This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Political Wisdom From "Jesus"

This morning on my way to church, I was listening to KFI radio's "The Jesus Christ Show." For anyone unfamiliar with the show, it's not at all sacreligious, in spite of its title.  The conecpt is basically that of "Jesus" having His own talk show.  Now I know that reallllly SOUNDS sacreligious, but the guy who "plays" Jesus is very wise (in my opinion) and has a lot of great things to say each week.  He's much more "orthodox" in his observations than you would expect in "secular radio."

So here's my point:

I get so tired of the whole us/them mentality between right & left, conservative & liberal.  That Christians are "expected" to be conservative and non-Christians "must" be liberal is really an ill-founded assumption. I loved what "Jesus" said this morning in commenting on the presidential race in particular, and American political positions in general.  He said, in effect, that you can never truly convince dyed-in-the-wool Liberals or Conservatives to change their thinking, but you CAN lead truthseekers to change their thinking if it's logically, morally, and intelligently challenged.  That's really how I like to think of myself: as a truthseeker--particularly after Bruce's sermon on truthfulness this weekend.  I want to be a seeker of truth, not just by adhering to any one particular party's platform.  I don't want anyone doing my thinking for me, be it politician, pundit, pollster, preacher, or professor.  As "Jesus" said this morning, nearly every genuine political perspective--right or left--is the result of someone's (or several someones') deeply held convictions and views of the world.  There are strengths and weaknesses to be found in each one, to be sure, but neither is "all right" nor "all wrong." Does that make me wishy-washy?  I certainly hope not.  I'll happily take a stand--just not where someone tells me I'm "expected" to take one.  

There is much to ponder in this political season.  (For instance, in terms of "right and wrong," some of the questions I keep asking: Is it wrong to be wealthy?  No.  Is it wrong to take from the rich to give to the poor? Yes.  Is it right--even necessary--for those who "have" to give to those who "don't have?"  Yes.  Is it right to be greedy? No.) Truth has to be gleaned from this stew of questions--and others even more complicated.  Then that personal truth has to be translated into a "political" point-of-view. Not easy to do.

A lot of wheat and chaff exists in all camps. God help us to use our minds and hearts to seek the path of truth in it all.

Up early...what a way to start the day

Remember the movie MY LEFT FOOT?  Well, for months now, the sole of my left foot starts itching in the middle of the night.  Never itches when I'm up and about, just the middle of the night.  It's not a bad itch--no athlete's foot or anything.  Just your ordinary little itch.  (In fact, it's not even all that annoying; quite easy to scratch with the big toe of my right foot.)  The annoying part is that it occurs in the middle of the night.  

Anyway, the itch began about 4:15 this morning.  And here I am about an hour later, wide awake.  

The good news of all this is that when I turned on my computer, I was greeted by these three. Now THAT'S a good reason to start a day early.  

Have a good Sunday, everybody.  Kristi & Curtis, enjoy the first full day of your vacation!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I knew it wouldn't take long . . .

It's almost official.  Texting while driving will soon be illegal.  DUH!  Assuming Arnold will sign the paperwork.

(Wonder if John Mayer was driving when he texted Jennifer?)

This is seriously scary.

I saw this on Tyrone Warren's Facebook page today.  It really bothered me.  I feel so sorry for the poor old woman who was minding her own business on an Atlanta bus.  With my hearing issues and lack of knowledge of street lingo, the girl is probably saying some really raunchy stuff.  (Also, I couldn't bring myself to watch it all the way through.)  Soooo, if there's anything that "offends," I apologize.  The whole thing offends me.  

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Way to go, Mr. Mayer




broke up


this  girl . . .


Very gentlemanly, John!  Sheesh!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

U2's Bono - Social Conscience of a Generation

U2's Bono recently addressed poverty and AIDS in a speech at the NAACP Awards Banquet. Diane Davis posted a YouTube video of this remarkable speech a few days ago.  Here is the "preachin'" part of the message:

To those in the church who still sit in judgment on the AIDS emergency, let me climb into the pulpit for just one moment.  Because, whatever thoughts we have about God, who He is, or even if God exists, most will agree that 

     God has a special place for the poor.    

                The poor are where God lives.  

God is in the slums in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house

               God is where the opportunity is lost and                   lives are shattered.  

        God is with the mother who has infected her child with a virus that will take both their lives. 

 God is under the rubble, in the cries we hear                   during wartime.  

       God, my friends, is with the poor, and              God is with us if we are with them.  

This is not a burden--this is an adventure.  

           Don't let anyone tell you it                                           cannot be done. 

 We can be the generation that ends                extreme poverty.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grandpa Day

Today is fun.  I'm enjoying a Grandpa day with Emily.  (MAYBE Haley and Lexi will join us for swimming later, but Kristi and Curtis may be moving back into their townhouse today, so that's pretty "iffy.") Anyway, things started out great.  No traffic on the freeways. Only minor whimpering when Jennifer, Brian, and Aunties Alyse and Tabitha left.  Then not a murmur...we played til 7:30 and I put her down for her nap--ZERO fussing.  I'm glowing here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thank you, Lord, that I'm not still teaching

This intensive 3-day vocal seminar we're hosting at our church is terrific--honest.  (Kristi and Rob have made some amazing improvements and are sounding really great--as are all of the other participants.) BUT, I can only listen to singers vocalizing scales and technical exercises for so long before I'm ready to climb the walls. I'm glad I'm the go-fer for this event.  I've got a good excuse to leave the room when I get bored spitless.  The instructor, Tim Carson is awesome--I don't know where he finds his energy.  Hour after hour of listening, analyzing, and coming up with a pedagogy that pushes all the right buttons for each singer.  I'm impressed...but I'm glad HE's teaching and not me!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mr. Double-Talk

Today in the green room, some of the band guys and Curtis were watching some hilarious stuff on YouTube.  In particular was "Mr. Double-Talk," an amazing guy who looks like he's all serious, but who has the gift of speaking gibberish with authority.  Here are some great clips to show you what a talent he has.  The first is about the current political scene.  The second is a practical joke Regis plays on Kelly Ripa.  The third takes place in a corporation, under the guise of using a consultant.  ENJOY!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Holy Anger--Banning Grocery Bags or Body Bags???

Last night in our small group we discussed anger, using Rob Bell's Nooma DVD called "Store." It really provoked some interesting discussion among the group.  The gist of it is that anger is a normal part of being human.  Even Jesus got angry.  But the difference is that His anger always led to improvement and justice. Bell admonished us to channel our anger constructively into things that make a difference in the world; when we see injustice or meanness, we need to get angry and do something about it.

Then this morning, it was like someone wrote a script to reinforce the whole point of last night's lesson. 

On KABC Talk Radio 790AM, Doug McIntyre (the early morning host) was leading a public rally at LA City Hall. MacIntyre is really a public hero to me, even though I don't get to hear him all that often.  (That's him in the picture above.  He looks like he could be the son I never had!!! Spooky!) Anyway, he is SOOO angry about the ridiculous Sanctuary Laws in Los Angeles and San Francisco in which illegal immigrants are granted protection, even if they are known to have heinous criminal records. 

His new mantra is, "Don't be banning grocery bags; ban BODY bags!" (FYI, the "environmentally concerned" California state legislature is considering taxing plastic and paper bags 25 cents per bag!!!  A lot of legislative energy is being spent on this green idea.) Doug and the families of two of the high-profile tragedies (the street shooting of teen athlete Jamiel Shaw and the Bologna father/children killings) are being moved by anger and grief to take some amazing action.  This public rally was brilliant.  It was a perfect example of using anger for good.  

If I were LA Mayor Villaraigosa or City Councilman Jack Weiss, I'd be quaking in my boots, 'cause my man Doug is TRULY ticked off. (That's the censored version of what he is.)  Weiss, in particular, has been totally ignoring the whole travesty of senseless murders, and he's the chairman of the Public Safety Committee for the city of Los Angeles! Today he and the mayor were out at a ribbon cutting event, celebrating a diagonal crosswalk at one of the city's busy intersections! Great timing!) I hope the rally will be posted on YouTube by somebody.  Until then, here's an excerpt from a recent radio broadcast in which MacIntyre is hosting Mrs. Bologna who lost her husband and 2 children when a gangbanger opened fire on them with an AK-47 for making a 3-point turn that irritated him!  (An example of anger NOT being channeled for good!)

I'm really proud of Doug.  After hearing him this morning, I think he should DEFINITELY run for public office.  I'd vote for him if he were in my district!

P.S.  I showed Lexi McIntyre's picture and asked her who it was.  She said, "Papa Don."  Told ya.

Monday, August 4, 2008

CHOWDER? Weird or Wonderful??

Okay...when I was a kid, I really loved cartoons.  I was totally addicted.  I ALWAYS preferred animation to "real people."  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I was seriously into cartoons through puberty--although I'd learned to enjoy "real people" shows too.

Anyway, today when I was sitting with the kids at Kristi and Curtis' hotel, Haley and I were watching this bizarre show on CARTOON NETWORK called CHOWDER. The volume was really low (Lexi was still sleeping), so I didn't know what the odd little characters were saying. But I could see them barfing green slime all over each other, and one of the little fairy creatures--it had boobs, so I assume it was female--kept having one horrible temper tantrum after another.  I kept saying, "This is disgusting."  Then Haley picked up the mantra and was saying, "Yuck, that's disgusting."  THEN I googled it and learned that it's been getting all these amazing reviews, hailing it as one of the greatest cartoons ever put on the air.  I was dumbfounded to read this.

Am I just an old geezer who doesn't "get it," or is it a really gross show?  Is grossness the point of it?  You young parents--please educate me.

Here's a clip I found so you uninitiated can see what I'm talking about. I don't think there's any green barfing on this clip, however.  That was really something to behold.  (The ill-tempered little fairy isn't on the clip, so you're going to miss her EXTREMELY odd character.)


Another new adventure . . .

First it was blogging.  Been doing that since February.  Then last week, Lyn joined the FaceBook community.  When I saw all these emails from her FB friends coming in, I thought I'd give it a shot.  I'd always thought it was just for 20- and 30-somethings. 

Since nearly every one of you who read this are already veteran FB users, I don't need to say any more.  It's just very cool. I've been able to reconnect with former students and colleagues, and to do so on a daily basis.  It's way cheaper than a school reunion and lots more fun!