Monday, January 28, 2008

The Problem with God

Our church has started a blog to discuss some of the questions that are being raised in our current message series, The Problem with God, and I am one of the contributors. We asked our people before the series to invite their non-believing and maybe atheist/agnostic friends to come and dialogue with us. And at each service, we invite everyone to write down their questions about or problems with God and put them in a box as they leave, and we are doing our best to answer as many of them as we can. There have been, and continue to be, some fascinating and challenging discussions going on. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fantasy Football Review

I had cause to look back at past postings on this blog and came across my fantasy football draft from this past season. Here's how my draft played out:
  1. Larry Johnson - RB
  2. Ronnie Brown - RB
  3. Donovan McNabb - QB
  4. Lee Evans - WR
  5. Plaxico Burress - WR
  6. Deuce McAllister - RB
  7. Vernon Davis - TE
  8. Mark Clayton - WR
  9. Alex Smith - QB
  10. Shayne Graham - K
  11. Vernand Morency - RB
  12. Bernard Berrian - WR
  13. Baltimore - D/ST
Now, here's my roster on the final day of the season:
  1. Derek Anderson - QB
  2. Earnest Graham - RB
  3. Fred Jackson - RB
  4. Chester Taylor - RB
  5. Fred Taylor - RB
  6. Bernard Berrian - WR
  7. Plaxico Burress - WR
  8. Anthony Gonzalez - WR
  9. Brandon Marshall - WR
  10. Vernon Davis - TE
  11. Phil Dawson - K
  12. San Diego - D/ST
  13. Indianapolis - D/ST
So let's see, my first two draft picks went out with injuries (and Brown was a stud before he went down); the third pick was less than great (except for the one week that I sat him) before I dropped him; my fourth pick did not live up to expectations; pick five, stud; pick six, nothing special; pick seven, dropped him and picked him up again; picks eight through eleven, not much to talk about; pick twelve had good weeks, but was handicapped by below average quarterback play; and pick thirteen was my keeper and was not good. 

My pick-ups did OK, for the most part. DA was great, most of the time (double bonus since I'm a huge Browns fan); my RB corps did alright, especially Fred Taylor; Marshall was a go-to R a good part of the year; and I had two good D/ST to choose from. Considering how pitiful of a draft it was, a sixth place finish, was not too bad. Here's hoping I draft better next year, though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Touching Holiness

As I was reading the Bible yesterday morning - somehow, Colin and Hanna gave me a few minutes to do so - I came across a couple of verses that have never stood out to me before. In Leviticus 6, in the discussion about the grain offering and the sin offering, God tells Moses that anyone that touches them will become holy (v. 18 & 27). I have always known in the Levitical code that anyone that touches something that is unclean will then be considered unclean, but now I come to the realization that the opposite is true, that he who touches the holy will become holy. How cool is that?! Lord, help me to touch the holy. Help me to touch You!

Another thought that comes with that is that we are called to be holy in the New Testament. I wonder if anyone that touches me or comes into contact with me experiences holiness. Shouldn't they? Shouldn't they come into contact with me, or any follower of Jesus, and experience holiness? That is what we are called to be: holy. Unfortunately, I fear that others experience something far different in me: impatience, frustration, selfishness, etc. Lord, help me to be holy so that I can be holiness to the world that so desperately needs it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A New Arrival!

This should have been posted several days ago, but things have been a little crazy around the Fitzpatrick household. You see, last Friday night, Marcy and I went to bed with Marcy feeling a little weird, not sure if she was having contractions or not. She didn't sleep well, and started timing contractions at 2:00am. They timed out at three minutes apart which, if you don't know about childbirth, means it's time to get to the hospital. However, the contractions were short in length, say 30 seconds or so. So she held out and woke me at 2:30am to confirm her times. She was right. She decided to take a shower and lay down. Now, the contractions were 1 1/2 minutes apart, which means it's about go time. But they were still short, so we called the doctor to find out what we should do. She told us to head to the hospital, which we did. I think we freaked out the security guards as Marcy kept having to stop and bend over from the contraction. We finally got upstairs and into a room at 4:23am. Marcy's contractions were very intense. She decided that she wanted to get up and sit on the birthing ball, but as soon as she sat up, a huge contraction hit and she had to lean on me. When it was done, she said, "I either peed the bed or my water just broke." The nurse confirmed that he water broke, which meant she had to lay back down. When the doctor showed up, she said two things: "I bet you feel pretty silly for calling me now, don't you?" and "Pay attention, Dad, because you might be delivering the next one at home." Not funny. Anyway, the contractions were quick and severe at this point. When Marcy rolled over onto her back, we could already see the baby's head. After a few pushes, out came the 5:09am! That's right, only 46 minutes after getting into the room, we had another baby. A baby girl! What a rush...with a lot of pain, of course. After a day or so, we finally settled on a name: Hanna (named after one of Marcy's grandmothers) Alice (name after my Grandma Alice). And she is a joy! She sleeps well, and so we feel fairly well-rested. And Colin has been absolutely sweet with her, giving her hugs and pressing his cheek against hers, all with a big smile on his face. So the Fitzpatrick clan grows by one more, and we are thrilled!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

More Millions Out The Window

Throughout the years, I have come up with ideas for inventions that would be so sweet that, if I could patent them, would set me up for life. I remember thinking once that if nothing sticks to Teflon, then why not coat cars in Teflon. That way, no dirt or bird poop would stick to them. I know, brilliant! Then I hear later that some car manufacturer decided to do this very thing by mixing Teflon in the paint. Dang! The problem with these great ideas is that I have no way to implement them. I guess I'm an idea guy; I need to meet an implementation guy/girl and we'll be all set. My latest "D'oh!" is this one. I once thought, "How difficult would it be to have a car that drives itself?" you could have sensors that track where the road is, as well as all the other cars and other obstacles. Now, GM is planning on making that a reality. If they can get it to fly - not literally fly - how sweet would that be? I've often thought that it would be most excellent to vacation in an RV, but I don't want to drive it. This way, I wouldn't have to! I could just set the computer, and Marcy and the kids and I could head to the back to play, sleep, watch movies, or whatever. Of course, this is assuming a lot on a youth pastor's salary...

Monday, January 07, 2008

That's a Children's Book?!?

I was reading to Colin this morning. We were reading Richard Scarry's Best Little Word Book Ever! and testing him on various words and objects. At the end of the book, we were reviewing body parts, and as we did, I noticed a list of other Little Golden Books that are available. As I read through them, I discovered one that seemed a rather strange choice for a children's book. Oh, there were the normal kids' titles: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Leopard Got Its Spots, and The Poky Little Puppy. Then, out of nowhere, jumping off the page is Dr. Ruth Westheimer: Grandma on Wheels. That's Dr. Ruth, sex therapist, of the "If it feels good, do it" fame. Call me a prude, but she seems like an odd choice to be the subject of a children's book. I hear their newest release is Jerry Springer and the Tiny Frog.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007: Year in Review

Now that it is 2008 officially - I know that by the sheer number of college football games that are on TV right now - it's time to look back on 2007 for some standout events, happenings, and themes:
  • Colin - He's probably the highlight of the year. It has been so much fun to watch him change from a baby into a little boy and develop a personality. We have experienced him standing, walking, talking, getting baptized, sleeping in a big boy bed (when he wants to stay in it), and wrestling. I never knew that being a dad could be this much fun and rewarding. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to Baby Fitz #2, which brings us to:
  • New baby - One day, as I was working in my office, I heard some footsteps coming down the hallway, followed by Marcy's voice whispering (to Colin), "Take this to Daddy. Go see Daddy." I turned around as Colin walked toward me holding something in each hand. I looked to see what he was holding, and in each hand was a pregnancy test, both with + signs. I didn't quite hyperventilate, but I did gasp a bit. It's exciting and scary to imagine doing this all over again, especially knowing we have the bundle of energy known as "Colin" already residing here. Per Marcy's desire, we did not find out what we are having, so come January 17th or so, we will know if Colin has a little brother or sister.
  • Vacation - We took our first family vacation that did not include visiting family in Ohio. The three of us drove down to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a few days. Marcy loves the beach, which decided our destination. It was glorious for her! She usually likes to sleep in, but since it was the beach with beautiful sunrises every morning, she was up very early. Colin got pink eye on the trip down, so we got some good exercise on vacation trying to put his eye drops in. I am not normally a seafood fan, but we had the most tasty shrimp ever at a place called the Steamer, one of the only places along the Gulf to get seafood that is not fried (I was told by a local that they would deep fry a steak if you asked them to down there). All in all, it was a fun a restful time.
  • Sports - All in all, it was a fun - and heartbreaking - year to be a Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan. The OSU Buckeyes got to and lost the national title game in both football and basketball, the Cavs got to and lost the NBA Finals, the Indians got to and lost the ALCS, and the Browns fell just short of missing the playoffs due to a tiebreaker. A good year, yes. A frustrating year, also yes. In addition, it was sheer ecstasy to see Michigan lose to Appalachian State (arguably the biggest upset EVER) and then lose yet again to Ohio State.
  • Ministry - We have seen unprecedented numbers at youth group meetings, on youth mission trips, and at out 30 Hour Famine (which also raised more money for starving kids than ever before at our church - $7,500.00). We are always wrestling with the question, "How does transformation happen in the life of a student?" and the struggle of never having enough SIMYs (adult leaders). I have also had more opportunities to preach then ever, which I love to do. It hasn't always been an easy year for me, but overall it has been good.
I need to go reflect some more, I guess. I know more happened this year, but it's not coming to me. It must be the college football coma I'm in.