Presently in the iPod

  • Wildflowers, Tom Petty
  • Dino, Dean Martin
  • Vs, Pearl Jam
  • Redemption Songs, Jars of Clay
  • Suddenly I Miss Everyone, Explosions in the Sky

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ok, April Fools, it was not my Final Post

I rarely find success with April Fools joke attempts so I decided to try April 2nd. Looks like it worked.

Mark, sorry to hang you out to dry, but it was nothing but a joke my friend. I plan on posting more in 2007 and I'll try not to fool anyone again.



Monday, April 02, 2007


I've been asked by my employer to cease blogging because of the strong religous opinions present in many of my posts. This is a real tough one for me as I believe in freedom of speech and the right to express oneself in whatever way. However, when faced with the choice of resigning from my job or ending this blog, it wasn't much of a choice. My family has to eat.

I've enjoyed the interaction with my handful of readers and have been blessed by many of you. I'll spend most of my time from now on pursuing my lifelong dreams of knitting, bird watching, and hopscotch.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jimmy Carter's Christianity

I always hesitate to make judgments on whether or not someone is genuinely a believer in Jesus Christ--a Christian in the orthodox sense of the word. However, we can learn a lot about what people believe by examining their words carefully. Ex-President Jimmy Carter did an interview with Newsweek recently as publicity for his forthcoming book about his bible studies. Apparently Carter has been a Sunday school teacher for most of his adult life. I won't address the political aspects of this interview, but there was a very troubling, Osteenesque answer at the very end of the piece.

Do you think a Mormon is a Christian?Yes, I do. I have a
cousin who is a Mormon and she married one of the Marriott family. I don’t know anyone who’s more devout in their faith than she and her family. I admire them very much.

No, no, no. I know lots of religious people who are far more devout in their faith than I am and that does not make them a Christian. What makes one a Christian is belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, repentance from sin. One can't believe in Jesus plus x, or Jesus minus x and still fit the bill.

Mormon's do not believe that Jesus is God. They believe he is a brother of Lucifer and they also believe that God the Father was once a man from another planet. They believe the bible has been corrupted and the Book of Mormon fabricated by Joseph Smith provided clarification, correction, and supplemental teachings to the Word of God. Because they use the name Jesus a lot in their promotional materials don't make them Christians. I'm tired of the name Christian being hijacked.

Here is an article written by R. Philip Roberts, Director of the Interfaith Witness Evangelism Section of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which addresses the issue of the LDS church claiming the name Christian.

Here is another online resource comparing the Christian view of Christ's resurrection to the Mormon view.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Struggling With the L Word?

In the struggle to come to grips with Calvinist theology, many get stuck on one particular letter of the TULIP--of course the L. Limited Atonement.

The Big Orange Truck blog has a nice post about the L-word and the difficulty of navigating through seemingly contradictory biblical language regarding certain aspects of salvation.

Take a ride in the orange truck and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

View from My Window

Such a splendiferous day out and I'm relegated to the indoors. This is the view from my window in real time. I wouldn't mind taking a dip in the pool next door (bottom left) or hanging out on the Uptown Park Starbucks patio (middle left). Alas, it is not to be. Work beckons...

And I thought Wisconsin was Famous for their Brats

It's like Ron White says, "you can't fix stupid." Now I like a good weenie roast as much as the next guy, but....jeez louise!

I'm sure some media blowhard types will be all over the airwaves calling for a ban of the jackass movies because they negatively influence children (a fair enough point) who might try to duplicate these rediculous stunts at home. However, what's important to point out about these two Einsteins, is that the roaster was 43 years old and the roastee was 20.

You can't fix stupid.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Is Rap Dead?

An interesting article on asks the question. Has rap music hit the wall? Personally, I cannot answer the question fairly because I don't listen to rap, or hippidy hop as the kids call it these days. To be honest, I don't recognize any of the names of rappers referenced in the article, but nevertheless this piece made me think about bigger issues.

Rapper David Banner's (I believe he turns into the Incredible Hulk when he gets angry) quote at the end of the piece provides a glimpse into the real issues surrounding the proliferation of rap music focused on gangsta themes like drug abuse, drug dealing, prostitution and the demeaning of women.

"...Banner says there's a reason why acts like KRS-One and Public Enemy don't
anymore. He recalled that even his own fans rebuffed positive songs he
made --
like "Cadillac on 22s," about staying away from street life -- in
favor of songs
like "Like a Pimp."
"The American public had an
opportunity to pick what they
wanted from David Banner," he says. "I wish
America would just be honest.
America is sick. ... America loves violence
and sex."

Supply and Demand

Shouldn't it be clear that the rap issue boils down to a supply and demand issue? If "America loves violence and sex", surely rappers, writers, movie directors, producers, radio and television executives et al will continue to produce what the market will bear. It makes business sense for David Banner to write songs that his audience wants to buy. By Banner's own admission, he tried making songs with a more positive message (although I can't verify how positive, if at all) and his fans didn't buy. So he made a song called "Like a Pimp" and his fans couldn't get enough.

Is Moral and Legal Reform Enough?

So what does this mean to the Christian and how does this translate in real terms? Despite the best efforts of many well-intentioned Christian activists and political organizations who have worked dilligently to make the airwaves cleaner, the obsenity laws tougher, the explicit lyrics warnings on cd's more visible, and in many other area; real reform will never take place through legal or government channels alone. As long as there is a public demand for such content, such content will most assuredly be made available.

Only through spiritual reform, (yes, one changed heart at a time coming to repentance and turning from their sins) can real transformation take place. When every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, there won't be much of a market left for gangsta rap. But until that wonderful day comes, Christians must focus on sharing the amazing news of a savior who can forgive all sins. We must tell people the gospel and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to shine light into every dark corner of every sinful heart, revealing the depth of their spiritual need.

A Practical Shift In Focus

Too often the Church has focused more on political reform (see the past two elections where the Christian Right practically coronated Dubya) than sharing the good news of the gospel to sinners. In essence, the Church has said to the rap world, "stop listening to your junk, throw out your filthy music and come follow Jesus." Of course this is folly. Nobody outside of the transforming grace of Christ will suddenly be compelled to leave sinful rap music behind anymore than a greedy corporate executive will give back the millions he embezzeled from share holders.

The Power of the Gospel

The first thing people need to hear is the message of the gospel. There is power in the gospel! Christians must not forget this. The power to bring sinful men and women to repentance and new life can be found only in good news of Jesus Christ. The gospel contains the power to teach men to fulfill the roles God intended when he created Adam. The same gospel illuminates the value God places on the lives of women and shows them the special identity they can have in Christ. When Christ fills hearts, hearts will begin to listen to the voice of truth. The truth they hear from Jesus will be in direct contradiction to most of the rap lyrics they allowed to define their lifestyles. When Christ fills hearts, the unsteady balance of supply and demand will dictate the end of gangsta rap.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Father Morris Opens Up a Can on James Cameron

As a follow up on James Camerons "discovery" of Jesus' bones, Father Jonathan Morris brings the pain on little Jimmy the amateur archeologist.

Father Morris pulls no punches in this piece which is written from little Jimmy's perspective if only he was telling the truth. Here is a snippett:

"Today is my day for revenge. When I received my Oscar for best director a few years ago, I looked out into the crowd and proclaimed, “I am the king of the world”. That’s what I felt on that day and I wouldn’t have said it, if I didn’t believe it. But some of my Hollywood colleagues have looked down on me ever since. They thought I was exaggerating. As my movie credits prove, I’ve been sidelined since that day. But when I found the two-thousand year old scribblings on a tomb wall and, with the help of mathematicians, extrapolated that Jesus’ tomb was not really empty, that he may not have risen from the dead, as two billion people believe today, I realized how true my Oscar’s acceptance speech really was. It was kind of prophetic, I guess. The real king of the world — James Cameron — calls into question the King of Kings.
So don’t forget to buy our book and watch the Discovery Channel on March 4th.”

Check out the full article for more of this beatdown.

Explosions in the Sky

As a huge fan of both the movie "Friday Night Lights" and the current TV drama of the same name, I just had to find out where they got all of their cool instrumental background music. Lo and behold, the source of the coolness behind both the movie and TV show is none other than Texas' own little band, Explosions in the Sky. I used up the better part of my $25 iTunes Christmas gift card scooping up two of their albums, the most current release, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, and the 2001 release Those who Tell the truth Shall Die, Those who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever.
If you love catchy pop songs with easy to sing-along-to hooks, this is the wrong band for you. EINTS is entirely instrumental. I like to think of their music as background music for your life. If your life was a movie, these guys would be the soundtrack.
I won't bother to write three more sentences describing their sound or comparing them to similar bands. Frankly, their sound is pretty unique and I can't think of anyone to compare them to. Just go listen and tell me what you think in the comments thread.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Who Do You Say That I Am?

So James Cameron has found Jesus' bones in a box. File this one in the same category as Da Vinci Code and the Gospel of Judas. To say that it has become popular for showbiz types to focus on conspiracies and secret discoveries involving Jesus Christ is to only tell half the story. It's also becoming very profitable. With the wildly successful Da Vinci Code franchise in his bag, Author Dan Brown has essentially paid for his great grand kids' college. Other theories like the secret gospel of Judas have also made noise among the masses. We like a good story and, accurate scholarship be damned, the likes of James Cameron will always bring us one. I predict a feature film based on this "discovery" within the next 3-4 years---probably starring Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell, and Arnold as the Terminator.

This phenomenon is nothing new and should do nothing to disturb those who possess true saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believers know there will always be those who slander and blaspheme the Lord Jesus. Was it any different when he walked the earth as a man?

In the book of Matthew there is a passage that describes Jesus gathering his closest disciples just outside of Caeserea-Philippi. After ministering to many villages both Jewish and Gentile, Jesus asks his disciples what the buzz on the street is. They tell Jesus that some people think he is a resurrected John the Baptist, others believe he is Jeremiah, still others think he is one of the other prophets. Most of the people who had been exposed to the Christ believed he was something other-worldly, a being of a supernatural nature. However not many understood who He truly was.

After hearing the disciple's answer, the Master then asked a very pointed question to his disciples. "Who do you say that I am?" It's the most important question we will ever be faced with in life. Peter's famous answer, "you are the Christ, the the son of the living God", revealed the heart of one who's eye's had been opened to the truth.

Jesus called him blessed, because "flesh and blood" had not revealed the answer to Peter, but the Father in Heaven.

If the Father in Heaven has revealed the truth to us about His son Jesus Christ, we will answer as Peter did. We won't ever be swayed by the pop-science discoveries that show up on the news every couple of months.

For the Dan Browns and James Camerons of the world who are willing to propagate nonsense about the Christ, it really doesn't matter if they say he was John the Baptist, a good teacher, Mary Magdalene's husband, or the Easter Bunny incarnate. They will be just as wrong no matter which they choose to believe. They are blind to the truth about Jesus Christ.

So how should believers react? We should react by answering the question Jesus asked Peter. "But who do you say that I am?" And when we answer, we should rejoice in being called "blessed", because the Father has revealed it to us.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Behold the Dark Lord of the Grocery Market

Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda have struck You Tube gold with their web-short series "Chad Vader"which documents the lame life of Darth's younger, less charismatic brother Chad. Chad Vader is a day shift manager at Empire Grocery who's misguided exploits naturally lead to unabashed hilarity. There are 6 episodes on You Tube currently with two more in the works for season 1. Each episode lasts 5-6 minutes. Keep a towel handy to wipe the coffee off the keyboard. Matt Sloan who plays Clint and also does the voice of Chad Vader sounds strikingly close to James Earl Jones, the original Darth Vader.

These videos have been viewed over 10 million times on You Tube and have gained Yonda and Sloan serious publicity on the BBC, Good Morning America, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets.

It will be interesting to watch the effect this "new media" program has on the entertainment industry.

Ok, go watch and come back and let me know what you think about Chad.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

College Football Breaking News

Breaking News--January10--

In light of the severe BCS beatdowns handed out by LSU and Florida to perennial media pretty-boys Notre Shame and THE Sweater Vest University, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday the entire Southeastern Conference will be added to his league beginning in 2007. New Bama' coach Nick Saban, who craftily bolted from his job as HC of the Miami Dolphins, was visbly upset at the announcement. Apparently Saban had been told by University brass that Alabama ceased being a member of the SEC ten years ago and wouldn't be affected by the move. Saban wagged his finger at the media and told them he would not be the first customer at the new Tuscaloosa Chik fila'.

In other news, hippie-lettucce smoking USC head coach and all around surf-dude Pete Carrol held a press conference to accept his fourth consecutive national championship trophy. The event was held in a volkswagon van a few miles outside of Van Nuys. On hand for the presentation were all ESPN announcers,including Kirk Herbstreit. Brent Musburger and Lynn Swann took turns sitting on the victorous coach's lap holding the homemade trophy. Reggie Bush was seen outside the locked van beating on the side door screaming to be let inside.

Finally, the last item of the day. Ex-ESPN anchor flunkie and current Fox sideline reporter Chris Myers was beaten severely about the head and Torso by Ohio State Senior Quarterback Troy Smith during a post game interview. Apparently Myers wanted to scoop the quarterback by announcing prematurely that Smith would be leaving OSU to enter the NFL draft. Despite the fact that Smith had used up all of his eligibilty, the beating was deemed justified. Several cheerleaders joined Smith in pummeling Myers.

That's a wrap for college football this year. Keep it real until next season.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Missed Me?

While I've been away, here is what you missed.

1. Kathy and I bought a house in Misery City Texas this Summer.
2. We didn't get pregnant this year. (did'nt try to Mom).
3. The Astros flopped again.
4. Romo Mania put a whole new paint job on my NFL season.
5. I won a free Big Screen Samsung flat panel DLP HDTV (1080i)from Sports Radio the Animal 790 AM for naming their new mid-day show.
6. We are proud parents of a new pound puppy.
7. I lost nearly 10 pounds.
8. I gained nearly 10 pounds.
9. I've taken up Golf.
10. Did I mention Romo Mania?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Celebrity Pastor Death Match - SBC Style

This past week at the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina a couple of heavyweight Pastors squared off on a topic sure to produce warm fuzzy, cumba-ya, friends forever emotions from the "messengers"--yes, you guessed it! All together now--Calvinism.

In one corner was former SBC President and Southwestern Theological Seminary bossman Paige Patterson. In the other corner was Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler. Ok, the headline of my post may have exaggerated things a bit--it wasn't a death match, or even a debate for all practical purposes, but if I've learned anything from blogging, its that you must hook your readers in with a splashy title (or did I learn that from Rick Warren?).

For any of you Southern Baptists interested in the goings on of the annual convention, click here. The Pure Church blog has done a wonderful job of transcribing the session. I was actually very encouraged by both men and it is a credit to our denomination to have an example of brotherly love and respect, despite disagreements over certain sticky doctrinal issues. It's worth your read for sure.

Also check out the Thoughts and Adventures blog where Scott Lamb is live blogging the election of the new president.