Thursday, September 17, 2009


One of my favorite artists that nobody has ever heard of is Tom Russell. He just released his latest album called "Blood and Candle Smoke." It contains a great song he wrote named Guadalupe. It's the story of how he (a non-believer) found himself at the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico. Below is a youtube clip of Russell singing the song a while back. It's also been recorded by Gretchen Peters.

Russell wrote a blog post with some background on his writing of the song. You can read that here. A warning for the easily offended. Russell is not a believer anymore, so don't go expecting any orthodox opinions. But I do think it shows the power of this Shrine even to a non-believer like him. Plus, I think it's a great song.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An update and the future

I think I'm going to let this blog go dormant for a while. Before I do, though, there are a few things I need to talk about.

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for the good advice I've gotten on here. I started this blog to discuss issues I was having regarding religion and the church and where I need to go from here. Part of me worried that nobody would ever read it and I'd get no responses while another part of me feared what those responses would actually be like. I shouldn't have worried about either scenario. There have actually been people interested and I've been overwhelmingly pleased by the feedback I've received. I very much appreciate all the comments, advice, and most of all the prayers. (If anyone has happened onto this blog by accident and doesn't know what the heck I'm talking about, see the posts on the right side of the blog under the heading "My Religion Story.") Things on the church front are kind of at a standstill right now, but I have hopes that changes might start happening this fall. If they do, I'll be sure to start posting again.

Secondly, I posted a request for prayers in regards to a job opening a few months ago. Thanks so much for everyone who prayed for me. I got the job. I'd appreciate prayers that I do it well. It's a big job and a great opportunity, but very challenging.

I've been deliberately vague about my real name, but the more I think about that, it just seems I'm being silly. Anyone who knows me who happened across this blog really wouldn't have had a hard time figuring out who I was. My name is Mike and if you care to reach me on facebook you can go here. If you send me a friend request, though, just let me know you came from my blog in case I don't recognize the name. I'm also on twitter if you wish to follow me there.

Anyway, once again, thank you so much.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prayer Request

Well, I haven't posted to this blog in a long time. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, I started the blog to talk about my religion issues and I think I did that. I didn't reach any conclusions, but I got lots of good advice. My situation is kind of at a standstill now, but I'll resume posting when things change. Secondly, I've had a lot going on in my life. Nothing terrible, but the usual types of problems everybody has. Financial issues chief among them. I know that nobody in the world wants to hear a lawyer complain about being broke, but I'm a government lawyer working for a poor county beset by budget problems. Considering how many really suffering people there are in this economy, I know I should just count my blessings and shut up, but it does stink always being out of money two days after payday. And if you can't vent semi-anonymously on a blog to strangers, where can you vent?

I do have a request. A favor really. On February 13th, less than two weeks from now, I have an interview scheduled for a new job. It is one that I believe I am very qualified for (more qualified in my opinion than the other candidates) and it would be a significant increase in pay. If anyone reading this could keep me in your prayers until then, I would really appreciate it. I feel selfish seeking prayers that I get a new job while I've already got one and so many others are unemployed, but I've always heard we should pray to God about all our needs, so I'm going to pray a lot about it and I'd like all the help I could get.

Thank you so much, and if there are ever any prayer requests you have for me, just let me know. Thanks!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marathon Review

Well, I know it's a month late, but I need to report on the marathon.

I finished. The first 21 miles weren't that bad, but I thought the last five would never end. I was pretty sore for a couple of days, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. By Wednesday or Thursday afterwards, I was about back to normal. I've got to give a ton of credit to the Marines. For an event as large as this, I thought it was incredibly well organized.

The obvious question my friends an family ask me is "Will you ever do another one?" The honest answer is that I'm not sure. I definitely want to keep running, but training for a marathon is a big time commitment. My wife was so supportive, but I'd hesitate to ask her to do that again. In just a few years, our kids will be old enough to look after themselves for a few hours, so maybe then she and I could train together.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience. If anyone out there needs any advice, please feel free to email me. My address is in my profile.

Friday, October 17, 2008

One week and counting

The marathon is only a week away. I have to admit I'm getting a little nervous. I'm worried about making it within the time limit. You have to get to the bridge at the 2o mile mark on a certain pace, so they can reopen to traffic. If you don't make it by the required time, you can't finish. I've got a lot of family coming, so it would really stink if I couldn't finish.

So far, I've been ahead of the required pace, but not by a whole lot. What if we got inclement weather? Or if I was just off a little that day? Or sick? (A guy at work today was coughing and said he felt terrible. I tried to avoid him as much as possible without being rude.) Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me. Hopefully, it's just a minor case of pre-race jitters and I'll be over it soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You did what?

The prosecutor's office I work in covers three counties. I'll call them counties A, B, and C for convenience. I live in County A but am assigned to the office in County B, about a 35 minute drive away. Yesterday, however, I had to attend some training on our new computer system held in County A, the county where I live. Our County A office is less than a mile from my house. The weather was nice and the dress was casual, so I decided to walk to the office. It took me about 15 minutes or so. Sidewalks the whole way.

People were amazed. You would have thought I was doing something remarkable. What have we come to as a people when the thought of a pleasant 15 minute walk to work is unthinkable to most people?

Look, I'm not posting this to make myself seem heroic or something. I'm as slack and lazy as the next person. And I certainly could stand to drop a few pounds. If the weather hadn't been nice or if I was wearing a suit, I probably would have driven. But we need to do something in this country to encourage people to get out and get some exercise. Next time you're out somewhere, just look around at people. We are becoming an obese society. People drive to places 5 minutes away in a big SUV and then circle the parking lot searching for a close parking space to avoid a slightly longer walk from their air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned store. I bet cardiologists are doing booming business.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good News

Arrest made in the two arsons that burned the courthouse and office where I worked. It took a while, but hard work and persistence on the investigation paid off. Excellent work by law enforcement. Good cooperation between a lot of different agencies in the investigation.

The defendant is only 17 years old. In addition to the two fires that affected me, he has been charged in a string of armed robberies as well. Very sad to see a young person ruin their life like this. Some early news article are here, here, and here.