LV Stories

Grandpaw and Archer

(My dad with Great-Grandchild #9, Archer Wiley)

 

I’ve been simmering on this for a while, and I figured since I’m away from home this Father’s Day, this would be a good day and a good way to honor my dad.  My daughter Carrie did this for me last year and reposted it again here.   I also wrote this about what I learned from my Mama last year.

Regardless of the many influences and teachers I’ve been blessed by over the years, none of them has taught or influenced me more than my dad. I have mentioned often that I was blessed to have a father who actually wanted to be a dad and influenced me to want to be one.  With 8 grandkids of my own now, I would say that desire has definitely passed through to another generation.

There are many practical things my dad taught me over the years, including how to drive a nail, play dominos, put on a jacket without bunching up your sleeve, ride a bicycle, and bathe the 36 different body parts that need cleaning up every day.

But what interests me most are the ideas that still speak to me today as principles.  These are transferrable to almost any endeavor. I could just as well title this, “Ten Things My Dad Would Teach to Pastors,” or “Ten Things My Dad Could Teach to School Teachers.”

So here, in no certain order, are ten lessons that still speak to me most every day.  I’m sure there are many more than this, but these are for starters.  See if they don’t speak to you on some level, while my daddy says, “Your welcome!” [click to continue…]

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Dirt road in nature in Sri Lanka

This is about a Father with four sons…

A Sailor.

A Driver.

A Flyer.

A Walker.

The Father provided richly for each of his sons.  He gave them a home in which to flourish.  He provided resources upon which to build their futures.  He even saw to it that each was uniquely equipped and trained to succeed, according to his own natural bent.

Yet despite their obvious advantages, each son seemed convinced that there was more to life than living under the watchful, seemingly all-knowing gaze of his Father.  Each seemed determined to find fulfillment on his own terms.  And despite the obvious objections of the Father, each chose to go his own way. [click to continue…]

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Raw Chicken

Have you ever had somebody you wanted so badly to impress that you were sure to set yourself up for disaster?

Not really?

Okay, you can just laugh at my story then.

I was in my first pastorate – a lovely country church just out on the edge of a small town in southwest Alabama.  People there were so kind and gracious to us.  I was new and eager to impress, plus was passionate and excited about reaching people and seeing the church grow and flourish.

But this isn’t about reaching people or growing churches.  It’s about chicken.

Grilling chicken, to be precise. [click to continue…]

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A Gown in the Night

by Andy Wood on November 12, 2014

in LV Stories

KemmererJCPenney

Jim was hardly the first businessman to ever try to operate by the Golden Rule.  But he was one of the few who actually put the name Golden Rule over the dry goods store he co-owned and ran in Kimmerer, Wyoming.  So I suppose when your store name means, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and when you choose to live with your wife across the street from the Golden Rule store that you run, it would probably be a good idea to practice what you preach.

Fortunately, the founders of the Golden Rule chain had found in young Jim a work ethic and care for people that would make him an excellent business partner and store manager.

Simply put, Jim was a servant leader before people ever talked of such things.

All that was put to the test one night when Jim and his wife were awakened by a loud banging at his door.  There stood a Chinese man who spoke no English, gesturing with great agitation, beckoning Jim to open his store.

What would you do?  Point to a clock and ask the man to come back when the big hand got there and the little hand got there?  Close the door and go back to bed?  Call the police? [click to continue…]

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waterfall 10

It all started with that “Welcome to Mobile” sinus headache.

Ever go to bed with a mild ache that says, “You should probably address this before you get in bed?”

Yeah, about that.

I had this dull ache that turned into an evil roar at 3:30 in the morning.  Sinuses. Head. Neck.  Attitude.  Everything was in pain.

I didn’t want to wake people up, and didn’t have a lot of options, so I tried taking a shower.  That’s when my wife came in to see what was up.

Did I want some pain medicine, she asked?

Boy, did I.

Now I should mention that the “pain medicine” she referred to isn’t your basic over-the-counter pablum.  This was he-man stuff… soon I’d be pain-free and loving everybody.

I should also mention that it isn’t wise to take this on an empty stomach.  Bad things can happen. [click to continue…]

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He Had a Hammer

by Andy Wood on April 8, 2014

in LV Stories, Turning Points

Aaron

I never really knew that Hank Aaron was black.  But I knew he was from Mobile, my home town.  And, lest I forget, the Mobile Press Register would remind me daily as it tracked Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record, shattered 40 years ago today.

The Atlanta Braves moved onto my radar when I was eight years old.  That’s when the franchise moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta.  We started listening to Braves games on WUNI radio, where we heard guys like Milo Hamilton and Ernie Johnson – and later Pete Van Wieren and Skip Carey (my all-time favorite) – call games.  Occasionally we’d watch Pee Wee Reese and Dizzy Dean announce a TV game on the Pensacola station.

My granddaddy loved baseball.

My dad appreciated it.

I loved Henry Aaron.

He was and is a symbol to me.  [click to continue…]

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Joy Comes to the House of Affliction

by Andy Wood on December 20, 2013

in Life Currency, Love, LV Stories, Words

An imaginary story of what could have been…

Olive ChaliceEvening falls quickly in Bethany, as the sun seems to drop like a rock on the other side of the mountain, and beyond that, the Holy City of Jerusalem. And in this village – whose very name means “house of affliction,” the mood often seems to do the same.

There always seems to be something else to do in Bethany, this place of never-ending chores.  This village, one of three in Israel set aside to treat the sick, is a place of care and service. Duty and devotion.  Its residents usually find a sense of satisfaction there.

But not this time.

Not when duty and devotion means saying good-bye to one of its own.

One of Bethany’s most cherished servants, from a deeply respected family, has died giving birth to a beautiful baby girl.  And in this House of Affliction, the hits just keep on coming.

The official time of mourning now passed, duty calls, and the people of Bethany, still reeling, must man their stations.  And as 12-year-old Martha trudges through her evening chores – something she once relished doing with her Mama – no one feels the unfairness of it all more than she. [click to continue…]

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We needed $370.00.  That’s what I figured up after looking at the bills.

That was how much month we had left at the end of the money.

Why was this important on this day?  Because I was leading a “praise revival” at a small church in north Texas.  Because we were newly-married.  Because we were short on cash.  Because this was the last day of the conference, and the love offering check would soon be coming in.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that preachers prayed about such things.

Anyway, on this day, we needed $370.  I could have asked the Lord for more; after all, it’s nothing to God to see to it I got $1,000, or $10,000 for that matter.

I could have asked for nothing, and said, “Lord, whatever your will is – that’s fine with me.”

But I sensed the freedom to ask – not big, but not small either.  To pray specifically for a need.  The need was for $370.00, so that was what I asked the Lord for.  [click to continue…]

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(Cool Things I’ve Heard Somebody Pray, #4)

Empty ChairBack in the day I was meeting with our church elders and we were talking about some pretty heavy circumstances somebody was going through. I don’t remember the details, but I remember what Michael prayed. It totally changed my perspective about the circumstances, and served as a reminder of where to go to recharge my faith.

I thought maybe you could use a similar reminder.

As he prayed over the situation, Michael said, “There’s no vacancy on Your throne.”

What a tender reminder that if the only thing missing is unlimited power and authority, that job’s been taken, and the chair’s still occupied.

The Throne

Thrones are seats of authority, and when it comes to this one, this is no game.  When the monarch is on his or her throne, both symbolically and practically, they’re saying, “Let’s get down to business… and it’s my business.” [click to continue…]

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Stained Glass JesusWe used to have this set of biblical art prints – four of them – that were gifts from dear friends.  The art was good, but now more than 15 years later we laughed at the fact that the characters – Jesus, Mary, a couple of others – all had “80s hair.”  It was feathered, layered, shoulder length, and looked blow-dried fresh out of a salon.

Jesus seemed to have it all. He was hip, compelling, with a laser gaze right at you and his hand reaching out in such a way that you just couldn’t say no.

Mary was, well, I don’t know how else to say it… she was hot.  In a holy sort of way, of course.  If they had mani-pedis back then, no doubt this version of Mary was just back from one.

I don’t know who the artist was, but I’m sure he or she was probably tired of all those sissy-looking Renaissance-era paintings of Jesus who looked as though He just had his nails done, and wanted something different.  More reflective of the styles and cultures of the artist’s day, by the time we got them, they were very dated.  We wound up hanging them in our laundry room. Not quite sure why. [click to continue…]

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