sometimes you just can't win

15 year old amanda rouse, a california teen, wasn’t feeling well and so skipped out of school and hopped onto a school bus of elementary students. of course, she shouldn’t have done that. she should have gone to the school office instead. yet when the bus driver fell out of her set and hit her head amanda was there to jumped into action. she managed to work around the fallen driver and get to the brakes. she stopped the bus and saved all the elementary students, and the bus driver, from harm. her reward for the little adventure was detention for skipping school.

here’s the article.

call me

this is completely hilarious.

a guy in chicago goes into a muffler repair shop to rob it. when he is told by the employees that they had little money on hand and that only the manager, who wasn’t there, could open up the safe he responded by giving them two phone numbers to reach him at when the manager got back. he left promising to come back when they called. of course, they called the cops instead. the police officers came to the shop and they called the guy at the two numbers. since he believed that the manager had returned he came back to the muffler repair shop waving his pistol to get everyone’s attention. so one of the cops shot him in the leg.

this guy is a real genius.

shoe polish – post #1

last week was spring break in wisconsin and so the family and i went to chicago to visit the windy city. it was a great time. i thought i would post about one incident over there.

my kids have been in and lived in big cities but they have all been southern cities. in other words, they were cities that required driving from spot to spot. they are not familiar with cities where the major forms of transportation are your feet and other public means of locomotion. it was all very interesting for them.

of course, all this interest also means that they experienced much more closely than ever people begging for money. the kids have joined pam and i as we’ve worked at shelters, or had supper with new friends who were struggling financially, or helped as we have interacted with numbers of other people who have been at desperate times within their lives. yet they have never had someone walk up to them and shake a cup in their faces while asking for spare change. it was a different experience for them.

however, this post is not about poverty, the causes of poverty, or possible solutions to poverty. instead, it is about one pan handler’s strategy for gathering spare change. while we were walking on the sidewalk to the chicago institute of art’s museum a casually dressed guy walked up to me and said “man your boots are really scuffed up.” i have to admit that i was not ready for a guy to walk up and say such a thing so my response was not very eloquent. i responded to the man by saying “huh?” as i said, i was’n’t really ready for the original statement.

anyhow, the guys stated once again that my boots were really scratched up. he then said that he had just the stuff necessary to fix scuffed up shoes. it was at this point that he pulled out a pill bottle which contained a gel (i’m assuming it was vaseline), bent down to my shoes, and began to rub some of the gel onto my left boot. it was at this point that i woke up and realized what was happening. i finally understood that the guy was trying to force some psuedo-shoe polishing on me and then hit me up for a “contribution” for his hard work on my “badly scuffed” boots.

like i said earlier this is not a post on the causes or solutions of poverty so please read this next part for what it is … a comment on the guy’s method. i hate it when someone pretends concerning one thing just to get me to do whatever it is they desire. for example, i hate it when a telemarketer calls saying they are conducting a survey, but in reality they are just trying to make a sale and not collecting information. it drives me nuts because i actually will answers the questions of a telephone survey every now and then, but when someone pulls this kind of “bait and switch” survey i can always guarantee you that i’m not going to buy from them no matter what the product is. it was the same with this guy. there was a decent chance that i might have given him a little money or maybe bought him a meal if he had asked. yet, the second he pulled the trick of putting valesine on my boots he lost any chance of me giving him anything. he hit one of my buttons. i told him i wasn’t interested in him doing anything to my shoes and i pulled away from him.

i’ll finished my comments on this tomorrow.

root beer kegger

my wonderful wife spotted this article. it’s about a group of teens who threw a root beer party. the keg (which was root beer) was noticed and the cops were called. since the cops had arrived at a party of what appeared to be underage drinkers (though it wasn’t) their duty required that they breathalyze ever teen there. this ended up equaling 89 “0.0” readings on the breathalyzer.

this whole incident came about because of some teens being kicked off of the school cheer leading squad. the girls that were kicked off where seen in some facebook photos with red solo cups in their hands. the school administration had no proof of any alcohol being in the cups but in their minds those cups equaled underage drinking and that was enough to remove the girls from being cheer leaders. please don’t assume i’m naive. i know a lot of teens drink and i know that many times those red solo cups are actually full of liquor. yet they’re not always full of anything wrong. i also support 24/7 conduct policies for extracurricular high school activities. i think it’s perfectly appropriate to hold a kid to a higher level of conduct based on him/her being in the band, on a sports team, in student government, etc. yet i think that the administration should always have to have proof when they decided that a teen has done something against the rules. they can’t just make guesses based on broad generalizations and then punish people based on those assumptions. well anyways, the root beer kegger came about when a student decided that he was going to prove to the school administration that just because something looks like it may be against the rules doesn’t actually mean that it is. thus there was a party of teens doing things that looked like they could be breaking the 24/7 policy but actually were in full compliance with it.

of course, i believe it’s even more important that we don’t jump to assumptions, and actions based on those assumptions, within the church. it seems like some people within the bride of CHRIST want to make assumptions concerning the state of someone’s soul or beliefs based on things that they may associated with “sinful” activity or erroneous belief. in fact, sometimes it seems that some people within the church are more concerned with how you say your beliefs than they are with whether or not what you believe is true. there’s a great line in a waterdeep song that goes “not so much about the truth as whether you said it right.” i think that line does a great job of summing up the situation i’m talking about. it seems like we sometimes get so concerned about someone doing something “wrong” that we jump to conclusions to protect the church from heretics.

the problem is that sometimes those assumptions are completely wrong. a root beer kegger proved that.

SIDE NOTE – these are just thoughts mom. nobody has come after me for anything i’ve done or said. i’m a little upset about that because all the apostles were chased around by the religious people for the lives they lead. the apsotles’ faith in JESUS, and the life that resulted form it, ticked off the religious people of that time. i figure if i’m really following JESUS i too should be ticking off a least a few religious people. but don’t worry mom. it’s not happening yet.

19 miles

today was my long run for the week. it was supposed to be 20 miles but i was REALLY hungry by the time i reached home with still a mile to go (i usually go a half mile past our home and then come back). when i got inside the house i was a little curious if i hand lost any weight during the run and therefore i jumped on the scales. 10 minutes before my run i had tipped the scales at 191.6. after running 19 miles i had lost 2 pounds and 6 onces. i registered 189.0 on the scale. it doesn’t seem like as big a deal when i type it but at least it made me laugh when i saw it on the scale.

SIDE NOTE – i am presently reading a book by bill easum & pete theodore called “the nomadic church: growing your church congregation without owning the building and while i have only reached chapter six i have to say that thus far i am quite impressed. i can’t yet speak from experience whether all the recommendations and thoughts within the book work (because we have launched public services yet) but i figure we’ll be able to try these things out soon enough (hopefully by next week i will be able to tell everyone a launch date). if i had a short list of books to recommend to future church planters right now this book would be on the list. of course, that could change in the next chapter, though i doubt it. i’ll post more after i finish it.

my run for the day
distance – 19.0 miles
time – 3:25:30
pace – 10:49/mile
weather – 36º

we are the champions!

it is over
last night was my final curling match for the 2007-08 season. it was the open tournament club championship and yes my team did win. woohoo! we had a great game where everything was clicking. it worked out even better when it turned out that the other team was having the exact opposite kind of night. it was sweet.

by the way, i thought i would also throw y’all another photo. this one is of the almost 20″ small mouth i caught yesterday.
almost over

for people who can't stand church?

has anyone else noticed that most of the churches that say they are “the church for people who don’t like church” are typically doing the same churchy things as everyone else, but with a slightly more contemporary flare? i see this “church for people who don’t like church” catch phrase all over the place. i don’t really think that many churches can honestly use it. i don’t really think that we’ll (tapestry) use that slogan but i do hope we will truly be different from much of what’s around us. i love many of the churches around us but i don’t really want to merely replicate them.