"I asked for a car; I got a computer."

Looking for a commentary that uses big words and ponders the deeper meanings of various topics? Well...you've come to the wrong place. This blog is all about extolling the greatness of Christ, the joy of marriage, the rollercoaster ride called parenthood, the supremacy of the 1980's...and doing all of it at a fifth grade reading level!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Music Game

I found this idea on a buddy's blog and thought I would give it a try. The idea is this:
1. Go to musicoutfitters.com and, in the search box provided, enter the year you graduated high school.
2. From the search results, click the link for the top 100 songs of that year.
3. With the resulting list:
1. Bold the songs you like
2. Italicize the ones you hate
3. Underline your favorite
4. Ignore the ones you don't remember/don't care about.

Wow -- 1988 was a year for crappy Top 40 music!

1. Faith, George Michael
2. Need You Tonight, INXS
3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle
8. Could've Been, Tiffany
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood
11. One More Try, George Michael
12. Wishing Well, Terence Trent d'Arby
13. Anything For You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
14. The Flame, Cheap Trick
15. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Billy Ocean
16. Seasons Change, Expose
17. Is This Love, Whitesnake
18. Wild, Wild West, Escape Club
19. Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
20. I'll Always Love You, Taylor Dayne
21. Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson
22. Shake Your Love, Debbie Gibson
23. Simply Irresistible, Robert Palmer
24. Hold On To The Nights, Richard Marx
25. Hungry Eyes, Eric Carnen
26. Shattered Dreams, Johnny Hates Jazz
27. Father Figure, George Michael
28. Naughty Girls (Need Love Too), Samantha Fox
29. A Groovy Kind Of Love, Phil Collins
30. Love Bites, Def Leppard
31. Endless Summer Nights, Richard Marx
32. Foolish Beat, Debbie Gibson
33. Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Whitney Houston
34. Angel, Aerosmith
35. Hazy Shade Of Winter, Bangles
36. The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
37. Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
38. Make Me Lose Control, Eric Carnen
39. Red Red Wine, UB40
40. She's Like The Wind, Patric Swayze
41. Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi
42. Kokomo, Beach Boys
43. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Elton John
44. Together Forever, Rick Astley
45. Monkey, George Michael
46. Devil Inside, INXS
47. Should've Known Better, Richard Marx
48. I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love, Chicago
49. The Loco-Motion, Kylie Minogue
50. What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield
51. Make It Real, Jets
52. What's On Your Mind, Information Society
53. Tell It To My Heart, Taylor Dayne
54. Out Of The Blue, Debbie Gibson
55. Don't You Want Me, Jody Watley
56. Desire, U2
57. I Get Weak, Belinda Carlisle
58. Sign Your Name, Terence Trent d'Arby
59. I Want To Be Your Man, Roger
60. Girlfriend, Pebbles
61. Dirty Diana, Michael Jackson
62. 1-2-3, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
63. Mercedes Boy, Pebbles
64. Perfect World, Huey Lewis and the News
65. New Sensation, INXS
66. Catch Me (I'm Falling), Pretty Poison
67. If It Isn't Love, New Edition
68. Rocket 2 U, Jets
69. One Good Woman, Peter Cetera
70. Don't Be Cruel, Cheap Trick
71. Candle In The Wind, Elton John
72. Everything Your Heart Desires, Daryl Hall and John Oates
73. Say You Will , Foreigner
74. I Want Her, Keith Sweat
75. Pink Cadillac, Natalie Cole
76. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
77. Electric Blue, Icehouse
78. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby and The Range
79. Don't Be Cruel, Bobby Brown
80. Always On My Mind, Pet Shop Boys
81. Piano In The Dark, Brenda Russell Featuring Joe Esposito
82. When It's Love, Van Halen
83. Don't Shed A Tear, Paul Carrack
84. We'll Be Together, Sting
85. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
86. I Don't Want To Live Without You, Foreigner
87. Nite And Day, Al B. Sure
88. Don't You Know What The Night Can Do, Steve Winwood
89. One Moment In Time, Whitney Houston
90. Can't Stay Away From You, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
91. Kissing A Fool, George Michael
92. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellancamp
93. I Still Believe, Brenda K. Starr
94. I Found Someone, Cher
95. Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
96. Valerie, Steve Windwood
97. Just Like Paradise, David Lee Roth
98. Nothin' But A Good Time, Poison
99. Wait, White Lion
100. Prove Your Love, Taylor Dayne

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Campbell Kids Are On The Power Play

On September 12th, the Campbell's welcomed young Jacob Martin Campbell into the family. He stands a whopping 1' 9" tall, and tips the scale at a startling 8lbs, 8oz. My mother-in-law has already determined that he's extremely intelligent. Of course, she said the same thing about Noah...and he's the same kid that runs around our house wearing a plastic bucket because he likes to butt things with his head...so take that for what it's worth.

God is good....and I need a nap!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Abilene's Unsung Heroes, Part iv

Last one...
For Larry Davis, it’s all about the kids.

This fall, Davis begins his third year as the Executive Director of Special Education for the Abilene Independent School District. Previously he spent 11 years in a similar role for Region 14, providing consulting services to the different Special Education programs throughout the region. While he loved his job at Region 14, Davis said he enjoys being close to the students.

“At Region 14 I got to make recommendations to the different school districts, and the teachers were left to carry out the program. Here, it’s my job to make sure each child’s educational experience is a positive one. I enjoy being close to the kids and getting to see how programs I oversee are impacting their lives and their parents’ lives.”

Davis says this isn’t merely a job. “It’s my mission. It’s what I’m about, and I’m doing what I love to do.”

Having grown up in Abilene, Davis knew the Abilene Christian University campus well. “I didn’t think there was any place else to go to school. And having graduated from Abilene Christian High School, going to ACU seemed like the natural place to be.

Davis’ passion for students with challenges was born early in his college career. While maintaining a full class schedule, Davis also worked full-time at the Abilene State School throughout college. That, coupled with the inspiration from his teachers, showed him that he had a gift for educating mentally and physically challenged kids. “Teachers like Dr Marsh, Dr. Avinger, Dr. Fritz and Dr. Tacker had a great impact on me. They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, and that encouraged me to work harder.”

After completing a Bachelors in Special Education, Davis went to work on his Masters in Supervision. At that level he continued to get the mentoring from his teachers. “Dr. Gee monitored me during my Masters work. I did the work, but he was always pushing me to do better.”

Today, Davis is Executive Director of a Special Education program that educates students with a range of disabilities. Students with an array of disabilities -- Autism, severe physical handicaps, hearing and speech impaired -- make up the 3,100 students in his program, ranging in ages from 3 to 21. Davis’ program has garnered high recognition from the Air Force. Airmen with disable children make special requests to be transferred to Dyess Air Force Base in order to enroll their children in the program. Davis also oversees the 550 personnel in his program along with a $20 Million budget.

While he admits the job can be stressful at times, he can’t see himself doing anything else. “Watching my kids succeed at things they do gives me great joy. It’s great watching a kid overcome something they used to struggle with.”

Monday, September 05, 2005

Abilene's Unsung Heroes, Part III

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Here's part 3 of four:
This past July, Star Ferguson made her seventh trip halfway across the world to Zambia as part of the medical mission organized by the Hillcrest Church of Christ. Zambia is a long way from the tiny community of Maryneal, TX, that Star called home. Star not only makes the yearly trip to these remote parts of Zambia, she has now taken on a leadership role for the mission trip. Having passed an array of tests she now serves as the mission’s Pharmacy Director.

While she spends three weeks of her summer in Zambia each year, preparing for the trip is a year-round project. “In October I’m raising funds for buying medicines. In December I begin work on the budget. Then the majority of the time leading up to the trip is spent organizing the medicines and preparing to ship it overseas.” For this most recent trip, Ferguson assembled 67 foot lockers and 12 large boxes full of life-giving medicine for the poorest people of this African nation. Over the past two years alone, the Zambian Medical Mission has seen more than 35,000 patients and distributed more than 6 million dollars worth of medicine.

Even though her role as Pharmacy Director means she leaves a week before everyone else, Ferguson is quick to mention the work of the other 129 members of her mission team. “This is both a medical and spiritual mission,” Ferguson says. “There is an eye clinic and a dental clinic going at the same time that we are distributing medicine. And each day there are two sessions of Bible classes for the children. Each session will have up to 400 kids.”

The past couple of trips to Zambia have been extra special to Ferguson. Her husband, daughter, and son have all accompanied Ferguson to Zambia. “Each night we get together in our tent as a family and talk about all the ways that God worked through us that day. What a blessing it is to be able to minister to the poor of Zambia as a family!” These trips have been especially beneficial to her daughter, Rebekah, who plans to attend Pharmacy school after completing her degree this Spring.

When she stepped onto the ACU campus in the Fall of 1978, Ferguson immediately felt its impact on her life. “My teachers like Mae Robbins, Overton Faubus, and Colleen Durrington were the biggest blessing to me. They wanted me to learn, but they were mentors for my spiritual growth at the same time.” Ferguson also credits ACU for helping her find her passion for her Zambian ministry. “ACU gave me a broader view of Christian ministries throughout the world.”

Ferguson is already making plans for next summer’s trip to Zambia – writing thank you notes to sponsors, developing pictures, and preparing reports for the different churches and organizations who support her work. While it may be a lot of work, Ferguson says she plans to continue her yearly excursion for as long as she can.

“Nothing makes me happier than when I’m able to do something for someone else,” Ferguson says. She retold a conversation she had with a Zambian mother on this latest trip. “The mother looked at me and said, ‘God must really love us.’ I looked around at the malnourished children, the sick and the dying, and those living in poverty we can’t even imagine. And she continued, ‘Because He sent you here to help us.’”

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Campbell's Take A Field Trip, Part II

When last I left you, my four-year old son had tugged on my heart strings through his trust in God...and we weren't quite to TEN yet.

At precisely 10:45AM, the number FIFTEEN is yelled with all the bed-side manner of a starving Boa Constrictor. I quickly gather up the stack of papers my young offspring have been scribbling on and herd the Campbell's in the appropriate direction. Waiting for us behind a mystical curtain is a lady in her mid-40s who appears to be having a bad day.

"How many shots do you want," she says without looking up from her clipboard?

"Well, I don't WANT any shots," I replied, hoping I could muster a smile from my less-than-enthusiastic host. Instead, she looked up at me over the rim of her $1 reading glasses...and gave me a stare that assured me she had killed before.

"We're here for two Hepatitis-A vaccines, ma'am." She filled out the rest of the paperwork, accepted my $16 (WHAT A BARGAIN!), and pointed me to another room...where I THOUGHT we would be quickly cared for.


Instead, we wander into another waiting room. And yes, three of our State School friends were present. One had a football helmet on -- the single bar variety, a la Joe Thiesmann. Elijah was immediately intrigued...and before I could stop him he was walking over to the young man to see his football helmet. But his journey came to a screeching halt...for also in the waiting room with us was the young lady that was screaming bloody-murder when we first walked into the clinic. Elijah leapt off the floor, did a quick 180, and dove into my arms. Noah is equally perplexed by our situation.

The chaperone quickly escorts all three of the students from the room. As she does so, another scream comes from behind the door adjacent to the waiting room. This scream, however, is all too familiar. It's the same scream that every child under the age of 6 makes the instant a needle is plunged into their body.

Elijah, hearing the scream, looks up at me with tears in his eyes. "I don't wanna get a shot," he screams! Noah, realizing his brother is upset, begins to do exactly as Elijah does. "No shot, Daddy, no shot!"

"TWELVE," comes the call from behind the door!!!

Only three more numbers to go. I can make it, I can make it!

By the time I hear the immortal word, FIFTEEN, the room is in utter pandemonium. My sons have started an epidemic of crying that would rival that of the opening night of "Beaches." We walk into the room, and the "executioner" is an imposing figure. A lady, standing over 6' tall, who could play on the offensive line for most Class 5A high school teams, rises from her chair and asks, "Who's first?"

Elijah, being the big brother, takes the initiative. "He is," he screams, pointing at his little brother! Noah is too young to know what he has just been sentenced to. I pick him up, hold him in my lap, and hang on for dear life while the nurse plunges a very large needle into his thigh. Noah hits a "High A" as his finger nails dig into my arms. The nurse puts a band-aid on his leg, which Noah promptly rips off and throws back at her!

I wheel in the chair to put Noah down...and Elijah is nowhere to be found. He has thrown open the door and made his escape down the hall. I stick my head out in the hall, and a nurse calls to me, "He went that way!"

I quickly track down my refugee son who is absolutely beside himself. When we get back to the room, the nurse has called in reinforcements. One nurse is holding a somewhat calmer Noah. Two more are ready to help restrain a panic-stricken Elijah. I, now sweating profusely from the stress and strain of the days activity, watch helplessly as they administer the necessary vaccine to my oldest son. Oddly enough -- when the needle goes in, he stops crying!

The band-aid is placed on his leg...and as though the Lord himself had said, "Peace, be still," the room becomes quiet. Amazed, I hug Elijah and said, "See that wasn't so bad."

Elijah looks back at me in confusion. So I continued, "Man, when she put that needle in your leg you didn't even cry!" Elijah's confused look turns into an expression of shock and disbelief. "SHE PUT A NEEDLE IN MY LEG!!!?!?!??" Immediately the tears returned and Elijah became hysterical with sorrow. I quickly gathered him and his brother into my arms (almost 70 pounds worth of kids) and RAN out of the building.

I looked behind me to make sure no one was chasing me...AND to make sure there wasn't anyone I knew.

Oh yeah -- and the best part of all: WE GET TO GO BACK AND DO THIS AGAIN IN SIX MONTHS!!!