Friday, February 27, 2009

Ten Good Days

Earlier this week I wrote about some bad days in my life. My life, though, has been filled with many more good days than bad. Here, in this article, I offer an accounting of Ten Good Days. I would enjoy reading about your good days, as well.

Without a doubt, and without a close second, the single best day of my life was that early February morning in 1999 when I witnessed the birth of my first daughter, Elizabeth. Of course, the same feelings of amazement and great love were felt as I witnessed the arrivals of my Hannah and Autumn Grace, but there will always be one first.

Another good day was that morning in February 1983 when I was baptized. My good friend, Tim Byars, and I were both baptized by our fathers on that day. It doesn't seem possible that 26 years have passed.

I still remember my first day of Kindergarten. The room was located on the second floor of the Lubbock Christian College administration building. Mrs. Bowe was my teacher. I was the first student to show up. It was raining. And, on that day, I met some of the best friends I have had in life: Chetlen Crossnoe, Jeff Phillips, Paul Smith, and Khris Rogers were in Mrs. Bowe's class; Vernon Barnett and Tim Byars were in Mrs. Farley's class. And, I could use of several more lines listing many others I still know and remember.

I can remember clearly Todd Jordan catching the touchdown pass and scoring the first and only touchdown my 7th grade football team scored. Against Anton. In the north end zone of Lena Stephens' field. We won that game 6-0; our only win that season.

I remember clearly and fondly the first trip I took as a member of the Green Lawn Church of Christ youth group. Paul Smith and I were 6th graders and went with the older teens to Six Flags. That trip on the bus (the old Green Lawn JOY bus that sits rusting in a field between Reese and Smyer) was a blast. Both Paul and myself spent all of our money half way through our stay at Six Flags, and we had to beg money the rest of the trip. The trip was made longer when the bus broke down on the morning we were to leave Arlington. I still remember Paul and myself sitting in Carla Hukle's hotel room (Dale was off getting parts for the bus), and the two of us were flipping through the yellow pages commenting on all the yummy restaurant listings. Carla quickly grew tired of our sad show and gave us $2 to get some snacks out of the vending machine.

I remember preaching my first sermon in Forgan, Oklahoma, the church where my grandfather preached. I was 14 years old. Papa lead the singing.

I remember Christmas morning 1975. We lived in a 2-story townhouse in Lubbock (the building still stands on the NW corner of Quaker & Marsha Sharp). I remember staying up late the night before; my sister and I staring out the window looking for Santa Clause. i woke up the next morning and bounded down the stairs to open presents. We opened all the presents, when my dad said to me, "There's another present for you. It's upstairs." I bounded up the stairs, and to my amazement, there, on my bedroom floor, was an electric train set all set out on a large board . . . the train ready to go! Somehow, I had walked right past it in my haste to get from my bed to the Christmas tree.

I remember the night I first saw Star Wars. I was seven years old and had begged my parents to take me. We saw it in a theater that has long since been gone. (It stood across the street from Jones Stadium in Lubbock, in the building that housed the Caboose).

I remember the night in May 1990 that I showed up in Aurora, Colorado, at the house of Dale & Carla Hukle. I was there to serve as Dale's summer intern for the University Church of Christ. It was a few days shy of my 20th birthday, and my first day in ministry. That was half a lifetime ago!

I remember the day in July 1990 when I first scaled the summit of Pikes Peak (it was via automobile, but a feat nonetheless) . . . and then driving off that mountain in a blizzard.