Month: April 2011

i love devotional time with my kids….

tonight, Karson read our bible story out of The Jesus Storybook Bible

this story struck me tonight.  i love the way that it’s told here.

Running Away-The story of the Lost Son from Luke 15

Jesus told this story about a boy who ran away:  Once upon a time, there was a boy and his dad.  Now, one day, the boy gets to thinking, Maybe if I didn’t have my dad around telling me what is good for me all the time, I’d be happier.  He’s spoiling my fun, he thinks.  Does my dad really want me to be happy? Does my dad really love me?  The son never thought of that before.  But suddenly he doesn’t know anymore.

So the son goes to the father and says, “Dad, I’m better off without you.  I can look after myself.  Just give me my share of your money.”  His father is sad but he won’t force his boy to stay.  So he gives his son what he wants.

The son takes the money and goes on a long, long journey to a far off country.  And everything is wonderful and perfect–for a while.  He can go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants, be whoever he wants.  He is the boss, he is free!

Sometimes he gets a strange, hungry, homesick feeling inside his heart, but then he just eats more, or drinks more, or buys more clothes, or goes to more parties until it goes away.

But soon his money runs out–and so do his friends.  He ends up getting the only job he can find: feeding pigs.  One day he is so hungry and so desperate he even tries some of the pig food–“What am I doing?” he says suddenly, as if he has woken from a nightmare.  He spits–YUCK!–all of it–ICK!–out of his mouth. “My father is rich, and here I am–in a pig sty, eating pig food!”  He wipes his mouth and dusts himself off. “I’m going home!”

As he starts for home though, he begins to worry. Dad won’t love me anymore.  I’ve been too bad.  He won’t want me for his son anymore.  So he practices his I’m-Sorry-Speech.  All this time, what he doesn’t know is that, day after day, his dad has been standing on his porch, straining his eyes, looking into the distance, waiting for his son to come home.  He just can’t stop loving him.  He longs for the sound of his boys voice.  He can’t be happy until he gets him back.

The son is still a long way off, but his dad sees him coming.  What will the dad do? Fold his arms and frown? Shout, “That’ll teach you!” And, “Just you wait young man!”


That’s not how this story goes.  The dad leaps off the porch, races down the hill, through the gap in the hedge, up the road.  Before his son can even begin his I’m-Sorry-Speech, his dad runs to him, throws his arms around him, and can’t stop kissing him.

“Let’s have a party!” his dad shouts. “My boy’s home.  He ran away.  I lost him–but now I have him back!”

Jesus told them, “God is like the dad who couldn’t stop loving his boy.  And people are like the son who said, ‘Does my dad really want me to be happy?’ ”  Jesus told the people this story to show them what God is like.  And to show people what they are like.  So they could know, however far they ran, however well they hid, however lost they were–it wouldn’t matter.  Because God’s children could never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them.

and that is the amazing story that we read tonight. praying that God knits that story to my heart.

i think that same father’s heart permeates this video.  it’s the very first Nooma video I ever saw, and I told all of my kids tonight exactly what Rob tells his son in this video.  and i would tell it to you.  i want it to be true in my life.

another song….

Untitled As Of Yet-Chuck Harris 2011


i sometimes think

that we all feel

like we are getting

the raw end of the deal

we are so

self immersed

we have this overwhelming need

to always be first


but there is so much more

i should have told you way before


i’m sorry

please forgive me

i know you want to share your point of view

but really

that’s not the issue

i’m sorry i let you think

this was about you


it’s not about

you or me

or the table for one reserved

for your pity party

let’s dig right in

to the heart

we may not solve it today

but it’s somewhere to start


there are so many things

we could focus on and discuss

but we usually choose

the number one topic…us.

two great shoe commercials

from this last World Cup.

i was thinking about the brilliance of shoe marketing this morning driving in as my 14 year old was telling me how they were reading the Jesse Owen’s story.  i told her that Jesse Owens wore Adidas in the 1936 Berlin Olympics because Adi Dassler the founder of the company gave them to him.  he traveled to Berlin to find the sprinter because he knew that he would win and the three stripe pattern would be seen in newspapers all over the world. he did this at great risk because of Hitler’s hatred for the African Americans.  basically it was the first endorsement of an athlete by a shoe company. free advertising shall we say.  so i thought i would post two of my favorite commercials from shoe companies.

1st up Nike

and then Adidas

which one is your favorite?

another song of sorts

Fake-Chuck Harris April 2011


am i real

or do i have a distorted view

of what reality is

is there a point

where i can see or say something

that’s honest and true


i could be the greatest actor, you’ve ever seen

well written lines to read in between

i could be a fraud thats out to get all he can

so sad cause the one thing i hate, is what i am


is it a mystery

how i dislike the very things

that i’ve become

can i change

or is this fundamental flaw

just ingrained inside of me


i want to be real…every part

i want to understand the issues with my heart

don’t want to be fictitious…i’m tired of that game

i’m done with this role…don’t want to be the same.

part of my writing process

is revisiting old songs that i’ve put on a back shelf or found in notebooks as i’m writing new stuff.

this one came to the surface today

Tell Me What You’re For-Chuck Harris 2008


i see your signs, i hear your words

it’s not what you say, it’s how i heard

and though you may have great intent

what i see and hear may not be what you meant


so before you get all upset and mad

and tell me how people are so bad

before you go to bangin’ on that door

please don’t tell me what you’re against

just tell me what you’re for


my perception is my reality

and i don’t think all this negativity

will bring about the change that you desire

it will only feed more fuel into the fire


so before you go ahead and build your fence

be sure that you don’t build at my expense

cause fences make it easy to ignore

please don’t tell me what you’re against

just tell me what you’re for.

of course it still needs maybe another transition or a bridge to tie it together, but still stands up as an idea even 3 years after i wrote the initial draft. song #2 for my record in the works. i’m beginning to develop the ideas.  you’re ideas would be helpful too.  please leave them in the comments.

my love for footy….

a comment on my poem from yesterday inspired this post.

why do i love football (or for those of you with American or western sensibilities, why do i love soccer)

i guess i’ve always loved the actual game.  i played as a kid and remember watching television and seeing footage of Pele. i even read books about him in elementary school. i never really aspired to be an athlete, and in the small towns we lived in, soccer was not a priority.  football, basketball and track were the sports you played.

still going into college, i was intrigued.  i would catch the occasional picture of the bright colorful uniforms that national and club teams wore (they’re called “kits” btw) and of course the World Cup was on tv somewhere every four years.  i would play pick up games in the park with the international students at school. it was just something in the background. i had several pairs of Umbro shorts,

but beyond that it wasn’t an obsession or anything, i had class and more pressing matters.  besides, playing soccer did not seem to impress the ladies.

rolling on into the next few years, i began to teach school and of course the World Cup came to America in 1994.

although there were games played in the Cotton Bowl not too far from where I was teaching, i could not get away to watch a match. i do remember the crazy red mop of hair that Alexi Lalas displayed and the smoothness of Cobi Jones. still soccer didn’t really hold a prominant place in my life.  i did want a Dallas Burn jersey, but that’s just because i like jersey’s in general.

as life rolled along and marriage and children came.  different jobs, different cities, i ended up in Houston working for a church part time and ran into a guy named Jay.  Jay was a software programmer and he also coached the local Christian schools boys soccer team.  Jay kept telling me that i needed to sit down sometime and watch a Premier League game.  he paid extra money in his cable package to get the EPL.  Jay wore Adidas Samba’s and lived and breathed soccer. at this same church was a mad Scotsman named Martin and a very refined Brit named Eifion. of course everything English was crap to Martin, especially David Beckham and the English national team.  Eifion introduced me to Arsenal.

the next year i began to teach school in Cy-Fair and one of my students father’s was also an Englishman who has become a dear friend over the years.  Kit and i never really talked about soccer until the advent of facebook.  now it’s on.

fast forward to now, moved to Lufkin in 09, i picked up my first training jersey at a store. of course i had to go with Manchester United to the dismay of my friends who are from Liverpool, but i was interested in the history and the lore of the legendary club.  i began to really delve into the game.  i wanted to really understand what it was all about.  what had been a passing fad was now something i wanted to know about.  it helps when the cable company gives you a channel you can watch soccer on 24/7. i began to watch games.  i would ask Kit about rules, and what was going on, as i just had a basic knowledge of what was happening.  i learned about tables, and tournaments. draws and points.  goal differentials, etc. of course right as i’m getting into this, U2’s Magnificent is playing in heavy rotation on World Cup commercials, so i begin to pick up interest in the USMNT (United States Men’s National Team) i realized there were 3 Texans on the squad and two of them were from East Texas of all places. i mean the fact that Clint Dempsey is from Nacogdoches fascinated me.

i now own both his home and away USA jerseys. so i made it through the highs and lows of the World Cup (Spain plays boring football btw) and really had a new spark for the beauty of the game.  so this year is my first full year of keeping up with the EPL (English Premier League) and i’ve loved every minute of every game i’ve watched.  my side, Man U is still in the hunt for a treble (three trophies) they are at the top of the table in the EPL, are playing in a FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, and just defeated Chelsea to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League. and Man U does have my absolute favorite player in the world, Wayne Rooney.

all of that rambling to get to this.  why do i love soccer.

1. it is a global game and we are supposed to be global people (every tribe, tongue and nation)

2. i love strategy and a soccer game is not just going out and kicking a ball around.  there is great strategic planning that goes into each match, and impromptu strategy that plays out as the game unfolds. the word the commentators use is creativity.  i love that.

3. passion. you won’t find any group of supporters more passionate about their clubs.  the songs and chants and the sheer joy or utter disgust is part of what makes the game so amazing.

4. it makes me different.  although a lot of Americans are catching onto the soccer thing.  it still lets me stand out as most Americans are still enamored with the NFL or the NBA. i mean for goodness sakes Glen Beck called soccer a communist sport. he’s obviously never read Soccernomics and seen how unbalanced and unsocialist most soccer leagues are.

so i guess that’s a synopsis of my journey to becoming a lover of the beautiful game. i’m hoping to go to England as a 40th birthday present to myself this year, stay with my friend Ian and catch matches at Anfield and Old Trafford. any donations to my England or bust fund are welcome.

thought i would write about one of my great loves today…

Old Trafford-Chuck Harris April 13, 2011

Glorious smell of lawn and lager

as the players take the pitch

supporters chant and sing the songs

of the club, a heritage so rich

the sides today are even matched

should be a bloody good game

it’s football played on the most hallowed ground

of Manchester United fame

So Glory, Glory Man United

as songs of heroes current and past

float through the rafters of Old Trafford

and days like this would ever last.


rough draft of a song inspired by Randy Elrod’s blog post today

Forgotten-Chuck Harris April 12, 2011


Little boy….long red cape

leaping from a tree….knees got scraped

Yeah, he was Superman….he used to fly

he was bulletproof…now he wonders why

chorus 1

the stress of life has brought him down

he’s all grown up he’s on the ground

he wonders will he ever soar again

he’s just forgotten


little girl…wings and fairy dust

sipping tea like she’s….part of the uppercrust

she was a princess…she used to dream

castles and unicorns…now what did that mean

chorus 2

the stress of life has brought her down

she’s all grown up there’s no more crowns

will she ever dream that way again

she’s just forgotten


why do we have the need….to move through life so fast

grow up…act your age…quit playing games…forget about the past

but i remember Ivanhoe and damsels in distress

i remember little girls sipping tea in a party dress

chorus 3

This stress of life won’t bring me down

yes i’m grown up but i’ve been around

you see i’ve been dreaming, i’ll learn to fly again

no i’ve not forgotten

just some musings

a thousand suns cannot outshine a mere glimpse of You

this same glory dwells in me, but i’m so blind and feeble that i miss it.

mere words don’t seem to touch or express all that You really are

even in my most eloquent moments i fall drastically short of even a depiction of you

Your glory shines in every color that i see and every sound that makes it’s way to my ears

yet i often miss it, bored and preoccupied with lesser things.