Category: Texas (Page 2 of 8)

Big Wonderful Thing

“I couldn’t believe Texas was real.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe, 1912

Happy Texas Independence Day! It was on this date in 1836 that sixty delegates meeting at Washington-on-the-Brazos adopted a declaration of independence from Mexico, proclaiming a “free, Sovereign, and independent republic.” Although the autonomy of Texas as its own nation lasted only nine years, all Texans to this day retain a wild spirit of freedom, sovereignty, and independence. It’s in our blood.

I would suggest celebrating today by eating a breakfast burrito with jalapenos while listening to some Stevie Ray Vaughan, maybe Texas Flood or Couldn’t Stand the Weather. Wear something today that declares your Lone Star pride – I’m wearing my Texas socks. Lunch should be Whataburger with a Dr Pepper shake or barbecue beef at a place that closes before 6pm. Dinner should be enchiladas of any kind or anything else that comes wrapped in a tortilla. And at some point today you need to watch Bernie, the most Texas movie I’ve seen in decades. Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey capture the settings, the accents, the food, the attitudes, and the people of our grand state in a hilarious treatment of a tragic real-life murder in East Texas. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, go with John Wayne’s The Alamo. Keep the myth alive!

When Georgia O’Keeffe arrived in the panhandle as a young teacher and artist in 1912, her first impressions of our state were large and lofty. She saw her new home as more than a state or even an empire; she viewed Texas as a world. “I couldn’t believe Texas was real… the same big wonderful thing that oceans and the highest mountains are.”

God bless Texas.


Dr Pepper Shortage?

I’m not panicking. I believe the current Dr Pepper shortage is probably being experienced in places outside the borders of the Republic of Texas. I’m not hoarding. I believe the 24-pack of Diet Dr Pepper Carrie-Anne bought on Saturday is more than enough to get us through to this Saturday when she will be able to easily find and purchase another. I’m not worried. I am confident that the aluminum¬† scarcity or employee reduction or combination of Covid-19-related issues that have led to this Dr Pepper shortage won’t affect us here.

I’m also a bit skeptical. I’m cynical about this whole thing.

The tweet that came from the official Dr Pepper twitter account Monday and sparked all the retweets, news stories, and Facebook posts sounds like it’s intended to cause panic. It feels like a publicity ploy. The news stories weren’t written as a result of consumer complaints or grocery store notices. This is coming directly from Dr Pepper. It sounds like it’s meant to cause consumers to rush out to the grocery stores right now and buy triple or quadruple what they really need, thus leading to a real shortage, thus gaining even more publicity.

“We know it’s harder to find Dr Pepper these days. We’re working on it – hang tight! Note: This applies to all flavors of Dr Pepper – including our newest permanent addition to the family, Dr Pepper & Cream Soda.”

It sounds like a sales pitch to spark a run, not a reassuring message to ease concerns.

“We’re doing everything we can to get it back into your hands… contact your local retailer directly for the most up-to-date availability of Dr Pepper products.”

Yes, this is a publicity stunt. No, this is not serious. God is in his heaven and Dr Pepper will always be available in Texas.

But, if you’re going to the store, why don’t you pick up a 24-pack for me.



Because, Texas

Happy San Jacinto Day!

I put on my Texas socks this morning and ate a breakfast burrito on my way to the church building while listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s third studio album, “Soul to Soul.” I’d say that’s a pretty great start to a day when we celebrate General Sam Houston’s victory over Santa Anna’s army in 1836 that established the great Republic of Texas.

I would suggest some Mesquite smoked BBQ for lunch today and enchiladas for dinner. I would also suggest you take 40-minutes and listen to any Stevie Ray Vaughan album from start-to-finish. “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” “Texas Flood,” or “Soul to Soul” — those are my personal favorites. I’ll also count any ZZ Top album pre-“Eliminator” as an appropriate San Jacinto Day commemoration. If you’re looking for a uniquely Texas way to celebrate while you’re sheltering-in-place, I’d recommend watching the movie “Bernie,” starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley McClain. That’s about as Texas as anything that’s been made since Lonesome Dove. If you’re wanting to binge watch a TV series, you can’t go wrong with Friday Night Lights.

If you’d like some other ideas, Texas Monthly has some suggestions in “How to Hunker Down Like a Texan.” This article recommends books by Texas authors, music and movies with Texas ties, and links to museums and other sites in our great state that offer free virtual tours.

You might also carve out some time to thank the Lord above that you live in such a magnificent place as Texas. Unless you don’t live in Texas. In that case, you might read Habakkuk or Psalm 88.

Peace, y’all!


What the Lord Requires

If you or someone you know is fond of swiping the table tents from Whataburger, or if you, like me, really want one of those table tents but are averse to breaking our Lord’s commands, you need to read this article from Texas Monthly. Apparently, Whataburger is fine with the thievery.


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~Micah 6:8

Seeing a puddle of oil under your car in the driveway shouldn’t cause you to change out the air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. If your son is failing all his classes at college, you don’t argue with him about not knowing the words to the school fight song. There’s an old saying about the futility of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic — the silliness of it. Jesus calls it straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel. And our God shuts it down.

The Lord, through Micah, says “No! You don’t get it! It’s simple! Look, we’ve been over this for centuries!”

Act Justly – If you’re a covenant partner with God, you have to take care of everybody in the community. Justice. Helping the poor, protecting the foreigner, taking in orphans, feeding the widows — taking care of the people in society who can’t take care of themselves. Just like God takes care of me when I am wholly unable to take care of myself.

Love Mercy – I remember a family lunch at Furr’s Cafeteria when I was a teenager. We’re going through the line and we’ve got our trays and we’re looking at all the food and the lady asks my dad, “What can I get for you?” He replies, “I want everything I’ve got coming!” And the lady in the hairnet with the big spoon looks right at him and says, “No, you don’t.”

We don’t want what we’ve got coming; we want mercy. Mercy is not getting what you really deserve, it’s not giving someone what they truly deserve. And we love mercy when it’s shown to us. But God says love mercy for everybody.

Don’t just act merciful from time to time, love mercy consistently. Love mercy as a strategy, as a way of living, as a way of being and doing. Love mercy not just when it’s shown to you, but as you show it to others. Love mercy as your second-nature response, as your Holy Spirit instinct. Love mercy as a quality of God’s character forming in you.

Walk Humbly with Your God – Don’t carelessly or presumptuously do things your own way. Pay attention to God’s will. Put your will in a secondary position to his. Know your place next to God and walk with him — not against him, not in front of him. Walk with God’s vision, with God’s character, with God’s priorities. God has brought you life-changing justice and he’s shown you amazing mercy because that’s how he treats everybody. Now, you walk with him and join him in doing those same things with everybody where you live.

This isn’t new information. This has always been at the heart of God’s covenant with his people. Treat everybody the way I’ve treated you.

When it comes to your sin and your failures and your transgressions against God and neighbor — when it comes to your sin — our Lord Jesus looked at the Father and said, “Put that on my account.” While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. When we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. God has brought you life-changing justice and shown you amazing mercy, not because you’re so good but because that’s the way he treats everybody. And his number one priority is that you and I would act the same way, that bringing justice and showing mercy would be your top priority and my top priority, because people would see him in us. People would experience God in us if our priorities and God’s priorities were the same.



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