It means "writings." I write things.

12:54 PM

At least we're consistent right?

Posted by Brad Polley |

So if you watched any news channel yesterday or today, a great deal of talk centered on the euthanization of Kentucky Derby winning horse Barbaro. For those who don't know, Barbaro got his leg broken in a race shortly after winning the Derby. A broken leg in a human isn't a problem, a broken leg in a horse means shortly gracing someone's dinner table in the form of Jell-O or being ingested by a Kindergartner in the form of Elmer's glue.

For the last eight months, trainers have spent millions of dollars on surgeries and rehab so that the horse could live. The only comment I can come up with is, it's just a horse.

Do you realize that every 8 seconds, someone in the world dies of AIDS? This is, of course, something that doesn't get a great deal of press, because a vast majority of those cases are poor Africans. How can we mourn the loss of a freaking horse and not give a crap about the fact that millions of people will die this year of AIDS? Or how about the fact that 40,000 children die everyday of malnutrition. I like horses as much as the next guy (assuming you like horses), but what is the life of a horse compared to the lives of human beings? Where's the consistency?

11:25 AM

I hate this

Posted by Brad Polley |

We took Ezra this morning to get his six month immunizations. To say that he wasn't a fan would be a gross understatement. For all of you parents out there, is there anything worse than listening to your kid cry so hard that they miss breaths? It makes me want to cry to see the tears running down his face.

11:03 AM

When you need to hear it

Posted by Brad Polley |

I think my son is afraid of the dark. At least he's afraid of the dark while riding in the back of a car. At any given time while riding in the dark, he will start to squirm and then start whining, which leads to crying. My wife and I have determined that he seems to be afraid that we're not there because he can't see us. Last night was one such episode.

We were all heading home from church and he started the aforementioned process. He was crying and crying until my wife turned on the light, turned around and said to him, "It's ok, mommy and daddy are still here." He could see her in the mirror that faces him and he stopped crying and immediately smiled at her. All she had to say was, "I'm still here" and he calmed down.

I started thinking, man, how often do I need to hear that? I don't know about you, but I go through seasons in life where I'm frantic, distressed, discouraged, and frustrated. I start the inevitable looking toward the clouds and wonder, "Just where is God?" It's in those times that I've come to understand and listen for his whispers, "It's ok, I'm still here." I can't tell you how it calms me, in the same way that my wife's gentle words made my son calm down and smile. It seems that our Creator knows when we need to hear it, the question is, are we listening for it?

Listen for his voice, the voice that speaks not to your ears, but to the deepest part of your being and says, "I'm still here, you're loved, everything is going to be ok."

1:58 PM

I'm not dead

Posted by Brad Polley |

That may serve as a tremendous disappointment to some, but oh well. I promise an update soon, I've been gone all week.

10:38 AM

Carrot face

Posted by Brad Polley |

My kid is fat. Ok, actually he's perfectly normal sized, but he'll eat anything. He has yet to meet anything (other than a small dose of Benedryl) that he doesn't like. We decided a few weeks ago to start him on vegetables. We (and by "we" I mean my wife) decided to start him out on the nastiest vegetable we could think of, that way he could get the worst right off the bat and everything else is a step up. We started him on peas. I can't even hardly stomach peas, especially when they're pureed into a watery paste. Ezra, however, shoveled them down like they were going out of style. He couldn't get enough.

When he first started eating, he wasn't very messy. Some of it would come out of his mouth, but we would just scrape it off and try again. Now he has decided that he likes to spit, stick his hands in his mouth, and then rub said hands all over his face, thus spreading peas, carrots, squash or _________ (insert name of pureed vegetable in here) into his eyes, forehead, hair, etc.

Here's the aftermath of one such encounter:

Adorable block-head, carrot face, does it get any cuter than that? Does anyone know of a good restraining device to prevent this type of thing from happening (Note: To anyone reading this who is my parent, grandparent, parent-in-law, child proctective services worker, etc., I'm only kidding...or am I.)? I can't wait for his 1st birthday (six months from tomorrow for all none of you who are counting) so that I can watch him shower our dining room with copious amounts of cake, icing, ice cream, and vomit containing all of the above items.

1:33 PM

The depths of despair

Posted by Brad Polley |

I just spent the morning at the local high school helping out the guidance counselors because a freshman killed himself this weekend. I was helping talk with students and listen to them as the voiced their anger, sadness, anguish, and frustration with the whole situation.

Fielding questions like, "Where was God when it happened? Why couldn't he/didn't he stop it? Do people that commit suicide go to hell?" all morning is not exactly the most fun way to spend a morning, but I always like an opportunity to do real ministry. I was thinking throughout the whole morning, what makes someone get to the point where taking their life is the best option? I can't help but feel sorrow for this young man because he didn't realize that there was life to be lived. Maybe he realized it, but he just didn't care, I don't know.

What goes through someone's mind in the last minutes/seconds before they take their own life? I kept getting an image in my mind all morning that I couldn't shake; I kept picturing Jesus saying to this young man, seconds before he hung himself, "It doesn't have to be this way. You may not feel like anyone loves you, but I do. Please don't do this, let's talk about it. It doesn't have to be this way, I can show you what life lived beautifully looks like."

I can't shake that image, and it almost brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. He didn't have to despair. He didn't have to die. He could have lived, really lived; lived in the way God intended.

10:38 AM

New-ness better than old-ness

Posted by Brad Polley |

I think I just created two new words, I'm so flippin' talented. Anyway, I was thinking about New Year's the other night as I watched Ryan Seacrest try desperately to hide his homosexuality behind a very awkward peck on the cheek with Christina Aguliera, and I was wondering why we get so excited about New Year's Eve. Think about it, New Year's is honestly just another day where we turn the calendars over to the next day/month/year because of the moon cycle and the planet's position around the sun. So why the excitement?

Sure, for some I think it's just another really good reason to get lit and wake up in a puddle of your own urine, but for most I think it goes much deeper than that. I think somewhere deep inside of us we desire to be new. There's an excitement to a new beginning, where for at least a minute/hour/day/whatever, we feel like we can be a new person. There's something inside most of us that screams to us that we aren't right. There's a deep discontent with how things are that most of us are afraid to talk about or even think about for more than just a fleeting second, so we bury it hoping it will go away. New Year's appeals to us, because it represents this feeling down inside of us that we desire to be new and different. This is why we make New Year's resolutions that we know we can't keep, but we like the idea of trying.

I think God understands this yearning inside of us to be different. I think he's responsible for wiring it into our DNA. In the book of Lamentations, the author says, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions (some translations "mercies") never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Let that sink in for a minute and let it wash over you. With God, every day is a New Year celebration. You don't have to yearn to be new, you are made new because all of your screw-ups are erased and you are renewed in the love of God. I believe this is the mark of the Kingdom of God. It is a Kingdom built on love, with the ability to restore and renew all things.

The New Testament talks extensively about the idea that we have an old self that is replaced by a new self in Jesus. How did this happen? A man two thousand years ago made it possible because he was so full of love, that he couldn't allow us to live in the old self anymore. He knew that the old self was broken and fractured, and his great desire was, and still is, to see all of God's creation and his creatures made new. You don't have to be broken and fractured. Your old self sucks, maybe it's time for it to be replaced. In the words of the musician Joseph Arthur, "You've been loved all the way."