Monday, December 11, 2006

The mistakes of our fathers...

I just finished watching an episode of Scrubs where Zach Braff's character, J.D.'s father has died. I am a little too pissed and sad to go into much detail about the episode but there's a scene where they're talking about how proud his dad was of him. I've been sitting here for ten minutes trying to think of a time my father told me he was proud of me. I am aware that this may be juvenile for a 29 year old to be mopey about his dead father never saying the words, "Son, I'm proud of you".

But fuck it all I am.

I know deep down in my heart my father was on some level proud of me, but goddamnit would it have fucking killed him to say it every once in a while. We don't need father's who are emotionally detached from their sons, regardless of what the fucking macho man clubs say in this country. We need fathers who are willing to sit their sons on their laps and tell them they love them, that they're proud of them and that they're sorry when they fuck up.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Collapse of a Dynasty

Former President Bush sobs as he praises Jeb

One of the news shows last night were discussing this breakdown by Bush 41 as he was praising his son Jeb. What was really interesting is that one of the commentators was suggesting that perhaps the reason for this breakdown was because after the horrendous job his older son Dubya has done Jeb will never get his chance.

I've had this thought before about how the Bush family dynamic might be. Here you have Bush 41 who has created this legacy in U.S. politics. He has two sons who have taken up political lives, the older of the two boys has been falling back on his family name and father his entire life and the other son has worked hard and earned the respect of a state. Despite the father's desires to see his younger son in the White House it's the older one that gets the first shot. The rest of the story is fairly predictable.

It really is a shame. As a former resident of Florida I can honestly say that Jeb Bush is a substantially better leader than his brother. He's intelligent when he speaks and is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. Honestly though I don't think this country will elect another Bush anytime soon. The commentator did say last night that he did think a McCain/Bush ticket would be very interesting.

I'd have to say I agree.


Last night as I laid in bed with my one-month old son beside me we truly connected for the first time. We were facing each other and I had my hand resting on his chest trying to keep his binky in his mouth, because he enjoys spitting it out, and he opened his eyes and just stared at me. This wasn't just a blank stare and as he looked at me and I at him I thought, "this is one memory I hope I remember 30 years from now".

Monday, December 04, 2006

The genuis of Aaron Sorkin

I fell in love with the writing of Aaron Sorkin through the television series The West Wing. I own the first four seasons of the W.W., and regardless of how many times I watch those episodes they inspire me, fill me with hope, make me laugh, cry and scream. I recently decided to rewatch the fifth season, which was the first season without Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, and I couldn't believe how bad everything was. The writing and storylines were crap and I just kept feeling sorry for the actors who really must've been suffering from not having Sorkin around.

Despite the downward turn of the series I continued to watch until it went off the air because I felt a weird connection with the characters of the series. During the final season of the W.W. I heard about a new series Sorkin and Schlamme were working on called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was with great anticipation that I awaited this new series, hoping that many things I loved about the W.W. would show up in this new show.

Studio 60 is now into it's 10th or 11th episode of the first season and it's everything I hoped it would be. The acting and writing is top notch. Sorkin masterfully pokes fun of both conservatives and liberals, is not shy about calling out the stupidity of the religious right while maintaining a high degree of respect for those who are sincere about their faith. As a Christ follower I've never found myself offended but rather challenged to think more about my faith.

Art is a reflection of the Divine and when I get the opportunity to experience something that is truly great it points me to my Father and I'm grateful that there are artists who still strive to create something original.

Thank you Mr. Sorkin.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hello from Ohio...

Well, we're here. I arrived in Ohio on Thursday, November 2nd at 6pm after a grueling 20 hour drive in a 26 foot U-Haul truck. I consumed a six-pack of water, four frapacinos, one coffee (which sucked!), three mountain dews and almost four packs of cigarettes...needless to say I felt like shit when I arrived but I was and still am so thankful to be up here.

The mere fact that we are now residing in Ohio is a miracle in itself, not to mention our last month and a half in Florida when I was unemployed. These past two months have been the biggest test of faith I think I have ever experienced, and all I can say is that God is so faithful. We never had a moment when we had an abundance of money but we never had moment when our financial obligations weren't met. It's much too long of a story for me to go into now, but it is amazing how everything worked out to make this move possible.

Our house is nice, small but nice and it has a partially finished basement where I have setup shop with my desk and computer. The kids have started school and they seem to be enjoying it, and little Eliot continues to develop each and every day.

Overall life is good right now.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Final Days...

In just a little over 24 hours I will embark on what I'm sure will be a long ass drive to Ohio in a U-Haul packed full of our stuff for yet another cross country move. This last month and a half has been pretty trying for our family, but God has certain blessed us and taken care of us along the way. I know that has the potential of sounding cliche' but seriously one thing after another has just fallen into place for us.

This has definitely given me a peace about moving, but over the last few days I've been feeling really sad about leaving Pensacola for the last time. I'm sure we will be back to visit, but it'll be different then the past without dad here. I hate having to say goodbye to my friends. We've made so many good friends at church and I've been able to spend some good time with a couple of my close friends from when I was growing up. I'm certainly going to dread jumping through the social hoops again.

Thoughts are getting jumbled in my head so I'm going to get ready for one last night out with my friends.

Next post...from Ohio!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Bob: Well, what are *you* waiting for?
Little Boy on Tricycle: I don't know. Something amazing, I guess.
Bob: Me too, kid.
(from The Incredibles)

Today is Thursday, Oct. 12th, and in just 19 days we are supposed to be completely packed up and ready to move to Ohio. So many things have fallen into place for us since I lost my job and we decided to move to Ohio. Some of those things are small and seemingly insignificant, but others are those "in your face" type blessings that have just come out of nowhere. However, there is one integral part of our move that has yet to completely come Lately I feel like a selfish kid who has just gotten a ton of presents but is still waiting for one more. It's not that I want to have a selfish heart and I've tried my hardest to keep that in check over the recent weeks.

I just don't understand why 95% of this plan to move would come together only to be held up by the financial aspect. When we made the decision to move, there was one big thing that I was sure would happen that would provide us the money to move, but shame on me for thinking that the closing on my dad's house wouldn't be delayed yet again. Since then my unemployment benefits have been denied, which I do have a chance to appeal but who knows how long that will take.

This, I am certain, is the worst part of life...finances.

I just don't know why we would've been guided this far, only to be held up by one thing. God, it is just so frustrating!!

My prayer:

Come again, Come and strike me down,
I want to lose those doubts that feed upon.
Show yourself, Spread the heavens wide,
Let sanctuary fall, and I'll find comfort in it now

With this love, this joy,
I'm begging you
For something glorious.

Luminous. Luminous your eyes.
The universe in one accord, a witness of your beauty.
Come again, and burst my laggard soul
When I feel helpless. I cannot lose or do without,

There will come a day of atonement.
There will come a day of atonement.
There has come a day of atonement.
There will come, oh there will come,
There will, there will.

by Circadian Rhythm

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My baby boy!!

At 4:35pm on Saturday afternoon, the 6th of October 2006, this handsome little guy entered into the world. Eliot Tobias is our third child and we are just so unbelievably filled with joy over this new addition to our family.

We went to the hospital Friday night at 8pm because Lauren had to be given antibiotics before they started the induction. Needless to say it was a long night and we were both pretty frustrated in the morning because we thought we were in for another long delivery process like are previous two birth experiences. Thankfully though things picked up and by 12:30pm L was well on her way into labor. She ended up pushing longer than what we had anticipated she would have to.

Funny thing...almost immediately after delivering our son into the world, L says to me, "You better keep your appointment in a couple weeks!" The appointment she referred to is my vasectomy.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Marijuana may stave off Alzheimer's

Interesting article on this morning. Couple things I wanted to highlight:

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs. (bold added by me)

So something that grows naturally from the earth, which God must've created, does a better job than man-made drugs. Then why is...

Possessing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in many parts of the world, including the United States, though some states allow possession for medical purposes.

I'm not some hippie stoner who is just trying to justify the use of marijuana, but it is clear that it does have it's benefits. Here are some questions if anyone out there feels like answering for me:

1. If marijuana was created by God and He gave us dominion over everything in nature, why then is marijuana perceived as something bad? (remember He only gave Adam and Eve one restriction in the Garden and it wasn't too stay away from this plant.)

2. Why do we spend so much money, at both the State and Federal level, on a bogus Drug War and arresting and imprisoning people for growing a plant?

3. Could this all happen to be about the almighty dollar?

The third question is ultimately the heart of the matter. There would be so many people who would lose money if marijuana was legalized...and we do happen to live in the grand U.S. of A. where the dollar is king.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Christian consumerism hits it's all time low...

My wife and I saw this today while browsing through Books-A-Million. My initial reaction...What the FUCK!!!

This just makes me sick!

Guess the whole Prosperity Gospel really works well for you if you whore out your faith like this.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Genuis and Beauty of 'Hey Ya'

A little over a week ago I watched this video, which is a cover of the popular Outkast song 'Hey Ya'. I freakin' love this song for so many different reasons. It's such a fun song to play loud whether you're in the car or just chillin' at the house, but the genius of Outkast is that they have taken some rather depressing lyrics and just flipped it into this fun upbeat song.

This acoustic cover of the song was done by Matt Weddle of Obadiah Parker, who I would highly recommend that you check out. I get chills when I hear this...and I'm secure enough in my manhood to admit that it brought a tear to my eye the first time I watched.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Theology that alters

Have you ever read or heard something that really made you think, and then in the days that followed that same thing continued to come up in every day life? Recently I heard a sermon on forgiveness. The speaker wasn't very spectacular and I wasn't wild about his three point talk on why we should forgive, but it has forced me to really contemplate the idea of forgiveness.

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus is asked how many times we should forgive someone who has wronged us, his response is seventy times seven and then proceeds to share a parable of forgiveness with his disciples. I don't believe the actual number is important, for instance had Peter said nine times Christ probably would've responded with ninety times nine, but what is essential is the idea of simply offering forgiveness regardless of the wrong that is committed against you.

So I hear this sermon and I'm thinking to myself, "What if we really apply this idea of forgiveness to our lives, how would that change things?" I'm not just talking about forgiving the person that cuts you off in traffic or that person at work or church who just really pisses you off, but forgiving terrorists, those who physically harm us, those people who are determined to try and make your life miserable. Is this even imaginable?

I have a brother who, along with his wife, rejoice in causing disharmony and drama within our family. This past March our father passed and my brother and his wife did not even attend the funeral, and we were certain when it would come time to act out the will there would be problems. Sure enough we are in the process of closing on my dad's house and these two are doing everything in their power to cause as many delays as possible. It is extremely frustrating and with each day the closing is delayed my anger grows and my thoughts towards these two become more violent.

Then I hear this sermon and in the days that followed as I'm contemplating how revolutionary true and complete forgiveness would be, my anger with my brother reaches it's peak. If I truly believe these thoughts about forgiveness I must forgive my brother. I can't continue to talk about love and forgiveness and ride around town with my "Love Wins" bumper sticker on my car if I am unwilling to live it out, regardless of how hard it may seem.

I must allow this theology to alter my reality.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Just one more reason why I dig Stephen Colbert

"I love my church, and I'm a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals who were very devout. I was raised to believe that you could question the church and still be a Catholic. What is worthy of satire is the misuse of religion for destructive or political gains. That's totally different from the Word, the blood, the body, and the Christ. His kingdom is not of this earth."

- Stephen Colbert, of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's been one of those months...

Yesterday, August 19, 2006, would have been my dad's 66th birthday. I couldn't bring myself to visit his grave...I've only been out there once for Father's Day and it's still too soon for me.

For the past month there has been a dark cloud hanging over me. I've missed more work than I should, which causes undue stress on my wife, but I just can't seem to shake this fuckin' thing.

This is my prayer, my desperate cry for a sweet release...

Hallelujah, we are on our way
Hallelujah, we are on our way to God
From Egypt lately come
Where death and darkness reign to seek our new
Our better home where we our rest shall gain
There sin and sorrow cease and every conflict’s o’er
There we shall dwell in endless peace and never hunger more

Jerusalem, our happy home

Would God I were in Thee
Would God my woes were at an end
Thy joy that I might see

We soon shall join the throng
Their pleasures we shall share
And sing the everlasting song
With all the ransomed there

There in celestial strains enraptured myriads sing
There love in every bosom reigns for God Himself is King
- David Crowder

Sunday, June 25, 2006

My Latest Obsession

This is my new favorite show!! I don't know what it is but this show is addicting...HBO has done it again.

The cool thing is, is that all the actors seem to be cool guys in real life. So as of right now...

Top five celebs I would want to hang out and get wasted with - the cast of Entourage!!

"Lets hug it out bitch!"

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Secret Message Part 3

Chapter 2 - The Political Message of Jesus

1. How do you respond to the author's decision to begin with the political dimension of Jesus' message?

To be honest I wasn't completely surprised that McLaren started off with this. Like many others who are involved with Emergent he has been labeled "liberal" by the religious right because he chooses to not blindly fall in line with the Republican party simply because they supposedly say the right things. Like McLaren I haven't always viewed the message of Jesus as political, and it has only been recently that I have begun to see things a little differently.

This chapter opens with the story of an American pastor being interviewed on British television. The pastor is asked why Christians in America unconditionally support the U.S. war in Iraq when that foreign policy seemingly contradicts the teachings of Christ. Eventually the pastor replied with, "Well, the teachings of Jesus are personal. They have nothing to do with politics and foreign policy."

Is the message of Christ personal and private?

So here we have a question that should probably be debated more often than it is...maybe it has been but I've only read about it here and in Jim Wallis' book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It.

Here is an excerpt from chapter three, Is There a Politics of God?, of Wallis' book:

So is there a politics of God? Many of our politicians give a lot of lip service to God these days, but do they really understand the public implications of belief in God? We don't typically hear much about the politics of God, even from our pulpits. Powerful forces would keep God private, or under control, or as an endorser of ideological agendas, or of the political status quo, or (worse yet) of fund-raising activities. Today, religion usually serves more to silence the politics of God than to announce it to the nations. p. 31

This leads into the next question:

2. What might the political impact be of saying that Jesus' message has nothing to do with politics?

The political impact is what we are currently witnessing here in America and across world. Poverty is rampant, children are dying from lack of food and clean water (this to me is the most outrageous...we live in a country with at least one type of buffet in almost every town! I was a server at a large chain buffet for a know what buffet stands for...Big Ugly Fat Fucks Eating Together...sorry soapbox moment), Nations believe that fighting violence with violence actually makes sense.

McLaren points out that Jesus referred to his message as good news...nothing new right I grew up singing songs in Sunday School about the good news. What I didn't know was that the term good news was a "public term used to evoke the political announcements of the Roman emperors." Once again I reminded of my simple minded church upbringing that never went any deeper than don't drink, don't swear, don't have sex before marriage...damnit, it just pisses me off. Anyway, McLaren goes on to give an example of who the good news might be announced today:

I've become convinced that if the good news of Jesus were carried in a newspaper today, it wouldn't be hidden in the religion section (although it would no doubt cause a ruckus there). It would be a major story in every section, from world news (What is the path to peace, and how are we responding to our neighbors in need?) to national and local news (How are we treating children, poor people, minorities, the last, the lost, the least? How are we treating our enemies?), in the lifestyle section (Are we loving our neighbors and throwing good parties to bring people together?), the food section (Do our diets reflect concern for God's planet and our poor neighbors, and have we invited any of them over for dinner lately?), the entertainment and sports section (What is the point of our entertainment, and what values are we strengthening in sports?), and even the business section (Are we serving the wrong master: money rather than God?). pp. 10-11

So I feel my eyes have been open to truth that I have yet to encounter on my journey. That the message of Christ is not completely about spending eternity in Heaven after we pass from this earth and has more to do with how we are to live and conduct ourselves in our brief existence here on earth. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that eternal aspect isn't important but that it's more of just the end result. This will definitely be covered more in later chapters, but let me see if I can explain it like this: As I was growing up my main reason for being a Christian was because I wanted to spend eternity in Heaven...I believed I was and still am a sinner and in need of a Savior but that the benefits of my faith only came after death, i.e. Heaven. The benefits, the kingdom of God is at hand now and available to all, but I'm starting to jump ahead of myself, so more on this later.

There are still three more questions for this chapter but I'm going to go ahead and wrap up this post here and conclude Chapter two a bit later. Adios!

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Secret Message Part 2

Chapter 1 - Troubling Questions About Jesus

I have thought about how I would like to blog about my thoughts as I read this book and I think I am going to post the questions from the aforementioned study guide and my responses to here goes.

1. What impact did the barrage of questions at the beginning of this chapter have on you? How many of the questions have you asked yourself?

Since I was reading out loud to Lauren it was kind of starting to piss me off only because it was getting weird reading aloud all those questions, but that's just me being weird. Seriously though, I love questions especially those that challenge and call into question the "typical" churchy thinking...typical postmodern reaction right? The one question I absolutely love and am excited to read how McLaren fleshes it out is this:

"What if Jesus' secret message reveals a secret plan? What if he didn't come to start a new religion - but rather came to start a political, social, religious, artistic, economic, intellectual, and spiritual revolution that would give birth to a new world?" pp. 4

I love the idea of a revolution...not of fighting and violence but a revolution of the mind! Just the other night Lauren and I re-watched Moulin Rouge and I just love it when John Leguizamo's character Toulouse-Lautrec screams about being children of the revolution.

2. "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere." Respond to this statement, and to Brian's analysis of it.

When Lauren asked this question to me the other night my first was response was that I thought it was horseshit. Yeah I know harsh. I only respond harsh because I relate that phrase to the statements praising President Bush that he is a man of conviction and he stands by those convictions no matter what and that if a person changes their opinion about something they are labeled a "flip-flopper". What good are convictions if they are wrong. Just because the President stands by his decision to invade a much weaker country doesn't make him anymore right and he sure as hell shouldn't be praised for it...but I digress.

McLaren's response may be a little better than my own:

"A lot of people say, "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you're sincere." They're partly right: sincerity is a precious thing, and arguments about who has the correct beliefs have too often led to arrogance, ugly arguments, and even violence. But believing untrue things, however sincerely, can have its own unintended consequences.

For example, try believing that God will be pleased if you fly an airplane into a tall building, that you can get away with embezzling funds, that you have a personal exemption from sexual propriety, or that your race or religion makes you superior to members of other races or religions. You will become someone nobody respects, including (eventually) you.

But seeking to believe what is true - seeking to see things as closely as possible to the way they really are, seeking to be faithful to what is and was and will be - puts you increasingly in touch with reality and helps you become a wise and good person. It can also make life a lot more meaningful, and enjoyable." pp. 6

I'll give McLaren this one, his response is better than mine. :-)

3. Brian talks about the potential message of Jesus being understood by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others, in addition to Christians. You may wish to invite members of various religions to be part of your group, if they aren't already. What might their presence add? Why might Christians need outside perspectives to help them understand the founder of their own religion?

Well, since Lauren and I are reading this book as a couple it might be a little weird to invite somebody else into this intimate moment between a husband and wife. Okay, poor attempt at humor. Anyway, I fully acknowledge that outside perspectives should be welcomed with open arms into a group discussing anything.

In this part of the chapter McLaren discusses how important it is to understand the Jewishness of Jesus since he, himself was Jewish. This may be a no brainer for some people, but growing up in the South in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church (yeah that's a mouthful) this never occurred to me. I mean we were never outright told that Jesus was a pasty white boy who held to the exact same beliefs and practices as we did, there at a predominately white American was more subtle or maybe it was just what they didn't teach us. It has only been within the last few years that I have realized and come to appreciate the Jewishness of Jesus and how knowing that information creates a completely different image of my Savior.

So that concludes this chapter. I am totally digging on McLaren's gentleness, and shepherding voice...not like an overbearing, over emotional, self-rightious pastor preaching at you but rather a brother who is still on this same journey and just wants to share it with you.

The Secret Message

The Secret Message

Last week I ordered the latest book by author, pastor and emergent leader Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus. Lauren and I decided we would read the book together just to spend quality time together and also to have another person to discuss the things we would be reading. Usually when one of us starts a book, the one reading wants to discuss the content of the book and the other is left wondering what the heck is going on or just not wanting to hear it in fear of knowing too much before getting the chance to read it.

Anyway, all that to say we are delving into our first McLaren book together curious to see what he thinks this "Secret Message" really is. I have printed off a study guide for the book that I found on McLaren's website, so we will be using those questions to discuss the chapters.

So Wednesday night we read the introduction and first chapter of the book.

Immediately I found myself relating to McLaren as he spoke about his own spiritual journey. One interesting thing from the introduction was his mentioning of The Da Vinci Code, and his question of why the vision of Jesus that Dan Brown creates is more interesting, attractive and intriguing than the typical version of Jesus we hear about in many churches. I felt this way as I read Brown's book, just thinking to myself of how well I really knew or understood the person of Jesus. By the way, just in case anyone was wondering, I don't accept Brown's writing as is fiction and those who are threatened by fiction need to reevaluate their faith, but I still came away from that book thinking that perhaps my understanding of the person of Jesus was just as inaccurate as the depiction in The Da Vinci Code.

Next post will cover Chapter 1

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hannity's Jesus Complex


Alright I won't go into the reasons why I listen to talk radio, especially conservative talk radio but I do. Half the time it pisses me off so much I think my head is going to explode!

Before my schedule changed at work I would drive home between 6-7pm and the local station would be broadcasting the final hour of the Sean Hannity Show. I haven't heard it a lot lately but today I left work early and just as I turned on the radio I hear that damn opening theme song. Next comes Hannity and he almost always opens with the same line, "Let not your heart be troubled" he then goes on to proclaim how he is bringing the "good news" to all his faithful listeners.

I had heard all of this before but today it just really got to me. I mean seriously people who does this guy think he is??!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Hiatus

It's been over a month since my last post, but I don't think a day has gone by when I haven't thought about things I would like to post on here.

Why haven't I posted these thoughts?

I don't really have a good answer or excuse for that but nevertheless I'm back. I feel like I've dealt with a lot emotionally over the past month, and while I am not to the point where I can confidently say I've completely dealt with my father's passing I am however at a much better place. What has perhaps been the most difficult part of all of this is just the fact that something that has been a constant in my life for 29 years is no longer here.

Each day progress is made, some days more than others but one thing is carries on. There is a Peter Gabriel song, I Grieve, that I have thought about often over the past month, it's from the City of Angels soundtrack. I remember the first few times I heard it and how it moved me to tears, it now has obviously taken on a whole new meaning to me.

It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
It's just the way that we are tied in
But there's noone home
I grieve...
for you
You leave...
So hard to move on
Still loving what's gone
Said life carries on...
Carries on and on and on...
And on
The news that truly shocks
is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks
Its empty, empty cage...
And I can't handle this
I grieve...
For you
You leave...
Let it out and move on
Missing what's gone
Said life carries on...
I said life carries on and on...
And on
Life carries on in the people I meet
In every one that's out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the - and the -
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
As life carries on and on and on...
And on
Life carries on and on and on...
Did I dream this belief
Or did I believe this dream
How I will find relief
I grieve...

Friday, March 31, 2006

My Week

It's Friday evening, 7:38pm and this week from hell is finally coming to an end. While the actual Viewing and Service for my father went well, it was all the shit in between that was driving me crazy! Just like many families, my family is dysfunctional. My father was married and had two sons before he married my mom and had myself and my siblings. So we had both sides of the family here including BOTH ex-wives. My father left the youngest of his children, my sister, as the executor of his will, which is just fine with me because I wouldn't want the stress, but my half-brother feels slighted. Needless to say there has just been a lot of immature fighting on both sides and then people get mad at me because I refuse to jump in. I just have had no emotional energy to waste on fighting this week.

Anyway, like I said...week from HELL!! But it's over now. The service today was great! Some of my college kids from church played and sung and they just did an outstanding job. I was able to make it through my little talking part without completely breaking down. Here's the text of what I had to say:

I read I Corinthians 13 (The Message)

It wasn'’t until Monday night, after having almost a full day to process the passing of my father, that verses 9 & 10 of this chapter really jumped out at me. Let me read just those two verses again:

9. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.
10. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

Many times we as Christians feel like we have to have definitive answers concerning every aspect of our faith leaving no room for mystery, but there is mystery and we should embrace it. Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of our faith is love, the complete and perfect love of Jesus Christ. Our present understanding of love has been warped by both society and the Church.

Throughout scripture love is the constant theme: it was in love that Adam and Eve were created, it was love that gave mankind a second chance through Noah, it was because of love that our Creator was born of flesh and it was love that ultimately nailed Jesus to the cross.

My father loved his God and he loved people. Some of my strongest memories of my dad were the times I would see him cry. I didn'’t know it at the time but those moments had a profound impact on my life in teaching me that it's ok to weep. My father may not have always expressed his love with words and while he lived here on this earth his love certainly wasn't perfect or complete. However, we can rejoice because now not only is his body complete, not only is his sickness completely gone but he now knows the complete love of our Savior and my father's love is now perfect and complete, his incompletes have been canceled out by the perfect love of Christ.

Love is not a simple concept, in fact it may be perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of our faith. Think about it, it'’s much easier to hate those that hate you, it's much easier to despise those that have a different ideology than yourself, it's much easier to declare war against those that would wish to harm you. Christ made it extremely clear that there is always a third way and that third way is the way of love. When asked to break down all of the Old Testament law into the greatest commandment Christ responded with, "Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence -- and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."

There's the chorus of a song that sums up just how difficult love is:

'Cause love is different than you'd think.
It's never in a song or on a TV screen
And love is harder than a word
Said at the right time and everything's alright
Love is different than you think.

Until we are face to face with our Savior we will never know the complete, perfect love that Christ spoke about, but it is imperative that we do our best to live it as best as we can until that time comes.

13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

I first began thinking about what I would say at my father's funeral the moment I learned he had cancer. It wasn't a morbid thing but I just didn't want to get up and spew out some sentimental b.s. because that's what you do at funerals. I admit I had issues with my father up until the day he died. These weren't issues that kept me from speaking to him, at least for not great periods of time, I didn't love him less than my other siblings. I just refuse to sugarcoat my childhood and pretend like things didn't happen.

I don't know. Maybe I am being an ass??? It wouldn't be the first time nor will it probably be the last. I do miss my dad and I loved him very much. It's still just so hard for me to think he's actually gone...that I can't just pick up a phone and actually here him bitchin' about something. :-)

I do believe he is a Christian. I believe he was way off on a lot of things and he was the type of Christian absolutelyes me absolutly crazy but he knew he was a sinner and needed the love of his Savior to rescue him from that.

Well, that's it for now. I promised myself a couple glasses of Jack & Coke tonight but I am already feeling sleepy so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Grief

This morning between 4-5am my father passed from this world into the next. It happened fast and was at least unexpected so soon. I can't really believe he's gone. I've had my moments this morning from tears to anger. In my preparation for my father's death, because I knew it would come at some point this year, I had convinced myself I wouldn't have any regrets or guilt...but damn it all because the regret and guilt hit me like a fuckin' hurricane this morning.

I spoke to my father briefly as they were putting him in the ambulance this morning. I asked him how he was and he said he was ok and that they were taking him to Sacred Heart. I assumed he was having a panic attack, he had been getting those lately so much so that the doctor had prescribed what my dad affectionatly called his "crazy pills", so from there I drove to the hospital because I knew my sister was already there waiting. I regret that I didn't tell him I loved him one last time. It wasn't a mean thing I just thought everything for the most part was ok.

This is going to be one long week.

I miss my dad.

I know now that he is in the presence of our Savior. I don't want this to be a cliche idea for me. I want to live my life this week with the full realization of this truth.


You have led me to the sadness
i have carried this pain
on a back bruised, nearly broken
i'm crying out to You

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

when death, like a gypsy
comes to steal what i love
i will still look to the heavens
i will still seek your face
but i fear You aren't listening
because there are no words
just the stillness
and the hunger
for a faith that assures

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy

alleluia, alleluia
alleluia, alleluia

while we wait for rescue
with our eyes tightly shut
face to the ground using our hands
to cover the fatal cut
though the pain is an ocean
tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
higher mountains have come down

i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy
i will sing of Your mercy
that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy
alleluia, alleluia
alleluia, alleluia

Words and music by Aaron Sands, Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason,and Matt Odmark (C) 2003 Innocent Smith/ASCP )adm. by The Loving Company)/Bridge Building Music, Inc. /Pogostick Music (BMI). All rights administered by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Friday, March 24, 2006

My absence

It has been over a month since my last post. I'm not sure why I haven't had the energy to sit down and write, but I haven't felt normal for the last few months. Some of it has to do with depression over my job situation but for the most part I have once again been struggling with life in general and just wanting my life to be meaningful in this F'd up world in which we live.

I fully admit I spend too much time thinking and worrying about things I have no control over and the simple thing to do would be to give it over to God but sometimes it's just not that simple.

Well, here I am again. There hasn't been one specific victorious moment but I have felt the gentle touch of my Father pushing me forward, encouraging me in a way that only He knows how.

On a sidenote I am quite impressed with my friend Jack who has taken a liking to this whole blog thing and at times has had some lively check him out. As if there is anyone really reading this drivel of mine anyways.

Friday, February 10, 2006

My News

Over the last couple of years there have been a handful of times when my wife and I thought we might be expecting another baby. Each time it turned out to be Lauren's body playing tricks on us. So last month when she was late I didn't give it a second thought...turns out God had something else in store for us.
Yesterday, Thursday Feb. 9th, 2006, Lauren and I found out that we will be having our third child! After five years we will be re-entering a life of diapers, baby food & sweet baby smells. While this is very unexpected we are both very excited about this new adventure.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

My Top Five List

Top five actors/celebrities I'd like to go drinking with: ( in no particular order)
1. Jason Lee
2. Robert Downey Jr. (if he still drinks)
3. Zach Braff
4. Bradley Whitford
5. Al Pacino

Monday, January 30, 2006

My article

Times Like These

“It’s times like these we learn to love again.” - Foo Fighters

Why, in a city littered with multi-million dollar facilities constructed in the name of God, is there only one non-government funded shelter striving to meet the needs of the homeless community? Only recently has this shelter gained any bit of recognition, the sole reason for which is the recent instruction to cease and desist operation because of fire and health code violations. To the community’s credit Heavenly Blessings has received an outpouring of support in recent days, but that doesn’t change the fact that in allowing this situation to come to a head, the Greater Church in Pensacola has seriously overlooked a community of people that their faith commands them to care for.

In the Gospel of Luke there is a parable of a shrewd manager who is fired for cheating his master out of money. Upon being fired, the manager devises a way in which he thinks he will gain favor with the community. He calls in those who are indebted to the master and offers to lower their debts by a certain amount. When the master learns of what his ex-manager has done, instead of punishing him further, the master actually praises the shrewd manager for his actions. For without knowing it, the shrewd manager brought honor to the master by lowering those debts --after all, the people believed the manager to still be working under the command of his master.

Admittedly this is not one of the easier parables to comprehend throughout the Gospels, but the message revealed is one that the Church, regardless of denomination, would do well to take to heart. By being shrewd--defined as being acute in perception and sound in judgment--with the resources we have been given, not only are those who live in poverty taken care of but honor is brought to the Master.

To restate the original question: “Is the Church being shrewd or using sound judgment with its resources by spending millions on facilities when there is a community of over 9,000 in Escambia County that do not have a place to lay their head?”

The success of the Church cannot and should not be measured by the size of a congregation or the splendor of it’s buildings, but rather by how effectively we demonstrate the love of Christ to everyone, regardless of age, race, sex or social status.

"A new command I give to you: Love one another." Let us love, because He first loved us; and when we are asked to give an account of that love, then we get to point to Jesus. To quote Brennan Manning, author of The Gentle Revolutionaries, love "is the only sign given by Jesus by which the disciple would be recognized." If we wait for the world to notice how holy we are by the size of our congregations or our state-of-the-art facilities, we'll wait for a long, long time.

Pensacola will always have those that are in need, but with as many people of faith that are here we should never be facing the situation we currently are, where a shelter could potentially have to close it’s doors because of a lack of resources.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My theology

You scored as Neo orthodox. You are neo-orthodox. You reject the
human-centredness and scepticism of liberal theology, but neither do
you go to the other extreme and make the Bible the central issue for faith.
You believe that Christ is God's most important revelation to humanity,
and the Trinity is hugely important in your theology. The Bible is also
important because it points us to the revelation of Christ. You are
influenced by Karl Barth and P T Forsyth.

Neo orthodox




Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal




Modern Liberal


Roman Catholic


Reformed Evangelical




What's your theological worldview?
created with

Friday, January 06, 2006

My depression

God I feel like a dark curtain is hanging over me. I don't want to get out of bed in the mornings, I just can't seem to get motivated to do anything. Today is my first day back in the office since last Friday, I can't keep doing this my paychecks just can't handle it!  The hardest part about all of this is that I don't know how to cope with it.  I know there are people I can talk to but I don't really know what to say. 

I feel like shit!  I am tired of going through the motions of life each and every day!  I want to be used by God to do great things with our college group but I don't know how the fuck to motivate them to do anything!  I am tired of being fat but I can't seem to find the will power to exercise more than I do! 

These are all just a sampling of what's going on inside of me right now...oh and to top it all off I get to watch my father slowly die for the next 6-10 months.  I want to have a talk with him about God and the abundant life and all of that, but I'm not even sure what the hell that means! 

I don't like feeling this way but I can't see any light in front me.