Oh yeah…

and another thing.  I used to be a political junkie.  I thrived during an election cycle as they’re called.  However, I’ve progressed in a digressive way.  I don’t suscribe to the weekly news magazines anymore (you can read them for free on-line anyway).  I don’t watch the political gab shout down shows anymore.  Talk radio is out.  The debates no longer interest me.  I simply vote.

No one is to blame except for the politicians themselves, their minions and the news media.  It is a case of the boy who cried wolf.  My first vote was cast for Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told.  Then came 1988.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told again.  Then 1992.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told.  1996.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told.  2000.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told.  2004.  “The most important election of my lifetime,” I was told.  And guess what they are already saying about 2008?  “The most important election of my lifetime,” they are trying to shove down my throat.

Do they think I’m stupid or have no memory?  Here is what I have to say.  The most important election of my lifetime was the day I elected to become a Christian.  And that’s the truth.

Thursday

Gonna be another short one because the other post I’ve been writing is getting longer and longer and changed and changed.  Whew!  Thinking can be such a chore sometimes.

Friday will mark three complete weeks of the most physical job I’ve ever had.  And I’m still sore though it’s improving bit by bit.  If you don’t know I deliver medicine to pharmacies around Tulsa.  Lots of lifting, pushing, counting, driving and more lifting and pushing and loading and unloading.

What’s been amusing to me is that the sorest part of my body has been my right calf muscle.  My leg is sore from all the stop and go driving which is a sad indication of how out of shape I am.

Biggest adjustment so far.  I have to be up and in the shower by 4:30A.M.!!!  My friends, my normal bedtime has been between 3-4 A.M.  Being asleep BEFORE 11P.M. is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  Boo hoo.

 see ya tom.

Wednesday

One of my favorite features of “blog stats” is seeing the search engine terms people have used to purposefully, or accidently stumble across my blog.  Here are some from today as they appear.

1.  “Rex Boyles” “Church of Christ” – Poor searcher.  They went looking for a class act and ended up in the freak show.

2.  slavery at craig hicks – For the record.  I am one hundred and ten percent in support of Emancipation.  For all people.

3.  while choking shoulders hurt – Oh dear!  What can I say?  Three words.  Hiemlich (?) Manuever.  Chriropracty.  I pray you find someone who excels at both.

Hope your day was blessed.  Mine was hard.  Very hard.  But that’s okay.  I get another chance tomorrow.

love you guys,

craig

The Island of Misfit Toys.

Rudolph (the red nosed reindeer), Hermes (the elf who wanted to be a dentist), and Yukon Cornelius (the crazy man with a pick-axe) were nearly eaten by a gigantic, grouchy, shag-carpeted snowman whose teeth looked like vampire fangs from a leftover Halloween costume. In the instant before their grisly deaths, however,  Yukon used his ever present pick-axe to break off a small iceberg whereupon the vagabonds floated to safety.

Though Yukon saved the day their troubles were far from over. Before they knew it gloomy darkness fell around them as if someone had pulled a thick curtain across the sun.   While a pick-axe may be handy for chopping ice, it’s virtually useless for dispelling the dark.  And even though they counted a brightly shining nose among them the weary band of travelers still had difficulty knowing just where in the world they were.  Or where they were going.  Or where fate would ultimately choose to end their quest.  On that cold, bitter night it was probably for the best they didn’t know the place they sought isn’t found on any map.

Anyway, as luck would have it, they didn’t have to wonder or wander too terribly long because their tiny iceberg soon ran aground.

Rudolph and friends were on an island. Safe.  A welcomed relief after a scary night spent on open seas- unless you are not welcomed- as was the case for our hapless pilgrims. You see, they were soon confronted by an alert sentry who didn’t sound at all happy to have intruders intruding during his patrol.  He didn’t let the fact his head swung wildly from a neck made of springs- which themselves sprang from a box- deter him from demanding to know why Rudolph, Hermes and Yukon were trespassing on his island.

The wanderers were looking for a place to belong.  As is.

Clearly this explanation put the sentry at ease for he was about to introduce himself when Rudolph suddenly interrupted.  Surely and obviously, Rudolph opined, the sentry’s name just had to be Jack-in-the-Box. Nice try Rudolph.  Only that wasn’t the sentry’s name. Poor Rudolph! After all, the sentry did appear to be Jack-in-the-Box. But he wasn’t.  So while Rudolph pulled the hoof out of his mouth the sentry revealed his name to the stunned trio.

His name was Charlie-in-the Box.  Oh! how he wished his name was Jack-in-the-box.  Even though the wanderers tried to cheer him up the Jack-in-the box named Charlie burst into a fit of inconsolable grief.  He was completely ashamed of his name.   Although the particulars of their issues differed the reindeer with the red nose, the elf with dreams of being a dentist and a prospector with nothing to show after years of prospecting felt a growing sympathy for the blubbering misfit toy.  Which was a good thing because before long they were introduced to myriads of opportunities to practice kindness and acceptance. They soon met  a train with square wheels- a water gun that shot jelly-  a cowboy who rode an ostrich- a bird who couldn’t fly, but could swim-  an elephant with polka dots and- and many more.  All misfits.

Unwanted. Unloved. Undone.

The Island of Misfit Toys is where fate had delivered the trio. However, it wasn’t by chance the misfit toys lived there. They had been carried to the island by a noble king. He was a lordly lion who traveled over the entire earth looking for unwanted, unloved and undone toys. The woebegone toys of the world were his delight. And he delighted in rescuing them. He sought them before they knew he existed to be sought. He lived to redeem misfits.

The good king also had a plan for his despondent friends. He desired to place each one of them in the arms of loving children. Which is the very purpose of a toy. In the meantime the king wanted to give them a place of their own, the Island of Misfits. This was a place where they could be loved “as is.” There the toys were free to be what they were. And yet, because they were created to be something else, they still longed to be what they should have been from the beginning. On the Island of Misfits the toys found acceptance in the brokeness of their fellow toys. They found grace for their own condition by daily practicing compassion for the condition of their friends.

So how did they pass the time on the Island of Misfits? They dreamed. Of being whole. Of being normal. Of being loved. They even sang hymns about it. Mostly they talked about the king. They loved to remind one another what he had done for them. When they had the opportunity they told others about the king, such as Rudolph and his friends. They loved that lion for sure. He was the King of the Misfits. Their King.

I am a misfit. That’s okay. I have the best friend ever because I am a misfit. He searched over the entire earth looking for me. When I allowed myself to be found He rushed to my side on the wings of the wind.   Then He rescued me. I was unwanted – BUT He wanted me. I was unloved – BUT He loved me. I was undone – BUT He re-did me.

This King has promised misfits everywhere that He will deliver them into the arms of His Father one day. Which is the very place they were meant to be. For reasons known only to the Father that time is not now. Meanwhile, they didn’t want us to be alone. So our King brought us to His Island of Misfits. You can’t find it on a map. It’s not a specific place. But it is everywhere.

One of the happiest days of my life was to discover that I was not the only misfit. I am not the only one undone by misfitism. So are you. I am not the only one who yearns to be whole. So do you. I am not the only one in love with the King. So are you.

I find acceptance among my fellow misfits. When you grant me grace for my misfitism I can’t wait to return the favor. When you embrace me “as is” I feel comfortably uncomfortable. Comfortable that you love me – uncomfortable with my peculiar misfitism. And somehow it works.

So, how do we pass the time on our Island of Misfits? We dream together. Of being whole. Of being normal. Of being loved. We even sing hymns about it. Mostly we talk about the King. We love to remind one another about what He has done for us. When we have the opportunity we enjoy telling others about Him too. We love that Lion for sure. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The True King of Misfits. Our King.

Come unto me all you misfits who are weary and tired and I will give you rest.

A bruised misfit He will not break, a smoldering misfit He will not snuff.

I love you Jesus!

Tuesday

trrrying to blog.  verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry sleepy.  sleep – no blog – sleep – no, blog – sleep – blooooooooooooogzzzzzzzzzz

long day.  i’m beat.  see ya tomorrowzzzzzzz

craig

Some days you just can’t win.

In 1991-92 I worked as a missionary in Toluca, Mexico.  Real missionaries learn the native tongue and my bungling of the Spanish language was an indication I was no real missionary.  I just don’t have the knack for learning the barbaric tongues of the heathen.

Case in point.  My shower drain stopped up.  I went to our local tienda (store) for a bottle of drano.  I couldn’t find any though among the chaotic display of goods..  The store owner noticed me searching his store and asked me what I was looking for.  Drano.  I didn’t know the words for drain, pipe or stopped up.  I used what words I did know and after saying them, accompanied by overly dramactic gestures as in a game of charades, the owner nodded his head as if to say he understood what I was saying.  He then scurried off to get what I needed to unplug my drain.  When he came back he handed me a packet of grape kool-aid.  It was good but did nothing for my shower drain.

Case in point II.  I lived in Mexico pre-NAFTA.  Which is to say before it became junior USA.  Consequently we had to shop at an import store to buy products from home.  Of course the merchandise was very expensive and you could never rely upon the import store to have the same thing twice.  So I went native when it came to shopping.  My favorite store was akin to Wal-Mart.  It reminded me the most of home so I often went there.  By the way, after NAFTA, and after I returned to the states, that very store was converted into a Sam’s Club.

When I lived there the name of the store was Aurrera.  If you know anything about the Spanish language and the rolling r’s you can appreciate how hard that word was for this white boy to say.  It required a tongue with gymnastic abilities.  Unlike mine. 

Taxi fare was cheap at the time so that was how we moved about the city.  Jump in a cab and the driver asks, “A donde vas, joven?” (Where are you going young one?)  Well, whenever I said, “Quiero ir a Aurrera.” (I want to go to Aurrera) the drivers invariably could not understand my pronunciation of the word Aurrera.  It gets tiring, not to mention humiliating, real fast.

Fortunately Aurrera shared a parking lot with a well known and popular diner.  It was called Vips.  In Spanish it is pronounced as Veeps.  I learned pretty quickly that the best way for me to get to Aurrera was to tell my driver I wanted to go to Vips.  It worked every time.  Except for the time I actually wanted to go to Vips.

I was meeting some friends, otherwise known in secret missionary code as “contacts,”  at Vips.  Meetings with such contacts look real good in a letter or bulletin to supporters.  I was eager to get there.  I hopped in a cab and the driver asked, “A donde vas joven?”

me:  Yo quiero ir a Veeps, por favor.   (I want to go to Vips please.)

driver:  Donde?  (Where?)

me:  (Oh oh, to myself )  A Veeps!

driver:  Donde?

me:  VEEPS!

driver:  Donde?

me: VEEEEEEEEPS!!!

driver:  Donde?

That’s when I knew in order for me to get to Vips I was going to have to say that other word.  The one with the multitude of rolling r’s. The one I hated saying.  So, I sucked in a lung full of air and said…

YO QUIERO IR A  AURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREDA!, por favor.

First words out of the taxi drivers mouth…

Ah, Veeps!

Which sounded exactly like I had been saying all along.

Yep, I’m not missionary material for sure.

Still not as bad as a missionary friend of mine who served in Belgrade of the former Yugoslavia.  He was eating lunch in the home of some friends/contacts when he was graciously asked if he would like his drink refilled.  He declined by saying no thanks he wasn’t thirsty.  At least that’s what he thought he was saying.  What his hosts heard him say was, “No thanks, I’m urinating.”

Some days you just can’t win.

Happy Feet

I don’t have children so I oftentimes lag behind when it comes to watching movies billed as family entertainment.  Which is not to say I watch movies billed as adult entertainment.  I don’t.  Anyway, I saw Happy Feet tonight for the first time and I confess to crying.  I cried for the fish.  Either way, by penguin or man, dead is dead.

If there are any rich fish out there they need to hire a hollywood producer to make a movie wherein they are the heroic victims.  Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen Nemo but they need something with more punch.  If I was a fish I would write a movie in which my fish family was eaten by warm blooded yet cold hearted penguins who happily chomped up my wife and children.  I would then hire a gang of barbaric, human, vegetarian hunters who killed for the thrill.  After they dispatched with the lovable yet deadly penguin population I’d repay the humans with a lifetime of fish oil to keep their hearts beating healthily till the end of their days.  Don’t worry-not one innocent fish would be harmed to harvest the oil.  We’d simply extract it from those fish on death row or the nearly dead anyway.

I’d entitle my movie “The only Happy Feet are Dead Feet!”

Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have any children.