Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Vow - Ed Gungor

It has been a while since I wrote anything on here.

I wanted to let you guys know that I finished another book. "The Vow" by Ed Gungor.

The premise of this book is to make vows to God in regards to things that help us to experience His grace. In other words, if you spend time in solitude praying and it lifts your spirit and you feel that the direction of God is more easily determined in your life due to that time of solitude then Gungor would suggest that you vow to spend time everyday in solitude praying.

Gungor makes this clear that vows are not scripturally mandated, but they can be a large benefit to the Christian life. I would have to agree. Since reading this it has been the back of my head to make some sort of short term vow that could possibly help my experience the grace of God in my life on a daily basis.

I am not sure what it is that I will vow, I will probably have to spend some time "taste testing" different spiritual disciplines to see what God uses to communicate grace to my soul.

Anyways, the book is a very well written and thought out description of the benefits of making vows and how to do so appropriately. To be honest the book does begin to drag a little bit towards the middle. It seems to be a little to repetitive and I think he even uses the same analogies twice to describe the same thing in both accounts. I am not sure if he was hoping people would forget about the analogies, but like an ugly kid going around the second time on a carousel...I remembered.

This book is worth the buy, or at least the read if you want to borrow it. I think that Gungor takes a lost spiritual discipline and breathes fresh life into it.

As for me, I just need to figure out how to a)find the right vow for me, and b) get that ugly kid off of the carousel.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Serial Bumper Stickers II

A while back I put up some "serial killer bumper stickers" I kind of felt like doing a few more of those. Let me know if you come up with any and put them in the replies. The one that is the funniest will get a high five at our next encounter.

-"I brake for sorority houses"
-"My other car is your back seat"
-"Blunt Force Trauma Happens"
-"Clinton for President"
-"My child kills honor roll students"
-"Save the whales...wait...I mean save the murder weapon"
-"click it or kill it"

That is all for now. Those aren't as good as round one.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I almost have had my blog looked at 200 times. That means that when you subtract me and my wife there have been seven people look at it. HOO-RAH!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How does that happen?

The Mavericks blew a 12 point halftime lead. How does that happen?

I am obviously distraught so I am going to have my wife remove all sharp objects that are in my immediate vicinity.

bye bye ms. chair model lady....and myspace

I am thinking about completely doing away with my myspace account. Any thoughts?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Senor Colberto

My friend Isaac showed me this. It will make you laugh till you pee.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Deadly Viper Character Assassins

I just finished reading this book which was written by Mike Foster & Jud Wilhite.

This book is about different "character assassins" that will destroy your integrity if you are not aware of them or if you are not setting yourself up to overcome them.

One of the things that I love about Christianity or any conversation regarding any issue when Christianity plays a part is the fact that God is the Alpha and Omega. What I mean by that is most conversations regarding God will start with God (the Alpha).

A basic conversation starts out with a basic theology of who God is, his characteristics and attributes. From there is it natural to discuss how we should live in response to the character of God as people who are created in His image and saved by His grace.

When that conversation reaches the issue of integrity we see that due to several spiritual reasons we are called to live with character. We also know that we are under attack by Satan who would love to see out character for out the window, have people question or ministry, and in the end place a nugget of doubt about who Jesus really is in the back of people's minds.

This leaves the conversation headed in one direction...God. We need God's grace to not get sucked into a cycle of spiritual masochist activity. We also need to recognize that it is His power that helps us over come temptation, or his sovereignty in always providing a way out for us.

This is what I mean by God being the Alpha and Omega of spiritual conversation, He tends to be the starting point and the ending point, which is completely appropriate.

This book is like the middle part of that conversation. There are no spiritual ties to character and integrity whatsoever. Other than mentioning quotes from Christian leaders there is not direct link to the importance of our integrity and a God who made us in His image.

I agree with what Mike and Jud say in this book. It is full of practical advice that can be applied to our lives to help us avoid pitfalls in regards to our character. Unfortunately it is only half of the conversation.

One example in the book is in the chapter called "The Assassin of Amped Emotions". In this chapter it spelled out that we should not go blind with rage, yell at a co-worker or subordinate and batter them emotionally because of a mistake. The reason for this is because "once a person in a organization has been attacked that person will stop contributing to the organization". Although this is true, it is only half of the story. Forget the fact that the individual you might yell at is a person created in God's image and a person that is cared for and loved deeply by an almighty God, what matters is that if you lose your temper that person will cease to perform for you.

The ideas of this book are true and good but the foundation is not there. It is like they have given someone who has never played baseball and given them a ball, bat, and glove and sent them out on the field but they never explained the purpose of the game.

The book is not a bad read, funny in parts, a lot of good advice, but know that there are so many more pressing issues in regards to our integrity than what is mentioned here. There is also a blog up where the conversation is still going regarding this book, I hope that there these underlying, and overlying issues will be brought up.

***On a side note, there is a small two page interview with Tony Hale in this book that for me was completely worth the read. Tony Hale is the actor who played Buster on Arrested Development. Hilariousness incarnate.***

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is why I am proud of the students in my youth group.

In fact this is one of my leaders. Way to dance Jens.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Shack

Hey again. It has been a few days. Sorry about that. I wanted to let you guys know what I thought of my latest book that I finished reading the other day.

The Shack by William Young.

I have heard a lot about this book and fortunately enough I got it and was able to give it a read. For those of you who may not have heard of this book, it has been likened to Pilgrim's Progress.

Apparently this is going to be one of those classic Christian books that is reprinted over and over with more and more contemporary all of C.S. Lewis' books.

In this book Young writes a story about a man (named Mack) whose daughter was abducted and never found. Three and a half years after the disappearance Mack receives a note from God to meet him at the shack where his daughter's dress was found along with a bloodstain.

The bulk of the book (after the setup) is Mack's conversation with God and working through the tragedy. The book deals with some pretty heavy issues such as anger with God, doubt in God's power to do good and stop evil, forgiveness of self, those who wrong us, and God.

Although there are a few small statements from Young that I do not hold to theologically I would still recommend this book to anybody who feel likes reading 250 pages of dialog.

The book is not all sadness and anger, there are parts that are funny and heartwarming. I do not know if this is going to be placed above C.S. Lewis books in terms of timeless greatness, but it is definitely up there.

Friday, April 11, 2008


This will make you laugh.

Cormac Mccarthy - The Road

I recently took a break from the theology books that I have been reading. I was trying to figure out what to read and then I came across a copy of The Road at the thrift store up the road. It only cost me 75 cents. TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I had recently gone to go see "No Country For Old Men" and really liked it. I have become somewhat intrigued with McCarthy and decided that I should give this book a try. After all it did win the Pulitzer Prize, which is literature's Grammy...of course the Pulitzer still has some meaning since they hand out Grammies to anybody that is smart enough to put a half naked girl in a music video to sell a few more units. Way to go Black Eyed Peas.

The Road is about a father and son who are walking across America, not for a cause or to stay fit, but to survive. America has burned. People have become cannibals. Ash is in the air.

Not exactly a bedtime story for little kids, but it is honestly one of the best novels I have ever read. McCarthy's gift for storytelling is amazing. His gift was very clear to me because I found myself caring deeply for these characters, even though their names are never given.

As the story progresses the father and son talk about good vs. evil. They question whether God is still there, or if He has become indifferent to their existence. Although the conversation is very real (which normally makes for boring reading), I found myself sucked in to the story.

These two characters have not made a turn for the worst. They hunt for real food, not attacking those that are weaker than they are to devour them. As the characters put it, they are "carrying the fire". They are holding on to the few things that make them human. The father remembers this old way of life and is fighting to preserve it. Not for the sake of nostalgia, but so his son can hopefully not become animals (like those given to cannibalism).

This book, although set in a hard to comprehend setting, it incredible real and easy to read. Big time recommendation from me. Do not let the fact the is was in Oprah's book club turn you away from it. Also, be sure to read it before they movie comes out, which they recently started filming.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

FINALLY!!!! The four best shows on TV together on the same night...again.

So I found this picture of Zach Braff revealing his innermost thoughts and it got me excited because tonight Scrubs is finally back on TV with new episodes. The absence has been slowly killing me on the inside.

Tonight I plan on using my Ghetto TiVo to record "My Name Is Earl", "30 Rock", "The Office", and of course "Scrubs" so that I can watch them with Meredith when she gets home from leading some counseling group. I tried to convince here that there could be nothing done for them in group that would heal them like that hysterical antics of Dwight Shrute and Dr. John Dorian. Of course, she did not believe me.

By the way when I say Ghetto TiVo I mean that I will be recording it on VHS via our awesome TV/VCR combo. We are not afraid to kick it like its 1989. Besides there is something about watching those shows with the color slightly off and the characters foreheads being slightly stretched at the top of the screen. It is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World - a long overdue book review

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading a collection of essays that was edited by John Piper. All of these essays centered around the idea of Christ's supremacy in the postmodern/relativistic culture in which we live.

These essays are the product of a conference in which these different theologians gathered together to talk about this exact issue.

The contributers to this collections are:
David Wells
Voddie Baucham Jr.
John Piper
D.A. Carson
Tim Keller
Mark Driscoll

When I first opened this book and jumped into David Wells essay my head began hurting. I felt a little bit of nausea. Things became blurry. Then I realized that David Wells is much much smarter than I will ever be. His essay is very thoughtful but hard to follow. However, his essay lays the groundwork for the remaining essays.

Voddie Baucham's essay is much more readable and deals with the concept of truth in a postmodern world. The idea of truth is something that only a few people claim to have knowledge to, but everyone's actions point to what kind of truth they hold. It was also nice to hear from Voddie that I am still a good person even if I am not as black as he is.

John Piper's essay is on joy. What a shocker. The Christian Hedonist writing an essay on joy. However, his essay is probably the easiest to follow although his thought process is just as "deep" or "challenging" as any of the other authors. I really enjoyed this essay and was challenged by reading it.

D.A. Carson & Tim Keller both have very interesting essays on the topics of Love and the Gospel. These essays were not my favorite but still very informative.

Mark Driscoll finishes out the essays in this book with one that rivals Piper's essay to be my favorite. It is interesting to hear from a guy who was at the forefront of the postmodern movement just a few years ago but took a step back when he saw there was a lot of theological compromises that were being made for the sake of "being enlightened" or "seeker sensitivity".

The book closes out with a transcript of a dialog between the different authors. This book is worth the purchase for this reason if for no other.

I would recommend that anybody who deals with people in this culture of "truth is whatever you want it to be" read this book.

I have also finished another book since this one. I hope to review it in a couple of days.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Suicide Road Trip (pt. 2 of 2) "Home is where my couch is"

So I believe it was about a week ago when I posted the first part of my trip with Andy.

I have finally caught up on rest and looking back at the trip I remember a lot of flatness in Kansas and that is about it.

We did get pulled over but to Andy's cleavage we were able to avoid getting a ticket.

We were also made fun of my some townies in the last town before the Colorado State Border.

I have a feeling that the townies were making gay jokes about us. I can't blame them since we were two guy in a Toyota Avalon and we had a little white puffy dog with us.

Now I know not to judge two guys when I see them with a puffy white dog...unless the dog has a scarf on. Then I will make fun all I want.