Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Morning reading

John 13:1-17 (TNIV) -

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."

Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."

9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"

10 Jesus answered, "Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

My thoughts -

A couple of things: First, what are we too "good" to do? Would we wash each other's feet? Would we serve each other in an almost humiliating way? Do we have the humility to serve others? Are we above it? What won't we do? Is that because we are too proud?

Second, what are we too "bad" to have done for us? What are we unworthy to receive? What ways will we not allow others to serve us? Are we ashamed to receive help? Is that because we are too proud?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

HiGain update

New mixes are posted to the website. Go to http://tombakerguitar.com/higain to hear them, or you can download the tarball at http://tombakerguitar.com/higain/HiGain.tar.gz These are mostly finished mixes, but there will be some changes made in the next week. Then we'll have them mastered and hopefully printed soon. More details to come as I have them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

HiGain album update

Sorry I've neglected this a bit of late. I'm mixing this evening and probably most of the rest of the weekend. The album should have pretty close to finished mixes for everything by Monday and will be ready to be released in the next few weeks.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I took my lunch walk a bit early this morning to beat the afternoon heat and got to thinking about how a child-like wonder at the world around us leads to imagination and discovery.

I would like to think that it goes like this:

Wonder leads to Curiosity which leads to Discovery which leads to Knowledge and Understanding which lead back to the Wonder of it all in a repeating cycle.

We can never know and understand everything and it seems often the more questions we get answered the more we feel compelled to ask. However, in my own life my progression goes less like the circle I just described and more like a line:

Wonder leads to Curiosity which leads to Discovery which leads to Knowledge which becomes Jaded Cynicism.

I think the problem here is not the process and more the garbage that I bring to it. Too often I feel that we trade a child-like wonder and the universe for a hardened, "factual", cynical existence. It doesn't have to be that way. I'd really like to change.

Morning reading

Luke 13:6-9 (TNIV) -

6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'

8 " 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "

My thoughts -

I wonder, if the digging and fertilizing would work, why not do that from the beginning? That may be a bit harsh a view for me to take. Also, if you look at this metaphor I've been the tree here for a pretty long time. There are people in my life who have worked and worked to cultivate me, and yet a majority of the time I have produced minimal fruit, if any. Maybe I shouldn't be judging here.

Also, what does the digging and fertilizing represent? I see it as Godly people taking a personal interest and working with you to prod you along to do God's will. I'm sure there are other things that would work in this metaphor. I guess you could view that as the Holy Spirit doing the work and compelling the tree into regular prayer and devotional time, which matures the tree and produces fruit.

Regardless, we all need to produce fruit, and we can't do that without a lot of work being put into our spiritual lives. Did this tree bare fruit? Was it cut down? I'm kind of glad I don't know.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Morning reading

Matthew 13:1-23 (TNIV) -

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear."

10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

"Though seeing, they do not see;

though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

15 For this people's heart has become calloused;

they hardly hear with their ears,

and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

hear with their ears,

understand with their hearts

and turn, and I would heal them.'

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When people hear the message about the kingdom and do not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to people who hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

My thoughts -

I'm typing this on my BlackBerry from bed. The cable's out right now and it took the internet with it. I woke up in the middle of the night and banged my right knee and shin in the dark. They hurt bad enough right now that I'd consider amputation. I haven't had any coffee and really am not in the mood to hobble down the hallway to the kitchen to make some. Consequently I'm a little groggy and grumpy. These are problems this morning. They may even serve as distractions that help to prevent me from really connecting with God right now, but they are not like what's described in verse 22.

Verse 22 scares me. I see this all of the time.

"The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful."

We can get pretty comfortable in this life. We can use our wealth to insulate ourselves from a world that God wants us to serve. We can become self-reliant. If we're comfortable enough we don't feel the need to follow God. We're OK. Why would we do that? We often allow the things that we have to serve as a barrier between us and God.

But we can also allow the things that we do not have to do that. It's hard to really care for others when we have a hard time caring for ourselves. It's hard to be generous when we're not sure when we're going to lose a job but we know it's coming soon. It's hard to try to discover and do God's will when we have a hard time figuring out how we're going to pay the rent.

Whatever our situation, be it too much or too little, we need to learn to rely on God. If we do we can move from being a cautionary tale in verse 22 to what is described in verse 23:

"But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another new song

No title or demo for this one yet, either. It's a little more craft than art for my liking, too. But here it is in it's flawed, unfinished glory:

If I repeat myself
I wouldn't think that you could tell
I don't think you've heard a word I've said
At all

I ask what's distracting you
Your face takes on a bluer hue
And now we shall dance with the second chance
And the fall

I choke on the words
You never say
But I can't find the will
To get out of your way

Are we just holding on?
Is the attraction gone?
Have we progressed or regressed I'm depressed
And what does that mean?

Is there nothing left?
Or is what comes next the best?
The superficial is fleetingly flirting
With flying away

So I dominate
What we have to say
And you ruminate
Time is wasting away

I think I'm a clever man
Well I do the best I can
But you don't seem to fall for reason or rhyme

Am I what's bugging you?
Would you like a better view?
Or some room to breathe on your own
And something better to be

I stand in the way
And try to hold firm
But the tighter I grip
The more you squirm

New song

I'm working on some new material. This one is a bit stream of consciousness.

The play on words
Didn't seem impolite
He knew what I meant
I don't mean to fight

Do you have any change?
I could use some myself
I'm feeling deranged
I'm not of much help

While I wish you well
I can tell from right here
You would spend what I have
On a quest for more beer

But when we ask for change
We expect a reply
And relief from our pain
And a look in the eye

When we speak of grace
What do we expect?
Is it on our terms?
Do we have to be perfect?

When we think of love
Does it condescend?
Does it know what's best?
Does it work out in the end?

The bad guys always lose
And the good guys win
But are they who we chose?
Can we pick sides again?

I know we're not perfect
But does God know we try?
When we get to the pearly gates
Will we look in the eye?

All of the change
We could never provide
Will we take to our graves
All we deny?

The rooster cried three times
But I was unmoved
I had my excuses
What could I do?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm not ready to do that

I'm pretty happy with my level of fitness right now. I've been a runner since October. I have been getting up as early as 4am several days a week now and have been getting at least an hour of pretty good exercise 5 days a week. I have lost 40lbs and 5 inches on my waist since I started. I've recently started biking some and running a little less. My knees, ankles, and feet have thanked me for that. The point here is that I've come a long, long ways and there's a lot that I'm happy with.

But when I look down I still see a little bit of a gut. Obviously it's gotten a lot smaller. If I'm wearing a shirt you pretty much can't notice it at all. But it is there. I notice it. It bugs me.

There are people my age who don't have one, so I can't blame it on age, really. I understand metabolism has something to do with it but there are people I know who were bigger than I was who have lost more so clearly it can be done, but how?

So I do some reading and I talk to people and I get my answer. I can do more. I can do a better job of dieting. I can do more exercise. I can do some workouts that can take care of that issue if I choose. It can be done.

And yet, for as trim and fit as I've gotten, I just don't think I'm ready for that. It's hard work. It takes discipline. Maybe what's "wrong" with me isn't that big of a deal, after all. And then it hits me. Isn't this a good metaphor for our spiritual lives?

I try to follow God. I try to read scripture, pray, and try to understand more about God and the universe every day. It's a process, though. There are roadblocks in it. Have I come a long ways? Sure. Can I do more? Absolutely. Am I prepared to?

See, I don't know. Do I need to go back to school? I know I do. Do I need to look into going to seminary? I've felt and ignored that call my entire life. There's so much work involved. It's hard. Sure, I don't find a lot of fulfillment in the various jobs I've had to feed my family over the years. Sure, it's always felt that I have a different purpose I need to pursue. But I can't. You know, not now. I'm not ready. Maybe what's bothering me on an existential level is really something I can live with. I'm just not ready to do that.

Not now.

Morning reading

John 12:37-43 (TNIV) -

37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:

"Lord, who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40 "He has blinded their eyes

and hardened their hearts,

so they can neither see with their eyes,

nor understand with their hearts,

nor turn—and I would heal them."

41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human glory more than the glory of God.

My thoughts -

The idea of God blinding us and hardening our hearts is something that I just can't deal with. I don't understand and it, frankly, scares the hell out of me. I will leave it to far wiser people than I to make that make sense in some way that doesn't mean we are all potentially screwed by an arbitrary decision by God to not allow us to know and follow God's will. I can't do it.

What I can do is identify with verses 42 and 43. I am tempted to look down on those who love "human glory more than the glory of God" and yet I seem to constantly find myself rather disturbingly among their number. We all do. For as much as I would love to be able to claim that all I care about it doing God's will and I don't care what other people think about it that is just not true. I do care. I want to be affirmed. I want to be praised. I want a pat on the back. We would do almost anything to gain approval from the right people. I know I would.

So do we let the need for approval from others affect our ability to follow God? Of course we do. Hopefully we can realize when we do, repent, and learn how to not do it the next time. Life is a process. Following God is a process. You don't go from zero to perfect over night. I've got a lot more to work on. I've found myself to be hypocritical in another area in my life. Time to start fixing it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Morning reading

John 12:20-28 (TNIV) -

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27 "Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!"

My thoughts -

Verse 25 always gives me trouble here. "Those who love their life will lose it" doesn't sound all that reassuring to most of us, I'm sure. But to pair that with "those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life" just seems downright depressing. So, let me see if I've got this right: If you love your life here don't get too comfortable, you don't get to keep it. If you hate it you'd better get used to it because it's eternal.

Maybe I'm missing something but I can't seem to spin that so it doesn't suck. Maybe I need to put this in a less "worldly" perspective.

There's one thing I think we all pretty much know about life in this world: it doesn't last forever. We can work, toil, steal, and whatever to get all of the stuff that we think will fulfill us but guess what... We don't get to keep it. We don't get to take any of it with us when we leave this place. Yes, that goes for my Les Paul, too.

If I place all of the "stuff", the "shiny junk" of this life above Godly things I have chosen poorly and I don't get to keep it. If I place my status in this life above all else eventually it will go away and that which I have built my existence around will be gone, leaving me nothing. This life we lose. That's just a fact. It happens to everyone eventually.

So what to make of the second part? What does it mean to say that if you hate this life you get to keep it eternally? I'm not really sure. You could spin that to mean that forsaking the traps and pitfalls in this world and not falling for the materialistic con will gain you eternal life. You could also say that an unfulfilling lifestyle here can follow you into eternity and you would then be eternally cursed with a lack of fulfillment. I am not educated enough to know what Jesus intended that to mean.

Jesus spoke in such a way that a lot of different meanings can be read into a number of his teachings, and each has a great deal of truth from a certain perspective. I think it could mean a little of both. Could hell just be a continued miserable existence apart from God in a place not unlike this one? Could hell be here on earth? Heaven too? Could heaven be the ability to shake free from our worldly vices and to seek after God's will? Could that jut be a fore taste of a heaven to come? I think verses 27-28 offer us a glimpse of how we should be, and that which would grant us peace in this life and whatever is to follow.

Jesus says, "Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Jesus is facing death. He subverts his own will to glorify God. He has come to peace with the end of this life and understands that what God has in store will be better.

This life will end. I don't get to keep it. I don't get to take my stuff with me. I don't understand eternity. I don't have to. I trust God. Everything is going to be Ok. I don't hate my life, I love it. I will lose it. And I am Ok with that. There's really no other way to be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Morning reading

John 12:1-8 (TNIV)

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages. " 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

My thoughts -

I've always had trouble with verse 8 here. You go through the Gospels and Jesus consistently shows great concern for the poor and implores his followers throughout his ministry to care for the needs of the poor. When I read this passage I find myself often on agreement with Judas. And yet, Judas was clearly wrong and rebuked by Jesus.

Part of that can be explained by Judas's motivation. Verse 6 informs us that Judas's primary concern in saying this was not the poor but himself. He wanted the money that selling the perfume would have brought in. But I wonder, too, about what this passage tells us about worship.

"You will always have the poor among you" seems harsh, but 2000 years later it is, unfortunately, still true. Our churches have finite resources. Some have more than others. We can use those resources for different things. Sometimes they go into missions. We can feed the poor. We can take care of their needs. We can do this on a local and a global scale. We do so because Jesus commands us to. But we also use our resources on our building and for our worship services.

I'm conflicted on this. I don't like spending money and am pretty pragmatic about it. I don't care much for wireless mics, in ear monitors, projectors, lighting, effects, etc. It's odd because as the person responsible for the "contemporary" music in the service you would think that I'd be all about that. But, frankly, I'd rather see any money that would go into "stuff" for the service go to missions instead.

And yet, without the worship would we be a church or just an idealistic non-profit trying to help people? We do need to invest in the worship service. We do need to create a space where people can worship God. We do need to be intentional about it. I am conflicted and unsure of how to best do this. Some "stuff" that churches have and employ for worship just seems ostentatious to me. We need to have balance.

I have no idea how to do that. I'm not sure this passage helps. I'm not sure what to make of it, still. I am grateful for it, though. It has inspired thought and hopefully that thought will lead to action and that action will be in accordance with God's will. There's a lot of work to be done in both missions and worship.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The illusion of control

I obsess. I fret. I worry. I stress. I do. I do so because I am not in control and I don't know how to handle that.

We all want control. We all want to be in charge. Maybe not in charge of everything but at least in charge of something. If I can't run the world at least I can decide what I want to do for dinner.

We feel more comfortable when we feel like we have control. We feel safer driving on the interstate than we do flying in a plane because when we're driving we don't have to rely on the pilot to get us there safely, we're driving. We're in control. What we can't control is that 80,000 lb semi that just crossed the median and hit us head on. In life that sometimes happens. When we see something like that happen to others it helps relieve us of the illusion of control.

I have been free of that illusion for a while, now. It's not comfortable. It doesn't feel safe. I don't care much for it. But I am not able to regain the illusion no matter how hard I try.

So I am not in control. Who is? Is God in control? We like to think of God as being sovereign, all knowing and all powerful. We may not understand the plan but we know there is one and we know that God is in control. But then, when shit happens, as it so often does, do we blame God for it? If God is in control then wouldn't God be to blame for everything that goes wrong in this life? I don't know. It's kind of a tough thing to wrap this limited mind around. Is the universe a better place if there's a God in charge of it that allows horrible things to happen seemingly arbitrarily? Would it be better for God to be in control of everything and to allow (or even cause) bad stuff to happen or for God to be powerless to stop the bad?

Our existence in this world raises so many more questions than it answers. Our faith(s) attempt to answer them but the problems of sin, free will, suffering, and death make those answers unsatisfying and sometimes unpalatable. I don't have the answers I'd like. I don't have control here. I'm never going to. But I do have faith. I don't know everything I'd like to know about God. I find myself sometimes unsure about even the existence of God in a huge, cold universe. My beliefs about the nature of God and what it requires of me have changed so much over the years it's hard to place too much stock in "belief" here. And yet I do believe. I do have faith. I do try to connect with God daily and do God's will in this life. I do believe that whatever shit happens in life there is nothing that God can not redeem. I do believe in grace, love, and hope.

I'm not in control here. I don't know if God is. I'm not even sure what it means. I don't know how everything works. All I can do is surrender and hope. That's a lot better than being hopeless, I assure you. Control is overrated, anyway.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Morning reading

Matthew 12:33-37 (TNIV) -

33 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them. 36 But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Luke 12:13-34 (TNIV) -

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."

14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."

16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

18 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21 "This is how it will be with those who store up things for themselves but are not rich toward God."

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

My thoughts -

I don't have a lot to say this morning. Maybe that's for the best. Both of these passages have done a good job of convicting me. My heart is not always in the right place. I spend way too much time and energy on things that just don't matter. I say things to and about other people I have no business saying and I worry way too much about things I have no control over and are frankly not worth worrying about. I need to do better. With God's help I will.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Morning reading

Sorry this is a little on the long side. I decided that I really couldn't break it up very well.

John 11 (TNIV) -

1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."

8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?"

9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world's light. 10 It is when people walk at night that they stumble, for they have no light."

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."

12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus ) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked.

"Come and see, Lord," they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 "Take away the stone," he said.

"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation."

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the festival at all?" 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

My thoughts -

There's obviously an awful lot going on here. Clearly this family had a ton of faith and Jesus had great affection for them. The two things that always jump out from this story for me are verse 35, which simply says "Jesus wept", and the different reactions to this miracle starting in verse 45.

First, Jesus wept. I've never really heard a satisfying answer to why Jesus wept. I've stood at grave sites and wept and I'm glad that Jesus had that same experience. It's strangely comforting. But as I was standing at the grave site weeping, even though I have faith in God and hope in resurrection, I wasn't about to raise the dead there. In the moments before he commanded Lazarus to rise from the dead Jesus still wept. I don't understand that, really, but I am grateful. It is comforting. Maybe Jesus wept to show emotion to comfort the mourning. That just seems too robotic and coldly calculated to me. I have never really been able to wrap my head around this. Weeping doesn't make much sense in light of imminent resurrection but I guess we do that, too.

As for the reactions starting in verse 45: I can understand the reaction of, when seeing the dead raised after a long enough time in the tomb that they were genuinely concerned about the smell, worshiping Jesus and placing faith in him. This was no every day occurrence here. I can also see being shocked and reporting what had just happened to the religious leaders. That's pretty understandable.

What I can not see is the decision to plot to kill the guy who just performed a miracle. But people have their own agendas. We all do. And sometimes God decides to do something that doesn't jive really well with our agenda. When that happens we can go with it and follow God or we can rebel. Even the most religious people around are not immune to this, clearly.

The take home point for me here is that Jesus loves those who love him enough to weep even in the midst of resurrection. God wants to perform miracles in our lives. We can go with it, follow God, and allow that to happen or we can fight and fight for our own agenda. We probably won't like what we end up with, though.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Quality or Quantity

When we think about our lives what is more important to us, quality of life or quantity of life? Is it better to live a long life or an enjoyable one? A lot of the things that we might choose to do now that may prolong our lives also seem sometimes to make them more boring or even *gasp* unpleasant. No smoking, no drinking, no casual sport sex, no junk food, etc. What fun is that? Why would we want to live a long life that consists principally of doing things we don't want to and not doing the things we should?

I guess this post is a really long way for me to say that I'm going out for some sausage and gravy for breakfast this morning. I know. I'm a rebel. The drunken orgies are soon to follow, I'm sure. That's how these things work, right?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Up all night

Wow. Blogger has a bunch of new templates and I'm home alone. I'm guessing that means there will be at least 12 changes to this blog tonight. I've got nothing else to do right now and I don't sleep well alone. I'm also crippled by too many choices. I'm sure there's a metaphor there for anyone who cares to dig into it. Enjoy.


The family just packed up and went off to Indy. I had to work today so I'm stuck here alone. I've never been much for being alone. My time is always filled doing stuff with and for others that I just don't know what to do on my own. So here's the plan:

Well, there is no plan, really. I biked off to work this morning with my backpack filled with everything I might want to have wherever I go today. When I get off I'm not biking home. I don't want to be home. There's no one there. I'm heading out. Maybe to the mall; maybe to a movie. Maybe I'll go out to eat at some place Shannon and the kids wouldn't like. Maybe I'll head to your house. Yes, you. Clean up now in anticipation. I have no idea what I'm going to do.

Before I could drive I used to bike everywhere. It wasn't a bad way to be. I am looking forward to doing it again. Should be fun. At least I'll be busy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Morning reading

Luke 11:37-52 (TNIV) -

37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

43 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

44 "Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it."

45 One of the experts in the law answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also."

46 Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

47 "Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.' 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

52 "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."

Some questions -

How often do we do "good" only when it can be seen by others? How often do we put on our "Sunday best" and a big plastic smile and show up trying to look perfect? Do our insides match our outsides? Do we, when we do good, do so only because it is required? Are we being generous with God's love? Are we being generous to the poor? Are we being generous to the marginalized and ostracized? Are we leading people to Jesus or turning them away at the door? Are we exhorting fellow believers or beating them down? Are we helping guide back the lost or mocking their misfortune? Are we more concerned with following Christ or with being considered as Christians?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The real reason I bike to work

Sadly, the real reason I bike to work has nothing to do with any petroleum protest (alliteration WIN, baby!) or with any personal fitness goals. The real reason is that there's a Dunkin' Donuts right by my office that is awfully easy to go through the drive thru in a car. Hello junk food breakfast. I've missed you.

Looks like rain

I'm feeling a little lazy right now. I didn't bike yesterday because I had to go straight to the ball field after work. Now it's pouring outside and the radar shows it's only going to get worse. No biking again today for me.

If that's the case then why did I start biking? Isn't it a little "middle class privileged" of me to decide when I'm going to stick to my convictions and when I'm not? There are people who do not have the options I do. There are people who don't get to do something only when it's comfortable.

The Gulf is flooding with oil right now whether it's raining or not. We are, as a nation, far too dependent on petroleum and no weather forecast can change that. I'm a little lazy. I'm a bit of a wuss. And apparently I don't want to get wet.

Good for me.


Morning reading

Matthew 11:28-30 (TNIV) -

28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Luke 11:5-10 (TNIV) -

5 Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' 7 And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened.

My thoughts -

Is it possible to "bother" God. I wouldn't know. I never try to ask for much. I'm pretty self reliant and more than a little proud, too. I need to learn to rely on God even when I don't feel the need to; before all else has failed and I'm desperate and despairing.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Morning reading

Luke 10:25-37 (TNIV) -

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27 He answered, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "

28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

My thoughts - How much suffering around us do we ignore? How often do we just metaphorically pass on by on the other side of the road? I want to think well of myself. I want to think that I am a good neighbor, a good person, and a good Christian. But I know darn well that there's a lot of people suffering and I convince myself I just don't have the time to try to do anything about it. Maybe later.

Psalm 128 (TNIV) -

1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,

who walk in obedience to him.

2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

4 Yes, this will be the blessing

for the man who fears the Lord.

5 May the Lord bless you from Zion;

may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life.

6 May you live to see your children's children—peace be on Israel.

Proverbs 4:23-27 (TNIV) -

23 Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;

keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;

fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet

and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;

keep your foot from evil.

My thoughts -

Verses 23 and 24 tie in perfectly with a conversation Mansfield and I were having yesterday on abuse, profanity, and cursing. I can't do his point justice but what I got out of that conversation was that what we hold in our hearts comes out of our mouth. When you curse someone it shows some serious issues with you. I've always separated words we consider to be "profane" from cursing. Some people consider them to be the same. But whatever the words you use, when you curse someone you are really showing your own issues. Get your heart right with God.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

HiGain at the Brick Alley tonight

Don't forget: HiGain is playing at the Brick Alley in Frankfort tonight. The show starts around 10. $5 at the door. 323 Saint Clair Street. I hope to see you all there.

Morning reading

Proverbs 3:3-4 (TNIV) -

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck,

write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favor and a good name

in the sight of God and humankind.

Proverbs 3:27 (TNIV) -

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,

when it is in your power to act.

Psalm 127:1 (TNIV) -

Unless the Lord builds the house,

the builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,

the guards stand watch in vain.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sometimes you're the windshield...

You've heard the expression "sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug", right? I've always considered that to be more metaphorical than literal. If you bike to work and things go just wrong, however, you can literally be the windshield. The bug is still, well, a bug. It's not that fun, especially if you're like me and keep your mouth open a little too much most of the time. Let's just say thank God for teeth and move on. That's all, folks. Nothing to see here.

Morning reading

Matthew 9:1-8 (TNIV) -

1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!"

4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the paralyzed man, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to human beings.

My thoughts -

There's a lot going on here that can be dissected and discussed but what blows me away every time I read this story is where Jesus, in verse 2, saw the paralyzed man's friends' faith and healed him. This story mentions nothing about the man's faith. His friends' faith healed him. Do we have faith like that? Can we? Am I reading the wrong things into this story? That always catches my attention and keeps it.

Luke 9:51-56 (TNIV) -

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?" 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

My thoughts -

I have always found it amusing that the disciples wanted to call down fire to destroy the village that did not welcome Jesus. But Christians today do this in a way. We focus so much animosity towards those who we feel are not "welcoming Jesus" in their lives. While the "God Hates Fags" idiots are one shining (though thankfully rare) example of this more mainstream Christians are a little more subtle in this practice. I'm not sure exactly what we should do or how to best reach the lost but I find it informative that Jesus rebuked the disciples and no fire was called down from heaven that day. If we learn anything about ministry from Jesus it is that we should use less fire and more mercy and should probably break bread with "sinners" more often.

Psalm 126 (TNIV) -

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dreamed.

2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,

our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations,

"The Lord has done great things for them."

3 The Lord has done great things for us,

and we are filled with joy.

4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,

like streams in the Negev.

5 Those who sow with tears

will reap with songs of joy.

6 Those who go out weeping,

carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy,

carrying sheaves with them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

HiGain gig update

HiGain will be playing this Saturday, June 5 at The Brick Alley in Frankfort, KY. Show starts at 10pm. $5 at the door. The address is 323 Saint Clair Street. Hope to see a bunch of people there.

Morning reading

I've been tweeting these but I figured doing it this way might be better. I guess we'll find out.

John 8:2-11 (TNIV) -

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

11 "No one, sir," she said.

"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

My thoughts -

I love that, while Jesus did not condemn the woman, he did tell her to leave her life of sin. Grace not only rescues us from condemnation but also empowers us to no longer be held captive to sin. Grace empowers us to no longer live a life that was not really working for us, any way.

Psalm 125 (TNIV) -

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the Lord surrounds his people

both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain

over the land allotted to the righteous,

for then the righteous might use

their hands to do evil.

4 Lord, do good to those who are good,

to those who are upright in heart.

5 But those who turn to crooked ways

the Lord will banish with the evildoers. Peace be on Israel.

Proverbs 1:10-19 (TNIV) -

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,

do not give in to them.

11 If they say, "Come along with us;

let's lie in wait for innocent blood,

let's ambush some harmless soul;

12 let's swallow them alive, like the grave,

and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

and fill our houses with plunder;

14 cast lots with us;

we will all share the loot"—

15 my son, do not go along with them,

do not set foot on their paths;

16 for their feet rush into evil,

they are swift to shed blood.

17 How useless to spread a net

where every bird can see it!

18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;

they ambush only themselves!

19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;

it takes away the life of those who get it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rainy day potification

I like to think of myself as pretty active. I run most, well some mornings. I bike to work. I like to run poles with the kids when I'm coaching baseball. I don't like sitting still for long.

Right now I am sitting still. I am staring out the window of my office during lunch watching a pretty significant downpour instead of taking my usual two mile lunch walk. I've been in a pretty bad mood since we got back from New York. The trip was too long; it was too quick. There was too much to do and not enough time to do it in. There was too much time in the car. There were too many miles (1600 round trip). But most importantly I think there was too much deviation from my routine.

I like to get up early. On days that I run I get up at 4:00. On off days I get up at 5:00. I like to put on a pot of coffee, take a warm shower, and get ready to face the day. Part of that preparation is a time of prayer, meditation, contemplation, and scripture reading.

Now I am no Bible scholar. While I read daily I don't retain nearly as much as I'd like to and I feel like I really understand even less. When I do feel like I'm starting to "get" something I run into some kind of interpretational/language barrier and discover a severe and immediate need to know Greek or Hebrew. I don't have the time or mental capacity to learn either. Simply put, the scriptures have presented a number of interpretational issues to a number of people with far greater minds than mine. So why do I continue this seeming charade of trying to understand what little I can?

I don't know that there's a cognitive answer to that question. I can, however, tell that I get a great deal of benefit from the practice. I can tell this especially on days like today; days that I'm staring out the window on my lunch break frustrated with the rain, my sandwich, the phone, and the fact that the office temperature is always either too cold or too hot. I haven't opened my Bible since Friday morning. I haven't had time. Really I haven't made time. And now I'm frustrated.

Daily prayer and devotion time is not a magic cure for everything in life that ails you. But if you spend time trying to intimately discover and connect with the Divine you will often find that life's little problems seem even smaller. Every once in a while I need to be reminded of this. Some times all it takes is a little rain.

Getting tired of this song and dance

I know. Strange for a musician, huh? I've never been much for dancing, any way.

I have gone around and around with Feed Burner and Twitterfeed hoping to be able to sync a blog with Twitter and Facebook. I'm lazy. I don't want to have to link to every post myself. I don't want to have to use my computer. What I want to do is update a blog from my phone from wherever I am (check - thanks Blogger Mobile) and then have it update Facebook and Twitter with a little blurb and a link.

In fact, I could even live without updating Facebook if that made updating Twitter more do-able. I know the technology exists. I know it works because, for one tantalizingly brief moment last night, it worked for me.

I get the issue here. I'm complaining about a "free" service not working the way I want it to. But it's not REALLY free. I may not be paying for it but there are people very hard at work trying to monetize these things and without users that task is impossible. It needs to work first. Then lots of people need to like it. Then use information gathered to make ads that people don't mind clicking on and may, in fact, find useful. This is well covered ground.

So here I am, begging the gods of the interwebs: please make this thing just work. I have a lot I would like to be able to do with this but not much time to mess with it. It just needs to work. Is that too much to ask today?

If I've Done This Correctly

Then Feed Burner should, some time in the next half hour, post this inane blog post to Twitter with a hash tag that should indicate to Selective Tweets that I would like that tweet to be posted as my Facebook status. It sounds complicated. I'm sure it is. My hope is that, from my end, it will just work and not be dependent upon my limited understanding. Here goes nothing.

The Real World

No, not the 90s MTV one; the one in which I have to get up now and get ready to go back to work. Vacation time is over, baby.

Still not feeling better and didn't get Twitterfeed to work last night. No magic fairy appeared to let me know what I had screwed up. I started over and here's my lame "test" post all over again. Here's hoping that it works. I have a very low tolerance for being this lame. I know I'm pretty good at it, though.

Seriously, I don't NEED a blog. I've gone a long time without one. I don't NEED to be able to update it from my phone. That seems a little silly, actually. I don't NEED for it to automatically update Facebook and Twitter. I don't need these things but I do REALLY want them for some reason.

So here's hoping this works. I've run out of lameness. I suck. I know I do. But I can't keep this up.

Stupid allergies and technology

Up coughing and sneezing. The NY trip, while fun, was not good for me. We hit there just as everything was starting to bloom. The first day Maggie handed me some flowers she had picked and it was over. Sinuses and lungs full. Can't breathe. Can't stop coughing and sneezing. Can't sleep.

Since I'm up and a little obsessive I thought I'd check the feed from the new blog (HELLO!) to Twitter and Facebook. Nothing doing. I'm trying to figure out if I've done something wrong here or if I'm just being too impatient. I'm hoping for the latter. Honestly, as sick and sleep deprived as I am I'm in no shape to troubleshoot. Work will not be much fun tomorrow.

Speaking of work: if I can't breathe I can't bike. I haven't been running as much as I would like but biking to work burns almost 1000 calories a day for me. After what all we ate on the farm I really need to burn all that I can. Maybe some miracle cure will happen, both for my lungs and the blog. Maybe I just suck. Who's to say for sure? Not me. I'm too sleepy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Testing again

Yes I am that lame. Didn't connect facebook correctly. Trying again. I'm sure it will work and this will look pretty danged random to you. That's OK. I can live with that.

Technolgy is funky

I feel kinda lame sending up this test post. I mean, the blog effectively doesn't exist right now. But here I am, typing on my phone, sending up innane text that's really a nonsensical placeholder, and marveling at how if this works it will successfully post on blogger, twitter, and facebook. We'll see.

Mobile blogging

Testing to see if this mobile blogging thing works. I'll delete it soon. I also need to figure out how to feed the blog to Twitter and Facebook. Mansfield is far more awesome than I am.

While I'm rambling let me just say that I'm going to mess with the layout until it matches the website better, link from the website, and then use this in place of the "news" page. It's like I'm going back in time a few years. Blogs are so early aughts. I'm a loser. But hey... This ought to work, right?