"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Friday, September 28, 2007


Maybe once a year or every other year, I am invited to preach at our church.

We have a fantastic senior minister who preaches most Sundays. His sermons and preaching style have helped draw so many people to our congregation. I'd like to think that the children's ministry that I led here for 7 years was a huge factor in our church's impact in our community as well. Also we have a giant coffee-maker. So without specific research analysis, we may never know the true cause of our growth.

Anyway, on occasions, like this Sunday, I am permitted to preach. If word gets out about this fact, it is likely that 40% of those aged 65 and older will stay home and watch someone else preach on t.v. After all, I'm not a real preacher...as evidenced by collection of 2 ties. Unless there's a casket in front of the pulpit Sunday morning (occasion for tie #1) or a bride decked out in 8,000 yards of silk, organza, taffita or whatever the kids are wearing these days (occasion for tie #2), I'm likely to go tie-less on Sunday. However, I know that I serve a mighty and miraculous God, so I'm sure that if he would wish me to wear a tie, he has wind, lightning, clouds, and a variety of other things at his disposal to deliver that message to me.

Well, my message Sunday isn't really going to be mine. There are so many people in our church who have served on the mission field and served in ministries in our community, that I'm letting their words be a big part of the message this week. They've been in the trenches. They've been sacrificing. They've been giving and praying and serving and losing sleep and risking their lives over and over and over.

So I'm hoping that by sharing their stories and their testimonials about God changing their hearts and lives, others will be drawn to go and do likewise.

I'd love it if 3,000 people got the message and all stood up and vacated the building before I was even done because they were so ready to get out of their pews and go do something and I was just wasting their time by still talking.

O.K. truth be told, that would probably hurt my feelings. But I can tell myself that if anyone gets up and leaves early it's because of the inspiring message.

But then they'll miss the surprise I've saved for the very end. I won't give it away yet, but it may involve an original piece of music written by a little fellow who was just baptized with his mom at our church last month. I'll tell more about that later.

I don't want to ruin the surprise for those of you who go to our church, but bring a spoon or fork because you'll just want to eat Cody up or sop him up with a dinner roll.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How to Teach a 6 Year Old to Play Euchre

[Oops. Click here for the correct link for the 12/12/07 WFMW idea. This is an old one here, but good too. Sorry.]
[for more terrific ideas, check out Rockinmydryer each Wednesday for a gazillion links]

Everyone else was gone last night except me and 6-year-old Jenna.

Her eyes lit up when I said, "Let's play a game."

We had a lot of time, so I thought it was perhaps time to train a new generation of Indianans how to play Euchre. Of course, with only two players we had to modify it some. We'll add teams later tonight maybe.

In order to teach a child a complicated game, I chose to create a story. So here is the outline:

1. There are four families who live in four castles: Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs.
2. Each family likes to play games, and you're only allowed to win a game if you're from the same family as the person who starts the game [following suit].
3. The oldest person playing almost always wins. So the Ace (which is the crotchety old grandpa living in the attic) always beats the King who beats the Queen who beats the Jack who beats the 10 who beats the 9.
4. However, a magical "Trump" spell falls over the kingdom which makes one of the families have magical powers. It lets that one family play in other families' games and they automatically win!
5. In the magical Trump family, the spell also makes the prince (Jack) extra powerful, because he's so young and studly. He beats the grandpa, king and queen and everyone else in his family and every one in every other family!
6. PLUS, the spell helps make this family larger than all the others because they get to adopt a twin brother of the matching color (also named Jack) who becomes second most powerful right after his twin brother the other Jack.
7. After playing 5 games (tricks), we see who the winner is!

Anyone who knows Euchre will get that story.
Anyone who doesn't will be saying: "THAT is why I do not play Euchre."

I must be a good teacher, because when I woke up this morning, Jenna was already downstairs playing Euchre against herself...and winning!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

You're Very Welcome

(Contest Post)
Yes, indeed, I can hear your "thanks" echoing in my ears.

I know you have lives. I know you have schedules. There are soccer games, kids' homework, tai chi classes and that great American novel you're working on.

So, by not blogging for eons, I've saved you countless hours.

To satisfy my curiosity, I invite you to leave a quick comment telling me how you've used all that time I've saved you.

I'll dig around the back of my pencil drawer at work, and the person(s) demonstrating the best use of his/her/their time may be a winner. (I say "may," because the "winner" may also be considered a "loser" depending on what's at the back of that drawer.)

By the way, if you've missed me, I want to assure you that all is well. I've not been hospitalized or held for ransom or gnawing my arm off to get out of a bear trap. I'm doing just great.

And if you've not missed me in my absence, fake it. I'm very sensitive. Tell me what's the best thing you've done with the amount of time you would've spent reading my blog.

(Click here to skip to the announcement of the winner.)

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Is it O.K. to have Feelings Friday on Sunday instead? Sorry. It's just been crazy. I've been Mr. Mom for a few days. (Translated "Wife is out of town. Time to teach the children how to play Texas Hold-Em.")

Two days ago, wife Cindy headed off to Tennessee with several friends from our church.

I could easily go back and read emails or do a google search and find out the name of the conference they're attending, but to save time I'll just refer to it as "Cindy's Quest to Breathe the Same Air as Beth Moore and Mandisa."

I know it's much more than that. Rumor has it that it's a serious spiritual weekend for women with a number a fantastic women preaching the Word (or "teaching" for those who need smelling salts every time you hear of women "preaching.")

I am so thankful my wife has opportunities like this, and not only because we can let the house enjoy a little entropy for three days. I know that she's been blessed by God's Word and by God's people...the people up on stage as well as the people in the rows surrounding her.

I even heard that these ladies were...crying! Not that this is a difficult feat if the rest of the female population has tear glands even half as sensitive to being triggered as my wife's. But when someone up on stage can connect with your heart, and the singing and music floods the room chasing out distraction, you can have thousands of women's hearts beating in perfect spiritual unity...

I am so glad my wife gets to experience this. And I'm glad I'll get to hear all about it, almost like I was there, but without having to leave the comfort of my home (which I now have eight hours to clean before she gets home).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering...

People have been on the edge of their seats, I know, waiting patiently to find out how things went with my to-do list over the holiday weekend.

I can proudly say that we accomplished at least 6 of the 14 items planned.

Pretty much, we conquered anything that could be accomplished in short spurts during the commercial breaks of the "Suite Life of Zack and Cody Marathon" on the Disney Channel.

So the pool never got any further attention beyond the initial chemical dumpage. Scrubbing would've been work, and it was like 5 gazillion degrees outside.

Likewise, the powerwashing was prevented by the insurmountable triple-obstacle of the heat, the lack of a powerwasher and my unabashed apathy.
The Labor-Day To-Do List has hereby officially been postponed until cooler temperatures...so that we can use the opposite excuse of it being too cold.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Updated To Do List

The only progress I made today on the To Do List was:

1. dumping lots of chemicals in the pool in hopes that the algae science experiment-gone-awry could be brought under control. If I believed in evolution, I would assume that it's just a matter of time before some Chewbacca-like creature crawls from the postmordial ooze that is our pool.

2. Emptied the master closet.
Note: "Master closet" not only refers to the fact that it's the closet in the master bedroom, but also to the fact that we are under its dictatorial control. Evidently, it has been sending us subliminal instructions over the past three years to feed it EVERYTHING that should be tossed out. But instead of tossing out the stuff we're finding in there now, we'll just alphabetize it and put it back. It is what the closet has requested.

Hopefully we'll get more done tomorrow.