Saturday, January 30, 2010

Unconditional Love

Sometimes I HATE unconditional love. Sometimes, you don't know whether someone befriends you because they're being kind and are [sigh...] tolerating you, or whether they genuinely like you. Maybe this is terrible, but sometimes I want to know that my friends like me for me and not just because they're supposed to.

I've been wondering about this for a while, but seeing The Blind Side the other day renewed the questions. There were things about the mom in the story that I definitely recognized in myself. But she was confident. She did what needed to be done; she told people what she thought; she made things happen. I'm always scared of imposing; I try to watch myself so that I don't accidentally run over people. But that makes me scared to interfere with get involved in other people's lives -- surely they already have friends and responsibilities and commitments enough.

Jesus delights in sacrificing Himself for us, taking on our sin, loving the unlovable ones. But humans? They're sinners. Sinful people sometimes resent impositions. So how does a person gauge whether friendships are being welcomed or tolerated?

Today's Laugh

A vast early-warning system.

Stolen from Lora via Jane.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Store Bread

The last time I made bread was more than two weeks ago. Andrew and I were out of town in Fort Wayne for symposia, and then we trekked over to Mankato and were gone for another two days. The freezer was gradually emptied of its loaves of frozen homemade goodness. I actually resorted to buying bread from the store yesterday.

This morning I'm mixing and kneading away, and Maggie comes in, takes a look, and asks about the rest of the store-bread. She likes it. You can taste the cheese in the grilled cheese. You can taste the peanuttiness of the peanut butter. You can taste the delicious jam on the toast. In other words, the home-made bread has too much flavor, and she prefers the air-bread.


Today's Laugh

Give a man a fish, and he has food for a day.

Teach a man to fish, and he has to buy a bamboo rod, graphite reels, monofilament lines, neoprene waders, tackle box, spinners, 20-pocket vest, fish-finder, depth gauges, radio, boat, global positioning system, cooker, trailer, and a six-pack.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Blind Side

Gary and I went on a date tonight. Yes, we did. We went to the optician and picked out bifocals for each of us. (As Kathy said, this is what's known as growing old together!) Then we used movie passes to watch The Blind Side, and then used a gift card to get a treat at Applebees. How 'bout that for some excitement? And I'm not being facetious. Those of you who think I am, just wait till you're as old as we are. So there.

The movie was great. I can't think of any movie I liked better; it's as good as Anne. Everybody told us we'd like this movie, that it was exactly our cup of tea, and they were right. It was funny. It was sweet. It was encouraging. It was decent. It had sports to root for. It had Ferdinand. But the funniest part was Sandra Bullock's portrayal of a no-nonsense Southern momma. She was perfect. I wonder if the movie would've been as funny if we hadn't spent that year in Mississippi and seen mommas exactly like the heroine in the story. It was such a crack-up!

Even though we pulled off a trip to the theatre to see this movie, it's staying on our Netflix queue so we can watch it again as soon as it's available on dvd.

Today's Laugh

There is a terrible disease called kleptomania. When it gets really bad, one should take something for it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stinky Kitchen

When I arrived home from Fort Wayne on Friday night, the kitchen stunk. Nobody else smelled it. I looked for dead mice. I took out the trash and washed the garbage can. I wiped the counters, expecting to find a sticky & stinky spill. Nope. Still smelled it.

When I arrived home from Minnesota on Monday night, the kitchen still stunk. Still, nobody else smelled it. I scrubbed the garbage can that holds the recyclables. We looked through all the potatoes, expecting to find a rotten one, but they were nice, unstinky, unslimy potatoes. I took the kitchen towels and washcloths to the laundry room in case there had been a milk spill that had been wiped up with an inappropriate cloth. And the kitchen still stunk.

But now I've found it! I tried scrubbing the kitchen sink. While at it, I used cleanser on the screen-like drain-traps and scrubbed them with a brush. Black gunk spritzed from the screen all over my clean sink. After I rinsed all that stuff down the drain and scrubbed the drain-hole too, the smell began to disappear.

So now I'm wondering what it is that I do in the kitchen, different from what Gary and Maggie were doing, that prevents food and gunk from sitting and rotting in the tiny holes of the drain-trap. Is it the heat of the water I use? Is it my anal desire to dump the gunk from the trap multiple times each day? Is it how long dirty dishwater sits before being thrown out? And the other thing is -- why couldn't anybody else smell it???

Today's Laugh

It was a time of terrible flooding. A rescue helicopter arrived. It winched up ten men and one woman, all hanging onto a looped rope dangling below the helicopter. The weight was too much; the helicopter struggled to gain height to take the people over the swirling waters. A plea was made that one person had to sacrifice for the good of the others, and fall off the rope. Immediately the woman gave a short speech, "I will let go of the rope because I am a woman and I am accustomed to give everything for my husband, kids, and men in particular with little chance of anything in return."

At this declaration, the men all started to clap their hands.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


During Weinrich's presentation at symposium last week, he mentioned that worship in a mosque involves the Muslims kneeling on the ground, faces to the ground, but that Christians are free sons and stand before their God.

I kept wondering about that. We kneel. We do.

Then it came up in Sunday's sermon here. So I asked about it.

Pastor pointed out two things. Simplest first: yes, Christians would kneel before their Lord. The disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. The Canaanite woman. The wise men. The Israelites who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon (Nehemiah 8). But what does He do? He raises us up. Muslims start their worship with their faces to the ground, stay that way throughout worship, and end that way. Christians kneel in worship, but our Lord does not leave us in the dirt.

Second: Muslims kneel because of the grandeur and majesty that they believe is glorious beyond their reach. When do Christians kneel? At the homo factus est and at the Words of Institution and when receiving the Sacrament. Christians kneel for Jesus' condescension. Christians kneel at the words which proclaim how our Lord came down to us, not because He is majestic and glorious and awesome.

Hmmm. This may be the answer to another question I've had. Some pastors genuflect during the Sanctus at "Holy, holy, holy." Other pastors kneel during the Sanctus at the words "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." Maybe this is why???

Today's Laugh

A student answered a question at the geography bee. Mrs Hughes told him it was wrong. "But the right answer is what I meant! And what I said was close!" responded the student.

Mrs Hughes answered, "Close only counts in horseshoes."

And a small group of kids added, "And hand grenades."

And a few more kids added, "And detonating nuclear weapons!"

I laughed!
Gary says this is an old joke, but I never heard it till this year's geography bee.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Laugh

What if there were no hypothetical situations?

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If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

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Clones are people two!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Today's Laugh

Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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If someone with multiple personalities threatens to commit suicide, is it considered a hostage situation?

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Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?