Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, December 18, 2006

The True Happiest Place on Earth

This past weekend my wife, the youngest boy, and I made a 3 hour trip north to Springfield, Missouri, to see my friend Skip and his family. Way back a few months ago I told him I wanted to come see him and visit his church when I was in Arkansas visiting my mother. He agreed to the visit, but then asked me if I wanted to teach his Sunday school class. I told him I would love to do it and then he told me to do something on apologetics. Forty-five minutes on apologetic methodology? I snorted a laugh.

Well, I managed to boil down a two part study on 1 Peter 3:15-17 to a one part study. When I arrived to visit my friend on Saturday, another one of his Sunday school teaching buddies had asked if my friend's class and his class could combine for the morning because he wanted his singles to hear my teaching as well.

I was a bit nervous being in front of total strangers, especially the one class who were not expecting me, but the Spirit blessed and I thoroughly enjoyed the time. I am not sure about all the folks who endured listening to me. I received positive feedback after I said "amen" and they paid attention during my teaching, but when I left a few minutes for Q and A, no one wanted to ask a question. That doesn't necessarily mean anything. It was about 5 minutes before noon and I imagine everyone was ready to shut down and go home. Believe me, nothing is more annoying than a teacher opening up the class for questions 5 minutes before it is time to leave and some pin-head raises his hand and asks some long, rambling question that requires the teacher at least 12 minutes to answer in full detail. These were the folks I wanted to hurl a book at when I was in seminary.

Over all, it was a fabulous time of fellowship with those dear saints and I look forward to meeting up with them again in the future sometime.

Knowing I would be traveling to Springfield, I told my buddy I wanted to go to the Bass Pro Shop. On top of the largest number of Chinese restaurants in the Mid-west, Springfield also boasts of being home to the Bass Pro Shop, a gigantic mall dedicated to every outdoor sport imaginable, like fishing, hunting, camping and hiking. It is an undescribable visit. That is why it says the "Granddaddy of all Outdoor Stores" on the sign.

Not only do they have gear for outdoor sporting, but they have large collections of fish and wildlife on display. For example, the fish on the left was part of the "10 pound tank." It contains fish that are only 10 pounds and above in weight.

There was even a massive catfish floating in one tank (barely visible in this picture on the left)

and a humongous alligator snapping turtle who kept his head stuck in a corner of his tank the entire time we were here.

In fact, they had a man-made creek running through the place with little fish and ducks swimming along it.

And, if you needed to pick up a giant, novelty fish pillow for that giant fish pillow collector in your family, Bass Pro had a big bin of them. Only 14.99 a piece.

Recently, my wife picked up some old Lone Ranger episodes on DVD. My two oldest boys love them because the people on the show shoot guns. Also, we have the first season of Andy Griffith on DVD and in several episodes, Opie carries around his cap gun attached to his hip. My two boys, being "brained washed" by the TV, have turned our vacuum cleaner attachments into rifles and shotguns and they run around our place "shooting" me, their mother, and each other. I bet some of my readers are horrified at such a notion.
Anyhow, we thought it would be fun to get them some toy guns for Christmas (even at the risk of having social services kidnap our children). In California, we hit every store looking for some plastic cowboy rifles and six shooters and none could be found anywhere. Even Wal-Mart has succumbed to the anti-gun lobbyists and only sell water soakers that don't even really look like guns.

The thing I love about Bass Pro, they have all sorts of guns. Real ones that can explode a water melon into a million pieces or maybe a deer's head. There was one room that had a wall of guns from floor to ceiling in a beautiful glass case. And down at one end of the store, there was a firing range where a technician can sight your rifle. We stood in rapt amusement as we watched him load rifle after rifle and shoot it into this long, underground tunnel that ran under the store. The sound of the gun being fired into the tunnel was, in one word, "cool."

I tell you. Living in L.A. can make you forget how the rest of the U.S. is "normal." That is why I love stopping by a Bass Pro Shop if I have the opportunity. It is like taking a bath to cleanse me from all the anti-gun, PETA non-sense, blue state propaganda I am exposed to on a regular basis. It truly is the happiest place on earth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning the rifles, all I can say is "Breathe the free air" again. Sorry you have to put up with the nay-sayers in LA LA land.

Viva Bass Pro.

1:39 PM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger Hayden said...


Hope you guys are having fun in Arkansas. We will be traveling out to LA next week.

One thing we noticed when we moved to Michigan from LA is a huge sign on the freeway that had a deer on it in the foreground with and arrow stuck through the back hindquarters and a hunter in the background. I looked at my wife and said, "We are definately not on California anymore!" :)

By the way, we too have a Bass Pro Shop near our home but I have heard that the Cabelas which is an hour away is by far the better store. SInce I do not fish or hunt, it makes no difference to me.

Keep up the good posting here. I often check your site but rarely comment b/c of lack of time. Take care brother.


6:08 AM, December 19, 2006  

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