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Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday's Mischief

When asked this riddle, 80% of kindergarten kids got the answer, compared to 17% of Stanford University seniors.
What is greater than God,
More evil than the devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
And if you eat it, you'll die?
I really want people to guess! I'm going to moderate comments on this one, until Friday. That way, one person doesn't guess it right away and end the fun. Or, the first person doesn't have to guess "blind" while later "guessers" have the advantage of knowing some of the things it isn't.

During the week, I'll post the name of anyone who guesses correctly.

There will be a winner, and there will be a prize!

The grand prize will be an original poem written about the winner, and posted on my blog. In the event of more than one correct answer, the winner will be chosen by a random drawing. (The "draw-er" will most likely be my toddler granddaughter.)

Ready? 

GO!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday's Five

Five of My Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

  1. butter pecan
  2. Mackinac Island fudge
  3. Cherry Garcia
  4. mint chocolate chip
  5. pumpkin

Bonus: I can't put it on the list because, technically, it isn't ice cream...peppermint frozen custard from Payne's!

What ice cream flavor(s) do you like?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Bucket or Funnel?

Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8b

Some people are "funnel people" and some are "bucket people".  What does that mean?  I'm glad you asked!  Allow me to explain....

Funnels are conduits.  Things pass through funnels on their way to someplace else.  Funnels are into resourcing.  Funnels are generous.

Buckets are containers.  The things you put into a bucket, the bucket keeps. Buckets are into accumulating.  Buckets are selfish.

Buckets see themselves as the owners of whatever ends up in their keeping. Funnels realize that they are just stewards of the things that are poured into them.

Are you starting to wonder, "Is she talking about tools, or people?"  It looks like we've followed that parabolic arc, again.  There we were, standing over there, talking about tools--innocent and boring.  Suddenly, we're over here, talking about stewardship and greed--a little uncomfortable.

So let's talk about funnels and buckets.  A funnel person sees what they have as a resource to be shared.  They're on the lookout for someone who needs what they've been given.  A bucket person wants to know what's in it for them.  They want more, bigger, better, faster, newer.

The problem with being a bucket?  God has called us to be funnels. Sometimes, it's hard.  My Inner Bucket tries to hold something back, to keep "just a little bit" of what He's intended for me to pass on to others.  But there's reassuring news in the same passages that call us to funnelhood.  In the same breath that He tells us to give it away, Jesus promises our needs will be met, and then some!

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:29, 31
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:1-4
So let's answer the call to funnelship!  Let's cast aside our bucketish tendencies and choose "the easy way" to learn the habit of giving. Let's voluntarily choose the funnel lifestyle and not wait until circumstances force us to learn what the difference is between a bucket and a funnel....

...A funnel is just a bucket with the bottom knocked out of it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The Not-So-Dumb Blonde

A lawyer and a blonde woman are sitting next to each other on a long flight.

The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game.

The blonde is tired and just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and tries to catch a few winks.

The lawyer persists, that the game is a lot of fun.

"I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me only $5; you ask me one, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500."

This catches the blonde's attention; and, to keep him quiet, she agrees to play the game.

The lawyer asks the first question.

"What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"

The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches in to her purse, pulls out a five-dollar bill, and hands it to the lawyer

Now, it's the blonde's turn. She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?"

The lawyer uses his laptop, searches all references.

He uses the Airphone; he searches the Net and even the Library of Congress.

He sends e-mails to all the smart friends he knows, all to no avail.

After one hour of searching he finally gives up.

He wakes up the blonde and hands her $500.

The blonde takes the $500 and goes back to sleep.

The lawyer is going nuts not knowing the answer.

He wakes her up and asks, "Well, so what goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four?"

The blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5 and goes back to sleep.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Species of Birds Seen in My Yard
  1. robin
  2. mourning dove
  3. cardinal
  4. oriole
  5. turkey vulture

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday's Word

From the Beginning....

"You see it's all clear,
You were meant to be here...
From the beginning."
--Emerson, Lake, and Palmer


I’m a big fan of the butterfly effect theory, also known as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Part of the chaos theory, it says that a small variation at the beginning of a dynamical system can cause a large variation at its end. As an illustration, it says that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause minor atmospheric changes that ultimately result in altering the path of a tornado, increasing or decreasing its speed, or preventing it altogether.

Hollywood likes to play with the idea of the butterfly effect. It’s A Wonderful Life, Sliding Doors, all three Back to the Future movies, and The Butterfly Effect each explore the difference made by small, seemingly insignificant decisions. It’s A Wonderful Life goes so far as to have snow falling in the world with George Bailey and a snowless Christmas in the world without him. It’s a fun “what if” to play with.

But isn’t it true that each of us is creating our own little (or maybe not so little) butterfly effect? What if we are not only making a difference, but have been placed by God precisely where we are to make that alteration. There are verses in the Bible that seem to say so:

Mordecai, calling on his niece, Esther, queen of Persia, to save her people from destruction, said, “...who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 - NKJV)

In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul says, ”...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10 - NIV)

We can’t know all the differences we bring about with our little, everyday choices. Smiling over the fence at the neighbor. Letting the other driver go first at a 4-way stop. Helping a child understand a concept in language or science. Unlikely as it seems, those little “flutters,” the little unconscious decisions we make, could change the course of history—or greater still, the course of eternity. That’s why it’s so crucial to have our decision-making process guided by God, moment by moment.

...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; ...You...are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. (Romans 8:5b, 6b, & 9a - NIV)


I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20 -NIV

"...it's all clear, you were meant to be here...."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday's Mischief

A Few Words for Lexophiles* to Think About
  1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired. 

  2. A will is a dead giveaway. 

  3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. 

  4. A backward poet writes inverse. 

  5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes. 

  6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion. 

  7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed. 

  8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress. 

  9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you a flat miner.
  10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds. 

  11. The guy who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered. 

  12. A bomb exploding on a kitchen floor in France resulted in linoleum blown apart. 

  13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it. 

  14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under. 

  15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key. 

  16. A calendar's days are numbered. 

  17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine. 

  18. A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

  19. He has a photographic memory which he has never developed. 

  20. A plateau is a high form of flattery. 

  21. A short fortuneteller who escaped from prison is a small medium at large.
  22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. 

  23. When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall. 

  24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine. 

  25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye. 

  26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis. 

  27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses. 

  28. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
*lexophile = one who loves words

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Only A Dad

Only a Dad with a tired face
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a Dad, with a brood of four
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and scorns of life
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a Dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving, from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way;
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a Dad, but he gives his all
To soothe the way of his children small
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him,
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only Dad, but the best of men.

—Edgar A. Guest

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Movies That (Still) Make Me Laugh

  1. Funny Farm
  2. For Richer or Poorer
  3. Junior
  4. Over the Hedge
  5. A Night at the Opera

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday's Mischief

The Joys of Being a Girl

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.

6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

10. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

11. We will never regret piercing our ears.

12. There are times when chocolate really can solve all our problems.

13. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Songs That Refer To Writing

  1. "The Love of God"
  2. "Just Breathe (2 AM)"
  3. "Hafta Say 'I Love You' In a Song"
  4. "You're So Vain"
  5. "Be Thou My Vision" (for me, anyway, it's about writing)

Are there any songs about your job?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday's Word

"...As We...."

Matthew 6:9-13

Key verse:
...forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
Matthew 6:12 (NLT)


I realized a hard truth the other day. Everytime I pray the Lord's Prayer, I've technically made an agreement with God...

"...and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us...."

"As" could have one of two meanings here: "while we forgive" or "in the same way that we forgive"

Either way, when I apply it to my life, all I have to say is "Ouch!"

But exactly how do I forgive?

Forgiveness isn't just "wave the magic wand" and the transgressor is forgiven. Forgiveness means giving up your right for revenge and letting God be God, even in this circumstance. Forgiveness does not mean "no consequences"—the transgressor will reap from the sin he sowed. Anyone who's been a believer very long at all knows that God can deal with a sinner better than we ever can!

Also, "I forgive" does not mean "I blindly trust". The transgessor needs to do whatever it takes to try to prove to you that you can begin to trust him again. Depending on how serious the breach of trust, he may need some accountability with a godly, more mature Christian.

Forgiveness is hard, and it's an ongoing process, like dieting.

Here's what I mean.... If you're on a diet, there are certain things you've decided it wouldn't be good for you to eat. It would be great if you could swear off those foods, never crave them again, and instantly the weight would fall off! Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Your human nature is drawn to those "bad foods" and you cave. You eat a big bowl of ice cream.

Does that mean you immediately gain back every pound you've lost? Does it mean that dieting doesn't work for you and you'll never lose the weight? Of course not! It means a glitch that exists in the mind of every human tripped you up. You get up, dust yourself off, and recommit to losing weight!

Now here's how I see that it's the same.... If you've decided to forgive someone, you've decided that there are ceertain thoughts and feelings it wouldn't be good for you to have toward that person. It would be great if you could swear off those thoughts, never have them again, and instantly the relationship would be restored! Unfortunately, that's not how it works. Your human nature is drawn to those unforgiving thoughts, and you cave. You throw yourself a pity party and rehearse the whole scenario again in your mind.

Does that mean the relationship is immediately back where it was the day you were sinned against? Does it mean that forgiveness doesn't work for you and you'll never be able to forgive them? Of course not! It means a glitch that exists in the mind of every human tripped you up. You get up, dust yourself off, and recommit to forgiving!

When the time comes that you're ready to try forgiveness, something that can help is to learn and quote Bible verses when you're tempted to be unforgiving. I would suggest you memorize these two, for starters:

Ephesians 4:32 (New Living Translation)
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (New American Standard Bible)
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.


OK, now who do you need to forgive?