Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This is a description from the brewer I believe...
"This exceptionally popular imperial stout, aged in French oak and bourbon barrels, has immense depth with its rich and complex flavors. True to its name, subtle notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses and licorice pull you in deeper and deeper."
This was indeed rich and complex. Very thick. If you can find it, I would try a glass.
Made with 4 varieties of hops and 7 malts, this is a smooth refreshing Ale that I never would have known is a strong ale. This would be nice in the summer.
I'm a sucker for a good white ale made with orange peels and coriander, even made one myself last summer with Travis that turned out fair. This one is another prime summer beer.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I always look forward to Widmer's brewmaster releases. I loved their '07 Pale Ale brewed with Summit hops, last years Crimson Wheat left a little to be desired but they're back strong this year with a Belgian Golden Ale. Brewed with spicy hops (I'm guessing Saaz), this is a refreshing Ale, probably not as heavy as more traditional Belgian style ales, but just as enjoyable to drink. I highly recommend it.
Lagunitas Brown Shugga
You cannot drink many of these (and it was not intended that you would) as they are almost 10% ABV due obviously to the overload of Brown Sugar used in this brew. Thick and malty, very similar to having a filling meal. A little too sweet for me, but it was definitely better than the Brown Ale that Chris, Devin and I brewed with brown sugar!
Widmer Drifter Pale Ale
Reverting back and reformulating the '07 brewmaster release Widmer put out this beer brewed partially with Summit hops (which are fantastic), this beer is worth a try. Very full of malty flavor and citrusy goodness. I was actually amazed at how much flavor they were able to squeeze into this beer. It's almost too much. I loved the first half of the pint, but this one will wear down your taste buds.
Laughing Dog I.P.A.
I met briefly the brewmaster at the Laughing Dog brewery from Idaho on Monday night at the Belmont Station for a tasting. I thought their Cream Ale was good, their Pale Ale had a strange sour taste, but their I.P.A really stood out to me. The strong floral aroma of this brew is incredible. I asked the brewmaster what aroma hops he used and he said they dry hopped with Simcoe, Cascade, and a third hop that I cannot remember now. In any case, this was a beer worth trying.
Beers on my list to try:
Full Sail Black Gold Bourbon Imperial Stout
Laurelwood Pub Hop Monkey IPA
A new book proposal, submitted by the admittedly estranged brother of Mark McGwire, claims the former major league slugger used both steroids and human growth hormone during his career.
In the proposal, first reported Wednesday on Deadspin.com, Jay McGwire alleges that Mark used Deca-Durabolin and that he introduced Mark to performance-enhancing drugs in 1994.
According to the report, Jay McGwire writes in his proposal that his brother "began to use, but in low dosages so he wouldn't lift his way out of baseball. Deca-Durabolin helped with his joint problems and recovery, while growth hormone helped his strength, making him leaner in the process. I became the first person to inject him, like most first-timers he couldn't plunge in the needle himself. Later a girlfriend injected him."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
When we were desperate for money in Tampa, Fl and wondering how we were going to pay our bills I got an email asking me to write cover copies for Thomas Nelson publishers (which I have no experience in) which paid way more than I deserved.
When were were struggling to make ends meet when we first moved to Portland and were wondering how we would be able to make it, Jason Siemer offered me a job painting some apartments, then Brian Goff asked me to paint his house, which enabled us to make it.
Every time we have been in need and have asked God to provide, over and over again something has come up and He has proven faithful. And over and over again I wonder how we could be so blessed by Him.
Today was another story of God's incredible provision. Kelli and I were at my cardiologist (because while my heart health is fantastic in terms of blood pressure, pulse, and eating habits...well, I guess that's about it, i've been dealt a pretty bad hand in the cholesterol department.) In any case, after drastically changing my diet and losing 200 points on my Triglyceride count I was put on a medication to help lower it the rest of the way. Unfortunately, the news we received today is that this medication barely made a dent in my levels. It was fairly surprising and discouraging and she again reminded me that I have inherited some seriously tough Triglcerides.
What this means is more costly medication in addition to the already costly meds I'm on. Unfortunatley since I have student insurance I only have a prescription discount card (which takes off almost nothing) so the last medication was about as much as we could afford which I told my doctor (who is awesome). She went to make a few phone calls and see what she could do and when she came back she said something like, "You'll never believe what just happened."
When she went out to the front desk to do a little research, a drug representative who just happened to be from the company of the drug that I need but can't come close to affording just arrived. Keep in mind, in this medical center, drug reps aren't even allowed anymore! But this woman didn't know it because it had been a long time since she had checked in. In any case, she asked my doctor, "hey, could you use any samples of such and such (which is the medication I need). I have a whole case I could give you." And the doctor obviously said, "Yes I could use those." After telling us about this exchange she said if I come back tomorrow she would have a bag waiting for me at the desk with my name on it with the entire case of this medication which will last for quite some time! Unbelievable! She told me she would be glad to give it to me and would help in any way she could and then said, "This is why I'm always in trouble around here!"
What are the chances of a rep from the drug company, who is not even allowed on the premises anymore, showing up at the front desk with a case of the medication I need at the exact moment my doctor went up to do some research about how we could make it work and then have my doctor give it to me for free? Absolutely amazing! It's so encouraging when things like this happen.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
January of 2009 finds us at a crossroads for the emerging church in North America. There’s increasing discomfort with the term “emerging church” itself, with a number of leading lights in the movement expressing hesitations about the term. Andrew Jones, who was an early leader in the conversation, recently announced that he would no longer be using the term “emerging church” as “the word no longer communicates what i want it to.” Prominent emerging church blogger, and Next-Wave Contributing Editor, Bob Hyatt, a pastor with The Evergreen Community in Portland, OR, recently posted his frustration over both the term and the identification of the movement itself, commenting, “I'm more often than not now answering a question about what we aren't than what we are about- and that saddens me.” Bob also shares, “I do have some deep concerns about some of the things I see in the movement as a whole- and to be honest, though I once spent a lot of time defending the emerging church, I want to be about the Gospel.” Theologian and author Scot McKnight, who has vigorously participated in the emerging church conversation through his Jesus Creed blog, expresses his reservations: “I like the diversity of ‘emerging’ but the problem is that the term has been so abused by its critics that embracing the term leads to endless discussions of just how one is part of that emerging conversation. I've basically given up on using the term except in audiences where I think it is understood.” Dan Kimball also limits when he uses the term saying, “I don’t use the term too much anymore because of the confusion and also that it means so many things, depending on who you ask.” Then there is the cyclical parsing of any difference there might be between the term “emerging church” and “emergent.”
Read the rest here.
Friday, January 16, 2009
In speaking of the Steelers/Ravens game this weekend...
During his daily radio show last Monday, the patriarch of the right-wingers bloviated about attending the Steelers playoff victory at Heinz Field and predicted that Pittsburgh will beat "the Crips and the Bloods," his description of the Baltimore Ravens, in the AFC Championship Game.
Wow, I don't know Rush, I wouldn't want to get on Ray Lewis' bad side. My rule has always been that you don't talk bad about a guy who has probably in all reality murdered another dude.
It is truly amazing that everyone survived this water landing in the Hudson yesterday. I have no idea how 150 people get out of a sinking aircraft that is being filled up with 20 degree water and make it. Remarkable to say the least. The pilot's calmness as well is incredible. Apparently all he said was, "brace for impact." How terrifying that would have been.
A "made for TV" movie if I ever saw one!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
...to see (to my knowledge) that Christians aren't raising a stink about these signs here in Portland and playing into the hands of this silly organization.
Why couldn't we have done that with The Da Vinci Code or Eminem records?
Loved a few albums, but after listening to his latest (Hold Time), I realized that it sounds exactly like everything else he's done. I'm not sure it's possible for M. Ward to create any other sound than what he's created.
Listen pal, enough with the whistling already. At first I liked Andrew Bird, now he just irritates me.
...I just don't get:
I don't understand Pitchfork's Radiohead-esque review scores. 9.6? 9.6! To me this just sounds like a jumbled, obnoxious, irritating mess. I can listen to it for about 3.4 minutes before I have to change it.
TV on the Radio
I've given their last two albums plenty of tries, but once again, just can't get into these guys. I get a few songs in and I have no idea what's going on.
...give me hope in music:
This is the drummer from Fleet Foxes who has apparently been doing solo albums for quite some time now.
Anthony Da Costa
Now that Ryan Adams is apparently giving up music (we'll see), this is an up and coming songwriter that is worth a listen.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The frontman of the New Pornographers has put out another solo record and honestly, if it would have been half as good as his last The Slow Wonder, which was phenomenal I would have been pleased.
But this delivered beyond my expectations.
You can check out the first song on the record here.
Here's a video of the first single:
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
This past year has been truly amazing. Back in May we started a second gathering of Evergreen in SE Portland and I've been the main teaching elder/pastor there. It's been exciting to get in a routine of speaking a majority of Sundays. I look forward to even more this year as well as finishing up my MDiv program in April (which hopefully will give me more time to write better sermons!). I've been off the past four weeks due to bad weather and spreading out the preaching with other elders at Advent and I can't wait to get back in the swing of it!
I got another great opportunity to do a 15 minute set of stand-up comedy to a sold out crowd of about 350 people in Philadelphia in November which was one of the highlights of my year. I thought after I left NYC my comedy career (what there was of it) was over but this show was really exciting to be a part of and one of my favorite moments of this past year. I wish Kelli could have come with me. I also got offered the gig again for next November. Woohoo!
Another highlight was Kelli and I becoming the new face of hiking with an overly ambitious hiking plan this past summer. While we didn't get to complete near the amount of hikes we wanted to, we did finish the Rock of Ages hike which almost killed us and made us hate even the thought of hiking. After recovering the past three months though I feel like i'm ready to go again this next summer. Time to start planning.
We got to go to a wedding in Florida and two in Illinois and spend time with family and friends, go to many Beavers games this summer when it was 90-some degrees, visit my friends in Chicago and go to a Cubs game (as well as get taken out to a great steakhouse by my friend Jeff), hang out at the Pastors Convention in San Diego last February, had a great birthday celebration with about 20 people at Buffalo Wild Wings, got to hold an African Lioness Cub and a Black Panther Cub on a trip to Southern Oregon which was another HUGE highlight for me as most of you know.
While all of the traveling with my fun wife, preaching at Evergreen, and drinking the best microbrews in the world was a lot of fun, I think my number one highlight of 2008 was probably finishing Hebrew! I got out alive and that was one of the biggest reliefs of my seminary career! I'm amazed as I reflect on all the things Kelli and I were able to do and take part in this past year. Sure, we don't have a ton of money in the bank and we're far from being slaves to the American dream but the experiences we have had this past year far outweigh giving up our lives to make a buck. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
We're incredibly blessed with these opportunities and we look forward to a great 2009 where God willing I will be full-time with Evergreen, finish my MDiv, and quite possibly take on the greatest responsibility I have yet known! Who knows what will happen?