Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vietnam Child Abuse Prevention Program

Everyone who knows me knows that I have a heart for abused children.  I have been working with abused children for almost ten years.  Going to Vietnam to help children in that country means so much to me.  We are very fortunate to have the resources we have to address child abuse in America. 

If you have always wanted to go to another country and help others, but couldn't because of time or other obligations, you have an opportunity to give, so that other children can have an opportunity for a future.  Please help me, so that I can go to Vietnam and assess their needs.  I will be going with an experienced group of clinicians, child advocates, and social workers.  We want to start a Child Abuse Prevention Program in Vietnam. 

Your donation is not going to a random charity that you know nothing about.  Your donation goes to support the expenses necessary for my travel and basic needs.  You will receive a formal letter addressing what has been laid on my heart.  You will receive a report of my trip and you will be informed of future trips to Vietnam.  You will receive a formal "Thank You" letter for your contribution.

Thank you for taking the time to hear me out.  I love all of you and I appreciate your prayers and support.



Friday, November 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago I Made a Decision.

Ten years ago I made a decision that was so radical that if you would have told me then that I would have accomplished all that I have had today, I would have either laughed in your face or cursed you for putting such lunacy into my head.  If you had told me at that time that in ten years, I would be:

1.     Ten years clean (sober)
2.     Was a committed husband and father
3.     Be graduating with honors from the school of social work
4.     8 years invested in working with abused children
5.     Was a submitted follower of Jesus Christ
6.     Changed the lives of many people
7.     Knew American Sign Language
8.     Was friends with people of other faiths
9.     Loved others
10. Loved myself

I would have had serious doubts about your sanity.

            Ten years ago from this month I stood in a Church, at my friend, Dan Rowan’s funeral, and committed myself to follow Jesus Christ.  There were some previous events that led to my decision and though many of my friends sat there thinking that I had an emotional moment and would quickly recant my bold statement, I can tell you that ten years later I am still standing for my faith in Jesus Christ.

            A year before I stood in that Church I was at my grandmother’s funeral, sobbing in a pew.  I was listening to her testimony about how she had come to faith in Jesus Christ.  She said that if she had known she had cancer before she started going to Church, she would have never went, because she would had felt as if she was doing it out of pity.  She said that God knew her heart and it was no coincidence that she came to faith in Jesus Christ before she found out she had cancer.  But, these words at that present moment didn’t mean much to me.  Life as I knew it had ended.  The woman that raised me, who was my mother in every way, had gone to be with her Lord.  I was listening to her testimony and a thought had crept into my mind, “What if she was meant to die?”  It was disturbing to think that her death was meant to happen.  I shook off the thought, but it had continued to haunt me.

            The summer before I made my decision to follow Christ I was invited to Church.  I really “didn’t belong” in Church, but I couldn’t resist the invitation from my friend.  I had always wanted to be with her and I thought this was my opportunity.  We dated, but God eventually broke that off, which was hurtful, but it led me further into his arms.  I remember that it was a very small Church and the congregation consisted of mostly elderly people.  I had long hair, smelled like smoke, and had a permanently fixed “I don’t care” expression on my face.  But, when those elderly ladies hugged me, something inside was stirred and I was quickly taken back to those precious moments I had with my grandmother.  They loved me regardless of what I looked (or smelled) like.  I was going to Church all summer in 2001.  I hadn’t made a verbal “commitment” to follow Christ, but I was consistently going to Church.  Heck, I was still doing all the things I was doing before I came to Church, but I kept coming.

            I remember that summer hearing, what I thought were trumpets.  It happened at weird times.  I remember one time running to the window in a panic to see if Jesus had come back and if it was too late for me.  I was seriously fearful, because I knew I was living wrong and I was not right with God.  I remember having dreams about Heaven and about Hell.  I was disturbed by those dreams, but I continued my filthy living.

            On September 11, 2001 I was walking to class (for music) and the students in the foyer were talking; they sounded very panicked.  I discovered the horrible truth about the terrorist attacks.  The professors told us to go home and be with our families.  I went home and coped with the problem, the same way I had coped with many problems.  I won’t say here, but I didn’t have a very good method for coping with anything.  I was freaked out and concerned about the future.  It shook me to question, “what if I had died that today?”

            In November a friend of mine was killed as he was walking along the I-35 frontage road.  He was tripping on mushrooms and decided to go take a walk, in only his underwear.  Someone had spotted him and called the police, but the police arrived too late to arrest him.  It was foggy and a car had missed the exit and hit my friend.  He was killed instantly.  I remember I had just arrived to work the next day and another friend had told me he had died.  I couldn’t believe it.

            At his funeral I made my decision to follow Jesus Christ.  It really wasn’t because of my friend’s death, but it was because of all the previous events leading up to this point.  I remember the preacher saying that at any moment God can call us home and it will be then that we are judged.  I had enough.  I couldn’t stand the death, the life I was living, and the sin in my life.  He said if you accept Christ this day as your Lord and savior to stand up.  I was scared for many reasons.  One reason was because I was surrounded by all my friends (and drug buddies), many who were atheist, agnostic, pagan, or uncommitted Christians living a life of sin.  I was worried that I would be shunned, ridiculed, hated, and disowned.  But, at that moment in my life I didn’t care.  Now, those fears I had about my friends disowning me didn’t happen.  I was still doing what I had always done, but I made a statement.  It wasn’t until I started living the way God had called me to live that my friends started treating me differently.

            Shortly after the funeral we went to a Sevendust concert.  Sevendust is a hardrock band and the fact that they were in Waco doing a show was iconic.  Waco didn’t really have headlining hardrock bands come through, so we had to go.  We stood very close to the stage. Lajon Witherspoon, the lead singer of band, was wearing a shirt that had Jesus wearing the crown of thorns.  He pointed to the shirt and said, “Yeah Waco!  You know what I’m talking about?”  I was floored!  This man was making a statement of his faith.  I was so shocked that he openly said he was a believer in Jesus Christ.  After they finished their set, I went around the side of the coliseum with a friend and we waited for some of the band members to come out.  We actually met the drummer, Morgan Rose, and he chatted with us and brought us backstage.  We stood around for a minute and had the band meet us outside after the show.  We were all hanging out and the one of my friends pulled out a joint (marijuana cigarette).  Lajon was smoking with us and we thought we were rockstars.  Lajon said that they were going to a local bar after the show and he would let us in with him so we could hang out some more.  I thought to myself about him being a Christian and smoking marijuana and somehow that conflicted with me.  When we arrived at the bar we saw him and he let us come back with him and the band.  We were hanging out and the limo driver was buying us all booze.  We were getting lit.  I remember sitting at the table and I asked Lajon, “Did you mean it when you said that you are a Christian?”  He said, “Yes.”  I wasn’t even questioning his drinking and smoking, but I was excited and I wanted to know more about his faith.  I started asking him how he became a Christian and other questions.  He paused and had a look of remorse and regret on his face.  He said he would rather not talk about it.  I was puzzled.  He was convicted as I was about the things we were doing, but both of us were still just living sinful lives.  It got me thinking about the choices I was making and how others see me as a follower of Christ.  I was thinking that maybe I should give up partying and other things.

            A very short time later we had a benefit show for my friend’s family.  After the show we were all hanging out at the sheds where the bands practice.  We were partying, smoking, drinking and talking.  My friends were talking about Dan being in heaven and that they must have very large guitars and heavy metal must be really heavy in heaven.  We were trying to see Dan in a better place and cope with him being gone.  There was a lot of talk about what happens when we die.  Some people just walked away and joined other circles of conversation.  I remember at that very moment my conviction about Lajon, our behavior, and our profession of being Christians.  I made my decision right there in front of all my friends that I was going to stop doing drugs.  My friends were really nice about it and said that was cool.  The “stuff” was being passed around (stuff as my friend’s grandma would say) and I remember taking it and passing it to the girl sitting to my right.  I didn’t really know her and I think it may have been my first time meeting her.  She said, “No thanks, I don’t do that.”  I laughed at her and I said, “What are you religious?”  She reached for her neck and pulled out a cross that was hidden behind her shirt and said, “Yes, I am a Christian.”  I was amazed!  I told her what God had been doing in my life and my conviction to stop partying and giving my life to God completely.  God really used that situation to stir in me a passion to understand him more.  These were crazy “coincidences” and I needed to know why it was happening to me.

            A few months later I had been sober since that time and I stopped hanging around my friends as much.  I was going to Church every chance I got.  When I would hang around my friends, I couldn’t help but talk about the love of Jesus Christ.  Some people would really get into the conversation, but others would get annoyed.  I started getting told to stop talking about Jesus because I am ruining everyone’s high.  I told them that I couldn’t help it.  It just comes out of me.  Eventually I started back sliding a little.  I would say dirty jokes and curse.  I remember a good friend of mine looking at me like I just slapped him and said, “Dude, what’s up with all that Jesus talk and now your telling dirty jokes and cursing?”  I thought about what he had said to me.  I remember spending time with the Lord after that and I came across this verse:  “He said to another man, “Follow me.”  But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”- Luke 9:59-60.  I though it was harsh for the Lord to say that.  I asked him, “Why did you say that to him?”  Jesus told me, “I not only said it to him, but I am saying it to you now.”  He explained, “Your friends are dead and their weight is pulling you down to the grave.  Let them worry about themselves and follow me.”  I knew that if I was going to follow Jesus I was going to have to lay everything down.  So, I made the decision to stop hanging around my old friends.  I had to follow Jesus.  Everything in me was saying, “Go!”  My friends didn’t understand.  It hurt them very much, but I knew what I was doing and the life I was choosing.  Living the old life was causing me horrible pain and hurt.  Christ gave me freedom and his love is unrivaled!

My best friend at the time said that I was going to Church, leaving my friends, and “following God” because of my girlfriend.  All I have to say about that now is, “It’s been ten years, she’s gone and Jesus is still here.”  Jesus will always be here.  I have no intentions on leaving my Lord.  I am captivated by his glory.  It’s amazing!  I am often alone and I think about where I was and where I am.  I can’t help but get emotional about it.  God has worked miracles!  I can’t deny what he has done!  He’s simply amazing and he knows me intimately.  I want to know him more intimately!

It’s been ten years.  I wonder what the next ten years will bring!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Building Bridges with Fellow Texans and my thoughts.

I woke up at 12:30 am tonight and it’s 1:30.  I cannot sleep.  I have been having dreams of speaking Arabic, visiting Mosques, and sharing my faith with my Muslim friends.  In my dreams I am constantly opposed by people who are angry because of what I am doing.  They say that I am compromising my faith and that I am not being “Christian.”  In my dream I ignore them because my heart is overwhelmed with love for my friends.  And the sadness that accompanies my love is for those who claim to know Christ, but refuse to share him with those they consider enemies.

Friday morning I was returning to my office from Denton and I was listening to the Mark Davis show on 820 AM WBAP.  I caught the last portion of the topic.  They were discussing our Church, Northwood.  They were talking about the “Building Bridges with Fellow Texans” event that we are having this Sunday.  I have always enjoyed Mark Davis’ show because he seems to be a conservative with logic and reason.  A lot of conservative talk radio that is available has a disdain for people of other cultures and faiths, particularly Muslims.  Mark was discussing the event and from what I heard, he thought the event was good and that it was a good idea for Christians and Muslims to get to know one another.  A caller came on and was belligerent, to say the very least.  He was making vague and broad claims that Churches today are compromising their integrity and faith by inviting people of other faiths into their places of worship.  Mark caught him and pointed out his vague generalizations, and asked for specific evidence that this is happening.  Mark pointed out that if we are claiming Jesus is the way and then later backing down from that message, the he would understand the problem, but he didn’t think that was the case.  The caller went on and he continued to say that we shouldn’t be doing this.

What I heard on the radio may be a contributing factor to why I am awake tonight, but this was not the first time that people have expressed their opposition to Northwood inviting Muslims to the Church.  I have had personal encounters with people who are opposed to the idea of Muslims coming to the Church.  It’s really shocking to me that these same individuals are supportive of missions and say they want to see Muslims come to Christ, but refuse to go to a Mosque or make friends with Muslims.  They have lofty ideas that Muslims need to be reached on the other side of the world, but can’t see the forest from the trees.  We are surrounded by Muslims in Tarrant County.  Some Christians want to ignore them when they pass by them in the mall (sometimes it’s obvious to notice Muslims, other times it’s not).  They want to pretend that they are foreigners and are visiting the United States.  The truth is that many of the Muslims they pass by in public places are second, third, and some fourth generation Americans.  Some Christians feel that Muslims, living in this country, is an attack on their own culture and religion.  It’s funny to me that Muslims and Christians share life all around the world, except here.  We believe that we are preserving “our Christian heritage”, but forget that “the earth is the Lords and the fullness therof” (Psalm 24:1).

If western evangelism of Muslims had a mission statement, it would be this: “Serve to convert.”  The methodology in which this would happen would be: Berate the other faith, point out their faults, demonize their beliefs, and then offer them the alternative of Christianity.  We have brought Christ to Muslims like we bring business proposals to competing markets.  “The other company’s product is not that great.  It has a lot of malfunctions.  The other company is bad business.  But, you can fix all that right now if you purchase our product.”  It really breaks my heart that we have placed Jesus Christ in a box, labeled him, and shipped him overseas.

The new mission statement of evangelism is this: “We do not serve to convert, but we serve because we are converted.”  Our methodology is simple: share our lives openly with others, without hidden agenda’s, without walls, and live Christ to the fullest.  If we do this we don’t have to worry about what we will say, or the seven points on evangelism, or some other theologically marketed punch line.  Christ will radiate in our conversations.  The more naturally we love people and share our lives with them, the more adamant our desire will be to reach them.

Say you had a son and he had decided, for whatever reason, to leave your household and travel far away.  You longed for your son to return and you cried several thousands of tears and begged God that he would return your son to you.  You would stay awake many nights wondering if he was ok and if he would ever return.  Being your friend, I understood your hurt and your pain.  Being your friend, I had prayed with you and listened to you express these concerns.  Now let’s also say that I happen to be in that far away place and I saw your son.  What kind of friend would I be if I said nothing?  What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t try to reconcile your son to you?

The Church of America today has become the prodigal son’s brother.  Though it was our responsibility to reconcile the father to the son, we have done nothing to reconcile the situation, yet instead, grumbled and complained about our “rights” as sons.  We have hurt the father even more by causing him further disgrace because of our feelings of entitlement.  When Jesus told that story he was referring to the Pharisees as the prodigal’s brother.  Today, we have become the thing we have despised.  We have become indignant, lovers of self, self-righteous, spoiled children of God.  God’s house is open for anyone who wishes to enter.  If you have a problem with that, please take it up with the man of the house.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The day after "Good Friday"

About 2,000 years ago this was a sad and hopeless day for the disciples of Jesus.  I could only imagine the mourning, pain, and guilt they felt.  I couldn't imagine a more hopeless group of people clinging on to his last few words.  Having seen him murdered the day before was awful, but not having his presence at all was devastating.  The day after good Friday, I believe, was the darkest and most utterly painful day in mankind's history.  But, what a glorious day to wake up to the following morning! 

Walking up to the tomb, with spices and ointments to complete their embalming process, must have been cumbersome.  But, it was astonishing to see the angel and hear him say, "Why do you look for the living among the dead.  He is not here; he is risen!"  From the account of Luke, the angel reminded them what Jesus had told them before his crucifixion.  Jesus told them that he must be handed into sinners hands to be crucified, but on the third day be raised again.  Then the Bible says, "Then they remembered his words." -Luke 24:1-8.  I can't even fathom the joy and amazement they felt after being told this.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the Bible states that Jesus visited the disciples and rebuked them for their lack of faith.  Then Jesus gave them the "Great Commission," telling them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son, and of the Holy Spirit"- Matthew 28:16 and Mark 9:16-19.

I read the story about the two walking on the road to Emmaus.  It gives me chills reading it.  The two were downcast and disheartened.  Jesus appeared to them, but they didn't know it was him.  Not only did they not recognize him, they thought he was a visitor traveling into Jerusalem and were still astonished that he had not heard the news.  They told Jesus about the death of a great prophet, whom they expected to redeem Israel.  I think about the sorrow these two men felt as they walked on that road.  I think about the heartache that burdened them and weighed down their every thought.  They were at a point in time where it seemed as though all hope was lost.  They were devastated, crushed, and ruined. 

Jesus pointed out their slow belief (or their lack of understanding/perceiving) in the prophets' words.  Then Jesus started from the beginning and explained all the scriptures concerning him, from Moses and all the prophets.  Jesus continued walking as though (pretending) he were traveling farther.  The two men urged him strongly to stay with them.  They saw that the day was almost over and were concerned about his well-being.  At the table Jesus broke the bread and gave it to them.  The Bible says that they then recognized him and suddenly Jesus had vanished.  Then they said to themselves, "Were not our hearts still burning while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"  Then they got up, immediately, without delay and went to Jerusalem!  It amazes me that they were concerned for the safety of someone they thought to be a stranger and urged Jesus to stay with them, but didn't even consider their own safety as they left immediately to tell the others that he was indeed alive! 

They found the disciples, among others, gathered together and exclaimed, "It is true!  The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon!"  While they were still talking about what happened on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared and said, "Peace be with you."  They were troubled in their hearts and had doubts.  Jesus pointed this out and told them to look at his hands and feet!  He told them to TOUCH!  He wanted them to believe!  But, they couldn't believe because of their joy and amazement.  Jesus then asked for something to eat.  They gave him a broiled fish.  He ate it in their presence, I believe, as a further demonstration that he was indeed alive.  Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures!  Then he explains to them that he will be returning to the father and he commands them to stay in the city until they have been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:13-52).

The day after "Good Friday" was full of hopelessness.  But, Easter morning was filled with amazement, hope, and joy!  If they hadn't experienced such sorrow the day before Easter, how would they have responded that third day?  The scriptures concerning this story literally excites me to tears!  The joy I have in knowing that Christ suffered for me; that Christ put those closest to him, in devastating sorrow for me, brings me to tears!  Even the joy I feel can't compare to the joy they felt on that marvelous day!  Easter is an amazing time of year and the Easter story is full of hope and joy!

Some of us are living our lives in the "Day after Good Friday."  Some people have no hope and are devastated!  Some have been stripped of their joy and peace.  Some are looking at the tomb of despair, thinking that their hope, joy, and everything they live for will never resurrect.  Some people are stuck in that moment of time, that day of sorrow.  I have good news.  Easter has come.  My wife just said that Easter is her birthday (although she and I both know her birth certificate says December 21st).  It made me think.  It doesn't matter if you read this blog six months from now.  Your Easter is the moment you realize Christ is risen.  You can have the joy that many others have experienced.  Easter isn't an event that happens once a year at your local Church.  Easter isn't getting on your finest clothing and gathering your children to attend Sunday service.  Easter is realizing that Christ IS RISEN!  Easter can happen now!

Thank you Lord for your patience with us in our slow mindedness.  Thank you for coming into our difficult moments and revealing yourself.  You are present in all our sorrows and you are our comfort and hope.  Thank you that you put out your hands and feet for your disciples to touch and believe!  How much more do you want us, who live in this present moment, to believe?!  You are amazing and no language ever used by men will ever be able to convey the Easter story, nor your present glory!  Your glory exceeds all existence!  You are amazing and beautiful!  I am yours!  Please do with me as you wish!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Looking for a sign from God? Read this....

It's been a while since my last post, but honestly I have been busy!  God has been doing a lot of things in me and through me. A few weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to catch up with a friend of mine.  We haven't seen each other in a while because we have both been very busy.  We decided to get some coffee at Starbucks and hang out.  My friend's name is Levi.  He's an awesome friend and an amazing brother-in-Christ.  Levi is deaf.  He has been deaf nearly all of his life.  I took American Sign Language (ASL) last summer and I fell completely in love with deaf people and their culture.  I can't help but to fingerspell everything I see and sign everything I say.  ASL has been integrated in my life and I can't help, but use it.  I find myself signing during worship and signing when I am talking to people.  I can't help but sign.

We were catching up on how things were going.  He got a job in Dallas and works regularly.  Since he lives in Fort Worth, the drive takes a long time and doesn't leave him much time for anything else.  I have been busy with school and told him that all I have time for is work, my internship (learned that sign during the chat), and Church.  It was interesting, but after catching up we started talking about Church and we shared our testimony of how Christ came into our lives.  I am not going into details about what was discussed, but we had similar stories about "hearing" God.  We shared similarities on views about Church and how head knowledge gets in the way of heart knowledge.  He explained this by making a cross with his fingers and placing them on his head and then moving them to his heart.  

We also talked about deaf Churches and how it's important for deaf people to fellowship with other deaf people.  A lot of hearing Churches have an interpreter, but there is a lack of fellowship, because majority of hearing people don’t know ASL and can’t communicate with their deaf brothers-in-Christ.  They will write on a piece of paper and use gestures, but the lack of language will always hinder communication and relationship.  Fellowship is unity through culture and language.

I am going to give a little lesson on what I have learned about deaf culture.  Please be patient with me as I explain.  Also, have an open mind and really consider what is being communicated.  

Deaf Culture is Unique:

Deaf culture is different from any other culture on earth.  It’s unique and precious.  Deaf culture is not fundamentally based on race, religion, or location.  It’s based solely on the fact that the people of this culture cannot hear.  That’s it.  All people of all races, of all religions, of all origins belong to deaf culture.

Deaf and Hearing Culture:

Majority of deaf children have hearing parents.  Majority of deaf parents have hearing children.  Now, hearing parents with deaf children are more likely than not, to try and "fix" their children's hearing.  This is a long, expensive, and hurtful process.  Technology isn't what hearing parents are told it is.  Instead they are let to believe that their children, because they are deaf, will never amount to anything and the only hope for them is cochlear implants.  While all this is going on the child is left without a language.  Language is essential to the development of a child.  Culture ties strongly with language.  The bonding that every young child needs with its parent is lacking if there is no shared language.  Bonding is incredibly important for the healthy development of a child.  Deaf children, in hearing families where ASL is not the primary language, suffer many hardships.

Now, hearing children with deaf parents grow up in a home where ASL is the primary language.  The main difference between this scenario and the former is hearing children can learn ASL, deaf children cannot learn spoken language.  Why?  Because they are deaf.  How can you learn a spoken language you have never heard?  How can you enunciate sounds you have never heard and how can you make those sounds if you can’t hear yourself?  Don’t get me wrong, there are some deaf people who are very good at speaking, but this is rare and it is the result of rigorous training, which takes years to learn.  Hearing children with deaf parents, or Children of Deaf Adults (CODA’s) grow up learning ASL and a spoken language.  Think about it.  If you are hearing and you are immersed in a world that speaks, then how can you not learn the language?

For my hearing friends reading this (if you aren't deaf or hard of hearing this means you) ASL isn't just gestures and acting out things so that you get a point across.  ASL is a thorough language that expresses ideas, concepts, both abstract and concrete.  ASL has it's own language structure, much like French, English, Spanish or any other language.  I am explaining this because I don't want my hearing friends to have the misconception that we are miming when we communicate using ASL.  I want my hearing friends to understand that we are having a deep conversation using a language foreign to most hearing people. 

So with all that said, there is a divide between deaf and hearing cultures.  Technology is changing and making it easier to communicate, but I want to encourage my hearing friends to take an ASL course and learn to fingerspell.  Since I have taken ASL classes I have made some awesome friends.  Some friends I have made by meeting in public places.  Every time I see hands move I get excited!  It’s another opportunity to meet a new friend and chat!

I hope that this blog was interesting and not as boring as my last two blogs.  I am new at this, so give me a break :-p



p.s. If any of my deaf friends feel they need to add to this blog, please feel free to do so.  Also, if I had said anything that was not true or not fully explained, please let me know.  I am learning and I want others to learn also.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Range Day

Well, I bought a new rifle and I needed to sight in in.  I got a Savage 30.06 with a scope.  The rifle has a feature called accutrigger.  I got a good deal on the gun.  My friend Jeremy also got a bolt rifle.  His was also a 30.06, but he got a Mossberg (very nice gun!). 

So, we decided to spend a day at the range.  My arsenal included my new Savage bolt rifle 30.06, my AR-15 LMT CQB .556, my Springfield XD(M) .40, my Springfield XD Subcompact .40 with Crimson Trace laser grips, and my wife's Taurus 709 Slim 9mm.

Jeremy brought his new Mossberg bolt rifles 30.06, his Hi-Point .40, his conceal carry (I forget what he has and what caliber), and a rifle .22 for plinking.

This was my first time shooting at an outdoor range.  The range had specific rules that were strictly enforced.  The staff were polite and we had a good time.  We first shot our bolt rifles at 100 yards.  Now, it's important that you understand that I have never sighted a bolt rifle with a scope.  So my ignorance left me unprepared.  We set up our targets.  I was told by the people who sold me the rifle that it was bore sighted at the factory.  Well, something must have happened between there and here, because it was not even coming close to hitting the paper.  We walked down to look at our targets and I didn't have a single hole in my sheet.  So, I went and rented a spotting scope (next on my list to purchase).  Jeremy watched using the scope to see where my bullets were going.  They were way off.  After a few adjustments I was hitting the paper.  I had close groupings, but I was off the mark.  Jeremy's did rather well with his groupings.  I spotted while Jeremy shot and he had his adjustments.

 Here you can see my target.  I was shooting way right and low.  Eventually, we got the groups closer to center of the target, however, still short of what I wanted.  The scope was actually weak.  I thought the scope could have been efficient at 100 yards.  But, this was my first time shooting a scoped rifle, so I have a lot to learn.

Next, we headed over to the 50 yard range to shoot my AR-15.  I had a red dot sight that I have not yet sighted in.  I had to purchase bullets at the range store because they did not allow customers to shoot Full Metal Jackets (FMJ) with rifles.  However, FMJ's were allowed for handguns.  So I purchased 20 soft point bullets.  I couldn't afford more than that.  I had not sighted my red dot, but my first shot was very close to center.  I looked through the spotting scope and saw that it had hit in the inner circle where the X was.  I was impressed.  So I shot a couple more rounds.  All shots had tight groupings.  I let Jeremy plink with it using the last 10 rounds.  It's a fun gun to shoot and it has very low recoil.  This is an awesome weapon.  Anything at 50 yards with the red dot alone will go be hit.  I am pretty sure it will do fine at 100 yards with the red dot as well.  Next time I go to the range I will be more prepared.

After the 50 yard range we headed over to the 25 yard range to shoot our pistols.  This is something I am very familiar with.  Pistol shooting is something that I have done more of.  We got our pistols set up and Jeremy challenges me to a duel.  The man who gets the most points (we were using a numbered human silhouette target) buys the other a beer after we were done.  So, we loaded up and shot 10 rounds.  I hit my first four shots center mass.  My other shots went into the 9 and one went into the 8.  So, I did pretty good.  I won that bout and it was a good thing because I didn't have much cash after purchasing the ammo and renting the spotting scope.    

After we left the range we headed to Joe's Pasta Pizza Subs for some dinner.  Jeremy bought the pizza and beer.  My debit cards numbers were stolen off the Internet, so I shut down our account and canceled our cards.  I am not used to having cash on me, so I didn't have as much as I thought I needed.  Anyway, Jeremy covered me this time and next time it will be my treat.  We had a great time and I can't wait to go back, but it may be a while.

Friday, February 11, 2011

1st Blog

The reason for my blog?  Well it's not because I have many interesting things to say.  The most interesting things I say are reserved between me and God.  My wife started blogging and I guess I didn't want to be left behind in the world of social media.  So......here goes nothing (and I sincerely mean that).


If you are profoundly bored and have come to the end of your wits, this blog will only make matters worse, if not send you into catatonic purgatory.  My hope for this little, lost space of the Internet is to speak my mind.  Therefor, you may return here only to find this same blog.  However, if there is more that comes after it, then I am on the path to well-being and you can be certain that my mind is not rotting with degenerative dementia.  I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you,