Well, i’ve been a bit out of it lately, haven’t i?… can’t really offer anything spectacular by way of an excuse other than i’ve been distracted… today, though, i’m trying get through some topics even though there are plenty of things that i should be doing… i’m hoping this will maybe get me a little more focused, but we’ll have to see…

i managed to do an interview with Erwin McManus last week and hopefully i’ll have that ready to go soon… i also had the pleasure of an enjoyable office mate yesterday when little boy came into work with me… (littler boy gets to come in tomorrow)… and the most curious thing for me was that he kept requesting soundtracks to listen to… and by soundtracks i mean original motion picture scores… so, with that in mind, the songs today will all be from various movie soundtracks…

BI-POLAR DISORDER
to the tune of Why So Serious? – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (from The Dark Knight)

well, i have to start this out with The Dark Knight… went to see it last night with a few guys with stomachs full of Five Guys and anticipation eating away at us… i’m going to try to talk about it without giving anything away, though based on the box office records, everyone’s already seen it… it was phenomenal nothing less than everything advertised plus some… easily the most intense villainy in a superhero movie that i’ve seen and so many ideas and one-liners to chew on and really think about…

i’ll finish by mentioning what was my favorite aspect of the movie which was the mind-bending blurring of lines between good and evil… the clearly defined black and white life that i’m used to seeing presented is fine for younger audiences, but the line they came back to a few times, “you either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain” is rather thought provoking as well as the exploration of whether or not everyone is capable of corruption… another key line – “You have these rules that you think will save you…” – had me immediately thinking of the Pharisees and realizing the depth of the human experience that is presented in the Bible…

anyway… very good movie… very intense… if you’re of age, i recommend it…

NO MAS
to the tune of Ants! – John Williams (from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

i don’t complain much… okay, maybe i do, but today, i’m going to complain a little bit about things that have been really driving me nuts lately… besides the ants that refuse to give up on my house as a source of food, shelter or whatever the heck they’re looking for…

1. CAPTCHA: Seriously, it’s a shame that we’ve gotten to the point on the web that just about every form needs to have a CAPTCHA box… if you don’t know what that is, it’s those silly images that have sets of letters or numbers that you have to read and type in order to compete your order, post a comment, or whatever… half the time i can’t even read the stinkin things… and i’m not a machine

2. ACLJ: i used to listen to Jay Sekulow Live every day when i was in a big talk radio stage and just let the Christian talk radio station play in the background all day… and i’m supportive of Christians doing important legal work and all that, but the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) has been calling my house at least three times a day and as early as 8 in the morning… they need to get off my case and work on their case load… they’re DRIVING ME CRAZY…

3. TYPOS nothing distracts me when i’m reading a book – a final, retail copy of a book – more than typos… i can understand one or two but when i was reading through Boys Should Be Boys, i was interrupted by no less than FIFTY… i just have to wonder why i should trust the authority of someone who doesn’t know the difference between their, they’re and there… and the next gripe is big enough for it’s own category…

PROFITS OR PRAISE
to the tune of The Sales Pitch – Danny Elfman from The Kingdom

Okay, so everyone already knows about the whole Testa-mints thing and we can all see the tee-shirt slogans that mimic beer tee shirts and stuff like that… and just when you think the “money changers” have reached their limits, they push the envelope a little bit further… the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) was a few weeks ago and as always, it served as the epicenter of “Jesus Junk”… i didn’t attend the show, but i’ve been hearing about some of the items heading to market…

not surprisingly, one of the items showcased at ICRS was Guitar Praise which is a Christian music only version of Guitar Hero that’s due out in September… it plays on your computer, independent of any video game systems and plans to feature 52 songs from all over the map… i don’t particularly have a problem with this to be honest, since it makes sense on some level… i do have a problem with the tag line there…. “Spirit-Filled Guitar Game for PCs Lets Anyone Live Their Rock Dreams” since no game can be spirit-filled, but hey, why not rock out to your favorite CCM tracks, right?

and then it got ugly… allow me to introduce you to 1 in 3 Trinity Energy Drink… that’s right, a Christian energy drink… one that vows to “Energize your mind and your body”… it could be the flavor of your life since it’s “fused with Fruit of the Spirit”… one thing i’m pretty sure of is that it probably tastes better than the puke that just bubbled up into the back of my throat as i read that…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of The Kings and Queens of Old – Harry Gregson-Williams (from Prince Caspian)

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

so i’ve got three books finished and waiting for reviews, but i don’t particularly have time to write those up just yet… i also updated the Amazon store with reviews and such, re-ordered the items to put the ones that i finished up front, and added some new books to reflect some of the latest additions… i was overjoyed to receive a pre-release of Jesus Wants to Save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden and i also got a copy of Matt Brownleewe’s new book which hopefully won’t leave me confused for having not read Illuminated yet… i was going to ask for advice in that regard, but it turns out that House of Wolves isn’t out yet either… oh well, i’m probably going to start that one tonight…

I also requested a copy of The Shack, since it’s such a hot topic book it seems, but i haven’t heard back from them yet… i suppose if i find it cheap enough sometime next year or something, i may pick it up… otherwise i guess i’ll just miss that boat…

Completed…

Working through…
Searching for God Knows What (Miller) [about 125 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 160 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
House of Wolves (Bronleewe)
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder)

FULL LIST HERE

BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE
to the tune of Wish We Had More Time – Trevor Rabin (from Get Smart)

i am working on a few things, but nothing’s quite made it to press yet so i don’t have any special links to throw in here at the end with an obligatory plea for you to peep them… perhaps another day, but you can start dreaming about stuff i’m writing including some interviews (Erwin McManus, Warren Barfield, Chris Sligh), reviews, Left to Write and more… also next time out, i’ll talk about purpose, family force five, one or two or three books and eventually, i’ll get back to that whole best in the world thing… thanks for playing!

peace… love… bdg….