Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Philip Yancey Accident

I received an email today that author Philip Yancey had been in an auto accident in New Mexico on Sunday. It doesn't seem to be a serious one and from his website (www.philipyancey.com under News and Tour Accident), he seems to be recovering well.

Yancey is one of those authors whose works have been very formative in my spiritual journey, particularly the works The Jesus I Never Knew and What's So Amazing About Grace? So I hope some of you will join me in lifting up a prayer for this great thinker and author.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Daddies and Daughters

I'm still reeling from the awesomeness of Heroes last night. Seriously, how freaking awesome was that? One of the ways that it was truly incredible was the depiction of the relationship between HRG (Mr. Bennett) and his daughter Claire. I won't spoil it for people but it was honestly one of the most touching depictions of a father daughter relationship that I've seen on television, which would also include the episode of Doctor Who I wrote about a while back.

It really made me glad that I have the relationship with Kinsey that I have right now. I know for certain that it's going to change. I know that we're going to have really rough spots, especially with two people who are as stubborn as we are. But I also am going to hold in my memory days like yesterday when I came home from work and she and Sheryl were making huge bubbles in the front yard, and then when the three of us played Go Fish as Connor took his nap, or as she and I wrestled with her trying to get a ball from me. It's one of those times that you just want to pack into a suitcase and keep it there.

Those are the kind of days I'm thankful to God for.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What if... Addendum

Ben Witherington, a theologian I greatly respect, has commented on his blog about this whole story. It's an interesting read.

What if...

I have serious doubts about this, but what if...?

http://time-blog.com/middle_east/2007/02/jesus_tales_from_the_crypt.html

What if James Cameron produced the bodies of Jesus, Mary, and Mary Magdalene? Would faith change? If it were conclusively proven that Jesus didn't rise from the dead, what would change about life?

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Future of the Churches of Christ






In the last couple of days, I've read some interesting things about the future of the Churches of Christ, the particular Christian tribe I associate with. Initially, it was several pieces in the Christian Chronicle, a Church of Christ monthly paper that I think does a really good job of trying to show the traditional and progressive sides of issues, including things like instrumental music (a topic that I know just flabbergasts some of my non-CofC readers). Also, several bloggers have been talking about the subject, including Mike Cope, Greg Kendall-Ball, and Scott Freeman. As a result, I've been doing some thinking on it too.

So what do I think the future holds for the Churches of Christ? Here are some questions I have.

  • Are we losing our distinctiveness? Whether we like it or not, one of our distinguishing characteristics is a capella music. Outside of that, in most of our theology and most of our practice, we're not that different from a "community church." As we move away from a capella only and allowing the use of musical instruments, will that facilitate us losing our distinctiveness? And maybe the better question is is if that distinctiveness in worship worth is something worth holding on to?

  • Another question that strikes me is how much our theology will change in the future? Most of the "progressive" churches have moved to a more grace oriented position, which has its own positives and negatives. That to me is a significant change from previous theology. Not that "traditional" churches don't believe in grace; it's simply that it's not grace only. It's grace, plus maintaining a faithful life. I wonder what points of theology will continue to change. I think the issue that's been coming up the pike for years is the women's issue and that may be on like instrumental music that just kind of gradually happens. I think we'll look up on day and have a woman leading the communion thoughts (as already happens in some churches) and not think anything of it.

  • How will fellowship change in the future? I've long thought that "progressive" Church of Christ people have just as much ability to be close minded as "traditional" ones. It's very easy to believe that you're more advanced in theology and relationship to God than "those poor conservatives." Progressives have to be charitable in working with other churches of Christ, as well as denominations. Spiritual superiority complexes have no place in the Kingdom.

  • You might have also noticed that I keep referring to "progressive" and "traditional" churches. I wonder if the split that's already taken place theologically and in practice will officially be recognized. I don't think it will for two reasons: 1) Conservatives won't move from the name because they view themselves as holding to the faith; 2) Progressives won't move from the name because they see something redeemable in it. So I think the de facto split will continue, just not be recognized as cleanly as it was in 1906.
So that's what I'm thinking the future could possibly hold for Churches of Christ. What do you think? Are there issues of social justice that could come to the fore? Are there other issues that in the Nashville area, I don't hear about? Looking forward to the conversation.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happiest Birthday Addendum

Sheryl told me this story today. When she took Kinsey into her class at school today, Kinsey stopped her at the door and called out to her class, "Hey! Remember! Remember!" while pointing to Sheryl. And then the entire class of 5 and 6 year olds started singing "Happy Birthday" to her. And while I'm pretty sure they didn't pay royalties on it, I can imagine that any gift I give Sheryl today will pale in comparison.

Happiest Birthday

Today is Sheryl's birthday.

Fifteen years ago today, we shared our first kiss. We had gathered with a bunch of other friends in the lobby of the Sewell dorm at Lipscomb University to watch the original Star Wars trilogy. Somehow, she and I ended up sitting next to each and we ended up holding hands or something like that.

I'd been noticing her for awhile in our Education classes and she was the roommate of a girl I went to high school with, so we knew each other. So possibly, it wasn't an accident that I say next to her. After the movies were over, I walked her back to her dorm and at the door, said, "Happy Birthday" and kissed her. This was the beginning of our first relationship, which ended two weeks later with Sheryl kindly telling me that she wasn't "ready for me." This would be the first of two times she dumped me.

And we probably weren't ready for each other. But I can honestly say that I am glad that God has brought her into my life to be my friend and my wife and the mother of our children. I couldn't ask for any more than she is and I can't wait for the next ten years with her and beyond.

Happy Birthday, babe! I love you with everything I am.






















Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Battlestar Galactica is Lost, but Heroes ain't, and Studio 60 is gone

This is hard for me to write, because I've loved BSG and still do to a great extent. I've laid out my problems with Lost before. Terminal end to the show that the producers keep putting off (getting off the island) by inserting all of these character moments (flashbacks) and not really advancing the plot. And as of now, BSG has fallen into this same trap. There is a terminal end to the show (finding Earth) that apparently the producers are trying to put off by doing all of these little character things. The last three episodes have had almost nothing to do with finding Earth or the Cylons chasing them. It's all been character stuff, which is not bad necessarily, but when it's done badly and/or with a 2x4, then yes, it's bad.

And Battlestar Galactica has been. And it needs to right the ship soon, or even though the 4th season has been approved, they still might manage to get it pulled.

Speaking of getting pulled, is there any more disappointing show this season (expectations-wise) than Studio 60? This is the show with the impeccable pedigree, both in production and acting that no one thought could lose. But you know how you make a show like that bad? You make it preachy. And it don't necessarily have a problem with preachiness, but the issue is that it's being done so badly. Plus, the people that Aaron Sorkin is preaching to are already watching the show! And here's where I think the show really fails, particularly in comparison to the criminally underwatched SportsNight and the overpraised but still very good West Wing.

On both WW and SN, there were a plethora of topics to mine storylines from. For WW, obviously the politics drove the storylines and the relationships and character interactions were built around those. Same thing with SN. Sporting events drove it (NFL Draft, Tennis, Basketball, etc) and again the relationships and character interactions worked around those.

With S60, there is nothing there to drive the plot (besides the Macao stuff that Matt and Danny have nothing to do with), and so the major focus for Matt and Danny is not some external force acting on them, it's them in the relationships that are frankly, both badly written and possibly Sorkin working out his Chenowith issues. I wonder if the show will be back at all, now that it's "on hiatus"

What is working now is Heroes. And Monday night was an amazing example of moving plot forward and giving information and satisfying fans while still leaving them hungry for more. We got some resolution to Hiro and Ando (and a cameo by Stan Lee), Peter seems upset while getting more control of his powers, Isaac kills Simone unintentionally, and Matt Parkman teams up with WiFi woman and Radioactive man to get some answers from Mr. Bennett, after Claire tells her adopted father off. In the truest sense of the word, I am anxiously awaiting next Monday, where we'll apparently get some real answers about Mr. Bennett's past. Good times.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pictures and Baby Blessing

Kinsey will probably kill me for this later, but here is a cute picture I took of her sleeping a couple of weeks ago. Gotta love the Disney Princess umbrella.















Baby feet are the cutest feet.















Otter Creek had the Baby Blessing night on Sunday. I know that there are some of the Church of Christ tribe that don't agree with it, but I like the significance of it. I like the idea of specifically looking at the babies born in the last year and thinking seriously about dedicating them and yourself to God and raising them in a Christ-like manner. Kids obviously will make their own choices (I'm positive Kinsey and Connor will), but this at least reminds Sheryl and me of the way we want to raise them.

At any rate, here are our pictures. Thanks to our England friends for taking them.

































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Monday, February 19, 2007

Short Post today...

Kind of a long weekend, but good. Got to spend some good time with Sheryl and Connor on Friday when Kinsey spent the night with my mom and dad and her cousin. Saturday morning was good to sleep in and then I took Kinsey to a friend's birthday party at the Y, where we got to swim and even ran into BST and his family. And that night, I got to take Sheryl out for combined Valentine's Day/birthday dinner, thanks to some brave babysitting on the ice from Tiffany.

Sunday we braved the streets of Nashville to make it to church on time (they were not bad; they were well salted). And then we made it back for Baby Blessing at OC last night and I'll have some pics of that later. A good weekend and thankfully, everyone is well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Does Sin Matter?

This is going to be a thinking aloud post, so if it rambles or doesn't make sense, blame my mind, not me.

How would you define sin? I've tried thinking about this over the last couple of days and the only thing that I can come up with is this idea of breaking God's Laws. Which seems like a reasonable definition. The problem comes when we try to define what God's Laws are. Because it seems like people have a lot of trouble with that.

For example, let's just take homosexuality. For the majority of Christians, this seems like a pretty cut and dried issue. There are numerous Old Testament scriptures that speak against homosexuality and fewer but no less clear one in the New Testament. However, there are growing voices that either want Christians to focus less on homosexuality or want Christians to acknowledge that homosexuality is not a sin and the Biblical prohibitions were either condemning promiscuous homosexuality just as they would promiscuous heterosexuality, or that those Scriptures represent a less enlightened culture or simply one that didn't understand the true nature of human sexuality.

And I know that homosexuality is a hot button issue, but the same could be said for greed or lust or envy.

I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that if sin can be redefined from generation to generation, does sin really matter? And if it can't (or shouldn't) be redefined, who does the singular defining? Is it once for all? Do laws that applied to first Century Mediterraneans apply to us?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sligh Dog

I'll admit it. I've been an American Idol snob. I've watched the auditions to laugh at the people who were bad and forget the people who weren't. Well, this year changed that. One guy and I was hooked and immediately had a rooting interest. His name? Chris Sligh.

Here's his audition video:


Reason #1 that I like him? He's funny and self-deprecating.

#2: He's got a really good voice and a good presence that's different from all the other boy band wanna bes out there.

So, Tuesday night, Chris sang in a group of 4 guys. A boy band basically... Here's what that looked like.


Boy band? Yeah, but if you watch Chris, you notice that he can't dance. At all. The other guys have the moves and Chris is just kind of following them. Even at the end where they do their low tech echo, Chris uses the wrong hand. And that just makes him more endearing. I'd also be curious which harmony part he did at the end. I'd bet the lower one.

Well, I did some more digging on Chris and discovered a couple of things. He's a worship leader in Greenville, SC. He's got a blog, where he labels himself "I am first and foremost a Christ-follower."

And he's in a band called HalfPastForever. They of course have a MySpace, and just recently one of their videos got "leaked." The song is called Know and I think it's actually really good.



Why am I putting all of this out? Well, I guess it's that Sheryl and I really like this guy, not just for being funny and not just for being good and talented, but it also seems like he's able to mesh the Christ follower without being a jerk. I hope he does really well on the show. Either way, I'm not convinced that "success" or "failure" on it will make a huge difference for him.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Legal Issue

I've been wondering about a legal issue here for a couple of days (and no, it's not this one. What thoughts could I possibly have on that one?). Some of you may know that recently the mayor of Nashville Bill Purcell vetoed an "English-only" bill, which would officially enshrine English as the only language the Nashville government would do business in. CNN.com covered this story too.

I could debate the merits of this bill and quote Scripture about welcoming the alien (Leviticus 19:34, for instance), but that's not really what I'm thinking of here.

On what level do the people who are elected to their office have to represent the people of their districts? Is it the responsibility of the representative to vote what the majority of their constituents feel or should the individual representative vote his or her own conscience?

For instance, if a representative is convinced that the English only bill is the right thing for her community, but her constituents don't, which way should the representative vote? Her conscience or the will of the people? I realize that this is a bit out of the norm on this blog, but what are your feelings on this?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sick, but Crawling

So, Connor's had a cough for a couple of weeks now. And it's a rough cough. Rattly, he sounds pathetic and just not great. We've taken him to the doctor and they said there's nothing really wrong, no ear infection, or pneumonia or anything like that. They've basically said that he has to get over it.

Well, Sunday night was one of the worst nights we've had with him. He would wake himself up, coughing and gagging, and then he would start crying and crying and one of us would get up, rock him back to sleep and then immediately when we laid him down, he'd start crying again. Sheryl finally got up with him and held him and slept on the couch with him until the morning. She called the doctor again and took him and and they gave him some antibiotics and hopefully he'll be better soon. Besides the peas he puked up this evening, he seems to be doing a lot better. Much more like regular Connor, rather than pitiful Connor.

Speaking of... here are some videos of the little guy. btw, I'm pretty sure he didn't get sick because of this one, even though he does take a liking to the dog's bone.



And here he is... mobile...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sitting on the Floor

For the first time in a while, I got to sit in the congregation at church yesterday. I try to schedule myself out of the tech booth every once in a while, just so I can get out of there. It's exceedingly hard to worship when trying to keep track of the things I need to to make sure the service goes smoothly.

It's weird because I'm typically doing so much on a Sunday morning that to just sit in the congregation without worrying about sound levels and MediaShout and watching Brandon to make sure he's happy was strange. I kept wanting to check something out and make sure something was working properly. Thankfully, everything went very smoothly (unlike the week before which was one of my nightmare scenarios) and Sheryl and I were able to get the kids out of church at a reasonable time and get home. It was a good day. Last night, though... well, more on that tomorrow.

Friday, February 09, 2007

God Thing

OK, I feel a little weird sharing this, because in some ways I think it'll ruin my cynical Christian street cred, but here goes.

On Wednesday, I spoke at Otter Creek's Vespers service on the subject of sight, which I posted here. I went to church by myself that night so I could plug my iPod in and listen to whatever I wanted. I set the songs to shuffle and played My Top Rated playlist. I skipped a couple of songs and listened to a couple of others, then about halfway to church, U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For played. And not the standard version from The Joshua Tree, but the awesome version from Rattle and Hum with the Voices of Freedom gospel chorus backing up the band.
I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well, yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
And it started getting me fired up some, because some of what I was talking about that night was reflected in the song.

Then the next song came up and it was the Michael W. Smith version of Rich Mullins' song "Everywhere I Go I See You" (which I'd really love our praise band at Otter Creek to do some time) .The lyrics were something that fit perfectly into what I was really struggling with in my talk.
Lord, You're leading me (Lord, You're leading me)
With a cloud by day (With a cloud by day)
And then in the night (And then in the night)
The glow of a burning flame (The glow of a burning flame)

And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)

And You take my hand (And You take my hand)
And You wash it clean (And You wash it clean)
I know the promised land (I know the promised land)
Is light years ahead of me (Is light years ahead of me)

And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)

Well, the eagle flies (Well, the eagle flies)
And the rivers run (And the rivers run)
I look through the night (I look through the night)
And I can see the rising sun (And I can see the rising sun)

And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And I see You, Lord, I see You

Well, the grass will die (Well, the grass will die)
And the flowers fall (And the flowers fall)
But Your Word's alive (But Your Word's alive)
And it will be after all (And it will be after all)

And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You (And everywhere I go, I see You)
And everywhere I go, I see You
And everywhere I go, I see You
So I listen and just groove to that song until I get to the building. As I'm setting up the sound stuff for the night, Scott Owings is setting up the station stuff, and because I just listened to it, I'm singing "I See You" to myself, and he kind of looks over at me and says, "How did you know we're playing Rich Mullins during the station time?" And I'm just kind of blown away because this weird confluence of events have happened right before me.

So here's my thought... Am I crazy to believe that God orchestrated all of that? In some ways, I feel like I've stopped believing in Micro-predestination, the idea that God controls every aspect of your life in everyway from hitting the stoplight just right to the good space to the person you sit next to in the movie to stubbing your toe in the middle of the night. Part of the reason for this is that I can't imagine God being so concerned with that stuff that He's not trying to solve Darfur or the suffering of the poor. It seems that I don't think God is much of multi-tasker.

I fall much more into the Macro-predestination idea about big things being more orchestrated, family, spouse, kids. I'm one of those people who think that when two choices are presented and I hear someone ask, "What is God's Will for me in this?" my first thought is, "I'm not sure He cares; I think He wants us to be Jesus no matter what job or situation we are in." So there's a big part of me that looks at this situation and thinks, "Eh coincidence. Those songs just happened to play so no big deal."

What I will say is that I have been asking God for some tangible aspect of Himself to be made known to me. And maybe that blindness that I talked about on Wednesday has prevented me from seeing other things that are those tangible reminders of Him. And it was this night in a language that always speaks so powerfully to me (music) that sometimes maybe He does touch a hard drive and make a particular song come up that broke through my distractions and worries and remind me that there is something more going on outside of my comprehension.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sight

Tonight I'm speaking at Otter Creek's Vespers service on the sense of sight. And I've hit some writer's block, so it's not done yet. Here's what I have so far and if you want to hear the rest of it, come to the service at 7 tonight or I'll post it after I get home from church.

Addendum: And here's the final version...

When Scott asked me to be a part of this series on senses, I specifically requested sight, because in the realm of the empirical senses, I can honestly say that it is the one that I rely on the most, and the one that I get the most frustrated that I can’t use to sense God. But more on that in a second.

In the Gospel scripture for tonight, we have an interesting story. To put it into context, this takes place right before the Triumphal Entry in Chapter 11. And just before this incident, as recorded in Mark, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, have just asked to sit at Jesus’ left and right hand when he comes into his glory. The other 10 got very upset at this and Jesus had to calm them down with this passage in Mark 10:42-45. “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom for many.” Immediately after this, the entire group heading to Jerusalem comes across Bar-Timaeus, a blind man. The disciples still being concerned with their positions rebuke Bar-Timaeus, until Jesus stops them. Now to understand this, we have to understand the nature of blindness, particularly within the ancient culture. If you were blind, you weren’t worthless, but your value to society was much smaller. And interestingly, Jesus seems to have a particular affinity for blind people. Healing the blind was one of his “more common” miracles, with 5 separate healings of blindness being recorded in the Gospels and when Jesus announced his ministry in Luke 4, he quotes Isaiah and specifically mentions the blind recovering their sight. I wonder sometimes if this healing of blindness is the desire of God’s to be known by His people, or if it’s simply a desire to help people, to give them the ability to take care of themselves.

The interesting thing about the context of the passage is the blindness that the disciples show just before the incident. They argue amongst themselves about position and just after that, they come across this man begging at the gates of Jericho. While they had been so concerned with their positions of power, Jesus takes the time from going to his triumphal entry, the time when he will be at the height of his popularity, the time when the greatest worldly adulation he can receive will be his and he stops to talk to Timaeus’s son, the blind man. To talk to him and to heal him.

Now it would be very easy for me here to point out our flaws. It would be very easy to point out how many of us get more concerned with our positions in society and in the workplace and even here in church, to stop and show love and concern for those who need it. I could talk about how our neighborhoods and our cars can be a hindrance to us truly interacting. I could talk about how even our charity can make us blind, about how we think that giving money somehow gives us license to be blind to the actual people in those problems. But I won’t. I won’t talk about those.

One of my biggest frustrations with God is my inability to prove for certain that He is there and that He is who He says He is. Maybe it’s a certain point in my life or maybe it’s an ebb in my faith, or maybe it’s challenges to my faith. There are times when I want to be Moses and to talk with God, or hide in the cave and see his back, just to be completely positive that what I have said that I’ve believed for 35 years is the actual truth. That He is there, that He is who He says he is. I want proof. I want that day as the old hymn says for the faith to become sight. There are days that I feel like I can’t go on saying that I believe in this crazy ludicrous idea without some kind of proof, some kind of certainty.

But incredibly, there are times that I think this desire for proof is an actual blindness itself. Because what it does is blind me to all of the stuff that God is doing around me that is proof of who He is. When I am straining and squinting so hard for this proof of God, that’s when I can miss Him. That’s when I miss the loving touch of my wife being proof of His love, when the smiles on the faces of my children is the touch of His Spirit. When the word of forgiveness from a wronged friend is the evidence of His compassion. When I wake up and peer out the window onto my yard covered in unexpected, untracked, unspoiled snow, or when I come home and see that same snow covered yard, now with grass showing through and the tiny snow man and the meticulously created snow angel, proof of a snow properly enjoyed. In this, I see His love of Creation and me as a part of that Creation. If I search so strongly for proof, I miss it. Because God in his mercy has provided examples of proof all around us. Look around this room tonight. The people that you see in here are examples of Him, even when we walk out of this building, we will be able to see proof of who he is. It has been said that “All truth is God’s truth.” I think in a similar way, all that is good in the world is from God. And we should take the good of the world as that, even in the face of unspeakable evil, even in the face of a world where parents beat their children to death, where young girls are raped in Africa because men believe it will make them immune from AIDS, even in a world where evil looms large and sometimes seems invincible. Even in a world where we struggle to pay bills and keep cars running, and spend time with our families. All the good, all the beauty we see is from God and we should celebrate that sight, we should exult in it, we should GLORY in that gift.

It’s not for nothing that Hebrews talks about faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things that are unseen, but we also have to recognize the proof all around us. While sometimes it becomes too easy to rely on sight, we also have to recognize the blindness our sight can sometimes bring us. But it’s when can recognize our own blindness, both to the people around us and to the way that God presents Himself to us before our very eyes, it’s then that we can cry out, “Son of David, Have mercy on me. I want to see!” and God in his mercy can grant us sight.

Jesus often ended his statements by saying, “Those who have ears, let them hear.” I will adapt that by giving this exhortation. “For those that have eyes, let them see. And for us who struggle with blindness, give us sight.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Of Bows, Headbands, and Snow Days

Every now and then, I'll make a mistake at work. I'll listen to Travellin' Soldier by the Dixie Chicks.

Here's a video of it.



And here are the lyrics
Two days past eighteen
He was waiting for the bus in his army green
Sat down in a booth in a cafe there
Gave his order to a girl with a bow in her hair
He's a little shy so she gives him a smile
And he said would you mind sittin' down for a while
And talking to me,
I'm feeling a little low
She said I'm off in an hour and I know where we can go

So they went down and they sat on the pier
He said I bet you got a boyfriend but I don't care
I got no one to send a letter to
Would you mind if I sent one back here to you

Chorus: I cried
Never gonna hold the hand of another guy
Too young for him they told her
Waitin' for the love of a travelin' soldier
Our love will never end
Waitin' for the soldier to come back again
Never more to be alone when the letter said
A soldier's coming home

So the letters came from an army camp
In California then Vietnam
And he told her of his heart
It might be love and all of the things he was so scared of
He said when it's getting kinda rough over here
I think of that day sittin' down at the pier
And I close my eyes and see your pretty smile
Don't worry but I won't be able to write for awhile

[Chorus]

One Friday night at a football game
The Lord's Prayer said and the Anthem sang
A man said folks would you bow your heads
For a list of local Vietnam dead
Crying all alone under the stands
Was a piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

[Chorus]
The reason this is a mistake is that there is not once that I've listened to this song and not cried. I think it's a combination of many things. The general sadness of the song, the unfulfilled love, the wasted life, and the vision of it from the eyes of the pretty little girl with a bow in her hair. You see, every time I listen to that song, that little girl is Kinsey and that little girl has grown up and is experiencing sadness because of getting her heart broken and I want hold that off as long as I possibly can. And I know I can't and I know it's coming. Here's how I know.

For the first 5 and a half years of her life, Kinsey wore bows in her hair all the time.





















But somewhere in the last couple of months, she changed over to headbands.





















It was one of those things that was almost imperceptible until I looked back on it. I don't know why she's chosen to wear her hair like this now. I don't think she got teased about it at school or anything else, but now she's not the pretty little girl with the bow in her hair. She's starting to grow up and I get these glimpses of the woman that she's going to become, and even that makes me sad sometimes too. I love that little girl so fiercely sometimes that I feel like my heart is going to explode and I know that I don't have the words to properly express that to her. So we play and we read books and she helps me set up at church and put together furniture. And I hope that her memories will include those times and that they will express to her what words can never truly get across.

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In other news, Connor is pretty much crawling now. We'll have some video of that later, but here are some pictures of Kinsey playing in the snow on Friday.

























































































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One final thing, if you view this blog through a reader like bloglines or Google Reader, I apologize for all the new posts you get that aren't really new posts. I'm going back and adding some titles and labels to some old posts (like the England trip ones) and that's doing it, I'll hopefully be done with that at some points, but until then you'll being seeing links to old posts, that of course, you're welcome to read if you want.

Monday, February 05, 2007

TiVo Super Bowl

Behold the power of TiVo.

If you're a regular reader here, you know about some issues I had with TiVo a couple of weeks ago. Well, all is forgiven. TiVo truly changes the way you watch television. Take last night for example. Super Bowl XLI, which I think is Roman numerals for 865.

We generally get together with friends to watch the game, but he had to work until 6 and the game started at 5:30. What do we do? Set the TiVo to record and just not turn on the TV until he gets there.

We also both have young kids, which generally means a lot of interruptions by said kids. And that truly happened with ours. Problem before TiVo. Afterwards? Sure, it's an annoyance when you're in the flow of a game, but generally, just hit pause, take care of whatever pressing need they have and restart it.

Bedtime? Pause the game. Do all of the nighttime stuff that needs to happen (brushing teeth, reading stories, saying prayers, singing songs, etc), head back downstairs and start the game back up.

Want to rewatch an especially funny commercial? Rewind and rewatch (note that this did not happen very much last night). Want to skip through a boring commercial? Want to skip the halftime show, because Prince just doesn't interest you? Fast forward, although it might have been funny to watch, just to see if he fell in the torrential downpour he had to play in.

All in all, even with starting it late and taking care of the kids, we finished the game an hour after it actually ended. Not too bad overall. Well done, TiVo.

As to the game itself, if I didn't dislike the Colts for being in the Titans' division and didn't dislike Peyton Manning for being from UT (and being more overexposed than Paris Hilton), I'd really like the Colts for how they play and how Coach Tony Dungy approaches the game, so I'm happy that they won. They were immensely helped out by Rex Grossman deciding that taking care of the football was a low priority in the game, much as the Chicago defense felt like stopping Indy's running game wasn't really important. As badly as Chicago played, it was still amazing that the score was as competitive as it was so late in the game. So kudos to Indy for winning. Just remember the team that only lost to you by 1 point at your house, then took you out down here. Hopefully those games will be as competitive next year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
















I came across this article about the Jesus Loves Osama sign yesterday (ht: Justin), and it got me thinking some, on several levels.

1) I thought the reaction of the Austrailian prime minister was interesting. Basically suggesting that the church's prayer priorities could have been somewhere else. I wonder where else he might have suggested.

2) I thought the reaction of the Anglican archbishop was fascinating as well. His suggestion that loving someone equals sanctioning their actions seems like either he has a misunderstanding of love or that he's afraid other people will have that misunderstanding. It's an interesting response.

3) Theologicially, I completely agree with the sign. I truly believe that Jesus loves Osama bin Laden as much as he loves me, and that his death was effective for wiping clean bin Laden's sin and his resurrection gave Osama access to the same victory over death. But I also recognize that that is a hard concept for people (including me) to recognize as a reality, especially in the face of the evil the bin Laden has come to embody. But the question always must be, How would Jesus have us react to bin Laden?

If we were doing humanitarian or mission work in the mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan and came across whereever he is hiding (if he's still alive), how would Jesus want us to treat him? What if, in his first speech after 9/11, President Bush had gotten up and said, "As a Christian, as a follower of Christ, I declare right now that I forgive Osama bin Laden and his associates for the act of evil they perpetrated and I call on all of my Christian brothers and sisters to do the same," would the world be a different place today that it is now?

And you might say, "Phil, that's totally unrealistic." Maybe so, but there is an Amish community in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania that is doing that very thing. It may be hard, but one of the costs of following Jesus is putting aside our desire for revenge and embracing his love for the people who hate us, not just the ones who like us back.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

YouTube: Galactic Empire vs. Colonials

Am I a geek? Yes, and I can prove it, because the following video made me much happier than it really should have.

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