- I grew up in Podunk.
- My great-grandmother was full blood Cherokee.
- I have forgotten my wife’s birthday…twice.
- I have been shot at … twice.
- The two items immediately above this one are not related.
- I had a pet alligator when I was a child. It escaped.
- One of my relatives was killed by an alligator.
- I hope that the two items immediately above this one are not related.
- My first car was a 1973 Capri.
- Some of my favorite books are children’s books.
- I almost died in a military aircraft accident.
- At one time I grew giant pumpkins as a hobby.
- My favorite scent is the smell of freshly poured cement and my second favorite is freshly cut lumber.
- I bought my first house when I was 16 years old. I sold it one week later for an 80% profit.
- I was mugged on the streets of London.
- I was almost responsible for a man being shot by President Carter’s Secret Service agents. Oops.
- Due to my propensity to be interested by a wide range of disciplines, I managed to take 220 college hours before ever receiving my undergraduate degree.
- I was a kindergarten drop-out.
- My first real kiss was at church camp.
- I got a spanking at my seven year old birthday party for pretending to hang myself.
- I presently drive a convertible.
- My favorite color recently changed from blue to scarlet.
- I once owned a car worth $1.84 billion.
- It’s embarrassing, so don’t tell anyone, but I really like those old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies
- I married an exotic dancer.
- I have swam in a spring-fed river while there was snow on the ground.
- My first pet was a billy-goat named Timmy.
- I once slept for twenty-four straight hours without being under the influence of anything other than an exhausting schedule.
- My favorite food is a vine-ripened tomato.
- My favorite drink is raw milk straight from the cow.
- My favorite herb is cilantro, my favorite spice is crushed red pepper, and my favorite side is fresh bean sprouts. Yum.
- My favorite musician is Luke Garrett and my second favorite is Robert Cray.
- I once climbed Mount Baldy near Glorietta, NM in the pitch black of night.
- I start most days with a three-mile walk and end most days in bed with a book of short stories.
- I won a beauty contest.
- My favorite restaurant was Fred and Red’s in Joplin, MO until it closed. I am now shopping for a replacement for the top of my favorite list.
- The first magazine I ever subscribed to was the Weekly Reader.
- The first “big” book I ever read was Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In many ways it it was influential in my developing love of reading.
- I have lived in four states that begin with the letter “M”. In alphabetical order I have lived in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Iceland, Oklahoma, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.
- When I married Susan I stopped watching sports on television. Her family had been big sports fans and she had always felt left out because she had no interest in television sports. I did not want her to feel left out in her own home so for the first twelve years of our marriage I never watched one game on television. I now watch televised sports in moderation.
- While abstaining from televised sports, I participated in Wes Kenney’s NFL Picks contest and had a better pick record than any of the ESPN experts.
- I quit my first adult job because they would not give me a nickel per hour raise. I could not have cared less about the nickel, it was the principle of the thing.
- I have once or twice pretended not to notice my child’s dirty diaper so my wife would change it. I know, I know, I am hanging my head in shame.
- We send some of our six children to public schools, some to charter schools and homeschool others.
- My garage is a horrible, horrible mess.
- I would rather preach at a funeral than administer a wedding.
- I have clothes in my closet that are at least twenty years old. And, I still wear them.
- For two years I was the Master of Ceremonies for my high school’s talent contest. That was the last time I was master of anything.
- My ancestors started the first Baptist church in Texas back when it was part of Mexico and illegal to do so.
- I’m not sure exactly what my idea of a perfect day would be, but I would think it a really good day to rise early to drink really, really hot coffee while sitting next to Grand Lake of the Cherokees chatting with my wife while watching the sun rise above the horizon. Followed by several hours of quiet/private reading time and devotions. Then, wading and swimming with the kids and then all piling into my convertible for a trip to town for ice cream. Then a relaxing nap with an old fashioned water cooler blowing directly on me and a soft old ratty quilt to keep away the chill. Then, rising to grill some really nice steaks while the kids run and play on a giant lawn. An early evening watching a silly movie with the kids, then sitting on the porch and talking late into the night with my wife.
- I love to laugh out loud, and do so frequently, but very rarely around anyone except my wife and children.
- I do not like to talk on the phone because I want to see the person with whom I am conversing.
- I once applied for a job with the CIA. I could tell you about it, but then I’d have to kill you.
- When I baptized my son, Parker, in Lake DeGray, I did not get the very top of his head under the water, so I dunked him a second time.
- I traded name identification cards with another student at my junior college graduation so that they announced our names wrong to those assembled.
- I have experienced betrayal by someone I considered to be a close friend. It hurts.
- I enjoy immensely a steaming hot cup of coffee on a cold morning.
- I have noodled catfish with my bare hands.
- The most valuable class I have ever taken was “Typing.”
- I was valedictorian of my high school class.
- I own more books than the Library of Congress (well, … maybe not).
- Almost 40 years later, I can still taste the last unripened persimmon I bit into.
- My three siblings and I all graduated from different high schools.
- My third child was almost born in the car on the way to the hospital.
- I enjoy the company of those with whom I have little in common.
- I have fallen asleep while driving, bathing, talking, and eating but never while doing all four at the same time.
- After working to get into West Point, I declined the offer of a Congressional Appointment because I was in a relationship with a girl.
- For years I would make up and tell my kids a new pirate story almost every night at the dinner table. Argh! Matey.
- I once fought a battle with the biggest-baddest Water Moccasin that ever lived. I finally admitted defeat and retreated after a 10 minute struggle.
- In college, I once went out with five different girls, on five consecutive nights and took them to the same restaurant where I was waited on by the same really cute waitress every time. I invited the waitress out on a date but she declined for some reason.
- I once had William Estep yell at me when I suggested that the Anabaptists were crisis theologians.
- On most days, if I had a choice between taking a nap and meeting the President of the United States, I would opt for the nap.
- I have on more than one occasion believed that I perceived an unseen presence while sitting with someone as they died.
- I sometimes regret that I never became a famous movie star. Steven Spielberg, are you listening?
- While playing golf in Joplin, MO I once hit the city manager’s car with a bad slice off the tee box.
- I hate to fly. I also hate to ride in planes.
- During one period of my life I lived almost exclusively on popcorn, pickels and buttermilk.
- I own a Xena, Warrior Princess doll.
- One of the most prized possessions I ever owned was an 1848 first edition of Edwin Wilhelm Hengstenberg’s Dissertations on the Genuineness of Daniel. I gave it away to a beloved friend back in 1993 and today I get much more pleasure from seeing it on the shelf in his living room than I ever received from owning it myself.
- I once rode the subway from East Point, GA all the way to Buckhead just to get an apple-cinnamon yogurt.
- I have had lots of “rides” but my favorite was a Suzuki GS 550L.
- I have seen a bear in the wild.
- I don’t believe in ESP, or anything like it, but I do believe the world and people are much more interconnected than we understand.
- During my first pastorate the little old ladies in the congregation called me “Brother Honey.” (That moniker should be read with a gentle southern accent.)
- I learned more about covert operations while working with a church youth group than I did in four years in the Air Force.
- I’m claustrophobic, so please move back just a little from your computer monitor.
- I watch the movie Groundhog Day over, and over, and over, and over, and ……..
- If I was going to write a parable about my life it would begin something like, “Once upon a time there was a pinball machine…”
- I like kaleidoscopes.
- I have never been to a bachelors party, but I did host a book shower for one of my students who was getting married.
- When I write for publication I always try to include a few sentences that are quotable.
- I once knew a Special Forces guy that I thought made James Bond look like a wimp.
- My favorite toys as a child were little plastic cowboys and Indians.
- I was told as a child that I did not sing well. So, I stopped singing out loud and rarely sing in public to this very day. However, I make up little songs that I sing to my wife and kids daily. (“O, good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To slander music any more than once.” Much Ado About Nothing, act II, scene III)
- I sometimes judge a book by its cover.
- In the fifth grade I told my social studies teacher to beware because I was a werechicken. Afterwards, I was stuck with the nickname “Chicken” until my family moved to another town.
- I always cry when I watch Toy Story 3 with my kids.
- Call me barbaric but I much prefer the cheap generic Kroger Party Pack chocolate chip vanilla ice cream to any of the premium brands.
- I like lists.
- I am married to the most beautiful, exciting, intelligent, witty, understanding woman I have ever known (yes, she reads my blog).
Archives for November 2006
Sherry, over at Semi-Colon, has up a nice story about Antoine and the advent of the paper-shelled pecan. It’s worth taking the trip over to check it out.
I love pecans. I remember fondly several family pecan picking trips. However, we really did not need to do that too often. Pecan season falls fairly close to Christmas, and it was very common for some of the members of the churches that my father pastored to give a nice bag of pecans to their minister’s family (us) for Christmas. I always thought that was a very thoughtful gift for which I am grateful to this very day.
I had never heard the pecan called anything but pi-kahn until I moved to Georgia. Those of you from Georgia know that Georgia is really two states — there is Georgia and there is South Georgia. I was working on a loading dock back in those days and a violent argument broke out between some of the dockies and the truck drivers over the correct way to pronounce “pecan.” One of my friends from the state of South Georgia set it all straight when he declared in his thickest southern drawl, “The correct way to pronounce pecan is pi-kahn. A pee-kan isn’t a nut, — it is something that you keep under your bed on a cold night.” Those of you who are old enough to remember outhouses will know what he meant.
The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him “meek and mild,” and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 1949 [1995 reprint], (page 6)
If spiritual pastors are to refrain from saying anything that might ever, by any possibility, be misunderstood by anybody, they will end–as many of them do–by never saying anything worth hearing.
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? (p. 11)
“Why doesn’t God smite this dictator dead?” is a question a little remote from us. Why, madam, did he not strike you dumb and imbecile before you uttered that baseless unkind slander the day before yesterday? Or me, before I behaved with such cruel lack of consideration to that well meaning friend?
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? (pp. 12-13)
Christ, in His Divine innocence, said to the Woman of Samaria, “Ye worship ye know not what” — being apparently under the impression that it might be desirable, on the whole, to know what one was worshiping. He thus showed Himself sadly out of touch with the twentieth-century mind, for the cry today is: “Away with the tedious complexities of dogma — let us have the simple spirit of worship; just worship, no matter of what!” The only drawback to this demand for a generalized and undirected worship is the practical difficulty of arousing any sort of enthusiasm for the worship of nothing in particular.
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? (p. 19)
There is a popular school of thought (or, more strictly, of feeling) which violently resents the operation of Time upon the human spirit. It looks upon age as something between a crime and an insult. Its prophets have banished from their savage vocabulary all such words as adult, mature, experienced, venerable; they know only snarling and sneering epithets, like middle-aged, elderly, stuffy, senile, and decrepit. With these they flagellate that which they themselves are, or must shortly become, as if abuse where an incantation to exorcize the inexorable….It is the vicious and desperate fury of a trapped beast; and it is not a pretty sight.
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? (p. 56)
Paradoxical as it may seem, to believe in youth is to look backward; to look forward, we must believe in age.
— Dorothy Sayers, in Creed or Chaos? (p. 57)
A wrong attitude towards nature implies, somewhere, a wrong attitude towards God, and the consequence is an inevitable doom.
— T.S. Eliot, The Idea of a Christian Society (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1940), page 62.
The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments.
— Mad magazine
“Sin fascinates, then it assassinates. It thrills, then it kills. It will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you were willing to pay.”
— Adrian Rogers, as quoted by Hershel York on Confessions of a Pastor
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Actually, even in you aren’t interested in more quotes, I still recommend that you check out their excellent blogs.
I recently sat through four days of Business Analysis training. During one of the presentations the trainer commented that we live in a world in which people brag about how little sleep they require. That isn’t me! I know that I require a full night’s sleep. However, I rarely get a complete night’s sleep and I can identify several negative consequences.
According to the folk over at sleep-disorders-help.com,
So, my first New Year’s resolution is to get eight hours of sleep “at least” five nights per week.
My second New Year’s resolution is one that will tempt me to cheat on my first resolution. I am going to try to write fifty-two book reviews in 2007. My responsibilities require that I read more books than that, however, I believe that the discipline of writing critical reviews will be beneficial for me.
Why do I say that?
Well, a few days ago when I posted my thoughts regarding Ray Bradbury’s book From the Dust Returned my wife asked, “So what didn’t you like about it? You never really said.”
I could blame my sloppy approach on being sick, but whatever the reason I panned the book without justifying my comments. That wasn’t fair to either the author, or those with whom I was sharing my thoughts. So, while I reserve the right to be a bit sloppy during really busy weeks in the year ahead, I will always try to provide at least a little substance rather than just a gut reaction.
Why fifty-two reviews? Well you can blame Adam Feldman and Sherry Early for that.
Adam resolved to read and review 50 books in 2006. He is halfway there. Some would think that he failed, but that would be very wrong-headed. He intentionally sat a difficult goal to reach. That is the way it should be done. I would much rather see someone set a difficult goal than some wimpy goal in which there is no real challenge. As for me, I applaud Adam for both his goal and his results thus far. I think he is a big winner for what he has achieved.
Well, I am from Texas, and if someone from Maryland can set out to read and review 50 books, someone from Texas must attempt something bigger.
Also, Sherry has given me a forum to post a link to my review on a weekly basis so 52 just makes sense.
Well, there you have it…two resolutions for the year 2007, and we’re not even into December yet. Who knows what I might be able to conjure up by the time January 1 gets here…
While on the phone this author, who is not a Christian, mentioned that in recent years he has become interested in “christian philosophy” and that the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Soren Kierkegaard have both influenced his thinking.
This comment has prompted reflection on my part. It seems to me that Bonhoeffer and Kierkegaard are often mentioned as influential by people from diverse worldviews. Thus, these authors can often serve as a kind of common ground for dialogue in the great marketplace of ideas.
Regardless of whether you approve or not, you must admit that the role played by the Western canon of literature in shaping and enabling public discourse has greatly diminished. In a vacuum of common referents, those who believe that the message they have to share is important must stop to consider what tools best serve as a utility of Truth. So…
I ask myself, AND YOU…
“What authors other than B & K can serve as common ground with those who have very different theological, philosophical, and political commitments?”
The name that jumps to the forefront I think must be C.S. Lewis. Who hasn’t read something by the man? And, with the exception of a small segment of those on the far right who are not willing to forgive Lewis for some things he said regarding soteriology (and a few other weird ideas that he held), most are appreciative of his literary and/or philosophical contributions.
Well, I will stop with those three and await your suggestions.
Ariel Vanderhorst has a blog post up regarding great authors who talk about each other. I thought I would offer up this little nugget that I try to remember for perspective and inspiration:
“The really great writers are people like Emily Bronte who sit in a room and write out of their limited experience and unlimited imagination.”
I hope one of you who are computer savvy can help me. I deleted a bunch of old software and documents from my computer and evidently deleted whatever makes my speakers work.
Anyone have any advice on how I can get my sound back?
My head cold gave me an excuse to withdraw from my responsibilities and watch a few movies with my family. Here is what I thought of them.
It was 11:30 p.m. This nasty cold made thoughts of lying my head upon a pillow completely unthinkable. So, I went in search of a good fiction book that would entrance me and carry me through to the first dawning rays of the sun when even sickness cannot keep away the Sand Man.
Several years ago William Morrow / Harper Collins gave me an uncorrected proof of Bradbury’s From the Dust Returned but I never seemed to get around to reading it. Ah, it must have come to me for such a time as this.
No. Evidently not.
I read every word of the first six chapters. I read most of the following four chapters. I browsed through the rest of the book. And, I hated it all.
I cannot believe I am saying that about anything that Ray Bradbury has written. I love the work of Ray Bradbury. But reading this book was more torment than this miserable cold with which I am suffering.
This book was supposed to be a “landmark publishing event” that was fifty-five years in the making. And from the reviews found on Amazon there were evidently a number of people who greatly enjoyed it. So, maybe I am just being too Kevinish with my criticism. I admit that is a possibility. However, I would much rather read Heather’s account of getting her wisdom teeth pulled than to read From the Dust Returned. In fact, getting my own wisdom teeth pulled wasn’t that much more painful than reading the first ten chapters of this book.
I doubt that the good folk at William Morrow will want to send me any more “reader’s copies” or uncorrected proofs after this less than rave review. And, I am grateful that they have been so generous with me in the past. So, let me remind you that this is only my own subjective opinion. The consensus of opinion by those reviewing the book on Amazon is that it is a major achievement and a welcome addition to the Bradbury canon.