Friday, October 31, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 9

Well dudes and dudettes it took nine weeks but it's finally here. This Sunday I square off against the league's second place team. A team led this week by Kurt 'Stubble Master' Warner and Adrian 'All Day' Peterson. Aside from that they get to throw Matt Forte against the toothless Lions D and supplement their air attack with Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss and Hines Ward. Oh and did I mention that this juggernaut is led by my son? He may be my son, but in fantasy football it's all business or in this case shall we say all empire. 

Here's the deal. I'm need to score points in bunches this week. Daring Drew is on his bye so Matt Schaub heads the CPKing Air attack. I've decided to put 'Slash' on the pine since the Texans face a tough Viking run D. That leaves me with Chris 'Flash' Johnson (GB), Marshawn 'Smash' Lynch (NYJ) and Michael 'Burner' Turner (@Oak). 

Right now I'm feeling the Burner and Flash. For the past few weeks I've benched Smash and it hasn't hurt me at all. He should do well at home but the Jets have a decent run D while the Pack and Da Raiders don't. But what do you think?

The next issue is wideout. For now I have Calvin 'Megatron' Johnson (@CHI), Donnie 'New Game' Avery (ARI) and Antonio Bryant (@KC). I'm starting Megatron because... well he's Megatron. Avery may have taken over Torry 'Big Game' Holt's role in the revived Ram offense. He can get deep and the Cards can't cover. Bryant could have a good day against a poor KC D. However I also have Jericho C (@BUF), Santonio Holmes (@WAS) and Bernard 'DBL B' Berrian (Hou). I'm probably sitting Santonio due to the tepid Steeler pass game and the fact that Nate Washington may have taken his place as Big Ben's deep threat. But that still leaves me with Jericho C and Berrian. 

So folks who would you start, who should ride the pine and why. 

Happy Reformation Day

Go Pots

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Philadelphia Phillies 
2008 World Series Champions!!!!!!!

How Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttt it is!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pots Pummel AllStars

What's that you ask? That's a shot of spectators streaming into London's Wembley Stadium to see the American Football match between the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers. Why am I drawing your attention to this pic? Take a closer look and tell me what you see. On first glance it looks very much like most football stadiums before a normal game. Did you notice the sky however? Seems cloudy, but not raining. Can't tell if there's much wind but from what we can see this may well have been a fairly average cloudy London day. And without driving rain and whipping wind it was the perfect kind of day for Daring Drew Brees to show his former mates how he's faring with his new new team. And Daring Drew had the great Bayou Air Show running on all cylinders. He slung the rock for over 300 yards with three scores and once again delivered 30 points to the CrockPot Kings. To put that in perspective my opponent mustered a grand total of 60 points. There's only one problem though. Daring Drew sat on my bench yesterday. 'Lance, what were you thinking' you exclaim?! I was thinking that Wembley would be a soggy, sloppy mess and that without Reggie Bush the Daring one would have a fairly pedestrian outing. Wrong!!!

But have no fear. For while Daring Drew was busy torching the Bolts, Merciless Matt Schaub took apart the Cincy Kittens. Homeboy went 24 of 28 for 280 and three trips to paydirt. Along with Donnie (I can flat out fly) Avery, Megatron and Slash the Merciless one led the Pots to our 8th straight victory. And this even before 'Flash' gets to dance against the Colts tonight.

Yet there's still work to do. It's likely that Santonio Holmes will be suspended for drug use so we might need another receiver. There's alot of season left and some big weeks coming up. Stay tuned.

Go Pots

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Smoke Screen

“What we need to do is get the government out of the way and let the church do the job of caring for the poor“. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that in one form or another. The logic seems to go like this:

1) The government always does a poor job caring for the poor (sorry for the pun). (Though it does seem they’re doing a pretty fair job helping out the not so poor these days).
2) God appointed the church to care for the poor and they did just that in the days of the Roman empire when there was no welfare state.
3) Government usurped the church’s role in caring for the poor, instituted programs that were a complete failure and now we have one big mess.
4) Government needs to get out of the way so the church can resume our rightful place and care for the poor.

Well dudes and dudettes it‘s time to go back into the hornets nest because I‘d like to challenge those assumptions. I’ll begin by asking what the average person in your church thinks about the poor? Who would they define as poor? Would they say that poor people are those with jobs that pay at or near minimum wage or those who just don‘t want to work? Are the poor those people who’ve failed to find jobs that pay a living wage and consequently have given up trying? Do they view poor people as those who lack the drive or imitative to take the necessary steps to climb out of poverty? Or do they see the poor as those who don’t have as much access to opportunity as others? How would we go about distinguishing those who need help from those who just want a hand out?

These questions are important since how I view the poor will directly impact the way I believe they either should or should not be helped. If I genuinely believe that poor people are or remain poor due to a lack of desire to move out of poverty then perhaps the help they need is a swift kick in the pants. And if that’s the case the issue isn’t whether they should receive help from the church as opposed to the government but whether they should receive any ‘help’ at all. If I and those I worship with are convinced that the poor somehow lack the necessities to make it in a society that provides equal opportunity for all then the root issue isn’t a lack of help and it therefore follows that few if any resources (time, counseling, money etc.) should be spent on them. Why open and maintain a soup kitchen for those who could just as easily get a job and buy their own soup?

There are times when I wonder if the whole ‘get the government out of the way so the church can do the job mantra’ is a smoke screen. I wonder about that because we haven’t settled on who we believe is poor, why they are poor and the causes of their poverty. In fact we rarely even really talk about the poor. They always seem to be those people out there who remain on the fringes of our world until someone laments what a poor job the government did in trying to lift them from poverty. I wonder if it’s a smoke screen because if we’re honest with ourselves we know that if the government turned the care of the poor over to us tonight that we most likely would not be ready, nor able, nor particularly eager to address their challenges. I wonder if it’s a smoke screen because it sounds good, gets hearty ‘amens’ and knowing nods without us having to actually come up with a plan to actually address the issues of the poor.

So the next time someone confidently declares ‘What we need to do is get the government out of the way and let the church do the job of caring for the poor’, ask the following:

Solid, the government should get out of the way and let the church do our job. What is your church’s (or denomination’s) plan for helping the poor in your area? Have you thought about how much this will cost? What percentage of your church budget would you be willing to devote to this and for how long?

Brothers and sisters I have no problem with the church helping the poor. But let me leave you with this. Over the last several years there’s been a growing number of reformed theological conferences. How many of those conferences have focused on what scripture says about the poor and powerless? If our conferences are indicative of what we believe is important and the theme of poverty rarely if ever makes a peep at those conferences then why in the world would those who do believe that government has a role in assisting the poor entrust us to care for those we’re not even talking about?

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pots Plaster Raiders

I knew the day would come. Daring Drew Brees ran into the Dangerous Carolina D and the Great Bayou Air Show came to a screeching halt. What's worse I benched Matt (Hey Lance I'm playing the Lions dummy) Schaub who put up a pretty decent 20 point showing. No worries though mates. I still had Flash, Slash and Calvin (please just throw him the darn ball) Johnson. Along with them we had solid contributions from Bernard (DBL B) Berrian and the Pittsburgh D. Not sure what happened to Jericho C though I heard he may be injured. I sat Santonio and Smash Lynch but it didn't hurt me too much. And as of this writing I'm pretty sold on going with Flash (Indy at home) and Slash (Cincy at home) this week.

Well onto next week in our quest to run the table.

Go Pots

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pots Set to Cook

Hey dudes and dudettes. Sorry I couldn’t get to you with the latest news on Da Pots, but between increased busyness and a cold it was a bit difficult to get around to. We did win our sixth in a row with the help of the ‘B’ squad. Bernard Berrian and Steve Breaston had big days receiving and that was just what the doctor ordered since I decided to do the unthinkable and bench Megatron.

And now for the hard part. I picked up Dbl B because he’s the Vikes #1 receiver and with teams gearing to stop All Day I was thinking he could have some nice games and he has. I rolled the dice on Breaston based on two good games and the fact that Kurt Warner is slinging the rock like it really is 1999. Breaston’s on his bye week but that still leaves me with Santonio Holmes (@Cincy), Calvin Johnson (@ Houston), Dbl B (@ Chitown) and Jericho C (@ Oakland). Somebody’s got to ride the pine this week so what do you think?

While your mulling that one over chew on this. One of these three must bide his time on the pine: Chris ‘Flash’ Johnson (@ KC), Steve ‘Slash’ Slaton (Detroit) and Marshawn ’Smash’ Lynch (Diego).

So who sits; Flash, Slash or Smash?

Thanks for the feedback.

Go Pots

BasketBall Moms

Who in the world are basketball moms? Glad you asked. I’m going to define basketball moms as those women who live in the working income communities of large cities, have school aged children and are employed in low paying retail or service jobs. (between $7 and $12 dollars an hour) As the title suggest their children are much more likely to spend time at the local basketball court instead of a soccer field or hockey rink.

Basketball moms are not regarded as the middle class but they do make up the new working class of this country. And let’s be clear. These people work. They do not sit at home and collect a check from the government. For those who wish to question that fact and live near a typical large city just check out a suburban mall or the local airport, many supermarkets or your average doctor’s office or hospital or any number of other businesses that employ this new working class. Like most other Americans, basketball moms are law abiding citizens who play an important part in this country’s economy. And like most of their soccer and hockey counterparts basketball moms are concerned with their children’s education and well-being. Unlike many of their counterparts however basketball moms are far more vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy. Their salaries don’t offer much flexibility when gas, home heating oil and food prices begin climb.

I’m not surprised at the lack of attention basketball moms get during the election cycle. Most politicians are far more interested in identifying with the ‘hard-working suburban middle-class’ who we’re told are the backbone of this country. Consequently, Bball moms get few visits from the candidates or even their running mates. (Though Sen. Obama did a four spot swing through Philly this past Saturday. Other than that however I know of no other times when the candidates visited the average basketball mom community). But again this isn’t surprising.

What does concern me is how the lack of interest in basketball moms can indicate that they and their issues are somehow less important than those of soccer or hockey moms. I’m not saying that basketball moms are poor (though I do believe that many of our new permanent working class live precariously close to the margins of society) nor am I advocating that the government shower them with money as if they were a mismanaged investment bank.

But since the president pledges to govern the United States of America shouldn’t he at least listen to the concerns of basketball moms? I ask this because it does seem that for the foreseeable future the country will have a new permanent working class. However due to a number of factors this working class may spend much of their lives walking the tightrope between making it and poverty. The cost of health care, (many of them don’t have employer sponsored health plans) housing and college may permanently lock them and their children into a lifestyle of barely getting by.

And I wonder if it’s in the long-term interest of this country to have a group of people who indeed work but can’t imagine their work ever really paying off or that their children will be able to secure the kind of education that will propel them into better careers. Nor do I believe that it will do to merely dismiss them to find their own way into the middle class while their government provides hundreds of billions of dollars to companies whose executives make a hundred times more than they. I have no problem with our politicians speaking to the concerns of soccer mom Susie or hockey mom Heather. But if we are to grow into becoming one nation our leaders along with the rest of us must also speak to the issues of basketball mom Brenda.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor lance

Ace In The Cole

The Phiting Phils are back in the show. Paced by NLCS MVP Cole Hamels the Phillies earned their first trip to the World Series in 15 years.

Celebrations are breaking out all over Philly (what do you want we don’t win much around here).

Now onto the Series to bring home the bacon and paint the town red.

Go Phils

Friday, October 10, 2008

Love Your Enemies?

The final stretch has begun. With about three weeks to go the nation’s highest office is still up for grabs as the candidates make their final push.

My interest in this post however isn’t in making an endorsement or even examining a particular position. I want to talk about us. What us you ask? The us that claims to belong to the King of kings and Lord of lords. I’ve already written about how this is yet another election that will reveal the very real political differences of God’s people. My hope and prayer is that we will at least handle these differences biblically while striving to maintain kingdom focused unity.

One of my main concerns is our witness to those who are united with us politically yet apart from us spiritually. That concern springs from the reality that many with whom we agree with politically have a narrow, short-sighted view with respect to politics in particular and life in general. By this I don’t mean that they’re utterly foolish people who lack the intelligence and sophistication to see this country’s challenges from multiple perspectives. I do mean that lacking a biblical perspective on life, the future and ultimate reality they actually believe that the political process offers the best way to the kind of lifestyle and country they wish to have. Many of them genuinely believe that if their candidate isn’t elected the country will unravel, things will begin to fall apart and desperate and dire times will certainly arrive. For them a victory by their man is the only thing that stands between what America is today and what may be a drastically different America.

Such people can begin to view their candidate’s opponent and those who support him in the worst possible light. You see without a biblical perspective their only hope is in life in the here and now. And the factor that weighs most heavily in the here and now is the nation’s political process. Lose out in politics, lose out in life. By the grace and power of God those who trust in Jesus Christ have been freed from such a mindset. Our ultimate confidence in a better future isn’t centered on Pennsylvania Avenue, Wall Street or Main St. Thus we are free to work for the good of our community, region, nation and world with the full confidence that God is still seated on His throne and will be there on Wednesday Nov. 5th regardless of who is elected the next president. That doesn’t mean we have to ignore the political process. It’s just that we can engage it without the feeling of absolute dread and despair should our candidate lose.

And this is why it’s imperative that we serve as kingdom focused witnesses to those who are united with our party but not to our Lord. Many of them may be terrified at the prospect of an Obama or McCain administration. Driven by fear they may say and even be willing to do things that cause or exacerbate lasting and bitter divisions within the country. They will view their political opponents as enemies and in desperation treat them that way. How can we be a witness in this atmosphere? Think about it for a moment. How do believers treat their enemies? Did our Lord have anything to say on the subject? What did the apostles teach and write about this? Our witness during this time is the way that we treat, regard and respect our political opponents. We follow the dictates of scripture regarding how we treat our enemies while refusing to just join our crowd and thus give in to the desires of our sinful nature. Why do we do this? We do so because as important as this election is we are the ones who can show those united with us politically yet apart from us spiritually that there are matters even weightier than the direction and state of this country.

But perhaps even more than that the people of the living God are determined to treat those who oppose us with kindness because that’s how the Lord treated us when we were His enemies. Need proof? Check this out.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Rom. 5:6-11.

Who are the ungodly to which Paul referred? It’s us. We were ungodly. And it didn’t matter if we carried our ungodliness in a more moral manner than others. There was enough ungodliness within us to earn the just, fair, fierce, certain and eternal punishment of the living God. What did it mean for us to be God’s enemies? (vs. 10) It meant that we were opposed and hostile to God’s Person, worship, rule, word, will, ways, agenda, salvation and Son. And once again it didn’t matter if we carried out our opposition in a more moral manner than others. What could we have done about our situation? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We were helpless and completely without power to change ourselves or our destiny.

How did God therefore treat those of us who were His enemies? He committed His Son to live a perfect life for us, die to pay the penalty our rebellion had earned and then rise from the dead proving the Father accepted His sinless life and sacrificial death. Did this happen once we awoke to the fact that we were enemies and pleaded for God to do something? Nope. God demonstrated the depth of His love for His enemies in this specific manner: While we were still spewing our venomous hostility toward God, His rule, worship, will, word, ways, and agenda Jesus Christ His Son died for our sins. What would have happened had God determined to deal with us fairly, give us what we deserve and treat us as enemies? Damnation. Total, unrelenting, unending, punishing damnation.

And one of the best times for us to highlight these precious truths is election time. And one of the best ways for us to highlight them is to treat those who oppose us the way the living God has treated us.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Kings Clip Air Force One

Go Steve Go! Let by Slippery Steve Slaton the CrockPot Kings posted our 5th straight victory. Steve rushed for over 90 yards and hit pay dirt twice racking up the most points for the Pots. And we needed it because for the most part everybody else bombed. Everybody that is except for my man Michael ‘yeah I can burn on the road too’ Turner. I stayed with my gut and played the new dirty bird who rewarded me with over a hundred and twenty yards and one score. Staying with names that begin with 'M', Matt 'nothing but the bottom of the crossbar' Prater blasted another 50+ yarder. If you're in a league and he's available get him. Get him now.

Now onto next week and we have problems. Our receiver corps totaled 7 points. That’s not 7 points for one guy, that’s seven with all three combined. Santonio is on a bye this week, but I do get Jericho C back at home against Cincy. I don’t know what’s going on in Detroit but hopefully they get it fixed and get Megatron the ball. I also decided to pick up Bernard Berrian since he is the Vikes #1 wideout and gets to face the toothless lions at home.
I’d consider a trade for top flight flanker but all of them seem so up and down this year. So for now I’ll stay pat and hope for the best. See you Friday.

Go Pots

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fantasy Football Friday - Week 5

Another Friday another decision. Thankfully we still have Daring Drew Brees leading the passing attack and we get Calvin 'Megatron' Johnson back in the receiving corps. I'm sticking with Santonio 'split the seam' Holmes and hoping the Steelmen will throw it more now that they're down to their fourth string RB. I've plugged Amani 'GQ' Toomer in at the other wideout position since Jericho C is taking a much deserved break and Mr. Burress has been asked to take a week off. Picked up Anthony Fasano to man the TE spot with hopes that he can burn the Bolts like Zack Miller did last week. Mike 'give me 50 baby' Prater handles the kicking game and I've held my nose and pegged Big D's D. (sorry Philly for this act of treachery but they should be able to generate some points against Cincy's kittens).

The issue is the running game. Last week the Michael Turner and Marshawn Lynch combined for a total of 11 points. And that just ain't going to cut it especially since I'm going up against 'LT' this week. I've got four RB's for two slots. Turner is at Green Bay and so far hasn't done well on the road and against teams with good defenses. However, Green Bay's D is a bit beaten up and has a few starters out this week. Marshawn travels to the left coast to meet the Cards. Chris 'Flash' Johnson is on the road against Baltimore and Steve 'Philly Boy' Slaton is home against the Colts. I'm leaning on playing Turner and Slaton. Slaton is getting more involved in the Texan's offense which uses him effectively as rusher and receiver. He's also home against the Colts who are without all world safety Bob Sanders.

But what do you think? Of the four who should start and who should ride the pine.

Go Pots

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Peas In A Pod

I have a predication to make regarding the presidential election. And this is a predication that you can take to the bank (provided there are any you still trust). Despite who wins this next election most bible believing African-Americans will pull the lever for Sen. Barack Obama while most white evangelicals will cast a ballot for Sen. John McCain. There are many reasons for this and while I doubt that we'll be able to explore all of them before the election I want to put forth a little proposal.

Despite our political differences bible believing blacks and evangelical whites are two peas in a pod. Both groups are subcultures within the larger society complete with their own traditions, history, customs and lingo. Both are viewed somewhat negatively within the larger society. Neither group trusts the mainstream media all that much and both carry a general feeling of being on the outside looking in. Both groups are loyal soldiers of their respective political parties but at times feel taken for granted. Both groups are extremely important in national elections and are counted to deliver by their respective parties. Moreover, it’s unlikely that the Republicans could win without the support of a good number of white evangelicals, nor could the Democrats re-capture the White House without a large turnout of bible-believing African-Americans. Despite this however neither group seems to get what it wants from those they support.

So here's the deal. Why don't we forge an alliance? We could agree on a common set of issues and throw our support behind the candidate who vows to promote them. An impossible dream you say? Perhaps. But though it wouldn't be easy we might be able to change the very nature of upcoming elections. Think of the possibility of candidates having to consider the primary issues of a voting bloc that consists of multiple millions of bible believing African-Americans and multiple millions of white evangelicals? What would it be like to have a pro-life candidate who spoke with as much enthusiasm for the interests of basketball moms as he or she did for soccer moms? How might the race for the nation's highest office change once a candidate had to address the top two or three concerns of both groups? And how might we work to address the needs of others as a witness of God's righteousness, wisdom and compassion?

How could this happen? Perhaps with both groups getting to know each other, understanding where each is coming from and having some genuine humility with respect to the issues they hold important. Such a step is both necessary and significant for we have to comprehend what drives us to vote the way we do. It will also be important for us to establish the important essentials of the gospel and the supremacy of God's kingdom. That will help us to keep our political ambitions in proper place. From there we can hash through the issues to be addressed recognizing the limits of the political process and be willing to accept that no one gets everything they want in any political situation.

Most of all, we can commit to following this course not just for the good of the country but for the strength of our witness. And that could be the action that puts shoe leather to the words of unity we often speak but for any number of reasons can't seem to demonstrate apart from a stray joint worship service. That witness could shine especially as we champion our unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the unity we have with those who agree with our politics. And that’s at least worth dreaming about.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance