Sunday, May 31, 2009

Make Twitterers of All Nations

The first idea I read about wasn't so bad. In fact, I thought about giving it a try. The 9Marks blog challenged its readers to express the gospel in 140 characters or less - as a twitter message.If nothing else, it would give twitterers a chance to articulate the gospel concisely while possibly solidifying its truth in their minds.

But what followed was something I wasn't ready for.

Time Magazine ran a piece last week about how some churches are allowing - no - encouraging congregants to tweet during the morning worship service. Several churches around the country have upped the band-width in the auditorium, tweaked the projector and displayed anyone and everyone's tweets throughout the announcements, music and message. "Why tempt people with short attention spans with such distractions?", the article wondered. "Because Twitter is hot."

What?

Maybe Pastor John Voelz from Westwinds Community Church in MI expressed it better: We're looking to "make [church] not suck".Well there you go folks. We finally found the answer! Forget discipleship. Forget face-to-face fellowship. Forget studying the Bible during morning worship.

Sure, you could make the case that if people are tweeting during the message they are actively listening. Perhaps. But for every "nothing u do 4 the lord is in vain" tweet you also have "Nice shirt JVo".

What bothers me is that all of a sudden everyone is a preacher. Everybody's voice can be heard these days. And there's a place for that. But not during the morning teaching. Can't we sit still and listen for 30 consecutive minutes like big congregants?

I grew up learning that we should be fed during our weekly meetings. If all the congregation is doing is 'feeding' others with bitesize tweets, our churches are going to be filled with bitesize twitterers - twits.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice"

"Reserved optimism" is how Milo and Erin Wilson have described their feelings five days after giving birth to a son with a difficult heart condition. Earlier, Erin expressed that it felt like a roller coaster.

Nontheless we rejoice with the Wilsons in the birth of Josiah and continue to pray with them as he has several serious surgeries ahead of him. Stay up to date on http://thewilsonheart.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What are you trying to say?

I encountered this warning on our new inflatable kiddie pool:

Americans, you might not be used to looking for your language, but if you look at the US warning, you'll notice it's considerably more detailed than the Great Britain equivalent (not to mention the Australian). Why is this? What are they trying to say?

Regardless, you do have to wonder why Aussies, Brits and Americans all need different warnings on their kiddie pools.

In related news, Enoh loves the pool. Laci, have the girls bring their swimsuits this weekend - he needs company!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Daddy's Little Trombone Player?

It's been a few weeks since I've blogged. I've been told that I will either learn to walk first or talk first, and I've seen more progress in the former, so I'll make this short in order to prepare for taking my first step.

Daddy's a little obsessed. He heard me buzzing my lips the other day and now can't stop trying to make me mimic him. Sometimes I cooperate, sometimes I don't, but the hickups certainly don't help. See for yourselves.

- Enoh
video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Married a Communist

You know those cute little pictures you drew when you were a kid? Petra and I have been going through our artwork lately in an effort to decorate one of the walls in the house. We came across one of Petra's first self-portaits:


Awww, what a nice happy girls with a beautiful skirt huh?

Did you notice what's above the smiling face?

A communist star.

A girl who once promised to serve Yugoslavia faithfully for the rest of her life married to a guy who was "once a Marine always a Marine"?

Now there's culture shock.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

European Ingenuity

Sure, America has Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, but last week when Petra brought home our new electric outlet covers, I realized that real ingenuity begins in Europe.

See, I've been in American childproofed homes. I've even been part of the process of childproofing them. And when you have to take out those outlet covers by digging your fingernails underneath - and then wait a couple more days for the nails to grow to appropriate electrical-cover-taking-out length you get a little frustrated. You might even be tempted to say "just let the little bugger put his finger in there. They'll learn."

That's the background for the following demonstration.
Here is the European outlet cover

And the accompanying key


First go to the closest European outlet you can find,

and push the child safety cover in.

When it's time to plug in your iron, stereo or popcorn popper simply insert the key into the keyhole in the center of the cover,

turn the key,

and pull it out.

Ta-Da! Believe it or not I haven't been able to find an American equivalent on a simple google search. American inventors, here's your opportunity!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Mozes Se Udat'" "Now You're Ready to Marry"

It's a phrase often said after an unmarried Croatian woman cooks a tasty meal.

Now I'm not saying I live in a chauvinist country, but let's just say if there's a feminist looking for work they could find themselves quite busy in the Balkans.

My wife never had that phrase said to her before she married. She was neither a good cook, nor a cook at all. I'm fairly certain had she made a meal and someone said that to her she would've never cooked again in her life.

But the fact is, she's become an amazing cook. Since we married she started taking a genuine interest in cooking. That interest has grown into a skilled hobby for her. Part of it was that I didn't have much of a desire (or skill) to prepare meals. Part of it was that she no longer had the college cafeteria or her mom's cooking to go to everyday. Part of it was that she has friends who love to cook.

Regardless, when I went to the fridge today I had the choice between the tastiest taco meat I've ever had and some excellent homemade pizza - both of which she had prepared in the past couple days. I realized how much her cooking skills have developed without the assistance of a cheuvanistic kick in the pants.

So was Petra ready to marry? Not according to the saying. But here's one guy whose taste buds have been rewarded for his choice to see past the apron.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Abs_nt Mindedn_ss

If you're absent-minded and you know it clap your hands!

Clap! Clap!

Does knowing you're absent-minded make you any less so?

Last week I made two mind-blunders that caused other people some amount of inconvenience. On Wednesday I was handed some tulips which were thoughtfully chosen for a special person's birthday. The desired recipient lives close to Petra and I and it was my job to either give them to him that evening as soon as I arrived home, or put them in a vase and give them to him early the next day.

As I walked with Petra to the car the next morning and saw the wilted tulips sitting in the back seat I tried to think of a valid excuse.

Petra: "Why are there flowers in the back seat?"

Jeremy: (suddenly realizing some of the possible implications) "They're for (birthday boy) and...um...I was supposed to give them to him."

Petra: "Don't you know that you should put flowers in water ASAP."

Jeremy: "Yes...I forgot."

It turns out that I would see him (and the person who gave the flowers to him through me) later that same day. Unfortunately they were both present around noon when I remembered that the tulips were still sitting in car. As I made my way inside with the wilted tulips in hand I saw the giver's face drop as she saw the gift.

Oops.

Then a couple days later I was grocery shopping. I was in a hurry. As I went through the checkout, I put the carton of bottled mineral water for the workers at our house down on the bottom part of the cart. After I incorrectly entered my debit card PIN for the second time, I continued to load the other bags into the main section of the cart. As I arrived at the line of carts in which I would push mine into, I took the bags out of the cart and made my way to the car. Fifteen minutes into my drive back home I remembered that the carton of water was still in the cart. "It'll be a random act of kindness" I thought. "Someone will really appreciate having free mineral water." More importantly, I didn't want to try to tell the cashier what happened in my broken Croatian only to have her look at me with a blank stare.

So I went to the next grocery store and bought a few new bottles of mineral water not wanting to come back without drinks for our workers. But as I payed for the water I realized that someone may have actually done the 'right thing' and returned the case of mineral water to the cashier. Usually when you buy drinks like that it's in order to have something special for guests. Whoever found the case might have thought that I went to a great effort to pay for the beverages.

So I returned and found I was right. The cashier who had been patient while I remembered my PIN smiled and handed me the case of mineral water.

"Why am I so absent-minded" I thought as I walked out.

I still don't have an answer. The one thing I do know is that I am absent-minded.

Or am I?