1) Spent the weekend in Beantown primarily looking at houses. The key, as I've said before, is finding the right house at the right price, which for us means plenty of communal living space at the expense of bedroom size.... at the cost of something we can afford. No small feat if you are looking in Shawnee. Anyhow, we saw one house that we'd have to tear down to the studs and start over in order to make it livable, another with not one BUT TWO (now how could I make this up) jacuzzi tubs surrounded by mirrors and colored lights, a house that if we didn't have kids would be perfect, one nice house that was priced out of sight, and another that's just on the other side reasonable.
In other words.... we're still looking.
2) Was nice to worship at home yesterday. Joseph's sermon was a good one, and the music in both services was outstanding. It was the coldest day of the year yesterday, so attendance was a little off, but still surprisingly strong given the fact that with the wind chill it was in the single digits. People are being supportive of the "the big change" in May, and I think Joseph is starting to process leaving now in his own way. Having left this wonderful church once already, I can tell you not being a direct part of it's ministry isn't easy. The place ought to be filled with plenty of emotion the next few months.
3) For those wondering, Aimee's Dad is taking it day by day. After doing nothing but cleaning the house for a couple of weeks, he decided to un-retire (he retired last summer at 70) and is now working again at American Trim. He's paying off bills, saying small prayers, visiting Carol's grave, and just taking each day as it comes. Saturday morning me made me "Eggs-a-la-Bryant" which are eggs cooked in a little sausage grease, covered with cayenne pepper, chili pepper, curry power, and cheese.
I like it, but it isn't for everybody.
Anyhow, he's pushing forward, which is all any of us can do. Your continued prayers are appreciated.
4) Saw the Super Bowl last night. Looked like there was lots of extra slippery rain. I've watched football games in the snow and ice that didn't have as many fumbles as that game last night. Peyton Manning finally got the monkey off the family back although this ought to plunge brother Eli into some new realm of purgatory with the New York press. Remember when San Diego wasn't good enough for Eli? Now his team has no one of note in the backfield and a coach who thinks General Patton was a wuss. To think he could be playing on a team with LDT in the backfield and the NFL's best defense in a town with the best weather in the world... year round. Weird how life works sometimes....
Anyhow, the Colts are winners. Tony Dungy seems like a class act, so it's nice he's lost the "he's too nice a guy to win a Super Bowl" tag. Peyton just cemented another step in what will be inevitably a run for political office (you just watch... it's gonna happen). And now Baltimore can find out what it's like when a team you've been rooting for leaves unexpectedly only to win a Super Bowl (buncha ingrates... Go Browns!!!).
5) My favorite Super Bowl commercial? Here it is:
Life comes at you fast.... made me laugh pretty hard. Besides, I was the fry cook once (the Rax on Elida Road, all through High School and on holidays during college)... probably sang into a camera at work too.
6) Dad is flying with a medical team from Shawnee down to Haiti for a week of mission work. Let's just say that up to now, the trip has not gone to plan. The travel agent who booked this dealeo put them on a flight that got into Ft. Lauderdale late last night through Atlanta (uh oh), into a hotel that looked scary as scary could be, only to have to be on a flight at 5am this morning for CapHaitian.
Well, you live long enough in the Midwest and you know that if you are on a tight schedule, you never book a late flight if you can help it. A little snow or ice, and things can fall apart easily... which is exactly what happened yesterday. The flight out of Dayton was delayed, meaning they "missed" their connection in Atlanta (i.e. the plane was still in the gate when they arrived in Atlanta, but their seats had all been re-booked), meaning they got into Ft. Lauderdale at 1am this morning, meaning they slept in the airport last night. So, I'll be throwing up prayers of strength for the team all day today.... they'll need it.
7) Just finished reading "The Mystery of God's Word" by Raniero Cantalamessa, who is the pastor to Pope at the Vatican. Cantalamessa is coming to campus in a couple of weeks, and so this year we, as students on an evangelical Wesleyan campus, have been doing a lot of reading of a Roman Catholic priest (which is probably making our campus' namesake roll over in his grave). His stuff is interesting, but in this book he says something very interesting that I'm not sure I buy. Cantalamessa asserts that the tradition of teachings in the church is the equivalent of scripture, which you would expect from a Roman Catholic and further, is a statement that would make a child of the Reformation scratch his head.
Here's the deal.... I've a sense that the last 2000 years of interpretation and re-interpretation are kind of a mixed bag. Spirituality was hi-jacked by the monastic brothers and sisters, so that now we have a hard time envisioning "spiritual discipline" in any other way than acts of solitude and self-denial (as opposed to that which occurs within the confines of mutual social interaction). Scriptural interpretation by the majority of the greats (Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and even Wesley) is inextricably tied up with western cultural and political supremacy. The work of the dispensationalists and the fundamentalists of the Great Awakening have skewed our idea of what "salvation" means. And the work of modernists have done all they can to separate the material and supernatural which is the end-product of Greek thought.
So, I don't doubt that God spoke in the midst of all of this, but when you begin holding up this kind of teaching (and worse) as being equal to scripture is when Christians get into trouble. I get the sense that the traditional teachings of the church maybe scratch the surface of what Jesus was getting at, but haven't yet the penetrated the core... and thus should be taken with a grain of salt.
I mean, Wesley was a Monarchist who denounced the American Revolution. Would any American Methodist reading this rather have a King?
8) My fantasy basketball team which has been leading our league (The Isaiah Thomas Proteges) most of the season is in real trouble. LeBron has a bum toe, and Antwan Jameson is out 3-6 weeks, meaning that now my numbers are suddenly comparable to the rest of the league's. After taking a pounding from my brother's team two weeks ago, I just squeaked by the 5th place team (out of ten) last week. Andy (official brother of "From Bryan's Office...) won the league last year, which was insufferable. I'm 12 years older, and thus should not be bested by my brother in anything except video games, being able to remember obscure pop references from the late nineties, and soccer (cause nobody played soccer in the Midwest in the 80's except for kids who couldn't make the football team... hey, don't shoot the messenger! That's just the way it was). Considering that I stayed up late to watch the Utah Jazz on tape delay when Mark Eaton was the starting center, while the boy was asleep under a "bankee" in his crib, you think I should maintain supremacy in at least in this one area of cultural life.... but no. He made all the right adjustments last season and pretty much blew all of us away.
This cannot happen this year. This cannot happen.
9) This news just in: Van Halen will be re-uniting with David Lee Roth, the singer that helped make the band an 80's icon, this summer for a 40 city tour. Of course, the entire original line-up will NOT be with the band as bassist Michael Anthony has been replaced by Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, who is 15 years old. How many times do you think it will take Dave publicly making fun of Eddie's kid ("As always, it's an ages show tonight" or "We can't play another encore cause it's past Wolfie's bedtime" or any number of unmentionable jokes regarding the boy and members of the opposite gender.... who knows what Dave will come up with) before this whole thing blows up again? Ten shows? Two shows? Next week?
Here's hoping all parties involved are so broke (David Lee has been working as a DJ and a, gulp, paramedic at various times over the last decade) they have no choice but to go through with this. Anything to hear Eddie play the guitar in public (after miraculously recovering from cancer) one more time.
Don't know who David Lee Roth is? Here's a little introduction. Hard to believe this interview is 25 years old... and then maybe again, it isn't:
10) And finally, I'll leave you with a little video fellow BP Aaron Wymer made capturing a slice of our snow day last Friday. If you watch closely, you'll see Max going down the hill on a sled, and a sled going downhill without Xavier (who, despite what's in the video, had the best runs of the day). Enjoy:
11) Had already posted this, when on a whim, simply checking limanews.com before getting back to work, I saw this article
Could it finally be that Lima, Ohio is really, truly, going to finally get a Barnes and Noble Bookstore, with a functioning Starbucks? I am stunned to the point of speechlessness. I'm sure I will be weeping with joy sometime in the near future....
oh, they come.....
tears of caffeinated joy!