Category: Valerie (page 1 of 11)

March 2 in Oklahoma

Carrie-Anne and I are spending Texas Independence Day in the state of Oklahoma. The timing’s not great. I should be on Texas soil today, with Texans, breathing Texas air, listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan, eating tacos, and reading a Larry McMurtry book. We’re in a state today where the citizens are so proud of their heritage they declare on their license plates that their home is “OK.” Gives me chills.

It’s Spring Sing time at OC. Valerie’s in charge of Theta’s makeup, she’s singing and dancing on the front row of Theta’s patriotic show, and she’s helping Gamma Rho with their Grinch fingers.  Carley is Theta’s self-proclaimed “play-pusher.” I didn’t know what that was until she explained she’s the one who pushes “play” to start their soundtrack. My nephew Asa is in Delta and their lifeguard show is hilarious. We’re staying at my sister Rhonda’s house, getting caught up on family stuff, eating her homemade chili, and getting ready for the show and the awards tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Happy Texas Independence Day from Oklahoma.

To scratch your Texas itch on this most wonderful of days, click here for a 601-word history of our great state. And, maybe, put another dozen or so slices of jalapeno in that chili.

Howdy,

Allan

Winterfest Superstar

When six thousand teenagers packed the Arlington Convention Center this past weekend for the largest annual gathering in the Churches of Christ, our daughter Valerie was on stage rocking her artistic abilities to glorify God and inspire his people. The story is long and the details are many when describing how Valerie came to be the artist selected to paint the murals in real time, on stage, to illustrate each of the keynote themes for the three day event. The bottom line is that our Lord has brought our daughter into holy community with  Dudley Chancey, the genius and driving force behind nearly 40 Winterfests, and there she is!

Carrie-Anne and I had so much fun from the fifth row, watching Valerie paint, listening to her interact with the likes of Jeff Walling and Eric Wilson and The Skit Guys, and watching her legions of fans from Edmond CofC and Pleasant Ridge CofC flock to the front of the stage before and after each session to talk to and take pictures with her. Eric Wilson was effusive in his praise for Valerie’s skill, interrupting his own Saturday night presentation to step over and marvel at her work. Jeff Walling was more than generous in his interactions with Valerie during his keynote Sunday morning, acknowledging her talents and her growing fan base. It was just so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Six thousand teenagers! Worshiping God! Our students! Committing publicly to telling others about the Lord! Our kids! Promising to live for Christ! This is the generation we’ve been waiting for!

God’s Church has seen a terrible decline in this country during my generation’s turn at the wheel. It’s our fault. We’ve messed it up. We’ve gone about church in the wrong way and it’s time we admit it. We’ve compromised our allegiances. We’ve pursued power and glory, control and fights. We’ve shied away from suffering and sacrifice and peace. We’ve lost our way. We’ve embraced a distorted version of discipleship and communicated to the world a twisted vision of our Savior. We’ve lined up with the ways and means of the world and totally turned off everybody my age and younger. People are rejecting the Jesus our generation has expressed, they are leaving the Church we’ve modeled. And we deserve it.

God is going to use this upcoming generation to get his Church back on track in this country. These young men and women are going to show us how to embrace the way of Jesus, how to pledge allegiance to only one Lord, how to sacrifice and serve, how to live the eternal life we’ve been given right now instead of only after we die. This is the generation we’ve been waiting for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Valerie is right in the middle of them. Painting and singing and serving and encouraging, smiling and laughing and giving and loving in the name and manner of our Lord.

Go Rams,

Allan

Two in Oklahoma

Our youngest daughter, Carley, joined her middle sister, Valerie, at Oklahoma Christian University this weekend and we’re just hoping that campus is big enough for the both of them.

Moving a girl into a freshman dorm today is a whole lot different from when I moved into those OC dorms as a college freshman back in 1985. I had all my worldly possessions in the back seat of my ’74 Monte Carlo: a suitcase full of jeans and T-shirts, two pair of shoes, an electric typewriter, and a boom box. It seems I remember it taking about an hour to get unpacked and organized. With Carley, it was an almost ten hour ordeal that included unloading multiple storage totes, hanging lights, plugging in refrigerators, water dispensers, and coffee makers, raising beds to an ideal height, and setting up complicated shelving systems.

To their credit, she and her roommate, Hayleigh, did transform a drab cinder-block cube into a somewhat livable abode.

It was good to see some great old friends from our Legacy days moving in their kids, too: David and Shanna with their son Dawson, Ron and Stephanie with their daughter Brighton, and David and Krista with their daughter Maddie.

Emotionally, moving our youngest child into college was a little more difficult than I had imagined. Maybe I hadn’t thought about it much or hadn’t thought about it in the right ways. But it all kind of snuck up on me in the past week. Waving goodbye to Carley from the gas station parking lot — she heading east back to campus in her little Jeep and us heading west to Amarillo — was strange. If you’ve done it, you know. A weird mix of pride and concern, excitement and hesitation. It’s really weird not having another one coming up behind Carley. She’s our last one. This is it.

Carley and Valerie, we love you both. Give each other plenty of space, but be sure to take care of each other, too. May God bless you both with good grades, great friends and a wonderful semester.

Peace,

Dad

The Doctor Is In!

Bradd Morgan grabbed me on the way to the bus leaving the waterfalls of En Gedi. The news he had for me was so unbelievably and surprisingly wonderful, I almost got emotional. I’m getting a little emotional typing this right now.

Yesterday morning eight of us climbed the ancient Snake Path up the face of Masada in the Negev Desert. Bradd and I almost died together on that rock. We finished the climb in about 50-minutes, but it was brutal. Reagan Crossnoe told both of us at the top that neither of us will have to take a stress test for the next five years. We passed, but barely.

The weather here in Israel is like it is almost everywhere: about 15 degrees hotter than normal. The highs every day since we arrived have been in the 100s. And even after soaking our feet in the pools under David’s Fall, I was still extremely hot and dry and thirsty. And Bradd says to me, “Hey, they’ve got Dr Pepper in the gift shop.”

He said it casually. Almost a little too casually. So much so that I wasn’t exactly sure what he had said. So I asked, “What?” And he said it again, “There’s Dr Pepper in that gift shop.”

And I thought, “Don’t lie to me now, Bradd. Don’t be messing with me right now, brother. Don’t lie to me. Because if you’re lying to me, well, you know, you and I won’t be able to be friends anymore.”

He wasn’t lying.

They were ice cold, I mean freezing cold, way in the back of the cooler. Twelve shekels each. I grabbed four. And Valerie and I were good all the way to Qumran.

Shalom,

Allan

Yala!

It means, “Let’s go!” in Hebrew. “Yala!” And we hear it a hundred times a day in Israel from our wonderful tour guide Anton and our super-skilled bus driver Gesan. We’ve arrived at our destination, “Yala!” It’s time to load up and go to the next place, “Yala!” We’ve conducted the head count, we’re all here, “Yala!” We’re running behind on our schedule, “Yala!” And by now, day three of our sight-seeing tour in Israel, we’re all saying it. For everything. It’s time for the meeting, “Yala!” I’m going back for more dessert, “Yala!”

 

 

 

 

I may write more about our bus driver later, but I’ll give you this now: Our Lord said it was impossible for a man to drive a camel through a needle; but that was before he met Gesan.

We began our day with a treacherous ride in three taxis to the top of Mount Tabor, the supposed site of Jesus’ transfiguration. I’m increasingly convinced of the authenticity of this place as the true location of the divine revelation of Jesus with Moses and Elijah. Both historical and traditional evidence keeps rolling in. We scoped out the walls of the fourth century church and the baptistry that was built there and toured the current Franciscan church that was erected there in 1921.

 

 

 

 

We also spent some time in Nazareth, ate a picnic lunch under ancient olive trees at Sepphoris, and hit the ruins of Chorazin, the fishing village on the north side of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus famously condemned.

Because today is Sabbath, the roads were mostly empty and we had the sites mainly to ourselves. Of course, that also means the little store next door to our hotel is closed so I can’t find any caffeine. But we had another great day in Israel. We leave the region of Galilee tomorrow for the Negev Desert where, hopefully, it’ll be a little cooler than the 105 and 107-degree days we’ve had up here.

Shalom!

Allan

Shabbat Shalom!

The Sabbath has begun in Tiberias and we are avoiding the far left elevator at our hotel on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. Day Two of our sight-seeing is under our belts and I’m posting pictures here as fast as I’m able. As you know, you can click on the pic for the full size and click again to really blow it up.

 

 

 

 

We began the day at the Church of the Beatitudes on the north side of the Lake and then made our way north to the ancient city of Dan where Jeroboam constructed his ill-advised high place. We spent  a great morning hiking the trails along the headwaters of the Jordan River on the way to one of my favorite sites, Caesarea-Philippi, where Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, Son of the Living God.

 

 

 

 

 

We also toured the remains of King Agrippa’s palace and government buildings and drove through the middle of the Golan Heights.

 

 

 

 

Then we giggled as Anton pronounced Jesus’ hometown as Ca-FER-na-Hoom! And we wrapped up the day with a windy boat tour around a choppy Sea of Galilee.

 

 

 

 

Dale is spoiling Valerie rotten, buying her ice cream bars after every lunch. And Anton says she has a happy face. She does.

Peace,

Allan

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