Monday, February 26, 2007

When Everything Goes Wrong...

I know people have said before that "everything" goes wrong in some big sweeping generality when in reality they only had one or two things go wrong, but here's my list for our student ministry tonight...

~got there late
~a booking mistake caused us to have no chairs
~Jon's guitar didn't work
~Stephen's guitar didn't work
~James' bass almost didn't work, but took time to figure out the problem
~sound problems
~Liz borrowed my keys, they were gone when I needed in my office
~the DVD we watched during hang out time didn't work (cut out after 15 min, supposed to be 30)
~the opening cover song I couldn't see my music and read the wrong line
~I forgot to take our offering for our Compassion Children
~the game caused blood
~the game also had a lack of listening to adults
~during worship someone well intentioned decided to help "fix" the sound and made things worse
~the computer stopped working, but fixed itself (thankfully)
~I was the speaker at youth (that's not good any day)
~for our small group discussion time, there was no female leader, so I got to talk about sex... with the girls
~we went long
~I forgot an announcement
~we knocked out a light during After Hours playing soccer

And you know what's amazing? We lived through it. It all went okay. No one died. People learned something. We had 18 people sign up for the summer mission trips. People learned and talked about sexual purity. It was a great night. Except for one more thing...

~no one said "hi" to a visiting student

I'll be honest, having nothing work was absolutely horrible. It sucked. I wish it would never happen again. But, I would be willing to have it happen every single week as long as that last one were solved, permanently.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Can't We Tell The Truth?

Last night we didn't have Drink Deep (our student ministry program) because of the holidays, so for the first time in a long time I was at home watching TV last night with Lorie. We watched "Without A Trace", a missing persons show I really like but rarely ever get to see.

But here's something that I've started to know about the show. Something that really irritates me. Every show needs some sort of plot twist, we all know this. But with them, it always involves someone they're interviewing lying. Almost every single time. Someone has to lie, then the lie is discovered, they save the person, on to next week.

So here's what's been eating at me. Why do people have to lie? I mean really, how much simpler would it be if people simply told the truth? I like watching court shows too and I notice how many people get caught in lies there. And I'm not talking about differing points of view or different takes of the same event. I mean out and out flat lying. Why do we need to do it? Why can't we just own up to our mistakes? Why do we always blame something else? Why do we lie causing others pain just to cover our own butts?

So take a second and do two things. One, think of how many lies you told today. I mean every little one ("I'm fine" when you're not, all of them). It can be quite the list. Then two, think of what the world would be like if absolutely no one lied. Everyone told the truth. We wouldn't need lawyers...

"No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to one another, because we are all members together in the body of Christ." ~Eph. 4:25


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Why I Love Sports...

The biggest reason, I cannot predict them. I'm the kind of guy who has an iPod that is always on random. I like surprise twists. I watch shows like 24 because they actually would kill a repeat character (I hate knowing that people will survive because they have a two season contract). I love to play them, but when watching, it's the spectacular finishes I focus on.

It was pretty bad today. Lorie was sitting with me on the couch, kind of "eh" at first, then changing channels to see what was going on before I could!

Starters, Penguins Capitals hockey game. There is one major reason I love soccer and hockey over football, baseball, basketball, etc. Those other sports, the last 5 minutes are fouls, timeouts, ball spikes, pitching changes, anything to go slower. Hockey and soccer, the last five minutes people work harder and play gets more exciting. Today, Pittsburgh up 3-1, Caps pull the goalie with 2 minutes left, score a squeaker with a minute to go. They came just short of tieing the game (they got a shot of with a second left!).

With that over, we flipped to Nascar. Now, I can't watch cars go in a circle for four hours, but when I saw a yellow flag with 2 laps to go, I knew there was going to be a huge heap of cars together for the last lap, something close, and of course, a crazy major accident! I wasn't disappointed. Wrecks, guys driving in the grass, one car upside down and on fire (nice!) and of course, the photo finish where Havrick literally beats Martin (who was leading the whole time) by inches. By this point, Lorie's yelling at the TV not believing the poor guy in first this whole time lost... again...

But, that was cut short by golf. Yes, golf. How exciting can it get? Not very, but when you have Mickelson miss up close to allow Howell to force a playoff, it gets a little more interesting. Then, have them tie three times, in the middle, Howell hit a shot so bad it actually came to rest on the sidewalk (I've hit the sidewalk, never had it stop there), looking like he's going to lose, just so Mickelson can miss again and eventually lose to a guy who hasn't won a PGA tour in 5 years.

I mean really, you can't write that stuff and make it seem believable. Only in sports...


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who's To Blame?

So I'm reading an old paperback novel about airplanes, good story, and in the middle something happens that gets me thinking. There's an airplane with engine failure, smoke comes out, people scared, etc. Of course, everyone blames the manufacturer of the airplane. And the people who make the plane are furious. Why?

It's not their fault.

Of course, that sounds like a cop out. Plane one fire, must be the people who made the plane. Blame Boeing. But they made an interesting point. Most people don't know this, but industrial engines are very rarely made by the company that makes the machine. To give you an idea, for the plane, Boeing would make the plane, but not the engines. They would buy some other company's engine (like Rolls Royce) and have them installed on the plane. So really, the plane manufacturers are right. It's not their fault, but they'll take the heat for it.

To make it a little easier to understand, imagine you're driving your car. In my case a nice little Geo. I've been driving it for a year. Suddenly a tire bursts. Does Geo make the tires? No, of course not. You'd have Firestone or Goodyear on it. The tire could burst for any number of reasons. Bad road, old tires (they don't last forever), even on the off chance faulty tires. So should I yell at Geo for making a bad car? No. It wasn't their fault.

And this is what happens in the airplane business. They get blamed for parts that break that are not their fault. They take the brunt of all the accusations, stocks fall, people don't fly as much (for a bit) all based on the a part failing that was not the airline maker's fault. Heck, the airline maker doesn't even get to choose what engines are put in. They buyer of the aircraft does that. So really, they have no blame whatsoever.

Yet they pay for it.

But this is what got me thinking. Do we do that to God? Traffic's really bad and we slept in already, late for work. "God, why are You punishing me?" Someone steals your wallet. "How could You do this to me God?" We eat cheese puffs all day and get sick. "God, I don't deserve this. Why are You letting this happen to me?" Is it really His fault?

But then again, when we actually do something right, when we get the new job, when a new life is born, when miracles happen, who do we generally give the credit to...?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

National Youth Workers Convention

So I was busy this last weekend helping with Group Magazine and Doug Field's NYWC Conference. Of course, I was there to learn stuff, so here's some I got, either by design of the conference or by accident by being me.

~People can generally be really, really nice.
~You never know the whole story (I may give more on this later...).
~Churches of 16 000 have the same problems as ours.
~Cold affects different people different ways.
~Best line of the conference, "No Ringy, No Thingy" (you can figure out what that's for).
~Wal-Mart is never near downtown.
~It costs less to give it away than to ship it home, we got so much free stuff (thank you everyone!!!).
~A little spark of excitement can lead to a huge fire.
~People appreciate the little things.
~Busy-ness is not something to be proud of.
~Teenagers are incredibly fun, and are the people who work with them.
~People who seem to have every right to be exclusive can and are very humble and quite friendly.

I'm sure there's more, I may edit and add some, but there's some food for thought. Thanks to everyone who made it a great weekend!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Quick Thought Before Bed

I was about to go to sleep and was reading something that I thought I should say really quick (it'll be short).

I was reading about Harry Houdini, the infamous escape artist. You know, he would tie himself up, put himself in a safe, then toss it into water and somehow he'd get out. Amazing. Well, I was actually reading a list of famous people and their fears (phobias really). Houdini was on the list.

He was scared of tight spaces.

Harry Houdini, the guy who got locked in a trunk on a regular basis voluntarily so he could perform was scared of tight spaces. And yet, every night, he did because he found out he had a gift and he couldn't keep it quiet.

What would have happened if he had given up the first time he tried because of his fear?

Are there things you don't do because you're afraid? Spreading God's Word, speaking in front of people, maybe even helping with teenagers (gasp!). Maybe you don't know it yet, but you're good at it. Really good. As in Houdini good.

Are you going to let a little phobia stop you from being as good at whatever it is God wants you to do as Harry Houdini was at escaping?

Stephen read it Friday at McPrayer (at least I think this was it, I'm kinda tired). "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13.


Monday, February 05, 2007

The Colts Did It

It's finally happened. The Colts are the Super Bowl Champions. They are it. The winners.

And Coach Dungy finally has his Super Bowl winning team. You gotta hand it to the guy, he's been waiting a long time for this. And yet, in the midst of his win, in the height of his glory, what did he say? All the news stories are running how an African-American coach won the game, but he added more...

"I'm proud to be the first African-American coach to win this," Dungy said during the trophy ceremony. "But again, more than anything, Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord's way. We're more proud of that."

Wait a minute, what was that? But that's not all he said...

"The Lord doesn't always take you in a straight line," Dungy said. "He tests you sometimes."

In a sport that seems to focus so much on "me", all the big hype, the end zone dances, the"look at how great I am" attitude, the announcers are looking to the sidelines and mentioning how Dungy never raises his voice and has never cursed or swore on the football field because of his faith.

That's a man I'm proud to see hoist the Lombardi Trophy.


(both quutes from AOL Sports)