Sunday, February 25, 2007

Christian News for Christians News Freaks, Finally!

Ok, I admit it, I'm a news freak. I camp out on the Drudge Report and love to watch the various of news channels. I will even go so far as to say that Glenn Beck should run for President with Tucker Carlson as his VP. Maybe that's a bit goofy to say... but I like those guys, AND, to me, Katie Couric is America's Sweetheart. Anyway, there are a lot of news outlets in the world but what about the news that applies to the Christian lifestyle? I've been doing some research lately (and not posting), so here's what I found.

There are 10 or so news sites that are themed as Christian in nature. The problem I found was that most of them were simply a list of links updated by automated RSS feeds. This non-personal form of news headline updating causes these sites to be comprised of a voluminous amount of information/headlines/stories that a site visitor must sift through. Now if you're like me, you don't have a lot of time to research through the different categories on a website to find just what story you may be interested in reading. Actually, the majority of us just have time to jump on a site, have a quick peek at the headlines, maybe read a couple, and then jump off in time to make the nine o'clock meeting.

I was at a loss, that is until The Christian News Source came into my life. The Christian News Source is patterned after, actually it's a pretty good clone of, the Drudge Report. I am very familiar with Drudge, and love the way it's set up, so the CNS is right up my alley. Also, this site is updated throughout the day and is updated with the headlines that me, the average Christian man just trying to walk with Jesus, wants to read and learn more about.

So, what are you waiting for? Go check it out and bookmark it in your browser. It's time that all Christians became more informed about the news relevant to our faith. The Christian News Source sure looks like the best place to find the latest breaking Christian news. And, even better news is that it's not tied to any particular Church/Denomination. Looks like I've found a new campsite!


CHRISTIAN NEWS SOURCE

-And-

Be sure to check out the Christian News Source Blog over at http://christiannewssource.com/blog

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Addicted to Myspace

Ok, I admit I have a problem. A few weeks ago, my Aunt told me how she had been on Myspace.com and how she was having fun adding her friends. I had heard of Myspace but always shunned it because I thought it was for kids and also that any 35 year old man that logged on would feel like an Internet predator. But after talking to my Aunt, I thought it sounded fun and it was also another way to connect with more people and spread the Word. SO, I logged on, created an account, and added all my info. The next thing I did was search for my High School friends. I found several and added them as friends. When you add someone as your friend, that person is sent an email that asks them to accept of reject your outstretched hand of friendship and approve them. It was nice to hear from them because I hadn't heard hide nor hair of them in years. It's always fun to connect with others that you shared a common experience with. There is a kinship there that is very strong.

After I had built a group of about 20 "Friends", the fascination with Myspace began. I devoted many hours to finding and adding people I knew to my "friends" list. This fascination became an addiction because I found myself logging on multiple times throughout the day, to check for any recent additions to High School friends, College friends, and old Army buddies. But as with any fascination, it became a bit mundane because after all of this time spent adding people into my fold, I soon realized that I had found everyone that I personally knew that had an account on Myspace. I was saddened by this, so I decided to add the "famous" folks that have sites. I added new friends such as Jimmy Buffett, Glenn Beck, Todd Agnew, John Couger Mellancamp, every Manchester United Soccer player I could find, and of course, Gary Busey! All of these famous folks were and are now my friends!! I now have a direct connection with all of these folks!!! Maybe I should shoot out an email and see if Jimmy, Glenn, and Gary want to get together this weekend for 18 holes?

Hold it! Tis time to admit that I have a problem. The Oxford Dictionary defines Addict as:

Devote or apply habitually or compulsively.

Ephesians 5:18-20 tells us "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Whatever the fascination/addiction, we are told in this passage of scripture to instead, fill our self with the Holy Spirit and through Him, the less we will participate in the addiction.

Obviously, this applies to more than a Myspace addiction. This applies to everything from pornography to alcoholism, but I have shown through my Myspace addiction that all of us are vulnerable to addictions of this world that stem from our own flesh and the father of lies himself. So, when you feel the urge to give in to your addiction, reach instead for your Bible. Fill yourself with it and the other will lose its control.

And as for Myspace, don't believe that you really are friends with the famous people you add to your site. Sure, deep down, I want to think that all of the famous folks log and personally add you as a friend, but do they really? Because I am a scientist, I had to do a little experiment. I read in the news yesterday that the British singer Robbie Williams had checked himself into rehab on Monday. But not just any rehab, he checked into a secluded rehab in Arizona where patients have no contact with the outside world. No media of any kind and no visitors either. So, I seized this moment as a way to find out if he is the one running the site or if it's someone else. I found his official Myspace site and added him as a friend on Tuesday. The funny thing was, he accepted my friendship the next day. I am honored that he risked his own sobriety to sneak to a computer in the rehab center and accept me as a friend. Now that is a true friend!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Work With What You've Got


Last week, Kentucky was blessed with 6" of snow. This is a lot of snow for us and we did what any other American family would do: We put a coat on the dog, sat in a flipped-over turtle sandbox lid, and made our four year old push us down the hill in front of our house. At least that's whats going on in this photo.

Over the past few years, we've had little to no snow and the last thing we would ever consider buying was a sled. But, I wished we would have purchased one prior to this snowfall event that left us only to use our imaginations. So, we're all dressed up (even the dog) and the closest thing we have to a sled is a snow shovel! It was time to get creative...

Our first thought was of course, Walmart. But after a quick telephone enquiry, we found out that we were not the first to think this thought, because we were told (in a you've gotta be kidding tone of voice) that all sleds were sold out. Our next idea was cardboard. It didn't take long to realize that trying to keep a four year old from sliding off a sheet of cardboard is nearly impossible.

Just when I thought all options had been exhausted (including saran wrap, aluminum foil, and trash bags), my wife said, "What about the turtle?"

Yes! The Turtle is a great idea! You see, in our side yard is Will's turtle sandbox that has a shell-shaped lid. This lid is removable so that he can open it to play and close it to keep out the rain water and the local cats. Long story short, it worked. It didn't work great, but as you can see in the picture, it made for a evening of family fun that even the dog got in on.

So, if you are faced with a problem and need an answer, don't give up without using all you've got. Jesus said, "Knock and the door will be opened." I know this may sound silly to you, but we didn't pray about finding a sled. But, I'm sure it was God that guided Marci to the turtle. I just wish He would have kicked me at Walmart last week when I saw a large stack of sleds, and knowing the snow was coming, I told myself (and I stress SELF), to just pass them by...

Friday, February 9, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith Dead at 39

When my wife told me that Anna Nicole had died, the first thing I said was, "What?!?". I was shocked to hear this horrible news. But, a few seconds later I had a fleshly feeling come over me that said, "I'm not surprised" and "Who didn't see that one coming?" and "Wow, BIG surprise!". How self righteous of me to think that way. But then again, it's a big reminder that I need to be on guard. Obviously, the flesh is still alive and well inside of me and needs to be crucified by the day, hour, minute, and second.

I set out to write a post about how this person (Anna Nicole) died a sad death but I decided to turn it over to a fellow blogger that has already said it all. His name is Tony Woodlief and I can't hold a candle to the way he crafts his thoughts into simple blog posts that paint a perfect picture for the reader. Here's the link so go check it out:

Tony Woodlief

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Super Superbowl Blessing


Ok, ok, ok... the last post was stupid and it was also a departure from the norm. Here's the real thing that God has been speaking to me about:

Last year, we had a men's ministry Superbowl party at church. At that party, we watched the personal testimony of Tony Dungy and how he has affected so many of his players, fans, and coaches through his faith. Although I was already a Dungy fan simply because he coaches the Colts, after watching this video, he became one of my heroes. That's because he has lead many of his players to Christ, and he is not ashamed or afraid to speak about his faith.

The greatest moment of the Superbowl was not Prince's performance, the two interceptions in the fourth quarter, when the clock ticked off the final second, or even when the trophy was given to the Colts owner. The greatest moment of last night was when Tony Dungy, holding the trophy, said these words:

“I’m proud to be the first African-American coach to win this. But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord’s way. We’re more proud of that.”

Tony Dungy is a man after God's heart that's not afraid to let his light shine on the biggest stage and venue in the world. Thanks for being the warrior you are Tony!

A First for Me and a Trip Down Memory Lane

Last night, something that has never happened to me happened. Finally, after all of these years, my team finally won the Superbowl! I have been a colts fan since 1984 when my Aunt and Uncle moved to Indianapolis and I fell in love with the town. Also, the Colts are blue and white, and as you know, since I am from Kentucky, I bleed blue.

Last night was great, and my wife and I were tickled to death when the Colts were crowned champs. But, my favorite part of the game was not when the interception that iced the game occurred, nor was it when the final seconds ticked off the clock. My favorite part of the game was the half-time show.


The halftime show was plain and simple. It wasn't a multi-act, star studded event with an accidental wardrobe malfunction. No, no, no... This year's halftime show was simply a man and his screaming guitar, entertaining millions of people in a driving rain storm. And, that man was none other than the Artist that was the Artist formerly known as Prince, and before that, he was just, Prince.

Even if you are not a Prince fan, the performance in the rain that he put on was one of the greatest I have ever seen. Not only did he do his well-known songs such as 'Let's Go Crazy' and the anthem 'Purple Rain', but he also did a cover of Bob Dylan's 'All along the Watchtower' and played the guitar solo with a Hendrix-esque, rip the strings off, kind of way.

But it wasn't that I love his voice or guitar playing, it was the memories that all of his music brought back. I was in 7th grade when his Purple Rain album came out. So, I've got a ton of memories of the happy times in Junior High, especially the dances, where these songs were played. Prince was the most popular artist during that time in my life, and his music always reminds me of those happy times. Anyway, say what you want about the way he acts, his sexual orientation, or how he dresses. But as for me, I'm a fan.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Keeping It Real

I've been a bit slack on my writing lately (thanks for reminding me Andy!), so I've decided to let the Lord lead me through this post. I have no idea what this will be, but I love this picture, and I feel that it has a message hidden within it's pixels that I will attempt to draw out.

If the Oxford Dictionary that sits on my desk had a picture attached to every term, this one would be found next to excitement. I snapped this picture of my son while riding the Goofy's Barnstormer Roller Coaster at Disney World. I noticed him laughing and squealing throughout the course of the ride so I grabbed the camera, held it out, and snapped this one just as we dropped over the big hill and into the barn. The neat thing about it is that there is nothing fake about his smile. What you see is unadulterated excitement, happiness, fun, and joy. There is no acting, forced smiles, or posing of any kind: What you see is REAL.

I'm reminded of Eldredge's "Wild At Heart", specifically the chapter called 'The Poser and the Question'. If you haven't read it, a poser is a false self that we convey to others. All of us pose and none of us are immune to it. Just this morning, a friend at work was explaining the dynamics of how a thing-a-ma-jig caused a doomaflotchy to fail and no one else noticed it until he showed up. To be honest, I had no idea what he was talking about but I nodded my head and simply said, "What idiot wouldn't notice that?" Like I would have been able too!

So, this picture is one of the few that I have taken over the years that record real, un-posed facts. My prayer today is that my life will reflect a genuine nature and I will not be afraid to tell someone "I don't understand". I guess I'm just tired/sick of being an expert at everything...