Friday, October 31, 2008

Water For Christmas Update

The "Water For Christmas" link at "Charity Water" is active. will now take you directly to the Water For Christmas fund raising page with Charity Water. People can use Visa, MC, Discover, American Express, or PayPal to donate. For those uncomfortable paying via the Internet, you can write checks directly to Charity Global. Put "Water For Christmas" in the memo line, and mail them to me at: 242 Diamond Dr., Walkersville, MD 21793.

We are actually getting a head start, as Jody is not launching in Muscatine until Monday, but she gave me permission to post the information since so many people here have expressed an interest.

If you do give online, shoot me an email at to let me know. I try to acknowledge all my Christmas gifts, and this is no different. Please, give only if you want to.

Also, shoot me an email if you would like join me in saying, "All I want for Christmas is water," so we can coordinate our efforts.

Promotional materials are being developed, so keep checking back here for updates.

Adventures at Wal-Mart

My car battery needed to be replaced, so looking to save a buck and because it was closer than Sam's Club, I went to Wal-Mart, where they will install for free any battery you purchase there. So I bought my battery and took it out to the service area for installation.

I was greeted by a very friendly gentleman who reached across the fence separating customers from the work area and shook my hand, saying, "I'm Jim."

"Hi, Jim. I'm Larry."

"Larry? That's a good name!"

He started asking questions and entering the information into a hand-held computer device.

"What's your last name, Larry?"

"Eubanks. E-u-b-a-n-k-s." I've learned to do this because the silent E messes everyone up.

"Eubanks? You any relation to that guy on that T.V. show? What was the name of that show?"

This is a conversation I've had many times before. "The Newlywed Game. Bob Eubanks. No, I'm not related."

"Bob Eubanks! Yeah, that's his name. Bob Eubanks. You not related, huh? Bet you wish you had his money!"

"Well, I reckon."

"OK, Bob, we'll get you squared away here with your battery."

"It's Larry."

"Oh, yeah! Larry, that's right."

Apparently "Larry" is a good name, but not as memorable as "Bob."

"What kind of car is it, Larry?"

"A 2003 Buick Century." Remember this part. I drive a 2003 Buick Century.

He enters the info into his device, makes sure I have the right battery, takes my keys and heads out to get the car.

My 2003 Buick Century is the only car in the parking lot of the service area, but that doesn't prevent Jim from stopping halfway out, turning around and yelling, "Hey, Larry, which one is your car?"

So I point to the only car in the lot, and he enthusiastically waves and nods his head and is on his way.

At this point I'm not sure I want Jim to drive my car even the short distance to the service bay. But wait, it gets better.

After taking a few steps toward my car, he stops, turns around and calls out, "Hey, Larry! That looks like a Buick!"

All I can do is shrug my shoulders.

Seems Jim had just helped a lady who was driving a Toyota, and my bringing him a Buick messed him up. Apparently this constituted information overload for Jim, bless his heart.

This reminds me of the time I lost my cell phone and after fruitlessly searching for it for two weeks, gave in and called the insurance company.

After explaining that I had lost my cell phone, the nice young lady started opening up a claim for me. At one point she asked, "Mr. Eubanks, do you know where you lost your phone?"

Hmm. Maybe "lost" has a different definition in other parts of the country.

The question took me by surprise and I laughed at her. "Well, no, if I knew where I lost it, it wouldn't be lost, would it?"

I know, a bit sarcastic, but the question caught me off guard. She explained that she was asking if I lost it at home, at work, in the car, on a roller coaster, etc.

OK, makes a little more sense, but I had no idea at what point it went missing.

But it was the next question that left me dumbfounded:

"Mr. Eubanks, do you have the cell phone with you?"

I couldn't have heard her correctly, so I asked her to clarify, which she did thusly:

"Do you have the lost cell phone with you? Are you in possession of it?"

I don't know what a dropped jaw sounds like, but mine was deafening.

"Why, yes, it's right here in my hand! Why didn't I think to look there!"

What I wished I had said had I not been busy squinting my eyes and shaking my head.

I love people.

© 2008 Larry L. Eubanks

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Water For Christmas

My birthday is at the end of August, and I had a hard time telling my mom what I wanted her to give me. She finally just sent me a check, and I used the money for a tool to check and set the neck angle on a guitar. It’s a nice tool to have, but it’s not a necessary tool; a good straight-edge and a ruler are all that’s really needed. I only bought it because I had the money and needed to do something with it.

When I saw my folks about a month ago before they left on a three-week trip to Mississippi, Mom said, “OK, Christmas is coming and I need some ideas. I don’t want to wait too long.” I mumbled something about thinking about it, but it was kind of frustrating. I don’t need anything, really. I’m just about done building my first on-my-own guitar, so I obviously have all the tools needed to build a guitar. I have clothes in my closet that I don’t wear; I don’t really need any more shirts or jeans or anything. I have more sweaters than I can wear, so I don’t really need or especially want any more sweaters. But I figured I would look in a catalog and pick some things out that would be nice to have, clean out my closet and armoire and give some perfectly good clothes to Goodwill.

Fast forward to the Spiritual Renewal Weekend. At the Thursday Praise Team practice, Andy Landers was talking about what to expect during the weekend, and in the midst of talking about how he and his wife Jody were led to get involved with the suffering in Sierra Leone, he mentioned that lack of clean drinking water is the #1 killer in the world, that Americans will spend $330 billion at Christmas and it would only take $10 billion to dig enough wells to give every person in the world clean water.

And I thought, “That’s what I want for Christmas. What I want for Christmas is water.

I didn’t mention this to anyone; I hadn't even committed to do it. At the time it’s just a thought. Thursday night I do a little research online, and there are lots of organizations that are working toward digging fresh water wells in poverty-stricken areas of the world. It was a bit overwhelming.

I hadn’t decided to do anything until just before the Sunday night session started, so Jody and Andy Landers were surprised to hear me announce that all I want for Christmas is water.

After the session as Jody is loading Zeke and Kora into Chip and Marcie’s van, she said to me, “I was excited to hear you say something about water for Christmas, because we are setting something up for that. You can get involved with us if you want, or do your own thing.”

Since they were leaving early the next morning but none of us were ready to say goodbye, I went over the Chip and Marcie’s where the Landers were staying, and Jody showed me the “Water for Christmas” artwork and website that they had been working on.

That’s what I call a holy convergence.

Jody and Andy have set up a Water For Christmas fund with A lot of research went into picking this organization, and they were very impressed with them. 100% of donations go to digging wells, and they provide training to the locals on upkeep and maintenance of the well. Charity: Water said that there was a huge need for wells in Liberia, so Water for Christmas will raise money for that region.

I want to make it clear that this is something I am doing because I want to do it. I don’t believe that it is something that everyone has to do in order to be in good shape with Jesus. I love Christmas, and I love giving gifts and receiving gifts. I still plan to give my family gifts, and I don’t expect them to give up receiving Christmas gifts to join me in this endeavor. I don’t believe for a second that it makes me a better Christian or a better person than anyone else. Each year when I’m asked what I want for Christmas I list different things. This is what I’m listing this year. Who knows what will be on my list next year.

So, if you want to join me in saying, “All I want for Christmas is water,” great, but don’t do it out of guilt or obligation or anything like that or else you will have a miserable Christmas. Do it because you want to. Maybe you will want to give up one gift for water. Or simplify Christmas dinner and give the savings to Water for Christmas. Do what seems right for you.

I also don’t believe that we should force this on anyone. Don’t tell your children, “I’m not giving you any gifts for Christmas; we’re going to give water this year.” That will just breed resentment. If you want to give up Christmas gifts for water, then do that, and let your family members do what they want to do. I think you will be pleased. Children have pretty big hearts if we don’t force things on them.

Keep checking back here for updates on the Water For Christmas project and how you can participate.

Oh, by the way, one woman came up to me during the Sunday night session of the Spiritual Renewal Weekend and said, “God told me to help with the water,” and handed me a check for $500.

And so it begins.

© 2008 Larry L. Eubanks

Let's Give This a Shot

After enduring what they would call "encouragement" but I would characterize as borderline nagging from friends and family to write more, I've decided to risk the world of blogging. I'm doing this partly to establish a discipline of writing and partly to enter into a conversation with others about things that interest me. I hope to occasionally be insightful but will admit up front that I will often just be silly or random. Life is serious business but you ought to have fun along the way.

I envision posting regularly, but I'm not going to commit to any set schedule. I write a weekly article for the church bulletin and I'll try to make that post-worthy. And I'm getting involved in a project called "Water for Christmas" so I'll use this as a means of keeping you abreast of developments there. More on that later.

But I will also use this as a place for theological and spiritual reflection, for thoughts on guitar-making, home life, dogs, and anything else that interests me. Enter into the conversation if you wish; I will approve any comments before posting because I have friends whom I don't trust not to try to embarrass me.

OK, so here goes!