Thursday, September 30, 2010

What up?

So I was looking at people’s blog thinking “They should update their Blog” then I remembered I have a blog that I haven’t updated in a couple of days.

Unfortunately I don’t have anything terribly witty to write about so you get this lame sauce blog.

Kaci and I are going to retreat to a friend’s farm for the weekend with two of our favorite couple friends. I am super excited. Games will be played, fun will be had, excellent food and drink will be consumed, jokes will be made, mysterious woodlands will be explored, but most importantly we will all get to get away for a couple of days and relax.

More to come on our experience,

Much Love,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beardenzia: A Brief History

I thought I should write a post describing how we think Beardenzia came to be. While Beardenzia has been existence since oh “Well before you were born”, it’s re-discovery happened a little under a year ago. To mark this event I thought I would share with you how it began.

The following is a Historical account of what we think happen, while historians dis-agree on some of the details the major themes are agreed to be accurate.

2009 B.C. Earth,

The world at this time is divided into three warring Countries or Clans. The Waters Clan, Sloss Clan and Kennedy Clan.

The Waters Clan was known mainly for their crimson red facial hair and their ferocious lion riding cavalry. At the time they controlled the majority of what is now Europe, and some of the Middle East. Their leader was Travis “Red Beard” Waters. Red Beard was known for his thick red facial hair which he used to his full advantage in combat; his beard was so thick they said it would stop a crossbow’s arrow or the brunt force of the heaviest of battle axes. His lion, Dietrich, was said to be the most ferocious of any four legged beast. Lord Waters brutal efficiency on the battle field was matched only by his strategic intellect.

The Kennedy Clan was known for its thick black facial hair and for their ability to use bears (often independent of riders) in battle. At the time the Kennedy clan controlled most of what is now known as Russia, China, Mongolia, and some of the Middle East. They were also making a push into North America via (what is now) Alaska. Their leader was Ryan “Black Bear” or “Shogun” Kennedy. Kennedy was known for riding a chariot pulled by three black bears into combat, and was even said to have destroyed a legion of enemy combat troops single handedly. Kennedy’s combat tactics earned him the title of “Shogun” when he conquered what is now Japan.

The Sloss clan was known for their extraordinary social skills. They were able to recruit entire civilizations into through the use of diplomacy and assimilation. At the time, they controlled Australia, Southeast Asia, the majority of North America, all of South America and eastern Africa. Their leader, Kaci “The Socializer” Sloss, was known for her profound diplomatic skills. She was known mostly for her charm. After her armies plundered a Capital City killing all of the royal family except the Kings son, she was able to charm him into joining her army. (He was later killed in The Great Battle for the Middle East)

For years these three nations warred against each other. Eventually the Kennedy clan blundered by over extended itself making a push into Canada via Alaska. “Black Bear”s armies were spread too thin and “The Socializer” was well fortified and poised to counter attack. “Red Beard” had just lost a significant battle in the Middle East as his armies had not been able to fend off the Sloss clan, and Eastern Europe was at risk of invasion on two fronts. The Sloss clan could come up through Africa and had the potential to attack Eastern Europe if she could win the Middle East. The Sloss clan was poised for one final strike that would end these wars and make “The Socializer” the Queen of the known world.

Sensing their impending doom the Heads of the formerly opposing Kennedy and Waters Clans met to discuss their predicament. Travis and Ryan got a long splendidly and it was decided that an alliance should be made. (Please note: Some Historians believe that Derek son of Bruce founder of the soon to be Highland Beard clan oversaw the meeting.) The alliance was formed, and the decision was made that the Kennedy clan would make a surprise attack on the Sloss clan in the Middle East to give the Waters clan time to re-enforce and launch it’s own counter offensive on the war weary Sloss clan. Many Black Bears, and Kennedy clan members died to give the Waters Clan the upper hand in the Middle east.

The Sloss clan was soon over run as the fronts in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and North America where too much to maintain. Ryan met with Lady Sloss to negotiate the terms of her surrender, and as soon as he laid eyes on her he became enamored, and fell instantly in love. Lady Sloss and Lord Kennedy eventually married, and became the first King and Queen of what is now Beardenzia.

Travis “Red Beard” Waters took mercy on the beleaguered armies of the Kennedy clan and soon united the two clans into what became “Beardenzia”. “Red Beard” also took a wife from a more ancient civilization.

Beardenzia divided in to separate city states, most notably the “Black Bear Clan” (Made up of former members of the Kennedy Clan), “Red Beard Clan” (Former members of the Waters Clan), and “Highlander Beard Clan” (Founded by Sir Derek Martin). They lived in peace and harmony until the end of the age.

Much Love,

Monday, September 20, 2010


A light was found in foreign land
Light and Life at last at hand!

A Light that must be shown to all
Clear and True her Saviors call

To her home it must be brought
Good news to her kin must be taught!

Rushing home she cannot wait,
Her flight is sure and true and straight

What waits for her at home she knows
Her family questions will not pose

For forbidden is the Light you see
Light means death It cannot be free

Though death awaits in the morn
Death cannot this Light forlorn

She welcomes the dawn with Light in Hand
and pays the price the law demand

She would do it again, can't you see?
The Light was meant for you,
and it was meant for me.

Much Love,

Friday, September 17, 2010


I was reading an article by Mark Driscoll yesterday and, to be honest I kind of skimmed the first section talking about “Religious Repentance”, but I looked at the article again today and had a revelation of sorts.

Lately I have had free time on my hands (particularly at work) so I have had time to read various news articles and keep up on the times, it has also given me an opportunity to think and reflect. Unfortunately much of my reflection has been outward instead of inward. I haven’t thought of what I have been doing wrong, what I could be doing right or better or what I could be doing for other people. Instead I have been looking a lot on what people are doing wrong. What is wrong with our country, what is wrong with the Church what is wrong with so-and-so to the extent that I am starting to feel like the Pharasee in the parable Jesus told in Luke 9…

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

I should never forget the fact that I am a sinner and no better than anyone else.

Father God forgive me of my sin, and cleans me of my pride.

Much Love,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life Changes

These past twelve months have sent me into life overdrive. Getting a girlfriend, changing churches, gaining new friends, getting engaged, becoming a leader, learning to become a man, getting married, all the things involved with a wedding, honey-moon, being married etc. A fast pace was set. I think I have, for the most part, lived a fairly fast paced life, whether it was marital arts or ministry something was always going on.

Then someone hit the brakes, life slowed down. The activities were less frequent, travelling was less frequent, more time was spent at home. This was expected to an extent but I feel like my life suddenly became boring. Don’t get me wrong, I mean I love being married, but I guess I expected it to be more work then it actually was. On top of that my job slowed down to the point where I was bored the majority of the day. The meaninglessness of life is/was caving in around me. It makes me question things, like “What difference does it make?”, but I think the biggest thing is my lack of contentment. It turns out that when you don’t have a whole lot going on you tend to get squirmy, and discontent.

My contentment should be found in Jesus, and I think that you can “over do” it but at the same time I don’t think God made me (or anyone) to sit around all day. He made us to do things*, to work the fields, to protect our families, to build relationships, all glorifying Him.

As my work isn’t doing an adequate job of making me tired from a days work, and since I am involved in ministry, I am going to start “working the fields”. I am going to do what God built all people to do WORK, because I am meant to be physically tired at the end of the day. This means running and moving weight. I think this will also help my confidence (not necessarily pride), and confidence is needed when leading.
Much Love,

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Contradiction

Where to begin? This is a story as old as time Christians and Muslims fighting it out, seeing who will ultimately prevail. Only unlike the crusades this time the battle is being fought in the media instead of an open plain or a castle.

While Muslims cry “Freedom of Religion” as they build a mosque that 60% of New Yorkers don’t want, an angry pastor decides to burn the Quran and cries “Freedom of Speech”. The question is who is right?

This situation has truly amazed me, how our political leaders are fairly silent when Muslims want to build a mosque a block away from ground zero (and then even send an imam with radical ties on trip to the middle east on the taxpayers dollar). Then these same politicians are outraged when a preacher decides to stand up to them (radical Muslims), and actually try to convince him not to go forward with his protest. In my opinion the leaders should have been equally vocal on both counts, or not vocal on either of them. Do I think the government should have used its power to stop either event? No, it isn’t within their power to do so.

The case has been made that the burning of the Quran will endanger our troops, and increase recruiting for Islamic extremists. I can see that and I definitely agree that it would be a problem, and I don’t want to put our troops in harms way (my brother is one of them). That being said, I also think that a semi-radical leader who refuses to condemn Hamas, and who has ties to the Islamic Brotherhood building a mosque on American soil could be just as dangerous for American citizens and just as good for radical Islamic recruiting, as burning the Quran.
So, what why are they treated so differently? The answer is simple, American Christians (with the exception of the Quran burning pastors) don’t throw as big a fit about not getting their way as the Islam’s do. Plain and simple, Christians are viewed as the oppressors, (fairly or unfairly is another matter all together) and Islam is playing the victim card. I think the media has a great deal to do with this, I didn’t realize that they actually burned Bibles in Gaza until I ran across an article on the Drudge Report.

Life isn’t fair I guess, and even if Christians knew about the burnings that were going on I don’t think we (Christians) would have threatened violence against Islam. I think the pastor has every right to burn the Quran, just as I think the Islamist have the right to build a mosque, but just because you have a right doesn’t make it right, right?

I do think Islam is a false religion leading people to Hell instead of heaven, I love Jesus, and Jesus commands us to “Love our neighbor as our self” and although I screw up at it a lot I do my best. I think this preacher may be mistaken in what he is doing. I think it will harden the hearts of most Muslim’s to the one thing they need, Christianity. Part of me also thinks America needs a wake up call, we need to realize that the radical Muslim world is pushing a double standard on us. They push the Muslim law on their own people and don’t allow Christianity to even exist legally in their countries while telling us that we (Americans) have to let them do whatever they want.
It is, put simply, a contradiction.

Much Love,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This summer I had an opportunity to read some books, mostly (OK all) fiction and all political thrillers. Some were good, some were not so good, but I’ll give you the skinny on all three. I’ll try not to give too much away is a give my opinion and give my supporting case.

The Overton Window: By Glenn Beck—This book follows a PR agent, and an aging FBI agent on two different story lines that never really come together as they try to stop a major terrorist attack on the US. It is filled with political diatribes that pretty much give Glenn’s point of view on the world minus religion (see other Glenn Beck posts). The book was long and since I was already aware of most of his political views it tended to drag on. It was an easy read but very anti-climatic. The story had some suspense; however the character development didn’t really happen. The book does keep you guessing (mostly because there is no character development). My Rating: Three out of five stars. It was ok; I wouldn’t recommend this to friends who disagree with Glenn Beck, or to any thriller fans.

The Last Patriot: By Brad Thor: Wow! This book is probably the best political thriller I have read to date. The plot is essentially a mix of “National Treasure” and “The Da Vinci Code”. It follows several characters, an FBI agent, a former Secret Service agent (Scot Harvath) and a former Black Ops agent turned Muslim extremist. They all end up looking for the same book/manuscript, “Muhameds final Revelation” which would change the way Muslims view their faith and traditions. Lots of action and twists, enough back story to each character so that you understand how they got to where they are. There was a healthy dose of history (twisted at some points) to make the book seem more real. The ending gave me chills. My Rating: Five out of Five stars. I recommend this book to everyone.

The Apostle: By Brad Thor: This book wasn’t quite as good as The Last Patriot. The Plot was much more direct. A major presidential campaign contributors daughter is captured so, with the help of the president, she recruits Scot Harvath to go to the middle east to break out a captured terrorist to exchange for her daughter. (per the demands of the kidnapers). There is a secondary plot that I found more intriguing involving the President and the death of his former campaign manager. My Rating: Seven of Ten stars. A good book, but I would recommend “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell as a much better book on Middle Eastern combat/intrigue.

There you have it folks, those are the three books I read this summer. My current reading schedule dabbles in more non-fiction, as I am currently reading D-Day by Steven Ambrose, and I also have Founding Faith on my future read list. I am also going to be reading “Lions of Lucerne” by Brad Thor (Yes, The Last Patriot was that good).

Much Love,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Great Song

This entire weekend I have not been able to get this song out of my head. I have actually sang the entire thing many many times just to myself, and sometimes with my wife. Take it for what it is, I’ll admit it is artsy, and the verses don’t always make sense unless you think about them and even then they are open for interpretation. The main theme is that Jesus loves us, it may seem a little cliché but I think it is often times some thing we forget. Well without further a due here is the song…

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane I am a tree
Bent beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
Then all of a sudden I am unaware
of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves usHow he loves us so
Yea He loves us

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
So heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
And I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way
He loves us

Oh how he loves us
Oh how He loves us
How he loves us so.

There are different versions of this song, but I like the one played by the Westwind Church worship team the best.
Much Love,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goodbye Glenn

I first stumbled across the Glenn Beck program in the summer of 2006, it was still airing on CNN Headline News and Glenn covered a wide range of topics from politics to pop-culture. I have followed* Glenn for the past four years and have agreed with him (for the most part) for the last four years. After the recent 8/28 rally, however, I have realized it is now time to say “Goodbye” to Glenn Beck.

One of my earliest memories of Glenn were those of him grilling a pedophile that had recently been arrested. While the authorities could not prove the pedophile did anything to children the guy had a website where he graphically detailed what he would like to do to them. Glenn grilled this guy; he put him up against a wall so everyone could see how dumb and sick this he was. I remember the pedophile was hiding behind the first amendment, saying that he could write whatever he wanted to about whoever he wanted to. Glenn asked him something to the extent of “So, would it be ok if I graphically described ways I was gong to murder you? Would it be ok if I had a website dedicated to killing you would that be ok?” The pedophile immediately backed down, and even looked a little scarred, he had no response, he said something like “Well at some point I would get law enforcement involved”. BOOM! He was pinned to the wall, and Glenn from that point on had my attention.

His show was a mix of politics and pop-culture, the “Fusion of entertainment and enlightenment” is how his radio show describes it. He would often talk about politics, global warming, and socialism etc. much as he does today, however every Friday he would interview a famous person, usually in the entertainment business. Glenn interviewed one of the stars from Penn and Teller, and “The Motor City Madman” Ted Nugent among others. My favorite interview was when Glenn interviewed Jeff Foxworthy, I guess it stuck out to me because they both loved their families dearly, and it came out in there interview. They both authentically talked about their kids and wives, and although there was a lot of laughing they spoke very respectfully and lovingly about their families. This again was another reason I chose to watch listen and read about Glenn Beck.

Glenn’s politics have always been something I enjoyed and probably the main reason I followed him for so long. He was always for personal responsibility and against big government. He believed (and still believes) that by lowing taxes you can stimulate the economy and that the private sector does most things better than the government. He almost always tries to do the right thing, even when it is hard. Most recently, in the case of Shirley Sherrod, a member of the NAACP was accused of making racist remarks in a speech given several years ago. Glenn stood up for her and said that she should not have been fired, he said that we should hear the whole story before we start making rash decisions. It was later revealed that the tape had been doctored. Glenn (as well as I) have very differing views on political philosophy than Ms. Sherrod, so for him to stand up for here said a lot about his character. The fact that I agree with Glenn politically and the fact that Glenn tries to be a man of character are probably the main reasons I have followed him for so long.

Early 2007 I discovered, through Wikipedia, that Glenn Beck was a Mormon. I was surprised, and didn’t know how to take it at first. Glenn had mentioned his faith from time to time but he never went in depth. During the early years I could care less what Glenn believed, he didn’t talk about it that much and it wasn’t like he was trying to convert people to Mormonism. I let it slide, and tuned him out when he spoke of theological issues. Lately, however, Glenn’s answer to all of our countries problems has been turning to god, which I agree with (assuming it is the Christian God and Jesus Christ). Glenn however has just used “god” in a very general sense, implying that he doesn’t care if you turn to the Jewish god, the Islamic god, the Mormon’s god, or the Christian God. He seems to think that they are all essentially the same thing and America needs to get back to it. This I have a problem with, because my God is above ALL other god’s, and if it doesn’t matter what god you turn to then it denies my God because if it doesn’t matter what god you turn to then it essentially states that all god’s are equally powerful, which is false. Glenn recently illustrated these universalist beliefs at his 8/28 rally where he had religious leaders from all faiths pray together.

Why does Glenn want people to get back to God? I believe that he authentically wants to unite the country. While I do believe that the country should unite, and that a united country would be better for everyone I also believe that doing this is secondary to believing in the one true God. As Glenn has put what god you believe in as secondary to living in a united country I believe he has put country over God. This is something I disagree with whole heartedly, and because this has become a central theme in his show I can no longer in good concience continue to follow his show.

I will miss Glenn’s sarcastic humor, and his viewpoints on politics and current events. I may even check in on him from time to time. I will definitely pray for him and his family that they may come to know the one true God. It is with a heavy heart that I am saying “Goodbye Glenn Beck”.

Much Love,

*Follow in the sense of watching his TV show/reading his articles/listening to his radio program, NOT in the sense of following him as a religious or political leader.