Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reenactment

Kara and I met when I was a youth pastor in Gilmer. We hit it off and eventually got together. Our relationship started at the Gilmer airport one October 23rd night exactly 10 years ago yesterday.

So I recreated the evening yesterday by taking her on a surprise date to the DFW airport. There is this really cool observation park area there that you can go watch planes land and take off. I had gotten dinner, warmed it up, and packed a picnic dinner for two.

After that, we went to Corner Bakery and had dessert, then off to Downtown Dallas on Elm Street to the Majestic Theater to see Jim Gaffigan.

It was a great night. And Hot Pockets are funny every single time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Message

It has been far too long since I have posted. Life has been crazy! At work, I'm working more hours and Rylan has begun to walk a little bit, so I'm chasing him around.

I finally took some vacation time this week and we went to the Yamboree in Gilmer. It's a celebration of Yams. There is a carnival, livestock show, 2 parades, and everybody brings something to sell. For more information on the Yamboree, go to Kara's blog.

Kya was on one of the floats this year, so we spent a little extra time in Gilmer than usual. While the Yamboree has it's high points, I'm not a huge fan since I'm not from Gilmer. I still managed to avoid the actual carnival part, where the truly interesting people are.

If you've ever been to my house, you know that when we bought the place, it had no back yard, but a putting green back there. I myself have plenty of reasons to cuss without taking up golf again, so recently Kara and I pulled up the putting surface. It's been rolled up and sitting next to my "trash area" by the curb in the ally for almost 2 weeks now.

It's monster heavy, so I had to use a dolly to get it out there, but Kara and I moved it out there by ourselves with really, not a lot of trouble. So, the day the trash ran the first time, I came home and all my trash was gone...except the roll of putting carpet. On it, was a note, stating why it was not taken. "Too Heavy (over 50lbs)" it read.

Seriously? You can't lift over 50 lbs? What the heck do I pay you for Waste Management!? Manage my waste!

So today, after looking at it propped against the fence for 2 weeks, I unrolled it, cut it into strips, rolled them up, and tied them up like a freaking graduation degree and stacked them neatly in a pile by the road as is required by the company that handles garbage.

Then I had an idea...

So I went inside to where our Christmas supplies were and got some ribbon and a pair of scissors and put a FREAKING BOW ON THAT PILE OF TRASH.

The lengths you have to go to just to throw away trash these days....



Take THAT society!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ravi Zacharias

This guy is pretty well known among the debate circuit. I thought it was interesting. Enjoy.


Monday, August 24, 2009

The Smartest Guys in the Room




I heard something this morning in a podcast that I thought was amazing. It's something that is very common sense, I just liked the way that it was worded.

I was listening to a podcast from Northpoint Community Church and the speaker was discussing the difference between intelligence and wisdom. He put it this way:

Intelligence is the gaining and pursuing of knowledge. Wisdom is the application of said knowledge.

Brilliant. Sometimes it's difficult to explain the difference.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Not a Scary Room


This blog is mainly so that I can remember some of the funny things Kya has said the past few days.

Tonight, my niece Abby spent the night here with us. Abby was scared of the dark and Kya said, "Don't be scared. It's not a scary room. It's a happy room...with princesses."

Kya likes for me to tell her stories too, and tonight in the story, I told her that boy unicorns were white and girl unicorns were pink (which sounds pretty reasonable to me) to which she said, "That's weird."

And if you didn't catch this on Kara's Facebook, the other night she prayed before going to bed and her prayer was this: "Dear God, thank you for my Kara, my daddy, and all my peoples. The end."

I love that little weirdo.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Not Flash Gordon


This is by far my least favorite superhero of all time. So you're fast. You still gotta sleep...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oh look, a big horn. That's why I come up here....NATURE!


As a child, I don't really remember going to the circus a lot. I was satisfied with my fill of specials on tv and the experiences of Navin R. Johnson. But we recently packed up the whole family and went to the Greatest Show on Earth with Barnam and Bailey's something or other at the American Airlines Center.

Let me just start by saying that the Circus is no longer the dirty, poop-smelling day in the sun that it used to be. This was an air-conditioned, arena rock show featuring all of the crazies you can fit into a Taco Bell in Mexico.

We saw Elephants walk around, Tigers...do...something, they really just kinda walked around while a dude in a leotard whipped them, and clowns (not looking like clowns) try to steal the Ringmaster's hat. What? The whole time I'm trying to figure out what the heck I'm watching, and Rylan is trying to turn my T-shirt into a V-neck.

Kya loved it though, and so that's why you go, but wow. The Ringmaster (obviously a failed DJ who moonlights as a failed Broadway star) had a mic the whole time and sounded like Will Ferrell's impression of Robert Goulet.

Also, over in the corner, there was a band playing all the music. So, like I always do for some reason, watched the drummer and I swear, I think he was a robot. I've never seen anyone play drums with such a lack of enthusiasm. It was like with each kick of the bass drum or crash of the cymbal, he died a little inside.

One of the brightest spots of the night though was when the family next to me showed up with a bag of cotton candy and I asked how much it was. They told me it was $12. Twelve dollars!! So I said to them without thinking, "Who the heck is going to buy that?" Ten minutes later, I realized what I had said, but didn't apologize because doing so would only make them think that a bag of air-sugar was worth more than a dollar while the unemployment rate continues to skyrocket. It's like owning a Hummer.

Anyway, overall, seeing the look on Kya's face made everything worth it. Even more so, seeing the look on Kara's face while seeing the look on Kya's face was even better. Meanwhile the look on Rylan's face was "What makes you think I can sleep through this? I will punish your shirt for your stupidity."

I now leave you with a picture of the Circus as we know it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Episode XX

Vacation




This week, I am on vacation! It has been a whirlwind, but at least a different whirlwind than I am used to, which is a nice change of pace. I think I need a change of pace, scenery, and activities every once in a while or I will go crazy.

This Sunday, we packed up after church and went to my parent's house in Tyler. It's nice to go to east Texas (not to stay) because it feels like everything goes slower there. So Monday I went with my dad to ride around with him to see what he does every day. He's a "Land Man." He buys right of way rights from people in order to put a pipeline across their land. He's really good at it and it was cool to see what he does.

Tuesday, we got up and headed home. On the way, we stopped in Garland at the DPS so I could pick up a copy of my driving record for yet, ANOTHER ticket dismissal. Kara and the kids waited in the car for me while I went inside. Upon entering the room, my jaw hit the floor for the 100 people also waiting for something. They were actually having you take a number and wait to be called. So I waited for an hour while Kara took the kids to Lake Ray Hubbard to hang out. Finally, we got home and hung out.

Wednesday we went to the Dallas Aquarium. Kya loved it. Rylan hated it. He actually hated most of the things we did Wednesday. And luckily, he's inherited his father's need to voice his opinion. We ate at Landry's, which is NOT a family friendly resturant, then headed to American Airlines Center for the Circus, which will likely be the subject of my next post. Wow, what a weird thing that was....

Yesterday, Jessup was good enough to come babysit Rylan and we took Kya to Six Flags. Here she is riding her first ride ever by herself. More pictures of our six flags trip are at the top. Look at how many big rides she rode! My little daredevil!

Today, I've replaced our front door handle, vaccuumed, cleaned my bathroom, picked up the house, gone to Wal-Mart, and we will top it off with the Conaway's coming to visit. Tonight, Kara and I are going to a Ranger's game.


The next few days, I don't want to do ANYTHING!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Episode XIX

Patterns

In light of the title of this post, I think I will stop titling every post as an "Episode" at XX. Just to change it up a bit.

I think as a whole, humans enjoy patterns. I know I do. Not necessarily knitting patterns, but routines, sequences of events that happen regularly. Now, I'm all for changing it up from time to time, as long as the change is for the better. Sometimes, "for the better" means changing something for the sake of changing it. No rhyme or reason, just different.

I feel more comfortable with a pattern. Something I can predict. It gives me the control to change the pattern when and where I see fit, because what can be expected can be manipulated.

It's the surprises that throw you off. When you are shocked by news or someone does something unexpected, most of us freeze and have no idea what to do for a few seconds. I believe that it's in those few seconds we find out who we really are.

Change brings conflict. Conflict brings growth. And why not? Without a little rain, there would be no flowers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Episode XVIII

Systems

It bothers me when someone misuses the word "religion." For instance, "I don't care for/see the need in religion." or "Religion is responsible for all kinds of evil." I thought money was responsible for that?

What they are really saying is "I don't care for/see the need in God." or that "God is responsible for all kinds of evil." Which is an oxymoron.

Religion isn't a person, it's a system. A system one develops based around a person, or in this case, God. You can't be hurt by a system, offended by a system, or even be angry at a system. All of these emotions have to be directed at the cause of the system. Or, a relationship, I would call it.

If you do not see the need for God, then there is something in the relationship that went terribly wrong or never existed. If you believe God is responsible for evil, what you really mean is that someone in God's name is responsible for evil.

Isn't life just a summation of all these systems trying to coexist?

Go see the new Harry Potter. Wow. What a great movie.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Episode XVII

Hinges

I'm not going to say a lot in this post, because, come on, it's 1:30 in the morning. But I'm reading a book right now that has gotten me thinking about hinges.

No, it's not a Bob Vila, do-it-yourself book on how to hang doors. But it's a book that tells a story with a meaning and agenda, like any other book. I won't say what it is because I don't like to deter people away from reading, since it grows your mind in ways that nothing else can and because I don't want to to sway your opinions until you have read it yourself.

However, the book attempts to make points that hinge on you agreeing to already determined "facts." Many things are like this. For instance, I can't get to you to understand the difference between a jet and a turbo prop airplane unless we both agree that flight is possible. However, if you do not believe that flight is possible, having never seen it or for some other reason, you will not agree that there is a difference between the way the two flying machines get into the air.

Many things we hinge our lives are are hinged on pre-conceived notions we believe to be true. But what if the pre-conceived notions are not true? At least, not proven true, but simply other Hinges? It's like hinging a door to a popsicle.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Episode XVI

Pain

I worked out yesterday for the first time in about 2 months. Camp preparations prohibit me from working out in the time slots that I can do it, so naturally, I'm a little sore today. I woke up and that first move out of the bed sent off alarms in my brain that said, "Don't move that fast today!" So, naturally, I didn't.

It's ironic, but we talked about pain tonight at church. It was a really cool service. We had a student play acoustic while another sang "Hurt" (the Johnny Cash version). It was pretty sweet. Then PT Lee talked about pain. His main idea was that pain was a part of life. It is necessary even to help us learn lessons and direct our paths. Does it suck? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Of course, that's the definition of the word. But it is necessary.

While I am no fan of pain, I do appreciate the times in my life that I've been able to learn from it. If nothing else, I don't grab hot stoves at all.

Did you know that in Louisiana, there is a hospital dedicated to the treatment of Leprosy? Yes, leprosy! It still exists! It's the disease that slowly kills the nerve endings in your extremities, causing your pain-indicating system to malfunction. You could easily get your toe cut off and not even know it!

I really don't have a point with this post. I simply wanted to make you aware of the fact that, while uncomfortable or even unbearable, pain has a purpose.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Episode XV

Arrogance

Tonight at church we talked about the need for humility in our lives and how it is God's purpose for us to lead humble lives that place others first. I like the "others first" mentality. I think it's what Jesus was all about.

However, arrogance is the exact opposite of this attitude which can be defined as "me first." I'm not just talking about me first in line, or me first to do something cool. I mean the attitude that elevates the self above all others. My way of thinking, my way of living, and all others are stupid.

I have read and heard others say that it is arrogant to say that Jesus is the only way. Is it not arrogant to so boldly claim that he is not? Then isn't it just rude and mean to call this way of thinking stupid? No, YOU are stupid. Stupid for believing that everything you think is right when this religion, this Way of life has survived persecution, ridicule, and corruption over thousands of years, and yet at the heart of it, the message hasn't changed. Then you have the audacity to mock others for believing it.

The real important part is and always will be what you believe about Jesus. I think it's God's way of making it simple and clear for us so we don't miss it, not arrogance on our part for believing in something of substance. Is it arrogant to like the Rolling Stones but not the Beatles? Or to think that America is a better place to live than France? No. Why do these rules not apply to my faith?

What have you done? What have any of us done that warrant our arrogant parade of our ideas like we're the first to ever have them? I'm insulted and angry at the pot-shots others take at what I hold to be most dear in my life. Especially those who know how important it is to me.

Don't hide behind "discussion" if you're not really seeking truth. All you're really being is an arrogant jerk.

Sorry that this post is pretty personal, but I take my faith very personal. An attack on what I believe life is all about is an attack on me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Episode XIV

Seasons

Well, it's camp season again. I will be heading off to east Texas for camp for the next 3 weeks beginning today. The good news is that every weekend I will get to come home, see the family for a bit, run a weekend service, then I'm off again! It's going to be a lot of work, but I believe it's going to be a lot of fun too.

In this season, I have to think about time a lot, since I never seem to have enough of it. When your career takes over your life for a season, you have to find little moments of time to spend with those you love. Not just to meet a quota, because honestly, if it were like this all the time, this is no way to live, but because it's the little things that let those you love know that you love them.

I challenge you all to really appreciate the busy seasons, because without them, we might not be able to fully appreciate the slow ones.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Episode XIII

Juice

I'm reading a book right now called "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller and it's blowing my mind. I have read several chapters more than once. After I read something profound, I have to go try and explain to my Return of the Jedi poster what I just read. After this, I usually go back and try to read it again. After all, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster.

I'm in a section that Keller discusses the miracles that are proposed by the Bible and I hit something that I found very interesting. Now, I know that regardless of your religious belief, the miracles of the Bible sound more like Return of the Jedi than Dallas Morning News to even some of the most devout Christians. Most would say that Science has or can disprove the plausibility of miracles such as healing, rising from the dead, water parting for a nation to cross a river, etc. But of course, we all thought the world was flat until someone crazy enough to challenge the cultural norms went to the "ends of the earth," only to find that we were all wrong. That scientific discovery started with a belief, not a fact. Interesting.

However, the point isn't to debate the validity of miracles, but of science's authority to write them off. Here's a quote from the book:

"It is one thing to say that science is only equipped to test for natural causes and cannot to speak to any others. It is quite another to insist that science proves that no other causes could possibly exist."

He also says that "...when studying a phenomenon, the scientist must always assume there is a natural cause. That is because natural causes are the only kind its methodology can address."

"There would be no experimental model for testing the statement: 'No supernatural cause for any natural phenomenon is possible.' It is therefore a philosophical presupposition and not a scientific finding."

I believe in miracles. Not because I don't believe in science, but because I believe that by the very nature of miracles being supernatural (i.e. foreign to the natural realm) that science (the testing of the natural realm) cannot presume to test their validity. Yes, we can deduce from our past experience and knowledge, but when something new happens, then something new happens! Just like Columbus.

So all that to say this: Science and Miracles are like apples and oranges in a sense. You can squeeze them for all they are worth, but they will always be full of different sorts of juice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Episode XII

Castles

Over the past few days, it seems like I have had no time. It all started the day that I posted and titled it "time." Ironic.

At my job, we are preparing for a huge event coming up and there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Usually I stay up late so that I can get some time to relax, watch TV, play video games, write, read, whatever. Although, lately it just seems that all I want to do is go to bed. That's not very much like me.

However, it does seem to make the little time that I have with my family a little more special though. Kya (my 3 year old daughter) and I have a nightly tradition now that she simply calls "the carriage."

We sit on our fireplace and pretend that I am driving a horse-drawn carriage and am taking her to a ball. We wave at townspeople along the way, look at the trees on the road, and try to see the dragon cave in the mountains. When we arrive at the (pink) castle, we dance together while she and I sing "So This is Love" from Cinderella. Then we get back in the carriage and go home.

It's my favorite part of the day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Episode XI

Wormholes

I am watching a documentary on time travel. Apparently, there's an Asian scientist who sounds like he's from Texas who believes he's getting close to creating wormholes big enough to pass things through. I hope he figures it out. Hey look! It's Jackie Chan!

Then he can go back in time and tell himself, "Later in life you'll shoot a documentary about time travel. So let someone else dress you!"

No, but seriously, what would you do if you were able to travel in time to any place any time?

I would go to the 40's and help operation Valkyrie succeed. I'd probably also want to meet Jesus, of course, face to face. That would be cool. I'd also take a camera and go shoot video of the stuff that he did and bring it back and make it into a DVD. Everybody loves DVD's. Even Lazer Seals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Episode X

Aggression

At first, I thought that this post would be about Wolverine, since it is Episode X, and he was Weapon X and he is definitely a berserker of aggression. But I haven't even seen the new movie and my mind is elsewhere anyway.

I feel like the world has taken an aggressive tone with Christians. Many are going to read this and wonder what the heck I'm talking about, but, nonetheless, it's out there.

I don't know why it's ok for Christians be be called names or have harsh language used to describe them. Here are some examples: Intolerant, Backwards, Stupid, Ignorant, Evil, The cause of injustice. Those are just a few I've heard lately.

I know that there are examples of people who are these things and that some happen to be Christians. I know for sure that the media really enjoys a good Christian scandal or screw up. Yes, it seems that the worst examples of us are the ones who are on TV the most, but surely you all realize that these are the minorities. Most of us are good people, trying to live out what the Bible teaches and to love the people around us. Why do Muslims get to call their crazies "extremists" and everyone writes them off while Christians are all lumped into the same category as our most recent embarrassment?

Maybe I'm hyper sensitive to the subject. Or maybe when you call one of these people stupid, ignorant, backwards, or evil simply because they are a Christian, you are calling me these things.

Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken, it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
C.S. Lewis

Is someone trying to pick a fight? I love you anyway. But I don't get the aggression.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Episode IX

Stars

I was out on my deck tonight. I live near the DFW airport, so I see a lot of planes fly over and at night, it's quite impressive.

Every time I think that I'm looking at a star, it blinks or it moves.

Sometimes, it's hard to tell which ones are real.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Episode VIII

Hospitality

In other parts of the world, hospitality is one of the most central values. I say "in other parts of the world" because I am starting to wonder if our country has begun to forget what this value really is.

In the Bible, you see many stories about hospitality being offered to traveling disciples or apostles. You even see prostitutes who would rather face death than turn over spies and their reputation of hospitality become tarnished.

I believe that we are forgetting that hospitality is more than simply welcoming others into your home. Hospitality is something that you take with you. It is a central part of who you are even though it's almost always inconvenient. But what part of accommodating others and putting your own comfort and convenience aside isn't?

It's like when someone breaks something valuable of yours. When they say they are sorry, you tell them, "it's ok," even if it's really not. It's also when someone is talking, you don't interrupt them until they have conceded the floor. You certainly do not correct or mock every word they say. That's just sheer rudeness, the opposite of being hospitable.

Hospitality is a lost art. For all of you who I know, I hope that whatever your socio-economic class, faith worldview, or opinion of Star Wars, you have found me respectful, kind, and hospitable.

Feel free to drop by my house anytime...but please don't break my things.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Episode VII

Elephants

There is no religion that is the "true" religion. All of the major religions have a bit of truth, but not the whole truth. It's like this:

There were 3 blind men. They were each placed next to an elephant and asked to describe it. One grasped the leg of the elephant and said, "The elephant is like a large tree." The second pressed against the elephant's side and said, "No, the elephant is like a great wall, tall and vast." Still, the third man ran his hand along the trunk of the elephant and said, "No, the elephant is long and flexible like a snake." All of them had truth about the elephant, just not all the truth. That is what all the major religions are like. They all have some good things to say and they have a little truth, but there is no one true religion that can see the whole elephant.

I've heard this a lot, but this logic does not stand up, and here is why:

This line of thinking ignores the fourth person in the story: The Storyteller. Apparently, the Storyteller has reached an enlightenment unlike any other. The Storyteller has surpassed all great thinkers, philosophers, and scientists because of this one insight:

The Storyteller can see the whole elephant.

How would he know that the 3 blind men got it wrong if the Storyteller himself had only the same partial truth? He assumes superiority by claiming to have absolute truth about the elephant.

No respectable thinker or rational philosopher would claim to be able to see the whole elephant. Only the one who can see the whole elephant for what it truly is can be the one to say things like "there are no absolute truths." or that "all religions are valid and have partial truth, but no one true religion exists."

It is blind arrogance to claim these things, yet so many do. Why?

I believe that when we remove God from the position of the Storyteller, we put ourselves there. This is the problem with Humanism. It relies on our very small and untapped brain to rationalize the universe. It is like asking a steam engine to travel across the U.S. in an hour. And what are we but a passing vapor on this earth?

Maybe we should spend more time wrestling with the fact that we probably don't know what the elephant looks like either.

However, if I put Jesus in the position of the Storyteller, then I place my hope in Him that he is telling me the truth. That's what Christianity is all about: Faith in Christ. Faith that he has told us the Truth. He's the only one who can see the whole elephant. We either believe him or not.

This is the meaning of peace: If He is wrong about the elephant, what do I have to lose?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Episode VI

Water

As long as I can remember I've been fascinated by water. I don't really know why. It just seems there is something different about it, yet, familiar at the same time. I know over 70% of our planet is covered by it. Over 70% of our body is made up of it. It's one of the few substances on Earth that can hold 3 different phases of matter: solid, liquid, and gas (not sure about plasma, that's a new one. I mean, come on, in my day, Pluto was a planet).

The thing that struck me the most was in my reading of Genesis 1. The first two verses go like this in the NIV:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Since this is Hebrew poetry, it's assumed that there will be illustrative language to convey the general idea of what is happening, but it seems to me that water was here before God started to create anything. Is it a companion to God? Did God NOT create water? Or was it the paint sitting on a pallet waiting for the artist to create His masterpiece? It seems to be linked with an idea mankind has yet to understand called "Spirit."

There is a Japanese scientist who takes pictures of frozen water crystals after they have been exposed to certain things. His name is Dr. Masaru Emoto, and he's probably crazy. He literally used a computer to print out phrases on paper such as "Thank You" and "I hate you and will kill you," taped it to a glass of water, and photographed the effect on the molecular structure of the water hours later.

I know the site looks a little shady, but after surfing a bit, I've found that this information is legit.

Go see for yourself.

www.life-enthusiast.com/twilight/research_emoto.htm

Have you ever "sensed" that something is wrong? Have you ever "felt" the love of an embrace from a loved one? These are just words to describe something that we honestly do not understand. Maybe it's not a secret unlocked by the mind.

Maybe the science will one day catch up with Faith (or as some call it, Theory). I can feel it in my Spirit.

Or maybe there is just something in the Water...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Episode V

Superman

I've been thinking a lot lately. Just thinking. One of the thoughts has been based around the idea of Superman. There are some things that I honestly love about him.

First, he's not from around here. That gives him the ability to do things we can't do. However, Superman looks like us; feels like us. That gives him the ability to empathize with our pain.

Next, for some reason, with all that power, he is inherently good. What makes him want to, no, NEED to fight bad guys? Is it because he can? Because ONLY he can? Surely there are others, true, but no one can do what Superman can do. When Superman saves the day, he does so because he values us over his own life.

Last, you can't kill that guy. You can't kill Superman. At least not permanently. You knock Superman down, he just gets back up again. He just keeps on living.

And here's why I love these things about Superman. Let's replace one word and see how it reads.

I've been thinking a lot lately. Just thinking. One of the thoughts has been based around the idea of Jesus. There are some things that I honestly love about him.

First, he's not from around here. That gives him the ability to do things we can't do. However, Jesus looks like us; feels like us. That gives him the ability to empathize with our pain.

Next, for some reason, with all that power, he is inherently good. What makes him want to, no, NEED to fight bad guys? Is it because he can? Because ONLY he can? Surely there are others, true, but no one can do what Jesus can do. When Jesus saves the day, he does so because he values us over his own life

Last, you can't kill that guy. You can't kill Jesus. At least not permanently. You knock Jesus down, he just gets back up again. He just keeps on living.

Maybe Superman really does exist...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Episode IV

Computers

My daughter is almost 3. She can play simple games on the computer, use a mouse, turn up the volume, and print. Yes, print. She has done all of these things in the past week. What can YOUR daughter do?

I love and hate computers. They give me so much grief, due largely to the fact that I understand so little about them. Yet, they are so freaking cool! I mean, who would have thought that one day you could carry the internet around in your pocket or that email would be nearly obsolete?

However, let's keep those computers at an arm's length. We don't want to have any emotional attachment to them after they become self-aware, turn on us, and we are forced to submerge them in boiling molten lava to save the future....

My daughter is probably very important to the resistance...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Episode III

Circles

Today I bought my very first propane grill. We're going to try it tomorrow, provided that I can learn how to hook up a propane tank. Why not? I put the grill together didn't I?

We went to the zoo today and I observed something that I thought was profound. As we were taxi-cabbing our children around in their strollers looking at the near-cousin gorillas (which I don't remember the last time I even THOUGHT about throwing my feces), we passed a group of people going the opposite way.

There were two elderly people and two younger people. The elderly were in wheelchairs being pushed by (probably their children) the younger adults. As I passed by going the other direction pushing my children in their strollers, I was reminded that one day we will come full circle and my children will be pushing me.

The family was the first institution that God ever created and it is definitely the most important. I was thankful that I was at the zoo with my kids and not in some meeting. Getting ice cream instead of taking clients out to dinner. That's what heroes do, they are there when it's important.

Today I bought my very first propane grill. We're going to try it tomorrow, provided that I can learn how to hook up a propane tank. Why not? I put the grill together didn't I?

Circles

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Episode II

Dark Art

As a favor to a friend, I must ask this question: Why decorate the underside of a bridge? Case in point: the new Hwy 121 underpass at Sandy Lake and 121. I know it's in Grapevine, but grapes on the bridge? Really?

In other areas of DFW there are Texas "Lone Stars." In Corpus Christi, marlins, and I'm sure there are some graceful, non-forking trees somewhere in Arkansas. But why decorate a bridge when we can simply wait a while and get some original, spray-painted street art that truly represents the area we live in? It must cost a few thousand extra to put the molded/engraved etchings of a bushel of grapes on a bridge that instead could have used an extra lane or two.

Surely in these troubled times, we can think of better ways to spend our government funds than giving the dark side of a bridge what appear to be hemorrhoids.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Episode I

Numbers

Have you ever felt like you're good at something and then later find that you are not? Maybe you've been up on a stage or in front of people conducting a service or playing a game or maybe just talking to them and you've thought, "I'm really feeling it right now. I'm doing well!"

Isn't it crushing to later find out that it was terrible? If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will. But here's my advice: We're not watching ourselves as closely as someone else may be. Take the criticism, learn from it, grow, and do it differently next time. You'll be better off for it.

If you are a church leader, it is good to ask the opinions of someone who will be brutally honest with you about you. They can see things that you just can't. If sharing the Gospel of Jesus truly is important to you, swallow your pride and listen to those around you. When you do, you'll be more successful, more people will receive a clearer message, and ultimately, Jesus will be made known to more people.

Don't tell me this job isn't about numbers.