Thursday, September 22, 2005

informational text messages

You know that little skip in your heart when your phone beeps to tell you have a text message? The thought that someone is trying to reach out and touch you in the form of a quickly entered message with their keypad? Well, I had that feeling today until I realized that it was a text message from Cingular, telling me I can make international calls with my phone. How lame is that? I mean, there I was, thinking somebody loved me enough to text the very best, and it was only an advertisement. Thankfully, it was from Cingular, so it was free. I'd rather get random text messages from Weicher's pocket, because at least that tells me I'm in somebody's phonebook. Oh well, such is life.

Tomorrow, I'm headed back to Columbia, MO in anticipation of my ordination on Sunday afternoon. I'm pretty excited about the whole thing. Being ordained in my home church should be a truly wonderful thing. I've experienced God in so many ways in that church. I can't wait to celebrate God's call on my life in that place. Prayers for safe travel for me and everyone involved would be appreciated.

I ate Taco Bell for lunch today, and it was AWESOME!! I mean, that first bite of my soft taco and sip of Mountain Dew made me feel so good inside. There's probably something bad about that...desires of the flesh and all...but I loved it.

Finally, thanks to my good friend Wes for giving me a shout out yesterday. I was having one of those weeks, and it was great to hear the voice of one much beloved. I enjoyed having a conversation with someone who knows me in ways that only close long-term friends can know. Thanks Rabboni. If you think I wasn't psyched to hear your voice, know.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tennessee State Fair

This past Saturday, I ventured out to the Tennessee State Fair. The more I attend state fairs, the more I think that the Missouri State Fair is the king of state fairs. I have to say that this one was pretty lame. Unfortunately, most of the animals had already gone home, and the remaning attractions weren't very interesting.

This picture is of a Showbot. If I ever figure out how to put video on my blog, I'll include a video of their performance. They're basically these big shiny robot looking characters who "play" funk music and dance around and tell kids to stay in school and stuff like that. If you ever get to see the Showbots, you're in for a treat. :)

I was intrigued with the cross section of people I saw at the fair. The rich soccer Moms of Brentwood probably weren't there, but other than that, I saw people of different races and socioeconomic status milling around.

If I had had more money, I might have gone in to see the world's smallest bearded woman woman or the two headed turtle or one of the other random "freak show" type things. I mean, who wakes up one day and decides, "I'm gonna travel around the country and show weird stuff to people."?

Anyway, I attended the Tennessee Stat Fair and I was less than impressed. I probably won't go next year.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Daily Manna

Nothing like getting ahead of the game, right? I'm preaching on Exodus 16:2-15 this Sunday...God providing quails and manna. I'm emphasizing God's desire that we trust God for our daily bread. The Israelites had to harvest the manna every day except the sabbath. What does it look like in a world of refrigeration and canning to trust God for our daily bread? Is it merely acknowledging God's provision, or is it more than that? Couldn't the Israelites have given thanks for manna that lasted more than a day? What do you say to people who have no food, especially at the end of the month? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Two Neighborhoods

Yesterday, my day was framed by two neighborhoods. After getting worked by a trainer at Delta Fitness, I came home, recovered, and after a shower, sat down on the couch to eat lunch and watch some TV. As I was flipping channels, I came upon Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood. What a great show!! I was mesmerized. I learned how crayons are made, labeled, packaged, and shipped. It was really interesting stuff. Mr. Rodgers did a drawring with crayons and talked about how if we only think about things, they stay in the world of make believe. He went on to say that sometimes we have to take action on our thoughts...we have to act in the world, not just think and talk about it. He admitted that his picture wasn't amazing, but that drawing it was what it was all about. I sat there and thought about how our offerings to God of time and energy may not be perfect (in fact, I'm pretty sure they aren't) but that it is in doing them that we find some sort of joy. As King Friday was telling Ms. Cow (the teacher in the land of make believe) about his idea for a drawing contest for the people in his kingdom, the phone rang, and I had to come back to the real world.
Then, last night, at our service and mission committee meeting, a woman came and spoke to us about her work at Martha O'Bryan, a local mission in "the black spot of Nashville" as she called it. She talked about children and youth who simply need people to come and read to them. She talked about how so many people on the gulf coast couldn't leave town because it was the end of the month so they didn't have money left to buy a bus ticket. She talked about a neighborhood in which the norm is to drop out of high school. She talked about a girl whose family is shunning her for going to a good college instead of the local Tennessee State.
It was really two different neighborhoods that I encountered, but both Fred Rodgers and Marcia Edwards were calling upon people to act on their thoughts and leave the land of make believe and make a difference in the world.
I think that I'll begin using my Fridays as days to volunteer at Martha O'Bryan. It's time to quit talking about revolution and actually get into the thick of it.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

"These people are strange..."

The following words come from an ongoing series of articles by Bernard-Henri Levy, entitled In the Footsteps of Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a Frenchman who traveled the United States early in her life and offered some amazingly astute commentary. Anyway, Levy has traced Tocqueville's steps and has written these articles from The Atlantic Monthly. In the paragraph that follows, he is writing about the neo-cons who currently hold so much political power:

These people are strange, is the gist of what he (someone Levy is interviewing) says to me. They've spent their whole lives preacing against giving too much power to the government. They told us to beware of the naivete of the social-engineering specialists who purported to be able to eradicate American poverty with one wave of their political wand. And then they lost all perspective as soon as it was a question of eradicating such poverty, along with the roots of despotism, 6,000 miles away. And they have complete faith in a political decision when it's an issue -- as a nation and a government are being constructed -- of winning not just the war but also the peace. And they adopt the same "messianic" tone for which they've so often reproached their progressive adversaries as soon as it's a matter of building a Western-style democracy, ex nihilo, in a country that's never harbored such a concept!

Interesting stuff huh?

A sad day...I have no game

It's now official. As this photo shows, the Buick, the Maroon Marauder, the hooptie, the official vehicle of Alan Bancroft has been towed away to be sold or used for spare parts or whatever. I donated the proceeds to the American Diabetes Association. I stood on my porch and watched as she was hoisted onto the tow truck and driven away. I didn't cry, but it was definitely an emotional moment. For all of you who have enjoyed her sweet ride, I hope that you'll remember her in your own way.

On a totally unrelated note, I had a moment the other day when I realized that I have absolutely, positively, no game. I was standing in the checkout line at Publix, and this cute girl in front of me turned around and began talking to me. After an initial "How are you?" I complimented her on her "ensemble," and then froze up. I just stood there like an idiot. This moment of "no game" brought to you by the letter L, for loser.