Sunday, December 30, 2012

Overheard at Booth One: Never forget that Paul

I don't think it's for nothing that the Apostle Paul was once the biggest hunter of Christians.  I mean, he killed the first martyr, Stephen.  Stephen was preaching to the Jews and they rose up and stoned him to death.  Paul orchestrated that.  He incited that.  He admits it.  He was like the CIA, drones, special forces, all that, rolled up and mixed into one lean mean Christian killing machine.

Yet that guy was turned into the driving force that spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, laid the foundation of evangelism, whose hand wrote the letters where we get some of our greatest passages, some of our greatest encouragement.

From a monstrously powerful killing machine to the spreader of love, joy, and abject humility.   That life in itself demonstrates the true redemptive power of God.

That a guy at that time would even admit that, and write about it, that demonstrates the true redemptive power of God.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Overread at Booth 5: Everything, You Are


you are a whisper in the dark/you are a fire without a spark

you are everything I never thought you were

you are one careless thought/you are a possession never bought

you are everything you never thought you were

you are a philosophy running wild/you are a raging jealous child

you are anything you always wanted to be

you are a poem without words/a song that cannot be heard

you are all this and more to me


from 366.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

As the proprietor of Zen and Tao Acoustic Cafe I would like to wish every single
person in the entire world a very Merry Christmas.

This has been a very hard year, for the world, but physically and emotionally.  No doubt of that.  Christ followers, if they were truly Christ followers, should have drawn from theirsource of strength in order to bring some light into the world where the lights are quickly being snuffed out.

However, Christians have not.  Because we are as weak and as frail as any human, and just as afraid.  Christians claim that the world is antagonistic to Christ.  This is simply not true.  It's Christians they have a problem with, especially those who claim Christ with their mouths and never follow Him with their actions.

I will name this type of person specifically: it is the professed Christian who believes in continuing these insane foreign wars, who supports our military missions, who believes inthe death penalty, who believes in torture, who believes in abusing teen girls, who believes in harmful racial jokes, who believes that not every person should recieve the same share of dignity and respect.   Basically, it is the person who says they are a Christian yet who does not love every other person in the world in the way that they love themselves.

God wrapped Himself in frail flesh so that we could rip Him apart like a salivating pack of animals, so hungry for His blood that any one of us would have fought for the chance to lash the whip or drive the nail.  He did this because He loved each one of us, so that those who accepted Him, and this sacrifice, would rise slightly above our own venal nature enough to keep this ragged world from shredding itself to pieces.

So, on this one day of all days, let us not be so mewling as to not stand up and give other people a simple Merry Christmas, and make it mean what it's supposed to mean, which is I LOVE YOU...

even if you kill me.  Especially if you kill me, I love you.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Overheard at Booth 2: A Christmas Mixture

"You know, I'm really getting tired of all the same Christmas Carols over and over and over and over again, and I was hearing some stuff the other day, mainly on the alternative radio station, and it brought to mind some of the other songs that are Christmas songs, but not your usual stuff, and so I wrote 'em down on this list, here, check it out . ..

Los Straightjackets - Sleigh Ride
AC/DC - Mistress for Christmas
Fleming and John - Misty Mountain Wonderland
The Vandals - Grandpa's Last Christmas
Chris Rea - Driving Home for Christmas
Collin Raye - What If Jesus Came Back Like That?
Bob Rivas - Jingle Hells Bells
Neil Diamond - You Make It Feel Like Christmas
Dar Williams - The Christians and the Pagans
Royal Crown Revue - Hey Santa
Frank Kelly - Christmas Countdown


Friday, December 14, 2012

Overread at Booth 1: So Much Is Said About the Manger



so much is made about the manger.
we now well know that the wisemen didn’t get there until
He was about two years old, which somehow doesn’t make us wonder
why didn’t anybody notice the star was following this
infant all over Israel?

and the trough, nobody seems to know that he
was laid, justborn and newly mewling, in the place
where animals ate.  why don’t we teach this?
we debate with our children if the ox and the lamb kept time.
and we hear nothing about the shepherds, just boys themselves,

who grew up, eventually had newly mewling babies themselves,
not born in mangers, but
who, when in their late teens, at the start of manhood,
on some hillside, they

heard this slightly older man speaking to them from
a boat out in the lake, his voice carried to them across the water,
which they heard,
and instinctively,

walked out onto the waves to follow Him.


from 366.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Overheard at Table 3: Robert Earl Keen "Merry Christmas from the Family"

"heard this song the other day, this reminded me so much of growing up in Oklahoma, it was just like this guy had been in my grandparents' house all those years!  Especially reminded me of those overflowing ashtrays out in the back of the garage that granddad had converted into a pool room, freezing our butts off while I shot pool with my uncles, as they drank more and more beer and swapped old war stories . . .

"ah, those were the times!"

Robert Earl Keen

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk at our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch and homemade eggnog
Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn't know what to think of him until he sang
Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins from his second wife Mary Nell
Of course he brought his new wife Kay
Who talks all about AA
Chain smoking while the stereo plays Noel, Noel
The First Noel

Carve the Turkey
Turn the ball game on
It's margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension chord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of Pampers, Marlboro Lights
Halelluja everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can't remember how I'm kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our Christmas lights
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited out on our front lawn
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
And we sang Silent Night, Silent Night, Oh Holy Night

Carve the turkey turn the ball game on
It's Bloody Marys
Cause We All Want One!
Send somebody to the Stop 'N Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow
A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites
A box of Tampons, some Salem Lights
Halelluja, everybody say cheese
Merry Christmas from the Family

Feliz Navidad!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Overheard at the Counter: The Apple of Gozai

Verble, still on an emotional high off of completing his first screenplay, "Fanger" is telling the regulars about a new idea that he had when he awoke this morning, called, "The Apple of Gozai"

Woke up with the phrase, you are the apple of God's Eye.  and I was thinking who could possibly be the apple of GOD's eye.  and then I was thinking does anybody even remember that phrase, you are the apple of my eye ?   I haven't heard it in forever.

and that's when my brain corrupted it to "gozai" "God's eye - go-zai" and then the idea just exploded.   the movie is shot in a yellowish, or a sepia tone, no - yellowish, showing dust.   Gozai is an unnamed town, but it looks physically like the Middle East, particularly Israel, or some of the countries around it, Jordan maybe, maybe Syria, maybe Lebanon.   whatever, it looks like that, and there is a young child, preadolescenet, named Lirik.

and she at some point finds this little pyramid, and it fits in the palm of her hand, and it glows, and it heals people.   she first heals her mother who has been suffering a long sickness, and then throughout the movie she is healing people in town.   she doesn't know where this power is coming from or what it is or why she's the one to use it, but as the story progresses she is surrounded more and more by people needing to be healed.   there are even times when some men try to pull the pyramid from her palm, and no one can separate it from her hand.  only Lirik can put it down or pick it up.  so then they make to cut off her hand, until someone intervenes - don't know who, probably a protector character,

and then one day she wakes up and they pyramid is just gone.  vanished.   Lirik doesn't know where.  but there are still throngs of people at her door all wanting to be healed, in particular one woman says something like 'you healed me yesterday!  why won't you heal me today?'  and Lirik, innocently and greatly confused by this question, says, 'but you were HEALED yesterday.' 

and that's when it turns out to be the whole point of the story: people are healed, and people are changed, but only momentarily.   so you have the whole question of healing the body versus healing the soul, do we ever really change? and where do God's miracles end and religion begin, all sorts of questions playing around my brain.

and we can do anythign with this world too, I was thinking, we could even make all the people roughly androgynous.  Lirik herself could be either boy or girl, we could make it Middle East or we could make it some sort of dondescript "otherworld" possibly post-apocalyptic, I dunno.  

The possibilities are endless.