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Showing posts from May, 2008

Attending Annual Conference this next week . . .

I will be out Sunday evening through Wednesday afternoon attending our yearly Annual Conference Session, this year in Ft. Worth. With the exception of atteding the Steve Illies memorial service on Monday morning, I will be participating in what for many years has been the least exciting / least enjoyable thing I do as a UMC pastor each year.

However, the past couple of years, I've taken a different approach. I am slowly coming to the point where I believe that there is no place for politics in the church.

Yeah, I know . . . call me naive!

There just has to be a better way . . . a more Christlike way to operate a regional church body . . . so instead of just complaining about things, or leaving the denomination, I decided a few years ago to work, in a way ruled by grace and not by politics, with others for some constructive change.

Last year . . . it was working to get some fresh faces elected to General and Jurisdictional Conference. Yeah, I know . . . election of delegates is pol…

It's a secret . . .

J.D. Lyle let me nose around in his shop while he was cleaning the fish we caught.

As a general rule, preachers who are ex-cops are naturally nosey . . .

And while nosing around . . . I stumbled upon the "secret weapon lure" for Lake Texoma.

Unfortunatley, I cannot tell you anything about it. As you can see, Thomas would have to kill you.

OK . . . a first ever . . . I hardly ever become insane before 10 AM. Today is a first!!!!!

The value of friendships . . .

John Mason writes, "Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights."

May I have the profound pleasure of introducing you to some of my "eagles."

In the picture from left to right . . .

Me, Ned O'Connor, Thomas Milyo, Jim Peterson, and Bob Campisi.

Looking at this picture . . . it dawns on me just how rich I truly am.

Life in itself is a great adventure. But true joy in life happens when you have others to share in the adventure with you.

A good part of my ministry in and through the church is to help men form great relationships with "eagles." There is a lot of God's creation to experience . . . and the discoveries we make are even more enjoyable when we discover them together with friends.

As John Mason writes, "If you were to list your greatest benefits, resources or strengths, you would find that…

Fishing pictures

Fishing Guide J.D. Lyle holds one of my fish for the camera.

Don't know why he is "snarling" . . . he is really a great guy.

His website is He is worth every penny you pay him for his services, and for the tip you will want to give him afterwards.

This guy is a class act.

Ever forward . . . ><>

P.S. - That's my new Tilley Hat. The chin strap looks dorky, but it never blew off my head.

1st Tilley Hat is sold . . .

My LTM6 Tilley hat has been sold.

Thanks for the inquiries. Maybe I should sell more stuff. I got more response from selling a Tilley Hat than I have ever had a response to anything I have blogged about, well, except for one of my first blogs about beef bar-b-que being better than pork bar-b-que.

Ever forward . . . ><>

My exuberance over silly stuff gets me in trouble . . .

May God and my friends forgive me . . .

I bought the wrong Tilley Hat. I know, I am going to hell.

I bought the LTM6 in a 7 5/8. It fits great.

Then I read the instruction booklet that comes with the hat. Yes, Tilley Hats comes with an instruction booklet, and an insurance policy against loss for the first two years you own the hat.

They believe in their product.

It seems, that for a Tilley Hat to fit correctly, it must fit loosely on your head. Gravity holds it on, or the adjustable chin strap that comes with the hat.

So, I am in Cabela's on Saturday, picking up a long sleeve fishing shirt to wear for a striper trip. And there, for the first time that I have ever seen them at Cabela's . . . was a display of Tilley Hats.

And there was a size 8 in a LT6. And it fit like heaven. Loose as the instructions implied it should.

I bought it. $65.00

Yes, I am insane.

However, I wore it today fishing all day on Lake Texoma, and it was the most comfortable hat I have ever worn. It…

An Evangelical Manifesto

Seems that on my birthday, May 7, 2008, over 75 evangelical / church leaders and laity published a document called "An Evangelical Manifesto."

Mark, Steve, Eric, Dale, Billy and other fellow "professional clergy" out there, and Linda and other laity . . . any comments or concerns after reading this?

I haven't quite gotten through my first full read of the document, but have done quite a bit of underlining. Before I started to read this, I had just finished a summary of General Conference . . . so the filter through which I read the Manifesto may have been slightly skewed.

Ever forward . . . ><>

My friend Jim sent me this . . .

My friend and fishing buddy, Jim Peterson, sent me the following. We are both at that age where we know that relationships with others are what truly make us rich, and help us to grow into who God wants us to be.

I believe my relationship over the years with my wife, daughters, relatives, Floyd, Joe and others have taught me that there is value in these statements.

If any of you who read this is aware of the author, then please let me know so I can give credit.

Comments? Let me know.

Ever forward . . . ><>

I believe - A birth certificate shows that we were born; a death certificate shows that we died; pictures show that we lived!

I believe - That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

I believe - That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I believe - That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt y…

1st Church Guitars report . . .

Eleven of us played this Sunday. Our rendition of "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again" was one of our best sounding efforts as guitarists and singing in harmony together. Seemed to be appreciated by those in attendance.

We will sing next on Sunday, June 22, at our opening session of evening VBS.

On Sunday, July 6th, we will be providing music during our July 4th celebration luncheon in the Family Life Center, which will follow the single worship service for that day which will be at 10:10 AM.

Ever forward . . . ><>

I've lost 50 pounds . . .

This morning I got on our scales . . . and once the scaled leveled . . . I saw that I have now lost 50 pounds total since Feb. 5th.

I am feeling pretty good this morning!

How much am I going to lose? Well the first goal is to see if I can lose enough weight so that I don't need to use a CPAP machine any more to sleep.

Then . . . there is that 4-day hike into the Grand Canyon I want to try.

Every forward . . . ><>

Brushed the dust off the ol' Cowboy hat . . .

I knew this morning it was going to be a really humid and muggy day, as we prepare for the prospect of even more spring Texas thunderstorms this evening and tomorrow.

So . . .

I wore a nice pair of Wrangler blue jeans today.

Wore one of my FUMC-Grapevine button up short-sleeve western shirts.

Wore my straw Cowboy hat. Since I've lost weight, it fits better than it has in years. Last time I wore it was a couple of years ago, when Thomas Milyo took me fly fishing (picture below/right in the links section).

I was really comfortable today. I think it showed in my speech and how I treated people. Humidity and weather didn't bother me at all.

Felt good to really be me today. Felt I needed to write about it.

Thank you, Lord. And thank you again, Barber Joe, for suggesting I need to wear a hat in the spring and summer.

Ever forward . . . ><>

Another "new favorite quote . . .

Home is where your heart is . . . but it is also where your story begins!

Now that is truly a profound quote. I am trying to find out who the author is in order to give proper credit. If you know . . . please send that info to me.

On our way home from an out-of-town trip this past week, my wife and I stopped in Temple, TX where we met my Mom for dinner. As luck would have it, my aunt and uncle, who live in the same town as my Mom, showed up as well to the restaurant.

I waved them over . . . and we had a grand ol' "family reunion" and catch up time.

My aunt and uncle are very dear to me. He is a "retired" Baptist preacher, church planter, and church stewardship consultant. Yet, in his late 70's, he is still preaching most Sundays, and helping several churches and colleges with fund-raising programs She is a "retired" high school English teacher, in her mid-70's, who serves as a mentor each semester to education majors and student teachers who at…

Barber's advice and my new Tilley hat . . .

Last Tuesday, I got a haircut. I've written before about the barbershop I frequent. It is my "man-cave." An "estrogen-free-zone."

All the of guys who work there are great barbers, but lately I've been asking Joe, the owner, to cut my hair.

I like Joe. He is a wonderful conversationalist, and he knows a lot about many of the guys who come through his shop . . . either for haircuts, coffee, or just to shoot-the-breeze. I've heard him give guys advice . . . I've seen him follow guys out to their cars, put his arm around them . . . giving them a word of encouragement.

I guess Joe, in some aspect, is a pastor like me . . . except his "church building" is a little barber shop on Glade Road in Grapevine, just off Hwy 121.

After my haircut, Joes says to me . . . "I need you to listen to your barber for a moment."

Hmmm, that didn't sound like a barber . . . it sounded more like a Dad . . . or a good friend!

"Rick . . . you need to star…

1st Church Guitars in worship this Sunday . . .

1st Church Guitars will perform in the 8:50, 10:10 and 11:15 AM services on Mother's Day this Sunday, May 11th.

We will also play before and after several of the services out in the foyer area.

If you like how we sound . . . then please offer us a smile and let us know!

Ever forward . . . ><>