Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Magic Conference

Here's the promised post regarding the Conference in Branson, May 3-5(Bonus day May 2). My friends Marty and Brenda Hahne, along with Duane and Mary Laflin have been bringing this conference to Branson for the past several years. As in years past, I will be out of town for that weekend and will again miss the conference. In addition to the lectures and the dealers, you also get to experience some of the magic entertainment in Branson. If you need a church to attend on Sunday morning, I invite you to take a short drive north to Ozark and visit us at Hopedale Baptist Church. Sunday evening is our annual Community Day event from 4-7 pm. Look me up. I'll be back by Sunday morning.

If you're looking for information on the conference, here is the link. I'm also adding their site (Dazzling Magic) to the links section in the right column. Marty and Brenda produce many of the props that they sell on their site and chances are good that you have seen them in the dealer room of a conference or workshop that you have been to in the past. Marty and Brenda are both talented entertainers in addition to being expert craftsmen. Try them for their silks or other products.
Let me know if you plan on attending the conference and also send me a post conference comment if you care to take the time.

My own weekend plans will find me in Phoenix for a National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) National Constitution Committee meeting. Since the Diamondbacks will be in town against the Mets, I'll be forced to endure yet another MLB event this year. I'll be back sometime Saturday afternoon and be working midnight to 8 am at the tower.

Life is good, God is great!


Busy, Busy, Busy!

Alright, maybe unorganized would be a better description of my time than busy. Let me try to put things in a nutshell.

First of all, you may have noticed that I've added a blog to the Blogs I Frequent section of this page. "It's a Numeric Life" is a fun blog, full of some very interesting statistics. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

I added an AFL-CIO blog for a short time but removed it because I really don't frequent it. However, here is a good article dealing with some aspects of my work life. (4 years, 9months, 11 days!)

This weekend is the revival in Cainsville, MO. I am looking forward to renewing some old friendships and enjoying my time in Northern Missouri. Sunday evening is the kick-off event for the Deacon Family Ministry at Hopedale Baptist Church. I'll do everything I can to be back in time for the evening fellowship. Since I will be gone for most of the month, Rob Halley will be teaching our Sunday School class throughout the month of April, thanks Rob.

On Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th, Hopedale's choir will be presenting this year's Easter Musical. Yours truly is one of the narrators. That's just over a week to memorize the narration. Should've started earlier! Busy, busy, bu...I mean unorganized (again!). Saturday morning will find me in Mountain Home, Arkansas for an Easter egg hunt/magic program. Another church that I have the pleasure of returning to. It is always good to be asked to come back to a place.

Speaking of being asked back, I'll be returning to Baptist Hill Children's Camp again this year. This year, the Association has asked me to serve as Camp Pastor. What an honor! I've been to camp on two or three previous occasions for a one night magic program. This year, I'm looking forward to spending the entire (almost) week with them. I'll still need to work a couple of days/nights at the tower, but thanks to my Christian brothers at work that have traded shifts or covered my days, I'll be able to satisfy both obligations.

In my next post, I'll tell you about a magic conference in Branson and about another book recommendation. (I'm not finished reading it yet!) For now, the horses need tending to and my pillow is calling my name (I have another mid-watch tonight).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Baseball in the Midwest

The summer baseball trip with my son Aaron is shaping up nicely. I now have tickets for six of the seven games in our week long adventure. The trip begins in Kansas City on June 14th with the Royals playing the Cardinals. Friday we drive to Chicago and Wrigley Field for the Cubs and Padres. Saturday is Cleveland's Jacob's Field for the Indians and Braves--a battle of the tribes. Sunday is Cincinnati against the Rangers, Monday we're back to Chicago for the White Sox vs. the Marlins, Tuesday up to Milwaulkee for the Brewers vs. the Giants (we have right field bleacher seats for this one!). We end in St. Louis for another Cardinals vs. Royals game. All-in-all, six different cities (Chicago twice), seven different ballparks in seven days. I still have to get tickets for the St. Louis version of the Cards/Royals match up.

I look forward to spending time with Aaron, seeing which Midwest park has the best hotdog, and adding three ballparks to the list of major league parks where I've watched a ballgame. I'm planning on a post or two during the week just to let you know what a great time we're having.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

When Volunteering Becomes Mandatory

Well the FAA strikes again. More lies to the press. The problem is that when the press reports what they are told by the FAA, everybody assumes that it is the truth.

Our adminstrator has said that new hires to the air traffic controller workforce will be making $90,000 in five years. I think that I'd be better off to quit and hire in at the new pay scale (about half of my current pay). That way in five years I'd be making more than I'm making now after fifteen years. Since they have frozen my current pay, I'd come out ahead, right? Yeah, right!

The latest lie? If you have been following any of the news related to the shortage of controllers, you already know that many of the busiest facilities in the country are scheduling controllers to work six days per week. Yesterday we found out that we've been volunteering to work this overtime! FAA spokesperson Diane Spitaliere told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer in yesterday's (March 14) editions:"We do have overtime at some facilities, but it is strictly voluntary," she said.

With our own shortages at Springfield (SGF), I've been volunteered to work an overtime shift on Saturday. Unfortunately, that means that I won't be at Silver Dollar City this weekend. My apologies to my friend Chris Newsom at the magic shop. Stop in and see them anyways!

Only 1,759 days to retirement eligibility!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trouble with a Capital "T"

Somewhere in the past I remember getting the advice that you never throw away the box that your day planner came in. Keep it in a safe place, you may need it someday. If you're like me, right now you're asking yourself, "Why would I need the box to my day planner?"

That's where you keep the razor blades so that if you lose the day planner, you can just slit your wrists and get it over with!

As you may have guessed, I am in a search for either the day planner or the box. (I'm hoping to find the day planner first!) For those of you that may be hoping it's the box that I find--this planner didn't come in a box--and even if it did, I'm sure that I would've thrown it away.

The search goes on,

Monday, March 12, 2007

What's Happening?

Looking at the date of my last post it's hard to believe that it's been almost two weeks. My apologies if there is anybody that actually checks for new posts on a regular basis.

I had a great weekend. I had the opportunity to preach the evening message at Hopedale. I have started preparing for the revivals that are coming up next month and was about half finished with the first of several messages that I am preparing. It was fun to finish it in an afternoon and be able to deliver it in my home church. I truly felt the Spirit's guidance in the process. It is a very unusual circumstance that I would have a message prepared this far in advance (it's never happened before). The total time in preparation of this sermon was about half of what it usually takes me to study research and write a message. It was also an unusual circumstance that Pastor Terry would surrender the pulpit on a Sunday evening that he was not going to be absent. Even if he were to have somebody else preach, it would normally be Dr. Burris.

I know that there may have been some people that felt that the message was directed at them. It was really never meant to be directed at anybody in particular. In fact, it wasn't prepared with the intent to preach it at Hopedale. Rather, it was intended to illustrate some of the things that can keep a church from growing. My hope is that it was received that way and that we all recognize the call to be obedient.


Well I have done something that I didn't think that I'd be doing again. This weekend I'll be working at Branson's Silver Dollar City at Mortimer's Magic Emporium. It looks like I'll be there for the first couple of weekends. After that my weekend are pretty full. Stop by and say hello if you can.

Shop owner, Chris Newsom, is a good friend and it is a pleasure to help him out. If you are an aspiring magician and living in the Branson area, you might want to check into working for him. I've spent quite a few days playing at SDC and getting paid to do it! It really is about the most fun you can have and call it work.

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

When I'm at My Best/When I'm at My Worst

You need to check out a post I just read from one of the Blogs I Frequent. It's from "A Waste of Good Cyberspace" and is titled Finding My Voice.

I hope that my blogging friend won't mind that I use his post post for my own analogy. You see, I can't help but see myself in that post. I not referring to music at all. But none the less, I'm at my worst when I'm being myself and at my best when I'm trying to imitate Jesus.

The Vanishing Blogger writes that he learned to sing from listening to the radio and records (guess that kind of dates him!) and then trying to sound like the artists he was hearing. And that makes sense to me. Why wouldn't you want to sound like the artist that has an album and is on the radio? They're the ones that are famous. Some times I get a little bugged by performers that take somebody's hit song and try to personalize it by changing little things or adding their own note changes, key changes and the like. Don't they know that the song made it big because people liked it the way the original artist recorded it?

For the same reasons, I think that we should try to imitate Jesus in how we live out our lives. He lived life perfectly. We don't need to add anything or leave anything out. I know that you might be thinking that we can leave out the crucifixion part--but we really can't. That was the part that demonstrated perfect submission. His life (and death) demonstrates perfectly how we are to live. When I try do live like John, I am definitely at my worst. Maybe that's because I never learned how the live like John. It's just the way I am.

If you want to learn how to sing like a professional, take lessons, practice, and let somebody that knows how to sing like a professional teach you. Or you can let somebody else do all of the learning and practicing and then you can just imitate them. You may never be an original but people will still enjoy listening to you sing.

You may never get to be just like Jesus, either. But if you will imitate Him, I think that people would still like hanging out with you. And if you ever get to where you're able to do some of those miracles...
You'd definitely be somebody I'd like to hang out with.