Tuesday, December 30

Home is . . . .

They always say home is where the heart is, so if your homeless is then does that mean your heartless as well?

Why is the starting plate called Home plate in Baseball?

What about dogs?

What is just the right amount of time to be at home with out getting sick of it?

I missed that window this year. Although I was expecting to see a few more friends then what I have. I'm ready to catch a flight this afternoon. I want to go home! Seattle home that is. Here's the kicker though. I've really enjoyed my visit. I loved getting to see the Family. But 2 weeks is well . . . too long. Anyway, the trip has been fun. I'm going to try and study a little bit, but I'm sure I'll wind up back with my latest addiction (the Sims).

Saturday, December 20

Gracefully kissing your knee

Well I arrived in Tulsa yesterday after what seemed like the shortest six hours of travel in my life! I grabbed King of Torts by Grisham on my way through the airport and simply couldn’t put it down. Nothing better then grabbing a good Grisham book after a semester of forced theological reading (not that seminary’s not great, but books are better when a grade is not attached to their reading).
Tulsa is about 90 miles east of my hometown of Springdale, AR. Tulsa is also the home of my sister Diane, her husband Chris, and my two nieces Olivia (almost 5), and Annika (3 months). They just moved in to a beautiful new home, and as such we will be spending Christmas with them in their home!
My mom met me at the airport and informed me that I would be attending Olivia’s ballet recital that evening (which was actually more of a rehearsal with parents watching). Normally I’m not a huge fan of the ballet, but I’d go watch basket weaving if my niece were involved so I was perfectly happy! So after a brief stop by the house, we all loaded up and went to the rehearsal.
It was a small studio and there were only 4 students and the teacher Mrs. Lynn. This was the first time I’ve ever watched ballet, other then the few times I may have run across it on PBS and quickly turned the channel. I came away very much impressed though in several areas. To start Mrs Lynn was sooooo graceful and beautiful in her dance. Her she was a lady probably in her late 40’s and she would run the children through the various exercises of basically swing your leg around from one place to another and moving your arm in and out. But Mrs. Lynn had such control and balance grace when she did it. It was very beautiful! The first time I really appreciated that form of dance.
Mrs. Lynn was helped by the fact that 4 and 5 year olds are not ummm . . . well . . . graceful, not yet anyway. In fact they often lose focus, and pick their nose or stare into space. Essentially, Mrs. Lynn was like a football coach that is instilling discipline into his team. She would gently correct the students by name correcting their movements, which they often still didn’t grasp, and reaffirmed then if by chance they did make the correct change. (Lot’s of spiritual analogies I don’t have time for right now that I saw in this small class.) It was neat though I enjoyed it.
The highlight of the afternoon for me was toward the end. They were doing some stretching exercises. Sitting on the floor in a sort of splits position (ok well Mrs. Lynn made it there, the girls did their best) the goal was for them to touch their head to their knees. Mrs. Lynn asked them to kiss their knee, and then demonstrated, by slowly stretching and kissing her knee, one knee and then the other. They did this about 3-4 times each knee.
Now the knee was supposed to flat on the ground, and many of the other girls being unable to kiss their knee on the ground would lift their knee and kiss it that way. No shame in that. But Olivia, did the coolest thing ever! Not being able to reach her knee either and in fact not being able to reach it by a good distance, she did what your supposed to do when your far away from something you want to kiss. She blew it. She leaned as far as she could, kissed her hand, and blew her knee a kiss!
It’s good to be home!

Wednesday, December 17

I'm Done! Ok well I'm done for the semester. Well I don't have to got to school till Jan 8th. But like any student who is given the option I chose not to finish all my papers. Therefore I will attempt to finish them before the start of next semester! Sometimes deadlines are good! Oh well you get what ya sow!

I'm heading home in 2 days! Be visiting the great state of Arkansas for about 2 weeks! I get to see my family and some old friends. Should be a great time! But I still have almost all my Christmas shopping to do. Including a few more gifts for some friends here before I leave!

I had probably one of my favorite Christmas moments about a week ago. I was over at a friends house and we exchanged gifts (nothing huge, but still fun) ate some snacks, chatted a bit, then watched a movie while sipping on hot coco. It was all candle lit and very warm. I felt comfortable, free to be me, and loved.

Thursday, December 4

"The future isn't what it used to be" - Paul Valery

Wednesday, November 26

Quote of the Day (ok so it was actually from a month ago but I just read it today)

"The way things are going in fashion, there will soon be nothing left for prostitutes to wear."

- Bill Maher

Wow! Bill Maher?? If even he sees it then what's wrong with the rest of America?

Wednesday, November 19

OK well it's over. Yesterday was one of the most nerve racking experiances of my life. I'm not sure what was so difficult about it really. I mean I've spoken quite a bit, and actually enjoy getting up in front of a crowd. I think the difference is that this time I had to follow a format and knew that everyone in the class was going to be looking to see how well I followed the formula.

At any rate I felt the whole preaching experiance was less then enjoyable. I felt to nervous and it totally affected my delivery. Oh well, fortunatly I don't have to do that every day. Having it behind me will allow me to move on to other things. And i have learned a lot from it.

Sunday, November 16

You Gotta Love the these guys!!!

1 week after Guarunteeing a victory over the UNDEFEATED Chiefs. Chad Johnson (above) and MY Cincinatti Bengals delivered with a 24-19 Victory!

Here's to blind braggadocio and the ability to back it up.

Marvin Lewis for NFL coach of the year!!

Thursday, November 13

“Smells like Birthday Parties” - Heather

“Ahhhhh . . . The sound you make at the end of a hard days work, that or right after you drink a big tall glass of iced tea.

Since I’m not a tea drinker I’m going to have to go with the former. Got a lot done at work today, very satisfying, it was a great day.

The morning was ok, I had an MSRG (Ministry Support and Reflection Group) it’s for a class I’m taking in Seminary. Since I have kind of an unusual job, the team is also kind of unusual (the make up of the team that is, they are all very normal people). It is supposed be a group of lay people that see you minister on a regular basis, usually in a church setting. However I work with a group of churches (about 120), so even the folks I share an office with don’t see what I do most of the time. So it’s kind of hard in that respect, but I tried to get some folks that knew me, so it’s been ok so far.

The meetings consist of me talking to them about what I did the last month or so for about 20 min, then they tell me the areas of my life I need to improvement, as well as the things that I’m doing well. It’s a pretty fair group, if anything they are a bit generous. Yet it is impossible to come out of the meeting with out feeling a bit defensive. I have to remind myself, that A) I asked for the criticism and b) they really are just trying to help. I’m never upset with any of them, but it’s hard to hear your faults, even when you know that it’s true. The big thing that they hit on today was not a news flash at all: I need to work on my grammar. (no wise cracks!)
I’ve known this since 11th grade English with Mr. Boudino. Generally a nice guy he was white haired with a white long goatee, could have passed for a bitnick in his day I’m sure. He forced us to read “The Sun also Rises”, still the worst book I’ve ever read, and told me that my grammar would flunk me out of college. I was very tempted to mail him a copy of my diploma upon my graduation! However, part of me knew that he was half right and I still need to work on it; all that to say, I’m going to let Coqui check my papers and letters before they are turned in or sent out. She said “You know I love to do that kind of stuff.” What?? I honestly didn’t know anybody enjoyed that stuff. People actually enjoy editing others grammar? This is news to me. I’m not sure how anyone can enjoy it, but I’m glad they exist. So here’s to you Coqui!

So after the meeting I had lunch with Jack and Mike, both of whom are youth ministers I work with and buddies of mine as well. We talked about their various ministries and some other random things, but the fun part came at the end of the meal. We were talking about a church that had recently sold some property, some rather prime real estate in fact, to a Mormon church. The kicker of the thing was that there was an evangelical church in the area that had made a reasonable offer on the land. I was appalled that any church would literally sell out a sister church like that for money, especially to an enemy of the Gospel like the Mormon church. I made my distain known at the table, so I’m sure those around us could hear. Long story short as the table beside us got up to leave I noticed that one of the 2 young men wearing black coats had on a name tag. One of those balck name tags you usually see on two young guys in white shirts riding bikes, or walking down the street. YEP, I’m about 90% certain that they were Mormons! I think they were like Secret agent Mormons though cause they had on black coats. Then again it was kind of cold out. We laughed about it, not sure whether we were actually offensive or not in our conversation.

I went back to the office and got a LOT done on my sermon. I still have some fine tuning and details to get worked out, but it’s looking pretty good. This is great because I still have to write a10 page paper, a book report, and edit a journal. It was also the first time in a while that I’ve spent this much time trying to work on one passage for a sermon. There is nothing as exciting as teaching God’s word when you have a message from Him that you’ve been able to workout and prepare well. Truly one of the joys of my life is standing in front of an audience, knowing that God has a message for them and you get to share it. It’s a very gratifying!!

Then the real fun part of the day kicks in. Just as I’m about to wrap up my study’s and head for home; Heather, a friend from church, calls and wants to hang out. I’m all up for it as Heather is always fun to hang with and I want to check out some CD’s. And yes Heather is just a friend (sorry Mom). In fact most of the evening revolves around talking about her boyfriend Christopher, also a friend from church, who is in Spokane doing some work. I had such a blast just hanging out, not a dull moment.

We went by the greatest of all American stores, Best Buy, so many toys so little time. I got the New Jars O’clay CD and a Cademon’s CD.

No idea if they are any good yet, I’ll keep ya posted. Then we were off to Old Navy, Target, Coach House Gifts, and Quiznos/Taco Time, all located in the mall. Got some good deals at Old Navy, how is it Heather was the one that needed to go, but she didn’t even buy anything, while I got some PJ pants and a Fleece?

We then ate dinner, me finishing most of my sub before Heather even takes a bite out of her first taco. Mid way through her 2nd taco she wonders aloud why I always seem to ask her questions when she’s taking a bite of her Taco. To which I retort, cause that’s the only time you pause long enough for me to get in a sentence. She starts to refute the statement while chewing, but realizes the truth behind before she can finish the bite. We discuss more of Christopher, a bit of video games and then head to Coach house Gifts.

Heather is looking for some candles when she runs across Butter Cream. She hands me the candle and says “um smells like Birthday Parties.”

Well that is it smell like cake, and no birthday party is complete w/o a Birthday cake.

So it smells like Birthday parties! I love moments like that, they make me laugh.

To conclude the evening I went home where I watched the latest episode of Survivor, taped of course so no boring commercials, one of only two shows which I try not to miss each week.

Ok well off to Bed, the completion of a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 12

This is hysterical to me.

koin.com: "DARE Dumps Trail Blazers

Anti-Drug Program No Longer Accepts Tickets

(Italics added by me)

PORTLAND -- The anti-drug program DARE has cut its ties with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers have provided free game tickets for children, but DARE officials say they're not going to accept them until some of the players clean up their acts. All kidding aside this is almost a no brainier. ( For those that don't follow the NBA the team has had several run-ins where players have been busted for Drug possession among other violations. My personal favorite was when Damon Stoutamire tried to smuggle his Pot through the airport wrapped IN TIN FOIL!!)

'We are about making good choices and picking role models. And the kids are pretty keen -- they don't get a lot past them,' DARE educator Deputy Mike Olds told KOIN 6 News. Mike also invited all the reporters over for milk and cookies, but told them that Wally and the Beav had home work finish before they couls come out and play. (Keen?? Really? They still use that word?)

Team officials would not comment on the DARE program but pointed out that other community groups, such as the Portland Police Activities League, support the team. " Yeah, because they are on a first name basis with so many of the players! I mean ya gotta have some kind of job security.

Tuesday, November 11

A Youth Ministry icon passed away last week, Mike Yaconelli he was the founder of Youth Specialties an organization that has helped youth leaders change the lives of students for decades. I have personally benifitted greatly from the conferances, and materials Mike and YS put together. Mike you'll be missed by many, thanks for all you've done for so many of us.

July 24, 1942 - October 30, 2003

"If I died right this minute, I would be able to say, 'God, what a ride! What a ride!'"
Mike, YS Convention, Charlotte, 10/24/03

Doug Fields (the Youth minster at SaddleBack) wrote a great article that pays a wonderful tribute to this follower of Christ. "The day my friend died: a tribute to Mike Yaconelli"

Tuesday quote of the day

"L.A. Has more gyms then churches, which means: you may never get close to God,
but you'll be able to run through hell."

- Some random black guy on BET

Quote for Monday

". . . She attacked me, I patronized her, we didn't have food; but I think we made a connection. "
- Michael Douglas American President

Sunday, November 9


Why, don’t all teams run the 2 minute offense the whole game? I watched back to back games where the team with the ball seemed to just move the ball at will in the 2 min. offense.

I watched the Redskins score at will at the end of the half against my second favorite team, the Seahawks, and now the Carolina Panthers score on like 4 plays against Tampa. (By the way if you didn’t see the McCardell catch watch sports center, BEST CATCH OF THE YEAR. Simply Amazing.)

Is it the Defense or what? Also my Razorbacks exhibit the same trait. In 2 games this year doing nothing until the 4th and then throwing up 2-3 touch downs in about 5 min. Truly a mystery of Life!

WhAT!!! Now they tell me they aren’t allowed to show me the end of the GAME!!! What kind of stupid league rule says you can’t watch a game past :15 after the hour? I swear I’ll go postal if Tampa comes back with a minute left. Crazy day, back to school work.

Saturday, November 8

Was reading this article on Mike Price (Bama football coach that was fire for being in the strip clubs), came across this quote:

"I think I can still motivate and lead people,' Price told the newspaper.
Price said he continues to look for a job in college football or the National Football League.

Uhh no you can't, sorry Mike. Even if it didn't happen quite the way SI reported you forfeited your character that evening. And it's hard to follow a man w/o Character.
Ahhhh. Is there anything in the world more satisfying then checking off the final thing on your check list???

Well, I'm not there yet but the journey has begun with the finishing of the first of several projects and it's quite encouraging!

OK back to the grind stone.

Quote of the day comes from the verse that I think I have memorized for the week:

Ephesians 2:10

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do."

By the way quite a good verse to memorize when your not sure where life is headed. Was a good reminder to me this week that God has stuff prepared just for me. Makes you feel needed. (and yes I understand that God doesn't NEED me for anything, )

oh yeah Hogs won 28-6 which now makes us Bowl eligeable.

The privilage of being bowl eligable is about equal to that of making your high school football team. All ya gotta do is be able to put one foot in front of the other and show up to the game. Bring on the play-off system!!!!

Friday, November 7

The Matrix Revolutions (WARNING The major plot lines in the movie are reveled, well the 2 min. that weren't part of the preview anway.)

If your going to the theater and want to go see a good movie check out ELF, or that new Hugh Grant movie, or better yet just hold your money and see "The Return of the King" twice. Revolutions while very good visually, in fact I'd say the best of the three, lacks any kind of real draw! As one critic said:
‘ . . . while "Reloaded" and "Revolutions" might be technically proficient, they are largely devoid of the kind of wonder and storytelling that hooked us the first time. Simply put, the Wachowskis ran out of good ideas, and they isolated themselves so no one could point out their indulgence.”

The Whojahoski brothers (I donĂ‚’t care how they spell it) seriously disappoint us. All three movies lead up to answering the question of fate vs. free will. At the end of a decent fight scene between Hugo Weaving (who was the lone bright spot in the movie) and Neo, Weaving beggs the question why do you continue to fight? He throws out some great answers like Courage, honor, love, etc. etc. And Keanu in all his greatness says: “Because I choose too” .

What?? That’s it? Like hey I felt like having a tuna sandwich today. I’d like to be a dentist instead of an optometrist. What are you talking about? You choose too?!!!!! That’s your reason for saving the world? Wow, that’s Keanu at his best I suppose. There were a lot of other things that were messed up with the movie, but that was the most disappointing line in the whole series.

The other thing that was very disappointing was the fact that they called a truce. What?? Does anyone else see this as a huge problem? I mean how long is it going to take before the humans demand that the machines let their people go? The machines obviously can’t because that would mean they have no power and therefore all die. HELLLOOO! HUGE flaw in the plot there.

Anyway, the special effects were pretty cool and also much more seemless then in Reloaded. But I think the movie as a whole jsut doesn't ring true. The movies overall message just falls flat. I mean hey nothing gets you through the day like well I chose to. That is what gives me meaning, he might as well have said I think therefore I am or some other load of crap like that.

See it if your dying to know what happens other wise borrow your neighbors copy when your bored next summer.

Thursday, November 6

Wow, this is truly a sick addiction. But hey it's the flavor of the month and at least for now it tastes really good! Anyway, the world is truly small. As I was surfing some other blogs today I went to a link on Coqui's site (jason) read it for a bit and as I was checking out his links I see a name that is the same as that of a buddy from college. Surely this isn?t the same I thought but I don?t know many John Barbers and sure enough there he was in all his Barberman blogging greatness. Anyway it was cool to see small world.

If I continue this I?m absolutely going to have to get some pictures on this thing, but that requires money and before I go throwing around cash (yeah I know $5 a month or whatever isn?t a lot) I have to be sure I?m going to stick with it at least on a semi-consistent basis.

Tonight is an exciting night as my Razorbacks are playing on National TV. Living in Seattle it?s kind of hard to catch a team from Ark on the TV. So in about 15 min they?ll be playing the Gamecocks. They?ve had a very up and down season. But here is hoping they win out and make a decent Bowl. For those of you not from Ark. The University of Arkansas is THE TEAM in Arkansas. If you live anywhere in the State you?re REQUIRED to root for the Hogs. Since we don?t have any professional teams, the college kids get all the love. It?s good times.

In fact Coqui, who is in my office bemoaning the Hawgs Illustrated (yep it?s an actual magazine) that she has to sort through and make sure I get each week, is a prime example of those that ?don?t get it?. It?s like New York and the Yankees, Chicago and the Cubs, Dallas and the Cowboys, or yeah ok sorry don?t have any non sports illustrations; if you live there though you have to follow the team. So I?m headed home to watch the Razorbacks.

Oh yeah the Basketball team is actually better then the football team. Ok well not this year, but give them a couple and the back to back top 5 recruiting classes they have coming in will be in full effect! Stan Heath will be coach of the year in '05 just put it down.
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
Eph 6:19-20 (NIV)

As I'm studying for a sermon I have to preach for my preaching class. (preaching to your peers by the way is one of the most nerve racking things you can do). I ran across this passage and just really like it a lot. The word "fearlessly" hit a cord with me this morning. It sounds so reckless, and uninhibited. Love that passage, probably gonna memorize it, and stick it somewhere or something.

Also I'm reading the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It's a great book. Very simple in it's concepts, but also very profound in drawing your attention back to the purpose of life. I'm only on the 4th day (our church started it a bit late), but I highly recommend the book.

2 Quotes for the day -

"It ought to be the business of everyday to prepare for our final day" - Matthew Henry (via The Purpose Driven Life)
Today talked about living life with eternity in mind. This pretty much summed up the whole chapter.

"Guys don't want to know what's on TV, guys want to know what else is on TV." - Jerry Sienfeld

Wednesday, November 5

Well ya gotta start somewhere so why not here? I started to change the name, but I think it fits the way life feels right now. I'd like to be creative and thoughtful, but I just feel like I'm in too much of a hurry to really mess with it. When the mood changes so will the name, at least until I find something that fits.

A little info about me. I'm a 27 year old part time seminary student. I work in the Seattle area (in the same office as Coqui), I help resource Youth Ministers and start Campus (Jr. and Sr. High school) Outreach Clubs. I also co-ordinate 3-4 big events a year. I work for and am funded by the Southern Baptist Convention.

I'm proud to be a Baptist, but it's not like I think we invented the Bible or anything. I'm fully aware that we have done some stupid things (see Disney boycott) and are far from perfect, but we do a good job at missions and try our best to live out the teachings of Christ.

I grew up in Springdale, Arkansas (Go Hogs!). Graduated from Ouachita (pronounced wash-it-aw) Baptist University in 1999 and spent a couple of years in Dallas, TX. Before god Delivered me to beautiful Seattle, WA. I absolutely love it in Washington. I miss my family, but that's about it. It's a great place to do ministry, with a lot of needs.

Anyway, Seminary is kicking my butt right now. As in I have about 4 assignments that are overdue, sooooo I gotta get to work.

Oh yeah I miss Texas High School Football too. Just not the same here in Washington. (did I mention I'm a big sports fan? More on that later.)

gotta run

Ok yeah I might actually ramble a bit more on this but I figured I'd go ahead and post the quote of the day.

Our winner today comes from just down the office

"It is important - rather indispensable - to have Baptist stickers on all things. " - Coqui

Definatly one of the funnier stories I've read in a long time.