Saturday, January 30, 2010

Old School

My 30th high school reunion is this fall.  Whoa.  I went on to the class reunion website today to fill out my profile.  I also signed up to receive emails when certain classmates updated their info. 

As I read through the list of 524 students, the memories came flooding back.  I saw names that I remembered hearing, but could not put a face with.  I thought of folks I had forgotten for 30 years.  I felt like I was in high school again:  Does that person want me to stay in touch?  Do they care about me?  What would they think?  Do they remember me? 

I was never part of the "in" crowd.  It always seemed like I was trying to fit in.  I guess that made me a normal teenager, but it was not very comfortable.  Should be interesting to see these people again.  I'm going to get out my old annuals and begin remembering names and faces.

I would much rather just remember the old times than go back and live them again.  I'm glad that I'm not who I was.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Out there

I took the Myers-Briggs personality test yesterday and learned that I'm no longer an introvert.  I took the test in 1997 and I was clearly introverted.  I have noticed my becoming more outgoing, and the MBTI folks noticed, too.

Over all, score as ENTJ, that is, Extrovert-iNtuitive-Thinking-Judging.  I'm real high in intuitive and thinking, and just barely in the categories of Extroversion and Judging.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It just shows that people can change.  I may be growing up.  Nah.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tim Tebow is alive

I'm not a Florida Gator fan, but I do have a ton of respect for their QB.  He is a superior athlete.  And he usually has something curious under his eyes.  He puts Bible references on his eye black. 

Now this 2007 Heisman Trophy winner is to be featured in a Super Bowl commercial which celebrates life.  His mother was advised in 1987 to abort her son, because she had contracted some serious infection on a mission trip.  They told her that she could die in childbirth.  She elected to carry her son anyway, and Tim has lived to tell about it.  The mother and son are both in the commercial, which has been seen by only a handful of people. 

I applaud him for taking a stand for something significant -- something much more important than the Saints or the Colts winning a championship.

I also applaud CBS for allowing the ad, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Giving through Samaritan's Purse

As we all wonder what we can do about Haiti, we see lots of worthy relief organizations at work on that island.  Donations can be made to many organizations to help.  In some ways, it almost seems immaterial which organization receives our dollars.

At Crossroads we will be sending our donations to Samaritan's Purse, an organization head quartered here in NC.  Through SP we can help bring food, water, medicine and other relief to the hurting Haitians.  Franklin Graham says that there will be about six flights per day taking the needed supplies into the disaster area.

It is my prayer that this disaster will become a turning point in the history of that impoverished nation, and that the future would bring much better living conditions for all people there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm sucking wind on reading the NT through in 30 days.  A couple of days behind. 

I read the NT a lot, but have never read it through in 30 days before.  Reading big chunks helps me see the big picture better.  But I'm also seeing some interesting details that I've never noticed before.

Today I have been reading Mark, and I saw something curious in ch. 8.  Jesus meets a blind man in v 22.  The man's friends lead him to Jesus and beg the Lord to touch him.  Then -- and I had never noticed this -- Jesus takes the man by the hand and leads him outside the village. Hmm.  Why did Jesus want to get him out of town?  Maybe Jesus just wanted to talk with him along the way. 

Jesus restores this man's sight partially and then fully:  the only two step healing in Jesus' ministry.  But why did he have to be out of the village of Bethsaida?  You could just ignore that detail, except the last thing Jesus says to him is, "Don't go into the village."  Jesus sends the man home, apparently to another town.

That's just curious.  Sometimes Jesus does things that we don't understand.  He has a reason for everything, but sometimes we just don't get it.  Same is true today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

LOL Cat Bible

I am not making this up.  There is a lolcat Bible "translation" available on the www.  This is an open source translation, produced by people who get into the lolcat scene.  In honor of my current series on the Ten Commandments, here is the translation of the fourth Commandment:

"Remembur Caturday An keep holy. U ketch mousies 6 dais An finish ketchin, K? Caturday, u no ketchin mousies. U An all ur peepz go wrship me. And, if yu beez gudd, I maks it so yu can stays home and do alla stuffs yu wanted tu doos.  I maded heavenz An erth An see An the stuff that does teh funney hoppey stuffz in An on it - so I make it holy cuz I no ketch mousies."

This fad began with photographs of cats with clever captions rendered in broken English.  The lolcat language was used for creating a LOLCODE programming language.  Eventually someone took on the big project to translate the Bible, getting many authors to contribute.  I'm not sure if the whole Bible is even complete yet.

I have found some of the wording to be, shall we say, off color.  The translators most likely did not consult the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts.  God is called "Ceiling Cat," Jesus is "Happy Cat," and Satan is "Basement Cat."

I am probably really twisted, but I find the whole idea hysterical.  It's not the stuff for personal discipleship, and I can't imagine a lolcat devotional Bible.  According to Wikipedia, there may be a lolcat Koran produced, too.  That's really insane.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Needing Grace

I began reading the New Testament through in 30 days.  First time for me to read the whole thing that fast.  I'm not quite current, but I see that there are grace days ahead.  I did not finish today's reading, as laid out in the website.

I finished the book of Matthew already and need to get on the next book, which is Acts.  It may really help to read a non-gospel book in between Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Looks like a good plan!

I'm actually becoming a big fan of reading large chunks of scripture at a time.  I get much more of the flow of the book that way.  Especially when I read the Gospels, I think, "Now, didn't I already read that?"  When I read a whole Gospel in a day or two, I can remember better which stories are in that Gospel.  I can see connections.  I can see what the (human) author was trying to emphasize.

I have heard of Christian leaders who would read the whole NT every month.  Maybe I'll get there someday.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Tickler File"

It's a funny name for a filing system, but it shows some potential.  In GTD, I learned about this system that lets me plan to address a certain item on a certain day in the future.  If I don't want to (or can't) work on something today, I can put it in a folder up to 30 days out.  It will automatically remind me to work on that item on that day.

This is all done with good old manila folders -- very low-tech, but very understandable.  I don't want to explain it in detail (like you would want to read that here anyway...), but I do plan on creating such a system.  I still haven't finished the book, but I'm about 3/4 through it.  I want to wait until I read the whole thing before I go whole hog.

I mentioned the tickler file system to Lisa, and she said, "Yeah, I already do that."  Well thanks for sharing the brilliant idea.  No wonder she's so organized.  But I'm WAY ahead of her in reading the book.  Heh, heh.

I'm also using my label maker on my file folders.  It is fun, and I can tell a big difference in my filing cabinet already.  I'm filing stuff now, instead of stacking it all up to deal with later.

I'm still on board with Getting Things Done.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


When I was in graduate school, newly married, a friend called me to invite us to come play Rook on a Friday night.  I wondered Why?  Why me?  Why play cards?  What's the point?

I was perfectly content to sit at home in our cozy apartment and read or watch our 13-inch b/w TV.  It was a lot of trouble to get up and go somewhere.  (This was long before having children, so I had no idea what real inconvenience was all about.)

I could not think of any real reason not to go play cards, so we went.  I really needed to go, but I didn't know it.

Life seems OK without friends, but God wants us to have a much richer experience.  He wants us to connect.  He wants us to know other people and be known by them.  Friends help us become more like Christ.  They encourage us, challenge us, correct us.  They build our capacity for joy.

Friends help you when your car breaks down or your family breaks up.  They are there to say the hard things.  They know your heart, and ignore it when you act like a jerk.

Because of all this, friends are fun.  They add real depth to your life.  Ideally, our friendships show God's love to the world around us.  People see our friendships and understand that being loved is a gift that comes from Him. 

Life is all about relationships.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Over the weekend I noticed a new green light on my cable TV box.  Being new to cable TV anyway, I wasn't sure what the light meant.  The label on the box said "bypass."  OK, my bypass is on.  It didn't hurt though.  I mean, the cable picture still worked fine.

I did the online chat with a "technician."  Yeah, right.  After I waited my 20 min in the queue, I got the technical advice to unplug the box and plug it back in.  Actually I did not think of that (shame on me), but it didn't work anyway.  The chat guy told me that I needed a service call, which he promptly set up for me.

The tech guy shows up on Wednesday, and with two presses of the remote turns off the bypass light.  It would not have caused me a problem b/c it has to do with a feature we don't have.  Then he fixed problems I was not aware of.  He set the picture to fill up my widescreen set.  He adjusted the volume with the box, so that I would not need to turn the TV up to 65 to hear the show.  And he adjusted the picture from 780p to 1080p, so that I could really get the full benefit of the HD signal. 

"You really needed a service call, and you didn't know it," he said.  Wow.  This guy knew his stuff, and he fixed problems that I didn't know I had.  It should really improve the TV experience.

I wonder how many things God wants to tweak in my life, just so that I can fully experience him. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Easy or hard

I bought some replacement shoelaces for my daughter's shoes recently.  Now the hard part of that project is remembering to buy the laces.  The old, knotted strings had to go, but more than once we walked out of Walmart with no replacement strings.  Finally we remembered to get them.

I sat down to perform the surgical procedure.  As I began pulling out the leather thong, I noticed that I could not find the other end...

Then I noticed that the laces weave in and out all the way around the heel.  I had always thought those laces were purely decorative, but it turns out that they really connect to the tying end.

That presented me with two problems.  First, I would have trouble threading the laces through a 3-inch subterranean pathway.  It's hard to push a string, especially through a long, tight, curved sheath.  And the other problem was that I had bought laces that were way too short.  Dang.

So, I laced them back up, and forced my kid to walk around with knotty shoes again.  It wasn't too long before we got some longer strings.  By then I had mentally engineered a process for threading the strings.

The big surprise is that it worked.  I taped the new string to the old string and carefully pulled out the old as I threaded the new.

What I expected to be so hard turned out to be easy.  I often find that to be the case.  The hard things turn out to be easy.  But I never know until I try.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in the swing

It was hard for some folks to go back to work today.  We get spoiled very easily.  It is much easier to go back to work when  you know another day off is coming soon.

That was actually God's idea.  His people should never be more than six days away from a real rest.  With a schedule like that, going to work ain't so bad.  For the Israelites, God also called for several feasts every year.  That gives you weeks of celebration thrown in as well.

Maybe this year we can get closer to God's ideal for real living.  That's worth celebrating!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Coming in 2010

I have been working on my new message series on the Ten Commandments, which begins tomorrow.  This is a foundational piece of scripture, with implications for history, faith and culture.

I was interested to note that we will be studying the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20 in 2010.  Only God could put all that together.  Another bonus, Crossroads will be celebrating our Tenth Anniversary on February 14.  Got to love it.

God has great insights in his his ten words shared with us for covenant living.  I'm eager to dig into the words and learn more of who God is and how he is calling me to live.