Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Have No Words...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weather Report Follow Up

As a follow up to my last post on the weather I submit this.

It appears that Saturday is our last day on earth. After Saturday there is no weather to report. Time to get right with God people.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Puppy's Make Me Happy

It is hard to watch this video and not smile.

These guys are the masters of the fun music video. You may remember their smash introduction to the video world with the synchronized treadmills or their giant Rube Goldberg device. Well now they've gone and added the unpredictable puppy. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Silly Weather

This is our weather forecast for the next seven days in Portland. I have one question... what is the difference between "Partly Sunny" and "Partly Cloudy"? Doesn't that really say the same thing? There will be blue skies and some clouds on Monday, blue skies and less clouds on Tuesday, on Wednesday we are back to blue skies and some clouds, Thursday blue skies and some clouds, but on Friday and Saturday look out, we've got some clouds and blue skies.

Notice that on Monday and Wednesday it calls for "Partly Sunny" however the clouds in the graphic on Monday look bigger than the clouds on Wednesday. And the clouds on the "Partly Sunny" days are the same as the clouds on the "Partly Cloudy" days. I'm so confused.

Is there a Meteorologist Thesaurus out there helping these guys?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Community, Part II

Nine years ago today an tragedy occurred that will last in the minds of this country for a long long time. 9/11 is a date that will remain in infamy. Because of their hatred for our country a small group our radical Muslims carried out these atrocious attacks on our soil killing thousands of innocent people. Men, women and children of all walks of life were killed in an instant. Others suffered prolonged deaths or were trapped and waited for death or jumped to their deaths from the buildings.

That day hero's walked the earth. Hero's came in the form of passengers on flight 93 who downed a plane saving countless innocent lives while taking their own. Hero's ran into the towers to rescue survivors. Hero's who's names may never be know put aside everything to risk their lives to save others. On that day there were no Democrats or Republicans, Jew nor Gentile, rich nor poor. Differences were put aside and we stood as Americans. United. Together we grieved, mourned and prayed.

On that day we were Americans. United as one nation. Flags were raised, churches were filled, answers were sought, and people joined together in the effort. Tragedy brought unity. We all had one thing in common, an attack on our people took place on our soil and we didn't like it.

Sadly, that unity did not last. It wasn't long after that we returned to our typical bickering over politics, religion and economics. Some of the things that divided this country before became even more polarized. The American community that came together for a moment was again divided into its smaller communities.

Nine years later the polarity is at its greatest. Sad as it is it seems to be our nature. We divide easily and hold onto that division with clenched fists. I long for the day when the community is restored and we stand as one. We have a great country that offers us a significant amount of freedom and this should be celebrated. We should allow our freedom to be different be the thing that unites us.

I think the preamble to the Constitution states it best:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general
Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

New Community, Part I

This past month I entered into a community that I had little knowledge existed. This community is a little different. There are gatherings, events, websites and t-shirts but what I've noticed so far is the wave. The wave is what happens when one Jeep Wrangler passes another. Sound familiar? It would if you rode a motorcycle.

Since I'm also a motorcycle rider I'm familiar with the wave. It happens when one bike passes the other. It is an acknowledgement of the other rider, a code, or gesture if you will, that you know and are part of that group. The wave takes on many forms: the two finger sweep, the open palm, the point, the salute, the peace sign, and I've even seen the single barrel shot with a barrel smoke blow. What I didn't know was that Wrangler drivers have a similar tradition. I bought a Jeep Wrangler and now belong to that community. We wave at each other. Silly? Maybe, but it is what is done and I'm going to do it too.

I think deep down things like this begin because everyone wants to belong to something. A community is made up of like-minded people who enjoy their commonality and meet together to support or promote that which they love. The Church is one of those communities. The Church loves Jesus so they meet together to talk about Jesus, learn about Jesus, worship Jesus, and to just be around those that love all things Jesus. But churches like other communities have their disagreements. This is evident in the amount of churches and denominations that we see today.

There are motorcycles that I pass where the wave never takes place. The wave is often snubbed by Harley riders to the riders of a different brand or style of bike. My bike is a sport bike thus it is not respected by some in the cruiser community and I'm snubbed on the wave. Some Harley riders can be snobby and will only belong to the smaller Harley community of bike riders within the greater community of those on two wheels. Me? I wave to anyone on two wheels with a motor, including scooters. But there are those that don't. They think the scooter isn't worthy of the wave or maybe the crotch rocket is some punk kid that doesn't appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the chopper. Whatever the reason division happens.

You see this same thing everyday in the church. I've met people who snub other churches because they use the electric guitar in worship or that they don't take communion each week. Throughout the ages divisions have taken place over political stances, doctrinal disagreements, interpretation, policy and practice, etc. These divisions have resulted in an estimate of over 39,000 denominations of Christianity being developed over the ages. Did you read that? Thirty nine thousand! This is according to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary who estimates by the year 2025 there will be 55,000 different denominations. That is a new denomination every twelve hours.

That division amongst believers makes the division between square headlights and round headlights in the Wrangler world look good. For the record, I can't stand square headlights on Wranglers. What happened to unity under Christ. I can hear it now "Jesus is Lord but if you pull out the drums in worship I'm going somewhere else." It is almost like Christians go looking for things to create division, to make their community smaller. Is a smaller community better? Or is a unified community better? I vote for the latter. I think the more division a community has the less attractive it is to those outside the community as a whole.

We weren't created for division, we were created for community. Look at the way the majority of people in the world live, they live in cities where close quarters are a way of life. If we weren't made with a natural bent for community I don't think cities would be as big as they are. I dare you to stand in New York city and start yelling "New York SUCKS!!!" You won't because you know you'll get your ass kicked. The people of New York are proud of their city. Flaws and all when it all comes down to it they are New Yorkers.

more later...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Big F@#KING Fish

A couple weeks ago during lunch I witnessed our future in the making. I witnessed a father teaching his son, at least I think it was his son based on the matching wife beater tank tops, how to be a man. The father looked to be about thirty and the son looked about ten.

Scene: *me sitting at a park bench along the Willamette river watching a father and son fishing from the boat dock with the clearly marked sign "NO FISHING FROM DOCK". I'm close enough to hear every word uttered between the two yet far enough he must not think I can or doesn't care. I vote for the latter.*

father: Stop crossing my f@#cking line.

son: sorry, it just keeps drifting that way.

*fathers line tightens and he gets excited*

father: come grab my pole I've got one on and want you to reel it in (a kind gesture)

son: SWEET!!!

*son grabs pole and start reeling - father leans over to peer into water*

father: keep reeling I can see it and it is f@#king huge

*snap - line goes lose and the fish is gone* note: I was close enough to see the fish and it was huge. Maybe not f@#cking huge, but huge nonetheless for a fish in this river

father: FFF@#@@#@K!!! FF@##%T%@%Kity!!! F@#K! you didn't reel fast enough the f@#ker got away. Did you see that huge f@#ker?!? It was f@#king huge and you let it get away. Man that was f@#king huge.*repeat the last sentence ten times 16 seconds apart...*

son: oh man, I'm sorry, it tried...

father: FFF@#KKKK!!!

*father picks up cell, dials a number, stands there for a minute, puts cell down*

father F@#K!!!

*father picks up cell again, dial a number, speaks...*

father to cell: I just got the biggest mother-f@#king fish on the line, had to be at least two feet and fifty pounds (an exaggeration for sure) and I let Hayden reel it in but the f@#ker got away.... yeah he didn't reel it fast enough... it was a huge f@#ker and I'm f@#king pissed it got away... yeah... okay... later then.

father to the air: F@#K!!!

*close scene* not that it is over, it wasn't. This went on for over twenty minutes.

Let's examine. What did the son learn from his father? Answer, how to be an ass. That's it. Nothing more. An ass!

20 years from now what will that kid be like when he's fishing with his son? We learn from our relationships how to have relationships. This kid is not learning how to have a good father son relationship. Sad.