Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Barney's Gone........and Geographical Prejudice

I grew up watching Andy Griffith. My boys grew up watching it too. Many a life lesson they had been taught was endorsed by Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bea,
Floyd, Gomer, Goober, Earnest T Bass, Otis, Howard, and even Juanita at the Diner. My folks still watch it every night. And now we have lost Barney Fife....good ole Barn. I don't think as a kid I appreciated the talents of Don Knotts. In my opinion, I think he was one of the best character actors of our generation. The show failed miserably after he left. He will be missed, but it's great we will still be able to hear exchanges like this one daily on the re-runs:

Andy: "Hey Barn, what if they was to ask you if you could sing a cappella, what would you do? Barney: "Why, I'd do it! (snapping fingers in rhythm) "A cappella, a cappella...well, I don't remember all the words."

Thanks for all the laughs and the good times you shared with us, Don Knotts.


Have you noticed how all the car companies love the West? We have the Dakota, the Sonoma, the Montana, the Tahoe, the Yukon....etc. Is the rest of the country just chopped liver or what? I mean, who wouldn't want to buy the Buick Bald Knob? When is Chevrolet going to come out with "the Pine Bluff" or "the Beebe"? I mean aren't people attracted to names like "the Pontiac Yazoo City" or "the Ford Starkville"?
I think we could make a pretty good case for the car companies being geographical prejudiced. Tell me Dodge wouldn't make a killing off of "the Muscle Shoals". It comes with a gun rack in every cab. The Toyota "Picayune", with it's standard life-vest would likely be a big seller in coastal regions. Let's start our email campaign today!

Friday, February 24, 2006

February 24th, 1980

On this date, February 24th, some interesting things have happened. George Harrison was born on this day in 1943. I don't think he ever got the recognition he deserved for being such a great song writer. He gave us masterpieces like "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun". He is still missed. Steve Jobs was born on this day in 1955, the same year I was born. Hmm.....makes me want to sing the words "one of these things is not like the other one"! :) Let's change the subject. Billy Joel released "Piano Man" on this date in 1974. He had a lot of great songs, but I think that will always be my favorite.

But for me, this is a very special date. A very special DAY indeed! You see, my first born son was born on this date in 1980. Matthew David Underwood came into this world late that morning, with Doc Citty barely getting there in time to catch him as he came out. My life has never been the same since that morning. I had never experienced INSTANT love before......ever. Everybody else in my life had always earned my love. My parents by changing my diapers and taking care of me. Friends had earned it by being kind and supportive. Jan had earned it by being sweet and loving. But here was this 5 pound baby that I would have died for THAT SECOND! And for 26 years that love and affection has only grown. Not because of what he has done, even though I could put a pretty good list together. It's not even because of WHO he is, and that is impressive also and I couldn't be prouder of him. Nope, it's simply because he was given to me for a short while. That's all.
That's enough.

I got to enjoy that same feeling again on October 7th, 1984. I'll talk about him on that date.

On 2/24/80 I began to get a glimpse of how THE father loves me.....unconditionally. I didn't really have a clue until that morning. Thanks Matt for a lot of things, but most of all for being my son and giving me the blessing of knowing how a father loves.

WODEES! (that's secret language, and another blog post!) :)


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm The World's Greatest Expert

Yeah, I am. I am the world's greatest expert on one thing...........what I believe.
Or, what I am thinking. NOBODY is a greater expert concerning these matters. Randy Harris shared that with some folks one day, and it has stuck with me. And dad gummit, he's right.

Nobody outside of Searcy is going to understand what I am about to say, but just check back in a few days and I will have a new post. Or maybe something similar is going on in your neck of the woods, and you can relate.

I believe I have been exposed to a great degree of inward focus lately. It all started with "Mr. Stranger". I'll spare you the details, but let's just say Mr. Stranger probably won't be visiting any of "our" churches in the area again anytime soon. Why would he? The guy he visited with never took the time to even ask him his name, let alone get to know him. Mr. Stranger left with the impression that one of God's big concerns is the use of the term "Pastor". Too bad he never got introduced to a Savior named Jesus. All it could cost him is....... eternity. The great Biblical themes of the Lord's Supper being taken every Sunday and Instrumental Music took precedence over Christ. Huh? Is that the Gospel? Is that the message we want to be known for bringing? Mr. Stranger, call me anytime day or night and let's go get some pie and something to drink. I have some good news for you, and I want to know all about what's going on in your life. I am sure you would be a blessing to me, and I hope I would be one to you also. I promise you one thing, I'll know your name when we get through.

Am I thankful for the leaders of the "Restoration Movement"? You bet I am! I wish we had more leaders like that today. Am I any more thankful for them than the leaders I perceive doing the SAME things today? Not a chance. I am thankul to God for all of them equally. And I don't appreciate ANY of them to the level I appreciate Peter, James, Paul and other church leaders we read about in the New Testament. But going even further, I don't appreciate any of those people to the level I appreciate the Father or His Son, Jesus Christ. He alone holds ALL.....yep I will say it again......ALL of my allegience.

That's all this expert has to say about that.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Going Home

Bo Hill and I went down to Children's Hospital earlier this week to visit sweet little Olivia Morris. Olivia is doing pretty good, but keep that family in your prayers. I know Scott and Robin feel stressed. As we were leaving, a group of about 4 adults got on the elevator with a little boy about 4 years old wearing pajamas and a mask similar to one a surgeon wears. You know how people are usually quiet on an elevator, right? Well, it was REALLY quiet and all of a sudden we hear a little voice say "Let's just go home, momma." Nobody said a word, and in a few seconds he repeated his plea....."Momma, let's just go home". They only traveled down as far as the 4th floor, and all marched off to parts unknown. The rest of us stood there with misty eyes and prayerful thoughts and hearts. I hope he has gone home by now. Won't heaven be wonderful? No more sickness, no more hospitals. Just Peace.
Let's just all go home!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Random Thoughts

I was on the road in Oklahoma again last week, and was blessed to spend time with a lot of wonderful people. It's such a blessing to be with God's people all over the western part of the US where I travel. I feel like I have been renewed by spending time with them each time I go. It's always good to be home, but I love my travels also.


Several good comments that I have heard lately and stuck with me:

"Where did we get the idea that we are called to renew the New Testament church?"

"One main difference between Christians of the early church and Christians today is that the early Christians EXPECTED to be transformed. We don't expect it, and most of time don't act like we want it."

"When are we going to quit talking about DOING CHURCH and talk about DISCIPLESHIP?"


Go to your local video store and rent "Yesterday". It's about a young South African mother and her fight against AIDS. She is a single mom, with a special little daughter named "Beauty". Have the kleenex handy.


What is the most romantic song you could play for the special person in your life tomorrow on Valentines Day?


Several people have inquired as to my take on the newly published "Core Beliefs" in the Harding quarterly magazine. I am glad that there are principles and beliefs that Harding wants to uphold. I think that is one thing that makes private Christian schools special. Obviously, like EVERY person does, I feel stronger about some of those core beliefs than I do about others. Jesus even told us there are weightier matters.


Westminster Dog Show tonight and tomorrow night........YEE-HAW!!!! Hey, there is not much to watch since football season is over, and the NCAA BB tournament is not until March. UGH! I'll get interested in Major League Baseball about August.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Stop what you are doing. Get in your car and go to your local Christian bookstore and pick up a copy of George Barna's latest book "Revolution". The fact that you are reading this post makes you a prime candidate for reading the book, because he even talks about the blogging community.....a little bit. Or if you will, the blogging church. He doesn't spend a lot of energy on it, but he does touch on how people are in community with one another electronically.......LOTS of people. This book is based on his MANY years of research, and if there is anybody that has the pulse of Christian America, it's him! You may not like his findings. I didn't like all of em. But I want to be informed on how we as Christians are resonating with the world we live in. Barna doesn't leave any rocks unturned.

It is an EASY read! I read it in one day. No foolin. It should be required reading for all church leaders.

According to him, I am a "revolutionist". Most of you are too! Hey, I've been called a LOT worse! :) Come to think of it.......some of you have called me worse.

Buy it, read it, share it with others, and give me your take on it. I am sure in the upcoming weeks I will be posting some quotes from it on here. But, I will give you time to read it first. Get going!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Too Bad Aslan Wasn't Gay

Would that have been enough to get "The Chronicles of Narnia" nominated for the "Best Picture" Oscar? Does the Academy crowd or the Hollywood folks even notice what a movie does at the box office? I'm thinking some of the old classics that won numerous awards in their day (see Ben Hur, The Sound of Music, To Kill a Mockingbird, Patton, Chariots of Fire, etc) would not have even been on the radar screen of the Academy if they had hit the big screen in 2005. Does that mean anything, or is it just coincidence?

My take is that the disconnect between main-stream America and Hollywood keeps getting wider and wider.

What's your take?