Mucking Funday!

I hate Mondays… I don’t know what it is… I got plenty of sleep over the weekend.  I had a really great weekend of relaxing and puttering around the apartment, cleaning… I even cooked!

So, I have a confession to make…  When my marriage to Her ended, I started smoking again… Camel Lights… maybe 2 packs a week… not a lot, but…  I’m sitting here looking at 6 cigarettes left in the pack and I have made a decision… I’m not going to buy any more… so, about Wednesday, I anticipate being PRETTY CRANKY…  Pray for me… actually, pray for the people who have to be around me…

Sunday was a great day… Pastor Shane is doing a series called “The Real Secret”, which is a response to “The Secret”, the latest self-help craze.  If you haven’t heard of “The Secret”, you obviously don’t watch Oprah… Basically, “The Secret” is a repackaging of the “new-age” philosophy of the power of positive thinking… It’s crap, of course.  But, Shane is teaching “The Real Secret”, how to find/determine/discern God’s will for your life.  Take a listen, if you care to… I believe you will be blessed…

SDG,
Matty

Ironman Saturday – 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off!

Picture this… if you can…

Men… Meat… Peppers… Onions… More Meat…

I am so excited.  The men’s ministry at The Crossing is having our 2nd Annual Chili cook-off on Saturday, 10/20!  But, I’m having a small crisis of decision… what kind of chili to make????  Here’s what I’ve got so far…

(Any of these could be made with beef, chicken, pork, turkey)

Traditional Texas Red Chili – meat, kidney beans, tomatoes, cheddar cheese
Sonoran Green Chili – meat, hominy, tomatillos, jack/cheddar cheese
Southwestern White Chili – meat, navy beans, cream/sour cream, jack cheese

I have also been toying with a Baja-inspired seafood chili… it’s not a recipe yet, per se… just an culinary nebula in the universe that is my brain…

SO… I WANT YOUR COMMENTS!!!  I welcome any suggestions or questions or ideas or “dude, what the hell are you thinking?”‘s… ok?  Ok!

SDG,
Matty

First Wednesday

My church here in Las Vegas, The Crossing: A Christian Church, has a monthly service called “First Wednesday”. It is held, appropriately, on the first Wednesday of every month which was yesterday. I really enjoy this service because it is more laid back than a typical Sunday service. Granted, this is a “non-denominational” church in Las Vegas; it’s not like we’re “stuffy” on Sundays.

Usually on Wednesday nights, I am over at my boy Josh’s house for a bible study with a couple of other guys. We just started this up a couple weeks ago, but we decided to forgo this week, in favor of First Wednesday. I hooked up with Josh before the service and we sat together. Josh is a great guy and I am so glad we are friends. He is the “small groups” pastor at the church and has really been helping me get plugged in at The Crossing; that means a lot to me. If any of you are friends with your pastors, you know how this next sentence ends. He “volunteered” me to help collect the offering last night… I love this guy…

Last night, our worship pastor, Jason Deese gave the message. Jason is a really neat guy who leads worship almost every Sunday. He has been gifted by God with a great voice, an awesome touch on the guitar, and a real passion for worship. I am always uplifted when I see and hear Jason on Sunday morning.

Jason preached on… wait for it… worship. Imagine that! He taught from Romans 12:1:

“Therefore, I urge you, Brothers, in view of God’s Mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

And also from Revelation 4:8-11:

Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’ Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.’ “

It was a great service. And after, Josh and I hit the coffee shop (yes, we have a “psudo-Bucks” in our church and, yes, I’m fine with that) to chat a bit more. The last week or so, I have been immersed in a great new podcast I discovered over on iTMS (that’s iTunes Music Store, dad) called “Geeks and God” (geeksandgod.com). G&G is hosted by a couple of techie guys from So. Michigan and they offer advice and insights on how to use the Internet and technology effectively in Churches and other Christian Ministries. They are Mac and OSS geeks and I couldn’t be more in awe! I was telling Josh about this and telling him how I felt God’s call on me to help out The Crossing in this area. Josh, in true fashion, jumped up and said, “Have you met Ben Parker? Come on!” So I got to meet Ben who is the “Visual Arts” pastor. I liked him from the very beginning because he was wearing an “I Love Mac” T-shirt! I’m going to shoot him an email later today and see if I can’t get hooked up helping out with the church’s Internet presence, both the website and the blog.

God is Good, my friends. He has taken me through a lot of struggle in my life and has blessed me every step of the way. I am encouraged, as always, by the verse my High School class chose to be our class verse. Jerimiah 29:11-13:

” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ “

SDG,
Matty the Stranger

UFC

Tonight I witnessed my first UFC fight night… it was VERY COOL… I really had never watched any of the fights before, but a bunch of guys from church were getting together and my boy, Josh, is a huge fan, so I wanted to check it out… When I was first introduced to Boxing in college, I held the opinion that Boxing was just two grown men beating the shit out of each other for no real purpose… a guy on my floor sat with me and pointed out how the strategy and technique were laid out during a boxing match and I was pretty much hooked at that point… I finally began to see the “sweet science”…

My opinion of UFC fighting was much the same… two grown men… shit… out… etc… UFC is the fastest growing sport in the world right now, so there had to be more to it that just that, right? So, when Josh said, “Wanna come over to Will’s house, watch the fights and eat nachos?” I said, “you know I do!” There were 4 under card fights (televised) and a main event…. with the main event fought last of the evening. The under card fights were interesting… the opponents appeared evenly matched, the fights progressed slowly and I was able to follow along really well… learning phrases like “arm bar”, “full guard” and “side control” The fourth fight was between Forest Griffin and “Shogun” Rua and by that time, I was really getting into it… I was learning to anticipate the moves and beginning understand what each change of position, each submission attempt and each strike meant in the overall strategy of the fight. As a group, the 8 or so guys there called each fight pretty well, and spirits were high. Finally, the main event, between Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardin… What an event! It was fantastic… The fight went the scheduled three, five-minute rounds (I learned title fights are five, five-minute rounds) and The Dean of Mean won the match by split decision…

I had so much fun… I learned about a new sport and got to hang with and meet some new guys from the church… I am so grateful for The Crossing…