Friday, May 26, 2006

Basebrawl Season

Fox Sports had a Top Ten List of Baseball's Best Brawls. I remember several of these, but I think there could have been many more listed. What about the brawls between the Yankees and Royals in the late 70's? Or the time the Cubs and Reds mixed it up for 30 minutes (mid 80's I think). What are some good ones that you remember?

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

We remember! Freedom is never free!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Soul Patrol!

Taylor Hicks is the new American Idol. Way to go! Although you can make a good case for Chris or Elliott being as good or better than Taylor, you have to be happy for the guy. During auditions, Simon didn't even want to let him advance, saying, "He would never make it."
Katherine has a good future ahead of her too. McPheever will burn hot for a long time.

Brought to You By the Letter W

The other day, Mrs. Soren and I were having a fascinating discussion about the alphabet (yes, we have no life). She made the observation that all of the letters have one syllable, except for the letter W, which has three syllables. Then she wondered aloud how each letter would be spelled. Ever the wisenheimer, I said, “A, B, C, D, etc.” Eventually we got to the letter W. And I learned that we pronounce it differently. That is, I pronounce it correctly. She says “double-you” and I say “dubba-you” (sing the song and you will probably agree with me). So I called my sister in Texas to settle the argument (I don’t know why I chose her). She said, “Dubba-you. Duh!” But we did go to the same school, after all. Never one to admit defeat so readily, Mrs. Soren called her Aunt (a teacher with a Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University). She said, “Double-you. Duh!” Then she looked it up online. proved her point. But I still think I’m right.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Has It Been 30 Years?

My friend Mark Christian sent me this link. It has been 30 years since Rick Monday prevented a couple of long-haired, dope-smoking, commie schmucks from burning the American Flag in center field at Dodger Stadium. Y'all remember that, don't you?

Have a Great Weekend Everybody!

This made me smile.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Jung People...Question

One of my professors used to query us, and often began with the phrase, “Young people,…question.”

Reggie McNeal, in his book Practicing Greatness, suggests that church leaders need to be asking better questions these days:

Wrong question: How do we “do church” better?
Right question: How do we “be church” better? Or how do we deconvert from churchianity” (institutional religion) to Christianity (the movement)?

Wrong question: How do we grow this church?
Right question: How do we serve this community?

Wrong question: How do we develop ministers for the church?
Right question: How do we develop missionaries to the culture?

Wrong question:
How do we develop church members?
Right question: How do we develop followers of Jesus?

Wrong question: How do we plan for the future we see?
Right question: How do we prepare for the future God sees?

Wrong question: How do we develop leaders for church work?
Right question: How do we develop leaders for the Christian movement?

I think he's on to something.

A Glutton for Punishment

You'd think that after 30 years of being a Cubs fan, I would learn my lesson. But hope springs eternal, and each Spring I think, "Maybe this is the year." Like Charlie Brown hoping that, "This time Lucy won't pull the ball away at the last second", I buy into the idea that they can be winners. Last month when they were 6 or 7 games over .500, I got my hopes up, but I kept reminding myself that it's only April. Now they have dropped 14 out of their last sixteen. "Will the lady who left her nine children at the concession stand please report to the general office. They are beating the Cubs 7-2."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rodney King, Where Art Thou?

Remember when Rodney King said, "Can't we just get along?"? That seems to be the hermeneutic de jour in the brotherhood these days. Mark Taylor's editorial in this week's Christian Standard is so weak, I can't believe that it ever went to press. You can read my letter to the editor here.

Say It Ain't So!

I heard this news story this morning. MLB players are going to use pink bats on Sunday to raise awareness of breast cancer. Now, I'm sure that this is a good cause, but PINK BATS? Ugh!
I can't imagine Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, George Brett, Rod Carew, Ryne Sandberg, Ted Williams, Thurman Munson, or Stan the Man EVER using a pink bat.

What planet are we on?


714. Dan Patrick says it's the most recognizable number in all of sports. 714. It's the number of home runs that Babe Ruth hit. Nobody remembers the exact number of games Cal Ripken played (a lot!). And who remembers the number of hits that Pete Rose had? Or how many wins Nolan Ryan recorded. But 714 homers for the bambino. We all remember that (even though Hank Aaron eclipsed it over three decades ago). And now Barry Bonds is soon to pass the Babe as well. But does it count? Should Bonds receive the accolades even though his dingers were produced, in part, because of steroids? A fan in Philly waved a great banner last week: Babe Ruth did it on Hot Dogs and Beer.

Fort Wayne sportswriter Ben Smith says that Bud Selig is making the right call by not recognizing Bonds' "achievement" when it happens. I think he's right. Maybe nobody will fuss too much about Bonds passing the Babe, but if/when he starts to get close to Hank, it's gonna get ugly.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Lord's Name in Vain

I'm preaching this week on the third commandment ("Don't take the Lord's name in vain"). My research on it has been very interesting. Most of us who have been brought up in the church were taught that the command referred to using God's name as a curse word, but the command extends far beyond that.

Rick Atchley suggests that we can misuse God's name in a number of ways:
  • as a curse
  • as an exclamation point
  • as a weapon
  • as a cliche
  • as an endorsement

A couple of good articles can be found here and here.

Another blogger (an agnostic, but I thought his points were good) wrote this: Mortals cannot call upon God to cast a spell or to place a curse on any individual / object / situation / etc., such as is believed to be desirable or possible in some non-Christian traditions. To call upon God to curse or damn a person or situation on one's own behalf is therefore a futile and vain (for or about one's self ) action and to do so is equivalent to an attempt at usurping God's power. Given that the Judeo-Christian God referenced in the commandments is considered to be more powerful than the gods of other faiths ("put no other gods before me" is clearly a recognition of other gods), many of whom (according to those doctrines) can be manipulated for one's own purposes, it is considered an insult to the Biblical God to attempt it.

My Mom was kind of the "Third Commandment Cop" at our house. Sometimes my sisters would have a friend over who might say, the offending phrase ("oh my God"), and my mom would correct them. One time, after hearing a girl say it, Mom said, "we don't talk like that in this house." When her mother came to pick her up, she told her mom what had happened. The woman rebuked her daughter, exclaiming, "Blankety blank it, I've not you not to talk that blankety blank way." Unbelievable!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I have many pet peeves (I can go all "Andy Rooney" when the mood strikes). But I recently discovered a new pet peeve. It's when people played the WWJD card. You remember the "What Would Jesus Do?" craze from a few years ago. I suppose this is a good question to ask sometimes. But should we always use Jesus as the model for what to do or not to do? One time I heard a preacher railing against the evils of smoking. He final argument? "Bless your heart, Jesus didn't smoke!" While I generally think that smoking is a bad idea, when one starts citing Jesus' participation (or non-participation) in a given activity, it's usually a sign that he has run out of good arguments. Now my friend David Willis and I will quote the "bless your heart, Jesus didn't smoke" line whenever we hear someone heading down this illogical path. Bless your heart, Jesus didn't eat ice cream, watch television, or use indoor plumbing. Does that mean I shouldn't?