Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just for Fun

This weekend we're moving, and as I look around our apartment full of boxes I'm reminded of how much stuff we've collected over the last 2 years. We came into our apartment with way too much stuff and somehow we managed to pack even more in, which has only magnified the space problem we started with. Now my wife and I are similar in that we both like to hold onto things just in case they COULD serve a purpose sometime down the road (we suffer from packratitis). By how often do those "coulds" ever come out of the boxes we pack them in? Not very often, right? So this time around, we committed to simplifying our lives from all the clutter surrounding us (I should mention that not very many stamping materials were involved in this process of simplification!). Anyway, this leads to my just-for-fun question for August 31, which is the last opportunity you have this month to be entered into the drawing for the $45 Kohls gift card.

My question is simply this: Are you a pack rat or a thrower when it comes to things you don't use? Feel free to share about anything you have in storage that you can't believe you've kept all these years.

I'll post the winner of August's drawing by Tuesday of next week.

By the way, on my way back from class a while ago I saw the car in the picture above parked outside our apartment. A serious case of packratitis, huh?
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just for Fun

August has been an extremely busy month for my wife and I, so last night we both agreed it would be good for us to get away for at least a couple days and go to a place where no one can contact us and where we can lay all our responsibilities aside in order to catch our breath. We like to think that taking a break is an integral part of our journey of following Jesus for two reasons: first, we were created to live in a rythmn of 6 & 1 (see the creation story in Genesis 1); and second, even Jesus got tired and took a break (John 4:6). We haven't settled on a place to escape yet, but our discussion got me thinking about where or how others like to get away from it all.

So for this week's Just for Fun question, answer me this: where do you like to go or what you like to do to get away from the chaos of life?

I hope you have a restful weekend.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Hometown

Currently, I live in Pasadena, California but I grew up in the small farming community of Orange City, Iowa way up in the northwest corner of the state about one hour away from anywhere or anything except corn, beans, and pigs. Two things you cannot beat about that area of the country: the sunsets and the peoples' warmth. With the land so flat and the air so clear (deeply contrasted by the smog I now live in) the sun seems to sit on the colorful horizon every evening waiting for you to notice it, then once you pause to take it in it begins to slowly disappear as if God is bidding all who see it a peaceful "good night." In regards to hospitality, if you find yourself in Orange City for longer than an hour it's likely that you'll receive an abundance of verbal hello's and finger-lifts (you know, the motion you see drivers making when they have one hand on top of the steering wheel and they raise their index finger at you as you drive by in the opposite direction--it's the farmers' way of saying hello. And just so you know...rarely do you get a different finger raised at you! LOL). But more than that, the way families and neighbors look out for one another is something that I believe sets Orange City apart. Your needs rarely go unnoticed, which sometimes can be misunderstood as snooping or gossiping (which does go on) but people really do care about you. That's why I'm proud of my hometown.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hometown Fun

In this week's TIME magazine there's an interview with Drew Carey, the new host of The Price is Right. Now if you know anything about Carey, it's that he hails from Cleveland, Ohio. From the clothes he wears to the jokes he makes, Carey's pride in Cleveland is evident. Even in the interview he says he wants to give away trips to Cleveland instead of Mexico or Hawaii. The man loves his hometown.

This leads me to the just-for-fun question of the day: If you were marketing your hometown (or the city you currently live in) to the rest of America, what would be the top selling point(s) you would include to attract people to it? In other words, what makes you proud to be from where you're from?

I look forward to reading your pitches.

Enjoy your Friday!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Oh wow, I completely forgot about this commercial until Leenda commented on it (Thanks Leenda!). It's utterly repulsive on multiple levels.

As for favorites, I have to agree with those of you who enjoy the Mac commercials. I really like Mac's security commercial. "Allow." Ha!

Anyway, thanks for all the links. I'll try to put some of them out of my memory over the weekend.


Just for Fun

During the past month my wife and I have been muting the tv during a commercial for a popular pizza chain because one of the actors in the commercial drives us insane. Now we're people who don't usually get too riled up about little things like that, but this commercial REALLY annoys us. So I'm wondering...

What commercial drives you insane? And on the flip side, what is your favorite commercial?

If possible include a link to the commercial(s). And in case you forgot, everyone who answers these questions will be entered into a drawing for a $45 gift card to Kohls.

Enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Remember the Future

I've been working at the mission for over a month now and there's one thing I hear on a daily basis that is becoming increasingly more disturbing. At least once a day I talk with either a child or his/her mother and as we talk it never fails that the person's past comes up in our conversation. Maybe it stems from an old picture or from a comment someone made to them earlier in the day, but no matter how it comes to them their past is fast-forwarded into the present forcing them to relive the horrific past they are so desperately trying to escape. Everytime I listen to them tell me their story, I wonder, Is it really necessary for us to remind one another of our pasts? Does being reminded of our pasts really do all that much in moving us toward becoming the kinds of people we were created to be? What if all the energy we expend in remembering our pasts could be more beneficial for our journeys if we redirected it toward the future?

I like the approach the apostle Paul takes in many of his letters when it comes to helping people become who they were created to be. Take his letter to the church in Ephesus, for example (for now forget the arguments of scholars who think someone other than Paul wrote Ephesians). While Paul acknowledges the pasts of his hearers (2:11, 12), he spends a good portion of his letter reminding them of who they are called to become. His encouragement in 4:15 sums up his approach when he writes that the people of the church "must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ." In the surrounding verses, Paul effectively shifts the focus of the Ephesian believers from their pasts as Gentiles to their future of becoming like Christ. And yet, the future of the Ephesian believers belongs not only to them, but to all believers everywhere, including us today.

Now I could go on and dig a little deeper at this point, but I want us to think about what it means to "grow up" into Christ. And with that, what does it look like for us to experience change driven by our future, not our past? How can our lives today more accurately reflect the future life we are growing into?

May you become a person who remembers the future more than you remember the past.

Enjoy your Wednesday.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Just for Fun

During my commute to work today I realized that I forgot to post the Just-for-Fun question this morning, so please forgive me for posting this later than usual...

Thinking back on all the holiday events you've participated in (family dinners over the holidays, Christmas pageants, Memorial Day BBQ's, etc.), which ones have been your favorite and least favorite and why?

Have a great weekend!