Monthly Archives: July 2006

My blogging peak

I think I have peaked in my blog popularity.

 A couple of days ago I hit my peak of roughly 200 hits. One day, 200 hits. I was amazed. But its gone down a ton since then.

 Granted, I haven’t really posted in the past couple days, so maybe that has something to do with it.

It seems the more I talk about the Kingdom and Government, the more hits I get too.

Regardless of readership, I will continue to post what’s on my mind, so keep coming by and leaving comments if you so desire.

Also, for those that are more blog savy than I am, does anyone know why my bloglines aren’t updating anymore. None of my feeds say they have new posts, but they do.  I’ve tried logging in and out and refreshing but nothing works. Suggestions?



Some mornings, I wake up and ask myself if I really want to make the effort anymore. Not the effort to live, mind you. I enjoy my life. I have a wonderful family, the best fiancee a guy could have, things are really great. The effort that I struggle with is this whole emerging process of my faith.

You see, a year ago Hurricane Katrina did me in. My modern perspective of God got hit with a couple left jabs and got knocked out by a huge right hook from the Gulf of Mexico. It was as if a bunch of questions I’d been having about my faith all really came together on the 29th of August, 2005. I wanted to give up. God no longer made sense to me and I was scared to death.

Fortunately, Brandon Scott Thomas, my friend, mentor, and worship minister took me to lunch after I expressed my concerns to him. He introduced me to Brian McLaren and once he did, I started getting excited about faith again. But, wouldn’t you know it, hard times have arrived again.

Since I’ve been rereading a lot of the gospels and getting commentary from people who are much smarter than I am, I’ve realized that Jesus said some pretty challenging things.  Stuff that I hadn’t missed the first go ’round, but that I had convienently interpreted in ways that made it appear as though I was all ready in line with said particular teaching. Basically, I’d dumbed things down. Now, I’m realizing how faulty my previous interpretations were and it scares me. It scares me because I don’t fully trust God. I look at the problems in the Middle East and the only solution I can comprehend involves war and death. I am having a hard time, however, finding any way that Jesus would condone war. Never in my life have I thought that he would say that it is a good thing, but now I’m starting to believe he’d always think its wrong. But, its just so hard to trust him and say, “things are bad, but I’ve got to die to self, even if that means laying down my life”. I don’t know how I could ever let someone kill those that I love, or kill me, in the name of Jesus or otherwise. I love Carrie Melton more than my own life and I would go to the end of the world to keep her from being harmed. But is that the ethic I should have? Should I harm other people in order to protect her.
I realize this is not my best writing, and I apologize for that. I may edit this tomorrow and make it a little more coherent. I haven’t slept much this past weekend. If you have any thoughts, or share similar concerns, I’d appreciate your comments.

Been gone… but will be back

I apologize for not posting the past couple days, but I have been in North Carolina at Carolina Bible camp. I got to spend some time with my future in laws, as well as meet Carrie’s grandparents. I will be back Monday with a vengence, so hang in there.

Howard Dean

Is it just me or is Howard Dean certifiably crazy? I mean, regardless of what he says, I’m likely not going to vote for a Democrat (thinking about not voting period this year) but its like every time he opens his mouth he’s a liability for his party. For someone as smart as he allegedly is, you’d think he could keep the gaffes to a minimum.

On the Geopolitical front, it appears as if the Israelis are going into Lebanon instead of just lobbing bombs at them. That’s a good thing, because the bombs are doing little against hezbollah. It really is going to take a ground invasion to root this thing out. Its too bad that Lebanon didn’t have a strong enough military to do this themselves though, cause its gonna be bad PR for the Israelis. I pray for peace, but not for faux peace created by politicians, but realy lasting peace that God can bring.

Saying Goodbye to Memphis and hello to ?

This is my first night in my new apartment. I’ll be heading to North Carolina tomorrow and will be gone through the weekend. Then I will spend 4 more days in Memphis and come back here for good.

It kinda freaks me out.

This place that I’m sitting in right now, sans pants due to its taking 4 hours to cool down after the AC had been off for days, is my home. My house in Memphis is no longer my home… at least not in the same way in which its been. This apartment will be the first place that Carrie and I live. We’ll tell our kids about our first apartment, and how the floor was not flat and how the bathroom was barely big enough for one person, how our hippy neighbors downstairs are really awesome people, and on and on with other memories that haven’t been made yet.

I won’t be a Memphian any longer. I guess I haven’t been for quite sometime, though, whenever I come in on I 40 and pass the Memphis Welcome Center (which is on the wrong side of the interstate) I can’t help thinking about all of me that is defined by this place. The geography, the politics, the culture, the architecture… the PEOPLE; as much as I trash talk Memphis, there is a lot I’m going to miss about it. There’s a lot of Me in Memphis (pun intended).

I can’t help thinking that I didn’t do enough to leave a mark on this city. I went to power hour sometimes, did workcamp, I voted, but this city that, despite what I say, has treated me well and raised me well; I haven’t given much back. I regret that.

Anyway, I can always visit, and I’m sure that even as things change, it will still hold a place in my heart.


I’m headed to Nashville today and North Carolina tomorrow, and in the spirit of a road trip, I thought I’d write something a little less angry.

Justin’s Essential Road Trip Items

1. iPod, charger, adapter for stereo
2. Portable DVD player and two seasons of The West Wing
3. Raisenettes
4. Cash (its a bad thing when you’re stuck in nowheresville with no money
5. Bible/McLaren book
6. Cell Phone
7. Derek Webb “Mockingbird”

What are your essentials for a road trip?

Government and the Kingdom Part 2

Apparently, socialism isn’t bringin the Eutopia that it always seems to promise for the poor in France.  Homeless are being given tents by a private group in order to show their plight to the government. The Socialist Party “wants them moved” while the conservatives “want them gone. The group paying for the tents is trying to call attention to the problem and is saying they will take back a tent for every permanent house given to a homeless person.

I have an idea. Why don’t these people raise money and buy houses for the homeless themselves?

I’m so frustrated by this whole… I don’t know what to call it, arrogance on the part of those that think wealth redistribution through the government is how we should help the poor. I’ve been involved in a discussion over at Larry James Urban Daily, wanting to know more about poverty since James is involved with the poor on a day to day basis. However, my opinions are pretty much not welcome there. Any time I comment, I am talked down to. I’ve been told in so many words that the only reason I believe what I do is because its what my parents and church taught me, that I am a rich kid who doesn’t understand poverty, and that I’m a racist.

In all honesty, it hurts my feelings. I do want to know more about what I can do, and I think Larry’s ministry is doing great things, but just like when he spoke at Memphis Workcamp last year, whenever I read his responses to me, I feel as if he’s talking down to me like he’s the only one that really understands how to fix poverty.

I realize this is a little incoherent, but I’m just frustrated and wishing I had a little support.