A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Category: Family (page 1 of 2)

Thankful Friday…

Ooh! Ooh! Two posts…in the same month! And on the same day!

As I was writing the ol’ Morning Pages this morning, I began to think of how Fridays are the perfect time for reflecting on The Week That Was, The Weekend That Is To Come, and The General State Of Things In This Life As We Know It. (Looks more epic if you capitalize it like a title, no?)

Anyway, there are several items that make me thankful today, even in the midst of—especially in the midst of—these topsy-turvy times in which we are called to live. Here we go. Add your own if you’re playing along.

  • Gooey, cheesy ziti al mondo at our favorite reliable American Eye-talian joint is better when it’s shared across the table from My Favorite Hoosier. Oh, and keep the rolls coming, please.
  • Playlists. Yeah, yeah…I know. More AI-generated “music” than real artists sometimes. But I’m very thankful for the people who have the knowledge and the time to curate and share their playlists. Right now, for instance, Tsh Oxenreider’s “Deep Work” is powering this blog post. Thanks, Tsh!
  • And finally, this story showed up in my Twitter…I mean…X! feed. The original feature was in 2021, so I don’t even know if Caitlin and Street Brew Coffee are still a thing in Toronto, but it sure made me smile out loud this morning. Turns out Caitlin is still pumping out coffee and good vibes!

Remember (he says to himself)…you’re pretty much going to find what you’re looking for. This quote from Katherine May’s Enchantment is a sound observation…

Enchantment is small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory. It relies on small doses of awe, almost homeopathic: those quiet traces of fascination that are found only when we look for them.

So today, dear both of you readers, make your Friday a day for looking for and finding The Good Stuff that’s all around, the Stuff That Makes Your World Wonderful.

Part of Me…

Confused Signal

Stef via Compfight

Part of me wants to cry a lot of tears.

Part of me wants to write a “Dear ____” letter. Not to get involved in anybody’s business, but to say thanks for the good parts and get clarity on the bad.

Part of me wants to stay away.

Part of me wants to stick around and see what happens next.

Part of me wants to say it’ll be OK.

Part of me wants to say, “Wake up, grow up, quit messing around, and get on with your life!”

Part of me wonders why.

Part of me says it’s really not my concern.

Part of me says yes it is.

Part of me wants to help.

Part of me wants to know what happened.

Part of me wants to get over the possibility.

Part of me is glad I never had to do this in the age of social media.

Part of me hopes somebody else comes along, if that’s the way.

Part of me wants to reach out to one, part to the other.

Part of me wants to gather both together.

Part of me is grateful.

Part of me is confused and angry.

Part of me doesn’t know what to do next.

Part of me says it’s not up to me.

Part of me doesn’t want to see it end.

Part of me is relieved.

Part of me wonders what might have been and still might be.

Two Years Ago…

"Reflection," by Richo.Fan https://flic.kr/p/7v6eEk

“Reflection,” by Richo.Fan https://flic.kr/p/7v6eEk

Two years ago…

We were getting our financial heads above water for the first time in a long time. We had just refinanced our mortgage at a great rate. The only debt we had was our mortgage and our son’s truck (college graduation gift). We were giving generously, saving regularly, and spending wisely.

My family had just said goodbye to my mom, and we were helping Dad and each other adjust to her being gone.

The lovely and gracious MrsCharphar had just started at yet another school, having been transferred again. It was the closest to our home she had ever been.

Many in our nation were hoping for a new season of liberty and prosperity, as we looked forward to a presidential election.

All in all, things were looking pretty good.

But what a difference two years makes…

Sunday Night Unwind, 05.02.10

In a jazz mood for tonight’s Unwind. The Bebop/Combo channel on Pandora is filling the bill quite nicely, thank you. At this moment, Stan Getz is playing a song called “Beatrice,” and it really is in that cool jazz mode.

Anyway, here’s what’s rolling around in my head and my heart, and dropping out on the keyboard…

  • Speaking of jazz, I would’ve enjoyed these guys at the Jazz Mass this morning!
  • And who knew Cartersville, Georgia has a live jazz place? Cartersville?!?! Get outta here!
  • Oh, and that bassist? yeah…he’s pretty much my musical hero!
  • Cartersville?!?!?
  • It was good to be back at The ‘Crest today, after a week away at Fusion Church.
  • I finished a series called “Running on Empty,” and talked about how we need to take the time to refuel and recharge in our walk with Jesus. I thought it was pretty good stuff!
  • Got to spend the afternoon with the lovely and gracious Mrs. Just Charlie and The Boy…a little lunch, a little clothes shopping, and little hanging out…a good time!
  • The Boy is hopefully winding down this this part of his academic journey soon.I really feel for newly-minted college graduates trying to find a real job in this economy.
  • Heard some disturbing new about one of our elderly members today that makes my blood boil! I’m not sure there’s anything we can do, but I sure am hacked off about it!
  • Getting back on track with my health and fitness again. It’s impossible to live today on what you did yesterday. Or four years ago.
  • I’m on the lookout for a new bag in which to carry my laptop and other assorted junk. I’m leaning toward the Timbuk2, although I haven’t really scoped out the specific model. If it’s good enough for Tony McCollum and Randy Bohlender, it’s good enough for me!
  • Yeah, yeah! I know…who’s got time to go to blogs anymore? That would be tonymccollum and rbohlender, respectively, thank you very much! Sheesh!
  • Dang! John Coltrane could play!
  • I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. This Kindle for the PC app has re-ignited a passion for reading though! I’ve just finished Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s Rework, and I’m about to dive into Ben Arment’s Church in the Making, along with some classic Bonhoeffer and St. John of the Cross. How’s that for eclectic?

Well, this post that started out rather promisingly has now started to drag, so I’m going to quit, and read some, drink a cup of coffee, and get ready for the storm that’s on the way later tonight.

Sunday Night Unwind, 11.02.08…

I just finished up a pretty hectic weekend, filled with a LOT of driving! So now I’m finally home, and I’m wiped out, but just too jacked up to go to bed! Here are some highlights, thoughts, etc….

  • A trip to south Georgia and back, while not nearly as long as it used to be, is still a killer. TWO of those trips in 72 hours is even worse!
  • Had a great time at my home church today. It was the annual “homecoming” celebration our tribe is famous for (let the reader understand!).
  • I don’t know what a “normal” crowd is like for that church, but it seemed to be a pretty good turnout today.
  • Did you know I have a big brother who can sing? Did you know he’s the best big brother I’ve got? Oh, did you know he’s the only brother – big or otherwise – that I have?
  • Oh, and did you know he did a great job today?
  • It doesn’t take a lot to make my mom and dad happy and proud.
  • I stoleborrowed some a couple of lines from a couple one of my heroes today. (EDIT: I am now giving him props on the blog, but he stole the lines from someone else in the first place!)
  • I used a great Winston Churchill quote.
  • Throw in an Andy Stanley reference and you’ve got it made.
  • Had a cool kid get baptized before the first service this morning. Great touch on the baptism, Bob! Thanks!
  • I talked to that kid during my message in the early service.
  • It’s really tough to remember names of people you haven’t seen in a lot of years. It’s even tougher to admit you can’t remember them from Adam. But in the long run, that’s better than just acting like you really do know who they are when you have no clue!
  • Some people change. Some people never change. Some people really need to change.
  • Did I mention my mom and dad were proud and happy?
  • I think all church guitarists secretly want to bust out a little “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Layla” or “Smoke on the Water” or “Walk This Way” or something!
  • I felt sorry for the kid who obviously lost a bet, and was wearing an ugly, garish, obnoxious FloriDUH Gators t-shirt to church – and looking none too happy about it!
  • The only thing worse than obnoxious redneck UGA fans is even more obnoxious redder-neck FloriDUH Gators fans. Yes, I saw plenty of both on the road this weekend!
  • My wife predicted yesterday that one Florida team would lose and one Georgia team would lose. She was right, but she was wrong!
  • I love listening to Christy Nockels sing “Hosanna.” Perfect for a Sunday night unwind.
  • Oh, last thing…we may have to make a pastoral visit to the Cherokee County jail over noise and a sign ordinance. I’m just saying…

Hope your weekend has been great! Hope you made your momma proud! Hope your team won! Hope you did something great for God! Hope you have a great night! I’ll see you dark and early at the Y in the morning! Peace!

Sunday Night Unwind, 06.15.08…

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! Hope you’ve had a great day. Mine was kind of weird, as far as Father’s Days go…

  • Phone call from “The Boy” but this is the first Father’s Day in 22 years I haven’t actually seen him.
  • Started a new series on David at The ‘Crest today. I thought it was going to be a rather easy, kind of summer “filler” series, but God is already kicking my butt!
  • Speaking of David, I might have to pick Gary Lamb’s brain or steal his notebook to get some good ideas for the message series.
  • And also speaking of David, I used a graphic of the face of the famous Michelangelo sculpture. One of my older women (one of only two people in the service who have seen the actual statue in real life…both women!) commented that she hadn’t noticed the intense look on David’s face, because “it wasn’t his face I was looking at!” You’ve gotta love that!
  • In my research this week, I came across the “mid-life crisis David.” Too funny!
  • Figuring most restaurants would be packed for Father’s Day, the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” suggested we just get pizza for lunch. Good plan, good time with her, not so great nutrition.
  • Walked in Heritage Park, and nobody was there! Very strange!
  • One of our ex-church folks (and one of my favorites..hated to see them leave!) is will be in Honduras next week on a medical mission trip. Cool!
  • Nelson Searcy’s Time Management for Busy Pastors is playing right now. Good stuff, and definitely some stuff I need right now!
  • Iced green teasummertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime!
  • Challenged our folks to look toward sort of a “re-launch” in September.
  • New roof on our building looks great! Meeting with another guy tomorrow about some of the inside damage from the tornado. We still have trees down on the campus…gotta get them moved.

That’s about it for now…make the rest of your Father’s Day great!

Sunday Night Unwind, 03.09.08…

I’ve been really digging the Hillsong CD God He Reigns lately. One reviewer said it’s a great blend of the “classic” Hillsong stuff and the newer, younger, hipper United material. Whatever. All I know is it’s been leading me into the presence of God in a big, powerful way.

A couple of notes from this weekend…

  • Gideon this morning.
  • A couple of first-time guests and a couple of returning ones!
  • Pumped about this week. Going to NewSpring for Unleash. Going with Gary and the Revolution crew. Thanks, Gary! It’s been about three years since I’ve been to a conference. I really, really need it! (Other than a new Moleskine, what does one take to a conference these days?)
  • But I’m kind of afraid of what God’s going to do to me on the trip and at the conference. See, He’s been rocking my world in a lot of ways over the last couple of weeks. He’s probably got something bigger in mind. He always does, doesn’t He?
  • The lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” is the best wife in the world, hands down!
  • Real change is hard, because it means you’ve got to change personally before you can help your organization/team/whatever change.
  • I challenged our bunch to pray and dream “one size bigger” today.
  • Let’s keep daylight saving time all year around!

4:00 a.m. is going to get here pretty early. See you later…

Taking A Little Load Off…

WHEW! Finally finished up our adventure in refinancing today! We’ll be able to save a significant amount on our mortgage, and with the savings (no new debt, thank you very much!), we should be on our way to being debt-free (except for the mortgage) by year’s end! Very cool!