Sunday, December 28, 2008

Interesting Read


I have had a number of friends tell me about the book "The Shack" over the past few months. I decided to read through it over the Christmas holiday. I have to say that it was a very interesting book from a number of perspectives. It was not necessarily easy to read, but it was good to read. I do not want to say much more, but I will say that I think it is one of those books that every Christian should read...whether you end up agreeing with it or not. I would be happy to dialogue concerning the book with anyone who would desire to do so...just give me a holler. Blessings,


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...NFL (Week 16)


Week 16 Update...
The Good: Giants (Earth and big time Wind, but no Fire). Titans (Albert who? -- just kidding...old man Collins leads smack down of Steelers). Panthers (FG blown left is the difference in loss to G-men). C olts (8 game winning streak...hard to bet against Peyton). Steelers (Mr. Just-win-baby has bricks for hands this week). Falcons (Amazing rookie QB and a miraculous turnaround to make the playoffs). Ravens (Usual brutal "D" and another tough rookie QB who leads them). Cowboys (Need to win a big game now). Patriots (Cassel piling up the free agent $...playing like Brady). Dolphins (Pennington has old score to settle upcoming).

The Bad: Bucs ("D" in "disappear" since Kiffin announcement). Jets (0-4 on West Coast, Favre looks old...hints at retirement -- hard to believe :-). Bengals (Bragging rights(?) for Ohio). Seahawks (Upset Bretts in the snow). Packers (Can't close the deal in last five 4th quarters). Eagles (I mean...they just have to come back here after losing to the Redskins). Chiefs (QB of the future found in Thigpen). Raiders (What happened to the no "O" Raiders?...they actually looked like a normal team for once).

The Ugly: Cards (Obviously not a cold weather team). Browns (4th string QB equals 0 points). Broncos (Fading away quickly...down to 6th RB and still no "D"). Rams (Let another one get away in the 2nd half). Lions (...and they are still on track for the O-fer).

The ???: Broncos on verge of snatching division defeat from the jaws of victory...Chargers on verge of big comeback in division -- can they do it? Probably.

Super Bowl: Still believe...Panthers vs. Colts
Stupor Bowl: Lions vs. Browns



Monday, December 22, 2008

The Cowboys...Then and Now


Somewhere between 1971 and 1973, I left my allegiance to my beloved Chiefs, with Len Dawson and Co. to become a disciple of Roger Staubach and the Dallas Cowboys. I was a diehard follower through the great days of the 1970s as the Cowboys were regular Super Bowl participants. I was always sorry for my friend Steve who was a fan of Bud Grant's Vikings with Sir Francis and the Purple People Eaters, who lost four Super Bowls. As a Cowboys fan, you have to fast forward through the ordinary 80's ruled by the 49ers (may they live in infamy). Actually, you really had to respect Bill Walsh, Joe Montana and Co....although, I have to say that I have taken some enjoyment out of their mediocrity over the past dozen years or so. :-)

So now, we move on to the 90s, the decade of the triplets (bless Troy, Emmitt and Michael). Jerry Jones' ownership, Jimmy Johnson's leadership and the benefit of the Herschel Walker trade brought the Cowboys back to the glory days and a triplicate of Super Bowl victories...making them the team of the 90s. The Bills happened to be the 90s version of the Vikings...the 2nd best team four years in a row. Another hallmark of the Jones' ownership, not unlike his counterpart for the Raiders, has been willing to take chances on misfit players...some of which have worked out while others have not.

Fast forward to the late aughts and we have a 11 year drought from the Super Bowl. It is not from lack of effort it seems, but just that everything has not come together for a Jones' team. He continues to bring misfits into the fold...but I think that the latest few additions have led to a subtraction of team unity, which is troubling. This year's version of the Cowboys have a chance to make the playoffs, but have fallen far short of expectations. Ahhh, expectations...what a funny thing (not funny "ha ha," but funny "strange"). Last year they were 13-3, which few expected and were successful I believe, in part, due to lack of expectation. This year, I don't think that anything less than a Patriots 18-1 season (actually 19-0 was expected) from last year was going to be acceptable. This year's team has won games this year that they shouldn't have, and lost games that they should have won. So...they have to beat the Eagles, who also have had an up-and-down year. It will be in Philly, which will be a great challenge.

This brings us to the leader of the pack. It is hard to figure if it will be the Jekyll or Hyde Tony Romo that will show up and lead the team. Don't get me wrong...I love Tony Romo the person, but he is going to have to learn to win the big games when everything is on the line. He has not been able to do this to this I have to declare that I am suspect of Romeo the fb winner. It takes me back to the glory days of my other fave team, the Seahawks -- they of the Dave Krieg era of the 80s. Like Dave was then, Tony is like the little girl with the curl on her forehead -- when he is good, he is very very good, but when he is bad...he is horrid. In relationship to player personnel...although he still a decent football player, it is time for T.O. to go. It is time to complete the RW2 transaction. His downside outweighs his upside anymore...actually, come to think of it, has his upside ever outweighed his downside? Witten, Williams, Crayton and Co. will be just fine.

I have to finish with stadium highlights, coaches and coming full circle with the "then 'boys." Even though the Cowboys blew a game they should have won Saturday against the Ravens, the closing ceremony for Texas Stadium was powerful, poignant. It was great to see Roger, Tony D., Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Lilly and Co. for a final round up at their old rodeo home those many years ago...almost brought a team to my eye. And I will say...nobody, I mean nobody, will replace the coach in the hat. Although, in relationship to this, (which some may not want to hear), coach Wade is doing fine. He is a genuinely nice guy who has been a winner everwhere he has been. I am glad that he has been given the go ahead to be back next year (although we'll see how the Eagles game goes)...two years is just not enough time to tell what he can do with the team. If Jerry is smart, he knows where his "D" comes from, despite the recent breakdown. As I have said, a little housecleaning and developing a team leader are essential -- hello...DeMarcus Ware, are you listening? Finale...the new digs are quite impressive from the outside. Even standing near the Ballpark in Arlington, Cowboys Stadium next door seems to engulf it. Jerry's humongous new stadium that will seat 100,000 people is nearly complete...I suspect that he will be making a few bucks in the new place. ;-) Blessings,


Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Christmas Apologetic


Approximately fifteen years ago I made a pulpit statement that the next great war would be would not be fought with guns and bombs, but with "pen and ink," signs and votes. Indeed these days are now upon us. Special interests that are opposed to the will and the Word of God (cloaked in religious language and even in religious settings) continue to press their agendas and it is continuing to exacerbate the currently negative and digressive socio-cultural and "spiritual" climate that we are living in today.

This message is, more or less, a clarion call for good stewardship -- and to good of the most blessed days for Christians is under fire. There has been a movement -- by certain of these special interest elements in our society and others of the world -- to seek to remove Christmas from American society. Their effectiveness has been gaining momentum in recent years. The reason for the intense focus by the world upon Christmas is that it has been the single most representative event that Christians...and the American people themselves, historically... have focused upon in relationship to Christianity itself -- and this, therefore, makes it a relatively easy target.

Now, what many of these entities will say, is that we need to have the breadth and openness to allow for people to worship Hannukah, Kwanzaa and a host of other holidays (including Christmas) at this time of year...and I do not know of any Christian who has been opposed to this principle. However, what is not communicated is...that Christmas should not be allowed to continue to be celebrated right along side the other holidays. Many of those who are so sensetized about their holidays getting the attention they deserve are intolerant of Christmas, and Christianity in general, for the reasons mentioned above. (Is it not a wonder that "the liberal left" are upset at our incoming president about his choice of one who would offer prayer at his inauguration?).

The boisterous governor of my birth state, in a display of "her authority," recently allowed certain atheists to post an offensive, primarily anti-Christian, message at the capital building...certainly coincidental that it happened to be at this time of year. :-) Even our beloved AOL today posted the message "hello polar bear, goodby nativity" in a subtle, yet understood message concerning the cultural shift of many away from Christmas. Happy Holidays is acceptable...Merry Christmas is not. Many Christians have allowed themselves to become desensetized. We need to continue to promote our holiday and be proud of the time of year that our Savior, Jesus Christ was born...whether it was December 25th or March 25th...this is an important time of the year that we recognize Jesus -- "the Reason for the Season," the Word become flesh. This is especially important to those who have been there and done that already, culturally, and particularly religiously, in settings where Christmas was discouraged or forbidden. There is no doubt that Christmas is not a legal holiday, biblically, even though it may be so culturally...but it is most certainly a spiritual holiday, religiously, as well as culturally. Let's not allow Christmas to be taken out of the rightful, spiritual, as well as, cultural context where it belongs. I am not willing to surrender celebrating Christmas. Take care and God bless,


Thursday, December 18, 2008



For the umpteenth time, there was an article in the news about an asteroid that might, I repeat might, make contact with the Earth in the 2030s. Now...I don't want to rain on the parade of all of those asteroid watchers out there, especially since I am an astronomy buff myself -- but I will take the 44, 000 or whatever to 1 odds and bet that we will not get tagged by an asteroid. I would be willing to bet that the odds are better than we are invaded by aliens and are all taken into captivity...uhh, maybe that's not so funny coming from a guy in Stephenville, the nouveau alien capital.

Anyway, this asteroid stuff doesn't fly (pun intended) with the big picture plan of how this big blue rock is going to meet its Maker. According to Peter (2 Peter 3:10), this old earth (or new, depending on how you look at it) is going to be, I will put my money on a supernova of some sort, considering it strictly in astronomical terms that the Lord could easily work with. It wouldn't take much tinkering with the chemical formula of the sun in order to create such an event. I think that the God who could pierce the firmament and bring waters from the deep in order to create the flood is quite capable of an event that could take out our solar system out to the asteroid problem ;-).

So...speaking of asteroids (and coming full circle), I think that the above explanation is more plausible than the asteroid theory. Besides, if we haven't figured out some sort of supersonic, laser or nuclear asteroid deflector or disruptor by 2030, then what good are we anyway? If we could just get the guys who created one of the greatest video games of all time to work on it, I am certain that a resolution to the asteroid problem would come quickly -- like...just equip the new version of the space shuttle (whatever it is going to end up being) with some blaster on its nose and voila! Pleasant dreams. Blessings,


P.S. I hear that you will be able to purchase one of the three remaining space shuttles for your very own once they are retired in a couple years...starting a $40 million or so. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Player of the Year


I found out this morning that our own Brad Mills was named our district's offensive player of the year for 2008. This is a big honor...and it couldn't happen to a nicer young man. I wrote an article in an earlier post where Brad was recognized (see Football Files, 11/25/08). It is important to recognize when our friends and family have achieved success...and this is certainly the case here. He is a loved and appreciated by his family and friends. Congratulations! Blessings,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly...NFL (Week 15)


The Good: Panthers (Riding the RBs). Colts (7 game winning streak...Manning is old self again). Steelers (Nothing flashy with Roethlisberger...lives by the motto -- just win baby -- and so he does). Cowboys (From team turmoil to back in the hunt after critical win over the not-so-Giants). Titans (Haynesworth hurt...what does it mean? It can't be good). Giants (No Jacobs...then ???). Falcons (Appear to be the real deal). Bucs (Would be in trouble if not for Chargers, Raiders up in the next two weeks). Eagles (A whole lot of momentum). Vikes (Who needs Frerotte?). AFC East (Who wants it?).

The Bad: Bills (Lost 7 of 8...having to rely on Loss-man). Bungles (Better efforts move them up to's a start). Seahawks (Beat there's some bragging rights.) Packers (Missing Favre, perhaps? "D" isn't helping out this year). Redskins (Abandon ship! Abandon ship!).

The Ugly: Really...I mean either Western division, be it AFC or NFC. Browns (Down to Dorsey for the doormats). Chefs (Peterson's leaving can't be good for Herm...or is it?). Raiders (Ruining Russell). Rams (Need to start from scratch). Lions (...and they are still on track for the O-fer).

Super Bowl: Colts vs. Eagles...if it's up to momentum. (See Giants...2007)
Stupor Bowl: Lions vs. Chiefs

Blessings, Don

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lone Star Christmas


We had the opportunity to go to the Granbury Live concert hall and experience the Lone Star Christmas concert with our friends Willard and Helen. I just have to tell you that were thoroughly engaged and blessed by the performance. All of the singers, players and actors were exceptional! We really did not know what to expect when we went this evening as we had never been to Granbury Live before, but we were really blown away by the two hours we spent there. We will go back for other concerts. We were also amazed at how many of the performers had spent some time in the NW and the's a small world after all. ;-)

For those of you who read this who are within driving distance, I really encourage you to go to the Christmas concert before they finish next weekend....this will be the last set of performances. Go to Granbury Live and purchase your will be blessed. Those of you who are in other parts of the country or the world...sell the sacred cow, buy some tickets, fly in and come to the concert! :-) Take care and God bless,


Friday, December 12, 2008

Interesting Thoughts


"I am sick of opinions. Give me a humble, gentle lover of God and man...a person full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy. Bigotry is too strong an attachment to our creed of opinion. How unwilling men are to allow anything good in those who do not agree with them in all things. We must not narrow the cause of God to our own beliefs, but rejoice in goodness whenever it appears." -- John Wesley.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playoffs? Did Somebody Say Playoffs?


Well, we have the latest installment of the BCmesS on our hands. I wish I could feel good about this and everyone else. But, it never just seems to be quite right. It was originally intended to set up a match for the #1 and #2 teams in the land. Now, it really is, in essence, a system whereby 10 teams are lined up in bowls based upon priority or power of conference, which is unfortunate. So, the default is the SEC. The BCmesS believes that if there is an undefeated or one loss SEC team (or in the case of LSU last year -- two losses), that they should be in the Big Game. So, Florida is this year's representative. This year, it so happens that the Big 12 had a number of great teams, guided by great QBs. It made it pretty easy to discern that a team from the Big 12 was likely going to be a representative in the Big which one would it be(?). The Big 12 had a three way tie in order to determine which team was going to win the South Division and therefore be the representative in the Big 12 championship game. Texas beat Oklahoma, Texas Tech beat Texas and Oklahoma beat Texas Tech. Yet, since Oklahoma beat Tech so badly...and so late in the season, it was easy to dismiss Tech from the big picture. Every other major conference that has a conference championship boils it down to the top two teams in a division to decide who will be their division rep in the championship game. If the top two teams play, which they do most years, then the head-to-head winner goes on to play in that conference's championship game. Sounds simple. But, not in the Big 12. They allowed all three top teams to be considered and left it up to the BCmesS to determine who would be the rep in the Big 12 championship. In EVERY other conference, Texas would have been the rep, because it would be head to head against Oklahoma, whom they beat in the regular season. This just happens to make some sense. Any other team would drop for ease of determination, and keep the BCmesS out of it, which would also make a whole lot of sense.

So, when it came down to the final two weeks, the polls had Oklahoma #2 and Texas #3 behind #1 Alabama, with Florida at #4. The BCmesS had Oklahoma #3 and Texas #2. Tell me if this makes sense??? After wins by both schools over the final weekend...Texas over a weaker Texas A & M, whereas Oklahoma clobbered a stronger Oklahoma State, 61-41...the final set up was the polls had Texas #2 and Oklahoma #3, whereas the BCmesS had Texas #3 and Oklahoma #2. Once again ??? So, the NCAA has eschewed sportsmanship in order to encourage profit with this system that results in Oklahoma scoring over 60+ points five weeks in a row in order to make their case that they should be in the BCmesS Championship. They must have made their case, because they are there...even though they lost the head to head with Texas. On top of this, Florida jumps Texas and ends up in the BCmesS Championship even though they lost to a more inferior team at the time, Mississippi, and Texas lost to strong Tech. Oh...and did I mention that Texas beat Oklahoma? :-)

Now, I am sure that this all makes about as much sense as Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter, but you know...what would life be like without the BCmesS? Well, let's consider a few other things. Undefeated (12-0) Boise State, who defeated Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl a few years ago, is not invited to be one of the final ten teams in the BCmesS big picture even though they are ranked number nine, but Utah (#6) is...and they will play Alabama in this year's Sugar Bowl, as is two loss Ohio State (#10), who will play Texas...yes, THAT the Fiesta Bowl. Now Boise State is relegated to a minor bowl in San Diego or some such place, but will at least be playing a challenging TCU. Also, one loss Texas Tech is also relegated to a minor bowl, as well. But, this is not the point. It all just reeks of favoritism, which is why -- THERE MUST BE A PLAYOFF. Pit Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Texas Tech, Utah, Boise State, Penn State and USC and ??? in some sort of playoff where a true national champion may be crowned. Now, it may not end up being the #1 team at the end of the regular season, but it would be exciting. In the past three years in the NFL two #6 seeds have won the Super Bowl. The Steelers and Giants got hot at the right time and became the best team. Same could happen for the NCAA. It would be poetic justice, and just cool, if Boise State had a chance to win the championship. They should have the opportunity! Blessings,


Friday, December 5, 2008

Living in 2008...But Not For Much Longer


Found!...pretty funny stuff -- you know you're living in 2008 when...

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in ten years.

3. You have a list of fifteen phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses. (It will be Facebook in 2009).

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways when you smile :-).

12. You know to whom you are going to forward this message. (Don't do it! ;-)

13. You are too busy reading to notice that there was no #9 on the list.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Agape Love


If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV).

His point is this: Anybody can love those who love them. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you. This may seem like an impossible task and it is...that’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: We know and rely on the love God has for us (1 John 4:16 NIV). When you realize how much God loves you -- with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love -- then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding. You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.

Love must become your lifestyle, the habit of your life. But it starts with a decision. Are you ready? Your life is worth far more than you think, and by learning to love others with the love God gives you, you will have an influence far greater than you could ever imagine. If you will commit to this, you will experience love as God means it to be, filled with hope, energy, and joy.

My prayer for you is...that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love (Philippians 1:9 NCV). © 2008 Rick Warren. Blessings,


Monday, December 1, 2008

Triple Treat


This evening there will be an unusual, yet spectacular, event in the southwestern sky. The planets Venus and Jupiter will be very close, and they will be joined by a crescent moon. If you have been looking up for a couple of weeks now, you have seen the two brightest planets in the same general area. Tonight, it is likely that they will be able to be viewed all together through a telescope or binoculars. This is closer than they will appear until the year 2052.

J. Rao of "Space" indicates that...a very close conjunction of the crescent moon and a bright star or planet can be an awe-inspiring naked-eye spectacle. The English poet, critic and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) used just such a celestial sight as an ominous portent in his epic, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." In addition, there are juxtaposed crescent moon and star symbols that have appeared on the flags of many nations, including Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Algeria, Mauritania, and Tunisia.

Keep in mind that this head-turning display of three celestial objects crowded together will be merely an illusion of perspective: the moon will be only about 251,400 miles from Earth, while Venus is nearly 371 times farther away, at 93.2 million miles. Meanwhile, Jupiter is almost 2,150 times farther away than our natural satellite at 540.3 million miles. Interesting stuff. Blessings,