Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can I get a witness...?

So today I witnessed this moment which struck me as profound, but I'm not quite sure why. I'd like to try something out. I'm going to take my best shot at why it may be profound to me, but I'd like to see what this moment speaks into other peoples heads and hearts. So here goes:

This weekend there is this huge garage sale at the church where I work. All week I have been driving the ol' church van around collecting peoples' old junk they don't want so we can sell it. While picking something up today, I noticed something that has happened a few times this week. This woman was donating this plastic tub that is used to create a pond in your yard. You dig a hole, insert the pond, add water, etc. Anyway, the pond was sitting in her garage and as I picked it up to put it in the van, she realized that it was dirty, and she would not let me take it until she cleaned it. It really wasn't even that dirty. It had a few leaves in the bottom, a little dust, no big deal. But she was so worried about donating something that was dirty. Now, I do understand that we are trying to sell these items so people want them to look good, but it's a garage sale. You see this same phenomenon with people who hire maids to clean their house but actually clean themselves to prepare for the maid to come over. What gives? What is the point?

So why did this strike me as profound? The best thing I could come up with is that we, as people, like to hide our dirt. We like to pretend like things aren't so bad. We like to hide our struggles away so we don't trouble others. We like to put on masks (or "a front" if you will) and pretend our lives are squeaky clean. Why do we do this? Why can't we be honest with people? Why can't we admit our messiness to each other and just be comfortable in that? I don't know.

So there are two directions to respond from:
1. Answer any of the questions from that last paragraph. Are people really like this in your experience?
2. What about this story is profound to you? Perhaps it raises other questions in your head/heart? What say you?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shock the senses!

Okay, I've made a big change to my blog and I need your honest input. If you can't tell what the big change is by now, one of four things has happened:

a) You have gone deaf (sorry)
b) Your speakers are off (turn them on)
c)What I tried to do has not worked (no surprise there)
d) You started playing "A Movie Script Ending" by Death Cab for Cutie at the exact same moment you arrived on this page (wow)

There are probably more reasons out there, but hopefully you are hearing some sweet tunes right now. What do you think?

I know that sometimes music can be distracting while you're trying to read or think but I also love music for it's ability to set a mood. That's what this post is about.

Music is so great at setting a mood. So I thought it might be fun to add a playlist to the site and change the first song on the list for each post. Kind of set the mood for each post. That is the goal anyway. Who knows if I will follow through.

The song you are listening to right now is "A Movie Script Ending" by Death Cab for Cutie. This song takes me back a certain place and time and creates a certain mood for me. I first heard this song in the apartment of a friend of a friend. A handful of folks had gathered, some I knew well, some I hardly knew. The room was dim, there were candles, we were just hanging out playing games and having a good time. When this song came on I just realized how good life is and especially how complete great people make life. It was a glimpse of fellowship to perfection for me. So every time I hear this song, that's what I think of.

What songs take you back to a certain time or place and create in you a certain feeling?

Also, what do you think of the music? Should I keep it? Lose it?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In heaven you can eat steak and cows don't have to die.

So I'm reading this book about Heaven by Randy Alcorn, which is pretty interesting. The book takes all its ideas straight from the Bible, which I'm a big fan of. However, he only writes down the references so it takes me about an hour to read a ten page chapter because I'm looking up all the verses. I do admit that the author really stretches some of the verses to end up with his guesses about what heaven will be like so some of the topics are still an "I just don't know" in my mind.

From what I've heard from people in sermons and on cartoons I've always pictured heaven as...well...boring. I think in the back of my head I've always figured heaven would be better than anything I could imagine, but I just can't help this idea that heaven will be this eternal church service, and for a guy who works at a church, services for eternity does not sound appealing to me at all. It's not that I hate church services, it's just that I connect with God best in other ways. But this book paints heaven in a different light. Basically, it says that heaven will be like earth but without sin. Imagine our world with only love and no hate. With only kindness. With only peace. I love it. There is still creativity, discovery, play. Just no bad. I'm pumped!

What do you think heaven will be like?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Fool's Thoughts, Part 1

Though I didn't participate in any Tom Foolery this April Fool's Day I did have a prank played on me. Next week wife and I will be traveling to Colorado for the wedding of a good friend. We will also be reuniting with a bunch of our friends from the year we spent in Oregon. It will be the first time we have seen most of them in a year and a half and we are very excited to see them all. On April Fool's Day one of these friends emailed the whole group saying that he and his wife would not be able to make it due to a volcanic eruption in Alaska (where they live). His wife works for social services in AK and he said the state was pulling employees from all over to help out. Everyone replied back saying how sad they were. No one recognized it was a joke until the end of the day when our friend finally felt so bad about the joke (one girl was brought to tears) that he fessed up. 

This was a good prank, for several reasons. First, there was some serious thought put into to prank. A volcano actually did erupt in Alaska, in fact, it was on the news nation-wide. It seemed plausible that the state would ask our friend to forgo this vacation. Secondly, my friend used the emotion wrapped up in this situation to his advantage. We all have been looking forward to this weekend for months now. We've been emailing back and forth. The fact that we desperately wanted to see everyone helped us overlook the fact that it was April Fool's Day. Thirdly, there was nothing funny about the prank. For some, this may take away the whole fun of pranking. However, because the prank didn't automatically make me feel stupid, I was tricked for longer. Finally, the fact that I'm glad this was a prank makes the fess-up a much better experience. It's much better to find out something isn't true when you didn't want it to be true in the first place. It's a relief! 

My favorite prank I ever played: In college some of my friends had this cardboard cutout of George W. Bush in their apartment. We used to set it up right in front of a door when we knew someone would be walking through it soon. People would freak. out. This one friend of ours (who scares easily as it is) got so rattled that she reflexively threw her keys. I almost soiled myself. Now, there is nothing complicated about this prank, in fact, some may not consider it a prank at all. But it was so fun (except for the person being pranked). 

What is your favorite prank that you have played/have had played on you?