Workers block?

So this is what writers block feels like.

Since last monday, I have worked 9 days straight. And not just 8 hour days mind you, I'm talking 10-16 hour days. That's a long time. I've worked over 110 hours since last monday. For my foreign friends, that means working on a holiday that everyone else and their mother get's off. But not me.

All that has left me with this....I have nothing to say.

Maybe I'm too tired. Maybe I'm just not creative and ten blogs was about my limit. Who knows?

I know this. When I work this much, I'm no good. I fight with my wife because I'm pissy. I completely neglect my walk with God. I don't stay in touch with friends and I eat shabbily.

So, no more workey. Need sleepy. Need fluff pillow.


The Christian Code...

Last night my wife and I went to one of our favorite places for dinner: Chipotle! I love their burrito bol. Yum Yum. Anywho, the one we went to is right in front of Sunset Station, a local casino here in Vegas. This casino houses one of the many movie theaters showing "The DaVinci Code." (I feel like there should be music going "duh duh duh" in a dark and sinister way...) When we were parking the car, we noticed some people standing on the corner protesting. They were saying what we all probably expect them to be saying. "The Davinci Code mocks Jesus." "The Davinci Code dishoners my Savior."

At first I had my normal reaction anytime I see Christians protesting. "Get a life," I thought. "Quit giving Christians a bad name."

But the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. I'm not sure why, but I think I can narrow it down to one of two things.

First, is the aforementioned reason above. Something about Christians crying out against culture bothers me. I guess the way I look at it is this: I have a dog named Athena. She is a 2 year old boxer. Boxers are a very hyper breed. Every single time I let her in when I get home from work, it's like she hasn't seen me in years. She is so excited and runs and runs and runs untill she just collapses from exhaustion. I love our little routine. Dogs are great because you can train them. Athena's not the brightest of the bunch, so she takes a little patience, but she's getting there. The other night, I heard her barking at the door. Usually this means she wants out, but as I rounded the corner to head to the door, a funky odor came over me. I knew immediately this would be bad for me. Sure enough, a fresh, steamy pile of dookie lay under the pool table. Of course I was mad. Of course I told her she was a bad dog, but inside it didn't really bother me that much. Why you ask? Well, because she is a dog. I mean, it's not like my best friend came over and dropped some heat under my pool table. More than likely she pawed at the door and I just didn't hear her. My point is this. Most of the world is lost. What do we really expect? Do we really expect them to care if the movie, "dishonors our Lord"? Sometimes a dog poops in the house. Sometimes the world doesn't get theology quite right. Not a reason to protest in my opinion.

On the other hand, something about seeing them take a stand for Jesus is kind of motivating. When was the last time I did something that blatenly said, "I stand for Jesus and everything he says and even if it makes me look like a fool, I am willing to do it for him." Let me see......yeah, a long, long time. Something about the word 'dishonor' really got me. I like people who hold Jesus in a high regard. I remember one time going to an episcapalean service (I know I butchered that one, but bear with me okay?). I just remember being blown away by the amount of reverance they had for God. When they started the service, these altar boys carried in these giant banners the praised God. I thought, "now this is cool." What these people were saying was, "this hurts me to see God thought any less than what he is." And really, how do I argue with that?

I can't really say I've come to a conclusion on anything. I don't expect the world to understand us or our Jesus. But I find myself also longing to be in that picket line holding a sign that says, "I dishonor my Savior."


A Time is Coming...

"Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold."

"When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!"

I grew up singing this song. It's a good song. We used to sing it A LOT. But I think it all to often reflects the total mindset of Christians.

Here's what I mean. When Christ was on this earth, he seemed to press a lot about the kingdom of God. And he didn't always say it as what was to come. As a matter of fact, he said it like it was already here. When the woman at the well asked about where to worship, he said, "A time is coming, and has now come..." I don't think Jesus meant for us to wait till he returns to be a part of his kingdom. I think he was more concerned about what was going on right now.

I'm not making any huge theological points here. There's no grand secret to anything I am saying. I just think too often we think that there will be a day when we have a victory. There will be a day when we finally get to see Jesus.

I think that time is coming and has now come.

If we wait until Armageddon to see Jesus then maybe we're still blind.

If we wait till judgement day to claim our victory, then maybe we've already lost.


The Bride...

A friend and I have been carrying on a conversation on my Myspace page about the church. It seems to me that there is a growing number of people who are dissatisfied with the current situation of the church...at least here in America. It isn't limited to young people either. I've had conversations with people in their 50's who have been Christians for years. The disappointment in what she has become is spread far and wide. I think that's why so many people are willing to do church plants. But sooner or later, it seems even they turn into the same old same old. In his last email, my friend asked me what the church would look like if I could start from scratch. I find this interesting because that's pretty much the situation I find myself in. But, even in my perfect world, there is a difference between desire and reality. So, I won't go over where we are, but more where I would like to be.

First, the thought of a church conjures up images of community. I was talking with my Dad earlier this year about the church and I asked him why the church doesn't look like it did in early Acts. I was talking about the whole selling of possesions and sharing everything. He said that they did that out of necessity. That it had to be their way of life to survive. I like the thought of that. That it becomes a way of life, living in the church. A way of survival. So much so, that if we don't, somehow the essential message of Jesus will be lost. This is always a tough sell though, because the more growth that occurs the less community seems to happen. How do we balance this? I don't know.

Second, the thought of church conjures up ancient rituals. Baptism, candles, chants, scripture memorization, prayers, incense, meditation, and communion. I like the thought of connecting with Christ the same way some of it's early fouders did. If this is what they did only centries after he left, why can't we use them milliniums later? I'm not even opposed to some of that stuff that has been in the news lately. There's a secret (oooh, doesn't that sound appealing?) organization called 'Opus Dei'. The Davinci Code paints these people as the keeper of the secret of Christ's bloodline. But the cool part is, they really do exist. Basically, they use pain as a way of connecting with God. They wear this bob-wire type of bracelet around their thigh for a couple of hours a day. They use a cat-o'-nine-tails type whip to help them in their meditation. Now, most use this one made of yarn and other harmless materials, but the founder of the sect used a much more realistic one that would make him bleed EVERYTIME! Crazy!

Thirdly, the thought of church makes me want to give, both monitarily and personally. I think of encouraging Christians in Muslim countries. I think of inviting homeless people into our home. I think of people who realize that this world is temporary, and so are their possesions. This is one I struggle with a lot. We live so comfortable. We give 10% to the church, and we still have plenty. It would be hard for me to give that up. Really, really hard. I think of the rich young ruler. We always assume that he couldn't do it. I like to think he did. I like to think he struggled with it. That the look on Jesus's face was burned into his psyche until he couldn't help it. Maybe it wasn't till years and years later, when death was approaching and he looked over his land with tears in his eyes and knew he had missed out on so much that the Lord was wanting to do for him.

D, the thought of church reminds me of worship. I know, I know, there are all different ways to worship. But it seems from the Israelites to the early Church, corporate worship was a big part of what they did. What if we took the phrase, "everything I do for God is worship" and made it, "worship is everything." What if maybe one week there wasn't a sermon. But the worship was the sermon. I dont know, but I know that I have been starved for worship ever since I left the mainstream church and I miss it deeply.

The church should also be a place of confession. Yes, confession. Maybe this falls into the ancient stuff or not, I don't know, but I know it's needed. I think one of the biggest ways Satan binds us is with the thought of being judged. You know what? We need to be judged. We need to have someone else who is imperfect look into our lives and help us clean it up. I know I recently went through something like this, and while it scared me to death, when it was all said and done, it was one of the best experiences of my life. To be able to say to others, I SIN, and know that they love you and want to help restore your walk with God, well, that's the church.

These are just a few of my ideas, but I wanted to get this post out because it has been gnawing inside of me.


Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness...

I just read an incredible article about Christian music. Sorry if this offends anyone...


the best of Myspace...

A couple of months ago, I posted my first blog on my Myspace page. I thought to be complete that I would bring it over here. So, enjoy...

I just had a really interesting weekend. Two of my uncles came into town. I love those guys. They are so funny. We had a great time playing golf, watching movies, seeing the sights, and of course, playing poker. A couple of months ago, I had a chance to go back home to see the Colts play the Steelers in Indy. While I was there, we took the time time to go see my Mamaw and Papaw. My Mamaw was all upset about a letter that she had recieved from one of her sons. Basically, the letter said how he rejected everything he had been taught about God and Christ and that it was just impossible for him to believe it anymore. Well, the son that wrote that letter was one of my uncles in town visiting. I had been looking forward for them coming to visit for many reasons, but one of which was hoping for the chance to get into a discussion with Him about what he believes. He basically said that he believes there is a God, but that God doesn't care about us. He created us, and now, he's left us alone. We had a great conversation. I really enjoy talking with people who are more intelligent than myself, and this was no exception. He really made me think. One of the things he said was, "if you were born in the middle of Iran, would you be a Christian?" I just think it's a really good point. I wonder how many of us believe what we believe just because it's what's popular. Just because we were born in America. That bothers me. I told him that even if the God who created us doesn't care about us, that he deserves our worship just for creating us. That he deserves to have our lives just because of who he is. Then I think we got to the real issue for both of us. I said how I was tired of churches saying they care about people, but really meaning that they care about people's money. I told him I couldn't justify working at a church and getting paid. I said that I think Jesus cared a lot more for the poor and elderly and outcasts and rebels and homeless and diseased then we do. He said if I really believed that, then I wouldn't be building houses in las vegas. WHAMMY!!! Problem is, he's right. So the question is: Do I really believe that or not? Or maybe: Do I believe that, but decide that my life is more important than giving it to Jesus? Either way, I'm not sure that I like the answer I arrive at. This really puts baggage on my soul. Baggage for a destination unknown.

May Day...

I'm not sure how I feel, really. It started with a sleepover I was at on Saturday. Well, it wasn't supposed to be a sleepover, but it sure seemed like one. We just finished our six mile walk where I feel like we raised a lot of publicity for the cause. Then we all gathered in the back parking lot of a church and wrote letters to our senators and the president. All fine and dandy. But listening to some of the conversations made me feel strange about a lot of things. First of all, almost everyone there was trashing the President about the war in Iraq. Now, of course, no one likes war. No one is really happy about the fact that we have young men and women dying daily. But, you know what, when the war started, I was all for it. So I don't feel like I have the right to all of the sudden change my position. As an American, I don't think I have the luxury. But of course, we were there to raise awareness about the situation in Uganda. So what do these people think were going ot happen? We were going to send a peace delegation to Uganda hoping the LRA will just lay down their arms because we are the U.S.? If the war is going to end in Uganda, it will take bloodshed. Some of theirs, some of ours. No one wants that, but some evils are better than others. That's how Rwanda ended. When one side won. It's not pretty. It's reality. And so today, thousands of illegal and legal aliens are on the march. And thousands and thousands of retarded bigots will scream "GO HOME MEXICANS!" then return to their home which was built by...yeah, you guessed it. This is our world people! Things are just going to change because we want them to. Because we do a march or because we write a letter. Get involved or shut up. I almost feel worse for going on the walk and sleepover then if I hadn't. I feel like I've associated with a bunch of whiners and feel goodies who think that we actually made a difference. No, the three guys who went to Uganda made a difference. Why? Because the sacrifice they made was real. But I simply have a sore back from the concrete. I know this is all a bunch of rambling, but what are we to do? How are we to feel? The reality is, our would is a messy place and we've been living with butlers and maids for too long that have been wiping our asses and telling us what good looking ones they are at that until we became too fat to move or care about anything but ourselves and where we were getting our next meal.

And I'm one of them.