Monthly Archives: October 2007

Trunk or Treat

As a kid growing up we had a blast at Halloween.  Nothing was ever thought of like “Satan’s birthday” or “witchery” or the such -like.  It was a fun holiday where we got all the candy we could eat–which was enough to make us sick at times.  Later on we pulled pranks on our youth minster at church or our friends at school.

Of all things I did during this time of year, no one in my family or around me would have ever thought that the church would provide trick or treaters a place to be on Wednesday night other than a Bible class.  Well, that happened tonight at Creekside.  We had our first ever “Trunk or Treat.”  It’s not a new idea by any stretch, but it was a new event for us.

We started at 5:30PM with hot dogs and fixins and at 6:30 we began seeing the little children come through for candy.  It was awesome.  We had about 20 cars or so in our little parking lot and many of our people visited with people in the community and gave out candy to the kids.  We had “church” in the parking lot by being family to one another and providing a service to our community.  I pray that God uses it to His glory. 


Good/Bad Weekend

Just a short update on our weekend.  It was both good and bad. We had a good weekend as a band.  We came away from the event with a Third Place trophy in our class.  It’s not what we wanted, but it’s better than last year.  We walked away empty handed then.  The kids were a bit disappointed, but our band director is not just a band director, but he really cares for the kids and had some very encouraging words for them. They were words that helped the kids understand the value of being proud of the winners even if it wasn’t us.  He told them to be proud for them.  “You can’t win everything,” he told them.  

The bad part of the weekend had to do with one of our kids (one of my son’s best friends) being sent home for drinking on the trip.  Please pray for this kid and all of our kids.  My son knew about him drinking along with most of the band.  They just didn’t know how to handle it.  His dad is coming to the school tomorrow to confront the teachers and probably some of the kids about it.  I just pray that all can be OK with this young man.  Please pray for him.  I’m leaving his name out of this blog for now, but God knows so please pray.

Bands of America

10-6-07-vandy-2007-disk-2-043.jpg We are of this weekend to the Bands of America Super Regional in Atlanta GA.  We will compete against the best of the best in the Southeastern United States.  It’s a thrill to be a part of something this big.

We will leave Russellville, Alabama after performing at halftime (somewhere around 9:00PM Central Time).  We are due to arrive in Atlanta, GA about 2:00AM Saturday to our hotel.  We will get about 5 hours of sleep and then it’s off to the Georgia Dome about 7:30.  We are set to perform at 10:45AM. 

Our band has done quite well at BOA in the past.  We have been Class A (which is the smallest division) Champions 4 of the five years we’ve attended this event.  We hope to do at least that well this year and maybe even enter the top 10 overall. 

A special note about this year has to do with Danielle.  Most of you know that she’s a senior this year.  That means that she will perform her last BOA ever this Saturday.  She is excited, nervous, happy, and sad all at the same time.  Please pray for her that she enjoys her last one ever and that she has no seizure activity this weekend.  It’s a gruelling schedule for her.

After BOA on Saturday night we are travelling to Ringgold, GA to spend Sunday with my brother’s family there.  Please keep us in your prayers.

The picture above is of the only three seniors in our drumline (left to right) our Danielle, Battery section leader Michael Ward, and Front Ensemble section leader Natalie Berryhill.  That’s our crazy son Brandon trying to jump into the picture behind the seniors.  This picture was taken two weeks ago when we won the best in class drumline award.  We also won the Challenge Cup, which is the biggest award of the day.  All of these awards were at the Vanderbilt Marching Invitational at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. 

Francis Pardue 1932-2007

That name, “Francis Pardue” doesn’t mean anything to probably all of you who read this blog.  I knew her simply as Mrs. Pardue.  She was my fifth grade teacher at Weeden Elementary in 1975.  I had lots of great teachers in elementary school and junior high school at Weeden.  Some of my fondest memories are of that time in my life.

Mrs. Pardue passed away this week after dealing a long time with Alzheimers.  She was one of those people who made a life long impact on the people with whom she came in contact.  That was no less true for me.  At 43 years of age I still remember her as loving and kind to all of us.  I felt like she was more of a grandmother type than just a teacher.  She was fair with all of us and never played favorites.

She was of such character that she helped me do my class work after I broke my arm that year.  I remember her patience, kindness, and humor as she worked with me through that difficult time.  I’m right handed and that’s the arm I broke.  She involved other students and let them learn how to help a person when they were unable to help themselves.  She told me instead of an “A” she was going to give me an “E” for effort.

The world is an emptier place now that she’s gone.  Though I don’t remember the last time I saw her, I will still miss her and the love that she brought with her life to others.  Our prayers are with her family.

“This Beautiful Mess”

I’ll have to admit that when Steve emailed me and told me about Rick McKinley’s book I saw an opportunity for a free book.  I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth.  The other real truth is that it was such a blessing to read.  In my opinion it’s one of those life-changing works.  it truly is an inspiration to read. 

Now, part of the deal to get the free book was to write a review about the book.  I’m not the best author for sure, but the following is from my heart about “This Beautiful Mess.”  I am also linking Rick McKinley’s blog to mine as well.  Just click HERE to check out his blog.  Here is my review on the book.

The cover of “This Beautiful Mess” really is a clue into the wonderful contents of this work. It is a picture of traffic lights, babies, buildings, clouds with a dove in the sky, and a man playing guitar. All of these are printed in gray with no color. Then right in the middle of the picture is a sunflower full of beauty. It is a great picture of beauty placed at the center of a world of chaos.  It brings to mind the thought of beauty in the middle of the mess.

I have grown in my faith walk so much in the past few years, but not like I grew through reading this book. This Beautiful Mess is a wonderful study into the mind of God concerning His kingdom. This book clears so many of the questions I had in my mind about the true nature of the kingdom of Christ.

My view of the kingdom was so much like Rick’s early views of it. He writes, “The Christian life began to look like one long waiting game of Bible studies and boring parties. If I was lucky, a bus would hit me and I’d go straight to heaven. Until then the kingdom life I was reading about in the Gospels would have to wait.” (Page 85) Viewing the kingdom as less than what it is leads to “religion,” “church,” and a mundane Christian life. Seeing the kingdom as a way of life that makes a difference now and in the future ignites our hearts with the fire of passion for the cause of Jesus Christ again. It helps us see that the kingdom is and that we are a living part of it.

This book has helped me to see the kingdom all around me in the midst of suffering, in the creation God has provided for us, and in the church family. It has helped me to be more aware and therefore more excited than ever about being a part of it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book concerns itself with the way people in other countries see the church in the western world. We feel sorry for the plight of men and women in hard places as they suffer, but this quote really helps us to see that we are the ones for whom we need to feel sorry. The following quote comes from a man named Celestin who has been put in prison for his faith on more than one occasion. He has been beaten for his faith too, yet he feels for us. He says, “We see what you’re up against when you have medicine for the dandruff in your hair and for the fungus in your fingernails, it’s hard to believe that you need God on a daily basis. That’s a difficult thing to be up against.” What a statement!!  That kind of thought process is difficult to fathom from  someone with his background, but it’s so true.  We have to really work hard to break through all of the trappings of our society to just be able to see God for who He is.  God help us to be more kingdom minded. 

Whatever you have to do, get this book and read it. I am going to be studying in our Sunday Bible study with our adults at Creekside. It is a must read for all Christians.

Carnival Sunday

It seems impossible that a year has gone by since our last Carnival at Creekside, but it is so true.  Last Sunday we enjoyed a day of service to the community by having the 2007 Creekside Community Carnival.

We had a hay ride, horseback rides, games in several booths, free concessions with hot dogs, chips and dip, cotton candy, and drinks.  We had Water Wheel Homemade Ice Cream.  We had our huge obstacle course, and two smaller blow-up toys for toddlers.  We even had Maple Leaf the Clown who was awesome. 

God blessed us with beautiful warm weather.  We had, at best count from registration, nearly 500 people come through the day.  There was no admission, no cost for food or rides–it is all free to the community.  I heard comments like, “This is our fair each year” and “Thanks so much for having this free of charge.”  People simply can’t believe that there are no strings attached to such an event.  Some will even ask how such a small group of people can put on such a huge event.  The answer to that is that we don’t do it–God does.  We just simple let Him use us in this way.  That’s the way I want to end this blog–that is to say, “Thanks” to our heavenly Father who allows us to be His feet and hands in this world.