Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Efren Herrera.
The incomparable Scott Springer ran the lift and manned the biggest chainsaw as we took out seven pine trees around our new house Thursday afternoon and Friday. There were just too many of these 50-60 foot monsters and they were all on top of each other, crowding each other out, suffocating the live oak and red oak trees in the front yard, and not allowing for even one blade of grass to grow beneath. Removing these trees completely changed the landscape in our wedge on Castleford Road. It’s really opened everything up now – it looks so much bigger and wider. I can almost see the lush St. Augustine grass up against the red brick of the front walk. And we’ve got enough firewood now for two or three winters and at least a couple of camp outs.
With Carolina’s upset win over Duke last night, Whitney clinched the Stanglin family bracket. It’s truly an underdog story, an inspirational come-from-behind saga as Whitney lost her champion, Baylor, before the first weekend. She was dead in the water before the second round was complete. But she did just enough to edge out Valerie and claim first place. Valerie only needed Duke to win or Villanova to beat Kansas – she only needed one of the two. But Whitney got both and today she is the champ.
Speaking of Val, she is no longer working in an official capacity with the Contact Church in Tulsa (don’t get me started), but that girl continues to minister with her God-given gifts and Spirit-inspired mercy and grace. I’m so thankful for Caleb Hatchett, the talented Youth Minister at the Jenks CofC, who has invited Valerie to jump in with their group as a super volunteer. And, of course, she’s doing just that. In addition, Valerie last week painted the windows outside the Children’s Ministry space at the Jenks Church. There’s nothing in church work or congregational ministry she can’t do.
The signs are up today at the brand new Chuy’s on Loop 250 just west of Midland Drive! I don’t know exactly when it’s going to open, but when it does, we’ll be there regularly for the authentic Austin-style Tex-Mex that we learned to love so well during our two stints down in the Texas Hill Country. It’s probably not right that you can eat at Chuy’s in Midland, just like it’s probably not okay that you can get a Whataburger now in Chicago. But I’m so thrilled that I won’t have to drive to Lubbock anymore for Chuy’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom enchiladas!
In a special offering at Golf Course Road this morning, the Lord provided $93,686 through our church family to buy food for the For Ukraine food packing event! The goal was $73,280 to pay for the 285,120 meals we’re going to send from our church parking lot directly to war refugees on the Ukrainian border. But, not surprisingly, our God moved in and through the generous hearts at GCR and overwhelmed us with much more than we need. Praise the Lord for this great group of Jesus followers at GCR. What a joy and a blessing from God to be the preacher at such a wonderful church.
If you have not signed up yet to pack food, you’d better hurry – half of the one-thousand shifts have been filled, including all the slots on Friday night April 29. There are still right at 500 of the 90-minute shifts to fill on Saturday April 30. But it feels like they’re going fast. You can register to participate in this community-wide mission effort by clicking here.
Finally, I know the Bradford Pear tree is the worst tree in the universe and it is single-handedly destroying our planet. But the four trees along the fence here at Stanglin Manor are in full bloom and it’s just breathtakingly beautiful in the late afternoon sun. Don’t tell anybody I said that.