Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Serious Sunday Question:

What does it mean to "Serve the Lord?"

Happy Birthday Fancy

20 somethin' years ago the angels got together, and decided to create a dream come truuuuuuuuue.

Sorry, I get overwhelmingly cheezy when I talk about my wife. Sometimes people just don't get it. I mean, Theeeey asked me how I knew my true love was true? Oh, I of course replied something here inside cannot be denied...

Then they ask: But what was it like? I mean... What was it about her?

"Well, there is something in the way she moves... attracts me like no other love. Just something in the way she moves me.

"Really?" They asked. Tell me more!

"Well, I mean, she's got a smile that heals me. I don't know what it is but I have to laugh when she reveals me and she's got a way of talking, I don't know why it is but it lifts me up when we are walkin' anywhere."

Alright alright everybody. I won't sicken you anymore with this mushy stuff. But... you know that it would be untrue... you know that I would be a liar, if I were to say to you... that girl we wouldn't get much hire...

Come on baby,

Light my fire.

Happy birthday to my incredible wife.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sir Joseph

My buddy Joey has a new website up and running. He learned how to do all that stuff from scratch without a single class in web design. Flash and all. I think it looks pretty cool and the fact that he can do all that programming crap is impressive to me. Of course, this is coming from the man that DELETED HIS ENTIRE BLOG with the click of a button, but still...

Go check it out.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Return of The Stand

Wheeew. That was a close one. Thank you blogger. I have decided to stay your humble user.

In other news: I have spent a grand total of 4 separate days including 5 hours yesterday getting my mouse replaced at Fry's. I bought my Power Mac G5 dual-core beast at an incredibly discounted price 1 year ago, almost to the day. However, it was a display item and the mouse was quite cruddy when I got it and the scroller on it was already on its last limping cog.

The Fry's visits began. Every time I went to Fry's to utilize my 3-year warranty I was greeted with a different run-around answer. The first time was the worst. The technician hooked the mouse up to a Mac and the darn thing decided to work! I could almost hear it snickering over there, flipping me off as the screen scrolled perfectly on the monitor over the counter.

Other times I was told to come back when the manager was in. Somehow every time they told me to come back the manager was "out." Two days ago I finally demanded a manager and got him. He told me that to replace my mouse I would need to bring in my ENTIRE computer. I told him that was totally ridiculous and that I would do no such thing. We argued like this for a good 10 minutes until my eye started to twitch. Finally, HIS manager approached us and told me that I didn't have to bring the whole computer in if I took a picture of the serial number, burn it to a disk along with a hand written copy. I almost asked if they wanted a water colored portrait of it as well but decided to not press my luck. I said "fine" and asked them if they would be "out" when I returned. They said no.

I thought that taking the picture would be a cinch but once again, I was wrong. I tried for over an hour, on my belly like a serpent, sneezing like a maniac to get a good picture of the blasted serial number. Amber finally saved the day as she often does. After she laughed at me of course. Here are a few of my attempts.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Introducing: The Organ Chronicles of Herbert Sebastian Crotch.

There is someone I would like for you all to meet. He is a dear friend and in a kind of situation that I feel needed to be chronicled. After MUCH prodding he has conceded to blog about his predicament. Please give my friend Herb a warm welcome... Here is an excerpt of his first post.

Hello fellow music lover and keepers of truth and sanity. My name is Herbert Sebastian Crotch. I have decided, after much sweating in the garden, (my bathroom) and for the sake of my growing ulcer, to chronicle the demise of the music program at our Church. I have been...(pronounced b-ea-n as in "wean the infant from your teat") the church organist for going on 15 years. Recently our Music "Pastor" (oh how I wish he had the gentle hand of a shepherd in such a time) has succumbed to the worldly pleasure of the tragic pounding of the crude and primal kick drum, the wretched and shameful screeching of the electronic guitar and the asinine jumbo projector-screen as if we have all gone blind and our arms too limp and wimpy to hold the hymnal. To hold the hymnal now might as well be considered to be synonymous with elderly-erectile dysfunction and/or pure "spiritual" depravity. The Holy "Spirit" can now only be communicated via Jumbo Letters. I digress.

Alas our "Music" "Minister," out of sheer pity and fear of the rich-and-elderly, (and not to mention a healthy fear of my own wrath, no doubt due in part to my impressive and robust size) has decided to keep me at my noble and righteous post as organist, (Oh endangered muse of beauty!,) for the time being. I have decided to chronicle the deterioration of art in our church for the noble purpose of saving further generations from such a fate as mine. You will be glad to know that I will be going down with my burning ship, my beloved organ, and will hopefully be remembered as the patron saints of large organs and their virtuosi. I hesitate to fantasize, for fear of an assault by pride, of the various saintly statues that could be erected in my honor someday. Only the finest of marble and sculpture should be dedicated to such a task. There I go! Down you shameful pride! Leave sweet David his place of honor!

So "Here I Stand" my fellow "Anthemites" as you shall be henceforth called. I will be posting regularly, Mondays and Wednesday evenings describing the musical debauchery that is taking place at my own Sanctuary.
  • Read the rest at his blog.
  • Little Known Historical Facts

    Sultan of sultan, conqueror on three continents, Suleyman I shook the world of the 16th century as he raised the Ottoman Empire to the height of its glory. Known to Europeans as the Magnificent and to his subjects as the Lawgiver, he was both brilliant strategist and equitable administrator.

    He had only one thorn in his side, one flaw. For years he was stricken with chronic weeping. It made his enemies laugh, as he demanded their surrender. "OOOOHHH look at the little crybaby Sultan. Go cry to your mommy SuleyGIRL. hahahah" This of course was a poor choice of words for the enemy and Suleyman was ruthless in his revenge.

    After he had conquered the three continents, it was then discovered that the large Onion on his head was the primary cause for his unwanted tears. The following change in accoutrement also improved his standing with the desert ladies. Suleyman could finally live up to his "Magnificent" reputation in EVERY way.

    His former tailor was beheaded. Twice.

    Sisters on Fire

    I have some seriously talented sisters. My older Sister "Mz Jackson" is a kick-butt writer. She has been published several times over and is on her way to a major publishing deal with her latest book "Campfire Secrets," a book she wrote with her friend and fellow writer, Rebecca. A year ago, they adapted that book to script, and it was read and considered by Warner Brothers for a major motion picture. I am even told that Drew Barrymore was interested in the role and read through the script and LOVED it. Alas, as things go in entertainment, they ran into a few hitches with their agent went bazonkers and had to ditch. They are now under new representation in Kansas City and are growing ever nearer to a major book deal. Because of her pure talent and determination my big sis has moved beyond many a publisher's desk and has made it through every consideration EXCEPT the publishing deal. In the mean time she has won awards and been published in magazines, journals, and newspapers. She has been a working, paid writer for many years now and is VERY close to a big break. I can feeeeeel it. She has been an inspiration to all of her siblings because somehow, while joyfully following her dreams, she is raising three fantastic kids and has a wonderful marriage. In short, I think she kicks ass.

    My Little sister Operamama, just landed the role of Madame Butterfly in an opera house in Springfield, Missouri. It is her first "professional" operatic gig as a leading lady and I am uber-pumped about it. She can blow the doors off the house when she turns it loose. Before she graduated from Baylor University with a Masters in Vocal Performance, she won 1st place in the Texas Graduate Women NATS Competition. She sang in competition with 40 other terrific opera women from across Texas, including singers from Rice, University of Texas, Southern Methodist, Baylor, and UNT and cleaned house. Shortly after she had a couple of kids and put her career on hold to raise the babies full time in their toddler years. She is now back in the Saddle with a new perspective on Career and family and is sounding better than ever. I played for her at her house the other day and I couldn't even hear the piano at one point. And like my Big Sister, Operamama also strikes forcibly with her foot the two round fleshy parts that form the lower rear area of the human trunk.

    I am extremely proud of these two incredible women, and I am really trying to make up for some bad Karma here for all the torture I administered to them growing up.

    Last Day Of Teaching

    I drove to class yesterday realizing it would be the last day I would be teaching at Rice University. As I drove down Shepherd Street, shrouded by the canopy of 100-year-old oak trees, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. It has been a great blessing to teach here this long. Most DMA students get 2 years of teaching at most, but my students gave me such stellar reviews each year that the faculty and the dean opted to have me teach for 4 years straight! That sounds like bragging but it is really just all-out thankfulness. We are talking about a guy who HATED music theory with all his heart his freshman year of college. I gave my theory teachers pure hell.

    In the past 4 years I have taught theory to most of the undergraduates at that great music school. It has been extremely rewarding and a total blast. As that chapter of my life closes and new ones open, I am excited to see what God is putting in place. I am going to miss teaching at Rice but I am seriously pumped about the next thing on the roster. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

    To my students reading, thanks for a great year and I'll see you around.

    Monday, April 23, 2007


    I overheard this conversation between a well-known CCM artist and up-and-coming "secular" rock band drummer. The two guys knew each other. The conversation made me ill.

    CCM artist: "Yeah, you guys are like really out there. I mean you are playing for audiences that like, you know are hard to sell."

    Drummer: "Yeah..." takes a swig on his beer and looks bored.

    CCM Artist: "I mean, it’s not like us where it doesn't matter what we play because the audience is in 'our little subculture.' Our little group of people. But you guys... you guys are playing for the REAL thing..."

    Me: Vomit.

    A small suggestion to anyone: If you hate what you do, or you resent it in anyway, stop doing it. God is better than that. You are either hanging on to something or you need a SERIOUS ego adjustment. Especially if what you do is supposed to represent a "Christian" medium. Just do something else. You'll be much happier and more people will be blessed by your new and happier job. Even if it is flipping burgers. Just move on. I'm sure your CCM dumb fans will find someone else to mindlessly enjoy. I have to say, at that moment, I was glad that I had never wasted a nickel buying one of their CDs. I'm telling you, it was sad, sad, sad.

    After a minute of listening, uninvited to this kind of nonsense, I said a prayer for my own prideful and judgmental heart, and said a prayer for this talented but bitter, burnt-out artist.

    Sorry folks. Just had to get that one off my chest. I might wake up and delete this post, but for now... it stays.

    Chick-Fil-A is the Devil

    Behold. The greatest foe to my six-pack. (or two-liter)

    Ready you are not for the burden. Finish with your training you must...

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Things on My Church Walls. (pt. 1)

    Folks, it doesn't take a lot to perplex me. I am easily entertained. When you grow up a poor sonofa preacher, you learn to use the crude, raw materials around you and transform them into complex and fascinating toys. A paperclip, the ones that are actually like clamps for example, can become a perfectly good enemy space ship that destroys the good guys by clamping onto the giant mother ship that just happens to be shaped like your dad's power drill.

    As far as HAVING money goes, I think in my early childhood, up to age 9, I had about 1 dollar, at one time. So when I see something like this, pinned up onto the wall of the 4th grade Sunday School room, I am in awe. Hear ye, hear ye. LET ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MARRAIGE OF CAPITALSIM AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE AMERICAN CHURCH BE FOREVER ANSWERED NOW.

    Let us examine...

    For just showing up, you get a dollar. If you remember your bible, another dollar. Already, by getting their lazy arses up and remembering their Gideon, these kids have doubled my net worth at 9 years of age.

    Bible Detective. 1 dollar. I have no clue what a bible detective is but it sounds fun and you get another dollar for playing. Score.

    Prayer time is rightly valued at a higher rate than showing up with the Good Book and goes for 2 smackers.

    Bringing a friend is valued at 2 bucks as well. So, if you are popular, you are big-time set. Lesson: More friends = more cash. Now, what I would have done is showed up with about 20 random kids and offered them all one dollar to be my friend for an hour. They each get a buck, and I would have scored 20. (Smacking my "ca-ching" and bullhorn buttons and yelling BOOYAWWW! Kramer-style.)

    Knowing the names of the twelve apostles knocks you up 3 whole dollars to 5 bucks. Not too bad but trickier than you think. I mean, can YOU name them all right now? Not without a lifeline I bet.

    The 10 commandments only gets you 5 bucks, same as knowing the twelve A's. I don't get that one really. I mean, is knowing that there were 2 disciples named Judas worth as much cash as knowing that killing your neighbor or screwing around on your wife is wrong? I think not. Ten Commandments... way undervalued here.

    66 books of the Bible. 10 dollars. Getting in to major cash here folks. The grown-up-right-now-32-year-old-Seth is starting to want in on this action. Time to rip-off my niece’s Veggie tales tape and get to work a-memorizin'.

    Lord's Prayer. 10 Dollars. Okay, okay, I think this one is a bit OVERVALUED. I mean, that's right up there with the pledge of allegiance as far as difficulty. Come on. 66 books... WAY harder. Although, that part in the prayer where Jesus says "give us this day our daily BREAD." really comes to life in this little reward system here.

    23 Psalms. 10 Dollars. Now this is the most fairly priced item on the list. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..." Classic length, good rhyme, but with a butt-load of meaning. 10 smackers. I might be tempted to go 10.50 for that one. 5 bonus bucks if you can sing it.

    When it’s all said and done, you are up 50 DOLLARS!!!! Man oh man.

    But really... what can a boy buy these days with 50 bucks? You can't even get an iPod shuffle with 50. Maybe on eBay but you are really just sorta stuck buying a week-load of fast food. Sort of a gyp in the long run really. Kinda just gets your hopes up and wets your willie for more cashola. In fact, I think the kids should DEMAND more. 50 dollars? Pshaw. How bout 500 hundred???? Now we're talkin Sugarland-style re-wards. I could get me an 80-gig iPod and have money to flash whilst I send unlimited text messages over my V-cast Razor.

    Being a young Christian in Sugarland can be SERIOUSLY profitable...

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Duuuuuh. Potato?

    I came in here fully intending to blog about something important but alas, my A.D.D. has triumphed again. I cannot for the life of me remember what that thing was and the only reason why I am typing anything at all right now is because I am hoping to distract that part of my brain where the thought is hiding and trick it into spontaneously revealing itself. It's kinda like a little kid who decides to randomly and playfully hide from their paranoid and exhausted mother. To the kid it’s all fun and games but to mommy who is already worn out and really needing a big frosty margarita, it is a little annoying. Maybe if I take a picture of my thumb with my phone and post it, I'll remember... (five minutes later)... Nope.

    So here's to tired moms, fun and games, frosty margaritas and my thumb.

    In honor of tired moms, fun and game, frosty margaritas, and my thumb, and since that thought has decided to take a nap or gone into a comma in its hiding place, I will post a part of one of my favorite Simpsons episodes. In this episode, Ned Flanders home has been destroyed by a Hurricane that has blown through Springfield. He didn't have insurance because he considered it a form of gambling and is really struggling understanding God's providence. The town of Springfield joins forces to rebuild Ned's house to make him feel better. Enjoy.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007


    I like to change words in church. I can't help it. Here are a few of my all time favorite phrases that I like to jack-around with.

    1. "I am a freind of God He calls me friend" to: "I have a friendly dog we call him Freeeeeed." Or to change it up "I have a friend named Bob his dog is deaaaad."

    2. In Shout to The Lord when we sing: "My Jesus, I love You" I sing: "My Amber, I love you Girl there is none Like you..." (I won't sing you the saucy rest.)

    3. At the end of "Amazing Love" when we are supposed to sing: "In all I do... I honor you." I sing: "In all I do, this buds for you." (credit to Stacy Holtzman for that one!)

    4. This isn't a song but, at church camp in the 4th grade I began pronouncing the book of Deuturonomy to "Dudu-right-on-me" and it has stuck ever-since.

    5. "Make Me a Chanel of Blessings" to: "Make me a Salad with dressing today."

    I must say that the all-time champ of changing the words to church stuff goes to Brant. Behold, "Change my Heart oh God" in the hands of B-Han.

    Check me out, O Lord
    See, I'm ever cool
    Check me out, O Lord
    I guess I kinda rule

    You are the potter
    I'm like Jars of Clay
    'cept a bit younger
    I guess more like the Fray

    Check me out, O Lord
    Check out this earnest look
    Check me out, O Lord
    See web info to book

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    Harmful Silence

    If you have the chance to encourage someone’s art, or help him or her in some way, do it. If you don't you are one of two things: Jealous, or insecure. If you know someone that is an artist, and they are trying to bring some beauty into this world and you decide to NOT encourage them, I am going to so bold as saying your are being the complete anti-Christian in that moment. Encouragement is a gift of the Spirit. If you intentionally miss the opportunities to encourage or help, you are following a dirty, dank, hurtful, shameful part of your soul. You are putting yourself before others and it is hurtful, and shameful. It amazing how one encouragement can change a life and then how intentional silence can harm. Let me tell you, GOD SEES BOTH.

    There have been times in my life where I have seen someone succeeding or with the potential to be successful and I have passed up the chance to encourage them out of selfishness or jealousy. I basically did what this picture is doing, but with my silence. I regret every single missed chance, and harmful silence. "Give and it will be given to you..." He isn't just talking about cash here.

    Furthermore, if you only do things or help people because they will be an asset to you or your career then you are being anti-Christian as well. If you only lavish praise on someone because of a position that they hold in the corporate world, then you are nothing but a kiss-ass. Worse, you are a slave to your serpentine pride. Be wary of those who bring gifts and aren't generous to others. They are usually spiteful to others and they are being generous to you for a reason. Examine the gift and the angle. It is better to reject those gifts that are presented for selfish gain like sudden favors. They deceitfully try to make you feel special but really, if there weren’t the possibility of you helping them or doing something for them, they wouldn't give you the time of day. In fact later, they will EXPECT something. We have a word for it in the corporate world to make everything O.K: Networking. They also have a word for it in the criminal world: Mafia.

    Christians are COMMANDED to be better than this. That kind of Networking is done out of a total selfishness. Step beyond that and think only of the good of someone else. Even if that means that they will exceed beyond your position and you get nothing. I heard a song once say, "It is an inside-upside-down kingdom." When you intentionally miss the opportunity to encourage or lift-up someone, you harm them, you harm Christ, and you grieve the Holy Spirit.

    If someone encourages you, recieve it graciously. Even if you don't respect their opinion. It meant something to them and that is huge. If you encourage and it is met with an arrogant response, do not be offended. You did your job and God will honor that. Pray for them and move on encourging others.

    Find an oppurtunity to encourge someone to day and take it. You'll be amazed at what it can do.

    "The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21)

    "Therefore encourage each other" (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    I Got Pipes

    I made my debut on the Pipe Organ at my friend Josh Moore's wedding yesterday. I have a new respect now for those quirky characters sitting behind that big ole' thing. I mean, there is always something that seems to go wrong for them. Now I know why. I felt like some sort of Wizard over there pushing buttons, pedals, shifting around…

    At first I thought I was low man on the totem pole as far as the cool-factor went. Not that coolness matters or anything... sheesh. Anyways, you had Derek Webb singing a tune that Josh wrote, you had Cliff Danielle and Derek singing one of their golden oldies, you had another one of Josh's rockstar friends (wearing shades because you know how bright it gets in those sanctuaries) playing a Keith Greene song that brought tears to all... and then... there was the Pipe Organ. I always thought that if I ever get suckered into... I mean, asked to play the organ there is no way in crap that I will be putting those slippers on or taking my shoes off. In college, it was the piano-majors favorite thing to make fun of- those weird little shoes. Well folks, the boots came off. If you don't know what your big boots are doing half the time, as my wife likes to remind me after nursing her freshly injured toe, the worst place for you to be is sitting at a butt-massive organ at a wedding.

    Josh wrote a piece for his bride and it was sort of like a Bach and Beatles mix. It was extremely cool. Just "imagine" if Lennon or Paul would have written a wedding processional. Fun. So now I can say that I jammed with the Caedmon's crew accept... on the... pipe... organ. Nevermind.

    Me and Gabe and Aaron S. also played Jesus Joy of Man's Improvising. Or as Josh named it afterwards, "Tourettes Jesu."

    Beautiful wedding and congrats to Josh and Elise.

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Kick Some Ask

    The Copycat World

    There are only a handful of completely original artists in western Civ. Chopin, Picasso, Guesualdo, Faulkner, Cummings, Hendrix... to name a few. Most artists have their influences. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach... they all had influences. Even though they had influences they sounded like themselves. But today, more than any other time in the history of art, the world is filled with copycats and thieves. The information age is partly to blame for this. Worlds just melt into each other and people steal without a second thought. This is just as true in the CCM industry I am finding.

    If you are an artist, and you hear something cool, don’t steal it. If you hear Sufjan Stevens putting woodwinds and horns on his album, don't put woodwinds and horns on your album because you think it is cool. Now if you have always written for woodwinds and strings, or you are inspired by those things, go right ahead. But take a gander at Sufjan's bio. He was a woodwind player for crying out loud. It makes sense that that is a part of his vocabulary. Find your own voice. Go listen to Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. Listen to what that guy did with just his voice and an electric guitar. Talk about heartbreakingly beautiful and individual.

    In the end, it is the individual that wins out. If you say something individual with your heart and it can somehow speak through any instrumentation, it will have a staying power that no blatant thief can imitate.

    Influences are fine. Creating a knock-off sound world because you want that world, believing you can't come up with something better, is wrong.

    If you are considering jacking an idea from someone else, don't do it. Wait till you think of something on your own, and if you do take the idea, for crying out loud, pay homage by giving some credit. Or at least make it obvious you are paying homage.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Who to blame...

    Ever wonder at how people thank God when they get the touchdown or win the lottery but chalk any bad luck like a car wreck or a stab in the heart by a sting-ray up to, well... bad luck? What if it is all a kind of "luck.” What if God put this world in motion, while still animating and being personal, (unlike pure deism) and lets things happen the way they are to happen? What if you get the part in the musical because you were talented and not because God wanted it to happen? Why is some long shot a "God thing" and the other times things are a shoe-in. If we blame God for the good things, then why not blame him for the bad things?

    I am beginning to wonder if blaming God for everything can lead to more fear and paralysis. When you pray for something and feeeeeel like God is going to make it happen and it doesn't, then doesn't that scare you a bit? I am not talking about the whole "God closes one door and opens another" bit. I grew up in church and have heard that story and know how it works. I am talking about those times where you feel like you have been affirmed, and you can compare that feeling of affirmation with other times... and then it doesn't happen. What about those times? What if it just means what it means? It didn't happen, because it didn't happen. Or it didn't happen because things you did or said caused it to happen that way. It is harder to blame yourself than it is God like saying "well it just wasn't in His will" instead of "well, I really didn't do my best or I shouldn't have had such a big mouth."

    I've even heard Christians say "it isn't the most talented who get it but the talented AND persistent." Where is God in that sentence?

    There seems to be a sort of improvisation to life. An order but a "dynamic" order as Brant put it in a recent conversation. An order that cannot be controlled because that's how God set it up. Now, he can intervene through miracles, but most of the time it works as it works. (All the while, totally held together by him. A weird thing to ponder but there is really no way around that one.)

    Thinking out loud here and I don't feel this way very often so I would be interested in your thoughts.

    Good Stuff

    If you haven't dropped by to see Brody's latest pics on his photography blog, go check em' out. The man is gifted. And I don't mean in the TBN crappy way. I mean in a way that makes you feel something. I always have to stop and stare at his pictures. Good stuff buddy.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    A Great Man

    Lee Wayne Mallory, 1922-2007
    I am a private person believe it or not. I tell lots of stories and I have a blog, but when it comes to anguish or suffering, or doubts, I am very reluctant to let people in on those things.

    This past week my Grandfather passed away. We went to his funeral this past Saturday and it was indescribable. It is the only time in my life where I have actually viewed suffering as a kind of gift. A bitter, bitter gift, but a gift nonetheless. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, 9 children, 26 grandchildren, and 48 great grandchildren. There were over 200 family members on the family side alone. The church was not big enough to accommodate all the people that were impacted by this wonderful man's life. They had to be seated in Sunday school rooms and people were standing in the back of the church.

    My granddad wore overalls every day of his life. It was his signature. That is how his grandsons remember him. My sister snapped this picture of him one night after he was finishing some yard work before dark. When I went to visit him for the last time a few weeks ago his overalls were folded by the bed and I could barely stand it. He was a simple farmer with a huge heart, sensational sense of humor and a sharp creative mind. His farm is filled and decorated with things he made with his hands. When my grandmother hurt her knees and couldn't bend down to garden he built her a huge raised garden. He never lived a day in his life for himself. I could fill my blog with stories about him but I just can't. They wouldn't do him justice. All the grandsons were his pallbearers. We all wore overalls like his. He would have laughed and got a kick out of it. Especially seeing me in them.

    My cousins are all pretty much rough and tough cowboys and farmers but when my grandmother came to his coffin to say her last goodbye, we all bowed our heads and wept. I have never seen or heard anything more painful than that. Her companion of 63 years was now with the Lord and everyone in that room was profoundly moved. She had been his since she was 15 years old. Her 9 kids huddled around her to comfort her. Honestly, I have never been so moved.

    The only thing I can say is that I hope to live my life half that well. As far as this life goes, it can't end much better than being surrounded by all your family and loved that much. They just don't make em' like that anymore.

    We'll miss you grandpa but we'll being seeing you soon.

    Say a prayer for my grandma if you get a chance this week. Thanks.

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Hurry. I Don't Have All Minute.

    The world is moving to fast for me. So many new things. One of the reasons I don't read Seth Godin's blog. For some reason his blog depresses me. He does have a spiffy first name though. There was this autistic kid that I knew that ended every sentence with the word "though." I have to say that it was a bit contagious. For about two weeks after talking to him I had to force myself to NOT end each sentence with "though."

    Anyways, the world... moving too fast. Too much technology. Don't get me wrong, I love technology. But not as much as you, you see. Always and forever. I just get tired of the rat race. Every time I turn around some big new deal is happening. New phones come out right about the time I break into my last 50988-dollar contraption. There is always something new happening with Itunes, some new internet toy, some new way to whore, I mean, market yourself. And again, phones. Gotta have the new iPhone or I'll just die... Honestly I am about ready to throw that stupid, intrusive thing out the window. I miss those days... When I had that kind of guts. I wouldn't last 6 hours without my phone now. I'd be like Tom Hanks in Cast Away when he got mad at Wilson and drop-kicked him out the cave. What a wimp I have become.

    I'm Techny-whipped.

    Sometimes I want to go up into the mountains, grow a thicker beard, make friends with a big bear and cook flapjacks and save people from perils with me and my bear. I don't think Amber would go for the bear though.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    I Hate Allergies

    I get nailed this time every year by pollen, dust and mold. Houston is the worst. It is like Auschwitz for people with allergies. It will usually hit me all in one day. The one day that I forget to take my Claritin. Then come the reinforcements: The cavalry/cold, the marines/flu or the special forces/sinus infection. I think I have had the cavalry and the Special Forces this time around. Darn this Houston. DARN IT ALL TO HADES!!!!

    Right now I am on Flonaise and Claritin. Any natural remedies? What's your pleasure?...

    I sneezed 4 times while typing this.

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Passover Parallels

    This week is Passover week for the Jews. I think it is just amazing to view the Last Supper in light of the passover. It is really the only way to know the full significance of what occured there. Ours is a faith that is deeply and forever rooted in the ancient Jewish traditions. Almost everything we do in church is in some way related to how it was done by the Jews.

    What happens on the Jewish Passover?

    The First Cup

    When all are seated around the table the first cup of wine is poured out for each. The head of the house rises and thanks God for the fruits of the vine and for the great day which they are about to celebrate. He then sits down and drinks his cup of wine in a reclining posture, leaning on his left arm. The others drink at the same time. In the time of the Temple the poorest Jew was to drink four cups of wine during this joyful meal; and if he happened to be too poor, it was to be supplied out of public funds.

    The Bitter Herbs and Afikoman

    After drinking the first cup the master rises and washes his hands, the others remaining seated, and Eldersheim is of the opinion that it was at this point of the supper that Christ washed the disciples feet. After washing his hands, the head of the family sits down, takes a small quantity of bitter herbs, dips them in salt water, and eats them, reclining on his left elbow.In the time of our Lord, it is not improbable that it was from this portion, called afikoman, that the Eucharist was instituted. As soon as this portion is laid aside, the other half is replaced, the dish containing the unleavened cakes is uncovered, and all, standing up, take hold of the dish and solemnly lift it up, chanting slowly in Aramaic: "This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in Egypt. This year here, next year in Jerusalem. This year slaves, next year free." (And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 1 Corinthians 11:24)

    The Second Cup

    All sit down, and the youngest son asks "why this night above all other nights they eat bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and in a reclining posture." The head of the house then tells how their fathers were idolaters when God chose Abraham, how they were slaves in Egypt, how God delivered them, etc. God is praised and blessed for His wondrous mercies to their nation, and this first part of the ceremony is brought to a close by their breaking forth with the recitation of the first part of the Hallel (Psalms 112 and 114) and drinking the second cup of wine, which is triumphantly held aloft and called the cup of the Haggadah or story of deliverance.

    There are two more cups and several other things that occur that are fascinating but would take up pleny o' space here so I'll let you read up on the rest if you are interested. The point is that what Jesus said and did that night would have been mind blowing to the disciples. In this moment Jesus set the stage for the Christian service forever until he comes again. In my opinion, it is a crying shame that we choose to observe this only when convenient and in some churches it is non-existant altogether. Early Christans would have never thought to come together without this. In the Last Supper, Christ fully explains what He is about to do and fulfills an age-old observance that was to symbolize God's deliverance and hope for the Messiah.

    If you can, go to a Passover service to both observe a beautiful faith and know the full power of what was said and done that night in Jerusalem when Jesus said "Take and eat. THIS is my body broken for you."

    A Fresh Convert

    I am now officially a fan of this show. I watched 4 episodes of season 2 last night and I am totally hooked. We will be renting and watching each season until we are up to date. I don't usually get hooked on shows but 24 shall take its place beside my beloved Office as the two shows that I will go out of my way to watch, even it that means rescheduling my weekly briefing with the president.

    What are your all-time-top-5 favorite shows, shows that have hopelessly hooked you? As in -didn't miss an episode unless I was trapped under something heavy. (name that movie reference)

    5. Dukes of Hazzard (young lad)
    4. Moonlighting
    3. Night Rider
    2. The Simpsons
    1. The Office