1) Sorry for the late post. Today was a busy one. Even got into work bright and early to get a jump on the day. Made no difference.... it's 10pm and I'm just beginning to blog. Started the day working with the office staff sorting out the stewardship campaign which concluded on Sunday. A Sunday service, I might add, that might have been the most uplifting worship service on a day financial pledges were asked for in all of history. If you weren't there, you missed Roger Rhodes' reminding us what "We Are Shawnee United" means to the community and the world, a word of thanks from Marty and Dave Hutchison for all the support they've received from the church in light of the death of their son and grandson, fine interpretive dancing (it's back!), a poignant communion, and just an overall spirit-filled day. Then we all went to Captain D's (who had a record day, I might add) and gorged ourselves on fish and shrimp to support our Harvest for the Hungry food drive for the West Ohio Food Bank. I wish I could explain it better, but I can't.
Just suffice to say, don't miss this Sunday. We'll be giving our offering away for "Harvest...", and I suspect this might be the biggest year we've had in a while. I think it's going to be something special.
2) Anyhow, we were sorting out pledges so we can finish up the next phase of the campaign (phone calls from the finance committee members to those we haven't heard from yet), and then begin projecting a budget for 2008. We have a number of capital improvements that will need to be made next year, as well plenty of opportunities for ministry we need to start taking advantage of, so we'll be maximizing our resources in every way possible. Initial results of the campaign are encouraging, but it will be a couple more weeks before we have a more concrete idea as to the success. We'll inform the congregation as soon as we know something.
3) Also I met for lunch with a number of concerned folks from the community who are discussing ways to try to support the local Hispanic community here in the Lima area. A couple of years ago, in response to a serious situation regarding an illegal alien hiding in our area who was wanted for allegedly doing some very bad stuff, our sheriff began to make cracking down on illegal immigrants kind of his core political issue. Since then his "zero tolerance" policy has made him famous across the country via cable news networks, which have led to a number of speaking engagements being extended to him by like-minded interest groups.
The only problem with the sheriff's new policy, though, is that by profiling people of Hispanic origin as possible illegal aliens, a number of Hispanic-Americans and Hispanics legally in the country on work permits have been harassed to the point where many of them have moved away from the community. Because Allen County sheriff cars are pulling people over for DWH (Driving While Hispanic) or WWH (Walking While Hispanic), folks who have every right to live here are feeling unsafe and unwelcome in our community.
And besides, there are much better ways to deal with the illegal immigration than by constant harassment. I understand that the sheriff has to enforce the law... that's what sheriff's do. But surely, given the depth of the crime and drug problems in our community, manpower spent on ultimately deporting what will amount to a handful of people could be reassessed... especially given the fact that the sheriff's budget proposal, which was a million dollars larger than last year's, was just rejected by the county commissioners.
So, a group of concerned people from across the Christian religious spectrum, have started gathering to figure out how in the world to begin to support those living in the community whose only crime is being a member of a particular ethnic group. A lot of good ideas were bandied about at the gathering, and I'm optimistic that some positive things can come out of the minds and prayer of these good folks that will benefit all in the community, while not subverting the law.
4) Finally, since tonight was the regional church conference that I had signed us up for, I spent the rest of the afternoon filling out the paperwork that had to be turned in to the "powers that be" in the United Methodist Church. In the end, I'm not sure anyone will actually read all of the stuff I wrote down today, but if they ever do, they'll find my answers to their questions to be short and to the point.
5) I didn't actually attend the conference tonight, because this evening at 6:00pm at an establishment called Doc Watson's in Toledo, Ohio, my brother was sworn in as an officer of the court by one of the judges he's been working with as a clerk in the public defender's office in Lucas County. Yep, my brother is now officially, Brother Esquire, Attorney at Law. Mostly he'll be doing a lot of trusts, estates, probate, and the like, but I suspect he'll keep his eye out for the occasional ambulance or the pro-bono case where justice must be served. I took my oldest, Max, up with me to see the actual swearing in (where I got to hold the Bible... me being the holy one and all) and while I don't know whether or not he was all that impressed with the proceedings, he certainly did spend plenty of his grandmother's money playing video games (video bowling, Donkey Kong, and, of all the crazy things, video cornhole.... how the world's most boring outdoor lawn sport could be turned into a video game remains a mystery to me. What's next? Video truffle hunting? Video jarts? Video metal detecting? The possibilities stagger the mind...).
Best part of the evening, though (besides the actual swearing in) was hearing the judge and a supervising attorney of Andy's in the Public Defender's office tell us just how good Andy is at practicing criminal law, already. He has apparently found his niche. Congrats, Brother Esquire, as you begin your new career parsing the letter of the law.
Now, about doing my will, pro bono (because this is a case where justice must be served)...
6) I hate to say this but as Christmas approaches (too quickly in the retail world, I might remind you, for my taste) I find myself becoming one of the "those parents" who are becoming somewhat obsessed with getting "the toy" everyone wants for his own kids. When Andy was little "the toy" was the original Nintendo. When the group of kids a little older than he were little the "it toy" was a Cabbage Patch kid. When I was a kid for awhile the "it toy" as the original Atari 2600. Now... it's something I'd rather not say (out of fear someone would tell the boys, I'd fail to find one, and there would be a mess of confusion on Christmas morning around here) but has me making endless phone calls, calling favors, and lurking in dark alleys to acquire. Can't say that I'll be able to find one as a joint gift to Max and Xavie, but I'm gonna keep looking, because obviously I've lost my mind.
7) It's been a long time since the Browns were relevant this late in the NFL season. Not since a few years before Art Modell whisked the team off to Baltimore have the fans in Cleveland actually had any kind of hope that maybe their team was something special. But, they've got that team this year. I watched the end of the Browns/Seahawks game yesterday, and the part I enjoyed the most was hearing the fans go berserk when Seattle turned the ball over on downs in OT, and continuing to go berserk until Phil Dawson kicked that final FG to win the game. Considering Browns fans, arguably the most loyal in all sports, have had to put up with the move of their beloved, three years of nothing, a Raven's Super Bowl victory, being awarded an expansion team, and a decade of futility, this season is a long time coming. Here's hoping they can keep playing good football, and reward the city with some post-season action. That would be sweet, indeed.
8) How can it be that a football game between the Buckeyes and Badgers, who were ranked 1 and 21 respectively, could go virtually unseen in most of the state of Ohio last Saturday? Whelp, you can sum it up in one word.... greed.
The Big Ten Conference, in all their wisdom, have seen the future, and the future is broadcasting their own team's games on their own network that they want to charge people an arm and leg (more than the cost of ESPN, which is the most expensive cable channel you have) for the privilege of viewing. However, the two main cable companies in the state, Time Warner and Comcast, are unwilling to add the Big Ten Network to their basic package cause, well, not everyone would really want it... particularly if their cable bill went up $10 a month. Thus, we now have a deadlock resulting in Dad and I driving up to Perrysburg to watch the game at my brother's house (he has Buckeye Cable, which must have worked out a deal with the B10N early on before things got ugly).
You know at some point, someone is going to blink. Who'll cave in first? My best guess says the Big Ten Network, which will need the advertising revenue that broadcasting to 16 million people (as opposed to 1.6 million people) can bring. You just can't beat a monopoly.
9) I'm not tired I'm just...... (YAAAAAWWWWNNNNNNNNN!).... not very excited.
10) Remember how in a post last week I told you about Xavier's penchant for ending up with some little girl who makes goo goo eyes at him (or as I called him last week, a natural born playa)? Whelp, at Captain D's Sunday, it happened again. This time some blond haired little girl Xavier knew from school, saw him, begged her mom to let him sit at their table with her family, and then proceeded upon their leaving to announce to us all that Xavier was her boyfriend.
He's only five... but he was smiling. Should I be worried?