Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Snow

On Saturday, the day after Christmas, I was taking Kyle to a friends house. I thought this scene of the mountains looked interesting. I asked Kyle to snap this photo as we were heading down the road.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas Greetings.

I haven't made this before but here we go...

We have tried to reduce our paper foot print in past years by publishing our Christmas greetings electronically. You can read our family's Christmas letter here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Coverville Countdown again

I remember listening to the Coverville Countdown a few years ago while shoveling snow from the weekly snow falls we had a few years back.

Every year, Brian who does the Coverville podcast takes nominations for the best cover songs of the year. This year, was no different. He has released his first show (number 40-31) of this years songs. They include:
  • Crimson & Clover
  • Barracuda
  • Voodoo Child
  • Boyz-N-The-Hood
  • Rusty Cage
  • While my Keytar Gently Weeps
  • Comfortably Numb
  • Such Great Heights
  • You're So Vain
  • Bizzare Love Triangle
Go out and take a listen!

I still need to go shovel from our latest snowfall. We will be having a white Christmas this year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quotes of the day

On my Google front page (personalized), I have the "quote of the day". Much of the time, it is just noise and doesn't get looked at. The last couple of days however, I have enjoyed these. Yesterday it was:
Fig Newton: The force required to accelerate a fig 39.37 inches per sec.
- J. Hart

I know that was a little geeky. Today's is
I loathe the expression "What makes him tick." It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.
- James Thurber

It is so easy to forget that others don't just tick but do all the other things like chiming, etc. It is all part of the human process of forgetting the magnificence of our creator.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scot McKnight at Mars Hill

Scot McKnight, professor at North Park college in Chicago and author of The Jesus Creed and The Blue Parakeet, gave last Sunday's (Dec 13, 2009) message on the Lords Prayer at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. If you are interested, you can listen here (available for a limited time) or here (available for a longer time).

He believes that in the Lords Prayer, Jesus took the Shema (Deut 6:7) and added to it to transform that prayer into something more, the Jesus Creed.

** He has some reflections on his time here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Logan found a "forever home"!!!

We stopped by with Logan to visit a family in Erie, CO today. They had filled out the paper work, went through the background checks and the home visit.

They met Logan and, not surprisingly, fell in love with him. It was a little sad to leave him but he will get all the human attention he wants there with no competition from other dogs. He will also get to children to play with and grow up with.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The fruit of repentance

I recently enjoyed listening to a sermon from Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul given by Jin Kim, pastor of the "Church of All Nations" in Minneapolis. It was challenging and fun to listen to.

Church of All Nations is a Presbyterian congregation but he calls them "penitently Presbyterian". At one point, he tells about the Presbyterians being "sprinklers" but he does a yearly immersion baptism and how those being baptized a bit afraid of how long they are "kept under".

The message was quite challenging and dealt with believers all being priests, how we should all be reaching out. He also challenged the listeners to look for the fruits of those in leadership.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Another Great Love Story

When we think about romance stories, we often think about "Romeo & Juliet" and some would think of "Pretty Woman".

When reading "From Eternity To Here", Frank Viola states that all romance stories pale in comparison to Christ's love for his church.

So, looking at romance stories in the Bible, we often think of the Song of Solomon. We may also think of Ruth or Esther. Rarely, however, would we think of Hosea.

Let me set it up a bit. Hosea was a prophet that lived around 700 BC. Isreal was lead by kings who didn't regard God very highly and lead the people into idol worship. In fact, Israel (the split state) was always lead by "evil" kings. Judah was occasionally lead by kings who followed God but at this time, they also didn't regard God highly and also lead the people into idol worship.

Hosea was commanded to marry a prostitute named Gomer. They had several children, each one with a name that spelled out how God felt about Israel at that time.

I remember Brian at the Daily Audio Bible talking about how the prophets (like Hosea) were used by God. He said that the prophets were given little plays to act out to illustrate God's message for the people.

Here is what happens in Hosea's "play". Gomer goes back to prostitution and Hosea wanders the streets calling her name. He finally gives up. Then God tells Hosea to buy Gomer back from the slave market where she is being sold.

While I am listening to Hosea yesterday, I couldn't help but think of the story of the Prodigal Son. I've heard several other perspectives on that story lately. The one that sticks out the most is that while the son is the emphasis of most of common thinking. This is really more the story of the faithful father.

The reason I kept thinking of this story while listening to Hosea is that Jesus is the faithful lover, just as God was the faithful father in the Prodigal Son story. He courted Israel since the time of Abraham. When he died and rose, he bought us back (i. e. - ransom, see Hosea buying Gomer back) to be his bride.

There is a poem that Paul quotes in 2 Tim 2 which I am also reminded of as I go through Hosea. It reads
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

Logan's Big Day

No, not that day.

Yesterday we took Logan to the flyball tournament to sit at the Western Border Collie Rescue table.

Logan met several families who may be interested in taking him. We also got to talk to the people who picked him up in Grand Junction the day before Thanksgiving.

There was no end of activity so on the way home, Logan was out like a light

You can now see Logan's biography on the Western Border Collie Rescue website.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Foster

A few months ago, I wrote about Western Border Collie Rescue. Last Wednesday, we had a new dog come into our lives for a little while.

Kyle named him Logan. We found out he is 2 years old and was abandoned by his owners who were behind on rent and left town. Wednesday, he was in a car from Mesa County (Grand Junction, CO) to Denver where we picked him up to foster.

He is good with kids, cats and other dogs. Loves balls and cloth frisbees and any sort of attention.

He will be up for adoption as soon as his vaccines are current.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

CoverFreak: American Pie

Some time ago, I subscribed to the CoverFreak blog.

In today's Thanksgiving post, one of the tunes was different enough to prompt me to blog.

If you remember Don McLean's "American Pie", the version from Just Luis is Don McLean meets Techno.

Homecoming Sock Hop

Last night was Cornerstone's (Kyle's School) homecoming sock (or is it soc?) hop. The theme was "50's" of course.

The hosts had fixed up their barn in a 50's diner theme (well done) with grilling of burgers and dogs.

Marj took Kyle to the Salvation Army store to find a leather coat ($15). Here is a picture of him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Drops like Stars

Last night, I took the family to see Rob Bell speak in his Drops Like Stars book tour. Rob has an interesting way of looking at the world around us and draws on both the Bible and the experiences he and his friends have to describe how Creativity and Suffering feed each other.

While I think much (if not all?) of the audience were believers to some extent or another, the Gospel was preached.

A friend who, over the last 18 months, has gone through a few trials, joined us. I saw what was talked about speak directly to her.

At one point, Rob asked those who had been touched directly (themselves or a family member) by cancer to stand. This brought what seemed to be over half the auditorium to its feet. The point behind this is that the suffering eliminates the extra, leaving those affected looking at what is important. He suggested that someone given 6 months to live doesn't usually go "I guess I better go trim the hedges". Rather, they repair relationships and live life as fully as they can.

This will be an interesting book to read.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The bad, the good and the odd

We've had a set of Infinity RS225 bookshelf speakers for 10-15 years. This weekend, however, something happened and I heard a big pop. I didn't think much about it until we were showing August Rush to Kyle and kept hearing a crackling in one of the rear speakers.

I disconnected it long enough to pull it down and get the model number.

Thinking it was a lost cause, I decided to find out if I could get replacement parts. I went to the Infinity site and finally got into their support website (you get no support without the model number) and filled out an email form asking about the part.

Yesterday, I got a nice email from "Sharon" giving me the part number and a phone number to call to order the part. The $50 part is on the way which saves me at least $25 (to replace the speaker) or $100 because I'd need a matched set.

Let's see... That was the bad and the good... Now for the odd.

Infinity was purchased by Harman International (I knew this because it was on their site). While I was on hold, I was listening to a boomy bass voice saying "Thank you for calling JBL" (JBL was always known for their big bass). I finally discovered that JBL was also purchased by Harman International. One big happy family.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pastor Appreciation Month

I just found out that October is "Pastor Appreciation Month". We are supposed to show our pastors how much we appreciate what they do for us.

I do appreciate my pastors, both past and present.

I do, however, have a squishy feeling about this. Why? Because it is being used as another marketing ploy by the book sellers to get you and me to buy books. Our business' can't leave well enough alone and spoil everything just to make more.

(climbing off the soapbox...)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lake Tahoe

On September 11-13, Marj, Kyle and I flew to Sacramento, CA and drove to Tahoe, CA for my nephew David Wozniak's Wedding. I woke up on Saturday, the day of the wedding, and convinced Kyle that we should drive around the lake. This slide show is what we thought was memorable...

To the pain*

It's a rather fuzzy photo... The black on the finger is not dirt but bruising.

You see, A couple of weeks ago, the battery in Marj's car died so I took her to church early (she was helping with lighting), then stopped for a battery on the way home.

I got home and started to put in the battery before Kyle and I had to take off. I went to pull the trouble light off the shelf and started pulling another bulb along with it. Reflexes took over and I went to catch the bulb... In the process, I slammed my finger into the air compressor. OOOUUUCHHH!!!

Kyle and I changed the battery. Sometime around the middle of church, I realized it was getting quite swollen and, after church, got a glass of ice to soak it in.

The good news, it wasn't broken... The bad news... It was black, blue and green for about 4 days.

* "To the pain" was a line from "The Princess Bride".

Friday, October 09, 2009

Portwiture - What I look like in Twitter

I've had a twitter account for a few months now but am not a big user. I am interested how people interact with it, however.

A new website (in beta now) called Portwiture looks at your twitter feed and shows what you "look like" in twitter by going to flickr and finding photos that fit what it believes reflect what you are tweeting...

You can see what I "look like" by going here.

If you'd like to read my twitter feed, you can go here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Peppino D'Agostino

We went to my nephew's wedding in Lake Tahoe this weekend. The wedding was on the beach (beautiful setting). The guy who did music is Peppino D'Agostino. He reminds me of Craig Chaquico (his manager thought the influence may have been the other way around).

His website is here... You can watch a video below

Monday, September 07, 2009

Book Review:"The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views"

I just finished reading "The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views". Not a book for light reading"Also, in spite of the attempt to be inclusive of as many general views as possible, it only described four specific views. They are:

Christus Victor: The Christus Victor is likely the oldest view of atonement, declaring Christ the victor over sin, death, etc. It encompasses other views such as Penal Substutionary Atonement and Healing Atonement as well. There are a couple of things I liked about the defense of this view. First is that it is one of the oldest views. There is a great deal to be said about looking at the traditions of the church fathers, especially when that tradition goes back to the first few centuries. Also, the fact that this also includes so many other views within the framework of belief.

Kaleidoscopic View: Similar to the Christus Victor view, it also includes other viewpoints within the framework of the view of atonement. What it does do, however, is to drop any particular view as the primary way of how things work. This is also attractive because as you read through the Bible, in both Testaments, there are differences in how atonement is described.

Penal Substitutionary View: The Penal Substitionary view is the viewpoint which seems most often taught within what is considered "evangelical" churches today. While the Bible does use the imagery of Christ paying the penalty for our sins, that is one of several different images used throughout the Bible. Things that struck me about this as I read through the book. The contributor for this viewpoint was absolutely sure his belief was the "primary" way God worked in the world and made this clear in rebuttals to nearly every other viewpoint. Some of the things mentioned about God seeking "Justice" to satisfy his "wrath" prompted word studies around those words.

This is probably my least favorite view because, at least the way this is taught today, does not paint God in a very kind and loving light and can be quite manipulative.

Healing View: This viewpoint is a lot harder to pin down and is one of what sounds like several in a larger category. Basically, it takes the scriptures that talks about Christ being our healer and extends that out into a view of sin as a disease and Christ's death as the anti-body for that disease. This is also an attractive view for me as it does paint God in a loving (not angry) light.

One thing I have been coming to the conclusion about with many of these issues such as calvinism, atonement, etc is that there is not necessarily one absolute way God works and, to believe and act as if there is does at least three things...
  • It limits your fellowship with other believers who do not hold those views because you start believing yourself "better" than them.
  • It causes you to look at scripture in frameworks that are not necessarily intended by God. As you see through the debate in this book, atonement can be looked at one way by one writer and differently elsewhere, even by the same writer. This is especially true when you look at Paul's writings.
  • It causes you to put God into a box of your creation. Remember, God is God (and I am not). God's ways are not our ways.
In his defense of the kaleidoscopic view of atonement, Joel Green mentions that each of these views spoke to people within their time. Is it time to adopt a different viewpoint as our "primary" or, to follow his lead and teach that no particular view is primary.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Western Border Collie Rescue

If you remember Keva, the newest family menber...
I would like to show you some of the work that the organization that we adopted him out of has been doing.

Ada Oklahoma. In June 2009, 120 dogs were left abandoned on a country farm outside Ada Oklahoma. Rescue agencies from around the country removed the dogs from the property. Six of those dogs came to Western Border Collie Rescue. This is a short look at their story.

Video Courtesy of

Soldier Hollow Sheep Dog Competition

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

CD Review

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I received the "Whole Lotta Blues - The Songs of Led Zeppelin" CD from Marj for my birthday. If you are expecting to hear the sounds of Led Zeppelin, you would be disappointed. If you like the songs but enjoy delta style blues, you'd be as happy as I was with the CD.

Led Zeppelin picked up a lot of it's stylings from the American blues masters. These guys are the new masters and make songs like "Rock and Roll", "Custard Pie" and "Good Times, Bad Times" hum in a much different way from the originals.

Job in a box...

I just finished listening to the book of Job (that's not the thing I get paid doing but the book in the Bible).

Something I realized as I was listening was that we need to be careful as we look at the book for applications in our life. The first 37 chapters are...
  • The setup for the story
  • Job and his "friends" in dialog
The last 4 are...
  • God and Job in dialog
  • The teardown of the story
You find out from the last 4 chapters that neither Job or his friends concept of God and how he works in the world are accurate.

Today, in the Naked Pastor's blog (pastor and artist), he posted this cartoon.

How often do we put our God or our faith in a box? Sometimes, I guess, it is necessary. It gives us parameters to live within. On the other hand, to many people seem to believe that everyone should be the same. That isn't the way God worked in the world. Each tribe of Israel had it's own history and tribal personality. Some failed in their lives with God, some succeeded. That is true with each of us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Birthday has come and gone

What left a mark?
I think, what left it's mark most recently was waking up because of "partying too hard" and having to take TUMS. That Cookie Dough DQ Blizzard was good however.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

1, 2, 21, 22

Yesterday, I wrote about reading the "whole gospel". In other words, reading the Bible from Genesis 1 rather than Genesis 3 and reading through Revelation 22, rather than Revelation 20.

Let me give an example.

A popular evangelism technique is called the "Romans Road". In the past, I've been trained in using the "Romans Road" but have always felt a little strange using it.

In the "Romans Road", you are to first turn to Romans 3:23.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Where does this start the discussion? Genesis 3...
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." (Genesis 3:21-22)
What would change if the "whole gospel" were used? Although there are lots of places to start, lets try Genesis 1:27.

So God created human beings in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

This can then be followed up by verses like Romans 3:23 and so on.

What about the other end of the story. If we do not read to Revelation 21-22, you get this (again from the Romans Road).
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
While this is true, it speaks nothing of the return to paradise described in Revelation 21-22. If we wanted to stay with the Romans theme, look at Romans 8:20-22.

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
What does it come down to?

If we read from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20, we see a creation that is, as the Calvinist would say, Totally Depraved, ending the story with God's judgement of the world.

In reading from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, we see a creation that was made in the image of God and declared good. While that creation did sin, there is hope through Christ and, in the end, those adopted into God's family get to live in the redeemed world with God.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The perfect storm?

This is a bunch of thoughts that have converged together...

A couple of years ago, I listened to a talk Scot McKnight gave on "The Whole Gospel". In this talk he expresses concern that we are not, as a church, preaching on Genesis through Revelation.

In "From Eternity to Here", Frank Viola states that most of the evangelical church today teaches from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 and needs to look at Genesis 1 through Revelation 22.

Today, I listened to a message from Rob Bell at Mars Hill Bible Church titled The Importance of Beginning in the Beginning which talks about the same thing. He also states that if we do start at Genesis 3 rather than Genesis, our view of God changes and we start to separate the wonder of the creation from God himself.

Here is where the perfect storm starts....

Jerry Falwell stated (and apologized for saying) that the September 11 attacks on the US were God's judgement on homosexual sin in the US.

Others believed that the tsunamis in 2004 were God's judgement on the affected areas. Pat Robertson claimed the hurricanes which struck New Orleans were also God's judgement.

This week in Minneapolis, a tornado struck a Evangelical Lutheran (ELCA) church, causing minor damage. There was a claim that this is a warning from God to turn from "the approval of sin". This has caused a lot of controversy in the blogosphere. There is discussion here as well as links to some of the comments.

Why the perfect storm comment? Because this dovetails into the thoughts from Scot McKnight, Frank Viola and Rob Bell. I believe that those who declare natural disasters (large or small) to be Gods Judgement on (fill in the blank) are starting the Gospel at "The Fall", not at "Creation".

Did God use natural disasters as Judgement? In some cases, yes. One would be hard pressed to explain Sodom and Gomorrah as anything else. The difference is that there were no innocent parties involved there. That tends to hold up throughout scripture.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I have to brag just a little. This is a picture I took with my cell phone of the odometer of our 1998 Dodge Caravan (minivan). Yes, it's only 11 years old (that's a little over 18,000 miles per year) and has had no major transmission or engine work done yet. We are quite happy with it so far.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Our biases

I caught just a bit of the story on the confirmation of Justice Sotomayer as they were heading to vote. The announcer mentioned the block of opponents who thought she was too biased to be a good Supreme Court Justice.

I found this to be a bit ironic. You see, what I believe they were really saying is that her biases didn't match theirs so she didn't appear unbiased...

To truly be unbiased, you must ignore your own personal opinion and side with right, with "Justice". I don't know that any of us can be unbiased, that is a hard thing to do. I believe, however, that it is probably a Christ-like thing to be.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

They have been the rocks in my life. Always there, always supportive.

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back from Oregon

We pulled in about 12:15 last night on our return trip. Here are the highlights.
  • Our car passed 200K miles on the way back. Many people have difficulty believing that a Dodge Caravan could do that well being "American made". Some of this is because we do care for the car, some because it is a good car, 11 years old and this makes just over 18K miles per year.
  • Marj and I had a pleasant journey out alone because Kyle flew out a week early to visit cousins, etc. We finished "Transition" on the way.
  • The Garmin GPS was invaluable... I like the interface and, with a few quirks, it was accurate. Once, a wrong turn by me proved to be a great re-route through the desert of Eastern Oregon. It helped us find a good Chinese restaurant up the coast and even provided the phone number for it.
  • If you have to go through Eastern Oregon, I-84 is a lot more scenic than US-20, until you hit the Willamatte Valley.
  • We got a couple of clearer days but the spot we were in on the Oregon coast was somewhat overcast most of the time... But BEAUTIFUL! Living in Colorado all these years, however, I could see that I might start getting a little crazy without nearly daily sunshine.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We arrived at the coast yesterday, after dropping the dogs off at a kennel.

I thought the temperatures were chilly (about 60F) but was told they were perfect.

I took the following pictures as the sun set over the horizon.

On vacation...

We've been on vacation since Friday. Packed up the dogs and headed west.

Here are some of the photos we have taken...

These were taken over the Snake River near Twin falls, Idaho.

Listen to the Jesus Manifesto

Last month, I wrote about the Jesus Manifesto. I have read the manifesto several times but listening to it was a big treat for my ears. Especially to hear the authors read it. You can listen here. Turn it on, sit back and close your eyes...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stockholm Syndrome

Derek Webb is in the process of releasing a CD called "Stockholm Syndrome". It's got challenging lyrics to listen to. Jesus Creed posted about it and you can listen to one of his songs there.

Stockholme Syndrome is described here as:
The term, Stockholm Syndrome, was coined in the early 70's to describe the puzzling reactions of four bank employees to their captor. On August 23, 1973, three women and one man were taken hostage in one of the largest banks in Stockholm. They were held for six days by two ex-convicts who threatened their lives but also showed them kindness. To the world's surprise, all of the hostages strongly resisted the government's efforts to rescue them and were quite eager to defend their captors. Indeed, several months after the hostages were saved by the police, they still had warm feelings for the men who threatened their lives. Two of the women eventually got engaged to the captors.

As I thought about is, I started wondering why the title? Is it possible that I am experiencing Stockholm Syndrome?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Completing the TULIP/BEERS debate

Grace has completed the TULIP vs BEERS debate with her final post, TULIP or BEERS: Perseverence of the Saints. I also updated the list I posted earlier.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

From Eternity to Here - Take a listen

Frank Viola has posted chapter 1 of his book in audio format here. If you want to hear what struck me, take a listen.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Interesting postings 2

The second series of interesting posts is from the "From the Pew" blog. I got interested in Steve's work when he posted "What I used to believe, What I now believe".

He has a series he calls "Scripture American Style". His first post (and introduction to the series) is here. Again, I find Steve's blogs thought provoking.

Interesting postings

I've been following a couple of bloggers with interest. I'll detail them in separate posts.

The first is from "Kingdom Grace". She has been posting for the last few days on "Doctrines of Grace". She has had 5 posts looking at the 5 points of Calvinism -- TULIP vs. her view she calls BEERS.

TULIP is an acronym for a systematic theology (a systematic way of looking at how God operates in our world. This interests me for several reasons.
  • First, I've had several discussions with people around many of these points. In fact, while in college, many of the friends I had held fast to many if not all of these points.
  • Second, as I listen and apply the Bible (through Daily Audio Bible), I am gaining a different picture of how God has and does work in this world.
While I don't agree with everything Grace talks about, I have found the discussion compelling and thought provoking.

So far, along with the introduction, there are only TULI and BEER so I am expecting one more post soon.

You can read them all

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Save The Antelope

A friend sent this video to me. I just knew it had to be out on YouTube (and it was).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Jesus Manifesto

Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet have published an excellent document called "The Jesus Manifesto". Whether you agree or not, it's worth the read. You can also download the manifesto here (to save it to the drive, right click and "Save to Disk").

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Toto’s “Africa” performed by Perpetuum Jazzile

Brian from the Coverville podcast posted this and thought I'd share it here. I love the sound effects they create at the beginning of the song but found they sound better through headphones than my laptop speakers.

Perpetuum Jazzile is a vocal group from Slovenia*. There are several more videos available on YouTube.

* Location above was corrected...

Friday, June 05, 2009

The worst...

I was listening to a radio show (on the web) today that mentioned Men's Health Worst Meals.  You can get the list of the "worst" things to eat here.  Quizno's does make the list, Subway does not.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

From Eternity to Here - Part Three...

Part 3 of "From Eternity to Here" describes God's Eternal Purpose as starting a new species.   Frank reasons that Adam and Eve were a new species which gave birth to humans.  Christ, however, was completely man and completely God, a species not seen until that point in time.   As followers of Christ, we also become part of that new species.

I was a little sad as the book ended.  Only because it ended, however.  Frank finishes the book pointing us back to Christ through telling us about his experiences up to the point of realizing what God's eternal purpose really is.   This is going to be on my "to re-read" list.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What my dog teaches me about God...

Having adopted Kiva at the beginning of the year, I am gaining some appreciation of my position within God's family.  Here is why...
  • One of the meanings of the word worship is to lick the face of the one you are worshiping... Like a dog.  Kiva likes to lick my face... From what I understand from other dog people, this is a sign of subordination.
  • He loves to interact with me when I arrive home.  In the same way, I should love to interact with God in the same way.
  • Kiva watches me intently as I do things to make sure there is nothing he should be doing in response.  In a similar way, I should be watching God as he works, looking for the things he wants me to do.
  • Kiva is eager to anticipate my needs.   In the same way, I should be looking to anticipate Gods desires.
  • Kiva corrects himself when his anticipation is wrong.  When I act wrongly, I should correct my actions and align myself with his desires.
  • Kiva has a desire to live in his masters house.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Time Warp

It is a weird journey that got me to this post...  The short explaination is that one of my favorite shows these days is Discover Channel's "Time Warp".  It is a couple of guys with some very fast (and expensive) video cameras doing some high speed video.

Here are some of my favorite clips...

In this clip, an arrow is shot through three water balloons...

And some trick shooting (this one is long)...

Just some fun

I realized how poorly written my last post was... I really need to be more awake when I post.  Rather than retract or change the last post, I figured I'd leave it and, instead, provide you with some amusement.

A song I remember growing up with was called "The Typewriter Song" which was composed by Leroy Anderson.  A conventional version of the song can be seen here.  If you are not familiar with the Typewriter... It predates computers and, for years while doing papers, was the bane of my existence.

Instead, however, I wanted to let you listen to a modern rendition, live, complete with mechanical failure....

Friday, May 08, 2009

From Eternity to Here - Part Two...

The second section of "From Eternity to Here" is about God looking for a place to dwell... a home.

In this section, we get a view of a God who has a throne in Heaven but wants to "dwell" on earth.   We see this in the Ark of the Covenant and David's Temple. 

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Washington DC revisited

I thought I would post a couple of my favorite pictures that I took in Washington DC...

The picture below was taken on our last night.  It is the Jefferson Memorial.  It was a foggy night and I was having problems getting the photo I wanted because there was not enough light getting to the camera.

The shot below was taken from Arlington National Cemetary.  From there, you look down the national mall, past the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument to the Capitol.  I extended the zoom out as far as possible (10x) and took the picture.   This is one of those days I had a bigger bulkier camera for better photos... Nah!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Eternity to here

Recently, there have been a couple of books that have just made my jaw drop as I read the first couple of chapters.

The most recent was "From Eternity To Here" by Frank Viola subtitled "Rediscovering the ageless purpose of God".

Why did my jaw drop?  Because it struck such a chord.   In an interview about the book the author talks that, while we have Genesis 1 & 2 in the Bible, we usually start our faith at Genesis 3 with the fall (and often end prior to Revelation 21).  

The book is divided into 3 sections and I am still in the first section, explaining the love story, the romance of God with his church.  I'll have to keep you posted as I read.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Monday was our last day in Washington DC.

We started the day at the National Catherdral. It is a beautiful building. we heard an organ demonstration (3 pieces) on the organ which is believed to be the largest in the United States.

After that, we went to the Crime and Punishment Museum where we got a forensic lab given by actual forensic scientists. The museum was fun as well.

To finish off the day, several of us went to the Jefferson Memorial at night making it a late night.

We only had one kid lost the whole trip and, thanks to him having a cell phone, he was quickly located.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Washington DC - The Weekend!

Saturday we took a bus to Williamsburg and walked around some of Colonial America. Many of the buildings we saw were replicas but about 1 of 5 are restorations of originals.

Today, we went to the newseum... A museum of Journalism. We also went to the top of the Washington Monument. Tonight, my brother and his wife joined us for dinner.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Washington DC - Thursady (Day 3)

We started the day at the Pentagon. The tour was interesting but from what some said, not quite as good as pervious years. We got to see the Sept. 11 Memorial and the Memorial Chapel.

In the afternoon we ended up at Ford's Theater.

Washington DC - Wednesday

Wednesday was our first full day in DC. and we spent the day on the Mall.

We started the morning at the Smithsonian and ended up at the Capital. The day was rainy and we got quite wet.

We ended the day at the Crystal City Mall.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Washington DC - Day 1

It will be a little tedious trying to post from the iPod but here we go...

Our flights left on time from both Denver & Minneapolis. The trip so far has been uneventful... No misplaced kids, etc. So far, so good!

After we got to the hotel, unpacked and went to eat, we climbed onto the metro and rode to the mall between the Washington Monument & the Capital Building. The weather has been overcast with light to ocassionally heavy rain. Tomorrow, we are to get sunny & warm!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Off Line...

I'll not be blogging for the next week or so because Kyle and I will be on his 8th grade class trip to Washington DC.  Marj gets to hold down the home, feed the dogs, etc.

While I am there, my computer will be going to the Apple Store for a quick tune up.  Fortunately, I can download podcasts and check email on my iPod as long as I have a wi-fi connection, just don't expect a long reply.

Monday, March 23, 2009

re: The Coming Evangelical Collapse

I don't know how close to reality The Christian Science Monitor's piece on "The Coming Evangelical Collapse" is.  It is thought provoking, however.

The disclaimer is that, unlike in the Old Testament law, we no longer kill the prophets who are wrong -- if we had, there would be a whole lot of missing end-times prophets.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thinking in God and Empire

There is a lot of thought coming through research by Christian scholars that seem to have pretty good evidence for something termed "God and Empire".

There are many people promoting this thought, including N. T. Wright and John Dominic Crossan.  Crossan even wrote a book called "God and Empire". Recent historical and archeological research tends to back this thinking up.

What is God and Empire thinking?  It is the belief that, during the time Christ, through the time of the early church, the Romans had a greater influence on the outcome of events than we give them credit for.  Generally, the thought goes something like this...

Four hundred years before Christ, the Israel was captured and sent into exile.  This exile was not only a physical exile but also a spiritual exile.  When they returned seventy years later, they were able to rebuild the walls and the temple (Nehemiah & Ezra - these are one book in the Jewish Bible) but they were not given the control of the government back -- something which is factoring into the look forward for a Messiah.  This page gives an historical view of the prophesy in Daniel 11 which talks about these future events.

That said, according to the "God and Empire" research, a few years prior to the birth of Jesus, the Caesars had turned the government from a republic and had started a Caesar cult, forcing the worship of Caesar as God.  Fearing a general uprising from Israel, however, they were given some latitude in their belief of God.

This belief that Caesar was God, however gained strength as Rome forced their "Pax Romana" (Roman Peace) on their people.  Now (as I have said before) when you read Romans 10:9, for instance, it will take on a new meaning.

What started me thinking about this is a discussion that we had at the flyball tournament about North Korea.  One of the people had seen a documentary of life there and commented how they thought of Kim Il-sung as God.  He is the one who provides their meager living and is the center of their thoughts.

So our question should be, what is the center of our thoughts?  Who provides us with our needs?   Is it God or our own empire (in my case, the United States)?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our dogs have their first titles

At flyball today, we decided to have Rocky tested for the Canine Good Citizen.  This is basically a "lightweight" obedience test.  Being the good and well trained dog he is, he came through with flying colors.

After thinking about it, I decided to test Keva as well.  Keep in mind that we've had him for around 3 months but just took him through an obedience course with Clearwater Dog Training in Denver.

Keva didn't do quite as well but came through with his title as well...  We now have

Rocky, CGC   and Keva, CGC

Friday, March 20, 2009

Email Analysis

I received this from a friend today.  It is the second time I got one.  I'll comment below:

I so believe this, so I am sending on.






I have several issues with the text here... Lets see where to start.

  • First, the email is in ALL CAPS. In internet speak, it is equivalent to yelling. While that may have been the intent, it makes it quite hard to read.  Now to the content...
  • In the second paragraph, the author of this seems to make the assumption that our country was, at one point, a "Christian Nation".  We have, as a nation, rarely acted in a manner that would glorify God.  For many years, we enslaved people for the profits of the owners. Moved people groups to less desirable lands because we wanted the lands they inhabited.  Yes many of the laws of this country are "moral" and apparently based on the "10 commandments" but that doesn't make us a Godly nation.
  • Yes, the Bible does state: 
    if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
    in 1 Chronicles 7:14, lets look at the context.  It was told to Solomon by God during the dedication of the first temple.  It is a good principle to follow, however....
  • We are told to pray for our leaders, not on a call out by some more or less anonymous email chain letter but by God, himself.
So where does that leave us... Let's take a look at Romans 1, it basically says that when we choose wickedness, God abandons us to our own desires (all those immoralities listed above and more).  Why?   I believe it is to allow us to hit bottom so we have no choice but to turn to God.

Not convinced?  Newtonian physics says the same thing... The second law of thermodynamics is the law of entropy, stating that things move from order to disorder.  As you read through the Bible, you see this apply to spiritual principles quite often... 

So, how should we then pray?  How should we then live?

Monday, March 16, 2009


Last weekend, I went to a Get The Word Out intensive on Worship.  This involved some front end work but most occurred during the day (8:30 - 8:30) on Saturday.

We asked and answered questions like....
  • What is Worship?  (it is not just any part or the whole Sunday Morning church service).
  • What do you Worship? (The easy answer is whatever you think about most).
  • How do I truly worship God?  (Read Romans 12:1-2 for an idea, especially in The Message)
If you think you have a handle on it, do some honest thinking about the middle question above.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Pegging the "Geek Meter"

There is a concept in software that is extending elsewhere called "open source".   While companies like Microsoft usually talk against open source software, companies like Sun have figured out ways to make money by making all their software open source.

What open source means is that while the developer or development group still owns and maintains the software, others are able to look at, fix or enhance the software that was written.  Depending on licensing, those changes may need to go back into the project.

Here is one of the most interesting open source projects I have seen...

According to the press release (just click on the picture), it is a car powered by Lithium-Ion batteries and an electric motor on each wheel.  The lighting is OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) which is driver configurable.  The developers are, however, completely opening the technology to others to help improve the vehicle.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Kingdom of Heaven vs the Kingdom of God

There are people who believe the Kingdom of Heaven talked about in Matthew and the Kingdom of God talked about in Mark & Luke are different things.

I don't believe that is the case.  To make the point, let's look at Matthew 13:31-33 and Mark 4:30-32
Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.  It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."
Luke 13:18 reads quite similarly to Mark. So why the different phrase?  It is the audience that the different books are written to.  Matthew was writing to a primarily 1st century Jewish audience.  They would have been offended if he referred to God in a too casual way so, in tradition, there was an inference of God by saying Heaven.  Mark and Luke were writing to a primarily non-Jewish audience.  One not offended by the use of God in that context.  I don't know but they may have been confused if "Kingdom of Heaven"were used instead.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Magic Purse.

I've been reading a story called "The Magic Purse" by Tim Thompson on the Emerging Parents blog.

I may have heard it before but the moral of the story is really good.  You can read all four parts here, here, here and here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mold and Mildew

With news stories like this one which starts:
A single mother with 8-year-old triplets says she and her children became ill from black mold after a contractor improperly installed insulation in her condex.

I was surprised to hear this on the Daily Audio Bible this morning...
God spoke to Moses and Aaron: "When you enter the land of Canaan, which I'm giving to you as a possession, and I put a serious fungus in a house in the land of your possession, the householder is to go and tell the priest, 'I have some kind of fungus in my house.' The priest is to order the house vacated until he can come to examine the fungus, so that nothing in the house is declared unclean. When the priest comes and examines the house, if the fungus on the walls of the house has greenish or rusty swelling that appears to go deeper than the surface of the wall, the priest is to walk out the door and shut the house up for seven days. On the seventh day he is to come back and conduct another examination; if the fungus has spread in the walls of the house, he is to order that the stones affected by the fungus be torn out and thrown in a garbage dump outside the city. He is to make sure the entire inside of the house is scraped and the plaster that is removed be taken away to the garbage dump outside the city. Then he is to replace the stones and replaster the house.

If the fungus breaks out again in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house has been scraped and plastered, the priest is to come and conduct an examination; if the fungus has spread, it is a malignant fungus. The house is unclean. The house has to be demolished—its stones, wood, and plaster are to be removed to the garbage dump outside the city. Anyone who enters the house while it is closed up is unclean until evening. Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes.

But if when the priest comes and conducts his examination, he finds that the fungus has not spread after the house has been replastered, the priest is to declare that the house is clean; the fungus is cured. He then is to purify the house by taking two birds, some cedar wood, scarlet thread, and hyssop. He will slaughter one bird over fresh water in a clay pot. Then he will take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet thread, and the living bird, dip them in the blood of the killed bird and the fresh water and sprinkle the house seven times, cleansing the house with the blood of the bird, the fresh water, the living bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet thread. Last of all, he will let the living bird loose outside the city in the open field. He has made atonement for the house; the house is clean.
While there is a spiritual application there, I find the medical application more interesting.  Some time ago, on the "Extreme Home Makeover", the house was causing a child to become ill because it was filled with mold.  It amazes me that God knew this was a problem and made it part of his law of obedience.

Yesterday went to the dogs...

Yesterday consisted of lifting a flyball box in and out of the lanes and running Bailey.

You can see my friend and team mate Brian on the flyball box in this video.

Bailey is the fourth dog to run.  You can see me in the back trying to get her to move faster.  You can watch other videos that Marj took yesterday here and here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Context, Context, Context.

I ran across a passage that reinforced "context" in my mind yet again.  Over the past year or so, I have read several books that have mentioned the importance of context in the Bible.  Not just the context of the passage itself but the historical context the writer was writing in.

To summarize the explanation a little bit,  let's look at a passage that I read this morning.  In 2 Cor 4:5, we can read 
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake.
Admittedly, that one verse is taken out of it's context in many ways but what I want to show is right there.  I'll encourage you to click the link above and read the chapter before continuing. 

In "Velvet Elvis", Rob Bell stresses that the Bible is written in a particular place, in a particular time, to a particular people.   That is definitely the case here. Let's look at one simple phrase in that verse...  "That Jesus is Lord".  What does that say to you?   Here is what I hear now when I read it...

Paul is living in a time where you are to worship Caesar with a punishment of death if you don't.  Caesar said he is Lord or God (he declared himself to be God or a son of God).  To say or preach that Jesus is Lord means that Caesar is not.  That means that every time Paul speaks, he is marking himself for death.

Now, go back and take a look at passages like Romans 6:23 and Romans 10:9 again.  Read the chapter around the verse and read them in the cultural context I just touched on above.  Or go down through this list with that perspective.

A Flyball Weekend.

This weekend is a flyball weekend in Loveland (and busier).

What is flyball?  Check out this video...

On Saturday, I got to race with Bailey, a dog owned by Carrie.  I got to race Bailey a few times last month.  You can see Carrie helping me start Bailey in the picture below.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Teenage Song

I saw this one on CrazyChristianClips blog...

It is called "Teenage Song" and is way too true!

Friday, February 20, 2009

This weekend

This weekend is a big one... We are going to RUFF's Presidential Pandemonium Flyball Tournament in Loveland and attending the Heavenfest fundraising banquet Saturday night.

The Stethoscope

My parents sent this video to me today.

It was created by Southern Hills Church of Christ, Abilene, Texas.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day

It's groundhog day and I thought I'd stick my head out of the ground and see if I see my shadow.

Since it is early when I am posting there are no shadows.

Instead, I'll leave you with this cartoon from the blog "The Ongoing Adventures of the ABSO Jesus". For an explaination of what ABSO means, go here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wellspring: Get out from under the cloud

Check out what my friend Dave wrote on condemnation in his post called "Get out from under the cloud".

Feeding the Feedburner

I have know about Feedburner for some time.  I just put my blog feed on feedburner however.

I know I have mentioned web syndication (RSS) and feeds before and why but I'll recap.  

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and is a way for you to watch someone's blog or podcast or the news (really anything with frequent updates) without having to visit the site constantly to see if the put something out for the rest of the world to read.

For the non-geek among us, most blogs like Typepad, Blogger and Wordpress will publish a feed for you.  For the geekier, among us, there are ways of building your own feeds, you just need a place to put the feed file.  One that I use is called "ListGarden"... I like it because it's easy and reliable, runs nearly anywhere and costs $0... A good price.  You can pay $$ and get something like RSSBuddy however.

What do you do with these feeds?  There are several things you can do... One is to ignore it but what fun is that?  If you choose not to ignore it, however, you don't have to look directly at it. After all, the file that is produced is pretty ugly.   

Instead, put it into a feed reader.  There are installed readers and on-line readers.  I like on-line readers because I am not always on the same computer so I don't have to weed through the same information multiple times.  The disadvantage is that if you are reading a feed from a corporate intranet (inside the company), the on-line readers can't get to it and you need an installed reader.  Fortunately, many browsers have the feature built in.

Installed readers include:
My personal favorites are Google Reader.  It works well in Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox as well as a mobile version for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Now, why Feedburner?  Feedburner has this feature that allows you to subscribe to any of the on-line services with the click of a button.  If you are publishing a podcast, you can also have iTunes automatically subscribe, even if you are not in the iTunes store.  It also keeps statistics for you on where people come from and go to.

You can now subscribe to this blog here, Why you may want to is a different question.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inauguration day preparation

With the inauguration of our new president coming up on Monday, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this....

No matter who you voted for or what side you are on, you'll never have "A Savior on Capitol Hill".  There is only one Savior for this world.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking up from the bottom....

In the Psalm I read to day the writer seems to be looking up from the bottom, all the way up to God.  What I see in these verses, though, is surrender.

Psalm 119:25-32 reads like this in The Message.

I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse! 
      Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember? 
   When I told my story, you responded; 
      train me well in your deep wisdom. 
   Help me understand these things inside and out 
      so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. 
   My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn; 
      build me up again by your Word. 
   Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; 
      grace me with your clear revelation. 
   I choose the true road to Somewhere, 
      I post your road signs at every curve and corner. 
   I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; 
      God, don't let me down! 
   I'll run the course you lay out for me 
      if you'll just show me how.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One of my favorites

Both my mom and dad are musicians.  My mom was a music teacher before I was born and my dad played drums. 

There was always music around the house.  One of my favorites was "That's Almost Good" by David Seville (who was also the guy behind Alvin and the Chipmunks).

Although I couldn't find the song on any of the music sites, I did find it on YouTube...  You can listen (and watch the '45 turn) here...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Keeping sinless...

I ran across this forumla for keeping from sinning...

Galatians 5:16:23 (The Message)...
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

This isn't the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom.

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

Enough said...

Easy right?  hmm....