Tuesday, September 30, 2014


TONIGHT! Tonight the Royals are in the playoffs. Glad to see the revival of an old tradition: dyeing the fountains of Kansas City blue when the Royals are in the playoffs. 

And last night the Chiefs humiliated the New England Patriots to get their season back on track. In the process they shattered the Guinness Record for being the loudest outdoor stadium in the world.   

Been a crazy week for Kansas City fans. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Overrated by Eugene Cho

I just finished reading Eugene Cho's new book, Overrated. Excellent read. I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Christian service. Cho, the pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, examines the current trend of starting non-profits, NGO's and other service enterprises that have become synonymous with "hipster Christianity." Many Christians want to do the work of Christ. But Cho states that we must ground our efforts in prayer and humility. We must ask ourselves why do we want to do this work? Is it for Jesus? Or is it to make ourselves feel good about ourselves? And what are the unintended effects of our initiatives on those who we are trying to help? Are we really thinking these things through? Are we building relationships with those we are trying to help?  

Cho asks a lot of really great and hard questions. His book is a needed wake-up call. I found it truly inspiring and a humbling read.

"Ministry" can sound great on paper. Then you get in the trenches and you find the reality that humanity is broken. The people you want to help can be seriously messed up. You have to be prepared for that reality. People will be mean, they might smell bad, they may betray you, they may look weird, they may spoiled, they may be entitled, they may be abusive...the list can go on and on. If you are not basing your efforts on walking with Christ, then you will burn out and your initiative will fail. Your ministry must be bathed in serious prayer. This isn't about getting on the cover of Christianity Today or Relevant Magazine. Ministry is serious stuff that can only be done through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. 

This book spoke to me and fit my past experiences perfectly. This book is short, accessible and an important read for those desiring to make a difference in their communities.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last Day

Game 162 of the season today. The division is still in play. If the Twins beat the Tigers and the Royals beat the Sox, then the season will end in a tie for the divisional title. If that happens, the Royals will play the Tigers in game 163, in Detroit. Whoever wins, wins the division. 

I had totally forgotten what this all feels like. 

Worst case: the Royals have wrapped up home field advantage for the Wildcard play-in game. Best case: Royals win the Central and get a guaranteed divisional  series. 

Either way, for long-suffering Royals fans, it's all gravy. But I'm telling you, a run for the Series would be really really nice. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014


The Kansas City Royals have clinched at least a wildcard spot. This is the first playoff berth for KC since 1985...when they won the World Series. I was 12. I was in 7th Grade. Twenty-nine years. I almost cried last night. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Reservoir Dogs

Yesterday was Hollywood Day on campus. So the Reservoir Dogs showed up. I, of course, was Mr. White. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Toy

This week we were bequeathed one of my Wife's Grandfather's guitars. Her Grandfather, who passed away several years ago, played for many years on this 1960's Custom Kraft Hollow Body before moving up to Gibsons. This thing has a sweet raw sound. Now I gotta get an amp. Looking forward to trying her out. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Western Day

This is as western as I get. It's Western Day at the high school. I inherited this shirt from my wife's grandfather who used to wear these type of shirts when he'd go play country and rockabilly on his Gibson Les Paul at various honky tonks throughout southern Indiana. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


IOS 8 wants me to free up 4.6 gigs of space before I can download. Seriously? Which of these pics do you want me to delete? Sure, I've backed them up on my PC and an external harddrive. But I like to have many of these photos on hand to look at from time to time. I know I can download via iTunes, but last time I tried that I almost accidentally synced 10,000 of my songs to my phone. What a hassle. May have to stick with IOS 7 for awhile. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Nice, clear, smog-free Sunday morning over downtown Dallas. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Yesterday we said our final goodbyes to my grandmother. She was a true example of how to live out your faith, not with mere words but with action. Some of the flowers from her service were taken to a local nursing home and given to some of the residents. She would have liked that. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Back in the Day

Back in the day, I used to play the trumpet. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blame Mel

Apparently, this is what is showing on all the channels in Scotland today. So if Scotland votes for independence...blame Mel Gibson. 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Liturgists Podcast

One of my favorite singer/songwriter/musician/creators, Michael Gungor, recently began recording a podcast. The Liturgists Podcast stated goal is to be a place where science, art and religion collide. The podcast is hosted by Gungor, "Science" Mike McHargue and Lissa Paino. Great stuff. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I will not post his picture here. Adrian Peterson should be banned from playing football. I was once a big fan of his. I am a Sooner fan. But I hope he never shows his face in Norman again. 

If there was a video of Peterson beating his child, he would never play again in the NFL. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Smartphone Excess

These new smartphones have gotten ridiculous. That won't fit in your pocket. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Central Triangle

This is a map of a small section of East Dallas south of White Rock Lake. That orange line going east-west along the bottom is I-30. That red circle is the church where I attend. Within that red triangle there are no other churches. That  tan square, dead center, is an elementary school where 97% of the students are economically disadvantaged. 44% are labeled at-risk. Looks like we got some people to help, prayers to pray, and things to do. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Grandmother

My Grandmother passed away very early this morning. This photo was taken a month ago, the last time we saw her. I loved and admired her greatly. She was someone who actually put action to her faith. When she was able, she visited shut-ins, delivered flowers to those in nursing homes and convinced numerous businesses to give her free stuff to donate to those living alone in care facilities. 

I will miss her terribly. I love her so much. Goodbye Grandma. You fought the good fight. You deserve some rest. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Visça Catalunya!

In the United States, September 11th is a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives in the terrible terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. That day was horrific and I still shudder at the images from that morning. Selfishly, I don't like to dwell on that day because it was an incredibly depressing moment in our nation's history. However, I don't believe we should ever forget those who lost their lives both as victims and as heroes, sacrificing their lives in the attempt to rescue others.

In Catalunya, September 11th has been a day of remembrance for three centuries. Yesterday marked the 300th anniversary of the Catalan surrender to Spanish forces, ending Catalan independence. Every year, on September 11th, hundreds of thousands of Catalans take to the streets to protest Spanish rule and celebrate their culture. Spanish rule has rarely been kind to Barcelona and Catalunya. The Franco years were particularly harsh. 

A slight majority of Catalans favor independence from Spain. As opposed to the Basques, their appeals for independence have rarely turned violent. They have a much greater case for independence than the Scots. Catalunya has a distinct language, cultural tradition, and history of political autonomy. Catalunya was one of the very first regions in Europe to embrace democracy...five hundred years ago! 

Catalan independence also makes much more pragmatic sense than for Scotland. Catalunya is the wealthiest region of Spain. Their economy represents over 1/5th of the Spanish economy. They have a major port city on the Mediterranean. They have a vibrant industrial and manufacturing sector. They have a massive service economy. Tourism is also huge in the region. Catalunya is blessed with agricultural and mineral wealth. The Catalan work ethic and spirit of entrepreneurship is legendary. If anything, Spain has always been a drain on Catalunya, holding them back from greater prosperity. Catalunya has propped up Spain for decades. 

I have an emotional tie to Barcelona and Catalunya. I visited the region as a senior in college and returned to live there for a year after graduation. That year was one of the most important and formative experiences of my life. I maintain regular contact with my friends there and keep up with the news of the area. I root and support FC Barcelona...which as any Catalan can tell you, is more that just about rooting for a soccer team. FCB represents the cultural heritage of Catalunya. 

So yesterday, in solidarity with my friends who paraded in the streets, I put on the Catalan colors. Visça Catalunya!

Last Post Translated.

Here the Catalan translation of my last post:

Als Estats Units, 11 de setembre és un dia de record per a aquells que van perdre la vida en els atacs terroristes terribles contra el World Trade Center i el Pentàgon. Aquest dia va ser horrible i encara s'estremeixen davant les imatges d'aquell matí. Egoistament, no m'agrada posar l'accent en aquest dia perquè era un moment molt depriment en la història de la nostra nació. No obstant això, no crec que hem de mai oblidar els que van perdre les seves vides com a víctimes i herois, sacrificant les seves vides en l'intent de rescatar altres.

A Catalunya, 11 de setembre ha estat un dia en memòria de tres segles. Ahir es va complir el 300 aniversari de la rendició català a les forces espanyoles, posant fi a la independència català. Cada any, el 11 de setembre, centenars de milers de catalans surten als carrers per protestar contra el domini espanyol i celebrar la seva cultura. Domini espanyol poques vegades ha estat amable amb Barcelona i Catalunya. Els anys del franquisme van ser especialment dures.

Una lleugera majoria dels catalans a favor de la independència d'Espanya. A diferència dels bascos, les seves crides a la independència que poques vegades s'han tornat violents. Tenen un major cas d'independència dels escocesos. Catalunya té una llengua diferent, la tradició cultural i la història de l'autonomia política. Catalunya va ser una de les primeres regions a Europa a abraçar la democràcia ... fa cinc-cents anys!

Independència català també sentit molt més pragmàtic que per a Escòcia. Catalunya és la regió més rica d'Espanya. La seva economia representa més de 1/5 de l'economia espanyola. Tenen una important ciutat portuària a la Mediterrània. Tenen un sector industrial i manufacturer vibrant. Tenen una economia de serveis massiva. El turisme també és molt important a la regió. Catalunya ha estat beneït amb la riquesa agrícola i mineral. L'ètica de treball català i l'esperit de la iniciativa empresarial és llegendària. En tot cas, Espanya sempre ha estat una càrrega per a Catalunya, la celebració de tornada d'una major prosperitat. Catalunya ha donat suport Espanya durant dècades.

Tinc un llaç emocional a Barcelona i Catalunya. He visitat la regió en el seu últim any a la universitat i vaig tornar a viure-hi durant un any després de la graduació. Aquest any va ser una de les experiències més importants i formatius de la meva vida. Mantinc un contacte regular amb els meus amics allà i segueixo amb les notícies de la zona. Arrelament i suport del FC Barcelona ... que com qualsevol català pot dir, és més que només d'arrelament per a un equip de futbol. FCB representa el patrimoni cultural de Catalunya.

Així que ahir, en solidaritat amb els meus amics que van desfilar en els carrers, em poso els colors catalans. Visca Catalunya!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Classroom Design

My school is looking to replace the current building that is aging and need of repair with a new facility. I sent the following classroom design to my principal. My idea is based off the Imperial Senate Chamber in Star Wars:

When he indicated that I might need to share a room that large I sent him a cheaper, more reasonable design:

He says I'm being picky. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good Bye Old Gray

Sold my wife's bike today (she got a new one). Sad to see it go. That old thing was a boss and conquered some gnarly trails in its day. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Not For Long

I've been a fan of professional football for a long time (Go Chiefs!). But the more I learn about the NFL, the less respect I have for the organization. The NFL deliberately covered up the effects of concussions and CTE. The NFL has been soft on domestic violence and crime for years. The only reason the NFL suspended that Ravens RB (I refuse to put his name on this blog) is because a security video was released that was so horrific they had no choice.

The offices of the NFL remind me of Big Tobacco at best and the Mafia at worst.

I mean, I dunno...part of me really wants to give the NFL up. I've been conflicted for awhile as I've stated HERE. I still haven't been able to give it up. But I won't be surprised that not too far down the road, I'll be done.

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Woodshed

In 1959, at the top of his musical prowess and national fame, Sonny Rollins stopped recording. The tenor saxophonist had been overwhelmed with his sudden fame and fortune and needed to step back. He also felt he had run into a creative roadblock. He needed to take some time off to go back to the basics and hit the woodshed.

His sabbatical lasted three years. 

During those three years he worked on his craft. He would call his buddy and fellow tenor legend John Coltrane to exchange ideas over the phone. They would literally play their newest jazz ideas into the phone receiver and discuss what they heard. 

Living in a cramped Manhattan flat with no place to practice, Rollins would go to the Williamsburg Bridge and practice and play for twelve to fifteen hours a day. I can only imagine the passersby thinking he was just some weird street performer who didn't ask for money, when in actuality they were hearing one of the legends of 1950's hard bop jazz honing his craft. 

Sonny Rollins re-emerged in 1962 ready to record again. The result was this album, The Bridge. The next several years proved that Rollins not only still had it but had remarkably found new ground to explore. 

Three years man. We always got things to work on. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Mummy in Tulsa

Dude kept trying to get me to invest in his pyramid schemes. 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Friday, September 05, 2014

Jack White is not my cousin

Some recent tweets. Of course you start from the bottom and work your way up. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014


A couple of weeks ago we took the Little Man to White Rock Lake in Dallas. We were going to have him ride his bike just a couple of miles, have a picnic then turn back. 

But he wanted to keep going. And going. He ended up riding the entire nine mile trail around the lake. And he still had energy left to burn. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Baseball rivalries

Royals-Rangers again tonight. This time up in KC. Don't think we'll make the game. Bit of a commute. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


It's the day after Labor Day and I'm wearing white pants. 

Sometimes traditions need to be broken. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

Back to the Future

Love this Delorean tie. It's going on my Christmas List.