Ode To The Bear

CarleyBonnetIt was eight years ago today, September 10, 1999, that God blessed our family with Carley Renae. In Wichita Falls. Our only child not born in Austin. The only one we knew was coming the day she came. An alarm clock woke us up at 7:00 that morning to drive to the hospital, not water breaking and painful contractions at 3am like with the other two. But the delivery took just as long. It wasn’t until after dinner that Friday evening, after we ran Granny and Grandpa and Gram and Gran-Gran and Pop-Pop and Aunt Pam out of the room that Carley made her first appearance. She just needed a little privacy. We thought maybe she was shy.

 We were wrong.

There’s not a shy bone in Carley’s body. Never has been. CarleyDP

Carley’s been given plenty of nicknames in her eight years—that’s just part of being in our family, I think. Carl. Carley Sue. Gnarley (which Jimmy Mitchell took to the next level when he started calling her Gnarles Barkley). Little Bit.

But Carley has always been and will always be The Bear.

It began early in her life. She wouldn’t just cry when she needed something. She screamed. When she was wet. When she was hungry. When she wanted something. Anything. She would scream in a way the other two never screamed. Like she was furious. Carrie-Anne was the first one to call her a bear. And it stuck. It was her attitude and her angry screaming as a baby that started it.

But as it turns out, Carley is our most sensitive child. She cries at the drop of a hat, as often in reaction to the pain of others as for her own pain. And she is our most affectionate. She loves to hug and cuddle and play. She’s always grabbing our hands or jumping on our backs. She went from angry bear to cuddle bear in a hurry.

But we just call her Carley Bear.

Carley is a sweet, funny, outgoing, loud, compassionate little girl. She keeps us constantly entertained with her singing and dancing. She says exactly what’s on her mind, which also keeps us very entertained. She is a beautiful gift from our God. And she fills our lives with joy.

Happy Birthday, little girl. We love you.


CowboyJoeMore questions than answers, I think, from last night’s Cowboys game. Understand, I do tend to see only the negatives with this team. In fact, I’m sure I’m actually looking for them. But aside from Jason Witten’s amazing performance, don’t a lot of things from last night’s win over the Giants concern you?

How long will Romo be able to keep throwing those wobbly side-arm balls in the NFL?

How long until Marion Barber does something in the heat of battle so incredibly dumb that he gets suspended for four games?

Yes, the Cowboys D is good against the run. But with that secondary, who needs to run? The Cowboys DBs made Eli to Plaxico look like Montana to Rice. Anthony Henry and Jacques Reeves are WAY overmatched. And, I’m sorry, Roy Williams is probably one of the top three or four most overrated players in the entire NFL. I would take Everson Walls right now over anybody else the Cowboys have—single kidney and yellow T-shirt and everything.

What is that extra little plastic strap around the back side of Wade Phillips’ headset?

The Giants lost their starting quarterback and their starting running back in a one-score game. We all realize that, right?

How many games can the Cowboys win, giving up 35 points on defense? And don’t say it’s OK if Dallas scores more. Dallas won’t.

And, as much as I hate saying this, Jerry Wayne’s new Pepsi commercial with Romo and Phillips is actually very funny. Jerry is running a very close second to Payton Manning for most completely over-exposed NFL personality. But that new Pepsi spot is pretty good.


Finally (you Legacy brothers and sisters will appreciate my use of “finally” here), a word on change from C. Eric Lincoln, especially in light of our on-going conversations regarding small groups:

“A society or a community that is religiously alert will invariably react to whatever may be perceived as a religious innovation because whatever is new is perceived as an implied threat or contradiction to what has already been settled by history and confirmed by tradition. The ‘innovators’ seldom see their new doctrine or practice as innovation but are quite likely to find its justification, or indeed its roots or requirements, in precisely the ‘Old-time Religion’ to which all parties appeal as jus canonicum.”

We find our unity, our common ground, in whatever discussion we’re having, in the blood of Jesus Christ and his claim of Lordship over every segment of our lives. Our commonality is found in the Holy Word of God and in his mission for his Church. We can all agree on that.




  1. Chris

    Excellent note about Carley, great to see the old Cowboy logo, ditto on your game points and we can absolutely agree with your points about our commonality in Christ.

    You really are making hard to be an arsonist today 🙂

  2. Allan

    Good night, Chris. It sounds like you reading the blog is like me watching a Cowboys game. You’re just looking for something you can disagree with, huh?

  3. Chris

    Not disagree with – just spark some good discussion. I know you have multiple books going at once, but take a look at The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It’s a short read and I think you would find it interesting.

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