Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oklahoma 57 - Chattanooga 2

The press described the hour long delay of game from the weather as a "mercy delay". We held it down to a 55 point trounce. A greater margin than I predicted, but, I'm OK with that!

Boomer Sooner!

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain made his VP choice

(This is the banner on

John McCain named his running mate. Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, is pro-life and is against gay marriage.

Although I have never heard of her before, I think he made a good choice, simply based on the fact that so many Hillary supporters feel betrayed and won't vote for Obama.

What a historic election this will be!

Historic Speech

So, did you what him last night? Did you believe him? Do you think HE believes what he said?

He is quite a charismatic speaker, I'll give him that.

Ready to lead? I still have my doubts.

Has American interests at heart? He talked a good talk.

My observation is that I'd rather have his VP as president than him.

I will admit I watched his whole speech, mostly because of the "historical" aspects of it. I didn't get all teary-eyed. I didn't choke up. I don't have a problem with a minority being president. I simply don't think Obama is the right one.

The BBQ Song!

This is about the best "food song" I've ever heard! Turn it up and pass it on!

I'm Hungry!!

[HT: Steve Heartsill]

Being Taken Advantage Of

When I lived overseas, I was constantly being taken advantage of because a.) I was white, b.) I was American. The combo of the two means "loads of money" to the third world. It was especially bad in West Africa. Even though I spoke fairly decent French, I always paid more in the market for anything, compared to a typical African.

When we moved to Asia, it was better, but it was still there. The language barrier hurts. But, because I spoke a little Thai, I could tell the folks in the market that I wasn't a tourist and after a while, they got used to seeing me. Since I often was showing people around, they would give me a little better price, but certainly not a "local" price.

Now that I am here in America, I don't get taken advantage of very often. However, today, everyone in America (probably) is being taken advantage of by the oil companies.

Hurricane Gustav is set to hit the Gulf of Mexico this weekend or so. In anticipation, gasoline prices jumped 17 cents in Wagoner since YESTERDAY!

This is uncalled for!

This is just plain wrong!

What in the world can we do about it?

I really, really hate being taken advantage of.

How much have they jumped in your neck of the woods because of Gustav?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Game Prediction

Ok, I don't do this very often, but I am going out on a limb to predict the score of the Oklahoma-Chattanooga football game on Saturday.

I predict Oklahoma wins with a score of 60-17.

We'll see, I guess.

Any other guesses?

I hope not

The big news today is that Mormon Mitt Romney is on the short list (at the top) for McCain's VP choice.

I sincerely hope McCain isn't THAT dumb!


I'd like to suggest to you an online program that will make your blog reading easier. It is called Bloglines.

It is easy to go to a few times a day to see which blogs (you have subscribed t0) have updated.

Another little bonus is that sometimes folks create a post, then decide to delete it. If you don't happen to catch it on their blog, you've missed it forever. Or, in a case like today, someone accidentally deleted a post on their blog and I was able to pull it out of the Bloglines Archives and email it to him to get it re-posted on his blog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Did you believe Hillary?

I watched Hillary last night at the DNC. I didn't believe her. (Then again, I never have.) I think it took every bit of her personal fortitude to endorse Obama.

I like McCain's new ad. It is a sound bite of her saying that "John McCain has the experience needed for the White House; Obama doesn't."

I sure wish we had a better choice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It was a matter of time

I am NOT a racist. In no way do I condone the (alleged) actions of these people. Political assassination is bad enough, but based on race is even worse!

Three men are being held in Denver over allegations that they planned to assassinate Obama. One of the men was interviewed on the news and said, "The other guys didn't think a Black should be president".

For the record: I have no problem with an African-American President; I don't think Obama is the one. However, I can certainly imagine that there are some red-neck white-supremacists who will do anything to keep a minority out of the White House.

I plan to keep Obama out of the White House; I plan to vote.

I heard someone say the other day, "Any man would be a fool to not be Obama's VP choice. Chances are, Obama won't make it through his first term alive." It wasn't a threat; it was an observational prediction.

I think the Secret Service will have their hands full.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just to make a point

Here's "proof" that I'm not ashamed to use a "Barbie" pole.

This was in August 2005.

Thinking about voting for Obama?

Take a look at this video first.

Ignore the first few seconds of the video.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quick Story

They say, "The worst day fishing is better than the best day working." After today, I'm not so sure!

When we got to the river, there was a boat laying on the ground on the boat ramp. Several guys were standing around and one finally made their way towards us (me and a guy from church). They said that they were launching their boat, but forgot to unhook the strap that hold it on the trailer. When they pulled out of the water, the 10 ft strap let out then pulled the boat right out of the river and up the ramp. The driver didn't even know it! Well, we all got together and lifted/shoved it back in the water.

Then came our turn. We couldn't get the motor started to save our lives! Finally, we gave up and pulled the boat back out of the river and decided to do some bank fishing. Well, I caught the two smallest catfish I have EVER seen. I bet they weren't 5 inches long each. We had several fish get our bait, but we didn't get any keepers.

Still, I came back smelling like fish!

I'm off to my in-laws for the evening and tomorrow. I probably won't have a chance to respond to any comments until Sunday or Monday...

Bonne Weekend!

Tulsa Chik-Fil-A Sets World Record

A Tulsa Chik-Fil-A restaurant squeezes out a new Guinness world record.

Workers and volunteers at the 71st and Garnett location made a whopping 839 gallons of fresh-squeezed lemonade.

The drink required 1,050 pounds of sugar, 580 gallons of water, 250 pounds of ice and 11,730 lemons.

A Guinness book representative was there to make it the official largest cup of soft drink in the world.

Mayor Kathy Taylor also helped to make the record-setting beverage.

Smaller cups of the batch will be available at Sunkist Take A Stand lemonade stands throughout the city benefiting Tulsa's Little Light House.

So far, more than $10,000 has been raised.

The old record was a 611-gallon glass of orange juice whipped-up by the Florida Department of Citrus back in 1998.

[HT] KJRH Channel 2

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Retired Antagonists

I received the following email from a good pastor friend of mine who is retired. I thought I'd share it with you.

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went downtown and into a shop. I was only there for about 5 minutes, and when I came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I said to him, 'Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break'? He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I calld him a 'Nazi." he glared at me and wrote another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a 'doughnut eating Gestapo.' He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he wrote a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him the more tickets he wrote. Personally, I didn't care. I came downtown on the bus, and the car that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said, 'Obama in '08.' I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm retired. It's important to my health.

Football Weather

(Steve H, this is for you)

Yep, the 75 wonderful degrees it is today sure makes me think that I'd love to be at a Sooner's Football game! 75 degrees on August 18! WOW!!

I remember the very first Sooner game I went to. I was a freshman at OU and I had a corner seat on the student side of the east end zone. It was right above the Sooner Schooner. I was in heaven. Except, it felt like hell. I think it was nearly 100 that day.

As the years went on, I slowly was able to get better seats, until the culmination of my time brought me a seat on the 50 yard line, 20 rows up. It was absolutely perfect. And, of course, we were National Champions that year!!!

I bought my first student season ticket for $27, I think. Wow... now THAT would be something! By my senior year, it was "up" to $53.

Yep, I could use a good dose of Sooner football in this weather. Of course, with temperatures like this (75 degrees at noon) anything would be fun!

Boomer Sooner, baby!

Monday, August 18, 2008

School Daze

Yep, the girls started back to school today. However, they didn't go to Wagoner Public Schools. They were able to enroll in Benjamin Franklin Science Academy in Muskogee. Since Sally is now working for the Muskogee Board of Education, it was an easy thing for this to happen. Sally takes them to school in the morning and they ride the bus to my grandmother's house after school. Then, when Sally gets off work, she can drop by and pick them up.

In getting ready for their first day, they are sporting new perms.

August (or October)?

Well, it hasn't been too long ago that I was complaining about the weather. Well, today, I'm bragging on it!

There is a low pressure system that has made it's way down from the north somewhere, and has brought hi temps in the hi 70's, low 80's for the past several days. It is expected to continue with his in the mid 80's all week, then low 90's for the weekend!

Typically, this is some of the hottest days of summer.

(There, Steve H. How's that?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cecil Samara

Cecil Samara considered himself to be Oklahoma's Number One fan. He had a complete wardrobe of red and white. He had "O U" embedded in this front teeth. He drove his Model A roadster to the home games with loud speakers blaring "Boomer Sooner". He donated it to the Ruf-Neks at his passing. When he died, he made a specific request that his funeral wouldn't interfere with a game. At his funeral in 1994, his coffin was covered with the flags of the US, Oklahoma, and OU. He requested "Boomer Sooner" to be played at his funeral with instructions for people to clap along (they did).

I shook his hand once back in the early 80's. He was just a nice old guy who really loved his Sooners.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Web Banner

Well, it's gettin' close to Oklahoma football time. Kick off is in 18 days, 1 1/2 hours against Chattanooga? (Why Chattanooga?)

For those not familiar with the wonders that IS OU Football, the car and trailer in the above picture is the "Big Red Rocket". It was owned by OU #1 fan, Cecil Samara. When Cecil died, he donated the car to the University. It has been maintained by the Rufneks (at least up until last year).

I thought it was befitting to have that new web banner herald in the football season.

I'll post a pic of Cecil tomrrow. But for now, I gotta go to Muskogee!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mid-Summer Deluge

According to four different sources this morning at church, we had right at 5 inches of rain in Wagoner in the storms that came through last night! It started storming at about 11:30 and stormed for a while, then again at 4-4:30 it stormed again. For as much lightning and thunder, you'd have thought it was a spring storm!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cheap Vacation Homes!

K-Mart is selling a three room vacation home that sleeps 10 people for less that $100. What a deal! Click picture to enlarge and read the details.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I'd like to make a prediction about the Olympics in China.

I predict that one of their venues will experience a catastrophic structural failure.

(If you know what I know about Chinese corruption, this prediction shouldn't surprise you. It would surprise you if one of their stadiums DIDN'T collapse!)


An auspicious date for Chinese. The number 8 (in Chinese) sounds like the word for "luck" (in Chinese). So, anything having to do with the number 8 is very lucky.

That is why they chose to begin the Olympics today in Beijing.

China thinks it's lucky. Anyone who disagrees with them, however, will find that their luck has run out.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Church Sign

We've been awfully excited this week as we (Immanuel Southern Baptist Church) have installed a new church sign. I took a picture of it yesterday but noticed that with all of the debris from the old sign and from the dirt we took out of the hole, that it wasn't very "pretty". So, I put my photo-doctoring skills to the test and "cleaned-up" the job site a little bit. Voila!

All that is left to finish it is to install the skirt around the two bare poles. It was inadvertently left off at the manufacturing plant and will be delivered tomorrow morning.


Yep, it's 84 degrees and we have rain with thunder! I love the smell of a summer thunderstorm!

Gas Prices Down!

Yesterday, I had to go to Tulsa (about 40 miles away) to make a hospital visit. As I passed by QuikTrip, the gas price was $3.45 for regular unleaded! It is still $3.64 here in Wagoner.

So, what are the gas prices where you live?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Church Anniversary

The church surprised me with a cake and ice cream social after church on Sunday evening to celebrate my 1st anniversary as their pastor. I had no idea they were planning it. It was very special!

Sally's Party

Waiting to open the presents!

A new sewing machine!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sally!

Today is my wonderful, beautiful wife's birthday! The girls and I are going to meet her for lunch today in Muskogee, then, after work, we'll all go somewhere nice for supper.

Sally, I'm so glad you are my wife and the mother of my children. I cannot imagine life without you! God has blessed me so much with you!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Relief in Sight! (PTL!)

Perhaps our heat wave has an ending to it. I hope it is an ending, and not just a "lull".

I was outside a little while ago, and had to walk across the church parking lot. WOW!!!! Getting into my car was worse than any Chinese sauna I have ever been in! (not that there have been many, but there was that one time in Kunming with Alan B....)

Personally, I'd rather be a bit chilly that any too warm.


Yesterday celebrated my 4 year blogiversary with my blog. It started out much different than this, but I sure have had fun along the way.

Thanks to all who are faithful readers and commentors. I've enjoyed getting to know many of you though this media.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

Another Anniversary

August 1, 2008, marks the one year anniversary of my pastorate at Immanuel Southern Baptist Church. What a year it has been!

From the moment I first pulled into the parking lot with Bro Bill Sherrill, Director of Missions for the Muskogee Baptist Association, I knew I was going to be the pastor here.

My first contact with anyone was with the interim pastor, Bro Bill Crow. We had a nice visit which encouraged me to get in touch with the search committee. Within a few minutes of visiting with Betty Rice, I think we both knew it was God's plan for us.

Excitement grew as I came and preached one Sunday. An unexpected hiccup occurred when I picked up the bulletin and discovered they were planning for me to preach that evening, too! I muddled through something, if I remember right.

I'll readily admit I became skeptical of this being the church (isn't that like Satan to put doubt in your mind?) Just like Peter, when he was walking on the water towards Jesus, I put my eyes on the things of this world. I looked at what I thought was reality; that is, how in the world could a small church support my family? My skepticism carried over in my attitude and there was one or two on the search committee that thought all I cared about was money. I truly regret that part of the process.

But God was greater and His will prevailed! I really, really wanted to be the pastor here, but I was afraid of what they would offer. I had a salary amount in mind, but their offer actually exceeded what I had in mind. It is a good thing, too, for, in retrospect, we could have never survived on what my initial ideas where! I had been living for too long outside the US and simply didn't know what it took to live here!

I remember my first Sunday morning here (of course). There were fewer people here that Sunday than there were when I came in view of a call. That was rather discouraging. There were 25 people here for Sunday morning service. We had no where to go but "up".

I suppose that I am plagued with the same trap that most pastors get into. It is hard to get out of. It is the "numbers game". Attendance and membership is the easiest and most readily available measure of how "I'm doing". I had all kinds of number goals in my mind.

Our attendance has doubled since I have been here. That is do to God working, not me. Last Easter, we had 86 in attendance. Now, I know that those numbers seem mighty low and insignificant to most people, but that was a great cause of celebration for us. It showed me the potential for what was there.

I have given up playing the numbers game. I want to see our church grow, but I don't care so much if it grows in NUMBERS. That is now God's problem. I want to see our church grow in spiritual maturity. I want to see our church grow in love. I want to see our church growing by reaching out to a lost and dying world. If we increase in numbers along the way, then that's fine.

I never thought I would like pastoring, much less love it. The church has been mighty kind to me and my family as we adjust to one another. I mentioned last Wednesday night that it seems like this first year, we have been dancing, getting to know one another. Well, it is time to stop dancing and get to work.

I still don't know why God would chose us for this task. It really isn't mine to know; it is mine to obey. I miss the foreign mission field and all of my colleagues. I miss that way of life. At this point, however, I wouldn't trade this for anything else in the world. At least until God tells me to.

If you are interested in praying for our church, here are some prayer requests:
  1. We need families with children.
  2. We need a youth leader.
  3. We need a minister of music.
  4. We need young adults.
  5. We need a unified vision for what God has for us.
If you are interested in supporting our church financially, you can mail your checks to:

Immanuel Southern Baptist Church
611 N. Gertrude Ave.
Wagoner, OK 74467