Saturday, August 30, 2008

Interesting Politics

Last night we had dinner with some friends and someone commented that current politics (referring to the presidential election) is better than any reality tv show.  I think they just might be right (although I still really like "Survivor" and "Wipeout"), just look at John McCain's resent selection for Vice-Presidential candidate.  His selection of Sarah Palin is kind of intriguing, especially since it appears to have come almost completely out of the blue.  In the brief clips they've shown on the news she appears to be a vibrant, dynamic, exciting personality.  On the surface if the four candidates for president and vice-president could provide for some exciting political dialog.... if they can stick with promoting what they believe in and stay away from attacking the other side (which I really don't see happening).

Without knowing a whole lot about Sarah Palin, I do have one concern about her jumping into the race.  I am afraid of the people who will simply jump to voting for McCain/Palin just because she is a woman.  Now, if you like what she stands for and agree with her positions then go for it.  If you are voting for her because of gender, I think that belittles women and is doing the opposite of what you're wanting to do by voting for her.  Can't the same be said of Obama?  Don't vote for him because he is African-American.  Vote for him because you fall more on his side of the issues than McCain.

I think it's great that no matter who gets elected we will be making history of some sort.  It certainly will make for an interesting election.  However, when you go to the polls to vote please, PLEASE make your decision based on issues and stands and not on gender and skin color.

Friday, August 29, 2008


What is your picture of heaven like? Do you imagine a never ending golf course? How about ever flowing rivers, or a giant sandy beach with gentle ocean waves? Perhaps there's a La-Z-Boy in your image. I'm doubtful that any of that is the case (although I have been wrong before so I could be here as well).

What if we thought of heaven more in terms of an invitation? Imagine heaven as an invitation to partner along side of God in the work that God is doing. Wouldn't that be awesome to work side by side to heal the sick, feed the poor, encourage the grieving, and to bring joy to the nations? Imagine you and the creator of the universe working together to change the world, to mold it into God's image. Now there's a picture of heaven that numerous people can get excited about.

Here's the thing, you have that invitation right now. God is calling, and inviting you to join in the work that God is up to in the world. Just think of the vast potential that lives inside of you. You can use your thoughts and energy for jealousy, anger, greed, fear, or seeking the life presented in commercials. You could also allow your mind to be renewed and focus on thoughts that are good, true, courageous, noble, or of the life presented by Jesus. You could invest your money to accumulate stuff or you could use it to build up God's church, to feed the poor, heal the sick, or encourage the grieving. It's your choice... which way are you going to invest?

You have an invitation to the kingdom of heaven... starting immediately.

Laborious Five

Here in the USA we are celebrating the last fling of the good ol' summertime. It is Labor Day weekend, and families are camping, playing in the park, swimming, grilling hotdogs in the backyard, visiting amusement parks and zoos and historical sites and outdoor concerts and whatever else they can find to help them extend summer's sun and play just a little bit longer.

It is supposed to also be a celebration of the working man and woman, the backbone of the American economy, the "salt-of-the-earth neices and nephews of Uncle Sam. With apologies to those in other countries, this is a Friday Five about LABOR. All can play. Put down that hammer, that spoon, that rolling pin, that rake, that pen, that commentary, that lexicon, and let's have some fun.

1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.
There have been a few. I can't say delivering phone books was all so much fun. I think I would have to go with the summer during college I worked in a factory during an extended 2nd shift. I spent 10 hours a day putting notches in the ends of little pieces of wood so they could be snapped into windows. The two biggest challenges were both "social" issues. The majority of the factory workers worked the shift before me. So during my shift there were only a handful of people and they were often working in a different part of the factory so I often felt like I was there alone. The other problem was that most of my friends worked more typical 9-5 shifts and so weren't really available to spend time after work when I got home around 2 a.m. Go figure.

2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.
I had some really great opportunities during my seminary years. I got to spend a summer in Minocqua, WI living on a lake and preaching at 3 different campgrounds on Sundays. I also got to spend a summer in Gypsum, CO (just outside of Vail) where I got to preach and live in the mountains for a summer. I think my favorite was an unpaid job, when I got to co-host a morning "drive-time" radio show called "The Coffee Crew" during my internship in Nome, AK.

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions. That's a harder one because so much has been financial driven that I haven't dreamed this way in a while. There is a part of me that would like to do something like writing that could tap into my creativity. I think a bigger part of me would go for something like being an adventure guide, especially if it involved whitewater.

4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?
We did get away briefly this summer, with a couple of days camping and a couple of days down the river. The highlight was probably seeing "Church Basement Ladies 2" (I probably got the name wrong, sorry). We also have a good bit of time off this fall so are looking at ways of splurging a little more.

5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading? I don't know if it's anticipation or dread really, but more curiosity. With "baby" due any time now I suspect work will need to be a bit more flexible. How will "baby" change my perspective? How will "baby" change the people around me? How will my "labor" change at home? It's all really fascinating, interesting stuff and I can hardly wait to find out the answers.

Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)? If you are a guy pal, not a mom, or you choose not to answer the above, is there a song, a book, a play, that says "workplace" to you? OK, I know I'm not a gal, but I can't resist sharing on that question. You see today marks us being one week overdue. I find it interesting that as we head off to our doctors appointment that we might need to induce "labor" on Monday, Labor Day. If nothing else I suppose it all a part of Labor Day weekend and things should finally happen then.... maybe later we will have stories of freak outs or other stupid things I may do in the midst of delivery.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Am Peter

As we read through the gospel reading for this Sunday at text study we were noting how Peter had gone from hero last week ("You are the Rock upon which the church will be built") to zero ("get behind me satan"). As we recognized this move we also noticed how Peter is so much like each and everyone of us. One minute we "get it" and the next minute we are clueless... at least in terms of faith. It led many to want to exclaim, "I Am Peter" ... which reminded me of a famous movie scene.

Latte Lutherans 4: Faith and Starbucks

As I have mentioned before, between seminary and my first call as a pastor I had the privilege of working at Starbucks. Two of their big keys to success as a corporation, from my perspective, were their understanding that they take care of their employees first and their desire for customers to make Starbucks their “Third Place.” As someone who is now called as a pastor, I think both of those notions are ones that we could stand to embrace as a church.

While I was employed at Starbucks several business magazines rated it as one of the best places to work. One of the big factors in those high rankings was they took care of their employees (i.e. offering benefits for working minimal hours). They made the employees a priority (i.e. offering competitive salaries and providing training beyond the minimal skills). This grew out of a notion that if the employees are happy, they would work harder for the company and would better care for the customers. Consequently, they felt, they wound up with better customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What if we took that approach as congregations? Imagine if at budget time we had people saying things like, “I only get two weeks of vacation, but I wish I got more. Let’s give everybody on our paid staff four weeks of vacation.” Imagine if we put out “compliment boxes” for or council and committees instead of “complaint boxes” for them. Imagine if we provided “benefits” at committee meetings, like spending half our time in committed prayer and bible study so that we might be fed spiritually as leaders. I have to imagine that the leaders would be happier people and consequently those to whom we have been called to minister along side of would find far greater satisfaction.

I was intrigued by Starbucks notion of “Third Place.” They talked about people spending quality time at home and at work. It was their goal for Starbucks to become peoples “Third Place” where they felt comfortable, welcomed, at home, and spent their time. It was this notion that drove how they treated people, how they arranged the store, and quite frankly just about everything they did.

What if we took that approach as congregations? Imagine if we genuinely engaged with people we don’t know real well instead of just our friends we already have. Imagine if we arranged our gathering spaces to encourage people to interact with one another instead of just shuffle people along like they were at some amusement park. Imagine what it might be like if local congregations became a “third place” for all people.

Starbucks might be a corporate giant, in part what some people might even deem and evil empire. However, I have a hunch there are some things we could still learn from them as a church.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Latte Lutherans 3: Faith and Starbucks

I will admit I am not the foremost observer of culture, however I have noticed a few things within the realm of church and culture that I find kind of interesting. Over the last few years out of the more evangelical wing of the larger Christian church has grown a movement that many are calling the emergent church. As with most sorts of movements it is kind of a push back against the dominant culture, or way of thinking, perhaps even a bit of a pendulum swing.

Here is my oversimplified understanding of a small portion of the emergent church movement. On the conservative, evangelical side of Christianity there has grown a strong push to define all of life in very black and white terms. The leaders of the emergent church movement have pushed back on that as they have recognized that there are areas of life that are a little more gray in hew. The black and white view of the world tends towards a rather American perspective of individuals needing to “pull themselves up the bootstraps” because they have been empowered by God to do so; it is the way God intended. The emergent church has heard a call to make a difference in the world.

I see this emergent church movement as a moving from a theology of glory to a theology of the cross. A professor of mine in seminary described a theology of the cross as calling a thing what it is. I might describe it as finding God in the cross, in suffering and serving, and seeing the world in all of its shades of gray. I would describe a theology of glory as one that might suggest that by living the way God called your life will be better (good), you will find glory (be glorified). As Lutherans we claim to be theologians of the cross. (I apologize to true theologians out there as I have completely skipped over all kinds of wonderful nuances of theology.)

As I read varies articles on leadership and these generations born since the early 1970’s I keep hearing that they want genuine community and to join something that makes a difference in the world. It sounds to me that this emergent church is lined up beautifully with the culture of this young adult generation. It also sounds to me a lot like a Lutheran understanding of how we are called to live in the world. I see us Lutherans as having a long history of taking seriously our call to love and serve our neighbor.

It is perhaps a bit of an indictment on the Lutheran church that these younger generations are generally not in worship, but have we ever got potential. We are poised with a theology that meshes well growing thought process of the emerging generations. We have a church culture that is pushing to become more and more Lutheran in their view of the intersection of faith and life. It sounds to me like we live in a world filled with a “latte” Lutherans.

A Problem on the Internet

Is this video an extreme case? Maybe. However I do think it points out a potential danger that lies out there with the Internet. What are we doing as a church to help those caught in the throws of addiction? Might we be on the verge of a hidden epidemic? The dangers appear to be real.

I don't want to share this as some sort of scare tactic or to pronounce that the sky is falling. There are lots of great things about the Internet. There are lots of people that surf the world wide web without problem. Yet there are people who are struggling, and consequently I think we are called to help. I want us to find a way to be able to safely dialog about these kinds of things without immediately damning.

I honestly don't know what it will take for us to get to place where it will feel safe to ask for help. I honestly don't know what we can do to help as a church. I do think we need to do something. Maybe we can begin a discussion here... somewhere.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Latte Lutherans 2: Faith and Starbucks

Sometimes I worry about the state of the Lutheran church (at least the ELCA, my brand of Lutheran). Sometimes I’m disappointed in what my Lutheran Church has become. I worry that sometimes we water down our faith, or at least our message of it. I’m disappointed that we’re not often bold in our confession of faith and acting as bold leaders in the Christian church.

I love that one of the central tenants of Lutheran theology is Grace. I believe it is spot on when looking at Jesus, and the rest of the Bible for that matter.

The problem with grace, at least from a human perspective, is that it makes it difficult, or at least challenging to take a stand on matters. Consequently, I fear (as Lutherans) we tend to live a frou-frou latte life. I’m not even talking about hot button topics like abortion or homosexuality. Yes, I think we need to take a stand for what is right with both of those topics, but we need to take a stand for proper behavior in every day life. Yes, God Is the great giver of grace, but God also gave us rules for acting towards God and one another… we call them the Ten Commandments.

We need to be bold in living out our faith. St. Francis of Assisi is often credited with saying, “Preach at all times and words as necessary.” It paints a beautiful picture of serving our neighbor, but I think we use it too often to get ourselves off the hook for speaking our faith. We need to use both words and actions to communicate our faith, to get people to understand what we’re trying to share.

I have a number of friends who currently have children that are just learning to speak. It is a beautiful thing to watch them begin to grasp and use words for the first time. Yet how often when the words don’t work they resort to shining and crying. It’s in these moments I hear my friends say things like, “Use your words.”

I often hear congregations lament that evangelism is a difficult thing for them. I suppose when it comes to matters of faith these children are much like little children just learning to speak. When things don’t go their way, when their message isn’t communicated as they might hope, they shut down and pout assuming they just can’t do it. I want to say to them, “Us your words!” The world needs to hear them. The world needs to know about Jesus. The world needs to know about grace. “Use your words!”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Latte Lutherans: Faith and Starbucks

Below is the first of four posts that originated as I was sitting at Good Earth Village Lutheran Bible Camp a few weeks ago. Sitting on the ridge, overlooking the valley below I was just sort of struck by this theme/series. It was quite clear and coherent in my brain at the time. I hope it comes out the same for you as I've now attempted to put this into words....


One of the great things about being Lutheran is our embracing of a “priesthood of all believers.” It’s that notion that all of us are called to ministry in one form or another. This struck me a couple of years ago when I graduated from seminary.

As I wrapped up seminary I anticipated beginning my call shortly after finishing. Throughout my four and a half years I heard about the pastor shortage, so it was a no-brainer that I would be in a call in no time. As it turns out things didn’t go quite that smoothly (of course when does life go exactly as planned?).

The process of finding a call as a pastor was not coming along at all, so I wound up with a job at Starbucks. I should have known something was up when I learned my manager was the daughter of a retired Lutheran pastor. During my time there I learned a lot about a ministry of hospitality, something we all were responsible for. I also was privileged to hear many stories of people caring for people and making sacrifices you never would have guessed. Can you believe there were people who regularly brought treats for the employees?

When I was at Starbucks I got to witness ministry happening around me all the time. You wouldn’t believe the patience afforded me as I was learning how to make the thousands of different drink options. People would come in and help students out with homework. Employees learned the drinks, and stories, of regular customers. You would see the kindness in how co-workers treated each other working together at a table, even fellow employees picking up orders for each other. Regular customers would form friendships with other regulars, and with Starbucks employees, where normally there would be none.

I realize these are simple, common behaviors in many ways. In other ways they were simply extraordinary because we don’t always function this way as a society any more. Still it reassured me that God is alive and well and continues to work through people in powerful ways.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A "Dated" Friday Five

It's Friday afternoon, Eastern Time, and this is your faithful Songbird with a calendar-related Friday Five. Due to some confusion with our dates, I'm stepping in today, although I am usually here only on the 5th Friday, when there is such a thing.

Here are five things to ponder about dates. I hope you'll play!

1) Datebooks--how do you keep track of your appointments? Electronically? On paper? Month at a glance? Week at a glance? I mostly use google calendar, looking mostly one week at a time. However, I prefer to keep track of things in my head. I find that I am less stressed then because I tend to only think about one thing at a time. When it's on paper and I see the six things I need to do that day it feels a lot more stressful for me. Thankfully my memory still works pretty well.

2) When was the last time you forgot an important date? Honestly? I can't remember. Ask my wife and she'll probably give you a nice long list. Although, it appears that "baby" is going to miss today's due date. Hopefully this won't become a life trend.

3) When was the last time you went OUT on a date? Last Friday we went out to see "Mama Mia". Truth be told, though, this is one of the areas I definitely need to work on.

4) Name one accessory or item of clothing you love even though it is dated. Being the cheapskate that I am I tend to only buy off the clearance rack so one could argue my whole wardrobe is dated. However, I do have a "Hawaiian" shirt from the first marathon that I ran back in '98 that is a bit dated. I also have some running tights from the early '90's that I just can't get myself to part with...and hopefully my wife won't find them either.

5) Dates--the fruit--can't live with 'em? Or can't live without 'em? I can't say that I've ever had them... nor do I really want to try them. Perhaps I might like them after all. I may never know.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Olympic Thought

The last week and a half Dawn and I have watched a lot of the Olympic Games in Beijing. My annoyance was that so much was focused on the Americans and the winners. What I like watching are the people who finished third and are elated, or simply advance a round and act like world champions. I love the stories like the South African swimmer who lost a leg in an accident six years ago, but still was there competing.

I want to see people getting the most out of their ability. It would be easy to compare themselves to others and be disappointed because they’re not as fast as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. Only one can be the world record holder. When we start comparing ourselves to others we either become prideful, depressed, or even covetous… none of which are good.

In Matthew 25 Jesus shares a parable about a master giving talents (an amount of money this case) to three different servants to take care of while he is away. The one the master gets upset with is the one who buries his talent and does nothing with it. I wonder if he did nothing with it because he compared his talents to the other three and felt sorry for himself instead of being grateful for the tremendous gift he was given.

We have all been given gifts to use for our Master. What are you going to do with yours? Are you going to fall into the trap of comparing your gifts and talents with others? Or are you going to use them to build up the kingdom of God? The choice is yours, the gift has already been given to you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Healing Story

This past Sunday we had a reading from the gospel where Jesus ended up healing a woman's daughter from being possessed by a demon. During the sermon I suggested one of the challenges of a story like this is that we can sometimes write it off as something that just happened during "Bible times" and not necessarily now. The truth is God does still heal. We just don't tend to tell our stories much, especially as Lutherans. My encouragement to you is to share your story. Tell people about where you have seen God active in your life... If you are interested, below is the sermon itself from Sunday... including a story from a member of our congregation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What are your thoughts?

I know my posting has been inconsistent lately (for those who like to check regularly). I think I have baby on the brain a bit.

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a funeral for the brother of a couple of members of our congregation. The funeral was at a Catholic church. It was a full mass with communion and for the most part really well done. Sitting through communion, though, got me to thinking and I'm wondering if there is somebody out there that can help me understand because I genuinely don't get it (and I'm not trying to pass judgment as I ask this).

How is it that denominations (like Catholics) come to an understanding of closed communion (that understanding that only members of that denomination or even congregation is allowed to fully participate in communion)?

I ask this because it really does go against my understanding of communion. During the words of institution the priest spoke words almost identical to what I might say on Sunday morning, "Again, He (Jesus) took the cup, gave thanks and gave to all to drink saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood shed for you and for ALL people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this in remembrance of me.'" So the bold print isn't normally there, but I put it in emphasize where I am coming from on this topic. If this act was done by Christ for all people, why would we (as a church) try to limit who is allowed access to this saving act of grace? It sounds rather egotistical to me because I hear us (as a church who practices closed communion) as suggesting that we know better than Jesus who this is for.

So that would be my biased, probably even judgmental, understanding. I do, honestly, want to understand why you would practice closed communion. Can anybody help? I do know it did not feel very welcoming to me (a high value for me in a congregation).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And A Child Shall Lead Them 2

This last spring we were in Dawn's hometown visiting with family. The local congregation was in the process of calling a new pastor. Dawn's brother happened to be on the call committee so this was a hot topic. Quickly, as you might expect, the conversation turned to talking about the concerns about how they were going to pay for the pastor and the struggles this small, rural congregation was having. In the midst of it our 3rd grade nephew broke in with, "Money, money, money, that's all you ever worry about."

I don't think he had any idea how profound a statement he had made, but he got it. How often do we in the church sit around and worry & fret about money? How often is it at the detriment of actually doing ministry? What might happen if we worried more about mission and making ministry happen than about money? Can you imagine the impact we might have in this world for the sake of the kingdom?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fearful Following

Last Sunday we had a great story about Elijah hiding in a cave and God shows up in the sheer silence. We also had the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus. My conclusion from these two stories is not so much that when we follow Jesus the fear goes away, rather it remains (if not gets ratcheted up) but we do have the promise that Jesus is with us. Know that whether you are cowering in the boat, bold like Peter walking on the water, or find yourself feeling like you're outside of the boat sinking for fear of the winds battering around you, Jesus is with you... Here is how I said it on Sunday in my sermon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Laugh a Little

My friend Kelly over at Reclaiming the F Word, had a great post last week about the political campaign. You might want to check it out here. Her suggestion was a big part of the problem with the election is the opposite sides being too serious. The problem with hot button issues like Homosexuality in the church is that the two sides are so darn serious that the grass looks a whole lot safer in the middle not taking a side. Some of this over seriousness has a way of scaring people away. Here is her big prediction:

"The winner on every issue that divides us will be the bunch who loves easily and laughs quickly and doesn't take themselves too seriously.
Kind of like I imagine Jesus was. "

I think I would like to second that. I think she's dead on. I think we need to laugh a little more.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Friday Five

I've recently been connected up to the RevGalBlogPals, where there is some fun posts happening. One of the things they do there is post a "Friday Five," a series of five questions each Friday. I think it looks kind of fun and I'm going to try running with it. So with that, here is today's five.

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
This is hard one for me. I think I might have to go with the summer following 3rd grade when the neighbor gal and myself created our own Olympics. Perhaps the best were the water events (we were blessed enough to live on a lake).

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
I don't know about a real specific item, but a swim suit has always been a sign of a better day for me. There is not much in this world better than an opportunity to be in water. I sometimes wonder if the theory of multiple lives were true if maybe I was a fish previously.

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten? This one is a bit of a toss-up. It is a close call between watermelon and corn on the cob, both signal summer and long lasting goodness.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
One of the best family vacations was biking on the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail. I find it now almost ironic that I married a woman that grew up in one of the towns along the trail. However, I think my favorite might be the summer my grandmother took my sister and I to Wisconsin Dells. At the time Noah's Ark consisted of approximately 8 slides and looked nothing like today, but it was awesome. One night after brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, I came out of the bathroom and asked, "Who's teeth are in there?" What was I thinking. It was Grandma's boyfriend who was along with us. I also loved traveling with Grandma on the train to Duluth.

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
Surprising not much happening this way for me. Typically summer is filled with many such experiences. Part of that is the anticipation of a new born child (t-minus two weeks today) overshadows most everything and certainly invites you into the wonder and goodness of God in itself. However, I can't say it's a "summer" experience. So I'm going to with our vacation in which we spent a couple of days camping. I got to go for a run through the trees, along the river and it most certainly renewed me in a way that was very needed.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit? If you paid attention to #2, then it will be no surprise that I need to get in the water. It doesn't matter if it's a pool or a lake, but cooling off in water is one of the greatest healers in the world.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Lesson From Children

Have you ever noticed how children have little fear? At least when it comes to asking people they know to be engaged in what they're doing. Spend a little time with a child and you'll inevitably hear something like, "Watch me!" or "Come with me." Their baseline assumption is that, of course, you want to watch them, and why wouldn't you want to join in on what they're doing?

What if we took more of that approach with evangelism? What if we assumed that people wanted to join in with what we're doing, wanted to join in on the work God is up to in the world? When we're sitting around the coffee shop talking about the kids, the garden, and other aspects of life stories of how we're engaging in our faith should be a natural part of our conversation. You can invite them to join you in worship, because of course they want to join you. You can share with them what you are learning in Bible study, because of course they want to know.

What if we approached evangelism a little more like children?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Dream of God

On July 27 I was given the opportunity to preach on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. A pastor friend of mine pointed out that the concept of the "Kingdom of God" is probably lost on our current culture. Instead it was suggested to be more helpful to be the "Dream of God" because that's going to stimulate our imagination in a more helpful way. Consequently, I read the gospel making that substitution and tried to use that as a jumping off point for my sermon. Jesus gives us some rich pictures for the Dream/Kingdom of God, do any resonate with you? What images might you suggest?

A Love/Hate Relationship

I've discovered (maybe not all so recently) that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with television.

I find that sometimes I have a tendency to think too much (I know, I know, for those of you who actually know me it probably doesn't appear that way, but honestly my brain is thinking all the time), so I like turning on things like "Wipeout" and laugh away as people bounce off the big balls. It's good for the brain, it's good for the soul.

I, unfortunately, find that sometimes I find myself putting my life on hold because I've gotten so sucked in to a particular show that I feel I need to watch it. Consequently my evening gets scheduled around it and I don't get things done that I probably should. I find myself lacking in ambition because of my desire to watch certain shows.

Like I suggest before I think TV can be a good release. However, like everything in life moderation is the need. In many ways I still have dreams of changing the world, but there's little chance of that happening if I have to be on my couch in front of the TV for "Survivor", "24", or "Prison Break"... just to name a few.