Monday, January 30, 2006

Remind me to start using these phrases...

... they just came up in conversation today.

"Better is a worldly value."


"So why should I be noisy...
...if silence will bring the same result?"

The prose of everyday language is often so much better to me than anything that people write.

Selling Our Soulmate

Dilemma: Is posting an entire article considered stealing? What if I link to it? What if the article is free anyway? Will my people enjoy it? Will they ever read it any other way? Eh, here you go.

Written by Ryan Barnhart for Relevant Magazine
View the article here.

Almost every day while listening to a Christian radio station out of Dallas, I hear a commercial for an online dating service that says it can help me find my soul mate or “the one.” I had become immune to their commercials until a recent conversation with a female friend stirred my curiosity of what they are selling.

One night, Emily was going on and on about how great her boyfriend was, and then she admitted they were already discussing marriage. Another male friend of ours, who at one time had a crush on her, must have been thinking what I was and quickly asked, “How long have you two been dating?”

“About a month,” she said.

She immediately noticed our unusual reaction and added, “But when you know you’ve found the one, you just know.”

I smiled and said I was happy for her, and so did our other friend, even though I knew he was jealous and didn’t mean it.

Romance novels, magazines and movies are profitable because of this soul mate concept, but is there really one person we are destined to marry and be happy with the rest of our lives?

Lyrics from 80’s music regularly revolved around meeting that special someone that made the musician’s life complete. The music was great, and it gave us a warm fuzzy feeling to hear the hair band rockers sing about the love of their life. However, we fail to realize that if those musicians were not broke from rehab and alimony payments, they would now write new songs about how much they hate that same woman.

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have something in my eyes producing a few tears when I first heard Jerry Maguire say “You complete me.” I’m just as guilty as the next person in wanting to believe the possibility exists that God has hand-picked a spouse for me, and we will end up “happily ever after.” I’m also a realist, though, and I began a holy grail-type search through the two sources I trust the most: Google and the Bible.

I searched both and Google led me to 6.3 million results. I have a job and a social life, so I only selected a few hits, and it seems like everyone wants to find their soul mate and there are 6.3 million ways to do so. Ironically, most of these sites informed me they could find my soul mate for just a minimal price. I thought to myself: Shouldn’t a soul mate—if there is such a thing—be worth more than a minimal price?

My next search was to see what God says about soul mates, and unfortunately, I couldn’t find “soul mate” in the concordance of any of the three versions of the Bible I own.

I thought to myself again: Maybe someone coined the term years after the canon was closed. I started reading all the examples of marriage in the Bible, and that didn’t help much either. Besides God yanking a rib from Adam’s side and presenting him with Eve, I couldn’t find another example that could back up the modern soul mate theory.

God told Hosea to marry a prostitute, but didn’t specifically mean Gomer. The servant that found Rebekah at the well for Isaac wasn’t looking for Rebekah, he was searching for the first woman that watered his camels and agreed to leave her family. Solomon had at least 300 wives; were all of them his soul mates?

Since the Bible didn’t offer the results I have been led to believe, I started asking pastors for input and surprisingly, none of them would adhere to the theory either. One posed the question: What would we categorize widows who remarry as? Another spoke of the high divorce rate and said, “People sometimes leave relationships and marriages because relationships are hard work, and they believe ‘the one’ is still out there.”

Finally, the best advice I received came from a pastor; he said, “Mass media of our modern culture has ruined the concept of a soul mate because soul can now mean anything metaphysical and mate can be anyone.” He also said, “‘The one’ we should be looking for is Jesus, and then He’ll help us change so that we could make a marriage work with whomever.”

That’s a strange concept: Marriage with anyone would work as long as we follow God’s guidelines and commit to living that out daily. It makes sense, though, because I have seen many people fall in and out of love faster than they change their socks. If we rely upon feeling in love, then that obviously doesn’t work.

The above are the reasons I’m not buying the soul mate theory, and why I’ve never paid an internet site that knows nothing about me $49.95 to find my soul mate from a list of women that have also paid $49.95. Besides, I would rather spend the money on some good Tesla and Chicago cds that are now at garage sales and recycled music shops.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Going All The Way Back

"If we insist on going back to something in the past, perhaps we should go back to the beginning, rather than getting off conveniently at some 18th-century plateau (or 16th or even 12th)."

Larson, Osborne, The Emerging Church (1970), p83
From today's reading at Our Daily Blog
Ripped conveniently and cleanly from Andrew Jones' blog.

Just Like Heaven

show me
show me

show me how you do that trick
the one that makes me scream she said
the one that makes me laugh she said
and threw her arms around my neck
show me how you do it
and i promise you
i promise that
i'll run away with you
i'll run away with you

spinning on that dizzy edge
i kissed her face and kissed her head
and dreamed of all the different ways
i had to make her glow
why are you so far away? she said
why won't you ever know
that I'm in love with you
that I'm in love with you

soft and only
lost and lonely
strange as angels
dancing in the deepest oceans
twisting in the water
you're just like a dream...

daylight licked me into shape
i must have been asleep for days
and moving lips to breathe her name
i opened up my eyes
and found myself alone
alone above a raging sea
that stole the only girl I loved
and drowned her deep inside of me

soft and only
lost and lonely

just like heaven

- the cure

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Acute Bibliomania

Pity The Nation: Lebanon At War by Robert Fisk

The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Castle
by Franz Kafka

How To Be Good by Nick Hornby

Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, And Beauty On The Open Road by Donald Miller

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren

A New Kind Of Christian
by Brian McLaren

Revolution by George Barna

Present Future Six Tough Questions For The Church by Reggie McNeal

A Short History Of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition
by Bill Bryson

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Batman: The Ultimate Evil by Andrew Vachss

The Importance Of Being Foolish by Brennan Manning

To Own A Dragon: Reflections Of Growing Up Without A Father by Donald Miller and John MacMurray

Girl Meets God: A Memoir by Lauren F. Winner

This is my queue. The list of books that I am either currently engrossed in, or have plans to be engrossed in, as soon as I knock one of the others off the list. How did it ever get this far? How can one man continue to buy books, knowing he cannot read them for quite some time? Clearly I need to triage - but that would seem to me something like choosing between your children. I do love them all so. Here's your chance to weigh in - or pile on. Prioritize for me. Or suggest something that you can't believe isn't on the list. Just let's please hold off on the "A Million Little Pieces" 's and the "What about the Bible?" 's - if you don't mind. Yes, this means YOU. Anyone?.... Anyone?....

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Warfare of Genghis Khan

Season 5, Episode 13

So, I had this meeting with NASA this morning...

Leo: What a waste, since the moon. My generation never got the future it was promised.

Josh: What do you mean?

Leo: 35 years later, cars, air travel's exactly the same. We don't even have the Concorde anymore. Technology stopped.

Josh: The personal computer?

Leo: A more efficient delivery system for gossip and pornography. Where's my jetpack... my colonies on the moon? Just a waste...

The West Wing =
The best thing *wink*

So I got this stat-counter put on this site, not to boost my ego, but so that I can gather important information, yo. For example, I've already gotten several hits from The United Arab Emirates, Sweden, and Belgium - which tells me that, in order to best serve those people, I should probably include some content in their respective languges... or at least a convincing accent. It also tells me how people link to, or get referred to my site. Big ups to my top three referrers (after just 3 days), in order - Krysten, Shelly, and Jamie. Still, my all-time favorite referrer is The West Wing News Blog, which actually linked to one of my posts a couple of days ago. Eat your collective hearts out Jamie, Shane and Tanya!

Those of you who fell for the Crush Calculator: So did I. Didn't you TOtally get that sick, scared feeling in your stomach when you hit send, and found out that all your choices were being sent to me? That's all I really wanted. I don't freakin' care who you have a crush on. Honestly - those things don't come to my inbox. They go to another site, which sends a message to my inbox, and then I have to go there, log in with e-mail and password, and click around blahblahblahblah - it really is quite a load of bollocks. All of that to say - I'm not actually looking at your answers. It's too much trouble. So set your minds at ease. I have gotten more comments and e-mail the last couple of days from people who filled that thing out, found out I would see their answers, and then wanted to do damage control. Breathe deep - your secret is still safe. Of course... if you ever cross me... or if I need a favor... it could somehow become public knowledge that you didn't put your husband or girlfriend on there. Let's hope it never comes to that, shall we?

I'm mostly kidding about that last part.

Finally - I got ordained last night. So now I'm officially going to heaven, no matter what. It really was a beautiful thing, and I'd love to tell you all about it - but I'll save that for when the pictures/videos come back.
That's right. I said videos, sucka.
Hold your breath.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Don't click this.

The Crush Calculator!

Oh my gosh. This is either one of the best ideas, or one of the worst ideas EVER.

Monday, January 16, 2006


- Check out these sidewalk drawings by Julian Beever. CRAZY stuff. Click on the link to see more, and see how he does it.

- Our offices are NOT closed for MLK day, as they should be. So, here I am, practically alone. Tommy and I are the only members of the leadership team who bothered to show up. Makes me think I'm about 30 minutes from pretty much heading back to the house. Feeling a little bit not-awesome today, anyway.

- The West Wing = The Best Thing. Last night's episode was my favorite in a LONG time. AND, did anybody notice the credit - Written by Bradley Whitford.

- I also watched two David Blaine specials last night. I really, really want to think that he is for real, but I know better. However, I think he might be the devil. I am very proud to say, though, that thanks to the magic of DVR, I was able to rewind live television, and unravel the mystery of at least one of his tricks.

- Here's a pretty cool Benediction from my first trip over to ecclesia a few weeks back.
Nestled in the arms of God
You with jubilant desire for his love
Who are the reflection of his eye
The creation who arrest5s his breath
You are the object of his jealous passion

Weeping upon his footstool
You who yearn and hope for his presence
Who find yourselves captured in obsession
In search of a grace filled love, after adulterous rejection
You are the object of his jealous passion

Suffering for the sake of conscience
You who feel injustice boil blood and stir wisdom
Who find time to fill plates and cast vision
The worn and weary humble laden... rest.
You are the object of his jealous passion.

Within a new day abreast a new year of our Lord.
May sacred blood mark your chest and you words
In a candid love affair spilling faith from promises kept
Where you see you are the object of his jealous passion.

May you be overwhelmed with hugs and kisses
From the hearts of innocent givers
May a childlike trust overwhelm you
So you know you are the object of his jealous passion.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Full Service

So, I have this theory...

Today, I went in to pay for my gas with cash, which I very seldom ever do. I had like 13 bucks on me, and so I told them, "13 on number 3". Like you do. 13 bucks was not going to fill it up, so the little attendent dude had to program the pump to shut off at 13 bucks. This I understand. So, I'm rockin' and rollin', the pump is scrollin', the gasoline is flowing.




And then it happened. The flow of gas slows way down at about $12.85 - as if this machine were afraid that if it didn't take it easy, it might miss its intended mark of $13.00. What gives? I know that when that happens there's just barely a trickle of gas coming through the hose. Am I getting my money's worth? Now, more than ever, that 15 cents means a heck of a lot. That's not my real beef, though. I guess I expect to get cheated out of a few ounces during those last couple of seconds. But it seems to me that the slow-down-time is starting earlier and earlier all the time... so that I am deprived of more and more of my rightfully purchased fuel every time. I've only been driving about 10 or 12 years now. But didn't it used to slow down at $12.90? I'm sure I remember it. In fact, I'm pretty sure there was a time when it didn't slow down until $12.93 or $12.95, even. Periodically, gas companies increase, ever so slightly, the slow-down-time of the pumps, until pretty soon, they'll be stealing a good 30 seconds of our gas. What then? I think I'm the only one that's noticed. It's like the frog in the kettle, man. Frog in the kettle. You know what I'm talking about!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jesus Stick

"You gonna beat me with your Jesus stick?"
"I find it a little odd that your scripture stick has dried blood on it."


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The way forward...

Je suis le fils
Et l'héritier
D'une timidité qui est criminel vulgaire
Je suis le fils et l'héritier
De rien en particulier

Vous avez fermé votre bouche
Comment pouvez vous dire
J'aborde des choses la manière fausse ?
Je suis humain et je dois être ai aimé
Juste comme tout le monde autrement

Je suis le fils
Et l'héritier
D'une timidité qui est criminel vulgaire
Je suis le fils et l'héritier
De rien en particulier

Vous avez fermé votre bouche
Comment pouvez vous dire
J'aborde des choses la manière fausse ?
Je suis humain et je dois être ai aimé
Juste comme tout le monde autrement

Il y a un club si vous voudriez aller
Vous pourriez rencontrer quelqu'un qui vous aime vraiment
Ainsi vous allez et vous vous tenez tout seul
Et vous partez tout seul
Et vous allez à la maison et vous cri
Et vous voulez mourir

Quand vous dites il va se produire "maintenant"
Puits quand exactement vous voulez dire ?
Voyez que j'ai déjà attendu trop long
Et tout mon espoir est allé

Vous avez fermé votre bouche
Comment pouvez vous dire
J'aborde des choses la manière fausse ?
Je suis humain et je dois être ai aimé
Juste comme tout le monde autrement


Saturday, January 7, 2006

"And now for something completely different...."

Forget it. I can't be bothered (*wink*) to finish what I started with all the movies, and Christmas and resolutions and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda (*wink again*). Maybe another time. What I really want to say is this:

I know Ariel Sharon is old, and it's very possible that he's had a stroke that it's going to take some time for him to recover from. But I also know that if you happen to be a political leader in that part of the world, sometimes you go into the hospital for one reason... but you may never come out for a different reason. I'm not saying dude's been a victim of an assassination attempt - but you remember what happened with Arafat? Come on. This is the Sharks and the Jets, man! Bloods and Crips! Corleones and Tattaglias! Anybody? Anybody?

Tuesday, January 3, 2006


Lots on the buffet for the next couple of days - hopefully we can get to it all.

First, a little harmless frivolity.

On Monday, Shelly mentioned a cool little exercise to do over at a site called MyHeritage. It allows you to upload a photo of yourself and then proceeds to scan your likeness, and compare it to photos of celebrities and such, to see which you resemble the closest.

Mine were, in order from highest to lowest percentage:
Elia Kazan - 68%
John Cusack - 65%
Ewan McGregor - 65%
Alec Baldwin - 65%
Robert Oppenheimer - 62%
Hritwik Roshan - 60%
Jimmy Page - 58%
Tommy Lee Jones - 57%
Cary Grant - 57%
Saddam Hussein - 55%

I think we can all come to one very simple conclusion from all this:

Someone is playing a very cruel joke on me.

**Edited to add:**
I'm having too much fun with this.
Bagboy- from the infamous "Prince of Themyscira" photo, your top three are: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, and Katie Holmes. Also listed are Christian Slater, Stephen Jay Gould, Alanis Morrisette, and Stan Laurel. Frankly, I think you are way cuter than any of those dudes. *wink*

Abby- from some old webcam picture I have of you, your best matches include: Allyson Hannigan, Zhang Ziyi, Alicia Keys, and Charles Bronson, Keanu Reeves and Dimebag Darrell (rock on, and R.I.P.)

Jamie - your most shining resemblences, based on the crazy-blue-hair picture are: Marlon Brando, Elton John, Elenor Roosevelt, Cate Blanchett, Hilary Duff, and Christina Aguilera.

Krysten - Based on a SUPER cute picture I took of you sticking your tongue out at me at our graduation, you resemble: Lucy Liu, Chelsea Clinton, Meryl Streep, Lucille Ball, Christina Aguilera, Alanis Morrissette, and Diana Ross.

By way of a control - I uploaded a picture of a shaven Natalie Portman that I just happened to have on hand (don't judge me!), and it did in fact return, as its #1 match, Natalie Portman.
But only at 68%. Other notable matches included Shania Twain, Bjork, Hedy Lamarr, Milla Jovovich, Bette Davis, and Liv Tyler. I can see how you would get any of those confused.

Lastly, I submitted a photo that included both my mother and my sister. There was good news, and bad news. The good news is, this program works well enough to identify similarities between both my mother and my sister to the same personage of historical significance with 62 and 60 percent (respectively) accuracy. The bad news is, that personage was Hillary Rodham Clinton.


A couple of things I'd write about right now, if I wasn't so tired, and needed to get up early tomorrow:

- What do director Elia Kazan; actors John Cusack, Ewan McGregor, Alec Baldwin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Cary Grant; guitar virtuoso Jimmy Page; H-bomb inventor Robert Oppenheimer; Bollywood actor Hritwik Roshan; and deposed, grizzled and misunderstood former dictator Saddam Hussein have in common?

- Brokeback Mountain. So,... um.... yeah....

- Memoirs Of A Geisha. Ohhh, the pretty...

- My visit to ecclesia. Hey J.T., is that an "emergent church"? What the heck do I know? What does that even mean, anyway?

- The Lord's Supper. Twice in one day? Corporate or private, or both, or neither? Open or closed? Wine? Go to hell twice? Some have gotten sick and even died? At some point, wasn't it an actual meal?

- New Year's resolutions. How long can I realistically put this post off?

- What I got/gave for Christmas. Yeah, the critical period for this one's probably run out.

- LSU going 11-2 with a 40-3 win over Miami in the Peach Bowl.

Anybody want to hear about any of that stuff?

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Sunday Night

Headed out right this very moment for ecclesia.
Kind of excited. Wish you were here.