Monday, October 30, 2006

Bailey's Dance-Enjoy!

The Art Of Reading

So I'm trying to learn the art of reading. What I mean by this is simple; how can I be a more effective reader? My schizophrenic type A personality tells me I need to read more. You know, if I read 2 books a week then I 'm a better leader; I will gleam more information, etc.

But I'm beginning to think that quality is more important than quantity. Now the important factor here starts with the book: it must be good, or else it's getting shelved rather quickly.

But if the book is good, I want the book to become a part of who I am, at least for a short season. For instance, as I read "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day," I want to allow the text to infiltrate my Spirit, to challenge my thinking and I also want to find space for praxis. How can I apply this to my life now and in the future?

Of course all books are a bit different. For instance, I'm reading Systematic Theology by Grudem. Good book, but I do not agree with many parts of it. So the challenge I face is three-fold.

1. Why do I disagree? How can I challenge the text, and find my own way and understanding?
2. Maybe I have to unlearn what I thought I already knew. Life is a process of learning and unlearning right? So maybe the things I disagree with, means I'm wrong, and God is expanding my thinking, and maybe causing me to come to a new conclusion, or should I say revelation.
3. The things I agree with, how can they benefit me, my family, my life, my city, etc? How can I let the principles sink deep within my Spirit so long-term change can take place?
Sometimes I get tired of all the information that I can access. It seems crazy how many "experts" and "pundits" there are out there trying to teach us more stuff. I love information, I love to learn, but I have to use caution. Too much information is bad, it can cause a lack of action or to much change to quickly.

Change is a double-edged sword and if your not careful, it can kill you. Too much change, too quickly can cause an unstable culture. Not enough change, over a long period of time, can cause death or a create a backwards momentum.

Plus, how many times do we seek a "pundit" over the ultimate Rabbi? Sure I want to learn from leaders, peers, and the so called pundits. But at the same time, I do not want to replace my ability to learn from God with my ability to learn from another human.

So read, read well, read diverse, but read smart.

BTW-I really have no clue why I posted this. Hope is makes sense.

Peace & Love from Austin

Fantasy Football

Well, yesterday did not go well for me. I got beat by Ashdown's team, by like 20 freaking points. The bad thing is this-Ashdown's has a scrub team. His best player is injured. So that speaks volumes of my team, ya not looking good. Plus I'm on a three game loosing streak.

So I may some trades...I hope they work, if not I may have to fire the gm, which is me.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Praise Jesus!

Barack Obama

Barack Obama was in Austin tonight. I could have heard him speak for free...The only problem is I had no clue he was in town till AFTER he spoke, dang it!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Love Austin

So, I'm sitting in Seattle's Best Coffee in our apt complex. Biker dude rolls up in a fat Harley. I used to hate Harley's, now I love them. (why do I hate Harley's you ask, because my dad was a biker, my dad was a rough dude, feared by most in our city. I never liked that very much, or his gangster friends)

OK, back to the story-So dude walks in, looking biker tough and all. He takes off his cowboy hat, unpacks his bag and orders a cup of joe.

In his bag was a fat powerbook, blue tooth mouse, iPod, and an iSight. Of course he also had a razr phone.

He them rolls up to the counter an asks for a Americano and a pastry. Who knew? Simply nuts.

Of course it gets better...Dude gets a phone call on his slick razr. Must be the wife or daughter. He looked confused, then he ask "is the cat going to be OK?" The dude was really concerned and all.

I was trying not to stare (Nobody EVER stared at my dad, if they did it was not a good thing, since he always carried his 357 with him.)

But I guess the reality is this- you can't judge a book by it's cover, man I love Austin!

Barack Obama

Time magazine has a nice article on Barack Obama, who seems to be all the rage these days in politics. I hope the pundits are right, man this country really needs a fresh voice.

I'm so sick of politics, it seems impossible to really get anything done. I just hope we can get a fresh voice, a leader who cares more about America (and the rest of the world) then themselves, their agenda or their political affiliation. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. I do want a strong leader who desires positive change. My biggest issue right now is Foreign Policy, we have to have dialog with our so called enemies and find some sort of understanding and hope. War does not get us far, As Amos Lee says, "Freedom is rarely found, by beating someone else down."

I like Obama, and I like John McCain. They seem to real and authentic. And our country really needs that now, IMHO! But I need to study these dudes. Is it just me, or does it seem hard to really find out what these cats believe?

At this point my simple take on Obama is this: He is humble, charismatic, and he seems to be a bridge builder. I think he could bring a lot of healing to our country. But, maybe he lacks the strength to make the hard decisions and lead our country. He seems a bit unclear on many of his "stances." If he "clears" up his philosophy and shows he can lead, I'll probably be punching his name of the ballot in 2008. And if Hillary is running, I will definitely be pulling for this guy.

Also, how cool would it be for America to have a black President? To me, this would bring so much healing to our country and the rest of the world. I'm a white dude, but man I get so tired of seeing so many white folks in power. Diversity is good!

But hey, I really have not taken the time to study this dude and try to understand his policy and dreams for our country. All I know is 2008 can't come soon enough. Not because I'm a Bush hater, I just think we need a change, a fresh perspective and some creative ways to move our world forward.

Anyhow, below are some interesting quotes from the article. Enjoy, as always, peace & love from Austin

Obama is doing something pretty rare in latter-day American politics: he is respecting their intelligence.

the other side is not evil

In The Audacity of Hope, I counted 28 impolitic or self-deprecating admissions. Immediately, on page 3, he admits to political "restlessness," which is another way of saying he's ambitious. He flays himself for enjoying private jets, which eliminate the cramped frustrations of commercial flying but--on the other hand!--isolate him from the problems of average folks. He admits that his 2004 Senate opponent, Alan Keyes, got under his skin. He blames himself for "tensions" in his marriage; he doubts his "capacities" as a husband and father. He admits a nonpopulist affinity for Dijon mustard; he cops to being "grumpy" in the morning. He even offers his media consultant David Axelrod's opinions about the best negative TV ads that could have been used against him in the 2004 Senate campaign. (He once--accidentally, he says--voted against a bill to "protect our children from sex offenders."

But those were politicians who had big ideas or were willing to take big risks, and so far, Barack Obama hasn't done much of either

The audience of students and activists sensed the Senator's timidity and became palpably less enthusiastic as Obama went on

Look, it's just not my style to go out of my way to offend people or be controversial just for the sake of being controversial. That's offensive and counterproductive. It makes people feel defensive and more resistant to changes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Parenthood Woes

The past few days we've had kids from "the hood" over at our place. It gets so loud I have to put headphones on and seek God for refuge. This is definitely a bitter-sweet transformation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The NBA season is upon us. Can't wait. With the the Red Sox's sucking worse then the bad news Bears, and the Raiders are no longer even considered a legit NFL team (Chandler stop smiling) I get the chance to to root for a team that has some sort of talent, flare and excitement.

Last season we almost upset the Suns to advance to round two. This year, I think it's going to be hard to improve. Because the WEST is so good. Maybe we can finish 6th.

Although, the Lakers seem to be having early health issues. Which for a team that is not deep, that can be tough.

Anyhow, the addiction will begin soon, I will stay up late, refreshing my browser, stressing about the all numbers like playoff seeding, games back, games left at home etc. Nuts, and I've been this way since 1983. OH MY GOSH!

Ashdown, can you get tickets to the Rockets and Lakers?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Firefox 2.0

Firefox 2.0 is now available. So if your itching to check out all the new stuff, here's your chance. As for me, I will wait a few weeks and let them work out any bugs.

A Quote To Live By

So I'm hanging out at Mozart's reading Mark Batterson's book: In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. So far the book is good and challenging. I personally believe that at this time in my life I needed to read this book. When we planted Sacred, NCC was a church that we watched and tried to learn from. I love how the levels of life have been flattened, how bloggers build great churches and write cool books and in some funny weird sorta of way, complete strangers have a sense of community and relationship.

I remember Mark blogging how he struck a deal with a book publisher. I can also remember Mark blogging on how he writes first thing in the morning. So it does seem a bit strange to actually be reading a book in which you understand (or have a better understanding) the background of the author and his points of view and all.

Anyhow, let me share this one quote with you:

Mark asks this questions:

"Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about?"

Mark's first church failed, like mine. But he did not give up or call it quits. Now he pastors a church that is reaching twenty-somethings on Capital Hill. So his story gives me the courage not to give up and quit, but to move forward and fulfill my calling, so I can have a life that's worth telling stories about.

Peace & Love from Austin

Fantasy Football

So this is my first season playing fantasy football. I lost my first two games. Then I went on a three game win streak. But that did not last, and I've lost the last two games. But this week is mother of all matchup's. Why you ask...? Because this week I know I'm going to win, I can feel my opponent getting scared. This week I will not lose. I know it! Of course this week I play Ashdown's team. And J has a hurt Shawn Alexander, so that helps.

Ashdown, was shall we bet?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogger Beta

I switched to blogger beta, took five minutes and so far it works. Thank God!

Weekend Roundup

We made it back from Dallas last night, after two long days of work. Although, we were able to eat at la Madeleine French Bakery and Restaurant & Cafe Brazil, two of my favorite places to grub. But hey, rent is paid :)

Necole and I are TIRED of driving. So we are looking forward to hanging out in Austin this weekend, attending church and maybe we can make our way to some cool hiking spots or something.

Notre Dame is causing me some undue stress. But they pulled out another victory. Texas also pulled through and won on the road.

I rooted against the Raiders yesterday. I was hoping they would go winless. Oh well.

Hope you had a great weekend...Peace & Love from Austin.

BTW-Amos Lee is coming to Austin Dec 20th, SO FREAKING RAD!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oh Dallas, Why Oh Why, Oh Dallas

We are off to Dallas for the weekend. This should be our last month working in Dallas. It sucks, because we can't really hang with friends while we are there. It's a constant non-stop work and all.

Anyhow, I think I landed a pretty big deal yesterday. I should be getting close to 2200 inspections per month. Plus, I will get some real estate listings from the bank. Our first month is Nov. So, we shall see if we get it, and how well it goes. Thanks for praying.

Peace & Love from Austin!

Yes, You Will Get Mad - The Worlds Most Addicting Game

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stock Market

I used to be a stock market junkie. I was somewhat of a low end day trader. I had my Datek account, and I would follow my stocks throughout the day. (I'm very compulsive, just in case you didn't know) I can vividly remember a time when a friend told me to invest in this struggling company called Apple. I never used an Apple computer before 2002. Therefore I passed on my friends advice. Instead I invested thousands of dollars into my company-XO Communications.

Needless to say I was a bit shocked when I heard the Dow had closed over 12,000 today. Of course, I did a very lame thing and checked out Apple. As of today Apple is selling $80 per share. And I refused to buy them when it was $10, or maybe $8 per share.

BTW- my lame company went out of business in less then a year. Can you feel the pain?

Had I invested $1000 in 2000, I would have bought close to 100 shares of Apple. Now, those 100 shares would be worth $8000.

Of course I did diversify like any wise investor. I had Oracle, Red Hat, WorldCom and a couple of other that I forgot about.

Can you say lame lame lame! And Damon (my financial advisor, who no longer advises me cause I have no finances) if you are reading this please stop laughing.

Finally Fall?

Yesterday it was 90 and steamy. Then last night we had the cold front move in and our temperatures plummeted like 40 degrees. So today it finally feels like fall.

Prayer Request-I'm working on a rather large business contract right now. I have a tentative lunch appointment today. Basically I will be working for banks doing drive by home inspections for them. We may land a HUGE deal that covers central Texas. It's kinda of scary. I would have to hire multiple people in 3 weeks. We shall see. At best I may land a medium deal that will really help stabilize my family. So once again, remember the Marlow's when you pray!

Peace & Love from Austin!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday & Sunday

Saturday we got up and headed to Austin Java for some yummy breakfast tacos. After hanging in Austin for a bit, we drove over to Houston. Ashdown was opening for Spur58. Jasen did awesome and Spur 58 was really good. Then Necole and I headed back to Austin. Man, when you get older, night driving sucks.

This morning, or should I say afternoon we headed over to Gateway Church's 12:30 gathering. Gateway's building is amazing, very artsy and creative, the coolest church building that I've ever been to.

Anyhow, after church we headed to Waco to pick up the girls and grub on some Rudy's BBQ. Fun weekend, now I need some rest :)

Busy Weekend

Jasen & Amanda came down (or over) to Austin Friday (along with their friend Nikki from LA) to hang for a few days. We headed downtown for an evening of fun, food, and music.

Our first stop was Hula Hut for some yummy food. Hula Hut is cool, located right off the Colorado River. Great vibe and good food at a reasonable price. After filling our stomachs we decided to walk next door to hang at
Mozart's Coffee Roasters, this is a really cool coffee shop. I can spend hours hanging at this place. So peaceful!

After some good food and coffee, we headed down to Emo's to hear Damien Jurado & Rosie Thomas. Of course the show started at 10PM, yikes. Rosie was great, Damien was drunk and the opening band was about as good as a bag of spinach laced with e coli.

As for 6th Street. WOW, what can I say, freaking amazing. It's so packed, the city has to close the streets. It was Mardi Gras Austin style. Unbelievable.

Of course my old age begin to kick in and I forgot what it was like to be awake at 2 freaking AM. Anyhow fun times for sure. But man was I happy to get home and sleep.

Day 2 a little later :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Red Nano

The Red Nano is now out. If you buy this bad boy for $199. Apple will donate $10 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.

Not for sure if this is consumerism at it's worst, or if this is a way to raise legit funds for those who need it across our world?

Any thoughts? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Music

Amos Lee latest album Supply And Demand is so good.

If you've never heard of Amos Lee, do yourself a favor and check this dude out, so much soul.

I'm hoping Ken will do a review at I Radio Heaven. I guess we will have to wait and see?

What Did She Say?

Kenzie is in Dallas with her granma and granpa and her aunt's. Today she had a play date set up with a boy that her auntie watches.

So, a few days ago I asked her if she was excited to see Clausen, she said yes and she also added that she loved him and wanted to get married to him, yippee yikes!!!

So here is a picture of their play date today. Of course she is 4, it's going to suck when she is 14 :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hey World

So we headed out this morning to the Texas Wildlife Festival. I had no clue it was going to be such a huge event. It was free, so that was cool, but it sucked so I'm glad it was free :)

Then we headed over to Shady Grove for lunch. Great burgers, great vibe.

After spending a few hours at home, we headed down to Mozart's Coffee Roasters. I got a tell ya, this was a great place. 3 huge decks over looking the water. Add some live music, coffee and some cheesecake, yummy! So many people, the line was way out door. Plus the weather today was amazing. Really great day.

So pumped the Yankees lost, they suck. 200 million dollar payroll and they lose 3 straight? LOVE IT!!!!!

Texas took down OU, and Notre Dame beat Stanford. Also, my fantasy football team should win this week.

Man, what a weekend, next week is going to be better when the Ashdown's roll in from H-Town.

Peace & Love from Austin

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Today is a simply great sports day:

2 baseball playoff game, including the Yankees losing 7-0 to the Tigers...YES!!!

Way to many good college football games.

TX is beating OU 21-10 (I'm still nervous)
Notre Dame already downed Stanford
Florida is beating LSU
Michigan is up 17 to 0 on Mich St.

Plus, Tennessee and Georgia tonight.

What a day!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

the story i find myself in


Weekends Are Crazy

Well another busy weekend ahead. Necole's parents are coming for the weekend. And of course Bailey has a birthday party to attend tomorrow.

Looking forward to the Texas/Sooners came, its going to be nuts!

Next weekend the Ashdown's stroll in town. We are going to hit a concert and hang in the city, should be fun. Then Saturday Asdown is in concert in Houston. So, we are going to head that way and take in the show.

Of course the following weekend, we will go to Dallas for the purpose of work. The cool thing is we pay our rent only working one day, but I hate going to Dallas once a month to work. We do not get a chance to hang with the family and friends.

Of course this is fun and all, but it makes life tough trying to connect with a church and all, so we will see how that goes.

When Good Things Go Bad

Is google planning on taking over the world? While I like google and all, it seems like they are getting a little to big for my comfort zone!

Google 'in talks to buy YouTube'.


For My NC Peeps

When I moved to NC we established a beautiful community of friends. Most of these "friends" were HUGE NC State fans. After a few heart-breaking losses in football and basketball, I begin to wonder if they would ever win. My friends begin to wonder if I should stop watching. Because when I watched, NC State seemed to lose.

So, last night I begin to watch the game. It was a really good college football game. Of course I was rooting for NC State. But I thought once again, maybe I was a curse when they could not get the touchdown on the 4th & 1, and Florida St romped 99 yards to score.

Then NC St begin to make a comeback. But, I had to go and I could not finish the game. I awoke this morning, and lo and behold, NC State won. Was I the curse, did I break the curse? I dunno, but at the end of the day, they won. So congrats to NC State and to my peeps in Raleigh. I love and miss all of you!

Peace & Love from Austin!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Scary Thinking?

Bob has some great stuff to say about Spencer Burke's latest book, you can check it out here.

Now, I have not read the book, but I've heard nothing but great things about Spencer as a person. That being said, the statements that he is making/claiming/discussing etc, are scary to me; like this one:

"Institutional Christians tend to have a very narrow and literal interpretation of the Bible. Christianity is the only way to reach God, certain Christians argue, because the Bible says so. It tells us that Jesus said, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'... So how do I interpret this particular Scripture? In the next chapter, I'll explore it more fully, but I don't believe it can be used to argue that Christianity is the only true religion. First, Christianity as a religion didn't exist when Jesus spoke these words. Compounding this point are two additional facts: no one actually recorded Jesus' words at the time he spoke them, so we have no proof that they are indeed his words, and what he did say, he said in Aramaic, which means that nothing in the Bible as translated into any other language can be taken literally anyway... to read this as a literal statement requires that I take the other statements about he makes about himself as literal. For example, Jesus declares that he is the bread and the vine and the Good Shepherd. Does that mean he is literally a loaf or a bread or a plant? Of course not! These are metaphors, clues to something about his character and person."


This does not make sense to me. I'm an open-minded dude, but...If this is the case, and if Spencer's argument rings true, then should not ALL of the Bible be thrown out also? Could we not include some other key elements like the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? Why then should we love our neighbors? Or "go" preach the gospel...? Hmm, why should I do that? Who do I preach to, who do I tell them about? To me, this type of thinking really pulls the rug out of the "authority" of the Bible. And if this is true, then Jesus and his story is great and cool. Kind of like Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr, or Desmond Tutu or some other great dude who lived a great life, but that is far from being God, and forgiving sin, and over-coming evil.

But, it has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin, the state of man, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

This is why I continue to distance myself away from the emerging conversation. About a year ago, I began to re-think the word emerging and I decided to use the word missional, because I'm still an Orthodox Christ follower and I still believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. And I do believe heaven and hell exist.

Now I differ on much of my belief system I had from the 90's, and I'm culturally more liberal. And I would say I'm not a "fundamentalist" Christian anymore.

But I do believe in foundational Christian theology. Like the fact that there is "One true God," the Bible is "inspired" by God, and I have a calling to tell the world that Jesus died a bloody death on a cross because mankind messed up. And that Jesus came to remove our guilt and teach us a better way to live.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Review Blog

My buddy Ken has created a new website called I Radio Heaven.

Basically, he is reviewing all the fun things to do in life, like drink beer, listen to music, read books, eat at restaurants, and watch cool movies and TV shows.

Plus, he is a great writer, and I'm assuming, hoping and praying that he is doing some writing and he will also add that to his site in the near future.

So, check it out, read it, blog it, RSS it, and leave a comment and let him know your thoughts.

He just posted a review of "The Killers" new album. I'm waiting for him to review "Amos Lee's" new album. If you have a request, leave him a comment,I'm sure he will oblige.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Reflections

Someone forgot to tell mother nature that fall starts in late Sept. So it's still rather hot right now.

Notre Dame won, which is good.

Last night we hung out with Tony & Candy who are planting a church in Cedar Park. We grubed at the Texas Road House, good food and it felt good to get out of the house.

This morning I got up and felt horrible. Allergies were beating me down. But I mustered enough strength to head out to Austin Java to grab some brunch. They had some killer breakfast tacos. I feel at home when I'm in downtown Austin.

Then we headed over to Austin City Church to check our their gathering. Which was cool. Very Sacred (ish), felt good.

They also do some GREAT things in the community. It almost felt like they were doing more cool things outside the four walls of the church then inside. Pub theologies, school of theology, festivals, art shows, teaching Greek & Hebrew etc.

Now it's time for another week. Looking forward to it!

New Book Alert

Mark Batterson, who serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, and is a daily blogger @, (which has been one of my favorite reads for the past 3 years) Mark lives on Capitol Hill with his wife Lora and their three children.

Mark has a new book coming out: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars.

Book Description

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn't chase. You will regret the risks not taken, the opportunities not seized, and the dreams not pursued. Stopping running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day is inspired by one of the most obscure yet courageous acts recorded in Scripture: Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it (II Samuel 23:20-21).

Unleash the lion chaser within!

I would encourage you to pick up a copy, read it, blog it, share it and pass it along to your friends. When i read my copy, I will do a review.

Peace & Love from Austin, TX

Vintage Jesus

Mark Driscoll had a great post on Vintage Jesus.

Below are a few quotes about Jesus from various famous folks:

Mark Twain:“If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be—a Christian."

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Socrates died like a philosopher; Jesus Christ died like a God.”

John Lennon: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first—rock and roll or Christianity."