Saturday, August 28, 2004


Mike Cope said the other day that he was "ready for the Olympics to end so he can get a life back." I'm ready for them to end so the athletes can get a life back. Am I the only one who sees some of the events as "not-even-close-to-being-a-sport" at best and "totally ridiculous" at worst? I can't believe some of the events I've caught channel surfing during Sports Center commercials. (In fact, isn't channel surfing an event this year?)

Bill Simmons of's page 2 summed up my sentiments exactly:

"While we're on the subject of pet peeves, I vent about this every Olympics, so forgive me for covering old ground ... but really, have you seen some of these sports in the Olympics this month? Wind-surfing? You get a gold medal for this? Freaking wind-surfing?!?!???!?! Are you kidding me? And how did beach volleyball become an Olympic sport when we already hand out medals for team volleyball? Isn't that like making three-on-three hoops an Olympic sport? In fact, why don't we just do that? And touch football, too. And wiffleball. Where does it end?"

So me being the hyper-focused, purpose-filled person that I am, I've decided to give a few brain waves to the cause of conjuring up some other "not-even-close-to-being-a-sport" possiblilities that you might actually enjoy (or at least would get a sick kick out of) watching on the tube in 2008.

Here is my short list:

Synchronized Lawn Darts
Beach Crossword Puzzle Solving
Team Tether Ball
Whale Watching
Soup Can Speed Chuck*
Egging Your Jogging roommate in the Hamstring*
Power Flossing
Speed Sleeping
Women's Ice Moshing
2 Man Kite Flying

You get the idea. Let's hear it fellow bloggerites. Name that "not-even-close-to-being-a-sport"

* Those were good times, weren't they?

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Hail Bonds

If you're not a sports fan click "back" now. If you're not a baseball fan click "back" now. But if you like baseball even a little and have a decent understanding of the history of the game - read on my friends. You might call me a "homer" (pardon the punn) but this is incredible. I ran across the following article on page 2 of (usually a great read) and thought I share it with the baseball fans in the cyber-house! Enjoy.
By Eric NeelPage 2

It's begun. The anybody-but-Barry campaigns have been launched. People are starting to talk about Adrian Beltre as the National League MVP. And they're putting forward Scott Rolen, as well. (In a poll on Wednesday, Beltre led all vote-getters with over 40 percent of the 12,000+ votes cast, and in another one conducted by ESPNews Monday night, Rolen was the leader of the pack.) It's crazy talk. It's pretzel logic. It's Shannon Stewart time. (I know I said in last week's column that Rolen and Jim Edmonds were viable MVP candidates, but upon reflection those lines look like inexplicable brain farts to me, tales told by an idiot. Did I write them? Were there monkeys with typewriters involved? I literally don't know what happened. Did someone slip me a mickey? I have vague recollections of swirling lights, bright colors and Bruce Dern standing over me, talking through a wicked-bad mustache. And I keep humming Jefferson Airplane tunes. Could these things have played some part?) There is one and only one candidate in the NL MVP race: He plays left field for the San Francisco Giants and his name is Barry Bonds. Beltre is a house of fire these days, and he's put together a fantastic breakout season. He drives balls to the opposite field like never before, and he's been so unusually patient with the low-and-away breaking ball (a pitch that killed him in years past) that Dodger faithful secretly wonder if maybe an Invasion-of-the-Body-Snatchers sort of switcheroo went down when they weren't looking. He's cashing in his superstar potential chips, playing smart, drumming doubts out of his detractors' heads, and chasing the memory of the Duke Snider. Tim Kurkjian on BondsTim Kurkjian explains why he picks Barry Bonds as his NL MVP right now. Kurkjian He's a force. He's a joy to watch and a great story. But he's not the MVP. Rolen is the heart of a modern-day Murderer's Row, the brightest star this year in the star-studded Cardinals lineup. He's having one of those near-perfect seasons, a wondrous thing, a year when every hit seems to come with runners in scoring position, and every RBI seems the difference between winning and losing. With a .612 on-base percentage, Bonds is set to break his major-league record of .582, set in 2002.He's been huge on a team heading to the playoffs. But he's not the MVP. Barry is. Barry is hitting .367. Barry is sitting on 181 walks and just 25 strikeouts as we speak. Barry is on base more than six times out of every 10 plate appearances (200-plus points higher than either Beltre's or Rolen's on-base percentage). Barry strikes fear in the hearts of the heartiest pitchers and sends their managers screaming into therapy and begging for Xanax. Barry's OPS is 1.425, roughly 400 points higher than Beltre and Rolen, and higher than any of his previous MVP seasons. Barry has pulled a lineup made up of old men and young lightweights within a game of the wild-card lead. Barry hits .429 when there are runners in scoring position and two outs. Barry slugs .813 (150-odd points better than Beltre and almost 200 better than Rolen). Barry maintains his focus through a season-long intentional walkfest. Barry pokes balls up and out of his pitcher-friendly home ballpark. Barry has 35 home runs, 106 hits, 101 runs scored, and 22 doubles ... in just 287 at-bats. Read that again. Read any part of that again. And then close the book. Give Beltre kudos. Give Rolen your admiration. But give Bonds the hardware. They are valuable (Beltre's Win Shares total projects at 36 and Rolen's at 47), and their defense is superior to Barry's, but Bonds is still the Most Valuable (with a Win Share projection of 51). They stand out (both have a Value Over Replacement total of 69.8 runs), but Bonds stands above them (with a VORP total of 113.8 runs). This is obvious stuff. We know all this. But still, some of us talk of Beltre. This is an overwhelming mountain of data. But still, there are those who say it should be Rolen. How? Why? Because we love the home run. Beltre goes on a tear we get carried away. There's a rush. We can't help ourselves. Like breathless toddlers telling stories, we exaggerate. Because the laws of (mis)perception are in play: The Dodgers' and Cardinals' first-place perches seem to reflect bonus value on their numbers, and the chance that the Giants might not make the postseason seems to cast the value of Bonds' otherworldly line in doubt. Sure, Adrian is among the NL elite, but he's not an MVP yet.Because the Beltre redemption story is feel-good stuff and the St. Louis juggernaut seems deserving of some sort of prize. Because the Bonds case isn't built on the traditional MVP numbers -- the RBI total in particular is unspectacular (tied for 15th in the NL). It's the "new" numbers, the "Moneyball" numbers, that send him into the stratosphere. Because walks are boring. Because Bonds has been so good for so long, even his historic numbers seem routine. Because going back at least as far as Twain and Mencken, we're a culture full of contrarians. Because, in the words of the immortal contralto Peter Brady, "When it's time to change you've got to rearrange." But Mr. Bonds is making history. Again. And no matter what you hear in the weeks to come, hold onto this straight truth: He's our 2004 MVP. Period. * * * * *

Am I the only one who wishes I was sitting on the firstbase line at Pac Bell eating peanuts and drinking a cold


and watching Barry jack them into the water?

I doubt it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


I work 20-25 hours a week as Director of Ministry Development for Crosswind Ministries which is the parent ministry of the Jeff Berry Band and four other ministries. I also work 10 - 15 hours a week as Associate Campus Minister at the Highland Church of Christ. In my spare time I am also a M-Div student taking 6 hours in Grad School at ACU. This Friday my band is playing at my church to the audience of my classmates. Talk about convergence! I am stoked!

For a better view of this pic click here!

By the way...anyone is welcome! You don't have to be a college student! Come on!

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Wray of The Heart

I've just come out of my first class of this semester with Dr. David Wray, spiritual formation. I'm so stoked about this course. The problem is that the content is not what excites me most. I just love sitting under David and listening to his wisdom pour out. But the real draw of a Dr. Wray class is his heart. The man is 6'9"a big dude to say the least. But his heart is even bigger. He loves his family, the Lord, anyone else he comes into contact with, and the church. I am sure I will learn a lot this semester, more than I can imagine. Let me tell you what I learned today. People gravitate toward leaders. I know that because I realized that it doesn't matter what course Dr. Wray is teaching - I will want to take it. Carburetor Techniques, Advanced Baking, Speed Yoga, etc - if David teaches it I'm on the front row. I've made "F"s" and "A's" and grades in between in courses with Dr. Wray - he is definitely one of my favorite teachers.

People don't leave churches - they leave leaders. Churches don't have visions - they have leaders with vision. People follow leaders with passion. Dr. Wray is a leader with passion. I'd follow him anywhere.

Everyone has a teacher that has set the bar high and made an incredible impact on their life. Care to share who you'd follow anywhere?

Packing 'Em In

I sing a simple song of condemnation...

I was driving across town this weekend and stumbled upon this little evangelistic gem of a sign. I happened to be on the phone with my buddy Grant and I shared with him what my eyes had just witnessed, to which he replied, "better bring out the folding chairs this Sunday, they're going to be packing them in." The problem with the church today has little to do with "hot" and more to do with "lukewarm." This sign makes even me want to puke.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

They Will Know By Your Love

Kim and I received this email from a friend of ours today. They wanted us to know that our youngest daughter, Emily had been a blessing to their daughter this week in class.

Any time a parent hears something like this about one of their children they get a priceless feeling of pride (the good kind). Fortunately, we get this kind of feedback on all our kids often.

You might see this as bragging, but hey, my blog right? Kim and I just believe that our kids are amazing and we brag on them all the time.

Here is the email:

Hey guys, This past Wednesday night our second grade girls moved into a new class situation. They started going to class with the third and fourth graders for their large group time. Susie (not her real name)takes a little while to acclimate to change and this room full of older kids really caught her off guard. She started to cry and John (not his real name) sat there trying to console her, but with no success. Emily came up and put her arm around Susie. She asked what was wrong and then said "Come on, Susie, you can go with Julie (not her real name) and I to class." Then she and Susie and Julie walked down the hall together and all was right with the world for Susie. Such a little gesture, but such a great outpouring of the love of Jesus. These girls blessed us and our precious Susie. We just wanted you to know.

Love to you all, Mary (not her real name)

"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;I will glorify your name forever." Psalm 86:11-12

How about you all? Anyone want to brag on their kids? Come on with it!

Thursday, August 19, 2004


How do you break a 19 day fast from blogging you ask? With eggs of course. Click here for some egg art? I know you're saying, "you've got to be yoking" (no, you're not saying that...I'm the only one on the planet that would say something that lame) but I'm not. I'm sharing with the human race the beauty of eggs cut with a laser beam. Again, I invite you to click here for some serious shell sculpting.

I've been rather busy these past few weeks. Usually that doesn't stop a guy like me from killing time (mine and yours) with the swift sword of my blog, but these weeks were different. Something about adding a new job to your plate, your wife having surgery, and a 20 page paper on Nehemiah due can really take a guys focus of the more important matters like ... like blogging. Anyway, be warned. I'm back.