Friday, July 30, 2004

Riding my bumper

On my way to work I noticed I was driving well over the speed limit. I realized I had sped up because the guy behind me was tailing me, so I subconsciously thought I was going slow. Once I realized this chump was practically sitting in my backseat, I slowed down to around the speed limit. Mind you he was driving a large V8 Toyota something that was jacked way up into the air. The road we were on was one lane so I knew since this guy’s pants were on fire and he was throwing a fit because I was going near the speed limit.

The road split into two lanes and he obviously got into the other lane (left lane) and sped off ahead. I know that this may be taken wrong, but I threw up a quick prayer and asked if he could get the next two red lights. I see him in the distance get the first light much to my delight. I chuckled and continued on my “snail” pace at near the speed limit. I got the green light, he was still way ahead and flooring it every chance he got.

The second light brought even more contentment to me. Yes, once again he had to stop and wait at the light. I’m sure he could see me smiling in the irony, since I was right behind him now. All the precious ground he covered was made up thanks to the good old traffic laws. I like them sometimes...

To top it all off, he was also headed to the Air Force base (where I work). They check IDs in two lines, he went to the right and I went to the left. The person in front of him got stopped for probably almost a minute, I not only caught up to him, I left him so far in the dust I couldn’t even make out his truck in the rear-view mirror. God is so good to me.

Monday, July 26, 2004

New Roomie

I got the email today that I have a roommate at Asbury. They gave me his email address. This will be the first time I talk to him, I’m thinking it would be funny to mess with him. What should I say to him to really throw him for a loop. Such as I’ll bring __________ or that I’ve never _____________ or that I should tell him that I ___________ . I’m throwing it back to you, what should I tell him?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Spritual Gifts

I know it has been a long time (over a week) since I’ve last posted. I have five weeks left here until I leave for seminary. I want to leave all my responsibilities here in Dayton on a good note. This means trying to get my house in order, pass off the leadership to the 20s group at my church and make sure things at the office are as ready as they can be. It is important to finish well on the chapters of life we have as well as start off on the right foot into the next chapter. 

Every idea I had for a post has officially left my head. Most everything I want to talk about isn’t really something I can share. Those seem to be the things you always want to talk about, aren’t they? I’ll say this and then leave for another couple days. Everyone I know has an opinion about Spiritual Gifts. Everyone feels so strongly that they would for some reason be willing to leave/divide churches. When it comes to actually sitting down over a couple months and really diving into the Scriptures and reading up on the scholarship to the issue, everyone disappears. It goes to a theory I’m coming to that everyone is willing to fight for what they think they’ve heard once somewhere and is backed up by superstition or a story about a guy who knows a guy who once fell in a deep hole and had Lassie come save them, blah blah blah. Yet, when you ask them to really explore all sides of the issue at hand, people are afraid of being wrong; afraid they've been putting too much stock in bad logic and will somehow be brainwashed by reason and prayer. My friend Adam and I have been at this particular topic for months, at one point we had five people (pretty weak) and now we’re down to one guy. one. I wish more people would care. By caring, I mean actually give a rip and try to understand where the truth lies in this gray area of Christianity. That way, you can be comfortable with other people's arguments because you've explored their Scriptural basis. But then again I’m not your mom. The third wave is here, love it or hate it.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Modern Christian Lit.

The Prayer of Jabez is a worthy book, so worthy it deserves all the leather bounding, gold trimming, thin paging it has received. It sits along side with other most important books for your survival as a Christian such as The Purpose Driven Life, Wild At Heart and a million other books just like them. That’s right Christian, you NEED to have this book or you won’t be as spiritual as all the other Christians out there. It will walk you through Bruce Wilkinson’s proven prayer that will bless you over and over again.
I’m shocked you haven’t been reading it all day long, and haven’t spent every waking moment you have learning from modern Christian books. Where would we be without Family Christian bookstore and helping us find our way back to more modern pop-culture Christian literature? What would we do if someone didn’t tell us we would be much happier if we did exactly what they say? They have found a magic formula for living and you can have it! All you need to do is buy their book, their workbook that goes with it. Of course you can offset your spirituality from others around you who are doing the same thing by buying the coin, prayer shawl, floor mat, and the follow-up book. Although I haven’t actually seen these items for other books like the POJ has, most books are similar.
I can’t even stand to read more than a few pages in a book I was given by one of my pastors. He has given me three books and each of the three was well-written but suffered from the same problem. Every book seems to swear up and down that it isn’t about formulas and then proceeds to give some kind of formula. Granted, there are steps we take in our walk. Yet, somehow it seems like we’ve become too scientific in our thinking. Maybe it is what everyone wants, but not what we need. If all we hear on Sunday mornings is a sermon that reeks of “Self-Help” or “10 Steps To A Better Life” then we are missing the mark. 
Instead I find myself forced to read books by authors of old. Authors who didn’t focus on “steps”, people who didn’t know the first thing about modern psychology. These books help you meditate on God, to sit back and marvel at how good He is to us. To look at the depth of his love, of his power, of his sovereignty, these are the author’s intent. They don’t focus on men or how to fix ourselves, they focus on God. In modern literature there are some books that do this outside of the Bible, but they are infrequent not the normative. Like a machine, new formula-based, self-help and 10-steps books come out all the time. I can’t enjoy these books, something is wrong…
It reminds me of the wave of Christian artists coming out of Nashville, TN. It’s like they are robots built by some mad scientist. Every one of them sound somehow… fake. From Toby Mac to Avalon it all makes me sick. I am ever so thankful for the other wave of artists who are Christians like Blindside, POD, Switchfoot and others coming out of San Diego. They don’t sound like the rest of the Nashville bunch, praise God.
I draw this connection because I can’t help but wonder if much like there is a Christian machine in Nashville conforming its artists to some mold, the world of Christian books is being ruled by some high ranking executives who find the need to push out the same format in books year after year. It may well be that Christians are so caught up in the American advertising that we’ve become subject to its brainwashing. I think in part we naturally think that somehow the books we read can take the place God is to fill in our lives; in pop-culture it seems things that take many years aren’t worth doing… What if quite the opposite is true.

Friday, July 16, 2004

the radius of funk

More sharing about my house... In the room where our squirrels have become residents, the funk lingers. Without ceasing. Some think it comes from the wall, some from the couch, some from carpet and some think it may even come from something under the carpet. I love it when someone new first comes over. The whole room doesn't smell, just a 3 to 5 foot radius. Many times people think someone has ripped some most righteous gas, others think another guest in the room has rank feet and yet others think it is them (like I did for months). I love to watch their reactions.
I was reminded about it again tonight when an old friend sat down in a chair inside the radius of funk. His reaction... light a match. One match didn't seem to help, so he lit another one. I didn't say a word, I just watched him. After he strained to find the source of the smell for a good few minutes, I let him in on the secret of our room, the mysterious funk. Another friend then chimed in, who thought our shoes stunk (it must have been his first time sitting in the radius of funk).
To this day the funk is indescribable. Does it smell like dead animals, or maybe like old shoes? Does it smell like rotten milk or maybe some form of mold? The answer to all of these is... yes. Yes, it smells like everything bad in the world. Worse than feet, rotten milk, dead animal and even some White Castle gone bad (if you smell what I'm cookin'). It makes dorm rooms smell like mountain air and airplane cabins seem sanitary. Six weeks, and then I leave. Come soon, ATS. Come soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Switchfoot - Dare You To Move

Switchfoot Video
It still holds true.

Summer rocks.

A peaceful summer night. The cool breeze and the crickets chirping. You can watch all the lightning bugs shoot off like fire crackers or lay under the stars and just pray or chill and think about something. You can go ride your bike, run in the middle of the night, sit by the river or even on the river. Summer sure is great. Can someone remind me, why do we like cold weather again?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


It’s funny how you can get so busy that every moment of free time feels great and like something is wrong all at the same time. I meet with a guy from my church and he always is giving me books to read. This last one is suppose to be really great, greater than the last two (that I didn’t read) by a measure of total awesomeness. Yet, every time I pick up the book all I can think is, “Shouldn’t you be doing X, Y, Z?” The answer to that is, yes, I should be (now that I mention that I remember I need to go change my laundry).

I don’t make posting a daily thing because as you have guessed by now, it’s not always the most productive use of my time. I’m sure you can relate. I structure my day using the only thing I’ve ever applied from economics, the law of diminishing returns. I look at my day (which starts at 6pm and runs to 11) and try to decide what will be most beneficial and what has to be done. I’m sure you can relate to that too.

I don’t know how lame I will sound for saying this, but man, I really want to clean my room. Do you know what I’m saying? I want enough time to go and clean my room. Here’s the kicker, some of you may relate to this, when I do get time to clean my room, I don’t. I’m all gung ho about it when I can’t but when I can, then all of a sudden I’m dying to do something else, you know, X, Y, Z. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about!

The big question is does this indeed carry over into relationships too? It seems like everyone I know likes someone who doesn’t like them. Is it simply easier for us that way? When we find out a person we like, likes us back do we suddenly decide we don’t like them? It just seems a little strange to me. I think there is some weird connection.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Meijer Video

Dumples. Giving the people what they want for over 2 months. Here's the link:
What were we thinking?

and thanks Cw, for making dreams possible.

Ohio vs. Kentucky

I am moving to Kentucky at the end of August. That leaves me with around six weeks back here to finish up all the things I’m doing and pass them off into capable hands. To people here in Ohio, Kentucky is the big joke, I’m sure out in the more liberal areas Ohio is considered all farm land. It is interesting how we always think we’re superior to everyone’s living standards. No matter where I am, everyone is always trying to compare where they live to somewhere else saying that we are better somehow.

Although we all know in our scientific heads that the ground composition doesn’t really affect people’s intelligence, we assume that dumb people must live in other geographic areas. I think quite the opposite is true, everyone’s dumb. What makes a person dumb is not their grades on the ACT or the IQ test, because everyone has areas that they excel in more than others.

No, what makes people dumb is sin. The more you want to deny you have it, the dumber you really are. Smart people are people who willingly acknowledge that they are in fact hindered by sin and ask God for help with it, and others for grace.

Think about it, why to we pull the, “we’re better than you” deal? Pride. Where does this type of pride come from? Sin. Why is Ohio better than Kentucky? Why does it really matter if Ohio State beats Michigan? Why does it matter who wins the World Series? Why does it matter what brand of clothing you wear? What kind of car you drive? If you hang out with the “in” group? Where does your value come from?

Where does your value come from?

Friday, July 09, 2004

My house makes this look good.

Everyday more and more dishes pile up in our sink. It was Monday when I finished off the pile that were sitting in the sink. Now it's full once again. When I say full I mean there are dishes on the counter, both sides of the sink are so full you can't move the faucet. Now, if you've ever lived at a house with other roommates I'm sure you've seen this before. In most cases the phenomena I can only refer to as "taking turns" happens. You know, where everyone in the house takes turns washing dishes. Other people blind to their human nature believe in a more unrealistic system of "wash your own". This system has such potential except it fails for the same reason Communism fails (besides the fact that Communism outlaws God, big mistake), it depends on everyone carrying their fair share. We all know this isn’t going to happen. If you are so naive as to hold to this, come on over to my house and I’ll do my share if you do yours. Why can’t everyone just wash their dishes? I know it’s hard to understand, I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around it for nearly a year. I wash all my dishes, and usually someone else’s share when I do them. When I don’t, they just pile up higher. Does anyone have any good ideas to solve this problem? Or are there any horror stories out there?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

the Snowboarder

Steven snowboards

Here's a picture of my brother snowboarding. Ok, so he's actually strapped to sled and my sister, my cousin, and I are all standing behind him posing for the picture. You would think that after he broke his arm that would stop us. Nope, just the opposite actually, all three of us that were making fun of him, instead of skiing, were snowboarding the next day. See our grandfather is a ski instructor here in Ohio so we’ve been skiing since we were five. Snowboarding on the other hand we proved to be very ill equiped to do. I can't tell you how many times I ate snow that day on the slopes of Colorado.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Ray Comfort

Disclaimer: Before I continue, let me say that I haven’t taken a few days to reflect on the implications or to what extent he is correct. Now, on with the post!

I’ve been listening to Ray Comfort, I’ve been told he is excellent from many of my friends who have stumbled across his materials within the past few months. Specifically, on his website:
I’ve been listening to the sermon titled, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”. It definitely is making me think about the approach I’ve been taught in evangelism. To what extent do we need to emphasize the state of a sinner and how do we go about it? What areas are being neglected by the modern message of God’s redemption of mankind? I would encourage you do either listen to it online (which I know can be hard to do) or download it and burn it to a CD and listen to it. After you’ve listened to it, let me know what you think of it.

Saturday, July 03, 2004


I don’t know how everyone else feels about birds but I don’t like’em. Now, if I didn’t own a car I may feel differently, but I do. Don’t get me wrong my 2000 CR-V is not exactly the “hot-rod” of cars, but I try to keep it moderately clean. I don’t plan on getting another car for many years to come so I’m trying to keep it in good shape.

If you hear me on this, let me know. I can wash my car and it will shine, boy howdy. Just like being in someone’s wedding guarantees you’ll never see them again, when I wash my car it is a guarantee that a flock of birds will crap on it. It used to make me mad when I first got my car a year ago. Over time I’ve learned to just be moderately annoyed and take greater pleasure in eating chicken and turkey. I’ve decided to write birds off. They just don’t seem compassionate. Ok, I guess I shouldn’t be talking since I’m telling you how much pleasure I get from eating birds now… but, they started it! Ok, so maybe I ate chicken and turkey before they started crapping on my car, but I did have a parakeet when I was a kid growing up! That should so even things out!

Here’s the thing, they don’t JUST crap all over my car. They also crap all over my car windows too! That’s so disgusting! Why in the crap do you have to crap all over my windows!?!??! Do I go and crap all over your birds nest?!?!?! NO! Do I get up at 6 in the morning and start playing my music really loud right outside your bedroom!?!?! NO! Woops. I guess that just kinda slipped out. But while it is out in the open, why do they pick my bedroom window to sit on and start singing before the sun rises!?!?!? If they were smart enough to know that I do eat other members of their bird family then I would understand. It’s not like I’m eating their brother, it’s more like their great aunt Margaret who they didn’t even like in the first place!

So once again today I have to go out and clean my car again. They got the hood really good. I mean the bird that got my car has to be the Birdzilla of all birds. The crap is easy 4” in diameter! Four inches! Sick! I’m just waiting for the day when I see this 30 lb. bird the size of a large dog flying around. I’m not a NRA member, but if these birds keep taking out my car, I may consider it. It’s not like I live in the country… Birds. Sick.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Tv makes me sick!

It is scary how watching even a bit of tv drains your life. I mean working at an office all day can be draining on occasion, but television ranks way higher in my book on the suck-the-life-out-of-you meter. The only thing that I think sucks the life out of you more would be the ex or someone who constantly complains (and in some scary cases, I’m sure that’s the same person!).

Anyway, I remembered just how depressing watching tv is when I turned it on tonight to relax. We don’t have cable because at our bachelor pad, we don’t watch it much except some sports and an occasional Simpsons episode. Most of the time I’m out with some people doing something. Tonight I thought I would see what the regular couch potatoes watch. I felt hypnotized and somehow it makes you want to keep watching. It’s so weird. I don’t know why it happens, but yuck.

You know what I’m talking about, you turn it on and there’s nothing you want to see. For some strange reason, you don’t turn it off, you just keep watching. I’m not sure if it is because watching tv takes less energy than sleeping or if it is because I feel too tired to go and read or what. I just sit there and start to feel worse and worse. By the time I turn it off I agree I won’t watch it for another month and see what happens. You would think I had learned my lesson the first time, but I keep coming back like a moth to the flames…

I also realized that tv seems worse than I remember it. It seems like everyone has problems that are magically solved in 20 minutes, the women are all so slender that a good wind would send them into the next program, and for some reason everyone seems to live in a mansion.

Take a month off of watching tv. No, seriously. You won’t want to go back. And when you do, you’ll feel sick and won’t do it again for a while.