Category: Texas (Page 3 of 8)

Independent Affirmation

A financial institution in Chicago has taken over Whataburger and it just feels wrong. Pure-D-Wrong. The San Antonio-based Whataburger was seeking millions of dollars in order to expand its brand all over the United States and this investment firm in Chicago made the deal. Sure, in a few years I’ll be able to get the #1 with everything and extra onions and french fries with spicy ketchup in New York and California and Illinois. But, so what?!? Is it worth it? A Massachusetts company owns Dr Pepper now, Mrs. Baird’s is controlled out of Mexico, and an Ohio company owns Schlitterbahn. What the Ted? Everything in the United States is owned by like nine companies.

Was there not any money here in Texas? Would no one in Texas back the expansion? All you people who have been tweeting and Instagramming stuff like, “Pray for those who don’t have Whataburger” and “A moment of silence for the people in the states who don’t have Whataburger,” look what you did!




Will Whataburger still have the “Family Owned and Operated since 1950” sign on their windows? Will J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans be able to save Whataburger with his tweets? Is the whole thing going to be watered down now? What’s fueling my angst over losing this valuable distinctive, my Texas or my Church of Christ?


We’re in the middle of a sermon series here at Central we’re calling “Family Matters.” We’re attempting to understand why family is so important to us and why it can never be ultimate for us. We’re trying to see the family clearly but also see past the family. We’re wanting to crucify our family values. This past Sunday we considered the topic of Christian Parenting, raising our children by the love of God and the cross of Christ. This is part two of that sermon. I posted part one here yesterday.

Independent Affirmation – A lot of us are living our lives through our kids. We push our kids into certain sports or certain academic pursuits or certain careers or hobbies or even religious activities either because we missed out and my kids can make up for it — they can do whatever I failed to do or they can make up for my own regrets or they can achieve what I never had the talent or opportunity to achieve — or so we can keep what we achieved alive. We can keep our legacy going through our kids. We can stay relevant and important through the successes of our children. And if we’re not careful, we can start to search for our identity through our kids. Their success is my success. When they do something well it makes me look good and feel good.

Hey, your children don’t need that pressure! They don’t need that stress! Don’t put that on them!

And if you’re looking for your own sense of identity or worth in what your children do and how well they do it, you’re going to be horribly disappointed. They’re not you!

Your children have their own identities. Our Father made them and formed them individually with their own unique personalities and their own gifts to bring him glory. As parents, we need to honor that. We need to take the time to explore those things with our kids and look for those gifts and affirm them independently of what they do for us.

Think about the cross of Christ. How do we as parents sacrifice and serve our children to say to them, “Who are you?” How do we really get to know them and their talents and passions? How do we sincerely ask, “How did God gift you?”

The love of a parent is really made clear when you make the effort to genuinely affirm the gifts and callings of your child, especially when their skills and interests are different from yours.

Think about how many times during Jesus’ life God said out loud from heaven, “You are my Son. I love you. I am very pleased with you.” That’s the model. And I think I’m only just now beginning to figure it out.

Here’s a trick that helps me: Instead of telling our daughters I’m proud of them, I try to say, “I admire you” or “I admire this about you.” I don’t want them to hear “I’m proud of you” as something I say when they make me look good or feel good. I don’t want it to feel like “I affirm you or I love you because you’re making me look good or you’re doing what I want you to do.” I want to affirm our daughters independent of me.

I really admire this about you. I see this in you and I think it’s great. I love you, daughter, and here’s what I know about you. I know who you are. I see you the way God made you. I love you. I admire you.



National Chili Day

“Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing.”  ~Lyndon B. Johnson

I have no idea why there is a National Chili Day. But it’s today. And, yes, I am celebrating this evening with a big bowl of red topped with grated cheese, chopped  onions, and sliced jalapenos. And absolutely, positively, unconditionally no beans!

If you’re looking for a couple of short chili histories and recipes, you might click here or here.



Texas Matters

Never ask a man where he’s from. If he’s from Texas, he’ll tell you; if not, there’s no sense in embarrassing him.

The above video contains all three verses of our beloved state song. And this link takes you to the latest “Talk Like a Texan” column in Texas Monthly that discusses the etymology and pronunciation of Jim Bowie, Bowie Knife, and David Bowie. And the video below is the hilarious “Five States of Texas” scene from the remarkable movie “Bernie.”

Happy Texas Independence Day!


The Yanks Have Taken Our Dr Pepper!

This is not a call to arms or a prompt to panic. I don’t want anybody to overreact. The Diet Dr Pepper(s) with which I washed down my Western-style scrambled eggs at Calico County this morning tasted just fine. Nothing appears to have changed. Yet. This is intended solely as a notice to pay attention. Be aware.

The Yanks have officially absconded with the national soft drink of Texas and are now managing and directing the fortunes and future of our beloved 23-flavored nectar from Burlington, Massachusetts!

OK, maybe this is a prompt to panic.

The Keurig Company, makers of those annoying K-Cups and marketer of all things coffee, swallowed up Dr Pepper yesterday in what they’re calling a “merger.” The new company is now called Keurig Dr Pepper and they’re moving DP’s CEO from the Dr Pepper headquarters on Legacy Drive in Plano up to Massachusetts. Does Dr Pepper go with clam chowder? Are they planning to serve Dr Pepper at the Boston Bruins’ games? Are they going to put Red Sox logos on Dr Pepper bottles?

Coupled with tomorrow’s double-blood-super-full-blue moon, is this a sign that the end times are nigh?

Dr Pepper is not just the first and oldest soft drink in America, it’s uniquely Texan. Since folks in Central Texas rode into Morrison’s Old Drug Store to order a “Waco” in 1885, Texans like me have been drinking DP morning, noon, and night for generations. Only a wild-eyed Texan would dream of carbonating a volatile mix of 23-fruit flavors and serving it to his friends and customers. Only a state like ours could produce a legendary beverage with so many conflicting origin stories — mythologies, really — about its namesake and ingredients. And it’s ours. It belongs to us. We use it to quench our thirst on a blistering August afternoon and to baste our holiday turkeys and hams.

We don’t know what the future holds for Dr Pepper and for Texans who, on average, drink a Dr Pepper every three days — every man, woman, and child in the state. Here in the early going, I’m trying to remain positive. Perhaps Keurig can put hot Dr Pepper with a lemon twist in one of those little cups I can carry around in my pocket. That would be nice. Maybe in the coming years it’ll be easier to locate a Diet Dr Pepper when I’m in Chicago or New York. That would also be nice.

Again, this is just a notice to pay attention. Be aware. And, when you’re “taking” your Dr Pepper today at 10, 2, & 4, say a prayer for those Yanks. They’d better not mess this up.



Tom Petty Day

The city of Austin has declared today, October 20, what would have been the rocker’s 67th birthday, Tom Petty Day. To do my part in honoring the legendary American songwriter and performer, I’m providing a link to Sun Radio 100.1 FM in Austin. The whole Sun Radio network of stations in Central Texas is playing nothing but Tom Petty all day and night — classic hits and deep cuts from all thirteen of Petty’s studio albums, live performances, Traveling Wilburys, covers from other rock superstars and Texas artists, and a variety of other tributes. At 7pm tonight, they’re going to play Tom Petty’s 2006 performance at Austin City Limits in its entirety.

If you need a Tom Petty song at some point today, just click the link.

In making his proclamation earlier this week, Austin Mayor Steve Adler described Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as a rock and roll fusion of the Beatles’ melodic song structures, the harmonies of the Byrds, and the attitude of the Rolling Stones. Not bad.

Billboard has put together a tribute today that includes a paragraph or two each about ten of Tom Petty’s best known hits and includes the full music video for each of the classics. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the Into the Great Wide Open video with Johnny Depp and Matt LeBlanc, you need to click here.

And Tom Petty’s official website is streaming all Tom Petty hashtags in real time — all the Instagrams and Facebooks, all the tweets and social media posts. I don’t know much about it and I have no idea how it works, but it’s pretty cool to watch. Check it out here.

I don’t know, but I’ve been told, you never slow down, you never grow old.


Harvey Buckets to Houston!

Three elders and a preacher are headed down to Houston right now in a huge truck loaded with 130 cases of bottled water, 150 buckets of cleaning supplies, two jugs of hand sanitizer, and a case of granola bars.






We took the truck to Zach’s Club early this morning and loaded up 90 cases of water they had been collecting, grabbed another 40 or so from Brown Automotive, then headed to Central to pack the Harvey buckets our church has been collecting since Sunday.

Bruce, Tom, John, and Carroll left here at just after 9:00 this morning to deliver the relief supplies to Doug Peters and the Grace Crossing Community Church of Christ down in Conroe. Doug tells me they’re handing out around 400 buckets and going through about five hundred bottles of water per day. Some of the supplies are being used to benefit Grace Crossing members and folks in that church’s immediate neighborhood. Some of it’s going to the Impact Church in downtown Houston to assist the families associated with the outreach programs through that congregation. And a lot of it is being spread all over the greater Houston area to help those who’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

We’re going to keep collecting the buckets here at Central through Sunday September 24 and make at least one more trip down to Conroe. Spread the word!



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