Friday, August 29, 2008

The Obama Tidal Wave

I'm feeling more and more like there's no way John McCain can beat Barak Obama. Last night at the Democratic National Convention, Obama spoke to a crowd of 80,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver, CO. It was electric. I certainly don't agree with Obama on a litany of issues, but he is the single most gifted politician I have ever witnessed. The man can deliver a speech. He is a force like none other in the political realm, and it's hard for me to see how anyone can knock this guy off course.

McCain, in an interesting move, has asked a woman named Sara Palin to be his Vice President. I like Palin, at least what I know of her. I like that McCain picked her. I love it that she decided to keep her Downs Syndrome child instead of abort him. I like knowing that the Vice President can relate to what it's like to have a special needs child. I really like this pick. But...

...It will not be enough. Obama is just too polished... too genunie... too good at being extremely like-able to be unseated. McCain has taken a huge risk on this one, and I genuinely hope it pans out. As much as I respect Obama's talents and intellect, I simply can't vote for him because of some of his radical views (particularly on the military and abortion). I actually like Obama more than McCain, but I think McCain and Palin will be better for the country.

Lord help us as we wade through this fascinating political season!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's that Time of Year!!

LSU kicks off its season in 3 days, and I couldn't be more excited! There are huge questions at Quarterback, but I'm confident the Tigers have enough talent at that position to find someone who can make things happen.

A few players to watch on this year's team:
  1. Ricky Jean-Francois - Just because his name sounds like that of a Parisian hairdresser doesn't mean the guy's not a beast. This guy will make you forget all about Glen Dorsey. He's big, fast and aggressive. Watch for him to be extremely disruptive to any and offense the Tigers face all year.
  2. Brandon Lafell - All the tools to be a great reciever. If he can catch the ball consistently, he'll be a first round draft pick by the time it's all over.
  3. Chad Jones - By year's end he will be thought of as one of the best safeties in the country. He's only a sophmore.
  4. Trindon Holliday - The fastest man in college football. Might also be the shortetst man in college football. Despite his diminutive stature, Holliday won't hesitate to run a kick back on you. He's just like that. Dynamite every time he touches the ball!
  5. Richard Murphy - Every time I've seen this guy get some playing time, he's looked fantastic. He tore it up in Spring practice, and continued to do well this Summer. Look for Murphy to give the team an explosive spark in the running game.
  6. Special Teams - The Tigers will be looking for an edge in every game this year because their QB's are unproven. My guess is that they've put a lot of work into special teams this year to help create an edge that will give our young, unproven QB's an advantage. We'll see!!
Check out this video. It will give you a passionate desire to watch LSU football.

Monday, August 25, 2008

IBC and Women

DMN File
My old church, Irving Bible Church, has gotten a lot of press lately due to their recent position on women in ministry. The Dallas Morning News wrote an article about the issue as well. Many people have asked me about IBC and this issue, and all I can say is that I love IBC and think very highly of the staff and elders. I wasn't a part of the decision making process, but I was at IBC when this issue was discussed, and when the elders came to their stance on this issue. Although I don't have a problem with the stance that IBC has taken, I do understand that this is an issue where many Godly people hold many different opinions. I am one of those people who can see both sides of this one, but I trust the process that the leadership of IBC went through to get to the stance that they have taken, and I have no problem with it.

This Sunday Jackie Roese preached at IBC. I have heard Jackie preach before, and I think she is truly gifted. She and her husband, Steve, are wonderful people who deeply love Jesus. They are unique and sometimes misunderstood, but I trust them, love them, and support them fully.

The most disheartening thing about this to me is that folks on both sides of this issue are using IBC as a battleground to air their theological beefs. I find this extremely distasteful. This is a very polarizing issue, but it is not an essential aspect of Christianity. This is not the Virgin Birth of the Diety of Christ. There should be grace and liberty exercised with this issue, and I see a frustrating lack of both. It saddens me.

This is an issue that should be honestly discussed, but it is becoming an issue that is dividing God's people. I find that very troubling. That's my 2 cents.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Autism: The Musical

Since we just moved, and we signed up with a new cable company, we're receiving a few free months of what they like to call "Premium Channels."  We're now able to watch HBO, Showtime, and a few other channels that we've never had access to before.  It's kind of a nice little perk!

A couple of nights ago while I was channel surfing to find something interesting I noticed a show on HBO called "Autism: The Musical."  Just what we needed, right?  Another serious issue relegated to the status of "Musical."  Don't get me wrong, I like the occasional musical, but this genre can sometimes make serious situations seem like trite scenes from Grease.  That's the last thing I want to see when it comes to Autism.  Out of curiosity I decided to record this show.

I watched it tonight.  It's incredible.  It's actually a documentary about a lady who had a dream to teach Autistic kids how to perform a musical on stage, for an audience.  It details the lives and struggles of the children who play the main characters in the musical, and it tells both wonderful and excruciating stories about their lives with Autism.  What a wonderful, terrible, beautiful, horrible film.  It both breaks your heart and inspires your spirit.  I highly recommend it, and I fully realize that it may have particular interest and emotional weight for me due to the fact that I have an Autistic child.  Who knows, it may not hit you the same way.

If you have the chance, check it out.

You can read more about it here.

Here's a clip from the film:

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fun Movie Memories

Had a great visit the other day with my old friend and distinguished professor, Dr. Kreider. He'll probably hate the fact that I'm mentioning him here, but he's sort of old and grumpy, so he's prone to hate things without my help. Anyhow, he reminded me about two of my favorite movie experiences of all time. Dr. Kreider was with me for both experiences, so he can vouch for the following details.

The first movie memory happened when Kreider and I decided to go see this new science fiction movie that was just beginning to generate some buzz. We sat calmly, not really expecting much from the film, and were slowly transported into one of the most amazing films I can remember seeing at the theatre. It was one of those great feelings you sometimes get at the movies when you meander upon something that revolutionizes the way you look at things. I remember feeling that way when I saw E.T. as a kid, and even more when I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both films hit the theatres with relatively little fanfare, but both changed the way we looked at life.

In the same way, when Kreider and I stumbled upon The Matrix on that fateful night, we enthusiastically fell down the rabbit hole into an amaizing world of technology and special effects, theology and philisophy, and jaw-dropping action and adventure. All the things we were discussing in pursuit of understanding culture and theology were being played out on screen in this epic film. It was like we were watching the modern era give way to something else... something we couldn't define, but something that was indescribably resonant.

It was a cool experience, and it was only fitting for both of us that we witnessed this film together. It's just the kind of experience every student should have with his teacher, and every teacher should have with his pupil. It's not often that both encounter something fresh together. Very cool!

The second movie experience was much less cool. We went to a late showing of the film Magnolia. I've heard from many folks who really liked this movie, but Kreider and I were less than impressed. It wasn't so much that the movie was bad, but that the experience was totally horrid.

There was a constant barrage of noise, moving people, and, well, Kreider's snoring, and it had to be one of the worst movie watching experiences of my life. An entire group of folks sat behind us and barked orders at the screen like drill seargent's at boot camp. It seemed like a steady stream of people had to go to the bathroom, and they seemed to stagger themselves so that they left at every key moment of the film. How they knew to plan this is beyond me, but I could swear they were doing it just to make Kreider and me crazy.

If that weren't enough, I think Kreider just gave up about half way through the movie and decided to doze off like grandpa after Thanksgiving turkey. It wasn't long before I began to notice a chainsaw-like snore eminating from the seat to my right. Hey, I should have known better. Give the guy a comfortable seat, a tub of popcorn, and an incredibly boring film, and who can blame him for snoring like my drunk uncle after a bender?

Anyway, those two experiences were quite memorable and I just thought I'd share them with you. No point whatsoever. No spiritual crumbs to chew on... just a couple of friends at the movies. Kreider! Let's do it again soon!!