Friday, December 19, 2008

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

Ted Haggard. Just writing that name brings a whole bunch of thoughts to my mind (as it probably does you as well if you've been in the evangelical world in the past 5 years).

He was the pastor of a huge church in Colorado and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. That is, until he was accused of paying for sex from a male prostitute and using meth. He admitted to "sexual immorality" and said that he "really did sin."

What made all of this even more "news worthy" than just one of the several other ministers who have been busted for some devious act is that the NAE, and Ted Haggard especially, had been so outspoken and condemning of homosexuals and fought for "family values." The public image wasn't one of grace but judgment. So, it was no big surprise that when he was caught doing something he had so publicly preached against, he was judged publicly and humiliated.

Honestly, this whole story breaks my heart...on many levels. First, what he did was sin. He struggled with sinful actions. He continues to have that temptation. There is an article on MSN today about him and a new documentary coming up in January. You can read the article here.

I don't think there is any question in most people's minds that he was engaging (at some level) in highly risky, inappropriate, sinful behavior. I get that and agree with that.

However, I view what he did both privately (inappropriate/sinful/etc.) and publicly (preaching against homosexuality, family values advocate, public judgment of others, etc.) as symptoms of the problem. The root of the problem here is that he was believing/is believing lies.

In this current article, he says, "The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me. And that happened and more."

His fear that he was unacceptable affected all of his actions. To cover up his insecurities, he was more bold in speaking against others who lived differently/unbiblically (not sure if that's a word but I'll use it anyway). :)

I don't know where Haggard stands with Jesus. I don't know if he's been redeemed and made a "new creation." However, I do know that regardless of any of our struggles, in Christ we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). So, if he's a believer, he's a new creation and completely accepted by Christ. All of his needs are met in Him. He may always be tempted by certain sinful behavior, but he isn't stuck in choosing them. He's been set free (Galatians 5:1).

However, believing that he's unacceptable because he struggles with sin that looks and sounds gross, he acting to cover it up...most likely believing that something was wrong with him. That's what we all do. One of the most profound truths I learned through "Be Transformed" was something like, lie believed as truth will manifest itself as truth. In other words, when we believe a lie, we begin to live as if the lie is true. Others will respond to our actions in ways that will reinforce those lies (because they see the action, not the initial lie that lead to that action). When others respond to the lie, we receive it and believe that it must be who we are.

So, we think we're stupid. We put on a front and act stupid. Others call us stupid and treat us stupid. This reinforces the lie. Or, we think we're an incredible gift to the human race. We walk around confident in our own abilities and successes, thinking we've done it all by our charisma. Others are drawn to us and encourage our egos. We receive these responses as reinforcement to the lying belief that we're awesome.

I'm not saying that Haggard didn't do anything wrong, but it's just a clear example of how believing lies can affect/destroy our lives. No matter what he's done, if he's a believer in Christ, he is still holy, blameless, righteous, perfect, and complete in Him. However, he's not experiencing freedom and life because he isn't believing that he is free and alive in Christ. Christ truly is the Source of life, but if we're living as if this life is up to us, we're not experiencing Him as the Source for our life.

My thoughts are a bit scattered over this story about Haggard, so I'll end with this. The saddest and most revealing part of this story is the last sentence of the article. It ends with a quote of Haggard. He says about himself, "At this stage in my life, I am a loser."

He has completely identified himself by his mistakes/sin/actions. In Christ, we are no longer known by our actions but instead by our union with Him. Until we realize who we are in Him and who He is in us, we will manifest self-effort in our lives...because we're believing lies about who we really are and who He is in us.

Only Christ transforms, and He does so by His Spirit renewing our minds with His Truth. My prayer for Haggard is that he will find his worth, value, acceptance, love, and life in Christ. My prayer for the church is that she will fix her eyes on Jesus, the beautiful groom and object of her affections. And in so doing, see the root of the problems around her, not just the actions. I think we'll begin addressing our culture differently when we see the lies believed, not just the behavior of those around u...including ourselves.

Grace&Peace.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rejection

Yesterday, the whole family went to pick our oldest up from school. It was fun having us all there when she walked out of her class. Then, we loaded back into the car to head home. The ride home was not quite so fun. Our oldest (A) and middle (S) weren't getting along and there was a bunch of whining and complaining taking place in the back seat.

When we got home, I told them it was enough and that it isn't a value in our family to treat people the way they are treating people. I realized by the look on A's that she wasn't having a good day. She and I walked in the house together while everyone was still unloading. Then...

A had barely walked in the door when she threw her body on the ground and started weeping in a little ball. I sat down and asked her to tell me what was wrong. She came to sit in my lap and proceeded to say:

"I'm sad. I've had a bad day. Nobody at school was nice to me. No one wanted to play with me."

She told me no one wanted to sit by her or play with her with they went outside to the playground. She also said that one of the other girls in her class would come to her and yell, "I'm mad at you!"

For A, this is devastating. Later, when she was talking with Dani, she said that she was trying everything to make this other girl happy but she just kept saying she was mad at her.

This was all just heart-wrenching for me. We sat on the ground and cried together for a couple minutes and then tried to move on. However, the rest of her day was affected by all of this.

It's hard watching one of your kids go through difficult things.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Senior Adult Choir

This has to be one of the coolest (and oddest) videos I've ever seen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hope Now by Addison Road

I went to college with most of this band and love getting to watch how God is taking them on this ride as a band. This is their new video for one of their big hits, "Hope Now."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cool Video

Here's another video (related to the last election). It's really fun to watch!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some thoughts from John Piper on the Election

Interesting...

Sweet Video from the Crowder Band

All of this footage is from the Remedy Tour last year. It was shot by those who attended and then edited together to make this video...pretty cool!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Intentions

Here's another video of my good friends, Heather Coleman and Travis Lawrence. I think Heather wrote this song for them to sing together (I think that's how the song came about)...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tenth Avenue North

One of my favorite new bands is Tenth Avenue North. Just about every song on their album, "Over and Underneath," rocks. Their lyrics are thoughtful, deep, and sound. If you haven't listened to them yet, check them out! If you want to buy their stuff, do it from iTunes...you get a bonus song and this music video included with the regular cd and digital booklet.

Monday, October 20, 2008

SNL Rap with Palin



Ok, regardless of politics, this was funny!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Famous

Well, not really. I just found out my picture was in the local paper. :) The other day, as I was meeting with a few friends over coffee, a reporter came up to ask some questions about the WiFi service. Next thing you know, our pictures are in paper and a little story about local WiFi hotspots.



So, if you want to read more about it, you can read the whole article here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Christians in Iraq

Interesting article on CNN's website about Christians struggling in Iraq. If you have time, read the whole article, it's not that long.

Here is one paragraph:

A week ago, leaflets were distributed in several predominantly Christian neighborhoods, threatening families to "either convert to Islam or pay the jizyah or leave the city or face death," said the Interior Ministry official.


Doesn't seem like any of those are great options....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

7 Kids...WHAT??!!!

Monday night Me Wifey and I, along with our 3 girls went to stay at a town about 45 minutes away so our friends could go to Dallas for the rest of Monday night through Tuesday evening.

Our friends have 4 kids. So, for most of Tuesday, we had 7! It was exhausting, but a bunch of fun too.

Around 10:30 Monday night, their youngest woke up screaming for his mommy (he wasn't all that happy to find that she had left and we were all he had). After SCREAMING for about 30-45 minutes, we finally laid him on the couch and he settled down...but didn't go to sleep.

He wasn't settled unless I was sitting on the recliner next to the couch. I would whisper to him that I was there each time he would start to get upset and that seemed to settle him somewhat. This went on until at least 3:00 am.

Then, I woke up a little after 7:00 and looked over at the stairs to see the other 6 children sitting on the bottom few steps looking at me! Who knows how long they had been sitting there quietly, probably wondering, "who is this guy and why is he sleeping there?"

After a run to Starbucks, Dani and I woke up a bit and ended up having a blast with all the kiddos. However, I definitely don't want 7 kids on a regular basis! :)

Now, I'm a little on the exhausted side.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Check It Out

My old roommate from college, Travis Lawrence ("Stanton"), and Heather Coleman (who's like a little sister to me) recorded some music on YouTube. Sounds pretty good!!!



This one is much more serious. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ingenius Idea from DCB

This video is pretty sweet. This guy is Jeremy Bush, the drummer for the David Crowder Band. He's smart.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Political "Parties"

I think someone should change the phrase "Political Party." Neither group seems to be "partying" in any kind of fun way. I'm rather cynical and apathetic when it comes to the political system. I am a voter, but I don't really think most people are in politics now that truly want what's best for the country. I am open to the possible reality that I am wrong, but this is what I feel after watching the process closely over the past 10 years (the length in which I've been a voter).

The other day, I started realizing that both parties spend the majority of their time explaining their enemy, rather than honestly discussing why they are the best person for the position.

If I were to just listen to both parties talking about their "enemy," this is what I would conclude:

The Republicans are at war with the media. The media never portrays them in the right light and always presents the news with a slant towards the Democrats or liberalism.

The Democrats are constantly being lied about by this underground, incredibly huge Republican machine. Somehow, this faceless group of Republicans is taking everything that is said and spinning it into some sort of lie that makes the Democrat a demon. This isn't directed directly at a person, but rather at a scheming group, i.e. the "machine."

Here's how I think a great political race would look like:

Instead of each candidate/party spending MILLIONS on advertising, campaigning, and politicizing, each candidate would take all of the money donated for their cause and begin giving it to areas where they feel it is best needed. Instead of talking about about how the other candidate doesn't care about the homeless/poor, they would demonstrate how much they are concerned with this problem by financially contributing to organizations that are actually dealing with this problem right now.

Instead of talking about how they would fix education, they would begin working with the people they feel are making strides towards a better education in America and actively working on them before they are elected.

Instead of merely discussing how the other candidate doesn't know how to handle problems overseas, they would contribute to world relief organizations and volunteer in refugee camps and serving through grass roots efforts to actually affect change in the world.

I would think, that if a candidate were to actually live out these things, they wouldn't have to spend a dime on advertising as the media would cover every moment because he/she would actually be doing something that is news worthy, instead of just attempting to destroy others' character.

Just some thoughts from a cynical, apathetic, twenty-something dude.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wipe Out


I think my favorite show right now is "Wipe Out" on ABC. This show is hilarious! I can't control my laughter most of the time that I'm watching. Ever since I first saw it, I thought it was the show that I'd want to go on and compete.

So, after a little researching, I found out that you can't go on the show unless you "currently live in California." Can Texas be annexed for a few months?

I'm totally bummed...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jesus Is My Friend

A friend of mine, John, posted this and it left me speechless. So, I thought I'd share it on my blog as well.



What do you think?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letting Go

I'm a pretty laid back guy. A lot of things don't bother me, but when they do, they really do. I thoroughly enjoy being around people and just love connecting with others. Relationships are crucial to me. I truly value deep, sincere relationships and love getting to connect on a deep level with people.

For the past few years, there has been one relationship with a guy that has been a huge struggle for me. The dynamics of this relationship didn't start out as personal, and we never really reached the level where I could call it a friendship. For the most part, the only thing I could really describe the relationship as is hurtful, disappointing, and dysfunctional.

One of the biggest problems, from my perspective, is that he has no clue. I've tried communicating it with him on several occasions, asked for his forgiveness for how I've treated him, and tried to just move on. All the while, I never received any acknowledgment from him that he did anything (good or bad).

This summer it all kinda came to a head. I walked around for about a month with bitterness oozing out of me. It not only affected my relationship with him, but it affected how I viewed other things as well. I could "smell" the stench of bitterness almost flowing out of my pores.

Finally, a few nights ago while I was running, I released him. I knew that Christ in me had already forgiven him and loved him. I didn't wait for the feeling of forgiveness to rush over me and for a warm feeling to lead me into releasing him, I chose to agree with my spirit, which is in perfect union with Christ, to forgive him.

I don't do this often, but I spoke it out loud. There was something in hearing my voice say, "I release _______ from all the hurt, bitterness, and resentment that I've held towards him. I choose to forgive him in my soul as Christ in my spirit already has. I know that the most natural thing for me to do is forgive as I've been given the mind of Christ, so I choose forgiveness."

I am thankful for this process and through it have been shown several areas in my own life and through this relationship where I was wrong. I was practically living as though I had unmet needs and was hoping he would meet some of them. Thankfully, in Christ, I am complete and satisfied. No need is unmet in Him. Also, through this, I'm reminded of how much I am blinded by what I can see physically or what I feel emotionally, instead of the deep reality of who I am in Christ, and who Christ is in me.

Thank God for this relationship! Through it, even though it's been incredibly difficult, I've been able to see the beauty and reality of His life, His work, and His love in and through me.

So, I've let go and I choose Christ. As I choose Christ, He lives His life through me, which will always lead to extending grace, forgiveness, and love to others, regardless of how they have treated me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

6 Random Things

Ok, so I've been tagged by me wifey to post about 6 random things about me. So, here I go:

1. I love to have fun. I look for ways to make fun in life and, most of the time, I don't know when to stop.

2. I flee from conflict like it's the plague. This is an area God continues to change in me. I been in countless situations where I begin to feel tension and will attempt to squelch it with humor or even lie in an effort to avoid conflict. Usually, this creates bigger conflict...and I am saddened when I lie, not something I like to do.

3. I quit playing football when I got to high school because I was afraid of the bigger guys. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like had a not stopped playing.

4. I have no clue what tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year will look like for my family and me. It's not easy for us, but it's definitely been and still is a great ride for us. We're continuing on the journey of learning dependence, not just dependence for the big stuff, but for every facet of life. We're learning what it means to rest on Christ, fully trusting and completely depending on Him.

5. I have a problem with either being way too silly or way too serious. I am not often in the middle. When I was in seminary, my classmates told me that my sermons didn't sound like me because there were not any jokes, it was just too much seriousness for anyone to follow for any length of time. I think it stems from always being the clown and not feeling like anyone really took me seriously, unless I was awkwardly serious...even then some would laugh. :)

6. My life right now; what I'm doing, what I believe, and how I live is a direct result of what God has done and is doing in my soul. Most of which He has done through my wife, Dani. I am deeply grateful that He put us together. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had He not brought us together, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be in this ministry that I'm in now, I wouldn't know God, love, and grace the way I do now, and I wouldn't live on the journey of dependence (knowingly at least). The most significant things in my life that have changed my perception of reality for the better have all been primarily through my relationship with Dani. No matter what struggles we've faced or will face, I'm thankful that we're together, as God speaks to me through her clearly and powerfully. He connects us deeply and I'm so thankful for that.

Bonus: I like to write :) and ... too much. I use them like they were going out of style.

Alright, I guess that's it. If you have any questions you want to know about me, ask and I'll share. For now, I guess I need to tag some other bloggers.

Tag, You're it:

Vista Tim
Slothink About Life
The Journey to Christishness
The Transformed Church
YSMarko
Walters of the world, unite!

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the person who tagged you know your entry is up.

And of course, this is just fun. If you don't have time or just don't want to-no pressure :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wet Willy

I recently heard a story from a girl who commented that her pastor used to walk up and give her wet willies in her ears. Is that ever ok? What would you do if your pastor did that to you?

Side note: This girl isn't a kid, she's an adult...does that make any difference?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Little Confused...

Today my family loaded up in our car to head to Sam's. On our way, we stopped at Blockbuster to rent Mary Poppins for the girls. S decided she wanted Charlotte's Web so we got her that one and A still wanted Mary Poppins, so we let her rent it as well (they were both $1 rentals too!).

After we got what we needed to from Sam's, we headed home. A realized she wasn't holding her new movie so she asked Dani if she could hold the movie, "Papa John's."

I guess pizza's a pretty big deal at our house. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mountains

I was looking for a notebook to write some notes in and found an old one that I used for journaling, Bible study, and a variety of other things. As I flipped through it, I found a poem that I wrote in 2003. So, here it is:

Mountains,
So big, so old
Impossible to move,
Yet movable.
Reaching to the sky
Majestic, snow-covered
Or brown, tree-covered and dry
Water flows freely off you
But you are not the source.
You are home to so much life
Yet life does not originate from you.
Magnificent beauty,
Fiery destruction.
I wonder what God was thinking
When He spoke you into being.
You are a great example and hope
As Jesus to His disciples spoke,
If one should ask in faith
For a mountain to be moved,
It will be moved indeed,
Even if that faith is as small as a mustard seed.
Mountains,
So big, so old
Impossible to move,
Yet movable.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Political Song

Here's kinda how I feel about politics...



This song is on Derek Webb's album, "The Ringing Bell" if you're interested.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Little L isn't happy her blueberries are all gone



Posted by ShoZu




The after shot from her first try with blueberries! She's crying because they're gone. :)

New Apps for iPhone

Last night I downloaded several of the free apps for the iPhone, most of which are pretty cool. One of the apps I put on my phone has a list of several restaurants and allows you to check the nutritional facts on their menus, as well as find the closest restaurant of choice.

Another app is what I used to post the previous post of Dani sitting across from me at TGI Fridays during our 7th Anniversary dinner on June 23rd. It was fun!

This application lets you take a picture and post it directly to a blog of your choice, adding the title, description, and tag and then uploads immediately. Pretty cool stuff.

I can't wait to try out the one that lets you listen to music on your phone and mix/scratch while the song is playing. Rock on! I've always wanted to be a dj...I can live the dream, kinda.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peek-a-boo!



Dinner at TGI Fridays for our 7th Anniversary.

Posted by ShoZu


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Daddy's Weekend

This weekend, Dani had a "Mama's Getaway" and I stayed home with our three girls. It's been fun...and tiring. Dani does a much better job than me at running the house and keeping everything in order.

Anyway, this morning we were planning on going to church. The older two dressed themselves while I gave our baby a bath and got her dressed (with a dress Dani set out before she left). While I got ready, everyone hung out in my bedroom and the older two drank a bunch of water by filling up their cups in the bathroom sink.

After I got dressed, I fed baby while I thought the older two were going to the restroom for the last potty trip before we left.

I loaded everyone up for church, almost 30 minutes late for the service, and we headed off. The ride to church was a bunch of fun as we listened to one of the girls' favorite cd's: Alan Jackson singing a bunch of hymns.

When we pulled up to church, I started to get the girls out of the car when I noticed something...S had pottied in her seat!!!

So, we loaded back up and headed home. No church today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Brooke Fraser - Shadowfeet

I just found this girl on iTunes and think her music rocks. This song is pretty cool so I thought I'd share it here. Her album has done great in New Zealand (where she's from) and just recently became available in the States. It's being pushed as a "Pop" album but a Christian thread runs throughout every song.

She's also one of the singer in Hillsong. I'd love to hear what you think about the music...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I Hope He's Proud of Me

I saw this clip and was saddened by her comments. She's 24 and still longing for her dad to be proud of her. Divorce is tragic...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh Snap...and by that I mean Snapping Turtles

This past weekend I was with a youth group from Boerne, TX. We were camping at Inks Lake State Park and took some time to swim in the lake. It was beautiful, but the water was a little murky...I couldn't see my legs once I was in the water.

Anyway, After swimming around for a while, I got on float (ok, it was a pink float) and started to slowly head for the shore. When I was about 10 feet from the shore, I saw something pop out of the water about a foot away from me with the corner of my eye. By the time I looked over, it was already underwater and those on shore said they thought it must have been a turtle, although no one really saw it clearly for sure.

Moments later, something knocked me off of my float and into the water! I didn't know I could swim as fast as I did.

I wasn't really all that interested in getting back in the water after that, but I did. Thankfully that was my only encounter with the living creatures in the lake. Of course, the students will probably never let me live this one down.

Overall, it was a great retreat and a great weekend. I'm sure glad to be home now though.

Monday, June 23, 2008

7 years

Today is Dani's and my 7 year anniversary. I'm so thankful to be married to her and thoroughly enjoy her friendship, depth, and sensitivity to Jesus.

I am often amazed at how her strengths make my weaknesses look better. She challenges, encourages, and supports me. She's an incredible mom to our girls and I'm so thankful that they get to look up to such a godly woman as their primary role model.

The past 7 years have been quite a ride and I'm excited about the rest of our lives together, as I'm confident that the best is yet to come.

I LOVE me wifey!

CFL's

Thought this was interesting.



What do you think?

If you've already purchased one of these lightbulbs, have you disposed of them properly? I know I've had a few that I did not follow the rules of proper disposal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Great Message from Louie

I've been a fan of Louie Giglio ever since Dani and I went to Passion '99 in Ft. Worth. I just watched this message and thought it was pretty sweet.



Huh, Laminin...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer League

Yesterday was a crazy-busy day. I mowed my parents' yard, my yard, cleaned the house for company who came over for dinner and played in my first soccer game since my Sophomore year of college.

I feel I've become a bit old. I have my favorite news anchor crew, 10:00 news station, and I enjoy mowing the yard. I'm also getting tired earlier and earlier.

The guests who came for dinner were a ton of fun and it was really nice getting to know them. We met through our church and found that we have a lot in common. Our kids all played outside on the trampoline and an inflatable that my parents bought our girls last year.

Then, I left to play soccer. I've been running again lately so I thought I might be in okay shape...I was WRONG!

This league is a 7-man league. There always has to be at least 3 girls on the field during the whole game. We subbed the dudes every 3 minutes. First off, 3 minutes felt like an eternity when I was on the field and way too short when I was off. At times, my feet felt like I was stuck in cement.

All that said, I had a TON of fun. It was just great getting out there again and kicking the ball around. I never realized what kind of shape I used to be in though. I also was a bit surprised at how easy it was for me to talk some trash to some of the players on the other team.

As soon as one of them said something to me, I snapped back without even thinking about it. It's crazy...I know I have NO room to talk out there. I could barely move after making one run, let alone muster up the composure to spit out one sentence without heavy panting between each word.

I was rather pathetic trying to prove my point to some dude. Trash talking is usually probably done better when you can actually say everything without gettind dizzy in the process. :)

Anyway, I think I'm going to play every Tuesday and Thursday through the summer so maybe I'll get back in a little better shape before it's all done.

Soccer sure is fun! But the day after is painful...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"The Voice of Color"

Marko posted about this fun test you can take to find out what color family suits you best. Here are my results:





What color family suits you best?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Baby Got Bible

I found this video a few years ago when I was a youth pastor, but haven't seen it in a while. I'm glad it's online now. I hope you enjoy.

(Oh, the guy who did this remix has the same name as my dad...only he's not him).

Howard Publishing

The editor that I met with at the writer's conference last weekend was Denny Boultinghouse of Howard Publishing. I'm not that familiar with this publishing house but he sent me three books that he thought could help me in my writing.

So, I just received these books last night and started to read one of them. The one I chose to start with is called A Scandalous Freedom by Steve Brown.


As soon as I started reading this book, I wanted to finish it. It's incredible and engaging and clearly presented. The author has been a pastor for 25 years and is now a professor at a seminary in Florida. It is obvious that he has had to field countless questions and faced people who fear resting in their freedom in Christ.

I'm not far enough yet to fully endorse this as a great book, but if it continues the way it's started, I think it's going to be a book I read several times and will be added to my list of books to go through with other people.

A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yet Another Matt Smith

Ok, this guy's older than me so I guess he has more of a right to sigh, "Yet Another Matt Smith" than I do but it is always fun for me to see what others do who share the same name.

I'm still hoping to attend the Matt Smith Convention sometime in 2009.

Monday, June 9, 2008

This is "Sloppy"

This past weekend, I attended a writer's conference in East Texas. One of the cool parts about the conference is that I got to send in a few chapters of my book for an editor to look over and offer a critique of it.

Overall, the meeting was encouraging, but there were a few moments that were a bit less than encouraging. He started by saying that the first sentence was "sloppy." He said that if he had received it at a regular time and not for the conference, that he probably wouldn't have read any more past the first sentence.

The good news is that he liked the idea behind the book, I just need to work on how I'm communicating that idea. So, more work to do but at least I've started...

Hopefully, I'll get less and less "sloppy" as I go.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Youth Ministry Humor

These guys, Marko and Tic, are the head dudes at YouthSpecialties. I thought this was pretty funny...partly because I've either thought some of these things or had people respond to me in similar fashion.

Call of "Duty"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Country Living

Ok, so we LOVE our neighborhood and all the neighbors we've met so far have been pretty nice. There is very much of a community feeling and a bunch of kids are always playing together on any given street.

That being said, there is one aspect to living where we do that I find rather humorous. I joke a lot with me wifey that we live in the country, even though we're surrounded by people. I could actually probably straddle our yard and our neighbors yard and touch both of our houses. So, we don't have the land that typically comes with living out in the country, but our neighbors help us feel like we are. :)

One of our neighbors has a big pickup with camo trim!

The other day, one of our neighbor's boys went into a friend's house but didn't tell his parents. Once they realized they didn't know where he was, they frantically started searching. The dad had a broken ankle so he was hobbling down the street yelling the boy's name.

The boy came running out heading for his dad (probably about 50 yards away). By the time he reaches his dad, the dad already had his belt off and in a loop and in one motion spanked the boy and started to put his belt back on.

A few days later, my family decided to head over to the neighborhood pool for a little swim. I was sitting on the side feeding our 5 month old and watching my other girls swim with Dani.

I looked over at another family and could barely hold in my laughter. Most people would bring noodles and floats to the pool...not in my neighborhood. This family brought a lasso. No joke! This older teenage boys was roping his little sisters! It was hilarious. They did this for about 15 minutes and then decided to get in the pool.

That just about sealed the deal for me. I'm convinced...we officially live in the country...without really living in the country.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Honesty

We just got a trampoline at our house. It's pretty exciting and we've been jumping for days now. Yesterday, I was jumping with A, my 4 year old, and we were having a blast. She was getting up her courage to jump higher and I was being careful not to double bounce her.

She sat down at the opposite side from where I was so I decided to jump high and land on my back. When I did, she laughed and said, "Whoa, you're a heavy guy!" Every time for the next several bounces, she repeated herself and laughed.

I guess that's a fat joke... :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you were riding on this train when someone starting doing what she's doing?

Note: There is some foul language in this video...

This Is Home

This is a new song from Switchfoot and the video uses clips from the movie Prince Caspian. Hope you like it...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Talented Kid

I just saw this video and was blown away. Listening to his story and then hearing his voice is incredible. I hope he makes it big...


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Unique Elephant

If you haven't seen this already, you should take the time. It's pretty incredible.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Theologian Quiz

There is a fun quiz you can take that will tell you what theologian you most closely relate with. I'm not sure that I answered every question accurately seeing as how I've forgotten a lot of what I learned in seminary so some of the terminology was a blast from the past...and I'm not sure I remembered everything correctly.

That being said, I guess I'm pretty much in line with Karl Barth. You can take the quiz by clicking on the link under the picture of Karl Barth below or you can click here.






Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Karl Barth

The daddy of 20th Century theology. You perceive liberal theology to be a disaster and so you insist that the revelation of Christ, not human experience, should be the starting point for all theology.


Karl Barth


100%

Jonathan Edwards


80%

Martin Luther


73%

John Calvin


67%

Anselm


67%

J├╝rgen Moltmann


60%

Charles Finney


53%

Augustine


47%

Friedrich Schleiermacher


40%

Paul Tillich


40%




I'd love to know who you're matched with...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Study of American's View of Sin

A recently released study of Americans over the topic of sin has some rather interesting findings. You can view the info here.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me was this paragraph:

"One of the biggest differences in whether people believe in the concept of sin is actually not even religious, but political. Among political conservatives, 94% believe there is such a thing as sin. This is also true among 89% of moderates. But only 77% of political liberals believe in the concept of sin."

If you check out the report, scroll down to the bottom and you can see the info listed in chart form if you don't want to read through everything else.

What do you think? Is this study surprising to you or does it coincide with what you already felt to be true about our country?

What does this study say about the role that the church is playing in our society?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E

My oldest is in a "Christian Preschool" in our community and has really enjoyed it, I think more so than any other educational facility she's been a part of thus far in her short life time.

One of the things that this school emphasizes is their Bible story time and music. This is the first time that our oldest has come home and told us about what she learned and what the Bible story was about that day.

I'm thankful for this place and thankful that my daughter enjoys it. I have one hang up though, and I'm probably the only dad that has this issue.

One of the songs they are learning (and the ONE that has really caught my daughter's attention because she sings it all the time) goes like this:

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E
Obedience is the very best way
To show that you believe

My middle girl has joined in on the musical fun and her version goes a little like this:

O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-Eat...

I enjoy hearing their excitement and love listening to them sing, but I am not all that thrilled with the lyrics here. I know, most parents are usually concerned b/c their kids are listening to rap or something with lyrics they don't even understand (and that may happen in our house as well). But, for now our issue is with this song.

I would love for my girls to live a life of complete abandon to the things of this world and complete surrender and dependence on Christ in every moment. I would love for their lives to be obedient to the Father because I know they were created to operate out of their relationship with Him. However, this song just throws all focus onto the obedience.

I really don't think that was ever the point of Jesus' teaching. I think obedience is a natural by-product of what He was really about, which was and is about us being restored into an intimate relationship with the Father through Jesus, who lives in us at and after salvation.

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest now. I've been thinking about it for a few weeks. Now I can move on. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Brother Theologians

This was a pretty interesting clip from Big Brother 9. What do you think?



I like this part: "The Bible's a good thing to know. There's a lot of references made about it: David and Goliath..." "Easta."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I'm "Watership Down"

I just took this quiz that I found thanks to this guy. I've never read this book (big surprise) but I think the description it gives as to why this book describes me is a bit funny.




You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



So, what book are you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can't Wait til April!

I think I've had some Office withdrawals. Here's a quick fix until April.

I Can't Believe I Have Three Girls...

This study was just released about teenage girls and STD's. As if it weren't bad enough thinking about when my little girls grow up.

This is the culture they are growing up in! I find it intriguing that our society continues to treat sex like it's perfectly normal for people to experiment and have more than one partner, as long as "you're in love."

What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's Always Interesting...

Things are never really dull at our house. With three little girls and a dog, we seem to always have some chaotic adventure going on. We're in the middle of one right now...

Last night, we were all outside with our neighbors (minus our dog) talking a bit before dinner. As our kids were playing with the other kids on our street and one of our neighbor's dog, Ania started crying. Dani was closest and bent down to see blood.

She called me over and we thought the dog had bit her figure because we could see a bunch of blood covering it. She was hysterical and shocked over the incident.

It wasn't until we got home and under the light that we could see two little teeth marks on her upper lip. Apparently, the little dog bit her on the lip when she bent over and my oldest fell down, scraping her finger on the street.

Well, once blood is drawn, there really isn't much you can do to just work things out between neighbors...at least that's what we've come to find out. We contacted our doctor and found out that we had to report the incident to Animal Control. They came out this afternoon and checked on everything and told us they didn't really care how it affected neighborly relations, they were required by law, both state and county, to take the dog and quarentene it for 10 days to make sure it didn't have rabies.

It's kinda like welcome to the neighborhood. :) On the one hand, we feel bad for our neighbors and really didn't to make a big deal out of it. I'm just glad that our girls got to learn the incredibly important lesson that you can't play with other dogs because you just don't know what they will do from a little dog, so the damage is minimal.

On the other hand, this is the course that must be taken. Dogs that snap at people must be under complete control by their owners. I'm still not completely sure why we have dogs in our neighborhood that are allowed to run around without a leash every day. To me, that's just asking for trouble.

Anyway, we are continuing to keep things interesting...

Article about TV and Kids

For the parents who read my blog, I thought you might like to read this article about how watching TV affects children's sleeping habits.

I guess I'm going to have to stop letting my girls watch The Unit, Criminal Minds, and Big Brother-Til Death Do Us Part before bedtime now. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Florida Church-30 Day Sex Challenge

I bet this church is going to see an increase in membership!



What do you think about the challenge?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wanna Get Away?

Where's Southwest Airlines when you need them?

This has to be a REALLY bad day for this guy.

So, what's the worst fall you've ever taken?

Emerging From The Pit

My wife and I celebrated Valentine's Day early this year. My mother-in-law was in town for a few days and wanted to take care of our girls while we went on a date...so we went!

We had a blast. We were given a dinner for two to the nicest steak house in town so we went there. I had a great salad, amazing Merlot Tenderloin and baked potato, followed by an incredible 8 layer chocolate malt cake. The margarita was pretty good too. :)

Anyway, we enjoyed getting to eat in some peace and just talk without much interruption. When we got home, I got our youngest and helped her get to sleep and then went to bed.

I woke up at 5:00 am with a terrible stomach ache, that stayed with me for just over 24 hours. I was in the bathroom all day and was given the privilege of tasting the dinner again, and again. It wasn't nearly as good after the first time around.

After three days, I feel like I'm able to manage through the day without feeling sick. I'm sure you probably didn't want to read about all of these details of my past few days but I just felt like sharing my adventures with you.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

If You're My Friend...I Most Likely Wouldn't Eat You

31%


I was checking out YSMARKO's blog this morning and he displayed the results of the cannibalism test. So, of course I had to see what it said about me.

What about you? Take the test and let me know!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

This Makes Me Sick

I am a little hesitant to even bring up this article because the actions taken by this "church" are ridiculous and incredibly sad. The group from Westboro Baptist have such a distortioned view of the Gospel and of God.

You can read about their thoughts concerning Heath Ledger's death here.

Apparently, they have missed the reality that God is love and passionately loves His creation. I'm also a bit tired of hearing about all of their protests. Sad stuff...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Steve Harvey

This video was sent to me several months ago by my friend, Kara. It's quite the introduction.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

The other day I walked into my bedroom where my wife and 4 year old daughter were sitting on the bed chatting with Oprah on in the background. My daughter was interested in what was going on in the show and wanted us to tell what was going on. We started to explain that Oprah was talking with someone and she cut in with, "That's not Oprah!" She was right, at the time she looked at the screen, the camera was on someone else. Now I'm wondering how she knows what Oprah looks like because we don't usually watch tv while our girls are awake.

Later that day, I was taking our middle daughter (2 year old) out on a "date." The girls were going to see a friend that was moving and wanted to give them a gift and I was trying to move away from a date always involving ice cream so I figured we could go to Target and hang out together and she could pick out the toys for her friends at the same time.

Well, when we returned home, my 4 year old wanted to know what we did on our date and we told her we went to Target. My oldest responded with, "That's not a date!" Apparently I need dating lessons.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Survey

Ok, so I added a survey on the left-hand side of my blog page. Apparently, either no one really checks my blog or there is an incredible lack of opinion when it comes to which holiday we most enjoy (thank you to the 1 who voted...besides me). :)

Time is running out on this survey and then I'll try another question. Maybe I will ask something more people really care to answer (that is if there are actually people reading this blog).

And yes, I'm shamelessly plugging for feedback...