Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Remember's not a lie if you believe it's true.

Well my guest post fell through today based on technical difficulties (read here: Tony not following instructions correctly), so I'll throw my two cents out on a subject that is in the news and breaking my heart.

Scientology has fallen on hard times.

(cricket noises)

I shutter.

Officially know as the Church of Scientology by people who don't understand the true definition and origin of the word church (from the Greek kyriakon which means thing belonging to the Lord), Scientology is...and I'll be nice...a made up belief system by science fiction writer, L. Ron Hubbard, started in 1953 as a continuation of the concepts found in his book Dianetics.

That's right. 1950' fiction...Dianetics. For those of you thinking the self-proclaimed, self-help book was a product of the 80's, think again. Hubbard died in 1986 and his book was repackaged and released by the now legally chartered Church of Scientology.

Same crap with new and improved wrappings...and an erupting volcano on the cover. uhhhhhhh

Now France is trying to rid their country of the cult. I normally wouldn't have a good thing to say about France...but bravo. The ironic part is the U. S. State Department is being critical of France for suppressing religious freedoms. The same State Department that branded Tea Party participants in the U.S. as possible domestic terrorist...

You read between those lines.

A French court ruled the sect (Scientology doesn't have legal status as an established religion in France) was guilty of organized fraud based on separate claims brought forward by two women. The sect was ordered to pay fines close to $1M and the organizations leader in that country was sentenced to two years in prison.

Vive la France! (God forgive me)

The cult...excuse me...sect has also seen an exodus of high profile members, a move which normally draws relentless, retribution from the Scientologist. Most recently, Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis defected. Rumors have Travolta leaving after Scientology spokesperson Tommie Davis stormed off a sound set during an interview taping of Nightline when he was asked if he believed in Xenu, the intergalactic warlord reportedly at the center of Scientology's theology. ABC aired the footage to the dismay of the group.

No...I'm not making this stuff up...they are. Click on the links.

The fact that the Church of Scientology is legitimized enough to actually be taken serious by anyone is beyond my understanding. Yet, the cult continues to recruit and promote for a fantastically outrageous system of beliefs that goes beyond the supernatural into the realm of extraterrestrial...fronting the likes of Cruise, Travolta and Alley to give validity to the organization.

The United States and Australia are the only two countries that recognize Scientology as a religion. France has gone on record in Parliament labeling it as a dangerous cult. Please tell me what kind of world we live in when France actually makes more sense than the United States?

There are some things much scarier than Halloween...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There's no 'i' in team...but it takes one to spell 'win'.

Same story, different year.

My beloved Dodgers, yet again, won the National League West, swept the favorites to make the World Series, and then got bounced by the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS...back to back years. I like to think it's just as well because baseball's bullies, the New York Yankees, look unstoppable to win their 27th world title...and I'm not sure I could stand to watch the boy's in blue lose yet another World Championship to the Bronx Bombers. There have been 11 such match up since 1941, with the Yankees grabbing 8 of their 27 titles at the expense of the Dodgers. That includes the back to back years of '77 and '78 when Reggie Jackson personally convinced me I was really a football fan.

There's plenty of blame to go around as to why the game's second best regular-season record didn't make the final stage. Talking heads and blogging fans point to the overall youth of the team, the teams's lack of a true number one pitcher, the loss of focus by the team in the season's final month, and...of course...there's Manny.

Manny Ramirez. A God gifted talent when it comes to swinging a near 40 ounce piece of maple that can at a given moment change a baseball game with a single he has on a number of occasions over the past decade. Traded to the Dodgers last season as exile from his throne over the self-proclaimed Red Sox 'Nation', Manny brought his hakuna matata attitude to the land of laid back called Southern California. He was welcomed with open arms and immediately went on a hitting tear that literally pulled the Dodgers up the standing to the top of the West, past the Cubs in the playoff's first round before running out of gas against...that's right...the Philadelphia Phillies.

But 2009 started with a bang and lots of promise. The season opened with a record setting 13 straight wins at home before the first loss and the best start in MLB. Then, the first week of May brought the suspension of Manny for use of a banned substance...a women's fertility drug none the less...and the slugger was gone from the line up for 50 games. Not deterred, the team played hard and actually had the best record in baseball when Manny returned the first week of July.

Despite Manny's continued selfish behavior, he was welcomed back by baseball, teammates, and the fans who pay his $25M per season salary (which he forfeited $7M for the suspension). Manny just being Manny as the saying goes. A phrase coined by his manager in Cleveland, Mike Hargrove. A phrase that if I never hear again will be too soon for me.

There a number of Manny stories that either make you chuckle or turn your stomach based on what team you cheer for. The latest Manny-ism to make news was from the pivotal fourth game of the NLCS with the Dodgers up by a score of 4-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth. Manny was removed from the game for defensive purposes (because he stinks on defense basically and this is the National League where all nine players must play defense), and as he has been reported to do often, he headed for the showers while play went on. The Phillies rallied for a 5-4 win and a 3-1 series lead. It was all over but the crying at that point. I can't imagine walking into the locker room in complete dejection to meet Manny coming from the showers humming Take me out to the ballgame...

It would be easy to put all the blame on Ramirez...too easy. But baseball is a team sport, and games/series are won or lost by the collective effort of the entire roster. As I was writing this, my thoughts continued to point to the similarities in our churches. Yes...the mission of the church is by far more important than the outcome of any athletic competition, but metaphorically...there are parallels.

Do you know the 'Manny Ramirez' in your congregation? The talented attendee who flashes moments of brilliance in the name of God only to slide back to obscurity when pressed to do more. The ministry leader that feels there are no rules or standards if the means are justified by the end. The worship leader that forgets worship is about what God wants and finds pleasing and not about what makes them look best in front of the congregation.

I've been the Manny at my church at certain times...and it shames me.

We play God's game. He made the game, the field, the rules and all the players. Will you be ready when He calls your number to hit? Will you stand by your teammates when it's their turn to shine for His glory and your place to cheer for them? Will you put a supportive arm around a teammate if he strikes out and remind him there will be more chances to bat?

But when the last game is finally played and there are no more to play, will you be able to say I used the talents and gifts God gave me to play as hard as I could play each and every single day?

The last thing I want is for people to remember me as a Manny just being Manny. It carries a ton of negative implications that I just don't think God finds to His liking...and He deserves for me to give my best effort in living to His living in His will.

The day is coming for each of us when we will no longer be able to say... Just wait until next year!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Guest Blogger- Shauna Callaghan from Blah Blah Blog

Sometimes you come across a blog that you really don't fit the intended demographic...but you love the blog anyway. I follow a couple of those and love reading them. Today's guest blogger fits that category for me because I'm not really a North Texas mom, and I don't play one on TV.

Shauna Callaghan writes a blog (Blah Blah Blog) that I find warm, funny and down to earth. In my mind, she's the epitome of Texas with a personality and heart larger than life (also see Randi's Reality). Enjoy a Best of Blah Blah Blog and mosey on over and check out more from Shauna...

Once Upon a Taco

A husband came home from work with a bag full of tacos. He said to his wife, “These are the best tacos ever created. You will love them. I know you are dieting right now but I love your belly and you will love these tacos – eat one (or two)….(or three).” (ok, he may not have said this, but this is what she heard)

She ate of the tacos and LOVED the tacos. With all of her heart.

This morning, the husband said to the wife, “I bet that my taco place has some delicious breakfast tacos, let’s go get some”

The wife – reluctantly and regretfully – said, “Ok, let’s do it – I DO love those tacos.”

The happy family drove down the road.
They pulled into a gas station.

The husband said to the wife, “Here we are!”
The wife, in utter confusion, looked at the gas station and did not see a Taco Restaurant.

But the wife saw this:

She sat in shock.

The blessed tacos had come from a “hole in the wall” – literally – a hole in the wall of the gas station.

She threw up a little then proceeded to eat some breakfast tacos.

Read more from Shauna at Blah Blah Blog and be sure to check with her if you're looking for a site upgrade or redesign.

Shauna Callaghan - Website for North Texas Moms - Custom Blog Design

Monday, October 19, 2009

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase...MLK

I've never done a post like the one you're about to read, but I'm afraid not to...

This past Sunday, I filled in for one of the Sunday School teacher where I attend church because he was travelling on business. It was the second time in the past three weeks he needed me to sub. No problem. The regular teacher is a very talented, Godly man who has been taking our college-aged young adults through the book of Genesis in great depth and with great enthusiasm. Good stuff.

Thinking it was best to let him finish Genesis when he could be there, I offered an alternative the first week I filled in on the history of the church (stop snoring please). Nothing ground-breaking by any stretch, but researched and informative to the best of my abilities.

Fast forwarding to yesterday, I had planned on sharing my personal testimony with the class. The teacher and I discussed that option along with one other that I had worked up, and I decided to share my journey with Christ that took a drastic detour when I was exactly the age of those in the class. Maybe they wouldn't make the same mistakes. No problem...familiar with the material (or better be)...easy gig.

In class, I took prayer request, we prayed for those request...amen. For a reason I only have one explanation, I told the class I was going a different direction than I had planned because I was feeling lead that way. We started discussing why people go to church, why people don't go to church, and a number of related issues. Everyone participated in the discussion...even the History Major who had sat silently a few weeks prior while I ran the timeline of the church through history (sorry to call you out Alan).


But it gets better my friends. We left class and headed to worship service. A little drumming, a little singing, and I'm posted up next to Mrs. Tony C ready for the message. Our pastor had just finished a series on the Beatitudes the week prior, so we were heading into new territory. He started by stating that two different Sunday School classes had lessons that morning that apparently tied in with his message. One was planned and one was impromptu. I was thinking how cool that was when he started his message...on church and why we go!

I immediately looked around and made eye contact with members of the class.

It was an especially spirited service...even for Baptist (I kid!). Things were said that needed to be said....things from God. I have no doubt whatsoever on that fact. I hope people were listening...really listening.

Still later in the day, I get a text message from David over at Fire and Grace that he had attended a new church and was part of a wonderful worship service. Earlier in the week, I got a text from Dave at Woe is Me that he was filled with the joy of Christ and just wanted to share... a first to me. I opened my blogroll this morning to find a number of post about church services on several different blogs. Unusual? I would have to say I've never noticed that number of comments before today.

I turned on my radio heading to work, and the Christian music station tuned in was asking people to share good things that happened in the worship service on Sunday. I had never heard them do that before. As I drove and listened to person after person call in and share what had happened in their churches yesterday, I was overcome with excitement, joy...and even fear.

God is trying to talk to us. God is trying to move in us. Not just me. Not just a select few. He's trying to move in His people. Please stop and listen...submit...follow His will...share with others what He is doing in your life! I've never been a believer in chance or coincidence, and I'm not starting today.

Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Support bacteria...they're the only culture some people have.

My teenager has been playing on a competitive soccer team now for about 5 years. As for me, I never played the game much less understood the concept of running around for over an hour to win or lose 1-0 and never legally hitting anyone...but then again, I spent my teenage years banging my head into other teenagers playing the football spelled with two o's.

Point goes to the current day teenager.

Playing on a travelling team has allowed us to play in soccer tournaments in other cities and take in the 'best of' what the host town offers. This past weekend was a revisit to the city of Asheville, North Carolina. Our prior visit a year ago was somewhat limited by an eleven month old in tow, so this year Mrs. Tony C wanted to experience the cultured downtown area on a weekend evening and expose our girls to a taste of the artsy side.

Now, I know some of you are trying to wrap your head around the words North Carolina, cultured, and artsy all in the same sentence, but downtown Asheville has really emerged as a mixing grounds of artist, musicians, locals and least according to a visitor website I looked up.

Mrs. Tony C (reading from tourist brochure): Asheville skipped the urban renewal process that stripped the character from many down towns...

Tony C: Sounds eclectic (eye roll).

Mrs. Tony C: I'll bet the buildings are really old and beautiful. Didn't you always want to be an architect?

Tony C: Actually that's George Costanza...I wanted to be an astronaut...

Mrs. Tony C: Astronaut...architect...whatever. Sounds like an excellent place to expose the girls to a different cultural environment.

Tony C: So is a NASCAR race, but...

Mrs. Tony C: Tony! Don't start! We have an obligation in the educational process of our girls. We'll go downtown after the second game and walk around. I heard there's a great pizza place called the Mellow Mushroom downtown....sound okay?

Tony C: Sounds fantastically stoner...

Mrs. Tony C: Tony!

Point goes to Mrs. Tony C.

After conducting a drive-by to check out the downtown scene, I found a relatively close parking spot because it was still early. Navigating the 'renewed' streets of the downtown area was quite interesting and using the GPS on my Blackberry was no help. Finding our dining destination would require my innate sense of navigation....good thing I was along.

So we wondered around aimlessly in the downtown area while I tried to orient my internal compass for over an hour. Along the way, our girls were definitely exposed to a new cultural experience that included new vocabulary words, public marijuana smoking, three exposed breast, an impromptu phallic sculpture, and a crack ho...well...okay, I didn't actually see the crack, but she left no doubt about the ho part.

Point goes to Mrs. Tony C. (for educational experience).

Teenager: Is that art dad? (Pointing at street performer painted white head to toe)

Tony C: That's performance art dear.

Teenager: Is that art? (Pointing to sculpture of old junk parts)

Mrs. Tony C: That's welding metal art.

Tony C: A.K.A. lowbrow... (Hateful glance from Mrs. Tony C)

Teenager: A.K.A? What's that? that art?

Tony C: A.K.A...also known as...and no, that's a lady breastfeeding...don't stare.

It was about this time I gave up on my internal GPS and asked directions from a lady with more facial piercings than I would have believed humanly possible. We were actually only a block or so away from the Mellow Mushroom...which turned out to be a pretty good place to eat. I was just a little paranoid about the green on top of our pizza, but turns out it was actually just oregano.

Point to Mrs. Tony C.

The walk back to the car was a pretty quick pace...especially when stuffed with pizza and soda. The near two-year old was completely worn out from a day in the sun, as was the teenager from a day on the field. I suddenly realized there were very few other people with strollers...very few...and all of them had the same look of astonishment I'm sure that adorned mine and my wife's face. Just before leaving the happening downtown area, we crossed one last performing artist. A well proportioned young lady in only a golden bodysuit and bright, white wig frozen in place.

Tony C: Remember what that's called?

Teenager: Performing art?

Tony C: Yes it is...let's give her a dollar and see what she does.

Mrs. Tony C: Tony! (real hateful glare)

Tony C: Second thought, let's get to the car before it gets dark...

Shut out once again.

Wendy Bagwell is best remembered for 'Here Comes the Rattlesnakes'...

Driving to work Wednesday morning, I was listening to a local Christian radio station instead of a podcast or music on my iPod. I like to keep it mixed up people. Some mornings- radio, some mornings- podcast from The Economist or a Bud Beverly sermon, and even a little classic rock on occasion. Variety is the supposed spice of life...although vanilla is considered a spice....I'm pretty sure.

Anyway... the morning personalities posed the question if listeners were avoiding hand shaking at church due to the Swine Flu scare. Some of the responding calls were quite intriguing. One in particular resulted in my pulling over on the super speedway called Interstate I-26 to clean my inside window...

Caller (paraphrased for artistic liberties): I think Christians shouldn't cave in to the fear. We should shake hands in church as much as we want because we're under an umbrella of protection from God when we're in His house. You can't get sick in church.

...and there goes the last drink of my morning beverage spewing from my mouth all over my windshield...


The radio guys were really polite and thanked him for the call, as I'm sure protocol requires, but they had to be laughing their behinds off during the break. Did the caller really believe what he said? What scripture did he base his comment? Just what the heck does that mean?

Hears a newsflash sidebar...I'm a research fanatic. Those of you who know me are chuckling right now for sure. I'm addicted to Google Search, Bible Gateway and Wikipedia like Ronald Reagan to jellybeans. We can't watch a TV show in my house without my laptop or BlackBerry spinning into action to find some obscure fact. Is it really that important to know that the name for Oz in the Wizard of Oz was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N and O-Z... hence the name OZ? Most people would be perfectly content departing this life for eternity without knowing that tidbit of information...but not me. Please don't judge (and continued apologies to Mrs. Tony C).

So, I get to the office and immediately break into research mode on divine protection provided to people in church. Surprise! Nothing of any credible sourcing, and a few websites I most surely won't be visiting again. Where did the caller get that? Then the light finally went off...

Mark 16:17-18 (New International Version)
17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

I know what you're thinking...and you're wrong. I'm not going to discuss snake handling in church at this point. Yes...I know it has origins in Tennessee, and for the record is not something done where I attend church or anywhere I would attend church, but I'm leaving the subject alone. The words in that verse were spoken by Christ to the disciples as a rebuke for not believing those who had seen Him alive after His crucifixion, and I have a personal opinion on the context it was spoken, but my intent is not to offend or portray a superior opinion. Moving on...

So, should we succumb to the threat of a pandemic outbreak and suspend the cultural tradition of hand shaking in and out of church? I've documented on Tony C Today that I'm not the most touchy-feely type anyway, so my vote is...what would a hiatus hurt? I'm going to conduct an experiment on human reaction, and I will report back when I have enough data to form a solid conclusion. That may only take one Sunday. I've ask the guy I work with from China to give me pointers on proper bowing techniques as a possible greeting alternative...this should be fun. Stay tuned.

By the way...vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron (Wikipedia)...just so you know.

As for the title of this blog, here's the classic bit...enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday Guest Blogger- Mesha Wright from HE's the potter, I'm the clay...MOLD ME.

Today's guest blogger is a true inspiration. Demesha writes on her blog, HE's the potter, I'm the clay...MOLD ME, about her tremendous journey as a Christian woman on a mission of weight loss. Her blog is uplifting and never fails to give God the glory. She sent me this email on her way back from an out-of-state retreat with a group of ladies who met up initially on Facebook with the common goal of extreme weight loss:

"The last 8 months have been an incredible growing experience for me. The thing that is constantly on my heart is that scripture that says, 'a house divided CANNOT stand!'. We are so use to this referring directly to our homes or churches...but WE are called the temple of the Holy Spirit and as a temple made of body, mind and spirit, if we neglect one area, I feel we are allowing ourselves to become a divided house if we aren't willing to work on it. For years, I have either whole-heartedly pursued the spirit or pursued the mind (always throwing body to the, but now by God's grace I have been able to work on ALL areas. I'm losing A LOT of weight, but with every pound, I am regaining my life."

I hope you enjoy this post from Mesha that she posted right before hitting the 100 pounds lost mark. God bless you Mesha for your inspiration. You are a blessing...and keep up the awesome job!

Getting hotter...

TODAY'S WEIGH-IN: -1.2 lbs
TOTAL LOST: -96.2 pounds since February 2009

Have you ever played that game where you are trying to find something and the person who hid it tells you whether you are “hot,” “warm” or “cold?” You are usually wandering around a room while they sit laughing and saying, “you’re getting warmer,” or “cold, ICE cold…so cold you may freeze.”

WELL…the closer I get to reaching this 100 pound milestone, the more I hear this voice saying, “You’re getting hotter, you are so close…keep going, you can almost reach out and grab it.”


…at the same time it feels like I’m trudging through mud the closer I get and it becomes THAT much harder to just reach through and claim that milestone VICTORY as mine! I want it SO bad yet at times it feels so intangible. Ay! I remember last month feeling like I had it in the bag…and then I set myself back (notice I acknowledge that I, as in me and me alone, set MYSELF back) and it took a whole month to recover.

Does it sound stupid to you when I say that although I’ve lost over 90 pounds in 7 ½ months that at times it’s still hard to believe I’m really doing this? At times it’s hard to believe that I’ve REALLY come this far? At times I look in the mirror and feel as though I don’t see a change even though my old clothes can’t be held up even with a belt anymore?

This 100 pound mark has been like my “Goliath.” Every day it comes out to taunt me and bring accusation against me and whisper lies that I CANNOT defeat it. As crazy and bizarre as it sounds, at times I’m actually afraid of this 100 pound milestone because I don’t want to just hit it, I want to surpass it far enough that even if I had an “off” week I wouldn’t find myself back in the “90 pounds lost range.” Once I shed my tears of joy and REJOICE over that great loss – I NEVER want to find myself in that place on the scale again. I will be rejoicing over the accomplishment, not over the number on the scale though. 100 pounds lost is a milestone nonetheless, BUT, it’s also just a half-way point for me.

When Goliath (from the Bible) would DAILY approach the battle line and spew his taunts, insults and accusations against the troops of Israel, the people backed away in fear. NONE of them were bold enough and recognized the victory they had in the LORD…until…David saw the enemy and recognized that “HE,” yes “HE” who is in me is GREATER, yes GREATER than this giant that stands before me…and what did David do? He didn’t lollygag around waiting for some miracle to occur…the Bible says he RAN to the battle line and he defeated this giant who had become an embarrassment to the Lord’s army. The thing that was impressed on my heart most about this story a few years back was that anytime we sit and dwell on our circumstance, we dwell on the obstacle standing in front of us – the longer we look at it, the bigger and harder it seems to overcome. The more we entertain the thought of how “weak” I am and how “great” the issue is – the less likely we are to face it head on rather the accepting defeat. David didn’t allow time for that fear to sink in causing him to cowar and come running back with his tail between his legs, NOPE, he proudly proclaimed that TODAY he was going to defeat this giant and then he ran to MAKE.IT.HAPPEN.

TODAY…I’m proclaiming that the giant that has been standing before me daily and shouting lies of doubt and defeat…THAT GIANT WILL BE DEFEATED!!!

I will claim that 100 POUNDS LOST milestone as my own and I will keep pressing through, keep running, keep lifting, keep eating right AND keep trusting that by GOD'S STRENGTH, I will make it. I just need to keep doing the things I KNOW I need to be doing in order to run to that battle line and MAKE.IT.HAPPEN!

THEN…I will be dancing like David danced…but with more clothes (2 Sam 6:14)!!!

All of YOU…my faithful encouragers and supporters…keep checking back on my side-bar (weight tracker) – I WILL reach that 100 pounds and go far beyond that!!! Thank you for all of the love, support and encouragement you’ve given and shown me. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Verse(s) of the Day:

1 Samuel 17:48-50
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Be sure to visit Demesha's blog at HE's the potter, I'm the clay...MOLD ME.

Monday, October 12, 2009

'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' Gandhi

I've really tried to be a good American when it comes to President Obama...I really have. My commitment and whole-hearted belief in the democratic process of 'one man, one vote' combined with my faith (I Timothy 2:1-4) direct and somewhat temper my disappointment with our last presidential election. As I've exercised patience and practiced acceptance, there have been a few moments I've been able to see through the bitter partisanship currently dividing our Nation and see a few decisions I can live with from this Administration.

But who in the world are the Kool-Aide drinkers that voted the man a Nobel Peace Prize? I mean...come on!

My understanding of the selection process is the nominations had to be submitted to the Norwegian Nobel Committee by February 1 of this year. That means that President Obama had been in office for less than a month when his nomination was submitted...if he was in office at all. There's a window of accepting nominees with February 1 being the deadline.

Let's look back at the desires of Alfred Nobel, whom the annual prize is named, when it comes to the Peace Prize. Directly from his will...

'during the preceding year [...] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.'

Mr. Nobel went as far as specify the non-militarized Norway, not Sweden, would administer the Peace Prize (one of five awarded annually). The Peace Prize was apparently a major deal to the man who invented dynamite...maybe as a conscience matter.

Given the desires of Mr. Nobel, how does a man campaigning for the most prestigious elected office in the world find the time to promote fraternity between nations and reduce a standing army that's not even his to command? Come on!

President Obama didn't have a choice in the matter, and I understand and accept that fact. However, his awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize is continued evidence of the blind following that submit to this President on a global level. Why?

Southerns are very fond of the Don Quixote line 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating.' We shorten it of course to 'the proof is in the pudding,' but it still means that the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it's put to use. In other words...results are what count. Where are the results Mr. President?

I'm sure our President had to be embarrassed by the million dollar award and winning such an undeserving honor...based solely on the Prize's credentials alone. His win is as perplexing as the fact that Mahatma Gandhi never did win....that's right... Gandhi never won the Peace Prize. I mean...come on!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Drink plenty of fluids and avoid watching TV...

My apologies for being MIA this week. My household decided to group participate in a bout of the flu, non-swine variety, starting last weekend. The teenager missed out on all the fever-filled fun this week because she is at the beach with a friend over her fall break...lucky her.

Next week I'll be back on the Wednesday guest post schedule sandwiched in between a couple of my own. Did it confuse or just make you sick that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? Try being delusional and anguished already when you hear the about piling on! I'll have a take on that come Monday.

Many of you who don't live in my area have sent messages and emails about my post last Friday and what happened at the high school football game where students and family protested the ACLU. The event was...well...uneventful from a controversial point of view and thus didn't generate media attention. There was a good article from the local newspaper just prior to the game. Be sure to check out some of the comments linked to the article. Some real boneheads decide to weigh in and sound like idiots.

For you Facebook types, there's a group formed in support of the prayer cause. The link should get you there.

Hope the flu bug misses you this year....and by the way...I got my flu shot just last week. Doh!

God bless.

Friday, October 2, 2009

So much can be said on a $10 t-shirt...

I'm guessing much like too are ready for the weekend.

Friday nights where I live are pretty much the same as everywhere else in this great country...and that means high school football. As a sports broadcaster for a local high school, I get excited about high school football. If you're at all interested in hearing what the voice of Tony C Today sounds like, just go to tonight a 7:30 (EST) and listen to a live stream of the game. My guest blogger from Wednesday, David (Fire and Grace), did so a few weeks back and reported I sound like Elvis on Facebook. I hope he was just being funny...thank you very much. Great blog on Wednesday by the way.

Very interesting story in our area concerning a recent high school football game. Several weeks back, a prayer was said before a game at Gate City High School by one of the students over the PA system. Gate City is a traditionally strong football school in our area, and a typical crowd will be well over 1200 people. The prayer resulted in a letter from the Virginia Chapter of the ACLU demanding the practice cease immediately or the school system would face a lawsuit.

Before you wad up your underwear...hear out the rest of the story.

The much publicized letter immediate became a 'Pearl Harbor' for Christian conservatives like me to rally around. A protest of the ACLU has been organized for tonight's game as outrage has poured from the surrounding area.

The situation has been exacerbated by a similar story from Georgia that resulted in a banning by local school officials of banners donning biblical verses held up at football games by cheerleaders. A protest is also organized for tonight's ballgame there.

In an ironic twist, the ACLU released a letter just yesterday in support of the protest against the ACLU at Gate City saying “... just reminding the principal that there is a First Amendment right to do this, and in a way we’re telling the principal don’t worry about this...” I promise...I'm not making any of this up.

Over 700 shirts have been printed, distributed and will be worn tonight in Gate City that read I still pray ... in Jesus’ name.

I love Friday night football games in the South. Oh, I'm not finished with this story yet...not by a long shot. More to come on Monday as this story plays out...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday Guest Blogger- David Johndrow from Fire and Grace

It's time again for another guest blogger. Today it's David Johndrow from the blog Fire and Grace.

David and I have become great virtual friends through our blogging connection. I often use David as an example when talking about how Christians connecting through social media sites can be a very powerful tool for God's work.

Be sure to check out David's profile on his blog to learn a little more about him. He's sharp, funny and committed to the Word of God. You'll be glad you did...

The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Innocent

I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I died and went to heaven. Only moments before, I remember taking a shower. As I got passed the Pearly Gates I spoke to St. Peter. I thought to myself, he really is here. "Where is everyone?" I asked.

"You'll see them soon enough." he said. "We've got to get you some clothes."

I looked down slightly embarrassed. And then I put on a gown that was whiter then snow.

"It's been a busy morning," said St. Peter. "Let's take a walk through here." leading me towards a hallway filled with clocks. "I know how much you hated waiting in traffic." he said as he turned looking over his shoulder with a smile.

Suddenly I saw one of the clocks jump ahead a couple of minutes. "St.Peter, I just saw that clock with Tony C's name on jump ahead 3 minutes, what happened?"

"Oh, he sinned, and well, honestly-- the truth is you lose a couple of minutes each time you sin -- sometimes more," said St. Peter. "The wages of sin is death you know." he said gesturing with his hands as if everyone should know it.

I couldn't get over it -- nearly every clock skipping ahead a few minutes-- some by hours. There were the names of all the people I knew next all sorts of clocks, and famous people too.

Mesmerized, I saw a clock with Tom Brady's name on it-- it too, jumped ahead a few hours. "Wow, Tom just sinned!" I couldn't keep from blurting it out."

St. Peter said shaking his head, "Tom just lost to the Jets. The truth is every one sins" he continued. "Well except for Jesus, He never sinned." St. Peter kept walking as we made our way past thousands of clocks in a long hallway.

Hesitatingly, I said. "St. Peter, if you don't mind, I'd like to see Barrack Obama's clock."

"Ooooh..." he said rolling his eyes, "We have a lot of requests for that one -- him being the president and all. But you'll have to come to the kitchen to see it, we're using it as a fan!"

Today I take aim at both politics and religion. How about you, do you have thoughts about politics and religion? Are you tired of stupid folks in both camps? Today the greatest country in the world is at a crossroads - it is trying to recover from a political bender where some were drunk with power, all while church attendance is dropping like mercury in the coming of the next Ice Age. The later should be a sobering message.

I have a friend on Facebook that says "politics are silly and self destructive." He says that same about religion. If you read the hundreds of definitions of religion on, known for coining terms such as a "tramp stamp," the tattoo a woman has on her lower back just above her waist, or the "whale's tale," -- an exposed thong, you'll see that most think little of religion. According to UD, religion is a practice whereby the best Christianity has had to offer was the KKK, Hitler and the crusades. It's not good. Others think that it is a breading ground for stupidity. And here is one definition that did make me chuckle.

"Religion is the opium of the masses.-Karl Marx"

Check out the definitions for politics and it is pretty much the same.

"A Republican thinks he is doing the will of God."

"A Democrat thinks he IS God."

How do Politics and Christianity get these stereotypes anyway? I think I have a clue.

Q: How many TV evangelists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One. But for the message of hope to continue to go forth, send in your donation today.And we can have a similar laugh at the expense of our favorite political parties.

Q: How many Democrats does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One to unscrew the old one, one to find the recycling bin, one to buy a new one, one to borrow the money to pay for it, and 56 to keep the Republicans from pushing them off the step ladder.

Q: How many Republicans does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None, they don't feel that the old bulb ever should have been changed. However; they have promised to have a referendum to see if we really want to change the bulb that is in their now. Is is noted that the referendum is non-binding.

You see, what makes all this a even a little funny, is that fact that most of is TRUE! Christians honestly should have a different message then their stereotype implies. Wouldn't it be cool if people said, "Those Christians are so helpful, loving and true to their word." It's more likely we'd have more volunteers for Sunday School teachers than we would ever need if that were true.

Some folks think that Christians should stay out of politics-- and they should if they they are CINOs -- "Christian In Name Only." Don't you think it's time we had some real godly men and woman in office? Lest I offend someone, let me say at least in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine and New York!

One more thought before I get off my soap box. Did you ever wonder why people feel the same way about politics as they do about religion. Picture this: A room full of clocks spinning with the thrust of a jet engine.

James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Read more from David at his blog Fire and Grace.