Monday, December 18, 2006

The Rest of the Things I Think

6) NOTE To those who do not live in Lima: The Kewpee is a local chain of three restaurants that serve what the majority of us from Lima would call, the finest hamburgers and frosted malts in the world. There, now you know what I'm talking about. And for those who are from Lima... Marchocoloate is just around the corner!

Did you know that when you've been going to the Kewpee West location that somebody behind the counter has been praying for you? About two months ago, I asked a young woman from our congregation who works there to try an experiment.... pray as often as you can for whatever you feel led to pray about. Co-workers, people in line, cars going by.... whatever.

She has tried to send me a couple of her prayer journal entries (she's been keeping a prayer journal!) via email, but we've had some technical difficulty. Yesterday, however, between services she sat down with me for a few moments and shared with some things that she's learning.

Mostly she's finding herself praying for patience... which, given how busy that Kewpee is (I was there after 6pm on a SUNDAY night, and the lines went out both sets of doors, and the drive-thru was at least 15 deep in cars.... on a Sunday night!) is understandable. She says that some days she prays for customers to be more patient, but sometimes they grow more hostile (which is interesting). She's prayed for her co-workers. She prays at random for people coming through the line. She's started regularly praying for some regulars. She says mostly she feels like she's being transformed inside as she prays, but she wonders if her prayers are making a difference in the lives of those she's praying for. She's intrigued enough to keep it up, and wants to talk to me more in detail.

So you tell me, what do you think is happening in the midst of this? If you've bought a hamburger at the Kewpee West location in the last two months, how do you feel now knowing that someone behind the counter has been praying for you... praying over you? What would the world look like if everyone silently was saying sentence, or word prayers for people as they encountered them?

This is exciting!

7) My neighbor and fellow BP, Aaron Wymer, is right about a lot of things, but tonight he said something to me that was dead wrong.

"The NBA is pathetic", he said. "The season is too long, and all the guys do is stand around on one side of the floor and watch one guy on the other side of the floor try and score. At least in college they're passing the ball and playing defense."

Nope. Dead wrong. Just like his pick for the winner of the BCS Championship game. Florida hasn't got a snowball's chance in Satan's kitchen of winning that game (Hey London Juliet... another football reference. You are up to 1/3rd a free beverage!), and there's no way college basketball is better basketball that the NBA.

No way.

You people in the suburbs have been brainwashed. You watch a team pass 17 times a possession or play some complex zone, and you think it's better basketball. Watching college basketball is like watching paint dry. Take away all the crazy college kids painting their faces, hopped up on goofballs, screaming like maniacs, and all you have are a bunch of dictators crushing the creativity out of the game. I mean, I'll be rooting for the Thad Five this season, but give me the choice of Bob Knight cracking his whip so those kids will run a motion offense to death, or LeBron creating on the break... and there's no contest. Anybody who's ever played, and knows anything about basketball knows it's true.... the NBA is fannnnnnnntastic!

Just like Jim Tressel, and the future champs of college football! (The Juliet watch - .5 and counting).

Besides, what does Aaron know.... he's from Indiana. They don't know anything about basketball anymore in Indiana. They ruined the HS tourney by forming multiple classes. They chased off Bob Knight. I hear IU will be joining the MAC soon... read it on some blog. Just a disaster over there.

8) Kudos to Dr. Gene Wright on the great job of getting Allen County Health Partners renovated building up and running. ACHP is a local free clinic working in Lima's south end offering medical, dental, mental health, and pharmaceutical services. Dr. Wright was my doc growing up, and is a loyal member of Trinity UMC in town. Since his retirement he's selflessly given hundreds of hours to upgrading the medical care to those who have difficulty affording it.

Also, I'm hearing great things coming out of Shawnee's Haiti medical team. Charlotte Hefner, our associate pastor met with them this past Sunday morning, and it sounds like they're planning to do some very, very exciting long-term work in the western hemisphere's poorest nation. Kudos to all the lay-people who are working hard to help make inroads for the world's destitute poor.

9) And if you are connected with a church in the states, looking for an international mission opportunity, I would encourage you to please send me an email, and we'll be happy to talk to you about Haiti. I would never want to minimize the situation in Africa right now... it is absolutely desperate. But the situation in Haiti isn't much better, and despite how close it is to our own shore (three hours by jet prop plane), it often falls off the radar of places that could use some prayer and a little elbow grease. Shawnee is committed to Haiti. Here's the latest copy of "Haiti On My Mind" a newsletter about what is happening in our Haiti ministry.

10) And finally, received the paper back that served as a final paper for a pastoral theology class, and will also serve as the bulk of the "Chapter 2" of my dissertation. Dr. Seamands returned it with an A, and that meant I received an A for the class. Still pushing the ol' 4.0 for the year.... who'd a thunk it? It was very difficult to do, but it's given me good direction on where to go with this study. I am excited with the progress... indeed.

OK, better get to bed. I am serving as a "room helper" for Xavie's class tomorrow. They are having a pajama party, where they are all going to wear pajamas to school. Should be fun! Have a great day!


Aaron said...

Flattery will get you nowhere. I've watched some exciting basketball in the past year--especially in March. You remember the Gators this past March? Or did you quit watching the tournament once all of the Big 10 teams were gone? I hate that you missed the Final Four.

With Beesonly Love . . . your neighbor.

The Thief said...

Hey, watch it on the Indiana bashing there... Yes, they "chased off Bob Knight" (and then the Bob Knight apologists chased off Mike Davis), and, yes, they succumbed to the pressure and went to multiple classes, but basketball still reigns supreme in the state. At least I think it does...

Anonymous said...

I was so with you for the first half of point number seven and then you had to go and spoil it. Just as I was yelling preach it brother, you bashed the sacred soil of hoosier hoopdom. A few points of instruction are in order, (that is if doctoral fellows can receive instruction from the lower classes of seminarians: 1.) The greatest pro and college basketball player to bounce a ball your state (Oscar-the big "O") is, in fact, a native of Indiana, 2.) The best player on the team from THE OSU is, in fact, a native hoosier, 3.) The greatest college basketball coach, some would argue basketball mind period, Bob Knight, had to get out of the hick town of Orrville and THE OSU to achieve greatness in a much worthier locale and 4.) Some one in Ohio must answer for Ted Stepian. In fact Ted's legacy alone should disqualify all native sons of any state, whose university is represented by a giant nut, to remain silent in contemplation of the majesty that is Indiana.

Steven Paul