Category Archives: Silly Stuff

Common Sense is Gone…

On my morning bicycle ride George and I stopped at Starbucks…what a surprise. This morning was a good one, leisurely (kind of, George has discovered Wheaties or something, spent all morning chasing him) in that we chatted for an extended period of time at Starbucks. George is our Celebrate Recovery director here at the church and was just back from the CR Summit, so it was a good conversation and update on the ministry. As we were talking, my straw packaging caught my eye. It had some writing on it, and I was thinking: “Maybe they have put some funny or pithy statements on the straw packaging, like a fortune cookie – or Chipotle.”

Well, as you can see, there is a warning on the straw:

“Not recommended For Use in Hot Beverages.”

I couldn’t help myself.  I started thinking about the process and motivation behind the printing of this particular warning on a straw.  I don’t think I have ever seen anyone, ever, use a straw for their hot tea or coffee.  I mean look at the lids, the holes are too small.  So, someone, somewhere got the bright idea that it would be more convenient to use a straw with “extra hot” coffee and scalded the roof of their mouth.  Having no shame they returned to the Starbucks to complain at a very minimum, or even more embarrassing they hired a lawyer, explained their stupidity and made it a public record.  In response to this stupidity, Starbucks feels compelled to print the warning on the straw.  The executive, management and production costs associated with this process would probably shock us.

And I  thought, all because we have lost common sense.

Here are some other examples of the “need” that companies or government feel to protect us from our own stupidity:

This was seen at a local car wash where the woman in front of me needed to come back and read this. She couldn’t seem to get her car to rest “just over the bump” but just kept going.  I actually got a free car wash out of it.

This next picture was taken at a crosswalk in Kirkland Washington, home of Costco:

I felt so much safer (as you can see from the photo, my bald head way ahead of the Joe the flagman who is cautiously paying attention to traffic), but as you can see, no one has been killed carrying the flag, whereas 62 people were killed or injured while flagless.

But onto a more serious example of the need for common sense in the tragic, and then unbelievably ridiculous blame shifting that is created when we concede to the silliness of common senselessness.  This last weekend eight people were killed after being struck by an out of control truck at  a truck race in the Lucerne Valley (Mojave Desert).  The California 200 is a race with amateur drivers.  The race rules state that spectators should stand a minimum of 150 feet from the track, but the track is not “clearly” delineated (?) although it is fairly obvious where the track is because spectators form a sort of human guardrail no more than 10 feet from the track as you can see in this photo.

Here is the common sense challenge:  10 feet from trucks driving 80-120 miles per hour on a dirt track with jumps is dangerous.  I don’t need a white line, a small or large fence, cones or any other demarcation, all I need is the roar of a truck going that fast to conclude:  DANGEROUS.  If I choose to stay that close, I take the risk upon myself.    It is tragic that people were killed, but the real challenge in all of this is that the driver was forced to flee the scene because irate and overly distraught bystanders actually thought it might be his fault and began to pelt him with rocks!!!

So now everyone is scrambling to figure out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening in the future, good luck because common sense has left the building.

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How Not to Worship…

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

William Temple

Here is an incredible contrast to this great quote:

Really?? the Hokey Pokey?
“In the Sunday worship service we rehearse the use of body, of emotions, of intellect and will in order that our bodies may truly be the temple of God, that our spirit may be moved by His Spirit, that our minds may be as the mind of Christ, and that our wills may be one with God’s.  The worship service is a rehearsal for life.  It outlines the dialogue which goes on constantly between God and believers.  In the worship service we give Him our praise and adoration.  We give Him our offerings of money and also of our service in ministry.”

Donald P. Hustad

Don’t watch this unless you want to be horrified:

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More Signage Evangelism, and Just Stupid Signage

More Signage Evangelism in our small town.  These handmade signs pop up on a regular basis and they always have a “compelling” message.  I love this sign.  It is soooo appropriate.  We should be afraid of the verichip in the same way we were afraid of bar codes in the 70’s and 80’s.  Look at the power the anti-Christ has with bar codes.  Sheesh.

Now that the bar code has been with us for some time, the shift is on.  It is not bar codes per se, but now it is bar codes in conjunction with implantable chips  (read about this pablum here).  This is the equivalent of Christian grafitti, it is a blight on the environment and most municipalities don’t allow this sort of signage.  Since I live in the “county” there are less controls.  nonetheless, the foil border is a nice touch of class.

The VeriChip is the new “projected” tool of the anti-Christ, his means of controlling what we buy and sell.  In essence, what left-behinders have done in the last few decades has been to brand any sort of technological achievement as a sign of the end times.  As things become better, they call them worse.

News flash to all who oppose technology: Evil people in positions of power have used whatever means available to them to control and abuse their subjects.  We have nothing to fear from technology, only the people who may misuse it.  Hence, the VeriChip is a  potentially helpful and therefore beneficial or potentially misusable and therefore harmful piece of technology.  So was fire.  Fire is used to warm us, cook, heat our water, and fire was used to burn Christians.  I oppose fire.

Staying with the same theme of stupid signs;  who is it that needs this sign?  Notice the step by step instructions!  The sign also implies that washing is optional for non-employees.  Some of you probably take it that way.  What particular educational system failed to tell us how to properly wash our hands?  This photo was taken at the Starbucks in Granada Hills, but I think it is in all Starbucks.  Is there not a hand washing section for Starbucks employees in their employee handbook?  Do they not cover it in orientation?  Are they hiring kindergartners???  And for all you slobs out there who forgot the basics of personal hygene, the foundation of a civilized people is:  WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!

If you are easily offended, stop reading here.

For all you Boston Legal fans, do you remember when Alan Shore first meets Shirley Schmidt?  It is in the men’s restroom at the firm, and Alan extends his hand without washing his hand- a response to her inappropriate intrusion into the men’s room – and says “don’t worry, I have a very clean p$@#s”.  Trust me, you are not that clean.

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The Holy Spirit is an Enchilada

PhotobucketThat makes me laugh…uneasily.

So I am trying to finish my sermon this Friday afternoon and forgot to close my office door when a woman knocks at our outer door.  She is let in by a faithful staffer who fields her questions about hiring someone trustworthy to do odd jobs at her home.  She is elderly, but competent.  She normally does her own work, but is getting tired, not lazy, and wants to hire someone.  She has money, the Lord provides, and she wants to pay by the hour…not by the job.

It is an interesting phenomenon that occurs regularly at the church.  But that is not what “got” me today.  As she was wrapping up her very loud interaction, our staff person asked her where she went to church.  She responded that she went to church in a neighboring town where a couple pastored, and proceeded to say she would come to our church but she and her church were “spirit-filled” and she would be bored here, since we didn’t indulge in tongues, etc.  Our staff person responded with “we are filled with the Spirit as well…”

“Yeah, but I want the whole enchilada…”

PhotobucketThat’s when it hit me.  The Holy Spirit is an Enchilada.

How could I have missed it?  So I am planning on Mexican food for dinner, so I can get the whole Enchilada. Could it be that simple?  You bet.  I wonder if her church serves Enchiladas every Sunday?

Enchilada is the past participle of Spanish “enchilar”, “to add chili pepper to”, so that certainly fits the functioning of the Holy Spirit – chili pepper would be the equivalent to power. We could all use some power of the chili pepper. The Real Academia Española defines the word enchilada, as used in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, as a rolled maize tortilla stuffed with meat and covered with a tomato and chile sauce.Photobucket
“Enchilada.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 12 Sep 2008, 09:03 UTC. 12 Sep 2008 .

So Enchiladas are stuffed…meaning they have many different fillings…a variety of fillings so to speak, but the same Enchilada…

You can learn so much if you are just open and willing to listen and not be so narrow minded.

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Virgin Mary in Tree Bark

Virgin Mary in Tree Bark
The Virgin Mary appears in tree bark. No kidding. It really is her! Read all about it in the Toronto Sun. It must be true.

The guy interviewed in the story is the neighbor of the tree (Mary’s neighbor!) and he doesn’t want a lot of people traipsing through to see it (although it apparently healed his mother in law of cancer!) unless they are ill or in need of a miracle, how generous! He first noticed it when cracking open a beer in his backyard, but he insists he wasn’t drunk, nor is he a whacko. No, he just sees Mary in tree bark.

This doesn’t quite compare to Jesus on the doggy door, but it is pretty good.

Mock all you want, but that is unmistakably her!  I feel better already.

I love the Catholic Church response through representative Neil MacCarthy:

Neil MacCarthy, of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, said the church generally doesn’t play a role in investigating or “authenticating” such claims to determine if they are in fact a sign from God.

“If it causes the individual or people seeing it to reflect on their faith then that’s not a bad thing, that’s something positive,” MacCarthy said. “In terms of authenticating it, that’s not something we would generally do.”

It’s better to keep an open mind about such things, MacCarthy said.

“We have to careful about saying too specifically what they are,” MacCarthy said. “People interpret these things in different ways.”

“It is better to keep an open mind about such things”????? He has to be kidding.  It truly is not better to keep an open mind about the Virgin Mary appearing in tree bark.  It is nonsense.  This response sounds like:

“Let’s encourage Catholics to be ignorant, and appear more superstitious than many already do.”

Just come out and say:  “It is just a tree.  It is not Mary.  Nor is it a sign.  Just a tree, growing funny.  Worship God”

To cap it off, the neighbor of Virgin Mary, Mr. Moreau, a Catholic who has problems with the wealth of the Vatican which keeps him from church attendance said this:

“Why do I need to go to church?” Moreau added. “I feel that God has come to me.”

If only all of us had such a tree.

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John Crowder: Extremely Emerging Post-modern Post-Pentecostal

Every pastor has a bad sermon. I have had a few. Now I have something new to watch to help me get over my bad sermon blah’s…John Crowder. One look at this guys sermons and I can always say…”not as bad as that guy”, or I can just send a copy to the elders every week so they say, “At least Steve is better than that!”

Unbelievable. The following are some of John’s followers…

Drinking the Word. I really don’t know if this is just a huge spoof…The guy’s name is John Crowder, but he looks a lot like David Crowder…

Well, you can check out their explanation if you want below (John Crowder and Ben Dunn, Ben is John’s “Robin”), and check out their response to another blogger at zoecarnate.

They seem to be a cross between post Pentecostals and Emerging extremists. If you read the blog at zoecarnate you will see a guy who thinks he is smarter than you are, condescending to broadly criticize the whole of the church based on his straw man construction of the church. He consistently makes the mistake of bifurcation: The Holy Spirit is either mystical (in his opinion “right” and undefined) or intellectual (wrong and reflective of the traditional church). He also thinks that the culture determines the conduit of the message: In a post-modern context the only way to communicate is to be post-modern. I think the videos speak for themselves.

John Crowder & Ben Dunn on Drugs

ht: Scotteriology

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