Tag Archives: Kentucky

First Day, Old Lesson

Today is the first day of school in Chattanooga, so back to the school bus I go. Therefore, in honor of all those who get behind the wheel of the big yellow machines, the following is a short adaptation from my little book, Life Lessons from the School Bus.


Crazy Obstacles

Back when I first trained to drive a school bus, all drivers were required to complete an obstacle course. I don’t know what they do these days, but one obstacle that I had to overcome it worth remembering – the tennis ball row.

The obstacle course was tough enough, but one test that we had to go through seemed totally off the wall. It was the last test, the last trial, the last obstacle of the day. All one had to do was drive a school bus across a parking lot, but without touching any tennis balls. What’s the catch?

The right side of the bus, front tire and rear tires, was to go between two rows of tennis balls, the spacing of which only left 2 inches of clearance. In other words, you only had at most 2 inches on either side of the widest part of the back tires. Touch a tennis ball and you have to start over. Go over the tennis balls – you fail.

Really, I could see how this exercise taught precision driving skills, but what was the point. When on earth was I supposed to encounter a bunch of yellow balls on the highway? Little did I know, a day would come when I would see first-hand the purpose for this lesson.

The Real Test

A few months into my driving career, I was asked to fill in on a route in the county. The route I was put on took me way out into farm country…tobacco country. After picking up a few kids, my directions led me down a gravel road, way out amidst acres of Kentucky no-man’s land. It wasn’t too long until I came upon a creek. The only way to get across the creek was to drive my 15 ton bus over a homemade, log and plank bridge.

You have GOT to be kidding me!” was the first words out of my mouth.

“No, this is the way we always go,” said the boy noticing the terror in my face.

Trembling in my driver’s seat, my muscles hardly willing to obey my brain’s idiotic commands, I slowly began my crossing. Middle of the way through, as the bus was slightly rocking back and forth, I could see that my tires were barely on the wooden planks that lay across the logs. Then it hit me – “That’s why they had us drive through those tennis balls!

The next thought that came into my mind was, “If they had told me what they were training me for, I would have found another job.”

Life Lesson

The reason for the lesson may not be obvious until the need for application.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” -James 1:3-4

Sometimes we are called by God to go through tests and trials which we don’t understand. What we need to realize is that God knows what is ahead of us, what bridges we may have to cross.

Let Him do what He must to train you for the road ahead. You may be the one responsible for carrying someone over to the other side.

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Friday Followup (Books, Burgoo, and Balls)

I Missed Thursday

I known it’s not a have to, a must, a requirement, or any such thing, but I have been enjoying writing about various topics on Thursdays. So, since I missed doing it yesterday, I will throw out a few quick thoughts for Friday – that’s today.

  • Proverbial Thought in print. Believe it or not, it looks like I, along with several others, are going to become published authors. Yes, Proverbial Thought (my other blog), the on-line daily devotional through the book of Proverbs, will soon be in print. But don’t think that the printed version will be exactly like the one on the web, no no no! There will be some new and revised content.
  • date with haley

    Picking up my “date” for the ball. A word to the wise – I’m armed – and so is she.

    Father/Daughter Purity Ball. Last week I took my youngest daughter, Haley, to a father/daughter purity ball in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. It was sponsored by a pro-life ministry called Alpha Alternative. It was the only time of the year where I will begrudgingly dance in public, but it was worth it to encourage my daughter to save herself until marriage. And if you want to argue against that, then you might be part of the problem.

  • Burgoo. It’s a Kentucky thing. It’s like Brunswick stew, but not. I brought some back to Chattanooga and let our youth pastor try it. He said, “It tastes sorta like a barbecue soup or stew, doesn’t it?” Yeah, I guess you could say that. But it’s definitely worth a drive to Hopkinsville.
  • photo (3)School Bus stop signs. Folks, if you see a flashing stop sign attached to a school bus, the law requires that you stop, and it doesn’t matter if you are on a two-lane road or six. You have no way of knowing in which direction a child might decide to run when he gets to the ground.

There you have it! There’s my thoughts for today. Just leave a nice comment below.

Remember…keep it nice.

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Monday Monkey (At the Ball) Episode 34

I Don’t Dance!

Well, at least that used to be the case. Now, after a trip to Kentucky, I can officially say that I have danced at a ball.

For the last two years my daughter, Katie, has been aggravating the snot out of me…”Daddy, are you going to take me to the Purity Ball this year?…Daddy, do you have the tickets?…Daddy, don’t forget the ball!…Daddy, I need a dress.

So, after a bunch of promises, we finally went to the Father/Daughter Purity Ball in Hopkinsville, KY. It was an event sponsored by Alpha Alternative, and the purpose was to promote the beauty of saving one’s self until marriage.

BUT, Mr. Monkey had to go, too.

Embarrassing Your Teenager

Let me tell you something, men. If you have a teenage daughter, it is imperative that you embarrass her in front of her friends at least once. It’s a law. Just be careful how you do it; you don’t want her to hate you.

You see, the trick to embarrassing your teenager without making her hate you is doing it in such a way that she knows you love her. You need to do display your pride in a crazy way that would, under any other circumstance, be considered insane.

As much as my daughter was embarrassed by a dad with a puppet on his arm, she was thrilled that I would put aside my own dignity and be a fool for her.

Loving Your Teenager

Men, let me add one more thing: if you don’t show your daughters how much you love them, there are plenty of scum buckets out there waiting to take your place. If you love your daughters, show it. Treat them like the princesses they are.

Monday Monkey (At the Ball)

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Life Lessons from the School Bus #10 (Tennis Balls)

Crazy Obstacles

Back when I first trained to drive a school bus, all drivers were required to complete an obstacle course. I don’t know what they do these days, but one obstacle that I had to overcome it worth remembering – the tennis ball row.

The obstacle course was tough enough, but one test that we had to go through seemed totally off the wall. It was the last test, the last trial, the last obstacle of the day. All one had to do was drive a school bus across a parking lot, but without touching any tennis balls. What’s the catch?

The right side of the bus, front tire and rear tires, was to go between two rows of tennis balls, the spacing of which only left 2 inches of clearance. In other words, you only had at most 2 inches on either side of the widest part of the back tires. Touch a tennis ball and you have to start over. Go over the tennis balls – you fail.

Really, I could see how this exercise taught precision driving skills, but what was the point. When on earth was I supposed to encounter a bunch of yellow balls on the highway? Little did I know, a day would come when I would see first-hand the purpose for this lesson.

The Real Test

A few months into my driving career, I was asked to fill in on a route in the county. The route I was put on took me way out into farm country…tobacco country. After picking up a few kids, my directions led me down a gravel road, way out amidst acres of Kentucky no-man’s land. It wasn’t too long until I came upon a creek. The only way to get across the creek was to drive my 15 ton bus over a homemade, log and plank bridge.

You have GOT to be kidding me!” was the first words out of my mouth.

“No, this is the way we always go,” said the boy noticing the terror in my face.

Trembling in my driver’s seat, my muscles hardly willing to obey my brain’s idiotic commands, I slowly began my crossing. Middle of the way through, as the bus was slightly rocking back and forth, I could see that my tires were barely on the wooden planks that lay across the logs. Then it hit me – “That’s why they had us drive through those tennis balls!

The next thought that came into my mind was, “If they had told me what they were training me for, I would have found another job.”

Life Lesson

The reason for the lesson may not be obvious until the need for application.

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” -James 1:3-4

Sometimes we are called by God to go through tests and trials which we don’t understand. What we need to realize is that God knows what is ahead of us, what bridges we may have to cross.

Let Him do what He must to train you for the road ahead. You may be the one responsible for carrying someone over to the other side.

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