Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I wonder...

I wonder if it's possible to care about everybody? You'd genuinely be concerned about the lives of everyone you came in contact with. I'm thinking it's not. Maybe that's just me though.

I'm going to see over 400 people today. I just don't think it's possible to genuinely care about all of them. It's not like I wouldn't be alarmed by some tragic occurrence...it's just that in all likelihood, some of them are going to cry about something today...some of them will be depressed...some will be excited about something that I just don't care about or value.

It's just true.

I know a few people that seem to care about everyone they see. I just sort of doubt that. I have a friend that has a world class fake laugh. He's really fun to be around because he's always laughing. People love that. I just happen to know him really well...and I respect his sense of humor enough to know that often he's faking it. He admits it to me.
I wonder if people have fake caring faces. They might have a fake look of concern, a fake look of -I'm genuinely happy for you and a fake look of - awww I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

I guess some people probably do. Too bad, huh?

Maybe instead of trying to develop a fake laugh and fake looks of concern I can try and care for one extra person today. It's possible that it's something that you can develop. Maybe it's like lifting weights...at first it's hard to lift the bar up (for guys like Fuller) but pretty soon...after months of trying...you're lifting 250 lbs. At first you feel like passing out when you run a mile...and before you know it, you're running mini marathons. Maybe this is where those cheesy "God's gym" t-shirts came from???

Today I could stop focusing on me for a few minutes and take the time to get to know someone I'd usually just say hi to. If I take the time to think through, "How would I feel about what they're going through?" then maybe I'll have a little bit of empathy. It's funny how to develop empathy I have to think through how something would affect me.
It's sort of selfish at the core. Maybe we start from a selfish place and gradually begin to look at others needs???

Either way, I want to be more concerned with what's going on in the lives of the people around me. I just need to realize that right now I'm barely getting the bar off the bench...but it's a start.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Susan and Teresa
a haiku,
Here it is Susan
Teresa and you online
captured forever

standing on the shoulders of giants...the NY Giants that got blown out in the playoffs...

It's odd to me when people say, "let's talk off line about that".

I sat down and talked with a guy last week that's kind of a big deal....written a bunch of books...that kind of thing. He said that I had the gift of "turnaround". This was based on almost no conversation or his having any real idea of what I'm about. His thinking was that I could go into a situation and help to turn things around. I hadn't said anything about anything at this point...just, "how are you doing?" something like that...and he told me he "saw the words turn around over my head" I wondered if he saw something scary behind me...
Anyhow, he felt like that was my gift.
That gift sucks.

I used to say that the hardest thing we do is start a new work. There's no objective standard, nothing to point to, no momentum. It's just incredibly difficult. I used to say that...until I had to help turn around a situation.

If you do that...the objective standards are often wrong. The momentum is going in the wrong direction....and the things you can point to are all bad. The problem is that's how people have been living...that's been the way that they were taught. They might have even seen some pretty good stuff come out of it.

The problem here is that GOOD is often the enemy of the BEST.
"but we've always done it that way" "that worked when we did it that way"
It's hard to convince people that there's a better way.
You sound arrogant, judgmental, jerky...

It's no fun.

I don't want to be the turn around guy. I want to be the "on board" guy.
That Sean, he's always on board with everything. He's the "go along" guy...

I've become a volunteer for something that I'm really excited about. I have (or had) incredible hope for this deal. And it's just not great. It's close. It has great possibilities. But it's just not there yet.
and it's not going to change.
I'm not in charge of it - and really have no hope of helping it to be a little bit better...and that kills me.

It makes me want to reinvent the wheel. I want to take the basic concepts of this thing and turn it around. I want to rename it something...so no one will have goofy ideas of what it should look like...and do it right. I want to start it over.
I really really do.

And I can't.

that just sucks. I find solace in the fact that I'd probably just screw it up anyway...

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Some guys from xxxchurch.com came to our church today. These guys have the #1 rated Christian porn site in the world. Basically, they talk with folks who struggle with porn...and their web site has resources that you can download. They have software that you can sign up on that sends an accountability partner periodic e-mails letting them know of any web sits you visit. You just have to pick one or two friends to be your accountability partner.
Sounds a little like big brother...but is it big brother if you invite them in?

It sounds more like living unashamed...or free...or out in the open.

I was impressed to hear these guys say that they go to the biggest porn convention in the world and set up a booth. People laughed at the ridiculousness of these two Christian guys setting up shop in the midst of the craziness. It didn't make sense...even to a largely Christian audience.

You gotta wonder where Jesus would be hanging out.

He tended to hang out with prostitutes, drunks, screwballs, crooks...people like me. He WENT to them. He didn't bring in a big band, have the world's largest pizza party or hook people into coming to a basketball game where he'd preach at them during halftime. He just went to them. He was in their world. He was in our world, I should say. That was his "method".

His strategic plan for setting up a church looked like this:
1. go to people
2. get to know them

I think he'd probably stop by the porn convention. Probably on his way to the casino...or to the all you can eat buffet (did I mention it was in Vegas?)

Bottom line - He hung out with screwballs...and that just makes sense.

That's the only hope a guy like ma has...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

don't fence me in...

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical


Classical Liberal




Roman Catholic


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, January 27, 2006

ok, we get it...

So I occasionally bump into this guy that seems to always bring the conversation around to the subject of beer. I've got no problems with beer...I understand that people like it...but every day....you gotta talk about it?
It'd be odd if every day I said to him, "Yeah, I'm going out to get a big mac with the fellas tonight. We should go get some big macs some time. I just loves me some big macs"

There are these old ladies that do laps at the Y where it takes fifteen laps to equal a mile...so they carry these little counters so they don't lose track of how many laps they've done.
In high school we were like that. We'd spend the night counting how many beers we drank. We'd also add two or three to the tally just to keep up appearances.
"Dude, I've already had 17 beers tonight!"
Then for the next week we'd wedge into conversation how many drinks we'd had.
"So how was the math exam?"
"It wasn't too bad...it would have been easier if I hadn't had 28 beers last weekend!"

In college there were always guys that didn't really go to parties in high school that were playing catch up...so they'd say the same things you'd hear in high school.
"Dude, I was out til three o'clock drinkinig with my prof...I had like 74 beers!"


You still count?

Dude, I had 173 french fries and 17 ounces of ketchup!!

I sometimes wish I could go back in time and just invite them to one of the parties. It's ok. People like you. You don't have to keep track anymore.

I understand people drink because they're feeling lonely, it's their way of being fun, or they just like the taste...and that's their deal... but it's odd when they talk about it like it's some sort of athletic feat. It's like they need to tell us how much they drank because in their mind, it's not something that just anybody can do.
"I can talk to people because I drink beer"
That's how you talk to people?

I know this sounds like an anti beer rant...but I promise you it's just an observation about teenage habits following us into our latter years. I get it. People drink...we have freedom. Jesus drank wine. I'm alright with the alcoholic beverages. I just worry about the poor people who don't drink.
On top of not being considered organic, emergent or relevent...they're stuck with the label of being an uptight fundamentalists...and have nothing to hang their hat on.
"I read 17 chapters of the Bible last night!"
you still count?

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I was at a restaurant yesterday and saw a dad and his 2 year old daughter playing. She was running around, making noise, spinning, literally sticking her nose in other people's tables...and he loved it. You could tell he was so proud of his little girl. It never occurred to him that she might be bugging other people trying to have a quiet meal.
He was beaming.

I can't read minds, but I'd bet a lot of money he was thinking, "they all think she's the cutest little girl they've ever seen" It was like he was glad to share her with us.
And she really was running all over the place.

I get like that. I forget that not everybody knows that Grif and Coop are God's gift to the world. Annie gets worried in public places if Grif runs around...but I really do think, "people love Grif...who wouldn't want him to come up to them and smile? It's like our present to the place."

It's a look for me at blind love...or a love that's so great that it blinds us to anything else.
It just doesn't occur to parents sometimes that anyone would be less than thrilled with their children...because they love them so much.

I know people struggle with the love of our Father because of goofy screwed up issues they have with goofy screwed up dads...but as a father, it's nice to know that our God is our Father...he's our dad...and he loves us enough to let us spin around and bug other people while they're eating.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

a thumbs up kind of person

I think shaking hands it kind of random. You grab someone's hand and shake it?
That's what we're going to start conversations with?
You want me to grab his hand...and move it up and down?
o.k. Kind of weird though.

How about the high five? It's o.k. if you're passing each other in the hallway and neither person stops...but to face someone and then high five them...it just seems kind of cheesy.

Bumping fists - or giving a "pound" - or "Knucks" is ok if you do it sarcastically (oh you can do nonverbal sarcasm...come and sit at my feet while I teach you of this art grasshopper)

These all leads me to the thumbs up. I'm working hard to bring it back. It's almost painfully awkward (and I LOVE AWKWARD) but I'm going to keep at it until I see two different people in the same day do it...and not just to do it because it's me...but because they're trying to be a thumbs up kind of person.

That's what I'm all about. Bringing back the thumbs up...and the phrase "knuckle sandwich" ...and eventually Frank Stallone's career.
one day at a time...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the Aristocrats

Is it bad that I want to rent the Aristocrats?
I'm not talking about adding $4.25 to the corporate barons that are threatening the existence of all of humanity. I'm cool with that.
I'm talking about the movie that's always discussed with a focus on how many people walked out of the theater in disgust.

My basic problem is that I love all things comedy. Particularly stand up comedy. I read books by and about stand up comedians. I'm fascinated by their craft. I just love it.
This movie is all about stand up comedians telling the same joke. It's 100 different comedians (I think) telling the same joke with their different spin on it. It's considered a comedian's joke. A joke that can be told 100 different ways and you can prove your prowess by besting the last person who told it.

And it can get pretty nasty.

So you see my dilemma... There's some truth to the ol garbage in, garbage out. I know it's a cliche...and sounds a little church lady...but stuff just sticks with you. Our minds are powerful and feeding it junk tends to eat at it. That's why Christians get all riled up about the Last Temptation of Christ and others get mad at violence in film. Stuff just sticks...and people realize that.

A friend of mine was talking with a group of college guys who were talking about how hard it is to not focus on sex 24 hours a day. They're surrounded by it. So my friend ask them about the movie they were headed to...and it was your basic R rated teen sex movie. These guys never saw a correlation. They weren't surrounded by this stuff...they were paying $7 to go see it.
They were actually pretty proactive about being surrounded by it.

So there's my dilemma...

Did I mention Bob Saget is in this?

Monday, January 23, 2006

3 day weekend

I've often said I'm not one for vacations. I get too antsy. I need to be at least partially engaged in some sort of activity...and laying around the beach just doesn't do it for me. I'm also not a big fan of Disney. I like the regional parks with the better rides. Anyhow, I wasn't on a beach, at Epcot or on the Beast this weekend.

I was in the bathroom.

And then Griff started getting sick. It's amazing how guilty and sad you feel when your five year old gets sick because of you. And now Annie is getting sick. It's a scary feeling when your pregnant wife gets sick. And it all started with me.

I was talking with a friend lately about how some people tend to breathe life into a room. They can't help but make the people around them feel better. I have these obsessive moments where I tell everyone around me that they need to (fill in the blank) because I think it's the greatest thing ever (have you ever tried Rain X?) That's about as close as I ever come. I end up being an infomercial salesman for whatever I think is great. Not so much about lifting people up as lifting my ideas or things I'm excited about up...

It's just not the same. I'm more into my thing, or something...and not someone. I end up not breathing life into rooms because I'm too into myself. It's hard to breathe life into someone when you're focused on yourself. It just is.

It's one of those truths like, -it's hard to both hate and pray for someone at the same time. It might not be absolute truth...but it sure seems to work out that way.

So maybe I should feel bad/guilty when I walk into a room and people feel worse...it's just like being around my 5 year old and him getting sick because he came into contact with me.

Maybe that shouldn't be my focus. Maybe it should be that I'd feel better by walking into a room and helping to lift the spirits of those around me?

or maybe it's the medication talking...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

the worst kind of recycling

Just spent the last twenty minutes in the bathroom.
That's not so unusual.
I was on my hands and knees...thats kind of unusual behavior for me in the bathroom....or anywhere else really.
I have a whole new respect for my wife..who gets tremendous credit for going through labor, but not so much for the months of morning sickness. It's really, really unpleasant.

It is interesting how much better you feel after "it". Your body just knows that it's gotta get rid of something...and out it goes. And things are better (although I have the distince impression I'm headed back that way) (Yup...turns out I was right)
It is a big dramatic though. Sort of a violent, spasmatic release....really, really unpleasant. And then it's out.

I wonder what it would look like to rid yourself of other problems in the same manner. Your body somehow would know that it's too full of pride, insecurity, hate, envy...and it would just go into spasms...and out it would go. I'm sure that it would be really, really, really unpleasant.

I guess it is. It just shows up in broken relationships, anger, loneliness and bad sitcoms...
Ah well...back to the Gatorade and crackers....(101 fever - haven't had that in a while)

i think i have the bird flu...

I wonder if we could get more people involved in Habitat for Humanity by getting rid of Jimmy Carter as the spokesperson and replacing him with Tom Bergeron. We could set up regional House-offs with folks competing to put together the best house. If we turned it into a full blown reality show - for folks who don't have talent or wanna stay on an island - I'm sure they'd triple the number of houses built. People would work through the night if they thought it might mean a little more camera time.

They'd line up at coliseums just for a chance to show off their hammer skills on t.v.

It's just a thought...but might be worth a shot. This could revolutionize charity work...

Friday, January 20, 2006

beward the curse of the volvo station wagon

I just went and picked up some fellas from work who were having car issues. I picked them up in a red, volvo station wagon. I was going to clean out my Honda to squeeze them all in (had a bunch of stuff I was lugging around for a video) and everyone's favorite smiling face at the front desk...and the person who really runs this place, offered up her car. She didn't even blink...didn't ask for my driving record, if I'd been drinking, had abused any sort of prescription drugs...just handed over the keys. You can't beat those Dresslers...

OK, back to the car. It had heated seats!

Why haven't they come out with heated seats before now? (now, being this chunk of time we live in that knows of warm behinds in luxury vehicles) Why doesn't my car have heated seats? And if they can heat, why don't they massage? I used to have a car that didn't have heat, but the cigarette lighter worked (don't get ahead of me on this one) so I plugged in a portable heater. I had another car that had a leaky gas tank. It only really leaked while I was filling it out. I'd put $15 in the tank and $4 on the ground. (don't tell the E.P.A.)
I've had cars that were missing door handles, radios, seats and the ability to shift.

And as much as I can whine about the lousy cars I've had....how ridiculous is it for me to complain? I've had a dozen cars...literally. Can you imagine going to someone living in a trash dump and complaining that your car doesn't have heated seats? You drive by a guy walking four miles in his bare feet to get his family some disease ridden water...and he hears you yelling about the stupid c.d. player skipping. It'd be like some guy complaining to you about his house not having a four car garage.

I sure did like that car though...and I still like mine...life is good....let's focus on that and that'd free us up to maybe help someone who doesn't have it quite as good as we do. Ashley did it by lending us her car...how can I pass that on?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

throw out the bathwater with the baby...

I was at a meeting last night and in the course of discussion I mentioned a quote outta the Bible...and it was sort of awkward.

I'm typically not accused of forcing my religion on people...being too pushy...not identifying with folks who have different beliefs. I actually think I'm decent at seeing things while asking -"what would a person who's not into Christianity think about this?" One of the things I do at church and events is think about folks who aren't into church or Jesus and what they'd be thinking about what was happening.

But when I quoted a verse...in a meeting of Christians...if just felt odd. Not because it was out of place, or didn't fit the discussion...but because it was the Bible. I'm finding that some Christians are so freaked out about the possibility of offending people or coming off as a cheesy Christian bumpersticker or t-shirt - that they shy away from relevent verses from the Bible. It's sort of a, "You don't get it...we don't talk about that book in public" kind of vibe.

Quote some D.H. Lawrence - cool
Quote DR Seuss - groovy
Quote Paul - what are you doing?...don't you understand our values here?

I sometimes wonder if it's because we're largely Biblically illiterate. I'm in a fairly educated environment with folks that follow Jesus - and I don't get the impression that there's a tremendous value on knowing the old and new Testaments. We're like the people that stop liking a band because they're popular. "that songs really great" "yeah, it just hit the top ten on the radio" "that sucks...I liked them before they were big" We'll read Dallas Willard, but not Deuteronomy. Erwin McManus (who I'm becoming a big fan of) but not James. I wonder if it's because folks really are concerned with not offending people, or just don't really know their stuff??? Believe me, I know that Testamints are cheesy(they have verses covering the mints)...and don't get me started on BibleMan (although Willie Aames is a genius)

I want to let folks know...it's o.k. I'm not too bad at interacting with folks with different beliefs...and they're not frightened of the Bible. If my mindset was that they should realize that it's the absolute truth and if they don't get that, then they're stupid...I could see that being a problem. But if I share some wisdom from Solomon...that can be life changing, life breathing, interesting discussion.

People throw Bibles at people in the movie Saved. We probably shouldn't do that. In fact we shouldn't throw Bibles at all. We shouldn't hold them in a threatening manner. Maybe we shouldn't hold them? We shouldn't even be in the same room with them! Holy crap....I see one!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


whatever is true for you is true...because it's true for you.

It's truth. Pure. Simple.

If you believe it, someone can't say it's wrong - because to you...it's true.
"It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere."


Hitler? He really believed in his deal...so that was true?

Republicans are always right? They believe so.
Democrats are always right? They would argue that.
Ralph Nader is always right? come on...

It is a nice excuse to just kind of believe what you want to believe...so you're never wrong. I guess I can see why this incredibly illogical (I don't want to just come out and say it's stupid or idiotic...that's just mean) way of thinking would be embraced.

Here are some things that I believe...

I believe that I live in better conditions than 95% of the world.
I don't have AIDS. I own a house. I have an incredible wife. I can walk. I have a job. I have a car. I never worry about where my next meal is coming from (let's see....Arby's? Wendy's? Chipotle!) I have amazing kids. I have a computer. I can see, hear, hold things without pain, stand up....

There are people who walk miles and miles to a job that will pay them pennies a day. I drive a 2000 Honda to a job that pays me enough to buy these sweet, sweet clothes I'm always decked out in.

There are people who worry about how to feed their kids. My oldest son has 43 varieties of food he can microwave or toast - at his disposal. My other son has a formula that he drinks that the doctors call "liquid gold" because it's so good...and so expensive.

I can't imagine a world where children are walking barefoot through a dump littered with needles...because they're scrounging for food. In Mexico there are too many to count. I'd show you pictures but the government won't allow cameras near the place...something about it being bad for tourism.
I worry sometimes that my kids will track mud on the carpet with their new shoes.

You hear about these folks who lose their ability to (fill in the blank) and they keep saying, "I just wish I could (fill in the blank) one last time.
Hold my kids.
Go for a run.
Stand up and take a shower.
Throw a ball.
See a sunset.
Laugh at Bob Saget.

I'm pretty good at losing sight of all I have in the midst of complaining about the few things I don't have...
maybe I should focus on those sorts of beliefs

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

blank slate

I love color printers!
There, I said it.
I don't care who hears it.
Let me shout it from the rooftops, "I LOVE COLOR PRINTERS!"
I take this simple, 8 1/2 X 11, tree killing, blank slate...and I can make it say whatever I want.
I can print pictures of cute kids, Kid n' Play, Play Dough or Donuts.
I can write letters, notes, or inspirational quotes.
I can make maps, sudoku puzzles, business cards or signs.
Do you even remember the days of dot matrix? Those long streams of paper with tear away tabs on the sides? They were awful. But not today my friend. Today, I celebrate the full color, lazer printer! Yesterday was yours Dr. King, but today belongs to the HP Lazerjet 6400dn!
I've printed about 84 different documents today. Most of them in color. That's just how I roll. With the simple push of a button I can paint a picture. I take this boring, white paper and breathe new life into it. People will spend up to three minutes reading all of the information on this piece of paper...all because of my color printer. Can you imagine staring at a blank sheet of paper for three minutes?
Of course you can't...it was rhetorical...why would you answer that?

It'd be awesome to be able to just push a button and make people more colorful. You'd just hit "takes more risks" and your friend would finally start working on that book he talks about.

You could hit the "stops inadvertently insulting everyone" and I'd shut up.
"Loves people unconditionally" and they'd change the world...Certainly their world.

Following a God that wants to push your buttons...that'd be pretty cool. My God just tends to quietly whisper in my ear....
too bad I'm too busy shouting from the rooftops about my color printer...

Monday, January 16, 2006

a rose by any other name is a much better name...but who names their kid Rose?

I love my wife. My wife loves Oprah. I love Oprah?
never mind...

Possible names for child number 3:

Trey (you know....cause he'll be number 3)
Grayson - kind of different....but we like it.
Oprah - good for a conversation starter.
Collin - I still love that name....but how unfunny is Collin Quinn? seriously...
Erin - always liked that name....if we ever have a girl.
Riley - another favorite.
Margaret Mary - with the obvious nickname of Peggy...because that's short for Margaret
Hayden - good name...but do you yell out, "Hey Hay!"
Keegan - my brother kind of ruined it when he named his dog that.
Jerome - ever see a lilly white Jerome? (get on the bus)
Brian - gotta put my brothers name on the list...like he's got a chance.
Wesley - Wes is a good name...Wesley is kind of a Star Wars chess set kindda guy.
Parker - Dave Parker anyone? The cobra?
Avery - Annie likes this one, but it reminds me of envelopes and mailing labels.
Willie - I like the name Will and know a Will with one L. Plus I can yell out Willie giving me an excuse to break out my Alf impersonation.
Paul - before today I thought this was a really common name...but do you know 3 Pauls?
Kendall - but then you're calling your daughter Ken...or Kenny

I know a guy named Micah Oder who had a grandfather named Ivin...that's brutal.

I love my name and feel a great deal of responsibility naming number three. We really liked the idea of "Fin" for Griffin...but it never really caught on. It was a name we both loved and was sort of an homage to someone we both love.

Cooper just kind of struck us as a fun name. We soon realized that we'd named our first two kids names that corresponded to two very famous OSU football players (Archie Griffin - greatest college player of all time - and coach Cooper, not the greatest coach of all time)


we're not naming the kid - Spielman, Cassady, Brutus, Byars, Skladany (my all time favorite Buckeye name) and definitely not naming the kid Bo.

Ultimately I want #3 to be referred to as -

"the person in our class who loves everybody" or "that guy who helps people" maybe even "There's something about him...he just cares for people no matter what"

...I guess that's probably more important than whether or not we name him Sean Michael or Michael Sean.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Symbol disobedience

When we bought our first house, There was a flagpole out front. I took it down. It just looked kind of stupid. The pole was bigger than the house (which isn't saying much) My aunt had just read "The Greatest Generation" (which I didn't get a vote on, by the way) and was appalled that I would take away this opportunity to put up an American Flag. "what are you, a commie?"
I'm just not much for flags...sorry.
-A while ago I was playing the -let's see who can make their wedding ring spin for longer- game with a friend, and you would have thought I was shaking a baby- based on the reaction of several people in the area. "THAT'S YOUR WEDDING RING!"
They couldn't understand that it was a symbol of my love for Annie, and not my love for Annie, that I was spinning so well across the table (the key is to get a flat and wide ring)
-I think it's odd when people burn flags. It's this moment where they express their anger for this country that gives them the freedom - to voice their opinion when they burn the flag...the symbol of the freedom they have to burn the flag. It's the drunk guy who says, "I love you baby" right before he punches her.
-It's also a little...um.....not sure how to describe how I feel when someone goes nuts when they see someone burn a flag. "THAT'S YOUR FLAG!" It's a symbol of our freedom....it's not our freedom. (send your hate mail to Dave Wolfenberger).
If people want to burn the symbol of their freedom to burn the symbol....can't we just point and laugh? They're just being dumb and ironic at the same time. I see flags that are dirty, tattered, left in garages and rotting....and it's o.k. It's a symbol that's getting dirty in the garage...that's all.
-People wear crosses all the time that aren't trying to convey the instrument of death that the cross represents. It just makes them feel religousy (it's a word). I've talked with lots of folks who had no idea that the cross was a symbol of God's love for us - dying to pay a death penalty for our junk. That's o.k. They just didn't know. I sometimes wonder if Jesus came today...and he loves us enough to pay our price, died on the electric chair...if folks would be wearing electric chairs around their necks.
-O.K., I'm a little off topic. I think we sometimes get too wrapped up in stuff. I love my name. It's sort of a symbol of me....kind of. It helps people get my attention in crowds. "Hey you" just doesn't work as well when there are dozens of people around. I like to feign irritation when people misspell my name...but it's just a name....it's not me. It's just something you can write to and point at....and people know who you're talking about.
It doesn't matter that much....does it?

Thursday, January 12, 2006


So I walked in on Charlie Matthews yesterday blogging...
and he wouldn't tell me the name of his blog...it's a big secret
I hate secrets. I have to know EVERYTHING. So if anyone knows where to find his blog...you gotta tell me.
I won't tell that you told...it'll be our little secret. (I like being in on the secrets...not out of the loop)
I wonder why that is? It has to be insecurity, right?
Sure it does....right?
I looked under Charlie, Matthews, Alpha, Vineyard....nothing...nada...zip
I was just curious...I actually only read one other blog (regularly). It's not that I'm that into blogs...it's just that I hate not knowing stuff.
It's eating at me...
must have information...
need data...
gotta know more...
this just in...I found it. I'm in the loop...all is well (and his blog is really good)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

what was I talking about?

I was trying to get my radio working today. It's one of those $3 deals that has an antennae that stretches out and little plastic wheels that you turn to try and tune something in. I much prefer digital with actual numbers that come up...but those have their own issues. Anyhow, because of where I am in this building - I can't tune anything in...or at least anything I'd want to listen to.

I have too much stuff in the way. I'm not sure if it's the fluorescent lights, the metal cabinets, my big ol head...but somethings blocking the radio from performing for me. It's incredibly frustrating because I can sometimes almost get something. There's enough of a hint of discernible sound that I get this radio tease.
I have the same thing going on with different people in the building. I just don't get them...I can't tune them in. There's something in the way that keeps me from picking up what they're telling me. Usually it's my judgmental, they don't know what they're talking about, attitude. I guess it's back to that whole teachable thing. I rarely look for teachable moments...I spend my day looking for Sean moments. How can I lift up Sean here? What are some ways that I can jam into the conversation how great I am at something?
It just gets in the way of my listening. I blame a lot of stuff on my bad memory, when I actually think it's that I wasn't really paying that much attention in the first place. I vaguely know what people are talking about...but I have a bad memory.
"Actually Sean...you vaguely remember that because while I was talking, you were thinking of witty responses... "
um... "
(see what happens when I listen and don't think of witty responses?)
(you can insert your own prayer analogies here)

Hong Kong Phoey Remembered,
a haiku,
He's Hong Kong Phooey
Try and Mess with H.K.P.
spin kick to the ear

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


I had one of those lunch meetings today.

I meet with this guy on occasion who really challenges my thinking. I think the biggest reason is that it's probably one of the few meetings I'll have this week where I'll think, "this guy is a whole lot wiser than me". That little ounce of humility that fleshes itself out in my life every eon or so allows me to learn a little...maybe even to grow a bit.
I wonder how different my life would be if I went into every meeting asking, "now what can I learn from this conversation?"

instead of, "what can I impress this guy with?"

Ah well...back to trying to impress people with my impressive vertical leap and shuffleboard skills...

My self aggrandizing soapbox

We suck at caring for people in other countries with Aids.

We're not even that good at caring for Americans with Aids.


I said it...

Now I wonder if that will elicit as much of a storm as saying that the local group of guys who wear tight pants and shoulder pads aren't that great.

We suck at stuff that matters...
(sound of a tumbleweed passing through town...chirp, chirp...)

The Bengals aren't that good

14 comments from folks who care more about the NFL than (fill in the blank anything that matters)...
is that too strong?
But the reality is (and I sent in a couple of the comments....and I was the guy who wrote about it in the first place, so I'm right there with you) we do sacrifice more of our time and emotional energy on the NFL than we do on fighting AIDS.

I know people that say it's horrible that people with all this money aren't helping the poor...and that's true
But why aren't the people complaining doing anything either?
They have as much time (and usually more) than the people they're complaining about...why aren't they using their time to help?
Because we care more about the playoffs...
it's true...
Don't get all defensive if you made a comment on this blog or in person...most of us are in this boat.
I spent the afternoon watching the game and caring about it...and I don't even have one of those cool white "one" bracelets...I haven't even kicked in $1 to buy a bracelet to show my support for trendy bracelets or AIDS

My mom asked me if I felt bad about Carson Palmer...and that never even occurred to me.
I wonder how much people care that there are children's dying on the streets because no one will feed them?
No one ever asks me if I care about them.
Now if they were 6'4" and could run the 40 in 4.5...that'd be a different story

Monday, January 09, 2006

the best

-Griffin said, "I think I'll miss you today daddy"
that was the best

-looking out over the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland with my dad and brother.
that was pretty great

-seeing an awe inspiring wrestling move performed on a guy that you really don't enjoy
that's good stuff

-watching Cooper laugh
the best sound in the world

-the first bite of an Herby Turkey on a toasted salt bagel at Bruegger's Bagels
nothing tastes quite that good

-talking with Annie on the "beach" of Alum Creek
the greatest conversation I'll have for a long, long while

-reading C.S. Lewis' chapter on pride

-finding a twenty in a pocket
life is good

-a word of encouragement
keeps me alive

-speaking or "performing" in front of thousands
incredibly exhilerating

-laughing until I cry
just the best

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Woo Dey?

Q: Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?
A: Um....well if you put it like that....Da Steelers kindda do....and seriously, that's still a cheesy rally cry.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

compassion for the rich

I think most of us would say that money isn't the answer. Obviously people believe it's the answer....but most people are smart enough to not say that out loud.
I talked with a guy the other day who was talking about how sad it was that his brother and sister in law were the legal gaurdians of their little sister. (his sister in law's sister) He said, "They had all the money in the world. We didn't have much money at all....but we had love."
If money doesn't fix life....and isn't the point....then maybe it's possible to even have compassion for folks with lots of money.
I know there are people who will just die reading that. They've hated rich people all their lives...They'll say that rich people are evil while they scratch their lottery tickets...but it's been my observation that rich people can be as miserable or even more miserable than poor people. I have a friend who qualifies for all sorts of government help (housing, food stamps...) and claims none of it. He's one of the happiest guys you'd ever want to know. His father in law own three companies and is a multi multi milionaire....and he's miserable. He's just not a happy guy.
I don't think he's the only unhappy millionaire...and I don't think my friend is the only happy person living in relative poverty (we don't know real poverty in this country...from what I hear)
So -
Should we ignore the needs of the rich because they have this one tangible thing?
Or if we believe that everybody has needs beyond money...should we judge someone with a few extra bucks as a rich jerk? Should we care for the rich?
taken out of context...this could be really misconstrued...
Anyhow, I was just thinking about this poor girl that grew up in a home with lots of money and no love...and for a second...I think I felt a bit of compassion
just a bit though...I'm no fanatic

Friday, January 06, 2006

Buzz Beer

I sort of feel the same way about coffee as I do about beer. I understand that people love them...and I know that either of them can change your mood, energy level and health. It's just the idea of spending more than $2 on a beverage kills me. I've taken to drinking coffee at work lately, primarily because it's free. I like the taste. I guess some of the coffee shops have better tasting coffee...but to pay an extra $3 or $4 because it comes in a cool looking cup with a little wrap around thingy that keeps your hand from getting burnt? I'm just not there.
Pretentious? Hmmmm...
I guess I'd pay more if I had to order the coffee in sizes that don't make sense to the uninitiated... I'd pay extra just knowing that I know the "secret code". It's not a high school kid making minimum wage that I'm buying my coffee from...he's a BARISTA! That's not a large coffee you're buying...that's a VENTI!

I've been told that White Castles has some of the best coffee in town. It didn't make much sense to me because...it's White Castles. Then they explained that since it's open 24 hours a day..and they get people in at 4 AM, they just decided that their coffee would be the best. It's just that truck drivers wont pay $4 for coffee...and they definitely won't call a large a Venti, because they're not too wrapped up in the superficials...they just want some good coffee.
If White Castle put a cool logo on their cup, wrapped a piece of paper around it, stopped selling smelly burgers, and gave Italian names to their drinks...they could really make a run at the pretentious beverage market.
It's 89 cents for a coffee over here, or I can pay $4.25 for a Venti over there...hmm....which has the cooler looking cup? And the longer line? I'll be right there...just let me run to the bank machine real quick...


If you're wondering why the last little blog I wrote is no longer with us...
I have officially been censored.
It's not that bad...I did it to myself.
I had a conversation yesterday that put me over the top on a subject that bugs me a bunch (and drives Rick Scherr nuts) - so I wrote a little somethin somethin about it.
...and later thought better of it.
At first I thought I'd just throw a football haiku on top and that would lighten the mood...but alas, I didn't want the person I talked with to think I was railing against them...so it's no longer with us.
I used to show Annie e-mails I had written before I hit send....9 times out of 10 she'd give it an ok - and if she didn't, I usually wouldn't send them. She's more mature than me on these sort of angry rant kind of situations....but today is a different day. Today I grew up a little bit. I'm growing.
Keep in mind that I did post it for a little bit....so it's not like I'm that mature yet.
I'm no Bob Saget...

a haiku,
O football weekend
You bring sorrow and great joy
I'm one with the couch

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Father Murphy

There's something about nicknames that appeals to me. I named my boys Griffin and Cooper in part because I knew I'd end up calling them Grif and Coop (actually, I thought we'd call Griffin "Fin" - but that never caught on).
I'd turn down a name if I didn't think we could change it somehow. Sean's hard to turn into a nickname, but all the Murphy boys end up being "Murph" anyhow.

I'm trying to get Grif to call me Pop...but that's just confusing with drinking pop and jumping up and down on pop.
Sport was a popular nickname for boys back in the 50's. Maybe I could bring that back. I'm pretty bad at names, so for awhile I was calling people Dude, Chief, Cap'n, Fella, Tiger. I've done it so much that when Charlie (not Chuck) calls me buddy, I just assume he doesn't know my name. Turns out he calls everybody buddy.

My dad used to call me buddy and it sort of bugged me when my brother started calling my nephew buddy. It just sounded wrong. And yet, I find myself calling Griffin buddy. He's even taken to calling Cooper buddy. I'm trying to break that cycle, but it's hard.
Names are funny. They say that everyone's favorite word is their own name. You could be deep in conversation when someone across the room utters your name, and somehow you hear it. We love our names....even if we say we don't like them...we kind of love them. We love it when important people know our names. It's nice when someone addresses you by name. It's important to us.
I was on jury duty once when the attorney for the big murder trial dismissed me because he knew my dad. There were a lot of people in Columbus who knew my dad and it always brought me a sense of pride when someone said they knew him. He was kind of a big deal there and it almost made me feel like a celebrity, just because he was MY dad.

Typically I'd say that it's kind of shallow to find your identity in a name...or a relationship. A perfect example of that is in the royal family. I still don't get why people care about what the Prince or Queen are up to. They're just people who were born. That's really all they can claim. And as much as it seems shallow, I can identify with being proud of who my dad was.
In the same way, I think we can all soak in the fact that each of us is a child of God.
That really changes everything. "You're dad's the prince? My dad's the God of the Universe" Maybe I'd be a little less jealous if I soaked in that. If I could truly find my identity as one who is loved by the Almighty...maybe I wouldn't get so wrapped up in the petty things that tend to drag me down.
Our Father in Heaven? He's my pop...

Dude, where's my wallet?

I saw a car parked across two spaces recently. It wasn't one of those, "oops, I'm over the line a little on the left" kind of deals. They parked perpendicularly across two spaces with a purpose. I'm assuming they were parking in such a way so that no one could park close to them, thus opening up the possibility of a dinged door. I saw a guy park about a half mile from a store once just so no one would park near him. He was that concerned about his little Trans Am...or whatever kind of car he had (Trans Am is just my generic cheese car that I see and immediately picture a guy with a mustache, a tight shirt with the collar up and a chain to his wallet)
I wonder what in my life is so important to me, that I'd go a mile out of my way just to ensure it's safety???
I know that I've lost hundreds of hours of sleep worrying about my boys. I definitely go WAY out of my way to protect them. It hurts me more than them to see them scratched or dinged up. Maybe there's a lesson here... Maybe I should place a higher value on things that matter...
Maybe I should be more concerned about my Honda...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

testing 1, 2...

Just had satellite installed in our house. Actually the satellite is on the roof of our garage. The guy who hooked it up said that they're not allowed to hook it up over a "living space". I'm wondering what they do if they put it on a house with no garage...or on a house that has a room over the garage??? I'm also wondering what kind of cancer we're all going to get because this thing is so dangerous that they don't want it near the living quarters???
I asked the guy if he had a satellite at his house (I always ask the guys who work for a company if they have the product...that's just how I roll) When he said he did, I asked him how often it went out.
He said it'd gone out once in the last year (my TIME WARNER CABLE went out 4 times in 29 days). The one time his satellite went out was because the snow had covered it up. He just swept it off and he was back to perfect reception.
I sort of wish I could do that in areas that were slightly more important than TV. Annie's trying to tell me something...and I just wipe the snow off my head and all of a sudden I get it. Cooper's crying...I wipe the snow off and the next thing you know I'm changing a diaper.
I sometimes wonder what "snow" I'm carrying around that keeps me from truly hearing people. I'm great at recognizing the garbage that other people are carrying around that keeps them from hearing logic (truth, common sense...) but it's like a snowstorm on my cranium when you're looking for a little bit of compassion. I'm praying and thinking about all the stuff I have to do, and what's on TV, and what's for lunch, and why my leg itches...and can't figure out why God's not talking back.
I need to break out a snowplow.

Another year

Resolutions for '06
-no crack
-improve my memory (not sure how to do that)
-read less magazines and more books
-break the world record in the mile
-write a book
-learn to do a Jeff Goldbloom impersonation
-start smoking, quit, and then keep track of how many days I've been off the "devil sticks"
-step on people on my way to the top
-talk 15 people out of Time Warner Cable
-tell people we have a new phone number 777-4778 (Spripst) that comes out Friday (cursed Time Warner!)
-More rock, less talk
-Father three children
-Husband one wife
-Brother one....brother
-put my business card in the jar at Chipotle until I win a free lunch
-ban mayonnaise in public restaurants
-finish one "very difficult" Sudoku puzzle
-come up with a new flavor for water
-see the Big 10 wrestling championships
-get Shawn Thomas to throw away his college sweatpants
-pass Danny Rose in the hall and say, "what up G?" and then just keep walking
-laugh a lot
-bowl three strikes in a row (a turkey to you bowling connoisseurs)
-plan a vacation with a "cabbage" theme