Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hayes Family Halloween!!

We didn't really celebrate Halloween when I was a kid. We were too spiritual to recognize such an evil day. Well, now I realize that it's hard for a holiday to be evil when every kid I know loves it so much! My kids absolutely love dressing up and eating candy, and I'll be darned if I'm going to stop them. Anyway, we had a good time trick or treating this year, and here's the video to prove it!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Contextualizing the Mid East

 Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson has written a very interesting piece entitled "The Dark Ages - Live from the Middle East!", in which he effectively demonstrates how the progress and innovation that have come about as a result of the enlightenment are virtually nullified by the primitive views and practices of the majority of the Middle East. It's just odd to me how so many people defend the right of the Middle East to hate women, practice barbarism, support censorship and promote anti-semitism. The Middle East needs a revolution, and the only way that will happen is when the civilized world formally stands against the backward cultural milieu pushed forth in this region.

Anyway, check out the article. It'll make you think.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dancing With Noonan

Peggy Noonan, my favorite syndicated columnist, has done it again. This is may be my favorite article to date. Here's a glimpse:
"Everyone is focusing on the polls and spreadsheets, on the scandals and negative ads. This in fact may be the year negative advertising reached critical mass. Voters are no longer running from the room saying, "Smith is dishonest, I must vote for Jones!" They're slouched in front of the TV thinking, They're all bums, I'll try to pick the least bummy. Or asking, 'Honey, which bum is least likely to raise my property taxes?'"

Ya Gotta love Peggy! She has once again crystalized my thoughts. Enjoy!

Poetry in Motion

OK, so I stumbled on a few poems I wrote about ten years ago, and I thought I'd share them with you. Some are about Jesus, others are about relationships, and others are about finding your way again after you've fallen. I just hope they make sense!

I hope you enjoy the poems below. I know it was a lot of fun for me to find them and post them for you. If you're impressed by them, just remember I probably looked something like the picture above when I wrote them. Now, that's impressive!


What would Jesus do if he were in the world today?
Would he step into our gawdy church and venture not to stay?
Would he cringe at his cruel cross recreated 'round our necks
And wonder why we market him and make him so high tech

And I'm curious to know if our assumptions are correct
Would the Son of God be happy with the money we collect?
To make ourselves remember Him with bracelets on our wrists
Or would it simply convince Him that we don't get the gist?

Would He really be happy with the pains that we go through
To turn off all our common sense in light of what He'd do?
Or would He tell us "Use your brains and follow my strong lead
Not with gimmicks, but with my book which I've given you to read."

"And talk with me, my sweet child, and I will give you rest
But please don't treat me like I'm some annoying kind of pest
Cause just because you wear my cross or have me on your clothes
Does not mean your favor in my eyes just grows and grows."

"I love you now as much as I have loved you all along
So get to know me, understanding that my love is strong
And follow me regardless of the fads that come your way
Cause who are you to know what I would do anyway?"

I've shown you what I've done, and I've offered you my hand
Now learn to love me properly and do the best you can!"

Beneath The Sea

I find myself consumed with you and what you think of me
Your thoughts concealed like coral reefs, set well beneath the sea
And if, by chance, I swim so deep, what answers will I find?
An injured anger held within, or thoughts as sweet as wine?

But soon before you have a chance to open up to me
I lose my breath and struggle to the surface of the sea
And as I gulp the tainted air of selfish preservation
I realize this problem is my own miscalculation

If only when I delved beyond the surface of the sea
I could have held you close and brought you to the top with me
For then, amidst the crisp clean air, true clarity we'll find
To conquer all our dissonance with tenderness and time

Time to trust and savor all the love we have to give
Believing that with God's sweet grace our love will truly live
A love that swims the murky depths of the darkened sea
Returning to the safety of the surface faithfully

The Sun

I heard you missed the sun today
It's precious light simply vanished from your way
And as it moved to slowly disappear
Its afterglow was dampened by your tears

So now the only light in all this dark
Burns the crackling embers of your heart
and lying ashen in your bed
You can hardly even lift your head

Why'd you cause the sun to fall?
It could have been so different, after all
You really didn't have to lose
You dragged your feet, were slow to choose

And remembering your lapse
You desperately began to grasp
The pleasant days of long ago
Set in the sun's amazing glow

It's now a year from that dark day
When the great sun had gone away
And though the memories are clear
And you still hurt and sometimes fear

The embers of your heart have died
And now a new light shines inside
So now the sun shines on your skin
Revealing newness, peace within

To know that if, again, it's dark
God's grace provides a brand new start
The sun is bigger than your faults
It rises steady, never halts

So even though the darkness comes
Somewhere, there's alway shines the sun.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Don't Worry, It's Just a Rumor!

OK, a while back a friend of mine, whom I would consider a credible source on anything music related, told me that Bobby McFerrin (you know, the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" guy?) committed suicide. I couldn't believe it. It just seemed wrong for a guy who seemed so happy, with no apparent worries, to take his own life. I mean, if a guy who immitates drums, guitars, violins, and what-not with his mouth can't be fulfilled, who can? What hope is there for any of us if Bobby McFerrin commits suicide?

Anyway, I was glad to find out that he is, in fact, alive and well. The rumors of his demise have become so prevelant that he has had to address them on the FAQ page of his web site. Now, what kind of sick person would create a rumor so insidious as to suggest that the writer and performer of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" would lynch himself? Sicko!

Here's a fun game dedicated to Bobby McFerrin... the very much alive and well Bobby McFerrin. Don't worry, be happy... that he ain't dead.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Black Rebel Review

Check out my friend Ryan's review of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's album, Howl. He does a great job of capturing the feel of the music. I'm just happy that somebody else like this cd. Very cool stuff!

My 3 Year Old Mystery

Pierce is with me at church today. He keeps flipping though the Bible, probably because he likes the way the pages feel. He's the easiest child in the world to entertain: put a book or toy in front of him and sit back and watch him go. All you'll hear for the next two hours is rapidly flipping pages and guttural murmurings. Such is the life of a 3 year old mystery.

He's as beautiful as ever, but I'd give my heart and soul to know what's going on in that little beautiful head of his. If I let it, I could be constantly distracted by concerns over his future. Will he ever be able to drive a car? Does he have the capacity or interest to have a romantic relationship? Can he know God? Those are the kinds of things you never think you'll think about with normal kids, but with an Autistic child, those thoughts bounce around your mind like a shiny silver pinball.

Man, he sure is cute! I just love him, but sometimes I don't know why. Of course there's the fact that he's mine, but aside from that the rules are so changed that I don't know how to reconcile things. I don't really know Pierce. We've never had a conversation. He's never said "I love you." It's hard to say whether or not we've even bonded. Yet I love him with all my heart. Not sure how that works, but I'm glad it does.

I don't know why I wrote this today except for the fact that he's right here with me, humming some version of "This Old Man" while again flipping through my Bible. I guess if I can know God, it's not much more of a miracle to think that he could too. It's the same grace that saved my wretched soul, the same grace that allows me to love even though I don't know why. And the mystery continues...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

LSU... ughhh

My Tigers lost another game this week, and that effectively ends their quest for the SEC title. They looked terrible, and seem to lack the ability to put it all together in the big games. JaMarcus Russell followed his career best game with a morbid performance (3 INT's and a fumble), and the LSU special teams turned the ball over twice. If LSU doesn't beat themselves, who knows? Oh well, I guess I'll just have to turn all of my football dreams and wishes over to The Saints!!

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Reggie's next opponent: Hurricane Katrina
Prediction: Reggie 60, Katrina 0

I'm about to throw an interception!!

Fumbles R Fun!!

Let's get out there and show everyone how bad we suck!!

The Hurricane's Revisited

This is an excerpt from a sermon I preached about a year ago, when the hurrican's had just finished their gulf coast demolition tour. I don't want to forget what I was feeling back then. Just thought you might not want to forget either.


I grew up in Lake Charles, LA, and we lived on Contraband Bayou. Legend had it that somewhere along the winding waters of Contraband Bayou, the famous pirate, Jean Lafitte, buried his treasure. Now, you have to remember that I grew up in the 80’s, when The Goonies was a smash hit, and each weekend became a Goonies adventure for the kids in my neighborhood. We would pile in our canoes and boats and paddle down the bayou in search of this famous hidden treasure, and we were sure we would find it. But even if we didn’t find anything, at least we were doing something adventuresome, something that made us feel like a team on a quest bigger than ourselves.

I recently took a crew of guys to the Lake Charles area, and there they are pictured behind on the screens (display picture). We worked with a chainsaw crew from Tennessee, and helped clear trees from homes affected by the storms. Needless to say, my heart was broken as I drove past Contraband Bayou, only to find boats washed along the shore, and some of the biggest, most beautiful trees uprooted from the winds of Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita. Even worse was the damage done to the homes of close friends and family members.

My in-laws, in fact, suffered heavy damage to their home from an oak tree so large that its root system extended taller than the roof of the house. My Uncle passed away because he couldn’t get access to the necessary medical treatment that would have sustained his life. We hosted family and friends who were displaced by the storms. When I tell you that these storms hit hard, I’m not talking about the land that was destroyed as a result of their intensity, I ‘m speaking of the impact they’ve had on my heart.

I watched, just like many of you, the mayhem that descended upon the city of New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina. And as we watched, most of us felt strongly that we needed to do something. And so we did. As a staff, we met to determine what, if anything could be done to make a difference in the lives of those displaced by the terrible storm. Instead of crying, “that’s a shame”, and turning the channel to a prime time sit-com, we gathered together to help meet the medical, housing, and emotional needs of those in our midst, and it was beautiful.

And what I’d like to propose to you is that we continue to seek out the needs of those who are hurting all around us. Let’s not be content to help only when a national crisis hits, but like kids searching Contraband Bayou for hidden treasure, may we begin to search this metroplex for the everlasting treasure of serving our community together.

Acts 4 tells us of a people who were united in heart and mind. People who were passionately pursuing God’s best for their world. And that is our mission as well. As we dedicate this day to prayer, can we fix our hearts on the heart of God, and commit to serve this community in all that we do. May we never be more concerned about filling up this auditorium than we are about the thousands of people who live within miles of our doors who haven’t felt the loving touch of Christ.

Can we be treasure hunters by committing ourselves to God’s work in the world around us? In the words of John of the Cross, “May God himself awaken your sleeping soul, so that you see with the eyes of faith the multitude of excellent virtues that are found in Him. May He wake you – those who have ears to hear – with thousands and thousands of voices, each one shouting about one of the countless ways that He and all His works are good… and only good.” The voices are shouting... may we have ears to hear.

Politics and The Church

The Cross or the Sword?The political climate these days is really depressing to me. I can't remember a time when things have been more polarized, and it seems that people are only talking at each other instead of to each other. Bill Clinton recently jumped into the fray when he angrily wagged his finger at Chris Wallace over questions about his administration's actions, or lack thereof, in the years preceeding 9/11. In the meantime, George W. Bush is being hammered in the media, the entertainment industry, and the polls, for his job performance. These are only a couple of examples of the tempermental political culture in our country today.

I try to stay out of the political scene, but I want to be an informed citizen. The problem I have is not a personal problem with politicians, but a philosophical problem with the process. I really see politics as ultimately futile. Our political system is not the solution to our human condition. There is something deeper going on here than politics, and as a pastor, it's my role to remind people of that truth.

That's why I found this article on pastor Gregory Boyd so interesting. Boyd, the pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently preached a sermon series on the difference between kingdoms of the world, and the kingdom of God. He has also written a book on the subject entitled, "The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church." I find his story fascinating, and what is really interesting is that he lost over 20% of his congregation when he started preaching on this topic. Amazing how politics could have that much of an effect on the church.

Trent's Football Video

OK, I put Cale's video on here, so I had to put Trent's up as well. Trent's team started with a bang, but they've lost some momentum lately. Trent is a good player, and he tries really hard. Let's hope his team can turn the corner this week and win a game. Way to go Trent!!

Check out Trent's highlights here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cale's Highlight Video

My second son, Cale, has been a mad man on the football field lately. It seems that everything in his world is starting to click, and he's excelling in school, sports and at home. We couldn't be more proud!

This Saturday, Cale's flag football team, the "White Texans" (a very uncomfortable name, by the way), played the "Yellow Texans." This game was unbelievable!! Each team scored at will, and in the end Cale's team fell by the score of 60-59. What a game!!

Anyway, here's a little video I put together of some of Cale's plays. He's #88, and he plays on the team with the white jerseys, hence "White Texans." Thankfully the team name doesn't refer to a group of racists in white sheets, although those guys aren't all that rare in this part of the country.

Check Cale out here.