Archive for June, 2005

SMITCH
June 30, 2005

I brought the house down last Friday night…like I never have before.

You see, I was never really romantic when I was dating Melanie, nor am I romantic now having been her husband for a year and a half. It just never came naturally…there were times when I thought up sneaky, romantic ploys but I never would follow through because it always involved me “putting myself out there.” And as we all know, that is not something that Big Smitty cares to do often. I wanted to be sweet and thoughful, but being funny, macho, and muscley always appealed more. Well, I recently had an epiphany…………………..ok…fine…I watched “Hitch,”…regardless, I realized that this was my calling. To be SMOOTH…at least once. All I heard from that crazy women was oh’s and ah’s as we watched Big Willie lay it on Eva Mendez. So with the encouragement from my life-long hero, I decided it was time I did something special for my wife that would sweep her off her feet since I had yet to do so in the six + years we have been together.
I had the perfect opportunity to throw something together the week that Melanie was gone with my boy Dave and Water’s Edge. This is what went down: When I picked Mel up from Porter upon their return, I was dressed like a champ…I had on all black, except for my tie which was blue and white checkered (I think Troy and Alec almost jumped on me when they saw me step out of the Maxima). I lied an told her that I had been working at the cemetery all day and that is why I was dressed up…I didn’t want her to know what was to come. As we cruised up Lake street before pulling into the apartment lot, I handed her keys to her. See took them, did a double take at them, and then asked what in the world this little black thing was hanging down (keyless entry). I smiled real big and then pointed to her new car that was sitting in her parking spot. A ’98 white Toyota Camry that was in mint condition. She nearly fainted (she has never had a nice vehicle). After she calmed down, I told her that I had spoken a white lie in regards to the reason I was dressed up. She asked what I was talking about, and then I opened the front door to reveal a candle light dinner set up for her in the middle of our den. She cried…which was perfect. I instructed her to go upstairs, shower, and put on some formal wear for our night. I cooked her an elaborate dinner that actually turned out well. After dinner we cleared the floor and danced for the first time since our senior proms. She cried. After dancing I popped in a movie that she had been dying to see for quite some time, but I would never agree to go because it sounded so stupid….it was, but she enjoyed it. After the movie, she received a 40 minute full body massage which she has never had, from me or otherwise. She cried. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell that the house was perfectly clean and organized when she arrived, I spent all week getting it ready…were talking dust, sweep, mop, scrub, and vacuum. After the eventful evening, she told me that it was the sweetest thing I had ever done for her. She said, “Baby, I guess I have to call you Hitch now.” I then smugly replied, “No ma’am, you can call me SMITCH.

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Billy Graham of Lexington
June 30, 2005

Here we go again. I have been asked to proclaim God’s word from that that hideously intimidating pulpit at Highlands Baptist Church again. It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t preaching for:

A) Porter’s Pastor Emeritus…and
B) Melanie’s Grandfather

…anyway, if you read this I would truly appreciate your prayer for this Sunday night (July 3rd). This is the second time I have preached in my life (I consider speaking and teaching to be different disicplines), and both venues have been for J.K. “Billy Graham of Lex-town” Pierce. Anybody else wouldn’t be half as bad. Seriously, I am very excited and extremely honored to be able to fill the pulpit of Bro. Pierce. If you have a spare breath, lift me up. I will attempt to properly communicate this text:

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do , for they think that they will be heard for thier many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed by your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6.5-13

Breaking Fast
June 22, 2005

I woke up this morning before I was to be at the tatoo parlor (different story…different blog), and began to cook a couple of eggs and a protein shake. My days are always swell when I start them with breakfast. As I was eating, I begin to think about the word “breakfast.” So like I always do when I am thinking about the absurdity of a word, I wrote it down…this time it was on the napkin in front of me. I realized that “breakfast” is not one word, rather it is two words that have been smushed together…probably against thier will. After doing this I then realized that the orgin of the word was obvious and quite interesting. After my eight and a half hour slumber the night before, the eggs and shake were acting as my fast breaker. At that moment I was breaking the fast of the night. Sweet Georgia Brown! I normally don’t realize stuff like this on my own because I am such a meathead, but I had successfully figured the orgin of a word with my own bean. Please complement me…Anyway, I will no longer pronounce the word “breakfast” like the rest of humanity, I will forver use two words, “break fast.” Because that is what I am doing. I’m out.

…and don’t act like you knew that already.

I read Finnegan’s Wake
June 20, 2005

I have had a problem with reading ever since I picked up my first book (which I believe was Finnegan’s Wake). It’s not that I have trouble reading or comprehending, rather, I read amazing material from a lot of places but with a couple of days I forget what I read and what it mean’t to me. So I realized that I am really wasting my time with these great reads if I don’t take something from them. I thought that underlining things in books would be beneficial, but then all I have is marked up books with no memory of where the insightful pieces are to be found in them. So I have devised a plan that will probably flop (being negative seems to be the way to go these days). I have created a second blog that is a kind of side sick to smittycity. I will exclusively post amazing excerpts from the current books I’m reading (i guess i will post the amazingly bad stuff as well)…anything that I feel is mind candy will be posted. Feel free to comment, criticize, or support. Keep hope alive.

What About Snaggletooth?
June 17, 2005

I’m sick of the Detroit bandwagon…forget Tayshaun…somebody pull for Nazr. By the way, anybody notice that he got his teeth fixed. Anyway, T.P. didn’t do a thing for UK, Lexington, or anything else in this area. At least Nazr helped add to the ecomony by starting up Moe’s Apparal on Broadway. Yeah..Yeah..it tanked…but “A” for effort, right? Spurs in six. I’m out.

Booda or Nemo…You Choose
June 10, 2005

Most of the smittycity faithful know that there was an addition to the Smith family during the summer of last year. His name is Soloman…a.k.a. Booda…a.k.a. Nemo. I believe that each member of the family refers to the man with a different nickname. I prefer Booda, not to be mistaken with the fat thinker…Buddha. Booda came about through my dad and I. For as long as my family has been involved with children (fostering, shepharding, A.G.C.) we have always called the tubby ones, “Booda-butt.” Don’t know where it came from…so don’t ask. As you could guess, Solomon was chunky there for a while…he is still a little plump now but he is beginning to thin out…it’s called the Rob effect (you know what I’m talking about if you have ever seen a picture of Rob Holman in middle school). Well, the word stuck because when he was only a couple of months old he was fairly dark skinned with a bald head…you do the math. Now…Nemo comes from a outfit that my mother bought the poor child with that stupid clown fish on the front and the word ‘Nemo’ plastered on the butt of the shorts that went with it (in west Philly the outfit is called a short set). So next time you see the boy running by with his baby-afro blowing in the wind and his pampers hanging on by a thread…he will answer to either name.

If Paintings Could Talk…
June 9, 2005

This is amazing:

God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is the most loving act. Anyone else who exalts himself distracts us from what we need, namely, God. But if God exalts himself, he calls attention to the very thing we need most for our joy. If great paintings could talk, and they saw you walking through the gallery staring at the floor, they would cry out, “Look! Look at me. I am the reason you are here.” And when you look and exult in the beauty of the paintings with those around you, your joy would be full. You would not complain that the paintings should have kept quiet. They rescued you from wasting your visit. In the same way no child complains, “I am being used” when his father delights to make the child happy with his own presence.

-John Piper Don’t Waste Your Life

1984
June 4, 2005

Sorry Orwell fans, no animal farm here…although 1984 is a great read.

1984: Probably the best year in the history of this world…well, except that year that Christ was born (3-4 B.C.), and the year sex was invented (I think it was the late 12th century). Anyway, ’84 was one for the ages because of three distinct reasons.

Reason #1. Smitty was born into this great nation.

Reason #2. Michael Jordan entered the league forever changing the game.

Reason #3. The Thriller album was released forever changing music.

If you were lucky enough to be born during this prolific year, then you may be added as reason #4. All else must settle for being second rate.

ma ma se ma ma sa ma-ma cu sa

A Refreshing Remix
June 4, 2005

Alright, lets be butt naked honest for a minute. We all have read the Bible our entire lives… and we experience moments, whether brief or extended, when Scripture becomes mundane and unfortunately…boring. When you think about it, this horrific fact is the tragedy of all tragedies. Something as powerful, as liberating, as moving, and as Soverign as the Gospel should spark our enthusiasm and emotions for the Kingdom of God time and time again. But, let’s face it, we are depraved people who shoot for self-righteousness over true-righteousness every time down the court. So for whatever reason, we run into sporadic spells in which reading the Bible is a chore. Side note: Don’t try to convince yourself that you don’t fall into this cateogory every now and again (end side note). Now, I know that none of us get sick of what is being communicated to us, rather the way that it is being communicated becomes our problem. It all begins to sound the same…the rhythmic patterns…the dialect…the tone, then we get frustrated because we’ve read that same line six times to no avail, so we go pick up some one of Calvin’s Institutes or last month’s Playboy (if you’re like me then you’ll snuggle up with some Lemony Snickett). Well, I haven’t found a cure for our lackadaisical disease, but I have found a sort of temporary relief.
Eugene Peterson’s The Message has been significantly refreshing for me lately. Like many out there, I was skeptical because of the obsessive nature of conservative evangelicals in making sure that we have exactly the same words and ideas that Paul and all his boys originally had in their respected languages. This is a worthy and necessary venture. I do understand that we sacrifice a little accuracy while reading this paraphrase, but the ideas of Scripture are altered in no way. For those who do not know, Peterson is a reformed Canadian (i know that this will mean more to some than others) and he is well respected among scholarly conservative circles. When I read Peterson’s work it seems as though Christ, Paul, Moses, and whoever else you like is writing and speaking in 2005. I realize that it is not our concern to modernize the truth of God’s work, but I am all for reading somthing that sounds a little more up-to-date as long as I don’t have to sacrifice anything. Peterson is solid…the Message is solid. Both have ministered to me lately. Study something more accurate, but don’t feel bad about reading this paraphrase…it sounds to us today just like the original koine greek sounded to the first century church. It has re-awakened my passion for Scripture. Is Christ more concerned over us slaving over the most precise and accurate translation and fighting over which it is, or was his intent that we understand, love, cherish, and be completely consummed with His Words to us? If you try it and don’t like it I will personally send you nothing. Check this out:

THE BEAUTITUDES

“Your blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. (Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.)
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. ( Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.)
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. (Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.)
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find youselves cared for. (Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.)
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. (Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.)
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.)
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. (Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)

The Message (NASB)

*If Peterson’s paraphrase adds anything to Scripture then we have a problem. I haven’t read enough to make that call yet.