Sunday, April 29, 2007


Hey - The Babe - flew to Las Vegas today at 4:45 pm. She left me and the kids at about 4:20 to go and do all the pre-flight hokey pokey. Miss Chopsticks started crying when - The Babe - known as mom, left at that moment and up to this point (5:30) she hasn't stopped. Every few seconds she cries, "I want MOMM--EEEEEEEE -sniffle - EEEEE!" So -Babe, you should feel loved. We all love you and will not answer the phone while you are not home. We don't want anyone to know that mom isn't home because they might try to get us. We will make sure to drink our milk, stay in school, and don't do drugs. Rabbit and the Punisher are also very sad as you can see in the photos.
So, over the next few days, The Waffle will be in charge of food (as always), baths, brushing teeth, wiping hiney, getting out of bed on time, and pony tails. In addition to all of the tasks already loved - such as - keeping the house clean, dropping off and picking up kids, coaching and umping baseball games, and teaching lessons to Miss Chopsticks.
Praise the Lord for the unique time that I will be spending with my kids over the next few days without my "HelpMeat" -
I Lava Ya Babe!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

TP Finish Line

Normally, I don't use this many photos, but I had so many Photo Posers. On Thursday I did a photo shoot with a couple of guys that we will call Butch and Sundance (not the guy from American Idol). They will be a part of the graduation ceremony next weekend at ETBU because they are providing valet services as people arrive - no wait, they are actually graduating. This is a photo of the two as they finish the race. These guys were interested in having a fun photo shoot, so I didn't mind being a catalyst that initiated some of the most hilarious moments ever. These two are natural characters and it isn't hard to bring them out of the silence. Some of the photos that we did were ca-razy. Like this one of Butch.
But some were great - like this one of Butch and Biote, his wife. - Isn't that lovey-dovey >>>>
While I was photographing, we observed a moment of silence and some serious thinking was going on about why we were trying to be silent

- as so greatly demonstrated by Sundance, but then we just decided to have more fun :-)
Thanks guys, I had a fantastic time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Awesome Stuff

I have been going over the stuff that I wrote based on the writings of Luke. Today I looked at the story of the Widow's Mite. This is so awesome.

Luke 21:1-4
- read these verses in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

Jesus was in a moment of intensity as He spoke to the leaders of the church, when He looked up and saw all of the rich people lined up at the offering box, waiting for their turn to put in their offerings. They would stand in line with their heads held high and definitely not write the check until they got to the box. Then, as they would write their check, they would discuss how much they were writing down on the note. They would always try to out-give each other. Jesus stood there shaking His head and noticed that there was a small woman standing in line. She was quite a bit older than the other families that were waiting. She was by herself, so she must have been a widow and no one was standing too close to her because her clothes were a little on the dingy side and the ones around her didn’t want to get their fine robes dirty. Jesus watched as she made her way to the front of the line. He whispered for his disciples to watch what she was doing and then, she reached into a pocket on her robe. As she pulled her hand out, the disciples didn’t see anything, but then as she reached over the box, they saw her drop two small coins into the box. If they hadn’t been watching so intently, they wouldn’t have seen anything because the woman had done it so fast. She didn’t talk to anyone about what she was putting in the box, she just did it. It probably took about one and a half seconds for her to put her money in. Jesus turned around to His disciples and said, “Wow! Did you see that?” The disciples all nodded yes, but were kind of confused because all of the other people were writing checks for 500 dollars or more and this lady had dropped in – like 2 cents. Jesus said, “This widow has put more in the box than all the others. She is a poor widow and she could use every spare cent to buy food so that she could survive. Her bank account is probably a can buried in the ground outside of her house. I would guess that it is always very close to being empty, but did you see what she did? Her heart has been laid on the line because she believes. The others that have been giving were giving out of their abundance. If they gave 750 dollars, they had 75,000 dollars at home, to live on. She gave 2 cents because that is all that she had to give. She gave to honor God and I tell you, He is smiling down on that widow for what she has done.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Home

I just thought that I'd post a photo of my home for you.


Now if you have been to a breakfast place like Waffle House, IHOP, Owen's, or Denny's, you may have noticed that the menus are kind of fun. All the eggs, waffles, hash browns, pancakes, (grits if you like 'em) and breakfast meats you could ever want. Sometimes they even have all you can eat - this or that. I don't suppose I've ever eaten at a waffle house. I do enjoy that sort of food, but eating it requires milk and that is where my problem lies.

When Mr. T had something important to say, I always tried to listen. One thing he always told me, "Drink yo milk foo!" I appreciate that and over the years, I've enjoyed countless gallons of milk. It is so nice to have a really cold glass of it anytime. It goes perfect with peanut butter, cereal, steak - well, pretty much everything. I have found that Texas Roadhouse has some of the coldest milk around - it is de-lish.

Now that you know how I feel about milk, back to the story: It costs anywhere from $1.50-$2.50 to get one 12 oz glass of milk in those breakfast places. Each time I take a drink from a glass of milk, I average about 8 oz. So that math tells me that I'll get 1 and 1/2 drinks of milk before it is gone. Oh-no, there are no free refills. So where does that leave me? Drinking water unless I'm rich - I'm not. I don't go to those breakfast restaurants very often, but I've been thinking - If I were to go to the grocery store, I could buy a gallon of milk for $3.50 - or so. though it wouldn't be real cold, I could take that gallon to my table and ask for an empty glass. I'm sure that with my help, my family of five could polish off that gallon before the meal were over. I know that Chopsticks, The Punisher, and The Rabbit (formerly The Iceman, at least until those front two teeth come out) love milk about half as much as I do.
The loves in my life are organized something like this:
#1 Jesus #2 The Babe #3 milk #4 breathing

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don Johnson Band

I have a friend named Don Johnson that lives in Miami. No - not that Don Johnson. My friend Don Johnson actually lives in East Texas and writes some fabulous worship songs. I've added his band link over on the right of this page. You should check it out because it has some audio recordings of a couple of his songs and I imagine that if you listen, you will find that they are very good. I think that if I post a photo of Don, I'll have to give him a nickname - Miami Vice - of course.
On Friday, I'll be going over to his home studio to record some of my own songs. If you didn't know, I play acoustic and bass guitars. I wrote the song that I'll be recording in May of last year. I've called it "Guilty." It is a song about the possibility of having a guilty verdict on God's Judgment day. It was not intended to sound like that other stuff that gets played on CCM radio, no, it is very good. I'll see if I can figure out how to put an audio player on this blog and maybe soon, you'll be able to hear it - but, maybe not.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Did Somebody Say Toast?

Hey guys, I was preparing the evening meal tonight and as I was preparing the base for my operation, and I noticed that it looked like a piece of Texas toast. To those living outside of Texas, it may look like a GIGANTICALLY ENORMOUS piece of Texas Toast - but I would say that it was a regular to small-ish sized piece. So I had The Babe photograph while I bit.

This meal is called a Texas Sammy:
That Texas toast is from a Sourdough loaf, though we've also used a French loaf. There were other ingredients - bacon, chopped onions, ground beef, seasoning salt, butter, grated cheese, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, and about 10 oz. of sour cream.

Set your oven to 425 degrees and let it begin to heat. Cut the bread loaf in half and butter the tops. Set them top-up on an un-greased baking pan (cookie sheet). Cook the bacon and set aside for now. Cook the beef with the onions and some seasoning salt to taste. Once that the meat has been prepared, mix in the mushroom soup and the sour cream. Let the concoction simmer for about five minutes. For those five minutes, place the baking pan with bread, inside the oven to begin to toast the bread. Retrieve the hot pan and then move the beefy mixture to the tops of the semi-toasted bread loaf halves. Cover with cheese and crumbled bacon.
Put the Texas Sammy filled cookie sheet on the middle oven rack and wait for about 7-10 minutes - the wait may be longer or shorter - it is based on the bread loaf cooking and cheese melting times.

Oh yeah... the umpiring that I did on Saturday
is still bringing the pain to my legos.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Today I was initiated into the job of umpiring a game. It started off easy and I was the field umpire for the first two games - from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. Being a field umpire means that I was the umpire in the field that doesn't squat behind the catcher. I called those two games and then headed to a make up game where I coached The Punisher and The Iceman - we won.

Did I tell you that it was cold today?

Then about 4:00pm I headed back to umpire three more games. In the first game, I was a field umpire, then after that one, I found out that I was supposed to be the head umpire to call strikes and balls behind the catcher for the last two games. I was excited, but I'll have to say now - I was always a catcher, but I don't remember how much work it is to get up and down about a million times. Now I have wobbly legs. I served as head umpire from about 6:30-9:00pm.
Just so you know, I love the game of baseball and I spent pretty much all day at the baseball park today. I'm finally home and I just thought I'd tell you about it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Video

Hey guys, do whatever you have to do to get that video to play over there on the right of this page. The truth in it is so awesome. The first time I saw it though, I thought that I must not be looking at the right thing because the video changes format in the middle. Just stick with it - it is fantastic. If you love it ask a friend to look at it. Get ready!!!!!!

Since no one has looked at this post yet, I'll add what I was going to add here, but look at the video first---

Previously I said that the video on the right is awesome in it's truth - most of it is. But as I look at it again and again, I notice that in the video, most of the church congregation is caught up in the moment. There are a few left in the building to pray. I hope that is right, but as I read the Bible, I see something very different. In Luke 13:24-28, Jesus tells us about a narrow door that few will enter. Many will feel and act like they are a part of God's kingdom, but many will be turned away at its gates. From what I understand, it is possible that most of the people in that church in the video will be left there in their seats and only a few will be gone. It will still be astounding and the people left behind will definitely know what just happened. Check this out:

Luke 13: 24-28a

- read this verse in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

Jesus said, “You shouldn’t worry about the number of people that enter heaven, you should worry about yourself. Life, when you’ve been saved, is hard work. It is like a foot race and you will find that some people – the talkers - sit at home and talk about how they are runners, though they have never even entered a race. Oh sure, they exercise and wear running shoes all the time, they just don’t run. Other people actually get out and run the race. Some of them might be out of shape and don’t really look like runners. They start the race and find that it is very hard, but they keep running and at the end of the day, when they have crossed the finish line, they find victory.
When God calls His runners home to heaven, there will be some – the talkers - that will walk up to the gate to get in, but it will be closed. They will say, ‘But, I went to church - I sang worship songs - I stayed healthy - I listened to my momma - I provided above and beyond what was needed for my family. God, I belong in heaven with you.’ God will reply, ‘No, no, I don’t know you. Go away, you don’t belong here.’ That day, there will be much crying and hurting."

God wants a righteous group of people to reflect His character. Salvation is not a product. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone and the new has come." Salvation is a changed life. It's not just a little prayer that is said once and then you find that life continues like it always had. It is not a ticket to heaven or a fire insurance policy to keep you from hell. It is a changed life from darkness and evil to Godliness. Go back to Isaiah 29:13 and God speaks most clearly about how He feels about these little prayers, prayed by unchanged lives. "These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up of rules taught by men."

A little prayer is all that it takes to get started, but a changed life is what is required to give that little prayer meaning.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


My family and I went to a baseball game on Friday. We left home Friday afternoon and the weather was cool, but as we drove west into the oncoming !c~o~l~d~ness! we were quite surprised. We went to see the Rough Riders game anyway and found out what 43 degrees feels like with 25 mph winds blowing on you~~~cold!! It is a nice stadium except I don't like that they put giant lighted billboard ads on the outfield wall. As I looked at it, I thought, " I know that they have padded the outfield walls to protect the players, but now that they have added the giant metal frames holding what someone feels like is good advertising -I wonder what was the point in trying to keep the players safe?" Then I thought, "I should take The Iceman and The Punisher for a hot dog and a pennant, then we are outta here because it is soooo cold it is freezing my brain and we are turning into human popsicles." I looked and saw The Babe with Chopsticks sitting on her lap. They had blue lips and were wrapped in two flannel blankets. I figured they would much rather be in warmth so, being the kind, gentle, loving, warm-hearted, butter melting, Waffle that I am, we left at the top of the 4th inning.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Guess Who I Saw Today?

Today I was driving to Marshall to deliver an unbelievably amazing photo of some rings that had been framed for some friends and I saw something that I didn't expect. Before I tell you what I saw because you can already see - I had to deliver that photo in frame very quickly because it is such an awesome presentation and I know that if The Babe saw it, I would have to frame one up for her - which I intend to do - just when I can get some cash because frames are a little expensive.
Alright, so I'm driving and I see #53 out my window. I didn't know that little racer had a spring home in my area. After Chopsticks and I got The Iceman and The Punisher from their classes I took them over there to see Herb. Apparently the shop where Herbie was resting, does a lot of VW body work. I went into the shop and saw an ultra-customized beetle sitting on the floor. It had hydraulics and it really was on the floor. It also had a chopped top so the bug's height was about three and a half feet tall - it was low. There was also a convertible and a dual cab both in show condition. But I'm writing because we got to check out Herbie today and that was cool.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

So Good To Me!

You know, God has shown His mercy to me in a big way! He didn't have to, but He did. God can do anything - Luke 1:37. I love it when in the most sour of moments, He reveals Himself and His plans. I mean, He is most amazing when everything has gone in the crapper and all hope has been lost. He's watching us right now and He knows our lives. It's so awesome when that check comes in the mailbox on a day when you needed it most, or your best friend unexpectedly calls you to encourage you, or when the pneumonia has miraculously cleared from your lungs overnight, or when your kids get real quiet in the backseat and you are able to find a moment to be still.

Yeah, that's the good stuff - but don't overlook the greatness of God.

Remember though, it doesn't always work out rosy. The road to lost hope is a rough trail of unhappy moments. When I was almost killed in August 2003, I remember all of the notices that we got on our house, our car, unpaid medical bills from the creditors over the next year. There was no quick fix, but I can share an idea of how awesome God's work through my life has been - not because His plan didn't involve my life being nearly destroyed, but because His plan did involve my family falling madly in love with Him. This is a photo that I love because it is The Babe of course, but it is how - even after all of the trouble that we've experienced - we feel about God.

This morning I was reading through Luke chapter 8 and I saw many amazing things. I haven't posted anything from my Bible study for a long time so I thought I would. I was reading through the story of Jairus (Luke 8:40-56). Jairus had a daughter that was really sick and he had gone to retrieve Jesus for healing. On their way to Jairus' house, his daughter died.

Luke 8:49-56

- read this verse in your Bible first please -
- then the Ben Blue Jean Para -

Jairus got news from his house that his daughter was dead and he shouldn’t bother the teacher anymore. Though Jesus was speaking, He heard the news and turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid. If you believe, she will be healed.” Jairus, with tear-filled eyes and his mouth all puckered up like he had eaten something very sour, nodded his head and they continued the journey to his house. When they arrived, Jesus had everyone get out of the room except for Peter, James, John, Jairus, and Jairus’ wife. They went into the room while all of the people were outside wailing, moaning and groaning for her. Jesus shook His head and said, “Stop with all the noise! She is not dead but asleep.” The people that were making all the noise started laughing at Jesus because they knew that she was dead. Jesus closed the door and went to the bed that the girl was lying on. He took her hand in His and said, “My child, it is time to get up.” Right when He said that, she pulled her arms to her face and wiped her eyes. She yawned, and then jumped up because she hadn’t ever seen these men that were in her room before. Jesus said, “Get her some food, she is very hungry.” Jesus had to snap His fingers a couple of times because her parents were standing there looking like zombies with their mouths wide open. They were amazed at what they had just seen and had trouble recognizing that she was really alive again. When they started to move around like normal people, Jesus said, “Listen, I don’t want you to tell anyone about what has just happened. O.K.?” The parents nodded as they hugged their baby girl up.

Monday, April 2, 2007


You may or may not have known, but I was in the Army from 1993-1995. I was a 16T Patriot missile crew-member. I did my basic training at Ft.Sill Oklahoma, my advanced training at Ft. Bliss Texas, and then I was also stationed at Ft.Bliss. For six months, we were deployed to Riyadh Saudi Arabia to do our jobs there in the desert. Here is a photo of a launcher and truck. I was in charge of a set-up similar to this. Though this is not my photo - I couldn't find mine.
Ft. Bliss is in El Paso TX - that's the desert. The desert in Riyadh was much hotter than El Paso. I remember that one night in Riyadh I was fulfilling my guard duties and it was about midnight. I walked outside of our guard shack to stretch my legs and the temp felt pretty nice. I looked - at midnight - and the temp was 100 degrees. It was hot, so hot that the days were filled with high 130's.
We had a giant lizard that called our launchsite home, and we had a b.b.q. cookout once. I remember that those ribs that they cooked were about 18 inches long. I don't know but we might have been served some sort of camel. Also, there was this restaurant called Herfy. It seemed to be a hamburger joint, but if you look at the sign... I wonder what those hamburgers were made out of. I never did see a cow in Saudi Arabia.

Benny and the Newtones