Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Some People Just Don't Get It

Check out the following review for the Passion. It is amazing and sad all at the same time. I've emboldened some of the text that is most interesting and frustrating.

This guy is not alone in his "swing and miss" understanding of the gospel. He represents much of the world today. And "back then" for that matter. It makes me want to condem the world on one hand, and call the world to Jesus on the other.

Of course God is working for good in all of this.

Look at this:

The Poisonous Legacy of 'The Passion'

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" opens today following a lot of cheesy hoopla and cynical exploitation on the part of Gibson and his distributor, Newmarket Films. For Gibson's part, there isn't much of a surprise there. For Newmarket, which will release a film this fall starring Kevin Bacon as a pederast, well, we're just getting to know them, aren't we?

I saw "The Passion" at midnight last night in Los Angeles, since neither Newmarket nor Gibson's people would accommodate me with a press screening. Never mind, though, it was far more interesting to plunk down $11 at the Hollywood ArcLight and see "The Passion" with a big group.

Is the movie anti-Semitic? Several reviewers have already said it is. I can tell you this: Thanks to Gibson, when non-Jews around the world now see the Jewish prayer shawl, the tallis, on the heads of praying Jews, they will think, 'Oh yeah, those were worn by the angry crowds in "The Passion" who insisted that Jesus be killed and then patiently watched him be tortured to death.' Thanks to Gibson, we are reminded that Jesus' friend Judas — a Jew — was easily sold out for some gold that was thrown at him in exchange for his betrayal. It's the return of the money-grubbing Jew, straight out of the old anti-Semite playbook.

There's more, of course, but none of this is a revelation at this point. Gibson's Jews are caricatures with bulbous noses. To say they lack compassion is an understatement. They are almost always pictured as an angry, unrelenting mob that wants Jesus dead no matter what. It's so stupid that it's almost not anti-Semitic. It just makes Gibson look like an idiot.

But the real problem with "The Passion" is that it is graphic beyond belief, and unrelenting. How anyone will be able to sit through this thing is the real mystery. There is blood, blood, everywhere. The violence toward Jesus is sadistic and grotesque. Basically, the entire second half of the film is spent watching Jesus endure physical torture never before seen in a movie. By the time it's done, actor James Caviezel's body is a map of bloody rivers and lakes with craters of flesh excised from his torso.

Is this disgusting? You bet. It's also puzzling, because what Gibson hasn't done in "The Passion" is explain his love of Christ or his own passion or devotion. We have no idea why Christ is so reviled by the Jews, what he's done to earn their anger, or what he's done to earn Gibson's respect. From the moment the film begins, Jesus is simply a target for unbridled, unrestrained bloodlust. Yes, we get to see the nails driven through him, blood spurting in every direction, skin being torn in the process.

Is there anything that's learned by witnessing this enactment? I wish I could say there was, but there isn't. It's simple brutality, with a hard rock music track playing in the background. I'm not sure that it's so different from Gibson's character dislocating his shoulder on purpose in one of the "Lethal Weapon" movies.

So here's the problem. Since we don't know who Jesus was before the day of his death, and since all we see are rabid packs of Jews in shawls who want him dead, followed by the long merciless death itself, what is Gibson's point? That Christ died for our sins? Or that he was murdered by crazy, vicious mobs who didn't understand him? My question is, How will the Hollywood cognoscenti respond to "The Passion"? Will they remain silent and hope it goes away? Or will someone speak out? There is no end of voices when it comes to sex and violence in mainstream movies. Where are those voices now?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
By Roger Friedman

This guy doesn't get it.

You can e-mail Roger at:

Friday, February 20, 2004

This one is for you Coach!

Bob Strader, a man who was a spiritual father to me during college and now is reverted back to his college days and is just another of my "goofy" friends is the biggest Yankee fan I know. In all seriousness, Bob - or Coach as I call him, is a super-size source of spiritual encouragement for me. His love for Yankees is only eclipsed by his love for God, his family and late night chocolate chip cookies. I read this article (a really good one) and decided to post it on my blog in his honor.

Here's to you Coach!

Let the games begin at Legends Field
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

And if you think the Yankees' first day of spring training is going to be a circus so outlandish that Cirque du Soleil would charge $100 a seat for it in Vegas, check out what's on the calendar for the rest of the spring:

A-Rod may be smiling now, but maybe not for long.
Feb. 20: Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter strip A-Rod to his jockstrap, coat him in Ben-Gay and duct-tape him to the center field flagpole.

Feb. 21: During opening fundamental drills, the Yankees practice opening champagne and pouring it over their heads.

Feb. 22: The Yankees are encouraged when No. 5 starter Jon Lieber pitches to live hitters for the first time since his 2002 elbow injury. Lieber had gone 12-5 with a 2.39 ERA against dead hitters during his rehab (not including Ted Williams' frozen head).

Feb. 23: In a straight Boone-for-Boone deal, owner George Steinbrenner trades Aaron Boone to the Mariners for All-Star second baseman Bret Boone. The Red Sox respond by trading Nomar Garciaparra to the Mariners for his brother, minor leaguer Michael Garciaparra.

Feb. 24: Now that they've given it a little more thought, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte announce that they want to come back to New York.

Prefer an artist's rendition of the Bronx Zoo down south? Check out cartoonist Kurt Snibbe's portrait of Legends Field.
Feb. 25: Jeter and Jorge Posada give A-Rod an atomic wedgie and stuff him into his locker.

Feb 26: Steinbrenner tells reporters that he would like to extend Joe Torre's contract and that he is the best manager in baseball, then casually adds, "Of course, he hasn't won a game since late October."

Feb. 27: The Yankees' brass encourages Enrique Wilson to invite Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez to lunch, followed by a "spirited" game of pickup basketball.

Feb. 28: Jeter and Jason Giambi steal A-Rod's lunch money.

Feb. 29: General manager Brian Cashman strolls onto the field for five minutes for his quadrennial exposure to the sun.

March 1: In a final push before the Florida primary, Democratic frontrunner John Kerry pledges to restore the shortstop job that A-Rod lost during the Bush administration. Democratic challenger John Edwards counters by saying he'll do even more: He'll restore the three World Series the Yankees have lost during the Bush presidency.

March 2: To celebrate the beginning of their second century as a team, the Yankees add commemorative "2004 World Champion" patches to their uniforms.

Go on Brian, go out and play, you deserve it -- but don't forget to slather on that SPF-45!
March 3: The Yankees announce that while Jeter will continue to be captain, they are naming A-Rod "Mr. Congeniality.

March 4: The Grapefruit League season begins. Rudy Giuliani throws out the ceremonial first pitch, pitcher Kevin Brown throws out his sacroiliac and Giambi throws out his knee.

March 5: A-Rod bobbles the first grounder hit to him at third base and Jeter pops out in his first spring training at-bat. Steinbrenner orders Torre to switch the two.

March 6: Jeter bobbles the first grounder hit to him at third base and A-Rod goes 0-for-3. Steinbrenner orders Torre to switch them back.

March 7: Minor-league camp opens with instructor Darryl Strawberry holding his "fundamental" drills at the famous Mons Venus strip club.

March 8: Jeter "waters" his side of the infield to mark his territory.

March 9: The Yankees begin selling World Series tickets.

March 10: The Yankees travel to Fort Myers for a game against Minnesota and spend the entire game lighting $100 bills in the dugout, just to annoy the hell out of the Twins.

March 11: At the quarterly owners meetings, Steinbrenner tells Rangers owner Tom Hicks to pay the dinner tab. Hicks agrees quickly, saying, "Let me pay for the valet, too."

March 12: Jeter draws a line in the infield and tells A-Rod to stay on his side.

March 13: Steinbrenner phones Boston general manager Theo Epstein and asks him whether he has Prince Albert in the can. When Epstein says no, Steinbrenner tells him, "That's because the Yankees have just signed him!"

If it comes to physical violence, Jeet might start throwing bats.
March 14: Jeter warns A-Rod to scoop up grounders in front of him only when told "Simon says" he can.

March 15: Steinbrenner guarantees victory in the front-office NCAA pool by buying up all 64 teams. The Red Sox respond by buying up all the teams in the NIT.

March 16: New York's game against Tampa Bay is delayed in the sixth inning when Jeter has A-Rod arrested for trespassing.

March 17: The Yankees celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a huge party to finish off the beer left behind in David Wells' locker.

March 18: Jeter begins building a 25-foot-high "separation barrier" between shortstop and third base.

March 19: The Yankees' game against Cleveland goes unreported when the entire New York press corps collapses from exhaustion.

March 20: In another controversial move, the Yankees lease Alfonso Soriano back from Texas with zero down and no interest until 2007.

March 21: Agent Scott Boras sends C-40 cargo planes into third base to supply A-Rod with needed wrist bands.

March 22: Owner George Steinbrenner purchases the Dominican Republic. The Red Sox respond by purchasing khakis from Banana Republic.

March 23: Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives at Legends Field to outline President Bush's road map for peace in the Yankees infield.

March 24: During a nationally-televised exhibition game between New York and Boston, Steinbrenner angrily criticizes Boston president and CEO Larry Lucchino for calling the Yankees the "Evil Empire," saying that it is a malicious, jealous lie.

In a related development, Steinbrenner reveals that he is Luke Skywalker's father.

March 25: Called in to maintain peace between Jeter and A-Rod, National Guard units turn two double-plays and drive in three runs to lead the Yankees to a 6-4 exhibition-game victory.

Yankee fans, beware of Don Zimmer -- he might just come back to haunt you.
March 26: With just minutes to spare before the Yankees leave for their season-opening series in Japan, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan brokers an A-Rod/Jeter peace treaty. Under terms of the Rizzuto Partition, A-Rod will be given all infield territory from the third base line to within 52 feet, eight inches of second base. Jeter will be given all territory from second base to within 43 feet, two and three-quarter inches of third base. A four-foot, 11-and-one-quarter-inch "Sojo Corridor" between the two will be maintained and defended by UN groundskeeping forces.

March 27: Japanese customs guards deny entry to Gary Sheffield when his glove sets off airport metal detectors.

March 28: Hideki Matsui goes on the disabled list with carpal tunnel syndrome from signing autographs at the Tokyo Dome.

March 29: Steinbrenner replaces Matsui by trading for Barry Bonds. The Red Sox counter by signing Barry's trainer.

March 30: Just minutes before the first pitch, Devil Rays bench coach Don Zimmer sprints from the dugout and tackles A-Rod, knocking him out for the season.

The Yankees immediately trade for Nomar.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for

Thursday, February 19, 2004

I'm Calling My Shot

I hate to do this. I really do. I'm going to make a prediction here. Man this kills me to say. Okay here goes:

Barry Bonds will be charged by the Feds for steroid use in the near future AND
people will see his homerun record and all the other records and accomplishments of the past few years as a sham AND
there will forever be an asterisk next to his name in the history books of baseball AND
it didn't have to happen.

I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But I've always lived by a quote that Barry once said in regards to his expertise pitch selection - "The game has disciplined me" meaning that he didn't use to be so selective but he got tired of swinging at bad pitches. In other words - he either had to do it right or strike, pop or ground out.

If it is proven that Barry is guilty it will be a shame.

But the game always disciplines us doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Transparency = Transformation

One of my two best friends (I know - only junior high girls are supposed to have two best friends!), Grant Boone has played a huge (read HUGE) role in helping me become the man God desires me to be. Last night when another good friend (Sorry Luke, you didn't make the "best" cut - You're too good looking - I prefer to surround myself with guys of equal averageness - no offense Mitch and Grant) was speaking at Grace he said if there was one spiritual discipline he would really want to see people embrace it would be community. He talked about the power of having people in your life who were honest and would hold you accountable if they felt you were "missing the mark." As I was praying the phrase "Transparency equals Transformation" came to my heart. I realized that the most powerful change agents in my life: Kim, Mitch, Grant, Coach, Bill, Fred, Tom Minor (You're welcome Boone!) and many others have been the people who are most honest with me.

Need to make some changes? Could you stand to grow in any (or all) areas of your life? Don't take a close look at yourself - no way - invite someone to do life with you and let them peek in at your heart when life is good and you're shining bright AND when life is bad and you're falling hard. If their honest - if they care - they will tell you like it is and you will, armed with the weapons of truth, change.

The other day I was complaining (read: whining) about the lack of money we had, the lack of control I had, and the lack of concern the world had for my lack of it all. Kim squarely looked me in the face and said sweetly, yet sternly, "Joel, you better thank God that he hasn't taken your legs from you to teach you that He is in control and you don't get to call the shots!"

It was sweet. It was stern. It was honest. And it was just what I needed to hear to change.

Praise God for the people He uses to transparently tell me the truth.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The Day of Saint Valentine

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

I've done the dirty work of research, because I love you all, to dig up the history of our good friend Saint Valentine. Click and enjoy:

History of Valentines Day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Joel & Kim Forever!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Holy Molecule!

There are as many molecules in one teaspoon of water as there are teaspoons of water in the Atlantic Ocean.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Our God is an awesome God!

Why do I ever doubt He can handle the details of our lives?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Breaking Of The Bread.

I received this e-mail a few days back and have been meaning to post it for all to read. I've written before about the Passion Movie and will write about it again. I believe that Rick Warren is correct when he called it the start of the Third Great Awakening. I have not seen it. I have listened to my best friend Mitch sob on the phone for forty minutes as he described his experience watching it. Get ready secular America. On February 25th you are going to be hit in the teeth with the truth!

Check this e-mail out:
This is written by Jody Dean who is a member of Richland Hills Church
of Christ
and is a Dallas TV anchor.


There've been a ton of emails and forwards floating around recently
from those who've had the privilege of seeing Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of
The Christ" prior to its actual release. I thought I'd give you my reaction
after seeing it last night.

The screening was on the first night of "Elevate!", a weekend-long
seminar for young people at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. There were
about 2,000 people there, and the movie was shown after several speakers had
taken the podium. It started around 9 and finished around I reckon
the film is about two hours in length. Frankly, I lost complete track of
time - so I can't be sure.

I want you to know that I started in broadcasting when I was
I've been in the business of writing, performing, production, and
broadcasting for a long time. I've been a part of movies, radio,
television, stage and other productions - so I know how things are done. I know
about soundtracks and special effects and make-up and screenplays. I think
I've seen just about every kind of movie or TV show ever made - from
extremely inspirational to extremely gory. I read a lot, too - and have covered
stories and scenes that still make me wince. I also have a vivid
imagination, and have the ability to picture things as they must have
happened - or to anticipate things as they will be portrayed. I've also
seen an enormous amount of footage from Gibson's film, so I thought I knew
what was coming.

But there is nothing in my existence - nothing I could have read, seen,
heard, thought, or known - that could have prepared me for what I saw
on screen last night.

This is not a movie that anyone will "like". I don't think it's a movie
anyone will "love". It certainly doesn't "entertain". There isn't even
the sense that one has just watched a movie. What it is, is an experience -
on a level of primary emotion that is scarcely comprehensible. Every shred
of human preconception or predisposition is utterly stripped away. No one
will eat popcorn during this film. Some may not eat for days after they've
seen it. Quite honestly, I wanted to vomit. It hits that hard.

I can see why some people are worried about how the film portrays the
Jews. They should be worried. No, it's not anti-Semitic. What it is, is
entirely shattering. There are no "winners". No one comes off looking "good" -
except Jesus. Even His own mother hesitates. As depicted, the Jewish leaders
of Jesus' day merely do what any of us would have done - and still do.
They protected their perceived "place" - their sense of safety and security,
and the satisfaction of their own "rightness". But everyone falters.
Caiphus judges. Peter denies. Judas betrays. Simon the Cyrene balks. Mark runs
away. Pilate equivocates. The crowd mocks. The soldiers laugh. Longinus still
stabs with his pilus. The centurion still carries out his orders. And
as Jesus fixes them all with a glance, they still turn away. The Jews, the
Romans, Jesus' friends - they all fall. Everyone, except the Principal
Figure. Heaven sheds a single, mighty tear - and as blood and water
spew from His side, the complacency of all creation is eternally shattered.

The film grabs you in the first five seconds, and never lets go. The
brutality, humiliation, and gore is almost inconceivable - and still
probably doesn't go far enough. The scourging alone seems to never end,
and you cringe at the sound and splatter of every blow - no matter how
steely your nerves. Even those who have known combat or prison will have
trouble, no matter their experience - because this Man was not conscripted. He
went willingly, laying down His entirety for all. It is one thing for a
soldier to die for his countrymen. It's something else entirely to think of
even a common man dying for those who hate and wish to kill him. But this is
no common man. This is the King of the Universe. The idea that anyone
could or would have gone through such punishment is unthinkable - but this Man
was completely innocent, completely holy - and paying the price for others.
He screams as He is laid upon the cross, "Father, they don't know. They
don't know..."

What Gibson has done is to use all of his considerable skill to portray
the most dramatic moment of the most dramatic events since the dawn of
time. There is no escape. It's a punch to the gut that puts you on the
canvas, and you don't get up. You are simply confronted by the horror of what was
done - what had to be done - and why. Throughout the entire film, I found
myself apologizing.

What you've heard about how audiences have reacted is true. There was
no sound after the film's conclusion. No noise at all. No one got up. No
one moved. The only sound one could hear was sobbing. In all my years of
public life, I have never heard anything like that.

I told many of you that Gibson had reportedly re-shot the ending to
include more "hope" through the Resurrection? That's not true. The Resurrection
scene is perhaps the shortest in the entire movie - and yet it packs a
punch that can't be quantified. It is perfect. There is no way to negotiate
the meaning out of it. It simply asks, "Now, what will you do?"

I'll leave the details to you, in the hope that you will see the film -
but one thing above all stands out, and I have to tell you about it. It
comes from the end of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness - where the Bible
says Satan left him "until a more opportune time." I imagine Satan never
quit tempting Christ, but this film captures beyond words the most opportune
time. At every step of the way, Satan is there at Jesus' side -
imploring Him to quit, reasoning with Him to give up, and seducing Him to
surrender. For the first time, one gets a heart-stopping idea of the sense of
madness that must have enveloped Jesus - a sense of the evil that was at His
very elbow. The physical punishment is relentless - but it's the sense of
psychological torture that is most overwhelming. He should have quit.
He should have opened His mouth. He should have called 10,000 angels. No
one would have blamed Him. What we deserve is obvious. But He couldn't do
that. He wouldn't do that. He didn't do that. He doesn't do that. It was not
and is not His character. He was obedient, all the way to the cross - and
you feel the real meaning of that phrase in a place the human heart usually
doesn't dare to go. You understand that we are called to that same
level of obedience. With Jesus' humanity so irresistibly on display, you
understand that we have no excuse. There is no place to hide.

The truth is this: Is it just a "movie"? In a way, yes. But it goes far
beyond that, in a fashion I've never felt - in any forum. We may think
we "know." We know nothing. We've gone 2,000 years - used to the idea of a
pleasant story, and a sanitized Christ. We expect the ending, because
we've heard it so many times. God forgive us. This film tears that all away.
It's is as close as any of us will ever get to knowing, until we fully know.
Paul understood. "Be urgent, in and out of season."

Luke wrote that Jesus reveals Himself in the breaking of the bread.
"The Passion Of The Christ" shows that Bread being broken.

Go see this movie.

His, and His alone.

Progress? Perhaps.

I received the following in an e-mail from my mom. Check this out:

This is very interesting reading. I didn't realize the last 100 years made such a difference !

"THE YEAR 1903"
Bob Hope just died at the age of 100. It's time to revisit where we
were a century ago. This ought to boggle your mind .

The year is 1903, one hundred years ago... what a difference a century
makes.. Here are the U. S. statistics for 1903....

The average life expectancy in the US was 47.

Only 14% of the homes in the US had a BATHTUB.

Only 8% of the homes had a TELEPHONE.

A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.

There were only 8,000 CARS in the US and only 144 miles of paved ROADS.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily
populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California
was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the US was $0.22/hour.

The average US worker made between $200-$400/year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000/year, a dentist
$2,500/year, a veterinarian between $1,500-$4,000/year, and a mechanical
engineer about $5,000/year.

More than 95% of all BIRTHS in the US took place at HOME.

90% of all US physicians had NO COLLEGE education. Instead, they
attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press
and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost $0.04/pound. Eggs were $0.14/dozen.
Coffee cost $0.15/pound.

Most women only washed their HAIR once a month and used BORAX
or EGG YOLKS for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting POOR people from entering the country
for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the US were:
1. Pneumonia &influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico,
Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There were no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

One in ten US adults couldn't read or write.

Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from HIGH SCHOOL.

Coca Cola contained cocaine.

Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter
at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears
the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach
and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

18% of households in the US had at least one full-time SERVANT or

There were only about 230 reported MURDERS in the entire US.

Just think what it will be like in another 100 years.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Infection Detection

My doctor here in Abilene is a friend. He and his family go to the same church as we do. He is in my Bible class. I call him by his first name.
This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Let me explain. The good reasons are obvious: I trust him, I know that he has my best interest in mind, he can sneak me in on crowded days, etc. . .
But the downfall?
I’ve got an infection in an area too personal about which to blog. That is a problem. But we don’t know exactly where the infection is. We’ve narrowed it down to a general region (the middle of the strike zone for you baseball fans) but there will be testing (no pun intended) done tomorrow.
Okay, I’ve crossed the line. Time to wrap it up. Here is the downfall: a buddy of mine is going to be exploring some extremely private places tomorrow. Of course he finds it funny. The last words he said to me on the phone today? “Sleep well tonight” (and he was laughing!)
I’ve taken blogging to a entirely new low.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

That’s My Boy!

John flew to Dallas tonight to start Ramp Training at the American Airlines Headquarters. My boy is only 18 and he is so grown up. Last summer he moved out by himself (and supported himself by working two jobs). Last fall he drove halfway across the country by himself (and didn’t get a ticket or fall asleep and crash). And this winter he is currently taking 6 hours at ACU, working in the IT department at ACU, working for American Airlines as a ticketing agent/ramp worker, and he and I have started our own business I am so proud of John. He is way more responsible than I was at his age. Of course that’s not saying much. Just because I couldn’t wake myself up, get myself to class, or remember to bath myself doesn’t mean I was irresponsible – okay so it does. But anyway, this blog is about John, not me.
John will be mad that I’m even writing about him so while I’m at it – I figure I’ll go for it. John has his own webpage – where he expresses his views on religion, politics, and life in general. John is just different. Do you know what he is excited about? He is looking forward to go to hear Allen Keyes in Dallas in April at the Renew America Rally for morality and values. Do you know what I was looking forward to when I was 18? - The World Series and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Of course, he’s not perfect. Even though he works three jobs and takes two classes he still finds time to go out and paintball his fellow college student’s homes (and occupants), bug his sisters, and leave countless messes around the house.
I’m glad he takes after me in the important areas of life.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Finally, a Fault!

I love Kim’s family. They say that “inlaws are worse than outlaws” – that “happiness is seeing your mother-in-law’s face on a milk carton” – and other non-flattering comments. But I truly have had a positive experience with her family. I’ve had over half of her family live with us at one time or another and I don’t remember it ever being a problem. Really, I’m serious. All family gatherings have been relatively peaceful and without event. Overall, it has been a real positive experience. But tonight I found a chink in the armor.
Kim’s sister (Melissa) and her two daughters came into town to spend the night with us tonight. No problem. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and some good conversation. No problem. And then after dinner they began to play charades. BIG PROBLEM! Charades? Isn’t that what people played before board games, TV, Blockbuster, and electricity in general? But that is not the worst of it.
I’m in the other room enjoy sitting mindlessly in front of the tube when they invite me to play. BIGGER PROBLEM. Now I have no real issue with someone playing charades but don’t invite me to watch let alone play. But they did. I, being the perfect husband, father, brother-in-law, and uncle played this horrible game and I tell you, it was like torture. Seriously, it was excruciatingly painful. Luckily, I had a emergency contingency plan stored away in the hard drive of my head so I was allowed to get out after I picked two charades that were impossible to guess. But those 3.5 minutes were among the worst of my life.
Kim’s family is still cool but thanks to my recent discovery that they actually enjoy charades they are no longer without fault.
I can’t believe they couldn’t guess “Weekend at Bernie’s” – that was one great movie!

Friday, February 06, 2004

School of the Desert

Last night was brutally humbling to me. I’ve been forced to work a part-time job at Joe Allen’s BBQ until one at ACU opens up. I can’t say to much about this situation without sounding very bitter so I will keep it short.
After making good money, being a leader at a church, and basically being in control of most everything in my life, I now find myself broke (seriously), leading only myself and family, and basically in control of nothing.
I know that God has a plan for me but it is still painful.
A former intern, Luke Norsworthy, and his wife came in to eat on the first night of my job. Luke and Lindsay are dear friends of ours but I still found the pride in me produce shame when I saw Luke and Lindsay.
Luke knew that this was a tough situation for me and that is why he came in for dinner. Not to humble me but to pick me up. As he was making his way out the restaurant he stuck a note in my pocket.
The note read:
“Moses did not learn to lead in the palace but in the desert. Keep your focus!”
I praise God for friends like Luke.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Faith Is . . . Tough!

The following is letter I’ve just written to Randy Harris. I’ve excluded a few pieces but you’ll get the gist.
Your message last night was terribly wonderful. Saying that is about as easy as congratulating someone who just punched you in the mouth with, "good punch . . . you knocked three teeth out!"
You gave the second best definition explanation of faith I've ever heard. Whoever wrote Hebrews beat you out, but you surpassed John Ortenberg in my book.
So faith means going when you don't know where, believing when you don't see or know how, and obeying when you don't know why. That explains a lot.
Here is a prayer request/soul bearing moment:
Six months ago I made over $XX,000 a year, lead a youth ministry of over 100 students at a church of less than 200, lived in the Bay Area (about 20 minutes from the beach), and was in control of most everything.
Today (this hurts me just to say) I'm a grad student at ACU, the low man on the totem pole, sitting in a church of 2,000 twice a week, about a days drive from anything remotely close to a beach, starting a job as a cashier/dishwasher at Joe Allen's for $7.00 an hour, and in control of almost nothing.
I sat and stewed at your message last night. I am so mad with God. I feel called to plant a church for the past two years, I finally respond, leave my comfortable job, come to the desert (ACU) and begin equipping for the task at hand. I expected to have extra money (my phone and cable were just shut off), find a job easily on campus (ACU just fired 40 people and is trying to save 5 million dollars), and cruise right through grad school (My theology of church planting is getting hammered). What I've encountered is a bit different suffice it to say. If I ever doubted that God doesn't have a sense of humor I don't anymore. I've been so hard up for income that I've been subbing for AISD. My assignments so far? Cleaning up the cafeteria, teaching 1st grade, and teaching special ed. Do you think God is trying to teach me something?

As a control freak who thought he had it all figured out it pained me to listen to a former control freak who thought he had it all figured out tell me that most of life is beyond my control and don't expect to figure it out any time soon.
So needless to say, I'll be bringing myself next week. (Sorry, I've invited you to my pity party!)
I hate feeling like a kid but sometimes being a kid is exactly who we are supposed to be. I look forward to the rest of your thoughts on faith . . . I think. I'll bring a bag for my teeth.
Well, that's about all the confession/appreciation I have to make known right now. Thanks for being honest with us. About yourself and about God. Even when the truth hurts I know the risk of living in the shadows is a bigger gamble.
Your friend,
Joel G. Quile

Can I Pick 'Em Or What?

I've got the most faith-filled, finest, and friendliest wife on the planet. Even my preacher thinks so (well at least about the faith and friendly part!) Check out what Mike Cope said about Kim in his blog yesterday.

Behind every good man is a good woman.

Or in my case . . . Behind every decent guy is one amazing babe!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Reality Bytes

You know that I love American Idol. Apparently I’m not the only one who enjoys a good old fashioned reality show. I ran across this sampling of reality TV shows on the web:

Reality TV Sites
Casting Call Notices
Adrenaline X - NBC
All American Girl - ABC
All You Need is Love - FOX
Amazing Race-CBS
American Candidate - FX
American Fighter Pilots - CBS
American High-PBS
American Idol - FOX
American Juniors - FOX
America's Next Top Model - UPN
Anna Nicole Smith Show - E!
Anything for Love - FOX
The Apprentice - NBC
Are You Hot? - ABC
artistLaunch - MTV
Average Joe - NBC
The Bachelor - ABC
Bachelorettes in Alaska- FOX
Bands on the Run-VH1
Banzai - FOX
Battle of the Sexes - MTV
Big Brother 3-CBS
Big Brother 4-CBS
Boarding House: North Shore - WB
Boot Camp-FOX
Boston 24/7 - ABC
Boy Meets Boy - Bravo
Break In-USA
Cannonball Run-USA
Cathouse - HBO
Celebrity Boxing - FOX
Celebrity Look Alike Dating - WB
The Chair - ABC
Chains of Love-UPN
Challenge America
The Chamber - FOX
Colonial House - PBS
Combat Missions-USA
Crashing With - MTV
Crime & Punishment - NBC
Cupid - CBS
Danger Island - Syndicated
Dating Experiment - ABC
Destination Space-NBC
Dog Eat Dog-NBC
Dot Comedy-ABC
Dream Chasers - A&E
Elimidate Deluxe-WB
Exhausted - FOX
Extreme Makeover - ABC
Faking It - TLC
Fame - NBC
The Family - ABC
Fantasy Island - NBC
Fear Factor-NBC
Final Justice - Lifetime
FM Nation - MTV
For Love or Money - NBC
Freshman Diaries - Showtime
Fraternity Life - MTV
Frontier House - PBS
The Gauntlet - MTV
The Hamptons - ABC
Hard Knocks - HBO
High School Reunion - WB
Hopkins 24/7-ABC
Houseguest - Syndicated
Houston Medical - ABC
I'm a Celebrity - ABC
Invasion of Hidden Cameras - FOX
I Want a Divorce-FOX
Joe Millionaire - FOX
Joe Schmo - Spike
Krypton Factor - FOX
Last Comic Standing - NBC
Let's Make a Deal - NBC
Liza and David - VH1
Lost in the USA-WB
Love Cruise-FOX

Love Shack - NBC
Love Stories- CBS
Making the Band- MTV
Manhunt- UPN
Manor House - PBS
Married by America - FOX
Meet My Folks - NBC
Meet the Marks - FOX
Miss Dog Beauty Pageant - FOX
The Mole-ABC
Mr. Personality - FOX
mtvTreatment - MTV
Murder in Small Town X- FOX
Nashville Star - USA
Next Action Star - NBC
Newlyweds - MTV
No Boundaries- WB
The Osbournes - MTV
Paradise Hotel - FOX
The People Versus - ABC
Pepsi Play for a Billion - WB
Performing As - FOX
Popstars - WB
Profiles from the Front Lines - ABC
Project Greenlight - HBO
Public Property - ABC
Punk'd - MTV
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy - Bravo
Race to the Altar - NBC
Real Beverly Hillbillies - CBS
The Real Roseanne Show - ABC
The Real World 10 - MTV
The Real World 11 - MTV
The Real World 12 - MTV
The Real World 13 - MTV
The Real World 14 - MTV
The Restaurant - NBC
Rich Girls - MTV
Rivals - ABC
Road Rules 11 - MTV
Road Rules 12 - MTV
The Runner-ABC
Search for a Playboy Centerfold - FOX
Search for the Most Talented Kid - NBC
Second Chance Idol - FOX
Second Chance - Most Talented Senior - NBC
Sexiest Bachelor Contest- FOX
Simple Life - FOX
Single Girls - ABC
Sorority Life - MTV
Spy TV - NBC
Star Chamber - FOX
Star Dates - E!
Star Search - CBS
Starting Over - NBC
State v. - ABC
Surf Girls - MTV
Surreal Life - WB
Survivor 1- CBS
Survivor 2- CBS
Survivor 3- CBS
Survivor 4- CBS
Survivor 5- CBS
Survivor 6- CBS
Survivor 7- CBS
Suspect: True Crime Stories - MTV
The Swap - ABC
Temptation Island - FOX
Thirty Seconds to Fame - FOX
Trading Spaces - TLC
Under One Roof - UPN
Wanted- FOX
Weakest Link-NBC
What Not to Wear - TLC
Who's Got Game? - MTV
Who Wants to be a Millionaire-ABC
Who Wants to Date a Hooters Girl - Syndicated
Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire-FOX
Who Wants to Marry My Dad - NBC
The Will - ABC
Worst Case Scenario - TBS
WWF Tough Enough - MTV
You Don't Know Jack - ABC

Can you believe this?

Monday, February 02, 2004

Time Abuse

Some days I feel like I don’t have enough time to accomplish everything I want to. In fact most days, I go to bed wishing I had a few more hours to get a few more things done.
Whoever created and maintains this site must never feel this way.
Talk about a lot of free time.
Of course, I’m taking the time to blog about it, so what does that tell you?

Sunday, February 01, 2004

It's Over Tom!

Okay, let's get one thing straight:

Tom Brady is good.
Tom Brady is a Bay Area icon.
Tom Brady has won two Super Bowls in three years . . .


Let me tell you why . . .

His name was Joe Cool, the quarterback who could overcome any deficit, any pressure, any injury, the quarterback that never quit.
Once, Joe Montana led his team to victory after trailing by 28 points at halftime.
More than once, Montana led his team to victory after trailing by 14 points in the 4th quarter.
Thirty-one times, Montana led his team to victory after trailing in the 4th quarter, and more than tree fourth of those trademark comebacks took place on the road, heroics in front of hostile crowds.
Four times in four appearences in the brightest spot-light, Montana led his team to victory in the Super Bowl.
Once, Montana ruptured a spinal disk so severly he needed two hours of back surgery to salvage his career. Eight weeks later, he returned to the starting lineup and led his team to victory.
He was, above all else, a winner. He won more than seventy per cent of the game he started during an illustrious 16 years career in the NFL, a career that started inauspiciously: 81 players were picked ahaed of him in the 1979 draft.
But if the tangible eveidence of Joe Montana's greatness is overwhelming, the intangibles are even more impressive: the way he transmitted his calm and his concentration to his teammates, the way he inspired them to their finest performances, the way he shrugged off repeated poundings and high praises with equal grace.
In the 1980s, the San Francisco 49ers of Bill Walsh, Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott dominated the professional football. The 49ers played in 4 Super Bowl and won all four. If Walsh was the genius of the 49ers, and Lott the fury, Montana was, in every sense, the field general, leading and inspiring, thinking and executing, modest and magnificent. Joe Montana was a natural leader, he commanded a tremendous amount of respect from the other players. They could look at him and say this was a different kind of player, that was playing at a different level.
He never gave off the impression his life was on the line, and everybody seemed to think differently. His body was out of touch with the game, too skinny and angular to be on the same field with all that muscle and speed. But once he got back there, everything seemed to operate on his terms, at his predetermined speed. He would wait until the proper moment, when the play had reached the peak of its potential efficiency, and then he would throw the ball where it was meant to be thrown. So easy in theory. So dang hard in practice.
It would be unfair, and inaccurate, to say that Joe Montana was not affected by pressure. He was, he played better.

But here is the biggest reason Brady is no Joe.

In his four Super Bowls, Montana was completed 83 of 122 passes 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning him a quarterback rating of 127.8. And 0 (Zero! As in Nada, Negatory, Nathan) Interceptions.

If I was watching the right Super Bowl tonight I could've sworn I saw Brady throw an interception.

End of discussion.