Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Loosing my religion...

For those not familiar with the band R.E.M., you can start breathing easier now... This was the title of a song.

It is also the title of an excellent message from Liquid Church.

In the message, Tim challenges the reader to consider trying to loose their religion while keeping their faith.

This is something I have been trying to do since High School when we went through a study on Romans called "How to be a Christian without being Religious". I say trying because, honestly, I am more successful sometimes than others.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Technology meets old school

I am trying out a new technology for awhile....

Actually, it is a bunch of old technologies presented in a new way.... One Year Bible Blog

If you want to subscribe, you can use in your rss reader or you can have it email the posts to you.

What I like:
  • Passages in the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. By default, the link to the reading is in "The Message", although thinking about it, that may be because that is my default.
  • Commentaries about the passages you read.
  • A new set each day.
  • The ability to subscribe and not go to the site every day.
What I am not sure about? It seems to be a lot of information to get through.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Book Review - "Thy Kingdom Come..."

After reading willzhead's "Disowning Conservative Politics Is Costly for an Evangelical Pastor" and subsequently posting this, I ordered both Randall Balmers "Thy Kingdom Come..." and Gregory A. Boyd's "Myth of a Christian Nation...". Yesterday, I finished reading "Thy Kingdom Come..." and was challenged.

As a sort of brief book report, let me say that my political leanings are somewhat to the left of many I associate with. Lately, especially since starting to blog, I have become increasingly concerned about how those with the same prinicple faith as mine are letting their political views and faith perspectives intermingle, to the point where we are pushing people away from the grace and redemption that Christ offers rather than drawing them nearer.

Let me start out by stating that I emailed Randall Balmer yesterday starting off with "... While I don't agree with everything in the book, it challenges my thoughts as well as confirms many of my feelings about the Church today. ...". His reply later yesterday included "... I'd be worried if you (or anyone else) agreed with everything I have to say...". If I read the book correctly, Randall is a democrat and approaches this book from that perspective.

His preface and conclusions are quite long and convicting. They are, however, well worth reading! Chapters are:
  1. Strange Bedfellows: The Abortion Myth, Homosexuality, and the Ruse of Selective Literalism
  2. Where Have All the Baptists Gone? Roy's Rock, Roger Williams, and the First Ammendment
  3. Deconstructing Democracy: School Vouchers, Homeschooling, and the War on Public Education
  4. Creationism by Design: The Religious Right's Quest for Intellectual Legitimacy
  5. Voices in the Wilderness: Evangelicals and the Environment
In this book, he attacks many "Sacred Cows", even a few of mine. On the other hand, I am not afraid to challenge my thoughts with a well thought out argument, especially when he approaches the argument from a Biblical perspective.

I would recommend this book if you fall into one of the following categories:
  • If you are willing to be challenged intellectually, politically or spiritually
  • If you are interested in seeing the Kingdom of God grow
  • If you are a political misfit (self-descriptive)
  • If you have been bothered by the seeming fusion of politics and church
Thanks Randall for writing this book!

P.S: I just started reading "Myth of a Christian Nation..." and am looking forward to writing about it as well.

Today in Music History

You may have noticed (or maybe not) a couple of new podcasts on the list on the left. They are from the Denver Post. I have enjoyed both "Today in Music History" and "LyricsUndercover" quite a bit. They are short so that is even better.

As I am writing this, KOA played the Beatles "Happy Birthday" and mentioned Broncos Coach Mike Shanannahan's birthday yesterday, got a little excited because, you see, today in music history is a special day for me as it is my day in "birth" history, or in simpler terms, my birthday.

This is the last year that I can say that I am thirty-somethingteen, next year it will be fourty-ten.

To listen to Today in Music History click here!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

With or Without Reason

Today, this song has been floating in my head. The song was done by "The Call".

How you gonna tell your story
Are you gonna tell it rue
Either with or without reason
Love has paid the price for you

How you gonna cure this feeling
How you gonna right this wrong
Either with or without reason
The weaker do protect the strong

Listen in your hour of pain
Either in or out of season
The hunters still pursue the game

Oh, there's somebody waiting
Oh, there's somebody near
Oh, there's somebody waiting
Oh, there's somebody here

Now lately I've begun to wonder
Just who is talking when you speak
Either with or without reason
The stronger still pursue the weak

The wisest of the fools can tell you
Anything you want to hear
Either with or without reason
These are truths you hold so dear


I dedicate this inner chamber
I dedicate this harvest toil
Either with or without reason
The language of the heart takes hold

Now don't you see that love offends us
When it rises up against this waste
either with or without reason
Evidence of sin and grace


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Oh No!

I found one side effect during the conversion from the old to the beta of Blogger.... It sent all my posts as new to those who subscribe.... Let's hope that isn't a bug but simply an undocumented feature.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rabbit Season or Duck Season

It has started again. That debate on rabbits or ducks. In this case, however, it is donkeys and elephants or, if you don't follow yet, Republicans and Democrats.

Last week, I got a call asking if they can "count" on my support for their candidate. Consider the fact that it is still early in the debates. Add to that the fact that I haven't been registered for either party for many many years... What do I say? "No, they can't count on my vote".

I am, as an observer to the process, amazed on the longevity (or lack of it) of the mudslinging cease fire. How often have we heard the news reports play the sound bite stating "I intend to run a clean, respectful campaign". Then, the next advertisement of a political nature does exactly the opposite....

"It's Rabbit Season"... "No, Duck Season"...

I can't believe they let me have it!

My blogging company (essentially google) has a beta version of it's software available. Originally, I was told it was for "invitees" and new accounts only.

This morning, I logged in and they allowed me to switch. You can see some of the new features here...

I will start exploring when I have time!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dancing like David....

This entry has been several years in the making...

Years ago, the church we attended, regularly sang a song called "David Danced". The lyrics went like this.
When the spirit of the Lord
moves upon my heart
I will dance like David danced
When the spirit of the Lord
moves upon my heart
I will dance like David danced

I will dance, I will dance
I will dance, like David danced
I will dance, I will dance
I will dance, like David danced

This summer, we had listened to a message series at church called "21", one of the messages was titled "Party".

This morning, I happened to be listening to a track from Yonder Mountain String Band and started wondering what made them the next in the generation of Jam Bands along with Phish and String Cheese Incident that are gaining popularity since The Grateful Dead are now without Jerry Garcia?

While wikipeda explains the Jam Band as mostly improvisational, I think that teams with the ability of the audience to become uninhibited (some chemically induced) because without their audience or fans, the band doesn't have a reason to be.

I wonder if that is some of our problem in the church... Here we have an all powerful God that we "worship" but our worship is inhibited. Unlike David who stripped down to his underwear (ok, the Old Testament version -- his ephod) we let those around us, or impressions of those around us, determine our actions and depth of worship. In 2002, an article by Mark Buchanan was published in Christianity Today called "Dance of the Godstruck". The article talks about Uzzahs attempt to bring home the Ark from the conquerors and Davids success at the same task. It is well worth reading.

The final paragraph reads:
David was that kind of man. Where his fretful priest and his scornful wife could only see a gilded box and frenzied crowd, he could see God. The temptation is to think men like David, at such moments, are half-crazy, not fully engaged with reality. The truth is that precisely at such moments they are the ones who truly see.

I suspect that if we were to truly worship like David did, freely and uninhibited, those in the world around us would be much more attracted to our God.

In his series on "Wired for Worship", Mark Batterson (TheaterChurch) has the following key points in 2 different messages (it has been a while since I listened so I don't remember which ones).
...if you aren’t willing to look foolish you’re foolish.
“If God doesn’t exist then worship is insanity. You’re worshipping someone that isn’t real. But if God exists then nothing is more logical or reasonable than worship.”

Matt Redman wrote a song called "Undignified" about the same incident with David, it's lyrics read.
i will dance i will sing to be mad for my king
nothing lord is hindering the passion in my soul
i will dance i will sing to be mad for my king
nothing lord is hindering the passion in my soul

and ill become even more undignified than this
some would say its foolishness but
ill become even more undignified than this
some would say its foolishness

Pipe Dreams

Every since I was young, I appreciated animated video. Not the anime that is so popular in Japan but the great quality drawning and cell work that made up things like Disney's "Fantasia".

I remember being on a business trip and going to see "Sister Act" on a Saturday while I was there. The preview for "The Lion King" came on and my jaw dropped. When it was over, I turned to my colleague, Pete and said, "Did you notice the depth of field that they had created?". It was amazing detail. Since then, we have seen the "Toy Story" series, the "Shrek" series, the "Ice Age" series. All those show great quality video.

Four or five years ago, while watching TechTV (now merged with G4), I saw two different Animusic video shorts, "Future Retro" and "Stick Figures". I since have purchased their first video. I recently found my favorite on that DVD on Google Video so I can share it with you! If you want to see more, here is the search results for their videos.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Mark Batterson's evotional blog references an article he did for Christianity Today on GodCasting.... Check it out!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


A few months ago at our "Worship Band Meeting" we were looking at prayer and how to pray. One of the exercises we did was to pray through the "Lords Prayer". It is a pretty familiar passage...

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

That is the version that I learned, from the King James... If you are from different church traditions, the words "debt" may be replaced with "trespasses" and "our debtors" with "those that tresspass against us".

As we were sitting there, I focused in on the phase (this time from the New International Version). "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." and thought if this means the way it reads, I sometimes don't deserve much forgiveness. Then, I wrestled with this until now because obviously it doesn't mean that we receive only as much forgiveness as I am willing to give... Does it?

Well one of the problems with Bible passages like this is that we take them out of context quite often. Last week, I read through Matthew 18:23-33 (The Message) which tells the story of a guy who owes a lot of money to the bank on his car, a Hummer (my version, not the literal translation). When the bank comes to reposess his car, he begs and pleads and the banker decides not to take the car and also give hime more time to pay up. The man, however, remembers his neighbor borrowed his table saw and tool set. When the neighbor would not return the items, took him to small claims court. When the banker heard about it, he returned scolded the guy and had his wages garnished and took his car.

Oddly enough, that sounds just like I need to forgive the things people do to me if I should expect to be forgiven by God.

Today, I read the passage that contains the the Lord's Prayer.... Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV) and saw verse 15 which reads: "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Looks like I have my work cut out for me....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Want to win????

Want to win an "easy" $750?

Buy a 2 Liter bottle of Diet Coke, A pack of Mentos and bring your video camera. Then check out

The video on their front page is quite funny but Kyle and I thought this is as well.

England swings like a pendulum do...

England swings like a pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two,
Westminster Abbey the tower of Big Ben,
The rosy red cheeks of the little children.
-- From "England Swings" by Roger Miller.
I fondly remember my "Physics of Music and Sound" class one day when the professor was telling about an experiment that someone he knew had done with a pendulum. As he told the story, the colleague had hung a weight on a string half way across the room and would routinely demonstrate the fact that if dropped, a pendulum would not return as far as it had been dropped from. In order to demonstrate this, he would put his head and back to the wall, hold the weight to his nose and drop the weight. This had worked time and time again, class after class except one day.... The teacher got a little excited and, instead of dropping the weight, he gave the weight a slight push..... (That is where the story ended.... If you haven't figured it out, he ended up with at least a bruised nose and ego...).

One of the things that this story illustrates is, not only the physical object, the pendulum, but the way of the world. In thinking back over my lifetime, I witnessed (through the filter of the television) protests associated with Viet-Nam and now Iraq. The wars in both Viet-Nam and Iraq. The culture around me becoming more liberal (although the liberals may argue this) and now, more conservative (the conservatives in turn would argue this). The pendulum of ideals and culture swings regularly.

The centering of the pendulum is, of course, a natural (and, I believe usually desirable) event unless energy is added. This energy comes in many forms. One of the largest in the political spectrum lately (in the last 6 years) has been the senseless terrorist attacks on western nations by people proclaiming an Islamic Jihad.

I see this same sort of pendulum associated with the politics of my job. I see that same pendulum motion as I see those I am involved with (friends, family, etc.) and how they deal with change around them.

As a result of these swings of the pendulum, I am constantly putting myself in check, examining my motives and deciding whether it is desirable and honorable to add energy to that pendulum.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The longest project in my career!

Eleven years ago, I started the longest project in my software career. An 18 year programming project raising my son.

By God's grace, I see the project to a successful completion!

Since Kyle has been here, I have worked for 3 different companies (technically 4 but that is because of the way Qwest is structured). Highlights of his year? From my viewpoint...
  • Kyle got to ride the BIG coasters at Islands of Adventure and Cedar Point

  • A nearly 2 week visit with his Grandparents

  • His high purple belt in Karate (Tae Kwan Do)

  • His venture into competitive Speed Stacking

  • His apprentice certificate for helping to teach Karate

  • His A & B Report card from Cornerstone Christian Academy

  • Seeing him mature toward being a young man more each day

  • Having his karate teacher tell us that Kyle is a great kid

Here are a few photos from this year!

happy birthday kyle!