Monthly Archives: July 2013

Day 54 – An Admittedly Emotional Video Blog; Hey, I Miss My Wife Already, So Sue Me

Day 54 is a video blog because quite frankly, it was much easier than typing a blog post (ie, “thinking.”)

Big thanks to Sydney, my server, who has a come a long way in a short amount of time in terms of camera shyness.  My boy Ryan was there too – and he wasn’t even working!  That guy must live at Chick-fil-A!

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Anyhow, here’s the vlog…I’m a little emotional at the thought of my wife and son being 7000 miles away from me, but really, can you blame me?  What loving husband would want to be separated for any length of time from his greatest earthly loves?  Yeah, I almost cried.  Almost.

Day 53 – Liza, Prayer, & My First Taste of Chick-fil-A Gravy

Day 53.

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This day is a bittersweet one for me. Above is a picture of my wife Liza standing with all her gear at the airport this morning, about ready to leave on a jet-plane for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa. By herself. Alone.

Did I mention she doesn’t have anyone going with her?

Now of course I don’t actually believe that to be true in any significant sense. As a Christian I believe that the prayers of the saints cause the angels of heaven to go with her and protect, or not protect her, according to the sovereign will of God. It’s pure speculation to say that she has a guardian angel specifically assigned to her. But if she does, there’s no doubt he’s received a heavy dose of instruction from Almighty God, because I know lots of folks are interceding on her behalf.

Prayer is a crazy thing. I have no idea how it works, except that God asks us to do it. The skeptic will say prayer doesn’t do anything. People do things. Of course, he’s right, inasmuch as doctors operate, captains steer, and pilots fly. But doctors see people healed when they have no medical explanation, ships malfunction despite the most experienced captain being at the helm, and pilots let drifting minds negate a safe landing. But what if people pray for healing, pray for equipment success, or pray that minds don’t drift? Do their prayers alter what could’ve been disaster, disappointment, or death?

Ah, but the skeptic will say the final outcome would’ve happened regardless. Perhaps. But where is his proof? If he is asserting a statement of fact, where is his evidence to corroborate his statement? He cannot empirically know, for there is no way to falsify his theory. In fact, we cannot ever produce the event again – it was a one-time only deal. Isn’t it more accurate for the skeptic to say, “I believe the final outcome would’ve been the same.” And if it is more accurate to say that, then how is it any different than the pray-er saying, “I believe the final outcome would’ve been different if I hadn’t prayed.” Are not both assertions statements of belief?

The skeptic will go on about the existence of God (ie, the lack thereof), but he would have to prove no God exists to then prove prayer has no impact. To prove that God does not exist would be to claim all knowledge of the Universe. Since no one has knowledge of all things, no one can intellectually argue for the empirical non-existence of God. He can only state, “I find no evidence,” which is to say, “With the evidence I have – admittedly, hardly anything when compared to all there is to know – I do not believe that God exists.”

And thus, we are back to a statement of belief.

If you have made it to this paragraph, please pat yourself on the back – you made it through Jeff’s Philosophy 101, and we can go back to chicken and waffle fries now.

Actually, I can just tell you that while I’m happy to know that my son will have his mother very soon, I’m already missing my wife. It’s just not the same around here – me, the dogs, and the cat. To think that she will be gone for who knows how long, well….it’s a little depressing.

Thankfully, I know the secret of being content in each and every circumstance of life, so I will press on and PRAY that she is able to carry on there without me. Moreover, that I can carry on her without her!

It’s a good thing I have Chick-fil-A to console me, and I experienced another first today: Breakfast Platter with….wait for it….gravy. Admittedly at first, I didn’t know how I would respond. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had gravy. Let’s just say this – if you have never ordered a breakfast platter with biscuits and some Chick-fil-A gravy, do yourself a favor, for the love of anything pure and holy, and GET SOME! It was so amazingly scrumptous. Creamy, but not so much that felt you were eating lard; zesty, without being overpowering; flavorful, without being too salty; and little chunks of sausage that probably are not in any way good for you but MAN! They were delicious. Top it off with some eggs and Chick-fil-A crispy chicken, and you have a southern-inspired breakfast that I would put up against the best of them. Here’s what it looked like from close-up:

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My guy Andrew was working the register, rocking the Chick-fil-A hat:

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I appreciate his help with the unadvertised menu item so that I knew what I was getting and had all my options before making a decision. Crucial to have a game plan, as we learned a few Every Day with Chick-fil-A’s back.

Now back to praying for Liza. I have a feeling there will be a lot of that around here.

 

Day 52 – Liza Leaves for Africa Tomorrow. Yikes.

Day 52.

If today is any indication of what life will be like with Liza leaving me stranded here in America while she gallivants all around Africa with our son – safaris, jungle expeditions to the nethermost regions of the earth, yacht trips down the Nile River – well, all I can say is, I’m in trouble.

Fortunately, she’ll actually just be living in a third world country Guest House trying to learn how to be a parent all by herself, all the while trying to keep the food down and the parasites from festering, and I couldn’t be more jealous. Truly, I wish I could go with. If you know me at all, you know I love adventure, and I love Africa. She gets both in this solo rendezvous with destiny.

And so, I wait for her starting tomorrow. And for my son. All alone.  Just me and the dogs. And Chick-fil-A. Free Chick-fil-A.  Every day.  Somebody break out a violin for a brother and play me a sad song.

At any rate, today was filled with work, errands, work, and more work. Which is good for the soul. I’d rather work than not. I just hope I can get caught up on some sleep. I got this eye thing going on and I’m pretty sure it has to do with late nights and early mornings, so hopefully one of these days I can get back in alignment with my body and my mojo.

Surely it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve eaten Chick-fil-A for 52 days in a row (minus Africa!)  And surely it has nothing do with what is becoming my old standby, the #8 Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich minus the rabbit food. I love this sandwich.

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Today I had it with water and waffle fries, but kindly gave Liza some to munch on when I got home.  She needed the energy as she was making lists and checking them twice, trying make her luggage precise – I don’t know, I just went for it. At any rate, she was laser-focused in preparation for her trip, and the Chick-fil-A waffle fries helped bring her strength and stamina to finish packing. God bless Chick-fil-A.

Now there were a couple great things that happened in the Chick-fil-A drive thru today.  1) Colby was working.  And it’s always good to see him earning an honest day’s wage.  But, 2) Sarah actually took a pic today! As you can see from the photo below, she’s actually not shy.  She’s been dodging my pics for a few weeks now, but you can tell deep down, she’s got a little diva in her.  So it made me happy, and I’m sure Colby too, to see her finally relent and share in the glory that is, Every Day with Chick-fil-A.

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*Side note* We have a dear friend who was in the hospital today delivering and had a few complications. She seems to be doing well now, but if you’re a praying person, I know she’d appreciate some intercession in the next few days.  Thanks all.

Day 51 – Marcus & Me

Day 51.

Today was definitely a good day. I was able to actually relax this morning with a coffee and the book of Philippians before putting in some website work for a few hours.  Liza is getting ready leave for Ethiopia and I’m definitely starting to get a little bummed. I’m happy for our little guy because he’ll be out of the orphanage for good.  But sad for me because I’ll have to bachelor pad it up, which only sounds good when you’re young and idiotic, not when you actually care about people other than yourself.

So in an effort to get the house in order for our son, if you’ve followed the journey at all, you know I’ve been commissioned to tile the bathroom floor.  Have I ever tiled?  Negative. But with the help of a knowledgeable friend and the fine friends at YouTube, I was able to lay the floor last week and lay the grout today. I’m happy to say that I’m one step closer to finishing this bathroom:

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Finished up and was off to my local Trinity Chick-fil-A where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Marcus for the first time as my server:

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Now I don’t know Marcus, but in our brief 2 minute exchange, I get the sense that he’s a lot like I was. Probably a good student, excels at sports, but may be a little cocksure. I like Marcus. He reminds me of myself. But let’s just hope he doesn’t allow overconfidence to bring him low. As the Proverb says, “Pride cometh before a fall.”  I mean, look at that smile?  Very charming guy – ladies, watch out; Marcus, treat ’em right.

Don’t you just love how I come out and judge a man the first time I meet him? Listen, each of us make judgments every day, all the time, and provided we don’t harbor animosity or prejudice when we do so, I find no problem with it. It’s wise of us to give people the benefit of the doubt, while at the same time guarding our consciences so as to not get taken for a ride. That’s all I’m going here with Marcus…and I think he’ll thank me for it next time I see him.

The other especially good news is that my guy Ryan was working the intercom, and you can see his slight photobomb as he’s making what appears to be a dairy delicacy. He didn’t recognize me over the intercom but I think he’s close. Good dude, Ryan.

My meal today? #8. As mentioned previously, I am on a provolone cheese kick, and went with a grilled chicken club particularly for the cheese.

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Oh, and can you tell what that plastic thing is in the bottom left hand corner with a green top? Yeah, that’s water. Broke my Coke almost-addiction.  Who’s the man….

I suppose I should put the breaks on with my confidence there huh?  Don’t want to be construed as cocksure.  😉

Day 50 – My Chick-fil-A Quinquagenary

Day 50.

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As you can tell, Day 50’s visit was completely packed. No kidding. I drove around the parking lot and every single spot was taken, and the drive-thru went quite literally around the building, as you can see. I’m telling you, there is no busier restaurant in all of America than a Chick-fil-A at lunch time. Gotta be a good sign.

In a move of solidarity with my friends behind the counter, I decided to go in today and order face to face. Primarily because I figured it had to be quicker than the drive-thru, even if I had to park in the lot across the street.

Nick was my guy today:

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My purchase? A #2 Chick-fil-A® Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with no rabbit food and provolone cheese, waffle fries, and a large Coke. (I know, the Cokes are getting out of control.) But seriously, today’s sandwich was probably the best I’ve had yet. I’ve got a serious man crush on Chick-fil-A’s provolone cheese. Dude, it is so good.

I took my Chick-fil-A and headed over to Trinity College where I had a Strategic Planning Meeting as a board member for the CS Lewis Society. Here is evidence I was there, eating a leisurely lunch outside:

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Had a great meeting with Dr Tom Woodward and some of the other board members about the direction, vision, and mission of the Society.  Here’s Tom talking with Dr. Bargerhuff about an apologetics camp we’re thinking of putting together next summer:

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After this, home, more Addicted to Saving work, and call it a day. A very low key Day 50, but a good one nonetheless.

Day 49 – Liza, Cheers Theme Song Remembrance & a Possible Coke Addiction Brewing

Day 49.

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I am one day shy of having Chick-fil-A, every single day (minus Africa days), for 50 days straight. It’s rather unbelievable, is it not? I mean seriously, think to yourself right now…”What would it be like to have Chick-fil-A for 49 days in a row? Hmmmmmm……”

Some of you are jumping with visionary joy over the prospect of biting into those deliciously prepared chicken sandwiches for lunch or dinner eaach day. But I best most of you are thinking, “Yeah, I don’t think I could do that.”

Now stay in that imaginary place with me for a few more seconds and picture this – you have 31 days in August, 30 days in September, 31 days in October, 30 days in November, and 31 days in December, each and every one of them, all 153, softly whispering, nay, beckoning for you to come out, one more time, and have a free piece of chicken….and then blog about it.

Yup, that’s my world.

But it’s all good, and I’m having a blast. Tonight’s run was fun for a couple reasons:

1) As you can see from the above pic, I got Liza to traipse out into the rain with me this evening, and it is always my pleasure (see what I did there?) to have her at Chick-fil-A with me. We had a late lunch again so I went with a lighter option tonight – #9 Chick-fil-A® Chicken Salad Sandwich meal with waffle fries and a Coke. I think I might be going down a dark, lonely road with the Cokes, however. Lately I’ve noticed a certain franticness as I get closer and closer to my Trinity Chick-fil-A, thinking about that sweet carbonation and how it will lift me into realms unknown. I realize that’s dramatic language, but this could be a dramatic situation. Granted, I don’t drink soda at any other time or at any other place….only Chick-fil-A. Why could this be? Am I Pavlov’s dog? When someone says “Dan Cathy” or “Eat mor chickin,” does my mouth start watering; do I get the shakes, even if they’re just mental? Must examine this more.

2) The second reason tonight’s run was a good one is below:

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On the left is Sydney, on the right is Megan – standby’s at my Trinity Chick-fil-A and I don’t even need to see their nametags to know their names. Ryan is just to the right of Megan, so it was like a Cheers theme song tonight at a place where everyone knows your name. Well, at least I knew theirs. It’s a fun bunch, and they’re always kind and gracious and quick with service – everything you want in your local Chick-fil-A.

Which brings up an interesting point…how well do you know your favorite Chick-fil-A employees?  Do you see them as individuals or faceless, nameless cashiers and drive-thru workers?  Do you acknowledge they have lives outside of Chick-fil-A with unique sets of problems and emotional baggage that may be weighing heavy on their minds at any given time?  Or do you just want your freaking Spicy Chicken Sandwich so you can stuff it down your piehole and yell at a passer-by trying to get to her car as you’re trying to open up that amazing Chick-fil-A sauce in such a frenzied hurry?  (In your defense, I’m always opening up that blessed Chick-fil-A sauce pretty quickly as well.)

Anyhow, certainly something to consider.  One of my favorite parts about this experience is getting to know the staff by name. Hopefully they feel the same??? I mean, it’s not hard, it’s right on the VIP Black Card. 😉

Day 47 & Day 48 – Good Friend, Good Food, Good Times

Day 47 & Day 48

Today is another first in Every Day with Chick-fil-A’s history: two days rolled up into one post. I have to be honest, it’s 9:19 p.m., I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, we have tons of stuff to do to get ready for Liza’s trip to pick up our son in Ethiopia, and I almost pushed this to a three-days-rolled-up-into-one-post post. But I’m definitely trying to man up and blog about my favorite restaurant who’s ever given me a VIP Black Card – Chick-fil-A.  (Yes, they are the only restaurant who’s done that for me, so they’re #1 both in the program and in my heart!)

everydaywithchickfilaDay 47 was filled with emotion for me. I think the weight of Liza leaving, becoming a dad, the logistical preparation of running our business while she’s gone, and basically everything that should work not working (from the Internet router to my laptop to my leaky toilet to my sprinklers that won’t shut off to our website constantly crashing and believe it or not there’s more, but I’ll spare you) just got to me. I had a man-to-man conversation with my best friend in the world, Bjorn, a godly man and a great friend, and he spoke encouragement into my spirit and revived my hope in this exciting moment of our lives.  For that, I’m very thankful. You know, most men I know don’t have a single friend that they can be completely vulnerable with, and yet I have many that if the stuff really hit the fan, they’d be there for me.  Certainly Bjorn has, and it’s a reminder that Hebrews 3:12 really does work: “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that you will not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Whatever you think of the bible or of my use of the word “sin,” you gotta admit, good friends are hard to come by, and when you have one that will speak Truth into your life, it’s worth more than all the VIP Black Cards in the universe combined.

Fortunately all I need is ONE VIP card to get my free Chick-fil-A each day, including a #6 Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Strips® meal (4 piece of course) with waffle fries and a large Coke, which is what I had yesterday.  Big thanks to Sandy for serving it up and making a first time appearance on Every Day with Chick-fil-A!

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Now day 48 was a brand new day, and it was successful from moment my feet hit the ground. Coffee, bible, dogs, blog, co-op, then my afternoon run to Chick-fil-A.  It was great to see my guy Andrew again, and we had a nice chat at the drive-thru window while I waited for my food:

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What was on the menu today? #8 Chick-fil-A® Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich with waffle fries and a bottled water.  It was a late run, around 4:30, and I hadn’t had lunch, so of course I was starving:

everydaywithchickfila3I have to say, the Chargrilled Club (no rabbit food) is quickly becoming a crowd favorite. And by crowd favorite I mean my favorite. Very excited that I found out about this provolone cheese too. I would’ve never tried this before my Every Day with Chick-fil-A days.

My meal was enough to fuel me up to finish the tile job in the bathroom I started over the weekend. And by finish I mean lay the tile.  Still need to grout it (never done it before) and put the new toilet wax seal on (never done that either). Then I’ll need to patch a hole and hang a new towel rack, plus paint the room, and hopefully it will be ready for Baby T-Rex.

Pictures to come. More Chick-fil-A tomorrow.

Day 46 – I’m Really Tired (Like, Physically; Not Tired of Chick-fil-A at All)

Day 46.

The Day 46 recap is going to be amazingly and jawdroppingly quick tonight. It’s two minutes to midnight to start this post, I’ve just come back from some sweet fellowship with friends, and I am all sorts of tired, having been up at 5:30 this morning for some Addicted to Saving work that needed to be done.

Since I am so tired, let me bottom line you.

  • Grabbed Chick-fil-A on the run around 6:45 p.m.
  • My wife and I split a #5 Chicken Nuggets, 8 count, with waffle fries and a regular Coke.
  • I’ve been craving Cokes recently.
  • It was delicious, as usual.
  • Server was Michael and he was ready for the pic.  Looking good, Michael!
  • everydaywithchickfilaHung out with some good friends and talked a lot about our adoption journey.

everydaywithchickfila1(from left to right: Dave, Laurie, Jason, Janna, Jenny, Andy, Howard, Patti, Liza)

  • Had delicious homemade pizza by Chef Andy – I had no idea he was so culinarily adept!
  • Got home late.
  • Tired.
  • This is the end of the blog.
  • See you for more Chick-fil-A tomorrow boys and girls.

Day 45 – Laying Tile & Hanging with the Clements

Day 45.

I have a very special Every Day with Chick-fil-A post for you today.  Well, I suppose it depends on your definition of very and your definition of special, but it is a first time occasion, so to me, that qualifies.

Are you ready? Today is Sunday, but I had my Chick-fil-A yesterday of course, so this marks the first time I haven’t blogged about my trip on the day in which I made it!  This is Every Day with Chick-fil-A history folks, and you get the privilege of watching it unfold in real time.  Count your blessings people.

Today’s post is also special because it represents the first time my good friend Jason and his dog Lupe will have been featured via video. Another sweet occasion to celebrate!

Now I have to tell you, since I last blogged about Chick-fil-A, I have been a busy little bee. I was up early Saturday morning to work on the website, welcomed in my buddy Lua who’s helping me tile our bathroom floor around 9 a.m.; Liza wanted some changes in that room since it will be Baby T-Rex’s when he finally comes home to the U.S.A.! I want to give a HUGE shout out to Lua for helping a brother out.  You can see day one’s progress as we wrapped up around 3:00 to get on with our evenings:everydaywithchickfilaActually most of that time was spent taking up the old floor, or we could’ve got more done. I guessed my wife, who was at a ladies tea (which happened to turn into a shower for Baby T-Rex – thank you so much Calvary life group ladies for all the amazing gifts!) would want a diagonal pattern versus straight squares.  Why? Because it would required more cutting and generally take longer and be harder. And…I was right.  Good call by me, right?

Once we finished and I showered up, we headed down south to hang with Jason and his wife Janna, and their two awesome kiddos Will and Kylie, whom I’ve featured before on Every Day with Chick-fil-A. We just love spending time with these guys, and we want to give a serious mad shout out to them both as they ended up giving us Christmas in July with untold goodies for T-Rex. But not only that, we were able to put our oinkers on and seriously pig out, and  I combined too of my favorite things in one night: Chick-fil-A and pizza.

Jason and I hit the road with Lupe and picked up our pizzas first, then headed on over to Chick-fil-A for, let’s be honest, dessert:

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It was great to meet our servers, whose names escape me momentarily, but they were super cool and appeared to be impressed by my Chick-fil-A eating prowess.

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And of course, Lupe got in on the action doggie style:

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But nothing says gluttony like Chick-fil-A and three BJ’s pizzas for just four adults in one sitting, and here are Jason, I and Lupe to tell you about it:

Ah, the memories. Look at this spread:

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Truthfully though, we had a great time last evening, enjoyed some sick fellowship, and I couldn’t happier at having the opportunity to pound not only my waffle fries and eight pieces of BJ’s gourmet pizza, but cap it off with a vanilla shake from Chick-fil-A, all 700 delicious calories of it – with one of my favorite families on the planet.  Thanks guys.

For the record, I did do a 10 mile ride and 2 mile run after the ride this morning and according to Bike My Ride and Runkeeper, negated about 750 calories, which means I actually downed that shake at a net loss. All good.

Day 44 – Better than Yesterday

Day 44.

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This was my view at about 1:45 p.m. as I sat in the drive-thru at my local Trinity Chick-fil-A. I’ve come to realize that if you don’t get there at 6:30 a.m. or around 8:00 p.m., expect Chick-fil-A to be slammed.  And that’s a good thing. If it was a ghost town every time I went, I’d be seriously concerned.

Today I was starving by the time I rolled up.  Yesterday was a bit of a struggle, so I was glad to redeem myself today.  Got up early, went for a run, did burpees and push-ups intermittently, showered, read through Philippians, got up some great posts, and in the midst of it all, didn’t eat anything!  Well, peanuts, but those don’t really count.

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So as you can tell from the pic above, I was all about the large waffle fries, the large Coco-cola, and a Chick-fil-A Deluxe Sandwich with provolone cheese (no rabbit food).  I devoured it in about three minutes, and it would’ve been less if I wasn’t so determined to dip every last waffle fry in that heavenly Chick-fil-A sauce.

My server today was Austin on the intercom, and Sarah on the register. It looks like she’s being shy, but I think she’s just thinking about what how to ring up my VIP card. 😉

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By the time I got to Clearwater for my appointment, I was sufficiently satiated and had a great time with Jason Clemente and Pastor Wallace DeCosta as we reviewed our recent Man Up and Go trip to Uganda. I left encouraged and pumped to go back, and pray the Lord will allow such a trip.

Now as I sit here watching the end of Big Brother from last night, I am oddly yet happily intrigued by the relationship between McCrae and Amanda. Anyone else with me?