Tag Archives: Children and Youth

Year-End Wisdom from the School Bus

Looking back over older (vintage; gently-read) posts, I found this gem from December 2012. You know, from back in my bus-driving days (and before I wrote my book). 


Life Lessons

If you are new to my blog, besides trying to pastor a church, parent children, and perturb a wife, I drive a school bus. It’s what I do to help pay the bills and increase my presence in the community.

photo (41)A while back I wrote a series of posts called “Life Lessons from the School Bus.” I haven’t done any in a while, however. So, since school is now out for Christmas vacation, I thought it would be a good time to catch up.

Below are three, short examples of truth gleaned from inside the “yellow box” on wheels. If you like these, you should go read some of my older posts. You won’t be disappointed.

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” – Proverbs 3:13-15 NKJV

The Roundabout

Europe came to Chattanooga a few years ago in the form of roundabouts. They are only in a few places, but people are getting used to them, especially the NASCAR fans – they love driving in circles.

Anyway, last week I came to a roundabout in my bus. About a quarter of the way through, a girl in a little car came from the street to my right and pulled directly in front of me, causing me to slam on my brakes. “Oops!” was the look that came across her face. “Idiot!” must have been the look on mine.

Life Lesson? Are school buses invisible? No, and neither are many of the tragedies that run over people every day. People get so distracted with life that they never see the things approaching which could take life from them.

Losing Marbles

There’s this one little girl on my bus that cries over the least little things, like when she doesn’t get her way. One time she was crying about how everybody hated her. Then, just as she was stepping off the bus, another little boy looked back at her and said, “Nobody hates you, [name]; we just don’t like you.”

Well, that afternoon, when the elementary kids were getting on the bus to go home, this little girl got on first and sat on the front row. “Would you like a marble, Mr. Baker?” she asked. “No,” I said, “I have plenty.” “What kind do you have?” she asked. “The round kind,” I replied.

Then, as every child getting on the bus walked past her she would say, “Would you like a marble? You can have it for keeps. Everyone! Get your free marble, if you want one!

I asked, “What are you doing? Why are you giving away your marbles?” She said, “Because I am going to make them like me.

Life Lesson? Believe it or not, many adults do the same thing. They treat others poorly, then try to buy their friendship with shiny trinkets. Sadly, when all is said and done, the marbles just end up on the floor when the “friends” leave.

Puke Breeds Puke

It’s the last thing a bus driver wants to deal with, but puke happens.

Recently a driver in our area suffered a puking “perfect storm.” One child on his bus got sick and orally relieved himself, which started a chain reaction. I’ll never forget the driver’s words over the two-way radio, “It’s everywhere…all over…the bus is covered.”

You see, there is an irrefutable law on school buses: puke runs downhill (or down aisles). So, when one kid started throwing up, six or seven others followed his example, leaving the bus to be washed out with a water hose.

Life lesson? Watch your mouth – and what you spew out of it. The way you talk will influence others. Bad attitudes breed more bad attitudes, and what you end up with is a nasty mess.

 Want to be a school bus driver? Doesn’t pay a lot, but the lessons learned are worth a fortune!


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Filed under America, Christian Maturity, General Observations, Uncategorized, wisdom

Scrutinizing the Meatball Story


The way this post came about is simple: it’s my daughter Haley’s birthday. How is that relevant? Well, there’s a classic Italian restaurant in our town called Provino’s where you can eat free on your birthday (with proof, of course).


Image Credit: Provino’s

Thinking of Italian food, my wife started in with an old, familiar children’s song, “On Top of Spaghetti.” It only took a couple of lines before Haley, little Miss Observant, started picking apart the whole meatball-getting-blown-off-with-a-sneeze thing.

I had to join in.


The following observations and questions submitted, had they been used shortly after the incident, would have proven early on that the whole meatball story was a fabrication – a lie.

It is our contention that “On Top of Spaghetti” has been used as a pattern by children seeking to fabricate their own explanations for why food disappears from the table and ends up either on the floor, eaten by the family pet, or outside under a bush.

Please accept the following for consideration:

1. Who sneezed? Who is this “somebody”? Were they ever held accountable for contaminating a person’s meal?

2. How old was the person eating spaghetti and meatballs? Does the song encourage young children to consume choking hazards? Should it be banned from pre-schools?

3. How hard does a person have to sneeze in order to blow a meatball off it’s cheese-covered perch? Even more, what nasal velocity would be required to dislodge a meatball from it’s settled location with enough force to cause it to roll off the table and onto the floor? The blast required from the sneezer must have been severely traumatic due to the air pressure that must have been required to remove a meatball from its resting place. Was any medical attention needed?

4. If the meatball in question was subjected to enough force to blow it from the table, onto the floor, out of the door, and out into the yard, wouldn’t the rest of the spaghetti have been disturbed? Why no mention of that?

5. The song describes the meatball rolling off the table, hitting the floor, then rolling out the door. It would seem that…

a) Since the meatball in question was admittedly covered with “sauce,” the sauce would have caused considerable resistance, thereby increasing the wind speed necessary to propel the meatball.

b) It is nearly impossible to imagine how a meatball being propelled by a blast of wind could have “rolled” and fallen to the floor, after which it is said to have continued to roll, without first becoming air-born.

6. Was the person eating spaghetti living in the United States? If so, was he/she living in a barn? Why was the front door open? Someone must have never heard about flies.

7. Before the meatball in question ended up under some kind of bush, it is said to first have rolled through some kind of garden. What kind of garden? Were there no other plants which could have impeded the meatball’s rolling progression? Again, what kind of propulsion would have been necessary for this to happen?

8. It is said that by the time the meatball came to rest under a shrubbery, it was “nothing but mush.” It would seem, then, that the collision with the bush must have cause the damage; “mush” does not roll.

9 . According to testimony, the “mush was so tasty, as tasty could be…” So, was the meatball disturbed after coming to rest? Was it tasted after rolling into the garden? Was it the meatball or accumulated fertilizer that was so tasty?

10. Lastly, it is said that the tasty, meaty projectile grew into a meatball tree (each meatball covered in sauce) in less than a year. This is questionable because,

a) Seeds never grow into fruit-producing trees in less than a year.

b) Sauce is a condiment, not integral with the meatball itself.


It is clear to my 14 year-old daughter and myself that the person who lost his/her “poor meatball” is attempting to cover up a crime. The explanation given for the missing meatball is too incredible to believe, and therefore must be the result of a spur-of-the-moment, child-like fanciful attempt to disguise the willful hurling of a meat product as an accident, thereby attempting to lay the blame on someone who sneezed.

Happy birthday, Haley! Keep thinking things through!

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. … The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. – Proverbs 14:5, 15

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Filed under Food, General Observations, Humor, Parenting, Relationships and Family, wisdom

Other Reasons to be Thankful

Normal Reasons

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, including all my friends and blog subscribers all over the world! For even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday, we all have reason to be thankful. After all, for most of us, things could be worse.

I am not going to go into detail and recount the history of the Pilgrims or the reasoning of George Washington’s proclamation. I am not going to talk turkey, Indians, or Sacajawea, either. If you want to read about all of those things, including the godly, religious heritage of our nation that the atheists and humanists are trying to sponge away, then take the time to visit other blogs which are carrying the torch of freedom.

Essentially, everyone should be thankful to God for his grace and mercy, no matter the country in which they live. Americans should be grateful for the rare freedoms we still have, despite the current administration’s attempt to presidentially-mandate them away. And on top of that, each of us should be thankful for health, shelter, food, and any family or friends we have.

But there are other reasons to be thankful…reasons you may have never thought of. Let me give you a few.

Other Reasons

DSC_0543First of all, you all should be thankful you don’t have to dress up like an elf in order to pose for Christmas card pictures for your oldest daughter. As you can see, even though Lily and Henry are the cutest grand-dogs any man could have, there is a slight sense of humiliation being experienced by all.

Secondly, you could be thankful you are not a dog, especially a dog that is forced to dress up like a little Santa Clause.

Third, you should be thankful you do not have green hair. Even though my little dogs know me, and even though Lily and Henry like me, they don’t like men in green wigs.

Fourth, be thankful you are not an elf. Their big, pointy ears are hot, and the bells they wear can be distracting while preaching on Sunday.

Other Reasons (cont.)

If you don’t have any other reasons to be thankful on this day, then at least be thankful for the following:

  • You don’t have to worry about being chased by dinosaurs, vampires, or creatures from the Black Lagoon (except in Wal-Mart).
  • Sharks are rarely found in swimming pools.
  • Miley Cyrus is not dating your son (and that you didn’t throw out your hip when you tried to “twerk” in the privacy of your own home).
  • Your eye doctor, dentist, etc. is not a unicorn.
  • You don’t taste with your hands (but you could tell who didn’t wash after going to the restroom).
  • You didn’t vote for “change.”
  • You are not a turkey or a cranberry.

Seriously, though

“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” – Psalms 105:1

“Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalms 106:1

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Filed under America, animals, Christmas, Food, General Observations, Humor, Relationships and Family

The Season Begins

So, Thanksgiving is behind us. All the cooking and Pilgrim costumes are a thing of the past. Of course, there are still plenty of leftovers to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late visitors, desert, bedtime snacks, brunch, and dog treats.

Now, all we have to do is look forward to the holiday renowned for peace (clearing throat in a sarcastic way).

Black Friday

For the first time ever, I actually went shopping in the early-morning hours of Black Friday. I could not convince my wife to stay in bed until the crowds were finished assaulting each other after waiting hours in the cold for the stores to open. No, we had to get up and stand in line for something they had only 50 of, even though we were 150th in line.

Eventually, after whining enough, my wife agrees to drag us to the mall. There, the stores had already been open since 4am, so the stampedes were essentially over. Everyone had a pleasant, cheerful attitude. The rest were already being booked at the county jail.

I have an idea for next year. We need to go stand in line where the first 50 customers get a new iPad3 for $25 and do some witnessing. I bet if we do our best Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron impressions for a few hours, we’d either have a whole new congregation of believers, or we would be martyred for our faith. If not that, we would be sure to move up in line.

Recording Friday

I heard on the news that yesterday actually set some records. How ironic is that? I made a record (well, I recorded something).

Yesterday, my daughter and I recorded a radio program to be broadcast this Sunday. It was unusual to have my daughter, Katie, on the program, since it is usually a time for me to preach. Nevertheless, it was pretty cool to interview her and talk about what God had showed her in His word.

While we were in the recording mood, Katie wanted to record a song. Actually, it was a medley – “This is My Father’s World / What a Wonderful World.” I am including it in today’s post. Hope you enjoy it.

This Is My Father’s World Medley



Filed under God, ministry, Relationships and Family, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, Witnessing, worship

Oh, How They Grow Up!

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope everyone has a wonderful day with family and friends, just don’t eat more than a third world country produces in a given year.

Today I just wanted to share a video made last night. My wife filmed my daughter and me playing guitar.

Katie is only 15, but she is growing up so fast. It was only a few months ago that she picked up a guitar and decided to play. She wanted me to teach her, but I never did…she just decided to learn without me. So, like many other things in life, I missed an irreplaceable opportunity. Thankfully, I haven’t missed everything.

The song that she sings in this video is one she sang to a sound track at church. Then, on a whim, she decided to try to play it on the piano. When she did that, she decided to pick up a guitar and learn the chords. That’s all it took.

If I had nothing else to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, I could be thankful that God has given me the opportunity to bring up some girls that love the Lord and want to praise Him.

Just one last thing…guys, the answer is “NO.” I don’t really care what the question is. Wait till you have a job, a college education, and a reputation for serving God, then we may talk… I said “may.”

Yeah, I’m her dad.


Filed under Relationships and Family, worship

Monday Monkey is Thankful (Episode 4)

We, Mr. Monkey and I, wish you a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, if you are from another country, then have Turkey and dressing, anyway.

I am looking forward to spending some leisurely time with my family doing absolutely nothing for a few days…RIIIIIIIGGHHHT!

I wish we could go to Hawaii or Disney World for this holiday, but it looks like it’ll be good-ole Tennessee turkey, instead. Maybe next year.

Enjoy this episode, if not for the humor, then for the excellent soundtrack!

Monday Monkey is Thankful

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Filed under Humor, Monday Monkey, Thanksgiving