I’m sore today. Not as much as yesterday, though. On Saturday I dug a 25′ long, two-foot deep ditch that ran alongside my house. It served as a lesson in finding the root of a problem (Pun intended. You’ll see in a second.) and fixing it.
Though I’m not as clueless with home improvement projects as when we bought our house seven years ago, I still have a lot to learn. It took eight hours and nine trips to Home Depot to complete. I’ve developed a Home Depot quotient that measures the difficulty of projects. Divide hours worked by the number of excursions to that huge store (.889 for this one).
Photo credit: Ken Schwarz / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
As has been humorously put, when we become Christians, there are two things we can do on earth that we won’t be able to do in heaven: sin and witness. The question for us is to decide which one we think Jesus left us here to do.
-Mike Breen and Alex Absalom, Launching Missional Communities
It finally happened. In my post about Planet Fitness I made reference to the Lunk Alarm. It’s a large purple siren fixed high on the wall. It’s part of a sign that defines a Lunk as someone who displays their physical strength by shouting while lifting or slamming weights down at the end of some heavy reps. I’d not heard or seen the alarm go off in my four months there and I was beginning to think that its function was limited to decor.
When the siren went off my first thought was that it was a fire alarm, but nobody moved toward the exits. I noticed the light flashing when I got to the other side of the machine that had been obstructing my view. Everybody else must have experienced the alarm before that day because they kept going about their business unaffected. The culprits had been putting on a show that no one had been watching.
He’s the first active athlete of the four major sports in America to announce to the world that his is homosexual. Jason Collins, the 34-year-old center for the Washington Wizards, had an interview with George Stephanopolous on ABC’s Good Morning America after his announcement. When asked what he would say to a gay 12-year-old boy dreaming of playing in the NBA, Collins said, “It doesn’t matter that you’re gay.”
At the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, April ’13 (Left to Right) Emma, Zach, Vanda, Jess, Dave
During spring break my family took a trip to the Cleveland museum of natural history. In this picture you’ll notice that my eldest child, Jess, has a wonderful smile. Not sure how she roused that one. It had been a traumatic day for her.
It happened at the deer/turkey exhibit in the miniature zoo outside. An elevated walkway about twenty feet long separated us from the animals by a three-foot railing with sparsely spaced thin metal posts. On the other side of the railing was a shallow man-made pond, the kind that can be drained to keep it clean. Jess had already had an altercation with a turkey further down the exhibit where the fence was much higher. It had taken a snap at her through the fence, but missed. It was a sign of things to come.
The apostle Paul said some crazy things. While studying for the teaching I offered at church yesterday I came across yet another gem that had eluded me all these years. In 2nd Corinthians 1:6, Paul says, “If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation . . .” (NIV).
My thought had been that Paul means his suffering was a bridge to bring other people to know Jesus Christ. But he doesn’t use the past tense here. His current stress is to encourage the Corinthians and to save them. And, he’s speaking to Christians. They’ve already been saved! And he’s certainly not implying that he is their savior.
Here’s a paragraph from my book that I’d love for you to consider:
President George W. Bush made a profound statement before the United Nations on September 19, 2006. It was about the Iraq War, but its truth extends beyond political discussion. Regardless of your view on the reason why he said it, the reality is undeniable. He said: “Freedom, by its very nature, cannot be imposed. It must be chosen.”
I’m less than interested in a political debate. Your thoughts on the nature of spiritual freedom and how we go about securing it for ourselves are what I’m interested in.
No, I don’t mean food. This is my friend Denny Pallay. He retired from working on the railroad in Northeast Ohio back in January. In the fall we chatted over coffee and he shared with me this idea that lined up with his passion for working on cars. He lives near our church and is in tune with the needs of people in the neighborhood.
It’s really quite simple. Denny loves to work on cars, and that includes maintaining them. Since there are so many people who don’t have much money and don’t know much about cars, he thought it would be a great idea to show them how or even fix their cars for free.
I’m waking up the morning after our wedding with a sense of being out of my element. It isn’t because I don’t belong here, it’s because I don’t know how to belong here. I am the same person and yet everything has changed. Yesterday I woke up a single man with only the promise of matrimony. Today I am a married man, terribly excited but not knowing what to expect or how to act.
Will I remember to put the toilet seat down every time? How often is too often to play ball with the guys? Vanda is British, and they have already thrown me with the crazy tradition of crackers last Christmas. I’m still not completely convinced that everybody in the United Kingdom wears those silly paper hats during Christmas dinner. What if there are other traditions I’m unaware of that will stress the boundaries of my comfort zone?