I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

POTUS Race Halftime Entertainment

It's February and the POTUS campaigns are in full swing and already some of the candidates most of us believed shouldn't be in the race to begin with have called it quits.  There are still a couple on the GOP side of things whose resolve has been bolstered because of a good showing in New Hampshire.  John Kasich pulled it off, but good heavens; he's not even remotely electable.  Governor Christie should be dropping out or "suspending his campaign" and Carly Fiorina, well, she didn't even stand a chance going into the race.  It's kind of sad because she seemed intelligent and ready to lead.

The two GOP candidates who are still legitimately in the running are Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz.  Read that again to yourself.  Trump (net worth in the billions), Rubio (owns a half million dollar house and his net worth is $976k), and Cruz (made over a million dollars last year).  That is the best and brightest that the GOP can come up with?  Can you imagine any of them actually getting elected? And we thought the Super Bowl halftime show was bad...

On the Democratic side it is pretty much a done deal.  Hillary will be the candidate.  Sanders is an interesting cat to be sure, but just, no.

About the Super Bowl...

As a Seattle Seahawk fan, I found it difficult to cheer for former division rival, Denver Broncos, but I abhor the Carolina Panthers even more. I thought it to be an interesting and entertaining game and then there was the halftime show.  

Perhaps it's my old age and my desire for simplicity is the driving force in my life, but I didn't get any of the halftime show.  Bruno Mars was good, I think.  Coldplay is Coldplay and you know what you're going to get with them, but it wasn't a good show at all.  Beyonce, once again, wore a skimpy outfit and showed off her hindquarters and her ability to rumble that backside.  The whole Black Panther thing?  It was silliness and the aggregate result is that she is getting plenty of attention as a result.  Her mission was accomplished on many levels.

Who would make an entertaining halftime show?  Bruce Springsteen?  Zakk Wylde and BLS?  U2?  Aerosmith?  Lady Gaga?  There really has to be someone or some group that would be better than a bunch of butt-shaking jibber jabber.  Or maybe not.

Of course, it's just my opinion and I could be wrong; but I seriously doubt it.  


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

We Can Fix It

No one wakes up in the morning hoping to read a story about how four teens from Norman North High School sexually assaulted two boys on a bus returning from a wrestling match.  It's shocking and deplorable and what's worse yet is the wrestling coach who was supposedly on the bus as well did nothing to stop the assault.  It forces us to ask just what in the heck has happened to us as a country or even as a community.  Where have we gone wrong?  

We are raising a generation of children wherein many have no code of honor, who have no sense of respect for human dignity, and are addicted to immediate gratification and we, as adults, we as the Church, have allowed it to happen right under our noses.  Look, there is no doubt that your humble Gorilla is the chief of all sinners and is the embodiment of Romans 3; I'm simply pointing out the fact that we are all responsible.

What really puzzles me is how the Church continues to grow numerically, but seems to be increasingly impotent to create change for the better in our neighborhoods.  It doesn't really make sense, does it?  Church youth groups are filled to overflowing in many megachurches but what is the aggregate result?  In Michael Scott Horton's book, "Putting Amazing Back Into Grace," he quotes philosopher Paul C. Payne who said:

"Today, the world doesn't take the Church seriously because today, the Church isn't serious."

Sadly, he's right.  The Church wants to project an image wherein their pastorate and staff look as though they are Abercrombie models wearing only the latest in fashion and following cultural trends.  It somehow makes them "more relevant" to the world when the world is waiting for the Church to start taking their mandates seriously.  When a church staff's average age is 35 years old and whose life experiences are limited to summer church camp and memorizing feel-good passages of Scripture, it's something that we need to fix and we can fix it.  We just have to have the testicular fortitude to speak the truth to these American Eagle Outfitters fashionistas who know more about Coldplay than they do orthodox theology.  

But I digress...

The Oklahoma legislature has their God Squad who have decided that this should be a proving ground for their brand of dominion theology and have usurped the role of the Church as a whole.  While claiming to be representative of the Church, they have decided that the new church will be Government itself.  These self-same legislators gnash their teeth and rend their clothing because the so-called liberals are using government to push their agenda, but isn't that what they themselves are doing?

The hypocrisy stacks up so fast around here that you need wings to rise above it.  We can fix this problem as well very easily.  We simply stop voting for these Pharisaical boobs and send them to their churches where they belong.  Maybe they can learn the honor and responsibility of the former office they held from that vantage point; but I predict it to be highly unlikely.

Speaking of honor and duty, today is the anniversary of the murder of United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.  These are men who stood for something larger, something more important than themselves.  Each and every day while deployed, lives were put on the line to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary so we can grow out churches, so we can spoil our children, so we can raise a generation of self-centered, petulant brats who not only don't know who Chris Kyle was nor do they know what a Navy SEAL does every day of their deployment.  

We can fix that problem too.  We have to be vocal, we have to be informative, we need to poke fun at ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously, but take our message very seriously.  There is honor in serving.  There is honor required in being a part of a team.  There is honor and dignity required of the parents of athletes and academics alike and it is the parent's responsibility to send those kids out the door every day with a taste of the bigger picture.  We can fix it all; we just have to want to do something about it.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

13 Hours Stuff

I had the privilege of seeing the movie, "13 Hours" over the past weekend and it was probably one of the most challenging movies I've seen in a long time.  Some of the scenes are graphic and there are times when I wonder whether or not the graphic nature of a film is necessary; this movie was based real life and in real life, people were killed and in a gruesome manner and more people need to see just how brutal some people can be.  Overall, I thought the movie was exceptional, and the garbage flying out of people's mouths who haven't seen the movie who are saying that it is a political propaganda piece are, well, full of it.  It's not like that at all.

Even the depiction of the Ambassador being dragged through the streets was missing from the screen; there was dialog, but no visuals.  There was no reference to the Secretary of State, so the Hillary supporters are full of crap.  There was no dialog about the Administration.  What it does, however, is point out some serious problems with rules of engagement and the communications infrastructure within the CIA.  Which should tell us something because it has been an issue for many years now.

John Krasinski ("Jim" from the television show The Office) puts in a top notch performance that is serious, compelling, and where appropriate, a great sense of humor. His character "Jack" is a troubled fellow; constantly evaluating the value of his presence there as a contractor.  Jack misses his family and feels a twinge of guilt for leaving them once again for a potentially dangerous situation to generate revenue for his family.  

"Roy" from The Office (David Denman) is in the movie as well, however, he plays a quiet and focused sniper and he does it splendidly.  David Costabile (was in Breaking Bad) plays the role of "The Chief" and from the very beginning of the movie, you learn to despise the character and by the end of the
movie, it becomes very clear that his unwillingness to act early when his security forces suggested ended up costing lives.  The character shows a bit of remorse at the end of the movie, but when his face pops on screen, your blood begins to boil.  

This movie is based on a true story that really happened.  People really did lose their lives at the hands of brutal beasts who have no sense of humanity at all and they were more then willing to urinate on the rules of engagement.  You do get to see how our men were able to drop significant numbers of the enemy and that is important to the film.  The men who lost their lives in defense of something deserve our honor and our admiration for their sacrifice. 

Forget what both sides of the aisle are saying about the movie and go watch it for yourself.  Make your own decisions about the movie and put aside the rhetoric about the political nature of the movie because it just doesn't exist.  There are critics who are saying the movie isn't a blockbuster and neither should it be; just remember who those critics are, generally speaking.  They are men and women who review movies and have never gotten off their asses to stand a post. 

Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tiny Houses, Huge Dividends

"The homeless in our country are an invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb," I was once told.  At first, I thought I understood that premise but it didn't take long for me to realize the magnitude of the problem of poverty had reached such epic proportions.  There have been such an uptick in the number of homeless that municipalities are passing regulations to keep the homeless off of the street corners and preclude them from panhandling. Some city leaders across the country have pushed to make it illegal to feed the homeless in public.  Yes, you read that correctly. It's rather indicative of our society as a whole; we want to cover up the darkness that lies all around us that we could shed light upon.  

The issue of how to deal with the homeless in Oklahoma City really has reached an impasse wherein we see symptoms being treated but the disease itself left unchecked.  While it is true that we will always have the chronically transient in our midst, there are a great many homeless men, women, and families who just need a break to succeed.  In Seattle and other cities, the faith community is doing exactly what it should be; meeting need and caring for the least among us.

A Lutheran church used property they owned to build a tiny house village where homeless individuals can have a sense of home with their tiny house that can be locked and has utilities.  The residents will pay $90/mo for utilities and there is a centralized shower and restroom facility being built on the grounds as well.  It is an innovative approach that is going to meet with phenomenal success.  The big surprise of these tiny houses is that they each cost around $2,200 to build and that is chump change when you consider the cost of facilitating massive numbers in a public shelter.

Take a look at this video and ask yourself if our communities are doing enough.


There are no two ways about it; we are always going to have the poor among us and the true test of our character is what we do about it.  Shame on elected officials who want to hide the problem and consider the homeless to be a nuisance rather than an opportunity to live out what we say we believe.

Of course this is just my opinion and I could be wrong; but I seriously doubt it.