bonar crump

bonar crump
husband - father - reader - runner - picker - grinner - lover - sinner

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Dude abides...

Okay, this is gonna be a stretch, but I was really inspired by the book I read last night to my daughter at bedtime. She picked it out from the library. I bought her a copy for Christmas 15 minutes after I tucked her in and closed her door.

Storyline: The Princess loses 7 of her 8 prized ponies to a giant. Motorcycle Dude shows up with samurai sword and a Harley. Princess makes golden thread and uses it to pay Dude to protect her remaining pony. Dude fashions invisibility cloak out of golden thread. Princess pumps iron and becomes warrior princess. Both of them use the cloak to defeat the giant. They wind up getting married and having a kid. The end.

Storytellers: It’s a boy and a girl that have been teamed up as part of a class project to collaborate on developing a story together to present to the class.

The girl wants the story to be about the beautiful princess living in a castle with beautiful ponies and a staff of servants.

The boy wants the story to be about a cool mc dude wielding weapons and acting as a hired bodyguard. Also, the boy’s version of the giant was so grotesque that my daughter asked me to cover the giant on the page with my hand while reading from those few pages. You gotta love it!

There are so many ways I can go with this story that I had to write some of them down.

  •  Two seemingly incompatible stories make a much more interesting and valuable collaborative tale.
  • What is valuable to one person isn’t always valuable to another. The Princess valued the ponies. The Dude valued the gold.
  •  The Princess’ giant was just a large man able to pick up a horse in his hand. The Dude’s giant was a hulking monster with rotten smelly teeth and green skin. The boy needs to emphasize how truly terrible the Dude’s giant is in order to fully enhance the Dude’s courage and physical prowess.
  •  Oftentimes, the point of the story is NOT to rescue the ponies, but to build alliances with those that have different skill sets. The ultimate success of the story depends on more than any one player can bring to the situation.
  • In the end, the success turns out to be something entirely unintentional…love.

I thought about me as the Dude and my wife as the Princess. I thought about the people I enjoy being around as the Dude and the people I associate with in Christian settings as the princess. I thought about the “world” as the Giant, the “Bride of Christ” as the Princess, and the victims of human depravity as the ponies. I thought about it all in light of my ongoing quest for the next frontier of Christian faith. But, at the end of the day, I decided that my over-analysis was stripping some of the importance from the story…the artwork.

I miss the art of life too often while dissecting the plot. I miss the value of the pictures. I miss the look on my daughter’s face as she listens to me read the words. I miss that this story is about love.

Anyway, it was a cool story. Especially for a dad that reads endless tales of fairies, princesses, unicorns, and mermaids to his daughter.

Maybe last night’s story could be about me as the Dude and my daughter as the Princess. And, in the end, we both win through the shared experience of a fun and exciting adventure. Yeah, I like that best. We defeated the giant and rescued the ponies! And we all lived happily ever after…or until tomorrow night’s story…

What kinds of things do you miss out on? Do you partner with others that may not share your goals? Which character do you want to be in the story? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Santa is bringing a Glock

Well, I agree with everything Jen has to say HERE on principle, but I’d like to offer a dad’s perspective...maybe my coffee had an extra sprinkle of ornery in it today…

I’m pretty sure that Santa is real. Hold on a minute! I’m being serious. I’ve seen him lots of times. I’ve seen art, movies, TV programs, and all sorts of advertisements offering empirical proof of his existence. Besides, I WANT to believe there is a Santa with elves and reindeer and metrosexual fur-topped boots and super-high levels of aggression towards misbehaving children (lump of coal—that’s c.o.l.d.)

I’m just gonna throw this out there and then run from it like softball-pitching a grenade into a small closet—the Santa conspiracy might not have influenced Christianity as much as Christians have inspired it’s nuanced form of our faith. Take away the red jacket, sleigh, and ridiculously frigid base of operations and you have a gray (or is it grey, I can never decide) bearded deity with minions of angels seeking to reward or punish at one specific time based upon external behavioral criteria (which seems to be situational at best) and you have discovered the fundamental belief structure of your “average” mainstream Christian. Take that for what it’s worth…

I want to talk about my dismay and (sometimes) outrage when we Christians decide to dress Santa up with a robe and sandals so that we can understand God. I want to talk about how inconsequential these conspiracies are in light of a robust faith focused on a God that transcends behavior, politics, sexual persuasions, economic status, et al.

I know that Santa exists. He exists as our God analogue. He exists as our watered-down version of I AM.

My 6 year old daughter has been asking me almost every day whether or not Santa is real.

I’ve told her that it’s up to each person to decide whether or not Santa is real. That it’s okay for one person to believe and another to disbelieve. That we respect the believers as well as the unbelievers.

Before you start throwing Bibles and Hymnals let me just say that what I’ve done with Santa in this situation is lump him with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy as a nonstarter. In effect, I’m encouraging her to test out her own beliefs and discover those that bear-out under scrutiny. My belief is that someday we’ll be able to discuss how Santa failed her while Jesus did not. My hope is that instead of Santa being her God analogue, as he was to me, that together we’ll be able to ponder all the ways that Santa is the antithesis of God—that sovereignty cannot be usurped by consumerism, greed, or behavior modification.

I believe in Santa. I’m trying not to, but I’ve been programmed to relate to God the same way that I relate to Santa. It’s in my Christian DNA. I’m gonna keep modeling benevolence, gratitude, respect, and forgiveness in order to “earn jewels for my crown” (can’t even type that without a grimace on my face). I’m gonna keep the discussion open with my daughter about all of the fairies, ghosts, unicorns, and magic of the world. I’m not ready yet to share with her all of the ways that culture is waiting to mug her and steal her innocence and sense of security.

I AM ready to guide her through this maze of BS we’ve inherited instead of squawking at her via a bullhorn from the observational perch.

Now…I know that Jen Hatmaker is absolutely right. None of what I’ve said here is a contradiction or challenge of her blog post. I’ve only recently met Jen, but to meet her is to know that she is a FIERCE momma. And not just with her own kiddos, but with anyone that crosses her path. I find confidence in knowing that a radical like Jen is out there cutting the path for those of us trying to discover our own radical voices.

Maybe I felt a little convicted by her post. I must have felt something because it stuck with me since yesterday.

Call it a contradiction if you want or even hypocrisy if you like, but I’m writing this while sitting 12” from our Christmas tree across the room from our ornately decorated fireplace mantel and listening to Rat Pack Christmas songs via Pandora.

My point? I may have lost it. No, there it is…

I’m far more fearful of trying to define truth for my daughter as she grows up and being found wrong than I am of acting as her consigliere vis-à-vis truth.  

See, dads let the kid hammer nails into a board knowing that eventually there will be a thumb that gets in the way. We’re not evil. We’re just not Mom. And, “for Santa’s sake, don’t tell Mom I let you ride around the block on the back of the Harley or Christmas is cancelled this year and you’ll be WISHING you’d gotten a lump of coal.”

I’m hoping for additional cash this Christmas because I’ve been saving up for a new Glock. How do you even begin to explain THAT to a Jen Hatmaker? It’s impossible! I guess I’ll go back to being radical after the holidays. It’s been a rough year. Forgive me for letting my guard down at this time of year. I’m still trying to figure out why God looks like Santa in a robe to me with the voice of Dean Martin. It’s a very confusing and childlike time of year for me.

Oh, and I always visualize Indiana Jones as the “elf” sent to deliver the lumps of coal…what’s that about!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

After The Event

Some people move into our lives and quickly go.
Some people stay for a while and move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding, leaving their footprints in our hearts,
And we are never the same.
~ Author Unknown

These words were printed on the back of our shirts. As helpers at the event, we all wore red short sleeve t-shirts with gold lettering. On the front of the shirts was a banner design with the words—Sarah Fest, Family, Friends, and the phrase “Fajita Cookoff, Benefit, and Bike Show.”

I was there as a guest of my sister. She’d asked me to come up for the event to help enroll people in the bike show and be available for various “grunt work” that might need the expert handling of a “grunt work expert.”

Since I’m a sucker for anything my little Sis asks me to do a charitable cause, I agreed and decided to ride the Harley up to Lubbock for the event on Oct. 1, 2011.

I dig bike events. I’m a fajita connoisseur. And I’m always up for a fundraiser when a worthy cause is involved—this cause seemed uniquely worthy.

At the time of the fundraiser Sarah was 28 years old. She had two babies, ages 4 years and 8 months.

Sarah had been diagnosed with cervical cancer 6 days after marrying John Perez on October 9, 2010. By the time of Sarah Fest the cancer had moved to her right lung. Since that time it’s been found in her liver as well. Please read more here.

It doesn’t get any more worthy than that!

What really made this event special to me was the level of talent, dedication, planning, and respect that went into putting it together. This wasn’t an organized charitable organization with experienced volunteers. This wasn’t a local church rallying around the family. This wasn’t a group of civic leaders pulling together support from the community to honor these folks. This was an event initiated, sponsored, supported, and facilitated by an outlaw biker group known as The Bandidos.

However, Sarah Fest was specifically advertised as “open to all”. In other words, The Bandidos operated the event for Sarah and her family without labeling it as their event. They graciously stepped aside and pushed the Perez family out front as an offering of honor and support.

There was a bike show (My FXDL won first place in the “I Just Ride It” class). There was a dunking booth. There were grills cranking out delicious varieties of fajitas. There was an auction. There was an outdoor stage for the band. There was a raffle.

The food was donated. The shirts were donated. The venue was donated. The golf cart to carry Sarah around from one end of the event to the other was donated. It was all top-shelf and carried out with the fervency and enthusiasm of people taking direct ownership of this event. Every person I encountered working this event, cooking fajitas, being dunked in the booth, and overseeing each area seemed vested in the success of Sarah Fest.

More than a dozen area mc’s (motorcycle clubs) from as far as 200 miles away rode in to support Sarah and her family. Groups showed up with envelopes of money collected from those that couldn’t attend. Unknown motorcycle riders travelling down the highway nearby were waved in and asked to join the festivities. Music pumped out of the PA system. Kids threw balls at the target trying to dunk friends and family into the murky water of the big tank. Items donated for the auction were scoured over and hasty mental notes made about how much was going to be bid for specific items.

Folks bought entry into the bike show and then paid for each vote that they cast. Others paid money to name the person they wanted to have sit on the dunk tank seat while the targeted person was allowed to offer money to buy their way out of the tank. Raffle tickets were sold. Tickets for each fajita plate were sold. Tickets for beverages were sold.

All day long men and women in red and gold shirts directed incomers to available parking, hustled supplies, ran messages back and forth, administered complex events, and poured themselves into the event we called Sarah Fest.

But not one volunteer that entire day exhibited any noticeable tendency towards a selfish agenda. No one that I watched ever tried to share any of the spotlight. No one I was ever near seemed the least bit interested in listing all the ways in which they were giving of themselves to ensure the success of Sarah Fest. People just served—plain and simple—they just did what had to be done and reflected any appreciation people tried to give them toward Sarah and her family.

It was a day that defined BENEVOLENCE.

Respect, honor, loyalty, and love—you can say what you like about The Bandidos, but you cannot say that they don’t live these things out at a level outshining most of the folks who would never attend an event like Sarah Fest.

See, we get so caught up in the mechanics of the thing. We worry about the perception of others that might associate us with “those folks.” We forget that the ends to the means is to provide more than just money…it’s to provide a fleck of hope to a dying woman and her family. It’s the kind of hope that assures a dying mom that her children will be loved by a larger community of folks than she’d ever dreamed possible. The hope that her babies will grow up in an environment where the REAL things that matter will be modeled for them and that they will grow up knowing that to love means to serve and to serve means to be willing to die in place of even when the situation seems without any hope at all.

Through Sarah’s suffering she had given us all the opportunity to come together for a common cause. She has given us all one of those magically rare moments to experience each other’s appreciation for life, suffering, and resolute commitment. Sarah’s illness has given all of us the impeccable glimpse beyond one another’s tats, patches, political convictions, and social biases. Sarah gives US hope that we are not all as selfish as we pretend to be most of the time. Sarah reminds US of our respect, honor, loyalty, and love for one another. Sarah needed to remind us of these things because we are being left as caretakers of her babies. Sarah needed to make sure that we have our shit together before she trusts us to look after her family once she is gone.

Thanks, Sarah.
We won’t let you down.
We’ll look after your family.
We’ll look after our own families.
We’ll remember that the dunk tank is NOT what life is about.
We’ll remember that the music, food, laughter, and love of one another are what life is REALLY about.

Some people move into our lives and quickly go.
Some people stay for a while and move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding, leaving their footprints in our hearts,
And we are never the same.
~ Author Unknown

If you are interested in supporting the Sarah Perez Memorial Fund, please let me know and I can get you the necessary information.

I'm not trying to redefine anyone's definition of "MISSIONS" with this post. I just wanted to show what the flip-side of the coin looks like to me. One side is the Alaskan Funk--the other is After The Event. If this isn't an example of a successful STMission effort...I don't know what is.

What do you think?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Alaskan Funk—Short Term Mission Gone…Meh…

Last week I spent 5 days in Alaska on a mission trip. Our goal was to finish up a lengthy punch list of projects intended to get part of the hosting church’s building closer to an initial building inspection. Stairs/handrails brought up to code—electrical conduit run—drop ceilings installed in kitchen areas—vent-a-hoods and exhaust fans installed—all the stuff that city inspectors and fire marshals require in order to operate any type of commercial facility.

10 men ranging from ages 20 to mid-60’s from South Texas flew 4200 miles (one way) to donate our construction skills and time in an effort to “advance the kingdom.”

I don’t really know what “advance the kingdom” means, but it seems like a good fit.

So, we’re fed three hearty meals a day at the church. We’re separated into groups of two or three to stay at different church member’s homes. And we’re only asked to do inside jobs because, let’s face it, we’re all from South Texas and this is Alaska in November…those things aren’t even close to the same.

The hospitality was fantastic. The food was delicious. The homes that we stayed in made us all feel like we were part of their families.

So, this is the part of the tale where we metaphorically land on the carrier and announce “mission accomplished.” This is where I’m supposed to talk about the bonds that we formed within the workgroup and what a wonderful experience we had enjoying the magnanimous hospitality of these wonderful Alaskans. This is where I’m supposed to thank God for the ability to go—serve—interact with folks that I might not have ever had the opportunity to share life with had it not been for this short term missionary opportunity.

After 4 days of contemplation and analyzing this trip, I find myself increasingly disillusioned. I know we went there to meet a need. I know we went there to offer help. I know we went there to minister to the needs of this small congregation. I know that we went there with all the right motives. I know that the work needed to be done to further their project toward completion. I know that it was all seasoned with the best of intentions and that we exceeded their expectations.

Why do I feel so funky about all of this?

Oh, wait! I know why I’m jacked up over this trip. It’s probably because over $4000 was spent on airfare to get us all there and back.

It has something to do with the fact that the part of the building we were doing work on was 12 years old and had never been occupied because of a lack of completion.

I’m certain it has something to do with the observations that this all took place near downtown Anchorage (not out in the wilderness) where there were 5 churches within a 3 block radius.

And…you know…if I’d known that these folks were potentially competing with the mission across the street instead of partnering with them…Oooo…let’s not go there.

Call me naïve, cynical, overtly zealous, or just plain stupid if you like, but here’s my analysis of the funk:

·         You partner with other churches in the area, thereby, developing long-term relationships with your neighbors to collectively meet the unique needs of the community that you share.
o   You DO NOT ask a group to front the bill for airfare in order to get free labor from men that you’ll never see again. It’s the missional equivalent of a “one night stand” (the term missionary position should be worked in here, but I’m not that clever).

·         You analyze the needs of the community and weigh out whether or not the facility you’re trying to complete has any tangible value in relationship to those needs. If not, you leave it be (it’s set for 12 years—couldn’t be that critical to the overall mission of this particular church).
o   You DO NOT prioritize the completion of a building which has never been used simply because “we have to finish what someone else started” or because someone in the congregation offers a large sum of money to facilitate the completion of a portion of the project.

·         You determine what the direction of your church is and how God intends to use it BEFORE you engage in costly renovations without any concrete ideas about what you’re going to do with this structure once it’s completed.
o   You DO NOT repeat the mantra, “someday God’s gonna give us some direction” or “once this is complete our mandate from God will become self-evident.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There was a crazy homeless guy that was around the place quite a bit. He was allowed to sleep in the church’s van and camp out inside the building sometimes while we were there. He was obviously deranged and easily agitated. He was tolerated, but never welcome. Most of the members of the church avoided eye contact and relied heavily on one or two people to control / direct the crazy homeless guy.

No one engaged him.
No one made eye contact with him.
No one gave any indication that he was present.
Everyone tightened up a little with fear when he was present.

Would $4000 and the attention of 10 Texans have made a meaningful impact in this man’s life? Probably not.

Would an institution devoted to feeding homeless folks like this man every week have benefitted from $4000 and the effort of 10 volunteers for a week? Most definitely.

Will the money, effort, and time consigned to this Alaskan church’s building ever be justified through service to the community? Well, at last check, no one seemed to have much of an idea.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Can we just cut through the BS?

Anchorage has a huge homeless population. Why in the hell are we riding the non-committal fence of “praying that God will lead us to understand what our unique mission is in this community?” FEED THE HUNGRY—not feed the overweight Texans.

You’ve got 20,000 ft2 that hasn’t been used for anything other than a 12 year draw for mission groups from the lower 48? LET THE HOMELESS IN OUT OF THE COLD—not let the Texans avoid the cold with inside-only projects.

Anchorage seems to have as many churches as any small city in the Bible Belt. Why aren’t these churches working together for any other reason than to eliminate the $4000 captured by Delta and forgotten like it was just spare change found between the cushions of the pews? BE GOOD STEWARDS OF OUR BENEVOLENCE FUNDS—don’t waste it on frivolous self-affirming travel agendas.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

All the men and women involved with this endeavor were good people. They had good intentions. They probably feel very good about how it all turned out and the means by which it was carried out. There were good things that resulted from the trip.

But there are far greater needs in this world than the fixing of stairs and the running of conduit. It’s an appeal to the lowest common denominator. It’s a lazy way to serve and it’s an inefficient use of time, energy, and money.

It’s leveraging a nice destination in order to gain free labor. It’s fun, it’s somewhat beneficial, and it generates a good feeling among the participants. We exceeded their expectations because their expectations were too low.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Final shot of Bruce Almighty is a gradual close-up of a dirty homeless guy holding a sign. As the shot grows closer the man’s face begins to morph into the face of Morgan Freeman (who plays God). The visual message is that God IS the least of these. God IS the crazy homeless guy with a short fuse and a mean disposition.

How dare we ignore the crazy homeless guy! How dare we avoid eye contact with the dirty disenfranchised! How dare we heat a building for 12 years while the homeless sleep on park benches throughout the Alaskan winter which lasts a really long time! How dare we complain about the length of the flight or the width of the seat on the plane or the lack of leg room as long as God is hungry, cold, weak, and lonely!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Last week I spent 5 days in Alaska on a “mission” trip. Our goal was to finish up a lengthy punch list of projects intended to get part of the hosting church’s building closer to an initial inspection. Stairs/handrails brought up to code—electrical conduit run—drop ceilings installed in kitchen areas—vent-a-hoods and exhaust fans installed—all the stuff that city inspectors and fire marshals require in order to operate any type of commercial facility."

I’m ashamed that I ignored the homeless guy in order to work on a building.

I’m ashamed that I ignored God.

I’m ashamed and confused about what to do next.

Are we really meeting needs or are we nurturing our self?

Where do we go from here?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Walker

The Walker: An Anonymous Blur on the Horizon

via Red Letter Christians
by Morf Morford

"Even though virtually all of us have seen him as he wanders relentlessly, day and night, across and beyond his home town, few know his name. 
Those of us who know him call him the Walker. That’s what he does. He is well over fifty years old and has not had an established home for years. 
His mail is delivered at the local rescue mission (where I used to work). 
He walks."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

System Dynamics (4)

Occupy Wall Street, the Church, and the Apocalypse

"It’s not so much that the 1st world church isn’t busy with the tasks before it, but rather, what is before it is its own personal care. The church has become chaplain to itself rather than chaplain to the world. And I mean, world, in the Christian sense. It’s nourishing itself rather than nourishing those who are outside its fold. It has ignored a missional call, exchanging it for self care. 
We are taking care of those in the 1st world church who are unhappy in spite of wealth, stuck at jobs where they feel like a cog, suffering from diseases that are the result of a fast-paced lifestyle filled with unhealthy foods, stress, and environmental toxins, with minds crippled by the parade of consumer goods and unrealistic lives we watch on television to calm ourselves after a day that leaves us strangely unsatisfied. 
And are we nourished? Are we yet strong enough to act in nonviolence as the hands and feet of Christ in this world? Or are our muscles atrophied from disuse?"

System Dynamics (3)

Is Spaceship Earth Close to Environmental Collapse?

"According to the United Nations, the world population will reach 7 billion people this week. No one really knows the exact date, but the announcement has sparked a round of commentary, most of it pessimistic. The doubling of the world’s population over the past 50 years is the most rapid in history. Demographers expect another 3 billion at least before global population finally peaks early in the next century and begins a gradual decline. Can we make it until then? Or will our overburdened spaceship earth suffer environmental collapse?"

System Dynamics (2)

Greek crisis, other global financial woes crash the G-20 party in Cannes

 "As the Group of 20 convenes its annual summit on Thursday, the rhetoric will — as usual — focus on the benefits of cooperation and the strides nations are making to further it. But in terms of concrete action, this might be the meeting where an organization meant to nudge the global economy in a more efficient direction recognizes its limits."

System Dynamics (1)

World Population: 7 Billion

"On October 31, 2011, the United Nations is expected to announce a projected world population figure of 7 billion. This global milestone presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the planet. While more people are living longer and healthier lives, says the U.N., gaps between rich and poor are widening and more people than ever are vulnerable to food insecurity and water shortages. Because censuses are infrequent and incomplete, no one knows the precise date that we will hit the 7 billion mark - the Census Bureau puts it somewhere next March. In the last 50 years, humanity has more than doubled. What could the next decade mean for our numbers and the planet? In this post, we focus on births, but we'll be back with population-related content including it's affect on the environment and our food supply. -- Paula Nelson (47 photos total)"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

System Dynamics

Economically, Environmentally, and Spiritually everyone seems to be engaging the question of, “where are we headed and what will it look like when we get there?”

Economists continue to hope for 2.5% annual growth in the first world countries.

Environmentalists tell us that globally we are already operating at 140% capacity of the planet.

Christian church leaders continue to blame the mass exodus of younger generations on a secularization of Christian nations.

Is it possible that we’ve finally hit that mark in time when sustainability has been eclipsed? Is it possible that we reached the apex of the sustainability graph decades ago and are now witnessing what the downhill slide feels like?

I’m not necessarily talking “doomsday” scenarios here. I believe that we, as a people, have proven throughout the ages that collectively we possess a phenomenal amount of drive, ingenuity, and resolve to change and adapt. However, these changes are NEVER initiated during the warning phase. As a society, we never start applying pressure to the brake when we see the yellow light. If anything, we speed up when we see the yellow light. We do not apply the brakes until we see RED. This has the profound effect of creating violent and jarring change all in a very short period of time.

Heaven forbid we begin to slow down when the yellow light is lit by scientists projecting the death of entire fisheries in the next several years. Why would anyone think to remove the foot from the accelerator when economists are forecasting continued decline internationally on a rapidly increasing pace? And why in the world would the Christian churches ever consider the possibility that “business-as-usual” is dead.

Everything is changing in ways that defy analysis of past periods and events. Energy, Financials, Population Growth, and Environmental Changes are all part of a new and never before experienced Ecology. With this realization comes a graphically changing environment of spirituality which HAS TO transcend the current modes of educational Christianity. Gone are the days of discussing, studying, and teaching behavior modification in the comfy settings of a brick and mortar building referred to by many as “the church.” Say hello to the future of a Church designed to serve, support, and rescue on a global scale so far outside the thinking of most of us that it’s impossible to fathom this early in the game.

We’re not talking here about proposed changes best suited to address the changes coming in the next 20 years anymore. These changes are here right now and they DEMAND change. There is no choice in the matter. It’s already happening. We have to understand the visceral unrest inherent in the OCCUPY folks. We have to open our ears to the criticism of all those folks we, as Christians, have rejected and labeled as “unholy” and “unworthy.” We have to open our eyes to the humanitarian disasters happening all over the world. It’s not enough to discuss human trafficking, starvation, genocide, and hate. We have to engage these things full throttle.

My best guess is a Christian Church void of brick and mortar operating collectively regardless of theological divisiveness. Maybe more like a Greenpeace type of NGO. An NGO with real political clout focused on spotlighting the human tragedies and atrocities around the world even when those tragedies do not affect the economic bottom line.

The point being that if we think we are seeing human suffering on a global scale now, what do we think it will look like if the environmentalists, scientists, and economists are right about witnessing a global awakening of unsustainability RIGHT NOW?

The worldwide Christian community stands in the unique position to step up and partner with others to serve, heal, and rescue. It’s time to feed the lepers. It’s time to rescue the children. It’s time to give a shit about more than personal growth. The planet is dying. The global financial system is breaking apart. The global population is increasing exponentially. Resources are finite. Energy is the drug that we all crave.

The light is red RIGHT FUCKING NOW! Let’s engage with that resilience, ingenuity, and resolve we’re capable of weilding. Let’s define ourselves by what we agree upon instead of by what we disagree about. It’s all interconnected. It’s all interdependent. The climate, the fisheries, the GNP’s, the humanitarian efforts, the Church…they’re all tied together.

But what do I know? Several paragraphs ago I wrote something about varying Christian organizations partnering with each other as well as other religions behind the effort of a global humanitarian effort forcing action where only talk has prevailed. We are ACTUALLY closer to eliminating abject poverty on the planet than we are to achieving cohesiveness and cooperation among multi-denominational sects within the Christian community. So, obviously, I’m insane…

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy the Planet is REAL!

Things like this global Occupy movement don't happen unless there's a real problem. This is happening! 

via The Big Picture

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mainline churches on their next to last leg?

Report says tithing, church spending hit record low

via The Washington Post

“Churches on the whole are continuing to spend more on current members and less on the larger mission of the church and cutting back on missionaries,” said Ronsvalle. 
Ronsvalle even goes so far as to suggest “if a church is turning inward and valuing the happiness of its members” over service to others, “it is moving on a spectrum toward pagan values.” 
The bottom line: U.S. churches seem to be more concerned with their own needs and their own desires over the needs of others.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jesus - outlaw biker

No one hugs more than a biker.
No one uses the term "brother" more than a biker and means it.
No one says, "I love you," more than a biker and means it.
No one loves their family (club, group, organization) more than a biker.
No one is committed to the rules of the club more than a biker.
No one is more reliable than a biker brother.

A biker never turns his back on a brother.
A biker values respect above all else.
A biker doesn't tolerate exhibitions of disrespect.
A biker celebrates the good fortune of his brothers.
A biker suffers the misfortune of his brothers.
A biker understands "community" and selflessness better than the rest of society.

I like to think of Jesus as an outlaw biker. I like to think of his beard as an 8 inch long braid and his long hair pulled back into a ponytail. The loud pipes are trumpets announcing his arrival and the pack that he leads makes everyone stop and stare.

His tats are the names of his family members. We are his family. We are no longer prospects. We are full-patch members. It's our job to protect the weak, value the good, and punish those that disrespect others.

In this outlaw society of ours, the posers are purged, the compassionate are valued, and the hardcore are exalted.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’ve seen some biker brothers fall leaving behind a family and club that mourn like no other group I’ve ever seen. About a year ago, a biker I knew was wiped out on his commute to work. The outpouring of support for the family was what I’d come to expect from this culture of people. I’ve become so accustomed to the magnanimous ways in which these people show love to one another that I tend to take certain things for granted.

I drove a family member of the fallen brother out to a party that the club had been planning for several months. It was the usual affair of gnarly bikes, scantily clad women, lots of food, and plenty of alcohol. As I walked across the street with the family member at my side, I whistled to one of my brothers standing outside having a smoke. He looked up and saw me bringing the family member, swiftly flicked his cig to the street, and turned abruptly to run back into the building. By the time we’d taken 15 more steps to reach the curb in front of the establishment a group of 40 or 50 had formed to greet us.

We didn’t make it into the party for 45 minutes. We didn’t make it 4 steps up onto the curb. We didn’t make it 3 steps up onto the curb. We made it 2 steps…

Every member of that club and their accompanying family members began to gather as if we were there to hand out cash. They surrounded us cutting off one lane of traffic. They were solemn. They were gracious. They were sincere.

Every single member of that club—every single spouse or significant other of a member of that club—Every “hang around”, prospect, friend-of-the-club patiently took their turn to give a hug, express their sincere regret, and offer ANYTHING they could do for this grieving family member.

For the first time as I stood watching strength and power grow through shared grief, I asked myself one question—“Why don’t Christians do this?” We think we do this, but we don’t…not like what I get to see among my biker brothers. I realized something fascinating that day. I realized what Jesus meant by “blessed are the ones that mourn, for they will be comforted.” He didn’t say they will be fixed. He said they will be comforted.

I love the MC world because they are always struggling with the balance between masculinity, responsibility, respect, and love. It’s not something you simply figure out or legislate. It has to be wrestled with and rediscovered on a consistent basis. Is it any wonder that the weekly meeting of every MC in the U.S. is called “church”? The difference is that when the biker goes to “church” it’s to handle business, resolve conflict, and enjoy brotherhood. When the Western Christian goes to “church” it tends to be about superficiality, worship of religion, and the pursuit of God’s favor.

Masculinity has to be plugged into reverence, respect, compassion, sincerity, and courage. If it’s not plugged into these things then it is called bullying. It’s the same as the connection between Christianity and love. Unplug the two and you wind up with a clanging gong that’s about as useful as a motorcycle with no chain.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get out the vote!

Taking a vote:

(Disagree) 1-2-3-4-5 (Agree)

1. ANYTHING that isolates us from relationships with people that do not believe in Jesus Christ is the “offending hand” (Matt. 5:30).

2. Even if the timesuck that isolates you is church attendance?

3. Even if the timesuck that isolates you is bible study?

4. Even if the timesuck that isolates you is 16 hours a day of prayer?

5. Even if the result of the timesuck is volumes of biblical knowledge?

6. Even if the timesuck that isolates results in hearty, rich relationships with those that already believe in Christ?

7. Even if the effort, time, self-discipline all result in a pious, religious, sacrosanct life?

8. Even if your intentions are good and you commiserate with aplomb?

Just wondering…

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marriage is a rubber band--deal with it

Marriage is a rubber band—there—I said it.

And not in a “suffering the welt of a pop” kind of way.
This is not meant to be a deep discussion of marriage. It’s born out of my own day-to-day experience as well as the experiences of interacting in several dozen marriages of friends and family. Some of these observations have been of ongoing successes. Some of them have been of failures.

Ok, I’m already treading on dangerous territory because you might infer from my statement of “some have been failures” that I’m about to leap into a twisted rant about the eViLs of divorce and the uNhOliNeSs of giving up on a spouse.

That is NOT my direction. Far be it for me to determine what is best for all marriages under all sets of circumstances. The only marriage I can speak with any kind of authority on is my own. And even that analysis is one-sided. My wife invariably sees things from a different perspective than I do.

Ok, I’m tiring of the disclaimers. Infer what you want. Marriage is still a rubber band—deal with it.

The rubber band binds us together. It is flexible (thank God) and it smells like rubber (which is completely irrelevant).

The tension of the rubber band is caused by 1 of 3 different scenarios:
  1. Spouses are moving in opposite directions.
  2. One spouse is moving away while the other stays anchored.
  3. A third force (work, kids, inappropriate relationship, finances, etc.) pulls at the band.

We are dealing with the forces of tension daily. It’s one of the reasons that sex is such a critical part of managing the rubber band. Whether it’s romantic and exciting or routine and boring, when we are sexually active with our spouse it’s the only time that we put the rubber band aside for a moment and come together. Everyone needs that tension release whether it’s for 5 minutes or 45. If it takes you more than 45 minutes then you aren’t doing it right.

Also, let’s define “sexually active” just for kicks. Someone that engages in physical activity only twice a month is not, under any circumstances, considered physically active. Similarly, if sex with your partner occurs about as frequently as a full moon then you, my friend, are NOT sexually ACTIVE. Get with the program!

Also, if you or your spouse always seems to be waiting for the tension of  the rubber band to subside in order to value or enjoy the sex, you’re missing the point. You’ve got the cart in front of the horse. Again, get with the program!

Spouses Moving in Opposite Directions:

What’s your example?

Mine is when my wife says, “I’d really like to have my entire family here for Thanksgiving.” My response could should be, “Okay, honey, let’s talk about what that would look like.”

More than likely my response is more like a scene from the move “300”—“Let them come! For in the end, we all must die just as we have lived! On that day, I will either hold my shield or be carried upon it!”

I am a very transparent individual. You always know where you stand with me. I don’t often hold back. I can put severe tension on that rubber band very very quickly. I suck…

One Spouse Moving—Other Spouse Anchored:

Maybe the anchoring isn’t a choice. Kids can anchor one spouse while the other moves freely. Work can anchor. Finances can anchor. Extended family can anchor. Lots of things (both good and bad) can anchor. Some anchoring can be healthy. Some anchoring can be unhealthy.

Either way, the tension of the rubber band can be managed as long as the freely moving spouse doesn’t pull too far away from the other. Some pull away might be good, but stretching it to its limits for prolonged periods of time weakens the band.

Remember, one spouse doesn’t want to maintain appropriate routine for the kids while the other is running all over the place or doing nothing at all. This situation can play itself out in a myriad of ways. Use your imagination…this affects both men and women and is NOT a primarily male disposition. We all do this in one way or another.

My example? First year of marriage my wife and I worked different hours. I was a 9 to 5’er. She was 2 to 10. So, what? I’m supposed to come home and wait on her for 5 hours pining away the minutes until my darling wife returned home to my loving arms? Uh, no… I would hit the pool hall, baseball game (we lived 2 miles from a MLB park), or favorite watering hole with my buddies. I was always home by 10. On a good night, I was mildly buzzed. On a not-so-good night, well……

Again, I sucked. I pulled tension on that rubber band 5 days a week and expected our time together on the weekends to be blissful and joyous. This was going to be great if I could just get the wife to get on board with my plan of pretty much doing whatever the hell I wanted to all week long. Thankfully, she never even head-faked at understanding that plan. She’s definitely got some Spartan in her too.

Third Finger at the Band:

This one seems to be a choice thing even when we don’t realize we’ve made the choice or that there was ever a choice to be made.

Work pulls and pulls and pulls and financial obligation makes us accept this ever increasing pull. What I’d like to say here is that money isn’t everything and neither is work so quit letting these things add tension to your rubber band. However, what I will say is that these things are a reality we all have to deal with in the real world and the tension must be compensated for by closing ranks with your spouse. As tension increases and until tension can be diminished, two points of the triangle must come together to avoid breakage.

The same thing applies to kids, outside activities, organizational involvements, and other activities.

Inappropriate relationships are an entirely different animal altogether. The devastating effect of inappropriate relationships as an influential force on the rubber band is exacerbated by the inability of spouses to draw closer to one another as long as one spouse allows the outside relationship to continue. These types of relationships aren’t always sexual affairs. They can manifest themselves in a myriad of ways.

My example is pretty vanilla so don’t get all excited. Give me some breathing room here.

///Deep Breath…….and breath out///

I had an affair with Skoal for the first 9 years of our marriage. Now, in all fairness Skoal had been with me for 9 years before we got married. What?! It was a matter of seniority. She knew I dipped when she met me and I never promised to quit before we got married.

Let me explain why this was an inappropriate relationship for me. It wasn’t as much that I was a tobacco user. It was that dipping was a taboo subject for my wife.

“I promise to love, honor, and cherish you all the days of my life, but don’t even think about talking about my dipping tobacco because that’s all mine. You stay the hell away from that!”

“You know I’d throw myself in front of a bus to save you, baby, but I do not discuss my Skoal with you, remember.”

“I would read to you from our notebook every day if you suffered from Alzheimer’s just so I could spend those special days with you when you remembered who I was and our life together, but if you speak of my Skoal again I will throw a walleyed fit just like I did last time.”

{Inappropriate relationship}

Of course, if you find yourself engaging in a better friendship with someone other than your spouse on a regular basis (emotional cheating) or you are boinking someone other than your spouse, that would work as an example too.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Managing the Rubber Band:

No secrets here. Find a way to shift when the tension builds. Don’t try to see how far the band can stretch before it snaps. Manage the band. Don’t let it cut off your circulation. It’s not the band's fault that your finger is purple. Manage the band. When 18 fingers are all pulling at the band from different directions and the two of you are situated as close to one another as you can get, that’s a good thing. That is oneness.

If your spouse is anchored for no other reason than stubbornness—unwilling to converse and adjust and compromise—then kick them in the ass. No, I’m serious (not physically unless you’re my wife). I mean get up in their grill and force the issue. “You’re being a stubborn jackass and I won’t have it. Compromise is not a one way street, dumbass.”

If your kids are pulling at the band for no other reason than to get their way then kick their ass too while you’re in the ass-kicking mood. Partner with your spouse and do some metaphorical ass-kicking. It can be your new hobby that you share with one another. “If you want to take on Mom then you gotta get through me first. I brought you into this world, and I’ll take you OUT.” This is called “going Cosby on the kids.”

If the both of you are moving in different directions as if you are independent souls enjoying full autonomy from one another, then just stop it. No, I mean it. Resentment is ruthless. It will sneak in and it will jack you up.

Remember that person you said you loved with all your heart? You can wind up sitting with friends a few years later talking all about what a piece of shit they are. The weird thing is that you might love them til the very last moment and then, suddenly, when the divorce papers are filed and you look over their demands with your attorney all the filters inside your heart will flick off revealing what a truly horrible person they were. But you’d grown accustomed to the immense tension on the rubber band so much so that your finger grew callouses.

What’s the Freakin’ Goal?

I think the goal is NOT just to adjust to the tension on the rubber band generated by life. Likewise, I do NOT think the goal is to avoid all tension on the band. I think the goal is to work as a unit to manage the band through all different seasons of tension with an eye toward the 65 years we should all intend to manage this very same band.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the rubber band is much more flexible or stretchy in the first 10 years of marriage. I think that’s a design feature. It flexes well and snaps back to its original size. It is resilient even when we don’t think it’s all that resilient.

Don’t treat your rubber band as if you intend on replacing it in 10 years even if you do. Likewise, don’t accept long term extremes of tension on your band if there’s something you can do about it.

Marriage is a rubber band—there—I said it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Perfect" Jesus

One of the things that I believe is incongruent to a fundamental understanding of Jesus is this notion of perfection. There is no question in my mind that the idea that Jesus was perfect in every way shape and form psychologically hinders us from interacting with him in anything more than a ceremonial manner.

I live in Austin, TX. Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, and Lance Armstrong live in Austin, too. I am 100 % positive that if I spotted these three folks sitting together at a table in my favorite restaurant I would NOT pull up a chair and introduce myself. I would snap a picture to post on Facebook, but I wouldn’t get very close or be caught staring for fear of coming off like a creep. These guys aren’t perfect, but they’re celebrities. Most of us are sensitive to the fact that there is way too much “cool” happening at this table for us to handle. If we sit with these three we might think that we are trolls by comparison. What could we possibly add to their conversation that would justify our presence?

Same thing happens with “perfect” Jesus.

I’m not questioning the “sinless” Jesus. I’m saying that “sinless” may not denote perfection.

Here’s my personal mental image:

Jesus is a celebrity and his disciples begin to take on the role of a buffer between him and the crowds he draws. He’s speaking to a group of MOPS over here and, obviously, surrounded by a contingency of pre-school kiddos. It’s kind of hard to hear what Jesus is saying over the chatter and play of the kids.

As self-appointed buffers, the disciples begin to shoo the kids away so that Jesus can continue without interruption. But Jesus rebuffs them saying, “Dude, don’t mess with those kids. They are as important as the rest of us.” (Matt 19, Mark 10, Luke 18).

So he kneels down to speak with the kids and tousle their hair when he sees a turtle close by. He grabs the turtle by the shell and holds it up at eye level with the children just to show them how cool it is. While Jesus has this turtle in his hand, it abruptly sticks its head and legs out of the shell and flails around a bit in an attempt to escape. In doing so, the turtle scratches Jesus’s finger with its claw, thereby, causing Jesus to drop the turtle to the ground and jerk his hand back reflexively from the sudden surprise.

Here’s my question: Can you imagine Jesus jerking his hand back like that or dropping a turtle or being startled from sleep by a loud noise that made him sit straight up and look around wildly? Or was he way too cool for that?

And if Jesus ever was startled or surprised or flinched as a bee flew right past his ear does that mess with your “perfect” image of him?

When we think of Jesus as this beatific, haloed, or perfect being we stop thinking of Jesus as a person—a person just like you and me—a person that any of us would join at the table by walking up and introducing ourselves.

What a shame it would be if our “perfect” mental façade of Jesus prevented us from ever feeling comfortable enough to approach his table.
What a shame it would be if our “perfect” mental façade of Jesus kept us from allowing others to get to know him as well.
What a shame it would be if our “perfect” mental façade of Jesus caused us to act as his buffer instead of sitting at the table with him and waving other people over to join us.
What a shame that would be…

Sisyphus Revisited says, "There is a force at work that would exalt the church. There is a force at work that would humble it. It is necessary to discern this."

So, yeah - What if all the scripted defensiveness of congregational "church" were a deception? At some point, someone should respectfully ask the simple question: could it be that we are worshiping the organization and the belief system which exalts it in defiance of God's will?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Response to Chris via comments on "open to the elements"

"Open to the elements"

Chris, I think you're right on. Hence, I don't intend to try to convert you to the "dark side". You've gone to a great deal of trouble to explain your position and I respect that. Again, I agree with your perspective wholeheartedly and have argued the same points many times.

I think that the root of our disagreement is a difference of perspective. As in, you're drawing a picture of the same tree I am, but we're standing on different sides of the tree and at different distances from it.

When you've been away from congregational "church" as long as I have you loose your perspective on the people and it becomes all about the failings of the system. I realize that isn't the most objective means of analysis. However, I would suggest that those involved in the congregational "church" have an equally subjective view which elevates the individuals and ignores much of the institutional failings.

Here's the rub - the ones that we're trying to mirror the love of Christ to are OUTSIDE the institution and often very very far away. They cannot see past the institutional expectations of conformity, grabbing for money, and imminent hypocrisy bred out of a misguided marketing of holy living. I won't patronize you by going any further with this...I know you get it.

I spent 18 years in various levels of ministry from teacher to director to deacon in Southern Baptist and Methodist churches. I've written a book all about my frustrations with the system and with a nod to what I speculate it could all look like 20 years from now. I did my undergraduate work in English - Poli Sci - History at an uber-conservative Southern Baptist University. I miss the people I taught, debated with, and partnered with trying to change from within. Some of them are still close friends. Most of them turned their back on me when I could no longer accept the "status quo."

Here's what I'm looking be able to combine my distant perspective with a closer perspective, like yours, in hopes of developing a comprehensive perspective that actually begins to bridge gaps instead of making them bigger. There has to be a reason why so many are leaving the institutional "church" in favor of social causes. I'm all about embracing change with an eye toward accepting whatever form it comes in. I, personally, believe that the change is a spiritual revival too large to be confined by the statutes of organized religion. My reasoning behind this is far too lengthy to go into in a comment box. You have to combine the ideas of about 30 different contemporary authors, speakers, and theologians currently taking up the mantel of change to even begin to get a full whiff of how big the next quarter century will be on a spiritual level.

Again, I agree with you about just shouting down the institution and throwing rocks through the stained-glass windows - I don't want to be THAT guy. I'm a problem solver. The reason I blog is that I'm still trying to find my voice and work out what this is all suppose to look like. The frustrating part for me is that I'm convinced that the problems of institutional organized religion aren't fixable. It seems like a house you love which cannot be remodeled any more. Best practice may be to just leave it be and move down the road to build something entirely new.

I also realize that all of this might be a result of my own baggage, but that thought seems to diminish the more I do this and the more I discuss the matter with those folks sitting far away from the institution. Those "outsiders" need more than a bridge - they also need a motive to use that bridge.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Confetti in my coffee

There were small colorful pieces of confetti in my coffee when the waiter brought it to my table.

I was cool about it. I gently dipped my pinky into the coffee to extricate the bits out of my beverage (pinky works best, trust me). It’s a trick I’ve always used to get unwanted things out of a beverage—a fly out of wine, for instance. It virtually always works if you remain persistent.

Then there’s the little trick I play on myself that goes along with this technique. It’s called the self-hypnosis head waggle. It’s subtle and usually lasts for less than a second. It marks the moment after I’ve removed the offending insect or bit of trash from my beverage that I convince myself to take the next drink.

The rule is that if you can take the first post-impurity drink without any detectable altering of beverage quality then what you removed did not, in fact, have any type of negative impact on the beverage. As a matter of fact, once you’ve made it past the second drink without incident then you can convince yourself that whatever had been floating in your drink never really existed. Now that the self-hypnosis is complete, I am free to move forward with whatever activity, conversation, or thought I was engaged in at the time I noticed something in my cup.

Let me back up a minute…I know that it happened, but if I’m able to wipe it from my memory then I can argue that it might as well have never happened. You know—if a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it… It’s that kind of a thing.

Look—I know that there has to have been some kind of fly residue left floating in the wine, but it’s cool if it never actually happened. Ok, it did happen, but I’ve intentionally wiped it from my memory so it NEVER actually happened to ME.

Alright! I know that if I analyze my “pinky technique” it involves pinching the offending insect between my finger and the side of the glass. I also know that this type of pressure is certain to produce further contamination of insect particles and “juices”.

Aaaaaa, self-hypnosis head waggle X 3!

I’m good. I’m good. Never happened. Whew. Where was I?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, there’s this confetti in my coffee. I remove the three bits of paper and begin to enjoy my mug o’ lifejuice. It’s an inconsequential moment that never fazes me. No harm—no foul. We move on. Life’s not perfect. Confetti is always better than a bug because it’s easier to forget the confetti than it is the bug.

I’ve now spent 10 minutes writing about something that I’ve told you doesn’t matter and might as well have never happened. I must be losing it, right?

What if you go to that same restaurant once a week…twice a week…maybe even every day and each time they bring you your coffee it has a few tiny bits of confetti floating on the top? Aren’t you gonna start asking questions? But, if it didn’t matter the first or second or third time, why does it begin to take on a whole different level of significance thereafter?

But it does matter. Confetti doesn’t belong in coffee. It’s out of place. It has no business being there the first time, but it sure as hell shouldn’t be showing up on a continual basis.

What if this took place at every restaurant you went to? What if, suddenly, every cup of coffee you ordered began to show up with a few tiny bits of colorful confetti floating on the top? Wouldn’t you start to get a little freaked out?

And then you notice that everyone else is methodically going about removing the confetti with their pinkies without a second thought before enjoying their hot beverage. Now things are beginning to get truly bizarre. When did everyone but you get the memo that confetti was expected in coffee?

Freakin’ weird, man!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here’s my rant:

The inconsistencies and peccadillos of organized Western Christianity aren’t as much the problem as the consistency with which they occur. I really shouldn’t have to say any more.

The bigger debate should be about if these things are simply confetti on the surface of the coffee or are they flies floating in the wine. There is a huge difference…

If it’s all just confetti then I’m very wrong concerning my assessment of church politics, theology, worship of doctrine, and passive aggressive mind control. A little confetti thrown into the coffee shouldn’t keep me from enjoying the fantastic migas they serve at this restaurant I frequent so often.

But if it’s flies, gnats, or any form of living creatures floating in the drink then I’m afraid the quality of the food being served isn’t gonna matter. If you can’t keep the bugs out of my drink and don’t care enough to at least remove them with your own pinky (which is dishonest and entirely gross on another level) then I don’t even want to think about what might be in the omelet. Erp!

That’s not all—the fact that the waiter seems indignant when I’m not willing to perform my self-hypnosis head waggle every single time this happens really pisses me off. “None of the other customers seem to have a problem with the impurities in their drinks, sir.” What a prick!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


I don’t expect perfect. I don’t even expect “very good” every single time. It’s a restaurant. People run restaurants. People are never perfect. Groups of people are very rarely consistently good every single time.

My problem is that I think I see legs on this “confetti” and I’m not interested in someone else’s self-serving analysis of MY drink. Even if I’m wrong about the legs…doesn’t it seem weird that the beverage always has to be skimmed before I can enjoy it?

What in the hell is up with that?!