Showing posts from August, 2010

Can't Wait for Football

We're glad it's fall. The days are getting cooler and shorter. The routines of life settle in. It's a beautiful season. To top it all off, it's time for some football! We really enjoy  football. College football is great. And the NFL is almost as much fun for us. This year, we'll get to experience to California high school football, too. Jericho is playing in the Clovis West band, and they have a great Queen halftime show. I feel fairly confident that we'll catch a couple games. We enjoyed 8 great football seasons in Morgantown, West Virginia. It's one of America's great college football towns. Morgantown is small enough that everything grinds to a halt when 65,000 pull into the stadium for home games. On game days, Mountaineer Field temporarily becomes the largest "city" in the whole state. Our first two years, WVU was rebuilding with new coach Rich Rodriguez. After that, the Mountaineers started a great streak when they competed not only for th…

Finally Time for Fiscal Conservatism?

I'm not obsessed by politics. Some people can't seem to think about much else. My personal belief is that our politicians (at least in our context) don't have as much wiggle room as we think. They make big promises, and we bite. Truth is, certain realities make major policy shifts difficult if not impossible. Think Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman can come straight in and fix California's economy? Think again! I'd prefer just to pray for the leaders we have rather than fixate on what they should or shouldn't do.

I do know that our national leaders have a noticeable effect in at least two areas. First, they affect foreign policy. The decisions made in the White House clearly leave an impact on relations between the US and other countries. Even in this area, however, certain realities are scripted from elsewhere and can't be changed no matter who is in the White House.

A second area affected by national leaders is monetary policy. They clearly don't control eve…

What Is the "Harvest" for a North American Church? (part 4)

I'm finally returning to my series on "harvest" for the North American church. To read previous posts, you can click here, here or here. Churches in the US have largely grown through proselytizing (definition: the effort to convert someone of another religion to your own religion). I'm sure someone who knows more about this subject might scream at my gross oversimplification. But that's what preachers too often do --we oversimplify. It's not intentional. It's just our natural tendency to make things understandable. Sorry about that.

At any rate, most churches in our environs had to steal sheep (sometimes, lapsed sheep) from other churches in order to grow. Granted, churches often justified such actions by saying things like this, "Their church isn't a good church;" or "They don't practice the truth;" or "We're simply better, so they want to be with us."

Living in Europe as I did, I was surprised at how much animos…

Five Guys Burgers in Fresno

The Fresno Bee announced the start of the Burger Wars today. With the arrival of Five Guys in River Park and next week's opening of Eureka!Burgers at Palm/Nees, Fresno now has a great mix of burger places. In n Out is the classic, of course. Then there is Colorado Grill -- my favorite of their two locations is at Barstow/Willow. Another newcomer is The Habit over in Fig Garden Village.
I've already grown to like The Habit. I discovered it less than a month ago and enjoy their fresh ingredients and great fries. They should have asked for help in designing their space, however, since the line & beverage station are awkwardly placed. Their location is good, though, and the place has been packed. I also like the fact that it's a California chain -- originating in Santa Barbara.

I know Five Guys fairly well. They seem to be expanding like crazy. It's a mid-Atlantic burger chain that has excellent, greasy burgers and the best fries ever. I first ate at a hole-in-the-wall l…

A Rare Celebration at PNC Park

On his morning radio show, Dan Patrick highlighted a recent broadcast of the Pittsburgh Pirates radio network. He sometimes plays memorable home run broadcasts, but Patrick says this one may be the most memorable of them all. How often do you hear broadcasters whistle?!

The following broadcast comes from an Aug 7 game between the Pirates and the Colorado Rockies. Pirates relievers blew the lead & let the game go into extra innings. In the top of the 10th inning, the Rockies scored twice to take a 2-run lead. The Pirates got two men on base for their promising rookie 3rd-baseman, Pedro Alvarez. Here's the call by veteran broadcasters Greg Brown and Steve Blass.

The great minds at MLB have since pulled the YouTube recording from circulation. Something about ownership rights to all broadcasts.

The broadcasters went absolutely beserk. I don't recall ever hearing a similar outburst. I am sympathetic to the Pirates, but they left themselves open for some ridicule as well. Steve B…