newspaper endorsements

30 10 2008

I realize that I have already voted and I stated that I am ready to move on.  But, one more thing has been on my mind that I would like to mention.  Is it weird to anyone else that newspapers make it a common practice to endorse candidates?  I mean, it seems to me, that if a network television station, or even a local affiliate for that matter, made a public endorsement of a candidate that everyone would be all up in arms about it.  And yet, newspapers regularly do this each and every election cycle.  Why is that?  Just seems odd to me.

OK…on to other things…





I voted

28 10 2008

Well, I voted.  For better or for worse, I voted.  Don’t have to think about that anymore…





Jury Duty on earth

24 09 2008

Yesterday I participated in my civic duty as a Collin County resident in the state of Texas.  I had to show up to the local court house and wait to see if my name got called for one of the 2 jury panels needed for the day.  It wasn’t.  They took the first panel of 25 right away.  Then we all sat there while one woman worked with 8 or 9 different people to either postpone their service or cancel it altogether due to some affliction or another (I didn’t really understand the ones that were allowed to leave without rescheduling because the summons I received in the mail clearly spelled out every acceptable reason to get out of jury duty – all they had to do was mark the appropriate box, send it in and then just not show up).  Anyway, she finally got around to calling the second panel of potential jurors and then let everyone else go home.

So, what did I do while I sat there waiting?  I read a few pages in the book “Jesus for President” by Shane Claiborn and Chris Haw.

Consider the irony of these words that I read as I sat in a courtroom waiting to see if I would be selected on a jury to decide the fate of an accused criminal:

Some might read the popular phrase, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and mistakenly think that Jesus

meant, “My kingdom is not in this world.”  But Jesus was speaking more about essence than location.  In other words, he was talking about the “real world.”

Jesus said this while on trial for insurrection.  His kingdom had finally collided with the kingdoms of Herod and Pilate, and they wanted answers.  Since Jesus’ birth, he had been at odds with the establishment.  They wanted him dead ever since the rumors about the other King of the Jews.  Because of this Jesus had, for the most part, stayed on the fringes of public life, insisting that the kingdom he preached and represented be undetectable to the powers.  But now he had paraded into the center of power, flipped over its tables, and hosted a public and critical teach-in, creating the conditions for his arrest.  Now under government control he is questioned:

Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?”  Pilate replied.  “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me.  What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.  But now my kingdom is from a different place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” retorted Pilate…

From then on Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar.  Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out … “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews…

“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

John 18:33-38; 19:12-15.

…His Kingdom is not of this world because it refuses power, pledges a different allegiance, and lives love. In a world where truth had become smothered and rulers don’t even know what it is anymore, Jesus embodies a truth that will set us free – even Pilate.

That’s the kingdom I want to be a part of.  Reading those words while sitting in a Collin County courthouse just drove home the point.





Purple America

15 09 2008

OK, there are now less than 50 days until I will cast my ballot in this year’s presidential election.  This is the fourth time I have been eligible to vote in a such an election.  But, this is the first time I can honestly say that I am completely 100% undecided at this stage in the campaigns.

It seems like everyone has an opinion and is predisposed to one side or the other.  I even know some people who seem to be predisposed to not voting for either major party candidate (they always tell me this out of a emphatic and yet odd sense of patriotic duty).

For the first time, though, I don’t feel predisposed to either party…or to neither party for that matter.

In a weird way, I actually kind of like both candidates.  But, at the same time, I don’t trust either of them.  I really don’t want to vote for someone and then regret it in a few years.  I am certainly smart enough to know that neither one of them is telling me the whole truth about everything.  I would even venture to say that they are both probably lying through their teeth on certain subjects.

I am really looking forward to the debates.  I really hope that the contents of the debates gives me something to base my decision on.

It’s really weird in this divided political climate how really smart people can see things so completely differently…and so completely along party lines.

It almost seems like we are all watching a sporting event where everyone takes sides based on what team they are used to rooting for.  It’s like my brother and me.  He is a huge Spurs fan and I am a huge Mavs fan.  No matter how objective we try to be when our teams play each other, we always end up seeing two totally different games.

It’s the same with politics.  No matter what words are said or what actions are taken or what plans are promised or what running mate is selected, half the country sees it as good and half the country sees it as bad.





Jesus for President

18 07 2008
Jesus 4 Prez tourbus

Jesus 4 Prez tourbus

Last night my buddy Kyle from Retread and I went to see Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw on their “Jesus for President” book tour.  It was a very unique experience.  I really enjoyed it.  They have unique political ideas that are refreshing to me.  I bought their book and started reading it when I got home.  Can’t wait to really get into it.  Here is a more complete review by my friend.

The evening was definitely something different than I have ever experienced before.  Two guys basically standing up together going through the entire human story.  All throughout, there were musical interludes by the Psalters, a very unique musical talent which is very hard for me to describe – kind of celtic or chanty and middle eastern or indian.  It was pretty special.

Check out www.jesusforpresident.org/tour to see if you can catch these guys coming to your town.