Archive for August, 2011


Cool Rules

Dear Bro. and Co.,

     The other day, I picked up a CD for Little Man and myself:  “The Very Best of Thin Lizzy”.  Despite our current differences in musical tastes, there is one song that always brings us together in Father-Son Rock N’ Roll harmony – “The Boys are Back in Town”.  You just can’t deny that dual guitar attack.

     I had always wondered where they got their name – Thin Lizzy.  I was relieved to find out that it was a nickname for Ford’s Model T.  Them being from Ireland, the “H” is silent, thus it is supposed to be pronounced “Tin Lizzy”.  Sounds better that way.  My favorite Tin Lizzy song is “the Cowboy Song”.  If for no other reason, I find it funny that a black guy from Ireland is singing a Rock N’ Roll song about being a cowboy.  To  boot, it’s a fun, groovy song – “Roll me over and set me free – a cowboy’s life is the life for me.”

     The songs off of Jail Break were far and away the best songs Phil Lynott ever wrote.  Tin Lizzy had over ten records released which makes me wonder why this one, roughly 1/2 way through, was so much better.  Was Phil in the “zone”?  Was it the coalescence of all things in this guy’s life coming together, perfectly inspiring and stoking the fires of brilliance held within?  Or, was it that he was clear and sober at the time?

     Phil died a pretty gruesome death at only 36 years old – a result of chemical dependencies.  As a stage presence, he reeked of cool.  He dressed with a certain Rock N’ Roll flare, he used a cool jive type of talk, even his 70’s style fro seemed cool (for a brief moment, I actually wanted one.)  As cool a vibe as this cat may have had, it could not save him from using up those 9 lives way too fast.  When I think of Phil and all the other folks who have lost their lives to drugs, it makes me think about who and what is really cool.

    Cool can be like trying to figure out this Texas weather:  you’re never quite right – jumping from one extreme to the other.  (Although, right about now I wouldn’t mind being Sun Kissed)  Too hot, too cold – never quite right.  Never cool enough to be comfortable within my own skin. 

     After having been married 10+ years and having kids, I don’t really worry about it too much.  I find it challenging enough to try to be a good husband and a decent father instead of a selfish jerk.

     If we look at public figures, then seemingly coolness just doesn’t last.  Elvis, America’s King of Cool died relatively young; fat and bloated croaking on a crapper.  A seemingly inglorious, uncool way to go.  James Dean – gone.  Marilyn Monroe – dead.  Jim Morrison – buried in Europe.  The list goes on of so many “cool” famous people who died young.  Perhaps being cool is bad for your health.

     My theory is that there is some unwritten universal law that states that a person is only allowed a certain number of years to be cool.  Just like gravity, if you try to break the law – it will kill you. 

     More often than not, people just lose their coolness.  Seemingly, if you are a rock band, you have approximately one decade to be cool at most:  Zepplin – 70’s, Van Halen – 80’s, Metallica – 90’s.

     Cool, as defined by modern society is determined by the masses and the media.  The problem is that they are fickle.

     My favorite example of this is Tom Cruise.  Back in 1983, in the movie “Risky Business” he jumped on a couch and played air guitar and was proclaimed to be the hottest thing since sliced bread.  He remained a hot commodity until 2006 when America abruptly turned against Mr. Cruise for doing the very thing that had made him cool in the first place.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as hokey if he had stood on Oprah’s sofa in his shades and underwear….

     Maybe Tom found out about the cool law and decided to take action.  Better uncool than dead, right?  Besides if he knows about the cool law, then he must know the by-law of Renaissance Coolness.

     The By-Law of Renaissance Coolness states that if you stick around long enough or if you make a well-timed “come back”, you can be super sheik once again.  Sean Connery, Johnny Cash, Johnny Depp, Diane Keaton, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zepplin, have all had their careers and coolness revitalized.

     My personal favorite is the Eagles.  They got back together and started selling out shows, $300 for the cheap seats.  Was it for the love of cool or for the love of money?  Not cool.

     The Hell Freezes Over Tour was a bit premature.  I’m guessing they wised up and opted not to see if it would actually happen.  Hope so…. or maybe it was for the money.

     Too bad cool isn’t something you can sell.  We could create cool kits, one for guys and one for girls; then everyone could be equally cool.  In fact, that is what we do in advertising.  Buy this outfit.  Buy this beverage.  Wear these shoes and so on.

     Just some of the fads since I’ve been around:  Michael Jackson jackets (no one wants to be like Mike now), the Miami Vice look, Michael Jordan sneakers (for $100 +, I’d better be able to fly), Mullets – ala Def Leopard (how did something so right become so wrong?). 

     Obviously what works for some doesn’t work for others.  And while it’s easy to say, “Just be yourself,” it’s impossible to do.  Why?  Where God did create us with unique personalities and abilities, He also gave us the instinct and desire to emulate.  Unfortunately, we don’t always make the best decisions.  That’s why I looked like a deranged Bumblebee most of the 80’s and a steriod-infused Al Yankovich clone in the 90’s.

     As a father, it is my good pleasure to see my children grow and prosper forming their own unique personalities and individual characteristics.  At the same time, I get a great kick out of them, especially Mathias (being that he is a boy), when they emulate me or something I think is cool.  On the other hand, I get agitated and out of sorts when they copy or take a shining to something I don’t like.

     Sometimes my zeal for like-mindedness goes to extremes; perhaps I should let go of certain trivial things like which toy to buy or which football team to root for.  Many times, I have felt a little guilty about it wondering where such behaviors come from.  When I have questions, I look up.  Our heavenly Father is much the same (although He doesn’t dog us until He gets His way); but He wants us to listen to and to be like Him.  B-I-B-L-E:  Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth – looking at it, especially the New Testament, I believe that a big part of the scripture is all about how God wants us to listen to and to emulate Him.  As you know, Jesus wasn’t always popular, but He has always been cool. 

     Now, we all know that the crowd was chanting, “Holy!!” and “Hosanna in the Highest” when Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; but for some reason, when I picture it, Him riding on that little donkey followed by the disciples, I can’t help but imagine the resounding chorus and the majestic harmonies of “The Boys are Back in Town”.  Cool.

Love and God bless, Uncle Buck “Wango” Lamb and the Tango Tribe

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Dear Bro & Co.,

     Dr. Z successfully completes another c-section as Nurse N attends to the fallen father….

     Letters are important.  Here’s just one example – the mythological creature know as the Kracken starts with a “K”; as frightening as he was  presumed to be – even more so if his name had started with a “C”.  Perseus never could have defeated such a monster.  All the glare of Medusa would do is give it rock hard glutes.

     …..speaking of being “in shape” and “rock hard”, I can’t help but laugh a little each time I see some little pudge ball running around wearing Mixed Martial Arts or Ultimate Fighting gear and ya just know the poor blokes toughest fight was lifting and eating a triple cheeseburger.

     I suppose it isn’t any more pathetic than couch potatoes like me wearing an NFL jersey; but at least my jersey has Romo’s name on it – hence, I’m playing vicariously through him.  Ha!!  See, I’m nowhere near as pathetic as those losers.  🙂 …..hmmmm….. coincidentally, I saw a really cool MMA shirt with eagles and crosses on it.  I may have to start training again so I can legitimize wearing it.

     …..So Amanda and I attended a marriage conference this last weekend and sure enough, I had one of these pudge balls sitting with his wife in front of me.  It seemed obvious by his slouched posture and sullen disposition that she had drug him there.  When praise and worship started, he stormed out – either he thinks praise and worship is for uncool sissies, or he had to get rid of that triple cheeseburger.  And, because I was merely using keen powers of observation, and not being judgemental, I wanted to set the ol’ boy aside and tell him about King David.  David, who killed a bear and a lion (before there were guns, mind you); David, who by the Spirit of the Lord stood before the mightiest of giants, Goliath, and killed him by slinging a rock; David, whom God said could not build His Holy Temple because he had too much blood on his hands – worshipped God with all his might before all of Israel.  I dare you to find a more worthy candidate to be called “A Man”.  David was like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, General Patton and Jim Morrison (cause of the singing) all rolled into one dude.  The only man who was more of a man than David was Jesus, Himself.  So if David was man enough to praise and worship, so am I!!!  Admittedly,  I’m working up to the all-my-might thing; but it is my ambition.  Jesus didn’t hold anything back from us, and He certainly gave us something to dance and shout about – why should we hold anything  back from Him?  It’s time to “Man Up” and worship with all our might!!  Selah.

     …..speaking of “Manning Up”, we finally got to go fishing which always leads to good opportunities for me and the kids to reconnect with the spirit of the wild and the Craveman inside us all.

  • The Good:  Kiara and I pulled in a 2+ pound Bass and Mathias caught a Sun Perch by himself.  Mathias didn’t overheat and pass out or puke.  He is getting tougher.
  • The Bad:  Mathias had a good-sized Bass on his line and sure enough – in classic fish story fashion – it jumped up out of the water and spit his worm up on the bank.
  • The Ugly:  Mathias kept dropping his fish; in my excitement and frustration, I yelled some not so good words at him – ala Uncle Mike fashion.  Mind you, I quickly repented and hugged him and let him know I loved him and was proud of him – after I made him hold the fish properly of course.  Hopefully this isn’t the lasting image that he has:

     Mathias did it, he held on to that fish like a man.  Also, he decided he wanted to eat the bass that we had caught.  I haven’t cleaned a fish in years (we usually don’t eat fish).  And, admittedly in my younger years, I was a bit of a tender foot – somewhat queasy and eager to pass cleaning duties on to my elders.  Troy was gracious enough to show and tell me and the kids how it is done. 

     The kids stood and watched in abject horror; but the STOOD and watched.  No one fainted, yacked or ran away – not even me!  🙂

     Kiara cut the fish’s head off!!!

     The one bass made a surprisingly large amount of food, most of which Mathias heartily gulped down …..with honey mustard, of course.  Kudos to Amanda, she cooked it up just perfectly.

     All in all, it was a good day for the tribe.  I can’t wait to take them hunting.  I have no doubt that Kiara will jump up and down in jubilation proclaiming, “I want to cut the deer’s head off!”

The Clothesline

     …..Speaking of losing heads, the other day, we were working out in the yard:  I was mowing, Amanda and Kiara were weeding the flowerbed in the front of the house, and Mathias was clearing tree branches and vines off the fence line in the back.  As I was making my way around the corner of the house to the back yard, I saw Mathias crumble up on the step of the storage shed screaming his head off and I thought, “What in the world could have happened?”  Little man hasn’t quite developed his grimace and bear it – walk it off machismo just yet.  He is very expressive when it comes to pain; basically screaming bloody murder making the whole world believe that, indeed, he is being attacked. 

     I got to him first.  No missing limbs or digits.  No broken bones, cuts, or gaping wounds.  His head was still attached with functioning eyes, ears, and nose.  Thank God!!!  I grabbed him up and asked him what was wrong.  What could it possibly be??

     (I have often told of Kiara’s fondness for bugs.  The thing is – as much as she likes them, Mathias is phobically afraid of them. )

     Here’s what happened:  Mathias was clipping a branch when, out of the brush, there appeared a  hornet.  Mathias panicked!!!!  He turned and ran…. head first into the wooden clothesline post that was right behind him… effectively dislodging his glasses and any hint of composure left in him.

     I found the hornet and sure enough, he was an imposing looking critter.  I would imagine it went something like this….

     Ultimately Mathias proved to be tougher than most ten-year olds.  Despite having quite the knot on his noggin, and knocking his knee pretty good – he recovered quickly.  One of the things that I most admire about him is his capacity and willingness to overcome trials and adversity whether it be a smack on the skull, or a barrage of expletives from his potty-mouthed Daddy.  I am blessed to have such a loving, forgiving son.  Other than his bug and clown phobias – I believe he is spirited like King David.  Mathias worships God with all his might.  I am proud of my little mohawked warrior!!

     In addition to being convicted about my recent terrible tongued tirade, it is being impressed upon my heart more and more to step up and be the spiritual leader that God has called me to be.  God has blessed me with an amazing family: a beautiful wife and three wonderfully and fearfully super made kids – it is my first calling, my highest purpose, and my greatest desire: to be the spiritual head that Christ has appointed me to be.

     To submit to Christ and His will:  leading in prayer, leading in worship, leading by love, leading by serving, and leading by example, leading by being a man – a man of God.  Serving God does not begin at church, it begins at home.

Lead Me

     The Bible, the Holy Word of God, is Divinely inspired.  I believe that the Holy Spirit is always speaking and ministering to the hearts of His Saints; and occasionally other words – prayers, poems, books, and songs are Divinely inspired.  One such song is “Lead Me” written by Matt Hammitt of the band Sanctus Real.  Matt and his wife give an awesome testimony as to how the song began as a prayer – a prayer that Christ would lead Matt and in turn help him to become the spiritual leader that his family needed him to be in the home.  I highly recommend that everyone listen to the testimony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtIJqNrNKsI, and of course the song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLr6G8Xy5uc&ob=av2e.

      Also, from the song:  “Forgiven”

“When I don’t measure up to much in this life

I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ.”

“In this life, I know what I’ve been

In Your arms I know what I am – I’m Forgiven.”

     Psalm 96:4a – For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.

     Ephesians 5:18-20 – And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in Psalms and Hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

     Time for this Lamb to “Man up” spiritually  – worshiping with all my might and pursuing opportunities to overcome TENACIOUSLY……

     Isaiah 11:6 – The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  (Apparently, the verse that is misquoted or loosely translated when folks speak of Heaven saying that, “The Lion will lay next to the Lamb.”)

Dance Naked

Dear Bro and Co.,

     Here lately, Baby KeiLynn keeps stripping off her clothes at night and during nap time.  It doesn’t seem to matter which kind of clothing we put her in (even onesies with the snaps), she can escape out of.  She is quite the Houdini; I can just imagine her keeping her audience of stuffed animals shocked and entertained. 

     …..speaking of nakedness, I was always impressed and somewhat amused by King David’s humbleness and fervency in worship; for more than once, it is recorded that he danced naked (or at least in his skivies) with all his might before the Lord.  Obviously there are laws and such that restrict us from dancing naked in the church (probably a good thing in most instances), and yet how many of us truly “dance naked” in our hearts and worship God with all our might.

  1. David had a close, intimate relationship with God and truly knew the Lord not only as a Deity, he knew Him as his Father.  So many of us say we want to know God and to hear from God – apparently worship is a key to opening the door of intimacy and communications with God. 

                           Matthew 7:7  -“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to  you.  8.  For  everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

                         Revelation 3:20  –“Here I am!!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.

  • Jesus says, “Here I am!!”  In other words, I am always with you, always available to you.
  • Jesus is at the door; are we at the door?  It won’t be opened unless we’re there too.  Worship through prayer and other means is how we get there.
  • Jesus wants to commune with us – not just out of Divine “Obligation”, but because He genuinely loves us and wants to spend time with us.
  • Jesus wants  to bless us and tend to the cares and desires of our hearts.  If we’re not getting the response we want, maybe it’s because we’re sitting in our recliners yelling stuff like, “Who is it?” or “Come on in.”  instead of putting in the effort to get up and go to the door and open it.

        2.  David pleased God:  Something I would hope we all aspire and try to do.

                   Romans 12:1  –Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.

                    Psalm 104:33  -I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  34.  May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.

        3.  Because David humbled himself before the Lord, God blessed him and exalted him as the King and leader of Israel. 

                    Matthew 23:12  -For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

  • Even in (or especially in) times of trial and adversity, David would humble himself before the Lord and worship Him.  Among other things, he would dance before the Lord with all his might — sometimes “naked” (wearing a linen ephod).
  • David endured and overcame (by God’s grace) much adversity:  Goliath, Saul, Absalom – just to name a few.
  • David did not try to hide his sins from God. 

     Isn’t it oddly funny – ever since Adam and Eve, the fleshly nature’s immediate instinct is to try to hide from God and hope He doesn’t see and know.  The trouble with bearing our own sins is…..

     …..we ourselves become unbearable.

     Hebrews 4 :12 –For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

RUSH – SONG:  RESIST –   “You can surrender without a prayer, but you can never really pray without surrender.”

Kari Jobe – SONG: SINGING OVER ME – “There is freedom in Surrender.”

     John 8:36  -“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

     Now that’s something to dance and shout about!!  🙂

 Love and God Bless, Uncle Buck “Wango” Lamb and the Tango Tribe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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