Jeeps

1979-cj7-yellow-hardtop

I love driving my Jeep. I’m sure you know that by now. I still really like driving my red 1997 Jeep Cherokee Country, especially after it got a much-needed, long-overdue tune up.

I previously drove a 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport, which I also really liked to drive. I miss that car but not the manual locks and windows or the crappy drink holder which fell over if you so much as looked at it wrong.

Sensing a trend? It honestly wasn’t planned out that way. I’ve been paying more attention since I started driving one and I see Jeeps all the time now, partly due to that incredible in-line V6 engine which is practically indestructible.

I’m thinking my next car might be a Jeep. Maybe a Wrangler (or possibly even one of those old CJ7s). It’d be fun to drive a car where I could take off the top and ride around with the sun and breeze in my hair.

The secret to happiness isn’t having the best of everything but seeing the best in what you already have. It’s being content with who you are, where you are, with what you have. Being satisfied and content is still the most radically counter-cultural mindset you can have in this current age of overspending to keep up with those proverbial Joneses.

I personally have never really lusted after one of those really expensive luxury sports cars like the Ferraris and the Lamborghinis. I don’t fancy spending more money on a car than most houses cost.

I’ve also never really had a strong desire for a muscle car. I really just want something that suits my personality and that doesn’t look like every other car on the road.

If I go with the better gas mileage, I still think I’d like to have a Mini Cooper. Those look like they’d be fun to drive.

For now, I’m feeling thankful and blessed to still be driving my vintage Jeep with over 315,000 miles on it that still looks and runs great.

I’ll stick with that one for now.

 

Winning the Lottery

So, the lottery is up to something like $1.4 billion. I also read that if every single person in the U.S. had a winning ticket, every person would win $4.3 million. I believe whoever calculated that was off a few decimal places. The actual total would be $4.30 per person, enough for a value meal at Taco Bell.

I have ideas with what I’d do if I won the lottery. I’d buy one of those old houses on Fair Street in Franklin. I’d finally get my red Mini-Cooper. I’d travel a lot and go to all those places I’ve always wanted to go.

I’d be very generous. I’d give to charities and pay off people’s debts and buy really nice stuff for my friends and family. Or would I?

I believe wholeheartedly that people that aren’t generous with $1 won’t be with $1 million. If you’re not a charitable person now, the chances are that sudden wealth won’t change that.

Maybe the answer is to start looking for ways to be generous now. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve spending lots of money on others. It could mean spending time with people. It could also mean donating your talents.

The best way of all to learn generosity is to remember how generous God has been to you all this time. He saved you, didn’t He? He rescued you from your own mess and gave you everything you needed in Jesus, right?

That kind of generosity should inspire us to a kind of generosity that is most needed yet most rarely given– a generosity of loving people not because they deserve it or earn it but because God loves the unloveable and calls us to do the same.

In fact, when we tangibly love those who can never return that love, we are most like the God who loved us when we were at our worst.

But I’d still like the opportunity to prove that all those millions wouldn’t change who I am fundamentally as a person. I’m just saying.

PS If you’re a millionaire and you don’t have a bookshelf that spins into a secret room you’re spending it wrong. Give me your money.

 

I Just Realized

image

So I set a new record for myself: most days lived. Granted, all that was required of me to accomplish this feat was not to die in my sleep or fatally trip over something on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night , both which I manage to avoid most every night.

Today’s my birthday. For the record, I accept all forms of payment: cash, checks, major credit cards, etc. I also have a short birthday list for those of you feeling especially generous. And I mean ESPECIALLY generous.

1) One Mac Book Pro laptop (so I can write better blogs and look infinitely cooler whilst doing so)

2) One red Mini Cooper (preferably with the British flag emblem on the roof and/or side-view mirrors)

And now back to reality.

I’ve been cutting out bread and sugar for the most part, but today I allowed myself to indulge in some rolls and some very fine chocolate malt cheesecake. I figure calories don’t count on your birthday or on other major holidays and special occasions.

I took a short break from my Lent sabbatical from social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all those other wonderful time-suckers, to check up on all my birthday greetings. I had a lot. That made me feel special to know so many amazing people who I can call friends and family. And if you’re reading this and you’re one of the ones who posted on my Facebook page wishing me a happy birthday, then I send my thanks to you as well.

So tomorrow, it’s back to no breads, no sugar, and no social media. At least until Easter Sunday (for the social media). I suppose that by then I will have broken my personal record for most days lived yet again, God willing.

Three Days Till My Birthday!!

image

First of all, I couldn’t think of anything worth blogging about. Not a thing. Sometimes that happens, especially when you have to come up with a new topic every day.

So I’ll blog my birthday wish list. If money were no object, I’d like:

1) A red Mini-Cooper, preferably with the British flag emblem on top.

2) A MacBook Pro laptop with retina display (white, please).

3) The complete Friends TV series on blu-ray.

4) Dinner at Loveless Cafe.

5) Gift cards to anywhere, but ideally to McKays, Best Buy, Starbucks, Frothy Monkey, and amazon.com.

6) Lots of wells being built in Africa so the people there have access to clean water.

7) Getting to hang out with YOU.

8) Officially ending every form of human trafficking.

9) Every orphan finding a forever home.

10) One of the original slinky toys.

11) Anything and everything on my amazon.com Wishlist.

Yeah, my birthday is in three days. I will be as old as Elvis was when he died, which is both odd and disturbing. But the good news is that I will still be alive, which is more than I can say for too many people who died way too young.

I’m thankful for life and I realize how precious a gift waking up every morning is. And yes, I do take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, cash, coins, . . . . . .

What I Want for Christmas in 2013

catslist

You read the title and thought, “Aww, he’s going to wish for things like world peace and global sing-a-longs.” Not really. I have some selfish wants that I’m sharing as well as some (mostly) altruistic wishes. 

1) I would like world peace, but I know the heart of people too well. All I can hope and pray for is peace within the hearts of as many people as possible who are willing to surrender everything to Jesus.

2) One red Mini-Cooper, preferably with white stripes and/or a British flag emblem on the roof and/or on the sideview mirrors.

3) For a personal trainer or someone who will help me get more motivated to live healthier.

4) A MacBook Air ’cause they are so light and fluffy. And because PC laptops are just too slow and clunky.

santaswishlist

5) For each person to see his or her true value in Christ and to know that true beauty comes from being uniquely and marvelously designed by a Creator and loved infinitely.

6) A trip to New England at some point in my life. Ideally in the fall but I’m not picky about when. I would love to try Mystic Pizza🍕 in Mystic, Connecticut and visit a few lighthouses while I’m there. 👍

7) A date with Kari Jobe. 😁 

8) For chocolate to not have fat grams and calories. 🙏

9) Gift cards to amazon.com, Best Buy, Frothy Monkey, iTunes, and Ecko (so I can look swanky).

10) To see every cat and dog in a shelter find loving homes with loving people who will take care of them and treasure them.

11) That stone house in downtown Franklin with the red door that looks so homey.🏡

12) For Concord Road to be four lanes instead of two with a turning lane.

13) A really nifty cowboy hat.

14) Anything I’ve listed on my Amazon wish list.

15) For more kindness and compassion and understanding between people.

economy

Introducing The Red Sled

theredsled

I have a major announcement. I am getting a new (to me) car. Well, my mom got a new car and I’m taking her old car and selling my old car. So really, there’s nothing new. The above pictured Jeep is NOT mine (and I will be shortly inserting a better picture of my red Jeep).

It has automatic locks and windows. It has cup holders that actually hold cups. It has a remote device that allows me to lock and unlock the doors from a great distance (as in across the parking lot, not across the country). It has 267,000 miles but still runs and looks great.

The main reason I chose to go with this one is that this car has been in the family since we bought it brand new back in 1997. This Jeep a.k.a. Maggie a.k.a. The Red Sled needs to stay in the family. There are too many memories we made in this car to let just any stranger buy it.

And did I mention it’s RED? I think it’s good practice for me for when I get my RED Mini Cooper. People need to get used to seeing me in a RED vehicle before they see me in a RED Mini Cooper and the shock is too much and they all spontaneously combust into a messy RED goo from a combination of awe, envy, and shock.

So yes, my cool factor just went up. I’m a bit closer to having a vehicle from THIS millennium. And it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with Jeep Cherokees. And yes, you’re welcome to ride in it anytime (between 9 am and 11 pm).

Also, I will be selling my 1995 Jeep Cherokee with 128,000 miles on it if you know someone who might be interested in owning the car that the amazing and awesome Greg Johnson drove for 10 years. The bidding starts at $5,000 (just kidding).

There will be further updates and a better picture of my red Jeep to follow. You may go back to watching Duck Dynasty.

God’s Dreams

I think this car best fits my personality (but unfortunately not my checkbook).

I think this car best fits my personality (but unfortunately not my checkbook).

I have a little dream that probably has no basis in reality. It pops up every time I wind up in downtown Franklin. I see myself driving a little red Mini-Cooper to my little stone house with the red door and going inside to work on my next novel.

Maybe there’s a little basis of reality there. I don’t know. It sounds like good life to me.

But I also know that my dreams for myself are nothing compared to God’s dreams for me. His dreams for me are much more vast, much grander in scope, more breathtaking and awe-inspiring than mine could ever be. I’d go so far as so say that if I saw the whole of what God has for me, my little brain would probably explode and little pieces of my mind would end up all over Williamson County. It would not be pretty.

Up to now, I’ve seen only the tiniest glimpses of those dreams and been amazed. God’s dreams for me are the motivation I need to not quit and to not give up on myself or on anyone else in my life.

What are God’s dreams for you? Where do you see God leading you in the days and months and years ahead?

Imagine the grandest dreams you’ve ever had for yourself and multiply those by a thousand. Or better yet, by ten thousand. Then you’ve only begun to touch the dreams God has for you. You’ve only touched the hem of the tapestry of your life God is weaving for you at this very moment.

All I know to do is to trust God’s dreams for me and be faithful in the small details. God has never failed one-up my expectations every single time and I know the next time will definitely not be an exception.

“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).