It means "writings." I write things.

I've been working on patience the last year or so, with some prodding from my wife. I would tell you that I'm doing much better, she would probably say something different than that, but oh well, she's not writing this post, I am. Anyway, I say that in order to say that I've been wanting a few cds, but I have waited patiently to receive them for Christmas, or to buy them with Christmas money. Here's some of my new music that I'm currently listening to...

Come to Where I'm From - Jospeh Arthur
I've only recently been introduced to this guy. He's amazing, and he looks like John Lennon. The highlight of the album is "In the Sun" which happens to be the first song. The rest of the album is solid as well.

Redemption's Son - Joseph Arthur
75 minutes of ridiculously good music. A little more poppy than Come to Where I'm From, but very good. The highlights are: "Nation of Slaves" and "You've been loved."

Into the Blue Again - The Album Leaf
I haven't had a chance to formally absorb this one yet, but what I've heard has been great. Some of it is instrumental, and some of it has vocals. Give this cd a listen and then realize the fact that this leader of this band is also in a death metal band. Pretty funny.

American V: A Hundred Highways - Johnny Cash
Cash's final recording before his death. This is an infinitely sad, and yet incredibly beautiful album. Most of the songs deal with death, which sounds depressing, but it isn't when you listen to an old man's quavering voice speak of death as a welcome inevitability. If you want to know what it means for a person to die with grace, listen to this cd. The highlights: "God's Gonna Cut You Down" and "I Came to Believe."

Seven Swans - Sufjan Stevens
I've waxed idiotic enough on this guy's music in past posts, so I won't go on more here. A very simple album. Beautiful acoustic guitar and banjo arrangements. This album may never leave my Ipod. Highlights: "Abraham," "Seven Swans," and "The Transfiguration."

Mule Variations - Tom Waits
I'm new to Tom Waits. I've always been turned off by his gravelly baritone, but I'm starting to really appreciate it's uniqueness. A friend convinced me to buy this album because you can't find his new album anywhere. I'm loving it and listening to it as I type this. Highlights: "Hold On" and "Chocolate Jesus."

That's what I'm listening these days. I'm tired of mainstream crap music, and I can't stand contemporary Christian music, so I'm finding alternatives to listen to. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year is great as well. Try not to drink so much that you can't remember your name.

9:36 AM

T.V. preachers in Cosby sweaters

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was flipping through my 10 channels this morning and came across the know, news channels all reporting the same thing, and a myriad of T.V. preachers blowing off their crap-cannons while sitting in opulent other words, just what Jesus intended.

But I digress, I came across a guy, who shall remain nameless, wearing a hideously Cosby-ish sweater talking about various passages of Scripture concerning the Christmas story. He was talking about Zechariah (father of John the Baptist). If you don't know the story, I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of it. An angel appeared to a fairly old man named Zechariah and told him his wife would give birth to a boy who would be the forerunner to the Messiah. Zechariah proceeds to tell the angel that he must be mistaken because he and his wife are old. The angel says, "Ummm, yeah, I'm Gabriel, I told you this was going to happen, so it's going to happen" (from the New Polley Version of the Bible). The angel then tells Zechariah that he won't be able to speak until some time after his son is born because he didn't believe him.

The preacher then launched into a diatribe about how awful it is to question God and have any doubts. I've written extensively on doubt on this blog, so I won't go into my opinion much in this post, but I feel like the preacher was wrong. Do I feel like the angel's punishment was a bit much, considering the Bible describes Zechariah and his wife as, "well advanced in years"? Yes I do. Do I think that the angel had a reason for it, yes I do. It seems to me that doubt and questions have to be a part of a vibrant and growing faith. I can't stand when I hear any preacher (TV or otherwise) tell me that it's wrong to doubt and question God. You can't tell me these guys have never doubted anything before. The Scriptures are full of people who doubted and questioned, and God always resonded honestly.

For instance, God tells Abraham that he's going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abrham responds with this accusatory question of God, "Will not the judge of all the earth do right?" God responds with, "Sure. Find ten righteous people in the city and I won't do it."

I'm tired of self-righteous Christians acting like they never doubt anything that God ever said. I think they're lying and I think that they lie about it because they're incredibly insecure about their weak faith. They're afraid to let anyone know that they might be flawed. I made a promise to myself when I entered the ministry that I would be transparent with people, it's my hope that I have been and will continue to be.

10:31 AM

Fountain o' bile

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was feeding my son this morning, which has become a favorite routine of mine. He's so sweet in the morning. He lays back with his eyes closed and eats and plays with my beard at the same time. Anyway, I gave him four ounces, which is usually a good stopping point for a burp. I couldn't get one out of him, no matter how hard I pounded and pounded. I decided that I would just go ahead and keep feeding. That would be what experts call a gigantic mistake.

He took two more ounces and then started squirming. I sat him up and beat on his back for a minute. He burped and then showered half (this isn't a huge exaggeration) of the living room, and me, with everything in his stomach. As God as my witness, he was a head rotation away from being the star of the Exorcist. He's puking, and I'm looking for a crucufix and screaming at the top my lungs, "I NEED AN OLD PRIEST AND A YOUNG PRIEST! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU, THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!"

I swear, I think he yacked up part of his colon. His duodenum is lodged somewhere in our Christmas tree. It didn't phase him one bit. After my wife and I hosed down our living room, I looked at him and he gave me a look that hinted at, "Hey idiot, that's what you get for not burping me the first time." He smiled real big as I headed for the shower. What a punk, I love him, but he's a punk.

10:00 AM

Ghandi said it better than I can

Posted by Brad Polley |

I came across this the other day. It's called the "seven deadly social sins" as laid out by Ghandi. Here are the sevens sins:

Politics without principle
Wealth without work
Commerce without morality
Pleasure without conscience
Education without character
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice

See if you can pick out how many of these America is guilty of. For extra credit, see how many the American Church is guilty of. For extra-extra credit, see how many I have broken. Ah crap.

10:38 AM

I can't understand this

Posted by Brad Polley |

So why is it that we, as Christians, feel like we have to offend everyone that isn't like us? We whine and complain about the world "going to hell in a handbasket" (never really understood that phrase, and I'm not sure it's necessarily true either), and then we decide to alienate and isolate everyone who doesn't subscribe to our ideology.

Let me give you an example. I was driving home the other day and I passed a new billboard on the way out of town that said this, "An educated person knows the Bible." My crap detector went crazy and I started thinking, "so what you're saying is, is that if you don't know the Bible, you're a complete dunce." I wanted to pull over, stop the car, climb up to the board and paint, "And a Christ-follower doesn't even think things like that, let alone say them."

I can't fathom this kind of a thought process. The Bible says, "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it..." If this be true, and I believe it to be so, then it stands to reason that any knowledge we have (even knowledge outside of the Bible) comes from him and thus is good. Do I believe that the Bible holds knowledge for living? Absolutely I do. Do I think that it is the beginning and end of God's revelation of knowledge? No. What I love is that Christians that believe that the Bible alone is knowledge, are the same ones with extensive libraries full of books on life and living. What's the point of having these books if the Bible is the end all-be all of knowledge?

Hey brothers and sisters of mine, can we please stop alienating everyone that isn't like us? Can we please start loving people instead of seeking to offend them into the Kingdom? I wonder how many times Jesus weeps for his Bride, the Church? I wonder how many times he screams from the heavens, "That's not what I had in mind!"? May we seek to show love to all of his creation and his creatures. May we seek to live as Jesus lived.