Tuesday, May 23, 2006

IKEA for the homeless...

I am trying to master the art of adding a photo to a post. I don't know why there is more than one image, but that's okay because I am excited about what you are looking at.

Be amazed.

Terry and I were at IKEA last Friday and came across this product. We had never seen it before, but it is a wardrobe...made out of corrugated, plastic coated, opaque, cardboard, with a muslin curtain instead of a door.

(Who knows, maybe there's even a magical kingdom in the back...IKEA is great at getting a lot of stuff contained in small spaces, you know.)

I believe it sold for $39. And, as we walked through the store, we noted a bedside table that matched.

We think it is really nice of IKEA to create a line of furniture for the homeless. They are so good with making small spaces liveable, while also being functional and fashionable.

We thought this line of products would fit well under bridge abutments, in sewers, alleys, wherever...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

H B 2 U

H B 2 K T!

In Flander's Field

The VFW people were selling poppies outside of Cub yesterday.

I bought one.

They remind me of my dad because I always thought it was so cool when he would bring one home. I'm guessing they sold them at the VA where he worked and, dumb me, until a few years ago, I had no idea that they were related to this poem.

Here's the history of how it was written. Followed by the poem.

Flander's Field

Summer, 1915. World War I. English and French armies had dug in their heels against the bulldozer onslaught of the German army as it ploughed its way across the plains of Flanders. After a day of ferocious fighting following the second battle of Ypres, the sun rose on a relatively quiet battlefield.

Col. John McCrae cautiously poked his head above the security of his trench to be met with the horrifying sight of row upon row of makeshift crosses littering the plains before him: ghostly reminders of the grim aftermath of the earlier battle marking the graves of the fallen.

McCrae, a Canadian veteran of the Second Boer War and professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, was struck with admiration at the courage of the dead and overwhelmed by awe at their selflessness as he caught sight of the tiny, red poppies dancing lazily in the gentle breeze among the grave markers of his fallen comrades. Inspired by the sight, and by the memories of the previous days of vicious fighting, McCrae grabbed a pad of paper and pen and quickly began to write down the words that had suddenly appeared in his mind. In minutes, his creation was complete:

Flander's Field

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae 1872 - 1918

Friday, May 19, 2006

Numbers 4 & 5

Today you get two for the price of one.

Numbers 4 and 5 on my church shopping list are....drum roll, please....

....at least on other person besides me and maybe some food.

Here's my list thus far, and it's almost complete.

1. Bible Reading
2. Prayer
3. Bible Teaching
4. At least one other person
5. Food...maybe

Here's my Biblical rationale for the list:

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Acts 2:46, 47 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

And the winner is...

...the coconut caramel pecan cake. Here is The Donald eating a piece with wife # 3 Milania and Oprah's friend Gayle King. I shall try to find the recipe...

Numero Tres

I am watching Oprah as I type because I saw the tease and it said Oprah's best friend Gayle has searched high and low for the best cake in America and I want to find out where that cake is. I will keep you posted...

Now it's time for numero tres on my church shopping list. Bible teaching is number 3.

I'm looking for a church that teaches the Bible. I think this rules out, for the most part, the "seeker church" approach where teaching is more limited. Sorry about that, Rick W. I think the "seeker" thing is a good idea, but it's not a church. It's more like a Billy Graham crusade. Good thing, but not church.

Now, back to the best cake. The chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from Miami Beach was enjoyed by Gayle and Shaquelle O'Neal (how do you spell his name?) and his wife, but the verdict isn't in. Gayle is heading to NY to Harlem to Wimp's Bakery to pick up caramel coconut cake with pecans to have with The Donald and his bride...who, incidentally, is wife numero tres. I'll let you know what they decide in a later post.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Oh, I need to mention this. On the way up to Bethel on Saturday morning for Katie's graduation (way to go, Katie!), we stopped by Starbucks. Two dark roasts and a mint mocha for the graduate came to $6.66.

I said, "Ewwww, 666," and a guy sitting near the window heard me.

He said, "Yeah, it's coming!"

I looked at him and thought, "Weirdo."

Then, he said, "It will happen next month, on the 6th."

And I thought, sure enough, we're 3 weeks away from 666.

June...6th month

the 6th day....

'06 the year....I guess that 06 is really just 6 if you think about it

So, start stockpiling tuna under your bed and fill up those 2 liter pop bottles....

The List Continues...

#2 on my shopping list is prayer.

I am looking for a church that prays.

Bethlehem Baptist, thus far, has been the church that stood out in this area. I think a lot of the time prayer is brushed over because the idea is that if we "pray for every church need" the service would go too long. I say, forget the rest of the service and pray!

If someone in the church is sick....pray for them.

If someone in the church has died....pray for their family and friends.

If something big is happening in the country....pray for the leaders.

If you have sent out missionaries....pray for them.

Bethlehem, prayed specifically, outloud, during the service, by name for a wide variety of people. This was a good thing.

Okay, so now on my list I have:

1. Read the Bible
2. Pray

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My Shopping List

I'm a bad list maker. I like the idea of lists and they certainly make life more efficient. But, I always think I'm too busy. Consequently, I make the list in my head. This used to work for me, but lately I'm finding that the circuits are overloaded and I forget more stuff.

In the interest of focusing on what matters to me now that we find ourselves "church shopping"(I know,bad us, shopping for a church, how unspiritual), I thought I should make alist for myself so I remember what I am looking for.

I will add one item each day. They are not necessarily in order of importance. Just in the order that comes to my mind.

#1. Bible reading. I want to go to a church where they read the Bible.

Oh, now I am realizing that this is getting more complicated because I have a list of "Bibles" that I want churches to read! Oh, now I am getting picky! But,I am looking for a literal translation.

I like what Focus on the Family recommends. I've also included their "bad translation" list.

FOTF says:

Since Focus does not employ textual or translation experts, we have relied on outside scholars for advice regarding Bible translations -- notably the conservative leaders who signed the Colorado Springs Guidelines for Translation in 1997.

Based on their input, we use or recommend the following Bible versions:

Gender-Specific Translations

Essentially Literal, "word-for-word" translations:

KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NASB New American Standard Bible
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
RSV Revised Standard Version

Dynamic Equivalence, "phrase-for-phrase" translations:

NIV New International Version
NIrV New International Reader's Version (1998 Revision)

Focus on the Family does NOT use or recommend the following gender-neutral Bibles:

TNIV Today's New International Version
NLT New Living Translation
NRSV New Revised Standard Version
NCV New Century Version
CEV Contemporary English Version
GW God's Word
NIVI New International Version Inclusive Language Edition

Okay, so we have read the Bible as number 1 on the list. I want to hear the Bible read when I go to church.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last Night

Last night when Terry and I came home from our walk, Beth was crying.

It seems that Chris had been "voted off the island," or at least voted off the American Idol stage.

Life goes on.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Run, Don't Walk If....

I was reading an online devotional tonight and came across one suggesting that Christians in the good old USA have a consumer mindset and "church shop". This was said as a criticism and the following quote is from the article as it suggests different things people look for and will leave a church over if they don't get what they want.

Here are the questions the author criticizes Christians for asking:

"Do these people love me and appreciate me? Is there a quality Sunday School program? Do we like the music? Is there a strong youth ministry? Is the pastor funny? Is the preaching sound? Do I feel like I am loved in this church?" The questions go on and on and there is a kind of built-in, self-centered attitude in every one of them: "I want things from the church. I want those things according to my own personal or family's schedule. Why should I, or anyone, question what I want."

I would like to go on record as saying that SOUND PREACHING matters and should not be on the same list as "Is the pastor funny?" And, if the preaching isn't sound....RUN, DON'T WALK!

Titus 1:9 says:

9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in SOUND DOCTRINE and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It's Going to be a Long Day

That's what the napkins at Caribou say. I guess they think that it will inspire you to drink lots of coffee if you think it will be a long day. I think that's kind of a bummer of a thought to start the day with, don't you?

Well, it seems to be ringing true today for my nephew Michael.

Michael and his wife Cari have just returned from Paraguay, or is it Uruguay...at any rate it is one of the "guay" countries. I get them mixed up. They have been there since late last summer and we hadn't seen them since they returned a couple weeks ago.

So, as we pulled into Caribou this morning (it's become a Wednesday ritual), we were delighted to see Michael entering at the same time as we were. The line was long this morning (nearly to the door) so we had extra time to catch up. At this point we learned that Michael had already purchased his coffee, but through a great misfortune had spilled it in the car. Bummer for the car. Bummer for the pocketbook.

He was ahead of us in line and was waited on by the store manager who cheerfully and without charge replaced both cups of java that had spilled. We said our good-byes and Terry and I waited for our coffee.

As we were leaving, java in hand, we notice the line still extended to the door. And, Michael was at the end of the line. Holding an empty coffee cup. He looked up at us and said, "It spilled again." Sure enough, by his back, left tire was a puddle of java.

And, so, for Michael, "It's gonna be a looooong day!"

And, I have some advice for him. Coffee carrier.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Setting Captives Free, Making Burdens Light

At the homeschool convention last weekend, Diana Waring spoke to the Co-op leaders. One of her main points was that God is in the business of setting captives free and making burdens light and if you are feeling bound up and loaded with burdens perhaps you need to rethink what you are doing. I think that advice is good for everyone.

Some verses:

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Isaiah 61:1-3
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion--to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Matthew 11:28
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.