Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ten Things I Think I Think

1) This morning, the congregation concluded what we think was our 13th Harvest for the Hungry Food Drive. Thanks to generosity of many, more than 1.34 million pounds of food will be shipped to the West Ohio Foodbank this coming year. That's more than 34 tractor-trailers, loaded with nutritious food for men, women, and children in Northwest Ohio. Thanks to all the corporate presenters this morning (Harley-Davidson of Lima, Captain D's, Arby's, St. Ritas Medical Center), our friends at St. Charles Catholic Church, our in-house ministries that went the extra mile (United Methodist Women, Faith and Fellowship Sunday School Class, and the Shawnee Weekday Nursery), all the rest of our corporate and professional partners, WLIO-TV, Time-Warner Cable, and particularly, the congregation of Shawnee who gave generously this day. Also, a big thanks to Tara Yunker who coordinates our television commercials, Cathy Dempsey (our secretary who did a lot of organizing for the service this morning, and The Deiterings, Larry and Cheryl, for tracking our business and medical partners.

2) If you couldn't make this morning, one of the highlights of the 11am service was a presentation the West Ohio Food Bank made to Bill Boyer, who has been faithfully volunteering with his Dad, Bob Boyer, at the food bank each and every week the past year-and-a-half. Bill, who attends with his parents faithfully to church every Sunday he's able at 9am, volunteered on behalf of Marimor Industries (a non-profit endeavor that offers employment for those who are physically and mentally challenged) at the West Ohio Food Bank after hearing about it year after year during our Harvest Food Drive. Even though Bill is now mostly confined to wheelchair, and faces a number of physical challenges as he sorts food, he faithfully shows up two or three days a week, seven hours a day, to help those who are less fortunate in the Lima.

Bill helps the less fortunate. God is beaming ear to ear.

Each week I'm home, Bill brings me a tally of all boxes he was able to sort. I get it right after my hug, and two things combined make for me, a great highlight of worship each and every week. The story of Bill, and the dedication of his father Bob, inspired two standing ovations this morning, and the love and admiration of not only our church, but of the staff at the WOFB who were there in full force. A fantastic moment of grace.

3) Do any of you have the problem occasionally where your brain can't decide if you are right-handed or left-handed, and so you kind of can't decide which hand to use for awhile?

Um.... neither do I. Forget I said anything.

4) Lots of talk about who is going to play in the BCS championship game. Lots of folks down here in the bluegrass are pulling for an SEC school, because the conference "is the toughest in the nation" (r - i - g - h - t). I'm sure the whole Northeast, or anyone who loves an underdog is pulling for Rutgers. Notre Dame and USC are building their cases as their season finale looms on the horizon. Heck, I even bet in Boise, Idaho they're inundating pollsters to give a team from the WAC, a hack. There's probably even some wag in Wisconsin beating the drum for the one-loss Badgers.

But one thing we know for sure... the winner of what Brent Matchbook this morning called the "Game of the Century" next Saturday, is in... no question. I've been saying it all season because it's true... the two best teams in the country this year are in the Big Ten. So say what you want about the BCS Championship. Far as I'm concerned, the national championship will be decided in Columbus next Saturday.

Bucks 31 M-School 17

5) Saw The Great One this weekend. Found out that as a MSN Web TV user, she can't download anything and can't view videos on the web (hence my YouTube posts she cannot see). This summer, after the old faithful RCA finally crapped out, the kids went the extra mile an got The Great One a 37" HDLCD flatscreen TV/Monitor. Would be perfect for a small computer hooked into a cable modem, but she refuses to make the switch.

Of course, she didn't want a VCR when we got her one, and now she's only one of us that knows how to program it. She didn't want a DVD player, but she mastered that in no time. She didn't want the Web TV cause she didn't think she'd ever have need of the Internet, and now she's digital soldier in the Red State Army. And, she just wanted another CRT TV, protesting that the LCD screen was too much money and too complicated..... you think she'd trade it for a boring ol CRT unit now?

Get real.

So, now she says she doesn't a real computer and hi-speed Internet.... says she can't make the adjustment. And I say she might be a great-grandmother, but inside two weeks she'd have that computer baking brownies and sweeping her floor.

6) I guess this morning, Aimee took the boys over to Quest Community Church (I was in Lima all of eighteen hours, and since we'll be home for a week starting this Friday, they stayed in Kentucky), and Xavier decided to have a total meltdown. Apparently he decided he didn't want to go to church today, and proceeded to throw a fit in as she tried to drag all three of them into the door this morning. He's lucky I wasn't with him or we'd have applied the board of education to the seat of understanding. Aimee said it was one of the most affirming and humiliating experiences of her life. It was affirming in that lots of people from the church didn't act condescending or judgemental, but just helped her any way they could. Humiliating in that Xavier pretty much made her feel like the parental failure of the year, a performance he capped off when at one point as a woman tried to pray for him, he started to scream, "I don't want you to pray for me." So, that church is loving and caring, but thinks our son is possessed by demons..... it's always something.

7) Big paper due this Wednesday. A fifth of our dissertation, in fact. I haven't even confirmed that enough examples of what I want to study exist in the world to make the study valid, so at this point I'm a little behind. I get the feeling I'll be looking for a little more time before this is all said and done. My straight A average is in jeopardy, and the amazing thing is that it upsets me. Me, Mr. "D Equals Diploma" upset by the possibility of a B. What is happening to me?

8) If you don't know why this isn't a big deal, then I can't explain it to you. It's like being knighted in the State of Ohio.

I actually met Nichlaus once back in 1991. I was working for Burns Security at Cincinnati Reds games that summer, and the company asked me to pick up some hours working the Senior Open out at Kings Island. Mostly, I spent that week out in the parking lot... except for one day. Nichlaus, Travino, and Chi Chi played in the same group on day two, and the security company assigned me to shadow Nichlaus all day. I don't know what I would have done if someone attacked him... I was armed with nothing buy my car keys. But it went well, and I got to watch some pretty fantastic golf.

At the end of the day, I escorted Jack to the locker room, waited for him at the entrance, and then walked him over the press room (which was the pro shop). After that, I followed him to his car, and upon arrival, he thanked me for sticking with him all day, and asked if there was anything he could do for me (which gives you some sort of idea as the type of guy he is). After thinking for two seconds, I told him that all I really wanted was to shake his hand, because he had always been grandfather's favorite golfer, and he had given him a lot of joy up until he had passed away. And I thanked him for doing so.

The man openly teared up, and gave me a handshake that I would never forget. He's one of the greats, and truly deserved the honor of dotting the "i".

9) One other thing to add to the "why I am greatly blessed" list this month. My brother and sister-in-law are coming to Lima to watch The Game with Dad, Mom, the boys and I (Aimee, I'd assume, will wonder outloud why we are yelling at a TV... what did the TV do to us?). All of us together for OSU- MSchool...... whoa, it's getting a little dusty in here. Here's another video in their honor.

And if it's too long for you, you're probably a fan of a team in the SEC who'll be playing their bowl game in Boise, Idaho this year (I hear Boise is positively balmy in December).

10) I have class all week - Pastoral Leadership with Dale Galloway. Don't worry, I'll stay focused and learn all I can. But when the week is over, it'll be time for the game that will...

  • determine the Big Ten championship
  • be a ticket to the BCS Championship Game
  • cap an undefeated season
  • crown the next Heisman Trophy winner

They say anything can happen in a OSU-MSchool game, and that's probably true. But, well, I don't know.... I just got a feeling this guy will be hoisting a Heisman here real soon. From pariah to the pinnacle. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2006 Heisman Trophy winner:

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