I used to hate them but I’ve come to see their value. I’ve often told my kids that words are only a small percentage of how you communicate. For instance, saying “Sorry” can be either sincere or, with raised pitch in the middle of the word and elongated vowels, very sarcastic: “SoOOry.”
Greek and Hebrew don’t have emoticons, but they would have been helpful in interpreting the emotions or attitudes or reactions in the Bible. Here are a few examples I’ve thought of:
In John 9, when the Pharisees were hounding the poor guy who had been born blind by continuing to ask him about Jesus, the man’s response was classic: “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?" Continue reading →
My phone is handy for organizing events through texting, having access to my three email accounts, and keeping up with people in general. My phone also informs me when I receive text messages. It’s a great way to stay efficient.
The alert sound I’ve chosen to let me know when I’ve received a message is the sound Homer Simpson, the dad on the famed animated series The Simpsons, often makes. When a message is received on my phone, Homer shouts out D’oh! On the show, Homer says that when he does something stupid, injures himself, or hears some bad news.
Okay, so Erin Hawkins won’t be getting any medals for sledding. After the epic fail in offering assistance to her little sis’ Megan, Erin ventured out on her own down the snowy slope with much the same result. Listen closely and you’ll hear her “Ahhhhhhhh!” just before the stop, drop, and roll routine (not necessarily in that order).
But in Erin’s defense, there’s hardly a lot of sledding in Cost Rica, where she is a missionary for CRU (a.k.a, Campus Crusade for Christ). Even if the white stuff was in abundance, she’d be spending her time telling college students about Jesus Christ and teaching them to tell others. Pretty awesome. Jesus thinks so to. Remember the whole Great Commission thing that Jesus told his disciples about just before going up to heaven?
Yep, that’s what it looked like at Boardman Lanes last Saturday evening from 5 – 8 pm. Evangel Baptist Church in Boardman, OH, where I am the outreach pastor, had a Bowl-a-Palooza. This church had done a similar thing about seven years ago and called it the “Fiesta Bowl,” in connection with Ohio State playing in that game. This time we did it a little differently while keeping the same concept.
Our sense of justice tends to be subjective. One thing I’ve learned working with kids is that injustice is okay with them as long as it goes in their favor. If something is unfair to them, well, you’ll certainly hear about it. But, kids are learning and so we bear with them as they mature.
Some may read Paul’s letter to Philemon and think why is the Apostle treating this slave owner with kid gloves? Is it because he’s wealthy and has a church in his home? Maybe it’s because Paul is buddies with Phil? After all, there are times in his writings that Paul tears into people for their own good. He told the Corinthians to stop being spiritual babies (1st Corinthians 3:1-2). Judging other people for their sins is a nasty habit to get into, and Paul lets the church know about it (Romans 2:1-5). He confronted Peter in front of many people about his lack of integrity (Galatians 2:11-14).
Have you ever done a white elephant gift exchange?
It’s basically this: take something from your home that you don’t use or want . . . and you get to unload it on your friends. No purchasing of gifts allowed. Wrap it and bring it to the party. We did this for our young adult Christmas party from church. Each person is instructed to choose a number out of a hat. Whoever chooses number one goes to the table with the gifts first, chooses one, and unwraps it. The person with number 2 can then either steal what number 1 has or open another gift from the table. Number 3 can steal either from number one or number two, and so on.
This morning I noticed a Toyota Prius trying to get up a small hill that is very gradual. It’s a small car that does wonders with gas mileage . . . normally.
Northeast Ohio, where I live, was hit by a load of snow yesterday (Yes, the day after Christmas. Bummer.). We used to live in Rochester, NY, where there was an abundance of snow removal equipment. That was because there was quite a bit of snow up there on a regular basis. In fact, our first winter there it was the snowiest city in the United States (except for Alaska). After the first major snow storm that year I was amazed to see a small snow plow being driven by an employee of our town. It was just the right size for the sidewalk! Pretty cool.
English: – santons featuring the adoration by the shepherds. Français : Crèche de Noël – santons représentant l’adoration des bergers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s great taking a fresh look at something you know so well. In our Sunday School class yesterday we looked at the familiar Christmas story passage in Luke 2. The direction of the discussion led us to consider the scene in a new way, and from two different perspectives.
The shepherds had been sitting out in the fields, bored to the very core of their souls, and angels popped into their presence from out of nowhere. You can be sure that they didn’t see that one coming. Of course, there was the obligatory fear that grips anyone who finds themselves in the presence of those who are regularly in the presence of the Almighty. As the holy choir danced off to praise God in heaven, the shepherds ran across town to praise him on earth.
Christmas at Rockefeller Center, located in New York City, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was a member of The Salvation Army for most of my life, so the Christmas season had often left my ears ringing weeks into the New Year. It wasn’t as bad for me as it was for some because I would play carols on my cornet (very similar to a trumpet) too. During the 1998 season I was primarily in Manhattan near Rockefeller Center for the Red Kettle Campaign. One day I was at the main entrance of Saks 5th Avenue, in the middle of the block. This picture is the view I had looking across the street from the store.
A man in a wheelchair rolled up to the corner and began soliciting donations for himself. His tin can advertised his status as a veteran in need. One of his legs was missing below the knee. He had on an ancient woolly hat that was more holes than fabric. His coat was adorned with electrical tape placed over tears to keep the insulation from escaping. One of the lenses of his glasses made his eye look twice as large through the many scratches. White tape and cotton balls covered the other eye. While singing to the tunes I was playing he would shake the can and, with raised brow, invite people to help alleviate his situation.
Jessica is my 14-year-old daughter. As I am addicted to cookies, she is addicted to egg and cheese sandwiches (and Justin Bieber). There are less healthy things to be addicted to. So it’s not a problem for us, except for the time it takes to make them for her while trying to get everyone out the door in the morning. And, I’m a big proponent of training kids to take on responsibility commensurate with their ages.
My suggestion to Vanda, my wife, was that Jessica learn to do some things for herself – like making her own breakfast. After all, I was making my own when I was 2 1/2, like everyone else born before the Ford presidency. (We actually walked 2 miles to school in 3 feet of snow during winters in Syracuse, NY). So this didn’t seem like a huge task to me.