The Theology of Youth Rooms

22 05 2010

When I started at my new job back in January I was given permission and some funding to do some renovations to the main gathering place or “Youth Lounge” at the church. I don’t have any really deep thoughts that belong in this post but maybe this is instead a call for those who have studied at “YE OLDE THEOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY” to tell us the Biblical historical significance of baby blue youth rooms. Every church I’ve ever worked at has had their youth room baby blue (some with clouds, some with rainbows and faux Roman columns) and similarly I have had the fortune of being able to rework them and hopefully make it feel more like a space the youth want to hang out in and less like they are still in the nursery downstairs. I just thought I’d post a few before and after pics of the room. All thanks for design ideas and concept go to my wonderful wife!






Just Like Old Times

12 05 2010

After:

-11 Years

-4 Wives

-5 Children

-Numerous Jobs

-Countless Guitars

-Miles and Miles of Travel

-Funyuns and Yoohoo

-The Milk Challenge

-Being “shooshed”

-Sloppy at Best

Here we all are. No worse for the wear and living amazing lives. The DoL (original) BandFamManCationGolfLakeCookOutTacular took place this weekend and it was an amazingly fun time of catching up and spending time just relaxing. The golf was good, the beer was cold, the lake was amazing, and the stories were hilarious and filled with the lifetime of adventures we’ve already had and none of us are even halfway through our thirties yet. I am excited about this becoming a new tradition because I truly love my “band fam” and have missed us all being together over the years. As Loretta Lynn once said “We’ve come a long way baby!”





Where Is My Flying Car?

10 05 2010

We will just go ahead and dispense with the traditional “why I haven’t been blogging” excuse making and jump right into this post like nothing has happened.

(This not so dramatic pause reserved for you to express your feelings about my long blog absence…)

Moving on. How many of us complain about modern technology? Maybe more specifically how many of us complain about the “lack” of modern technology and advances? I mean…I’ve spent my entire life being obsessed with movies that sold me a not so distant future (or in one case “A long time ago…”) that was filled with things like beaming from one place to another, laser guns, encapsulated food options, flying cars, and ultra modern modes of communication. I’ve spent a lot of time being cheesed off that I couldn’t use my flying DeLorean to rise above the plethora of non-readers who all insist on stopping at the Taylor Road exit where the sign clearly says “KEEP MOVING”. I’ve bemoaned the lack of a hoverboard whenever Mrs. M wants to go on one of her massive neighborhood 5K’s. I have even complained that my phone will go from working to not in a span of 10 feet inside my office at work. Come on technology why have you failed us so? We’ve been waiting for our Nike’s with “power laces” and yet I still have to slip on my laceless driving shoes one at a time like every other person on the planet.

For all the complaining let me just take you on a very brief tour of what modern convenience has done for little old me. I can and do on a regular basis do all of the following things:

-Carry 4512 songs worth of music (enough that it could be played non-stop for 12.5 days without repeating) in my pocket in a device that is the size of a deck of cards. Can you imagine, assuming the average CD has 10 songs on it, carrying around 450 CD’s everywhere you go just so you can have what you want on hand at any moment?

-With the same musical “i-device” that I mentioned above I am able to listen every day to my favorite talk radio personality and his two hour radio show…did I mention his show is recorded and produced and put out locally in Washington, D.C.?

-I have a telephone (as I know you all do too) that can find me most anywhere in the world that I am (unless it is the stretch of interstate between the Union Street and Forest Avenue exits…then you are just SOL) without being connected to anything. I mean I know its commonplace to us all but do you ever stop to think about the advances we’ve reached from the days of what we all grew up with as a “cordless phone”?

-Speaking of my telephone. Here are just a few of the things it can and does do most all of the time: watch videos, take pictures, receive and send email from multiple accounts, view pictures, store hundreds of pieces of complex contact information, calculate mathematical functions, record my voice and store messages, serve as an alarm clock, serve as a regular clock, play music that i put on it, purchase new music that i previously didn’t own, access news and weather from multiple locations, give me all the info I could ever need about every movie and TV show there is, purchase download and read novels, tell my television at home to record a show that I want while I’m not even at home, find a restaurant no matter what city I am in, play hundreds upon hundreds of games, shop online, get directions, and well…it will also make phone calls.

-My television does all the work for me. I can watch every show I want to and not have to be home for any of them. They can even air at the same time and its no biggie. I would say I watch about 6,000% more television now that I ever did in the past. I don’t even have to be home to schedule a recording of something. I can also transfer said recordings to my computer to take with me when I’m away.

-Have I mentioned that the above “Swiss Army” phone of wonders fits very comfortably in the palm of my hand?

-There’s my flying car right there…





Paging Dr. Shephard

7 04 2010

Or: “How I Learned to Stop Being A Sucker For LOST”

So if we are Twitter friends it is no surprise that I have reached a point in my television viewing where I no longer care for the show LOST. Now LOST is one of the shows that my brother JMG put me onto and I watched the first few seasons on DVD and was hooked. The stories were great, the writing was great and there was just enough mystery to make you want to know what was happening without cheesing you out. Then something terrible happened, the writers decided when the show was going to end. I firmly believe that by putting a finite ending point on the show they were then forced to start dealing with issues that had cropped up throughout the first seasons and thus resulting in them taking a side trip into CRAZYTOWN. I like sci-fi just fine and have enjoyed shows with that bent over the years, but this just went too far. LOST reached a point where anything was possible and honestly you weren’t surprised. Someone is dead and then all of a sudden they aren’t dead? Sure thing! God and the Devil hanging out on the island playing games of chess with people walking around? You betcha! Time travel where an entire island gets sucked into the time/space continuum and pops back up in the seventies where the only cure for the Marty McFly Blues is to blow up a nuclear bomb and everyone will be fine? Great scott (1.21 Jigawatts)!! If I turned on an episode right now and Jack peeled off his face and had a lizard mug and was wearing a uniform from the “V” high command I wouldn’t be at all shocked or even bat an eye.

All of my sarcasm aside, I truly believe the cap on the show forced the writers hand in a way that ended up hurting the show. I believed, when I heard that they had a target end date, that it would be a great thing for them to be able to know where they were going. It just hasn’t happened. Now I know my good dear friend LLCOOLL believes that I am simply spewing hatred against LOST because I get my jollies out of it but the truth be told I gave it what I believe to be more than its fair shot and I kept getting fooled by the boy who cried wolf. So I’m done with LOST. I’m not saying I’ll never finish the series ever in my life because I’m sure one day someone will buy it and I’ll reach a point where curiosity will get the better of me, but right now is not that time. So I truly truly TRULY want those of you who read this to enjoy the rest of the series and I hope that it is everything you ever wanted it to  be, but as for me and my house we will move on to all of the other mindless TV shows we watch.

-Namaste





My Smart Friend Stephanie

23 03 2010

I’ve been almost close to blogging again a lot of times recently (no seriously I mean it), but I read the post below and it was just the thing I needed to breathe some life into this dusty old room and say what I wanted to say in a MUCH better way than I ever could have. I haven’t asked Stephanie’s permission to repost this but I’m guessing she won’t mind. I take absolutely ZERO credit for any of the words below but all I can say is AMEN and AMEN! From one “Blue Dot” to another thank you  for saying what I was thinking in a way that was a lot more eloquent (and probably a lot nicer too).

“There’s nothing quite as uncomfortable as being different. For me -as a white, heterosexual, Protestant, middle-class, fertile woman who dabbles in a helping profession and stays at home with my children – I almost never have to deal with that sort of discomfort. No matter where I go, there is always someone like me. I almost never stand out in a crowd.

Except in one area. I am a Democrat.

Here in the Deep South, Democrats tend to stay under the radar. We live mostly in the closet – avoiding Fox News, changing the subject, excusing ourselves to get a glass of water to avoid arguments around coffee tables. West Wing said it so eloquently, that there is almost nothing that compares to the hatred the Right feels toward the Left, or the tonnage of disrespect the Left feels toward the Right. In my part of the world, that hatred is evident in every political conversation. Frankly, I just haven’t been that interested in putting my head in the lion’s mouth. I prefer to avoid becoming the brunt of that sort of emotion. Other people know more than I do, I think. I’m not prepared for a debate. Eventually they will just punch themselves out and shut up. But it never happens. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh (and others like him) there is always fuel for the animosity. Legitimate discussion seems almost impossible, so I just keep my mouth shut.

Shame on me.

Last night we watched the healthcare vote. When it was over, Brian said, “Watch now as Facebook explodes with angry people.” And it did. Things like, “Take your change and shove it,” were everywhere. My (least) favorite was, “I have to go listen to worship music now, I can’t take this anymore.” Pa-lease, I say. Did we not learn from Christ’s example that salvation will never come through governments and factions? Is that not the very (immediate) reason He was crucified by the Pharisees? They wanted a political revolution; He wanted a spiritual one. Is there really no practical application for present-day believers in His example?

The healthcare argument is, essentially, about spending money. How do we want to spend our money as a nation? How much of my personal money am I willing to give to the whole? That is what we’re deciding. Me? I want my money to go to helping other people be – and stay – well.

Before a Christian Republican responds that we could use that money to give personally, let me ask you: did you? How has the American Church supported the sick thus far? There is reason to lament last night, that it was ever necessary for the government to do what believers have not done. That we have allowed multi-million dollar Family Life Centers to be erected in multiple locations in every single town in the South, while free clinics struggle to stay open. That there is such a high demand for second-hand assistive devices, like wheelchairs and hospital beds, because new ones are so difficult to obtain. That hospitals bearing crosses and denominational nametags are still for-profit businesses, turning away the poor, sending them to public (i.e., government-funded) hospitals instead. Shame on us for being so intent on making ourselves comfortable in our pews that we, as a Church, have allowed healthcare to become what it is.

But it is what it is. And while this is not universal healthcare – no it’s not, it’s really not – I personally am glad to see the government step in. There was a time when I was without healthcare and needed a medical procedure (ironically, a D&C, which is at the heart of all of the anger). The pregnancy was not viable, but it was a 3500$ procedure. We both worked in a church, and had no health insurance. My church family knew of my predicament and did not offer to help. The Baptist hospital that would have performed the procedure offered no benevolence. There was no government subsidy that recognized that some of the most innovative and inspiring citizens of our country – those who don’t spend their lives working for companies with good benefits – may have trouble affording health insurance. I had no choice but to decline a needed medical procedure, and spent the worst month of my life waiting it out instead.

I’m not in that position anymore. But as a believer, I am happy to spend a little of my money helping others avoid it. I’m glad to know that the parents of children with disabilities will no longer be paralyzed by the possibility of running out of a lifetime cap on their child’s insurance, or unable to take a new job because an insurance company will not cover their child’s pre-existing (life-long) condition. I’m glad to know that a middle-aged widow who has paid premiums her entire adult life will no longer have to worry about her insurance dropping her coverage when she receives a cancer diagnosis. Good things will come from last night’s vote.

Says one little blue dot in a very red state.”





Some Thoughts From the Hospital

13 02 2010

So the girls have been in the hospital since Thursday with RSV and it has not been fun. Now things could have been a lot worse but when you have toddling, almost, 2 year olds you don’t get a lot of grace when it comes to things like IV’s and being trapped in a crib under a breathing tent. We are making it though. Lily went home this morning and we just found out that there is an outside chance that Harper could still maybe go home tonight. Fingers are crossed!

I am posting this from my phone so it was never going to be a long post but I am going to sit at the computer before the weekend is out and write a post about my thoughts on the “State of the Social Networking Union” (don’t lie you are really excited I can see it in your eyes).

That’s it for now.





BALLOONS!!

28 01 2010

So I know, I know…

All my big talk about blogging every day and this is where I am now. WAY BEHIND!! It makes me start to wonder if The H’s are right. Maybe blogging is dead (for the record I didn’t think I believed that). When I look at my sad little blog roll with the exception of JMG and Steph G no one really writes blogs any more. And not to detract from LL Cool Lucas but most of his blogs these days are more of snippets, clips, videos, etc…as opposed to written out posts and thoughts. That pretty much does it for my list of folks who still actively blog. I don’t know what this means for me, I don’t want to just give it up but I also find more lately that my life is busy and while I want to tell you about the things that are going on I have to also stop and think “they are busy too so why do they care”. Now that’s not an insensitive thing like I think you don’t like me I just think you have life happening for you too.

What does this all mean? I don’t know. It might mean that my promise to blog every day is dead, but you all basically knew that before I said it. I’m not giving up, I’m just not sure I’ve got a lot worth saying on here any more. I think I’ve become more of a “beer and backporch” (personal interaction) kind of guy, electronic socialization is just sort of…to borrow a phrase…MEH