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.
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.
Counting today, I have seven Sundays left as a pastor. June 30th will be my last day in the pulpit here at Redeemer Christian Fellowship. Given the financial situation of the church, and things that are going on in my life, I’ve decided to step down from the pastorate and move back to Texas.
I’m hoping to find a job in the business world doing something that I am suitable for, but I’m not sure what that is right now. I know the LORD has something for me and I know that it will be a difficult transition. I’m not shying away from it and thank the LORD that I have been a pastor for the past 12 years in the Presbyterian Church in America.
Next Saturday will be the six-year anniversary of my venture into the world of golf. I was reminded of this when Mark M., on Facebook, when he noted that his Wichita State Shockers had won another game in the NCAA Basketball Tournament and I reminded him that I was happy for him, just as long as Texas A&M hired away their coach the way they did with Mark Turgeon back in 2007. All of that got me to thinking about how all that came about, about taking up golf and about how my game is doing now, six years later.
This is the second Saturday since Andy and I went to see the Texas A&M Aggies play in Kyle Field, so I’m a bit slow in writing about it all. After writing about the flight with my father, I haven’t had time to finish out our trip, with the story about going to the game. The game was the highlight of things we did, but not the highlight of the trip. The highlight of the trip was spending time with Pops and Nonna and watching Andy get a chance to know his grandfather.
Yet, the reason we were there was to go to the game. Andy hasn’t been to a Texas Aggies game since he was in the womb. I mean that literally. My wife and I went to an Aggies game when they were playing Clemson back in 2004, a few months before he was born. He did experience the game, only on a limited level. Every time the Aggies would score and the Corps of Cadets fired off their canon, Andy would kick inside the womb in celebration. So you can see it’s been a while since he has been to a game.
I think I was more excited in taking him to the game than he was in going because I’m not sure he knew what he was in for. He has been to football games, but nothing like a Division I college game, especially a Texas Aggies game.
I remember my Dad and Mom taking us to University of Houston Cougar games growing up and I really wanted to share the Aggies with Andy, and hopefully next year with Joey. It was something I did growing up with my folks and I hope that I can do the same with the boys over the coming years.
We left early in hopes of seeing the band march into the stadium, but traffic had something to say about that. Parking was also a problem. I couldn’t find a parking lot that was open to non-permit holders. I finally found one, but by then, we were too late to see the band march into the stadium. It turned out I was so far from the stadium, I should have left the car in Brenham and walked over.
Once we were in the stadium, I think Andy began to see what a massive place it was. He was loving the fact that we were really high up, that we had neat souvenir cup and that there were so many people. He was cut off guard when we sang the Aggie War Hymn. For those who don’t know, at one point during the song we lock arms with those around us and swing back and forth as we sing “saw varsity’s horns off!” He didn’t want to put his arm around the young woman next to him. He was too shy.
I didn’t know that about my son. But he has a shy streak in him. When we were walking through the tunnel from the parking lot, we ran across one of the Texas Aggies Swimmers and I wanted him to take a picture with her, but he was too shy. I think it was Allyson Sweeny, but I’m not sure.
By the end of the game, he did warm up to the girls sitting next to us to the point that they were sharing food with him. I should have given him a few lessons about singing the Aggie War Hymn.
He also loved the firing of the canon. I knew he would and he got a lot of opportunity to hear it go off as the Aggies managed to score 70 points on South Carolina State. The offense was clicking and State was outmatched. We were hoping for a high-scoring game, since it was Andy’s first game.
I wanted to take him to see the Aggies play Arkansas, but Pops and Nonna had to fly out of town last Friday so we would have missed them. Dad recommended the SC State game in order to make sure that Andy’s first game was a win. Little did we know that A&M would decimate the Razorbacks as well, 58-10. As a friend and I joked all week, Arkansas is so bad this year that the teams they have played are still scoring touchdowns on them. As he texted me this week: “Liverpool just scored on the Razorbacks.”
As for our game, when I asked Andy what he liked about the game, he said, “the whole entire part of it.” Since he has worn his Aggie ball cap at every opportunity, I think he likes the Aggies.
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.