Friday, January 27, 2006

Sometimes, I almost hate some Christians...

But I can't really... That whole, "Love your neighbor" thing...

Well, it seems ultra-right, fundamental Christians got their way. My new almost-favorite show, "The Book of Daniel," was dropped off the schedule by NBC. I refuse to believe it was due to "low ratings." I've seen the ratings and, while they weren't American Idol numbers, they weren't too shabby for 10pm on a Friday night.

No, what killed this show was Christians who don't understand their own religion. Ok, by the last episode that aired, it was a bit over-written. I mean, there wasn't anyone in that last episode that didn't fuck up in a major way to majorly fuck with the plot line. But, it was still interesting. It was still true to life. It was still flawed, fucked-up human beings; people with real problems in facing real consequences. My favorite twist has to be the gay mobster.

Think about that beauty for a minute... Mobster, so he's got a tough guy image he has to protect. Italian, which means he's Roman Catholic... AND he's gay. That dude's got an interesting story. Certainly better than Perfect Lucy having the Perfect baby with her Perfect Husband.

But I digress. In the show, the pastor, Daniel, would frequently see and talk to Jesus. They'd have a laugh or two, Daniel would tell him his problems and Jesus would give rational Jesus answers. Daniel is addicted to painkillers. Nearly every time Daniel popped a vicodin JC would be like "You don't need those." Yet, in VERY JC-like fashion, he would NOT stop Daniel from making his own decision to take one. He never would not love Daniel (or us) for our sins. God might hate the sin, but never the sinner.

And, I think that's what fundamentalist Christians (read: the overly-vocal minority) had a problem with: that Jesus didn't go off on Daniel for popping pills, for accepting his son's homosexuality, etc. No, Jesus loved him and loves everyone inspite of any sin they committed. And, for some reason, the FCs don't get that, that Jesus just loves no matter what.

Here's a thought: If this is killing me so much, imagine how heartbroken God must get when his message of faith, hope and love is twisted so.

I believe that the Bible was "divinely-inspired," but I don't believe that those books are the only thing ever to be "divinely-inspired." No, God didn't stop talking to people and didn't stop using us to deliver his message some 1500+ years ago. I mean, just because somebody said "Here's the books of the Bible all neatly bound on paper" doesn't mean the story is finished. Nor does it mean that God has ceased to use ordinary people to proclaim his message. God still works through his people. He blessed us all with various gifts and talents that we are to use to bring glory to his name.

Why can't a painting be "divinely-insprired?" Or a song? Or a television show or ... a blog? God has so many ways to speak to us. Don't think for a minute that He has stopped. He's speaking to you now, trying desperately to get you to hear His message. Are you listening?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Whaddup Quickie

Just a quick update… You’re not missing much… I’m rather ill.  Sneezy, Coughy, Stuffy, Fevery, Sore throaty, Mucusy, and, of course, no Doc.  No, I’m forgoing going to see a doctor because all he’s gonna do is give me some amoxicillin.  I can deal with this and not be out of the $20 co-pay.  It’s mostly in my sinuses… Sinusitis is no doubt what I got.  I always get that.  I know I’m almost over it because the coughing has started.  It’s sometimes hard to sleep lying down at this point… Too much coughing.  Though I haven’t had to resort to sleeping on the recliner, yet, so, it’s not too bad.

The best thing I have to share is that I was cast as the Steward in Footlite’s production of “Into The Woods.”  Helluva cast, too.  Over 100 people auditioned for about 25 parts.  I was lucky enough, or talented enough depending on your view, to make it.  I felt good about the first audition, but the night of callbacks, I thought I blew it.  Just wasn’t a good night for me.  So, imagine my surprise when I got the call offering me the part.

Other than that, nothing going on…  Whaddupwitchu?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Appeasing the Football Gods:
How the Steelers stunned the Colts

Some say the game of football comes down to skill and athleticism. The better team that day will always win. However, there is one more thing to factor in: The Football Gods.

The Football Gods must be appeased if a team is to win a game. The Steelers did and the Colts didn't, that's what decided the game in the end. Let's study some of the commandments sent down from the gods to see why they favored the underdog Pittsburgh and not the #1 seeded Colts.

1) The Football Gods LOVE the underdog.
The line on the Steelers, I believe, was -9 to lose. That's more than a touchdown, making Men of Steel heavily favored to lose. In fact, probably the only people to think they would beat the Colts was the Steelers themselves. Being the underdog, the Football Gods favored them.

2) Thou shall run the ball when thoust havest a two-touchdown lead.
In the second half, all the Steelers did was run, which burns the clock, leaving no time for your opponent to spare. No time means they have to hurry and are more prone to mistakes. The Colts had to go into the hurry-up offense with 6 minutes left in the game because of time-killing, 8-minute drive. And, on that drive, they face 4th and short yardage twice and converted both times. This leads us to...

3) Thou shall dance with the one who brought you.
The Steelers are all about the run. They started the game passing and got a good lead. Then, they turned to the run to finish the game off. Note, that the gods were not happy with the Steelers for not running the ball earlier. ThatÂ’s why Bettis coughed one up near the end. But, in the end, the gods were appeased with the Steelers running game.

4) Thou gamble big, thou shall be rewarded by gameÂ’s end.
The Steelers faced 4th and 1 yard or less twice in the 4th quarter. Both times, they gambled big to keep the ball out of a resurging, quick-strike Colts offense. The Football Gods like teams that games big. If they Colts get the ball back with 11 minutes or 9 minutes to go, they could have easily rallied. Coach Bill Cowher, with a rep for playing it safe, gambled and by the time the Colts got the ball back, they only had 6 minutes to work with. You think on the last drive that ended in a shanked field goat in with :20 seconds left that Manning couldn't have scored a TD with 3 minutes left? This bring us to another commandment...

5) Thou shall play to win.
To many times, teams play not to lose. Sure, the Steelers could have punted with 11 minutes to go and given the Colts plenty of time to work with. But, why do that when your running game isn't being stopped and you only need a few inches? If you play to win, you want to keep the ball out of the other teams hands. Run the ball and make it, you keep the ball AND the clock moving. It's a WIN-WIN if you make it. The Steelers played to win twice and the Football Gods smiled.

6) Bad calls shall be avenged.
Really, Steelers's Safety Troy Polamalu... That was an INT. Instant Reply got it wrong and the bad call was avenged in the game.

7) Thou shall play the entire season.
The Colts hadn't played a meaningful game in a month. Then, they lost two and barely won an easy game. If the starters would have played more than 3 downs a game, say a full half, they would have no doubt been better prepared. They didn't and they didn't find any groove until the end of the first half.

Now, even with all of these commandments working for the Steelers. The game came down a field goal to send the game into overtime (which a coindetermined have determinted the winner).

8) Thou shall sacrifice one field goal attempt in the regular season to the Football Gods.
Colt's kicker Mike Vanderjagt was perfect at home. Everything he kicked in the RCA Dome found it's way between the goal posts. But, the gods demand a sacrifice during the regular season. If he'd have shanked one in a regular home game, the gods would have been appeased and that 46-yarder (a rather easy one for Vandy) would have split the uprights.

So you can see, the Steelers played right into the Football Gods hands and into the annuals of history. Teams who wish to win should take heed and learn the lessons this game has to tell.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Book of Daniel

Did anyone get a chance to watch NBC's new series "The Book of Daniel" on Friday? I'm curious as to what other people thought of it.

It seems people were creating a stink about it. The show is about an Episcopalian pastor (addicted to pain meds), his (alcoholic) wife, a homosexual son, a daughter who gets busted selling pot, and a promiscuous adopted son. The pastor also talks to Christ, as in JC is a supporting character. Daniel regularly talks with Jesus, even jokes with him.

Seems a lot of Christians took offense to this show. Of course, they took offense at it before it premiered. So offensive, they started a campaign to boycott it and prevent it from being shown. I didn't hear of the show until I heard of the boycott. And, of course, that pulled me right in seeing what all the hubbub was about. Strange how protests work that way. In fact, in Indianapolis, Book of Daniel's 2 hour premiere was the 2nd most watched show of the evening. That tickled my funny bone.

After actually watching the program, I think I might be hooked (Of course, it's up against WWE Friday Night Smackdown, so I'll have to tape something). It shows religious people who are sinners and have flaws. I can relate to that more than anything that happened in the billion seasons 7th Heaven is on the air.

What I especially enjoyed was seeing Daniel's relationship with Jesus. When I first started coming to the Crux, I remember Pastor Daron talking about sitting outside in a garden (if memory serves) eating lunch and having conversations with JC. He expressed how he imaged Jesus sitting right there on the bench with him and they were just talking. How "Daniel" showed this relationship between the pastor and Jesus was exactly how I imaged Daron talking with Christ. Furthermore, isn't that what our relationship with Christ be like?

Thoughts anyone?

"Book of Daniel" airs Fridays at 9pm on your local NBC station.

Cross-posted here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Intelligent Design

I was thinking about the whole Intelligent Design debate. And, I'm just pondering out loud here. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Intelligent Design Theory basically states that an intelligent designer purposefully put the stars and planets and galaxies and people and, well, everything, together. That some unknown entity blueprinted the wholeshebangg. That'ss basically it, right?

I happen to believe that God was responsible for this. A quick glance at Genesis 1 and 2 shows this. Feel free to believe what you like.

Please note, the Bible doesn't it say HOW God created everything, just that He did. Besides, it doesn't really matter how He did it. The real question is WHY? I don't want to answer such hefty question for the Big Guy, but it's a very important question.

And, if you really think about it, isn't religion's purpose to answer that question?

I think that, perhaps, that is why Intelligent Design is more so a theory than religion or religion-based. It doesn't attempt to explain WHY a designer would do it. It merely says something bigger than ourselves had to create it all.

Admittedly, I have not done any research on Intelligent Design, so I could very well be wrong and ignorant. Still, I don't know anyone's who has successfully created a universe out of nothing.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year - New Attitude

Lord, I'm sleepy. I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas Holiday and a great new Year's. I did and it's a story for another time when I'm less exhausted. We left the New Orleans area around 4pm Eastern time and arrived home at 8am. We stopped a whole bunch so it took looker than the drive down. We unpacked the car and were asleep for 8:30am. I forced myself to get up at 2pm so I could get to sleep in a little while...... zzzzzzzzzzzz.... huh? wha? Oh, blog post... yeah... ok...

So, New Year's Resolutions. I'm writing these down to see how I did a year from now. First and foremost, I resolve to make time every day to spend with God. Every day. No excuses. What kind of excuse can you have for not wanting to talk to God daily, anyway? No, God, I'm sorry, I can't talk to you right now, I'm busy watching TV. And after that, yeah, I gotta wash and dry my hair. Yeah, that's lame. So, I'm making time for God. Word.

This is the year make the "Lose Weight" resolution and keep it. After binging and gorging while on holiday, I feel like a blimp. For a while, I've been noticing things that I shouldn't be ok with, like the tightness I feel in my belly after way overeating. With each breath, it feels like my skin is stretching just a little. I'm tired of caring around the spare. I'm done with it. I was doing well - eating right and exercising - before Bye, Bye Birdie started rehearsal. All that went out the window and I haven't gotten back on track. If it doesn't show, I feel it. I feel heavy. So, if I have to not do any theatre this year to lose weight, so be it.

Also, I just took the credit card out of my wallet. This is the year I get my finances in order. Time to get out of credit debt. If we can survive until October, this will get much easier. The car note will be paid off and I can redirect that chunk of money to the plastic. This will be difficult. We need to get the dryer fixed, I need a root canal and crown put in. All that, as well as our usual bills (rent, electricity, etc), needs to be taken care of before October. I will make a budget and stick to it. Eating out WILL STOP! It has to. End of story. My last resolution is to make 2006 the year I begin to get out of debt.

So, there you go. That's what 2006 is going to be about for me. God, Lose Weight, and Debt-Free. Hmmm... maybe that's what I should call my autobiography?