It means "writings." I write things.

1:26 PM


Posted by Brad Polley |

That's latin for ridiculous. Ok, probably not, but whatever. So I saw a statistic yesterday that proved to me that our country is completely doomed and our downfall will probably happen in my lifetime.

1 in 4 Americans didn't read one book last year.

Let that wash over you for a second. 25% of this country didn't read a book last year. That's insane. We are officially the dumbest modernized country on the planet. How can a country survive when so few of its people seek out knowledge and wisdom? Answer: It can't. Somewhere in this country right now, a group of authors sit together and weep bitterly.

11:03 AM

Irrelevant question of the day

Posted by Brad Polley |

As you may know, I hate church signs. Well, maybe that isn't true, I hate that the people who put them up are serious about them, I, frankly, find most of them hilarious in a very sad way. I saw another "good" one the other day in the town where I live. It simply said, "How would Jesus drive?"

Let that sink in for a minute. Let the raging torrent of idiocy wash over you. Never mind the fact that this church spent probably somewhere in excess of 10-15 thousand dollars on this sign. Never mind the fact that a good number of people in my town can't afford to pay their electric bill, while said church spends said amount of dollars on said sign. Ignoring those facts, it still begs the question, who cares how Jesus would drive? What does that have to do with anything? My wife's response was priceless: "Um, he probably wouldn't."

I think there's something bigger going on here though. How vacuous and ridiculous has American Christianity become that we even have to ask, and/or answer a question like that? I understand what they are implying by asking the question, but if someone who claims to follow Jesus can't drive without being enraged and flipping everyone off, then, to be honest, their faith isn't worth much anyway. I don't mean that as a judgment call on anyone, but when I look at the Bible, I don't see the writers spending too much time on stuff as petty as being courteous to others while riding your donkey/chariot. When you read the Bible, especially the New Testament, it seems to be a given that a Christ-follower would be courteous to those around them. Being courteous and loving isn't part of the package of following Jesus, it is the package. Why can't churches who have signs ask questions that matter? Why do they have to have signs at all?

10:04 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Seriously. Check this out. I think that dog just ate my soul, I'm not sure.

1:30 PM

Because you're just begging for it

Posted by Brad Polley |

I haven't put any pictures of the beast on here for awhile, so I thought I would do that now. Here's a picture a friend of ours took at a youth group pool party this week.


Here's another from the party. Notice the lovely physique. He has his father's attractive shape.

Really, I think he needs more food. There's nothing more sad than an under-nourished child. The picture would be perfect if you insert a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a Dale Earnhardt hat on him. He has what I like to call "frat-guy stomach." He looks like he's a few cases of beer over the line in the gut department.

11:19 AM

Holy immunizations, Batman!

Posted by Brad Polley |

It's been a few months, but we finally had to take the boy to get his one-year shots. All of the other immunization experiences have been sort of ok. This one, however, was cut from a different cloth. We get into the room and the nurse is showing us a chart of everything that they'll be giving him. I'm sitting there counting on my fingers how many shots he's going to get and I started to run out of fingers. So how many shots did my boy have to endure? Five. I would be crying if someone gave me five shots and I'm 27.

I had to hold him on my lap and pin his arms down while the nurse rammed needle after needle into his legs and then his arm. The thing that sucks is that he's getting to the age where he remembers things like that. My guess is that the next time we take him to the doctor, we'll have a fight on our hands. He had stopped crying after his immunizations and he saw the nurse again and started balling again. I had to laugh, though I felt kind of sorry for the nurse. What a crappy job, to have to stick a bunch of little kids with needles. She is hated by more kids than I can imagine. Anyway, he's covered in bandages and he's recovering well.

9:58 AM

Creativity at its finest

Posted by Brad Polley |

Looking for a new and creative way to stick it to the man? Read about how this man went about it. Brilliant.

9:40 AM

You know America has an eating problem when...

Posted by Brad Polley |

Read this article. Good stuff.

6:50 AM

Dude, this sucks

Posted by Brad Polley |

So I got "tagged" by one of my college students. If you don't know what that means, well...then your life still has purpose and meaning. It basically means that I have to list 10 random and interesting facts about myself, then, in turn, annoy 5 more people by tagging them. I'll brutally murder her for this later, but I suppose I'll play along. So here goes:

1. I just bought and am currently listening to a Bill Withers CD. Yes, it's 1970s era R&B, but back off, "Ain't No Sunshine" is one of the best songs ever written and his voice is like...a waterfall of silky butter...or something.

2. I'm a sucker for Classical music. What can I say? The Four Seasons by Vivaldi is amazing, and anyone that disagrees is an uncultured moron.

3. I think music sounds infinitely better on vinyl than on a CD or an Mp3 player. You can't beat the crackling and popping that comes along with vinyl, it just adds something to the music.

4. I'm a human being. Doesn't sound interesting, but there are still people that, maybe subconsciously, believe that ministers are somehow inhuman.

5. I hate Christian music. It is, by-and-large (there are a few exceptions), uncreative, copycat garbage.

6. I secretely wish I was British...or Irish...or Scottish. I'm magnetically drawn to the UK. If I could find a way to make a living for my family in Britain, I would move there tomorrow.

7. I hate when people touch my little toe. I don't know why, but it makes me want to vomit.

8. Speaking of vomit, I threw up Red Gold salsa in 8th grade one time, and I still haven't eaten that brand since then. It's like I can still taste it.

9. My dream vacation would be to take three months and tour all over Europe. This is one of those things that will never happen as long as I live, but I guess that's why it's called a "dream" vacation.

10. I'm plagued by a constant sense of failure in my ministry. I'm pretty convinced that I'm the worst youth pastor on the planet. OK, maybe not as bad as the ones that sleep with their kids, but you get the point.

Alright, here's who I'm tagging.

Matt Polley - Oh, this will be a beautiful thing.
Kim Golden - As will this
Michael Baysinger
Harvey the Rabbit
Johnny Chimpo

8:29 AM

Ignorance in all its glory

Posted by Brad Polley |

If this guy gets elected, I'm moving to Canada. Read this. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will strike first to win victory." What a dunce.

12:51 PM

The Beautiful You

Posted by Brad Polley |

I've been studying a lot today (a novel concept for a minister) and I've been focused on a particular passage in Ephesians. It says this, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works..." On the surface, maybe not much there, until you dig into the Greek a little bit.

The Greek word for "handiwork" is "poiema." It's a word, that in the Greek language was used to describe a work of art. Or, said in a better way, an artist's relation to his work. It was used to describe any work of art, a song, a poem, a statue, a painting, etc. This understanding blew my mind. To think that we're all, in some mystical way, God's artwork that he's creating to change the world. That's amazing. I think one of the greatest problems in the church today is that a great many Christians see themselves as a "sinner, saved by grace." The fact is that, in God's eyes, we're not seen as sinners, but as a beautiful work of art that he is fashioning and shaping into a world-changing masterpiece.

Something else that's interesting is that the voice used in the Greek lends itself ot a continuous action. In other words, God isn't done with us yet. In fact, according to Galatians, until we die, or Christ returns, the work of redeeming us, and the rest of Creation continues unabated. If we could somehow grasp this, concept, that God isn't finished with us or the world, how different would this world be? Maybe we could spend more money on health care for the poor than we do on bombs. Maybe a few more people could be cured of their curable diseases. Maybe, just maybe, if we could see ourselves as a beautiful work of art, as God, in fact, sees us, the world would be a better place.

9:41 AM

Part 2

Posted by Brad Polley |

You have to figure it out for yourself. All I know is that our current solutions to filling the emptiness (sex, alcohol, shopping, friends, etc.) aren't working, so maybe it's time to try something else.

I believe that God gave us all certain passions and desires. I'm not sure that killing off our passions and desires is what God intends. This is where a lot of ascetics go wrong. Wearing itchy clothing and castrating yourself may seem like a good idea (does it?) to kill the desires that derail us from time to time, but it isn't really necessary. I don't think that God is asking us to rid ourselves of the desires he's placed in us, all he wants us to do is to control them and use them in a constructive way.

Somehow these dicussions always lead to sex, maybe because sexual problems are so much a part of our culture. God gave us a sex drive (can I get an "Amen" from the congregation?). We're the only creatures in all of creation that have sex for any other purpose than reproduction. In other words, we're built to enjoy sex for recreation, not just procreation. To illustate my point, I have cats that live around my house, one night I heard a horrible commotion under our front porch. guess what was happening? I don't think I need to answer that, but needless to say, it didn't sound like a whole lot of enjoyment was being had by either party, especially the female. The sound actually made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Anyway, what I'm saying is sex is something to be celebrated, not destroyed. However, I don't believe that God has given us license to go and (for lack of a better phrase) mount everything that gets into arm's length of us. One of the writers of the Bible makes it very clear that "all other sins people commit are outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies." In other words, sex does something to us. It's impossible to have sex with someone and not give a part of yourself away. When we have sex with someone on a drunken bender, it does something to us. It causes us to lose something. Sex isn't meant to be given away to just anyone.

I always hear people talk about teenage sex in terms like, "Well, they're going to do it anyway, we should at least make sure they're protected." This is such a copout to me. It may prevent a few more teenage pregnancies and STDs (and, incidentally, I'm all for that), but it doesn't get at the heart of the issue. I've heard numerous teenage girls talk about their first sexual experience and say things like, "It wasn't what I expected." Behind those words lay a reservoir of pain and regret. Those words rang with, "Mr. Right apparently wasn't Mr. Right after all," and "I kinda wish I would have waited." Don't tell me that we can't control our urges and desires. Yes we can. A Tomcat can't control his sexual impulse because it's merely that, an impulse, an instinct. With humans, we were created differently and the sexual urge is a desire, not an instinct. It's something that can be controlled. When we lose control of this desire (or any desire for that matter), we make the emptiness inside of ourselves that much bigger.

So the key, I think, is to channel our desires into more ocnstructive efforts. I'm not going to sit and list ways that we can better our world around us, you're all big boys and girls and ca find things on your own. This is all easier said than done, but Jesus described following him as a "straight and narrow way that few find." Doesn't sound all that easy to me, but I've known a few who have found it, and I want to join them.