Things I Think…

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108 Responses

  1. Reuben says:

    I probably should not be surprised but I am surprised. So glad I don’t attend men’s conferences anymore. Those things always bugged me to begin with.

    I really wish everyone would do #1. It would be super helpful in getting to know each other and more or less give a virtual face to the virtual names. I always think a lot of things. I will write more.

  2. Alan says:

    I hate to side with Driscoll but I cannot see where he is wrong on calling this out.

  3. Alan says:

    The “attack” on Israel seems to have been “coordinated” by many nations allowing Iran to have their moment without granting Israel high ground for retaliation. The whole thing seems like a sham. How did this happen? War Games for Dummies.

  4. Michael says:

    He should have called it out…but without the nonsense…

  5. Reuben says:

    I was born in Be’er-Sheva. My father served in the IDF. I think a lot of things about the Israeli conflict, but they are not things thought out loud for fear of getting canceled by both sides. However, it is safe to say this is a deep rooted religious war. People forget that.

  6. Alan says:

    Yes, Driscoll is full of nonsense. However, I think he just got a win. My question is this; was the “performer” really a stripper? The post said he was a stripper. Was Driscoll grandstanding because he took off his shirt only or is that guy a stripper?

  7. DavidH says:

    Things I Think
    1. Many American Christians are an idolatrous lot. No politician, celebrity, nor “influencer” is God, nor anointed by anyone.
    2. Chaos is not a form of government. Humans do not do well with chaos and disarray. We have social, cultural, and economic institutions for a reason.
    3. I’d rather listen to The Allman Brothers Band, than Taylor Swift, but Taylor is very good at what she does. She’s an entertainer.
    4. There’s a reason they referred to the television as the “idiot box” in the Sixties. I choose to read every night instead of watching TV. Cable news is a cesspool. The motivation of all the news channels is to generate income for their advertisers, that’s why the love Trump, he gins up people more than Biden.
    5. One of America’s deadliest drugs, alcohol, is legal for anyone over 21, and very easy for kids to get. The best thing I ever did for myself is quit drinking alcohol in January 2020.

    Back in the mid 2000s I attended a Calvary Chapel Men’s Conference. I was done when Ken Graves started shilling his “Bible Holster”.

  8. Muff Potter says:

    Reuben wrote @ 1:15 pm,
    “However, it is safe to say this is a deep rooted religious war. People forget that.”

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion, too…

    Like John Lennon, I’m a dreamer too.

  9. Michael says:


    The creation and re-creation stories in Genesis are about calling order out of chaos…very biblical concept you noted…

  10. Michael says:

    Bt the way, Driscoll and the pastor kissed and made up afterwards onstage…I’m sure no cash changed hands…

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    Just looked at that Daily Mail article. Who in their right mind would think that act has any place in any kind of Christian event??!!! I hope more attenders than just Driscoll were appalled.

  12. Captain Kevin says:

    Perhaps I’ll add my 5 Things, but today I’m having a fibromyalgia flare-up. I can barely make sentences due to the pain and fatigue.

  13. DavidP says:

    I’m mostly a lurker, but what the heck:

    1. I don’t care who wins in November. I mean, I kinda do – but not really. Instead of praying for one man to win over another, I am more concerned about the condition of a church to be a witness to God’s goodness and self-sacrifice. Spend the next 6-7 months praying for a peaceful election and for the power to love our neighbor as ourselves.
    2. Yes, even our Trump-voting, FOX-watching, end-times predicting neighbor. I can tire of this too, but I want strength to love them.
    3. Spring is the reason we Minnesotans endure January. It’s worth the wait.
    4. We are missing a voice like Rich Mullins today. Some good people out there, but when I listen to The Jesus Record I get a sense of the Lord and his connection to the least and poor in spirit that seems to be absent everywhere else.
    5. Bluey isn’t the best kids TV in the past 10 years, it’s the best TV Show in the past 10 years. Period. Go watch it. It’s short and sweet, and there’s episodes on YouTube if you don’t have Disney.

  14. DavidM says:

    Glad Driscoll called this guy out but, “my voice is sore because I prayed all night for you”?? Right. Humility has never been a strength of Driscoll.
    Why don’t men have the courage to walk out when a Christian conference begins with a male pole dancer?
    I at first thought it was Larry David walking onstage.

  15. Captain Kevin says:

    DavidP, I love Bluey! When my 26-year-old daughter and I hang out, we often watch several episodes.

  16. Reuben says:

    Thanks for doing Things, Davids!

  17. Michael says:


    Very well said about loving our neighbors…even the ones that give us cramps.

    You need to comment more often…

  18. Michael says:


    They were at this conference to act like men…and don’t see that they failed miserably.

  19. Michael says:

    I loathe anyone using the phrase “Jezebel spirit”.

    Tell me you’re an idiot without telling me…

  20. Michael says:


    Praying for you…my arthritis has been crazy today’s I feel your pain…

  21. bob1 says:

    “Jezebel spirit.” Looks like we need to fact-check our brethren when they pull something out of context.

    Or better yet, just ignore.


  22. Captain Kevin says:

    Thanks Michael. Praying for you as well.

  23. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I wasn’t aware any of this stuff to do with Driscoll happened until recently. I kind of wish I didn’t know now.

    And here I was excited to have finished a prelude and fugue tribute to John Lee Hooker this weekend and catch up with folks I know at church.

    I stand by my take on New Days, Old Demons that Driscoll self-published last year that 2003 Mark would say 2023 Mark dribbled the idiot ball against his own face in an automatic writing session of the kind that occultist writers would use and blathered about the Ahab and Jezebel spirits. It would take weeks to dredge up the ways that Mark Driscoll manifests signs of the Ahab and Jezebel spirits based on his own checklists. I would prefer that other people do that sort of thing now if they can. I suppose I’ll grant that at least Driscoll thinks Andrew Tate is a male Jezebel spirit so that’s faintly off-brand but of all the people I’ve met in my life who are male and have a Jezebel spirit Driscoll is actually the number one candidate for being possessed by it if he’s gonna go full charismatic with no seatbelt.

  24. Kevin H says:

    1. I think many are already sick of the things I think.

    2. Therefore, I think I will think some things that I normally don’t think here.

    3. Darth Vader is the greatest cinematic villain of all time.

    4. I live in a household with my wife, two daughters, a dog, a cat, and a turtle. They are all female. I think it would be nice to have another guy around sometimes.

    5. Those who have never tasted Tastykakes, especially their Kandy Kakes or Butterscotch Krimpets are missing out.

    6. I have been to MLB baseball games in exactly half of the current major league stadiums (along with two other stadiums that no longer exist) but don’t think I will make too many more as they are too far away and too expensive to get to.

    7. I wish I would have realized ahead of time how close I was to Josh when I visited Charlotte for work several years ago (but at least I got to see a minor league baseball game there. 🙂 ).

  25. The New Victor says:

    “4. I live in a household with my wife, two daughters, a dog, a cat, and a turtle. They are all female. I think it would be nice to have another guy around sometimes.”

    Lol… sorry. I’m reminded how my D (12 next week) has long bemoaned the fact that there are no girls to play with on our block. And of course she and S14 fight a lot. I’m the only “boy” that she likes, thankfully.

  26. The New Victor says:

    Things I Think (in no order of importance)

    1. Love me, love my dog.

    2. In my “Adulting” tax paying life, I’ve survived multiple recessions, tax increases despite “read my lips…” losing my doctor despite promises… etc.

    3. Related to 2, I am unable to relate to the desire to be ruled by a terrestrial King, Savior or dictator. I do understand the desire to latch onto power of one feels powerless or oppressed.m

    4. Related to 3, I’m so tired of “this is the most consequential election in history else we’ll lose the republic/democracy!”

    5. I spent time with my Israeli friends this weekend. On the husband’s side: his family were converts and pioneers in the 1950s. I’ve heard so many stories… on the wife’s side, her family were refugees from Iraq after 2500 years of being there.

    6. Their son in law, like their daughter, is a high school counselor and psychologist. I was telling him about the lock down at my kids’ middle school Friday. Parents came on campus and were trying classroom doors. They found a kid in the county program and assaulted a 14 year old bloody. Cops came but no one was arrested. He told me stories about parents and kids with mental issues. We concluded that there is a whole cohort of kids that were adversely affected by the covid lock downs of varying ages… and I see it in new college hires at my job. How long will it be before this filters away? Their kids are 10 and 5 and he said he’d quit his job to homeschool if it happened again, based upon what they saw with their son. He said high functioning autistic kids did better (like my son).

    7. We attended a local small non-denom church on Easter. My kids liked it. They had Easter baptisms. I had a dream last night where we returned to CC. I’m not sure what to make of it.

    8. I blessed with a better job than what I should have. It gets me down sometimes (“aggro” as the kids say, internal customers), but I’m blessed to have it after being laid off and I have flexibility given the ages of my kids so I’m thankful to God for it. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. When I’m down, there is always tomorrow to hope for the better.

  27. Alan says:

    Things I Think

    1 – Wish I had become more familiar with Athanasius years ago. He would have been my lifelong companion.

    2 – In 40 days I will celebrate 50 years with her, the only woman I have ever loved.

    3 – Three weeks later I will turn 70 and wonder all day how it burst upon me so soon.

    4 – Teaching theology would have been my great passion had I discovered that love much younger. I am too old to be a very good theologian but I can be curious and hungry the rest of my days.

    5 – My other great love has been the bride of Christ. I do not care about her wrinkles and spots I see the glory of her beloved upon her and trust his ability to wash her clean.

    6 – Writing lives within me but has not been able to escape. Distraction and constant repentance over all I think prevents codifying a record.

    7 – Friends are everything and only second to family.

    8 – How can I wrangle a few more years to remain in this crazy world? Our love for life betrays our belief in glory but we know that this is the only opportunity to love without sight.

    9 – All I have ever imagined has eluded me and turned to ashes in my grasp. And still I hear a voice calling onward.

    10. Truth surpasses all other values. Except for the holy love of the one who is.

  28. BrianD says:

    4/16 Things I Think…

    1. We live in a society that is caught in the insanity of extremist politics that have as their aim poisoning everyone and everything with their filth.

    2. That said, most people just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. They know the extremists and elitists don’t give a **** about them, except as pawns. Who wants THAT in their life?

    3. I think about God a lot. Sometimes I think He is there. Sometimes, that He does not exist. Sometimes, that His existence, and activities, are mysteries that may be impossible for humans to grasp.

    4. How do I relate to God? As a child? A slave? A servant? A grown-*** man? Do I talk to Him like the dad I wish I had? Or do I pray a certain amount and read the Bible a certain amount daily to appease Him so I stay in His good graces and stay off the Send to Hell list?

    5. I believe in once saved, always saved…that HAS to be a reality, because otherwise would we think about God and Jesus and the Spirit at all?

    6. I’m very much a sinner, in need of Jesus, constantly and daily. Maybe one day before I die I’ll be holy.

    7. Customer service in this day and age is one of the harder jobs one can do. It can burn you out and make you distrustful of everything and everyone and put you into a dark, dark place…if you let it.

    8. John Calipari needed to leave Kentucky. We’re glad to be rid of him, while happy he brought us back into the elite of college basketball. I think Mark Pope will do well. Watch the introductory press conference for Pope that filled Rupp Arena and was a celebration…and contrast it to the 1/8 filled conference for Calipari at Bud Walton Arena that came of to me like a cross between Amway, a pastor’s conference and a weird cult (ooooooo pig sooey!)

    9. In 2025, Lord Jesus willing, I’ll enjoy Wawa here in my hometown and In-N-Out in Nashville. Publix is awesome (albeit a little expensive). Jack in the Box is scabulon — no, worse. Chick-fil-A is great. RaceTrac is the best truck stop.

    10. I would appreciate your prayers. Too much stuff going on that I don’t want to get into here, but I would especially appreciate prayers for my mom. She’s in rehab, had a tough time before, and though she is hopeful and full of live it is very tough on her. As far as me, I hope I stay on the path that leads to Jesus and make it thru the pearly gates when I enter the afterlife.

  29. Reuben says:

    Yay Things!

    Hey BrianD, for what is it worth, I do pray. And I will pray. Good to see you!

  30. Terry says:

    I watched the video, and the guy was doing more like a Cirque du Sol Lei performance. The pole was for doing his feats of strength. He also swallowed swords, and oh-by-the-way, works as male stripper. I’ve been at work events where these kind of performers were brought it.

    Just to be clear, a pastor did not hire a Chippendale dancer to entertain at a men’s conference.

    It’s still a really dumb idea for a men’s retreat.

  31. Xenia says:

    1. I have been feeling weakish and dizzy lately and I am beginning to think I am getting too old to observe the strict Lenten fast. Every morning I wake up and do a quick bodily survey to see what still works.

    2. But on the whole, I think I enjoy being elderly. No one expects too much from me anymore and it’s a pleasant life. I feel free to disregard all the health diets I used to enjoy chasing after because it’s getting to be too late for anything insidious to take root. Every one I know has made for themselves complicated food rules. I am always being directed by friends to some YouTube wonder doctor with a food rule that will cure everything. To that I now say Phooey. One day I will come down with my Last Ailment, all in God’s good timing. My job is to be ready to meet Him.

    3. Over my 2 decades on this blog I’ve been trying to emphasize how joyful a normal Christian church life can be. It’s just as joyful as ever and I wouldn’t trade my brothers and sisters at my parish for anything. These are the people God has placed me among to work out my salvation. Some are irritating but they are none of them as irritating as I am.

    4. I have too many hobbies.

    5. I am glad Reuben is here with us, and Josh, too.

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    Things I Think from Dixie Alley:

    1. Would be nice to have a true Statesman/woman to vote for later this year, one who reaches across the aisle to help make our country better, but looks like many of us just want to vote for

    2. I joined a Facebook group called “Tornado Alley” – for all those who are interested in tornadoes and severe weather. Lots of great and smart people. Quite a few reactionary people to who like to monger and whip up fear. Thankfully there are those of us who are knowledgeable and capable of helping them simmer down.

    3. Everyone who knows me only marginally thinks I am a metal head. Not sure why they think this – I don’t have long scraggly hair or wear black all the time. I like several forms of music. I have a life outside of metal, ok?

    4. Men’s Conferences – have no desire to go to one.

    5. As an artist specializing in oil and acrylic paints, I one day hope to have a mentor and/or get an MFA…would like to have some more formal instruction.

  33. Xenia says:

    6. What’s up with the current fad to use dull colors for everything? I was oblivious to this trend and made my new grandson a VERY colorful quilt and then I started paying attention to the backgrounds in his photos and noticed everything is tan or beige and a little more thought caused me to realize that I’d only seen his mama wearing brown and not only that but everyone one else in that family was always wearing brown or gray. So a little research showed me that this dreary colorless scheme was definitely a thing. We went to Wal-Mart yesterday to get some sheets and the whole long aisle was nothing but drab tan and gray bedding with one flowery set which I grabbed up. I read that this “sad beige” aesthetic is supposed to calm overstimulation. I think it’s just ugly.

  34. Dan from Georgia says:


    I hadn’t noticed that, but what I do notice is that the VAST majority of cars on the road are black, white, gray/silver. I hate to say this, but I usually chuckle a bit when there is a missing person alert, and the alert says “gray 4 door sedan”…yeah, like that will stand out.

  35. Michael says:

    Reuben really nailed this one.
    This has been one of the more enjoyable reads here in a long time.

    There has been something in all the lists that I could identify with…and everyone here is interesting in their own way.

    We have far more in common than that which divides us.

  36. Michael says:

    Getting older has been a time of humiliation for me….I completely identify with Xenia waking up and checking what still works.

    I’ve been on painkillers for almost a year now, with no end in sight…can’t take care of the house or yard and can hardly deal with the duties of taking care of my mom and myself.

    When mom gets placed in a facility I’ll be moving.

    My friends whose home I’ll be moving into just built a “catio” outside my door…I’ll share my space with Liam and three other cats…couldn’t script the end of my days any better…

  37. Michael says:


    Praying for you and your mom…In and Out ain’t all that, but mine is the minority opinion…

  38. Michael says:


    “I am too old to be a very good theologian but I can be curious and hungry the rest of my days.”

    It’s odd…I’m more curious and even more hungry here in my stretch run…and don’t understand why others aren’t…

  39. Kevin H says:


    Was the villainous Darth Vader the item you identified with on my list?

  40. Michael says:


    If the mask fits… 🙂

    Actually, I think that the Joker from the Batman trilogy is the best villain ever…that movie and character made my skin crawl and I couldn’t wait to get out of the theatre…

  41. Kevin H says:

    Heath Ledger was incredible as the Joker, but that was only one movie. Darth Vader has spanned across multiple movies and trilogies and now streaming series that reach over more than 40 years. Kind of like how the Phoenix Preacher spans across multiple Calvary Chapel controversies and other church controversies over many years. 😉

  42. Bob Sweat says:

    1. I think that I’m not so sure what I think anymore.
    2. There are times when I don’t even want to think.
    3. I think that after listening to some of Dread’s teaching on Hebrews, my theology has changed again.
    4. I think I’m getting tired of changing.
    5. I think that after all my years attempting to return to pastoral ministry, my reasons where not so much to pastor again, but my attempt to make right my previous failure.
    6. I think that I have finally come to the conclusion that I don’t need to pastor again because God’s grace has covered that failure.
    7. I think Kevin is a “pot stirrer”.
    8. I think I love seeing the “pot stirred”!
    9. I think attending another men’s conference is out of the question for me.
    10. I think my life has been blessed by the years of being part of this blog.

  43. Michael says:


    Beings you invoked me, I shall concede your argument… 🙂

  44. Michael says:


    We’ve been blessed by having you!

    I told you Dread’s teaching was special in that series…I love perspective changes!

  45. Dan from Georgia says:

    I love Kevin’s pot stirring! I like that he brews up something on a regular basis!

    Catio! Love that too!

  46. Michael says:


    It was funny…my friends husband objected to the idea of building the patio outside my door…”He won’t want that!”

    She had to have him talk to me…and I affirmed that I could think of no better way to live.

    I’m glad you’re willing to share your expertise online, even though expertise is not valued…it will matter to someone and help them think more clearly.

  47. Reuben says:

    Xenia, I appreciate that! I like being here. It is my only “Christian” interaction these days. I do mean only. I don’t go to AA because of the heavy religious overtones. So this is it.

  48. Josh says:

    Xenbia – Good to see you too!

    Kevin H – You were less than two miles from me bro! Wish I could’ve caught you that day.

    Things I think – The frustrated stressed edition:

    1. Life is weird. People are the most important thing. I worked at a church once where the pastor said “People are our passion.”, and it sparked a huge controversy. There was a group that was like, “No, Jesus is our passion!”, others said “The Word is our passion!”, still others: “His Glory is our passion!”. So strange to look back on that time. You had a guy who wanted to care for people and everyone was jumping down his throat because he should have cared about something else more. Insanity.
    2. I didn’t play last week so I went to a church with a “topical” preacher. He’s actually really good at speaking. He just speaks in a way that you don’t mind listening. Of course, a large group of people hate on this guy because he isn’t heavy enough. I swear, we make ourselves feel guilt for anything that is slightly enjoyable in life, and that is the recipe for misery. If I were to ever preach again, I’d study Dave Chapelle and just change the message. His delivery is on a different level. Doesn’t matter what he is talking about, you can listen for 90 minutes. Most preachers I can last about 6 minutes.
    3. I don’t think the Driscoll situation is exactly how that happened, and I don’t think Driscoll handled it correctly. that said, it was probably a stupid conference so any drama to spice it up is probably welcomed. We should just admit when we go to these (I don’t) that we are paying to be entertained. Christians can’t allow themselves to enjoy real concerts or shows, so we create this stuff. The “holy” version. I would rather see a sword-swallowing act than a bunch of preachers trying to outdo each other.
    4. My son loves combat sports, and is pretty good. He wins most his fights, and we have a great time watching PPV’s together. He recently got a job teaching a kickboxing class at his old dojo. Yesterday, I took my first kickboxing class at 49 years old. “You’re never too old” is bullcrap from the pit of hell.
    5. I miss doing academic work. Biblical scholarship. Researching various theologies. Learning the history of the church in diverse areas around the world. I loved that stuff. It never changed me, but it was fun and made me feel smart. All my books are in the church office I haven’t worked in in two years. Can’t bring myself to go get them. Maybe PTSD or something.

  49. Reuben says:

    Things I Think today…

    1. I have this constant torment of regret when it comes to my wife. She put up with 13 years of drinking. When I think of my wife, I want to get drunk, and all she wanted was for was me to quit drinking. Her love was truly unconditional.

    2. I need a therapist in the worst way, because I know so few people I would be willing to talk to about these things.

    3. I miss playing the guitar. I burnt out from years, 12 years of playing on a worship team. Such a pro performance, there was no actual worship. But now I miss guitar again.

    4. A trash bag ripped open on me today, I am thankful there is a laundry room here so I can wash the stench off. This work program is good for me. It keeps me from drinking with a work routine.

    5. I want to start a call in radio show that discusses the two forbidden subjects every week day. Religion and Politics. I feel like I could talk about those things for ever. The name of the show would be Forbidden Subjects.

    6. Colorado is a schizophrenic state. Yesterday it was 80 degrees and sunny. Today it is raining, cold and windy.

    7. Josh and I should start a church.

    8. Actually, nah. But if it were to happen, I would definitely prefer it be with Josh.

    9. I am looking forward to the Olympics. I hear the torch started it’s travels today.

    10. I don’t know where compost goes. Where I live (Boulder CO), everyone recycles their compost, but I truly have no clue where it goes and why. Maybe someone can clue me in.

    11. We should have ice breaker questions every week too. Like today could be who is your favorite band/musician? Mine is Pink Floyd.

  50. Reuben says:

    Hey Josh, I’m 49!

  51. Reuben says:

    I should amend my own ice breaker answer. My favorite musicians (Pink Floyd is a band) is Kevin Eubanks (Jazz guitar) and Cory Henry (Gospel church organist who is flat out unreal).

    I still love roof raising gospel music.

  52. Josh says:

    I’m flattered, Reuben, and I’m sure we could present some interesting services! At the very least 🙂 But I do know I’d screw people up now, and I’m not willing to do that. It occurred to me that I’ve been out of ministry for basically a year and a half. The church begged me to stay, and I’ve been offered 1/2 a dozen opportunities since. Meanwhile, guys we’ve seen on here with crushing scandals were back in ministry within 90 days at the most. I envy that lack of conscious. That ability to just leave a pile of bodies in your wake and keep on trucking. Every very successful person you know has a bit of in them. You have to in order to succeed on a large level. I never had it.

    I have lots of favorite musicians. My flavor of the moment is Jon Batiste. Got to see him a few weeks ago, and he’s virtuoso on many different instruments, and a heck of an entertainer, but the main thing I took away was the pure joy he had when singing or playing an instrument. Just flowed out of him, and I don’t think it even mattered what the sound was. The joy was overpowering.

    Reuben – congrats on not being 50 yet. Don’t start kickboxing 🙂

  53. Michael says:


    You make a good point.
    One of the hardest mental habits I’ve had to help my church break is that if you really enjoy something not church related you should feel bad.

    I encourage them to enjoy whatever God has given them…and to miss church to do so if need be.

    I tried Tai Kwon Do in my fifties cause Trey was doing it and it looked like fun….and I like to hit people.

    It did not work out well…

  54. Michael says:

    I realized last night how much I missed anticipating a new release from an artist I liked…all the people I like are dead…

  55. Chris says:

    Things I think
    1. So much of new testament teaching seems to revolve around God’s people in close, intimate relationship with one another. I think we’ve lost that and substituted a bunch of excuses, other rules and teachings to avoid having to think about that.
    2. Jesus told the woman at the well “if you knew who it was you were asking…” Maybe if I really understood who it was I was asking, my prayer life would look differently
    3. Love the Lord first and then you will be free to do what you want
    4. Favorite singer nobody has heard of: Josh Ritter. Favorite mainstream is Billy Joel.
    5. Someday i’ll buy a really nice guitar, but I can never justify the cost. So probably I will never actually buy a really nice guitar, but the one I have has seen me through a lot. And I think I can be content with that.

  56. Josh says:

    There is also no anticipation for releases anymore, because the music industry ate itself. In general, no one likes new music. Everyone just wants to hear the songs from their youth over and over. With streaming, you can do just that with no delay. For most people, music isn’t as much art as it is a tool for nostalgia.

  57. Michael says:


    Well done!

    Your number one is gold…yes.

  58. Janet Linn, BrideofChrist says:

    Things I think: 1. God is everywhere because Christ is everywhere. My old church, CC, said “the spirit of the anti-Christ is in the public schools”. I taught in the public schools for over 30 years and I knew dozens and dozens of Spirit- filled Christians who taught in public schools. I don’t think the schools are filled with the Spirit of the anti-Christ. 2. I think animals have souls, just as Michael does. I love my two cocker spaniels! 3.I think many churches don’t understand Christ’s words “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” If they did, why would they be working so hard to put women beneath them in everything? 4. I believe everything changes whether we like it or not, so I constantly pray that God will help me not to become so set in my ways that He cannot lead me where he wants. 5. I think children are a blessing from God, and I don’t understand how anyone could possibly think differently. 6. I think this site is wonderful because it gives me so much hope. 7.I think flowers are God’s way of showing us how much he loves us. I love to grow flowers year round ( probably why I live in Oceanside, Calif). Every time I see a flower I think how much God loves me and I smile!

  59. Michael says:


    I would listen to some new stuff…but every time I do it is a pale comparison. to what once was.

    I’m one of the few here that love country music…and what passes for country today is embarassing.

    I do listen to the same few songs over and over again…mostly Jerry Lee…I wasn’t aware that everyone does this.
    It may be nostalgia…but new stuff doesn’t move me.

  60. Michael says:

    Janet Linn, BrideofChrist,

    Again, well done.
    I had a cocker spaniel briefly years ago….one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

    Every public school teacher I’ve ever known was close to sainthood…

  61. Reuben says:

    I’m always finding new stuff that is fun to listen to. Well, relatively new. Not a fan of country unless CSNY counts, and that’s old. I like old stuff too. My taste in music goes from rap to metal to classical to grunge to jazz to R&B to speed metal to… But getting liquored up in my pickup truck music does not do anything but annoy me. The Jerry Lee Lewis stuff is fun. Great piano player.

    I have been on a Pantera kick lately. Top notch musicians, pure skill, lots of rage, lots of noise.

  62. Josh says:

    Vulgar display of power was a great album.

    I think we all listen to stuff that reminds of of better times. I certainly do.

  63. Reuben says:

    Vulgar is probably one of the greatest metal albums of all time IMHO. I have been listening to that album a ton the last few weeks.

  64. The New Victor says:

    I won’t link to YouTube, but check out the instrumental Combustion by the Dutch band Delain (the album rip, not the live cell phone filmed versions). If the son of Pink Floyd and Dream Theater had a baby…

  65. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael et al…the FB fear mongering and hype about severe weather became a real and serious issue as there are many out there that have huge fears and phobias about tornadoes, etc…usually stemming from a traumatic experience or lack of knowledge. There were a number of people posting about their fears before a severe weather threat last week. Thankfully the moderators of that group have been aggressive in deleting those (mongering) posts.

    Country music? I absolutely love….old country/western…Sons of the Pioneers, for example. Balances out my affinity for loud guitars and insane riffs.

  66. Captain Kevin says:

    Janet Linn, BofC,
    I worked in public schools for 23 of my 30 years as a teacher. As you, I’ve know many wonderful Christian teachers.

    I was born and raised in Oceanside. Wish I could still afford to live there.

  67. pstrmike says:

    Things I think

    1. I’m finishing my seminary career in 2 1/2 weeks. I started back in 2011. Three Masters, a Doctorate, and certification as Spiritual Director in the process; from four different seminaries. I’m not sure how I ended up doing all this……

    2. I was going to leave my church this summer, but I decided I needed to see what it is like to pastor without the commitment of graduate school. Maybe a year or two more at the most.

    3. I really wanted to teach at a Bible College, now I don’t feel the tug to do so.

    4. I feel the Lord has told me to take more down time for the next year after I finish my studies.

    5. I’m looking to expand my Spiritual Direction and counseling ministries.

    6. I’m looking forward to work in our garden this year and cutting several cords of firewood.

    7. I want to move back to California. I know, I must be out of my mind.

    8. I’m looking to make one more ecclesial/denominational change before I’m through. I’m grateful for Calvary Chapel, but leaving them was the right thing for me.

    9. I miss Lent, but I’m also glad its over.

    10. My best days are staying home, playing with my dog and having dinner with my wife.

  68. Reuben says:


  69. Dan from Georgia says:

    A few more rumblings:

    6. Why is every single car/truck on the road white, black, silver, gray? Now we are seeing more “primer gray” vehicles.

    7. My Twins are only a few games ahead of the 2 win ChiSox…not something to be proud of.

    8. Not sure Michael’s take on the Vikes with their QB Sam Darnold. Personally I am looking for something to do next fall/winter on Sundays.

    9. Any Rush fans here? Wasn’t a big fan of them most of my life, but went to see them in St. Paul in 2008. Great show!

    10. Ignorance and fear seem to dominate the minds of many people caught up in conspiracies. Just yesterday I had a bit of back-and-forth on FB with a believer who is caught up in all that stuff. I may have not changed her mind, but hopefully my challenge to question her sources will be taken seriously. I at first wanted to berate her, but she’s a believer and I am bound by our faith to treat her better.

    Missed one word from thought #1 from my Dixie Alley thoughts….

    1. Would be nice to have a true Statesman/woman to vote for later this year, one who reaches across the aisle to help make our country better, but looks like many of us just want to vote for…extremists.

  70. Josh says:

    I always thought Rush was vastly overrated. Their playing isn’t that good (even the drums), I don’t like their songs, and their music doesn’t make me feel anything.

    I don’t require good players for it to be a good band, that’s just how Rush was always sold: “They’re such technical musicians!”. I don’t really care, but if that’s all you have going for you, you better be able to rip.

    U2 is one of my favorite bands ever, and they don’t really play anything difficult at all. They just make songs that make me feel something. It is possible to do both. Stanley Clarks 1977 Live “When Fusion was Fun” is like Mozart levels of technical masterpiece, but can also make me cry. But if you have to choose one, choose the emotion.

  71. Reuben says:

    Yeah, I am a technical scrutinizer for sure, one of those anal jerks when it comes to skills, Rush doesn’t make the cut. Their music never really did anything for me either.

    Unskilled music, even unskilled rap, it turns me off immediately. Dunno how I became so critical, but I always have been.

  72. Dan from Georgia says:

    thanks for the input Josh and Reuben. I heard more than a few people with similar views. I still found the music interesting and good to listen to. Have been exposed much to what is considered “prog rock” other than Rush. I absolutely do understand the emotional connection though!

  73. Linn says:

    Things I Think
    1. The best way to start the day is with a good cup of black coffee (preferably French Roast), a cat in my lap, and my Bible.
    2. I am so thankful that I was able to be a teacher, for so many years, in so many places. I get all gooey inside when I hear from former students and how well they are doing (the majority are doing very well).
    3. I am thankful for the Spanish congregation I belong to. They accept me as one of their own and treat me like family (I don’t have much family in the area where I live).
    4. I am thankful for the relationship I have with God through Christ. I’ll be 53 as a Christian in May, and I can still remember “before” and “after”. Although after hasn’t always been easy, it has always been better than before.
    5. I am thankful that the prophecy from the first doctors way back in 1959 was that “this child would never walk” was not fulfilled. God brought my parents to the right doctors, the right treatments, and my mother was insistent on proper follow-through on my part (PT was not optional). I’ve been able to walk, sometimes independently, sometimes with a cane or walker, and, sometimes needed a wheelchair. But, God has kept me going.
    6. Finally, no matter what happens in this crazy world, God is sovereign. It’s easy to forget that with all the noise, but I hope I never do.

  74. DavidH says:

    I recently saw the band Gov’t Mule at the Wiltern Theater in LA. Gov’t Mule is Warren Haynes’s band. Warren is one of my favorite guitar players. The Gov’t Mule show was fantastic. No big screen TVs, an actual light show, and they played for 2 hours 45 minutes.

    Regarding Rush. I tried to like them. Not my cup of tea. If I’m going to listen to Prog Rock, I’ll listen to Yes.

  75. Josh says:

    Warren Haynes lives just up the road in Asheville, NC. Legend.

  76. Reuben says:

    Government Mule is awesome. I tend to like jam bands though.

  77. Alan Hawkins says:

    Beautiful thread,

    Linn it is good to know you better from the list. Your confession of trust in Christ is beautiful.

    PMike, yes a little more time at the helm without the pressure of school. I hope you will thrive.

    Reuben your change is evident. Blessing to you. Yes do the Forbidden Subjects and start a church with Josh (not really) y’all would feel the old pressures and it wouldn’t be fun. As for me church life has to be fun. Without the joy it is terrible.

    Janet Linn may your life be filled with blossoming flowers.

    Josh, good stuff – Go get your books. Though mine books haunt me for all I have not read.

    Its always better when Xenia shows up.

    Again, so many good things on this posting.

  78. Dan from Georgia says:

    Guess I am kind of out of my element here.

  79. Michael says:


    I have complete alliance with someone reliant on cats and Jesus…well done.

  80. Michael says:


    This is way out of my musical element…but there is real fellowship her that I am thankful for.

    You’re a part of that…

  81. Josh says:

    WHy is that Dan? – we’re just shooting the breeze.

  82. Josh says:

    Confession: I like Bruno Mars.

    I didn’t mean to, but I’d be places and his stuff would come on…and the head would start nodding. Toe tapping, body swaying. Before long, I was playing his stuff on purpose.

  83. Alan says:


    You are hardly out of your element. I failed to mention several here. I was just marveling at the fresh and good spirit that is being displayed.

    Love to see a link to some of your art if you have it online.

    You cannot be more out of step than I usually am here.

    I am still a conservative on religion and politics. Still love evangelical Christianity. Still won’t vote for a democrat. So there’s that. (That will stir the pot) Don’t like the re’publicans either but I don’t hate them yet.

  84. Reuben says:

    I confess (while we are doing that) that I really like John Mayer of nowadays. His work with Dead and Company is phenomenal. His blues stuff is pretty good too. He is skilled, like hyper skilled on the guitar. Nobody could have stepped into the roll of Jerry Garcia except …

  85. DavidH says:

    As for music, my son and I are always looking for new bands to listen to.

    Josh, Warren is a class act. Great guitarist, bandleader, and singer.

    An old joke, Question “How do you know a guitarist is the main attraction at a concert?” Answer “90% of the audience is male.”

  86. Josh says:

    I liked Dead and Company better than the Dead – Reuben, if you look at my facebook from the last few days, you’ll see a picture of a much younger Josh with Otiel Burbridge, the bassist that eventually played with Dead and Co.

    David – Warren has a live acoustic album from 15-20 years ago that is really nice. Produced by Mark Morrison. I worked with Mark on an album for a group called Mama Said around the same time.

    I’m just bragging. Hope yall mention other musicians I have some passing connection with 🙂

  87. Reuben says:

    Speaking of musical elite, skill is Alison Krauss and Union Station. Skill is Kingfish and Eric Gales. Skill is Rick Ross and a vast number of his producers/DJs. Skill is Kings X. Justin King. Kevin Eubanks. All names most people have never heard of, and that always bothers me. Why is it (example) that Kings X never went top 40?

  88. The New Victor says:

    “9. Any Rush fans here? Wasn’t a big fan of them most of my life, but went to see them in St. Paul in 2008. Great show!”

    Yes, since the late 80s. My kids like them, too. Best show was their penultimate, when they played most of Power Windows live for the first time since the 80s. The songs live were better than the studio. It’s a polarizing band with few casual fans but rather lovers or haters. They influenced so many other bands though, from Metallica to No Doubt and much beyond.

    I’m not sure how someone could deem La Villa Strangiato or Xanadu (from their late 70s progressive phase) as little talent, or their last best modern song IMO The Wreckers, but like I said: polarizing.

  89. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I think with Rush the tricky thing about them is they have what a friend of mind called the Yes problem, they may have some good musical ideas but they make a hash of them by dumping too many ideas into each song. Haydn, of all people, complained back in the 18th century that too many of the kids writing symphonies didn’t understand that you can’t throw too many tunes at an audience before they forget what they heard. I don’t think Rush ever got that proverbial memo.

    I respect Rush more than I enjoy them. I think a friend of mine who actually is a big, big fan of Rush put it well when he told me that early Rush sounded remarkably like any number of other Led Zeppelin wannabe bands and that it wasn’t until Genesis came out with their early albums that Rush abruptly changed gears and became the prog rock band they were famous for being.

    I think the shortcoming Rush has is in songs like Xanadu where if you mapped it out using letters to indicate major sections you could potentially spell out ABACAD. 😉 Or AABBACCDD … which worked great for Scott Joplin’s rags but bands like Rush and Yes tended to string together more ideas than the average listener could even keep track up.

    Pinkfloyd never really had that kind of problem. Echoes is pretty simple at a macrostructural level. No matter how far out the harmonies in “Dogs” get it’s a giant ABAB form, just like “Great Gig in the Sky” is a smaller-scale ABAB form. I did a moderately detailed harmonic analysis of that song last year for the 50th anniversary of Dark Side of the Moon. Between that album and Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions 2023 was a great year for 50th anniversaries in music. 🙂

  90. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    The first half of Moving Pictures holds up pretty well, I think, but the second half kinda fizzles.

  91. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    1. I’m kind of glad I didn’t even know about Mark’s publicity stunt moment until recently
    2. It’s disappointing that he’s not just doing his old William Wallace II gimmick he’s clearly recruited some of his kids into the family business
    3. When I look back on the MH years I don’t regret the friendships I made
    4. I do, however, regret that it seems a lot of those friends from the Mars Hill years basically left me behind. They don’t answer the phone, reply to emails or stay in touch most of the time.
    5. If there are rumors or reports of new Mark stuff people get in touch
    6. That sucks
    7. I was all sorts of things as a person before I ever knew of Mars Hill and maybe I can get back to those things
    8. I haven’t deconstructed my faith much at all but I have become very wary of civic religious impulses blue and red
    9. Driscoll didn’t come to his gimmicky attention-seeking ways on his own. I think more and more Doug Wilson was his forerunner on that like John MacArthur was his forerunner in pugilistic public engagement. It still depresses me to realize that every hot take on Driscoll fixates on what he just said and what it all means rather than ask “Who ever thought this guy was fit to be a preacher to begin with?”
    10. I skipped American-made movies in 2023 and it took Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron and the spectacular Godzilla Minus One to get me to go see movies in theaters again.

  92. Dan from Georgia says:

    Godzilla Minus One is finally coming to the Prime Video streaming platform…I think May 3?

    I have heard of Queensryche and Dream Theater being called prog rock. Wouldn’t they be more “prog metal”? (sorry I missed most of yesterday’s convo due to work so not sure what was covered)…

    I need to have a listen to Dark Side of the Moon…man I am so late to the game on that one lol!

  93. Dan from Georgia says:

    …sorry was also having a bad day emotionally yesterday also.

  94. Josh says:

    Dan – nothing makes you more at home with his crowd than having bad emotional days. Welcome to the fellowship brother.

    Dream Theatre is sort of the definition of prog. Queensryche is a little less-so in my mind.

    Reuben – Kings X was too Christian for the mainstream and too mainstream for the Christian. They had a bit of a breakthrough with Dogman, but times were changing quickly and they were of the old-guard. Still, I’ve heard so many big named bands that toured with them back in they day say that Kings X was blowing them off stage every night. Wish I would have gotten to see them live back then.

  95. DavidP says:

    Michael, thanks for the kind words. I’m in a crazy-busy time in my life (getting married in 2 months!) but I’ll try to remember.

    Captain Kevin, it’s so good. I really enjoy that some episodes are silly kids playing and confusing their parents, others are parents explaining tough real-life situations to their kids.

  96. Reuben says:

    Josh, Dogman was a masterpiece. Period.

  97. Reuben says:

    But your assessment makes sense with the whole Christian thingy. It might have been their only holdup. They were a musicians band to be sure.

  98. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Josh…was refreshing and freeing to post that this morning!

  99. Alan says:

    Look at this 100 posts

  100. Josh says:

    The self-titled album just before Dogman was one of my favorite albums ever. It was sort of hard rock Beatles. Dogman took the grunge influence. I loved it too, but preferred the self-titled. Might listen to it now 🙂

  101. Josh says:

    Decided to listen to Dogman instead. Yeah, I remembered that one incorrectly. This is definitely Kings X prog-metal meets Beatles. Doug’s voice is one of my favorites. Cool Hendrix cover to end the record.

  102. Reuben says:

    That album is pure gold. I completely love Dogman, especially through a pair of 18 inch subs.

  103. Reuben says:

    Mr. bulbous was another of my favorites. Gretchen is foundation stuff. Faith Hope Love.

    Sunshine Rain on Dogman is still one of my favorite songs. Flies and Blue Sky’s. That whole album is just precious. Cigarettes. Man, I need to listen to that album about 80 times again. “Sometimes I think the pain blows my mind”

  104. Reuben says:

    Listened through that, and then went to Alice in Chains, man, Rooster and Junk head are phenomenal songs. Dirt is just a super good album. Which led me to Days of the New. The first tree is by far the best, but of you have not heard Illusion Is Now, such good stuff. Limited Eyes is soooo Travis Meeks, and just flat out eerie. The acoustic work is such a rich stuff.

    I’m off the rails with music now.

  105. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I remember hearing parts of Dogman decades ago and revisited their actually good cover of Manic Depression. 🙂

    Just finished Jeremy Begbie’s book Abundantly More and while I gotta say I liked it I was also frustrated he didn’t engage anything from The Extravagance of Music by David Brown and Gavin Hopps (with a great foreward by Frank Burch Brown). Theological aesthetics and music have been dynamic fields for scholarship in Christian thought in the last forty years, particularly within Anglican and Dutch Reformed and post-Vatican II Catholic thought.

    Anyone else read Begbie, by chance?

  106. pstrmike says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Alan…. 😎

  107. Shawn says:

    Very late to the party but here you go:

    1- “What’s really wrong with the world today? So many people have so much to say.”
    Those are the opening words to a song that I wrote almost 30 years ago. Hmm, now I think about it I am sure it might be over 30 years ago. It was somewhere around 1992 or 1994. Little did I know we were on the cusp of so many technological revolutions. Yet, nothing changed. People still have so much to say. I have spent most of my life as an observer of people and the conversations they have. I have learned most people, if they get to say what they feel they need to say, are happy that they are able to “get things off their chest” even if afterwards they stand amid a greatly gory carnage. Words are important to me, and I strive to use every word judiciously, but sarcasm and teasing get the better of me on occasion. A humble reminder that I still have not arrived. Far from it actually.
    2- I personally think that the Evangelical Church’s inability to respond to the environmental cares of our young people is probably the greatest missed opportunity in the last 100 years. It is not hard to see, no it is painstakingly clear, that part of being Biblical is the stewardship of God’s created order. I will never understand why some people get excited to watch it all burn based on one or two isolated passages. Just in case you are wondering there are more passages that describe our care and awe over the created order than its destruction. I for one am all for postponing the “fervent heat” bit as long as possible.
    3- If number 2 is not the greatest missed opportunity in the last 100 years, then it must be the Church’s preponderance with hoping political allegiances will bring about the righteousness of God. This form of syncretism is odious and an abomination. I almost fear their vision of a holy nation more than absolute tyrannical communism or unbridled progressivism.
    4- I don’t know, it appears that the real missed opportunity over the last 2,000 years is the Church’s inability to love one another. I remember while studying Church History being amazed that instead of forming a united front in Christian love the Reformers were often at each other’s throats. I am still puzzled that some of them were willing to take up arms against each other over trivial theological matters. I secretly fear that we are coming full circle.
    5- I love how some of the Biblical authors reappropriate words and place them into contexts they were never meant to be placed in. In other words they turn a word on it’s head, so to speak. For example, when Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Or when Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ.” As far as I can tell in all my reading on crucifixion, the act of and views about in the classical literature, no one should have ever concluded that crucifixion should be positively appropriated. Yet here we are. The only problem is we do not seem to be doing too well at it. Let me be clear that last sentence is a nice way of saying we are failing miserably.
    6- I must admit that it is a struggle to be thankful when you are rubbing two dimes together only to make a penny. Everything in our business is based upon what was accomplished thirty, sixty, ninety, and a hundred eighty days ago. Amazingly, we get more sales than we list every day which has been coined “Reseller Nirvana.” However, with the economy the way it is we are selling books for much less than before. I understand that when you must choose between necessities and a collectible that necessity wins. Sadly, I sometimes get angry when people send low ball offers as if selling items at a loss is a viable business model for us. But then I remember that most people are struggling to get by too. I often begrudgingly accept or counter with offers at 50-75% off the regular price only to repent and thank God that we are blessed to even sell anything.
    7- Shipping rates are out of control and there is no end in sight. Since we started selling online in 2007 the cost to ship a one-pound book has doubled. When a $10 book costs the buyer almost $20 after tax and shipping the choice to buy it or necessities is painstakingly obvious. I wish I could offer free shipping but with all the selling costs involved it is just not a viable option for a small family-run business. The crazy thing is with all this seeming complaining I am doing we are somehow in the top 1%, maybe even 0.5%, of all eBay booksellers. At this point I thought I would have fat stacks of cash in my slacks. Lol.
    8- One more struggle to mention. This is a serious one for me. I am thinking of applying for a job. Everything within me hates this idea. I like my freedom but appears if I am going to keep it, I first must make a steady income to do some much-needed repairs to the house, purchase much needed fencing to exclude the deer from the orchards and gardens, and build up a little extra capital for new inventory purchases. Then there is the part about my health that has me wondering if I could even hold down a job. Talk about a catch 22.
    9- There was a day when I thought I almost had most of it all figured out. However, I have always had one habit that always seems to undermine it. I have always reserved the right to adjust my thoughts, beliefs, and whatever word would make this a perfect triad (positions, theology, I am not sure which word I want to use) based upon newly available data. I typically have no problem admitting I am wrong. I used to have a nice and tidy theology of suffering and sickness. It was not your standard textbook stuff though it did contain some elements of it. I have always fancied myself to be somewhat of a free thinker. I love to question everything, even things that probably should not be questioned. However, let me say this much: it is all just guesswork until you are the one suffering and sick. Experience has a way of shaping theology or deeply held beliefs. I now feel sorry for those poor souls I offered “spiritual advice” all those years ago. I sincerely thought I was helping. I am not sure I did. I hope I did…
    10- I know as Christians we are generally a well-meaning lot but sometimes we just offer poor advice. How many of us when we first came to faith were told to cut ourselves off from those who aided in our unregenerate state? I fully understand the sentiment behind it. I actually lived it to its fullest expression. I feel that most advice on this topic is done with good intentions. Yet now I think it is partially misguided. I think a better approach would have been to control the setting until a new believer is more rooted in their faith. I could tell a heartbreaking story about the dangers, not to mention poor witness, the cut-off method can cause. Plus, I missed out on walking with them in the dark valleys, the sun strewn mountaintops, and being a part of children’s lives. I would have made a great Tio Chan Cheen Chan Chon Chon Ponson (Loosely translated: Uncle Shawn the fat guy. Lol.).
    11- Below is my expanded translation of 1 Corinthians 13:1. It is obvious brevity is not my gift. It should be considered food for thought if nothing else:
    “If I speak in any known language, whether human or angelic, and I am completely devoid of love, I have devolved to being like someone whose words have digressed from what they ought to be, similar to the frenzied sound of copper being desperately forged into a weapon or armor for the battle, over and over again, seeming to go on without ever ending, or I have become like the tumultuous clamor of battle cries as opposing armies rush towards each other, resulting in carnage, each and every time I speak without love…
    This translation should be considered a very loose paraphrase due to the great amount of license taken. In a sense, the idea is to capture the thought or the ethos of the passage. It should be noted that it is rooted in the Classical Greek word use of chalkos, echon, and alalazon. Maybe I hit the nail on the head. Most likely I did not! Do with it what you may. This is how I like to spend my spare time: making easy to understand passages of Scripture more complex and confusing. Lol.

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