Friday, October 28, 2005

White Sox
a haiku
The World Champions?!
Oh how I loath the D.H.
learn how to spell socks...

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I had lunch today with a guy from the UK. We couldn't erase the differences between our people, but we did have a nice time talking about our lives. His is a little different from mine. He's lived in the United States for quite some time and even married an American. In fact, they have two American children now. Here's the rub...his work Visa expired two weeks ago. He was honest about his past in England, which had been sealed after seven years in his home country....but he decided to tell the good ol' U.S. of A anyhow. So they won't let him live here. He's facing the very real possibility that he'll have to pack up his things and move East tomorrow....really, really East.
I can't imagine what that'd be like. I'm in the midst of a small move one state over and it has me all messed up. And the food here is pretty good.
Culture shock by force has to be the worst kind of culture shock. I'm praying that the immigration office would cut him a break tomorrow. He's meeting with them at half 9 (9:30)
He could use a bunch of us praying.
Just a thought.
His name is Keith.
He's a pretty solid fella, so you can feel good praying for him.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Pride is a funny thing. We're told to be "proud of what you've done and who you are" and that resonates with me. There should be some point of pleasure taken in what you've accomplished...shouldn't there? But ultimately, pride becomes a much larger problem than it ever is an asset. It's what ruins our day. "How could they treat ME that way!?" It's all about ME! It was pride that caused the stuffy, old, white guy to demand that Rosa Parks give up her seat for him. Why should he have to sit in the middle, or worse yet, the back?! He's a white guy. He was proud of his color...and demanded that he be treated as a superior. It was pride that brought out and nourished his racism.
And maybe it was pride that caused Rosa to refuse. Stubborn pride? I'm not sure...but this is where I get confused. I'd like to think of it this way. She was right and she knew it. And because of the wrong that was being done on that bus and thousands of other buses, she was going to fight against it. It was a righteous anger. It was Jesus storming into the temple and railing against the religious guys who were using their power to keep people in their place. He was right. She was right. It just makes this whole pride thing confusing sometimes.

I pointed out a moment ago that the more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, 'How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?' The point is that each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride. - C.S. Lewis

Monday, October 24, 2005

Defining Moments

I'd say that a defining moment is a moment where things change. Because of what just transpired, you'd start doing one or more things a little differently.
I had someone ask me to consider joining the Young Life staff about a decade ago, and it changed where I lived...and you could argue, who I children...
I was put in a room with Dave Wolfenberger my freshman year in college and that decision changed my life in every Dave drank all my pop.
Things change on a dime...I'm not sure what that means, but I hear it a lot and I think it just means that things can change quickly.
For good or for bad.
So what could I do to positively create a "defining moment" for someone today?
Heb. 3:13 sort of mentions something about encouraging people so that they don't get so callous....maybe that's something.
Maybe asking someone some tough questions about the direction they're headed in.
I'm not sure...but I'd love to be a part of someone's defining moment.
I'd love to help shape the world...seems like a pretty solid goal.
So now it's all about going out and looking for opportunities. I guess that means I'll have to be a little less Sean obsessed for awhile.
wish me luck...


There's something about dignity that's worth fighting for. Our church is putting together Thanksgiving dinners for over 400 families this year. This isn't that unusual. What I think is cool is that we're delivering the dinners. This way families can celebrate Thanksgiving in their own homes. It gives them ownership. They can even invite in friends and family.
Seems smart to me.
We're also a part of a Christmas store that stocks it's shelves full of toys and kids clothes. People can buy tickets for a few dollars and then shop for their Christmas presents. This way, instead of putting together a box or bag full of presents that we think people will like, we're allowing them to "buy" and pick out their own things. It allows them to shop and to give. It frees them up to be involved in the best part of the present give.

Big John

It was asked why John Kerry wouldn't release his war records during the campaign. There were all these conspiracy theorists who assumed that he was hiding some hideous truth about his REAL involvement. It turns out that it didn't have anything to do with his service.
It all had to do with his application to officers training school.
Turns out that you have to submit your college transcripts when you apply.
Turns out that his GPA was lower than George W's.
interesting...and they went to the same school.
just thought that was kind of interesting.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I talked with a guy the other day who lost his job. When I asked him where he was going to work, he said, "why would I work? The government is paying me $25,000 not to work this year."
I sometimes wonder how people could think that socialism would work. This guy that had lost his job really wasn't that lazy. He just figured, "why work harder if I don't have to?"
What if people didn't want to step up and work move lines faster, to help customers, to plow roads in the winter? I wonder if things would get better if we all adopted a "why should I work harder, move up the ladder and then make the same money that the guy sleeping in makes?"
But wouldn't it be great if everybody had money?
It's a naive, but sweet question.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Two things that are impossible to do at the same time:

Sneeze and keep your eyes open.
Listen to gangsta rap and smile.
Go to the Opera and not look at your watch.
Run for political office and speak your mind.
Be a pessimist and enjoy life.
Say "Who Dey!" and look cool.
Be a Christian and hate people (Republican, democrat, gay, straight, short, tall, white, black, women, men, kids or even those people that don't say "thanks" when you hold the door for them)
Drink milk and watch Bob Saget.
I think that about covers it...

No Blue?

This might not be good...I found myself interested in a few football games this weekend. It wasn't great because I found myself rooting for teams, not because I like them, but because I have an intense dislike for the teams they were playing. I found myself rooting against teams...passionately. This just can't be healthy. I think I inherited it. I was talking with someone in my family and they were shocked to hear that my brother would root for Michigan against Penn State. They thought it was sacrilege to root for Michigan.... but then admitted to not watching the Ohio State game because they weren't that interested.
So they rooted AGAINST Michigan because they're Ohio State's rivalals...but didn't even watch OSU. You see the irony? You see the possible problem my family has in this arena?
Maybe things would be a little better if we rooted for teams, people, things....and didn't focus so much on things, people or teams we didn't like.
I keep coming back to the quote, "I'm not against anything, I'm for Jesus". That's probably a much healthier way to live. It'd probably be better in general to just root for people and not against others. It probably says something about us when we're constantly finding fault in people and situations. "I'm not against anything...I'm for Jesus"
that's pretty good...

Friday, October 14, 2005

drink up Johnny

How weird is this whole drinking thing? First of all, when I say, "drinking" you all know what I'm talking about. Not so much milk...more beer, vodka, ripple (my monthly Sanford and Son reference). So when someone asks, "do you drink?" - I always want to say, "well, sure...everyone does. Grif drinks, Annie drinks, Cooper have to drink to survive. But what they're asking is, "do you drink flavored beverages with alcohol added to them?"
And divisive. Christians believe that getting drunk isn't such a good thing. I heard just last night that "We drink to forget, and we celebrate to remember" - if you buy into that...I could see why it's not the best thing in the world. Not really the point...some people drink, some don't.
I just can't see spending $4 on a diet coke. So why would I spend $4 on a diet coke with alcohol added? To get drunk? Absolutely...why else would you spend that kind of money?
It tastes good. Really? $4 a drink good? I guess people spend that kind of money on why not? Maybe it's not a way to "loosen up" or to "lose my inhabitions". Maybe it's like the double mocha grande phenomenon.
I don't really care if folks drink - I just sometimes feel like they automatically get defensive or
feel like I'm judging them if I don't drink too. "He doesn't drink! He must think it's a SIN and that we're going to Hell because we do!!!" It's kind of awkward. Maybe I should just wear a button that says, "I'm too cheap to drink" or "I'd rather remember this...and I'm o.k. with my inhibitions"
It's just odd that, "do you drink?" is such a big deal question and answer time in getting to know people.
"Do you eat popcorn?"
maybe that should be the new question...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The road far less traveled


I have two days, two hours and 45 minutes to use over the next 3 months on vacation. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I was on the YL staff for 10 years and have no idea what the vacation deal was. I know I took a week for my honeymoon….and a week in between Middletown and State College. So that’s two weeks every 10 years. But for some reason, since I have this stated “18.75” hours of vacation for the rest of this year (I guess I get 10 days every year) it just feels like I should use it. I don't think I ever would have thought about it if it wasn't stated...
I wonder if we’d all be more productive if we just worked…and when we really needed to go away…we just went. For some people that’s a couple of days every couple of months…and for some people it’d be a couple of weeks at least once a year.
People generally want to get away with whatever they can get away with. I’ve talked with folks who tell me that they have 3 weeks vacation, 8 sick days and 4 personal days to “use up”. That seems to me like they have 5 weeks and 2 days of vacation. They really do treat the sick and personal days as THEIR days.
That’s why stuff costs so much. People have to hire people to do the work of all the employees that are taking “sick” days to go to a baseball game. That extra cost of hiring a temp ends up costing me more money when I want to buy a bar of soap.
I just think that people will take whatever they can get away with. The most common question when talking with High School folks about relationships is “how far can I go” or talking with just about anybody, “Is that a sin?” They’re primary concern is, how far can I go….and still be ok with God?
My friend talks about the middle line of a road...and that’d Jesus. Most of us aren’t following the middle of our Road…or our center…we’re more concerned with, “how far off to the side can I go and still be a Christian?” Kids ask these questions, adults ask these questions, I ask these questions…

35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

win win

There aren't that many win win deals in life.
Heb. 3:13 is one of them. How do you feel after you encourage someone?
How do you feel when someone encourages you? It's like giving away money...
why not give it a shot? You'll remember encouraging words 20 years from now,
but you might not remember the guy who gave you 5 bucks for lunch. This
encouraging thing is a lot cheaper and a lot more life changing.....
maybe it's worth a go...

T minus 5, 4, 3...

I've never understood the "T minus" part of the countdown...but I have it in my head this morning. In a few minutes I'll start my first day of work. Find out all the secrets of the place (secret handshake, hidden key under the doormat, where they keep the good communion wafers). It's a big day. If this is like my last stint, I'll be working here for the next decade. Speaking of which....I should probably get going. I hear it's bad if you show up late on your first day. Wish me luck....I guess that doesn't sound very spiritual, huh? How about....pray for me? Or, that I would have a blessed day (it has to have two syllables to sound Bless-Ed day)
Anyhow, here I go...

Monday, October 10, 2005

One big happy family

This one body, many parts thing is for the birds. I wish it was as easy as just saying, "this ministry is really great...everybody jump on board and do what they're doing". The problem is that the arm of the body is saying, "I'm the most important because I throw things, catch things, pick up can't do anything without me." And the legs are all, "Oh no you din't" (and they do that snap their finger thing from side to side while they're head bobs in the opposite direction) "We get you to the ball that you're bragging about catching...and try and throw a ball without using your legs at all....and you just try and pick up something heavy without using your legs...besides, WE'RE the ones that get you places."
And the argument continues...
I haven't even started working with the church yet and I'm already hearing from my friends who are working 70+ hours, giving their lives away...that I have it easy now. The implication is that they're really serving Christ...and I'm picking up a paycheck (such that it is). I've heard for years the condescending, "Oh, you work with kids huh?" or "why don't you join the church in doing God's work?" - implication being that God only works within the confines of the church building or the work that stems from that building...
I think we're all wrong. We're all screwed up....and we're all trying to seek out God...and to follow Him and His leading...
Maybe there really is something to this "God calls different people to different tasks"
Maybe...but what do I know?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Gravy Train

So this is what it's like to be unemployed. My last day on Young Life staff was yesterday...and my first day on staff with the Vineyard is today I was not a productive member of society. I went to church, helped out with a garage sale, went to an outreach meeting, helped clean out a basement....and missed my maybe I was more productive than I usually am. Maybe there's something to this not working thing.
Still not sure what working for the man is going to look like. Actually my boss is named Kande (pronounced Candy) - Grif doesn't believe me when I tell him I'm going to be working with someone named Kande because I told him my last boss' name was Cookie. That one wasn't true, but it was fun to have my son call my 6 foot 4 boss Cookie.
Grif's too cute to correct.


At 8:50 AM on Saturday, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake shattered the South Asian subcontinent, killing thousands in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. At least 40 villages have been wiped out or are seriously damaged. And the death toll, already over 30,000, is certain to climb.
There are also thousands of people throughout Columbus, Ohio who are more upset that Penn State's football team beat Ohio State's.
I'm serious.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


State College, The Happy Valley, University Park, Penn State - I bid you Adieu...
(honestly, I have no idea what that means...but I hear people say it in really classy movies)
I'm thinking it means "bye bye"...
not totally sure why I would bid you a bye bye...but you get my point.
I loved the people, could handle the weather & saw God do some pretty cool things here.
And why not just end with that?'d be silly not to

Newlyweds no more...

Am I the only one who has never heard of OAR?
I'm trying to figure out what to do about the State College YL Blog. I've been doing it for a couple of months...and have had 287 hits on it...and I was probably 60 of them. Meanwhile, I've been doing this "Huh?" one for about the same amount of time and have had over 3,200.
I just wanted to let folks know what was happening with YL in case they wanted to pray for specific stuff (better than, "God, bless mommy, daddy, Young Life and let me have a good day tomorrow - Amen")...but soon I won't really know what's happening on a day to day basis because I'll be 400 miles away. I hate to just drop it. Maybe if I had written random bits of disinformation followed by the occasional haiku, I could have pulled in a larger praying audience. ah well...
For 6 weeks I'm going to be sleeping on a twin bed and living out of a suitcase. I'm wondering how long it will be before I realize that I should have packed my ________? I'm guessing about the third night I'll realize that I forgot my Daytimer, socks, or charger for my cell phone. I can't wait for that.
I hear Nick and Jessica broke up. Gives kind of a new meaning to "these boots are made for walkin" I wonder if he was jealous of her career, her income, or that car that she was mounting in her video?
Are you allowed to say "mounting" in a blog?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Touchdown Williams! extra point Jesus...

There are hundreds of tents within a mile of our house right now. We live by Beaver Stadium (home of the Lions?) and they've been camping out for several stand in line for a football game. Now I love football - I played - I coached - I've been to hundreds of high school, college and Pro Football games - I'm even the commissioner of a fantasy football league....but come're going to stay out all night for tickets? You're going to skip classes for a couple of days so that one day when you graduate (if you graduate) you can tell people, "I skipped school so that I could show my school pride and go to that football game." If so, well then's awesome to be passionate about something...or even many things.
But sometimes I wonder if I expect too much out of people. We talk about giving our lives away, carrying our cross, living for God and others....but don't expect me to feed the homeless on Saturday mornings...or to give 10% of MY money away...or to spend time in the Word every day....that's fanatical. And who wants to be one of those religious fanatics. To be a FAN of God.....that's just silly.
Following a bunch of 300 pound guys in tight pants and shoulder pads. Standing up with face painted and wallet $50 lighter to scream because one of them got a first down....sure that's worth being a fan (or Fanatical) - but to show that kind of enthusiasm for a God that loved you so much that he Died for you....that's just silly. Don't get me wrong...I'll be watching the game...and cheering...and I'll jump out of my seat at some point...probably throw something across the room. I'm not down on football....I just want to be more up on things that matter.
Then again, Jesus never even kicked a field goal.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


a haiku
Song and dance Tony?
talk show boxer with a heart
We know Who's the boss

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Northern Exposure

It's interesting where life takes you...
If you were to go back in time and tell some of my high school friends that I would someday be working for a church in Cincinnati...that'd be good for a few laughs.
I got a call today from an old friend asking me to speak at a church conference deal in Anchorage, Alaska in February. I'm not really sure how things like this happen...but it got me thinking, "my life is definitely not quite like I figured out it would be...". Alaska? Seriously? You want me to fly for 10 hours...or do you go there by sled? You want me to go all the way to Alaska to talk to people? There are probably 194,000 better speakers just in Juno. I'm thinking this is some elaborate way for him to get me out there and then steal my luggage. I have really nice luggage. And legs.
Keep in mind that I have a certain fondness for Alaska...and it's based solely on Northern Exposure (one of my early favorite tv shows - it was kind of the Ed of it's time). I also don't really like to travel. Flying isn't good for someone who has ADHD or ADD or just is really impatient....or (what does the "H" stand for in ADHD anyhow? -and does it end in "high definition"?)
not really the point...I just hate being cooped up in any sort of traveling vehicle for more than an hour.
I'm there once they move the conference to Ohio though...we get snow too....we just don't do it quite as well as Alaska.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ode to Nipsey


Nipsey, you were the crown prince of funny rhymes
that's sortta like being one of the best Irish hockey players
But you had that big smile that made for good times
and you were the best rhyming funny man on Hollywood Squares
Nipsey Russell
Who names their kid Nipsey?

I'm pretty sure Bill Gates hates me...

There's something about Power Point Presentations that just gets to me...and it's not the alliteration. The last twelve slide shows that I've made (oh yeah, I make a bunch of 'em) have all caused me consider emotional duress. I just spent well over three hours working on a slide show that I'll never see (but you can, if you go to the 2005 YL Centre Co. Banquet on Oct. 23rd.!) and the screen just went blank on me. Just blank. That's all. Blank. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
And I'm left to pick up the figurative pieces and go on with my life? NO! I demand better!
Unfortunately, I don't really know any I'd better get back to cutting and pasting pictures onto Power Point slides.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Fred Sanford, you ugly spasm"

I have a lot of junk. Like a crazy amount. I'm finding neon shirts, 8 track tapes, my highschool class schedule, soldiers from WWII that don't know the war's over yet kind of stuff. We're definitely in the, "it's gonna get a lot worse before it gets better" phase of the packing up of our stuff. I'm pulling stuff out of drawers from the Reagan administration. This place looks like Fred Sanford's junk drawer. I have cords that I haven't used in years...don't know what they connect to...and I'm still packing them in boxes to take- store-and ignore in Cincinnati.
I don't know why we hang on to so much useless stuff.
I actually do the same thing with the non-tangibles. I hold onto all of the stuff that's wrapped up in my pride. I just want to appear like I have it all together. I want the world to think that I'm fun, funny, smart, talented, sincere, kind, humble.... It's really important to me that people think of me that way...and unfortunately, I'll do some pretty stupid things to fool them. I'm like a lot of people in that I work harder on cleaning the outside of my cup...or superficially trying to appear like I have it together....rather than working on my "inner man"...or cleaning the inside of my cup.
Maybe I should spend some time working on that one too...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

a haiku
checkered wallpaper
what were they thinking about?
maybe it's just me...

does Johnny love you back?

The nice thing about renting movies (for me at least) is that even if I don't watch them the night I rent them (the kids are fussy, friends stop by, basement floods...) I can watch them at 5 in the morning when I wake up for no good reason. Today it was Fever Pitch...a remarkably mediocre movie.
There was a line in it that rang true for me though... There's this kid who is on a baseball team that Jimmy Fallon's character was helping out...and the kid, upon hearing Jimmy complain about his girlfriend's lack of empathy for his love of the Red Sox, asks him, "I know you love the Red Sox, but do they love you back?"
What a great question. Now this wasn't the first time I'd heard this question...but it was interesting that the person writing the movie had possibly figured this out.
Maybe life is about more than baseball....
Maybe it's about more than how much money we make...
or where we live...
Maybe there's something bigger than all of that...
So a great question to ask, "Are the things that I'm pouring my life great passions...or more accurately, my great pursuits....are they loving me back?"
Makes me wanna think twice about those $300 jeans that make my legs look to die for...