Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Cool April fools jokes to play at work

From Careerbuilder.com

-- A co-worker crank-called me saying that I was being fined $500 for not
showing up to jury duty that day.
-- I was told by a coworker that I could leave early, which I did. It
turns out it wasn't true.
-- My staff left voicemail messages one by one with different excuses on
why they wouldn't be able to report to work (car trouble, sick,
funeral, etc). Meanwhile, they were all hiding in an office one floor
-- Someone switched the "M" and "N" keys on my keyboard.
-- They super-glued my drawers shut.
-- Someone at the office put a fake engagement announcement about me in
the local paper.
-- Unbeknownst to me, a friend at work hung a sign on the back of my car,
which read, "Please wave, I have no friends!"

-- We moved someone's entire office contents to the front lobby.
-- We placed a fake outline of a dead body on the floor when clients came
to visit.
-- I swapped the felt tip from a highlighter with the felt tip from a
black magic marker.
-- We taped down the pins that pop up when you pick up the telephone, so
it just kept ringing and ringing when the receptionist tried to answer
a call.
-- We all turned in our resignations to the boss ... we later said we were
-- I hid in a box that had been shipped to us that day and jumped out at
my boss when he opened it.
-- We did the typical - changed someone's screensaver to something
inappropriate, switched the men's and ladies' room signs, put a spider
on someone's shoulder, etc.
-- We stole a coworker's favorite old, broken down chair from the office
and took Polaroid pictures with co-workers sitting in it at different
tourist or business locations. We made him go on a hunt for the chair,
which led him back to the office where we had balloons and food

Friday, March 26, 2004

Desmond Tutu

Last night we went to hear a lecture by the esteemed Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. At first I was not going to go, but I realized that it isn't often you get to hear from a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We got there about 20 minutes before the lecture started (which ended up being an hour later than we thought) and got some pretty good seats. My wife, a friend and I had some good conversation until some men behind us started talking. One guy said, "I sure am glad there aren't more black people wearing that traditional African clothing. That's like me wearing something from Italy." What a goomba!

Anyways, Bishop Tutu came out and gave a great speech. He has a childlike sense of humor that can turn the most serious of adults into a playful child. He even waved a magic wand in order to get us to clap louder. He made some great points about God's love for people being the source of a human being lovable (not the other way around). Although his speech was more of a pep rally than a call to social action. I felt that the point of his speech was that evil is not the norm so as long as we keep doing what we're doing we'll be ok. I wondered, "What about sin?" I see normal people (myself included) and they are selfish, pushy, consumeristic, and apathetic. I wasn't expecting a gospel message (considering the venue, a public college), but at least some push for us lazy Americans to get off our fat butt and help the world. Anyway, with that being said, I am impressed that he had a receiving line to meet with people. He hugged about 2-3 thousand people. That is the sign of a man who deeply cares about people. In all, I would say that it was worth it. It makes me want to learn more about the man. I am ashamed to say I don't know that much.

OK. I'm Back! I found this quote on his website:
"We are a church on the move, an instrument in the hand of God, proclaiming the Good News, nurturing new converts, we are instruments of peace and reconciliation and justice in the hands of God. We are the means of healing hurts, of building community, of feeding the hungry. We are a worshipping Spirit-filled community, who know that we can do God’s work only in God’s way with God’s means, and so we have an engaged spirituality that places first things first. We are God’s partners, God’s agents of transfiguration, to change the ugliness of the world, its hatred, its hostilities, its jealousies, its hunger, its poverty, its injustice, its oppression, its alienation, its loneliness, its rivalry, its competitiveness, its grasping, its sickness, into their glorious counterparts; so that there will be laughter and joy, sharing and caring, justice, reconciliation and peace, and compassion. For we have seen the Lord high and lifted up and we have heard him say ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ and we are saying ‘Here we are Lord, send us’."

(Archbishop Tutu’s Charge to Synod, 1992)

Well, off to go camping. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Electric Sex
How do you talk about sex to junior high boys? This is the second time I will be taking a group of guys through the "sex" talk. I look at the world around them and I weep for the pressures they will have to face. I wonder how can a young man make it through the teen years and still be pure? It used to be that you had to go looking for sex. Now it comes to them. E-mail Spam, TV shows, songs (including Britney Spear's song on self gratification). What is sad is that what the media is selling to these young men will never, ever be realized in their life. It's a lie that will never be fulfilled. I feel for these young men. I pray for them. May God fill their hearts and satisfy their desires, not the alluring glow of electric sex. The hard part is that I know that most likely they will not come through life unscathed. Just as we all have been scarred by life. I can't live their life for them. I can't be with them every second to make the right choices. But the Spirit is with them and if they do shoot themselves in the foot let's just hope it's only the pinky toe.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Ears Can Bleed

So this morning I attempted to rid myself of a few extraneous hairs on my body. I noticed that my ears were getting especially bushy. Normally I am quite adept in the hair removal process. After all, it does cover every square inch of my body. Well, this particular time I must have been a little groggy from just waking up. I missed my hair and got my ear. It hurt but I didn't think anything of it until about 30 seconds later. I felt a liquid running down my ear. Sure enough, the ear was gushing. I used to think you needed a massive head wound to get this much blood. Ok so I am exaggerating, but it did surprise me. Anyone with an ear piercing tell me, did it bleed that much? That is enough reason to not get a piercing. I don't even think my tattoo bled that much. Well, I have got to go get a transfusion. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patty's day!
I am wearing green and I will be making a great Beef and Guinness stew for dinner. In honor of Patrick thought I would give you a little summary of his life.

St Patrick was born a Briton under Roman rule - the exact location of his birthplace isn't known but it was either the north of England or southern Scotland.

In his teens he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave by Niall of the Nine Hostages, a famous king of Ireland whose son Laoghaire was later to play a large part in Patrick's mission to convert Ireland to Christianity.

Patrick was taken to Antrim where he was sold to a local landowner, Meliuc, who put him to work as a shepherd.

For six long years Patrick lived upon the Slemish mountain with only his sheep for company. The land was bleak and the conditions harsh but Patrick found solace in the faith that his people had abandoned under Roman rule. He prayed day and night to the Christian God who brought him comfort during this time.

One night he heard a voice calling to him, telling him that the time had come to escape. It told him, "See, your ship is ready." Patrick knew that he had to travel south to seek the ship God had told him of. He travelled for 200 miles until he came to Wexford where, sure enough, a boat heading for Britain was waiting.

Patrick approached the captain, who at first denied him passage. He turned away, praying for God's guidance. Before he finished the prayer he heard a member of the crew calling to him to come with them - they had changed their mind and could provide him with safe passage home.

Patrick did not seem destined to have an easy life - when travelling home through Britain he was captured by a band of brigands, who returned him to slavery. Desperate, Patrick heard God's voice reassuring him that, "Two months will you be with them."

Sure enough, after sixty days in their company, God delivered him from their hands. Patrick then spent seven years travelling throughout Europe trying to determine what his purpose on earth was. Eventually he came to the conclusion that he should study to become a true servant of God, taking his message throughout the world.

He first studied at the Lerin Monastery, situated on an island off the Cote d' Azur. On completing his studies he returned to Britain as a priest. He remained in Britain until a voice came to him in a dream. He recognised it as the voice of the Irish, which begged him, "We beseech thee, holy youth, to come and walk once more amongst us." At this point, Patrick's purpose in life was revealed to him - he would convert the Irish to Christianity.

The patronage of King Laoghaire allowed Patrick freedom to travel the Land. Flocks of people came to him and converted to the religion of Christianity. Slowly but surely Ireland became a Christian land. St Patrick is known for driving the snakes from Ireland. However, snakes were at that time a symbol of paganism, and it was really paganism he drove out.By the spring of 461, at the age of 76, St Patrick was nearing his end. He died on March 17th after a long and fruitful life. The clans of Ireland began to bicker over who should receive the honour of having his final resting place on their land. To avoid this sacrilegious end to his life his friends secreted away his body to bury in a secret grave. Many believe this to be in Downpatrick, Co. Down.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Whoo hoo!
Well we got a new (to us) car yesterday. My wife got up early and checked out some internet sites and found two possible vehicles. We went to the first dealership (after getting lost a few times) and much to our chagrin the place was closed and we couldn't even find the particular car we were looking for. So, we headed to our distant second choice...Carmax.

Walking through the door there were about 16 sales people ready and willing to help us. I thought we would be mauled at first but actually it was quite pleasant. Our sales lady came up to us and said, "Hi! My name is Rehab, just like the Bible." I didn't have the heart to tell her that Rahab (not RE-hab) was a prostitute. Although Rahab did act in faith and keep the Israelite spies, so she couldn't have been all that bad.

Rehab took us around for a few minutes until I found the car we saw on the ad (a 1999 Hyundai Elantra). The reason this car wasn't high on our list was because it is a 1999 which is older than we wanted. Despite my misgivings we checked out the car. It looked great, the body and inside were nice, no real signs of even normal wear and tear of a five year old car. The best part is that it only has 48,000 miles on it. That means the previous owner drove it less than 10,000 miles a years. After taking a test drive my wife and I were convinced. So, we purchased it. So, I am now the proud owner of a brand new (to me) car.

I would highly recommend Carmax. Even though you know you are paying a little more than you could get away with, they treat you right. Any problems with the car are taken care of before you leave the lot and you can get an actual, real warranty, which is more than you can get with used cars at another dealership. So, today is a happy day!

Friday, March 12, 2004

From the Taize Community, community in France that welcomes over 5,000 young people every week to help them find meaning in life through trust in Christ.

This morning I came across one of their songs entitled, "Trust in the Lord, Oh my soul!" In that 5 minutes and 13 seconds, my soul was refreshed and revived. I realize what joy there is in taking times of silence to meet with our Savior. So often, even our so called "Quiet Times" are filled to the brim with clutter. Silence is something I try to value (though I don't practice nearly enough). The practice of silence is something Christians have been practicing for years, but was lost for a while. There is a resurgence happening among conservative Christians to rediscover the ancient practices of meditation and solitude and silence.

This is from the Taize community website:
"When we try to express communion with God in words, our minds quickly come up short. But, in the depths of our being, through the Holy Spirit, Christ is praying far more than we imagine.
Although God never stops trying to communicate with us, this is never in order to impose. The voice of God is often heard only in a whisper, in a breath of silence. Remaining in silence in God’s presence, open to the Holy Spirit, is already prayer.
The road to contemplation is not one of achieving inner silence at all costs by following some technique that creates a kind of emptiness within. If, instead, with a childlike trust we let Christ pray silently within us, then one day we shall discover that the depths of our being are inhabited by a Presence."

Monday, March 08, 2004

And the grand total is...
It will cost $2,500 to fix the crappy '93 Grand Prix, which is way more than the car is worth. Therefore I am in the process of looking for a new car. Well, new to me anyways. The hardest part is figuring out whether or not to go used or new. If I go used, we run the risk of buying a piece of junk, but new means that there is a considerable amount of money to be invested (money that a poor seminary student and his wife don't exactly have).

So, am I a little frustrated? Yes! A little angry at the timing of the circumstances in my life these past five months? YES! I trust that God will see us through, but I can't help but feeling a little miffed. I wanted to take summer school this year in order to make my last semester (next May) a little lighter, but I don't think that is going to happen.

Well enough negativity. I guess I am a little excited about the prospect of driving a car with an air conditioner and heater that works and isn't a pain to change a battery and doesn't need forty thousand pounds of pressure on the brake pedal to stop the car. I guess I should take some votes. What kind of car should I get?

Friday, March 05, 2004

A little Peace Please!
In case you haven't heard. I was in a car accident yesterday on my way to school. I am ok and no one was injured but my car will need to be fixed. I can drive it, but I don't want to do too much driving on it in case something is wrong.

With all this said, I am a little frustrated. These past few weeks have been really crappy. I know they could be a lot worse, so I am thankful. I am trying to have the attitude that Job had. He told his wife, "We accept the good from God, why shouldn't we accept the bad?" That is a good philosophy.

I have to thank my wife who took care of me immensely yesterday. She made my favorite meal (Salt and Vinegar potato chip crusted fried pork chops...mmmmm) with an apple pie for dessert. I am truly thankful that my wife is so good to me. Kudos to her for that.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

You can lead a horse to mars,

but you can't make it drink...cause the water is all dried up. Well, they (and when I say they I mean NASA) have found significant evidence of water on mars. This is such a significant event. Water on mars means life could have been on mars. Why aren't people more excited about this than they are? 500 years ago if someone were to suggest going to another planet and finding hospitable conditions for life, there would have been an uproar. Today, it's a big, fat YAWWWWWN!

As a Christian, I must ponder how the idea of life on other planets will affect my faith. If we find intelligent life, will those creatures have a soul as we know it? Will they have contact with God? Will they have a sin nature just like us? Will they need Jesus? How does that change my reading of Genesis? These questions are far beyond me.

My guess is that unless the Lord returns soon. We will find life on other planets. Maybe just a few microbes here and there. After all, if we find conditions that could have been suitable for life right next door, who know what lies in the Galaxy?Suddenly I feel so small and insignificant. Suddenly, God seems so big and much more mysterious. I kinda like that. I'm going to stay here for a while. It's a good place for me to be.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Last night Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won 11 oscars. I believe the movie and crew got the recognition they deserved. The one beef I have is that the song "A Kiss at the end of the Rainbow" from A Mighty Wind deserved best song. Other than that I am pretty satisfied.

Also this weekend we had our 50th anniversary for our church. It was a great service. The cool thing is that over that past few months I have heard a ton of stories on how God has worked through the lives of our church. It is cool to see God's faithfulness over the past 50 years.