Friday, January 27, 2006

Dilemma adjustment

So I took my trip to Nashville yesterday to meet with Healing Hands International. We discussed the idea of doing the show and considering their donation base, they were a bit hesitant to try various avenues of content distribution considering GBN being out of the deal. Understanding that a large portion of their donation base is make up of “little old ladies” the wouldn’t be too keen on pink haired ladies and gilded, golden thrones. So the idea of a “show” is on hold but…

They have been considering developing a series of videos to use for outreach and fundraising. Now that they are in a position to take on such an endeavor, I show up.

The result of this meeting is that I'm tentatively scheduled to shoot and document an agricultural symposium (all still tentative because they've not gotten the budget yet) running from July 30 to Aug 6 in Zimbabwe. Yeah that's in Africa.

Healing Hands International, as you may know, has been around for some time and has done some really amazing stuff. They recently bought almost an entire village worth of fishing boats and nets for a country devastated and all but completely wiped away by the tsunami. They were in Sri Lanka less than a week after it happened. Same thing with New Orleans, partnering with c.o.C Disaster Relief located one block away from the HHI facility. While the Red Cross was turning aid away they got in the back door and began delivering goods.

The Africa trip is based on a drip irrigation system they've helped develop that so far has turned one drought ridden growing season into three. So much so that in one area the locals had such a surplus that is was able to fund the only local hospital and build a 600 bed orphanage which currently holds and cares for over 300 HIV positive children.

Four successful countries are going to show (total DIY stuff) 12 other African countries how to develop their own systems so the communities can try and become self sufficient and actually, maybe, make some money. My job will be to document this "class" and the process and then create a five minute video HHI can then use to publicize their work.

I was offered a trip to Cuba in March but I've just started applying for my Passport so it might no be ready in time and because they are a non-profit their budget for this trip is already set it would cost me $2K to tag along. The Africa trip will be completely covered on their tab.

There is a lot that I don’t know beyond their very intense interest in “documenting” this stuff for their marketing needs but as I know more you’ll know more.

The picture is of a Victoria Falls a place that if all goes well I’ll get to visit. It’s ranked one of the top ten waterfalls in the world so that should be pretty neat.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...

Ok, long story short;
I am to make a presentation this friday night from 8pm to 8:45pm at church during our "Fortifying the Family" weekend.

My topic: Protecting our children from internet threats (porn, chat predators, etc).

2 problems with this:

1) Ive never spoken in front of a crowd like this before. Well, I did one time and vowed never to do it again.

2) Everyone at church now thinks of me as "the computer guy" and just last night I had 3 people come talk to me about some computer problem they had.

I don't want to be "that guy!" Heck, I don't want to be that guy ANYWHERE anymore actually!

Here is the other bad part.

Since I've never really done this before, alot of people (mostly ladies, age 45 to 80) are coming for one of two reasons:

1) They think I am going to teach them how to "use their computer" (Which I had to assure a lady for about 5 minutes that that was not what I was going to talk about. I had to end the conversation with "You don't have any young children, you don't need to come!")

2) They want to hear me speak.

Im serious, a 50-ish year old lady approached me, then 2 minutes later a 78 year old lady approached me to say how she is so looking forward to hearing me speak! I am thinking "You are looking forward to hearing me tell you how you can protect your 10 year old from porn and chat room threats? Lady, your gradchildren are probably in college!"

Old church ladies are funny. I guess they look at presentations and speeches as entertainment. I could probably do a 30 minute lesson on sweeping out the garage floor and these ladies would show up to be entertained...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Dilemma pt. 2

So I’m going to Nashville to talk with HHI.

A sister network of TBN has told me if the production value is good (obviously) they are almost guaranteeing me a spot on their network.

I’ve pulled several other networks into the fold and am checking with them to see if they have exclusionary clauses in their contracts and to see if they would consider airing the show as well.

Right now GBN is a moot point. They are going to hold out on any project no matter what just because of HHI. For as much as it pains me to do so, because I think they are right on so many issues, I have to move past them. (yes there is a struggle there too…)

Lets pretend that HHI gives me the money I need to make a show. I’ve gone wherever and shot what I needed and I’m sitting at my computer cutting together content when I realize my next problem, music.

Watch a good TV show or movie and listen to each time they have music under a dramatic or comic moment, that’s what I need. The term for this is “bed music.”

Music that is a cappella that will be useable in this production is going to be near impossible to find. The closest I’ve come is some cool Bobby McFerrin and Ladysmith Black Mambazo but the rights to use that music will blow me out of the water financially.

Now I could, and will, contact various universities and such (including Keith Lancaster’s Acapella group) and see what they have and ask if they could let me use their performances but I don’t need large choral arrangements of It Is Well With My Soul. I need something that comes close to sustained yet textured “aaahhhh’s” and humming. There will be times were I will need well performed songs but choruses of white students isn’t what I need.

I can buy instrumental bed music packages that will give me every imaginable style and range of musical “emotion” that I’ll need, including indigenous tunes. If I go a cappella the shows will have to have original music created or I’ll have to buy licensed music from a major music publisher and each of those two paths will cost a lot of money.

So my dilemma is this. This project is a work for God. It’s my little step into trying to spread the word of God. If it turns into a full time job of service, so be it. In doing so, is there ground to use instrumental music in the show or should I stick to a cappella music and increase the cost and stress of producing the show? The show is a work of praise to God and the people doing his work, specifically in the c.o.C. The show it’s self is not worshiping but is my work a form of worship and should it be under the same guidelines of what I consider "acceptable for worship."

We show Veggie Tales in Children’s church and no one fusses over that. We also show or support various other “instructional” and “learning” videos that have instrumental music and no one says anything and these things would not be designed to be shown during service.

Braly and Sipper sing praise songs with instruments, so is making a TV show with accompanying instruments wrong too?

Throw it down ya’ll.

Sergeant Jamison reporting for duty...

I've become some-what addicted to a computer game I got for Christmas from my brother.

Though, it isn't like other computer games in that once you "beat it" you forget it.

I am playing Battlefield 2... a sequeal (of sorts) to Battlefield 1942. It is, in its most basic terms, a war game. Set in present day. Teams compose of Americans, Middle Eastern folks, and China. The difference in this game and other computer games is that this game was entirely designed to be played online, against real people. It has a "single player mode" but the enemy is stupid and the maps are limited. They say the SP mode is just to "practice" in.

In some shape or form, this game makes its way into my dreams almost every night (of course I play it everyday) and there is just something cool about playing against (or teaming up with) REAL people around the world. I'll never think that a computer enemy is 'smart' again. Of course the smack talk to real people is fun too. Add in a microphone and headphones when joining a squad and youll feel like you are really in a battle (and a big time geek, but a geek having alot of fun).

This game allows one to do almost anything youve ever wanted to do in a game. If you see a jeep, jump in it and drive it. See a helicopter, take off in it, jet, tank, humvee, anti-aircraft gun, etc... if it shoots or moves, pick it up! Even better, if you chose to be an ant-tank specialists, and you see where a medic died below your feet, pick up his gear and use it instead.... However, if you want to be a sniper, find a nice hiding spot and pick them off.

But the real clencher... Ranks.

Your online stats are recorded on EAs servers. The more and better you play, the higher you are ranked. Im not JUST talking about your ranks as in "number one" (I am ranked at somewhere in the 385,000th place in the world, not too bad) but you get real marine rankings. You start off as a private of course. I am now a sergeant because my teamwork score and my combat score have reached a certain level. Even cooler is that during battle, if you perform certain tasks or are an outstanding soldier, you get ribbons, medals, etc... all of which stay on your record.

Care to see my up-to-date stats?

3 sad things about this:

1) I leave work every day at around 2 or 3pm. Go to a friends office and he and I get on the same team on some gaming server and 'rock the house' as they said in the 80s.

2) We, meaning he and I, two adults, have real discussions about which weapons we will unlock when we reach a certain score. We research these weapons and talk with others who may have an opinion on them.

3) there are 16, 17, and 18 year olds who dedicate their lives to a sport and become world-famous in the olympics. I am almost 30 and about 56 people know me as the guy who hosted wrestling matches in his dorm room.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Rejected Part II...Revision

Sorry to do this, but after I posted this to the Writer's Digest forums a published author I talk to on there regularly sent me this, extremely encouraging reply!

Congratulations, Sipper!

That's not a rejection letter at all! When an editor tells you what she thinks is wrong with a manuscript and asks that you consider resubmitting it to her after working on it, that's called a revision letter. Revision letters are generally the best news that an unagented first-time writer can expect. In my experience, very few reputable editors will send an out-and-out acceptance letter back in answer to a query from an unagented author.

The editor knows that some revision is needed (revision is just about *always* needed!), and the editor isn't going to offer a contract to an unagented writer until learning how well that author can work at the revision stage.

Should you choose to revise under this editor's guidance, you have an invitation back. So you haven't been rejected. Does this mean that an unagented author should count on being accepted by this publishing house? No, but that author is no longer a face in the crowd. The most important link has been made: a teaming up with an experienced editor who sees potential in the work and wants to work on the story. If you wrote back indicating that you were ready to form such a relationship (which you aren't at this point due to your multiple submissions), this editor would probably go ahead and tell you the rest of the things she sees that need work.

Don't ever feel bad about learning that--revision letters just get you to the next stage. My own latest revision letter was six pages long and required me to adjust two-thirds of my manuscript (everything had to change a LITTLE bit). Acceptance usually comes, not from one editor, but from that editor and the house's publisher, or from an acquisitions committee. So, even if this editor works with you to polish the manuscript through several revisions, the book still might not make it through. But the editor's advice can be worth the pain--that manuscript often comes out of the process in much better shape and ready for quick acceptance somewhere else.

Even published authors receive revision letters that say "Not right yet, but keep working on it and show it to us again." And while a seasoned author's agent probably will sell the manuscript right off in a bidding war or receive an offer from a publishing house right away, that sale generally still comes with the understanding that this manuscript will have to make it successfully through its revisions.

My Holt contracts state that if I fail to supply a manuscript that is satisfactory to the publishing house by their due date, I will have to repay my signing money. I haven't seen the terms of my latest contract yet to check whether or not that one says the same, but I'm guessing that it does. So rejoice! You have as much of a home as any first-draft author generally ever does. Now it's up to you to plan your next move: whether or not to reject HER. And that's a very nice feeling!


This was written by Clare Dunkel, a three-time published writer. I'm more than elated! Cloud 9, anyone?

Rejected, but...

I received the following rejection letter from an ePublisher to which I recently submitted my manuscript for Runaway Swimmer. It's very nice and gives great advice for improvements. Fortunately, I still have an agent looking at the manuscript and this looks promising, too.

She had a couple of grammatical flubs, but I'm disregarding them because she was so nice!

Dear Joshua,

Thank you for your submission. I am sorry to say that we will have to decline at this time. The premise of your story is intriguing and your descriptions are beautiful. There are a few challenges in it:

1. point of view moves disjointedly between John, Charles and author’s voice,
2. meandering story line — by this I mean the first four or five pages don’t seem to have a coherent line of thought. It seems to me that you have a lot you want to say and you feel you have to put it all in at once. You have done your research; now you want to show it without being so overt.
3. telling instead of showing in a number of sections

That being said, all of these can be fixed, if you so desire. I would suggest that you try to focus on one view point, perhaps John’s. You did this beautifully in the four sentences. The sentences was so vivid I could practically feel the sweat, I see the land, and I experience the love these two men have for the land. It’s when you move into the next sentence that the story starts to meander and the mood is lost. Try seeing this through John’s eyes, feeling what he is feeling. I believe you can. This snippets of brilliance show that you can. It just needs some polishing.Have you considered presenting it to a critique group? If you haven’t, you should consider it. is good as are a number of other places.Should you decide to revise and rewrite, please inquire here again. I would like to see how this potentially gripping story evolves.

Good luck!
Name Deleted

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Color Blind

Mine and Jamison's lovely wives went to a ladies' prayer meeting last night.

They had some food and talked and such, then all sat around together and talked about their issues, sharing what their needs were and such.

During the discussion, they began to talk about what their kids watch on TV and how so much is garbage.

Being of good social conscience, one of the ladies mentioned such shows as Will and Grace which promotes a homosexual lifestyle. There were mentions of Brokeback Mountain and the like.

But, then came a real zinger. One of the ladies mentioned that her daugher was watching a cartoon, the name of which was not mentioned. Suddenly, she asked her daughter to turn off the TV and not watch that show. She then asked her daughter, "Do you know why I asked you to turn it off?"

Her daughter responded, "Yeah, cuz that black boy liked that white girl."

The lady then said that was right!

This blows my mind.

Can Christians really be Christians if they think inter-racial dating/marriage is a sin?

Rachel said the room got very quiet after this comment, so obviously, there was disagreement.

I find this attitude between blacks and whites disheartening.


Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily

So, since my "Jesus?" blog was pushed down immediately and kicked to the curb, I figured I'd try something else.

Mullins' post about writing got me thinking about my own writing bug. The bug taunts me daily. So, I obey its commands and write. I write for myself, I write with other writers, and I write because I must.

One of the things I talk about most with other writers is the fact that statistically, none of us stand much of a chance becoming full-time, self-supporting writers. Yet, we still do it. We still try and keep going because we love it.

There's something consuming about it. What, pray tell, consumes you? Is there anything that you can't stand not to do?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The dilemma

Being on a roll of “crossing lines” I guess I’ll throw another thought to you wizened owls out there.

Some of you know that I’ve been trying to put together a c.o.C based show based on documenting the work of missionary groups across the globe.

So I talk to a c.o.C based TV network in Chattanooga and they would air a program based on this idea which is wonderful but they have a few stipulations. The Gospel Broadcast Network is run by a few elders from the Highland c.o.C in Dalton, GA. Their whole thing is to create a TV network, run by elders as sanctioned by the Bible, to provide the Word for other c.o.Cer’s.

When I’ve suggested my show idea I mentioned a group called Healing Hands International, because they were interested in working on this project. (As a footnote one week worth of shooting would cost them $26,000. This would in turn produce a number of shows to be broadcast on at least GBN.)

It turns out they, GBN, don’t want anything associated with HHI because they are not an “elder based” group, being run by a board and thusly “not a work of the church.” I’m a bit shocked by this really.

So HHI calls me and they want a meeting because 26K is a lot of money to give to a person for a non-profit.

Here come the twisty parts. I’ve contacted a dozen or so “other faith” networks that would be interested in getting some content like this, most recently the Trinity Broadcasting Network. I can’t think of a network that I think could be more damaging to Christians than TBN but they do pull big numbers and one of the thrusts of the show I’ve developed is that it’s used as a platform so the featured mission groups can find an audience to garner financial support, which is the key element of any mission. I dare you guys to ask Chuck how much money AP needs to do what they want and how beneficial it would be to place their name in front of a global, well funded audience.

HHI gets donations from major corporations and others not associated within the “Church” so this is not an issue as much for them, but GBN is a key point to operating within the faith.

So should I move forward on meeting with HHI and try and get placement on TBN and a handful of other networks or should I scrap the whole thing because GBN doesn’t want to be associated with the one group that is willing to front the money to get the whole thing moving for me?

PS I realized this morning that GBN is producing a show written by Chuck’s Apologetics Press, which is NOT elder based!!! To me this is going against their own standard… I feel that I have to call them on this but would I chop off the hand that feeds me because I’m calling them out on hypocritical rhetoric?

Ok folks, so here is a thought...

So I write a little smutty story about a sexed up football game. No big deal. The wife, maybe joking, I’m not sure, says that I should do this and make us some money as a semi-erotic writer, maybe full blown (pun) erotic writer.

First I write a few stories that are simple enough to act as a how to seduce and perform certain “acts” to help enhance the overall activity, just for the wife. Somewhere along the line some Christian couple we’re talking to says their sex life is boring and a collection of stories are offered to them. It spices their evenings up a bit, no harm no foul. Somewhere this would cross a line but where? I mean anything that’s given to them is not to illicit an outward response from them but is something they can do for them selves.

No one is supplying pictures or anything, disrespectful and distasteful.

I mean many Christians; couples in general, fall into a routine of sexual patterns. Could a well written book used to encourage couples to explore each other in respectful and highly pleasurable ways not work? I think most married people on earth would have experienced sexual desire in some capacity and might like to know more.

I’m not talking about cheesy gimmick books but something more visceral and sensual that would take people through the process of re-seducing their spouse but for Christian couples. Jules and I have given a book, as a wedding present that we’ve enjoyed reading but there are some chapters that are not covered in our experience, predominantly those on gay relationships. There are other things that are covered that are, shall we say, “useful” utilizing a multitude of body parts, oils, techniques, etc.

I can’t see this as porn because it would be used to enhance the marital exchange by enticing the couple to develop and experience corporal emotions between each other.

Who here doesn’t like good sex and wouldn’t like to get better at it?

Monday, January 16, 2006


Some of you may have seen this passage before. I always think it's interesting to think about whether this is Jesus or not. Old Testament Jesus was pretty tough!

Joshua 5:13-15

It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"

He said, "No; but I have come now as commander of Yahweh's army." Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?"

The prince of Yahweh's army said to Joshua, "Take your shoes off of your feet; for the place on which you stand is holy." Joshua did so.

Do y'all know of any other OT passages that mention Jesus so prominently? Is this Jesus? What do y'all think?

Friday, January 13, 2006

MARCH 17-19

The planned get together is the weekend of March 17-19. This date was developed to coincide with the spring break of those folks who are still in school.

I know that Jules and I have made our plans and I think I remember the Brew’s saying something along those lines as well. The Chucks might be gone south by that time so I can only speak for myself and say that I would love to see everyone else if it is at all possible.

Brew had mentioned that he and Amy might come down a day or so earlier and crash at the Braly pad. Jules and I would like to come down earlier as well to frolic with our distant family.

Stubbs, what say ye? Chucks?

I think it would only be right if the Fred’s joined in as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Stubbs Family Portrait

I thought since everyone's posting family pics, I would jump on the band wagon. This was taken by Jeanette a few days after Christmas. I'm holding Pumpkin, the three footed one, and Charlie's got Orko. Also, his hair is messed up because he had just gotten out of bed.

A Brief History of Satan

I'm sure we all know that Satan exists and still tempts us. But, I don't think we talk about him enough, especially in the church.

I have studied about him before and have a pretty good idea of how he came to be Beelzebub, the prince of evil, Satan, what have you.

Here's a little narrative, using some scripture to show where Satan began and where he is now. It's all KJV. What thinkest thou?

Is 14:12-20
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Gen 3:1-5
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Gen 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

2 Kings 1:3
But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?

Luke 10:17-19
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 14:1-13
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Mark 15:29-33
And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Matt 28:7-9
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Rev 20:10
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

family update

I wanted to throw out a few pics of the family just sort of because I'm proud of them. Lilsip is showing of family pics and at least it's not about a cat... Indulge me

Happy Halloween guys! We survive with the equivalent of a roll of film sitting in a camera for months at a time. But really who can fault these two American icons.

Yes, we're looking at you!

Come on it's only hair and he looked so cute with the faux hawk!

Two hardened criminal master minds, the "I want that" brothers should be approached with caution and empty pockets!

I've spent the last thirty minutes looking for the posts where we talked about instrumental music in and out of the church. A friend of mine here who goes to a "Christian Church" had a conversation where she was asked the difference between their church and a church of Christ. Someone she knew went to a "church of Christ" that played instruments. She and I talked about it and I did a so so job of explaining the how's and why's.

That night I broke out my Bibles and wrote up a two page explanation only using scripture as to why we don't include the banjo during service and praise only using our voices. I included the "law of exclusion" and idea of respecting the "silence of the scripture" to back things up.

The next day I saw her sitting at her computer checking my work. I told her I used the NASB from the exact website she was looking on so she could check me verbatim. I realized as she threw a few questions at me she was playing my part in a blog discussion we had! Anyway I thought it might be useful for her to hear me playing that part since she's never been able to completely stump me on any of our religious differences. It would level the playing field a bit and maybe help her to see that liberal doesn't always mean correct.

I Dreamed Last Night...

That I was in high school, but still the same age I am now. The dream started with me leaving my locker and headed to the first class. It was close to starting time and everyone was in a rush because if you weren’t sitting in your seat when the bell rang you were tardy.

The building I was actually in was my old Middle school building. As I’m walking I pass the library and there is a sign in front that reads:

Today’s Musical Country:

And I wonder when they are going to pick a country that I like.

I rush to my classroom, grab a seat and just as I sit the bell rings.

There is a teacher’s aide at the front of the class doing roll call. The class is filled with students, some are people I went to high school with and they have aged appropriately. Some look like they should be in high school now and are strangers.

The roll call is odd because several students are missing and they come with explanations. Like I remember specifically one male was gone because he finished up last semester and quit to go elsewhere. This “student” was actually a guy who used to work for me but recently quit to go back to school full time.

During class I take off my shirt so that I am bare backed. This isn’t abnormal to the class but I start to feel awkward so I put it back on.

At some point somebody laughs at my math skill and I explain I haven’t had math class in 12 years.

Suddenly the dream shifts. I am no longer I class, but in my car driving in my apartment complex, except the complex is now enormous.

Oh and I’m completely naked.

I stop at my mailbox and check my mail, and find nothing. I’m aware that I’m naked so I’m looking around to ensure nobody is around to see me. I decide to make a dash to my apartment, but I can’t seem to remember where it is.

I started walking quickly up and down the complex looking for my apartment. Finally I decided I have walked to far and start to back track. Sure enough, I find it. However, my next door neighbor is out in the lot, blocking my way home.

I now have a short, white t-shirt on that I pull down to cover my boys. I decide it will be best to go back to my car and drive to my apartment. That way I might be able to make a short dash to my door before the neighbor sees me. That, or I can sit in my car until she goes back inside.

As I get into my car I realize there is a bag full of old clothes that I can put on.

My alarm then went off and I got up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Our Little Bean

We went for our 1st prenatal visit today! Here's my photoshop-enhanced rendition of the ultrasound... More details at Rachel's blog!

Blast from the past...

Found some very old pictures that I had swore were gone forever... some need no explanation...

Me and brew got a camera and went around campus at night doing things we were not supposed to do. Here is brew climbing down the rotunda balcony at around 8 or 9pm

And me doing something frowned upon there at FU

A dear, and greatly missed friend to us all... Wendy Jones, may she rest in peace.

There is certainly something to be said about the photos of this girl next to objects much greater than she is... who knows...

Wierdest Day of My Life

I've never had to call Mall security until yesterday.

A manager in our other BBW store was "let go" on Friday. I'm not really sure of the details of why, but let's just say she didn't take it well. She threw her keys at the co manager and proceeded to say things about the store manager that I wouldn’t wish on anybody. She also said a lot of words I've only heard used on Sex and the City.

Of course, guess who gets to go clean up the mess. Before Charlie and I left for our Wilmington trip on Friday, I got a call from my store manager asking if I'd help out. I said yes, because I was already scheduled to go down there and help in a few weeks when the store manager has her baby. I left early yesterday so I had a chance to go by my mall and get the keys to the other store and ask my boss questions about the store. She left me with a warning " ***** has not been taking her termination well. She has been very verbally abusive, she's come by the store a few times, and she has said some pretty terrifying things. If she comes in the store to cause trouble, ask her to leave. If she doesn't leave, call Mall Security and have her removed from the store."

This is getting really long.

I was scheduled to work at 1-10 shift. When I got there, the co manager gave me the run down and I got acquainted with the layout of the store. Then she left to go on break. About 20 minutes later, ****** walks in the store.

I didn't want to ask her to leave right away, so I watched her for a minute. She was talking to the associate about the store manager, walking behind the counter, being loud. I wanted to call my boss to make sure it was ok to ask her to go, but she kept walking in the back room! Then she said she'd be back later, and she left.

I went to the back to call my boss to see what to do if she comes back. I was told to ask her to leave when she returned. As my co manager is asking me questions, my associate walks in the back door. "She's back and is demanding to know who you're talking to." I hang up the phone and walk out to talk to her.

"*****, I'm so sorry, but I've been instructed that if I see you in the store, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"By who?"

"By the people above me. I'm sorry, those are just my orders."

"Well, you can just tell them that [the store manager] is a F&%!ING LIAR and that I know what she did! (And here she gets in my face) I also know that they did this so you can get my job, so you just better watch you F&*#ing back!" and she walks out and sits on a bench right in front of the store.

First of all, the whole thing had nothing to do with me. Second of all, I can tell when somebody is saying things because they're mad, and when somebody is serious and wants to mess you up. She scared the crap out of me. I stood there a second and went to the back to call my boss. I explained the situation (shaking like a leaf!) and she said she would call the DM. He calls a minute later and says that I need to call Mall Security and have her removed.

Mind you this is not my store, so I don't even know where the number is. I found it, called and they responded. About 4 of them. The mall I was working at is like a ghost town, so I'm sure they all sit around waiting for calls like this. I explained the situation and they said they can't take her out of the mall, but they can make sure she doesn't come back in the store. So they stood outside the door in front of her for about an hour.

In the middle of all this, the co manager comes back from break and sees security guards everywhere. I explain the whole thing and the next hour she gets calls from ***** and her husband, yelling at her. Our DM calls and instructs the co manager to tell her she's not welcome in any of the BBW stores in the area.

So, I'm not going to lie, I was pretty jittery yesterday. It took a few hours to get my heart rate back to normal. I was afraid to go on break, let alone leave in a dark parking lot! We had a security guard walk us out. But then in my car I kept looking in my rear view mirror to make sure no one was about to shoot me.

I don't have to work in their store until Saturday, so hopefully the whole thing will have blown over.

The end. :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Forsaking the Assembly

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." (Heb. 10:23-25)

Yesterday, my place of employment decided to have a management leadership conference from 9 in the AM until 4 in the PM. Being mandatory I attended thus missing morning worship. Being the second Sunday of the month the congregation to which I am a member had a pot-luck dinner after morning worship followed by a 1 PM service. They did not have an evening worship.

Thus I was unable to attend either service at the congregation to which I am a member.

This brought to mind a question. Was I obligated to attend services elsewhere that evening in order to take of communion and not forsake the assembly?

Another example: New Years Eve my home congregation cancelled evening services so that we could spend time with our families. Amy and I did so by traveling to Palmyra to be with her family. The congregation in Palmyra did have evening services. We Amy and I obligated to attend that service even though the elders to whom we are accountable to had essentially given us the night off?

What if we had stayed in Bloomington? There are other congregations in the city that held New Years Eve services. Would we be forsaking the assembly had we not attended one of their services?

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Best Blog Posts Of 2005

Despite the hype, I could not garner much interest in voting for these posts. I thought it would be fun, but it appears very few bloggers had any interest.

It took me about 5 to 10 minutes to scan all our blogs (Since I remembered what most were about) to come up with nominees. Since no one else did, choices were slim. Thanks to all 1 of you (Sip) who offered nominees ahead of time.

So, to ease my suffering from a poor idea here are the winners. Please use the comments area for your acceptance speech. There is no real time limit on your speech, but when you hear the music, please step off to stage left:

The Blog which brought in the most topical comments for a long period of time is:

"Unforgiveable, That's What You Are..."By Jamison

The Best blog with the best picture(s) that were topical to the subject goes to:

"Rude Awakening" By Brew

Though it only had one picture, catching a building on fire, at night, on film happens about once in a lifetime by an individual. Good job Brewbaker!

The Most Well Written Blog of 2005 was:

"You're Fired" By Brew
(Tough choice between the two nominees)

The next award goes to the blog in which we, as readers,
learned something new about the writer:

"Dirty Little Secrets" By Sip

(and, if I am allowed to say, the coolest looking award of the lot)

The Funniest Blog Award Goes To:
"Fun In The Hotel Room" By Jamison (No link for obvious reasons)

And The Best All Around Blog Award Goes To:
"Accountability To God And Child" By Mullins

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Indian Rock

I updated my website a while back with some information and pics of what we Sippers refer to as "The Indian Rock." Just thought you guys might find it interesting.

Runaway Swimmer was conceptualized by the author in 1996. The novel is based on a family legend concerning George Washington Skipper. He was a half-white/half-Indian boy of three years old when he disappeared. His family thought that he may have been taken by a local Cherokee tribe that had recently vacated the area surrounding their homestead at the outset of the Trail of Tears. He was never seen or heard from again, and as far as his family knew, he was dead.
The novel is built around this story and a great deal of historical research. The facts of the novel revolve primarily around the names of the characters and some of the events in which they were involved. The American Civil War and the Trail of Tears are two major backdrops for the story, and provide the impetus for several of the life changes the characters experience. However, the actions the characters take and the discoveries they make about themselves are the true vehicles that shape the story.
One of the major locations mentioned in the story is the Foundation Stone. The Foundation Stone is known to our family as the Indian Rock. It stands only a few miles from where my family has lived for over seven generations. The first picture shows the Frog Stone. It is a smaller rock that resembles a frog.

The second picture is of the Eagle Stone. Again, aptly named.

The final photograph is of the Indian Rock (Foundation Stone). This rock resembles a large face with an eye and gaping mouth, similar to a large panther.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And the nominees are

Not getting alot of votes for best blogs, but I got a few.

So rather than wait on you lazy people, I am compiling to make a nominees list. Winners will be announced next week.

The Most Talked About Blog Nominees are:

"A Toast Then" By Mullins
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"By Di
"Unforgivable, That's What You Are..." By Jamison
"Why..." By Mullins

The Best Blog With Pictures Nominees are:

"Rude Awakening" By Brew
"Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" By Jamison
"Picking and Grinnin'" was nominated, but tossed by the judges due to poor blogging and it having its pictures in a different post.

The Well Written Blog Nominees are:

"You're Fired" By Brew
"Accountability To God And Child" By Mullins
"X-Mas" By Chuck was nominated, but his material was copied from WikiPedia, so it was tossed.

The Blog You Learned Something About The Writer Nominees are:

"Dirty Little Secrets" By Sip
"Friday Shoes" By Brew

The Funniest Blog Nominees are:

"Fun In The Hotel Room" By Jamison (Judges removed link due to the pics)
"Adventures In Cooking" By Rachel
"Did The Ox And Lamb Really Keep Time?" By Di

The Best All Around Blog Nominees are:

"Accountability To God And Child" By Mullins
"Friday Shoes" By Brew
Judges are taking last minute additions to this category ONLY if you have them.

Find your faves and express to me which ones you think should win. Using the blog comments is fine.


Sunday, January 01, 2006


Charlie and I had a great New Years Eve. Our church had a singing night/ pot luck/ white elephant gift exchange. The food was great and there was lots of junk to be enjoyed at the gift exchange. Charlie got stuck with a copy of Little Women.

At one point in the night, our song leader Jimmy was taking requests and writing them on a small pad of paper. It began to get a little chaotic with everyone shouting the numbers to their favorite songs. 338, 72, 850, 659, etc. Charlie then shouts out "991!" He laughs at himself and looks at me and says "There is no 991." Classic Stubbs, right?

About 20 minutes later, our song leader is going down his list of songs and says "ok, now how about 991!" Charlie looks confused a second and says to himself "but there is no 991." Then his eyes get really wide and he realizes that Jimmy actually wrote down the song he shouted. By then, all of the church members realize that Charlie has punked them.

Celebrate new years! Burn your xmas tree!

Our nextdoor neighbors burn their Christmas tree every new years eve.

It isnt all that thrilling, but it is traditional, and I love fire.

So I figured we'd invite the Sippers over for the annual burning of the Christmas tree.

I love it because I really dont care for Christmas trees and I love fires....