I Don’t Want to Watch Another Kaepernick…

I am the first to admit that I was way off with my preseason predictions.  So please allow me a mulligan.  Here is yet another attempt to pick the winners of this year’s NFL playoffs. 

Again, these are only my predictions and not my preferences (I am asking for mercy from the 12th Man)…

Colts over Chiefs.  Luck will continue to improve.  Kansas City will confirm what everyone had suspected – they are a product of a somewhat easy schedule. 

Bengals outscore the Chargers.   A battle between two quarterbacks who always find a way to disappoint in the postseason.  Rivers is running out of people to point the finger at.  When will he begin to receive the pressure that quarterbacks like Romo and Ryan receive? 

Eagles embarrass the Saints.  New Orleans has never won a playoff game on the road.  They are two different teams.  Unfortunately, this will be the team we don’t want to watch.  At least Who Dat Nation will always have 2010.

Niners hold down the Packers.  Call me crazy . . . but I consider this the real Super Bowl.  Whoever wins this game will win it all.  But believe that Green Bay’s defense will not be enough to walk away the victor… weather permitting. 

Broncos thump the Colts. Manning will not lose this his former team twice in a season.  But if he did, that would mean that Tim Tebow still has more playoff success as a Bronco then he does. 

Patriots eliminate the Bengals.  End of the line for Dalton. 

Niners shock the Seahawks.  I hope that I am wrong.  And I very well could be.  Seattle could easily get two quick turnovers (like they did against the Saints) and the game is as good as over.  However, I have this sneaking suspicion that they will struggle offensively and that this game will come down to the wire.  Defense used to win championships.  The League is changing.  High scores are the way of the future.  And both have formidable defenses.  

Eagles outplay the Panthers.  Cam will not be his self. 

Patriots upset the Broncos. Outside.  January.  I love Manning.  I so wish he was not in a Denver uniform.  But he continues to show us that he struggles in big games.  7 and 11 in the playoffs?  I believe he finishes the season 8-12.  The running game will struggle.  The defense will be in trouble.  Too much for one quarterback.  New England will do so much with so little. 

NFC Championship 
Niners fight off the Eagles.   Chip will not have the answers needed on the other side of the ball. 

Super Bowl
Niners squeak by the Patriots.  This is not the Super Bowl I want to see.  In fact, I cannot think of a worse match up since the Raiders-Bucs game back in 2000.  I don’t even know if my wife will want to watch it.  Who do you root for?  Regardless, the Patriots do all they can – but show themselves (finally) to be outmanned. 
I Don’t Want to Watch Another Kaepernick…

Grudge Match…

Every year my father (and more often than not, my brother) see a movie during the holiday season.  Click here to read more about the origin of our movie tradition.  

This year, we watched Stallone poke fun at his own aging-Rocky legacy as he faced off against the Raging Bull of De Niro.  I enjoyed it.  Probably not as much I hoped I would – but good enough.  As I have mentioned before, I love the Rocky films.  This was the reason I was so excited to watch this film.  My respect for the Italian Stallion was probably also the reason for my slight disappointment.  This is a comedy and not a drama.  Sly was “Razor” and not “Rocky”.  Let’s hope that Creed becomes a reality.        

As of this year, here is the updated record of what we have watched together:

  • Grudge Match (2013):  Both my father and myself liked it (unanimous choice)
  • Skyfall (2012):  Both my father and myself liked it while my brother loved it (my father’s choice)
  • War Horse (2011): Both my father and myself loved it (my choice)
  • Unstoppable (2010): All three of us liked it (my choice)
  • Avatar (2009): Both my father and myself liked it (my father’s choice)
  • James Bond and the Quantum of Solace (2008): Both my father and myself liked it (my choice)
  • The Great Debaters (2007): My father and myself loved it and my brother liked it (my choice)
  • Deck the Halls (2006): My father loved it and my brother and myself HATED it (my father’s choice)
  • King Kong (2005): My father liked it, my brother loved it, and I hated it (my choice)
  • Christmas with the Kranks (2004): My father loved it and I liked it (my father’s choice)
  • Return of the King (2003): My father and stepmother liked it and I loved it (my choice)
  • Santa Clause 2 (2002): My father loved it, my brother liked it, and I disliked it (my father’s choice)
  • Ali (2001): My father loved it and my brother and myself liked it (my father’s choice)
What movies do you remember going to during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season?
Grudge Match…

A Mob in the Marketplace…

I love this video.  A group of people that decided to be the difference instead of debate over differences.  Rather than arguing over proper holiday greetings or criticizing shoppers on consumerism and consumption, they simply gave a crowd a reason to pause.  To reflect.  To worship.

One of the values shared by Blue Bridge Church is that we be Incarnational.  That we go where the people are rather than expect them to come to us.  Jesus is God With Us.  He is active and present.  His Spirit speaks and acts through his Body known as the Church.

Most of Jesus’ teachings and miracles took place within the public square rather than in the privacy of a synagogue or a temple.  He met people where they were at and took them to where they were meant to be.  He even died a very public, painful and shameful death.  Yes, he was outside the city gates – but he was surrounded by thieves and rebels.  For all to see and hear.  And to decide.

Should it be any different for his church?

My prayer for our church is that we multiply quickly and quietly.  That we have two sites in two years – far before we ever have a facility.  That we proclaim loud and clear that our church never has to be a building – but instead a movement.

We still don’t know where our second campus will be (a movie theater, community center, public school?).  So to think even beyond that seems a bit crazy.  But why not?  If we don’t pray, plan, and prepare then nothing God-sized will ever take place.  When we do have a place . . . a hub, so to speak . . . what if it was to be in a place like the mall?

Currently, we rent a movie theater behind the Columbia Center (and we are so grateful for the partnership).  But how amazing of an opportunity would it be for us to be at such a central location?  Available and inviting to so many people from so many neighborhoods.

We would be determined and devoted to serve, to bless, and to transform.  I don’t believe that we would ever perform flash mobs (especially without permission).  But what about offering childcare for employers?  Space for people to rest and relax?  What other ways could a church show kindness to patrons?

I have no idea of how this is possible or even if this is possible.  But what I do know is, wherever we are placed and positioned, we will be a movement within the marketplace.


A Mob in the Marketplace…

Foreign Influence…

I took some time during this Christmas break to continue through Brad Thor’s Scott Harveth Series.  I just wrapped up part nine (titled Foreign Influence)

Here are my rankings (to date) of Thor’s books…. 

  1. Takedown (#5)
  2. The Last Patriot (#7)
  3. The First Commandment (#6) 
  4. State of the Union (#3)
  5. The Lions of Lucerne (#1) 
  6. Foreign Influence (#9)
  7. The Apostle (#8)
  8. Blowback (#4)
  9. Path of the Assassin (#2)
Thor is clearly not afraid to mix it up a bit.  Here is what I am beginning to appreciate more and more about his literary approach . . . 
  • Reoccurring characters: Just as he chose to have the same president for seven books, he also brings back old partners and protagonists.  Some relationships are messier than others.  
  • Cliffhangers:  One of my biggest criticisms with Flynn (who I miss, by the way) was that his endings seemed to be too quick and easy.  Thor is not afraid to leave some loose-ends (and more often than not for a real good reason). 
  • Setting up story-lines:  This book is clearly a turning point for Harveth.  Thor is up to something that I suspect will take numerous books to resolve.  These books are no longer a President and his special agent (i.e. Mitch Rapp or Jack Bauer).  The question is . . . will it work? 
But before I return to the Harveth series, in an attempt to read Thor’s books chronologically, I will temporary breakaway in order to check out his spin-off titled The Athena Project.  I am a bit nervous after looking at the reviews  (and the fact that he has yet to write a sequel).  Stay tuned.
Foreign Influence…

White Elephant…

This humorous Julian Smith video reminds me of one of the cruelest Christmas presents that I ever thought to give someone.

I was a youth pastor at the time.  My gift was a Starbucks card.  But the card happened to be empty.  And I chose never to share this fact with the middle school girl before she left the party.

Imagine her excitement when she unwrapped that gift.  I wonder if it equalled her disappointment at the moment that she ordered a drink only to have the barista break the bad news to her.

What was I thinking?

Don’t worry.  The story has a happy ending.  Of sorts.  About a year later, at our going-away party, that same student was thoughtful enough to give me a gift.  You guessed it . . . a Starbucks card.  Absolutely empty.

Do you enjoy White Elephant gift exchanges?  Why or why not?  What was the best gift you have ever received?  The absolute worst?

White Elephant…