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This Changes Everything – Easter 2009

by Andy Wood on March 29, 2009

in Uncategorized

Real people, real stories, real living Christ!  If you’re in the South Plains (Texas) area, please help us get the word out… no matter what you’re facing, a Risen Lord changes everything.  Join us at Turning Point for our Easter 2009 celebration on April 11-12.  Saturday service:  5:00 pm.  Sunday Services:  9:00 and 10:30 am.

Click here to go to the web site for directions and more information.

If you live elsewhere, please pray for us, and let me know in the comments section below how we can pray for you this Easter season.

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Sittin’ here watching the bowl games, wondering – is this the fix we’ve been looking for?

Hardly…

I grew up fuming at the whole college bowl game situation.  Too many conference/bowl tie-ups.  Too many great teams (my favorite in particular) unable to play for a national championship, while every single other NCAA sport and division had some sort of playoff system.

The solution?  What we have now as the BCS system, complete with

  • uneven conferences being treated as all equal.
  • four or five conference championship games that are either really meaningful or dangerous to a great team.
  • other conferences (Pac 10, Big 10-actually-11, etc.) with no forced championship game, getting a free pass into the bowls.
  • twice as many games so that everybody gets a chance – after all, we’re ALL winners, aren’t we? (We used to joke when a team had a lousy year that they were going to the Toilet Bowl.  Now, lo and behold, we actually have a half-dozen of ‘em!)
  • EVERY SINGLE bowl game of ANY type has a conference tie-up.  “Big 10 #6 vs. SEC #8.”  Are ya’ KIDDIN’ me?   There is now no such thing as an at-large team.
  • A single championship game decided a week-plus into January between a hybrid of two polls and a stack of computers.  Four other BCS games bearing the same bowl names and locations, but lacking the same luster. (With all due respect to Cincinnati and West Virginia, really?)

Just for nostalgia’s sake, I thought I’d take this year’s year-end AP rankings and results, and see what they might produce in a 70s bowl scenario.  Take a look and tell me, do you really think we’ve made things better? [click to continue…]

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Pardon the cat blog entry, but I turned 50 today.  The way I measure it, that’s halfway to Heaven.  So my kids insisted we all converge on the DFW Metroplex for the weekend to celebrate.

I don’t think I could have possibly conjured up a better celebration and memory maker – provided by my family, my awesome team at TPCC back home, and some help from people with names like Harrell, Crabtree, and Edwards.

It all started with the confidence that I could leave home and work for the weekend, knowing that the church was in very capable hands.  I am so grateful for the staff and leadership at Turning Point.  So when Chad, our youth pastor, calls me on Friday to ask it if was OK to title his message on forgiveness, “The F-Word,” I didn’t think twice about it.

We went to Cassie’s house in Euless and had the official family celebration Friday night.  (If you know Carrie, you’ll have to ask her what kind of birthday cake they served up.  I couldn’t mention it unless you paid me lots of money.)  It was there that they presented me the surprise they’d been teasing and hinting about for weeks – two tickets to the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.  As big a NASCAR nut as I am, I’d never been to a race in person.  Needless to say, I was very excited.

Saturday we drove to Canton, Texas – home of the (literally) world’s largest flea market.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  There had to be more than 150,000 people there, and this is a monthly occurrence.  One entire section – about the size of most flea markets – is devoted almost exclusively to pets and livestock.  Hundreds of puppies, along with miniature goats, long-haired rabbits, half-sized calves, llamas, donkeys, exotic birds, and even baby pigs.  We came home with Gracie – a seven-week-old Maltese.

Saturday night I shouted myself hoarse watching Texas Tech shock Texas.  From the Longhorns first play from scrimmage (a safety) to Tech’s last (an incredible touchdown), I was blown away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaN_ce47MOY

Who would have ever thought that, nine games into the season, the top 5 BCS teams would look like this?

Alabama is #1 for the first time in the regular season since 1980 (Roll Tide!).  And my wife’s alma mater is close behind.  Incredible.

The race was a true spectacle.  TV does a good job of presenting it, but there is no way to compare the 3D effect of actually being there, along with 171,000 other people.  And it was pretty cool that we pick up a couple of Carl Edwards #99 caps, and he proceeds to win the race.  The view was incredible, the weather perfect.  And for all uncultured folks that think NASCAR fans are a bunch of beer-throwing rednecks, let me just say these were some of the friendliest, most gracious and sportsmanlike fans possible.  Even, the Earnhardt fans.

Of course, through it all, the most fun part was sharing it with family.  It was the first time to see all seven of them together in a long time, and we totally enjoyed that.  We also hadn’t seen Laura Kate in a good while, so we were glad to have some time with her.

My eardrums have returned to normal, and my voice is nearly back.  The kids have all gone back to home and work.  Carrie, Cassie and Joel did such a wonderful job of helping me celebrate.  Robin and I are back home – ready to start the third quarter.

I do so want to finish strong.

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You were born little, with bigness in your DNA.

You were born naked, longing to be warmed and dressed.

You were born penniless, and learned fairly quickly that this was not good.

Even of you’re a twin or other multiple, you were born completely alone, but wired to be relational.

You were born on purpose.  And your purpose may still lie in front of you.  (What DO you want to be when you grow up?)

To get from here to there, you will most likely pass through a series of completely lame, boring, and maddeningly time-consuming stages.  Yes, you’ll experience a few leaps.  For the rest, you’d better get used to celebrating some baby steps.

God called it the Day of Small Things.

The Day of Small Things is the crawl that comes before the walk.  The work that comes before the reward.  The doing-something-anything that comes before doing something awesome.  It’s boot camp and kindergarten, school and internships, and progress-before-perfection. [click to continue…]

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Hey, wanna have some fun – part mindless, part meaningful?  Check out wordle.  A wordle is a decorative word tag that is built on whatever text you may supply.  It randomly creates a tag cloud, but allows you the opportunity to change into a wonderful variety of fonts and color schemes, including a pallette that allows you to design your own color scheme.  I just made this one from the Sermon on the Mount (NIV, if you MUST know).  Click on the image for a much better look.

Since I had the text from their wedding ceremonies, I made a unique Wordle for all three of my kids, and some of the others brides and grooms I’ve done weddings for.  Printed on a good printer, it makes a nice (cheap) and completely unique gift.  (Here’s the one from Carrie and Kyle’s ceremony:)

In order to save it, I use ScreenHunter, a great free tool for taking a picture of whatever’s on your screen.

The deep, spiritual side of me likes the way the words can be uniquely rearranged based on the number of uses in the text.  Gives me something to meditate on.  The ADD side of me gives me something to do when I should be taking out the trash, grading papers, or something more, uh, useful.  Enjoy!

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Scattershooting, and wondering whatever happened to Blackie Sherrod

Asleep at ComputerRip van Computer
I feel like Rip van Computer.  Last weekend I finished the book I’ve been writing with Kaye, the latest Regent class, and Carrie and Kyle’s move.  I found my email inbox with a record 761 messages in them (sorry if yours was one of them – I promise I wasn’t trying to diss you.)  My Google Reader had nearly 900 entries.  But this goes much deeper and further.  For seven months I’ve been in “hunker down” mode, time- and responsibility-wise.  The clouds have parted, and the time-sun is starting to shine.  But I feel like I’ve been asleep at the keyboard.

Catch-up Stains
Right after that, prophetically, I read this story from John Fischer, reportedly from the writings of Rabbi Kushner, about a group of tourists who went on a safari in Africa and hired several native porters to carry their supplies for them. After three days, the porters announced they would have to stop and rest for a day. When the tourists asked why, the porters said they weren’t tired, “…but we have walked too far too fast and now we must wait for our souls to catch up to us.” John talked about the need to let our souls catch up, and I can relate.  It’s time for some soul work.

Resumes and Cover Letters
My son sent me his resume with a cover letter this morning for me to review.  It reminded me of the massive staff search process we have just been through.  I absolutely know how the American Idol judges feel when they do their nationwide search.  Sometime soon I’ll share with you some of the good, the bad, and the you-gotta-be-kidding-me stuff we received (with names changed to protect the laughing).

Handling Fees?
Jackie Huba just shared an experience in which she was purchasing a $50 gift certificate from her favorite day spa. (I can relate – I just did that for my wife).  As the clerk filled out the certificate, she said the total would be $51.50.   “Handling fee,” she said.  When asked what kind of handling was involved, she said (with a straight face, I suppose), “Writing out the certificate,” she said. “It’s labor-intensive.”

I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, get mad, or get inspired.   We all know about the airlines introducing fees for different things we all sort of took for granted.  Before long, I suppose, we’ll see all kind of new fees for “labor-intensive” or “optional” services: [click to continue…]

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Try to Get This Song Out of Your Head

by Andy Wood on April 25, 2008

in Uncategorized

Okay, so the guys at SynerJACK are talking about stress this week, and I just vomited out of my journal from a couple of years ago.  (It’s ugly… you probably don’t want to read it.)

But I found a real stress reliever video.  Supposedly it’s from an old Girl Scout song, but it made its way into a Discovery Channel commercial.  If you need a happy reminder that God and life and the world are good, watch this.

If you want to irritate somebody by putting a happy little song in their head that’s hard to get rid of, forward this to somebody else.

And the next time you’re pumping gas, remember… [click to continue…]

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Three New Really Good Christian Songs

by Andy Wood on February 7, 2008

in Uncategorized

Josh Rosenthal 2This is pretty much off my reservation, but I thought you’d enjoy getting a preview of three new Christian songs. Two are from projects that are yet to be released; the other is already out.

“Renaissance” is the title song to Josh Rosenthal’s upcoming CD. It is one of the best combinations of truth and good music I have heard in years. For those of you in Lubbock or the South Plains, check out Josh’s tour schedule. He’ll be here in March/April, including Turning Point Community Church, on March 30. Go to Josh’s page on Myspace, and “Renaissance” will begin playing.

Thanks to Tim Challies for the heads-up on these two:

Chris Sligh 2

Remember Chris Sligh, from Season 6 of “American Idol?” He is working on a debut album due out on May 6. You can get a great preview of a passionate and very well-done song, “Empty Me” on his Myspace page. Again, just open the link, and “Empty Me” begins playing.

Charlie Hall 2

“Broken but singing, Our hearts keep shining.” That’s the theme of Charlie Hall’s song “Walk the world.” The song goes on to say, “In a dark world, we lift the Bread and Wine.” This song, recently released on Passion’s “God of This City” is a joyous celebration of how Christians can be lights in a dark world. “Walk the World” is available as a free download by clicking here.

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