Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quick Update

The Lions roared in Memphis last night...........49-7. Everybody got to play, and there were no injuries. Just the way you draw it up. One of the things I like best is that I get to see a lot of old friends when we go the HA games in Memphis. Last night I got to visit with Rodney and Michelle Betts, Kathy Searcy Ray, Kenny Harris, and Evertt Huffard to name a few. One of the best surprises of the night was getting to visit with Tim and Carol Stafford again! Their son, Reid, is a ninth grader on the team. Tim and I were freshman together at Harding. Our older sisters had been roomates at HU before we got here, so we already knew a little bit about each other. Tim came down from Neosho, MO with some long haired hippy dude that now preaches at Highland in Abilene. Tim and I both joined Galaxy social club and went thru pledge week together. I always thought of Tim when I heard "blessed are the meek", because here was this GIANT of a young man....a solid rock.......and he was so kind and gentle. We couldn't get him to come back to the huddle in club football games because he was always checking to see if the opposing player was ok after Tim had just flattened him! No foolin. He is not quite the rock he was once was (who is) but he is still just as kind and gentle. Tim works with the Highland congregation in Memphis, working with the outreach to the University students. Carol is just as beautiful as she was when we were growing up together in Florence and when she was a Bison cheerleader! I don't know that I have ever seen anybody with a stronger twinkle or sparkle in their eyes than Carol has. Carol is a public school teacher in Memphis..........being light and salt on the front lines. I can't imagine anybody I would want there more than her.
And I get to see them both at EVERY game! Am I blessed or what? I love you both!

Sweet Liz was at the game too! Because she is in pharmacy school in Memphis, we will get to be with her at every game also. Liz, keep Matt in line.........ok?


Bama fans are coming out of the wood-work! My buddy Brian Lewis at Westside here in Searcy called me this week and let me know he was from Mobile, and is a huge Tide fan too!
I am sorry I can't go with him and the youth group from Westside to watch the Hogs and Tide play this year in Northwest Arkansas. Brian, thanks for ALL you do with our young people to impact their lives for the Lord!


The aforementioned preacher from Neosho, MO who is currently at Highland in Abilene is also the cousin of my soon to be daughter-in-law. I'll give you 3 guesses who is doing Luke and Juliana's wedding! :) Why couldn't she have been kin to Max Lucado?

Off to the Rockies!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's Official

Well, it's official...................I'm gonna be a father-in-law! YEA! Luke got engaged Monday night to Juliana Stevens of Little Rock. Jan and I have known Juliana's parents Steve and Kathy for several years, and we are just tickled to death about the upcoming wedding! The celebration will be on May the 12th in Little Rock. Please keep both families in your prayers. Rumor has it that a kin-folk of Juliana's family will be conducting the wedding. If it is true, I will identify this fairly well known minister at a later date. Stay tuned.


I am currently reading Larry Crabb's book, "The Papa Prayer". Lee Fouts had been trying to get me to read a Crabb book for the longest, but Andrew Baker brought this to me and said I had to read it. I'm glad he did. It is VERY rich, and I would highly recommend this book to all of you. Well, unless you are satisfied with your prayer folks are exempt. And you need to seek out the books on "lying".

Speaking of books, the previous two books I read before this one, "Beloved" and "Gilead", were both Pulitzer prize winning books. They were BOTH a big disappointment.......especially "Beloved". I paid one cent for it off of Amazon, and I feel I may have got ripped off. I am staying away from those award winning books for awhile. The New York Times labeled "Beloved" as the #1 book of the past 25 years. No shock there, huh?


Headed to Colorado on Saturday, and I will be there for the better part of next week. Looking forward to seeing and being in the Rockies again! It's easy to fall in love with Colorado. Colorado should have the least number of atheist in the US living there, with God's majesty all around. Anywho, I probably won't be bloggin for a week or so. I will miss reading all the wonderful posts that bless me every week. I am thankful I can go back and read them later.


My sweet Mom that many of you prayed for a year ago when she fell and fractured a vertebrae in her back turns 75 tomorrow. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! We 3 kids love you VERY much and wouldn't swap you for ANY mom in the whole world! If you see Mom, give her a birthday hug.


Headed to Memphis tomorrow night for Matt's first football game......and I CAN'T WAIT! :) GO LIONS! Ain't football wonderful?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Exciting Time

It's an exciting time around here. Searcy's population will balloon this weekend, with 5,000 students coming.......bringing with them 10,000 parents to move their babies in. I am not sure when parents started moving their children in the dorms. We got "sent off to school" back in the day. I remember telling my dad goodbye, and then my mom took me over to Mike Mitchell's house so I could ride with him to Searcy. I was hacked when I had to go home for Thanksgiving........of course I was already in love with Miss Jan Lawyer by that time. :) I will never forget the first night in Armstrong. Our third roomate, Robert Burch, was not there yet and he was bringing our window unit air-conditioner. I don't sweat like some folks do, but I woke up that next morning with my sheets dripping wet from sweat. August 1974. That is a wonderful memory.......a VERY FINE one. I hope many memories are made in the next few days and upcoming months. Pray for us, as we try to impact the lives of these special young people.


I found out this afternoon that our theme this year in chapel is going to be "Living at the foot of the Cross". I think that is a great choice, and I look forward to seeing what the Spirit with do with this effort.


Arizona was special. It was hot, but that is like saying Seattle is wet. That is just the way it is............and you get past it. We took a BEAUTIFUL drive one day, going from Phoenix to Sedona by way of Prescott and Jerome. Jerome is probably the quaintest little town I have ever been least in the United States. I have been in the Alps, and although Jerome is not that high, you get the feel you are someplace in Europe. It sits on the side of a mountain, and most of the buildings and houses are up on stilts. An AMAZING place. If you ever get the chance to go, don't pass it up. The red rock mountains around Sedona are unbelieveable. I could just stare at them for hours. We were blessed to see a beautiful Arizona sunset the night we were in Sedona. It reminded me of an African sunset. As they are everywhere, the Harding folks in Arizona are SUPER folks. I can't wait to go back!


Football season is upon us. Matt's Harding Academy Lions have their first game in Memphis a week from tomorrow. I am SO there already! :) GO LIONS! I think my Crimson Tide is going to do just fine this year, so let me go ahead and get in a ROLL TIDE ROLL right now. :) Ain't it great?
The best thing is knowing that cooler weather is on the way. Tomorrow won't be too soon, if you ask me.

Hope everybody has a good weekend!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Minimum Requirements

We are back, and we had a GREAT trip! I will tell you more about it the next time I post, but I don't have time today. What I DO have time for is time for giving you a link.........again to Patrick Mead. You may have already been there, but I was gone for a week, and just read it last night. I am referring to his post of August 7th about "Enough". Patrick should make some folks squirm with this one, but of course "when you are living the truth, you don't have to squirm". I may have already told you that story, but for those who don't know.......that response came from a local elder's wife when she was asked "when was the last time you squirmed because of being confronted or challenged from the pulpit?" Isn't that sad? Anyway, if you haven't checked it out already, be sure to give Patrick a hearing. Caution: if you have an aversion to squirming, don't click on the link!


Sunday, August 06, 2006

By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Yeah, Glenn Campbell really knew how to sing that one, didn't he!?! It's one of my all-time favs. But I am humming that because I really am going to Phoenix tomorrow. I even have a packing partner and room-mate going with me this sweet bride Jan is going with me. So, I won't be blogging anymore until next week. Pray we don't get shot by some crazy lunatic, and that the weather stays below 120! :) Jan has never been to Phoenix, so I am excited for her.


I have been meaning to mention this for several weeks now, but haven't gotten around to it. Did you see where the American Film Institute (AFI) came out with their top 100 most INSPIRING movies of all time? The #1 spot went to "It's A Wonderful Life". I can't argue with that. Ahh.......but did you see what got second place? "To Kill a Mockingbird" was runner-up. Hey remember, this is not MY rankings, but AFI's! :) As you might guess, that really tickled me to death. The rest in order were "Schindler's List", "Rocky", "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", "E.T.", "The Grapes of Wrath", "Breaking Away", "Miracle on 34th Street", and "Saving Private Ryan". The only one I wouldn't have included was ET. I see it more as an entertaining movie as opposed to being "inspirational". And I loved ET! Just one person's perspective........and nobody asked me. I only saw "Breaking Away" one time, so I need to rent it again. I also want to see Jimmy Stewart again in "Mr. Smith". There will always be only one Jimmy Stewart.


Speaking of movies, how many of you have seen "The Last Samurai"? I saw it in the theather, but TBS or AMC or somebody has been showing it a lot lately.
I am not a huge Tom Cruise fan, so when it is on TV I never watch the whole movie again. But there is one scene that I always try and catch. At the end, the Emperor wants to know about the end of the life of the great Samurai, Katsumoto. He says to Tom Cruise "tell me how he died". Tom Cruise looks up at him from a kneeling position and says "I will tell you how he lived". Even the first time I heard that, I thought about Jesus...........and how often we need to take the opportunity to say "let me tell you how he lived, died, then rose again". Next time you catch that scene, see if my thoughts resonate with you.


Good luck to Tank Daniels tonight, in his first NFL game! All Bison fans around the world are pulling for you Tank! For those of you who don't know him, Tank played football at Harding for the past four years. He is now with the Philadelphia Eagles. He wears #48. Tank is an OUTSTANDING football player, and even a better person. We love you Tank!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Shepherding Conference and Other Verses

The Shepherding Conference this past weekend at Pleasant Valley was a HUGE success, no matter what angle you are coming from. The turn-out was great.....300 folks or more. The presenters did an awesome job in leading our studies. Those taking part in leading the discussions were Lynn Anderson, Evertt Huffard, Monte Cox, Randy Harris and Rhonda Lowry for the women. It was supposed to be more of an Arkansas event, but we had folks there from Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Colorado! As of right now, I believe it will be a yearly event...........and it will be pushed in this whole area of the country. We need a regionally event like this. Kudos to the leaders at Pleasant Valley, Downtown, the Little Rock church, Westside in Jonesboro, and any other church I may be leaving out, for their their vision and leadership in making this happen. What a blessing it was!


Ok, next question concering verses: What verse or verses have you discovered that you wish were more exposed or promoted? I know everybody has some that they discover in their quiet time of reading. Would your walk have been different if you had discovered this verse or these verses earlier in your life?


My buddy Dan Campbell just shared with me the latest publication from "Voice of the Martyrs". This issue focuses on the rapid spread of the Gospel in today's Iran. It is very encouraging.......and very humbling. Needless to say, those folks are not focused on the "issues" that so often sidetrack us. They don't have the time to spare for those kind of God dishonoring discussions. The article over and over again talks about the Iranian people being hungry for love...........because all they have known their entire lives is hate. Hence, the hunger for God. Very quickly they find out about the love of an all-loving Savior. They can't get enough of Him. Let's pray for our brothers and sisters in Iran, and other places where the light is just now breaking in. God is good.