Friday, February 27, 2009

Jesus is my Friend.

The video you are about to see is one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen. Jesse showed me this last night at practice. It is better than the video Shawn posted a few months back where people were spinning their socks as a pudgy version of Sonic the Hedgehog led worship. This is without a doubt the kind of bad that might encourage the powers that be to start feeding Christians to the lions again.

Stylistically there is so much here to talk about.
1. Dude is playing a Steinberger bass. Steinberger is German for suck.
2. I love the matching outfits. I bet they went to a Southern Gospel Convention and some overweight dude in polyester told them that all they needed was one of the suits that he had on. So Sonseed went and bought 7 of them and threw away the jackets.
3. Sonseed. Finally a name that is worse than More Abundant.
4. Notice the back ground singers. You will see pre-gray Kenny Rogers and Chris Farley with a comb over. Nancy the church organist playing a Wal-Mart Casio keyboard and Cheech Marin on electric.
5. But you gotta love their enthusiasm.

Now digest the 3rd verse with me.

Once I tried to run, I tried to run and hide
But Jesus came and found me and touched me down inside
He is like a Mountie, He always gets his man
And He'll zap you any way he can. ZAP!!

Just think about that for a minute. What is the first word popping in your noggin right now? I have one. Scrumtrulescent.

I challenge anyone to find a video from anywhere that bad. You know why there aren't any videos like this put out by Islamists? Because someone would kill them. But wouldn't Mohammed is My Friend be really cool?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


As of this time tomorrow I might be the owner of a dog. Technically it will be the boys dog but I am under no illusions that they will take care of it. Certainly they will not clean up after it. A guy that I work with is giving a 6-week old black female lab. When he describes the dog it sounds a lot like the one I used to have. Her name was Nerd (because some people might find Retard a tad offensive). All I have ever wanted was a dog that would fetch. When I was a kid I had a doberman/hound mix that I got from the vet. She would not fetch. But she had mange on her feet that we could not get rid of. So there was sort of a trade off. Or not. But this will not be my dog. This will be the boys' dog. I think that all boys should have a dog. Any dog. Well except one of these.
There are all kinds of things that dogs can introduce boys to at an early age.
1. Responsibility.
2. The birds and the bees: "Hey dad, what is Spot doing with that other dog?"
3. Death. Either the sudden type: "Hey dad, why is Spot sleeping in the road?" Or the more natural type: Heart worms, tapeworms, parvo, anti-freeze.
4. Loyalty. The dog that I had when I was a kid would sit on the porch and wait for me to come home in the afternoons. We would play until it got dark. As I went through high school she would wait for me still. But I had outgrown her. This still makes me feel guilty. As I type this I think I might cry. And if these books/movies don't make you cry then there is a dark black hole where your soul should be.

Anyway, the boys might be getting a dog। They are a lot easier than making a little brother.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Dangling Carrot(top)

Here I am sitting at work. Discussion starts about getting a $7500.00 check from the government for being a 1st time home buyer as part of the stimulus package passsed last July. I think to myself, "Hey I'm a first time home buyer. I've done my part for the economy. I have not been like the rest of the sheep in our economy and quit spending because I have been told that the world is going to end. I bought a house. I should get some of that money." One of the girls that works here is putting new windows in her house. She closed May1, 2008.

But then I hear that the cutoff date to receive this money is April. I call Kara to see when we closed and suspecting the worst. I was rewarded for my pessimism with the call back that we had closed March 20, 2008. I started to get really bummed by the idea that we had missing out because we couldn't read the crystal ball and wait until April. Before I knew the cutoff time I really started feeling as if I had earned that money. "I bought a house even in these uncertain times. I am a hero!! I just want to know where the gold at." (If you get the chance do yourself a favor and go to YouTube and search for "Leprechaun in Mobile". You will see the dude above and he is awesome.)
And then it hit me.

I am a fiscal conservative that has ranted and raved about bailouts and stimulus packages and the latest that Premiere Obama has signed into law, the "porkulus package." I don't think that any good can come from the government being involved in the market. I don't think that the government should take over health care. I don't think that the government should pay for my children to go to college. I will vote for a guy (or gal) that will give me a list of ways that he is going to stay out of my life and my wallet. I don't need to be saved. You want to know about change I can believe in. Shrinking federal government and expanding personal responsibility and accountability.

All of the above I have said in public. I believe all of that crap. And I was getting angry because I was not getting money that I felt like I was entitled to. What did I do to deserve this money? I bought a house where my children could play in the back yard and would not have to live in a van down by the river.

Ah the dangling carrot of socialism. It is a pretty carrot. But who is dangling it? Why are they dangling it? It almost had me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stills and Stories

There is something to be said for experiencing an interesting childhood. I was at work and heard a story which had the following elements: Dad, brother, uncle, brand new single shot .410 shotgun, BB gun, hunting, and a whiskey still. Apparently the boys were to hunt turkeys while Dad and uncle checked on the still. Big brother took aim at a turkey, fired and blew his father’s hat off of his head. I am giving you the Cliff’s notes version of the story. What you are missing that I got was all of the inflection and “colorful” euphemisms and anecdotes common to areas where stills pock the hillsides still. I found myself thinking as this story was being told, “Man, I wish I had a story like that to tell.”
I don’t have any stories like that. It is probably a good thing in the grand scheme that I don’t but it did make me think of the stories I have.
There are things that my father taught me that I have not had much use for. Like a left jab that sets up a right hook or upper cut. He taught me basic maintenance on my car. This I use. But nothing to compare to shooting the hat off your father’s head whilst he is checking on a still. But I did learn things from my parents that are priceless.
My parents showed me a picture of God that endures to this day. They did not paint a picture of an old man on a throne that loves his children. I learned of a God that set everything in motion, galaxies to atoms, spinning exactly the way He intended they should spin. I realized that the God of the big picture is intimately involved in the details also. My dad painted me a picture of Jesus not limited to the flannel story boards of my childhood. For several years he would pick up hitchhikers and give them work and a place to stay. A couple of those guys stayed for a while and became a part of our family. They stayed until the demons that drove them to road in the first place drove them from our home. I wondered why we did this and my father said that you never knew when you were picking up an angel. Neat huh?
I heard about God at church with my grandmother. I began to get to know him under my parents teaching.
My oldest son, Billy, told me something profound the other day. The exchange went like this:
“Hey Dad.”
“Yes Bill.”
"God hears all our prayers.”
“God has awesome ears.”
It is doubtful that Billy will have any stories rivaling that related above. But I really hope that both Billy and James Robert get a picture from Kara and me that takes them into adulthood. I hope that the God they see in us is one that is 3 dimensional and real, not 2-D flannel board. These are the profound stories that speak of eternity.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Movies I Hate

I am getting old. Part of being old is I have opinions and have the uncontrollable urge to share them. not just any opinions but opinions about things that I do not like. I think that the older I get the more that my opinions matter. Why? Because I am paying into the social security trust fund knowing that it will not be there for me. That may not matter to any of you but it matters to me and I am old.

My friend Jamie likes to post about things that she likes. She does this weekly. You should read her blog ( Actually all of you that read this read hers but it makes me feel more important to write like I actually have an audience. I thought I might blog semi-regularly about things that I don't like. Or things that I am not currently enjoying. Feel free to agree (and be right) or disagree (and be wrong).

Anyway. Here are some movies that I hate.

Million Dollar Baby
Not that this is a bad movie. It is a great movie. It is just the most depressing thing I have ever watched. Ever. I watched it on HBO when Billy was really little and he was up late. He was asleep in my arms as the movie ended. I took him to his crib, put him down, looked at my son and cried for 30 minutes. I wondered if I would ever be happy again. When you finish a movie and wonder deep down if God might hate the world it is a movie that you can do without.

Mars Attacks.
Jack Nicholson. Annete Benning. Michael J. Fox. Sarah Jessica Parker. Danny DeVito. Jim Brown. Tim Burton directed it. How could this go wrong? I went to see this pile in the theatres and was angry that I stayed the whole time. That is 8 hours of my life I will never get back. Ever.

Dumb and Dumberer
When the only thing good you can say about a movie is, "Bob Saget is the funniest thing in it." then you have a craptacular movie. I needed this movie to be good. Or at least 1/2 as good as Dumb and Dumber (which is the greatest movie about friendship and Turbo-Lax ever produced by American cinema). This movie made me cry. Even looking at the poster I think of all the potential that movie had.

A Walk to Remember
There was about 5 minutes where the dude in the movie (I can't even remember his characters name. Shane West was really good on ER.) drives around in his Mustang and looks sad. No dialogue. Not even any screaming at God for the injustice that is his life. Just driving and being sad. None of the scenes in the movie are longer than the average music video. And the love of the girl changes the boy in the end of the movie. I would rather be hit in the face with a framing hammer than have to watch this again. I imagine it would be different if I were a teenage girl.

Little Women
I'm sure that this is the most important book that many of you have read. And I know that Joey had to put it in the fridge because it scared him so bad. But I hated this movie when I saw it. I was flying from Paris to Cincinnati. This was the only in-flight movie being shown. And it has Susan Sarandon in it overacting and being stupid. I don't think there has ever been a movie with her in it that I like. And it is not because of her politics either. Her husband shares those very same politics and he is in one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. And he was very good as Public Television News Anchor in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy. I really hate this movie.

The Piano
I watched this with my mother. This is the worst movie ever made as far as I am concerned. People got hurt in this movie and I liked it. The only regret for me is everybody lived. If they could have died within the first 10 minutes then I wouldn't have wasted that much time of my life. The people that made this movie should be put in jail.

So here is my list of movies that I hate. I hope that you disagree and let me know about it. I live for disagreement.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kissing Frogs

If I could go back in time as Valentine's Day rolls around I would do this one thing. Find the guy that wrote the fairy tale about the Princess that kissed the frog and turned him into a prince. I would find that guy and grab him by the ears and slam his face on his primitive writing table until I rendered him unconscious. Then I would burn all of his manuscripts. Then I would go and trade a large Scottish man a shotgun for his Claymore sword. Claymores don't kill people. Large Scottish men with Claymores kill people. I'm just saying. And this large Scottish-American man thinks the dude that wrote this story was wrong.

I work with students. I am a student minister. How good I'm am at it, well the jury is still out. But none of the students that have sat under my teaching are serial killers. At least not yet. But I see girls making the same mistake that the princess in the story was making when she put her lips on the frog. They keep going out with frogs thinking that the power of their love can turn him into the prince of their dreams. All they ever end up with is warts. Or worse.

I find myself wanting to scream seeing girls make the same mistakes that many of their mothers made. They married the freaking frog thinking that she could change him. This myth is perpetuated in one of the dumbest movies I have ever had the displeasure of watching, A Walk to Remember. I watched this movie at the house with my wife and several of the girls in out ministry at the time. Toward the end of this movie all of the girls were crying and I was praying that Jesus would come back and make this end. This girl was able to change this frog into a prince by the power of her love and still remain pure. Girls, this is the good news. The bad news is she had cancer and died right after they got married. Wicked trade off if you ask me.

Here is the fairy tale I would like to see invade the consciousness of every girl that calls herself a child of God. I get the sense from reading Genesis 2 that God had a plan for Adam when he made Eve for him. In one concise little story God instituted marriage and gave us all something to hope for. God made Eve for Adam. She came from him. This excited him when she first came on the scene enough that he uttered the most romantic line ever (not "Don't let go Rose." or "You had me at hello."). "This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." OK, maybe that has lost a little something in the translation. How about this. "This woman is as much a part of me as my heart and my soul." He was excited about what God had given him. He didn't have to go hunting her. He didn't have to play the game. Too many people bring the one that they want to God and present him. I believe that God would not go to all of the trouble of tailor making someone for you and leave it up to chance and the rules of the dating game to find that person. He brought Eve to Adam and Adam to Eve.

The moral of the story for girls to a large extent and guys to a lesser one. You cannot change a person. And if that person is the person that God made for you (and made you for) why would you want to change them?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One day you'll regret it...

Shawn recently posted a picture of himself that is embarrassing. For him anyway. It's funny to me. I wasn't embarrassed at all. He got me to thinking about all of the pictures that I have of me that are embarrassing. Here are a few.

Notice the disembodied head at the bottom. That is Shawn. And his mullet. 1993. That's me with suspenders and tennis shoes. This was the night that I asked Kara out for the first time. Well her brother actually asked her out for me. Uninvited. He's the ginger kid on the right. He's retarded.

That's me when I still had my figure and before I had kids. Kids are rough on the hips. I was kind of shapely. Oh for the days when I could be a size 10 again.

I was 15. This was the year book photo from my 9th grade year. They misspelt my name and had me in the 8th grade with Shawn. I seriously hated that place for a time.

Wondering what happened to this kid? Did he get bitten by a weird 3-fanged snake? Nope. He was running with a fork.

Mom. Just take the fork out. God would want you to take the fork out I'm sure. Here's a little PSA: Don't run with utensils. The next time it could be salad tongs.
I really hope that you enjoy these. I have a post ruminating in my noggin about Jesus. He's nice.