Soapbox Saturday: THE GATES!!!!

Instead of hearing me rant today, I thought you might enjoy a hilarious rant in musical form. Da Vinci’s Notebook wrote a parody of the traditional folk song The Fox. I share it with you now, for the frustration is one we’ve all felt at one time or another. I mean, who hasn’t sat at the computer at least once, had something go wrong, lose your data, and feel like Bill Gates had to pay? Enjoy your frustration put to words and acted out in a video done by students for an assignment at film school. Lyrics found under video.

The Gates – Da Vinci’s Notebook

Workin’ on a laptop, close to the end
of a job I’ve been doing since half past ten
I don’t believe that it’s frozen again,
the system has gone down-o, down-o, down-o;
I don’t believe that it’s frozen again,
the system has gone down-O.

So I took it down to the help desk guy,
and I said “make it better or I’m gonna cry.”
He said, “I’m sorry, your computer has died,
and the data can no longer be found-o, found-o, found-o.”
He said, “I’m sorry your computer has died,
the data can no longer be found-O.”

To the roof with the laptop I did go
over to the edge and I gave it a throw,
and when it arrived seven stories below
it really made a mighty fine sound-o, sound-o, sound-o,
and when it arrived seven stories below,
it really made a mighty fine sound-O.

Well, that didn’t do enough to ease my pain
so I went down to Dulles and I got on a plane
Sayin’ “This is all Billy Gates’s fault,
and I’m gonna be trackin’ him down-o, down-o, down-o.”
Sayin’ “This is all Billy Gates’s fault,
and I’m gonna be trackin’ him down-O.”

Touched down in Seattle and got off the plane
Hit Starbucks to get out of the rain
Paid all of my dough for a thimble of joe
full o’ foam and the cinnamon brown-o, brown-o, brown-o,
Paid all of my dough for a thimble of joe
full o’ foam and the cinnamon brown-O.

When the Gates found out about my plan
he packed up his bag, turned tail and ran
Megalo-man took it out on the lam
and hid way underground-o, ground-o, ground-o.
Megalo-man took it out on the lam
and hid way underground-O.

Well the Gates been a-runnin’ ever since that day,
he thinks he can hide but he can’t get away.
When I finally find his little skinny behind
Gonna kick it all over this town-o, town-o, town-o.
When I finally find his little skinny behind
Gonna kick it all over this town.

Faith Friday: Jesus Is…Tea?

**Haha! Ok, disclaimer: I was working on a ministry projeçt all evening, and had to wrap it up a little after midnight, which is when I remembered I hadn’t written my blog post. I found a post I wrote in 2007 that made me laugh AND think. So since I have so many more people in my life and facebook now that wouldn’t have read this back then, I share it with you now. Enjoy!**

Okay, so first off, I have a confession. I am in love. With whom, you may ask? Well, not so much with a whom (though Jesus would certainly take that spot), but a what. I am in love with my thermos. My beautiful thermos. I have never owned a thermos before. However, it was a last year Christmas present from my friend Josh. I don’t know what I did before I had it. Unfortunately, I never realized the full potential of a thermos until this past week. It’s incredible! I made and filled it with tea at 6am yesterday morning, and by 1pm the tea was still hot and awesome!!!!! It’s so freakin’ cool!

Um, yeah, so…I love my thermos. And because I love my thermos, I was thinking about it on the way to school today (how absolutely pathetic is that? I need to get a man…). And I came up with the coolest analogy. Hold on to your pants, this could blow you away. And all you coffee lovers out there, my profoundest apologies for what I am about to say.

This thermos used to be Josh’s. Josh is a coffee drinker, for the most part (thermos-wise). So when it was given to me, it had the smell of coffee, and the first time I put tea in it, it made my tea taste like coffee. I do not like coffee. Not at all. But I thought the thermos was so cool I would suck it up and keep using it. So I did. And I’m finding that, the more I use it for tea, the less it’s starting to taste and smell like coffee. Eventually (and I think I’m at that point pretty much), the coffee taste will be gone completely. So here’s my parallel:

We are the thermos. The coffee smell/taste is our sin. When we come to God, we are yucky with sin, just as, when the thermos was passed to me, it was yucky with coffee. However, the more Jesus gets poured into us, and stays in us, the more the yucky stuff goes away, and we start “smelling and tasting” more like Jesus. Jesus is the tea, washing the yucky coffee stuff away. Eventually, we’re going to be so full of Jesus, the yucky sin will be gone forever. Yay!

So that’s my analogy! I hope it gave you a smile. 🙂 I know it did me. Considering I just paid $50 in gas that didn’t even fill my car, and dropped a very special earring down the sink this morning, which I’m never going to see again, this thought was a highlight in my day. I hope you can say the same, even if you are a coffee lover (in the drink sense, of course…not the analogy sense…). Love y’all, and God bless!!

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LOBLA

Thursday Thinks: Free to Struggle

**Dan Jackson**

Something that I always feel like I struggle with is not trusting in God enough. There is a multitude of ways that I could phrase that—I “box God in,” I “don’t have the faith.” However you put it, it comes down to not trusting God enough. Now, usually what I’ve just said comes as the climax or punch line, if you will, of a blog entry. However, I’m not really one for that kind of thing (at least not tonight!), and I have my reasons for being so up front about it.

It’s almost odd that as Christians, we feel like we can’t be up front about what we struggle with. Given how struggles and sin have been dealt with in the past by the Church, I honestly can say that I don’t blame people for not wanting to be up front with what’s going on. The question that begs to be asked, however, is at what cost has this secrecy come? Immediately in my mind, various things that are shameful and upsetting come to mind. I can’t help but wonder if the Church had fostered a caring, open environment that met people where they were at in struggles, could things have been different?

The most glaring one is the child abuse scandal that has rocked the world of our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. This is something I could write about until I was blue in the face, and trust me, you don’t want me to do that. The abuse that these innocent children have suffered at the hands of men who should have felt safe enough within their Church family to be open and talk about what was afflicting them so that they didn’t harm others should be a clear indicator to everyone else in the Church family that we’re not doing what we need to do. Society tells us that these men are unforgivable, disgusting creatures, and deserve punishment—legally speaking, they absolutely do. But these men also are in need of grace. They’re also in need of forgiveness. The spiritual side of me tells me so; no matter how much my stomach knots up when I think of the horrible atrocities that they’ve committed.

I can’t think of a better example than this glaring, painful experience that we’ve begun to come to terms with as a Church body to illustrate just how much in our own nasty, pathetic, evil—no, sinful—selves, we need Christ and His forgiveness. We’re desperate for His healing. We’re desperate for the satisfaction and fulfillment only He provides. Otherwise, we keep running back to our lack of trust in His forgiveness and reach for the things that only leave us wanting more.

You want to know what else we need? We also need each other. As one, we are the body of Christ, His bride. Without each other, we have nobody. Without Christ, we have nothing. This wasn’t meant to be a huge rant regarding the child abuse scandal; this is meant to be a (hopefully) short, concise reminder to those reading that it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay to admit when we struggle. It’s not okay to conceal it so that it destroys us, and those around us.

Scripture tells us that we should confess our sins to one another so that we can edify one another, encourage one another, and above all else, love one another regardless. I said it once, I’ll say it again—those who have committed these horrible things are just as needing of grace as we are…we just haven’t been “caught” with the things in our lives that make us His enemies were it not for the grace of Christ.

My “food for thought”/challenge for the week to you, my dear readers, is to stand in the light. Don’t stand in the shadows. Don’t hide behind your struggles. Give it to Him. Give it to the one who makes all things new. In doing that, show your brothers and sisters that it’s okay to struggle and not be the “perfect Christian.” I mean, seriously, whoever says “good Christian” or “perfect Christian” needs to be high-fived in the face with a chair. We’re free to struggle because of Christ, not struggling to be free. Fear is just a lie that holds you back. Don’t let it.

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday Tickles #3: Of Clarity and Toilets

THE WAYSIDE CHAPEL

Background:

An English Lady, while visiting Switzerland, was looking for a room and she asked the schoolmaster if he could recommend any. He took her to see several rooms and when everything was settled, the lady returned to her home to make final preparations to move.

When she arrived home, the thought suddenly occurred to her that she had not seen a bathroom around the place. So she immediately wrote a note to the schoolmaster asking him if there was a “W.C.” (being too bashful to write out the words “water closet”) around. The schoolmaster was a very poor student of english, so he asked the parish priest if he could help him in the matter. Together they tried to discover the meaning of the letters “W.C.”, seeing as they spoke a different language, and the only solution they could find for the letters was a “Wayside Chapel”. The schoolmaster then wrote the following note to the very startled English Lady:

Dear Madam:

I take great pleasure in informing you that the “W.C.” is situated nine miles from the house in the center of a beautiful grove of pine trees surrounded by lovely grounds. It is capable of holding 229 people and it is open on Sundays and Thursdays only.

As there are a great number of people expected during the summer months, I would suggest that you come early, although there is usually plenty of standing room. This is an unfortunate situation particularly if you are in the habit of going regularly. You will, no doubt, be glad to hear that a good number bring their own lunch and make a day of it. While others, who can afford to go by car, arrive just in time.

I would especially recommend your Ladyship to go on Thursday when there is an organ accompaniment. The acoustics are excellent, and even the most delicate sounds can be heard everywhere.

It may interest you to know that my daughter was married in the “W.C.” and it was there that she met her husband. I can remember the rush there for seats. There were ten people to a seat usually occupied by one. It was wonderful to see the expressions on their faces.

The newest section is a bell donated by a wealthy resident of the district. It rings every time a person enters. A bazaar is to be held to provide plush seats for all since the people feel that it is a long felt need. My wife is rather delicate so she can’t attend regularly. It is almost a year since she went last. Naturally, it pains her very much not to be able to go more often.

I shall be delighted to reserve the best seat for you, if you wish, where you will be seen by all. For the children, there is a special time and place so that they will not disturb the elders.

Hoping to have been of some service to you, I remain,

Sincerely yours,
The Schoolmaster

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: For the sake of yourself, others, and your disgestive system, be sure to to make your message clear! Too many times we get caught caught up in situations or problems that resembles a game of telephone gone very badly awry. What a much clearer world this would be, built on foundations of truth and humbleness, if we said what we meant and meant what we say! Communication is always the key. It may be difficult to turn sometimes, but it opens far more doors than it locks.

LOBLA

Musical Monday #1: Even If (the Healing Doesn’t Come) – kutless

I caught the chorus of this song on the radio today and was instantly taken in by it. It is such a simple truth, but probably the hardest of us as humans to grasp with our whole heart. I think it’s harder for us as Christians to accept, because so many of us come into this relationship thinking that, when we accept Christ, our lives are going to be great and hunky-dory. We will, of course, have trouble, but we have God now, so He will save us from it all. And, unfortunately, our churches haven’t done a great job of telling us otherwise. They may touch on the ways life isn’t always fair, and we still have to trust God, but you’re more than likely to hear a sermon on “101 Ways God Will Make You Happy” rather than “Sometimes You Won’t Like What God Allows, But Here’s Why You Should Still Love Him.”

The hard reality of life is that it’s not always going to work out, even if you’re a Christian. The relationship isn’t always going to be restored. The baby isn’t always going to come. The forgiveness isn’t always going to be given. The job isn’t always going to happen. And the healing isn’t always going to touch. But whether things happen for good or for bad, we are to praise God regardless.

” Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come”

When I think of this concept, I am reminded of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedego. Now you may wonder what a common children’s Bible story has to do with praising God even if it doesn’t work out. I mean, they were saved from that fiery furnace. It worked out for them. Well, it did. But there’s something that those three tell the king right before they’re thrown in that rarely ever gets mentioned. I think it may be one of the most important statements ever spoken when it comes to remaining faithful during trying times and their subsequent outcomes.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” -Daniel 3:16-18

“But even if he doesn’t…” How many times do we beg God to make things right for us? We tell Him we’ll be more, do more, give more, if only He’ll do what we think we need Him to do. How often do we follow it with an “But if you don’t, Lord, still will I love and serve You”? I have a feeling it’s not nearly as often as we’d like to think.

Bad things are going to come our way. There’s no way to avoid this. But our reaction is completely within our control. It’s not going to be easy. Sometimes, especially when it comes to a death too soon or a healing that never came or something done to us that was seemingly unforgiveable, it will be the hardest thing to do, to look at God through our tears and say “Still will I love You.” But it will be the only path that brings true peace.

Even if the healing doesn’t come, God is good, His love is steadfast, and His arms are waiting for you. And they are big arms; He can take it all. Will you bring it?

LOBLA

Soapbox Saturday #7: WHAT ARE YOU REALLY TRYING TO SAY, WALMART??

I confess: I’m a Walmartian. I love going into Walmart. And not just because when I go in there, I’m bound to see people I know. In fact, when I was in youth group, we used to go to Walmart to hang out. One, because there really wasn’t much else to do in Stuart on any given night, and two, we always saw other people there to hang out with. We used to pile eight of us (yes, teenagers) on the little carosel out front. We’d have people sitting on the horses, others hanging off the poles, put in a quarter, and it was RIDE ‘EM, COWBOY!! There was one time it was broke (we did NOT break it!), but we got on anyways and moved it with our feet. So Walmart holds some great memories for me.

I love the deals. I love some of the people I see. I love standing in the store on Black Friday and watching chaos ensue. I love that I can get practically everything I need, and a LOT of crap I don’t need, in one place.

BUT…there is one thing I can’t stand, and I’m calling you out on it, Walmart…

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO LOAD THE FAT PEOPLE SECTION WITH SKINNY PEOPLE CLOTHES ON CLEARANCE?????

I mean, seriously! It’s not like we fat people have to be reminded of what we can’t have. We realize it every time we see you charge us more for a t-shirt than the same cut two sizes down. But do you have to load all the skinny people stuff within arm’s length of my clothes? Especially when you make really cute clothes for skinny people, and give fat people just lots of cloth in a variety of boring styles. Did it ever occur to you that maybe fat people might want to look cute and sexy sometimes, too? I mean, I’m not talking about having rolls hanging out all over the place, because NOBODY wants to see that, but is a little style too much to ask?

Oh, OH, and when you mix the clothes on the rack…you make me want to upend the whole rack and watch the clothes fly everywhere! There is nothing more frustrating during clothes-shopping than to be looking through a rack, get all excited because you see a really cute shirt, then pick it up only to realize it might have fit you IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!! What is with that?!?!

Fat people are shopping in your stores, Walmart. In fact, for those of us fat people who are also first-world poor, you’re pretty much our only option for new clothes, cause who can afford those specialty stores?? So cut us a break, please! Stop making us feel awful for what we can’t have, and give us some dignity!

I want cute clothes that will fit nicely and not cost me my firstborn (I’ve got to save my firstborn for gas money at this rate), and I want to find said cute clothes WITHOUT HAVING TO RIFLE OR EVEN SEE SKINNY PEOPLE CLOTHES!! Keep the fat people’s section just that!!

THE BALL’S IN YOUR COURT, WALMART!!

**This has been a Soapbox Saturday message. The intent of a Soapbox Saturday message is not to offend  or retaliate. It is meant as a light-hearted attempt at airing what ails you. If you would like to have your own Soapbox Saturday featured, email it to livelikethat11930@gmail.com. Remember Soapbox Saturdays are for entertainment and must not include cursing, crude, derogatory, or malicious content. **