Monday, July 31, 2006

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs...

From the You're Going to Hell Church Sign Collection:

Snapped this Saturday afternoon.

Thanks for the segueway, Clarissa!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I Saw the Sign...

I think I see some of the point of this sign - God wants us to be proactive, and not be couch potatoes. And I'm a procrastinator by heart, so it hits me.

But on the other side, I think this is another negative aspect of our culture creeping in to our relationship with God.

It's this whole, do-it-yourself, pull-youself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, I-can-do-it mentality. Now I do believe that if we are followers of Jesus that we would want to be proactive and continually do good, and for these kinds of things, God does say, "Don't wait."

But sometimes our God-helps-those-who-helps-themselves ideals get in the way of God's work. Sometimes, God does say, "Wait."

I know that can be a difficult thing to know, but there are times when He's telling us that what He has in store for us isn't immediate. He's pretty clear that His timing is not our timing.

In fact, I can almost hear Abraham and Sarah talking to each other about this very thing.
Well, Abraham, it's been 10 years - don't you think maybe He's waiting on us to do something?

In my experience, that's one of the hardest things - knowing when to wait on Him, and knowing when we are supposed to take action. I think that's when we are to be still and quiet, and listen for Him, and ask for His guidance. Something that we've done a poor job of in the past, in my opinion.

Plus, doesn't this just sound like a high school cheer?

Two, four, six, eight,
Who do we appreciate?

God says, "Don't wait,"
Satan says, "Procrastinate!"

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Advice for the Day

Do you have an on-line network marketing business? Do you want to reach out to hundreds, maybe thousands of people who want to make a comfortable living from their living room in this hi-tech world? Well, my suggestion would be to not advertise via a crappy, largely illegible homemade sign in your yard on Highway 72 outside Rogersville, AL.

Doesn't it just scream technology?

My second suggestion would be to not call my friend Mark. He hates that...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I Should Have Known Better or Lesson of the Week #3

Please excuse the following crudeness, but this is very important.

Never; never spray cologne in your armpits. Even if you don't have deoderant. Even if you're worried about smelling bad - just don't do it.

Cologne contains alcohol, and your armpits are much more sensitive than you might think.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Fool On the Hill

I have to share one of the funnier moments at Higher Grounds last night.

Matt Johnson sang a song called You Ain't Country.

An interesting song, living in The South™, and you can get the gist of it from the title, but it's really all summed up in the following line:

Your "Git 'Er Done" bumper sticker says it all...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Roll Over Beethoven

There's nothing like listening to live music. Tonight at Crosspoint Church (whose web page is currently down for some unknown reason), we went to Higher Grounds - sort of an open mike night for local singers and songwriters. There was some great local talent - including Doug Stokes of The Shoals and Matt Johnson, among others. A few of our own members showcased their talents - Shawn Puryear (with a wonderful song he wrote himself), Scarlett Thompson, Al Jackson. Oh, yeah, and some guy named Brad singing some obscure country songs (Sweet Southern Comfort?). I didn't get there until an hour after it started, so there was probably some good stuff that I missed.

There was a pretty good range of music - both popular and original, secular and Christian. I heard more than one Johnny Cash song tonight.

I understand that the plan is to have it every 4th Friday; I'll be making plans to be free those nights.

Here are a couple of poorly lit pictures to enjoy:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I have no idea what happened here, but I passed this scene at the intersection of Alternate 72 (or should it be Highway 20?) and County Road 150.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Me Mine

We're such a self-centered culture. We're obsessed with my rights, getting what I want, doing what I like. Is that the reason it's so difficult to practice self-denial? Why most churches I know don't ever talk about things like fasting?

That sure makes it difficult to resist the things that seem natural and enjoyable, even if I'm trying to avoid them. Lust and gluttony and anger are indulgences and outlets that seem as natural as anything. How do we avoid them in a world that preaches cater to self? Too often, we don't avoid them.

This isn't pointing fingers; this is a judgment on me.

I noticed this the other day on my commute to work. First of all, two vans sped past me, which, for some unknown reason, gets on my nerves. Then I spied the "How's My Driving" sticker, and had the sudden urge to speed up just to get the number so I could call it and tell on them. OK, let's throw mercy out.

A little later traffic stopped near Balch road. My first thought, of course, was how I would be late for work. Someone could have died, and I'm concerned about 15 minutes of my time. There goes compassion. Fortunately, as I passed by, I could see that a truck just got stuck dumping some gravel.

Krista's in Mexico this week, being missional. Maybe she'll bring home some of that sentiment and it will rub off on me. Somehow, I don't think we can say we follow Jesus if we only act like Him in other countries.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

With a Little Help From My Friends

Apparently, it's not a giant, mutant insect.

It's just a dobsonfly. Thanks to Thomas for pointing me in the right direction when he suggested it might be a brown lacewing. It's got the right wing make-up, but the wrong size. Brown lacewings get to about a half inch; this thing was about 3 inches long or more.

This is a female dobsonfly, based on the size of it's pincers, and they can break skin and draw blood. While their bites can be painful, they're not considered dangerous.

I also came across this nifty site to use when trying to identify an insect. What's That Bug? has a wealth of pictures. This link shows their dobsonfly page.

Come Together

Hmmmm...last March (2005), I wrote about food being the last hedonistic pleasure.

That same month, Jennifer started her blog, The Hungry Hedonist: A Chronicle of Eats.

Coincidence? I think not.

Across the Universe

Please see to the right a picture of the ticket I bought for the movie You, Me, and Dupree tonight. That's right. You don't see that title on it. You see, I went with some friends who bought tickets early. Then they invited me to come, and when we got there, it was sold out. So one of my friends suggests I just buy a ticket for a different movie. "They don't sell every seat," he tells me. So I buy a ticket for Click and walk nonchalantely to a different theater than the one showing Click. Of course, the whole time, I'm wondering when the Miami Vice are going to jump out and pull me from the theater, but that's just how I think. I need to learn to relax more.

Saw some neat light shows on the way home tonight.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Here Comes the Sun Beatles songs in my head for some reason.

Entering Lauderdale County:

Some time this weekend, I'll be talking about I Me Mine.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Long and Winding Road

OK, maybe it's not so winding. And maybe not long (though it seems that way on my commute home sometimes).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Giant Mutant Insects Take Over North Alabama

I am really curious what this is. I came across it at church tonight. I've never seen anything like it and it defies identification (at least with my rudimentary knowledge of insects).

It's about 3 inches long and doesn't seem to belong to any insect family I can find.

Attacking my sunglasses.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Braunschweiger, Food of Kings

I don't know why it holds such nostalgia for me. And it can't be just any sort of off-brand liver sausage or no-name liverwurst. It's got to be Oscar Mayer.

It reminds me of dark, early mornings going fishing with my Grandpa on Lake Erie when my Grandma would put it on pita bread. It reminds me of the happiness of growing up. (Except that one time when I was about 10 and I thought I would try it with Arby's sauce. That was a waste of a good sandwich.)

I eat it rarely now, and that may be part of the secret.

A few years ago (back when I spent hours wasting time on the internet) I came across this great recipe: Meat Paste and Nose Killer. I can't believe I can still find it. It's excellent. (It's about the 9th item down on that page if you're interested.)

Ever the adventurer, I thought I'd try something new tonight. Braunschweiger on a toasted bagel. Wonderful. If you haven't entered the wonderful world of braunschweiger, you don't know what you're missing. I love finding joy in the little things in life.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Misery of the Summer Cold

It's beautiful...Krista and Julianna finally passed their cold on to me. The next few days at work are going to fun, particularly if I still have it when I have to talk in front of people Tuesday.

I probably should be thankful that I didn't get it before I spoke last night.

I'm going to bed soon. I'll just leave you with this picture tonight. I'm looking forward to getting some that don't look so much like all the rest.

This morning's sky.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Talking about the important things

What kind of impact would I have on the people I ran into during the day if I was genuinely kind and friendly? What if I spent my time looking for people to help as I went through my day? What affect would I have on other people if they could see Jesus when they looked at me?

I spoke at church tonight. It was a smattering of things that I've said here before (but maybe a bit better structured). If you're interested in reading what I talked about, I've put my talk on-line.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I've resized a couple of these recent pictures to fit as wallpaper...just in case you're interested in downloading some of my fine photography, they should be just a click away bringing up a wallpaper-sized photo.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Hazy Shade of Winter

I had some profound thoughts on local auto dealer Dan Wachtel making promises that are impossible to keep (Nobody Beats Us. Not Now...Not Ever! - see billboard below) and compare that to Barbra Streisand's lawsuits (after announcing she's having another farewell tour). I mean, how can you promise that no one will beat you in the future? This sign has always bothered me. But I'm too tired for that.

Listening to music yesterday (particularly The Doors' Touch Me and Led Zeppelin's Kashmir) got me to thinking about how easy it is for us to worship the created (the music and its creators) instead of the Creator (He who created both). But my mind's too hazy to be that deep. Plus, a quick search on blogger indicates that's not an original idea.

So I'll just show you some pictures I took on the way home tonight.

[click to enlarge to wallpaper size]

This is why I bring a camera with me whenever I leave the house...