Friday, January 26, 2007


In an attempt to hide my last post (people see what they want to see), a totally "And now for something completely different" moment to distract you.

The following quote comes from South Park, my favorite TV series (next to 24):

Mr. Garrison (teacher at South Park Elementary): Hey, guess what everybody? I'm gay!
Principal Victoria: Mr. Garrison?
Mr. Mackey: What?
Mr. Garrison: I'm as gay as a gymnast on shore leave!
Principal Victoria: You admit it? You admit it!!!
Mr. Mackey: Oh, that's great, Mr. Garrison. You've finally come to terms with yourself!
Mr. Garrison: Yeah, it feels really good!
Principal Victoria: Well, congratulations!
Mr. Mackey: Yeah, congratulations!
Mr. Garrison: You know, I feel like I can start anew. If it's alright with you, I'd like to go back to teaching the third grade.
Principal Victoria: Oh. I'm sorry, we don't hire gay people.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I recently started a Bible study that will meet weekly at my parents house. It's been going great. We have a good turn out and people seem to be responding well to the material. I'm learning a lot in the process, which is one of the main reasons I like to lead Bible studies.

There is an interesting thing that happens every time I start a Bible study. There are certain people I pray for and personally invite, who never attend. In fact, they avoid it like the plague.

Now you need to know I am fully aware of the possibility that I suck as a teacher, and that's why they don't come. However, I don't think that is relevant to this topic. Usually, those I am referring to here are people who have never attended my Bible studies, so I don't think they avoid them for that reason. I also don't believe that, if they come to my Bible study, God will reveal Himself to them, their lives will change, and we will all walk into the sunset hand in hand.

I'm also not talking about people who come off and on. Life gets complicated, there's Sunday football games, or season premiere of 24 (yessssss!).

Specifically, these are people I know, who have opened up to me about problems in their lives. They are hurting. They are crying out for help. Their lives are unravelling. Some have literally told me, "Mark... I need God. I need help."

Mention a Bible study, and they react one of 3 ways:

(Eyebrows high in the air, make sure to smirk ever so slyly) "Well... I'll ummm, see if I can make it. Thanks for the invite, 'k?

(No direct eye contact) "Sure. I'll be there. Thanks."

(After reading an email invite)

I don't get upset about it. It just bothers me that the Bible is so right, all the time.

Proverbs 26
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly.
12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Someone asked me once why I believe the Bible. There are many reasons why I believe it. But at that moment, my answer was "because we humans prove it right every time by our thoughts and actions".

It saddens me how trite; how small we are. It saddens me that we would cry for help, and continue making excuses for running from God, the One individual who can give us the answers to our problems. It saddens me even more that the number of people in the world who respond in this way to Him is staggering.

I can only conclude that they are content in their misery. They are comfortable in their stupor. They feel safe in their own vomit.

Exposing oneself to truth can be painful. It's exactly that; exposure.

A few years ago, I gave up trying to "lead people to Christ". I didn't give up one people, or on sharing what God has done in my life. I just don't actively go out there being a cheerleader for God. I think God does it in His own time. I think people respond to God when He makes Himself present to them; when they are ready to listen to Him on His terms, not theirs.

I guess I'll do what Cesar (one of my friends) said to me at last nights Bible study, "Pray for them. Pray for them."

That's all I can do.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pigeon John & The Summertime Pool Party

Okay, honestly, I am NOT getting paid by Urge, Eldridge or this guy:

This is a new hip-hop album, with lots of old-school flavor and smart lyrics. A good album to listen to all the way through in one sitting.

Waking The Dead

I recently got rid of a lot of books (some I put away in a box). Many of the books in my collection were/are historical, or have Christian themes.

Most of the ones I got rid of are the Christian themed books. I had a lot of them, and they bored me. They all said the same things; just timeless topics, with a new hair-do, poorly written. Too many books today are personality and current-events driven.

Recently, my friend Julie (or Sister Julie of the Church of What's Happening Now, as her closest friends like to call her) recommended Waking the Dead, by John Eldridge, 2003.

I'm still reading the book, but I must say it is probably one of the few books that has challenged me in a long time (since The Ragamuffin Gospel).

Some of the topics I've been reading about so far: War (don't get excited; it's not about Iraq), being alive inside, and the heart. One of the things he writes about that is a challenge to me is "the heart is good."

This is a challenge, not because I suffer from self-loathing and Eldridge is bursting my bubble, but because I am so aware of who I am. I am very aware of "the evil that lurks in the hearts of men"; of me.

I don't live in the same self-inflicted Utopian world that many people abide in; a world that stunts their growth because they refuse to see that evil is more than just "mean people", destroying the environment, Republicans, Democrats, terrorists, capitalism, communism, religion or atheism. Evil is birthed in a much deeper place then what we see with our eyes. Unfortunately, people in their "find a happy place" stupor walk around, much like zombies, "waiting for the world to change", to quote the latest John Mayer song (self-righteous rambling from Mayer by the way, if you think about it. Good tune though).

Whoaaaa tangent!

Anyway, I'm dealing with the theme of "The heart is good" that Eldridge brings up. It's not what you're thinking though. You should pick up a copy to get a better grasp of what he means.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

URGE! (awwww yeaaahhh!)

Two entries today. Let's start with Urge.

Have you checked this out yet? It's the new "Itunes" for people who enjoy a more PC friendly music management and download system.

I liked I-Tunes, but Urge caught my attention for the following reasons:

-It's perfectly integrated with Windows Media, so I don't have to have 2 seperate players going at any given time.

-For $15 a month, you get to browse and download as much music as you want. If you feel like just listening to an album without downloading it, just click it. You can hear every song in clear High-Def sound (not live streaming AM radio type sound).

- If you're a music snob you will be dissapointed. When you browse through Urge, you WILL find all of those eclectic groups and musicians you thought only you and your elitist group of friends knew about (you know... real musicians). But don't worry; you will also find a few of the "sell-outs" to smirk at, which should happily round-out your day.

I just started using the program, so I'm not too familiar with it yet. I don't know if I can burn a CD for example, but I can load the songs on to an MP3 player. There are also some groups and songs I've looked for that I have not been able to find, or that you have to pay $.99 for on top of your monthly fee. Having said that, I've found most everything I was looking for, with no extra charge.

If you like music, check it out.