Monday, May 31, 2010

Book and Songs of the Week

I believe in the power of personal testimony. It is probably the most effective way of communicating the gospel.

I just finished reading Denise Jackson’s “It’s All About Him”. She’s the wife of country singer Alan Jackson and the book is the story of their life together, but more than that, it’s a personal testimony about the power of Christ working in those who would seek Him. She’s not preachy doesn’t give 5 steps to a better marriage, but writes about her experiences like the blind man that was being questioned after Jesus restored his sight. “ …. I don't know, but one thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

While reading this book over the last few days, I’ve also been listening to Alan Jackson’s music and hearing some of his songs with fresh ears. He doesn’t have to write a book. His testimony is in the songs he wrote during different periods in their life. It was hard to pick which one should be the song of the week, so I picked two.

The first is "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus". It’s sort of the theme song of the book and though it wasn’t written by Alan Jackson, he and his wife testify to the truth of the lyrics.

The second is “Remember When”. What a talented songwriter to be able to capture 30 years of marriage in a four minute song.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Song of the Week

Leslie was late for the first Lubbock rendezvous of our courtship so I went to the Hastings on 4th street to kill some time and bought the newest Diamond Rio CD that had been released just a few days earlier. The lead single from that CD was “Beautiful Mess”. It turned out to be one of the theme songs of my life over the next few months.

When Leslie and I were first married, before I hired out with the railroad and before we had any chilluns, I taught part-time at Amarillo College and worked nights and a few lunches a week waiting tables at a barbecue joint. One night I was waiting on a couple who told me that they ran a karaoke night at a little dive called Club 21 and that night they were having a contest with a prize of $50. Well, I love karaoke, the good, the bad, and the ugly, so I told them that if my wife was up to it I’d stop by after I got off. She was and we did. I sang “Beautiful Mess”, won fifty bucks, and afterwards was asked to sing Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle’s duet hit, “Just You and I”, with the ugly gal who got 2nd place. It was horrendous and a we great time.
Leslie and I continued to hit Club 21 on Friday nights, usually staying just long enough for me to sing one song before going to I-HOP for a late night breakfast. Those nights are among my fondest memories of year 1 of our marriage.

Here we are, almost eight years later, with four kids and plenty of messes. I still love this song and am thankful for the Beautiful Messes in my life.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shower, Naptime and Annie

Last Sunday was our baby shower for West. Western Hills was so gracious to this little guy! He is already so loved. The Brown family is very blessed by all of our friends and family near and far! We love you.
Jones and Georgia helping me out during the shower.

This was Georgia, Annie and Ranger at naptime today. So sweet!

Later today:
Annie-"Mommy, what are you doing?"
Me- "I'm taking the sheets off your bed so I can wash them for you."
Annie- clapping enthusiastically "Good job Mommy, I so proud of you!"

Current Pace of Life

In case WH decides to come early, I’ve bumped to a job in the switch yard that allows me to stay in town. Fortunately, I’m able to hold an engineer spot which means more air conditioning, easier work, and more money than when I was a switchman a few months ago and was worried about being furloughed.

It’s been nice having a regular schedule. I leave for work at 2:00 in the afternoon and get home sometime between midnight and 3:00 am. I try to get up with the girls and let Leslie take her time getting around, take care of things around the house, and fix lunch. After lunch I get to snuggle with the girls on the couch and watch Leave it to Beaver, Andy Griffith, or Flipper before leaving for work. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay on this job for another 10 days, then I have a week of vacation scheduled for May 31-June 6. We're shooting for a June 2nd 6:00am induction and 9:00am delivery.

I’m off to work right now. I’ll try to get the song of the week posted when I get in from work.

Friday, May 14, 2010

MOPS, Mother's Day, MHR

Our last MOPS meeting was last week and we had a party! Lots of food, friends and a clown.

Mother's Day was fantastic! We celebrated on Saturday by going to a couple of Estate sales, then we had lunch at Texas Roadhouse followed by naptime. My wonderful gift was a new vacuum! Justin and I discussed this tricky gift. But, it was my choice and I am extremely happy about this years gift. He put the girls to bed and I went to Redbox and then bought myself and Justin an ice cream treat! Justin went to work later that night, so Sunday the girls and I went to church and then to lunch with the Northrups. We are turning Mother's Day lunch together into a tradition :)

My Husband Rocks for several reasons, but the one I want to brag on this time is that he is willing to indulge me in my crazy pregnant moods! He put together Wests' bed, cradle, dresser and car seat all in one morning. He's offered to go get me ice cream late at night. He's cooked lots of meals for us lately and done the dishes. He does the grocery shopping, the yard work, cleans the garage, works on our budget and on top of all that he goes to work for 36hrs. He has been such a big help this last month! He hasn't complained once. Thank you! I love you!
Picture taken by Georgia

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Transcendent Cause

We are just a couple of weeks away from the birth of our fourth child. Fourth child, but first son, and I’m nervous and excited about it.

I recently read Raising a Modern-Day Knight, A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis. In it, he highlights the need for ceremonies to mark the transition from boyhood to manhood.

The first ceremony of my son’s journey to manhood will be just after delivery. I’ll use this knife to cut his umbilical cord, separating him from his mother. The knife will be given to him in another ceremony when he comes of age, leaves home, and it is time to “cut the apron strings.” I’m sure there will be other ceremonies during the intervening years, but these are the two that I’ve settled on for now.

This ceremony wasn't mentioned in the book, and I didn't think of it myself. The credit goes to Nathan Dahlstrom who has done this for all of his daughters. He's encouraged me to do this , but this will be the first time that I've done it. I'm looking forward to him being involved in West's manhood ceremonies in the years to come.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dos more days to Cinco de Mayo

I’ve not been writing much lately.  Since almost all of the subscribers to Time of the Preacher are delinquent in their subscription payments and are reading for free, I don’t feel obligated to give excuses or refunds, but I was thinking about it yesterday and came up with a few of the reasons.

#1  I haven’t been reading much and I tend to write less when I read less.  Blame it on my crossword puzzle phase.  I’m getting bored with them and am just about over it.
#2  One of the last books I did read was a book about writing.  It was an excellent book, but it also made me more self-conscious about what I was writing. 
#3  Things have been going well.  I think disgruntled people have more to say than people who are content.  I’ve been trying to be more content lately.
#4  We moved the computer to the living room.  It’s harder to type in the middle of the house than it is in a room where I can shut the door to distractions.
#5  Leslie and I finally enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University after years of reading and listening to him.  We’ve been pretty disciplined and have been on a pretty strict budget over the last year, but actually taking the class has given us that “gazelle intensity”, so that some of the time I used to spend writing I’ve been spending working on my ciphering.  The best thing it has done for us is put us on the same page with common goals.  For those of you who have been annoyed over the years hearing people say, “Well, Dave Ramsey says….,” (Leslie was)  I’d encourage you to take the class.  I think it will benefit you no matter what your financial situation. 
For this week’s song of the week,  Paul Overstreet makes his second appearance here on TOTP.  Couldn’t find it on Utube, I hope this format works for you.  Let me know if it doesn’t.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baby Hank

We finally met Baby Henry John Delony! Justin was bumped on Friday and he took his 24hrs off. I didn't have any set plans, so we took off to Abilene for the day. The girls took turns holding Hank for about 30 seconds at a time :) The girls checked out all his toys. John was a fantastic uncle and husband, bringing a dozen red roses to Sheila and a white rose for all the girls. We ordered pizza, took a walk around the block, and the girls harassed Uncle John. John and Sheila are doing such a great job and Hank did great with all the passing around. We can't wait to see him again!

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