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Okay, I’ve put up with this long enough. It is time someone takes a stand. We have long defended public television, turning a blind eye to their propoganda for the good things that they are teaching our kids. But I have had enough. Here are some examples of the myths and fallacies they are propogating on my children just today.
1. Fireflies, when trapped in a jar, feel bad and stop shining.
Offender: Sesame Street
Message: Don’t trap fireflies. They were made to fly free, and shouldn’t be kept captive.
My opinion: If God didn’t want me to catch fireflies and put them in a jar, he would have given them the ability to fly like regular flies. Those suckers are impossible. Also, they continue to glow even when trapped in a jar, no matter how small. That’s their job. My job is to trap them.
2. Doughnuts are bad for you, and you should eat apples instead.
Offender: Big Comfy Couch (Okay, this only comes on on the weekends, but I recorded it and Hannah is watching it today.)
Message: Doughnuts are full of sugar and cause you to have a rush of energy followed by a crash. Eating healthy foods like apples are better for you and give you energy that lasts.
My opinion: Some of this is true…okay, all of it. But what they don’t mention is that doughnuts taste so much better than apples. Maybe I’ll compromise – I’ll eat more apples…when they start stuffing them with cream cheese filling and deep frying them. Or I’ll start eating apple fritters.
Sorry – I overestimated my time available to critique TV. I’ll continue to keep a watch and alert you to the subtle messages our children are being exposed to.
In talking to a good friend today, I was made aware of some misinformation floating about in regards to my reasons for quitting my job at Greenwood Park. I don’t want to go into detail, because I have really tried hard to keep my opinions close, and I certainly don’t want to do or say anything that will make the situation at Greenwood Park more difficult for anyone. However, I feel like this needs to be addressed, not so much for my benefit but for others. So I will just say that my reasons for leaving had nothing to do with Bill Brumit. Bill has always been supportive of me and helpful to me. He never sought to interfere with my ministry, and I never did or didn’t do something in my ministry because of him. Anyone who suggests that my decision was influenced by him is at best ignorant and at worst a liar.
I don’t know why my decision can’t just be taken at face value. I didn’t want to be in youth ministry anymore. My wife got a promotion, and I decided to stay home with the kids. Certainly there were stressful people and situations I had to deal with (none of whom were named Bill Brumit), and those may have influenced my decision to leave ministry, but if I still had the burning desire to do youth ministry I would have just dealt with it or gone to do youth ministry elsewhere.
While we are on the subject of truthfulness, I imagine that people here will figure out sooner or later that we have made the decision to leave Greenwood Park. While I love the teenagers and their families and our friends and those with whom we have worked for so long, we really need to be somewhere else. I have said for years that people should attend a congregation where they are totally committed, joyful servants and willing to submit to their elders. If one isn’t able to do that, it is unfair to them, to the congregation and to the elders to stay just to be miserable. So now I am trying to be consistent and practice what I preach. Again, this decision was all but made before Bill was “let go,” so don’t think that this is a knee-jerk response.
You’re just going to have to trust me when I say that I don’t want my comments or decisions to influence anyone. I write this now only because at least one person who should know better is putting words in my mouth, and I want people to know the truth. It angers me that one person is receiving more than his fair share of blame for the problems that exist when I know better. I truly hope that God blesses Greenwood Park efforts as they seek His will, and we plan to maintain our relationships with our brothers and sisters there. If you hear something different from what I have said or written, feel free to ask me. I promise to tell you the truth.
I don’t have much time, but I feel like I need to write this. I experienced my first free Sunday in ten years today! I have had vacations and Sundays off, but there was always something that had to be done, problems that needed to be solved, phones that needed to be answered, etc. Even if I was out of town, I was never really free. Now to be fair, that hasn’t always bothered me, but to experience it today was wonderful.
Today I was able to worship without thinking about all the things that needed to be done, announcements that needed to be made, people that I needed to talk to, classes that I needed to teach, or where spare batteries are located. I didn’t have to deal with the expectations others had of me and how I would balance them with the expectations of my employers, my students, the parents, my family and myself. I didn’t feel like I had to fix anything or make the worship something that it wasn’t. I got to be. For the first time in a long time going to worship was not a burden.
So my challenge to both of you who read this is to spread the word that ministers and church secretaries are people too. They come on Sundays to worship just like you do, but they don’t have a choice. So give them a break and don’t treat them like they are working. Let them go to Bible class. If someone is bleeding to death, then okay, ask for the first aid kit. But otherwise, leave a note and let them do it Monday. The world won’t end if you don’t have a paper clip or a pair of scissors right now. Plan ahead, and for crying out loud, the world doesn’t revolve around you.
I know I haven’t updated in a while, primarily because I am finishing up my youth ministry job (11 more days), starting my new part-time job, and fulfilling my most important job – being a full-time husband and parent. Needless to say I don’t have a lot of time to blog. The only reason I am on now is because I couldn’t resist Starbucks tonight and am up.My plan after my 10-year stint in youth ministry ends at the end of January is to take a 40 day fast from responsibilities. I am burned out, and want to be refreshed, revived and renewed. I want to take time to read, study and pray for me, not for a lesson or sermon. I have allowed myself to become empty, and I must allow God to refill me so I can continue to serve Him in the ways He has planned. I can already tell, although I am busier than I have been in a while, that I am less stressed and more at peace than I have been in a really long time. I am enjoying my Bible study more than I have in a while. I also look forward to writing more – both here and just for myself – so hopefully I’ll be more active.
My lifestyle is changing, and as such there are different things to rant about. Here they are, in no particular order. Also, this list is not at all exhaustive.First, why do the people who make muffin mixes only put enough mix in a package to make 5 muffins? Does anyone even own a 5-muffin pan? I have a six-muffin pan, so what do they expect me to do? Do people only make 5 muffins, or do they just make 6 not-quite-large-enough muffins like I do? The thing is that neither five full-sized muffins nor six size-challenged muffins completely fill my family of four. If Jaycie and Ashley have two each, that leaves one for Hannah and one for me. I don’t want to make another whole batch of muffins, because that would make 10 muffins. Why not add a little mix to the package and say that it makes six muffins? Would that be so difficult?
While I am on the subject, why do they sell those little paper baking cups in quantities of 75? Unless you make 5 muffins at a time (see above) you are always going to have either 3 baking cups too many. Then you just have 3 baking cups sitting in your cabinet taking up space. The next time you want to make muffins you say “Oh, man, I only have three muffin cups.” so you wait to go to the store, because nobody likes washing muffin tins. Second, I don’t know if anyone saw the UK-Miss. State game last week, but what a rip off! The big guy for MSU is obviously talented, but by my count he had a quadruple double – double figures in points, rebounds, blocked shots and uncalled fouls. Even the announcers admitted that he was getting away with a bunch of fouls, although they shrugged it off as if it was no big deal. Their comment was something to the effect that “when you are as good as he is, the refs are going to let you get away with a few.” Excuse me? Since when is that a basis for our society. Since when are people who happen to be talented and popular allowed a pass when it comes to behavior that is unacceptable for the rest of…um…oh, nevermind. I guess they are right.
Also on the subject of the UK game – what was with the woman reporter on the sideline? She was awful. I know UK is down this year, but can’t we get some decent announcers? This last game got so bad I actually turned the sound off for the last 10 minutes of the game just so I didn’t have to hear the play-by-play guys. Maybe it is because I am watching more basketball this year, but it seems that they find one thing that a team is doing wrong and that is all they can talk about. They are like a broken record. Why can’t they get somebody who has more than two interesting things to say, give them a microphone and let it go? The other thing that drives me up a wall is the way they want to come up with some cute catch phrase. Dick Vitale can get away with it because he started it. But just because you come up with a name for the best players or the best teams or whatever doesn’t mean you should use it. Let Vitale be Vitale. Be creative, but don’t annoy me. Anyway, just face the face that people aren’t watching the game to hear you anyway. You are to describe the action, not try to impress me with your identification of a city far away from the arena from which a person hits a three-pointer.
Another thing about watching basketball games is the annoying commercials they have for their other shows. CBS keeps cutting from the game or obscuring the view to tell you about the shows that were too bad to put on the air in the fall but that they are showing now because of the writers’ strike. ESPN just makes up names for their weeks (“Impact Week!” and “Rivalry Week!”) and then shove it down your throat. It just seems that they are more interested in promoting themselves than showing me the ball game. If you put on compelling match-ups, people will watch them. I don’t care if they show me a couple of times, just not 20 times during my game. What would be the harm in turning on a camera, putting out some microphones to catch the crowd noise, and then letting me watch the game?That’s all for tonight. I am sure I’ll be annoyed tomorrow.
Who gets to say that one person is right and everybody who disgrees is wrong? How do you tell someone that just because they are older and in a position of (dare I say it) power that they aren’t always right? How do you politely say that if you are so convinced that you are right you should provide some rationale for your position? How would one tell someone else that if you are so smart why are we having so many problems?
There has got to be a middle ground! There has to be some way in which two (three?) groups with different ideas but the same goal can get together and come to a conclusion. Continuing to abide by the rules of one group at the expense of the others leads to resentment and bitterness. Doesn’t the Bible say that we are to submit to one another in love? Not that once you have a position of supposed authority (let’s talk about that some other time) that you no longer have to listen to anyone else.
We went on vacation last week to Branson, MO, and we had a great time with Ashley’s family. We played cards, went swimming, went out on a jet ski (very fun, btw) and played ping pong (I won!). I highly recommend that everyone goes on vacation with their family (or their spouse’s family). However, I have a few thoughts on what the lovely people of Branson could do to make their place a little more successful.
1. Make an Interstate that actually goes to Branson. There is no good way to get to Branson from anywhere. Look at the map. It is like people tried to get as far away from civilization as possible, and then bring everybody there. Why? Why not put your little tourist trap in an easy to reach location?
2. Ban the use of the song “God Bless The U.S.A.” (Pigeon Forge, listen up – this goes for you too). Actually, my new goal in life is to write another song that every old person show in the world can sing and make everybody stand up to. I am so stinkin’ tired of that song. It was moving the first 100 times I heard it. Now I just get sick.
3. Lower the prices for Silver Dollar City – like let me get in for an actual silver dollar. Either that or get a big mouse and some princesses. I hate paying Disney prices to see Arts and Crafts. This was like Dollywood sans Dolly. The exotic parrot show had a grand total of four parrots, and they didn’t seem so exotic. One did one trick and then crawled around the stage for the rest of the show.
4. Have a show or two at some time other than 8:00. Then every old person in the world won’t be crowded onto the main street at 7:15 and again at 10:15. Stagger it for pity’s sake.
5. Speaking of shows – why not get some original entertainers rather than people imitating dead entertainers? Maybe then the average age of the tourists will be lower than 57.
Okay, I’m probably in trouble now, but this is my blog and I can talk about what I want. I will say that the Fairfield resort in Branson was definately the nicest we have ever stayed in. And, in fairness, it was over 100 degrees every day we were there, so my opinion of Silver Dollar City may be a little skewed (only about $10 worth, though). The lake at the state park was really pretty. In that sense it is a little like Gatlinburg…if you can get past the tourist stuff and make it to the nature you’ll be amazed and pleased. And there were a few young people there – some weren’t even with family members. I am just going for the cheap laughs there. But the average age of the tourists is 57. Not a joke. I couldn’t make that stuff up.
Now that I have griped, I will say that the week was great because of the family we were with and the time we spent with them. I think this was our best vacation together. Next time I just hope there is an Interstate nearby.
Okay, here's a little lesson for my many fans who faithfully read my blog (both of you). When you see the gas prices at $2.85 a gallon and your gauge is on empty, and you think, "Hmmm, I will wait one more day and maybe gas prices will fall back down to $2.70 and I'll fill up tomorrow," think again. More than likely, and I know this from experience, gas prices will be at *gulp* $2.95 a gallon, and then you are on empty and paying out the nose. Then you are mad. Here's some advice – get gas when you need it. Prices aren't predictable.
Piece of advice #2 – always check at more than one place for your gas. Today the first place I saw was $2.95. Then, down the street it was still $2.82. So, fortunately for me it all worked out, but tomorrow may not.
I found these and thought they were humorous. the first one is an oldie but a goodie. The second is just plain funny.
You know what I hate? I hate getting e-mails from people with all of these "true stories." I know they are true because they say "This is a true story." Only they aren't true. There are all of these stories that people love and pass on because they confirm what they already believe. But do we really need false stories to confirm our beliefs? I don't think so. It isn't hard to check out stories to makie sure they are true before sending it on.
For example: did Lee Marvin fight alongside Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) at Iwo Jima? No. Not at all.
Are athiests trying to pass a ban on religious programming? No. Will signing an e-mail petition supposedly started by James Dobson stop it? No.
Did Budweiser employees stop supplying a convenience store after witnessing Arab store owners celebrating the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11? No.
Need I continue? No
Here's all I ask of you: look it up! Don't automatically believe everything you read. I have put a link on my page to Snopes.com, which is a great site to look up what are urban legends and what things are true. It also has some good reading if you are ever bored. Anyway, enjoy, and stop sending me false e-mails.
I guess we all have questions at times. Times that you don't get what is going on. I am learning that I am a bit of a control freak in that I really don't like to go into situations in which I can't control the outcome. I like to know what is going to happen as much as possible. I can be flexible as to the route I take, but I want to choose the destination. So when I get is a situation that is way bigger than me, one that I can't control the outcome, then I get pretty stressed out. I want to take charge, fix things.
It is at times like these that I get the questions. What should I do? What am I supposed to do? What does God want from me? Does He want me to sit back and wait for things to unfold? Or has He put obstacles in my path to teach me things and encourage me to grow by acting? It seems more natural to act, but that feeds into my desire to be in control. Actually, I know deep down that God wants me to take a break and let Him work. I have been messing things up for a long time now, so it is time for Him to fix things. This is so hard, and seems so unnatural. But I know it is right. I have to sit back, not try to control things and rely on my faith in God.
I feel so petty when I think of all of the people in the Bible who have been through so much worse. Abraham expected and waited for years for a son, even though he was 100 years old before it finally happened. Joseph sat in jail for years, believing that he was given a gift from God and would save His people. Job…well…let's just be glad I'm not in his shoes.
I am on a journey, but as much as I may dislike it, I am not driving. I am not even holding the map. I am in the backseat, looking out the window and waiting for the next interesting site. I don't have a choice, so I might as well quit griping about it.