Sunday, June 21, 2009

What kind of prosperity?

I'm not for preachers who yell...but this one may truly have something to yell about.

Keith Green, one of my personal heroes, certainly would have objected to promises of material wealth and prosperity as a swap for Christianity. His life was a prayer, and he lived it with passion. He gave away his material possessions, and even refused to charge the poor for his albums, doing many free concerts and donating nearly a quarter of a million records to the poor and imprisoned. I was blessed to see him in concert while in high school (thanks, Nelson!) and while the night itself was a social disaster that still lives in infamy in our family, the music and message were amazing. (Even though it was thirty years ago, I think of that concert often...especially at how his heart broke to watch starving children on tv as his wife sat beside him, nursing their son.)

Here's an excerpt of Keith Green's article "What's Wrong with the Gospel?," available in its entirety here.

If people come to Jesus mainly to get a blessing, or only to get forgiveness, they will ultimately be disappointed. But if they come to give Him their lives in honor and worship, then they will truly have forgiveness and joy - more than they could ever imagine! (I Cor. 2:9)...Our gospel reduces the good news to a "come and get it while you can" sale. We make every effort to take all the bones out - everything that might offend someone, might make them hesitate or put off their decision. Jesus didn't do this. He never lowered the requirements for anyone. One had to be completely sincere, totally humbled, having counted the cost, willing to leave everything, family and property, "count all things loss" so that they might "gain Christ." (Phil 3:7-8) When that same rich young ruler "went away sad, for he had many possessions" (Matt. 19:22), Jesus didn't go running after him shouting, "Hey, wait a minute! Let's talk this thing over, it isn't as bad as it might sound. Maybe I was a little too harsh!"

It was so good for me to read this. As the new house encounters problem after problem, as Karen and I struggle with bills, as we fight is good to be reminded of what's important...

To Dad...


Thank you* for leading our family with strength and integrity. Your legacy is not just one of words, although your sermons are beautifully crafted with time and thought and study, but your legacy is also one of passion...of kindness in action...of accepting people where they are. We kids would sometimes get exasperated with you as you befriended hobos and loners and the poor and the mentally or physically disabled and sometimes just the Truly Weird, but now we see your gift for what it really is...Christ in action. Even though He came to love and serve and *save* us all--even the smug and lazy and self-satisfied--He has a special place in His heart for the ones who are searching.

(The funny thing is that those are the people we remember most fondly now. While the teenager in me wished that you could make friends with "normal people," the colorful cast of characters who passed through our home made it richer and more interesting...and nothing, NOTHING is worse than boring. And, on reflection, many of the people you embraced at the fringe of society are among the finest people I've ever met!)

*** And to any of Dad's friends who stumble upon this blog...I'm certainly not talking about you. (Unless you're the weird professor who wore the fake eye patch and told dirty jokes. Or the creepy guy who didn't like the way I made his cup of tea while we waited for Dad to come home. Because, yeah, I'm totally talking about you two.) ***

My very favorite picture of you...ever.

(It's no wonder you make friends so easily...
just look at those DIMPLES!)

* "My dear papa, how shall I thank you?
It is easy to thank when
the gift of kindness is little.
It is difficult to thank
when it is great."
--John Ruskin

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dolly's fifteen minutes of fame!

About 22 seconds in, "Miss Dollywood" makes her Big Debut!

Thanks SO MUCH to Infocus Digital for inviting Dolly to help spread the word about the Mayor's Hike! See y'all at Abilene State Park on June 27th.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Country of the Day: ESTONIA!

Thanks to Cousin Eva for the tip about the Estonian view of Europe!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Are you familiar with the Kitten Mitten?

Max was clearly NOT impressed with the "Kitten Mitten," a gift I brought my only grandchild. With jangly balls and catnip, it seemed a sure smash hit. Designed to protect the hand of the wearer from kitty scratches (remember back in February when Linda, my old college roomie, came down with Cat Scratch Fever?), I thought Max would just flip for it.

But no matter how hard I tried...

...Max would have NONE of it.

Surprisingly, neither would Bethany!

On the other hand...

...I lost my MIND with love for the Kitten Mitten!

This cat toy gets two thumbs up and a hearty recommendation from the most Non-Cat Person you know, so it must be good. If your cat is even remotely playful, invest in the Kitten Mitten. (Available online here--and be sure to read the consumer reviews!)

Finally, thanks to Kirsten for sending me to Meg Cabot's blog and to Meg, the author & minx who shared THIS CLASSIC VIDEO REMAKE with the world.

And if you liked that, you might enjoy Falisha & Bethany's favorite:

You haven't really lived until you've sung "Total Eclipse of the Heart" at the Alamo Drafthouse's Power Ballad Sing-Along with Bethany & Falisha, btw.

Hooray for a-ha & Bonnie Tyler! Hooray for beautiful daughters! Hooray for the weird and wonderful 'Eighties!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Because Mom's afraid I forgot to pack a camera...

Check it out, Momma! I remembered the camera AND I even borrowed the school's new Flip camera to get you some video of the ceremony itself. Doug did a *terrific* job. You would have been so proud. Everyone sends their love...but your handsome brother sends the most love of all.

More pics coming to my Flickr site once I get back to Abilene (prettiest town I ever seen). So far, we've played with Max, hiked at McKinney Falls State Park, shopped at Central Market, swum at Barton Springs, eaten at Chuy's, and celebrated at Red Corral Ranch! (Right now, the kids are at Tyler's soccer game while I rest my sunburned shoulders on the futon, pet Max--and wipe his drool off the computer, and watch a DVD of classic Edward R. Murrow interviews. So far, he's interviewed Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis, Jr, etc.) What a wonderful weekend!

The only troubling things are that we saw a dog pass away today at Barton Springs and that Ben is still missing after getting out of our back gate. These two things are very much on my mind and in my prayers right now. Bethany and I were very shaken after seeing the dog in distress, not to mention the guilt and worry of his owner. However, if a ten-and-a-half year-old dog passes away playing in the water of Barton Springs after a lifetime of adventure, it was a life well-spent. If any of us die splashing in the legendary Austin swimming hole at the age of seventy-five, let's agree to chalk that up in the "Win" column.

P.S. Gotta' run. Max just broke Bethany's neon sign! ARGH!
P.P.S. Bethany was cool about it. She and Tyler helped me clean up all the glass, and Max didn't get in any trouble!

Friday, June 05, 2009


Thought stream #1: "Hey, before I leave for Austin today, all of the drink containers in this car should go in the school's recycle bins!"

Thought stream #2: "THIRTEEN water bottles and two cans? All in one Tribute? Yeah, I need to clean out this car more often. Wait...this one has the sport top for the dog; gotta' keep that. Hold on...this one is the brand-new one from yesterday, when Dolly was being filmed in Nelson Park. But still, ELEVEN water bottles? That's ridiculous."

Thought stream #3: "When do I get to see Bethany?"

Thought stream #4: "If they don't let us go until 2:00, I'll hit those crazy Austin traffic jams. And there will be no water supply in here to keep me alive! They'll find my dehydrated corpse in the right-hand lane of I-35!"

Monday, June 01, 2009


Have you seen my Flickr page lately? I've added the lucky 13 photos I found in Canton of girls and books! Check out the BOOK BELLES! set HERE.

And since it would be sexist to exclude men who read, the BOOK BEAUX set is HERE. (Yeah, it's a little skimpy compared to the gals' send me a photo for my collection to get the boys all caught up!)

P.S. BIG thanks to my momma for giving Alzheimer's a kick in the keester and DOUBLING the amount raised on my Memory Walk page! Love you, Mom!

P.P.S. Big thanks to Kirsten, who just sent me two new photos for my BOOK BEAUX! Flickr set. I have to personally own them to put them in the set, so now I have two to print at Walgreens.