If you can’t say anything nice . . .

Many, if not all of us, can remember the saying from our parents, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” My dad used to say all of the time “Son, keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool, rather than opening it and removing all doubt.” Both of these quotes are quite appropriate for this blog since I started it, specifically the last week or so.

I wrote a post with a picture of a church marquee sign that was not intended to be downgrading to the church who put up the sign, per se.? Simply to talk about how “the Church” (capital C) in America is losing her influence and relevance every day.? There are probably many better ways to state this fact as well as use encouraging words to help the Church in America “get it”? than rant and rave about a particular church’s marquee.

My friend Charles commented on this particular post and made me reread and reread again the post and think about the tone of the post.? After some other advice and assesment, I decided to delete the post and the comments altogether.? That is not the kind of tone that I want to have on this blog.? I had not intended on hurting my brothers and sisters at this church, but I might quite possibly hurt them.? For this mistake, I am very sorry.? I had no intention in being so derogitory in my tone.

For the bakers dozen of people who read this blog (Thanks mom and dad!), you might remember a “phase” I went through about 8 months ago where I “turned negative.”? It was honestly a pretty dark time in my life and it showed in my blogging.? That is not the case now I don’t think.? I am in a really “good place” right now in my life and ministry.? There is sometimes a desire to be funny–sometimes to the expense of others. This is not a good practice.? I know there are many bloggers who “make their living” by being negative, but I don’t want to be one of those bloggers.? I really want to take the tone of this blog to be pro Gospel, pro local church, and buidling up the Church of Jesus Christ.

So if I don’t have anything nice to say. . . I won’t say anything at all.? And I will try to keep my big yapper shut and stop “removing all doubt” . . . or at least be nice if I do open my yapper!

Monday Night Reflections

  • Mythbusters was AWESOME!!! It is really great to be a part of a church that is willing to be creative to share the Gospel with a hurting world.? Yesterday’s message was one of the clearest Gospel presentations I have heard in a long, long time.? I am really excited about this series at Forest Park!
  • We had a really good staff meeting this morning!? Our staff is really coming together as a team and I am pumped about this group of people!
  • We have a new staff member coming on board September 2nd!!? I am TOTALLY pumped about that deal!!? I will save that for a post of its own an announcement of that magnitude!
  • We had over 300 people at church yesterday!!? WOW!? There were a TON of kiddos running around.? I love that!
  • I am praying for some dear friends that lost a baby last weekend.? Jenny and I lost a baby in between Taylor and Tucker.? We really feel for them in this time of grief, anger, helplessness.
  • I am praying for Ronnie Sanders dad.? He is having open heart surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:00 a.m.
  • Tucker goes to the doctor tomorrow.? Hopefully he will be released completely from the doctor and won’t have to wear that silly brace anymore.
  • I thought I put on the belts correctly on our new (to us) lawn mower on Saturday.? Boy, was I wrong.? I wondered what that smell of burning rubber was on Saturday!
  • The boys finally got to jump into the pool this evening–bugs and nastiness included.? It is really not that bad, mom!? WAY BETTER than the pea green nastiness that I started with!? Just in time to winterize the thing!
  • Wow, Michelle Obama is a great communicator.? That is difficult to do that and pull it off.? Two very talented communicators in that family.? No matter your politics, that was an amazing speech.
  • The Olympics just called–they said I can have my life back until the Winter Games!

OK, so I live in the sticks now!

Ok, so you might live in the country if:

You have to get a riding lawn mower (there’s really no option).

Your water has little black particles in it because it’s a well. Well, we are “off the grid” with the water anyway!

Cable “doesn’t go that far. ”
DSL, therefore definitely “doesn’t go that far.” Are you kidding me? Dial up?!?! Say it isn’t so! That is so 1991.

You are “about twenty-five minutes” from everywhere.

You have more frogs, bugs, and algea than chlorine in your cheesy above ground pool. (definitely not a selling point for mom & dad!)

Did I mention there is no Internet out here?

You have one bar on your cell phone…if you’re lucky!

I’m pretty sure I mentioned we don’t have high speed Internet.

And finally, (drumroll please!) you are at least 10 minutes from “civilization”–AKA Wal-Mart! (thanks for the idea Jenny Long on my Facebook wall.)

Marian Days Festival

There is a festival that is held here in Carthage each August called Marian Days. There are over 40,000 Vietnamese Catholics who pilgramage to Carthage for a festival in honor of Mary.

It has been a real eye-opening experience for me as I was heading home from church on Wednesday night and had to take a detour around the festival grounds on the main road out of Carthage to our house.? It is also amazing to see so many people waiting in line at Wal-Mart–at the normally less than busy times!? I’m not very good at math, but any time you can have four or five times the people in our city, it is going to be crazyiness!

Please be in prayer for a group that were making their pilgramage here to Missouri from Houston, Texas.? The bus they were traveling in was thought to have had a blowout and tragically turned over just north of Dallas early this morning.? There are thought to be 14 dead and 40 injured in the accident.? Here are some articles at CarthagePress.com and JoplinGlobe.com and it has been on CNN and the news channels.

It makes me think of all of the trips that we take to do missions all of the time.? We (Forest Park) have a group in Brazil this week.? I also know that many people are also trying to take those last minute trips before school starts next week.? So in other words . . . Be safe.

Willow Creek Leadership Summit Simulcast

Just sitting in the first session of the Leadership Summit with the Forest Park family.? I am actually sitting next to an old friend, Billy Grady, the BSU guy at MSU.? I love this conference each year and so I am really excited to be here with my new coworkers.? I will hopefully get you some pics and “big ideas” from the sessions later on.

Tuesdays with Landon

Went over to the Jones’ tonight. Landon is getting really big! Here are some pics.

Friday is for . . . Friends and Family

A buddy of mine said today, “You know a true friend when they help you move.”? My thoughts exactly!!? We had some of our dear friends and family help us move the “easy” stuff of boxes.? There was nothing “easy” about unloading our storage unit and filling the biggest Penske truck we could get with stuff–lots of it should have been let go of years ago, but you know how hard it is for pack rats to give up their stuff.? It is amazing how much stuff you seem to accumulate over the years.? We had a step smaller Ryder truck when we moved from seminary to Ozark–packed yes, but we made it in one load.? We probably won’t have a totally full truck tomorrow, but full enough to think about cutting out some things.

My friend, Eric Barb wrote a little about this need to have way too much stuff in his “Barb Wire” in the CFC Current. He is a really good writer. I miss the guys.? The were always a lot of fun.

Better get to sleep . . . huge day tomorrow.? Still can’t believe this is our last night in our house.? Tomorrow we will officially be home in Carthage!? WOW.

Little League “Champs”

The Blue Bombers won their end of the season tournament tonight with two last inning come-from-behind games.? The first game, they won with a walk off base hit.? The second game, they beat the Mudcats, by far one of the best teams in the league, by holding on to a 3 run lead in the last inning.? The guys played awesome defense to win first place in their post season tournament!? It really has been a lot of fun helping coach with my friends (and making several new ones in the process!)? Here are some pics of the team with the trophy and their medals.

We are thinking the trophy ought to be like a traveling trophy like the Stanley Cup.? It could go on family vacations, children’s camps, school trips, etc.