stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Archive for June, 2008

>>old people and the lost art of whispering<<


I love my parents, and I hold them both in the highest regard…but every now and again, I just have to make fun of them. It’s my way of dealing with the fact that I’m so much like them in so many ways. Today, it’s Dad’s turn.

We went to see Indiana Jones last night. The theater was as full as I’ve seen it. There was white hair everywhere. The smell of cough drops, orthopedic shoes, and hearing aids filled the theater. The movie started, and it wasn’t very long before I started getting agitated. Why? Because none of the old people in that theater knew how to whisper. I don’t know if it’s cause they know their dear friend will not hear them if they talk too quietly, if their voice box cannot handle the strain of a whisper, or if they just feel as though they’ve earned the right to talk at full volume. Every funny line, every jump scene, and randomly throughout the film, I was a part of their delightful conversations. I asked Sarah if old people knew what whispering was. She politely pointed out that my dad doesn’t know what it is, so I have to give everyone else a break. Touché. My dad’s idea of whispering is talking at full volume out of the side of his mouth. Sometimes he puts his hand up, sometimes he doesn’t. It doesn’t really matter, though, because his “whisper” is probably louder than your outdoor voice.

A Mennonite, a donut, and the mark of the beast


Just had an awesome visit to Gribbles. Warning: this has nothing to do with anything at all. I had to buy some things for Sarah, and I decided to buy her a donut (turned out to be gross) to be a nice guy. In front of me in line was a Mennonite, buying milk and ice cream. I was a little surprised that he’d be buying milk, because I am a stereotyper. My turn in line came, and when my groceries were totaled, I owed $6.66. I will make a note never to buy that exact combination of items again.

Just as promised, I went to see Get Smart on Sunday. I’ve never laughed out loud so much at a movie. It wasn’t all fun and games, though. Encouraged by my friend, Charles, who also happens to be my boss and pastor, I brought contraband into the movie with me. That’s right, I brought an unsanctioned beverage (had to be Dr. Pepper, as Chipotle doesn’t serve Cherry Coke (still bitter)). Our careless action may have cost an unsuspecting teenager his job. Shortly after we walked by, his manager walked up to him. The kid threw down his broom and dustpan and stormed off. Can I guarantee that he got fired for not stopping us with our foreign pop? No, but should you really argue with a guy who hangs out with Michael Scott, Dwight Schrutte, and Darth Vader all day? I don’t think so.

Iron Sarah

Here’s a mini-post. Don’t count on two in one day ever again.

I took this picture of Sarah at the Hills’ house Sunday night. We were watching a movie, so the lights were out. Turns out Iron Man’s true secret identity may not be Tony Stark, after all.
iron man

branded

Branding is very important. Brands are much easier to sell than individual products, because there is confidence in brand names. I’ll buy the brand name over the generic almost every time. There are few exceptions. Of course, I consider Meijer to be a brand, so if I go there, I go with the generic. Okay, so back to branding. I’m sitting in my office trying to figure out how to brand Xtreme Kidz, under the brand of New Hope. I hope Xtreme Kidz becomes the Cherry Coke brand under the New Hope (Coke) brand, because everyone knows Cherry Coke is far superior to everything…ever. Side note: they do not, in fact, have Cherry Coke at the Chipotle in Wooster, so if anyone ever guarantees you that they do, tell them they are mistaken. If you want it, you’d better stop somewhere else on the way. Back on track…I am going to our Wooster campus tonight, which hardly reflects the Loudonville Campus at all. This is obviously a problem. Curriculum should help, but it’s not going to fix everything. So begins the most fun part of my job. That may sound sarcastic, and anyone that knows me has to assume I am being sarcastic, but I’m not. I think this is fun. Weird? Absolutely.


More branding news. My wife has been branded. Yes, indeed, my petite little wife got her first tattoo on Saturday. It’s an early anniversary gift. Since it’s permanent, on our anniversary, I’ll just point at her left forearm and say, “Happy Anniversary.” No need to buy more gifts. “GP L1,” is what it says. She was paralyzed at her L1 vertebrae almost six years ago (July 6 will be 6 years). God is so good, though. One might even say He’s great (hence the name “Great Physician”). He healed her. She walks. Is everything the way it was? Nope. Will it be? I’m praying. You can, too. Still, she’s so moved by what He did in her life that she now has it branded on her arm for all to see, ask about, and listen. She’s amazing. Oh, and she designed it herSelph.

the three w’s


1. work – apparently most call centers are about the same. They get you in by telling you how awesome your job will be, only to tell you on the first day of training, “Just kidding! This job sucks.” So my beautiful wife Sarah has found out. Welcome to the call center community. On a better not, my job is awesome.

2. wedding – so I’m helping in the tech booth for a wedding tomorrow, but no one seems to know when the rehearsal is tonight or what time the wedding is tomorrow. Our church stage is set up like season 1 of American Idol. I’m not a fan of the show, but it’s a pretty amazing set to have a wedding on.

3. weekend – go to church. I am. Charles is leading music (allegedly going to be awesome), and the message is by Perry Noble. I can’t wait. We’re also going to see Get Smart. It looks hilarious…that’s what she said.

big weekend

iron man This weekend was unbelievable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like Manfest ’08. It was like a big youth event for adults. Food, games, music, and salvation…it was so rewarding. Still not sure the total number of decisions to follow Christ we had, but I know it was more than a few. God is good.

When was the last time I slept in on a Sunday and did nothing but go to lunch and a movie with my beautiful wife? How about never. With all the services being on Saturday this weekend, I was very confused about what day it was. My day consisted of McDonalds, Iron Man, and spending more time with Sarah than I have in a long time. All in all, I’d call that a good day.

“So what you’re saying is you didn’t have church on Sunday?” Yes. “Is that really acceptable?” Yes, thanks for you interest.

Change.

definition: v. to make different in a particular way. to make radically different. to transform.

Change might be the hardest thing in the world. Why? Because change is uncomfortable. It is not something we can control. In most cases, one does not change himself. He is changed by outside factors. Change, incidentally, is a transitive verb, which means the object of change is being changed by another subject altogether. (Do you like English?) I have found this true in my life. I have been through two big changes (besides physical, of course): 1. salvation and 2. lost legalism. Although both were my decisions to make, I did not perform the changes. Once I made the decisions, and in both cases, yielded myselph to God, it was completely out of my hands.

When I accepted Christ, I felt different. Why? Because I was. I felt there was something new about me, something Greater going on inside of me. I felt free. I am re-experiencing this feeling of freedom lately. I have always hated legalism, and yet I imposed some legalistic standards on myselph. I cannot explain why I did it, other than the fact it was comfortable. It was the way I understood life should be, but I was bound by my own self righteous positions. But now I feel free. I haven’t fully embraced my freedom. Maybe I’m nervous. Change is happening, though. According to a good friend, I’m not nearly the pompous jerk that I was a year ago. That’s a good start.

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” John 8:36 (HCSB)

Why can’t church be more like camp?


This is an interesting question that was posed to me about six months ago by one of my teenagers from my last church. I don’t think I had a good answer for the question at the time. My mind was locked into the way life had always been: church was church and camp was a fun time away from church. I diligently defended the only institution I had ever known or been a part of. You just can’t expect a church to have the energy and enthusiasm as camp, because they only have to arrange one service and do it over and over the whole summer. Fast forward to where I am now…I think my new church is like camp: the music is rockin’, the sermon is powerful, and they mix in videos with elements of truth and humor. Every service is fun, upbeat, and engaging. From the time you walk into the auditorium, you feel like you’re in a place you would want to hang out. Old question: Why can’t church be like camp? New answer: I honestly don’t know, Courtney. You’re right. That is a brilliant question.

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