Friday, September 30, 2005

The Anti-Meme Blogger Relents

I'm known far and wide (or at least wide) as the Anti-Meme Blogger, refusing to participate in these little games of tag. But when Tracey from Worship Naked smiles and says, "Please," it's hard for me to resist. So here I go. And I'll even throw in a bonus entry.

Twenty Years Ago: 1985. Livin' large and livin' lonely. It was my first apartment with no roommates. In hindsight I probably should have found a roommate, but I was flying solo. I was working as the evening DJ at the local top 40 radio station in Battle Creek/Kalamazoo, Michigan. This meant I spent six hours every night playing music for teenagers doing their homework. I also spent a lot of time talking to them on the telephone. Radio groupies. They can only get you into trouble. Fortunately I didn't take the (jail) bait.

The sad part was that working from 4pm until midnight, I had precious little time to meet other people. So I spent a lot of time by myself. I got rather used to it though.

One solution would have been church, but I got burned out on church shopping. That's tough enough to do, let alone when you are by yourself. I remember one big, old church where I walked in, sat and worshipped for an hour and walked out without one person even speaking to me. I probably have to share the blame though since I don't think I tried to speak to anyone else either.

Ten Years Ago: My how things had changed. I had been married for four years and had two little boys at home and had lost another boy shortly after birth. My radio career was over. I was busy with my t-shirt and sweatshirt business, operating in six malls that year. But the pressing detail of my life was my call to ministry. After years of running from it, God finally got me into a hammerlock and I gave in. My schedule allowed me to take classes full time for my Master's degree, and I was doing my best to soak myself in Scripture and in theology. It was an intense time, but it all went by so fast.

Five Years Ago: I was an established senior pastor at my current church. I had grown into being a minister in a small country church. Each year featured a challenge of it's own, but they usually boiled down to working to glorify God vs. working to glorify something or someone else. Seems like that hasn't changed much.

I was also working toward becoming part of the local community, but having a tough time fitting in. I knew the parents of my boy's friends and a few others from little league baseball. But the hardest part was finding the community. Our church is in the middle of nowhere -- eight miles from the nearest town. The congregation is involved in three different school systems and three different communities, so which community should I be a part of? I finally decided to bloom where I'm planted, but I still have a hard time straddling communities.

One Year Ago: Not a lot of different wrestling matches then from what I go through now. I still have the same struggles. A teenage boy, an almost-teenage boy and a precious little girl light up my life. A beautiful wife who loves me and whom I adore. Who can complain?

One Day Ago: I tried to mow the lawn, but I had mower problems. I spent the rest of the early afternoon doing bookwork for the shirt business. In the afternoon, my oldest son had a football game. He plays left offensive tackle. He had a good game. The team was down 14-12 with about a minute and a half left. They managed a touchdown with just over a minute remaining and also made the two point conversion to go ahead 20-14. The other team pulled a trick play and completed a touchdown pass with just 30 seconds left in the game. They took the lead 22-20 after converting the two-pointer. We were down to desperation passes. Three failed. The fourth was completed over the middle and the reciever dodged tacklers for 68 yards, crossing the goal line as time expired. We won 26-22. After that, I picked up my other son from his practice and we made it home for supper around 8:00. Grilled cheese and tomato soup on a rather chilly day. My wife and I watched some television for a change during the late evening. I climbed into bed around 12:30. My wife made it there somewhere about an hour later.

One Hour Ago: The kids and I arrived back home from the local high school football game. We won 56-0. My wife, meanwhile, was doing some shopping for my daughter's upcoming birthday party.

Five Favorite Snacks:
Pepsi. I always drink too much of the stuff.
Ice cream. Provided the temperature is above freezing. Below freezing, I'll substitute hot cooked pudding.
Little Debbie Dunkin' Stix. Junk food to the extreme, but only 50 cents a pack!
Peanut butter. Usually in a sandwich, but sometimes on saltines or just a spoonful out of the jar.
Mellocreme Pumpkins. The autumn candy of choice.

Five Songs I Know the Words to:
Oh, you've got to be kidding me! Just five? I worked in radio for ten years. I know the words to songs I cannot stand! How about that? Five songs I can't stand, but still know the words.

Rapture by Blondie. I heard it on the radio this afternoon. Still don't get the part about the man from Mars eating guitars.

Rock Me, Amadeus by Falco. OK, I'll admit I don't know the German words, but all the English ones I have down pat. This was one of those songs that eight year old children loved to call and request when I was a disc jockey twenty years ago. I tried everything to avoid playing it, but had to do it to keep my job. I would shout other lyrics to try to drown out the words -- all to no avail. But I did get people looking at me when I used to sing along, "Mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes. Please pass the mashed potatoes."

Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat by the DeFranco Family. I remember blowing this song up live on the air. It wasn't a real explosion. (Drat!) I just got hoarse from screaming at the record, so I plugged in the sound effect of an explosion and started it as I pulled the needle off the black vinyl grooves. It got my point across.

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks. Now come on. Who doesn't hate that song? But radio played the everlovin' snot out of it back when there weren't a lot of choices on the dial. So the words have stuck with me.

Convoy by C. W. McCall. Come to think of it, I really don't hate this song too much, but my wife does, so I always tend to play this song REALLY LOUD every once in a while just to assert my control. I said, let them truckers roll, 10-4.

What I would do with 5 Millon Dollars: Now this is a tough one. I'm not one for longing after expensive things. That's got to be some kind of spiritual gift, I know. First thing would be college funds for three kids followed by a retirement fund for my wife and I. I have no real desire to retire, but I wouldn't have to put any financial burden on the church as far as salary goes. Beyond those things (and of course a tithe), I'd probably get new vehicles since my truck will go over 200,000 miles next week. We'd probably make a few home improvements and get a computer for each one of us in the family so we wouldn't keep trying to push each other out of the desk chair. Then maybe I'd spend some escaping someplace for a while.

5 Places I would escape to for a while: Hey, now there's a coincidence! But seriously, I'm going to assume that these escapes would be for my wife and I, as I can't think of wanting to escape without her.

1. Cabin in the woods. We used to take a week and rent a cabin at an area state park each winter before the kids' school got to be such a pain to deal with. We'd arrive on Sunday evening and stay through Friday. In the dead of winter. No phones, no television or radio. Just a woodstove, a small kitchen and a wonderland of nature around us. At that time of year there would be absolutely no one else in the whole park, just my wife and I and a few herds of deer. Oh, and the raccoons my wife mistakely fed one night. The next night there were around 100 of the masked creatures trying to get in to raid the refrigerator!

2. Seashore. Not Florida. Someplace that isn't all "touristy" but is quiet and laid back with the sound of the waves beating against the shore to lull us to sleep at night.

3. The mountains of Colorado. Again we'd avoid all the trendy places, instead searching for something quiet and out of the way. When we were first married we lived at the foot of an almost 3000 foot mountain. Today we live on land so flat we can watch traffic on the road four miles away. The mountains would be a nice change of pace.

4. Backroads. Driving through the less traveled roads of America with no real agenda, just looking at what is around.

5. Following the IndyCars. We both love to watch IndyCar racing and would love to go from race to race to be a part of it. Races are always a thousand times more enjoyable in person than they are on television.

5 Things I would not wear: Aside from women's clothes? Hmmmm.
Sandals with socks.
Jordache jeans.
100% polyester.
Elevator shoes.
A toupee.

5 Favorite TV Programs:
CSI. I love a good mystery.
CSI Miami. I love a horrible actor in the middle of a good mystery.
Seinfeld reruns.
Andy Griffith reruns (but only the ones in black and white).
Any show that ranks things 1-100. Worst reality show moments, best country music duets, most memorable movie lines... I'm a sucker for a good list.

5 Greatest Joys:
Watching my children.
Snuggling with my wife.
Seeing a job accomplished.
Spending time writing.

5 Favorite Toys:
Sirius Satellite Radio. Hands down.
The computer.
A ball. Any ball.
CD player with shuffle mode.
Remote control.

5 People I will tag to play:
Oh, no you don't. I played along, but I'm not dragging anybody else into this. Tell you what, I tag the first five people who have read all the way to the end of this post. That'll teach ya'!


John said...

That is an intriguing meme.

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