Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Schedule for Muddy Shoes

Life is always in transition. Nothing stays the same. And such is the role I am heading in this endeavor.

Mondays and Fridays … the regular witty and insightful tomes you have come to love.

Wednesdays … PastorDude’s Podcast (a MuddyShoes Production). Enlightenment for your ears.

So …. Three times a week – with occasional extra posts scattered throughout the months that will be icing on the cake.

So join me for these delightful boosters to your brain.


But if you joined in today, let me not leave you wanting. Let me share a few great ‘dad jokes’ to get you through the day.

I got fired from my job at the bank today. An old lady asked me to check her balance, so I pushed her over.

What did the drummer call his twin daughters? Anna one, Anna two…

Where do you take someone who’s been injured in a peekaboo accident? To the ICU.

May those notes of joy get you through the day. Maybe share your favorite dad joke. I would love to hear it.

Dad Jokes – Enjoy Wednesday Wit

None of these are new. Some were taken from BuzzFeed. But most just circulate on the web. Today, I lighten your journey with simple, yet profound wisdom in the form of … Dad Jokes.

  • Why didn’t the vampire bite Taylor Swift? … She had bad blood
  • Of all the inventions in the last 100 years, the dry erase board has to be the most remarkable
  • “I took my 8-year-old to the office on Take Your Kid to Work Day. As we were walking around, she starting crying and getting very cranky, so I asked her what was wrong. As my coworkers gathered round, she sobbed, ‘Daddy, where are all the clowns that you said you worked with?!'”
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  • Nothing’s better than being the ages of 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89, or 97 years old. Those are the years you’re in your prime.
  • EBay is so useless. I tried to look up lighters and all they had was 13,749 matches.
  • I just saw my wife trip and fall while carrying a laundry basket full of ironed clothes. The whole event just all unfolded before my eyes.
  • My wife screamed in pain during labor so I asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ She screamed, ‘These contractions are going to kill me!’ ‘I am sorry, honey,’ I replied. ‘What is wrong?’
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  • Without a doubt, my favorite Robin Williams movie is Mrs. Fire.
  • I made a playlist for hiking. It has music from Peanuts, the Cranberries, and Eminem. I call it my trail mix.

Q: What do you call an illegally parked frog?
A: Toad.

Q: What do you call it when Batman skips church?
A: Christian Bale.

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Q: Did you know that milk is the fastest liquid on earth?
A: It’s pasteurized before you even see it.

That’s enough for today. I am now signing off to go watch the real comedy. C-Span and the hearings.


Yom Shishi. Sexta-Féria. Paraskevi. Shukravara. Quetzalcoatonal. Kinyobi. All mean the same day of the week … Friday.

TGIF. It’s Friday people. Well, I am not sure when you’re reading this, but I know when I am writing it. It’s also the first day of March; but today, I am talking about Friday.

Depending on where you live, today may the first day, the fifth day, the sixth day, or even the last day of the week. In one country, Friday is the end of the weekend – not the beginning. That’s a buzzkill.

My brother’s church in UAE used to worship on Friday … they had to relocate so not sure when they Worship now. Probably should check on that. Some churches in USA are starting to offer Friday worships too. I loved going to Chase Oaks in Plano … they kick off the weekend with worship!

The name comes from old English meaning day of Frige … that’s Frige, not fridge. (But I do need to go to Kroger’s to fill my fridge … oh well). Frige is the Germanic goddess associated with Roman goddess Venus. The goddess of love.

But it’s also considered an unlucky day … sailors would not like to begin a voyage on Fridays. Also, Friday the 13th is unlucky if on a Friday. Really? Why not Monday? But a movie called Monday the 13th doesn’t sound scary, does it? Maybe because Friday was often a fast day … and fasting means no food … and no food means I get hungry … how unfortunate.

There’s Black Friday, Good Friday, casual dress Friday, and POETS day. POETS day? Yep. A British modern tradition of leaving early on Friday. It means Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday. I figure they like to get an early start on weekend partying.

What all this? Just a little trivia to get you started for weekend. I am like that guy, Cliff Clavin, from Cheers. So I hope you enjoyed this little escapade … and have a great Friday (or Tuesday, if that’s when you get around to reading this). Every day is the Lord’s. I will worship no matter what … even Monday’s.

Details from Wiki.

Worship at the Table

Each weekend, I explore a little more of the WOW – ‘Woke on the Wonder’ of worship. This week, it is about being around the table together.

Imagine if you will, that worship is like gathering around a table. Now I am not referring to communion – I am referring to just hanging out and spending time with people – with a purpose to bring us closer to each other and each one of closer to God. That would be …

What? What would that be? I truly believe It would be part of what God designed the church to do and to be. The church, and worshiping, is not about a place, or a program, or a platform … it is about people. People worshiping the Lord, people growing in grace, people discipling people, people gathering together in homes, in buildings, in the shade of a tree, on a mountain side – anywhere.

So we are to come together and be the Church. Not do church, but be the Church.

Robert Morris, pastor at Gateway here near Dallas, had to change plans for the future of Gateway when his Josh decided to relocate to Austin to plant a new church. Since Austin already has a Gateway under John Burke (another great church), Josh’s church plant will be called ‘The Table’. At first, I thought it was a bit unusual, but now I see it as beautiful.

And here are a few tidbits I have pondered in regards as to church as gathering around the table …

– It is amazing how many verses there are about coming to the Lord, coming to worship, to be fed. John 6.51, 1 Cor 10.4, Rev 2.17, Ezekiel 34.14, Isa 55.2, and Jer 3.15 are just some.

– And the last one is great for leaders, Jer 3.15. The Lord will provide shepherds after His own heart to feed us on knowledge and understanding. Worship leaders have a responsibility to set the table of worship through prayer, planning, study, and whatever means to not only be fed, but to led the worshippers to be fed on knowledge and understanding. Worship ministry is not about telling people where to go, but about leading them as you go there yourself. (Josh Huckabay)

– Each church has a unique style/culture. Just like tables at our homes. Some are formal (fine china, no elbows on the table, quiet, kids elsewhere), some are messy (kids running around, loud, no real leader, etc), some are country, some are cowboy, some are urban, some are self serve, some are spoon fed … you get it. One is not necessarily better than the other – just different.

The Lord will provide shepherds after His own heart to feed us on knowledge and understanding.

– There are some great songs about worship and the table. Check some of these out …

Sidewalk Prophets … Come to the Table — Wow, great song and video.

Zach Williams … To the Table

Chris Tomlin … The Table

Leeland … Carried to the Table. — David kept his oath to Jonathan though Jonathan’s cripple son, Mephiboseth, being carried to the table. So moving how we are broken and need to be brought by others, so we to need to bring others to the table.

Final note: I hope this gives a little richer insight to how and why we gather to worship. Fellowship and be fed this week – with others in the family of God – around the Table.

A Baby – Yikes and Yippee

It’s a boy and his name is Thomas. A couple of days ago, a special couple and some sweet friends had their first young, wrinkly skinned, human being explode into their life – a life that will never be the same. Or as what I like to call it – God has sent them back to school. I think one of the biggest way God teaches us about Him, life, trust, prayer, struggles, grace, and so much more is by bringing kids into our lives. Kids are God’s way to school us.

Now what do you say to new parents besides congratulations? I want to share some things I want them to know. This is my personal ramblings – not some professional research results – Let’s say ten lessons for a some new parents …

  1. Life has changed forever – get use to it
  2. Sleep when you can, especially early on
  3. Life is no longer only about you, there is now someone who needs you, depends on you, and whose very survival is in your hands
  4. But with that said, you also need to take care of yourself – the airplane rule: in case of pressure loss, put your mask on first, so you can take are of your kids – – – this also applies to taking care of your relationship with your spouse as well
  5. Patience is possible, but expect it to be tried – and then tried again
  6. Read to the them, a lot, like daily, read everything to them (Calvin loved Captian Underpants) but especially the Bible – studies show kids who are read to perform better in school and in life
  7. Live the way you desire for them to live – more is caught than taught
  8. Raise them in the ways of the Lord – this is the key to it all
    –  Love them the way God loves you – Unconditionally
    –  Grace should be at the core of everything – Gracefully
    –  Teach them respect for you and for the Lord – Respectfully
  9. You will experience love at a depth you never thought possible – and this is just a snippet of the love our Lord has for each one of us
  10. You are going to blow it at times, well, a lot of times – you are not perfect, nobody is – so get used to that too – but that’s where grace is learned
  11. EXTRA – Tell him that Pastor Dude is the best pastor ever – so show him my picture often (jk)

So congratulations, you’re gonna be great parents.

Readers – if you have a truths you want to tell them – let us know.

People Are Slobs

Get some cheese – for Todd is getting ready for a little whine.

Working in the service industry and the quick food service industry – I have come to a clear understanding that there are many people who are complete slobs. Now I am not talking about the kids who spill food, drop fries, and don’t know any better – nor am I talking about accidental messes. I am talking about leaving trash on the tables, gunk in booths, and grinding in food on the floor – I am talking about trashing hotel rooms like it’s the set of wrestle mania, smoking (in non-smoking hotels) and leaving cigarette butts all over, letting pets mess up the room, and basically trashing it to where the housekeepers probably feel they should have on hazmat suits.

How can people mess stuff up in such a short amount of time?

Now I am not a neat freak – just ask Lisa. I can be a bit relaxed when it comes to making sure shoes are put back, or the bed is made to showcase model appearance, or that dirty dishes are always washed promptly. I almost got fired once for not putting the ones in the same direction (true story) – so now I specifically refuse to put the bills in the same way. Such a rebel.

Wait – this is not going where I originally thought.

Okay, I had a different thought process when I started this post. I was going to talk about showing grace. I was going to emphasize that we can be representatives of God as we show kindness, patience, and thoughtfulness. But, now I realize that while those should be true, what is more clear to me now is that I need grace, especially His grace – I need His patience – I need His long suffering.

I am a messy person – like Pig Pen from Peanuts. I may not be destructive, but I do leave a little mess wherever I go. And then I remember the title of this blog – Muddy Shoes. Life gets really messy.  I should not point out the speck in others eyes ‘till I handle the log in my own eye. And neither should you.

And no matter how messy I am – God still loves me – Completely.  So I too should show love to messy people.

So tomorrow – I will be kinder, have more patience, and help others out. And at home, I will be better for Lisa.

What just happened – I just schooled myself. I wonder what I will teach myself tomorrow.

I hope you learned too.


The Man I Remember

Sunday was Father’s Day. Many celebrated the day by spending time with their father. My father went home to be with the Lord a while back, and I thought I would share a little about the man I remember. SO if you knew my father, sit back and enjoy some of my memories (and it may be a fresh insight to the man you remember as well) – this may be bit long, but discusses a great man.

The Robert Lee Estes I remember …

You remember the only son, the product of the little North Carolina town of Mount Airy (known by many as Mayberry), the husband of Faye

I remember, well let me first share a few things I was told – not direct memories, but memories shared with me.

Here is what I was told about Robert Lee Estes

  • You were born and raised in Mount Airy – aka Mayberry. You ran lunch out to your granddad with another Mount Airy boy – Andy Griffith
  • You met my future mother while working in the tobacco fields. And when you saw her for the first time, you drove the mule train through the back of barn. The other boys made fun of you and dumped you in a rain barrel. And to date her, she made you go to church (she made me go to church too)
  • You were quite intelligent, and you went to several colleges and grad schools, each with their own crazy stories, like the Gardner Webb one. You told me the basketball team hazed you and your roommate by kidnapping you and driving you out to the country where they dumped you – dressed only in your skivvies. When they let you out to take your roommate a little further down the road, a farmer saw you and drove you back to campus. You beat the team back to the dorms, and they just didn’t know how you did it
  • You are the product of godly mother (Jettie); who prayed for you (and prayed for me too), she loved you so dearly and wept when you, her only child, went to heaven first … and a rascally father, who loved to work with his hands. He whittled peach pits and repaired antique furniture. But who also surrendered to the call to preach in his 50s because he saw his son preaching. WOW
  • You were married thinking you were drafted – but you were pulled from draft line to enter the bus to basic because your grades exempted you. So, being newly married and no job, you moved in with the in-laws
  • You worked as an Electrical Engineering apprentice at the Norfolk shop yards. I was told you worked on the carrier Enterprise – maybe that’s why I love Star Trek so much
  • I was told you adopted me, which is why I have no baby pics. Now Jon and Andy told me this – so I respond, “They picked me, you were forced on them – booyaah”. I know I wasn’t adopted – but I don’t think you planned on me either

You remember the pastor, your mentor, one called to serve ….

I remember my earthly father …

  • You dragged me around all over ACC country and then Texas … but I enjoyed it. It gave me my transient, nomadic lifestyle, and brought me to the state where I met my Texas Rose, Lisa
  • You didn’t know the Heimlich when I was choking on lifesavers, so you just grabbed my ankles and bobbed me up and down while I was dangling upside down – Lord knows it worked
  • You were gone a lot … a lot … while you were in your evangelist years. Leaving me at the mercy of my two older brothers’ vengeance. Fortunately mother loves me best and protected me, and still does
  • And even during the years were you had a pastoral position and at home, you seem to be very preoccupied with church life and other families. But this showed a love for our Father and His Kingdom family – in a deep and profound way
  • You knelt with me in your office at Orcutt Baptist where I prayed to receive Christ, and you baptized me at Triangle Baptist
  • You rarely came to my events. But I was the fourth and last, so the other three probably wore you out. (And I know they needed more attention, lots more). I even had to see you in the crowd pic of my graduation to know you were there. But – you were always there when needed … like how you dropped everything when I broke my arm, and flew to Texas when Jon was in a wreck
  • I remember very few of your sermons, but I did remember learning to sleep with eyes open so you would not know I was sleeping. And I do remember your last Sunday at Grace Temple Baptist – you were anointed, spirit filled, and stressed the importance of unity even at personal cost to yourself and family … I was never prouder
  • I remember playing sports with you, in the back yard and on church leagues. The time you took church softball team to the federal prison to play against the inmates. And since our team was mostly Marines, I think the inmates were more intimidated by us then the other way around
  • But on individual sports, you always seemed to do better with Jon and Andy. But I got your love of reading before they did
  • I remember a time I slapped mother – and you hit me across the room – showing me never to do that again. Jon says he has the same memory of himself. Now – you and mother deny this ever happened, so I think God gave us this pseudo-memory to show us never to disrespect our mother, your wife
  • You gave me a bike (which I won in Giant Food giveaway) though Andy and Jon said they won and you gave it to me. Again, shows you and mother love me most
  • I remember making March Madness brackets together – and I do this as a father with Calvin
  • We had few extended family vacation … 4 kids in back of crown Vic … One Thanksgiving to Disney world, where you got sick on the way home
    You had a great friend in Mark Stone – where we got together for every 4th of July. This example of a friendship is something I covet even today
  • I remember the phone call where you said I might be running from the call on to vocational ministry … And the second phone call where I shared my surrender to the call
  • You led the first part of my wedding, where you slipped on the steps but didn’t fall
  • I remember your retirement … where all the kids gathered (I travelled to every one of your churches and got pictures.)
  • I remember your influence more in people like Jimmy E, Bob B, Big Bob, Dick Cook, and so many others. It is not about positions or platitudes … but about people
  • I remember a man of whom I honored his integrity so deeply, I named my only son after you
  • And lastly I remember your funeral. A simple celebration of a life. A life that served God, stayed true to the Word, cared for people, adored his wife, cared for his kids, loved the Lord

You remember a pastor, a friend, a son, a husband

I remember DAD

Off the Wall News

Texas man gets bit by head of Rattler … A man played the role every husband should. He was called into the back yard when his wife said she saw a snake. Armed with a shovel, he took on the Texas vermin and chopped off the rattler’s head. About 15 minutes later, he went out to get rid of the snake – but here is the twist. The dead snake’s head latched on to the man’s hand. And since the snake had no control (he was dead after all), it pumped all its venom into the man’s hand. 911 – oh yeah. He has received over 20 some snake bite shots. His kidney still is critical and he has a ways to heal.

Lesson – God has defeated Satan (the Serpent), but Satan still has a dangerous bite.

Russian Photoshops a smile unto Korean Leader Kim Jong Un … When Minister Un met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Un had an awkward look. But Russia put a Mona Lisa type smile onto the picture. Really? Why would this be necessary? And they didn’t even do that great of a job. Were they trying to convince the people their relations were strong, productive, what?

Lesson – Russia not only spreads false news in the USA, but even in their own country. Also, don’t judge a book (or photo) buy it cover. Teens aren’t the only ones concerned with image on selfies.

FBI Agent shots a man – and the man gets free drinks for life … An off duty FBI Agent was doing a backflip at a local bar (crazy dance moves) when a scary event took place. His gun fell out of its holder and accidentally went off. A man in the crowd was shot in the leg. Mile High Spirits has offered the man free drinks for life. Sorry it took a gun wound, but pretty good reward for it.  How many Ginger Ales will this add up to?

Iceman is returning to Top Gun … That’s right fans. Not only will Maverick (who is now an instructor at Top Gun School) return – but Val Kilmer is returning in his role. I know it’s Tom Cruise’s movie – but Kilmer did win the Top Gun trophy. Stoked.

Lesson – No real lesson just super cool.

Today’s totally useless articles brought to you just for fun.

I’ve Been Branded – Do You See it?

Today, I had just gotten back to the apartments right after my day job – working at a quick food restaurant that sells magic chicken nuggets peddled by poor spelling cows on billboards and roadsides. (PLEASE NOTE: No where in any of my blogs do I ever tell the name of said establishment. Any presumption is on your part, not mine – but I pretty much think you know.)

So, here I am getting out of my Tacoma – wearing the red polo and black hat – and carrying a salad for Lisa stuffed in a big plastic bag with a familiar logo on it. And out came this father and young son. “Daddy, Daddy, It’s the ####-###-# man. Hey Mr ####-###-#, you got any nuggets. I love your nuggets.  Where are going Mr ####-###-# man? Do you make the nuggets for the kids? I love your playground.” We kept the conversation going for a bit, making a connection to a young child who now connects me forever to the magical chicken nugget land (and great waffle fries too!) I wish had some of those nuggets to share (Lisa would’ve understood.) So we said goodbye, I told him to look for me next time he was there.

What am I getting at? Being branded had taken place. I was branded – something that, on its own, had taken on the identity of the product or service itself. Now, I realize that the uniform was what made that connection, but I was wearing it – so I was branded. I tried to think of my Christian walk. Am I, are you, branded as followers Christ? Do people see us and immediately connect us to the love and grace and good news of Jesus and what He offers each of us? Are people excited about our ‘message’ and our ‘product’?

I was branded – something that, on its own, had taken on the identity of the product or service itself … do people connect us to the love and grace and good news of Jesus?

I think it is more than wearing a cross, donning the newest Christian T-shirt, attaching a fish bumper sticker to your car, or listening to the latest Hillsong track. It is about a lifestyle that screams grace and mercy – and I put forth two things that do that.

First it is loving God with everything – all our strength, mind, and might.

And the second is to live a Spirit filled life bearing the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, and so on.

I want to be branded by His love – branded with a Spirit-filled life – and branded where people are drawn to Him. Let my light shine before men that they may see my good works and glorify my Father who is in heaven. Let your light shine too – let’s show our brand together.

I Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows My Name – a Great Workplace Culture

Culture – this is quite a buzzword today. It is the description of the personality, the environment, or the character of that place you call work. It could be in an office, a storefront, a quick food service establishment, a classroom, a church, or anyplace. It is a broad concept for it entails working conditions, company and team members’ beliefs, interactions, vision, ethics, expectations, goals, traditions, values, and on and on. But what makes a specific culture great? What characteristics would one hope to find? We have looked at good bosses, good workers, and now we will look at the good workplace.

Now I want to say it again, this is not an exhaustive list. It is gleaned from my own experience, research, and some great articles by top platforms. So feel free to add to your list, and drop me a message if you think I missed one that should never have been left off my list.

MEANINGFUL WORK – People truly desire to have a purpose, to be part of something that is challenging and adds to this world. Keep this vision, the value of the company constantly before the team. Meaningful purpose also could involve the aspect of making an impact in one’s community through humanitarian works. Companies need to realize they are part of a bigger culture – the community in which they are planted.

People want to be part of something bigger than themselves
– something that has purpose

COMMUNICATION – One of the biggest gripes on Glassdoor in relation to the workplace is lack of communication between management and the workers. Open avenues of communication are vital – to cast the vision, to keep people up to date, and by having an open door that swings both ways – from worker to management or in reverse. I would also say this involves strong team work and collaboration.

INVITING OFFICE SPACE – Okay, you may not have bean bag chairs, food courts, a Starbucks, or recreation spaces – but you don’t need to be in a run-down, life-sucking space like you find in the early scenes of Joe Vs. The Volcano. Keep it clean, keep if bright, keep it open, provide snacks and drinks (specifically coffee), and maybe let it have a personal touch.

GREAT PEOPLE – This is from the top to the bottom. A great workplace seeks the best people. This is more than skill sets, it is about being part of a team who are loyal, truth worthy, and have integrity. You do not have to hang out together outside of work, but you also don’t want to be teamed with people you would avoid either.

VALUE THE EMPLOYEE – This is shown in not only in a competitive compensation, but also in regular acknowledgement of effort and achievement. Never let a “good job” go unsaid. People want to know their work has value and that they are valued.

BALANCE – Great workplaces recognize the importance of home and work balance – of work and recreation – and they take efforts to make sure employees have that balance.

FUTURE DRIVEN – This would entail clear and measurable goals. I would also say it involves education and training for workers to plan and build for their future. Neither the company or the workers should get too comfortable at where they are – there should be a desire to keep moving forward – corporately, professionally, and personally.

PARTY – Okay, not just ignore work all the time and party. This is about celebrations – achievements, birthdays, holidays, etc. But also fun, outside the walls, activities that build the relationships. I love the episode in The Office where they set up ‘Cafe Disco’. The Boss made a place for everyone to unwind and to enjoy being together.

Now, I have never been in a place that has all of these at the same time. That would’ve been awesome. But I am still young (yes I am!) and maybe the next spot. But I can do my part to improve the culture of where I am now. What about you?


Dig a little deeper – three great articles
One (Vanderbloemen)  –  Two (Forbes) –  Three (HR Article)
Last Note – the attached gif is from the movie Joe Vs. The Voclano