Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random Thoughts 2/29/12

  • Happy Leap Year?
  • I have my spreadsheets, budgets, itineraries, confirmation numbers, and maps downloaded to my phone and I'm ready to go.  I don't know why everyone wouldn't want to vacation with me!
  • I'm sitting here (after midnight the night before) absolutely stunned that we're going on this trip with our kids.  There's no way a family our size could do this if it weren't for all the help we had.  Both flights and hotels are being done for about 75% off or more.  Thank you, everyone!
  • How wrong is it that in order to be "safe" that Americans allow themselves to be essentially strip searched, possibly detained, and generally treated like nervous French resistance fighters going through a Nazi checkpoint.  "Your papers, please."  I want safety for the traveling public but I'm not sure if the route we've chosen is necessarily the best balance between safety and freedom.
  • I've handed our about half a dozen of my "invite cards" for church.  One of them today was a real disappointment because it didn't go over real well and for some reason I thought they would accept it better.  That happens, I guess.
  • Did I mention, "Rock Chalk"?
  • Shannon actually watched the second half of the KU-MU game with me.  Probably the first time she's closely watched a game since the '08 National Championship, which she doesn't really remember that well.  Oh, well; I was glad to have her by my side.
  • My boys don't seem to understand that Disney World is more than just the place that Anneliese can meet the various princesses.  They have no idea.
  • Graham says he's going to swim in the ocean and "catch three fish for us to eat."  He's dead serious.
  • Pray for us while we travel.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Inviting 3000 People to Church

In the month of March we're inviting over 3,000 people to our church.  Tomorrow we're handing out stacks of thirty-one "Invite Cards" to every adult and teenager in church, which should be over 100 people, and asking them to hand out one of these business-card sized invitations to a person every day in the month of March.  Thirty-one cards, thirty-one days, thirty-one invitations to church.

The only rule:  You may NOT give an invite card in lieu of a tip to your waiter or waitress.  In fact, you can't even give one with your tip unless you tip at least 20%.  Let's not offend the folks we're trying to invite to church.

Q - May I have more cards if I run out?
A - Yes, we've printed about 5,000 in our first run.  Please use up your first stack before getting more.

Q - May I give cards to the same person repeatedly?
A - We'd rather you spread them out.

Q - What if I miss a day?
A - Hand out two cards the next day!

Q - My spouse/friend/family member wasn't here on Feb 26 to receive a stack of cards.  May I take them a stack to hand out?
A - Yes.  The cards will also be available in the office, at Wednesday Family Night, and Sunday morning services on March 4.

Q - So is this evangelism?
A - Not really.  Evangelism is inviting people to Jesus.  This is merely inviting people to visit our church.  But maybe this will break the ice.  Perhaps it will lead to evangelism.  Maybe it will inspire us to see people we don't normally notice in the course of our day.

Q - So what if I don't invite 31 people in the month of March?
A - God will smite a kitten for each leftover card.  These cards work in any month, keep trying!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Preaching a "Good" Sermon

I saw this on a list of Christian jokes.  I don't normally forward these – sometimes I don't even read them – but I thought this one hit close to home.

Unanswered Prayer:

The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why. "Well, Honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages. "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon." "How come He doesn't answer it?" she asked.

[Thanks, John F.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pro-Life is the Rational, Scientific Position

Here's a great video of Kathy Ireland explaining rationally why she switched from pro-choice to pro-life.


By the way, on the same YouTube page is a link to a video explaining why "abortion is not murder."  Let me save you the time of watching that video.  The argument begins (and ultimately falls apart) with the definition that a real human being must be able to survive on its own; i.e. outside of the womb.  Who says?  Why is survivability THE determining factor in our humanity?  Are hospitals around the world filled with non-humans?  Why is DNA not obviously the determining factor?

Do not fall for arguments that define humanity by survivability (or dependency), size, development, or other similar restrictions.  Beware, because most of those arguments still apply to newborn infants and apply in part to toddlers and older children, as well as to the handicapped, diseased, elderly, and injured.  Pretty soon you have no strong reason preventing you from killing the sick, the weak, and the undesirable.

It's been done before by "civilized" people.  It's happening now.  Some have no qualms about opening the door wider (perhaps they're confident they will never be classified as undesirable).

[Thanks, Dustin]

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Disney or Bust? Yes (Part 2)

We are blessed beyond words.  From our friends, Jason & Jessica, who are giving us the airline passes for cheap to Pat & Theresa who are hunting down deals and taking us to church on that Sunday.  You guys are making possible what would otherwise be an impossible vacation for our family.

Here's an update:
  • We have confirmed the dates that we're going and the city we'll fly into (Tampa).  Flying stand-by is risky, but Tampa isn't very popular on Wednesdays in February.  Go figure.
  • Our neighbors are watching the house and the animals (thank you, guys!).
  • Chris and the Elders are taking my preaching and teaching responsibilities while I'm gone.  You guys are awesome!  We look forward to visiting Pat & Theresa's church.
  • We're still looking for deals on car rental, Disney, and any other suggestions you guys have.  Let us know!
  • Any suggestions on getting thru airport security with kids?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disney or Bust? Yes

We've had an incredible opportunity come up in the last several days.  Fly your family of seven to Florida for the cost of less than one airline ticket but use it in the next several days or lose it forever!


A friend from church has offered us the ability to fly stand-by to Florida before Spring Break starts.  This would probably be the only time ever we would all fly somewhere together as a family.  We don't know exactly when we'll go or what we can do but we have some money in savings and permission from my Elders to be gone so…

We need help!  What advice do you have?  What deals do you know?  I've been to Florida several times but not in the last 15 years. 

Budget:  We're on one.  Fortunately we had some money in savings from the 15-year anniversary vacation Shannon and I didn't take last year.  But with seven people, we're trying to save money everywhere.

Hotel.  I called our friend Pat who lives in Florida and it sounds like he found some good deals for the hotel.  I think we might have this base covered at a huge discount.

Disney.  We really want to take our kids to Disney World (they're 11, 10, 7, almost 6, and almost 3 and love things Disney) and we've been researching how hard it is to get a discount.  We can probably only afford going one day… so does anybody have some cost saving tricks to maybe help us get two days in?  Especially regarding food…

Car rental.   We'll need a minivan, probably for the week, and with the miles to drive to Jacksonville and back (to see Pat & Theresa!).  There's also a chance we'll have to fly into another city and drive to Orlando. Any ideas?

Filler.  Except for going to Disney, our budget isn't going to allow much else but going to the beach.  Pray for warm weather!  I'd like to take my kids to the Gatorland Zoo in Orlando.  It's a cheaper, half day thing that I'd like to show my kids.  Does anyone have other free or cheap ideas in the Orlando or Jacksonville area?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Random Thoughts 2/13/12

  • This was the first weekend of no football and it's a solid six months before we get it back.  Ugh.
  • Best line from CPAC:  "A conservative, a liberal, and a moderate walk into a bar… the bartender says, "Hey, Mitt.""
  • My dear wife dressed me in a purple shirt and a silver tie for church on Sunday.  Every man a wildcat?  
  • This guy can stack beer bottles with a bobcat excavator.  Okay, I'm impressed.
  • Here's a term, if not a practice, that was new to me: binge-watching.  Instead of watching a television show when it first airs, one episode a week, less than two dozen episodes a year, you rent the videos from the library or stream them off Netflix and watch three or four episodes in one sitting, on consecutive nights, from premiere to finale.  It's a great way to watch a show, if you can get the shows in order.
  • Speaking of television, aside from basketball, I don't watch anything live anymore.  Whatever TV we watch, it's recorded on the DVR and we watch it later at our convenience, skipping thru the commercials.  Basketball is the last thing on TV that I prefer to watch live; even football I watch delayed by an hour or more, skipping timeouts and commercials.
  • Which companies spend how much buying Google Ads?  Check this out.  Interesting.
  • Our church is going to invite over 3,000 people to church in the month of March.  We'll give each church member a stack of 31 "invite cards" to give out, one per day, in the month of March.  We're promoting it now and we'll do testimonies during the month of March; Easter is in April.  I don't know how many positive responses we'll get.  I suppose we're certain to get some negative ones.  But we hope to break the ice by inviting people to church and, in the process, find the opportunity to invite some to know Christ.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Random Thoughts 2/10/11

  • Our church is working at the soup kitchen tomorrow.  Pray for those folks we'll be helping; it'll be a cold, blustery day tomorrow.
  • Why did the Navy name a ship after Gabrielle Giffords today?  Her story of recovery after being shot by a lunatic is inspiring, but aren't there a lot of Navy personnel who have been killed or wounded in recent years to name a ship after?  I wish Giffords all the best but I wonder why politicians get to name Navy ships to begin with.
  • Did you see the video of the dad reading his spoiled-brat ingrate daughter's facebook post and then shooting her laptop?  Yeah, we need more parents like that.  I don't condone the language in the video (or necessarily shooting the laptop) but, in principle, go Dad.  More of this and less hand-wringing, wimpy, scared of your own kid parenting would go a long way in this world.
  • It seems like no one cares that of the hundreds of people being killed in Syria every week, that many of them are Syrian Christians being killed by jihadist "freedom fighters."  I keep reading these reports online on international blogs and military websites but very little is being reported in the mainstream media and our President doesn't do much more than send strongly worded letters to the Syrian government.  When is the world going to recognize the pattern that's emerging in Egypt, Libya, and everywhere else?   As evil as the Arab dictatorships are/were, the Muslim uprisings are worse. Worse for minorities, worse for women, worse for Christians, worse for democracy and human rights.
  • And now we get a little taste of winter for a few days.  Better late than never or the other way around?
  • Our church started playing volleyball this week; we have two teams in the co-rec league in Bonner Springs.  It's not the best-played volleyball in the world but we generally have a lot of fun.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Random Thoughts 2/8/12

  • So if Kansas loses to Missouri and goes up one spot in the rankings, should they they try to lose to Baylor tonight and shoot for #1?
  • Oh, please, please, please…  Get some momentum, Santorum!  Rick Santorum won three states yesterday (MO, MN, and CO), which might be enough to tip the scales.  Social conservatives haven't have been relegated to second tier candidates for most of this election cycle.  First we had Michelle Bachmann (unelectable), then Herman Cain (scandalized), and then Newt Gingrich (so bad, he's good?!).  I can still hold my nose and vote for Romney (McCain with better hair) but I'd much rather vote for someone I feel is more a true conservative.  I think a true contrast to our President's European socialism is the best way to go.
  • Way to go NY Giants, by the way.  I've ended up with Eli Manning on my fantasy roster almost every year since he's been in the league.  Not all of those years were good ones, but he's been a consistent #2 QB for me.
  • What impact has Apple had on the design of cell phones and tablets?  Check out this comparison of tablet computers before and after the iPad and cell phones before and after the iPhone.
  • Listening to Kevin Kietzman and Jack Harry argue on the radio makes me want run to my bedroom crying, "Stop it, Mom and Dad!  Just STOP it!"

Monday, February 06, 2012

Caleb's Victory Parade

Our fantasy football league has a playoff system that runs through the actual NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.  So after a bit of number crunching last night, I found that the strongest team from our regular season also won our playoffs.  Caleb Champ's team, "Hoof Hearted," (say it aloud) was crowned the 2011-12 Wyandotte Fantasy Football League Champion.  After the announcement, the league received this reply:

Since nobody has taken the initiative to set this up, I guess I'll have to.

My victory parade will be this Saturday morning at 9am. It will start at the downtown airport, travel across the Broadway Bridge and end at the Sprint Center. Once at the Sprint Center we will have the presentation of the trophy and the first ever highlight clip in WFFL history (featuring clips from both drafts, Sunday morning roster changes, and the confetti Laurie threw on me after my victory was clinched)


2011-12 Fantasy Football Champion
Caleb "Hoof Hearted" Champ


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Camp Makes Me Tired

We had a Men's Retreat at Mission Lake Christian Camp this weekend and it went really well.  I wish we had a bigger crowd (was planning for 25-30 and only had 22) but it went really well.  I thought Dustin and Eric delivered just about the best worship that I've heard at a Men's Retreat.  Thanks guys!

I preached three different sermons in 13 hours, with another one coming up Sunday.  So now I'm completely wiped out, trying all afternoon to stay awake while I work in my office.  Now I'm going to go home and try to stay awake while watching KU play Mizzou.  Hopefully, MU doesn't run away with it but if ever they could, it might be this year in Columbia…

But if they do handle the Jayhawks, I'm so taking a nap.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Don't Call Us…

I made a little motivational poster to convey how a lot of KU fans feel about playing Missouri after this season:

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Random Thoughts 2/2/12

  • This is a fantastic, must-read article written about visiting the church of Joel Osteen.  It's well-written, funny and insightful, while both critical and fair. [Thanks for the heads-up, Bryan]
  • This mild, warm-ish weather is great now… but wait until this summer when we get swarmed by all the bugs that didn't die this winter.  A recent study by Cornell University said that we're going to see an explosion in the numbers of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.  Yay.
  • I'm getting old.  We joke about it all the time but today is the first day that, after playing basketball the night before, I'm moving like an old man.  I hurt everywhere; it feels like I've been through a car wreck.
  • I had been listening to 980 KMBZ for about 22 years, sometimes all day long.  Now I'm down to just one show (guess which one).  First, they moved Glenn Beck from his normal morning slot to late night and replaced him with a local loudmouth.  And now Mike Shanin has stepped down from his afternoon show where he was the last voice for anything approaching conservatism.  It seems like the station is replacing conservative voices with "edgy" younger moderates.  Yay.  Now I'm listening to sports radio and Christian radio.
  • Did you see the video of Kristin Bell melting down on Ellen's show?  I thought she was putting on at first but she might just be crazy… crazy for sloths.  Which is nuts.
  • So there's word that Darren Aronofsky wants to make a movie about Noah.  He wants to insert a villain into the story and hire big name actors (Russell Crowe, supposedly) to make this a summer blockbuster.  Yeah, how could this possibly go wrong?
  • These are really good pool trick shots that are unlike any I've seen before but I still think these guys have too much time on their hands.
  • Here's a reason to hold your nose and vote for Romney:  if Romney is the GOP candidate, Donald Trump won't run as a third party candidate.  Now there's a terrifying prospect good reason to get behind Mitt.
  • Good news, Giants fans: according to EA Sports and Madden 12, the Giants beat the Patriots 27-24 on a last second field goal.  See the Super Bowl highlights three days early here.
  • So I hear there's a big game on Saturday night.  Actually, this is good for Mizzou; it might be the best chance to sweep the Jayhawks for the first time since 1994.  And considering they've only won one out of the last eleven match-ups and only five out of the last twenty-five, it would help.