Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Unique Invitation of the Day...

...comes from a man named Thomas who does a religious journal in IRELAND.

Yep. You heard that right.

I took one look at some of the stuff and said, "OMW, these people actually know what the frack they're doing."
...and he wants me to contribute something.


I do have a couple of thoughts. Now, to get them organized and write something up for the lovely man.
Which will probably lead to writing MORE for the lovely man.
And all he can pay me in is prayers. (!)

Ya don't suppose HE wants anything about Tebowing...?
Nah, I'm thinkin' probably not.

It's Called GENUFLECTING, People.

This "Tebowing" stuff simply will not go away, will it?

Heard a story this morning on Christian radio that there's a site now up where people are posting pictures of themselves "Tebowing." Seems there's a good-natured sort of competition going to find the most unique places to do it in...

Yeah. And then Christians wonder why nonbelievers think we're IDIOTS.

You know what the most grating part of all of this is?
That as Catholics, many of us have been genuflecting--yanno, going down on one knee in honor of God?--for CENTURIES.

Yanno us Catholics. We're the ones who practice "empty ritual" and "dead liturgy." 
Yeah. No faith in God in OUR place. Just ask almost any evangelical Protestant. They'll tell you all about it.
(Which is amazing, considering most of them who'll tell you what you believe have never been within 50 YARDS of the inside of a Catholic church.)
But now, some cute football player chooses to draw attention to himself for making a spectacle out of "worshipping" God on the football field...and he's a wonderful Christian witness.

Seems that mebbe a little 'splanation is in order here.

You see, when you GENUFLECT (which is what going down on one knee IS, Tim...sorry to bust your anti-Catholic bubble with the proper terminology)...the idea is, you're doing it in the presence of the LORD.

Yes. The Real Presence. Remember that?
The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ...PHYSICALLY PRESENT in the Catholic church tabernacle.
THAT's why you genuflect, Tim. Because there's the King of Kings and Lord of Lords present.

Now, you don't have that in your Protestant church. You may have a lot of other wonderful, gooey, warm, fuzzy things...
but one thing you DON'T have is the Real Presence.
And you certainly don't have it on the football field, unless some priest is there incognito with the Sacrament exalted in the end zone.
(Which is doubtful, to say the least.)

So what, pray tell, ARE you genuflecting to on the football field?
The crowd?
The goalpost?
The TV cameras?

Yes, I know that "God is everywhere." But bowing on one knee to "everywhere" isn't what we're talking about here. We're talking about a specific gesture of reverence that was brought to you not by Tim Tebow and his tradition or his personal faith...but by something many people "Tebowing" consider to be "less than" what they're doing...
...when in reality, what they're doing is the "less than" part. And it will ALWAYS be "less than," until and unless they get into the Real Presence and do it right.

The sad part is, most people who are blindly following this mass-glorification of Tim Tebow don't even realize that much.
And he has never once bothered to correct them or tell them to stop it.
Which means, at its heart, none of this is--in the end--about GOD at all.

So, sorry, folks. No matter whether you like it or not, or believe it or's GENUFLECTING that you're doing.
And it's about damn time you learned what it's SUPPOSED to be for. Which is not for self-glorification, by the way. Just so we're clear.

But, hey, all is not lost. Jesus even talked about things like this. Said you already had your reward. Ain't that great? And it must be true. You, after all, have a picture of yourself genuflecting PROVE how much you love God!

Can someone PLEASE make this stop?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Now That My Brackets Are Busted...

...and my Wolverines suddenly forgot how to play basketball when it counted...
I'm not heavily into the NCAA at this point. I'll no doubt get back in it if there's a "Cinderella" team of some sort everyone's loving up one side and down the other.
And it is wonderful that Duke is out of the mix. (Yesssss!)

But what am I gonna spend my time on now?
Can it be...possibly...
...talking about writing more?

Presently, I don't have much writing to talk about. Because I'm so busy working for other people.

Making their writing sing.
Yep, it's paying work, and that I sure need.
But it's not getting my novels written.

The best I can do tonight is talk out some of my ideas behind the wheel of a car, as I drive to and from getting to sing for the best damn choral conductor in Indiana, if not the best damn choral conductor I've ever worked with...period.

The jury's out on that.
The jury's not out on how I can s-q-u-e-e-z-e some "novel writing" around all these assignments.
Which are wonderful.

But which are taking my every waking hour. Or darn close to it.
And energy, to boot. (!)

Ideas, anybody?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yet Another Reason to Despise Ohio State!

...not that anyone should need one. But this year, there's another splendid reason.
(We knew they wouldn't let us down!)

Namely...their reaction during the Sunday tournament selection show. 
When most teams are unleashing confetti, being cheered on by a crowd behind them and cheerleaders in the front row, or at least high-fiving each other or hugging or whatnot, what did these guys do?
They sat slouched in their chairs and applauded.

Like the kind of polite applause you give your boss's 8-year-old who plays the piano, but not very well...only you know you have to applaud, because it's the boss.

Half of them looked like they could barely stay awake. The other half looked like they were pouting because they didn't get a #1 seed.

Now, Kansas did a little bit of that disconcerted look at not getting a #1 seed. They didn't look all that happy.
But at least they looked like they were still pleased to be going to the NCAA. As if it was a privilege.
(Which it is, by the way.)

But not dem Blackeyes. 
They were like, "Ho hum, next?"

So I think, in the interest of public service, Loyola University of Maryland needs to knock them out in the first round. After all, we mustn't tax these kids too much. Clearly, they're not up to the challenge and won't enjoy it; they obviously need to be at home watching the rest of the proceedings, instead.


So How Do You Fill Out YOUR Brackets?

Okay, I admit. I always want to do two NCAA tournament brackets. Sometimes, I DO two brackets. :-)

There's the one I think has the faintest chance of coming TRUE: that's the one where I'm picking 1s over 16s, I'm picking teams I've heard lots of buzz about, I'm picking teams I may have seen play--or I'm giving them credit for previous strong years in tournament competition, and not hearing anything to the contrary. I'm picking favorites, teams I think will honestly triumph in the end.
I fill out one bracket that way, with my head. :-)

Don't get me wrong; I will put in my share of 4-13 and 5-12 upsets in those, if I get a hunch about a team or one is particularly "hot"--or, I just like the idea. Sometimes those pan out pretty well. Two years ago, I picked 11 out of the first 13 winners in the first round doing things that way--by sheer intuition.
It was the second round where things blew up! 

But the SECOND bracket...there's the one I WISH would happen.
That's the bracket where the #16s all knock off the #1s...just because it'd be so danged fun to see that.
Last year, we did end up with #1s exiting the premises rather quickly, and that was fun to watch--but it wasn't at the hands of a #16.
We've been CLOSE to having that happen. It just hasn't happened, to my knowledge, yet.

And the other part of that bracket consists of teams getting knocked off just because I either don't like them, they've been there umpty-ump times before and it's someone else's turn, or the like.
(mwah hah haah)
That's the bracket wherein I will pick ANYONE to beat Duke...
ANYONE to beat Ohio State...
ANYONE to beat North Carolina...
ANYONE to beat Michigan State...
And, in a pinch, almost anyone to beat Kansas and/or Kentucky.
Depending on who's been the media darlings that year, a couple of other teams might make it into that mix. 

For a long time, I rooted for anyone to beat Cincinnati, for example. Because they played dirty. 
By contrast, can anyone honestly say they didn't love every minute of Butler's recent run?

So there's always a bracket I pick with my heart. I don't share that one much, but it's there.
The teams I pick with the heart sometimes DO win.
Not all that often, unfortunately.
But sometimes...they do.

And that's what makes this time of the year fun.

Not watching the #1s congratulate themselves...but watching a #14 go nuts on the sidelines when they've knocked off a team no sports hose in the country gave them a chance against.

The games have already begun...but the brackets are only starting. 
It's tough either way. But it's still FUN both ways, too.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

"They're Playin' Bas-ket-baaaalllll..." (redux)

NOTE: This is a repeat of a blog entry from three years ago...a moment of semi-inspired madness that I still get a kick out of every March. For those of you who missed in the first time, enjoy!   Brackets, anyone?

...and it came to pass, in the gray days of March, that the Lord looked down on his American people and said:

"Hey, word up, there's nothin' happenin' down there. This is neither spring, nor winter, neither hot nor cold. It is not good to have man living in these doldrums of halfway between.

"So let us shaketh things up a bit. Let us maketh of March a special time, that shall be henceforth known as 'Madness.'* At this time, men shall procure a roundball, made of leather, filled with the breath of the wind, and shall bring it to a 94-foot hardwood court. There, they shall string cotton beneath a wide orange cylinder of metal, one at each end of the court, at a height of ten feet from the floor. And groups of men shall band together, and shall make it a mission to launch the roundball through the cylinder, so that it makes a special music through the cotton cords. And yea, verily, when the roundball passeth through the cotton net, there shall be rejoicing and great jubilation in many lands. 

"They shall do this in the city; they shall do this in the country. they shall do this in the small town, in the places time forgot. They shall do this in the Ivy League and in the Midwest Athletic Conference, on the Atlantic coast and in the heartlands; in the Mountain West and the Pacific lowlands; and the people shall behold it and marvel.

"And let us make this an annual feast, a time when small men can dream big dreams. Let us celebrate and rejoice, and make merry, when the Big Dancing begins. And let March be forever blessed with this glorious festival of team colors and cheerleaders, slammin' and jammin', 'diaper dandies' and bring joy and craziness to all my people."

And God saw it...and it was very good. (And it still is!)

Let there be Roundball!!!!!!!


(*Yes, we are aware that the IHSA claims that Illinois High School Basketball was the original "March Madness," and we have no doubt whatsoever that this is true, as we can remember this term from way before it was used for the NCAA Tournament. We have merely exercised a little poetic license here, and trust that the reader will be accommodating.)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Yanno Those "Expectations" I Talked About Earlier?

...We met them. In spades!

We kicked musical BUTT last night in Fort Wayne, and I believe we did, in fact, do this guy proud. 
There is nothing better than singing a concert that goes well. I don't touch ground for hours afterward...if not days. This is one of those times.
Thank you, Dr. Mitchell--you are the BEST.

Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris...

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Vote!!!! (redux)

In case you haven't heard, I'm up for Good Stuff on the Romance Studio vote for VOICE OF INNOCENCE today, and tell your friends!
Voting link is here!

Monday, March 05, 2012


The voting link for the "5 Hearts Sweetheart" contest at The Romance Studio will be live after 5 PM Eastern today:
Vote for VOICE OF INNOCENCE and this author will thank you! :-)


Friday, March 02, 2012

That Cute Graphic to the Right...

...refers to this!
Is this not cool?

Vote for me for the "5 Hearts Sweetheart" competition, as well...winner gets all kinds of great stuff! 
Vote here: