Category: Golf Course Road Church (Page 1 of 3)

How ‘Bout Them Conleys!

Our great friends Stan and Kelly Conley treated Whitney and me to their amazing seats at last night’s Monday Night Football game in Arlington. It was the home opener for the Cowboys against the hated Eagles and the first Cowboys game we’ve attended in ten years. Needless to say, Whitney was beside herself. She wore out her rally towel and both arms before kickoff. She exulted with every Cowboys score, gloried in every Philly penalty, and nearly fainted with delight when Dallas went over the 40-point mark in the fourth quarter.

I hate it when the Cowboys look good. It would be very easy for me this morning to write about how Jalen Hurts is a disaster and this Eagles squad might be the worst team in the league. But, Dallas did play a great ballgame last night. You play the schedule as it comes in the NFL and the Cowboys, for once, committed to the run against Philly’s two-deep safety zone all night. Dallas dominated time of possession, kept the penalties to a bare minimum, and basically allowed the Eagles to beat themselves. Which they did. And while I did not love the whipping it turned out to be, I did thoroughly enjoy the experience sitting next to our oldest daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

Whitney’s about as hard core as it gets among Cowboys fans and she had an absolute blast last night. Stan and Kelly’s seats are on the 40-yard line, a perfect ten rows up behind the Cowboys bench. And Whitney was just overjoyed to be able to watch Dak and Zeke and Cooper and her favorite players, up close, in person, on the sidelines. She kept waving that towel madly throughout the game, whacking me in the side of the head after every good play and during every third down. She stood for nearly the entire game, exchanged wild high-fives with everybody sitting within a ten foot radius, and went through two massive nine-dollar Diet Dr Peppers. She loves the Cowboys and she absolutely despises the Eagles, so it was a perfect night for the Whitster.

My favorite moments came at the half. The Pro Football Hall of Fame presented Cliff Harris, Drew Pearson, and Jimmy Johnson with their HOF rings during halftime in a ceremony that featured every living Cowboys Hall of Famer in person together on the field. Staubach and Lilly, Rayfield Wright and Tony Dorsett, Mel Renfro and Randy White, Aikman, Emmitt, and Michael Irvin – they were all there on the field to welcome Captain Crash, Drew, and the Jimster. It was chilling. Goosebumps. The three newest inductees each gave short speeches, brief synopses of what they’ve been saying for a year now. Harris recalled his humble origins as an undrafted free agent out of Ouachita Baptist and thanked Gil Brandt for hunting him down, Drew (sadly, I think) raged into the microphone again about how his Hall of Fame induction validates his career and himself as a human being, and Jimmy thanked Jerry (boo), his players (yay), and all the Cowboys fans (crescendo of applause), for the great honor of coaching the Cowboys. And then, of course, he punctuated the end of his time with one more “How ’bout them Cowboys!” to which the stadium nearly collapsed with thunderous ecstasy.

 

 

 

 

I didn’t realize then that the game was already over. But it was. After Trevon Diggs’ pick-six to begin the third quarter, it was only a matter of how much. As the second half wore on, the guys on the row in front of us got drunker, the over-the-top couple from Corpus Christi next to me got rowdier, the Eagles wilted, the crowd overall became more aggressive, the Cowboys dominated, and Whitney’s grin grew bigger and wider.

Thank you to Stan and Kelly for their great generosity and a wonderful night together in Arlington. Thank you to Dale and Rita Brown for the gracious gift of their transportation and their pleasant company to and from the game. And thanks to the powers that be for opening the roof of the Death Star.

Experiencing the game with Whitney, enjoying her joy, I allowed myself a little smile here and there at this perfectly-scripted night for the Cowboys. It’s nights like this, when the fans leaving the stadium are all talking Super Bowl, that make the inevitable loss to the Panthers this Sunday so delicious.

Peace,

Allan

Sisters, Showers, and Sandy Cheeks

The loving and generous folks here at GCR yesterday threw a “shower” for Whitney as she prepares to move into her own wing of our new house. It was borderline obscene – the amount of furniture, appliances, towels, dishes, and gift cards she received. Wow. Overwhelming. It took all of Carrie-Anne’s car and the entire bed of my truck to get everything home. Just another example of the way we are being loved and blessed by our new church family. The way GCR is taking care of Whitney is an answer to our prayers and a gracious gift from our God.

Both of Whitney’s sisters came out of Oklahoma exile for the event, driving down from Tulsa and Edmond and arriving late Friday afternoon. We made up Whitney’s bed with Valerie and Carley inside, under the sheets and blankets and pillows, so that when Whitney got home from work and went to her room, they popped out as a big surprise. (We would have it on video, except, I was the one in charge of that part.) It was the first time we’d seen these two since the first week of July so, needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed all the catching up, all the food (Blue Sky, Carrie-Anne’s fried chicken), the laughs, the stories, and worshiping together for the first time at GCR.

We also did the one-hour drive down to the sand dunes in Monahans on Saturday and tried our best to climb up and slide down the biggest hills, with varying levels of success and frustration. The attendant at the check-in station was exaggerating when she said purchasing and rubbing a two-dollar lump of wax on the bottom of our sleds would give us the “Griswold Effect.” It didn’t. The “Loose Sand” signs along the roads in the state part, I think, refer to your vehicle’s floor mats. Forever. And the inside of one’s shorts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, a truly wonderful weekend. Carrie-Anne and I both feel so grateful to God for our fabulous daughters, for the love we share together in our family, and for the community of faith he’s moved us to in Midland.

Peace,

Allan

Making Arrangements

“God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
~1 Corinthians 12:18

What a really wonderful day Sunday here at GCR Church. We were delighted to introduce eight new babies from six different families into our congregation and to lift them up to the Lord in prayer and blessing. We thanked God for these little bundles of his grace, we asked him to bless these babies richly with his love and protection and peace, and we asked God to equip the parents and give them strength and wisdom to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And we charged our entire church with helping these families, with loving and raising these babies, and to support and encourage these new parents.

We also introduced eight people / families as brand new members at GCR – a total of 24 men, women, and children who are committing to everything God is doing in us and through us to his glory. These people are jumping in to the mission of this church – to be a Christ-centered family that loves like Jesus. They’re promising to worship and serve and live with us, together, to advance God’s Kingdom on this earth to his eternal praise. They’re bringing their gifts and their passions, their baggage and their personalies, their abilities and their joy! It was such a wild thing to introduce 24 brothers and sisters in Christ as new members during the same service – the congregation responded with a standing ovation!

We pledged publicly in that moment to belong to each other at GCR. We promised to love and support these new church members. We promised to encourage and challenge these new members and to always give them the benefit of the doubt. And we promised to roll up our sleeves and work hard together for everything God is wanting to do in Midland.

God is arranging the parts at GCR, every one of them, exactly as he wants them to be. He’s moving people to Midland from Dallas and Houston and from some of the smaller towns out here in West Texas to join us in what he’s doing with this church. He’s putting everything perfectly in place for his Kingdom plans.

And we don’t get to choose any of them. We don’t get to interview anybody, we don’t get a vote. God chooses the people and moves them in and smashes us together to achieve his purposes and to shape us more into his holy image. He puts us together in a place where we are forced to love each other, forced to sing each other’s songs, to listen to one another’s opinions, to pray over each other’s cares, to forgive one another’s wrongs, and to eat and drink a meal together every Sunday. It shapes us. It forms us. It blesses us with more energy and resources to better serve the people of our city in the name and manner of Jesus.

God is arranging the parts at GCR. He’s doing something big here, something significant; something that, by his grace, will impact this city and the whole world with his amazing love. And I feel so blessed by him to be one of those pieces he’s moving in and arranging. I feel so privileged to be right in the middle of whatever our Lord is cooking here in Midland, Texas.

This coming Sunday we’re introducing at least three or four more families as new members into our congregation. May we give God the glory and praise, may we pay close attention to these new folks and to what our Lord is wanting to do, and may his will be done in and through us at GCR, together, just as it is in heaven.

Peace,

Allan

Scraping By

My first encounter with Mike Rupe was when he diagnosed the issue with our dishwasher. Over the phone. In about eight seconds. And then he had it repaired  in about eight minutes. That made me really appreciate this self-professed back row Christian at GCR.  What makes me love Mike is that he has shown up at our new house here three evenings in a row to help us knock out the grueling task of hand-scraping  all the popcorn off the ceilings of our new house here in Midland.

Mike had all the right ideas, all the little tricks, and the necessary elbow grease to make this daunting task a much more realistic thing for us to accomplish – we got it finished about three days earlier than I thought we might. Working with Mike during these evenings meant getting his unique perspective on some of the history of this great church on Golf Course Road. And it also involved more conversation about Revelation than would be expected.

 

 

 

 

 

Mike, brother, I am so grateful. The popcorn is gone and now we’re into Phase Two. A couple of walls have gone up today and a couple of doors installed to seclude the Whitney Wing from the rest of the manor. All the carpet is gone, the wet bar in the entry has been removed, and the texture guys are going to start on the ceilings this next week.

And if the dishwasher doesn’t work, I know who to call.

Peace,

Allan

Home in Midland

We closed on the house here in Midland late Friday, a wonderfully beautiful home with a lot of personality and character in the Saddle Club subdivision on the northeast side of town. The timing was so perfect in acquiring this house – the previous owners had just been transferred to Houston when we saw it and their company had purchased it from them and was wanting to get it off their books quickly. We feel like if we had seen it just a day later it would have been gone. And it’s perfect for us! So perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

The layout allows for Whitney to have her own wing in the house with a bedroom, bathroom, den, and exterior access to a private patio. The rest of the house is an open plan with plenty of room for entertaining. The game room is big enough to handle the ping pong table and all our Dr Pepper stuff. And the lot is surrounded by older oak trees and massive pines.

What else comes with a house built in 1981 is the need for updating. I’ve spent several hours over the weekend scraping popcorn off the ceilings while Carrie-Anne and Whitney have been removing cabinet door handles and light switch plates for the texturing and painting that’s about to take place. Thanks to Mike Rupe who showed up unannounced yesterday to help scrape for three hours and to Gary Glasscock who’s helping us coordinate all the updating.

We feel very blessed by God and by this community of faith at GCR in Midland to be in possession of such a house. We feel very grateful. Once we get in for good, may the house be used to bless the church and for glorifying God. Until then, may we be blessed with resilient muscles, determined patience, and contractors who show up on time.

Peace,

Allan

Green Acres is the Place to Be

Congratulations to Brandon Meeks who took the championship in our GCR staff miniature golf outing yesterday afternoon at newly-renovated Green Acres Mini Golf. I was fortunate enough to be playing in Brandon’s group and was able to witness first-hand his unique combination of athletic gift, exquisite skill, and gritty determination. And his ability to putt a golf ball up a metal ramp and through the swinging doors of a little windmill.

While Brandon was making noise with his scorecard, Tim Neale was making noise – literally – all over the course. He hit six holes-in-one throughout his round, prompting huge roars of approval from within his foursome and anyone else who happened to be near. The problem is that Tim also scored at least half a dozen “sixes,” the highest tally allowed on each hole. He’s like the baseball player who leads the division in both home runs and strikeouts. I reminded Tim that those are the guys who get traded to the Rangers.

 

Thanks to Jason Allen for organizing this quarterly staff get together and team building outing. I picked up some extra slang and learned a little more about what makes my co-workers tick. Putting Andrew, Cory, and Mauri in the same group guaranteed we’d all be finished a half hour before they were – that was a mistake. And somebody needs to explain to Jessie the difference between trash talk and godly encouragement.

Peace,

Allan

« Older posts