The Bath

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I woke up this morning and rolled out of bed. Grabbed my towel before heading for the shower. Wait. No shower. The shower is going to be fixed later today. So I disrobe, start the bath water, and climb on in.

Part of me feels absolutely ridiculous. A 39 year old man doesn’t take a bath. Does he?

As I scrub the various things that need scrubbing, I think to myself, “The water sure is nice.” I can feel the relaxing feeling coming over me, the feeling that only comes from sitting in the tub.

***

Not wanting to be late, I pulled the plug, and I watched the water swirl down the drain.

Maybe a 39 year old man does take a bath every once in awhile.

Adoption Update – The Door Hasn’t Closed Yet

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A friend asked me recently, “Have you heard anything on adoption front?”

I sighed, “No.”

Turns out our caseworker visited us a few weeks back. As she inspected our home, she confirmed ages, whether we want a boy or girl, etc. All things she should have already known. After a year and a half of waiting, we found this a tiny bit discouraging.

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

And yet, my friend also said something that gave me hope.

“You’re just going to keep plugging along until God tells you otherwise?”

I hadn’t really thought of this before, but yes, we will keep our house open until God tells us otherwise. He called us into this messy process, and He can call us out of it.

Patience is hard. Waiting is hard. But until God closes the adoption door, we’ll be standing right here, waiting.

The Dirt Clod Wars – Chapter 1: M Day

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My parents told me never to talk about what had happened in the last town we lived in. The Battle of Starlight Ridge was one I would never forget. 

Moving day had finally arrived for the Morris family. Hawk Morris had been dreading this day since the beginning of summer. All of his friends, family, and even school, everything he known and grown up with, would soon be gone forever. Forever. His parents had said that the move had nothing to do with Hawk, but Hawk knew better; the whole town of Evansdale knew better. 

The Battle of Starlight Ridge continued to be one of the most talked about events in Evansdale. Ladies at the local beauty salon whispered in horror over the damage that had taken place; men at the local barber shop shook their heads in disbelief that something so exciting had happened in their town and yet they had not been apart of it. The battle had taken place a few months before school let out for the summer. Joey Higgins, resident Evansdale Elementary bully and Hawk’s next door neighbor, had pushed Hawk for the last time.

“Hawk, we need your help downstairs,” yelled Hawk’s father.

“Coming!”

Hawk took a quick look around his room, noting that everything had been packed except for a photo that sat where his nightstand used to be. Wiping away the dust, Hawk smiled as he looked at his combat unit in their full fatigues. never in his life did Hawk imagine that he would have to move away from his friends. He couldn’t imagine life without them.

“Hawk!”

“Coming!”

Commander Morris, Hawk’s father, was an Air Force pilot that always demanded punctuality. Hawk knew that if he had to be called a second time, he would be scrubbing oil off the driveway until sun up. No joke. Hawk placed the photo of his friends, his comrades in arms, into the last open packing box and headed down stairs into the entryway.

“What do you need, Dad?”

“There you are,” Commander Morris huffed as he carried a loaded box out the front door. “Why don’t you grab one of the boxes stacked in the living room and give me a hand loading up.”

“Yes, sir.”

The living room was a forest of boxes filled to the brim. Last week it had looked like a normal living room, couch on one side and television on the other. Hawk had had his friends over last week for a farewell party. Well, he had had the friends over that would still speak with him.

“Hawk?”

Hawk’s mother, a dental hygienist by day, poked her head over one of the boxes and stared down at him, “You helping your Dad?”

“Yes, mom.” Hawk stared at the ceiling for a moment. “Do we really have to do this?”

“Do what honey?”

“Move.”

Rustling around a stack of boxes, Hawk’s mom navigated around the room to him. She hugged him tight.

“Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. Your father has received orders that he is to be re-stationed near the coast. Our moving is a step up for your Dad and has nothing to do what happened. Do you understand?”

“Yes ma’am…and no. I just don’t want to leave Tommy, Scott, Cory and Andrea. They’re my friends.”

“Hawk, I thought you were going to help me?”

Commander Morris had come back in from the yard and had been standing there for a few moments.

“Everything okay?”

Hawk’s Mom gave him another hug, “Everything is fine.”

Hawk quietly grabbed a box and headed out the front door. 

“What did you tell him,” the Commander whispered.

“I told him what he needed to hear.”

“You sound so cold hearted my dear,” the Commander chuckled, “He is our son after all.”

Felicia Morris smiled at her husband, “I should probably get back to work.”

Walking up the moving trucks ramp, Hawk noticed that Cory was out riding his bicycle. 

“Hey Cory, you allowed to talk with me?”

Cory silently shook his head no, popped a wheelie, and took off down the street to his house. Fears of moving and loneliness swept over Hawk, he sat down on the truck’s ramp and buried his head in his hands. 

“You okay, chief?”

The Commander placed his hand on Hawk’s shoulder. “I noticed that Cory didn’t say hi to you. Guess his parents are still a bit unhappy over what happened.”

Hawk shook his head.

“No reason to cry son, you did win the battle after all.”

“I know but everything is changing now because of it.”

“Hawk, your Mom and I have told you over and over that our moving has nothing to do with you. I received orders that I have to follow.”

“You could have said no.”

The Commander sat down next to Hawk.

“I’m just a fighter pilot son, I do as I’m told. We, our family, has to move. Orders are orders whether you like them or not. I’m sorry.”  

“It’s okay, dad.”

“I am sure there will be lots of kids your age where we are moving.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

He doesn’t know that, Hawk thought. He just doesn’t know.

Walmart and the COVIDS

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I am not much of an expert when it comes to science. I can read though, process the information, and come to my own conclusions.

I was at Walmart the other day. I walked in without a mask. No one said anything to me. No weird looks or strange glances were given to me. Nothing. At the time I was there, there were probably more wearing masks than not. Still, no one said anything to me.

From one side of Walmart, there is a sign that says that masks are required; The other side of the store does not have a sign. You can draw your own conclusions over which door I choose to enter by.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t wear a mask if you wear one. I’m not saying to not wash your hands either. I think that we have been fortunate, in East Texas, so far. The virus doesn’t seem as big of a problem here. And yet, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to be entering by the door nearest the pharmacy. No sign = No mask.

With all of ya’ll wearing them, I figure the air is probably the safest it has ever been.

From Across the Net – “What’s The Point Of Family Devotions?”

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“So what’s the point of family devotions? I wonder if it would be helpful to first consider the purpose it hasn’t served in my family. Family devotions has not been a means through which we have obeyed a specific law or fulfilled an explicit command. There is no commandment in either the Old Testament or the New that tells Christian families they must spend time reading and praying together each day. So we haven’t prioritized it for that reason.”

You can read more here

If you don’t read your Bible, start.

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“How many of you have a personal quiet time?”

Crickets could be heard in the room.

“Any of you?”

Silence.

Then, one of the boys spoke up.

“As part of my homeschooling curriculum, I have to do Bible in the mornings.”

I looked around the room, “Anyone besides Steven?”

Again, silence.

< – – – – – – >

Parents, I teach junior high boys on Sunday mornings. The above is based on a real conversation we had a few weeks ago that left me dumbfounded.

We can bring our kids to church… but if we aren’t having them reading their Bibles, praying, having a personal quiet time, then they are hearing the Gospel one day a week. That’s one day to:

  • Minister
  • Transform lives

One day to build fellow brothers in Christ up.

It is not enough.

A personal quiet time starts with one day, you, God, and His word. It morphs out of that one day to become multiple days where you spend time with Him.

All I can say is if you don’t read the Bible, start.

Animal Crossing: Day 5

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That Racoons are at it again. Little Timmy and Tommy are hard pressed for cash. You see, in order to grow their business, they need some of your bells. Or more specifically, they need resources to help grow their empire. Resources such as:

  • 30 Wood
  • 30 Softwood
  • 30 Hardwood
  • 30 Iron Nuggets

The wood we can get, no problem. It’s just a matter of shaking some trees over a day or two. The Iron Nuggets though, we’ll be hitting the rocks for a few days or more!

Nothing like rock hitting… hitting the rocks… and all that jazz.

Animal Crossing: Day 4

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With winter around the corner, I’m starting to stock up. I’ve been purchasing things such as:

  • A snuggly blanket
  • A mug, for all my coffee needs.
  • A bottom warmer. No need to freeze when your ruling the kingdom.

And best of all:

  • An axe

Now hear me out. I am a pretty hairy dude. The axe is perfect for some late night trimming, if you know what I mean. I can trim with the axe… and I can even cut down some trees if I want to.

Whack a tree three times, you’ll find your pockets full of useful stuff like:

  • Wood
  • Softwood
  • Hardwood

Whack a tree four times, and your tears will start to flow. Goodbye tree.

Animal Crossing – Day 3

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A day in the life of an Animal Crossing Star is something like this:

  • Running Around
  • Hitting Trees 3 Times, Collecting Whatever Falls
  • Gathering Fruit
  • Running Around
  • Finding Fossils
  • Fishing On The Beach
  • And Might I Add, Running Around

While it may not be easy, living the life of a superstar, I do it. I do it because I spent $55 on this game.

Animal Crossing – Day 2

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I didn’t sleep much last night. Hard to sleep on an island full of strangers.

Tom Nook says that today is the day. Today is the day that we are now on synced time. This means that everything that we do is done in real time. Real time? Of course everything is done in real time! I am not sure Nook is up to task on running the island. All in good time though.

Also, I met Bozo (a sports loving nut) and Ms. Put-in-Pockets (a grifter). I’m sure I’ll be seeing more of them, so I’ll put on my best game face.

Animal Crossing – Day 1

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I’m here, on the island. Running around, gathering sticks, pulling weeds, living like a partially deranged madman. Sure, I guess I could go home. But home would entail mucking it up with a raccoon in order to get my money back and procure transport. Having now seen the bill just to get here, I can’t imagine the small fortune required to get home. Guess I’ll just stick out… for now.

A Week Without Talking

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Sometime on Saturday, I suddenly couldn’t talk anymore.

I remember being over at Tab’s parents house. I had just finished taking a nap. Only I had awakened from the nap and found that I couldn’t speak. Strange. Someone would ask me a question. I would answer it with a one word response. People would look at me weird. Suddenly, I was a prisoner of my own body. I didn’t know how to ask for help.

Monday – Stayed Home.

Tuesday Went to Work. What’s happening?

Wednesday – Went to Work. Have no clue what I did.

Thursday – Went to Work. My doctor called me. Told me that I was messed up and that I would be fine. Great. I’m not sure how I got back from lunch.

Friday – Went to Work. I am exhausted.

As it stands, I have been suffering from a drug overdose. A lingering of drugs and medicine. Though time, I will get better. Just need to rest, relax, and drink more liquid.

Amos 5: “I can’t stand the stench of your solemn assemblies.”

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While I’m a little behind in my 5 Day Bible Reading Program, I continue plugging away. This morning, I came across these verses in the Book of Amos:

21 “I hate all your show and pretense—
    the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
    I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
    I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
    an endless river of righteous living.

Amos 5:21-24 (NLT)

Or as another translation puts verse 21:

I hate, I despise, your feasts!
I can’t stand the stench
of your solemn assemblies.

Amos 5:21 (CSB)

Got me thinking about how we can come to a point, individually and as a Church, to where our worship of the Lord can become like a stench to Him caused by:

  • Habitual sin
  • Ongoing disobedience
  • A stinky/unrepentant heart

Not exactly a place I want to be.

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

What have you been reading, in the Bible, lately?

On My Radar – Next Stop Nowhere

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Night School Studio, developer of Oxenfree, has a new game up on Apple Arcade called Next Stop Nowhere. I can’t wait to download/try it out.

Next Stop Nowhere is a road trip adventure story set in a colorful, cutthroat vision of outer space. Play as Beckett, a simple courier living a simple life until a chance encounter with former bounty hunter Serra throws him into an adventure he never expected. And might not survive.

The unlikely allies fly across a dusty, deadly galaxy in a race to save Serra’s son Eddy–dodging gangsters, bounty hunters, and the dangers of deep space along the way. Beckett is in over his head. How he survives–the choices he makes, the relationships he forges, the person he becomes–is up to you.

A new story from the award-winning studio that brought you Oxenfree and Afterparty.

Features:

* An intelligent conversation system with branching dialogue that changes your relationships and the story based on every decision

* A spaceship that comes fully equipped with his own personality

* A completely unique version of space (the outer reaches of a dilapidated galaxy) filled with colorful skies, treacherous asteroids and a several orbits to explore

* A thrilling and thoughtful narrative brought to life by a vibrant cast of voice actors

* Cross-device play through Apple Arcade

Darth Vader Goes to Walmart: Pandemic Musings

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“Children, ages 2 and older, will be required to wear a mask at school.”

“Parents, whether your student wears a mask or not is up to you.”

“We are not going to require masks.”

“We will only require our teachers to wear masks.”

I was talking to a high school student the other day, she told me:

It is one thing to wear a mask, into a store, for a short amount of time; It is another thing to wear a mask at school all day.

I get it. I never knew that I had issues with claustrophobia. Not being a doctor or someone required to wear a mask for work, I never really thought too much about how wearing a mask would make me feel. That is, until I was required to wear a mask to shop in a store.

I try to play off the mask wearing by making Darth Vader breathing sounds as I wear one. While at the same time, I also try not to think about how we all look like a bunch of poor doctors and bank robbers.

Speaking of bank robbers, I saw a Brink’s armored truck parked the other day. The two armed security guards were wearing bandannas. They looked like armed robbers, as they casually walked back to their truck with cash. This pandemic plays mind games with ya when the good guys look like the bad guys.

For parents having to make the choice as to school their children online or in person at school, you have my sympathy. I can’t imagine having to work around enforcing that my child stays in front of the computer/in their seat, at home, for as long as they would if they were at school; I also can’t imagine sending my child to school and forcing them to wear a mask all day and social distance. Your children’s teachers are not paid enough. But you know that.

I was recently telling Tabitha that our lives, as parents who have chosen to homeschool, do not revolve around a school. No, our son’s education/schooling revolves around us and neatly fits into our day.

  • We decide when school begins and ends.
  • We decide which curriculum to teach from.
  • We decide whether there will be masks or not.

I am thankful that we made the choice to homeschool. I am thankful for my gifted wife who has made the decision to stay at home and teach our son. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone though. Not every kid is built for homeschooling. But for our family, homeschooling works for us.

No masks will be required, in our home, this Fall. We will strive to preserve as much normalcy as we can in our school routine. Wearing a mask, around the house, seems silly. I shouldn’t say that aloud though as home mask wearing could soon be a thing. Stupid 2020.

However, I WILL BE WEARING A MASK if going to the local Walmarts… I mean, if Darth Vader goes to the Walmarts.

>Insert Mechanical Breathing Sound of Doom<