Sunday, May 30, 2010


The rain falls on the righteous and the wicked
Mine is not to reason why this is
In this I rest in this I find my refuge
That my thoughts and ways are not His
I spend my life on looking up the answers
It's rare that I can't find a reason why
But reasons fail at childrem without mothers
His plan is more than I can know

Have you ever held in doubt
What this life is all about
Have you questioned all these things taht seem
important to us
Do you really wanna know
Or are you a little scared
You're afraid that God is not exactly what you'd have
Him be
What should I hold to and what should I do
How do I know if anything's true
I'm somewhere in-between Canaan and Egypt
A place called the wilderness

I'm not one who always trusts their feelings
I don't believe in what you'd call blind faith
But faith that you can do all that you promised
And you said it all works for good
It's safe to say I don't see the big picture
I can't see the forest for the trees
And if five hundred lives
Were mine to get to know
You all could be spent on ust this

God do you really understand what it's like to be a man
Have You ever felt the weight of loving all the
things you Hate
Have You struggled have You worried
How can You sympathize

I have spoken much too soon put my hand over
my mouth
I can't contend with You
Your ways are so much higher
And we pass through the fire that Christ endured
before us
When You were in the wilderness

Stanley Cup Finals Game 1

So I just want to throw out some quick thoughts about tonight's Game 1 between the Hawks and Flyers.

First, tonight's game was a prime example of too much time off between the Conference finals and the Stanley Cup finals. 10 goals in the first 2 periods is insane. Not all of the goals I'd blame on the goaltending or defensive breakdowns because there was a goal or two that had a crazy deflection and went in. But a 5-5 game at the end of the second period was not at all what I was expecting. Things finally settled down in the third period with Boucher giving up one goal and Niemi didn't allow a goal in third. I don't think we'll see another 6-5 game in this series. Both teams will play like they did in the third for the rest of this series.

The second thing that's on my mind is the goaltending situation with the Flyers. Leighton didn't have a great game but I think he could bounce back in Game 2. But should Boucher get the nod in net because he shouldn't lose the job to injury. I don't know what Laviolette's thoughts are on his goaltending situation. Boucher was the guy who got you into the playoffs and was winning games before he got hurt. But Leighton was strong in games against Boston to win that series and was good against Montreal. I think Leighton will get the nod in game 2 but if it's rough early, he'll get the hook.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Stanley Cup Finals

So I think I've picked just about every series wrong to this point, so if you're looking to bet on a team just pick which ever one I don't.

I could not have been more wrong on Chicago. The Blackhawks took care of San Jose with ease. I thought that even if Chicago could get past the Sharks it would take them seven games and even then I thought San Jose had more depth and that Nabokov would be nothing but solid in net. And boy was I wrong. I never expected the Hawks to sweep. Niemi was nothing short of great in the Western Conference finals.

I did say if there was a team not to doubt it was Philadelphia. I didn't think they're beat Montreal but I figured the Flyers had upset the New Jersey Devils with ease and came back from 3-0 to beat the Bruins. Philly was stronger, tougher, and more motivated then both Washington and Pittsburgh had been. They just out played the Canadiens and Halak finally ran out of magic.

Every part of me wants to pick the Blackhawks to win this series. I think they are an all around stronger line-up and Niemi has been so good in goal. I'm done doubting the Hawks and I think Chicago is the better team. But the Flyers have just been solid. They should've lost their charm when Boucher got hurt and Leighton took over in net. But they haven't. They took 4 straight to beat Boston and only dropped game 4 to Montreal. I'm still going to pick Chicago in this series but I'm going to say it'll take them 7 games. Philadelphia is too tough a team to lose this series in 5.

The Ballad of Jack Bauer

As Chloe and Jack shared their goodbye on screen and Jack Bauer disappeared, never to be seen on television again, I shed a tear and poured one out for America's greatest hero.

8 seasons over 9 years and a 2 hour tv movie is what 24 has left behind. 8 days of Jack kicking ass, taking names, and making America a little safer. And now it is no more.

24 brought us the first Black American President an the first female President. We saw Air Force One blown up and a presidential podium blown to bits, leaving both of those seasons respective presidents left in critical condition. We saw a crooked President who was involved in terrorist activity and a President cover up a terrorist conspiracy for political gain.

Re-watching season 1, it's almost shocking the Fox gave it the room to grow and build a fan base. Season 1 was plot based. The writers created twists and turns that kept the viewer interested and wanting to come back and watch more. Season 2 gave us explosions and the ridiculous cougar incident. But it was Season 3 where 24 hit it's stride. Jack went undercover with a mexican drug ring to get his hands on biological weapons. He encounters Nina Myers, who killed Jack's wife Teri in season 1, and Jack in the end kills her. It was just the right mix of action and story twists. From there, 24 was on top.

Seasons 4 and 5 saw growth in the ratings with only a minor a dip in ratings during season 6. But a season off the air due to the writers strike was just enough to tip the scales against 24. High productions costs and lower ratings during season 7 and low ratings during season 8 were enough for Fox to call an end the the shows run. With hopes that a movie is coming gives 24 fans a little something to look forward to but next January when Jack isn't on tv, it'll be a sad winter.

I've watched 24 since season 1 and have loved every minute of it. I'm sad to see go.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Garment of Praise

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Best Show Ever

No this isn't about 24. This is about the best concert I've attended. The show was Spoken, Rod Laver and Gryp at The Cave in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Now I had seen Rod Laver about 4 times at the Cave. They were one of my favorite bands at the time. I had never heard of Spoken but the guy who owned the Cave was very big on them and said it would be an amazing show. Gryp started the show. It was kind of a mediocre christian version of Korn. They were ok but I was waiting for Rod Laver to play. Rod Laver hit the stage and it was a great show. They were there playing songs of their Trying Not to Try release. Rod Laver was always a good show at the Cave and this was no different.

But Spoken was the real star of the show. By the time Spoken's set started the crowd was huge. When Spoken played the crowd exploded. Everyone yelling along to all the songs, a huge mosh pit, crazy crowd surfing. It was the first show I ever crowd surfed at. Spoken was crazy good live and after the show I went to their merch table and bought What Remains.

I've been to a ton of shows since then and some really great shows but the energy and crowd that night at the Cave when Spoken played makes that the best show I've ever seen.

Not Christian Enough

I remember a Wednesday night at youth group in junior high where we were discussing christian music. I don't remember the point of the dialogue but I remember All Star United's Saviour of My Universe was played and we were asked if it was a christian song or not. I, being an All Star United fan, said yes and that was correct. But the leader in charge said that although that song was clearly about Jesus that the self-tited debut from All Star United wasn't overtly christian. At the time I thought that statement was ridiculous and thinking back on it this morning I'm a little perplexed by that statement. The lyrics on the first All Star United record are pretty christian. They're not worship lyrics but it's clearly a christian album.

So that gets my brain thinking this morning. Why I go back to that moment in time I have no clue but I did and now I'm here. So why is there a need to qualify things as not christian enough? I guess this idea is probably most tagged to music but I'm guessing books and people get thrown into being not christian enough too.

CS Lewis said we don't need christians writing about christian stuff, we need christians writing about everything. And I believe it's true. I don't know how much the JPM scale stands today (Jesus per minute) but it used to be something music was judged by. Songs about love (with a girl/guy), struggle, politics, etc we're looked down upon. Art was censored for not being christian enough. Delirious got banned from certain christian book stores for using hell in a song. There's a difference in question the heart behind something and deeming it not christian.

Andrew Schwab posed the question this week what is Christian music. My initial answer to this question was to say music that is written to bring glory to God is what qualifies has christian. If the intent is to bring God glory then it's christian music. But I'm rethinking this. Part of me would say that Christian music is music made by christians. I don't think content can define music as christian. Am I christian blogger or a blogger that's a christian? It's a stupid question because those things are the same. Why do bands define themselves as christians in a band? Because they want the music to stand for itself and not have their music judged based on their beliefs.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My predictions for the final 2 hours of 24

So next Monday night at 8pm Eastern Standard Time will be the final 2 hours of 24. So next week I will in my mourning and tears post a retrospective about how awesome a show 24 was and how television as whole will be much much worse with it off the air. This post is my predictions about things that might, but probably won't, happen on 24 in it's closing hours next week.

So Fox ran it's preview for next weeks 2 hour series finale and there were a lot of clips and all of them were very interesting. To be honest you can get a grasp of what's going to happen but it's hard to have firm details. But I have some ideas.

People Jack will have to kill:

Cole - I was starting to like good old Freddie Prinze Jr but Chloe had to go and set him free and looking for Jack. It's not that Cole deserves to die but he's going to get in the way and Jack is going to have to take him.

President Yuri Suvarov - The Russian President is going to die. He order the hit on Freckles and Jack is going to plant a bullet in his heart.

President Taylor - This seems like a small stretch that Jack would have to kill President Taylor but.... I can't rule it out. She covered up the Russian involvement and tried to quiet Jack. Ever since then she's made just about every bad move you could think of. For Jack to kill the President would be insane but he's going to have to flee the country when this is all said and done anyway so President Taylor is on notice.

Chloe - This probably will not happen. Chloe is Jack's closest and only friend. She's the longest running character not named Jack on 24. I know some fans would be happy to see Chloe take a bullet from Jack but it would be sad. This season started out as Jack's chance at a real life and real happiness and now he's crazy. But it's clear from the preview that Chloe is with Jack and it would be a major twist if Jack had to shot and kill Chloe. Everyone who knows Jack dies... Chloe isn't safe.

Jason Pillar - Dead

People who will not die:

Charles Logan - Logan is one lucky bastard. He's pure evil. To the core. But Logan will get to live. It's unfair and unjust and ultimately it would be right if Jack found Logan and shot him. But Logan is headed the hospital and Jack has bigger fish to fry so Logan will live through 24.

Jack Bauer! - Why are people so set that Jack is going to die at the end of this season? They keep talking about a movie version of 24. You wouldn't do a movie version of 24 if Jack was going to die. Jack is the man. He might get arrested yes but he's not going to die. LIke I said, Jack is going to have to flee the country but he's going to live. He's Jack f-ing Bauer!

Next week will bring an end to the greatest show on television. It's be both awesome and sad.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Finals

So the Conference Finals are all set. In the West the top two seeds prevail, while in the East we have the seventh and eighth seeds.

San Jose vs Chicago

This is kind of the series everyone expected in the West. Chicago surprised me in their series against Vancouver. I thought the Sedin twins were just too strong going into the series and Luongo had been playing as good as he had been all season going into the semi-finals. After Game 1 it looked like my assumptions were right. But Chicago tightened up and took the next 3 games and were able to take care of Vancouver in 6. San Jose really had no trouble with Detroit which also surprised me. I thought Detroit had too much experience to go out in 5. Nabokov was strong in goal (minus the disastrous game 4). San Jose just had too much for Detroit.

This series is hard for me to call. It's almost a battle of youth versus experience. Chicago has had a tougher road to the finals playing a tough Nashville team and Vancouver (although they won both series in 6 games). This matchup comes down to goaltending. Nabokov against Niemi. Both these teams are evenly matched and goaltending is going to be key in these series. Niemi came up big against Vancouver and has been pretty solid all year in net for the Blackhawks. But I think betting against Nabokov is a bad move. I think getting out of the first round this year has eased San Jose into just playing hockey. I think the Sharks will win this series in 7.

Philadelphia vs Montreal

The Flyers got into the playoffs on the last game of the season beating the Rangers in a shoot out. They went on to demolish New Jersey in 5 games and after being down 3-0 to the Bruins, won 4 straight to put them into the Eastern Conference finals. Montreal had to beat the Capitals, the best team in the NHL during the regular season, and the Penguins, the defending Stanley Cup champions.

I'm not picking against the Canadiens. Halak has been great in goal when he needed to be and Montreal is a team getting healthy. Losing Boucher wasn't enough to lose the Flyers the series against Boston but I wonder if Leighton can continue to be strong in net. He looked shaky in the first period of Game 7, giving up 3 goals. With both Gill and Markov coming back for the Habs, I don't think Philadelphia has a chance. But the Flyers have already been a surprise in the playoffs and if there's a team to give Montreal problems it'll be the Flyers. I still like the Canadiens to win this series in 5.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kitty Adventures. It's like Homeward Bound, only less epic

So Carley and I took a walk this evening. Just a nice stroll around the neighborhood. Eddie, her cat, was outside and started following us. He would walk far behind and then run and catch up and then stop at a tree and wait and then run back up again. I've never seen a cat pant like a dog until today. So he walked all around the neighborhood with us... Well mostly. We had turned the final leg of our walk and Eddie stopped at a tree. He was staring down a dog and then just went to explore the tree. Car and I kept walking. He assumed that Eddie would just find his way back home. But he didn't...

5 hours later we go to pick up Mallory from work. I see something white by the tree and tun the car around. And surprise, Eddie, 5 hours later, is still at the same tree. Just chilling. So Carley jumped out of the car, grab Eddie, and we took him home.

Silly Kitty

Infinite Keys

Saturday, May 1, 2010

God Send Us a SIgnal

It's easy to forget how good God is when things are going bad. And then something little happens to let you know he's still looking out for you.