Archive for January, 2009

What’s in Driving

January 23, 2009

Have you ever been driving and thought, I’m the only one who knows how to drive?the_thinker2
It’s true, there are mindless drivers on the road everywhere.
It seems that every time I drive, I encounter a “driver” that has no idea how to drive.
Honestly, I’m probably not the best driver around, although by virtue of living in Carroll County, Arkansas-there is a chance that I am in this small part of the world. With that said, I’ll probably have some sort of incident in the near future.
So what drivers (pardon the pun), drive you crazy?
How about when someone pulls out in front of you and there are no cars behind you? Especially when you have to hit the brakes. Then there is the vehicle in front of you, and I mean way in front of you and they tap their brakes repeatedly. It is at these times that I want to directly communicate that I’m so far behind them that two people could pull out in front of me before I would have to hit the brakes.

Rural Traffic

Rural Traffic

Then there is one of my all time favorite, two automobiles in front of me in two separate lanes going the same speed. That speed also happens to be under the posted limit.
Now I come from a long line of master drivers, my father (rest his soul) just loved it when someone would tailgate him. Times have changed, if someone is tailgating, they are usually peeved, or you’ve just pulled out in front of them. Unfortunately, I have on occasion, adapted to these stunts and done this unthinkable.
Besides crazy drivers, there are those unexplainable traffic lights. Have you ever sat at a traffic light and noticed that your vehicle is the only one there? mosig2I once wondered if dentist had secretly placed devices in my fillings that triggered traffic lights. I have not yet dismissed this.
Yes, driving can be fun and it can certainly challenge your faith each time you sit behind the wheel. Count your blessing though, it could be worse. What if traffic was like pushing a shopping cart through Wal-Mart. Yes, it is true, sometimes after shopping in this mega-giant store, getting behind the wheel is a sigh of relief.
Which leads me to believe that most people in these parts, hone their driving skills in wallyworld.
is4050521Ironically, my teeth hurt each time a new traffic light is erected. This leads to a dental appointment. This in turn leads me to the above mentioned superstore to get my prescription filled. Of course, being drugged, I inevitably pull out in front of someone as I leave the dentist.
I finally make it to the pharmacy after catching every red light.
My theory, bad driving is caused by dentist. I knew it!

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What’s in a Best Friend

January 19, 2009

topheader-bluejerseylogoAs I stated before, I love double plays. This past Saturday I got to speak at Upwards Basketball. My topic, 30 years of friendship. How many of you can say you’ve been friends with someone for thirty years?

First, let’s talk about Upwards Basketball. If you are not familar with this program, then I challenge you to “google it.” That is, “google it” after you finish this read. Upwards Basketball is a huge douple play in the lives of all involved with each local program. Of course there is a huge sacrifice that takes place just to run the program. Just like any other program (especially sports) plenty of sacrifice must take place. There are the volunteers from the church, coaches, parents, players, clock keepers, guest speakers and everyone else who takes the time to ensure the kids learn more about life and life lessons than they do about basketball. Oh there is the competition of basketball, but there are so many underlying lessons that learned through this program.

If you are familar with the program, then you know that there are guest speakers that share at intermission between each game. This past saturday, I was given the opportunity to share during halftime of the last game of the day. Since the activities were at the local community center, I managed to play some racquetbqall in and around the speaking engagement. I share this to let you know that it’s not every day that a short-fat-balding-sweaty-white guy pours his heart out while not looking his best.

However, I did manage to share a very huge blessing in my life. Of course I’m speaking of the 30-year friendship I currently have with the man I will call “Glodie.” I will save the explanation of that nickname for another time and another space. Actually, if I explained, you wouldn’t really understand.

Glodie and my new best friend

Glodie and my new best friend

Several months ago, my friend entrusted me with the information that he and his wife (my new best friend) were praying about adoption. Of course I accepted. My only objection, that I wanted to keep my last name. Seriously, I joyfully listened. He informed me that they had put me down as a reference, and that was where he left it. He didn’t coach me in what to say if I got a phone call, and he wasn’t worried about what I might say.

The phone call did happen and some thirty minutes later, I felt that I had easily gave my friend a glowing reference. I didn’t embellish. I didn’t dodge any questions. I didn’t exaggerate or even answer with empty words. I merely told the truth. It was as simple as that.

This is what I took away from that phone call.

1) Having a friend of 30 years is a huge blessing

2) Truth makes referencing easy

3) My friends life is truly blessed

4) My friend is F.A.T. – Faithfull, Available and Trustworthy

5) My friend and his family love the Lord and want to make a difference

Did I mention 30 years? Truth is, I have lots of friends, but fewer best friends. Glenn, you and your family are truly a blessing.

6) It was an honor to be a reference.

Now this couple of 17 years (I hope I got that right) already has two children so this could turn out to be a huge undertaking. Of course I look forward to only visiting.

Here are my questions for you. What do you say about your friends? What do your friends say about you? Would it be easy to be a reference for your friends? Do your friends entrust you?

I’ll close by saying that our friendship hasn’t always been perfect, but it has been perfect in Christ Jesus.

What’s in a Broadcast (2)

January 14, 2009

If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who’s going to. Well, I guess everyone who was listening, that’s who. Wow! I know, you have been laughing at me for some time now, but last night was a doozy.
I’m still laughing at myself from my slurred speech and melodramatic brain response in last night’s broadcast. Unfortunatley, my brain couldn’t find words quick enough to keep up with the action on the floor.
It may be the funniest thing I’ve done publicly. Yes I know, it just goes in a long line of funny moments in this crazy life.
If you weren’t listening, I got my tang toungled (toungue tangled) a couple of tiimes, but the end of the broadcast took the cake. Believe it or not, I butchered my own name. I couldn’t believe it myself, my own name. My name which I’ve heard butchered my entire life, but never off my own toungue.
I didn’t mispronounce my name, I slurred my speech when saying my last name.
Now there are various reasons why broadcasters slur their speech.
1) Alcohol and/or drugs. Sorry, but no.
2) Lack of experience speaking publicly – Maybe.
3) Lack of vocabulary – Now we’re getting closer.
4) Mind works faster than the toungue – This dog will hunt. Although I’m sure some would debate whether I had a brain or not, or that it actually worked.
5) I’m a moron – Sometimes you just have to face the facts.

Actually, it was fun being back on the airways for a turn. I had a little trouble putting names with numbers to start each game, but I muddled through.
The game was Green Forest versus Elkins which is ironic since my first broadcast for KTHS was between Green Forest and Elkins way back in 1987. It happened to be a football game way back then, and I was with the famous Gene Wingate.
Mr. Wingate was an entertainer, at least he was on the road trips. His countless stories kept me in bewilderment most of the time. Sometimes the most appropriate response is no response.

Hopefully I kept you, the listener,  entertained all night. What a fun night.

As far as the picture below. I’ll give you a hint, the gentleman in the tie is now coaching at Russelville.

What’s in a Broadcast (1)

January 13, 2009
Back in the Day

Back in the Day

I’m going to talk more about this picture tomorrow, but for now I want you to guess who the three main characters are in this old black and white newspaper pic.

What’s in a surgery

January 12, 2009

My son had his fourth surgery in as many years this past Thursday. It was his second shoulder surgery in four years on the same shoulder. He is expected to have full recovery in three to six months.
The reason for the second surgery was there was scar tissue and problems from the first surgery that just never went away. The video replay confirmed the call on the field, he has a shredded labrum and rotator cuff. The diagnosis stood.
Time will be his best ally as far as the pain and rehab. He had his first rehab the day after surgery and will continue this everyday. Twice a week he will rehab with a professional at the school.
The only other discomfort in the healing process is having to sleep in a recliner for three weeks. However, this is not his first rodeo.
He will also start back to school this week, but only having classes two days a week will reduce the strain.
Medical advances continue to help athletes like young Mr. Matthews and hopefully the future will get brighter for throwing athletes.
Instead of being sliced opened, they surgeons just drill three(or more) hole in the shoulder and do their work this way. This gives the patients quicker recovery time, less chance of infection and is less evasive in the overall picture.
The other difference that four years makes is the mindset of the patient. I am proud to say that his maturity is going to help him psychologicly in the healing process. He is less stressed than he was four years ago, and has a better outlook this time around. Part of the reason is the help of his coach and advisors at the university. They have done a good job of taking care of this young mans needs. They have conforted him greatly in what could have been a huge time of crisis in an athletes career.
These professionals have given him some huge academic direction and have made it a smooth process with surgery, class and having to sit out a semester of competing.
We thank you for your prayers and support during this time. God is good.

What’s in a BCS

January 6, 2009

We are just days away from the national title game between the SEC and the Big 12. Excuse me, the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Last night Texas defeated Ohio State for the Fiesta Bowl trophy. Does anyone really care?

"The" coveted trophy

"The" coveted trophy

I know my good friend Wes does. I watched half the game with him. He pretended not to be competitive, but he cared.
Congrats to Wes, my cousin Kaki who graduated from there and the rest of Longhorn nation. Yes, I was pulling for the Big 12 over the Big 10.
Now my late Uncle turned over in his grave last night as I pulled for the Longhorns. My mommy, who I miss tremendously, would have said my birthright would cause me to cheer for the Burnt Orange. Sorry Mother, I didn’t exactly cheer. Just slightly rooted for the W over the “Big 10.”.
Oh yeah, nearly the entire Lone Star State is happy with the victory as well. As they should be.
Now the sports media and the polls called it a BCS Bowl Game, but is that really a consolation? If you play in a BCS Bowl Game, does it mean success?
The point I’m trying to make is this, isn’t the National Title Game the only match up that really matters?
All the games lead to the National Title. With short leashes for a lot of coaches at their prospective schools, will BCS games keep your job? For most programs it is about the final number one ranking. Playing in a “BCS” Bowl Game is really like looking through “rose colored glasses.”
It all sounds good for finishing in the top ten, and might resonate well for recruiting purposes.
The bottom line is the national title, period.