Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Jilly!!!

The whole family is excited about your birthday.  Dinner and treats, followed by Shakespeare on  Market Square.  Fun for all!

I wanted to wish you the very best and happiest birthday of all. 

I love you, Jilly.

Andy

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"I would to God you'd just BE Apostolic."

It was Super Sunday, the one time each quarter that all the Sunday school classes came together for a youth service. I led worship at the piano. Bro. Gino preached.

This day would become a turning point for me. Jilly, my wife, was already praying for a change. I was unsure.

Bro. Gino called out a young man who had taken a "stand for the faith". The young man had refused to wear basketball shorts on his college team. He wore warm up pants as a statement of his commitment to the Apostolic faith.  Gino pointed to him as a good example. For those who compromised by wearing shorts or in any other way falling short of the standards of the faith, he exclaimed, "I would to God you'd just BE Apostolic."

I felt as if I was squirming in my seat because I'd been wearing swimming trunks the day before.  At that time, The Brasfield Nation had a boat and a camper on the lake. Naturally, we were outfitted in appropriate attire when swimming, boating and camping.  We did that most weekends, weather permitting.  I thought about my children who were listening to this sermon.

Pride played a part in my nervousness, too.  I had finally reached a level of respect and position at First Apostolic Church.  It seemed like it had taken many years to obtain the titles of Children's Pastor, Substitute Choir Director and other musical opportunities.  Was I ready to give up the prestige for the freedom to wear shorts at the lake?

But it was way more than shorts. There was the exclusive doctrine. Apostolics preach that only those who believe and live by the Apostolic doctrine are true Christian believers. That doctrine was wearing thin with me, too. Each time he said "BE Apostolic", I wanted say, "BE Christian!" Shouldn't the focus be on Christ?  Jilly says it very well: "Be passionate, free-thinking disciples of Christ."

That was the last Sunday for me in the Apostolic church.

Gino, if you're reading this post, I want to thank you for boldly and plainly preaching the Apostolic message that day. You showed me just how far it is from the Gospel preached by Christ and his disciples in the Bible. You gave Jill and me the final push we needed to leave the Apostolic church and further develop our relationships with Christ. We have been set free. I sincerely thank you.

God bless,
Dadofmykids

PS.  To my friends who still live the Apostolic way, I love you all.  I know the doctrine, even taught it to some of you and your children.  The doctrine is flawed.  However, this doesn't mean that we can't be friends.  This post is not an invitation to debate.


Monday, July 04, 2011

Gulf Shores Vacation 2011

Blood, sweat and gears. Yep, we've had it all this week. It's been a wonderful week, too.  I want to recap the week for future reviews and give you some ideas if you need them.

Blood:

Playing Crazy Eights
One of the best parts about this week is that our friend, Milissa, and her two boys were with us from Saturday to Thursday. This is idea number one; have someone go on vacation with you. We've done it many times. Having extra friends or family along makes it more interesting, shares kid-watching duties, gives you more time together.

Levi found a "wife beater" (aka, A-shirt) on the beach. It washed up in the tide.  We rinsed it off in the surf and hung it up to dry so we could ask Jilly to wash it for him. Then Bentley, one of Milissa's boys, came up from a wave bleeding. It was a bad nose bleed. Levi's "new" shirt was the only thing handy to put on it. I don't know where the beach towels were.  Ben was ok after a few minutes.

Btw, nose bleeds can be stopped by pinching the nose shut and leaning forward. I've seen a lot of people say to hold your head back.  That just lets the blood run down your throat.

Our Canopy
Sweat:

We tried something new this year by bringing a canopy for shade. In previous vacations, we've rented the chair/umbrella setup. I like the canopy better. It's less expensive and provides more shade. I recommend you don't leave your canopy set up on the beach overnight. We saw some get destroyed by wind.  I weighed it down with sand-filled milk jugs and the bags for our camping chairs. 

Gears:

Levi picked a little battery operated car at a junk store. It quit working so I opened it up and found most of the teeth stripped off one of the drive gears.  I like tinkering with junk like that.  I realized as I sat at the table working on the car, kids were gathered round looking for tools to fix any little thing.

$2.99 Champion
Here's another idea for you, when the kids get board from being entertained on the beach or at the pool, go out for an adventure.  See if you can find any pawn shops, thrift stores or flea markets.  You'll find some interesting junk, and maybe even a few surprises, like this WWE United States Champion belt for $2.99.

Food:

The best food of the week may have been what we cooked on the grill at the condo. You can't beat fresh charcoal. It may sound like work, but sitting around the grill in the evening shade while meat cooks is better than waiting for a table at a busy restaurant.  And you just can't beat the flavor.

Speaking of busy restaurants, the surprise of the week goes to Doc's Seafood Shack. Their food was delicious.  Servers were great.  And the place was clean. I had fried oysters which were light and crispy.  Five stars also goes out to Lillian's Pizza, just over the Florida line. We've been there almost every time we've come to Gulf Shores. Never a disappointment. But this year we got the lunch buffet. What a treat!

We tried beach fishing for the first time.  The key there was to have enough weight on the line to carry your bait past the surf.  It helps to wade out there too. Just don't wade too deep.  Shrimp worked best for us.  Early morning and evening/dusk are the best times for beach fishing.

Mal Mal and KK
On Thursday, my mom and dad arrived with two of my nieces and a nephew.  It was great to see them all.  The last time we were together, I think, was at Rhonda's funeral. 

One of our favorite things about beach vacation is the relaxation. No schedule. No hurry up and wait. Just good memories with family and friends.

What a great week.

God bless,
Dadofmykids