Thursday, July 29, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts And More

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It's been hot, humid and mostly cloudy here recently, but no rain. It's going to be a tough August.

Wednesday evening we enjoyed a special event. My wife and I drove over to Lampe, MO. for a concert at the Black Oak Amphitheater.  Lampe, MO is about fifteen miles west of Branson and about a one and one half hour drive from our house. It was the site of many rock concerts in the eighties and early nineties.  It's been closed for the past ten years.  Under new ownership, the venue has reopened and has a full slate of concerts scheduled through September.
The entertainers included Rhonda Vincent, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Martin.  There really is nothing more appropriate for an outdoor amphitheater in the Ozark Mountains than "Bluegrass"!
Rhonda Vincent and her band Rage, opened the show.  They were very good.  Next up was Earl Scruggs with Family and Friends.  The family included his sons Gary and Randy.  If you don't know who Earl Scruggs is, there isn't much point in reading further.  Just let it be said that he is an eighty-six year old legend in Bluegrass.  If you ever get a chance to see this group, don't pass it up.  But keep in mind, he won't be around forever.  It was a wonderful one hour set of amazing banjo, guitars and bluegrass hits that spanned six decades.  The final act was Steve Martin (yes, the comedian) and the Steep Canyon Rangers.  Martin is a Grammy award winning songwriter, banjo player, and entertainer.  The Steep Canyon Rangers are a great  bluegrass band in their own right, but they are currently touring with Martin.  The show featured a mixture of comedy and award winning bluegrass.  The show lasted about three hours.  We got home a little after midnight.
In late August B.B. King will be at the Amp.  Unfortunately, we will not be in the area.  B.B. is another legend that will not be doing his thing forever.  See him while you can.  For more information you can visit the Black Oak web site.  For you old rockers, Leon Russell will be appearing in September.

Okay, it Friday and time for the inspirational song of the week.  In keeping with the bluegrass theme, I am going to share something from Rhonda Vincent.  During the show on Wednesday night, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers sang a very humorous song "Ahiests Got No Song".  They pulled out a single sheet of paper and declared that it was the complete Athiest hymnal.  While it was extremely funny, it was painfully true.  During times of trial and troubles, Christians can turn to prayer, their savior, the Bible, to one another, and to the hyms of the faith.  For those of us who love music, hymns often speak to us in ways no other means of communication can.  If we will only listen to what God is trying to tell us, we can be partakers of the abundant life.  God wants us to share the good news of salvation.  He wants us to rise up and become fishers of men.  So, without further delay, here is Rhonda Vincent.  Enjoy and have a blessed week-end.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

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Fishin' with Papa
Last Thursday,  after work, we took two of the grand daughters fishing.  It was about 6:30 when we got on the lake and it was still 90 degrees.  We pulled up on this one spot that I thought might be holding some small bass.  However, the second cast produced one of these really nice bream!  For the next thirty minutes the girls caught and released about a dozen of the feisty little fish.  There was a lot of giggling going on in the boat.  A little later we moved to another spot, set the anchor and let them swim for a little while.  There was more giggling.  Then I fired up the engine, and ran down the lake at about 60mph.  There was screaming and giggling.  It was a great evening.  I don't think I'll have a problem getting a fishing buddy now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts

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This is downtown Houston as viewed from the Convention Center.  I was there on business at the end of June and took this opportunity to capture the skyline.  It serves to remind me why I prefer to life in a small town.  I love the architecture of big cities, there's just too many people for my comfort zone.

Often the trials of life take us out of our comfort zone.  We have a couple of friends that are experiencing difficult days ahead because of loved ones that are battling disease.  In the end, the disease will take someone's life, but it doesn't have to win the battle.  For the Christian, the battle is already won, and there is victory over the grave.  While we are here, we are promised that God will take us through the fire.  He will never leave us, and one day we will step into eternity and into the waiting arms of our savior.  So, for the inspirational song this week, I present the Crabb family and "Through The Fire".  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

One of my favorite buildings in Tulsa is the old Warehouse Market.  It has some truly wonderful Art Deco tile work.  Here is the original entry to the public market portion of the building.  If you look at those medallions on either side of the door you will see splashes of ruby red.  Below is a close up of the detail.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts And More...

The sky isn't always filled with interesting clouds or incredible colors for a Skywatch Friday. Sometimes, love is in the air.

On the 4th of July the entire family went to our local city park for the fireworks display.  We arrived several hours early because there were other activities scheduled for the entire afternoon.  All of a sudden we look up to see this plane overhead with a banner trailing behind.  "What did it say?", you ask.  Here you go.

Proof positive that there are still a few romantics left on the planet.  I just hope he didn't spend all of his money on this and has nothing left over to buy the rings!  Then again, I hope she said yes.

This week my inspirational video comes from one of my all time favorite Christian groups....NewSong.  I've been listening to these guys for thirty years!  NewSong started as a contemporary Christian quartet.  Over the years they have added and subtracted instruments and vocalists. Two of the original founding members are still in the band. They are still making music that glorifies God and honors our Savior.  This song speaks to everyone of us.  We all need to be rescued at some point in our lives.  Spiritually we need a savior and Christ alone is worthy of rescuing us from the judgment that we truly deserve.  So, I give you NewSong and "Rescue".  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Power and Grace

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

The fourth of July provided several opportunities for Ruby Tuesday submissions.  We loaded up the grand crew and headed to the local city park, where there were a lot of fun things going on.  A local band provided some good music. And...

There were balloon hats and Sponge Bob ice cream treats.  The youngest grand daughter sampled the Sponge Bob treat.  I declined.

The middle grand daughter found a frozen strawberry lemonade treat.  It was very good.  I had the regular frozen lemonade treat.  The day was perfect.  After a week of hot and humid weather, the fourth of July turned out perfect.  The evening temperatures were in the lower seventies and there was a breeze to enjoy.  You just couldn't ask for a better night to enjoy...

The rockets red glare and...

Bombs bursting in the air.
It was a great Independence Day celebration.  Have a wonderful Ruby Tuesday everyone.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts and more

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 It seems that I've taken a lot of photos with overcast skies or storm clouds in them recently.  That is not intentional, nor is it reflective of my mood.  We've just had quite a bit of rain the past couple of weeks, and the photo opportunities are limited to this subject.
I have to admit, I really needed the three day week-end.  After traveling and working a trade show booth the week before, the three days of rest were most welcome.  Saturday morning, 5:00 a.m., I loaded up the boat and went bass fishing for a few hours.  I got home around 11:00 a.m. and the rains started around 1:00 p.m.  Sunday, we headed over to the grand crew's house around 4:00 p.m. for BBQ ribs and all of the 4th of July fixin's.  After dinner, we loaded up the cars and went to the local park for the annual fireworks display.  It was AWESOME this year.
The fireworks are a wonderful way to celebrate this nation's independence.  They are much like this country in some ways.  They are colorful, and this nation was founded by some very colorful people.  They are exciting.  The birth, growth, and power attained by our country in it's relatively short history is certainly exciting to those interested in U.S. history.  But, just like fireworks, if we, as a nation, fail to remember what made us great, and cling to those values that brought us to this point in history, we can vanish from prominence as quickly as we rose to this place.  With great power, comes great responsibility.
I am going to do something different for the inspirational music this week.  I am going to combine it with my first participation in "Five On Friday".  "Five On Friday" was conceived and sponsored by Travis, over at Trav's Thoughts.  Stop by his blog for the rules.  I did change one thing.  I made my own badge, just because I can.  If you want to use it, feel free to copy and post it on your Five On Friday.  At any rate, as most you you know I like gospel music.  But I also like contemporary Christian music as well.  One of the most popular artists these days is Chris Tomlin.  I have featured him before in my YouTube videos, so I thought I'd make him my first featured artist in my Five On Friday play list.  Enjoy.

Get Your Own Free Playlist.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Queen of Cakes

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I know, I know...this isn't quite as Ruby as most of my Ruby Tuesday posts, but use your imagination.

Duff Goldman may be the "Ace of Cakes", but "M" is our Next Food Network Star.  The ten year old, middle grand daughter is a foodie!  She watches the Food Network constantly.  She loves the "Food Network Challenge" shows, especially when they involve cakes.  Last week "M" wanted to make a cake for her mother's birthday.  Nana was more than a willing teacher.  "M" came out to the house one evening and they searched the internet for a cake design suitable for the occasion.  "M", with Nana's guidance, proceeded to design the decoration for the cake.  Nana baked the cake.  Then, "M", again with coaching from Nana, cut out all of the decorations and placed them on the cake to match her design.  Our daughter was overwhelmed by the results.

"M" already has two more orders for birthday cakes.  Her younger sister and little brother, both want her to make their birthday cakes later this year.  Come to think of it, I may have her make my birthday cake as well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Skywatch Friday Thoughts

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I took these photos on a perfect day in May.  There was a golf tournament sponsored by the City Chamber of Commerce.  Our office sponsored one on the holes.  Since I don't play golf, I manned the sponsor's table.  It gave me an opportunity to capture a few nice sky photos.  I finally got around to sharing them this week.
I spent Saturday through Wednesday in Houston TX, at the Texas Restaurant Association trade show.  We set up our booth on Saturday, the show ran Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, then we came home on Wednesday.  There were three l-o-n-g days on the convention center floor.  But, at a restaurant trade show, there are a lot of good food samples available.  You really don't have to go out to eat in the evening.  I think we will have a few good leads for project work come out of this effort.  It was HOT and HUMID in Houston.  Just walking a couple of blocks between the hotel and convention center would be enough to break out into a full sweat.  It was absolutely brutal Sunday and Monday.

I spent a couple of evenings watching the College World series.  Last week South Carolina eliminated my Oklahoma Sooners.  Then, they promptly eliminated their arch rival Clemson Tigers and marched into the final series to face UCLA for all of the marbles, in a best of three series.  The first game was ALL South Carolina.  UCLA didn't really mount any kind of a threat until the ninth inning.  By then, it was too little, to late as South Carolina prevailed by a score of 7-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Tuesday night the Bruins from UCLA scored the first run of the game in the top of the 5th inning.  South Carolina threatened to score in the bottom of the 5th, 6th, and 7th.  But it wasn't until the bottom of the 8th that the Gamecocks were able to tie the game at 1-1.  UCLA loaded the bases in the top of the 9th, but failed to score while South Carolina went three up and three down in the bottom of the inning to send the game into extra frames.  Are we having fun yet?  In the bottom of  the 11th South Carolina finally pushes across the winning run and takes home their first national championship trophy in a major sport in the history of the school.  Congratulations Gamecocks.

For the inspirational song this week I have chosen one of my all time favorite hymns.  I love the old hymns.  I like a lot of the new Christian music as well, but the hymns are my favorites.  Most of the new music is praise and worship.  There is nothing wrong with praise and worship.  Our Lord is worthy of all praise, but the old hymns remind us of His glory, His power, His love for us.  Many of the old hymns are based on scripture and serve to help us memorize His word and hide it in our hearts.  When life is hard and things are not going well, Christians lean on God's Word.  The hymns point us to our savior and His love.  The greatest power is in the blood of Christ.  It has the power to cleanse us from our sins.  It has the power to wash us as white as snow.  It has the power to transform us into new creatures.  We must never lose sight of the fact that there is Power In The Blood.  Lari White performs one of my favorite arrangements of this great gospel song.  Enjoy.