Friday, December 29, 2006

In Pursuit of Kleenex



Just got back from Will Smith's "In Pursuit of Happyness", it was a tear-jerker. Smith plays Christopher Gardner, a San Francisco medical supply salesman who's barely making ends meet for his wife and son. The "bone density" machines he sells are like suped-up Xray machines, and no one seems to need them as much as he needs to sell them. Late rent, no taxi fare, no child care, etc etc Gardner gets an in with an investment firm and puts it all on the line to land an actual paying job.

The plot is based on a true story, and the real dude makes a low-key cameo at the end. Smith son plays the little boy and if he was any cuter I might have actually exploded. There are so many moments (which are almost all exclusively close ups of Smith holding little Smith) where the movie makes you realize how easy you have it, and how hard the world is.

So, IKOTM reccomends this movie but bring some tissues. Guys, bring some tweezers to pull some nose hairs if you want to impress your date. I am a huge Will Smith fan, and this just continues to show how good he really is at everything. Movies, add this to the list. TV, Fresh Prince one of the best shows ever. Music, maybe his weakest suit, but I still rock Big Willie Style on the iPod...bouncin in the club when the heat is on...Great movie!

New Years

I think the "coolest" new years i've ever had was in 6th grade...we stayed up till midnight and banged pots n' pans outside. I think it was cool because my friend Craig's sister had some friends over, and we snuck watching part of "Interview With A Vampire".

Since then I guess it's been a little "lackluster". We'll see what happens in the next couple days. I also don't really understand what Auld Lang Syne is about, even after reading the lyrics and description.

Does anyone have any new years traditions, or at least cool stories? I really hope at least a couple people answer, no body likes an unresponsive blog question.

There was a cool post about resolutions/lists over at Spitbox (check out the link to the right).

More soon I guess, it's nice to be home with fionce and family.

Leave a new years tradition/cool story/reaction! Do it!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone. Gettin ready to sit down to some Christmas dinner. It's good to be with family. Here's the present highlights of the day:

electric blanket
ESPN Scene It
"How Then Shall We Live"

So now it's two days of eating and wii'ing before my betrothed one arrives and we have Christmas Round 2! It's good to be me.

Here's something to ponder: Whats the meaning of a gift these days? Do you gift card or not? Some say the gift card doesn't reflect any time or effort and is thus a copout. I say you're just lettin them pick out what they want. Discuss...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas continued...

(If you want to avoid irrelevant musing, skip this paragraph, thanks) Sorry for that last post, I was frightened. I've been away for like, 2.5 weeks now and IKOTM has suffered. So i'm really gonna make an effort to get my blog posts in December up around 15-20. I'm like Def Lepperd coming out with a new album- it's been a while but they'll have lots of material!

This month has just not seemed "Christmasy". There are few who love Christmas music more than me, and I haven't really fired up my iPod that much. We had snow, went sledding, had staff Christmas parties at church, adopt-a-family with youth group, put up the tree with my family, put up Sarah's tree with her family, oh ya, and I GOT FREAKING ENGAGED AT A CHRISTMAS ORCHESTRA CONCERT! But still, no Christmas tingly feeling inside. No wide eyed wonder or dreams about sugar plumb faries. (If anyone could send me a link to some sugar plumb faries that'd be cool, I don't really know what they are.)

So whats the problem? We're 4 days out from Christmas, I should be feeling festive! I've participated in all the "stuff" but it hasn't spurred my yule tide feelings. Is my heart stone like, nay, Scrooge like? Am I shallow enough to not be excited because there are no big ticket presents i've asked for this year? I don't think so, at least I hope not.

The problem is growing up.

The transition from childhood/student life into adulthood is pretty hard. I've found that holidays are a big indicator of this. Anyone remember their first Halloween just sitting at home watching slasher movies on TBS rather than being out scoring pounds of candy? It was devastating. Another milestone was the first Christmas you woke up at 7am, then wanted to go back to sleep more than rush downstairs to open presents. What started in 10th grade has come to full fruition at 22.

Adulthood makes Christmas harder. Now instead of just signing all my parents cards for other people and getting "credit" for their gifts that I didn't help pay for, i've got to get people my own, cause I have a job now! Now, instead of having nothing to do for 3 weeks while home from College, you work the whole time! Now, instead of drooling over the thoughts of action figures and nintendo games Christmas morning, I open up new towels or luggage.....AND I LIKE IT! Function has trumped action, practicality rules. I'll still cling to my stocking candy and the fact that I can mooch off the free food at my parent's house.

I'm thinking Christmas will be a lot more fun when you're married...but then the most fun of all is when you have your own kids, especially once their brains are developed enough to start to understand whats going on.

But I think the reason Christmas is harder as an adult is you think about more than just yourself. You get past feeling good about putting 75cents your parents gave you in the parking lot to put in the red kettle when you were young to thinking about how much people still need help in July too. You think about the fact that you bought a Nintendo Wii and yet you helped a family who didn't have heat. Then you feel bad because you don't feel as bad as you think you should. Re-read that last sentance, see if it makes better sense the second time.

You think about how you don't want your parents to get older, how you hope your Grandma can see her Grandkids well into their lives. You think about the fact that we have no real basis other than tradition to base Jesus brithday on December 25. You think about how lucky you are to have such great people in your life all together at once for Christmas, and you think about how you should keep in touch better the rest of the year.

You think about what you thought Christmas was about when you were young. Then you think about how much more you know now, but really how much less you know. Like how you could discuss the different theories about the magi but really not begin to explain how God made himself into a human, born to a virgin. You think about the fact that baby Jesus had first words, and poopy diapers, just like you did. Then you giggle when you think about Will Farrell's prayer in Taladaga nights, haha, sorry. You think that the story you grew up with isn't just a story, but history. You think about how unbelievably scared Mary and Joseph had to have been. You think about how you can take God's gift to people, not just for a month in December but your whole life until the day you die. You think about what your good friend Steve said, that Christians should be "experts at Christmas". I like that.

Maybe i'm feeling Christmasy after all.

The roof the roof the roof is on fya'

Right now i'm typing on my laptop in a hallway in my apartment. There's many large men working on the roof, and they've taken off our skylight. Thus exposing my sleepy self directly to their unhindered glances. I live upstairs in the loft, and so these guys could literally watch me change or read or pray or whatever it is i'm doing in my room at the time. Ok, my roomate is up and i've moved into his room. Yikes, that was close. I did overhere some Van Halen "Jump" a second ago from the stereo blasting from the roof directly into our living room as there are no fixtures to dampen the sound, that and the fact that our roof won't leak anymore are the only plusses so far.

I guess this could be a good segway into a deep reflection about the passage of scripture where the dudes lower their friend through the roof to have Jesus heal him, but I won't. I'll just say I can understand if the owner of the house was mad about it. They didn't have boom boxes back then though, so I dunno.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It Is Finished.


Hello all my blog people.

Sorry I haven't posted pretty much all of advent. I think you'll forgive me though.

I'm engaged.

Tuesday, December 19. Powell Symphony hall at the Bach Society Christmas Candlelight Concert following a lovely meal on The Hill (area of town, not an actual geographical feature, although it's that too...)

I'd never seen Sarah so happy, or felt so happy myself. So, more on other topics soon. But for right now that's whats goin on!

Check out the ice.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Christmas Prayer

Oh God, we have come into your presence together tonight, wanting to connect with you. The season of advent is often busy and we pause tonight to thank you for the ultimate blessing when you came down and became one of us. It is hard for us to grasp that you, the God who created all that is in this world, the one to whom all good things point to, are the same God that has given us so much to be thankful for this year, the same God who has brought us joy, and brought us through despair and hurt.

Your word tells us about the coming of your son; most of us have heard the stories, God we’ve heard the facts but we’ll never fully understand the mystery. Just as the magi followed the star we’re following your spirit because without your real presence here among us, this is all just decoration. We set up models of a manger scene, even some that light up but we confess that we really have know idea what it took for your very word to become flesh, not as a mighty warrior or a benevolent king, but as a humble servant, born miraculously to a virgin in a trailer park.

God again we have come to thank you for all that you’ve done, all that you’re doing, and all that you’re going to do. God if it pleases you may you do your work through us, your people. We thank you that we have spare change to put in the red ringing buckets. We thank you for the wealth we have to wrap up signs of our love and care for another in shiny pretty paper. We thank you for your grace that fills in our misunderstandings and carries us through this advent season and into the coming year.

God as we move into this time of preparation, may you be with us in very real ways. May we see that ornaments, Christmas carols, holiday movies, home d├ęcor, real and artificial trees are all so much fun but they’re not the point. As we proclaim the Christmas season, give us the wisdom and strength to continue to proclaim the coming of your Kingdom here and to come as your very Son did. Come into our hearts, prepare us to once again receive the gift of Jesus. Amen.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Casino Royale/Snow Storm

We have a winner! The new Bond movie is worth all of the $7.50 it cost to view. I would see it again today.

The new dude Daniel Craig...I was a little skeptical about. I'll come out and say it, i've been a Pierce Brosnan fan since Mrs. Doubtfire. But he's the new Bond for sure. Craig has some gnarley looks, yet cleans up well. I'll let other female viewers go into more phsyical observations, but he had the "i'm so smooth I could kill you and not even wrinkle my tux" effect down nicely.

I'm not much of a critic, so I won't go into detail. Let it suffice to say that I own multiple Steven Seagall movies, so i'm fairly easy to please. I'm a sucker for some explosions, fighting, chases, and a couple one-liners. "Casino" had all of that...plus..*gasp* an actual plot, character development, suspense, and witty dialogue! It re-casts the series a la "Batman Begins", another recent favorite. I'm more familiar with Bond spoofs Austin Powers than I am the actual series itself, but Casino had a good mix of obligatory omages (sp?) to the series while also taking it in a newer, more you-know-what-kicking direction without being cheesy. Not to compare too many times, but the last couple Batman movies were parodying themselves, and the Bond series was headed that way too (invisible cars? c'mon.) All the gadgets and product placement were still there, but the movie was still taking itself serious enough.

The other part of yesterday was that we got a ridiculous shot of winter weather. Me and me buddies were 3 of probably 45 people in the mall total, and on the way out we helped push some kids out of a snow drift. They had tried to take their Camry "off roading" in the snow-piled parking lot and had gotten stuck upon entry.

So not only did we see a great movie, but we saved someone a call home to Mommy. Just like Bond would've done.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Progress

A couple posts ago I was talking about how humans really haven't made much progress, my new blog friend Howie had some good things to say, so I'd like to revist that. But for now let me offer this evidence for my case against strictly human efforts:

Today I heard an ad. on the radio for "Plastic Night" at a bar, women can win a free breast augmentation.

*slaps forhead in disgust*

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yuletide Carols

This post could either be late, or timely depending on your answer to the question:

When do you start listening to Christmas music? (for a more overtly theological question, head over to Adam's blog)

This question is really representative of a much larger issue...Thanksgiving being devoured by the Christmas monster. I suspect there is a strong correlation between your views on Christmas music and the sanctity of Thanksgiving. Personally, I think Thanksgiving is awesome. But lets face it, it's pretty much Christmas pre-game. Thus, I stand in support of pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music. Further thusly lumping Thanksgiving into "the holidays". So to bring us full circle, I think you should be able to listen to Christmas music any time after Halloween. There it is.

Recently i've heard a new term out there called "Christmas Creep". This is what we're talking about at Youth on Sunday, so i'm sure i'll recycle some of my material and post it to the blog! So some interesting segways here. But, back to the issue at hand.

The Ultimate Christmas Song Playlist. Or what I like to title it...A Very Mustoe Christmas. Here's the criteria:

1. A mix of classics, newer songs, and newer remakes of classics. This can be tough, and you definately want to avoid a lot of 80's renditions of carols of old.

2. Some unconvetional songs. A nice mix of songs will include some selections with wintery themes that will surprise the listener as they're familiar with the song, but never in a festive context.

3. No repeats. You can only take so much _______________________ (fill in song here). One is enough.

4. No Manheim steamroller. Sorry. Might be cool to see them live, but not on my list baby.

5. Put some tounge in cheek selections in there. "Feliz Navidad" is actually a pretty annoying song...so why not embrace it the way you still love that abrasive relative?

Without further adu (adieu?) here's my best of the best playlist- A Very Mustoe Christmas. The order can be debated, depending on what mood you're going for.

O Christmas Tree- Aretha Franklin
Christmas- Blues Traveler
*Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays- N*Sync.
(Say what you want. I don't care, it's a great song.)
Santa Clause Is Comin to Town- Bruce Springsteen
Let It Snow- Frank Sinatra
This Christmas- Chicago
Long December- Counting Crows
The 12 Days of Christmas- John Denver and the Muppets
O Come All Ye Faithful- Luther Vandross
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Holly Jolly Christmas- Martin Sexton
Next Year- Jamie Cullum
*The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
*This Time of the Year- Ray Charles
Winter Wonderland- Tony Bennet
*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Chris Martin or James Taylor. It's a tossup.
*God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings- Sarah McLachlin and Barenaked Ladies
Rudolph- Jack Johnson
St. Patricks Day- John Mayer
Carol of the Bells- The choir from the Home Alone soundtrack
*=top choices

So, let the debate begin: How early do you listen to Christmas music, and what's on your playlist?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving

Here's some lyrics from a cool song "Thank You"

Thank you Lord, thank you Lord
I know i've fallen short, I know i've fallen short
Thank you Lord, thank you Lord
I know i've fallen short so thank you, thank you, thank you

I don't say it enough, I don't say it enough
Though I have known your love, thought I have known your love
So thank you, thank you, thank you.

On some related side notes: I'm back in the KC with my family and Sarah, it's a blast, and all the food's free! Goin to the Chiefs game tonight, which will be awesome. Also, played a little Nintendo Wii with my cuz, also sweet.

Probably the highlight so far has been the downloading of Aaron Neville's Christmas Album. Seriously, go get it. Thus begins Christmas Music season. Many posts to come on this subject.

Peace and thanks!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dirty Dishes

One thing that sucks about following Christ is, we have to want to wash the dishes.

Allow me to qualify that statement.

I never saw the movie "The Break Up" but one scene really stuck with me. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston's characters are argueing as couples do, and you can really tell the nature of the arguement from Vince's one line: "YOU WANT ME TO WANT TO WASH THE DISHES!?!? WHY WOULD I WANT TO WASH THE DISHES!?!?!?" (paraphrased, I never actually saw the movie sorry.)

A lot of times i'll do things because "it's the right thing to do". Giving money to the Salvation Army ringer, being nice to people I really don't like, using my turn signal...etc.

But "doing" is a lot different than "being". I can do all sorts of nice things, but the reasons behind those things are just as (if more?) important than the things themselves. I believe this is what Jesus talks about in Matthew 23: 25-26 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean."

Crap.

So I can't just do the right thing but stay the same inside?

Nope.

In Matthew 19 Jesus breaks it down again for us. Not murdering is not enough. You can't harbor anger inside either. Not sleeping with another woman isn't enough- the way you view women can also be adultery inside. You can follow all the commandments but still love your stuff too much.

It goes further than getting the job done, you have to want to wash the dishes.

More later.

Friday, November 17, 2006

PS3

Well, we did it. I sent out an emergency facebook message and 6 youth, a family of 4, and my musical friend Mike came last night. We gathered at the church at 9 to prepare the items, then headed out to Best Buy for the delivery of love to the PS3 folks waiting in line. We hooked it up with hot chocolate, pizza, cosmic brownies, and blow pops. The latter two didn't go over as well as the first two.

Upon arrival, we saw that most everyone (about 30 people) were gathered around a fire in a grill, good idea! So we roll up in a mini van like, right next to the crowd and got some strange looks. I shouted "Wassup! We got somethin for ya" then busted out the table o' pizza love. The next crew came a couple minutes later with the hot chocolate. We were very well recieved!

The stories were crazy. Some people had been living in a tent since Tuesday. One dude was selling his spot in line once it came out this morning. Pretty much everyone was planning on selling theirs on eBay for a riciculous amount of money. The cool part was people were astounded that we would just do this. They kept saying "Where are you guys from?" and "Why are you here?" We told them we all went to the same church and that it was cool to just show some love, that we respected their dedication.

It was a good time and we got to meet some new people and bring a little warmth to the cold Best Buy parking lot.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chocolate Love

So all the technology oriented folks out there will know that tonight at midnight the PS3 is released. My buddy works at a local best buy, and YESTERDAY people were already camping out. We anticipate there will be many more tonight. SO as a symbol of love me and some kids are going to bring them hot cocoa and brownies tonight. We'll see how it goes. Whenever we've done something kind of crazy for people they usually think we're wierdos, but i'm thinkin if we show the nerds some love, they'll appreciate it. Wish us luck! I'll have a full report soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sign of the times/I told you so!


First of all, I totally ripped this off from the relevant magazine website. So, there it is.

Check out this article about KFC constructing a giant 87,000 sq. foot logo that you can LITERALLY see from space!

How ridiculous to think that people would be motivated to eat at KFC by a giant sign being built. Hhhmmm.....where have we talked about this before?

People don't eat at KFC because their logo needs updating. People don't eat at KFC because they legally can't refer to chicken in the restaurant as the meat they serve is a turkey/chicken hybrid.

THE-CHURCH-TRYS-THIS-SAME-THING. It's the same. It is. Come eat our chicken=come sit in our worship service. Col. Sanders=Whatever we plaster up outside our building to get people in the door. It's madness!

Although, being able to see a sign from space is a lot cooler than "Don't make me come down there."-God.

The Emerging Church

I literally just finished Dan Kimball's "The Emerging Church". Also, to make me feel really cool i'll also add in that I recently attended a workshop tought by Mr. Kimball, and got to chat with him briefly. He's a cool guy, who handles critisicm VERY graciously as I saw folks taking issue with him in his own workshop.

To put it shortly, Kimball is addressing the cultural, phiosophical, and theological (plus many other words that end in "al") issues that "emerging generations" are facing. Or more accurately, the issues that the church is facing in dealing with these new generations.

I think he makes lots of great points, highlighting "modern" approaches just don't satisfy people like they used to; as America has moved past a largely judeo-christian worldview into a more pluaralist and individually motivated worldview. So things like 5 point sermons with all the answers won't cut it for folks, especially when they don't want to set foot in a church at all. To paraphrase David Crowder, people are tired of neat solutions to sloppy questions.

So, lots of great stuff. But I also feel like it's too complicated. Suggestions for layouts of services, lighting, incorporation of experiential elements into worship services, getting outside the building of a church, etc. Lots of things he talks about are great!

But I find some irony here. For instance, he asserts that emerging generations are put off by organized religion...then explains how to organize your religion emergently.

I'm really oversimplifying things here, but the more I think about stuff the more I realize that people haven't really changed in thousands of years, and really...ever. The Hebrews argued about the same things 20th century Christians argued about. Thomas a' Kempis talked about how men couldn't sit still...and in the 15th century they didn't even have cell phones or iPods or ritalin. To me it's sad yet comforting that people are still dealing with the same crap we always have. There is no progress. We can just distract ourselves more efficiantly, have more faster access to information, more convienient travel, and our capacity to inflict pain is wider and more devastating (laser guided bombs, etc).

So I will definately rip off/steal plenty of things from Dan Kimball's book! But also, we can dress up or name human needs all we want (adding "post" infront of words, etc). I have noticed and felt some of the shifts he's talking about myself. As the church lets work to address culture all of its ebbing and flowing states in creative and meaningful ways. But I think that human needs haven't changed a bit, we're just finding different ways (or going back to more 'vintage' as Kimball might say) to meet them. To pepper this blog with another quote...as Rob Bell might say- if it's true than it isn't new.

That being said, he brings up some great points to get us to think why the church does certain things. Anybody know what the letters "IHS" stand for on so many crosses on our alters? I don't. There's just one little symbol that probably goes un-noticed, definately goes unexplained. How many other things do we do that are just mindless tradition to the familar and foriegn ritual to the rookie?

Having read this thought provoking book, i'm going to try and get at the question "Why" in ministry a lot more. A good but dangerous thing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

At Long Last...



Here's an ode to a certain cell phone company that rhymes with "Bingular".

RIP Motorolla V557.

Props to Steve who pretty much did the whole thing. Do people say "props" still? Oh well, either way. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Grace, Faith, Deeds continued.


In this post a good conversation was started, and I want to continue that with some more thoughts I had to some great thoughts from the youth of EUMC.

I'm going to try and explain my thoughts in a quasi-lame analogy, as I often do.

Grace- will be defined as unconditional love.
Faith- (which some might call belief) is the "being sure of what we do not see", a response to grace which you have experienced. what you think about things.
Works- what you do about it.

So, here we go...

It's no secret that I am overweight. One problem is that it doesn't bother me too much, but that's another story altogether. My lovely girlfriend Sarah, loves me in spite of my phsyical shortcomings, or more accurately largegoings if you will.

In my state of chubbyness, let's say hypathetically that I subscribe to all the running magazines, own a nordic-track, wear those cool Nike shoes that connect to an iPod, sport the tight windsuit outfit, and always am telling people how much of a runner I am.

But people will see that I obviously am not THAT much of a runner because of my perpetual roundness. They'll think "How much does this dude really run? He's got all the gear, knows all the scientific health benefits, but still doesn't look in shape!"

So, i've experienced grace through my loving girlfriend. I'm professing faith by aquiring knowledge and the proper tools, but neither grace or faith is fully realized until I actually get out and run! Furthermore, grace and faith are more fully revealed when I bear witness to them by actually running, and my body's phsyical shape will reflect what I know and what i've done.

How's that?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Faith in Action pt 3



Behold, The Tither. With powers to give 11% and sit through endless sermons on stewardship.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Forgiveness

Article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061106/ap_on_re_us/haggard_sex_allegations

If you guys haven't heard all the news about Ted Haggard you can read the article, or turn on your TV.

Lots of issues to go through here. FIRST we need to remember that this is a man with a family and a congregation. Those folks are hurting deeply i'm sure.

But i've been thinking about the church and modeling the forgiveness of God. Our world certainly doesn't. I mean, this story is a story because of who this man was; President of the National Association of Evangelicals, condemner of homosexuality now admits to "sexual immorality" and although all the specifics are not ALL out in the open, they don't need to be. It's not looking good.

Matthew 18: 21-35. I gotta tell ya, this is probably the hardest chunk of Jesus' teachings for me.

So, what should be the response from God's people when stuff like this goes down? Are WE very forgiving? What does forgiveness look like in a situation like Ted Haggard's?

Certainly our knee-jerk reaction is, that dude's gotta be outta there. Even the allegations themselves might be enough for a lot of people. Often pastor's must lead a lifestyle that is "beyond reproach". This is professionally shrewd, but ultimately impossible.

I guess i'm sitting here thinking, would I want every one of my sins plastered over the news for my congregation to see? It wouldn't be pretty.

So do we knowingly differentiate (sp?) between God's forgiveness and ours because what Jesus talked about is "just not practical"? Or is it appropriate to "usurp" a pastor who has committed one type of sin? Where do we draw the line? What about a pastor who takes 2 dollars out of the plate? Buying a 6-pack at the grocery? Taking kids to an R-rated movie? Would this be as big of a deal if he had an affair with another woman?

I dunno. I think this is all very sad. Formost, the parties involved but I also know that this just helps shapes people's view of Christianity and fuel the antagonistic fires.

I don't know the answers to these questions, just some of the things I've been thinking about. I definately know that Dr. Pepper is the best soda ever, and that our church praise band recorded a CD tonight. That was fun! Those were very irrelevant to the serious subject at hand. We actually play a lot of the songs that the band at New Life Church has written. We'll all float on.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why I Suck

Sorry if the title offends anyone. But I have a great example of me being dumb.

Like most people, i'm often tired. Yawning in the middle of the day, slow motor reflexes, just plain sleepy a lot. So this past Saturday night should've been a glorious opportunity to catch up on some sleep. We got an extra hour right! What do I do? I figure I can just stay up an hour later. Which is what I did. Next morning i'm just as tired as before.

Most of the problems in my life have come because of my lack of discipline. Finances, "spiritual life" (i'm not sure I like the terminology, but whatever for now), and my health all suffer because I suck at being disciplined.

Just throwin that out there.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mullet Man Rides Again



Here's the second in our "Superheros of the Pews" series. Behold, Mullet Man. With his unmistakable presence and encyclopedic knowledge of how ministry was done in the 80's, MulletMan is the greatest church attender of all time!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Workin For the Weekend/Salvation

So at book club tonight one of the students raised a great question. She's stuggling with the apparent contridiction/tension between grace and works righteousness.

Now, my boy Dallas Willard would say that grace is opposed to earning, but not effort. Our conversation was sparked when I shared a paraphrase from Out of the Question, Into the Mystery by Leonard Sweet:

"Scripture tells the story of a God who was not afraid to get hands dirty in a relationship with us...the divine come-down was not complete until Jesus embodied the extent of God's deep love in his getting down and washing the disciples' feet- the dirtiest part of the human body. No first century rabbi other than Jesus ever washed his disciples' feet. It is impossible to wash feet without getting hands dirty and wet. Far too many of us are trying to keep our hands celan when the question at Judgement Day is going to be "Shoe me your hands. How dirty and wet are they?"

Man thats good!

So, she has been told in her Christian upbringing "There's nothing you can do to earn God's love" yet also, at youth group we're constantly emphasizing the way Jesus calls us to live and how we're created to "do good works". I understand her confusion, although thats not the right word.

I'd like to unpack this a little more over the next couple days. If anyone out there would like to talk about their views on the subject, that would be great!

The question is this: How are grace, faith, and works interwoven? (also to be considered: How does Christian docrtine reinforce these elements of life in Christ? What does scripture say about all this? How have the understanding of these words evolved over time?)

Good stuff I hope! More soon.

Spooky Theology

So here it is. Halloween. I'm sitting at the office...with some brownies with orange and black M&M's in them. I'm not lementing a lack of trick or treating any longer. Although I am at the awkward stage still: WAY too old to go out begging for candy...not old enough for my own kids to go (and subsequently mooch off their candy)...and still in an apartment complex with not too many trick or treaters.

Thus I will use this time formerly used for Halloween festivities to blog about some of the issues I see Halloween bringing. I posted one article about evangelicals using this night as an opportunity to witness- I just hope they aren't stingy with the candy- that'd be a bad witness.

What about these "haunted house alternatives"? I remember as a young'n going to "Heaven's Gates Hell's Flames" and as a high schooler attending "Judgement House". Haunted houses are seen by some as demonic/dangerous/satanic/lame/whatever so churches set up spiritual alternatives. They encourage groups to "bring every spirtually lost youth and adult you know". I dunno if I have a tough time with this or not.

In my experience, you went and observe different scenes played out where some kids died and you saw who went to heaven and who went to hell. Then afterwords they brought you into a room, you heard about accepting Jesus Christ, did the "with every head bowed every eye closed" routine, filled out a card, and got on your way.

At the time (10th grade), I felt the whole thing a bit presumptuous. There was this one dude who was grilling me about my salvation blah blah blah. I was like: 'man, you don't even know me!' But I could have had an isolated negative experience.

So the question to me is, are these a good idea? What sort of theology are we communicating?

First of all, before anyone accuses me of thinking I have all the answers, who cares what I think. God will use for his good whatever God will use for his good. Far be it from me to criticize good people working hard for something they believe in. Also I always talk about how the church needs to get with the program and be "relevant" and this is one way they can do that- use a holiday for "good". That being said, here's what I think.

I don't see how people get off portraying who goes to heaven and who goes to hell based on a list of 5 steps which they later give to you. I don't see how a church can boast about "hundreds of souls being saved" and then not give a thought to every one of those souls being in their congregation the next Sunday, or any congregation the next Sunday. I don't see judging who goes to heaven and hell in the human job description. I see leading others to those conclusions as manipulative and dangerous.

Literally scaring the hell out of people is not my personal method of sharing the gospel. I want kids to come to Jesus out of love, out of being sick and tired of all the crap the world is trying to sell them and always feeling like nothing is ever enough. I want kids to see all the beautiful ways God calls us to live- not just giving them "fire insurance".

Well, there it is. Happy Halloween!

Say It Ain't So!

Bob Barker is retiring!

I got to see him in his last year in action.

Wow, i'm gonna need some time to cope.

Monday, October 30, 2006

What's Scarier... Goblin Mask or Gospel Tract?

Here's some interesting articles from Yahoo! News, which I check compulsively:

This one talks about "evangelicals" handing out tracts with their candy, one man has an interesting observation:
"It's the only time of the year when people come to your door and ask to interact with you"



Here's another, introducing a new term, at least to me: "Christmas creep".


In an un-related story, after a horrific "secret santa" gift exchange I was called a Christmas creep. Anyways...

Tommarow is Halloween. I remember in 9th grade being very very upset that my Dad wouldn't let me go trick or treating. I can actually pinpoint that night as when I started to know I was growing up. No more pillow cases full of candy to barter with my sister.

So now as an adult, I still grapple with the issues Halloween raises. Plus, my Dad sent me candy. Maybe I haven't changed that much. I've got some musings about these church "alternatives" that I might post later. Until then, enjoy this:

Big Weekend for St. Louis

1. Once again, Cards=champs.

2. Went to the Red Bull Soap Box Derby on Saturday. Maybe the coolest thing I've ever been to, ever. check it out:
www.redbullsoapboxusa.com

3. St. Louis named most dangerous city. Ironically, Detroit was #2. They can't win anything!
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061030/ap_on_re_us/city_crime_list

I keep trying to tell you guys how hardcore I am, out here in the mean streets.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cards Win!!!!

World Series! At home, in the new Busch! Lovin it! I even bought a new hat today, with a world series logo on it and everything.

So, here's what I have to say:

-screw everybody on both coasts who doesn't care unless it's the yanks/sox/angels/dodgers/A's in the series. This was the lowest rated world series ever.

-who cares if the cards had the lowest regular season win total of any world series winner in history

-we better start payin some dudes next year. our payroll is 11th in the league while our average cost of a game (merch, tickets, food, parking, etc) is 3rd. that ain't right.

-congrats to Eickstein for becoming the SHORTEST world series MVP in history! (5'7)

-my pastor went to games 4 and 5. I gotta start workin it in the offseason to score some tickets next post-season

-my roomate Jeremy, an avid Braves fan actually said the words: "The Cardinals are the best team in baseball." He had nothing else to say other than that. sweet satisfaction! we're gonna get him a personalized Cardinal jersey to celebrate. Jeremy was actually a really good sport, it was nice to have some comradery (sp?)

-finally an NL team didn't get embarrassed in the series

-the funny thing is that this lasts for a little while but then you've got to do it next year, kind of a wierd feeling. thats what sucks about sports...it's lonely at the top!

-i'm out!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Faith In Action



Here's the first video in a series done by our Worship Planning Team: Faith In Action covering the Methodist Vows: Prayers, presence, gifts, service. Dr. Devotion is Prayers.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

recant

ok, after some more thought...the cards/tigers hadn't played in two days when PTI aired on Tuesday. The Giants/Cowboys game was the bigger game, mostly by default because there was a game.

I thought about just editing my other post...but I thought i'd expose everyone to my impatience and venom of my tounge.

Cards

St. Louis just can't get as much love as they deserve.

Whats the first topic on PTI today? The monday night football cowboys/giants game. BESIDES the fact that this is cross-program-promotion by ESPN, St. Louis (and Detroit for that matter) is viewed as a "small market" team. aaarrrgggg!

It it's not New York or Boston in the series, nobody cares. That makes me mad. Also, what makes me mad is you can't even watch Baseball Tonight without seeing "driven by Chevrolet" intruding at every moment of the broadcast. ugh.

On a different note, I just finished "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a' Kempis. At a whopping 75 pages, it's not saying that much to finish it quickly. However, this book is awesome. Those 15th century dudes really know wassup. So, more on that soon.

St. Louis is up 2-1 in the series. If they win, i'm turnin cars over downtown.


















....kidding about the car. crime isn't funny, nor does it pay, and as we know once you have committed the crime you must do the time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fireside Chat



Here's a video we shot for a recent youth parent meeting. Poking fun at the "difficulties" of youth ministry. Let's see what ol' Pops has to say about this one!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Belief


John Mayer has a haunting song, I stole the title for this blogging entry. Check out the first lines:

"Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?"

Ouch!

I drive around St. Louis, more a couple years ago than now. But I see the big giant green JESUS billboard. I drive around Marshall Missouri last weekend and see lots of mini-JESUS billboards in people's yards, like campaign supporter signs.

I just can't help but think these are kind of silly. I think Mayer sang it better than I could ever say it. Are "lost" drivers (sorry for the pun, I really didn't plan it like that) going to look at that sign and think: GOD HAS FINALLY GIVEN ME A SIGN! OH JESUS, YOU ARE MY PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR!!!!!! Doubtful. Maybe i'm being cynical, maybe God can speak through a pretty obtuse sign, but I think he can do lots more with you and me. I think we're kind of fooling ourselves with our little (or big) signs. It's just one more billboard.

I'm not even gonna get started on the LAME signs that churches put up out front. Yes Dad, i'm talking to you. Yes, EUMC i'm talking to us. Ok, I guess I AM gonna get started. Let's sample some shall we?

"Don't make me come down there"
-God

"That 'love thy neighbor thing'...I meant it"
-God

"Our Sundays are better than Baskin Robbins"
(at least this isn't attributed directly to God)

These are just the ones off the top of my head at 2 freaking 30 in the morning. The worst part is i've actually been roped into putting the letters up for some of those signs. Who really thinks that we're attracting anyone with these things? Whats worse, i'm afraid of the type of person who would be so enamored with some cheeky slogan that they'd feel so inclined and intruiged to associate with the proprietors of the sign.

I'm probably blowing things out of proportion here, but hey, this is a blog. Hopefully i'll at least make somebody mad enough to comment. These signs are so representative of the church just not getting it. We get these stupid things from some book or website and put em' up on our marquees, bullatins, whatever. I'm not sure we REALLY think people outside of Christianity like them. Once again, I can't imagine any person i've ever met reading that sign, and then feeling a desire to get in touch with the source of such wit.

I'd compare it to an OXYCLEAN commercial. The ad is so ridiculous it's almost self-parody. I would never consider buying anything Billy Mays endorsed, he's simply to enthusiastic about too many products. However, Billy Mays does have one impressive beard, which will be soon saluted believe me. Back to the point, our signs are just one more adventure in futility.

But lets go a step further. Just like the church advertises itself in a way that reflects commerce, do we "sell" the same message? Do we confuse faith with belief? Are we trying to get people to buy into a set of rules?

How many of us out there would agree that the church puts more emphasis on right BELIEF or correct DOCTRINE as opposed to right PRACTICE or right RELATIONSHIPS?

Take communion for example. An outward sign of an inward act- remembering Christ. But take a cross section of how the church treats it: rules over who can administer it, beliefs over transubstantiation (I hope you're all impressed), what elements are used (wine vs. juice, wafers vs. bread), how the elements are administerd (the mini-cup, the bre-broken bread, the "rip n' dip"/intinction, the common cup), what is said, how it is blessed, and WHO CAN TAKE IT.

Holy crap. Thats like a communion royal rumble.

See what I mean? What could this look like to an "outsider" somebody who is "unchurched"? 'Man, those church folks sure think all sorts of things about communion. Is it really that difficult?' What do we hold more important? The relationship that communion embodies, or all the nitty gritt details steeped in tradition about how we do it...what we BELIEVE about it?

This had been churning in my mind for a little while. I recently started "Out of the Question...Into the Mystery" by Leonard Sweet and his first couple chapters are what I have blatently stolen from. Although he hasn't talked much about communion, or John Mayer, or JESUS BILLBOARDS...that was all me baby.

Alright, I hope some of this makes sense. I just think that the church has gone astray by using methods that don't really work, being out of touch with ourselves and who we're called to serve, and getting our priorities out of order.

Listen to that John Mayer song, it's a good one. It's pretty tough to write a deep song thats also really catchy while being pretty transparent. You know, not using lots of enigmatic imagry...he's just sayin what he thinks.

"Everyone believes...in how they think it outta be."
-John Mayer

The Speez


This salute to great facial hair is most appropriate, as the Cardinals 17th World Series has drawn nigh.

So tonight, I salute you Scott Spiezio. For months now, i've joked about how after you hang up your cleats, you'll pursue your REAL dream of being in a lame cover band. I admit, I have mocked your crimson goatee.

Well ya know what, right now that artificially dyed soul patch's coolness is directly proportional to how well you're playing, and how well the Cards are doing for that matter.

Lets see here, lifetime 15 for 23 in the postseason with runners in scoring position...the red beard is in!

So here's to you Scott, with your clutch hitting extending the beauty of that little red beard.

Long live "The Speez".

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A New Look!

I switched to blogger's beta service, so I was able to switch up the style. I hope you likey. It feels like a crisp fall afternoon to me.

More soon, probably...

Go Cards!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Let the Games Begin

The church I am employed at is building a new facility a couple miles from our current facility. In the process we've been trying to sell our current building.

For years we've had lots of "lookers" but no "buyers" until an organ/music company wants to buy our facility to use it as an organ showroom and music school. The santuary could be used for recitals, community events, etc.

Well today in the "Chesterfield Journal" an article was published about the potential sale. There's people who aren't happy. Which is understandable. Our church is zoned for non-profit only, and midwest music is a retail store. Now, A FREAKING ORGAN COMPANY is not exactly like Wal-Mart moving in down the street from you, but I understand their concern.

But one individual insinuates that we wouldn't sell our building to a "Muslim religious group". Come on lady. Let's not lie about things you don't even know about. So the next couple weeks should be interesting as we're dealing with local politics and people who are all fired up. With some good reason, and with some dishonest tactics.

God, help us to honor you when things get real messy.

MORE Cell Phone Trouble

Ok, long story short: I HAVE A NEW CELL PHONE AND ALMOST NONE OF MY NUMBERS. If you are my friend, please email me your cell phone number: adam.mustoe@gmail.com

My cingular woes persist.

My "flip" phone doesn't open. MY FLIPPIN PHONE NEVER WORKS! I have being a slave to this little tic tac sized monster. Luckily, our church had an old cell phone nobody used, and I was able to snag it. So my number is the same, but that will probably soon change too.

The good thing to come out of this is i'm planning on filming myself destroying my old busted cell phone, a la "Office Space" and posting it on here. So, that should be fun.

More later.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Encounter at TGIFridays

So there we were. My friends and I, in a TGIFriday's in Austin Texas. This particular TGIF's was located at the Radisson Hotel we stayed at. We had been watching the Cardinals clench the NLDS against the Padres, a joyous moment.

Upon celebrating the Redbirds victory, we moved the party to the shuffleboard playing area. Oh, an un-related sidenote: the fried macaroni is a delight. Anways, we're playin some shuffleboard and there's this dude at the bar watching us. Let me quality "us": Me, my friend Jessica, my youth worker buddies Steve and Phil.

He starts asking us how to play and such, so we start talking and everyone is enjoying themselves. Then he (we'll refer to him as Bernard in the interest of protecting his identidy) asks us why we're there in Austin. His first clue was Phil's nametag, which we had already repeatedly ridiculed him for wearing.

We respond by saying that we work with youth and that we were there for the national youth workers convention. He introduces himself as Bernard and then the conversation took an exciting turn.

Bernard starts asking us what we believe about the Bible and other holy books. He explains that he practices Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. I thought this was kind of funny but moved on. I bought Bernard a Miller Lite. We continue to talk, and this guy was asking some really great questions, and we were really having a good time playing shuffleboard and talking about life and theology.

Then, it hit me. I had a copy of Velvet Elvis up in my room! I could give this dude my copy and then he could see some of what Christianity is all about. I also grabbed one of the Nooma videos I had, so he could check that out. Also, I had called my special lady friend Sarah to visit for a while, but I cut the conversation short so that I could go hang out with Bernard. He had remarked it was cool to see Christians who drank a beer (I had one...*gasp*) and didn't judge him.

So I get back down to Bernard and friends, and present him with the book. I hope I don't look dorky, in retrospect maybe I came on a little strong, but I LOVE this book and Bell's movies so I thought maybe he might like them too.

Then we get around to why Bernard was at TGIFridays..."Are you from Austin Bernard?"...."No...."...."Oh, do you live around here then?"...."No...."...."So, why ARE you in Austin at a TGIFridays in the middle of a Radisson?"...."See, there's this convention in town...."

BERNARD WAS AT THE CONVENTION TOO! HE WAS TRICKING US THE WHOLE TIME!

I WAS PISSED!

So, it was a "Smile you're on hidden camera moment" and over about 20 seconds the gravity of the situation hit me. I sort of laughed/grunted in anger, and refered to Bernard as the Christian Ashton Kutcher.

After about 10 minutes, I guess I was cool with it. Bernard was bold! He said he just saw it as an opportunity to test our faith. I definately passed! Which was kinda cool...But people aren't lab rats ya know? I guess Bernard figured we could take it.

I also demanded my stuff back.

So we ended up talking with Bernard the rest of the night and hanging out with him the last day for a workshop and worship. He was a cool guy. I decided he could have my copy of Velvet Elvis anyway. But I told him that every time he sees it he should feel guilty!

So what do ya'll think? Impersonating as a "non-believer"...good move? Or bonehead move?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hook Em' Horns?


So I just got back from Austin Texas at a youth specialties conference.

I've got lots of stories to tell. Quick recap:

Great speakers- Buster Soaries, Donald Miller
Great workshops- Dan Kimbal, other random people that most of you wouldn't have heard of, and neither had I but they were
great!
Great Worship- David Crowder Band, Shane & Shane, Jeremy Camp
Great "entertainment"- actually quit looking at this right now and go to http://www.davethehornguy.com
Great friends- Met up with my crew from Texas, and my friend Phil from Springfield, and of course Steve from EUMC
Great people- 2500 youth workers from all over the place.

Man, it was intense. It's gonna take a couple days, maybe weeks to process things and pop them up on here.

It's tempting to create some sort of youth group worker cult where I talk about these quasi youth worker celebreties on here and nobody else has any clue who they are. So in the recaping I hope THAT doesn't happen.

I'll tell you what did happen though.

I experienced the kingdom of God in a way I don't think I had before. You can't put that on an agenda, you can't put together a workshop on MAKING THAT HAPPEN. Man, it was great. But i'm tired. More soon!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hugh Jackman/Wolverine


Today I salute everyone's favorite X-beard, Wolverine. His mutant powers are many, but the best is his hairy exterior. Plus, he could concievably (sp?) never have to spend money on any Gilette products.

In other news, i'm going to the National Youth Workers Convention tommarow in Austin, TX. (Hello Austin! I'm Brian Fellow!)
It's gonna be sweet. Workshops from "pros" Shane & Shane, David Crowder, and probably what i'm looking forward to most is Donald Miller speaking.

So i'll try to update ya'll from there. I'm gonna bring my computer and be trendy!

Peace.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Tribue to Great Facial Hair


Oh snap! Three posts in one day! Lunacy!

So thanks to Dustin I would like to set up a fairly randomly recurring segment where I pay a small omage to the great beards of this world. So many names and styles come to mind. I'm really excited about this.

Today, I salute the Missouri Annual Conferences own Bishop, Robert Schanse. Now, i've never met the guy. I've heard him talk, and its good stuff. I can say all of this freely as I have no personal benefit from sucking up to him. I'm still a layperson baby!

So here's to you Bishop, for representin' all the clergymen who's job is synonomous (sp?) with having some sort of facial fur. I salute your finely trimmed, well kept, episcopal beard.

Also, you can check out a late article from him here which is some good blogging fodder.

"Sermon"

I hope it's not egotistical to post your own talks on your own blog. However, I do tell the students that they can go back over what we do at youth group by checking the blog. So, here is last nights. I put "sermon" in quotes because i'm not really sure if thats what I do or not, but either way this is what was said at youth group last night where we worshiped together. Man, it was great. We have such a cool youth band and are so blessed with so many gifts.

The beginning of this came at workcamp this summer when I heard BB speak on this chapter of James. So, thanks BB! Without further adu...ado? adoo...

What does it mean to be a Christian?

James 4: 17- “Anyone who knows the right he ought to do and doesn’t do it sins.”

1. It’s not about sin management.

A lot of people in our culture cringe when they hear the word Christian, or think of being one. The first thing we have to do is admit that they have several good reasons to do so. Have you been to a Christian book store lately? Or watched those TV preachers? Or seen any of the Left Behind movies? Yikes.

Lots of people feel like NOT doing this or NOT doing that makes you a Christian. This is part of it. Let’s make a big list shall we? Shout out stuff you’re not supposed to do- go on, yell in church which is something you’re not supposed to do.

(take suggestions)

Good. Now lying is not honoring God in the truth, looking at pornography is not God’s plan for men and women. Cussing is not an effective means of communicating, much less respecting another person. These things are all stuff we’re not supposed to do, you can find reasons for these in the bible. But too often what happens is people look down their noses at folks that do things from a list. Just because we don’t struggle with sin a or sin b, we find it pleasing to make other people who do feel guilty. We all do it. So what we do is focus on what we’re not doing, and that makes us somehow better than other sinners who do that. This is sin management.

Let’s look at what Jesus did in this situation:

John 8: 1-11

Christianity isn’t about “not doing bad things”

2. Christianity is about doing what is right.

Jesus clearly tells us what is right. Loving God, and loving our neighbor. He points out who our neighbor is, and gives us the tools to carry out his commandment. Problem is, it’s really hard. Very hard. This verse from James gives us a clear definition…what we KNOW inside, in our very bones to be right, to be good we MUST do. Many times in my life the problem isn’t knowing what I should do, it’s actually doing it. How I use my time, my gifts, spend my money…all of these things are important and doing good things and being responsible is really hard. So it’s easy to think of Christianity like a prison: you’re locked in this pious cell where you can only read, pray, and feel guilty about all the stuff you screwed up. But really, it’s just the opposite. Christianity is a dedication to being all about this: Phillipians 4: 8-9

3. We cannot get it all right, but we’re gonna try.

*at this point I told a couple of my struggles from the past, too long to list!*
You see Christians have a reputation for being “holier than thou” or always making people feel guilty. But the truth is Christians are no different from everyone else in that we screw up, can still be capable of great evil, and are still pretty selfish and self-serving. The difference is that we don’t rely on ourselves. We aren’t hopeless. We’re not part of a downward spiral of human nature. We’re about hope in Christ. We’re about striving to do what is right no matter how many times we fall. We’re not about keeping a list of naughty and nice. You see my friends there is such a fine line between grace and lazyness. We are at once forgiven and called to “leave our life of sin”. Through living out our faith in good works, doing “the right we ought to do” that we respond to how Jesus calls his people to live.

So I hope that you can go out into your schools, into your sports, into your families and do what is right. I hope you can at once feel free from guilt but obligated to do what is right. Because that’s how Christ calls us to live. We don’t do that good of a job. But we’re gonna keep going.

Facebook

So, my good friend BB hat tiped a conversation we had the other day. Now I tip my hat back to him. I'm posting pretty much what I said at youth group two weeks ago to our high schoolers. Pick it apart if you like, I hope you do. Post a comment, or not. I'm just throwin this out there.

1. Facebook is a document-able representation of you
This can be a very dangerous thing. People can sum you up from the comforts of there own computer chair. What you put on there can be very telling. Your parents, your teachers, your youth pastors can all have access to your profiles. Honestly, think to yourself would you want your profile or ALL your comments to be seen by everyone here? So why would you say them at all? ALL your photos? There is a disconnect between what you do in real life and what you “do” on facebook. It’s easy to say whatever you want, be in whatever group you want, talk however you want, and put whatever pictures up you want because it seems real but at the same time it isn’t.

2. Facebook is a very tempting way to create a pseudo-identity.
You can literally fill in what you want people to know about you. You can hand-select information that others will use to find you, friend you, learn about you. The tempting part of this is we can create on on-line persona that is very different from our REAL persona. This is very much related to our last point.

3. Facebook is all about “doing” but not “being”.
This is some of my cultural commentary. Our culture really exalts people who KNOW stuff. Who was that guy who won all that money on Jeapordy (Ken Jennings)? What did he do but just know a bunch of junk? What does that really matter? There is a big difference in DOING but not BEING. Jesus was very concerned not just with DOING but with BEING- the condition of the heart. Pastor Michael talked about this in his sermon this morning. We’ve talked about this 2 summers ago… The list of things on your profile are things you do, it’s not who you are. But we’ve become so distorted into thinking that’s what makes us who we are. If you like jet-skiing, that’s cool. But that doesn’t make you adventurous. Being yourself makes you adventurous. Jesus again, was VERY concerned with the condition of the heart. Some of his harshest words were for religious people that talked and even acted one way, but didn’t truly live it because of their hearts. Get back in your groups and each group take one of these:

Matthew 5: 27-28,

Friday, September 29, 2006

T.O.

So, the Dallas Cowboys wide reciever is back in the media spotlight again. This is a fairly rare occasion where something in the sports world is quite blog-worthy. Most of the time it'd be like: "Why do the Cardinals always blow it in September/October" or something. But really, there's not many lessons there except that maybe our payroll should be higher because our tickets certainly are. Ok, i'm done.

It was reported on Wednesday that T.O. had attempted suicide. It's come out now that it's been a misunderstanding and that Owens simply took some suppliments with his pain pills, and it was not a good combination. This came out in the press conference he held yesterday. His publicist who discovered Owens "groggy" called 911 and the Dallas P.D. ruled this a suicide attempt, but they've now gone to "accidental overdose". But here's the kicker...

During the conference his publicist said: "He's got 25 millions reasons to live." Referring to the 25mil that T.O. will make with the Cowboys. Wow.

So I wonder, how many of us are simply living to amass a bigger pile of stuff? A bigger bank account? A better care? Better stuff, and more stuff? Wow, she really hit the nail on the head. That reasoning is amazing, his money justifies his existence.

Well, I guess i'll stop blogging now, as I don't have as many reasons to live as T.O.

(thats not a cry for help, simply an observation according to Owen's publicist's logic. Try saying it yourself, it really makes it more ridiculous.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MuteMath

What up,

MuteMath's album is available for download on iTunes. 20 songs for $11.99. Not bad! These guys are seriously unbelievable. My friend Brad (BB) has a post about facebook, which we talked about at Youth on Sunday night. So me and give had a good conversation, as did the youth group. So, hopefully some good stuff comin up.

Peace

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Dude Store

Sorry for the lack of a title, i'm not feeling very creative.

Right now i'm sitting in my living room....AND using my computer. Wireless is a beautiful thing. I really don't understand how this all works. So now I can go to Bread Co. and look trendy like everyone else! Plain Bagel with cream cheese, and a side of street cred please!

I saw Jet Li's Fearless over the weekend. It really wasn't that great.

My cell phone is having more trouble. Looks like ANOTHER go around with Cingular. I should be a pro at that junk.

Ok, I just thought of a topic.

Recently, I bought a pair of "close-toed" shoes. For those of you that know me, you know that I wear flip flops a lot, thanks to my bro-bro Adam. The reason this is a big deal is because my feet are huge.

I've actually have people I don't know commenet publicly on the size of my feet. What happens when you have big feet (size 14-15) is that NOBODY carries your size. In the Journey's catalogue they don't even make my size in lots of brands.

I walk into Champs and ask for the big 1-5's, and the guy either laughs at me or takes me to this little room with like, 3 pairs of shoes in it. The shoes are all verbatim copies of Magic Johnson's 1988 high tops. It's terrible.

Also, my head is rather large. I can never find a hat that fits. Trying to buy a hat is pretty much the same thing as buying shoes.

So here's my proposal: The Dude Store. Stuff for small dudes, and stuff for big dudes. Some guy comes in looking for size 11's: "Sorry sir, you can find those at ANY OTHER SHOE STORE ON THE PLANET. NOW GET OUT!!!! GO ON, YOU AVERAGE MALE, GO!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Let's give the marginalized disproportionate consumer a home, a place just for them.

Here's to Foot Locker for carrying size 14 Puma's.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

OnLine Dating Tips?

Hey, I have one...

TALK TO PEOPLE IN FREAKING PERSON! (ironically, this is posted on my blog....whatever)

Wasn't online dating an alternative for people who needed tips in dating? Now there's tips for online dating? Whew. What are we comin to folks. The only TRUE success story of online dating is Me and Sarah. Seriously.

http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/dating-advice_first-date

Sunday at youth group we're talking about the dangers of the world wide web and the ability to create your own lil' identity, and this article reflects that.
























































































by the way, I was kidding about me and Sarah. just makin sure. ok, it's really late.

Funny Error

So here's an article about Veggie Tales on NBC:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060922/ap_en_tv/tv_veggietales_flap (sorry, my link button isn't working)

But the interesting part to me isn't the article neccessarily (sp?) check out this last part:

"If NBC is so concerned about that four-letter-word God, then they shouldn't have taken `VeggieTales'," he said.

FOUR LETTER WORD! HA!

I've got 4 words for you- Peace out.

One More Thing...

Hey, last post was my 100th post! Yippee! I guess thats something to celebrate. So here's to scores more entries with quirky insight and poor spelling.

Saw Jet Li's "Fearless" today. It was entertaining but I wouldn't rush out to see it.

I wish teleportation was possible.

Seein Shane & Shane tommarow. Sweet!

Peace.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'M RICH BABY!

Alright, after posting a couple little puny ones...it's time to dig in. Get those mouses ready.

Time magazine's headline reads: "Does God Want You to Be Rich? Yes, say some megachurches. Others call it herasy. The debate over the new gospel of wealth."

Now I think before any discussion of this takes place, we should note that Time magazine wants to make money. They do this by selling magazines. They sell those by creating stories that people want to read. People don't want to read boring stories, they want to read controversial ones. So the joke of "subjective journalism" is that Time won't provide a balanced, rational smattering of the issue. They want to get people's attention and make money. I'll admit, it worked. At Dierberg's on Sunday I saw the cover, and bought it without hesitation. Shame on me. You know what I thought first? "Oh, this is nice blog material!" (sigh)

That being said, the article was actually not to bad. But to see scripture quoted in the little tables within the article was just kinda funny. They provided 5 verses "for" and "against" God wanting his people to be wealthy.

So they talk to Joel Osteen, who just looks way to perky. This dude's church bought out THE ARENA WHERE THE HOUSTON ROCKETS USED TO PLAY. "The Summit" as they call it, is freaking huge. Huge. Ridiculously huge. So, can Joel claim God's blessing because of the monetary supplication?

Joel actually doesn't say what you think he's gonna say. I'll bet Time was kind of dissapointed: "I think God wants us to be prosperous. I think he wants us to be happy. I think he wants us to enjoy our lives. I don't think i'd say God wants us to be rich." This is somewhat contradictory to a parishoner (sp?) of Joel's that Time begins the interview with. Homedude said God promised him a six-figure job and 25 acre house. Whew.

Anyways, they use Rick Warren as a counterpoint if you will. Mr. Purpose does a good job of refuting the "prosperity gospel" that Time is investigating. At one point, they use people like Joyce Meyer to illustrate "Prosperity Lite" which I thought was pretty funny.

So scripture is taken as a one sentance absolute and qutoed, people are interviewed and the article was fairly balanced. I guess it did a good job of inspiring thought, in me and a couple folks at church anyway. So, good job time.

Let's tackle this ourselves shall we?

Really, to me the whole thing centers around what you consider "wealth" to mean. In a minute, i'll rephrase that with the same intent. It's that simple. I don't know many rational people who believe that becoming a Christian means you won't ever struggle financially. While we're at it, "being saved" doesn't exactly "save" you from sickness, grief, pain, lonliness, or bad spelling.

I love what author Donald Miller says about looking for formulas in the Bible, about finding absolutes that certainly apply to humanity forever. Miller points out that in his quest to write the perfect Christian self-help book he looked for formulas, but most of the ones he discovered wouldn't really work. Consider Stephen (Acts chapter 7), who became a Christian and was stoned to death. Was Stephen stoned to death with "ice in his grill" as the kids might say?

Joyce Meyer says: "Who would want something where you're miserable, broke and ugly and you have to muddle through until you get to heaven?" Paul might. I'll bet it wasn't real fun in jail, or being beaten.

Time quotes John 10: 10: "Then Jesus said...'I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly'." Well, the issue then is what you consider 'abundant'. One dude in the article thinks it's 25 acres and a dream house. Joyce Meyer has a helicopter I think. Rick Warren has sold so many books he doesn't get a salary from Saddleback, and paid back all the salery he's ever recieved. Dang. Are they more blessed than you and me? Does God love them more? Are they worth more to God so they are literally, fiscally worth more than us? Could anyone REALLY believe that? Isn't ABUNDANT life- Life with Christ himself? Isn't that enough? Living the way Christ calls us to live leads to abundant life, and may in fact be incongruent with monetary abundance.

While we're at it, doesn't Jesus explicitly say that we're not to work to simply acquire a huge pile of things, where theives can steal and moth can destroy? Doesn't that sort of life make little of what God thinks of us? Doesn't Jesus deal with rich folks who love their stuff so much that it seperates them from God's love? While i'm thinking about it, crap! How much do I do that?

Honestly, I thought we were over this whole prosperity stuff once The Prayer of Jabeaz craze finally died. The notion that God will shower his people with Mercedes Benzs (thats hard to say) the more they love him is absurd. Once we try to proportionalize God's love with our bank accounts, it's a big mess.

(Ok, my attempt to be thoughtful and well-spoken is over. At this point in the blog, if you'd like to move on to another internet task, please do. If you want further musing, please, proceed.)

Yet, as much as i'm sittin here goin off, I do the same thing. I compare my church's facilities and our youth group attendance to others all the time. I'm typing this on my expensive laptop, in a nice apartment, in a VERY afluent area of St. Louis County. So what do I know about financial hardship?

Something that's stuck with me for years is one time when Me and my Dad were at a stoplight in Cape Girardeau. We were behind this shiny, black, brand new Mercedes. Man, this thing was clean. The only adornment other than shiny chrome was a rainbow bumper sticker that read: "Jesus Is Lord!". Thats a lot easier to say when you're drivin a Benz isn't it? To me, that person would have been very wealthy to afford that car. But most people around the world would consider ME to be the wealthy one. So the joke of all of this American Prosperity Gospel stuff is that maybe we ARE blessed more than we realize and aren't doing what we should in our position.

Time grossly mis-interprets the parable of the Talents, which to me harkens back to the Abrahamic covenant. (I hope I phrased that right) Where we are blessed, to be a blessing. Not to admire our pile of stuff. To whom much is given, much is expected. So the more you've got, the more you've got to do with it. Thats how I make peace with being so well off. Again, it's all relative. To lots of people in my area, i'm a pauper. But thats not the case at all.

Really, we're only scratching the surface. Too often we're so obsessed with the QUANTITY as opposed to the QUALITY. We want numbers, and conrete evidence that we're crankin out disciples baby. But thats just not how it works. So in guarding against prosperity gospel, we can't speak out against one but then evaluate ministries worth by how many new baptisms we have. But then at the same time, God certainly doesn't want LESS baptisms does he? AAARRRGGGG so many questions. Alright, I guess i'm done. Maybe more soon, maybe not. My Dad says i've got to much time on my hands. Maybe he's right.

Hey, if anyone knows about a used Benz, i'm in the market.


















-I hope you caught the irony there, cause I was layin it on pretty thick.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Dream

You know the celebration baseball players do after a walk off home run? Thats what I want someday. Maybe after I get married on the way to the car or something. We can tape it and replay it in slow-mo with "chariots of fire" in the background.

http://sports-ak.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=260918119

Monday, September 18, 2006

Time Magazine Cover

Hello all my prosperity gospel soon to be millionaires.

Check out the TIME magazine cover this last week....exciting material! Coming soon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A/C

after MONTHS of wondering why my room was so hot...I have discovered the air conditioning vent was closed. *sigh*

it is now open.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ok, i'm back

Buffalo Wild Wings was very tasty by the way. 50cent boneless wings should be a holiday. Anways, back to the hating game.

It's so easy to just tear down rather than build up! I think a lot of times people my age, shoot, maybe any age, get discouraged or just plain cynical because we don't see an anvenue of change. Thats pretty much what Mayer is talking about in "Waiting for the World to Change" it's just much catchier than this blog.

You turn on the news, you see all the crap thats going on in the world. You go to church or any committee meeting and just see how the way we do things is so warped and petty. You watch specials on global warming and feel guilty about driving a car. You watch documentaries of sweat shops and look at your shoes, realizing you're part of the cycle. Thats a lot of guilt!

So what is there to do?

You gotta control what you can, which is yourself. It's easy to sit on the couch and bag on the administration for our country being at war, but what about the anger in our hearts against people we know? Thats the same thing that leads to war, just on a tiny tiny level ya know?

Ok, segway.

See, there's a lot of feelings out there about getting people into church. Creating "Worship +1" Christians, as in they're in worship for an hour plus something else for an hour. I work at a church, I want people there too! But I think we're missing the point because, and PLEASE pardon the late 90's phrase here...but Jesus calls us to be 24/7 Christians. I really am sorry to say 24/7, but there it is. This to me is how the church has warped the gospel...get people into a building for two hours and we guess things will get better.

Jesus didn't just complain about the system, he challenged it with his actions. He was the change he saught. So while it's easy yak about whats wrong with this or that....who cares until you do something? So what exactly do you do? Live it. Live the way Jesus calls us to. Easy to say, hard to do. It takes time and can't be boiled down and discected for an hour on FOX News.

I think our culture really exaults talking heads. I mean look at Bill O'Reily or if you wanna go to the other extreme Al Franken. Those dudes just talk about stuff. Big deal. Roger Ebert critiques movies. Why doesn't he make one and we'll see how good it is? See what i'm sayin? We put attach all this esteem and authority into what these dudes have to say. Ugh. Even now as i'm bagging on dudes that just talk about stuff...while in actuality it's ironic because I'M just talking about stuff! aaarrrggg!

Alright, this has been a ramble. Hopefully there's something in there for you guys. It's midnight and i'm doing laundry. I'll try and be more coherrant next time!

Lessons from Desperado

Hello all my Antonio Banderas loving blog people.

In high school, one of my favorite movies and I guess still a favorite was Desperado. Antonio is simply the man. I know its violent and graphic and there's over 80 deaths (we counted) any movie that features a rocket launcher guitar case pretty much gets a free pass for me.

There was however a nugget of truth in the midst of machismo- a quote from the mariachi himself:

"You know it is easier to pull a trigger than to play the guitar. Easier to destroy than create."

I really like that. A lot of times on the blog and just in my life in general i'll go on rants about how lame stuff is. Or i'll see a movie and just rip it apart. I can be VERY critical of lots of things- music, other people's habits, and especially church.

But isn't what Antonio said true? It IS easier to hate than to participate.

I can blast guys like Stephen Curtis Chapman for all the cheese, but what have I done? How many lives have I touched with music?

Go to the mall and listen to people, observe them. There's all sorts of material there. People are so shallow, so superficial, just plain funny. But how is THAT a good use of my efforts?

Just the other day I lambasted (sp? is this even a phrase? I think I heard it somewhere...) street signs. Ultimately...who cares what I think! I've never tried to name a street, i'll bet its hard. I still wouldn't have picked Thunderhead Canyon...but whatever.

So if you go to RelevantMagazine.com and read some articles critiquing society or the church it's real easy to become cynical. I touched on it in the John Mayer interview. It's easy to say "the fight ain't fair" but it's never gonna be.

Ok, time to go eat Boneless Buffalo Wings for 50cents...but more later!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Discovery

So i'm cleaning out the office today...and what do I come across:

CARMEN, THE ABSOLUTE BEST CD. It's from 1993. Carmen was my first concert, in first grade while my parents were doing youth group in Centralia. This is truely a treasure.

Emails

So, I read The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. I'm currently reading The Great Omission. The author is a professor at USC. Universities have staff directories...I could get his email address! So at the risk of looking like some sort of stalker, I emailed him...and...HE EMAILED ME BACK THE SAME DAY! COOL!

*note, I have officially entered a new era of nerd-dom

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Albums

Downloaded two new albums this week: Audioslave and John Mayer.

First, Audioslave. Here's a good example of the dichotemy that is a new album. If they just keep doing their thing, people will say that it's just the same album, a la Jack Johnson or worse, AC/DC. At the same time, those people would also hate on them if they switched their style up totally. Personally, I think Audioslave has a good thing going and on Revelations it keeps rolling. I think the shoe is fitting, so what if I can't tell a huge difference from the other two albums. Thats a good thing because I like the other two albums a lot. Tom Morrello is the ultimate mad scientist guitar player. The bass player has a lot of tatoos. Cornell's voice should have been gone like, before I was born. So another standard album, which is good because the standard is high.

Second, and less listened to, John Mayer's Continuum. I just downloaded it like, 20 minutes ago. But i've heard the single for a couple weeks now; "Waiting on the World to Change". Check out some of the lyrics:

me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

that's why we're waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

I believe Ghandi said "You must be the change you seek" which i've heard my good friend BB say more than once. So, I don't really think you can wait on the world to change. Thats a copout. Thus, I disagree with the first track on the album, but it still sounds cool. More on it soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Various Things

1. Finished The Divine Conspiracy. Dang. Actually, it was a book on tape, after which I purchased the normal book format. Just to give you an idea of how good it was....Dallas Willard himself narrated. A 60-some year old professor, not exactly James Earl Jones, or the chick from The Nanny. But his content was good enough to where his very normal, but very boring voice did not cause me to veer off the road in a narcoleptic fit.

2. Finished Traveling Mercies by Anne Lomott. It was ok. I would have liked her better before reading Donald Miller. She was funny and cussed some, which kept things interesting.

3. Picked up The Great Omission. By the aformentioned Dallas Willard. Dude, whats up with the fruit?

4. Had an AWESOME weekend in Kansas City. Maxin and relaxin with the fam- special lady friend included. It was my first time home without Harley which was sad. However it was nice to have people that love you enough to have cold Dr. Peppers waiting for you when you roll up.

5. John Mayer's new album comes out next week. It's been speculated by various magazine's that he and Jessica Simpson are now an item. I somehow see a connection between a new record and new relationship buzz, but we won't even get into that. What I WILL get into is my John Mayer theory. You see, John Mayer could never date Jessia Simpson. He would explode for overloading his coolness capacity. It is in fact, physically impossible for one man to be that cool. He is a handsome fellow (disputed by some, but whatever) He is maybe the greatest musician of my generation- he can sing, but lots of people can do that. He can play, lots of people do that, although not nearly as well as him. But he can WRITE, so well. HE DOES ALL THREE SO FREAKING GOOD! COME ON MAN, SAVE SOME TALENT FOR THE REST OF US! So, dating Jessica Simpson would simply be more cool than any single man could handle. It's as simple as that. Mark my words, if they start dating he will disintigrate.

6. Sorry for referencing the cover of People magazine. I normally don't do that, but in the check-out line at Dierbergs, I just can't resist sometimes.

7. Audioslave's new album came out this week. Gotta check that out.

8. One more time, check out the new blog site. I think in 5 years this will be the premier way of doing lots of things. So, even if this doesn't "take off" we're gonna keep truckin!

Peace.

Book Club

Hiyo!

So, last night was the first assembly of Adam's Book Club. I know the name is a big narcisistic, and I know I probably spelled that wrong, but how else could I emulate my idol....Oprah?

It was cool. Some snackage, great group of students, and a great book. I think this will work out quite well. I can't believe I get paid to talk about cool things with high school students.

Now, at this point you might be thinking...."Gosh Adam, I wish I could be as cool as you; Or at least be in your book club."

WELL GUESS WHAT?!?!?!? YOU CAN!

http://www.adamsbookclub.blogspot.com

Do it! Buy the book! Let's wallow in literacy together! Blog people unite!

Seriously, check it out. One more time:

Go Here.

Nothing like a little shameless self promotion eh?

More soon. Peace.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stupid Street Names

You know somethin that makes me mad?

Stupid street names. In the suburban sprawling area of west st. louis county there are endless neighborhoods that each try to have some disctinct and presitgious name but they all end up sounding dumb and synonomous- Cherry Hills, Wild Horse Creek, Pine Tree Club, etc. There's no cherry trees or wild horses or some exclusive club, only names. But then you've got these lame street signs that are actually in no way descriptive and meant as some sort of enticing advertisement for those who don't live there when you see it on an envelope or phonebook or whatever.

The one that kills me is the one thats on my way to church. Thunderhead Canyon Dr. Come on. Sounds more like the new Indiana Jones sequal than a normal suburban street. Another bad one is in Kansas City where my family lives- Rolling Dr. It's actually a very flat street about 200 yards long with about 5 different types of houses symetrically built on either side of it. Nothing rolling about it. I dunno, somethin to rant about I guess. It's just when you pass by street after street named after something dubiously nature-esque, Thunderhead Canyon is really funny.

Snakes On A Blog

Well, I've done it. I saw Snakes On A Plane. I have to tell you, this movie to me represents much of the struggle of my life. Not really the movie itself, but rather the metaphysical issues it represents.

Let me get this out of the way: It was awesome. I laughed, was repulsed, and even jumped a couple times. Also I should note that the folks I went with were all from my church; 4 of which are on staff. Others included friends, roomates, youth group volunteers, and the chair of our evangelism committee. Thats pretty freaking cool. It was us and 2 other people in the whole theatre, oh ya, and they had a baby with them. Thats another topic for another day. I digress.

What I love about the movie is it's self-effacing nature. The title is so ridiculous yet so appropriate. The plot is so stupid yet encompasses two very common phobias- snakes.....and planes! The acting is so cheesy yet so perfect. The characters are totally off the shelf yet we would be outraged with needless development. Somehow you've got to think that this whole thing is tounge in cheek. We could write a list a mile long with silly summer blockbusters that rely on the same formulas that we all see and then say the same thing: "Why did I waste time and money on that!?" But the thing that makes Snakes On A Plane different is the fact that they're upfront with how ridiculous this all is! I love it!

You know when you see a minor car accident and you know you should just keep driving but you can't stop from rubbernecking? Or how you are completely aware the Jack In the Box Tacos might very well be the worst food on the planet, yet you love them so? Or staying up late playing X-Box is actually not that great of an idea anymore, but you do it anyway? This is the same dichotamy that Snakes On A Plane is for me.

I know it's stupid. I know it's a bad waste of human resources from the beginning of production to the hours and money spent by thousands of people. I know that it's mindless entertainment, 2 hours (well, 1 hour 46 minutes to be exact) I could have spent reading or volunteering at a shelter or....doing anything but watching this ridiculous movie!

Yet, I sort of want to see it again. At the very least, I'm anticipating the DVD for Christmas. *sigh* Oh, how shallow my nature.

Is this what Paul speaks of in Romans 7: 15? "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Am I way out of line for even drawing a comparison with the Apostle Paul and Snakes On A Plane? If I despise shallow crap and they way we live our lives but revel in seeing Snakes On A Plane, how does that add up?

For now, i'd reccomend Snakes On A Plane for anyone who wants a good laugh. Also, go here and send one to a friend.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Catch Up

Hello all my blog people.

I just got back from a Middle School retreat the 25-27, and a High School retreat August 18-20. I'm a little sore, a little sunburned, but still feelin good. This is officially the end of my "summer season" and it's been great, but also brutal. I miss my interns and my family and some friends....only some of them. Ha, kidding. Ok, since that wasn't funny let's move on.

I just finished The Secret Message of Christ. It was really good. McLaren (the author) does a good job of laying out his case for getting back to what Christ was talking about- the kingdom. Not American politics or justifications for this stance or that stance neccessarily, but the kingdom of God being at hand.

I was in a good conversation with one of our Sunday School leaders here at church, talking about books we were reading (like the one above) and he reccomended Steven Hawking's A Briefer History of Time. So i've been checking that out too. In reading about space-time continuims (sp?) i've learned the skill of accepting what I can't grasp and moving on. There's much blog-worthy material here. Basically the most brilliant man in the world (by the world's standards...) literally puts his hope in the stars. Lots to talk about there. I'm reading this to better understand the nature of the scientific community and why the subject of God and science converging seems so incongruous to so many.

I also just noticed I start a lot of paragraphs off with the word I....

Before I left for the retreats, we had a youth group session where the Middle Schoolers could write down any question they wanted to and then we'd read em' and see what we got. It was very reminiscent of sex-ed class in 5th grade. Luckily we didn't delve into anatomical issues, but here's two that we did get:

"When will the world come to an end? Don't want answer of 'never' or 'don't know'."
-I like that last part

here's another:

"If anyone could die any second than why do people bother to be someone? And how do I know if I need to forgive someone before I die?"

Dang. Two blog worthy candidates right there too.

Also, John Mayer and (more importantly) Robert Randolph & the Family Band are coming out with new albums soon. I pre-ordered the RRFB album, and then got an email saying they pushed back the release date from the end of September to October 6. I'd love to send THEM an email saying i'm going to delay my payment and see how that went over. Oh well. Another rant for another time.

So that's whats been going on with me. I get to spend some time with my special lady friend and my family over the next couple weeks. That'll be nice. So, i've got a lot stewin in this brain of mine.

So, with all this in mind, here's Blog topics soon to come:
-The Secret Message of Christ
-Steven Hawking, and time itself
-The End of the World
-Forgiveness
-Robert Randolph album
-Why John Mayer is a great musician but knows it, and why that is a problem
-SNAKES ON A PLANE REVIEW! Sorry I snuck that one in at the end. I've been runnin around so much, a little Samuel L will do a body good. Yes, I know its tacky and without class, but at least they're being upfront with it.

Sorry this was so sporadic.

Peace.