Posts filed under ‘Random Thoughts’

Epiphany from the Dentist Chair

I could hear voices but they sounded far away. It was as if I was in another room, they were talking about me, but not to me. Always just out of sight. I remember thinking, is this what dying feels like? No this is what sitting in the dentist chair is like when they give you Nitrous Oxide.
Nitrous Oxide appears to have an affect on the GABA receptor sites and thus acts as a successful anxiolytic, producing an anti-anxiety effect. Laughing gas, or happy juice, aerosol margarita, silly sauce, clown cloud, or whatever you want to call it, it works. Outside of aerosol whipped cream the only place you get it is at the dentist office. It makes going to the dentist a little more bearable. Personally I love the stuff. Wish I could have a few canisters in my office just so I could take a hit off it once in a while. The care free felling you get lying in the dentist chair is almost enough to make you forget you will have to pay them over $600 dollars by time they get finished drilling holes in your head.
As I drifted along in my euphoric haze, the monotonous sound of the drill whirling, the masked faces of the dentist and his assistant jabbing countless number of sharp tools into my mouth occasionally asking me questions that they knew the only answer I could give would be “aaaaarrrraara”, a moment of clarity hit me. The day’s bible reading was from Matt. chapter 6. The last 8 verses were Jesus telling us not to worry. “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink….” This gas induced anxiety free state I was feeling is what Jesus was telling us to do. Don’t worry. We spend a great deal of our days worrying about everything from paychecks to the weather. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Wouldn’t it be great if we all could adopt that ‘worry free’ attitude. Just putting our faith in God and saying “Hey drill on, I’m not worried” I am going to work on retaining that attitude without the aid of laughing gas. Spending time in his word is a great substitute for the gas. Besides, when I am in need of a laugh I can always run by the worship office.



January 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm 5 comments

Bible Tweets

What if there was Twitter back in bible days?  What a thought eh?  I can’t help but wonder what things would be posted on twitter by Biblical characters.  Here are a couple of things that might have been posted on the twitter board if you were to follow these amazing people in the Bible.  (DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun.  Non of these tweets are at all factual and are just imaginary ideas from Phil)


“Just finished the third day of creation and everything is looking good!  Looking forward to the seventh day!”

“Just got done defeating Goliath, now I’m King! Sweet!”

“I promise you, the rain will come!”

“umm.. so that fruit thing was a bad idea.”

“shall I say, tic tac?”

“just finished fig leaf shopping”

“It’s got to be around here somewhere…”

“Who says you need BowFlex”

“@Eve  Yeah, not such a wise decision.”

“ok, so this tree is alot higher than I thought”

“here kitty kitty kitty..”

“can things get any worse…”

“@Job Cheer up my friend”

“so, I’m staring right into a tigers face right now… this zoo is legit.”

“Just got done eating seafood with Jesus and the boys.  Good times.  Great friends!”

“HP printers, you got nothing on my God.  I got the stones to prove it!”

“Please, take it from me… do what God wants you to do the first time. Fo Sho”

“dude, you should have seen it!!! No strings attached, Jesus totally flew”

“it has been incredibly hot day today, but surprisingly, bearable.”

“@Shadrach ditto!”

“Gotta love a good cruise!”

It’s kind of interesting to wonder about isn’t it? 🙂

Phil <><

August 10, 2009 at 11:42 am 6 comments

Here Gator, Gator…..

Do Not Feed AlligatorsLast week during a family reunion in Gulf Shores I got to play golf with my brother and his wife and my sister. I had an average day (meaning I was all over the course) when on the 3rd or 4th hole I spotted this sign near a water hazard. At first I did not pay much attention to it because I didn’t see any alligators. But then I read it again. ‘CAUTION DO NOT FEED OR AGGRAVATE ALLIGATORS’.  I admit the first thing I think when I see an alligator  is “wonder if I can get him to eat some of these Cheetos out of my hand?” So the idea of having a sign warning people not to feed the alligators must surely be warranted . They might also be concerned with the diet the alligators might be on. Some alligators might need a low sodium diet or some  might simply be watching their weight. (Imagine how many calories the average golfer might contain).

But the second part of the sign had me wondering.  How do you aggravate an alligator (insert Urban Myer joke here). Or more over why would you even WANT to aggravate an alligator. How smart is it to make something angry that looks at you as a sandwich.  Did someone one day look at the alligator and start calling him names?  Play their radio too loud? Park their  golf cart in the gators parking space? What did someone do to aggravate the gator? You know someone had to of done something or they wouldn’t have a sign telling you not to do it. That’s one point the sign makes.  We have to have signs to remind us not to do stupid stuff. Common sense is not enough, base intelligence gets over ruled by moronic behavior more times than not. The phrase ” Hey John Boy, watch this..” is often followed by some sort of disaster destined to end up on U Tube.

But a second point occurred to me. How do you know when an alligator is aggravated? How can we tell the difference between an aggravated alligator and an alligator that is totally ticked off? What is the little nuance that tells me the alligator is just mildly irritated or or fixing to go postal? I watched TV shows about alligators, and I never see but one expression.  For all I know that alligator floating in the pond might be aggravated by my mere presence, annoyed by my checkered shorts, or perplexed by my loud colorful Hawaiian shirt. But then, like a bolt of lightning, an epiphany from deep inside my dusty brain, it hit me. Maybe the alligators are aggravated by the fact that we are instructed not to feed them. Sure that had to be it. I know I get aggravated when I don’t get fed. Almost a catch-22 situation. So what is the point of all this? Don’t feed alligators? Don’t aggravate them by not feeding them?  I don’t have an answer but I do know that my checkered shorts and Hawaiian shirt did aggravate my sister.


August 5, 2009 at 9:58 am 3 comments

It’s the little ones that get you

I kinda worked through the lunch hour today (I use the phrase “kinda worked” because I’m a worship pastor and everyone knows we don’t really work). So I guess I’ll say I was strumming my guitar through the lunch hour today and trying to find songs that everyone will hate on Sunday. But…I digress.

That to say this: I suddenly realized the ol’ stomach was clamoring for some nourishment. I didn’t have lunch with me nor did I have the energy to “run out” for some fast food (strumming the guitar is more draining than you might think, especially when humming along is involved). Anyway, one of the evil ladies in my office – who has complete disregard for my health and well-being – always keeps a stock of candy bars in our office. But these are not just any ol’ regular candy bars; these are the “mini-bars,” the bite-size pieces of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the delectable nuggets produced in the boiling cauldrons of hell’s darkest imagination.

“Oh, but Kris, I love the mini-bar.” Yeah, so do I. And therein is the rub. I mean, we all realize there can’t be more than 3 or 4 calories in something so enticingly small. Consequently, our brain need not overrule our uncontrollable drive to sate our sweet tooth with that insulin-emergency death-bringer known as the “Milky Way.” So, I had one or two. No harm, no foul. But the “Snickers really satisfies” deal is not applicable to the mini-bar edition. So I had a few more. I’m not sure how many; but I figured I could probably have 2 or 3 dozen, and the walk back to my office from the candy jar would burn those calories. After all, they’re so small, so irrelevant, and, if there are any real effects, they are so easily handled. Pretty soon, the Milky Ways were gone and the Snickers had mysteriously disappeared. However, I had thrown my body into a serious jones for sugar, and it wasn’t until I found myself waking up from sugar shock on the floor with half a mini-Krackel in my mouth that I realized I had a problem.

“My name is Kris, and I am a mini-bar-a-holic.”

After the insulin had subsided – safely tucking away all that excess blood sugar into the fat cells on my love handles –  it hit me. Sin is a lot like mini-bars.

Spiritually speaking, I can walk in the local 7/11 and avoid the big candy bars. I know they’re bad for me; I know their evil effects. I have seen myself sans apparel, and it is ugly. More times than not, I can avoid the temptation of the “big one.” But it’s the little ones that get you, the mini-sins that seem to have little (or no) effect. The ones that even if I keep going back to the jar again and again just don’t really seem to matter. After all, they’re so small, so irrelevant, and, if there are any real effects, they are so easily handled. Right?

It’s too bad I live my life like that. Because sooner or later, I’m afraid I might wake up from the shock of the buildup in my life and realize I’ve got a real problem – not because it was so big, but because the little things add up. Quickly. Contrary to popular belief, we better learn to sweat the small stuff.

“My name is Kris, and I’m a mini-sin-a-holic.”

Thanks for listening. I must go. There is a mini-musketeer calling my name. Their voices sound so sweet when they’re that small.

July 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm 6 comments

Summer Stinks

I hate summer. Oh sure, begin your little persecution of me. Roll your eyes and call me stupid. Hate summer? What kind of madman…blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.

I’ve heard your company line before, people. Conform if you must. Lack the courage to go against “conventional wisdom” – which is all conventional and no wisdom. Cry out with the masses, “Summer is great. It’s warm and sunny. School’s out. Vacations abound. The beach and Disney and the beach and Disney and the beach and Disney.” Say it long enough and maybe you’ll really believe it.

Well, I’m going to say what you don’t have the guts to admit. You can live vicariously through me – the one man on earth with the singular courage to stand up and tell the world that its summer propaganda will not win the day, that there is still one soul who has not compromised and caved to societal pressure to embrace this evil that happens between June 21 and September. For three reasons, yea for four,  will I forever suffer and despise summer.

Number 1, it is HOT. It is not “warm and sunny.” It is HOT. Not just a little hot. This is Alabama. It is HOT HOT. And I’m sure the curse of the fall of man instituted the incarnate evil that is southern humidity. So it goes beyond HOT HOT and goes to fifth ring of Dante’s inferno HOT. You know, we spend a major portion of our lives doing all that we can to avoid hell, but if someone just built an amusement park there with a big mouse  people apparently would flock to it and think its okay because they offer iced lemonade there for abut $8.50. Number one, it’s HOT.

Number 2, the beach is Satan’s playground. First, it’s HOT (did I mention that?). Second, there’s no shade. Oh sure, they’ll rob rent you an umbrella. But umbrellas are meant to keep things from falling on you, not to suddenly make you 20 degrees cooler. Heat doesn’t “fall” so much as it circulates like an convection oven. Then there’s the sand. The sand that won’t go away. IT”S EVERYWHERE. You have to get in the water to cool off, so the sand sticks to you when you get out. It sticks everywhere, even in places you can’t imagine how it got there. So then there’s the obligatory chafing from the sand and the get back in the water to wash off where you encounter the jellyfish who sting you right on the sunburn you’ve gotten because the rental umbrella that cost you $25 is not UV protection and you scream and run from the water when the sharks arrive to feed on your flesh only to find yourself covered in sand which is simply abrasive on the sunburn and jellyfish stings. Sure, you finally get to the walkway shower and grit your teeth under the freezing cold water, only to notice that the chafing stays with you for days and the sand in your shoes and in other articles of clothing you didn’t even wear to the beach appears in your home weeks later. Number two, the beach is Satan’s playground.

Number 3, yard work. Mowing the grass and all the associated torments of my existence. Why do we do this? Because we  have a neighborhood covenant nazi who sends us letters and calls association meetings when we don’t. Somebody who can probably afford to have other people do their lawn and so uses their time to torment those of us who are relegated to life in the real world. “Hey, I don’t have to sweat as I drive around in my air conditioned car measuring the heighth of your grass blades , so let me make sure you are out in the 4000 degree weather doing manual labor to please me and my arbitrary  property value judgments.” As we say in the south, “bless his/her little busybody heart.” I HATE yard work. Not like the lesser hate I have for injustice in the world and all the stupid things our government does. I mean BEACH HATE.  Number 3, yard work.

Number 4 – and I’ll keep this brief. Mosquitoes. Blood-sucking parasites that somehow invade even my screened-in porch, which my wife convinces me to go sit on because it’s “screened-in” – the thing we’ve done to convince ourselves that our blood won’t be drawn involuntarily from our bodies by some horror-film creature while we bake in what essentially becomes a greenhouse of enclosed overheated air suffocating me slowly like a rotisserie chicken.

Then there’s the summer TV wasteland and the complete lack of meaningful sports available. But I said I’d just give you 4, so I must stop before there is a revolution of common sense in this world and the beach condos and Disney go out of business while we all cower in our homes next to the a/c vent.

So there you have it. You can scorn me. You can publicly deride me with your little peer group. You can call me crazy to my face in front of your friends. Deep down, I know where you stand. I can read your eyes telling me what your lips are not allowed to – that you hate summer too. I am here for you. I will carry the banner that you cannot.

(Well, I promise to carry it after I get back from the beach next week.)

July 7, 2009 at 7:44 pm 5 comments

Please unsubscribe me

I was just sorting through some e-mail spam, and it struck me how cool the unsubscribe button is. I don’t know if it even always works, but it feels so good just to hit the button and at least momentarily believe that you have anonymously told someone, “leave me alone; you and all you have to offer me are a bother of such a high order that I don’t even want to waste the 1 second of time it takes me to delete your email. I am unsubscribed and you are barred from any contact with me.”

Wow. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of those in real life? Someone you know (probably some relative) that you just can’t shake but who has more issues than you can or are willing to take the time to count. “Please unsubscribe me.” Maybe it’s that co-worker who inflicts his or her self on you with their relationship problems which they have not yet seemed to have narrowed down to the common denominator. “Please unsubscribe me.” The “dude” who is constantly boasting about stuff that no actual real adult  has cared about since we were in college and did not have lives. “Please unsubscribe me.”

I know. There’s no such thing. We are put here with flawed people. We are asked to share in their lives and share our lives with them. Whose idea was that? I guess that’s one of the deals with life and the whole fall of man thing. I bet before Adam and Eve messed up, unsubscribe buttons grew on the tree of life. Well, at least I can count on the fact that heaven won’t have anybody I don’t approve of … right?

Still, I guess I should wonder how many “unsubscribe” lists I’m on. I’ve probably been added to a whole bunch more by writing this. I wonder what that means for me? Would someone expect heaven to be without me?

I’d better stop that self-examination stuff. That never leads anywhere positive. I start to feel like regular humans.


Other buttons that might come in handy are “escape” (where you magically get out of whatever problem is there) or “tab” (where you just jump right to the next thing) or “alt” (where you get a choice of other hidden options) or “delete” (where life is one big do-over).

Are there any buttons among these you wish you had available to you? How about some others?  Leave us a comment and tell us. Come on, you can do it.

June 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm 3 comments

Is it really vacation?

Okay. I’m about to upset some people. I’m sure I’m about to sound pretty unspiritual and harsh and all that stuff that offends you sensitive types. You’re going to have to get over it because I am about to speak truth. Not the truth that you’ve convinced yourself of because you want to think somehow we’re still in Eden or because you want to feel better about yourself or impress others with your spiritual maturity. I’m talking truth truth. Real-life stuff not for the sweet by and by but for the nasty now and now. I suspected that this was true, but have long been afraid to admit it for fear of excommunication from the Christian community and from humanity in general. However, on a recent anniversary getaway with my wife of 13 years (and recent nominee for sainthood), this truth became so real for me that I could no longer hide in the shadows and deny it. Here it is:

“Vacation is not vacation if your children are there”

Yes, I said it. Read it again. It’s raw. It’s ugly. It’s not for the faint-hearted and weak. It’s just true.

I know, I know. People will argue, “But, Kris…” and they will drone on ad infinitum about “children are a treasure from the Lord” and “you need to enjoy these times when they are young because it will pass before you know it.” Oh, it goes on and on. In fact, it goes on too much, which leads me to believe these are people who have discovered this same truth but want me to suffer like they have because there’s some kind of unwritten parental code of conduct that demands that you make sure other parents are inflicted with the same pain you have been because it’s “just comes with the whole parenting thing.”

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I just don’t think it’s vacation if they are with me. “That’s awful,” you say. Okay, I agree. But I’m given vacation time by my employer in order to get away and get refreshed and get rested and relax. Who in their right mind with 3 children 10 and under can say that any of those things happens just because you’re out-of-town? Vacation with kids is not vacation. It is temporary relocation. That’s it. All your problems, issues, annoyances, bad attitudes, disobediences, tattling, fighting, yah-yahing, and general garbage does not magically disappear because the scenery changes. In fact, it usually just gets magnified because you’re around them for longer in the day since you’re not at work.

I wonder. Where did we get this idea of “family vacation”? Most of the world is not so privileged that it would even be an option. Yet in our little world, it’s practically expected. Our kids deserve it, after all. I mean, their little school lives are so stressful. Little Johnny’s baseball season didn’t go so well. In fact, he wasn’t even asked to be on all-stars! Oh, I almost forgot that the meaningless relationship my child almost thought he had never really happened because she liked little Joey better. That kid needs a getaway! Let’s take him and his brothers to the beach because I want to spend hundreds of dollars making myself miserable with the misery they will inflict on me. I want to go out to eat in nice restaurants where they suck down their chicken fingers and fries before I even get my filet mignon and crab legs, and so they spend my whole meal time telling me to hurry up so they can go to the wacky golf or the go-karts. Then when I don’t hurry up to their specifications they resort to embarrassing me by throwing forks at each other and yelling and saying REALLY loud things about the people at the next table.  And my wife – my own wife, my helpmeet, my teammate – looks at me with that look like “hurry up or I will kill at least two of our children on my way to killing you.”

Hury up? HURRY UP? It’s filet mignon and crab legs! You can’t ask for a doggie bag for filet mignon and crab legs. When I get back to the Days Inn, the experience is gone. Anyway, I digress…

As we begin this summer and opportunities for “vacation” come around, all I ask is that we call things what they are. If you are going without kids, call it a vacation, a getaway, a respite, a needed rest. If kids are going, refer to it as the fifth ring of Dante’s Inferno (okay, maybe  it’s really only the third ring but hyperbole is always effective).

Don’t waste your time trying to convince me how wrong I am, for I have been to the mountain and I have seen the promised land. The two days I had away with my wife were rapturous. I played golf. She went to the spa. We ate a very nice meal in peace. We walked together and breathed in the nice, night, QUIET air. Oh, the bliss that I had long since forgotten. The bliss that was smashed on the rocks of the return of real life.

I’ve heard it gets better when the kids get a little older. I don’t know, maybe that’s true. I figure the reality is that, by that time, I will have fallen into such resignation to my plight that my senses will just be numb to it all and so nothing will seem as bad. Just death of my spirit by attrition.

oh, I see it now…That’s what those little boogers are after; they think they can just wear me down over time. Well, I’ll show them. I’ll take them to the beach later this summer, and I’m going to act like I’m enoying myself in spite of all their best efforts. I’ll take pictures and laugh and play with them. I’ll do this every year until they fly off to go on their own third rings of Dante’s inferno. Then I’ll look back and smile knowing that I showed them. I persevered through it all, even the doggie bags of filet mignon.  I’ll go broke showing them that they can’t break me.

Don’t fool yourself. It’s not vacation. It’s not relaxing. It’s often not even fun. But we will not let them know. We will not give them the satisfaction.

I am a non-vacationing vacationing parent. Hear me roar. Which way to the beach?


June 8, 2009 at 8:53 am 5 comments

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