Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Blood Issue

Tomorrow is Youth Sunday. Youth Sunday is an event in my church that takes place every fifth Sunday of the month when the congregation temporarily forgets itself and succumbs to the benefits / fears of what The Future may look like, as the youth group takes over the service. And not only is tomorrow Youth Sunday at New Hope Bible Church tomorrow is also The Worst-Planned Youth Sunday Ever! Certainly under my jurisdiction. I didn’t even find out what the sermon was on until today. Our prospective youth leader is preaching and being introduced tomorrow. My associate pastor said it’s gonna be on “the blood issue.” I was like, “That’s great! Man, I wonder if the worship team could do some old-school powerhouses like ‘Nothing but the Blood’ or ‘The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.’”

So I asked one of the worship people, the leader for the month. She was pretty excited about the prospect, despite the lateness of it all. And I went out looking for the lyrics, etc. Not like I spent a lot of time on it. Then I talked to a couple of the other worship people (the primary music people) and they were getting excited about it. Until they caught the connection.

“Oh, no. The sermon’s going to be on ‘the blood issue.’”

“Wait. What’s the diff…? Ohh, do you mean…?”

“Yeah, that one.”

I don’t remember who used the word menstrual first, but I (never one to let go of a good idea no matter how bad it is) was trying to make the connection between Christ’s blood for righteousness and the unclean blood not to be touched in the days of the Old Testament.

“Y’know, like ‘All of our good deeds are as dirty rags.”

“Right,” with an understanding and understated gaze, “dirty tampons.”

“I mean…”

“It’s a bit of a stretch.”

I’m still trying to justify it in my head. Finally echo, “Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch.”

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Week-ending Update

Traditionally, a best-of-seven series means the first team or individual to win four games wins the series.

For all of the hype (and despite the best efforts of SI to curse us yet again), the White Sox took the World Series in less time than it would take for a laughably histrionic Latin American manager to bodily signal for a really large and wide closer.

But, you already knew that. Unless you've been living under a rock. Or the social equivalent of that, northern South America or Toronto.

And, as if talking about it makes it magically become better, I learned some things about manCHILD and Dust from an interview this week. For one, did you know that they're actually supported by networks of people that give of their resources on a regular basis? I don't know if it's incorporated or not, but Mars Ill is, in many ways, a really cool and down-to-earth missionary organization. Take that, Brian.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Another low-rated post is up and away!

For some reason, my posts about sports, and particularly baseball, and particularly the White Sox, are pretty much ignored. The few sports-related writings that I catch in the blogocosmos tend to focus on college ball. Maybe that's just my neck of the woods. A slight majority of my blogger-friends are girls, after all. For the most part, where younger, so we've been disenfranchised by the corporate and hands-down greed of corporate (read, professional) sports. So, we cling to the highest level of sports purity we can find, collegiate.

I tend to think that that way of thinking is deceptive. Look at the academic, social, moral and sexual scandals that have been rocked from such learned places as the U. of Minnesota, Colorado U., and even the prestigious and Baptist Baylor University. Look at all the monies that come into the NCAA and the top competitive schools through the BCS and March Madness. And then watch where the money trickles. No one can really say that they're getting a fair shake out of the deal. Not the athletes (many of whom can claim to make much more in the pros than their stipend of books and allowances, and many of whom are cheated of a fair education), not the general population (how many regular students in state colleges work their tails off to get a fair share of the educational piece), not the alumni (who are, honestly, being sidewined into helping the school out financially), and not the schools (who lose focus whenever these big events happen).

For all that negative carping I just went on about, there's plenty of positives (school pride, donor funds, the human drama on the stage of the open fields that is sports, unity, healthy outlets for stressed students and alumni, and just plain ol' fun), but my point is that I don't think that the divide between pro- and collegiate- sports it's all that it's cracked up to be.

With that, Sox will continue working their magic tonight. Just as they did with Contreras last night, with his arms of Advil supplements. Crede was, well... no more puns. But he got my player of the game with his tight defensive throwing arm and runs.

And, that's about it.

I'm sure I'll get some comments now.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I don't think Pigeon John's on this one

But that's all right. We'll forgive 'em this time.

LA Sympony has dropped a new one. Record. Full-length. And it's more straight forward - so I hear - than The End Is Now. TEIS was decent, but I had heard so much about L.A.S. that it was a major let-down, with a few exceptions. I expect not to be let down this time.

In other underground genius news, Mars Ill is expecting the retooled, reloaded and (this time) released ProPain to drop in January. Lawyers, let my people go!

ProPain: It's enough to give Hank Hill a cardiac arrest, I'll tell you what.

Still favorite line this year:
I wanna touch the fans like Ron Artest.
Deepspace 5.

Ah, Suffragate City!

Wham-bam, thank you Minnesota!

You've pretty much allowed for a great week in Chicago.

Our dinky little local team - in an area that is go-go baseball first - is going to the semis on Wednesday night. Of course, I'm speaking of the Roberto Clemente Wildcat varsity football team. And the soccer team was in the playoffs, also. Although I didn't hear how they fared.

Minnesota's Vikings are in such woeful predicaments that the Bears gave them a pounding. Arrrrr!!

Sorry, wrong sea-farer.

Whoa! Blow me down!


That's more like it.

And then there's the Sox, so positively reaffirming in their handling of the AL that Sports Illustrated had to curse them. Today, as I was checking back issues of SI I noticed the preseason predictions. Cubs = 2nd place in the Central AL. Close, if I recall. Yanks and Red Sox, 1st and 2nd in the Eastern American. Clairvoyant. Sox = 3rd place, just above the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Exsqueeze me? The Detroit Tigers are the Detroit Lions of professional baseball.

What iss you @###%^^& lookeen at?

How about best record in baseball coming out of the gate? And never relinquishing that title. How about four - count them, 1-2-3-four - starting pitchers completing winning games, in a roll? During the Finals?

I've already written a couple couple articles about this (edit: including a wild but valid prediction the afternoon of the first WS game) but I just thought it was time to hear the truth again. Team sports are supposed to be about the team.

Go community!

Go Bulls!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I knew that come Monday morning, I would most likely not see my dean, nor one of her clerks. The clerk is a member of my church. And she is expecting. She will be gone for a while. And missed. The dean's sister was in critical condition. We knew to expect her to be gone for about a week and soon. Now was the time.

But what I arrived at on Monday morning, while I was still struggling to shake the scales from my eyes and the sleep from my step, was unexpected. Ladies were crowding around a print-out news article from the internet. Somebody, I knew this much and not much more, on staff, was killed. It would take me a moment to find out that this lady was Ms. Jones, the dean from the floor directly above us.

Now, at this point, I had already heard a lot about the gang violence, including security guards who had to make certain calls to certain people to clear their way before they arrived in their own neighborhoods and homes. I never assumed that that was the issue here. I'd like to thank God and my own raising, which taught me that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But then I wouldn't be fully honest. I think I was just slow on the draw.

Her husband murdered her, and tried to murder her son. He was known to be violent. She tried to divorce him. She had restrictions on him, based on his violence.

How do we protect ourselves from the evil influences within and without? The days are evil. The revelation is that I'm only seeing what the truth is. Mothers against daughters, husbands vs. wives, sons against fathers. This generation (not just my supposed generation, X or whatever other label we are given, but humanity in general) is wicked.

Yes, there is plenty of good stuff happening in the world. Plenty of those ah!! moments. But sometimes you just have to face the utter terror in the world. It's scary. But it's reality.

And it doesn't need to be.

Father, teach me to love, completely.

Monday, October 17, 2005

There's not too much more I can say at this point but...


life now, folks.

I did before, of course. But, you know. It's different now. Even though I'm the king of jerks and Lord of fools. God is gracious. His mercy is everlasting.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

More moovies, baby

With a group of friends I went to see The Gospel last weekend. The audience for this late Friday screening largely consisted of two church groups, and we were the dwarfish ones. But that's OK.

So was the movie. Of course, I'm being generous. I really, unfortunately, did not expect a lot out of the movie. It delivered. Now, I first heard of the movie through my East Coast rep, Timi (who has a very intriguing post out now, of which I'll only refer to the first couple - relevant - sentences, but I'll link to here), who promptly reviewed the movie. To borrow from Bart aping Flanders, Timi says the movie "Suck-diddly-ucked." She is right in assessing that this movie is a churchy movie and does not deliver the titular good news.

Alas, very few people understand that the term gospel refers to the good news of the way, truth and life of Jesus Christ and not just to a particular type of music and cultural expression. To even get into that now... I can't just yet. I will soon, though. I might as well explain what I'm all about sometime, eh?

I didn't know anything about the filmmakers until I read the review in the Onion (yes, the news is fake, but the reviews are real, if not extraordinary). Apparently, the writer / director for this seemingly Christian movie also wrote and directed some African American sexploitation movies with the title Trois. I've seen the covers on my visits to Blockbuster. And it has nothing to do with the Count learning French. Interesting, indeed. Apparently, he's a low-rent R. Kelly of movies. Well, at least without the whole child-molestation thing. Hopefully.

The LookingCloser blog is having a little discussion on the difference of acceptance between "White Christian" movies and "Black Christian" movies. I'm debating whether or not I want to jump into that argument. But don't let that stop you. Argue here or there. It's so much fun.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggggghhh! Blockheads.

A real forward I received from someone close, who I promptly lambasted. I'm sorry, but it upsets me so. I am leaving the typos intact, as well as my own non-caps reply (with some editing for personal reasons, of course).

Dr. James Dobson, with Focus on the Family, pleads for our action. An organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC. Their petition, Number2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America. They got 287000 signatures to back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped. This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools! You as a Christian can help! We are praying for at least1 million signatures. This would defeat their effort an show that there are many Christians alive, well and concerned about our country. As Christians, we must unite on this. Please don't take this lightly. We ignored one lady once and lost prayer in our schools and in offices across the nation. Please stand up for your religious freedom and let your voice be heard. Together we can make a difference in our country while creating an opportunity for the lost to know the Lord. Please press "forward."
you are one of the smartest people i know. why are you hoodwinked by this goofiness?

let's presuppose that they got 30 million people to sign a petition like this.
that's one tenth of the entire population of the us. is that enough to change fcc regulations so dramatically? no. the fcc is a regulating body that, like the irs, enforces laws. if people wanted to eradicate church services from broadcast (which, if you listen to gospel radio stations in chicago, might be tempting), they'd need to go through congress. and that won't happen anytime soon.

and if it did happen soon? i say good. bring it on, baby! get the Church to take Christ seriously, rather than our preachers and musicians and get-rich-with-God-on-our-side philosophies.

here's the rub. we christians are giving God a bad name and establishing a bad witness by jumping every stinking time someone says 'oppression.' please, we aren't being oppressed. not christians in the US today, the most church-friendly nation in the world. saudi arabia, iran, cuba, sudan, somalia, china, pakistan - those are oppressive countries for Christians.

we need to worry about not falling into the trap of being a
blemish to Christ by following after every wift of wind, not grounded in truth or reality.

i'm done sermonizing. but please don't send me any more of these forwards (some of them are all right, but the petitioning ones have got to go.)
By the way, I'm not sure if the FCC is just an enforcement body. But I believe that's true. By the way, Charlie Brown and Co. have just celebrated fifty whole years of entertaining frustrated overaged children the world over.

Jesus loves you, Charles Shultz. You blockhead!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

White Sox, Bay-Bay!

Hey, a sports fan is a sports fan. And a Chicago fan belongs, lives and dies by his home town teams. I'm saying this because I'm a Chi-area bandwagoneer to the supreme. Heck, I'm a Colonel in the Chicago Teams Bandwagon. This is not to say that I only support teams when they're good. I'm always first and formost a fan of teams in Chicago and our near 'burbs. (Sorry, no DeKalb County teams for me.) So, I've been rooting for the Bulls from end-on. Back when Dickie Simpkins was the best thing they had goin' for them. And the Bears. And the Rush. Although I'd love to have a professional football team in Chicago soon, it's just not gonna happen. But if one team is underperforming and acting like a bunch of wussies (enter Cubs stage left) about broadcast personalities who tell it like it is while another is scampering and trying hard - regardless of whether or not they're winning (luckily they are), then I'm going for the team that hustles.

Not Matt Clement.

Anyway, I would like to thank a former North Side pitcher for giving us a break today so that our White Sox (empty stadiums during the year and all. Thank you, Scary Jerry!) can open up a gash on Boston's forhead by the first inning and finish them off by the fourth. Those two beans were especially appreciated, seeing as how you walked the league's best base thief.

Tomorrow, I know, will be a different story. But, seriously, Matt, I'm gonna buy you a beer.

Monday, October 03, 2005

dag nab it!

most of the managers in my fantasy football league are women. you'd think i might be able to do something. i was on vacation during draft day. that's ok, right, cuz i got tiki barbar (yes, the elephant king) and peyton manning (cousin, apparently, to water peyton). but, nooo, the colts are putting out their greatest defense possibly ever and somebody forgot to wake up manning.

apparently, they don't need him. well, hell, i do!!

wake the flip up, manning.

these other cats, i never even heard of. no, that's not true. i got t.o. and ricky 'crazy' williams. two most talented flippin' gone overboards the world's seen in a minute.



aww heck naw. i was looking at the wrong team. that's blackbottom girl (remember the Queen song) timi-tims' team. ahhh, that's why she's still in the bottom, too! i've got tampa bay's defense (about three years too late) and jimmy walker from good times as my backup rb.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sizzling Blissing Cake

People, rise to the occasion:

I’m a little off-beat

I swear the newness of the morn

Shimmied in my teeth

And the best way - I swore - being

all it takes

If I could taste a bit of the blissing cake

Hold me from dusk to dawn -

That’s when I shiver most -

I need a touch of reality – Truth – and

the Holy Ghost

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I cannot make this stuff up!

One of my supervisors/advisors for teaching (I need a lot of them) was giving me advice the other day. It was a particularly frustrating week. For all of us. I'm just saying that because I was pretty exhausted and I'm wondering if I was able to hold my composure in keeping the laugh inside.

Her: You know, you have to have show your students and have them respect that this is your classroom, that they should walk in and leave out and the room will look just as nice when they leave as when they come. Umm... Have you ever watched "Seinfeld?"

Me: Yes.

Her: You remember that episode, (dramatic breath) Master of the Domain?

Me: (Hopefully without wincing or a trace of irony) Yes.

Her: That's you. You have to tell the students that you are the Master of your Domain. This here (gesturing the entire classroom with a breath of the arms) is your domain. And you are the Master. (Smiles) Understood?

Me: (Hopefully without wincing or a trace of irony. Looking hard at the floor now, only occasionally looking up to catch her eyes. Back down as soon as I think about that phrase.) Yes.

If you don't get it, there's a cartoon about two posts down that may or may not clear things up for you. In fact, if you don't get it, it's best I not teach you it.