Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Am A Procrastinator

I got my first speeding ticket on March 24 of this year - in a school zone, no less and in front of the kids school with the police officer right behind me in the pick up line. Not good to say the least. At least there is the option of defensive driving. I figured thirty or forty or maybe fifty bucks plus a free meal and the ticket would be gone.
Not so fast. A lot has changed since I received my last ticket in October of 1994. No longer do you just have to pay the cost for defensive driving and have it done. You have to pay certain fees at the courthouse in the city where you received the ticket before you can consider taking defensive driving. So I did that - to the tune of $132.00 BEFORE Defensive Driving! I couldn't believe it. Oh well, I thought. I have 90 days to take this course and I'll still have it taken off my driving record. It would cost me basically the same expense as paying the whole ticket, but in taking DD the ticket would be taken off my record. And now I could just take it online, be done with it, and the ticket is gone. Not so fast.
Fast forward to today, the morning of June 22. You know what today is. Of course, I just told you. Today is June 22, the 90 day deadline to turn in my Defensive Driving certificate saying that I've completed the course and get it turned in at the courthouse. No worries - I can get that done today. No so fast - again. I could get it done today, except 16 years after my last ticket, you now have to turn in a certified copy of your driving record along with your completed DD certificate. Guess how long that takes? 2-3 weeks is the best case scenario - or so it looks like. I will find out in a bit if I can go down to the DPS and get a copy of my driving record today. I don't have my hopes up. It is a government agency, and I don't suspect that they'd do anything near that quickly.
So here is my confession. I am a procrastinator. I had 90 days to complete this DD course and get a copy of my official driving record. 90 days. 3 months. 13 weeks. You know what that is. You can fill it your word. My word is ridiculous. Lazy. PROCRASTINATOR. No excuse. I'm to blame. What can I say? I didn't even read all the info I got the day I got the ticket 3 months ago. I didn't know I needed my driving record to turn in with a completed DD certificate - until today. I read it about 30 minutes ago.
I'm sure there's a life lesson to be learned from all this. More than that, I'm sure God has something to remind me of that I've probably reminded my kids of more times than I care to count. I'm a procrastinator. I'm lazy. I put off something that I had 90 days to do until the day it was due - much like a kid who puts off a homework assignment that he has a month to complete. And now, as a result of my slothfulness, I will go down to the City of Hutto and pay the remaining $58.00 balance and have a moving violation on my driving record for the first time in my married life - over 15 years. Way to go John! I can only hope and pray that it's at least that long or longer before the next moving violation. posted by John, the procrastinator

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Family Updates!

Well, school has been in session for 2 weeks now and it seems that our 3 oldest have adjusted quite nicely! I'm thankful to our great God for their teachers. The kids really like them, and they all seem to be awesome teachers. Our baby girl is excited to be starting preschool next week. We went to "Meet-the-teacher" night for her a few nights ago and she is very excited to begin. She still seems so young to be in the pre-K class. She has a wonderful teacher this year, and we are excited to see how God is going work in her little life.

We also started Upward soccer. Bradley and Brenna are playing again this fall and they are excited to be on the soccer field again. We love the Upward organization and are glad to have the kids playing. John is helping coach Brenna's team this season and she loves that. Of course, this subject came up at the dinner table last night and Bradley told his daddy that he was going to help coach his team next year. Brenna chimed in to say, "Daddy, we'll see if you do a good job and then you can coach my team again next year." (or something like that). That girl is very funny, and I never know what she might say. They played their 1st games this past Saturday. Each of them scored 2 goals. Bradley's team won even though they don't keep score in Upward. Brenna's team did not win, but she played very well too. I missed their games because Brandon woke up sick that morning and I had to take him to the dr. So, I'll have to see them play next week. I've posted a couple of pics below of our Soccer players!

Bradley's ready to go!!

Cute Brenna is ready to play!

The other day, Bethany and I decided to make play dough. She loves helping in the kitchen, so I thought this would be a fun activity to do while the others were at school. She helped pour in the ingredients and stir them up. We added pink coloring which is what she asked for. The girl loves pink. After the play dough was done and had cooled off, she sat at the table and played for a long time. We'll definately be doing this again! Here are a few photos of her helping in the kitchen!

Stirring the dough!

Look at what we made!!

Aunt Janie gave us this play dough ice cream maker at Christmas time (I think). The kids have spent so much time sitting at the table playing and playing with this. What a great gift! Bethany tried it out with our homemade pink play dough!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1st Day of School

Well, we've survived the 1st day of school! Brandon started his 4th grade year. Bradley started his 3rd grade year. And, Brenna started Kindergarten. They all woke up yesterday morning ready to go. After getting ready and eating breakfast, John had a short devotion and prayer time with them. He took them to school and walked them inside since it was their 1st day, and since Brenna is new at this "going to school" thing. They took Brenna to her class first. John has struggled with Brenna starting Kindergarten, so there were some tears. No tears from Brenna, all from Daddy. Brenna walked in like she knew exactly what to do and ended up having a great 1st day. It was even better because her friend Jordan is in her class, so she had someone to play with that she already knew.

John then took Brandon and Bradley to their rooms. They are on the same hall, which I like. As they entered their hallway, their classmates were sitting in the hall waiting until time to go into their classrooms. As Brandon passed some of his classmates, a girl who was in his class last year, said something to him that was not very nice. Brandon sat down in the hall with his class, while John walked Bradley on down the hall to his room. When he got back, Brandon was in tears. John took him into the bathroom to talk to him and to encourage him. Before John left the school, he went back by his room to check on him, and he seemed fine. When John got home and told me about that, this momma's heart was broken to know that someone had made fun of my son on the first day of school. It was one of those moments where I felt completely helpless. I prayed God's protection upon him and asked that God would bless him with a good day in spite of what the girl said to him. And, I'm so thankful that God did that very thing. Brandon went on about his day, not letting what the girl said bother him. I was super proud of him for handling it well. Thank you Lord for taking care of my children when I am not there with them.

Here is Bradley before leaving home on his 1st day of 3rd grade. He had a wonderful day. He also has a great teacher, and we are so thankful for that.

Brandon is ready to head to school. He looks so big in this picture. I can't believe that he is now in 4th grade.

Brenna was so ready for Kindergarten. She's so funny!

Posing with Daddy before leaving for school!

Off they go. I love this picture!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My baby girl is 4!

Well, I've gotten a bit behind on my blogging this summer. There are many other things I could blog about, but instead of trying to go back and catch up, I decided to just start with now. One of the most recent things that has happened in our family, is that our baby girl, Bethany, turned 4 this month. I still can't believe that she is that old. She tells me often "Mommy, I not a baby!" I assure her that she is not a baby girl any more, but a big girl.

John took her to Build-A-Bear, which is a birthday tradition at our house that all our children really look forward to. She decided on the Hello Kitty which you will see in the picture below!

Here's the silly birthday girl posing with her cake!

My little birthday girl!

Bethany with her Papa John!
I'm so thankful to God for the gift of this precious little girl! I love you Bethany!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Summer of 1989

What a summer it was. The summer of 1989. The direction of my entire life changed that summer. I changed schools, I changed majors, and my career path changed forever. Much of it transpired with a trip down Tenneryville Road between Longview and White Oak that June 17 Saturday evening. I had just finished my sophomore year in college, and God put a song on the radio that He used to speak to me so clearly about the direction of my life. I wanted to go into some kind of field that had to do with math - most logically accounting. God had other plans. And when Steve Camp's song "Don't Tell Them Jesus Loves Them" came on the radio that evening, I finally surrendered to what I knew God was calling me to long before I actually gave in. He wanted me to be His servant as a minister of the Good News of Jesus Christ; and do it for a living. All my excuses were no longer legitimate; and I had no choice but to obey. And I'm glad I did. The next morning, June 18, I made that calling public that God was calling me into the ministry; and six weeks following (July 30), I was licensed as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One month later I was enrolled at East Texas Baptist University (thank you Don Page), and the rest is proverbial history.
Now here I am 20 years later and still on the journey. I am honored and overwhelmed at where God has taken me and what He has done through me. I am privileged to be the husband of a great wife, Jennifer, and four beautiful adopted children (Brandon, Bradley, Brenna, Bethany). I serve at a great church, and God continues to faithfully use me. Amazing. 20 years of ministry. Some words that describe the journey so far: incredible, painful, overwhelming, rewarding, children, mentors, salvation, camps, Longview, Breckenridge, Paris, Pflugerville, Kelly, Jonathan, Jenny, love, friends, faithfulness, joy, tears, hope, family, eternal, life, fun, investing, family, God. The list could go on and on and on.
God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. I'm living proof of that. Thank you God for 20 great years of ministry - for using me beyond my wildest dreams or expectations. I pray for 20 or more years of faithful ministry to come. May I be found faithful to the call - so that when the summer of 2029 rolls around, I can look back at the summer of 2009 the same way I look back today at the summer of 1989 to the present - with no regrets and great anticipation. You are a great God, and I love you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday to my sweet boy, Bradley!

Today we celebrated my baby boy's 8th birthday. What a fun day it was for him, one he will never forget. He started his day with his best friend Austin. John took them to Austin's Park and Pizza where they played mini golf, rode bumper boats, rock climbed, played video games, hit in the batting cage, ate pizza, etc., etc., etc. What an awesome time they had together. Then, John took Bradley to Build-A-Bear, which has become a birthday tradition for our girls and now for our boys. This was Bradley's 1st time to go so it was extra special. He's been planning since January which animal he would get and how he would be dressed.

After that, they came home for supper. Bradley chose chicken-n-dumplings for his birthday meal, Yum!! We ate, opened some gifts, sang Happy Birthday, and then enjoyed birthday cake. Hope you enjoy the photos of Bradley's Big day. Oh yes, he also got a new Longhorn t-shirt from Papa John, some new swim goggles from his brother, and an MP3 player from his dad, sisters, and I.

Bradley and Austin cooling down on a bumper boat ride!


Bradley dressing his puppy in a Dallas Cowboy uniform. It even had a helmet and cleats! Too cute!

Bradley and John at Build-A-Bear with his football dog "Max".

This year, Bradley wanted a simple cake that he could put his Lego creations on top of. I thought that would definately be easy for me. He built this pirate ship, shark, and treasure chest. They made great cake decorations!
Happy Birthday Bradley! I love you and I'm very proud of you! I'm so thankful God gave you to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Young, The Old, and Between

My day started with a 10 a.m. appointment with 7-year old Kacey Stewart. This beautiful 2nd Grader to be wanted to visit with me about becoming a Christian. (What a great job I have to be able to get to visit with children about the most important decision they'll ever make in their life). After about 45 minutes, Kacey left my office with a helpful book to help her continue on the journey to becoming a Christian. It won't be long, Kacey. God is working in your life.
Immediately following that appointment, I had to go make an unexpected hospital visit to another beautiful child. This one; however, is only 2 years old and has cancerous tumors on her brain and brain stem that are terminal. Unless God miraculously intervenes (and I know He can), little Amber Rendon will leave this earth for her eternal home very, very soon. Would you please pray for God's best for Amber and for God's sufficiency and strength for parents Virginia and Art and the extended family? Thanks.
I made it back to the church just after 2 p.m. for our first "Seize the Summer Service Project" with our pre-teens. After some team-building activities, we went to DQ for a quick blizzard fix and then on to the Pflugerville Care Center to play bingo with the residents there. All of them elderly and many of them hurting, it was a time to love, encourage, teach, learn, and play. What a blast it was to help these beautiful senior adults in an afternoon game of bingo. We were able to escort them from their room and back to their room. My 'tweens did a great job as did my Children's Ministry Assistant Kristie LaGrone.
Here are a few life lessons God reminded me of today: (1) Children are precious to God. (2) Life is valuable to God. (3) Life begins and ends with God. (4) I am very blessed and have much to be thankful for. (5) I am not in control. (6) When all I can do is pray, praying is enough because God is enough. (7) Pre-teens love ice-cream (and other assorted DQ treats). (8) Senior adults are serious about BINGO! (9) People all around me are in great need. (10) A person's greatest need - young, old, or in between, is Jesus. (11) I am helpless to help people in need on my own; but I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (12) It is more blessed to give than to receive. posted by John