Thursday, August 25, 2005

Not sitting...Standing!

There have been so many things that I have wanted to share from the teaching time at T Bar M Family Camp. I hope I can do that over time and that God will give me the words to do it justice.
Our teacher was a guy named Todd Wagner. He is the pastor at the Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX. He painted the picture I will share in a moment. Before that though, I want to plug something that Watermark is doing.

I have always struggled with being in the Word. I have always wanted to read the Bible through in a year, but have never found a good plan. Watermark has a good plan. Its called "The Journey" and it is a day by day reading that leads you through the Bible in one year. Here is the cool part. They send an e-mail reminder each day with the chapters to be read and a link to their website where you can download a daily thought by one of their members. These thoughts give a new slant on what you just read, a few thought provoking questions, and a tip on how that member studies the Word. It has helped me (especially lately) to not just read God's Word, but really be in it. I am daily working on transforming my life (and fail a lot!), and this really helps. Check it out.

Anyway, here is a beautiful picture. In a few places in the Bible (Hebrews 12:2, Colossians 3:1, etc.), there is this image of Jesus being seated at the right hand of God. This is an awesome picture of a Father and Son. I often imagine God with his hand on Jesus's shoulder just loving his son. (It's the father in me) But, check this out.

In Acts 7, Stephen has just finished his berating of the Sanhedrin. I mean he lit them up. Here are the final verses of Acts 7 in which Stephen pushes them over the edge:

51You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.

54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Standing! Standing at God's side! We have all these pictures of Jesus being seated at the right hand of God. Yet he stands for Stephen! I can imagine he is either cheering him on, or he sees that the Sanhedrin is going to kill him and tells God..."Lemme at 'em" (or something to that extent), or maybe he is standing to welcome Stephen home. Whatever it is, Jesus stood.

I had never seen that before. Scripture is so incredible. Things I have heard and talked about 1000 times, and yet my eyes weren't opened until I was 34...God is amazing. Continue to be in the word. Continue to seek God and he will seek you. How cool is that?

Lord, I want my life to be a sweet offering to you. So many times I fail, and yet you pick me up. I want my life to be so moving, so full of you. I want to be like Stephen, seeing Jesus stand at your side. You are awesome.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"More Cowbell, Mr. Bond?"

Warning! Many of you could care less about what I am about to write. Consider yourself warned.

AMC is showing every James Bond movie up until Pierce Brosnan got the gig in the 90's. I'll admit it. I love James Bond movies. I always have. Every weeknight in August they have shown the original version followed with the Restored Widescreen Version. It is pure greatness. Anyway, here are some random thoughts on the James Bond Franchise.

Sean Connery is James Bond. James Bond is Sean Connery. Both of you would agree with this statement right? Here is the blasphemy part...I like Roger Moore better than Sean Connery. Sure, Sean was the original and most likely the best, but I just grew up with Moore. Plus, Roger Moore was in "The Cannonball Run"...very underrated, very stupid, very funny movie. I know what you are thinking. You haven't seen "Schindler's List", but you have seen "The Cannonball Run"? The answer is "yes...multiple times". Sue me.

Here is how I would rank the actors who have played James Bond. Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton. I know you were wondering...

My favorite Bond Movie is "The Man with the Golden Gun". Christopher Lee is great in that movie, as is Herve Villechaize. You know...Tattoo from Fantasy Island? That Herve Villechaize. Great Plot. Great Action. Great Movie. This bring up another point. How can Maud Adams be in this movie as a Bond girl that gets killed, and then be a Bond Girl in a later Bond flick, Octopussy? Is this possible? Did nobody raise a red flag? Imagine the casting meeting. "Hey wait! Didn't we kill her off in "Golden Gun"? Yeah, but nobody will remember...except one random guy in Abilene."

The ski scene to open "The Spy Who Loved Me" is the best opening in a Bond Movie. Check it out.

Which movie is on tonight, you ask? "Moonraker". James Bond meets Star Wars. This explains why I am typing right now. It's awful.

Timothy Dalton as James Bond doesn't even count. Worst. Bond. Ever. I think they originally tried to get Brosnan for these movies, but he was busy with "Remington Steele". Bad career move for Pierce...bad Bond Movies for us.

And finally, Christopher Walken is the villain in "A View to a Kill" (Duran Duran with the opening theme - Greatness). How am I going to watch him and not think "I got a Fever and the Prescription is More Cowbell"? I can never take him seriously again.

If only Blue Oyster Cult had done the James Bond theme song...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

11 and Counting

About two weeks ago, both of you got to read about my son, Kyle after he turned seven. You read a little about his personality, his quirks and his questions. I appreciate you letting me gush over my son.

Well, I hope you will grant me a little flexibility to do the same thing today about the greatest woman in the world, my wife. You see, Jennifer and I were married 11 years ago today. We have officially entered the second decade of anniversaries. WOW! We have been best friends for 13 years now (we dated almost two years to the day we got married) and it has been amazing.

Once when we were dating, Jennifer bought a journal and listed 50 things that she remembered about the first six months we were dating. She added another 50 after we had known he had known each other a year. We would write notes to each other during class (which explains my G.P.A. after I met her). We would go on dates and then talk to each other for three more hours on the phone. We had a blast when we were dating. But it is nothing compared to our life together as husband and wife.

Our life has been a whirlwind. We moved to Fort Worth (seperately) before we got married. Then we lived in Arlington after we got married. Got transferred to Houston. Got sick of Houston. Moved to Denver. Got pregnant with Cayce. This was all in the first two years of getting married! Every step of the way, God led us to where we are now, even if we resisted it.

Let me just tell you how unbelievable my wife is. My wife is the most caring and compassionate person I know. She serves people as she would serve God. She is truly an others first person. She loves our kids more everyday. She is and awesome mom (and keeps me in check as a Dad!). She is creative, persistent, and a great tennis player. And have I mentioned that she is gorgeous? She is the most beautiful woman in the world. I love her more every day.

So, in honor of my wife, here are 11 things I love about her (not limited to 11 mind you...):

1. She endures my love of football and even watches it with me, asking questions like "Did Ben Roethelisberger throw 17 or 18 touchdowns last year?...I can't remember." - Most men would kill for this.
2. She stops to talk to homeless people and see if she can buy them food.
3. She loves to Mow. - Most men would kill for this.
4. She loves the Beach and the mountains. She could lay on a sandy beach or go camping. Not the Holiday Inn kind of camping...real camping. We don't do this nearly enough.
5. She is exceptionally thoughtful of others. She puts others first.
6. She is absolutely gorgeous, have I mentioned this?
7. She doesn't worry about if I make the bed, leave a half full coke can on the coffee table, or leave my shoes in the middle of the floor. Most men would kill for this.
8. She is an awesome Mommy. She will draw and read with Cayce, play baseball and Xbox with Kyle and sit and listen to me butcher the guitar and say " are really getting good!".
9. She thinks I am funny. This makes her great...but it also makes me question her sense of humor.
10. She has created our home to be somewhere that we can have people in anytime. She is an awesome hostess.
11. And finally...she is the best friend a guy could have.

Thanks again for letting me talk about my family over the last couple of weeks. I will have to gush on Cayce soon to keep her from feeling left out!

Now if you will excuse me...I'm going to hug my wife.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Best. Vacation. Ever.

Well, we are back from vacation. I know both of you missed me. I know I never really said we were going on vacation, but with the number of armed felons who I am sure read my blog, I didn't want to let them know that we were going to be out of the house for a week. At least that is my excuse.

Ah, vacation. Could've gone to EuroDisneyWorldLand. Could've gone to the mountains. Could've even gone to Sea World. We thought of everywhere to go on vacation. So where did we end up you ask? (I know you didn't ask...but you have read this far...might as well keep going) Well, the first half of the week, we ended up in, of all places, Kingsville. Yes, Kingsville. Have you ever been to Kingsville? Hoo, boy. It rocks. Well, even if Kingsville itself doesn't rock, our reason for going there did.

The first half of the week was spent with Jennifer's grandparents in their hometown of Kingsville. They have been married 67 years (Praise God!) and they have lived in the same house for 53 of those. 53 years in the same house! What a blessing! I can't even imagine that. Think of it. Never having to move for 53 years. Never packing a box for 53 years. We can barely stay in a house for 1 year, much less 53. It is amazing. This is the place that all of my wife's family calls home. Mom, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, they all grew up in this house. It has just always felt like home for them. It really gives you a look into what God means for us in Heaven. We move from place to place, but always have one home. I can't wait.

Anyway, we spent a day at the Beach and Fishing (Kyle's one desire for his birthday). We played Dominos and Cards. We ate at King's Inn...a little hole in the wall fish place that Jen's grandparents ate their first meal as a married couple 67 years ago. They still go there every anniversary. King's Inn is on Baffin Bay in South Texas. Unbelievable fish and shrimp. Makes my mouth water at 9:48 pm.

Here is a couple of pics from this leg of the trip:

The second leg of the trip was spent in New Braunfels at T Bar M Family Camp. Remember, I said we could have gone to DisneyWorld. But Disney has nothing on this place. Just imagine a place where you have amazing Spiritual Teaching, College Kids that take your kids to do stuff while you and your spouse do cool stuff together, food better than a cruise ship, a camp where you stay in a hotel room with hot showers and cool air conditioning. But here is the kicker...every night before bed...Warm Cookies and Milk. Basically everything you would want in a camp, right? Family Camp has it. It is the best vacation our family has taken together.

I will go into much more detail about the teaching at some point. It was convicting, in your face, and powerful. Our "coaches", the college kids assigned to our family for the 4 days, were amazing with our kids. Our kids saw Jesus in these students. We could not be more grateful.

So there you have it. Our vacation in a nutshell. I didn't even get to talk about eating at the Gristmill in Gruene or rock climbing or the ropes challenge course, or blobbing, but I will explain those later. God blessed my family tremendously through this trip. He is to be praised. the cookies and milk I smuggled home in our bag.