And Another Thing…

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This commercial always cracked me up

I guess that I am easy to amuse. I don’t apologize for it.

 How cool would it be to have a celebrity pop up with cool music encouraging good habits whenever you needed it?

 

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The second stupidest thing I have heard this week

This pearl of wisdom comes from a client who was arrested then bailed out by her mother:

“My mom was totally pissed about having to come and bail me out. But jail, like, really sucked. I didn’t like it man; not one bit.”

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The stupidest thing I have heard this week

“Free pizza and dilly bars? [The Apostle] Paul spoke of this in weeping. This is certianly not following his example!”

If you want to know where this little gem came from, click here.

And I am offering a no-prize to whoever can find Paul’s condemnation of pizza and dilly bars in the New Testament.

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No Matter How You Intend to Vote

If you are a Christian and you are disturbed by the ongoing efforts of certain para-church organizations in our country to co-opt our faith for political purposes, click here.

Filed under: Faith and Religion, Politics

A question for other Christians

When your congregation sings “Heart of Worship” do you get the urge to hold up a lighter and sway back and forth, or is it just me?

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Things that make me want to not have children

When I first left church youth ministry I took a job as a residential counselor (read: houseparent) at a church-affiliated home for “at-risk” youth. I will spare readers the gory details of this job, but suffice to say that it was a nightmare. Insufficient fiscal support, spotty relations with local churches, and inconsistent approaches to managing and disciplining the children in our care were among the many problems we faced.

Taking responsibility for a child who has experienced wide varieties of abuse and very little in the way of corrective discipline is always a massive undertaking. We had one twelve year old boy who I am convinced had either oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder. Once, when I used minimal physical intervention to prevent him from assaulting another resident (which was perfectly legal for me to do, by the way) he looked at me shouted “You can’t touch me!”

Several experiences like this, along with my general pessimism, caused me to conclude that I needed to save up and get a vasectomy. As the years passed (and after I had left the children’s home) and my mental health, general attitude, and life circumstances improved, I gradually backed off from the position of never wanting kids. Christine and I look forward to having some in the future. However, every so often I relapse. Such as when I read the story below:

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Stop it. Please.

Memo

From: Odgie

To: My Facebook friends

Subject: Applications, Games, etc.

Please stop “inviting” me to add more crap to my Facebook page/profile. I have no interest whatsoever in joining the Abused Pirates club, playing “Guess the Celebrity Thong” or adding the “Interesting Things I Found in the Kleenex After Blowing My Nose*” application. Nor do I wish to annoy the rest of my friends by being forced to invite them to add more useless junk.

I only joined Facebook for the easy networking so that I could keep up with my friends. That’s all I want. Really. I am glad to hear how you are doing, but that is all I need. Please.

Regards,

Odgie

*C’mon, you know that you check it too.

 

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Does he quote Exodus 34:17*?

Yes, it’s true folks. Now your kids can have a talking Jesus to play with along side of their Transformers and Pokemon toys. Be sure and check out the site for the commercial; it’s priceless. I really like that they made sure his robe is pure white (like his skin) and that his hair is neatly combed and conditioned along with his beard, and that he speaks English with an American accent – it shows that high regard for historical accuracy.

 

Why do I feel like this is representative of everything that is wrong with modern Christianity?

*”Do not make cast idols.” (NIV)

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“Always something greener on the other side of that hill…”

…I was born a wrangler and a rambler and I guess I always will”

“Heard It In A Love Song” – The Marshall Tucker Band

No Depression columnist Grant Alden has a great post up on his site about America’s long-running romance with the open road and some of the great literature and music inspired by said romance. I can certainly speak to this in my own experience. Some of my favorite songs, movies, and books have centered around road trips (or life lived on the road). Alas, as Alden states, that romance may soon be coming to an end with gas prices at $4 per gallon and rising. If this is what kills cross-country travel, it would be a terrible shame. The road really is the best way to see our great land in all its variety and splendor.

Some of my happiest times have been spent on the road, loaded up with family or friends and a lot of Cd’s. I love the sights, sounds, and smells of the road and even the satisfaction of arriving at my destination. I can’t count the number of road trips I have been on and I have never regretted one of them. A few years ago my brother rode along with me when I drove cross-country for a move and it is one of my favorite memories. Another great road memory: tearing through western Maryland and Pennsylvania in the dead of night during a freak snowstorm with Diggity Dave on our way to Carl and Shayna’s wedding in Pittsburgh. Dave drove, I prayed (under my breath).

For me, no road trip is complete without a wide and varied selection of tunes, especially the all-important road songs.  I have listed some of my favorite road tunes below in no particular order, and I would love to hear what music you find essential to road trips. I don’t care what it is, just share what and why. I found that many of my favorites are by the same artists, so I have categorized them accordingly. Also, please note that what is listed is my favorite version of a song, not necessarily the original.

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Quick Hits – Summer Lovin’ Edition

If you read and/or commented on my last post, please see the update.

                   

This past weekend was chaos; controlled chaos to be certain, but chaos nonetheless. Friday evening and Saturday afternoon were initially set aside so that I could officiate at some friends’ wedding. Always an honor to be asked to fill such a role on a day that the bride and groom will remember for the rest of their lives. However, the bride and groom called it off. I don’t know why, nor do I want to know. However, I stand by the contention that a broken engagement is better than a broken marriage.

So, granted some serendipitous free time on Friday, I had a guys night: Famous Dave’s and some cheap cigars on my friend Matt’s back porch. A pleasant, relaxing evening with people I just don’t get to see that often.

Saturday, Christine and I cleaned the homestead in anticipation of her parents’ passing through on their return from attending their grandson’s elementary school graduation in Virginia Beach. We had a nice (albeit short) visit with them. I count myself truly fortunate to have in-laws that I like and who seem to like me.

Sunday afternoon my brother and his girlfriend came up from Staunton to celebrate his birthday and her graduation (Master in Counseling from James Madison University…congrats, Jenny). We took them to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood at Nissan Pavilion. I had heard several trusted sources expound on what a great show Tom Petty puts on, and he lives up to the hype. He and the band burned through their classics and even provided a treat for me and my brother by playing one of our favorite songs (but not one of Petty’s biggest hits) “Rebels” from the 1985 album Southern Accents. They even threw in a Bo Diddley tribute during the encore.

Steve Winwood put on a great show as well, concentrating on blues covers and his classics from the number of groups he has been a member of. He also demonstrated a proficiency with the guitar that I was unaware of. The highlight of the show (for me, at least) was when he returned to the stage during the Heartbreakers’ set to perform “Gimme Some Lovin’” possibly the most popular song he ever wrote and his biggest hit with the Spencer Davis Group.

Of course, since we were at a major concert venue, there were the requisite drunken and/or stoned douchebags who had to carry on, yell inappropriate things, and vomit on the sidewalk. Otherwise, a good time was had by all.

Monday Christine took the day off and we had a nice quiet day of just us, thank you very much. Monday night I met some of my classmates for dinner (Christine was in her art class). It was good to see everyone without the pressure of Dr. Sunshine hanging over our heads. At least two of my classmates are planning to move soon; one to New York and one to North Carolina. I am surprised that I made good enough friends in graduate school that this saddens me.

                   

I don’t know who I am going to vote for. McCain, who once appeared (to me, at least) to be a man of principle, has pretty much become a waterboy for the worst elements of the Republican Party. How he can even stand to be in the same room as Dubya without spitting in Dubya’s face for slandering him in 2000 is beyond me. None of this takes away from McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War, but it does make me question his ability to lead our country.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to promise Utopia. That would be nice, but I really want to know how he plans to achieve this. I hope that the change and progress he is promising won’t be built on the backs of working people, the way most things are done now.

                   

Way back in January I made the admittedly safe prediction that all of the candidates would attempt to outdo each other in displays of religiosity. What I did not predict is how bad they would be at it. McCain managed to pick one of the most polarizing, end-times obsessed wingnuts as his spiritual adviser. As for Obama, well, we all know how that one turned out. Meanwhile, atheist bloggers are practically  crapping themselves over the idea that Obama may be a closet atheist or agnostic; yet they approve of his “pandering” to all us gap-toothed, subliterate religious folk in order to get our votes.

I honestly don’t care; I gave up on politicians reflecting Christian values a long time ago. Some may have been committed to the faith when they started out, but the compromises necessary in the pursuit of power have to wear their commitment down eventually. Considering the things that Jesus had to say about power and wealth (and I defy anyone to show me a politician who isn’t wealthy) I find it highly unlikely that any serious contender for the office of president is still devoting their utmost to his highest. I think the best that we can hope for is the person who lies the least. I will be happy if I am proven wrong, though.

Regardless, is it wrong to say how happy I am that Hillary is out of it? Close your eyes and say it with me kids: “No more Bushes, no more Clintons, no more Kennedys”

                   

Mystery quote:

“If you didn’t want him dead, why did you leave him with me?”

 

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