Saturday, December 30, 2006

Goodbye 2006

Where did the past 12 months run off to? WOW! Jan and I got engaged 30 years ago last night, so I guess I am wondering even more about the past 3 decades. Time flies when you are having fun, huh? 2006 has been a good year, in my opinion. Here are some of the highlights for me in no particular order: Both my boys got engaged, Luke graduated from Harding, Pepperdine Lectures, Downtown continues to grow both spiritually and numerically, Matt had a good season as a coach in Memphis, the Randy Harris weekend at Downtown, the Leadership conference at Pleasant Valley, I continued to be blessed by the special people I get to visit thru my mission at Harding, my mom and dad had relatively good health, I was able to visit my brother Bryan and his family several times in Memphis, the blessing of working with the wonderful Advancement team here at HU, reading SUPER blog posts each week by many of you, traveling to Arizona with Jan, spending several days with 3 close friends from Liberia in Iowa this summer, attending the Tulsa Soul-Winning Workshop for the first time, getting a positive result from my heart cath, and last but not least........getting PAST election season!!

I think I read more books this past year than any previous year of my life. How would I rank them? Well, here are probaby the top 5:

The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
To Own a Dragon by Donald Miller
Escape from Slavery by Fancis Bok
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

Not only are those five the best I read this year, they may be the best 5 I have EVER read!

Movies? I don't go to many movies, and we don't rent very often either. I did enjoy watching the TNT mini-series with Robert Duvall, "Broken Trail". ANYTHING he is in, I want to see it........especially if it is a western.

TV? Jan and I continue to enjoy laughing while watching "King of Queens" and "Everybody Loves Raymond". Confession time................Jan has even gotten me to enjoy watching Rachael Ray from time to time. Especially when she is visiting cities where I travel.

Most Ridiculous Item of 2006? Christians who won't play contemporary Christian music, but will listen to music by atheists! Something whacky and absurd there in my opinion. If you figure that one out, let me know.

Wishes for 2007?
1) For my boy's weddings to go well!
2) For Alabama to hire a good coach and have a winning season next fall.
3) Peace in the Middle East and sections of Africa.
4) That politics will become less ugly.
5) That the Shepherds at Downtown will continue to lead in the Godly way they have been.
6) That I will continue to grow in my walk, and that I will continue to be a searcher.
7) That each of you will have a GREAT 2007 and will continue to be my friends!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR blogging family!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas 2006

I don't see me posting again before Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS to all who stumble across this blog from time to time. Christmas time is wonderful, isn't it? My favorite part of Christmas is being together with family........and I like seeing folks open the presents I have given them. Does the commercialization of Christmas get me down? Yeah, some. I think I have noticed a swing back to the real focus of Christmas the past few years, or maybe it's just something I have observed in myself. We will have TWO Christmas eve services at Downtown this year, and I can't wait! Tim Curtis does an outstanding job with this service, and lots of people from the community that don't have anything to do with Downtown come to these. For the second year in a row, the Assembly of God church here in town has had an INCREDIBLE nativity scene. It's like something out of Hollywood or Broadway. They even had a live camel!
So yeah, I see a swing back to the real reason for the Season.

I just got thru reading Elie Wiesel's "Night" where he recalls being in the concentration camps as a young boy during the Holocaust. I have a lot to be thankful for! Also my brother and sister-in-law, Jimmy and Andee Cone, and their son Alex are stuck in the Denver airport with 5,000 other stressed people trying to get home for Christmas! So, yes.......I have a LOT of blessings this Christmas. My boys will be home for the last time without families of their own, so this will be a very special Christmas for Jan and I. I think of Corky Berry's family, Dr. Joe Pryor's family, the Walt Burch family, the Tom Formby family, and so many more that I know I am leaving off that have lost a loved one this year, and how Christmas must be for them. I think of my nephew, Andy Dorfmueller, in Iraq.........and all the other families who are missing loved ones because of the war. I think of what people are going thru in the Darfur region of Sudan, and other surrounding countries. Yes, I feel blessed.

Again, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you. I love my blog community!

Thank you God for sending our Savior, Jesus the Christ, so we could be with you in Heaven for Eternity. "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

For all the people. For ALL the people!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Genius of Keith Brenton

Keith Brenton is living up to what we have come to expect. This is why I visit his blog DAILY!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Genius of Mark Moore

The guy is amazing. I am not sure there is a more well known alum or more loved alum of Harding than Mark Moore. And yes, the guy is a genius. I have heard others say this, and I whole-heartedly concur...........NOBODY is more capable of having VISION than Mark Moore.
He and Marnie and several other Harding alums gave 10 years of their lives to the people of Uganda. You have brothers and sisters in Christ now in Uganda because of the work God did thru these families. Mark is still working for Uganda. He and Clint Davis have a new project.....the Mvule Project......which I am going to link below. This is a very creative way to allow all of us to be involved with the work going on in Uganda. Clint and Mark work together in a non-profit organization named "The Kibo Group". You can read all about the fine work of this organization when you click on the link. Please consider becoming an active part of the Mvule Project! Here is the link:

As an added bonus, I want to give you a link to a Christmas video Mark produced a year or so ago with his boys. Please DO NOT miss watching this! It will bless you by getting you in the TRUE spirit of Christmas! Click here:

Is that amazing or what?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Heart Cath, Micah Gifford, and Sweet Miss Polly

Well, I had an exciting week last week! I flew out to San Diego on Sunday, and by Tuesday morning I knew I needed to come home. My chest had been really tight and burning, with shootings of pain from time to time........soooooo, I didn't want to get caught 1,800 miles from home in a hospital in California. I flew home Tuesday and ended up in White County Hospital that evening. Dr Leon Blue did a heart cath on me Wed. afternoon, and I came home that evening. Everything looked good, so now after the first of the year we will look for other sources of causing the pain. He thinks it may be associated with sleep apnea. Hello sleeping with a mask every night! That should enhance my love life quite a bit......having my face covered up. :) Anyway, thanks for the visits and emails..............and more importantly, your prayers.


It was bound to happen sooner of later. A friend has been killed in Iraq. Micah Gifford was a teammate of Matt's on the Bison football team at Harding. If you spent any time around the team, you had to know Micah. He was a cut-up, and just oozing with personality. You could see the mischief in his eyes! But, I could tell Micah had a good heart, and I loved him. I grieve with all the Bisons who played with him, and of course his family in California. I pray for peace in Iraq.


A longtime employee of Harding's cafeteria lost her house and all possessions to a fire this weekend. It was a wake-up call for me that my piddly trials are nothing compared to someone else just around the corner. I don't even know Polly's last name, but please keep her family in your prayers. She has worked at Harding since the early 70's. At times like this I wish I was a millionaire, but the question for me is this...............WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH WHAT I DO HAVE? I can't think of a better way for me to use some of my Christmas money. Can you?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

St Jude's Marathon, Mike Wade, College Football, and Travel

Congrats to Matt for running in the St. Jude's Marathon today in Memphis. He actually ran a Half-Marathon (13 miles), but that is still a great accomplishment. He ran it in less than 2 hours and never walked........both being really good in my book. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU MATT!!! Sorry we weren't able to make it. I am glad Liz was there with you. You were running for a wonderful group of folks at St. Jude's. The work that they are doing with children who have cancer is amazing. Thank you for caring enough to do that! WODEES!


Speaking of family and Memphis, word on the street is that my younger cousin Mike Wade reads my blog as a lurker and won't comment! :) Cuz, I am honored you read my blog, and would be even MORE honored if you would leave a comment from time to time! Mike is the son of my Uncle Cotton and Aunt Mack. Mike probably doesn't know this but I was ALWAYS jealous of him growing up because he lived the closest to my Paw-Paw of any of us grandchildren. Our Paw-Paw was a very special man, and I just wish my two boys could have known him. I still miss Paw-Paw, and he has been gone for almost 40 years now. Mike, please greet all the folks we love at the Germantown church! Hug your family too! Tell your sweet mom and dad hello also.


I never posted about Matt and I being at the Bama-Auburn game. We had a BLAST on a gorgeous day for football! The new stadium is unbelieveable, and the crowd was the loudest I have EVER heard it. The statues of the former coaches who have won National Championships at Alabama are something else. We didn't know we were watching the last game in the Mike Shula era at Bama. I have mixed feeling about the firing. I really like him as a person, and he came at a time when there was a LOT of turmoil going on in the Crimson Nation. NCAA Sanctions, coaches leaving, coaches having wild parties and being was a MESS. So, I appreciate him taking that challenge, and getting the program on solid ground again. I don't think he would have ever been what folks in Alabama want and expect, and I am not sure that person exists. His downfall was the loss to Miss State and the 4 straight losses to that other school in Alabama. If he had won those two games, the discussion never would have come up this year. That's after playing Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, and LSU ALL on the road. Not too many teams would have signed up for that schedule. The coaching search should get interesting after this weekend. Who do you see coming to coach Bama? I don't envy Mal Moore.


I didn't comment on the Brian Mashburn essay in my earlier post. I have read it now probably 5 or 6 times, and I see something new I appreciate each time I read it. I am sure it helps that I know Brian personally, and that I have a feel for his heart. I wish all of you knew him too. He is NOT a trouble maker or a martyr, or even looking for any attention. He is a very humble Christ follower. He is a searcher. He also is a very funny and crazy guy who lives life to it's fullest. I do predict this is NOT the last we will hear from him in the upcoming years. And that will be a blessing for us.


Tomorrow I am hitting the road probably for the last time before Christmas. I fly into San Diego and fly back out of Burbank on Thursday. I look forward to the weather, scenery, and wonderful folks I will see out there.........but yeah, I dread the 405. I have never, repeat NEVER, driven on it without having to come to a complete stop at some point. Maybe this week will be different! :) Right, and maybe the Iraqi people will quit fighting amongst themselves. Why don't we try sending Jesse and Al Sharpton in that they seem to have the solutions to each and every conflict?

Have a great week!