Monday, March 31, 2008

Islamic Da Vinci Code

Last week a movie was published by an MP in the Netherlands concerning Islam. I was one of the few who were actually able to watch it before it was pulled off the internet for the following reasons:

On the 28th of March was left with no other choice but to remove the film "fitna" from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don't consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted.
I find it so interesting that this sort of stuff can happen. I know everyone always says this and I hope the repitition doesn't take away the powerful side to this argument but can you imagine if Christians reacted to the Da Vinci Code like this? Can you Imagine if we marched with signs like this:Photobucket Demanding the death of the producers, the actors, and Tom Hanks? Obviously we would be outside of Christ on it but still I'm not talking about that. We are blinded by a media who equates Islam with peace and who is petrified of offending the hoards because of exactly what we are seeing...again...from a group of people who have been lied to their whole entire life. Willders movies Fitna, is not offensive to Islam, it states the facts of a large sect within Islam who threatens the majority if they speak out against them. It's repulsive and it is awfully familiar. Rome didn't fall in a day right? Here is the video that is causing this outrage and just as a reminder it is pretty graphic:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Musings of a Single Man

I used to think I had it down.

Friends ---> Dating/Courting--->Engagement--->Marriage.

Let's just say my oversimplification was good for my own head but as I watched friends, family, and everyone in between fall into relationships, I realized my black/white viewpoint of the world was grossly inadequate.

Since August I've been in a relationship black hole. Not because of a certain person or people but simply because the reality around me didn't match up with the reality I thought of in my head. I could not neglect my ideals but I could not hold onto them with such a vice grip anymore. I also could not fall into the trap of relationship relativity or pragmatism. I can never accept "Whatever works for you, do it." There had to be some way of looking at this? A middle ground?

I remember back in high school when I made my "list" for what I was looking for in my future spouse. I actually still have it. The words etched on that paper reflect the height of my idealism. They reflect my "disney-esque" hope that if I was prince-charming that I would find my perfect princess. It wasn't till college when I had a rather rude awakening that people don't believe that works. I cannot tell you how many people chided me for limiting myself or for putting some type of false expectation that some unknown woman would have to deal with. As the years continue to pass since that list was written, those who chided continue to ask me, like those who doubt that Jesus is returning, what about those words now? Just give it up...

Those words would be easy to listen to but like I said there are some things I can't give up. As I get older the pressure from those around me, who themselves are stumbling into love, seem to be pressing me to get "in the game". As if I was benched and they can come to the sidelines to substitute me in. All the while giving me "tips and game plans" that worked for them, hoping that it will improve my game. Yet, still, it doesn't fit. I can't give up my own experiences in the game and try to make others my own. It's like Lebron says, don't try and be better.

Stuck between idealism and pragmatism has led me to some conclusions and to some rather abstract, open-ended realism. I look at that list from high school and although some of the things on it are pretty random, I found that many of those things I still want. Unlike high school though there are new realities that have been added. For instance the list consisted of fragments or simple verbs, adjectives, adverbs. "Lovely...Dainty...Inner Attractiveness...Smile of a goddess...etc." It would be foolish of me to just "settle" and give up on these things. I want them. In fact I don't know any guy who wouldn't. Yet, I also find that there seems to be a level to each of these things. When they are just "stated" they seem to be "non-negotiable". They seem to be absolute. Undoubtedly some of them are: A girl, a Christian, call to the ministry, etc. Yet, some of the other things seem to have an asterisks. Maybe even scale of 1-10 by which to compare themselves by.

It used to look like this: "Dainty".

Now it may look like this: "Dainty: 8/10".

The reality of high school has evolved. As I grow closer to God, my eyes are open to new realities and depths of beauty. Things which seemed to be so clear are beginning to have color. Verbs are given adjectives. Things I never knew are opened up to me. So I expect it with my future spouse. It is not setting false expectations. It is the natural outworking of the command of God in Scripture: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

As I learn more of God, the larger my capacity to see beauty is. I can have my lists but God is the filler in-between the lines. I can have my expectations. But as is the case with my salvation, my life, and my future: "Since ancient times no one has heard,no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4) If Jesus then is the giver of abundant life, not just in the future but also for now, then I am promised not that my expectations are to high but that they fail to really capture what He is capable of doing for me. Therefore, the unknown factor is not that my list limits God or what He is capable of doing; instead my list is inadequate to capture the capabilities of a limitless God. The crux of course being if my list is written with eyes that are fixed on Him. Is He my delight? Is He my love? "Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight." (Psalm 119:85) For following Him leads me to Delight...

not Delilah.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thought This Was Funny


Earth Hour

You have to wonder if today's event is just a hint of how the world is going to supposedly run if these Global Warming advocates begin to really persuade people that what there selling is true. Sydney, Australia was the first city to participate in what is gleamed "Earth Day" and so of course they turned off the lights from 8-9 as a reminder for all the people that those lights are currently destroying the world or at least participating in it. It doesn't matter that even though the lights were turned off CARS were still driving on the bridge but that is a little fact we need to ignore. It's the principle of the thing!

Looking at this picture I have to applaud them for their devotion but I have to ask, are we supposed to live in a world that is completely dark? Are we never supposed to have light? If that silly bridge is contributing to anthropomorphic global warming (human caused global warming) then why do you really turn the lights back on? These people only have one answer when a heretic like me points to this: "Your a doubter, you hate the planet". Or as Al Gore recently stated: "Those who doubt Global Warming are as bad as the flat-earthers." I guess your dad is bigger then my dad to right?

There is no doubt that there seems to be something going on with the planet. When we have a Tornado on Monday and Snow on Tuesday, it leaves you wondering. However, I cannot just push my head into the sand and pretend like the ship has left the port on this issue. NASA just recently said that the oceans are getting cooler or as one Scientist interestingly put it:

"Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued ... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up ... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it's very significant."

Yah, well she just hates the planet. It's easy to just throw that out there and ignore the fact of what she is stating. Either way, the question now is this. These people who support global warming and man being the cause of it state that gas/oil/carbon monoxide are destroying the planet all the while they drive to the gas station, purchase oil, and breathe out carbon monoxide. All the while the lights WILL come back on after the hour and nothing really will be done to reduce anything. This is what used to be call hypocrisy? Instead they will continue to pontificate that we are destroying the planet. We need to stop industry, we need to stop buying oil, we need to stop having babies, some of them (admittedly the extreme) even advocate wiping the planet of humans or even having enforced birth control to stop pollutants known as children. Because this is the inescapable fact of this folks: We produce carbon monoxide when we breathe. In my mind, as simple as it seems, if that is a pollutant then God made us defective. I'm not willing to go there.

Finally, I want you to think of this in "Liberal" terms. Think of how good this is or will be for that little evil thing called business. If you made Carbon Dioxide a pollutant or at least make it so that there is less of it you are making it like a precious medal. You are making it worth something. If you have to buy carbon credits to offset your use of it then someone else is going to use your carbon credits to use carbon. It's a complete circle. Businesses are "going green" and FORCING us too under some guise of trying to protect the planet. My water bottles are "smaller" to help the planet but they are just saving money so they don't have to produce as much as they used to and still charge me like they hadn't reduced the amount of water in the bottle. They make these "earth-friendly fuels" but don't tell you that Corn, Soda, Milk, and any other corn based food is going to skyrocket in price. While I would love to believe that these people are doing this out of the burning desire of conviction...yah, right. It's always been and it will always be about the bottom line. If you can sell less for the exact price you used to sell more to a group of gullible people without complaint, then yes, I would do it to. So Happy Earth Hour everyone; we've been had!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Creating Wind

"G.K. Chesterton once said that there are two kinds of people in the world: When trees are waving wildly in the wind, one group of people thinks that it is the wind that moves the trees; the other group thinks that the motion of the trees creates the wind. The former view was the one held by most of humankind through most of its centuries; it was only in recent years, Chesterton said, that a new breed of people had emerged who blandly hold that it is the movement of trees that creates the wind.

The consensus had always held that the invisible is behind and gives energy to the visible; Chesterton in his work as a journalist, closely observing and commenting on people and events, reported with alarm that the broad consensus had fallen apart and that the modern majority naively assumes that what they see and hear and touch is basic reality and generates whatever people come up with that cannot be verified with the senses. They think that the visible accounts for the invisible."

*Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places-Eugene Peterson. p.20*

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Typical Black Guy

Welcome to racism. Lebron Jame and Gisele (I don't know who she is) are in a heep of "trouble" today for this picture. According to the allegations it supposedly feeds the stereotype of "black man hurt white woman" and a lot of people are mad about it. I sat there reading the controversy and was trying to figure out what are we supposed to be mad at?

Ever since Barack Obama threw his white grandmother under the bus to protect his racist, bigoted pastor it seems that anyone and everyone is ready to throw the race card around at the drop of a hat. When I look at this picture I'm not thinking "evil black man" I'm thinking wow he's good. He can play the game and carry the woman. It's good to be the king. Not "oh how stereotypical, black man with his tats dragging a white woman around".

It seems that the unanswered question in this whole entire situation is what the heck can you actually say anymore? Now in Lebron's case I guess he can no longer be seen with a white woman ever again? These people get offended at everything and then they go around and do the exact same thing? Now a lot of people may say I can't understand anything because I am not black. Granted. A valid point. However, I can still see racism and I can still stop it and Lebron James isn't feeding a stereo type. These people are. Maybe instead of looking at the picture and whining they should realize that the picture is just a mirror of their own selves. Their getting a good look at their own problems, not Lebrons.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Narnia: Reepicheep!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Crossmas!

Why does Easter not carry the same amount of commercialism that Christmas has been consumed by? James Marten has an amazing article today on the finer points of Easter and his writing (for the most part) is amazing.

I go home for Christmas. Why not Easter?

I have Christmas music. Where is the Easter music?

Where is the excitement for Easter, the pinnacle of my faith, that i have for Christmas?

Marten looks at it like this:

"Despite the awesome theological implications (Christians believe that the infant lying in the manger is the son of God), the Christmas story is easily reduced to pablum. How pleasant it is in mid-December to open a Christmas card with a pretty picture of Mary and Joseph gazing beatifically at their son, with the shepherds and the angels beaming in delight. The Christmas story, with its friendly resonances of marriage, family, babies, animals, angels, and—thanks to the wise men—gifts, is eminently marketable to popular culture. It's a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life. On the other hand, a card bearing the image of a near-naked man being stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix is a markedly less pleasant piece of mail.

The Easter story is relentlessly disconcerting and, in a way, is the antithesis of the Christmas story. No matter how much you try to water down its particulars, Easter retains some of the shock it had for those who first participated in the events during the first century. The man who spent the final three years of his life preaching a message of love and forgiveness (and, along the way, healing the sick and raising the dead) is betrayed by one of his closest friends, turned over to the representatives of a brutal occupying power, and is tortured, mocked, and executed in the manner that Rome reserved for the worst of its criminals."

This is just a taste of the brilliance in this article and I really do commend him for taking such time to think this out. I mean he nails it superbly! That said, he also takes his political swipe that is egregious and completely ridiculous:

"We may even sense resonances with some painful political issues still before us. Jesus of Nazareth was not only physically brutalized but also casually humiliated during his torture, echoing the abuses at Abu Ghraib. In 21st-century Iraq, some American soldiers posed prisoners with women's underwear on their heads as a way of scorning their manhood. In first-century Palestine, some Roman soldiers pressed down a crown of thorns onto Jesus' head and clothed him in a purple robe to scorn the kingship his followers claimed for him. After this, Jesus suffered the most degrading of all Roman deaths: crucifixion."

Comparing what the US Soldiers did to those men, while horrendous, to Jesus' flogging and EXECUTION is deplorable and pretty much ruined the brilliance of this article. Either way, I think if you want to read it it is definitely worth the time!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Resurrecting the Calloused Realists in Love

I recently saw a Facebook group entitled: "Disney gave me a false expectation of love" and started laughing. How many of us grew up with those movies. Did it really do that much damage? Somehow I don't look at Aladdin and think that that is what messed up my love life but apparently others think so. Anyway, I recently watched the Disney movie "Enchanted" and this perhaps was Disney's rebuttal to all of those who blame Cinderella for their love life. In the movie the idealistic Princess is saved by her Prince and they instantly fall in love only to have it brutally interrupted by the old hag (the Prince's mom, the Queen) sending the Princess to NYC so that no one can ascend to the throne. The Princess discovers, like this facebook group, that our world is indeed pessimistic to love and that "fairy tale" endings supposedly never happen anymore. We are indeed "calloused realists in love."

Today is Resurrection Sunday and for 1.4 Billion Christians this is the day that defines all other days. It is the happily ever after moment that we all hope for. In a world filled with darkness and death, on that Sunday morning 2,000 + years ago death itself was overturned and Jesus rose from the dead with the shocking promise of a happily ever after. Someday. It is no wonder then that people who mock the resurrection accuse people who believe in it of escapism. They accuse Christians of living a fairy tale. The resurrection is no different then Enchanted; it's just man's way of trying to deal with the haunting depravity of sin. The calloused realists are in full swing, letting us know there is no happily ever after.

J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer of the Lord of the Rings, was constantly bombarded with people who stated that his stories offered his readers a sort of "escape" from the hardships of reality. He apparently would get rather perturbed with always being asked about this. His response was pretty telling: "Everything depends on that from which one is escaping. We view the flight of a deserter and the escape of a prisoner very differently. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home."

Philip Yancey continued this thought: "If I take Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like a lava beneath the crust of daily life." (Jesus I Never Knew: 220)

Every generation has its fairy tales, no matter how scientific we all have some sort of idealistic fantasy. We all realize that there has got to be something better then this and if you don't then I challenge you to listen to any of the three remaining Presidential candidates. They believe it to. Yet, like that facebook group, we have the calloused people chanting for us to join their ranks. Reminding us that love never ends in happily ever after. Prince Charming turns into a fat, beer-bellied, leaving the toilet-seat up, jerk who rips you of all your dreams. Yet, Easter tells a different story. There is a happy ending. This isn't all there is. We can go home.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:3)

~Happily Forever After~

The Offense of the Cross

Good Friday. Why is it called good?

I kind of hesitated a little as the question was asked of me. Not because I didn't think I could answer it but because I only had 2 mins. This is like trying to describe a planet to an ant or rollerskating to a fish. How do you do it?

I could easily state John 3:16 and in fact, I did, but loaded within the question are about 3 billion presuppositions that make the John 3:16 passage go in one ear and out the other. People do not think of salvation when they think of John 3:16, they think of the crazy guy from the sports arena waving around a silly poster. How do you answer this question with that guy bouncing around in your head?

My night at work was very diverse because I was asked the above question while I was also given the following "reminder":Photobucket
I must admit that this didn't really bother me to much because I'm used to the Christmas situation and there has to be nothing more confusing for a person then to look at Easter and try to figure out exactly what it means if you don't believe in Christ. Bunnies don't really seem to pull off the charm of Santa.

Either of these situations makes you realize that there is a serious problem with the cross. It is just offensive. We know it was back then too because there was no lower death for a person then to be nailed to a cross; to be hung on a tree. Many people cannot come to Christ because the idea of God dying is incoherent. Many people do not come to Christ because if the message that is preached really was true, then that would have a dramatic affect on their lives. It would demand it!

The cross wasn't PC in Jesus' time and it definitely is repugnant in ours. Yet, I was reminded again today of this simple fact: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18 That's why we celebrate! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stuck Inbetween

"I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;" Philippians 1:23

It's never easy to not feel at home.

C.S. Lewis, as always, says it best: "If we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a "wandering to find home," why should we not look forward to the arrival?"

I was recently at work and it was suggested to me that I not use the phrase: "God Bless You" because that is considered offensive and off putting; it's not "politically correct". I don't really seem to fit the mold of this world because I believe in a higher-power. I don't drink. I don't have or go to crazy-parties. I won't live with someone who is not my wife. I don't think that money, success, or fame are a goal to obtain but believe in this weird concept of "exalting God and not myself". I oddly don't feel like home.

I was recently joking with a friend and we were laughing at how Christians refuse to say "good luck" and insist on saying "God Bless". If you say the former you get a stern reminder that there's no such thing as luck; it's God's will. I meet people who claim the name of Christ but then use that name when they are angry as an expression of the frustration. I get flicked off when an old lady cuts me off and as I let her pass I get to see that beautiful Jesus fish on the back. I oddly don't feel like home.

It's hard to live between two worlds. There are so many beautiful things about this one. It then seems so hard to understand how something so beautiful can also be so corrupt; be so perverse. It's hard to understand how people can have the light, but hide it. I have some type of hope for something. Things are going to get better. Somewhere is going to feel like home. Somewhere is going to fit the image of peace that I have in my head. Is it escapism then? Trying to get myself away from this world; creating a fantasy world to avoid my troubles? "Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith," Philippians 1:25 Why should I not look forward to the arrival?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Man's Best Friend

Precious was getting older and she could barely walk anymore. Instead of barking, jumping, playing all she could do was lay still. Not even being able to pick her self up to go to the bathroom. She knew something was wrong and we did to; we just didn't know what to do.

The days kept going on and on and she just continued to get worse. I remember the conversation with my parents about "putting her to sleep" and it just hit me so hard. She has been part of our family. She was my puppy. My parents got her before I was even born. She's moved just as much as I have. She's been to all the places I've been. We've played together, walked together, and now we were about to put an end to that. That cold December 21st night, my dear Precious was relieved of the weeks of agony as I held her when the drugs started to kick and she went limp. My families dog, one of my consistent friends, was gone.

I cannot explain to you how devastating that moment was. I cannot really put into words how I felt or how much I cried that night. Probably more then I ever have before. We drove home from that Vet. feeling like we had lost a family member. I felt like I had lost a friend. In my rational mind I was trying to see how I could put such emotion behind an animal but my heart seemed to be screaming that she was so much more then that. I think we all can relate who have shared a love for animals.

I think God created dogs because they love you and do not betray that. You do not have to worry about your dog cheating on you, rejecting you, or complaining about leaving the toilet seat up. Your dog completely and wholly trusts you for everything in its life and in return it gives you companionship and constant attention. Something that we all seem to long for. This is why I think they are given that title "Man's Best Friend." Not because they completely satisfy that longing for relationship but because they are a gift from God for man to enjoy. Precious was such a precious gift and losing her remains one of the darkest days of my life. I don't know if animals will be in heaven but if any dog could make a case for it, it had to be Precious. That's why I cross my fingers that when I walk through those gates of the New Jerusalem, Precious will be the first one to greet me. Jumping, barking, and glad to finally be able to see her little brother again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Did You Say You're Dirty?"

I pulled into Ziggy's a little late and trudged through the parking lot with every step shooting freezing cold water up my pant leg reminding me that it's almost spring but not quite yet. I stepped into the building and like a dog, shook off my pants and began to look around to find the group of guys I was meeting. It wasn't to hard, the Red Sox Jersey's gave um away. I waltzed over to them and found my seat ready to participate in the other hope of spring: Baseball. Fantasy Baseball to be exact.

As is the case with many of my adventures, I was the only single guy at the table. All of my other friends there were married. Yet, when men have baseball, marriage isn't the topic of conversation. Even the fact that I'm single doesn't even really come up because the only "single" we are concerned about is on the baseball diamond. It's refreshing!

We tried to get the internet up and running but couldn't. I was given the task to ask the waitress and I could tell there was something afoot. You may say that my "spidersense" was tingling. Low and behold the waitress was probably in her early twenties. She was cute but in a sisterly type of way. I did ask her about the internet and she smiled all nice but told me that she didn't have any idea what to do with it. Well, that was the beginning.

I sat down a little flustered because I have to have the internet for draft and I would have been incredibly crippled with out it. She came over and quickly asked us for our order and was very excited to help me with mine closing her statement with "hun". It was awkward! When the food came out we had already started drafting when my friend Nick made the disgusting decision of drafting Alex Rodriguez. A loyal Sox fan had broke the first commandment of Red Sox baseball. Thou shall have no other gods before me. Anyway we continued to rib him for it when our prompt waitress came back and asked me if everything was ok! I smiled and said it was excellent. She then walked towards the other side and I asked Nick if he was feeling dirty for drafting A-Rod and she quickly turned to me and said: "did you just say you are dirty." I quickly stated: "No, I was talking to him." She smiled wide and was all giggly then walked away. All the guys continued the assault, except I was the subject of the mockery and not Nick. Instead of the talk being about the baseball diamond and hoping our guys score a lot of points, I was the one receiving points on how to score a lady. Particularly this lady. Now they were all joking in a very Christian way but it was still pretty funny. I took it for a grain of salt and just begged we get back to baseball. Thankfully, we did!

I thought a little last night about wither or not this waitress actually was flirting with me or if she was just trying to be nice. I couldn't tell. I've never really been good at telling. It's not some hidden insecurity or anything like that but I just don't do the random, flirt thing. I never have. Especially when baseball is going on. You better be quite a lady to steal my attention from baseball. Yet, I had to give her some props. I was with a bunch of guys and she had the guts to actually come up to all of us and give off the appearance of flirting to me and then obviously them. She definitely was anything but timid.

It made me wonder about how exactly do we go about showing our attraction off to someone? I am such an old-fashioned guy that if a girl were to ask me on a date I think I would say no and start singing "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof. It just seems wrong. Yet, I also find that trying to understand or read women is harder then reading Milton or Shakespeare. I don't get it and probably won't ever and with Milton and Shakespeare you can at least Google them or get cliff notes unlike the other. I don't want a woman to ask me out but I have no clue how to read her? It seems like a lose-lose situation doesn't it? Yet, as weird as it sounds, this waitress in some ways taught me a lesson last night. Risk. Brushing off timidity. Whatever may have been her intention she didn't care what everyone else thought and that was pretty bold. It was gutsy. It reminded me of baseball. You may get hit by a pitch, it can really hurt, but you still get another at bat later on in the game. The question then really is do you swing for the single, or go for extra bases even with the pain from the last at bat still there?

The Stain From Hades

I walked past it a couple times. It just stayed there altering the color of the rug. I tried washing it out and scrubbing it. It just got whiter. I tried to use some cleaning stuff on it; it just stayed there. Supposedly this stain was just created by "water". Yah...right. Maybe some of that water from New York where they found prescription drugs in the tap! I mean look at this stain!


Now, I'm a pretty ordinary guy. I ain't a neat freak and heaven knows I'm no Mr. Clean. I just like to live life pretty organized and this stain was driving me nuts. Plus it looked like a stinkin snake and when you walk out in the morning with sleep in your eyes and there is this slithery stain greeting you it wakes you up quicker then anything else in the world! I tried certain other cleaners over the course of the week and they didn't work. Until this:


I can now walk free in my feet and not worry about some type of mutant bacteria from the stain rising up into my feet turning me into some freak-of-the week monster. I can walk free not having that dirty stain staring me down mocking me for my lack of feminine touch. I can now not worry if my mother should make a surprise appearance that I have something to hide! It's gone! What was the Moses to my Stained Sea?


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don't Tase Me Bro~Star Wars Mix

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jesus was a Black Man

Do you remember the outrage over Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after 9/11. Do you remember the outrage over George Bush constantly using God and Franklin Graham saying Jesus' name at Pres. Bush's inaugural. Do you remember the beating that Mitt Romney took because of his faith. "Are you a cult" and "Please explain your churches doctrines." From newspapers asking wither we are ready for a Mormon to constant exposes on the Mormon church. Mitt Romney had a lot to answer for. I'm all about equal treatment and that's why I expect Barack to answer questions concerning his pastor.

I also would like to know where are the Christians who continually yelp about keeping the focus on the Gospel and not the Republican party platform. Why are they awfully quiet when a Democrat, black pastor is doing just as much damage? I'm an equal opportunity outrage guy. If we call for Falwell to apologize I want to hear Rev. Wright to.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

That's What She Said

Ouch. I know I tread on some serious toes possibly when I bring up issues with the Office. I'll be the first to admit I've seen every episode. I've rooted for Jim and Pam. I've been tempted to get a Dwight Bobble Head. Yah, it's funny.

Anyway, I have also made a couple jokes with family and friends concerning the most infamous line from the show which goes as follows: (If you have young ones near by...not the best time to listen to this video)

Mark Driscoll, a man I tend to either disagree or agree with, was actually presented this question and I like what he has to say.

The take away? How does that verse apply practically in our lives. Will that verse change the way we speak. Will it alter my reactions to when someone throws me a softball I can hit out of the park with "that's what she said". Which is more important? Holiness or Hilarious? What do you think?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pope Prius III

I feel in many ways this is beating a dead horse. I am a little tired. Plus, all of the carbon emissions I've used beating the dead horse could have been used elsewhere. Mainly so that Al Gore could fly around in his private Jet more. How silly of me.

Anyway, sarcasm aside, I think there are two interesting stories out there today and then one I pulled from my archives because in many ways it encapsulates my viewpoint. And no, it doesn't involve me saying the world is going to burn anyway so why not let it. I actually am probably a little more "green" then most people realize. I don't let that out in public though...well...oops.

The first story was shown to me by a friend on Facebook and it's from the Southern Baptist Convention and I have to tell you I didn't expect this one. I mean I didn't expect this one! They came out with a rather balanced viewpoint on it however one line struck me and it goes as follows: "However, the leaders said that current evidence of global warming is "substantial," and that the threat is too grave to wait for perfect knowledge about whether, or how much, people contribute to the trend." I don't know if I buy this. I'm sorry but I don't. I do not believe there is a "threat". I don't think of global warming like I do OBL. I don't see global warming walk in with suicide vest on or flying planes into a building. Does that make me hate the planet? no. Does that mean I'm putting my head in the sand? No. I just think that we can be smarter and when we use the threatening language and fear that puts me on edge. I don't like it.

This leads me to the Pope. They made a new list of the seven deadly sins and on the list there is a section on polluting the planet unnecessarily. (They also have birth control in there but will save that for another day) I agree with this assessment. While I don't know if I would put it on the "grave sins" list I still think it's pretty substantial. If you don't respect God's outer world then you obviously probably won't respect His inner sanctuary. The correlation is inseparable.

I also want to remind people though that back in December Pope Benedict warned against fanaticism in this movement and I think that reminder is still necessary now! "The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement." AMEN! And I would also add that these sciences be actual science and not some left-wing, abortion toting, let's extinct the earth people. A gross exaggeration but I've been to the sites and they are there!

Finally, to give an example of the kind of nonsense I'm talking about. This little nugget came from the Baptist article. "His professor had compared destroying God's creation to "tearing a page out of the Bible."" Now I applaud the thought but has it ever struck the student or the teacher that PAPER was used to actually make that Bible? Just asking?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Day that True Love Died

The President vetoed a bill that would have banned the interrogation technique known as "water boarding" this afternoon much to the chagrin of many people, including myself. I do understand why he did it and I understand that some of these things should not be put out publicly because of the enemy monitoring what we will do and won't do. Yet, it makes me sad to think about how this technique would even be necessary. That we would find men who would be so depraved that the only way we can break through them is to do something that borders torture. War requires these things sometimes but it is so devastating to really picture or comprehend.

I was listening to Phil Wickham's absolutely amazing CD "Cannons" today and one frame really stuck out to me.

"The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Fathers broken heart
tears were filling heaven's eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, The day that true love died"

It seems all over the world we hear horrendous stories of blood and water continuing to hit the ground. I read a story today of two lesbian's who murdered their roommate just because she was annoying. I fought back tears looking through the pictures of the Jerusalem shooting; seeing all of the blood spilled on the ground, on the tables, on the Torah. They are pursuing the death penalty for the person responsible for the Auburn University slaying. The NIU and V-Tech killings still ring in my head. They just found a mass grave in Iraq. South America is on the brink of war. The earth is shaking in the dark.

I then started to think of these next few weeks as we head up to Easter. The most misunderstood holiday of the bunch. The world was just as it is now. There were wars, political infighting, hatred, barbarianism, and torture. We debate if torture is or should be a American policy but we are about to celebrate Good Friday, which exalts the torture of a man that makes water boarding look like a bubble bath.

What amazes me about Holy Week is that without Sunday, Friday would have been just another story. Another headline. Another example of blood and water hitting the ground. Another example of how desperately we need to find a solution. How we need an answer! That Friday, much blood and water hit the ground but unlike other instances of it; something happened. Creation shook, curtains ripped, and walls that had been put up that no man could move came crashing down. Sunday was coming, the day that true love died.

Come close, listen to the story. The story that starts out like every other news ticker but ends with a reversal. That Sunday there was an answer to the innocent blood that was spilled. Like Cain, God made clear to us that He is aware of the innocent blood crying out from the earth. God's answer rang loud when the Son of God first put His pierced feet back on the earth. The answer and the hope for those who believe goes back to that initial footstep. No longer do we have to look at these news tickers without hope. No longer do we have to fear if we are going to find our way into the news. Christ's resurrection showed us that for those who follow after Him, no matter what may happen here, we will some day shake off the chains of death and walk freely made alive and anew. There no longer isn't an answer. There no longer isn't a hope. We may still exist in the world that continues to tremble in the dark but that world has been pierced by the everlasting light. The day that true love died we were made alive because His blood and water hit the ground. Now we know that no innocent blood ever goes unanswered.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Homeschool? HA! You must be joking! You're in California remember?!

Welcome to beautiful, sunny California. Home to gorgeous cities, surreal beaches, and a state which cracks down on home school parents because they have the gall to believe they can teach their children something without big brother credentials!

"A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution."

What is perhaps a little more disturbing about this ruling is the all-knowing judge's reason for the decision:
"California courts have held that ... parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."

There is no where in the federal, or from my understanding of the article, neither in the state constitution that specifically says a parent must send a student to a public school since they might not hold teaching credentials. The Judge is stating that you now need credentials to teach your children even though home school curriculum is moderated by those with teaching credentials and the children have to meet state standards anyways. Apparently then credentials given by the state hold the mantle for what is right for your kids, especially in education! This perhaps wouldn't be as bad if parents were given the opportunity to actually chose which state funded high school their children could go to instead of being mandated based on their location. But that is nothing but a pipe dream. This is a scary article people for many reasons because this is just short of fascism. When a state mandates what you can do with children under the guise of children protection laws, the slippery slope has just begun!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where is the Rider on the White Horse?

Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow.
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
How did it come to this?
So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?

*King Theoden, The Two Towers Movie.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Quran Survives the Great Satan's Onslaught

The Israeli's have been sending an array of missiles into terrorist targets after a constant bombardment from the terrorists into Israeli civilian territory. Sadly, it seems like old news. A website I frequent had an interesting photo spread about the propaganda coming from the terrorists in Gaza. Take a look:

Sooo, I was just waltzing through some random debre with a camera man handy and by Allah: Look! What have we here?
Pretty effective picture if you ask me! The Quran survived the onslaught of the evil Jewish pigs! Miraculous or plant? Hhmm?

The Art of Pursuit: Does it Fulfill?

In the second chapter of the book of Proverbs, the Message Bible sums up the twenty-two versus as follows: "Make Insight Your Priority". Insight basically is defined at as a persons ability to perceive the truth or to have discernment on a tuff issue. I bring this up from the start because anyone who studies the rest of the chapter is going to manifest that gift in order to get to the heart of the chapter. Which I sum up with the following question: Does Jesus fulfill me sexually?

Now to many that question is going to sound crude and it inevitably can border on sacrilege so please understand that that is not my intent! I remember when I was asked this by a perceptive teenager and I stood a little stunned not exactly knowing what to say? I can't say that He does because that is just a little twisted to think about and I can't say that He doesn't because we sing these songs all the time saying "He's all I want" or "You're the only one I need." Are we singing a lie?

In an attempt to "make insight a priority" I found that we need to examine the root of the question. What exactly is being said by this question? At the heart of it is the question of results based on the pursuit! Can Jesus match up? Does He meet me? If I promise to delay certain gratifications to fit His commands will He lead me to better ways then the pleasure that I feel by feeding them now? This last question is perhaps the strongest one because many are asking but it seems very few addressing! Yet, once again there is Scripture to answer!

The Message Bible states that when we pursue Wisdom that we will have to chase after it like a prospector panning for gold or an adventurer on a treasure hunt. (1-5) Now, if the man who was panning for gold or the adventurer on the treasure hunt expected to find immediate gratification, immediate results, then they would be terribly disappointed. There has to be some type of pursuit for the prize. Their is a pursuit for the goal. The writer of Proverbs compares those who pursue "insight" and by default "lady wisdom" are like these men! Except their is one difference. God's not hiding like a prize. He's not hiding like treasure. In vs. 6 the Bible states that He gives out his Wisdom for free! And unlike the pursuit for the gold, unlike the pursuit for the treasure, their is no stopping for this treasure. You might have a little but their is always more to pursue. Whereas the gold, the treasure, you find it once and are left with only a temporary thing. There might not be any other treasures to find! You might not be able to fulfill that hunt again!

The first point then can be summed up like this. Hidden within the question of "Can Jesus fulfill me sexually" is the presupposition that this is even a fair comparison! Can sexuality fulfill you sexually? And if so, why do you keep having to have sex? If you look at porn, why do you have to keep going back? Instead you have to look at it longer, look at a different site, download a different Limewire video, in order to meet the same high again. What enduring promise do you have from any of this stuff? How is it fulfilling but for the temporary? And even that fades in a quick second. What God offers, what He promises in Proverbs 2, is something drastically different.

There are two specific types of people mentioned in Proverbs 2 that the author describes as "evil" people. The first are the ones who are lost and "can't tell a trail from a tumbleweed." These are the people who seem to be really together but the Bible says: "these losers who make a game of evil and throw parties to celebrate perversity. Traveling paths that go nowhere, wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends." This is a drastic claim! I'm sure we can all think of people who would seem to fulfill this picture. We seem to envy them! Yet, the Bible states rather clearly that there paths are dead ends because they "can't get no satisfaction". They still haven't found what they were looking for. The dirty little secret about many of these supposed things that bring happiness is that they don't. Instant gratification leads to less gratification. There is no gold left in the hill to find even though they might have found some earlier, it was all spent.

The second type of evil person is the sweet-talking woman. The Temptress. Now, I'm not speaking of Shakespeare here. It's right in the Bible. This gets down to the nitty gritty on the question at hand. "Her whole way of life is doomed; every step she takes brings her closer to hell." The Bible is making the point here that those who are in covenant community with Him are going to tread on paths that not only lead to somewhere but lead to promises beyond our dreams. Jesus' message to the world is that we can partake in that future Kingdom but that we can also get tastes of it now! IT bleeds through into our current world. The sweet-talking woman can only promise a endless circle of different levels of pleasure but nothing that is everlasting. God's promises offers a taste of the Kingdom here but full disclosure of the Kingdom in the future. Which is actually a better promise?

So the question then, does the pursuit fulfill?



It's both. It has to be! We are not capable of taking in all of God at once but He promises, unlike the woman, to be our daily bread and fulfill day by day. Our only source. Our hope. Our life. To go beyond anything we can imagine. We think sexuality is the highest pleasure in life but God promises to blow that away. In fact, it seems that God is saying in this chapter: "Is that the best you can do? Do you really have such a limited view of what is pleasurable? Have you seen the stars? Have you been to bottom of the oceans? Have you seen the sun set through an entire timezone at once? Do you really limit me by such a temporary, fleeting passion?" I can just picture God replying to our opening question not that He doesn't or He does but that He gives so much more! And unlike the sweet-talking woman, He offers it for free. All He asks is that we make insight a priority, that we make a practice of the art of the Pursuit. Does it fulfill? So much more then we can imagine!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Girl of My Dreams or The Art of Pursuit

I never could have imagined more. I never could have written a purer story. I thought I’d looked everywhere but she was right there in front of me the whole time. Maybe the whole time I was pursuing after the wrong things, pursuing after the wrong lady, maybe if I’d have opened my eyes I would have seen her sooner! The love of my life, the one who fulfills me, the one who completes me; the one who cried out to me first!

She’s pretty amazing I’ll admit. She is a strong preacher, very learned in the ways of the Lord. Her name, “Hokmah”, is stunningly beautiful: It captures her unique charm, her sweet presence. She also carries the honorary title of Lady. How I was so lucky to find her is beyond me; for she is way out of my class! The first thing that drew me to her is that she doesn’t make you obsessed with her. She doesn’t try to grasp for your attention. She actually begs you to give your attention to someone else. She actually says the pivot point; the central focus for our relationship is the fear of the Lord. Many I’ve pursued before have written this off as hopeless religiosity but she has a way of showing me that you can’t have a better life then when the fear of the Lord is the pivot for everything else! Especially our love.

She’s exactly the kind of girl that my father always taught me to pursue. She’s a spitting image of what dad always said in fact. Her teachings (Torah) always seem to echo those my mother used to read to me every night. I have no fear of bring her home to meet the parents; I actually look forward to it. She’s like a badge of honor that I can wear; she’s proof of the grace of God. She must be.

I saw her reaching out to me one day and even though she so willingly opened up to me, I still pursued her like I would any riches of the world. Like if silver was dropped in front of me. Like a man with a treasure map, willing to do anything to get it, so did I pursue her. Like a crazy pirate willing to go through anything to grasp her; willing to do anything to get her to notice me. Yet, even in the crazed pursuit, never doing anything that would reflect negatively on her “ladyship”. You could call it a rather disciplined madness; compared to the insane madness of previous pursuits.

When my hunt was over, I stood in her presence a satisfied man. I realized that she is much more satisfying then any hunt for treasure, then any hunt for power, then any hunt for merchandise or things. She is more precious then rubies, then gold, then silver and nothing that I can desire can compare with knowing her. She speaks to me of profound things and walking with her has been the most pleasant experience of my life. Being with her must be like what Adam felt; a continuing partaking of the Tree of Life. I may be tired from the hunt but resting against her is the most refreshing of times. She is a strong support for my weakness.

As I get to know her, I remember my father saying to not forsake her; to not forget her because she will preserve me. “Love her”, Dad used to say, “and she will keep you.” In the past relationships seemed to be all about me but yet I can see now that by exalting her, she actually exalts me. When I embrace her, she brings me honor. I can’t let her go; I have to keep her; for she is my very life.

I may not have to state it; in fact I hope you can see that I am not talking about a specific lady. I just actually popped open my Bible to the Proverbs and was struck a few weeks ago with the pursuit of wisdom as if she were an actual lady. Not a damsel in distress because she can handle her own but a lady who desires to be with us, a lady who’s above us but still dwells with us. Solomon personified wisdom in a way that he obviously knew best. Women.

Something that I have not understood in my study of Proverbs over the past 3 weeks is why all of these books on relationships do not actually dive into the use of relationship in the book of Proverbs? It made me wonder if some of these books are actually teaching us better ways to pursue the whore that Solomon also mentions in later chapters then a woman who emulates the principles of Proverbs. (Something I will visit later) It seems to me that my attention, my pursuit, my relationships should all focus on the pursuit of lady wisdom; the pursuit of personal integrity. All centered and launched from the fear of the Lord. If I try to pursue a woman outside of my pursuit for wisdom then I am doing exactly what Solomon warned against. I am doing the very thing that has destroyed many a men and in fact destroyed the man who wrote the warning.

My closing thought is this. I used to get so annoyed with that quote I now see all over the place which states: “A woman must be so lost in God that a man should be pursuing Him to find her.” I don’t know why it urked me, maybe cause I thought it was a cop out, but the more I read Proverbs the more I see that my pursuit of wisdom is exactly what this quote is saying. This is not a cop out for guys to be lazy about the pursuit of a woman, in fact it begs us to do the opposite, but until we have that craze to purse wisdom first then we can never know how to pursue a woman properly. Wisdom teaches us the art of pursuit and that naturally bleeds over into other pursuits, other treasures, which wisdom gives to us. A noble wife, who can find? Maybe the reason for such confusion is that we need to learn the art of pursuit from the right lady?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dirty Little Secret: No Democrat will pull out of Iraq

In the last Democratic debate Barack Obama stated that if al-Quaida were to show up in Iraq that he reserves the right as President to go in after them. This led to a sparring match between him and John McCain. Obama concluded the spar by saying that if we hadn't gone into Iraq then there wouldn't be al-Qaida in Iraq. Well that's leadership for sure! It still ignores the fact that al-Quaida is in Iraq now, who cares about how it got there in the past?! What are we going to do now! Here's an example:

"According to the military, al-Saudi conducted numerous attacks against Iraqi and U.S. forces, including a Jan. 28 bomb attack that killed the five U.S. soldiers.

In that attack, insurgents blasted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb and showered survivors with gunfire from a mosque. The soldiers died in the explosion, the deadliest on American forces since six soldiers perished Jan. 9 in a booby-trapped house north of Baghdad.

Intelligence gathered in the Mosul area led the U.S. military to al-Saudi, who was in a car with Hamdan. A precision helicopter strike killed both and destroyed their vehicle. U.S. forces then confirmed the men's identities."

Al-Quaida is in Iraq now and they are not leaving! This story shows you how pathetic these men are by attacking from a Mosque. Now some may say that if we don't give them targets then they wouldn't attack. Hello! These people are attacking from Mosques! There in with the people! Do you want to leave Iraq to that? You may be voting for Obama or Clinton cause they promised to pull out of Iraq! Well, sorry, al-Quaida is in Iraq so it doesn't look like we aren't going anywhere!

Good News: Women are better liars!

Interesting new report out this morning.

"Barash interviewed 500 women nationwide and found 75 percent lie about how much money they spend, while more than 60 percent admitted to cheating on their husband."

The latter half is truly sad. Especially with the cheating obviously. But it makes you wonder if women have a way to see down the rabbit trail better then men concerning the direction a lie can go? A lie obviously takes you down many different roads and from my interaction with the fairer sex it seems conversations takes us down many roads as well! Maybe it's a natural transition? Barash stated the reason for the need to lie:

"Women lie as a survival technique, but also to get what they want," Susan Shapiro Barash, author of "Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie," told the New York Post."

Interesting. Well, I guess I'll have to add this to my list concerning the ladies. Is she a liar? Hhmm?,2933,334381,00.html

Hello Hank: Meet RED SOX NATION

The Evil Empire Strikes back:

"Red Sox Nation?" What a bunch of [expletive] that is," he said in an interview with The New York Times' Play magazine. "That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.

"Go anywhere in America and you won't see Red Sox hats and jackets, you'll see Yankee hats and jackets. This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order."

I really do not have a doubt that Mr. Steinbrenner is doing this for publicity. I usually tend to take the higher ground. Like...I...Should.....Here....OHHHH FORGET IT!

Mr. Steinbrener why is it you seem to be trying to brush off the fact that the Yankees have not won the world series since Hillary Clinton was elected Senator back in 2000. It's no doubt that you're trying to ignore the fact that you have spent the most money, posted the highest pay roll, had the most dysfunctional team, had really crappy pitching, had a 250 million dollar man who couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag in the playoffs, and still can't get out of the first round of the playoffs. It's not doubt that you're trying to ignore the fact that you stuck it to a hall of fame manager named Joe Torre and made a legend depart a legendary field in disgrace. It's no doubt that anywhere you go "Mr. Steinbrenner" you see Red Sox Nation. You may think we are a figment of your pathetic imagination but I think you should look back at October bucko...when you were watching from your couch the Sox win the World Series. How did Roger Clemens work out for ya by the way? Wicked good move there!

Baseball season is about to begin folks. And this is why I hate the Yankees. Yet, I must be honest. Nothing is going to bring me more satisfaction then to wipe the floor with this schlemiel and his team. Careful "HANK" I think you awoke a monster!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Baby Laughing at Nintendo Wii

If you are reading this on facebook you have to go to my blog to see the video. Click on the above link saying it was imported to see the video.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matthew 7:13-14