Yo, Adrianne...

I just got back from a guys night out. We had dinner at Outback and then went to see the new "Rocky Balboa" movie. I loved it. Of course the story was awful and the cinematography was worse, but hey, it's Rocky!

As I was driving home listening to a little "Eye of the Tiger" on the ol' Ipod, I was punching the air imagining myself in the ring. Yes, sometimes I am still eight years old. Okay, most of the time I am still eight years old. Just ask my wife! =)

In the process of my montage, I was reminded of an event that occured when I was younger. I was probably eight or nine years old at the time. We were all riding in the car when out of nowhere some jerk cuts my dad off. My dad lays on the horn behind the guy. Well, the guy slams on his brakes trying to get my dad to hit him from behind. After a couple of scary moments we end up beside this guy at a stop light. My mom is kind of freaking out at this moment and begging my dad just to forget it. Well, my dad turns and looks at this guy and sorta pumps his fist as if to say, "Bring it on buddy."

I remember afterwards my mom talking to us and telling us that my dad was sorry and that acting that way isn't very christianlike. She was probably right. But all I could remember was, "My dad is the toughest guy in the world!"

They say that the way you picture God has a lot to do with the way you view your Dad. My dad was (and is still) a very concrete guy. He knows what he believes and why and isn't afraid to tell you so. You always know where you stand with him. When we were kids and we got in trouble, we knew it was only a matter of time before we'd be in front of the ultimate judge and his leather judgements. Projecting this view on God can be scary when you're in trouble, but it's extremely comforting when you're scared.

In this Christmas season, it's easy only to think of Jesus as this little helpless baby that apparently didn't cry when he was born. But I kind of like to think God was a little pissed at the fact that his people were being so led astray that he just couldn't take it anymore and finally looked and satan and pumped his fists and said, "Bring it on buddy!"


Jesus was born and so we give presents...

I love Christmas time. I love the music and the decorations and the church services. I love the cold and the presents and the traveling. I love Christmas. If nothing else I love that there is no other reason to celebrate Christmas then Jesus' birth. I know the 'liberals' have turned into "Happy Holidays" and "Winter Break" for the kids, but December 25th is still recognized as Christmas and the reason for all the holiday madness.

Like I mentioned, I love the Christmas music. My favorite is a song called, "O Holy Night." It was written by a frenchman named Cappeau who was a winemaker. His priest asked him to write a Christmas poem to be read at their Christmas mass. He wrote the poem on a journey to Paris. In Paris, he met up with a friend of a friend named Adolphe Adam. About this time Adam was hot stuff because of an opera he had written the year before. Long story short, Cappeau put it to Adam's music and a masterpiece was finished. Later on, the song would be banned from some church's because of Cappeau's un-Christian views. Cappeau was anti-slavery and anti-social in-justice. Imagine that.

Anywho, I thought I would post the lyrics and a video of Eric Cartmand singing it. Just because I like it.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend!
He knows our need—to our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!
Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!


I've Got A River Of Life...

Have you ever had moments where you were refreshed? Like the kind of refreshed after a good nights sleep, where you get to sleep until you just wake up. I'm having one of those days today. Well, technically, it started yesterday.

I was on my way home and I had just unpacked my ipod from it's hiding place inside my workout bag. Yeah, it had been awhile since I'd seen it. Anywho, I was flipping through the artists and came across a band I hadn't listened to in forty years. Smalltown Poets. I used to love those guys. Clickwheeled it to "Prophet, Priest and King." I would like to share a bit of this song...

"If I indeed am misperceived by some heads of state.
Hey, that's great
'Cause I talk to a prophet who tells me the truth
And I dine with a king at my home in Duluth
Better yet I'm in touch with a much needed friend
Who hears my confessions and pardons my sin

But my closet's a shrine to an old friend of mine
Here I talk all the time with a prophet, priest...
I pull out boxes and brooms and I gush like a groom
For it's here I commune with a prophet, priest and king

For awhile I had forgotten about the gift of prayer. Not that I never prayed, but most of the time it was in passing or in traffic (Dear God, smite this bad driver and the piece of crap he is driving. Amen.). You know the kind, when you just kind of think of stuff and you say, "Yeah God, do that okay?" I used to think that this was okay, that as long as I 'thought' about God at some point during the day I was okay, or I had filled my quota for the day. But the more I thought about it, I thought of Jesus. Here is the Son of God, the most connected human ever to God, and even he had to go away and be by himself for hours and hours at a time to be right with his Father.


But then I realized it made sense. Jesus isn't so concerned about the end product, or the result of our prayer like we are. We say, "Oh be with them cause they have cancer, amen." Now, whether he decides to heal them or not isn't really the point. He wants to struggle with us. Cry with us. Rejoice with us. And the only way for that to happen is for us to choose to spend time with him.

It's uncomfortable at first because he usually airs the dirty laundry first. Yeah, that sucks. But isn't always the best when you slide into bed on those nice clean sheets that are still warm from the dryer? Well, the only way to get there is the laundry room.

So today, feeling all refreshed I went on the internet in search of new adventures. Came across this site of a church that seems to be living my dream. First of all, I think they have the best name for a church website that I could ever dream of: http://www.churchinabrewery.com Check them out, especially the two blogs about rethinking church and rethinking life. Good stuff. God is good!


Beau Red...

Have you ever had nothing to do? I mean nothing. Not a time when you were putting something off. Not a time when you were waiting in anticipation for an event to occur and it was just the calm before the storm. Just nothing.

My job site has slowed down quite considerably. We only have one house left to build. There is three of us and I'm the boss, so whenever something actually needs to get done, I have my choice of lackeys to acomplish this task. Well, this all leads, of course, to my task list being quite short. Whenever life is overwhelming, you seem to long for these moments. But now that these moments last forever, I just wish they'd go away for a bit.

The worst thing is, when you have nothing to do, your brain actually stops working. I've gone on some other blogs and tried to leave witty and insightful comments, but most of the time they just make me look like an ass. Have you ever wanted to be the funny one in the room, but in the end, just end up looking like pauly shore? Yeah, that's me.

I wish there was some great spiritual or moral insightfulness I could leave. "Idle hands are the devil's...something or other. I could look it up and actually get the quote right, but that might actually give me something to do. And in keeping with the spirit of this post...


Just how...

Just how much am I willing to give?

Just how far am I willing to go?

Just how deep will you take me?

Is it so far, I'll have to let go?

Just how wide will your love be?

Just how long will it last?

Just how much abuse will you take?

Before justice comes to pass?

Just how much will I trust you?

Just how long down this road?

Just how far from your borders?

Just far must I go?

I don't think I can do this.

If you aren't a part of it.

I was hurt so much the first time.

I was hurt and it bled.

But now the bleeding is over.

And my wounds are almost healed.

And the scar is left to remind me.

It's in your blood I am sealed.

Just how can you love me this much?


Really? This is the mentality of my country?

A friend (who is a proud republican) recently sent me this email. I'm sure he was serious.

"A lady wrote the best letter in the Editorials in ages!! It explains things better than all the baloney you hear on TV.

Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration. Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely. Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests.

Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave. But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors; I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hardworking and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

According to the protesters, not only must you let me stay, you must add me to your family's insurance plan, educate my kids, and provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do your yard work because he too is hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my right to be there.

It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm hardworking and honest, um, except for well, you know.

And what a deal it is for me! I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of selfishness, prejudice and being an anti-housebreaker. Oh yeah, and I want you to learn my language so you can communicate with me.

Why can't people see how ridiculous this is?!

Only in America ....if you agree, pass it on (in English). Share it if you see the value of it as a good simile. If not blow it off along with your future Social Security funds.

Are you able to read this? If so, thank a Teacher. And since it's in English, thank a soldier."

Now, I'm as proud as I can be to be an American. I take my hat off during the national anthem. I even have red, white and blue underwear. But let me see if I can follow the logic of this...

You are comparing this country (into which I was born) and my house (that which I paid for). I don't own America. Just because I carry a Costco card doesn't make me the CEO. What happened to:

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Yes they came here illegally. But I doubt very seriously if anyone can look back down their family tree and find someone who made an "agreement" with the Navajo. I'm not saying we should send an open invitation to every soul in Mexico. But maybe instead of strengthening our borders we could find a way to strengthen the Mexican economy. For all the millions of dollars we spend on defense of the border, we could initiate some new business ideas and commerce for the "wretched refuse." We are all, afterall, citizens of only ONE kingdom...and that's something even republican's will agree with you on!