Monday, July 30, 2007


I sat in on a gathering of folks last night, and the topic of discussion was hope. For some hope is a difficult thing to grasp. It's kind of like a Star Wars movie... it seems wonderful and amazing and mind boggling and - well - unreal. That's the problem with hope. You find yourself wondering if it really exists or if it's some fantasy flying through your head like the Millennium Falcon.

The guy who lead the discussion last night referred to "The Shawshank Redemption", where, at the end of the film, Andy writes a note to Red and pens these words: “Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Could it be that what Andy wrote is true? Is it really possible that hope is the best of things, and it tells of something eternal, or are we the Lloyd Christmas's of the universe, who, when faced with million to one odds give the blindly hopeful response, "So you're saying there's a chance?!!"

Though I don't believe that Christians are blindly hopeful, there is certainly, as Barak Obama would say, an "audacity" to our hope. It takes a lot of nerve to claim hope in a world characterized by extreme materialism, extreme poverty, discrimination, violence, sexual perversion, broken marriage, environmental disregard, and a litany of other things that make me want to cash in my chips and get out of Dodge. It's crazy, in a world that cultures genocide, female circumcision and HIV/AIDS, that there would be any room for hope.

But the claim of the message of Christianity is, unashamedly, hopeful. What makes it even more audacious is that the object of its hope is unseen. Romans 8:24-25 says, "For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" The point is well taken. Shouldn't it be said that if hope isn't audacious, it's not hope at all, but something entirely different? Isn't the whole point of hope its audacity?

I used to hope for a car. Now I have a car, and the mystery of its motorly goodness has well been revealed. Before I owned my own vehicle, the thought of driving a mechanized chariot seemed so alluring. After owning a car for several years now, the allure is gone, and all that's left is an overinflated car payment. The hope has faded, replaced by the harsh reality of $3/gallon gas, liability insurance and costly repairs. Truth be told, Dallas traffic has cured me of the desire to even want to drive.

Now, contrast this to a hope that is yet unseen. Unseen hope produces great longing. The desire to attain this hope is great, and the object of this hope is illustrious. For the Christian, this hope is found in the person of Jesus, because upon Him all the deepest hopes of man are placed. And what is the promise attached to this hope? Well, it's the same as the promise attached to the hope that Andy wrote about when addressing Red:
“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”


This post is dedicated to my good friend, Stephen Presley. Thanks, brother, for always reminding me of the hope of the Gospel.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Those Crazy Iraqi's

The first line from this story is just classic.

"Iraqi fans have been stocking up on gasoline and ammunition in preparation for their national soccer team's Asian Cup semi-final against South Korea on Wednesday."
I'm going nuts waiting for LSU football to arrive, but gasoline and ammunition?! I probably won't stock up on that until next year's LSU/Alabama game, when Nick Saban makes his return to Tiger Stadium!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007



Dead Horse Alert!!! Christians and Drinking

CommunionDan Kimball has posted a couple of interesting blog entries lately about Christians and alcohol. Man, if I had a dollar for every conversation I've had about this issue, I could probably throw a kegger! Even though the issue is a well worn path, the posts are still worth reading. Be sure to read the comments page too. This argument usually gives me tired head, but it is an intriguing read on Dan's site. Check it out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

What to Watch

Summer TV watching is tricky business. You get the usual bevy of spare stuff that wasn't good enough for prime time, and the stuff that was ready for prime time is playing through a loop of re-runs. In light of that, here's a few of my favorite shows this summer, and one that you should stay away from:

  1. Burn Notice (USA) - This slick action/comedy/drama is well produced, written and acted. The lead characher, Michael Western (Jeffrey Donovan), is a spy who's recieved a "burn notice", spy speak for getting fired. He's been cut off by the government and is on the FBI watch list. Only problem is he doesn't know why. So, while he's trying to figure it all out, he's also taking private investigator type jobs to pay the rent. This dude is as cool as they come. His list of supporting actors includes the dude from Army of Darkness and the Old Spice Commercials (Bruce Campbell). I love that guy!
  2. The World Series of Pop Culture (vH1) - Kim and I watched this show last year and were hooked. You may be still able to catch the replays of this super fun pop culture trivia extravaganza since the originals have already aired. It pits several teams of three against each other in a tournament style competition. I just love seeing how many of the questions I can correctly answer. Good stuff.
  3. The Closer (TBS) - Man, this is just a good show. There was one episode that had the craziest first five minutes I've ever seen on TV. It actually worked, too, which is rare for crazy scenes. Kyra Sedgwick's fake Georgia accent drives me a bit insane, but the show is really cool.
Now, for one television gimmick that you can live without:
  1. Stay away from Sportscenter this summer. It pains me to write this, but it's true. Stuart Scott is hosting this silly segment called "Who's Now", and it's the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a while. It's intended to determine which athlete is both a superstar in their sport and off the field. Athletes are paired against each other in a lame and very subjective popularity contest. Plus, you get to hear from "the panel", which includes spare hosts who look like they wish they were as popular and relevant as the athletes they're judging. Just report the sports issues of the day, ESPN! Leave the commentary out of it. We don't need you to tell us who is popular, we just need to know who won the game.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'll Take Two Pair!!

Oh, Don't Forget!!

This is really cool, and you can thank me later. My recommendation is to open this in your browser first thing in the morning and keep it open all day. If you need to use it throughout the day, it will be right at your finger tips. This is a website that allows you to type a text message to yourself to be delivered at a later date or time. For instance, if your wife calls the office 5 minutes before you go into a big meeting and asks you to buy bread on the way home, you can use this handy little tool to send a text message to yourself at 5pm when you get off of work. You and I both know you're going to forget about the bread, so why not send yourself a reminder? I'm going to use the heck out of this site!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Potty Like it's 1999!!

Pierce has officially turned the corner!! The little man is now going "pee pee" on the potty unprompted. We are all very relieved (hah! Get it?).

May the horns of triumph blast out their joyful song from the highest mountains... May the birds and beasts be roused from the jungles... May the people rejoice with voices of victory... For my child - my Autistic child - can now take a leak!!

By the way, everytime I talk to Pierce about going "pee pee", or utter the words "potty" or "tee tee", I feel like a total moron. I feel like one of those super sappy women who run daycare center's. Speaking those words as a grown man just doesn't feel right. This has been humbling experience, but I've never been so excited about urine!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Most Intense Potty Training Ever!

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We are potty training Pierce this week, and it's a freaking nightmare. Here's how it works:
  • Check his pants every 5 minutes to make sure they're dry.
  • Put him on the potty every 30 minutes and pray for pee pee.
  • Leave him on the potty for 10 minutes.
  • Repeat the process.
  • Should he have an accident, we have to sternly say "You're wet", and take him to the potty. We are to place him on the potty and immediately remove him, and take him back to the scene of the crime and announce "You're wet. Pee pee goes in the potty." We repeat this process 5 times, and then start the 5 minute timer again.
We have timers all over the house. It's a real pain in the butt.

The first two days were full of lots of pee pee, but not on the potty. There were accidents-a-plenty. Kim was discouraged, and I was starting to wonder if I would ever get the smell of urine out of my nose.

Today, though, Pierce got it! He only had one accident all day!!!

This stuff is a pain, but it's all worth it if I don't have to change diapers anymore. No pain, no gain!!

I met this guy today...

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...and he is really cool. This is The Ticket's own Bob Sturm, a local radio personality. Bob went to Liberty University, and knew the late Jerry Fallwell. He's now the co-host of one of DFW's most listened to radio shows (BaD Radio: noon - 3pm: 1310am). Anyway, Bob and I met for about an hour today, and he is a super nice guy. We actually visited at Irving Bible Church in the cafe. Could he be making another apearance at IBC soon? Check here in the coming days to find out.

Hey now, Sturminator!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Patriotic Wisdom from Noonan

Those of you who read this page often (if there are any of you!) probably get tired of hearing me sing the praises of Peggy Noonan. Well, don't expect those praises to cease any time soon. Ms. Noonan is at it again with this wonderfully nostalgic and understated Opinion Journal column. In it she finds ways to not only celebrate freedom and immigration, but to subtly warn against a freedom and immigration that doesn't "let go" and embrace the United States. It's a wonderful article that is both charming and insightful.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th!

If this video doesn't make you want to celebrate America's Independance, I don't know what will. Watch it. Love it. Live it. Are you a real American?