Category: Valerie (Page 1 of 14)

Tulsa Time

We’re having a fantastic weekend with our middle daughter Valerie and her husband David in their hopping little town of Tulsa. They’ve given us a wonderful tour of the city – downtown, shopping, the sprawling parks, the Gathering Space, and the riverside casino. We saw the Jenks church where Val is working with Caleb and Hailey and their exciting youth group. We had a massive brunch yesterday at Hatch, a great dinner last night at The Vault, and took in some of the atmosphere around the Juneteenth celebrations happening in the Greenwood District. And then Dave gave us a walking tour of the beautiful campus at Tulsa University where he is about to begin his second semester of law school. If one must live in Oklahoma, Tulsa seems like maybe the only place to do it.

As I’m typing, Val is in the kitchen making pancakes (super cute!) and we’re gearing up for some more catching up before heading back to West Texas.

The beauty of the whole thing, of course, is hanging out with these two kids we love so much. It does our hearts good to be in the same rooms with them as they do life together and to watch how much they love each other and to see how well they’re doing. I am filled with gratitude and joy. And Loaded Tumblers and Key Lime pie.



So Much to Celebrate!

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.



Val Pal is 25!

Valerie Nicole is 25 today. Our little middle has been blessing us and everybody in her world now for a quarter century. Her creativity. Her wicked sense of humor. Her passionate heart for the marginalized. Her fierce loyalty to her friends and family. Her careful attention to our Lord’s call and her faithfulness to follow.

Twenty five years ago she was a nine-and-a-half pound newborn, amazing the nurses, dwarfing all the other babies at South Austin Medical Center, and nearly killing her mom. Since that day, Valerie has been the light in every dark room. For twenty five years she has been the source of the funny lines, the keeper of the family traditions, the carefree wearer of socks and sandals (together), and the lover of Little Debbies.

Today she is making a Gospel difference in the lives of troubled teenagers in Tulsa. She is a Holy Spirit indwelled and empowered daughter of God and a brilliant Youth Minister in his eternal Church. She is doing what our Lord puts in front of her to do with all her talents and energy in a way that changes lives and points to Christ Jesus. Those kids are blessed. And so am I.

Happy Birthday, Val-Pal. I love you. And I thank God for what he is doing in you and through you to his glory.


Happy Birthday, Val

Our little middle turns 24 today. We celebrated her birthday last week when she and David made the trip from Tulsa for a doctor’s appointment here in Amarillo. A Monte Cristo sandwich at Cheddar’s — her favorite.  But where do you celebrate when you live in Oklahoma? Dave already took her to Texas Road House today after church. Nice move.

We love you, Val. Happy Birthday, sweetie.


Positively Negative

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Pat Verbeek…

Mainly to assure my co-workers and appease a couple of our church elders, I submitted myself to a Covid-19 test yesterday. I came out positive for burning nostrils and watery eyes and negative for the coronavirus. Everybody around me can breathe a huge sigh of relief. While wearing a large mask.

The Houston Texans should have fired Bill O’Brien at least four years ago, long before he traded away Jadeveon Clowney, DeAndre Hopkins, and all those draft picks. The Texans have the highest payroll in the NFL this year and they have started out 0-4. Reminds me of another embarrassingly futile NFL team in Texas.

When a team begins a football season at 1-3, it has a 14% chance of making the playoffs. That statistic will probably be skewed a bit this year because the NFC East is led right now by a team with one win. The Cowboys might win this division with a 7-9 record. But they already have a 100% chance of extending their streak of consecutive seasons without winning a divisional playoff game to 25 years. They should design another commemorative patch. “Silver Substandard” or something like that.

Missions Month is my favorite season at Central.

I’ve added our middle daughter Valerie’s brand new blog, “The Kitchen Sink,” to my links on the bottom right hand side of this page. Valerie is the newly-married, newly-employed Youth Minister at the Contact Church in Tulsa. She just launched the blog over the weekend and just posted her first article about our (Christians) and her (personal) relationship between our citizenship in heaven and our national politics. You can click here to read it or scroll through the links on the right. Man, I really love this girl. I admire Valerie. I wish I had the same passion for the Kingdom when I was her age. I’m really blessed to be her dad. I’m very thankful to God.



Double Knot

Our middle daughter is already on her second marriage.
Valerie has been married twice but never widowed or divorced.
It took two weddings in the middle of this global pandemic to successfully tie her knot with David. And Friday’s wedding was a spectacular event.

Carrie-Anne and I are both grateful and humbled by the numbers of long-time friends who traveled great distances to be with our family on this special night. Dan and Jennifer and Meredith made the drive up from Marble Falls and Mike brought LeeAnn (and those Virdell granddaughters!) to make those awesome cakes. David and Shanna and Delaney, John and Suzanne, and Lance from the Legacy Church. Jason and Tiersa, Chris and Liz, Kevin and Anita, and Brian and Terry from our days together in Mesquite. All the familiar faces from our Central church family. And our family and relatives from Austin and Dallas and East Texas and Oklahoma City.  All these good people who have poured themselves into our lives for so many years. What a blessing from God to be together for this special weekend.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this celebration of David and Valerie. Thank you for your love and your friendship. Thank you for all the times we’ve prayed together, eaten together, laughed and cried together, and moved boxes out of each other’s attics. Thank you for what you mean to our daughters and our family. We are so blessed by our God because of you.



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