Sunday, February 24, 2008

No Place Like...

Wow, it's good to be home. On Saturday, Josh M., Nate and I went up to KC for Nate's tryout for the KC Wizards (soccer). I thought he played pretty well, but he didn't get a callback. Of course there were a lot of pro-level players out there, so it gave him a chance to get in some pretty intense practice.

The globality of it was a little surreal. Americans only made up about have the group, and at any given time during a game you could hear about 3 different languages being hollered. But for these guys, its all the same game. A dude from Guatemala explained it to us in his broken English, "You keek te ball. If you can't keek it, you pass it."
Fair enough.

We had to wait until 8 that night to find out if Nate was going to the second round, so we proceeded to hang out in Independence, MO for the rest of the day. Mainly hung at the mall and tried to not pick up any gay guys. Easier said than done.

The snow was beautiful, but slowed the drive time down. We didn't get back until almost 2 and crashed at Nate's. My cellie had died so I didn't have either phone or internet access. I suffered some mild withdrawal symptoms, but have recovered sufficiently.
Today in church, Pastor Baker was preaching on the rich man and Lazarus. It got me wondering again. I mean, by virtue of being an American and having a car, I am much wealthier than the rest of the world. And yet I pretty much do nothing but spend my excess wealth on coffee and muffins....
Cory drove past me a few moments ago as I was headed Home.
I guess he's headed to KC for something work related. I probably won't see him until tomorrow night. Kind of ironic.
It's good to be back, though. "yawn"
I wanna set the world on fire
Until it's burning bright for you.
It's everything that I desire
Can I be the one you use? - Britt Nicole

"These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;" Acts 17:6b

Friday, February 22, 2008

Get Sweatin

For those of you wanting to get muddy:

The local triathlon club is holding an off-road Duathlon ou at Lil Sac where Aaron and I raced a month or so ago. (Seems longer ago than that) At any rate, this will be a timed raced through the woods, on a bike and on foot. If you're interested, let me know. I can probably round up a couple of bikes, or we can rent them from the shop for $60 each. (Wanna' ride a $2300 bike? They're pretty cool). You've got time to train. I imagine the course will be pretty short. Should only take like an hour to complete.

March 29th. Pencil it in. Lemme know.

It's been 'career week' for me. A lot of prayin'. A lot of wishing I could read the last chapter of my life. The one where I'm rocking on the porch at sunset with the pretty lady and a heritage of Godly kids.

And all that hind-sight.
Of course, that'd prolly spoil the fun.

And everyone I know wants to go there too,
But when I ask them how to do it they seem so confused.
Do I turn to the left?
Do I turn to the right?
When I turn to the world they gave me this advice:

They said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He's the One I have chosen

And I will follow Him
- Rich Mullins

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm Happy

...And I want to post happy lyrics, but that means that I gotta' blog....
Ah, team Discovery. The former team of Lance Armstrong.
They had this dude on there named Hincapie. He's a real worker. I mean he was right by Armstrong's side during every tour. Cool, huh? Seven years. Helpin' the big dog win.

So this year at the USPRO National championship in his home state, he was told to win it (these things are planned before every race so the team knows who to work for). Watch the footage sometime. Right when Hincapie stands up to break away, his teammate, Levi Leipheimer attacks. The gentleman that he is, Hincapie sat back down and let his teammate win.

Supposedly Levi's selfish move was just so he could land a better contract.

It worked. Astana - a team that got kicked out of both of the last two Tour de France's for doping -hired Levi, the Disco team leader, Johann Bruyneel, and the winner of last year's Tour de France in a bid to rebuild a clean, winning team.

Hincapie got hired by T-Mobile, which then folded, leaving him with a temporary team called Team High Road.

But the last chapter is always the happiest. This last week, the organizers of the two largest bike races - the Tour de France and the Vuelta Espana have banned Astana from racing for one year.

So now Levi can only sit there and seethe from the sidelines during both races. I love it. Bwhahaha!
Aight, here's my fun. Endure!

What listen to when I'm down. It always makes me smile. I'm one of the luckiest kids out there.

But I know I'm a lucky man
God's given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land
a few dollars in a coffee can
My old truck's still running good
My ticker's tickin' like they say it should
I got supper in the oven, good woman's loving
And one more day to be my little kid's dad

Lord knows I'm a lucky man -Montgomery Gentry

And one of my favorite songs from Rocky IV. My pick-me-up for when life seems tough and I wanna throw in the towel and become a regular ho-hum human. Or complacent Christian.

We're not indestructible,
Baby better get that straight.
I think it's unbelievable,
How you give into the hands of fate.
Some things are worth fighting for,
some feelings never die.
I'm not asking for another chance,
I just wanna know why-

There's no easy way out,
There's no shortcut home.
There's no easy way out,
Giving in can't be wrong.

I don't wanna pacify you,
I don't wanna drag you down.
But I'm Feeling like a prisoner,
Like a stranger in a no-name town.
I see all the angry faces,
Afraid that could be you and me.
Talking about what might have been,
Thinking about what it used to be.
(and my favorite verse. I don't wanna' look back on life and wonder where it went:)
Baby, Baby we can shed this skin,
We can know how we feel inside.
Instead of going down an endless road,
Not knowing if we're dead or alive.
Some things are worth fighting for,
some feelings never die.
I'm not asking for another chance,
I just wanna know why-
- Survivor

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I've become acutely aware of time. Like January. That month seemed incredibly long. February, though, is almost gone.

But this week has lasted forever. We didn't open the shop on Monday (didn't figure many cyclists would be out in that nasty stuff) so I got to hang out with sis. 'Twas fun. We went to Wally and bought sand to help with traction, and then hung out at Gailey's, drinking coffee and chatting scripture. Bro and I lost power later that day and had to spend the night with one of Cory's co-workers.

Tuesday we closed the shop early so I that I got to study and such. Jason spent the night with us which was totally cool. I think that was the night I watched Becoming Jane. Maybe I'm more of a sappy romantic than I think. Regardless, I spent the next 24 hours talking in perfect English.

Wednesday was church, and more time wasted in front of the tube. Invincible the Mark Wahlberg film about Vince Papale. Good movie. It was too true and lacked that over-dramatized spunk most sports movies have. Hey, documentaries are documentaries and movies, are, well, movies. Don't confuse them.

Three nights effectively wasted.

Thursday. Valentine's day. Dang cupids. Off work all day. Missed coffee with some friends. Realized I had an arrest warrant for not appearing in court on Monday so I wandered down to the municipal court and saw the judge. Nice guy. Piddled around the house. Played with my Bible, but nothing seemed to sink in. Went out and saw sis in Fair Grove. Came back and studied. Went to the Potter's house and hung with friends. (HULLO! Oto, Angie and Gloria!)

Friday. Work. Kept getting distracted from my studies so I wandered down to Burger King and studied there. Finally had a profitable night.

Saturday. Work. Met some of the MNT peeps to go bowling. Dad called and we got to chat. I don't bowl very well while on the phone. (Aight, I just don't bowl well). Totally the party. Good idea, Liz. We also harassed Steak n' Shake for good measure.
We've all heard of young damsels dreaming of their knights.

I look at a week like that and wonder how I could ever even pass as a page boy.
I love working with Christians.
This week, for example I noticed a blind spot in my life. I could see the problem, but not the sin causing it. So I prayed about it all week. Finally, tonight I asked my co-worker Greg about it. He came back with some beautiful Scripture-based insight. Surprisingly it's the same fault another friend had pointed out. Something I was refusing to face. I just didn't see the connection and how deep the problem is. Man, God's grace is good.
She spins and she sways to whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders
It's been a long day and there's still work to do
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'
"Oh please, Daddy, please!"


So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone
- S.C. Chapman

Thursday, February 14, 2008

But ye shall die as men.

I'm not in the writing mood. But I've put this off for too long and it's starting to burn at me. So here goes.
And Jesus unto them...verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain , Remove hence to yonder place....nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)

Wow. what kind of God do we serve? Awesome, huh?

When I was younger I used to wonder what exactly God meant. Could we actually get a power like the Jedi? What about flying, astral projection; the spirit world?

Last Sunday when Cory, sis and I were at mudhouse, there was a gentleman there with a nice Bible, a Strong's Concordace, and about 4 people listening intently. Wow. Sweet. I mean, I've been trying to share the gospel for some time. I've rarely had that reaction. And soon more people were paying attention. So I started listening.

And he was preaching that, essentially, Christ said "ye are gods" (Jn 10:34). That Christ came for the simple purpose of making us like gods. To rend the veil covering our understanding and give us "spiritual enlightment". The perversion of God's word for th gratification of man was sick.

It's one of those tough decisions. I was finding it incredibly hard to just sit back.. I knew they were just swine. I knew that they weren't interested in hearing the gospel: That God is awesome.. That we are but dust. .. and stand only by His mercy and grace

But that was God's word they were mutilating in front of babes! I couldn't stand it. I jumped in. Borrowed an NIV bible from a nearby table and went after it.
Man, I've never been so whipped in my life. They define "Truth" and "Knowledge" as "Spiritual Enlightenment". "Eternal life" is given as proof of godhood (soul is eventually freed from body). Our creation in God's image as proof for our intended god-status. Repentance is defined as "thinking again". They combine that with their interpretation of the "Believer's" inability to sin. So that in the end they do not preach the blood of Christ, or Christ glorified (they pretend to), and only give it a perfunctory nod when you have absolutely pinned them in the corner.

The biggest problem is their debating style. Their redefining of words makes it very confusing to the surrounding listeners. Everyone is using the same terms. They can't see what is different. When you do get them pinned on a scripture (easily done) they will throw out another scripture to change the subject. At the end I wouldn't be dissuaded from my point and kept bringing them back to the same scriptures. Unable to answer, they finally just started ignoring me and moved close to their proselytes.

It was sick.
It was like watching pythons. Feeding on helpless sheep.
I can't tell you how helpless I felt.
Ever wanted God to lend a firebolt from heaven? Yeah.
Could I have been more prepared? Sure. But they still wouldn't have heard me. Yet if I had known more about their devices I could have more quickly drawn a line of distinction for those surrounding listeners.

I am expecting to see a lot of this when we get to the square this Spring. Satan wanted to be God. It's the basic human desire to be in control. To be as gods (Ge 3:5). And this perversion is nothing but the siren song of man.

I want to encourage everyone to get ready. Understand just how awesome God is. How nothing we are. How utterly perverse this is. Folks, these guys are well versed. Many of you are already ready. Here's an extra heads up. Get ready for battle. This stuff is wicked. And thick. No I'm not scared. I'm disgusted. I'm mad. I'm just gonna suggest that the pretend Christians don't plan on street-witnessing this year. Principalities and Powers are at work.
Here's an excellent synopsis.
May God be glorified.

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

(Ps 82:6,7)

Am I the only one that has bumped into this? I've changed the settings to allow open commenting. So feel free to share. Scriptures? Thoughts? Chiding? go at it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Red-neck Romantic; and a Prodigal's Return?

I went and looked at a house that's for sale. It really was a pretty property. The log cabin is situated on a wooded hillside overlooking a nice little creek and the whole thing is just a stone's throw from the Finley River. Quite romantic, actually.

Unfortunately it also overlooks two half-finished sheds and the entire backside (not pictures) has been cobbled together with duct tape and leftover parts from other houses. It looks like something we kids would have built when we were twelve.

So make that redneck romantic. (Or just painfully redneck)
At least the roof doesn't appear to leak.
Nate Fetters, Chris Fetters, Eric Hansen and I went out last Friday night to pass out tracts to the First Friday Artwalk Crowd.

Unfortunately, it was quite blustery and rather cold.... we had agreed to meet at mudhouse in 40 minutes but about 20 minutes later we were calling each other and bailing for the comfort of Mudturtles and such.

Just as Eric and I were getting ready to leave, Eric struck up a conversation with a person who is a Christian but knows he isn't as close to Christ as he should be. We spent a couple of hours talking with him about Christ, the cross, and living in victory. He really was quite the sponge. He didn't have a Bible, so we went by Barnes and Noble and Chris bought him one.

To make a long story short I met with him again tonight. He's been living on the streets the last couple of nights, but still made it a point to meet with me. We had a good conversation. He hasn't put much action towards changing, but then he's also been a little preoccupied with finding dry places to sleep.

Living on the streets has him reevaluating a lot of things. He recognizes that it's God's way of trying to get through to him. Sometimes it's hard to know when to preach against sin, and when to encourage. I did talk a little on God's holiness in contrast to all of these lackadaisical, drinking, swearing, smoking Christians that have a 'fire insurance' salvation (and a very poor witness). But most of tonight was just listening to him talk. Hopefully God was able to minister. Keep praying for him. His name is Thomas Wilt, and I would love to see him be able to find himself "stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1Cor 15:58)


The house is still a pit from the move, so I think I'm going to sneak back and scare the mess.

I've prolly used it before, but enjoy:

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on - Selah

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's all vanity.

As of yesterday I'm officially a year older.
Started off in the morning having coffee with some of the guys. Gotta' love the fellows.

Notice the coffee cup. That was an in-depth discussion on politics. What you're looking at is Josh's artwork, describing his viewpoint. If you look closely you might recognize it as an endorsement for Huckabee. Get out and VOTE, people!
We've moved. 1424 E Cherry. Don't come over for few days 'cause the place is still a wreck. I used part of yesterday to finish cleaning out the old place (and, of course, dumped it all into the new pad.)(We live in the basement. Cool? Yeah, I know. They've got some really neat knitting stuff.)

I forgot to move my upright bass when we had the rental truck on Saturday. So after much deliberation, Cory and I decided to carry it to the new place.


There's a new coffee shop downtown. It's right on the square and is called the Coffee Ethic (Jamie can make a mean espresso). I would rank it between Big Mama's and Kaldi's.

So here's the current Springfield, Mo Coffee Shop Ratings (According to Quinn) :
Shalom (in St. Louis)
Big Mama's
Coffee Ethic

I still haven't tried Cassils yet...
It's my birthday, so I can ramble if I want to. I spent a goodly portion of the day at the License Bureau. I got replacement plates for my car so officers will quit pulling me over, and had my license renewed while I was at it. (It expired yesterday) Gotta love bureaucracy!
Walking through the OTC campus yesterday I was struck by all of the fresh faces. Bored. In Love. Studious. I used to be there. And what I suddenly realized is that I haven't moved on.
We all have a place in society, in God's plan. This is their world now. I know we all applaud the adult who goes back to school. But there comes a time in life when we need to put away 'childish things'. There comes a time when we need to accept the responsibilities of manhood.

I've known it was coming. But for me the mantle of manhood fell, definitively, yesterday.
Pray for me. I want this year to be God's.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world
Wouldn't have missed loving you girl
You've made my whole life worth while, with your smile
I wouldn't trade one memory
Cause you mean too much to me
Even though I lost you girl
I wouldn't have missed it for the world - Ronnie Milsap