Showing posts from March, 2007

broken commitments

well christy and i returned to the states last week. we had a great time visiting our friends in britain, but after nine days (and a combined 19 hours on an airplane!) we were happy to get home and see our boys. christy wondered if they'd send us away, knowing it meant the fun times at the grandparents' home were coming to an end-- but no, they were thrilled to see us.

i mentioned in an earlier post that i had pre-arranged with God to have a break from my lenten observances (fasting on wednesdays and not eating fried foods and sweets) during our trip to england. i said this to be funny, knowing full well that God could care less what i did or did not eat during lent. so i ate fish n' chips without guilt, and enjoyed desserts and cokes without a second thought. truthfully, eating and drinking junk food when i wanted to did not make me feel any closer or further away from God.

on holiday or not, i am always mindful of Christ's sacrifice during the season of lent. for those…

renewed relations

christy and i had a brilliant day today. from 10:00-5:00, off and on, we visited with former parishioners from each of the three churches. last night christy phoned jean from hurst hill and we were not sure jean knew who it was that invited her husband and herself over for a visit! but when we arrived not only jean and cliff were there, but also cris and lil from the church. obviously jean figured out who we were.

after an hour there we went to lunch at a traditional pub near the wolverhampton train station. many pubs in england have become loud eating places with flashing lights and games-- not this one. all over the walls are pictures and plaques of the old railways (the place is called the great western, after the railroad that once ran through wolverhampton), as well as pictures from the glory days of the local football team, the wolves.

after lunch we stopped by tony and kath's house for nearly two hours. they visited us in dension four years ago. again others came, so …

just a little different

talking about his recent three-year stint in amsterdam...

vincent: "i mean they've got the same [stuff] over there as we have here, it's just a little different."
julius: "example."
vincent: "okay. in amsterdam you can buy a beer at the movies. and i don't mean a paper cup i mean a glass of beer. and in paris, you can buy a beer at mcdonald's. you know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in paris?"
julius: "they don't call it a quarter pounder with cheese?"
vincent: "no, they've got the metric system-- they wouldn't know what a quarter pound is."
julius: "so what do they call it?"
vincent: "they call it a royale with cheese."

classic words from 1994's classic pulp fiction (i knew you recognized it!). christy and i are into our fifth day "across the pond," arriving today at our friends' home near wolverhampton (where we served three churches over a year). this is t…

fun in the sun

who knew london in march was similar to dallas in march? the weather has been cooler-- near 60, and chilly at night-- but it's been sunny every day. neither of us slept on the plane, which gave me an excellent chance to watch the departed three times! b.a. has graciously installed monitors on the backs of every seat in coach, so we were able to selcet from a variety of films and music. in between showings of the '06 best picture, i caught glimpses of the devil wears prada and dreamgirls.

our friend chris picked us up at gatwick and brought us to his lovely home near east croydon, a sort of suburb of london to the south. we walked around the high street for a couple of hours and ate lunch at a local pub. bangers and mash by the fire-- fantastic! after a short nap we had dinner with chris, ruth, and the girls, and had a good night's sleep.

yesterday we went into london and visitied the tate modern museum and the british museum. the tate was great, although christy'…

come fly with me!

christy and i take off for our anniversary trip in eight hours! we're returning to britain for the first time since we left there, in july 2000. i was the minister at three churches: lanesfield, hurst hill and upper ettingshall (couldn't find a pic online). we'll spend a few days with rev. chris and ruth parker in london (chris was a pastor in our area when we lived there), go to wolverhampton and visit dave and ann latham (ann has visited us three times in six years, by herself-- dave's not into flying. i'd word that harsher if he were not hosting us this weekend!), including worship at lanesfield.
we go without firm plans, just with the hope of havng great fun with our fear friends (and eating lots of fish and chips-- technically this is a violation of my lenten commitments, but i've talked it over with God and i think we're ok). in our year in england, we only spent three days in london, so of course there is much more to see. note to our friends: wheneve…


it wasn't there!! aagh!! what has happened to our postal service? is there a jack bauer-esque conspiracy brewing here??

another trip to frisco!! (but it was worth it-- season 2 rocked.)

christy says we have to wait until after england to begin season 3. she won't budge.

might as well face it, you're addicted to...


in my last sermon at duncanville, i mentioned that i was a recovering soap opera addict-- that i have been clean for 15 years, but when i was in college i was a nut for days of our lives. not one of my proudest moments.

now i am a desperate addict of 24. this happened mostly by accident. until a couple of weeks ago, i never watched an episode. then i decided to re-up with netflix, and, after hearing and reading hype from 24 lovers everywhere, put it at the top of my list. it's been there ever since.

the thing is, quickly into the first disc (each disc holds four episodes, so it's like three hours of commercial-free entertainment) christy and i were both hooked. jack bauer works for ctu, a counter-terrorism unit in los angeles. his family is kidnapped and he is involved in a plot to assassinate a presidential candidate. it's a very intense, and very real, show. this is not news to anyone who has watched jack try to hunt down the bad guys by any means necessary.

we soon deci…

God has a sense of humor!

note: i originally posted this column a few weeks ago, but learned after 24 hours that christy wanted to surprise our british friends with the good news face-to-face. now i am free to share it with the world again.

my colleague and friend, rev. patsy brundige, has a picture she treasures: Jesus laughing hysterically. she likes to say Jesus had a sense of humor. it's hard to see that in the gospels themselves, because Jesus was constantly under threat from earthly powers, frustrated by the disciples' lack of faith, and concerned for the salvation of humanity. it's hard to express laughter when faced with constant battles for survival.

then again, Jesus must have had a sense of humor. after all, he called folks like peter, james, and john to be disciples! Jesus called peter "satan" after one of his dumb comments, and james and john sent their mom to plead to Jesus to give them the seats of power. Jesus had to have a sense of humor to be able to deal with the pressur…