Tuesday, September 30, 2008

one life

I’m in the process of applying to be a substitute teacher and today went to orientation. I was a little nervous just because I didn’t know what to expect but was instantly put at ease when one of my supervisors from my student teaching was also there. She’s also applying to be a sub so it was comforting just to recognize a friendly face. We had to wait in the lobby for a few minutes (I think it was just a control thing) and, similar to the apprentice, the secretary told us we could go on up. We rode up to the 15th floor and then had to wait in the lobby area on that floor (again, a control thing). We were led down a long hallway, made a few turns and filed into a room. I had to stifle a laugh when the person leading the orientation was my former high school principal. It was funny to see him in a different environment. He then informed us that his job today was to tell us of the ugly side of being a substitute. He said 99% of the students will be good as gold but it’s the 1% we have to worry about. He shared things I wish I hadn’t heard but feel like it’s better prepared me for when I do walk into the classroom for the first time. One thing he said that stood out to me is that one of the schools he either taught at or was the principal at, the teachers were challenged to save one student that year; every teacher save just one student. Can you imagine if every teacher today shared that same dream? If every teacher took the time to reach just one student, what an impact that would make on this world. It just blows my mind to think about that fact. What if we all took that to heart, not just educators? What if we all made the point of reaching one person in our workplace or our class or in our family? Changing the world can be as close as the person sitting beside you.

Today’s side of laughter is another blonde joke. I ran across it today and just had to spread the humor.

Two blondes were walking through the woods when they came upon some tracks. The first blonde said, "They're deer tracks." The second blonde said, "No, I think they're bear tracks." Suddenly they were hit by the train.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Why are Mondays so hard to face? Is it because we're forced to accept the fact that the weekend is over and it's time to get back into the routine of school or work? We roll out of bed (much against our will) and stumble around as we try to wake up, muttering that we can't wait for Friday to arrive. The problem with this picture is that we can't live from weekend to weekend.

I'm sitting at work right now, struggling against this mindset. What I really want to do is go home, grab my favorite blanket, find a comfy spot and go back to sleep. Instead I'm doing the responsible thing and am working (please don't mistake that for bragging). I don't look forward to spending the next 3 hours (not counting the 3 I've already spent working) or so filing. Nothing else - just filing. It's a job and I'm thankful but at the same time, I can't help but wonder if watching paint dry or grass grow might be more exciting. Yet I know this is where God wants me. I was presented with the opportunity to turn in my notice in exchange for another job but I don't feel like I'm done here yet. I feel like I'm here for a reason. What reason? Yeah, I'm not quite sure. But I'm trusting God to show me the reason because He does have a plan; He just seems to have a tendency of making me wait to see what it is.

So what do I propose we do to rid ourselves of the Monday mollygrubs? Insert something fun into your day to make it more exciting. Start off by stopping at your favorite fast food jaunt and grab some breakfast (perhaps Chick-fil-A?); splurge and pay for the person behind you (you'd be surprised at how the act can turn your day around or get it off to a good start). For the girls out there, go shopping and treat yourself to a new pair of shoes (I'm sure you can find some reason to justify the purchase). Whatever it is, just do something so you don't find yourself already looking to the end of the day/week when it's only just begun. What am I going to do? I'm going to go heat up some left over pizza and savor the cheesiness in each bite. Mmmm.

Today's side of laughter is some fun things to do when bored.
~ Get a tootsie pop and see how many licks it takes to get to the center.
~ Pretend you aren't bored.
~ Call a wrong number and talk to whoever answers.
~ Have a staring contest with yourself in the mirror.
~ Call your local representative and convince him/her to have lunch with you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Tonight in Xtreme we’re having our worship night. For an hour and a half or so all we’re going to do is worship. It’s an amazing thing to crowd around the stage and with hands lifted praise God. I think one of the most important things when going into a night like this is the level of expectation. We need to have the confidence that God will move and prepare ourselves for that before we even get there. I was thinking back to the forty days before we left for camp this summer and how we witnessed some amazing things in those services. There were several nights when we had unexpected ‘worship nights’ in that all we did was worship; the schedule for the night out the window. God met us there and people’s lives were changed. We then went to camp and that first night we had the most amazing service. We did nothing but worship for two hours. Everything we had sacrificed during those forty days and the prayers lifted up concluded with that night. It exceeded my expectations and what transpired during those two hours was something that will forever be etched in my mind. So we returned from camp and I can’t help but realize that we’ve not experienced God like we did prior to and during those four days. I think our level of expectation has dropped because we’re all busy with school and work and…life. Yet we can’t just fall back into a routine and wait for camp next year before we have an encounter with God. We need to go into every service with the anticipation that God will have His way and we’ll walk out different than when we walked in. Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed" (Message). When we ask God to do something, He promises to move so if we want to experience Him, all we have to do is ask.

Today’s side of laughter is some fun things to do in church (though I’m not responsible should anyone actually try these :-)
~ Slap your neighbor. See if they turn the other cheek. If not, raise your hand and tell the pastor.
~ By unobtrusively drawing your arms up into your sleeves, turn your shirt around backwards.
~ Start from the back of the church and try to crawl all the way to the front, under the pews, without being noticed (this couldn’t work in my church since there aren’t pews but I’d love to see it done).
~ Raise your hand and ask for permission to go to the rest room.
~ Sit close to the front, and during the prayer, turn around backwards, point, and count softly how many people do not have their heads bowed and eyes closed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

remember when?

I’m still in a nostalgic mood so I want to look back on the 90’s once more, highlighting movies, food, and toys that will spark a memory in all those reading.

Braveheart (1995)
City of Angels (1998)
Clueless (1995)
Cool Runnings (1993)
Forest Gump (1994)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Titanic (1997)
Toy Story (1995)
While You Were Sleeping (1995)

~ Dunkaroos (kangaroo-shaped graham crackers with frosting – these were my favorite!)
~ Munch ‘ems (I loved the cheese flavor)
~ Surge (combination of Mello Yello and Sprite – it was amazing)
~ Chiclets gum (I loved the tiny ones the best)
~ Ouch Bandaids gum (they came in a metal case; I think that was my favorite part)

~ Cabbage Patch dolls (I still have mine somewhere – her name is Emily)
~ Cupcake dolls
~ Sally Secrets doll
~ Starla doll (I used to put on shows for the rest of my family with Starla – we were a team)
~ Easy Bake Oven
~ Water Babies (I used to have one but had to throw it away when the water inside got all nasty; very traumatic experience throwing my baby away)
~ Quints dolls (oh, I loved playing with these!)
~ Talk Boy tape recorder (I used to have one - I felt just like Kevin from Home Alone 2)
~ Nintendo (I loved to play Paperboy)
~ Game boy (the original, awkward one)
~ Polly Pocket (the original, compact-looking ones – I have a container full of these somewhere)

Today’s side of laughter is a commercial for Skip It. Please take note of the outfits the kids are wearing – typical 90’s.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I'm very excited about tonight. Today is the release of the new movie, Fireproof. A ton of people from my church are flooding a local theater to watch the movie and I will be in that crowd. I was watching Dr. Phil yesterday and Kirk Cameron was on the show, promoting the movie. Though God wasn't mentioned as being one of the keys to a successful marriage, Dr. Phil talked about ways for couples to stay together instead of giving up. One line from the movie that I really like and that Dr. Phil brought up is that for a marriage to be fireproof doesn't mean it won't ever come up against any fires; it means that when the fires do come, it will be able to withstand them. I think that can apply to not just marriage but our lives as well. The Christian walk (and life in general) is not easy. We will have the choice to either walk through various fires or run and hide, refusing to move forward. Having a firm faith in God ensures that when we are faced with those fires, we can make it through unscathed. It's like in the Bible when Rack, Shack and Benny (Veggietale version) were thrown in the fire and came out not even smelling like smoke. That's what I want. I want to be able to stand up against whatever life throws at me and walk out of it not even smelling like 'smoke.'

Today's side of laughter is a blonde joke (though I know not all blondes are, shall we say, naive? I personally know several who are incredibly smart and just plain awesome! Carly, you're one of those :-)

Three blondes are in an elevator when the elevator suddenly stops and the lights go out. They try using their cell phones to get help, but have no luck. Even the phones are out. After a few hours of being stuck with no help in sight, one blonde says to the others "I think the best way to call for help is by yelling together." The others agree with the first, so they all inhale deeply and begin to yell loudly "Together, together, together."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

looking back

I’m using the transition to fall as a time for reflection. I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing lately; just thinking back to music and tv that were a part of my growing up years. I was on youtube watching intros to some of those shows, having ‘kid on Christmas morning’ moments when I would see a show that I had completely forgotten about! It’s so fun to look back and remember; it seems like it was so long ago but at the same time, it doesn’t. Life is short. We need to enjoy every second of it – there are no do over’s. Life seemed much less complicated back then and I think we can somehow hold onto some of that innocence when we do take the time to remember. So while looking back is sometimes necessary, we can’t become stuck in the past, refusing to move forward. I once came across the quote, “Our eyes are placed in front because it’s more important to look ahead than to look back.” So enjoy remembering these shows but don’t forget to look forward; you might miss your rowboat (see Sunday’s post).

Angry Beavers
Captain Planet
Hey Arnold!
Rocko’s Modern Life

All That
Caitlin’s Way
California Dreams
Charles in Charge
Clarissa Explains It All
Hang Time
Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper
Hey Dude
Pete & Pete
Salute Your Shorts
Saved by the Bell
The Secret World of Alex Mack
Sister Sister
USA High
Welcome Freshmen

Game Shows
Double Dare
Figure It Out
Wild & Crazy Kids

My side of laughter is the theme song for California Dreams. Take a trip back to the 90’s and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


No, I didn’t hit random keys when writing the title. SYATP stands for See You at the Pole, a day set aside for students around the country to join together and pray at their flag pole. I participated this morning, going to a local school not as a student but as a youth leader, offering my support to the courageous students willing to get up early to come to school to pray. It’s so cool to watch students not only coming together to pray but to lead the event as well. People can take the Ten Commandments out of the schools and try to remove God from the pledge of allegiance (to a country which was founded by men who served Him – how much sense does that make?) but the one thing they can’t do is stop us from gathering to pray. They can’t stop us from crying out to God on behalf of a country that seeks to separate itself from Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land” (Amplified). Kudos to all those who crawled out of bed when it was still dark this morning to humble themselves before God.

Today’s side of laughter is some more bad pick up lines (to all the girls reading this, may we never fall for such cheesy lines).
~ “Can I have directions?” “To where?” “To your heart.”
~ (Close hand with nothing inside and give it to her) “It’s my breath from when you took it away” (open hand while saying this).
~ “Excuse me, I think you have something in your eye. Nope, it’s just a sparkle.”
~ “Hi, I’m Mr. Right. Someone said you were looking for me.”
~ “It’s not my fault I fell in love. You’re the one that tripped me.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I mentioned yesterday that I've been reminiscing lately. In keeping with that, this post is a look at songs from those days gone by. The other night a friend and I were talking about music we used to listen to growing up and we had several "oh my gosh!" moments when one would bring up a song/artist the other had forgotten about. Please join me on a stroll down memory lane.

All Together Separate ~ Paradigm (1999)
Anointed ~ Under the Influence (1996)
Audio Adrenaline ~ Big House (1995)
Margaret Becker ~ Keep My Mind (1993) & Deep Calling Deep (1995)
Bob Carlisle ~ Getting Stronger (1993)
Steven Curtis Chapman ~ More to This Life (1989) & For the Sake of the Call (1990)
Clay Crosse ~ I Surrender All (1993) & He Walked a Mile (1997)
DC Talk ~ Jesus Is Just Alright (1992) & Jesus Freak (1995)
Bryan Duncan ~ Strollin’ On the Water (1998)
Imperials ~ I Listen to the Trumpet of Jesus (1998)
Jars of Clay ~ Flood (1995) & Love Song for a Savior (1995)
Cheri Keaggy ~ My Faith Will Stay (1995)
Wes King ~ Common Creed (1995) & Simplify (1997)
Scott Krippayne ~ Sometimes He Calms the Storm (1995) & Wild Imagination (1995)
Greg Long ~ How Long (1994) & Jesus Saves (1998)
Newsboys ~ Shine (1996) & Entertaining Angels (1998)
Out of Eden ~ More than You Know (1996)
Twila Paris ~ God Is in Control (1994)
Petra ~ No Doubt (1995)
Phillips, Craig & Dean ~ Crucified with Christ (1995)
Point of Grace ~ I’ll Be Believing (1993)
Seven Day Jesus ~ Butterfly (1997)
Michael W. Smith ~ Place In this World (1990)
Kathy Troccoli ~ Everything Changes (1991) & Go Light Your World (1995)

Please add what songs you remember for this is only a handful of artists and songs.

Today’s side of laughter is the music video for Butterfly. Whenever I hear this song, I’m taken back to when I was in youth. It would be blaring through the speakers while we played pool or fuseball or just sat around (and thought we were so cool). Good times, good times.

Monday, September 22, 2008

happy fall

Since today is the first day of fall, I thought I’d welcome it by dedicating a post to it. Fall is my favorite season. I love it because it brings cooler weather and the leaves change. Never will you see more brilliant shades of colors than in the leaves that will soon litter the ground. I also feel like with a new weather season comes a new season in our own lives. I think once fall rolls around, most of us have finally established a routine after the whole back to school thing and are faithfully chugging along down life’s road. While I view fall as being a spring board for a fresh start others may view it as the closing of a another chapter in life. With the trees losing their leaves and plants no longer blooming, I can understand that perspective. Kind of like looking at the glass as half-full verses half-empty. But I think if we take that standpoint, as fall being the beginning of an end, how can we possibly have an optimistic outlook? It would seem to me that such a mentality would color everything else around us, putting it in a downcast light. We need to enjoy each day and take it for the gift it is. If the truth be told, each day is a new beginning so we don’t need to wait for a new season to inspire us to turn over a new leaf (little fall humor).

And, for the “with a side of laughter.” Worst pick-up lines:
~ “See this pin? I want to prick you with it to see if you truly do bleed sunshine.”
~ “You’re ugly but you intrigue me.”
~ “I may not be the best looking guy here but I’m the only one talking to you.”
~ “If you were a new burger at McDonald’s, you’d be McGorgeous.”
~ “You must be tired because you’ve been running through my head all night.”
~ “Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk past again?”

Sunday, September 21, 2008


It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. "Climb in!" shouted a man in the boat. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. "No," replied the man on the roof. "I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me." So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. "Heavenly Father," he said, "I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?" God gave him a puzzled look, and replied "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

Today I realized something; when you ask God to do something, you better expect Him to move. No, He may not move in the way you thought He would but He will do something. We can’t be so close-minded that we’re unwilling to recognize when God may be trying to do something in our lives. We can’t overlook the ‘rowboats’ because we refuse to believe that God won’t answer us exactly the way we expect Him to. Matthew 21:22 says, “And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive” (Amplified). How much sense does it make to ask God for something but then not expect He’ll do it? It’s like asking our parents for something but knowing they won’t give it to us. Why even bother asking? When we go to God, we need to have faith enough that He’ll answer and be receptive enough to realize when He does answer us.

Today’s side of laughter is a clip from The Office. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

unaware hero

Do you have certain memories of people who stand out as helping shape your childhood? Without knowing it, they forever impacted your life? I was able to be a bystander to such an event. A few weeks ago, I was at church on a Friday night, helping with childcare for an event. At one point we took the kids into the gym, letting them burn off some energy (thinking that might tire them out – yeah, not really). An almost 13 year-old I like to call Chester was also at the church. I asked if he would be willing to come and play with the oldest boy there, who was around 11. Having such a wide range of ages (kids from 3 years up to 12), he was a little out of the loop being one of the older kids amid toddlers and other "little ones". Chester agreed to come into the gym, grabbing a football and tossing it back and forth with the boy (my brother will do this with his friends for hours and I’ve yet to understand the appeal – must be a guy thing). What stands out to me is the look on the little boy’s face when Chester asked if he wanted to play. This was a kid who tried to act tougher than he was but was secretly excited to have a 7th grader befriending him. I think we all have those instances where we just want someone to look past the tough, confident exterior we may exhibit. We try to be brave but in reality, our world could be crumbling apart, bits and pieces slipping through our fingers. Though this moment may not make an indelible mark on the boy’s memory, it will forever stand out to me. Witnessing such a scene makes me want to leave lasting impressions on all those I meet. We all have the capabilities of being a hero to someone, simply by taking the time to care.

Today’s side of laughter is more fun things to do…not at the workplace but at the grocery store.
~ While arguing with an invisible friend, proceed to play tug-of-war over an item.
~ When the clerk in the deli asks for your order, mime it.
~ Ask if anyone has seen your pet snake – he was just in your pocket a minute ago.
~ Look for someone holding a jar of honey; explain it’s actually bee vomit.
~ Stand in front of the ice cream freezer, look intently at it, and scream intermittently.

Friday, September 19, 2008

fine print

Have you ever panicked over a situation only to realize you overlooked something or just hadn't been given the latest update? I was just looking over the syllabus for my very last class in my graduate program (I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief right now) and wanted to cry when realizing there are nine pages of assignments with at least five or more activities on each one. It was then I flipped to the page with guidelines (that I had completely overlooked the first time) and read that I only have to choose one activity from each page, giving me nine to complete instead of…well, a lot more than nine. Though this is just one example, I tend to do this a lot. Either I'll make a judgment before getting all the facts and then feel lower than dirt when I realize how quick I was to react or I'll say something before thinking it through (because I'm usually in the moment and will say the first thing that pops into my head - not always a good idea) and have the need to put my foot in my mouth (which does not taste very good). I don't take the time to read the fine print, if you will, and get all the facts before jumping to conclusions. This can also apply to our walk with God. When it seems to us that God is hesitating in answering our prayers, we revert to throwing a temper tantrum, complete with foot stomping. We may utter things such as, "God, don't You hear me? Where are You?" or "In Your word it says to ask whatever we desire in Your name so why haven't You answered me?" We neglect to read the fine print. We can't understand why in the world He wouldn't answer us the second He hears our prayers. Don't we know more than God? Um….no. Learning God's timing truly is perfect is a hard lesson because it usually involves experiencing waiting in order to fully grasp the concept. Ultimately it comes down to trusting that God knows what He's doing (I mean, He is God) and follow Psalms 16:9 which says, "rest in hope." Is leaving things with God easy? Yeah, that'd be a big no. But who better to leave them with than the One who cares the most about you? That's what I thought.

My side of laughter for today is some more fun things to do in the workplace:
~ Don't use any punctuation.
~ Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you're doing. For example, "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom, in Stall #3."
~ Adjust the tint on your monitor so that the brightness level lights up the entire work area. Insist to others that you like it that way.
~ Move your desk into the elevator and ask anyone that comes in if they have an appointment.
~ Change your accent every three minutes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

find your place

At my church we're in the midst of Find Your Place. For those not familiar with FYP (it's fun to throw around the lingo), this is the time for members to renew their commitments to the areas they're currently serving in or to get involved for the first time. For the past two weeks, my pastor has stood from the pulpit and stressed the importance of serving. What I love the most about serving is the fact that I get blessed out of it as well as the person I'm serving. Isn't it just like God to allow us to benefit from putting someone else first? Galatians 5:13 says, "…through love serve one another." By serving, we take the focus off of us and place it on someone else. I find it so easy to only think about me and my problems, what I'm going through and what I want. Me, me, me! But by shifting my attention from me to someone else, not only am I helping another person but I'm not thinking about me. Ghandi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." We can serve others in countless ways be it through open acts of kindness or those done in secret. I always think the latter is more fun (though by no means any more important) because the recipient doesn't know who helped them or whatever; just that someone cared enough to do something. Imagine if we all engaged in a kind act every day? How much better off would we be? I know there have been days when I'll think about it and realize I didn't do anything nice for someone else. Something as seemingly insignificant as opening the door for another person could make all the difference for that person. After all, with one act, Jesus hung on the cross, offering the ultimate example of serving another; in fact, He served the whole world. I think I can manage to hold the door for someone, how about you?

Today's side of laughter are some fun things to do in the workplace:
~ Page yourself on the intercom; don't disguise your voice.
~ Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them one day after your boss. This is especially effective if your boss is the opposite gender.
~ Put mosquito netting around your cubicle; play jungle music.
~ Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.
~ As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

belly buttons

Ok, since the video I included yesterday was titled "Belly Buttons" that got me to thinking. What are belly buttons for? What purpose do they serve? My findings have turned out to be quite interesting. Belly buttons serve as the means to which babies in the womb receive nourishment via the umbilical cord. That cord is the lifeline between mother and child and the belly button is a reminder of that. Once a baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut; a little piece is left that will eventually fall off. When this piece does fall off, it leaves a tiny scar, otherwise known as a belly button. I was unable to find a logical reason for the whole innie versus outtie debate although I did read that innies are more common and only about 10% of people have outties.

I then wondered about Adam and Eve. Since neither was physically born, did they have belly buttons? Apparently they didn't because that would imply something not true and God's not a liar. I found an interesting explanation of Adam and Eve's lack of belly button. "Lack of a belly-button on Adam and Eve would be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the pre-Flood world, as the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren would come up and say, "Why don't you have a belly-button?" And they could recount again and again, to generation after generation, how God had created them special by completed supernatural acts, and yet had designed them to multiply and fill the Earth in natural ways that are equally a part of God's continuing care for what He created." I have to wonder if they freaked out when Cain and Abel were born and both had belly buttons while they didn't. I think it's so cool the extent God goes to in order to show His greatness. He cares so much about us, down to our belly button.

My side of laughter today is some letters written to God by kids. These will surely put a smile on your face.
~ Dear God – did you mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
~ Dear God – in Bible times, did they really talk that fancy?
~ Dear God – if You watch in church on Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes.
~ Dear God – are You really invisible or is that just a trick?
~ Dear God – I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that ok?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

veggie lessons

Though some argue that Veggie Tales are just for kids, I beg to differ. Yes, the presentation is geared towards younger audiences but the lessons are applicable to any age. I recently watched “Moe and the Big Exit,” a retelling of the story of Moses but as a western. Let me list a few differences between the Biblical version and this one:
~ Moses is depicted as a cucumber named Moe
~ Instead of killing an Egyptian, Moe pushes one of his brothers’ off a cliff into a river; ‘wanted’ posters are plastered all over the town, offering reward for Moe’s capture
~ When in the desert, God appears to Moe through a burning tumbleweed
~ Moe doesn’t stay away 40 years; when he returns, he’s wearing a black mask and referred to as the ‘Lone Stranger’
~ Moe’s rod is a stick of wood he calls ‘Sliver’
~ Moe rides back into town on a buffalo named Zippy

What I love about the movie is the message. At the end, Moe’s wife Sally tells him, “Moe, you did it!” Moe answers, “Nah, I just followed God’s plans.” Moe recognized that on his own, he was nowhere near capable of leading his people out of Dodgeball City; it was only through God working through him that he was able to obey. Our college group was discussing how God uses everyday people to accomplish His plans and an interesting point was brought up about Moses. Someone said that Moses didn’t become teachable until he was in the desert. It took him 40 years to unlearn everything he already knew and for him to be at the place where God could use him. We’re like Moe. We have many flaws and imperfections yet God can still use us if we’re willing. The amazing thing about our obedience is that when we do say yes, God comes in and fills in the gaps between our inadequacies and His perfection, allowing us to complete what He’s asked of us. Something else to think about. My pastor has said that for Moses to see the burning bush, he had turn from the path he was on. It wasn’t until he did so that God started talking. Had Moses kept walking, God wouldn’t have spoken. The next time you encounter a burning bush (or tumbleweed, whatever the case may be) don’t be too busy to turn away and see what God wants to tell you; you just might be surprised.

And, for the “with a side of laughter.” Since the inspiration for this post came from Veggie Tales, here’s the music video for the song “Belly Button” performed by Boyz in the Sink. Enjoy.

Monday, September 15, 2008

is it worth it?

I am absolutely in love with a new song called “Love is Not a Fight” by Warren Barfield. The song is from the soundtrack for the new movie “Fireproof;” a movie about a firefighter who must decide if his struggling marriage is worth trying to salvage. The song talks about love not being a fight but being worth fighting for. I think too many people today see marriage as being a trial situation. If things don’t work out, just get a divorce and find another spouse. I don’t want to come across as too preachy but what about the commitment to “love, honor, and cherish until death do us part”? Is there an escape clause I’m unaware of? I just feel like love and marriage are viewed as ‘phases,’ if you will, that we can move in and out of as easily as we slip on and off a pair of shoes. I understand there are grounds for divorce but how many Hollywood couples do we hear about that divorce after only a few months due to “irreconcilable differences”? I think marriage should be based on commitment because love can fade. However, if committed to each other, a marriage can last because the husband and wife are willing to work to keep the marriage strong and labor to rekindle the love that once burned brightly.

This concept can be applied to other areas of our lives. We all have dreams and desires that are so special to us but when we hit a brick wall, we abandon any hope of achieving them. If a dream is worth fighting for, we’ll not rest until we’ve attained it. We can’t give up just because things don’t go as we plan. We can’t let circumstances dictate how we’ll react in a given situation. The fact of the matter is that life isn’t always going to be easy but doesn’t that make the victories all the more sweeter? 2 Corinthians 1:5 says, “We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too” (Message). My point is that when we really want something, the desire so strong it’s an ache, we can’t give up just because life doesn’t cooperate. We can’t be afraid to step out because we may fail or fall flat on our face. Anything worth having is worth fighting for.

And, for the “with a side of laughter.” Here are some things we wouldn’t know if not for the movies:
~ The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any part of the building you want without difficulty.
~ You’re very likely to survive any battle unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
~ Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language; a German accent will do.
~ A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
~ If someone says, “I'll be right back”…they won't.
~ Computer monitors never display a cursor on the screen but always say: Enter Password Now.
~ A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
~ If you decide to start dancing in the street everyone around you will automatically be able to mirror all the steps you come up with and hear the music in your head.

Here's the music video for the song "Love Is Not a Fight." Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

red lights

I once read that Americans will spend six months of their life sitting at red lights…waiting. That’s over 4,000 hours that we’ll spend just sitting! Imagine how much more productive we could be if we had those 4,000 hours to do other things. If you think about it, a large portion of our lives revolves around waiting. We wait in line at the drive thru, wait in line at the store, wait in line to use the bathroom, wait in line to use a dressing room; we wait when early for an appointment, we wait when others are running late, we wait to be seated at a restaurant and then wait to order our food and to get it. We wait for that new movie to be released, we wait for that expected letter in the mail, we wait for a special holiday to arrive, that promised phone call – we wait, we wait and then we wait some more! We also wait on God. We wait for Him to reveal His plans to us and we wait on Him to answer our prayers. Yet I’ve learned that we can’t merely do nothing while we wait. It was once pointed out to me that the word ‘wait’ is a verb, implying action. Waiting doesn’t mean we put our lives on hold until everything is aligned perfectly. Waiting means going through our day-to-day routines and in the back of our minds, we’re eagerly waiting in anticipation for that thing we desire. We can’t allow ourselves to become so wrapped up in waiting that we miss out on what’s right before us. If we are constantly saying, “Oh, I can’t wait for _________” then we’re wishing away the now in exchange for the later. We don’t want to wake up one day and ask ourselves, “Where did the time go?” We only have one shot at this thing called life and we don’t need to spend it living from big event to big event. In between those big events are little events called life and we need to savor those like our next breath.

I want to end each entry with something funny, hence the "with a side of laughter." We were talking about Chuck Norris the other day and here are some facts you may not know:
~ If you have five dollars and Chuck Norris has five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you.
~ There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris' computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
~ Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.
~ Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip.
~ Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table because he only recognizes the element of surprise.