Monday, October 29, 2007

And the winner is......

Diane Hayes for Best Director of a Drama for Love Letters.

Janet and I.....watched and applauded with our families.
It was kind of cool to hear my name mentioned from the stage while they announced the nominees, and I got a really nice certificate for being nominated.

Diane did a great job as our Director. She deserved to win.
Not bad for a brand new production company and a first time director.
And her win? Makes me a part of an award winning production company.

Although winning would have been nice, it isn't why I did the play in the first place.
I learned a lot about myself in the process and I had a great time.

I can hardly wait to do it again.

Thank you and good night......

Encore, Encore

Hi. Sorry I haven’t been around for awhile. I’ve been away on business and I’ll write about that later.

Remember that play I was in a while back? It was called Love Letters and it was a total blast to be a part of. Well, the production company that produced the play (StageWorthy Productions) is a part of the

and every year they have a ceremony and give out what is called the “Encore Awards”. It’s the Indianapolis version of the Tony Awards. And tonight is the night.

The Encore Awards Ceremony
Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre
Monday, October 29, 2007 at 7pm.

Of course, the reason I am bothering to mention all that is because I have been nominated for “Best Actor in a Drama” for my role as Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, in “Love Letters”. My friend Janet Hodson is also nominated for Best Actress, and the amazingly talented, motivating (and sometimes intimidating) Diane Hayes is nominated for Best Director. Both of these ladies are awesome I am looking forward to watching them win.

Diane successfully pulled off what no director has ever before attempted and Janet made the production interesting and enjoyable. I could tell that the audience was completely captivated by her portrayal of Melissa. Diane also designed and constructed/painted the most amazing set I have ever seen. It is rather disappointing that the set didn’t get nominated for Best Set Design.

You know how a lot of actors try to be gracious and say that it is enough just to be nominated?
Well, although it is truly an honor to be nominated, to say that it is “enough” is a load of crap.

Just between you and me………I’d like to take home some hardware.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I was Just Being Me…..

We’ve been going to a marriage class over the past few weeks. It’s pretty good for learning how to better communicate with your spouse and other mushy marriage type stuff.

Well, this week’s class dealt with resolving conflict. So naturally, ‘cause you never know what may crop up, they had some counseling materials on the front table, just in case. One of the business cards had the person’s name on it in the center of the card, and the background of the card was a view of some really tall trees as if you were standing in a dense forest looking straight up. Hopefully you get the idea.

I happened to be standing next to the wife of the couple leading the course, and I mentioned that this may be what that little boy saw.

“What little boy?”

“You know, the one who got lost in the forest. He looked up and called out to God and said, ‘Dear God, I’m lost. Please help me find my way out of this dark forest’.”

“I’m afraid to ask, but what happened then?”

“As he was looking up, a little bird flew over and dropped a little doody right on the end of his nose.”

“And what did he do?”

"He looked upwards once again and said, ‘Aw c’mon God. Don’t hand me that! I really am lost!'”

(her laughing) “Only you would think of something like that. I should have known”

Yeah, she should have. But hey, I was just being me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And he prayed.....

Last night at Alpha Sprouts, the lesson was about “Why and How do I read the Bible?”

(Last week’s lesson was about “Why and How do I Pray?”)

The kids were great last night. They were really responsive and more attentive than usual. I asked them a lot of questions and they knew most of the answers and they seemed excited when Alpha Dude explained to them how the Bible was written, and that it was “God breathed”. I even shared with them the three Alpha Dude tricks to reading the bible so they can understand it and give the words a deeper meaning to them when they read it.

Alpha Dude, (that’s me)

(I just thought that maybe you didn’t know)

anyway, Alpha Dude told them that if they had a difficult time understanding what they read in the Bible, they can always ask someone like their parents, their Alpha Sprout teacher, the pastor, or Alpha Dude. Or they could just pray about it and ask God to show them through His Holy Spirit what it means.

Then they got to learn Alpha Dude’s three simple tricks to understanding the Bible.

Wanna know they are? Yeah. I thought you might.
Okay, Okay, you don’t have to beg. I’ll tell you.

It’s quite simple really. Whenever you read any passage in the Bible, just ask yourself three simple things…….
1) What does it say? That’s it. Easy huh? Just read the words.
2) What does it mean? Simple definition. Ready for the most important part?
3) What does it mean….to me?
And there you have it. Following those three simple things just may change the way you read the Bible.

At the end of each week’s lesson, Alpha Dude leads those little Alpha Sprouts in a closing prayer. Only last night was different.

One young fellow raised his hand and had a very urgent question.

He asked if he could pray. I explained that we did that last week.

No. He wanted to do the closing prayer.

As I glanced over my shoulder to the Sprouts Director, I said, “We’ve never done that before” (I’ve been the Alpha Dude for two and a half years, and no Sprout has ever asked to lead the closing prayer).

The Director gave me the nod that said this would be okay, so that one little boy lead the entire group, the Alpha Sprouts and all the teachers (and Alpha Dude, too) in the closing prayer.

He was awesome.

Just as Alpha Dude had taught them, all the Sprouts stretched their arms outward to the side, then CLAPPED them together, palms together, ready to pray. As this fellow folded his hands together, everyone closed their eyes and bowed their heads in respect for God, he buried his face in his folded hands and the room fell silent.

His prayer went something like this…..

“Dear God! Thank you for giving us the Bible and for giving us your Word and for teaching us to respect it. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for us so we can be with you forever. Thank you for all the Sprouts and the teachers and keep them all safe. God Bless you. I love you. In JESUS NAME……..”

And he waited for everyone in the room to help him finished by shouting, “A-MEN!!”

Like I said, this has never happened in Alpha Sprouts before. I feel honored and blessed to be able to see the Glory of God poured out and radiating from one six year old little boy.

If you’ve read my last few posts you will know that I have been struggling with living for God, and not just for me. That I am not perfect and that I make more than my fair share of mistakes. I just want to live for Him and do His will.

I am Alpha Dude.

I love what I do.
I love Jesus and I love all those Alpha Sprout dudes and dudettes.

God is sooooo Good!

I am only one, but I am one.
I can’t do everything, but I can do something.
And what I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do, by the Grace of God, I shall do.
- Edward Everett Hale


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Living my Life for….Who?

I like singing in church. Our church’s worship team rocks and our worship time is awesome. But last week we sang a song and I found myself just standing there, unable to sing. Some people, I suppose, just read the words on the screen up front and just sing whatever is up there. It could be about the wonder and joy of cow-patties and folks would sing for all they are worth, just because that’s the song we’re singing at the moment. But I tend to read ahead before I sing so I can really throw myself entirely into the song, because dude, this is worship, not responsive reading.

I enjoy making my part of the joyful noise, but I just couldn’t bring myself to sing this particular song out loud with the rest of the congregation. I could only hang my head in shame.

The first line of the song said, “I live my life for you, Lord……”

And you know what? I started to think about that and I realized that I really don’t. I felt that if I sang that song out loud, with my whole heart and made a “joyful noise unto the Lord” with those words, I would feel like a hypocrite.

Even though I try, and I would really like to, I do not always live my life for God. I live it for me. I like things done a certain way. My way. Which is not necessarily God’s way.

I’ve been asking certain people during this last week to please forgive me for my selfishness and not showing God’s love to them in a practical way. They looked at me like I was crazy.

I hadn’t always spoken to my wife in the kind and loving manner that I believe I should, but she said she understood and had already forgiven me. (She’s a keeper).

Sometimes I get irritated by certain people when things don’t go the way I’d like or they don’t behave in way I think they should and it affects my attitude towards them.

I still get upset at people I don’t even know on my way to work.

Why is it that anyone going slower than you is a moron, and anyone driving too fast is a maniac?

My wife is not perfect (but she’s close enough for me), my kids are not perfect (but almost), my life is not perfect. I am not perfect. (Sorry to burst your bubble, but really, I’m not).

I am not perfect and I don’t want to be. The last guy who actually was perfect? Well, they crucified Him.

I agree with our worship leader who said that even he had a tough time with that song. Maybe if it had said “I want to live for you, Lord…” or maybe, “I’m trying to live for you, Lord…” it would have been easier to sing.

The Bible says that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and that I can do nothing outside of Christ. Perhaps that is my problem.

I think I’ll concentrate more on trusting God and doing things His way instead on doing things on my own.

That, and I’ll stick to simpler songs like “Jesus Loves Me…” for a while.

Okay God, my answer to you is “Yes”. Now, what’s the question?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Okay, so I did it again. I went away for a while, but now I’m back. I didn’t really go anywhere, life just keeps happening. My wife says that the problem with life is that it is so daily. I do believe she may onto something.

So just for grins (and because I want to do it), I thought I’d steal That Chick’s idea and write some letters……

Dear Step-Daughter,

Thank you so much for all the nice things you said to me the other night. I really enjoyed being woken up at 3 AM and holding your hand while you lay on the sofa telling me about all the fun you had that evening. You told all your friends that you just wanted to go home to your mom and dad and that you made sure that they knew that you consider me to be your real dad and not that bum in Ohio. I appreciated that, I really did. You told me you loved me and that you appreciate all the things I do for you and your brothers. You kept telling all of your friends at the party that your consider me to be your real dad. You said that a lot. You were still saying that when your brother and step-brother finally found you hugging your new best friend Ralph.

You remember Ralph, don’t you? You know, that real pale fellow with the large mouth who took in all you had to say and never once talk back to you? The fellow whose face is “flushed”? You must have really liked him since you kept calling his name long after your brothers brought you home. Did you know you talked to me non-stop for two solid hours? I am glad you appreciated the bucket I held for you and for comforting you while you experienced the dry heaves for the first time.

Thank you for holding my hand and for the nice words. I just hope you remembered at least some of it after you sobered up. I love you too.

Dead Dog Tired Dad


To my Handsome Young Son,

I am so very proud of you. You spend time with your step-siblings and you all seem to enjoy each other’s company. You are proving to be a fine example to the younger boys.
Thank you for going after your step-sister and bringing her home and for not getting mad at her or yelling at her for abandoning you guys and running off and getting tanked. You didn’t drink and you behaved responsibly. Thank you.

A good friend of mine approached me after church Saturday night to tell me he had met you a few days earlier. He said he was very impressed at what a fine and respectable young man you are. Did I mention that I am proud of you? I am glad you are my son and I am honored to be your Dad. Thanks for being here.

I love you, son.

Your Grateful Dad.


To My Dear Darling and Beautiful Wife,

I was almost finished mowing the lawn when your 14 year old came out to ask me to move my truck. I told him he’d have to wait and he went back inside. A few minutes later you came out to plead his case for him. Five more minutes and I would be finished, mower put away and the truck parked back in the garage and there would no longer be an issue. I explained this to you but you pushed anyway. You believed it was more important for the boys to able to go play right when they wanted to rather than be patient and wait a mere few minutes.

You asked me to love your children and to try to understand them. Have you ever asked them to love me and understand me? No, instead you teamed up with them against me. This seems to happen on a regular basis, but this time hurt more than usual.

You are my best friend and I love you deeply, but I am bleeding internally right now and this one make take some time to heal.

Your loving husband,
Odd Man Out

(We've discussed this and are working on it)


Dear Little Alpha Sprout Dudes and Dudettes,

You kids are the reason I put on by blue and white Hawaiian shirt, talk like a surfer dude and act all goofy every Monday night. You dudes are awesome. Jesus is right when He said that the Kingdom of God is made up of little dudes and dudettes such as you all.
I have such a spas-tasticlly fun time with you all.

And Monday night when we prayed, you dudes got me real good. That lesson was only supposed to take maybe ten minutes, but you dudes stretched it to over thirty minutes. We talked about praying and why and how we should do it. We learned how to pray and when it was your turn, and I asked you all to pray for somebody, silently, to yourselves, you little dudes prayed…….out loud. One after another, more than half of you prayed for someone in your family or someone that you know that you wanted God to love, touch or heal. I am so glad I taught you to first close your eyes and bow your heads, otherwise you might have seen the tears rolling down Alpha Dude’s face.

You dudes totally rock the party! God Bless you.

Alpha Dude


Dear Person Reading these letters,

God loves you so much that He sent His Son here to be punished and to die for you and me so that we can know Him in Glory.

Life happens. Sometimes its good, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes there’s pain, sometimes there’s joy. Someone once asked for a definition of the word “Joy”. Every person asked gave a different answer. This only proves to me that there is no definition for joy. Joy is not to be defined. Joy cannot be defined. Joy is to be experienced. The Bible says that God wants us to know joy. We are to know joy by serving Him. And sometimes it ain’t easy.

Bad things sometimes happen to good people because we live in a sinful world and the evil one still roams about. But remember this – God is still God. No matter what.

The Bible says that joy comes in the Lord. It also says that God is love.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We can go into a lot more detail another time. Remember: Love is something you do. Joy is something you know.

So…..Just know.