Saturday, July 28, 2007


I found this odd.

My friend Chris Haddock pointed out to me yesterday that the Times Daily (our local paper) ran an article about dead blogs last month. They pointed out his brother's blog (Heath's thanks for stating the obvious) and another blog I link to at the right (Brad Crisler's). They also noted that Jeremy Swindle (our new youth minister) has an abandoned shoutlife (a Christian MySpace) blog, but I'm not sure that counts.

So, is Web 2.0 fading, or just going in a different direction? I guess I don't really blog to connect with people (though that is a nice side benefit). I blog because I've always wanted to keep a journal, and need an outlet for the stuff that goes around in my head; because I like comic book movies and wanted to create a resource for other people who have the same interest; and because I like to track weird stuff I come across.

Though most of the people I know with links to the right seem to blog to keep in touch; so maybe it's not so dead after all.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What Time Is It?

Does anyone else get confused about what they're supposed to do and when? Are we just out of touch with God and His plans for us? Are we supposed to be this confused, or is this just part of the mystery of human life?

Mark taught an interesting class this morning about Judge and prophet Samuel and King Saul.

I empathize with stories like this one, or the one about Abraham and Sarah.

When Abraham was about 75 years old (and his wife Sarah about 65), God promised him children. When he was 86, childless and barren, he and Sarah thought, "well, obviously God's waiting on us to do something". So Sarah gave Abraham her maid know. And they had a son; about 15 years before God's plan. They were supposed to wait on Him.

At one point in his reign, King Saul became impatient. The Israelites were at war with the Philistines, but Saul was to wait a week for Samuel to show up before giving some offerings to God to ask for help before attacking. After seven days, and seeing the Philistines assemble, and his men about to run scared, he gave the offerings himself. Again, the wrong thing to do - Samuel showed up and told him that because of his disobedience, his kingdom wouldn't last.

I am, by nature, a procrastinator. I put things off, and put them off. Krista knows this too well. So, when I tell her that I think I'm supposed to be waiting on God for something, her mouth says, "okay", but her eyes say, "yeah...uh-huh..."

I realize that nowhere in the Bible does it say, "God helps those who help themselves," but I also believe that God doesn't want us to sit on our hands and do nothing until he gives us a yellow-brick road to follow. So at what point do we get off our butts and actually do something? When do I know whether or not something is in my time, or in God's time? Is it something that we should know, but we don't because we're too out of touch with God?

Quote of the Day
Where I am right now is a direct result of God working in my life.
-Mark Killen

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Helping the Helpless

Before I share this story, let me confess that my normal response, when I'm by myself and I see a stranded motorist is to assume that they'll be OK and that they're probably waiting on somebody they had just talked to on their cell phone. Fortunately, this time Krista was in the car with me and events took a different turn.

So, Sunday evening, in Chattanooga, we headed from the hotel over to the mall. We couldn't decide which way to go, so, looking at our handy map given to us at the hotel, we decided to cut through the middle of town even though there were larger roads going around the city. At that point the torrential downpour began. We were driving through 1/2 foot-puddles in the middle of 3rd Avenue in downtown Chattanooga.

It must have been providence, because we were diverted by standing water and trying to follow directions on the map, and ended up going over a large bridge where someone stood next to a car beneath a half-destroyed umbrella, getting drenched. When I saw them, I was sure they looked like they had just called and were waiting on someone - even though they weren't sitting in the car and were getting poured on. It's amazing at how well I analyze a situation. Well, Krista suggested we make a U-Turn and see if she needed help. We pulled up, and Shirley was standing there in the rain, out of gas, without any money, crying, with no one to help. So we got got a gas can at the station a block down the road and when we got back to her car, her hands were raised in the air and she was shouting, "Thank you, Jesus!" So, we took her to get her enough gas to get her home, and after telling us how we showed up after she prayed for God to send someone, she was on her way. I wondered on this Sunday evening, how many people that called themselves Christians drove by and had a good excuse to not stop. I think it wasn't until a while later that I realized that I was those people.

Ironically, I think that if we had actually ended up going to church that morning, we would have had a different day, and wouldn't have had that opportunity to actually do the Lord's work for a change.

I still wonder why I don't take what Matthew recorded Jesus saying in Matthew 22 or Matthew 25 more seriously.

Long, Crazy Weekend

Friday, July 13
Got back from Seattle - missed the family. Krista says something in or under the house smells bad. She's been through the whole house, cleaning every corner, especially in the kitchen and can't find anything. Something's rotten in the state of Manchester.

Saturday, July 14
Dragged all the crap left by previous owners out from the crawlspace under the house. Had to crawl what seemed like 20 feet in to find an 18-inch, half-melted, maggot-infested 'possum skeleton. When I showed Julianna, she told her Mommy it was a baby dragon. Actually, it does look kind of look like a baby dragon.

Sunday, July 15
Krista fell in the bathtub (happy birthday!) I think she's OK, but she's still feeling it. We left early for Chattanooga. The 3-hour trip seemed like it took 7. Krista and I never were quick travelers, but when you throw a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old in the mix, things take forever.
Sunday evening and most everything was closed, we headed over to the mall and were deciding where to go for a birthday dinner when we had a visit from God. Read more about that in my next post. We ended up at P.F. Chang's - Krista's favorite. Our server was great, and the cook even came out to share a hot sauce creation he had been working on for four days. Great food as usual.

Monday, July 16
Panera Bread, hazelnut coffee, asiago cheese bagels with cream cheese...mmm...breakfast. Checked out downtown Chattanooga and the RiverWalk. Loved Blue Skies - visit this little gift shop if you ever go to Chattanooga. Saw the carousel and let Julianna play in the fountain. Headed to Sticky Fingers for dinner. Not bad, but should have gone to Mellow Mushroom.

Tuesday, July 17
Another 3-turned 7-hour drive. Before we left, we had a late breakfast at the City Cafe Diner. The host could have been John Waters's twin. A little later, someone entered who could have been in a John Waters film - 50-something, fairly large, spilling out of her top, black eye make-up and a bowl cut. Hmmm...
Went to Candyland , a bit non-plussed (it looks way better in these pictures), then headed home, stopping by Unclaimed Baggage on the way. Picked up the original version of Vanilla Sky on DVD (a Spanish film - Abre los ojos). Skipped out on the $100 comic book statue. Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

People unclear on the concept.

License plate in Scottsboro, AL.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I never meant this to be a place where I posted pictures of my kids, but this one is too funny not to share.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm reading Rob Bell's _Velvet Elvis_. It's making my brain do these weird flips in my head. But it resonates with me somewhere deep down in my gut. I think he's pointing to God.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hollywood and Religion

Hollywood has a bad habit of oversimplifying what it means to believe in God - regardless if they are trying to put a negative or positive spin on things.

I was pleasantly surprised then, when I went to see Evan Almighty recently with my family, that it really wasn't watered down.

In the movie, God tries to impress upon Evan the importance of kindness. Of the need for us to randomly commit acts of kindness to others. I'm sure there are a lot of people who follow God, and a lot who follow Jesus (or say they do) that think this might be an oversimplification, but I'm not so sure.

It was the heart of the message of Jesus. If you're familiar with the Old Testament, then you know the Jews lived by a long list of rules that God had given them. Jesus was a Jewish teacher, and those who specialized in the rules tried to trick Him at one point, asking Him which of those commands was most important. And Jesus answers directly. The first is, Love God (found in Deuteronomy). The second is, Love others (found in Leviticus). Jesus says that these are the most important rules - that all the other rules hang on these.

He said other things, like, people will know you are my follower if you love each other. Or, if someone smacks you in the side of the face, give them the other side to smack; or if someone steals your jacket, give them your shirt, too; or if someone forces you to do some work, do twice as much as they're forcing you to do.

I know I've said a lot of this before, and maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but he even said kindness - caring for people in need - was what was going to separate the people going to Heaven from the people going to Hell.

Jesus was full of crazy stuff like that. Stuff we don't like to teach in church. Stuff that we don't think is very American. Stuff that tends to be real unpopular, except maybe as a fad every once in a while, but not to be really paid attention to.

Of course, Jesus walked the walk, too. Talking to the people no one else wanted to talk to. Spending time with the losers, outcasts, and those that church people thought were bad.

Being God's ambassadors, it's just something we so often skim over, and spend very little time on - it's interesting to see that secular entertainment hits the nail on the head.

So, am I trying to say that being kind is all there is to following Jesus? No. But, then again, He's the one that said it was most important.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


I think Ratatouille is my favoriate Pixar film since Toy Story. Went to see it this weekend with the family and we all loved it.

Even Max. He's not quite four months old, and he sat through the whole thing, wide-eyed, watching the big screen.

Another movie buff in the family!

And now I'm hungry for some ratatouille...

Attack of the Lizards

I thought I might break my streak of camera phone shots...

I realize this thing has probably been around the internet for over a year, but someone e-mailed it to me and I watched it for the first time a couple weeks ago. The great thing about this video is that it gets funnier every time you watch it. I can watch it several times in a row, and by about the 3rd or 4th time, I'm peeing my pants. Take a look if you haven't seen it.

Now, remember laughter is the best medicine, and if you're having a bad day, watch it at least 2 or 3 more times...I promise it'll get better...