Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Another Friar Tuck Picture Posted by Picasa

A quote for today Posted by Picasa

Places I almost moved: listed and rated

Pueblo, CO
Marietta, OH
Philidelphia, PA
Spokane, WA
Flagstaff, AZ
Memphis, TN
Kirkland, WA
Fairbanks, AK
Rushville, IN

1. Marietta, OH--was offered an associate pastor position here.
2. Spokane, WA--almost went to Whitworth College, but not enough $. This was my #1 choice though.
3. Philidelphia, PA--job interview in suburbs was cancelled, but had the ticket. LOVED PHILLY.
4. Flagstaff, AZ--southern AZ is too dang hot, but love N. Arizona and S. Utah. When we moved to AK is was a toss up from what mom said between AK and Flagstaff.
5. Memphis, TN--was asked to candidate here after I accepted a call to Belgrade, MT. Always wondered what might have been.....
6. Pueblo, CO--Strangely enough for those who have been there, this town has a peculiar fond place in my heart.
7. Fairbanks, AK--Had two flirtations here as a college choice. Both times I chose to go to different schools. Also interviewed for a job here. They turned me down, and then called back a year later to offer me the job. The year after that they folded as a church. Phew! Glad I didnt go there. That and when I did pulpit supply there it was 0F and people were out jogging. They told me they closed down the church when it got under -35F.
8. Rushville, IN
9. Kirkland, WA--did not like the Tri-cities area at ALL. Job interview offered here.

Another idea for making money

I have decided that I might be able to make money organizing THIS (click link)


The place I have lived: Listed and ranked.

I have lived in the following places.

Homer, AK
Soldotna, AK
Ashland, OR
Roseburg, OR
Douglas County, OR
Deerfield, IL
Sterling, KS
Kansas City, KS
Peoria, IL
Powers Lake, ND
Stony River, AK
Colorado Springs, CO
Belgrade, MT

This is how I would rank these places from best to worst:

1. Homer, AK--one of my favorite places in the whole world.
2. Douglas County, OR--not Roseburg, but living out of town along the river
3. Belgrade, MT--loved the place, loved the community, needed to leave the job
4. Ashland, OR--Beautiful, gorgeous wonderful place
5. Kansas City, KS--my fave metro area I have lived in (over Chicago and Front Range)
6. Roseburg, OR--home sweet home--where I was born and was until 5th grade
7. Powers Lake, ND--a little too rural. Great in the summer, but would not want winter.
7. Soldotna, AK--Like it better visiting then when I lived there.
9. Deerfield, IL--had no car when I went to school in this wealthy IL suburb.
9. Colorado Springs, CO--nice size, not a friendly place so far. Grown too fast.
11. Stony River, AK--would be much higher if I had running water while living there.
12. Sterling, KS--went to school here. Did well. Never want to go back.
13. Peoria, IL--hot, sticky, trashy....with a whole lotta bad experiences.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I am so frustrated.

I have worked really hard to find a job lately. I have ended up with NOTHING.

I got turned down by TARGET. And BARNES AND NOBLE. And Bath and Body Works.
And the calandar KIOSK in the mall. I feel like a failure.

I have been looking for a second job to suppliment my income.

I have been weighing the options of why I am getting turned down. Here is what I have come up with so far.

a. I already have another job, and they want me committed to their schedule.

b. Lack of experience in the positions I am looking for.

c. They dont like me.

d. I am a reject and nobody would want me to work for them.

e. I am overeducated for the positions that they are wanting to fill.

Ughhh. I am a loser.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


One of the things that has always fascinated me is how different regions in America are so different.

The West is different from the Midwest which is different from the South which is different from the Rocky Mountain region which is different from the East Coast. And California is a whole different world unto itself. There are some slight differences in language, some definite differences in values and culture, there are variations in accent, and even in musical styles. As a matter of fact, all a person has to do is look at the last election to see this truth.

In my life I have visited every section of the country except for the Northeast (I consider Pennsylvania mid-atlantic). Here are some differences that I seemed to notice.

Have you ever noticed that California Rock has a whole different feel than Jersey Rock and Southern Rock? Not to mention the Seattle alternative music scene.

Have you ever heard people talk about East Coast vs. West Coast rap?

Lesser known, there is a lot of regionalism within country music. Texas country sounds different that Texas country and Western country.


Racial attitudes are much different in the midwest and the south than they are in the west.

Certain areas of the country are a lot more smoker friendly than others.

The West seems more focused on the individual and their rights, while the south and midwest seem to be more focused on conformity.

Anyway...that is a start to the observations.

What kinds of things do you notice?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Quotes from Timbered Choir by Wendell Berry

Once the mind is reduced to the brain, then it falls within the grasp of the machine.

The body in the invisible
Familiar room accepts the gift
Of sleep, and for a while is still;
Instead of will, it lives by drift

In the great night that gathers up
The earth and sky. Slackened, unbent,
unwanting without fear of hope,
the body rests beyond intent.

Sleep in the prayer the body prays,
Breathing in unthought faith the Breath
that through our worry-wearied days
Preserves our rest and is our truth.

(Sabbath poems, 1990, V)

The seed in in the ground
Now we may rest
while darkness does its work

(Sabbath poems, 1991, V)

Quotes from Eugene Peterson in Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

Living fully and well is at the heart of all serious spirituality. (29)

The fundamental inadequacy of codes of conduct for giving direction in how to live the spiritual life is that it puts us in charge....God is moved off the field of action and into the judges stand where he grades our performance (43)

The Spirit of God that moves over the waters "in the beginning" continues to move, continues to create (22)

We begin a journey by first deciding on a direction.

In my CD/Real Player

This is nice, mellow music for a Saturday Afternoon. I particularly like Bannana Pancakes.

Jack Johnson is a fun mix between Jimmy Buffett and Dave Matthews. Acoustic guitar and drums, with a strong emphasis on vocals.

Budget crisis

Had an interesting thing happen at work on Wednesday. I was told that I could spend no more money from my budget for the year. Argggh.

This is a difficult time for this to happen. Here is why: I feel my work is the least valued in whole place, even though it is one of the few places where we are growing in our church and where new life is happening.

For the year I have paced out my spending from my budget (which was reduced 20 percent last year)toward the end of the year. Thus, I am under budget for the year. The church has over 300,000 in various savings accounts, but somehow we are too broke for me to spend my budget.

This is frustrating because I was faithful to my budget. I planned my spending for the year, had spent time getting permission to buy something from a department line item. I had done everything right. I had stayed on budget. Yet somehow I was made to feel like our budget crisis was due to too much spending my budget, specifically the youth budget which is in total--1% of the total budget.

When told this I said, "So the youth group and I are being punished for being on budget when everyone else was over?"

I was told, "Well that will teach you to not blow all your money at the beginning of the year, won't it?"

At this point I wish that they would just tell me that I did a good job but they could not afford my services, and send me down the road.

It feels like I am always being taken for granted at this place. I feel like I keep doing the right thing and getting punished for it.

Poor me. I am going to go eat worms.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Last night I went to see the movie WALK THE LINE. I LOVED IT

I usually do not expect much from biopics, but since Johnny Cash is one of my favorite musicians I decided to give it a chance. It was a fantastic movie!

Obviously, I do not think Juaquin Pheonix and Johnny Cash have a spitting image resemblance. But much like Will Smith in Ali and Jamie Foxx in Ray, there are moments where the mannerisms and body language were so well studied that for a moment you swore you were looking at a young Johnny Cash for a moment.

The movie surprised me. Why? First, June and Johnny's son was an executive producer, and they were really upfront on the sourcing being fron Cash's autobiography and an an official biography.

Also, I thought the movie was very open about Cash's shortcomings. His philandering at times. His teetering on the edge of sanity at other times. His drug addiction. Yet the movie discussed all these without overemphasizing them or glorifying his negative behavior.

The portrayal of Cash was not perfect. I think Pheonix always comes across as a little mentally unstable in his movies. It is the case in this movie as well. At times it works for the part. But something is a little off at points. I guess I just think of Johnny as a little more of a man's man that Juaquin is capable of portraying at points.

Really, if one is honest, this movie is less about Johnny, and more about the power of June in Johnny's life.
I ran into some folks from church on an anniversary date that watched the movie at the same time, and they were moved to tears at several points in the movie. And as much as it pains me to say it, Reese Witherspoon has given a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. And, in many ways this movie is an odd romance as much as it is a strict biopic.

Other aspects of character development were intriguing. An interesting dynamic of the life of Johnny that the movie does an EXCELLENT JOB at picking up on is the effect of the death of his brother Jack had on Johnny's life. Also, WALK THE LINE did an excellent job of playing out the strained relationship between Johnny and his father.

I thought, however, that at points they conflated the story of Johnny's life a little too much. Especially in the phase where he was in recovery from his drug addiction, and the spiritual experience that led to that place.

All in all though, I would say it is the second best movie of the year.


A boring, somewhat poorly written account of my day

Today was/is a very active day.

I have been working toward getting a second job seasonally over the Christmas break. I think I may have a good lead working at a TARGET SUPERCENTER. It would be working the graveyard shift stocking. I am a little nervous, but we will see how it goes!

Then I went here for a meeting:

It was an interesting experience. I had always thought of it as some overpriced, yuppy enclave. It is just that. But it has free internet connection which is nice, and the food tasted better than I expected.

I had a meeting there about a few things. I talked a little bit with my ministry coach about my future. We spent the majority of the time talking about the mission trip we are planning to Gulfport, MS. We are Baptists, but are planning on partnering with a Methodist church. We are trying to help the area recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Then I went back to the office and worked on putting together speakers for our denominational camp for the summer. And I discovered Google Images, which I can tell is going to be a fantastic resource!!!

Now I have one more day this week to get all my regular stuff accomplished.

**Takes deep breathe**

Have a good day!

This is what I usually get told when I go to the doctor too! :) Posted by Picasa

Dilbert asks a good question Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 21, 2005

this will be me on Monday! Posted by Picasa

Another quote Posted by Picasa

I LOVE THIS PIC! Posted by Picasa

The Doctor's Visit and the Care of Souls

An interesting thing happened to me today.

I hate doctors. As a matter of fact, it had been long enough since I went that they made me fill out a whole new form at the doctor's office I went to (over a year). Generally, I try to be a "real man" and just tough out my pain. I don't like taking Asprin, Sudafed, or any over the counter "drugs". But my jaw, ear, and the glands below my jaw have been in progressively more pain. So much so I was getting a little grumpy (another thing I rarely admit when it happens). So, I found a PPO approved doctors office that was open on Sundays, and headed over to the doctor's office/
The place is not well staffed on the weekends. So, it took around 45 minutes to get in. I watched CNN.

Immediately there was good news. My higher number on my blood pressure was down in the 120s. In college and in the grocery store in Belgrade my blood pressure ran 160/110 at times. It is now down to 124/82--without ever using medication. So I was happy about that.

So, anyway, the doctor comes in and says hello. I tell him what is wrong and he says, "Maybe". He looks in my ear and says, "There might be a little ear infection there. Here is an antibiotic and get some Claratin D."

He never looked at me in the eye. He did not check out my throat to see if there might be issues there instead of my ear, which he did not seem to think had a major problem. He came in and out of my room in less than 2 minutes and sent me on my way. And I was angry.

I was angry because I think if I am going to pay for a doctor's appointment, the least I could get is a thorough examination of my ears, nose and throat. Especially when that is what I am complaining about. I felt like if I was his patient, I at least deserved his attention for a few moments. But I left feeling like I was not cared for, not listened to, and I wasn't even sure if I was understood. And, my ego was crushed. I had finally gotten the courage to go to a doctor about a pain that I considered fairly substantial, and he addressed my personal pain in a flippant and dismissing manner.

(Of course the doctor could have been interupted from his football game, fought with his wife as he walked out the door to work, or a million other things. And I tried to give him a break by keeping that in mind. However, I still come back to when I pay to come see a doctor it should be all ABOUT ME.)

After feeling sorry for myself for about 5 minutes, I began to reflect on how the doctor's job and mine were not all that different. How desperate and vulnerable does a person have to get with what is going on in their life and their soul before they get the courage to come and seek out a pastor for teaching or guidance? And, how do we treat those people who are in our care when they come to us as ministers? How many people have left an interaction with a minister like myself with much the same anger and irritation as I felt with that doctor?

Its something to think about and grow from!

Friday, November 18, 2005

This is a fun cartoon from Mike's blog, and it has a ring of truth to it.

Another interesting quote to ponder! Posted by Picasa

This weeks college picks

I was 10-5....much better than last week and I think I could have beat a coin this week! WOO HOO!

Oklahoma 6-3
Texas Tech #21 8-2

Texas Tech wins this one

Virginia Tech #7 8-1
Virginia 6-3

Virginia Tech wins this game!

Boston College #23 7-3
Maryland 5-4

Maryland wins this in an upset.

Kentucky 3-6
Georgia 7-2

Georgian wins and rolls into the SEC Championship

Ohio State #9 8-2
Michigan #17 7-3

Michigan wins this one at home, and dashes any OSU hopes for the BCS

Syracuse 1-8
Notre Dame #6 7-2

Once again OVERATED Notre Dame trounces a vastly inferior opponent.

Alabama #8 9-1
Auburn #11 8-2

Auburn takes this game as well.

Penn State #5 9-1
Michigan State 5-5

Penn State secures a conference championship and a BCS berth.

Oregon State 5-5
Oregon #10 9-1

Oregon wins in a game that is closer than most expect, and hopes others lose to make way for them to get an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.

Clemson 6-4
South Carolina #19 7-3

South Carolina wins this one, and Bowden JR gets fired soon after.

Georgia Tech 6-3
Miami (Fla.) #3 8-1

My dreams would come true if Chan Gailey could pull this one off, but it is not goig to happen, especially with the ethics stuff happening at GT.

LSU #4 8-1
Mississippi 3-6

LSU wins this one and waits to play Georgia in the SEC Championship

UAB 4-5
Texas-El Paso #24 8-1

UTEP wins convincingly here, and moves up in the polls.

Fresno State #16 8-1
Southern California #1

Fresno State makes it closer than most expect, but loses to the best team in the USA.

Montana v MSU

MSU wins, of course!!!!

7-11 Scruples or How I broke one of the Ten Commandments or Dumpster Diving with the Friar

This Friar keeps odd hours, and has a weak spot for slurpees. So a couple of times this week I have stopped in at 7-11 on my way home at around midnight.

The last couple of weeks there has been a new clerk on the night shift, and as usual I try to make small talk, ask about their kids, and all that. One night she was listening to Spanish-speaking rap that her son had made. But somehow this woman has taken a liking to me. And, if I wasn't confident enough in my unattractiveness I might even say she is attracted to me. (Dont get to excited out there you matchmakers, she is about 20 years my senior and missing a few teeth)

Anyway....lately she has been giving me free food when I come in. One night I came in and she was clearing the taquitos, and she offered me all that they had left. "Just don't tell my bosses or I will get fired," she said.

Now did I accept the taquitos? H*LL YES I DID. But, I felt guilty about it for a couple of hours afterward.

Last night the same thing happened. She was clearing the deli section of expired merchandise that she was going to have to throw away, and she asked me to just take all the sandwiches and hot pockets I wanted. Did I take this gift after recieving the taquitos a couple of nights before? H*LL YES I DID. As I left she was like, now this is between you and me. Then she smiled and winked. I said thanks and goodbye.

I keep wondering, is this stealing, or simply being resourceful? They are going to throw it all away anyhow!!

What would you do, and do you think I am stealing by taking something they are going to throw away anyhow with their employees permission?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Another quote for you from my file of stuff I have discovered Posted by Picasa

NFL Picks 11/20 and 11/21--10 wins 4 losses so far

Saints at Patriots
Patriots win this one and start a new winning streak.

Lions at Cowboys
Cowboys win this and stay atop their division

Dolphins at Browns
Browns win this one and show Romeo is making small strides with his team

Panthers at Bears
Bears win this one in an upset.

Buccaneers at Falcons
Falcons beat up the Bucs in this game.

Steelers at Ravens
Steelers continue to roll in this game, even without Big Ben.

Jaguars at Titans
Jags win this game and move closer to a playoff appearance as a wildcard.

Raiders at Redskins
Skins win this game running the ball.

Cardinals at Rams
Another risky pick for me. Cardinals upset St. Louis in a close game.

Eagles at Giants
Giants win and Eagles go way down to the basement of their division

Seahawks at 49ers
Seahawks win and Alexander has over 200 yards.

Bills at Chargers
Chargers win and keep pace with the Broncos

Jets at Broncos
As much as it pains me, Broncos will win this game.

Colts at Bengals
Going out on a limb here, but the Bengals are going to upset the Colts

Chiefs at Texans
Chiefs win by at least two touchdowns

Vikings at Packers
Packers get revenge and win this one in an upset.

As most of you that have read my blog very much know, I have been in the process of reading a book called PREACHING RE-IMAGINED by Doug Pagitt. Doug is a pastor in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. He pastors a church called Solomon's Porch, which is on the forefront of the emerging church conversation.

In what is now his first book, Pagitt calls us to reimagine what it is like to do life together as a Church. In this book he takes on worship, and more specifically how preaching needs to be rethought. In his book he labels the predominant model of preaching "speaching" and the model he advocates moving toward as "progressional dialogue".

The book begins with longer chapters than lay out Pagitt's overarching vision of where preaching has been and where it is going. Then, he moves on to shorter, more specific chapters advocating his position, and describing in broad strokes how to implement this different model of preaching into a worship setting.

Specifically, as I said, Pagitt advocates a mode of preaching called "progressional dialogue". In this model, he intentionally brings in the congregation on the preparation of the message, and invites them into the preaching event itself.

As Pagitt challenges the "speaching model" he makes his reader think about a lot of very important theological questions. Do we believe in the Holy Spirit enough to believe that he can speak through someone besides the pastor in the preaching experience? Do we see the pastor as leading as an equipper and servant (as Pagitt advocates) or do we see the pastor as a mouthpiece for God and a dictator?

He also asks more missional questions such as "Doesn't the way we do preaching and church just seem weird if you have not grown up with it?" Isn't dialogue a more effective and real life way of reaching people for Christ than trying to bend them to the preacher's will?

Pagitt also entertains questions about the nature of communication. How does the use of a large sound system and a raised platform effect the dynamics of worship?

Doug challenges us with a lot of ideas to think about. But if that is all you get out of the book you miss the point. This book is bigger than a technique. It is about returning to Biblical convictions like trusting God, trusting and loving people, expecting each person to be ministers in a congregation, and trusting the Holy Spirit to work in them as well just the minister.

I strongly recommend any pastor who does not feel like worship and preaching in most of our churches in working to read this. Or any person who is simply trying to make sense of church in our day.
 Posted by Picasa

Just for you newcomers, did you know Friar Tuck Clothiers are one of the nations leaders in clergy wear? Posted by Picasa

Howard Thurman and Jesus and the Disinherited

Howard Thurman wrote the book Jesus and the Disinherited in 1949, just as the soldiers were settling back into life after World War II. It was a groundbreaking book that I cannot do complete justice to, but I will attempt to summarize.

Thurman's primary premise is that Jesus spoke the gospel to "people with their backs against the wall." He goes on that too often we assume that we are reading the Bible just as it is, but we can easily read it from a position of power and dominance in the world, and when we do such we miss the primary message of the gospels.

Thurman goes on to talk about how Jesus taught people that are being put down, oppressed, or at the end of their rope to deal with their life situation. In the book he chronicles three temptations and how the gospel teaches how to deal with them. Specifically, these are the teachings that speak to people who may be a minority or in some other way oppressed. Basically what he says is that when we get concerned with surviving at any cost we become less human, and the oppressive situation not only hurts our pocketbook but our hearts.

There are three controllers are:

and Hate.

Fear robs us of our dignity
Deception robs us of our integrity
Hate robs us of our our joy.

We overcome fear when we claim our place as the King's children, and live in the confidence of who God made us to be.

We overcome deception by choosing to be so honest and forthright that our sincerity becomes disarming to those near us.

We overcome hate by choosing love and the passion for the good.

Like I said, I do not do the greatest job explaining it, but I recommend this short book to anyone and everyone who wants to see their faith in a new way. And anyone who wants to reconcile spirituality and an active faith while following Jesus.
 Posted by Picasa

I've been tagged by Becca

Currently Eating: nothing. I am at work.

What do I dream of?
To live a life of unconventional beauty in worship of Jesus

get rich
get married and have sex (hopefully in that order)
have children
be skinny
be out of debt

What is a pain in my neck?
Bills. I hate bills. Especially when I want to buy nice XMAS presents.

What makes me grind my teeth?
When people try and bully me.

What makes my heart beat?
When I feel I like I have made a real difference in someone's life.


Where can I work hand-in-hand with others?

When we share the same purpose and vision.

What makes my stomach hurt?


What makes my knees buckle?

A well timed compliment.

An unexpected blessing or miracle.

A sexy woman that has a thing for me (although that does not happen very often)

What is my foundation?
My faith.

Living passionately.

Thinking deeply.

Loving self-sacrificially.

Thinking futuristically.

This is the passage that our CHOW (Young Adult) Bible Study was on last week. Posted by Picasa

This is a challenging thought, but I think it is true in many ways. Posted by Picasa


Saying What Needs to be Said, But Should Go Without Saying           Racism is wrong. Violence based on racial prejudice is wrong. Christi...