Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 59- A Swing Around Thingie First

It has been a pretty full day.  Once again, not a lot of time for a "first."  I asked Hannah Grace and Joel for help.  I'm very glad they are always ready to help their Daddy with his "first."  That's one reason I wanted to do this. It has helped give me a reason to do new and fun things with them.

So, they have this toy that is a plastic circle that you put your foot inside. Then, it has a rope with a ball tied on the end of it.  You are to hook that circle around your ankle and swing it while jumping over the rope at the same time.  Joel and Hannah Grace said they would teach me how to do this.  They both showed me the basics and then demonstrated.  Looking at the pictures will give you a better idea of what we are doing.

 I immediately realized this is originally designed for smaller people because I have to take off my shoes to get the swingie thingie on my foot. I start out with great confidence thinking that I'm coordinated enough to do this. It looks kind of hard, but my coordination (as a teenager which is how I mistakenly tend to think of my athletic skills) has always been pretty decent.  I ask how many times I have to jump the silly thing to count as a "first."  One says 10 and the other says 20.  I go for 10 and they both decide it should be 20.  Barry does not commit to 20 thinking in the back of his mind if it gets too hard I can say I never said 20.  My mind tends to work that way.

As I start, I'm planning on knocking out 20 on the first try.  I truly think I have a shot at this.  The kids start counting and I make it to 10, then 15, and I miss on 17.  Rats!  There was a decent shot at knocking this baby out on the first try.  That would have been sweet not to mention a lot less tiring. The next try I made it to 13. The commentators begin to mutter about his age coming into play.  Then, on the third try, Barry jumps 58!  That's right sports fans, 58 on the  third try.

This is where I decide I need to get into better shape

Now Hannah Grace and Joel want to beat my record.  They try several times and do well. One scored 38 and one 56. However, the record still stands for the moment.  I have a pretty good idea my record will fall before the weekend is out. Will I try to beat their record when it does?  Hmm, I was pretty tired after 58.  They bounce back a lot quicker than I do.  I may just relish the fact that I had the record at one time.

Once again, this was fun to do with Hannah Grace and Joel.  They were pretty into it and it's something that I would not have done if I was not doing a year of "firsts."  I would have probably came inside and did some work or read.

As I thought about his, I thought about how doing things with others is a huge part of life.  In our life with Jesus, we need to include others.  I have benefited much from praying with others, sharing my faith with others, talking about Scripture with others, and ministering to the needy with others. I heard someone say once that Christianity is better caught than taught. If we just tell people to pray, share their faith, minister to the needy, etc. without ever including them when we do those things, they may be stunted in their Christian growth. Include people in your relationship with Jesus.  Let your children see you pray with people and love people in Jesus' name. The next time you read something that Paul wrote in the New Testament, notice how many times he mentions people with whom he had a relationship. In Acts, notice how often Paul is traveling with people. He hardly ever travels alone. Jesus spent most of his time with people; especially the 12.  As you enjoy the weekend, invite some people into your life with Christ.

Glad the abundant life includes others


3 things I thank God for today
1. I can jump
2. Clean socks
3. Stars

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 58- A Spelling First

Today I woke up and thought that I had never had a massage two days in a row. What a great "first" that would be (see yesterday if this doesn't seems really random).

That probably seems like cheating to some. It sounds great to me. I chose not to do that for my "first." It's been a full day with not a lot of time for a "first." I asked Hannah Grace for some help.  What we came up with together is that I would study for a spelling test.  It's been more than 20 years and so that constitutes a "first."  I studied spelling words for my "first" today.

Since Laura and I have been out of town, I've not been calling Hannah Grace's words out to her this week.  So, she called her words out to me.  She's in the 6th grade.  She was the teacher and I was the student tonight.  She called out the hardest words first.  She really wanted to get Daddy to miss one.

My beautiful teacher

Looking all professional

Wouldn't you like to have her for a teacher?

Ready for my test

Can I use spell check?

It turns out that I may not be smarter than a 5th grader, but I can do pretty well on a 6th grade spelling test.  My teacher gave me a 100.  The words were not too hard.  I had words like partnership, membership, cooperitive, and restrictive.  It was a bit surprising that it was harder than I thought spelling the words out loud. I'm not used to doing that.  I spell words pretty good when I'm writing and typing (especially with spell check).  Spelling words out loud is just not something I have a reason to do.  The brain was just a tad bit rusty with that process, but managed to get them all right.  By the way, I did misspell cooperative earlier in the post just to see if you would get it.

Hannah Grace and I had fun doing this together.  Actually, playing the Wii was more fun, but this was fun, too. I was reminded that if I don't do something occasionally, it gets harder.  My brain does get a bit rusty if I don't use it in a certain way.  I believe this is one reason why Romans 12:2 is so important. That verse says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

So much of what I see and hear in the contemporary media is not from a Biblical worldview.  Even shows or music that does not contain curse words or sexually explicit words still will often present life from a very non-Christian perspective.  When is the last time you saw a show where a couple fell in love and did not have sex until after they were married?  When is the last time you heard a secular song that glorified integrity? When is the last time you saw a show where people prayed about a decision they were about to make?  I need to read, study, hear, memorize, and obey God's word as a way of renewing my mind.  I'm finding that if I'll memorize a verse or two a week it really helps.  I can go over my verse when I first wake up and when I'm going to sleep at night. When I'm driving to town, instead of just letting my mind drift it's much more beneficial to go over my verse.  Sometimes in a day I recognize that my thoughts are tending toward the negative and I can start working on my verse and thinking about what God is saying to me through that verse.  It's been very helpful for me to renew my mind this way.  I invite you to start soaking your mind in God's word.

Meditating on Scripture for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. My theology teacher Fischer Humphries
2. Campus Crusade for Christ
3. Morgan Cryar giving me a Bible just like I wanted when I was praying for one in college

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 57- A Relaxing First

Today marks 14 years of marital bliss with my lovely bride. I am married to a beautiful, godly, smart, and thoughtful lady.  When I started thinking out loud about a "first" for today Laura says, "Why don't you go get a massage?" Now, that is one thoughtful and smart lady.  I would have felt terrible about turning down her suggestion.  So, I got a massage for a "first" today.

I had to decide where to get a massage.  Out with the computer and Internet and I start calling to see who has an opening today.  The second place I call has the perfect time for me and they are not far from where I am.  I can see God all over this idea. I show up and they show me to a room.  The nice lady shows me a table to lay down on and the massage starts. She asks me if there is something specific I would like her to work on.  I tell her that my neck and upper back tends to carry tension.  As she (yes, a she; I can't see me relaxing with some dude rubbing my back) is rubbing my back she says she feels knots in it.  Really?  I have knots in my back?  What is tied in a knot and how did it get that way? Is it a muscle or a tendon?  Can I do something to prevent this?  These are questions I thought of later; at the time I was trying hard not to drool. She worked on my neck and shoulders the most. I think at one point she had her elbow in my back.  I did not know that would feel good, but it sure did.  When she finished with my neck and back, she then massaged my hands.  I had no idea that would feel good, but it did.

Building where the massage place was

After the massage, I was feeling pretty relaxed.  I got the 30 minute deal and the lady said I could really benefit from a 60 minute massage next time.  She could be a prophetess because I believe there is some truth to that statement. She told me to drink a lot of water during the rest of the day.  This is definitely a "first" that I would be willing to try again.  Laura asked me if I enjoyed it.  Yes mam, I did!

Me driving home after the massage

One of the silly things I did during the massage was think about how much time had gone by and how much I had left. She would stop and start in a different area and I would think, "Is it almost over?" or "How much time is left?"  That's pretty goofy. I'm getting a massage to relax and then I'm kind of stressing over how much longer it's going to last. I did not do that much, but I did a minute or two.  I did not want it to end.  I can do that in life sometimes. If I worry about what's coming next (hour, day, or week), it robs me of the joy of the present moment. I've wasted way too much time in my life doing just that. It takes concentration and engagement to stay in fully present in the present. Otherwise, I'll waste my life by either living in the past or the future. Bil Keane said, "Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."

I've heard people say that nothing good lasts forever. The massage ended way too soon, but there are some good things that last forever.  Here are a few things that are really good that last forever.

  • Heaven
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Praise
  • Godly friendships
  • Jesus
Looking at that list, it occurs to me that maybe only the best things last forever for those who belong to Christ.

Glad the abundant life lasts forever


3 things I thank God for today
1. 14 wonderful years that I have had the privilege to be Laura's husband
2. Jeremiah 33:3-Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
3. Massage therapists


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Day 56- A Dolphin First

Laura and I are in Destin celebrating our anniversary.  I really appreciate how she is helping me come up with ideas for "firsts."  She is such an encouraging wife.

Today she suggested that we could go on one of those boats looking for dolphins. That's what I did for my "first" today.  We went on a "looking for dolphins" boat. It was quite the fun expedition.  The crew of the boat was very friendly.  It was a gorgeous day.  Laura was grinning and bouncing around and saying how much fun it was.  Yay for today's first.

Guess who the beautiful lady running around getting the best pictures is?

The boat captain took us out for about an hour and a half.  The water and beaches are beautiful.  We drove around in the harbor for a bit. Looking into the water, I was really glad I was in the boat because there were a lot of jellyfish in the harbor.  Then, he took us out into the Gulf for a bit.  The boat was a glass bottom boat.  Technically, I think it would be more correct to say it has a couple of sections of glass in the bottom of the boat.  I went down there for a few minutes. It looked pretty cool.  I could see the bottom and that was nice. I could also see a few jellyfish go by but no other kinds of fish. After a few minutes of watching the water go by the old belly could feel just a touch of queasiness. Back up top I took the old belly.   

It was not long before we spotted dolphins. They were right in the harbor.  Then we spotted more.  We got to see a couple of baby dolphins. The boat captain was really good at stopping the boat and getting us up close to the dolphins.  We saw more than I thought we would.  We probably saw somewhere around 10-15 dolphins all total. I decided not to jump in and swim with the dolphins though it looked like it had the possibility of being fun. It also looked like it had the possibility of drowning; me with my jeans and shoes on and all. It would be pretty embarrassing to drown trying to swim with the dolphins in front of that many people.
 Laura has much better pictures


This is another day I was really glad I was doing a year of "firsts."  Typically, we probably would have had a blast (we always do when we go off somewhere together), but we probably would have spent the time shopping (Laura in clothing type stores; me in bookstores or Bass Pro) or just kind of hanging out around Destin.  We would not have seen dolphins because dolphins don't swim in Barnes and Noble or Justice.  In order to see dolphins, you have to go out where the dolphins hang out.  You have to leave the shore.

That reminds me that if I want to see some of God's great works I have to leave the shore of sight living and launch out in faith living.  If I want to see God do big things, I have to believe Him for big things and attempt big things. William Carey is famous for saying, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”  If I'm going to see God answer big prayers, I have to pray big prayers.  If I want to see God use me to lead someone to Christ, I have to share my faith with someone.  If I want to see God overcome some sin in my life, I have to repent by faith.  It's not likely that I'm going to see God do big stuff while sitting on my couch watching ESPN (not that watching ESPN is wrong; it's just that we have to do more than that).  As I've been typing this, my mind has been wandering to Luke 5:4 which says, "When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”  Peter replied that they had worked hard all night and caught nothing but then he said he would do this in obedience to Jesus.  When he did, they caught a bunch of fish.  If I want to see God do big things, I have to launch out in faith and obey His word.

Launching out for the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Dolphins
2. Pelicans
3. God being our creator

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 55- A Fondue First

Laura and I went out of town to celebrate our anniversary today (it's not till Wednesday but you celebrate when it's a good time for the babysitter).  We decided to eat at a fondue restaurant. I've never eaten at a fondue restaurant and it's been over 20 years since Laura has eaten at one.  That's my "first" for today.

A good "first" it was.  The food was delicious and the staff was excellent. The lady that greeted us when we came in was super nice as was our server. Even the owner came by and was extremely nice to us.  A good time was had by all (meaning Laura and I).  We had a spinach and artichoke fondue that we dipped assorted breads, chips, apples, and vegetables in with great delight.  We also had a flaming chocolate turtle concoction that we dipped Rice Krispy treats, bananas, cheesecake, strawberries, brownies, red velvet cake and other things in and found to be extremely pleasant to the old palate.  We really had a fun time.

My sweet and beautiful date all bundled up for the chilling 60 degree weather in Florida

Spinach and artichoke dip


A happy couple with flaming chocolate (not to mention hearts).

Our waitress even brought Laura a rose- notice the chocolate with the candied pecans

All gone

We have been known to both go after that last bite of dessert

Laura even tried dipping her lemon from her water in the chocolate

Pictures of food are really not a great indication of how good something really taste. If you want to know how good something really is, you have to taste if for yourself.  I can testify that tasking the food is much better than looking at a picture of it.

The Bible says in Psalm 34:8- "O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"  As a follower of Jesus, I need to taste for myself how good God is.  I love to read stories about people who follow Jesus. When I hear someone share their story about following Jesus, it is very encouraging to me.  Just reading about someone else's story or listening to someone else's story is kind of like looking at pictures of food.  It's good, but you really need to taste it for yourself.  We all need our own stories about following Jesus.  We need our own stories of answered prayer, God's faithfulness in hard times, the Spirit enabling us to overcome fear, giving us a great marriage, enabling us to forgive, etc.  We need the stories for ourselves and as evidence to those around us that God is really good.  I enjoyed a good meal, but I sure enjoy Jesus and Laura a whole lot more. Now, I think I'll go rub my belly for a while.

Tasting for the abundant life,

3 things I thank God for today
1. Very, very sweet people who take care of our children so Laura and I can go out of town together
2. Lynn's bread pudding with caramel sauce
3. Goodness of God

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Day 54- A Question First

I've frequently wished I knew a Bible scholar that I could ask Bible questions.  You know, some guy that's really smart and knows way more than the average guy.  I really don't have any friends that are seminary professors or presidents or something like that.

For my "first" today, I emailed a really smart guy a Bible question.  What I did was go to a Divinity school's website and read the professors' bios.  I picked out a guy that seemed really smart.  Actually, I was impressed with a number of their bios.  It seems that Divinity schools employ really smart people. I was not tempted to apply for a teaching job after perusing their website.

I've actually thought of doing this before.  I did not because I would think things like "He probably does not have time for this kind of thing" or "He'll think I'm weird" or something like that.  Of course, he might be glad to help a pastor with a theological question. Doing a year of firsts was just the thing to give me the added incentive to actually email someone.  Who knows, maybe we'll become friends.

Me studying the Bible

I'm not able to figure out a verse

I decide to email someone really smart

I hope this guy has a super brain and is super nice

One of the great benefits I had as a young Christian was a couple of friends who were very willing to listen to my questions about the Lord and try to answer them the best they could.  We would study Scripture together and seek to not only understand God's word but live it out.  I have found that someone who is serious about their walk with Christ and is willing to just hang out with you is invaluable.  It's one thing to read about the Christian life; it is so much better to have a friend is serious about living it and will share their life with you.

I get sad when I find out people are struggling with questions in their Christian life and won't/don't ask people for help. Too often they are embarrassed to ask. They think everyone else knows the answers and they will look silly if they ask. The truth is all of us have things we don't understand about God and how to relate to Him.  One of the best ways to learn is to ask questions; especially if you ask people that are credible. If you'll ask,  you will probably find out there are others who have the same question or there are people that are very willing to help.

Have fun asking questions and learning. The people who love Jesus will love helping you grow in your love and understanding of Him.

Asking questions for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. The deacons at Hopewell Baptist church
2. Billy Graham's book on the Holy Spirit
3. The ladies Bible study at Hopewell

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day 53- A Pogo First

I had a hard time with my "first" today. I was helping a friend move and I just knew I would run into a "first" doing that. I've helped a number of people move and nothing really new jumped out at me today. I had a meeting at church tonight so my time was kind of slim. As Hannah Grace and I drove into the driveway about 20 minutes before I needed to go to church, one of Joel's toys sort of jumped out at me. It was his pogo stick. I jumped on a pogo stick for my "first" today.

In case you are a newcomer and wonder why I did not jump on a pogo stick as a boy, the rules here are if I have not done something in the last 15-20 years, it counts as a "first." I promise you that jumping on a pogo stick at 10 years old is a different experience than jumping on one as a 53 year old. It is quite the different ball game.

So, I asked Hannah Grace to set the rules for me. How many times do I have to jump before it counts? She came up with 10 jumps. This will be no problem I think to myself.

Back when I was 10, I was a pretty decent pogoer (pogoist? pogo sticker?). I could jump with the best on Coolidge Street in Baker Heights. So, 10 jumps sounded like nothing. I start off with great confidence that I'll knock this out quickly; a very good chance on the first or second try.
Off I go
Hang on, Barry

Well, it was a little more difficult than I anticipated. On the first attempt, I managed one or two jumps. On the second attempt, I managed about 3-4. It took my about 7 attempts to get up to 10. I did hit 9 on the previous attempt and I did get 11 on the winning try. I was much more winded that I thought I would be and the balance thing is not what I had thought. I'm not sure about the whole global warming thing, but I'm pretty sure that gravity is increasing. Somebody needs to look into that. Perhaps the world is spinning a bit faster too because I'm noticing the balance thing is not working for me like it did in the past.

Barry looking a bit too excited about his accomplishment

As I was jumping on the pogo stick today I noticed that if I got off balance a little, I needed to correct that quickly; like on the next jump. If not, I was bouncing off in that direction faster and faster. If a dismount did not occur promptly, I would have hit the concrete. Thankfully, my dismount was excellent today. It was important to stay very balanced and on center on every jump. If not, in just another 2 jumps I was really getting sideways.

I've noticed it's that way with my relationship with the Lord as well. When I start getting off center with the Lord (straying, drifting, distracted; in other words sinning), I need to correct that quickly. That means I need to repent quickly. If not, I'll get farther and farther away and get there faster and faster. The real problem is that too many times it is hard to realize how far I've drifted and how fast I'm moving away in the wrong direction. It's hard not to notice this same trend in people besides myself. When we stay on center (in right relationship) with the Lord, we are blessed. It may be hard at times and we go through tough seasons, but in a sense it's kind of OK because you are right with the Lord. When you get wrong with God and your life starts getting sideways, then you can find yourself in some real trouble. You might hit the spiritual concrete and skin more than your knee. It's easy to end up skinning a testimony and some pretty important relationships along the way. Hopefully, as we go to worship tomorrow, we'll let the Lord bring us back into harmony with Himself.

Jumping for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. An encouraging time meeting with some short term missionaries from our church
2. Hand trucks
3. God's ability to refresh

Friday, February 21, 2014

Day 52- An RAOK First

Look closely at the picture below and see if you can see my "first."

Do you see it?  Here's a closer picture.

Today for my "first" I taped some money to a vending machine as a random act of kindness. You can tell it's a random act of kindness by the card.  I meant to write "God bless you" or "Jesus loves you" on the card and it just occurred to me that I forgot.  Rats! It doesn't look like there was a lot of room to write much else on it.  Anyway, I read about someone doing this and it sounded like a fun "first."  I decided to do this at the hospital.  There are lots of sad people in hospitals and I thought this might be a good way to lift some unsuspecting person's day. The only person they'll have to thank is the Lord. That's cool to me.  My original plan was to do this on one of the vending machines in the ER.  When I got to the hospital, there were too many people in the ER to be able to put this on a vending machine without being detected (just one or two, but in our ER it's hard to hide from one or two).  I need an Uncle Si to go with me to create a distraction so I can hide my "firsts' when needed. I bailed on the ER and went to a different location.  I really do hope someone finds this that needs a lift to their day.

Joel and Hannah Grace asked me what I did for my "first." It occurred to me that I had played football (I was the quarterback for both teams) and kickball(I was pitcher) with them and a couple of their friends today. That was kind of a first (with these particular friends in the particular format we played today), but I've played football and kickball with them before so that really didn't count. I did throw 6 touchdowns and was intercepted once today.  My completion percentage was not real high. I blame my receivers lack of ability to get separation as the main cause of that.  Plus, there were a few drops.  Even at that, the offense scored almost every time.

Anyway, I told them about my random act of kindness.  We had to go to town tonight and they wanted to go and see if the note and money was still there. So, we went by the hospital and it was still there. They enjoyed going by and checking it out.  That's part of why I'm doing this.  I want my children and others to see that following Jesus is more than just showing up at church. It's about real life that has some sense of adventure to it.  There is sacrifice to be sure.  There is a denying of self.  There are hard days. There is also a sense of adventure knowing we are filled with His love and get to offer His love to others.  Not every day is a day where the adventure is huge.  I love looking for ways to make the ordinary days a bit more exciting.  Jesus said in John 10:10, " The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." The NLT version has it like this: "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life."

I encourage you to look for ways to offer God's love to others and see if you don't experience life more abundantly.

Offering His love to others and finding abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1 Playing football and kickball with Hannah Grace and Joel and their friends
2. A really sweet card left by a very kind friend on my desk
3. God's faithfulness

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Day 51- A Playground First

Today, I went to a local playground and put money on the playground equipment for kids to find. That was my "first."

I read where someone had done this so I decided this would be a fun "first."  It was not as easy as I had hoped.  The first playground I went to was being cleaned up by some men who live in local government housing (read inmates).  They were working hard and doing a good job. The problem was with them and a few families playing I could not figure out how to slyly hide money for people to find later.  I decided to go to a different playground.

I went to a different playground and that worked better. There was this one boy playing so I walked around and hid a little money on a bench.  He and his family left right after that.  I guess I creeped them out or something.  So, I went to the playground equipment and hid some money around it.  I wanted to take pictures of that, but my phone quit working about that time. I'm sure my dropping it had nothing to do with that.  It started working about 25 minutes later so the pictures are pretty lame today.

At McDonald's when my phone started working again

It would be fun to be there to see the children find the money.  It's not a lot (2 or 3 dollars worth hidden around the equipment) but it usually does not take a lot of money to excite a small child.  The joy of the surprise is often a pretty cool thing to watch. Two or three dollars is not that much for me but hopefully it will be fun for a child.

I thought about how many gifts God has left for us today.  They are just grace. We did not deserve them and many times did not even ask for them.  Yet, God gives them graciously.  I think of a sweet kiss from my wife, the ability to walk, a friend's smile, a pretty bird in the front yard, a child's laugh, a hot shower, lotion, a car that runs, and the list could keep going.  I can't build a car and I don't know how to make lotion.  These are gifts to me.  The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above.  I want to live constantly amazed by grace.  I want to live stunned that God would lavish such gifts upon me.  That is so much better than living complaining and griping about things that I don't have.  It is a real joy to give thanks with a grateful heart.

Thanking God for the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Lotion
2. Garbage pick-up
3. The pecan pie that was left on my door step by a sweet sister in Christ for our family- I'm talking about a homemade delicious pecan pie.

OK, if you read yesterday's post, I confess I went by another store today looking for a small container of mint chocolate chip ice cream today. I can't get it out of my mind.  They did not have a small container, just a half a gallon. I know if I buy that, I'll eat the whole thing in just a couple of days.  What is this country coming to when a guy can't find a small container of mint chocolate chip ice cream?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 50- Chocolate Mint First

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day. I found this on a holiday website several weeks ago and put it on my phone appointment calendar for today so I would not miss it.  This is a holiday made for me.  I celebrated National Chocolate Mint Day today as my "first."

Very early in the day, I had a York Peppermint Pattie and a Klondike chocolate mint candy.  I had never seen one of Klondike candies before last night when I was shopping for today.  At lunch I remembered that Dairy Queen had been advertising a mint Oreo blizzard.  Dairy Queen is just made for a celebration.  Tonight, I have Junior Mints waiting.  In the words of Kramer from Seinfeld, "Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint -- it's delicious!" I wanted to have some Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream to go with it.  I stopped at a convenience store on the way home from Birmingham and they did not have any mint chocolate chip ice cream. What's up with that? I guess they ran out with everybody celebrating National Chocolate Mint day.

Yes, that is the big box of Junior Mints. I will not eat them all tonight.

I did not put that pepper on the blizzard

I even sort of dressed for it

Happy, happy, happy holiday

Some things are just enjoyable.  National Chocolate Mint Day was not hard to celebrate for me.  God has given us many gifts that are just enjoyable.  I enjoy my wife. We have lots of fun together.  People told us that the first year of marriage would be the hardest.  At the end of the first year we looked at each other and said, "Woohoo, if that's the worst year, this is going to be one fun life together." Marriage has been a lot of fun for us.  I enjoy playing with my children.  We have lots of fun playing, joking, and just hanging out together. I enjoy laying down and snuggling with my children at bedtime each night. Worship is really enjoyable to me. I'm very grateful that God has given us the privilege of singing to Him, giving Him praise and thanks, and telling others how great He is.  I read somewhere where someone said something like (you can probably tell I'm having trouble running this quote down), "Preaching is sitting at the feet of Jesus and telling others what you've seen."  I wish I could do that better, but it's a great challenge.  I love beautiful sunsets and sometimes I'll even sing something like "How Great Thou Art" or "How Great is our God."  Truly parts of life are hard and very difficult. It's not all enjoyable, but there are lots of enjoyable gifts to receive with thanksgiving.  Let's not forget to enjoy God's good gifts.They help us to rejoice in the Lord always.

Grateful for the abundant life


3 things I thank God for today
1. Chocolate mint
2. Purple
3. A fun wife