Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks-LIVING

Here is my article from this weeks "Midwest City Christian" the weekly newsletter of First Christian Church, MWC:


Happy Thanks-living week! We celebrate Thanksgiving within the church as an aspect of our worship and praise to God. But sometimes I wonder if Americans get caught up in celebrating abundance and forget about being thankful. On its own, abundance isn't a bad thing. The Old Testament story of Joseph and Pharaoh includes Joseph convincing Pharaoh to store up an abundance of food to prepare for a famine. The problem with abundance is when it becomes the object of worship. Careful financial planning for life's adventures such as retirement are necessary. But grabbing up everything in sight for the purpose of having it all serves no purpose. Greedy abundance breeds arrogance and smugness, while thankfulness breeds humbleness and modesty.  But what do humility and modest living have to do with being thankful to God?

A thankful life reflects God's passion for reaching the outcast and marginalized. It says, "thank you God for letting me be the person to show this sister/brother your love." A life of thanks-living is a daily practice in praising God for God's abundant love. The plentiful harvest is found in God's grace, and in the church that cares, and in the house that welcomes in the lonely. The abundance that we are thankful for isn't in material possessions, it's how we treat each other. Be thankful for one another, for God's grace that sustains, and for the earth that produces such amazing foods!
 
Be Excellent To Each Other!

Turkeypalooza 2010: 5 Things I Learned Today

"White meat, dark meat - you just can't lose."

The best part of the above video is the pic of the kid at the 1:40 mark. That'll be me about 11:45 Thanksgiving morning. Right now, it's yeah - 12:52 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. I'm up, blogging while the paint dries on a picture I've been putting off painting that'll eventually go over the mantle in our living room.

But on to the good stuff, and the reason you're here: 5 Things I Learned Today.

1) The inside of a turkey is actually pretty clean. Once the turkey factory cleans it all up and puts the guts in a nice little baggie for me, that is.
2) Elijah Craig whiskey makes salting, stuffing and rubbing down a turkey go much smoother.
3) It takes 120 feet of Christmas Lights to outline the main areas of the front of our house.
4) Painting an orchid on canvas can be fun - therapeutic even.
5) Don't listen to the father-in-law when it comes to which side of the turkey goes up. He may or may not have had a lengthy conversation with Elijah Craig.

That's it for now - more Turkeypalooza bloggins acomin' up later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Name-Change Reason #1

So for the last few years I've been weighing the benefits to changing my last name. Specifically, every time I hear or read anything from Glenn Beck. Editor's note: [Just to clear things up, I am not related to Glenn Beck in anyway that I can tell. An uncle of mine has done an extensive genealogy of our family line, and I am assured that there is no connection from my family to Glenn's.]

Glenn Beck has attacked the church and the social justice movement, saying that believers should stay away from churches that essentially teach people to care for one another. And now he goes after people who are concerned about the planet. An Ethics Daily commentary  puts Beck's charge under the microscope. In an effort to discredit and smear the good works of folks who are interested in preserving the balance in our environment, Glenn Beck makes the claim that those folks worship what he says is the Babylonian weather god Baal.

The only problem is that Baal was not a god of the Babylonians, rather the Canaanites. This group of people are often referred to (as Davenport acknowledges in his commentary) Phoenicians. Any 6th grade Social Studies student should remember that. And as Karen Armstrong points out in her book A History of God, and as Davenport reminds us, the god of Babylon is a god named Marduk.

So Beck hits a couple of wrong notes, but that's not really the point. He is deliberately playing up a factually untrue position about earth stewardship to his right-wing and climate change denying base, all the while using his pseudo religious rhetoric to make absolute truth claims. The danger of his statements is how he deliberately vilifies the people who he himself has identified as non-christian. The only teeth his argument has are the ones that he implants in it. If Beck didn't make the claim that environmentalists were in his view devil-worshiping heathens, he wouldn't have a claim against the work they are trying to accomplish. So in Beck's intellect, the cause of environmentalism is dangerous, ungodly and worthless only by an association he has made up in his head, to rally his ideological base and most importantly to get TV ratings.

This kind of self-satisfying, egomaniac logic is really what is dangerous, ungodly and worthless.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween at the Beck Haunted Mansion came with a rush of ghouls looking for candy. I wanted to go as "Crazy Newspaper Face" but Elizabeth said no. Actually she said, "I don't get it." To witch I replied "That's why I love you."

Noah was Woody from "Toy Story" and Maggie was cute!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In-Laws Bathroom Final update

It's been a while since I updated on the summer project-a-palooza. Check here  or here for a reminder of what was going on.

Now it's all said and done and here is photographic evidence.


The next 2 pics are lesser quality because they were taken with the camera phone.

But there ya go. Bathroom upgrade finished. Call HGTV and get me a contract!

Lady Falcons 2010-2011 Season

The Del Crest Lady Falcons are back on the boards this week, fighting their way through the Monroney Invitational. Facing Del City rivals Kerr Middle School and cross-town hopefuls Carl Albert Middle School, the Lady Falcons' only wish is to expand on last years success. "We gotta play it one day at a time" says Coach Beck before her players hit the hardwood for a pregame warm up. "It's the little things that we're focusing on - the fundamentals. We've got the talent and the skills, now we're ready for some competition."

And competition is what they expected in their first match against Kerr Middle School. But the Eagles were pale in comparison as the Lady Falcons soared higher than an Eagle, and outscored them almost 2-1.


Game 2 of the Monroney Tournament was a late game that put the Lady Falcons against the Lady Titans of Carl Albert Middle School. Del Crest didn't fare as good against a talented and disciplined Carl Albert team. While Del Crest played good basketball, too many fouls and missed open shots left them 6 points back at the final buzzer.

The final game of the tourney pitted the Lady Falcons against non Mid-Del school Crooked Oaks. Fresh off their first loss of the season Coach Becks' girls were ready to reclaim some lost ground. And that they did, outpacing Crooked Oaks down the court and to the hoop. "We're really set up for a more fast-paced game than we have been. Several girls have not only good hands on the ball, but are quick footed, and that helps us move up and down." said Beck.

The Lady Falcons enter district play 2-1 when they visit Jarman Middle School Thursday for what is always a tough road game. But from what it seems, early in this season at least is best summed up from one of the referees at the Monroney Tourney. "This looks to be the best Del Crest girls team in 10 years." Let's hope they are right.

Check back for more detailed analysis of the the Del Crest Middle School 6th Grade Girls 2010-2011 Basketball season!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mo in Octo

The Oklahoma Becks were able to visit the Missouri Becks of the North Country. Here is a photo-essay of the visit. 







Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Month off? Month ON!

November is Blog Month for me - meaning that if you're good, I'll make more of an effort at posting blogs. This will actually be much easier than the last few months because there are many upcoming events / celebrations. For starters, i've got pix from our MO trip a few weeks ago - then I'll be posting posting pix of Halloween in the Beck house. Then there's Turkeypalooza, Maggie's 1-year birthday, and Christmas!

Not just those big events, but there's also some major housework, landscaping and neighbor issues to share.

But wait, there's more! Lady Falcons 6th Grade Basketball begins in a week! Expect full reports and game analysis from your source for Del-Crest 6th Grade Girls Basketball.

Don't forget to vote today!