March 29, 2008 archnemisis (part 3)

Here is the final installment of my soccer throw down:

In the end, I went up 1-0 on a luck shot. After diving for a save, cracking a rib and knocking the breath out of myself, I lost 3-1. I kept my end of the a true gentleman. For all you young kids out there, this is how you do youth ministry.

Click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.

March 28, 2008

World Beard and Mustache Championships

If you're looking for a great place to be on May 23, 2009, then book your plane tickets now (while gas is still less than your daily lunch tab) for Anchorage, Alaska and the World Beard and Mustache Championships. This event is so special that it only comes around once every two years. There are different categories, and each nation sends it's own teams (my money says some former Eastern bloc country takes it home every year).

I'm currently beginning to assess my goals for 2009, and joining this team may have to top my list. Even though I don't think I could top Yosemite Sam here (below) for a kickin' handlebar job, I'll bet I could beat any of Team USA out with my scraggly.

How, pray tell, does that go over in conversations with the ladies?

She: "What's with the small rat dying on your face?"
He: "I'm on our country's Beard and Mustache Team. USA! USA!"
She: (Vomits in mouth)

I want to know what comes first for these guys. The desire to grow a beard like that...then to be on the team? Or, does the desire to join the team drive the beard growth? And what kind of encouragement do they get from their loved ones (read: the mothers whose basement they still live in)? I'd also like to point out that none of these cats look like they punch the clock down at the ol' Wachovia Bank, or other respectable establishments. The only one that looks like he holds a decent job is the guy who had to have been on the top of the cut-list for ZZ Top's latest tour (top photo)...because that's the most decent job any of these guys could hope to have. Actually, his name is "Jack Passion" and his bio (you've got to check out their bio's!) says that he is "a magician (really?!? I'm shocked), an artist (2 for 2!) and an avid beardsman." You can't make this stuff up!

It never ceases to amaze me what people choose to be successful at.

March 27, 2008 archnemisis (part 2)

The saga with Beth Leeper continued. The news accounts that I read are completely accurate:

You know, if soccer was much more like this next video, then I would watch ALL the time. MLS, I'm looking in your direction...

March 26, 2008

Physicists to Spend This Summer in Search of God

God, who vacations in the summer, could not be reached for comment.

This summer in Switzerland, the largest particle physics experiment ever is going to begin as a quest to search for something called the Higgs boson or "God particle." Scientists have spent the last decade building a huge underground electromagnetic machine called the Large Hadron Collider (pictured above) that is a 27-km underground tunnel designed to recreate the same energy that the universe produced a fraction of a millisecond after the Big Bang. Steve Weinberg is a theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate, and he gives his thoughts on what this will mean for religion and science. It's interesting how he critiques religion for some of its views, yet acknowledges that his atheism clearly provides a starting point for his own assumptions.

I don't believe that some of his assessments of how religion has evolved along with science are fair. For Christians, this would boil down to the difference between a living and breathing relationship with God through what Christ did on the cross, and good old fashioned religion. Just because some "religious" people had beliefs that contradicted thinking the world was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth...doesn't make it a dogma for believers. Was that one of the early tenets of the faith that I missed? Was it required that we believe that sailing too far would cause us to fall off the planet?

Clearly as our understanding of the universe grows, we might be forced to change our thinking on man-made dogma, but science will never contradict God's truth as laid out in the Bible.

My question for Dr. Weinberg would be, "if there is no purpose to life other than the ones we have created, then what's the point in doing good and loving each other?" If there is no purpose, then who are we to judge what is right and wrong? Why shouldn't it just be the strongest win?

I'll be anxiously awaiting the findings of this research long as they don't hit the wrong button and release all that energy. I imagine that would be a similar situation to the TV show, Lost, when the hatch imploded leaving Desmond with the ability to time travel.

March 25, 2008

Coming soon to an Ebay auction near's Cheesus!

Seriously? I mean, seriously?

Is this news? Did this "youth minister" really call up the ol' local station and say, "I've Found my Cheetos!"? I'm sure he took time out of his busy schedule of "bein' relevant" and "buildin' relationships" for this hard hitting piece of journalism:

Some highlights:

  • "First I thought it was a dog, but then it looked like Jesus."...heaven forbid you eat the Son of Man while mistaking Him for a canine. I'm sure the disciples had the same problem of mistaken identity at the resurrection.
  • Did he lose a bet to the two students in there, or did he bet them that he could get them on TV?...nice Lt. Dan reference from Stubby McBeard. Shout out to 1996!
  • How long did it take him to make that carrying case?...I'm sure the ladies in the craft section of the local Wal-Marks knew just the right thing for him.
  • Do "youth ministers" really have to strain that hard to find some spiritual relevance to every single thing from pop culture?...see kids, even Chester Cheetah is down with the JC!
Finally, to paraphrase the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas where "Jesus" is in his best, pantheistic form: "Split open a piece of wood and my name is there. Turn over a stone and you will find me there. Rip into a bag of totally kickin' Cheetos, and darned if you won't find me hanging out. Peace in the Middle East. I'm out ya'll."

Does the resurrection really matter?

In light of Easter this past Sunday, I found this video particularly interesting. Each year around this time there is a large effort to find the "Real Jesus" and everyone from scholars to sinners weigh in with their opinions. A common theme among many post-evangelicals and the emergent church crowd is that it doesn't matter whether Jesus was raised from the dead. What really matters is his teaching, his way of life, and his imploring that we do the same. John Dominic Crossan says that if Jesus' body was found, it wouldn't destroy the Christian faith:

1 Corinthians 15:16-19 says that if Christ wasn't raised from the dead, then we are to be pitied among all men, and that our faith is worthless. If the resurrection didn't happen, then it's a stupid way of living to serve others and place them ahead of yourself. The resurrection is what drives our love for and service of all men...not the other way around. The resurrection gives us the ability to cross from death to life. With all due respect to Dr. Crossan (who is on record saying that he believes animals ate Jesus' body), if Jesus' body was found, then it does destroy the Christian faith. archnemisis

There are certain things that all uber-hip folks are into these days: Starbucks, iPods, Corrine Bailey Rae, hybrid vehicles, etc. Until $4 coffee came along, soccer stood alone as the uber-hip mainstay. I consider myself a man open to new experiences, but I just can't get into a game that has a 92% chance of ending in a 0-0 tie. My first (and only) big-league soccer experience came at a 1996 Olympic contest where the 3 1/2 hour epic marathon (read: snoozefest) ended in said 0-0 tie.

So, last year, I decided to liven up our youth ministry summer by picking out one of my students who played soccer and waging an all-out campaign to take soccer down, and to keep things going during the summer. Controversy+humor=a teenage good time. All in good fun, of course...except my contempt for soccer.

The giant penguin and Nicaraguan flag only add to my sincerity.

Professional actors beware!

March 21, 2008

Sermon Videos

Since a large part of my blog is to display my personality and accelerate the process of people getting to know me, I might be a good idea to display a recent sermon I preached.

You can also click here to listen to some from my previous church, West Side Baptist Church in Harrisonburg, VA

Why humanivy?

I'm a bit of a nerd. When I was in high school, I worked for a video production company that shot expensive weddings, the occasional commercial, and the less-occasional music video for a band struggling to make it. Thinking that this was the career path for me, I was surprised to find out in the 11th grade that I was pretty good at and actually enjoyed the 'rithmatic.

My physics teacher, our resident "cool teacher" know the one who tells you to call him by his first name and lets you drive his Suzuki Samurai to the grocery store from school during class...used to show us these physics videos from the 1960's by Patterson Hume and Donald Ivey. It was referred to as "Physics with Hume and Ivey". Nerd that I am, I liked the name.

Like all 15-year olds who can play four chords on a guitar, I hoped to have a band in high school, with that incredible name as an homage to all things mathematic. Alas, that dream never came to fruition (the name, that is...I did have a band). So, this blog is the namesake of a dream deferred.

March 20, 2008

Welcome to humanivy...

Like every other 13 year old girl and 70 year old retiree, I thought it was my turn to enter the blogosphere. Like the title says, I'm sure that there are millions of people walking around today thinking, "Man, I wish someone else would start a blog...I just don't think there are enough." Hopefully your time here will be well spent, and you will either be a little more enlightened or at least entertained.

If it's true that employers are searching social networking sites and blogs in order to help in their hiring practices, then keeping a blog can be a scary thing. I'm a minister to people in their 20's and 30's at First Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, MS. When you're in a position like that, sometimes sharing your opinion on things can spark healthy debate and conversation, or it can be divisive and repel people. Thus, is the danger that I am risking.

If you enjoy theology, ministry, humour (the British spelling, because it looks more classy), sports, and commentary on those things by no one particularly insightful or important, then this blog might be quasi-enjoyable to you.

This picture sums up everything that this blog might be:

Does that kid really think he can tackle Jesus?