Aug 20, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

It’s All Meshugas to Me
(B. Joel, C. Srulowitz, G. Veroba)
What’s the matter with the Kiddush I’m giving
Can’t you tell that your cake’s too dry,
Maybe I should just eliminate the kugel,
Well, in our shul, you’d better not try!
Where have you been hiding out lately, sonny,
You can’t give a Kiddush til’ you spend a lot of money,
Everybody’s talkin’ ‘bout the right foods, funny,
But it’s all Mishegas to me…
What’s the matter with the chulent I’m serving,
Can’t you tell that its got no meat,
Maybe I should serve some cole slaw and salad,
That would look like you were trying to cheat,
Borrow money from your family pushka,
And serve four kugels with a healthy slice of kishka,
Potato, rice, lukshin twice, one sweet, one spice,
All a Mishegas to me!
Oh, it doesn’t matter what they serve at a Kiddush
It’ll always be the same old thing,
Your wife is gonna deal an entire Shabbos meal
And you’d better savor everything,
I’m sure you know what I mean…
Have some wine, or some Shnapps for Kiddush,
Don’t you know that I only use scotch,
Forget Red Label, just go with the green one,
Or the Blue, if it’s not too much
Plain gefilte fish is not very daring,
Your best bet would be twelve types of herring,
Cream cakes, potato knishes, table cloths, hot dishes
All a Mishegas to me
What’s the matter with the Kiddush I’m giving,
Can’t you see that the place is too tight,
Don’t you know you need at least 10 tables
If you have 80  men to invite
Nowadays, you gotta be very cautious,
Pick the wrong food and your guests will be nauseous,
Right food, right place, scotch and bourbon by the case
It’s all a Mishegas to me
Everybody’s talkin’ bout the food at the Kiddush,
But it’s all Mishegas to me! 

Aug 17, 2012

Review of Timothy Keller's The Freedom of Self Forgetfullness

The Freedom of Self-ForgetfulnessThe Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is short and profoundly challenging. The simplicity of the message will rattle around in the tombs of our soiled memories.
Tim Keller looks at our condition in this inflated/deflated world. The world is flat and black and white; while we perform in our shadowed reality. There is only one way to the truth and the light. We find ourselves off the beaten track and lost. Until, we are picked up for vagrancy.
We are then brought to a trial room with only the smiling mob and the Court Jester. Every day we wake to a trial, much like the trial of the main character in Franz Kafka's The Trial.
We find that all the jurors are pointing at us and laughing at our hopeless condition, because we still think we can save ourselves. We think that there is a away for us to justify our actions. We cower at our reflected image and our ballooned ego lets out a gasp and we find ourselves thinner than Jack Sprat.
Where is your heart (insert your name here)? is the first question the Supreme Court Jester asks.
We say in response, "I played the game! I played by the rules! How can you accuse me of being a loser on my own?"
The Jester replies, "Who do you want to be son, than be that person."
We wake up and the trial resumes.
Keller shows us how to break out of this fun house mirror and self delusion through the reliance of Christ. This book must be read by anyone who struggles with depression or anxiety in the modern world.

View all my reviews

Jul 16, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

Men Beating Drums: Stewardship

Stewardship From the Eyes of a Dog?

Good stewardship begins at home with a smile and a willing ear, maybe a waggle of a tail.   I am called to take joy in God and love my neighbors, through an endowed abundance of joy. Also if my master throws a ball I am to go after it and bring it back to him, for it makes him  so happy. I am not to spend all my hours in private daydreams.    Rather, I am called to be an encourager and a bearer of the gospel, in this darkened world.  For a later promise, could it be a bone?

Jul 15, 2012

Men Beating Drums: Slumps

Hard to believe that Mr. Tim Hardaway of the Golden State Warriors, went 0-15 for field-goals, in one game.

Heck, I probably would have said to myself, "I am no longer any good, time to retire."

 But even the All Stars deal with slumps sometimes.

We, men, tighten up when we fear that our performance is not adding up.  We are most likely to terminate our position for fear that we are not adding to a well run machine.  However, during slumps we must trust our abilities and the ability of the team, and go forward, not dwelling on could have beens, or on the problem that happened earlier.   One must first relax, laugh, and allow the flow to happen; forcing the flow only makes things a lot worse.

Enjoy the video clip:

Jul 13, 2012

We salt our lives with other people's sins.  Our flesh to us tastes sweet... That's the fuel, the vapor that spins that carousel, the raw stuff of terror, the excruciating agony of guilt, the scream from real or imagined wounds.  The carnival sucks that gas, ignites it, and chugs along its way. -Ray Bradburry Something Wicked this Way Comes

Chapters 39 and 40 of this book are some of the greatest metaphors, and explanations of Genesis 3 I have ever read.   

Jun 21, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

The journey up and down the road will warry us if we think it is all dependent upon our efforts. Our truck will run out of gas. We will be surely crawling towards our goal. So keep Trucking and move forward, but Christ Goes First.

Jun 19, 2012

Book Excerpt from Kahil Gibran the Madman

The Scarecrow

Once I said to a scarecrow, “You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”

And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting one, and I never tire of it.”

Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”

Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”

 Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me. A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher. And when I passed by him again I saw

Khalil Gibran. The Madman (Kindle Locations 41-45).

I like the simplicity of this thought and how deep it is.
 I also was watching  Everything Must Go a good portrayal of our lives in this place between sorrows and joy.   Where God smashes the boxes those whose lust are not in him.   He loves us enough to shape us into his likeness.   We grow from our pain.  Pain is part of the process.   We are shaped. God stand stills.  

Heretical Jukebox

What little box holds all of your idols? What happens when this box is threatened? What threatens the box?

Jun 7, 2012

Sermon Response Hebrews 12:28 - 13:17

Witnesses stood outside.  They stood on a hill overlooking the town in the valley.   They were awed by the sight of a  fiddler perched on a roof,  like a rooster on a hen house, or a weather vane.   He stroke one chord.   The chord strongly vibrated across the valley into the private solitude of the slumbering residents.   The chord awoke the slumbering children.  Steel clung into the midnight light.  The lights of the city click on, the houses become alighted, one by one.   A pure note lit the valley homes in the mid of night.   

Heretical Jukebox

There was a fiddler, who played a tune.  The tune woke up Boulder Colorado, and then the world. The person playing the fiddle was my brothers best friend when growing up, Jeb Bows. 

May 7, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

The Pet Shop Boys till us its a sin.  "Father, I tried not to do it..." But as we try we are more bound to the social cages that they have put us into.  The only escape is Jesus Christ our savior and redeemer.  

May 4, 2012

Meditation Response: Hebrews 11

Prayer: My Meditation Response

Faith Sounds like__the sway of palm trees_______.
Faith Tastes like_____a wine with taste of the earth and dirt and everything good in this world_____.
Faith Feels like__soothing quiet peaceful vibrations_________.
Faith Smells like___cedars in an island breeze_______.
Faith looks like_finally receiving a message back, from 1,000 of messages cast to the sea.

May 2, 2012

Men Beating Drums

Morality in Hollywood? Was there a time?

Yes, there was a time.  Hollywood, in the late 40's,  felt their job was to maintain and condition morality in suburban America. 

"A nude statue! Who said anything about nudity? Tits.  Didn't anyone tell you that tits aren't allowed in a Hollywood film? It doesn't matter how beautiful they are, it's immoral and indecent.  Plus, the goddamn statue has to come to life on screen. Do you want us to be accused of corrupting the whole of America?" Ava Gardner in My Story by Ava Gardner.

Did creating a strict moral code work?  No, policing morality did not work.  Because, by enforcing a moral code only pushes the sin deeper into society's stitching.  Also it took the responsibility off of the family and put it in the hands of the state.   Fascist control never works to moralize a society. 

May 1, 2012

Meditation Prompts: Hebrews 11:1-31

Prayer: Lord, I want to know what

Faith Sounds like__________.
Faith Tastes like__________.
Faith Feels like___________.
Faith Smells like__________.
Look for my response on Friday!!!!! Can't wait to hear from y'all.  

Men Beating Drums


The LORD hides his ways while we are sleeping.
Abraham slept, and a covenant was sealed.
Jacob slept, and he saw the future.
Peter slept, and the plan was finished.
We sleep, and are restored. 
Sleep, rest, find comfort in the LORD.

Apr 23, 2012

Sermon Responses

Hebrews 10:32-39

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
(The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran)

A farmer in the field sees the shadow moving across the land, the shadow is complexity filled:   hope-despair, fear-brave, but then the word became flesh.  As the dark purple cloud moves across his farm rising the dust up in whirling eddies he rests on his shovel.  He rested and all around him he heard the sound of dried wheat stalks swaying in the wind.   Dust tickled his throat.  He coughed.  He held onto his hat made of straw, he feared it would blow away.  All the land was thirsty, but his farmers almanac did not report any rain. The almanac had not said one word about banks calling in bank loans.

The farmer smiled.  He thought of all of the bank notices that were collecting on his kitchen table. The table was dust-filled, he had written S.O.S. in the dust, as a message maybe to a UFO or was it God?  He had borrowed on the banks in order to plant this year's crop. The year before all was wasted. By one hail storm! This year the drought! And still the banks called and called and called and called upon the isolated farmer.  The banks had lent the farmer money, and were now calling about the loan.   The banks not paid, sent yellow foreclosure notes. The official notes laid like a deck of tarot cards played by a psychic at the county fair.  The wood of the table held secrets from forgotten conversations.  Recorded in its wood so long ago.

The horror, of official visits from official representatives of the good old banks, was a serene nightmare.

The land had been with his family for sixty years.  His great grandfather had bought the land in 1866 a year after coming back to the Carolinas.  A year after killing his last soldier in blue.   His great grandfather hoped for a new beginning in Ohio.   A land of promise, a land that was fertile and ready for growing.  The land had been a stage of marriages, burials, and harvest festivals.   A place where one called home.  

The farmer knew his life here in Ohio was endangered. But still the farmer smiled. He joyfully accepted the plundering of his property for he knew what the bible declared, you will have a better possession an abiding one....He knew this land belonged to God. If God's will was to sell the land than so be it, no worries. Even if this meant working at a factory in Cincinnati, or in Cleveland.  He hoped beyond hope that he could move on from here.  But all he knew was the tending of the farm.  He smiled through the broken dreams and gutter swamps of his mind. Because he had an abiding possession that would never fade from Glory.

He looked at his hands and smiled.   Locusts played their legs. He wish he could have seen the sign of the times, he wish he could have seen the seven years of bad, and seven years of good.  He would have sold the farm the year before and have some change in his pockets.  But now all he had was faith in God and a smile that stated, "So be it!"

The wind scooped up the top soil.

Heretical Jukebox

Apr 18, 2012

Heretical Jukebox

I found this on the Merry Monk of Love's Blog: This rocks my world. Please listen.

We’re all born to broken people on their most honest day of living and since that first breath… We’ll need grace that we’ve never given I’ve been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts and it’s not only when these eyes are closed these lies are ropes that I tie down in my stomach, but they hold this ship together tossed like leaves in this weather and my dreams are sails that I point towards my true north, stretched thin over my rib bones, and pray that it gets better but it won’t, at least I don’t believe it will… so I’ve built a wooden heart inside this iron ship, to sail these blood red seas and find your coasts. don’t let these waves wash away your hopes this war-ship is sinking, and I still believe in anchors pulling fist fulls of rotten wood from my heart, I still believe in saviors but I know that we are all made out of shipwrecks, every single board washed and bound like crooked teeth on these rocky shores so come on and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember I am the barely living son of a woman and man who barely made it but we’re making it taped together on borrowed crutches and new starts we all have the same holes in our hearts… everything falls apart at the exact same time that it all comes together perfectly for the next step but my fear is this prison… that I keep locked below the main deck I keep a key under my pillow, it’s quiet and it’s hidden and my hopes are weapons that I’m still learning how to use right but they’re heavy and I’m awkward…always running out of fight so I’ve carved a wooden heart, put it in this sinking ship hoping it would help me float for just a few more weeks because I am made out of shipwrecks, every twisted beam lost and found like you and me scattered out on the sea so come on let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, just some tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember My throat it still tastes like house fire and salt water I wear this tide like loose skin, rock me to sea if we hold on tight we’ll hold each other together and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep all these machines will rust I promise, but we’ll still be electric shocking each other back to life Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected our bones grown together inside our hands entwined, your fingers in my veins braided our spines grown stronger in time because are church is made out of shipwrecks from every hull these rocks have claimed but we pick ourselves up, and try and grow better through the change so come on yall and let’s wash each other with tears of joy and tears of grief and fold our lives like crashing waves and run up on this beach come on and sew us together, were just tattered rags stained forever we only have what we remember

Men Beating Drums

This May Anger Y'all!!!! .... But I don't care as long as you think
on God's words Mt 5:21-26

I think it is time that we bury the hatchet on our phobias.   We need to know what is right and what is wrong! But when people turn to Christ they must feel the warmth of home from its believers.  I felt this hatred when I was crossing the street one day, I was age ten, and I waved at a girl, the girl said; "I can't talk to you for you and your kind are Christ Killers."   Now, looking back, I want to hug that little girl and tell her sorry that you feel that way; then I would tell her:  "I can assure you that it was God's plan to kill his only son, and that this plan was done because of all of our sins, and the fact that all of our sins were so grievous that we could not correct our own actions.  He loved us so much that he sent his only son to us as a gift of redemption."  

I ask that you watch this clip with open eyes, and child like minds. I know it is hard for me a heterosexual to look at two men kissing. I know it is hard to look at Jesus portrayed as a homosexual! I know it is hard to face your fearful pride! I know we must hold onto our principles, but don't let the principles harden the heart and we fail to love our brothers (homosexual or heterosexual). We must point like men on a hill to the love and righteousness found in Christs forgiveness for all sins.

We can not point when we are yelling at our brother for their behavior.   The child will ask, "Momy and Dad why are these people hated?" Don't bar the child from the love of Christ!

John Fuller vice president of Focus on the Family's Audio and New Media devision said.
All of us – including those with special needs, the elderly, the orphan, the preborn – have inherent worth because we are uniquely created by God for a purpose. Once we recognize this simple truth, we are inspired to offer a kind word and an understanding heart to those society considers outcasts. Once we see the dignity in each and every individual, we become willing to disrupt our “model” lives and embrace the beautiful mess of investing in others.
Listen to a sermon on 5:21-26 from Christ Church Berkley.

Apr 5, 2012

Experts on the Bible: Judges 19:21

Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds. We have here the three great rules by which those that sit in council ought to go in every arduous affair. (1.)* Let every man retire into himself, and weigh the matter impartially and fully in his own thoughts, and seriously and calmly consider it, without prejudice on either side, before he speaks upon it. (2.)** Let them freely talk it over, and every man take advice of his friend, know his opinion and his reasons, and weigh them. (3.)*** Then let every man speak his mind, and give his vote according to his conscience. In the multitude of such counselors there is safety. - Matthew Henry Commentary on Judges 19.  

** Using rules of order, and a talking stick could help this step. 
***Voting by ballot or rules of order.  

Mar 30, 2012

Men Beating Drums

What Killed Paul Bern?

Reason is like most tools: helpful if used properly dangerous if abused.*

Bern was a small member, or had a small member, and played a large part in the lore and legend of "Ta-ta Hollywoodland". If your mind is going to a place of sexual intrigue, then good; Paul Bern was a man obsessed with his sexuality, and it eventually consumed him. He was born with a penis the size of a pinky finger. .  He read the psycho-babel of Freud, and found an enlightened solutions, he would find the best and most sexual girl he could find and marry her. His solution was based on faulty logic, that he needed replace the affection that was given to him by his mother.
He found this woman in the screen sensation, and platinum blonde bombshell Jean Harlow. He married her in hopes of curing his need for attention, an attention that could not be filled by any woman, even Jean Harlow. He needed to find the love of God, for this was his only hope of reshaping his deformed mental frame. His solution was to kill the body that he saw as deformed.  His final solution was formed by his belief in the wrong means of redemption.   He destroyed his body, in order to release himself from the curse of a small penis.  
God does not see our bodies as deformed but as perfect, because when he looks at us, he looks at Christ. Christ has taken our place.  Christ lived in order to free us from  the harmful effects of our sin.  Christ lived in order to reconnect us to our loving Father who is in heaven.   He lived to set our minds and our hearts to a way far from the old path.  He died to release us from the bonds of enlightened works. Allow us today, to set our deformities at the cross of Jesus. His power cures the most decrypted mind and set us on a beautiful course.

The ideas were shaped from reading the biography of Jean Harlow and also reading:

*A Shot Of Faith (To The Head): Be A Confident Believer In An Age Of Cranky Atheists 

View a preview of this book online

Mar 23, 2012

Men Beating Drums

Money Ball First Base

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Apple Inc.

Guiding Questions

What is stopping you on first base?

What are you scared of? .

Analysis and Answers to the Guiding Questions

 Hmmm progress in a man's life is a funny thing. Even when you have hit a home-run, you cling to first base because it is the familiar location. I learned of this clip from Christ Community Church in Daytona and Larry Kirk. The lesson of first base is important.  I have worked at getting my close in the kitchen for the past six months.  I need to get the job done by 10:30 p.m..  But for some reason this time would pass and I would not be done yet.  I found that psychologically I was slowing down when I should have sped up.  I would spend too much time trying to get to perfect on details.  Why?

Because, some deeper pathology was keeping me from finishing on time.  It was an inner thought that somehow I was not good enough to be efficient in the kitchen.   So I remembered the parable and thought, oops, I have been hugging first base when I have it in me to hit a home run.   So I ask again what's holding you on first base, when you have it in you to hit a home run?  Go! Score! Forget About your past mistakes! And embrace Christ so that you can be released from the need to be scratching to get a hold.

Mar 22, 2012

Book Review: The Love And Respect Experience:

The Love and Respect Experience by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

We envisioned a marriage that danced beautifully and was a beacon of hope in a pessimistic age. We thought we were doing fine, just fine, with our steps.  But sometimes, our feet became tangled up, and as we bent over to untangle the mess, the knot of frustration only got tighter.  We asked: How did we get here in this knot of frustration?  What can we do to untangle the knot?  We did not want to get divorced, we thought, as this would mean that we were disobeying God!   Were we to suffer and live in a silent house until we died?  These thoughts did cross my mind in the first five years of marriage, however now our marriage is growing brighter with good friendly council and good books like Emerson Eggerichs Love and Respect Experience: A Husband Friendly Devotional.
Gentlemen, we often work more on our occupation than we do on our households.   Why? We stay at work, because it is often easier or at least more understandable.  As time goes by, our marriages end up in a heap of dusty debris.  The devotional walks besides you like a friend.  The meditations are great and can be read in less than ten minutes.  Eggerichs guides you in a prayer after the meditation that helps through-out the week.   Then the weekly action steps will help you put the meditations into a workable plan.  The follow up questions can be used to learn from each other and discuss frustrations and joys. 
My wife Jessica and  I received a free copy from book-sneeze, and liked it so much that we actually bought one for her kindle.  We have also recommended this book to our engaged friends Mike and Missy.  We feel this book is great for any married couple, no matter how long they have been married.

EXFM Songs