that you have yet to hit it according to the new study.