Friday, April 28, 2006

bad Juju

My wife seems to think that I have done something untoward to the people of Louisiana, or elsewhere. Louisiana jumps to mind most quickly since I was just there last month to do some mission work in Lake Charles. I took a group of young adults from the Cal-Pac Conference and we got some great work done. But since then, my flying has had some mishaps.
First adventure was the trip home from Lake Charles. We got a late start out of the Lake Charles thanks to a delayed flight coming in, so we wound up leaving close to when we were supposed to be landing in Houston. Noone said anything about this on behalf of the airline, no we are running late, no we are going to see about trying to get you different connections while we wait, not even the reasons for the delay.
So we landed in Houston and the four of us on that leg of the trip were ready to go see what we could do, since our flights had already left. Continental was less than helpful. For the record, if your flight is ever missed or delayed "due to weather" the airline is not responsible for anything - yep, nothing, zip, zilch, nada. We were not happy and tried to get the best flight we could. We wound up going out on four different flights, rather than the two we had been booked for in the first place.
That was round one. Now we just returned from a trip in Alabama and once again the flights were not with us. I have to give a great shout out to a dear friend Stacey, who got our tickets, and played travel agent while we were stuck on the road. Which then begs the story as to why Stacey needed to do anything.
Getting to the South was not a problem, but getting home was once again an ordeal. We left Lower Alabama to get to Montgomery and return the car we had borrowed with plenty of time. One stop for breakfast, and we were ready to be on our way, only I tagged a car backing out of our parking space. Fortunately no damage was done, but it scared me and I took the time to survey any possible damage. It just hit the trailer hitch on the back of the car we were driving and didn't seem to do any damage to the other car we hit.
Then I tried navigating the streets of Montgomery to find myself out of range of what I knew and had to get directions and run myself in some backtracking to get to the right location. We were still an hour and a half worth of cushion ahead of the drive to Birmingham to make it to our flight.
So we continued in the adventure, finding a two hour delay on the 1 and a half mile stretch of highway on I-65 from mile marker 229 onto mile marker 231. Really bad juju. So we got stuck in Birmingham as we had missed the last flight of the day. Oh well, thanks to Stacey we had been rescheduled for the next flight available - the next day on the same flight. Needless to say we stayed close to the airport so we could ensure our arrival there on time.
We got a nice hotel room, and go to get the room - bits in the toilet, the room has a funk that just is not pretty, and the "Free in-room wireless" had to be located out in the hall. I went to see about another room and they did have such a thing, right next door, and so we shifted.
Setting up camp was not much of a problem. It seemed we could get the wireless in the room, there were still bits in the toilet, but not as many, and the smell of the room was such that it semlled like it had actually been cleaned.
We went to dinner and had some very nice food. It came time for dessert and the fried cheesecake was not a problem, but apparently making a chocolate brownie Sunday caused a host of troubles as it was delayed beyond the arrival of the fried cheesecake, not once, but twice. A comped dessert worked out alright.
We get back to the room and I start to get ready for the shower, and find a wet towel and bath products hidden in the folds of the shower curtain. I was miffed, but didn't really want to deal with changing rooms. as I didn't expect that changing rooms would get me anything better.
The next morning I reported it to the clerk who had changed our room the night before. We wound up with a comped room.
We made the flight, got the other connectors on the way home and arrived tired and ready to be home a day late and a few dollars shorter.
I think the South wants to keep me there, but I have yet to determine the true cause. Maybe I just interfered with the wrong person in Louisiana and I got some bad juju.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Just Mindnumbing

I was reading around the web, and came across an article that speaks of a phenomena that I have heard about for years. In the Phillipines there is a ritual where several men quite literally "take up their cross to follow Jesus". What's more they seek to explore the pain and suffering of Jesus by being crucified himself (and then pulled down before death).
That is brutal. I can't fathom the kind of faith that would push me to suffer what Christ suffered. I am not one that believes that in order to identify with another I need to have been through their pain. I still think the Gospel can be recounted without that suffering. It applies to drugs addiction, sins of all varieties and even to Christ's suffering on the cross.
But, one westerner wanted to experience and the news story tells a little of that account.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Reading this week

This week has been full no doubt. I have tried to get some reading in. There have been a few books I have gotten into. The first is one that has become my new favorite, "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore. He has two very important passages for me. The first is his rendering of Holy Week. The second comes just before that section of the story, and is probably more meaningful to me. It is where Boff gives the reason for Jesus to allow himself to be sacrificed. He says that Jesus is doing it so that God will see the nature of sacrifice and that there is no need for more sacrifice.
The other book I have been working my way through this week is "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" By Anne Rice. I have only made it part way through the book, but I hope to finish by tomorrow.
May your journey be powerful and productive.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I've got it!

Well, at least for the moment I think I have more of it than I had before.

With all the musings on the Gospel of Judas this week I got to thinking about the agenda that was trying to be pushed through with that as Jesus the fully human creature with no divine, until the resurrection, when he was fully divine, with no humanaity left to him. The goal of the passage was to further an idea of Jesus, which has come to be known as the Manichean Heresy.

I also heard a story about how when Jesus walked on water to get to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, he wasn't actually walking on water, but instead walked on ice because the Sea of Galilee was frozen over. The author was trying to prove his own point and base something in science. The kicker is that none of this is about science.

What I finally understood this week is that the scriptures and the Bible in particular is not a document we need to prove, but instead a document that is trying to prove us. By that I mean that we are the people of the Bible and we can identify with many of the characters. Maybe we ought to be listening for what the scriptures are telling us about how to live with God and interact with God and what happens when we do so, rather than trying to prove the texts as "true". This isn't a matter of metaphor versus literal, but a matter of "man, there is something I can learn about me".


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Check it out:


I thought you'd like to take a look at
It's a new community site for keeping in touch with family and friends. It includes photo sharing with face recognition technology, family trees, a family event calendar, a genealogy search engine and dedicated genealogy software.

Right now it's in beta stage and showcases a *cool* demo of face recognition. Upload a photo of yourself or family members and it will tell you in a few seconds which celebrity looks just like you!


To visit MyHeritage, click here:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Moral Judgement

The time has come to render some judgement and I need some perspective.

This past weekend was the 30 hour famine with the church youth at Del Rosa UMC.

In the wee hours of the morning several of the girls decided to "water bomb" the boys room thereby leaving the boys soaked and their "flats" demolished.

The boys retaliated by pounding on doors and windows, waking the world with whistles and beating.

This was not all of the youth who participated. Those who did participate, broke the covenant we had for the event which stated that they would "I will not do anything to jeopardize my reputation or the integrity of another person. I understand the traditions listed above and those of the church are in place for my benefit and the benefit of others."

The integrity of the youth who had their space broken (emotional and physical, and spiritual disturbed by the offended) had their safety at risk. The church was by no means destroyed, but it was "inconvenienced" and as such did "jeopardize the reputation" of those who participated in the acts of "water bombing" and "noisemaking".

The offending parties were sent home.

Here comes the real moral dilemma. The youth gave an account the day of telling what happened, but did not tell of the counselors who instigated the fracas. One was only in for a few minutes and gave the girls an idea of what to do to disrupt the boys, and return the favor for the prank pulled on the girls last year, where the shoes were all pulled from the room, and laid out on the stairs of the church. Later, after talking with their parents the youths and parents came back to the leadership of the event and told of the leader who was most involved.

When that leader was asked directly about what happened, and whether she was involved, there was no claim, and she stated an alibi. This alibi was not confirmed, but the other pieces did not place her at the scene, nor did the girls mention her involvement. So, here I sit trying to figure out what to do with a youth leader who not only lied to my face, and the face of several other leaders and parents, but encouraged the youth to lie to protect her.

I have asked that she not participate as a leader until we get a chance to talk, and I think at this time I will probably be asking her to step out of youth leadership for a longer period of time.

The question that I have for the wisdom of my readers is the question regarding what an appropriate "healing" period might be, and what signs of repentance will be required before allowing her a space in leadership again.

Any help, thoughts, ideas or wisdom would be appreciated. Boundaries are hard to maintain.


And it rains some more

So soccer last night got cancelled, after they said it would go on rain or no rain (no shine as the games are too late at night, but anyway...)

Today started with a lot of rain. There is a lot of water in the air these days. I had to run some errands, and probably could have skipped the morning shower for the amount of water dumped on me doing said errands. But, most of them are now done and the sky is just starting to clear. It ought to be interesting from here on out.

I also got the several services together for Holy Week. Five in total so far (pray for no funerals). We have Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Tenebrae), Good Friday ("Behold the Darkness - A musical tenebrae), Easter Sunrise, and Easter Service itself. Kinda crazy to think about doing all that next week.

The good news is that we are gonna have a chance to visit with family and such in Alabama soon. I have the priviledge of doing the wedding ceremony for a long time college friend. Pretty cool stuff, especially to get the in-laws visited at the same time, and go to a friend's wedding for my wife.

All in all, pretty good stuff.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

in the rain

Soccer is on for tonight. How that happened I am not certain. They have cancelled the games for little more than the threat of rain in the past. I suspect that the crew has to finish the season before the next season of whatever sport begins at that location. So time is now on the players' side. The real bummer is that in the rain the best part of the game is sliding about and the league doesn't allow slide tackles. Of course if you are the goalie then you can take folks on, and I may well do that, just so that I can go sliding around in the HUGE box that is about 8'x10'.
Last night soccer was a real bummer. We played hard and got thrown out of game with all the fouls the other team was laying on us. Then the fact they argued each call really made it tough for us. We went down badly at half 6-3 and fought hard in the second half to see what we could do to equalize. The bad news was that the game was taken from us by the ref, who had been giving us all these penalty chances (though no penalty shots). He gave the other team a "bonus goal" in the second half. Noone scored it, and he couldn't really account for it, and so the four goals we had to "tie" the game were rendered null and void by a referee error. That hurts. We play the same team next week. We have got to get off our butts earlier in the game.
That's it for the soccer post.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

April Fools'

So every good day deserves to have some fun. Mine was posting the picture of me and my nephew, Noah, and making it out to be my son. Of course, taken at face value the two statements are true, but lead to a poor conclusion. The first statement, "Have you met my son?" is a legitimate question, for which there is no answer, as my wife so deftly pointed out. The second is also a true statement. The picture is of me and Noah at Disneyworld. A great kid.
As to the other question about meeting my wife, well let me know when you're out this way, give a name rather than the basic anonymous and we'll see what we can do.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Did you Know?


Have you met my son?
This is Noah and me at Disneyworld in Orlando Posted by Picasa