Archive for the 'Personal Musings' Category

Resurrection

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

“O earth, where is your sting?  O Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the Angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and there is none dead in the tomb!
For Christ is raised from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those that sleep

To him be glory and power, forever and ever, Amen!”

-  John Chrysostom 400 A.D.

Christmas 08

Friday, December 26th, 2008

From our family to all of our friends, wherever you are around the world, we wish you a joyous Christmas and blessed new year.

Seatless in Seattle

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Four of us were on our way back from Vancouver, Canada when we got caught in the worst snow storm to hit the Seattle area in many decades.  Flights cancelled, hotels booked, taxis not running, and over 10,000 people stranded at the Seattle airport.  Not the way we intended to spend these days right before Christmas.  But humor has prevailed with Travis, Patty, C’havala and me as we faced this unexpected adventure.

Fortunately, we found a room and hope to rebook on a flight to So. Cal sometime before Christmas.  More later on Vancouver and the NieuCommunities ministry in that city.

A Point in History

Friday, November 7th, 2008

It just so happened that the morning after the U.S. presidential election, I found myself standing outside the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.  I was with ten others who comprise CRM-US’s leadership who are meeting this week in this city beside the Mississippi and we spent the morning at this landmark.

This museum is built around the Lorraine Motel, the spot where Martin Luther King was assassinated.  The facade and that actual area of the building remains as it was that fateful day in 1963 on the balcony pictured above.

The poignancy of the moment was gripping.  Here I was at the site of perhaps the most tragic event of the American Civil Rights movement the day after the first person of African descent has ascended to the highest office in the land.

The feelings were multiple and even conflicting.  On one hand, it is remarkable to see how far the nation has come in these intervening years.  Regardless of one’s politics, the election of Barak Obama is a landmark in the long struggle for racial justice and equality.  On the other hand, it’s sad to see how long it has taken to reach such a milestone and to be reminded once again of the appalling price paid by so many over the years in this journey.

At lunch today, an African American pastor from Memphis summed it up well:

“It is mind blowing to think in my lifetime this country would ever live up to its creeds.  I have always told African American children they could be whatever they wanted to be.  However, now I no longer have to qualify it with “but …”

As We Vote …

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I was impressed with this prayer posted on John Piper’s his Desiring God website.

Father in heaven, as we approach this election on Tuesday, I pray

1) that your people will vote,

2) and that they will vote with a sense of thankfulness for a democratic system that at least partially holds in check the folly and evil in all our hearts so that power which corrupts so readily is not given to one group or person too easily;

3) that we would know and live the meaning of being in the world, but not of it, doing politics as though not doing them, being on the earth, yet having our lives hidden with Christ in God, rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s;

4) that we would discern what truths and values should advance by being made law and which should advance only by the leavening of honest influence;

5) that your people would see what love and justice and far-seeing wisdom demand in regard to the issues of education, business and industry, health care, marriage and family, abortion, welfare, energy, government and taxes, military, terrorism, international relations, and every challenge that we will face in the years to come;

6) and above all, that we will treasure Jesus Christ, and tell everyone of his sovereignty and supremacy over all nations, and that long after America is a footnote to the future world, he will reign with his people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Keep us faithful to Christ’s all important Word, and may we turn to it every day for light in these dark times.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

The Ideal Pick

Friday, October 17th, 2008

I just came across the following comment from Russell Riley of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia  about the ideal combination of qualities necessary for one to be President of the United States.  The perfect temperament should include:

“Gerald Ford’s fundamental decency.  Jimmy Carter’s discipline.  Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism.  George H. W. Bush’s diplomatic instincts.  Bill Clinton’s intellectual curiosity.  And George W. Bush’s dogged determination.”

Rather tall order.  The delimma for the voters is to find someone who fits it.

Bewildered in Europe

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Bodies of Water is the indie-rock band that David, our son, and his wife, Meredith (above) lead.  This month, they are on tour in Europe.

We just received the following email update:

“Hey mom …we’re in London playing at The Forum tonight.  We just drove here from Cologne, Germany, today. Things have been going well, but it’s pretty rough;  long trips in between each city.Paris was a really good show, but Cologne was strange.  We opened for a bigger band that is more normal than us, so there were a thousand middle-aged Germans looking at us with bewilderment while we played.”

Anyone in Europe who wants to catch a show, the schedule is on the the Bodies of Water web site.

We just received another email from friends who saw them perform in East London.  Deanna Hayes wrote:

“We had a FANTASTIC evening in Shoreditch hearing the amazing talents of Bodies of Water.  WOW! David is one talented guy!  I couldn’t help remembering him as a young boy and then seeing him on stage as a musician with people asking him for his autograph.  It was a bit surreal.  It was an amazing performance.  John has played their CD’s non-stop since we returned home.  We are both very impressed with their music.”

Independently wealthy …?

Monday, October 13th, 2008

While I’m at it about the absurdity of “retirement,” I have some energy on another related topic.  Might as well spit it all out.

Frequently I encounter people (particularly those who are successful in business, or younger men and women who want to be successful) who are contemplating what God would have them do with the latter half of their lives, and the line I hear runs something like this:

“I would love to serve God with more of my time and talent in the coming years.  But I want to have made enough money to be independently wealthy.  I really don’t think it is right to ask other people to support me when I could pay my own way.   So I want to wait until my nest egg is secure and then Jesus can have all my time and attention.”

I have rarely seen it work out this way, where independent wealth becomes an essential stepping stone for future ministry.  Rather, it can become a curse for several reasons:

1.  Behind such a desire can be an unwillingness to live a life of dependency, either dependency on God or other people.  The need for financial security trumps one’s ability to step out and trust God for the most basic of economic necessities.

2.  There is a subtle, unhealthy independence that such wealth can engender.  I’ve seen it several times when we’ve accepted folks to minister with CRM who didn’t need to raise money.  They had it all.  Inevitably, when times got tough in the crucible of ministry, or there was conflict, or things didn’t go their way, they could pack it up and leave.  Having one’s own resources makes it a lot easier to cut and run.

3.  When I’m independently wealthy, it can put me at odds with those in the apostolic community or team with whom I minister.  I have options they do not have.  I have resources they do not have.  No wonder historically in the missionary orders of the Catholic and Orthodox tradition, one would divest themselves of such material attachments so that all would be laboring together on level ground.

4.  Unfortunately, needing to make my fortune can become an excuse for never responding to what may be God’s clear calling on my life.  It’s a smoke screen.  It’s a way to rationalize away the voice of God.  Movement toward that calling can be inhibited because the nest egg is never considered by the individual to be sufficient enough.

Let me be clear.  I’m not dissing anyone who is doing well financially and particularly those who have learned the grace of giving and sacrificial stewardship and are called to the marketplace.  Rather, I am calling into question when the drive to attain such financial “freedom” is used as the justification for delayed obedience to God’s leading.

When I look for people who are grappling with the calling of God toward ministry that is apostolic in nature, one of the true tests of that calling is that money and financial security are the last and least issues to be considered.  What’s healthy is when these issues are the stubby little tail and not the dog.  When it is the other way around, it’s a portent for trouble.

Retirement and the Financial Crash

Friday, October 10th, 2008

I was listening to NPR today and the commentator was interviewing people regarding their responses to the recent Wall Street crash.  What adjustments would they have to make in their lives and expectations as a result?

The primary theme in their responses went something like this:  “The life of leisure I am anticipating in retirement may be delayed or may not happen.  My ability to quit my job, play golf, travel, lay on the beach and finally enjoy life is in jeopardy.”

I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What’s wrong with this picture?”  Plenty:

  1. Where do we get this idea of “retiring?”  While it is deeply ingrained in the culture, I can’t find any biblical rational for such a concept.

  2. Play golf, travel, and enjoy life?   What a prescription for self-absorbed misery!  Rather than giving oneself to significance in the latter half of life, such responses reflect a selfish sense of entitlement that pervades our society.

  3. It is a sad commentary on work that so many people simply can’t wait to quit.  Rather than investing a lifetime of wisdom, time and talent in ways uniquely suited to one’s gifts and calling, way too many people endure jobs that suck the very life out of them.  They only stick it out in an 8-5 for the sake of a paycheck.  Tragic.

In Clinton’s leadership emergence theory, the end of life should be characterized by one’s “ultimate contribution.”  This is lived out in “convergence” and ultimately what he describes as “after-glow.”  Neither remotely resembles the culture’s concept of retirement.

Contrary to retirement—which is a stifling, dehumanizing and killing concept—I want to go out with my boots on and with my foot on the accelerator.  I think that’s the way God designed us as beings made in the imago dei rather than sliding into irrelevance with a life that does not finish well.

A Marie Antoinette Moment

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

The economy is in a tailspin, unemployment is skyrocketing, and homes are in foreclosure.

How appropriate for an appeal to be made at the recent USC-Oregon football game at the LA Colosseum for folks to contribute further to the 2 million dollar endowment for Traveler, the white horse that is the mascot for the USC Trojans.  Let’s insure, the announcer said, that Traveler can get to all the games and do so in style.

Hey, nothing but the best for that horse!   Such a “let them eat cake” comment would have made Marie Antoinette smile.

Re-engaging

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Well, it’s time to re-engage.

I’ve taken a much needed break from posting and am ready as we move into the remaining months of 2008, to begin anew.  I hope to keep the conversations here fresh, creative, and provocative (in a sanctified kind of way).

Thanks for sticking your head under-the-iceberg and being a part!

Flying Fears

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

This week, a hole blew out in the underbelly of a Quantas 747 over the Pacific. For anyone who does a considerable amount of flying, we all harbor those “what if” fears about what could happen on an airplane. Apart from the catastrophic, my shortlist includes:

1. Using the lavatory, my passport falls out of my shirt pocket into the toilet and I have to retrieve it, no matter what the ramifications.

2. Stuck in a window seat on the last row of the plane, next to a 300 lb person who snores.

3. At 35,000 feet, eating one of a couple of foods to which I am deadly allergic, beginning an anaphylacic reaction, and having to stab myself with an EpiPen (spring loaded injection).

4. Trapped on a 19 hour, full flight to Asia in a seat that does not recline.

5. Flying Aeroflot transatlantic, or anywhere for that matter.

6. Being a British Airways customer and losing luggage in the bowels of one of their new terminals at Heathrow.

7. Finding out what ingredients are really in those hard bread rolls that get served in plastic wrapping.

8. Sitting next to a baby with colic on a pan-oceanic flight when the parents are too tired to care.

9. Flying Northwest in the winter and being stuck on a runway for 12 hours.

10. Severe turbulence and no barf bags.

St. Marylebone

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

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After stumbling onto Charles Wesley’s grave, we dropped into the parish church to which this graveyard originally belonged.

If its walls could talk ….

The same year Wesley died, a young baby was baptized here who grew up to be the poet, Lord Byron. Elizabeth and Robert Browning were married here. Francis Bacon was a parishioner. Lord Nelson worshiped in this place. And Charles Dickens used it as a backdrop for some of his writing, particularly David Copperfield.

But it was also a sober reminder that past glories don’t necessarily impact the present. What is left is a building that is more of a museum and only a mere shadow of its enormous prominence and past influence on the social order. Long gone are the days when it was regularly filled to its 3-4000 person capacity and the Christendom that it represented reigned.

I can’t help but wonder what lessons may be here for the American mega-church, particularly that social hegomony and size are fleeting.

When it’s rough …

Monday, June 9th, 2008

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This morning in London, I carved out some significant time to be with God.

During an unusual time of worship, God spoke on a variety of themes, but one which was powerful came through some old, simple lyrics, Part the Waters, on a Selah album:

When I think I’m going under, part the waters Lord.
When I feel the waves around me, calm the seas.

When I cry for help, oh hear me Lord, and hold out your hand.
Touch my life, still the raging storm in me.


Make it so, Father of all creation.

34 Years Ago

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

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I’ve journaled for many years. Today, I happened to pull off the shelf one of my earliest volumes and came across an entry in 1974, shortly before graduating from college. I wrote …

I have some fears on leaving college:

1. I fear loosing my idealism. Being out “in the real world” seems like it can produce narrow conservatism because of a constricted worldview.

2. Instead of being a critic of society and culture, I am fearful I would become a defender of it. I’m afraid of the encroachment of the world’s cultural values and that they would take over instead of maintaining a biblical perspective.

3. I fear clinging to security and particularly to money, and loosing a pilgrim mentality.

4. I fear loosing the excitement, freshness and looseness of being young and identifying with my generation in their 20s.

5. I fear not being able to be a “radical” for Jesus, i.e. capitulating to bourgeois complacency.

6. I fear intellectual stagnation and ceasing to learn and think.


It’s a sobering checklist and causes me to pause and evaluate how I’ve done over these past three decades. But what’s more sobering is the fact that all of these are still very real concerns and they have not been mitigated by 34 years.

Politics and God

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

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As we enter into a heated political season in the U.S., a passage, written by Richard John Neuhaus in the 1981 founding statement of the Institute on Religion and Democracy is an appropriate and powerful reminder:

“Jesus Christ is Lord.

That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ.

The Church is the bearer of that claim. Because the Church is pledged to the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, it must maintain a critical distance from all the kingdoms of the world, whether actual or proposed.

Christians betray their Lord if, in theory or practice, they equate the Kingdom of God with any political, social, or economic order of this passing time. At best, such orders permit the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom and approximate, in small part, the freedom, peace, and justice for which we hope”

Weddings and the Imago Dei

Friday, April 11th, 2008

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There is something in our makeup, reflecting the image of God, which needs and even craves celebratory experience.

I have increasingly grown to appreciate such ceremonies and the surrounding celebrations as part of the innate rhythms of communal life that give meaning, shape and form to what it means to be fully human. Every culture has such anthropological realities.

And we see God not only honoring such events but also instituting them throughout time and history. I can’t help but believe they are reflective of the Imago Dei and tell us much more about the nature of the triune God than we realize on the surface.

“… a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.” John 2

Confessions of a FOTB

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

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My only daughter, Christine, is getting married this Saturday and I’m the “father of the bride.” So how does this once-in-a-lifetime experience feel thus far?

• It is really different than when a son gets married. More responsibility, more details and more expense.
• It hit me a couple weeks ago…her name is changing! No longer Metcalf, which I have used for 25 years.
• Like most dads, I’ve always been protective of my daughter from predatory males, and now I’ve giving her over to one. It’s an emotional switch.
• Home is no longer our house, but wherever she is with him.
• There is deep satisfaction knowing the man she is marrying is a wonderful match for her. We have grown to love him dearly
• Seeing one’s child make a wise and godly choice in choosing a mate has got to be one of life’s most fulfilling gratifications.
• Her room will no longer be just “hers.” She’ll have a guy in there with her whenever she’s here.
• This event is another one of those milestones, which highlights my mortality, and the fact I’m getting older.
• The gambit of emotion, so far, runs from deep joy, anticipation of the celebration, moments of frenetic activity to make sure details are worked out, and occasional sadness because relationships will never be the same again.
• I have a growing admiration and sense of bonding with Steve Martin.
• It is great to have another man in the family from the next generation who can eventually change my Depends and will probably someday help lay me to rest.

Megachurches

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

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I want to fend off some of the potential critics and those who think I am bashing megachurches. I’m not.

In fact, there is an excellent recently published study that helps replace lots of myths about the megachurch in North America with some solid research. Beyond Megachurch Myths is a good book. Before anyone hurls critical missiles at the mega-church, I would recommend they absorb this volume.

I believe the megachurch is a fixture solidly established in the diverse mosaic of the American religious landscape. While it may struggle and slowly morph to adapt to a rapidly changing culture around it, the form itself is not going to disappear in my lifetime or for several generations to come. While there are hoards of people who are disillusioned and fleeing the traditional structures, there are still plenty of sons and daughters of the boomers who are stepping into their parent’s shoes to inherit the religious institutions they have created and/or embellished.

Whether it is Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral which appealed to my grandparent’s and parent’s generation, Saddleback and Willow Creek which are boomer focused, or Mosaic, Rock Harbor and Hillsong whose demographic is gen-x and millennials, the mega-structure is an enduring phenomena on the North American scene. As Peter Druker commented in 1998,

“Consider the pastoral megachurches that have been growing so very fast in the U.S. since 1980 and are surely the most important social phenomenon in American society in the last 30 years.”

Megachurches have great strengths. They can do things that are simply out of reach for a house church or a group of 100, and megachurches exert leverage that can shape the entire Christian movement in their locale and beyond, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. The influence they and their leadership exert is far out of proportion to the numbers of attendees, particularly as megachurches are held up as the model for other local church expressions to emulate.

Best estimates are that there are 1250 megachurches in the U.S. (out of approximately 320,000 Christian congregations) with 4.5 million attendees on a weekly basis. These churches account for one-half of 1 percent of all the religious congregations in the nation and yet the largest 1% of American churches contain at least 15% of the total worshipers.

Be we also have to be honest about megachurch limitations. I would agree with Alan Hirsch’s observation that only about 30% of the North American population is within reach of the institutional/traditional/attractional church and an even smaller percentage of that would ever meaningfully connect with a megachurch. While megachurches may represent a significant slice of the religious population, their influence on the general culture may not be much to crow about. Bigger may be by some criteria better, but it may not be always best.

The bottom line is that the American religious mosaic is incredibly diverse and complex. In the Protestant realm, it is distinguished by ethnic and socio-economic diversity, urban vs. suburban, the emerging church (which mainline evangelicals are going after like a mother eating her young …a whole other topic), organic/simple church, the missional/incarnational models, third-place groups, neo-monatistic movements, liturgical models, old-school evangelicals, mainliners, megachurches, etc ….

Put that all in a blender and add the presence of the supernatural and what swirls around is a remarkable cacophony that reflects the creativity, diversity and the accommodating graciousness of the triune God.

Is Bigger Best?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

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I was sharing lunch with a businessman and friend who chaired the board of elders at one of Southern California’s booming (at that time) megachurches.

They were launching into what would be over a 30 million dollar expansion which was to give them a building that would seat at least 5,000 for worship. The idea was to double the present size of the attendees from 5,000 to 10,000 and the 30 mil would allow them to do this.

He also admitted they were going this direction because they wanted to provide a bigger, broader platform for the senior pastor who was drawing more people than they could accommodate because of his charisma.

So I asked what seemed to be an obvious question:

“Have you or the church leadership considered the alternative of investing those millions into starting perhaps ten new churches of 1,000 each rather than expanding the present physical plant?”

His stare was blank. He admitted such a concept was not on the table. No one had even considered the idea of planting and multiplying, only of growing the present set-up larger.

The result: they built the building at great sacrifice and effort. The Sr. guy is no longer there. And the faithful in that part of Southern California continue to just circulate around to whichever megachurch meets their needs as consumers while the net number of unchurched people continues to rise.

While some may have considered bigger to be better, it is hard to believe it was best.

How to Remember

Friday, February 15th, 2008

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If memory is such a powerful tool and the human brain an untapped resource, what can we do about it. Joshua Foer goes on to say in National Geographic:

“Over the past millennium, many of us have undergone a profound shift. We’ve gradually replaced our internal memory with what psychologists refer to as external memory, a vast superstructure of technological crutches that we’ve invented so that we don’t have to store information in our brain.

We’ve gone, you might say, from remembering everything to remembering awfully little. We have photographs to record our experiences, calendars to keep track of our schedules, books (and not eh Internet) to store our collective knowledge, and Post-it-notes for our scribbles. What have the implications of this outsourcing of memory been for ourselves and for our society? Has something been lost?


So is there anything practical that we could do to better tap into this remarkable resource that sits on top of our necks?
“If you can convert whatever it is you’re trying to remember into vivid mental images and then arrange them in some sort of imagined architectural space, known as a memory palace memories can be made virtually indelible.

Peter of Ravenna, a noted Italian jurist and author of a renowned memory textbook of the 15th century, was said to have used this loci method to memorize the Bible, the entire legal canon, 200 of Cicero’s speeches, and 1,000 verses of Ovid. For leisure, he would reread books cached away in his memory palaces. ‘When I left my country to visit a a pilgrim the cities of Italy, I can truly say I carry everything I own with me,’ he wrote.”

Memory and Oral Tradition

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

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I’ve always been under the assumption that written tradition is more reliable than oral until I came across a fascinating article in November 2007 issue of National Geographic on the topic of “Memory.” It states:

“A memory is a stored pattern of connections between neurons in the brain. There are about a hundred billion of those neurons, each of which can make perhaps 5,000 to 10,000 synaptic connections with other neurons, which makes a total of about five hundred trillion to a thousand trillion synapses in the average adult brain. By comparison there are only about 32 trillion bytes of information int the entire Library of Congress.”

The article goes on to give examples of people and times where extraordinary memory was the norm:
“Ancient and medieval people reserved their awe for memory. Their greatest geniuses they describe as people of superior memories.

Thomas Aquinas, for example, was celebrated for composing his Summa Theologica entirely in his head and dictating it from memory with no more than a few notes. Roman philosopher Seneca the Elder could repeat 2,000 names in the order they’d been given him. Another Roman names Simplicius could recite Virgil by heart – backward.

A strong memory was seen as the greatest of virtues since it represented the internalization of a universe of external knowledge. Indeed, a common theme in the lives of the saints was that they had extraordinary memories.

In fact, there are long traditions of memory training in many cultures. The Jewish Talmud, embedded with mnemonics—techniques for preserving memories—was passed down orally for centuries. Koranic memorization is still considered a supreme achievement among devout Muslims. Traditional West African groits and South Slavic bards recount colossal epics entirely from memory.”

How to Pick a President

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

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Seeing that this is the largest primary election day in this presidential selection year, I was intrigued at the commentary this morning on NPR from cowboy poet, philosopher, and former large animal vet, Baxter Black who supined the following on how to pick a president:

“There are always politically incorrect insinuations that women would vote for a woman candidate for the primary reason they’re both women or that blacks would vote for a black candidate simply because they’re black. Well of course they would, or at least give it serious consideration. .

The same with cowboys, vegetarians and paroled felons. It’s natural to want to have someone in office who understands you. What percentage of the Mormon vote do you think candidate Romney is going to receive? 99% And how many brush-clearing cedar-whacks went for George W.? Given the opportunity to poll candidates there are several questions that I would proffer, i.e.,

Do you consider miracle whip and jalapeños essential nutrients in the food pyramid?
Do you prefer Copenhagen or Skoll?
Do you have any nieces, nephews, cousins or children named after coon-dogs: Blue, Jake, Badger or Whoop?
Do you head or heel when team roping?
How long before you have to renew you’re Farm Bureau membership, your subscription to Sports Afield, and the warranty on your four-wheeled drive pick-up?”

Bodies of Water and Relevant

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

My kids think I matured in a cave and missed all the pop culture of the 60s and 70s. Probably so.

But hey, they’re making up for it. David (our son) and his wife, Meredith, and their band, Bodies of Water, were reviewed and interviewed today in Relevant magazine to coincide with the release of their latest album. They were also recently featured on Rolling Stone’s blog for new music.

I thought the interview in Relevant was fascinating and would that I could be as articulate as David. His commentary on food, music, God, their latest tour, etc., are all enlightening. I particularly liked his answer about fashion since there are lots of folks out there who wish I would take such advice from my son. But hey, the last time I did that, he told me rather clearly, “Dad, that’s a pathetic attempt to be trendy.” So I have to act my age.

Their CD just hit the stores. Buy it! It will help put my grandkids through college, that is if David an Meredith get around to having them in between music tours.

2008 Wish List

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

If I could wish for a few things in 2008, it would include:

1. An affordable hydrogen car to come on the market
2. A spam filter that really works
3. The end of TV reality show
4. The US dollar and British pound to be at parity
5. A food that includes the benefits of broccoli, carrots and bran but tastes like an In-N-Out burger.
6. All-news channels that are really that and not forums for argumentative, unintelligent wind-bags
7. A rush-hour drive on an uncrowded freeway
8. Presidential primaries and campaigning not to start until six months before an election
9. Beginning to teach children multiple languages in the 1st grade
10. At least six more inches in economy on international flights
11. Refrigerator ice-makers that don’t jam or break
12. Getting off the summons list for jury duty
13. Affordable solar heating, cooling and water systems for homes
14. A candidate who represents the diversity of Obama, the integrity of McCain, the shrewdness of Clinton, the intelligence of Biden, and the values of Huckabee.
15. A larger Trader Joe’s nearby
16. A main sewer line that won’t clog up on Christmas day when a dozen people are coming for dinner
17. A pill that you could take and eliminate jet lag
18. Grandkids