Saturday, December 22, 2007

How Long?


How long must we endure this inane election?

Republicans, Democrats, its the same ole garbage. Politics as usual. Milque toast politics at that.

Huckabee fighting the "establishment" yet hiring the "establishment" to run his campaign.

And tell me again why Oprah or Chuck Norris will set me on fire for their candidate? Will Oprah give me a car if I vote for Obama? Will Chuck give me some free excercise equipment?

Obama, running as the outsider, promises to bring change, yet brags about having more Clinton advisors than Hillary.

Hillary is promising everything but the kitchen sink.

Goofballs like Alan Keyes running with no hope of ever being elected. I would include Biden in this category as well.

I honor John Mccain's heroic service and surviving horrendous conditions in a Vietnamese prison camp but does it qualify him to be President?


Same thing with Hillary, she is going to fight for change yet is running on her experience of eight years of making all of Bill's decisions.

And what is the deal anyway with Huckabee and Romney trying to out religion every one?

I have not seen enough of Guliani and Thompson to offer an opinion because all I hear about is Huckabee's floating cross.

This has to be the most annoying Presidential election since I began voting in 1988.

Why would any decent human being ever subject themselves to this process? Oops, of all things politicians are accused of I don't think that is one of them.

We are going to have to hold our nose and vote this year no matter what party we belong to.



Larry

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Whats That Sound?

Hear that?

Thats the sound of thousands of college students getting some sleep. Some are snoring, some are drooling on the pillow, and some are sleepwalking. I know, I am doing all three.

I loved school until the last six weeks of the semester. I felt like the walls were closing in.

Like the trash masher in Star Wars I was up to my elbows in muck.

I wish all my fellow students out there a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and lots of good rest. Stretch out on the couch put a pillow over your head and snooze.

Thats what I'm going to be doing.

As long as my wife lets me.


Larry

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Revenge of the Turkeys

School has been kicking my tail. Thank God, Thanksgiving holiday will give me a rest and time to catch up.

I wanted to leave this story with you for the holidays. It needs some work and a lot more fleshing out. I think its pretty funny.

Enjoy.


Revenge of the Turkeys


Thanksgiving 2008, the sky lay over the land like an ephemeral ghost, leaving a creepy cast to the morning. The night before, a comet had shone its gleaming glow across farmer Brown’s many acres. Farmer Brown’s land had been in his family for generations. Since the first Thanksgiving, when the pilgrims celebrated with the Indians at Plymouth Rock, natives were sharing the indigenous turkey bird with the newcomers to the Eastern shore.


The Brown family became fabulously wealthy supplying Turkeys to the Thirteen Colonies. George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Paine had all sampled the delicious fowl. Down through the years enshrined in Thanksgiving lore the Big Brown Birds as they were called had been feasted on by Presidents, artists, and the super wealthy.

As the Brown family awoke this morning, silence gripped the farm. The rooster had not crowed. The horses did not whinny, and there was no gobble gobble from the barns where thousands of Big Brown Birds lived. Squinting from the eerie dawn light the Farmer Brown and his wife came outside to investigate. As he looked towards the turkey barn he heard a marching sound, the ground rumbled like an earthquake and the fog parted curtain-like revealing a scene that frightened him so badly he fainted.


Farmer Brown’s wife Bessie screamed. She was plump as a cherry tomato is round. Her cheeks were shiny red, with a pointy nose. Her fanny stuck out not unlike a turkeys’ feathery plumage. She stared in shock at what had scared her poor husband into unconsciousness.

Rows upon rows of turkeys marched through lanes of the farm. Looking like army ants carving trails in the grass as they advanced towards the wealthy country folk. Farmer Brown came to just in time to be wrapped up and taken towards the prep barn where the birds were cleaned and processed for shipment across the country. Bessie was dragged along behind like a worm on a fishing pole that had not been reeled in. Ominously the barn doors closed with a loud bang.


Several hours later several birds stood around a large turkey fryer. The propand flames beneath the fryer had set the oil boiling in the metal cauldron furiously. The head turkey passed out cigars as they made sure the temperature was at a constant 350 degrees. Taking a large drag off of his stogie the chief glanced at the timer. Inside the house the female birds opened the oven and basted the contents.


As noon approached the sun’s cool rays lit up the dreary, cold afternoon. One of the Big Brown Birds looked longingly at the large metal triangle in the middle of the yard. Rubbing his belly with delight he began to ring the dinner bell.



I can hear the groans now. Let me know what you think.


May the Grace of God be with you.


Larry

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Michael Wilson








First grade, the beginning of my academic career is when I first met my best friend, Michael Wilson. Mikey, had a shock of blond feathery hair, was heavy set bordering on chunky, and he wore glasses. We hit it off like peas and carrots right away. In fact, his father called us Laurel and Hardy; I was skinny as a rail and Mikey was the polar opposite. His mother, Mrs. Wilson, called me Eddie Haskell.

My friend was quiet but mischievous; and no one knew what he was up to. Our Physical Education teacher Ms. Brewster, a Martina Navratilova look alike, discovered us eating Red Fox chewing tobacco in the musty, and decrepit old gym. Mike quietly argued there was no rule against what we were doing. She bucked it all the way up to the principle for a ruling on whether or not we could.

When FM Christian radio was a new born baby in the 1980’s, Mike was determined to be involved, in his words “I was able have fun and get paid for it.” Plus, he was able to dally like a tinker in all of that expensive sound equipment. He became a DJ at fifteen and graduated high school early to become KSBJ’s program director. Along the way he met and networked with a slew of minor dj’s, Christian musical artists and secular bands.

Like a child of the depression Michael never throws anything away. In fact, where most of us chunked or fire crackered our toys away, he kept them stashed, not because he knew they would be collector’s pieces but because he is a packrat. He has tapes recorded off of listener sponsored radio (the dirty stuff we thought was so funny as kids), older than dirt Earth Wind and Fire posters, velvet Elvis paintings and even a tape of our dead friend Rex’s poor attempts at impersonating Richard Pryor.

In the early nineties he and his wife moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work for WAY FM, Nashville’s first Christian Radio station. All of those contacts made earlier blossomed like a Tyler rose. Old friends led to new, and his long time other hobby without working, computers, led him to retire from radio. Gen-X Communications, a Bill Gates type endeavor, who was working out of a garage, led to an international Christian country music radio program spreading its tentacles around the world. Ironically, Michael despises country music the way a Baptist does a Jehovah’s Witness.

In 1997 Mad Dancer Media was born, an evolved version of Gen-X Communications, pioneering web design and enhanced cds. Michael has worked with a who’s who of recording artists, Michael W. Smith, DC. Talk, the Gaithers, Chris Tomlin, and most recently Michael Card. Mikey has a personality like a popular game show host and the self-taught know how of an MIT graduate. A lethal and effective combination linking brains and charm, not only in business, but for God’s greater glory, all of his work other than radio began as a ministry to others.

Michael is still a big guy, as his business has grown so has he. He has a petite little wife named Marilyn who missions to Moldova every year. He has two daisy pretty girls as towheaded as their mother and a son who is following in his daddy’s footsteps. Jonathan has taught himself to use the latest and greatest types of computers and sound equipment, a real chip off the old block. While I am finally completing the pinnacle of my education, we talk of old times, sharing a laugh of old ribald toilet humor. Like Siamese twins, Laurel and Hardy never grow apart.


Larry

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Travel Tales









I love to spend the day with my wife, Lisa. She is blond, vivacious, and has the same sick, goofy sense of humor I do. We have been married thirteen years. She is my true long lost love of my life.


Lisa and I travel together better than anyone I know. We are two kindred spirits of like mind in our taste for adventure through the rugged United States. Crisscrossing the map between Tennessee, Colorado, Arkansas, North Carolina, Louisiana, and we drive to all points in between. I rag her about being a blind navigator on a B52 bomber, and she rags me about my demolition derby style of driving.


We would take a day trip to the Texas hill country, stopping first for gas, Dr. Peppers, and pork rinds you know the type, they are salty enough to kill a horse, and hard enough break a crown on your root canal. With our quota of junk food, we head off into the unknown. We have been known to chunk a coin on a map and then go wherever it lands.


We landed on Port Lavaca one Saturday morning and headed off into the blue. Hot black top peeled the tires on a hot August day. She had the map and I had the plan, we were going to go fishing, right off the pier in Lavaca bay.


Lisa and I rolled into town after a long drive through the coastal praire, passing through such venerable towns as Victoria and Goliad. We were exposed to a telling snapshot of Texas history when we lollygagged through Mission La Bahia and the Presidio that guards it. Port Lavaca was a grungy place, a typical Texas fishing town. Lots of blue collar dudes with grease up to their elbows and smelling like the catch of the day, in Port Lavaca you either fish for a living or, are going fishing after you make your living.


We had one problem - no fishing poles. We cruised on over to the Wal-mart, we needed to rectify our lack of angling tools. Walking down the sporting goods isle, we scanned for tackle. First, a rod and reel, second, weights, and hooks. As we were checking out and paying for our stuff, I asked the tall, lean, inbred looking teen behind the counter where the best place to fish was. “In the water” was his reply. I am not the most brilliant bulb in the box (the real bulbs, not those squiggly things that would have Edison spinning in his grave) but I had figured that out already. I wanted to know what part of town was the best.


We had one more stop to make, the bait house. By now Lisa and I are starting to feel like a couple of hillbillies at a black tie dinner. Hurrying to complete our purchase before they guys from deliverance show up, we bought shrimp, shad, and some stink bait. We discovered why everybody in town smelled so good.


The fishing was lame, I have a picture of Lisa proudly holding a tiny croaking dogfish that someone should have shaved and made to swim backwards. Since it swallowed the hook, I had to gingerly cut the sucker in half so I wouldn’t get finned. I get the chills every time I hear the croaking sound of that fish in my dreams. Lisa and I spent the night in a fleabag motel with wood paneling, Captain’s wheel lamps, red shag carpeting, and lots of roaches. I am still in therapy for post traumatic stress disorder from the size of some of those bugs.


We finished off our trip the next day and luckily no further incidents occurred. So, if you like thousand yard stares into your soul and West Virginia inbred types, then Port Lavaca is for you. Watch out for dogfish, and if you see Merle at the sporting goods counter in the Wal-mart, tell him I said hi.
Larry

Monday, November 5, 2007

Humble Ghost Lights








Way back in the mid eighties three friends and I set out from a DeMolay meeting at the Masonic Temple off of main street in Humble, Texas. Wayne Bell, Steve Pritchard, and I stepped out into the chilly wind and headed towards my house. It was a walk but back then in Humble, a safe one. Main street in Humble goes back a hundred or more years and it hasn’t changed much since. Old buildings like ghosts shivered in the Texas breeze as we walked down the dilapidated main drag towards South Houston Avenue.


Steve was six foot tall, had a Mohawk haircut and a whatever degree in tae kwon do, he was an intimidating fellow. Wayne, a fellow schoolmate at Humble High had been my best friend in middle school, but we fell out out when we ran away to Dallas in his daddy’s custom van. I was the clown, the prankster, the self deprecating, hide your feelings with humor guy of the bunch.


We walked the half mile to South Houston Avenue and shivered in our jackets like Jell-O at the kiddy table on Thanksgiving. We griped and moaned about the cold and kidded each other about which Rainbow girl we wanted to take to the next dance. There were very few cars out as it was ten o clock on a week night. Dodging the leaves on the lonely road we crossed South Houston.


Crossing our path like a black cat lays the Humble, Cemetery, inside the chain link fence there are headstones going back 150 years or more. The only people who will be buried now bought their plot decades ago. Looking carefully you will see headstones with Husband 1933 to 1975 on one side and Wife 1939 to --- on the other. The husband eagerly awaits the arrival of his long lost mate to sooth his rest.


The cemetery is a shortcut you hop the fence and cut catty cornered across the field, scrupulously not stepping on any graves. We always said if you stepped on one you were being disrespectful, truly I thought we would be dragged down into the ground to join the dead’s slumber party. Gingerly we climbed the fence and cut across.


Halfway through, one of us stepped on a tree branch, Crack! we all jumped ten feet and ducked behind a stone wondering what happened. Looking around I could see and hear the wind whipping through the naked trees as the moonlight cast funky shadows on the ground. Each gust, threw weird lights across our faces. Out of the corner of my eye I saw two heavy set women walking hand in hand on the side walk in front of the graveyard. Sneakily we stayed down behind the headstone and plotted our prank. It was simple really, on the count of three we would wail like banshees over and over again. Steve suggested a howling wolf noise but he was voted down in favor of the banshee.


One, stifle the laughter, two, take a deep breath, three, let it rip. We laid out the loudest, scariest howl ever created by the human voice. The noise was garbled between the banshee wail and the unstoppable regurgitation of laughter.


The two gals, bless their hearts, went from a huddled stroll in a Texas norther to a Carl Lewis sprint, I have never seen women that size run so fast. Rounding the corner they crossed Isaacs street and disappeared like phantoms into the shadowy, surreal night.


Walking on to my house I don’t think any of us stopped laughing. We had the rictus grin of frozen smiles locked into a permanent position. Arms around each other, vowing never to forget this moment we staggered the remaining mile to my home.



Larry





Friday, October 26, 2007

Simply Simpatico

Oh lord, when something like this gets started it is tough to reign in.

When I was a kid we used to play dogpile. Who ever picked up the foot ball, the entire neighbor hood would tackle him and pile on.

This is happening today, and it is like a demented freight train, half derailed, and half still moving forward until it all collapses on one Bobby Caina Calvan. Bobby is a reporter for the Sacremento Bee who recently found himself in Iraq, after today he probably wishes Al Queda had kidnapped him.

You must read Bobby's blog entry, and then the comments before it was shut down.

Two warnings,

One, the blog entry is disgusting enough as it is but nothing offensive other than Mr. Calvan's boorish behavior.

Two, some of the comments to his blog post are vulgar so forwarned is forearmed. You adults out there should read it no matter what, rarely do we ever get to see a meltdown of these proportions.

I'll spruce this post later, for now enjoy. Simpatico, Bobby Caina Calvan.


Larry

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Michael Card Lecture

A few weeks ago our Foundations for Christian Ministy class was fortunate to have Michael Card Come and speak to us.

Michael Card is one of the pioneers of Christian music. He wrote the song El-Shaddai and Emmanuel. His career spans over twenty years, and he has authored fourteen books.

The following is my report on his visit.

Day 1

I thoroughly enjoyed the time Michael Card spent with us. His music in chapel was wonderful, thoughtful and poetic. Each song opened my eyes to a new way of thinking.


The lecture time with Mr. Card simply put, awesome! The diagram of Philippians 2: 6-11 again opened my eyes to new ways of thinking. In Christian and secular recovery the context of radical reversal is “you have to surrender to win”. Secular recovery means surrendering to the program. Christian 12 step, surrender to Christ. Men can’t seem to get over the surrender part. They have been told for years surrender is disgraceful.


These are my favorite radical reversals, Servant/Lordship, Exaltation/Humility and obedience. (Funny, that’s all of them) Let’s not forget obedience. He spoke of how Jesus was a true revolutionary redefining everything. His teaching was so against the culture of that time.


Michael humanized the New Testament for me, telling us about Jesus’ cooking skills for the disciples. He called out the “take up your mat and walk guy” by showing us the whiny fool he really was. The blind man whose sight was restored by Jesus really made the Sanhedrin look foolish.


He wrapped it up with humility, you aren’t your gift. What a trap the devil sets for us. We start to believe our own press. We become arrogant and foolish. Jesus met people where they were. If all you can see is yourself you can’t do this.


Day 2 Laments

All of the “wisdom” books of the bible seemed to be searching for someone. For all of Solomon and Job’s knowledge they knew something was missing. Isaiah was shown the “suffering servant” but the “go between” (Christ) would not appear for many years.

Michael also spoke of everybody having laments.

Another radical reversal, only when broken are we made whole.

Theodicy focused my attention as well. I have always heard that argument, If God is love how come there is suffering in the world? We live in a sinful world, unperfected. However Jesus is the world’s suffering, he is in Darfur, concentration camps, my life. We have to take up our cross and follow Him.

Mr. Card really focused a lot of loose ends for me. I have always seen bits and pieces of what he talked about in my mind. I have never been able to connect the dots. I am very blessed to have learned from this man. I will be reading his books, and listening to his albums. I hope he comes back again and again.


Larry





Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Future Shock


Since beginning school I have been exposed to new ideas, new concepts.
When I arrived at LeTourneau my mind was set on what I wanted to do when I graduated.
We are now at midterms and my mission seemingly has transformed.
I am no longer sure if being a Celebrate Recovery pastor is the future.
There, I said it. Its out there in the open. Have I grown past it, or does God want me on a different track?
I have two choices right now.
One, to participate in a CR step study at my new church, with the ultimate goal of beginning a new Celebrate Recovery at the church. Safe, comfortable, been there done that. When I first arrived here it is what I wanted. (notice how I said "what I wanted."
Two, there a huge number of witnessing type things offered by LeTourneau student missions. On of them is to a halfway house for men in recovery. This is an actual go to em and spread the Gospel. I have always wanted to do it, but have always been tentative, like a puppy going through a semi-open door.
I won't have time for both, school and work overwhelm me as it is. So, I have a decision to make, safe and comfortable in my lazy boy, or taking the plunge out of my zone.
Praying will help stimulate my decision. Pray for me to gain the wisdom of what to do.
I know what I want, I need to make sure it is what He wants.
Larry

Monday, October 8, 2007

Making Sense

Our world is senseless.

Events occur we'll never understand.

I went to school with a guy named Len Gustafson whom I didn't know very well.

His mother was one of my my teachers.

Last week he was killed by a drunk driver in a horrible car accident, leaving behind a wife and two children.

They interviewed his family on the news and it broke my heart to see their grief. I can only guess the agony Len's wife and children must be going through.

Please pray for Len's family. Pray also for his friends.

Larry

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me, forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How Long must I wrestle with my
Thoughts,


And everyday have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord, my God.


Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in Your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Another one of those "here is where I am today."

Hmm, I caught the slide this time. I cannot do this on my own. I can't do it at all.

Only Him.

Larry

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Christians and Politics

What place do Christians have in politics?

Is it something we should even mess with? As I grow closer in my walk with God, and learning more about Jesus I am inclined to view the world differently. I am forced to take a second look to ideals I have held for years. I have viewed the world with a conservitive lens for as long as I can remember.

In high school we had representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties visit our economics class. I grilled the heck out of the Democrat. How can you be for abortion? How can you be against SDI, the strategic defense initiative, otherwise know as star wars? My parents affected me sure, but most of my values are common sense to me.

How do Christian values play out in all of this?

I believe homosexuality is a sin, it's wrong. Why however, are certain groups wasting all this time and money to battle the "gay" agenda? Who is witnessing and showing them God's love? When I came back to Christ I had a major past to get over. When I honestly repented the holy spirit began the sanctification process. God won't work that way with gays? Why send missions to Africa, how about San Francisco? Is sodomy worse than the preacher having an affair with the church secretary?

Jesus preached to the poor and the despised. What about illegal aliens swarming over the border? Who is witnessing to them?

What about athiests and the left? Why are we debating and fighting? Who is praying and witnessing to them? A lot of athiests and agnostics went to churches where the pastor was sleeping with the church secretary. Who is showing them the real love of Christ?

Where are todays Peter's and Paul's?

What ever happened to hate the sin love the sinner? Pray for our enemies? The great commandment?

Just some stuff rattling around in my head.

Blessings!

Larry

Monday, October 1, 2007

School Writings

Every so often I would like to share writing I've been doing at school.

Constructive criticism would be nice, no tomatos.







This is the LeTourneau clock tower it lies in the middle of the campus.
This paragraph is from a descriptive writing assignment.
You have to imagine a sunny but cool autumn breezy day.
This is the only picture I could find of the tower. I wahooed it from a fellow student.

The Bench


I sat upon a bench by the clock tower. Shadows and light danced through the waving trees throwing their reflection on the ground and sidewalk. The color of the brick flickered as the sun shone. Golden, then red, golden, then maroon the hues changing with the wind. The breeze caressing my hands and neck giving me a quiet but exhilarating chill as the sun shone on my face like a warm heating pad. I forgot about my stuffy nose, the white droppings of the birds on the tower bells and my achy body. Everything came together in that moment and I was still and knew God.
A bit cheesy perhaps but my first foray into this type of writing.
Larry

Friday, September 28, 2007

End of an Era



There is a moment in life where you can't do certain things anymore.

Like a glued together pixie stick some things hang by a thread.




My wife and I took our family to dollar night at the East Texas State Fair. All my girls from smallest to tallest went with us.

The smell of exotic fair foods wafted like fingers beckoning a stranger to some mysterious delight. Gigantic turkey legs, sausage on a stick, cajun boudin, and funnel cakes were devoured by the hungry mob walking purposfully towards the next ride. The girl's eyes were huge taking in the whirling dervish of lights illuminating the fair.

I knew the tilta-whirl would most likely make me loopy and nauseous, it did not disapoint. Eyes glued to my kids, the ride couldn't stop fast enough. Bow-legs trembling like rubberbands we spun off to the next torture device.

Alexis wanted to ride the Orbiter, a maniacal contraption designed to spin, toss, and hurl you into space. Believing myself superman like Lexie and I boarded the ride. The carny pulled the lever and away we went. Horizontaly spinning along the axis, pulling up vertically, and spinning like a cat in a washing machine. I realized my mistake.

There's a reason signs are posted stating pregnant women, people with heart problems, and you guessed it, back injuries shouldn't ride this ride. I figured I was healed and I am, however the g- forces of the ride threatened to pull all of that titanium out of my back. I dug my heels in to hold myself steady, my spine went the other way. It was a petulant child trying to get to the animal machine at Walmart.

I had figured those signs were just legal disclaimers. They mean what they say. Thank God all that beautiful work didn't become undone. My advice? Pay heed to the signs, else you end up next to the bearded lady and the guy who guesses your weight.


The man with the flying spine could make some bucks.


You think?


I'm going to miss roller coasters.


Larry

Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Toe Bactrim Blues


Owwwwwww!

Ever hurt yourself badly enough that all common sense goes out the window? The kind of hurt that transcends reality?

The devil really uses that eh? After that toolbox drawer fell four feet onto my big toe I let out a string of bad words that you wouldn't believe.

My toe bled a lot and It split the toe-nail in half. Luckily it didn't break and no stitches were required.

Beautiful experience, a trip to the ER. (where's Lou when you need her?) We waited 30 minutes to be triaged, throb throb. Then 45 minutes to go back to room six, throb, throb, burn. 15 minutes to be X-rayed. Then the piece' de resistance a 20 minute soak in some freezing betadine.

I got a wooden shoe, bandages, a scrip for bactrim and a nice limp, oh did mention no school or work today?

Right, no school, playing ketchup. The bactrim is chewing up my stomach. I really thought about writing a song about the whole experience.

(to the tune of your favorite blues song)

I've got the big toe bactrum blues!

Pulled out the drawer
fell on my toes
all full of tools
what pain! and off we goes

I've got the big toe bactrim blues!

I get to the back
I get an x-ray
nothing broken! Hey uh heyyyy!

I've got the big toe bactrim blues!

The nurse scrubbed my toes
in beta-dine
it was so cold!
I lost my mind

I've got the big toe bactrim blues

I got a wooden shoe so i could go home
No bending my toes
gotta get my scrip, bactrim baby!
My stomach is ripped

I've got the big toe bactrim blues

My woman left me! Toe looked so black
She couldn't take it, she lit out for Hackensack
Heya heyyy!

I've got the big toe bactrim blues

(wife didn't really leave, she has done a good job of taking care of me!
no pain pills were involved in the writing of this song)

Thank you and Goodnight!


Larry

Friday, September 14, 2007

Service

Jesus said, we are to love one another. Therefore like Him we must serve one another.

If you have a servants heart it is pretty easy to serve at church, school and the community.

What about at home?

Sadly, I find myself lacking in this department. Remember the post I shared about being selfish?

Selfish with time, and labor for the most importants in my life. I have gotten better but there is still room for improvement especially since there are nine of us living together in a cracker box.

My wife works all day comes home and finds herself having to do things she shouldn't have to. Where am I? Not picking up the slack as I should.

I am commited to fixing it.

I start out with a bang but I find my staying power stinks. I pray for the discipline to maintain the "surge".

Home is where the heart is.

Keep it sacred

Larry

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blah Blah Blah!

Let me preface this post.

This is not I repeat not a bipolar rant! No slide down the ramp here today.

I have the don'ts today. I'll admit it I lollygagged on my homework this weekend and had to stay up late last night to get it done. Got to bed around two am.

The days of me staying up late to do work are gone. I cannot afford to slack.

I am too tired today.

Things that happen when I am tired.
1. Discipline is a real chore. (focus)
2. Yawning way too much.
3. I get touchy, little emotional things become big emotional things.
4. Due to number three I put my wall up. (safety)

I am still adjusting to school and the move. I have not really connected with any friends here yet. It is difficult, I don't live on campus and working prohibits coming to evening events. Sitting alone in chapel and lunch gets tedious after awhile. That's ok though, God knows where I am at and He will provide when it is time.

On the Home Front we joined a church. Compared to First Baptist Atascocita this place is huge. God is really working there.

Friendly Baptist Church, the pastor is wonderful and the folks there are well, Friendly. I will get plugged in as quick as I can.

I also miss my "band of brothers", my best friends whom I have been through the wars with. Talking on the phone isn't the same as hanging out.

See, told you I was touchy.

What are blogs for.

Larry

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Incarnational Ministry










School is really incredible. I get to learn and be spritually fed at the same time. I have already learned new concepts in ministry that just boggle my mind.

Incarnational ministry is nothing new. I have had snippets of the concept, and in the back of my head had it rolling around but could never make it cohesive. It is still rambling around up there and always will be.

My thoughts so far on what I have learned. Incarnational ministry is what Jesus did. The word becoming flesh. Jesus basically went to the people, he met them where and how they lived.


This is what we should be practicing today except we wall ourselves in to our churches and do "outreach", which is good but, not enough. We are essentially building walls around our comfort zones.

We go to church get our worship and lesson time. Maybe we go wednesday night and have food, fellowship, and fun. We tend to each other's needs spiritually and physically. What about the rest of the world?

Remember, my thinking on this is in the infant stage, and nothing I am saying here is new. I am fleshing out my thoughts. Some of you will say, cool! I never thought of this and some of you will go DUH!

Most churches I have attended or seen operate on a build it or lose it principle. There is always expansion. They construct new gyms, worship centers, nurseries or kidzones. These things are cool and they show that christians can fellowship and have fun outside of this nutty sinful world. However, how does this satisfy the great commandment?

I have no idea. I haven't gotten to that class yet.


Celebrate Recovery is the same. We post flyers, get in the newspapers have events but we are still drawing people not going to them. CR prison ministries do just that but for a lot of local churches it is attraction that brings folks in. Sometimes people bring friends, and we get to fellowship in small groups about our hurts habits and hang-ups. How does this "take it to the streets like Jesus did?


I am not speaking of missions overseas. Most of these brave, called individuals are trained to go amongst the people and cultures of where they are at. (did I just use the word amongst?)


What about here in the great USA?


How do we get to that guy who goes to work, comes home, and plops down in front of the Tv or X-Box? He never sees the light of day.

What about the lost woman who's reason for living is to find companionship that never works out, or the lost who know they aren't, living right but have no idea of an alternative other than Oprah, or Dr. Phil.

It is a culture of self, they see nothing but what is in front of their faces. There is no hope. I know because I lived like this for years. Finding solace in the party that never satisfies.


How do we take it to them?



Larry

Monday, September 3, 2007

Computer Lab

Guess where I am? School between classes. Coming to you almost live from a computer lab deep inside Letourneau University.

Very cool eh?

I am making some adjustments to font and color. I have never really flirted with this.

I am trying to make Hallelujahs easier to read.

Pray for Mrs. Norma today. She may have had a stroke or heart attack this morning.

Blessings!

Larry

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Bipolar Roller Coaster


After a carefull review of my blog posts I have discovered a few things.
1. Some of it is pretty good writing.
2. Could I possibly be anymore bipolar?
3. How about co-dependent?
Now I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but why didn't you guys diagnose this for me?
How many times did I post with, "sorry I havn't posted for a while things have been stressfull". "I have been busy".
Oh my gosh and then the old, I am finally in God's will, my heart is on fire for my mission again. IE: Top of the roller coaster. Followed by I think I am dying. The bottom.
Man, I hit bottom quick too.
I'm making a promise that will probably be broken. No more I'm king of the hill ma!
No more Titanic sayings "I'm king of the world!"
Let's get to the good stuff shall we? I love school! It is a true blessing from God. I have never felt so at peace in my entire life. No anxiety, no depression, no fear.
Whatever happens happens.
I am so blessed to have this opportunity. No way am I taking this for granted.
I have waited for a while to say that. I didn't want this to be a repeat of past posts.
Up, do you hear the clanking of the cars going up the chain?
Feel the pause before the bottom drops out?
The rushing of the wind as you hit the drop?
That is how my brain has worked for as long as I can remember.
Cool revelation, one of my assignments in english comp is to set up a blog here on blogger. I am already ahead of the curve eh?
Let me know if I start to get whiny again... The only thing I may whine about is homework.
Even then it is such a blessing I may not.
Larry

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Long Week's Journey Into Next Week








It is official, I am a college student at 38 years old.
No biggie, lots of people older than me go back to their education.

For some reason this has been a dream. I have been waiting for the rug to jerked out from under me. Sorry no financial aid. You can't come here, go home.
When signed for my books I totally knew it was going to happen. Can you believe $607 dollars for books?
Thursday I signed into the school and got my time for picking my classes the next year.
Let me tell you I felt like I was in a sea of twelve year olds. No disrespect intended. They seemed so young! I did not see anyone enrolling that looked have my age. Not that I'm really old but wow, I managed to be just a tad self concious.
Friday was better. I met my academic advisor he helped me to decide which classes to take. I'm doing 15 hours. Schedule is as follows.

Intro to Phychology (Getting to know why I am taking crazy pills.)
Foundation to Christian Ministry (My adviser teaches this class. I like him, score!)
English Comp 1 (I actually get to learn how to write properly. My blogging should improve.)
Intermediate Algebra (My kid brings fractions home and my brain melts.)
Biblical Literature. (Learning how to really really study the bible.)

I go Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Not bad eh?
I think I got a hernia carring my books home from the store. You would'nt believe the calculator they tried to sell me. You have to go to MIT just to learn how to work it. I went with ole trusty. (The one where you actually understand the symbols on it?)
I am nothing but praising God for this opportunity. I have a part time job working at a church, I actually get paid to do what I love!! How cool is that?
Everything is a blessing for me now. The shadow of the last two years seem to finally be fading.











How Great Is Our God indeed!



Larry







Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Poison Ivy










Isn't there a song about poison ivy? The Coasters sang it right? I think there was a movie about it too. Some chick ruins a family or something.


Let me tell you, the real thing is worse! Painful, itching, scabby, nasty I would rather have a good burn or broken arm. I have no idea where I got it from either.


The good ole homestead here in Tyler is something of a throwback. Our house is over 40 years old and small. We went from 3300 square feet to somethng like 1300 with one teeny-weeny little bathroom. I have all my girls and the two dogs. It has been quite the learning experience.'

1. My showers now last two minutes.


2. There is no such thing as going to the bathroom in privacy anymore.


3. No dishwasher


4. When we first moved in, no dryer. All we had were 110 plugs, it was set up for a
gas dryer. What the heck is a gas dryer?



You know what? I love it. All my life I have been so spoiled it's nice to be a bit primitive for a change.


I sign in to Letourneau University on the 23rd and register for classes on the 24th. On Monday the 27th I'll be wearing the old college beanie! Did I just use the word beanie in a sentence?



I can't wait to throw the frisbee on the quad, and get a raccoon coat! One of my best friends and fellow university attender at U of H says I've seen to many movies.



Somehow I don't think Letourneau Is going to be like Animal House.



My major will be Biblical ministry with a possible minor in cross cultural evangelism, or a youth track. I'm not entirely sure. Where ever God wants me I'll go.


I am just thankful I didn't get the poison ivy somewhere personal.




Larry

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Welcome to Tyler

This will be a quick post. I want everyone to know that I am alive and well and living now in Tyler, Texas.

It has been a difficult time packing, loading, unloading, unpacking. We are whooped.

The good news is that I have been accepted into Letorneau University in Longview, Texas.
I will be Majoring in Biblical Studies, the minor? I don't know yet.

Right now I am praying for all of the financial aid to come through so I can start in the fall. If not,spring will be fine. Whatever God's will is I will follow. When I have a bit more time I will get back to you with the gory details and links.

Prayers appreciated!

Blessings!

Larry

Monday, July 9, 2007

Has it Been That Long?

Has it really been that long since I last posted?


Wow, I have really been slack lately. A lot is going on in my life. Changes for the future. Changes for what God has been calling me to do. I have been afraid of taking the plunge. Now I am ready.


Now I am preparing for rain in the fields.


Please pray for my family and I as we make these changes. I will give more information a bit later.


Tune in next week... For another chapter in the drama of Larry!


And now a word from our sponsor Soapy Suds Bathroom Cleaner!


I will try and post again tonight or tomorrow with an explanation. Everything is for the better and for the Glory of God.


Blessings!


Larry


Ps. Guess which one is me.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yesterday, Where I Was





To You O' Lord I lift my soul


Save me from myself.

Change me from the inside out


Show me the path from darkness

So I might shine in Your Holy Light


Burn away my impurities

Help me open all my rooms to You


Christ Jesus Save me from my open Wounds


Heal my aching heart

With Your Never ending Love


Let me feel the joy of Heaven above


Give me peace from my Troubled Soul


Make me Whole


I cry out to You,

sometimes with no answer


I allow sin to drive me away


Protect me with Your armour

Keep me safe today


I am sifted like wheat

I bring it on myself


I have no direction

Will You show me the way


I realize I am dense

It takes me awhile to get it


Shorten the time O' Lord

Let me surrender to Your will


I am stubborn and my heart

is hardened


Soften it O' God I pray


You gave me Christ

Because of Your Love


He died for me

to escape Your Wrath


Bring me peace dear Father


Your beauty is unrivaled

This world so intricate and fine


I have to pray

I have no desire to stay


Come Lord Jesus Come

Rescue me from this pain


Take me where there is no sin,

No corruption


Lift me up on wings like eagles

I want to run and not faint




Larry


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day

What a day, did I mention I got a new backpack? It's a Hurley skater pack. Cool huh? I needed a new pack for my biking. My stepdaughter Tara got it for me. It even has straps to hold a skateboard to it.

Oh yeah, Can't wait to strap on a new stick. Sha right, like totally bogus man, like I need some more grindage on my spine.


I know I know, I am totally uncool.


My other stepdaughter Theresa bought me the Lord of The Rings online. It is my new preeciousss! Hope I have time to really play it.


Lexie my sweet nine year old soon to be ten got me some cool t-shirts.


I got a lot of loving from my girls today. That was better than any gift.


You know the song "Freedom" by Darrell Evans? I sang it at church today to the Iworship video. All my girls held up signs while I was singing that said We love Dad, You rock dad, etc. etc.


My best friend Mike sent me an Email today sort of nagging at me as to why I hadn't done a Father's day post. He thought maybe the recent drama with my family was affecting me or something. Two weeks ago it would have.


I saw my dad at church today and gave him a great big hug. Actually picked him up off the ground. (See, excercise works after surgery) Told him I loved him, and gave him a kiss. I love my dad.


See I am learning In my (oh no! I can here you groaning, not more program!) Sixth step what the true extent of my character defects are. My last post I spoke of my discovery of being truly selfish. (Like anyone else couldn't tell.) I am holding on to some resentments harder than I should. What better day to start relieving them than Father's Day?
What a blessing our Heavenly Father Has given us. Did you tell Him Happy Father's Day? I did, not for what He has done for me. But for who He is.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to wish me a Happy Father's Day. Y'all made it complete!



Larry

Friday, June 8, 2007

So Long Self



Ahhh the sweet feelings of spiritual awaking. Flowers in the spring, fresh falling snow in the winter. Sunset on a summers eve. Recognizing your primary character defect?

Priceless.




I am a selfish person. There I have said it. I have admitted it to the world. The mask has fallen, scales have dropped from my eyes.

Since recovery started for me four and a half years ago I have known I was self-centered or else why would I have drank, used drugs, people and possesions? The exact depth of my selfish self- seeking self (Please allow myself to introduce my--self.) I never really understood until today.


From my hard partying days to my recovery, delusions of my own grandeur abounded.


I have always focused on the exterior, the symptoms, drugs and alchohol, lust.


Me me me, I'm a victim. Oh my gosh stuff just keeps falling into place.


If only mom and dad hadn't done this. If only my friend hadn't done that.


Sheesh, is there anything greater than the freedom of God leading you to self realization? Is there anything greater than Christ doing for us what we could not do for ourselves?


None of this would have been possible with out Jesus. None of this would have been possible without my doing a thorough inventory (step 4) and confessing to God and my sponsor the exact nature of my wrongs (step 5).

People choke on these two steps. They would rather run screaming from the room than face their wrongs. I certainly know I procrastinated for ever.

I say, God brought me to it when he knew I was ready.


See what I said, selfish


I leave you with the lyrics of one of the greatest recovery songs ever.

My song.


So Long Self - Mercy Me

Well if I come across a little bit distant.

It's just because I am. Things just seem to feel
a little bit differentYou understand. Believe it or not but life is not
apparently About me anyways But I have met the One who really is worthy So let
me say.

So long, self

Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else. So long, self There's just no room for two So you are gonna have to move So long, self Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell Oh well, goodbye, don't cry So long, self.

Stop right there because I know what you're thinking.

But no we can't be friends And even though I know your heart is breaking This has to end And come to think of it the blame for all of this Simply falls on me For wanting something more in life than all of this Can't you see?

Don't feel so bad (don't feel so bad)

There'll be better days (there'll be better days)

Don't go away mad (but by all means)

Just go away, go away.

So long, self

Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else So long, self There's just no room for two So you are gonna have to move So long, self Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell Oh well, goodbye, don't cry

So long Self


Larry

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Heavy Duty






Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16

Ever have one of those days where you get a bunch of stuff off your chest and exhaustion sets in? Mental drainage? It s nothing a good run or bike ride wouldn't cure but I havn't the energy to get up, get going.

First Therapy, therapy days always drain me. It doesn't matter whether I go early or later in the afternoon. Dealing with your issues can really wear you out. My therapist hit me with some good stuff. "If every thing was perfect with your family how would your life be?" I rattled off a few answers, "work would be better." "anxiety would be gone" etc.

She then smacked the daylights out of me. "Wow, you sure are giving them a lot of power eh?" Nice huh? If she had been my sponsor I might have retorted with a colorful metaphor. She however is a proffessional and I have to give her her due. Great Logic there. I am stealing it to use on my sponsees.

Second, fith step. This is the step where you process all that stuff you put in your fourth step. Anxietys, fears, resentments, good stuff, bad stuff all on paper in columns where you can see your part in each of those areas. It is important to keep it balanced. A good sponsor will make sure you do.

I have done my fourth and fith step before. Having no one else at the time I used my pastor to help me through it. Honestly I left a bunch out. I told him some juicy stuff but some? Uh uh.

Man, what a burden. It took me a month to write it. and almost a month to set the time to read it. The first time was easier. Started on a Friday and finished on Monday. Met with my pastor on Wednesday. It was not easy by any means. Neither was today. I hit my sponsor with stuff I had never told a soul. Not even God. I walked away relieved. Shaking like a unbalanced washing machine, but relieved.


Jason, my sponsor says I'll feel better tomorrow. I feel better now.

Freed from the chains of my own guilt and shame.

Still pooped.



Larry

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Keepin' It Real


So, how real do you keep it when blogging? Are we shiny plastic people? Or do we lay it all out on the line?

Some blogs I have perused are vile, full of hatred and anger, an 80's punk show flyer. Show us how you really feel eh?

How far do you go with personal angst and agony? Do you name names or protect the not so innocent? I know when I finally finish my autobiography I'm not pulling any punches.

Fortunately I am doing another fith step Thursday with my sponsor. I also have therapy an hour before. So I'll be getting some needed processing done this week.

It seems I am never to escape family drama. No matter what I do it'll allways be there. God grant me the serenity etc. I feel like the elderly Michael Corleone. "No matter what I do they pull me back in!" It affects me down to my core.

When I was a kid things could be tough at times. (I am still being too chicken to keep it real here) I have bent over backwards to not make those mistakes with my girls. I never want them to feel as I did and still do. I don't get why my family doesn't do the same.
To accept the things I cannot change. I feel like I am taking crazy pills wait, oh yeah, I am.
If you can't tell I am very frustrated as I write this post. I wanna keep it much more real but the shiny won't come off just yet. My codependency still abounds I guess.


Larry

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Day







Is the sun shining? Do I see light at the end of the tunnel? Am I jumping the gun?

I am always hesitant to get too excited about tomorrow. Have to make sure I'm not on a slide.
It isn't very fun to tell folks how great I am feeling then, next day can't get off the floor. Ah the bipolar hula!

Anyways, work is going good again for right now. I am getting my excercise like a good boy, and am getting better about my eating habits. Seems almost like old times before the wreck.

It's amazing what you can do with focus!
Right now.


Larry

Monday, May 28, 2007

Back on the Bike



Do you feel the winds of change?
Soon this weight will fall away
And take you to a place
Only found through these winds of change



What a good weekend. I have been back on my bike twice. Day one, 4o minute or so ride. Day two an hour. I almost ate it today on the wet trails. It is tradition here that it always rains Memorial day weekend. This one was no exception.


Of course I did the obligitory Memorial Day guy thing. Watched two hours of the series Band of Brothers. I had never seen the last two episodes. Fantastic, I never cease to be in awe of the people who serve in uniform for our country. I watch our guys over in Iraq and Afganistan on the Military Channel and feel like a complete pansy. Incredible what they do.


Anyways, the above lyric is from a song that gives me hope when I'm down. I try to listen to it once a day.
I'm starting a new side-bar of what I am listening to. Just wanted to share some of the tunes that have given me a boost.


Trust me,


There have been a lot




Larry




Sunday, May 27, 2007

Finally, The Awards Are Out!

Last month Shirley Buxton presented me with The Thinking Blogger Award. It was the first blog award I have recieved from my peers, and coming from her was a true honor. So today, finally, I am awarding five blogs that really make me think.

1. Three Kid Circus. I love the name of Jenny's blog. I have tons of kids in my house and I love her stories. The post that really got me was "Bad to the Bone" I was laughing hysterically. When I was a kid we weren't allowed to say "butt" either, we had to say bottom or even worse, fanny. (is it any wonder I have issues?)

2. A LifeTime on the Ride: Mandy has been one of my blogging buddies since I started. This past year has been a huge growing experience for her, and I have enjoyed and found strength in her writing. She has gone from severe depression to running freaking marathons!

3. The Soiled Chamois: This one is a bit different. Jason is an endurance mountain biker. Half the time I am not sure what he is talking about but, (bike terminology) he is totally driven to what he does. Jason writes about it with humor and flair.

4. Acute Politics: Teflon Don does an awesome job writing on his experiences in Iraq. It is almost like you are there with him. We need to honor him and all our serving men and women in uniform past and present for Memorial Day. Actually they should be honored everyday for their sacrifice.

5. Blah Blah Blog: Linda (aka Lou) not only has a great sense of humor but is a great humanitarian as well. She is a nurse who spends her summers on mission trips. Make sure you check out her emergency roomisms.



So all of y'all check-em out. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.



Larry

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eternity


Ecclesiastes 3-11


God has planted eternity in the human heart.


How do we fathom this? God has planted eternity in our hearts. It means that each of us, no matter where we are from. No matter what our culture, He has done this for all of human-kind.


Paul tells us in Romans that people instinctively know about God. He has placed this knowledge in our hearts as well.


In my life I denied this for years. Things were wrong, and I could never quite put my finger on what it was. My lifestyle was fueled by the weekend. The never ending I owed it to myself whether I deserved it or not. Then Monday morning "welcome back to reality."


Self medication with a prescription of lies and fears with a dose of as needed, leaves you lost in the world. This place we live in with it's decieving beauty is empty without God. We can see what he has created but, without him it is hollow, nothing. We see without seeing. We know but don't. Going through the motions.


I knew my life was wrong. A disaster, with a gulf of no hope. Hope is like sight. You don't know what's missing until you recieve it. The last time I visited the eye doctor he changed my contacts. I tried the new lenses and "wow!" I can see!


I had no idea my lack of hope until I had it.


In Christ I'll have it for eternity.



Larry

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