Saturday, August 27, 2005

Denver 37 Indianapolis 24

OK, I know it's pre-season. No need to get out the panic-attack pills yet. However, what's up with the Colts? They're offense can't get anything going and there is more pretense than defense in the secondary. I'm starting to get a little nervous. I really thought this might be our year. I'm confident that New England won't be as dominating as last season's version. My hopes were up. This was the year!

It still might be. Yeah, I know, it's just pre-season. But, c'mon guys. Give me just a hint of something that looks like championship-caliber team. That's all I'm asking for.

Having a bad day at work? Read on...

Every time you think you're having a bad day at work read this article:

It could be a lot worse!

Thanks to Carrie for the link (ya' gotta give credit where credit is due)

Lori and Trey take a break from an intense VeggieTales trivia session to cheese for the camera. It's hard for Trey to shake off his competitive face. Trey welcomes all challengers to a VeggieTales trivia face off, as do his parents (we're tired of playing).

Creativity Unleashed

Trey has really been working on interpretive choreography. This particular moving picture is taken from his Jurassic Park presentation.

Kassady in motion

Train up a child in the way she should go...(notice Indiana University shirt)

Kassady has pretty much made the transition from walking to running pell-mell through the house.

At what point do we stop reporting news?

Do you ever read news articles and wonder why on earth they were written? Apparently, there isn't enough normal news (murders, kidnappings, wars) going on in Philadelphia. Can you imagine being the reporter assigned this story. Editor, trying hard to keep his face straight, "Umm, let's see, Randy, I want you to cover the breaking story 'Harriest Back at the Ballpark'. Yeah, some new developments over there. Go undercover if you need to."

You definitely know your worth to the station by the stories you're asked to cover. Check out this crazy story:


Do you scuba?

Y'all really need to come visit Waggoner estates. Located in scenic Nampa, the mansion is framed by trees, flowers, and a couple hundred spider webs. It also features, judging by this photograph, a swimming pool in Trey's room. Only my son would go deep-sea diving in the carpet.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The latest resume addition

Speaking of God using the unqualified (see previous post), Ray and I are going to be team-teaching high school for the next couple of weeks. The kids aren't going to know what hit them.

I find it rather appropriate that we have a poster of the nervous system in the background. By the time we're done the nervous systems of our students will be toast. Facial tics, insomnia, and abnormal eating habits will be the rule.

I don't know who needs more prayer, Ray and I or the students. I'll keep you posted on this breaking development. We start Monday.

Sorry, God, you're looking for the wrong guy...

You ever try to explain to God why He can't use you?

"God, I'm not that smart, I don't know my Bible as well as I should, and besides you know that I don't have the type of personality that can initiate conversations with complete strangers. I don't have a good voice. I could never sing in front of people. What? God, my schedule is so full. You know I don't have time to help out that blind lady at church. Why don't you look for somebody else? I'll take care of showing up for church and singing along with the hymns. I might even come to Sunday School this week. God, is it a deal?"

To hear some people's excuses, you would think that God is only looking for some extraordinary, intellectually advanced, ultra-talented individual to get the job done. I found an interesting story about Google ( that illustrates what people think God is looking for.

The success of Google Inc. is such that it is now part of the American cultural vocabulary and consciousness. The Google search engine has tamed the vast resources of the Internet allowing users to access pertinent information with lightning speed.

That success, and the company's generosity to its staff (read, stock options), draws hordes of eager prospective employees. Although Google has grown from 700 employees in 2002, to 2,700 in 2004, the company remains highly selective. One way Google weeds out the best from the rest is by publishing a 21-question aptitude test in a number of magazines. The questions alone are enough to confuse those who are not technologically and intellectually elite. For example:
"How many different ways can you color an icosahedron with one of three colors on each face?" and "On an infinite, two-dimensional rectangular lattice of 1-ohm resistors, what is the resistance between two nodes that are a knight's move away?"

The test also includes more subjective, tongue-in-cheek requests like "Write a haiku describing possible methods for predicting search traffic seasonality" and "What is the most beautiful math equation ever derived?"

Another method used by Google and other high-tech companies like Yahoo and Microsoft, is to hold competitions for computer programmers, hoping to identify the most talented computer engineers. The test consists of complex coding problems. Cash prizes are awarded to the top contestants, and new job offers quickly follow.

In the summer of 2004, Google tried a different approach, placing billboard ads that simply read:
"{first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e}.com."

Anyone able to solve that puzzle was taken to another website and confronted with another thorny math problem. Those smart enough to decipher that were taken to an internal Google page that praised "your big, magnificent brain" and invited you to apply for a job.

While I'm impressed with Google's recruiting approach, I'm glad that's not God's method. I know I'm going to drop a bombshell on you here, but God's acceptance is not predicated upon great intellect, savvy, or skill.

The only question that matters is: What have you done with Jesus? See if you can answer that question today.

source: Michael Liedtke, Google Working to Recruit Brainy Elite (10-26-04)

Trey enjoys showing off for his best friend, Emme. Kassady isn't too impressed, as you can tell.

Southern Gospel News Release

I received this yesterday, and just in case you're interested:

"Southern Gospel Now is preparing to launch their first listen-on-demand
Internet radio program on August 29th 2005. The featured artist is The
Talleys, the Rising Artist is the Crist Family, and the Striking the
Stone artist is Lauren Talley. They have received many of your questions
for the Talleys. If your question is used in the interview, you can win
your choice of 'Praise for the Ages' or 'I Live'. The first person to
submit the question wins the CD. In addition, they will answer as many
of the questions as we can that were not used in the interview on the

If you would like to continue to receive information about Southern
Gospel Now, subscribe to the Southern Gospel Now mailing list to find
out about upcoming artists, contests and other things of interest.

Please go to this page and subscribe:

Upcoming shows will include Kingdom Heirs, NQC highlights and interviews
and much more!"

Bringing great music your way

Being the great connoisseur of Southern Gospel music that I am, I will occasionally share my faves and raves with the adoring public.

A newer group that isn't getting much publicity yet (at least with the Singing News and the major labels) is a trio of young guys from Louisiana, Testify. They have a smooth blend reminiscent of the fantastic, but short-lived, group Mullins & Co. Ironically, Buddy Mullins produced their latest album.

Check out their website. Click on the song titles to hear the demos:

Let me know what you think.

Grace Bible Church Worship Orders for 8/28

Sunday AM:

Worship Sequence 1:
*O Worship the King
*Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

Worship Sequence 2:
*And Can It Be?

Prayer Chorus:
* I Want More of Jesus

Sunday PM:

Worship Sequence 1:
*Yes, Lord, Yes
*I’m Going to Live the Way He Wants Me to Live
*I Love to Tell the Story

Worship Sequence 2:
*Something Beautiful
*I Will Serve Thee

This is really hilarious!

Here's what you get when you search for "casino chips" at

(They'll probably change this soon. So if you don't get to see what the search results turned up, let me know. It's great!)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Starting School

There's something that's refreshing about going back to school. No, I'm not actually going back to high school or anything like that, but I have been vicariously living the experiences of my teens as they share their feelings. Most of the schools in the Nampa area either started school this week, or are getting ready to next week.

Every one of my students said that they were ready to hit the books again. I know that I was always ready for the first day of school after summer break. I guess it was the whole idea of a new beginning, a fresh slate, a blank sheet of paper with no red marks (OK, enough of the metaphors). It was a grand feeling to walk into school and know that the year could be conquered as long as I made the right choices, studied hard, and turned my homework in on time. Amazingly, I even anticipated seeing my teachers again. I could look them in the eye, knowing that I didn't have any overdue papers, no discipline issues, nothing to hinder our relationship as teacher-student. And you know, as long as I kept up with my schoolwork and stayed out of trouble I enjoyed school. However, if I slacked off in my studies, procrastinated, or broke the rules, school became anything but a place of enjoyment. Attitude issues would set in, I'd get stressed, and slowly but surely notice a drop in my grades. During those times (especially in 11th and 12th grade) I would say things like, "I hate school!" or "Man, the teachers have it out for me. I can't do anything right." In reality, my downfall was brought on by choices, bad decision that I had made. I had the fresh start initially, but put myself right in the middle of my current circumstance.

Fortunately, I recovered from my high school mistakes. I was given another opportunity in college, and made the most of it. I think part of it was just growing up.

You ever find life to be like high school? You ever wish you could start over, erase some of the bad choices you've made? Do you find yourself caught in an inescapable cycle of procrastination, financial failure, and even worse, spiritual hopelessness? Well, guess what? There's a new day of school. You can start over. There is hope!

It starts with realizing that you've blown it (Romans 4:23). Don't blame your problems on somebody else. Admit that it's your bad decisions that got you to where you are. Then, quit trying to work it all out on your own. Realize that only God can get you out of the mess. Then confess, repent, and believe (I John 1:9). You want to keep that blank piece of paper? Walk in the light (I John 1:7) and obey (I John 3:9-10).

Wow! I didn't intend to write all this. It just kind of happened. Hey, I hope it helps if you need it. Enjoy the school year!

In other words...

Marc, my sidekick in the Grace Teens ministry, is a pseudo-philosopher. He's got some great one-liners. Here are a couple of the gems from last evening as we shot the breeze at IHOP (one of the fabulous eating establishments in the village of Nampa

1."You know, there is one thing everyone has in common: we're unique."

2. "I've learned to never buy used toothpicks, even if they give you a good deal."

Yep, you've got it, Marc.

Check it out

I have two blogs featuring a couple of the Grace Teens that I want to promote. Visit to see what's going in the life of Tosh. Brooke keeps you up to date with her life at

They are both awesome girls and I'm privileged to have them in my youth group.

Girls of Grace (and Eli)

Catching the balloon is harder than it looks!

Water Balloon Volleyball

We played a fun game for our activity last night following the Grace Teens service. It's called Water Balloon Volleyball. Here are the rules:

In place of a volleyball net, park a van (or bus) in a field or any flat playing area. Form two teams—one on each side of the "net."
Give each team a twin-size sheet. Have teammates gather around their sheet and hold on with both hands. Place a water balloon on one team's sheet, and tell kids to sling the water balloon over the van. The other team must catch the water balloon in its sheet to get a point.
The team that catches the most water balloons wins. (Try to get two water balloons going at the same time. If you like, you can vary the sizes.) The blind spot created by the van keeps kids in the dark as to when, where, and how fast water balloons are coming in—good for listening skills, team building, and communication.

Our teens had a blast! It works best if you have teams of four and play a tournament.

For this game and other great ideas visit

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cute kids!

The Burger King

Ray and I overcame our sorrow at not being able to see Pres. Bush by gorging ourselves at Burger King. Ray tried to look important by talking on his cell phone while I snapped the picture (I don't think there's anyone on the other end; he just wants to look busy).

What's a Presidential visit without a protest?

It was interesting to go over to the protestors and see what they had to say. Trust me, it wasn't much, and a lot of it isn't fit to print. One guy said, "Hey, dude, you're not like turning those pictures into the Secret Service, are you?"

I witnessed a couple of protestors thrown out of the Idaho Center parking lot by Nampa's finest. The two were holding signs urging Bush to bring the troops home from Iraq. I loved the police officer's response to their refusal to comply. He said, "This is not a play on words: Just leave".

I wish somebody would get 6 off my side. I'm looking at surgery. A little inside joke for my ID compatriots.

The line to get in the Idaho Center stretched for longer than a 1/4 mile. Only about 9,000 were allowed in the Idaho Center (nearly 7,000 military personnel and families). There were a lot of people who got in line without a ticket. They were weeded out at the security checkpoint. They contributed to the extremely long lines.

The President arrives in Nampa!

What a great day! President Bush finally visits Nampa, ID. Being one of the thousands not fortunate enough to procure a ticket, I did get close enough to watch Marine 1 (the President's helicopter) land at the Idaho Center. I also saw the motorcade drive up to the entrance. Although I wasn't able to personally see America's Commander in Chief, it was exciting to witness his arrival and landing. Go W!

For a transcript of his speech as delivered, visit

Photo Credit: Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman


You know, there has to be a point where even the Guiness Book of World Records draws the line. Can we please stop inventing categories for world records? GBWR makes yet another stride into the realm of the irrelevant with the latest:

SARANAC, New York (AP) -- A bushy brow landed Frank Ames in the Guinness Book of World Records, but not before a new entry was created for him.
The 43-year-old upstate New York man now holds the world record for having the longest eyebrow hair, measured just over 3 inches.
"I don't know why it grows like that; it just always has," Ames told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. (Read the full story at

I'm so sure. Now, to be honest, I have family members who could possibly challenge Frank for this world record. If it wasn't for Lori's perceptive eye, even I could make a run at it. That's one place I can really grow the hair. Just another weird news story.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Nothing beats being a dad. Kassady, Trey, and I pose on the porch.

Trey is a picky eater. He definitely gets it honest. His favorite meal consists of macaroni and hot dogs. However, today at lunch, a suddenly health-conscious Trey asked, "Are hot dogs good for you?" I'm not sure he was happy with the answer. Maybe he'll try salad tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Kassady!

Happy Birthday, Kassady! You are our precious gift and we daily thank God for you. Your vivaciousness and energy never fail to bring a smile. Mommy and Daddy love you!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Kassady will be 1 on Tuesday. She is as active as they get. She has a very strong personality (wonder who she got that from?) and feels that she has free reign of the house, as you can see from her investigation of my suitcase. What a girl! I love her!

For the curious...

Singspiration Order

Worship Sequence:
Hallelujah! I Am Free
He Lives
Because He Lives
Hallelujah! Praise the Lamb

Diane Ritchey , LaRona Ezell, and Lori Waggoner: “One Day at a Time”
Chera Crane, violin: “The Love of God”

Worship Sequence:
I Want to Be Like Jesus (vv. 1,4)
Day By Day

Jennifer True: “It’s All Because of God’s Amazing Grace”
Lori Waggoner, flute: “Goodbye, World, Goodbye”

Worship Sequence:
Come and Dine
From Every Stormy Wind

Trey Waggoner: “I Am a Promise”
Keith Waggoner and Ray McCrary: “Down from His Glory”

Worship Sequence:
All the Way My Savior Leads Me
Amazing Grace
His Way With Thee

Bob Taylor and Marc Taylor: “Beulah Land”
Amanda Stanley: “America the Beautiful”
Diane Ritchey: “From Heaven’s Point of View”

Benediction: "Doxology"

This was a special evening for me, because this was the first time that Trey sang publicly. His version of "I Am a Promise" as performed last night was a little bit more subdued than normal. Actually, a lot more subdued: no dance moves (thank goodness)!

Also, Amanda's first solo was last night. I had promised her that she could sing "America the Beautiful" in a service near July 4th, forgetting that our church camp was over the 4th. So, she pulled out the patriotic number in the singspiration. I love it when kids sing solos. You never know what's going to happen! They both did a great job, though.


I don't know about the rest of you, but I grew up in a singing church. My father was the song leader at Frankfort (IN) Bible Holiness Church ( for several years and one event that happened every other month or so was a singspiration. Now, for those of you who don't know what a singspiration is, it's a combination of special music brought by various members of the congregation and the singing of requested hymns and Gospel songs. Man, I remember looking forward with great anticipation to the last Sunday of the month when we would get together for some inspiring music. We also thought it was cool that there was no preaching (no reflection on the ministry of Bro. Mowery).

Well, I guess most of the music was inspiring. I do recall the Waggoner family quartet which consisted of myself singing tenor, Bobby singing the melody in the boy soprano range, Mom doing alto, and Dad cranking out the bass. For some reason, I don't recall that particular lineup being any too inspiring. Dad did sound a little bit better than Reuben Bean and/or Bill Gaither, but not much. Bobby and I had to sing even when our voices were going through the change? Remember those times? It seemed like Dad always got blessed on the songs that our voices cracked on the most. We would look at at him imploringly, our eyes saying, "Please don't repeat! Please don't repeat!" Invariably, Dad would lead right back into the chorus, Bobby and I would gasp out a few feeble phrases, praying that the congregation wasn't noticing the obvious breaks in our voices. Great times, but for our particular group anything but inspiring as any of my friends from Frankfort can attest to.

However, the singspiration was a great time to hear from combinations of groups that you might not normally hear from in any other service. Some of my earliest recollections of singing publicly date back to those 4th Sunday music service.

Last night we had a singspiration at our church. I had taken requests for a month and built the service around what specials our congregation wanted to hear and the songs they wanted to sing. I asked each person who requested a song to tell me why that song was special to them. The response I received was amazing! We had so many requests that I couldn't fit them all in. God came and met with us as we heard and sang several songs that had impacted the lives of those in attendance.

When we are going through a dark time in our life, God speaks to us in many different ways. Sometimes it will be a verse of Scripture, and maybe at other times a phrase from a book we have read. However, for me, it is often the lyrics from a God-inspired song that minister peace, comfort, and hope during those trying times. Last night, I was blessed as once again God used music to inspire and encourage our congregation.

I recently took Trey camping for the first time. We had our annual Guys of Grace retreat wherein we trek out to a remote spot, set up tents, go swimming, ride our ATVs, and sit around the campfire eating hotdogs. It was a great event. Trey had a fantastic time! He had to take a 30 minute shower when we got home to remove the grime, ticks, and other particles that naturally cling to a 3 year old boy. He's already begging me to go again. Nothing beats being a dad!