July 2007


Bookshelf&Un.Orthodox31 Jul 2007 11:17 pm

Well, they say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but they also say that the first impression is the strongest and possibly most important… (battling with the last impression)… so that little rant out of the way… here’s my initial thoughts on the book Un.Orthodox…

The cover art is spectacular… i dig the font and the little touch of grafitti smudging… the three little icons coinciding with the three main sections of the book… it works well… and, being a shoe guy from way back, the Air Force 1’s definitely catch my eye and the graphic offers a nice combination of the three sections as well…

The book itself is a good size, not too thick and intimidating… softcover is nice (i’m not too much of a fan of hardcover books because they don’t travel quite as well)… and the pages all have a nice bit of flare to them with background images and lyrics from the CD mixed in throughout…

all in all it’s a visually appealing book that certainly targets the audience well and fits the market well…

Available at: CBD/Christianbook
and Amazon.com

Related CD/DVD: CBD/Christianbook
and Amazon.com

peace… love… bdg…

general30 Jul 2007 05:25 pm

yes, this is still me… i know, the blog has been grey for quite a while now, but i just whimsically decided this morning that it was time to try something new… i don’t know if i’ll be doing a new header yet, because i’m still waiitng to decide if the blue is too bright… and if i need to tweak a little… it’s grown on me quite a bit today already though, so it’s possible… anyway, here’s an entry…

HOW DOES HE DO IT?

sigh. sometimes it’s just so hard not to hate people… if you’re ever in doubt about how magnificent and amazing God is, just remember that He loves EVERYONE, ALWAYS… that in and of itself reminds me that i’m not God and that i’m nowhere near His level… anyway… last week i was back in the office dealing with the dregs of Christian organization… well… just dealing with people that i have a hard time liking if not only for their actions, but also their attitudes… i’m so very tired of this whole sense of entitlement that pervades our culture… i shouldn’t have to deal with that, i deserve better (ha!)…

sorry, just a rough week that included a few all-day meetings with self-important, blindly arrogant people who drive me absolutely crazy… adding in the close quarters and we’re just asking for trouble, are we not?… and i know that it’s a new week, but i’ve already had to deal with “them” several times today and i’m ready to scratch out their eyes…

LEAD, FOLLOW, or GET THE…

two weeks ago now, i was serving as a co-leader of the recreation team for my church’s VBS program… the theme was Game Day Central – Where Heroes Are Made… the verse was Hebrews 12:1-2 and one of the highlights of the entire week was hearing the littles gleefully recite that verse everyday… other highlights include the strange looks i got when people realized that i was actually volunteering and not just dropping off my boys, watching littler boy dance around during the music session and trying to figure out how he always ended up being the lineleader of his class, and making all the kids happy with games that were enjoyable for all…

i was one of 3, maybe 4 guys helping out with the 250-300 kids attending VBS and a volunteer staff of probably about 60-75… and this was part of why i signed up… (not to pick up chicks, but single guys, there’s some decent odds)… last year, i had to work the VBS because my wife manged to steal off on a cruise with some housemates from college… i was pretty shocked by the turnout of men, or lack thereof to be more accurate… well, perhaps not so much shocked as dismayed… and then judging by the reaction of the kids when they saw me, i realized that it was good for me to be there… and i felt a clear calling to volunteer again this year…

it bothers me that more men don’t participate in youth or children’s ministries at their churches… if they participate in anything at all… i think it’s just a shame that kids growing up in church don’t have male role models reinforcing the importance of church involvement… yes, i know, we men are the hunters and gatherers and we need to be out there at our jobs making money and whatnot (grunt grunt grunt)… that’s important yes, but we’re also called to be the spiritual leaders of our household as well as within the church… and a leader who phones it in is no leader at all… kids need to know that men in the church care about their spiritual development and value it more than other aspects of this life…

i could probably rant about that for a while… i’m not sure why i’ve been getting so riled up about things the last month or so, but anyway, the point is that VBS went pretty well… i don’t think it was as well attended as last year or that we had nearly as many visitors… i had kind of a weird feeling that the energy of the whole thing had been sucked out… anyway…

DOES GOD EXIST???

if that’s the question, how do you answer it? Well, if you’re Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, you go on ABC’s Nightline and “debate” the Rational Response Squad… although, i’m not so sure they ever did answer the question directly… they deflected a lot of questions, accused their opponents, and used the time to proselytize… (though, it’s harder to convince someone to convert to a religion that believes in a God who you refuse to prove exists, right?)… you can watch the program online at http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3148940&page=1

my thoughts are as follows:

  1. Kirk was better at addressing the questions than Ray, whom i assume is Kirk’s mentor on some level, but that neither of them really presented that great of an example of intelligent Christians…
  2. fortunately, the Rational Response Squad sounded nothing remotely close to rational…. more like a couple of whiners who want to have things their way…
  3. The girl has one of the most wretched voices i’ve ever heard
  4. Ray started off on the wrong foot by trying to eliminate faith entirely from the equation…
  5. without the moderator, Martin Bashir, neither side would’ve really made any good points at all…

so here, you go… POP QUIZ TOUGH GUY (i used to do this a lot)… Does God exist? How do you know?

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO………AL

The LA Galaxy finally got their new star player, David Beckham into the states and on their bench… translation, an American Major League Soccer team, brought over (to the tune of $250 million) one of the big names from the Premier League… the hitch is that “Becks” has a sprained ankle and perhaps other ailments that have pretty much kept him tied to the bench since his arrival… MLS representatives and many, many sports commentators have been expecting this move to usher in a new day for soccer in the US…

personally, i think Becks is a great spectacle, but i don’t think he’s about to solve the longstanding dilemma that America has with soccer… we just don’t find ourselves caring about soccer that much and that’s okay… the rest of the world seems to care about it way too much… but here’s the good news for soccer… this is the perfect time to make a play at becoming popular in mainstream America… right now… the pumps are primed… so, if you’ll indulge me in a little sports talk, i’ll explain both sides of whether or not soccer is the next big thing in the US…

Why soccer is ready to become the next big sport…

1. Maintaining Balance: America has gotten used to having a nice balance of powers within the sports world, with 4 major sports dominating the landscape that’s also littered with some peripheral entertainment. Football (NFL), Baseball (MLB), Basketball (NBA) and Hockey (NHL) have been the key “players” in the sports world with golf, pugilism and racing being the side shows… Recently Boxing lost it’s control of the pugilism sector with the rise of ultimate fighting, but nascar has been in control of the racing circuit for quite a while now. All the smaller sports would love a chance to take over one of the major sports spots, but as we all know, that’s not how the world works… we don’t progress nicely, it’s usually an outsider who gets the elite job. Hence, Soccer has an opportunity to leapfrog over the other sports and join the ranks of major sports, ex nihilo.

2. Losing Balance: You didn’t think that there was room for 5 major sports, did you? The years have proven that there is not. For a new sport to crack the top four, one of said majors needs to fall from glory – experience the agony of defeat, so to speak. This past year exposed a few week links. Hockey is all but dead right now. The ratings are terrible, no one seems to care, and it’s almost as bad as, well, soccer. If the NHL went away next year, i don’t think there’d be too much of an uproar. Also losing steam, but on a slighlty lesser extent is the NBA. People still love watching basketball, but over the past five years or so, the audience has steadily declined, resulting in the lowest NBA Finals ratings ever this year. Couple that with questionable outcomes and oh, yeah the FBI is… well, that’s my next point…

3. Scandalous!: This year, every sport has been exposed as tainted on some level. Whether it’s Bonds using/not-using steroids (duh, he used SOMETHING) to aid in his chasing the home run record or PacMan Jones or Tank Johnson or The Cincinatti Bengals or Michael Vick in the NFL. Whether it’s the new point-shaving investigation led by the FBI and directed at the NBA and at least one official or the fact that Candians still play in the NHL (okay, that’s just a joke, settle down)… So far, there haven’t been any major scandals rocking the soccer world – well, at least, no one cares yet if there have been any…

4. It’s for the kids: just about every single kid in America right now is playing on a local soccer team… our local county had to cut registrations off for one league at 75 teams because there weren’t enough coaches… think about it, soccer is cheap and it runs the kids ragged so that they’re primed for a good night’s sleep… parents continuously sign their kids up for these leagues and cart them off to practices and games almost, if not, daily… it’s becoming part of the culture…

EDIT ADD:

5. Olympics ’08: the Olympics are right around the corner and that’s one of the few times America cares about soccer. It’s possible that some momentum will build from that if we do well at all…

END EDIT

Why Soccer will never be the next big thing…

1. It’s soccer: At the end of the day, soccer is still soccer. It’s football with an American name. That very fact alone, makes it a secondary sport. We don’t even care enough to call it what the rest of the world calls it.

2. We never win:We only seem to care about it when it’s time for the Olympics or the World Cup. We only care about beating other countries. When we consistently lose on a global stage, we lose interest locally. This may be the very reason that hockey and basketball are losing their ground and audience. The height of the NBA was when it’s players were heading overseas to the Olympics and dominating the competition. When the gold medal was guaranteed. It’s no longer guaranteed and it’s no longer as “exciting” to many people.

3. Show me the money: i know, this is kind of the cart before the horse, but it cuts both ways. With the signing of David Beckham, what happened? The Galaxy, one of the worst teams in the MLS have gained the interest of sponsors and created a media frenzy. Why? Because $250 million is a lot of freaking money. This is a culture that responds and reacts to money. If you throw a lot of money at a sport and its players, then Americans will watch. Why? Because we want to know why these players are worth that kind of money. It generates interest. Of course, soccer’s history of failure has kept many soccer team owners from investing that much and in turn, that has kept the interest down. I personally don’t think that atheletes are worth nearly as much as they are paid – i think that their salaries indicates a lot of screwed up priorities within this culture – but from a business perspective, it always works: You have to spend money, to make money.

EDIT ADD:

– 4. Not-so-Premier: If soccer were to be in serious contention, don’t you think more people would be trying to watch the Premier League games or at least keeping up with them?  It’s a world where everything seems to be at our fingertips and yet no one is reaching across the pond to televise those games either.

– 5. Other Fantasies: There’s no fantasy soccer leagues… well, maybe that’s the cart before the horse again, but that’s where the action is.  When people have bragging rights riding on the performance of players, then it suddenly matters.

END EDIT

okay, i’ll end with that… i don’t know what’s going to happen, but i do enjoy watching a good soccer game now and again, so if it does catch on, then that’s fine with me… it’s better than NASCAR, i’ll tell you that much…

and now it’s time for me to go… plenty of things to do…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&Glory Revealed27 Jul 2007 04:03 pm

Well, it’s been a while and this chapter has a lot to it… i think that David rasies more questions than he answers here, but it could just be me… the point he’s emphasizing does come through just fine, but for me, i’m left running off on tangents that have been briefly touched on, some even inadvertently… anyway…

building off of the back of the previous chapter’s illustration of his trip to the Masters and how the power of presence attracts a crowd, David contrasts that to the lack of attendance at church services across the country… this may sound rather brash, but i think David has answered his own question as he continues to ponder the success of The Masters without the presence of the “masters”… maybe people stopped coming to church because they stopped seeing Jesus there…

We’ve become so complacent in the church – so focused on the venue and the music and the pastor and the comfort and all of what should be ancillary aspects of a service – that maybe we stopped inviting God to His own house… i know that sounds very cynical and jaded, but it’s a possibility, at least in some instances… we’ve gotten so into the presentation that the message may have been lost long ago… and worship becomes a performance and the message becomes background noise or feel-good drivel…

To hear stories of the church abroad, and how the entire nations will come to a halt in order to accommodate a worship gathering, how people will walk for days to attend, and leave forever changed… well, that’s all a testament to the fact that the power hasn’t left God or the message… it’s just that we are so distracted that we miss it a lot of times…

now, i will have to disagree where David mentions that he thinks that if God were to perform healings and other miracles, that people would start showing back up to church… people asked Jesus for the same thing towards the end of His ministry and he replied that if people aren’t convinced by the sign of Jonah (His resurrection), then nothing else would convince them… He even mentioned that in the parable of Lazurus and the rich man…

i think, to be perfectly honest (and a bit blunt) that calling out for miracles is the lazy answer… it’s not on God’s shoulders to spread the Gospel on earth right now, it’s on ours… we’re living miracles – living examples of spiritual healing – and we’re the mouthpiece of God’s power… we’re the ones who are supposed to share the message with our neighbors and with the world… no gimmacks, no tricks, just us and the testimonies we live every day…

but what good it salt once it’s lost its saltiness?

peace… love… bdg…

Free Music&news&videos&web26 Jul 2007 09:55 pm

… check the Sphere for the real hip-hop…

We’ve all come to know and love Sphere of Hip Hop (SphereofHipHop.com) for some of the most thorough coverage and discussion of hip hop music that means something… it’s also, of course, a great place to purchase said music and now, it’s even more…

Building off of the good rap feeling of sphereofhiphopmp3.com, the cats in charge recently launched SphereOfHipHopTV.com… your new one-stop spot for streaming hip hop videos…

Check out the freshness now and again later…

peace… love… bdg…

general16 Jul 2007 04:11 pm

just a quick note… i’m working the old VBS at the church this week… outside all morning in the heat, so my excuse for not updating this week, should i need one is that i’m a sweaty mess and i’m exhausted… that or i may have fallen asleep in the shower… i’m crazy like that…

okay, back to going about your business…

peace… love… bdg…

ps. this video is funny, laugh if you must…

general&news13 Jul 2007 11:16 am

Fans of the group Boston certainly are aware that long-time lead singer and the voice of Boston, Brad Delp passed away earlier this year… However, Boston is scheduled to perform as part of a concert celebrating the life and career of Delp on August 19… stepping in for some of the lead vocal duties is none other than Michael Sweet of Stryper fame… Sweet is expected to perform 2-3 songs with the group… more details available at LiveNation.com

the radio waves are preparing to embrace a very powerful song… “Amazing, Because It Is,” the latest single from The Almost (and, in my opinion, one of the best songs of this year) is going for adds next week at Christian CHR and Christian Rock radio… Also going for adds next week is a new single from Steven Curtis Chapman that makes me hope that the album is better than the single…

Mark Schultz made it across the country…. on a bike… in two months… well, the Mark Across America biking tour has come to an end and in just two months, Mark travelled about 3500 miles on bike and raised over $250,000 for The James Fund… more information, another chance to donate and video footage is available at MarkAcrossAmerica.org

that should hold you for a bit…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&Un.Orthodox11 Jul 2007 03:47 pm

yeah, i know, i’m not even done with the other book yet… but truth be known, i’m already pretty deep into this book by Tommy Kyllenon (a.k.a. Urban D) and i’m not going to wait much longer before begining the commentary on it…

the first order of business is to give you the details…

Available at: CBD/Christianbook
and Amazon.com

Related CD/DVD: CBD/Christianbook
and Amazon.com

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&general&Glory Revealed&news11 Jul 2007 11:06 am

…in stores everywhere…

While previously the book was only available at Family Christian, FamilyChristian.com, and GloryRevealed.com, the book we’ve been discussing here for the last few months is now available at retail outlets everywhere…

For example, CBD/ChristianBook.com and Amazon.com

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&Glory Revealed10 Jul 2007 04:52 pm

i’ve been to a golf tournament, and it wasn’t quite the experience that David describes here… granted, i wasn’t at the Masters, and i don’t think that Tiger Woods wasn’t in attendance… i believe it was the 1997 Canon Greater Hartford Open, which is now called the Traveller’s Championship, and Stewart Cink – a rookie – managed to beat out the popular David Duval to win… there were some powerful moments, for sure, but nothing quite as captivating as what has been described here…

I do get what David is talking about though… i once had a dream about Elvis and Jesus and, well, i suppose that’s a different story altogether… anyway, Jesus did draw a crowd… everywhere he went… people pressed him from all sides… much like they do to all the celebrities of today, but the difference is the result…

When people walked away from a physical encounter with Jesus… from being in His presence… they were completely changed… they walked away knowing that they’d experienced a power like none this earth could produce… when you walk away from meeting a celebrity, the buzz wears off, but after meeting Jesus… man, you’re never the same again…

peace… love… bdg…

general&news&videos&web10 Jul 2007 04:36 pm

You’re probably aware that just next week, MxPx is releasing their 10th full album… Secret Weapon will be out on Tooth and Nail Records on the 17th in both a standard and a deluxe (CD & DVD) version…

Until Tuesday though, you can check out a few cool online features to keep you enthused… First up, there’s a nice acoustic session (3 song performance) from MxPx over at PureVolume that features 2 songs from the new album and one oldie…

also, if you’re into the MySpace thing, you can listen to the whole album now, as it’s streaming in it’s entirety from the MxPx MySpace page

MxPx also just recently won an online vote to record for AOL Sessions Under Cover, too… so that’s something to look forward to, as well…

peace… love… bdg…

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