Sunday, February 27, 2011

You Want the Ruth - You Can't Handle the Ruth

At church our pastor is wrapping up a sermon series on Ruth.

Today we hit on Ruth 3 where she is sent by Naomi to wash, perfume & gussy up; then go sleep at Boaz's feet on the threshing floor.  Our pastor brought to light a few points on this story:
-Threshing takes time (a few days), owners & workers often slept by the crop to prevent thieves.
-prostitutes were known to make rounds at the threshing floor.

So here we have someone (Ruth) in a situation where prostitutes were common, placing herself at the feet of a potential kinsmen-redeemer (one was closer who later declines from Chapter 4).

My mind drew to the parallel of a prostitute at the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:36-50).  A real prostitute at the feet of the Redeemer.  Washing his feet with her tears, drying them with her hair; anointing them with perfume.

I guess the parallel just highlights one thing - go to the feet of the redeemer.  It's a sole saving exercise.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Laughs - I've had a few.

"People like frequent laughter," answered Father Brown, "but I don't think they like a permanent smile.  Cheerfulness without humour is a very trying thing."    -GK Chesterton
(before any actually accuses me of being wise, I have 2 daily e-calenders of Chesterton quotes.  I read them about 3x a week and tend to float a few days behind & a few days ahead and cover a few readings.  Sometimes they tickle my fancy more than others.  Such as now)

I like to laugh.  One thing I am trying to pass along to my kids is a sense of fun.  Stories.  Silliness.  That somethings are funny because they fall outside of what is expected or how things should be.

If you need a kickstart on this - watch Phineas & Ferb with your kids.
Squirrels in My Pants

I liked this GKC quote because there are those people who are always so happy you'd think they fart sunshine.  I can't stand those people.  Life isn't all roses, but I like to laugh when there is a such a thing as a rose parked ontop of all those thorns.

I've learned (and am still learning) not all jokes need to be said - wrong joke or wrong time.  An evaluation of dignity and respect for the situation and people.

Still to me, the greatest and most humorous joke is me.  I'm happy when I make it to work with my underwear facing the right direction and not outside my pants.  I still laugh that a panda eats, shoots, & leaves.  It's funny to me that my 5 y/o tells me jokes that aren't funny and that my 7 y/o tells me ones that are. 

It's funny to think there might be a tiny guy living in the fridge who turns the lightswitch on every time the door is opened.  Or there was a tiny guy at a drawing table who put a tiny switch in for the door.  It's a minor difference and I will be amused by either option.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Clerihew me! Oh no, clerihew you!

One of my regular blog checks is Jonathan Rogers (  He does some fun stuff, especially Audience Participation Friday with encouragement to join in.  Recently the APF was to suggest future APF topics to which I lagged for quite a while and finally chimed in with Clerihews.

From wiki:
A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. ..........
A clerihew has the following properties:

It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people
It has four lines of irregular length (for comic effect); the third and fourth lines are usually longer than the first two
The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme
The first line consists solely (or almost solely) of the subject's name.

Since then I've been stuck on commenting with clerihews about his subject matter.

Not being above a joke myself (especially as a find my life quite humorous and enjoyable and in some sense a joke that I get to be a part of it)

Daniel Kulp
gave up on most written pulp.
Now I listen while doing a drive,
Tis safer than a book going sixty-five.

Feel free to build your own about me, or yourself, or anybody.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dry Beer Time

I felt in my bones; first, that this world does not explain itself....  Fourth, that the proper form of thanks to it is some form of humility and restraint; we should thank God for beer and Burgundy by not drinking too much of them.  - GK Chesterton
There's a running joke here at work for "10 o'clock dry beer time".  Dry beer = pretzels.

Basic Pretzel ingredients (from Auntie Anne's website):
Makes 6 large pretzels

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon malt powder or brown sugar
2-3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees, which is 1 minute in my microwave)

Basic beer ingredients:
Barley (a grain malted to brew beer)

There's enough of an overlap it works as a joke.  But truly I would buy a pretzel flavored with Guinness or Yuengling.  I'm kind of surprised no beer company has tried the snack food realm yet.  If any major beer company representative gets e-lost, finds this measly blog & markets it as a product.  GREAT!!  All I ask is 1 bag as a fee.

A quick search shows me there are some beer pretzel recipes and also makes me hungry.  Soon this may be tried at my house.
Beer Pretzel

Monday, February 14, 2011

Optimist or Pessimist test

Here at work we have a built in optimist/pessimist test.

My company is in an old steel mill building and we have no hot water.  It's not bad in the summer but washing hands in the winter is terrible.  (I know, "do you want some cheese with that whine?").

After I had been here about a year it was mentioned in passing to the owner & he got a small heater installed right at the sink.  It worked great (~ 2 years) until this past winter it just stopped.

So now there is the test -
Do you still turn on the hot water, hoping it will work?
Do you only turn on the cold with no hope of having hot water?

You may be wondering, "don't engineers have better things to do than to apply deep philosophical constructs and challenges to such silly daily things as a non-functional hot water heater on a bathroom?"

Not really.

That's what engineers do.  We take the philosophical and the theoretical; and put them to work in our everyday lives.

(yeah, I'm not buying it either.  back to work).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yinz had a Goodgame

Friday night our church hosted Randall Goodgame for a concert.  To say it was an excellent show would be true but still come up short for me.  It was also some great conversation and leaves me with much to think about.

Randall is a premier musician, singer & songwriter and flies slightly under the radar.  I was hoping for ~100ppl and the nature of how things go it could be anywhere from 50 to 200ppl.  We had about 30.   We were smacked by a HS basketball game, another church's winter carnival, a HS play; plus the usual ambivalent attitude for friday night events.

There's almost too much to get words to, without going 5 pages.  So here is a list of slightly organized thoughts:
  • I was generally a mild RG fan 4 days ago.  Great music, but I like to sing along sometimes and his jazz-ish style makes that tough.  Great kid's music.  I didn't always "get" the songs.  I am now a BIG fan.
  • Soundcheck went miserably.  The church system wouldn't pickup his guitar.  Many tries, & some frustration.  We ended up putting a mic in front of the guitar and it came thru well.  We discussed this over late-night eggs & basically when things get frustrating you may not be trusting God.
  • I lost my voice the night before the concert.  It's almost back, 2 days after the whole thing.  Conversation was tough.  Jason did an excellent introduction (thanks).
  • It was very much a house concert (talking back & forth).  Ups & downs to that.
  • It must be tough being on the road for a musician.  Randall stayed at our house & we were intentional on he can talk with us, watch TV, play games or hide in his room as he pleased.  He's slightly lactose intolerant, so lasagna roll-ups and a cheesy egg casserole for breakfast might have been tough.  Some lactaid saved the day.
  • Also being on the road and shuttled is draining in aspects other than being away from family.  It isn't a case of "always under the microscope", but certainly aware that the "camera is on" for a majority of your time.
  • Randall & I talked much about music, Christian music, his music, kids music.  Family.  Writing songs for other people. C.S. Lewis.  Theology & life.  It's hard to say we talked when I didn't say too much. 
I still have much to dwell on & since I can't easily talk about it I thought I'd write some randomness.
Right now just a feeling of "I can't believe I was able to be a part of all this."
Thanks, Randall.  Thanks, Becky.  Thanks, Center Presby Church.  Thanks, Hebron Church (for the intro end to the tour and the warm-up adult concert) and Mike & Heather.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My favorite quote - maybe...

It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult think is to keep one's own.  It is always easy to be a modernist, as it is easy to be a snob.  To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom - that would indeed have been simple.  It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls; only one at which one stands.  To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame.  But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.  Orthodoxy - GK Chesterton
This came up on my calendar.  It is hard to pick one of my favorite quotes.  It is also difficult to point to the epiphany moment when you move from looking at a book to it changing your outlook.  This is very close to filling both.

In his writings Chesterton frequently comes back to a few of his worldview points (off the top of my head):
-doubt has a limit.  accept that you are alive and don't wonder what if we aren't.  "If you want nothing, I can give you nothing."
-Somethings are magic.
-There is a right in the world, and it isn't mankind or man.
-For Christianity to weave thru philosophies, fads, trends, and men leading it and still answer life's questions is miraculous;  to the point that fairy tales would have eroded long ago and it must be true.