Fuel -- "King for a Day"

"King for a Day" comes from Fuel's album, Sunburn
Bled the line tonight
Fading as the lies
Lay weeping on the page...
Nothing was saved

Falling at the sight
Photographs of white
Bright grin and sunny days
And all was betrayed

And I think I know
The reason that your light would never stay
And all that's left to show
Are memories now, but I can truly say
I was king for a day

(If you've never heard of this relatively obscure song by Fuel, you've probably heard of their other super-hits: Hemorrhage, Shimmer, Bad Day, etc.)


Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry... The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" ... the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
--Matthew 4


Would it have mattered if Christ had chosen one little indulgence? Doesn't everyone need a quick snack or an ego boost every so-often?

Satan promised him the kind of fleeting pleasure that most people can hardly resist. But there was too much on the line. The tiniest hint of compromising would have nullified Christ's mission to glorify God and save mankind. He could have thrown it all away in that moment, as any average person would have done, but he proved himself. He stayed the Course.

Christ's flawless obedience saved and continues to save us all. His unyielding purity is so exceedingly pure that he makes up for all of our spiritual taintedness.

Christ obeyed God perfectly thereby earning His rightful place at God's right hand. So what do we have to lose by settling for less than perfection?

Every time we choose self-indulgence over obedience to God we trade immeasurable, spiritual richness for a much smaller pleasure. But at least we can look back, after we have lost everything, and quote Fuel, saying, "I was king for a day." Of course, after the fact, this statement is not comforting at all. Saying, "I was king for a day" is the same as saying, "I got what I wanted a while ago... now I am tired, poor and hungry and stripped of every good thing I ever had."

But there is a good kind of indulgence. Even if I die from exposure or starvation, if I am a Christ-follower, then I have filled up on the greatest pleasure in the universe. Even if I never accumulate worldly wealth, I still have immeasurable, unfading riches in Christ. Worldly wealth requires me to keep filling up, buying more... escalating my efforts to get that elusive "buzz."

But Christ is a transforming indulgence. The more I indulge in Him, the more he teaches me how to be satisfied. He is our the only true pleasure; everything else has either failed already, or is in the process of failing.

Bad Religion -- "Skyscraper"

"Skyscraper" comes from Bad Religion's album, Recipe for Hate Come let us make bricks and burn them hard,
We'll build a city with a tower for the world
And climb so we can reach anything we may propose...
Anything at all

Build me up, tear me down
like a skyscraper
Build me up, then tear down
these joining walls
So they can't climb at all

I know why You tore it down that day
You thought that, if You got caught, we'd all go away,
Like a spoiled little baby who can't come out to play,
You had your revenge


God is childish? How much more childish is it to try and build a silly tower up to heaven... If anything, God did those people a favor by stopping them before they wasted any more time and energy on this vain pursuit.

Attempting to bring God down to our level, or trying to lift ourselves up to His level... now that is childish. The fact that God interacted with the citizens of Babel to correct their silliness was, in itself, an act of mercy. In a similar way parents correct their little children with the goal of helping them to grow up.

The fact that God interacts with us at all demonstrates His divine patience.

He takes action to correct our childishness and, like little children, we complain. He leaves us to our own devices and, like little children, we complain. He communicates with us in whatever way we will understand, which, much of the time, is as a parent adult dealing with a spoiled, whiny baby.

I should mention that most of my posts about Bad Religion are positive. Their insightfulness almost always impresses me... except in a few cases such as this song. Also, "Skyscraper" reminded me of a memorable rendition of the Tower of Babel story written and narrated by Jonathan Goldstein of NPR.

"Handlebars" by the Flobots -- It's Good to be Alive

"Handlebars" comes from Flobots' album, Fighting with Tools

I can ride my bike with no handlebars

No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
Hands in the air like it's good to be
And I'm a famous rapper
Even when the paths 'r all crookedy
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to "De Colores"
And "I'm Proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:
I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome
I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

It's good to live in America. It reminds me that God is good. As a free citizen of the United States, I have tons of opportunity to stop and think about God's goodness.

Living in the U.S. reminds me that people are valuable, or that God values people. The beautiful things and ideas around me remind me that God injects purpose and meaning into His creation. In particular, many of the tendencies that are built into all us point to many of God's divine characteristics.

The world is saturated with God's genius. That people have minds, souls and bodies is genius. That people are created in God's image is miraculous.

We set our minds to accomplishing certain goals. We desire. We are restless. We sing and dance. We explore. We create. Do you see how wonderful these things are?

We have all made mistakes. Even though our "paths 'r all crookedy" there is still a straight and narrow Way. We have made our paths all crookedy, but God has taken action to give us a second chance. He has given us a renewing purpose for living well. From skipping rope to learning new things to loving other people, Christ is our new, all-satisfying purpose.

The little things matter. The little things we do matter.

We all are little people. But we all matter because God said so. Jesus Christ eliminates all doubt.

The Man of La Mancha -- Crazy Good

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my Quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far;
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause!

And I know, if I'll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest.

And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!


The Man of la Mancha is based on a Broadway musical about the author/playwright/poet Cervantes as he lives out his idealistic ambitions in real life as well as through Don Quixote (the infamous fictional character). Cervantes chooses to see reality "not as it is, but as it should be," a mindset which he immortalizes partly through his public resistance to the Spanish Inquisition, mostly through his fictional alter-ego Don Quixote.

At the beginning of The Man of la Mancha, Cervantes puts on a play that pokes fun at the Spanish Inquisition. To the inquisitors this is the same as poking fun at God Himself, so they arrest him. It's not surprising that the fiery playwright clashes with Catholic church officials since, during that time, the church had reached new heights of religious insecurity.

While Cervantes waits in prison, he tells his story to fellow prison mates by putting on a musical about Don Quixote. They appreciate the fact that he includes them as part of the production. The grubby men and women are skeptical at first but, by the end of the movie, Cervantes wins them over with his creative, idealistic zeal.


Don Quixote (Cervantes) demonstrates the fact that there is a good kind of craziness. Raw idealism might be seen as insanity to someone who has given up all hope that there is any goodness in the world. Then again, a man would have to be mad to sacrifice his own well-being for the good of other people, when those people might never appreciate that man's sacrifice.

Don Quixote is crazy enough to see a castle where others see a run-down inn; he sees adventure in scenarios that would inspire depression in most people. He is delusional enough to see untainted purity in a woman who the world esteems as a whore. He is crazy enough to resist evil in a thoroughly evil world.

At one point in The Man of la Mancha, the priest points out, "One might say Jesus was mad... or St. Francis." This is a astute observation.

"The Jews were again divided. Many of them said, 'He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?' But others said, 'These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?'"
--John 10:19-21

W. (starring Josh Brolin)

"Hey brother Christian with your high and mighty errand,
Your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you're sayin'

And I want to conquer the world,
Give all the idiots a brand new religion,
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil,
Promote equality in all my decisions
With a quick wink of the eye and a god
You must be joking!"

--Bad Religion, "I Want to Conquer the World"


Dubya has landed himself in a place he does not belong. He prays, but he doesn't really listen to God. He has the connections to become the president, but he never was and never will be presidential material. His motivations and ultimately the fruit of his actions demonstrate the fact that he is unsuited to be President of the United States.

Like most people, G-dub never confronts the real issues that weigh him down. Thus, like most politicians, he is content to get elected for no higher purpose than to feel like he accomplished something. For many jobs, this might not be such a bad thing, but for the Commander in Chief, this mindset can lead to worldwide disaster.

It's simple. Know what you're doing and why you're doing it. Said another way: Know yourself. Said another way: Be reconciled within yourself and with God.

There is a big difference meaning well and being well.

G-dub was inspired by what he didn't want to happen. For example, he didn't want his father to be disappointed. He didn't want the sum of his life to be a failure. This is the epitome of an unreconciled outlook.

Dubya's incompleteness as a person makes him an incomplete leader. This has made him vulnerable to the manipulations of his advisers, especially Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Thus, he may have meant well, but his ability to "mean well" was fundamentally flawed. This is why he didn't think through his decision to hurl the U.S. into war even though, from his point of view, it felt like he had thought it through. His undeveloped sense of purpose led to the U.S. into an endless, wasteful, unjustifiable conflict in the middle-east.

George W. Bush demonstrates the fact that, when people force themselves into positions of leadership, bad things happen. There are few who are fit to lead--such individuals don't have to try too hard because they know who they are; they know what they are doing and why they are doing it.


John the Baptist's disciples came to him and said, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan (Jesus) -- the one you testified about -- he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him."

To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven."
--John's Gospel (3:26-28)

"I am the living bread that came down out of heaven" ... "I am the Light of the world" ... "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
--some of Jesus' "I AM" statements from John's gospel

Finch -- "Awake"

"Awake" Lyrics:
One devotion, to an empty moment
“Can you stay tonight?”
Silence broken, with words unspoken
Now she’s on her knees

No more feeling so useless
"Can I beg for one more?” she said
Taking with arms wide open
Longing for sleep again

The air is clearing, again we’re breathing
Water turns to wine
The day is tired, the night’s inside her
Now she is alive

No more Feeling so useless,
"Can I beg for one more?” she said
Taking with arms wide open,
longing for sleep again

But now I’m awake!
But now I’m awake!
But now I’m awake!

Keep breathing till you feel something
Take my breath AWAY!


Many people have a defining experience, or a moment of truth, when God meets with them. At such times He plants a new desire in a person's heart and mind to know Him. Anyone thus affected can hardly resist searching Him out, to find out who or what He is.

When we first awaken to Christ, we might miss the spiritual hibernation we just came from... after all this is all we have known up to that point. It's true that being spiritually awake can be more difficult than spiritual sleep, like blood rushing to a limb that had been cut off from the body's circulation.

But despite the pains of being born, including taking our first breath of real air, even amidst all the hardships of growing up in Christ, this is still far better than staying asleep. This is true the way that being alive is better than being dead. Once we're awake to the Truth, it would be unnatural to deny Him. As Finch says, "But now I'm awake!"

"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
--Ephesians 5:14

Are You the Kind of Person That Sees Signs?

Signs stars Mel Gibson as Graham Hess (former Catholic priest), Joaquin Phoenix as Merrill Hess (Graham's younger brother) and M. Night Shyamalan as that guy who always shows up in M. Night Shyamalan movies.

Since Graham used to be a Catholic priest, his family and his community are in the habit of looking to him for spiritual guidance. Most people can't help calling him "Father." But Hess does his best to correct them: He is not a priest anymore.

At the onset of the alien invasion, Graham talks to Merrill about why these lights might be showing up in the sky. According to Graham, there are two ways to look at the world: Either God is interacting with our everyday life or everything is decided by chance. When a good thing happens, we can either believe that it was a blessing from God or it was dumb luck.

But Graham's decision to hate God belies his overtly level-headed evaluation. If he really believed that God didn't exist or that things moved along by chance, then he wouldn't be angry at God for his wife's gruesome death.

Graham was in an undeniably difficult situation. It would be almost impossible for anyone in his position to recover from such a crippling loss. Even still, everyone around him looked to him for encouragement, to reassure them that God is still looking out for them. Graham's role in his family and surrounding community, whether he liked it or not, was to lead by faith.

At one point he declares to his family, "I am not wasting one more minute of my life on prayer. Not one more minute. Understood?" He's hurting and no one can blame him. But God's tenacious grace wins out in the end anyway. No matter how Graham tries to cling to bitterness and anger, this is not enough to fend off God's tenacious love.

When his son's life is on the line at the end of the movie, he looks to God once again for mercy. But God never stopped looking out for him and his family, even during that dark hour when he lost his wife. In fact, at the very time that Graham hated God the most, God was setting in motion a chain of events that would eventually save Graham and his family. Graham rediscovers his faith in light of these unexpected circumstances, through which God demonstrated, beyond all doubt, that He is divinely trustworthy.


If you hate God, then go ahead and admit that to Him directly. He can take it. Ask Him to work it out; some way or another He'll make it happen. This is a central reason why Christ visited planet earth, to work out our reconciliation with God.

This is a real-life, sometimes painful process. Most people don't want to give up their self-righteous anger or bitterness, but this is a necessary part of the process. But, like I said, God will work it out.

Finch -- "Perfection Through Silence"

Courtesy of Total Assault

"Perfection Through Silence" Lyrics:
Alone at last
together in a photograph.
Our eyes are always open
devoted to perfection
through silence.

What am I supposed to do?
Should I sit, wait for you?
Listen to me screaming...

This story is old
only to those that have no mold.
The truth can be bought or sold.
But what are we buying?
Nothing but silence.

What am I supposed to do?
Should I sit wait for you?
Listen to me screaming...

Fold the corners,break the silence,
fold the corners just for tonight...
Fold the corners,break the silence,
fold the corners just for tonight...

What am I supposed to do?
Should I sit wait for you?
Listen to me screaming...


Church-goers are encouraged to sit still and wait for the religious experts to do God's work for them. Instead of learning by doing, which is Jesus' style, people sit in pews and fill their heads up with information about Jesus. Instead of learning from Jesus directly by actively following Him, religious people would rather pack away volumes of theory about what it might look like to follow him.

But, relating to God through institutional Christianity is like going on a date to get to know someone at an outdoor cafe in the middle of a category five hurricane. Making spiritual progress within the confines of a man made religion is like driving a brand-new Ferrari through ten feet of mud.

It is safer to maintain a static, mental snapshot of Christ, so that's what many church-goers prefer to do. True, it takes more courage to open ourselves up and know God as He is, but this is far better than trying to keep Him locked up in a glossy photograph, accented by just the right Bible verse, safe and secluded from our everyday lives.

But seekers are screaming for more, and this is a good thing. It tends to be "those that have no mold" who will dare to ask the most pertinent questions such as "Why should I care?" Congregants might ask their leaders, (in Finch's words) "What am I supposed to do? Should I sit, wait for you?"


We will find out every answer after years of unconditionally obeying Jesus Christ. This is difficult, but it's still the best way to live. We will obtain everything God designed our hearts to desire by giving up what we used to think was valuable in favor of learning from Jesus that he is everything our hearts desire.

Body of Lies

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
-- W. H. Auden (quoted at the movie's onset)

Ridley Scott's latest work, Body of Lies, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Roger Ferris and Russell Crowe as Ed Hoffman. This movie makes a case battling terrorism effectively. American bureaucrats are too proud to stop and learn an effective method to battle terrorism, therefore America is losing the War on Terror.

Ask anyone besides the U.S. government and they will tell you that the "War on Terror" is not going well (for either side). Ever since America declared this war in response to 9-11, terrorist activity has been on the rise. In case you thought eight years of bombing and invasions would discourage terrorism, you thought wrong.

It makes sense that military invasion would conflagrate terrorism because terrorism is fueled by religious zeal. Invading and then occupying middle-eastern countries for years on end against the will of those countries legitimizes the terrorists' cause, thus inspiring and more people to join their ranks.

I'm not against resisting terrorism nor am I against just wars. But trying to resist religious zealotry with military force is like trying to make peace with an already angry man by pointing a gun at his family.


So here's how the War on Terror relates to God's kingdom: Jesus Christ already showed us how to fight terrorism.

The driving force behind terrorism and all conflict in general is a lack of reconciliation. The fact that people are unreconciled to themselves, to the world, and (most of all) to God has been causing problems since the dawn of humanity.

Enter Jesus. His secret weapon for disarming the most ruthless, militant, violent aggressors is to take their anger, hurt and rage upon Himself. This is mercy.

Christ's truthful words offended people, so they killed him. He didn't deserve to die, but he died anyway because God sent him for this purpose. By dying for other people, even on a cross, even for people who hated him, Christ gave us the perfect method for battling terrorism.

This doesn't translate very well into government policy but, then again, it was never meant to. God transforms people's lives one at a time, from one heart to another, from the ground up. This is a relational strategy, not a political policy.


On another practical note, Body of Lies should remind us Americans to be careful about the way we as a nation define and react to terrorism. Let's keep in mind that this country was established through a collective act of terrorism against the British government.

Both Americans and the whole world would benefit from a more humble, U.S. foreign policy. Human life, regardless of nationality, race or religious inclination, is too valuable to be wasted on military-hotheadedness.

The Eye (starring Jessica Alba)

"Seeing is believing..." But what if you're completely blind?

Sydney Wells (Jessica Alba) adapts to her blindness by sharpening her other senses. Also, her lack of physical sight leads her to develop a sense of intuition that exceeds that of the average, seeing person.

Sydney's situation demonstrates the fact that sight is not always the best way to take in information. Ironically, relying too much on our sight can hinder our ability to see.


Later on, after she receives an eye transplant to restore her sight. Apart from a drastic change, she would have remained blind.

It just so happens that her new eyes are geared to see spiritual realities, such as when and how people left this world, or how they will leave it in the near future. This ability had nothing to do with the physical constitution of her new eyes, it had to do with the spiritual endowments of their previous owner.

This is far-fetched, obviously, but it is true nonetheless that some people can perceive spiritual realities better than others. Developing an appreciation for spiritual truth is feasible, though the origin of such a priority shift is not necessarily explainable, and it certainly does not depend on an individual's physical constitution.

The ability to perceive spiritual realities is extremely handy. Jesus, for example, teaches his followers to live well in the world all the while appreciating the rules of God's kingdom, which are not immediately obvious to the naked eye. Developing our ability to function within God's kingdom, which requires a spiritual emphasis, empowers us to function better in this physical world.


The idea that "seeing is believing" sounds reasonable enough, but we might easily use this statement to excuse or cover up our lack of faith. Often times this statement really means "when God shows up exactly the way I expect Him to, then I will believe."

There is a right way to expect great things from God. If we know God at all and take Him at His word, then we will expect great things from Him, though, if we really know Him, then we will also fear Him with a healthy sort of fear.

If we are convinced that God is God, then we must also be convinced that nothing is too difficult for Him. At the same time, we should keep in mind that, since He is God, then He knows best. So we should expect Him to show up in innumerable, miraculous ways that are consistent with both of these facts.

This is something we can can only learn about through experience, as we wall beside, live with and follow after Jesus. As soon as we open ourselves up to God fully, then we will know and see and experience Him in full as well.

"Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet still have believed."
--Jesus to Thomas (John 20:29)

House: "Needle in a Haystack" (Season 3, Episode 13)

In between diagnoses, Dr. Foreman and the patient in question (a young gypsy named Stevie) discuss their differing life-directions. They are purposeful as well as firm in their opposing priorities. They both acknowledge the dissimilar fruits that their two lives will produce.

Foreman's main goal is to become an accomplished doctor. Thus, his persistent dedication to diagnostic medicine develops his self-discipline and packs large amounts of information into his brain. However, as Stevie points out, Foreman has almost no time or energy left to develop human relationships.

Stevie wouldn't mind working toward a career in medicine, but the deciding factor is his family relationships. He could leave his familial network in favor of the success that Foreman espouses, but he would rather invest in loved ones.

These men are pursuing different kinds of success. So is there such a thing as being successful God's kingdom? What might such success look like?

Everyone who takes part in God's kingdom during their life on earth is advancing their education in Christ. The best way to get to know God is to obey Him all the time. It's worth it. This is the most beneficial education anyone could possible obtain.

Foreman understands that, to be a good doctor, he must become a good doctor. He realizes that memorizing a few facts won't get him there, he has to dedicate himself over years to transform himself into the doctor he wants to be. So also for Stevie, he resolves to do a lot more than call his folks every so often. He intends to be consistently present, living and spending his life with his loved ones.

Both these men are taking action, investing in their goals.

The same principle applies to becoming a child of God. It's a process, a gradual transformation that comes about as we deliberately spend time with Jesus Christ, following Him, obeying Him, enjoying Him. Christ Himself will demonstrate the indescribable richness of knowing Him as we depend on Him over the years, through every life-experience big or small, easy or difficult.

The more people take on Christ's burdens, the better off the world will need. We needs all the PhD's in godliness we can get.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
--Jesus to his disciples (Matthew 13:44-46)

The Used -- "The Bird and the Worm"

Lyrics from "The Bird and the Worm:"

He wears his heart
Safety pinned to his backpack

His backpack is all that he knows

Shot down by strangers
Whose glances can cripple

The heart and devour the soul

All alone he turns to stone

While holding his breath half to death

Terrified of what's inside
To save his life

He crawls like a worm from a bird
Crawls like a worm from a bird


inward thinking,
self focus
mind freeze
soul stagnation.

More fear,
the world's against you.

More fear,
backward steps
preserve yourself
you're unsure, retreating
hindered by conscience.

Cling to familiar
protect yourself,
walking now
you'll be crawling soon.

No guarantees
take a chance
move while you can.

NPR -- Tower of Babel Story

Last Saturday I listened to a satiric, yet believable rendition of the Tower of Babel story on NPR (National Public Radio) called "Reach for the Top," written and read by Jonathan Goldstein. This aired as part of Goldstein's WireTap series. This tale struck me as not only plausible historically, but also reminiscent of recent events that have befallen the financial sector.


The Tower of Mibzer (Later renamed the Tower of Babel) was inspired by a man named Mibzer to lift the human race out of its post-Flood rut.

In the years following the Great Flood, the memory of God's wrath weighed heavy on people's minds. Their hopes for the future were grim in light of God's seemingly capricious wrath. Though He gave people the rainbow as a source of reassurance, it tended to remind them of their not-so-distant, catastrophic past.

There arose an energetic young butcher named Mibzer lived in a small town named Babel. This man was a big thinker, especially for a butcher.

During those times, gossip and convoluted speculation relating to The Flood dominated people's conversations. Thus Mibzer concluded that Noah must have failed to communicate God's mind to the people. Considering the tiny group that made it onto the boat, Noah must not have conveyed the grave implications of this imminent disaster with sufficient color or fanfare. As far as Mibzer was concerned, Noah should have explained what happened to the post-flood survivors so (at least) God wouldn't look so incompetent.

Mibzer eventually came up with the idea of building a Great Tower as a means to redeem mankind. Such a tower would give people purpose right now as well as promise them a well-shaded future. The Tower would reach into heaven so anyone might step into God's throne room in the clouds and approach Him whenever they wanted. Also, in case God sent another flood, the people could run up the tower for safety. The Tower would stand out as a symbol of human ingenuity, as a manifestation of promise to a discouraged race.

Mibzer started off standing on old meat boxes, preaching his glorious vision to busy market goers. Before long he affected a large enough group of people get the project going. Mibzer's role in the Tower's construction was to boost morale and remind people why they were working so hard.

As the Tower grew in stature, so did the number of workers. Before long other towns saw the Tower of Mibzer stretching into the sky; this attracted masses of energetic contributors. Thus progress moved along at an exponential rate, until God threw an unexpected wrench in their plans. Without warning, God rearranged everyone's ability to communicate. Though whatever they said made sense to whoever was speaking, the words came out as gibberish to everyone else. Thus mankind no longer spoke one language, and work on the Tower was postponed indefinitely.

This story demonstrates the general rule that people aren't satisfied with the security God offers them. We prefer to have something measurable, something we can call on whenever we feel the need.

God's rainbow, which mankind could never create or build, represents His unbreakable promise to never destroy the world again. This should have sufficed, but people, in their short-sightedness, decided to invent something more controllable, something that offered them a sense of security. The same thing goes for us these days... the security of simply knowing and depending on God is staring us in the face all the time, but we prefer to depend on more predictable things like wood, stone and metal, or anything that gives us a sense of control.

These days people are similarly desperate for whatever guarantee they can get--especially in regards to finances. The Great $700 Billion Bailout is like an oversized, convoluted tower of money that was thrown together to satisfy people's immediate needs. The Bailout was inspired by fear that our American status quo might be at risk.


Until Robert's comment (below) I was unable to verify a few particulars of this broadcast. It turns out there are MP3's for a series of readings at the WireTap blog called Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible! Judging by the unique insight Goldstein demonstrates in this episode, I'll be checking back.

Related post: Bad Religion -- "Skyscraper"

House -- "Meaning" (Season 3, Episode 1)

Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) is one of the best medical diagnosticians in the world. He is renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge, which helps him figure out what is wrong with people. He is also notorious for his unconventional tenacity.

So what drives this great doctor?

It turns out House needs his "highs" just like anyone else. He has two main sources of fulfillment: Vicodin and medical intrigue.

In Season 3's "Meaning" (beware, spoilers ahead), House finally gets a taste of life apart from his pain meds. As a side effect of his recent medical procedure (gunshot wound from last episode), he now feels no pain in his leg (yet another episode) and therefore does not need to pop Vicodin all day to stay functional.

This might seem like a good thing at first glance, but he soon finds himself missing his beloved highs. So he latches onto the only drug he has left: the rush of figuring out impossible medical conditions. By the end of the episode, he dazzles everyone yet again by curing a man who has been paralyzed for the last eight years. His colleagues know that he accomplished this, but they don't tell him, and they deliberately avoid telling him about it.

What does this mean for House? It means he has been denied of both his drugs. Thus, before the end of the episode, he writes himself a prescription for Vicodin so he can get at least one of them back.


Is there a good kind of "high?" Is it wrong to desire some kind of high?

I submit that God designed us to desire some kind of "high," or rush, or powerful motivation for doing the things we do. He designed us to need motivation to function or even maintain some level of sanity. Thus, there is a good kind of "high," which comes from drawing closer to God.

Helping needy people is a more productive way to feel high than ingesting drugs, but this is still limited. Even the best-intentioned person in the world has to question their motivation for helping others eventually and, when they do, what will be their answer? It makes them feel good? It makes them feel important, or part of a greater cause?

Feeling satisfied with one's direction in life or feeling good about oneself is only a side effect. These things are not enduring motivations or purposes for existing.

Not to worry, though... the truth is simple: Jesus Christ is the End-All. He is the Beginning, Middle and End for all who have the good sense to surrender to Him. He is the only Food that fills. He is the Highest Cause. He is the Ultimate Truth.

Accomplished men such as Dr. Gregory House would like to think this is foolish or overly simplistic, but this is only a defense mechanism. The Answer is extremely straightforward, and that is a good thing. The simplicity of dying in Christ is purposeful, an aide for those who are willing, though this might be a stumbling block to the world's elite.

House acknowledges God, but he lacks the fortitude to go the next logical step and give himself over to God. This would be an extremely difficult choice for anyone who has so much self-aggrandizement to lose.