Saturday, October 12, 2013

So you guys think I look like this?

Michael Douglas in Falling Down

Some of my friends on Facebook think I kinda look like this guy, except without the broken glasses. I saw this movie (Falling Down) at the theater, and were you like me? Did you think it was going to be more of a comedy, based on the previews. I sure did. But it wasn't a comedy at all. It was pretty dark, in fact.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Billy Currington Vampire

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wow! You're better than Google

According to an article by Rob Waugh, columnist for the Daily Mail, “most children would prefer to ask Google if they have a question – not their parents.” The research indicates that 54 percent of children, ages 6 to 15, would turn to Google before their parents or teachers. Is it a sign of the times? Maybe so.

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6). It doesn’t say to turn your children over to the internet to gain wisdom and knowledge. Yes, Google has come into our lives, and in many ways, has enriched us. But there is nothing like face to face conversations for sharing life principles, knowledge, and wisdom.

I once received a text message from my son. He was on a mission trip to Oklahoma and wanted to know some Bible verses about worship and serving others. He needed them fast because he was asked to lead a devotional later that week. Well, being the caring dad I am, I texted him 5 or 6 Bible verses that speak to those subjects. Almost immediately, he texted back “Wow! You’re better than Google.” That made my day!

It turns out that Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1998, and the latest generation to enter the workplace, value mentorship. According to Judith Lindenberger, “they are 75 million strong in size and are characterized as being self-confident, focused on learning and moving up quickly, team-oriented, well networked, and technologically savvy.”

Millennials also love imparting their knowledge in a process called “reverse mentoring.” Lindenberger tells us that “the beauty of reverse mentoring comes from the fact that Millennials thrive on relationships. Powerful relationships are created when younger employers are engaged in teaching senior employees. Because Millennials love sharing their ideas and want to know that they are being heard, if you invite them to give you constructive feedback, you can gain a different perspective and help them learn leadership skills.”

Can the church learn something from this? I believe so. Our church has many in the older generation who could mentor young people. In turn, these same young people can share their knowledge. We’ve got to figure out ways to connect generations in our church. A lot of love, wisdom and knowledge can be mutually gained by all.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I was given an accordion today. Now what am I gonna do? New instrument to learn. Yeah!!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks vacation, part 1

Justin’s Graduation Trip

On July 4th, while a lot of people were sleeping late and going to parades, my family was flying out to California for a vacation at Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Leslie, Justin, his girlfriend Boni, Faith and I, flew out to Fresno, California. From there we rented a minivan and drove up to Yosemite National Park.

This vacation was for all of us, but it was also to celebrate Justin’s graduation from high school. We started thinking about this part of the country while watching Ken Burns’ highly acclaimed The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. It reminded us of the wonderful parks we’ve already visited, but made us want to visit more of these them, particularly Yosemite. And since Sequoia National Park was nearby, we decided to visit there too.

Yosemite National Park

Driving into Yosemite Valley for the first time reminded me of when I first saw the Grand Teton mountain range, as a child. Places like these with their panoramic vistas draw you in with their awesome beauty. When you see these places, particularly for the first time, you just want to stay awhile and take it all in.

While in Yosemite, we enjoyed visiting many of the park’s wonders, particularly the waterfalls. As I write this, I think about the drought we presently have in Texas. But the Yosemite waterfalls just kept gushing from all the snowmelt in the mountains above. Incidentally, we couldn’t have come to Yosemite at a better time because they had so much snow this past winter, which in turn, meant the falls had a higher volume of water.


Most of these beautiful places in Yosemite involved short walks to and from. But Justin and I actually hiked the 8.2 miles Panorama Trail from Glacier Point to the valley floor. Pictures cannot capture what we saw and experienced on that hike. We saw Half Dome, the park’s most imposing granite feature, from many angles, and visited two or three waterfalls from above.

All the jogging and bicycle riding I’ve done in the last several weeks didn’t fully prepare me for this strenuous hike. We were pretty sore for the next few days. In fact, I walked funny and at a slower pace than usual. But I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything!


Leslie and I rented bikes for a full day in Yosemite, which is a great way to see the valley. Their bike paths are some of the best I’ve seen in all the national parks we’ve visited. So if you visit the park, and you’re able to, I recommend renting one of these bikes because you can sometimes get to places faster than taking the park’s free shuttle service, with buses that fill up quickly with tourists.

Lee Stetson as John Muir

Later that evening we all enjoyed a live one-man play in Yosemite Theatre. It was Lee Stetson playing the part of naturalist John Muir (1838-1914). Through his writings, Muir did more to bring Yosemite and the entire Sierra Nevada range to the mind of the American public than just about anybody, with a view toward preserving these areas so that future generations could enjoy their natural beauty.
If you’ve seen the National Parks special I mentioned above, Lee Stetson was featured quite a bit when talking about the life of John Muir.

Park Ranger Shelton Johnson

Another person you see a lot in the special is National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. I knew for a fact that Shelton was a park ranger in Yosemite, so I spent 3 days asking other rangers if he was around. The first two days of our visit in the park, Shelton was finishing up a business trip to Alaska, but on this last day of our visit, he was there!

The day before meeting Shelton in person, I bought his first novel, Gloryland, which is about a buffalo soldier stationed at Yosemite in the early 1900s. As a matter of fact, Shelton’s passion is researching the role of buffalo soldiers in the national park system. Shelton, the park’s only African-American ranger, is for bringing more African-Americans to the National Parks, so they can experience the beauty and grandeur of these places. As it is, a very small percentage of them actually visit the parks at the present time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl canceled

Of course I'm just kidding and having a little fun here. The Superbowl is still on. :-) But thanks for clicking. Since you clicked here, here's a little look back at all the basic statistics of Super Bowl: The teams who've played in the Bowl, as well as the final scores. It's on the NFL website, and goes back to 1967, Super Bowl's first year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Even Gangsters are touched by nature's beautty

Yellowstone National Park. Justin was trying to secretly videotape this streetwise gang member from L.A. But then he got a little too close. The gang member asked him where the falls were. And the funny thing is that the gang member was standing right in front of them. When Justin pointed in the direction of the falls, the gang member turned around and looked, and dropped his jaw! He was so smitten by nature's beauty, he couldn't even pause to thank Justin. Instead, he just kept staring at the falls! What a moment! Glad Justin caught it on tape.