Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

So basically, I was reading on a few friends' blogs, and they had this thing that on every Tuesday, they'd list 10 things they wanted to thank God for. Now, I do recognize that I may stand alone in my gender for embracing this cool weekly concept, but here goes:

1. Coldplay - watching them on SNL last week got me excited to see them in concert in mid-November. They played 3.5/4 songs! (which is unheard of, save they had to scrap some skits 'cause Amy Poehler went into labor, or they had a weak no-name host, or maybe they've just arrived at a similar place of respect in pop culture) Did anyone notice that upon the conclusion of the song Yellow, Chris Martin said into the microphone, "Barack Obama?"
2. EA Playground on Wii - My brother Payton and I discovered this little game over the weekend, and it is amazing! Just ridiculously fun for anyone who's ever walked or driven past a group of elementary kids playing at recess and wanted to go back in time for just a moment...well, my friends, now you can. Go check it out and discover you're own fun.
3. Fireproof - We went and caught a matinee of this Christian film and were impressed. Personally, if you can get past a few over-dramatic, awkward-acted, low-film-budget-moments, you'll be fine. Actually, the film inspired, challenged, encouraged, and prompted me to reflection and action in my marriage...and that was my take-away, not the movie being preachy.
4. Mighty to Save - So who cares if it's not as repetitively played as How Great is Our God, but for a foreign, LIVE anthem of praise, Hillsong's beauty is doing mighty fine. It's my daughter's most requested song at the moment, and I couldn't be happier about that.
5. Golf - Once I vowed never to embrace this silly game with a bunch of metal sticks, a little white ball, and a grassy adventure. It seems I was wrong--this game is a blast.
6. Disney Channel - No, they're not perfect, but their shows try to be as family sensitive as they can, while striving to be successful and creative. Miley Cyrus and the crew may be flawed, but in some strange ways I'm glad my daughter is excited about them rather than Bratz or boys or something else. My favorite new show on DIS is Studio DC, which stars many of the DIS youngsters and THE MUPPETS! It's like a spoof of a spoof on SNL, and it's pretty good so far.
7. Deacon Jack - While he is in this ridiculous phase of staggered sleep in the PM hours, his personality is coming alive during all the hours in between. He smiles, laughs, reaches out and grabs things, slobbers, recognizes, and snuggles in just the coolest ways. I am very blessed to have a son alongside my little Shiloh princess.
8. College Football - I don't consider myself a hardcore fan of this, but isn't it just the coolest thing to know that the eyes of America are on our state because of UT and Tech? Saturday's game could be the best game of the entire fall thus far.
9. Herdez Salsa - We discovered this at Wal-mart. I love making my own, fresh salsa when I'm able to...but for something quick and easy, this stuff is amazing. To date it's the best store-bought salsa we've ever had...I'm wondering if the fact that the label informed me it was created in Mexico has anything to do with it (that's a compliment, friends)...
10. Abba - Some of you have been fans for a long time, I get that. However, I'm just beginning my journey with them, and of course, it's after seeing Mamma Mia this summer with Carly and Deacon. (side note: I've got a soft spot for WELL DONE Musicals on Film--Sweeney Todd, Chicago, and possibly Les Miserables. However, King Leonitus does not a Phantom of the Opera make.) Among the songs I'm currently diggin' the most are Dancing Queen and Mamma Mia, of course...but I Have a Dream is just spell-bindingly spiritual.

Thanks for humoring me by reading, my friends, and thanks for inspiring me all you faithful blogging mommas out there. Grace, peace, and blessings on your faith and families.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A very simple, very profound entry today.

Last night at church, Shiloh felt warm...as a precaution we did not allow her to get near Deacon's face or hands until we could assess better what was going on. The whole ride home, she was quite pleasant and mellow, and she even asked very politely, "Daddy, you're going to take care of me?" She knew she was not well, and this was one of the first times I'd heard such a simple and basic an expression of faith. When we got home and took her temperature, it was a blazing 102. Yikes.

After a brief stint in the bath, dosage of medicine, pajamas, and then in bed, it was time for prayers before lights out. I didn't think she would want to pray, but she did. This is what she said:

"Dear God, thank you for this day. Please help me feel better, so I can touch Deacon again."

Tears formed...and I'm still reflecting on the purest of prayers from such a pure heart. I'm not going to expound on all the implications for our lives from her prayer...I think you can form your own. If you'd like to share that with our family, we'd be honored. Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I suspect I'm not the first and certainly won't be the last to express their thoughts in reaction to last night's debate and the upcoming election. I'm just ready to get a few things out there about what I'm seeing, observing, and my shallow perspective on this whole political thing.

Am I the only one to notice that anytime the White House is up for grabs, people just get weird? Like, if a president is up for re-election, then it's very much a "mild salsa" feel. But when you have a wide-open race, something a little more heated comes to the surface. It's as though there's this stored up angst that spills out through conversations, judgements, and opinions.

The other day after our Children's Worship ("ROCK"), I was approached by a member at our church I've known a long time. He was very kind as he asked me why I was an Obama supporter. I was kind of surprised at where he'd heard that, and also that it was a forgone conclusion that I was in his corner outright. He told me that someone had mentioned to him it was on my Facebook. So I went and looked at my Facebook page last night.

Under my visual bookshelf, The Audacity of Hope is listed as a book I'm currently reading. I received that book as a gift from my wife for Christmas, and it's just been taking me forever to read it...the 2-3 chapters are excellent, but you and I both know how eloquent and wordy Barack is, and so it's not an easy read. I would like to just suggest that although I read the book of someone I find fascinating doesn't make me their die-hard supporter. I cannot stand Bill Maher, and I don't want to give him a dime of my $$, but something in my spirit is curious to see his negative, cynical perspective on church and faith in his new documentary Religious.

What I can respect is being secure enough in your convictions to not mess with things like Obama's books, Maher's movies and the like. But what goes with that is also the respect for those who desire to see the world in all its reality, gaining perspective from differing worldviews. This is why I even bother to listen to debates and engage in conversations with folks about politics, much to my own demise!

Speaking of conversations...when I've discussed this election with many of my friends and family members who are by-n-large Republicans, I've been rather surprised at their lack of enthusiasm for their candidate. In fact, not really any of those conversations have sought to promote McCain, Palin, and everything they're about. Rather what I consistently hear is how Obama is evil, how they're afraid of him. I guess the timeless strategy of if you're mediocre on your party's guy, bash the other guy until your guy looks a little better. This is just silly. It's not very compelling to choose the lesser of 2 evils.

I will make no excuses for Obama's position on abortion, and the many ramifications of those choices. I'm a fan of life all the way around. I also understand that traditionally the President isn't looked upon to be the standard of all things moral and good...as Christians we may want that, but let's be honest, it's probably not going to happen. I'm not exercising cynicism, but rather just reminding myself that my hope rests in Jesus, and all that he stands for as a leader. Maybe I need to read Claiborne's new book, Jesus for President to better formulate what I mean.

I'm impressed with McCain's perseverance and courage. He's not afraid to be unpopular, while Obama seems to ride the waves of pop culture to have conversations about his positions. Yet every time Obama's morality is questioned, I cannot help but reflect on the fact that no one talks about McCain's flawed past...his failed marriage and affair are not exactly the stuff of wholesome conservative values. So, it seems to me there is disappointment for both men on both sides. What to do?

I know our hope rests in Jesus, and I believe that no matter who is the President of the U.S. for the next 4 years, in no way should that discourage my faith in God and His power. I personally commit to pray for whoever leads our nation next, and I guess the follow-up prayer to that would be that people would just support the U.S., no questions asked. Wouldn't that be the true testimony of patriotism...to get behind America, no matter who's at the helm, rather than pout, take our ball and go home when we don't get our way, when our candidate or party isn't victorious?

As I told one family member recently, I may just be allergic to politics. May we all come to a place where we vote with our heads and our hearts. May we ultimately trust that the God of the Universe is bigger than this election, and may we follow the footsteps of our one true leader, Christ Jesus...He's the only one worth all of our energies anyway.