Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 30 – “Youth Camp: Day Eight”

Got up early, our van to load
But the girls were down the road
We did find them, got their bags
On to last day, no more snags

How ‘bout that huge peach we saw?
On the video, haw, haw
Wrestler tossed him to the mats
But at least he sure hates cats

Great job missions offering
Sixty-eight hundred and some change
Want to email Dave or Mom?
Try Dave at Davetown dot com

Carry the dream of Jesus home
Don’t assume you’re gonna bomb
Go and live life big for God
Write the Jesus name abroad

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Then we headed out the gate
At the sign a group pic take
On the road to Arlington
Found Dairy Queen – more than one

Reached our host home near midnight
Just a prayer, then out the light
Mister Cary, Miss KayLynn
May your dreams God help you win

Psalms 97:10 says, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”

Father, one more leg to this part of the journey.  Give us patience.  Amen.

June 29 – “Youth Camp: Day Seven”

Follow Christ means love you must
Jesus, then everyone else
Makes for useful Kingdom work
Brings forth Spirit fruit as perks

Just found out some breaking news
On the power loss, it’s true
Four or five of our camp staff
Elevator had them trapped

But these guys are resourceful
Out the roof door they did pull
Pried the doors back open wide.
Sigh. Relief.  They’re back outside.

Rain came down at three today
Caused a major track delay
Now the question, if I may
What about mega-rely?

Well …
Mega moved to small rec field
Still some sprinkles.  We won’t yield
Started early in light rain
Temp dropped fast.  This is insane!

Dee worked hard to spot the chair
Espey simply rode up there
Gracie’s wheelbarrow fell, whoops!
Jason tossed the hula hoop

Hunter’s group they won their race
He spewed soda in his face
Even with the cold and wet
Smiles and laughter – purpose met

A fully devoted Jesus walk
Asks what God wants – act and talk
Invest in some other friends
Focus on a future then.

Psalms 97:9-12 says, “For you, O Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.”

Father, help us get some sleep tonight.  We could sure use a rested start for the journey home.  Amen.

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28 – “Youth Camp: Day Six”

What the Spirit does for me?
Produces real Christianity
Makes the Bible personal
Points to Jesus, that’s His call

How’s it going in track time?
Like in crafts where Espey shines
You like battleball you said?
Gracie nailed her teammate’s head

Mastered nine-square with a swirl
Hunter and some pretty girls
For Guys Only was the plan
Dee joined up because he can

Jason longed for hiking more
'Til his legs got really sore
Mama Chris, cam’ra in hand
Recorded our Seaside band

PK bought Pastor Dave’s book
He wanted a closer look
Dave stood waiting, pen in hand.
PK asked to sign – his Mom

Just before our worship time
Power outage struck, Oh, my!
Staff then scrambled to adapt
Creativity was tapped

Auxiliaries kept some light on
But the AC, it was gone
Acoustic guitars were brought in
Bongo drums to play on then

Moved some cables, portable amps
A Jesus pep rally swept the camp
And then we worshipped anyway
Holy Spirit had his way

In Isaiah chapter six
When we worship these things tick:
Confrontation with God, see,
Forces radical honesty

We confess and God does cleanse
Then a call to serve kicks in
Real short teaching, then the band
Led us in a worship stand

Singing, lifting hands to God
More salvations, think that odd?
Some to full-time Christian work
All this after the power jerk!

Psalms 97:7 says, “All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols - 
worship him, all you gods!”

Father, teach on.  Amen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 27 – “Youth Camp: Day Five”

Gracie’s shoes are glittery fine
Show us those you left behind
Lonely? Beat it!  Yes, you can
Espey’s friend lives on her hand

From under a bridge that troll cop came
Stalking Jason - shame, Troll, shame
As we pondered wonder bug
He got squished, ow, what a lug

Life with us is what Jesus does
Grace and truth display his love
He’s not flakey, he’s not mean
We must dare to live like him.

Jason whined about legs sore
Mama Chris said we could wait some more
For our hike to places high
“We can do it!” Jason cried.

But our group hike was not to be
Pesky blisters on Espey
Hunter, Jason’s track ran late
So Gracie bolted out the gate

Jason’s found two pickup lines
Tried on Mama Chris (she’s fine!)
“Your hands are so very soft”
And “Hey, Baby, BaaBlblblaaa”

Worship time on Wednesday night
Was an awesome God-move sight
When a call to Christ was given
More than ninety came to him

How to God can we connect?
Your soul’s hole is God’s effect
Dump your fig leaf counterfeits
Take the cure – just Jesus fits!

Psalms 97:6 says, “The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.”

Father, keep on working among these kids.  I know you’re not done yet.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 26 – “Youth Camp: Day Four”

Been some changes, good and bad
Blue Bell ice cream made us glad
Our first missions video
Showed Uganda, what do you know

Bible study Pastor Dave
From Oklahoma – Wyricks raved
Reconciliation’s done
When we move into Jesus’ time zone

What game is this in rec time?
Nine square up?  Hunter did fine
Jason had to lift a pipe
Tug-o-war was Dee’s big fight

Gracie said, and Espey, too
I made a friend, how about you?
Church group rep our Michael is
Sat with us before his biz

Don’t feel bad all you who lack
But PK got a fanny pack
Lost his one from Disneyland
Get one too, you’ll think it grand

Picture scavenger hunt fun
Took some photos on the run
Seaside had the lead a time
Lost it soon, but that was fine

Psalms 97:1 says, “The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.”

Father, that first day always seems so full.  Thanks for the fun, but help these kids get a glimpse of you as well.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25 – “Youth Camp: Day Three”

Early morning wake up call
PK’s tunes were worth it all
Left his toothbrush when he dressed?
Busted, Jason.  He confessed.

Old guys breakfast club again
Then to regions west, my friend
Border photos, here’s the scoop
Basked in glory of beep boop

Santa Rosa lunch was fine
Then came hills for us to climb
Finally to camp arrived
Incognito Espey tried (sunglasses all night, Girl!)

Girls were blessed with hotel room
Guys were consigned to their doom
Just three showers, tell me why
Had to service thirty guys

Gracie hid from every pic
Mama Chris snapped her with tricks
Jason, Dee and Hunter, too
Off to hike they quickly flew

Like a whirlwind this day went
With our groups some time we spent
The Big Picture is our theme
Pastor Dave will be a scream

Psalms 96:12 says, “Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.  Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy”

Father, we made it here.  Always so good to remember you got here first.  Amen.


June 24 – “Youth Camp: Day Two”

About Day One

Left Seaside eight on the dot
On to Shipley’s, donuts hot
Sleeping bag Hunter forgot
Rita brought one – problem?  Not!

Stopped at Boyer’s – Jason’s towel
Now it’s nine, but please don’t scowl
Kelly saw us off with prayer
Lora, too, those sisters rare

Outhouse door on wheels we passed
Waved to Giant Sam, so vast
Huntsville rest stop for a time
For Dairy Queen Jason pined

Jason, Hunter, non-stop gab
Dee read some, then sleep he grabbed
Grace and Espey, Jason, too …
Want to speak at church?  You do!

Taco Bell for lunch today
Then a nap for all, OK?
(Except maybe Mama Chris.  She was driving.
But I was asleep.  So I really don’t know for sure)
Then a scream filled our calm air
“Ah, my toes!” wailed Jason fair.

Jason's yell was mild, although
That Snyder door pierced louder, Oh!
Gracie, Espey, Hunter, say,
You too can call me, P-K!

Who let toddlers in our van?
Can they sing?  You bet they can!
Got to Lubbock Pizza Hut
Prayed with Mary – she served us

With our footprints we met us
Worked together with no fuss
Made an island with play dough
Read prayer partner notes just so

Off to bed this day is done
And it’s only our day one
Soon we’ll hit New Mexico
Close to Jesus we will grow

Psalms 96:11 says, “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it”

Father, here we go.  Please come along with us.  Amen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23 – “Youth Camp: Day One”

Here’s my post for the day we leave for camp.  We leave at 8 a.m. from the church, head to Dickinson to pick up the last few kids and have a prayer time, and then it’s on to Lubbock the first night.  We should be in New Mexico sometime in the early afternoon on Monday.  As always, I am not sure how the wifi reception will be in the mountains of New Mexico, but I will do my best to get something posted every day.  It might be in the form of the song I write every year for the kids going to camp.  Just in case that’s what happens, the song is sung to the tune of that old campfire favorite, “I’m a Nut.”  In fact if you know the tune, here are the first few verses to get you in the mood.

I’m an acorn, small and round,
Lyin’ on the cold, hard ground.
Everyone walks over me.
That is why I’m cracked, you see.

Chorus: I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut. I’m a nut.

Called myself on the telephone
Just to see if I was home.
Asked me out for a little date.
Picked me up about half-past eight.
Chorus: I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut. I’m a nut.

Took me out to a movie show.
Stayed too late and said, “Let’s go.”
Took my hand and led me out.
Drove me home and gave a shout.”
Chorus: I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut.  I’m a nut. I’m a nut.

Please pray for us.  As you can already see, we need it.

Psalms 96:8-9 says, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.  Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.”

Father, we commit this week to you.  Grant us safety, draw us close to you, and in the process, could you squeeze in a little fun?  Thanks.  Amen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22 – “Hanging out with Mom”

I got to hang out with Mom a bit the other day.  Chris and Cailyn went to the library to meet up with Christina and her brood.  I was working feverishly on getting stuff ready for camp when Mom shuffled into the room and headed for the front door.  She wasn’t using her walker, so I stood up and followed close behind.  Apparently she had seen a car speed by from her perch on the couch, and wanted to check it out.  Never knew she was into fancy cars.  Or any cars for that matter.  Actually I think she was just being kind of nosey.  After all, this neighborhood has always been known for watching out for each other.  Problem was, she couldn’t see where the vehicle went, not from her couch perch and not from standing at the front door.  So she opened the door and took off.  There is a small step off of our front porch onto the driveway, and I was afraid if she got to moving too fast, that step might totally throw her off balance.  So I eased up behind her and took her arm.  I did ask her where she was going, but all she could come up with was a point in the direction of the now-disappeared vehicle.  We walked together to the end of our driveway to take a look, but that was as far as she could muster the energy to go.  So it was back to the front porch.  There we slumped down into the rocking chairs and settled in to watch for the next interloper.  It didn’t take long for Mom to fall asleep.  I don’t think I would have been far behind, but Chris and the kids returned from the library rarin’ to show off their new books.  The new activity woke Mom up as well, and we all reconvened inside where it was cooler. 

Oh, and speaking of the kids, Jachin showed me an award he received from his baseball team.  It was one of those coveted actual game balls he so desperately wanted back during the end of the season tournament.  His name was written on it as the team’s Most Valuable Player for the entire season.  Seems his baying average was in the neighborhood of .750.  Not too shabby.  Not too shabby at all.  Did I mention that’s my grandson?  Sure beats my legacy.  The best I could come up with was the homage paid to me by one of my old coaches, Mr. Green.  “Kelley was the best fielding shortstop Galveston ever produced.”  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Wish he had stopped there, but he didn’t.  The rest of his pronouncement kind of hurt, but was it ever true … “But he couldn’t hit a bucket of balls.”  Ouch.  Keep up the good work, Jachin.  I’m proud of you.

Psalms 96:7 says, “Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.”

Father, thank you for special moments with my Mom.  I still remember her pitching me that wiffle ball and for once I connected.  Smacked her right in the eye.  How many kids can say they gave their mom a black eye?  Sitting together in rocking chairs is a bit safer, I guess.  Gotta love that woman.  But then, you do, don’t you?  Thanks.  Amen.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June 21 – “Storm prep”

I went to the Jamaica Beach Hurricane preparedness meeting last Saturday.  Kind of solidifies the season.  There were a lot more people there than I expected.  The Jamaica Beach fire department bay was completely filled with people.  There were chairs set up and tables for displays around the edge, but it was standing room only.  And hot.  Very hot.  But they had several of those hugs fans going, so it was bearable. 

For it to have been a Jamaica Beach affair, there were sure a lot of Galveston dignitaries in attendance: Galveston city manager Kovaks, Galveston acting fire chief Wisko, Galveston mayor Rosen, Galveston chief of police Poretto. 

There were also representatives from:
Centerpoint Energy.  They had a drawing and gave away seven $25 gift cards from WalMart.  Our electric bill monies hard at work.  They asked me to draw the numbers out of the hat since I was, in his words, “a holy man of the cloth.”  Must have had something to do with wearing my Seaside T-shirt and my chaplain’s cap.

Galveston County Emergency Management.  This guy was very good.  Fun speaker to listen to and he really held the crowd’s attention.  He pointed out some of the “little things” in the hurricane survival manual they handed out.  Like the fact that the hurricane routes, the ones marked in red, were there for a reason.  He assured everyone that they could indeed try to escape the storm by taking a different route, but the only place they were going to see to it had gas and food available was on those red line routes.)

Red Cross.  If they had a speaker I must have missed it, but they did have a table of information.  And I guess their reputation kind of spoke for itself.

Insurance Companies.  A lady representing an insurance company collective talked about what to expect when you try to make insurance claims after a storm.  Gotta admit she was right on.  I wasn’t too excited about hearing it after living through it, though.

The Jamaica Beach city administrator John Brick was there.  I already knew him.  And I finally met the Jamaica Beach fire chief Baden.  That was actually my goal in going.  I introduced myself on FaceBook a while back, but I had never met him in person.  He told me he was very interested in Critical Incident Stress Management, and appreciated my offer of help in that area as chaplain.

Good meeting.  Hope a lot of those people were “newbies” to the area so they now know a bit about what to expect when a storm hits.  Yep.  I was born and raised here.  I know it will not be a matter of “if,” but “when.”

Psalms 96:5-6 says, “For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.”

Father, protect us once again from the worst effects of the storms.  But even through them, remind us that you stand with us.  Amen.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 20 – “Jury Duty”

I am currently serving my week of jury duty.  Of course I haven’t yet been called to be on an actual jury.  I went in Monday for that treacherous first day.  There were no parking spaces available over behind the fire station where I like to park, so I went to the lot across the street.  As I approached the building I noticed the line to enter was out the front door.  Not a good sign.  It was moving fairly quickly though.  It just takes a little time when all the men have to take off their belts and empty their pockets and all the women have to run their purses through the metal detector. 

At least the initial check-in was easy for me.  I filled in my questionnaire on line, and apparently so did most everyone else.  The few old-schoolers had to take one of those clipboards with the pen attached.  Like the kind they hand you at the doctor’s office for your “records update.”  The room was almost full when I arrived.  That meant the only open seats were right up in the front.  Kind of like at church on a Sunday morning.  I wasn’t scared, though.  I went right to the front row.  Once situated I skimmed through the little booklet they gave us.  Pretty basic stuff.  All about the qualifications for a juror (Things like you have to be able to read and understand English), and acceptable exemptions (Like if you are the sole caregiver of someone).  I started working on a crossword puzzle.  I brought along a book of them as well as a novel I haven’t started yet.  Ted Dekker’s The Sanctuary.  I was saving it to read in the van on the way to camp when I’m not driving.  I was kind of worried, because crossword puzzles usually put me to sleep, but I figured I could probably hold out since I had just woke up. 

That plan worked well until they turned out the lights.  This was new since I was last called.  They showed us a movie about being a juror.  I expected the hype about doing your duty and all, and that’s basically what the movie’s purpose was, but it wasn’t all that bad.  It had clips from numerous movies with trials in them, like To Kill a Mockingbird and that one with Jim Carey where he can’t tell a lie.  It struck our history chord with a section about the Magna Carta.  My favorite was when they mentioned how Americans AND TEXANS had fought for the right to trial by jury.  Somebody knew how to appeal to our fierce Texas-based nationalism.  We also found out that it was somewhere around 1951 before a woman was allowed to sit on a jury.  I learned a new French word: voire dire.  Don’t know how to pronounce it, but it means speak the truth.  Appropriate.  The movie also talked about juror qualifications and exemptions.  Sounded vaguely familiar.  Like something I just read.

After the movie a lady explained to us about the juror information line we were to call each night this week if we didn’t get picked, in case they needed somebody else.  She told us our pay scale ($6 first day, then $28 a day).  Briefly mentioned the dress code.  Warned us that the judge would be here any minute, so we better turn off our cell phones.  And she went over the qualifications and exemptions of a juror.  Wait.  Again?

About that time I noticed a high-pitched sound constantly whining.  I started searching for its source when the judge walked in.  That TV-like baliff voice commanded , “All rise.”  And we dutifully obeyed.  While we were up anyway, we were sworn in all at once.  Typical, “raise your right hand and say I do” kind of oath.  The judge herself was a nice lady.  She introduced herself and began to read to us … the qualifications and exemptions of a juror.  Yep.  Again.  Finally the line began to form of those who wanted to speak to her privately about why they couldn’t serve.  She let a few off.  A few others were assigned right then to a trial in Bacliff to start on Friday.  And a few were told to tough it out.  Whatever their excuse was wasn’t going to fly.  Sorry about that.

Finally the judge left and out other lady returned.  I was amazed.  She didn’t read us the qualifications and exemption of a juror.  This time she called the roll of those who would be called for a jury that day.  Everybody said the same thing, “Here.  Yes.  Present.”  I was working on some creative way to declare my presence when my name was called.  It wasn’t.  The rest of us were reminded to call the jury information line every night and follow the instructions given there.  And we were excused.  That was it.  And so far that has been it.  Haven’t been needed all week. 

Oh, I forgot to mention. Kel had some fun with this jury thing.  See, we both got the jury summons for this week.  Not a problem, right.  Well, the thing is, they didn’t include the “Jr.” on Kel’s name, so for all intents and purposes, they had two Kelley Vaughan’s in the mix.  Kel asked the lady how we were supposed to know which one of us was being asked to come if they said our name on the jury information line.  Really threw them for a loop.  They finally gave him a “special” number to call.  That’s my first born.  Always did demand some special treatment.  But every night around 5:30 I have received a text that we are not needed.  It’s great to have connections.

Psalms 96:4 says, “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.”

Father, thank you for our justice system.  So far the best human kind I have run across.  Of course I prefer the way you do it.  Lots of mercy there.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19 – “Guys night at the game”

Because of the incredible generosity of a good friend (Thanks so much, Clint Richey), I was able to see an Astros game the other night.  As you might or (probably) might not know, the Astros have been doing really well lately.  They won five games in a row and last night they even had a grand slam home run in a 10 to 1 victory.  Things are really looking up around the ball park.  Great time to catch a game, right?  Well, as far as I’m concerned, going to a game is kind of like going fishing.  The best time to go is whenever you can.  And thanks to Clint, we had four tickets. 

The ones who won the “I got to go to an Astros game with DadDad” lottery this time were Kel, Jachin, and Micah, and I must say the boys were pretty excited.  Jachin and Micah were happy to be going as well.  Micah had swimming lessons up to the last moment before we had to leave, so we met them at a Target nearby.  Why Target?  Well, the little man had to have an Astros cap, of course.  Can’t adequately root for the home team with a cap.  As it turned out they were having a sale on caps with the old logo.  And Micah found just the one he wanted.  His Dad did his best to convince him to hold out for a hat with the new logo on it.  Micah, however, stood his ground.  I don’t imagine it helped Kel’s case any to have good ol’ DadDad standing there, wearing an Astros cap with the old logo on it.  Hey, Micah, Middle Child Solidarity all the way, right? 

The ride to the game could best be described as … noisy.  Those were some excited boys.  It was getting close to game time when we walked in.  Kel fast-talked the attendant into letting Micah keep his bottle of water.  Actually it was another attendant who arrived, sized up the situation – a little kid swigging a just-opened bottle of what was obviously water and not some secret stash of vodka – and waved us through.  As we rounded the corner on our way to the escalators, who should we run into but ex-fire chief Jeff Smith, wearing his first aid outfit.  Seems he is enjoying his retirement in style by occasionally working for the Astros.  Shows up a few hours before the game, hangs out with the players while they take batting practice, eats a good meal when game time approaches, and gets paid in the process.  Any little kid’s dream job, I must say.  Good for you, Jeff.

Our seats were amazing.  Club level.  Right behind home plate and just under the announcers and reporters.  The guy in front of us was wearing a baseball cap that intrigued me.  It was from the Chicago American Giants of the old Negro League.  And around the fourth inning I had my frozen lemonade in hand.  I was officially at the game.  During the seventh inning stretch, while we sang Take Me Out To The Ball Game, the announcers all started tossing bags of peanuts and cracker jacks out of their windows.  I snagged a cracker jacks.  Now that’s the way to see a baseball game.  We made the scoreboard cam around the eighth inning.  I guess by that time there just weren’t very many interesting people left in the stands.  The boys were really getting sleepy by then, too.  It was well after ten, way past my bedtime, for sure, by the time the game finally ended.  We headed back to the car and by the time we got back to LaMarque Micah was out like a light.  Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that the Astros lost 4-2.  The one game they lost out of a streak of six or seven wins.  But it sure didn’t matter to us.  It was all about the experience.  Guys night at the Astros game.  Can’t beat it.

Psalms 96:2-3 says, “Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

Father, thank you for good family times like a night at the ball game.  Thank you for friends that care enough to make them possible.  Bless Clint and Jennifer and little Chase with much happiness.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18 – “A new Vaughan is coming”

First the most exciting news.  We got the FaceTime call from Zakary and Caleb to tell us what kind of sibling they are going to have.  Christi’s doctor’s appointment was yesterday, and they did “THE” ultrasound – the one that reveals the sex of the baby.  I suppose they check other things as well.  You know, whether the little one is healthy and growing and all that.  All pluses on that count.  Everything looks great.  Clearly human.  Now.  Moving on …

What?  Oh.  I guess I did forget one minor detail, didn’t I?  They posted a very cute video on FaceBook of how they told the boys.  Christi made one of those homemade jigsaw puzzles, and she handed them one piece at a time.  “It’s”  “a”  “…”  Then they stopped and asked the boys what they thought it was.  Caleb guessed boy because it was wiggling so much.  Zak agreed, but his reason was a bit more practical, “Because I don’t know what to do with a girl.”  Dad readily agreed with that take.  And Zak did want to know some more details, just to make sure.  First born, you know.  He had to be assured that Mommy was positive … there is only one in there, right?  Can’t have any surprises.  Great idea on the puzzle.  Loved the post.  Now.  Moving on …

What?  Oh.  You want to know how the video ended?  What did the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle show?  Will the baby be revealed to be a boy or a girl?  I guess that would make this story somewhat complete.  You know, their name is Vaughan.  There was a time when that would have been enough to assure one of those male types without question.  But then came Cailyn.  And then Noa.  Two girls amidst the preponderance of Vaughan boys.  And in this case … that preponderance … has been … continued.  There it is.  The newest Vaughan baby is yet another Vaughan boy. And we are unspeakably excited, of course.  Perhaps not as overjoyed as Caleb was in the video.  After all, he had two things to celebrate.  A new baby brother.  And, perhaps more important … he guessed right.  They both did.  Way to go, Caleb and Zak.  Now let’s talk about those names you two have picked out.  What were they again?  Joseph?  Adam?  Do Mom and Dad even get a say in this? 

Now.  Moving on …

Psalms 96:1 says, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.”

Father, thank you for the new little guy you are forming.  Can’t wait to meet him.  Amen.

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17 – “Father’s Day at the Vaughan homestead”

Well, my Father’s Day was quite a treat all the way around.  I already talked about going to see Man of Steel with my first born.  That made it especially good, not just because I got to spend time with Kel, but also because I had yet another opportunity to try to convince him that Superman is obviously better than Spiderman.  He didn’t buy it, but that’s all right.  He’ll get another chance to see the light in the days to come.  I’m sure they will do a sequel. 

I got a phone call and a smart-aleck card from my second born, Josh, the one who resides in far-off San Antonio.  The card thanked me for the incredible degree of influence I have had on him, all the way down to the outrageous way I taught him to dress.  His card certainly called to mind some fond memories of two pair of pants that I used to have.  One had stripes, as I recall.  Bright, neon, lime-green stripes.  Probably the all-time most comfortable pair of pants I have ever owned.  I used to wear them every Christmas morning while we opened presents.  Still have lots of pictures.  The other great pair of pants was also green.  They were actually part of the fast-pitch softball uniform I wore when I played in Colorado.  Definitely green, like the grass.  Very bright.  And as I recall they had on stripe down the side of each leg.  Bright yellow stripe.  Fashionable, to be sure.  I use to wear those back when Seaside played softball.  I don’t know how well the teal Seaside uniform shirt went with them, but they definitely got folks’ attention.  I know Chris got a at least one call before every game begging her not to let me wear them out in public ever again.  Sadly, I lost both of those heirlooms in Hurricane Ike.  I have always suspected, though, that there was really nothing wrong with them.  I’m pretty sure we could have washed them a few times and they would have been good as new.  I have a theory that the people helping us clear stuff out of our house were secretly recruited by Chris and the boys to spirit them away behind my back.  Sigh.  Nostalgia.  Ain’t it grand?

Nathan and April and Cailyn made the day complete when they arrived in the evening to cook us some supper.  And what a feast it was.  One of my all-time favorites, chicken enchilada pie.  Lots and lots of cheese.  And they didn’t waste crucial stomach space by making a lot of vegetables, either.  Just a simple salad and a boatload of the good stuff.  We provided the Blue Bell cookies and cream for dessert.  Then we all went out in the back yard to check out Cailyn’s sunflower that has bloomed and now actually peeks over the top of the house to follow the sun.  Of course once we were out there, we were immediately enlisted to took turns swinging Cailyn.  It was nice and shady and a cool Galveston breeze was blowing.  Now that’s the way to top off a great day. 

Psalms 127:3-5 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”

Father, thank you for each of the sons you put in my quiver.  May their children rise up and bless them as they have done me.  Amen.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 16 – “Man of Steel”

Last night I went to the movies with Kel.  Kind of a pre-Father’s Day treat for the both of us.  He knew I would be interested in this one.  We saw the new Superman movie, Man of Steel.  Now, what I’m about to say requires a bit of a spoiler alert, so be forewarned.  First off, I really did like the movie.  I mean, how could I not appreciate someone bringing my childhood hero to life using real, live people instead of cartoons?   I mean, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.  Russell Crowe as Jor-El.  Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.  That’s some heavy hitters.  I liked the explanation of the “S” in his uniform being a Kryptonian symbol for Hope.  Of course in the comics his adopted Mom Martha sewed his uniform using the blankets he was wrapped in for his space journey.  She taught the young Clark to use his heat vision to cut the fabric for her.  Sigh.  But that’s another world.  See, a few things just didn’t fit the Superman I grew up with.  I know they were trying to make him approachable or easier to identify with, but they drastically changed some very basic things.  Here it comes …

First, Jonathan Kent, his adopted father, dies while son Clark, aka Superboy, looks on.  The boy could have saved him, but the Dad Kent refuses his help in order to keep his true identity a secret.  That’s a direct change from the comics.  Originally Jonathan has a simple heart attack.  The angst there is that there is absolutely nothing Superman could have done about it, a critical point in establishing the limits of his “super-ness.” 

Then Lois Lane tracks down and uncovers his secret identity.  At least to her credit she keeps it quiet, but in the comics I grew up with, the trials Clark has trying to keep his identity secret, especially from her, make up a good portion of the fun.  On the plus side, this new Lois is a lot smarter than the one in the comics.  She just follows the clues and ends up at the Kent’s farm. 

And finally, without revealing too much of the actual plot, Superman kills a guy.  Granted, it is presented as a choice he is forced to make, and he is quite remorseful when the deed is done.  But that just didn’t ever happen in the comics.  This was a very strange universe.  Not very DC-ish.  In fact, it was a pretty Marvel-ous place.  In spite of that, I did like it, and I look forward to the inevitable sequels.  And I did get to enjoy it with my son.  Thanks, Kel.

Psalms 95:6-7 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”

Father, thank you for every chance I get to spend with my sons.  They have been an incredible gift from you.  Help their kids to grow to be the same for them.  Amen.