Wednesday, April 30, 2008

yep. i love toast. sure do. it's true.

perhaps the only person who loves toast more than me is sabrina. yep. she's a-nutty about that warmed-up-bread.

any food that is best friends with cereal, juice, eggs, bacon, whiskey, unions, etc. is a friend of ours.

so we are moving to texas for the summer.

texas is arguably the toast capital of the world.

while we are there we will be students in a summer architecture program at the University of Texas at Austin for good measure. besides, even toast enthusiasts need a-somethin' to do between toast eatin'.

now there's a-usin' my philosophic degree-
life: whatcher doin' when you ain't eatin' toast.

i knew it was good for somethin',

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Flight of the Conchords

On Todd's recommendation we've been enjoying the Flight of the Conchords. They are self dubbed: "Formerly New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo."

Their HBO show is basically them recently moved to NY and their mis-adventures. They have one fan (creepy groupie), one friend who owns a pawn shop and a band manager who seems to be employed at the New Zealand consulate.

If you can laugh at sophomoric humor and bad language then check out the clips below and pick it up on DVD!


I've spent a ridiculous amount of time putting these odd decals up in the jr. high room bit I think they're pretty hip. Dope? Rad? Whatever...

Blik Wall Graphics has a bunch of sweet & odd designs.


Tale Of Rock from Digital Animation Herts Uni UK on Vimeo.

how breakfast ends up

The Enigma of the Rich Young Ruler

So I've been bothered by the story of the so-called rich young ruler and his encounter with Jesus for several years now (see Matthew 19 for the story). The whole interaction is odd. You'd think that Jesus would be signing this guy up for the Finance Committee as quick as he could but he keeps pushing him and pushing him and almost toying with him. It might seem cruel if we didn't know that Jesus genuinely cared for him. That's the thing that bothers me most is that we know that Jesus really did care for this guy and he cared enough to push him on the particular issue that was holding him back from so much more.

But even more than the way JESUS dealt with this guy, I'm disturbed by the way folks in the church do their hermeneutical gymnastics to say that what Jesus really meant was that we just need to believe in him and not really ever give anything up to follow Jesus.

But we've got all sorts of people watering down the call of Jesus for us. "Oh, Jesus doesn't really mean for us to sell our possessions or give up anything to follow him" in other words, "Jesus is just fine with us being fat, gluttonous, uber comortable Americans living house-poor and frazzled with busyness." Preachers and teachers write off the socio-economic, evangelistic and holy living implications of this story. Just throw your 2.3% in the plate and dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back for how fantastic you are.

For my Doctrine of Grace class this semester one of the books I read was John MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus." Now...before you throw up in your mouth a bit because of the title, apparently it was originally written in the late '80s before there was the gospel according to everyone and their mom. The book's terrific and focusing on the teachings of Jesus, duh. The main gist is confronting easy-believism.

Anyway...MacArthur says this in his chapter on the Rich Young Guy:
He left not because he heard the wrong message, not even because he did not believe, but because he was unwilling to forsake what he loved most in this world and commit himself to Christ as Lord. Instead of taking him from where he was and getting him to make a "decision," Jesus had laid out terms that were unacceptable to him. In a sense, Jesus drove him away.
What kind of evangelism is this? Jesus would have failed personal evangelism in almost every Bible college or seminary I know! He began by preaching law to the young man and at this point did not even mention faith or the facts of redemption. He did not challenge the man to believe. He failed to get closure. He did not draw the net. After all, when a man comes along saying he wants eternal life, you cannot let him get away, right?
Wrong. Our idea of evangelism cannot indict Jesus; rather, he must judge contemporary methods of evangelism. Modern evangelism is preoccupied with decisions, statistics, aisle-walking, gimmicks, prefabricated presentations, pitches, emotional manipulation, and even intimidation. Its message is a cacophony of easy-believism and simplistic appeals. Unbelievers are told that if they invite Jesus into their hearts, accept him as personal Savior, or believe the facts of the gospel, that is all there is to it. The aftermath is appalling failure, as seen in the lives of millions who have professed faith in Christ with no consequent impact on their behavior...
The ultimate test was whether this man would obey the Lord. Jesus was not teaching salvation by philanthropy. He was not saying that it is possible to buy eternal life with charity. In effect, he was saying, "Here is the test of faith: Are you willing to do what I want you to do? Whom do you want to run your life, you or me?" The Lord was putting a finger on the very nerve of this man's existence. Knowing where the man's heart was, Jesus said, "Unless I can be the highest authority in your life, there is no salvation for you." By placing himself alongside the man's wealth and demanding that he make the choice, our Lord revealed the true state of the man's heart.
Quite a good book. It's relevant and indicting, which makes for a good, challenging read. I am more and more convinced that we need to "rediscover" Jesus' teaching, take a good hard look at our lives and methods and everything, avoiding pat answers and see what might come. Jesus was pretty wild and defies a whole lot of systems and formulas.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Money Matters

Interesting NPR story on debt n' stuff.

And from one of my favorite blogs, the Blogfathers, "Are Men Only Good for Money?"

And a John Piper bit re:the economic stimulus package via Josh @ tollelege.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You Remember Walter?

Walt Jocketty is the new General Manager of the Reds. And Wayne Krivsky got the short shrift.

Brian, you asked for my opinion, so here it is:

For the record, I like Walt Jocketty and think he will do a mighty fine job. I am also on the record many, many times saying I didn't like Krivsky. And by and large I didn't. He made some great moves and some terrible ones, which average out to a solid C grade for his tenure.

I really dock him some points for what he did to the minor league system. He didn't cripple it by any means, but he didn't exactly make it the best in the league, either. (Cueto, Bailey, Bruce, and Votto were all pre-Krivsky.) Of course, his drafts can't fully be evaluated until a few years down the road, so the point is moot, I suppose. But he did get rid of Johnny Almaraz (the guy who found and signed Cueto), so that's not so good.

Moves I liked: Phillips, Hamilton, Arroyo, Burton, Volquez.
Moves I didn't: Kearns/Lopez, Stanton, Patterson, Castro.

I say that he got the short shrift because everyone saw this coming--months ago. As soon as Jocketty came on board, Krivsky's time began running out. But they should have made a move in the offseason--either last one, or after this season. To do it now, after less than a month, shows a dearth of class.

However, if this means that Patterson, Freel, and/or Fogg will be gone, or that Hatteberg will be traded for some real value, then it's better for the Reds. Oh yeah, and if Jay Bruce is called up it will help. A lot.

I don't know Walt Jocketty's reputation, though I've heard he favors veterans. He did win a World Series, though. And unless he blows up the roster there's not really a whole lot he can do to make this team worse, but there's a whole lot he can do to make it better.

More than anything, it's time to stop the revolving front door in the front office. Hopefully Jocketty gets five years, at least, regardless of "winning now." Baseball isn't a "win now" sport; it's a build then win sport. I will criticize Jocketty if he does something I don't like, because that's what Reds fans do. But I will support him for five years.

Unless he trades Jay Bruce.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Zelda, er...Super Mario, er...


"That Jesus Christ died for my sins certainly shows how great his grace is, but it also shows how great my sins are." _ Soren Kierkegaard

Friday, April 18, 2008


"...right and reality are two different things, especially when it comes to church politics."
-dr. youth from Group Magazine

Friday Breaking Our Fast

Edie's beginning to hit the solid food (aka. uber bland rice cereal)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


So...Eden was born in November. And it's April. And we still don't know how much we owe for her. The hospital is taking literally FOR-EV-ER to get back to us about what kind of financial aid we qualify for (less wealthy people's babies apparently do cost less).

All this lag time has got me thinking...would they repo her if we don't pay?

Mike Doughty Show @ the Southgate House

Pretty good show. Left reeking of smoke. Not so cool.

Love Doughty's music but man he's got a foul mouth. I haven't heard that many F words in such a short period of time since the last time I saw the non-TV version of Beverly Hills Cop. (Last Saturday).

I really dig his new album Golden Delicious which you ought to check out if you haven't already.

Highlights of the show for me were:
-Put it Down off of Golden Delicious.
-The bizarre banter & tuning music.
-Unsingable Name of off Haughty Melodic.
-The fake last song. They didn't leave the stage they just turned around & pretended to have left before playing the "encore."
-The Gambler cover. Rollicking. Killer.

His record opener, Fort Hood, is a particulary poignant critique of the war. He lifts the chorus from the 5th Dimension but it's a great synthesis. Here's the first bit:

"I'd rather watch movie stars get fat.
I'd rather hang up the flag & be done with it.
I'd rather keep the frenzy & the fire out of my mind.
I'd rather take sides in an argument.
I'd rather crank up the bass in a dark basement.
I'd rather leave the mobs & the murder in a different land.
Let the sun shine in..."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

manifest density.

something has been bothering me severely.

i mean, just eating away at my very core.

i know that back to the future is sacrosanct but -

okay, imagine you meet a friend in high scool named marty. and this is cool because you are a sci-fi loving nerd with no friends. now, as far as you can tell marty is "dating" this chick, lorraine, who you think is smokin' hot - and you know for sure that she is all kinds of into him. but then things happen, you knock out a meat-head named biff and you end up with her, no hard feelings.

that is all well and good.

but say that about 20 years later your son looks EXACTLY like that guy marty that your now wife was insanely into in high school. not only that but your kid himself, perhaps at her insistence (she did say she really liked the name) was named marty.

i think that you could only draw one conclusion...

your wife is a cheatin' ho-bag who had a rendevous with your long-lost high school friend, got pregnant by him, and named HIS kid after HIM. you are just a chump with a well-received science fiction novel. come on! it would literally be impossible for your child marty to look, act or sound any more like your friend from high school marty. hello, mcfly! anybody home? you got clowned by that tramp!

Scott's response:

I've thought a lot about this, too. It does seem quite odd. But then, I can hardly remember what the people I went to high school with looked like, even those I was friends with. And George never actually knew Lorraine was into Marty.

As soon as George laid out Biff, she fell for George, thus forgetting Marty (aided by her lack of sexual attraction to him).

Plus, it was only like a week. I've known you for 25 years and I usually forget you exist.

This leads to only one logical conclusion: "Back to the Future" is still the best movie ever.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Caught these cats on the NPR's All Songs Considered Podcast while I was working on my message for Sunday. On the righteousness of God, none the less. The bit that started the whole Reformation.


From Detroit. Old timey. Kinda cool.

Another Lost Summer (mp3)


I thought this was a terrific quote in a terrific article about consumerism & identity particulalrly as it relates to ministry to students:

"Kids in today's churches face the historically novel & existentially staggering task of inventing themselves. They have to create identities in a society where these is a dizzying array of options open to them. And this singular fact of existence in a consumerist society will have concrete effects on patterns & behaviors of living, both in & out of the church. "
-Tyler Stevenson from 'Countering Consumerism in Youth Ministry' from Youthworker Journal March/April 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

Any day @ the ballpark... a great day regardless of the outcome though a W is preferable. Especially when:
(1) the tickets are given to you (thanks Schubes!)
(2) you're with good friends (yeah Griffins)
(3) your girls make it one the jumbo tron multiple times (my smokin' hot wife & adorable kids)
(4) it's about 68 & sunny

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sing Along

So I acknowledge that it's kind of cheesy/hokey/campy but I really enjoy songs that say something like: "we sing . . ." or "we join the song" or "together we sing" or as Bono leads us "For the Reverend Martin Luther King...SING!" and the like. Basically any reference or call to communal singing or a joining in song.

Now, communal singing is not something we do anymore. I can really only think of maybe 2 locales where COMMUNAL singing occurs anymore: (1) Ballparks/sporting events (National anthem, which people don't really sing b/c it's hard & public singing is odd, and maybe Take Me Out tothe Ball Game).
(2) Worship gatherings (aka. Church services.)

Certainly there is quite a bit of public performance singing but outside of these venues there ain't a lot of public communal singing going on, right? Except pre-planned random musicals in malls (see below).

And if you look around @ the ballpark and even our church buildings, even there a LOT of people, dare I say most, aren't singing along. Certainly not singing like they mean it. That is, unless you're drunk @ the ballpark and fall over your row into the seats below (which happened to us @ opening day @ Great American. Sorry about your face Chase. He got kicked and/or punched by aforementioned drunkard). I bet the singing in worship services would be much more clolorful if people were inebriated.

But I think I get choked up & enjoy songs that call people to sing along because if you are willing to publicly sing communally you are joining a greater song. An ongoing song. A song much bigger than youself whether it's honoring your country, America's past time or God. And it's risky. You are making a public declaration. You're caring more about something bigger than yourself than what people think of you and all that. Singing along is humbling act.

So I am sending up the call...SING. Sing publicly and attribute worth to something bigger than yourself. Not ready to sing publicly? That's okay. Step 1 can be singing lustily (not lustfully, just to be clear) in your car and don't be embarassed when other drivers see you.

Sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

To Morrow

Probably my favorite Muppet number.

The ferry clan gets one stronger...

That's right. Believe it or not, we're having another kid. Wild. What's the date today?