Monthly Archives: February 2011

Better than Rows

It’s been said that a friend is someone who knows the song that is in your heart, and when you forget the words they can sing it back to you. I like that metaphor. And sometimes it’s literal. I remember when the moment in the above video happened. It was the 2003 NBA Playoffs. The Mavericks were playing the Trailblazers, and Natalie Gilbert had been given the moment of her lifetime. She was going to get to sing the National Anthem on National Television.

And so you can imagine Natalie’s disapointment when she started coming down with the Flu. You can probably even understand why she tried to push through it, and sing the anthem anyway despite being sick. Because how often does a 13 year old get to do this? And besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

As someone who gets up in front of people (and who often makes mistakes in front of people) I know a portion of how this feels. I know how 5 seconds can feel like an eternity. And I’ve even been booed by a large crowd while singing before. (I’ll tell that story later) But I’ve never had anything this traumatic happen. Continue reading Better than Rows

Denying the Resurrection

I love this. Peter Rollins is quite the controversial figure. And while his introduction may leave some of your feeling a bit uncomfortable, I’d like to challenge you to listen past the surface of what he’s saying. It is after all a Parable.

What I love about this is they way it moves from Theology to something tangible. Ideas, after all, are empty if they just stay in our head. And to move from word to flesh is very central to the Gospel.

So here’s the question: How do you affirm the resurrection in your life? How have you denied it?  Continue reading Denying the Resurrection

Second Chances

After all the fanfare has died down, and the confetti was cleaned up, the greatest event of this NFL’s season is still in progress. And it has little to do with touchdowns.

I’ve been following Michael Vick ever since he was the quaterback at Virginia Tech. I can’t say I’ve always liked the teams he’s played on (especially Philly), but I’ve always liked him. He’s a phenom on the football field, with that rare combination of speed to evade the rush, but with also the ability to make some difficult throws. But like most people these days with extra-ordinary talents, there was some dangerous stuff lurking just beneath the surface.

And in 2007 it came crashing down on him.

Now, I’m no Public relations expert but it seems like making money off of dogs killing each other has got to be one of the stupidest things someone can do for their image. I grew up on a farm, have always had and loved dogs, and while I’m not about to join PETA, I like millions of others were angry and disappointed by what this Multi-millionare was doing with his spare time.

But I have a friend who saw this whole thing differently. He grew up in the projects too, and as soon as he heard about Vick’s conviction he took it personally. He saw it as more a snapshot of the human condition than just a stupid mistake.

Because here is a guy who seems to have everything, and now in a moment he is losing all of it.

Vick epitomized the tug of war that all of us feel inside of us. He later admitted that he knew he was making a series of mistakes, but he felt a profound sense of loyalty to these friends he had known forever.

It was inevitable that Michael Vick’s career was over. If Vegas was placing odds on a comeback it would have been up there with the Montreal Expos’ winning the World Series…next year.

But nobody counted on Andy Reid. Continue reading Second Chances

Dancing with Eden

Maya Angelou was once asked what was her secret to being such a good writer and poet. Her response was, “Because when I was a little girl, every time I walked into a room my daddy’s eyes lit up.”

One of the greatest joys of my life is to have a daughter. It’s also is one of my greatest concerns. I know that the way a lot of little girls grow up to think about God is influenced by how they saw their dad. I’d like for my life to be a bit of a parable for Eden to see God more clearly through.

But I also have learned something about God through Eden. Actually, I’ve learned a lot through her. I’ve learned what it looks like to trust someone implicitly. The other day, Eden actually told me “Don’t worry about anything daddy, because God is in your heart!”

Did I mention that she is two?

Leslie and I have learned a lot about unconditional love through how we feel about her.  We’ve re-learned about the kind of innocent curiosity that life can beat out of you. And she’s taught us how to treat people better. Eden sees people. Better than I do, the world hasn’t taught her yet that certain people aren’t supposed to be treated kindly. So she will stop in the grocery store, and make Leslie say hi to people that she wants to get to know. She hasn’t quite bought into the whole concept of boundaries just yet.

But probably the best thing that she has taught us is how to dance.

Almost every night, the Storment’s have a dance party. One that is almost always initiated by Eden. Her particular favorites right now, are Nelly, Black Eyed Peas, Nat King Cole, and of course, the Tangled soundtrack. And almost every night, we get together and dance. Some might say that what I do looks more like convulsions. But Eden hasn’t complained yet. Continue reading Dancing with Eden

Sean Dorrance Kelly

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I’ve been a fan of Steven Colbert for a long time. Something a lot of people don’t know about him is that he is a devout Catholic. He teaches a Bible class every Sunday at his local congregation. And has a deep love for the God who was revealed in Jesus.

He also has a funny way of showing it.

Actually, all of Colbert’s humor is satire. He makes points about reverent things, in irreverent ways. And while that may not be for everyone, most people will have to admit that he reaches a group of people that no preacher could get an audience with. For example, in this clip, you have a Harvard professor saying there is something unique about Jesus as compared to other gods of history. In the words of the professor Sean Kelly, “Jesus’ way of understanding what it is to be a human being was so radically different than everything that came along before it, that it really transformed the world and showed us a new possibility.” Continue reading Sean Dorrance Kelly