Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Snow Pictures

Here are some additional photos from my little Saturday adventure:

My Little Monday Adventure

632 miles in 11 1/2 hours, or my trip to Arkadelphia, AR.

Due to the bad weather on Saturday, I needed to take our college student friend back to college. Spring break was over and classes started Monday morning. She had a test on Monday and I called her professor at home to explain the situation. He was extremely understanding and told her that it must be a "God thing" and for her to enjoy an extra day of spring break!

So, yesterday morning, we left at about 8:10 and drove to Arkadelphia, the home of the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers. The only real tragedy to speak of was we decided to eat lunch in the car while traveling. We stopped at Taco Bueno and the bean burrito that I had dripped all over my favorite shirt. There wasn't anything I could do about it all day long, so it probably set in.

And, that, my friends, it the worst thing that happened all day long! Before we left, we prayed that we would have an incredibly unremarkable trip. God answered our prayer!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Well, rats...

The New York Times summed it up like this: "Oklahoma had the best player. North Carolina had the best team."

Boomer Sooner!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Little Saturday Adventure

Snow on the cars before we left

So, I'm driving our friend, Renee back to OKC, where she will catch a ride to Texas, to catch a ride back to Arkadelphia for college. It had snowed a little bitty bit when we left, but by the time we get to I-40, (about 40 miles away) it is coming down pretty good.

All is fine and well, until we come to Henryetta, a town that has a history with me. As soon as we get within 5 miles of Henryetta, the snow has started to stick on the highway. Within 2 miles of Henryetta, the traffic has slowed considerably. 2 miles past Henryetta, it is down to one lane and has come to a complete standstill. Oh no. Not again.

Traffic at a standstill on I-40

Within 10 minutes the traffic was moving again, but at only 25 mph. At this rate, we were going to get to OKC at about dark-thirty. Not acceptable if I am to make it back to Wagoner in time to preach for Sunday morning.

We decided that it would be prudent to turn around and worry about getting Renee to school another day-another time.

We pulled off the highway and found a convenience store. This time, however, I was in my wife's Kia Sportage 4X4; I wasn't going to get stuck again! We mosied into the convenience store to use the facilities and the power had been off for 30 minutes. I helped a man, in a mini-van, who was stuck to get un-stuck. We piled back into the Kia and off we went!

We got home at about 3 pm and the snow was starting to accumulate in Wagoner. Sally and I were supposed to be a part of a missions forum tonight in Coweta, but they called while I was typing this to say that it is cancelled. That is a blessing, of sorts, for us.

March Snowman

So, by the time we got back home to Wagoner, the kids had already been out playing and had built a miniature snowman. Not bad for March 28!

Congratulations Sooners!

The Oklahoma Sooners Men's Basketball team made it to the Elite Eight by putting the hurt on Syracuse last night!

Boomer Sooner!

Snow showers with thunder!


This morning, we've got snow with lightening and thunder! God bless Oklahoma!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Crazy Oklahoma Weather

Here is the 11:29 radar capture from Channel 6 in Tulsa. Thunderstorm warnings, hail, and blizzards all in the same state at the same time. This doesn't include the Winter Weather Warnings and Winter Weather Watches, nor the Tornado and Thunderstorm watches, either!

Out where we went on our Spring Break trip last week, they are having white-out conditions from the blizzard. Temps are supposed to drop here all day long and we could end up with 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow morning. Just to the north of here, there could be up to 15 inches of snow!

Oklahoma! Gotta love it!

Approaching Storm Clouds

The music in the background was my ringtone on my phone!

Hail Storm video

This video was shot March 26, 2009 at Wagoner, OK.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oklahoma Hail

A very big storm blew through Wagoner about 2 pm today. This ominous cloud was really scary looking!

It started hailing and boy did it hail! It covered the drive and the grass.

An hour and a half after it stopped hailing, I found several stones that were STILL as big as a quarter!

Remember this???

No wonder American kids are fat. They've replaced these PSA's with Pizza Roll commercials!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh! BTW!

Since I was gone from the computer last week, I failed to mention that my beloved Sooners have made it to the Sweet 16!

Boomer SoONEr!

Guitar Hero!

Emily and Renee rockin' out.

We have a guest with us this week. Well, more like an adopted daughter. Renee is here from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, to spend her spring break with us. We are so excited to have here here. They kids are excited because their friend represents a little piece of Thailand in our home.

Renee is a great young woman of God. Her heart beats in tune with our Lord's heart, and that is a great and uncommon thing these days. We are blessed to have her here this week and will be sad to say "so long" this weekend.

May I Have Your Attention Please?!?

As today is March 25, that means that there is only 9 months left until Christmas!!!

Catholics Outraged at Notre Dame Decision

I received the following email today and thought I'd pass it along:


Dear CatholicVote.org Member,
Like many of you, we received the news last Friday that President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame this May.
In addition to delivering the address, the President will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. In short, one of our nation’s premier Catholic institutions will honor the President, and hold out him as an example to its students as someone worthy of emulation!

Given President Obama’s utterly shameful record on life, how could a Catholic university honor him?

The University could have politely and quietly told the White House that their standing invitation to the President of the United States was not available this year. Better yet, they could have said that while they would welcome his contributions to the public debate over how to solve our economic crisis, his regrettable policies in favor of a culture of death make it impossible for them to welcome him.

Notre Dame has regrettably hosted pro-abortion speakers in the past, but President Obama is a champion of the abortion cause.

Sadly, it is now indisputable that our President has become the world’s leading promoter of abortion, embryo-killing cloning and research, taxpayer-funded abortion, and a vigorous opponent of conscience protections for medical professionals. His campaign promises to find ‘common ground’ have sadly been ignored, or perhaps were simply lies. And this Administration has only just begun.

Is there anything a president could do that would disqualify him or her from delivering such a prestigious address?

If there is such a threshold, Barack Obama has not disqualified himself with Notre Dame officials.

And so we must act.

We have spoken with professors, students, and leaders at Notre Dame over the past 48 hours and have concluded that a massive protest will be practically difficult, and even counterproductive. The University has a right as a private school to prevent all protestors from entering campus, and could legally arrest those who violate this rule. Secondly, a protest could create exactly the wrong impression.
Therefore, we are recommending four courses of action.

1) CatholicVote.org has partnered with the Cardinal Newman Society, a dynamic organization dedicated to the renewal of Catholic higher education in establishing www.NotreDameScandal.com. Together our aim is to collect thousands of signatures and present them to University officials. Sign the petition now.

2) Contact Notre Dame and charitably express your outrage. CatholicVote.org is large enough to have a major impact, and we urge you to contact Notre Dame President Father Jenkins at (574) 631-5000.

3) Join your fellow CatholicVote.org members in a prayer of reparation on May 17 from 2-4 PM. We encourage you to organize local groups to pray for mercy for the decision by Notre Dame, but also for our nation for continuing to permit the tragedy of abortion.

***If you live in the Midwest, or near Notre Dame University, we invite you to personally join us in prayer at the Grotto on the campus of Notre Dame from 2-4 PM on May 17, where we will be joined by several Notre Dame professors, alumni, and current students. The gathering will be a peaceful and prayerful.

4) Please forward this message to your family and friends. Let them know about Notre Dame's decision to honor the most pro-abortion President in American history. We must not remain silent over this scandal!


Brian Burch, President

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break '09

Well, Spring Break is officially over for my kids. We have had a great time this year. The kids have seen West Africa and been all over Asia, but they hadn't really seen much of Oklahoma. So, we loaded up the Sportage and off we went.

The following posts are pictures and comments about our trip. All in all, we drove over 1150 miles. We saw great things and made great memories. We even had some good food along the way! I got to see places that I have heard about all my life, but never seen. Now, my kids have visited them when they are still kids!

We picked up a friend from Thailand along the way. Renee is studying at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. She is a great young woman and we are excited that she'll be spending HER spring break with us! (Too bad she didn't get off a week earlier; she could have gone with us!)

The Round Barn

The Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma

I have heard about the "Round Barn" all of my life, but had never seen it until this trip. It is an icon along Route 66. It was built in 1898 in Arcadia, Oklahoma. It is 60' in diameter and 45' in height. It was built round to help withstand Oklahoma tornadoes!

Route 66

Original Rt 66 pavement in Creek County, Oklahoma

Sally and I both grew up in towns along Route 66; she in Vinita, me in Sapulpa. On our drive from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, there are still some portions of the original Route 66 to be seen. We took a short detour from the new road and gave our girls and Renee the opportunity to drive on history.


The giant pop bottle weighs over 4 tons and is 66' tall!

Pops is something new for us. We had never heard of it until we moved back from overseas. We saw it on a travel show and thought it might be fun to visit.

Thousands of pop bottles fill the front windows of Pops.

Basically, it is a soda pop bar gone wild. There are over 500 different flavors of pop. Not to mention a class act hamburger and shake restaurant.

Renee enjoying a bottle of pop.

One of the cool things about our vacation was the opportunity to pick up Renee Getsee who will be spending her Spring Break with us. We met Renee in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and she currently studies at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR.

Dodge City

This, perhaps, was the only destination of our vacation that was planned beforehand. Sally and I visited there in 1994, but I was sick as a dog and we didn't get to see much. This time was much different!

Audrey, Emily, and Sally at the Boot Hill Cemetery.

The Boynes lined up for a cold one at the Long Branch Saloon (a la Vacation).

Audrey throwing back a sarsaparilla at the Long Branch.

Front Street in Dodge City.

The Boyne Family in Dodge City.

The Sod House Museum

Emily and Audrey in front of the pioneer sod house in Aline, OK.

The surprising highlight of the trip for all of us seemed to be the Sod House Museum in Aline, OK. It was built in 1894 by Marshal McCully. It is the last standing original sod house built by an actual homesteader in Oklahoma. It now has a building completely around it to preserve it for the ages. In 1964, each of the four corners were rebuilt, due to severe deterioration. However, the rest of the house is original.

Sod house kitchen.

Sod House Dining Room.

Mr. McCully in front of his sod house in the early part of the last century.

Fort Supply

Or, "the big surprise". And an unwelcome one at that!

We were excited to know that we were driving so close to Ft. Supply. We changed our route so that we could go to this historic fort. Coming from NE Oklahoma, where we have the magnificent Fort Gibson, we thought for sure this would be a notable part of our great Tour of Oklahoma.

The little bit of Fort Supply that you can see without getting out of your car.

Well, it was notable all right.

As we pulled into the "historic site", we soon realized that it was right in the middle of a minimum security correctional facility. When I say minimum, I mean minimum! Inmates were walking around and we saw no guards whatsoever. The girls were extremely scared and even hid down so they couldn't be seen. We decided that it might not be the best thing to get out of the car and tour the site, so I tried to make light of the situation so they wouldn't be so scared. I made a big show of locking the doors and made jokes about the inmates guarding themselves. As we pulled back onto the highway, I floored the accelerator and acted like I was scared, too, trying to get them to laugh it off. We ended up laughing about it for the rest of the trip.

It really was quite disconcerting to find that our tourist destination was inside a prison!

The Glass Mountains

The Gloss/Glass Mountains from a distance.

Well, they call them mountains, but they are more like mesas. There was a transcription error in the 1870's and they are often referred to as the Gloss Mountains. To me, they look like something right out of a John Wayne movie...

Really interesting geology!

The Great Salt Plains

The winds sweeps along the Salt Plains!

Most people do not know about this peculiar geological feature in Oklahoma. In fact, many Oklahomans do not realize this is in our great State. I was introduced to the Salt Plains back in the 1970's when my Boy Scout Troop went there to dig for Selenite crystals. In fact, this is the only place in the world where this "Hour-glass Selenite" can be found and people come from all over the world to dig for crystals there.

This isn't snow; it's salt.

In 2007, a Boy Scout uncovered 7.5 inch WWII military vials that contained substances such as mustard gas. Digging for crystals has been suspended until they can figure out what to do about it. Because of the vials, the park is completely closed, but the observation area is still open.

My cutie pies.

The Pioneer Woman

Our next stop was just down the street from the Marland Mansion at the Pioneer Woman Statue. E.W. Marland sponsored a contest in 1926 to create a 27' tall statue of a pioneer woman. 17 sculptors contended for the prize, but in the end, Bryan Baker's version won out. The unveiling and dedication included a recorded speech from President Calvin Coolidge, and over 40,000 people showed up to hear Will Rogers give a tribute to pioneers.

The girls in front of the statue. Marland Mansion is just over the bottom right "step".

Close up of the Pioneer Woman.

The Marland Mansion

The Marland Mansion, Ponca City, OK

First on our Spring Break stop was the Marland Mansion in Ponca City, OK. It was built by 1920's oil tycoon, E.W. Marland. It has over 43,000 square feet and 55 rooms, including 10 bathrooms. If you try to compare it to Philbrook in Tulsa, the gardens and outside of the house has the Marland Mansion beat, hands down. Philbrook's architecture is more beautiful. However, the Marland Mansion is not an art museum. It is a home. Well, a palace, really.

Marland built the home for himself and his two adopted children. About 10 years after his wife died, he had the adoption annulled and married Lydie. They were married until he died in 1941. Marland was the governor of Oklahoma from 1935-1940.

Original millionaire's place setting.

The ballroom. The ceiling is gold leaf and the chandeliers are Waterford. They said it would cost $2 million to replace them today.

Mrs. Marland's sitting room.

The Oil Baron's Bedroom.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Politics as normal

I've been watching a bit of the AIG CEO, Edward Liddy, explaining to Congress why AIG spent $170,000,000 on "retention bonuses". Liddy, who has taken the helm of AIG in Sept 2008, takes only $1 per year as CEO, has no stock options, and has no other financial interest in AIG.

As I've seen the Congressmen grill Mr. Liddy, I realized these are the same yahoos that passed the recent stimulus package that contained more pork than a smoke house on a Friday night.

What hypocrisy! We should be able to grill Congress just exactly like this!

36 years ago today

36 years ago today, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I declared Him as Lord of my life and the Son of God. He saved me that day. He is saving me now. And I will be saved on the Day of Judgment.

Consider this question: what will you say to God when He asks you why He should let you into His heaven?

I'm going to be away from my computer for the next several days, but if you don't have a good enough answer to that question, email me and I'll help you.

Glory to God and to the Lamb!

Jesus Will Return

An article by John Piper:

Jesus is going to return to earth. I pray very soon. He said that before he comes—periodically throughout history—some people would think he has already come.

If they say to you, "Look, he is in the wilderness," do not go out. If they say, "Look, he is in the inner rooms," do not believe it. (Matthew 24:26)

Then he gave two reasons not to believe such rumors.

The first is that his coming will be globally unmistakable. It will be as publicly unmistakable as lightning.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:27)

The second reason for not believing these rumors is that he will come like vultures come on a corpse.

Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Matthew 24:28)

When the world is as ready for judgment as road kill is for the vultures, then he will come in great wrath.

The Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8)

This will not be private, secret, or pleasant for unbelievers. He will come “on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). And the judgment will be like vultures sweeping in on the corpse of human rebellion.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Martin!

Martin Whipple in front of Mt. Fuji

March 17 is not only St. Patrick's Day, it is also the birthday of my life-long friend, Martin Whipple. Martin and I went to kindergarten together! We were best men at each others' weddings.

Martin is doing something for his birthday that makes me very proud to know him. He is on a mission trip in Japan!

Happy Birthday, Martin. I love you like a brother!

Martin Whipple being a true OSU Cowboy for Jesus in Japan.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Visit to Philbrook

Today, we all loaded up the Kia and went to Tulsa to kick off the kids' Spring Break at Philbrook Art Museum. Philbrook was built in 1927 by Waite Phillips of Phillips Petroleum. In 1938, the Phillips family gave the home to the citizens of Tulsa to be used as an art museum. It holds Picassos, Rodins, Morans and other incredible works of art. The home, itself, is the main part of the museum, having been built at the height of the early oil boom. The gardens are absolutely incredible.

Philbrook Pipe Organ

This guy was playing the magnificent pipe organ at Philbrook in the Grand Hall.

Tulsa Picasso

Audrey & Emily in front of a Picasso at Philbrook Art Museum.

Beautiful Tulsa

Audrey & Emily enjoying the grounds at Philbrook.

Spring in Tulsa

Sally, Emily, and Audrey enjoying a brisk Spring morning in at Philbrook.

In the garden

Sally and Rick in the East Garden

The East Gardens

Looking to the East from the mansion.

Fun with friends

Last Tuesday, we had a wonderful visit with our friends, Chad and Crystal from West Africa. They are in town for a few months and we were able to share a meal together.

It is always great to see old friends.