Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Since it's Halloween, I have to post this picture of my beautiful daughter and what she decided to be for Halloween. Honest - I didn't do anything to influence it. It just shows you how sweet and sensitive kids can be.

And that's her pose - I didn't tell her to stand like that. She looks so serious! She's growing up way too fast...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Our Consumer Responsibility

I haven't read The Onion in a while, being underwhelmed by the recent content of their articles. But, I just came across an article I had to share, since I've soapboxed about tipping here before:

10-Percent Tip Teaches Waitress Valuable Lesson

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Riders on the Storm

I've got to share these pictures I took on the way home one night last week (I think it was Thursday).

First of all, this is what the sky looked like when I left work. Pretty amazing.

(click for wallpaper size)

But then, driving into Madison, things got weird. Look at this wall of clouds it looked like I was driving into. I've never seen anything like it. I didn't get any real good pictures driving beneath it while I was in Madison. It appeared to be a group of fast moving clouds (going south, maybe?) that were only about 20 or 30 feet above the ground. Bizarre.

Then I ran into a similar phenomenon driving into Athens, though, by this time, it was much darker. It looks like the evil clouds are reaching down from the heavens.

In that last picture, you can see what appears to be another wall of clouds off in the distance. What's going on here?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Funniest Thing I've Ever Heard

I'm sorry, but I've got to tell this story.

Nana's in town, so the granddaughters are getting spoiled, which is to be expected. So, yesterday, we were at Target, waiting on everyone to check out, and Krista and I were sitting in the snack bar, across from Julianna and Josephine (my niece) who had just received new baby dolls courtesy of Nana. Krista asked Julianna what her baby's name was.

Julianna responded, "Gabriella Grace." (Which is the name Krista had been holding on to if we found out we were having a girl; to be honest, I'm still not convinced, but I think it's a moot point, now.)

Krista then asked Josephine what her baby's name was.

She replied, "Poopy."

I swear, if I wasn't holding a sleeping Ella (my other niece), I would have fallen out of my chair, I laughed so hard. It still cracks me up when I think about it...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Today's Confession

Well, in one more step toward transparency (in front of a faceless audience), it's confession time. I guess I’ve come to a place in my life where I realize God is a lot bigger than we make him, and I'm actually kind of snobby about it. I rest my laurels; on this realization that God is bigger than the box most people put Him in. I’m arrogant in that knowledge. I can sit back and say, you're full of it – God's not like that; I may not have all the answers, but at least I know yours are wrong.

And I've acted like knowledge of that is enough. I haven't done anything to try to get to know Him better. I haven't tried to figure out who He is. I'm content to know that He's not the God who hates gays, that He's not the God who wants to sponsor our wars, not the God who laid out a bunch of very specific rules but has disguised them just well enough that we can be arrogant and correct people. Not the God who can be defined by command, example, and necessary inference. Not the God that we can come to through a formula or set of easy steps.

And I think I've just now realized that to know that is not enough.

I think this has hindered my study of His word. In fact, just the word "study" bothers me. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it has it's place but shouldn't be the only means we come to know God. God is not a God to be dissected, to be put in a box and studied. I think we do a disservice when we forsake Bible reading for Bible study. We've made getting to know God an academic exercise. This has sat at the edge of my mind and eaten away at me for quite awhile now. There must be more to searching for God than that.

Don Miller suggests in Searching for God Know’s What that the only thing that truly changes a person is God’s truth, that is, His Word and His working in our lives through the Holy Spirit.

But by “His Word”, I don't think that just means the “study” of His Word – “study” of course meaning the dissection of the text into a list of do's and don'ts, pithy sayings, steps, and patterns. Getting to know God has to be so much more than the intellectual exercise which I have been guilty of. Sure the Word of God is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (Paul said that). But the Word of God is also transforming. It revives us (David), it gives us life (Jesus), hope, and comfort (Paul). We've let this modern, western world infiltrate our thinking. Logic has become the new god.

But I’m getting off topic. My point here is that I need to move forward. I need to move beyond this thought that I can only know God through academic study. It’s not enough to know what He isn’t. I need to understand Who He is. Through prayer, through more of the reading of His Word. Only through spending time with Him this way will I be able to do that.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Old jokes

We are very blessed in that most of my grandparents are still alive. I've got both on my mom's side, and my Grandma on my dad's side. It's neat to see my little girl sit on her great grandmother's (her GG's) lap while she listens to the same songs my Grandma sang to me when I was four years old (Animal Crackers in My Soup, The Man in the Moon). If I'm remembering here correctly, all 3 of these grandparents were born on 1923, making them all 83 this year. And they never cease to surprise me.

I don't normally forward e-mail jokes, much less post them here, but I think this one is worth it by virtue of the fact that it was forwarded to me by my Grandpa (along with all the other family in their addressbook). Yes, all my grandparents have e-mail.

An old fellow was celebrating 92 years on this Earth. He spoke to his toes.

"Hello, toes!" he said. "How are you, toes? You know, you are 92 today. Oh, the times we've had! Remember we walked in the park in summer every Sunday afternoon? The times we waltzed on the dance floor? Happy Birthday, toes!"

"Hello, knees," he continued. "How are you, knees? You know you're 92 today. Oh, the times we've had! Remember when we marched in the parade? Oh the hurdles we've jumped together. Happy Birthday, knees!"

Then, he looked down at his crotch. "Hello, Willie, you little bugger! If you were alive today, you'd be 92."

I probably wouldn't think the joke was that funny, except for the fact that my Grandpa (who, have I mentioned, is 83 and gets e-mail) sent it to me. It made me laugh that much harder when I read the commentary he appended to the e-mail:

That's the way it goes.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Zoe Ramblings

It was another great weekend at the Zoe Conference in Nashville. Though, I'm glad to be back home with my daughter. And probably the most powerful part of this weekend are the personal epiphanies and the discussions they lead to on the way home.

We didn't get a chance to meet Lauren Winner, which Krista was really looking forward to, but we got her next book. We also found out someone on our staff at Crosspoint bought last year's Jeff Walling's The Gospel According to Matthew dramatization - which was pretty powerful in how it invoked images of time of Jesus and the early church, comparing them to the image of church today. (Can you imagine a church without thieves and prostitutes?!?) I can't wait to show this.

The funniest part of the whole weekend, I think, was when Mike Cope was talking about Jacob's ladder, and the whole story about what happened in Bethel (Jacob sees a ladder to Heaven with angels going up and down; he also wrestles - literally - with God; heavy stuff). Mike noted that "some [Bible] translations - and Led Zeppelin - refer to it as a stairway to Heaven."

I found out that people I hardly know read my blog. (Thanks, Matt and Lindsay!)

Another interesting thing I noted was that the First Unity Church in Nashville had a great sign out front this weekend. (I can't believe I didn't have my camera!)


Sign me up for that one!! They must subscribe to the Joel Olsteen brand of Christianity. (Follow Jesus, and all your earthly desires will come true!)

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's Good To Be Home

Been gone to the East Coast, and I'm finally back. It's good to be home with my wife and daughter. I was happy that I got to eat blue crabs while I was away (they were amazing at The Dancing Crab), but that only made being gone a little easier.

Although my daughter can be severely independent in wanting things her own way, I'm Sometimes awed by the fact that she can be so sensitive to other people. She wants to be Batgirl for Halloween. The thing that's odd about that is she's into Princesses and Dora and The Wizard of Oz and Kim Possible. I'm the one that's into Batman. If she chose for herself she'd probably be Ariel, or Kim, or Dorothy.

A number of weeks ago, I brought her back a necklace from California . Even though she loves jewelry, I think it's a bit heavy and "scratchy" so she hasn't worn it. We were talking about it the other day, and I was asking her about it. Well, in the discussion, I think she could tell I was disappointed she hadn't been wearing it, so, she decided to wear it that afternoon. She's four, but sensitive to other people's feelings.

Plus, Have I mentioned she's smart? I bought this shirt off eBay last week because, coincidentally, her soccer team this season is The Flash. She knew what it was when I asked her (she already knows her superheroes - that's even more important than the alphabet, isn't it?!) and she knew I bought it because of her team. Sometimes I don't know why I've been blessed in the ways that I have been.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Deliver Me

I was going to post the lyrics here, but I thought I'd just jump on the YouTube bandwagon.