Monday, October 29, 2007

Self-Serving Missional Post

This post appeared on the Christian Research Network (CRN) this past weekend. Seems a church in Kentucky is encouraging its members to "send letters of love and support to troubled pop star Britney Spears, described by the pastor as having made 'devastating life choices.'" You can read the entire news article here.

I don't doubt for a minute that Ms. Spears needs, not only love and support, but more importantly, salvation. Her bizarre lifestyle of late also indicates she probably could have used a little more parental oversight during her growing up years...and maybe the "rod of discipline" applied to her "seat of knowledge" a little more often.

That said, I think the church in question is using Britney's latest media grabbing antics as nothing more than a publicity stunt themselves. As others have already asked, and I tend to agree: Would the church be so quick to offer their "love and support" to someone less famous? Are there not any young adults in their area making some of the same bad choices as Britney?

Whatever the church's reason, CRN's decision to question their motives has raised the ire of the contributors to this website, whose sole purpose appears to be critcizing most anything and everything CRN posts. They refer to CRN as a "watchdoggie" site. That's kinda funny. They are the "watchdog" for the "watchdog."

The bottom line, I'm looking for a few more hits on my blog myself, so I've purposely included "britney" in the tags for this post. I wonder if there is a "watchdog" watching me?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Photos

This is a really busy day, so I don't have much time to write. This time last week, my two sons and I were in Cleveland OH, visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. We stayed at the Radisson Hotel downtown--hence, the first picture.

The second photo was taken in the Dallas/Ft Worth airport. My youngest son was amazed (I was too, actually) that they had a vending machine for iPods. Obviously, people are actually buying stuff from the machine--there were several empty bins.

Radisson Bottled Water

Can We Get One, Dad?

flickr: Friday Photo Group

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jobs Americans Won't Do

From, is this another example of "immigrants doing jobs Americans won't do?"

Six illegal immigrants who were suspected of stealing relief supplies from Qualcomm Stadium were arrested by Border Patrol agents after San Diego police stopped them Wednesday morning.

A woman who had been evacuated to the stadium told officers she saw the group load up two pickup trucks and a car with cots and other supplies, leave and then return, said police Sgt. Jesse Cesena.

When officers stopped them, a member of the group said they were being paid to take things of value from the stadium.

"They were stealing a lot of stuff," Cesen~a said. "We took the stuff back and we escorted them out. They were stealing from the people in need."

Because some members of the group spoke Spanish, officers called Border Patrol agents at the stadium for relief efforts. They determined the people were in the country illegally and arrested them.

The Border Patrol agents are among 100 that the federal agency has been providing for relief efforts, said agency spokesman Matthew Johnson. He said the agents are not looking for illegal immigrants among people seeking refuge at the stadium.

"We're not out there doing immigration stuff in the middle of a disaster," he said. "However, we still enforce the laws."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Harry Potter / R&R Hall of Fame

Harry Potter Character is Gay
Neither I nor my children have ever read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie, therefore the following news item did not phase us/me:

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling stunned fans at a Q&A session at Carnegie Hall Friday night when she said that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore was gay.
Since I am unfamiliar with Harry Potter, I don't see the significance of "Hogwarts Albus Dumbledore [being] gay." What I am puzzled by is WHY it makes any difference. To my knowledge, the Potter series of books and movies are FICTION! Right?! So...what does a fictional character's sexual orientation have to to with anything? From what I understand, this tidbit of "news" has no effect on the storyline(s) or outcome of the FICTIONAL events desribed. Since the character isn't real, does that mean that the homosexual orientation (and by implication, sexual activity) is fictional?!

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
My sons and love music. They both play guitar--my youngest has been dabbling with the keyboard lately; he plays mostly by ear. I play the drums. This past week, we made a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (R&RHF) in Cleveland, OH. We've wanted to go there for a while; in fact, we went through Ohio several years ago on our way home from Washington DC, but my wife didn't think the R&RHF sounded like "fun," so we kept on driving.

This past week was "Fall Break" for our local school system, so a couple of months ago, we planned our trip. My wife had to work that week, both boys were out of school, and I had some vacation to burn. We flew to Cleveland on Thursday, visited the R&RHOF on Friday, and returned home on Saturday. A whirl-wind trip...but a BLAST! We just happened to arrive in Cleveland the same day as Game Four of the ALCS between Cleveland and Boston. What a spectacle! I've NEVER seen so many people in one place in my life! (Bad news for Indians fans...they ain't going to "the series"...even though the politically incorrect Indians mascot is still smiling.)

We walked around the downtown area, mingling with the baseball fans on Thursday. Ate at the Hard Rock Cafe that night. Friday morning, we were at the R&RHF when the doors opened. The R&RHF and Museum opened in 1995 (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was formed in 1983), as "the preeminent home for the celebration and study of rock and roll music. [The] exhibits, educational programs and performance events have made the Museum a mecca for fans, scholars and the artists themselves. In fact,...research shows that the Museum is the most popular and best-attended hall of fame in the country."

rockhall_31The museum is definitely a trip down memory lane (at least it was for me; for the boys, it was just "COOOL!"). There were exhibits--some large, some small--highlighting groups such as (in no particular order) The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers Band, Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, and Aerosmith. There were artifacts from every era: clothing worn by performers, original lyrics scribbled on notebook paper or hotel stationary, ticket stubs, posters, etc. Several exhibits showed videos of artists or events. The "sad" thing for me...I recalled seeing alot of the arists/groups on television or live...some of them over 40 years ago! It doesn't seem that long ago that the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show or that I was watching American Bandstand on a Saturday afternoon. Time flies.

RockHall_125I'm a big Allman Brothers fan, so one of the highlights for me was seeing Gregg Allman's Hammond B-3 organ. It's right there in the museum. I could almost hear the band cranking out "Whippin' Post!" Two of my favorite groups--Yes and The Doobie Brothers--haven't made it into the Hall of Fame...yet. It was a very quick, very memorable trip. Both of the boys said they were going back "some day." I hope they think of our trip back in 2007 when they do.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


My sons and I just spent the past couple of days in Cleveland, Ohio. Our ultimate destination: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We had a BLAST! More pics and blogging later. I'm tired and glad to be back home.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time Out

I'll be out of pocket for several days, but don't worry. If you:

  • Enjoy reading my blog on a regular basis OR
  • Stop by from time to time but can take it or leave it OR
  • Think I'm a hate-monger and wish I'd drop off the planet.
DON'T WORRY. I'll be back.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Love the 70's (Music)

I graduated from high school in the 70's. I graduated from college in the 70's. I met my wife in the 70's. I love the 70's.

I dont' really care for the clothing or hairstyles of the 70's (of course I have to say that now since I don't have much hair left), but I really like the music from that decade. We had some great bands then: the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin. Other groups I liked were the Marshall Tucker Band, the Allman Brothers Band and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. However, my most favorite groups were Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Some of these guys are still touring, although they appear to have aged a lot worse than I have [ big grin ]!

My junior year in high school, I wrote my term paper--remember those?--on ELP and that was no easy accomplishment since personal computers or the internet didn't exist. I spent many a Saturday at the library, searching through the card index for anything I could found about those guys. I got an "A", which incidently back then, had to be at 93 or above. None of this 90 crud! I was at the 1974(I think it was) concert in Tulsa, OK which was recorded and heard on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. I think I read somewhere that some of that same recording is part of ELP's Welcome Back My Friends...(Live) album.

I got to thinking about all this 70's stuff this morning while I was listening to an internet "classic rock" station. I had to go in to work and since no one was there, I took the opportunity to crank up my speakers and "blast through the past" with some of my favorite tunes. While I was listening to ELP's "Karn Evil 9," I rembered a couple of projects I had done in college, which I dug out as soon as I got home.

Below is a pen and ink sketch of Keith Emerson. The second piece was an album cover assignment done with a combination of pen and ink, opaque watercolor and acrylic. Pretty dated looking, but I like it. Just for kicks, here's an opaque watercolor of Todd Rundgren from the same college semester.

Artwork : Keith Emerson


Artwork : Emerson Lake & Palmer

Friday, October 12, 2007

Top 100

Outreach Magazine recently published a list of "The 100 Largest U.S. Churches". In the top 20, there are at least six that I would classify as "seeker sensitive/emergent." Thank goodness there weren't any more than that. Sadly, four out of the first five fall into this category.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pornographic Bible

In this previous post, I decried the use of what I considered a crude/crass euphemism attributed to Mark Driscoll to describe (in part) the circumstances surrounding Jesus' birth. In recent days, I have interacted via the internet with several individuals that basically take the stance:

  • "There's a lot worse in the Bible!"
  • "I think Mark is closer to things the way he is stating it."
  • "I love it when people apply a particular contemporary sub-culture’s stringent understanding of language to their readings of pre-modern (read: ancient) texts of Holy Scripture."
  • "What I do have a problem with is denying the circumstances of the Biblical narrative out some misplaced sense of propriety. I don’t care if you think the bare facts laid out by Driscoll are somehow shameful and unworthy of Jesus to the point where we have to clean up or deny what was actually going on."
  • "The quote, “At least we know who our father is…” comes to mind. Now, what could they have meant by that?"
When I think about it, to some degree these people are right. Seriously, why should we shy away from things in the Bible that we find offensive--only because we are applying some modern-day criteria of what is and what isn't appropriate?

We're not living in the days of the Puritans! For whatever reason, God deemed it necessary to include EVERYTHING we have in our Bible, including passages such as Ezekiel 23:18-23 which was noted by several people in our conversation. (WARNING: This could be considered very graphic language by some.)

When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister. Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled. (NIV)
A little rough? Yes. Biblical? Yes. Should we be offended? Not according to the emergents! God is simply describing how wretched and defiled the people had become. I have to admit, it certainly drives the point home.

I'm working on a flannel-graph of these verses for our 8-year-old Sunday School class. I hope I can get it finished before Sunday...

This post has been rated "S" for heavy sarcasm.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Jesus Air Freshner

I am speechless. I am without speech.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What Did He Say?!

I've never listened to a single sermon by Mark Driscoll. If he really said this, I don't believe I ever will...especially if he thinks this is appropriate content for a sermon:

Roughly two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in a dumpy, rural, hick town, not unlike those today where guys change their own oil, think pro wrestling is real, find women who chew tobacco sexy, and eat a lot of Hot Pockets with their uncle-daddy. Jesus' mom was a poor, unwed teenage girl who was often mocked for claiming she conceived via the Holy Spirit. Most people thought she concocted the crazy story to cover the fact she was knocking boots with some guy in the backseat of a car at the prom.
Steve Camp attributes this comment to Driscoll. The original post is here.

I think this is what those in the "emerging" or "emergent church" movement call cutting edge or relevant. I call it smug and potty-mouthed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Slow Week and Friday Photos

Not really much to talk about this week. I am trying to wean myself from a couple of blogs I read on a regular basis. I not going to link them here, but suffice it to say, they do not encourage me in my Christian walk. (Don't worry--they're not "porn" sites or anything like that.)

Friday Photos

Fire Bouquet

I named this photo "Fire Bouquet." Some of the metals we use in our shop require us to preheat them before they can be welded. This burner is sitting on the inside of a channel cylinder for a shell and tube heat exchanger.

Drill 1

This is one of the Carlton vertical drills we have in our shop. It looks old because it is!

flickr: Friday Photo Group

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Septic Truck

The Presidential election isn't until November 2008! I'm already sick of the whole mess...and I can't even begin to imagine another eight years of a Clinton in the White House, but I'm afraid that's exactly where we are headed.

Check out the "vanity tag."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Take A Number!

I had been standing in line for about 5 minutes when she walked up to the checkout. She didn't go to the back of the line; she just walked around everybody and started talking to the sales clerk. She wasn't buying anything; she just wanted some information, but it was still aggravating.

She didn't say "excuse me" or anything, she just walked right up to the cashier, ignoring those of us in line and asked, "Where can I find such and such?" The cashier, who was already engaged with another customer, looked at her, turned and looked (with a "what should I do?" expression) at those of us patiently waiting in line, then turned back to the "intruder" and answered her question.

The "line crasher" said "Thank you" as she walked off. NOW she has manners?!

OK. It was only a 10 second delay. No harm. No foul. The cashier is back to her original customer. I'm next.

"How can I help you?," the cashier asked me. "I'd like to exchange these items and..." That's all I got out. I was interrupted by LINE INTRUDER NUMBER TWO!!! He was obviously more important than me. He dressed better than me and that's got to count for something, right? He was also in a hurry and when you're in a hurry, well, no one else even exists! His problem was most likely a BIG problem, much bigger than my exchange, which in turn warranted his cutting to the front of the line.

Line Intruder No.2: "Where are the florescent light bulbs?"
Cashier: (wearing previous "what do I do?" face)"Well, they are, uh, I think, er uh, they're on (pointing) that aisle."
Line Intruder No.2: "Gotcha." (I think that means "thank you" where he comes from)

The cashier turned to me, said "I'm sorry. What was it you wanted?" So, I proceeded--again--to explained that I wanted to exchange some items, pick up a couple more things, blah, blah, blah. She punched then buttons, printed the receipts, I signed several documents (I think I signed up for swimming lessons at one point), she asked to see the credit card I had used to make the original purchase. I gave her my social security number, driver's license and a quart of blood. In short order, the transaction was done--no more intruders.

I didn't say anything to the cashier about the line crashers. She was young and probably wouldn't have understood what I was talking about, unless I used the phrase "you know" alot. I don't understand why people are so rude.