Friday, September 30, 2005

The power of the written word

Yesterday I got copies of minutes from a meeting. There was nothing that I was surprised with necessarily, but for some reason the minutes made me angry. There was something about seeing this person's interpretation of the meeting written down as the official word of the committee that gave it more power than a simple conversation. And her take on the meeting and what was said was not inaccurate at all, nor was it mean-spirited. But there was something about seeing her words in writing that made what happened an official set back to what others of us were trying to accomplish, instead of simply a potential set back.

There is a power to putting something in writing. There was a lot of things that were done by word of mouth and tradition in the ancient world. But when God wanted to get the point of the Ten Commandments down, he wrote them in stone. There is a reason for that. Putting them in writing made them official and unchanging.

This power is true in all of our individual lives. When we put our signature on a contract, that has very real power over us and our lives. I can sometimes remember compliments, but I still have notes of encouragement that people have given me from 10-15 years ago. And while I can sometimes analyze a conversation or a phone call, I read and re-read a letter. Or even some of the comments and posts of people who read this blog.

I have had two of my grandmothers die in the last month and a half. My great-grandmother Pearl sent my birthday card to me on a "Congratulations" card, and I recieved it two days after her death. The first sentence, "You know I love you and did not want to forget you on your birthday!" It had so much power as I read it--the whole letter in the card--because it was the last words she said to me and I had them in writing to read and re-read over and over again.

My paternal grandmother had a slower decline in her health, so I did not have quite the same experience. But she would also send letters and card to me, usually when she saw a newspaper article about a church or the Portland Trailblazers in the Oregonian that made her think of me. I would recieve those notes, and read them several times. Sometimes they were more serious and newsworthy about family and friends, other times more humorous. But she always shared how interested she was in our lives, how much she loved us and missed us, and that she was proud of the things we accomplished. And those cards would sit on my table or desk for several weeks and I would read and re-read them as well.

So, remember the power of words. As you speak them, and especially in this context as you write them. (Not that all of this is directed at anyone, it is just something I have been thinking about lately.)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Six Songs I am currently LOVING

I got tagged by Kim on her blog. What five songs am I currently loving:

1.) Now that we Got Love--Heavy D

2.) Poncho and Lefty--Willie Nelson

3.) Changes--2Pac

4.) Boulevard of Broken Dreams--Green Day

5.) I Can Only Imagine--Wynonna

6.) SUPER FREAK--Rick James

I tag EMILY, HEATHER, BECCA, BOBBIE, RENEE and Mz. GIG

Top 100 of 1991

As per Raven's idea, I went to this site and copied the top 100 songs of the year. In a modifcation of her idea (cause I dont get how to do a lot of the things she does on her blog), I will bold songs I like, italic ones that are faves, and put a bunch of ##### by ones I cannot stand.

19911. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Bryan Adams
2. I Wanna Sex You Up, Color Me Badd######
3. Gonna Make You Sweat, C+C Music Factory
4. Rush Rush, Paula Abdul #########
5. One More Try, Timmy T ########
6. Unbelievable, EMF
7. More Than Words, Extreme
8. I Like The Way (The Kissing Game), Hi-Five
9. The First Time, Surface
10. Baby, Baby, Amy Grant #########
11. Motownphilly, Boyz II Men
12. Because I Love You (The Postman Song), Stevie B
13. Someday, Mariah Carey
14. High Enough, Damn Yankees
15. From A Distance, Liette Midler #########
16. All The Man That I Need, Whitney Houston
17. Right Here, Right Now, Jesus Jones
18. I Adore Mi Amor, Color Me Badd
19. Love Will Never Do (Without You), Janet Jackson
20. Good Vibrations, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch Featuring Loleatta Holloway
21. Justify My Love, Madonna#########
22. Emotions, Mariah Carey #######
23. Joyride, Roxette
24. Romantic, Karyn White
25. I Don't Wanna Cry, Mariah Carey
26. Hold You Tight, Tara Kemp
27. You're In Love, Wilson Phillips
28. Every Heartbeat, Amy Grant #######
29. Sensitivity, Ralph Tresvant
30. Touch Me (All Night Long), Cathy Dennis
31. I've Been Thinking About You, Londonbeat
32. Do Anything, Natural Selection
33. Losing My Religion, R.E.M.
34. Coming Out Of The Dark. Gloria Estefan
35. Here We Go. C+C Music Factory
36. It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, Lenny Kravitz
37. Where Does My Heart Beat Now, Celine Dion
38. Summertime, D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
39. Wind Of Change, Scorpions
40. P.A.S.S.I.O.N., Rhythm Syndicate
41. The Promise Of A New Day, Paula Abdul
42. I'm Your Baby Tonight, Whitney Houston
43. Love Of A Lifetime, Firehouse
44. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave), Roxette
45. This House, Tracie Spencer
46. Hole Hearted, Extreme
47. Power Of Love-Love Power, Luther Vandross
48. Impulsive, Wilson Phillips
49. Love Is A Wonderful Thing, Michael Bolton
50. Rhythm Of My Heart, Rod Stewart
51. Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..., C+C Music Factory
52. I Touch Myself, Divinyls
53. Tom's Diner, DMA
54. Iesha, Another Bad Creation
55. Something To Talk About, Bonnie Raitt
56. After The Rain, Nelson #######
57. Play That Funky Music, Vanilla Ice
58. Temptation, Corina
59. Can't Stop This Thing We Started, Bryan Adams
60. I Can't Wait Another Minute, Hi-Five
61. 3 A.M. Eternal, The KLF
62. Something to Talk About Bonnie Raitt
63. Saideness Part I, Enigrna ????
64. Around The Way Girl, LL Cool J
65. I'll Be There, Escape Club
66. Cream, Prince and The N.P.G.
67. Now That We Found Love, Heavy D. and The Boyz
68. Show Me The Way, Styx
69. Love Takes Time, Mariah Carey
70. Cry For Help, Rick Astley
71. The Way You Do The Things You Do, UB40
72. Here I Am (Come and Take Me), UB40
73. Signs, Tesla
74. Too Many Walls, Cathy Dennis
75. Crazy, Seal
76. I'll Give All My Love To You, Keith Sweat
77. Place In This World, Michael W. Smith ##########
78. Something To Believe In, Poison
79. Wicked Game, Chris Issak
80. Get Here, Oleta Adams
81. Round and Round, Tevin Campbell
82. Silent Lucidity, Queensryche
83. I'm Not In Love, Will To Power
84. Piece Of My Heart, Tara Kemp
85. Real Real Real, Jesus Jones
87. Just Another Dream, Cathy Dennis
88. Everybody Plays The Fool, Aaron Neville
88. Strike It Up, Black Box
89. Rico Suave, Gerardo
90. Disappear, INXS
91. Groove Is In The Heart, Deee-Lite
92. All This Time, Sting
93. The One and Only, Chesney Hawkes
94. O.P.P., Naughty By Nature
95. Freedom 90, George Michael
96. I Saw Red, Warrent
97. Miles Away, Winger
98. Do You Want Me, Salt-N-Pepa
99. The Motown Song, Rod Stewart
100. Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tag, I am it!

Bobbie of Emerging Sideways fame and Renee, author of Stumbling Toward Faith tagged me with this meme:

5 things I plan to do before I die
5 things I can do
5 things I cannot do
5 things that attract me to the opposite sex
5 things I say most often
5 celebrity crushes

I am going to answer those but change the number around to make Becca happy!

7 things I plan to do before I die:
1./ Get a book published
2./ Have a "sex life"/Get married (I am planning for these things to occur around the same time)
3./ Have children
4./ Teach a college class for a whole semester
5./ Get out of debt
6./ Visit Africa, Austrailia and New Zealand
7./ Run in a timed, official race/run

6 things I can do (this is hard):
1./ Eat
2./ Sleep
3./ Work
4./ Lead people in matters of faith
5./ Organize a church youth program
6./ sythesize information well
(probably other people can answer this better than me!)

4 things I cannot do:
1./ Anything to do with car mechanics
2./ Draw
3./ Lose weight in a quick and expedient manner
4./ Remember where my keys are half the time

SEE POST ABOUT 8 unconventional things that attract me to the opposite sex

7 things I say most often:
1./ AAARRRGHHHHHH! (while pounding fist on desk)
2./ Anyway....(my most common transitional statement)
3./ What the heck???!!!
4./ Yesssssssss!
5./ and another thing......
6./ Holy sh**, Lord, that is beautiful (often upon seeing Pike's Peek on the way to work).
7./ Say more about that--both in my teacher and counselorish type roles....

8 Celebrity Crushes
1./ Alison Hannigan--from Buffy and American Pie.
2./ Alison Stewart--Very attractive afternoon reporter for MSNBC, also subs on COUNTDOWN. Used to be on early morning ABCNEWS.
3./ America Ferrera--From a couple of chick movies...I think REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES and THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
4./ Renee Zellwiger--I think everyone will know who this is.
5./ Terri Hatcher--a little older than I am, but what the heck. Thought she was super-sexy in that Bond movie she was in.
6./ Ashley Judd--It truly grieves me that she is a married woman.
7./ Jennifer Knapp--since the first time I saw her in concert, I have had this mini-crush on her.
8./ Toccara Jones--from Celebrity Fit Club

NOW I tag SARAH, AMY, BUCK, BREA, TIM and BECCA

Nephews with their aunt Amy Posted by Picasa

One of my nephews practicing with the lawnmower. Posted by Picasa

The boys fighting over who gets to be in the car! Posted by Picasa

Amy and I in Boulder after drinks! Posted by Picasa

My nephews READY to ride! Posted by Picasa

On a bumper sticker

ANNOY A LIBERAL
WORK, SUCCEED, AND BE HAPPY

About Bubba's Bible Blog and sermon

I am posting reflections on the Scripture Snippets site (Bubbas Bible Blog. The posts will be based on lectionary readings from Tues-Fri, and I will then leaving the weekend open for pictures and other thoughts. So if you want to check that out, you can know that it will be worked on with more regularity.

Today--Psalm 19

You will also notice if you scroll down that my whole sermon from last week is now posted, on three consecutive posts.

Thanks for tolerating my little plugs and announcements. Now back to my normal thing.

My cyborg identity:Click on all the writing for a link


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alt="Cybernetic Lifeform Intended for Nocturnal Troubleshooting"
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Monday, September 26, 2005

More strangeness afoot in my apartment complex

Well, I come home from the car wash and working out, and once again the police are at my apartment building, running up the stairs with guns drawn to arrest a guy trying to get somebody to let him into an apartment that was not his upstairs.

Two months, and two major police incidents, midweek, in my apartment building. Not my complex, my building of 12 apartments. This is crazy.

Turns out I think the guy was drunk and new to the complex, but he was resisting arrest and all of that, and the cops have been here for about 45 minutes, which means they are probably doing a background check.

Anywhoo.

Thought all of you would want an update on my daily drama at the apartment complex.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


A bad pic of me, just to show what my hair looks like after growing out a little! Posted by Picasa

Sunday's Sermon--Part 1--Velveteen Faith: Are You For Real

READ MATTHEW 21:23-32

You walk into a room, and you know that it is not good. The room is usually a comfortable one. Your hosts ask you to have a seat, and you look around the room and let’s just say you don’t have that “peaceful, easy feeling”. Someone offers you some food, a snack probably, and offers you a soda or a water. All eyes are fixed on you. You swallow hard. You try and break the ice with some witty remark, but at best you get only forced laughter. Everybody takes a big, deep breathe at the same time. Finally, someone, most likely the leader simply says, “There is no easy way to do this…but we need to talk.”

“Ok!?”, you say sounding puzzled. But you know with all of these people in this room focused on you and needing to have a talk, they probably wont be giving you cherry-filled chocolates and roses.

Most of us have been in this situation, or simply avoided this situation with a passion. Maybe it is your spouse or your family that fills up this room. (My best friend in Iowa says the 5 worst words in the English language are “Honey, we need to talk”.) Maybe it is a boss or committee assigned to evaluate your work and give you “help in your work”, but you find what they are saying is more rude and belligerent than supportive. Perhaps it was your parents and siblings when you were a rebellious teenager. Maybe it is a mixture of friends and family that have gathered to tell you that you have a problem, and that you need to make a major life change. Or, it could be that you are aging, and several friends and family have to come around and tell you that you really should not be driving anymore, especially at night.

In therapeutic circles sometimes this phenomenon is called an intervention. Sometimes this is over a relatively minor thing, like “Clint, when you wear white dress shirts on Sunday morning it isn’t a good idea to have a printed t-shirt that everyone can read underneath.” Other times it is more serious, like with Donald Trump saying “You’re fired!” When done appropriately and in love it can be just what people need to help them grow. Other times, it is more sinister and more political.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were providing him an INTERVENTION in the middle of the temple. It was a very serious thing. The come up to him, as he is teaching and shout out as he is teaching:
BY WHAT AUTHORITY ARE YOU DOING THESE THINGS?
AND WHO GAVE THIS AUTHORITY?

OR IN THE CLINT WALKER PARAPHRASED VERSION……..

WHO THE HECK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? OR ARE YOU FOR REAL? PROVE IT!
Why were they asking this? Why are the harassing and interrupting him? What is the problem?

(step to left side of the platform) Let me give you a little background….

From Matthew’s report on Jesus’ life, he had been spending most of his time out in the backwoods of Galilee, with occasional trips into Jerusalem. Like John the Baptist, he had been working from the fringe of respectable Jewish society, doing most of his teaching in backwater hicktowns. His popularity had been growing among the common folks. Now Jesus makes his way into the big city Jerusalem, center of commerce for the nation, and home to most of the nations religious and political leaders.

As he enters Jerusalem, they throw a big parade and celebrate him as the great, wonderful leader of the people that they were looking for. The next day, Jesus goes to the temple, gets really angry, turns over all of the tables in the temple, and calls people names (yet without sinning). The power-elite of Israel look at each other and say, we need to get a handle on this guy….after all WHAT GIVES HIM THE RIGHT to do what he is doing? WHAT GIVES HIM THE RIGHT?

So, how does Jesus answer this question? How does this speak to us today? Why is there this story that is added to Jesus’ conversation with the religious leaders, and how does it relate to the overall story?

Sermon Part 2

As he enters Jerusalem, they throw a big parade and celebrate him as the great, wonderful leader of the people that they were looking for. The next day, Jesus goes to the temple, gets really angry, turns over all of the tables in the temple, and calls people names (yet without sinning). The power-elite of Israel look at each other and say, we need to get a handle on this guy….after all WHAT GIVES HIM THE RIGHT to do what he is doing? WHAT GIVES HIM THE RIGHT?

So, how does Jesus answer this question? How does this speak to us today? Why is there this story that is added to Jesus’ conversation with the religious leaders, and how does it relate to the overall scope of Jesus’ ministry?

They were also implicitly trying to tell him that he did not have the right qualifications to be a leader, to be a teacher, to be an “authority”. It was if they were saying, “Where is your degree? What school did you graduate from? What is on your resume that qualifies you to in any way keep US accountable?

And the questions they were asking were not entirely inappropriate in and of themselves, but their refusal to enter into an open, authentic dialogue with Jesus betrays their motives. Jesus turns the same question basically back on them, in a discussion of the ministry of John, and they show that they are more about popularity and being right all the time than they are about seeking what is true and real. They are not wanting to get real with Jesus. They are not wanting the straight stuff from the Master. They are just wanting to show everybody that they are right and Jesus is not.

And Jesus, in a conversation that shows his utter brilliance intellectually and displays the raw truth of what his ministry is all about, turns the tables on the scribes and the Pharisees just like he turned over the tables of the money changers the day before.


This morning, we only get a glimpse of the whole story, because it goes on for two more parables, a couple more arguments, that eventually get Jesus hung up on a cross. But even in the face of impending, utterly painful, and excruciating death he has the courage to tell us like it is. They ask Jesus, “Are you for real?” and Jesus’ answer seems to be ARE YOU WILLING TO BE REAL?

Our temptation, whether old or young, whether conservative or liberal, is to put up a picture of faith that looks good, that has all the answers, that in many ways has arrived. We try to fake authenticity.

Have you ever been to Joe’s Crab Shack? Have you ever been to one right after it opened? It is made to look like a “unique” and “authentic” local seafood dive complete with old beaten up wood that creaks and buckets to put salt and pepper shakers in cause they are too broke to have something nice. In fact, it is a mass-marketed chain and with specially trained engineering teams that travel all around the country building these things. And what is meant to appear broke down and simple is actually marketed, studied, tested, adapted in a way to pitch to you the story you want to hear, that is really untrue.

Or the whole stonewashed jeans thing. A lot of the jeans that are sold today are jeans that are made to look like someone has worked in them for a year. When they first came out I was a teenager, and my uncle told me he could take a decent new pair of jeans down to the river, lay them on a rock in direct sunlight at his fishing hole for a couple weeks, throw them in the washer three or four times with his workboots, and accomplish the same thing.

The same is true with our faith. At least that is what Jesus implies. There is a temptation to fake our way through our spiritual lives. To make our lives look religious or spiritual(which is the easy way out) instead of to live in the openness and vulnerability of a living, vibrant faith in a living, vibrant God.

We tend to ask JESUS, “ARE YOU FOR REAL?” and his response seems to come back at us “ARE YOU WILLING TO BE REAL?” And when we really hear that question, and that message, the INTERVENTION is the intervention of Jesus in our lives.

So, what do we see here in this confrontation short parable that Jesus tells us that gives us some practical handles on what it means to live our faith in a real authentic way?

Quite a bit actually! But I picked out few things to share with you that seem to stand out most clearly to me.

Sermon Part 3

First, and this seems fairly basic, we need to have to be willing to listen to God if we are going to do what he calls us to do.

You see, I have this theory, that from the Garden of Eden to this very day, that many of our problems come from a simple unwillingness to listen to God. God is speaking to us everywhere. The Scripture says he is not far from any one of us. Yet do we really have the willingness in our hearts to hear what he wants to say to us? Do we? Do we honestly seek out what he wants in our life, even when it is not what we want for ourselves? Or do we appropriate the idea of God to sanctify our personal desires and agendas for our lives? We need to start with taking time to really listen to Jesus.

The Pharisees did not have a heart ready to listen in this part of the Gospel. That is obvious. They wanted to shame Jesus and to trap him. They did not want to hear what God was saying through Him. Are we that different? Am I that different than the Pharisees sometimes? I am not sure.

We want God to be our cosmic codependent. We want him to be molded into our image and desires instead of vise versa.

What would it look like if we started in our individual lives by asking God, “What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to work? How do you want me to spend my money? Instead of simply asking God to bless what we want to do anyway…and getting angry when God does not help us get what WE want? If you are like me, you spend a lot of time doing a lot of things on your own power, running ahead of God, and wondering why you are out on an unfamiliar road and feeling all alone.

What would it look like if we started being more intentional as an entire church about listening to God and seeking his will? Maybe before we start a ministry we are intentional about trying to discern what God’s will is about that ministry. Maybe before we plan a budget, we plan a time of prayer. Maybe before we fill a staff position we pray about whether God wants us to fill that position or not. And not just “God helps us” and then doing what we want type of praying about it, but really seeking to know God’s will.

Maybe if we did that more we would see more possibilities opening up. But, the hard part about listening to God is that is not just about the process of discerning what God is saying to us. It is acting upon what we know God is saying to us in our lives.




And that leads me to the second thing that we can learn from this little snippet from Scripture. God asks us to jump into action, and not simply be satisfied with agreement. He asks us to go beyond simple agreement to action.

Faith is an action word. A verb. We tend to describe faith as a noun. My faith! Our faith! But God calls us to live by faith more than he calls us to describe faith.

The parable tells the story of two people. One heard God, argued with God, said he was not going to do what God asked, but then did it anyway. The other said, “Sure God, I will go out and work in the field.” But then he went to a baseball game or something, so that when God showed up at his field, it was the one that argued with him that was there, and the one who said he was going to be there was not.

Which, Jesus asks, has a living, authentic faith relationship? The one who gives lip service and lots of nice sounding talk to doing what Jesus asks, but never really intends on living what he says? Or the person who argues, and refuses at first only to join God in the work he asks of us to do?

The one who obeyed the people said. And they were right. Because an authentic commitment to the good news of Jesus requires a lot less talk, and a little more action.

When we come to God, asking for leading and direction, we need to follow and act upon what God asks us to do, even if it costs us something. Especially if it costs us something. Especially if it isn’t universally agreed on by everyone. Especially if it is challenging, and we feel there is no way we could get it done without God. Because it is when self-reliance comes to its end, that active faith begins.

Let me share a story of a group of people that did not heed that lesson.

READ THE GREAT FISH CONTROVERSY

We at First Baptist Church of Colorado Springs, are just a vulnerable as anyone to becoming just like the fisherman in an empty aquarium.

We need to not only agree that we need to go out into the world….we need to do it. We need to not only agree we need to seek God and listen to him no matter what the cost, we need to do it.
We need to not only agree that we need to have Jesus in our lives, we need take action to invite him in.
We need to not only agree with Jesus that the world is going downhill, we need to do everything in our power to make it better.
We need not only to agree that Jesus is the hope of the world, we need to bring that hope to people and places that need it. Starting with ourselves.
1st—We need to listen to God
2nd—We need to act and not just agree
3rd—We need to realize that real faith is not something we can ever have a handle on or arrive at. It is something we are constantly growing into and that is growing into us.

This is why the tax collectors and the whores were entering into the kingdom, while the Pharisees and scribes were at best fans and at worst simply critical observers of the kingdom. Tax collectors and whores, like the obiedient worker, were willing to grow and to change and to be made new by God. And they were going to keep growing and keep changing and keep being remade by God until the day they died.

God calls us to be the type of people who are constantly listening and actioning themselves into being people that are constantly growing and changing.

Or as Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen have put it, “In the spiritual life, we are everyday beginners.” We must constantly be living in a way in which we are expecting God to birth new life into our lives at any and every moment. We must live our lives together as a church with that same hope and anticipation. We are not to settle for simply being transformed, but continually transforming.

If our faith is living and active, we are constantly growing and changing. If our church is being inspired and driven by the Holy Spirit, we will be in a continual process of growth and change. And it will be more and more obvoious to ourselves and everyone around us that Jesus is a real force in our lives.

As I prepared this sermon, my mind kept going back to the wonderful, beautiful children’s story THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, and the story that it tells us about living an active, authentic, real faith journey.

The story starts out on XMAS morning, with a boy receiving a velveteen bunny. Well, he ends up in a toy room, bored and unused by his owner. He sees all the fancy toys, and all the airs they try and put on. They brag about what they have, or the way they were made, or the things they have done. And he feels discouraged until he talks to the skin horse, who tells the Velveteen Rabbit about becoming “real”. The skin horse teaches the Velveteen Rabbit, “real is not how you are made, it is something that happens to you.” The Velveteen Rabbit wonders, can a frumpy, old fashioned, shy toy like me be made real when there are all these other toys around that might be better candidates to be used?

But one day, the boy decides to use the rabbit like a teddy bear. And the rabbit, is drug every where. Not everything that happens to him is that pleasant. But he grows to love the boy.

The boy develops scarlet fever, and the rabbit is thrown into the woodpile to be burned. He is sad and hurt and frustrated and brokenhearted. He started to cry. And soon after that the toy fairy transformed him into a real rabbit, so that he was not only real to the boy, he was real to the whole world around him. HE WAS A REAL RABBIT.

We are a lot like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Like the rabbit we long for significance, value and purpose.

Like the rabbit listening to the skin horse, we need to listen to a call from God. And take what we hear into our hearts.

Like the rabbit desprately looking for every way to become real, we must actively choose to pursue that reality in the way we live.

Like the Velveteen rabbit, if our faith is going to be real to us, and appear real to others, we must constantly be seeking to be changed into something each and every day.

So that at the end of our days, we might have God come to us, and continue the transformation so that we may live fully, and never stop living.

We stand at a crossroads! Will we have the courage, humility, and to kneel before God, and surrender our lives to listening to God, working with God, and growing to be like our Heavenly Father, or will we simply stay where we are at, and watch God work through others and not us.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Top 8 Unconventionally Sexy Things a Woman Can Do

There are certain things that I find attractive that I dont think most men do. Or at least most women do not think men do. Here they are:

1.) When a woman occassionally uses a word that I do not know--this is hot because it means she is intelligent. And intelligence, for me, is a huge turn on.

2.) When a woman is can carry on an informed conversation about beer. Especially domestic beer.

3.) When an otherwise well-groomed and manicured woman can pull her hair back and get dirty and love it. Like when you are on a mission trip in Mexico and the gal takes on the "no shower challenge" to heart. Why? It means generally the woman is cares enough to look good and take care of herself, but that it is not the end all and be all of who she is.

4.) When a waitress calls me honey, sugar, and baby. I know she just wants a bigger tip, and guess what IT WORKS.

5.) Small acts of servanthood without fanfare. A person who gives of herself just because of who she is is a HUGE turn-on--and makes me think the person has definite long-term relationship potential.

6.) A woman who stands up for me sometimes. I know a lot of women see this as a non-negotiable in a man, but a woman giving a verbal tyrade in defense of her man is also pretty hot if you are that guy. As long as it does not happen to often.

7.) A woman who isn't afraid to eat a healthy amount in front of you. I hate it when you go out to eat, and all she orders is a salad. EAT A BURGER WOMAN! Ok, I dont really eat a lot of burgers anymore, but you know what I mean.

8.) A woman who knows something about car mechanics.

OF COURSE THERE ARE A LOT OF MORE CONVENTIONAL THINGS I FIND ATTRACTIVE AS WELL BUT...

Friday, September 23, 2005


My friar tuck collection to date, including the salt and pepper shakers Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 22, 2005


A picture about two or three miles from our retreat center in Westcliffe, CO Posted by Picasa

At the entrance to Horn Creek Conference and Retreat Center Posted by Picasa

Taize worship at Horn Creek Posted by Picasa

Our retreat leader Brad Berglund Posted by Picasa

The labrytnth at First Christian Church down the road Posted by Picasa

My most frequent lunch haunt, although it does not seem to work for me as well as that Jerrod guy! Posted by Picasa

Jose Muldoon's--the after church mexican and margarita place Posted by Picasa

The free downtown shuttle in Colorado Springs Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Slip Sliding Away

I am in a serious funk.

Here is my week:

Sunday: Meeting about our outreach driven worship service

Boss who says a month ago that we need to push hard, turn the screws, ramp up, and "go off the cliff" (interesting he uses a suicidal metaphor) with our second service acusses me in front of the worship committee which is overseeing our project that I am too critical of the first service (an understandable point within our committee as a whole), pushing too hard (he told me to push harder), not communicating enough about the project (he has told me not to communicate openly at times when I wanted to), and that "if you want your project to happen" then we will have to make it more of a outreach project (he suggested the project). He suggested that it appeared like I was trying to lead a splinter group away from the congregation. So, I feel like once again in my job I am working my a** off on things only to be left with my a** hanging in the wind the first time he has any criticism.
Boss suggests that any members of the launching team need to also attend traditional service so that we are not "bleeding off" the young blood and energy (the ones that we are bleeding off are about to leave anyway).

People on the planning team come away angry and threaten to leave church (again) that night. Don't want to "back door" the worship service as a gimmicky program when it has been meant to be a worship service. This may mean that if the group does not get its way, that I will lose my whole youth team and possibly my young adult program as well.

Monday:

Parent says she knows its my day off, but wants me to come to child's game and eat with family. Then she says "I dont know what you do all day...it doesnt seem like you have a lot of work" (as I am working at her house on my day off).

Tuesday:

I ask for bosses support on an issue where I am getting crunched to be involved in something that has been poorly communicated (less that two weeks notice for a major undertaking). He says that we are always a trustworthy and supporting staff to one another (did I mention that he just sideswipped me in a meeting where I was initiating a new ministry on his behalf?).

Hear that paternal grandmother has been diagnosed with anemia, congestive heart failure, luekemia, and pnemonia and has stopped eating.

Wednesday:

Grandmother dies. Dads voice cracks. To this day have never seen Dad break down and cry. This is about as close as it gets.

Have to redo a project after working at for two hours because of a computer error.

Learn after an exercise regimen of 180 minutes of exercise a week for a month I have gained 10 pounds. What the hell? I am trying to look good for the wedding I am going to with Amy in a couple of weeks, exercising like a madman....and I gain 10 pounds. Again, WHAT THE HELL?

Have people make me call them, cut out time in my day to help them move things, only to run all around the church and not find them and have them do it themselves without telling me.

Go to a cross-courtry meet of one of the youth. Get lost. Spend an hour and a half driving around the city trying to find the stupid place. I get there. Race is done.

The boss left me to preach, and I have no idea what the heck I am going to say and it is Wednesday already.

And to top it all I feel like a cloud has been enveloping me for the last month or so and I dont know why. Or I am slipping down a long dark hole in the ground and I dont know where it will stop. I think I am going to sleep in tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A quick joke

Bill Clinton and the Pope die on the same day. In an administative foul-up, the pope gets sent to Hell and Clinton gets sent to heaven.

The pope explains to the administrative department in hell, and the error is acknowledged. The explain to the Pope that it will take 24 hours to make the switch.

The next day the Pope is called in, the administrative department at hell bids the Pope fairwell, and he heads toward heaven.

About half way up toward heaven the Pope and Clinton run into each other. The Pope apologizes that the mix up has such a bad result for Bill, and Bill responds with his usual charasmatic grace.

The conversation continues like this:

Pope: Well, I am really excited about going to heaven!
Clinton: Why is that?
Pope: All my life I have wanted to meet the Virgin Mary.
Clinton: You are a day late....

Trying to find my sermon

I preach next Sunday.

I am trying to figure out what exactly to preach on...I have until...tomorrow to figure it out.

Here are the possibilities:

Ezekiel 37--Valley of Dry Bones
I would be pulling this one out from the collection of sermons past at other places. It is a really good sermon, but I am also thinking about the following....

Lectionary Texts
Exodus 19--Getting Water From a Rock
Psalm 78
Matt. 22--By What Authority and Parable of two sons?
Phil 2: 1-11

The advantages: Allowing the passages to be given to me instead of making the message about me or my agenda.

The disadvantages: These are downer passages, and I am already in a pretty down place in my life right now.

Also, this has the danger of having me share some of my anger and my hurt with the congregation about our life together, and the boss is all about being positive.

Anyway...your thoughts could be helpful.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Some quotes for today: Which do you like best, which do you like least

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.
Henry Ward Beecher

Faith makes all things possible... love makes all things easy.
Dwight L. Moody

Give me a man who says this one thing I do, and not those fifty things I dabble in.
Dwight L. Moody

A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
Billy Graham

When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.
John Bunyan

Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.
John Wesley

When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart.
John Wesley

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.
John Wesley

A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship.
Saint Francis de Sales

It is the mark of a mean, vulgar and ignoble spirit to dwell on the thought of food before meal times or worse to dwell on it afterwards, to discuss it and wallow in the remembered pleasures of every mouthful. Those whose minds dwell before dinner on the spit, and after on the dishes, are fit only to be scullions.
Saint Francis de Sales

There was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust.
Saint Francis de Sales

God will begin to prosper you, for money always follows righteousness.
Benny Hinn

When I drink, I think; and when I think, I drink.
Francois Rabelais

Katrina and the Looter Insurgency

The other night I was watching the news and I learned something very interesting! Many of the looters in New Orleans were not even in New Orleans. Gangs from Memphis, Dallas, and the like (learning from the Iraqi insurgency model in my opinion)loaded up their SUVs, got boats, and moved into New Orleans to systematically loot the city. Rival gangs were fighting each other at night etc while the police officers were not reporting to work because they were taking care of their families. When National Guard and millitary troops came in, they said that the gunfire and warfare at night was as chaotic as anything they had experienced in Bagdhad.

So many of those looters carrying off televisions that you saw might not have been from New Orleans after all, but gangsters attempting to load up SUVs and moving vans with things that they could steal and return home to sell on the street or the pawn shop. As FREAKONOMICS shows us, most adult gangsters live at home with their moma's. Lets hope this at least gets some of them out of the house.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

What is Your Theme Song

Your theme song is Boulavard of Broken Dreams by
Green Day. Maybe you feel you're alone in the
world or just want to be alone. Whatever it is,
it seems your best friend is your shadow.
Whether that's from past experiances or the
fear of future ones, the world may never know.


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What's Your Theme Song?
brought to you by Quizilla

If you were a dog, what kind of dog would you be?


discover your dog breed @ quiz meme

New Additions to my blogroll

There are two new additions to my blogroll.

One is Michele, who fell of the face of the earth for several months while moving. Now she and her family are in their new log cabin, and have a computer up and running again! This is great news, since their home was supposed to take a summer to build and has instead taken over 3 years. They had been living as a family of 5 in a small 2 bedroom apartment. She blogs her life as a homeschool teacher, a mother of 3, and being the wife of a fireman. Michele lives in the Springhill area of the Gallatin County, and was a youth leader and member of my church I served in Montana.

The other is Insomniac. Insomniac is a somewhat crude, sarcastic young man that blogs about his struggles and joys of faith. The crude, sarcastic and witty stuff is what makes his blog irresistable.He lives in Orlando, home of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Coming soon in this department...
THE BLOGS OF LEADERS I RESPECT

Friday, September 16, 2005

Blog buddy review Part 2

There are several people I have met in my blogging experience. Here are a few of them to read about and link to:

"Brotha Buck" aka Don Tate is a children's book illustrator from Austin TX. From my impression of him, he is a guy who is generally quiet, who uses his blog and his art to express himself. He can often be a little "un-PC", and I think he takes pride in that.

Brea is a young woman from somewhere on the East Coast--I am not sure where. She is gorgeous, smart, and sweet, and lately has been experiencing a little bit of a funk. She seems to be on the extended plan to get through school, and seems to have a lot of fun with her friends around town.

Heather is a business manager and a Lord of the Rings and video game fanatic. She lives in El Paso, TX. She is engaged to be married, struggles with asthma, and works with the youth at her Episcopalian church.

Kim is a painter/artist from Elgin, IL. She likes to talk a lot about the happenings at her church (Willow Creek Community Church). She generally seems like a conservative church girl, and then she surprises you by talking downing a can of MGD with Ramen noodles, or she gets into this big discussion about sex as the ultimate pain reliever. These diversions make me smile.

Raven is a woman who lives in suburban Denver. I originally ran into her through the legendary Citrus Critic blog--which I still miss terribly. She just moved in with her daughter in law, is a grandmother, and is a little bit ornery.

Januea and Robin are both friends of Sarah. They have a shared love for the musical group Cross-Canadian Ragweed, and seem to have a lot of fun with their weekends. Januea lives in Wheatridge, CO and Robin lives in Topeka,KS (poor thing).

Chiquita is a friend of my good buddy Dan's wife. She lives in the LA area. Her blog is about movies.

Cheryl is a worship minister in Florida. Have not seen her around in a while in blogland, and is about to get erased from my links.

MZ. Gig is Brotha Buck's momma, and she lives in Des Moines IA. I think she does social work type things with children and teens. She loves her family and her church (a small SDA church from what I can tell.)

Quotes from "No Perfect People Allowed"


"The longer I walk with Christ, the more I see the Pharisee in me" (p 73)
I try to read daily from a One Year Bible. My goal is not to read through it but to let it read through me, knowing that I can be decieved if I am not ruthlessly taking inventory before God. (74)
Speed of the leader, speed of the team (Lee Iacocca)(76)
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Thursday, September 15, 2005


This type of thinking just plain scares me! Posted by Picasa

An image of Christ appropriate for the season: TOUCHDOWN JESUS!!! Posted by Picasa

A new post

I have restarted the devotional stuff on the Bubba's Bible Blog today. You can check it out with the link at the bottom of the page.

Blog buddy review

Every once in a while I like to introduce you all to some of my friends in blog land.

I think I will start with people I have met:

Becca is a classy, super-intelligent friend of mine from Montana. She also seems to have a consistent case of vocational ADD. But, she has been doing youth ministry and planting a youth center in Bozeman for the last two years or so. She is also embarking on her Masters Degree at Bethel Seminary in Minneapolis--St Paul.

Tim is a first year professor at Bethel College in MSP (although he has taught at other colleges). He is also a very intelligent man as well, and shares a lot about what he thinks and what he reads. His blog also has a link to his story about Charlie Parker.

Amy is friend of mine from college. She is working on a Masters degree in cross-cultural communication. One of the most fun and playful people I have ever met, she contiunes to wow all of us with her zest for life (except when she is working on her Masters Thesis). Amy is also attending Bethel College in MSP, although Tim, his wife Nicole nor Becca have ever met Amy.

Sarah is Amy's little sister, and she lives in Denver. Sarah just tried out for American Idol--and she blogged all about it. She also talks a lot about her nights out with friends (like Brea). Sarah has got several of her friends into the blogging circut as well, but we will talk more about them later. Her OLDER sister Amy is still trying to figure out the proper use of the phrase OH SNAP! which is the title of Sarah's blog.

Traci was a student that I met through camps and youth gatherings for a number of years in Montana. She is now student teaching in her hometown of Roundup, MT and attending Sioux Falls University in South Dakota.

Emily is a high school student of mine that has made on entry on her blog on a day that she thought it was cool that I had one. She soon decided that the phone and instant messaging her girlfriends is much more interesting. She lives in the Springs, but her hometown with most of her extended family is in McPherson, KS.

The Bubba's Bible Blog is my irregular attempt at a devotional website.

Quotes from "Preaching Re-imagined"



In reference to the book Church as Theatre
"She explains how the theater become so powerful in many western culture that many churches began to utilize it as a metaphor and build their churches to allow for it. While this change in metaphor had a great impact on church architecture in the late 1800s...it had an even greater impact on the role of the pastor. The position of pastor changed from being a member of the community with a unique connection to God...to being a main player on a stage with the congregation as audience. This new metaphor changed the pastors relationship with the congregation in a myriad of ways....over time the issues with the pastor and parishoner was not How are we with the living God? BUT What do you have for me to hear?(60)

It seems to me that faith formation is one of those things that ought to happen in the company of friends. If someone is going to speak to the most essential and intimate parts of my life, it seems the persona ought to know who I am and vise-versa.(89)

Educational theory tells us that people really only learn out of frustration--the frustration that they don't know but need to, the frustration that life isn't working but there must be a better way. Frustration isn't a bad thing. It is a necessary thing. (101)

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Few Eugene Peterson Quotes

Without wonder we approach life as a self-help project. We employ techniques, we analyze gifts and potentialities, we set goals and asses progress. Spiritual formation is reduced to cosmetics.

If there is no Sabbath--no regular commanded not working, not talking--we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God's work is either forgotten or marginalized.

(Through Sabbath) Our souls are formed by what we cannot work up or take charge of: We respond and enter into what the resurrection of Jesus continues to do on the foundations of creation, our work, and workplace.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Few quotes from THE REBEL ANGELS by Robertson Davies

How many visions of eternity have been born of low blood sugar?

I was like a child who is given nothing but the most wholesome food, and my soul yearned for some unwholesome trash to somehow keep me in balance.

let my Sin be sin or it loses all its stature

Ignorance is like a rare exotic fruit, touch it and it has lost all its bloom (OSCAR WILDE)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The color quiz: do you think this is true?


Green



You are a very calm and contemplative person. Others are drawn to your peaceful, nurturing nature.




Find out your color at Quiz Me!


Thursday, September 08, 2005

No Perfect People Allowed



This is a book I have been wanting to get for a long time and just picked up recently. It is fascinating.
It is written by a former staff person at Willow Creek that is now at Gateway Community Church in Austin TX.
There are several sections on how the church deals with key issues that are hot buttons within the church, such as cohabitation, addiction, religious diversity, and much more. But at the center of this book, as hinted at by the title, is creating a COME AS YOU ARE culture.
This fascinates me. And I find it so true with me and the people that I meet. It is the type of culture that you create in churches that makes all the difference in those churches. Do I feel understood and accepted? Do I believe that the people around me are authentic and honest?
This book teaches leaders and churches to explore these issues. More to come.... Posted by Picasa

Is faith foundational or dynamic?



In his book, Doug Pagitt says....
"Are we above such a call to be willing to rethink what we blieve to be right and true when faced with the greater truth of God?" (p.59)

One of things that this book has gotten me thinking about whether we view faith as a static thing or as a dynamic thing. Let me explain.

This weekend I was at a church retreat on worship. And, I was one of the few token persons under 40 from our church that was there (half were given babysitting duties). And the speaker (Brad Berglund) talked about some basic qualities that are important for worship, and then experienced and discussed Taize worship and some of the things that are happening with the emergent church movement and postmodern culture. As he shared, people kept saying...where is the STANDARD? If you change how we do worship, aren't we getting away from the core of what our Christian faith is all about? These more contemporary churches are more about hanging out with their friends and eating bagels than the Bible.

I think this struggle of feeling that other worship forms and styles will "water down the faith" stems from a deeper theological struggle. I believe a lot of people think of the Christian faith as something that is static. Jesus set down the ideal and our job is to return and get back to that standard or ideal as much as possible. Some even try to adopt the cultural customs of the ancient near east to do this. Or they look back to a reformation as the unchanging measuring point of the Christian movement. And they say that we should live up to that standard. But Jesus said "I will send the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth..." and "you (plural you I believe) will do greater things than I have done." The strange thing is, I believe that if we tried to live our faith exactly the way the early church did, we would be unfaithful to the gospel call of Jesus on our lives.

Even in the early church, the church was moving forward. The Holy Spirit was coming on people in ACTS 2, and they were speaking in strange languages. God was calling Peter to bring the gospel to non-Jews (as Pagitt points out in his chapter on Cornelius). People were deciding that circumcision was unnecessary for people who followed Jesus. Paul was saying to people less than a generation "I say this not the Lord" in part because the Jesus movement was a explosive, dynamic movement that was forward looking and dealing with issues that Jesus never anticipated. I believe that God's Word gives us some ethical boundaries, and I believe it also gives us some clear truths about God and his will for our lives. But the narrative of Scripture encourages also to look forward, to look for new ways to communicate and express our faith. To struggle with new issues. To sing new songs. To be rewiring the connections of the Christian faith to be more accessable and authentic to a lost world. To be "pressing on toward...the call of Christ Jesus."

The standard is not the cultural form of the Reformation, or the early church even. The standard is the heart of Jesus. A heart for people to come into authentic relationship with their creator. A heart that calls us to love the world around us. A heart of compassion. A heart that is open to the ever moving, ever forward pushing spirit of God. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fave Videos

As I have been working out the last three days, I have taken to watching videos on MTV while I exercise. Here are a few of my faves and why...

On MTV 2--Ludicrous--Pimpin' all over the World
This is a fun song and video. It was filmed in South Africa, and has lots of picturesque scenery (of both kinds, but I was referring specifically to African landscape.) It has both a good beat and a good melody, which is becoming increasingly rare with a lot of rap that has gone the way of Busta Rhymes with his hicuppy, herky jerky style.

On CMT--Gretchen Wilson--All Jacked Up
Who can deny a video that has cameos by Larry the Cable Guy, Larry the Cable Guy in drag, Charlie Daniels and Kid Rock. And, oh yeah, Bocephus himself HANK WILLIAMS JR. This is definitely a honky tonk party song that probably could cross over as some sort of mellow southern rock on mainstream stations. The video is funny....and did I mention HANK WILLIAMS JR walks into the bar in the middle of the video.

On VH1--Jessica Simpson--These Boots are Made for Walkin'
Getting less airplay now, but still a fun video to watch. Especially if you are male and hetrosexual. But Willie Nelson showing up in this video adds a little to it as well.

On MTV--Gorillaz--Feel Good Inc.
In my mind, one of the most brilliant videos that I have seen artistically in a long time, although it will only make you curious as I tell you about it. It has this mix of Japanese Animation, Dali like dreamscape imagery, and in sections like scenes of people that resembles the Blair Witch projects. This fits well with the music in the video with has rock guitars, kind of a techno-bluesy hook, and a little rap as a bridge in sections. You need to watch this video.

Joke of the Day

Q. How many members of the Department of Homeland security does it take to screw in a light bulb.

A. We are not willing to comment on specific numbers at this time.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gender Differences and Listening

Girls can differentiate sounds and voices at a earlier rate than boys on average as newborns.

Mens ability to process and understand what is being said to them begins to diminish at 35, while women begin a slower rate of deterioration after menopause. By the time people are in their senior years, their rate of diminishment of listening ability begins to decline at equal rates.

Women begin to lose their ability to asses cues in tone in voices for a period of time after menopause. Thus the complaint of "She takes everything I say the wrong way."

Some gleanings from Why men remember and women never forget

Suprise, suprise: Scientists have figured out scientifically that people generally marry people who look like them (thus the myth that when people marry they start to look alike has been confirmed!)

While women look for men with qualities that show he will be a good provider and caretaker, men look for women that look "healthy". Thus, complexion is very high on male mate selection (the complexion thing honestly surprised me).

We are generally attracted to people who have different odor/pheremone types (like blood types) than our own. Immunity is coded into pheremones, thus we increase the immunities of future offspring.

Women are responsible for courtship initiation about 70% of the time, but generally with signals so subtle that the male gets credit for taking the initiative.

When someone is "in love", their serotonin levels dip to the level of an obsessive compulsive measures at, thus the ability to remember every detail about a night with a person you are smitten with.

Some scary stats from "The Unauthorized Guide to Sex and the Church"

GM now sells more porn than Larry Flint, because they own DIRECT TV and their customers buy nearly $200million year in PPV movies.

Sexually explicit web sites are the #1 reason that adults use the internet. One third of all site visits are to sexually explicit web sites (not that is not what I am doing right now)

0f 6,000 pastors who visited Rick Warren's web site and filled out a survey in the course of a month, 30 percent had visited pornographic web sites in the last 30 days.

Thirty percent of men who consider themselves to be very religious (of all faiths) have had an extramarital affair.

20 percent of pastors have had innappropriate contact or sexual relationships with while in the ministry according to a 1992 LEADERSHIP magazine survey.

Another interesting quote

Good judgement comes from bad experience, which often comes from bad judgement.

From the Quotable Soldier: Sun Tzu

Order or disorder depends on an organization; courage or cowardice depend on circumstances; strength or weakness on dispositions.

Therefore I say, "Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril."

When the strike of a hawk breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing.

Harpers Index

Chances that a US job has been created since 2001 in a housing related field: 2 in 5.

Consecutive years housing costs have fallen in Japan since the housing bubble burst:14

Percentage of Asian Americans whose primary news source is NOT English: 25
with Arab Americans: 60

Chance that a public school teacher is a man: 1 in 5

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Taking the dog for a walk

Ok...I do not have a dog. What I do have is a new computer(Mom got me EBAY certificates to buy it with for my birthday). Trying to figure out how it works and how I ended up without any DVD software for a DVD player and ended up without Microsoft Word has been a pain in the butt, but I have turned a corner since I got a DAY PASS with TMobile Wifi, and am surfing the net wirelessly.

It is amazing how having a new toy can lift your spirits. Now if I could just remember to bring my CD and headphones with me tomorrow......

Guess who?

Below is a series of quotes. See if you can guess what person said them all. And if you could share when you figured it all out that would be fun too!:

Evil is not driven out, but crowded out through the explosive power of good.

Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude.

The plea for unity is not a plea for uniformity. There must always be healthy debate.

When I took up the cross, I recognized its meaning...the cross is something that you bear and ultimately die on.

Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

Now the Judgement of God is upon us, and we must either learn to live together as brothers or we are going to parish together as fools.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I had a friend who often used to tease me by getting about 2 inches away from me at my most frustrated and tell me to "embrace the fuzz!" So funny!

The fuzz came from a story he had collected from his experiences as a chaplain in a mental institution. There was this one patient that would tear things apart whenever he got frustrated or angry with anything. Sometime it was a piece of paper. And at other times it was a piece of cloth. The young man would tear this piece of cloth or paper apart until it got to the point where it was nothing more than a miniscule piece of fuzz, thus he would call this behavior fuzzing.

Bruce's point was there comes a point where you cannot control or reign in or deal with the chaos anymore. All you have left is fuzz. And you have to choose to either embrace the chaos or to get really angry or to go crazy.

I am at an EMBRACE THE FUZZ moment in my life for the moment. I am feeling frustrated figuring anything out in my life. My house is a mess. My office is a mess. I am still trying to figure out what to teach this Sunday, as well as what I will be teaching this school year. I am going on a church retreat that I am dreading next weekend. I have had this strange combination of wanting to vomit and wanting to cry everyday this week when I go to work, and I do not know why. All I know is that I have this sense of dread and paranoia of impending doom anytime I walk in the door. La La La. Poor me.....but I am not meaning to have a pity party. I am trying to have a positive celebrative attitude, but it does not seem to be working very well. I just feel like I am in a funk...and I do not know why.

And all I can see in my mind's eye is Bruce saying "embrace the fuzz" and then having me over for a beer and maybe some horseshoes after a day of ministry. EMBRACE THE FUZZ!

Being Thankful

Today and for the last couple of days it has been a little easier not to take things for granted. I am thankful that my toilet flushes, I am thankful that I can take a shower, and I am thankful that I can have a stove to use and top RAMEN to eat. As footage rolls down in the Gulf Coast, I continue to thank God for being so good to me. Now if I can only find my cell phone.......

Friday, September 02, 2005

Some quotes for Today

About church....

"The truth of the matter is, there would be some churches that wouldn't grow if Moses was the pastor and Elijah was the educational director..."

About the culture, materialism and change....

"The old system was keeping up with the Joneses. The new system is keeping up with the Gateses."
Juliet B. Schor, professor of sociology at Boston College

About Jesus...
"In all my career I dont think I have ever faced such a daunting task. And there were moments I came near giving up. I prayed. I asked for guidance. I scrapped hundreds of pages."
Anne Rice, author of several vampire novels, on her latest writing project Christ is Lord--a first person account of Jesus' early life.