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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lambert is not my idol

I guess it's appropriate that as I write this, The Andy Griffith Show is on CBS. I kind of like TAGS, but don't watch it regularly. The Dallas-Oakland game just ended, so it was on.

In fact, I don't watch a lot of TV anyway, which is why I missed the American Music Awards the other night. Fortunately, I have every traditional and web-based media outlet and blogger on the planet to tell me what I missed: Adam Lambert having faux-sex on prime time television.

It's a far cry from Mayberry to the modern AMA's. A crying shame in my book. Mr. Lambert is free to live his life as he pleases and appears to be doing so. Fortunately he doesn't call or write to ask what I think.

Before people get upset that I might be focused on the orientation of his display, hold your horses. I wasn't thrilled when Britney and Madonna decided to give each other an oral exam a few years back at the MTV video awards. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of my business. But what they do on national TV should be everyone's.

My displeasure - to quote an anthem from the 1970's - is like so much dust in the wind. Popular culture will continue to plumb the depths of depravity in the name of creative freedom. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

What do you think about the direction our culture is headed?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jeremiah 24 and the good/bad figs...

I don't normally get too preachy on The Stream - opinionated yes, preachy, not so much. Some may feel like this post crosses that line but I have to post it - sorry.

I'm reading the book of Jeremiah as part of my daily devotional and this morning it struck me (as I read chapter 24) that the people who were captured and carried off into exile were the ones God was going to save. Imagine yourself as a resident of Jerusalem in a time of siege. The armies of Babylon are at the gate, the city is nearly surrounded, there's some crazy guy wandering around hollering that God is punishing you for your sins and worshiping false gods.

The city is in chaos, people are wondering where God is - why is He letting these foreigners come and destroy the city dedicated to His name?

Jeremiah 24 has the answer, but is it what we want to hear?

How many of us would willingly let the armies of Nebuchadnezzar take us captive? How many of us would instead, take our families and what few possessions we could carry and  flee to neighboring lands? How hard would it be to convince our families that it may sound crazy, but we need to go into exile? That giving our lives over to the King of Babylon - the enemy - is God's plan to save the remnant of His people.

How hard is it today to do things that seem to go against the wisdom of the world?

Do we, as believers, have what it takes to make the really hard choices that our faith will someday demand?

That is what our pastors are here for. That is why small groups/Sunday School exist. We have to prepare ourselves - Paul reminds us in Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Are you ready?


Thursday, November 19, 2009

This could have been a boring blog...

...but instead, it's awesome! because I was able to meet some tremendously talented people last night - some that I have known for years, but have never met!

I attended the monthly meeting of the Written Remains writers group in Newark (pronounced New - Ark, so I'm told), DE.

Honestly, I've been slacking in the writing department for the last several months, with this humble blog amounting to the most creative writing I've done in ages. But last night, able to sit with my friends and fellow writers, well, I felt nothing less than inspired.

We enjoyed the aromatic atmosphere and ambiance of Panera as stories were discussed and dissected, knight-warrior's motivations were unpacked, and zombie redneck girls were sympathized with.

The highlight of the evening was finally getting to meet - live and in person - Sherry Thompson, author of Seabird and the soon-to-be released, epic follow-up, Earthbow.

Thank you Joanne for helping make it all possible and thank you to Justynn Tyme and la jeune fille de dressage for a most memorable evening. I wish you all continued success in your creative endeavors and hope that our paths will cross again.

Until then, bonne santé, bonheur et la bénédiction de Dieu sur vous tous.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Football

If any NFL seekers arrived here after searching for Friday football, well, sorry mates - this post is all about the beautiful game. And what better way to start out than this lovely young lady (video link courtesy of a great find over at The Beautiful Game):

Yikes! If that girl is the future - look for the women's game to make huge strides in the next 5-10 years.

Speaking of the future of soccer, Freddy Adu used to be the next great American hope (albeit imported from Ghana) for our country's future in the beautiful game. But he is currently languishing near the bottom of the Portuguese 1st division at Belenenses, on loan from more successful cross-town rivals, Benfica.

Freddy is only 20, yet his star has waned since debuting as a 14-year-old in MLS. One can only hope he can convince his new manager to give him more playing time - especially with the loss of Charlie Davies for the World Cup - now only 8 months away.

Speaking of stars on the wane, several years ago, a young Christiano Ronaldo - C-Ron to the Johnny-come-lately's - burst on the scene and fairly took the soccer/footballing world by storm. It didn't hurt that he played for my favorite team, Manchester United. It's always nice when arguably the best player in the world is on your side.

But where is C-Ron now?

In this old video, he's pitted against the once-king of football - Ronaldhino; another brilliant player who has let success go to his head (and gut).

The sad fact is, Ronaldo was traded to Real Madrid over the summer and has been injured for much of the season, unable to play for the Galacticos or in Portugal's crucial World Cup qualifying ties. C Ron had it great at Man U. He was truly the best player around. Now, he is just the most expensive bench warmer there is.

Does this all have a point? No, not really.

Our youngest - a junior in high school - played in the first game of the HS season last night. He did well, but they still drew 1:1 against the opposition. Not to worry, much more to come!

Our oldest just finished his first season of college footy. He didn't see much playing time off the bench as a freshman but he is getting invaluable training and should be stronger, faster and ready to compete next season.

Happy Friday all and don't forget to watch or play some football this weekend!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So long Ida...

Ida is leaving. She didn't make as big of a splash as predicted. But this morning as I drove to work, the rain, the clouds and the gusty winds made a perfect backdrop for one of the best Duran Duran songs ever...

Yes, I'm an 80's freak - but not just any 80's music. I like to think that I prefer the more eclectic songs from the Golden Age of music videos. Even though this song is from the 1993 eponymous album, the group stayed true to their artistic video flair. A great song with which to send off Tropical Storm Ida... X

Friday, November 6, 2009

What does Bob Dylan know?

Thanks to a friend of mine, I've been stuck in an endless loop of memories this afternoon; memories drawn from my life and thoughts during the time that the song, "Ode to Billy Joe" was popular.

Thanks to this being the Age of the Internet, it's easy to find information concerning just about anything - oftentimes, too much for my taste. But in this case, I found some quite interesting tidbits and commentary about the bluesy ode to life in the Mississippi Delta made famous by Bobbie Gentry.

As a writer I'd love to capture the emotion and atmosphere of Ode to Billie Joe in some of my work. I never knew how difficult it was to write a short story until I tried to write one and get it published. Reading the lyrics to this song, I am amazed at the depth of Ode's story captured in these few words.

And then I read a commentary that claimed the Bob Dylan song, "Clothesline Saga" was written as a parody of Gentry's classic - that he hated Ode to Billie Joe.

Anyone with an imagination; anyone that has lived - or even passed through - a rural area, especially in the clinging heat of June, can wonder at the hidden mysteries of a seemingly simple people.

Country folks' lives are full of mystery and wonder. But what would Bob Dylan know about that?