Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Kosher Trio

So, this is a picture of a new band called The Kosher Trio. From left to right, the members are Peter Awad, Jake Finch, and Alan Bancroft. We had our first gig Sunday night at the Harpeth Presbyterian Talent Show. We played Dare You to Move by Switchfoot. It was pretty fun rockin' out with these guys. They both have more talent in their respective pinky fingers than I do in my entire body. Basically, we rocked the house. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Rural America

As I was cruising along Highway 96 in middle Tennessee this morning, I was reminded of how similar America looks when you're on the back roads. No matter where I am, it seems like rural America looks pretty similar...barns, fields of crops, diners in shacks, old businesses that went under a few years back, farm homes, barbed wire fences, and a variety of other tell-tale signs of being in the country. Do all the folks who grow up in rural America share fairly similar backgrounds, or does it vary as much as it probably does from one city to another? Random thoughts on a rainy day in middle Tennessee.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Remembering Ryan Kenneth Brown

It's a cold, snowy, lazy day here in Nashville, and as I sit in my recliner, listening to the A River Runs Through It soundtrack, putting the final touches on my sermon for tomorrow, my mind drifts to memories of my roommate from freshman year at, then, Northeast Missouri State University. His name was Ryan Kenneth Brown, or "Hottie Brown" as the ladies liked to call him. He had long, wavy, brown hair to match my long, wavy, blonde hair. Ryan was one of those people who lit up a room as soon as he walked in. He had a great love for nature and was more at home riding his bike or swimming at the state park outside of Kirksville than he was in a dorm room or classroom. When he would read something fascinating about ants or wolves, or whatever, he would interrupt me and excitedly tell me about it. He wasn't so sure that the advances of modernity were all that great, even medicine. He wondered aloud whether any of it really made our lives better. Anyway, there were many days that first year at Northeast, soon to be Truman, when we would sit in our room, watching the snow fall, and listen to the soundtracks from A River Runs Through It, Glory, and other CDs of soothing music. Those are still my default study CDs. For a brief moment there, on this cold, snowy, lazy day, I was taken back to 305 Centennial Hall with Ryan Brown. Good memories of a good friend.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Danish cartoons

Wow. This whole situation surrounding cartoons of the prophet Mohammed boggles my mind. I just read in the online version of the New York Times that it was a major topic of conversation at a meeting of Islamic leaders in Mecca this past week. What?? Seriously? I kind of wonder if there are some folks who are using this as a way to poor gasoline in a flame that's already burning hot enough. I mean, I see cartoons depicting God and Jesus in funny, even derogatory ways, fairly often, but I'm not about to call up the President of the United States and try to file a complaint. I, clearly, do not understand why people of the Islamic faith are so upset about this. Maybe somebody can help me understand. Seriously.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What I've been reading

This book is absolutely wonderful. It's a fictional account of the life of Jesus from age 12 to his crucifixion at age 33. It's told from the perspective of Christ's childhood friend, Biff, who's kind of an Eddie Haskell type character. The author, Christopher Moore, has clearly done some research into that period of history and some basic tenets of world religions. I love the way he interprets some of the more familiar gospel accounts, as well as shedding light on where Jesus got some of his stuff. If you're looking for an entertaining (and purely fictional) look at the life of Jesus, check this out. But, you don't have to take my word for it...OK, I don't have a cutaway to a child telling you how much he/she enjoyed the book, but I did love it when Lavar Burton used to say that on Reading Rainbow.

I've been working on this book since, oh, August, I think. It's a book that both Mark Shivers and Tom Katona told me I needed to read. It is truly an amazing book. The reason for the long read is that I need time to digest each chapter, plus, it's not exactly a book I can read before bedtime. I'm sure people who write more eloquently than I have given synopses of this book, so you might want to find one of those online. Basically, as the title suggests, Newbigin addresses issues of truth and the gospel as they relate to the pluralist society in which we live. He provides wonderful definitions of relativism, pluralism, and bunch of other isms. His chapters on mission, and how we are to conduct ourselves as we dialogue with one another are priceless. I think my favorite $10 phrase is "Plausibility Structure," which is his title for the way that a culture makes sense of the world around them. I'm hoping to post some quotes from this book, but forgot to bring it with me to the coffee shop this morning. It's a great book. Pick it up and plow through it.

Beard progress

Here's the progress on the beard so far. It's been a week and a half since I shaved. Good times.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

  • So, I saw this sign at the Mapco gas station the other day. Apparently, in order to capture a new you in 2006, you should eat more, not hot dogs, but hot dog items. I mean, what exactly does that mean? I hope it just means chili dogs and corn dogs. I'd hate to think that they have a product that isn't a real hot dog, but only a hot dog item, kind of like YooHoo isn't chocolate milk, but rather a chocolate flavored drink. Anyway, I found it humorous that hot dogs are the first step toward a new you.