Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To despise money

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.  1 Timothy 6:10

Maybe I misunderstood this verse for some time. I thought pursuing more business was a sign that I was greedy. Perhaps I should be satisfied with the success already attained. The fact is complacency with current success leads to laziness. Laziness is very destructive.

Motive?
Am I driven by the love of money? No. I don't think so. My opinion on money has changed drastically over time. Nowadays I'm more motivated by the thoughts that I have so many people depending on me. My family. My employees. My business partner. My referral partners. My vendors. My community. Think of servers in restaurants. I want to be generous with my tips to them. It's not the love of money that drives me to seek more business. Rather, it's the love for all these people in my life that drives me.

What if we take this verse and spin it around to say the same thing with a positive finish?


Let's try this: "To despise money is good, or holy. Some people, who despise money, have increased their faith and found peace."

Or: "Everybody needs money to live. It's okay to desire to provide for your family and to work to become more charitable. This will open you up to more opportunities to grow in faith and love."

Is that too much of a stretch? Is that twisting scripture?

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince
or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer,
gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. - Proverbs 6:6-11 NLT

Monday, August 11, 2014

I signed the petition to Deny Parole to Vanessa Coleman.

I avoided broadcasts and news when they told the details, especially the live broadcasts from the courtroom. I just can't handle the gruesomeness of the violent rapes and murders of Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend Channon Christian.

During the course of Coleman's trial for her part in the rapes and murders of Channon and Chris, evidence was presented from her diary entry dated 3 days after the murder. It read in part, “I’ve had one HELL OF AN ADVENTURE since I’ve been in the big TN. It’s a crazy world these days! But I love the fun adventures and lessons that I’ve learned. Its going to be a long interesting year! Ha! Ha!”

Here's the comment I added to the petition:
"I have eight living children. I cannot imagine how the victims' parents feel, but paroling this criminal would violate them all over again. Furthermore, rapists and murderers are the worst threats to all children and adults. If you must release someone to make room for this one, release a non-violent offender, please."
 I encourage you to sign the petition too:  Click here.

God bless,
Dadofmykids

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The black walnut curve ball.





Gary was the brat of the neighborhood. His mom bought him expensive toys that most of us could only hope for. His bike was way fancier than mine. It looked like a real (almost) motorcycle. It had a gas tank, speedometer and a button that produced a motorcycle sound when you pushed it. I must have been jealous to remember all that detail. Actually, it may have been the bike stolen by Bubba Davenport. Indeed it was the same bike.


There was a black walnut tree in our yard. At certain times of year walnuts would fall to the ground. I guess they must not have been good to eat because my mom never made a fuss about collecting them for food or anything.

I made good use of the walnuts for playing. I remember discovering some walnuts that had been left in a container outside where rainwater collected. After soaking for a while, the water turned black like ink. I tried to use it for tattooing among other things. It didn't work very well.

Gary was kind of fat, and a little shorter than me. It seems like he was a year younger than me too. I enjoyed picking on him a little. He always made it worth while by getting very frustrated. He would even threaten to tell his mom. Oh how I loved when he threatened to tell his mom. I wasn't afraid of her.

Poor Gary drove his bike past my house one day. I thought it would be funny to chuck a walnut in his direction. Scare him a little. Maybe get him riled up. But not hit him with the walnut. Just whizz it by his head so he could hear it as it passed.

I was a decent baseball player and could throw pretty well - maybe better than I thought. I picked up a walnut and threw it like a baseball. My target was the air just behind his head. Close enough to scare him. That's all. I put a lot on it. He was moving to my right so I aimed just left allowing for the movement. This was going to be good. So good.

When I released the walnut it was right on target, headed for the space just behind Gary. Then, almost in slow motion, I saw the walnut curve hard to the right, straight for his head. It hit him just behind the ear, knocking him of his fancy bike.

I knew he wouldn't believe me. How could my intentions have been anything other than what happened? "I'm sorry" wouldn't have made it past the ringing in his ears. I just shook my head and turned away, disappointed in myself. How could I do something so mean? That's not me.

Gary got back on his bike. He turned around and headed back home with one hand on the handle bars and the other hand on his head. He was crying, "I'm going to tell my mom!"

Although I still didn't fear his mom's retribution, I hated what I had done.

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12  (NLT)

God bless,
Dadofmykids

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sore bum, bruised foot, and deflated confidence.

While Jill and the girls went to the Katy Perry Concert, I took the boys for a day of fun. Sean and Riley had to work, so it was Tucker, Asher, Levi and me. We went to Jayell Ranch in Pigeon Forge, surprisingly close to Dollywood Splash Country.
Smoky Mountain View

At Jayell Ranch, we rode ATV's, Zip Lines and Horses. The ATV ride was very cool and trouble free for the most part. Tucker drove one with Asher on back. And I drove one with Levi as passenger. Tucker and Asher got stuck a couple times. Levi and I got stuck once. We had a great guide who took through lots of mud. You never get too old for fish tailing.

Then we suited up for the zip lines. Levi was very nervous. Somehow we got him to go on the first one, which was the shortest on the farm. They called it the warm up line. Although it was shorter than the other five lines, I thought it was fast and fun. Levi must have been scared by it. When we got to the next one, he absolutely refused to go, no matter how brave we told him he was. That was the "end of the line" for him and me. Tucker and Asher continued on.
Here they are playing with a cat before zip lining.
Next came the horseback ride. I thought this would be the most laid back and easy activity of the day. I was mistaken. Asher was the nervous one on this activity. Honestly, I was wondering if it was smart of me to take him and Levi on this one, considering they both were on horses by themselves. Our guide, Susan, led the pack with Levi following close behind on his horse, asking question after question and almost continuously testing the horse to see if it would stop when he pulled the reins. Susan was very patient with him. Tucker was next. Then me. Asher in the rear.

All was well until we went down a particular slope on the trail. Asher's horse thought this would be an easy time to catch up with the rest of us and picked up his pace to a slight trot which made Asher bounce up and down in the saddle like the back seat of the school bus going over a speed bump. He lost his balance and fell off with a scream that would surely catch the attention of a herd of walkers from The Walking Dead. He hit the ground with a pretty good smack. I heard it. My horse got spooked and tried to take off out of there, but being the skilled rider that I am, I pulled back on the reins till he came to a stop. Then it was all over but the crying and figuring out if he was truly hurt.

Susan was great. She told him not to move, radioed for help, and started asking Asher questions like, 

"What is your name?"

Levi had Susan's ear
even after the fall.
"Asher"

"What is this?"

"A horse."

He was fine, except for a sore bum, bruised foot, and deflated confidence. Not that he was too confident to begin with. 

Help arrived and put him back on the horse, much to my surprise, as I sat quietly and observed all this from my horse's saddle. Susan promised to keep a close eye on him and to keep on flat terrain. So we continued. 

Asher kind of freaked out one more time, so Susan attached a rope to Asher's horse and lead him the rest of the way. 

I was proud of Asher for taking it "like a Brasfield", getting back on the horse and riding back to the stables. 

He was happy to get off that horse.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BEEF PATTY, DRILL SERGEANT!

It was lunch time on the rifle range when we were told to line up for chow in the summer of 1986 at Fort McClellan Alabama.

Yesterday my son, Sean, left for boot camp in the winter of 2014. He's headed to South Carolina. I doubt they'll get much snow there, but it surely won't be like an Alabama heat wave.

Sean joined the Army National Guard, like his late uncle Scott. I was about twelve years old when Scott came home from boot camp all lean and fit. He had stories that he told me about it. I was impressed with the six mile cross country run that he told me about.  At that age, I didn't really understand what cross country running was. I imagined it was something like Motocross racing on foot. In my mind, it was all back country trails with ditches to jump and trees to hurdle.

I was in the Army Reserves. On the rifle range our drill sergeant was handing out MREs.  That's Meals Ready to Eat, not my Jill's home cooking for sure. They are non perishable high calorie meals for soldiers on the go.  Some MREs were okay. Some were barely edible, like the beef patty. The beef patty was a freeze dried piece of mystery meat that was supposed to be softened by water from your personal canteen. It was actually more like a beef puck. Getting an MRE was like getting a lottery scratch off. You never really knew what you would get, unless you took a moment to read the camouflage on camouflage print which revealed the contents.

That day on the rifle range the drill sergeant was acting like a comedian.  I reckon she didn't get enough laughs watching the trainees learn to shoot M16 rifles at human-shaped silhouette targets. (Yes, "she"!  Female drill instructors can be just as mean and even uglier than males.) Many of the mostly seventeen year old split option high school recruits had never touched a firearm before. As each one passed by for their lunch, she would ask, "what's your favorite MRE, Private?", as if she was going to dig through the box to find that particular one. Most said "beef stew",  "spaghetti with meatballs" or one of the other edible selections. Then she would verify that the MRE in her hand was NOT the favorite before handing it to him with a smile.

My turn.  "What's your favorite, Brasfield?"

"BEEF PATTY, DRILL SERGEANT!"

She looked at the beef patty meal in her hand, placed it back it the box and gave me some thing else. No way was she going to give me my "favorite".

Sean, I love you and am proud of you.  I pray you have a safe journey.  You will do well in the National Guard.

Oorah!
Dad

PS.  Write and call your Momma.