First the fake tan, now this…

I’ve been pretty clear about my reticence to enthusiastically support or even pay much attention to the major party candidates in this (or most any other) election. That’s still true, but some pieces of truth are so transcendent that they simply must be acknowledged, yea, even exalted.

This is one.

War, taxes, rights, corruption…on these things we can afford some flexibility. Throwing like a girl, not so much.

So begins my journey toward the first Tuesday in November. I’m not sure what I’ll do that day, but I can now conclusively mark Kerry off the list.

world on fire

Check this out.

I’m not nominating Sarah McLachlan for sainthood or anything, but what she’s done here is admirable. Yeah, yeah…the cynic in me has all sorts of “buts” and “we’ll sees” locked and loaded as I watch this kind of thing, but the bottom line is that she made this instead of a three minute mini-movie showing some tired, soulless lust story between her and a male model. If you’d rather see that than dying kids with dark skin, dial 1.800.EverythingonMTV.

I’ll just hope Sarah’s motives are what they seem, and God bless her for trying, especially if she can become an impetus for upside down values among people who have more than they need and keep more than they should (and I am talking about the rich and famous, but I ain’t just talkin’ about the rich and famous). This video isn’t just about the money entertainers spend. It’s about the money I spend and the money you spend. It’s about what sort of answer we’ll be trying to scrape together on That Day when we’re asked what we did when we saw folks who were hungry and thirsty and homeless and naked and sick and in the joint.

World Vision
Voice of the Martyrs
Compassion International
Doctors Without Borders

Here are the lyrics for the song, World On Fire:

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The Great Omission

For the first time (I think), I’m about to post something I wrote in my capacity as a “real writer” rather than spontaneous and disjointed blog musings. I crafted this really witty, clever bit about posting my real writing, complete with all sorts of self-disclosure (the kind that begged for all you amateur psychologists to have at me) and self-deprecating humor about whether or not I am a real writer. Then, in a twist of divine irony, I mistakenly erased it all. The irony, of course, is that a real writer should always know to always save his work always. Always. But I didn’t. So now you get the sad second effort. And that was it.

Before the essay, let me try to briefly describe two processes that are significant to the daily goings-on in Thadland. The first is mostly mental. I constantly ponder and analyze and theorize about how I view life, how others view life, and how life really is despite the warped ways we all view it. I don’t claim to be contributing anything important or lasting to the global thought pool, but I’m thinking nonetheless.

The second process is more earthy and emotional. It’s me trying to actually live the results of the first process. This, of course, is much more difficult and humbling. I can be a genius in my living room and a fool in my front yard. Some of the time I try hard to be a good guy, to pursue integrity of belief and action, and to live a useful, sacrificial sort of life. Sometimes I watch four episodes of Seinfeld in one day. For better or worse, more than anything I want to follow Jesus. Sometimes I think that means I need to try harder. Sometimes I think it means I need to quit trying so much.

Wrapped up in all of that is a big, ongoing wrestling match between one set of assumptions about what it means to follow Jesus and a growing sense in my soul that Jesus didn’t author many of those assumptions. The challenge, then, is to continue to pursue the true Jesus—knowing who he is and how his followers are supposed to live in the world in 2004.

So, because I’m a compulsive belly-button staring philosophically obsessed pinhead, I think about this stuff all the time. Well, not all the time, but at least when I’m not watching Seinfeld. While thinking about some of this, I pasted together this little essay that I’ve decided to call: The Great Omission – Why Jesus didn’t call people fags or preach about pledges to flags. Isn’t it a great title? The brilliant poetry notwithstanding, it’s just inappropriate and long enough to be utterly unprofessional, which should help me convince you that I’m a real writer.

Anyway, this essay was inspired by many years of questions…by debates about school prayer…by lawsuits over the words “under God”…by the images of people weeping on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court as Judge Roy Moore and his Ten Commandments Monument were defiantly hauled away (I really just wanted to give those folks a hug)…and by many well intentioned people I know and love who long for a return to an America I never knew.

The Great Omission – Why Jesus didn’t call people fags or preach about pledges to flags

As if my inbox wasn’t already bloated with unsolicited email offering me great deals on prescription drugs and other products to “enhance” my life, I recently received another shamelessly rehashed email forward. You know, one of those with a subject line that starts like this: “FW: Fwd: Fw: FW: Fwd: FW:” where you have to scroll down for three minutes just to locate the actual message. This one came from a well meaning Christian acquaintance, and it urged me to take up arms against yet another part of the culture whose apparent aim was the destruction of Christianity, the church, the family, and everything I stand for.

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Banner bragging

The new page banner marks my first fully original creation in this arena. I took that photo a few weeks ago over the top of my parents’ back yard. I like it.

The bragging is artificial. I just pushed a button on the camera. Someone else actually designed what you see.

So, um….hi.

Anyone still out there? I can’t really blame you if you aren’t. Well, maybe I can since you aren’t there to know I’m blaming you. But then you might come back another day and, in the euphoria of discovering that your favorite blogger has returned to rescue you from the monotonous hum-drum of the rest of cyberland, read back to this point and discover that I blamed you for not being out there. So I won’t. We’ll just assume that I quit showing up in here before you quit showing up out there and move on with our little lives.

What a waste of keystrokes that little tangent was. In the immortal words of Frank Costanza: I’m back, bab-eee, pointless rambling and all.

Rather than launching straight into my standard witty commentary about the state of politics, religion, and silly television shows, I’m going to start by catching you up a little on what our lives have been like since June. I’ll try to keep it (relatively) brief, but most of it is significant enough to the present and future of anything else that might turn up on this page that it’s worth recounting (and precounting).

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