Friday, December 30, 2005

...and his trusty side-kick, Thesaurus boy!

I was just reading about Power Words (kind of a slow day). Apparently you need those to go places in this world. If you can increase your vocabulary, you'll get a raise, meet new people, gain acceptance in the business community, increase your self confidence and it will clear up your acne.
I need all of that.
I took etymology somewhere in the 80's. I don't remember what I wore for 16 hours am I supposed to remember a class I took during the Reagan administration?
I need some new words.
I have a few - Pedantic, Polysyllabic, Posthumous, Prohibitive, Pulchritudinous (these are all good "P" words to slip into sentences)
If you can occasionally say, "fortuitous" or "bring this to fruition" you'll probably see some of that gaining acceptance in the business community in the first couple of days.
You'll soon have a POWER's almost heroic. Think of the prestige!!!
Can you imagine how empty your life would be if you didn't use big, smart people kindda words and couldn't even finish a simple

pop tarts and popsicles

Put a poptart in the toaster and it's tasty factor increases by 23%...that's just science. Take a popsicle and put it in the toaster and you've got problems. Put a poptart in a freezer and it's probably not so bad...I'm guessing.
I wonder sometimes how I can increase my tasty factor by 23%. I want to be more effective, helpful, encouraging, loving, patient, sarcastic...(you see what I did there?)
It seems like my environment tends to pull me up or push me down.
I'm not feeling so "up" lately.
I need a good challenge.
Maybe I should take up figure skating.
hmmm...I might have something here.

a haiku
pogo stick bouncing
don't tell our insurance guy
where's the hospital?

the key(s) to life...

I came in to work today a little early and the doors were locked. Not a big deal, I'll just use one of my three keys they gave me and open them up. This happened the other day and, as it turns out, none of my keys actually unlock the doors. I'm continually asked to go get stuff only to return a few minutes later asking someone for their keys. I always feel like a sixteen year old asking their old man for the car keys, "Hey pop, can I have the keys to the outreach closet?"
Having keys that don't work is like having a flashlight without batteries, or cranium without a timer, or tv without blossum reruns.
It's lose lose. No entry into rooms I need to get into + I'm hauling these worthless things around. Don't you just hate carrying stuff around in your life that just isn't helping?

Ironically, this whole key fiasco happened the other day and I did nothing about it. Every once in a while I'll see someone from facilities and mention that my keys are worthless for anything beyond opening boxes....but I just kind of leave it at that.
Today I will do something about it. I will change.
I read a book that compared the Beatitudes to the keys to Heaven. It was a great book.
So what was I talking about? Ah yes, the point is, I need new keys. Today I will get some.
I can just decide to seek them out. They've been promised to me. Why not get rid of the old ones that don't work...and why not claim the ones that I'm told work very well???

Thursday, December 29, 2005

3, 2, 1...

I had a good night last night. I came home from work and was watching the boys when the phone ring (ring) (kind of like you were there, huh?) Anyhow, it was Budha and he was inviting me to hang out with some friends. They were headed to Norwood around 9 and wanted me to join in.
Now at some point I've adapted my kid's schedule. It sort of feels like - when Grif goes to bed...then I start winding down. Last night I was ready for bed around 7:30. So I just couldn't see going to Norwood at 9. Anyhow, before I mentioned this, Budha said I should invite them to our's right in the middle of where everyone lives....I wouldn't have to get a babysitter....Annie wouldn't have to miss it. It's win win.
I was still a little tired, but it ended up being a great night. They left at 12:15ish and all was well. I haven't hung out with anyone past midnight in months (at least).
This Saturday we're hanging out with about a dozen or so friends for a New Years Eve party deal.
I rarely have a great New Years Eve because I tend to put too much pressure on the night. It just seems like a night where you have to stay out late...and have to have fun. Last night there was no pressure...just hanging out....past midnight...and I wasn't looking at my watch every five minutes waiting for Midnight.
It was good.
It's nice to just do...not to pressure...just do.
It's like when you volunteer to work late and the time flies by because you know you can leave whenever you want. It's this bonus time where you're on your own.
You help a friend move...and it just seems less stressful. It's not your thing...and you feel pretty good about helping...and you can leave whenever you want.
It's all bonus time.
I think a pretty good sell for taking Sabaths is that it's 24 hours of "bonus time". You're really freed up to help folks out, sit on the couch and fondle the remote, play with your kids, write some just kind of happens.
it's good...
just extra...
nice little bonus...
might be worth a shot
(I know...I's also a day to be with God....I guess a bonus day with God wouldn't be the worst thing either...)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

turning my frown upside down

Too many negative blog entries...must stop....gotta turn this ship around. Yesterday there was a moment of panic when Cooper wouldn't stop crying and we noticed that he also wouldn't move his left arm. When we reach for him, he kind of reaches back - but he was only using his right arm. It's a panic filled moment when you can't talk to your son - but you know there could be a problem. I was feeling around his shoulder as though I knew what I was doing...and he finally stopped crying. And then he started using his arm again. And then he turned on that big 'ol Cooper smile.
And everything was ok. I can't imagine having one of my boys get really sick. One of the worst moments of my life was when Annie called me and told me Grif had a 104 temperature...and I was on a school bus full of wrestlers an hour away from home. I've never felt so helpless...except for when they wheeled him in for surgery a few months later for a minor procedure.
It's heartbreaking.
I can't handle it.
It's a whole lot bigger deal than dealing with people with no common sense or people skills because my cable went out. I'm going to choose to focus on the great wife and kids I have. I'm going to think about how great things are, and not about the stupid trivial things that I tend to let bring me down. Why would I choose to let that stupid stuff dictate my mood?
I have a ridiculous amount of Chipotle gift certificates in my wallet.
Life is good...

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

time warner is the enemy

So we had cable, internet and our phone all installed by Time Warner. We noticed after they left that they had removed 8 of our ceiling tiles...and draped 4 cables through one of the holes in the ceiling all the way to the floor. It was odd that they left the ceiling tiles out and wires dangling. We sort of thought this wasn't the safest thing for our 5 year old's play room, so we gave them a call. They said they'd hurry on 2 days. "I'm so sorry we're taking away your child's play room and making your home unsafe...not to mention unsightly...but we're not going to come out tomorrow to fix it"
I thought that was crazy.
I mentioned this to them.
They said they'd try and come out the next day.
Apparently they were just kidding...they didn't even call the next day. They didn't even show up two days later...or three...or four...or five...luckily, they came out a week later.
Two weeks after that, our cable went out. Three days later they came to fix it. A week later the cable went out. Three days later they called my cell phone to say they were ready to fix it. I didn't happen to have my cell phone on, so I was out of luck. When I called, was put on hold for 21 minutes, they told me it was all my fault. They were more than willing to fix our cable...but I didn't answer my cell phone. I asked why they didn't call our house and they said they DIDN'T HAVE THE NUMBER!!!. The number that they installed and gave to me.
So I talked with a supervisor...he sent someone out when I told him I was cancelling the full service...after our phone went out twice and our cable three times (in 27 days) I thought that was about time to give up. He said he'd send someone right out. Seven hours later they showed up. And an hour and a half later it went out again...along with our phone.
So today I decided to call the dish network. They have a number listed on their web site as "New customers" and when I called it, they ask for your account number. They have a completely different number for "existing members" so I still don't understand the machine. I don't have an account number...because I'm not a member. So I called their main number and they asked for my account number. I finally wait through three different messages where they ask for my account number and I'm looking at the web page that says, "Call this number if you'd like to sign up" and wondering how I'd have an account number if I hadn't signed up. Finally an operator answers and I ask her if there's some magical number I should call if I just want to sign up and don't have an account number yet....because I haven't signed up.
She transfered me to a number that was a busy signal.
So I tried their e-mail...and wrote that I just wanted a phone number that I could call. The e-mail came back as an out of work account. This was an e-mail I sent by just clicking on the "send us your question" button.
So I called back...and waded through the messages until a guy answered "Dish Network" and when I started talking, he just hung up.
Is it me? It must be...

Who Dey!

I've been thinking about the Who Dey chant and have come to the conclusion that maybe it's not the cheesiest thing I've ever heard. I no longer believe that it's impossible to scream at the top of your lungs "Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?!" and look cool at the same time. Every time I hear it I'm forced to ask myself, who actually do think they gonna beat dem Bengals? I can just see Ickey Woods doing the Ickey shuffle on someone's lawn as he tries to sell them a flank steak out of the trunk of his car...Who Dey!
Sure people make fun of THE Ohio State University...and the buckeye mascot. It's a poisonous nut. And I understand that at some point we get it...We are...Penn State....oh, that's who you are...gotcha. I know the terrible towel is probably a silly battle cry....but Who Dey think gonna beat dem Bengals? It's just bad.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I'm #2! I'm #2!
I just played in the "Super Bowl" of fantasy football...and lost. I'm the John Kerry of Fantasy Football...I'm the Philadelphia Eagles (in a good year) In life, you'll find me just behind the person heading up the project, the guy with the second best idea. I'm usually the second person into the office and I leave just before Judy from accounting leaves. "How'd yo do Sean?" "I got first place out of all the losers!"
Just hand me the freaking silver medal and give me my gift certificate to Dennys...

Friday, December 23, 2005

a haiku
Yes, Jerry can't act
but Kramer how I miss you
sliding through the door

I'm down 4 so far...

I have a friend that really gets kind of stressed out for the last quarter of every year. She starts asking everybody what they want for Christmas around September. It really drives her life. I've always been more of a "I'm not asking them what they want for Christmas...or if I do, I'm not getting them that, because it's just like giving them thirty bucks and some wrapping paper". I love the idea of thinking of someone and buying them a gift that I think will bring them some bit of joy. I like the surprise of it all. With Christmas there's very little surprise...especially if it's just a list of things they asked for. How amazing would it be if you spent the same amount of time, money and energy buying someone gifts in May. They'd freak out. "what's this for?!?!" "Just thinking of you"
We're supposed to "encourage one another daily" and to love people the way we want to be loved...what a cool way to do it. Just show up on May 7th with two arms full of gifts.
Anyhow, my friend starts shopping in September - but is still talking about her list the week before Christmas. She's constantly talking about how she knows this person won't like their gifts, and she's not excited about this other persons gifts, but "that's what they asked for". She also worries about people getting her gifts that cost more than the gifts that she bought them. It would be a complete nightmare if someone bought her something that cost $100 and she didn't even get them a plate of cookies.
Someone just dropped off a nice gift at my desk...and I like's nice.
That's all...just a nice gesture. I didn't get them anything, and I'm alright with that. I work with over 100 people either on staff here or as high commitment volunteers...I can't imagine obsessing over who I'm getting gifts for and who I'm not.
I think the real meaning of Christmas is probably a little more what we're eating for dinner Sunday night.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I just heard them say that Tony Dungy's son died on ESPN radio. They said, "Tony Dungy's son has died so we're not concerned with sports". It was sort of an odd comment. I'm guessing that someone in sports has a close relative die every day...and yet ESPN is concerned with sports. I'm guessing that someone in sports has someone close to them fighting a war...and yet ESPN is concerned with sports. Tony Dungy is a big deal...he coaches the second best team in football (behind the Steelers of Pittsburgh) and is more visible than many in sports right ESPN radio has a somber tone today. I wonder how they react to the backup center on Oklahoma's foot all team having a mom who just found out she had cancer?
He's not a very key player on the team...he's a backup...not a big deal.
Well then, what about the starting center?
He doesn't score touchdowns or make tackles...not a big deal.
What about the quarterback?
Maybe you've got something there...but Oklahoma's pretty bad this's gonna have to be a scandal or a death.
I guess it's all about who's hot and who's not...
meanwhile, my jaw hurts like crap today...and nothing from ESPN.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

a haiku
O Television
tell me the secrets of life
so wise, yet so young

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

tennis shoes and such

I'm wearing my tennis shoes today and I'm not even planning on playing tennis (shhh). I'll be on my feet for 5 hours at the mall wrapping presents. We do this to show folks God's love in a practical way. People expect door knocking evangelists with white shirts, ties and perhaps a bicycle helmet...but not free gift wrapping. People expect someone on the beach to share the 4 spiritual laws after gathering a group together to watch a silent football game (kind of an odd reference...but it happens) but they don't expect real life practical help with something as silly as a wrapped Christmas or Hanukkah gift. I wonder sometimes if it's all worth it.
-We're spending a silly amount of money to wrap gifts for people who largely think we're either mall employees performing a service for the mall, or folks looking for donations to raise funds for a new baptismal. I hear enough stories to make me feel, for a little while at least, like it's worth it. We have close to 400 people a week come in and wrap gifts...and occasionally I'll hear about someone's comment that this was "nice" or "a cool way to serve people". I just wonder if it's the most effective way to serve the community and show them God's love in a practical way. We have 400 people a week & we spend thousands and thousands of dollars...for the occasional comment.
-I guess God's love is extravagent...and sometimes doesn't make sense. On the surface it can even seem excessive...I guess even deep down it seems excessive.
That's God's love.
-Maybe not the best use of our time and resources...but it's something. It relieves people of a few minutes of work and a few dollars worth of wrapping paper. I guess it's a good start... it'd just be sad if that was it...
"the journey of a thousand miles starts with one wrapped toaster over"
-St. Murphy of Calhoun Hall

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I get these e-mails that tell say, "Hey, long time no see" or "Where you been?" and they're from companies selling watches...or worse. I always wonder who this marketing technique works for. Can you imagine saying, "well I know they lied to me about me winning the lottery, or being a long lost friend, but I'm sure they're being upfront and honest about having a quality product and ensuring that my credit card won't be passed around the mail room for anyone who wants to do their Christmas shopping with my number.
ah well...can't wait for my watch to get here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

don't go there

Expressions that I'd like to not hear any more:
-don't go there
-nuh uh
-at the end of the day...
-Who Dey
-you go girlfriend
-anything ending in "izzle"
-the o.c.'s on!

Expressions that I'd like to hear more:
-You're right
-nice job
-hug it out
-this has been great
-here's the twenty I owe you

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ignorance isn't so much bliss...

Only 10 percent of the world’s population lives in Africa, but it is home to 70 percent of the world’s HIV-infected people. As the HIV virus sweeps mercilessly across the African continent, only a few try to address it. Most simply look away.
To acknowledge that you have AIDS can mean certain death. A South African woman who told a televised audience on World AIDS Day was found beaten to death by family and fellow villagers six hours later.
Embarrassment about the sexually transmitted disease looms more important than future health risks. Families recoil in shame.
Most do not know how or when they caught the virus. Many never know they have it. And many who do know don’t tell. Doctors and obituaries don’t name it as a cause of death
-Africa's Hope

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

20 hours a week = 6 roses

I was in a seminar where we talked about volunteer recruiting, development and appreciation a few years ago. I'm about to go to another one. I want to get this on the record before the meeting so people won't think I'm just complaining about what was decided, discussed or denounced in the upcoming meeting. I have no idea how things will go... I just have a fear.
It's a well founded fear I think.
I've worked with high level volunteers for the past 17 years. We'd ask volunteers to give up 15-20 hours a week, attend 4 meetings a week their first year and 3 a week every year after that. We'd ask them to give up a week during the summer, 3-5 weekends a year, and tons of cash into their gas tanks and paying for various ministry related items.
Occasionally we'd throw them a t-shirt.
And I would never apologize. These folks were giving up their lives and that's kind of what we talk about when we say things like, "I gave my life to Christ" or "I want to live sacrificially" or "carry your cross". It seems extreme, but I know people who give their lives to TV, drugs, school, relationships, video games...things both good and bad....but, in relation to the God of the Universe...these things pale in comparison.
(and... I'm off my soap box)
So I was in this meeting where they talked about standards. It was mentioned that it wasn't necessary for their volunteers to be that involved...if they prayed for the kids...showed up to stuff when they could...tried to help out. That would be great. Many people agreed and we moved on to how to appreciate our leaders. Someone stood up and talked about how they give a rose to their leaders during one of their meetings. Someone else talked about more extravagent gifts. I saw people writing this all down.
I couldn't hold it any longer. I said that we give leaders opportunities to see changed lives. We allow leaders to have enough leadership to take people places. We challenge them to stretch themselves...and to live for God and others...even when it doesn't seem convenient. We set up our leaders to succeed...and that beats the crap out of getting a freaking rose.
Ultimately, do you want to remember getting a rose....or having someone thank you for being a part of shaping their life?
I'm just scared that I'm about to go to another meeting where we talk about roses...

Monday, December 12, 2005

As good as it gets...

I was talking with a group and describing what it means to be a Christian. One of the misconceptions of being a follower of Jesus is that we have this big list of "do's" and "don'ts". It's as if instead of a relationship with Jesus, we live by some divine shopping list that's stuck on our fridge, "On your way to work, do nice things, treat people well, give money to the church...and don't forget not to smoke crack, have sex with people you're not married to and quit watching those filthy movies!"
I think the Jewish Proverb that says, "May you be covered with the dust of your rabbi's feet" is a pretty good way of illustrating what it means to be a Christian. To follow Jesus so closely that we're covered by the dust he's kicking up as we walk closely behind him...that's what it's all about. To simply walk with, behind, the same general vicinity, as our Lord
I had a chance to wrestle an Olympic champion once. It wasn't pretty. I considered myself a decent wrestler, but in relation to him...I was a chump. In relation to the God of the Universe...I'm just a fallen, broken guy that thinks too much about myself and not enough about others. It's hard to be around Olympic champions and not yearn to be better. Conversely, it's impossible to follow closely the God of the Universe and not want to be a better person.
Jack Nicholson said it in As Good as it Gets, "You make me want to be a better man".
That's what it means to follow Jesus. He makes me want to be a better man. That's my list...."Don't forget to follow Jesus today"
Now maybe it's time for me to stop talking so much about it...and try and catch up.

Friday, December 09, 2005

the heart of it all

I'm headed to the heart of the heart of it all (Ohio) today. I get to speak to 800 people at Columbus, YoungLife's fall weekend. I've spoken on a bunch of these before, but they're usually 300-500. 800 will be the biggest weekend I've ever been on. I've been obsessing about that number for a few days now. Talking with that many people about Jesus is sort of a daunting task. At the same time, bring 'em on...the more the better. The thing is that I've spent a lot of time thinking through what to say and how to say it. It's an incredible responsibility to share the Gospel with that many people. There's huge potential with this.
I was thinking about the potential, the responsibility and the priveledge earlier. At some point it occured that I've had the potential and arguably the responsibility and priveledge to share the Gospel with that many people all along. St. Francis said that we shold preach the Gospel continually and when necessary, use words. I don't need a fall weekend, or a microphone or any sort of event to share the Gospel with that many people. I just need to focus on start serving people beyond the first mile (or what's expected) and start living the second mile....then people will start asking what I'm looking at....or why I'm doing the things I'm doing. Maybe this weekend is just a smart tool for starting the conversation...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

no you aren't...

When you say that you're going to give something 110% of your attention.
You're lying.
It's impossible.
There's only 100%...
and who are we kidding....maybe you'll give 80%.
Roger Bannister gave 99% of his effort when he broke the 4 minute mile...and he passed out at the finish line.
Ever do that?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

little things...

My leg hurts today. I was lugging around cases of bottled water yesterday...and then was on my feet for 6 hours. My hip started to hurt. Then my knee. Then my ankle. It all kind of flows that way. I met a chiropractor that will take x-rays and then set you up on this machine that has this tiny little pin like lever that just barely touches your neck. He sets you up in such a position (takes a long, long time) that he just barely has to touch you...and it knocks the axis bone (I think that's what it's called). The axis bone affects your head tilt...which means that if it's crooked, you compensate by leaning one way or the other to keep your head straight. And if you lean a little, that affects your hips, knees, ankles. That tiny little bone affects the rest of your body.
If someone says a kind does something for me. It helps to soften me...or at least to keep me a little less callous. Just something little like that can keep me straight. In the same way the tongue is a mighty muscle...and it can break me down quickly. It can throw my life out of whack. I say dumb things...people say dumb things to me...we talk about dumb things...and I get all out of whack.
I need to focus on Jesus. When I do that, I tend to say less dumb things. I also tend to say kinder things to the people that He loves.
It's just a little what am I focused on?

Monday, December 05, 2005


Three guys in the history of the major leagues have hit 30 or more triples in one season. Over 100 players have hit 40 or more home runs in one season. Close to 100 have hit 50 doubles in one season. The triple really is the hardest of the four hits. People get excited when they can round the bases in one turn. They like a double because it's harder than just getting on base...but the triple is by far the hardest.
I think life can be like that. We get excited just getting up to bat...and getting into the game. Sometimes we strike out. We often get our bat on the ball...but don't quite get on base. It's great when we hit a double, but it makes us yearn for that homerun. But a triple? It's too hard. Too much energy without the same payoff as a homerun. Who wants to get on third?
I don't.
I want homeruns.
They're more exciting...people react to homeruns.
This weekend wasn't a homerun. It wasn't even a slap single. It was a clean strike out.
We put on this event kind of deal and had about 64 people show up. Out of thousands...we had 64. I started putting my list of excuses together. Bad weather. We had 400 people volunteer for other events this week (still....out of thousands), we didn't get much press...I suck.
When I start complaining about signage...that's when you'll know I'm out of relational ministry and in "getting people to show up" ministry.
I need to be better about giving our leaders ownership. I need to encourage them to be our signs and our announcements. I need to get our leaders to pull the string and to stop trying to push the string. I need to pull some string myself.
I need to get back to working the count, getting on base however I can...and then letting one of our rookies be a pinch runner.
I'm kind of slow.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Things that would help me sleep at night

There's just something about this building I work in... It was designed with many many offices and absolutely no storage. That's another subject though. The thing about this building is that it has one thermostat that's in a little office down the hall. Apparently they have a couple of space heaters in there and it's cranked up to the point that high school wrestlers are coming over to make weight. Meanwhile I have the air conditioning on over my desk. You could fly a kite over my file cabinet. I'm actually sharing an office with Ted Williams.
It's kindda cold here.
I'm thinking of making some changes in the 'ol oficina, as my friends at Chipotle call it.
First I'd like to design a series of hoops that line the halls. This way, when I'm asking for something to be put together and told to go fill out an online form with a formal request, and then told to run it by our volunteer assistant, and then told that they don't have time so I go back to the original department that does this sort of thing and describe the project, and then am told that they received my request and it's too small so I should probably just do it myself....(take a deep breath...I'm going somewhere with this) this way as I go back and forth down the newly designed hallway - I'll be jumping through literal and figurative hoops.
Second I'd like to put in some pop machines that sell bottles. There's just something about drinking out of a can that I don't like.
Thirdly, and maybe most importantly, I'd like to install a drive thru window. This way if someone needs to pick up some food for their family, some clothes, or just to drop something off...they can just pull right up. I'm guessing that we'd be the first church in America with a drive thru. There's gotta be some value in that...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Relay for life...

I'm a big starter. I get an idea...I get excited...I start telling people around me about the idea like I'm on an informercial...and then I get started. That's when it's not as exciting. It keeps me engaged as long as I can keep teaching people about the value of my idea and practical ways that it can be implemented. Then I get bored. At some point there just aren't any more people that I can find to tell about this great idea. So I go on to the next idea. I usually have reasons for this sudden apathy...but it's a pattern in my life.
Look at this blog. I started it as kind of a lark (yeah, I said lark) started getting a bunch of "hits" and comments either in person, e-mails or on the actual blog...and kept cranking. But then I moved to Cincinnati...didn't have a computer for 7 weeks (still don't have one all the way up and working) and felt guilty using the office computer to spend 3 minutes writing on this.
So I've gone from every day, to a couple each week...and today I noticed my last entry was a week ago. It's part of the pattern. I still have the no computer excuse...but clearly if I was as excited as I originally was - I would have found a way.
Oh well.
Maybe I need to be a full time "Idea" guy. Do a little problem solving....but mostly I need a staff of doers at my beck and call (not really sure if that's a real expression...but it sounds kindda right) to do stuff. I get an idea and call my graphics guy to make it look nice...and then my worker folks to get it going...and my teacher folks to share the vision. I'm like the guy who starts the race on a relay team. I get us going...and then hand off the baton to someone who's good at running the second leg of the race. Then the third guy keeps us going and hands it off to our anchor who closes strong.
Maybe we all want to be idea guys. (except you know who you are)
Maybe the world needs more of those worker people types???
oh well, back to work...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

hookin' up

I actually used some tools last night. I hooked up our dryer. The new mansion that we just moved into (and by mansion, I mean small house with enough room to keep most of our stuff) had a different, and less safe according to the dryer manual, electrical hook up for the dryer. So I had to rewire it. It sounds sort of impressive unless you've ever changed the cord on one of these. It's basically three wires. Unfortunately the manual indicated which wire to hook to which screw (tee hee...I just said screw) by their color. The cord we bought had three gray wires. It's almost like they were mocking me. So I guessed. Turns out I was right. Somewhere in the process though, one of the screws (tee hee) fell into the dryer. Not into the part where you throw your clothes...but into the part that would require me taking the entire thing apart to get it back.
I'm not going to do that.
I'd rather deal with three years of, "why is that dryer making that sound!?!?!".
So to test it, I attached two wires and left the third resting on the connection. And then I turned it on. And it worked. It's impressive that just touching a wire to a connector doo-hicky would create so much power. I know it would be better if it was permanently attached...but even just touching the source of power was enough to get it cranking. I even went out and bought a new screw so I could permanently attach it.
It's got me thinking about the things I'm attached to. Most of those things don't seem to bring me much power. Maybe comfort for a few minutes, fun, a sliver of satisfaction...but often it just fills a few minutes of my day. If I throw enough of those minutes together...then I can go to sleep...and start over the next day. But to connect myself to a real source of POWER. That'd be something.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'd like to start a club with very specific member guidelines.
-The first rule of Flight Club (you need a catchy name for clubs) is that you have to talk about flight Club.
-The second rule of Flight Club is that there is to be no discussion of flying, having flown, in the future ever being in flight, current events involving others flying (e.g. the Nike executives this past weekend) or having flying based dreams (chemically induced or otherwise)
-The third rule of Flight Club would be that when asked what your favorite color is, you must reply "Tartan" or "Pencil Yellow"
-The fifth rule of Flight Club is we make no reference to four, fourth, quad, or any unit of time as referenced by Abraham Lincoln.
-The sixth rule of Flight Club is that we skip when we don't think people are looking.
-The seventh rule of Flight Club is that we constantly refer to the "Good Book" while not revealing that the Good Book is actually a compilation of the first 17 Hardy Boys Mysteries.
-The eighth rule of Flight Club is that our favorite sport must now, and forever more, be table tennis (never to be referred to as ping pong)
-The ninth rule of Flight Club is that all of our homes have at least one surface covered by berber carpet (preferable the floor)
-The tenth rule of Flight Club is that we officially are against third party candidates because, who are we kidding? Like they have a shot.....
These rules are to be written up, distributed to the members (who will be dressed in gray twill) and then ceremoniously shaped into origami cranes and then shipped to the motherland (Ireland of course) where they will be poured into a mural to be placed at the base of the Rock of Cashel (making no reference to St. Patrick, the shamrock, Trinity, or rocks of any sort)

Monday, November 21, 2005

you can't go back

I thought I'd be living the Amish lifestyle for a couple of weeks. We just moved into our house and found out they weren't coming out to install our phone, cable or internet for two weeks. I wasn't sure that I'd make it. I've come to depend on these few luxuries. I've always had a phone, had cable for two years in Pennsylvania and had high speed internet for two years. I was planning on hooking up my digital video player and renting 100 movies at Blockbuster....but it turns out that the cable from the previous homeowners is still hooked up....and I've got a cell phone....and I can use my laptop to get one of my neighbors wireless internet connections.
All is solved.
I'll be non Amish (a Namish) once again. It's nothing against the Amish, but I didn't want to have to grow one of those beards and I spent two weeks looking for one of their hats a few months ago and they're more expensive than you'd think. And who churns their own butter...seriously?

Friday, November 18, 2005


Things that don't quite live up to the Hype (in my book)
-My book (that doesn't exist)
-Lord of the Rings
-The People that are now enraged that I dare to desecrate the Lord of the Rings
-Coccia House Pizza
-Any Christian comedian
-Led Zeppelin
-Most things political
-the O.C.
-The Olympics
-Pie that doesn't contain apple...and pizza isn't really pie
-Every tackle after a 5 yard gain where the guy who makes the tackle does a dance even though his team is losing the game by 23 points
-actors with British accents
-The Def Comedy Jam
-figure skating
-chalk boards
-George Carlin
-this list

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

3's a charm

I used to watch reruns of the show My Three Sons before school when I was a kid. I've always been a morning person, so I'd actually get up early enough to eat, grab a shower and watch some tv before school. I didn't really love the show, but I remember watching. So the big question is, Will our child that is due around June 19th (his or her old man's birthday) be a third son? I know that God loves me...but does he love me this much? My brother is pulling for a girl....not sure why...and my Aunt Peggy wants a girl (to be named after her....sort of...her real name is Margaret Mary and she wants us to name her that...even though she doesn't use that name, she wants us to). Anyhow, that's the latest. We're having a third child. This is a big day in the Murphy household. It's also Griffin's fifth birthday. Oh how the times they are a changin'.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Speaker Phone

I love the speaker phone. I love it.
As much as Dan Kalbach loves Amy Grant, that's how much I love speaking hands free on the cellular telephone. I love it so much that I can never bring myself to demand that others take me off their speaker phones. It comes down to this: You either want off speaker phone because it sounds like the other person is in a wind tunnel
You don't like not knowing who else is listening to the conversation.
I can relate to the former...but I embrace the latter. I like having people listen to me. It's just one more small piece of my narcissism. (that and using big words that I learned in 10th grade etymology class)
I love the speaker phone so much that I've written a haiku about it:

a haiku,
Made to be on hold
My friend who doesn't have hands
how could we hold you?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


It's really been interesting to start listening to Christian music. I never have done much of that. I have a friend, Dan Kalbach who LOVES Michael W. Smith (he even calls him Smitty or Mike Dub). He's a self proclaimed "Smittiac" He thinks of him as Christianity's Clay Aiken.
"It's almost like God wanted me to have a singer I loved both secular and Holy" - Dan Kalbach.
I'm just not so sure. I've traditionally listened to singers like Jack Johnson, but Dan says that Jack is just a pretty boy surfer who doesn't have as much talent in his entire body as Smitty does in his left elbow "the same one he pounds the keyboard with when he's jamming at the end of Friends are Friends forever!!!" Maybe Dan Kalbach is right...Maybe I should burn my U2 C.D.'s and go buy the new D.C. Talk disc. Dan was talking up the "Jesus lives Strong" bracelet in the promotional pack. I hear they're going back to their early bee bop jams.
I'm just not sure what to think when I hear Dan say, "This is the single greatest album since Amy Grant's Baby Baby."


There's something different about having to be at work by 8:30. In State College I'd generally start work by 7, but it's different when you have a target. You don't want to get there late (which is why there's a starting time) but you also don't want to get there too early. Part of that is because the alarm scares me. I'd rather just get here when everyone else does....and then start. Consequently, I tend to work late in the day. Anyhow, I used to kind of do my blog as I was waiting on something...and it feels kind of naughty when I do it here. I worked about 70 hours last week...but I still feel guilty writing for 3 minutes while I'm in the office.
Maybe I just need a home office again.
I guess we'll see about that once we move into the new house. It is ironic to me that because I have an office and actual hours, I work less.
I've been listening to Christian music lately. I'm more AM than FM, but feel kind of odd listening to talk radio in an office. It's almost like the views presented by the radio show become somehow attached to me. Nobody is giving me funny looks, and I'm desperate to keep that the case. So I just listen to music. Since I work in a church, I figure that Christian music might be the least risky. A friend of mine says he listens to worship music to "loosen the soil". It helps break down his natural callous, hard candy shell. I know I could use a bit of that myself. So far I like the David Crowder Band. We'll see how long that lasts...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Let's see what develops. That's my attitude. Not very proactive I guess. I want to be proactive. I'm impatient beyond belief. I want to get stuff going. It's just hard. I love helping to develop ideas, strategies, solutions, film...
I want to be about developing!
That's my new thing.
That and pottery.
No, forget that last one.
I want to help people. I want to listen. I desperately want to laugh. I want to encourage. I want to help people see themselves as God sees them. And I want to throw a pot. I'm not back on that pottery thing...I just like the idea of throwing a pot. Or a pan. Like a big heavy, "Fred Sanford, you ugly spasm!" Aunt Esther wielding a pan while threatening her no good nephew in law.
Who knows?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


"nobody drifts into Godliness"
I've heard that said, and repeated it now for years. It kind of goes back to the question, do you believe that we all are flawed deep down...or are basically good? No matter how bad we get, we tend to think of ourselves as basically good as long as we're seemingly doing better than those around us. Even when we're not doing better....we know our motives...and they're good...or at least we thought about doing the right we're not that bad.
So I agree with the second law of thermodynamics...entropy...things tend to get weaker, watered down...or if left unguarded, worse. If I just sort of drift....or just sort of hope that I'll grow in a certain doesn't happen. In fact, I usually drift away from good things. I gravitate toward what is easiest...or what serves me and my needs.
Nobody drifts into Godliness. We don't just wake up one day deeper, more in tune with God, better at loving people, nicer, kinder....we just don't. We drift away from Godliness.
We're not that great.
God's great.
We're kind of messed up.
Luckily, He allows us to be transformed. If we place ourselves in His path, and actively seek Him.
It's just pretty darn hard when you've spent your whole life seeking your own face...and your own needs. That whole, "not my will, but yours" thing we pray. It's pretty tough.

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...

Friday, September 30, 2005

I just want some that so wrong?

Where to live...where to live? We're moving to Cincinnati...gotta find a house somewhere within 15-20 minutes from the Vineyard (our new church and place of employment) we can't live in Middletown, can't live in Blue Ball, or Monroe, or Springboro....
ah yes...West Chester, Ohio (yeah, we'll live in the Dub C)
But when should we move there?
I start on October probably on the 9th. The only problem is the house we bought isn't available until November 18th. That's a long time to live out of a suitcase.
Still....gotta look at the positives. Chipotle right around the corner....and Aunt Peggy...and Schlotzskys....and a bunch of pretty solid people that I like to hang out with...
I don't mind telling you that I'll miss the good folks of State College though(it is the Happy Valley).
One more week....and then it's off to the Queen city (sounds kindda wrong, doesn't it? Is there a King city...Minneapolis is clearly the Prince city)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ci Ci ya later!

I used to wonder about this whole Optimist - Pessimist argument. Actually, it's not really an's just that the pessimists seem to always be defending their philosophy...and the optimists don't seem to care much.
The pessimist will say, "it's just that if I don't get my hopes up...then I won't be disappointed."
"but then you're never hopeful..."
"Yeah, but I'm never upset"
"so you never really feel..."
We know that optimist live longer (there are about 437 studies that say that)
and they've gotta be happier...don't they?
I wonder sometimes. I had lunch yesterday with Danny Rose at Ci Ci's Pizza- and there was this girl who greeted us with a way too happy smile and "hello". You literally couldn't go near her if you had diabetes. So as we were with my glasses in hand (I tried to unbend the frame with the help of made sense at the time) she said, "Ci Ci ya later!"
and I think she meant it. There was no manager around. She was just that chipper.
And I'm betting that she's just a bit happier than the rest of us. Maybe the cynics out there
would mock her (through conversations, blogs...whatever) but I'm guessing that she'll always have the last laugh...literally.
maybe there's something to that...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

It's like Robin Hood in reverse

Is it weird that Air America "borrowed" $800,000 from a Boys and Girls Club - this is a non-profit organization that people can donate to....and just kind of kept it?
About three months ago I mentioned to a few folks that I had heard that Air America wasn't doing so well. They both looked at me like I was crazy. Two of their top three markets (Los Angelos and Chicago) had been dropped after they had bounced a one million dollar check....I thought that that wasn't so good...but judging by the "you must be outta your mind!" looks I got....maybe that's not a big deal.
Then I heard about the resignation of the founder and Chairman, Evan Cohen and the Vice Chairman, Rex Sorenson....and how the company had failed to make their payroll....and left over 100 writers and producers unpaid. I figured that couldn't be good.
But what do I know?
Maybe losing two of your three biggest markets, stealing money from the boys and girls club, and bouncing hundreds of checks to your employees and stations isn't such a bad thing... And it's not a big deal that their ratings are down in all of their markets...that's show biz.
I'm just bitter because I've yet to listen to more than a half hour of any of their shows without hearing them trying to belittle people of faith...but I guess I shouldn't expect them to celebrate diversity or to keep an open mind....if you disagree with them, you're judgmental and close minded...but when they do's's just o.k.....because they mean well. I wise man once said, "I'm not against anything, I'm just FOR Jesus" - maybe I should focus more on that...and less on the hypocritical radio guys stealing money from the boys and girls clubs....(there I go again)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

bland chicken dinners

I'm headed to a banquet tonight. It's kind of nice to go to a banquet and not have to worry about the food, how many people show up, how the, and about if the slide show and sound system work.
I just have to show up, throw on the clown outfit (whatever costume they put me in) and say some lines. I won't even have to make small talk at a least I don't think I don't think they'll make me stick around for the food and speaker part, do you? That'd be silly...I think...sure it would.
Tonight I'll be playing the part of Stu Sutcliff, compliance officer of the 3-D (that's tonight's theme) teamsters Union. The joke is (and you'd better not be drinking any milk...) (you know...because when you laugh and drink milk, it comes out....oh, never mind) that their 3 decades celebration....or 3D theme - needs a certain quota of 3-D union workers.
That's where Stu comes in....and yes, that's the name of the guy who was the fifth or sixth Beatle...depending on who you ask...and it's just a coincidence....although I consider myself the 45th Beatle (right behind Gordon Clapp and in front of the replacement guy on the Maytag the repairman commercials- Gordon Jump - purely coincidental on the Gordon thing....and yeah, he was also the Big guy on WKRP and the creepy guy from a very special Different Strokes episode)
So wish me luck.
or that I'd break a leg (what's that all about anyway?)