Sweet Home...Tennessee?


It conveys so much into such a little word. Four little letters, but it conjures giant memories.

I grew up in Kokomo, IN. I didn't move away till I went to college, but even then I went home whenever I could. Then, when I was 20, I moved to Las Vegas. About six months later, my parents moved to Knoxvegas, TN.

So now, when I go see my parents, I'm not really going home, in the true sense of the word. Yet it feels like home. When people ask, I say I'm going home.

I think because home isn't a house. Home isn't even a city. Home is a feeling, a state of being.

Next week, I'm going home to see my family. There will be a family reunion with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles and people that I'm supposed to know but frankly have absolutely no idea who they are. There will be lots of food and I will probably eat as much of it as I can. Because that's what you do when you go home.

Where is home to you?


Keep Warm and Well Fed...

"You got a dollar?"

I smelled her before I heard her. I ignored her even though I know she was talking to me.

"Jake, you got a dollar for a hamburger?"

"Dang these work name badges!"

I looked up at the wrinkly old woman. I'm not quite sure how she was going to eat the hamburger with her two remaining teeth, but by this point, it was pretty difficult to pretend she was talking to anyone else but me.

I had a decision to make. I had about fourteen cents in my pocket and a Lincoln in my wallet. No Washingtons. If I pulled out my wallet I had no choice but to give her the five. I'm pretty sure she wasn't going to make change either. Maybe because she wasn't wearing one of those change machines the skating waitresses at Sonic wear. Maybe because she was wearing something of a Goodwill special. Or maybe because she smelled. In any case, I knew if good ol' Abe left the wallet, that was the last I was going to see of him.

I was tempted to give her the fourteen cents. I mean, there were plenty of other people in the lobby of Micky D's. If everyone gave her fourteen cents, she could supersize her meal and probably have enough for a sundae.

A couple of years ago I was at a ski retreat that Josh Finklea spoke at. I remember him teaching on loving the unloveable. Especially when they ask for money.

"They might use it to buy drugs or alcohol," one student argued.

"Really?" Josh replied. "And what were you going to use it for? Going to the movies? Getting the latest CD?" (Like I said, this was few years back, before itunes and their wonderfully addictive downloads.)

His point was, we waste so much money on ourselves, and sometimes in sinful ways, that the "they might spend it on booze" arguement doesn't really hold a lot of water. Since then, my defenses have always been broken. I've yet to come up with better reasoning as why I deserve my money more than someone in need.

Plus, being that we were already in McDonald's (insert copyright sign) I was pretty sure they didn't sell beer. So out came the five. Her eyes lit up.

"Wow! Thanks Jake."

As I sat in my chair finishing my double cheeseburger (still the best deal in fast food) I thought, "How can I get out of here before she comes back and sits down next to me?" But, of course, I still had one more double cheeseburger and a grilled honey mustard snack wrap (because the fried one would be too fatty, and I am the epitome of health). So I braced myself for what I knew was coming.

"You live around here Jake?"


"Where do you live?" She asks.

"Southwest part of the valley." (Sigh, here it comes...)

And there it went. I asked her where she lived. She said downtown. Here and there. I knew what she meant. I knew before she said it. I have to be honest, I don't know how to act in these situations. I gave her money. I act interested in her life. I say things like, "you know, if you wouldn't gamble all your money away, you might have enough to buy a cheeseburger."

Helen. Her name was Helen. She has a son that is an EMT in LA. She hasn't spoken to him in a couple of years. She is unemployed and receives a small social security check.

The more I study the scriptures the more I feel that these are the people Christ cares the most about. The reason He came to this world. The captive. The blind. The downtrodden.

And I feel so inadequate. I feel like the person James writes about when he says:

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:15-17)

So is it my responsibility to feed and clothe every homeless person in Las Vegas? Nevada? America? The World?

Yes. Yes, I think it is.


I'm The Greatest...(not me, Bob Barker)



The other day I went over to my friend matt's house and he revealed possible the greatest news I've heard in the last couple of months. ESPN Classic is now showing old re-runs of American Gladiators!

Man, when I was growing up, I wanted to be just like Nitro. Down to the mullet and everything. In the history of American Gladiators though, one contestant stood out above all the rest. Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry. He was THE MAN! I searched on Youtube to find a clip of this true american gladiator. Unfortunately, the only clip I could find was of his stint on "International Gladiators." Regardless, this is a perfect example of why he was the greatest contestant of all time. Enjoy.



Over on Greg's site he asked for suggestions to help him write a new album. I'm in need of some suggestions but of a different kind.

At the end of this month I'm going back to good ol' Rocky Top to visit my family and go to my first Walker Family Reunion in about ten years. Last week my Dad called me and asked if I wanted to preach for him that sunday. I don't get a chance to preach very often so I jumped at the chance. This weekend I sat down to work on my sermon and I realized, I have no idea what to preach on! So, I thought it would be fun to open it up to suggestions.

What do you think I should preach on?


Measure In Love

125884800 seconds.

2098080 minutes.

34968 hours.

1457 days.

208 weeks.

4 years.

Four years ago today I stood at an altar in front of my father and watched as the most beautiful girl walked down towards me.

The girl with the green eyes.

There is a song in the musical "RENT" (and, subsequently, in the movie), that talks about how to measure time spent together:

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear, five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure? measure a year

in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

in five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year in a life?

how about love? how about love? how about love?
measure in love...
seasons of love...
seasons of love...

125,884,800 seconds.

And not a single one I'd take back.

I love you Candice.


Bring Me To Life...

I drive about 30 minutes everyday to and from work. Most of the time, I like to listen to podcasts on my ipod. Especially sermons because they are usually around 30-35 minutes so it almost works out perfect. I listened to a sermon this morning by Mark Driscoll that was really, really good.

Like jelly on your biscuits and gravy good.

Here is a quote I wanted to share:

"The goal of religion isn't to recieve from God, but to receive God."

I really like that thought. I have several friends who are struggling right now. A couple of them are Christians. A couple of them aren't. And in each situation, from the outside, I can look and see that it is going to take Jesus to fix it. One's an addict dealing with a crack addiction. One is going through the roughest situation outside unfaithfulness I have ever heard of in a marriage. When I see this, I can only believe that Jesus is the answer. I know that sounds trite and cute, but I have tried to answer these things on my own before, and I know the results then.

So what can we do? Trust in Jesus. And when that's not enough? We pray to Jesus. And when nothing happens? We live for Jesus.

My friend Bill has a saying that changed the way I look at my relationship with God. He said, "It's not about God trying to change us from bad to good, but bringing us from death to life."

I can't change the way people live their lives. But maybe I can change the way they view God. Then maybe, just maybe, they will let God give them life.


You Know You're From Indiana When...

I saw this on someone's Myspace (Thanks Kelli!) and thought it was pretty funny. I've taken the liberty to edit a few things. Because I wanted to. Because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want.

You know you're from Indiana when...
* You think the State Bird is Larry.
* You don't know what a "Pacer" is and have never even wondered.
* You know that "Mellencamp" went to "Cougar" and back to "Mellencamp." (And you're proud you've been to Seymour!)
* You can say "French Lick" without laughing out loud.
* There's actually a college near you named "Ball State."
* The last "g" is silent in any word ending in "ing."
* You know several people who have hit a deer.
* You've never met any celebrities.
* You've seen all the biggest bands 10 years after they were popular.
* Down south to you means Kentucky.
* You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Terre Haute."
* Your school was canceled because of cold.
* Your school was canceled because of heat.
* You know what the phrase "Knee-high by the Fourth of July" means.
* You've play Euchre.
* You've seen a running car, with nobody in it, in the parking lot of the grocery store, no matter what time of year it is.
* You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition. Example: "Where's my coat at?"
* Detassling was your first job. Bailing hay, your second. Or you could stack hay, swim in the pond to clean off, and then have the strength to play a couple of games of hoops, all in the same barn lot on the same day.
* You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
* You say things like "catty-wumpus" and "kitty-corner."
* You install security lights on your house and garage, then leave both of them unlocked.
* You carry jumper cables in your car regularly.
* You drink "Coke."
* You know that strangers are the only ones who come to your front door.
* Kids and dogs ride in the passenger seats of cars and the backs of pickups.
* You think nothing of it in spring and fall to be stuck behind a farm implement driving on the roads.
* High school basketball game draws a bigger crowd on the weekend than movie theaters, IF you have movie theaters.
* Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
* The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page, but requires six for local sports.
* You can see at least two basketball hoops from your yard.
* You can name every one of Bob Knight's "exploits" over the last few years.
* You shop at Marsh.
* Damon Bailey was your childhood hero.
* The biggest question of your youth was "IU or Purdue."
* Indianapolis was the "big city."
* The Wabash river was the biggest body of water near your house.
* You know several different definitions as to what a Hoosier really is.
* People at your high school chewed tobacco.
* Everyone knows who the town cop is, where he lives, and whether he is at home or on duty.
* To get to school you had to drive on a gravel road, a road with several right-angle turns in it, or if you were really lucky, over a covered bridge.
* You actually know what the CART vs IRL debate is about and have taken a side.
* The vehicle of choice in your area is not a car, but a pickup.
* You are a BIG John Mellencamp fan. (But really, who isn't?)
* You've been to the Covered Bridge Festival.
* You took back roads to get there. "Why sit in traffic"?
* To you, tenderloin is not an expensive cut of beef, but a big, salty, breaded piece of pork served on a bun with pickles.


I Tried...

to post this a couple days ago, but it didn't work. Here it is in all it's midget glory.

If You Liked Spiderman 3...

Then you probably won't like this.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

Funniest. Article. Ever.

And Now For Something Completely The Same...

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Thanks to Dustin for the link.


Two Post Tuesday...

This one is too good to pass up!

Watch every episode of Saved By The Bell here.


The MTV Movie Awards Sucked...

I know I'm a couple of days late to the party, but come on! Mtv's awards shows have really gone down the tube lately. Sarah Silverman did an okay job as a host, but some of her comments even made me uncomfortable.

And I club baby seals!

Well, I don't actually, but I do think I could come up with some better catagories then "Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet." How much did Michael Bay have to pay for that one? That is the lamest award I have ever seen. Before the show, it should've recieved the "Lamest Awards Show Award Not Given Out Yet"

Now that would've been good television.