So i came down this morning to find a mass of ants crawling on the kitchen table… stinking ants… though, i guess it’s just a visual reminder that i have a busy day ahead of me… lots to do for work, even though everybody there ignores me… lots of writing to do… littler boy’s birthday party (early) with our fancy new whale waterslide… and of course, the football season opener… and though my poor Redskins will probably get thoroughly trounced, it marks a good season of the year… football season…

well, i’m tired, a bit stuffy, and as i’ve mentioned, i have a lot to do… here, i hope to talk about another book, a hunger crisis, the pilot for the new season of Prison Break and of course some football… off we go…

THE HUNGER
to the tune of Hunger – Hans Zimmer (Black Hawk Down)

It started with a cupcake… actually, i’m certain that it began much earlier, but the sight of that cupcake on my desk was a definite tweak to my conscience… this was no ordinary cupcake mind you, this was one of 20 that had been packaged by Costco, a warehouse store, and purchased as a flat by one of six people present in the office… 20 cupcakes for 6 people might not seem too big of a deal, but as i said, these were no ordinary cupcakes… these were more like quarter-pounders loaded up with sugar and tucked into the crimped paper cup to create a familiar shape…

The next day, there was a meeting in Nashville hosted by World Vision, discussing the current world hunger crisis… discussing how many people across the world die each day, each hour from starvation… discussing how and why one child dies every seven seconds from hunger… discussing the basic needs of mankind falling through the cracks… discussing how, through some enriched peanut-based product, they can offer nourishment to these suffering images of God…

i was able to squeeze the presentation (via a live online streaming video) in between 2 of my other 4 meetings that day and i saw most of the hour or so long presentation, though, not without yet another pang of conscience as my lunch order from Five Guys showed up towards the end of the meeting… yeah… so we are a country of excess… in a world in distress… and something needs to be done… thank God for organizations like World Vision

(and as for that cupcake, i only made it about halfway through eating it…)

SAVIOR, SAVE ME
to the tune of Love Song for a Savior – Jars of Clay

Jesus Wants to Save Christians
by Rob Bell

this book actually goes along nicely with the previous section… Rob Bell, as you may know, is a pastor and speaker noted a lot for the Nooma video series and his ever-growing congregation at Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan… last summer, i read his book, Velvet Elvis and enjoyed it a great deal and this year, well, in about a month, his next book is due out… Jesus Wants to Save Christians is a book born out of i believe two different sermon series (a four part series called The New Exodus and an eight part series with the same title as the book)…

having heard both series back when they were originally delivered (via the podcast), i was pretty excited about the book and very happy when Zondervan sent me an advance copy of it… i’ll just mention a few things that really stood out to me… before reading this book, i don’t think i ever connected the bread of communioin, which symbolizes Christ’s body broken for all mankind, with the church, the body of Christ… once that connection is made, a life of serving makes much more sense…

the other main thing that stood out was the words that still echo in my head… if you claim to follow God and do not hear the cries for help coming from those around us who are afflicted and oppressed, then you are not following God… (my paraphrase)… but basically, God ALWAYS hears the cry, and if your heart and mind are to be like that of Christ, then you will ALWAYS hear the cries… there is no shortage of suffering in the world today…

anyway, it’s a really interesting read… it offers a lot of intriguing insights and poses some really tough questions that are worth wrestling with and working out the answer to…

BREAK ME DOWN
to the tune of Break Me Down – RED

so Prison Break is back for it’s fourth season and, in case i haven’t mentioned it before, since i write once in a while, i like to play a game that could be called, “If I were writing the series”… and speculate on how things may turn out for our main characters… i don’t generally write them all down or anything, but i’m constantly running through scenarios in my head to see how things might work best…

regarding Prison Break, if you recall, at the end of last season, i was really growing tired of the show and the premise and i mentioned that one of the biggest concerns was losing Michael Schofield as a sympathetic character… with the death of Sarah, Michael quickly became obsessive and driven only by vengence… certainly not someone worth cheering on…

As i watched the first episode, i was excited to see that they chose to resolve that issue, albeit in the inane way of renewing, i mean reviving Sarah from the dead… and i do have some doubts about that aspect of the series, but overall, i was pretty excited by the plot changes that they made, bringing everyone back together on the same team is an interesting turn of events and, of course, there’s the whole mystery surrounding “The Company”… by the way, Scylla was kind of a giveaway for me that there were six parts to the puzzle, but i think it was still surprising to most viewers… something worth noting along those lines… where there’s Scylla, there’s also Charybdis… so that will be interesting to see if and how that might play out…

overall, i’d have to say that i’m pretty curious about the season, which is a big step up from hesitant, which is where i stood earlier this week…

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME
to the tune of Heavy Action (MNF Theme) – Johnny Pearson

time to start the big predictions each week… i’ll hold off on picking playoff brackets and superbowl teams until a few weeks in when i have actually seen the teams in action… but here are my picks for week one…

Giants over the Redskins (35-24)
Bills over Seahawks (27-21)
Steelers over Texans (14-10)
Saints over Bucs (41-14)
Lions over Falcons (38-9)
Eagles over Rams (16-14)
Jags over Titans (35-7)
Jets over Fins (19-12)
Bengals over Ravens (21-20)
Pats over Chiefs (28-20)
Cards over 49ers (20-14)
Chargers over Panthers (18-10)
Cowboys over Browns (30-13)
Colts over Bears (21-6)
Vikings over Packers (24-21)
Broncs over Raiders (15-10)

phew that’s a lot of games… but that’s how i see them going… hooray for week 1…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of This Is Who I Am – Third Day

yes, my reading has slowed down quite a bit, but that’s mostly because i’ve been working from home and free time disappears much quicker that way… anyway, here’s the latest, updated list for Mark Lee hosted summer reading club

Completed…

Working through…
The Writing Life (Dillard) [about 40 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Quiet Strength (Dungy) [about 200 pages left]
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder) [about 250 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
FlashBang (Steele)
Sinner (Dekker)

FULL LIST HERE

NO MAS

sorry, the tank’s empty… more later…

peace… love… bdg….