Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent is a lot like Curling - Really!

“’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” -Mark 1:3b

Curling looks like fun. I've personally only done it twice. But if you've ever watched the Winter Olympics in the wee hours of the morning you have an idea how it works. Two teams alternate throwing large polished granite stones down a sheet of ice. After each stone is thrown "sweepers” use curling brooms to help shape the path it will follow. The sweepers are entirely focused on preparing the way.

In today's text John was entirely focused on preparing the way for Jesus,
calling people to repentance and announcing the forgiveness of sin. Our world still needs to see and hear Jesus. No doubt we need sweepers who will clear the path so that people can welcome our Lord! God, help us to join in the work of making straight the path so that nothing will hinder the Good News of Jesus...

Curling for Jesus! I love it.

(Inspired by a devotional at Fresno.edu online)

I Love Advent!

I love Advent. I love the Advent wreath. I love the Advent calendar (especially if it’s chocolate). I really love the music. ...I’m humming Handel’s Messiah while I’m writing this. But most of all I love the hopefulness of it.

This time of year, we’re preparing for the end of the term and hoping for a positive outcome. We’re preparing for holiday celebrations and shopping, hoping our selections are appreciated. After the preparation of Advent, we get the joys of Christmas. And it does comfort me, after this month of preparation and hope to get to celebrate the miraculous birth at the end. Just like after our lives of preparation and hope we get to celebrate our miraculous birth to ever-lasting life.

From Creighton University Daily Reflections.

I love advent too!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Kept is Liable to Mold

"Let me not wrap, stack, box, bag, tie, tag, bundle, seal, keep Christmas.

Christmas kept is liable to mold.

Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls. Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes.

Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again."

Linda Felver, A Book of Christmas


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Moment

More Advent Thoughts

Leaving Heaven -

That's what Christmas is all about. The Son of God left His place in heaven to become human and live with us here on earth. He lived a perfect life for us and took our place on the cross, suffering God's wrath for all of our failings. He rose to life again on the third day. When He returns He will raise us from death to live with Him forever.

PRAYER: Mighty Son of God, thank You for saving me by Your life, death and resurrection. Transform me that I may take hold of You and celebrate Your birth with great joy this Christmas. Amen.
- Rev Wayne Palmer

From - Advent Devotions Online - available HERE

Advent Thoughts - November 29, 2011

MAY GOD’S GRACIOUS PRESENCE wrap around and protect you.
May the promise of the holy Christ child
forever rest in the curve of your life.
May the sweet, fearless song of the Holy Spirit
sing you to sleep
and waken you in Advent dawns.
May you, and those you love and serve,
expect the good news,
Immanuel, God-With-Us.

- Pamela C. Hawkins
Read more at Behold!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tilting at 23

We just returned from a quick trip to southern Michigan to visit our son Alex and his wife Becky and three of our four grandkids - Evan, Aaron and Ashlyn. They live in Kalamazoo which is surrounded by plenty of trees most of which are in the process of having their leaves turn bright yellow or red.

This turning of colors in the autumn is for me one of the strongest reminders of the changing of the seasons. Spring comes gently, summer arrives unannounced but autumn sends out this amazing calling card of riotous colors to let us know it has arrived.

It didn't have to be this way. Planet Earth could have been perfectly upright in its rotation. But our amazing creator God chose for it to be off-kilter. Canted just so that it creates what songwriter Chris Rices calls "our perfect 23."

I love that. The imperfection of our planets rotation creates the much loved changing of the seasons. How like our God to make something beautiful out of something off-kilter.

Love it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lynn Hybels on Jesus

Christianity - By Lynn Hybels

I needed to know — and I still need to know, every day — that I am loved despite my failures, tha I am loved for the uniqueness of my true self, and that I am loved as I sit quietly doing absolutely nothing to earn, or buy, or chase that love.
I cannot wrap my brain around what I just wrote. I don’t know how Jesus allows me to experience his Presence and his Love. But he does. Whenever I lean fully into the reality of my loneliness, my insecurity, my fear, or my brokenness, I find Jesus there loving me.

That has become a Mystery I cannot live without.

In Jesus I also found a radical call to compassionate action in the world. At Jesus’ first public appearance he said, “I have come to set the captives free and to preach good news to the poor.” Then, through his teaching and life of servanthood, he slowly and methodically turned the values of the powerful Roman Empire upside down.

He threw the moneychangers out of the temple because they were exploiting the poor. He said that when we feed the hungry or clothe the naked it’s like we’re doing it to him. He said to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us.

Jesus changed the rules and ushered in an upside-down Kingdom.

The early church was known for the way it loved, not just within the little band of believers, but beyond it. Jesus’ first followers met daily to sing and pray and honor the presence of Jesus in their midst, and then they shared their material resources so freely that none among them had any need.

Histories of the early church record that when deadly plagues cut a black swath through communities, all the healthy people left except the crazy followers of Jesus, because they knew they were called to care for the sick — for the least — and they weren’t afraid of the consequences, even death.

I am a Christian today because of what I found in Jesus.

So well said!

Gungor -- still loving what they do

Great new music

Friday, October 14, 2011

Myers Briggs - Just For Fun

Locate yourself on this chart. Either by the letter combination you already have tested for OR by the description. Humorous and accurate.

I am an E/I NTP -- both descriptions are pretty accurate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Foliage

I miss the amazing riot of colors in the fall foliage in Michigan and points East. Maybe some of it can hold on for one more week until Nancy and I get there.

Leaf-peeping here we come!

Praying for Egypt

Here is part of a communication from a friend in Egypt:

Dear Brothers,
I hope this one finds you well. I do not know how I can describe the situation here in Egypt. I'm sure you have been watching the news about what's going on in Egypt right now. We had a horrible night, it was a battle beside were I live.

I don't know i'm still confused, many people have been killed from the Christian side. I am not quite sure of the number, and I do not know where all of that will end up all what I know we have giant God. So pray for us.

...Pray for our safety and for the country general. Asking the lord of peace to bring peace and healing.

I cannot say or quote more so as to protect the anonymity of the person involved. Please do not make any comment about who this might be.

Just pray!

Glenn's Ministry

As Lead Pastor at Timberview Church and a church leader, I am passionate about building a God honoring prevailing local church and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. My ministry career has included stints in professional music ministry and pastoring two congregations in Canada and two in the U.S.

For over 30 years I have be privileged to serve the Lord and the Free Methodist Church. God has blessed our ministry with many new converts and growing dynamic congregations.

One of the great joys of doing ministry has been the teamwork involved with our family, my wife Nancy and our adult son Alex, his wife Becky and our adult daughter Angela and her husband Jared Amerine.

My ENFP personality on the Myers Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love being creative and it is important for me to see progress. My strongest indicator by far is "N" which connects to the my love of imagination and big dreams. Both my E and P scores are just above midline - meaning I like being with people but I also like alone time. And although I like to play things by ear I've also learned to plan ahead.

Online I write mostly about spiritual formation, contemporary culture and church leadership. I like to interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me.

Upward and onward!
Glenn H. Teal

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hast Thou No Scar by Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael -- Hast Thou No Scar?

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?

One of my all time favorite poems.

Bible Reading Online

Another part of the Radical Challenge is reading my Bible daily - at least 5 days a week. For some it looks like reading the Bible through in a year. For others it is digging more deeply into a shorter section on a daily basis.

The problem for most North American Christians is that we don't do either. Anonymous survey's show that about 21% of church-goers actually read their Bible between Sundays. Some of this is understandable because finding your way around and into the 66 books of the Bible with little or do guidance can be a challenge.

Here are some Bible intensive websites that I think can be very helpful:

Bible Study Tools - I use 'Today's Bible Reading - NIV" emails from this website to keep me on track.

ooBible online The Infinity Bible online is just starting up and is currently based on the ESV. Great for iPhone and iPad users.

GloBible - wins the coolest new Bible award hands down. Very tech savvy - lots of good translations - nice smooth interface. But it costs $60.

Bible Gateway - is the current leader in simple, functional online Bible Study. I consistently use this one the most. It also offers several online Bible reading plans.

Which one do you use?

Online Prayer

Part of the Radical Challenge - is to deepen and strengthen your prayer life over the next 6 months. A key part of that is adopting the goal of having a regular daily prayer time at least 5 days a week.

Interestingly enough when I asked on my Facebook page for online prayer suggestions I got the response that if we found some that would not really be 'kosher' in a Christian kind of way - because they wouldn't be our prayers. Really?

One reason so many evangelical Christians find consistent fresh prayer times to be so difficult is that we have cut ourselves off from the historic practice of allowing the prayers of others to inspire and inform our prayers. Certainly we don't want to repeat rote prayers written by others and call it good. But neither do we want to ignore the incredible treasure trove of challenging inspiring prayers both from scripture and from the writings of exemplary Christians across the centuries.

So check these websites out and let me know what you think:

Operation World - Praying for every country in the world - one day at a time!

Global Prayer Digest - Praying for the Unreached People of the World.

The Divine Hours - Praying with the Historic Pattern of Morning Noon and Evening Prayers. (Nancy and I have used this for the past 4 years and love it!)

Sacred Space - Wonderful Celtic-based online prayers from Ireland

Upward and onward

The Radical Challenge

This summer I read the book Radical by Dr. David Platt. It rocked my world! I was inspired again by the reality that Christianity just doesn't work at anything less than full devotion.

Whenever I am functioning at anything less than 'all out' in my walk with Christ - things start to fall apart. I get discouraged way too easily. I am distracted by 'lesser things'.

So I decided to digest the message of Radical a while before saying too much about it to the congregation I serve. Someone once warned me against Pastoral Spiritual Bulimia. PSB happens when I don't digest something God is feeding me but instead barf it up immediately on someone else. Yuck!

After about two months of thoughtful prayer I served up some Radical ideas on Sunday last. The positive response was very encouraging. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was speaking out of a deep place inside and not just repeating someone else's good ideas. I think.

Upward and onward

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gungor -- love the music!

I was blown away by the song "Beautiful Things" that was covered by the Willow Creek worship team during the recent leadership summit. When I went looking for the original I was impressed with how close Willow's team stayed to the arrangement by Gungor.

So here is a link to the Gungor website. Go to the media tab and listen to their amazing music.

Once you've heard it you'll realize that 'original' works on a whole lot of levels.


TRIBE: Kid's Matter to God and to Timberview

Coming up Sunday September 11 at TIMBERVIEW we will be celebrating the value of children. I love the reminder that Jesus took the little ones and held them on his lap. Mark 10:16 How cool would that have been?

So we get to hold some little one's on Jesus' behalf. How cool is that?

Leading the Way Moving into Fall

Renew the Vision
Everyone is inspired by a compelling vision. Our vision to reach people far from God and invite them into a life-changing relationship with Jesus truly is compelling. Remember too that sometimes just persevering and moving forward in tough times has a certain power in it. God rewards our faithfulness.

Rally the Troops
Meet one-on-one and in clusters with key members of your team. Tell them how much you appreciate them and remind them of their importance in the success of our ministry together. Be sure to look them in the eye. Can I count on you to be part of the solution? While you are at it identify a few key next steps – upcoming key events etc. and clarify some long-term goals and priorities.

Face Reality
Leaders define reality. So what are your challenges? How will we adjust to limited finances? We’ll need more volunteers. We also know that we’ll need more pay as we go events. All churches lose some members, just as businesses lose customers but it’s their response to such trends that will build the future. My friend Doug Murren wrote "Remember God is in the giving back business. You just have to have faith and the character to get it back God’s way. Loss should challenge us to appreciate what we have, intend to serve more intentionally, and inspire us to climb another rung on the ladder to becoming who we are."

Feed Your Own Faith
Get alone with God and make sure your spirit stays strong. Am I up for the challenge personally? My calling doesn’t change if I am in tough times. If you lose your focus you will lose ground. Take the time to find all the resources you can through relationships, online help, books etc to keep your own faith fired up.

Upward and Onward!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Leadership Quotes

1 We live in a world that’s crying out for better leadership. - Bill Hybels

2 Nothing rocks forever. Bill Hybels

3 There’s no map for being an artist. –Seth Godin

4 If it’s worth doing, why aren’t you doing it now? –Seth Godin

5 To be elegant is to love. To love is to give, to give until it hurts. –Mama Maggie Gobran

6 In silence we leave the many so we can be with the One. –Mama Maggie Gobran

7 The secret to finding the treasure of knowing the Almighty is silence. –Mama Maggie Gobran

8 I would much rather deal with anger than apathy. -Michelle Rhee

9 Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself. -John Dickson

10 Your job is not to look smart. It’s to help your team do more and better.
-Patrick Lencioni

Some of my favorite quotes from the recent Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Others have collected more quotes at Live Intentionally and at Executing Ideas.

Which one(s) speak to you?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mamma Maggie Groban

The single most moving moment at this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit was the presentation by Mama Maggie Gobran. This humble woman once led a comfortable life in Cairo. A Coptic Christian from a prominent Egyptian family, she taught computer science and lectured at Cairo University. But following a conviction from God, she started a ministry to serve the poor in her city - Stephen's Children. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee this year, Mama Maggie has spent 20 years serving the poorest of the poor.

My Notes
The truth us that any of us could have been born poor. We don’t choose where to be born. But we do choose either to be sinners or saints…to be nobody or be heroes.
If you want to be a hero, do what God wants you to do.

In my younger years my family was quite affluent. I liked to be elegant in my fashion. But I have found that to be truly elegant comes from the inside, to love- to love until it hurts.

When I came here today I thought I’m the least because I’ve been forgiven of so much and given so little. But I chose to serve the poorest of the poor - the forgotten children of Cairo. These children are hungry for food and hungry for love. Whenever I touch a poor child, I’m touching Jesus. When I listen to a poor child, I’m listening to God’s heart beating for all humanity.

Among the poor God is hidden. There is mystery among the poor. I serve in a country where it is not always possible to build a church - but with God's love we build a church in the heart of every child we reach.

We are also called to have a pure heart and to love the Almighty. This is learned in silence.
I practice a discipline of silence - one day each week, three additional days each month, and one week each year.

In silence - first silence your body to listen to words.
Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating
Silence your heart to listen to your spirit
Silence your spirit to listen to His spirit.

In silence you leave the many to be with the One.

Whenever I visit a country, I always kiss the ground and ask that God may bless this land and its people.

(Awestruck silence as she slowly knelt and kissed the floor.)

It was truly amazing - Mamma Maggie's presence spoke louder than her words.

Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2011

Here are some links to notes on the various sessions at the recent Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I will post some of my own reflections in days to come. For now check these out:

Relentless Leadership – Bill Hybels:
Live Intentionally,

Action Trumps Everything - Len Schlesinger:
Live Intentionally

Stand Up! – Hon. Cory Booker, Mayor Newark NJ
Live Intentionally

Catalytic Change – Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil
Live Intentionally

Poke the Box - Seth Godin
Living Intentionally

Digging Ditches – Steven Furtick
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 1 – Wess Stafford
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 2 – Mama Maggie Gobran
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 3 – Bill Hybels
- Live Intentionally

Students First – Interview with Michelle Rhee
- Live Intentionally

Dealing with 'That Guy' – Dr. Henry Cloud
- Live Intentionally

Humility – John Dickson
- Live Intentionally

Getting Naked – Patrick Lencioni
- Live Intentionally

New Things – Erwin McManus
- Live Intentionally

Friday, August 5, 2011

Amy's El Shaddai

We complete the A.K.A. Series - about the Names of God with one more message this Sunday. God Almighty - El Shaddai. Which of course reminded me of this classic tune from back in the day.


Falling Forward

From Bishop David Roller's Blog

I had a great visual this morning. I was talking with a friend and he said something about an attempt he was making and how he might fall down in the attempt. I encouraged him to "fall forward," and then I saw it. Instead of walking forward or running forward, at the very least we can fall forward! That way, when we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we will have advanced at least the length of our height.

Don't stand up where you fell down. Stand up where you landed! For me I'll advance at least 5 feet 7 inches every time I fall down. I may not get there as quickly as I want, but I'm gonna get there. Even if I have to fall all the way there.

To which I commented: "According to Professor Woergoetter, of the University of Gottingen, in Germany, in a recent study on how to teach a robot to walk like a human - he discovered that "About half of the time during a gait cycle we are not doing anything, just falling forward. We are propelling ourselves over and over again - like releasing a spring."
From an article on the BBC News Website.

Therefore to walk is to fall forward.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making Ripples

I just got back from Regan and Charlotte's new place. They were moved in by a team of last minute volunteers on Sunday afternoon. Their teenage son Emmet was diagnosed with a pretty serious medical condition which caused a potentially fatal blood clot in his right arm on Sunday morning.

Word came in the middle of the church service that Emmet was on his way to the hospital. But that was the day that the family had planned to move out of their old house and into their new one. So the body of Christ called Timberview rose up and stepped in. The family went to the hospital and the church family moved everything out of the old house and into the new.

Regan and Charlotte are still in shock. They feel more surrounded by love than ever before. Emmet is recovering nicely but has a long way to go. The church is being the church.

I love it when God's love makes ripples don't you?


Somehow for me summer is forever connected to times of rest and reflection. In grade school I so looked forward to summer vacation. In College and Grad School I did the same. Now as a pastor I anticipate the slower pace of the summer so that I can recalibrate my heart and mind.

For me - time to think and pray and reflect is essential to my soul. It gives me the bandwith to carry the mantle of leadership for the rest of the year.

Yet somehow this summer is half gone and I have not taken much time for soulish reflection. I better get at it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

AKA: The Lord of Hosts

In Christ you can win the battle you now face:
whatever bad habits you need to break
whatever temptation you need to resist
whatever discouragement you need to overcome
whatever doubt you need to defeat
whatever bruise or wound or scar you need to have healed
whatever sins you need to have forgiven
whatever holy habit you need to form
whatever faith you need to feed
whatever selfless act you need to do
whatever sacrifice you need to make
whatever loving kindness you need to show
whatever courageous word you need to speak
The Lord of Hosts is here with his heavenly armies to give you the grace you need

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prayer for Battle

Battlefield Prayer -- Arthur Bennett

I bless You that the issue of the battle between yourself and Satan has never been uncertain, and will end in your victory.

Calvary broke the dragon’s head, and so I contend with a vanquished foe, who with all his subtlety and strength has already been overcome.

Whenever I feel the serpent at my heel may I remember Jesus - whose heel was bruised, but who, when bruised, crushed the devil’s head. So because Christ conquered the enemy I rejoice that He rules as the Lord of Hosts our Mighty Warrior.

So Lord I pray that you will
Heal me of any wounds received in the great conflict;
if I have been stained by sin,
if my faith has suffered damage,
if my hope is less than bright,
if my love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies my heart,
if my soul sinks under pressure of the fight.
Heal me I pray.

Lord, You alone are the One whose every promise is balm, and every touch life-giving.
Draw near to me, your weary warrior
Refresh me, that I may rise again to fight the good fight, and never tire until my enemy is trodden down.

Help me to stay so close to You that through your power I may overcome Satan, unbelief, the lust of the flesh and the lure of this world.

Give me a fresh drink from Your eternal fountain that lies in your unchanging and everlasting love and decree.

Then my hand will never weaken,
my feet will never stumble,
my sword will never rest,
my shield will never rust,
my helmet will never shatter,
my breastplate will never fall,
as my strength rests in the power of your might.

Adapted by GHT

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Timberview Church Online

Firing up the old online community for Timberview. So we're activating our Facebook Page and our Twitter account.

We thought it might be especially helpful for communication and inspiration regarding Timberview's "Outside the Walls" serving opportunity on June 12.

Here we go!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jesus - Holds it All Together

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Celtic Prayer

A Celtic Prayer (Traditional Celtic)

May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
walk with you on the road.
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands
stretch out your hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart
open your hearts to love.
May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet,
and may everyone you meet
see the face of Christ in you.

Great prayer!

Jesus Lover Of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

Charles Wesley - 1740

Nancy and I have sung this as a duet for years now. I saw it in the margins of my NIV Worship Bible today and it stuck with me.

Beautiful and powerful stuff - don't you think?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Angela and the Baby

Angela is still blogging over at PICK MY BRAIN. Of course with the baby arriving in about three weeks - she has a lot to blog about!

Can't wait!

Daily Bible Readings

Bible reading is a challenge. Especially if you do it in a disciplined orderly way. Currently I am working with Daily Readings from the American Bible Society. I like getting the suggested reading emailed to me. It keeps me on track.

I'm not a big fan of the Good News Translation - but at least it keeps me following consistently along a through the Bible plan and the brief reflections and comments are helpful. OF course the old school through the Bible Reading Chart is also a good tool.

Are you using some particular Bible Reading Plan?


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Celtic Prayers

Open our eyes to Your presence
Open our minds to Your grace
Open our lips to Your praises.

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart.
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
- Old Irish Wish

As the rain hides the stars,
As the Autumn mist hides the hills,
As the clouds veil the blue of the sky,
so the dark happenings of my lot
hide the shining of Thy face from me.
Yet if I may hold Thy hand in the darkness
It is enough….

Since I know that though I may stumble in my going,
Thou dost not fall.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time Jumps Around

I'm not quite sure what to make of Daylight Savings Time - are you?

Daylight saving time, which begins on Sunday, is unsettling... Winding the clock forward in March and back in November is like biannually changing the measure of an inch.

This tinkering with clocks is our inheritance from a people obsessed with time. Clocks spread rapidly in early America... But all these clocks were like many Americans themselves: individual, conforming to their own notions. There were hundreds of local times, each city setting its city hall or courthouse clock to match its own solar noon. When it was 12 p.m. in Chicago, it was 11:50 a.m. in St. Louis and 12:18 p.m. in Detroit. But that wasn’t a problem because local time was all that mattered.

That changed when the railroads began to unify the country. The railroads ran by their own time, which vexed travelers trying to make connections. Many stations had two clocks, one for railroad time and one for local time.

To eliminate the confusion, railroads took it upon themselves in 1883 to divide the country into four time zones, with one standard time within each zone...

That explains it. The Railroads messed up our sense of time.

Be sure to set your clock ahead tonight!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fun with Words

The Washington Post published its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words.

And the winners are...

1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

12. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.

13. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

Just for laughs -- don't feel the need to comment -- unless you'd like to vote for your favorite word. No pressure.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Take a Deep Breath -- Prayer

Just now Lord Jesus -- I breathe out my sin and failure
I breathe in your forgiving grace
I breathe out my selfish words and ways
I breathe in the breath of God’s selfless love
I breathe out my cares and concerns
I breathe in the peace of God that passes all understanding.
I breathe out my doubts and fears
I breathe in fresh faith in Jesus Christ in whose strength I can do all things.

I sit quietly before you Jesus -- the author and finisher of my salvation.
I sit in awe and wonder of the Creator of everything -- the Savior of the world -- the Guide and Comforter of his children.
What a wonder you are.

So just now Lord Jesus
I breathe out my own striving and stressing
I breathe in your goodness and mercy
I breathe out my tension and turmoil
I breathe in your calming presence
I breathe out my obsession with everything I have done wrong
I breathe in complete confidence in everything you have done right

I sit quietly before you Jesus -- the Author and Finisher of my salvation.
I sit in awe and wonder of the Creator of everything -- the Savior of the world -- the Guide and Comforter of his children.
What a wonder you are.

Feeling Blue?

Feeling blue? Buy some clothes
Feeling lonely? Pick up the phone
Feeling down? Rent a DVD
Feeling bored? Watch TV
Feeling empty? Eat a Sundae
Feeling worthless? Close a deal
Feeling anxious? Hit the spa
Feeling isolated? Go online
Feeling sad? Tell a joke

Isn't this an amazing age?
We don't have to feel anything.
There's a substitute for everything.
God help us!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Favorite Movies of 2010

Unfortunately I didn't see ten great movies this past year. But I did see five and a few other not so great ones.

These are the ones that stood out to me.

The Kings Speech - incredible acting, compelling historical drama.

Inception - amazing cinematography and it messed with my mind. Dream inside a dream inside a dream etc.

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader - uplifting, true to C. S. Lewis' storyline and just plain well done.

Book of Eli - dark but solid apocalyptic drama, well acted, poignant.

Ghost Writer - well written murder mystery that made me think.

What about your favorites?