Thursday, May 29, 2008


"For we are His workmanship (masterpiece NLT), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NKJ

Have you ever spent an hour or two thinking about what it means to be God's workmanship or masterpiece? Numerous passages tell us that we are given various gifts and abilities. But as I have asked Christians over many years what they think God has prepared them to do, most do not know and seem to be embarrassed to talk about it. Please consider the thoughts of Max Lucado from his book, Cure for the Common Life;

"Da Vinci painted one Mona Lisa, Beethoven created one Fifth Symphony,
and God made one version of you. You’re it! You’re the only you
there is. And if we don’t get you, we don’t get you. You’re the only shot
we have at you. You can do something no one else can do in a fashion
no one else can do it. You are more than a coincidence of chromosomes
and heredity, more than just an assemblage of somebody else’s
lineage. You are uniquely made. . . .
But can you be anything you want to be? If you are uniquely
made — now stop and think about this — if you’re uniquely made, can
you really be anything you want to be? If you don’t have the sense that
takes care of numbers, can you be an accountant? If you don’t have a
love for the dirt, can you be a farmer? If you don’t have an appreciation
and a devotion to kids, can you really be a teacher? Well, you
can be an unhappy one, an unsatisfied one. You can be one of the 87
percent of the workforce that doesn’t like their work — one of the 80
percent of the people that says “I don’t use my talents on a daily basis.”
You can be a statistic.
Lucado ends his comments with these powerful words: “Can you be
anything you want to be? I don’t think so. But can you be everything God
wants you to be? I do think so. And you do become that by discovering
your uniqueness.”

Jesus said "I have finished the work which You have given me to do."
How could he know He was finished unless He knew what His purpose was?
Sure Jesus is distinct, but Paul, Job and many others speak of having done what God intended for them to do. There is a special role(s) that only you can fill. The great news is that you and I do not need great skill to be God's masterpiece, we only need to be moldable clay.

What do you think about the idea that you are unique and nobody else can be what you have the potential to be?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cute Couple

I can't tell you how many times someone has come up to me and asked "Were you and LaWanna always such a cute couple?" Well, I could tell you how many times--but that would make for a lousy intro to an otherwise hilarious post. The answer is, of course, "Yes" we have always looked good together. However, it was not always the same as now. We have made so many friends since raising teenagers that many of you have never seen me without white hair and a beard nor LaWanna without short-Jamie Leigh Curtis-hair. In response to the many, many requests that I post a picture from a few years back, please enjoy this entry from the Lakewood church directory. Can you say "love-stoned"?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sweet Magnolia Blossom

Often I wish I owned a great digital camera that offered lots of features. But I have REALLY enjoyed my little pocket digital and, honestly, I doubt the out come would be any better with a $1000 camera--at least this time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Leafing Through a Good Book?

Question; Why is there a leaf on the door of the Book Basket in beautiful downtown Wetumpka?

Let's look closer.

Hey, wait a minute! That is not a leaf, it is some kind of moth!

Crikey! That is a real beaut! Do you think he is waiting for the store to open so he can satisfy his voracious appetite for a good book? Or is he just crunching some numbers?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Global Warming!

There are lots of theories about the cause of global warming and whether it is even a reality. Let's say Algore is partially right and the globe is warming. I have a new theory about what may cause that phenomenon. Maybe it is as simple as Jennifer's smile. Really. All who work with her or know her are aware that when she flashes her smile, the room brightens up as if the Sun has come inside. All that happy glowing HAS to be warming the globe. Take a quick look;

Thank you, Jennifer, for making the workplace so "shiney and happy"!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What Could have Been

I feel the need to depart from weird news and nature pictures for a post that is more meditative. This poem is by W. H. Auden and I discovered it in the book "Rumours of Another World" by Philip Yancey. At this stage of my life, Philip Yancey is my favorite author. His book "What's so Amazing about Grace?" pulled me in emotionally more than any I have read in....maybe ever. I am tempted to write a dissertation about what this poem means to me, but will instead just post it and allow you to decide how deeply you think about it.

God may reduce you
on Judgement Day
To tears of shame,
reciting by heart
The poems you would
have written, had
Your life been good.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Hangover

As a follow-up to my previous "Mother's Day" post, I could not resist reprinting this article that I found online this morning. At the bottom is a link that is very interesting. Put the coffee cup down before you begin reading!

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — It's a happy Mother's Day for an Arkansas woman — she's pregnant with her 18th child. Michelle Duggar, 41, is due on New Year's Day, and the latest addition will join seven sisters and 10 brothers. There are two sets of twins.
"We've had three in January, three in December. Those two months are a busy time for us," she said, laughing.
The Duggars' oldest child, Josh, is 20, and the youngest, Jennifer, is nine months old.
The fast-growing family lives in Tontitown in northwest Arkansas in a 7,000-square-foot home. All the children — whose names start with the letter J — are home-schooled.
Duggar has been been pregnant for more than 11 years of her life, and the family is in the process of filming another series for Discovery Health.
The new show looks at life inside the Duggar home, where chores — or "jurisdictions" — are assigned to each child. One episode of the new show involves a "jurisdiction swap," where the boys do chores traditionally assigned to the girls, and vice versa, Duggar said.
"The girls swapped jurisdictions, changing tires, working in the garages, mowing the grass," she said. "The boys got to cook supper from start to finish, clean the bathrooms," among other chores.
Duggar said she's six weeks along and the pregnancy is going well. She and her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, said they'll keep having children as long as God wills it.
"The success in a family is first off, a love for God, and secondly, treating each other like you want to be treated," Jim Bob Duggar said. "Our goal is for each one of our children to be best friends, and everybody working together to serve each other makes that happen."
The other Duggar children, in between Joshua and Jennifer, are Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; and Johannah, 2.
On the Net:
Duggar family Web site:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is my mother's day tribute for 2008;

When your kids (including the big one) are screaming "What's for dinner?",
When you have tried to protect your children and they see it as neglect,
When you feel like the house is a mess and you clean/straighten it all the time,
Just remember we love you more than just this one day per year and we REALLY do appreciate all you do.
If poorly shown gratitude is not enough, think about the Mockingbird mama.
Sure she sings all day and seems to be perfectly happy.
Yes, it appears that she doesn't have a care in the world or any chores to do.
However, if you look closely---deep in the thickest brush, this is what you will find;

Lots of hungry mouths constantly wanting more, living in a crowded home that you built by gathering one twig at a time with your beak. And the more they cry for food, the more you have to stand by to ward off curious intruders that would harm your babies. Yes, it seems that moms everywhere are overworked and under-appreciated. But we really do love you. Now, what's for dinner?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


These are a few pictures I have taken during the past three or four days of some birds that have taken up residence near the Wetumpka Post Office. Thanks to my mom for correctly identifying them as Shrikes, specifically Loggerhead Shrikes.

I first noticed these birds when a large fox squirrel was passing through and they were squawking like crazy. A co-worker stated that those mockingbirds can really raise a fuss and I agreed but said I did not think those were mockingbirds. Later in the day, I took a closer look and confirmed my suspicions. A couple of days later, they were again making lots of noise and I investigated with camera in hand. As it turns out they were killing a snake! When I approached one flew to a branch with snake in beak. The snake was about 10 or 11 inches long. Here are a couple of pictures of a fierce bird with his "trophy worm".

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Business Venture

Has your doctor ever told you that you need to get more exercise? Has your spouse? After hearing several of my friends complain about the need to exercise more and how much they hated running or walking, I had a great idea. Since I was going to be riding my bike some anyway, I could help my friends convince their doctor/spouse that they were really working out and I could make some money at the same time. All it would take is a few alterations to the bike and eight of my friends can use the wear and tear on their shoes to verify regular exercise. It has worked out GREAT! Here is a look at the bike;


It takes a Village!

This post is NOT intended to be humorous. The following is from an AP story published on May 4. I titled the post in honor of Senator Clinton's book since she represents this part of New York and the topic, I believe, is related to her premise in the book that we must all combine our efforts in order to raise a child. While I certainly agree that extended family and church family can have a huge bearing on the quality of adult that results from parenting efforts, I strongly disagree that parents should abdicate responsibility to properly teach and train children to the government or a contracted representative of the government. I suggest that the following revelation is a direct result of that expanding abdication of responsibility, both in what it reveals about the ethics and morals of those who have assumed some of that responsibility as teachers and those who took on some of that responsibility as politicians and bureaucrats.

NEW YORK (AP) — The number of city teachers yanked from their classrooms because of accusations of wrongdoing has doubled in four years, and some spend years collecting their salaries while awaiting disciplinary hearings, a newspaper reported Sunday.
Their pay costs the nation's largest public school system an estimated $65 million a year, not including the cost of hiring substitutes or renting space for the so-called "rubber rooms" where accused teachers spend their work days, the Daily News reported.

Accused of offenses ranging from excessive lateness to sex abuse, an average of 700 teachers at any given time read magazines, play cards and nap in the "rubber rooms" — officially, Temporary Reassignment Centers, the newspaper reported. It cited city data

A little quick math will reveal that more than $90,000 (not counting salaries for replacements or costs for the playroom) per teacher is being spent to give timeout to 700 "teachers" accused of wrongdoing. Many of these wait more than half a decade to have a case heard. Most wait 3 or so years for a hearing and decision on discipline. Alabama's teacher's union would like to increase property taxes so that we can be more like these "big city schools". The senator from New York would like to be President of the USA so that she can also fix "big oil companies" and "environmental issues".

I am reminded of the one-liner "Hey, the village called. They want their idiot back."

I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Friday, May 02, 2008

America the Beautiful!

Land of the free and home of the supersize!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bill Cosby for President

O.K., so the title is meant to be a little funny and grab your attention. But this post is intended to be a serious commentary. So many times during this campaign for president of the USA, I have considered writing a length post about Obama and who he really is. Instead, I will take the opportunity of Bill Cosby once again speaking out concerning the underachievement among black Americans and the tendency of self-appointed "black leaders" blaming it on discrimination and covert government operations.

First, allow me to say that dark skinned individuals were largely mistreated as slaves 200 years ago. Many were mistreated as inferior and unable to participate fully in society 75 years ago. Today some are assumed to be thieves or thugs because many happily promote those stereotypes. But today people of every color, gender, height, weight, and economic status are discriminated against in some way. Many black Americans have achieved amazing success in business and government. Many have intact, loving, successful Christian families. None are being forced by white people or the government to have multiple "baby daddies" or contract aids. George Bush and the republican party did not plan and implement the 9/11 attacks as a ploy to destroy black individuals.

I am tempted to call "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright an idiot for believing and suggesting such insane ideas. But Mr. Wright is not an idiot. He is, in fact, of at least average intelligence if not above. How then do we reconcile his rantings to his followers with the sensible (if not well-received) exhortations of Mr. Cosby? It is as simple as this; one is telling the truth--at his own peril. The other is broadcasting lies--to his own enrichment. You do not need me to point out which is which.

The concern for me is that Barack Obama would spend a couple of decades "worshipping" with and adoring Jeremiah Wright without any public announcement of his disagreement with the foolish, angry, divisive messages--until now. Why now? Because white folk (and some black folk) are thinking for themselves. They are searching the internet. They are seeing what the most divisive "black leaders" say when they think no white folk are listening. And it is disturbing to many. It should be. Because so many who do not think for themselves believe that junk. The democratic party's attempt to select a candidate has been most entertaining for me. Hillary assumed she had the black vote and now she can't say what she really thinks about Obama because he is pandering to the same demographic that she is--only he is more intelligent and likable. It is extremely humorous to me--now. But if either of them is elected, the policies endorsed would only work to widen the racial divide.

Having said all that, I am so thankful to be part of a church family that accepts all races, nationalities, social classes, and considers them as God's children to be loved and treated with respect. I am also extremely thankful for the black families that have been devoted Christian examples during the years that they have been very, very much in the minority in the congregation. That must have been difficult many times. Now, one of these fine brothers serves as an elder and serves as a great example of what can be done with a life when the truth is recognized and followed. Are we still largely segregated on Sunday morning as a nation? Yes, sadly we are. Are we making progress? Absolutely! But we have to tell each other the truth--regardless of who is listening.


While I am not a fan of this style of "music", I love this video because it seems to perfectly perform and mock the art and at the same time mock goofy cooking shows. Here for your viewing pleasure is "How to cook up a little Beatbox."