ABC Award Ceremony (You love me, you really love me…)

(Visualize an image of an award here)

I usually don’t do these, but lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to connect to the greater blogging community  (particularly Christian bloggers). You should do so also. There are some genuinely creative, God-loving, interesting people out there in the e-community.

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you:

Thank you very much to Real-Life Housewife for the (Awesome Blog Content) nomination. I am married to and in love with my own “Real-Life Housewife” and I have nothing but props for all the women who pull off married life, motherhood, house management, and work life with grace and humor. Props to you and your tribe of Proverbs 31 women!

2. There are no limits for how many fellow bloggers you can nominate:

Here are three I would recommend off hand:

The Ink Slinger-Pretty much a child prodigy writer/blogger who will give you hope that the next generation of young’uns aren’t just a bunch of CoD addicts and basers. He’s sixteen years old, people!

Not for Itching Ears-Jim, the founder, keeps everything Christ/cross centered in his writing. If you just want the simplicity of the cross, read up! If you want to be entertained, well….

Seek the Holy-Chris is a pastor I know personally who has an affinity for Reformed Theology, computer tech, and zombie slaying. Please go spam his site with glowing comments about Arminianism and Henry Blackaby… : )

3. Share some things about yourself alphabetically in just a word or two. (Or alternatively, just write the first word you think of)

A-Aslan-Teaching children to cuddle with hungry ruthless lions…

B-Big Hurt (my middle school nick name)

C-Condoleezza Rice. Great leader and role model. I once named a pet finch after her…

D-Dirk Nowitzki-Da Heat slayer vill Kaput you!

E-E‘s Talk Soup (remember that show? Awesome)

F-“Friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of….” (everybody!)

G-Grenada-One of my more entertaining students is from there, claims to be apart of the Jamaican mafia.

H-Hell; that’s just the first thing I thought about….

I-Ignatius, seems like a pretty cool name…

J-Jessica, my beautiful wife. Josiah, my beautiful three year old.

K-Krazy with a capital “K.” It’s one step up on the sociopath scale above “Charlie Sheen.”

L-Los Lonely Boys-Whatever happened to them and did they ever figure out how far heaven is?!

M- Mayonnaise. Delicious condiment and the hilarious nickname of someone I know.

N-Never say Never- Justin Bieber Bible Study (wrote a post about that once)

O-for The Office. Just about the only show I’ll DVR. I’m a Dwight fan.

P-Piper. For my mancrush, John Piper.

Q-Quickbooks. I’ve never quite figured out how to use that software I downloaded on my computer five years ago.

R-Reformation. Thankful for that era in Christian history. Semper Reformanda!

S-Snake. Just killed one yesterday right near my backdoor; sorry, but with two little boys I don’t really care if it was poisonous or not…

T-Tullian Tchividjian. Grandson of Billy Graham, and a heckuva preacher man. Any takers on how to pronounce his name?

U-Unicorns. Yes, I love them too.

V-Vera Wang. My wife watches TV fashion shows (man card intact)

W-Weakling. As in the Weakling formerly known as Saul.

X-X-Files. I used to watch it. I think Chuck Missler did too.

Y-The Young and the Restless. Reminds me of my Nena, and unfortunately, Alzheimer’s.

Z-Zebraska. This was the title of a song I made up in third grade. “Zebraska, the most wonderful place in the world/ Zebraska, it’s for every boy and girl….” Those were the only lyrics…

Bryan Daniels

Unto Us a Child is (about to be) Born…and WWE cage matches…

This coming up Monday (March 14th) Friday (March 11th) our little family will be welcoming a new addition to the world: Gideon Bryce Daniels will be induced at 4 AM (!) at Gulf Coast Medical where he will meet his two proud parents and one little unsuspecting brother face to face for the first time. We are both excited about the new baby boy God has entrusted us with as His stewards. Lately, Jessica has been doing the flight of the bumblebee in the frenetic process of renovating our backroom to Josiah’s new room. The ever relentless “nesting” phase has officially kicked in full force for my wife.

In light of this I have an announcement to make:   

I will try to give my undivided devotion for the next couple weeks to my wife, two sons, and their collective health (emotional, physical and spiritual). I know young families are the most tender, and a father’s special concern to his home’s well being is his primary responsibility behind serving God.

In the interest of my sanity (and also my wife’s), I will be attempting to keep my online activity to a minimum. That means a sabbatical for an indefinite period of time from writing new blogs. Fortunately, thanks to “Enabled by God,” I do have some decent blog material saved up so this site will continue to churn out some time honored pieces every few days. One of the innovative features of blogs nowadays is the ability to schedule posts so that you can be away from your computer and still maintain an active blog.

I assure you, if there is a slight lag to my response time via Facebook or blogging it’s not because I’m ignoring you.

So when life settles down a bit and routine is re-established I look forward to ranting again about Charlie Sheen, Westboro Baptist Church, the Cam Newton cult or the speeding turds in my neighborhood. Until then I got a wife who deserves the full attention of her husband, a little infant boy who will need some serious kisses, and a near three year old who will be primed for a daily WWE cage match.

God bless you all.

Bryan Daniels

Why We’re All Related to Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is a poster boy.

No, I’m not talking about a poster boy for cocaine overdose or how to utterly shipwreck one’s life. Though Sheen could fill an infinitum amount of reality shows with such surreality.

Charlie Sheen is the type of poster boy who not only placards his own weaknesses in glaring fashion, but reveals ours also.

I propose the recent shenanigans of Sheen not only display his own personal excesses, they display with crystal clarity our own excesses as a society.

For too long we have been bingeing on the most ridiculous and superfluous news our culture has to offer. The hangover effect we will reap from it will not be worth the seconds of satisfaction we got from watching a rap about an attempted rape or a father getting hit in the groin by his kid.

In the world right now:

A deranged dictator who is capable of real damage to the world has made Libya a cauldron potentially bubbling over to an international war.

In a display of global implications, thousands of protestors in Egypt still storm the streets and cry out for justice and freedom from a tyrannical government. 

The United States Supreme Court continues to hand out landmark rulings nearly every week like they’re sticks of gum.

And yet all we are infatuated with are the drug induced incoherent ramblings of a madman. I mean really, count the Facebook statuses you can attribute to Sheen alone. Case in point: Sheen made Twitter history when he recently opened an account and garnered 1 million followers in just 24 hours. We can thank him for such thought-provoking gems such as these:

 “We’re Vatican assassins. How complicated can it be?”
“They picked a fight with a warlock.”
“Resentments are the rocket fuel that lives in the tip of my sabre.”

A regular warrior poet you are, Mr. Sheen. Or something like that.

Charlie Sheen is not the primary issue, rather he is just a microcosm of what’s wrong with our insatiable thirst for meaningless information. And I do say what’s wrong with “us” and not the big bad mainstream media. The media is just playing the ratings game, and if a monkey that scratches and sniffs it’s butt gets them the right numbers then they just as well will show that 24/7.

Try this yourself. Take the aforementioned shot to the man region for example. Upload a video on Youtube of a father getting hit in his manhood while playing baseball with his child and you will get 1,000+ hits and 100+ comments by the end of the day. We take illogical delight (at least I do for some reason) in a father being virtually emasculated before his children and world. And this is a man who is doing the good and fatherly thing by spending quality time with his child, which is becoming the unfortunate exception in our biblically man-less culture. Yet, write a thoughtful piece on the scourge of fatherlessness on our society and it’s rating will remain stagnant with little or no participation from the e-world.

A keyboard playing cat is an internet mover and shaker, but a dying father and husband’s heart-rending last words of wisdom to the world are barely a blip on the radar.

Our constant diet of shallow frivolousness is an indictment on our spiritual depth. “I will delight in Your law” once said the wise Psalmist (Psalm 119). The contemporary Psalmist says “I will delight in the foolish meanderings of a publicity and cocaine addict.”

What’s worse: living a wretched life or delighting in the fruits of a wretched life? Those two are not as distant of cousins as we would like to confess.

We must be vigilant with what we sow into our soul on a daily basis. If we become what we behold (2 Corinthians 3:18), we may want to turn the tube off the next time Sheen (or the likes of him) is given a megaphone to air his madness. Especially if we are self-aware of our inherent fascination with train wrecks and car crashes.

Apart from the grace of God, we would all end up as the poster children for a sad wretched self-absorbed life. We do have the same ancestral father after all (Romans 5:12). We are struck with the same tragic malady (Romans 3:23) Sheen is just a natural-born member of the depraved human race like every other man, woman, and child is (Eph 2:3-5).

Maybe we shouldn’t laugh so hard at Charlie. We have a lot more in common with this “Warlock” than we are willing to admit.

Bryan Daniels

Bathroom Theology: “Toy Story 3 was OK”

It was a dingy truck stop with “World Famous” coffee and yesterday’s News Herald. It was also my pharmacy, where I frequently purchased my Monster energy drinks (sugar-free) and BC powders.

The credit/debit slidey machine was usually down, but for a $2.50 fee you could use the ATM in the back.

After drinking my weight in coffee that morning it was time for me to introduce myself to the bathroom. I took a deep breath before breaking the threshold of the door; I’d rather save my nostrils from the burning sensation.

The condition of the establishment betrayed the quality of the rough and tumble types that frequented it. Bleach was not its friend. The walls, the subject of much sharpie and ball point abuse, were painted and repainted differing shades of white.

White trash graffiti littered the walls above my stall with doodlings that would make Charlie Sheen blush with shame.

In between the “call for a good time’s” and apocalyptic warnings of a race war, a curious observation was made. It was a solitary sentiment of sanity that ignored the nasty upside down world it was placed in.

It made me literally laugh out loud. It read in bold black letters:

“Toy Story 3 was OK”

Some truck stop movie critic saw it fit to inject some innocence into this profane world. Given the positioning of the message (a few inches above my head), it wasn’t written by a child either.

Believe it or not, that little observation got me thinking.  I’m always grasping for analogies no matter how far of a stretch they may be.

I wonder sometimes if the American church’s message is akin to this same type of detached sanitary musing in a filthy truck stop world.

We can (and should) address many things in relation to the gospel.  Rated R movies, alcohol consumption, finances, church attendance, self esteem, political affinities, etc. But if secondary “rule-keeping” issues become the main message the world is hearing then the church has become as irrelevant as light-hearted bathroom graffiti.

A gospel of levity and law keeping cannot begin to address the depth and brevity of the sprawling trash heap that much of culture has become.

The biblical gospel message deals directly with depraved hearts and filthy souls, showing that so nasty is the scourge on humanity, the only viable cure was God slaying His own Son on a cross as an atoning sacrifice. The gospel addresses sexual trafficking, slavery, drug addiction, starvation, rape, greed, child molestation, racism, pornography, and the whole reality of manifest darkness we dwell in. God has seen it all, judged it all, and weighed all of this iniquity in His hand. But then He did something so inexplicable, so utterly shocking we will never understand it in an eternity of eternities.  With that very hand God the Father crushed his own perfect dear Son under the weight of judgment for our iniquity (Isaiah 53:11).

With the Son’s resurrection, the Father ensured His sacrifice was sufficient and new life can be a reality with Him (2 Cor 5:17).

The church has a pearl of great price, so valuable it can restore all manner of broken relationships, political systems, nations, and even truck stops. But the gospel cannot be about mere behavior modification or some domesticated commentary espousing a better life. That would be as misguided as telling an addicted child molester, “Toy Story 3 was OK.”

A gospel that paints over or sidesteps sin never will deal with the root of the issue: the heart.

The gospel must exploit the utter sinfulness of sin in the light of the holiness of God, the blazing love of the Father in the sacrifice of the Son, and the almighty power of God to make all things new in the resurrection.

The gospel is not detached from the reality of sin around us, no, it is the only death-blow to the sin that so dominates our fallen world. An accurate proclamation of this amazing grace is the only bleach for the sin-stained soul, not new laws or 12 step programs.

And as far as our Truck Stop movie critic goes, my two-year old son respectfully disagrees.

He thought Toy Story 3 was awesome.

Bryan Daniels