Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Survivor: Church

Over the last few weeks, I have ran across a few ym's and a few churches who are really struggling and the staff, committees and folks in the church are really at each other throats.

Some individuals would quickly argue that is what is occurring where I am at (or was at). So, it got me thinking about the reality tv - survivor. I use to watch survivor - especially when we were Kentucky - haven't watched much of it lately.

But the similarities at times can be frightening. Do you really know the individual that you are talking to ? Can you trust what they are saying ? Are they feeding you a line ? Are they really on your team ? Are they trying to use you as a pawn ? Are you doing a favor for someone so they will be obligated to return the favor ?

The list can go on.

Some will argue that that is how people are. It has been done since the beginning - look at Jesus disciples .. they were with Him and acted that way ... what can we expect. We are only human .. seperated.

I got to tell you, I think that is bad theology. I think is bad analogies and comparisons. We as individuals have really messed up. We screw church up. It really is simple. I know that I fail at times - some may say a lot ... but as of today .. i am going to take the challenge to do another tv show ... Simple Life: Jesus

Be in Relationship. Love God. Love Others.

Are those 7 words really that difficult for people to live and for the people to carry out. The church should / would / could be individuals all doing life together with these 7 simple words.

Do not tell me that it is not possible - our God is big and He wants to live in and through you. We can do these 7 words .. are you up for the challenge of your life ?

Let's live out these 7 words.

Agree / Disagree

Praying For This Family

Recently, I have tried to connect prayer through different items that I come across. Today, I came across this story and I just had to lift this family up in my prayers. This death is so sad and tragic, no matter how you "slice" it.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A 44-year-old woman who needed an electric oxygen pump to breathe died after an energy company cut the power to her home because of a $122 unpaid bill, her family claimed Wednesday.

Police said they had launched an investigation into Folole Muliaga's death, which happened within two hours of state-owned company Mercury Energy cutting power to her house Tuesday.

Mercury Energy's general manager, James Moulder, said the company was devastated by the woman's death and was conducting its own investigation to determine what happened.

Muliaga, a schoolteacher with four children between the ages of 5 and 20, had been off work since February with an illness and had fallen behind in her payments to Mercury, said Brenden Sheehan, a relative who provided a copy of the bill.

Relative says family warned company rep she needed machine
Six days before a Mercury Energy representative arrived Tuesday at the house to disconnect the electricity, she was $122 in arrears.

Sheehan said both Muliaga and her son told the technician she was dependent on the oxygen machine to stay alive and invited him into the house to see it. "Then he cut the power off," Sheehan told The Associated Press.

Muliaga began having difficulty breathing, became faint and then collapsed, he said. Paramedics were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead within two hours of the power being cut.

Spokesman says Mercury Energy 'simply unaware' of situation
Moulder expressed his "deep condolences" to the family, and said the company was checking reports that it had been warned Muliaga needed power for the oxygen machine.

"We were simply unaware that loss of electricity to the household was putting a vulnerable customer at risk," he said.

"More than one" disconnection notice had been sent to Muliaga's address over a six- to seven-week period, he added.

State Owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard said there were reports the family had been warned about the overdue account.

"The correct authority to investigate this and sort out the facts is the police," Mallard said, adding the government would expect "full accountability" if the company was found to be culpable.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Need This !

In 3 days, I head off to Panama City Beach, Florida with 16 students and 4 other adults. We will be at camp with 1500 other individuals. The drive down will be a little long, at times it may be a little chaotic / hectic (especially the first few hours there) but I NEED THIS.

I am looking forward to incredible worship. I am looking forward to hearing the messages on "rhythm" and where this will lead. I am looking forward to some time at the beach and at the pool. I am looking forward to some time to "de-compress".

Yes, it is a camp for the teens but I am looking forward to getting some things for my soul. It needs the extra touch and I think this week will do it.

From a ministry standpoint, I am looking forward to "watching" the students interact with God. I am looking forward to small group time and seeing how they are "debreifing" their camp experience.

This camp is a great way to start off the summer.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

An Internal Struggle

I have had an internal struggle the last 8 weeks. It really has been a nightmare for me. I feel that I have been pulled in every direction. My heart feels like it has been pulled out of my body. There has been bleeding and I have asked for it to stop.

The bleeding has stopped today. The struggle is over.

I have given up the rope. I am not going to be pulled by it anymore. Today, we release the pressure and we take a step forward and begin a new chapter in our lives.

We as a family will be strong and we has a family are going to go and get my wife healthy. She is a strong fighter. She is going to "beat" this. Soon, she will be in "remission" and we will have our lives together.

Thank God for medicine that is going to give us a chance and thank-you God for providing a way for her medication and treatment to be recovered.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Got Caught !

Yup, I got caught. The bad thing about it is that I am not one that usually breaks the law. I am very cautions of driving the speed limit and making sure that I do not chance getting pulled over. Well, I was not cautious enough today.

We were heading down to southside Indy today for Stacey doctor appointment and I decided to go straight through the city - instead of using the by-pass. If we are going over to Mooresville, I take I-465. So, we are driving to the city, I see the city in the horizon. We just passed the by-pass split.

I see these two motorcyles on the side of the road and a guy is walking out into the interstate as I am traveling 67 MPH. The cruise is set. Yes, I knopw that I am going two over. This guy then points to the side of the road while standing in the mid of the interstate.

It registers, it is a police officer and he is pulling us to the side. I think we are "cool" because all over the place we are hearing about them checking for seatbelts and we have them on. I knew I was in trouble when ....

He said, "sir, do you know how fast you were going". I looked at him and said, "I thought I was going 67; that is what the cruise was set on." He said, 'close, we clocked you at 69. do you know what the speed limit is?"

My thought was obviously not. I do not think you would be pulling me over for 4 mph. I answered, "no sir". He said the speed limit was 55 mph. He asked for my license and returned within a few minutes.

He brought me back my license and a ticket for $ 150. Ouch. I will watch closer for change of spped signs and I will be watching next time I travel down there to see how close they were over the 55 mph line .. it could have not been much.

The real bummer ... Stacey's appointment was NOT on the southside so we should have not even been on I-65.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Small Groups

This fall, the high school ministry is going to be going into the small group format. I am excited to see where this will take the high school ministry at CUMC.

We have had different formats of small groups, discussion groups or .... in the past. However, this fall, it will be more structured and I think that this will be a fantastic stepping stone for the ministry.

We are going to launch with 3 groups. Each group will meet in host homes and each group will have an adult leader ( different than the host family ). We will be using a set curriculum for them. The series goes in a 6-week cycle. Thus, at the end of 6-weeks, the groups will come together for a celebration night. They will share what is going on in the groups.

It is my dream and aspiration that these groups will truly begin to do life together. These groups will not just meet for the 90 mins on Sunday. They will get together for fellowship events, service projects, go to each other events .. truly do live together.

The adults ( host home leaders and sg facilitators ) are a great group of individual and I am sure that their investment in the life of the students will have a huge impact.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Baseball in Back Yard

The boys are trying to learn how to hit the ball. They are throwing each other soft throws and then taking a whack at it. Here is one of Jacob and one of Isaiah. Jacob had one thrown on the inside that gave him trouble and Isaiah has his tongue out - his must have in a sport photo:

I Want To Be a Bond Trader

It is so cute to hear your 4-year old daughter to say, " When I grow up, I want to be a bond trader ". In the same paragraph statement - she listed 4 things that she wants to do / be. She is going to be one very busy girl. Here it is:

I want to be a mommy, I want to get a degree like granny got. I want to be a bond trader and oh yeah, I want to be a teacher like Ms. MarLen.

Confirmation Sunday

Here is a picture of the students and adult helpers that were confirmed on Sunday. We had 19 students that went through the confirmation class. We had a very diverse group of students and each one of them has special gifts and talents.

We did the confirmation during the 3rd service and the service was jammed packed. It was great to see all of them sitting up front together. I think that my favorite part of the service was when I called the parents up to stand behind them and place their hands on their child's shoulders. It was powerful to see all of them standing together ( wish I had a pic of that but I was speaking at the time ). It was representing thier love and the touch was God's hand that we do nothing to deserve but we receive.

Thanks for the experience.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Recap

I have not done a weekend recap for awhile, so I decided that I would take a few moments and drop down a few things about this past weekend:

On Friday, we picked up the boys from school and I finished a few things off at the office for Sunday and then we headed off to DACC for my mothers-in-law college graduation. That was cool and reminded me that I hated the fact that I did not walk at my WJU graduation. The speakers message was pretty simple: Dream Big & Don't Give Up .. nice words. We then went out to eat at Monical's Pizza. Service was not desireable, but the pepperoni pizza was good and the salad was excellent.

On Saturday, I drove back to Lafayette to let Bowzer out and then I went back to Illinois. We went out to lunch and I had a HUGE buffalo chicken salad. It was then time to get back to Lafayette. We had an individual that gave us Papa Murphey's .. wow.

On Sunday, we had confirmation Sunday ( I will put a pic up later today / tomorrow ) and that went well. We then had our end-of-the-year party. I can not believe the ministry year is over.

Overall, it was a good weekend.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It was "II" that close ...

Curlin, foreground, ridden by Robby Albarado, passes Street Sense, ridden by Calvin Borel, to win the 132nd running of the Preakness Stakes horse race in Baltimore, Saturday, May 19, 2007.

A close race. It looked like Street Sense was going to take it, but Curlin would not stand for 2nd place. I have missed both races this year ... oohhhhh well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Unknown Champions

There are numerous areas where the NCAA awards National Championships. It seems at times that it is only about football and basketball ( both won by Florida ) and sometimes, someone will throw in baseball or .....

Tonight, I wanted to highlight a few sports that the majority of those in the US would never be able to name the winner. Here they are ...

Women's Hockey: The Winner is ... Wisconsin

Fencing: The Winner is ..... Penn State

Bowling: The winner is .... Vanderbilt

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wear Your Helmet

and kids ..... this is why mom's all across the nation scream .. WEAR YOUR HELMET !

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) -- Ryan Lipscomb lived to tell how it felt to have a truck run over his head. "Really strange," he said.

Lipscomb, 26 of Seattle, suffered a concussion but was otherwise unhurt. He was shaken up, especially after he saw his mangled helmet.

Lipscomb, a graduate student in medical physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was riding down a bike path in Madison on Friday afternoon. As he approached an intersection, he said, he noticed the oncoming delivery truck preparing to make a right turn in front of him.

The truck wasn't going to stop, Lipscomb said, so he slammed on his brakes, flipping his bike and landing in the street.

A moment later the truck rolled over his head.

"I didn't see it coming, but I sure felt it roll over my head," he told The Capital Times newspaper. "It feels really strange to have a truck run over your head."

His black helmet was flattened, tread marks visible on the cracked frame.

Lipscomb was taken to a hospital and released about three hours later.

Police initially declined to call the incident a hit-and-run, saying it was unclear whether the driver knew someone had been hit. But Sgt. Bernie Gonzalez later updated the accident report to include the designation.

Police spokesman Mike Hanson said Tuesday there hasn't been an arrest because investigators haven't been able to identify the driver.

In a telephone interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Lipscomb said he has had some lingering headaches and a stiff neck.

"All things considered, that's about as good as it can get," he said.

Despite the close call, he said, he has to focus on school because his qualifying exam for the Ph.D. program is next week.

"I think it will probably hit me when I'm done with exams," Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb does plan to ride again, he just prefers to wait until after exams are over.

"After that, I'll go out and get a new helmet and be back on my bike," he said.

$ 73.25

$ 73.25 is what it cost to fill the van up last night and that was with 87 octane.

Here is a little bit of a story from CNN:

Gasoline prices hit a record high for the fourth straight day Wednesday, according to AAA, and more records could be on the way. The motorist group said the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline rose to $3.103 in its latest reading, which is based on a daily survey of purchases at up to 85,000 gas stations. That's up from Tuesday's record of $3.087 a gallon. Prices are now up 2.3 percent in just the last week and 8.6 percent over the last month.

For us, it was $ 3.29 yesterday. I really wish gas was a little cheaper .. ugh

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Private Practice

I have not watched Grey's Anatomy for about 6 weeks. The show turned me off when they did the whole Meridith may die thing and the very odd and bizarre - death show. However, as I was finishing up the emails before Council meeting ... I saw this on CNN. I may give this a try:

"Private Practice," a "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff starring Kate Walsh and Tim Daly, will debut this fall.

Monday, May 14, 2007

2 Interesting Pics

Here is the story: Horns on Fire

A folk artist blows three suona horns while fire-breathing in Xian, China, as part of celebrations for "Golden Weeks," a weeklong holiday starting on May Day. Take a look at the picture.

Here is the story: Rest stop

Women rest on top of fruit and vegetables heading to a market in Jakarta, Indonesia. Take a look at that pic. I think that I would fall off.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Where is God ?

This morning at church was a very interesting time for me. We are in the midst of a series call F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions). Today's sermon was a two pointed question. The questions were the following:

- Why do bad things happen to good people ?
- Where is God when I hurt ?

With everything that is going on with Stacey and our family, this message hit home. I am not sure if I am really asking those questions though. I think that with all the junk that we have dealt with over the last 10 years, I seem to just "ride the wave".

However, what occurred at church today did make me go ... hmmmmmmm

There were a few individuals that were sitting around me that have had a rough week as well. There was a young lady who just lost her grandpa suddenly to death. There was a young man who came home for two weeks from Iraq because his duty has got extended. There was an older gentlemen whose mom just got killed in a car accident.

This is just a few people that were sitting around me that I know about. This got me thinking. We had 550 +/- individuals today that heard the message. Each individual there has a story .. they have life experiences that they are bringing to the table; some we know and some we do not know. We never know what we say and "touch a nerve" It may be good, it may be bad.

The message. It did not really give an answer. Part of that is because there may not be an answer but there were two points that stood out to me.

In the original Hebrew language, the wording of scripture is the following; life is like a puff of air. The second is one of the shortest scriptures in the bible - Jesus wept.

So, in the scheme of things, what occurring to us is very small ( even though it is not small to us ). But, God is there and He is weeping with you over what is occurring.

During SS time, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to the young lady who 'lost' her grandpa this past weekend. She has amazing faith, a strong family and her grandpa sounded like he was unbelieveable. Today was another sweet lesson in the importance of listening and sharing our stories. She shared hers and I shared mine
( Stacey ).

We, as a church, need to do this more. We need to take time and get to know people, know their stories and know how their life is intertwined in God's story.

For our family, i really do not know what is going to happen or occur. I do know that we have numerous individuals that love us and we have a God who has created us and I believe that we have a compassionate Heavenly Father that is shedding tears over the struggles that we are encountering.

My eyes and ears need to be opened so I can see those who are struggling and for me to also extend the hand of help that has been extended to us.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Isaiah & Water

Isaiah was happy to be out there and getting a little wet. His complaint was that he was not out there long enough.

I would put a pic of Jacob up, but he was not in a playing mood. I will get a pic up of him soon.

Don't Get Me Wet

It was hot yesterday afternoon and Bethany thought that she needed to cool off. Thus, she wanted to play in the sprinkler. The sprinkler was set up and as soon as the water touched her, she determined that it ( the water ) was too cold. HOWEVER, she still wanted to play in the water; she just did not want to get wet. So, she came up with a solution .. or well .. she tried to come up with a solution. She is a HOOT.

She still was getting a little wet, so she went to more of a desperate measure to keep dry. Here you go ...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bush & Benchmarks ???

Say, it ain't so ....

This just came across my CNN news alert as I am entering devotions onto the student ministry web page ...

President Bush, under growing political pressure, said Thursday the White House will seek agreement with Congress on benchmarks to measure progress in Iraq.

At the same time, the president pledged he would veto a bill, expected to be passed by the House later in the day, that would cut of funding for the war by the end of July.

"We reject that idea. It won't work," the president said.

At the same time, Bush pressured Iraqi leaders to move swiftly on a number of measures that could be used as benchmarks, including legislation to share Iraq's oil wealth, hold provincial elections and update the constitution.

"They have got to speed up their clock," the president said. U.S. officials have urged Iraq's parliament to abandon plans to take a two-month vacation this summer.

Bush's willingness to put benchmarks in a war-funding bill represented a shift in position by the president.

"One message I have heard from people of both parties is that benchmarks make sense and I agree," Bush said. He said his chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, would talk with congressional leaders "to find common ground" on benchmarks.

WoW .. setting benchmarks ... what a concept

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thanks - Becky

Words of comfort from a friend - they are priceless. Yesterday, Becky sent me a word of encouragement and included the following:

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

I have included the words below. Thank-you for caring enough to send the words and thank you for sending blessings via the phone through you and the home church. they were greatly appreciative.

Verse 1:

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
Your perfect love is casting out fear.
And even when I’m caught
in the middle of the storms of this life,
I won’t turn back, I know You are near.


And I will fear no evil,
For my God is with me.
And if my God is with me,
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?


Oh no, You never let go,
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go,
In every high and every low
O no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me.

(2nd ending)

You keep on running and you never let go
Singing Lord You never let go of me

Verse 2:

And I can see a light
that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare.
And there will be an end
to these troubles, But until that day comes,
We’ll live to know You here on the earth.


Yes, I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on,
And there will be an end to these troubles,
but until that day comes,
Still I will praise You,
still I will praise You.

The Steel City

Of course, I know about the 'burgh ...

You are 92% Pittsburgh.

Great job! There's nooooo doubt about it. You're from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

How Pittsburgh Are You
See All Our Quizzes

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ty Arrested

Ty Pennington, host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," apologized to his fans and co-workers Monday after he was arrested for investigation of drunken driving.

From Yahoo News ...

"I made an error in judgment," Pennington said in a statement released through his publicist, Stan Rosenfield.

"We all make mistakes, however this is about accountability. Under no circumstances should anyone consume alcohol while driving. I could have jeopardized the lives of others and I am grateful there was no accident or harm done to anyone," the reality TV host said.

my thoughts

I understand that people make bad choices and have lapse in judgement that can cause major damage - this could have led to deaths .... So, I can forgive that.

I do think though that we as a nation need to be a little tougher on those who are caught / pulled over for drinking and driving. I do not think 2 hours in hold up and a $ 5,000 bail and then "punishment" will be community service will STOP this from occurring.

I do not think that we should ban alcohol from places. I think we should have punishment "consequences" for those who mess up and fail to compliy to our laws.

Ty, I hope that you do get everything straightened out. You, your team and ABC do amazing on your show.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Tornado

The remains of the Greensburg, Kansas High School is seen in Greensburg, Kansas, May 6, 2007. Rescue crews on Sunday combed piles of debris where homes and businesses once stood in Greensburg, Kansas, in a meticulous search for survivors of a killer tornado ......

The devestation there is mind-bogging. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you attempt to pick up ieces and move on.

From Yahoo News ...

The massive tornado, an F-5 with wind estimated at 205 mph, was part of a weekend of violent storms across the Plains that killed at least 10 people, eight of them in Greensburg.

Little remained standing Monday in the town of 1,500 but the grain elevator. The tornado demolished every business on the main street. Churches lost their steeples, trees were stripped of their branches and neighborhoods were flattened. Officials estimate as much as 95 percent of the town was destroyed.

The tornado carved a track 1.7 miles wide and 22 miles long Friday night.

Side Effect of the Iraq War ....

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the state's response was limited by the shifting of emergency equipment, such as tents, trucks and semitrailers, to the war in Iraq.

"Not having the National Guard equipment, which used to be positioned in various parts of the state, to bring in immediately is really going to handicap this effort to rebuild," she said.

Natural disasters are soooo devestating. I hope that in the midst of this terrible situation, there will be someway / somehow that you can take a deep breath and have a sense of peace.

Light at the End ...

of the tunnel.

I was sitting in my office working on the student web page and had Air1 playing and Third Day came on. The song spoke to me. Once again, God seems to be "affirming" me when and where I need it. I switch ny tab-bar to you tube and typed in tunnel by thrid day. Thanks to Tegan, this video came up.

To me ... one word .. INSPIRATIONAL.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Mankind's Prayer

This weekend, I was in doctors and hospitals with my wife. She had her 3rd surgery in 5 weeks. It has been a very long month +. I am physically drained and at times, I throw my hands up in the air. I really do not know what to do at times.

So, I am in the waiting room, hospital room and the what-ever-room they call it quite frequently and I have been reading feverently. I came across the following prayer and it spoke to me:

So close in thought I wish to be
With someone who can hear
My heart's sad cry, its silent weep,
Caused from deep despair, I fear
For life is often so hard to take,
It deals such a painful blow,
Then no one is there with whom to share,
no one wants to know.
For everyone has their problems too,
Enough gloom and despair of their own.
They have no time for me to share
My thoughts I so want known.
I pray the day will quickly come,
The day when I will see
The person who will always listen,
And with all their heart love me

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Women in Christianity

The video below has been put together by Jennifer. I wanted to share with you the video. I believe this is her first video and she did a good job on putting it together and bringing light to an issue that is still skirted around at times.

I, personally, want to thank all the women in the past, present and future that are partners with me in ministry. There is NO WAY ministry could / would occur without YOU.

A Crazy Lawsuit

Okay, this lawsuit is just mind-blowing to me. I highlighted parts, just for my effect. This really is unbelievable.

The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital. For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants.

Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning, who spoke on their behalf.

"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."
The lawsuit was filed by a District of Columbia administrative hearings judge, Roy Pearson, who has been representing himself in the case.

Pearson did not return phone calls and e-mails Wednesday from The Associated Press requesting comment.

According to court documents, the problem began in May 2005 when Pearson became a judge and brought several suits for alteration to Custom Cleaners in Northeast Washington, a place he patronized regularly despite previous disagreements with the Chungs. A pair of pants from one suit was not ready when he requested it two days later, and was deemed to be missing.

Pearson asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit: more than $1,000.

But a week later, the Chungs said the pants had been found and refused to pay. That's when Pearson decided to sue. Manning said the cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson. First they offered $3,000, then $4,600, then $12,000. But Pearson wasn't satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants.

Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, part of his lawsuit calls for $15,000 — the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.
"He's somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment," Manning said.

But the bulk of the $65 million comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of D.C.'s consumer protection law, which fines violators $1,500 per violation, per day. According to court papers, Pearson added up 12 violations over 1,200 days, and then multiplied that by three defendants.

Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs that Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service." Based on Pearson's dissatisfaction and the delay in getting back the pants, he claims the signs amount to fraud.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Riggs: Most Beautiful Bulldog

This morning, I went to yahoo to check my email and this is front and center. So, I had to make it has a post. The picture above is the photo of Riggs and the story below is the yahoo write - up.

DES MOINES, Iowa - Riggs hardly looks or acts like a beauty king. A 3-year-old male bulldog, Riggs is a drooler with protruding teeth and a penchant for attacking noisy appliances, begging for crumbs and hopping on furniture.

Fortunately for the canine from Prairie City, Iowa, those traits endeared him to judges Monday in the "Beautiful Bulldog" contest, an annual event held to draw attention to the 98th running of the Drake Relays.

Riggs beat out a 50-dog field that included the likes of Sir Grizwald Snorzalot, Napoleon Underbite and Crazy Legs Da Moose to take the crown. Contest organizers acknowledge the event is more about a winning personality than beauty.

"The last thing you're going to get with a bulldog is beauty," said master of ceremonies Dolph Pulliam. "But bulldogs have character. They have a certain look...they're the kind of dog you look at and you get scared. But you know what? These are the friendliest darn bulldogs in the world."

Many thought Riggs' chief competition would be Hank, the offspring of the last two contest winners. Last year's winner, Hannah, gave Riggs a snarl, but he kept his cool, plodding down the runway both gracefully and glacially.

The brown and white dog was dressed in a form-fitting costume in Drake's blue and white colors.

"He's the most beautiful bulldog (with) his attitude and his demeanor. He's just kind of stout, and he's ready to do this," said his owner, Cordell Miller. "He's very excited."

Riggs celebrated by posing for photographers and munching on a doggy bone, leaving crumbs and drool on his throne.

"He's pretty low key, until it's time to eat," Miller said.