Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lunch At Wendy's

I eat lunch at Wendy's maybe twice a year.....maybe

Today, for reasons that are not important, I had a window of time open and the closest eating establishment was Wendy's.

The very kind and personable gentleman that took my order kept calling me "my brother" at the end of every sentence. He was having a great time, and I appreciated his enthusiasm.

I took my food, sat down to eat in the almost empty restaurant (it was 1:30pm), and in a few minutes the most interesting of things happened.

That same jovial gentleman, began cleaning off the other tables, and then as he a walked around the room, he began singing at the top of his lungs to the song being piped into the ceiling speakers of this fast food place. The song was non other than the classic Frankie Valli - "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You".

This guy was amazing - I don't know if I was so stunned to hear and see him doing this, that I could not compose myself to ask him to come join my choir, but I sure should have! He was great, and it made my what would have been extremely boring lunch at Wendy's oh so more memorable.......

Singing is SO good for the soul.........

And finally, for some "who cares" bits of information - Wendy’s International, Inc. today announced the completion of its previously announced sale of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill for approximately $31 million. Baja Fresh operates about 300 restaurants in the United States. The purchaser of Baja Fresh is a West Coast restaurant operating company owned by a consortium of investment groups led by David Kim. Mr. Kim and his team own or operate several restaurant concepts, including Sweet Factory, Cinnabon and Denny’s.

Happy 17th Birthday, Matt

It does seem like only yesterday that Matt and Martin (his neighbor buddy and friend for 16 years) enjoyed this Christmas present together - man, did they wear out the pavement in our cul-de-sac.

Now, he's taller and heavier and stronger than many adults. The photo (above right) shows Matt with his beautiful friend, Jessica at Seth's wedding.
He told me this morning that now that he is 17, he gets to stay out later. We'll see about that!

I keep reminding myself that God has entrusted to me and to Karla these three young men. They are on loan from Him. We are simply stewards with His gifts. They do indeed belong to Him, and we are very, very grateful for the time we have with them - the life experiences we have with them.

If you read this, and you don't have kids, please feel free to adopt ours whenever you want to - share in their joy and in their growing. I love it that our family and friends consider our boys "their boys" - that is the way I believe God intended it to be.

If you have small kids, this post is yet another reminder that they do indeed grow up way too fast before your very eyes.

So, Happy 17th Matt - even though I can no longer compete with you in one-on-one (without wearing boxing gloves to make it even close to fair), I am still older and wiser, and I am your Dad and last time I checked, the Bible still said to honor your father and your mother!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lethal Lefties or "It Really Is Basketball Season"!

A person should never have to sit through (3) basketball games in an afternoon and evening, but such is the case with high school basketball.

It IS that season again, and I am beginning to get pretty excited about it.

Tonight, we watched our team completely dominate our opponent on their home floor - that is always fun and impressive.

This photo is a favorite because I so love these three guys!

(left to right) - Ryan (senior), Gabe (senior), and Matt (junior).

Ryan and Gabe are two of the most lethal left-handed high school 3-point shooters I have ever witnessed. Matt is one of (4) juniors just trying hard to contribute to a team that is rich in senior leadership, strong in junior representation, and blessed with one of the most amazing sophomore classes EVER in the history of Franklin High School basketball!

I took this photo this summer when we were all in Orlando, FL for the AAU National Tournament........what an experience for our guys!

If you ever get the opportunity to come to a Franklin High School basketball game, I promise you you will not be disappointed! This team is fun to watch, and oh so deep with talent!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

52 Sundays A Year

It seems to always happen to me.

I take a week off from standing in front of the people I have led in worship now for some 13 years, and things are so much more real when I return.

Today, I watched people's faces like I always do. On the one hand, you can tell alot from watching people's faces - on the other hand, don't trust what you see.

Through the years, I have been blessed to have the extraordinary privilege of knowing some really incredible people - people who are so amazing - not just what they do, but who they are.

One of those people is Andy Stanley. Some other time, I will blog about how we met, but for now, I want to write words he has written because they so much articulate what I feel EVERYTIME I stand before the people of my church and lead them in worship.

These are very real observations, and very sobering at the same time.........please ponder as I ponder......and it makes me wonder what is really going on in the lives of those who occupy space in the pews each week........

"Every single person who sits politely and listens to you on Sunday is one decision away from moral, financial, and marital ruin. Every one of 'em. Many are considering options with consequences that will follow them the remainder of their lives.

There are husbands teetering on the brink of unfaithfulness. Wives whose schedules are un-sustainable. Couples who are drowning in a sea of debt. Teenagers who are there because their parents forced them to come. Young men who have been told they are gay. Young ladies who have been told their worth goes no further than their physical beauty.

There they sit. Silent. Waiting. Hoping. Doubting. Anticipating. What are we going to do?
What are you going to do? What are you going to say?

This is the world we have been called to address. These are the issues we have been called to confront. There is much at stake. There are many at risk."

Friday, November 17, 2006

My How Time Flies

I really was minding my own business.

I really was driving the speed limit.

It really was my favorite car, and I still miss it.

An innocent Saturday morning returning from an early morning meeting at church resulted in some fairly significant changes for the next six weeks of the end of my 1999.

I don't wish this on anyone, and I know many have been involved in automobile accidents with so much worse results. I can't imagine some of them.

I only know that (7) years ago on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, my life changed.

I still feel sorry for the poor girl who was late for work that morning. It had rained, and the streets were more slick than she realized, and that "dead man's curve" on Berry's Chapel was not kind to her.
I will always remember that violent collision - if you have ever been in any kind of automobile accident, you know what I am talking about. It is simply horrible, and to this day I am cautious to drive anywhere near the center line on any road.

So, as I approach my 7th anniversary of losing my beautiful 1989 Nissan Maxima, I am grateful that is the only thing I lost in this experience.......besides not being able to do my "job" at the most crucial time of the year - Christmas....... (thank you Vicki, Karla, and Barry!)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Who Are You And What Have You Done With Ben?

I am still in shock!

My son got a haircut.......after two years of quite a head of hair!

(there is a full trash can at Great Clips next to Publix)

Loved the hair, Ben, but sure is nice to see that incredible face - thank God he got it from his Mom!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Toby Keith - Ford F-150 Truck - NPR

One of the first things you hear when you move to Nashville - especially if you happen to work in the music business - is everyone knows everyone. It really is a very small community of folk who pretty much know each other. If you don't know "everyone", then you at least know someone who knows someone.

A few years ago, Karla and I went next door to our neighbor's home to join in a small party (more of a celebration) for their daughter who was graduating from high school. There were several folks there that we knew, and others who looked familiar to us. One of those people who looked familiar to me came up to me (later in the evening) and said, "I think we know each other, my name is Phil Madeira." I did in fact know and remember Phil - one of Nashville's finest session musicians, and a pretty great songwriter himself. I asked him what he was working on, and he said he had just written a song that was going to be on Toby Keith's next CD. He then started telling me all about the song (this is why I LOVE Nashville). I love hearing songwriters tell their stories about their songs. The most interesting thing about this song was it's title - "If I Was Jesus". After I initially got over the shock of Toby Keith singing a song about Jesus, I was thrilled for Phil since that particular cut assured him of some fairly decent income for sure.

Of course, as soon as that particular Toby Keith CD was released, I went out and bought it. To say I caught grief from my sons for buying a Toby Keith CD would be an understatement.

That whole story came back to me a couple of weekends ago when I was home sick, and watched a stupid amount of TV, and guess what commercial I saw over and over and over again - yes - Toby Keith promoting Ford Trucks. Well, for those of you who don't already know - I have a new (new for me - it's a 2003) Ford F-150 Truck. I love it.

I am sure that by now you have concluded that I must keep that Toby Keith CD in the center console of my truck, but actually I don't. I just might be the only person in Nashville who drives a truck, and the music that you will hear (more often than not) coming from my cab will be the music played on our local NPR station.

Go figure - a guy listening to classical music in his Ford F-150........

Sorry Toby.........