Monday, February 25, 2008

Something Funny...

My five year old asked me a perplexing question...

Daddy, how do they get the meat without scaring the cows?


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Post at sbcImpact!

I have a new post up at sbcImpact; "The Teeth of Our Exertions."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Opportunities to be UnChristian

Moving always brings with it its challenges. There are extra bills to pay, changing addresses with creditors, getting utilities turned on, getting settled in a new community, adjusting to a new lifestyle, and taking advantage of opportunities to be UnChristian.

I have had a couple of those since my family and I have made the move to Waynesville, NC. The transition time always takes your character into question for some reason and when those clerks take your money and discover you are "from out of town" (though you just moved here) there always seems to be that cross-ways glance of affirmation with the manager. We stopped at K-Mart to pick up some necessities. My wife desired to patronize K-Mart because we literally had not shopped at K-Mart for nearly ten years. (I'm not intimating that this is her fault, by the way.)

We had just recently received our new checks from the new bank and the clerk, a very young lady, nearly beamed as she welcomed us to Waynesville. She ran the check through the verifier and to our chagrin, it was rejected for some reason. "That typically happens to out of town folks."

Wait a minute. We aren't from out of town. We live here now. I have a local bank account.

To our chagrin the check had been rejected and she pointed us to an 800 number that we could call and see why the check was rejected. We had already written several checks since our transition and I knew we had ample funds in the checking account. Needless to say I was upset. So was my wife, who does not handle these things well.

We began scrounging for cash and could only come up with about three-quarters of the amount of the bill. "Is there something you don't need that you can take off the bill?" The intonation of her voice placed the emphasis on "don't need."

We need all these things or else we would not be here buying them. What is wrong with you?

My wife chimed in, "Put this back." The toilet paper? Are you out of your mind? I curled an eyebrow in response; "It's OK," she nodded back. I sure hoped she knew what she was doing (my wife, that is).

As we were going through a couple of other items we potentially "didn't need", the manager joined us and with all the tenacity of Barney Fife, "What seems to be the problem here?"

Oh, no problem sir, just the riff-raff trying to rip off your store. The clerk explained the dilemma and I felt like Chevy Chase in a National Lampoon's movie.

"Oh, this happens all the time to out of town (there's that phrase again) folk." Just call that 800 number and they will work it out. Thank you for shopping K-Mart." Did he just say that? He literally said that.

Nevertheless, we got what few items our meager amount of cash-on-hand would allow, sans toilet paper, and headed out the store with our tails tucked between our legs. When we arrived home and tucked the kiddos in bed, I promptly called the infernal 800 number that had been thrust in my face. After pressing one for English (Arrrghhhh!), I answered all the automated questions and finally got to talk to a real, live, human person.

"Ahh! I see the problem. The clerk misentered your driver's license number. She duplicated the first two."

So it was neither my fault nor my wife's, nor Barney's, nor the kids who were obviously agitated because we had been standing in line so long next to all the impulse buy items that they so desperately wanted to touch and had been told no about a hundred times already yet the temptations still remained and they were tired and ready to go to bed and had drawn enough attention to warrant a police investigation; IT WAS THE CLERK'S FAULT.

Later that night I thought of the myriad of ways I might have handled that situation and I breathed a prayer before going to bed, thanking the Lord for helping me to hold my tongue and not telling Barney to put his bullet back in his pocket. Being prepared for those kinds of incidents is not easy, but thankfully, I was. Though I was greatly irritated at the situation, it turned out to be a simple mistake, one I have been known to do. And I didn't shame my Lord in the process.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Doing Better Than I Deserve

Our transition is almost complete. I have been out of blogville for a while but am glad to be back at it. I return as the new pastor of Grandview Baptist Church in Waynesville, NC and am glad to be so. Please pray for me and the new church as we make this transition. My prayer is to glorify the Lord in all that I do here. There seems to be much work to do and I look forward to jumping in with both feet and doing the work of the Lord in a new place of service.

There are many new things about this area we are excited about, many changes to our lifestyle that will be welcome, and "town living". We were literally seventeen miles from the nearest grocery store at the old charge; now we are about a mile and a half from Ingle's grocery store, the grocery store of my youth. That is another thing we are thrilled about--being closer to family. My folks are only about an hour away from us, as opposed to the six that we were. My wife's parents are about an hour and forty-five away. I'll keep you posted as the work progresses from time to time on the blog but prayerfully a new post will be up so we can all start talking again.

While I have been away, I was asked to do something for a fellow blogger. Pastor Chris out at the Evangelism Coach asked me to plug his book giveaway. No man should have six bookshelves of books on evangelism so he is giving some away. All you have to do is sign up for his free newsletter and you're registered.

Also, Selah V, one of my favorite bloggers and dear friend tagged me for a dadgum meme. I'll get her back, that is for sure. The rules are as follows:

First, you need to pick up the book nearest to you which has 123 pages or more (no cheating!) Did you see that? NO CHEATING. The book nearest you, right now as you are reading this page.

* Find page 123
* Find the first five sentences
* Post the next three sentences
* Tag five people

OK--the book nearest me at the time was He that is Spiritual by Lewis Sperry Chafer and on page 123, the three sentences I post for your reading enjoyment are:
The judgment belonged to us; but He became our Substitute. We are thus counted as co-partners in all that our Substitute did. What He did, forever satisfied the righteous demands of God agianst the "old man" and opened the way for a "walk" well-pleasing with God (see II Corinthians 5:15).
Since I love Selah dearly, I participate but I reserve the right not to tag anybody!!! (Heh.) Besides, I have been out of the blogosphere for so long, someone might get upset if I tag them without any substantial material to legitimize myself for being out here.

The last order of business is a lousy church sign. I think all my regular readers know my penchant for them and goodness, the church that called me HAS A SIGN! And lo, they cannot beat this for sheer, unadulterated lousiness. What are they thinking? They'll be fortunate if anyone comes to church now.

(Couldn't resist; LOL!!!)