He's Getting MARRIED...

I tried posting this one earlier, but for some reason it didn't take...

My good---great friend AARON KUGLIN is getting married!

I knew that something was up last week when he told me he was "seriously seeing someone..." and I kindly asked him to "keep me informed."

Monday morning, bright and early, I get a telephone call from Decatur, GA and the cheery voice said, "She's wearing a ring on her finger..."

I'm so happy for Aaron and Kristy, even though I've never met Kristy.

Aaron and I have been pals for almost seven years...and he is one of the sources of great joy in my life...He is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute, and has been one of my very closest friends for a long time now.

I could say so much about him...but I won't...

At least not right now.

Rules of the South....

Someone posted this on a message board a while back. I'm a native Southerner...even though now I am happily transplanted in the North...aka YANKEE LAND....

I will neither confirm nor deny the "truthfulness" of any of these rules....but they are hilarious:


A friend just moved from Southern California to South Carolina and he e-mailed this. He said they gave it to him at the state line.

If you are going to live or visit in the South, you need to know these rules:

1. That farm boy you see at the gas station did MORE work before breakfast than you do all week at the gym.

2. It's called a "gravel road." No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Navigator. Drive it or get out of the way.

3. The red dirt -- it's called clay. Red clay. If you like the color, don't wash your car for a couple weeks -- it'll be permanent.

4. We all started hunting and fishing when we were seven years old. Yeah, we saw Bambi. We got over it.

5. Go ahead and bring your $600 Orvis Fly Rod. Don't cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle. We have a name for those little 13-inch trout you fish for -- bait.

6. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.

7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of mallards (ducks) are making their final approach, we will shoot it (the phone). You might want to insure it's not up to your ear at the time.

8. No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

9. Tea - yeah, we have tea. It comes in a glass over ice and is really, really sweet. You want it hot -- sit it in the sun. You want it unsweetened -- add a LOT of water.

10. You bring Coke into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.

11. So, you have a sixty thousand dollar car. We're real impressed. We have a quarter of a million-dollar combine (it's farm equipment) that we only use two weeks a year.

12. Let's get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.

13. We eat dinner together with our families. We pray before we eat yeah, even breakfast). We go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays and we go to high school football games on Friday nights. We still address our seniors with "yes, sir" and " yes, ma'am," and we sometimes still take Sunday drives around town to see friends and neighbors.

14. We don't do "hurry up" well.

15. Greens - yeah, we have greens, but you don't putt on them. You boil them with salty fatback, bacon or a ham hock.

16. Yeah, we eat catfish, bass, bream (pronounced brim) and carp. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the bait shop.

17. They are pigs. That's what they smell like (money). Get it -- pig farms -- income -- money? Get over it. Don't like the smell? Interstate 77 goes two ways .Interstate 20 goes the other two. Pick one.

18. Grits are corn. You put butter, salt, and maybe even some pepper on them. If you want to put milk and sugar on them, then you want Cream of Wheat -- go to Kansas. That would be I-20 west.

19. The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer r season or dove season. Both are holidays. You can get pancakes, cane syrup, and sausage before daylight at the church on either day.

20. So every person in every pickup waves? Yeah, it's called being friendly. Understand the concept?

21. Yeah, we have golf courses. Don't hit in the water hazards. It spooks the fish and bothers the gators...and if you hit it in the rough, we have these things called diamondbacks, and they're not baseball players.

22. That Highway Patrol Officer that just pulled you over for driving like an idiot...his name is "Sir," no matter how young he is.

23. We have lots of pine trees. They have sap. It drips from them. You park your Navigator under them, and they'll leave a logo on your hood.

24. You burn an American flag in our state, you get beat up. No questions. The liberal contingent of our state legislature -- all four of them -- enacted a measure to stop this. There is now a $2.50 fine for beating up the flag burner.

25. No, we don't care how you do things in California or up North. If it is so great, why not stay there?

26. And no, down here we don't have an accent, you do.

I think most of them are pretty funny. And some of them are "gospel" truth too.

No ordinary "Joe"

at least I don't think so. My buddy Joe Misek has started blogging!

Here's his link:


Go visit my friend, and read about his life...his thoughts...his emotions, and tell him that PHIL sent you over! It will be a good visit.

For both of you.

Does it ever slow down?

I'm just going to say it:

I'm exhausted!

In the last seven days I have:

Participated in two conferences (student matters) here at work;
Worked at two career/resource fairs (on my feet for at least 5 hours each);
Participated in a condo association board meeting;
Cleaned my house for potential buyers to view;
Worked in the new Facility of my local church, preparing for the dedication (www.moodychurch.org) 12 hours on Saturday, and 8 hours on Sunday;
Put in 40 hours worth of work in my office.

Where did my weekend go? I spent at least 20 hours out of 48 at the church--I was happy to do it, but I'm also glad that "dedication" is behind us.

My back hurts, my feet hurt, and I just feel drained.

And I'm not even married! And I don't have small children at home!

What is my problem?

I just don't seem to have the stamina nor the energy that I once had.

Oh well.....

Earth's Loss and Heaven's Gain!

I just returned from a short lunch break and heard the awful news:

Dr Jerry Falwell, Pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia has gone to be with the Lord this morning.

He was found unconscious in his office. All efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

I first met "Pastor Falwell" thirty plus years ago when he did a tour of the nation entitled "I LOVE AMERICA!" That was the very first time I heard Robbie Hiner and the "Sounds of Liberty"...it was a grand evening.

Dr Falwell pastored the same congregation that started in his living room more than 50 years ago.

I remember hearing him on the radio back when I was a teenager, with the half-hour program "The Old Time Gospel Hour"...I also remember the Sunday television program by the same name.

I didn't always agree with Dr Falwell on a variety of political issues. But I have always admired his bold stand for the power of the Gospel, the love of Jesus Christ, and our eternity with God for those who have trusted His Son.

This is a tremendously sad day for the Christian Church in the United States, and indeed around the world.

Let's remember his precious family in our prayers. That includes his large, loving church family as well.

The First Commandment with A Promise...

Exodus 20 tells me to "Honor thy father and mother..."

Yesterday was Mother's Day--one of my two least favorite holidays in the whole year. The other "least favorite" will be Father's Day in a few weeks.

My parents abandoned me when I was a small baby, and for all intents and purposes dropped out of my life when it was convenient for them to do so.

My precious Grandmother Hoover raised me--and did one terrific job, if I must say so myself.

We were discussing this very issue in Sunday School yesterday: Honoring your parents.

This has plagued me for a long time. But it seems to have all "come together" yesterday. I don't "honor them" for their sake. I "honor them" for my sake. The promise of God is to me. The promise is that "it will be well with you all the days of your life." That is God's promise to me--for honoring those who "gave birth" to me.

And that's the "hard" part for me. Jodi (my biological mother) and I are friends. Very platonic friends. I'm happy with this arrangement, and it seems to work for me. I'm not sure how it works for her--and for the most part, I've not really cared how it works for her. There is no hatred nor animosity there--but there is a heavy load of indifference, on my part.

So how do I honor someone who abandoned me, and indirectly (sometimes directly) abused me when I needed them most?

What say ye?

The not-so-pretty part of King David

Read 1 Samuel 24 and 25.

We are studying the life of David in our Sunday School class. And so far, we've all liked (for the most part) what we've discovered about the second king of Israel. We've found a brave, proud, and loyal servant of the Lord. We've found a man who refuses to kill the same mad man who has tried to kill him on several occasions. We've found a young man who honors the Lord and the Lord's anointed--even at the risk of his own life.

But then we come to 1 Samuel 25. The story of David, Abigail, and Nabal.

There are some things that we know from this story:

1) Nabal is a rude, arrogant, and foolish man.

2) Abigail is a smart, wise, and diplomatic woman.

3) David is ready to kill a man, and his entire village--just because Nabal spoke rudely towards him.

David sends his men to tell Nabal, "Look, we've protected your sheep even though we didn't have to, and we've not harmed your shearers (even though we could have), and we are tired and hungry, and we want your food from your farm. Furthermore, we want it now." (my paraphrase and emphasis).

David had no right to "call in this favor." Sure, David was fleeing from Saul, and was running for his life: tired, exhausted, probably afraid and depressed.

David had witnessed the horror of Saul's murdering of an entire city of priests because they didn't cooperate with his scheme--or even knew anything about it. But now David was willing to wipe out an entire community--just because an arrogant farmer was rude to him.

It's truly amazing how much of SAUL is in David's heart. Gene Edwards' masterpiece A Tale of Three Kings truly assists us in understanding just how much "humanity" this soon-to-be-great King really possessed.

David is probably not 25 years old now, but he's bent on wiping out innocent people--just for giving him an answer he didn't like. How very, very like the man he would replace: King Saul.

So how much of "Saul" do I have in me?

What about you?

If God is God, then Why?

My long-time friend, Dr Al Truesdale has written a marvelous, searching, probing book:

If God is God, then Why? Letters from New York City

This is a companion book to an earlier volume, If God is God, then Why? Letters from Oklahoma City written in the late 1990s, concerning the horrible bombing of the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Al, a retired theology professor, sensitively and compassionately answers many questions that everyone raises about the "goodness" and even the "severity" of God.

This fictional account of letters to a pastor addresses the unavoidable question: What kind of loving Father would allow the suffering of September 11, 2001?

We find the solution in the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son.

While acknowledging the absolute sovereignty of God the Father, Truesdale doesn't run and hide behind that well-established fact. He grapples with some of the heart-wrenching questions that many have asked through the ages, and that many will continue to ask.

Let me encourage you to get both volumes.

Published by Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, these two books will encourage you, enlighten your mind, and cause you to look deep within your own heart. These volumes will draw you into deep response for the suffering and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There's alot of truth to this...

I'm not sure who "authored"this--but it states exactly how many of us in the "silent majority" feel about the "undocumenteds" in this country:

Let's say I break into your house.

A lady wrote the best letter in the Editorials in ages!!!

It explains things better than all the baloney you hear on TV.

Her point: Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.

Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.

Let's say I break into your house.

Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters:

You are required to let me stay in your house.
You are Required to add me to your family's insurance plan.
You are Required to Educate my kids.
You are Required to Provide other benefits to me & to my family (my husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.

It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house.

And what a deal it is for me!!!

I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.

Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE so you can communicate with me.

Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?!

Only in America .

Send them back! Do it now!

All of the "undocumented" (read ILLEGAL) folks in this country have decided that it is time to "march again for our rights..." As a matter of facts, they are doing it even as I am writing this post.

My first question is this:

If you are here "undocumented" then what "rights" do you suppose you have? You are breaking the laws of this free nation--and you have the gall to think you have "rights"?

The government of the United States of America needs to grow a spine and do something about the "undocumented" "illegals" in this country. And do it now...post haste!

As a taxpaying, law-abiding, citizen of this great land, I'm devoid of any patience where this issue is concerned. The rest of the taxpaying, law-abiding, citizenry (and documented immigrants) in this country have been "robbed" long enough.

Personally, I want every person who insists on not becoming part of this nation (and have come here illegally) to go back to wherever they have come from. We do not want you here--particularly so if you insist on breaking the laws of this land.

We want you to:

1) Come here legally. Wait your turn, and do it legally.

2) Learn to speak ENGLISH...not Spanglish, Polish, or Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics....ENGLISH....

3) Become a citizen of this nation. Start today...regardless of the cost. Either become an American, or find another nation in which to live.

4) Insist and demand that your children and family learn to speak English.

And for the legislators:

1) Grow a spine, for heaven's sake!

2) Enforce the laws of this land.

3) Refuse amnesty, guest worker programs, and anything else that will encourage people to break the laws of this land, and violate us as they have been doing for years.