Category: Stanglin Family (Page 1 of 18)

Home in Midland

We closed on the house here in Midland late Friday, a wonderfully beautiful home with a lot of personality and character in the Saddle Club subdivision on the northeast side of town. The timing was so perfect in acquiring this house – the previous owners had just been transferred to Houston when we saw it and their company had purchased it from them and was wanting to get it off their books quickly. We feel like if we had seen it just a day later it would have been gone. And it’s perfect for us! So perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

The layout allows for Whitney to have her own wing in the house with a bedroom, bathroom, den, and exterior access to a private patio. The rest of the house is an open plan with plenty of room for entertaining. The game room is big enough to handle the ping pong table and all our Dr Pepper stuff. And the lot is surrounded by older oak trees and massive pines.

What else comes with a house built in 1981 is the need for updating. I’ve spent several hours over the weekend scraping popcorn off the ceilings while Carrie-Anne and Whitney have been removing cabinet door handles and light switch plates for the texturing and painting that’s about to take place. Thanks to Mike Rupe who showed up unannounced yesterday to help scrape for three hours and to Gary Glasscock who’s helping us coordinate all the updating.

We feel very blessed by God and by this community of faith at GCR in Midland to be in possession of such a house. We feel very grateful. Once we get in for good, may the house be used to bless the church and for glorifying God. Until then, may we be blessed with resilient muscles, determined patience, and contractors who show up on time.

Peace,

Allan

Moving Week

We moved our youngest daughter Carley into her on-campus apartment for her Senior Year at Oklahoma Christian University yesterday. For reasons I’ll never understand, she continues to insist on third floor apartments. I think she wants to be the one disturbing the people below with her noise, not the one being disturbed. So, for one last time, we hauled the couch and all those heavy tubs up three flights of stairs in Edmond’s July heat.

The moving ritual is well established for us. I assemble everything that needs assembling, perform a minor plumbing task, and hang stuff on the walls while Carrie-Anne directs the cleaning and installs the shelf paper. Of course, my sister Rhonda met us for lunch for delicious cheeseburgers at The Garage. And we took Carley to the grocery store to load up her fridge and pantry.

Valerie made the drive down from Tulsa to join the moving festivities. And we delivered to her the top of her wedding cake that’s been in the back of our freezer since July 24 last year. We’ve told her that she and David have to eat some of their wedding cake on their one year anniversary for good luck or something. She didn’t seem that thrilled. Maybe she doesn’t think a Sugar Momma’s cake from LeeAnn Clark will be as good a year later.

Our movers are arriving tomorrow, packing the trucks, and meeting us in our temporary house in Midland on Friday. Today is a day for tying up all the loose ends here in Amarillo: notifying the utility companies of our move, sending the change of address notifications, cancelling the memberships, mowing the yard for the very last time, and trying to find the keys to the front door for the new owners.

Peace,

Allan

Ranger Hangar

It’s not really baseball if it’s played inside a dome.

The girls and I took a quick five day vacation to a couple of our favorite places in Texas last week, wrapping it up with our first visit to the Rangers new ballpark in Arlington – the hideous dome they built to replace the most beautiful stadium in the state. It’s an awful thing. It looks like a massive airplane hangar. It looks like a gargantuan temporary metal building somebody erected over a weekend so they could sell knockoff Nikes or bootleg T-shirts. Situated directly across the street from the gorgeous Ballpark in Arlington, the contrast between the two venues is striking. And terribly sad.

Yes, the seats are cushioned in the new place and, unlike with Jerry’s Death Star next door, they’re all a bit closer to the on-field action. And it’s cooler, of course. It was 94-degrees outside and 70-degrees inside. I wasn’t sweating. Carley reported feeling a bit chilly. Yes, it was very, very comfortable. But it didn’t feel like a baseball game. Walking around the concourse felt more like getting ready for a hockey or basketball game, or a concert, not a baseball game. Aren’t you supposed to be sweating your lips off at a Rangers game? Isn’t that part of what makes the Lemon Chill so great?

And no fireworks. It was a Friday night game, but you can’t do fireworks indoors.

But they still do the wave. I was hoping the new stadium would be wave-less. It’s not. New stadium, same wave-happy fans.

It turned out to be a really fun night. Before the game, I had the great joy of introducing Whitney to longtime Rangers Public Address Announcer Chuck Morgan. The inventor of the dot race. The voice of Arlington Stadium, the Ballpark, and now this Ranger Hangar. We met him in his PA booth right behind home plate and he autographed Whitney’s hat with his famous, “It’s baseball time in Texas!”

The Rangers went hitless through five innings but then scored three runs in an explosive sixth inning to beat the A’s 3-2. A good, clean, well-played baseball game. In a dome.

And they didn’t play Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “If the House is a-Rockin'” after the final out. I was puzzled by that. We lose the song but we keep the wave? Who made that call?

The rationale offered to the public for this abomination has been two-fold: that the summer heat wears the team out so they’re not as strong down the stretch of a baseball season and that more people will attend Rangers games if it’s more comfortable. These are loser arguments from a loser mentality. It’s so disappointing. My response continues to be 1) a winning organization uses the local weather to its benefit. You don’t see the Chicago Bears or the Green Bay Packers putting roofs on their stadiums. They wear short sleeves in sub-freezing blizzards and intimidate the opponent. The weather is part of the home field advantage for an outfit with a winner’s mindset. And 2) it’s not the weather keeping fans away, it’s the inferior on-field product. When the Rangers are winning the division and contending for the pennant, the stadium is packed even in 100-degree heat, even in 88% humidity. I don’t care how cool it is inside the dome, nobody’s coming to watch a last place team.

Peace,

Allan

RockHounds Fans

We officially turned the corner as a family last night in becoming Midland RockHounds baseball fans, openly cheering for our new team in the friendly confines of the Sod Poodles ballpark in downtown Amarillo. Whitney and I wore our new RockHounds t-shirts and we loudly rooted for the Midland Nine as they routed Amarillo 13-3.

Stan Cox, our favorite usher who runs a very tight Section 109, told me he didn’t know what was more disappointing: that we were leaving Central or how quickly my baseball allegiance had changed. He agreed that my quick switch shows a real lack of personal integrity and character. When Stan came around with the garbage bag in between innings, he asked me to take off my RockHounds shirt and kindly place it in the trash.

Stan and Susan are two more of the really great people I’ve had the privilege to live, worship, and serve with here in Amarillo. I was honored to perform the wedding for their daughter Sara to Nick Lewis and I was blessed to spend ten thrilling days with them in Israel. Susan kindly volunteers at the church office when Gail is out. Nick and Sara’s beautiful daughters were both born here and are being raised in and by Central – one of the many wonderful families we’re really going to miss.

Needless to say, we were the only ones cheering for the RockHounds last night – we stuck out a little bit in the partisan Poodles crowd. Whitney came away with a foul ball generously tossed up by a Sod Poodles player and Midland pitcher Jared Koenig autographed it for her after the game – nice on both counts. As a family, we agree that the Sod Poodles name continues to be a disgrace to the very idea of professional baseball, but we do love their logos and fonts so much more than the late-80s vibe of the cartoonish RockHounds logos and fonts. And this downtown ballpark in Amarillo is the crown jewel of all AA stadiums – it’s the standard.

We’ll miss the insane Sod Poodles song during the seventh inning stretch (Sod Poodles! Sod Poodles! That’s right, they’re called the Sod Poodles!). The free parking on Fillmore. Dale Cooper’s awesome seats behind home plate. Ruckus entering the stadium to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” The line for three-dollar refills at H-Tea-O. Frozen t-shirts and blindfolded Chick-fil-a cows. But we’re looking forward to everything minor league baseball in Midland has in store for us later this summer. When is Jared Koenig’s next start?

Peace,

Allan

The Gang

Carley’s dog did not sign our group covenant, but he somehow managed to sneak into the team picture we took at our house Sunday night. Man, is this a good-looking group, or what? We love these people and cherish our friendships and are so thankful to our Lord for bringing us together the way he has. We still have a couple more dinners and a lot more prayers to share over the next several days. And, Andrew, I’m going to need about a case of your family salsa to take to Midland.

Peace,

Allan

Seeing What Others Can’t

We took in our first Sod Poodles game of the new season yesterday, enjoying a 6-3 Amarillo win over Midland to secure a series split with the RockHounds. We sat in Dale Cooper’s seats, it was Buddy Reed bobblehead day, and I came up one ice cream helmet short of eating for the cycle. A wonderful day at the downtown ballpark.

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We’ve started a new sermon series here at Central on the life of David. And it’s complicated. David is chosen by God to be Israel’s king, but he’s a mess. He commits public adultery and proxy murder. He joins the enemy army and he’s obsessed with revenge. He doesn’t get along with his wives, his children, or his troops. He is responsible for some of the most atrocious acts of cruelty and selfishness in the Bible. Yet, somehow, he is a described as “a man after God’s own heart.”

It’s complicated.

One of the questions we’re asking each week during this series is How does David reflect God’s heart? Yesterday we looked at the familiar story of David’s battle with Goliath. And we determined that one thing David and our God have in common is that they see what others can’t.

Romans 4 tells us that God gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. That’s how David is, too.

David sees the giant enemy of God as small and weak and insignificant. The very sight of Goliath paralyzed the Israelites. His size, his strength, his words – the Bible says Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. But David looks at Goliath and he sees him as nothing. He sees him as already dead. He thinks about the lions and bears he’s killed in the past and he tells Saul, “This uncircumcised Philistine will be just like one of them.” He says, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Yeah, Goliath is powerful; but God is much more powerful. Yes, Goliath is strong and mighty;  but compared to Almighty God, David sees Goliath as puny. He sees Goliath as already defeated. And that’s the way God looks at things.

2 Corinthians 10 says “You’re only looking at the surface of things.” Look deeper. Look bigger. When you see things the way God sees things, it empowers you to act with zeal, the kind of zeal and boldness and assurance that changes everything.

David makes things bigger. He sees more clearly. When everybody knows you can’t beat Goliath with a sword, David comes up with another way. When David can’t live in Israel because Saul is trying to kill him, he becomes a Philistine. When Jerusalem is just a hick-town with one red light, David sees a glorious and holy capital city. When the wandering Israelites are worshiping God in a tent, David draws up plans for a beautiful temple. David stays outside the box, seeing and creating new possibilities from the darkness and the void. Just like our God.

Samuel did not see David as a king, but God did. God sees possibilities we don’t always see. And he makes them happen.

Peace,

Allan

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