Sunday, February 25, 2007

Love has frostbite.

I spent Saturday morning and early afternoon helping a bunch of Jr. High and High Schoolers sell Nelson's Chicken. The youth group is raising money to travel to Mississippi this summer and help repair Katrina damage. I wasn't going sell chicken, but a meeting got canceled so I was available.

If I had realized how utterly frozen we were going to be I probably would have told Andy that I could help till a certain time...and then jetted off to a coffee house where I could be warm (which is what I did do after we'd shut down) and plan for youth group (which isn't happening tonight anyhow). But it has been warm lately and I thought it would be fun to help the childies raise their funding.

When I got there they were already on street corners waving signs and screaming desperately at passing cars. One girl had bravely donned a chicken suit.

We were fortunate to have a convention going on in the next building over...because there was a lot more traffic than there would have been. But for most of the day we weren't even covering our costs.

I was put to work at another intersection. Holding a sign that said "$5 Chicken - Send us to Katrina" I wasn't quite sure what to do, but I began making eye contact with all drivers without tinted windows and smiling at them while I held out the sign. I probably smiled more in those two hours than I did all last year. People smiled or waved back. Some of them laughed. I'm pretty sure it was out of pity. After I'd had a lunch break one man stopped and rolled down his window...worried that we'd been out there for quite some time in the freezing cold.

Towards the end of the afternoon we finally made some money on our investment...Celeste announced that were five dollars ahead. Totally worth all that time.

We did have some really good moments. Several people tipped us for Sara's dancing around in the chicken suit and one man bought$100 worth of chicken...and then came back for more. Twice. We got kicked out of the convention building, but they couldn't keep out the smell and vendors came to buy lunch from us.

At one point, I was watching the kids on the other corner. They were jumping and screaming. They cheered when people turned in to buy chicken and they kept screaming when they were ignored. They got down on their knees and raised the signs above their heads...still screaming of course - but in pleading tones.
My lesson tonight was going to be on we love we love each other. At the end (as prescribed by the handy book I bought -I'm not this good) we were going to write down one way we could love people this week, with the idea that they would commit to doing that one thing. And I thought: Jumping around in the bitter cold to raise money for people you've never met has to be love. And then I wondered if it really was. I know I wasn't there because I love the people in Mississippi. I was there because I love the kids in my church and because it's a good cause. So why were the kids there? Was it because they have a burning passion for the people Katrina hurt...or was it because it's a good cause or because their friends were there?

Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying we should only do things if our motives are pure. For one, it's impossible. For two, what is right and what is wrong are not defined by our motivations. But, this whole thing of figuring out what love looks like is complicated to me. Perhaps it bothers me because I, like most people of western culture, define love as a feeling rather than an action. Maybe it is helping people no matter what the day is like or no matter how you feel about them...maybe it's doing the right thing because it's right.


I've always known that teaching is not my spiritual gift. Some people have a knack for it, I don't. That's ok. But every week in youth group one leader brings a snack, another plans a game, another teaches a lesson. It's on rotation, so at some point it is inevitable that I teach despite my lack of skill. Or it would be inevitable if God did not intervene. Each time I've been up to teach this year, we have had a blizzard and all evening activities have been cancled. And, both times the roads are clear long before evening comes, so not only is God using the weather to deter my teaching, but he's also working in the hearts of the church leaders to induce unessacery panick (the week we had a blizzard and I wasn't up to teach, no activities were cancled and the roads were terrible).

I'm not sure if by this God is protecting me...or the children.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Buy a shirt, save the world.

The Washington post has a fascinating article on cause marketing. Don't have time to comment right now, but in brief cause marketing is when a company supports a social issue to sell their product. Probably the most noticable of these campaigns has been The Gap's Ispi(red) campaign. World magazine covered this trend a few months ago...I'll try to find that article at post it (you can only read it on the site if you're a suscriber) later.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Old, Old MacDonald

Being situated as we are, in the exact middle of no-where, my co-workers and I often deal with people who wish to find some business or another but fear themselves doomed to wander. A few minutes ago a farmer walked in. He looks as though he probably witnessed God creating the earth and complained about it.

Upon entering he immediately explained his situation to the receptionist, who was on the phone at the time. He was looking for a place the re-finishes furniture. He knew it was on 20... somewhere.

Let me tell you folks, 20 is a long road. Somewhere encompasses a great deal of space. And there are a lot of Amish people in the furniture business. A co-worker rose to the challenge of figuring out where the farmer was going (the receptionist having persisted in her phone call).

She asked him if he knew the name of company.
"Well, no I don’t," our farmer answered. He sounded more as if he were berrating Esther for not having told him the name, rather than admitting short sightedness on his part.
He told us that the building was large and Esther suggested that perhaps it was the Amish man down the road that he was looking for.

"Is the building large?" asked the Farmer in a tone that indicated his belief that Esther would lead him straight to the devil if he was not vigilant. Well, Amish houses are large.
I suggested the business in question might be further on down the road. Much further.
"I don’t remember it bein’ that fer," he admonished me. It occurred to me that the business might have moved some time in the last hundred years, but since he was being so testy I didn’t feel obliged to drop this advice.

Eventually it was decided that whether the Amish man with the large house was the furniture re-finsiher the farmer was seeking or not he woud certainly know where to find the correct one. If you listen closely you can probably, even now, hear the faint echo of the farmer’s distain for any Amish furniture maker who cannot tell a farmer what the farmer wants.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Playing in Traffic

Lately I think that traffic is out to get me. Several times this week I have been tailgated. The only tailgater that resembled a normal vehical was a jeep. All the rest were semi trucks and at every stop I was convinced that they would smoosh my car and I flat.

On my way home yesterday I was horrified to see a truck barreling down my side of the road. It was only passing a buggy...but no matter how many times that happens I am always momentarily horrified at the site of it. It is just so alarmingly out of place.
Of course I cut things much closer than that truck was cutting it. I am convinced that when I die it will be trying to pass one of those buggies.

This morning I was delayed by a train that had broken down at the crossing. If it had moved three cars further we could have passed. But, I did read a lovely article on why ethanol is not a solution to foreign oil.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

This Sunday voters in Portugal are voting on whether or not the abortion ban should be lifted. I was kinda suprised to see that this is even an issue in Europe, but apparently in countries that are strongly Catholic abortion is still illegal. Just interesting.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Babysitting America

In NY a senator will be attempting to ban people from listening to i-pods while crossing the street in New York City and in Buffalo.

I'm not sure what the goverment thinks it exists for, but I find this absurd. The rule is that you cross at the light. If you don't cross at the light or if you get hit by a car because you crossed while the light was green it is your own fault. They want to make a law to help us keep a law?
Well, no, they want to make a law to save us from our own stupidity.

Why is this? Does the senator have too much time on his hands? He can't spend it trying to solve world hunger or fixing the national debt?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Street church? I'm sort of suprised that the Times is even writing about this. It suprises me too that the homeless people would rather attend this outdoor service than go inside where it's warm.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I think I might cry

They're making a movie out of The Screwtape Letters. It's due to come out in 2008.

In other news local 4-H programs will now have to be registered nationally instead of locally with their county. I only know this because my brother is in 4-H and my mother helps with the program. The national 4-H program is also trying not to discriminate in any way so local clubs are finding themselves up against alot of changes. A name that implies gender exclusiveness (ex. "The Spinning Susans") is not allowed and neither are any that imply religion (my brother's group is called "4-Him"). My mother was also told that they should probably also stop pledging allegiance to the bible and the christian flag (why do we have a flag anyway?) though they are still allowed to pray before meetings and they can continue to be a homeschool exclusive club. The club held meetings at a church, I have no idea what they will do if they are still meeting there.

4-H is a private organization, they can do what they want with themselves, I just find it odd that in order to show they are not against things they must get rid of all traces of them.

Some of the mothers wanted to get the ACLJ involved...but honestly I don't think they have a case or that it would be any kind of good publicity to handle it that way. I do think I'll write a letter. Just to let them know I find their logic ironic at best and at worst kinda disturbing.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Speech Impediments

Have you ever met someone who responded to what you or other people said before they finished saying it?
Everyone does at some point. Children instinctively know when their mother is leading up to the fact that their homework is unfinished. Couples finish each other’s mushy, googly-eyed sentences. Certain topics just have typical and obvious conclusions that let us all chime in at the end.
But what about when there is no way of knowing what the person will say?
The speaker begins by saying that he/she recieved a call. There is no way of knowing what this call is about, but immediately the interupter cries out, “Oh dear!” Phone calls can be good, they often are. What prompts this person to make an exclamation before the opening statement is even finsihed?
Another time someone may begin by saying that a friend came to see them. The interupter make a sound of surprise. Why shouldn’t the friend have come to see speaker? At this juncture no one knows who the friend is. I think the interupter probably wants to be perceptive. The interupter thinks that he/she can sense the direction something is going. This only work if the interupter does not consistantly, as if by some social instinct in reverse, give the wrong answer. The call was good, the friend is welcome.
Is it ever kosher to walk up to someone and say, “You might wait till people finish their sentences every once in a while. You know, just to see what happens.” ?

template by flower brushes by