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I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

I Will Not Pray For You, I Will Be Here For You. aka: No Parent Should Ever Have To Bury Their Child. 

(This post was inspired by the tragedy that occurred at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City Sunday, August, 7th. And dedicated to all my friends who have lost their child.)

A parent should never have to bury their child.

That is not the natural order or progression of life. It makes no sense. And such is life: nonsensical at times. 

I am overwhelmed and feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut when I read of a child dying in a senseless accident  (that is not placing blame for yesterday’s accident)  such as being forgotten or locked in a car that overheats. No matter the instance, no matter the accident, illness, or malicious intent of someone, a parent burying their own child is an absolute tragedy. 

I’m only one person and know of too many friends who have had to bury their own child. Think of what I just said: 

Bury. Their. Own. Child.

If you don’t have children I’m not discounting your ability to understand this scenario but the rush of love that fills your life when you have a child is astronomical. Words can’t explain the amount of love that coarses through your life. I didn’t (couldn’t) understand this before I had my two sons. 

But then, to have the focus of your love taken from you – feeling helpless and impotent and frozen. With NOTHING able to fill that void. 

Good god. 

Horrific. 

As friends we think of the parents the day the tragedy happens and maybe periodically afterwards (not a guilt trip, just reality) but the parents have to live with the heartache every single hour of every single day. 

To all my friends who have had this tragedy happen, I am so sorry. I love you. I can not fathom or empathize what it is like to be in your shoes – to experience a heart-wrenching loss. My heart breaks when I hear of your tragedies. But please know I am here for you. 

To everyone else, please keep your children safe. 

Walk alongside your friends who have experienced this tragedy. If you’re a flesh and blood friend don’t tritely offer to pray. If they are religious they might be questioning a whole helluva lot of faith’s worth and don’t want to hear a hollow offer. I know I wouldn’t. 

Here’s a song by the band Needtobreathe singing of the importance of friends and community and how we should be there for each other during times in our life that can rock our foundation, crush our spirits, tear our souls to shreds. 

At the same time, their faith could be their only shred of hope they have to cling on to as they feel the walls of the natural order crumbling around them. Everyone reacts different. 
They need continual, tangible help; a shoulder, an ear, or a body to just sit with them. Be there and be available for them as they need you. 

Lord be with us all. 

I am here for you. 

Thy kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

https://youtu.be/R3-wie9NOZE

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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in creation, culture, spiritual, theology

 

“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions

“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions


I am really looking forward to the Jackie Robinson documentary on PBS tonight and tomorrow. I am a big fan of Ken Burns’ documentaries and can’t wait to see this one. 

Unfortunately some will watch this documentary and think, “I’m glad our society isn’t like that today”. Sad. Today, our laws may be different and our sports are integrated but the truth is our hearts tell a much different story. Our hearts still resemble the actions of what Jackie Robinson had to fight against. 

Racism Today

Racism baffles me. 

Yes, I unfortunately understand (and abhor) how people are racist a-holes and try to subordinate people who intimidate them (i.e. slavery – no, subordination is not why slavery started but I do think it might have been a contributing factor for what helped perpetuate slavery), and how the legal system allowed racism to legally linger well into the 1960s. 

But, how racism still exists in today’s society is completely beyond comprehension. Yes, a society will always have outspoken degenerates (today that seems to be the Republican party…sorry, but prove me otherwise), but I have heard racist comments from all walks of life, not just degenerates. 

Brutally Honest 

{Disclaimer – what follows does not fully encapsulate my opinion of Arkansas because I had a lot of great experiences, for example: I have some good friends who live(d) in Arkansas, 

L to R: Tad, Brian, John, and Me
I met and married my wife in Arkansas, p1010009and both of my precious sons were born in Arkansas.  But my horrible church experiences, and the racism I saw do not reflect favorably on Arkansas, to put it mildly. But unfortunately despite this disclaimer some will completely disregard what I have stated and think I hate Arkansas. This is not true at all.}  

a sign in Harrison, AR

 
Before I moved to Arkansas I had NO IDEA how alive racism is in Arkansas. They have Robert E. Lee day on the same day as MLK Jr day and are realizing how ridiculous and insulting that is and finally might get that changed. 
When I lived in Arkansas  (2008-2015) I heard racist comments on a regular basis: in doctors’ offices, on the golf course, playing soccer, playing softball, parties, out to dinner, everywhere. People in Arkansas were not bashful at espousing their disgusting racist opinions. 

Now that we (my family) have moved from Arkansas to Kansas (my home state), being able to get away from the rampant racism in Arkansas is one reason I’m glad we don’t live there anymore. I don’t want my sons being infected by others’ disgusting racist ways and am glad they won’t be inundated with those views. I hope my sons are so oblivious about the way some people are treated dependent upon the color of their skin that I have to teach my sons about racism and how wrong it is.  Despite Kansas being steeped in historical landmark decisions and actions of racial equality (being a free state, Brown vs Board of Education ruling, John Brown, Bleeding Kansas, and more) sadly more recently Kansas is not perfect when it comes to fighting for marriage equality (again, see the Republican party). 

And please understand not every Arkansan is racist, but when it comes to race Kansas is much better than southern states. (Considering the present state of the South and race that last sentence isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.)

Racist Christians

The church founded by Jesus should be known for what he was known for: radically embracing those that others refused to touch. – Jonathan McIntosh

Short sidenote that I won’t belabor – if you’re a “Christian” and hold racist views i.e. you’re a racist…I honestly don’t know what to say… What part of Christ’s message embodies racism? Unbelievable. 

Diversity and the Gospel – Christ City Church

This is a link to a great podcast of Matt Washburn guest speaking at Chrisy City Church who speaks about this issue more tenderly and eloquently than I do. I am more blunt and straightforward; for better or worse. 🙃

Rant over for now…I do have a blog post I’m still working on regarding racism, but for now, enjoy the Jackie Robinson documentary and think about how you can help eradicate racism. 

Cheers! 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in culture, theology

 

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If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote

If You Vote You Can’t Complain Because You’re The One To Blame For The Mess. Why And When It’s Ok To Not Vote


Note – there is coarse language used in this post because this is a hot topic for me. And you might be offended by what I say about you, if you’ve said what pisses me off. But do know that I still love you. 😊👍

I used to be super gung-ho about politics. It was just as exciting as sports for me. I grew up very similar to Alex P. Keaton in “Family Ties” but where he admired Nixon I admired Reagan.

IMG_1788 IMG_1819  

(Tangent – I love Michael J Foxx and am heartbroken by what Parkinson’s has done to him.) 

The third picture above is something I drew after the 1984 presidential election when Reagan won reelection against Mondale. The laser beam shooting from Reagan’s spaceship was clearly what helped Reagan win a landslide election against Mobdsle in a horse drawn buggy. What normal 9 year old kid does that? It’ll probably be in the Smithsonian someday. 😉

People used to tell me I should run for office. I have been to Reagan’s Library in Simi Valley, CA countless times. I have worked endless hours on candidates’ campaigns. I have stood on street corners waving candidates signs on Election Day. I stood next to a US congressional district candidate as he placed his concession call to his opponent late in the evening on election night. I even almost moved to DC after the candidate I supported lost…and then later after he had lost went to jail on wire fraud charges and a mortgage scheme. But that’s a story for later. 

But I am now disheartened super ticked off at both the Republican and Democratic parties for a variety of party-specific matters, but collectively from both parties’ desire to legislate morality. Legislating morality is not their job – government is not the moral compass of the people.

So here we are today on Super Tuesday and I knew rather soon I would start seeing people litter Facebook with the same old, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain”.

Bullshit!

That comment is tired, trite, pious, and just flat out wrong. Do not say this to people. You’re just being an ass and ending the conversation. Plus if you voted for the jerked in office then you’re the one to blame when everything goes to hell – not the person who doesn’t vote. George Carlin waxes eloquently and crudely on this topic. This video is NSFW and if you’re easily offended by cuss words…well you shouldn’t have read this post but definitely do t watch this video; and he also makes an allegorical reference of masturbation. You’ve been warned. 

Voting is an amazing privilege we have in the United States. If a voter feels so compelled to not attach their name/vote with any candidate because of a believed lack of proper representation from the candidates then that (non)voter has every right to be just as involved in discussions as some one who did cast a vote. Unless you’re going to continue in being an ass with that point of view.
Two weeks ago my wife asked me who I would vote for and I told her I don’t know and that I might not cast a vote for the presidential race. My conviction (as a recovering Republican) after studying the current candidates leads me to the conclusion that there are no candidates that I would put my name behind to support. Kansas is a caucus state and individual voters in Kansas do not vote today on Super Tuesday. So, thankfully I dont have to make a decision today about voting or not voting. As of right now I don’t know if I’ll vote. I’ll let the primaries play out and see who rises from the dust (read: multi-million dollar campaigns). I do know this; if Trump wins the Republican nomination I will vote for whoever the Democrat is. That is a definite.

Now having said that…
Two warnings to non-voters:
1) Not voting costs the non-voter nothing it should not be used as a scapegoat for that person to say, “Well, it’s not my fault, I didn’t vote.” Well, no shit Sherlock but this is not your time to grandstand because of your decision. You still have a stake in the game. You should be so upset by your lack of representation to be moved to action and not have to repeat the same abstention the next election.

and…
2) For god’s sake, don’t not vote as a cover for you to be lazy and ignorant about the candidates and the issues. Get off your ass, educate yourself and care about your community so when jackasses stop saying “If you don’t vote you can’t complain” then you can bring a reasonable opinion and point of view to the conversation.

So in wrapping up…if come election day I end up not voting you can be frustrated with me if you want – it’s your prerogative. But please understand this, I’m not voting because I don’t care enough, but because I care too much.

I care too much about our country and the sacrifices made by our military to see our government elections devolve into popularity contests and capital pissing matches. I don’t have the solution to everything (or anything in particular) but I also won’t sit idly by and watch my country’s government become a mockery of idiots making big decisions with far reaching ramifications and/or consequences.

Yes, I might not cast a vote in the presidential race, but dammit, it’s not it’s because I don’t care, but because I care too much.

Those are my four half-pennies.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in culture, politics, Uncategorized

 

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My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

My Unaffiliated Affilation With Politics

This is a super short post, but I recently had a “first” for me and wanted to share some basic thoughts.

My wife and I moved from Arkansas to Kansas (officially in July) and recently I went to get my Kansas driver’s license. As we all know when you get your driver’s license you can also register to vote which allows you to identify yourself with a political party…if so desired.

Since day 1 of being a registered voter I have always been registered as a Republican. For the first time in my 22 year voting tenure I am now registered as, “Unaffiliated”. To say I’m upset with the Republican party would be a huge understatement. I really can’t stand what they now stand for, how they try to legislate morality, and what certain Republicans try to do to create division in attempting to script their narrative of what “biblical” means. I honestly feel some of these Republicans are less Christ-like than they even know.

Democrats aren’t off the hook either – they like to legislate morality just as much as Republicans. I have no desire to live in a nanny-state. Dear Democrats, government intervention is not the answer to every question and in most cases it’s the worst possible answer to almost every question.
The pendulum for me began to swing away from the Republicans about 13 years ago when the Republicans started aligning themselves more as a party that desired to legislate morality. In no way do I believe the government should be making moral decisions. Shoving laws and regulations down peoples’ throats is not a way to make a virtuous society. It only creates harsh dividing lines; and with each topic/issue it creates an us vs them scenario – god knows we need more unity and less division in our society.

This time when I went to get my driver’s license there were four choices for affiliation: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Unaffiliated. I was very surprised and happy to see Libertarian as an option. But even though I identify more with Libertarian values politically I don’t feel the need to hitch my wagon to anyone in particular. This decision has been very freeing for me – I can now say I speak for myself instead of backing a specific party platform.

All that to say my vote can be bought. The right cigar or bourbon can garner my vote for your candidate…just kidding…kinda. 😜

In the near future I will have a longer post expounding upon the specific reasons of why I am no longer affiliated with the Republican party…but probably before that I’ll have posts on the rapture and later today a post on a gut check on my perspective.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in culture, politics

 

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Life Lessons from My Dad and Reliving Bachelorhood for 58 hours…32 hours left

(There are good life lessons from my Dad at the end of this semi-satirical post)

So I’m a bachelor today (Sunday) and for most of the day tomorrow while my wife, Tracy and our sons are in Arkansas. In case you’re concerned and wondering if I’ll be able to survive I’ll be keeping myself busy in this manner:

Cigar 
Breakfast 
Cigar
Finish cigar review blog post
Cigar
Reading of my favorite “heretical” authors (NT Wright, Rollins, etc)
Cigar
Finish “Rapture” blog post 
Cigar
Clean desk
Cigar 
Organize garage workshop
Cigar
Lunch
Cigar 
Pick up dog poop in yard
Cigar 
Head to Outlaw Cigar for Chiefs game
Cigar
Watch Chiefs game 
Cigar 
Beer
Cigar
Bourbon
Cigar
Dinner of my special-totally-unhealthy kicked up fettuccine Alfredo 
Cigar
Launder clothes that smell like cigar
Cigar 
Find way to get rid of cigar smell in the house
Cigar
Welcome wife and sons home 
Sneak out back for a cigar 

Life Lesson 1) All that is said tongue in cheek because I’m making humor in being able to get some things accomplished but in all seriousness, one of the many things my Dad has taught me is to remember to celebrate the victories in life and business, big or small. We need to be able to recognize the accomplishments we have achieved and keep progressing to be able to do more…not in a workaholic manner, but just in a way to make ourselves better by pushing our normal boundaries and limits. 

Life Lesson 2) I love my Dad so much, and as season ticket holders to KU football we’ve been through the bad years (Terry Allen), the awesome years (Mark Mangino, packed stadium every game, bowl games and winning the Orange Bowl), back to the horrible with Turner Gill and Charlie Weis); we have faith in Beaty but don’t believe he’ll stick around very long after he gets the program turned around. Along with celebrating my victories, he also taught me how we always stay for the entire game to show respect for the college players no matter how hot, wet (KU vs Northwestern deluge 2003), or cold it is at all the sporting events we go to including: KU football, KU basketball (as an 11 year old and each year after my Dad would take me to Late Night at KU just to watch KU practice and that was when the practice actually started at midnight and I loved doing it). The same holds true with KC Royals, and KC Chiefs games, but we have no problem booing them because they’re paid well and it’s their job, but thankfully things have been pretty good recently (past 7 years alone) with our teams:

  • KU Football: Orange Bowl (BCS) Champions 2008!
  • KU Basketball: Conference Champions – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; Final Fours – 2008 & 2012; National Champions 2008!
  • Kansas City Royals: ALDS Champions – 2014 & 2015; ALCS Champions – 2014 & 2015; World Series Champions 2015!
  • Sporting KC: US Open Cup Champions 2012 & 2015; MLS Cup Champions 2013!
  • ….and then there’s the Chiefs…ummm…in 2010 they won the Division…oh well. 😉

Happy Sunday! Be well!…time for a cigar! 🙂

IMG_1666

My Dad and I at yesterday’s game, KU vs. West Virginia

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

Game 2 of the ALCS, KC vs. Toronto

"Popsicles with Grandpa" has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

“Popsicles with Grandpa” has always been a Blaylock tradition. I love seeing my sons spend time with my Dad. Dad with Greer.

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

My Dad with my youngest son, Henry

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Royals game vs. San Francisco with my Dad and my Son, 2014

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KU football game vs…can’t remember, 2014

FullSizeRender

Campanile on The Hill at KU, taken yesterday at KU/West Virginia

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in community, culture, sports

 

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Rapture Teaser

Rapture Teaser


 The picture (thanks to @nakedpastor) is tongue in “cheek” (ha!) regarding Tim LaHaye’s brilliant “get rich quick by selling books to paranoid afterlife Christians about the rapture” bestselling series entitled…”Left Behind”. 

I have a much longer post about why I don’t believe in the rapture and how it is bad theology that I’ve been working on for awhile – it’s almost done. This post is just a little teaser to whet your appetite. 

I’ve pasted a link to the article below – and this post won’t make sense unless you read the article. It’s super short – 4-5 paragraphs; read it first then read my post. 

Most people who read the article would just say, “well they’re just crazy parents”. But if we think about it a little more how many of us are basically living our lives in the same manner? “Just passing through”, “This isn’t my real home”. All those thoughts convey the same ideal – you don’t care about the earth. 

As asinine, irresponsible, and deplorable  as these parents were to hold their children out of school, you know what, at least they practiced what they preached. That’s more than what I do sometimes. I talk one helluva good “game”. 

Moral of the story, God cares for his creation, people, animals, trees, mountains…everything. Sure we surmise (guess) what heaven might be like but with how little we actually know about heaven I think it’s important to make our life on Earth matter – I think God wants that from everybody! Help make things better: adopt a child or animal, be a foster parent, plant a tree (or 100 trees), be on the PTA, be there for your kids. Or if all that is too much just get out and talk with your neighbors – make your neighborhood better. 

Don’t just pass through life.  

…on EARTH as it is in heaven. 

The Right to be Raptured

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2015 in culture, theology

 

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“I’m Sorry.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. As a nation we have had so many things to process and work through. Mark Driscoll gets booted (rightfully so) from Mars Hill and Acts 29. Robin Williams commits suicide. And finally, after a couple days of ignoring it, the media started paying attention to what was going on in Ferguson, MO after Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. And then on top of that all hell broke loose on social media – twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., about what was going on in Ferguson.

A very tough couple of weeks.

Throughout this past week’s racial tension that we all saw unfold in Ferguson, and then with the horrible fallout on social media, we were exposed to people and media outlets showing their true (racist) colors. On social media I saw “friends” post blatantly racist comments and also post veiled racist comments that were truly disheartening.

And disgusting.

Here in Little Rock, my wife, son, and I attend a multi-cultural church – Mosaic Church. Our church is made up of Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other ethnicities. It’s a beautiful thing to witness so many ethnicities worshipping our multi-racial god during what is the most segregated hour (11am-12pm) in America. Regrettably, racism is an issue that is unlikely to be solved in our ethnically segregated churches. If we don’t worship together how can we expect to work together on an issue that plagues our society?…and plagues the South moreso than anywhere else in our country.

When we went to church this past Sunday I was wondering what the atmosphere would be like. Would there be the elephant in the room (Ferguson) that we would not talk about? Would it be tense. Would it be normal? How could it be normal?

I don’t know why, but I arrived at church with an attitude of, “I’m sorry” towards my African-American brothers and sisters. I’m sorry for the way our nation has reacted to the situation in Ferguson, MO. I’m sorry for what happened in Ferguson. I’m sorry for the things that were/are being said in the media. I’m sorry for the hateful, vile things that were/are being said and spread on social media. I’m sorry that we (via the media) clamor to hear about the white couple who has gone missing, but turn a blind eye towards the minorities who die or are murdered every day in our cities’ core. I’m sorry.

But this past Sunday, I also saw hope. I saw understanding. I saw solidarity. I saw this issue addressed in the setting and clarifying manner it should be addressed – with multiple ethnicities being able to converse about the issue.

Every Sunday at Mosaic we close our worship service in prayer and each row of people holds hands with the people next to them stretching across the width of the worship area.

We do this every week and normally it doesn’t mean much more to me than a nice gesture, but this week it seemed like a strong gesture of solidarity after Mark DeYmaz addressed the white elephant in the room.

In the clip below watch what Mark DeYmaz had to say and the 5 questions he asked about the Ferguson situation. (click the play button)

I will have a longer, more in-depth post about racism in the near future – it’s been in the works for quite awhile.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in culture, spiritual, theology

 

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