Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Christmas - Some Recipes the Woody's Enjoy.

Hello everyone!  Sarah and I are just wrapping up our holiday gift making, and wanted to share knowledge of some of our favorite dishes as a gift to our Facebook and Internet Friends.  If anyone ends us trying any of these, let us know how it turned out for you!

Attached word document has the url's and our notes.  Included are 4 easy Weekday Dinners, and 4 Fancier Preparations that we enjoy using when we have guests.

Happy Holidays!!!


Monday, May 16, 2016


Are you feeling unengaged with your position in the Righteous Army? Do you seem but a faceless follower in the Phalanx of the Faithful, mere cannon fodder in the fight against Liberals, Humanists, and Secularists? That ain't my gig either, Brother.

I am a Specialist. A highly motivated and highly trained Covert Operations Warrior for Christ. I infiltrate The Enemy's place of work. I infiltrate His social media. Indeed, I infiltrate even the lives over which He holds dominion, often by being that person's One And Only Christian Friend.
I convert no one at the point of a sword. If merciful God, through his Holy Spirit, should bring my Unbelieving Friend to knowledge of our Shared Brokenness, his own conscience will hold that sword... and I'll be right there, ready with a message of Peace, Love, and Forgiveness from Our Father.

It is possible this job is not for everyone. The work is hard and owing to our embedded nature, the Regulars may even question our loyalty at times. But the benefits package is legit. Good food, great friends, and the kind of Engagements guaranteed to provide you War Stories for the grand kids, should you be fortunate enough to make it to old age.

If you would like to know more about the work we do, or if you posses a unique skillset you think could assist us in the accomplishment of our mission, contact me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Christians Only Pray For More Money So They Can Have The Nicest Car In The Church Parking Lot...

For non-churchy folks, the idea of tithing can be a bit mysterious.  When non-Belivers encounter 'tithing' and 'giving' in American Pop Culture, it is likely in from of Prosperity Gospel Preachers like Joel Osteen or Creflo Dollar.  I, like many other Evangelicals, reject the teachings of the Prosperity Gospel, which can be briefly summarized as: "IF you are a Good Christian, AND you give me your money, THEN God will give you Even More Money! (The built-in correlative is that if you aren't rich, then it follows you aren't a "good Christian" - only poor people are sinners).  I'd like to take a moment to provide an example of how tithing and giving works in my family, which I believe is built upon a Godly model.

Today my employer announced all employees would be receiving 3 months of "Healthcare Premium Holidays".  The premium holidays are months where we don't have to pay our insurance premiums for that month, because the past year's expenditures for our Employee Healthcare Plan were much lower than expected, and the surplus is then returned to us in the form of the premium holiday.  Basically, we get extra money in our paychecks for 3 months.

Believers are commanded to "give of our means".  For my family, we have determined we can afford to give 10% off the top of all wages we receive.  This is our tithe, which we monthly give to our local church to support the various ministries of Southview Baptist, provide salary to church staff, provide for the maintenance needs of our church building, ect.  The Bible also encourages Believers to "give gifts", and these are interpreted as being above and beyond the "required" tithe.  There is no requirement that the "gifts" be given to the church, the giver can give them to whomever they wish.  This 3 month healthcare premium holiday equates to almost $1000 in extra money, which our family didn't expect, which due to God's blessings we don't have an emergent need for, because we attempt to steward our normal monthly budget prudently.  These funds are prime material for gift giving.

At least 10% of that $1000 worth of Free Money, perhaps more if God wills, will be given away to someone else.  It is truly an awesome feeling to know that I will be the instrument that God uses to help someone who is in duress.  I have no idea who God will put in my path in the next few months who will have a need that my family, in obedience, can fill.  But I am certain that He will.   This is How We Love Others.  This is a way anyone's family can emulate Jesus.  Join us!

EDIT: 8/16/15 - God did indeed put a person in need before us.  Sarah and I are very thankful that we could use some of the 'extra' God gave us, something we didn't 'need', to bless someone else that very much did need it.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Yesterday I was admonished to "stay the course of my upbringing" in regards to a particular religious matter.  After prayerfully sleeping on the indictment, I was moved to offer this description of what it was exactly that I was taught in my youth, how my life today is different, and why I maintain an Evangelical World-view while rejecting Religious Fundamentalism as my guiding principal of who God is.

 I was born and raised in The Church of Christ.  They are evangelical fundamentalists and are not charismatic.  They strongly believe in the restoration of The First Century Church and base their beliefs upon their literal interpretation of the King James Bible (they contend all other versions are "watered down" and therefore not authoritative).  Adherents are taught to dig deeply into Scripture for Truth.  My mother taught me how to study with a Greek-interlinear bible, so I could examine New Testament truths in the original tongue.  My copy of Strong's Concordance of The Bible gets heavy use in my biblical research, even to this day.  In The Church of Christ, I was taught to ever be a Student, to reject the teachings of men, and to hold fast to The Word of God.

They also teach, and I believed, that only people from The Church of Christ will get into Heaven.  No Pentecostals, no Baptists, no Catholics.  Just folks from The Church of Christ and the actual first century christians.  They come upon this honestly, by their application of  Rev 22:18,19.  They don't believe Peter, Paul, or John rocked a guitar or organ in their first century worship service, so if you do rock a guitar or organ in your worship service, you are adding to The Book, and that's a damnable offense.  There are a few other things that disqualify other denominations from Heaven, to include not observing the Lord's Supper every Sunday, allowing women to hold positions of authority, and not having the correct "Last Days" beliefs, among others.  I was taught that The Church of Christ is right and everyone else is wrong.

That is how I was raised.

Then the Navy took me far far away from small town Oklahoma.  Out of rural poverty, out of a Conservative State, out of the Bible Belt, out of America.  I saw what Christianity looked like and how God works and moves in places like Africa, Spain, Germany, and Italy.  God used the Navy to teach me more about human nature, and in his infinite mercy, he revealed to me through the Holy Spirit a more perfect understanding of what Love really is.

Today I weekly welcome atheists, homosexuals, alcoholics, people with drug problems, people with pornography problems, people with anger and jealousy problems, people that follow the way of Islam, followers of Judaism, Pagans and others, into my home to dine with me at my table, although usually we just refer to each other as "Friends."  Before we eat, as a rule, I offer thanksgiving to God Our Father for our food and for our lives.  I have never once had a friend object or take issue with this practice.  After dinner we fellowship and talk about our experiences in life, often my wife and I share what God has done for us, His providence and protection.  It is here that God uses me as a tool for the furtherance of His Good Works.  It is here that I share in the struggles and celebrate in the victories of other Humans, who though they are different than me, were also created in the image of the Father.  It is here I attempt, with God providing the power, to evidence to Others what a self-sacrificing, other-focused, God-centered life, is.  A Christ-follower's life should be attractive to others: humble, confident, forgiving, loving.  This is how God uses me to send Jesus's call to the Unbeliever.

I am but a mere mortal.  And though God chose to make me an intellectual, my intelligence cannot come close to understanding the full breadth and depth of The Creator and His Mysteries.  As such, I have no place to judge the "correctness" of the Fundamentalist's understanding of God.  I do know that Good Fruit comes from Good Trees and that there is no Ugliness in Perfection.  Though I don't see eye to eye with the Fundamentalist, and though aspects of my Christ-Following-Life may come up short by his standard and understanding, I still believe we are on the same team.  Eph 4:1-7

My name is Woody, and I am a Christ-follower.  I am not a Baptist, a Catholic, or a Pentecostal.  I am not a Church-of-Christ'er.  Rather, I have been called out of The World to be A Peculiar Person and to follow the path God has laid before me.  I am about My Father's business.  Join me.