Showing posts from 2011

What the Hay?

This is one of those stories you hate to admit to, but don’t want to see die. I’ve been accused of being a city boy, and this will remove all doubt.

When I was 16 years old I would come in from school to dad’s shop every day, and watch things while he went for a break to enjoy a cup of coffee. One day I showed up after school but instead of dad heading to the coffee shop he sent me on an errand.

Dad had read somewhere that if you are planting tomatoes you want to put some alfalfa hay in the soil. I don’t know if it was to aerate or provide nutrients, or what he idea was. I am not a horticulturist, and so far have never played one on TV. The fact is that I’ve never played anything on TV, although I did play a gangster in a theatrical production once. But that has nothing to do with alfalfa hay.

A lady came in the shop that day and dad made arrangements with her for me to pick up some hay – 2 square bales. They had already negotiated the price and payment had been tendered. All …

The Darnell Demon

“Start Chase Collingsworth as fullback”, the mural on the wall growled.

“Chase Collingsworth?” questioned Coach Roberts, with more than a little angst in his voice, and keeping constant vigil lest someone catch him talking to a wall. “But Collingsworth’s got no drive. He’s a lazy do-nothing!”

“Start Chase Collingsworth as fullback!” the mural repeated sternly.

“As you say!” said Coach Roberts. And he scratched the change into his list of starters.

Coach Justin Roberts was the head coach of the Darnell High School football team, otherwise known as the Darnell Demons. The mural on the wall was the Darnell Demon.

Coach Roberts had been the head coach at Darnell High for seven years, and for seven years he experienced frustration trumped by consternation as he watched the Demons win just enough games to keep him employed, but always – ALWAYS losing the big one; the game that would clinch a spot in the State playoffs. Coach Roberts was born in Darnell, as was his father and his father’s…

A Law Badly Named

Please be advised - this is a work of fiction.
Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
I just killed two men. And now I sit locked in the back seat of this police cruiser, fighting the urge to vomit and wondering what comes next.

Actually that’s not entirely true. I didn’t really kill two men; I killed two boys! Anthony Brown, age 17 and Charles Washington, age 18 died just fifteen seconds after entering my home.

The chaos was overwhelming as these two invaders charged through the door from the garage, and into our front hall - a hall that leads straight to my bedroom. Spartan and Trojan, the killer Chihuahuas that sleep at the foot of our bed sensed the danger a few seconds before I was aware of anything unusual. And it was their reaction to the sound of the overhead garage door that alerted me, starting the whole sequence of events.

Eleven seconds - that’s how long it took me to spring to life, grab my handgun from the nightstand and lunge to the floor …

Private Barefoot

Kidneys, intestines, lungs, stomach, but oddly, not the heart... And nothing else, except what must be buckets of blood and a set of dog tags on a broken chain, wrapped around what appears to be the liver.

“This is obviously the remains of a human being and not the gut pile of a muntjac deer left behind by a local hunter,” Warrant Officer Kenton thought to himself, as he picked up the dog tags and read aloud, confirming what he had been told, “Private First Class Gerome Maxwell Barefoot, Protestant”.

It was November 1967 in South Vietnam and Warrant Officer John Marshall Kenton was deployed to CID, the US Army’s criminal investigative unit responsible for enforcement of military law involving US personnel. Illegal drug activity among the troops was the business of the CID, and business was brisk!

Warrant Officer Kenton had seen stranger sights in these war torn jungles of Southeast Asia; various body parts, bodies with missing parts, soldiers tortured by the enemy, and even sometim…

The Drought of Twenty-Eleven

For the sixth week in a row the sun beat down upon us. We were tired and parched believers in a dry and thirsty land. Just as a flower will wither and die without the rains, so do Christians need the praise and worship – the fellowship of the brethren – the hearing of an anointed word from a Man of God, lest said Christians suffer that same fate. And now another Sunday morning had rolled around.

For reasons of no consequence to this story Stephanie and I found ourselves without a home church to attend. By now it had been six weeks since we had attended Sunday Service, but for us the drought had started many weeks before, and so we did thirst.

...what I do know is that it rained today!
When you love God and realize he has a plan for your life, sleeping in and sitting around on Sunday morning is not an option for very long. And it had been too long. So we made the decision to visit a church that was recently started in an elementary school in our neighborhood. And we’re so glad we…

The Power of the Pyramid

Things I Hate #127 - Amway!

It's not the products – don’t use ‘em, have no idea how good they are. I may be wrong, but I’ve always assumed the name Amway is a hybrid of the words "American" and "Way". But I’m an American, and I get most of my stuff at Wal-Mart. I had an Amway salesman once tell me I could save the gas of driving to Wal-Mart. “That’s ok,” I told him. “I’m headed there anyway for a new set of tires, some shotgun shells and one of those roasted chickens they have in a case up by the register.”

Oh, it's not because they don't have ammo or roasted chicken. And it’s really not the company itself either. I don’t know that much about it. What I hate about Amway is their way of doing business. Rightly or wrongly, Amway has the reputation of being one of the first and the biggest to apply that business model commonly known as the “pyramid”.

The concept is – you sign up to sell the products. Then you start signing other people up to sel…

The Hop

The Joke
The sole survivor of a shipwreck was rescued from a deserted island after several years alone. His rescuers marveled at the expansive hut he had built as his home. Then they noticed two more huts near one another on the other side of the small island. When asked about the other two huts he pointed to one of them.

“That’s where I go to church!” he exclaimed with pride.

“Interesting”, replied one of the rescuers. “And what is that other hut?”

“Oh”, he chagrined, “that’s where I used to go to church.” (Insert rim-shot here)

Church Hopping
Church hopping - the very term seems to carry an air of negativity - as if a person should find a church, roll up his sleeves and get busy. And never ever again in the unfolding saga of his life should he find the need, desire or opportunity to change from the church where he attends and serves.

But then we are reminded of concepts such as, when one door closes another one opens, or “…for such a time as this…” And we realize that people mo…

My Word

The nine month course offered by Rhema Bible Training Center passed quickly and, diploma in hand, I was licensed as a minister through an organization recommended by Rhema. And out into the world I charged!

After a year or two of working in the ministry I applied for ordination and ministerial credentials with a church called Faith Christian Fellowship, located in Tulsa and pastored by Kenneth Hagin’s son-in-law, Buddy Harrison. I received a letter to attend the ordination service where I would be presented with those credentials.

It was at that ordination service that one of the most momentous events of my life unfolded. See, I had read in the bible that certain men, when they were “separated” unto the calling that God had on their lives, had words prophesied over them confirming their call to ministry. And so I asked God for a word of prophesy to be spoken over me at my ordination.

...The Holy Ghost said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.…

Silkwood’s Noconas

Perhaps you’ve heard of Karen Silkwood, the premier counter-culture icon of the labor unions, environmentalists, and anti-nukers of the world. Karen was working at a facility owned by a major oil company who had ventured into the nuclear arena. Her job involved making plutonium pellets for nuclear reactors.

Of course, she’s dead now. If you saw the movie Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep, you know this. But what you don’t know is what this has to do with me.

Well, as the story goes, Karen found some incredible negligence in the way the nuclear products were being handled (numerous violations of health regulations, including exposure of workers to contamination, faulty respiratory equipment and improper storage of samples). That plutonium is some pretty dangerous stuff, you know.

In spite of the damage to her car’s rear fender and the skid marks in the road, nobody was ever charged in her murder...

When Karen’s breath expelled contaminated air from her lungs an investigation was launched.…

White House Windows

A little over a year ago I posted a piece called A Tale of Two Chiefs. In that story I talked about my desire to take a trip to Washington, tour the White House, and possibly have my picture taken with the President. Recently Stephanie and I were able to take my dream vacation to D.C., and I got to see and do all the things of which I have desired for years.

Of course, I didn’t get the chance to pose with the Pres. In fact, I didn’t even get the chance to tour the White House. Such tours have to be arranged by your U. S. Representative. And while I did apply for the tour, I don’t know if it is because my Rep is a rookie, or if the White House looked up my party affiliation, or (more likely) if my request was just submitted too late.

...then we turned to go back to the bus. And that’s when I saw him!

The truth is I did almost have the chance to shake hands with the President. See, we were there early in April, the week the government was threatening to shut down for lack of a budget. Of…

Act of Friendship - Badge of Honor

“CLEAN IT UP!” dad yelled, about as annoyed as I’d ever seen him – not really angry… just annoyed. “I knew if you kept messin’ with people you were gonna get messed with”, he declared.

It was the summer of 1973, and just like every other fun-loving teenager in America that lived in the city, I spent my evenings – every evening - driving up and down the drag, honking at the same cars I honked at on the last round just a few minutes ago, which were in fact the same cars I honked at last night and the night before, and every night that summer; all the while watching the bank clock to see if I had time for one more drag before curfew saw me pulling up in front of the house.

OK, so dad was right – I had been victimized; something I never thought would happen...
But this night was different. On this night, after having made one last round on the drag I headed for the house. And then I turned on our street. And that’s when I saw it. Even from a block away I could see it. Somebody had…