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Monday, January 31, 2005

Emerging like a turtle from its shell 

I'm totally bummed that I won't be going to Emergent in San Diego. It's happening this week and I'd hoped that I would be in a better working environment that would allow me the resources and funds to go. But since I'm still waiting to get out of my current job and into a ministry job, I guess I'll have to miss out, which is doubly bad since this is the last time YS is sponsoring the shindig.

I do have an interview with a church on Wed and I could totally use prayer for that. It's my prayer that maybe that will work out in time for me to possibly go to Nashville for that convention in May.

I'm sure there will be plenty of people in the blogging world via planetemergent.org who will be posting about the event so I for one will be checking to hear what they have to say about their experiences there. I look forward to some good thoughts about what it means to do ministry today in a changing world.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Emerging Ethos 

Even if we could unite under one banner or statement, the thing to consider is big change starts small. I was talking to a pastor friend last night and she said a lot of things that I needed to hear, and I am grateful for that, but mostly I am grateful for the statement she had about change.

The wish we all have is for great change. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a difference and change things for the better. Yet I think our expectations (especially mine) have been molded towards the chance to make one big change that will fix everything or change everyone's mind about the way they are doing things.

Reality check (for me at least). I think the time for the emergent church has come for us to begin to stop our focus on trying to pinpoint a theology or basis for emergent, and turn our attention to ourselves and our congregations. If you hold a position of leadership or authority, this is your time to make small changes. Begin to erode the structural confines of the church. Begin to crack the mud that is caked on the eyes of those who claim to see. I am not talking about toppling the whole infrastructure of organized church. One of my goals for emergent has always been to walk alongside my current denomination, my current church and humbly come to the leadership and try and present a new view of where church is going.

This is one of those situations where 1 Tim 4:12 somehow doesn't quite apply. Or if it does then all I end up doing is coming off as pompous and arrogant. There in lies the problem. Us "young'ns" have the enormous task of gaining the respect and trust of those who have been doing ministry for the last 30-50 years and finding a way for them to allow us to make the small changes that will hopefully lead towards our vision for an emerging church.

The question still remains: "What does the Emergent Church mean to me?"
I pose that to you and ask you to answer it yourself.
I will eventually find my voice and prepare a more detailed exposition of my thoughts.

Feel free to leave comments and link to your thoughts.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

You'll Go Down In History 

Thinking about the emergent church, I began to ponder where church history fit into the picture.

I went to a Christian College and received training in church history, names, dates, events, etc, and plan on going to seminary. But when I think back on all of my younger years at church, I remember little to no church history, except for that 5 min in my confirmation class.

As I think about how most of the emergent church stems from non-denom churches I also have to ponder how much these churches talk about history at all either. I understand this can be a boring subject for youth and adults alike. Though I do find it critical to helping people understand their faith. I do not think it is a limited resource for those who are fortunate to be called into ministry or those who choose to undertake seminary.

We should be providing all of our members with a sound foundation of information about the history of the church and the great theological thinkers of the past who have shaped our current state. The overall lack of education that Christians receive is directly related to the lack of people who go into ministry.

I speak from a Presbyterian background and I see the need there as well as the Emergent church. But I am not about to run out on my tradition (that's what tradition is about) because I want to be a part of the emergent culture. We need to begin to help people understand how we as learned pastors and theologically minded people view and interpret scripture and culture through a theological lens, so that they themselves can begin to do the same. The underlying problem in most failing denominations is the lack of understanding of who we are (as Christians today) and where we came from (aside from the Jewish history we find in Scripture).

Lets work this into the framework of our emergent culture. A revision of how to teach and impart our theological and cultural histories to our congregations and future leaders.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Running for Office of Politics 

Man oh man, I hate office politics. I'm just glad that there's not a lot of growth potential at this job. Otherwise I think I'd be royally screwed.

Maybe it's just the fact that I'm working in the secular world and people have even a harder time forgiving others or it's that they just don't care about each other.

The hardest thing for me is trying to be the peacemaker and ushering in reconciliation. It's such a fine line between sides and not necessarily trying to be on the right side, but making sure that both sides don't hate you.

Otherwise I'll just be a whipping boy. But then the other side of me takes hold, and asks me to laydown and humble myself and the need to make things right takes over, even if it's at the expense of myself and possibly my job.

Yet I really like to eat and I need a job to pay for food.

And I can only assume that things are not 100% better if I worked at church either. Conflict has and always will exist. We are just the ones who should be focused on resolution and bringing about reconciliation and love to those who choose not to love one another.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I knew there was a reason 

If only this held true for the rest of my room and my life.

Wine and Tunes 

Hit up Room 5 for the first time in a LONG LONG time last night. Went down with Bill and John for a relaxing evening of music and drink.

I probably shouldn't have gone since I was so tired and had to actually get up for work the next day, but I somehow seemed to get myself up today, so I'm really glad I went. We had to leave a little early, which in this case was late for me. But there was a good 2 more hours of music after we left. Though I didn't feel like staying out til 1 on a work night.

I did hear a few artists besides the usual Jay Nash and Tyrone Wells (Mike Barnet was absent, and I'm not sure if he's comming back).

If you like good music then be sure to check out
Gabriel Mann
Garrison Starr (she's a chick)
I really enjoyed their sets and it was nice to hear some new music. I'll have to start saving my pennies to buy their albums.

Are we forgetting about whom we work for? 

Was reading Oswald Chamber's book "My Utmost for His Highest" for the Jan 24th entry and something struck me when I was thinking about the emergent church.

"Paul was devoted to a Person not to a cause"..."He was absolutely Jesus Christ's, he saw nothing else, he lived for nothing else."

When I think about our cause...the emerging church...I often wonder if we get too wrapped up in wanting something new and different that we have forgotten what is oldest and most pure.

Not that I want to undervalue our desire to heed change. I can only hope that our purpose is driven by what led us to this place in the beginning. Christ is who we want people to encounter, sure we want him to be encountered in a new way, but he remains the same, the Alpha and Omega. Let us not forget or lose focus on the one who gives us life, strength, and a desire to let all know how much his loves yearns for them.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Blogger Light: Only 12 Calories 

I'm pretty busy at work today, so if I post at all, it will be later tonight.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Complete Texts of 2005 Inauguration Prayers 

I finally tracked down the 2 transcrips for the prayers given by the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, rector at St. John's Episcopal Church, Washington and Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston.

Here is the text from Luis Leon's Invocation
Let us pray

Most gracious and eternal God, we gather here today as a grateful people who enjoy the many blessings you have bestowed on this nation. We are grateful for your vision, which inspired the founders of our nation to create this democratic experiment as one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

We are grateful to you that you have brought to these shores a multitude of peoples of many ethnic, religious and language backgrounds and yet have fashioned one nation out of so many cultures and traditions.

Even as we celebrate our -- this great moment, we remember before you the members of our armed forces. We commend them to your care. Give them courage to carry out their duties and courage the face the perils which we set them, and grant them always the sense of your presence in all that they do.

Finally today, we are especially grateful for this inauguration, which marks a new beginning in our journey as a people and a nation. We pray that you will shower the elected leaders of this land and especially, George, our president, and Richard, our vice president, with your life giving spirit.

Fill them with a love of truth and righteousness that they may serve you and this nation ably and glad to do your will. Endow their hearts with your spirit of wisdom that they may lead us in renewing the ties of mutual respect which form our civic life, so that peace may prevail with righteousness and justice with order.

We pray that you will strengthen their resolve as they lead our nation seeking to serve you in this world, that this good and generous country may be a blessing to the nations of the world.

And may they lead us to become, in the words of Martin Luther King, members of a beloved community, loving our neighbors as ourselves so that all of us may more closely come to fulfill the promise of our Founding Fathers, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

All this we ask in your most holy name, amen.

Here is Caldwell's, and here is the audio
Oh Lord God Almighty, the supply and supplier of faith and freedom, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. You are great and greatly to be praised. God, as we conclude this 55th inaugural ceremony, we conclude it with an attitude of thanksgiving. Thank You for protecting America's borders. After all, the Psalmist reminds us, unless You, O God, guard the territory, our efforts will be in vain.

Thank You for our armed service personnel. And it is with unswerving thanksgiving that we pause to remember the persons who have made the ultimate sacrifice to help ensure America's safety. Thank You, O God, for surrounding our personnel, their families, their friends and our allies with Your favor and Your faithfulness.

Deploy Your hosts from heaven so that Your will for America will be performed on earth as it is already perfected in heaven. I confess that Your face will shine upon the United States of America, granting us social peace and economic prosperity, particularly for the weary and the poor.

I also confess, God, that each American's latter days will be better than their former days. Let it be unto us according to Your Word.

Rally the Republicans, the Democrats and the Independents around Your common good so that America will truly become one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, justice and equal opportunity for all -- including the least, the last and the lost.

Bless every elected official right now. God, I declare Your blessings to shower upon our president, George W. Bush. Bless him, his family and his administration. I once again declare that no weapon formed against them shall prosper.

God, forgive us for becoming so ensnarled in petty partisan politics that we miss Your glory and block our purpose. Deliver us from the evil one, from evil itself and from the mere appearance of evil.

Give us clean hearts, so that we might have clean agendas, clean priorities and programs and even clean financial statements.

Now, unto You, O God, the One who always has been and always will be, the one King of kings and the true power broker, we glorify and honor You.

Respecting persons of all faiths, I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.

I'll take some time to read them and then I'll comment on them later.

About those TPS reports 

Today I went on an "exploratory" job interview. (This one's for you Mea, be thankful for the bank.)

I got a call on wed telling me my resume on monster.com looked good and I possessed many of the skills that would be needed for this position at Primerica.

At first I was excited it sounded like an alternative to my current job and if I made some more money then that would be an added bonus.

Then I started mentioning it to some friends about the job possibility and my friend Karen said she a year or so ago had been to something that sounded quite similar.

Warning flags. But I was still hopeful that it would be a legitimate job offer and it could prove to be interesting.

So I woke up at 7 on a Sat morning to drag my butt out to Burbank. Not too bad, a little early but not horrible, at least there was no traffic.

I had a few reservations when going. 1 If this is a group interview then I'm out of there. 2 If they make me sit through a "presentation", I'm outta there. 3 If they give me a name tag, I'm outta there. 4 If I get a real funny feeling, I'm out of there.

I get there and it's face to face type thing. For now... The guy tells me some really vague things and then tells me about the presentation. Not to be rude I break reservation #2. He then leads me into a conference room where I'll have to wait another 30 min for the presentation to begin. And as he instructs me to wait, he slaps a NAME TAG on me. Reservation #3 broken. I'm just trying to be nice now. Right before he leaves me in the room I ask him if it's ok if I leave if I don't like the presentation and stuff. And he gives me some line about it's ok if I do but it's really distracting.

I sit and wait for 30 min and eventually people trickle in with the same confused and cautious looks on their faces.

Finally the presentation begins and the guy is nice and all. But I have this skepticism that stays with me for the whole meeting. Reservation #4 broken.

Long story short I sit through the whole thing, waste my time, refrain from asking the guy straight out if this is some legitimate pyramid scheme...blah, blah, blah.

Come next week, I'll be asking my boss for a raise after only being there 4 months.

For a couple of real life experiences with Primerica read
this (I think this is the better of the two, yet I'm sure it's a little bitter)

Keep praying that I find the right call to ministry. It is continually confirmed in me that's what I should be doing, I'm just still waiting for the right opportunity.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Church is not... 

This may border on heretical and kinda just spurrs out of things that I've noticed/been bugging me for a while.
(I also realize most of these things can be used for/towards worship in some cases)


...a concert
...a parade for little kids
...showing off the "youth group"
...singing worship songs
...announcements of potlucks and sewing clubs

a place to encounter Jesus and be renewed from the exhaustion of living out Christ's teachings

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Heard On Radio Today (H.O.R.T.) 

Listen to this.
Not really great, just fun to listen to.

Inauging Prayer 

Here are the two men who led prayers today at the inauguration. I'm still trying to find texts for each of their prayers. Clicking on their names will only bring up brief bios for each of them.

Invocation by the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, rector at St. John's Episcopal Church, Washington

Benediction by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, senior pastor at Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston

Let Our Powers Combine 

I just added myself to planetemergent.org. It's a grouping of people/bloggers who are thinking theologically about the Church and life. Check them out. A lot of cool people there.

I'd Like to Be Hopping Mad 

As I sit here listening to the inaugural "stuff", a lot of things are running through my mind. I have yet to hear his speech.

- How much of what is being spent on this day and the "festivities" could have been better spent on helping people.

- I heard from a co-worker (remember I work in a Government office) that they are making government workers in the DC area take a personal day (instead of giving them a day), because they can't get to work because they blocked off 100 blocks.

- I truly want to find some hope in what is happening today.

- I want to think that things might get better.

- The Official "W"oeful Days Countdown, seems like it has a REALLY REALLY long time to completion.

- Would anything be that much "better" if Kerry would have won.

- What do I think a "good" government should/would do.

- Why are fur coats all the rage for this ceremony. (except that it's kinda cold there)

- swear - v. intr.
1. To make a solemn declaration, invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing, in confirmation of and witness to the honesty or truth of such a declaration.
2. To make a solemn promise; vow.
3. To use profane oaths; curse.
4. Law. To give evidence or testimony under oath.
v. tr.
1. To declare or affirm solemnly by invoking a deity or a sacred person or thing.
2. To promise or pledge with a solemn oath; vow: He swore his oath of allegiance to the queen. See Synonyms at promise.
3. To utter or bind oneself to (an oath).
4. Law. To administer a legal oath to: All the witnesses have been sworn.
5. To say or affirm earnestly and with great conviction.

(can you tell what's happening now)

here goes the speech part...I will try and post as I am listening

I don't like how he is using the history of our country to boost his own personal "accomplishments". Making the allusion that since our country has been strong, he will be too.

"Force of Human Freedom"...what?!?!?!?
"Our liberty depends of the liberty of others"...are we no longer self sufficient??
"men and women have rights, who bear the image of the maker of heaven and earth"...
"no one deserves to be a master and no one deserves to be slaves"...what about those who are held captive in bondage and slavery all around the world. What have you done to stamp out oppression and injustice.
"freedom must be chosen"...so we "choose" for Iraq
"america will not impose our style of government on others"...hmm
"freedom which is eternally right"...who's freedom?
"there is no justice without freedom"...
"liberty will come to those who love it"...for some the hope of liberty is constantly beaten out of them day after day doing hard labor for pennies on the hour, so that they no longer even find self worth
"and all the allies of the US"...you mean Poland?
at this point I either had too much to disagree with or didn't really care any more

"unfinished work of American freedom"...nice try at pushing our domestic policy, but I've still yet to see any real change domestically
"a heart for the weak"...not exactly the biblical model I see in scripture

Please note I was writing all of this as I was listening, you can go here for a full transcript and see at what parts I was pulling from the speech.

I wonder if later I will be able to find the transcripts for the prayers.

I'll shut up now and let the blog fodder flow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Warming Things Up 

I was reading my weekly Youth Specialties newsletter and there was an article about a class on Christian Sexuality.

I've been thinking about this off and on for a while. So hopefully in the next few days I'll write a post about it. Just wanted to get that out there and possibly start a discussion before I write anything.

Just leave comments.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Mystery Revealed 

Check the latest Ghetto Blog


You can go here to see all the pictures from the weekend.

The only reason that I was able to download the pictures is because apparently there is a flaw on the site when viewed with FIREFOX (just one more reason to get it) that makes it possible to download the pictures. So thank you ephotoservices.com. All images ©ephotoservices.com I do not have their permission to post these, so theoretically I could be sued.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Not really a holiday 

Will be gone for the weekend at Jr. High winter camp.

This is my pre-hobo-blogger announcement.


Everyday I drive to work taking basically the same route. And part of my commute takes me south of Ventura Blvd which is somewhat of a ritzy neighborhood. And every day I drive past a numerous amount of middle aged, usually Hispanic women either walking towards (on the way to work) or away (on the way home) this neighborhood. I assume they are women who work cleaning houses for X amount a day.

The compassionate side of me wants to start a non-profit organization that will pick these women up at either their houses or the bus station that they get off at so that their day would be that much easier, or they would be able to spend that much more time with their families. Since they probably live some 20 - 30 miles away from where they work and probably take a bus that takes them 2-3 hours just to get to work. So add it all up, the 2-3 hours there the 6-8 hours working cleaning a house, the 2-3 hours going home, then have to take care of their kids and families and the go to bed wake up and do it all over again for a sub-par wage, it adds up to what I would call a pretty crappy lifestyle. I would more than happily drive these women around who serve far more than they are served and do the things that the "South of the Blvd" mom's don't want to do, like clean a nasty toilet.

Time and time again I have thought of stopping by the side of the road to ask them if they wanted a ride, but I'm just not sure how they would take it, if it would be degrading or whatnot, so my cowardice has one out on me for one more day.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I got a boo-boo 

Recently and now at Jr High group, I have been thinking a lot about pain and our response to the pain and suffering in the world. More directly our connection to pain and suffering, especially that which is not our own. I am beginning to search the paths of mysticism and that of the Catholic faith. The idea of stigmata interests me, in the sense that, the person is so connected to the pain of Christ that they bleed the wounds of Christ.

Pain is not something that is easily dealt with, let alone acknowledged much. Our culture, society, friends, and even the church portray a model of happiness and perfection. While I read in Scripture about defects and sorrow. Our sinful nature is always longing for the happiness that we forsook in the Garden. We long to be reunited with the bliss and carefree days that we once dwelt in. Due to our sin, we are doomed to hear God say this to us. I do not see God telling us that things will be honkey dorey. Christ is the one who finally comes and lets us know of the joys we will receive in heaven, yet still explains to us that our time here is going to be filled with work to do. Yes his yoke may be easy and his burden light. But if we examine his yoke (his teachings) and if we fully grasp them to the fullest, no there are not a lot of "rules" to follow, yet we will no by any means have it easy. We will be persecuted, we will be mocked, and we will be scorned by others. His burden is light, meaning he does not require many things from you, or expect you to do, this and that. Yet if we accept his promises the impact that has on our life is tremendous, his burden now becomes ours. Not because we have to, but because we desire to.

That burden includes being aware and in touch with all the pain there is in the world. That burden includes doing much more than we feel like or want to do.

I will be the first on to admit that it's not exactly easy to be in touch with other people's pain on a genuine level.

Last night at Jr High group I was making a point about how much we think about our selves, and I started explaining hypothetical (but very possibly real) situations on a global scale like, "somewhere right now someone's mom just died, think about how that family must feel right now" or "right now some one just got robbed and now they are not going to be able to pay their rent and they are going to be thrown out of their apartment" and so forth, at one point one of the guys said, "can you stop talking about all these things, they are making me sad", and I responded "good, you're starting to get the point". At one point I had connected so deeply with the pain that these people must be feeling that I almost started crying myself.

Are we people who are willing to look outside of ourselves and be concerned with justice and oppression and be able to get intouch with all of the pain that occurs in the world? Or are we just too consumed with what we are going to eat for dinner or what we are going to be doing this weekend?

Also check out Kevin Benson's blog, he posted somewhat on the topic.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Short Like an Oompa Loompa 

I'll keep it short per Val's request.

I love saving money at the grocery store. In the last two days I have saved tons, unfortunately I spent a decent amount. But yesterday I saved 35% on my bill which came out to be 39.55 after all the savings and today I saved 46% on a bill that came out to be 15.01.

I'm a proud shopper.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Love Drunk Punch 

I finally watched Punch Drunk Love last night. It's been on my "I want to see that movie, but I've never gotten around to it" list for a long time. (As with Amelie, which I rented too)

I really enjoyed the movie, I didn't realize that it was done by Paul Thomas Anderson who also did Magnolia, which I guess, explains why I liked it so well. If you haven't seen either of these movies, rent them and watch them. Neither of them are exactly feel good movies, in the sense of most Hollywood stuff, but if you're not used to viewing surreal type movies I would suggest Punch Drunk Love before you see Magnolia, which I feel is a deeper movie and makes far more profound statements about life and people, as well as being much longer and harder to get through.

Please note that it takes a number of minuets to wade through some sorta weird stuff in Punch Drunk Love. Even I, who admittingly likes kinda weird or surreal movies was wondering what the point was, for about 10 - 20 min. What I think I like the most about this movie, besides Adam Sandler's tremendous thoughtful performance (in contrast to his usual loser/goofball antics), was the fact that no one in this movie is perfect or put together. While some of the characters seemed over the top, especially the one sister who wants to set-up Sandler's character. I toiled back and forth with being turned-off at some points by their incessant annoyance and not enough character development, and in contrast loved the realism that you cannot fully know who people are. And in a short 2 hour span you don't have enough time to understand why people are the way they are and you just have to come to accept that as fact and that makes the person who they are, flaws and all. I really enjoyed the overarching acceptance that Sandler's and Emily Watson's characters displayed. This love that the two shared was awkward at times, yet wholesome in being able to be perfectly understanding of each other's faults. The movie left me wanting to know more about each character, yet fulfilled enough with the somewhat completion of the portion of the story that was being told. It was a nice burst of realism that is not found in most movies, here, we do not need the complete closure that most Hollywood movies interject. Even in the final installment of The Lord of the Rings, I think Peter Jackson caved into giving the audience a "closure", when in the books things are left much more open ended with the final climax of the book being the return to the Shire and the departure of Frodo and Bilbo and not the crowning of Aragorn.

I do think that we as a culture seek this reality that is often left out of the mainstream media, although I think there is a certain degree that we tolerate. Thinking about the differences between reality TV and the realism that is portrayed in movies such as this, there is a stark contrast. Reality TV is often filled with a sense of realism, a view into others life, easily viewed from a far, mocked, loved, and related to. But on such a surface level, it is easy for the audience in most cases to either be glad that the life portrayed on the screen is not their own or identify with hurt and suffering, but still glad that the pain is not their own. While I think movies such as Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia, The Royal Tenenbaums, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and many other movies, touch on a level of reality that most people are not comfortable dealing with. It hits too close to home, the audience begins to identify with the character's faults, understanding that they are not perfect, that they have to face their realities, instead of escaping from them. I think this is why most of these movies receive critical acclaim, yet post a lackluster showing at the box office.

What is it about our culture that we value genuineness, yet flee from being honest with ourselves? As a church leader I struggle with this so often, I am expected to be open and honest, a open book for all to read. For all to examine and pick apart. But often it seems like my example does little to affect those who view it. Making the transition from displaying honesty to instilling it in others is quite a complicated task. If people look hard enough they should notice that I'm not perfect that I deal with many of the same problems that they deal with as well. I find it to be my job or my task to help people understand and face their problems and/or accept who they are faults and all. God has created each one of us to be unique persons. Why we have such a hard time understanding this, baffles me. Thanks to the media and envy and pride we have created for ourselves an unattainable image of who or what we should be. Thanks to original sin, we will never be perfect. That's a fact, luckily God sees us as the perfect people we should be. Finding comfort in the last statement can often be very hard for people including myself.

As Christians I have always been under the impression that one of Christ's main teachings was that he was perfectly content with who people were. They did not need to live up to some cultural or other stigma of who they should be. Come as you are, seems to fit perfectly into Christ's ministry. It seems that today's church and today’s Christian has somehow lost that sense of unabashed welcome. Our churches seem to cater to a "certain" crowd, be it white upper middle class, or poor homeless, or black, or asian, or Gen-X, or evangelical or people who seem ok on the outside. We have become so afraid not only to express ourselves freely, but afraid to look at, approach, accept, or get close to those who come to church with baggage. To quote a line from the musical RENT "I'm looking for baggage that goes with mine". That's the attitude that we as Christians should have. This way we will be able to live in community with each other, journeying together to come to Christ and offer him our baggage to carry. Our baggage is our reality, we must face it, otherwise the conveyor belt of life will keep it constantly dumping down the slide unto an already overloaded rotating carriage. We need to be people who are constantly alert for our baggage, seeking it out, taking it off the belt and allowing Christ to carry it and place it inside of his car that will whisk it away so we should not be burdened with it any longer.

All of this is much easier say than taught to people. Here is where my expounding ends and my struggle begins. How do I effectively impart this to all those longing to hear, yet unwilling to listen? Yet unwilling to change?

P.S. I did not realize that the newest Ghetto Blog post was in fact a reference to this movie, even though I posted on the Ghetto Blog before seeing this film. I was going for more of a reference to The State (an old MTV sketch comedy show) sketch.

Monday, January 10, 2005

I call the big one "Bitey" 

As John and I were driving around last night after High School group, we approached the intersection of Zelzah and Chatsworth just a little north of Chatsworth traveling south bound at around 9:25 pm and all of a sudden a possum ran out in front of my car. There was nothing I could do. Thump, thump. It was only 2nd time in my life I have hit an animal while driving (click here to read about the other time I hit an animal). I quickly turned the car around and proceeded to get out of the car, mind you it was raining. John and I went over to the creature, which was unfortunately still alive and tried to figure out how to move it from the middle of the road to the side of the road. We popped the trunk and found an old golf putter and somehow I managed to push/drag/prod the possum to the side of the road.

*And if you've even seen a possum they are kind of ugly looking things (think R.O.U.S.s from The Princess Bride). And they keep their mouths open snarling if you piss them off, but I think this one was in so much pain that it couldn't make any noise.

I was quite sad after the event because John and I came to the conclusion that since there wasn't much blood there was a slight possibility that the thing might live, but we didn't want to stand there for hours watching the thing die in the rain. So we left. But we made sure to pray for the possum before we left. That morning at church I had played Lazarus for the little kids so that inspired me to tell God that if he could do it for Lazarus then he could do it for the possum.

I just hope the little guy is ok.

P.S. The tile is a reference from the Simpsons Season 4 and the episode Marge vs. The Monorail

Sunday, January 09, 2005

de novo 

new ghetto blog

My Gift is My Song 

Yesterday was Amy and Justin's wedding. First of all, congrats to them. It was awesome.

Weddings always get me thinking. And I've been thinking about this for a while as well. So it really isn't something that was explicitly brought about by the wedding.

See this text for reference.

I often find it hard to understand my lot in relationships or lackthereof. I have read and re-read the referenced passage over and over.

There are times when I identify with this statement: "vs 8 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am... vs 32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs–how he can please the Lord."

And there are times when I identify with this statement: "vs 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion... vs 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife– vs 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband."

I have toiled with the idea of celibacy and then again I long for the comfort of stability and the comfort of a relationship.

But then again it seems like all of my romantic interludes go something like this:
LLOYD: Look, Mary, I know this may seem a little sudden but I've given it a lot of thought: You're the woman I've been waiting for my whole life, and I'm not ashamed to admit it -- (holds up his hand)--Please, let me finish. (DEEP BREATH) I'm crazy about you. I've never felt this way about anyone. You make it so easy for me to tell you my innermost desires. (NERVOUS LAUGH) Listen to me, I feel like a schoolboy again.(beat) A schoolboy who desperately wants to make sweet, sweet love to you.

Suddenly we hear TOILET FLUSHING O.S.REVERSE ANGLE REVEALS that Lloyd has been talking to an EMPTY CHAIR. The bathroom door opens and Mary comes out. She looks around, expecting to see someone else.

MARY:Oh... I thought I heard you talking to someone.

Lloyd is flustered. He swallows hard. It's the moment of truth.

LLOYD: Mary...(BLURTING OUT) I desperately want to make love to a schoolboy.

MARY (taken aback):Maybe I should be going now.

LLOYD:No that's not what I meant. I meant... I really like you, Mary. I like you a lot.

She smiles at this.

LLOYD (CONT.):I'm gonna ask you something flat out and I want you to answer me honestly:What do you think the chances are of a girl like you and a guy like me ending up together?

Mary is obviously thrown by this question.

MARY:Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean we hardly --

LLOYD:--I asked you to be honest, Mary.

MARY:But Lloyd, I really can't --

LLOYD:--Come on, give it to me straight. I drove a long way to see you, the least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

MARY:Not good.


LLOYD:You mean not good, like one out of a hundred?

MARY:I'd say more like one out of a million.


LLOYD(Duh):So you're telling me there's a chance?

If you're still with me after that long tangent, the point I was trying to make was, there are often times that I almost would be more than willing to live a life without a wife and devote myself to service of the Lord. But I feel so much love that I have to give and am willing to give to a woman for the rest of my life.

Maybe it's just that I'm still just not ready to be in an emotionally filled relationship right now. Maybe it's I still need to deal with a lot of personal things right now such as working out issues that I have with my family. Or my struggle with wanting to be rid of my struggle with sexual sin and be a proud and godly man inside of a relationship. I know the timing issue is not mine to deal with and I rely on Psalm 37:3.4 "3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Just sometimes it's hard when I just want to sit on a couch and snuggle with someone watching a movie and the best thing I can find is my pillow and a blanket.

And at the wedding there were so many young couples and their babies, and it just made me long for the joys of marriage and fatherhood. I hold true to God's promises and his love for me is sufficient.

< /pityparty>

I'll be moving here soon. They even make their own bread.

Friday, January 07, 2005


As I was putting on my shoes this morning before work I heard the loudest clap of thunder, it was so loud that it physically shook me with fear. Then another thought crossed my mind, I realized that God is real and God is here.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

2 Days: No Pain - Then the Ball and Chain 

click Trogdor to play
brought to you by audioblogger.com

Videostore Killed The Beta Star 

I don't know about you, but I often spend at a minimum 30-45 min in Blockbuster every time I go when I do not have an exact movie picked out. Or even if I do, I usually get a 2nd one free due to my Rewards with Blockbuster and that takes at least 20 min to pick one out.

There have seriously been nights when I walk around and go "seen it, seen it, hate it, hate it, seen it...". And I always cringe when I hear customers say things like "Man, that movie The Fast and the Furious, was the best, Vin Disel is soooo cool." (I unfortunately just saw that movie the other night cause the roommates were watching it) But what is even worse is when I hear the guy behind the counter verbally agree. I mean come on you work at a movie store, hopefully you'd have a good working knowledge of good movies and would recommend something better than "You Got Served".

Enough griping about people and their movie choices.

And yes I'm a movie SNOB. Deal.

But my friend Liz blogged (see this post) about this site called whattorent.com. I was playing around with it for a while and man oh man, is it right on. I'm definitely going to use this from now on. It will seriously open up my expanse of good movies to see that I would probably never have known about.

And now that Blockbuster has NO LATE FEES I'm stoked to expand my visual horizons.

Check it out and post some comments on what you think.

Bad Blogging Habits 

Having only been blogging for a little less than a year, I just started pondering blogging trends. I'll need the comments of seasoned bloggers on this one.

It seems that people blogged a lot less during the holiday season and quite infrequently.

Are there just trends to people's blogging that causes them to go on gaps where they just don't blog as much, or does there seem to be an overall shift towards not blogging as much. I mean do people only really look at blogging as a "I'll do it when I feel like it" kind of thing, or should we be looking for more of a concrete empirical piece of data, suggesting the typical blogging habit.

Or possibly it breaks people down into a few different categories of bloggers. Perhaps there are the bloggers who post regularly (daily or more than 3 times a week) then I guess there are the occasional bloggers who post (maybe twice a week or sometimes only once a week) then there's the infamous hobo-blogger class, which I'm sure you all know about and sometimes loathe at their unpredictability in blogging.

Maybe it all comes down to the fact that I really like this blogging thing and look forward to others blogging on a regular basis. It really has come to be one of my new forms of entertainment. This reading of blogs. I constantly sit in front of the computer browsing through web pages like TV channels looking to see if there is anything new. If only they'd invent a remote to do it so I wouldn't have to use the mouse so much. But thank goodness for Firefox extensions such as All in One gestures which makes web navigation soooo easy. I don't ever have to use the buttons on the top of the browser, I can reload the page, close the window, minimize the window, go back, go forward, all with a movement of the mouse.

I think I've lost all sense of a point if I was trying to make one. Let's just sum it up by saying I like reading what all of you out there have to say on your blogs, so please keep it up and keep it frequent.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Blogger Inept 

I've finally made the changes that I've been wanting to make for a LONG time...ALMOST. We now have pull down menus!!!! (for some)

Ok it works for FIREFOX (get this if you don't have it), Netscape, Safari...

Because it SUCKS!!!!!!!

So if you have IE then you won't be able to see the cool pull down menus, and therefore won't be able to access my links and other blogs.

I'll try and get it fixed in the next few days. It's already 1 in the morning and I've been working on this since I got home at around 5 pm. And it takes a lot of time and energy.

As always a HUGE thanks to Carlos for his help!!!! He's the bestest.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

News Flash: 

Was listening to KCRW this morning as I usually do at work. And I heard some new Jack Johnson. The song is called Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (click on song to access gmail account with song in it, email me for password to aslanseely.blogspot.com@gmail.com), it's off a fortcomming album this March. I'm definately looking foward to it.

Finding Purpose 

I'm finding it harder and harder to find a daily purpose to figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing. Work is no fun, I loathe going, and only really do so, to pay the bills and have a job to not want to go back to. Then there is home life, it just seems quite boring and not too interesting.

I've fallen into a rut of not having much to say when people ask me how things are going or what I've been up to.

It makes one feel quite lame to continually answer not much or something there of. Get up go to a job I don't like, come home feel bored and tired, eat, go to bed and do it all over again the next day.

Maybe I should just give up on society and move into a monastery or something.

I guess what it all boils down to is change, I'm the type of person that needs somewhat of a constant change, I feel quite bogged down right now and something different would be nice.

I guess I'll stop wallowing now. I'll try and come up with something better to talk about later.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

new year, week old pain 

With people dancing and drinking in my living room, I find it quite hard not to be mournful for all the people around the world suffering. Amongst recent events, and a heart that is moving towards compassion, I had to step away from the booze and booties, to reflect on how fortunate I am.

I feel guilty for celebrating such a non-event, when there are plenty of real tragic events happening right now. A father is being hit by a drunk driver somewhere in the Midwest, a brother is on patrol in Falajuah, being fired upon, a mother and her one remaining daughter are sitting in a cold, damp, muddy makeshift shelter in the coastal regions of Indonesia. Here are millions of other people, who may have or may have not contributed financially to the relief fund for earthquake victims, yet I have to ponder how many of those people are thinking about they people they just sent money to. Pain and heartache come into my head as I picture millions of other people with only their spared lives to celebrate, yet they cannot because their sorrow overwhelms any sense of joy. A sense of joy that will for some only come after months and months of grieving, for others it will only come when they are at peace about their losses, and for others it will never come just as their loved ones are no longer to walk the earth.

It is interesting what we humans do to numb ourselves of the pain and hurt that constantly exists in our world. Our barriers and roadblocks that keep us confined to our own personal experiences so that we are not negatively affected by those who are not part of our immediate lives. Selfish we are.

I want to take this moment to give my celebration and happiness to an "other". So that for one brief moment someone else may have hope, joy and peace at my expense, my prayer goes out to the broken, the lonely, the joyless, the hopeless, the one who needs just to be loved and given grace. May a smile cross their face knowing that someone far, far away is recognizing their position in life and sacrificing it all for them.

Pray today that your excess of happiness may be passed on to those who need it the most.