Friday, May 30, 2008


Sabbath called my name
I will never be the same
"Remember me," my Lord pleaded
There was a time when I was all you needed
"Stop doing," He said
So my agenda I shed
"Inaction today will fill your tank"
So I went to his well and drank
The living water was cold
Grace something to behold
Abba drew my head to His chest
And gave me rest

--Shenandoah Lynd


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Five Sentence Tribute: Sydney Pollack

My four favorite Sydney Pollack films came out in the decade between my 12th and 22nd birthdays: ABSENCE OF MALICE, TOOTSIE, OUT OF AFRICA, and HAVANA. Sure there are other great ones, but you'd do well renting those four. Coincidentally, Chrisy and I recently rented TOOTSIE for Max because we both hold it so dear. Pollack was a good director and he could act. I thought he was great in MICHAEL CLAYTON, THE PLAYER, EYES WIDE SHUT, and again, TOOTSIE.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"She's the candle burning in my room
I'm like the needle - needle and spoon
Over the counter with a shotgun
Pretty soon, everybody got one
And the fever when I'm beside her
Desire, desire . . . ."

--U2's "Desire"

"Coffee is strong at the Cafe Du Monde
Donuts are too hot to touch
Just like a fool, when those sweet goodies cool
I eat til I eat way too much
'cause Im livin on things that excite me
Be they pastry or lobster or love . . . ."

--Jimmy Buffett's "The Wino & I Know"

Awhile back my men's group went through the above-pictured book, "The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We Only Dreamed of" by John Eldredge. I didn't really like the book so I'm not saying you should read it. I did finish it, but I didn't love it. If you want a good book recommendation, please read my post from last week, Buy This Book.

Even though I'm not recommending Eldredge's book, it did get me thinking about desire, and I would like you to read this post.

What is desire? My dictionary says it's "a feeling that one would get pleasure or satisfaction by obtaining or possessing something."

If you read those song lyrics at the beginning of this post then you'll see that I am not alone in my belief that the objects of our desire aren't always things that are good for us. In the first song Bono alludes to the desire of a drug addict, melting drugs in a spoon over a candle in room somewhere, getting ready to deliver his desire into his arm via the needle. He also points out that some people desire something so much that they just grab a shotgun and go steal it. Then there's the Buffett lyrics. He's singing about things that anybody could fall victim to, like eating too many doughnuts. Eldredge never mentions these songs, it's just that I kept thinking about them during the entire first half of the book.

That's the biggest problem I had with "The Journey of Desire" book: Eldredge doesn't really tell his main point until very far into the book. In the first part of the book he pretty much says that desire is necessary for a meaningful life and then he points out that most Christians have decided not to reach for their desires because it opens us up to the pain of not obtaining them. There is lot I agree with. For example in chapter three he points out how our churches have actually (hopefully inadvertently) killed our desires and replaced desire with their more important goals of knowledge and performance. He writes:

"Jesus appeals to our desire because he came to speak to it. When we abandon desire, we no longer hear or understand what he is saying. But we have returned to the message of the synagogue; we are preaching the law. And desire is the enemy. After all, desire is the single major hindrance to the goal--getting us in line. We are told to kill desire and call it sanctification."

Oh, yes, sadly, I agree with this. Christianity is not about getting us in line, getting us to follow rules. It is not about knowledge or performance. Rather, it is about living life to its fullest. Yes, this important point is where I agree with Eldredge: We should never abandon desire to duty. One of his great lines is "Being offered tips and techniques for living a more dutiful life isn't even in the field of good news. We know in our hearts our dilemma cannot be: '"I sure wish I could be a more decent chap. What I really need is a program to improve my morals.' Now, Jesus seemed to think that what he was offering really and truly spoke to our dilemma."

However, I was so frustrated during the much of the book because, although Eldredge asserts that our dilemma is desire, he never defines desire. For too long he doesn't answer the troubling questions I had in my mind while reading: What kind of desire? What is the difference between godly desire and worldly desire? What if it's some married dude's desire to have an affair? What if I truly just desire to eat an entire pecan pie or whole carrot cake, surely that can't be good for me? So I kept singing the songs, "Just like a fool, when those sweet goodies cool, I eat till I eat way too much . . . . burnin' burnin' de-si-i-i-i-ire!"

So for almost the entire book I would find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with Eldredge. He writes some other things that I totally agree with such as: "This is the great lost truth of the Christian faith, that correction of Judaism made by Jesus and passed on to us: the goal of morality is not morality--it is ecstasy. You are intended for pleasure!" Then I would find myself saying, "This is far too easy."

In the end Eldredge does get to his point. He begins to get there in chapter 6. Then, thankfully comes chapter 7, "The Great Restoration" a chapter I would highly recommend. Here Eldredge links hope and desire. He states that you can only hope for what you truly desire and he begins to make it clear that when he was writing of "desire" for the previous 100 pages, he was using the term as a synonym for "godly desire." That he still doesn't appear to understand that many humans have evil desires that will derail their lives may be the fatal flaw of this book. Nevertheless, he is on to something when he starts telling the reader to desire God's promises.

In linking hope to desire Eldredge quotes 1 Peter 1:13: "Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." And in the end of chapter 6 he finally spells it out: "Desire cannot live without hope. Yet we can only hope for what we desire." So our desires are that what we truly hope for. Then, in chapter 7, he gives this great illustration:

"We have made a nothing of eternity. If I told you that your income would triple next year, and that European vacation you've wanted is jut around the corner, you'd be excited, hopeful. The future would look promising. It seems possible, desirable. But our ideas of heaven, while possible, aren't all that desirable. Whatever it is we think is coming in the next season of our existence, we don't don't think it is worth getting all that excited about. We make nothing of eternity by enlarging the significance of this life and by diminishing the reality of what the next life is all about. Nearly every Christian I have spoken with has some idea that eternity is an unending church service."

How sad that I would desire a European vacation, but not desire what is promised to me in the Bible. Yet, I can relate.

The ultimate point is that my deepest desire should be firmly placed upon the hope of God restoring everything. My desire should be for heaven which is NOT an unending church service. The author leans heavily on Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation 21:1 and the fact that God will give us a new Earth. The coming kingdom of God is where we must place our desire. Eldredge writes: "We do not know exactly how God will do it, but we do know this: the kingdom of God brings restoration. The only things destroyed are the things outside God's realm--sin, disease, death. But we who are God's children, the heavens and the earth he has made, will go on."

In the end Eldredge ties it all back to a battle for our hearts. On any given day, at any given moment really it boils down to this question: "Where is my heart?" Life is pointless without desires and my deepest desire must be for God. Deep in my heart of hearts, have I diminished the things of this world while elevating the things of heaven? Is my heart longing for God and his promises? Eldredge calls this desire for God the Sacred Romance. It's a romance between me and God. My true hope for a truly full life lies in this Sacred Romance and the promise of His coming kingdom.

What is this romance? The way I see it is there are these get moments in life, moments of total ecstasy. These are glimpses of our true creation. They are glimpses of Eden. Glimpses of the coming kingdom. There I will have an exotic intimacy with God. Although I feel like I have had a few spirit filled experiences like this, moments when everything feels just perfect, this is not something we can really ever grasp here in this life.

In the final chapter Eldredge really brings it home for me with the analogy of a kiss. He asks, "What is the truth of a kiss?" After all, "a kiss is two sets of mandibles pressing together for a certain duration of time." Boring! If you'd never had a real kiss, one that stirs your soul, would you want one based solely on those boring facts? Of course not. But, that is what church and religion has done to us in regard to God. We talk about "theology" and then reduce God, Jesus, the gospel, and heaven to boring facts. As the author says, it's all quite dead: "It's not that these insights aren't true; it's that they no longer speak."

When Eldredge writes of the Sacred Romance it excites me. Here he speaks my language when he says: "In fact, every story or movie or song or poem that has ever stirred your soul is telling you something you need to know about the Sacred Romance. Even nature is crying out to us of God's great heart and the drama that is unfolding. Sunrise and sunset tell the tale every day, remembering Eden's glory, prophesying Eden's return."

In his chapter "The Grand Affair" Eldredge brings sex into the sacramental realm when he writes, "For us creatures of the flesh, sexual intimacy is the closest parallel we have to real worship. Even the world knows this. Why else would sexual ecstasy become the number one rival to communion with God?"

Speak of kisses, poems, songs, movies, sunrises, and sunsets in terms of what awaits me upon Christ's return, speak of romance in relation to what awaits me after this life, talk about sex as worship and I truly begin to desire heaven.

We so badly want connection. Eldredge writes about an evening when he had his wife and best friends all share a piece of art that they loved, a song, or a poem, or perhaps a film clip, then he writes: "Art is a glimpse into our hearts, and you can learn so much about someone when he shares with you something that has stirred his soul." That is why I love art, it stirs the soul, it is a glimpse of Eden.

In a nutshell the Grand Affair is this good news: God has ultimately healed our curse of isolation!

So you see we have all these glimpses of Eden here on earth, but none of them can compare to the Sacred Romance/the Grand Affair with God and nothing can be more desirable than the hope of eternity that God has promised us with him. Therefore, I must not put my hope in anything that is in this life. I must reduce the noise and distractions of in this life and align my heart with God and hope only in the life that is coming after this one.

The author puts it this way in the last chapter:

"It is coming . . . . The life I prize is coming. The very thing that I am aching for now, missing now, seeking now in other things is exactly what's coming to me . . . As you raise your glass of wine, toast to the banquet to come; as you see anything beautiful you'd like to have, say to yourself, In a little while it shall be mine forever; as you make love, remember it is rehearsal for the Grand Affair."

In short, I am not in control. I cannot create my own little Eden here on earth, I cannot do it with people, things, stuff, I just cannot do it, period. BUT, God will. He has promised me something better than triple my income or a European vacation. Moreover, he makes good on his promises!

God will restore everything. That my friends is something to hope for. That my friends is the only thing worth desiring.

But, really, what about me? What do I truly desire? Time for honesty. The answer is "It depends."

On a bad day I desire a cigar, to be left alone, a new episode of LOST, or half a package of Nutter Butters. On an okay day I desire to meet my wife's needs, the best for my kids, or to run three miles. On a good day I desire to love everybody around me well, for mine and my friends' marriages to be thriving, for God to bless my church, and for the junior high ministry to be fantastic. But, on a great day, on a really great day, my only desire is to live like the promise of God's coming kingdom is enough. And, you know what? There are more and more great days!

Now as I'm thinking of desire I am singing a different U2 song. I'm singing lyrics from "Walk On" as follows:

"You're packing a suitcase for a place
none of us has been
A place that has to be believed
to be seen."

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush's Israeli Knesset Speech

It's been pretty difficult to avoid the news and soundbites about President George W. Bush's speech before the Israeli Knesset on Thursday, May 15. Below I have bolded the one paragraph (the 20th paragraph of the speech) that Senator Obama personalized and took offense to. Incidently, the paragraph that immediately follows that one is probably my favorite paragraph of the speech (the one that says "307 million strong").

Some have said the president was out of line to criticize another American while on foreign soil. I don't think so. This speech was brilliant.

I heard several clips on the radio and it was a very powerful speech. It was well received by the Israeli Parliament (witness the very long periods of applause. The speech moved me. I honestly think this is the best speech President Bush has given during his eight years in office. Furthermore, I agree with the sentiment of this speech and it actually makes me proud to be an American.

I know it is long, but I am posting the text of the speech here:

Prepared Text of Bush's Knesset Speech
May 15, 2008 4:04 a.m.
As Prepared for Delivery:
Remarks by the President to Members of the Knesset
The White House Office of the Press Secretary

Shalom. Laura and I are thrilled to be back in Israel. We have been deeply moved by the celebrations of the past two days. And this afternoon, I am honored to stand before one of the world's great democratic assemblies and convey the wishes of the American people.

It is a rare privilege for an American President to address the Knesset. Although the Prime Minister told me there is something even rarer – to have just one person in this chamber speaking at a time. My only regret is that one of Israel's greatest leaders is not here to share the moment. He is a warrior for the ages, a man of peace, and a dear friend. The prayers of all Americans are with Ariel Sharon.

We gather to mark a momentous occasion. Sixty years ago in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's independence, founded on the "natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate." What followed was more than the establishment of a new country. It was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham, Moses, and David – a homeland for the chosen people in Eretz Yisrael.

Eleven minutes later, on the orders of President Harry Truman, the United States was proud to be the first nation to recognize Israel's independence. And on this landmark anniversary, America is proud to be Israel's closest ally and best friend in the world.

The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul. When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah: "Come let us declare in Zion the word of God." The founders of my country saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan. And in time, many Americans became passionate advocates for a Jewish state.

Centuries of suffering and sacrifice would pass before this dream was fulfilled. The Jewish people endured the agony of the pogroms, the tragedy of the Great War, and the horror of the Holocaust – what Elie Wiesel called "the kingdom of the night." Soulless men took away lives and broke apart families. Yet they could not take away the spirit of the Jewish people, and they could not break the promise of God. When news of Israel's freedom finally arrived, Golda Meir, a fearless woman raised in Wisconsin, could summon only tears. She later said: "For two thousand years we have waited for our deliverance. Now that it is here it is so great and wonderful that it surpasses human words."

The joy of independence was tempered by the outbreak of battle, a struggle that has continued for six decades. Yet in spite of the violence, in defiance of the threats, Israel has built a thriving democracy in the heart of the Holy Land. You have welcomed immigrants from the four corners of the Earth. You have forged a free and modern society based on a love of liberty, a passion for justice, and a respect for human dignity. You have worked tirelessly for peace. And you have fought valiantly for freedom.

My country's admiration for Israel does not end there. When Americans look at Israel, we see a pioneer spirit that worked an agricultural miracle and now leads a high-tech revolution. We see world-class universities and a global leader in business, innovation, and the arts. And we see a resource more valuable than oil or gold – the talent and determination of a free people who refuse to let any obstacle stand in the way of their destiny.

I have been fortunate to see the character of Israel up close. I have touched the Western Wall, seen the sun reflected in the Sea of Galilee, and prayed at Yad Vashem. Earlier today, I visited Masada, an inspiring monument to courage and sacrifice. At this historic site, Israeli soldiers swear an oath: "Masada shall never fall again." Citizens of Israel: Masada shall never fall again, and America will always stand with you.

This anniversary is a time to reflect on the past. It is also an opportunity to look to the future. As we go forward, our alliance will be guided by clear principles – shared convictions rooted in moral clarity and unswayed by popularity polls or the shifting opinion of international elites.

We believe in the matchless value of every man, woman, and child. So we insist that the people of Israel have the right to a decent, normal, and peaceful life, just like the citizens of every other nation.

We believe that democracy is the only way to ensure human rights. So we consider it a source of shame that the United Nations routinely passes more human rights resolutions against the freest democracy in the Middle East than any other nation in the world.

We believe that religious liberty is fundamental to civilized society. So we condemn anti-Semitism in all forms – whether by those who openly question Israel's right to exist, or by others who quietly excuse them.

We believe that free people should strive and sacrifice for peace. So we applaud the courageous choices Israel's leaders have made. We also believe that nations have a right to defend themselves and that no nation should ever be forced to negotiate with killers pledged to its destruction.

We believe that targeting innocent lives to achieve political objectives is always and everywhere wrong. So we stand together against terror and extremism, and we will never let down our guard or lose our resolve.

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is the ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

That is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. That is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the president of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain their words away. This is natural. But it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Some people suggest that if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of our enemies, and America rejects it utterly. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because America stands with you.

America stands with you in breaking up terrorist networks and denying the extremists sanctuary. And America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions. Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations. For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

Ultimately, to prevail in this struggle, we must offer an alternative to the ideology of the extremists by extending our vision of justice and tolerance, freedom and hope. These values are the self-evident right of all people, of all religions, in all of the world because they are a gift from Almighty God. Securing these rights is also the surest way to secure peace. Leaders who are accountable to their people will not pursue endless confrontation and bloodshed. Young people with a place in their society and a voice in their future are less likely to search for meaning in radicalism. And societies where citizens can express their conscience and worship their God will not export violence, they will be partners for peace.

This fundamental insight, that freedom yields peace, is the great lesson of the 20th century. Now our task is to apply it in the 21st. Nowhere is this work more urgent than here in the Middle East. We must stand with the reformers working to break the old patterns of tyranny and despair. We must give voice to the millions of ordinary people who dream of a better life in freedom. We must confront the moral relativism that views all forms of government as equally acceptable and thereby consigns whole societies to slavery. Above all, we must have faith in our values and ourselves and confidently pursue the expansion of liberty as the path to a peaceful future.

That future will be a dramatic departure from the Middle East of today. So as we mark 60 years from Israel's founding, let us envision the region 60 years from now. This vision will not arrive easily or overnight, and it will encounter violent resistance from our enemies. But if we and future Presidents and Knessets maintain our resolve and have faith in our ideals, here is the Middle East we can see:

Israel will be celebrating its 120th anniversary as one of the world's great democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people. The Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved – a democratic state that is governed by law, respects human rights, and rejects terror. From Cairo and Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy, tourism, and trade. Iran and Syria will be peaceful nations, where today's oppression is a distant memory and people are free to speak their minds and develop their talents. And al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause.

Overall, the Middle East will be characterized by a new period of integration and tolerance. This does not mean that Israel and its neighbors will be best friends. But when leaders across the region answer to their people, they will focus their energies on schools and jobs, not on rocket attacks and suicide bombings. With this change, Israel will open a hopeful new chapter in which its people can live a normal life, and the dream of Herzl and the founders of 1948 can be fully and finally realized.

This is a bold vision, and some will say it can never be achieved. But think about what we have witnessed in our own time. When Europe was destroying itself through total war and genocide, it was difficult to envision a continent that six decades later would be free and at peace. When Japanese pilots were flying suicide missions into American battleships, it seemed impossible that six decades later Japan would be a democracy, a lynchpin of security in Asia, and one of America's closest friends. And when waves of refugees arrived here in the desert with nothing, surrounded by hostile armies, it was almost unimaginable that Israel would grow into one of the freest and most successful nations on Earth.

Yet each one of these transformations took place. And a future of transformation is possible in the Middle East too, so long as a new generation of leaders has the courage to defeat the enemies of freedom, make the hard choices necessary for peace, and stand firm on the solid rock of universal values.

Sixty years ago, on the eve of Israel's independence, the last British soldiers departing Jerusalem stopped at a building in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. An officer knocked on the door and met a senior rabbi. The officer presented him with a short iron bar – the key to Zion Gate – and said it was the first time in 18 centuries that a key to the gates of Jerusalem had belonged to a Jew. His hands trembling, the rabbi offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God, "Who had granted us life and permitted us to reach this day." Then he turned to the officer, and uttered the words Jews had awaited for so long: "I accept this key in the name of my people."

Over the past six decades, the Jewish people have established a state that would make that humble rabbi proud. You have raised a modern society in the Promised Land, a light unto the nations that preserves the legacy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And you have built a mighty democracy that will endure forever and can always count on America to stand at its side. May God bless Israel.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Buy this Book!

I really need to recommend this book to you. It has totally changed my way of thinking and it is helping me to see real positive growth in my life. The concepts in this book go back many years to an article that the author, Bob Hughes, wrote. I had read the article probably 80 times. I had one in my car, one in my classroom, and another next to my bed. Honestly, I would put this book in a top 5 list of books that have helped me change the way I think in a very positive manner.

So, what is it about? It's about loving others well. I believe this book is a powerful tool in helping you carry out the greatest commandments which, of course, involve loving well (Matthew 22:37-40).

This book poses what I believe is the single greatest question every person must answer in their life: Is God enough? I know on the face of it this may not seem that ground-breaking or important, but, trust me, this is a profound point. As the author points out, most Christians believe that God loves them, but they do not act like God's love and grace are actually enough for them. This is a HUGE concept. If we truly believe that God's love and grace are sufficient for us, on a daily basis (or moment by moment basis) our actions will show it. We will live out our belief that GOD IS ENOUGH. Living out the "God is Enough" belief is such a stark contrast to simply believing "God loves me."
Intrigued? This book actually helps you understand these ideas and will give you the tools that will help you to live in a very love-focused and freeing way!

I strongly recommend that you get a copy of the book.

Buy it directly from this link:


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

After all, what boy doesn't love his mother?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Voting for Judges: Who Knows?

Are you planning to vote in the upcoming election on June 3, 2008?  I hope so. I wanted to let you all know who I am voting for in the judicial elections.  I know that it's weird voting for judges because most of us are not informed in the "lesser" races. Who are these people? I took the time to do a bit of research, made some phone calls and even spoke to a couple of the candidates themselves.  Here's how I am voting:

Judge of the Superior Court
Office No. 25
I am voting for him because it is very rare that a sitting judge is challenged.  Mr. John Nguyen recently changed his party registration to be a "decline-to-state-voter" which is what I am. His opponent (be careful as they share the same last name) is a registered Democrat. The guy I voted for, John Nguyen, has the endorsement of a major Orange County Republican, Tom Fuentes.

Judge of the Superior Court
Office No. 4
After reading his website, I was leaning toward Mr. Nick Thompson.  I then spoke with him over the phone and that put me over the top to choose him.  Mr. Thompson is a law and order guy.  The guy has seen combat too. He holds a Bronze Star for service in Iraq. He's received Army commendations.

Judge of the Superior Court
Office No. 8
I spoke with a friend of Mr. Collins over the phone.  The friend happened to be a former pastor.  Mr. Collins is a follower in the way of Jesus Christ.  He has actually co-authored a children's book on biblical justice that I'm told is being used in Africa.  Also, he has done work in Rwanda.  Mr. Collins attends Saddleback Church.  For you party-line people, I believe the higher ups in the GOP have actually endorsed Mr. Collins opponent, but I don't care.  I think Mr. Collins will be a no-nonsense judge.

Judge of the Superior Court
Office No. 12
This one is a bit trickier because there are four people running. The two at the top (Kermit Marsh & Debra Carrillo) are well-connected people and appear to be pretty beholden to the Republicans. They are both endorsed by the head D.A., Tony Rackauckas. BOTH of them!? Frankly, I don't care because it's politics as usual.  Apparently, the only female candidate, Debra Carrillo, is a good friend of Mr. Rackauckas' wife so he "had" to endorse her.  I received an e-mail from Carrillo and she made some strong allegations against Flory, saying he has had "several troubling incidents of bad behavior in court" so you might want to proceed with caution. I personally spoke with Mr. Flory and he actually reminds me of myself, politically only. I also feel he has the most experience for the job.  He is a long-time Deputy D.A., a prosecutor.  I like that.  I also think it's cool that he listed his cell phone on his website:  714-305-5648. He told me, "Have your friends give me a call."  He also claims one of his "problems" is being too honest.  "I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear; I'm going to tell you what I actually believe."  In all fairness, I also spoke with K.C. Jones who even Mr. Flory says is a nice guy.  I just don't think he's going to be as good at the job of superior court judge.  If you don't vote for Flory, you should vote for Debra Carrillo. She was a police officer for several years, then a bailiff, and now a deputy district attorney.

These are my opinions only.  You can take them or leave them. My absentee ballot is in the mail.


Underrated Song

The song "Kite" (from U2's 2000 masterpiece, ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND) is such an underrated song.  I will let it speak for itself, but I do highly recommend that you put it on right now and turn it up really loud!


Is about to give 
I can feel it coming 
I think I know what it is 

I'm not afraid to die 
I'm not afraid to live 
And when I'm flat on my back 
I hope to feel like I did 

And hardness 
It sets in 
You need some protection 
The thinner the skin 

I want you to know 
That you don't need me anymore 
I want you to know 
You don't need anyone 
Or anything at all 

Who's to say where the 
wind will take you 
Who's to say what it 
is will break you 
I don't know 
Which way the wind will blow 

Who's to know when the 
time has come around

Don't want to see you cry 
I know that this is not goodbye 

It's somewhere I can 
taste the salt of the sea 
There's a kite blowing 
out of control on the 
I wonder what's gonna happen to you 
Do you wonder what has happened to me? 

I'm a man 
I'm not a child 
A man who sees 
The shadow behind your eyes 

Who's to say where the 
wind will take you 
Who's to say what it 
is will break you 
I don't know 
Where the wind will blow 

Who's to know when the 
time has come around 
I don't want to see you cry 
I know that this is not goodbye 

Did I waste it 
Not so much I couldn't taste it 
Life should be fragrant 
Rooftop to the basement 

The last of the rocks stars 
When hip-hop drove the big cars 
In the time when new media 
Was the big idea 
What was the big idea


Friday, May 09, 2008


I admit it, I am a Survivor addict.  This 16th season of the show, SURVIVOR:  MICRONESIA-FANS VS. FAVORITES, is absolutely the best season in ages.  In fact, week after week, I can't believe how entertaining this season has been.  This is certainly my favorite season since I first started watching way back in season 7 in PEARL ISLANDS. Last Thursday I couldn't believe what the girls pulled off.  Poor Erik (pictured above) will now go down in history as the dumbest "survivor" ever.  I still dig the guy though. Jeff Probst was right, talk about a life lesson. It's great television! Lovin' it.


Saturday, May 03, 2008


Feeling like the world is really messed up, people are stupid, and things are not the way they are supposed to be. I've been at a loss for words lately too. But, then I'm listening to U2's classic album, OCTOBER, from 1981, and Bono reminds me:

"And what am I to do
Just tell me what am I supposed to say
I can't change the world 
But I can change the world in me
If I rejoice
Rejoice . . . ."
--Bono (from "Rejoice")

Enough said.

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