Sunday, December 9, 2012

Two swords (a poem of redemption)

Photo copyright (c) Wikimedia Commons

See, Lord, here are two swords.
Is that enough?

Is that enough to slice open my brother’s flesh and watch his life slowly ebb?
Is that enough to pierce the heart of my sister with searing pain?

I open my mouth, and the glistening edges make their wounds.
My hand guides with precision to ensure a lasting mark.
I will leave no survivors; I am a master.
Little do I realize I am falling on my own blade.

“That is enough,” you reply.
It is your scarred hand upon my bloodthirsty one that fashions my killing machine into an instrument of growth.
The very blade that spilled the blood of my fellow man now tills the soil to raise new life.

Your own sword divides my flesh and spirit.
That is enough.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Psalm

A psalm of Owen Tew
The fool brays, the unwise thrusts his tusks.
But you, O LORD, are our King.
Blood mixes with the seas as the battle rages for those who won't pick sides.
God laughs at their so-called power.
They vow till they are blue in the face, run till they are red from exhaustion.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Church service in beach bar: Fishers of men meet tossers of mullets

Shameless self promotion No. 47: One of my headlines from today's Birmingham News. It's about a honky tonk bar on the Alabama-Florida state line, called the Flora-Bama, where they hold Sunday morning church services. But it's most famous for it's annual mullet toss.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Umbrella of protection

She walks with an umbrella as her shield.

I know it won't protect her from whatever she thinks awaits around the next corner -- or just up the block. But she is convinced of its powers.

I see her almost every day as I make my way into my office. Head out to lunch.

Some kind soul has seen to it that she is always supplied with a new shield whenever her old one starts to tatter.

I pray someone keeps doing the same for me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

'Blue Like Jazz' move review: I'm the only nerd there in a Steve Taylor T-shirt (video)

I didn't read Blue Like Jazz. I waited for the movie.

Now I'm trying to beg, buy or steal the book.

Fearing that I would have to wait for Netflix -- or worse, heaven -- to see director Steve Taylor's adaptation of Donald Miller's memoir of taking classes at Reed College I made sure to see the film on opening weekend -- which was one week late where I live. What if it didn't make it to week two? What if it didn't make it to DVD before I die?

Technically, it didn't even open where I live, but one hour away. And my wife was sick on Friday, which meant we had to wait until Saturday. Curse you, Satan! (If you weren't already.)

I donned a 20-year-old Steve Taylor T-shirt, since I never got to see Steve Taylor in concert, but bought all his T-shirts from order forms on his cassette tapes. I made my wife take my picture under the theater sign with the T-shirt on. I don't know which of us was most embarrassed by this spectacle. It was probably me since the I now have to squeeze myself into the "Squint" shirt like a sausage. Ten more years and I would have Hulk-ed that sucker -- and not from muscles, mind you.

I'm the only nerd who wore a
Steve Taylor shirt to "Blue Like Jazz"

We were at a matinee, so the crowd was OK, but sparse. My former pastor had read the book, but I, perpetually with no time on my hands, had never gotten around to it. I figured between his recommendation and Steve Taylor taking on the project I'd like it. I did.

The Baptists were cringe-worthy. My mother's side of my family are Baptists, and I have been a member of one Baptist church in my 25-plus years on my Christian journey. The only thing that worried me was that some might take all Baptists like the youth pastor is portrayed. I think it should be noted that at one point a couple of members of the congregation, and the lead pastor himself, wince at the youth pastor's actions from the front of the church. Even Baptists aren't monolithic. It's subtle, but this film shows it. I hope everyone notices.

I, like Don Miller, did have to leave that Baptist church, though. But I want to say that it did something I needed it to do when I joined. At a certain point, it didn't and I moved on.

There is some swearing in this movie. If that offends you, certain Bible passages probably will too. If so, you probably shouldn't see this movie, and you should make sure to buy translations that soften the edges.

This movie is what I wish "Christian" movies had been all along. They've either been preachy or cheap or unartistic. I knew not to expect that with Steve Taylor's writing and direction, and I've been told it is faithful to the book. I look forward to hearing more from Donald Miller.

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Steve Taylor's 1987 video "Jim Morrison's Grave":

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Distracted flying antique pickup truck PSA (video)

Plan on texting on your 1915 manual typewriter while flying your 1957 Chevrolet pickup truck. Don't get into trouble like I did: