From a first time blogger, thoughts about life from an American missionary now living in the US after years in Russia and doing a lot of back and forth. Family stuff, Christian content, sports innuendo and lots of quotes from good books.

Friday, October 29, 2004

This is my 3rd son, Aidan, who was born yesterday. He, like my 2 older sons before him have left me speechless. When I finally come out of it, I expect to be quite chatty. Until then, enjoy the silence... Posted by Hello

Timothy Aidan Browne

Timothy Aidan Browne (Aidan) was born at 12:20pm, Thursday, 10/28/04. A beautiful boy weighing in at 8lb6oz and 22 inches long ... lots of dark hair. Praise the Lord for His Grace in seeing Traci and Aidan through. Big brothers Benjamin and Nathanael are bursting with pride and dad is as reflective as ever. I suppose I'll be waxing eloquent over the next few blogs...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

It Just Seems Right...

that the Boston Red Sox win the World Series. I know, I know...St. Louis is a great baseball town, Mike Cope loves them, Busch Stadium is fantastic, the Cards are good guys, their stars of yester year are not cryogenically frozen like Ted Williams is, yady yady yady. Do you realize that roughly 1.2 billion people have been born and died since the Sox won it all in 1918? Does it not get your heart even a little bit that the hated, dreadful, epitome of evil New York Yankees have won 26 World Series titles since 1918? Is it not even on your radar screen that all 3 professional Boston sports franchises have won multiple championships since the Sox won just one?

I beg you, in the name of all that is right in this world, to pull for the Sox to win this. When they do, please do yourself a favor and read the Boston Globe the morning after to see what an entire city really (really) behind a team feels when they finally win it all. Remember, I live in Atlanta so I have NO idea what a passionate fan base seeing their team win a championship is all about. Then, to see what this means to a kid who grew up in Boston and lived through all of the pain of 1975 and 1986 and 2003, read The Sports Guy's article the morning after (well, maybe a few mornings after as I am pretty sure he'll be in no condition to write for a while after they win it).

In the grand scheme of things, face it - who cares! In the scheme of the World Series though, pull for the Sox. Please!

Friday, October 22, 2004

What It Is and What It Ain't

My blog. It's an odd thing, really. 3 months into it, it is just now finding its identity. Lots of folks find it strange that I, or anyone else, blog at all. I find it strange that the spell check for this service does not recognize "blog" as a word. That, honestly, is unsettling. My father in law says of himself, "I have nothing to say. Why should I blog?" He speaks for most of us probably. Finding out why we do this would make a readable PhD dissertation for someone probably. Before I say what my blog is, let me say what it ain't. It ain't...

Repeating what anyone else is saying
Searching for the wittiest way to say...nothing
Questioning the way we do church
Venting on a world gone bad
Writing something I dare not say to folks face to face
THAT aggravating to my wife (maybe it's that aggravating but definitely not THAT aggravating to her)
Trying to keep up with anyone else's blog
An outlet to express my political/sports/theological/ministerial views

What is it then? Well, it's just my thoughts on any particular day given any particular subject. It might be thoughts as light at Rick James' death (if you are a fan of the Super Freak and took his death seriously, consider this a heavy topic) or as heavy as watching my kids grow up and my dad old. Nothing more, nothing less really. If you don't read it, I don't blame you. If you do read it, on.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

37 Years Ago Today...

My mom and dad were married on October 14, 1967. 13 months later, I came on the scene. 3 years after that, my brother Philip showed up.

Tonight, Traci and I went to pick up my mom and the wonderful meal she had prepared at her place and took her and that meal to Hampton, GA, to see share an anniversary dinner my dad. My mom and dad have been separated on and off (mostly on) since February 15, 1999, when my dad moved out. It's been hard the last 5 years seeing them not being together. After 32 years of nothing but them being together, this change has been a hard one to adjust to.

Our meal was a demonstration of my mom's loving attention to detail. Chicken, spinach salad, steamed squash, asparagus, whole wheat rolls, strawberry cider (champagne for those that don't drink champagne) complete with flowers and candles. It was also a reminder of my dad's perceived distance from us all. My dad seemed to appreciate it but did not say much. He rarely does.

My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in August of 1997. His separation from my mom is because of care needs he has, his not being around family events the last 5 years are due to his illness, and his silence at the dinner table is because he largely stopped speaking in 2001. Even so, my dad's eye (he has only one, his left one, as cancer robbed him of his right eye in 1995) caught mine a few times tonight and I knew, we all knew, that he appreciated all of our taking the time and making the effort to be there. We held hands, prayed, fed him, laughed (including my dad and mostly at me), drank pretend champagne in plastic cups and remembered as many of the last 37 anniversaries as possible. It was a precious few hours for me and my bride to spend with my dad and his.

I miss my dad. I miss him not being able to play with my sons like he played with me. I miss not being able to bounce off of him the questions, fears, concerns I have as a husband, father, minister, and man. I miss more than I can even put into words but...I am thankful for what I do have with him. I can still hold his hand, feed him, take him for short walks, and be the focus of his vision when he chooses to look at me. For everything we don't have, we have that. And for that, I am very, very thankful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

He Reads!

Tonight, while my 5 year old was getting ready to be read to before bed, he decided that HE WOULD READ THE BOOKS TONIGHT. And...he did just that. Sam and the Firefly became the first book my son read. Wow! We were totally not ready for this. He was so jacked. Every word was like a discovery, every sentence part of a big, beautiful picture he was putting together in his mind. I thought to myself, "self, when did you stop reading scripture like that? When did the exciting discovery and big picture of scripture start to fade?" I'm not sure but I'm working on getting it back asap...

Monday, October 11, 2004

Knowing What You Got

How many conferences or retreats or lectureships or seminars or workshops have you been to through the years? Lots, I'm sure. Me too. While there, we always think and talk about how life changing a comment or teaching was that we heard and are sure it will rock our respective worlds for as long as we continue to grace the face of mother earth. Within weeks, days or even hours though, we often can't remember much more than who we were there with or what good meals we had during the lunch hours.

Wade Hodges, (name drop/photo drop alert!) a dear friend from grad school days, encouraged me before going to lectureships at Pepperdine in 1996 to be ready to tell him 3 and only 3 things that I got out of the time there once I returned. While there, I was working hard to decide which, of all the great things I heard that week, were worthy of my Big 3 that I was going to report back to Wade. Upon returning, I did what he asked and still carry those three points in my mind from that year.

Well, I spent 2 days last week at the Catalyst Conference here in Atlanta. Interestingly, Wade was there too. So was Pat...and David, Lisa and Kristen. Before it started, I reminded us all to remember Wade's wise words from many years before. We did and during the whole time, we were putting together our respective Top 3's. I'll post them later but I'll push the point now.

Go to church, small group, work, school, classes, meetings, etc, with the mindset that you are going to walk out of here today with 1, 2 or 3 truths that you WILL incorporate into your faith, your marriage, family, ministry or job. Let's be done with mountain top experiences that have little effect on us just a matter of days later. If the 8500 people at Catalyst are doing that today, tomorrow and onward, then the spheres that we live and work in will be forever changed.

Just a passing thought this Columbus Day which will have me at Game 5 of the NL Divisional Series tonight as the Braves will close out the Houston DisAstros (again) and move on to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. I'm jacked.

Have a great day...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Sometimes God is silent but he is never absent!

This is enough for me to chew on for weeks and weeks right now. Silence is his right but presence is his promise.

Monday, October 04, 2004

When name dropping just won't do

Yesterday, I visited the blog of a friend who was obviously fired up to have been where he was over the weekend. He met this person and that person and that guy he went to school with was there as well as that dude he was in ministry with way back when and after many years he finally got to see whats her name too! If name dropping were still in, then my friend was as cool as they came. See this link if you wanna see it for yourself.

That got me thinking. In today's techy go happy world (or at least in blogging and emailing), simple name dropping won't do. No, picture dropping now seems to be the chic way of saying what you gotta say. Let me show you what I mean. While flying to Nashville back when I was in college, I sat by this guy on a plane. He told me that no Southern Baptist had done more fundraising for church of Christ education than he did. He was right. May he rest in peace. Once, while waiting for a flight in Atlanta up to Boston, I got to talking to this world class athlete. As if that was not enough, I sat by him on the flight as well and he signed every autograph that people asked him too. Nice guy for a Sheik.

In the world of blog humor, this nerd carries the day. Witty, borderline blue and a Goodpasture grad who repented of his Tennessee ties and headed west, waste your time (repeat, DO waste your time) by stopping by his blog as you can.

Back to my droppings, being a former college basketball player, a lot of my old teammates are now coaching in some big time basketball programs. I spent parts of two days last week going to NC with him to recruit some up and coming NBA millionaires. While on the road, we called this guy who, like it or not, looks a whole lot like his daddy. While on the way to NC, we stopped and dinner with The Tree Man and then remineced about this fella, this dream boat and him too.

So, I hope you see the value of picture dropping instead of name dropping. A name is just a name but a picture is oh so much more...