Things I Think

This column will henceforth be used for short, Twitter-like, non-Twitter posts.

Playing the Devil’s Advocate

With apologies to Jon Acuff and his blog, StuffChristiansLike, please allow me to mention something that Christians seem to like…but I just don’t get. It’s been a long-standing puzzle for me, something that makes me cringe when I hear it.

It goes like this.

You’re having a discussion about something – ways to do ministry, methods of outreach, structuring of teams, what you want for lunch…you know, something relatively important – and as you start to reach consensus on an idea, someone says, “Well, let me just be the devil’s advocate on this.”

Really? He needs one? And he needs you to fill that role?

I would think if I felt that phrase about to come out of my mouth, I’d stop and say to myself, “Hmm. If I am about to align myself with the Prince of Darkness, maybe I’m not on the right side of this issue.”

I’m not sure how finding the will of God by being the devil’s advocate would work out. Perhaps a full and correct translation of Matthew 16 would read more like this:

Jesus I’m going to be killed. The Pharisees and other leaders are out to get me. I’ll rise again on the third day, but I’ll have to die first.
Peter Okay, Jesus. Let me just play the devil’s advocate on this…

Of course, you’re free to pick which side you want to be on. If you feel the devil needs your help…

A rule to live by

Saw this great video on Josh Griffin’s More Than Dodgeball blog. Love the video; I guess I need to check out the book. (And, yes, I find myself complaining way too much.)

Sugar & Spice

This will obviously be used again in a more public place. You’ll have to provide your own punchline.

It’s a long Monday

Here’s your first look at the cover shot for the Scrooge 2007 DVD. This is one of several things I’m working on at the moment and one of the reasons that this post is on Tuesday instead of Monday.

You see, yesterday I thought it would be a perfect day to get a post out and start a regular habit of posting every Monday.

Here are the current and upcoming things I’m on right now:

  • The Scrooge DVD. First and second acts are cut and rendered. Working on the cover. Still have to do front title, end titles, and second disk elements. Then the DVD itself with menus and stuff.
  • Helping FLOCS with their Fine Arts festival, which is this Friday and Saturday. I might be going up on Friday for a few hours to help.
  • Just posted the audio and video for episode #57 of the Church Drama Podcast. Pretty good.
  • Some time this week I need to get ready to teach this Sunday in our Wii Sunday school class. It’s my turn. We will be talking about my main temperament – the S-Phlegmatic-Ox.
  • Then there’s the church administrator stuff. Signs, maintenance, preschool, bills, blah, blah, blah…
  • American Idol. Watching as I type.
  • Bible Quiz this weekend in Orlando. Last league match. I’ll be coordinating the Southeast Regional in May.


It’s the height of snowbird season in Southwest Florida. This weekend is the Edison Festival of Light Parade, and it seems like we are overrun with out-of-staters, here for the beautiful weather. But after a little experiment this morning, I’m not so sure.

As Shae and I took our daily commute to Edison College this morning, I told her we would count the number of Florida license plates compared to the out-of-state plates. The snowbird plates took an early 2-1 lead as we drove down Bayshore, but it was all Florida after that.

Perhaps the out-of-staters don’t come out until later, or maybe they get their vehicles registered in Florida, but they weren’t where we were this morning.

Claiming the Third Magisterium

An Entirely Other Day – The Third Magisterium.
Absolutely brilliant post. Or stupid. I’m not sure. I just wish I had said it first.

…and to all a goodnight

Before I head to bed, thought I’d fill in a couple of the gaps from the day. Hope you enjoyed it. It was an experiment for me, and a way to share “A Day in the Life” with you. Here are some tidbits that didn’t make it into the blog before now, but which were part of the day…

– Between the groceries and dropping off paperwork, there was a picture I tried to get, but just missed. It was of Trudi passing me headed the opposite direction on the interstate as she went to pick up Shae from school. I snapped the picture, but my shutter was too slow to catch her.

– Before we went to Kohl’s there was a quick stop by the church to pick up the receipt for Trudi’s gifts that I left in my office. I should have taken a picture of my office. Just because.

– As we left Kohl’s, we passed emergency vehicles blocking one lane of the road in front of the store. A fire truck blocked our view, so we couldn’t tell if it was an accident or what, although Trudi thought it looked like a red vehicle on the other side of the fire truck had front end damage. We found out later it was the car of Kathy, a friend of ours. Chase Goss and her daughter, Trinity, were also in the car. Someone had pulled out in front of them. Kathy, Chase and Trinity all seemed to be fine. Chase told me all this when I dropped Sawyer off at the church. She had pictures on her iPhone of Kathy’s car. (They would have made a good entry for the blog.)

That’s about it. Trudi and Shae are getting up early to head to JC Penneys. I have to have Sam and Summer to the church for Upward Basketball by 9am and I’ll pick up Sawyer from her sleepover then.

Good night.

Busy days

Been busy. Very. But tomorrow’s my official Day Off, so here’s the plan…

I’ll be blogging my day tomorrow.

I’m not exactly sure what all I’ll be doing, but whatever it is, I plan to put it on the blog. Good or bad, exciting or dull, fair weather or foul, I’ll put a picture and a blog post for each step along the way.

See you tomorrow!

(This picture has nothing to do with anything, other than it’s old.)

Betzer’s New Book

Attended our sectional minister’s breakfast Tuesday morning at First A/G in Fort Myers. Dan Betzer gave the devotional. He said a lot of good things. Says he’s going to write a how-to book for pastors. It’ll be 3 pages long.

Page 1 – “Love your people.
Page 2 – “Feed your people.
Page 3 – “Don’t do anything stupid.

Good schtick. I guess I’ve just blown future sales for him.

Lazy Day

After a work-filled weekend last week, decided to avoid it this week. Almost succeeded.

I knew the beginning of today – my official day off – would be work-related. The City of Fort Myers was getting rid of some computer stuff, so I went and snagged several computers for the church. The big prize was a mint Dell PowerEdge 2500, loaded with six drives and redundant power supplies, and…okay, I’ll save all the non-geeks from the details. It was cool.

The next few hours were spent at my Friday chore – grocery shopping at WalMart. Our store is undergoing renovations, so the expedition was a bit long today.

After lunch Sam and I went and strolled through the new Sports Authority and our new SuperTarget, with an additional stop at BJ’s and – one more time – WalMart.

Trudi made 5-star chicken enchiladas for supper, along with southwest eggrolls with cilantro cream sauce. Then some ice cream for dessert.

Good day.

Crazy Week

Ever have one of those weeks when you feel like you’re doing a million things, but not getting very much done? That was last week for me.

Most Christian blogs would have some deep spiritual insight at this point. Sorry – I’m fresh out. But I’ll be back with some newsy posts today and tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

99 Cents for something I already have? I don’t think so.

If you have an iPhone – and I know more of you are getting one everyday – make your own ringtones, without paying Apple for the “privilege”. Read this article and use this program from Rogue Amoeba. Have fun!

Random Thoughts

I’ve tried to keep posts to one subject, but there are too many little thoughts that don’t deserve their own post, yet deserve to be mentioned. Well, I guess you’ll be the judge of that.


Just finished reading a long discussion about the upcoming General Council of the A/G and the Relational District Resolution on the FutureAG blog. Interesting. I understand the reasons for the resolution, but I’m not convinced this (re)solution is the best one.


Mark Teixiera and a pitcher for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and five other players. I hate losing Salty. I think he’s going to be great. But I hope it works out for the Braves.


Much has been said and written about When Bad Things Happen to Good People. But why do Good People Do Stupid Things? {sigh}


I am reminded almost everyday that our time with all our children in the home is growing shorter. This is a golden time.


Speaking of our children, Sam and Shae are working hard, getting ready for next week’s National Fine Arts Festival. They are performing a sketch (along with their friend, Adam). Shae also has a Book Chapter entered. We leave Monday.


I have been sitting on an idea for a new podcast. For about a year. Sometimes it’s hard to pull the trigger.


A new poll is on the right side of the main page. If you don’t know what the poll is asking, choose “Neither”.


Many people participated in yesterday’s prayer and fasting for families. I’m looking forward to hearing some testimonies. I already know the enemy didn’t like it.


I feel sorry for Barry Bonds. I wish he wasn’t going to break the record, but I still feel bad that people treat him as an object, instead of a human being.


I haven’t done a new episode of the Bible Quiz Podcast since I went to Arizona, and I really need to. Hopefully soon.


We had a GREAT episode of the Church Drama Podcast on Sunday. Maybe it wasn’t so great – but I laughed much. It should be posted soon. (It’s taking forever to encode the video.)


I still like my iPhone. And next week – the new iMac!

You Never Know, part 2

The very long sad tale in my last post was leading towards a big finish…then I got sidetracked and never made the point I was headed for.

Which – before I get sidetracked again – was this…{drum roll}…you never know.

That’s it. “You never know.”

You think you know. You think you will know. You think that surely God would give you a hint, a sign, a feeling…something. Somehow, someway, with all the circumstantial evidence and bits of data, you think you would be able to predict, to piece together all the clues.

Have I completely lost you yet?

The whole departures/arrivals theme is fresh in my mind due to being on this current trip, plus other personal departures and arrivals that I have (and in some cases, have not) blogged about.

And, ever since the passing of my friend, Bob, this thought has percolated, finally taking shape this weekend – you never know.

I didn’t really know when – or if – any of my flights would depart. I didn’t know when they would arrive. I wasn’t in control of any of it.

That’s so true in so many ways in the departures and arrivals we experience in life.

People depart – and it’s not always in our control, no matter how much we wish it was.

I don’t have an ending for this…so I’ll stop now.