Friday, August 19, 2011

I Don't Know You

Sometimes I forget that people who may follow me on twitter or who follow my blogs don't actually know me.

I read an article the other day about how the awesome people who run the Creation Museum are starting a theme park called Noah's Ark. And I posted a link to the article on twitter and said this is exactly what the world needs.

Now people who know me read that knowing I was being snarky and sarcastic and that I think Noah's Ark the theme park is as great an idea as the Holy Land Experience in Florida (a place that I think should be burned down and the money gained should be given to the poor and needy).

So I was retweeted by a guy who follows me on twitter. While we have a mutual love old Christian rock music, our Christian beliefs vary slightly drastically. Now I don't know why he retweeted me but I think he took me as being serious and not an asshole.

Pointless blog about not knowing who follows you and who actually knows you. Go back to your lives. I'm sorry for wasting your time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Technology Can Be Difficult Sometimes

Karol Patton, Come on Down!

It might not be the biggest difference between my sister and me but as a point of reference she prefers DreamWorks Animated Films and I think Pixar is clearly superior.

There's a great line from Talladega Nights where Susan says "Well, Ricky Bobby is not a thinker. He is a doer." When it comes to technology, Karol is not a thinker. My sister has probably gotten better with technology over the last couple of years. Thankfully this story happened before she went to college. She will argue that this happened differently, but it didn't.

Way back in the day, iPod's used to be these big clunky white things that played music. The technology was still fairly new and having one was pretty cool. My sister bought a 16 Gig Refurbished iPod from the Apple store. I had bought mine refurbed from the Apple store, never had a problem, and loved it.

(Since I no longer own an iPod or mp3 played or any kind this was obviously before my holy war against technology and how much I hate Apple's battery life but that's for another blog).

So my sister gets her iPod in the mail and she's excited. But that excitement didn't last long. She just couldn't get the iPod to work. She had the usb cable plugged into her computer, iTunes up... But nothing. Her frustration grew louder, filling the house with anger.

I went up to her room to see what the problem was and looking at the iPod I quickly noticed the problem.

"You have to turn it on."

Turning the iPod on it quickly showed up on the computer and in iTunes. Not one of her smartest moments.

Now in Karol's defense Apple did send her a busted piece of junk and the iPod never did work correctly. Of course my sister never sent it back and tried to get a replacement but that's another story.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Old Are You?

I was going to save my sister Becky for last but since I'm having a hard time coming up with quality blog stories for my other siblings. So congrats Becky, it's your turn.

My sister and I have a love hate relationship that goes all the way to be beginning of her life. When she was a baby I wanted to play her, so 1 year old me climbed into her crib, picked her up and dropped her out of the crib. Later in life, as I would be trying to sleep in the top bunk, with my arm hanging over the side, she would bite my fingers. Every night. I was clearly not very smart or else I would have stopped hanging my arm over the side. A few years after that I took a pair of scissors and almost successfully cut off two of her fingers. I don't know why I did this but I'm sure she had it coming.

As you can see, there's a lot of back and forth of terrible things done and said to each other. I'm surprised we still talk sometimes.

So what out of all the great moments in her life could I talk about? I could have posted a picture of her as a small child with an awful lesbian haircut. But I won't. There are always fat pictures of my sister from middle and high school but for some reason I also seem to be in the pictures and I'm not posting fat pictures of myself on my blog.

Instead I'm going to pick on my sisters age. Not her actual age, the age she lives. Where my sister is a mere year younger then me (she's dreading turning 26 in December), the ages we live our not even close. My sister acts like she's in 70's or 80's. I mean, if she and her husband got off work earlier she'd totally have dinner at 4pm. My sisters never been a late night partier so it's no surprise that she's not down for late night hangs. But her bed time is beyond me...

We went on a cruise last year and my sister was in bed by 9 every night! Are you kidding me? I know my brother-in-law keeps hours closer to mine and I just don't know how he does it. If I call at 10 on a Saturday night she's asleep and has no interest in coming out for a drink. I just don't get it.

So last night on Facebook my sister asked if it was bedtime yet. It was 8. At night. Let me say that again.


If I'm contemplating going to bed at 8pm something in my life has gone horribly wrong. Even if I didn't sleep the night before my head probably isn't hitting the pillow till 10:30 at the earliest and I'm never that lucky.

You don't want to drive the 20 minutes from Germantown to Bethesda and have a drink with your brother, fine. But going to be at 8pm and you're only 25? I just don't get it.

If it works with gummy bears...

A few months ago I posted a blog about how I would like my future wife to bake cookies and was very honest and open about part of my reasoning is that I wanted pretty girls to bake and bring me cookies. In my shallow honesty I got no cookies. Got a couple promises of cookies but no actual cookies were made and given to BP because of said blog. Which is fine. My hopes for cookies were balanced by the realization that no one would be bringing me cookies. So I wasn't shocked when my attempt to get free cookies was met with no cookies.

Anyways, I've tweeted over the last couple months about my gummy bear addiction and general love for gummy bears. And people started bringing me gummy bears. My brothers and sister just started handing me bags of gummy bears that they bought while at 7-11. I got home from band practice last week to a bag of gummy bears on my pillow. It's been awesome. While I feel like the gummy bears have contributed to a little bit bigger mid-section, it's still awesome.

I know baking cookies is a more complicated and committed task then buying a dollar bag of gummy bears but there's got to be a way to make this happen, right? Don't get me wrong, I love gummy bears and if gummy bears continue to come my way, I'll be a happy man. But my love for cookies is far greater then my love for gummy bears. And if I could start getting free cookies coming my way...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tree Hugging As an Art Form

Today's blog is about my brother Kennan. For those of you saying to yourself right now, Kennan, that's an interesting name. The answer is yes it is. (Apparently we're going to pick on Becky too for a minute).

Side note: All of my sibling's name start with B or K. My parent's are Bruce and Karen and taking after my dad's family, decided all of their Children's name would start with the same letter as the parents. My dad's from a family of 10. 10 kids whose names all start with the letter B.

So My parents were going to name Kennan, Kevin. My sister at the age of 3 or whatever she would've been couldn't say Kevin and kept saying Kennan. My parents liked it and my brother has spent his entire life explaining his name to people.

Alright, back to Kennan.

Apples to Apples is my favorite game to play. You get a group of 6 or 7 people and have a blast. I love it. I hate people who just want to be funny all the time while playing Apples to Apples. We get it, the word was peaceful and you picked bomb. Really funny Adam Sandler.

My brother is one of these people. So we're playing a couple of weeks ago and the word my brother draws is masculine. The cards laid down were great. The Godfather, Construction workers, Babe Ruth, Robert De Niro. Great cards.

Someone put down tree huggers... Obviously they had nothing better.

Kennan picked tree huggers.

Nobody playing thought it was funny. We all thought he was just an ass and any other card picked would have been a better option. He is still getting made of for picking tree huggers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Didn't We Not Learn Anything From Toy Story 3?

Yesterday I picked on my Kyle. Today I'm going to pick on my brother Bobby. I have 2 other brothers and 3 sisters, so this could be a fun series of blogs.

Now Bobby is a Star Wars fan. Well, Fanatic. He loves Star Wars. Which is cool. I love Pixar, he loves Star Wars. He has Darth Vader action figures, I have Buzz Lightyear and Mr Incredible. No big deal.

My brother is prepping for a possible move to the state of Virginia. Throwing at some stuff that's not necessary, packing books in boxes, that sort of thing. As I was looking in my brother's room and looking at his toys that were still out I noticed that an action figure of the Joker (from Batman) was missing from his dresser. He was talking about giving some toys away and sending some to Goodwill.

A little back story. My sister Karol somehow acquired this Joker action figure only a couple weeks earlier and because Bobby saw her first, he got it.

As Bobby and me are talking I come to the realization that he has thrown out the Joker action figure. And I become a little upset. Like I start yelling at my brother upset. How is he going to throw out a Joker action figure without first offering it to me? I couldn't believe it. How could he throw away a Joker action figure?

Luckily the Goodwill bag with the Joker in it had not been thrown out and the Joker was saved and now sits on my dresser next to Mr Incredible and Boo (from Monsters Inc).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tennis Balls

Can I tell a story? This story will not do any justice to how this happened in real life but it's funny and because my brother-in-law and me talked about it last night, I feel it should be shared.

You ever have a moment where you say, I wish we caught that on video because we so would win America's Funniest Video if we did? Well I did. A moment so awesome, so funny, so classic, that I wish it would've been video taped so I could relive it over and over and over again!

I love baseball. I'm not very good at playing baseball but I love it. My family likes playing a game that's based on baseball. It's baseball but there's no team, no score, no real base running of any kind. And we use a tennis ball. But it's a fun time and the whole family plays. It's great. A couple of summers ago we were playing in the backyard, the whole family (minus my parents). I was up to bat. My brother Kyle had handed his glove to my brother-in-law.

I point at Kyle like I'm Babe Ruth, a signal that I was going to smack the ball right at him.

The pitch came in, I swing, hit the ball...

BAM! The tennis ball smacks Kyle right in his bits and pieces.

And while my poor younger brother falls to the ground, writhing in pain, the family laughs. Because it's funny. It's a one in a million chance that it would happen. I'm not that good at baseball. I didn't plan this. But it was brilliant.

It still makes me laugh to think about it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

God's Got It Under Control

I tweeted yesterday that I had too many upcoming projects that involved spending money I don't have. I knew this was going to be the case but when I started doing the math it became real. There are some cheaper ways of going about doing some of these things but money will still be tight (as money is already tight in my life to begin with).

But then I get a call letting me know that I got a check in the mail for the great state of Maryland. Not a large check but when I heard that a check which I was not expecting or even knew was coming had come in I had one thought; God's got things under control. And if He's put something in my heart, he will provide a way for it to be fulfilled.

Monday, August 1, 2011

God Anthology

The God Anthology series is now over. I'm a little sad to see it end. God wrecked my world in all sorts of good ways during this series. And I'm excited for the future and what's next but when something is so good and moving and life and perspective changing, it's tough to move on. I will probably revisit these sermons again especially the first two (Mystery and Holiness). My life was in flux was this series started and God used it to show himself in new ways to me.

I won't re-chronicle every message and my thought process with each one as I've already done a good job in getting my thoughts on each message to this blog.

But my question is what now? What do I do with the feelings and thoughts and ideas that came out of God Anthology? There were a lot of passions re-ignited and new passions and purposes created. God had been creating a stirring in my spirit for a couple months and it all came pouring out over this series. I saw God move in my life in new ways, spiritually, personally, and relationally. On the night I heard Pastor Mark speak on God's Sovereignty, God brought this character to light, as I was feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude and God's goodness, full of praise, only to come home to find out my cousins 11 month old baby was going to die... How was I going to respond?

The A.W. Tozer quote "What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." is a quote that kicked off each message and throughout God Anthology what comes into my mind when I think about God has changed. And it will continue to change as I grow and learn more. I'm so grateful for this series.

God is Love

God is Love. It's such a huge statement and it's a lot harder to grasp and comprehend then I think a lot of people would admit. Heather Zempel spoke on the love of God to close out the God Anthology series at NCC. Heather said we have a false and incomplete understand of God is love, and I'd agree with that statement.

I struggle with the love of God. And if I'm honest, I struggle with it because I don't understand it. I've seen it shown to me in my life by God and from others. I've been overwhelmed by God's sacrifice and by His goodness to the point of tears because I realize I have nothing to say or offer that can match God's love for me. I hope that I've been able to show the love of God to at least one person around me.

One of the most impacting statements from this weekend that I've been thinking about is this: God is love does not mean God is nice. It's a distinction I don't make naturally. Because it's easy to say if you love someone you're nice to them. Or is that just me?

But it's not true. We aren't always nice to the people we love. And the reason we're not always nice is because we love them. We don't let the people we care about run around and make terrible choices. No, we interfere and at the risk of being the bad guy, try and stop being from doing harm to them because we love them and don't want to see them get hurt long term.

I wrote about people letting us down and how we need to respond in love and not give up on people. Part of acting in love is helping those see their mistake and showing tough love or rebuking what they've done. It's not coming alongside and just saying its okay buddy. Because there's no real love in that.

I think a verse that stood out to me most is one I've heard a billion times but struck me in a new way this weekend.

"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" ~ 1 Corinthians 13-7.

I'm a failure. There have been countless times when I've just faced the reality that I disappoint God all the time. I disappoint those around me constantly too. And no matter what good I do and no matter how nice I am or generous, or compassionate, or anything, there are still black marks in my life. There are still things I will never be proud of having done. There will probably be something that happens or something I say this week that I won't be proud of. Because I'm a failure and if I were God, I would have thrown me to the curb years ago.

But love never gives up and if God is love then God never gives up and thank goodness for that. God never gives up on me, never loses faith in me, is always hopeful, and endures through every time I disappoint him, and he's still willing to forgive me and accept me as his son.

I don't have a pretty way of tying this in a bow and making it a neat blog post with a point that gets you thinking. Because the post is me thinking out loud and my thoughts don't make sense or have an answer and they aren't wrapped in a bow. In fact if I'm using the wrapping analogy, my thoughts are wrapped like a Christmas present I have personally wrapped. Meaning they're messy and not pretty.

Love is the foundation of God's character. God is love. I will never fully understand the love of God and I'm okay with that. My hope is that I can show God's love to those around me better and better with each passing day.