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Fri
9
May '08

Warning: Unusual Content for CarCast!

Disclaimer:  This is not the normal fodder you would find from me on The Car Cast but in an attempt to be forthright I will include it here  This was originally written in mid April.  I have only now published it.

Maybe I'm getting old.  I may just be super nostalgic with the recent death of my father-in-law and all of the "remembering" that goes along with this kind of event.  I am not sure why, but this week I was hit hard by the news that a pioneer of Christian Music, Roby Duke, passed away in December '07.  

I was a nominal fan of Roby Duke at best.  Heidi and I saw him in concert once at Northwest College in Kirkland.  We had the opportunity afterward to talk to him where I of course shared the fact that I was a singer and "songwriter" (the use of finger quotes would be appropriate here).  Roby was gracious and actually invited me to look him up in the phone book (he was apparently listed) and give him a call sometime so that I could check out the new studio he had built in his house.  Of course I never did.eulogy

I heard the news about Roby's death while listening to a podcast from another pioneer of Christian Music: Phil Keaggy.  He does a podcast several times a year that features new music he is working on.  This month however it was dedicated to Christian musicians who had passed away….Keith Green, Larry Norman, Rich Mullans, Mark Heard, and Roby Duke.

As I listened I became very aware of my own humanity.  I was actually moved to emotion several times (which is not hard to do when I am listening to music). My thoughts turned to the lives that these great songwriters and musicians lived.  What they did in this life; how they are remembered; who remembers them.

It was during a segment of the podcast that featured the music of Larry Norman that I was really moved.  There was a nostalgic song featured that talked about the accomplishments of a "Small Circle of Friends" that caused me to get lost in thought. If I were to write the same song right now, what would it feature?  If I were to put pen to paper and compose a song about my "Small Circle of Friends" and what legacy we are leaving the world, what would I write about?

I know what I would have said 5 years ago.  It would have involved church activities, "reaching out" to my community (whatever that means), and teaching people about how to follow Jesus.

I know what it would have said 10 years ago.  It would have involved similar tones only it would have included teenagers (I was a youth pastor back then) and something about writing worship music that sought to lead people into a meaningful experience with God.

Today's version of the song, however, would be difficult for me to compose. The friends part of the song would be more easily written today than ever, but the substance of the song is what I would struggle with.  Why?  Simply put: I am not so sure that the things I valued as "great accomplishments" back then are the things I value today.  Do I still value worship, teaching people about Jesus, and "reaching out" to my community?  Yes but in some respects the meaning behind those words and phrases has changed.

Why is it that when we are young life is so simple?  Why is it that you do not need the same questions answered and are content with ignorance?  I am finding myself wrestling with issues of wisdom.  As I listened to a bunch of old "Jesus Music" I couldn't help but find myself thinking that in many ways the world was a lot more naive in the '70's.  But as I become more introspective I began to see how, in many ways, I was so much more naive.  Is it a good thing that I have become wiser?  Is it entirely a good thing to lose that child like wonder?  In some ways I feel like a 12 year old who suddenly realizes that they no longer believe in Santa simply because they figured out on their own that there isn't one.

Have I lost my faith?  Never!  In some ways it is a deeper more unmovable faith than it has ever been.  So what is it I have lost?

Idealism

Traditionally, I tend to be one of the most idealistic people you would ever meet.  Things have always been fairly black in a white in my world.  I either love something or hate it and there is little room for anything in between.  I have always held to a sense of justice and "right-ness" in the world that steamed from my idealistic outlook on life.  I don't think I have been oblivious or stupid but like the words of a Malcolm & Alwin songs state:

Funny how when you think your right 

Everybody else must be wrong.

I think I have come to grips with the fact that I am not always right.  This realization, I believe, has not killed but rather neutered my idealism.

Unwavering Optimism

I was once accused by a pastor/employer of being so optimistic that I had no grasp in reality.  That was of course completely false and a complete misunderstanding by that person; but I can see why I would have been accused of it.  I am at heart an optimist.  I still am.  I don't think my optimism has been lost, but rather tamed.  The optimism I once felt has been introduced to reality.  Time and time again it has been tossed into the rocks of life by the waves of reality.  Just like the rocks on the beach, my optimism has been worn smooth.  It has been slowly, methodically, ground down from a jagged, sharp, even potentially dangerous object into a facile piece of my life that has become more of a stereotype than a choice.  I still believe the best is going to happen.  I still look on the bright side.  I still give people the "benefit of the doubt."  Only now my optimism is slightly jaded.

Faith in People

My wife is so good for me.  We have a tendency to balance each other out in so many ways.  We often joke about how neither of us could live without the other because of the imbalance we would live in.  My faith in others is one of those areas where Heidi has always balanced me out.  I am the person who, traditionally, has always assumed that people do not mean me any harm.  If they do something that hurts me or someone I love there is some reason for it that I should be understanding of.  Maybe they had a hard childhood, or bad day, or just need a hug.  I thing that for most of my life I have taken the view that people are generally good.  Now, my theology does not match up with that in the slightest.  But in practice that is how I have lived my life.  In recent years, months and days I believe I have come to a place where I view most people with a slight suspicion.  I know right now I am sounding neurotic and paranoid, but I am being honest here.  Whether it is employers, pastors, politicians, or even landlords, I find myself waiting for the hammer to fall.  I still give people the "benefit of the doubt" but it us usually accompanied by a sense of distrust and trepidation.  It is much like meeting a "head hunter" in the jungle who says that he has piles of gold that you can just have if you come back to his hut with him.  You will of course smile and shake his hand but you can't shake the feeling that he is looking for just the right opportunity to shrink your head!  Call it insecurity if you want, but I think it more a realistic view of people based on the actions of others and experiences I have had in my life time.

So where does all of this leave me?  Good question.  In the end what kind of legacy will I leave?  How will I be remembered by and by whom will I be remembered?  If I live my life with these questions as my motivation I fear I will be as disingenuous as most of the politicians, pastors, and employers I have known.  No, I must be true to myself.  How though, can you be true to yourself and not self absorbed?  Aren't we called to lose our life?  Aren't we called to die?  How can I die to myself and yet remain genuine if it is myself that I am focused on?  

Wisdom is a funny thing.  It brings with it a great sense of responsibility.  I have a hard time imagining what poor Solomon must have felt on a daily basis.  Actually I do know:

"Meaningless, meaningless.  It's all meaningless."

Wisdom does not come at once.  It is something one grows in.  Like yodeling.  As Jack Handy put it:

"If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. You see, we BUILD to that."

All I know is that I am still searching.  Still sharing my journey with others.  Still wanting to be like Jesus.  Sometimes I want to go back to those earlier days.  Sometimes I want to be more naive.  But then again that would be a very unwise decision.

Tue
20
Mar '07

Mid-Phase is the WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD!

Wondering where The Car Cast has been?

Blame MidPhase hosting service. MidPhase sucks so bad I hope thier buildings go up in flames (of course no loss of life or injury). I do however, wish they were completely out of business. Long story:

I used to use MidPhase as a webhost. I found a better company with better features and decided to switch. I purchased my new hosting plan and proceeded to switch over hosting….UNTIL my domain name expired. Just out of the blue one day my email stops working and my website goes down. I call up my new host only to find out that it was not their fault but MidPhase. They had not transfered the registration of my domain name. I called MidPhase and they told me that since my account had expired that they would not do anything until I paid them for another quarter of hosting (to the tune of like $35-45!!!). I had no choice. I paid, and we asked for a transfer of our domain name (etumos.org) to the new host.

As far as I knew everything was going well and working fine until last Friday night. My email goes down and then the website follows. Again I call my webhost…which by the way I LOVE….and they again say…this is a MidPhase issue.

I call MidPhase 3 times spending about 20 minutes on hold each time only to get a “Leave a Message at the tone” and then get hung up on.

I finally got someone to chat with me and she tells me that this is a billing issue and I won’t be able to do anything about it until Monday when the billing office opens. I am LIVID…but I decide to wait until Monday (because what else am I going to do?).

Monday rolls around and at 9AM I call the billing office. They tell me that until I pay them $21.95 they can’t do anything. I told them that I wasn’t going to pay them one red cent and they needed to fix this since twice now my domain name had expired and I was never notified. They transfered me to the billing manager who was a condesending PRICK! He told me that this was my fault for not making the change properly (even though the process never tells you if it doesn’t transfer properly). And that there was nothing he would do for me unless I paid the $21.95. I asked him how they could charge that since every other web host in the world charges $9.95? He told me that they are not a registrar and this is a service they provide for their customers…which…if I was one of their customers I would never have had to deal with.

I told him this and issues like this were the reason I changed host. Told him their service sucked and told him I didnt think it was fare that I had to pay $21.95 for something they screwed up. He told me it was my fault an my alternative was to wait 30 days until the grace period goes away and then try to register and buy the domain name on my own.

I told him that he was full of POOP. And told him to do what he had to to fix this.

SO…I now have to wait 3 days (don’t know why it takes 3 days) for them to bill my credit card, and update my account (which they had a hard time finding) and hopefully I can get the Car Cast back up and running by Wed or Thursday.

Thanks to the Help of Bryan (Listener X), and good friend of the show Kolby Allen (see I gotcha back ;) we have thecarcast.com up and running but it will be several more days before you can download shows via the rss feed. Becuase of that I am holding the 2 shows I have ready to go and waiting until Thursday to do a new show.

If you want to express your feelings to MidPhase feel free to do so. The billing Manager can be contacted via email here: trhoads@midphase.com

See you soon, And expect some yelling on the show when I get back on…I even said the “F” Word in an email to Barry…That is how pissed I am.

Hugs and Kisses!!!

Chris

Wed
7
Mar '07

Working the Trailer for Destee…

Working the Trailer for Desteenation!

Tue
30
Jan '07

Working on Desteenation’s Mark…

Working on Desteenation’s Marketing

'

Started a new job….Desteenat…

Started a new job….Desteenation Shirt Co Check them out at http://www.desteenation.com

Mon
22
Jan '07

I just set up a meeting with D…

I just set up a meeting with Don McCobm From KOMO to discuss renting their Studios

Mon
28
Mar '05

Phase One: Mr Mom…

Today begins my month “between churches.” It really isn’t really between churches. We have started Eutmos and are up and running. Our weekly team meetings are going on every Tuesday evening. May 7 we begin our first Weekend Gathering. It seems almost like I have a month off but I really dont.

Today Heidi started working full time. She is nannying full time until June. Then she goes part time. With her working so much I now have a new title…MR Mom!

I am overseeing all of the household responsibilities. It is only my first day but I am enjoying it immensely. I have time to spend with God and worship before I have to get all of the house work done…Oh and what is more…I get to continue to do the things needed to start this church.

Today I am meeting with a good friend: Will. That should be fun. Also I got to do some research on getting my car in tip top shape, fix the washing machine…it has been a productive day and all this before 10:30!

I have some more phone calls to make but I will keep updating this page with more info as it becomes available.

Sat
8
Jan '05

God HATES the Seahawks

I don’t believe that God cares about sports. I know, thousands of NFL fans in Greenbay now want me dead just for making a statement like that, but I really believe it’s true. I do believe that God cares about the people playing the sports. Cares doesn’t even come close. Does he care about the outcome of the games? I really don’t think he does. I have however come to the conclusion that God does care about the Seattle Seahawks. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that it may be God’s will that the Seahawks not get past the first round of the playoffs.


That’s Blasphemy
How can a Bible believing Seattleite like myself even entertain this blasphemy? I believe the feelings I experienced today as the Seahawks lost in the last 20 seconds to the St. Louis Rams echoed hundreds of thousands of Seattleites throughout the Northwest.

Before I explain, let me get two things straight. First, I am a Seattleite through and through. I was born and raised here with the exception of a short six year stint in Idaho (something I’ve come to liken to Israel’s exile to Babylon). I absolutely LOVE Seattle. Second I love Seattle sports. It is that love of Seattle sports though that leads me to my feelings that God has a hand in the sports success of Seattle teams.

History Shows it
History may be on my side too. Take for example the 1993 Seattle Sonics. For the entire season the Sonics had the best record in Basketball. Not even Michael Jordan himself could stop the regular season Sonics. They were dominant. Then in the first round of the Playoffs, they lose to a wretched Denver Nuggets team.

Take for example the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Maybe the best baseball team in the history of baseball. In 6 months a team that was never expected to do much of anything rose to the top of baseball and found a place in baseball history when they won 116 games. It was a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the early 1900’s. That year the Mariners won their division by like 25 or 30 games. They were a cinch to be the world champions. The only things standing in their way were the New York Yankees. The Mariners made it all the way to game seven of the AL Championship. They were one game away from the World Series. Then…they chocked. The Yankees knocked them out in the final inning.

The Year of the Seahawks
So what does that have to do with the Seattle Seahawk’s loss to the Rams? As I watched in the Seahawks drop the game in the final few seconds, I began to think to myself, “I knew this would happen…it always does to Seattle teams.” I was defeated. So I did what any good Seattleite did…I took a walk. As I walked around my Greenlake neighborhood I began to wrestle with the theological implications of what I just watched. Theological implications? Yes. I began to ask myself if God himself was against the Seahawks. God himself? How else can you explain the fact that for the first time in my lifetime the Seahawks biggest problems were not a terrible quarterback, a bad coach, or owners that were hoping to lose so they could ship them off to Southern California.? In fact, this was supposed to be the year of the Seahawk. More than one writer picked the Seahawks to go all the way to the Super Bowl just four short months ago. Matt Hasselback has found his rhythm and leadership. We picked up Jerry Rice. Sean Alexander…Sean Alexander; Need I say more? Sean missed the NFL Rushing Title by only one yard! With chemistry like this how could the Seahawks lose? I still don’t know. But they did. In losing, they destroyed the hopes and dreams of Seattle sports fans everywhere.

But Why?
The question that occurred to me shortly after figuring that God must not want the Seahawks to win was: why? Why would God, the creator of the universe care about the Seahawks? The only answer I can offer is this: It is not the outcome of the game that God cares about but the people wrapped up in the game and it’s outcome. Maybe the reason that God doesn’t want the Seahawks to “go all the way” is because he wants to reveal the true heart of Seattleites. What is the true heart of Seattleites? I believe it is one founded in cynicism. Seattleites are very cynical people. Cynical when it comes to politics (just look at our recent gubernatorial election). Cynical when it comes to business (we all drink our Starbucks then call them “the man” on our way out the door). Cynical when it comes to religion. And I believe God may be revealing our cynicism in an area that really hurts: professional sports. Why is it that we as a city are so cynical when it comes to eternal things like God and Jesus but every September we really think the Seahawks might make it this year? Why is it that Seattleites think religion is for the foolish but we are foolish enough to put our hopes in a baseball team that has NEVER been to a World Series? Why? Because we are cynics; and cynics have a tendency to be irrational. So irrational that it will take some unusual methods to reveal our own hearts to us.

The season is over for the Seahawks, but in the Sonics are in full swing and the Mariners are only four months away. Seem like an unlikely method of speaking to people? I bet Balaam thought it unusual when his donkey spoke up too.

Until next year…Go Hawks!

Thu
6
Jan '05

Just Like A Brand New Computer

So today I upgraded my iBook to the latest version of Mac OS X – Panther. It was relatively painless and everything went well. I had to so that I could check my gmail from home. I use a PC at work so that was no problem but I could not check it at home as my iBook is all I have at home. Now my iBook runs faster than ever. I wonder why when I upgrade a 2 1/2 year old PC with the latest version of Windows it slows down to a crawl but Mac speeds things up to the point that it almost feels like a brand new computer! The only complaint I have is that I went to Revolutions (a coffee shop a block away with amazing coffee and free wireless access) and my airport card would pick up the wireless network and log on but not get an IP address so wouldn’t access the internet. It could have been that their web access was down but I was too lazy to ask.

So if you are a Mac person I HIGHLY recomend the latest version (X 10.3)! So far I love it.

Wed
5
Jan '05

This Blog Crap sucks if you have pop up’s blocked

Ok Now I am really pissed. I just spent like over an hour writing a really good post about planting a church and the piece of crap IE pop up blocker erased everything because of the spell check. This sucks!

I’ll rewrite it later.

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