Friday, August 7, 2009

My sister-in-law Tina invited us to go on a ride with her on her bus. We arrived at the bus yard at about 11 and headed for her bus. Here is a cute pic of Tina and Saraya walking hand in hand to our ride. Saraya loves her Aunt Tina!

This is the inside of Tina's bus. Saraya wanted to ride in her own seat. As you can see, the bus is huge!

This mountain is called white face, and Tina took us to the new houses that were built up near the mountain.

Next we stopped at a park for a quick bathroom break, and Saraya got to play on the playground in this park.

Here is Saraya sitting right behind Tina as we were driving around. This is about the time when Saraya began to get a little tired of riding around.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I don't have any pictures from the first 23 hours of driving because I was driving for most of it and just did not think to pull the camera out. The second day of our trip was not going to be so long, so Saraya and I took out time and even took a few pictures. They are in reverse order but it should be no big deal.

This first one was taken when we stopped for gas, but mainly because Saraya had to go to the bathroom. There was a small Dinosaur museum behind the station. Pretty life like if I do say so myself. I thought it might have been Ken Hovens place, but it wasn't.

We also stopped at a rest stop, again because Saraya had to go to the bathroom. Saraya wanted me to take a picture of this sign, so I did. I don't know why it downloaded 2 of these pictures, but it did and I don't know how to take it off.

Saraya wanted to get a rock to remember our trip by. She said my rock, which is the one near the bottom, was not as good as her rock. By the way, she has already lost hers.

This is Saraya posing at the rest stop. She liked the mountains a lot. This part of California is mainly desert.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Guys night

Wednesday night a bunch of the guys from Crossroads church got together at the local school gym and played some basketball. I would just like to share a few things I learned that night with all of you. I learned that I can no longer play like I did when I was in my 20's, or even like I am in my 30's. I learned that I can still out muscle anyone in the paint, but I can't out jump them. I learned, or maybe just was reminded that when you are not as quick as you used to be that you can make up for it by playing dirtier. This was not a big surprise, but again, just another reminder of reality, just because you wear a Kobe jersey doesn't mean you will play like Kobe. I learned that when you shave your head you no longer have anything to help stop the sweat from running into your eyes. So I am on the lookout for a really cool headband, I am thinking black with a Nike swoosh. Finally I learned that 30 minutes on the elliptical machine only equals 4 minutes straight on the basketball court.

All that being said, it was a great time for the guys to get together and have some fun. I was also reminded how much guys connect when they are playing sports or doing some kind of activity together. Unlike women, we like to have something to connect around. It just makes the whole process so much easier for us. It seems like for women that talking can be the activities, where as we men seem to need to either beat on each other or light heartily make fun of each other before we feel like we have made a real connection. Because of that I just have to say thank you to Jay Lewis for making himself available for both activities through his basketball skills.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

kid conversations

Me - Saraya you sure stayed with your mom at work for a long time today!
Saraya - I know
Me - You must have been having a lot of fun, what were you doing?
Saraya - mostly just being bored.
Me - well what did you do that was fun?
Saraya - I talked to the man that fixed the toilet. He was nice.

The 4th

Love & Theft was playing in Memphis on Mud Island the night of the 4th, and because Dana's cousin Stephen is in the band, we went to go and support him and the family and to have some fun. It was great getting to see that side of the family and spend part of the day with them because we don't get to see them that much and we always have a good time with them. If you live in the South I don't have to tell you that it was really humid and hot on that day. We took any opportunity we could to not walk and to be in air conditioning. Here we are riding one of the down town trolleys. Even though we did not have to walk, the trolley was not air conditioned and was crowded which made the heat even worse.

After we ate we went over to Mud Island and watched the guys in concert and the fire works that started right after they got done singing. Stephen is the one in the middle, and I think he was the best in his row! If you know me at all, you know that I hate country music, but a lot of L.N.T. songs are not very country, and I enjoyed listening to most of it. However, it was still very hot and muggy even though the Sun went down. After it was over we went and hung out with Stephen and the family for a while. A good time was had by all.

On the way over to Mud Island you can take the mono rail thing, which costs $4.00 per person or you can walk the bridge for free. We chose to walk over. By the time we were leaving they were shutting the Island down and were letting you ride back for free. So we rushed and got on only to stand in the crowded car and wait. The thing was getting full and what they called air conditioning was not working very well unless you were standing right in front of it. Everyone was getting a little impatient and was just wondering what the hold up was. I have to admit that I was wondering why we were still waiting, but I was truly thankful that we were getting a free ride back. After about 10 minutes of waiting, I guess a lady had had enough. She marched out of the doors and began yelling at the employees that were standing around talking to each other. She complained that there were a lot of kids in there just suffering in the heat and that they needed to get across to get them home and they needed to stop messing around and get us going! She was not nice or even diplomatic about it. I can honestly say that I was not thinking the same things she was thinking, but I have to admit that in other situations I have thought the same kind of things. It was really shocking to hear it out loud. I was embarrassed to be represented by her words and even more embarrassed that at other times my thoughts had been as harsh. There is just something about how it sounds out loud that lets you truly know how abusive, impatient, and sinful we can be sometimes.
One of the employees got on and started us on our way. I felt so bad about what the lady had said to him that I apologized for her and said thank you for giving us a ride back for free. I just wanted him to know that not everyone on there thought the same way. I wanted him to know that I realized that they did not have to give us a ride at all, and that waiting a little while was ok. Some times it seems we are so impatient. We have so much that we start to think that we deserve stuff when we really don't. Not a single person on the monorail paid anything for the ride and we should have been willing to wait a little while for the privilege. At times in my life I am so unthankful for what I have and so focused on what I don't have. It's good to have a reminder some times of how ugly sounding our thoughts truly can be.
Lord help me to be thankful and not feel entitled.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I just read a post that a friend of mine wrote to let everyone know how his wife is doing. His wife has cancer and has not been doing well for some time. At the end of the post he said he was hoping and praying for a good day for her today. Reading that made me remember what my prayers have been about today, and allowed me to put my wants and needs in perspective. It's amazing how our desires and needs are shaped by where you are in life. Some times I am so selfish and petty. Thank you God for perspective. Lord please give a good day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

voices in my head

It's so important to hear God in your life. We should always be listening to his voice so we know what it sounds like and we know Him better. The more we read His word, the more we learn about Him and His voice. The more we know about Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice when He speaks to us through others and through our own thoughts. By practicing this, I have been reminded of another byproduct that comes from knowing my God's voice. I can recognize when He is not speaking to me. I can remember a time when I herd a voice prompting me, tempting me, encouraging me, and I gave in. Right after that I thought to myself, I got you! I know you are not my God and I know what you sound like now. Before then I knew when it wasn't my savior talking to me, but I had never put a name or a person to the voice. I had never singled out a voice in my head that was not God's but also was not my own desires talking to me. It makes me think of when Jesus responded to Peter in Matthew 16:23 after Peter tried to rebuke Jesus about his journey to the cross and his death. Jesus did not answer Peter but talked directly to that voice. He said "Get behind Me, Satan!". My prayer now is that I will be as quick to answer no to that same voice when he speaks to me.

I got you now!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The tooth hurts

It happened, my little girl lost her first tooth. When I picked her up from school her teacher said that it poped out while she was out on the playground, and sadly they could not find it even though they looked and looked.

All of the kids in her class were really excited because she is the first of them to have lost a tooth. Either she is really advanced, or she has lived to long in Arkansas. I choose to believe she is advanced.

Her teacher also told her that she could write a not and put it under her pillow instead of the tooth, and that the tooth fairy would except it and leave her some money. We had not told her anything about a tooth fairy. So last night she drew a tooth fairy, a tooth and a $5 bill on a peace of paper. She then explained to me and her mother when we asked why she thought she was going to get $5, that the Tooth fairy gave you what you asked her for.

I wonder how she is going to draw a $5 bill on the next tooth she looses.


Saraya likes the Justice League cartoon. In fact when it first came on we would sit and watch it together. We don't watch it much anymore because they are all re-runs, and we have seen all of them about 5 times each. She still likes them, and some of her favorites are Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Superman. Dana had gotten Saraya some tattoo's over a year ago to put in her Christmas stocking, which she forgot about and never put in. While cleaning out her closet, Dana found them so of course Saraya had to put one on and wanted me to put one on to. So she chose Wonder Woman and I put on Superman.
Monday came and while I was at the gym putting on my work out clothes, I discovered that the colorful little Superman tattoo was still on my shoulder and all I had packed in my gym bag was a sleeveless shirt. Awesome! Now I could show off my super great tattoo for all in the gym to see. I got plenty of people taking a second look, but only one brave sole actually asked me about it.
I would do it again if she asked me to.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Art show

Last night Was Saraya's Pre-K art show at Central. The halls and the gym walls were filled with art work from the kids. Here she is standing in front of a peace that her whole class participated in.
These are a few paintings from Saraya's blue green phase and her foray into her orange period. All of her stuff was good, probably better then any of the other stuff there, but I really think she excels at wood carving. Below is a little piece she worked on, and I think it turned out really good for a 5 year old.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No clue

Just watched a show about Jacob. Because it is the History channel, they only used Jewish Rabbi's to comment and shed light on the life of Jacob. They came to the part where Jacob wrestled with God, and they claimed that this encounter with this person is a mystery that all are confused about to this day. The Rabbi stated that it could not have been God (the Father) because Jacob would have been utterly destroyed, but because of His Devine nature, it could not just be a man, so it must have been an angel sent by God. For a brief moment I was confused by what had been said. But then I quickly realized that it makes perfect sense why they claim to have no idea who this mysterious person is. It's because they refuse to see the truth of Jesus the Christ, 100% God and 100% man.

I am still amazed at how people refuse to see and hear truth.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Taylor concert

Last night Saraya and Dana got to go to the Taylor Swift concert. They also got a special treat. Dana has a cousin, Stephen, who we are close with, who is in the country band Love & Theft. Last year L&T opened up for Taylor on a lot of her tour. As a result, Stephen and Taylor became close friends and Taylor even wrote a song about Steven called "hey Stephen" which is on her new album. So Steven was nice enough to get a couple of passes for Saraya and Dana to go back stage and meet Taylor. Saraya seems to be impressed the most by the fact that Taylor knew Dana's name. She has told the story to everyone she has talked to about the concert.

All and all she had a great time, but I got a text from Dana about 10 last night asking if I could come to the concert and pick up Saraya. She was tired and her knees were hurting her. I went and got her and she told me all about the fun she had, but she was ready to go home even though Taylor was not done singing. I guess the moral of the story is that Taylor is great, but when a little girl gets tired even Taylor Swift's star is not shiny enough.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pirates & Gorillas

The other morning, Saraya was in my room while the news was on the TV. It was the morning they were reporting about a boat being attacked and prisoners taken. When the reporter was describing the attackers he used the term "pirates". I happened to look over at Saraya and the look on her face said everything. She then asked me if there were any Pirates in Jonesboro, with a really worried look on her face. I tried to assure her that the people they were talking about were not pirates like she was thinking, but I could not get the point across to her, so I just assured her that there were no pirates any where near us and that she was safe.

The incident reminded me of when I was small and saw a lot of reports on the news about "gorillas" attacking people, in what looked like jungle to me. I never asked any questions about it, but I thought that actual gorillas were attacking people in the jungle. I remember thinking, why do those people keep going into the jungle if there are crazy gorillas out there attacking people? I also remember seeing men in green clothing with guns tromping around in the jungle while they were reporting on it, and I thought, good, they have some men out there trying to stop those crazy gorillas.

I think that kids are unable to see reality some times because of their limitations. Adults on the other hand just refuse to see reality because they don't want to. To often I let my view on reality cloud my judgment and then I foolishly act on it.

I hate when that happens!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taming the tongue

Well, I did it again, I managed to hurt someones feelings with my big mouth. Last night was our small group night, we call them cell groups, and we had a pretty good one. That is until we started taking prayer requests. A member of our group was sharing something important with us, and I was just not paying close enough attention to the conversation and did not realize what was being shared. So, I made some dumb joke, which had nothing to do with the request that was being shared, and made some other members laugh and talk. This of course ended up hurting that one members feelings, which I did not mean, and would never do on purpose.

Why do I do this? This same thing is something I have struggled with for many years. I just let my mouth get away from me and it gets me in trouble. When I realized what I had done, I went and apologized, and I have no doubt that our relationship will survive. While this was a good opportunity for us to practice some confrontation skills, I am going to try me best to avoid this same mistake in the future. However, I am sure I will one day do it again and have to end up apologizing once again for my words. It is amazing how powerful words can be, and not just what words, but how we say them and even at what time we say them. This has also been a good reminder to me to make sure I am aware of the seriousness of certain situations.

You know, some times life is hard, and some times I make it even harder.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Soccer star......Not!

Well, yesterday was Saraya's first Soccer practice. Let me just say that it was not a huge success. For most of it she tried to do what the coach told her to, without taking her hands out of her sweat shirt pockets. In her defense, it was cold and windy, and she was playing soccer, so her hands really weren't needed.

At one point, the coach decided he would split them up and try a scrimmage. This was not a good idea! Not a single one of them had the remotest idea of what to do, and Saraya just stood there with her hands in her pockets watching the other kids chase and try to kick the ball. When I walked over to her and tried to encourage her to get in there and play, she started to cry and ran to me. Saying that she wanted to go home. Even though I wanted to give into her, I made her get back in there and try.

On the way home, she cried again and said that she never wanted to play soccer and didn't know why I was making her. I told her that she could not just sit at home and do nothing, to which she responded that she just didn't want to play any sports. (that hurt a little to hear)

We are going to continue to make her play. She has never been very good with new things. She still wont eat skittles because they have an "S" on them instead of the "M" she is used to. Once she gets used to it, I think she will do fine. Plus her friend E is on her team and once he goes to practice with her, I think it will be much easier for her.

She may not ever love sports, or be a soccer star. But I think it's good for her to get used to trying new things. We can't go through life being afraid to try, and I don't want my daughter crippled by her fears later in life just because it was easier for me to protect her.

Friday, April 3, 2009

group life

I am a part of 2 small groups. One of them is on Wednesday nights and the other is on Thursday nights. The Wed night group has been going for a while and everyone in it kinda knows how small group is done and helps make sure that it runs smoothly.
The Thursday night group is a very new group. They are both new to our church and new to small group life. They are the perfect example of the busyness the world loves to put us through. My Wednesday night group meets around 6 and we are usually all headed home by 8:30. The Thursday night group is so busy and their schedules are so packed that we have pushed the start time back to 8:00, and most of them don't usually show up until 8:30. By the time we eat, talk and just get people settled down enough to start, it's at least 9 or some times even 9:30. Don't get me wrong, I love my Thursday night group, but most of the time it is really a struggle to concentrate on what God has for us that night for longer then a 5 minute stretch. There seems to always be something. I am not complaining, because I have seen some great things come from the times when we do concentrate on God, but last night I was just hit with the reality that a small group home study is not a natural thing with all people.

When new people come into an existing group they can just sit back and fallow the lead of the other members that know what to do. When you start a new group with all new members, you find out quickly that things you take for granted are sometimes things that your group does not even think about.

Again, I'm not complaining, I am just reminded that modern day Christianity is a culture in itself. With habits and norms that are especially particular to that culture. I am just hoping that I never get too caught up in all of that, making me unable to reach out to the lost, unchurched or to just some people that are new. It's a little tougher some times, but well worth it.

Just last night we had a child come down stairs and lay across both parents and fall asleep, another child texting the asleep child, the mother of the child answering the text, a conversation about cell phones, a breast feeding, diaper change, conversation about hair and pictures, burping, light discussion about burping, and an unsanctioned bathroom break. All of this occurred during the 20 minutes or so we were trying to have a lesson.

I think God used the time though! It's all good.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I know, it's been a while since my last post. I got really busy for a while, and then I just got out of the habit of blogging. Then it became a thing. It was this thing I was avoiding because it was hanging over my head. I knew I needed to get on here and post something, but there had been so much time since the last post that it seemed like it had piled up and it was to much for me to want to deal with. So I just avoided it. I even avoided reading any blogs. It was like when I was in Jr. high, and I had a big project that was coming due, and I had put it off for so long that I just didn't know where to start because there was so much to do and not enough time to do it all. So you just keep putting it off until the next day, and when tomorrow comes, you just put it off until the next day.
So I decided to just forget about catching up on anything and start new. I may or may not post anything from the past few months. Besides, I don't think anyone reads my blog that does not have regular contact with me anyway. So all 4 of you know what has been going on with my life anyway.
At least I have started, and now it should not be that difficult to continue on posting. Now I just have the pressure to constantly come up with good stuff to post. Will it never end?