Saturday, April 30, 2005

Random audio blog

this is an audio post - click to play


Here's some of my top links right now. Most of these are mentioned in a column or posting somewhere. But some of them are just good sites to visit and learn from.

IBC Singles
Belton Lions Club
Free Trade Certified
Vintage 21
My sister Amy's Obit
A guestbook for my sister Amy's Obit
friend's blog
Christian Wrestling Federation
WWE Shawn Michaels
Justin Griffith


26 hours on the road with four wrestlers in March: went to Knoxville, TN, met God, worshiped with 26,000 kids, met God, met Shawn Michaels - The Heart Break Kid (above) & Justin Griffith. - Priceless Posted by Hello

So I gave in

So I gave in. I got myself a blog. I've been fighting this for some time, and I don't really know why. Maybe it was because I hate fads -- even though I love being on the cutting edge of everything. Is it just me or is that really ironic?
And despite what it may look like, this is actually my first posting on this blog. All the earlier entries are simply postings of my old columns that people seem to want to continue to read.
Anyways, I'll start posting my weekly columns/random thoughts and maybe a podcast in the future.
I'm very intriguied by the whole podcast idea. If you haven't heard anything about it, check out to find a listing of what's currently out there. I'm sure I'll jump on that bandwagon as soon as I can find enough content to post a weekly show (sounds like my dream of writing a book). There's so much I want to do -- and so little time and content.
Well, so there you have it. I'm live in the blog world.
-stranger in a strange land

Thursday, April 28, 2005

8.5% version 2 (or 5 votes)

Warning: I’m on another soap box today.
By the time you read this, there will be less than a week left for early voting in the city’s general election.
This is our chance that only comes once a year, to decide who we want to serve us on the city council.
I’m glad that you were a responsible citizen and you’ve already cast your vote and made your voice heard.
Or did you? I know I did.
But what about you? Chances are very high that you didn’t.
Because in last year’s primary election, only 8.5-percent of the registered voters in Bell County voted. That means 128,107 registered voters did not vote. What part of the percentage were you?
Thus far only 404 people have cast their vote in the city election. That’s 404 out of roughly 7,000 registered voters. A mere 5.7-percent.
Do you realize what the vote difference was between third and fourth place last year? Between winner and loser?
Five votes. Five votes made the difference between one woman serving on the council and another man left outside.
Of course, that may have been the way you wanted it, and that’s fine. If you voted, I have no problem with that. But with such a low voter turnout, realize that every single vote counts.
Now you still have until May 3 to vote early and you can also vote May 7, but what happens if your car breaks down between now and then? What if your child gets sick? And why the heck would you want to wait and risk not being able to vote?
It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it’s very sickening to me.
A nationwide study released on Tuesday showed that only 7.2% of registered voters had voted in the last year’s primaries before Tuesday’s elections in Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.
So, congratulations Bell County, we beat the national curve last year, but I’m not applauding.
Two of my cousins have spent time in the Middle East protecting my freedom and giving freedom to people who have never had the opportunity to taste it.
Over 1000 young Americans have died in Iraq so that a people they’ve never met can go to their polls and elect a president.
These fine American soldiers fought and died so that a ruthless dictatorship could be overthrown and our country could sleep securely at night.
And the Iraqi people came out with threats of death to the polls.
Over 50-percent of them voted, knowing they could be shot on the spot, or hunted down and killed later.
Yet in the midst of a world war and in the midst of a heated presidential election, as a county we only sent 12,373 people to the polls last year in Bell County. That’s less than the population of Belton.
Now granted, I love Belton. I don’t want to live anywhere else. In fact as you probably know, I bought a house in Belton.
But if I lived in Temple, or Harker Heights or Killeen or anywhere else in Bell County, I wouldn’t like it one bit if the citizens of Belton began making decisions for me and deciding who would represent me and who would stand up for my concerns.
Who are they to decide my representation? Would you let a stranger off the street pick a lawyer to represent you in a major lawsuit?
I want the best possible representation I can get whenever I can get it. I want someone I can trust handling my business. And if they’re not doing a good job, rather than sit around and complain, I’m going to fire them.
I’m not going to walk up to a phone book and play “Ouiji directory” and you shouldn’t either. When it comes to electing our public officials, we each have a choice.
On May 7 we have the opportunity to select our representation for city council and vote to approve a new city charter. Don’t let some stranger come and steal your right to choose our city’s leadership.
Five minutes (and five votes) can change the course of history.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

What me worry?

I was told my good bud Chris Allman was quite deep this morning when coming into the office. And no, its not the normal “Chris is in deep trouble.”
Chris actually said something deep.
At least we can be certain that he didn’t write it in his column.
Anyways, when asked how his day was going, Chris responded, “Everyday you come to work and you have things you worry about. And everyday you have things you just don’t worry about anymore.”
Things have been quite hectic all around me and I see people running around with their heads cut off. But why? Don’t they realize that at any moment something else can come along and will change everything?
What was so important yesterday has lost all it’s relevance today.
This past weekend I took part in a Disciple Now in Murphy, Texas.
My friend, the youth pastor, began to describe the group to us before the weekend began -- I thought I was listening to the latest WWE storyline or daytime Emmy nominee.
So many hurts and frustrations over losing a boyfriend or a girlfriend in Jr. High. Who cares?!
OK. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to minister to a group of lost and confused Jr. Highers and High Schoolers, but seriously, how many of us are still dating our Jr. High sweetheart?
What was important to me in college really doesn’t even matter today. The things that I worried about yesterday, are really not a concern for me today either.
A computer crash at 2 in the morning, a server crash at 3. Today that’s all history. What good did worrying and stressing out about it do me yesterday?
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these... So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My King

A few weeks ago I wrote about church marketing and how it’s really quite ineffective for today’s audience.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been blessed over and abundantly by my church, my parent’s church and my sister Amy’s church and more importantly by God.
If there was only some way to bottle up those blessings and sell them on the open market -- we would make a fortune.
We do have the greatest message and product known to man, but I still don’t know how to share it with the rest of the world.
This past weekend I heard a sermon again for the first time.
It thrilled me to hear it again and thought, ‘This is how we should market Christianity. If people get this, they’ll get the greatest message ever told.”
It’s a simple message that needs to be shared with the entire world.
So, while reading the transcript is no where near as powerful as actually hearing it read by its author, I hope that you will begin to understand how great a message Christians really have.
My King
My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King. Well I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.
My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King.
He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself. He’s honest. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s pre-eminent.
Well, He’s the grandest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.
He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s strong God and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors.
He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah.
His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable.
He’s indescribable. Yes. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King. Yeah.
He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor.
There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King.
We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power.
Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honor and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes.
Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the forevers, then, Amen.
—Dr. S. M. Lockridge
Dr. Lockridge was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego from 1953 - 1993. He entered heaven in 2000.
For an audio version of this transcript visit:

Monday, April 11, 2005

Modern Day Medical Miracles

By Kara Blundell

There are new discoveries made everyday and advances made that promote our everyday quality of life. Babies are born with syndromes that could cause nearly immediate death. People are traumatized into a comatose state. Medical doctors have an important and prominent place in society as they use the new discoveries to give a child a shot at a normal life, and bring a patient out of a comma back to a functional state of living. We depend on our doctor’s knowledge to heal our pains and ease our hurts. Medicine has come a long way, but it never actually holds power over life and death.
My sister spent the last month of her life in and out of the hospital. No doctor could give her a clear diagnosis. Once she was even dismissed saying it was just a migraine. She had two spinal taps, several MRIs, CAT Scans, and every test in the book run on her. A world known neurologist was assigned to her case even with his team of experts they never figured out what was really going on in her body. It was not until her third trip to the hospital that they found a tumor on her kidney. This tumor was unlike any they had seen. They said it was 5 by 8 cm and excreting a hormone that caused her blood pressure to sore into the 200s. She was in immense pain that even Morphine could not sooth. The doctors planed to medicate the tumor and then operate when it was safely at rest. We all thought they would take care of her. We were thankful that modern science and the knowledge of the team of experts had finally found the cause of her pain. We eagerly awaited her healing and her soon approaching wedding day, but this time the doctors did not know enough and to their shock her heart gave out on March 21, 2005 and even the doctors are left with questions of how and why.
A preliminary autopsy report came back with astounding results. The tumor was described like a football and the average size of this kind of tumor is usually pea sized. An average person has 550 units of the hormone it was excreting. Amy’s tumor poisoned her body with over 40,000 units of this hormone and caused the left side of her heart to enlarge. The pathologist had never seen anything like this and they have no explanation. All the doctors were amazed she was alive as long as she was.
Amy blew them all away and all medical knowledge they have can not explain what happened in my sister’s body. Medicine is an amazing thing and has greatly helped in many ways, but we must remember that no matter how much stem cell research we do, no matter the technology we use in intervening there is still a force greater then us. The doctors could not heal my sister, but God knew exactly what was going on in her body and he healed her from suffering for forever. I believe that God can use doctors as a tool to bring healing to his children, but ultimately there is no stopping God’s plan. We have been blessed with medical advances and he has given us great knowledge, but the true medical miracle is seen in the power of an almighty God. He brought my sister into the world and created her to bless my life and the lives of over 800 people that attended her funeral. Ultimately he created her for his glory and was ready to take her to be with him forever. We are all blown away with what went on inside my sister’s body and we can not explain it. It was a miracle to us she was alive as long as she was, but this was no shock to the Lord. He knew this day before he formed her. She was his gift to us and her life was a miracle.

“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away blessed be the name of the Lord”

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

When the Rains Come

This past Sunday I shared a video with my Sunday school class about a father and son caught in a rain storm.
The father told the story of a hike he took with his young 16-month old son riding in a pack on his back.
As they neared the half-way-point of the hike the skies opened up and a soaking rain poured down on them.
The father mentioned that for his son, the storm became his reality.
He knew nothing else – and it scared him.
How often do storms in our life become our reality?
How often do we feel like there is nothing else left but the soaking rain that is drenching us at that very moment?
I’ve been in that situation too many times.
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that “This too will pass.”
It’s easy to think all hope is lost.
Think about Jesus’ disciples on the Sea of Galilee. They were certain of their pending death.
But luckily they remembered who was sound asleep in the boat with them.
The same man who said, “Cry out to me and I will hear your cry and will answer you,” was laying in the boat with them.
So what did they do? The only thing left for them to do. They cried out to Jesus.
And like any other time people cry out to Jesus – He hears and responds.
He calms the storm. He protects us from the waves and holds us close.
The father in the story said that as his son screamed in stereo, he pulled his son off of his back and held him close in his arms.
He leaned over as he held him and whispered to him, “I love you buddy. It’s OK. We’re gonna make it. I know the way home.”
He continued holding his son and whispering the same thing to him as they continued the on the way home.
Whatever your cry is, Jesus is reaching out and saying, “I love you buddy. It’s OK. We’re gonna make it. I know the way home.”