Monday, March 31, 2008

"He bit my finger!"

Video week at Tye's Jazz dot com strikes again. This one is hilarious!

Video week at Tye's Jazz dot com

I am declaring this week as "Video Week" here at Tye's Jazz dot com. I have seen some cool videos here recently and want to share them with you. Some are humorous, some are thought-provoking, and others are just plain random.

Let's get the ball rolling with our first video from the fine folks over at You can purchase the video. It is a spoof infomercial advertising the "Complaint Zapper." Click here.

Facing a crisis?

The past few years have brought their fair share of challenges to my life. In fact, for a while it seemed like one crisis after the next, up to and including being asked to leave the church we faithfully served through and unbelievably trying time for no apparent reason. Our faith and our family was rocked by these events.

In this insightful article put out by that I really enjoyed. Here's an excerpt:

He said something like this: “Lord, I know you love me. I know you love my wife. I just ask You to take care of her in Jesus’ name. Amen.” That was it. I couldn’t believe it! I was expecting to be a part of an all night prayer meeting.

I couldn’t work it out… at least not immediately. But it eventually dawned on me that he had a lot more faith than I did. My friend prayed about it, put it in God’s hands, and there was nothing else he could do.

Instead of panicking, he handled it with supernatural peace. Click here to read the entire article.

I have had times when I do very well with this and times when I fail miserably. The reality is that God is in full control and we should trust him completely. It's all in your perspective.

Tye out.

Daniel answered and said, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the seasons, He removes kings and raises up kings, He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” (Daniel 2:20-21)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What does Easter and other religious things have to do with my life?

Having passed Easter I spent some time thinking about the significance of this very special day. Jesus on a cross, buried, and risen again on the third day. Many people went to church yesterday as was evidenced by our packed out services including 348 at our Washington High School campus. Lots of people, some new clothes, and several or our pastors donned ties - not me though!

But what affect does that one hour service have to do with the rest of the 167 hours in a week? It's a sad statistic, but research has shown that it typically has little affect.

In an USA article titled "Has the 'notion of sin' been lost?" quotes Barna Research Group president David Kinnaman:

"They give intellectual assent to the story about Jesus rising on Easter Sunday: 75% say they believe the biblical account of Jesus' death and resurrection is literally true, not a story meant to illustrate a principle. But they don't have any personal application of this Monday through Saturday."

This is probably due to the fact that people today believe that everything is relevant, including the problem of sin in the world and what that means. Here is another quote from the same article:

A new survey by Ellison Research in Phoenix finds 87% of U.S. adults believe in the existence of sin, which is defined as "something that is almost always considered wrong, particularly from a religious or moral perspective."

Topping the list are adultery (81%) and racism (74%).

But other sins no longer draw majority condemnation. Premarital sex? Only 45% call it sin. Gambling? Just 30% say it's sinful.

I hope that the death of God's one and only son Jesus has changed your life like it has mine. It gives me hope in this life and the life to come. He also supplies me with an owner's manual and road map for life called the Bible. I sure hope that my life will be one that reflects God's glory and not man's depravity. Tye out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day of Silence - a truly Christian response

I first heard of the Day of Silence at a board meeting recently. On April 25, 2008 students are being encouraged to have a day of silence in honor of a student who was shot and killed because of his sexual orientation which I would assume was homosexual. While I completely disagree with the homosexual agenda, I whole-heartedly disagree with violence to gays.

I am writing today because I have never believed that we will get anywhere with those we disagree with by carrying banners, protest marches, petition drives and the like. We are called to love those with whom we disagree. This is called grace and I would rather be known for what I am for rather than what I am against.

Our senior high pastor, Mark Forstrom, has written an incredible article on the subject and it is posted on his blog. Much of what he says is an answer Don Wildmon and the American Family Association (AFA) which has a very ungracious and unchristian response to the Day of Silence. (Please know that Tye's Jazz dot com does not endorse AFA in any way.)

Here is part of Mark's response which can be read in its entirety on his blog:

I’ve started receiving numerous emails about boycotting the April 25th Day of Silence (details below) and I want to offer my perspective for consideration.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about it as well as some research about this event. The website says the purpose of the event is to: “observe a daylong silence to protest the bullying, harassment and name-calling—in effect, the silencing—faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and their allies in schools.” In contrast, The American Family Association website (AFA) claims their purpose is “to disrupt the classes while promoting the homosexual lifestyle.” The Mission America website goes even further: “This pro-homosexual day communicates clear (and false) messages to ALL students in the school that: homosexuality is a worthy lifestyle; that it has few or no risks; that some people are “born” homosexual, including students; and that those who oppose this behavior are hateful and uninformed.”

Despite what these Christian organizations infer as to the purpose of the event, I believe we must base our response on their stated purpose, not our assumptions or interpolations. To do otherwise makes us look like fear-mongering, paranoid, extremists, who don’t understand plain English.

Surprisingly, I can fully agree with the stated purpose of the Day of Silence which says that the bullying, harassing, and name-calling of gays is deplorable. Though I strongly disagree about the correctness of homosexuality, I believe we should love those with whom we disagree. If we’re ever going to reach their hearts and change their values, I believe it will happen through love, not protesting.

Click here to read the rest of the article. I hope you will. Tye out.

The performance treadmill

Yesterday our senior pastor spoke on the topic of living on the "performance treadmill." We believers have a tendency toward thinking that we have to do something to merit God's favor. We are trained early in life that good things come to you when you do good or right things. Get good grades and you are rewarded. Hit home runs in little league and you bat first. Later we learn that if you work hard you get ahead and receive performance raises and bonuses.

While most of life is about sowing and reaping we do not have to do anything to make him love us any more than he already does.

Many people are living their lives hoping to hear "great job" from a father or mother and it drives them work long hours, strive for perfection, attain higher degrees and worse! Why? Because we need to hear that approval from the people in our lives that mean the most to us.

The bad news? When you get on the performance treadmill you simply wear yourself out and you go nowhere! Do you know anyone like this?

For believers this looks like this: Pray harder! Give more! I have to do this and that to gain God's approval. I have to go to church every time the doors are open!

This is bad because you can never do enough to gain the approval of God since he already loves you as much as anyone could! He sent his son to a brutal death for you and I and there's nothing left to work for.

What are you doing in your life to gain someone's approval? God's approval? Why not rest in God's love and enjoy his faithfulness! Tye out.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is risen indeed!

Today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave nearly 2k years ago. At NCBC, we are having 5 services today and I will be helping with the 8 AM (46th Street campus) and 11 AM (Washington HS site) services.

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 NIV

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oil Pan for Volvo - $800

There's nothing to say.

The Volvo Vampire strikes again

I'm not complaining. Please don't hear that because when someone gives you a car of any sort it is always a blessing especially if it is a Volvo. But I have to say that I have spent A LOT of money on this car over the past two and a half years - A LOT. Even though it only has somewhere around 130k miles on it, the Volvo is still 12 years old.

This morning I hit one of the gazillion potholes here in Cedar Rapids and thanks to a chunk of pavement sticking up in the air I broke the oil pan and oil spewed out trailing a cloud of blue smoke. I've seen enough NASCAR to know that this is an oil problem so I shut the car down and pulled over. You can see the oil all over the place in the pic. Btw, click on the pic above to see the slideshow. (I was just standing around so thought I would snap a couple pics)

For the money I have spent on this car alone, not including our van, I could have bought two new bikes (racing bike~$2000 and mountain bike~$500) and ride them to work and for exercise.


Thankfully, my attitude is good and thankfully it is just money. Tye out.

Motivational quote for the week

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

General George Patton quote of the week

"A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances."
- General George S. Patton, Jr

Random musings

Right now I am sitting at the nearby mall in the food court while my daughter and her friend shop for dresses for WPA. I'm listening to Count Basie in my cool Bose headphones and doing some people watching. It is nearly 50 degrees today and many folks have shed their coats, including yours truly.

I am taking the rest of the week off, except for a memorial service on Saturday afternoon. I am hoping to get a couple things done around the house and also get a little time with my wife who has studied nearly non-stop during spring break. I am also hoping for some time with the kids as well so tomorrow I am taking whoever wants to go to see the new Dr. Seuss movie. The last one left a lot to be desired so I hope this one makes up for it.

I've been back to my exercise program in earnest so I will be in shape to ride outside as soon as that is possible. I have lost some weight but I have a lot more to go before I'll feel lean and mean on my biking machine.

That's it for now. I feel like I am whining so I'll blog off here. Tye out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frank Caliendo and me!

I had the awesome privilege of seeing Frank Caliendo perform in concert this past weekend thanks to some very generous friends. Frank was absolutely amazing and worth the price of the tickets times two - however much that was! He performed many of his impressions and kept us laughing for almost an hour!

If you would like to see some of his material you can find several of his bits on YouTube. I have posted one of his performances here. Tye out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

General George Patton quote fo the week

"An Army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, and fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of __________."
General George Patton

(The general's language was coarse at times, so you have to fill in the blank.)

I want to comment on this one. The same is true in church work. There is no room for individuality in kingdom work. The church must be a team, unified around a common mission, vision, and values. At NCBC we do everything in teams. It often takes time to get things done but in the end the team method is a so much better way of doing ministry.

Where's Tye been?

Where in the world is Tye? Well, I've been right here but have been very busy. Here's a brief outline of what is happening in the life and times of me:

Last week
Taxes to accountant
Pick up taxes at accountant
Fill our FAFSA
Watched Napoleon Dynamite while filling out FAFSA
Premarital meeting for a wedding I am doing Saturday
Campus pastor at our Washington HS site
Numerous meetings
Working on starting a SWAT team - ask me
Date with the stunningly beautiful Judy!
Grocery shopping and some cooking

This week
Allyson to airport this morning for a spring break trip with a friend's family
Tax return for Allyson (Dad doing his H & R Block impression)
Many more meetings
Allyson's car for repair - argh!
Last premarital meeting prior to wedding on Saturday
Continued work on SWAT team
LCAE Executive Board Meeting
CR Jazz Band rehearsal every Monday night - wow is this fun!
Refinance the house - again. We are going the wrong way on this!

In addition to all this, I am now back into a workout regimen and I'm loving it! The kids are all doing well and Judy studies all the time. Since I'm working six days a week margin is practically gone, but I'm not complaining. Thank God for his provision of extra work to help with the budget. Tye out.