Friday, December 31, 2004

Last Post

I quit blogging

Maybe I'll start up again next year

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Jesus in OT

If you could have been any person in the Bible, who would you choose? Noah? David? Peter, Paul or Mary? Consider the account found in Luke 24:13-35. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to have been one of the two believers travelling to Emmaus? They were joined by a stranger (at least, they didn't recognize Him). They told Him about all that had happened to Jesus and the recent reports of His resurrection. But they were, at best, unsure. Imagine being one of those two men as Jesus walked them through the Old Testament, telling them how it all pointed to Himself (Luke 24:27). It was a seven mile walk, but there was plenty to talk about...Jesus: In the Old Testament! Remember, the NT wasn’t written right away. The early church preached Jesus from the Old Testament and Jesus from personal experience.

In October I posted about Jesus in Genesis, and I want to continue thinking about Jesus in the Old Testament by pointing out 5 of the most powerful forshadowings of Christ.

The Ministry of Moses (Exodus)
Have you ever thought about the similarities between the ministry of Moses and the ministry of Jesus Christ? I have been reading through a list of 75 such similarities, but I think I'll just pick out 7. Both men were Israelites. Both lived in a time when Israel was in bondage (Egypt, Rome). Both were spared in their infancy from horrible edicts. Both grew up in Egypt. Both were rejected time and time again by their people. Both of them had their ministries confirmed by signs, wonders and miracles. And most importantly, both set their people free.

The Passover Lamb (Exodus 12)
This is a pretty obvious piece of imagery since we already know about Christ's work. But imagine a Jewish man living in the time of Christ. Imagine if he had followed Christ's ministry and then, still unbelieving, observed the events of the cross. I believe he would have noticed the obvious comparison. The lamb for passover was to be pure, without blemish. Its blood was to be applied in a very specific manner. It's blood protected people from the wrath of God. It was to have no broken bones. Today, we don't paint around the doors of our houses with lamb's blood for protection from God's judgment...but we must paint the doors of our hearts with the blood of Christ to be free from wrath. And just like the Jews remember to celebrate Passover on schedule, we must remember to partake of communion to reflect on the lamb, broken and bleeding for us.

The Manna from Heaven (Exodus 16)
It didn't take long for the newly freed Israelites to start grumbling. They were much like us. The next meal was more important to them than their freedom. They had just witnessed miracle after miracles as they escaped Pharaoh, but now they didn't trust God to provide nourishment. God heard their grumblings and provided bread from heaven every morning, but only enough for one day. In John 6:30-42 Jesus announces that He is the true bread from Heaven. Jesus came down from heaven to provide us our most basic need, spiritual nourishment. Jesus is life. Without Him we are left to dying, but in Him we have access to life to the fulllest. But it must be a daily investment. We can't buy bulk on Sunday. Jesus comes in pieces. 1 day at a time.

The Veil (Exodus 26:31-35)
One of the most staggering slices of symbolism in my opinion is that of the curtain or veil which seperatetd mere men from the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God. In the Old Testament, this curtain was a visual reminder that man was sinful and, therefore, had no access to the Father outside the ministry of the priest. And even the priest of that time had extremely limited access to God's presence behind the curtain. Mark 15:38 tells us that upon Jesus' death on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to botttom. Hebrews 10:19-22 tells us that the curtain represented the very body of Christ. His brokeness allows us to boldly approach the presence of God. We, if we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, have become like the priests of the Old Testament. Christ was broken, so that would could have access to the Father.

The Kinsman Redeemer (Leviticus 25:47-49)
Slavery in the Bible wasn't about skin color, it was due to economic realities. If you were extremely poor, your only option might have been to sell yourself to another human being, becoming his servant. But you could be bought back by a Kinsman Redeemer. A Kinsman Redeemer had to be a close relative. He had to be free himself. He had to be willing to burden himself for your freedom. And he had to be able to pay the price for your freedom. Boaz was a kinsman redeemer (Ruth 4:9), but he also forshadowed Christ's ministry to us. Jesus came to redeem the sons of God. He has no need, only love as motivation. He had no debt, only riches to offer. He was both willing and able to pay the purchase price for our freedom. Only Jesus could have. Only Jesus would have.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Polar Express

I just got back from taking my sister to see The Polar Express IMAX. Wow. Very impressive. The movie was a pretty good and predictable movie, but 2 things really impressed me, the quality of the animation and the IMAX part of it. This was my first IMAX movie.

But even if I hadn't seen it in 3D it would have been impressive. The people looked so real. I remember being impressed by the previews I saw a long time ago. At some points it looks more real than reality I think.

And the IMAX theatre is quite impressive. Yes, you pay more, but I think it's worth it when a good movie is being offered. It looks awesome. And the glasses are quite stylish! Some of the people near us were so impressed at the beginning that they kept saying 'whoa' and giggling...which was annoying, but eventually they calmed down.

Rating: 7.2
Status: Must See (in 3D)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Time Changer

Despite the expected cheesy line that nearly all Christian films contain, I highly recommend 'Time Changer'. It is a great movie to watch in a small group setting. It creates some good discussion and thinking. This is probably one of the best 'time travel' movies I've seen. A great reminder that our message isn't an it. Our message is Jesus Christ.

Rating: 6.9
Status: Worth the Time

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas gifts

A common conversation starter this time of year is...'what did you get for Christmas?' Well, I don't want to answer it ever again. From now on my answer will simply be a link to this post.

So here it is...
Seinfeld DVD's
Car-ready CD player
Writing utensils
Electric Keyboard
Barbie dolls
Pajama pants
Deluxe Monopoly

I've copied this URL and you are mere seconds away from a 'control v'

Sunday, December 26, 2004


I remember writing this song in the middle of the night when I couldn't get the wonder of redemption of my mind. The song follows Jesus from Gethsemene through the cross to the empty tomb and then to His calling us to follow today.

verse 1
At a place called Gethsemene
On the ground fell a man
He knew there was no turning back
He knew His Father’s plan
So He took the cup
And He got up
And looked at all the lost
He knew He had to save the world
No matter what the cost

verse 2
At a place they called Calvary
On the cross He had to bear
The beating He was given
The thorns pushed through His hair
He paid the price
A fallen Christ
He died up on that tree
Yet with His final moments
He saved both you and me

verse 3
At the tomb three days later
Away the stone rolled
The Savior, He had risen
As He Himself foretold
Though crucified
He was alive
And He’s living still today
Victory through surrender
It is the only way

Optional Chorus
Willingly he came
Willingly he bled
Willingly he died
For me, willingly (2x)

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Why are you reading my blog? It's Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

First Knight

Sean Connery, Richard Gere & Julia Ormond impress in 'First Knight' one of my favorite 'love story' movies. I like a movie that can cause me to root for both rivals while bringing them together for a common and good purpose. Ormond is worth fighting over and for in this film. There are also many great & quotable lines worth remembering. Two thumbs up from me.

Rating: 8.1
Status: Must Own

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Cross at Christmas

It is impossible for me to separate Christmas from Easter. Jesus CAME to DIE. And the following quote from theologian John Stott explains this connection better than I ever could. It also shows that the beauty of Christmas can be found in the contrast between the Christian and Buddhist worldviews:

"I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time, after a while I have had to turn away. And in my imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wretched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside His immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death."

~John Stott

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

My Favorite Praise Songs



Monday, December 20, 2004

My Favorite Hymns



Sunday, December 19, 2004

Make My Motive

I've spent a lot of hours studying through the book of Job. This song is a simple re-telling of the early parts of Job's encounter with pain. The story of Job asks the sharp question, 'What is your motive for worship.' Is my motive based on something that could change, or based on a changless God?

verse 1
One day satan
Came up from the ground
From lying and tempting
And spreading sin around
The Lord asked Satan
Can my servant you hound
More blameless and upright
A man can’t be found

Make my motive
Lord to please you
For why I act will
Become what I do
Be my motive
Let it be true
That all I do Lord
I do it for you

verse 2
God had finished
So satan replied
You’ve given him treasure
What if his family were to die
And what if his wealth
Would no longer abide
Take it away from him
We’ll see what’s inside

verse 3
So all job had was
Taken that day
As soon as he found out
In worship he fell on his face
The lord had given
Now taketh away
The name of the Lord
May it be praised

verse 4
Satan came back
To try it again
Sure job succeeded
If you take his health I’ll win
So God permitted
And satan did send
A horrible affliction
Of sores on Job’s skin

verse 5
Job had his struggles
As we do sometimes
Our lives seem hopeless
We find no reason or ryhme
But trust in God’s hand
He alone is wise
And we’ll be righteous
Before God’s eyes

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Sounds of Christmas

Our church tried something new this year, a Christmas concert entitled The Sounds of Christmas. Our Senior Pastor, in contrast to me, is a very musically gifted individual. He was able to create a very solid band made of talent from various locations in Western New York. Guitars, drums, keyboards, an awesome sax player....stuff like that...and a few singers. VERY professional sounding.

But here's the catch: This wasn't JUST Christian music. It was a combination of Christian and Secular music fitting the season. Jesus and Mary were mentioned, of course, but so were Frosty and Santa. Obviously, if our goal was to please everyone in the flock we wouldn't have done this...but that wasn't our intention. The purpose was to get lost people into the front door so we could meet them and maybe, just maybe, plant a seed.

Attendance: 305
(we are a church of 220 average Sunday attendance, the concert was given Friday and Saturday night)
-Members/Regulars (190)
-Unchurched/Non-Regulars (115)

So what do you guys think of this tactic? Should we do it again next year? Would you be offended by Frosty? Should we have only used local church talent? Is 115 out of 305 a better/worse ratio than Christmas time events you've been part of?

Friday, December 17, 2004

An Old Nursing Home Story

Since I've been thinking about nursing home ministry, it reminded me of my BBC internship in Fillmore, NY. One of the activities I did was help and/or lead the Bible study at the nursing home near Houghton College. It was a great bunch of folks. One guy in particular was a favorite of mine. Every week, at the end of the service, he'd shake my hand and give me a word of encouragement. He complimented me a I figured...'this guy is pretty sharp' (funny how pride sneaks up on ya)

One day I was leading a Bible study about the return of Christ. As usual his hand found mine afterwords and he told me it was a great lesson and that he was certainly looking forward to Christ's return. He told me he really sensed the Spirit teaching through me and that God was going to use me greatly.

I took some of the ladies back to their rooms, and started toward the exit. I was thinking pretty highly of myself. 'Boy, I'm really communicating well. Some of these people get confused easily and yet they are understanding exactly what I'm saying! I'm just super.'

As I walked outside toward my car, the good old hand shaker was there talking to a friend who hadn't attended Bible study that week. He waved for me to come over and then told his friend, 'Here he is....the boy I was telling you about...the Messiah!'

I learned 2 things that day.
1. That guy wasn't as sharp as I thought
2. I wasn't as great as I thought :)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Nursing Home Ministry

Sometimes I wonder if there's anything I do that is as much like Jesus as when I visit old ladies in nursing homes. Okay, that sentance was long and probably could have been worded much better. But I really believe nursing home ministry is very near to the heart of God.

Today I was at a nursing home to visit three people.

The first is a fairly new permanent resident to the nursing home. She is pretty sharp still. I'm always humbled and amazed by how much she loves a simple visit, a Christmas card, a short prayer of blessing.

The second lady is actually my Great Aunt. I didn't really even know her until I realized she was a couple rooms down from the first lady. She's actually pretty young, but her mind is not very good. She thinks her husband is dead (he's not). She thinks she's going back to her home soon (she's not) and today she was convinced that the staff stole her chair (maybe they did). When I visit her I usually stay for 15 minutes. We have the same conversation 3 times. At the end of each segment, she tells me I'm 'a beautiful girl...boy' and I smile that my masculinity is still somewhat convincing.' She's very lonely and bored. Today, in an unexpected break from the circular conversation, she told me that sometimes she just wished she'd die. All I could say was that I'd miss visiting her. And she cried and gave me a hug.

The third lady is 85 (I think) and very very sharp. She's only at the nursing home to rehab from a broken wrist. She's a strong willed lady with a great testimony. She was telling me that she believes God has one more lesson for her to learn, and she's anxious to find out what it is.

I always feel weird while I'm making my exit from a nursing home room while the old ladies tell me how much they appreciate my visits. All I really did was sit there for a half hour or so. But then I realize that it's really Jesus speaking through them, reminding me that this is what love is all about.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

97 Movies???

I am switching to DVD's...slowly.

$300 for all 97

Cast Away (2000)
Meet Joe Black (1998)
Se7en (1995)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Truman Show (1998)
Bandits (2001)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Ben-Hur (1959)
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Dumb & Dumber (1994)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Patch Adams (1998)
Addicted to Love (1997)
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Chocolat (2000)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Fallen (1998)
First Knight (1995)
Frequency (2000)
Glory (1989)
The Green Mile (1999)
Hook (1991)
Identity (2003)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Liar Liar (1997)
Lola rennt (1998)
The Majestic (2001)
Meet the Parents (2000)
Minority Report (2002)
The Money Pit (1986)
Nothing to Lose (1997)
Pleasantville (1998)
The Postman (1997)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Road to Perdition (2002)
Shallow Hal (2001)
Signs (2002)
State and Main (2000)
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Trial and Error (1997)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Waterworld (1995)
You've Got Mail (1998)
America's Sweethearts (2001)
Antitrust (2001)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Arlington Road (1999)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Far and Away (1992)
Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
The Italian Job (2003)
The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Matchstick Men (2003)
Office Space (1999)
The Patriot (2000)
The Preacher's Wife (1996)
The Rainmaker (1997)
Reindeer Games (2000)
Remember the Titans (2000)
Runaway Jury (2003)
She's the One (1996)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
Stargate (1994)
The Time Machine (2002)
Unbreakable (2000)
A Walk to Remember (2002)
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
Contact (1997)
Forces of Nature (1999)
Levity (2003)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
October Sky (1999)
Rat Race (2001)
The Saint (1997)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The War of the Roses (1989)
About a Boy (2002)
At First Sight (1999)
The Cider House Rules (1999)
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Rounders (1998)
The Score (2001)
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)
Open Range (2003)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Revelation: 4 Views

Some have accused me of being stubborn. Well, they're wrong...and that's final!

I have finished reading a parellel commentary on the book of Revelation by Steve Gregg entitled Revelation: Four Views. This book was very helpful in that, verse by verse, it described how different interpreters interpret the Bible's final book. Four views are described in its pages:

1. Historical- This view holds that the book of Revelation describes history from the time of the apostles to the end of the world. Most of the classical commentaries adhere to this view.
2. Preterist- This view holds that the bulk of Revelation describes the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 (this usually includes argument for an earlier origin of Revelation, aka...prior to AD70)
3. Futurist- This view holds that most or all of the events described in Revelation have yet to occur. The Left Behind Series follows after this view. It is extremely popular in today's Christian pop-culture.
4. Spiritual- This view does not seek specific fulfillments of Revelation. Instead, spiritualist scholars believe Revelation gives us divine principles that will apply many times throughout history.

It's interesting how different these views are. I believe all of them (as long as they are not taken too extremely) are well within the boundaries of orthodoxy. And yet how different they are! One says the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled long ago. Another says they are being fulfilled throughout history. Another says none of them are yet fulfilled. And another doesn't really say anything (just kidding, no offense to spiritualists).

For most of my life, I was really only aware of the futurist approach. But as I became more interested in the subject, I read many scholars advocating the historical approach. It was only in the past few years that I became firmly aware of the preterist approach. And, though much reading awaits, after finishing Mr. Gregg's 528 page commentary, I am now ready to officially announce that I'm (although still open to persuasion) changing my position.

I can now be called: Matthew, the partial-preterist.

This concludes, what some of you probably think, is the most boring post of all time.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Butterfly Effect

Who would have thought an Ashton Kutcher movie could be so good? I mean, the guy is quite creative and funny on Punked, but there's some good acting in this film to go along with a great idea.

The Butterfly Effect is the poor man's Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rating: 8.3
Status: Must Own

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Self Entitled

At one point, I realized I had a pretty good handful of songs that really meant a lot to, of course, I launched an imaginary music career...but I needed a catchy title for my CD project. Many times new artists self entitle their first CD, but I wanted to be original. So instead of my fake CD being self entitled, I actually named it Self Entitled. This song was written to justify that name.

verse 1
Many years of my life
I spent living in strife
Trying to find my own way
I thought I’d make my own road
I was in control
And I would be OK

My life was self entitled
I thought I would stick to my old
Ways of doing things
I was lost and yes I knew it
But I thought I could get through it
If I stuck to my routine
Wasn’t the same as now (3x)
Living (2x) living self entitled

verse 2
Routines exactly what I got
Started believing this was not
The way to live my days
I started looking for some meaning
And this book I began reading
Had a brand new set of ways

repeat chorus

verse 3
Then one day next to my bed
It all made sense inside my head
I knew it was all real
I gave my life to Jesus Christ
And now I’m living like His life
And my future has been sealed

chorus 2
My life was self entitled
I thought I would stick to my old
Ways of doing things
But then the Lord came in my heart
And gave me a brand new start
And I’m living with the king
And I reign in Him (3x)No longer (2x)
no longer self entitled

Saturday, December 11, 2004

National Treasure

I wasn't expecting much out of National Treasure. I don't really like Nicolas Cage. I had heard it was all about the Free Masons. I figured it'd be pretty much a made-to-make-money-movie. Well, if it made money, it was earned. I enjoyed National Treasure very much. I watched it on my way home from China (If you are very observant, you'll notice the date of this post is prior to my entire trip. I am filling in some empty days with movie reviews) and was pleasantly surprised. It's an Indiana Jones style action film (which is a very good thing). I didn't roll my eyes at very much in this film at all.

Rating: 7.6
Status: Must See

Friday, December 10, 2004

The BBC Connection

If I know you, at all, based on my time at Bethany Bible College YOU can be a link on my blog. In the past few weeks I have stumbled across quite a few BBC blogs, but I am sure there are more. Even if I didn't particularly like you, I'll include you! Even if you don't want to be included, I'll include you. I don't think you can stop me.

I've seen various BBC alumni try to create list of 'other bbc bloggers'...I've combined those lists into a master list and will try to keep it updated. Let me know if I totally forgot about you....and if you're story that we once knew each other checks out, I'll add you to the list!

You can view the list near the bottom right of my blog

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Total Recall

There are some movies I like better every time I watch them. This is one such movie. Total Recall is truly a sci-fi masterpiece. All sorts of action, a great plot, a fantastic ending, it's got it all. This may be Arnold's best film. Check that. I boldly declare it to be so.

Rating: 8.8
Status: Must Own

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Four Loves

Okay...I just finished reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis for the second time (the first time I pretty much skimmed it, bad choice). I typed out my favorite 62 quotes. Then I bolded my top 19 of those. Then I enlarged the text size of the best 7 quotes for YOU! Here they are...

~The moment when one first says, really meaning it, that though he is not “my sort of man” he is a very good man “in his own way” is one of liberation

~If we are any good we must always be working towards the moment at which our pupils are fit to become our critics and rivals.

~The mass of the people, who are never quite right, are never quite wrong.

~If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.

~There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

~God is a host who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and take advantage of Him.

~No sooner do we believe that God loves us than there is an impulse to believe that He does so, not because He is Love, but because we are intrinsically loveable…We, being better taught, resort to subterfuge. Far be it from us to think that we have virtues for which God could love us. But then, how magnificently we have repented…Thus, depth beneath depth and subtlety beneath subtlety, there remains some lingering idea of our own, our very own, attractiveness.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

William Butler Yeats

I love quotes. Tonight I ran across a page of quotes by William Butler Yeats. On the right side of the page was his date of birth. It turns out, we were both born on a 6/13. So I read all the quotes on the page, here are my favorites:

"Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking."

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing."

I know that I shall meet my fate somewhere among the clouds above; those that I fight I do not hate, those that I guard I do not love."

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober."

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

A short biography revealed one interesting tidbit....Yeats proposed five times to Maud Gonne and was rejected each time, after which he asked and was rejected by her daughter!

Monday, December 06, 2004

When Not If

This is a song I wrote in a valley. I didn't feel like loving God. I didn't feel like praying. I didn't feel like reading His word. I didn't feel much of anything. God taught me to invest in His relationship with me out of obedience and responsibility and reminded that feelings are fickle.

verse 1
It’s embarressing how bad things get
And no one needs to notice
It scares me how far gone I let
Our union slip away
I try once in a while to set
A method to this madness
And I show up just to regret
I have nothing to say

And I’m feeling really low and I
Know that I am very wrong
Don’t know what to say except
To sing to you this simple song

verse 2
It’s a matter of the will I know
At least in getting started
So reluctantly I still must go
With my feelings in the way
Cause if our bond will ever grow
It won’t be in avoidance
If I want to reap I’ll have to sow
Wait for a brighter day

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Sydney and Vaughn

Charlie woke up drenched and dazed and confused. Relationships weren't working well for him so far. I mean, sure, he had learned valuable lessons...1. Don't try to date Lois Lane if you're not ready to be Superman...2. Don't try to date the Hulk if you're not willing to be pushed around...and 3. Don't try to be a girl if you're...well...a guy.

So Charlie decided to leave his life of searching for a soul-mate. He decided to join the CIA. In the CIA he'd be too busy to go through another relational debacle. He was so excited. Until that first meeting. He was sitting quietly when she walked in. They had girls in the CIA??? He didn't see any other girls. Only her. But 1 was enough to devestate his plans.

As the reader would expect, Charlie and mystery girl number 4 were occassionally sent on missions together. He was given the alias Vaughn. She was given the alias Sydney. Their first mission was to pose as students and pass tests, so they studied together. The missions became more complex though, and pretty soon they found themselves posing as a couple that wasn't dating when, in reality, they were. They were glad when that mission was over.

Charlie was very happy. Not only was he now serving his country in the CIA, he had found a great partner to work with. The future looked bright...until...Charlie was hit in the head by someone from the CIA's enemy: SD-6. He lost his memory. He forgot how good things had been with Sydney. The SD-6 agents told him he was an unsatisfied agent. He foolishly believed them. But as the months went on his memory began to return. He escaped SD-6 and returned to the CIA headquarters. And there he saw Sydney and the past hit him like a brick.

Sydney was reluctant, but Charlie was persuasive. He wanted to be Vaughn again, but to her, he was just Charlie now. Charlie had the CIA place her on missions with him....but the spark never really returned. Charlie graduated from his position as an agent to a desk job with an office to himself.

But from time to time you can see Charlie glancing out his office window....looking for something similar to Sydney to come along.

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Stepford Boyfriend

We first found our hero as an emerging superman, but just when Lois Lane was in reach timidity outfought temerity for the throne. The golden ticket and the relentless hulk gave Charlie some confidence, but they left Betty a confused transgendered soul.

The radiation was losing its affect, but Charlie/Betty wanted to speed the process along. He admitted himself into a clinic up North where he believed he'd find the help necessary. At the clinic people paired up and tried to help each other with their problems. Charlie watched patiently as people chose their partners. He didn't expect to be in high demand, being transgendered and all (yeah, I know this story is really weird, but I can't turn back now!).

One day, though, a young woman took a special interest in Charlie. He wasn't exactly sure why. She had a boyfriend. She was smart and attractive. He hadn't even shown any interest. But there she was, wanting to pair up. Charlie was not opposed.

But Charlie didn't realize being a pair was so complicated. Apparently saying yes to 1 relationship was saying no to 200 others. The young woman made Charlie aware of all the clinics rules. They were many, complicated, and enforced with disappointing looks. In particular, Charlie hated the early bed time rules.

One can go mad obeying the rules all day. Charlie read through the rule book often to try to find some loophole, but to no avail. Apparently, however, Charlie's version of the rule book was far from perfect. The young woman was able to find loopholes whenever she wanted in her version. It was odd to Charlie that the very same girl who enforced extra strict rules on him was also willing and wanting to avoid the most basic rules with him.

One night they were out and it started to rain. It rained for days. The rains came down and the floods came up. A whirlpool developed. The relationship circled towards the center. And this post is getting the relationship drowned. Drowned means dead. The end.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Hulk and Betty Ross

As Charlie and his confidence grew, some girls occassionally took notice. A couple of them asked Charlie to sign up for a science class. Charlie didn't really care for science, but he liked the idea of girls asking him to join things.

The science class was all about mixing things together to bring about a desired effect. Charlie watched as one of the girls tried day after day to create a love potion. Eventually Charlie decided she was never going to give up, so he decided to help her out.

Working as a team wasn't so bad at first, but then things got very complicated. One day Charlie and the girl were working on a particularly delicate potion. As Charlie added the final ingredient the beaker exploded and gamma radiation spread throughout the room causing mutations to occur in all individuals present. Charlie turned into a young woman named Betty Ross. The young girl turned into a giant, green, bad-tempered, Incredible Hulk.

Betty tried his hardest to keep the hulk happy (funny sentance I know). When she (the hulk) wanted to vacation in the North Pole, Betty took her there. When the Hulk wanted to vacation in the South Pole, Betty took her there too. Needless to say, they were racking up quite a few frequent flyer miles on the bi-polar express.

Betty knew he had to end the relationship. And he knew it wouldn't be pretty. But he did it. The Hulk was sad, then angry, then sorry, then furious, then she wanted ice cream, then she threw writing utensils. Pretty much what Betty had anticipated.

Over the next months the mutations slowly wore off. Betty became a man again.

Part 4 Tomorrow

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Charlie and the Ticket

Embarrassed by his shyness (isn't that a funny thought), Klark Cent changed his name to Charlie. His relational life was over despite the fact that he was only in middle school. He was down in the dumps over losing Lois Lane.

But then the energizing announcement was made: Willy Wonka was giving away a lifetime supply of relational happiness to 5 lucky people. To win, you just had to buy Candy bars and look for a golden ticket within. Charlie was excited until he started thinking. Over-thinking has always been one of Charlie's big problems. He calculated the odds. He wasn't willing to make the investment necessary to win the prize. And a golden ticket certainly wasn't going to fall from heaven.

Then one day at school a friend of a friend handed Charlie a Candy bar. He opened it nervously before class started. Low and behold....a GOLDEN TICKET. Charlie read the wording of the ticket to be sure it was real: 'You are the lucky winner of a relationship. To claim your prize simply look back three rows and across two aisles.' Charlie slowly turned his head until the smiling face of a sweet young girl glided into view.

But Charlie was skeptical. Some 'prizes' are scams dressed in disguise. He needed protection from humilation, so he called his lawyer who advised him to sign a 2 week relational happiness contract. After the completion of the 2 week period Charlie could re-evaluate his decision and make a bigger commitment. Charlie's lawyers received an odd look from the sweet young girl, but she agreed to the timid terms.

At the end of the two weeks, Charlie decided not to renew the contract. Nothing against the girl, but relational happiness wasn't too fun in middle school. When Charlie wanted to talk about sports with his friends, the sweet girl wanted to hold hands while she talked to her friends.

Charlie gained some confidence from knowing that some girl had given him this golden ticket. Perhaps Charlie needed confidence more than he needed a girlfriend. Charlie was no longer in the dumps

Part 3 should be posted tomorrow