an upcoming post

i just arrived in mobile to drop my kids off with my in-laws for mardi gras weekend. this way the boys get to participate within some parades in mobile (a much more family friendly atmosphere than new orleans) and pamela and i get a weekend alone. about twenty minutes ago my dad just finished telling me the latest news of saraland, alabama. i don’t won’t to steal my dad’s thunder but i have to tell you this story. my dad will blog about this later, probably tomorrow and do a better job of it with pictures and such.

presently the state of alabama is working on expanding highway 158 from two lanes to four (a much needed improvement by the area of the university of mobile). as a part of the project they were using an excavator to clean out a swampy area beside the road. it’s really rained alot around here and apparently no one consider the possibility of the land being too damp for the weight of the excavator. thus when it went down to the swampy area one side began to sink and the whole machine tilted over on it’s side. this would usually be bad but not a case for panic because you could always come back when the land was drier and pull the machine back up. the problem here was that ground was VERY wet and the excavator began to submerge into the soil. pulling the excavator right side up is one thing but pulling it completely out of the ground is something completely different.

not wanting to lose the $200,000 machine the city sent another excavator down near the first in an attempt to pull it upright and away form danger. this would have been a brilliant idea if it were not for the fact that the second excavator began to sink submerge too. it sank straight down, tracks first, fast and deep. in the past three days the first excavator has sunk to the point that all you can see of it is the track on the high side and the second one has sunk straight down to the point that only the excavating arm is visible. thus the city now has two $200,000 machine underground.

the city has been quoted the price of $65,000 a piece to have an outside contractor with a super-sized crane come in and lift the machines out of the ground. that wouldn’t even include the cost of the rebuilding the engines which have now be engulfed and no doubt in-filled with mud. someone else has come in and said they would pay $20,000 to the city for each vehicle and then remove them. it will be interesting to see what the city thinks is cheaper.

my dad’s blog will surely have a better story concerning this and pictures of the events.

hospitality – what is it good for?

do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. hebrews 13:2

lunch @ deangelosover the past four to five months my wife, pam, and i have really been dealing with the biblical concept of hospitality. truthfully hospitality is a concept that i find frustrating. it frustrates me because i don’t understand it. it is completely foreign to what i have been told in this world. hospitality is much more than just “having people over.” hospitality focuses on the “alien” or “stranger”. it means bringing those who are on the “margins of society” into your lives. it is not just meeting the needs of food, clothing, or lodging, though that is definitely a part of it. hospitality involves bringing those who are on the margins actually into your lives and homes.

in my opinion hospitality is simply not practiced very well within western CHRISTianity. if nothing else i know that i don’t practice it very well. yet it is of incredible importance in both the old and new testaments. this means that the follower of CHRIST, which i am trying to be, needs to practice it. this is not something that is easy for me to practice. i would rather give money to help, or go to the place of need and serve. bringing the “alien and stranger” into my house is something else entirely.

pam and i have been taking small steps. we had a homeless friend over awhile back for supper with our kids and us. it was a wonderful experience. the next step for us is to “adopt” two l.s.u. students who are from india. according to the university these guys have been in the states for two years and are still desperate to know someone. we’ve made the contact and started the process of getting them over to our houses regularly. the next step is actually getting them into our homes. we’re not doing this as some form of evangelism to india (though if they come to know CHRIST i would be please as punch). we are not trying nor will we attempt to prostelize them. this is merely an attempt to bring some guys who are on the margins of american society into our homes and practice hospitality.

i don’t really know what i’m doing but i do know that i really want to understand what GOD means by “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” and i guess this is the start of understanding that.