Tuesday, September 28, 2004


It's hard. You wait for something, anything, to happen. Everyone is always asking how its going. You can't tell if they are honestly interested or secretly judging the decision to do something seemingly impossible with your life.

I used to have huge emotional swings...not really swings because I never really got too excited. Just huge depressive slumps during the bad times. (This was in my old church life.) I've tried to see this new career more realistically. I will fail at most every audition I do. The problem with that is I get excited when something actually happens. I don't really do excitement as an emotion very well. Since I was a little kid I was embarrassed to be too happy or excited. It's hard to get used to allowing that emotion into my phsyche. It's incredibly humbling when you get excited about something too early...

All of that as a preamble to say that the Travel Channel shoot has been moved...to the week of October 10. The week I'm going to be out of town celebrating 10 years of marriage to the love of my life. I'd rather be there, but damn it, I almost was able to do both.

There's still a chance it will film on a day I'm in town...but they won't work it around me. They'll find some other desperate actor to take my spot, my check, and my credit on my resume.

So there...I threw up on you guys to avoid a depressive slump. Just give me a few days before you ask if I've gotten any new jobs...but then start asking again because if you really care I want to be able to let myself be excited with you. And if you are judging me, stop it because I do it enough to myself. Lots of love.

Short career update

I got a little job on a Travel Channel show that shoots early wednesday morning. I play a parimedic who tries to get a lady in labor to leave the blackjack table. The pay is only a few hundred, but it will be cool to do a national TV show.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

There and back again and back there and back again again...

It has been a busy week. We went to Laguna with my in-laws for a few days. Then I drove back to LA Tuesday night and back again for the show Wednesday. I registered with two casting agents there...we'll see what comes of it. I had two auditions on Monday here in town. It looks like I didn't get either. One would have been nice because it was SAG, the other I was afraid that I actually would get an offer. It's a local cheesy car commercial. They seemed to really like me, hopefully they liked someone else just a little better.

At any rate, this week has flown by.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Going on a Trip

My inlaws have arrived from Indiana today and we are all preparing to go to Orange County for a few days. We'll leave late tomorrow and get back Monday. Of course, after booking the trip I was scheduled for two auditions on Monday, so we will be trying to make it back for those. It seems like I always get auditions at the worst time. That's part of it all I guess.

I'm looking forward to the trip though. Until then...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Lets get physical...

I've been going to the gym everyday except one for three weeks now. Going to the gym is a lot like reading for me. I don't really like doing it so much as I like having done it. I lost about 30-35 pounds since this time last year, but now I have the hard work of trying to get rid of the last ten or so. I've been eating better too. (Though I've pretty much left the vegetarian lifestyle behind. I eat fish now and chicken sometimes.)

I like the routine of working out. I hate the actual physical pain associated with it. I've tried to view it as part of my job. Most of the parts that I fit are for fit people. (A little sleep deprived word play for you.) The hardest thing about being a professional actor (I still hesitate to call myself that, though it's more true now than ever) is that virtually everything is out of your control. At least I can try to get my body and mind ready for the next thing...whatever that will be.

So...these days I pretty much hang out with the family, go to the gym, then go to work. Not a bad life.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Birthday Thoughts

Aidan turns three today! Debbie and I took him out for a special birthday lunch after dropping Eli off at Kindergarten. His birth will always be linked to 9-11 for me, because that was just his second day home from the hospital. I can remember my first few thoughts after Debbie woke me up that morning: 1. This is a bigger deal that anyone realizes yet. 2. This is our Pearl Harbor 3. I just brought a baby into this world...

I think the world is better place with Aidan in it, even if its a worse place for what happened a few days later.

It's hard to believe its been three years, on both accounts.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary continues to be highly esteemed for her faithfulness. The greatest act of faith is often a season of waiting prompted by trust. This is where Mary finds herself. Luke uses the words of Elizabeth to both honor Mary and foreshadow the blessing of the Messiah to come.

46And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me-- holy is his name. 50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers."

Here we have a song or poem found on the lips of Mary. It is a song of praise from a fiscally poor, teenage Hebrew girl who believes Messiah is finally coming. The words are certainly true, and in part prophetic, but also incomplete. Luke seems to be setting the reader up to believe that Messiah is coming exactly as expected. Soon we will see that he is coming in the most unexpected way imaginable.

56Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

In this time John would have been born and Mary present for it all. Her eyes seeing a miracle in action would have only increased her faith. There is no evidence that Jesus and John grew up with a knowledge of each other, though it could be implied from this story, since a bond seems to exist between the two mothers.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Still doing that Luke thing...

26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

Just another day in the life of the angel Gabriel circa the birth of our Lord. Going to frighten unsuspecting young girls with unbelievable news.

29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

Frighten…and overwhelm. No real doubt here what the angel is telling the young girl: You are pregnant with Messiah. Up to this point “virgin” could just mean young girl. For the reader, pregnancy is not the miracle (yet), Messiah coming is. Name him “God Saves.” All the terms to follow are messianic: the King of Israel has come. “His never-ending Kingdom (could be translated “reign”) will never end. The Jewish reader sees political and economic deliverance from Rome in these words. Jesus would see something deeper.

34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

Oh…that’s what virgin means. An even greater miracle. Most great myths/religions of the world have a virgin birth associated with them. This has led some scholars to believe that the virgin birth is an afterthought. Luke treats it, however, as purely historical.

35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."

This, according to our angelic messenger, is definitely a divine conception. The Holy Sprit “coming on people” is true to the Old Testament pattern and terminology of how the Holy Spirit works. He will be called “son of God” because, Luke argues, he was God’s son even in a physiological sense.

It is no lesser miracle that Elizabeth is also pregnant. There is a connection between the two pregnancies. Here we find out that Mary and Elizabeth are somehow related.

38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

This statement above all others is why Mary has historically been honored in the Christian tradition. If only we could honestly respond this way to every situation, no matter how frightening or overwhelming.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Luke 1 continued:

5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.

If the God of Israel has a pattern, it is in the opening of wombs. The story of God’s people is the story of fertility, particularly among those seemingly infertile. The births of John and Jesus will coincide with the birth of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The above verses can’t help but bring to mind the stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samuel and others.

8Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

God approaches Zechariah at the time when Zechariah was most focused on God. It makes me wonder if perhaps God had tried more subtle approaches to reach this man before this one.

11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13

Angels always seem to frighten people. I think that a true encounter with an angel would be so terrifying that it could never be doubted. They spend most of their time with us telling us not to be afraid of them.

But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. 14He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

We find the interesting fact here that Zechariah has been praying for children, even though it was all but impossible. God often gives us desires that lead to faith. This is what it may mean to “ask for faith.” He is gracious enough to give us the desires for things (that we too often dismiss as selfishness) which lead us to prayer and hope and expectancy: faith. All of this according to his redemptive will.

Name him John, which means “God is gracious.” Jesus will follow, “God saves.” Grace comes before salvation. It seems as though John is to take the Jewish Nazirite vow for his life, which includes no grapes/wine, no touching dead bodies and no hair cutting. John’s life mission is here, “to go on before the Lord…to turn hearts…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Everything about this blessing points to the tradition of the Hebrew Prophet…a prophet named “Grace.”

It is interesting that John comes to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and not visa versa. The Father’s heart has turned to his children…he desires a family, “a people” here. As his heart turns to us, our hearts turn to our children.

18Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."

Even though he has seen this miracle and has been praying for children, like us, he doubts.

19The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."

The deep theological answer to why? “Because I am God’s messenger and I say so.” Now shut up and think about what you just said. Zechariah goes into verbal “time out” for nine months.

21Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak. 23When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25"The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."

Elizabeth follows in the Old Testaments heroines’ footsteps by being prompted to worship. She has no idea that there is so much more than just “her disgrace” on the table.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I'm spiritual either way...

Well...I'm not sure why but I have decided, at least for today, to read through the book of Luke very slowly. I'm planning on sharing my thoughts with you, but please don't try to start a silly debate with me. If we disagree, fine. If I help you, great. This is mainly for me. Enjoy.

Luke 1

1Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

What is different and obvious from the beginning is that Luke is approaching his telling of the story as a second generation researcher. Meaning, though he may have known Jesus, his focus is on the accounts of those who knew him best. “Many have undertaken to draw up” suggest that (written?) biographies of Jesus were becoming more commonplace by this time. We know that more existed aside from the four canonized books, many still in existence today. One has to think that Luke, whatever his true identity, is writing for a specific reason, even if the reason is to tell the story “accurately” as he seems to imply here.

“The word” is notable here simply because Luke isn’t John. It is worth pondering at this early stage (perhaps 30-50 years into the church age?) how much of John’s understanding of Jesus as logos existed. Was Jesus truly “the word made flesh” to Luke, or is he using logos here as something more concrete, as in the gospel story?

Regardless, we must at first reading put John and the other synoptics aside to find Luke’s story as he wishes us to see it. (I reject any notion of synchronizing the gospels until each gospel is fully understood on its own.)

3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

The author is claiming full responsibility for the upcoming material as lead researcher. He’s probably the most “modern” thinking of all the biographers.

We don’t know if Theophilus is a person or a term for the church: “Loved by God”, but we do know that whoever he/they are, they are already living within the gospel before receiving the written record of it. We should not feel bad for them in this regard. It is possible today to live within the gospel before reading the gospels.

10 Years

Debbie and I are quickly approaching our ten year anniversary. (New Years Eve.) We are planning a week-long trip without the kids, probably sometime in October. Right now we are leaning toward a cruise, which we have never done or even really thought about doing.

It really is hard to believe that we have been married this long. At my 30th birthday I sort of felt 30...this feels different. It doesn't feel like we've been married 10 years. (Or in Las Vegas for almost that long.) I guess that's a good thing!