Thursday, May 26, 2011

No Title

Your car is shiny & clean. You take it to have it washed each week. The inside is vacuumed, the tires have armor-all. The windshield and windows are cleaned. You may even have one of those smelly things hanging somewhere.

The engine, a different story. Smoke pours out while driving down the road cause the oil hasn't been changed in probably a couple years. The oil filter is clogged & filthy.

The tires are good, but the steering wheel shakes and pulls cause it needs an alignment. When you turn the wheel you hear that awful sound cause the power steering fluid has leaked out.

Your brake pedal grinds cause the brake pads are gone. The engine runs hot cause the air filter looks like its' been playing in the mud. The battery cables are corroded.

Somebody looking to make a buck keeps giving you an inspection sticker each year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marriage vs. Affair

I'd like to make myself think my relationship with Christ is more comparable to a marriage, but if I'm honest with myself, I know it's really more of an affair.

The Affair
An affair that I take advantage of on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. We have our meeting time and place arranged each week. I put on the trendiest clothes I have, actually take time to look at what little hair I have left to fix. I put on a good smile, get in a good mood and use my best comic material to try to make everyone laugh. I try to make sure everything is in order so that my plans on those 2 days are generally uninterrupted.

Luckily, I don't have to do this everyday. I get a few days off between meeting times, keeps me fresh, you know, still trying to impress. I haven't gotten to the point where I don't care anymore about what the person thinks of me. I still have that nervous energy before, gives me an edge.

I even go so far to play some music. It makes me look good, more legit I guess. People generally assume everything is cool, and that I've got it altogether. That's what I want them to think. If not, I have to admit that I don't, that I'm weak, human. I go to great lengths to keep my affair disguised as best I can.

The Marriage
My marriage to my wonderful beautiful wife of over 13 years is amazing. We have tough times, but we both work everyday at trying to be better at being spouses. Granted, we have routines, tendencies and habits that we've had since day 1 that we still work at, it's never going to be easy. Although we both say and do things that we wished we had done better, or not done at all, it's a learning process. We work through those things. My wife sees the best and worst of me and the good thing is, is that she's okay with all my downsides, all my faults, all my negatives and all my fears.

This is what type of relationship I want with Christ. Something that happens everyday, every week. He already knows the best and worst of me, and still loves me unconditionally. I love Him for that!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Brightside

I'll be honest, there are many cool things I enjoy when visiting my in-laws in the Northwest Louisiana corner town of Cotton Valley, LA. It's a very small community, maybe one store, been around forever. I spend about 80% of my time there asleep or eating home-cooked meals. I begin to crave fast-food by the time we're headed back to West Monroe.

Life slows down about three Wynonna gears and it's a great change of pace. No internet, and not so great cell phone service. There are animals there too, horses, chickens, rabbits, things I generally have no interest in whatsoever. My kids love it, every daylight minute is spent outside playing in the free world of the country.

The trip we're making there this weekend will be a little different this time. The 3-year old Motorola Razr's won't be making the journey. They've been replaced by iPhone 4's, quite a few steps forward in technology. So there will be internet, there will be cell service, Twitter, Facebook, everything that I enjoy taking a small break from will be right there at my fingertips.

But that's not what I'm most excited about combining the CV trip with the iPhone's. It's going to be all the photography opportunities there that you can't easily find in a small city like West Monroe. Barns, gates, tractors, sheds, old cars, tire swings, endless shots will be there at my fingertips, and I'm going to try to take advantage of all of them using all 60 photo apps I've now acquired.

This time maybe it's 20% sleep/eat and they'll have to drag me in from outside. My wife and in-laws are going to think I went crazy in a whole new way!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

International names of Jesus:

I found it interesting that different cultures around the world have different pronunciations, spellings and sounds of the name of Jesus. Guess I had never really thought about it. 99% of the cultures who spell 'Jesus' like the English versions, that aren't English, have some type of accent mark.

International Names of Jesus:

English - Jesus
Spanish - Jesus
French - Jesus
Italian - Gesu
Dutch - Jezus
Irish - Iosa
German - Jesus
Russian - Nncyc (the "N's" are reversed)
Albanian - Jezusi
Belarusian - Icyc
Croatian - Isus
Finnish - Jeesus (yeah, that's 2 e's.)
Indonesian - Yesus

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top Ten: things I don't miss about 'How We Used To Do It'

1. The dead space & dead silence after a pastor/speaker announced a certain person was coming up (from the congregation) to sing a special using a track. "Let's all worship with ______ as he/she sings"

2. The dead space & dead silence while that special singer was waiting for the special soundman to start the special track.

3. The weird feeling for the person singing when they forgot their place or their words and had to wait for the song to get back to the chorus.

4. When losing their place, he/she was immediately lost in The Spirit until they found their place again.

5. The awkward obligatory hand-clap once the singer/track was finished.

6. Not the smooth lowering of the fader on the soundboard, but the square 'stop' button that killed that track.

7. The odd sound of silence between the 2 choir songs, the slow one, and then the fast one.

8. The unrest when someone was singing a solo and it was their first time.

9. The members of a trio or quartet that bashed each other between songs and thought it was hilarious.

10. The youth choir singing a new vanilla progressive choir song on a Sunday morning while everyone watched.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

History of My World: The Early Years

I grew up in the country, believe it or not, and had tons of room to roam and play. Eventually, with family, friends and neighbors, we rode 4-wheelers, dirt-bikes and go-carts. We had a catfish pond, creeks, woods, and pastures for miles. If it was daylight, we were outside, and if it was evening/nighttime, we had to be called in. We'd shoot bottle-rockets from bottles, or just throw them by hand. We briefly caught our house on fire from pine straw that was on our roof.

We had a pool, a pool table, and full court basketball. We had a 27-inch TV that weighed 8,000 lbs, at the time, it was awesome! Needless to say, our house was the hangout for the youth, and whoever, at all times of the week, and all times of the night.

My parents, who are incredible people, were always very involved in mine and my sister's life. Very active in the church, youth ministry, trips and church in general. My Mom's family, all church-goers since the 1920's, are good people, I have an amazing legacy of Christianity.

When I was very young, I remember my Dad taking me outside at church with him, he and a group of 2 or 3 guys would be outside smoking. I specifically remember one instance where I was very interested in the glowing orange at the end of the small white 'whatever' my Dad was holding. So I touched the end of it and learned a very valuable lesson that evening at church. 'Not Everything That Was Shiny Was a Good Thing'.

I had to have been 4 years of age or younger, cause my Dad received the Holy Ghost when he was 32. I was 4. His life changed dramatically for the better. Thirty-three years later, my Dad is an amazing example of a Christian Man. He has and still works tirelessly for God and the Church. He's a Man's man. A Vietnam Veteran who received a Purple Heart a couple years ago. A big man, who at 65 years old could probably still beat me at arm-wrestling. I stopped trying to beat him at age 18. He sees things in a simple way. Sorta like a John Wayne.

My Mother, College/Career teacher, piano/organ player, choir director, piano teacher, instilled music in me at a very young age. Most of her 1st cousins, my aunts, play a musical instrument, mainly organ. My aunt Gayla Foster, can smoke an organ. Most of my cousins on my Mom's side can sing, play music or both. Very talented people. At age 12, my Mom bought me a bass guitar instead of the drums I wanted. She went thru a blue song hymnal and wrote out the keys and notes of all the songs for me so I could follow along with her while she played piano.

My grandmother, Lurline Oglesbee-Phillips, who represents what true Christianity is, traveled in a band with an evangelist at a young age playing guitar. How cool is that? She led, and sometimes still leads Worship in her church. I've never once heard her say a negative word about anyone, including pastors. She lived next door to us out in the country. Everyday getting off the bus, I ran straight to her house cause she always had something cooked to eat. She taught me the books of the Bible and had Reader's Digest books. I spent the night with her often. She didn't just pray every night before going to bed, she got a hold of God. And it wasn't just for 5 or 10 minutes, it'd be for over an hour. I couldn't ever go to sleep until she was finished, she taught me what prayer was, and how to pray. To this day, about to be 91 years old, she has one of the sharpest minds and is completely independent.

My aunt Dee Dee, my Mom's sister, has 3 singing albums. A few years ago, she gave me her 1963 Gibson hollow-body acoustic guitar my grandfather bought her when she 13 and had received the Holy Ghost. For receiving the Gift from the Father, she got a gift from her father. Dee Dee has worked and still works for New Life Tabernace United Pentecostal Church in Beaumont, TX as the church secretary. She's seen all the good and bad of what comes in working for a church. She has allowed it to make her an incredible Christian and an incredible person.

And then, there's my Sister. Le'Sann. 'The' Le'Sann. The Rebel. Don't worry Sis, I'm not going to reveal too much.

I must include early on that she's 4 years older than me, she'll appreciate that. A very protective Sister to this very day. You didn't mess with baby brother, even though she often didn't appreciate the fact that 'I' was the Baby, she was the only one who could say anything about it.

I believe she knocked me unconscious only twice. Both times with her fist, she took after my Dad. I'm sure I wasn't doing anything to cause her frustration.

An extremely loyal person who will go through more than most people with her friends, but once you crossed the line after a long journey, it's over. You should just quit trying because it's not going to happen. You have been cut off.

She was always able to make friends really fast, and she connects with people through realism. She never, let me emphasize the word, NEVER, attempts to be something she isn't to try to impress. She always, impresses others by being real and being herself. Something I've always wanted to be able to do, but still have difficult succeeding with.

Will continue with the next part soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So it's only been a year....? i've neglected my blog for exactly a year now. what a difference a year makes. it seems like ten years instead of one.

so many things have happened and changed in a year. the last time i was blogging i was looking forward to speaking in church and different things. i was able to accomplish this goal...i believe i spoke 3 times in our (now defunct) Encounter service. i miss it so much.

now that this chapter of my life has ended and have now moved on, i'm looking forward to what God has in store.

hopefully it won't be a year before the next one....!