Back from a week of Christmas travel

It is good to be home. We spent the last seven days traveling, a trip that was a combination of business and pleasure.

I had the opportunity of having lunch with my long-time friend, Art Toalston, the editor of Baptist Press. We just happened to hit Sportsman’s Grille, located near the Vanderbilt University campus, on the right day: All you can eat catfish. It was a fun time of fellowship and I absolutely believe Baptist Press’ standard of excellence will continue under Art’s management.

I also had the opportunity of visiting with Sing Oldham, Art’s new boss and vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Sing is a dear friend as well and will do an outstanding job serving Southern Baptists. I’ve never heard Sing preach, but from what I gather, he is as fine a preacher as you have ever heard. New SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Page has made two wise choices in retaining this pair of outstanding Christian gentlemen. I commend him.

It was only an approximately 45-minute trip northward to White House to spend three days with my family. We spent one night with my brother and his wife at their beautiful new home. He just had a new garage built behind the house to store his Harley Davidson and the mint condition 2007 Chevy Corvette he gave my sister-in-law for her recent birthday.

Everyone gathered for a Christmas Eve breakfast at Monell’s in Gallatin. Monell’s is in a renovated home built in 1866. They serve an all-you-can-eat country breakfast that is out of this world. They serve you in bowls and just keep them filled throughout. The menu consisted of scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy, hashbrowns, cheese grits, bacon, sausage, cinnamon apples and cinnamon rolls, coffee, milk and orange juice. We had a ball.

Christmas Eve evening we all gathered at my mom’s and step-dad’s for another feast and to exchange gifts. The highlight was giving mom and Joe a new 32-inch LCD television for their bedroom.

The menu included ham, yeast rolls, an awesome veggie tray, more dips than you could shake a stick at, Buffalo wings, sausage balls, all kinds of candy (including mom’s homemade fudge-dipped peanut clusters) orange cake and mom’s world champion fruit cake.

Christmas morning we left for Louisville to spend a couple of days with my in-laws. We had a great time at my sister-in-law’s beautiful home located in the Bernheim Forest about 20 miles south of Louisville. Their second-floor sun room overlooking the snow-covered forest behind their home was magnificent.

One of the highlights was taking our 7-year-old granddaughter shopping at Toys R Us. She is a sweetie and we had fun, to say the least!

I am thankful to God for our families, all of whom are doing well. It was a profitable trip to Nashville and a grand Christmas with our families.

I am thankful to have this week off so I can watch every single football bowl game on television! So far I have predicted 7 of the first 9 bowl games correctly. The only two I have missed were Fresno State’s loss to Northern Illinois and Hawaii’s pathetic performance against Tulsa. Here is how I think the rest will go:

North Carolina St over West Virginia; Missouri over Iowa; Maryland over East Carolina; Baylor over Illinois; Oklahoma State over Arizona; SMU over Army; Kansas State over Syracuse; Tennessee over North Carolina; Nebraska over Washington; Clemson over South Florida; Notre Dame over Miami, Fla.; Georgia over Central Florida; South Carolina over Florida State; Texas Tech over Northwestern; Florida over Penn State; Alabama over Michigan State; Mississippi State over Michigan; TCU over Wisconsin; Oklahoma over UConn; Stanford over Virginia Tech; Arkansas over Ohio State; Miami, Ohio over MTSU; LSU over Texs A&M; Pitt over Kentucky; Nevada over Boston College and in the BIG ONE: Auburn 38, Oregon 28.

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