Ten Things I Think I Think
10) I think I'm a clutz. Dropped my cell phone today while taking it out of my pocket broked the antenna clean off. The nice lady at Verizon informed me that it can't be fixed, so it looks like Santa is getting me a new cell phone for Christmas. Too bad he'll be forwarding me the bill, as apparently, the elves aren't technologically proficient enough to make cell phones at this time. Bummer!
9) Took the boys sledding this weekend at the Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapak, as their Grandma Allen gave them their own plastic sleds as an early Christmas present. These little one-man sleds are to kids what "Bullet Bikes" are to young adults. Anyhow, they love their "Emergency Room Specials", and both boys want to know if we can figure out way to make them go faster. Not even a fat lip (for Max) and a "face plant" (for Xavier) could dissauade them from "one more time" down the hill. Their "need for speed" scares the bejeebers out of me when I think of them both as teenage licensed drivers. Here's hoping that America turns toward public transportation in a big way over the next decade.
8) If you missed David Cain, the self-proclaimed "Juggler for Jesus", last night here at our annual Shawnee Christmas Party, it's your loss. The guy is amazing, and I'd encourage anyone to either go see, or book him. We'll be looking to bring him back again so that he can do his other show, where as a part of the act, he juggles three chainsaws and five swords (not at the same time, unfortunately). Just a great talent, and entertaining guy.
7) I've only got one thing to say to all of my friends from Goshen who are Notre Dame fans: The luck of the Irish ends at the Fiesta Bowl, kids!
6) Am coaching another year for Upwards Basketball, the children's basketball league at the large Nazerine church on the north side of Lima. Max asked me to do it, so I agreed, but I must tell you that I'm having second thoughts. Apparently, two of my kids have parents that are paid coaches at various high school and middle schools in the community. Talk about second-guessing... I'm just a dumb preacher who watches way too many NBA games. I think they'll be calling to have me fired by February.
5) Am reading "The 21 Irrifutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell. It's a good book. Can't say that I'm the biggest fan John Maxwell ever had, but he writes things simple, and easy enough that some one like me can understand what he has to say. I think probably the chapter on "The Law of Influence" is worth whatever I paid for the book (which I think was nothing.... I'm pretty sure my last Senior Pastor gave it to me as a gift. What do you think he was trying to say?). You can probably pick up the book used on Amazon.com, for cheap. It's worth a read.
4) Andy Mox is promoting another "Christian Hardcore" concert here at the church tonight. If you don't know what "Christian Hardcore" music is, well, consider yourself lucky. It's really loud, and aggressive.... the kind of stuff you play when you're in a lot of pain and anguish. I don't know what it is that these Christian musicians are pained or anguished over... probably that not everybody knows Jesus (but your guess is as good as mine... I can't understand the lyrics). They are just as loud, though, as any mainstream secular hardcore band, that's for sure. Let's just say that I've got extra incentive to not stay and work late tonight! But, God bless 'em, they do seem to reach kids that mainstream churches miss. Keep 'em all in your prayers.
3) If you are looking for a good gift idea for that "hard-to-buy" shopper this Christmas, how about a gift card to the Texas Roadhouse? This Christmas season the local Texas Roadhouse is donating 10% of all gift card sales to Goodwill Industries, of which "yours truly" is a board member. Goodwill doesn't just operate thrift stores. It educates, trains, and places people into jobs who otherwise probably would be unhirable. Sometimes the training goes beyond "How to Fill Out a Resume" down to basic stuff like "Hygene 101". Just a marvelous organization, so if you need a last minute gift idea, this is a good one that people will like. I mean, Willie Nelson is the national spokesperson for "Texas Roadhouse": How can you go wrong there?
2) I think that I'll just take a moment to member Richard Pryor, who passed away this weekend. I know that Richard Pryor's form of humor wasn't what you'd call "family friendly", but then again, the guy's whole life wasn't family friendly. Raised in a brothel in Peoria, Illinois, Pryor had to grow up fast to survive what was a difficult childhood. That later in life, a person who was so obviously filled with rage (some of it very righteous, given race relations in America at the time) would turn to drugs and alcohol, should really be no surprise to anyone. I don't think doctors will ever know if the MS Pryor fought for the last decade or so was related to his fondness for cocaine, but I think he always suspected that it was. In the end, a troubled soul that, in my opinion, tried to work out that pain in ways that weren't necessarily edifying, but I think, in snippets, where prophetic. I hope the man has found peace.
1) And finally, my little brother is working on his second week of semester finals at UT's Law School this week. I think I heard some fatigue in his voice last night, so if you could say a little prayer for Andy, asking God to give him strength this week, I know he'd appreciate it, and so would I.