Monday, December 30, 2013

They Can't Be Angels! Can They?

Okay! Okay! Okay! Such backlash! Not really! Only THREE of my TENS of readers expressed disappointment with the absence of a post this morning. Actually, three out of ten ain't bad. In the Major Leagues, batters with a .300 average are All-Stars! There is little hope of this little experiment ever gaining All-Star notoriety! But, we digress......

Trust me! I had no idea I would still be irritating you with my rantings at the end of the year. This thing started in February, with very little hope of making it past March. Topics are still swimming around in my head. But I wasn't sure how to proceed. Do I just tackle the next topic on my imaginary list? Do I do a year-end review? Do I threaten to quit (again), in an obvious attempt to garner faint praise from my tens of readers?

The reality is that I've had a blast with this thing. Most weeks, it has been fun. It's only felt like a deadline once or twice. And I continue to be amazed by the number of people who are NOT in the 150 (unfortunately now 170) who approach me and tell me they never miss an episode!

This morning, however, I just wasn't feeling it. I never got around to starting it on Sunday, and I actually needed to work this morning. Business is good and it's kind of a tough time of year to be working in the housing industry and, weekly, updating a blog.

This morning, I was being my typical self-centered, self-absorbed ME and I wasn't really concerned about the Blog. I keep telling all of you with topic requests that, "Hey! It's and it's free! Sign up and knock yourself out!"

Then, per usual, God did for me what I seemingly am never able to do for myself. He had me stop at a Pizza Joint I haven't been in since High School. In that visit, my attitudes, perspectives, and self-centeredness were all rearranged!

I had been following the fine work of Carolyn Benavides on Facebook and sensed that something special was going on at this place of business. Wow! I truly had NO IDEA!

I'm not going to quote the numbers because I am sure to get them wrong. But suffice it to say, that thousands of volunteer hours, by hundreds of volunteers, are being spent to feed Thousands of hungry kids and their families in the Carrollton/Farmers Branch area and  in Veterans' Hospitals in other towns. And this former classmate of mine (who I never knew in High School) is nothing short of a FIREBALL! Her passion for this work is palpable. And her energy is ridiculous!

We spoke of the dire need. I shared some of my experiences (hating to be outdone---I CLEARLY was). And before you knew it, we were both crying!

In the ULTIMATE reach to WIN, I decided to quote scripture! As humbly as possible (what a joke!), I declared, "Well, the Bible clearly says that we "...should not forget to show kindness to strangers..." Carolyn actually had the nerve to interrupt ME and quickly finished the verse, "for by doing so many have entertained angels unaware."

Carolyn has a heart, a zeal, and a passion for those who are less fortunate. You really need to stop by and see for yourself. And to top it all off, she evidently thinks that she just might be entertaining Angels!

Here's to you Carolyn Benavides (and Richard) and to the hundreds of folks that support and volunteer at Joe's Pizza Pasta & Subs in Carrollton, Tx! WELL DONE!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tucker Said "Don't Do It!"

I am still standing firm on my stance to not entertain requests for this little Blog. I did, however, pretend to care what my TENS of readers thought last week when I teasingly asked if I should address this A&E/Phil Robertson Imbroglio.

Tucker (my son) decidedly advised against it. He said that going with this topic was just too easy.....kind of implying that it would be a cop-out. He's probably right. It is too easy! And truthfully, the whole subject bores me to tears. I really could NOT care any less! But since 99.9% of the inhabitants of this Planet are unable to see that which is SO CRYSTAL CLEAR to me, I am forced to say some of the same things I've already expressed in here in the past.

1) Truth is no longer discovered! We now live in a time when Truth is created. Under this paradigm, Phil Robertson's attempts to share the Truth will ALWAYS be met with belligerent denial!

2) Although it should be, The Bible is not regarded as the moral standard! As a matter of fact, the Bible is seldom read, much less understood. If the Bible was truly read and believed, THREE of the largest Religious Groups (each boasting memberships of  nearly a billion) on the globe would NOT exist! Yes I said it. Most of you are going "Islam, Hinduism.....Oh No He Didn't!" Oh YES I did. 

3) Christians continue to look foolish, if not down right stupid, when they act SO SHOCKED that pagans refuse to act like Christians! Stop it! You are embarrassing yourself! Even on one simple example, I just want to take them and shake them and SCREAM, "Really? Really? You are really shocked that atheists want to take down the 10 Ten Commandments from public buildings? They are ATHEISTS!!!! Why do you EXPECT them to believe and behave like Christians??????"

Stainless has said for years that "Mankind is perfectly capable of setting REALITY (or TRUTH) aside in order to meet a personal need." Consequently, the Duck Commander can quote all the scripture he wants. It is not going to make a bit of difference to those who are going to do exactly what they want to do, anyway. They have CREATED their own truth!

I did receive a private message from someone to whom I've given a moniker, but will remain nameless. This person's response to this controversy was "Who gives a S###?"

That response is the only good one. I know I don't! Phil Robertson exercised his freedom to express exactly how he felt and he backed it up with scripture. A&E exercised it's freedom to suspend the dude and they backed it up with their corporate policy.

If you are shocked and surprised by that, all I can say is "Bless your hearts!" You are in need of much more help than I am able to give in this stupid little blog! 

Sorry Tuck! You were RIGHT!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Paying for Radio....Siriusly?

I understand that in many things, I am old-fashioned and WAY behind the times. In the past decade, I have driven vehicles that did not come equipped with this new-fangled Satellite Radio. Oh, I had been in a rental car or two. And I have ridden with my successful friends and been exposed to it. But for the most past, Satellite Radio was reserved for those who had to listen to Howard Stern after his departure from the Free radio airwaves.

THEN, it happened! Although, not in the budget, I purchased a little truck a couple of months ago and for the last 60 days, I have been enjoying the Free 90 Day offer of Satellite Radio. I am beginning to believe that it should have been called CRACK Radio. Because it's kind of turned into a drug!

First and foremost, the quality of the sound is ridiculous. I believe it was the first or second day when I was telling Shoe (he drives a BMW, OF COURSE!) that the quality of the sound system in this little economy truck was unbelievable. I said, "Dude, you should hear the Bass! These foreigners have really upped their game in their sound systems!" Shoe kind of sounded exasperated as he paused, and scoffingly said, "Push the FM button, dumba**!"

Oh! There it was! That's the radio I'm used to! That's the FM signal we all love in a Metro Area of 6 million. I was deflated.

Secondly, the timing of this purchase was EXACTLY the wrong time. I drove my new little truck to the first night of the 3 Night Reunion Event that was my 30th High School Reunion. Three solid nights of 80's-Intensive music, to which I could drive home in my new little truck and listen to the 80's on 8. The brain-washing was on!

Now, over two months into it, I will be facing the decision of whether or not to subscribe and actually PAY for radio! The whole idea sounds ridiculous to me. I never thought in a thousand years that I would actually be considering this luxury.

But I do know this....Free Radio is AWFUL! And Free Radio is is detrimental to my quality of life!

Apparently, the whole goal of Free Radio is to generally irritate, annoy, agitate, and lure the listening audience into a complete state of depression. There is no doubt that is what Talk Radio does. ALL Talk Radio! Liberal, Conservative, doesn't matter. They are all equal opportunity offenders! Maybe someone should do a study about Road Rage and try to determine what these folks are listening to! Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin aside....listen to Sports Talk. Really? Is Hitzges really screaming, cussing, and spitting about the Giveaway/Takeaway ratio? Is it REALLY that important in the overall scheme of things?

I can't really find a music station I like, either. ESPECIALLY in the mornings! These Guy/Girl teams that cater to the Soccer Mom and BEAT us down with their questions of the day! I would rather fall off a 60 Story building and catch my eye-lid on a rusty nail than listen to these women call in from "car-line" and discuss their infatuation with vampires!

And then there's the commercials! I think we've been duped. In any given hour, the music or talk seems to be less than 30 minutes. I know that's the case with sports talk. The Ticket is the leading sports radio station in America. Their Hosts do four "6-7 minute" segments per hour. That's about 28 minutes of talk per hour. The other 32 minutes is spent trying to convince their target demographic that they need a testosterone shot!

I do know this. I am hooked on Satellite Radio. And I know my quality of life is better. I have a lot of windshield time very day. And recently,  I've even ventured away from the 70's on 7 and the 80's on 8. Last week, I was almost exclusively on XM 32 The Bridge. My blood pressure is lower! I don't get nearly as agitated. And I don't walk in the door and kick the dogs!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Willing Schmilling!

"...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Most of you Philistines that read my little Blog have no idea that the above quote is actually found in the Bible. Jesus made this comment to His followers in the garden when he found them sleeping after He had asked them to keep watch. He was encouraging them to be careful about falling into temptation because, "...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)

What Jesus was NOT doing is giving mankind the ULTIMATE excuse for never getting off its A$$ for the next 20 centuries! I've heard it said, I've heard it quoted, I've seen it written, and yes, I even uttered it myself more times than I want to admit.

I would like to....I want to....I wish I could....I really desire to......I mean, truthfully.....believe me...The spirit is willing. But the flesh is weak.

This mantra has become, for me, the biggest load of MEADOW MUFFINS that we ever CAN or ever WILL speak! And quite frankly, I'm tired of it.

Dr. George Sheehan, a cardiologist and writer, whose writings sparked the running boom in the 70's spoke of this excuse in one of his essays published in The Essential Sheehan: A Lifetime of Running Wisdom from the Legendary Dr. George Sheehan:

"I had, of course, heard the excuse many times before. But for the first time, it occurred to me that the opposite was also true. The flesh is willing; it is the spirit that is most often weak. Our bodies are capable of astounding feats. But the horizons of our spirits do not reach beyond the TV, the stereo, and the car in the garage."

I read this essay a few weeks ago in the December Runner's World. And I can't get this quote out of my mind. No! No! No! I'm not going to break my streak at 45 and beat you all down with my running stories. The truth is, you really don't care! And my running record is a joke!

But speaking of getting beaten down. This excuse beats me down! I have heard of war injuries, sports injuries, bad knees, bad backs, weak hips.....on and on and nauseam! Yes, it seems that everyone I meet REALLY wants to get off the couch! Oh! They are so willing! But the flesh is weak!

Please tell that to whomever you want....hopefully someone just as pathetically weak-spirited as you. But do NOT tell that to me! I am no longer going to listen to it. And I'm no longer going to kindly let you off the hook if you go there with me.

In general, our flesh is fine. Our spirits are weak! Our flesh is capable of truly astounding feats.  We hear and read about them almost daily. Working moms are running marathons. Old men are climbing Everest. Chemo patients are completing Ironman Triathlons!

But for some reason, you find it necessary to give me a complete medical history after seeing the sticker on my truck. You don't have to tell me. I can see that your back hurts. It's because of that permanent curvature caused by the recliner. Of course your knees hurt. They have 40 pounds more weight on them than they should! Try some bicep work by doing some "push-aways" from the table!

Or, do nothing at all. I really could NOT care any less. I only care about my spirit and my flesh. But, don't lie to me and try to convince me that the spirit is WILLING. When, in reality, the  spirit is WEAK! I don't know how to change it. But it is. The flesh is fine!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Can't Do Either One

It was GREAT to have my daughter home for the week. I still had to work. I even had to work on Friday. But sitting with her in the Family Room, with a fire burning in the fireplace, and knowing she was asleep in her bedroom each night gave me a certain contentment that I had not experienced since August.

Thanksgiving is tough on some. I received news on Wednesday that a former college classmate's son had overdosed and died. I thought of her often during the last few days knowing that Thanksgiving would never be the same for her again. Sad! Very, very sad! There are simply no words.

Yesterday, November 30th, marked the 25th anniversary of my Mom's death. I know that it should not have been any different than 23 or 24. But for some reason, the whole "quarter of a century" thing made me think of her a lot more this year. Mom died a long, long time ago. Yet, in so many ways, it feels like yesterday.

In thinking of my classmate's loss and the anniversary of Mom's death, I am once again reminded of very specific directions in the Bible, when it says to "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."

I cannot seem to do either one. My self-centeredness prohibits it. I can only view your happiness or sadness through my own life's experiences and it renders me incapable of rejoicing or mourning with you. If you just received a promotion and got a pay raise, I'm jealous that I did not. I can't genuinely be happy for you. On the other hand, if your Mom just died, I will WEAR you out with stories of my Mom's death. And trust me. At the moment you are grieving the loss of your Mom, you could NOT care any less about when I lost mine.

These thoughts are really not an opinion as much as they are my real experience. Of the 700 people  who passed by my Mom's casket and hugged my neck, it seemed like 75% of them found it necessary to recount their Mom's death. I was in shock at what I perceived as their sheer stupidity.

But you know what? In this instance, people really aren't stupid and they really aren't insensitive. They just have NO IDEA what to say! Just like me, they have no earthly idea how to "mourn with those who mourn."

The truth is, the classmate who lost her son, really has no fondness for me. She and I just didn't have many things in common and didn't see "eye to eye." I haven't reached out to her yet and I'm not sure that I will. But my heart aches for her. She is experiencing something and going through things that I pray I will never experience. I have no words. I just don't know how to mourn with those who mourn.

Over the years, as my friends have started to lose parents, I am often the first person they call. They call me because they know "I've been through it." I often share what I just shared above.

People really aren't stupid. They really don't mean to be insensitive. They are not mean-spirited. They are just at a complete loss. Because when it comes to rejoicing and mourning, they just can't seem to do either one.

Monday, November 25, 2013

But It Feels Much Worse

If you are reading this post, you are a true fan of CTT. The reason is that I could not stand the pain any longer and deactivated FB once again. I have such an incredible love/hate relationship with that medium of social interaction. I really hope to stay away this time until after the new year!

Last week was a tough week. I was not able to heed Ray Wylie Hubbard's advice and my expectations crippled me. Even today, expectations just ate my lunch!

Does anyone else despise Meteorologists as much as I do? Is it really necessary to SENSATIONALIZE the weather forecasts as they do? What a joke this weekend turned out to be! The problem is that it's a year round deal. In Texas, we don't even need weathermen (persons to some of you). The forecast is the same every day for 6 months. For the other 6 months, however, these clowns are getting paid to read computer models. I suppose it's a great gig if you can get it!

I can pretty much remember "wind chill" for most of my lifetime. "It's going to get down to 27 degrees tonight. But BUNDLE UP! Cause it's going to feel like it's 25!" Please tell me NO!

Maybe, I'm wrong. But I think this "Heat Index" thing is fairly recent---as in the last couple decades. "Expect the high to be 108. But, it's going to feel like it's 112!" Find me some shade!

Let me go on record as saying that Wind Chill and Heat Index are two of the STUPIDEST things I have ever seen! I just don't get it! And I don't see the need to sensationalize the weather. And I don't know what it says about the state of man, in general, that we absolutely INSIST that things must be much worse than they really are.

The Dallas/Fort Worth area got YET another dose of that over this past weekend. Not watches. Not advisories. Not potential. No! We had Winter Storm Warnings in effect all weekend because the Ice Age Armageddon was on the way! Did anyone really believe it? But more importantly, will anyone pay any attention to the next forecast? What a joke? And some of these esteemed meteorologists are insisting that flurries are possible tonight! Is it really necessary to forecast snow flurries?

So, it's hotter than it really is. It's colder than it really feels. SO, I'm going to blame the stupid weatherman for making it okay for all of us to explain that things are much better (or worse) than they really are. You are happier than you really deserve. Your kids are more successful than they'll ever be. You're making more money than you ever have.

And let's not even go on the negative side. Those of you who are just the opposite...especially those of you who are defined by your WEEKLY Doctor visits.....we know! We All Know! We know more than we EVER wanted to know about you! You are much worse than the Doctor believes!

So, let me encourage everyone to just continue the "Wind Chill/Heat Index" paradigm in your life. Please share your true temperature. But please go on to convince us that it feels much worse than it is! Better yet, put it all on Facebook! Especially, while I'm away!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tis the Season......for Stupid!

Many readers of CTT are not familiar with my love/hate relationship with Facebook. In my mind, Facebook is just a continuing social experiment where I try to be as inflammatory as possible, in order to see how you will respond. It typically brings me great joy.

However, I have deactivated my account on more than one occasion. Usually, a deactivation occurs during a couple of Seasons. One is vacation season. I struggle with the sin of ENVY. In my mind, all of you check in from the French Riviera and brag of this glorious destination. My envy takes over and I cannot bare to read about it. I know that ALL of you are not in the South of France. But, that's what my narrow mind sees.

We are now in the second season of the year when I am most likely to deactivate. Tis the Season! Dear friends, people I love, people I admire, along with people who generally irritate me will be posting some of the most RIDICULOUS thoughts and opinions to ever be blasted into cyber-space! It truly drives me insane and deepens my conviction that this little experience here on the Planet is just an exercise in futility.

For starters, this overwhelming gratitude that is about OVERCOME you is probably not a bad thing. The world could use some gratitude. I even mentioned it last week. What I did NOT say is this: "Okay folks, I mentioned gratitude in my Blog. Now, in the next 10 minutes, if you do not create a gratitude blog, post 30 things you're grateful for, copy it to everyone's page, link it to Pinterest, and invite 13 homeless people to your house for Thanksgiving......then you are a SPAWN of Satan and the fires of Hell cannot, in any way, be hot enough for you!"

I know this is America. I know that we turn EVERYTHING into a competition. It's kind of like the other day when I saw a link to the Yoga Championships! I couldn't wait to call the Denton Yogi and inquire as to the origins of the "breathing, meditating" competition! Really? BTW, the Denton Yogi does not approve of any such contests. Just like, I don't approve of these "off-putting" gratitude contests that so many of you try to drag me into.

Of course, these Thanksgiving Gratitude Contests pale in comparison to the "Keep Christ in Christmas" campaign that will soon adorn the Timelines of the Christians. Is it really any wonder that Christians are so despised? It would be comical if you were not just so STINKING sad!

I saw my first Christmas Rant last week. I love this man deeply and will not identify him by name or nickname. He's been mentioned in CTT before. I was hoping that someone had hijacked his FB Account. We've not discussed it yet. I'm still holding out hope that a "hijacking" was indeed the case.

Regrettably, I commented on the post. Now, I owe an amends to the Timeline Owner and the MORON who decided that arguing with ME would be a good idea! But, please, let me quote quote this DEBATER with an IQ evidently smaller than his shoe size:

"As I see it, any opportunity to celebrate the birth of Christ is a good opportunity to spread the Gospel, and why wouldn't one encourage pagans to NOT celebrate a holiday that is meaningless without Christ?"

From the numerous private messages I received like "Bless his heart" and "That guy is pitiful", I am certain that I do not need to break down the glaring inconsistencies in that comment!

This will not stop the Christians, however, from fighting the good fight. With intolerance, malice, contempt and venom, they will demand that we keep Christ in Christmas during the next 30 days! Moreover, they will be DISGUSTED by any Agnostic, Jew, or Atheist that dares to put up a tree!

Why does NO ONE else see what is crystal clear to me?

Tis the Season! Merry ChrismaHannaKwanziKuh!

Monday, November 11, 2013

One More For Ray Wylie Hubbard!

Al the Barber and Shoe continue to stress the importance of self-awareness to me. It's funny because the two of them have never met. And they are more DELUSIONAL than me. But I find both of them to be entertaining and they challenge me to keep things in perspective.

That being said, I continue to FORGET the original premise for this little experiment. CTT was never supposed to be about you! YOU make me nuts! I don't DO you very well! YOU are the reason for my neurosis! So, why am I stressing about this little experiment and what, at times, feels like a DEADLINE instead of a little Therapy? Self-awareness clearly points out that this thing is dying a slow death. All the stress in the world is not going to change that.

It's not uncommon for me to start hearing from some of you on Sunday night regarding the next morning's post. That happened again last night. As I sit here, a dear friend just hit me up in Facebook Chat inquiring as to where today's post is? Oh, my precious ego! Stop it!

Have no fear. I am not out of ideas. I keep a list going of potential topics going. I fear that I'm getting a little repetitive and, quite frankly, a little boring. But, Number 41 is happening because these  are things that I NEED to hear. As the list of NEW bloggers grows, I chuckle at what they think I NEED to hear. Good luck to you NEWBIES. Drop me a line when you get to 40!

It was one of THOSE weekends! Remember those weekends? Completely out of my comfort zone. My brain is too big for my head. My nerves are five inches out of the end of my fingers. I am completely self-absorbed. Wallowing in self-pity! Restless, irritable, and discontent do not even begin to describe how I'm feeling this Monday morning.

You already know the reason. I'm not going to look back at the archives to see which Post it was. But I am certain that it has been addressed. EXPECTATIONS! The sheer weight of my expectations are once again crushing me and driving me insane!

I think it started last Monday when no one really cared to challenge my "pro-judging" stance. I was certain that a backlash would ensue! Maybe there was no backlash because I was 100% correct in my analysis. Ha!

Anyway, last week was an entire week of UN-MET expectations. The major change was that, in this particular instance, I was failing to meet my own expectations and your failure to meet my expectations was not near as troubling. Progress? Perhaps.

A few months ago, Spring suggested that I search on Youtube for a performance Ray Wylie Hubbard on David Lettermen. I met Ray about 20 years ago and was literally star-struck that I was shaking the hand of the Author of "Redneck Mother!" True Greatness!

So, I searched and found Ray's performance. It's an interesting song about singing in a little bar in Dallas, back in the day. I won't tell the story. At the end, however, this true Texas Poet concludes:

"And the days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really GOOD days."

It's that time of year. Gratitude is about to be shoved down our throats at every turn. I suppose I've never written yet about gratitude and it's very likely that I never will. The main reason is that I try to write about things with which I have a little experience. Gratitude seems to escape me. I'm not talking about this "30 Days of Gratitude" on Facebook crap! I apologize if you are doing one of those exercises. I find them as annoying as the annual Christmas letters we are about to start receiving in the mail. But if it's your thing, knock yourself out!

I'm talking about real gratitude. Gratitude that exceeds expectations! I'm not sure what real gratitude is. And I'm not real sure what real gratitude looks like. And I'm certain that I have a long way to go before my gratitude will exceed my expectations. But, Ray Wylie Hubbard seems to think it results in REALLY GOOD days. I hope to eventually have one of those days!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Becoming What you Hate!

Well kids, today's post is Number 40! Never in my wildest imagination did I think this little experiment would continue this long. Historically, I've been a decent STARTER and a horrible FINISHER! I don't think Vegas had a "line" as to the longevity of CTT. But I can't imagine the "over/under" being much higher than a dozen.  Anyone who is really close to me would have taken the "under" on that!

We've actually covered a lot of topics. I get requests all the time. BTW, I have never taken on any requested topic. My usual response is " is a FREE platform! Knock yourself out!"

 I do take pride in the fact that I've avoided topics that are just too easy. For example, I would really like to pontificate about the little bit of jogging I do and how it's made an impact on my life. But, in reality, you could not care any less and would tire of that quickly.

Politics would also be easy. I could be a "tea-party, right wing, extremist" one week. Then, just for giggles, turn into a "tree-hugging, whale-saving, anti-nuke pinko" the next. I really can argue both sides for just about any issue. VOMIT! You would see right through that and recognize it for what it is....just an attempt to be inflammatory and create a stir.

No, I've really tried to stay faithful to my original premise. That is, to write about the crazy things that run around in my head and shoot them out into cyber-space! Some weeks the public response is bigger than others. But I wish you all could read the private messages I get. Many of them sound something like this, "Kevin, I've been thinking the same thing for years. But there's NO WAY I would EVER admit to it on the World Wide Web!"

Which brings me to today's topic. Some of you implied, suggested, discerned or whatever you want to call it......that I was being a little judgmental of the Keynoter last week. Think about that REAL hard! Let me say it again:

Some of you implied, suggested, or discerned that I was passing JUDGEMENT on the Keynoter!

Really? Really?? I was passing judgement? This whole idea of "not judging" and the Bible verses that you throw at me to support your position, lead to some of the most unbelievable, yet entertaining, conversations I ever participate in.

Oh I get it! I really do! You are not judging! You are using discernment! You make it very clear that you would never judge! You sound like an absolute moron trying to support your position. But, you are entertaining!

It kind of looks like this.....In my faith tradition, there seems to be an ever-increasing gap between the "harsh, critical, mean-spirited Conservatives" and the "kind, loving, grace-filled Liberals." I absolutely abhor LABELS. But they are necessary to make the point.

The Conservatives are kind of boring. They know they are judgmental. They kind of relish in it. But the Liberals are delicious to talk to. God love 'em! They turn almost purple with rage. That vein on the temples of their heads looks as though it's bout to burst. They actually spit a little as they LOVINGLY explain, "I am just sick and tired of those hateful, judgmental, legalistic Pharisees! They are destroying the church and they WILL burn in Hell!"

I think that's the problem with becoming enlightened! Becoming enlightened is very seldom based in truth. Therefore, the enlightened ones are never able to come to grips with the fact they have BECOME WHAT THEY HATE!

I had a dude just wear me out one time about being judgmental. There was only one problem. I knew where he lived and I knew where he attended church. I think a conservative estimate would be that he drove right past 15-20 churches in order to get where he attended. He honestly thought he was using discernment as he passed those 15-20 churches on his way to church. I said, "Dude, just pull into the first church building closest to your house. It saves time. It saves money. It's better for the environment. Don't drive so far. And please don't pass by SO many churches to get there. Because even though you are too enlightened to ever see it, when you get to that 20th building, you've just passed judgement 19 times!"

Matthew 7:1 will be all over the Comments Section of this Blog and my Facebook Wall by the end of the day. Just do me a favor and read Verse 2. I'm okay with Verse 2. The only question you need to answer is, "Are you?"

Monday, October 28, 2013

Calling All Keynoters!

I suppose it's time to get back into the dangerous neighborhood that IS my mind! That whole Reunion thing is behind me now. I have no regrets and I won't apologize for the last two submissions in here. Yes, they were kind of sappy and sweet. And I almost showed a level of transparency that would destroy all the work I've put into convincing you of what a self-centered, self-absorbed, narcissistic Cretin that I am!

I actually thought that the Doc Holliday piece might be a great stopping point! It was number 38! I was running out of ideas. I truly don't want this thing to become a deadline. And although, I have TENS of readers, I am concerned that you are seeing  my little attempt at therapy as getting a little tired!

But, I don't need to come up with ideas! I'm on Social Media! And you are a flowing fountain of topics! And trust me! That is not always a good thing!

A few weeks ago, someone who is now a FORMER Facebook friend posted as a status update, "I want to apologize for not keeping up in here recently. I've been preparing for a conference. Keynoting is SO HARD!"

Let me tell you what's hard! Cleaning vomit from the screen of a laptop computer and from between the keys on a keyboard!

Are you serious? Are you kidding me? Please tell me that this was schtick! Please tell me that this post was an attempt at shock value! Please provide me with crackers and 7-Up to calm my stomach! Keynoting is HARD? Keynoting? Is that even a word?

Calling all Keynoters! HUSH! HUSH! Just HUSH! Your search for significance and continued need for affirmation is smothering the rest of us! And it's destroying our laptop computers!

Whew! I feel better now! And for those you that are about to scream "Hypocrite!" at me, you can HUSH, too!

I am fully aware that my Nike+ App posts every run I do to my Facebook status. And I am also aware that I make snarky comments about a "little 9 miler" or short "7 mile effort." I do that mostly to annoy my daughter! But I do it to annoy you too! It's schtick! I think it's funny. It's for shock value. It's to get a response. It's all a part of my ongoing social experiment on Facebook and on this Blog.

I will not share the number of speaking engagements I've had just since September 1st. The most recent one was yesterday. They aren't HARD! They are a privilege! They aren't difficult! They are humbling!

I belong to a fellowship that stresses the importance of SERVICE to others. The motto is, we do it "For Fun and For Free!"

Calling all Keynoters! Just try it once! Do it "for fun and for free!" Don't do it for the accolades. And don't do it in order to share it on Facebook and make us all vomit!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Doc Holliday Would Have HATED Facebook!

For those of you who don't know, Val Kilmer's portrayal of Doc Holliday in Tombstone is one of the greatest cinematic performances in the history of EVER! I have no idea how many times I've watched this flick. Rarely a weekend goes by that it's not being broadcast somewhere on Cable. I get sucked in every time.

Doc delivers a plethora of clever lines in this movie. Most of them are sarcastic, witty, and concise. However, one line near the end has always impacted me, even though I've heard it dozens of times.

Turkey Creek Jack Johnson is quizzing Doc as to why he's willing to involve himself in Wyatt Earp's feud. Doc simply states, "Because he's my friend."

Johnson then says, "Well hell, Doc, I've got lots of friends."

Then Doc simply replies, "I don't."

In my mind, this dialogue between Turkey Creek Jack Johnson and Doc Holliday is the turning point in the movie and it always gives me pause for reflection.

More times than not, I'm in total agreement with Turkey Creek Johnson. He utters that line and I think, "Me too, I've got lots of friends." On occasion, however, if I'm watching Tombstone late at night, by myself, the thought will enter my crazy mind, "Me and you, Doc."

Doc would have hated Facebook! He would have had thousands of friends. THOUSANDS OF FRIENDS on Facebook!  But would Doc ever felt as close to any of them as he did to his friend, Wyatt? I'm beginning to hate Facebook, too! It is becoming abundantly clear that being "friends on Facebook" is detrimental to being friends in life!

It dawned on me last weekend, that I have dear friends that I used to talk to, converse with, and even have lunch with on a regular basis. In some instances, I will have no personal interaction with them for several months! But, I'm keeping up with these dear friends because I saw their last Facebook check-in at the Friday night game!

Occasionally, I will bump into someone that I haven't seen in years. They say, "How's So&So doing?I know y'all  are real tight." I respond, "Oh yeah, they're doing great! Got the cutest new puppy. Saw it on Facebook."

Meanwhile, I haven't spoken to that person in 9 months and haven't seen him in 2 years. But, we're friends on Facebook! So, things are ALL GOOD!

It has been a crazy week! And the nostalgic effects of this silly Reunion are still messing with my mind. A friend linked Cheaper Than Therapy to the Closed Reunion Page. The response was phenomenal! (And a little intoxicating!) But I'm pretty sure that I'm NOT the only one who checked that reunion page dozens of times during the week.

Apparently, no one wanted the weekend to be over. And there's much talk as to not waiting another 10 years. It almost seemed that there was some level of grieving. A certain sadness shadowed the posts following that event because ALL we are NOW is back to being Facebook friends. And being Friends on Facebook doesn't seem to be enough.

Last weekend, we hugged each other's necks, kissed each other on the cheeks. And the laughter was SO REAL! Apparently,  "LMAO"  and "ROFL" as a response to a Facebook post is just NOT enough!

The image I try to portray to my DOZENS of readers is one of cynicism, pessimism, and downright arrogance! For some reason, I NEED you to believe that I'm just a pompous horses' ass!

But I welled up a little last Monday when writing that piece and felt like a complete wimp. Doc Holliday would not have approved! But unlike Doc, I have lots of friends! And they have ALL impacted me in a very special way. I am a blessed man! And I refuse to let Facebook trivialize those blessings!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Has It Really Been THIRTY Years?

Many of you who are reading this Post are reading Cheaper Than Therapy for the very first time. You are not familiar with the premise of this Blog, nor how that premise disappeared in the 2nd or 3rd post.

This little experiment was SUPPOSED to be my forum for getting all the noise out of my head by blasting it into Cyber Space and saving me $100/hour with a Shrink. I'm tired of me. My few friends are tired of me. So, I concluded that I would stop annoying you with ME and try this platform. It's Cheaper Than Therapy. Right?

Then, an interesting phenomena occurred. I would post a cynical, negative, bitter opinion about something really INSIGNIFICANT and the private messages would flow in....."Kev, I'd never admit this in the comments section of the blog or your FB wall, but I've been thinking the same thing for years!"

So, I quickly concluded that you are nuttier than I am and it was my task in life to educate you....Bless Your Hearts! I have SO much to teach and you have SO much to learn!

Today, however, there will be no life lessons. This rainy, Monday morning will probably just be a bunch of incoherent "scatter-shooting" about the RLT Class of '83 Reunion.

Only the Class of  '83 would schedule a FOUR DAY event! Are you kidding me? Early on, Teressa expressed ZERO interest in attending. Her "30 year" was last year and she could not have cared any less. The obvious "man thing" to do was to say, "If you're out. Then I'm out." But all along, I think she sensed that I would end up going even though I tried to feign no interest.

The game on Thursday night was bitter-sweet. Our 40-50 folks nearly doubled the crowd size. The evolving demographic change in the school is obvious. The team is still horrible. The Cheerleaders--Bless their Hearts! Didn't watch the Band or those "Vivacious Lionettes." Perfection was the goal in the early 80's. Political Correctness, these days, has made these activities more inclusive! Need I say more?

On Friday night, the "informal" mixer was at a bar (of course!). I was a little hesitant, but I was actually getting requests to show up! Who woulda thunk it? The saying goes, "if it's too loud, you're too old!" I'm TOO old! Conversation was tough! And everyone just wanted to chat! I was thinking a church Fellowship Hall was more in order. But of course, that would have made the mandatory drunk-fest not feasible.

It was REALLY good. I was not the only one drinking Virgin Rum and Diet Cokes. Funny when you order it that way! Bartender just rolls his eyes and fills a plastic cup with Diet Coke!

There seemed to be no "posturing" and no one seemed to be on the outside looking in. Judgementalism was apparently non-existent! It was good. Real good! (One Editorial Aside---Pound for Pound, I like our chances to whip any Class of '83's A**!)

I did not purchase a ticket to the Main Event on Saturday night. Teressa wasn't interested and I wasn't going to get my one "funeral suit" dry-cleaned to go Solo. But the Committee cut a deal for anyone who wanted to join in after dinner to socialize, dance, and chat....and of course drink. Some of the Friday Night crowd asked me to join. Most of them just wanted to see Teressa. By this time, she had made commitments for the evening and could not join in. Oh well! The Virgin Rum and Diet Cokes costs $4.25 at the Cash Bar. Ouch!

Just some general observations:

1) I really needed to attend. The only other Event I had attended was a "5 Year" Event in 1988. I felt like I owed everyone who was at that Event an amends for very unfortunate behavior. You can read between the lines on that one. Did not drink virgin drinks that particular night!

2) There was one girl there who I treated very badly in HS. I poked fun of, ridiculed, and laughed at her for 4 years. Following her on Facebook, I have found her to be a beautiful child of God and a great example of what a  fine Christian Lady looks like. I needed to tell her that in person.

3) There was one dude there that I was in class with EVERY single day of my HS career. We are on POLAR OPPOSITE ends of everything on this PLANET. It was good to see him. Our differences seemed insignificant.

4) The KNOCKOUT was there on Friday! This girl TAKES over a room! We had lockers 4 or 5 down from each other for 4 years! I never said a word to her in HS. We are friends today. I think that's pretty cool.

5) The old girlfriend was there. She got married exactly one week to the day after Teressa and I did. Twenty-four years and still going. Not keeping score.  But, that puts us in rare company with not a whole lot of other couples.

6) I will name a few names. Kevin Patterson, Mike Resnick, and Craig Fyock are men I love dearly. They were there and I am HONORED to be considered their friend!

In High School, I was a preacher's kid in a very conservative faith tradition. I simply did not participate in a lot of things. I do not know what a sock-hop, Homecoming Dance, or Prom looks like. I was NEVER pressured to drink by anyone close to me. I did get some odd reactions about the whole dancing thing. Go figure!

Finally, with about three songs to go, I gave into "peer-pressure" at 48 years old. I got onto the dance floor with folks who had never seen me dance. It's likely, they hope to never see THAT again.

And we danced! We danced like no one was watching! We danced out of friendship. We danced to celebrate. We danced cause we were blessed enough to have the health to do it.

I lost count. But at least 13-14 names were read of classmates who are no longer with us. Some of them I knew. Some of them, I didn't.

I am sorry they weren't there. I'm also sorry that I can think of a number of living classmates who did not join us that I would have loved to see.

For one night, status, money, designer clothes (I hated you guys with the Alligators on your shirts in HS) didn't seemed to matter. We celebrated 30 years! And we danced.....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REALLY! It Is Better To Look Stupid!

Old, tired clichés are certainly an easy topic when writing a blog. I've tried to avoid falling into that trap. In fact, I've really had the feeling that "this is the last one" with each of my last five or six entries.

But then, I have to venture out into the world and deal with you. And you continue to provide more material on a daily basis than I could ever hope to address. Remember, I just don't DO you very well. My old friend Casey best summed it up when he said, "People just aren't my kind of people." Truer words have never been uttered. The reality of that statement makes me just want to sit and weep.

Which leads me to the old, tired cliché that "It's better to look stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

In the last four days alone, it seems that everyone I encounter is hell-bent on removing ALL doubt! On Saturday, the consequences of this reality could have been catastrophic. Had I not removed myself from the situation, there was a very high probability that a man who was "removing all doubt" was going to end up in the hospital and I was going to spend the night in jail! This cretin really needed to shut his mouth and apparently, I was the only one willing to shut it for him.

Then today, the very relaxing activity of simply reading a Blog about Grace worked me into a complete lather. This Bible Scholar pontificated about Grace and gave the example of how Jesus handled the potential stoning of the adulterous woman at the Well. Dude! The "woman at the well" and the "woman caught in adultery" are TWO different stories! Is it really necessary to show just how illiterate and ignorant you are and blast it onto the World Wide Web?

Evidently, for this moron, it is necessary. And today, at this very moment, I'm trying to be okay with that.

My spiritual advisers have devised a "3 Question" test for me that has turned out to be the hardest and toughest test I have to take on a daily basis:

1) Does it need to be said?

2) Does it need to be said right now?

3) Does it need to be said right now, by me?

In the core of my very being, the answers are Yes, Yes, and Hell Yes! But I am getting old and quite frankly, I am getting tired.

On Saturday, I excused myself from a potentially volatile situation. I answered the test with three NO's.  I simply got into my truck and drove away. Today, the answers were NO again when I really wanted to embarrass that Blow-Hard in the comments section of his blog. I just closed the link and kind of felt sorry for the guy.

After all, another old, tired cliché says that "Ignorance is Bliss!" If that's true, these two idiots are some of the happiest guys on the Planet.

Who am I to rob them of their happiness?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Not My Hill To Die On!

I can't get this topic out of my mind. The problem is that I can absolutely give NO specific examples  to clarify what I'm talking about. Within the past few weeks, I've encountered some examples of people who are hell-bent on Majoring on the Minors and it's making me insane!

There is a reason I cannot cite the examples. Most of my readers would think they were COMPLETELY fictitious. There are a few of you who would believe them.  You are members of the same faith tradition as me. The rest of you would conclude that I've jumped into the realm of fiction just to have something to harp on.

I SO wish this was the case! There are no words. Stupid, asinine, ridiculous....No! These words do not even begin to describe some people that have STRONG convictions about the most INSIGNIFICANT issues that one could ever imagine!

We often call it "majoring on the minors." And, oh the stories I could tell! I shan't tell them because they completely brain damage me. And I would rather stop that with me instead of dumping that onto you.

I stole a phrase from a preacher a few years ago. I am shocked at my honest admission of that. Even a casual reader of Cheaper Than Therapy can see what low regard I hold for these guys. Anyway, in explaining a fairly narrow-minded OPINION, this older gentleman acknowledged, "That's the way I would prefer it to be. But that's not my hill to die on."

I found this remark to show both self-awareness and wisdom. And I now take a certain amount of pride when my daughter, Jentry, says "Dad, you always say that!"

As I get older, I strive more and more to major on the majors. It actually gets easier with time. It really does. It gets easier just from observing what's going on around me. The battles some of you choose. The "lines in the sand" some you draw. I just wish you could get a view from the outside and see how MORONIC you really look.

The Carpenter made very clear the NUMBER 1 and NUMBER 2 Commands. Love God. Love your neighbor.

So, I will let you decide what number 3 is. No matter what you come up its highest can only be number 3.

And for those of you who choose to major on the minors and "die on that hill," trust me, it's not that your minor is 1,894th on the list. It's NOT on the list at all.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The World Could Use A Few More Glossophobics!

Google has been running an Ad recently about a little kid that utilizes his Google 7" Tablet to research and overcome his glossophobia. I don't think any real dictionary defines the word "glossophobia." I had certainly never heard of it. And I fancy myself a true sesquipedalian! But apparently "glossophobia" is simply the fear of public speaking.

Some studies suggest that as much as 75% of the inhabitants of the Planet struggle with glossophobia.  I am  extremely saddened by the fact that this estimate is not closer to 95%!

In my observation, about 5% of the population does not struggle with glossophobia and they shouldn't. They actually have some talent. Then, there's another 20%,  who do not have the fear of public speaking. But they absolutely have NO talent that would justify their desire to up in front of people.

I suppose this apparent lack of glossophobia further advances Al the Barber's and Shoe's notion that the biggest problem facing mankind is a total lack of self-awareness. (Editorial Note: Shoe has started his own blog that is devoted entirely to self-awareness. I'm just not ready to endorse it yet, for fear of being struck by lightning---it's decidedly not a G-Rated Blog).

This lack of glossophobia is no where more apparent than on the religious radio broadcasts and behind some of the pulpits of big time churches here in the Metroplex. I shan't name their names. But I am embarrassed for them! These men must stand before ignorant sheeple every Sunday and for whatever reason actually believe these folks when they say "Good Job" as they rush out the door and head to the cafeteria. As a matter of fact, the delusion goes much broader as they actually raise big time money to broadcast their Speech 101 failures on the radio! What a tremendous example of poor stewardship of God's money!

There is no way to estimate how many sermons I've heard in my life. I do know this as a certainty. I can remember absolutely NONE of them!

But, I will never forget JR, a sweet little old lady who never left her house without a freshly baked pie to deliver to a shut-in. I have vivid memories of coming home late (our house sat adjacent to the church building) and DS being up under the church bus doing repairs at 1:00 in the morning. I cannot number how many hand-written notes of encouragement I received from AD during my high school days.

I know without a shadow of doubt that these three people were intensely glossophobic! But man oh man, could they ever preach!

Monday, September 9, 2013

1 out of 168!

A couple of months ago, Oil Can and I met a guy at the Catfish House in an attempt to give the dude a little encouragement and a little hope. His story is not unique and the details are not noteworthy. Truth be told, both Oil Can and I have had times in our lives when we were on the receiving end of the same kind of meeting. The time was well-spent and I think we accomplished some good things.

As the guy drove off, Oil Can and I were left in the parking lot chatting, and I'm not sure I was prepared for the direction the conversation drifted. I expressed some guilt and remorse to Oil Can because I had not been "going" to church on a regular basis. Then, in kind of a condescending and arrogant tone, Oil Can challenged me. He said, "In case you didn't know it, Dumba**, we just "did" church over a piece of fish. Whenever we stop "going" to church and start "doing" church, we'll all be a lot better off."

Fast forward to nearly a month ago when we moved Jentry into the dorm at Lipscomb University. I must confess to being a little confused by the dorms being open for new students at 9:00 AM on a SUNDAY morning! Didn't the folks at this Christian University know that Sunday morning is THE time when we are supposed to GO to church? My confusion turned into complete awe when we pulled into that parking lot and opened the hatch on the back of the car. About EIGHT people from a local congregation descended on us and simply said, "What room number?" I stood there, empty-handed, chin on my chest, while everything we packed was taken from our car and delivered, in one trip, into that dorm and up three flights of stairs!

We didn't even have a room key! There were forms to be filled out and deposits to be paid! Fifteen minutes later, we walked, empty-handed, up three flights of stairs and saw all of Jentry's belongings sitting outside her door. They had placed a flyer on top of her stuff that said, "Free Barbecue--Y'all Come!"

Those folks were from one congregation of several that had descended on that little campus that morning to try and be of service. They had gotten out of their beds on that Sunday morning with the intention of DOING church and not GOING to church. They were smiling, sweating, and laughing. They understood the stress of what was going on with freshman college kids and their anxiety-filled parents. Something in their demeanor just shouted that everything was going to be okay.

Now fast forward to just a couple of weeks ago. I was chatting with a preacher for whom I was doing some work in his house. He casually mentioned that one of the leaders in his church had requested that he do a series on worship.

I'm not sure if he wanted my opinion or not. Ninety-nine percent sure he did NOT. Ha! He got it anyway. I simply said, "I'm out! There are 168 hours in a week. I really need to concentrate on and hear about living life during those other 167 hours! To gather for that ONE hour and listen to a sermon about that ONE hour is nothing short of ridiculous!"

But, 98% of church folks feel the need to "GO" to church. Evidently, they are much more mature than I am and have life, on this planet, figured out. They dress in their "Sunday best", GO to church, then drive like lunatics to the cafeteria. They are more than satisfied to go 1 out of 168!

Then, there are a few, who will spend an entire day DOING church. One of the men who unloaded our car at 9:30 AM was still dragging stuff up those stairs at 6:00 PM. He was drenched in sweat! He looked exhausted! He was still smiling! His whole demeanor shouted to every anxious Dad in that dorm that "Dad, she's gonna be okay!"

I have no idea what he did the rest of the week. But from what I saw, he was at least NINE times better off than most. He was at least, 9 out of 168!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Not Even Willing To Be Willing

It was certain to happen at some point. Most money had me abandoning way before thirty-one posts.  My wager was around the area of fifteen. Ha! Ha! Kevin started a blog! Let's see how long this thing lasts? Wager anyone?

Initially, I got a little ego boost out of this little experiment. Then, I thought the whole world was reading! That misconception was short-lived. I got humbled by the realization that all those international "page-views" were just "Bots" that creep around the information highway pinging any and everything out there. That little dose of reality kind of set me back, but it does does give me pause for a GIGGLE when I read other Blogs and these nit-wits are giving shout-outs to their "peeps in Malaysia!" Finally, the thing kind of became a deadline! I'm not a journalist, for crying out loud! Are some of you really texting me on Sunday night wanting to know if Monday's post is going to happen?

Then, it happened. I hit the proverbial "WALL." It wasn't for a lack of topics. There is still so much I need to TEACH you people. And trust me, there is so little time! But somewhere in the midst of this insanity, the willingness just disappeared.  How many reasons (excuses) can I suggest?

1)  It's really HOT outside! As I get older, this Texas heats beats me down!

2)  Once it became a deadline, the FUN kind of went away!

3)  Do you realize how many really, really BAD Blogs are out there? In reading some of these absolute "meadow muffins", doubt starts to creep in. Am I in denial? Is my stuff just as bad?

4)  The PB&J submission had been in the works for weeks. I truly feel this was my "high-water" mark and I will never be able to match that.

5) One of my readers (and a person of "note" in my posts) started his own blog. It is rude, crude, irreverent, and SHAMELESS.....I am so jealous! It's all the things I wanted my blog to be and I've lost my way trying to "people-please!"

The bottom line is this-----the willingness has left the building!

Willingness is an interesting proposition. "Willing to pay the price." "Willing to pay your dues." "Willing to go to any length." "Where there's a way, there's a will." VOMIT!

On most days, the very best I can do is to be willing to do the "next right thing in front of me." On some days, that simple task seems insurmountable. It's days like those that my prayer life consists of authentic requests to "be made willing to be willing."

John "The Penguin" Bingham is one of the most recognizable authors among runners. I am reminded of the Penguin credo:

"For all of us, the miracle isn't that we finish, the miracle is that we have the courage to start."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Anybody Want a PB&J?

Well, it's the first day of school here in the thriving metropolis of Lewisville! At my house, the first day of school looks entirely different than it has for many, many years. Today is the first time in a long time, that I don't have a student in my house that's grumpily rolling out of bed, anticipating (dreading) what the first day of school holds in store.

It's kind of quiet around here.

This is probably going to take some getting used to. My kids started school when they were two years old. Their mother is a Montessori Teacher and she loaded them into the car on several first days of school. We were truly blessed that, in their early years, the kids just went to school with Mom. And that was good for Teresa, too. She didn't have to dread the first day of kindergarten and the first day of 1st Grade. She had her kids with her.  It sure made things easier for Teresa, which in turn, made things easier for me.

For the past couple of years, Teresa has been leaving the house early and that has left me with the surly teenage girl who stayed up way too late and really wasn't much of a conversationalist in the morning. Those of you who know me, know that I never gave up. It was actually kind of fun trying to engage her in banter in the early morning!

Jentry was never late. She got herself out of bed. She managed to be ready to leave on time.....usually with very kind neighbors who provided rides for years. But, she certainly didn't make time to prepare her lunch and she decidedly was not going to eat from the school cafeteria. So, that left lunch responsibilities with dear old Dad.

Peanut Butter and Jelly! Day after day, week after week. I suppose I should have and could have done better. Oh, I tricked up the "sides" on occasion. We experimented with Pop Tarts, Granola Bars, cookies, and every kind of chip ever produced. When times were good, I would throw some pistachios in. But, for the most part, I found lunch preparation to be a beating.....a real pain....a true inconvenience to have to pack this non-communicative teenager's lunch every morning of the week.

This morning, she's 686 Miles AWAY from here. She's actually starting her second week of school. Today, she will have lunch in the school cafeteria. And it is one "high-tone" cafeteria. There are three different water coolers alone.....each with a different kind of FRUIT floating in it. There's a Sundae Bar, for crying out loud! At least six flavors of ice cream and ALL the toppings. The dessert table is ridiculous! There are burgers, chicken strips, pizza, and even real food! Today, she will have dozens of choices for lunch. And if none of that sounds good, she can go downstairs in the Student Center and enjoy the fare from a number of Fast Food places on Campus. Good grief! But one thing is for sure. She will not have to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that her Dad grudgingly prepared.

It's kind of quiet around here. And on this first day of school, I'm thinking about my kids and wondering how the time flew by so quickly.

Did I mention that this Empty Nest thing is probably going take some getting used to?  My kids will never understand what this feels like until they one day experience it for themselves. They truly have no idea! Tucker's been gone for over 18 months and he would never believe how many times I think of him during the day. Jentry's gone for the first time and it's only been a couple of weeks. She cannot fathom how hard it was for me to drive away from that campus....while at the same time being so excited and happy for her! Neither of them will ever fully comprehend the love of a parent until they leave one of their own kids in another place, hundreds of miles away. We've now done it twice. And, trust me, it wasn't any easier the second time.

I only wish the best for all kids and their parents on this First Day of School! But today, I'm thinking mostly about my two kids, and what they might have for lunch... as I sit here in the quiet....finishing this peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dreads....They Ain't For Everybody!

I'm not sure there has been enough attention given to the fact that it's almost impossible to find a REAL Barber Shop nowadays. Oh the sign says Barber Shop out front. But inside, there's a bunch of 20-somethings with purple hair and paper clips in their eyebrows who have a "stylist" license. They claim they have one dude with a Barber License just in case someone comes in wanting a shave. But it's always his "day off" when you ask about him and you come to wonder if he really exists.

Tucker and I used to go to Jim's Today's Hair several years ago. He had been cutting hair in Lewisville since before WWII. If at all possible, we stayed out of his chair. He talked non-stop until you felt like your ears were bleeding and never really got past the Kennedy assassination.

Then one day, I wandered into Jim's and got a real shocker. I had discovered Barber Shop Gold. Jim had sold out to Al and Desmond and that resulted in Tucker and I enjoying some of the most entertaining Saturday afternoons we ever experienced.

I asked Al what kind of response he was getting from Jim's regulars. He said that "many of them open the door, see me and Des, and just turn and walk away....that we ain't all EVOLVED yet." Al and Desmond adorned their walls with pictures of famous black athletes going all the way back to Jesse Owens. The first time I took Tuck in I told him to look at the pictures and inquire as to where the picture of Larry Bird was. Tuck did as I suggested and they nearly fell to the floor laughing.

This was a real Barber Shop! Insults, arguments, debates, jokes, criticisms, and sports talk abound. No one is safe and apparently any topic is open for discussion.

Tucker was first in the chair one day. He has his mom's hair and it's so thick you can't separate his hair to find his scalp. That's the only resentment I have toward the kid. As I settled into Al's chair I mentioned that Tuck get his thick hair from me. Al laughed and said, "Kev, your hair's so thin I can see what you're thinking!" Can you believe he said that to a paying customer?

Al went on to explain that as a professional Barber, his job was to not only cut hair, but to make me a "self-aware" man. Al thinks that the the lack of self-awareness is one of the greatest plagues on our society.

Shoe arrived at the exact same conclusion just a few weeks ago when commenting on the Blog. Shoe surmises that my "shtick" about being surrounded by idiots has a certain plausibility, but that people really aren't that stupid. He believes that the root of the problem stems from a complete, total, 100% lack of self-awareness. All in all people are just clueless to themselves and to everything that's going on around them.

I suppose those websites dedicated to "pictures from WalMart" support Shoe's hypothesis. Do these people actually get dressed, look in the mirror, and think, "yea, this works?"

Yesterday, Teresa and I were in a very crowded parking lot and were stuck behind two older, portly women walking right down the middle of the aisle with three cars stacked in behind them! Clueless to their surroundings. A complete lack of awareness!

Tucker used to joke that he was going to let his hair grow out and twist it into dreadlocks. I mentioned it to Al one day and without hesitation, Al said, "They ain't for everybody."

I think Al's words of wisdom could be applied to almost everyone on the planet.

Just fill in the blank. Thousands of pursuits apply. We were driving in downtown Nashville last Sunday night with the windows down listening to the live music emanating from the taverns. We heard this noise that sounded something akin to a wildebeest in heat singing, "Stand By Your Man!"

From dreadlocks, to spandex, to bow-ties, to stages.......they just ain't for everybody! Just ask Al!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Intentional Versus Good Intentions

Friday's Bonus was thrown together with little premeditation or intention and I'm fairly certain that my intended message did not come across as I would have premeditated it. (You English Majors diagram that sentence!)

Fear not, though! Shoe and I spent about four hours on it Saturday afternoon! If only, we could have taped this scholarly conversation and broadcast it on youtube, so that you could all see two egomaniacs engaged in the highest form of "square-rootin!" It was GLORIOUS! I just wish I could remember what we said!

Here's the bottom line on Friday's Post. I purposely used the words "intentional" and "premeditated" as synonyms. I believe they mean the same thing. I think any dictionary or thesaurus will support my stance. Thus, the title referring to premeditation and the post referring to intentionality accomplished what I intended.

At the end of the day, both these words evoke an immediate NEGATIVE response. It's just hard not to hear the word "murder" in your head when someone says "premeditated." In the same way, football fans hear the word "grounding" when someone says the word "intentional." Both negative things. Albeit, one more negative than the other.

On Friday, the question that was plaguing me was "Am I living my life INTENTIONALLY?"

Teens take SAT Prep Classes because they intend to score well. Parents put away money on a monthly basis because they intend to pay for college. Employees contribute to 401(k) plans because they intend to retire.

Blah! Blah! Blah! I'm now as bored with this as you are!

The challenge that faces me is how to be INTENTIONAL in my daily walk? Is it possible to be intentional in worship? Am I intentional in my prayer life? What does being intentional look like when I am serving others?

What about health? Intention in diet. Intention in exercise. Intention in rest. Intention in recreation.

In Randy Travis's sophomore album, he croons in one of his songs, "And I here tell, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions....."

I am not trying to create a "semantics" discussion. I am afraid, however, that "good intentions" have gotten such a bad rap that I've forgotten the need to live life intentionally.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Premeditated Is A Bad Word! Right?

A conversation with a long-time friend this morning planted a thought in my head and it's going to drive me batty until I get something down in here. Why else would I be typing this post when all I want to do is lie under a ceiling fan and try not to move?

This dude (a clever, anonymous nickname escapes me) had participated in a program earlier in the summer and was expressing some frustrations in dealing with these folks. Said "program" shall go unnamed as I am acquainted with its Director and I know dozens of people who have experience with it.

Here was his bottom line.....He said, "Kevin, the whole process had no INTENTIONALITY."

It had no what? Evidently, it had no intentionality. From the top of the organization all the way down to volunteers who willingly give up their time, money, and talents....they have no idea of what their intended purpose truly is.

Other than summing up the first 48 years of my life, this idea of intentionality has been bouncing off the walls of my scary brain all day long. As a matter of fact, I found it necessary to call three more people and get their responses as to what being intentional looks like. I would share what they said. But that would mean I actually listened to them. Why would I take note? Readers of this Blog are fully aware that I'm much better with the problem than I am the solution.

I do, however, think the question is worthy of consideration. Where in this post-modern Age, do we see or experience any real intentionality?

Education? Maybe. But there's an awful lot of talk about Educators at the primary and secondary level "teaching to a test" that says the child is "smart" and that the school deserves to be Exemplary instead of just Recognized.

Sports? Maybe. On some levels. But in Youth Sorts the intention is certainly not to WIN. We are all well aware that even the winless teams get a big trophy and get huge praise for simply participating.

Work? Maybe. But anyone with Supervisory experience will tell you that they are hiring these same kids who have always been rewarded for participating and often quit jobs when they do not receive raises and promotions based on their 100% attendance record.

Church? Maybe. But once again, that 100% attendance record comes into play. Real intention is seldom defined or seen.

Politics? Not even worthy of a Maybe!

Oil Can (not sure I've ever mentioned him) says that he prefers the word "premeditated" instead of intentional. He's big on Purpose and Premeditation in utilizing tools to accomplish goals with an intentional strategy. He once tried to drive a nail into a piece of wood with an IPhone to prove his point. The intended result was to get the nail into the wood. The lack of premeditation caused him to employ a tool that was not designed for that purpose. That's a $499 mistake...depending on the billing plan!

I'm trying to remember that last time I was INTENTIONAL. I think I know. But, I've avoided Marathon talk for 27 Posts now. I shan't bore you with it now.

Stay tuned. Purpose and Intentionality are certainly going to get some more play in here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm Not Real Sure Lincoln Had Wi-Fi!

Due to public outrage....okay....actually only one or two of you have really busted my chops, I am composing this short update and will link it to Facebook when I RE-activate my account.

I deactivated my Facebook account about ten days ago and explained why in my last blog post in here. The problem is, my adoring fans will only read my blog if they can click on the link on my timeline. Your admiration obviously has its limits. Consequently, I am being hammered as to my disappearance in public, in emails, and texts. But only a handful have actually typed in the blog address and looked for updates. At least, I know who my REAL friends are!

Here's the bottom line with social media.....Do you remember when we were kids and some old, wise sage would remind us that, "It's better to look stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?"

In my humble opinion, Facebook and Twitter fly in direct opposition to that proverb. Come on people! I pour my guts out in here and bare my soul in terms of my intolerance and the attitude that I'm surrounded by idiots. Then, I open my Facebook page early in the morning, with a fresh cup of coffee and you do nothing but build my case stronger! If it were not so SAD, it would be HILARIOUS.

Then, all I can hear is Shoe's comments ringing in my ears. He says, "Kev, I don't do Facebook. Number 1, it's a tool of Satan. And number 2, I'm a grown-a** man!" Could Shoe be right?

So, without arguing all the pros and cons of Facebook, I would like to offer ONE piece of advice: PLEASE USE YOUR HEAD FOR SOMETHING BESIDES A HAT RACK BEFORE YOU CLICK "SHARE!"

Just because there is a picture of Abe Lincoln there and he's credited with the quote, he PROBABLY did not say ANYTHING about the Internet!

Trust me on this! Abe Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Adolph Hitler never uttered 5% of the things they are credited with in social media. If you are a little weak in History, and evidently you are, please do a little research before you share something that makes you look like a blithering idiot. What's the worst that could happen? You might just learn something!

I have no problem with the hypocrisy I am exhibiting by once again rejoining Facebook. And, at the end of the day, Facebook allows me to keep up with my kids and my family. Although, my Old Man and I are still too proud for either of us to friend request the other.

So, I will be back by morning, if not, late tonight. Last night was the first night I really missed Facebook. I learned of the death of Kidd Kraddick and really wanted to log in to Facebook to see what everyone was saying. RIP Kidd!

Friday, July 19, 2013

One Step Forward. Two Steps Back!

With this, the 26th Post to Cheaper Than Therapy, I am getting back to where this thing all began. This post will look more like a "dear diary" or "journal entry" as it is highly likely that I will be the only one to see it.

Facebook has been my primary source of readership. With my recent "Two Steps Back," I deactivated my Facebook account and now folks will only read my little experiment by accident.

Why the two steps back? I DON'T KNOW! Actually, I do. But I can't force myself to be that transparent. Actually, I can. But, it would be at the expense of others and I'm not willing to inflict that damage and deal with the likely consequences.

Simply put, I am not past the "Season of Resentment" I spoke of a few weeks ago. I am letting others rob me of my serenity and the number one manifestation of that is gross INTOLERANCE.

When I say intolerance---you have NO idea what I mean. Any normal person would be crushed under the pressure I put on myself to show complete disdain for everything and everyone around me.

I don't want to see your recipes, pictures of your puppy, or hear the details of your vacation. I am "Trayvonned" out! I don't care if you sleep with an arsenal of guns in the bed with you or if you are a tree-hugging liberal who wants to save the Snail Darter! I don't CARE! And I can't do YOU right now.

On the flip side---you should be delighted with every joke, every link, and every comment I make. Anyone see the problem here?

I was sitting in a group discussion Monday night where everyone was discussing how humble they were. Did you catch that? Everyone was describing the level of humility they had attained in their life. When it came my turn, I said, "We do NOT have enough time for me to TEACH you people how to REALLY be humble." Two steps back.

I've heard dozens of definitions of humility. I think the "cutest" one is----Humility is not thinking less of yourself----but thinking of yourself LESS. Ha! That's a good one. If that's true, then I have NEVER met a humble person in my life!

The only definition of humility that I have ever been able to reconcile in my twisted brain is that humility is simply being "teachable."

Two steps back? I am currently not teachable! Plain and simple. I don't want to hear it and I especially don't want to hear it from YOU. Unfortunately, "YOU" encompasses everything and everybody in my life.

Two steps back? Oh yes! Pride. Pride. Pride. The one defect that makes everyone sick except the one who has it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Resemble That Remark

When a joke, jab, or insult is directed my way, a customary response is, "I resemble that remark." That's a lie! I do not resemble that remark. I RESENT it! In every joke, there's a little bit of truth. And if you are brave enough to point out one of my flaws in a group setting, fasten your seat belt. Because, there WILL be a response. It will be swift, certain, and often times caustic. I generally do not play well with others, and I seldom play fair.

I'm a little shocked that I'm well over twenty posts into this little experiment and this is my first "go" at this whole idea of resentments. Maybe it's because I've been sitting on a couple of good ones for a few months and they are starting to eat my lunch. Justified? Certainly! All of my resentments are justified. In general, YOU make me nuts! And there is so much temporary relief in resenting you and your defects. I take some kind of sick joy in it. And the best part long as I'm concentrating on you, I do NOT have to look at myself.

In former posts, I've shared my affection for attorneys and their willingness to tell on themselves (outside the courtroom, of course). It's been over twenty years since I heard this example of  a resentment and it had a profound impact on my understanding of how my twisted mind thinks.

I was listening to a fairly prominent attorney discuss resentments and he had a "dandy" that he shared with the audience. It seems that one of the people he hated most and resented greatly was the president of the local Bar Association. He went into much detail about this guy because he obviously thought he would make a much better president of the Bar. He attended a more prominent Law School. He worked for much "higher-tone" law firm. He made a lot more money. He participated in cases of  higher notoriety. He lived in a bigger house. He drove a nicer car. On and on and on, this gentleman droned and almost worked himself into a lather over the fact the he thought he should be the president of the Bar and not this charlatan who was.

Then, he made a statement I will never forget. He said, "Mind you, I had NEVER been to a meeting of the local Bar Association!"

What? Did I miss something here? Do I need to hear the defense of his position again? The answer is no! Because as embarrassing and silly as his admission was.....I whole-heartedly and completely understood it. In fact, I resembled that remark!

What I learned that night (and seemed to have forgotten over the last few months) is that most of my resentments are imagined. And the real ones are just as useless and time-consuming as the imagined ones. That's not even taking into consideration the fact that I need to dedicate an entire post to the concept that the very thing I hate most about you is the very characteristic that is most like me.

Resentments render me useless. The "free rent" they take in my mind rob me of precious brain space that I could employ in more productive ways. They pour gas on the fire of restlessness and irritability that you've read about in here so many times.

In some circles, resentments are referred to as the "number one offender." For me, that could not be a truer statement. It's time for me to get past this "season of resentment" and get on with being the productive man I was created to be.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Colonel Jessup Was Right!

There is no doubt in my mind that writing a post today is a bad idea. I am ill and have an appointment with the Doc in a couple hours. I did not sleep well this weekend and I am restless, irritable, and discontent. No, I'm not. I'm just plain angry! What's new? Right?

This post, however, has been simmering for some time. I had actually planned to continue with the Golden Calf theme for a few weeks. The idolatry idea hit a nerve with many of you and the responses were very interesting, to say the least. My reading this past week has confirmed something that I've been thinking about for long time.

I'm half way through the second book I received on Tuesday concerning Jesus. Bear with me, you Agnostic types! There is no need for you to roll your eyes and abort the page! These two books are affirming and confirming something that Stainless and I have talked about on numerous occasions.

Colonel Jessup was right! In A Few Good Men, when the Nicholson character screamed as only Nicholson can, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!", he summed up the human dilemma in its entirety.

The life of Jesus confirmed this truth 2,000 years ago. Like Him or not, believe Him or not, relationship with Him or does not have to read very much about this guy to understand that He dedicated his entire life to trying to shine light in a very dark place and all it got Him was MURDERED!

I tried it a couple of times this past week. I just tried to shine some light. I didn't get murdered, but I believe that's what was on their hearts.

Guess what? I Do Not Care! And I'm more and more convinced that the "way you say it", or the "tone" of your voice, or as the Christians say "speak the truth in Love" has absolutely NOTHING to do with it!

Evidently, I can't handle the truth. Certainly, you can't handle the truth, either. And we are going to give it every kind of label under the Sun to dismiss it. Harsh, judgemental, intolerant, PHOBIC. Please tell me just WHEN on God's green earth did the REALITY arise that whenever I see something that is unacceptable to me, that I have some kind of PHOBIA about it?

I find the wearing of pants below one's butt cheeks, exposing their boxer-covered ass to the world totally and completely unacceptable. However, I am not "Pants Below Butt Cheeks, Exposing Ass---PHOBIC!"

I already know that I lose this argument. We discussed a few weeks ago, that we now live in a world where Truth is created. I've offended entire groups of people, in a public meeting environment, on a couple of occasions this year. On both occasions, I was ASKED to speak. Unfortunately, on those occasions, I made the mistake of trying to shine a little light into a dark place.

So, eventually, the only person reading this Blog will be me. As I recall, I started this Blog for me, anyway. If you are not prepared for the answer, Please Do Not Ask the Question!

And, if you want to be popular, accepted, and loved by all, for crying out loud, please do not shine any light! You may just get a butt-whipping you are not prepared to take!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Golden Calf in the Living Room.

One of my greatest accomplishments as a Father is that my kids still refer to the television in the Family Room as Dad's Golden Calf. It's about 4 or 5 years old now. We had just gotten home from vacation. We had spent more money than budgeted. I hit the power button on the very old TV we had and a plume of smoke emanated from the back of it.

The kids were over-joyed that we were finally going to join the real world and get a big screen TV. Thus, the lesson of the Golden Calf!

My entire life I was never able to understand how the Israelites could have been so STUPID as to build a golden calf and worship it when Moses had just been gone a few days. They had been on the receiving end of  DOZENS of miracles. They had witnessed the Red Sea parting. They were being lead around by a cloud. They had groceries falling from the sky. Then,  Moses goes up on Sinai for a few days and they start dancing around a worshipping a golden calf.

MORONS! Are these the stupidest people to ever walk the Planet?

After purchasing our first big screen TV, I find myself being more tolerant of the Israelites. I NEED to sit in front of this big-screen TV, and RUN through more channels than I can count. I BOW to my golden calf. MORON! Am I the stupidest person on the Planet?

Idolatry. Pagan, idol worshippers. Aren't they on....what channel is National Geographic? Only illiterate, third world people from countries I've never heard of worship idols, right?

Sadly, I am embarrassed to admit that too much of my life was behind me before I was able to grasp what idolatry really looks like. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that in the 21st Century, we practice idolatry in ways that makes those Israelites look like beginners. Oh, do we ever have our idols! And we bow at their feet!

I am not going to go into much detail. I want to challenge the readers of this Blog to think about idolatry. I may address some of these idols on an individual basis in the future. Actually, this whole subject of idolatry could make for a series of posts.

However, I will name a few. See if you can relate to any of these altars.

We bow at the altar of education, career, fame, kids, pets, golf, hunting, fishing, fitness, politics, church (this one will definitely get its own post) fact.....just fill in the blank. Almost anything CAN and everything HAS become an idol for someone.

A friend once suggested that "Kevin, whatever you think about the most....that is your god!" In the spirit of true transparency, I defer on answering that question! I will say this. If I prayed a TENTH as many times as I check into Facebook on a daily basis......

My kids are grown now. I'm not sure I've taught them much. But, I hope they will always remember the golden calf in the family room and not be so hard on those Israelites.  After all, we are bowing down just as they did. I just hope we can be mindful of who and what we are bowing to.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Reality Schmeality!

This weekend was one of those self-pitying, woe is me, my life sucks kind of weekends. NO! STOP THAT! They are not ALL like that for me. But, I found myself reflecting on the "reality" of the situation and with my refusal to reach out to anyone to "keep me in check", I sort of slid into the abyss.

It was my first Father's Day in 21 years that I didn't have at least one of kids with me. One is living in another state and the other is traipsing around England. My wife was trying to get through her first Father's Day without her Dad. I could have gotten out of myself and tried to console and comfort her. But the self-centeredness WON again. No surprise there!

Shoe made me go with him to visit a dying man in hospice. One would think that a little gratitude would arise from that effort. Maybe it did. But it was brief and fleeting.

No, I found myself contemplating reality. I was attempting to do it by myself. I was alone in my head--- a very dangerous neighborhood. I was doomed to fail from the very start.

Stainless paints a negative picture of man and his ability to face reality when he unabashedly states that "People are naturally and perfectly capable of IGNORING reality in order to meet a personal desire." At the surface, the statement almost sounds like an asset. Not so much!

From marital vows, to child-rearing responsibilities, to job-related commitments, to participation in healthy life-style choices.....REALITY is often ignored and outright abandoned in order to do what we WANT to do. The consequences of this behavior cannot be quantified!

We all do it. No one is immune. It is the human condition. As always, you are no doubt thinking, "Well Kev, you are pretty good at the problem! Any solution?"

First and foremost I am committed TODAY (okay the next 10 minutes) to stop evaluating YOUR talents at ignoring reality. I've got a couple of friends who are "acting a fool." I'm giving them too much free rent in my head. They are on the precipice of reaping what they've sown. I must be willing to let that happen in order for them to learn the lesson they must learn.

Secondly, I am going to attempt to face and stay in the  reality of my situation. The Denton Yogi calls it "living in your truth." That makes me a little tense because you all know I'm afraid of "truth creation." But I think what she's trying to say was muttered years ago by Bill Shakespeare when he said, "To thine own self be true."

Finally, I'm gonna heed the advice of a dear friend who died a few years ago. Soon before her death, I was explaining to her how I was doing "just enough" to manage my life and just get by. She said something to the effect of "You poor, pathetic little man! It's God's job to manage your life! It's your job to go out and try to be a blessing to His kids."

Even yesterday, if I had simply tried to be a blessing to my wife in her grief, the reality of my situation would not have seemed so grim. In fact, gratitude would have taken over as I thought about what a great job she did with those kids and reflected on how proud I am, and how much I love that kid in Louisiana and that kid running around the UK.

Monday, June 10, 2013

In Consideration of Inconsideration!

I've never really understood the whole Road Rage thing. I'm not saying that I don't occasionally get the ever-living cr*p scared out of me and react in a negative way. But for the most part, I just go along with the flow of traffic without the need to control the road and think that I'm the only one out there that has some place he really needs to be. Shoe is the same way. He picks his lane and stays in it. He's one of about three people I know that I'm not afraid to be a passenger in his car.

I am a little troubled by those of you who do just the opposite. And it's not that you just think you are the most important people on the road. What bugs me is that you BRAG about it! You see this complete lack of consideration for anyone else as a positive character attribute and you wear it like a Badge!

In a men's accountability group, I made the casual remark one time that "They can't cut you off, if you wave them on over." A truck driver in the group turned purple and looked as though he wanted  to choke me to death!

CONSIDERATE. What does it mean? What does it look like? When did it go away? Will it ever come back?

I'm not even going to attempt to answer these questions. My guess is that the whole concept of being considerate, if it EVER did exist, is long gone and will never be recovered! CONSIDERATE.

I just don't know of a single example of consideration that I can even offer as a point of reference. I've hung around Christians most of my life. I'm trying to think of just one good example from among them. No! It's not gonna happen. In fact, in general, they continue to be some of the MOST inconsiderate people I know. Christians should be taking the lead. Not so much!

In my faith tradition, we are still very much into labels! We want to know if that bunch on the corner is a liberal church or a conservative church? We MUST know! And every congregation MUST take on a label! Now that I'm getting older, I am less and less interested in labels. I just want to know if that bunch on the corner is a considerate church?

In case you are wondering, chances are that they are NOT! It usually looks like this: At some point in their past, they have made some SIGNIFICANT change. I'm not talking about paint color. I'm talking about a  major doctrinal change! They act as though they prayed about it. They act as though their theology justifies it. But when they announced their prayerful decision, they said something along these lines: "This is what we have decided to do. Some of you are not going to like it and you are most likely going to leave. Please do not let the door hit you on the back-side on your way out." Are you KIDDING me? God told you to make an announcement without any consideration for others? God told you to run people off and split a church right down the middle? God actually instructed you to be inconsiderate?

INCONSIDERATE! Now, take that same situation and apply it to EVERY situation on the GLOBE! The living room, the bedroom, the classroom, the work place, the PTA, the booster club, the highways, the City Hall, the State Capitol, the halls of Congress, the White House, the Middle East, Moscow, North Korea.......I simply don't care what you put in the blank. Humanity's blatant refusal to be considerate of others is the undoing of our society.

With a complete LACK of consideration for others, from the bedroom to the boardroom, millions of DECISIONS are made EVERY day that keep all of us slipping down the mudslide to Hell!

Being considerate is easier to talk about than it is to practice. Trust me, I know. I'm the one who spoke of being surrounded by idiots just seven days ago.

But, let's just try to take baby steps. Let's try to at least stop bragging about this obvious character flaw. Let's stop being proud of rude, inconsiderate behavior. Let's just see what positive things might arise if we just wave them on over?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Surrounded By Idiots!

As I sit and write my 20th entry into this little social experiment, I am anxious as to whether or not I'm beginning to be repetitively redundant. I certainly am not going to go back an read the prior 19 entries. So, I'm in a position where I'm just going to write what's swimming around in my twisted mind.

As far back as I can remember in my life, the biggest problem I've had to endure is that seemingly, I have ALWAYS been surrounded by idiots. I don't know if you can relate, or not. I mean IDIOTS! I find it almost impossible to describe.

In grade school, in high school, in college, in church, on the job....I'm talking about the real deal here. I mean IDIOTS! I've asked the question time and time again. Stainless and Shoe no longer pretend to even provide an answer. I implore them, with all the sincerity I can muster, "Why are things so APPARENT to me, that are LOST on everyone else in my life?"

Some readers of this post will identify with me completely. A second group will surmise, "What a pathetic, sad life you lead, Kevin!" There is no doubt in my mind that the second group's conclusion is the most accurate.

I've already addressed the under-lying issues that plague me in this regard. Self-centeredness, egomania, fear. These three defects wrap themselves around an incredible inferiority complex and the result is just one hot mess.....minus the hot! Triple the mess!

Consequently, I DON'T DO YOU very well. The person in front of me with 11 items in the "10 Item Express Lane", the person in the car in front of me, the customer of my little company, the leader in my church, the preacher on the radio......and sadly the closest friend in my life, and the loved ones living under my roof.... I find it difficult to tolerate you.....whoever you are! It's really not that funny. It really is that sad!

One of the spiritual advisers from my past that I have yet to mention is man I'll simply call Lucky. Lucky used to end every conversation with the declaration, "Kevin, you are a beautiful child of God." It made me so tense and uncomfortable! I simply did not want to believe it. But, on the days that I do believe it, I have to believe it about EVERY person that I mentioned above.

The life principle of "Live and Let Live" is for me, the single most difficult principle I have to employ on a daily basis. I am much more fluent in the problem than I am the solution. Deep down in my soul, I am fully aware that after I've run into the 3rd or 4th idiot in my day, it might just be that I need to look in the mirror. I need to find the common denominator between me and all these idiots.

The answer is crystal clear.