Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

For the first time in the history of Harding, we have a holiday today in recognition of Memorial Day. Don't ask me why it hasn't happened before now. When I was in school here in the 70's, we used to go to school on the 4th of, I'm NOT kidding! Being thankful for Thanksgiving brought on a whole new meaning, and we couldn't believe we got several weeks at Christmas. But hey, we survived. Live and learn.

I didn't lose a dad in war.........nor any close relative for that matter. I have lost friends, and that is hard enough. Marshall Atkins was one of my best friends in High School in Liberia in the early 70's, and we lost him in a mid-air collision over Nevada in the 90's. He was a Navy pilot, and dang good one. I still miss him, and think of him more often than just on Memorial Day. I currently have a nephew in the Army, and his time to be shipped somewhere overseas is coming. I worry for him, and I worry for the stress it will be on my sister.

No, I don't think God loves America any more than he loves Zambia. I don't believe that because I am an American, that I am an extra special Christian in God's eyes. But I am thankful for my freedoms, and that I live in a country where lots of people DO still believe in God and His mercy and grace. And I know that the reason I have the freedoms I have is because some other people gave their lives for those very freedoms I enjoy every day! I would hope everybody in the world could enjoy these freedoms that we have as Americans. Even more, I would hope each person in the world could enjoy the freedom we have in Christ as Christians!

I am a Christian first, a husband and father second, a friend third, and lastly an American. The first three were because of decisions and choices I made.......the last one was made for me because I was born in Duncan, Oklahoma in 1955. I could change my citizenship, and it for sure wouldn't affect me being a Christian........nor I suspect the other two things either. But for now, I feel blessed to live in this country we call the United States of America. And I appreciate the thousands of people who gave up their life for me........and you. John 15: 13 says: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends". I feel very sure that is EXACTLY what our wonderful veterans felt like they were doing!

So today, I honor them. They are due it.

I loved you Marshall, and I still do! I can't wait to be with you again, and see that special gleem in your eye that you always had. I still miss seeing it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I Won! I Won! I Won!

I can't believe it! My 15 seconds of fame! And instead of being a winner, I am mostly a wiener because I didn't have access to a computer and didn't even know I had won until this morning. SORRY NANCY! Please forgive me! I promise to read the book, and pass it along to the hordes of fans who will want to read it after me. For those of you who are in the dark, check out this link:

So, for all of you losers out there..............keep trying. I used to be in your camp, but now I know what it is like to finally be SOMEBODY! :)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tulsa and 1968

No, those two don't have anything to do with one another. I am going to Tulsa this week, so I won't be blogging until later in the week.

Now for 1968. Those of you out there my age or older, can you remember a time since 68 when things have seemed in so much turmoil? And mind you, 2006 is no where CLOSE to 68................but it seems eerily close in some ways.
There is a war going on that our country is divided over, and there is social and political unrest to a level we haven't seen in quite sometime. Will places of higher learning offer classes someday on "2006", as they do in some Universities regarding 1968? Yeah, the whole semester is centered on 68. I think I would like to audit that class. I don't need the credit, I lived thru it.
For those of you who are younger, go to "wikipedia" and research "1968". There has never been another year like it in the past 50 years or so.

I just hope 2006 doesn't try and match it.

But, I know one thing..............God is faithful. He was in 68, and He is in 06.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's Day, The Code, and other Random Thoughts

This is several days late, but I have the GREATEST mom in the ENTIRE world! I hope everybody feels that way about their mom, but I know that is not true. That is another reason I feel extremely blessed! I wish all children could be nurtured the way that my brother, my sister, and I were all nutured by our mom. We love you mom! :)


Yes, I am one of the less than 10 people in the USA that has NOT read "The Da Vinci Code". I am waiting till I can order it used off of Amazon for about ten cents. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the book and upcoming movie, but if it generates discussions about Christ and spiritual things, then I am tickled to death about it being out there. Our task is to show folks the real Jesus, as opposed to the Hollywood or ficticious Jesus they may have been introduced to for the first time.


Speaking of movies, I rented "Sometimes in April" the other night. GKB and others had told me it was better than "Hotel Rwanda", and I concur with that.
If you are interested in that heart-breaking story, go rent it. It's worth the rental price. I also rented "Crash". I thought it did a great job of portraying the clash ( or crash, hence the title) of cultures and races in our present culture, but I didn't think of it being a "best picture" type movie. I don't think the Academy's standards are what they used to be. Is it worth renting? By all means. The acting is really outstanding. Just don't expect "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" or "Forrest Gump". Or "Shawshank Redemption".


The students have gone home or on campaigns for the summer, so the campus is pretty quiet...............for a day or so. We have the wonderful Special Olympics folks coming in from all over the state at the end of this week, Girls' State after that, Uplift after that, and etc. Never a dull moment at good ole Harding! God has blessed us with this campus and facilities, and we love to share it with others.


I will for sure talk more about it later, but I am VERY excited about a leadership conference that is going to take place in late July at Pleasant Valley in Little Rock. Let me wet your appetite by throwing some names out to you.....Lynn Anderson, Monte Cox, Randy Harris and Dr. E. Huffard from the Grad School in Memphis. WOW! Do you see why I am excited?!? :) Can't wait!! I hope you will join me! Let me know if you need information on the dates and times. Like I said, I will post more about it later


Ain't summer awesome? I NEVER get tired of hearing the whippoorwills!
And cooking out. And seeing the newly born calfs in the green fields. And baseball. And mowing. Gotcha! :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Kingdom

From Fredrick Buechner:

The Kingdom of God? Time after time Jesus tries to drum into our heads what he means by it. He heaps parable upon parable like a madman. He tries shouting it. He tries whispering it.....what he seems to be saying is that the Kingdom of God is the time, or a time beyond time, when it will no longer be humans in their lunacy who are in charge of the world but God in his mercy who will be in charge of the world. It's the time above all else for wild rejoicing---like getting out of jail, like being cured of cancer, like finally at long last....coming home. And it is at hand, Jesus says.

Sign me up!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pepperdine Recap

It's good to be in my own bed again! It's good to be back in Searcy again also.
The saying is old but true.............there really is no place like home.

Reflecting back on last week, I will try and give you some of the highlights. It was great to see old HU friends again......Jim, David, JA, Greg, Steve, Byron, Jerry, Bryan, Mike, Keith B, Steve & Kathy, Marla, my wonderful brother-in-law Jimmy and his beautiful wife Annie, and many more that I am sure I am leaving out. It was also fun being with Searcy folks in a different setting and atmosphere........Mike, Paul Pollard, Andrew, Keith, Monte come to mind. I thought the key-note talks were a little down this year, with the exception of Don, Rich and Shon Smith. That is NOT to say that they weren't good or inspiring...........I'm just saying that they weren't as powerful as they have been in years past. But, the classes were as strong if not stronger than they have EVER been! They were OUT OF THIS WORLD! So, go to www.Gayloronline and order as many as you can. You will NOT be dissapointed. You can choose the creative genius of Jeff Walling, the enthusiasm for evangelism of Don Mclaughlin, the passion of Rick Atchley with Bob Russell, the scholarship of Rubel Shelly, the humor and deep theology of Randy Harris, the always Christ-focused message of Mike Cope, and so MANY MANY more rich classes that I can't name them all. I can promise you that whatever you spend will be well worth the investment. Some always ask me "what was the best thing you heard?" I can't answer that. There were too many things that would have qualified as "the best thing". But I will share with you one good thing I heard. The theme this year centered around "Fellowship". Tim Spivey asked the first night something to this effect......."why don't we fellowship to the degree that God does?" WOW! That caught my attention from the get-go. So, why don't we? Maybe we can talk about that on some later post.

Our Harding reception went GREAT! We had over a hundred alums and friends of Harding there. As I stated before we went, we had two board members there.....Jimmy Cone and Jerry Morgan. It was an honor to have them at this event with us. It was wonderful to have our VP for Advancement, Mike Williams, with us this year also. We were also VERY HONORED that Mike Cope came to our reception this year. He has had some conflicts with the scheduling of this event the past two years, but this year it worked out where he could make it. He was swarmed with loving alums the whole time he was there! He is dearly loved and appreciated by the folks that were there that night.

So, it was a great week! I think Keith had a great time and plans to go back. It was a spiritual feast that is enhanced by being able to partake in the feast with so many people I love and appreciate from all over the country. Johnny and Shirley Vaughan were there from Bartlesville, Oklahoma for the first time. Charles and Nanette Roberts were there from Colorado again. Mike Bucchi and his new bride were up from San Diego. I could go on and on.

I still am worn out, but I am getting there! Like I said in the beginning, there is no place like home.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Tired But Full

I'm exhausted, and yet my cup is running over at the same it is a VERY GOOD type of being worn out. I promise to give details next week, but just wanted to say hi from beautiful Southern California. I am about to go hear Donnie do the closing key-note. Rich Little did an amazing job this morning, but I think they saved the best for last.

God is good!