Guys Weekend

Once a year in October - a bunch of buddies from college get together to descend upon a hapless beachside village and corrupt it with non-stop rotations of stuffing our faces, playing xbox, sharing stories and an occasional football toss before we all keel over from pulled hamstrings... this year: MISSION BAY, SAN DIEGO.

Vorbau, Westphal, Eakin, Irons, Lang and Kerr in the mix.

It was actually more hilarious and fun than these photos seem but don't take our melancholic stares too literally... they are merely a restrained veneer so that our wonderful families at home won't be too jealous while our spouses take care of all the kiddos for 3-4 days!

Thank you women - we appreciate it deeply!

PS: Thanks to ALEX and CHRIS for their great pictures (all the good ones are theirs -most from ALEX).


Ever heard of a 'trap game'?

Definition: A game between a supposed 'dominant' team (Cowboys) and a 'weaker' opponent (Bills) where although all odds are in favor of the superior team to DOMINATE, they succumb to little mistakes [5 interceptions, 1 fumble, a kick return for TD, TO dropped passes] and cause faithful cowboy fans to go into what some would call 'pensive moments' about life, love and football... for example:

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

4th Quarter 00:02 left - when Nick Folk kicks the winning 53 yard field goal

I'll be honest - I was a little worried there for a minute.

Cowboys 25 Bills 24

Great, now New England.

Game Time

The Cowboys are playing the Bills in less than an hour and frankly I am scared. Why should I be scared - with the number one offense in the league in TDS, YDS and POINTS as of last week... playing against the young, inexperienced and depleted Bills... it should be a Romofest.

BUT crazy things happen... Notre Dame seriously upset UCLA and USC (2) lost to bottom of the barrel, Stanford and my wife regularly beats me in Bocce Ball.

Somethings SHOULDN'T happen but they do. Stay tuned for my mood update in a few hours.

In other news, reading Renovation of the Heart by Willard (again) - Chapter 3 is amazing to me.


Do you Barf at "Being Religous"? I do.

My friend just became a follower of Jesus a few weeks ago. It was a process involving months of dialogue, questioning, reading the bible - answering difficult questions - some which had simple answers and some had answers he wasn't expecting.

And then, almost anti-climactically one day he simply said - "Well, I was expecting it to be an emotional moment but... I just believe." I asked him what he meant. He clarified - "Yep, God - Jesus dying and being raised for me... I believe."

He then prayed to acknowledge his need for Jesus Christ - for His forgiveness and his desire to make Him his life leader. It was so simple and genuine. It was awesome. (Here's a brief video that explains this - Watch here.)

We were talking a few weeks later, reviewing now what it meant to follow Christ daily. In that discussion he mentioned he thought of things differently "now that he was 'religous'."

I chuckled silently - knowing what he meant but proceeded to VOMIT on the inside against the term: "being religous." He genuinely was experiencing life changing perspectives - he didn't know how to articulate it so that is what he said. I got it - but...

I think many people still get "being religous" mixed up with following Christ.

As Brennan Manning put it in his book, The Signature of Jesus:

"Religiosity per se is not discipleship; in fact, it may be a safe refuge from the revolutionary lifestyle proposed by Jesus."

"Being religous", as used by people in culture, usually connotes... doing "religous things" like going to church, praying or wearing Jesus t-shirts. In other words, being religous focuses on outward signs or activities that display ones piety. And 99.9% of the time, if we are focused on the outward signs it isn't for God - but for others who are watching us.

Interestingly, Jesus' harshest words came to those who thought of themselves as pious or religous in this sense. Jesus made it clear that this understanding of "religion" would only impress some people but not God. God sees into our heart - bummer for us, if we care more about what others think than God himself. In contrast, when we acknowledge our heart's deceitfulness and impurity (sin) before God, His grace can activate us with resources of love we don't have on our own. So not "acts" of religion, but abundant love flows, founded on God's truth in Christ.

The truth is we all follow something or someone. The question is who or what (money, relationship, Buddha, 'religion', atheism, capitalism). One of my greatest fears is for people in my life to make the mistake of thinking of me as a "religous" guy. Please don't make me barf. My sole desire is to be known as "a guy who loves and follows Jesus".


Motherly Encouragement

I love my Mom. She has a distinctive and unique way of connecting with her son. She pays close attention weekly to an area of the paper that she normally doesn't read - all because she loves him - she actually reads the sports page.

Why? So she can see how the Cowboys did this week and relate to her son.

I can tell you story after story of my Mom over the years offering me motherly encouragement:

"I was really hurt the way that guy tackled Troy Aikman honey. Are they allowed to do that?"

"Yes Mom, that's called a sack."

Or when my Mom was working at a Christian bookstore and saw a guy with a Cowboys shirt on, she immediately called me at college:

"Honey, I have someone who wants to talk with you."

"Uh, hello?" says a strange, confused voice on the line.

"Hello?" I say, not knowing who my Mom handed the phone to.

"Yeah, I just walked into the store and I guess your mom wanted us to talk because I'm Cowboy fan too."

Yep, that's my Mom! And look at how thoughtful she was in congratulating me on the Cowboy win yesterday.
A pink ecard.
Thanks Mom! You are the best!

4-0: Da Boys Weekly Update

Cowboys 35 Rams 7

Kurian World Unleashed

Here is a man who needs no introduction - but for the four people on this planet who have yet to meet him... here is the face of my buddy and roommate (circa. Irvine, Feb 2002-Oct 2005) - the self proclaimed "Mexican Jew", who is also Norwegian but never mentions his Nordic roots unless I remind him, Mark "Kurian".

Apparently, he has decided to scare women, children and even men with his photos, thoughts and adventures for public viewing on his NEW BLOG.

He speaks 5 different languages (that I am aware of), enjoys swimsuit modeling on the side, is single, and has a crush on Oprah Winfrey. Let me tell you here first - you have been warned. Good luck and may God be with you as you enter:
The Kurian World.