Winter Vacation

I know...first post in months. I'm just on FB much more than here these days, though I do still check pleo and read everybody's entries.

Anyway, considering the cold weather and that Houston is getting snow right now (and NOT San Antonio - I'm not very happy at all about this), I have decided that next December, our family will take a winter vacation to some place cold that has snow. I've always wanted to do this, and considering the fact that we don't get snow here in this part of Texas on anywhere near a consistent basis, I am finally going to plan one of these vacations.'s what I'm asking from all of you. Whether you've taken such a winter vacation or not, I'd like some ideas as to places you think would be great for a family vacation that would include two 9 year olds and a 6 year old. If you've taken such a vacation, please tell where you went and what you did. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

We are not at all interested in skiing, so ski resorts would not be something we would do. I wouldn't mind cross-country skiing, but with 3 small kids? I don't know...

My first thought is Yellowstone in winter. I think that would be beautiful, but I'm open to more suggestions.

  • friedaj
    Lots of snow!
    by friedaj at 12/19/09 3:42PM
  • cindykay
    I was hoping the spelling would be Reid too, but they went with Reed. I think it's a cool name regardless...and it sounds the same as yours anyway! LOL
    by cindykay at 12/19/09 9:48PM
  • gslover
    Estes Park, Colorado. Its hard to beat Rocky Mt. National Park!
    by gslover at 01/07/10 6:05PM
  • jenkegley
    Hi, long time no talk! We got involved through our local home school group. The local group registers through the regional group (ours is SETHSA), who registers with the National Spelling Bee and then you hold a bee within your group. The top two spellers then go to the regional bee from there. You would need to find a local group who is registered with the bee.
    by jenkegley at 01/15/10 10:12AM
  • jenkegley
    Technically, there is no minimum age, only a maximum age of 15 or the student has not passed beyond 8th grade by a certain date in February. The earliest age is usually around 4th or 5th grade.
    by jenkegley at 01/15/10 10:50AM
  • buckeyeken
    No, we are just going down for a long weekend next weekend. Arriving 1/21, leaving 1/24. How is your new work going?
    by buckeyeken at 01/16/10 9:42AM
  • praguer
    Prague? OK, I'm no help. But for the record, I've seen a 4 year old cross country skiing with no problem. I'm not really a cold-weather fan, so good luck on the plan!
    by praguer at 02/03/10 1:49PM
  • markroberts
    great to be with you. you are a great encouragement to me, my friend.
    by markroberts at 02/05/10 12:03PM
  • lb1178
    Hey.....what's going on with Sammy (aka Sam)?
    by lb1178 at 03/04/10 4:53PM
  • lb1178
    Hey...Cindy left a prayer message on Facebook (which I do not get on very much)...someone else brought it to my attention....he was on his way to UAB hospital last I saw
    by lb1178 at 03/05/10 7:47AM
  • granny
    Weeel, it does snow in Johannesburg about every 15 years -- but you just missed it...
    by granny at 04/19/10 7:23AM
  • praguer
    Thank you! I haven't heard/sung that song in years, and it just popped in my head the other day. Naturally, I could only think of a few of the words. I'm constantly trying to think of other children's Bible songs that I sang as a child. Is there a list of that somewhere that I can reference? :)
    by praguer at 07/16/10 11:00AM
  • ginnyann
    Hey there...this is a Grandmaw now living in Georgia who used to live in Bham and know you and your Dad....Hugh and I used to attend at 77th street....way back when!! We were the ones who had all that stuff stored in your Dad's house for so long....and he inherited all those records.....remember? Didn't know you were in Texas now. Our youngest daughter lives in Houston.....scanning your friends list and I see a lot of people that I know too. How do you know Tami Hodanko? Hugh has semi-retired from preaching but is doing some in a little group that just got started in Madison, GA. I call myself a Grandmaw cause we have one granddaughter who is 6 yrs. old that lives here in the same town. Our middle daughter is here. You might not remember that our oldest daughter Wendy was killed in a car wreck in 1982 before we came to live in Bham.

    Anyway, it's a small world.....take care and God bless.
    by ginnyann at 07/19/10 6:49PM
  • canada
    I would definitely like the contact information for the preacher in Perth if you wouldn't mind. I'm not 100% sure where I want to go yet, but Perth is definitely an option. My email is [email protected] Thank you!
    by canada at 07/27/10 10:07AM
  • ginnyann
    Well, hello there.....didn't know you were preaching....that's wonderful... God bless you......
    Good to hear from you......I don't FB.....just a blogger! Hope your Dad is doing good these days. Yes, you are right about the last name. I can't remember the name of Tami's Dad's congregation either. I guess I am really getting old....can't remember names.
    If you are ever in the Athens, GA area come to see us......we just got a new preacher...Jeff Henderson...he is originally from North Alabama and was last preaching in Montgomery.
    Take care and preach the word, brother.
    by ginnyann at 08/02/10 7:36AM
  • ginnyann
    Oh and WAR EAGLE!!!!!
    by ginnyann at 08/02/10 7:37AM
  • ginnyann
    War Eagle....Auburn beat LSU.....just had to send you a message!!! Were you there?
    by ginnyann at 10/23/10 6:19PM
  • ashulee
    It's part of the Better Homes & Gardens line from Wal-Mart. He ordered it online. It's great! Very sturdy and easy to use. There's a narrow shelf underneath that's perfect for storing extra books.
    by ashulee at 01/05/11 10:25AM
  • praguer
    Thanks for your answer. I know this sounds bad, but this is something I simply haven't thought about much. It's amazing how much we learn when we start trying to teach someone! My question for your explanation is: When did he actually create the "earth" then? If the later verses further describe the creation of the "heavens and the earth" where's the description of the earth creation?
    by praguer at 03/31/11 3:16AM
  • praguer
    Thank you for the response. I may want to discuss more, but right now I'm "processing." :)
    by praguer at 04/22/11 12:32PM

MP3 Player Question

I have a question for all you mp3 player and iPod experts out there (I'm just now getting into the 21st Century). If you've got the same song on your player 2 or 3 times from different albums (original album, greatest hits album, etc), do you keep it or dump it? If I dump it and want to listen to that album, it won't be there. I'm out of room and trying to decide what to do about these duplicate songs. Thanks!
  • kevin
    If you are out of room I would just keep the copy of the song on the album you are most likely to listen to. Rather than listening to a specific album, I would listen to that particular artist. Then you get all the songs by that artist and no duplicates.
    by kevin at 09/01/09 9:59PM
  • ed
    yeah, what he said! Hope your work in TX is going well, Marshall! haven't heard anything in awhile. If you have time, shoot me an email and let me know how you are doing!
    by ed at 09/01/09 11:43PM
  • goastrider44
    Thanks! congrats on your new house too :)
    by goastrider44 at 09/07/09 4:01PM
  • emersonk78
    If it is getting down to decisions like that ... may be time to shop a larger iPod! How many gigs have you filled up?
    by emersonk78 at 09/22/09 3:06PM
  • granny
    I'm sticking with my portable CD player. . .
    by granny at 09/24/09 11:33AM
  • meh
    Just means ya'll will have to come see us next year...if you want to that is... :D
    by meh at 10/28/09 7:04AM
  • rainout
    yeah, they were telling me how sweet your kids were to them! :)
    by rainout at 11/23/09 8:00AM

What would you think?

I know feelings about what I'm about to post will be greatly varied, and I believe those opinions will be much different than if I had asked this question 50 years ago. I'm not saying that's a good thing...just stating a fact.

I'd like to know what you would think if you saw a website or blog, such as pleo or FB, with pictures of a male Christian (and by this, I mean what most of us here on pleo deem to be a Christian) in which he had his shirt off? The setting could be the beach, or the pool, or maybe he's been working out and showing "before" and "after" photos of himself. It doesn't really matter what the scenario is, what would you think about this man posting pictures for others to see?

What if this man was a deacon in your church? What if he was an elder? What if he was the preacher? Does it make any difference?

No, I am not thinking of any specific circumstance of which I am aware - just posing a question. I would greatly appreciate your feedback.
  • luv2fish
    I would think that person is trying to hold on to the world with one hand and God with the other. Perhaps it would be good to talk to the person, maybe they don't know better or haven't thought of it. I have seen photos of Christians dancing and swimming with members of the opposite sex on a blog as well. These are people that should know better. Does it make a difference if it is a deacon, elder or preacher? Yes, but only because they tend to have more influence. I have seen deacons that have their children in worldly activities and advertise it with stickers on the back of their car. I feel these things show tendency to be conformed rather than transformed. That is my take on it.
    by luv2fish at 07/02/09 1:06PM
  • meg
    If he is a new Christian, it would seem to be a lack of understanding about modesty. If it's a Christian who is in a culture where that is commonplace, such as southern Florida, it could also be a lack of understanding about modesty. I feel that it is the same as a woman who has a dress too tight or revealing--they do the same things, but it may or may not be something that occurs to them as potentially inciting lust. It would be disappointing to me to see a Christian who is in a leadership/service situation that does this because, as said above, they could have a greater influence in their personal choices. But even if not, someone is watching and learning from them, even if they do not realize it.
    by meg at 07/02/09 2:30PM
  • meh
    I think luv2fish has stated what I think better than I could have put into words myself. Like you said, this wasn't really an issue growing up, but when I read this, I couldn't help but think of my dad, who never liked (and still doesn't) like pictures to be taken of him, even in the t-shirt he wears under his dress shirts. I think some form of modesty has gone by the way-side with our times. To me, a picture with a man with his shirt off would be the same as a woman with her shirt off...neither should happen in public or be posted online...

    In theory, it should not make a difference whether the man is in a "leadership" position (elder, deacon, preacher, etc), but because he is "highly visible" to others, his faults are that much more apparent to others. I'm not saying this is right, just how it is in today's world. Either way, the same standards should apply to all.

    That's at least how I feel about it. Sorry this was so long. :)
    by meh at 07/02/09 2:46PM
  • crab_rapper
    My quizes are too easy for you
    by crab_rapper at 07/02/09 3:23PM
  • preacherdavetx
    HE POSTS!!!!
    by preacherdavetx at 07/02/09 10:49PM
  • ellwoodwd
    I have to agree with her. I was taught that it was just as wrong for a man to go shirtless as it was for a women. even when I was a child when I got to an age my mother wouldn't let me go without a shirt. and I still don't like going shirtless to this day and have the farmer tan to prove it.
    by ellwoodwd at 07/03/09 5:22AM
  • 5ofusisgr8
    We've had this discussion regarding what women wear, but people tend to relax on modesty for men, which is sad. God wants all of us to be modest, not just women. As Christians, we should all be careful about what we expose our families to, what we expose ourselves to, and what we expose online. We'll have a sermon on modesty this Sunday from one of our members, we've had lessons on modesty before, but unfortunately Christians need to be reminded of this topic, instead of it coming naturally.
    by 5ofusisgr8 at 07/03/09 5:21PM
  • preacherdavetx
    Honestly, I don't remember. It's been a while since I saw it last. I saw 3 today and didn't notice any words, but there was a spot with inappropriate innuendo.
    by preacherdavetx at 07/03/09 5:46PM
  • ed
    i can't decide if I should comment here or not. I know many Christians have strong views on modesty. At the same time it is undeniable that modesty is cultural. Many American Christian women who are very modest in today's American culture would not be considered so in the modern Middle East, or in American about 150 years ago. I think it's a little scary when we set a random benchmark (if you want an example, try knee-length shorts) and demand that everyone around us hold to that standard.

    The Bible is to be our standard. Now one of the few passages that discuss modesty also talks about women not braiding their hair and not wearing gold. Why is this never discussed, but women wearing pants to church is??? no offense, but the hypocrisy is terrifying. (I say 'no offense' bc I have no reason to think that you think this, Marshall)

    Getting back to the Bible being our standard, there might be a reason why there is much more written in it about us loving, supporting, and tolerating each other than there is about what we wear. jmo

    I'm so tempted to delete this, but I'm going to post it, hoping and trusting that you will read it in the spirit of love and brotherhood that it is intended!
    by ed at 07/03/09 11:12PM
  • ed
    I know I didn't answer your question with the above ramble.

    For me personally, I wouldn't do it. Luckily, I only have to decide for me!! haha
    by ed at 07/03/09 11:15PM
  • goastrider44
    I think it's true what ed had said, whether we like to admit it or not the bible set a standard based on their culture at the time or we're just picking and choose what's a big deal and what's not "women shouldn't braid their hair or wearing gold" or "men having long hair is shameful"?? kindof literal and kindof over looked or choosing to give the culture excuse but then to nothing else in the bible. You can spin it which ever way you want like it was a sign of some open shameful life style "in that culture", well then I could say taking my shirt is just a sign of relaxation "in my culture".

    We are very quick to judge people "especially those people within the church" and oust them or call them liberal if they wear sandals, shorts or a T-shirts to church even, but then we'll praise those in other countries who worship under oppression (like in Africa or jamaica, some place HOT) and wear hardly anything.. We'll say it's their culture or they wear what they can afford... therefore we'll excuse them because it's either their culture, situational ethics, or we're prejudging a persons heart on whether they have some sort of seductive intention or not.

    So again, ed is right in making the point we either really follow the "action based" standard that we claim to do or we focus what the bible is really trying to get across which is loving, supporting and trying to get along with one another (ya know a.k.a edifying one another). Because we're not holding everyone to the same standard. I think we either start writing down these "unwritten rules/creeds" make a dress code for inside and outside of church and start openly judging people on their outward appearance. Or we can worry about them our own selves and how we follow the bible and let the judging be to God..

    And btw, i'm definitely not speaking directly to you marshall or am assuming you're sided one way or the other, just addressing the subject and to those in the church in general. This will also most likely remain an opinionated matter, as it should be (and everyone is entitled to it). It's just when those "opinions" are forced or judged upon everyone when it bothers me.

    -Adam C.-
    by goastrider44 at 07/05/09 2:21PM
  • cofcwatcher
    I hope I would see a precious soul, as Jesus would.
    by cofcwatcher at 07/08/09 5:45PM
  • karatemom
    I would think GROSS!! LOL!
    by karatemom at 07/10/09 8:31PM
  • texasdad
    If I might ask a question..... If a man is not immodest when he removes his shirt in public, how much more would he have to remove to be considered immodest? It sounds to me like there are some who don't think a man can be immodest? Can he?
    by texasdad at 07/21/09 10:03PM
  • carpecollum
    There's a picture of Homer Haley posing for Men's Health (I think that was the magazine) with his shirt off. It's in his biography written by Ed Harrell. I think he was in his mid-50's at the time...and he was pretty buff.

    Thought I'd throw that into the conversation just for fun.
    by carpecollum at 07/23/09 12:43AM
  • granny
    It is interesting how different parts of the world consider modesty. I live in South Africa and while the African women have to strenuously be encouraged to cover themselves, the men ALWAYS wear shirts. I grew up in the States around some men topless and some believing it immodest. If the media understands topless in either men or women as being sexy, prompting immoral thoughts, then why are Christians quibbling??
    I had to smile at the above comment. To me this goes right along with encouraging our little girls to pick up ballet.
    I didn't realize you live in LaPorte. Do you know my dad? (Glen Barnhart)
    by granny at 07/25/09 2:12AM
  • granny
    Maybe this time I can nail it down!
    by granny at 07/25/09 11:10AM
  • dressednyella
    I would be (and have been) disappointed. I don't think Christian men should be shirtless around anyone but their wives.
    by dressednyella at 08/01/09 12:10AM
  • auamy
    Hey Marshall, haven't talked to you in a while, but I'll throw my two cents in... As Christians we have the responsibility to be modest - I often think we focus more on the "line" than we do the attitude. If we try to maintain a modest (and honest) attitude - the outward adorning will follow. I personally think it is immodest for men to go shirtless because women, like myself, find it attractive and are more prone to lustful thoughts when we see a man with his shirt off. So, I agree with the above statement by Stephanie. Just as I will wear clothes for my chest to be modest, I expect my husband to do the same. And as far as relying on culture - there are still plenty of stores that say "No shirts, no shoes, no service". In our society it's really not acceptable to walk around with no shirt unless say - you're at the beach or outside. And that goes back to the question of does your standard of modesty depend on what situation/environment you are in. I believe that it does not. Hope you're doing well. You should come back to camp!
    by auamy at 08/05/09 12:53PM
  • friedaj
    Thank you so much
    by friedaj at 08/07/09 10:14AM

30th Annual Southside Lectures

Getting ready for 16 sermons over the next 4 days at the Southside Lectures. Talk about a power packed week!

Looking forward to hearing lessons from Leon Goff, Chuck Durham, Tim Jennings, and Buddy Payne.
  • jake28
    Lectures are always fun, especially with that line-up! Hopefully you can get some good sermon ideas to use later on.
    by jake28 at 06/15/09 9:07AM
  • lydiasmother
    That will be an edifing week, enjoy!
    by lydiasmother at 06/15/09 9:16AM
  • amyjane72
    please tell tim and bro. payne the norris family says "hello!"
    by amyjane72 at 06/15/09 9:17AM
  • emersonk78
    Really trying to get there. 4 members are in the hospital this morning! I'm visiting them this morning, but will shoot for tonight. I know it will be great. Hope to see ya soon.
    by emersonk78 at 06/15/09 9:32AM
  • ellwoodwd
    wish i could be there.
    by ellwoodwd at 06/15/09 10:19AM
  • dcroush
    Sounds good to me :)
    by dcroush at 06/16/09 9:27AM
  • adampual
    No, sadly I had to miss this year. We are down to one car and it was in the shop a couple days this week! Hope to make it next time!
    by adampual at 06/19/09 2:04PM
  • soundoctrine
    This has got to be for the spiritually strong - one blessed, yet non-stop marathon!
    by soundoctrine at 06/24/09 7:04AM
  • crab_rapper
    Joel 3:14
    by crab_rapper at 06/24/09 1:34PM


I was confronted by someone last night after services stating that I cannot say gambling is a sin. He said that's my opinion, and that I need to say it's my opinion rather than stating, "Gambling is a sin."

Without getting into his arguments, I'd like to hear from all of you. What do you think? Is gambling a sin? Is there a way to scripturally prove that gambling is a sin?
  • stylinmama
    We are to be good stewards of our money. Gambling is essentially throwing money away in greedy hope of more money...with very slim chances of that.
    by stylinmama at 06/08/09 12:42PM
  • unclespike
    When you are talking about the type of gambling that is taking other people's money without working for it, how can that not be the embodiment of greed? Just because the others may agree to the terms doesn't mean that that they really want you to take there money - otherwise they would be giving it to you instead of gambling it away. If you can't say that gambling is a sin, you can't say that walking around half-naked (or fully naked for that matter) in public is a sin because the Bible doesn't come right out and say it. God did not have to tell us everything directly. He gave us principles to use to figure out if something is sinful or not. If you understand that laciviousness is sin, then you know going around naked is a sin. If you know that greed is a sin, then you know that gambling is a sin. That's all there is to it.
    by unclespike at 06/08/09 12:43PM
  • dcroush
    So if gambling is a sin, four friends sitting around playing poker for gummy bears is sin?
    by dcroush at 06/08/09 1:02PM
  • jimmythek
    You are very true with that statement and I agree with you 100% and refer to anyone that wants to argue to look at a couple of posts up I agree. People use this same argument they are using on you Marshall for says drunkenness not drinking so social drinking is fine...WRONG!
    by jimmythek at 06/08/09 1:14PM
  • dcroush
    Let me clarify my point, I don't mean to imply that going out to casinos is something Christians should any means. But in the application of a board game, gambling, in and of itself, for the right reasons, isn't sinful. Most applications of gambling that we see in the world, however, definitely has sinful qualities and promotes greed, covetousness, etc. And I also agree with what you said about social drinking. I definitely am not a proponent of such activities!
    by dcroush at 06/08/09 1:23PM
  • abs
    Which is gambling more like? A Fruit of the Spirit or a work of the flesh?
    by abs at 06/08/09 2:15PM
  • abs
    ^That's the link to a preacher's sermon on gambling. It explains how the motivation, fruit and principle are classified as sin.
    by abs at 06/08/09 2:16PM
  • silleylime
    I think you can equate gambling with drinking. Drinking is not wrong in and of itself if it is for "the stomach's sake", but if it is abused it becomes a real problem and nothing good, at all, can come from it. I would pose the question, "What good am I doing for myself or my brother by gambling?
    by silleylime at 06/08/09 3:24PM
  • silleylime
    Also, if seeing you gambling bothers your brother or sisters conscience, you are sinning by causing your brother to stumble and ruining your influence on the worldly folks that may see you gambling.
    by silleylime at 06/08/09 3:25PM
  • friedaj
    I do not believe that gambling in itself is a sin but can be made into sin by overindulgence as with drinking or eating or even sports when taken to the extreme.
    by friedaj at 06/08/09 3:30PM
  • mreid72
    No, I do not believe playing poker for gummy bears is wrong. Technically, that's gambling, but not the gambling we're talking about. I'm specifically talking about gambling when money is involved.
    by mreid72 at 06/08/09 4:13PM
  • jdb1972
    There is a difference between that which is inherently unwise and that which is inherently sinful. No, you can't prove from Scripture that all gambling (even for money) is inherently sinful.

    However, I think the question is the wrong one to ask. It's one of those "have to" questions. Do I have to do ____ to go to heaven? Do I have to avoid ____ to go to heaven? The better type of question is the "should" question? Should I ____?

    Can a Christian gamble without sinning? I believe so. Should he? I'm hard-pressed to think of why he would.
    by jdb1972 at 06/08/09 4:23PM
  • maucknot
    You made the point above -- people usually know what practices you are referring to when you say, "Gambling is sin." It's a gamble to get behind the wheel of your car or invest in stocks, but that's OBVIOUSLY not what you mean. It's a generalization about a certain category of behavior that people know you are referring to -- lottery, casinos, slots, etc. Paul generalized at times ("Cretans are liars") and so did Jesus ("Scribes and pharisees hypocrites").
    by maucknot at 06/08/09 8:12PM
  • maucknot
    The practice of gambling is wrong for two major reasons: 1) it is very often motivated by covetousness; and 2) the winner profits through the loss of others. That settles it for me. 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Thanks for taking a stand, brother.
    by maucknot at 06/08/09 8:14PM
  • praguer
    ^ #2 is my main argument for why it's wrong. Some other good thoughts above, though.
    by praguer at 06/09/09 12:01PM
  • lydiasmother
    If money is involved since we are to be good stewards with it, it would be concidered a sin. I have had this convo with ppl on fantasty football---I would love to see what ppl say about that one since sports is involved but it is all the same right?
    by lydiasmother at 06/09/09 1:10PM
  • kristindoula
    See my blog again for the response to your guess...and a hint. ;-)
    by kristindoula at 06/11/09 10:25AM
  • goastrider44
    all of these arguments and reasons why it's right or wrong seem signify that some one's actions will save or condemn you....I'm pretty sure that's why the "scribes and Pharisees" crucified Jesus isn't it? Because he didn't play by the rules of doing or not doing certain actions in their culture, did they not...??
    by goastrider44 at 06/12/09 2:26AM
  • mreid72
    Not sure I understand your comments, Adam.
    by mreid72 at 06/12/09 2:40PM
  • soundoctrine
    Moderation is the key in anything.
    by soundoctrine at 06/24/09 7:01AM