Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three things #126

1. I was at a Sheraton Hotel this evening at a event for investors. At the same hotel there will be a horror film festival over the next three days. The mix of the Wall Street guys and the Goth contingent was really, really weird.

What struck me in watching the Goth/horror film group was how much they seemed to delight in the morose and evil. They were passionate about these films about depravity and sickness and death. Just by watching you could tell that there was a strong sense of community for these vampirish guys around their common interest.

And I bet that Jesus would more likely have hung with the Goth kids than with me and my venture capitalist compatriots. It is the sick that need a physician....

2. The most surreal thing I have seen in my entire lifetime was a Goth guy that accidently walked in an entrance to the hotel and through the Grand Ballroom filled with investment types. After about ten paces, he knew he had come in the wrong set of doors. What made the scene surreal was the object that the guy had draped over one shoulder: a full size stuffed sheep wearing a confederate flag knit sweater.

3. Finally, this:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Three things #125

1. Want a good stock tip? But Taco Bueno stock. Between Mrs. Underdog's late pregnancy tostada cravings and my post birthday lack of desire to cook, their stock will most certainly rise. Carpe muchacos.
2. My Denver Broncos drafted two vocal Christians with their two first round picks in the NFL draft last weekend. My hometown Cowboys, on the other hand, seem to draft guys with a parole officer in tow.....
3. I notice that most people seem to find very little satisfaction in their work. I wonder if it is beacuse there is no end to the demands of most employers. Once you accomplish a goal, it is immediately replaced with a new one. I find that the marketplace is generally lacking in grace and joy.

(Punish kittens.)

Monday, April 26, 2010


I know that you have a lot going on. If you are reading this, I assume that it is probably a break from your other myriad responsibilities. Or maybe you are a bum, sipping coffee in a Starbucks somewhere, goofing off while attempting to maximize your caffeine consumption. Maybe both, I don't know.

But I want you to pause for just a moment and consider how incredible it is that you are alive. I think that we often take life for granted. But 90 years ago, you did not exist except in the mind of God. While He knew every detail of your future, your entrance into existence would surprise pretty much everyone involved. Until that moment of recognition, the best evidence of your future was a star in the sky that Father Abraham saw generations ago.

But God knew the plans that He had for you long before Abraham's star gazing. God would call you into being and create you from absolutely nothing. You would inherit life loving, creative Creator. And it was good. He would put breath in your lungs and a give your heart a consistent rhythm. He would begin knitting you together inside your mother's belly before even she knew you were there. He would fearfully and wonderfully instill you with a will and a personality. Your sense of humor and your laugh and your ability to carry a tune and your appreciation for art and your aptitude for math and your taste in food and favorite colors would all be blended into a unique personal chemistry that is too complex for words to accurately describe.

You are alive because God made you live. And that is a miracle.

But don't take it for granted. For someday your life will end. Borrowed air will exit your lungs for the last time and number of heartbeats that God ordained will reach their potential. Your body will give out. You will die, just like everyone else.

So number your days. Each one of them is a gift. Today was given to you so that you might remember your Creator. You were made so that you might love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are here right now, alive, for a purpose.

So take a moment and thank Jesus that you are alive. Because life is precious.
And short.

Don't waste it.

Serious stuff

My 6 year old son (formerly known as The Linebacker Starter Kit) walks into the living room and states, "Mom, I think I need to rethink my life."

So true.

Three things #123

1. For the first time in over a year, Mrs. Underdog and I had the weekend to ourselves. Without kids. SO WE PARTIED! We saw How To Train Your Dragon --- IN A THEATER! ($9 admission?! Really?) We ate in a restaurant with cloth napkins. (She cut up my steak.) We watched The Blind Side at home. (Good. Perhaps a tad overrated.) And we slept through the night. (Twice.) I love my kids, but I had forgotten what it is like to just sit quietly with the one that you love. (While gorging yourself on Peanut Butter frozen yogurt.)
2. I forgot to mention that my kids got me a Nerf gun with pump action firing for my birthday. Nothing says good fathering like pelting your egotistic 8 year old with Nerf darts. Repeatedly. While he is sleeping.
3. Which reminds me of my dads favorite method for waking us up when we were younger. We lived in Colorado, where it was often cold. So you would try and stay under the covers as long as possible. So my dad would place a squirt gun in the refrigerator. He would then stand in our bedroom doorway and shoot us in the face with streams of cold water until we woke up. Back then it seemed cruel and unusual. Now it seems like a very reasonable solution to a common problem. Interesting how your perspective changes with the passage of time.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Where is YOUR joy?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sesame Street fun

If you get these videos, you're probably old.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Three things #120

1. A lot of my Indian friends use the phrase "to do the needful". Although it is not perfect grammatically, I really like the way that it sounds.

2. The NFL draft is tonight and several young men will become instant millionaires because of their physical gifts with an oblong, leather ball. On the other hand, I am small, slow and have the vertical leap of a bloated elephant, but I will not have consistent pain for the rest of my life from a million Sunday afternoon collisions. Seems like an okay trade.

3. There is no #3 today. I am having a dumb moment and can't think of anything clever to write. My brain gets an F- this morning.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cool and Sobering

How do they do that?

Solidarité from La Boite Concept on Vimeo.

Boys versus Girls

How my girls think about Winnie the Pooh:

How my boys think about Winnie the Pooh:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oh God, I have tasted thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Truine God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy Glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.

--- A.W. Tozer via Francis Chan

Three things #118

1. I think that one advantage that cows have over us is the whole "chewing your cud" thing. I mean, how great would it be to have gum on demand? And if you just ate something that you really like, you get the opportunity to enjoy it twice. And if you were really good, I bet you could blow cud bubbles. The downside for cows is that you probably can't ever escape the sneaky feeling that you are made mostly of hamburger.

2. I thought of #1 when I was walking out of Starbucks this morning and there was a grown man chewing with his mouth open. Isn't that like Manners 101? But then again, maybe he was just chewing his cud....

3. I love Spring. It means that I can chuck the boys in the backyard whenever they get a little rowdy. You can do it during winter too, but then you have to endure the whining about the cold. Today's forecast is for boys outside with only a 30% chance of scattered whining....

Monday, April 19, 2010

In Between

I am reading through the Bible this year. And although I will have to read all of the major and minor prophets and most of the epistles in the month of December, I am making solid progress. As I read portions (sometimes entire books) that I have not read before, I have noticed how very little information there is about most people. The Bible does not give comprehensive, biography style accounts of anyone. It merely hits the "highlights".

Adam and Eve get a few chapters. Abraham's hundred-plus years is covered in just a few pages. Jesus gets four books, but there are giant gaps where we know nothing specific about His life. The significant events are recorded for our benefit, but there is a lot of in-between time that is plain silent.

I am curious about those periods of time when the Scriptures are silent. But I also find a great deal of comfort that there was nothing noteworthy in the lives of many great saints for significant periods of time. I find that there are long stretches in my life where God seems to be doing very little. Life continues with the routines of work and parenting and church.

But God is always at work in me and through me and for me. He is slowly, steadily sanctifying me. He is making all things new and quietly disposing of the old. In the quiet stretches, He requires that I trust in His goodness and mercy and steadfast love.

That's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Three things #117

1. A conversation with one of my kids this weekend led me to meditate on the idea that God is invisible. This may seem basic to you, but faith is about God's invisibility. How can I believe in something that I cannot see? Because God gave me eyes to see....

2. It never ceases to be weird: there is a person living inside my wife. A little person with thoughts, feelings, personality, and occasionally, the hiccups.

3. My favorite movie quote of all time? "Why does yogurt night have to be so difficult?" That one line was worth the price of the entire movie.

Todays List of One

Words That For Darn Sure Cannot Be Rhymed In A Romantic Poem
  1. Hossenfeffer

Thank you.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Todays List of One

Important Food That I Am Grateful Does Not "Taste Like Chicken"
  1. Steak

Thank you. Drive safely.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Three things #116

1. I don't want to come across as having some sort of creepy self-esteem issue, but I am going to type this anyway. As I talk to other fathers my age and examine my own heart, there seems to be a theme of "never enough". No father seems to think that they are succeeding at what they are doing. Even some of the dads I admire most wonder if they are doing okay or not. I think about this alot because I know that they very most important thing is knowing God, but there is constant competition for time from family and work and church and sleep and exercise and.....

Is this a cultural thing? Is fathering in todays America unique? What is the right measuring stick? Should we have a measuring stick? Am I asking a lot of questions? Yes. I think I am.

2. My parents took a trip to Israel and one of the items they sent to my family was a yarmulke. I think I might wear it to church on Sunday and see if anyone says anything.

3. I was thinking tonight about how the span of our days is completely unpredictable. No one knows when their life will end. It will end at some point, yet no one can put on their calendar "Likely last day of life". (Who would you send a calendar invite to for that appointment?!) Maybe it is better that we don't know.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Todays List of One

Words That Really Sound Quite Funny When Teamed With The Word "McNuggets"
  1. Squirrel

Thank you and good night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Todays List of One

Animals That May Seem Cute, But Are Really Just Young Evil
  1. Kittens

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A few things I have learned in 36 years

  1. Silence really is golden. If God is whispering to someone and I keep talking, that is bad for the listener.
  2. All of my heroes are fallible.
  3. 99% of parenting books are bunk. No one can customize a book to fit the needs of your child's unique make-up. I'll take Wisdom over Published Advice for $500, Alex.
  4. Becoming who God made you to be is less about reforming habits and more about rebuilding right desires.
  5. Nothing is inconsequential. It may not matter to you, but it probably does to someone else. Whether you can see it or not.
  6. Its best to drink water, but sometimes you just have to have a root beer.
  7. It is often difficult to prioritize your time, but the key metric is that you can work for the rest of your life but you only get to play backyard catch with your son for a few years.
  8. Loving Jesus = Embracing risk.
  9. I cannot resist a good deal on books, even if I know it will be years before I get to read them.
  10. God is sovereign over all things at all times. And my limited perspective does not give me the privilege of questions those things that I am too small to comprehend. God does not owe me an explanation for anything but He has shared with me much more than I deserve to know. And He is good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Three things #115

1. I find that all of our children have been self-determined from the start. They come into the world whenever they want to. Don't check with Mom or Dad. Just are born at their leisure. Completely uncaring about schedules and routines. Way to go, babies....way to go.....

This stage of the pregnancy is kind of like waiting for Christmas as a kid and not really understanding the meaning of the calendar. You wake up every morning wondering if there will be presents and then at the end of the day you think, "Well, it wasn't Christmas today." Eventually it has to be Christmas, but the waiting is still a bummer.

2. This quote was simply screaming at me: "Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." (Tim Kizziar via Francis Chan)

3. God knew that you would do the things that you regret the most and He decided to create you anyway. More than that, He sacrificed greatly so that He could adopt you. So, rest little sheep, your regrets are no match for His grace.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This simply made me laugh...

Made me think of the verse: "For when I am weak, then I am strong....." (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Three things #114

1. I have the same nightmare over and over. I am in a bathroom in a restaurant and somehow my wallet falls in the toilet. I work up the courage to fish out the wallet and then my Blackberry falls in the toilet. Then the toilet backs up and overflows.

I have issues.

2. There is nothing better than a story about the church being the church. Some really great people in our church had their car catch on fire. No one was hurt, but they were left without a second car. In a large family, this is a significant problem. But the church rose up and someone anonymously (except to God!) gave a car to them. Awesome.

3. I love my wife. I cannot be an easy person to live with. I know this because I often don't like living with myself. But she tolerates me and my attention-deficit-disorder-like need for new adventures and experiences. God has been good to me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

7 miles

You'd have to be an idiot to believe a dead guy could walk 7 miles, right?

Three things #112

  1. To those that have mentioned that I skipped some numbers: Yes, I know. I can count. And, no, there are no missing posts. But if it helps you to have a little mystery, go ahead and believe it.
  2. We had our weekly prayer gathering at church this morning. I nearly laughed when I was praying and have been pondering the appropriate-ness of laughter during prayer. I was praying about the fact that scientists recently discovered about a billion stars that they did not previously know were there. I mentioned that God hung those stars and knows them by name. It struck me as absurd how small and limited we are in our knowledge of the universe and how it works. I kinda snickered. With joy in God's greatness.
  3. We are expecting Pup #7 any day now. And I am rooting against the little girl being born on my birthday. Although Mrs. Underdog thinks it would be great, I think she would have a different opinion if it were her birthday. What a great gift to hold new life in your arms on your birthday. Great. Now I'm in limbo about the whole thing....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Three things #110

  1. Faith: My 8-year-old son invited a neighborhood friend to go to Easter services with us on Sunday. This friend slept in and didn't show. When I asked my son why he was moping around the house yesterday, he said that he was discouraged that his friend didn't meet Jesus on Sunday. My son fully expected that his buddy would meet and trust Jesus last Sunday. I have something to learn from that kind of faith.
  2. Opening day of baseball marks the start of the sporting abyss known as summer.
  3. Tiger Woods has been all over the news with his appearance at the Masters golf tournament. And there has been a lot of criticism of his adulteries over the past several months. I think that Christian men in particular should tred lightly in dogpiling on Tiger. Because according to Jesus, most of us have been serial adulterers in our hearts (Matthew 5:28).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Three things #107

1. One of the churches that I love does "spontaneous baptisms" on Easter Sunday for people that have placed their trust in Jesus. I really like the "John the Baptist" element of this practice. You have been justified in a single moment and turned from your sin. So let baptism be your second act of obedience.

2. In one weekend, a recently divorced father blew up his house (and himself) just three blocks way from our house. And my brother-in-law became a new father to a little girl. Examples of death and new life were in close proximity to our family the past few days. God is sovereign over both.

3. I am grateful for all of the things that God provides. Color and music and emotion and domesticated dogs are not necessary for life. But life would be less interesting for the lack of them.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

CS Lewis agrees with me.

C.S. Lewis: “The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the Acts. The Resurrection and its consequences were the ‘gospel’ or good news which the Christian brought; what we call the ‘gospels’, the narratives of Our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the benefit of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basis of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracles of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes later as a comment on it. Nothing could be more unhistorical than to pick out selected sayings of Christ from the gospels and to regard those as the datum and the rest of the New Testament as a construction upon it. The first fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection.”

NoBody is why we celebrate

Jesus is the only founder of a religion whose physical remains do not receive visitation from followers. You can go to the site of Buddha's decomposed body. Same with Mohammed. And Krishna. But if Christ's enemies could have produced a corpse, they could have defused the entire movement. But his enemies never did. Because there was no body.

He is Risen. Indeed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It is GOOD Friday

"[Simon] carried only the wood of [the cross], he did not bear the sin that made it such a load. Christ did but transfer to Simon the outward frame, the mere tree. But the curse of the tree, which was our sin and its punishment, rested on Jesus’ shoulders still. Dear friend, if you think that you suffer all that a Christian can suffer, if all God’s billows roll over you, yet remember, there is not one drop of wrath in all your sea of sorrow. Jesus took the wrath. Jesus carried the sin.” — Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Father, any thing that I write today will be insufficient. Nothing can fully capture the depth of my gratitude for the sacrifice of Your Son as a substitute for me. I know that I deserve nothing from you but anger and judgement. For I was a wildly rebellious creature, bent on destroying myself and those around me. Despising my hatred for you, you loved your enemies and decided to slay your one and only Son so that I could be brought to You. And so my sedition has been forgotten and I am clothed in a righteousness that is greater than my mind can comprehend.

Thank you, Father. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit.

I love You.