Sunday, June 29, 2008

ice sculpting...

I was watching the travel channel the other day, and it had that lady who gets to travel all over the place, and tell us how neat it all is. I envy her sometimes. They should do the same show, with my wife and I carting our kids everywhere...THAT is a show parents would watch. We'd give tips, etc...on where/how to travel. It'd rock.

Anyways, she was watching a man sculpt intricate designs out of a giant block of ice. It was really neat to watch, and you could tell the man was an artist of sorts, with solid talent. Unfortunately, he was carving ice. On a cruise ship. In the Caribbean. It was doomed from the start.

I think that's very much why my previous post could be an important topic to so many of us. There is a large section of the church today who, if they were honest, would confess to feeling like the work they're doing (or would be doing) in this world is very much like carving a sculpture out of ice. Sure, we could put great energy/care into things, and add artistic touches, etc. But why? It's just going to melt anyways.

But to actually realize that throughout the New Testament, God is continually speaking of the New Creation as being VERY MUCH connected to this current one, wow. To understand, and live out the belief that somehow, the work that I'm doing for the Kingdom today, the expressions of worship (art, music, relationships, acts of mercy, love, grace, etc.) will actually be present somehow in the New Creation, WOW. We are NOT simply carving amazing images out of a giant block of ice that is melting even as we work. We are building, enriching, bringing about, contributing to, and being used in ways indescribable; as God works, and will work, to make all things new. Check out 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 to read more about involving ourselves in things that will last into the Kingdom.

These things...this life around us, etc. This will not all be crumpled up into a ball and thrown out, as God brings in a completely new "thing". (Revelation 21:5 - I am making all things new! Not - I am making all new things..) Rather, all that we see and experience, and create...will be made new itself, as God pours out Himself completely on all of creation, and completes the work He began in Christ. That same work we find ourselves called to become a part of.

Friday, June 27, 2008

left behind?

So I danced around an issue a while back, and it's been gnawing at me a bit. It's a subject I was a bit afraid to post on, not wanting to offend any, or freak anyone out. But if it's honestly something I believe, and not only believe, but believe offers a renewed sense of hope for what lies ahead, then I'm not sure I can sit on it. For the 40+ of you who may read my blog on a daily basis (or 80+ on a every-other-day basis) - if I'm to be faithful to my calling to speak the hope of Christ, I think I should say a word or two.

Before I go too far, I know that many of you may read this, and think "old news". But I think to a few of you, if you're like me, you went a long time without hearing this. Know that I believe Christ IS returning, and has promised to make all things new, restoring/redeeming all things, and giving us a new creation. But an aspect of that belief has changed.

Growing up, I heard a lot of speculation on something called "the rapture". A belief that someday, a trumpet will blast, and our souls will be sucked up out of our physical bodies, and taken to an ethereal location somewhere in the skies. (a Platonic version of soul & body). Our job is to be "rapture ready", so that we're not stuck in these shells when that happens. People I looked up to then, and others I look up to even today, still hold this belief. What I didn't know until the past 6 years or so, was where this interpretation of certain scriptures came from. Or that this interpretation didn't even exist in name really until the very late 1800's.

A little over a hundred years ago, John Darby, and some others defected from the Anglican church. With the beliefs of dispensationalism (the belief that the world/these bodies are all of no value and are degenerating - God must want to save us from them, only "spiritual" things matter) came a different understanding of certain texts that Darby, along with Mr.Cyrus Scofield made popular instantly through the publishing of the Scofield Reference Bible. Religious ranking has always been a popular thing, and so a system of denying "worldly things" as a way of increasing your Holiness like this became a hit from the beginning.

What's left then, if the rapture is just something made up in the late 1800's? Read 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Paul talks at great length about the new, physical "resurrection" bodies we'll be given, to enjoy/live in the new Heaven/new Earth mentioned in Revelation 21. What God has in store is a lot more than just floating around in a golden bliss for eternity. And it's all somehow related to the Kingdom-building work we're involved in RIGHT NOW in this world, in these bodies. I know there are a few scriptures people point to, thinking they refer to a "rapture" type event, even though the word is never used. If you're interested in how these are read outside of a rapture-mindset...just ask.

Do I still believe God is "coming again" to finish everything He began in Christ? Oh boy yes. But I believe focusing too much on being "rapture ready" - anticipating an escape of this physical world - allows us to let go of our calling to take care of these bodies, and this earthly home. God IS coming, to make all things new, and to draw all things completely into His presence. (or pour out His complete presence over all things)

All that being said....we are NOT saved based on our beliefs of what "end things" will look like. But if you're like me, the Hope offered by all of this for the work we're doing today can be VERY refreshing. I'm sorry I've waited this long to say much about it here.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." I'm fairly confident that belief or disbelief in the rapture and events like it do not count as heresy. But I think that there are people on both sides that can miss the hope of a future that has already begun NOW in Christ Jesus.

conference...

After a quick continental breakfast (some awesome canned sausage gravy over stale biscuits), I figured I should throw a few thoughts out. This week is "Annual Conference", which is pretty much the Free Methodist version of "District Assembly" from the Nazarene days.

We come together from all our churches across the Conference, and talk about how it's been going in our churches/ministries, and our prayers/hopes for the year ahead. We celebrate and worship, and sometimes mourn together. Oh, and some minor budgetary stuffs. Sometimes not so minor. But still just stuffs.

There are some hopes I'm excited about. Some hopes I probably won't make public. But they're hopefully all related to the Kingdom coming/being realized on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Overall, I'm pretty sure this past year was swell. Not to say that Moundford Free Methodist Church has a "booming" youth ministry. We may actually even be thinning out a bit. But I think we're definitely moving forward. Building a new foundation...albeit probably slower than many (who want to see booming things) would like. With our new class coming in, we may actually balance out our male to female ration, which would be nice. Until they all get dates for church (wednesday nights usually), but most of them don't return once the relationship goes south, anyways.

I'm also our Conference NSMT Director (which is akin to the Nazarene "NYI President" of a District) which stands for "National Student Ministry Team". So I write out a quick little ditty of what we've done together as a conference, and a short schpiel of what lies ahead. I think things are going well there too, although honestly I need to nail down the hour or so a week I'm supposed to focus on this area. I'm pretty sure I have this position, cause no one else wanted it or had time for it.....but still...I want to be faithful to God in it.

It's a nice little get-away in the middle of life. My wife and daughters are here with me, crashing at the Super 8. Not quite the luxury we enjoyed in Hawaii just a couple weeks ago....but at the same time, a bit more relaxing this morning. No pressure to go out and see/do everything. Just to be together. (and get to the meetings in time, hopefully)

Last night, my wife let me go out and be the crazy/social youth pastor I still am sometimes. Meetings ended at 8pm, then I headed over to Senior High camp to embarrass the girls from our church. Then went to Dairy Queen to hang with some pastors/etc. and socialize. Then back to the camp at 10:30 for a pizza party, and some more efforts to embarrass our teens. Back to the hotel by midnight.

I love my job.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jimmy Dobson = red letters?

I know a lot of this is politically motivated....but when the Vice President of "Focus on the Family" says something like this: "Without question, Dr. Dobson is speaking for millions of evangelicals because his understanding of the Bible is thoroughly evangelical."

...it throws up a red flag.

You can't dismiss the fact that Dr.Dobson has done some great things for families, and resources provided by he and Focus on the Family will continue to be helpful/useful towards the Kingdom. But as someone who attends, and is a full time employee of a church from the evangelical tradition, I'm weary of him asserting himself as speaking for me.

Why?

Well....and this would take a while to explain. From what I can tell, this article does a decent job of it. Basically, Dobson is a Christian Zionist - believing that the support and protection of Israel (Jerusalem specifically, and the rebuilding of the temple) is a Christian duty of America, and closely related to when God and the rapture can and will occur.

Over the years, Dobson and other leaders like him, have influenced political leaders in our country to make decisions overseas based on those beliefs.

Even with all that craziness aside, I just don't like the idea of one guy telling the world that he speaks for me and all other evangelicals....unless He's Jesus Himself. Even someone that I look up to highly, and respect/regard highly what they say......I don't think I would want them telling people who know nothing about Christianity that they embody 100% the faith that I'm attempting to live out. (did that make sense?)

Apparently there's a whole group of people upset about it, and making a political statement in support of Obama (who was recently "slammed" by Dobson). Not sure I'm ready to sign anything like this...but I certainly would say:

To anyone out there who is curious what Christianity is all about,
or is curious about this Jesus fellow...

James Dobson does not speak for me.

update: here's the article contributed to by an AP writer. The quote is towards the end.

feed the birds?

If you're like me, you've probably been REALLY annoyed over the past several elections. The amount of money/time/coverage spent on deciding who the best candidate for each party, and now finally, even MORE is being spent on deciding/advertising which is the best candidate overall.

I don't have a solution. But I know that something is broken. When more money/time/resources are spent on campaigning and finding a new candidate (a new hope) that promises to make everything better......than is spent on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the oppressed (without political motives).

Here, you can see that in the state of IL alone, in 2006 almost $166 MILLION dollars were raised for political/campaign financing. In 2008 so far, over $34 million has been raised.

Obama has recently gotten a lot of press for "opting out" of the public financing system, saying it's broken, etc. I really don't know enough about it all to know what he's talking about.

But looking at the financial contributions in general for the presidential elections....it doesn't look like either Obama or McCain are hurting, or will be hurting in the next few months. So what does a presidential campaign spend all that money on, when the newscasters are giving them TONS of free publicity already? Check this list out, posted just a few days ago, on just the past MONTH of Obama's campaign. Almost $900,000 in credit card fees? Really? I'm guessing that doesn't refer to payments made, but actual late and usage fees. Seems a bit irresponsible. And to be fair....here's McCain's list from the past month. (you'll notice he likes flowers a lot more)

I've heard several well-meaning people who agree that all of this is REALLY ridiculous, and that neither candidate is going to fix everything, say that they just aren't going to vote this year. I'm not sure that will accomplish anything.

I plan on voting...still not 100% sure for whom....but I think it's a part of being an active citizen (the kind we're called to be) within whatever system is currently in place where we are.

But in a world where needs are....well, everywhere. Something different than what's happening needs to happen. And it's not happening yet.

Monday, June 23, 2008

ridiculous...

Okay, so I hate posting more than once in a day. I don't want to become one of those blogs that just finds something interesting on the internet, and throws up a link or an image, and says..."hey, ain't this neat?". I think blogs like that assume you can't find interesting things on your own, and take little time/thought to post. I blog to develop who I am, and my ability to communicate it through written (or typed) word...etc.

But I had to throw this up.


Seriously. Reebok, I can understand...you wanna make a profit off anyone you can. But National Hockey League? To cheapen Lord Stanley's cup like this, and pimp it out to anyone willing to pay a buck? To a true hockey fan, this could be compared to the Catholic Church selling shoes with the image of the Virgin Mary on them. (hint hint, Reebok pay attention....people would TOTALLY buy those kicks)

A bottle opener, a t-shirt, even a hat....maybe. I'm as big a hockey fan as anyone. And I can't think of a moment where I've ever said, "wow, my team just won the Stanley Cup, boy do I wish I had a pair of shoes with which to commemorate this occasion!!!"

To those who buy and wear these shoes....you're just as guilty.

yard work...


So one of the things I didn't think of much when we were in the house-buying process, was the fact that along with a house comes a yard. Probably because we were looking within city limits, which means our yard size was not that formidable, and it would probably consist of MAYBE a tree or two, and some grass. Piece of cake, right?

Apparently, it becomes a piece of cake once you retire. Which is cool with me...at that point, you've reached the sabbath of life, and have earned the right to kick back, stay healthy, and keep a beautifully pruned garden. (although even when I retire, I think I'd rather not care)

When we bought this house, the front and back had already been really well designed. Complete with a row or two of bricks, different levels of plants and shrubbery, and even some colorful blooms in both Spring AND Summer...we were impressed.

But when you have 2 kids under the age of two, a full time job that includes weekends usually, and no experience or desire in upkeeping such things (probably the most important aspect of the 3)....several levels of shrubbery quickly become several levels of weeds. And oh man...weeds aren't just dandelions anymore. We got weeds the size of small trees.

My weedwacker takes some mysterious blend of gas and oil that I can never remember, or care to mix....so I don't use it. My lawn mower is from the 70's...but at least I can chomp down the first level of weeds with it. But the upper levels in the back yard have begun to look like a small rainforest.

For now, I think it's okay. There's a dog in the yard behind us that always jumps a little too high, and barks a little too loud for us to be comfortable having Addison greet it. We'd thought about putting in a solid wooden fence back there to replace the chain link one in place. But for now....a small rain forest will help seperate my daughters from the beast on the other side.

When I retire....well....we'll probably be rich and living in Forsyth by that point, right?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wright on Colbert....

Just in case you missed it, and forgot you wanted to see it, and/or don't wanna deal with finding it on youtube, comedy central, or the tons of other blogs that have no doubt posted it already...this is definitely worth 6 minutes.



I think it went fairly well. You could tell he was a bit rushed, and attempting to banter with Colbert in the midst of everything....awkward at moments. But overall, as mentioned in my previous blog, the general public probably had their curiosity piqued.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ain't no thang...

Tonight, we knew there was gonna be some Blues goin' on downtown Decatur. So we went.

To you, the reader, that may seem like any old statement. But a shift has occurred. We can now do anything. Well, almost anything.

Last week, we took 2 daughters under the age of two on a week-long vacation to Hawaii. We stayed in an amazing resort, ate incredible food, went snorkeling, toured a coffee plantation, and flew over 10 hours to and from the island.

Before the trip, even taking both girls to the mall at the same time seemed like a task. We subconsciously limited ourselves socially based on the effort required to "do something". Now, it'll still be nice to have a babysitter once in a while. Also, this may be more related to my mentality than my wife's (she's a natural).

But seriously....tonight we wanted to go hear some good live music, we didn't have a babysitter, and so we just took both girls. It went great. Almost natural. Sidenote: the guitarist was stinkin' awesome. And not in a "I have to jump around, or look all dramatic, or be all flashy or cool looking" awesome. But more in a "I'm so stinking awesome I can look like any average guy at the mall before 10am, and still rock more than all of you combined" kind of way.

I hope that I can become as much of a natural at this parenting thing, as this guy was a guitarist. I think I'm a small step closer...thanks to Hawaii.

ps. NT Wright was on "The Colbert Report" tonight. I'd assumed the focus would either be on his "Hope" themed book (comparisons to Obama), or on Jubilee (political movement to forgive debts)....but was excited to see the topic was actually on a rethinking of Heaven (discussed in his newest book), and what comes after Heaven. Although it was obviously tough for him (only 7-ish minutes to begin with, and you have to banter a bit with Colbert to be entertaining)...I think he did a great job at saying enough to pique the public's interest. People will be wondering what this prominent New Testament Scholar meant when he said "Life after life after death", and exposing Plato's influence on current beliefs of flesh and soul. Let the fun begin...

Wisdom Laughs...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kauai Coffee Company...


So last night, I finally was able to roast some of my green coffee beans purchased on the island of Kauai. We had visited the Kauai Coffee Company, which boasts the number one island-grown product on Kauai - their coffee. We took a tour of their coffee plants, and learned a bit more about their specific processes and history. They have several different types of beans/roasts...among the best is there "private reserve".

I could have purchased some of their roasted private reserve coffee for $14 per 10 oz. bag.

Or, I could purchase one pound (16 oz.) of their same reserve coffee, but unroasted, for $7 per bag.

It doesn't take long to realize the better value. And having the beans green allows me to have several different types of roast, depending on how I make them at home!

Seriously....get down with roasting your coffee. It's pretty easy. Here's my post from when I first began.....and it gets easier.

Last night I roasted about half a pound over the burner on my grill outside. It's a medium roast, with a bit of a citrus taste to it. Takin' it to small group tonight...we'll see their opinion.

ps. VBS is going well this week at church! Sarah's Co-Directing it, and here are some pictures you can check out!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

el pollo es loco mas


So funny thing: On Hawaii there used to be many chicken farms located here and there. At one point, a long time ago, there was a hurricane. Chickens don't weigh a whole lot. They were blown all over the island...and lots of them survived.

Time passed.

Eggs were laid.

Chicks were hatched.

What do you have? An island populated with chickens EVERYWHERE. Seriously...every road was dotted with them, every path had chickens crossing it, and except for our private resort (which must have had chicken traps/repellent of some sort)...they were all over the place. Kind of like the squirrels of Hawaii.

That's crazy. But awesome.

11 million words...(and a few more)

so how do u fly with a 22-month old?
carrying all 3 of my women on the beach...bananas growing right in our lobby!!!

got to visit/tour the Kauai Coffee Plantation!!! (coffee berry bushes!)
Addie wanted to order room service one night....
cutest hula girl on the island...
we swam a LOT...
the view from our room's balcony
private beach just outside our resort...
yup...I'm a family man...
Sophie had the right idea...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mr. Kato...thanks for the cheese...

So, when the Anderson's arrived finally to our resort in Kauai...beautiful as everything was...even more welcoming was our room. "Deluxe Ocean View" it's called....because....well.....you can view the ocean from it.

Also included in our first experience of the room, was a large plate of cheeses and fruits/crackers...and a card addressed "Welcome, Mr.Kato". It had been dated that day, so we knew it couldn't be rotten yet, and looked stinkin' tasty after 10 hours of flying. So I called the front desk. "Go ahead and eat it" they told me..."but give the card to the concierge".

As awesome as that room temperature cheese tasted, I'm pretty sure it would have tasted better if it had been intended for me. (and if it was just a bit cooler, ensuring my wife that it hadn't gone bad in the 24 hours it'd laid bare)

I'm sure there are many ways we can try and make this fit a great illustration. About enjoying things meant for someone else (doesn't taste as good, and might make us sick). About claiming something as our own, as opposed to just enjoying it through someone else (more fulfilling, and a better experience, etc). About how cheese tastes good even if it may have spoiled, etc.

But for me and my family....we will thank Mr.Kato. Wherever you are...
video

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

chased the sun...


After the longest day of our lives (literally, the sun was up for a LONG time, because we headed west the whole day...not to mention 1 canceled flight and 2 crowded flights..etc.)...we arrived in Kauai, HI. You can check out my wife's blog, or our friends, the Brabson's for updates on daily activities/pictures/etc. Not cause I think it's silly to post such things, but letting go of the burden/need to is healthy for me. :)

It really is ridiculously nice here. You couldn't get a bad picture if you tried. Well, maybe that's not true. Taking a picture of certain people snorkeling with only the pasty white rears visible might produce undesirable results.

But for real...it's nice.

In John Wesley's sermon on the New Creation, he talks about some of his thoughts on what things will be like when God restores all things. Among them, the fact that there will be no need for an ocean, dividing the continents. With this, you have more land, to hold all the inhabitants, and you have greater unity among the people. Now I dunno about all that, but it sounds nice. But hopefully they have really big lakes, and parts of the land with freezing temperatures (for the hockey fans). Who knows....but being on "the Garden Island" definitely makes you think of what creation will look like when it's ultimately restored/renewed/whatevered into God's future/now Kingdom. I'm pretty sure God can make palm trees grow through ice....that'd be one killer hockey rink. :)

Another really important note: When you snorkel, wear sunscreen...especially on your back. It's no good if that's the only place you DON'T have it. Dumb, even. :) Oh, and prying a lobster out of it's nook with your snorkel is not a good idea. Their heads come off really easy. (sorry creation)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

words of wisdom...(ha)

- any vacation that doesn't require socks or pants, is a great one. (makes me think of the old "beware of any endeavor that requires new clothes"...hehe)

- Dora doesn't always mean Dora. Sometimes, it means "I want to color."

- Sometimes, you have to figure something out on your own. Thankfully, there's the interweb.

- John Wesley had some cool sermons....Check them out here.

- It's encouraging to read fiction regularly. Reminds us that we know how. (and is a great stress reliever)

- Tennessee Pride Breakfast Sausage, labeled "hot"...really means hot. (spicy, and dang good)

- The NHL shouldn't have committed to a contract with VERSUS through 2011. Their ratings and buzz is much higher now. Hopefully they continue to build on the enthusiasm the recent playoffs produced.

- Someone needs to invent a socially acceptable, non-awkward way to communicate to your neighbors...."we want to know you". Oh, and "sorry our lawn isn't as pretty as yours".

- You can make cookies out of cake mix...and it's really easy/good.

- Recording a few songs with talented musicians might be a bit self-serving, but it was still fun. And doesn't sound horrible.

- N.T. Wright is the same person as Tom Wright. (and has a great bible commentary series "___for Everyone".

- Fashion choices for females between the ages of 12-21 should follow this guideline for everyday "what to wear" stuff - If you don't want to see me in that outfit, find something different to wear. Seriously.....females, wear more. My daughters are looking up to you.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Just in case...

So I may take a few days off from blogging. There's this whole "Hawaii trip" thing going on thanks to Wheel of Fortune, and I'm not big on "updating" all of you (even though I still love ya') on our daily excursions. Imagine posts of being stressed out taking care of 3 kids on vacation, being burnt to a crisp, and posts of relaxing, drinking coffee, and posts of doing all sorts of Hawaiian type things. (Puka dog, snorkeling, visiting the Kauai Coffee Plantation, kayaking, etc.), posts of how beautiful it is, and how it inspires me to think of Eden, and perhaps even the New Earth to come. Keep watching my wife's blog....she'll probably post somethin'. Who knows, I might still blog here and there. I've borrowed a book from Jake, and from the looks of it, it may inspire a few rants.

I'm really excited about being able to preach on Father's Day, though...and I encourage you to come. Sure, you could also sleep in...since it's Father's day and people will probably assume you're doing something nice for your father. But for real....come. Especially if you're a man...we're giving away something manly and stuff. If you live too far away, maybe I'll post a bit on the sermon the week afterwards.

I'm focusing on John 5:19-30.....and the fact that the NIV misses a very important "BUT".

If you use a Greek bible....go ahead and hunt for it.
But then you might be bored by the message that morning.

I'm not big on "sermon titles". But the fact that this message has a lot of attention on the word "but"....I'm tempted to do all sorts of things:
- John's big but.
- The importance of having a but.
- What would happen without a but?
- etc...

But I'll probably just stick to a no-name message, that will be saved as a file under one of those names, just for a private laugh.

ps. the church across the street has just put up the message "Son block will keep you from burning." Makes me want to say all sorts of things....but I'll hold my tongue. Suffice it to say...I don't think that's a very good advertisement. (not to mention..."___ block" implies that you are blocked from _____)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

delayed...but gratifying.

So we took a large group out for putt putt tonight....didn't get to start the game until 9pm (DVR'd, thankfully). Finally finished watching/celebrating enough to throw a quick post up.
DETROIT WON THE 2007-2008 STANLEY CUP!!!! BOO-YAH.


Pretty good chance for a great next year too...but for now, we'll focus on celebrating Stanley. Take note of my longest playoff beard ever...it's finally on its way out.


Props to Lidstrom, for winning his 4th Stanley Cup with the Wings....and to all the players/coaches/staff/etc. And to the families who support them.

Well done, Detroit. Well done.

something is wrong...

...with this picture
So get this....years ago, many countries needed money to get through some pretty tough times, or for in some ways a "new beginning". World Banks were more than happy to loan them these amounts, and much time has passed.

With the time passing, the original amounts have been paid off for the most part, but because of ridiculously high interests, many of these countries still owe more than what they borrowed in the first place. Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, but unlike the US, are unable to simply "print more dollars" to boost the economy (and decrease the value of the dollar ultimately).

As years pass, these countries are forced to choose to keep up with these HUGE payments, millions of dollars, as opposed to using that money to....well...BE a country. Making these payments usually means little or no government aid to impoverished people who struggle with disease, famine, and drought....much of which could easily be improved with just a little money. Instead, countries are forced to make HUGE payments just to keep up with the interest on money borrowed over a generation ago.

Meanwhile, a few other countries (ours included) continue to soak up and enjoy all the resources. We enjoy not having to "share the wealth", without doing it on purpose (for the most part), but not realizing those who are crying out from under the weight of such debt.

But there has been a movement, both American and beyond, beginning in 2000 and heading to 2015....both politically, socially, and religiously motivated peoples are recognizing that debt forgiveness NEEDS to happen, in order to allow life for these people.

So what can we do? Well, activists type people can write congress, etc. Spread awareness. Talk about it. Research it. Know about it. Live out "forgiveness of debt" (not just money, but what u think others might "owe" you), and see what can happen.

Read this article, on how it really does affect us. Maybe this specific venue won't be "your fight"...but freedom from slavery of any type can be. May you be encouraged....this is Kingdom work....

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

confession...


It's my fault. I apologize to the team, the fans, and to the Pens who might think they still have a chance.

We had the game won. We were up 3-2 with less than 40 seconds separating us from hoisting the Stanley Cup high over the ice in Hockeytown. The fingers were poised over the buttons to send confetti blasting into the arena, and many had octopus ready to throw...

But it wasn't over yet. Pittsburg scored in a frantic, last minute play, sending us into unlimited sudden-death overtime. Usually, even these overtimes, only take a few minutes to decide. With Detroit dominating like they were, most were still confident.

But they didn't know what had happened in my basement last night.

Throughout the playoffs thus far, I've had a ritual for each game. I don my #22 Lebda jersey. I hold my stick, with the blade UP, and facing the direction I want the puck to go. I drink ONE IBC cream soda PER game, making it last all 3 periods.
One IBC = 60 minutes of hockey.

Last night, I'd invited some people over to watch the game. Turnout was less than expected, so I had a lot of extra IBC's. At the end of the 2nd period, I was confident in our winning, and so selfishly guzzled the remainder of my first bottle, and cracked a new one open.

Little did I know that would require almost an entire new game being played. It resulted in almost 3 full extra periods of intense hockey...with an unfortunate ending.

My bad.

Only one will be opened tomorrow night.

Monday, June 02, 2008

okay...

So here are my thoughts on tonights' game:

- Best hockey I've seen in a LONG time. THIS is why I'm a hockey fan, right here. Gotta love endless sudden-death overtimes. Yes, I would've rather had Detroit win the game ultimately, but on the same token...3 Overtimes definitely made it easier to swallow one more game. Intensely entertaining...if you missed it, take a moment to kick yourself.

- Yeah, it stinks. But Detroit WILL still win the Cup.

- Look at the stats. Detroit dominated in EVERY area of the stats, and EVEN in goals. (we just accidentally scored one of those goals on our own net.)

- Lebda definitely proved his worth. Due to the longevity of the game, the younger lines were given extra ice time towards the end. Every time it depended on Lebda, he was there, and pressing forward with Yzerman-esque skills. He's definitely not there yet, but given a few more years of this....

- REALLY glad that NO MAJOR plays came from Crosby. Media hype him waaaayyy too much. It's good to see hockey becoming a team sport again for the Pens, even if I'm still a hater. Of course, you never know...maybe he sneezed on the ice right around when the final goal was scored....they'll probably find some way to give him credit.

- Is it bad to want to cancel youth group so I can watch the game Wednesday night?
God bless DVR. Still....I really REALLY want to be watching this live.

- To the haters who have some words about the Wings being "beat", or something to the effect of "they won't win the cup".....my advice to you is this: close your mouth.

:)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Prince William and Brittney Spears Skydive from Space...


So in case you were wondering, "What will I be doing Monday night at 7pm, CST?", here's the answer:

WATCHING HOCKEY ON NBC.

Why?

1. Oldest trophy in any professional sports history (started in 1892), Lord Stanley's Cup, will most likely be awarded TO the Detroit Redwings, IN Hockeytown USA, surrounded by over 20,000 screaming fans.

2. Nicklas Lidstrom will be the first to skate around with the Cup, being his 4TH STANLEY with the WINGS, as well as being the 1ST EUROPEAN CAPTAIN EVER to win the cup with his team.

3. It will be THE most intense game, start to finish, that you will have watched ALL YEAR.

4. It's most likely your last chance to watch the NHL this season.

5. It's on NBC, you have NO excuse...unless you have no TV, then go somewhere. Family party at my house, be there at 6:30pm.


ps. Why the subject line? I took a few of the most popular recent Google searches, and combined them. Boom.