Sunday, December 31, 2006

Crack of Dawn

As I type this, it's 73 degrees outside, this morning with 83% humidity. I've already run eight miles and showered up. It reminds me of a song we used to sing many moons ago in boot camp.
Up in the morning with the rising sun
Gonna run all day til the day is done
What we gonna do when we get back
Gonna take a shower and hit the rack
Marine Corps

Run time: 1:14:40
Run distance 8 miles
Avg. pace: 9:12/mile
Best pace: 6:57/mile
Calories 971

Next week I'll be running with Micky at Disney World...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Most Useful Bell Curve Ever

Is this educational or what?

ht: Los

Red Dust

I watched a pretty decent movie last night. Red Dust is a story is about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission at work. I heard bits and pieces about the commission put together by Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu over the years, but never really understood what it was about nor did I have enough interest in it to find out. The commission was put in place in post-aparthied South Africa once a democratically elected black government was installed to facilitate racial healing. People charged with racially motivated criminal acts would not be punished if they totally come clean about their crimes. When someone is charged, that person can apply for amnesty. But the whole truth about crimes committed ust be told.

The main characters in this movie are a policeman charged with torture, his black victim turned politician, and a crusading white-lady lawyer on a mission (she was a teen dating a black man during 80's aparthied upheaval). Another young man's disappearance becomes the focus of the amnesty hearings. As more and more dirt on both sides comes out, the hearings become racially, politically, and religiously charged.

Philip Yancy mentions the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in his bookWhat's So Amazing About Grace. I was intrigued that politicians and government would be motivated to promote post-conflict truth-telling and forgiveness.

The movie is rated R for language and violence.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Book Review: The Rest of God

I've never read a book about Sabbath before; about rest. And I'm not very good at it. I took about three months to read this book. Mark Buchanan is one of my favorite writers and he only comes out with a book about once a year, so I don't like to finish the book too quickly.

His writings are like Philip Yancey's. If you like Yancey, you'll like Buchanan. His books make you think about where you are with the Lord.

God's rest is provided for us to revive, rejuvenate, and give up control. If you want to get better at these things, read this book.

Quotes from the book:

Quiet yourself. Reflect on the day. When were you most alive? What were you doing then, thinking, saying, seeing? When were you most empty? What was going on at that moment? When did it seem God was close, and when did he seem he was far away? Practice that each day.
This is something I'm trying to implement daily in my journaling and quiet time...

A well-kept Sabbath is a dress rehearsal for things above. In finding the rest of God now, we prepare for the fullness of God one day. In Sabbath, we anticipate forever.

"Faith," the writer of Hebrews says, "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is clarity about that. It is a tenacious conviction that this world is not enough and was never intended to be. It is a steadfast refusal to seek untimate things -- ultimate understanding -- where God has not laid them. Not one ultimate thing is stored down here.

Community is fragile, and even amid close friends we feel a little lonely.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Case for Atheism?

Woody Allen
from Quotes of the Day

"How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?"

Resolutions? addendum

So I was sitting here this morning and started thinking that maybe I need to do some things differently this year. You, know, personally speaking. There are a few skills I want to improve, some things I want to learn, and maybe even take some online courses. I want to improve my writing. And I don't want to post negative opinions or criticisms about high profile people on this blog anymore. I have some draft posts that I'm going straight from here to delete.


Do you do them? Generally, I don't. Not on January 1. I find that if I need to change something or start something, it's easier for me to make one change at a time rather than try to work from a New Year's list.

Although, I do want to work on something in my peronal life and get better at a certain area of my life this year so I bought and started reading this book.

Another thing I might try this year is reading one book at a time. But that probably won't happen since I get distracted and then interested in new things all the time and want to learn as much as I can about them before I finish the thing I'm already on. Reading all your blogs doesn't help me much with this problem. But it's gotta be better than watching TV.

The main thing that changes on 1 January for me is the Bible reading I do in my daily quiet time. For the past fifteen years, I worked through a Bible reading track that takes me through the whole Bible in a year. I put a copy of it here in case you want to download it. But in 2005, I read a pile of books by some of these trendy emerging guys and it challenged me to study the life of Jesus a little more closely. So in 2006, I just read through the gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, repeat. And I liked it so I'm going to do it again in 2007. Except I think I'm going to toss 1 & 2 Samuel into the mix. I really look forward to reading about David every year. There is so much to apply there as well. In fact, one year I may just study those two books the whole year. But probably not until 2009.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Tree Dive

Warning: someone cusses in this :(

ht: boingboing

Merry Christmas from Iran

Here's a little propaganda for you:
In the Name of Almighty God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Merry Christmas to everyone!
My sincere congratulations to everyone for the Glorious and Auspicious Birthday of Divine Prophet - confirmed and authenticated by Gabriel, the angel of Divine revelation - the Obedient of Almighty God,
Jesus Christ, the Messiah (peace be upon Him)
Is the president of Iran Emerging Church or what?
ht: boingboing

Grace According to the Soup Nazi

The writers of mega-successful TV sit-com Seinfeld were masters at creating believable and hilarious characters. They were dramatically "over-the-top," but we all know somebody in our lives that we can identify with all of the characters. George reminds me of me. Premature male pattern baldness and all. Kramer reminds me of a kid I grew up with. And Jerry, believe it or not, reminds me of a pastor I look up to. True story. My South Florida readers can probably guess who.

One of the most popular Seinfeld episodes is the Soup Nazi. The show opens with one of the characters sharing some soup with another. The soup is exquisite. Never in all of human history was anyone able to bring ingredients together to create such a melodious mouthful. Once the soup is sampled, there is mountain high enough, no river deep enough to separate one from the broth.

The Soup Nazi put in place protocols similar to the ones I followed in Marine Corps boot camp for proper soup acquisition: Form a single-file line. No talking is necessary and, therefore, not tolerated. Step, step, step to the counter. Once facing the counter, side-step, side-step, side-step. Sound-off and place your order. No "please." No "thank-you." Make your request known. Take your soup. Pay your money. Get out the door. "Next!"

George, that buffoon, decided to make small talk with the chef - the Soup Nazi - after he got his cup. The Soup Nazi snatched back the food and shouted, "NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!" George left the store bewildered and confused.

That is how I view my relationship with John MacArthur. When I was in bible college, I loved to read his commentaries. His study Bible is amazing. His commentaries are easy to read, in depth, and designed to help the regular guy understand the Bible. That's his approach. In my opinion he imparts Bible truth exquisitely and expositional expertise... Until he gets to a topic that he seems to have pre-determined to be un-biblical. And then allowing the Bible to simply speak for itself is quickly chucked out the window and arguing in a circle becomes the tactic. This is the case when MacArthur discusses the spiritual gift of "tongues," a gift about which the Apostle Paul says, "God has appointed these in the church..." (look up more verses). MacArthur doesn't believe it or like (and I really don't blame him) current expression of the gift in modern churches, so he dismisses it as "pagan use of ecstatic speech."

I liken my study with MacArthur to an exquisite multi-course meal that with "NO SOUP FOR YOU! for dessert.

Lately, MacArthur has taken a verse from Jude 1:3: "I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" and write another book that once again takes his brothers to task. He's taken the word "contend" as marching orders to market a book called The Truth War. And on his current "hit-list" are guys like Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren, Spencer Burke, Eddie Gibbs, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Doug Pagitt, Chris Seay, and Leonard Sweet. I think MacArthur is fighting his "war" from a control room lobbing bombs at guys. He's armed himself with verses like 2 Corinthians 11:13 & 14 and saying that the guys he doesn't agree with are like "Satan himself [who] masquerades as an angel of light." At other times, when MacArthur has written other books, guys like Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren appear on his "hit list".

There's a picture in the word "contend." Jude 1:9 gives us that picture: the arch-angel Michael is wrestling with Satan over the body of Moses. Even then Michael wouldn't use the language against Satan that MacArthur uses against his foes.

I like that word "contend." It means that people in the contest may get bloody. Someone might get dead. But people on opposite sides face each other. They don't launch bombs from deep inside a Seminary of their own making.

I like Mark Driscoll's approach to the same issue. Yeah, he's mouthy. Yeah, he's obnoxious toward those he disagrees with. But at least he faces them, debates them, and even collaborates in writing books with them.

It seems to me that MacArthur should be setting this kind of an example.

So I've made a flawed attempt at lampooning this in previous and subsequent blog posts. I guess if I have to explain myself, there isn't much punch to the punch-line.


Well tempratures here in South Florida have plunged into the sixties. It was a glorious morning for a short run. It rained all night so it was damp. I walke a short path thru the woods and over the train tracks before I run and I love the smell of the woods when its wet and slightly chilly.

This year I feel a little ripped off because it's been so warm and muggy this season. Cooler temprature don't usually hold off this long even down here in South Florida. One of the things I look forward to while training for a marathon is cooler tempratures for those long runs. Just didn't happen this year.

For the most part, the training season is all but over. We have a few runs scheduled to keep us loose, but the next long run to look forward to is 26.2 miles in Orlando on 7 January. I'm prayin' for some cool weather that day.

Our next runs will be a 5 mile run tomorrow, then a four, and an eight on Staurday. The week winding down before the marathon has a three, a four, and a two in store followed by two days of rest before the big day.

Today's run:
Run time: 32:36
Run distance: 4 miles
Average pace: 8:09/mile (now, if I can just do that on race day...)
Best pace: 6:47/mile
Calories: 485

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

I hope you enjoy:
  • Time with your family and friends
  • Watching your loved ones faces light up as they open the gifts you picked out
  • A thank you hug for someone that carefully picked out a gift for you
  • Enjoying a meal with special people
  • A car ride with someone you haven't spent time with for awhile
  • A new family member
  • A family member you haven't seen for too long
  • A movie that's become a family tradition
  • Old stories and happy memories
  • Church
  • Sleeping in and waking up to the smell of a great breakfast
  • Waking up early and destroying some ribbons and wrapping paper
  • Knowing a Savior has come into the world

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Welcome to the Round Table

Congratulations to SIR Bono. He's been Knighted. When was the last time an Irishman was knighted? 1986. Bob Geldof, star of the rock opera The Wall and brains behind "Live Aid." (link)

I'm a Mac

Mac: I have a sound, biblical theology

MD: I'm a Calvinist. I don't consider myself a "Five Point" Calvinist. I guess I could be best described as a "Four-and-a-half Point Calvinist"; a Clavinist in boxers not briefs.

Mac: I am not a Calvinist.

MD: but you definitely wear briefs and they're definitely too tight.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm a Mac

Mac: at my church, people dress properly, like saints.

MD: at my church, you can come as you are: blue jeans, blue hair, whatever.

Mac: you see; that's the problem. His church has caved in to culture. There are no standards; no holiness. People with blue hair are made to feel welcome. When so-called Chrsitians want to upgrade their faith, they come to my church. They wear their best for God. They don't have rebellious haircuts, body piercing, or pictures of thorns tattooed on their arms or across their lower backs. We preach a holier Jesus than that.

MD: We preach a Jesus that WEARS a crown of thorns, had His body pierced, and has a tattoo on His leg that identifies Him as Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The other day I was over at my friend's house helping him be Santa and putting together some toys. He was swinging the hammer and not quite connecting with his target. He's left handed, so I said with a grin, "maybe I should have brought my left-handed hammer."

My wife said, "there's a left-handed hammer?"

And we dudes just looked at each other. And I said, "it was a joke. There's no such thing as a left-handed hammer."

His wife said, "well, there's left handed scissors so we thought... forget it."

U2: the Early Daze

So few people know how U2 really got their start...

HT: Bob Hyatt

I'm a Mac

Mac: I'm promoting my new book.

MD: I have a pretty new book called Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. out as well. In this book, I take a hard look at my mistakes, explore some self-criticisms, and attempt to help young church planters navigate through some of the hazards I've blundered into and wish I'd missed.

Mac: In my book I take a hard look at MD's mistakes.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

On My Good Side

Bill Lamorey posted yesterday about what he wanted for Christmas thirty years ago. Kiss action figures. I left a comment on his blog telling him I didn't want the dolls---just give me the music. And he did. In my inbox were three songs...

Bill, thanks for the blast from the past! You're the man. I can't think of anything else I wanted thirty years ago BUT Kiss songs. SWEET! Except maybe a leather jacket like the Fonz.

Was that THIRTY years ago?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New U2 Video

U2 mashes footage of classic rock video into this production of their new song. Kinda cool:

Monday, December 18, 2006

No more excuses

Run time: 44:25
Run distance: 5.01 miles
Average pace: 8:52/mile
Best pace: 6:21/mile
Calories: 620

It's still too hot and muggy to call this December. That's all I got to say. Maybe global warming is more real than I thought...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Person of the Year: You

It's typical of mega-journalism to pooh-pooh the thoughts and opinions of you amateurs blogging or creating or otherwise making themselves heard on the Internet. But this year, Time Magazine has named you person of the year. There is no denying that your voice matters. So, if you haven't posted or uploaded your podcast or video in a while, we're waiting to hear from you. You matter.
The annual honor for 2006 went to each and every one of us, as Time cited the shift from institutions to individuals - citizens of the new digital democracy, as the magazine put it. The winners this year were anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Excuse Rolodex

Have I run through my list of excuses for you on the days I have a bad run? Let's run through it. We'll pull the excuses out of the Rolodex in random order:
  1. My shoes are too worn.
  2. It's too hot.
  3. I only got four hours sleep last night.
  4. I can't have a good run everyday.
  5. I really have to do a "number two" really badly and can't find a place.
  6. My shoes are too tight.
  7. It's too muggy.
  8. I'm too old.
  9. I've been sick all week.
  10. My feet hurt.
  11. My back hurts.
  12. My legs hurt.
  13. Oh no, it's starting to rain.
  14. It's too early.
  15. My shoes are too loose.
  16. There's something in my shoe.
  17. My shoe keeps coming untied.
  18. I really have to do a "number one" really badly and can't find a place.
  19. I'm hungry.
  20. I ate like crap last night.
  21. I weigh too much.
  22. I'm bloated.
  23. This sucks.

And that was just today. Did I miss any?

Run time: 03:21:44
Run distance: 19.81 miles
Average pace: 10:11/mile
Best pace: 5:43/mile
Calories: 2463

Creepy Parents

These kids get a "Texas Chainsaw" style wake-up.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Warren Recycle

I'm overjoyed everytime Rick Warren draws fire from the Christian community. It gives me a chance to review the flash cards below with everyone acting like a kindergartner. (link)

Thanks, Anne, for the inspiration.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Change Your Name

You might have caught this clip on CNN about Barak Obama. Seems like we have him confused with a certain terrorist in hiding.

Here's one thing I know: if I was on a plane and the pilot said, "Hello, this is your pilot, Captain Barak Hussien Obama. Please make yourself comfortable," I'd be looking for a parachute. I like my pilots to be named Chip or Greg or Bill. What about my president's?


Image Chef has some is a pretty cool tool for doing custom stuff quickly.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Book Summaries

Here's some sites for guys like me who don't always make it all the way through a book:
Christian Book Summaries
Wiki Summaries
Literature Summaries

uh... ow

This hurts just to watch.


Endure it one more time. It doesn't hurt you half as bad as it hurt this dude...

C'mon back, cool weather

Today's run, was, well, tropical. I could live with the temprature being about ten degrees cooler. It was about 76 degrees and humid this morning. That humiity feels like an increase in gravity.

Run time: 1:010:45
Distance: 8:01 miles
Average pace: 8:50/mile
Best pace: 6:15/mile
Calories: 976 (But I made up for that at lunch by eating three huge slices of meatball pizza from Sal's. Don't tell my wife.)

This Saturday we're running twenty. For real this time. But the weather sure doesn't look like it's going to be where I want it:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pull My Finger

You know that odd family member who thinks he's life of the party? You remember; when you were a kid, he'd walk up to you and say, "pull my finger," pass gas, and walk away laughing.

Well, that's what I got in the gift swap at our staff Christmas party. I never thought someone could turn out a Santa doll that Howard Stern could market, but I guess I was wrong.

What a hoot. Get your's here.

Together Again

After a month or so of waiting for parts, advice, and state paperwork, my bike is finally road-ready. There are clouds in the forcast, but that won't keep my bike off the road.

The maintenance on this bike happened in my garage, not down at the dealership. I needed work on the drive system and on the electrical re-charging system. It got an oil change, to boot. Props to Chip, Bob, and Dian for your valuable advice, help and input.

Ali's First Christmas

Indulge me...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Good Morning for a Run

The weather for this morning's run was nearly perfect. It was 65 degrees and breezy. A little to breezy when we wnt up the bridge, but that was short-lived. We turned around at the top of the bridge since that was our half-way point, and had the wind at our backs on the downhill side of the bridge. Our quickest pace this morning was 5:32/mile and I'm guessing that's where we did it.

Run time: 1:44:58
Distance: 11.76 miles
Average pace: 8:55/mile
Best pace: 5:32/mile
Calories: 1448 (But thanks to the breakfast I ate at Calvary Chapel Pt. St. Lucie, I'm back to zero!)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Finding Out Who's Naughty or Nice

FAT cops dressed as elves... This is just WRONG! This is WAY off Santa's reservation. (link)

"Christian" vs. "Christ Follower" Videos

These videos are parodies of those Mac vs. PC clips. They're pretty clever actually. I think there's a little influence from the "Office" sit-com, too...

HT: Community Christian Church:

PMS Jewelry

My sister emailed me this joke:
My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.

We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a huge red mark on his forehead.

Maybe next time he'll buy me a diamond.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Someone got a little out of hand this season while decking the halls when they decided to market pornogrphic christmas ornaments (link).

XXXblog posted that the pornography industry was estimated to earn (earn???...does the word "earn" apply here?) 70 Billion dollars this year. That's with "illion" with a "B". They seemed a little confused, so I decided to track back their facts. Check out what I read on this site:
Legend has it that Saint Nicholas became aware of a desperately poor parishioner having three daughters with no dowry to recommend them for marriage. The father had planned to sell them into prostitution to provide some means of support. By night, Saint Nicholas secretly brought bags of gold on three separate occasions to the man's home. These generous visitations allowed the three daughters to have sufficient means to avoid whoredom and later strike a marriage covenant. On the third visit to deliver the gift, Nicholas was caught in the act of generosity by the man.

Many make the Santa Claus-like association of this story to Saint Nicholas the gift giver. I see an additional angle. For reasons that often involve money, women today have few benefactors, few Saint Nicks. Bob Dylan sang it truly two decades ago that today's culture seems to promote "old men turning young daughters into whores." A look at any magazine rack will tell you that there is a market for flesh and the demographic is predominantly male, ages 12 to 90. Research company Visiongain projects the pornography market to be a 70 billion industry by 2006. That is a lot of gold being used to take advantage of women rather than promote their virtue.

I had never heard this story about Santa or Saint Nick. Read the whole story here: link.


Ali is learning how to grab, pick things up, and ut them into her mouth for thorough inspection. The glasses on my face are her ultimate goal.

One of the toys she has, pictured to the left, is this duck-pond blow-up thing. Little colorful objects shaped like bugs and fish float inside so that when she grabs what she wants, she actually pushes it away. What fun that must be for a little baby. Everything on the planet can be grabbed and shoved into her cute little baby mouth except these objects. Which, of course, make her want them more.

The instructions on the package say, "teaches Baby cause and effect." That's just what Baby wants to know. A physics lesson for a five month old.

Somebody was in a meeting one day or sitting at this desk and said, "I have an idea, baby toys that go away when you try to grab them."

To which, someone answered, " Great idea. Let's get it out in time for Christmas."

What would Santa think?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For Your Listening Pleasure: This will help get you started

My google homepage is updated daily with links to WikiHow To. But the article titles really have to snag my attention for me to read them. Here's the top How To of the Day: How to Appreciate Death Metal. It's an apologetic of sorts truly motivated to help switch you from your smooth jazz or classical music listening habit to death metal. Here's a quote from the article that will help you make the switch.
Understand the context and subject matter. Death metal lyrics and themes, while not to be taken literally, celebrate the outer extremes of human experience, such as the motivations of serial killers, the activities of the walking dead, death itself, and isolation. Death metal is less about generic anger and more about empathy for people who suffer from despair, isolation, and who possess an acute sense of unfair ostracism from society. Also, many bands will cover other topics not usually associated with death, such as mythology, religion, society, and even love.

"Even love." Charming.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Scary Mary

Did you see this yet?
Mary Poppins re-cut as a horror flick...

Stay with Momma

"Ok, kids. Stay with Momma. Count off."

"Watch your step here. Count off."


Thanks: Los & Pete

On Blogging

Do you ever envy those guys that can just walk away from their blogs? They leave them sit and don't care if people read their daily posts. They could care less about blog stats and checking comments is not a priority.

This blog is where I go to see my opinions and lame attempts at humor take shape in digital print. I re-invent myself here. I cater to my alter ego. I fashion myself into the image I want you to see. Is it even me?

The way my wife and the folks around the office roll their eyes when I work the topic of my blog into the conversation is the great ego correcting tool God uses in my life.
Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

must read for missionaries

ImageloadaspxPedro had a post about this fantastic book over on his blog. Serving as senders is a must read for missionaries being sent out from our church. The book is about setting up a team of senders for yourself as you head out to the mission field. It is one of the most practical and little known missionary books available.

This would make a perfect gift for the missionary our missions hearted person in your life.


Remember what I said about being happy to be back in flat, humid Forida? Well, forget the humid part. This morning was brutal. We were supposed to run twenty miles this morning, but we only made it about seventeen. What a bunch of crap.

Run time: 2:44:44
Run distance: 17.08 miles
Avg. pace: 9:39/mile
Best pace: 6:48/mile
Calories: 2221 (I used this as an excuse to pig out on four eggs whipped up with parmesian cheese, cheddar cheese, hot dogs, and Crystals hot sauce)