Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Nugget

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. -- Hebrews 11: 1,2,6
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

I found this nugget the other day. I've read Hebrews before and it was one of those watershed moments in my faith development. Hebrews is one of those books that I shy away from. Its got almost too much for my little human brain to process. I don't often write down a verse to keep with me, but I did write down this one. Its in my wallet.

Gotta have that faith in my faith. A constant work and struggle.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Indianapolis Thoughts

Gary Varvel Indianapolis Star

Gary Varvel, again.

Its weird being in the middle of the sports world's collective eye. Well, I'm not in the middle of anything, but the spotlight of the world seems to have fallen squarely on my little neck of the world. And its probably going to get a little brighter tomorrow when the Colts beat up on the Detroit Lions in Detroit, purely in a football way, not in a fisticuffs-donnybrook kind of way as the NBA was wont to do last week. I wonder what kind of interesting signs we'll see in the stands. I wonder how many times we'll be subjected to replay of Ron Artest throwing haymakers at fans. Its been fun to watch Peyton Manning play. I decided today that it feels good to be a Colts fan, granted I didn't follow the Colts until I moved here, but I can already feel myself being a Fan and I don't mean a "fairweather" fan, either. Its kind of like my being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan (which I've been since I was a very little loof). I've ridden the waves of success and failure. So, too, with the Colts. So far the success has been great and I'm pretty sure they Colts (I almost said "We") will do very well in the post season.

I don't live in Indianapolis, I live about 12 miles south in what is effectionately called a "donut county." Basically that means that I live in a suburb of Indianapolis. Indy is a pretty nice city. It's nicer then Houston, not quite so busy and people don't seem to aim for you with their cars. Its more urbane then Austin was, but its in Chicago's shadow. Indianapolis has the Colts, the Pacers, and a Triple-A baseball team called Indians(a real original name, huh?) The NCAA has their headquarters here and, of course the world famous Indy 500 runs at the raceway on the westside of town. For a small midwestern city Indianapolis has a lot going for it.

Right now, though, the weather does leave a little to be desired. We seem to have gotten some of the rain that was plaguing Texas recently. Except its cold right now, so the rain is that much more unpleasant. So it must be wintertime, or getting darn close. That's cool with me, I'm ready for it.

This entry seems to have gone off somewhere and I can't bring it back. So be it.

Happy Thanksgiving all. God's Blessings.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Drought of Sorts

I spent six long years in Texas. I lived in Houston, which I really didn't like. It was too hot, too many people and well it was Houston. Actually, I lived in the Houston city limits, but I was 35 miles north of the center of Houston proper. I went to school in Austin-- a nice little school I like to call Con-You. It was a great school and I met a lot of cool people, one of which was Jason Mah-RONE-eye whose blog I found by accident a few weeks ago. Con-you is the place I discovered God. And the place I discovered the nectar of the Gods-- beer, this beer in particular: Shiner Bock

I drank alot of beer while I was at Con-you. Too much probably, but if you lived in the dorm I lived in what I just said was enough to get you ex-communicated: there was never too much beer, just never enough. Sadly, though, I can't get the beer I drank there here in Indy. I'd have to go to Kentucky to get it and I don't feel like driving down there. I discovered this beer and can't get it in Indy either. And that's too bad.

So I make due. About once a week and if I have some extra cash I'll go get some wings and a beer or three. Now my beer of choice is either Killians Red or Amber Boch, whichever is on special. Lately, though I have been jonesin for a Lone Star Tallboy right out of the ice cooler and plate filled with brisquet, sausage, ribs, a big fat roll, and a couple sides of cole slaw and tater salad. That hankerin might make it enough for me to scrounge some kiz-ash and find a way to get down to Texas. Maybe

Saturday, November 20, 2004

This is one of those What the F**k kind of things.

I woke up this morning and opened the paper to see the big headline announcing that the Indiana Pacers and The Detroit Pistons resulted to fisticuffs and had a donnybrook in the last 45 seconds of a game in which the Pacers were winning by a rather respectable margin. I watched footage of the brawl this morning on television. It was, to say the least, scary. Since when has basketball turned into a WWE main event. Basketball players should stay on the basketball court and not go into the stands and beat up on a fan who, in the heat of the moment, threw a full cup of beer at his chest. Not only is that dangerous, but stupid, if for no other reason than there are way more fans in the stands then basketball players. Suddenly, the phrase Me Against the World comes to mind.

Here's what happened: Ron Artest (who has been a bit of a problem this year for the Pacers) put a hard foul on a Piston player who let his displeasure be known. Both benches cleared and broke them up. The Pistons guy continued to go after Artest who was actually stretched out on the scorers table having taken himself out of it, at least for awhile. Suddenly, from the stands a full cup of beer or soda was hurled and landed square in the middle of Artest's chest. Now here is where it got stupid. Artest jumped into the stands and went looking for the nimnod that threw the cup. He started swinging at anybody that moved. Fans started swinging back. Another player from the Pacers went into the stands to ostensibly help Artest or to get him out of the stands, but he ended up throwing puches, too. It didn't stop there. The whole place erupted. Chairs started to fly and more bottles and cups. It looked like a good old fashioned riot. The players had to be pulled off the floor for their own security. Speaking of which... where was the SECURITY to begin with? That's something for the NBA to deal with.

Oh, here's the best part. The next time the Pacers and Pistons meet? Dec 25th at The Consenco Fieldhouse. It should be interesting to see what happens there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


So, I decided to be smart and try and copy Penny's Diary, I kinda dig the little mood guys she has on her blog. I thought it'd be fun to put them on mine, too, but alas I'm not sure how or where to place the code I got from unkymoods. So I kind of cheated a bit and just posted the pic I chose using the little "pic insertion" (that sounds awfully raunchy doesn't it? I'm sure somewhere its even illegal or the moral equivalent to snail scum, that pic insertion is) help that was so kindly included on my screen (that was a horrible sentence, by the by).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

This Answers a Question I Had

Gary Varvel, from The Indianapolis Star

The above cartoon was in the Indy Star this morning. I work for a large chain bookstore and the irony about the cartoon is that this afternoon I was walking around the store and I was happy to see that there weren't any Politicalbooks prominently displayed. They have all gone away. We have stacks of Michael Moore's book I don't think we've sold a copy of his book, that's an exageration, but not too far from the truth (something that Mssr Moore has a problem with).

I saw this earlier today. I just had to roll my eyes. It ranks right up with something I heard about on Craig's List it seems that some guy put an ad up looking to fight a Bush supporter. Crikey. Sheesh.

My dad and I were watching the news last night. The newscaster was busy saying how congress was going to try and work together and to heal the nation and then had a soundbite of a polisci prof say that congress was going to have to come together and find common ground. My father said "Yeah, what that means is the Right is going to have to move the Left and the Left will stay where it is." I thought that was awfully cynical, but truthful.

Friday, November 12, 2004

a poem not a poem

(for R.M. because she is more a writer than me)

i don’t think your writing is finished. i've hit a dry spell myself, but i've
been reading a lot more lately so i expect the muse to hit anytime now. it
better get going soon,

because i'm feeling stagnant... you'd better keep writing K. or i'll
kick your ass.
-- part of an email sent to me from a friend named ‘Bek

part i

writing a poem

is useless—

the only images i
have in

my head are of

shiny hospital
linoleum floors

i hear the soft murmured beeping
heart monitors(this does
give some comfort,
though)& i watch

the green
line bounce from
valley to peak

doctors speak
in quick jargon

filled medical
phrases while

i look from knowing
face to knowing face


for an englisH i
can understand
my nerves fire
my stomach clenches

my head has a dull throb (over
the left eye, where it hurts the
most)i’ll pop
before long—

part ii

these images
(backing up like
ironic rush hour

traffic)are not images
one should put in

a poem

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What Happens Now?

I just heard that Yasar Arafat is dead and has, to misquote Kinky Friedman, been "bugled to Allah." Kinky Friedman. Now what? The Middle East is so unstable anyway. What now? I suppose we shall see. So now we get to see if Palestinians can get together.

Monday, November 08, 2004

More Thoughts on Faith. Mine in Particular

My father has been in the hospital twice in the last six weeks. The first time was in the middle of October. He has heart problems. Sadly, his heart is weak and its bad enough that the doctors are reluctant (translation: will not) to operate on him. The doctors are, and rightly so, afraid they wouldn't be able to get his heart started again.

The second time was last week. He passed out at home on Wednesday. Luckily I was home and behind him when it happened. He started to feel poorly and thought he was having a diabetes low (my dad has a plethera of health problems... thank God for the good health insurance he got from the church). He was headed back to the bathroom to put away his blood checking kit when he passed out. I was walking behind him because he was none too steady on his feet. I was surprised at how quicly I fell upon camp training I had when I was in college and had to learn CPR and how to spot someone when they fell back. I caught him under his armpits and lay him down gently (his feet started to kick violently as soon as I did that-- he came to quickly and almost clunked his head against mine, too). He was disoriented and pale. I called to my mom to contact 911. There is a firehouse and rescue squad literally around the corner. The 'squad was there before my mom hung up. He was strapped to a heavy duty gurney and whisked off to St. Francis Hospital. By the time I got to the hospital he was already tucked into the ER.

My dad has a defibrulator in his chest, he had another problem two years (he passed out in church a few months after we moved to Indy). At the ER doctors realized that his defibrulator was set too low. Basically there are two wires that go into my father's heart. One goes into the top of his heart and the other goes into the bottom. The bottom wire was set too low. So, with a little abracadabra and a "remote control" his defibrulator was fixed.

Does all this mean that my father is going to die next week? No. Hopefully, Lord willing, he will be around for many more years. As you can imagine, though, I have been a bit shaken up the last few weeks. One never likes to think about the eventual death of a parent. I liken the feeling to the first time one realizes that their mother and father actually had sex to conceive them (of course then its only that ONE time...) you know what I mean.

What does this all have to do with the title of this particular post? Its as good a place as any to start, I suppose. In Psalm 94:19 are these words: "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." Isn't that the truth. I didn't start praying for real until about six or seven years ago. I was a camp counselor and I had a cabin that was, to say the least, trying my patience. I was broken down and I had to reach out for something or someone. I didn't have a gun handy so I decided the best thing would be to pray. So I did. I remember waking up early and walking into the bathroom one morning and sat down on the floor and just opened up. I asked for guidance and assurances and patience... and more patience... by the time I was done I laid it all out. I don't remember making any demands or deals I just asked for "help." Or maybe James said it best: "... The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" James 5:16(b). I don't know if I was a particularly a righteous man, but I needed help. It was some of the good old fashioned ask, seek, knock stuff. I was answered, I found, and the door was opened that day.

I have been praying. Talking to God and asking for guidance and assurances. I don't know if that's the best way to go about it, but I have been. My faith has become stronger and the little pilot light is buring brigher. That's a good thing because I tend to be a natural cynic with the attitude of "prove it," or "show me." My father is doing well, he is up and about. I took him the mall today so that he could walk a bit. He's nervous to drive by himself (I think that is a healthy nervousness, too).

I've got more thoughts on faith bouncing around in my head that'll I will be writing about in the near future, but until then I'll leave you with this, one of my top favorite scriptures, Ephesians 3:21:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

loofrin is a Lutheran

What follows is a departure from my usual ranting. I have been thinking going in a different direction with this Blog.

I discovered just now that the bible I use is almost twenty years old. I got it when I was twelve back in '86. Its a Concordia Self-Study Bible, no self-respecting LCMS'er is without at least one. The CSS was published in 1985 or '86. Each church in the Missouri Synod got two as samples. Some how or another I inherited one of the samples from the church my father was then serving. It might be almost 20 years old, but its just starting to look broken in. It is heavily written in, underlined and I have notes written in the margins, the binding is stengthened with duct tape. In the back I have written down verses that have really moved me at some time or another. The inside cover is my favorite part and the most personal. I have a small collage of things I have picked up along the way that I have taped into it. Its sitting on my bed right now. This past summer I decided to read the thing from beginning to end. I did real well for a while, but the last few weeks I have bogged down. I got halfway through Psalms and pretty much stopped. I decided today that I needed to get back into the word. Believe it or not I can feel a distinct difference in my outlook on life and the way I feel about myself when I am in the Word. If nothing else, I sleep better after reading a chapter or even a verse before bed.

The way I look at faith is this: its a pilot light. Sometimes that pilot light burns brighter and sometimes the light dims, but its always burning. I think I need to get the light burning brighter. I'm looking for something, I'm not sure what it is-- answers, maybe, but to what questions? I haven't a clue.

I'm sure you've heard this phrase before "CH_ _ CH, what's missing? U R." Well, I take that a step further: "FA_TH, what's missing? The "I" is." There is no faith with the "I." Faith has always been something I have had to work on. Faith is a very personal thing. I haven't been all that good at sharing my faith. By nature I am a fairly quiet, sit in the corner type of guy. Once and a while I get prompted and talk about it. I have discovered over the years that I do have a talent for "breakin it down" in to real simple, easy to understand, bitesized pieces. My faith story isn't real interesting, but its mine and I'll share it asked, its just not a real, dare I say it, "sexy" story. This revelation is actually kind of ironic, my confirmation verse is this: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand." (John 10: 27-28) I put a lot of credence in Confirmation verses. As silly as it might seem I have often felt that Confirmation verses often encapsulate a person's life without them even really knowing it. Sadly, we don't realize it until that verse is used as the basis for the deceased's funeral sermon.

I have been a Christian and a Lutheran all my life. I am careful to make that distinction. Christian first Lutheran second. I have discovered over time that it is easier to start with the things we agree on and then slowly take apart the things we don't. If I come at someone with the Lutheran first Christian second that can turn them off. Being a Lutheran is an identity. My screen name for almost ten years has been "loofrin" which is the way Lutheran is pronounced in New Orleans.

I seem to have left my "thesis" in the writing of this entry. I'm not really sure I even had a thesis going in-- just some thoughts that were running around in my head. I'll write more later.

Help A Brotha Out

Two questions:

1. How do I get my blog contents and "author" pic to start in the upper corner of my blog? (right now its down on the bottom under all the text and it just kind of annoys the Hell out of me).

2. How do I link other blogs to "you should read these ones,too" list?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thoughts on the election

Wow, that's an awfully red map, isn't it? In this case red is good, or at least in this blog it is. The election has been settling in all day. I've been mulling over the endresults and I'm awed, shocked, a bit surprised and, believe it or not, a bit, how shall I put it, nervous. That last one probably shocks the two people that read this blog with any regularity. I'll tell you why I'm a bit nervous: with a Republican majority in both houses, and its a pretty sizable majority, it will be harder for check and balance of government. Maybe the Republicans will be able to get things started and they won't have much meddling from the other side of the aisle. Maybe. But at the same time I worry about them running roughshod over the country. I would of worried if the Democrats had taken both houses and the presidencey as well, probably more so.

The left has turned on itself right now. They are blaming each other for the defeat. From what I've heard, though, in a special edition ofNewsweek out today, Kerry himself is soundly blamed for the defeat and Bush is praised not so much for his win, but for his ability to have an organized campaign. That's simplifying the whole thing a bit too much probably (I'll try and get a hold of a copy of the magazine tomorrow, read it, and condense it in this blog. Most news sources I've heard or read today simply state it this way: George Bush stayed on message. It was simple straightforward and effective. Kerry spun his wheels and never got himself in the fast lane. Bush hammered away and Kerry got hammered.

Something else I've thought about today: Jefferson, I think it was, called election day a "bloodless revolution." How true. How many other countries have civil wars and coups that kill hundreds (if not thousands, perhaps millions) to elicit a change in power? We had a massive thing happen this week. That sounds hoaky to say it that way, but its true. It was a huge thing. After a year and half of verbal sparring, angry rhetoric and just plain campaining we went to the polls and voted. There was not bloodshed and no one died. Amazing. Even if you're upset about the end result you must be proud of the system: it worked.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Whew... Its Over, But Just Gettin Started, too

It seems like its been forever since I last posted in here and then I look at the date of my last post and realize that yeah, it has been. I think part of the reason I haven't written much is I just got tired of politics. I'd been satiated and saturated; in short, I was so done with it all, but I still managed to get involved and then became rapid with it again a few days before the election came to close.

I got involved by volunteering for the Mitch Daniels for Govenor campaign. I walked precincts on Monday. And let me tell you that hurt after a while. I walked up and down streets knocking on doors and ringing doorbells getting out the vote. When I was done my feet hurt, my knee throbbed and I was exhausted, but I felt good, real good. I felt confident my candidate was going to win. On the local level I knew the Republicans were going to have a good night and I knew that George W. was going to carry Indiana. That was confirmed by 6:30 Tuesday night. MyManMitch won and won big. He beat incumbent Joe Kernan by almost seven or eight points. It was a good night for Indiana Republicans on many fronts. Sadly, though we weren'e able to get rid of Evan Bayh (pronounced Buy). Which is something I don't quite understand. Here's Gary Varvel's take on it:

Here's the thing about Marvin Scott that I really don't understand: he lost. If you look at the poll data from Indiana, and I'll tell you what it says: the state is solidly "red" except for Marion County, which is where Indianapolis is located and some of the northern counties and a couple of the counties to the west that border Illinois, they tend to be "blue" counties. How could Marvin Scott lose? Answer? The Indiana GOP seemed to ignore his candiacy. Hell, I didn't even know he was running against Evan Bayh until about three weeks ago when he was mentioned in an editorial in the Indianapolis Star. I thought that was a horrible disgrace. Mitch Daniels pretty much swept Indiana, George Bush took something close to 60 percent of the vote from the Hoosier state, but Marvin Scott? I think he broke 30 percent. I think. That's a shame. Marvin Scott didn't have any name recognition. He was poorly funded and, as I said earlier, I think he may have been ignored by the GOP of Indiana. Or maybe the Indiana Republican Party just decided they couldn't beat the goliath named Bayh. Sadly, if there is such a thing as First Familes of Indiana then Bayh is one of them. My dad said recently that Evan Bayh was identified more then a Democrat; he has achieved the status of The Hoosier.

As a result of the work I did I met some politicians. Most were on the state level and county level. But I did meet Steve Buyer, well I shook his hand and had a short chat. I doubt he'd remember me if he met me on the street. He won his race handily, be the way.

On Tuesday, election day, or D-day, I volunteered again. This time I did some running for "wagon books" those basically voter registration rolls. What they do is this: a voter comes and votes and the poll admistrator marks their name off. What I and my partner did was go to a couple of polling spots and pick up the lists, took them back to the Mitch Daniels for Govenor HQ hand them off top the phone bank workers and they started calling the people that had not been checked off to 1. remind them to vote, 2. ask them to vote for Mitch Daniels, 3. Inform them that the polls close at 6 pm and ask if they knew where they voted and if they didn't get that information to them and then, 4. Find out if they needed a ride to the polls and if they did we would get one for them. It was all quite exciting and fun. It was fun to be with fellow Republicans and meeting new people. It was hard work, but good work. I'm going to drop by the Indiana State GOP office someday soon and find out how I stay in contact with them. I'll be attending Johnson County Republican luncheons every now and again, too.

Oh, yeah, I voted on Tuesday, too. It took me an hour and I waited in the rain and got good and wet, but I voted and it felt damn good, too. There is something about voting and taking part that really makes me feel good to be an American.

So now what? On the State level Republicans hold both houses. Same on the national level. This is a double edged sword. We will have two years to do something. Two years to prove ourselves and then, we'll have the dreaded "mid-term elections." Those mid-term elections are, in my humble estamation, sometimes even more important then "regular elections." Those mid-term elections are like progress reports. We have control of both houses on the state and national level, but if things go badly Republicans have no one to blame, but themselves and the electorate will let them know. I'm not being a fatalist here, I'm not saying that the Republicans will screw up, matter of fact I'm hoping and praying that we can do good things and get this country started again, but I am being a realist. We have work to do.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Still here... politics

I can't believe that Election Day is tomorrow. Seems like the political thing has been going on foooorever... I spent the day canvassing neighborhoods for my candidate for govenor (mitch daniels-- go to for details). It rained and was rather "raw" all day. It looks like it will be more of the same. The weather here looks like its going to go "red."

I heard on the news today something really disconcerting... there are, believe it or not, 33 mathmatically possible ways this election will end, get this, a dead-heat tie. 33! that's what the 33 means on the back of a Rolling Rock beer bottle! Gah! Who knew?!

Tomorrow I'm working again for the Mitch Daniesl campaign. I'll be doing some calling and trying to get the vote out. Its just so important. Its just so damned important.