Archive for December, 2005

The Abandonment of Something
December 31, 2005

I have been wanting to discuss the following issue for quite some time. I hope that this post can spark some lively debate…although no one will ever see the 50 comment mark that J. Sok set with that forbidden Christmas issue. Anyway, this post is either about morality or legalism…I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one.

The results are staggering when you compare the former generation to the one we are existing in now. The same would be true if you were to look at our parents generation compared to our grandparents. Times change…people change…the church changes…and spirituality evolves. So many things are different now than they were one hundred years ago…heck…even twenty years ago. Pondering this issue has caused me to run upon a roadblock that I am truly struggling with. Enough with the preface…here is the meat of the discussion: Within the past two weeks and at different times, I have been in the company of good christian people who were drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and gambling. I look back at those encounters and realize that I thought nothing of it. There is a dilemma with this experience. If this were thirty years ago…say in the 70’s…there would be major problems with this kind of living. Not only would you be looked down upon, but your Christianity probably would have been a joke to most. If this were sixty years ago, It would be sinful for one to even think about someone doing these things…much less taking part. But now, at the end of 2005, I was in the presence of christians fully devoted to the Kingdom of God who were drinking, smoking, and gambling…and no one thought twice about it.

It seems to me that something is being abandoned.
Option number one is to believe that the morality of believers is slowing falling by the wayside. As the generations pass, we become more and more tolerant of the things of this world. Plain and simple: morality is being abandoned.
Option number two is to believe that we are abandoning legalism. We have realized that socially drinking, smoking, and gambling are as bad and morally wrong as drinking coke, eating candy, and playing the stock market. Plain and simple: We’re free in Christ…and He doesn’t care.
So are we abandoning legalism or morality?
Is it a mix of the two? My grandfather (who is one of the most godly men I know) would probably have a heart attack if he knew of the things that surrounded me regularly. Is that a problem…or do we just chalk it up to being a part of the “old school?” I would love to know what everyone thinks on this issue. I believe that it is something that we should think long and hard about. Try not to merely spout off the first thing that comes to your mind…think about it. I appreciate your comments.

A Blue Christmas
December 26, 2005

I’m pretty sure Elvis was a Colts fan.

Darlene’s Perm
December 23, 2005

I am deeply in love with Colin Cowherd. You know…radio talk show host with ESPN, Monday thru Friday from 10 am to 1 pm (your welcome for the plug, Herd). Anyway, he is the most funny and straight-forward commentator I have ever heard. His wit is unmatched. But…he cut me deep today. Here is the short story.

Herd is bashing UFC…Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is claiming that the boys that grow up and fight like this are the ones who zipped up their cats in duffle bags and threw them on top of Kroger. He said that the only people who watch UFC are people living in Gary, Indiana and Middle of Nowhere, Kentucky…guys who fight over Darlene, who has a cold sore and a permenent…guys who go strut at their alma mater’s football games five years after they graduated.

Here’s my problem. I really enjoy the UFC. For some reason, even though I have to turn my head when a nose gets broken, I love to see two dummys beat each other senseless. It is genuinely entertaining for me. I live in Nicholasville…I love Nicholasville. I graduated with a hot slimmie named Darlene, who I swear, had a perm. And I still rock my decorated letter jacket to the games on Friday night.

You cut me deep, Herd.

I love my world.

The Soup of Campbell
December 21, 2005

Dave is back, and he wanted me to let everyone know. Link him at He’s soupier than ever. Peace.

Straddling the Tookie Fence
December 15, 2005

No need to explain who Tookie is. We all know what went down Tuesday morning at 12:01. I watched the HBO film entitled Redemption starring Jamie Foxx (Mr. Williams’ life story) that same day, but you never really know how acurate those movies are…much like Hurricane with Denzel. Tookie’s life before prison was packed with more sex, drugs, and violence than you or I could ever imagine. I once read the autobiography of Sanyika Shakur who, like Stanley Williams, was an ex-L.A. gang member. The words on the pages were horrific…to say the least. I was about eighteen when I attempted to read it. By the mid-way point, I was too disturbed to continue. I took the book to a trash can somewhere in Lexington and threw it in. Later, I returned to fetch it out because I remembered that I had been using a twenty dollar bill as a bookmark…but I digress. The lives of these men were insanely appalling and deserved to be punished, which they were. I would, however, like to briefly discuss two issues.

If Redemption is completely accurate (which I truly doubt it is)…then I must say that the original intent of Stanley Williams and his friend, when founding the organization that later became known as the Cryps, was a noble and understandable cause. These men came from a place where you could not take your life for granted. It was a struggle to stay alive, much less, healthy and prosperous. In the movie, it is explained that Tookie started the group for protection…protection for themselves, family, and friends. Why? Because they desperately needed it. You as Lexingtonians and myself as a Nicholasvillian have no idea of the life this culture is forced to live. Who wouldn’t be completely terrified to drive through an area like Harlem, or Cabrinin Green, East St. Louis, or Compton…TRY LIVING THERE. To be honest, I would feel the same need for some sort of protection if I were in their shoes. When the government regards you as a “self-cleaning oven,” then you are forced to fend for yourselves. The lives of the people involved in this scene are uncomprehendable. I took in an ex-gang member from New York for quite some time…actually a close friend. I was literally speechless after the stories he would tell me. We assign valor to groups of people or communities who do this very thing but with different situations (like war). At what lengths would you go to ensure the safetly of you and your loved ones? Now, I will say, the evolution of the original creation is vile beyond belief. Do not think that I believe otherwise. (Keep in mind that this all depends on whether the testimony of Redemption is accurate). Let’s move on.

Capital Punishment. Right or Wrong? I’ll go ahead and tell you that I ride the fence on this issue. I grew up a stanchly conservative baptist which naturally leads to a stanchly pro-capital punishment conviction. I never questioned it…never really gave it the time of day…until I saw a bumper sticker that said this:

We kill people who kill people to teach them that killing people is wrong.
This is a logical argument. However, I know that a lot of things in Scripture are not logical. I also see in Scripture that Jesus taught mercy and grace and forgiveness. Honestly, I can’t see the Son of God pulling the lever or inserting the needle. But I do understand what the Old Testament teaches. Take this verse in Exodus for example: “Whoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He man.” In fact, I found it beneficial to read this article by John McArthur. I just don’t know. I understand that their is no confusion in the mind of God, but it seems that the Old and New Testaments teach different principles on the matter. I must also keep in mind that in Romans 13, Paul teaches that we must obey and respect the governing authorities.
Anyway, what I would like from the blognation is a one word comment. I would rather not have to read any dissertations…that is what your blog is for. But I would appreciate your opinion expressed in one of three words, “pro” “anti” or “fence.” I think it would be interesting to see where the blognation stands. Thank you for your time.

Bush 2005
December 11, 2005

Reggie runs away with the Heisman…no pun intended. In the most lopsided Heisman trophey vote of all time, Reggie Bush becomes the first non-quarterback in six years to win the award. I would have placed our child’s college fund on Reggie this year. I know a lot of people…and I don’t know a single person who is more fanatical and knowledgable of college football than yours truly. That preface was for the following statment: He is the most dynamic and electric college football player I have ever witnessed in my lifetime (‘my lifetime’ being the key phrase). Heisman winning quarterbacks have a rugged NFL history…for some reason they don’t transition to the elite league well. Running backs and utility backs do not have this problem. Reggie will be a NFL star and I can’t wait to see it (prbably going to the Jets or Texans). I am officially on his bandwagon. Actually, I jumped on his bandwagon when he put up 513 all-purpose yards against Fresno State (who almost knocked off the juggernaut, USC).

Here is the voting breakdown:
• Bush received 85 percent of possible first-place votes (784 out of 923) — the highest percentage ever.
• Bush was named on 99 percent of the returned ballots (884 out of 892) — the highest percentage in history.
• Young received the most second-place votes in history — on a percentage basis.
• Leinart received the most third-place votes in history — on a percentage basis.
• There has never been a more lopsided vote in Heisman history (the top 3 garnered the highest percentage of possible points ever.

A Lifechange @ 10:30
December 3, 2005

My life changed forever at 10:30 am on Wednesday, November 16th. As you all probably know by now, my wife is expecting. I just wanted to give an update on our condition and tell briefly the story of how we found out.

I came home from a brutal day on the farm on Monday the 14th. I walked in the front door, half-heartedly said “hello” to my wife, and began doing a load of laundry. I wasn’t in the mood for conversation or QT…I just wanted to relax. As I separated my clothes, I began to subtly lecture Melanie about our financial situation. I explained that we needed an emergency fund aside from our savings account as described and recommended by Mr. Dave Ramsey (thank you Dave Blake). I rambled on for quite sometime while she sat next to the heater staring at the tv. When I finished my discourse, tears began to well up in her eyes. She said a sentence that I will never forget, “Jonathan, I think we might need that emergency fund quicker than you thought.” At that moment, I knew what was happening. I don’t quite know how I knew…but I did. I pretended like I was clueless. She then explained some “woman” problems that she had been dealing with lately, all the while fighting back tears. I had never in my life been speechless before that moment. After about 5 minutes of silence, I told her that we needed to go to Wal-mart and get a home pregnancy test right then and there. She pulled the postive test out of a bag and flipped it to me. Mel told me that an ovarian sist could alter the results of the test….she had had an ultrasound a couple of weeks before because of a sist that the doctor found. I hate to admit this, but we held out hope. I sent her to have blood work done the next day (tuesday). Results wouldn’t be in until the next morning. I didn’t go into work on Wednesday…just laid in bed waiting for the call. At 10:30, she called and said that the doctor prescribed prenatal vitamins for her. A lifechange at 10:30.

Over two weeks have past and we are just getting through the initial shock of it all. Our emotions are settling and we are getting excited about what’s to come. Were thinking of names. The thing that keeps me up at night is the fact that I’m bringing a child into a world that I don’t have a grasp on yet. As for my beautiful bride, she can’t get enough sleep. That crazy girl is always exhausted. I’ll come home at 9 o’clock and she has been in bed for an hour. One of our main focuses right now is keeping her healthy. If she’s healthy, the child is too. A close friend of mine told me this, “Smitty…God wants this child in the world at this precise time, and He desires for you and Melanie to bear it. Have full confidence in that and don’t doubt it for a second.” Honestly, that is all we’re holding on to right now. God has blessed my wife and I with an phenomenal supporting cast of family and friends. If you have a chance…lift up Melanie in your prayers as she brings lil’ smitty (or smittie) into the world.

If you have wondered whether or not we will make it. Have full confidence – My God equips those he calls.