Alright everyone...I've got to be honest. My use of blogspot has just been plain boring. I am bored by the fonts, boring backgrounds and the difficulty that comes with creating HTML to make it look decent. My lack of knowledge has forced me into a new location. I'll now be hosting my blog at the following website: www.simplymatt.info
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
I was watching the news yesterday morning and was blown away by what I saw. Fox News, and I'm sure every other media outlet, reported that a lady was asked to leave a Missouri Burger King because her six month old wasn't wearing shoes. The manager told her "we take the health codes very seriously!" The Mom was a little surprised so she put some socks on her child, but the manager pointed her to the sign "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." The Manager told her socks were insufficient and that she would need to leave before he called the police. The police...REALLY? Now, as you can imagine, Burger King Inc. is bending over backwards to stop the negative image it's received due to their manager's actions. They have invited her in for "The Royal Treatment" (maybe that includes a burger and fries and a milkshake...or maybe The King himself will show up for a little dance and a burger celebration).
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Have you ever wondered...Do I have a place that I can escape to? Some of you answered that question immediately, you know where that place is. For some it's the gym, others it's the woods, others it's your ipod...but for some of you, you're thinking do I have a place? I have come to realize something about myself, and my immediate family. I noticed recently after some stuff that went on that the only thing I could think of was getting home to my girls. I just needed to be with them, away from stuff. I was blessed to be greeted by Emerson as I came in the door. She was excited to see me. For a moment, it changed everything, or rather, nothing else mattered. I just didn't care about all that stuff. If I'm really honest I have over the last few months, just longed to be home with them. Stuff doesn't follow me there...know what I mean? Imagine yourself in your place, isn't it safe and "away" from all that bothers you? Don't you get a sense that you are free to be you? Maybe you don't go to your place to escape, but rather for renewal. I'm fine with that too, renewal happens for me at home too, but sometimes it's just escape.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
So, it's been a while since I've posted anything, and I've had lots of thoughts just no decision to write it down...know what I mean? Well now there's reason to write:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So, if you're not real active class on Wednesday nights...well you miss out on some interesting discussions...(You're not going to Hell for not being there, you just miss out on some good growth time)
Tonight we started off the class using a clip from the tv show "Rules of Engagement" (all rights to CBS...) and the idea was that Jeff has just injured his back in a softball tournament...not playing, sneezing. Now this idea is all too familiar to me, that is, I all too often forget that my body is 33 and my mind is still 16 when it comes to sports. I'm still convinced that I can do things that my body can't...Anyone else? I'm just still convinced, and yes, sometimes impressed that I can still run a sub 4.6 40yd dash (and go home and discover I have the flu). I'm still somewhat impressed that I can still go out on a soccer field and do better than hold my own...but here's my question? Is that confidence translating to my faith? To our faith? Now, if you're not an athlete and you're a Brainiac, I think you may still have a problem. Both end at the same place somewhere down the line...Old guys bragging about what they "used to do" and young guys rolling their eyes in disbelief. I've been on both sides of the fence, and let me say. It is an awesome feeling to show up a "youngster" on the soccer field chasing down a ball and putting it in the net. It's even better when you hear "I've got the bald guy" and then thoroughly leave him wondering where he left his jock strap somewhere around midfield. You just can't beat the feeling.
Back to my point: Is this transferring into my faith? Am I relying on my "abilities" to do well rather than on my God to save the guy who deserves only to sit on the bench, (if that)? We discussed 4 different people in class tonight, Nicodemus(#1), the weeping woman at Jesus' feet (#2), the Pharisee who invited Jesus (#3), and The Rich Young Ruler (#4). I didn't plan on the RYR, but it played in well to the discussion...Each had their own "position" and their perception of earned position before God. I'm interested enough to hear what he has to say, but I have the safety net of all my teachings, but I'm going to go see what He has to say(#1), I'm a terrible person and all I can do is fall at His feet and hope (#2), I'm good enough to be here, let's see about Jesus (#3), Here's my list of successes and righteousness, what else God, I've completed that list?(#4)
It seems interesting to me that the people in these stories all came from different angles, similar backgrounds, but different angles...Each had, by human standards earned something, one earned punishment, the others a place in heaven...And so, when it comes time for your need of forgiveness...Let me ask this:
Will you be expecting Grace or will you be surprised by Grace? Here's the difference in position...One thinks that they have earned it because they were good enough, and the other is so dependent on it that they wouldn't know how to function without it!
God, forgive me when I've expected Grace to follow me...instead of being thankful for your continued surprises...I know You've promised it, but I don't want to demand something I don't deserve. I want to roll around in it and celebrate with people when I've received it...
I'm quite confident that the people in your churches who are angry, bitter, and manipulating are not the people who get this. They're quite assured of their place in eternity because of their righteousness...Let's just hope they don't get a "surprise" at the end! I'd much rather be surprised by Grace today than surprised by Hell at the end!
Alright God...You're on, surprise me! (with Grace please...) I promise I'll celebrate!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I know, I know...that's a strange title for a post, but I think that's just what describes me right now. Have you ever prayed for some one's life to be rattled, disrupted, or interrupted? I "randomly" got online tonight, actually Tammy got online, to a friend of mine's website while we were hanging out after Emerson went to bed. She asked if I had seen it in a while, and I hadn't, so we went to it and looked at it. As we looked at the site we noticed some new work he had done. I won't tell you what business he's in, but he's been wildly successful in California in his specialty. Well, it seems now that he's "branching out" and getting other work. That's where the disturbance comes in.
Here's my quandary: While we were growing up, he and I were really good friends, the kind who kept each other accountable, asked hard questions, and sometimes allowed the other to slack. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it's true, and we were teenagers so that may give you more understanding. I vividly remember one day this friend of mine saying to me "you know those words you make up to 'not cuss' are just as bad as the cuss words you say. It's what's in your heart that matters." I remember arguing like anyone would do when they were busted for doing and saying something they knew was wrong...and eventually I filed it away to be remembered at a later date. Now, years removed, relationship virtually nonexistent, I see him in a place that disturbs me. I mean it is 10 til 1 in the morning and I'm here writing this post...I just can't sleep! I just prayed for a disruption so big in his life that he has no choice but to turn to God. That's disturbing in and of itself. You see, I know him well enough to know he's chasing the dollar...and in the industry that he seems to be dabbling with, there's lots of it, unfortunately. So I just prayed for some disruption of the money, the relationship that he's in, etc... And then I had this weird thought: If it got really bad for him, would I be willing to bring him into my home so that he could recover? And that's disturbing...
So my final thought is this...How much do we really love people when we say we do? Are we willing to help them out of sin or just point it out? It seems that Jesus dealt with this, and so did the Pharisees for that matter...one was pointing it out, and one was lifting a head, and giving a hand. Here's where I'll end, I'm committing here in this setting to do what it takes, if it came to that, (and yes, the odds are small that he would call me) to help him come back to the feet of Jesus. In the midst of being disturbed by the position of my friend I have realized something. I'm just as disturbed about the idea of investing the kind of time and energy in people that it takes to get out of sin. I've seen it first hand and let me say, Satan is good at what he does. And yes, he fights tooth and nail not to lose a warrior for his side...
Signing off hopefully...
God, thank you for disturbing me tonight!
Monday, April 06, 2009
So after I finally got tired of waiting on the Pharmacy, we left the hospital and headed out for our adventure!
A quick aside: We wanted to eat a cheaper lunch than eating in the zoo, so we went to Taco bell on the way. While ordering, I heard a lady actually say I don't want none of 'dem JALAPENOS! And yes, she said "JAL-A-PEEN-OS!" I had to restrain the laughter and remember that I'm not in New Mexico anymore.
We got to see Lions, Leopards, and Bears....and Giraffes (I know what you thought was coming...and no there weren't any Tigers...Oh My!) I'll just cut straight to the good stuff. Emerson loved every part of it, the Aviary, the Leopards, the Snakes, the Bathrooms...etc, etc...but the best above all was the Silverback Gorilla! We got a great opportunity to sit and watch one of the great Silverbacks from 18 inches away (with thick glass between us). Emerson got a front row seat to just sit and say "hi, hi, hi, hi, hi, hi. After nearly 10 minutes of sitting right there watching, Tammy and I decided it was time to move on. As we got to another vantage point I noticed that he was moving back even closer to the glass, so I ran with Emerson down a ramp, and tried to work her in as close as I could get. The picture you see above is the picture that I got with my phone. If you look close you can see Emerson's reflection in the glass with the gorilla sitting right there facing us. It was awesome!!! All day after that, on the way home, and talking to Mimi and Papaw tonight, the first thing she said was I saw a "Big Monkey!" I hope that's one of those moments that she remembers for a long time!
Let me be honest...despite my last post with all it's sappiness, I'm just not much of a Zoo guy. It actually bothers me a little seeing animals like the Black Bear that roams a territory of 25-100 miles, he is now the Master over 20 x 40 yds. That actually makes me sad for the Bear. In situations where it's a rescue or a recovery system that's one thing, but "captured" animals there to be watched for our pleasure...surely that's not what they were designed for.
Alright, maybe now I can get back to the "list" of things next time!
Have a great night!
This is no surprise to those of you who really know me. Great ideas, lots of 'em, and yet I love to speak about what's on my heart! Yesterday, Tammy and Emerson and I got the chance to go to Jacksonville, Florida. Initially, Tammy and I were going to get up early this morning and drive down for a quick visit at the "F.I.R.M." (which strangely feels like it should be in a secret warehouse somewhere near the docks), it actually stands for Florida Institute of Reproductive Medicine, but plans got changed, go figure! After checking with the normal babysitter, Aunt Sandi, we learned that Katie Beth was still sick so we decided to not risk the transfer of "SICK" and just take Little E with us. So we left on Sunday afternoon after lunch, and arrived in Jacksonville around 6:00pm. After a few minutes in the hotel room, which was on the water in JAX, we went down to Maggiano's in St John TownCenter, a "Grove-like" (makes sense if you've been to LA) shopping center in a really nice part of JAX. While we were waiting on dinner we got the chance to watch a bunch of baby ducks, (otherwise known as ducklings) and their mom take care of them. We also got to see some turtles, and fish!!! Since the title of this blog is "keepin' it simple," I'd like to refer all of you back to your younger days...when it was really simple. Remember when a baby duck just really made your day? Remember when an ugly black and white and orange fish was AWESOME? That's the kind of day I had...It was great!!! Not because it was "cool" for me, but watching Emerson have the time of her life!
Back to the food!!! We ate at Maggiano's, and I ate the Eggplant Parmesan. (That sounded a whole lot less girlie when I said "I want the Eggplant Parmesan" to the waitress!) I'll have to consider that next time...The food was fine, but Emerson blew me away with how lovey-dovey she was! She couldn't seem to get enough of her daddy! At every turn she was hugging me, leaning on me, sitting in my lap, and just generally being "infatuated with me..." (I MUST REMEMBER THIS NIGHT IN SAY...14YEARS... 'Cause I can only imagine that it won't be like that forever!)
Let me some that up...WOW I was blown away by a great night with my wife and my daughter. It was kind of neat to walk in front of all these "high-end" shops...and just not care. I told Tammy that we had to remember this night...it was just one of those moments you know you're gonna need later on!
Moving on, I'd apologize for being sappy, but I'm not sorry! If you don't like it, don't read it!
Tammy and I went to the FIRM for an appointment to see where we were in the process to start having another baby. As expected, Tammy checked out great! The Doc said that we could start as soon as next month! So, since I'm gone for a week in June it looks like we'll start in May. It's my understanding that rarely in life do women long for that monthly visitor, but in this case she does...Once "the visitor" arrives we get to start the process again! YIPPEE!
So, if you're reading this and you're a pray-er, then GET YOUR PRAYER ON! We understand fully that even though "science" says all looks good, it's still in God's Hands. So, Lord willing, we will start the process again in May of 2009!
Thanks for reading "the divergence..."
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I'm going to begin this little experiment with the following thought...how is this going to help me, and maybe others as well? I know people who love to write, notice I said "I know people...," they are not me. I was once told by a professor that I "write like I talk." So hold onto your hats! That doesn't mean I'm going buck wild with this thing, but it might give me an opportunity to get things out before they get all bottled up and lost inside me. I recently heard someone say, "my blog will be a way for my daughter to know who I am after I'm gone if I die young." Now let me be honest, I hope that doesn't happen, and I really hope she gets to find out a lot more about me from people than from my blog, but if she doesn't hear it from other people... well, I hope I keep this up! Anyway...let's get on with it!