It means "writings." I write things.

2:15 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night

Posted by Brad Polley |

Oh wait...wrong holiday.  Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to all of my 10 readers.  Enjoy your turkey, the inevitable triptophan crash from said turkey, watching football, poking a new hole in your belt to accommodate the abdominal swelling, and vows to never eat that much again.  

Personally, I'll be getting my Michael Vick on (but you know...without all the dog killing) in the annual Turkey Bowl flag football game in the booming metropolis of Francesville, IN.  My team is undefeated in five years, and we don't plan on losing this year either.  As an aside, congrats to my wife on finally not being pregnant and able to play in the game.  I look forward to stiff-arming you into oblivion if you get in my way.  

10:23 AM

How long does it take to forgive someone?

Posted by Brad Polley |

Peter asked, "Lord how long should it take us to forgive someone?  Immediately?"

And the Lord said, "I tell you, not immediately, but at least 42 years."

Let me say, firsties, that I really have nothing against Catholic people.  In fact, I read a great deal of books from monks and nuns, and I adore them.  That being said, how does it take the Church 42 years to forgive someone who's been dead for almost 30 years?  What's the point in forgiving said dead person?  Is there anything Christian about this?  Why does the Church, as an organization, have to issue a statement of forgiveness in order for someone to be forgiven?  

My understanding of forgiveness is that it is a deeply personal thing.  It is an act that frees me from bondage by not allowing hurts and scars to control me.  It's not something that I withhold from people, because all that does is enslave me.  How can it take 42 years to forgive something that someone said?  How many more people is the Vatican withholding forgiveness from, and for what offenses?  This all strikes me as incredibly ridiculous.

If I'm Catholic, I'm very concerned about how my church can maintain any cultural relevance when this is the kind of crap they're spending their time on. 

1:09 PM

His name?

Posted by Brad Polley |

There's a guy that's been coming into our office for the last few months asking for help.  He usually needs help with things like gas and food.  We've been helping him as much as we can with a few bucks here and there.  He has stomach cancer (with a hole in his belly to prove it).  He's had it since 2004 and it's been an up and down roller coaster ride of remission and resurgence.  He can't walk straight because of the hole in his stomach so he walks with a Quasimodo-like posture. He can't eat solid food because of his cancer.  He's gone as many as 8 or 9 days at a time without eating because he just isn't hungry sometimes.  He used to weigh around 250 pounds, but now weighs about 140.  A year and a half ago he had a stroke which has left him with a stutter.  About six months ago he actually died from a heart attack in his grand-daughter's living room, but her husband gave him CPR and brought him back.  Let all of that sink in for a minute.  

He came in today and he just looked terrible.  I talked with him for about twenty minutes and said a number of times, "I just feel like giving up.  I feel so terrible, I just want it to be over."  After he left today, I just felt sad.  I was literally on the verge of tears.  I wanted to pray for God take him peacefully to end his pain, but I wasn't sure how I felt about doing that.  

Here's the thing, I feel like God has placed him in my life for some reason.  I almost feel like he's been put into my life so that I can help him die with grace.  That isn't a prideful thing.  In fact, I'm not sure how to handle it.  I feel like all I can do is treat him with respect and treat him like a human being; show him compassion and make his remaining time on earth (however long that might be) be as comfortable as possible.  I'm not sure if I'm up to this, but the reality is that I don't think God cares if I feel up to it.  He's here, he needs comfort in the form of gas money and food, and that's the deal.  

So what's his name?  It would appear to be Jesus.      

11:00 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

Ok, this has nothing to do with my post, but what happened to fall?  I don't know about where you live, but in Indiana, we didn't have one.  It seemingly went from being 80 to being 30 (like it is today), with no in-between.  It is colder than a well-digger's anus here.  At least climate change is just a liberal myth right?  Right?  Who's with me?  No?  Ok, moving on.  

I'm extremely discontent with my life right now.  The weird thing is, I'm not alone.  I meet with a house church and we were all talking a couple of weeks ago.  As we were talking about things we're struggling with, it became evident that no one in the room was content with their life. Everyone seemed to be echoing the same sentiment.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my life sucks or anything, I've got plenty to be thankful for. I have a great wife and two amazing boys.  I have a church family that seems to think I'm alright (a lot of pastors can't claim that).  I have a family that loves me who I love back.  So I guess the question is: what is the freak is wrong with me?  If I have all of that going for me, what is my deal?  My parents would be quick to state that it's probably because I'm an overly pessimistic person.  They would be right, but not in this account.  I am a pessimistic person; something that I have tried to correct over the years to little avail.  But this isn't a pessimistic discontent. The only way I can describe it is that it's a state of being where you feel like what you're doing and how you're living isn't it.  You feel like you're treading water, but you've been treading for so long that you're starting to sink.  I'm not discontent with my circumstances in life, I'm discontent with me.  I'm not even sure I can fully articulate exactly what I'm feeling, but I just have a feeling that the life I'm living isn't the life I'm supposed to be living.  The frustrating part of this is that I don't know how I'm supposed to be living.  Every time I think I know, I start formulating all the reasons why that can't be it.

For instance, I have felt for some time that my family is supposed to be living communally with other people.  What I mean is that a bunch of people all live in the same big house or in the same near vicinity.  Every time I think, "That's it" I start to think about all of the ways that it just won't work.  So-and-so would be hard to live with (like I wouldn't be), who owns the house, what happens when...etc.  

I'm tired of youth ministry.  Let me clarify.  Youth ministry doesn't work (maybe some do, but mine doesn't).  There's nothing particularly Christian about most youth ministry.  Most of it is based on getting kids to show up by playing games and entertaining them.  I've always shied away from that, but my way isn't working either.  There has to be a third option, but what is it? I have no clue. 

I'm so tired of being discontent.  I have zero faith that God will give me the answers, because I'm pretty sure he wants me to be this way right now, not to mention I'm having trouble finding the desire to even talk with him right now.  He's probably just waiting for me to move, which is the most frustrating part of all.  He's waiting for me to take a step off the cliff, all the while having the trust that I'm going to walk on the air.  Have I mentioned that I'm afraid of heights? 

10:06 AM


Posted by Brad Polley |

I found out today that I'm not getting a raise next year.  Does it bother me?  A little.  Do I think I deserve one?  Yeah, and the elders of the church told me as much.  Our church's financial picture isn't all that grand right now, thus no raise.  

Here's why I'm not going to lose sleep over it.  Today, 75,000 Citigroup employees are finding out that they don't have a job anymore.  Given the snail-paced economy, their chances of finding a new job aren't good.  Today, 16,000 kids in the world will die because they had nothing to eat.  Today, my brothers and sisters in Haiti are waking up and wondering where their next meal is going to come from.  

It could be worse.

2:12 PM

Starbucks and church

Posted by Brad Polley |

This is an interesting video that shows what Starbucks would be like if it acted like a normal church.  

4:57 PM

The lottery sham

Posted by Brad Polley |

I've known for a long time that the lottery is a total joke, but standing in line at the gas station today just reaffirmed my thoughts.  A lady in front of me presented a "winning" scratch-off ticket to the cashier.  "What did she win?" you may ask.  Five dollars.  Keep in mind that all of these tickets are at least $3 to buy.  So how did this woman spend her winnings (I think you know where this is going)?  She bought $8 worth of scratch off tickets.  I wanted to shake her and ask her if she knew what she just did.    

I don't understand this addiction, I really don't.  The only time in my life that I gambled was on my honeymoon when my new bride and I went to a casino.  We took in a grand total of $50, played the slots, and walked out with $42.  I felt euphoric that we only lost eight dollars.  That's when I realized how much of a sham the lottery/gambling really is.  

The whole incident with this lady today just made me sad.  All I could think of was her getting home, sitting down with a coin to scratch with, her heart racing as she starts to scratch.  "Is this the big one?" she might ask herself.  I can also imagine her disappointment with the results.  I want to tell her that her life doesn't have to be that desperate.  It doesn't have to be the endless cycle of spending money to make money to spend more money.  There's more to this life.  

1:17 PM

Autistic Artist

Posted by Brad Polley |

This is the craziest thing I have ever seen in my life.  Absolutely incredible.  

(ht to Marko)

10:19 AM

My final thoughts on the election

Posted by Brad Polley |

Yesterday was just an interesting day.  I don't care who you voted for, yesterday's election was historically significant.  To watch a black man become our president-elect was something that actually gave me chills, and I'm the whitest dude around.  I can only imagine what it means to someone who lived through the civil rights conflict in the 60s to see this happen.  It's significant and it shows that maybe, just maybe, this country isn't full of ignorant, racist hill-jacks.  

I voted for Obama, and here's the biggest reason why: thanks to President Bush, our reputation around the world is shot.  Obama has the ability to restore our reputation around the world.  If you don't believe me, go around the Web and peruse some international newspapers.  One international newspaper read, "Welcome back friends."  America's reputation may seem like a stupid reason to vote for someone, but I think it's significant.  If no one is willing to work with us (which they aren't now), then we will never be able to truly solve some of the global problems that face us today.  If we're going to be a world leader again, we need a President that can work well with other leaders, not in a position of pride, but one of service.  When I hear Obama speak, I don't hear the same prideful "we're right and you're wrong" cowboy crap that I've had to listen to for the last eight years.  I'm tired of American arrogance.  It is contributing to our downfall as a nation and I feel like Obama can remedy that problem.  He'll never deliver on all of his promises, because no politician ever does, however, I don't see him making things worse.  

I watched McCain's concession speech last night.  It was extremely classy (minus his hateful audience who repeatedly "boo'd" every time Obama's name was mentioned) and I couldn't help but wonder how the outcome would be different had he taken the approach he took last night instead of eviscerating Obama for the last four months.  All of the hate-speech from his campaign in the last few months seemed insincere to me (at least coming out of him).  Last night's speech seemed sincere to me.  It made me see that McCain is a good and honorable man who was given some really, really bad campaign advice by whoever was pulling the strings.  It was good to hear his words and I gained a great deal of respect for him.

Finally, we all need to keep in mind that it isn't up to the government to fix everyone's problems.  In fact, Obama said as much last night in his speech.  The government can't totally eradicate poverty, but individuals can.  We all need to get off our butts and make a difference. As Obama mentioned last night, change doesn't happen because one person gets elected; change only happens when people get out do something about the problems we face as a nation.  It's time for Christians especially to step up and show the world what love and compassion looks like.