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Long time

It’s been a while since I have posted anything.  It isn’t that I am too busy, just that I sometimes draw a blank on what to say.  It never seems that what I say is overly important, but there might be one person that needs to hear what I say.  I will try to keep on posting here, let people in on some insites, some of the wisdom, and some of the humor that I have discovered.

Today’s lesson is on doing what you tell someone you will do.  It is hard to belive, but some people tell you one thing with no intention of following through.  If I tell you I am coming over at 6, I try to be there at 6.  It is rude to make others wait because you cannot get there on time.  If you are too busy, let people know that they might need to be flexible, since there is a lot going on.  It is better than leaving them in the dark.  You must be flexible as well.  If you have made multiple plans, try to use a planner, found on most cell phones, and take notes.

I can do all things through Christ!  Love you

Tony

Sorry

Have you ever said something, done something so rude, and not realize how it affected someone else?  I did that a few weeks ago, and the fruit of my mouth ripened today.

I was standing in line to clock out at work a few weeks ago.  As normally happens, some of the smokers fired up, without regard to anyone around them.  Not every smoker is like that, but  more than a few that I work with do.  Smoke curled around and headed downwind of them, straight into my lungs.  I choke.  I get upset.  I start ranting.  As I walk off with another friend, I start going off on smokers in general, and pretty much ragging them.  It goes on from there, and my speech does not improve.  I said hateful things, mean ugly things about smokers.

Most people who know me know that I love to rant.  Seriously.  I am not complaining, but it is my way of making people laugh.  It is a Sam Kineson type of rant, not me mad or anything, but funny things that annoy people that I point out and mouth about and we all laugh.  What I did started out that way, but my big mouth didn’t shut up after the humor.  I kept going.

Now as a Christian, I am pretty good about not being profane.  Sometimes I mess up, but in this case, I didn’t get vulgar, or use profanity.  It really wasn’t necessary though to be offensive.  It happens that another friend, someone I care about who also is a smoker, overheard me, not that I was being silent.  I forgot all about that day, but my friend did not.  I hurt my friend, and I did not show the love of Christ that day.

Today, I was taking up a collection for a co-worker who was in my crew.  He had to quit work to undergo medical treatment for lung cancer.  As I moved through the line to clock out, telling people I would collect Monday to give them time, my smoking friend reminded me of what I had said about smokers.  He was upset and told me I hadn’t sounded like I was joking.  I remembered.  I was so ashamed.  I apologized to him, but I felt like that wasn’t enough.  So, my blog today is about running your mouth, not paying attention to what you are filling others with.

To my friend that I offended:  I value your friendship, and I hope you have forgiven me.

Love ya’ll

Good morning

I woke up this morning, and I need to hear from you Lord.  So, I will be silent today, as much as possible.  I won’t be sarcastic, I won’t be mean, I won’t be rude and give you the silent treatment Father.  I will be listening all day for you.  I will praise you all day, and I might even dance some on the job!  Without you, there is only darkness.  You will be on my mind all day.

I think I need to say this every morning.  It is always a good morning, but I want my good mornings to be centered on you.

Please Mr President

How many people feel that illegal immigration is swamping our country in higher taxes, a bigger burden on our social services, lower wages due to stiff competition from people that don’t care what your quality of life is?

I love people.  I love individuality, diversity, multiculturalism and also heritage.  I love Greeks, Jews, Blacks (black people from Europe really object to being called African-Americans), Whites,Philipinos, Hispanics, Pakistanis, Indians, to name a few.  I have had friends among all of those diverse people.  Every one of those friends was either legally here or an American Citizen, born here or through legal immigration.  It was easy to love those friends.  I didn’t feel like my country and I were being used and abused.

I am a patriot and wonder how someone can want to come to the United States because of what we offer, but then don’t want to do so legally.

I don’t know what President Obama has in mind concerning illegal immigrants, but I can tell you this: If he does give a blanket clean slate to all illegal immigrants, thereby making them US citizens, he should also give a blanket pardon to American Citizens who have done something illegal.  I mean, why not, right?

If he is willing to give someone not from our country, someone BREAKING THE LAW, a clean slate, should he not give a UNITED STATES CITIZEN an equal break?

Yes, I know that what I said is pretty silly.  Can you imagine all the prisoners in the US suddenly freed?  “We know you broke the law, but we are now going to absolve you of any wrong doing.  Have a nice day.”  Is essence, that is what I hear he is willing to do, but only for illegal immigrants.  Our country has been invaded by people without regard to our well-being.  I didn’t serve in the Navy for ten years, defending my country against all enemies foreign and domestic, just to have the President say, “Never mind…we didn’t mean it.  Go ahead and come into our country.  Disregard our laws, we’ll ok it because it is not popular to be against immigration!”  It is almost as if the “race” card is being flashed, when this is not about race.  I cannot help that most illegal immigrants are from Mexico.  I didn’t design the continents, I didn’t place Mexico right below the United States, and I certainly didn’t make Mexico a country that people want to leave.  If you want higher wages there, go back there and fight for it.  Trust me, it is the American Way.  If you are illegally here from Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Pakistan, Philippines etc…I hope we catch you too and deport you back to your home country.  If anyone wants to become a United States citizen, do so legally, and I will welcome you with open arms.  Give us your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free

Mother’s rule!

Hey, howdy, hey!  Good morning Mothers around the world.  I could spend this time talking about the history of Mother’s Day, or how much we appreciate Mothers, or even what a Mother is to me.  So I will do all three!

Mother’s Day originates in the old days or yore…blah blah blah

OK the short and sweet of it is: MOTHER’s DESERVE IT ALL!  That’s right, Mothers deserve all the love, kindness, respect and help not just on this day, but every day.  They won’t get it, but they deserve it.  Let’s face it, Father’s Day is a joke.  Let me explain before you slam me.  We get a neck tie for our services, and we are happy to get that tie!  We don’t do what mothers do, though.  Mothers go through 9 months (normally) of pregnancy, no telling how many hours of labor, then they start the hard part of raising a child/children/husband.  Some mothers want to be called ‘Mommy’, some ‘Momma’, some ‘Meme’ and some want to be called when the cooking is done.  Mothers are employed at home, at the office, on the construction site, at the hospital, in the schools, just about any profession you can name!  They work hard all day, and then go home to start their second job.  Some work-at-home mothers bust tail all day, cook a supper fit for kings, nurse boo-boos and kiss away tears then try to get a little, um rest, before starting again the next day.  There is no vacation for mother from her family.  What does she get in return?

Every year a card, if she is lucky, comes to her with words of love, and a day of outstanding service so she can feel appreciated.  Sometimes a gift is given, along with a meal out on the town.  It isn’t enough.  She deserves so much more.  My own mother was special, and I will tell you how special.

I didn’t know my mother too well.  So, how do I know she was special?  Her name was Patricia Ann.  My grandma was Esther Ann, and my sister was named Tonya Ann.  I see a pattern…  Anyway, there was a divorce, and my sis and I were always going back and forth from my mother and dad.  My mother had custody of us.  Dad wanted us, my mother just didn’t want my dad to have us.  We were given to the welfare by my mother as little children, too small for me to remember anything.  My dad didn’t know where we were for a whole year.  I was two, my sister was 4.  The only memory I have of that time is of being shut in a dark closet, my sister yelling at somebody, “You let him out!”, her being shut in the closet with me, and then her holding me.  Courts were weird back in the early 70’s.  My dad was told he would have to be married to get us back from the state (Indiana).  He was about to ask his girlfriend to marry him when the judge followed up with, “You must re-marry the children’s mother.”  So, my dad re-married my mother to get us back.  When we got back together, I guess things were still the same between them, because my dad decided to divorce my mother again after a year.  He moved to Kentucky, where his extended family was, and we stayed in Indiana.  My mother didn’t put us up for adoption again, she kept us.  She became very protective of us.  She did her best.

I guess it was hard being a poor single mother of two.  She had us until I was in the second grade.  We spent summers with dad and my dad’s mother, Granny.  During the school year, we were with my mother.  It was hard on my mother though.  It got so hard that she had a break-down.  My dad came and got us, and got custody of us after a while.  I didn’t see or hear from my mother again for 9 years.  She re-married, had another child, my sister Kelly, and started her life over.  She became a nurse, and a loving and loved Mother and wife to Darryl.  I never thought of Darryl as my step-dad, I didn’t know the guy!

One day when I was 14, I answered the phone and was speaking to my mother.  I was confused about how I was supposed to feel.  I didn’t know her at all.  But she wanted to see Tonya and me.  Tonya and I lived with Granny instead of Dad.  We wanted to, since we didn’t really like our dad’s new wife.  So my Grandmother told my mother she could come visit us.  I am Tony, have been Tony my whole life, and never have liked the name Anthony, my given name.  When my mother and her mother, grandma arrived, I was upstairs.  I wasn’t very mature and decided I didn’t want to meet them.  My Grandma came to the stairs and was calling for me to come down.  “Anthony!  Anthony!”  Ugh!!!  So my Granny called me downstairs and I got to know them.  We had a good visit.  But they still lived away from us, and I didn’t see my mother again for 7 more years, while I was in the Navy.  She wrote me a letter asking me to visit, and I wrote back that I would.  Then I started writing with her.  I came home on leave, and went to visit my mother.  We got to know one another somewhat, and I finally met my sister Kelly.  My mom stayed in touch, but we were never as close as when I was a child.  Sadly, she passed away when I turned 28.

I am married to a beautiful, caring woman.  She is a great mother!  She has given me five children.  I chose one of my girls, Kerri Ann,  to carry on the middle name of my mother, my sister, and my grandma, all three of whom have passed away.  They were all very special.  Each was a mother, each was loved, and each deserved more.

So today, Mother’s Day 2011, I send out my love and respect to all of the wonderful women who choose to bring life into this world.  Without you mother, we wouldn’t be here.  It is a hard job, sometimes thankless as well.  I hope you know that inside each of us, there is a spark of love for you that can never be extinguished.

Osama Bin Laden

As a Christian, and as a United States of America citizen, I am torn between what I feel is right, what is right according to the bible, and what I feel is just.

I was positively gleeful last night at 1030, when my buddy sent me a message telling me to turn on the news.  That was it, turn on the news.  I wondered what natural disaster had struck this time.  Was it another earthquake?  Did the Ohio River finally flood into Owensboro?  Tornados in the area?

I was sleepy, cold, wanting to rest, knowing I had to get up early for work.  But I got up anyway.  I turned on the tv, wondering what channel to choose.  It didn’t really matter.  Scrolling across the bottom of the screen were the words: Osama Bin Laden dead.  I was stunned.  I didn’t know this man personally, but I was shocked at the news of his death.  Then I smiled.  Then I laughed and raised a fist in the air.  I wanted to shout for joy at the death of another human being.  A child of Christ.  A person made by God, in God’s image.

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HAPPY!!!  All of America should be rejoicing, celebrating the death of the terrorist.  Shouldn’t we?  Aren’t we?  Did nobody in the United States cry?  Let me sum up his evils:  He killed a lot of people, thousands of innocent people, simply because they believed differently than him.  He headed an organization that routinely kills people for their beliefs.

Has any of you ever been angry at someone?  Hated someone?  According to Jesus, the person we want to be like, we have killed someone if we have been angry at them.  Therefore, I am a murderer.  Yeah, I don’t want that label upon me.  Murderer.  I have been angry at many people, so I have murdered them as well, in my heart that is.  By Jesus’s words, I have been as a murderer.  When I stand before God in judgement, what can I say in my defense?  “Father, I didn’t actually kill anyone.  I just got angry at them.”  What will He say to me?  It is still sin.

I read where Jesus tells a multitude that they are right, the woman is guilty of sinning and deserves to be stoned to death.  Then He tells them the person who is without sin should cast the first stone.  I cannot cast the first stone at Osama.  If I could have witnessed to him, would he have listened?  I highly doubt it.  I know that the military did their job, found the terrorist and killed him.  I wish he had been a Christian.  I wish he had given his life to God and been a voice for Christ.  A friend of mine, who has far more wisdom than I, quoted Proverbs to me, when I said I rejoiced at Osama’s death.  Proverbs 24:17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.

Father, when I am confused, give me wisdom, when my thoughts are not of the popular view, help me to stand strong in my faith and conviction.  Father forgive me for my own sins, and help me not to judge others.

Mr Owl?  How many licks…  yes we have all heard the commercial.  It is still quite funny to hear as I recall trying to get my friends to let me experiment with their Tootsie roll Tootsie pops to find out for myself.  Why spend my own money to find out?  Experimentation should be free, yes?  SO I have a problem and I need answers.  Maybe some of my friends and family will help me out with this issue.

Why are my children so messy?  I can turn them loose in the house, and inside of an hour, the house is a mess.  I find trash on the floor, food on the floor in the kitchen, on the cabinet doors, counter tops, and I find clothes that I didn’t even know we owned on the floor!  I say I ‘find’ clothes on the floor, but finding them is truly a figure of speech.  There is no ‘find’ them.  They are like a simple life form that finds you.  The clothes cannot talk, but I  bet they have some interesting stories to tell.

The kids believe the floor is another storage area for our stuff!  I think they tell their friends to come over in the middle of the night and just throw clothes in the play room.  I mean, clothes are strewn ALL OVER the playroom floor.  The playroom is where we keep the dresser for the girls, so they can be supervised while getting clothes out.  IT ISN’T WORKING.  They spent 3 hours yesterday cleaning the room.  I know because I saw the clean room after the cleaning.  It was clean, I can attest to that statement as a fact.  This morning I got up, and the room was totalled.  The tornadoes of Owensboro arrived and created destruction.  Is it legal to change the name of your child?  Tornado 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are my choices then.  My second oldest son is probably the worst of the bunch.  I ask him if his room is clean to which he replies a firm ‘Yes Daddy’.  I go upstairs followed by Tornado #2.  I don’t even get upstairs all the way, and I begin to see signs of havoc.  As I enter the room, I want to call FEMA or President Obama and have him declare a State of Emergency upon the room.  Corporal punishment follows.  And the cycle begins anew.

I am thinking of putting locks on all the cabinets, refrigerator, doors and dressers.  The only place the children will be allowed inside the house is the living room.  To go to another room, they must request a transfer of rooms, in triplicate, to go up the chain of command.  Upon a successful request, they will be allowed to go to another room for a total of 5 minutes, to include travel time.  After the child returns to the living room, an inspection will take place of the room that was visited.  If the room passes inspection, the child will be allowed to live.  If the room fails inspection, the room will be cleaned by said child, cleaning to continue until an inspection is passed.  Cameras will be installed so evidence can be gathered.  I will no longer have to rely on the N.A.R.K. (Need A Reliable Kid) method of finding the truth.  Me: “Tornado #1, who messed up the room by cutting up paper all over the floor?”  Tornado #1: “I don’t know, Daddy.  I was playing a video game while I was babysitting, so I didn’t see anything.”  Tornado #3: “The twins did it!” Tornados #4 and 5 in unison: “Uhn Uh! Tornado #3  did it!” Tornado #2: Attempting to remain quiet and small in the hopes that I will not see him, thereby ignoring him in the disaster.  Me:  “I will review the tapes for the instant replay…”  Tornados ALL: “What tapes?!”

Three is the anser btw.  Three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie roll Tootsie pop.  How many licks (with a belt) to get a child to be clean and fastidious?  The world, and parents, may never know.

Oddly enough

Jami and I have been talking about going to a new church.  We feel that our children require something different, maybe a smaller church, maybe larger.  We have prayed about this and feel it is the time to try a different flavor of Christ.  This move may be temporary or permanant, we really don’t know right now.

Adam has plenty of guitar players and singers now, as well as someone to run sound, so this seems like a good time to explore the churches that Christ has.  My last worship with guitar at Promiseland Metro will be Sunday.

If anyone got the wrong idea about what I meant by my last blog, let me be perfectly clear and frank: we love Promiseland Metro and Calhoun.  We love and support the Pastor and his wife and the message Jeff preaches.  We love Jeff’s sons (I think my girls love the sons more than they love the pastor but oh well) and will see them at Best Buy, well two of them!  We love and support the Praise Team leaders and members, and all of the staff as well.  There are NO hurt feelings, there is only love and a desire for growth.

We will miss all of you, especially those people who tolerated me warming up by playing 80’s rock, but will remain family and friends through Facebook, phone, texts, Twitter etc…  We might even show up for special occasions like when Heidi Baker comes to town.  Of course, we will continue to pray for our Promiseland church family and hope you pray for us as well.  You might even call us from time to time.  We live in Owensboro, so come on over.  We are right by Legion Park.

Love from the Barbours

Looking for a new church?

So, you say you are looking for a new church.  “I want one that is loving, friendly, honest, fair and honorable.  I want a church that doesn’t suffer from the good-ole-boy complex (you are my friend/neighbor/important/rich so I will hook you up with a position in the church), nepotism (you are my offspring/relative so I will promote you above others), greed (I talk about tithing and giving more than anything else and NEVER pass up the opportunity to talk about how God wants all of us to be rich), just plain old weird (come handle the snakes, they won’t bite you unless you are lost), non scriptural (homosexuality is ok with God, so is drinking alcohol excessively and we are all going to Heaven because we go to church on Sunday)

I have been in my share of churches, and some are better than others.  In some churches, you can feel the presence of God, He is worshipped above all else; Jesus is loved and followed, as if He really did defeat death, and isn’t still stuck on a cross; positions in the church are given out due to merit, and not because of who you know; honesty is valued and you aren’t condemned for being honest; the pastor is available, visits the sick,  loves equally.

Come check out Promiseland Metro, corner of 2nd and Allen.  Tell me what you think!

Jami and I went out on our weekly date.  We decided to go to Colby’s since it was downtown and we were going that way.  The only two places we go to eat on the north side of town are Z’s and Colby’s.  Z’s is a nice enough place, except they allow smoking inside.  That is the only real drawback to eating there.  There is a bar inside, it is glassed off from the eating area, but smoke doesn’t really care about glass: it goes around or over the glass!  We always ask to be seated as far from the bar as possible, and we haven’t smelled smoke at all, only when we are leaving or entering.  Yuck. 

While in Colby’s, we saw familiar servers and bartenders who always ask where the kids are when we are dining alone.  Since it was date night, no kiddos.  I happened to look out the window after we ordered our food and saw Lyle, Jordan, Johnny, Brennen, Chelsea and another young lady, all of whom attend our church.  I made goofy faces at them right before they entered Colby’s.  We hugged and laughed and then they were seated nearby.  A few moments later, Robin, my friend and union brother (and foreman), tapped me on the shoulder.  He entered the restaurant, saw me and came to say hi.  He, his wife and another couple were eating together, talking about their church. 

I am so glad I live in a smaller city.  If I lived in a huge city, the likelihood of seeing a familiar face decreases.  I constantly see people out and about that I went to high school with, that I used to work with from the Executive Inn, my church family, or people I see almost every day, such as co-workers. 

However, I was saddened to hear that Bowling Green is now the third largest city in Kentucky.  It makes me wonder if Owensboro is stagnating.  I love the smaller city, but I do not like the lack of good paying jobs in the area.  It is a great place to live if you don’t mind minimum wage jobs, or working for less than that at a restaurant.  There are plenty of restaurants in Owensboro.  Plenty of low wage jobs.  Where are the bigger businesses?  Is Bowling Green wooing them away from here?  Is Bowling Green so much more attractive than Owensboro?  Without good paying jobs, the amount of money spent in the city by the citizens is much lower.  With higher wages comes more cash flow within the city, within the county.  I know our mall is ancient, without a lot of the popular stores found in most malls.  I don’t like to shop online, but more and more I see nothing around that I need or want that I cannot get online for a lot less. 

Now, why can’t KROGER stock tomatoes grown in the USA instead of Mexican tomatoes?  Who do I need to see about that?

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