Monday, November 23, 2009

From the Headlines ...

Man Trapped In 23-Year 'Coma' Was Conscious

This is just a fascinating story. A guy from Europe was thought to be in a coma for 23 years. However, he was misdiagnosed, and was actually conscious.

Check out the story here.

It does make you wonder, in a small number of cases, if life support has been terminated prematurely, when a patient has been fully aware of what was happening. Almost sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Via E-Mail ...

2% or 98% of Population?

Just follow these instructions, and answer the questions one at a time and as quickly as you can! Again, as quickly as you can but don't advance until you've done each of them .... really. Now, scroll down (but not too fast, you might miss something).

THINK of a number from 1 to 10

MULTIPLY that number by 9

If the number is a 2-digit number, ADD the digits together


DETERMINE which letter in the alphabet corresponds to the number you ended up with (example: 1=a, 2=b, 3=c,etc.)

THINK of a country that starts with that letter

REMEMBER the last letter of the name of that country

THINK of the name of an animal that starts with that letter

REMEMBER the last letter in the name of that animal

THINK of the name of a fruit that starts with that letter

Are you thinking of a Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange?

Isn't that FREAKY!! If not for you, you're among the 2% of the population whose minds are different enough to think of something else. However, 98% of people will answer with kangaroos in Denmark eating oranges when given this exercise.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

Call me sentimental, one of my favorite parts of the whole Christmas season used to be all those old Christmas variety shows - you know ... Andy Williams, Bing Crosby - hey, I even liked the Osmonds (except for the "Donnie and Marie" phase). I wonder if just one of the seventy-five cable channels that never gets watched will decide to put on old Christmas programming in the next few weeks that would draw this viewer for an hour?

Speaking of Christmas, I'm working on a sermon where I am going to attempt the concept of "home" to the Christmas holiday. It has spurred me to take a trip down memory lane as I remember some of the Christmases I had as a kid.

Some of things I remember fondly:

My grandmother's fruitcake - I absolutely HATE fruitcake. But my grandmother is gone now, and I know how much she loved to make it. I tend to associate Christmas to her fruitcake.

The silver tinsel Christmas tree - again, this tree belonged to my grandparents. It was theirs and that's what made it special!

Family gatherings - this usually took place at my other set of grandparents' house. All the uncles and aunts and cousins would show up, and man could they cook!

Worst Christmas as a kid: I had figured out the whole Santa thing, and knew that our Christmas gifts HAD to be hidden somewhere in the house. I found them ... in the attic. With the surprise ruined, so was my Christmas! lol

Got any Christmas memories you'd like to share? Feel free to comment. I'll add to this list as the season progresses.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Student Driver

My oldest daughter will soon be joining the ranks of those who can legally drive a vehicle on a public road ... by herself!

A little backstory: My daughter just turned 18, which puts her behind age-wise to other new drivers. However, my insurance agent strongly advises that all teenagers wait until they turn 18 to get their license because their insurance will be lower than if they get their license at age 16. Since she is paying for her own insurance, she thought that was a good idea, so she wisely chose to wait. And, since I feel she showed a little bit of maturity in making that decision, I feel more at-ease with her abilities to make good decisions in other matters as she grows older ... and ultimately on her own.

Over the last couple of years, she has had her temporary license and we have let her drive some. The very first time I ever let her get behind the wheel, we went to a huge empty parking lot of a store that had closed. Before she started, I first lectured her - like any good Dad would - explaining that she was to listen to me and that she should obey me immediately - none of this asking "Why?" to everything I told her. "Obey first, and THEN ask questions!"

After we went through the typical car safety rules such as adjusting mirrors, seats, and safety belts, I took a deep breath and told her to start the car. She started the car and immediately the radio blared to life to a local Contemporary Christian station.

I kid you not ... the song that was playing the moment my daughter started the engine for her first driving lesson, was Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take The Wheel."

Who said God doesn't have a sense of humor?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Strange Sighting ...

A few weeks ago we were out, and in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, we saw this sight:

Someone wanting to get a leg up on their Christmas shopping?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Test ...

This is a test blog sent via my cell phone. If it works, I am smarter than the machine. If not ...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Facebook Junkie

In case you are wondering where I have been the last week or so, I have been on FACEBOOK.

You need to be a member of Facebook in order to see my page. Simply send me a friend request.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How To Clean the Toilet

Via E-mail:

How To Wash A Toilet

* Put both lids of the toilet up. Then add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.
* Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
* In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close the lid. You may need to stand on the lid.
* The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.
* Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a power-wash and rinse.
* Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.
* Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift the lid.
* The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.
* Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.


The Dog

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

Found this here.

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy (This is marvelous!! Scroll thru slowly and read carefully to receive and enjoy full effect.)

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions … just ponder them.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the ‘headliners’ of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But, the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials ... the most money … or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Five Favorite Old Shows

I thought I'd list my five favorite old TV shows that no longer air, but sometimes you can catch on a cable channel.

1) Andy Griffith Show - To me, there has been no finer comedy made. It's pure small-town Americana at its finest. Great characters, but I think they were based on real people who probably were more like the ficticious characters than most folks would care to admit. My favorite episode was the one where Barney joins the choir. And I also love the episode about Aunt Bea's pickles. I never tire of this one.

2) Star Trek: TNG - Yes, I am a closet Trekkie. Not a fan of the original series, but this new show got me hooked. Star Trek: DS9 was a disappointment. Voyager was OK, but it wasn't TNG. Plus, it taught me cool words to throw around in some of my college physics classes. Say stuff like: "Quantum transducers" or "ionic plasma anti-matter" and folks think you're smart. Just don't tell them you learned those words off Star Trek!

3) Jericho - Short-lived show that really wasn't given a fair chance. It seems to me that lousy shows with worse ratings, especially those making some political statement or pushing an agenda seem to be given chance after chance in various timeslots. But Jericho aired on Wednesday nights - usually up against American Idol or Lost, and what do you expect? But I digress ... I hated to see Gerald McRaney's character killed off, but felt this show was cut short and the plot never really explained - even with the additional episodes that were supposed to bring closure to the story.

4) The Pretender - A great show that few people watched. A genius is trained by a super-secret think tank to be able to assume any identity and assume any vocation needed. Only, the genius discovers he's being used for nefarious purposes, so he escapes the think tank and proceeds to go around helping people. The plot twists in this show were GREAT. Unfortunately, the story line was forced to be wrapped in a couple of TV movies, and what could/should have been a good seven season series got cut into three seasons and a couple two hour movies.

5) Alias - This is the only series I own on DVD - I have the complete five season run. Again, there's a lot of plot twists: the heroine's dead mother isn't really dead. The lingering question of who Sydney's (heroine) REAL father is. Then there's that whole Rambaldi plot. And a sister pops up outta nowhere. And then Sydney marries Michael, her CIA handler, only to discover that Michel isn't who he says that he is, but he is killed before he can explain anything - only to find out he's not really dead, but in hiding.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Mission Impossible - Loved Jim Phelps and the IMF team; Babylon 5 - Actually, this was pretty good sci-fi show, but it kind of leaves you afraid of shadows (You have to see the show in order to appreciate that "shadow" comment); J.A.G. - Loved the navy ships and planes. I keep hoping one of these characters will drop in on the spin-off show, NCIS, sometime.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Five Favorite TV Shows

Continuing my list theme, I thought I'd list my five favorite current TV shows.

1) Monk - This character is great. A quirky, paranoid, yet brilliant detective who finds himself wrestling with his insecurities. Love the show. Too bad this is the last season.

2) Chuck - Unfortunately, according to the ratings, I'm probably the only person who does like this show. A loveable underacheiver is suddenly thrust into a important position where he has two bodyguards. Of, course, one of his bodyguards is a girl, and they develop feelings for each other.

3) Remington Steele - OK, so this one has been gone quite a while, and probably technically isn't "current," but you can catch reruns on the American Life Network. This was Mr. Brosnan in his pre-James Bond days. And Ms. Zimbalist has gone on to the occasional "Movie-of-the-Week," but not much more.

4) Leverage - This is a little known, brand new show, that airs on TNT on Tuesday nights @ 10:00 PM. The plot of this show is classic: a team of con artists decide to take on social injustices and become Robin Hood for victims of injustice. Sort of reminds me of the old show, "A-Team" ... except without Mr. T.

5) Fringe - OK, this show is growing on me a little. The stories are a little outlandish, but the one character, the Observer, is creepy. The Observer, is somewhat of a mystery. He shows up at certain times to observe events. The thing is, the Observer has shown up in old photos of events that happened 50 or 60 years ago, and he hasn't aged a bit. In fact, the Observer appears in EVERY episode. Sometimes he is pointed out, and other episodes, he appears only as a random figure - pretty much an extra - walking down the street seconds before the street explodes, or exiting an elevator moments before it malfunctions and plunges twenty-five stories. His character alone makes this show worth watching.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Lost - love the plot twists and turns, Num3ers - I actually understand a little of the math, and Extreme Home Makeover - because everyone needs a little "feel-good" from time-to-time.

Tomorrow I'm considering a list of five past favorite shows that are no longer aired.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Word of God

In yesterday's blogging post, I mentioned that the Bible was my favorite book. I think I'd like to talk about that for a few minutes.

In Hebrews 4: 12, it says: "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." (NLT)

I do not believe that very many of we Christians fully grasp the absolutely power and authority of the Word. And then add the words of Isaiah 55:11, where God proclaims that His Word "will not return to Him void." He then says: "It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." (NLT)

Wow! As a pastor, I many times wonder if any one is listening as the Word is being proclaimed. You think about the parable of the sower, and how the seed of the Word fell on four types of ground - one of which it just fell by the wayside and was trampled on and ignored. But God, Himself, has declared that His Word will not return void.

That leads me to wonder if there are times God's Word doesn't return to Him, or, could it be that the trampled seed by the wayside is not wasted seed in the eyes of God? I don't really know. I do believe that even if a person seems to ignore the Word they have heard, that necessarily doesn't mean they lose the seed. I think sometimes the Holy Spirit has to let the seed "hibernate" awhile before it speaks the message of God to the heart.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Five Favorite Books

Another List:

1) The Bible - I use four versions pretty much exclusively: The King James Version, The New King James Version, The New International Version, and The New Living Transation. I preach out of the New King James, but I quote a lot from the NIV and the NLT. For my own personal devotions, I use the NLT.

2) Hardy Boys series - Yes, you read that right. I'm not talking about the modernized paperback versions, but the old hardbacks written back in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's. They were my favorites growing up and I still collect them when I can find them cheap. Who can forget the adventures of Frank and Joe, and the antics of their pal, Chet? These guys were getting konked on the head 2-3 times in every adventure. And every meal was vividly described in detail so that your mouth watered as you read the menus. I'm in my mid-40's and I still read them when I want a mind-dump.

3) The Purpose Driven Church - by Rick Warren. This book has given me several ideas for sermon series, and it has enabled me to sort through the maze of church leadership ideas. I always seem to find my way back to those five purposes for the church.

4) Perry Mason novels - Again, you read that right. Erle Stanley Gardner created a great character in Perry Mason. I liked the old TV shows, but the books are far superior to the shows. Poor Hamilton Burger. If there was ever a worse disctrict attorney, I'd like to meet him.

5) This one is tough because I have a lot of favorites. But because I am a pastor, and because I like doctrinal issues, I would have to go with a book written by one of our own Church of God writers. "Scenes From the Throne" was written by Richard Bradley, and it is a collection of lectures he has given on the Book of Revelation. It is one of the easiest interpretations I have read. Brother Bradley uses the church-historical method of interpretation. Many folks - even within the Church of God - see this method as out-dated and unsophisticated. However, it makes more sense to me than any other interpretations I have listened to.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Five Favorite Restaurants

In no particular order:

1) P.F. Chang’s – I absolutely love this place. The “Chang’s Spicy Chicken” with extra veggies is my favorite. The lettuce wraps are great, as well as the spring rolls.

2) bd’s Mongolian BBQ Grill – Cool place where you get to experiment with ingredients and spices. I especially like the chicken with veggies and a sweet/hot spice mix. The web site allows creating your own dishes and gives you nutritional information for your created dish.

3) Acapulco Restaurant – While you can Google “Acapulco Restaurant” and find many references, you won’t find this one because it’s local and it’s in my hometown of Lebanon. Absolutely THE best Mexican food I have ever had. We’ve been in here so often, they pretty much seat us in the same seat every time we go!

4) LaRosa’s – My favorite pizza place. I have to say that this is probably by default. I don’t care for Papa John’s or Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Donato’s is OK, Cassano’s is OK. Godfather’s is probably my favorite pizza, but the nearest store is 45 minutes away – way up on the other side of Dayton. So, when I want pizza, I opt for LaRosa’s. But I’m keeping my eyes open for a local pizzeria to take this spot.

5) Chipotle – Last but not least, how about a burrito from this favorite grill? I go with the Chicken Fajita Burrito. I also like the Corn Salsa.

How about your favorites?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Afraid To Be Struck By Lightning

I came across this article awhile ago.

It seems a an atheist group in Great Britain have purchased advertising space on buses and posted a sign that says: "There's Probably No God: Now stop worrying and enjoy life!" I'd hate to be on one of those buses in the middle of a thunderstorm!

Does it seem odd that folks will pay money to protest something they don't even believe in? I mean, I don't believe Elvis is working at a Wal-Mart in Michigan, but I'm not purchasing advertising space in order to dispute with those who believe he is.

Some people have nothing better to do ... I guess.