Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Earth Day

I'm never sure what to get Earth on it's big day.  You hate to give her a gift card, but you know that that's probably what she wants.  It's just not very original...and who wants to buy a practical gift?
Not me.

I finally landed on a tried and true unoriginal, yet somewhat creative gift.
I'm going homemade coupon book.

Here's a sample of what I gave Earth:
-Good for one back rub
-one night free babysitting
-I'll clean any room you choose
-3 days of not making fun of Antarctica
-free car wash
-breakfast in bed
-I'll stop construction on my Styrofoam city
-a hug

I hear it's also Good Friday.  Seems like an odd name for the day.  You'd think we would have gone with awful Friday, Sad Friday...or if you're familiar with the ending - Awesome Friday or Grace Friday.  Good Friday just seems kindda Vanilla.

On the flip side, Vanilla is there's that...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Radically Unleashed into a Sold Out Wanderer fighting the Current Religion Institutional Systems

I sometimes wonder if the church has become a sounding board of awesome ideas unrealized.  We're awesome at planning/talking/writing, and not as awesome at doing/being.

I look at sermons on prayer vs. unattended prayer meetings.  Sermons on serving vs. unfilled serving roles.  Articles about sacrifice vs. the reality of unmet needs.  Weblog posts complaining about stuff vs me doing something about it... So this was my fear about Unleashed.  Was this another book about reaching into something amazing that would revolutionize the world!?!?

O.K., enough about me.  I'm here to review the Erwin McManus book Unleashed.  I was sent a free copy of the book in exchange for the following words...which means this weblog post is worth about twelve bucks.

This was a fairly quick read because I realized fairly early in that I'd already read The Barbarian Way.
Turns out this was the same book.
A cynic would say that he's just trying to sell more books without having to write new books.
A cynic would point out that that first guy was just being cynical -and judgmental on top of that.
A more sensitive person would ask why I was assuming the cynic was a guy.

Turns out that Erwin liked his first book but the title made it seem like a book that only men would read.  I'm not really sure about the etymology of Barbarian...but I'd probably assume he was talking about a dude too. (stop judging me, Erwin said it first)

So my first thought was this was another hipster pastor who loved to talk about this radical thing that would go against the grain of traditional faith/church/christians/thinking.  This isn't your grandpa's faith, yo!

My second thought was - maybe this guy is the real deal.  Maybe it isn't just words on a page.  Why don't you just read it for what it is?

Turns out it's a pretty solid read.  Erwin challenges, encourages and points to something more than jumping through the hoops of life and faith.  He talks of a raw, unscripted life that points toward stepping into things that are unfamiliar or, at best, uncomfortable.

"Perhaps the tragedy of our time is that such an overwhelming number of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated - or, if you will, civilized. We have lost the simplicity of our early faith. Beyond that, we have lost the passion and power of that raw, untamed, and primal faith." p.12

If you like books that challenge you and/or cause you to re-evaluate your day to day marching orders...this probably would be worth a read.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'm being asked to work all this week.  Next week too!
I know.
A couple of quick facts
1.  Today is April the 20th
2.  The Wedding of the Century is April the 29th.
3.  That's single digits
4.  I know that four facts is not a couple of facts, but sometimes I just keep typing...

How am I supposed to work while so much needs to be done in preparation for the wedding?
How am I expected to feed and care for my children when we're moments from the single greatest event of our lifetime?

This is a guy that was born into a family.  This is a girl that is marrying a guy that was born into a family.  This is an historic occasion of two people who have accomplished so much coming together as one.

If people don't see that as a reason to close the post offices, schools, swimming pools and all Dave & Busters - well this isn't the America that I was born into!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Movie party thing

Big Movie release party tonight.  There are a couple of things you should know about this motion picture - Hitting the Nuts.
1.  It was improvised
2.  It's been in two film festivals so far
3.  It was voted - Best Feature Film, 2011 Derby City Film Festival
4.  It was voted - Audience Choice for Best Feature Film, 2010 Cincinnati International Film Festival

5.  No animals were hurt in the making of this motion picture
6.  When you get the best possible hand dealt to you in poker, you have just "hit the nuts"
7.  What I'm saying is this isn't actually a reference to getting hit in your bathing suit parts
8.  My friend Joe worked really hard on this, and it's pretty great to see someone's hard work pay off
9.  It's for sale here.
9.  The party is tonight at Go Bananas Comedy Club doors open at 7:30.
10. We're going to perform improvised comedy at the aforementioned club
11. You're invited

Thursday, April 07, 2011

God and Guinness

In the interest of full disclosure, I was sent this book for free in return for this review.
Also in the interest of full disclosure, I used to steal quarters off my dad's desk.

My dad (the one who was always asking, "Where'd all my quarters go?" )  Had a house built on the west coast of Ireland.  He loved to travel there and hang out with the locals.  He also knew that he had to take visitors to all of the tourist spots when they traveled there for the first time.  One of the obvious tourist spots was St. Patrick's Cathedral.  I remember being in this amazing tribute to God and wondering, "Do they really have a gift shop here?  Is that a Guinness key chain they're selling here?"

We also went to the Guinness factory in Dublin.  Hypocritically they had no God key chains for sale in their gift shop.  If only I'd read this book before visiting the factory. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up this book, but soon found myself drawn into the amazing story of this incredible family. I'm sure I'd be just as impressed if they'd produced ankle socks, but I probably wouldn't have visited their factory.

I read the book wondering what the connection ultimately was with God and Guinness, and I'm not sure this book was completely satisfying in that regard. I think "Guinness and God" would probably be a more accurate title, but that doesn't change the fact that this bit of history was engaging from start to finish. I should also mention that there is quite a bit of history of alcohol and the church beyond Guinness.

You could categorize this book as a history book, a business book, a social responsibility book, or even a biography of sorts.

I've already recommended the book to several friends, one of whom is reading my copy at this very moment... It's definitely worth a read & it's a quick one at that.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Angry with the Wiffle Balls!

I received an electronic message via my cellular telephone yesterday informing me that I was a winner. 
Actually it read, "You lucky SOB"
As a Christian man I assumed that "SOB" meant servant of Bible - turns out it meant that I won a kindle from the Seeker.

I immediately made plans to buy an electronic copy of Rob Bell's book and burn it, but then someone told me that I'd also lose the Kindle...and my street cred. (side note - I'm not jumping onto either side of this whole thing.  One side is mad about the book assuming what it says - One side is mad at people that they're assuming haven't read the book - a third side hasn't read the book and hasn't been pulled into the anger of either position - a fourth side is wondering how many sides this thing really has?)

So here's the Sophie's choice moment - Do I get the Kindle and enjoy words electronically, or do I trade her in and opt for a Nook and/or some sort of Android type tablet?

Keep this in mind - Sophie was choosing which one of her kids would live and/or die.
I'm making a similar decision, except it's what I should buy with Amazon dollars. 

So I already have the Kindle application on my laptop computer - I can enjoy the Ripple from the convenience of this device and/or my new tablet.

I'm really at a crossroads here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

they're watching us...

I've received four electronic mail messages in the past week informing me that I'm about to get electronically harassed by the spam terrorists.

Scary, right?
Sure - I'll go ahead and answer for you.

It was interesting when one company sent me a "we screwed up" note.  Turns out they're system was hacked into and that means that everything they knew about me is now known by the electro-terrorists (working on the copy write on that one).  It was disturbing when the second company sent me basically the same message.

It was alarming when my bank sent me the same note.  My bank's system was hacked! (that warrants an exclamation, does it not?)

Assuming the electro-terrorists know my passwords, that means it's fairly likely they've hacked this it stands to reason that I'm not even writing this...

That means they've hacked this weblog and now they have access to your computer and will fairly soon steal all your stuff and sell it on the electronic bay.

Where will it stop?