It means "writings." I write things.

10:22 AM

A nation's babydaddy

Posted by Brad Polley |

I was reading the story of the most fertile man in all of the Bible, Jacob. Jacob is the man who's name would later be changed to Israel, who would then found a nation of the same name. You may have heard of them. So anyway I'm reading the story, and it actually made me laugh out loud.

If you don't know the story, let me give you a quick rundown. Jacob sees a girl named Rachel. Rachel is the youngest daughter of a guy named Laban. Laban has another daughter named Leah. Any questions so far? Good. Jacob likes what he sees in Rachel, so he makes a deal with Laban. If I work for you seven years, you will, in enchange, give me Rachel to be my wife. Laban thinks this sounds like a good plan. He works seven years, and this is what he says at the end of his tenure: "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her."

HA! That's beyond hilarious. If I would have said something like to my would-be father in law seven years ago, he would have done one of two things, 1)Cave my head in with a crowbar (he's capable of this by the way) or 2)Cave my head in with a crowbar, remove my genitals with something sharp, and then eaten my soul. At least Jacob didn't hide his intentions.

So the story says that Laban tricks Jacob into sleeping with Leah (the older one), Jacob then marries her. He isn't in love with Leah, but he apparently has no problem sleeping with her. After a long and drawn out process, Jacob marries Rachel as well, who turns out to be barren. Jacob then start impregnating anyone who walks within arm's reach (or the reach of something else). He has twelve boys and a girl with (get this) FOUR DIFFERENT WOMEN! The boys would form the tribes of Israel, thus founding the nation of Israel.

So if any little Israeli child looks at their mother and says, "Who's my daddy?" The mother can trace it all the way back to Jacob, who apparently knocked up half of the Middle East at the time, and thus became the babydaddy to an entire nation of people.

Here's the thing I love about this's messy. The Bible is full of the stories of people who were bigger trainwrecks than Brittany Spears, and yet God does great things through them anyway. The moral of the story is that you're never far from God. You're never too big of a mess to be loved by him. You're never too far gone. All it takes is the realization that tere's something out there bigger than you, and that bigger something happens to love you as you are. The reality is that you can't be a bigger mess than Jacob...or David...or Moses for that matter. You're loved whether you believe it or not.

10:59 AM

Coming soon to arteries in you...

Posted by Brad Polley |

Some people say (rightly) that America has gone off the deep end when it comes to food consumption and fat ingestion, but even America hasn't come up with this yet.

Cheeseburger in a can.

I'm assuming, given the language on the sight, that it is German. Wow, first they gave us the bratwurst, and now this. What culinary genuises. I'm not sure if I'm amused or revolted. Maybe both.

2:19 PM

"The dog ate my homework..."

Posted by Brad Polley |

I recently re-read the story of the fall in Genesis. If you nothing of the Bible, the fall is the term used for when humanity sinned for the first time and everything went down the proverbial crapper. At it's very core, the story of Adam and Eve is the story of all of humanity. I'll give you an example, but first, let me give you a quick run-down of events, mixed in with actual quotes from the Scriptures.

God creates people affectionately known as "Adam" (earth or dirt), and "Eve" (living). He calls them "good," but he places a tree in the middle that he tells them not to eat from (this is the equivalent to telling a 2 year old to not stick his hand into the cookie jar). One day, Eve is strolling her naked self through the garden and she comes across a serpent (the personification of all that is evil), who has some tricksy words for her concerning this tree. He convinces her that eating of the fruit of this "forbidden" tree will deliver all sorts of wonderful things her way. Lo and behold, she makes the wrong choice (don't we always make the wrong choice?), takes a bite, and all hell breaks loose. Here's where the story takes, at least in my mind, a funny twist (and by funny, I mean tragic). Here's the actual dialogue from the story:

God: Where are you?

Adam: I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.

God: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

Adam: The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

God (to Eve): What is this you have done?

Eve: The serpent deceived me, and I ate.

Seriously, it's almost like you expected the serpent to next say, "Dude, don't blame me, you created me, so it's probably your fault." We really don't like taking responsibility for anything do we? How many times have you been caught doing something, and your synapses start firing, "Who can I pin this on?" No one likes taking responsibility for anything negative that we cause; if the story teaches us anything, it's that this is part of the human condition. How many times have you heard of a marriage breaking up because of infidelity, and the person who slept around claims that the other spouse drove them to do it? It happens all the time. The reality is that the man (or woman) couldn't control themselves, and they bought the lie that the grass was greener on the other side. Take responsibility for the lives you've destroyed through your actions.

Here's the interesting thing about the story in Genesis, the whole team (read: all of creation) pays the price for it.

Sometimes our junk has consequences for those around us, doesn't it? Sometimes our mess spills over onto someone else. The best thing that we can do in these situations when we fail (and we tend to do that from time to time), is to man up and take responsibility for the people we've hurt.

This is my biggest problem with our current President (and, to be fair, most of our Presidents). He screwed up big time with the Iraq situation (I'm sorry if you don't agree with that, but deal with it, the evidence is all over the place), and he's taken absolutely no responsibility for it. Bill Clinton was the same way. He had an affair in the Oval Office, lied about it under oath, then later admitted to it. Here's the thing, he never once took any responsibility for it, and he hasn't to this day. I don't think these are bad men, but they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Both instances hurt a lot of people, all I want is to hear, "I screwed up and I'm sorry."

My guess is that this won't happen though, because, hey, "The dog ate my homework."

10:18 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Have you ever been cruising through life, thinking all the while, "I'm an okay person," when all of a sudden, something happens that causes you to stop and say, "Ok, maybe not"? I had one of those experiences yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I don't walk around thinking my crap doesn't stink, I'm well aware of numerous flaws in my life and my ministry, but I certainly didn't think I was too bad.

I got a call last week from a mom (whom I've never met), wanting me to meet with her daughter (whom I've never met), because she's at her wits end and she just needed someone to talk to. I agreed to meet with the daughter, although I did tell the mom not to expect too much from the meeting. I set up the meeting for yesterday. My experience with this sort of thing is this:

- Mom needs help, has tried a couple of avenues. Calls a youth minister because she wants her kid fixed, and youth ministers generally counsel for free.
- Mom has grand illusions that one half hour with said youth minister will miraculously cure kid of various teenage demons.
- Mom drags kid in against their will, kid sits there while the youth minister dies inside because he really has no idea what to do.
- Kid leaves and mom shakes her head because kid is apparently beyond help.

This has happened on a number of occasions. I don't mind counseling, however, I generally like to counsel students who I have a relationship with through church. When they know you, they tend to open up a bit more. Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to the meeting yesterday.

Anyway, the girl comes in and it turns out that we met once at the middle school where I attend lunch periodically just to spend time hanging out with the students.

Strike one.

She sits down, and I proceed to tell her that she probably has some preconceived ideas of what I'm going to say because I'm a youth minister, which she affirms with a nod of her head. I then tell her that I'm probably not what she expects, and I have no intention of preaching at her about anything, it isn't my style. She seems to relax a bit when I say this.

I asked her why she was there and she said that she kind fo wanted to talk to someone.

Strike two.

After I ask her a few more questions, she starts opening up about how her dad has been in and out of her life (more out than in it turns out), and she feels like part of her problem (I would say 90%) is that she really wants him to be a part of her life.

Strike three, I'm officially an awful person.

I won't give any more details about the meeting, but I felt pretty terrible when she left. It was like receiving a back hand across the face from God. It was like I could hear him saying, "Dude, you have a way to go in the love and compassion areas, snap out of it moron...oh yeah, and I still love you, but you suck at humility." As the girl talked to me and opened up, I didn't see a juvenile delinquent (like I expected), I saw a girl who needs a daddy. I saw a girl who really feels unloved by her dad. I saw a girl that really needed to get some stuff off her chest. I saw a girl who is truly seeking for wholeness, whether that's how she would state it or not. I left her my email address and told her to email me if she ever needs to just rant and rave and cuss or whatever. My sincere hope is that she takes me up on that offer. I want her to find the love that she seeks. I want her relationship with her dad to be healed. If God chooses me to be a part of that process, great, but at this point, he could probably find someone better.

Sorry God. Sorry to the girl also, in the event that you stumble upon this blog.

9:45 AM

You should probably read this book

Posted by Brad Polley |

I'm reading "Stumbling Toward Faith." It's written by a woman who, as a child, was repeatedly raped by her "Christian" father while he recited the Lord's Prayer and sang hymns. How's that for messed up? Oh yeah, and to top it all off, he said that it was happening as a punishment for her sins. Wow, there are no words to describe someone who is that evil.

The thing I'm finding very intresting in this book is her retelling of church experiences. She's tried a little bit of everything, and nothing seems to really fit. Christians have said some horribly ridiculous things to her by trying to give her "answers" as to why these things happened in her life. The problem is that there are no answers at all. There isn't an answer that will suffice. This book, besides being an intriguing read, is giving me some great insight in dealing with problems. I have students come to me periodically with their stuff. Sometimes it's your garden variety, "I'm in high school and my life sucks" type of stuff, but I've had much more serious situations brought to me. I've long been an advocate of shying away from easy answers to life's problems. The book is giving me great insight as to what people in severe situations are thinking. I recommend it.

11:50 AM

My new hero

Posted by Brad Polley |

This is hilarious.

He may not get an "A" in the intelligence department, but you have to admire his ingenuity and drive.

2:41 PM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Let me just say right off the bat that I have no problem with people wearing crosses. If people want to wear it as jewelry, far be it from me to stop them. For a great many people, the cross is a symbol of an inward change that has taken place in their lives . For many, it is a symbol of liberation from an addiction. For some, it's just a really expensive gift from a boyfriend/husband who's trying to buy their affection (actually, I think I do have a problem with this one, but whatever). I don't personally wear one and probably never will, but I have my own reasons. Just know that I'm not throwing stones at people who decide that they want to wear one or get one tattooed on any number of appendages/quadrants of the body.

Let me tell you what I think of when I see a cross. I think of a guy who said the wrong things to the wrong government. I think of a guy who fought against the religious establishment, and they fought back violently. I think of a guy who was tired of seeing the people he loved being oppressed, so he did something about it, he died for it. I think of a guy that started a movement that even the most corrupt and evil governments or individuals are powerless to stop (in the words of Ben Harper, "You can kill the revolutionary, but the revolution you can never bury"). I think of a guy who knew I was destined to die for all of the times I miss the mark and he said, "Not today, let me." I think of a guy who actively pursues me and invites me to return when I'm in one of my obstinate and dry seasons. I see the death that I have to die if I really want to live. What do you see?