Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I can't sleep.

Tonight, I was taking Jordan to basketball practice and Promise rode along. We heard a brief piece of a story, on the radio, about this girl (they didn't say her age) whose father had cancer. Promise INSISTED that we pray immediately. She leaned forward, took my hand and said, "Pray Daddy, please!" It really got to me. I mean, I'm a very emotional person anyway. (Which some times I think is my greatest fault...sometimes I think it's my greatest strength.) But I couldn't stop crying.

Thinking about all this family was going through. The fear, the pain, the bills, the questions, the frustrations, the trying to have faith...coupled with questioning why a loving God would let this happen. (I do not have answers.) But mostly thinking about how brief everything really is.


I can't sleep.

Maybe I can't sleep because I almost feel like life is too brief too sleep. (I understand the stupidity in that...we wouldn't live long if we didn't balance out life with rest.)

Here was this nameless family...somewhere on this planet. I don't know their names, their birthdays or how they take their coffee. They are a world away from me and their world is falling apart.

I bet I know what they're hoping for: more time. (I mean, death is inevitable...but if we could just have a little more time.) That's what I wish I had with my dad. Just some more time.

Time to stand in a run-down convenience store in the bad part of town, just because their Diet Cokes were colder than any other store's.

Time to listen to him complain about my mom.

Time to watch hear him call Jordan "Boliver."

Time to hear him say of Promise, "She's my heart."

Time to talk about stuff that means nothing.

That would mean everything.

But I don't have that time anymore.

It is gone. I will never, ever have a chance to kiss his bald head and spend time with him again. Ever. (For the sake of those of you who are going to start talking about Heaven and the Sweet-by-and-by...I know. And it's really not any comfort.)



This past weekend, I cried with some of my best friends in the world, as we remembered and celebrated the life of their husband, Daddy, Daddy Tommy.

I saw a chapter close.

Less than twenty-four hours later, I cried with some of my other best friends in the world, as they celebrated their beautiful daughter changing her last name to the name of the man she loves.

I saw a chapter close.

One day I was watching people walk out of a funeral home chapel.

The next night I watched a graffiti-ed car drive away from a reception.

I saw life change.


I guess what I'm saying is...we only have so many chances. And one day, in some way, those chances are gone.


Sometimes it's a celebration where entire families dance with no inhibition.

Sometimes it's in tears, where a family can barely find the strength to walk out of a room.

Sometimes there are (in our eyes) irreconcilable differences and we just walk away.

Sometimes the kids get a job and move away.

Sometimes they get a car and drive away.

Sometimes people leave your church.

Sometimes people quit calling you to hang out.

Sometimes high school is over.

Sometimes everyone gets mad.

Sometimes you just never get to see each other again.

Sometimes there is no more time.

Because, life is brief.


And, while we can't go back in time and change things.

And, while we can't go into the future and change things.

We can go into the NOW and change things.

Now is when we can have more time.

If we don't know how much more time we're going to have with people, let's make the absolute most out of the time we do have.

Call someone today.

Text someone today.

Apologize...right now.

Forgive...even earlier.

Kiss your wife like you're afraid of getting caught.

Give your child money for something ridiculous.

Stay home from work.

Hold hands on the sofa.

Turn off the TV.

Answer their call.

Call them first.

Drive across the state for a hot dog. (My dad did this one.)

Sit in the floor.

Let them braid your hair.

Wear a feather boa.

Ask yourself, "Is this really worth getting mad about?"

Pour out your love for that friend or family member who hasn't heard it in a while.

Speak to someone you've been avoiding.


Show every bit of love you can...right now!

What is more important than the relationships we have...and the relationships we'll lose?

The chapters of life keep changing all the time.

Some chapters are thrilling adventures...some chapters are painfully tragic.

I know this wasn't an eloquently worded masterpiece...it's two o'clock and I can't sleep.

But...we don't know how much more time we're going to have with people, let's make the absolute most out of the time we do have.

Because life is brief.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Boomeranging Slingshots: the enemy of change.

(I'll apologize in advance for any typos here. This was happening pretty fast and I was tired when I was through. If I feel like it later, I'll fix them.)

Boomeranging Slingshots.

Smoke drifts low through the camp as soldiers cower and cry. Their strong bodies melted to quivering slugs in corners of irreverent hiding.

And here I stand, alone. An unproven warrior undoubtedly ready for war. Too young for such resolve, too determined to be retreated. And I stand alone.

Over the fearful whimpers of those much more prepared, I hear the taunts scream up the hillside begging me for battle!

And, I will give him what he wants! I will bring the fight to him and I will do this my way. How dare he defy my righteous cause! How dare he threaten the steady course my God has set before me! Even alone, I'm never alone and I will not let the cause of my nation or God be defeated by the likes of this.

Somewhere in the surge of confidence and adrenaline, the volume of my pounding heart fades both the instigating insults of my enemy and the unsolicited advise of my commanding officer.

The only ends of defeat are found in the means of moving...moving forward.

I must meet this enemy.

There is no victory to be had hiding in tents. No advance in simply maintaining ground. Staying in the camp is simply defeat, delayed.

I must meet this enemy.

I feel the eyes boring into my flesh as I begin my march to battle. Some behold the image of a champion...some see only a fool.

I've heard the legends of my imposing combatant. I've been told of his tactics and schemes...and OBVIOUS exaggerations of immense stature.

"Surely this was their intimidated perception," I reassured myself, as my fingers subconsciously slid across my handful of absurd ammunition.

But as I walked into the valley and lifted my head to the sound of thunderous laughter...I am found myself proven wrong. My estimations were obviously dead wrong.

In the much-too-near distance I saw a figure I could not fathom. Legend had come to life and was bellowing of my merciless death and defeat.

Fear brought bile to surface in my mouth as I tried desperately to remember my just cause for being in that valley.

That was not the hungry lion that sought my father's sheep. That was not a bear seeking food.

That was not the enemy of my charge.

That was my enemy.

Providential destiny brought me here, and now all I wanted to do wass run. To run from my enemy.

"I will rip you to shreds and feed you to dogs!" His threats were a task well within the abilities of my giant enemy.

My enemy.

Although in appearance superhuman, the figure that stood before was, in reality, human.

Purpose was slowly rolling across my mind and, with it, a recalling of past victories.

Courage flooded my brain's surface, bringing clarity and focus to my thoughts.

Clarity brought something different.

Just below the gravelly surface of his insolence, I detected a more frightening sound, similarity.

Almost telescopically, through heavy head protection...I recognized eyes.

I know this person.

He was my enemy. In arrogant self-assurance, he was insuring utter failure. He boastfully recounted every disadvantage I embodied. The sole purpose of his existence in this moment was to seal my defeat.


My enemy was "anti" every good thing for which I was ready to do battle. He was against my future, my dreams, my hope, my destiny. He stood in stark and rebellious defiance to everything God had intended for my life.

He was my enemy.

And standing in the shadow of his hulking existence I realized my most terrifying thought.

I knew him.

More intimately than my knowledge of any other man, I knew this man.

Louder and louder, more vehemently he shouted...insult after insult.

Each one striking my heart with more fear and dread than could ever be known by the sword in his massive scabbard. The intensity and heat of every hissing word pierced my unarmored chest.

And every word more convincing than the last.

Salty tears stung my eyes and blurred my vision as the doom of impending defeat drowned my soul with every oppressive indictment.

No! I entered this valley with purpose, resolve.

I will not shrink back.

I had to beat this man I knew.

But not just a man I knew.


A man I created.

A giant.

An enemy.

My creation.

He could not win.

The familiar straps of leather in my right hand separated almost instinctively as my left hand slipped silently into my pouch. Almost without thought a seemingly-impotent stone fell evenly into my sling.

And with it, a battle-cry began to build from some place deep within...some place where soul, spirit and flesh mix in unity.

As that sonic bedlam burst forward from my lungs, somehow time and space ceased their movement.

My arm began to spin forward as my bare feet moved swiftly across the valley's rocky floor. At full speed I ran toward the giant I knew so well!

Spinning my sling over and over and over and over and then...release! This smooth projectile rocketed forward with blinding speed as the giant's insulting laughter still sounded out...then suddenly ended.

Seconds took hours to pass as the now silent giant stood stunned.

My running never stopped and, just as I reached my self-created nemesis, he fell.

As quickly as his lifeless body shook the earth, I removed the sword from his side and the vain protection from the giant's head.

With a surge of strength beyond my own, I lifted the sword high and swiftly brought it down.

I brought finality to my enemy's fatality.

This giant who stood to bring failure to all of who I was.

This giant who stood to prevent all that I could be.

This enemy that I created.

This enemy that I knew.

Was me.

We've all heard this story before. The ancient legend of overcoming insurmountable odds. We have translated this story to football teams, struggling bands and family businesses.
The untrained David defending future and hope...the licentious giant intimidating us with threats and size.
My greatest desire is that the world would change. I call it my Crazy Idea. When everyone else is writing off the world and reading it's eulogy, I see hope. And I see that hope being realized through love.
I want things to change. But before I can change things for others, I need to change me. There's so much about me that is not where or what it should be...and I need me to change.
But there is an enemy to change. There is an enemy to the life I need to live. There is an enemy to the world changing. There is an enemy to my Crazy Idea.
In tears I confess...that enemy is ME! It is the giant I have created physically, emotionally, relationally, financially.
Just like Goliath stood and cursed everything righteous, just like Goliath threatened the plan of God in that valley...he stands here now, bellowing the same insults and threats. And he is simply me.
The great hope is this: THAT ENEMY CAN DIE!!!
Not me literally, but all the things about me that fight against what I was created to be.
And not you literally, but all those things that fight against what you were created to be.
As you and I kill our giants, we can not only change ourselves, but WE ARE INDEED CHANGING THE WORLD!
Who will join me?
Who will identify their own personal giant?
Who will refuse to stand paralyzed with fear at that giant's taunts?

In a love I can't articulate,
Ollie Horne, a giant slayer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nekros: "an intersection of a King's kid brother and a song by the King," or "Imbalance is killing us."

You probably shouldn't read this.

For quite some time I've been disturbed by a word a King's little brother used. He probably used a Greek word, nekros.


He was talking about a place of imbalance. A place where fat kids sit lazily with eyes glazed over...staring at a life they wish they had and never having it.


And I think about the wisdom of the King's song.

A song about closed mouths and active bodies.

You probably shouldn't read this.

We're those fat kids.

We're in that state of Nekros.

You probably shouldn't read this.

So the King's little brother was a man named James.

And he was writing to everyone.

James was talking about "faith without action." He said this...having faith but not having any action...is nekros. NEKROS!

Can you believe the audacity of this heretic? He has the nerve to write this sentence write there in the bible.

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

A lot of people think this is Jesus little brother...the King's kid brother.

And the King's kid brother said your faith is nekros.



The same bible that talks about faith. The same bible that teaches us to be people of faith...says our faith is dead.

You probably shouldn't read this.

You probably should go find a book for $19.95 that gives the 10 Secrets of a Faith-filled Life, and read that instead.


Jesus' little brother said your faith is dead.

He said it's destitute of force.


The King's little brother said if you're not adding action to your faith...your faith is nekros.

And nekros means dead.

Interestingly enough, this is just after the same man said something about religion (acts of religious worship) that God accepts as pure acts of worship are caring for widows and orphans.

And right after he said we shouldn't just read the word...but we should also do what it says.

Do what it says.

This makes me think of a song of the King.

Well, actually Mac and Billy wrote the song, but they wrote the song for the King to sing and he did.

It was song about the doing more than just talking.

A song about living rather than just being philosophical.

So here's where I talk about our imbalance.

We are great at studying.

We are great at quoting.

We are great at singing.

We underline and discuss, we contemplate, meditate and memorize.

We pray these words and dissect them.

We preach about them.

We hold them up in bleacher seats and protest lines.

But do we do them?


You probably shouldn't read this.

We should all have PhD's, we've read and studied so much.

We talk about the immorality of those who commit...but we don't talk about the immorality of us who omit.

We don't really do the words we study.

The words we say are truth.

The words we say we believe.

Which makes us fat kids playing video games featuring other people who aren't.

We eat and eat and eat and eat...but rarely ever exercise what we've eaten.

How many people have been in a bible study group?

Now, how many people have been in a bible DOING group?

How many of us sing songs declaring our love for our King?

Now, how many of us go out and physically show love to our King?

Elvis, the King, sang a song Mac and Billy wrote. The song: "A Little Less Conversation." I have this sneaky feeling he was probably singing about something else...but I keep wondering how frustrated the other King could possibly be. As he sings over us "A little less conversation, a little more action, please! All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me."

I'm not saying the studying, discussing, reading, memorizing and quoting are wrong. In fact, how could I have written this absent of those disciplines?

The problem is we have this incredible imbalance.

We read about what to do...and don't.

The result?


And our state of nekros is suffered not only by us.