2009-07-31

I've Been There, Have You?


Honesty moment: This is me some Sundays.

2009-07-28

The Rats of NIMH

I read today there are some plans for a remake of 1982 film The Secrets of NIMH.
I was just thinking of this movie and how I haven't seen it in years. I wonder if it's still as good as I remember it from my youth.
I've never read the book that it was adapted from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Has anyone else read it?

Shatner Recites Palin

No one delivers like Capt. Kirk.

Whitney's Back!

Have you heard her new single I Look To You? (Listen to it at her website.)
I think I like it.
I think there's a simplicity to the song's arrangements, written by R. Kelly, that's kind of refreshing in light of the last decade of Whitney's life and drama. The song highlights Whitney's voice, which is an excellent decision for a comback song.
There is no doubt that she has some amazing pipes; just an amazing voice.
I hoping this is her return.

2009-07-23

Book Review - CowMan by Rylee Richards

My friend Rylee finished her novel today.
I gave it a quick read and it is AMAZING!
I asked her if I could share it with you all and she agreed.
Apparently she also makes some of the most amazing bookmarks. She and I discussed her business strategy in regards to her bookmarks today and those should be launching soon. They may be sold somewhere between $0.50 to $2.00; payment plans may be available.
Oh...I should mention Rylee is 7 years old. So we can expect a long and amazing career from her. Thank goodness.
Here is her first novel:

CowMan
by: Rylee Richards
Once upon a time there was a cow named CowMan and CowMan was a super cow.
CowMan safed many people.
One day CowMan was walking he had a mission to do. The stinkers are here and cowman had to stop them and get those stinking pigs.First the pigs did there pit stinker to do at cowman.
Then the pooter at cowman.
The first cow man did his milk blow up at the pigs
Then he did his old milk at the pigs.
The End.
I know...I know. Awesome!
There are rumors that this may only be the first book of a trilogy or possibly a longer series.
I'll keep you informed of any further adventures of CowMan.

Conflicted Over the Gates Situation

Okay.  I’m assuming you’ve heard about the situation where Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a prominent black Harvard professor, was arrested recently, which led to allegations of racism by a police officer.  Even President Obama responded yesterday that the police “acted stupidly”.  The incident has brought up a lot of conversations of how America is not a post-racism nation, that in fact racism is just as present today as it was during the Jim Crow days (which I would agree with and assume many of you will too).

 

Please hear my heart that I am certainly in no way condoning racism.  And I’m not na├»ve enough to flippantly say that I’m not racist.  I do, however, try to capture racist and stereotyping thoughts and ideas before they produce words or actions and conform them to the teachings and example of Jesus. 

 

I think that’s as fair and honest of a statement I can make.

 

But here is what I’m conflicted about (in light of the limited amount of information I’ve heard and read).

 

I was raised and taught to respect the men and women who serve our communities with a badge.  I can think they are jerks.  I can think they unfairly wrote me a speeding ticket.  I can think they are hypocritical when they drive their supped up Dodge Chargers faster than the speed limits themselves.  I can even have opinions on how they do their job.  But outside of an excessive abuse of their powers I should respect and honor their authority they have and the pressure and position placed on them because of it. 

If they ask me a question I should respectful respond (with an answer or not; I have first amendment rights).

If they ask me to pull my vehicle over I should pull over.

If they are responding to a 911 call about two men breaking into a home, even if it was me breaking into my own home, I should patiently and respectfully help him decipher the truth.

That’s how I should respond. 

That’s how a white youth pastor should respond.

That’s how a Hispanic off duty policeman should respond.

That’s how a Asian female politician should respond.

That’s how a prominent black Harvard professor should respond.

 

The cause of this arrest, to me, seems to be not one of race or position, but of obedience and respect to authority.

I would ask that if you see me being obstinate to a police officer who is just trying to his/her job (cautious about whether or not I have a weapon, am on drugs or just violent) please lock me up for the evening so that my attitude may be adjusted.

 

Racism is obviously still a issue to be addressed in our nation.

But in this situation, again – from what little I’ve read or heard, Gates sounded like a travel weary man who reacted to a diligent police officer in an inappropriate way, and only delayed the nap he was in desperate need of.

 

Now I’m going to stop before my rambling opinion unintentionally offends.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Am I off base?  Should I correct some of my thinking? 

2009-07-22

Very Supertitious

Sesame Street just isn't the same these days.
Check out Stevie Wonder on the show in 1973.
The stereotypes are making we wonder why the children weren't sitting around smoking something illegal.
Thank goodness I don't judge people with stereotypes.

Even more impressive is the kid at the top of the stairs dancing like a mad woman...er...boy...um...I'm not really sure.
Nevertheless that boy/girl is awesome!

2009-07-21

How To Start A Fire

You know...when you're stuck on a desert island and don't have two sticks to rub together. That or you are just really really bored. Personally I just carry my zippo with me.

2009-07-20

Can I Do That?

It’s no question that I’m not cool.
Therefore it wouldn’t be prudent of me to question Jay-Z on…well much of anything.
I mean the guy is a phenomenal rap star, although I couldn’t tell you about one of his songs (I could recognize him if I heard him, but generally don’t care about his art).
The guy is married to the beautiful and talented Beyonce. (Although I don’t really like any of her songs. And I’m not really attracted to her; I think because I don’t like any of her music.)
The dude owns his own clothing line.
He has his hands and money in the careers of many musicians.
He is a part owner of a NBA team.
And I assume a dozen other things I’m not aware of.
However…

While I, like any man, enjoys lounging on the couch with a bag of potato chip, a tv remote in one hand, and my other tucked in my pants (don’t ask it’s a man thing, I can’t explain it nor would I break the “man-code” to do so), but…

When did it become okay to walk around like this?

Apollo 11 Moon Landing

40 years ago today Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin climbed out of the lunar landing module. Upon setting his feet on the moon's surface and making his historic quote, Armstrong took the camera and filmed Buzz Aldrin's decent from the module, as seen in the video below. Buzz Aldrin described the view as a "magnificent desolation". (I think that's a beautiful phrase).

And when one obnoxious individual tried to corner Buzz Aldrin and accuse him of lying and being involved in a massive conspiracy by the government Buzz...well...just watch...

Astronauts are cool!

2009-07-19

A Thousand Miles

I'm really looking forward to Donald Miller's upcoming book.
You can preview the first chapters by clicking HERE.
Any book where Nietzsche is described as "the Justin Timberlake of depressed Germans" has got to be good.

Tipper

Ever wonder what Tipper Gore is up to while her husband, Al, is out working to reverse the results of global warming.
Well it seems she's taking pictures.
And she's a pretty decent photographer.
Visit her website to see her work.

2009-07-18

Take a Closer Look

The above picture comes from the website gigipan.org, and here is why I think you should go check out the site.
There are a lot of photos like the one above on the site and when you click on it a feature will load which will allow you to zoom in on the photos to incredible degrees.
For instance the image to the right is from the top image. Somewhere in the top photo this little bug is just chillin' on this blade of grass.
Not what is cool about the site is that the photos are of lots of different subjects and place. There is city landscapes, and small store front shops and mountains, Obama's inaguaration, the Taj Mahal, the South Pole and so much more.
Check it out.
You'll see what I mean.
Enjoy.

2009-07-15

1002

Apparently I used by 1000 post to reprint An Open Letter to the American Church.
I was going to make a big deal about finally making it to this quasi-historic milestone but I forgot. I think the open letter is fitting.
I feel like this year has been a half heart one in terms of this blog. And I've been thinking about making some changes. But then I think that is too much work.
I haven't even updated my music player in months.
Maybe that'll be my overhaul.

[Also the photo makes total sense to me, well two post ago it did.]

Quote: Christian Reger

Nietzche said a man can undergo torture if he knows the why of his life. But I, here at Dachau, learned something far greater. I learned the Who of my life. He was enough to sustain me then, and is enough to sustain me still.”

- Christian Reger, a Christian who stood up against the Nazi regime and was sent the concentration camp of Dachau from 1941-1945.

I visited Dachua around 1990 when my family lived in Germany. There was an evilness that hung in the air that I was even able to sense as a mindless middle schooler some fifty years after the horrific events. I remember walking around the prison, looking in the cremation furnaces, walking through the dorm rooms, standing in the showers.

If Christian Reger can find a God who still reaches down and comforts and brings life in the darkness of Dachau, surely I can find Him in my life.

2009-07-13

An Open Letter to the American Church

My Bible college professor, Mark Moore, post the following letter on his blog The John 3:30 Group.
I found it incredibly convicting and worth reprinting here.
I know it's a little long for this blog, but please take the time to read it. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've read it too.

An Open Letter to the American Church
by Mark Moore
I write to you with humility due to a keen awareness of how fickle and fallible my past opinions have been. Yet now that I've exceeded the half-way mark of my life expectancy, I can speak with limited experience gleaned through decades of feeble attempts to chase after Jesus. I write to you with hopeful expectation that this generation of 20 somethings is not the church of the future, but the guiding light of today. I write with sadness, shame, assurance and exaltation at the current state of the Bride of Jesus, the single source of salvation in this world.

To you I would say the church is God's Kingdom. The pale rituals of church services, the vituperative debates of theologians, and the scandalous failures of leaders mask the divine glory at our fingertips. Nevertheless, it is still there for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Those submitted to the patronage of Jesus will understand the quest of the master for global domination, not through power and violence but through weakness and an unmitigated commitment to love and truth. Through the cross of Jesus we not only experience the cleansing of our sin, but the eradication of the "self" which so drives us to degradation, violence, and self-loathing. Through the cross we see the brokenness of the human condition without losing sight of the imago dei embedded in each of His children. I call you to remember that you are not a
member of a church but a citizen in a kingdom, the very child of divine royalty. Remember that while your church owns property, the kingdom claims dominion. While the church multiplies rules, the kingdom enforces laws. Yes, we are political in the deepest sense of the word—we create a recognizable community with our own set of laws, citizens, and social structures. Perhaps our ineffectiveness as a church is because we have denied being political all the while playing by the political rules of a secular society.

To you I would say claim your national spiritual heritage. A brief glance at church history will convince you that the Holy Spirit is always on the make but never equilaterally. In other words, he does different things with different people in different places at different times. Our nation has some unique blessings that can only be explained through the gift of the sovereign God. Paramount, perhaps, is our economic abundance, unparalleled in the history of humanity. Subconsciously we feel we have somehow earned this. What a ridiculous notion! This has led us to believe that our wealth is reward for us to enjoy. Rather, our wealth is a responsibility and like all other spiritual gifts it is to be expended for the benefit of the body. If the Christians of our nation take seriously this overabundant gift and stop our godless accumulation we could put a real dent in global poverty and make Jesus famous in the far-flung places of our world. The Jesus I read about in the gospels came to preach good news to the poor. So too today: if the Gospel is not good news to the poor it is not the good news of Jesus Christ.

To you I would say learn of the Holy Spirit. From Abraham to Jesus, it was the age of the Father. From Jesus to the 20th century, it seemed to be the age of the son (at least the historical councils from Chalcedon on give him a lion's share of the attention). Now in the 21st century, it appears to be the age of the Spirit. He is speaking loudly and in more diverse ways than ever. He is not the personal possession of the clergy. He is breaking out everywhere in creative ministries and works of power through ordinary people. If you are not hearing him speak to you today it is not because he is silent (for he never is), it is because you are not listening. It may be that you have too much noise in your life to hear anyone whisper or it may be that you have never trained your spiritual ear to hear his voice. Either way, hearing the Holy Spirit is not merely the birthright of every believer, it is one of the most crucial aspects of discipleship. You will never implement the potential of your created purpose until you learn to be led by the Spirit of God.

Finally, I would suggest that the church must eradicate biblical illiteracy. Our own ignorance is killing us. When Paul described the spiritual armament of the Christian, the only offensive weapon he depicted was the sword of the word of God. This was what Jesus used himself in the onslaught of the Evil one in the desert. If you do not know the Scriptures, you are severely limiting the ability of the Holy Spirit to teach you, train you, prompt you, or convict you. The
Bible is not optional for the Christian; it is the heart of God inscribed on parchment where we can get at it. I know of no Christian leader I have any respect for that does not have an admirable grasp of the counsel of God in the Bible. You twenty-somethings all have opinions about how the church should be run and what we who have gone before you have done so terribly wrong. So now back up your smack with wisdom from God's word. Until you have something to say that comes from the mouth of God, perhaps you should keep yours shut. I say this without an ounce of anger or bitterness; rather I say it with sadness. I desperately want to hear what you have to say—I need what you have to say—but I haven't the time, energy, or patience for another uninformed outburst that lacks God's authority.

Well, thank you for your patience at these ramblings that bordered on ranting. I can tell you that if I had one last letter to write with the modicum of wisdom forged through decades, this would be it.

Eternal Moonwalk

Visit Eternal Moonwalk.
Quickly
I found it earlier today and I can't help but continually watch it.
Some people are just a complete train wreck when preforming the moonwalk.
My favorite of course is in the screen capture above with Neil Armstrong.

I dare someone to upload a video of you moonwalking. I triple dog dare you!

The Official CTFL

Click HERE for the official website.
Be sure to read through the rules.
Would anyone like to start up a San Antonio league with me?

Home Run Derby

Congrats to Prince Fielder, the 2009 Home Run Derby champion. The guy powers through pitches with his whole body. Incredible power. I can't help but think of his father when I see him hit. His dad would crush balls out of Detroit's stadium.
But we gotta give Nelson Cruz a shout out! I love when a Ranger excels in the spotlight. I would have loved to see Josh Hamilton in the derby again, hopefully next year he will be healthy enough.

2009-07-11

Song in My Head: What Matters More

Have you heard the new Derek Webb song that creating a lot of controversy. It's called What Matters More from the upcoming album Stockholm Syndrome. You've probably heard the legendary story of Tony Campolo using a swear word to help his audience recognize that they (and the church) are more concerned about someone's language than their own compassion. Well Derek turns Tony's sermon bit into a song. Here's the song:

Musically it's a huge leap for Derek.
What do you think?

2009-07-05

Jesus Meets Bigfoot

My friend Tommy Hiler told me about this artist, Jeremiah Palecek, and his website.
We were at lunch talking about oddities in art and Tommy referred me to Jesus Meets Bigfoot.
Who hasn't wondered what that encounter would look like?

2009-07-03

Gen Y & the American Flag

Here is an interesting CNN report on a photo essay where the photographer asked young Americans to pose with the American flag.
I think this has some interesting insights into the culture of today's younger generation.
Plus the images are beautiful and intriguing. Click here for more images.

2009-07-02

Sermons I've Recently Heard

Here are the sermons I listened to over the past couple of weeks. 

Obviously I am a fan of my former Bible college professor Mark Moore, who recently served as an interim pastor. 

Who are you a fan of and what preachers do you listen to?

 

Series – Behind the 8 Ball (Southland Christian Church)

Jon Weece – The Transformed You

Jon Weece – The Redeemed You

Dan Hamel – The Victorious You

 

Series - The Name (Christ Church of Oronogo)

Damien Spikereit – Jesus (Savior)

Mark Moore – Immanuel (God With Us)

Mark Moore – Christ (Anointed King)

 

Mark Moore – A New Thing

 

Series – Soul Food (Christ Church of Oronogo)

Mark Moore - Prayer

Damien Spikereit – Simplicity

Adam Scott – Communion/Community

Mark Moore – Self Study

 

Series – Vantage Point (Christ Church of Oronogo)

Mark Christian – Thomas

Chad Monahan – Mary Magdalene

Shane Wood – John

Jayson French – Peter

Chad Ragsdale & Mark Moore – God & Satan

 

Series – ABC’s of Financial Freedom (Christ Church of Oronogo)

Mark Moore – Attitude

Mark Moore – Bondage

Damien Spikereit – Choosing the Centrality of the Tithe

Mark Moore – Decisions

Mark Moore – Encouragement

 

Series – Imagine (Christ Church of Oronogo)

Mark Moore – Imagine if no one was hungry

Mark Moore – Imagine if no one was sick

Mark Christian – Imagine if no one was naked

Mark Moore – Imagine if no one was a stranger

Scott Ensminger – Imagine if no one was lost

 

Series – I Can Do That (Journey Fellowship)

Steve Dye – He Gave Himself

Mario Gallegos – Jesus Pushed Pause

Randy Larson – Jesus Embraced Doubt

Steve Dye – Jesus Pushed Stop

 

 

2009-07-01

A Million Miles...

This is going to be a good book.
It's Donald Miller's upcoming work.
Maybe you've read some of his previous books:
- Prayer and the Art of Volkswagon Maintanence
- Blue Like Jazz
- Searching for God Knows What
- To Own a Dragon
You can read an excerpt of this book by clicking HERE.
I've also been doing a little researching on Donald's Mentoring Project. Is anyone reading this involved in the project or does anyone reading know someone else involved in the project. I'd like to hear a little more about it from someone active in it.