Saturday Table Talk

Our Table

To the right is a picture I just took of our kitchen table. I don’t know how your house works, but our kitchen table is a community gathering place. Yes, it’s a flat surface, so it’s likely to be the place where something is sat before it goes where it’s supposed to.

But on the other hand, it’s a place where we play games, do homework, study, read, assemble kitchen appliances, wrap gifts, organize bills, and occasionally eat.

I mean, just look at what’s on the table right now! There’s condiments, dog treats, butter, books, earbuds, coffee, a computer, sermon notes, and study notes for Haley’s upcoming research paper. This is not a table reserved for dinner and breakfast, alone.

Our Topics

But this morning was one of those times when discussion was the meal being served, and there was way more than one course. Even when we were eating breakfast – which was a combination of leftover nacho chicken casserole, eggs, cream of wheat, bacon, and biscuits with butter and jelly – we were entertained with helping after helping of good, old-fashioned, eye-to-eye conversation.

We didn’t even play with our smartphones!

Here are some of the things we discussed this morning, starting at around 9:30 and ending around 1 p.m.

  • Illegal immigration
  • The difference between legitimate and racist research questions
  • The income disparity between African/black male immigrants of any age group and that of a native-born Canadian males
  • Saint Patrick
  • The problems associated with critiquing the early Christians (such as St. Patrick) with 20/20 hindsight
  • Hispanic vs. Muslim immigration and the affect one’s worldview has on assimilation and the reporting of crime
  • Philippians 4:10-14 as a misapplied scripture
  • Homemade energy food
  • My wife’s last nerve

I’d say that was one the best breakfasts ever 🙂

We should do it more often.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 


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Filed under community, current events, Parenting, politics, Relationships and Family

Do You Write Good?

“Some people have a way with words; others have not way with the words.”

– A. Baker

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Filed under writing

She Was Stumped By Skulls Full of Underdeveloped Brain Matter

Where do I begin?

Let’s start with the facts at hand, shall we?

The Election

A special election for state senator was held in my home state of Tennessee, yesterday. In that election Gayle Jordan (D) was soundly defeated by Shane Reeves (R)… 13,139 to 5,179.

What made this election gain so much attention? What even led the great antagonist and atheist Richard Dawkins to chime in with insulting recollections of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Dayton, TN?

Gayle Jordan is an atheist, that’s why.

But Gayle Jordan (Democrat) is not just any atheist; she is the Executive Director of Recovering from Religion, a group dedicated to helping people transition from “faith to reason.”

(Sarcasm warning) Shame on those backward, hayseed, unenlightened, anti-reason, anti-freethought, banjo-playing hicks for electing a pro-life, heterosexual, Republican white male!

The Reasoning

Well, since it’s all about “reason,” let’s discuss the whole reason this story go my attention. What got me was the reason given for Gayle Jordan’s transition to becoming a “happy heathen.”

From her bio: “Gayle is a former Southern Baptist who left the faith 10 years ago when her then-teenagers began asking questions she could not answer.”

That’s the whole reason I decided to sit myself down in front of a keyboard this morning – she ditched her faith because she couldn’t answer her teenagers’ questions. She said it, not me.

So, let’s ponder that for a moment or two. She was a mother with teenagers, and just because they asked her some difficult questions about the Bible, faith, and religion (because it’s safe to assume they weren’t actually thinking original thoughts but were influenced by anti-religious evangelists such as Dr. Dawkins and others), she threw in the towel and completely changed her worldview?


Good thing that kind of radical shift doesn’t take place every time a young skull full of underdeveloped brain matter queries a quandary.

Teen: Mom, if a tree falls in the woods, but no one is around to hear it, will Al Gore still blame it on global warming?

Mom: Oh my gosh, dear! I don’t know! I guess I can no longer believe in forests.

Teen: Mom, who were the giants in Genesis 6:4? Were they aliens, angels, or mythical creatures covered in rock who helped build Noah’s ark?

Mom: You know, I have no idea, honey! That’s a really good question! I guess I’m gonna have to become a bona fide heathen and use my comfortable heels to crush the multiple pocket watches lying on the beach as I walk over them into oblivion.

But I guess I’m thinking too hard.


Filed under Christianity, current events, politics

Have You Done a Self-Examination?

A Doctor’s Instructions

I don’t want to get too TMI-ish, but as we get older the doctors say we should do more self-examinations. Have you ever been told this?

Doctor visits can be depressing 😉

You ladies are regularly told by your physicians to check for unusual or suspicious lumps in certain places. We men are told the same thing, just not as often (it’s not a subject we’re comfortable with).

But despite the awkwardness, all of us need to be reminded that it’s our responsibility to examine ourselves in between doctor visits. Fact is, embarrassing as it may be to discuss, a self-examination can mean the difference between life and death.

An Apostle’s Instructions

But as awkward as it is to discuss our bodies, the spiritual lives of people tend to be much more private and less likely to be examined. Yet, what does the Apostle Paul (a true Doctor of the Faith) recommend?

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? – 2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV)

Or, as another translation interprets it…

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (NLT)

Believe it or not, there are many, many people who think they are in perfect spiritual health, but in reality, they are terminal. Consider the following examples.

  • Bob goes to church every day the doors are open, including cleaning day.
  • Henry gives 20% of his income and 10% of his time to the church. If there’s a need, ask Henry.
  • Margaret goes to a fundamental church, uses the “right” translation of the Bible, and never wears anything but a long dress (except when she wears culottes to the beach).
  • Mary would never say a dirty word, tell an off-color joke, or even permit foul language in her presence.
  • Sharon put aside marriage and gave her life to helping orphans in the streets of Mumbai.
  • Frank and Karen have Bible studies in their home, take the kids to Sunday School, have gold crosses in every room, not to mention on their necks.
  • A rich young ruler has kept ALL the commandments (not just the big 10), even since he was a boy.

Are you like Bob or Mary? What about Sharon or Frank and Karen? Are the above people spiritually healthy, or could there be hidden cancer not yet removed?

Remember Ephesians 2:8-9? Works don’t save people; faith in Christ does. It’s not about the life you live; it’s Who’s life is in you.

My Advice

Look, I’m not an M.D. or an apostle, but if you’d like my advice, here’s what I have to offer.

  • Listen to your doctor and do what you need to – check for those lumps and things. Your life could depend on it.
  • Listen to the words of Paul and do a spiritual self-examination. Is your faith genuine?
  • Go to the top of this blog and click on the “Eternal Life” tab and consider what is written.

Don’t neglect the health of your body… or your soul.



Filed under Christianity, fitness, Life/Death, salvation

Things I Learned Before, During, and After My Daughter’s Surgery

The Surgery

This post was Katie-approved.

On Friday my middle daughter, Katie, underwent surgery to have her gallbladder removed. We appreciated all your prayers and well-wishes.

This morning (Saturday), as I sit here typing, Katie is across the room utilizing the recliner that was supposed to bring me joy and comfort after my rotator cuff surgery – it didn’t. I’m glad it’s helping her.

Hopefully and prayerfully…and please continue to pray for her…Katie will be up and going much better by tomorrow. However, I have my concerns.

Things I Learned

Katie is as unique as they come; there’s no one like her. She is uber sweet, persistently positive, the sunshine in a dark room, and the one person for whom saying “It’s my pleasure” when serving customers at Chick-fil-A is not good enough…she says, “It’s my sincerest pleasure!”

But Katie is also the least pain-tolerant person I know, and she hates needles with a passing-out passion. Therefore, anyone who gives her pain, or allows pain to persist, is likely to be served something other than chicken.

So, in bullet-pointed fashion, here are some things I learned on the way to the hospital, before Katie’s surgery, during Katie’s surgery, and after Katie’s surgery, including the first day of recovery.

On the way to the hospital…

  • Maintaining a positive attitude is a good thing.
  • Maintaining unrealistic expectations is a bad thing.
  • Doctors and hospitals are always running behind, so it’s no use stressing; you’re gonna be late to check in – laugh about it.
  • Make sure you bring a gender-appropriate bag in which you will be responsible for lugging around 25 pounds of clothing, books, snacks, and phone chargers while moving from room to room. A grown, masculine man can grow weary of “nice purse” comments when the virtual suitcase in which the items are packed is pink.

At the hospital…

  • If you’re going to make use of the free valet parking, make sure all your important items are secure or on your person before giving your keys to a guy with questionable hygiene.
  • It is possible for a nurse to think you’re a different patient, take you to the wrong room, prep you for a different surgery, all before asking if your name is the same as on the chart she’s looking at. Instead of having her gallbladder removed, Katie almost got a colonoscopy!


  • Pray a lot, then just trust God to handle everything.
  • Remember that sweet smile; it may be a while before it comes back.
  • Don’t say “goodbye” as they wheel you away to be cut on.
  • Boyfriends have a tendency to hog the visitation time.

During Surgery – the Waiting Time

  • Bring your own food to nibble on, or else take out a loan to eat.
  • One must take the initiative to make new pots of coffee in the waiting room – the staff doesn’t care to drink tar.
  • Taking a book to read is a great thing, but be prepared for distractions… like worthless morning shows blaring on the waiting-room television, or visitors who don’t understand that one of the reasons you went along with the whole surgery thing is that you knew it would give you a couple of hours to get some guilt-free reading done.
  • Hosptial Wi-Fi is crappy.

Post-Surgery Recovery

  • Those intolerant to pain are nearly impossible to comfort.
  • Uber-sweet, godly little girls who are intolerant to pain may surprise those in the room with their intimate knowledge of vulgarity.
  • Dad visitation privilages trump boyfriend visitation privileges.

First Day of Recovery

  • Calories don’t matter when making breakfast – at least for the ones NOT recovering.
  • Whiny, pain-intolerant people can get on your nerves, but you have to love them anyway – just keep giving them pain pills.
  • All it takes is one abdominal surgery to make an opinionated young woman reevaluate her beliefs on birth control and her desire to have children.
  • My first grandchild from Katie will probably be Chinese or Korean.

Again, thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. If nothing else, I learned a few things.


Filed under current events, General Observations, Humor, Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

It Only Happened Once

“Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once…and He volunteered.”


Filed under Christianity, grace

Prayer Request and Blog Suggestion

Good Friday morning, everyone! It’s a cold one here in Tennessee, let me tell you.

Anyway, I have two things I’d like to share with you if you have a second.

First, my daughter, Katie (age 22…she just had a birthday) is having gallbladder surgery today. It’s her first major surgery. I would appreciate your prayers, as I’m sure she would, too.

UPDATE: Katie is out of surgery and doing well 🙂

Second, I was glancing through some stuff this morning and came across a blog I’d never seen before. I don’t know anything about the author at this point, but if you’re a preacher or public speaker of any kind, what I read in a short time was impressive and beneficial.

It’s called BIGIDEASONLINE: Highlights From Today’s Preaching Posted Daily.  The actual web address shows a different type of title, but that’s what the blog page looks like. Check it out 🙂

But, speaking of preaching, I recently preached a sermon on biblical fasting. When you have a moment, why not take a listen and then share your own thoughts. I’d appreciate it.

God bless!


Filed under Bible Study, Preaching