The power of the Kingdom in two packs a day

Over the past several years I’ve thought a good bit about the church and non-churchy people. I’m pretty sure we (and when I say "we," I really mean we – my tribe isn’t completely rid of these maladies) have settled into an expression of church that is as much about culture, comfort, and civility as it is about a body of redeemed perverts, addicts, and self-lovers trying to walk and revel in the wholeness thrust upon us despite ourselves. I know that sounds harsh, but I really do own the indictment as much as I hand it out.

There are all sorts of manifestations of this, but some of them are really simple. For instance, I think we’ve co-opted cultural standards of dignity and manners and made them into religious markers. Anyone violating these standards is viewed as spiritually inferior. I can only imagine the wounds we inflict on people with our (even if accidental) arrogance and false self-affirmation. I just read about an example of this that was striking to me. Read it here.

This is what really got my attention:

Church – a place where David felt like a stupid smoker and not a healed heroin addict.

We are guilty of this. It’s time to cop a plea and get on with our rehabilitation, lest we continue to roll our eyes at God’s trophies of healing and belittle the power of his Kingdom as it makes its deliberate advance in people like David, and, if we’ll let it, in us.

I gotsa get me one of them camera phones

My days are filled with bloggable moments (oddly, the official spell checker of the typepad blogging service does not recognize "bloggable" as a real word). You never see most of them because I either forget them by the time I’m in front of the computer or it’s simply impossible to do the scene justice with words alone. I decided today that if I had one of those fancy phones that take snapshots that all the kiddies are carrying, it would revolutionize my blogging. For instance, today’s gem:

After putting one gallon of gas in my car (so I could make it through a few errands and to the place on the other side of town where I can get gas for six cents a gallon less), I found myself behind a lady in a truck at a red light. She had one of those classy plastic frames around her rear license plate that read:


DSA 541

It’s HELL without Him!!

There were people literally flocking to her truck to kneel before the license plate and repent of their sins. But that’s not actually the punchline. Just to left of this creative improvement of what the Bible actually says was a bumper sticker featuring an American flag next to an Israeli flag with a heart in the middle overlapping both, accompanied by the message "You are not alone."

Oy vey.

Today’s home anywhere challenge is: Find the six layers of irony in the bumper region of pickup lady’s truck.

So, for the twelve of you who continually bemoan the fact that I don’t post often enough, just imagine how much better this post would have been with a visual. Pool your cash and buy me one of those Polaroid phones, and I predict you’ll get more of me than you can handle here.

Good things come in fours

Or at least that’s what someone thought when they started this junior high quiz that ace tagged me with. Junior high or not, I’ll play.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Funeral home greeter: "Good evening. Mrs. Jones is this way. Please sign the register as you Funeral20home20big go back." I worked the evenings during "visitation hours" and then locked up. The creepy part was that the light switch in the large viewing room was on the opposite end of the room from the door.
  2. Crane ISD summer maintenance lackey: I did manual labor for eight weeks in record West Texas heat (multiple days over 110 and two 118 days in a row). I spent half the summer digging ditches and such and half of it running an industrial strength steam cleaner in non-air conditioned buildings.
  3. Christian retail music manager: I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I slung CCM in college.
  4. JC Penney catalog writer (for one day).


Four movies I’d watch on repeat:

  1. 1.   The Shawshank Redemption
  2. 2.   Office Space
  3. 3.   Tombstone (which I essentially have watched on repeat; at least 25 viewings by me and my roommates in ’95-’96.)

4.   In America (tragically under-viewed)

Four TV shows I love:

  1. Random 1: If you ignore everything else I write here, go to this website and make every effort to watch this show. I can’t think of a better use of your television.
  2. The Office: After being spoiled to Gervais and company, it took a while for the NBC version to grow on me, but it has.Rainn_wilson5
  3. Lost: Still in.
  4. The West Wing: Still in, three seasons after Sorkin bailed.

Four vacation spots I’d love to frequent:

  1. The Rockies
  2. New York, New York
  3. Oregon Coast (to always relive the honeymoon)
  4. Any place with nice beaches and clear water (for the wife…I’m pretty simple on this one and couldn’t come up with four on my own.)

Four websites I visit daily:

  2. (that one’s free, Brandon)
  3. 039_11720
  4. home anywhere (working on my MOL routine, moljr)

Four foods I lust for (I dunno about lust, but…)

  1. fried shrimp (the way Mom makes it)
  2. Uncle Julio’s beef fajitas
  3. bar-b-que crab
  4. bacon

Four changes to my house:

  1. bigger living room (ours is fairly big, but this was my #1 desire when we bought)
  2. 30" HD flat screen to replace the sad little TV in our living room built-in
  3. fireplace without giving up any windows
  4. pool (again, for the wife)

Four beers I like*:

  1. Dos Equis
  2. Sapporo
  3. Sam Adams Light
  4. Dr. Pepper (Look, I really like the first three, but I just don’t drink enough beer to have developed that many clear favorites. And I never lose with Dr. Pepper. Never.)

* We at home anywhere discourage persons who are under 21 or for whom it would be a violation of conscience to partake from consuming these types of beverages. Likewise, we discourage persons who are under 21 or for whom it would be a violation of conscience to read home anywhere from reading home anywhere.

Four tags (which apparently is where I pawn this off on some other suckers):

  1. Will
  2. Britt
  3. Darren
  4. Book

Here’s to you…

In the absence of a traditional Christmas card, which the U.S. Postal Service charges us to send to you, the home anywhere tribe would like to utilize this space to wish you real life, true love, and blessings all the way down to your soul places.

We’d also like to show you pictures of how good looking we are since, well, that’s what you all did in your Christmas cards…