Monthly Archives: February 2011

Guns and Jesus

One of the more interesting people I met at the NWTF Convention last weekend was a nice young man called Jeremy Hendrick. He was running a stall to promote his unusual Christian ministry.

Junior and I spent a awhile talking to Jeremy, because his story is such an interesting one. Well, to be strictly accurate, I spent a long time talking to him while Junior gave me worried looks and kept wandering off to look for deer jerky to send to his friends back in London.

Jeremy comes from Hillsville, Virginia, quite a charming little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area I know well. At the 2006 census there were 2,849 people living in Hillsville, and there are seven churches. Besides the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show at the beginning of September, there is not alot to do in Hillsville except hunting and worship. In Jeremy’s words:

‘There are two things that I have always been passionate about. The first is my love for Jesus Christ and the second is my love for hunting. I was raised in church all my life but realized at the age of nine that I needed Jesus in my life as my Savior to assure my eternal future in Heaven. I began hunting even before meeting Jesus. I can remember hunting at such a young age that I wasn’t even allowed to carry a weapon. As a teenager I began competing in turkey calling competitions and had a great deal of success.’

By the time he was in his early twenties, Jeremy was working both as a professional hunter and as an assistant Pastor at his church in Hillsville.

‘I talked to the Pastor about doing a turkey hunting seminar at the church to see if we could reach some new people that didn’t normally come to church…The event was a complete success because we introduced people to turkey hunting as well as Jesus Christ. Extreme Passion Ministries began in 2006 as a video ministry but has grown into so much more. I believe the sky’s the limit with who can be reached through the world of hunting.’

Pastor Jeremy Hendrick

 

I had a dream last night that President Obama sent Jeremy to Tripoli to try to bring Moammar Gadhafi home to Jesus. The weird thing was, when I woke up this morning, it took me a few minutes to figure out whether it was true or not. Frankly at this point, Jeremy might be our best shot at the guy, if you know what I mean.

He was at the Convention to promote his new idea: Camo Church. I am pretty excited about this. As Jeremy puts it, ‘Picture yourself surrounded by your best friends dressed in camouflage, watching hunting clips and sharing personal stories of success and failure in the woods all while sitting in church. Every Christian who is a hunter would love the opportunity to go to a church where this would happen.

The idea of Camo Church is to provide a comfortable environment for Christian hunters to invite their friends to church. This is not a typical church. It may or may not meet in a regular church building and could meet any time during the week. The pastor would even be dressed in camouflage himself. Sound too good to be true, think again. At Extreme Passion Ministries, we desire for Camo Churches to be located in areas all across the world.’

Jeremy explained to me that if I wanted to start a Camo Church in my area he could arrange to come and preach dressed in camouflage for a few nights to test the water. I am seriously thinking that this might be a great idea for a dinner party. But I expect that he has more important things to do than freak out my arty-farty friends. So I have reluctantly concluded that Camo Church is not going to be the right way to make me rapture ready this year.

You can learn more about Jeremy’s work, and read about his ministry team (be sure to read about little Ethan, who met God while mowing the lawn — such a cutie!) at Extreme Passion Ministries.

Praise Jesus!

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

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Turkey Shoot: Next Generation

What really impressed me about the NWTF Convention was that it wasn’t about guys shooting animals. It was about families shooting animals. Hunting is a way of life down here in the South, once you get out of the city. Mother told me last summer that an elementary teacher of her acquaintance in the Appalachians says that she has kids who bring bear meat to school in their lunchboxes. Yes!

For us city folk used to buying meat in plastic-wrapped containers, this is a difficult concept to grasp, because except for the odd vacation at Yellowstone, we have lost our connection with the land. Since its founding in 1973, the NWTF has been instrumental in ensuring that the wild turkey population of the United States has risen from 1.3 million to more than 7 million birds. Can you tell that I am beginning to get excited about guns? I also secretly think that I would look kind of cute with one of those Sarah Palin hairdos.

Anyway, the theme at this year’s NWTF Convention was ‘Our Youth. Our Legacy.’ I don’t think that there is any YouTube footage up yet of the youth division Turkey Calling Championships, but this will give you an idea of the kind of thing I am talking about.

Meanwhile, back at the show, Junior was a bit taken aback by the babies. ‘Mum,’ he pointed out. ‘You would think that in families with a lot of guns hanging around, it would be a bad idea to dress infants in camouflage. Surely it would be safer to put them in something with high visibility?’ I could see his point, but they still looked pretty cute to me.

 

My Teddy's name is Earl!

I especially like the pink lace trim on her camo romper.

Be afraid. Reincarnation is a fact.

Miss Harriet: ‘Aren’t you a cutie? Smile for the camera!’

Baby: ‘Oh thank God you’re here. My name is Senator Edward Kennedy. There’s been some sort of terrible mistake.’

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

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Turkey Shoot: Fashion Supplement

It didn’t take long at the NWTF Convention this weekend for me to realise that I am going to have to invest in a whole new wardrobe if I am going to take my new life as a single ‘hunting babe’ seriously. Of course, hunting chic is mostly aimed younger women:

But there is a lot available this season that is just classic and ageless.

And for us older ladies looking for more figure flattering hunting wear, there are also numerous options. This ensemble, for example, can easily convert from daytime to evening:

Actually, it reminds me of the Far Eastern fashion craze recently popularized by my Cousin Andy, who is working as a missionary in Beijing.

There were plenty of choices when it came to accessories, too.

But best of all were the earrings being made by the darling and enterprising Tonya Thompson, from Vienna, Georgia. And can I stress here that Tonya does not have a website or an internet connection so you are going to need to contact her directly on the phone. I think that her work is terrific, and bought a pair for Miss Pearl, who couldn’t come to the show with Junior because she was working out at the nursing home. Tonya has come up with the novel idea of making jewellery from fired shotgun shells:

As she says, they are hand-crafted, unusual and the single drops are discreet enough to wear to work. Also, she pointed out that ‘they are made from fully-recycled materials, so they are environmentally friendly too!’

Tonya clearly has a lot riding on the success of her new business, and I wish her all the best. I can imagine that used ammo jewelery handcrafted in Georgia could catch on at some snotty boutique on the Upper East Side. So if you want to order from Tonya, she can be contacted at:

Spent Round Designs
228 Slosheye Trail Est. Road
Vienna, Georgia 31092

(229) 322-0684

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

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Turkey Shoot

I hope that y’all can accept my apologies for going quiet for a few days, but it has been a busy weekend here in Nashville. Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation holds its convention at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. It goes on for four days and there is a lot to absorb.

I knew I had to take Junior there. Being raised in Europe, he never learned to handle a gun and this is a big black hole in his education that I feel guilty about. Like most people, I learned to shoot a rifle at summer camp when I was eight years old. But we just did not have those opportunities in inner London when he was growing up.

Besides, as my friend Steve told me, ‘Hon, pay attention. You are single. Every straight man in the southeast is going to be there. Pull yourself together. We are all so worried about you.’

And he was so right! I am definitely going to take up hunting:

Can I have your phone number?

Junior thought they were gay dads, but I explained to him that there was no such thing in Tennessee

Not sure about the hat, but according to the box I will never have chigger bites again!

True, there were some guys I wasn’t so sure about:

I am SO OVER the Dukes of Hazzard

Can't quite put my finger on it, but the chemistry is just not there

Junior thought the whole thing was surprisingly cool. For example, did you know that you can attach an iphone directly to a gun, so that you can make a film of your hunt? Seriously!

Not everything was as easy to understand, however. Neither of us could figure out the basis for judging in the taxidermy competition. First prize this year for ‘most artistic entry’ was awarded to a religiously themed display. I mean, the bird is good-looking, but the scripture doesn’t even make sense in this particular context.

What? Is the turkey going to talk? Do magic tricks?

Both of us agreed that first prize should have been awarded to this instead:

Ok, for my overseas readers, I had better explain. It is an American college ‘football’ themed display, pitting two turkeys against one another, the orange one representing the University of Tennessee, the Crimson one, the University of Alabama. Is that clear? No? Well, basically you have a monument to the brilliant combination of hunting and competitive sports, in the medium of taxidermy.  Still not getting it? Think Turner Prize crossed with Deliverance. Better? No? No? OK, let’s just forget it.

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

 

 

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Is it only me?

From the city that brought you Free at Last Bail Bonding, we are proud to present:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

 

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Southern Lovin

When Junior decided to move to Nashville from London, England (not Kentucky) in 2010, it was because he wanted to be with his mama. Finding love was the furthest thing from his mind.

But then, out of the blue, he met Miss Pearl, who was working out at the nursing home.

Can I tell you what a happy event that has been in my life? Yes, she is beautiful. Kind, funny, and intelligent as well. But most of all, Miss Pearl is a professional geriatric caregiver. That’s all I needed to know. She’s perfect.

But there’s more…

Miss Pearl is also studying here in Nashville to be a fully-qualified mortician. Yes! She can take care of them and give them a good send-off too! Hell, in my situation, we could set up an assembly line! I just couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

So I have been spending many happy evenings here at the house recently cooking up a storm, while Junior gazes at her in dumbstruck adoration, and Miss Pearl does her homework.

Last week, it was learning how to make false ears for people killed in unfortunate circumstances. Isn’t that the sweetest thing?

So happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

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Rapture FAQs, Part 1

Many of you have asked for advice surrounding Harold Camping’s scientific conclusion that the Rapture is coming this year. I will be doing my best to guide you through the End of Days in the coming weeks. Please feel free to keep the questions coming!

Q. Is the world going to end on the 21st of May?

A. No, absolutely not, although depending on your peer group, a lot of your friends are going to stop answering the phone. Be happy for them, for they will have been swept up and will be in a cloud with Jesus. This is because God loves them already and doesn’t want them to suffer during the Tribulation.

For those Left Behind, there will be seven years until Jesus comes back, which will be something to look forward to. You can repent at any point during this time and join the party in the cloud. This is an option to consider if you care about your pets:

Q. If I am Left Behind, should I be worried?

A. Well, yes and no. There are many complex aspects to this whole end of the world scenario.

For example, if President Obama disappears, it means that he is indeed a righteous man and the LBs, presumably led by Sarah Palin, will have to deal with Armaggedon without him. This is ok with me, because if he disappears then it is more likely that I will go up there with him, along with a significant proportion of my social circle, including mother and her closest friends:

On the other hand, while daddy is a Democrat, no one who has ever made his acquaintance has any doubt that he is a no-hoper for the Rapture. This would be a big source of worry for mother, who will spend all of her time fretting about him, thus spoiling all of my fun at the cloud party with Jesus and Barack.

Meanwhile, Junior is an atheist, so he’s not going anywhere and he doesn’t even know how to work the washing machine. It gives me a certain amount of pleasure to imagine the expression on his face when he realises that I have left him in America with his grandad, Sarah Palin and a hamper full of dirty clothes.

Now, let’s consider an alternative possibility. If the President is still here on the 22nd of May, it might mean that he is a decent enough chap, but that he has told a white lie about the giving-up-the-cigarettes-for-good thing. We could all cut him some slack if he has fallen off the wagon, especially considering the speed of developments in the Middle East.

Worryingly, though, it might mean that he is the Antichrist, and that is going to be a big problem for those of us who voted Democrat in 2008.

See, I told you it was complicated.

© Copyright 2011, Southern Dysfunction

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