Monday, July 31, 2006

The Most Bestest Breakfast Ever

I must agree with the narrator about the appropriateness of the breakfast selection.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Truth In Advertising

Church marquees I'd like to see:

  • "It would be nice to have your soul, but we'll settle for your money"
  • "Half of the sincerity, and none of the comfort"
  • "We dilute the gospel to keep you in attendance"
  • "We don't wear vestments, we wear sheep's clothing"
  • "We don't need no stinkin creeds"
and, drum roll please:
  • "We don't believe in preaching about sin"
Any to add???

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Measuring Sticks

How do you measure success? It probably depends on the vocation.

I am in the process of leaving a job where "success" was attained if you lasted longer than your predecessor. This is not a good measuring stick, no better than someone saying they hope their new marriage lasts longer than their last one.

I am grateful that I don't have to measure "success" in my faith. I don't check whether I gave enough in the offering plate, whether I serve on enough committees, or whether I checked off the box that says I read my devotion for the day. I don't notch my Bible (or click on websites) - like some people notch their bedpost - when I'm "touching" people.

Eeew, I said "touch".

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He paid the price once and for all - for me, of all people. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Lighter Fare (Fun, Too!)

"I wanna put on
my, my, my, my, my boogie shoes"
Boogie Shoes, KC and the Sunshine Band

Yes, it's the moment you've all been waiting for. Running in Circles is playing at the Boneyard in Broadview Hts. this Saturday. For those of you unfamiliar with us, we are an 80s, 90s, and today rock/pop/dance band. (Okay, so we have a handful of 70s songs, too.) We'd love to see you at the Boneyard. The food is good, and the music is great!!!

What might you hear?
A little Killers
Some Franz Ferdinand
A dose of Go Gos
Retro punk from the Ramones
A bit of B52s
Some olde Modern English
A hit of The Knack
We might even pull out Play That Funky Music, Let's Get It Stared and Jungle Boogie. Who knows???

We will start around 10:00pm. The Boneyard is located at the corner of Royalton Rd. and Broadview Rd.

See you there!

Friday, July 21, 2006

This Just In...A Very Special PSA For You

The non-profit organization Devoted Americans with Maternal Notions wants to make everyone in Amerikka aware of a very serious addiction that is just starting to affwict many voters, er, Amerikkans. This disease is called Bloggers Overdose. Primarily, it affwicts politically conservative bloggers and blog readers.

We, at D.A.M.N., are starting a call to arms (not the 2nd amendment type, that would be awful) to warn everyone about this very serious disease. Warning signs are:

  • Dissatisfaction with public skouls
  • Hatred of NYT editors
  • Reduced viewership of all news programs not sponsored by FOX (gosh, how we hated writing this bullet)

Before this becomes a national epidemic, D.A.M.N. recommends that the government begin a national awareness program, and start levying fines on any conservative blog garnering more than one hit per day. We believe that, by doing so, we can eliminate the conservative bloggers - oops, we mean eliminate the problem - or gain enough in fines to fund the Democratic Party without the assistance of MoveOff.orq.

As always, we are only concerned with your well being.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"How Will Things Be?"

Several years ago, I wrote a song in a moment (okay, several days) of introspection, brought on by a number of things:

  • the Engineer having poked me in the eye, causing me to wear an eye patch for a week and lose my peripheral vision
  • remembering a financial analyst talk about having people practice being older - putting on opaque glasses, implements to make the surface area of their fingers and thumbs bigger, etc. - so they learn how difficult things will get
  • the start of discussions about the evils of contemporary worship (or, as Mrs. Quipper calls it, "disposable worship")

It is called "How Will Things Be?" I decided to post this based on a variety of posts and comments I've read on blogs over the last couple of days. (Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT A HYMN - so don't tell me it doesn't accomplish the 4, 5, or 6 things a good Lutheran Hymn should accomplish. Thank you, I had to get that out of my system.)

How Will Things Be?

I’m sorry, can you please repeat
Those words you last said to me,
My attention was taken away.
Didn’t mean to ignore you,
My concentration is not what it used to
Be in my younger days.

Never thought we’d see this day,
Life was simple way back then,
I remember way back in
Those days I was a younger man
Acting like I was invincible,
Trying to delay the inevitable, and

How will things be when it’s just you and me,
And all that we have are the hymns and the creeds of our youth.
When the lights start to dim and the memory fades,
Will we hang onto our lives or keep faith in the Word?

I’m sorry but this cannot be
How’d my eyes fail to see
What you had given to me?
It all used to be so clear
Now I can’t see anything far or near.
How do I get through the day?

Words are failing me again.
Always on the tip of my tongue,
But now I cannot find a one
To say what’s on my mind today.
Forgetting all the things I want to say, and
All the friends I’ve had along the way, and


I’m sorry that it ends like this,
So many things that we’ll miss
When we are called back home.
This should be a joyous day
I don’t know if I’ll be okay
Can I make it on my own?

I wish you were by my side.
But I cannot change a thing
But, my love, I still believe
That I will be with you again
One day soon, in paradise, be-
Cause the scales had fallen from my eyes


Monday, July 17, 2006

How Old Are You Now?

This beginning of the second verse of "Happy Birthday" struck me this evening, after I finally recovered from a raucous afternoon of H.O.R.S.E. and P.I.G. at the Homestead Lutheran Academy compound with friends on Saturday afternoon.

My body just can't do the things it used to do. But, with the basketball hoop brought down to 7.5 feet (down 2.5 feet from regulation), it sure was fun to try. :-)

Thanks to all our friends who are "getting old" with us. A toast, with deep heating rub, for everybody!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Culling the Herd

Groups, organizations, and "things" that I think should be know, made to experience the losing side of Darwin's "survival of the fittest":

  • Rinos. No, not Rhinos, but R.I.N.O.s (Republicans In Name Only).
  • Major league steroid users
  • The anti-gun crowd
  • The euthanasia crowd. I've always been partial to the youth in Europe.
  • Treason sympathizers - did you hear that, NYT?
  • Teletubbies and Boobahs
  • Any show starring an actor or actress from Seinfeld or Friends
  • All 'Big Brother' type shows
  • Anything dealing with Willie Wonka or freaky characters in Highlights (including the Michael-Jackson-wannabe Willie Wonka played by Johnny Depp - ick!).
  • The Wiggles
  • NOW, GLAAD, and any other gender pseudo-rights group out there
  • Wolves in sheep's clothing in the LCMS. Just say "closed communion", and they will identify themselves. It's probably the easiest baiting mechanism in the recorded history of hunting.
  • The global warming intelligensia
  • Any Monty Python move that is not 'Holy Grail' or 'Life of Brian'
  • Saturday Night Live after Phil Hartman
  • Any movie starring Rob Schneider
  • Anyone who thinks Julia Roberts is a good actress. Heck, throw in Hollywood, too.
  • Anchovies, brussell sprouts, and chicken livers, just for good measure (sorry, hon).
  • Earthlink (I lost my connection five times while trying to post this. Change that, six times. Seven. Eight. IX. X. Grrr!)
Your goal - identify the most creative baiting method for each group. Winners will not be added to the culling list. Just kidding, they will be added. Actually, no one responding will be added. And, no, that doesn't mean that non-respondents will be added. (I better stop before I get into trouble.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Party "Crashers"

Our band, Running In Circles, was asked to play a friend's family reunion/neighborhood party yesterday. It's always good to get paid to practice. :-)

We had a good time, were told to eat a lot (lots of eastern European heritage in the household), and sounded really good. The host and the band received a good number of compliments from the party-goers. The highlight came when the host told us one of the comments from his guests was, "wow, we didn't know you had a really good band playing today!"

I guess expectations were low. lol!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Where Did Saturday Go?

Happy Independence Day everyone.

I don't know about you, but my work schedule makes this day seem weird. Yesterday, at work, felt like a Friday. Today, knowing I'm going to work tomorrow, feels like a Sunday. So, where did Saturday go?

(I can always use another Saturday.)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Peer Pressure Christianity

Is it that art reflects reality, or reality reflects art? I think a more relevant question is: does Christianity reflect the times, or do the times reflect Christianity?

Unfortunately, I believe Christianity reflects the times. As a former network marketer (we still use and like the products), a key concept I was taught was "community" - the bigger and tighter knit the community, the more loyalty between business associates, less communicated doubt about business practices and motive, and lower inclination to leave for fear of losing touch with friends. Okay, no problem for business, even though it does lead to groupthink.

Let's move now to church growth. What is the main point behind most congregational activities? Building community, that's what! Why? Because, once you "belong", you'll start to feel a loyalty to the group, and have more inclination to stay affiliated with them; or conversely, less inclination to leave. The problem with this in Christianity is twofold:

1) It sets up loyalty based on persons and earthly affiliations, not on Christian reasons for affiliation.
2) It sets the stage for personality-based leadership, a.k.a. cult of personality, among the leaders of the religious movement. No matter what the leaders say, the followers will blindly follow.

This is not a belief in Christ, or what Christ has done for us. Rather, this builds a peer pressure among the group to remain together, and not question the beliefs. So you have "Christianity" based on community and common likes and dislikes. It is a great motive for building numbers, but a poor motive for proclaiming the Gospel.

So, Christianity - which should be never-changing - reflects the times. Ugh!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

For the love of the game

For all the love we have in our household, Mrs. Homestead Lutheran Academy and I are moving in very opposite directions in one area: pro baseball.

I was the kid who had scrapbooks of Duane Kuiper, Rick Manning and Dennis Eckersley when I was 5 years old, and snuck the transistor radio into bed to listen to the ballgames. (I was doing just that when Pete Franklin announced the Browns/Kosar coup leading up to the supplemental draft, too.)

I was the kid who played at all city league levels until I had to stop playing, and had to start working.

I was the "kid" who would explain to Mrs. HLA what the infield fly rule was, what a balk was, and when/why you would bunt.

Last season, that started to change. Mrs. HLA was then telling me when pitchers and catchers would report to spring training - which I never knew - and had it marked on the family calendar. This year, she also had the first spring training game on the calendar, and was excited about it for weeks.

Listening to games is easy for us. We are a "radio" family as opposed to a "TV" family, and the Tribe's radio announcers, especially Tom Hamilton, are second to none. They keep the game entertaining even in blowouts, and can often keep us in stitches with their stories and sense of humor.

Somehow, this season, the Tribe games became white noise for me, even when they had their good start. When we attended their first "I give up" game against the White Sox on Memorial Day, my interest waned further. I think they lost me in earnest during CC Sabathia's "I give up" game a week ago. This is not just America's pasttime, but had been my pasttime since I was 5 years old. Now, it's another entertainment option, while the Cavs and Browns are holding my interest more, even when they don't win. I still enjoy listening to a ballgame, and like Travis Hafner (a.k.a. Pronk) and Grady Sizemore; but outside of them, though, I don't find myself actively rooting for the home team any more.