Monday, November 29, 2010

Harsh Prophetic Criticism

Obviously this cartoon is extreme hyberbole, but there seems to be a bit of truth here in this message. There are plenty of pastors preaching similar messages on Sunday mornings, messages of terrible news rather than good news.

The message of Jesus, the message the preacher shares from the pulpit, was always meant to be good news for the world. It is a light, burden-less message that offers freedom, grace, and love to the hearer. This cartoon reminds me of the need to preach good news when I enter the pulpit, fleeing from fear while acknowledging the freedom that comes through Jesus Christ.

HT:  The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Thought This Was Seattle??

my car this morning
In rare Seattle fashion, we are in the midst of a snow storm. Its quite funny when Seattle gets snow, because people freak out like its the end of the world. At the first site of flakes, many schools and workplaces are almost instantly closed. Mandy's work has closed already. My school is closing at 6pm. Seattle Public Schools closed hours ago. All over a little bit of snow that isn't even staying on the ground. Quite comical.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Congrats Felix!!

Seattle sports fans finally have something to cheer about. Felix Hernandez has won the American League Cy Young Award. This award is given out to the best pitcher in the league for that year. In the midst of a terrible year of baseball for the Seattle Mariners, 'King' Felix was the lone bright spot. Each time he took the mound, he offered the team and the fans a chance at victory. For that, we are incredibly grateful.

Felix being voted this award marks a turning point in baseball history. Traditionally, the number of wins a pitcher has for that year is one of the primary statistics used in determining the Cy Young winner; but not this year. Felix ended the year with only a 13-12 record, while CC Sabathia had 21 wins and David Price had 19. The difference, however, is that both those pitchers play on significantly better teams that score significantly more runs. Felix plays for the Mariners, who scored the least number of runs of any American League team since the addition of the Designated Hitter position in 1973. LOWEST RUNS SCORED IN 37 YEARS!!

Meanwhile, Felix dominated in nearly every other statistical category for pitchers. He pitched the most innings of anyone, had the lowest ERA, and was second in strike outs. He also led the league in 3 or 4 other more complicated (yet quite important) statistical categories. He deserved to win this award, and in doing so, we have seen that the voters are no longer stuck in their traditional thoughts of merely basing their votes on the win-loss record. Thanks for making history, Felix. You earned this award. Thanks for giving us Mariner fans something to cheer about and a reason to show up at the ballpark.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

So Funny...Hilarious Quote


"When you look like I do, 
its hard to get a table for one at Chuck e Cheese." 

- Zach Galifianakis, 
in his comedy video  
Live at the Purple Onion

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Important Off-Season

To my surprise, moving to Seattle quickly transformed me into a Mariners fan. I previously had no baseball team that I actively followed, so I guess I should have seen it coming. But I didn't. And my fan-dom continues to grow each year.

This past year was a giant disappointment for the Mariners. They were projected by many to have a strong year, and possibly win their division and make it to the playoffs. But instead, they got off to a slow start and never rebounded. Players who had been previously successful suddenly slumped, a team that was supposed to play great defense had more than their share of errors, and a bullpen that was supposed to be incredible was far from good. The only strength on the Mariners' team was their starting pitching, but this was countered by the lowest run-support in the league.

While the Mariners will undoubtedly be rebuilding for the next few years, there is reason, however, for optimism. The Mariners just hired a new coach, Eric Wedge, who has been successful in the past, have a core of young players who are projected to have great success in the future, and have a definitive pitching ace in Felix Hernandez. I regularly follow the blog of a guy named Dave Cameron, who is a brilliant Mariners fan and does great analysis of the team. He has predicted some moves that the team might make in the off-season, and the possible team that the Mariners might field in 2011. Here is the chart that he put together of his best guess at the upcoming moves from the Mariners' front office. You can read the rest of his post HERE.

HT: USS Mariner

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Trick than Treat

Yesterday was Halloween, a traditionally festive day of fun and celebration. And it had a bit of that. But mostly, it sucked.

The day started with a sense of excited and anticipation, as I was scheduled to preach at the church where I am doing my internship. I had been wrestling with a passage from Isaiah 1 for about a month and it was ready to come out, ready to be birthed to the world. In our church the priest always reads the Gospel passage for the day just prior to the sermon. So as our priest was finishing the passage, I stepped into the fellowship hall, grabbed my Bible, notes, and the music stand I was going to preach from, and stood in the doorway ready for her to welcome me to the front.

But that never happened. Instead, she stepped to the pulpit and began to preach. She had forgotten that I was supposed to preach that Sunday. I was devastated, and slowly slinked back into the fellowship hall, eyes welling up with anger, disappointment, and sadness. I then spent the next 45 minutes hiding from people in the parking lot, bathroom, and Sunday school areas, processing my disappointment over not being able to share my heart, anger at her apparent thoughtlessness, embarrassment that some in the church had most likely noticed me standing in the doorway, and sadness over unfulfilled expectations in my internship. Obviously some of these thoughts were a bit over-reactive in the moment, but at the same time, I continue to be affected by these emotions nearly 24 hours later.

It went something like this! Ugh!
My day quickly improved through a great second worship service and some mountain biking on a beautiful Seattle day. But the day didn't stay good for long. As I was returning from mountain biking, I drove straight into our parking area with my bike on our roof rack and ripped the entire roof rack off the car. I was listening to the radio and hurrying to go hang out with some friends and simply forgot that my bike was on the roof. While my bike is fine and most of the roof rack is not damaged, the car has some scratches and scuffs and I will have to replace some parts of the roof rack before it can be used again. So frustrating.

The day was partially redeemed by a fun evening watching movies with 2 of my best friends, but I don't think anything could have fixed the horror that was my day. On a day that is supposed to be joyous and fun, I definitely received more trick than treat.