From a first time blogger, thoughts about life from an American missionary now living in the US after years in Russia and doing a lot of back and forth. Family stuff, Christian content, sports innuendo and lots of quotes from good books.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thinking Twice About Wal-Mart

Here’s the reason why you shouldn’t order a custom cake from Wal-Mart:
Some people that work here had a going away party the other day for a woman that is leaving. One of the supervisors called a Walmart and ordered the cake. He told them to write: “best wishes Suzanne” and underneath that write “we will miss you”. Here’s the cake that was delivered.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Last Friday in Elijay, GA

3 boys climb a mountain and 1 girls just smiles.

I'm a blessed man...


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thinking Creatively About A Not So Great IATA Identifyer

After Fight, Airport Embraces SUX Code
Monday, October 22, 2007

04:34 PDT Sioux City, Iowa (AP) --
City leaders have scrapped plans to do away with the Sioux Gateway Airport's unflattering three-letter identifier — SUX — and instead have made it the centerpiece of the airport's new marketing campaign.

The code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets and luggage tags, will be used on T-shirts and caps sporting the airport's new slogan, "FLY SUX." It also forms the address of the airport's redesigned Web site.

Sioux City officials petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to change the code in 1988 and 2002. At one point, the FAA offered the city five alternatives — GWU, GYO, GYT, SGV and GAY — but airport trustees turned them down.

Airport board member Dave Bernstein proposed embracing the identifier.

"Let's make the best of it," Bernstein said. "I think we have the opportunity to turn it into a positive."

He noted that many airports, including some of the busiest, have forgettable three-letter codes.

"I've got buddies that I went to college with in different cities that can't even remember their own birthdays, but they all know the Sioux City designator — SUX," he said.

Mayor Craig Berenstein, who in 2002 described SUX as an "embarrassment" to the city, said he views the new slogan as a "cute little way" to make light of the situation.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nuff Said...

(L to R) Aidan, Benja, Anna, and Nate Browne.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why I Did Not Know This?

Apparently, the NCAA made a rule a few years ago saying that home teams (college football I am speaking of) could not wear white jerseys anymore. Every other sport pretty much has, to the best of my knowledge, home teams wearing white.

However, two schools were allowed to keep wearing white because, traditionally, they always had. One was Ga Tech which opted out recently as they now wear gold jerseys. Only one remains though.

Can you name which school still wears white jerseys at home?


Friday, October 19, 2007

It's In the Bible You Know!

Overheard today at my son's martial arts studio between a dad of one child and a mom of another...both are very outspoken Christians.

Mom: "Yeah and the Mormons got their own problems too. That whole celestial marriage thing is just weird."

Dad: "I'll you what, they got some learning to do. The Bible clearly says '...till death do you part' and not a minute further."

Hmmmm. Lots going on here. Celestial marriage meaning, I think, that a Mormon couple is married in this life and in the life to come. I don't think so but I would not go far as to quote from the Bible that "till death do you part" is anywhere in the canon of scripture.

I laughed almost out loud at them but then I kinda thought about myself and how I probably have done the same thing before...but I sure hope not!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

I Am Progressively Conservative...or Possibly Conservatively Progressive...

To tell you the truth I really don't know what I am or what you are or what anybody is anymore. I come from a heritage that wore out, reworded, and unwound all the meaning from the above terms. Progressive or Conservative used to be a nice label we hung on folks who clapped hands in worship (the P's) or thought of others outside of our tradition as "being of a different faith" (that'd be the C's) at best and flat out "going to hell" at worst (those were the ultra C's...a term we won't even get into here).

I remember a very uncomfortable Christmas season about ten years ago. I was in grad school so I was thinking in a mode and pattern that were uniquely grad-school-ish. I was spending time with a friend of the family I was visiting and kept hearing him wail on "liberals" and their desire "to change everything" and "take over the church". I heard liberal and thought of some non Bible believing theological professors I was reading at the time. I was thinking of Exetentionalists and Post Mods gone awry. What was meant though was the good ole tried and true "progressives" in our own heritage's movement. It was about 10 minutes later that I kinda woke up and realized I was likely one of those that this guy was spewing filth about. I realized that and decided not to elaborate any further on the topic we were openly discussing earlier. There was no use. This guy was right and that settled that.

Once again the terms "progressive" and "liberal" just seem way too fuzzy for me to use or understand when others use it with any high level of confidence or certain degree of exactness.

I was talking last night with a man of my parent's generation. We've known each other for years but have recently reengaged each other after we've both been through some very formative spiritual awakenings in our recent pasts. He kept using this term too (conservative this time). Unlike the guy mentioned above, as a result of knowing him and where he's come from, I think I could locate what he meant pretty easily but again his definition of progressive fell more into a category of what I would call mainstream. It's just not a word that says much to most people anymore. We gotta be more exact I think.

To get really personal I found myself last night driving home reflecting on me. Am I progressive or conservative? Depending on the topic, I think I am both.

Does a progressive person clap hands in church, raise hands, prefer instrumental music (big issue in my heritage...a very much non issue in the rest of the Kingdom it seems), embrace all Christ seekers, not feel it a sin to not be at church every time the doors are open, read from alternative interpretations of the Bible, believe the Bible mandates what is healthy living and eating as well as speak about human's enviornmental responsibilities? If so, then I am progressive.

Does a conservative person not watch rated R movies, allow his young kids to read sci fi/witch craft/fantasy novels believing they are "dark" and a threat to God's light, not celebrate Halloween, intentionally home school, home birth, and home church, believe the Bible has something to say about finances, and call people far, far, far more conservative than myself brothers and sisters? If so, I'm a conservative.

I guess I'm failing to see the logic or the reason in using labels. Labels also vary from person to person. That's another reason I don't prefer them. I'm just never really sure what you or she or they mean by them. Therefore, I just won't use them.

What's the point here? Well, I think we need a new venacular for one thing. Terms change. Definitions change too (don't they?). I know that limits of what we refer to something as change as well. So, let's use language that more clearly describes what we are trying to describe.

The other point is just to say what you mean. Don't refer to a hand raiser as a progressive. Refer to him as a hand raiser. Don't speak of a person who loves Fannie J. Crosby songs and only FJC songs as conservative. Just call them a fan of Fannie J!

That won't cure everything but it will sure will help me understand what in the world you're talking about!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Best Books

To me the best books are not the ones that I read about in a magazine or other book. They are also not the ones I hear mentioned in a great sermon or lesson by someone I know and trust. They also are not the ones that friends tell me, "Oh man. You gotta read this book." Finally, they are not even the ones that a friend will send me the link to from Amazon with an encouragement to "check it out".

No, the best books I've read are the ones that people actually buy and give to me. For me that is the ultimately litmus test as to whether I'll like this book or not. If you know me well enough to think seriously about whether I'd like it and then you put your own money down to buy it and you have it shipped to my house then I know, without a doubt, that I'll like the book.

That happened to me this spring. A great friend (more than just a buddy of mine) offered some honest critique regarding a presentation I did in his city about the ministry with which I work. Not only did he offer helpful critique but he sent a book along too. That book is called "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die." As good as his critique was the book has been even better. I'm on my 4th reading now actually.

While I'm not going to drop ship you a copy personally I will challenge you to test my hypothesis. Is the best book you've read in a while one you've heard about from a friend or one you've been given by a friend?