Friday, December 14, 2007

Faith and a Flick

When it comes to drama, I have heard that every story borrows from The Story. And, after thinking about it, I have come to agree with Donald Miller and Mike Metzger that even the form that drama takes borrows from God's redemption epic that is being played out in HD right in front of us.

What I mean is, that the progression of Introduction/Exposition - Conflict - Rising Action - Climax - Resolution is expected every time we watch an episode of "Life" or sit down in a cinema. Why is that? Is there something written down in our code that makes us long to see glimpses of our own story reflected back at us from the screen? I think so. There is something reassuring about knowing where you are in a film. And there is something right and holy about knowing your own part in the moving picture that is human existence.

That fact is amplified when you see a redemptive film that paints a picture of salvation through faith. I am Legend is such a film. It isn't perfect. But, it is redemptive. See it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Variety Shows... where are they now?

When I was growing up, there were these great shows with "celebrities" (sometimes pop music stars) doing sketch comedy and music. Here are some examples off the top of my head: Smothers Brothers, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Donnie and Marie, Sonny and Cher, The Mandrell Sisters, and for one glorious summer of prime time - The Hudson Brothers! Believe it or not, one of these guys married Goldie Hawn and fathered Kate Hudson. These "celebrities" would do zany stunts and sing old stand by songs and just generally celebrate Americana! I'm pretty sure it was goofy, and I'm sure that I would make fun of all of it now... but, back then - WOW! I was amazed at their talent.

So, if you could convert a popular band into a variety show, which one would you choose? Although I think the obvious choice is Hanson (corrected from Hansen - thanks, Stephanie), I am going to pick U2 - I think that show could be filled with some hilarious fun. Who would you choose?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I think they like bumper stickers more than conservatives.

I'm just sayin'

SBC Clarification

What I tried to blog:
People are having a hard time getting over their prejudices in order to communicate.

What many read:

The SBC is a bunch of losers.

First, I grew up in the SBC. I am just residing at a non-denominational church right now. It is true that my affiliation with SBC does mean less and less to me... but, (and this is important) Southern Baptists moved the ball down the field quite a way when it comes to evangelism.

Second, I see much in the style of emergent churches that I admire. Honestly, I don't see much in their theology that is unique. It has been around for hundreds of years. Most of what we see in Christian thought today is a retread of ideas posited by others before us. While that does not amount to a dismissal of their ideas, it does shed light on my cynical attitude to those who suddenly "get it" while all the other slow Christians get a knowing glance and a "God bless their little hearts" from the tattooed, candle lighting, new kind of Christian.

You know, I don't think this really cleared anything up at all. But, I'm going to post it anyway.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Emergent Conversation?

What some are saying: We need to resurrect the ancient ways in order to connect in an intimate way with the path of Jesus. Our entertainment model of doing church just isn't connecting with a generation that is desperate for spiritual connection. The Bible has been taken hostage by the literalists and we need to stop dissecting it and see it as story. Oh... and light some candles... melted wax and dark rooms are cool. Plus, get a tat.

What Southern Baptists are hearing: Blah, blah, blah, resurrect, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Jesus. Blah blah blah blah blah church blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. blah BIBLE blah blah blah blah blah blah fable. Blah blah catholic, pope, blasphemy. Mark of the beast.

Apologies to Gary Larson

Friday, September 28, 2007


All who come to this blog: Please comment on whether the youth ministry that you were in as a high school student was ever accused of being cliquey. And... how do you interpret that accusation in retrospect?

I have some thoughts on this but I want to hold off so as not to spoil the soup. (Spoil the soup... did I just type that!?)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ok. Try this lyric game.

Since you guys loved my dumbest 80's lyric post (and by loved I mean hated), I have decided to give it another shot. Let's hit closer to home.

What is the worst Christian lyric you have heard?

ie. Would you believe me if I said life could be all that you want it to be today? Yeah, Yeah (frankly, no. I wouldn't believe you if you said that)

'Cause if I had wings I would fly (of course you would... that's like saying if I had eyes I would see... or if I had feet I would walk)

So... what are your lyrical worsts?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dumbest lyrics from the 80's

I was just sitting here thinking of some of the big hits when I was in high school. I really can't believe we sang along with these songs and kept a straight face. Here is an example:

Here I am... rock you like a hurricane
This, of course, was in the pre-Katrina days when hurricanes were seen as passionate lovers and not destroyers of life and property.

So, what are some of the dumbest lyrics that you rocked out to?

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm just saying

It seems odd to me that you can say anything you want to someone and then nullify the power (and/or sting) of it by explaining, "I'm just saying." I mean, I know you were just saying. I realize that no action accompanied your words. Still, the words do have meaning, right? Even if you were "just saying."

No, I haven't recently been stung by someone using this verbal tool.

I'm just saying.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Twice as nice

I just realized that to double my usual posting output... I only had to post one more time this month.

Done and done.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It will change your life

I spent a week at Camp Barnabas... and I was reminded what the Kingdom of God should look like. People serving others in a way that can only be defined as love. I fully joined in on what was clearly a superior way of living life. And the result was a joy that I am convinced few experience in the fake world. Why does it always shock me that when I make the choice to seek others good before my own that I receive from God what he has promised? Why don't I trust that the God who has asked me to expend myself can refuel me when I obey?

What was particularly telling was the fact that I have a tendency to budget my energy during times of service so that I can accomplish a week of a Christ-like servant attitude. You know - putting others first, encouraging them, not whining, speaking the truth in love, putting action before affection, humility, and a general love for all with whom I come into contact. I was well aware of how many more days I had to have the mind of Christ before I could let down and be myself again. And then God, as he has often done before, reminded me that his Kingdom on Earth doesn't just exist at Barnabas and that I was being asked to live this way... the rest of my life. I was being asked to never go back to selfishness, whining, spotlight hounding... and all of the other crap that fills the dark, distracted side of me.

The whole problem with that way of life is that I can't budget for it. It exceeds my resources. If I am going to live that life, I have to admit need. Believe me, it is not that I fear selflessness or any of the character qualities that come with living the life of Christ. My fear is needing God to accomplish it. Seven days? Yeah, I can do that. The rest of my life? I'm going to need some help. God help me... I'm going to give this a shot. My attempts to find joy for myself, by myself don't compare to the joy of doing God's work through God's empowerment.

Friday, July 20, 2007

7 Random Things

Well, I have been at Reality Week, our camp, all week and didn't know that I had been tagged by Robert. So, now that I am back... here are some of the many random things that make up The Lance.

1. I used to collect beer cans. I had a collection of about 500 of them and foolishly sold them for $200 to a guy I knew in Longview... those cans could have sent my kids to college. Well, a community college - if they got a good paying job and lived at home while attending classes.

2. I refuse to write with those composite wood pencils. You know what I am talking about? Those pressed wood kind that have the lead (graphite) that just writes weird. I prefer the real wood sort. I hope someone out there who reads this one understands it.

3. I have consistently maintained that "Twister" is one of the worst movies that most of the people I know loved. I have never understood the appeal of this disaster (in more than one way!) movie. Good tornado chasers vs. bad ones??? Come on.

4. My principal in elementary school took my Rubik's cube from me in the 6th grade. He told me he would give it back to me at the end of the year... he never did. I have never forgotten.

5. I failed spelling in middle school with a 56. I refused to do what I considered "busy work". While I aced every test... I consistently scored a zero on my homework.

6. My dream car is a Fiat Spider. Red convertible with tan interior. Mmmmmm baby.

7. I have (with Jason's help) recently coined a new word. Slaboomby (alt. spelling Slaboombi). It is an exclamatory expression denoting surprise/delight/awe. (i.e. I was just walking down the street and SLABOOMBY! she walked into my life)

Bonus! I am addicted to thinking up plot lines for movies. I bought a screenplay program and am currently writing a "short" entitled Webcam about a police detective who witnesses a girl with whom he is having an internet affair being abducted. I have an filmmaker friend who is going to help complete the project.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Great Music... Great Guy

Heard some great music at the Pour House, a coffee shop in Westminster. Thoughtful lyrics and incredible vocals. Jon is going to be a worship pastor at a church plant in Hagerstown, MD. They played a great lament... Embrace. Todd, I don't know if you still read this thing - but, the whole idea of lament (I think) is about holding on... not letting go... even if you can't make any forward progress. You can check these guys out at

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Supreme Seat-mate?

So... on the way back from the fantastically successful Crash event in Houston, something pretty weird happened with this lady that I sat next to on the plane.

Don't, Todd... just don't.

Anyway, I think I recognize her... you know? I think she is somebody pretty important. But that can't be right because we are flying Southwest. Important people don't fly Southwest... do they? She's reading this Philip Yancy book about prayer (I don't remember the title) and I am becoming more convinced that she is exactly who I think she is. She turns to me and says something like, "I feel like I have to read every page 2-3 times to understand what this guy is saying."

So, she started the conversation. I wasn't just bugging her while reading.

I asked her what her final destination was. "D.C."
What do you do in D.C.? "I work for some people there... mostly practice law"
Hmmmm. Ever been nominated for anything? (pause) "Yes, I have been nominated for some things."
Anything big? (longer pause) "Yes, president Bush nominated me to be a justice on the Supreme Court."

I know this might not blow anyone away; but, I sat next to the personal legal counsel to President Bush, Harriet Miers! We had a long conversation. She asked my advice on her commencement address for the graduating class at Dallas Christian. She gave me a book... and signed it! And, she rode Southwest! I bet Alito, Roberts and the rest of those justices don't fly Southwest. In short, I wish she had been approved... we could use someone on the Supreme Court as down to earth and friendly and humble as Harriet.

Check her out on Wikipedia!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Joel Osteen... prophet.

I am still crying. I think it's from joy. If it isn't from joy then I'll just decide to SMILE and enjoy life. Thank you, Todd Wright, for the easy to understand instructions on getting the youtube screen onto my blog. You are the best! I know this superlative pales in comparison to the over-the-top man-crush blog of my good friend, Jason... but, still.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Damage Control

I'm sure we all have seen the video of the student pastor who gets his chance to talk in "big church" and messes up trying to say, "pitched his tents". Well, a friend of mine, Scott Murrill of Grace Community Church in Columbia, MD, might have topped it.

He was attempting to get the crowd all fired up by imagining with them the impact of true Christ-followers living out what they believe. His metaphor was damage. The word he combined with damage was God. You do the math. As in, "We could do alot of God _______." An audible gasp eminated from the crowd of 800 shocked church goers. That is classic.

So, in short, don't combine God with damage. Period.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Can Juliet control the future?

I know that LOST has been a little slow lately ... but, I think the last episode was one of the most intriguing in a long time.
So... can Juliet determine the future? Everyone assumes that Mittelos Bioscience made her ex get hit by a bus... but she said it - and it happened. Then she wanted her sister to get pregnant... bingo. Then she wanted Jack to mess up during surgery... I don't have to remind you. Also, she seemed so sure that Jack wouldn't allow Ben to die. How did she know that? I think she was relying on her ability to control things.

Ok... if you watch, shoot some holes in this one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Where are the sad songs?

When you sing worship songs to God, those songs should include every facet of life... shouldn't they? I mean if we experience it, we should filter it through the lens of our life in God and express it back to him - even if that expression is haunting, uncomfortable, and doubtful. It seems to me that all of the songs we sing in church are all happy clappy. And then, when people show up we tell them to "sing it from their heart". Well, what if they can't? What if the song we are singing isn't their song that day? What if their song is sad? Is that okay?

See, I don't think crying to God is an expression of doubt anymore than a child crying to its mother is a lack of trust. A lament is a profound expression of faith. Faith that someone is listening. Faith that the someone who is listening doesn't require a smile and a hop to care for you. Faith that there is hope beyond the sorrow... or at least faith that there is a chance of hope. Or else why cry? Babies left abandoned in crowded orphanages give up crying after awhile. They know that no one is listening. I hope the church - in our effort to celebrate the goodness of God - doesn't minimize the fallen state of the world.

It's ironic that in our effort to be relevant... we paint on a smile and ignore the real life situations confronted by everyone.
So, Todd, write a couple of laments if you haven't already. Your new recording project will stand out in a crowd of true but incomplete pictures of the life in Christ.

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Ride

I know... I haven't blogged in awhile. But, I need your help.

As many of you know, our van was stolen. Now we are faced with the dilemma... suv or mini van.

But, more spefically - if you were shopping for a vehicle that could seat 7 people, what would you buy? Make and model please. Your opinions mean a lot to me. Help our family find our new ride.