Monday, September 25, 2006

Reality Check

I'm not sure what type of music those who read this blog listen to, but I'd like to share with readers a billboard hit, Grillz by Nelly. The first time I heard Grillz I couldn't help but laugh. Check out Grillz . . .

Grillz Nelly lyrics
Artist: Nelly
Album: Sweatsuit
Year: 2005
Title: Grillz

(feat. Paul Wall, Ali, Gipp)

Rob the jewelry store and tell 'em make me a grill.
Dirrty, R&B.
Add da whole top diamond and the bottom Row's gold.

Yo we bout to start a epidemic wit dis one
Ya'll know what dis is... So So Def

Got 30 down at the bottom, 30 mo at the top
All invisible set in little ice cube blocks
If I could call it a drink, call it a smile on da rocks
If I could call out a price, let's say I call out a lot
I got like platinum and white gold, traditional gold
I'm changin grillz errday, like Jay change clothes,
I might be grilled out nicely (oh) In my white tee (oh),
On South beach (oh) in my wife beat.
V V and studded you can tell when they cut it
Ya see my granmama hate it, but my lil mama love it
Cuz when I...

Open up ya mouth, ya grill gleamin (say what)
Eyes stay low from da cheifin'

I got a grill I call penny candy you know what that means,
It look like Now n Laters, gum drops, jelly beans
I wouldn't leave it for nothin only a crazy man would
So if you catch me in ya city, somewhere out in ya hood just say

Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
Let me see ya grill
(Let you see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Rob da jewelry store and tell 'em make me a grill)
Smile fo me daddy
(What you lookin at)
I want to see your grill
(You wanna see my what)
Ya, ya grill ya, ya, ya grill
(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom Row's gold)

[Paul Wall]
What it do baby
It's da ice man Paul Wall
I got my mouth lookin somethin like a disco ball
I got da diamonds and da ice all hand set
I might cause a cold front if I take a deep breath
My teeth gleaming like I'm chewin on aluminum foil
Smilein showin off my diamonds sippin on some Pinot Noir
I put my money where my mouth is and bought a grill
20 carrots 30 stacks let 'em know im so fo real
My motivation is them 30 pointers V VS the furniture my mouth
Piece simply symbolize success
I got da wrist wear and neck wear dats captivatin
But it's my smile dats got these on-lookers spectatin
My mouth piece simply certified a total package
Open up my mouth and you see mo carrots than a salad
My teeth are mind blowin givin everybody chillz
Call me George Foreman cuz I'm sellin everybody grillz


Gipp got dem yellows, got dem purples, got dem reds
Lights gon hit ya and make you woozie in ya head
You can catch me in my 2 short drop
Mouth got colors like a fruit loop box

Dis what it do when da lou
Ice grill Country Grammar
Where da hustlas move bricks
and da gangsta's bang hamma's
Where I got em you can spot them
On da top in da bottom
Gotta bill in my mouth like im Hillary Rodham

I ain't dissin no body but lets bring it to da lite
Gipp was da first wit my mouth bright white
Yeah deez hos can't focus cuz they eyesight blurry
Tippin on some 4's you can see my mouth jewelry

I got fo different sets its a fabolous thang
1 white, 1 yellow, like Fabolous chain
and da otha set is same got my name in da mold

(Had a whole top diamonds and da bottom Row's gold)


Boy how you get grill that way and
How much did you pay
Every time I see you
Tha first thing I'm gon' say hey.....


Still I laugh when I hear this song. But on the other side of things it points to a sad, sad reality of so many people looking to a world of materialism to bring joy and satisfaction.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What's New

There are many new and exciting adventures the Hutcheson's are traveling through these days. While these adventures carry too much time for this blog, let me tell you about the latest small pleasure that has come into our lives, though, my wife would say my life.

A NEW IPOD! Not just any ipod, it's a video pod. The question that immediately comes to mind is, "why in the world do you need a video pod?" You don't, but let me tell you the enjoyment I have with this sucker.

Overall, the iTunes world is one you must invest in, period. You can freely subscribe to a vast range of podcasts. Podcasting is simply a way to receive broadcasts from ESPN, CNN, NPR and many others. If you miss Dan Patrick's radio show, you can simply listen to your podcast. I know, simply amazing.

The iPod world has been the title wave that has consumed me in the information age. The blogosphere is endless, and I attempt to read many blogs, but the depth of iTunes in its infantile beginning is immense. Now there are many podcasts to keep listening to regularly. Read the New York Times story on Apple's plans for iPod.

What makes the internet and iTunes so great is the accessibility of sermons. Right now you can go to certain sites like Desiring God or individual church websites like Buck Run Baptist Church, but iTunes is providing accessibility to so much in one place. Right now not every church is linked to be podcasted but many are such as Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY.

It is necessary for believers to surround themselves with sound biblical teaching and music throughout their week. These podcasts are free and provide just this exact necessity. As with any smogusboard, there are many poor items to search through just as in bookstores that exist for the church there are many poor, horrid books, iTunes has tasteless, "Christian" podcasts and music.

Currently, I subscribe to The Village from Dallas, TX, Mars Hill in Seattle, Southern Seminary's chapel sermons, Resurgence (video), Denny Burk (teacher at Criswell College), and Mars Hill music. I can't recommend Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village, enough, and there is much to say about Mark Driscoll check out his blog here here here

The a-spiritual podcasts I have are National Geographic (video), Blue Man Group (video), Multisport Video Podcasts, AtomFilms To Go, ESPN radio with Dan Patrick and Keith Obermann, and 60-second science.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for blogs on world religion/paganism and egg harvesting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Left overs

There have been few postings over the past month, however, that does not mean I am out of the blogosphere. Keep checking for updates. I will be posting more thoughts and reflections over the next few weeks.

A few short notes . . .

Spam has infected blog notes as evidenced by the gambling invitations below.

Pluto is not a planet! The new definition of what constitues a planet excludes Pluto and the recently discovered Zena.

Steve Irwin is dead! Irwin said in his show, "I want to be remembered for passion and enthusiasm." There is no doubt that anyone would discredit Irwin of either two descriptions. This untimely death reminds us all that no matter our expertise, health, or strength, life is temporary and out of our control. Thank God for His grace to humanity and that God is in control.

Louisiana is stripping Bastrop High School of the 5A football state championship due to illegal recruiting! Dan Patrick, sports commentator, brought this news to my ears crying foul toward the Louisiana Athletic Board. Katrina devastated schools, homes, and sports. Athletes were told they could transfer to any school and play. Coaches from Bastrop recruited two players providing housing to them and their families. These football coaches did not provide material items to nonfootball players. Now the whistle has been blown and everyone including Dan Patrick says there is no harm done even if wrong/violation was done. I only bring write this as an illustration of our society. Even when wrong is done, individuals in this society claim no wrong, no sin. I am not belittling what Katrina did, but I am condemning coaches who took advantage of the situation, and now expect the violations they knowingly committed to be dismissed. What is done in the dark will be brought to the light.

If you love the guitar, buy all you can of Leo Kottke!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Messiah's Mansion Comes to Louisville

A full size replica of the Tabernacle will be at the Pewee Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church from July 29 - August 6.

A small Christian school located in Harrah, OK built the replica and has travelled across the United States, even to Bermuda, with the exhibit. Check out the Courier Journal story which includes a multimedia video on the setup of the exhibit when it travels.

I plan on making a trip to the Seventh-day Adventist Church one of the days the display is in town. If you want to go, just let me know.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I have it!

This weekend I am traveling to Princeton, KY once again. Yes, I am thoroughly excited to hold my nephew, Preston Luke for the first time. As enthralling as that is, our trip home was originally planned for my ten year reunion.

Ten years ago I, along with many graduates, could not wait to load up the car and hit the highway headed OUT OF TOWN, most notably - OUT OF PRINCETON. Eighteen years of childhood was now on the brink of extinction. Satisfaction was not in Princeton but somewhere on the horizon.

I was thilled when I ascended 75 North out of Kentucky looking onward to the grand skyline of Cincinnati (although, my mother did not hold the same emotion once Cincinnati's skyline dominated her vision).

Once I arrived and became acclimated with the school and other's who found their way to Mount St. Joseph, I was surprised to find disdain for the New World. For many, they were in the same situation - the city, at a private, Catholic school. Life was not in Cincinnati - it was somewhere else. There was nothing new, fresh, and exciting. It wasn't what they were looking for.

In the same way, people I met who had grown up in Louisville had the same disdain for life. There was no satisfaction in the present. It wasn't in Princeton; it wasn't in Cincinnati; it wasn't in Louisville.

This past Christmas, my wife and I were at Kroger in Houston, TX. We were shopping for Powdered Sugar, and to our surprise, Kroger was out. In my disbelief, I uttered my discovery outloud. A newby middle aged woman garbled, "What do you expect? It's Dickinson, TX."

The fourth largest city in the United States is out of confectionate sugar and is clearly the most desolate region in the world. Needless to say, nothing sweet can be found in Houston.

The dissatisfaction for all of these people is that everyone is truly longing for something better - something other worldly. The sad reality for many people is that ultimate joy is waiting for them. Every town or city that I claim as my home for the rest of my life will never satisfy my longings. I can search down every road and each establishment, but I will not find satisfaction apart from Jesus Christ. I will not find God apart from His Word, and I will not find a faithful witness of His Word apart from a New Testament Church.
The church is the evidence of the Kingdom of Christ in this present world. I can attest that the church is not the Kingdom nor will it ever be nor are there perfect people in the church. However, right now the Kingdom is reigning in the lives of those who are living with the peace of God that rests in hope of the coming King.
I know I want something better. I know I haven't found it in any city. But I have found the greatest treasure ever to be found.

A Great Question

I'm posting Mark Dever's recent blog from Together for the Gospel. Shively Heights is asking itself these very things due to the absense of the vast majority of our role.

Should Evangelists Question Professions of Faith?
by mdever

Sometimes I get the feeling that people think there's something wrong with questioning the reality of a profession of faith. It's legalistic, or judging, or holier than thou. Or something.

But if evangelists want to see lost sinners saved, and if evangelists know that we sinners can deceive ourselves, then it's not surprising that we want to try to make sure (with all appropriate qualifications about our limitedness) that conversions professed are conversions possessed.

Or is it just sour-faced theologians who think about such things? Are preachers who think about such things unevangelistic? Here's what one preacher said, reflecting on Jesus' parable of the sower and the soils. “There are so many stony ground hearers, who receive the Word with joy, that I have determined to suspend my judgment till I know the tree by its fruits. I cannot believe they are converts until I see fruit brought back; it will never do a sincere soul any harm.”

Does such a determination seem uncharitable or unevangelistic? What preacher would say such a thing? That was George Whitefield (as cited by Carey Hardy, “Just as I am” in John MacArthur, ed., Fool’s Gold, [2005], pp. 136-137). I don't think George Whitefield was unevangelistic for wanting to know a tree by its fruit, and neither are we today. In fact, I think such a concern would actually help our churches to do more real evangelism.

And besides, as Whitefield says, such caution "will never do a sincere soul any harm."

What should we do? Encourage the new believer in all things good. Remind them of the gospel. After some appropriate time (which would vary much from case to case) they should be baptized and join a church. They should regularly hear the preaching of the Word, commune, fellowship, pray and obey the Word. They should be building relationships in order to do that. And they should be told to hope in Christ alone for their salvation. Our desire is to find every professor getting safely home to heaven.

And then what about counting converts? The final tally will be made by God in due time. And that's the only tally that matters.

Monday, July 10, 2006

O Happy Day

My sister had a baby boy July 4. His name is Preston Luke. I am officially an uncle now!
Preston was born one month early, but still weighed a whopping 6 lbs. and 11 oz. Karen and I planned to attend a shower Saturday so we were able to see the baby. Preston is still in the Neonatul unit at the hospital, but he has had steady, rapid improvement. The last month of pregnancy really enables the development of a baby's lungs. We give God glory for answering many prayers and giving Preston and Cindy good health!
We went to the hospital Saturday, which was the first time my parents were able to hold the baby. My father was in a rush mood to get to the hospital and hold his first grandbaby. Even as I write those words, I get emotional again because I know the love, the excitement, and the joy that my dad has in this child. Mom was elated in the same way as she held her first grandchild. I am thrilled for Cindy and Ivan and their new boy. Let's continue to pray for Preston's recovery, Cindy's health, and for Cindy and Ivan as parents.

City of God

I just began reading Augustine's City of God. Augustine wrote this magnificient work over fourteen years due to his friend's, Marcellinius, request. A procounsel of the Roman Empire, Volusianus was in dialogue with Marcellinius and accused the Christians and their ethics for the fall of Rome. Marcellinius sent word to Augustine for a reply against these accusations. Augustine's entire City of God is twenty-two books, about three volumes. I am reading the abridged version. From time to time I will post certain quotes or blocks of text in order to share certain gems of Augustine's great work.

Nevertheless, God's patience is an invitation to the wicked to do penance, just as God's scourge is a school of patience for the good. In like manner, God's mercy embraces the good with love, just as His severith corrects the wicked with punishement. It has pleased Divine Providence to prepare for the just joys in the world to come in which the unjust will have no part; and for the impious, pains which will not afflict the virtuous. But, as for the paltry goods and evils of this transitory world, these He allotted alike to just and unjust, in order that men might not seek too eagerly after those goods which they see even the wicked to possess, or shrink too readily from those ills which commonly afflict the just.

Book 1 chapter 8

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Karen is my wife!

The longer I live the more I begin to understand how phenomenal my wife is. I wish I could tell you everything that she does in a day, but that would take oh so long and might become a bit laborious for you, the reader. What I do want you to know is just how wonderful my wife is to me.
Monday night after two exillerating games of Laser Tag with the youth, I discovered many messages, voice mails, and missed calls on my phone. I quickly discovered that my wife, Karen, came face to face Jim James. For those of you that don't know, Jim James is the lead singer of My Morning Jacket. This band, in my opinion, plays the greatest music to ever have been created. So much so, that when I listen to other music, in the back of my mind somewhere, I'm thinking, "I could be listening to My Morning Jacket." I encourage you to sample My Morning Jacket.
After she aced (literally) a test at Spalding, Karen decided to get a bite to eat at City Cafe, or as I like to think of it, she was drawn to City Cafe for THE MEETING. Karen didn't take in all of her meal. She was too concentrated on internal questioning - "Is it him? I don't know? Why is no one else staring or talking to him? It's got to be him. Yes! Yes, it is Jim James! John Mark will kill me if I don't talk to him." She picked up one of the Leo magazines from the rack then proceeded to the cash register for a pen. Upon asking to borrow a pen, she learned they only had one - THEY ONLY HAD ONE!!! She promised to be quick.
At the right time, Karen made her move. She introduced herself and apologized for staring only to learn that they too had been staring at her wondering if her shirt was vintage. Karen was wooed by the Rock-n-Roll superstar persona unable to speak normally. Nonetheless, Karen let me know Jim James was very nice and naturally cool . . . because he's a rockstar. She continued to have a short conversation with Jim James and GOT HIS AUTOGRAGH FOR ME!!!
My reaction to all of this?
Naturally, I would have liked to meet him. I'm not upset I missed it; I know my day is coming. The most exciting part of Monday night's events were my wife's desires for me. She was exuberated to give me such a gift. Her entire motive in the meeting was to give me joy - what I wanted. I can't explain to you how satisfied I felt in her that night as she explained to me play-by-play everything that went down. She did give me a truly, wonderful gift - herself. Karen continues to show me how in love with me she is by demonstrate her love for me. I have an awesome wife who plans her life around me, changes her plans for me, and loves me even more everyday.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One Unaccounted Variable

The New York Times published an article today titled, "An Anti-Addictive Pill?" Benoit Denizet-Lewis recaps most recent studies, research, medications, and plans to treat addiction. Denizet-Lewis diagnoses the current problem in America with addiction and discusses later in the article the range of addictions that Americans deal such as behavioral addictions like gambling and sex. With a quick trip through the pharmaceutical history of addiction treatment, one can clearly see there are tantamount developments in research, medicine, and theory.

Even though the common reader may not be very well versed in the neurological make-up of the brain and the biological observation of addiction, this article discusses dopamine D2 receptors, the relationship between GABA and glutamate, and the pharmaceutical salvation through vaccines and anti-addiction medicine.

In regard to dopamine's potential cause and effect on addiction, Denizet-Lewis says,

In fact, we don't yet know how to do much when it comes to dopamine and addiction. Understanding how the neurotransmitter works may help us to understand addiction better, but it hasn't led to any effective medications, the ultimate goal of many researchers. Because addiction seems to disrupt so many different brain regions, neuroscientists are now casting a wider net in their pursuit of effective medications. For some, the new frontier involves the brain's two major "workhorse" neurotransmitters: GABA and glutamate.

In regard to GABA and it's role in preventing addiction Denizet-Lewis turns to "Hythiam, a Los Angeles-based health care services management company that made national news in the spring when it plastered Chris Farley's face — with the words 'It Wasn't All His Fault.'"

She goes on to quote Sanjay Sabnani, Hythiam's senior vice president for strategic development. He says, "It's all hypothesis at this point, because we haven't sliced open anyone's brain yet, but it seems that normalizing the GABA receptor takes away the craving and anxiety that one would typically experience in the absence of the drug. And it doesn't appear to be happening because of will power, love, God, discipline, family support or anything else. It seems to be happening because the protocol resets a faulty mechanism in the brain."

Soon after reading about the British company Xenova Group Plc creation of effective vaccines for cocaine and nicotine addiction, we read that addiction specialists believe America will stop having to use the word "treat". Rather, we will use "cure".

The biological and neurological advancements that have been made in the last five years are great news for what can be done to aid and prevent suffering due to the effects of addiction. However, as seen evidenced in the article, no one can explain why addiction occurs, and there are high hopes of biologically correcting this problem.

The author does handle the spiritual component of an individual and offers a scientific study that comprimises the foundation of addiction being totally a biological cause.

The author concludes with her story with William C. Moyers. Read on,

. . . a recovery advocate (and the son of the journalist Bill Moyers) who for 12 years has been free of crack and alcohol, was invited to speak at the M.I.T. conference. In a room full of scientists and addiction researchers obsessed with the intricacies of the human brain, Moyers read a lecture that reminded them that treating addiction might be even more complicated than they thought.

"I have an illness with origins in the brain. . .but I also suffered with the other component of this illness," he told the gathered researchers and scientists, some of whom dutifully took notes. "I was born with what I like to call a hole in my soul.. . .A pain that came from the reality that I just wasn't good enough. That I wasn't deserving enough. That you weren't paying attention to me all the time. That maybe you didn't like me enough."

The conference room was as quiet as it had been all day. "For us addicts," he continued, "recovery is more than just taking a pill or maybe getting a shot.. . .Recovery is also about the spirit, about dealing with that hole in the soul."

In his paraphrase of Blaise Pascal, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart," Moyers summarizes the problem and the need. Sin has infected every person so that whether someone manifests an addiction and another has an overt anger problem, we are all sinners. We are all unsatisfied sinners. The only full satisfaction and joy that will gratify my every longing and want is the Creator. The first need that everyone must resolve is the sin problem. We have the Gospel, and it does transform people and their desires by offering to fill exactly what is wanted.

Resource - The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Conventional Thinking

Dr. Mohler has a new blog to which he will address issues relating to and being discuessed in the Southern Baptist Convention. Check it out at

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Being Humbled

Ping pong is central to the youth ministry at Shively Heights. I like to think I'm good at ping pong. My learning began just a few years ago at Southern Seminary. Thank you Adrian, whereever you are. After that brief semester of ping pong, I acquired a decent foundation and thought myself a fair player. Now that the game has elevated to such high status of activity at church, I am a prominent player. I can go out with friends of my own age and dominate them. That's right Mitchell Scott - I dominate you at ping pong.
However, there is one teenager. That's right one teenager spoils my joy of competitive supremacy in all things. His name is Michael. He handedly won the Ping pong tournament at Shively Heights a few months ago defeating me in the finals with an easy three game sweep.
This Sunday was the first time we had played in over a month. I challenged him before Sunday school and took down him easily. Then we proceeded to our Sunday morning Bible study on unity from Philippians 2:1-11. The lesson was heard as well as this group of teens hears on a summer, Sunday morning, and were quiet during the group activities, and questions. They were hard pressed to give examples of how they could exhibit humbleness, patience, and gentleness to others. Very well.
We didn't play after Sunday school, but don't worry, I had this teenager in my scope. After church Sunday night, I told him he was going to be humbled and I was going to defeat him . . . easily. What serves there were! What slams there were! Oh, the unfathomable returns there were! Spinning, power, precision. Words can't explain the battles, FIVE TO BE PRECISE, waged in the Basement. The scores were tight 11-9 (three times!!!), 11-8, and once battling it out through deuce to win by two. Alas, I was winless, 0-5.
There is nothing more humbling than knowing as a 27 year old I cannot overcome a 17 year old in the simplest of games.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Know Your Roots

Just prior to heading to Greensboro, NC for the SBC, I picked up two books dealing with Southern Baptist history, Dr. Tom Nettles - A Foundation for the Future and Dr. R. Stanton Norman - More Than Just a Name. Each year before the convention, I become read up on Southern Baptist history and heritage. Last year I read Paul Presslor's A Hill Worth Dying For, which details a layman's perspective of the conservative resurgence or for those who like to term the shift beginning in 1979 as "The Takeover". This book details the grass roots movement of people in Southern Baptist churches that saw the direction of the denomination moving far from the Gospel and biblical authority. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the account and recommend it to every Southern Baptist and to anyone interested in denominational history of the 20th century.
I am thankful to have been born in Western Kentucky into a Southern Baptist family. Although my sociological landing is not the sole reason I am a Baptist. I know why I am a Baptist, and I know the roots of my denomination. In short, Baptist proclaim the Bible as the sole authority of life and the church. Baptists have churned out their theology and practice based on the Bible and carry out the life of the church based on the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). In short, Baptists were a missional group thanks to the urging and going of William Carey, Adorium Judson, and Luther Rice. There were associations amongst churches throughout the North and South whose sole existance was to send missionaries "to the ends of the earth."
The downfall of Baptist unity and emergence of Southern Baptist identity came in the 19th century. The General Missionary Convention of the United States of America for Freign Missions denied slaveholders the right to be missionaries. The Constitution stated, "Such persons only as are in full communion with some church of our denomination, and furnish satisfactory evidence of genuine piety, good talents, and fervent zeal for the Redeemer's cause, are to be employed as missionaries and are not slaveholders." The South diverged from the Convention at this point - slavery. Those in the South desired to send missionaries but could not abolish slavery immediately and thus, formed the Southern Baptist Convention. Nettles comments,
In the words of Jams B. Taylor, a Virgina Baptist, the action had the effect of "forbidding us to go to the Gentiles." This was a condition that the Baptists of the South could not tolerate. Going into all the world, a Christian duty so recently rediscovered, could not so soon be forsaken. The only option was to form a new convention. The mixture of good and bad, grace and nature, Spirit and flesh is quite remarkable in these events. That a sinful racism penetrated much of the thinking and motivation of Baptists in the South cannot be denied. It appeared in many differrent modifications and in some was only slight and greatly softened by gracious kindness. Along with this, a genuine fervor for gospel preaching in the whole world branded the consciousness of Baptists. Inspite of the cloud that dulled their consciences concerning the "peculiar institution," they were guilelessly committted to that which is infinitely excellent - missions. A missionary plant grew from missionary soil.

While this division was not new to me, one still has to admit the difficulty in the SBC's history. As I was reminded of America's and Baptist's past, I was present during one notable speaker at the 149th Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Mohler drew attention to our history and the significance of Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice addressing the Convention. She identified herself as a woman of faith and prayer, and said that she literally grew up in the back of a church her father pastored. Dr. Mohler highlighted the continual applause to her address on the issues of foreign policy, and most notably to Rice's denunciation of human trading still present in the world. The Convention body continued to align themselves with Rice as she stated the United States's goal to abolish human trafficking.
The Southern Baptist Convention was born with a desire to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth at a time when great ethical concern and moral havoc was present throughout the South. It is very refreshing to know the SBC has remedied the fault of it's origin yet continues to carry out the church's mission - "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

To Greensboro

I'm leaving this afternoon for the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, NC. You can follow along with live bloggers Don Hinkle and Scott Lamb.
I'm traveling with the other John Mark, and we'll meet up with Chris Mills who's flying down.
I'm excited for the SBC; pray that this will be a unifying convention and a time for all present to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

Friday, June 09, 2006

News Flash

(Bad joke approaching)
It seems a new meaning has been given to "dog fight".

Summer Camp

This week I returned from summer camp. One of the benefits of being a youth minister is that I still get to attend camp. These teenagers and I went to Talladega, AL for a Student Life camp. Check out pictures and the worship services here.
I chose this particular camp because of the speaker - Ergun Caner. Caner is harsh and abrasive, even as his own words testify, "I am an equal opportunity offender." Needless to say, he lived up to the description.
Caner's strength is motivating believers to defend the faith and to know their faith. He often tells crowds that he is not a pastor. Caner's a fighter, a debater. Even in house, the SBC, he's a fighter, but in house everyone needs to love more, respect more, and share the Gospel more.
The surprise in worship were the song leaders - Billy and Cindy Foote. No, the Feete did not lead us in worship. Their songs were on target with great biblical content, and they led repitition were it was warranted. The song that resonated in my mind throughout camp and even now is "Set Free". Check them out on iTunes, but the bottom line is buy their music because it is a blessing.
The group that went to camp was small, and we had a tremendous time growing together in love. These teenagers were refreshed with the commitment to know the Word, and walked away with a desire to begin memorizing Scripture - books not simply verses.
Pray for the students at Shively Heights to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and to be the person that makes an eternity's difference in someone's life.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Same Ol' Misunderstanding

Woody Harrelson and his wife celebrated the birth of their third daughter, Makani Ravello.
He commented, "In this crazy patriarchal world we live in, we are doing our part to balance the energy. We are proud to announce the completion of our goddess trilogy with the birth of our third daughter, Makani Ravello."
The feminist agenda is determined to undermine the goodness of Patriachy. Harrelson exclaims his part to counter the poor example of patriarchy because the the world does not understand God's design for man as husband and woman as wife. Thanks to Woody we know white men can jump. Now let the church show Woody and the watching world the biblical call to patriarchy gives the utmost satisfaction and fulfillment to men, women, children, husbands, and wives.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Things Change

My wife and I have been married for ten months and have had quite the adventure in this first year of marriage. Many people joked about things changing after you get married and after the "honeymoon" fades away. I can testify that we have a wonderful marriage, and I am more in love with her today than I have ever been.
I do understand there are some things that pass away, die once a single man is married. I am thankful to God to be married and have her as my wife, but I note there is one thing that changed after Karen and I were married. One small, minor, and insignificant thing that I did not expect to pass away once we were married; I had plans that it should rather intensify.
When I lived as a bachelor, one of the fragrances I loved to grace my apartment, as did Mitchell my roommate, was Nag Champa. Nag Champa (Näg chumpa) is a flower in India that is used to make incense, soap, oils and such. Before Karen and I married, she enjoyed coming over to my apartment where she was welcomed by this smell that reminded her of me. I was thrilled that Karen was fond of incense and especially Nag Champa.
However, I was not ready for the abrupt end to my Nag Champa days. After we married and returned to Louisville, naturally, I wanted our house to be filled with the aroma of Nag Champa. After a short time, of Nag Champa in our house, I found out that since Karen and I were now together she didn't need Nag Champa to remind her of me. After all my apartment is now her apartment. She like coming over to my apartment and smell the burning stick, but then she went home to her own "clean" smell. She had no desire for her house to reek of Nag Champa or in her words "a Buddhist temple" or "an Indian Mosque".
I was flabbergasted and speechless. Needless to say, I don't light it in the house anymore.
But I do have Nag Champa in my office at church. I don't light it too much there because I'm sure of what the concensus is. I am delighted with the smell of unburnt incense in my office.
So where do I burn my favored smell? The Pontiac Grand Am has become my Nag Champa sanctuary (not in a Buddhist sense mind you). That's right I have retreated to my car and burn incense while in motion. I am my Father's son who has in the past had to retreat his Little Debbie's to his vehicle due to my mother's insistence that those foods should not be kept in her kitchen. It is all I know. When your wife says, "Not in the house," then it's to the car.
I'm not saying that this is the best arrangement in Karen's eyes, but she gives me this indulgence. I love my wife, and I love our exciting marriage. I can say for her, she does not love my smells except after a long shower.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ironman Finishers

Two weeks ago my wife and I competed with 2300 other people in the Florida Half Ironman. The total mileage we tracked Sunday was 70.3. It all begins with swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56, then running 13.1. My wife has done two marathons before but this was her first ever triathlon, and what a triathlon it was! Seth, my cousin also posted his first triathlon in the Ironman. Nathan Hardeman a fellow youth minister now in Orlando, FL finished his second half Ironman with us.
I can't tell you what an accomplishment this race was unless you were there to feel the heat. It was a HOT day. Nonetheless everyone finished! Everyone survived!
You might read the mileage a half Ironman entails and think it's impossible. The key element to accomplishing this event is determination. Karen showed great determination and tough grit in the half. The temperature was sweltering that day, and we all came to drastic thoughts of not finishing once we were on the run course. The driving motivation that pushed us through the race was to finish. The bottom line is you either finish or you don't. At the end of the day, did you finish? I don't care how bad it hurts - I WILL FINISH.
I say all of that to encourage you to be on Team Hutcheson, and do the next race with us. We're still planning out our races for next year - join us now and get in on all of the excitement.

Al Gore & Global Warming

"An Inconvenient Truth" features Al Gore's message of world destruction due to global warming. I don't support Gore politically or laugh at his opening in the movie, "I'm Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States."
However, there is more to politics than the moral platform. I encourage everyone to vote for candidates that view sex and the family through a biblical worldview, but let's remember to be aware of environmental issues and speak accordingly as stewards of this world.
Read about "An Inconvenient Truth": New York Times Sundance Film Festival Junk science

Memorial Day Plans

If your planning your Memorial Day parties, let me add one to your list. At Louisville Slugger Field, EarthSave is hosting Taste of Health - a "healthy people, health planet festival".
There will be several restaurants on site offering samples from $1-2. EarthSave is not an exclusively vegetarian organization but this day will provide solely vegetarian dishes. The Slugger Field concessions will be closed but don't worry there will be plenty of veggy dogs on hand.
Parents don't throw this suggestion out the door just yet. One of the speakers during the 10 - 2 outing is Dr. Antonia Demas presenting "Kids and Vegetables: Can They be Friends?" The web site notes, "Created by Dr. Demas, “Food Is Elementary” is a remarkably successful, award-winning program that teaches children about food and nutrition through dynamic multi-cultural lessons which engage all the senses. This cooking demo will focus on making healthy foods appealing to kids." Vegetables were always more appealing to my napkin than my tastebuds when I was a child.
Plus, Wayne Pacelle CEO of The Humane Society will be present to "discusses the impacts our dietary and consumer choices have on the lives of animals, from pets to animals raised on factory farms."
The goal of the whole day is to provide education so people can make educated choices for a healthier lifestyle. I'm no vegetarian but I can afford to eat healthier rather than succomb to my double cheeseburger cravings. For all those that need to hear Wayne educate them on dietary choices, have a great time. For everyone else have a great grill day this holiday.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Flaming Lips war with the Truth

The Flaming Lips released their new album "At War with the Mystics". They are considered one of the quintessential psychedelic rock groups making such intriging releases like the 4 CD album Zaireeka.
I heard a short piece of their interview last night with David Dye on the World Cafe as they discussed the meaning of their title "At War with the Mystics".
Listen here
The interesting dialoge happens around the 23 minute mark and goes on for about five minutes. In this segment, Wayne Coyne describes what he thinks of art and how the listener (or viewer) adds to the circle of interpretation. He says,
"Art reaches people who are curious about it's meaning . . . . Instead of me saying it means one specific thing and everybody else is wrong . . . I like the idea that it is sort of subjective."
Enjoy your meaning.

Liberalism's ethnocentricism

Once again, liberalism shows it's teeth against another nation determining it's morality. The objection comes against Jakarta, Indonesia attempting to criminalize the pornagraphy industry. Here we find the liberal agenda crying foul play because it sees personal rights (autonomy) limited.
The acts that would be considered criminal come from a non-Christian government but still view pornography as morally wrong and bad for society. There are presently laws forbidding pornography in Jakarta. However, there is a lack of enforcement to the present laws. The proposed law attempts to legislate morality not only against pornography but also what is permissible forms of affection and fashion in public.
By no means do I agree with the ideology behind Jakarta's Muslim government or the entire piece of legislation, but I do find interesting the opposition - intolerant toleration. Listen to the report from NPR here.

Farewell Myspace

As you might have noticed, I have been a very infrequent blogger over the past two months. After great pressure from various people, I finally succombed to the myspace craze. Yes, I even became a Myspace phanatic. For those unaware of the latest internet epidemic, Myspace is the culmination of everything that Internet communication has to offer: messaging, pictures, videos, all comments all on your own personal page with your own personal flare. Once you set up your page with it's cool background and your favorite song or song that describes you playing in the background, you are set to add friends to your page which links your pages together.
As a youth minister, it allowed me to view and read all that teenagers were writting about themselves and their life experience. Teenagers expose their emotions and desires for all to see and for anyone to fill. My job was to link parents up with their child's site and password in order to view not only their public page but private messages.
This craze is a great example of living in the world but not of this world. Is it wrong to be involved in something that has overtly sexual advertisements all over it? Is it wrong to allow a venue for women to mesage a married man requesting to be his friend? Is it wrong to have teenagers as your friend who have foul, rauchy pictures and messages all over their page?
There are many dangers on the internet in general and Myspace is a specific hub for sexual predators and sinful enticements to grab not only teenagers but any aged person. On the other hand, teenagers are on Myspace whether the Christian church is or not.
Our lifestyle must be determined by making the wisest choice rather than making an okay choice. Myspace has no real meaning for me now because I live for another space yet to come.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I've decided on a topic

When I was young 5 or 6, I wondered about being a preacher, but I knew I could never have that much to say. As a young adult, I have found much to say. As a youth minister, it is my responsibility to give students accurate and applicable Bible lessons. One has to answer, "how should I do that?"
Drugs, sex, and materialism are the main culprits that prey on teenagers today just as when you were young. Random passages or an arsenal of verses from various places in the Bible can be compiled to give an interesting, intriguing, and important sermon for teenagers to apply to their lives. Just look at any devotion book or sermon preparation aid, but one has to answer, "is that New Testament?"
Long ago (in the fall) I began taking teenagers on a trek through Romans as our study during Wednesday night worship. I answered to myself that teenagers need to hear how great God is in His mercy to us. I deeply desired to give students, teenagers, pre-adults a vision for how great God is. The first eleven chapters of Romans don't detail who to date, how far one should go on a date, or what music is "good". But Paul does tell a disciple how AWESOME God is in His mercy to him, to her, to me.
Tom Schreiner in his commentary on Romans warns the reader not to limit Paul's exhortation to the end of the letter - ch. 12-15 (cf 6:11-13, 8:12). Paul has described the peril of every individual born seperated from God and how God's merciful hand rescues individuals from such depths. ". . . telling what God has done for sinful humas - must underlie the imperatives outlinging one's duty and obligation to God. Carrying out the imperatives would be an impossibility without the indicative."
Why should a youth minister spend so much time telling a 21st century, myspace-ing, 10000-song-in-my-pocket teenager about a 1,952 year old letter?
I'll tell you why. Because God is as true today as He was 1,952 years ago, and God satisfies the minds, hearts, and souls of people regardless of culture and time.
I recently read C. S. Lewis's lecture "The Weight of Glory". He said, "Indeed if we regard the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, we would see the Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition WHEN INFINITE JOY IS OFFERED US, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in a slum because he can't imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea."
I answer to teenagers every week so they can know how great our God is.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Obessesive Weather Disorder

Last night my wife Karen and I were watching Law & Order as the weather reports began to thunderstorm on me. Lately, Karen has become subject to my rants about the absurdity of news commercials. I am astounded with the pride each major channel delights itself in communicating how effective, safe, and reliable it's weather reporting is.
This blog is another one of my brother-in-law's prophecies letting you know too much information about a blogger's life. Nonetheless, I hate weather reports. The forecast is always as enjoyable as you wish to enjoy it. Have a sunny day :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

One Wild Show . . .

On Thursday night Karen and I went to the Dave Crowder and Third Day concert at The Palace. The main attraction for us was the Dave Crowder Band, however, they're the opening act for Third Day's tour.
Mac Powell, Third Day front man, was very entertaining and personal throughout the show. He continually talked about the Louisville show being unique and different like none other show ever. Mac definitely made it a reality.
Two Highpoints
Anyone that has ever been to any show has heard that one guy scream in all of his gusto with all of his passion, "FREEBIRD!" Many bands today ridicule that guy and sometimes even the audience that condones the request. Maybe some of you have been that guy. I have played my part in this ritual as that guy. But you don't really expect a band to do it; it's more of a rite of passage that makes a show - A SHOW.
Well, Mac surprised the rest of the band and said they would do a request. You know the request that I'm talking about. When he said what it would be, there was a few screams and many questions. Nonetheless, Third Day played Freebird, not all of it, but they played it - AWESOME!!!
Third Day brought the Dave Crowder Band back on stage for a little help. Before any music roared from the stage, Mac and Dave had some witty banter to exchange. Anyone that has ever seen David Crowder knows he is an interesting character. Check this out. Mac highlighted his features, and in a complimentary way (?) said he had the features of a Kung Fu Master. Dave Crowder laments it is not the case because he's a pacifist. Somehow the next thing that happened was an INDIAN LEG WRESTLE CHALLENGE!!! Now Crowder had no idea what this was, and once they were both on their backs preparing for this epic battle they both admitted, "this is a bit awkward." Awkward but once again awesome! Dave Crowder and Mac Powell locked legs laying side-by-side heads at opposite ends. Crowder quickly took advantage and plunged his leg and foot to the floor flipping Powell. They showed great sportsmanship after the bout and sang a bluegrass favorite for many in Kentucky - Saw the Light.
This show was like none other.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

John Piper's Cancer

John Piper is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been a faithful pastor and preacher there since 1980. Piper has done a great deal to help many Christians in his church and abroad through his writings beginning with the watershed book Desiring God.

He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Click here to read his thoughts on the eve of his surgery.

The Monkey's Paw

I remember reading The Monkey's Paw when I was in eighth grade. The story capitalizes on the fantasy to have any three wishes. Although, this story is quite different than the genie in a lamp wishes. Each time a wish comes true something horrific happens - so horrific that the wish turns into tragedy rather than a celebration.
I also remember hearing evangelist Sam Cathey declare from the pulpit that one should never pray for patience because you don't want to go through what God has in store for you to receive that spiritual gift. He said it numerous times and I've heard since then by numerous preachers, but even at such a young age I knew that he was wrong. I didn't know precisely why, but I knew he was wrong.
I stand on many promises that God has spoken to me through His Word. First and foremost, I have a relationship with Him because I have faith that Jesus is the payment and satisfaction of my sins, He gives me peace, and He intercedes for me to God the Father. Living for God means trusting in His provisions. I read about the character of God throughout the Bible, and He is the same God of love and justice in the Old Testament and the New Testament. I know that God is infinitely perfect in every single way. There is no evil about Him in any way, shape, or form. Therefore, when God says that I should bear fruit for Him, and patience is included, then I want to bear fruit for Him.
The apostles gave us the inspired Word from God to prepare us for a harsh life in this foreign world: James (1:2-4) says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing;" Paul says in Romans 8:18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
This glory that is about to be mine is indescribable. Paul was the one who said it. Remember what he went through and yet still looked forward with such determination to live on for the sake of others: 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. That blows me away every time I read it.
But I am not like Paul. The sad reality is that I have become a consumer. I have dichotomized my life. Church and spirituality are only a part of life. The church is dying because leadership and members (I fit in both categories) are not working as Paul did pleading, reasoning, urging others to come to the Kingdom. We have to live our whole life seeking the Kingdom first (not my words).
Hell is more than a bad place that we don't want people to go to. Our relationship with God is our motivating factor that drives us to give excellent efforts in everything we do. Pursue God. We don't have any groanings the Spirit can offer to God because we don't spend any time in prayer or in the Word (cf. Rom. 8:26-27). How much time do you watch TV, spend in front of the mirror, talk on the phone, eat, or workout? How much time does God receive?
Paul wished himself damned so that his loved ones would know Christ. Who do you love that much? Paul was a driven man that did as much as he could to bring as many people to God and train them to be a daily follower of God.
God is not a monkey's paw that tricks us or connives us. Every good and perfect gift is from God, the Father. He has called me into a relationship with Him and I believe that He will complete that calling. In the mean time, I want to depend on Him through the toughest, saddest, and depressing times because I know that trust in my Father will lead to the most amazing earthquakes I could ever imagine.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Praying for an earthquake

The past two weeks in our Sunday morning Bible study emphasized having confidence in God through tough times. I agree and teach that we will be supplied with strength through dangerous times, but when I look at my life I don't have dangerous times. Paul and Silas were beaten . . . BEATEN WITH RODS ON THEIR BODIES AND FACE. They were thrown in jail . . . in a cold, dark place with hard floors. So, Paul and Silas sang . . . How Great Thou Art, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, well, songs of joy.
How does that translate today? When your teacher gives you a lower grade than you expected - sing. When the bills are more than the paycheck - sing. When you're diagnosed with cancer - sing. When you feel like Jeremiah in the days of Billy Graham - sing.
My days aren't harsh like Paul's, but oh, the moans I want groan. Let's sing, and let's sing joyfully. We know that we can . . . WE ARE BLESSED to count it all joy when we encounter trials and tribulations for we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. And let this perseverance have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
The best part about suffering is the earthquake that comes at the end. Paul and Silas saw the jailor and his whole family put their faith in Christ.
Where's my earthquake? Who's the jailor I get to lead out of darkness and into light?

Da Vinci Code Breakers

There is trouble in the making for author Dan Brown. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, authors of the 1982 nonfiction book “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,” are suing publisher Random House, Inc. claiming that Brown developed much of his plot line from their research and final theory regarding Jesus' crucifixion and life.
The New York Times reports
The three authors spent five years, from 1976 to 1981, researching the book, they say, before arriving at what they call the "central architecture" of their argument. It is this architecture — the trajectory of the case they make in "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" — that they say Mr. Brown appropriated, rather than individual words or passages.

"It is not as though Brown has simply lifted a discrete series of raw facts from 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,' " the plaintiffs argue in court papers. "He has lifted the connections that join the points up." They continue: "There is no other credible explanation as to how the architecture from "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" could be in "The Da Vinci Code."

In addition, the plaintiffs say, their book is not "a historical account of facts and it does not purport to be such," but is, rather, "a book of historical conjecture setting out the authors' hypotheses" — and thus protected by copyright.

Most notably are Brown's comments negating his alleged theft as reports, “This is not an idea that I would ever have found appealing. Being raised a Christian and having sung in my Church choir for 15 years, I’m well aware that Christ’s crucifixion is the very core of the Christian faith.”

More from Brown, “Suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but questioning the Resurrection undermines the very heart of Christian belief.”

The most striking feature of these pleas of innocence based on Brown's faith is that his writing is a direct attack against the Christian faith.

While the Da Vinci Code has captivated readers everywhere, it is nothing less than a heretical claim against Jesus deity and the authority of Scripture. Attacking Jesus deity is attacking the resurrection. Afterall, who cares if Jesus was crucified or resurrected if He isn't God.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Husbands - a must read

Last week I read C. J. Mahaney's Sex, Romance And The Glory Of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs To Know.

It was a great read. Husbands across the board need to read it. I can't wait until I'm married for five or six years so I can tell all those pitiful husbands who woefully me know that the first year is just about the length of a "good" marriage.
This book is all about keeping your marriage as wonderful as God intended it to be.

Be lucky, Be blessed, or Be perturbed

I remember my first taste of the internet as a senior in high school. It was fascinating: email, chat rooms, and crazy information at the tip of my fingers. After years of internet surfing, I still love the internet. After years of email, situating contacts, inbox clutter, and junk mail, I still am a fan of the internet. Most notably, I love the recent phenomonan of the blogosphere.
Here's one of the problems with the internet and email - Forwards and daily emails. This may seem as a surprise to many of you since you receive a new weekly mass email I started - "Question of the Week." I have always loved surveys, but my aunt Tanya suggested this as a fun and quick alternative to the long surveys. Needless to say, I like it. I hope you enjoy the interaction you have with friends and family through this email.
There are overwhelming amounts of forwards that promise luck or the spiritualized version promising a blessing. Things like these waste everyone's time including the people that type in the subject line, "This is great! Read this!" Superficial and shallow emails waste time.
The bottom line is that people are turning to para-church alternatives for spiritual nourishment. These alternatives often differ in doctrine and are simply weak. Rather than driving ourselves to such measures, let's turn to our local church. The church is responsible to build up the saints to maturity. Ask your church for opportunities to study the Bible and hear what history has to say about doctrine, controversy, and the Kingdom of God. Let's dig into some biographies of great missionaries, preachers, and others that gave their life to the advancement of the Kingdom.
We have to study to show ourselves approved. Even as John Calvin said on his death bed when others urged him to stop working, "Should my Lord return and find my hands idle?"
For now I'll continue to delete junk emails and weak forwards. And this disembodied voice will carry on . . . blogging.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The bald beauty

It wasn't too long ago, just a few months behind me that I looked in the mirror and saw different eyes looking at me. Instead of seeing youthful, vibrant, wide open eyes, I saw baggy, tired, old eyes. Now don't get me wrong, I know that 27 is not ancient, but it is slipping off the peak of Young Man to Middle Aged Man. Overall, my tired looking eyes didn't bother me too much, but let me tell you what has.
Every man has a faint cry from the bottom of his desires, "I sure hope I don't go bald." I am no different. Contrary to that hope, my curly, wild hair is not what it used to be. Teenagers from church often pointed this out to me, but I didn't think anything about it because they were teenagers; they don't want anybody looking at them so let's call the youth minister bald.
The truth came screaming to my saggy eyes one night when I saw myself (from the back) in a gas station's security camera. I knew what had been true for some time - a little light on top.
The interesting part is that I realize the desparation that every person has in life. We get old and die. I get old. I will die. The invincibility phase of my life is being phased out. The question, "is this an unnecessary risk?" is part of my reasoning at times to brave physical feats. Needless to say, I ain't what I used to be.
The reality of aging and inevitable death has been an intersting peak in my life. I am now officially in the market to keep myself from aging. I could easily pick up some Rogaine or check out other hair growth options, which are quite captivating, but the truth is no matter what I do to my outer appearance, I am going to decay, and my body is going to rot.
The visual world that people of all ages live in push images of certain values like weight, hair color, and skin texture. All shapes, sizes, and ages are encouraged to look slim, young, and colorful because no one wants to be the wrong shape, wrinkled skin, bald headed.
I write about balding to encourage you. When you look into the mirror and you don't see what you wished you could see. Rather than a vibrant reflection of life, you see . . . you. Remember that this world is not a clear picture of beauty. We are not at home in this foreign land. All those in Christ are pilgrims taking the Gospel to a lost and ugly world. Take comfort that we all long for something better and in Christ we will one day be perfect like Him for we shall see Him as He is. Until then every time I see my head getting even bigger, my hope in Him will grow much more than Rogaine could ever do.

Monday, January 30, 2006

What a day!!!

Six months ago right now, I was 30 minutes outside of the best event of my life - marrying Karen Brown. These past six months have been awesome! I love spending the days with my best friend. Those of you that know me and/or my wife know the wonderful blessing that she is to me. I really don't know how I survived life without her. Don't get me wrong, I can still feed myself & dress myself. Although, some might disagree with the latter statement. Karen has revolutionized my life, and I am so glad that the revolution has come.
God has continued to reveal Himself to me through this marriage. I understand more of God's love to us. I can't fathom the depths of His love nor the intimacy that we will share with Him in the next world. But I tell you this much - if my marriage is this good and it is a mirror of God's love to us, I can't wait for the next age!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Just in case . . .

If anyone was wondering, I have not, I repeat, I have not lost any weight in my odyssey to 170 lbs. The truth of the matter is that I have never had to lose weight by conventional means. I've previously had exellent tools at my disposal: harsh wrestling practices, hours to spend sweating weight off, and the ultimatum of making weight. None of those things are present, and for the record I didn't have the BULGE I do now. I would think that with all this weight, dropping weight should be easy.
If I must confess, vanilla cokes have never tasted so good, and reeses have never been so easy to unwrap. Plus, the ice cream I just bought last night night is so sweet and creamy. There are so many enemies plotting their fat against me.
With all that being said, I still believe that as long as I work out really, really hard, then it doens't matter if I dig into the great $3 investment at MacDonalds for 2 quarterpounders :)
We are on are way!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Chia prophecies

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted a Chia Pet. With the latest Chia technology, I thought the Chia Head was even better. I know. Who thought the Chia Pet could be improved?
Nonetheless, I finally received my heart's desire this year for Christmas when my wife gave me this wonderful gift. In all of my excitement I never thought the Chia Head would be fruitless, but to my surprise, I had no success.
As you can see the Chia Head did give way to small sprouts. Over the past few days the Chia Head has sprung to life, but to my dismay there are glaring bald spots.
Is this a note of what's to come in my own life? Let's hope not. Let's hope it represents me not becoming a hairy back monster later in life for my sake and Karen's sake.

Broken & Desperate

Hollywood's glitter and glamor will never fail to disappoint. Although, the thrill that Hollywood gives you may not be exactly what you were looking for.

The Golden Globe Awards awards is put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association each year recognizing the year's best films, television shows and those that make them happen.

This year's list of top picks dawns a new height of controversy. One that leaps and bounds past last year's divisive "Million Dollar Baby," whose plotline directs the viewer to sympathize with euthanasia. "Brokeback Mountain" features homosexuality at a new cinematic level. It was nominated for seven awards and walked away with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Song, "A Love That Will Never Grow Old," and Best Screenplay.

Morality is not only pushed out of bounds on the big screen. The entertainment line continues to digress with such award winning shows as "Desperate Housewives." The shows executive director said it himself when he thanked creator, Marc Cherry, "thank you for looking into your dark and twisted heart and giving us this show."

One cannot be surprised that such accolades would be awarded to such masterpieces. Afterall, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has in their primary interest to "disseminate information concerning the American culture and traditions as depicted in motion pictures and television through news media in various foreign countries." Our culture and traditions are swaying into new territories. It is exactly through these transmissions on screen that it is happening such as "Brokeback Mountain" director Ang Lee said himself, "ideas can change through movies." He along with all of Hollywood wants to push an ideology of tolerance and indulgence of personal freedom.

What freedom?

Best Actress recipient, Felicity Huffman, starred in "Transamerica." The movie's tagline reads, "Life is more than the sum of its body parts." Another triumph for Hollywood as the main character's odyssey is to truly become whom he desires to be - a she. The snag and plot of the journey is that Huffman's character, Stanley, just found out he(she) is a parent of a 17 year old boy. The movie describes itself as a "funny, touching, completely modern look at the modern American family. . . ." Notice the slight of hand. Hollywood is quick and has a tendency to sneak this line in - COMPLETELY MODERN! Ang Lee's dream of changing the moral culture is coming true.

Huffman did not fail to disappoint either in her pithy description about the meaning of life amoungst her thanksgivings. She explained that actors have to shed their skin. . . . In doing that we just push through and we are who we really are. "Find yourself, and be who you are."

Amen to the sermon at the Hollywood Church.

The truth is that our culture is changing, but Hollywood doesn't know how broken and desperate they are. We have to live the truth and show our neighbors who watch these shows, our coworkers who said it was a good movie, and our a dying world who craves a love that will never grow old that there is something that is truly worthy. Live the truth so you'll be ready to tell the truth.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Girl-cotting Abercrombie

A group of teeangers launched a nation wide campaign to "girl-cott" a line of T-shirts recenty designed by Ambercrombie & Fitch that were deemed offensive to women.

Ambercrombie is known for it's overtly sexual style of clothing. Their catalogue is sexually explicit often including many pictures that include no fashion at all, rather suggestive pictures of females or of males lying chest on chest together. Hmmm, what clothes am I interested in here?

The Pittsburg teenagers were successful in their march against Abercrombie pulling support from national organizations like Ms. Foundation for Women.

One surprising element is the offense these young girls directed to the large corporation.
Todd Corley, Abercrombie's vice president of diversity, told the girls the company's slogans are thoroughly tested before being put on the market. When challenged on the company's lack of diversity as far as its women models go — most appear to be thin, blonde and Caucasian — Corley urged the girls to visit the diversity section on company's official Web site. The girls responded by saying they shouldn't have to go to online to find people of color in their organization.

What is most intersting is the naivety that Ambercrombie spokesmen and businessmen regard these T-shirt slogans.

"We recognize that the shirts in question, while meant to be humorous, might be troubling to some," the company said in a statement.

"We want slogans that inspire girls and let them know it's OK to be smart and it's OK to look different from everyone else," said 15-year-old Zoe Feinstein, who explained the reasons behind the girl-cott to the panel. "Some people were saying, 'Why are you taking this so seriously?' since the shirts were meant to be taken as raw irony, but the problem we saw was that the girls wearing them didn't know that."

The bottom line is that many teenagers and young women don't see anything wrong with suggestive slogans and sexually alluring clothing. Many young girls would not sacrifice modesty for fashion. Look in my church. Look in your church. What do teenagers wear?

It is easy to paint a dark picture about a dark world. I urge everyone to pray that we are the counter cultural example. We, the church, have to tell teenagers the truth, show them the way, and give to them the satisfaction of God's Word so that they won't turn to crude shirts and alluring clothes simply to chase after cheap thrills and temporary affection. This task will not come by diagnosing the problem. The cure can only come through our Lord. We have to pray and pray and pray. When changes must happen, they come about through prayer. Be diligent in your prayers.

Dieting with Lindsay Lohan

Lohan was recently featurued on the cover of US Weekly for diet tips. The humor in "how she did it" is the fresh story in Vanity Fair. "How she did it" turns out to be, "I ate it. I threw it up."