Super Bowl XLIII

•February 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Let me just say first of all that I’m disappointed in the lack of a competitive attitude coming from the Dallas Cowboys this last season. They just couldn’t seem to get their crap together. But as the end of the NFL season rolled by this last weekend, I was glad to find that the Super Bowl had a huge underdog and turned out to be a great game.

Steelers and Cardinals…I was definitely gunnin’ for the Cards but Pittsburgh just seemed to pull it out at the end. However, I have to say that the victory is a little tainted to me. There were a few key plays that weren’t called correctly which would have favored the Cards.

1. Harrison, one of the key Steelers players should have been ejected for a personal foul where he was punching another player.

2. After the “game-winning” play, Santonio Holmes celebrated using the ball. That should have been an automatic 15 yard penalty against in favor of the Cardinals.

3. The final play was ruled a fumble when it was very obviously an incomplete pass. There was hardly a review.

Either way, Shift has a great party and lots of people came out. The food was good too. Hopefully Dallas will give us something to look forward to this next season.

“Pet-Peeves”

•January 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

I don’t really know where the term comes from, but here are a few of the things that drive me up the wall…

1) When people don’t use their turn signal: It’s a flick of the wrist…that’s all it takes. Don’t jump in my lane without letting me know your plans

2) Cutting people cutting into my land when making a left hand turn: There are dotted lines on the road to show you where you’re allowed to go…4 year olds can handle that. 

3) Christian sub-culture: No one needs a shirt with the Sprite logo that says “Spirit”. Jesus iPod covers do not represent Christ well. As a matter of face, Jesus was on the opposite spectrum of consumerism and marketing. The term “Christian” should denote a lifestyle, not a target demographic.

4) Electric Drums: They’re not really drums. They limit you’re ability to play.

5) When people won’t admit that they’re wrong: That’s pretty self-explanatory.

I’m sure there are more to come but here’s a decent beginning.

Has MLK’s Dream Been Fulfilled?

•January 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

All this last week I heard continual talk about Martin Luther King Jr. and whether or not his dream has been fulfilled. I was surprised and a little disturbed to hear so many people talking about how his dream has finally reached fruition simply because we now have a black president. 

I don’t want to minimize how historic or how great it is that the American people have looked past the color of man and voted for his character, but was that the finality of King’s dream? I think if anything this last election brought up how much racism and inequality still plague our nation. Racism played such a huge role in this last election not only in seeing people vote against someone because of their skin color but people vote FOR someone because of their skin color. Isn’t that racism as well? Isn’t that making a decision without regarding someone’s character? 

Even beyond that, is there equality when it comes to hispanics, asians, and native americans? In the speech that was so eloquently given by Dr. King over 45 years ago, he mentions more than just blacks and whites. I think that  it’s great to celebrate how far we’ve come in those years, but let’s not short-sight the dream that he had. Let’s see our society improve and not be so quick to check it off as complete.

mlk1

The New President

•January 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The world celebrated our new President this week. Barack Obama was sworn in Tuesday around noon and was hard at work the next morning trying to make this country a better place to live. 

I often question how great Obama really is or is going to be. Is he really so moving and so intelligent or was our last President so uninspiring that we were driven to an unhealthy desire for change as a nation. It’s difficult for me because I like Obama as a person. Everything he’s done as far as selecting his staff and requiring transparency from himself and his staff has shown that he has a desire for integrity. However, his domestic and economic policies ring of socialism. That scares me for reasons I’ll have to unpack in the future.

In any case I hope he’s the great President that we’ve been looking for. Even if I disagree, I can’t wish that man to fail. I just hope God gives him wisdom and that we can be a better nation than what we have been as of late.

Who Are You?

•January 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever noticed what kind of crazy crap people come up with at coffee joints? It’s like they pick a bunch of things to put in a cup that they really neither like or understand so that can have some sense of individuality.

My friend brought up this quote from “You’ve Got Mail” today after I brought it up…”the whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the heck they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

That is so true. I am more than a Venti No-Water Chai Latte. I just don’t know that people in general know that. It’s kind of sad really. Another example: the people who dress a certain way or listen to a certain music so that they can be perceived as being part of a certain social class. If you’re not a depressed, poor kid, then don’t try to be perceived as a suffering, self-loathing “scene” kid; If you can’t afford a BMW and a flat screen, then don’t try to grab those things so you can prove to yourself you’re not financially hurting. 

It just kind of raises the question of “Who are we really???”. This will definitely be a continued blog subject.

When God Works

•January 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t think there is anything more exciting then when God works. I know that when I’m moved by God it’s one of the greatest experiences I can ever feel. When I see God use me to help others experience Him….well that’s another ballgame altogether. 

Two nights ago we kicked off a new series in our Young Adult ministry called “Lifelines.” The other guys and I had been workin’ our tails off all week trying to get ready. We sent tons of emails, made phone calls, posted all over the web and did our best to spread the word. I got new music together for a new worship song…Jessie worked his message again and again…and there were many times that we found ourself working during “time off.” Most of all though, we prayed.

When Sunday night came I can honestly say that everything on our end went as planned and went well. My worship crew is AWESOME and they showed up early ready to pray, play, and give their all. Jessie’s message hit home for lots of us, but I have to say………….the greatest thing that happened Sunday night was that the Spirit of God showed up. I mean overwhelmingly just showed up. People were so moved in service and it just seemed to follow us afterwards. There’s nothing like coming home to endless facebook updates and tweets (for you Twitter fans) of people who were moved by God and saw their passion renewed. Glory to God and Praise to Him for that.

Jesse Ryan Band

•January 12, 2009 • 2 Comments

I’ve got a friend named Jesse Ryan Labauve. I met this guy a couple of years ago when he was interviewing for the Youth P&W position at our church. Needless to say, he got the gig and it’s been great working with him ever since. He’s a great musician and I know he truly has a heart to use it for God.

If there’s one other things I’ve learned about Labauve, it’s that he’s got to be the most well connected guy I’ve ever met. I mean, I understand networking in theory but I’ve never been very good with people so the practice has always been kind of lost to me. Labauve is the kind of guy who comes in on a Friday and tells me he sat next to Kelly Clarkson the night before at a concert he got into for free. 

Jesse started writing music a few years back  but he decided he wanted to really put hands and feet to it recently. Luckily he asked me to join his endeavors. It’s been several years since I’ve drummed in a band consistently but we just played our sixth show this last Friday night and I’m having a blast. The music is getting really good and our fan base is growing pretty well. If you want to come check us out then you can come to the Aardvark our in Fort Worth on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Dustin Barrow (Electric), Jesse Ryan Labauve (Vocals, Acoustic), Tom Atchison (Bass), Ryan Rijken (Percussion)

Dustin Barrow (Electric), Jesse Ryan Labauve (Vocals, Acoustic), Tom Atchison (Bass), Ryan Rijken (Percussion)

My 2008 In Review

•January 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

When it comes to Christmas, New Years, and the rest of the holiday season, I’d have to say that my favorite part is just the time to reflect. I get to reflect on faith, relationships, and just where I’m at in life. As we’ve come to the end of this year I feel like I’ve made a couple of good observations to help me make the most of this next year…

1. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my passion as of late. Well…maybe not lost it, but rather replaced it. I feel like I’ve replaced my passion with tasks. I’m blessed enough to have a career where I get paid to do what I love. The downside is that now I don’t push myself to do it out of love; I just do it because I get paid. I miss wanting to learn blues on guitar just because I love blues. I miss wanting to worship out of my desire for God and not out of the need to put on a weekly service. I feel like my creativity is gone and everything I do is a cheap imitation of something else. I really think I want to regain that passion and creativity this next year.

2. The desire to learn is something that I definitely have. The discipline to apply myself and really get after learning is something I’m lacking. I’m going to be a better time manager this year. I’m going to read more books, watch more tutorials, and actually start college.

3. I need to be healthier…’nuf said.

4. I don’t want to be married. I have a great girlfriend and I love her dearly, but I don’t feel like my time to get married is in the near future. I have a good number of friends now who are getting married and “settling down” but I feel like at the age of 23 I’m just now reaching my “single” peek. I think that many of the young Christians I know have an unrealistic view of marriage and jump into it so they can justify sex. I admire those who truly weigh the commitment and take it seriously but the more I think about it, the less I feel like I’m even near ready.

I think that’s enough to keep me covered for now. I know that this year will be better than the last. I just pray that I’m closer to God, closer to my friends, and a better person at the end of it all.

Sweet Tradition

•December 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a busy couple of days for me here in the Dallas metroplex. The weather has been so two-faced this week that I’ve worn shorts and a scarf/glove combination all in the same week. It’s been so foggy the past couple of days that it reminds me of “Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Frankly put, I love it. 

The week has been full of great times with my girlfriend and productive time spent on video editing and minor web updates. Tonight was another great addition to the week with a sweet tradition taking place.

You see, most families have their major and minor traditions. A lot of those revolve around holidays or family vacations. Growing up in an Army family where we moved all the time, there are really only two established traditions that I can remember. One was that every time we moved and hit the road again, we always made it a point to stop and eat at a Cracker Barrel. The other is based around my father’s love for the Portland Trailblazers.

The one sport that was big in my home growing up was Basketball. My father played in high school in Newport, OR and brought a love for the Blazers into our home. Now that I’ve reached an age where I choose where I live and who I follow, I still get drawn to the Blazers. My dad and I will stay up late texting and calling each other as the Blazer games come on TV. I think, for me, it’s become more than just a basketball game. It truly is something that I can share with my father and hopefully something my son will be able to share in with us as well. 

So to cap off the night, the Trailblazers won over the Phoenix Suns 124-119. Brandon Roy had 52 points and my dad sent me a text saying “MVP.” Oh sweet tradition.

Some Man-spiration

•December 17, 2008 • 1 Comment

I’m a huge fan of inspirational speeches and great movies. Now that someone else went ahead and put the two together, I figured I would go ahead and share it with you guys.