we might have a new member of our family – we’ll know in a week. one of our neighbors had a stray basset start hanging out at their house about 5 days ago. they advertised the found dog, searched the papers, and drove around with the dog looking for an owner or lost dog sign. unfortunately, the little guy was extremely thin and had a collar but no tags (a typical sign of a dog that has been dropped off). they weren’t sure what to do with the little guy. when we heard about him we quickly decided we would take him in and have him checked for a microchip at our vet. i took him into our vet today and had him checked out. turns out the little guy has heart worms and intestinal worms. our vet agrees that he has probably been dropped off. so the plan for this cute little basset right now is to advertise in the local paper for one week that he has been found. if we still don’t find an owner after we advertise then we’ll probably adopted the little guy. he is a great little guy who is pretty shy. we’re calling him roux.

random acts of JESUS

what would happen if a church decided that the majority of it’s budget had to be spent on things outside it’s walls? i mean spending it on things that weren’t programs to make church members happy, or convince other members from different churches to swap to theirs, or anything that would make the church more attractive to “church people” but rather spending it on taking care of the needs of single moms or celebrating the community service of police officers or deciding to minister to the needs of one city block? now i know there are financial needs within the church, after all my salary is one of those needs. the church i am presently a part of has a building and that means it has to pay for maintenance, utilities, and much more. i know those are real needs … but i don’t really think they are ministry. what if a church decided that it would spend equal or great money on a need outside it’s building’s walls before each time we spent money on a need inside our buildings walls? what if instead of encouraging people to tithe because we need to pay for all the “member services” we have built up within our buildings we encouraged CHRISTians to tithe so that they wouldn’t be dependent upon mammon and to provide resources for transforming our community?

it’s just a question i’m dealing with now that i am hoping to be a part of starting a new community of believers.

i’ve been thinking about the random acts of kindness that people used to push. they were really great. of course, as a follower of JESUS i’m supposed to be called to something much more costly than kindness … i’m called to love. JESUS showed his love through sacrifice and it wasn’t just on the cross. read the story of JESUS in the gospel and you’ll see sacrifice through out it.

JESUS loved people (and still does) and HE showed this love through sacrifice. HE then called those that follow HIM to do the same thing. but i’m not really sure how often i truly sacrifice for someone. i do acts of kindness but acts of true sacrifice? i’m just not so sure about that.

so i think i’m going to try to start. here’s my plan: i’m going to shot for at least one act of true sacrifice each week. it has to be something that costs me in some manner (after all that’s what sacrifice is). the root goal of these “random acts of JESUS” has to be to show love … nothing else. it’s not about increasing church attendance or getting good p.r. for my local congregation. no, it’s about loving like JESUS. i’m convinced if i do that then GOD will be glorified. i’m not real sure what this will all look like but that’s the fun of it. i’ll report back later on how things are going.

this article (ht pamela) and reggie mcneil’s book “the present future” got me thinking about this stuff.

[tags]random acts of JESUS, sacrifice, church budget[/tags]

JESUS camp – part deux

pam and i just finished watching “JESUS camp” with our neighbors. this was our second time to watch the documentary and it was even better than the first time because of neighbors. pam and i are obviously on the leftward side of evangelicalism and slightly right of middle of the road politically (conservative on some issues and getting more liberal on others). our neighbors are unitarian and episcopalian and would describe themselves as liberal democrats. pam and i were scared by what we saw in the movie the first time but it was even more interesting to watch the movie with someone who wasn’t as familiar with the more fundie side of evangelicalism. our neighbors are great people and it made for a wonderful night.

our neighbors also pointed out that a stray basset hound has been found by their next door neighbors. the finders of the stray basset haven’t had any luck in finding the owners of the dog but they don’t really want to keep him. the problem here is that pam, the boys, and i desperately want another basset but right now is simply not the perfect time. we were hoping to wait until we moved to wisconsin. of course, this little guy (we think he is about a 9 months old) isn’t going to wait. nobody seems to be sure what will happen to him if we don’t take him. to make matters worse (for us not for him) he is a very well behaved dog and about as cute as can be (i’ll post a photo tomorrow). this makes it all the easier to want to bring him home. we’re talking things over about possibly bringing him home and keeping him with us while we still look for his owner. first though we’ll have to see what montana says about all this.

SIDE NOTE – noah’s team won their last soccer game today. actually they thought they had lost it because the score said so (3 to 2). it turned out though that the other team had brought in a “ringer” from one of the premiere teams. that’s right a team full of 11 year olds brought in a “ringer.” the end of the story is that they were caught and had to forfeit the game, which was great because the “ringer” had score 2 of the team’s 3 goals. of course, this story wouldn’t be complete if i didn’t point out our neighbors involvement once again. kirby is noah’s soccer coach and so we all celebrated the win together.

[tags]JESUS camp, neighbors, basset hound, soccer[/tags]

warn your grandparents – it’s test time

this article is great. it’s a fun statistical paper on the likelihood of a students’ grandparents “dying” around test time. it would appear from the above graph that your grandparents’ health during finals and midterms is directly related to how good your grades are. if you have bad grades your grandparents are fine until testing time but then they better watch out. of course, the grief will cause you to miss several days of school and therefore need to postpone or simply miss your finals.

my favorite part of the article is the series of possible solutions that the author gives for protecting students’ grandparents. they are:

  1. stop giving exams. at first glance, this seems to be the simplest answer to the problem. like many simplistic solutions, however, it fails to consider the full ramifications of such a course. without exam results, all medical schools would be forced to close their doors, having no way of distinguishing worthy students. the resultant dearth of physicians in the next generation would throw so many other professionals (tax accountants, malpractice attorneys, golf pros, etc.) out of work that the economy would go into a nosedive. regretfully, this solution must be abandoned since it is more dangerous than the original problem.
  2. allow only orphans to enroll at universities. this is an extremely attractive idea, except for the shortage of orphans. more could be created of course, but this would be morally wrong, and in any case would replicate the very problem we are trying to avoid i.e. excessive family deaths.
  3. have students lie to their families. students must never let any of their relatives know that they are at university. (initial field tests show that keeping just the grandmother ignorant is neither feasible nor safe for the rest of the family.) it is not enough merely to lie about exams; if the family doesn’t know when the exams are, they may then worry constantly and this may lead to even higher death rates. the only solution is that the family must never be aware that the student is even enrolled at a university. students must pretend they are in the armed forces, have joined some religious cult, or have been kidnapped by aliens. all of these alternate explanations for their long absences will keep the family ignorant of the true, dangerous, fact. although it might be argued that such large-scale deceptions could not be maintained for long periods, the success of many politicians suggests otherwise.

so remember when you are studying you aren’t just doing it for good grades. no, your grandparents are depending upon you.

[tags]testing, grades, death, sarcasm, finals, grandparents[/tags]

keep siegen lane wierd

when i first moved to baton rouge i soon became very familiar with siegen lane. if you live on the side of town that i do then siegen lane is going to be a staple of your driving routes. siegen is always crowded with very poor drivers and therefore it eats up your time and fuel. the one good side of this is that there was almost always something odd to see during the trip. i went through years of seeing completely random things occur on siegen. such as:

  • i once i was stopped at the traffic light by chick-fil-a and i saw a woman get out of one car, run to the truck in front of her, pull her shirt up, and place her breasts against the driver’s side window of the truck. the really funny part was the response of the woman after she pulled her shirt down … it was shock. you could hear her shouting “it wasn’t them” as she ran back to her car. apparently she thought she knew the people in the truck and it turned out she was wrong.
  • another time i was stopped in traffic and i saw a costumed quizzno’s cup and employee get in a fight in front of ihop. it was funny to see how many people honked and cheered as the cup took the employee down.
  • for about a year siegen lane had a random street preacher who set up camp by the exit from i-10 onto the lane. he would stand on his soap box in the middle of the grass slope and preach up a storm concerning all the evil that those drivers flying by him had participated in. a couple of times when i saw him i stopped, pulled out a collapsible chair that i kept in my truck, and sat in front of him so he would have an audience. it was as if i wasn’t even there because he never acknowledged my presence.
  • another time when i was driving past jim’s firearms i saw a helicopter randomly land on the side of the road about 60 feet away from me.
  • once while i was filling my truck up with petrol i watched a grown man dance around in a crayfish costume while waving a live crayfish in his hand.

there are others that i could say but i think you get the picture. the problem is that siegen lane has turned plain and boring. i haven’t seen anything strange on the lane in a little over a year. i kind of think that everyone on siegen has started taking prosaic. i wish everyone would go off their meds and get odd again.
[tags]siegen lane, baton rouge, odd[/tags]

sounds like a u2 song

since many of us have friends in and love the country of nicaragua i thought you would find this article interesting. it appears that managua has lived for 30 years (since a devastating earthquake) with practically no street names or numbers.

here’s the article

welcome to managua, quite possibly the only place on earth where upward of 2 million people manage to live, work, and play—not to mention find their way around—in a city where the streets have no names.

SIDE NOTE – an another excellent article on how the teen brain works and develops. ht marko

you don’t have to cry

lifehacker posted a link to a yahoo article on “how to beat a speeding ticket.”

their desire to get you in and out can work in your favor when fighting a ticket. attorneys who specialize in traffic court cases have very high dismissal rates based simply on technicalities. in many cases, with a little effort and research you can obtain the same results.

i would never want to encourage breaking the law (it’s bad and wrong – it’s badong) but for those of you have a habit of getting speeding tickets i thought you might could use this article.

here’s the article.

starting the process

i know about next to nothing about planting a church. i am not an expert nor am i the son of an expert. the idea of planting a church scares me, even though pam and i am sure that is the next step on our journey with GOD. i figure pam and i aren’t the first people to have no idea of how to do this and therefore for the sake of helping out all the future ignoramuses like us, i’m going to record as much as possible along the way.

for organizational purposes i thought it would be great to setup a blog category for putting all posts relating to the subject in. the problem is that the obvious category of “church planting” doesn’t really work for me. as of right now i don’t really know what i’m doing and therefore it seems a little egotistical to mark these as posts on “church planting.” i also think it would be nice to have all these posts within the history of the church once we actually do have a church. of course i have no idea what the name of the church will be – naming the church seems to me to be something that the church does, rather than one person – so i don’t have a church name to use as a category for these posts. i know it’s not a big deal, but to me it’s a big deal.

when pam was pregnant with our boys we gave them “fetal names.” since we refused to learn what sex our kids were before they were born these names gave us a way of talking about our baby with out reducing the child to an “it” (calling a baby an “it” drives me nuts – just because you don’t know if the fetus is a “boy” or a “girl” doesn’t mean the child is an “it”). we picked gender-neutral names that could be either sex – like “pat” and “joe.” the fetal name was useful for reminding us that our child was a human and not an “it” but the amorphous name left the mystery alive that came from not knowing.

since we are in the early initial stage of the birth of a future church i am reducing myself down to using a fetal name for the church. that way i can talked about that church that i am getting excited about with out trying to define or limit anything by naming it. once we have a community of believers together we’ll come up with the real name. for now i’m going to use a name that i often answer the phone with. if you call my cell phone and i’m in the right mood i’ll answer the phone with various made up businesses. the most consistent one is “joe’s auto repair.” i’m not sure why but i like the sound of it (i also like “harry’s house of jalapeños”). so starting with this post all blog posts dealing with our future church family will be under the category “jar.”

i know this is a long post for such a stupid thing but it has helped me work out all my mental issues.

SIDE NOTE – i don’t like my “about me” photo (i think it looks pretentious) but several people said my previous one was kind of scary. so i have to take another one (one that’s fun but not scary). i haven’t had the chance or an idea for accomplishing this so it will probably be a few more days before it happens. if you have a brilliant idea please pass it on. i can most assuredly use it.

the boob tube

is anyone else disturbed by the new chrysler commercials where the kids are acting unruly until the dvd player is pulled down and started. then the little hellions turn into perfect little stepford children. the add says “give them what they want and they’ll give you what you want.” i know that this is what most people use the built in dvd players for but is it something we actually want to encourage?