I know you have been waiting in utter anticipation for the number one blog of the year. Well, here it is and you might have guess it's potty jokes. People love potty jokes. This will be my last blog for 2011. Have a happy and safe new year. Look for me in 2012!
It sits in the darkness, waiting for its next victim. Someone walks into the room and the fluorescent lights flicker on as he enters. He takes several steps, opens the door to the stall and walks up to the automatic flushing toilet. The toilet laughs maniacally as the patron takes his position on the porcelain throne. The next victim has landed and soon he will regret his encounter with the automatic flushing toilet.
I’m sure you have had an encounter with this menace. If not, count yourself blessed my friend. There is one particular toilet whose memories haunt me to this day. This toilet is located in a restaurant known as Chevy’s in Fairview Heights, IL. It’s a great place to eat and I really like the food and the service. The one thing I don’t like is the toilet. I’m not certain why, but my love for the food stops at my taste buds. For some reason, my internal organs have a disdain for the succulent cuisine and they seek to torture me partaking of it. Due to this war taking place within my bowels, I am beckoned to visit the room of torture known as the bathroom.
Now, the restroom, aka el baño, is a nice place but it is also one of the first places I ever came cheek to seat with the automatic flush toilet. The automatic flush toilet sounds like a great thing. It flushes so you don’t need to. I am sure some janitor who cleaned men’s restrooms invented them. You see, many men are too macho to reach and push the handle to flush the toilet. My theory has always been, ‘if you’re too macho to reach for the handle, kick it instead.’ It seems like a simple solution that you use your feet if you don’t want to touch the handle. I have never been certain why so many men don’t flush the toilet since they also don’t wash their hands. It definitely can’t be because of hygiene.
The automatic flush toilet is not a great invention, however. My theory is that it was invented by a janitor not so the toilet would always be flushed, but as revenge against all the men who never flush the toilet. Remember el baño at Chevy’s? Anyway, I would sit on the toilet doing my business and would always get to a place when I am committed to completing my task. At that moment, the toilet would strike. I had not done anything to harm the toilet, but just like a snake it would strike me with its venom. For no sane reason, it would decide to flush. Now, I’m not against a good old courtesy flush, but the automatic flush toilets are always high powered toilets as well. It takes .0000005 seconds for them to flush down all of their contents and replace the bowl with clean water. In the process, however, they suck your derriere firmly to the seat and then drown it in toilet water. It’s kind of like a toilet/bidet combo. I’m not really into the whole bidet thing though, especially when it’s the same instrument in which I just dropped a load. Even though I did not want that experience, it would give it to me just the same. After realizing the extent of torment I had endured, it would proceed to flush a couple more times before I could complete my task. During that first visit, I got to where I would hear it start to flush and I would immediately stand, which is also not a good thing to do when sitting on the toilet.
Over time, I did find a way to defeat the toilet monster. Today, whenever I encounter an automatic flushing toilet, I immediately reach for the toilet paper and withdraw two sheets. I cover the evil electric eye with those two sheets of toilet paper and the menace can no longer see me. When I finish, I remove the toilet paper and upon seeing me, the rapscallion flushes in anger and I smile because I know I won.
Have you ever experienced a horrifying encounter with an automatic toilet, sink, paper towel dispenser or light? If so, I would love to hear about it. Just keep your comments G rated. Thanks. - Tim
BTW- If you look closely at the toilet in the picture, it has an eye.
This is my second most popular blog from 2011. It also happened to be the first ‘Funny Friday’ posting. It was meant to be satire but received several comments because it sounded very negative. The truth is that it takes much hard work to succeed as a youth pastor. I have worked in youth ministry in one capacity or another for almost 20 years. As you read this, please understand that it is tongue-in-cheek satire. There is some truth to qualifications, but if someone is truly gifted to work with youth they will prevail. Enjoy...
1. Patience: You will be tested. I’m convinced there was one test God did not give Job because he was sure Job would fail – leading a group of teenagers. They will make fun of you, call you names, throw things at you, destroy your stuff, hit you, and refuse to listen to you when you talk. Leading a group of teenagers is akin to leading a pack of hyenas. If you don’t have patience beforehand, you will develop patience or be devoured in the process.
2. High Self Esteem: Unlike patience, if you don’t have high self esteem, leading youth will not help you develop it. You may begin youth ministry thinking you are the coolest person in the world. You will quickly learn otherwise. You can be twenty-one and they will still call you old and archaic. Your terminology is dated and you have no grasp on current trends. You may think you do, but once you enter the world of youth ministry, you will discover how wrong you are. Youth ministry is not a place to gain popularity and fame, so if that’s your goal, write blogs about it instead.
3. Vision for the Future: You must have a vision or where the youth ministry will be in five or ten years. Chances are this vision will never come to fruition, but it is imperative that you have one. With a vision, you have something to look forward to as you pull out your hair in desperation based upon the current situation. “Things aren't so great right now, but in five years we will all be dancing in a field of beautiful flowers and singing the theme to The Sound of Music
.” (By the way – don’t expect any of your youth to know what The Sound of Music
4. Know How to Drive a Bus or Large Van: A youth pastor often wears many hats in the church. Since no one else is willing to put up with a group of teenagers on a 12 hour road trip, the youth pastor must get a license to drive a large vehicle. This vehicle often ends up being the church bus
. Once you have this license, expect to become the official driver for all church functions.
5. Function Well for Days with No Sleep: Sleep is overrated. You will spend 36 hours on the road driving to lead a two week mission trip and another 36 driving back; two days after arriving home, you will take the youth to a week long summer camp located 12 hours away and you will not sleep the entire time you are on either trip because everyone will be up all night talking, having pillow fights and laughing at the all the things one can do with a laser pointer. In addition, you will lead multiple all night lock-ins and lock-outs, retreats, and various other events. Always expect one student or parent to have an emergency at 2:00 a.m. Emergencies never happen in the daytime, they always happen in the middle of the nights. You must be able to conduct your job without sleeping to survive.
6. Don’t Expect Gratitude: No matter how much work you put into youth ministry, don’t expect to hear a single “thank you.” Every time you stop to listen for it, you will only hear crickets chirping. The youth will quickly let you know how much they disagree with you on hard decisions that will make their lives better in the future. Don’t expect them to come to you as adults and thank you. This happens very rarely. Don’t expect applause. (Note: gratitude does come and sometimes when you least expect it from whom you least expect it. With that said, don't rely on it or expect it.)
7. Be Responsible: Whether or not you are responsible for something that went wrong, you are responsible. Almost everything that goes wrong in the church may be blamed on the youth. Ultimately, it’s your fault. Don’t even try to pass the blame or give an excuse because this is not your role. Your role is to apologize and make things right. Here is a scenario: Deacon Smith comes to you and says, “I know you and those banshees in the youth group had one of those unholy lock-ins in the church last night and broke some expensive garnishing. I’m telling Pastor Jones and expect it to be paid from your budget.” In reality, the youth lock-in was three weeks ago and the group cleaned the entire church during the lock-in for which you were never thanked. Last night, there was a leadership meeting and Deacon Smith accidently bumped into an old, outdated artificial plant by the front door and broke off one of the stems. Your reply, “I am so sorry that happened. I will talk with Pastor Jones and make things right.” Learn this and you will go far.
If you read this list and still want to be in youth ministry, may God help you because it must truly be a calling.
Disclaimer: This is satire, hence “Funny Friday.” Being satire, I blew things out of proportion. The concepts however are true. Youth ministry is a difficult job, but as I stated earlier, I have chosen to be involved in one capacity or another since I was 18 - so I do love it. This is not a slam on teenagers, church leadership or horses. If you are offended by anything written, please go and ask God to forgive you and help you develop a sense of humor. No animals or baby kittens were harmed in the production of today’s blog. Are you seriously still reading this? Maybe you should get back to work – that one was directed to me. Have a great day. - Tim
Hello! I am continuing posting my top ten blogs for 2011. Number 4 was about a holiday and so is number 3 - I guess holidays are popular. Enjoy.
Somewhere between Halloween and Holiday, there used to be an American holiday known as Thanksgiving. I’m not sure what is was about but people ate turkeys, argued and watched football. According to some, it was a traditional holiday focused on bringing families together and giving thanks to a deity for the stuff they had. Others say it was a way to celebrate unity and remember how the first immigrants to what would become the United States of America were greeted and rescued by the native people who already lived here. People stopped celebrating it as much during the early 21st century and over time it faded into oblivion. Now we have the two month celebration of Halloween - Holiday. I can’t imagine what fall and winter was like before we went door to door on October 31st to ask for wrapped gifts to place underneath our Halloween - Holiday trees. I know I really have trouble waiting until December 25th to open my gifts. It seems like a long time for them to sit under the tree. I do love the orange, green and red lights that we decorate our house with. I love the candy and yams, but I wonder what it was like to eat meat before it was banned. It seems like such a barbaric thing to do to eat animals on a holiday, but that is what people used to do. Even so, I just wonder what it tasted like. I’m not sure why people ever celebrated Thanksgiving; I mean who wants to spend time with their families anyway? Well, happy Halloween- Holiday everyone! - Johnny T. Smith, Fourth Grade Research project, November 22, 2211 CE.
Does this really sound that farfetched? When I was a child, Thanksgiving was a really big deal. It wasn’t just a holiday squeezed tightly between Halloween and Christmas, ahem ‘Holiday.’It was a time that my family came together and celebrated each other. We did give thanks to God for all of his blessings and we enjoyed each other’s company. We all packed into my grandparent’s house and shared love. Even though November is a cold month, my memories of Thanksgiving are always warm and bright. My family still celebrates Thanksgiving although grandparents have passed away and I live two states away. My parents come and celebrate the holiday with us and we have started a new tradition. I still have a great time and I am enjoying teaching my children about Thanksgiving. It is still warm at our house.
Here is what concerns me. Thanksgiving is losing its grip on American society. This is a very sad thing because it is truly an American holiday. This is not a holiday that other countries celebrate. We celebrate it because it is a rich part of our history, it’s our heritage. To do away with Thanksgiving is to tear away a vital part of our culture. It is, however, fading. Here is my theory; Halloween and Christmas provide great profit to businesses. Sure, grocery stores rake in some cash for Thanksgiving, but it’s not a very profitable holiday otherwise. Because of this shift toward profit, businesses highly promote Halloween until the very last minute and then they turn their focus to Black Friday. (Maybe I should have named this as a holiday in my opening paragraph.) Here is a way to illustrate what has taken place. Thanksgiving has become the unwelcome family member at the table of holidays: “Oh look, Thanksgiving showed up. I thought you were not going to invite him this year,” says Halloween. “I didn’t invite him or Christmas, but they always seem to come anyway. Oh, look at how uncomfortable Black Friday looks squeezed between them,” replies Holiday. Let’s stop the madness and bring back Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your family and don’t become so wrapped up in the football game or ‘holiday’ gift buying that you forget it even exists. Talk to your family and share your lives together. Don’t take this holiday for granted. Happy Thanksgiving! – (Tim) Timothy J. McSwain, November 22, 2011 A.D.
PS: I really like eating turkey!
Two days after Christmas and we got our first snow. Isn't that ironic. Anyway, i am counting down the top ten blogs of the year and today is number 4. Here it is:
Angelica lay in her bed shaking, with cold sweat beading on her head. Having just awakend, she noticed a semitransparent women standing at the foot of her bed. The woman was dressed in a white, glowing gown. Her hair and dress appeared to be flowing in a breeze despite the room being deathly calm. Her face was vacant and expressionless. She stood there, moaning, but not saying any audible words. Angelica did not know what to do. She did not believe in ghosts, but here she was, having an encounter with one…
Every October, my children have nightmares. They spend most of the year nightmare free, but October changes that. I blame Halloween. This is a difficult topic for me to address for two reasons:
1. I am a writer who happens to pen novels based upon supernatural phenomenon
2. I really like to have fun and love to eat candy
Keeping that in mind, I am not a fan of Halloween. There, I said it; you can now yell, ‘boo!’ and belt me with candy corn.
I know this is a bit of an oxymoron, so let me explain. Some of you reading will expect me to go into the history of Halloween and discuss the Druid cults and all the evil practices related to the holiday. If I go there, others will point out that both Christmas and Easter have direct ties to Druid holidays. All of this is true; however I am going to utilize different reasoning.
If Halloween were simply a holiday where kids had fun, dressed up and got free candy, I would be an idiot to not celebrate it. Today, it’s way more than that; it has become a holiday based on fear. Remember how I mentioned my children’s nightmares? Caleb, my son, recently had one the night of our town’s homecoming parade. Why? A local haunted house, Chittyville School, decided to have some of their ghosts walk in the parade. Having a haunted house that people choose to come and see is one thing, taking it to a children’s parade is another story. Caleb was terrified by the ghouls and had nightmares. We can’t drive down the road without seeing tombstones, bloodied mannequins and various types of beasts. Children are very impressionable. They remember details that I quickly forget. These images become imprinted in their minds.
Fear is nothing to laugh about, especially a child’s fear. Images of death, mutilation and murder should not be where children can see them. Honestly, those seem like strange things to celebrate anyway. Although I grew up celebrating the holiday, we now choose to not celebrate Halloween. I don’t have a problem with other people celebrating it, I just don’t like for them to scare my children.
Finally, the story I started with is fictional. It does have some basis on reality. This morning I woke up at 4:00 dreaming I had seen a ghost. When I opened my eyes, I thought I could still seem something standing at the foot of my bed. As it turned out, the curtain was pulled back and light was streaming into the room, reflecting off the mirror near the foot of our bed. It’s funny how your mind can play tricks on you. Halloween decorations do still affect me and I still have nightmares sometimes. As an adult, they don’t terrify me like they do my son, but they can still be scary. This is not a letter to convince you to give up Halloween, its point is to remind you to think about others and do your best to not terrify children this Halloween. By the way, if you get too much candy, please share some with me. - Tim
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I can't believe it is already over. 2011 is almost over as well. Who knows what 2012 will hold. I am continuing to count down the top ten blogs for 2011. Here is number 5 - actually two blogs in one.
No, this posting is not about the popular television show, but it is about friends.
Throughout my life, there have been defining moments when a friendship was needed and someone showed up to fill that void in my life. There are many people who have impacted my life and yet have no idea. There are so many, actually, that I can’t name them all in one short blog. I do, however, want to highlight a couple of those defining moments.
The first person I want to thank will have no clue why his name is in this posting. I am certain he has no idea that he had a profound impact on my life, but he did. When I was in the fourth grade, my parents moved and I changed schools. I had left a school from which I was highly popular. My old school was very small and hardly had transfer students, so we quickly befriended any that came. My new school, however, was much different. I was blindsided when I found out how horrific it can be to become the ‘new kid.’ Initially, I was bullied. I was not familiar with bullying, especially from the receiving end, but I quickly learned its meaning. In the mist of this trying time, one person reached out to me and made a significant impact in my life. His name is Chad Drummond. If memory serves me correct, the day Chad impacted my life, he was wearing a white t-shirt and black vinyl jacket. I will always remember him as Fonzie and myself as Richie Cunningham. He offered me an o-ring he had received from his father who worked in a factory. He gave it to me as a sign of friendship. Whether right or wrong, I viewed Chad as a tough guy; I was exuberant that he offered me friendship. I’m not sure if it was because Chad was my friend or I had more self confidence, but the bullying diminished. Thank you Chad, you have no idea how much your kindness affected my life. While I attended Puryear, I did develop some good friendships. Two of my best friends in school whereShane Cooper and Corey James. I am also thankful they reached out to me. I developed other friendships in my years at Puryear and I thank everyone who befriended the quiet, shy kid named Timmy McSwain.
Another very important friend in my life is Robby George. I didn’t meet Robby until I had graduated from high school, but we quickly connected. How we connected was very strange, however. We were both persuing a girl at a church youth camp. Honestly, that is why most guys go to youth camp, to pursue girls, but that is a subject for another blog. We both liked a girl named Kelly (the last name has been left out to protect the innocent). Robby and I essentially started out as enemies, but Kelly was a popular girl who had several guys interested in her. We joined forces to try to weed out the competition together, each with plans to annihilate the other at the end. What ended up happening was that neither of us got the girl, but we each got a new best friend. Ever since that day, I have considered Robby as one of my closest friends. We only see each other about every other year, but when we are together, it is like we have never been apart. Again, this friendship came at a critical point in my life, when I really needed someone. Robby has been a great friend and to this day, I can call him when in need. Thank you Robby!
Honestly, when we examine our lives, we see that our relationships help contribute to who we are. This is obvious when it comes to our parents. They have a profound effect on our lives and help mold us into the person we grow up to be. We cannot, however, de-emphasize the value of friendships in our lives. Throughout our lives, our friendships either have a positive or negative effect. Sometimes a best friend gives us encouragement and self confidence or a broken relationship makes us feel destitute and insignificant. I am going to take a few minutes to thank those friends who have positively influenced my life.
David French: David is my oldest friend. By old, I am not referring to age, but longevity. David and I grew up together. We were neighbors and have been friends since we were toddlers. I've had many friends come and go throughout the years, but David has always been a constant in my life. We were in each other’s weddings and have managed to stay in touch throughout the years. Thank you, David, for your friendship.
Les Madden: Les was my best friend for many years. We were inseparable from second grade through college. Even though I moved and changed schools in the 4th grade, Les and I remained friends. For some strange reason we split ways after college and I don't even know where Les lives today. I miss our friendship and will always be grateful for the years we had together.
My church friends: I had many friends as a child and youth at church and I am thankful for them all. I had many more friends at youth camp at Camp Hickory Hills in Dickson, TN. You were great and many of you had a lasting effect on my life. I continue to have many great friends at the church I currently attend, Christian Life Center.
Scott Nanney: I met Scott in high school and we quickly became friends. Honestly, it wasn't so quick. I was not very nice to Scott our freshman year, but he was always nice to me. I realized how pathetic I was and befriended him. I have never regretted our friendship. We remain friends and keep in touch by Facebook these days. I still consider Scott a good friend.
I mentioned Robby George. Despite our separation by many miles, I still consider Robby as my best guy friend. We have a couple friends: Zack Davis and Kevin Fralix. Back in the day, we referred to our group as 'Four' for quite obvious reasons – there were four of us. We are still great friends and I deeply value each of these guys. They are solid. Thanks guys for being my friends.
In college I became friends with H.L Hussman, Paul, Becky, Ryan, Kathleen, Mark... I am naming names, which will get me into trouble. I had numerous friends in college and I am so thankful for all of you.
I have many more friends today. Each of them helps shape my personality and make me who I am. Some, like Todd Larson, challenge me to grow as a person and nudge me forward. I have been very blessed to have many good friends and I hope you are as well. Make friends and keep them.
My best friend is my wife, Julie. She has been a true blessing to me and I am very thankful to have her in my life. A good way to assure your marriage lasts is to make your spouse your best friend. To this day, there is no one I would rather spend my free time with than her. Life is so busy that we don’t get to spend much time together and I miss having that time. I cherish each moment I spend with my closest friend, my wife.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that God has also deeply impacted my life and that my relationship with Jesus Christ is also a friendship. I think that being a friend of Jesus is the foundation of my life and he is always there for me. Julie is my best friend in a physical sense, but Jesus Christ is my best friend in a spiritual sense. He never lets me down.
I have a compendium of names yet to mention. I want to give a shout out to Josh Maddox, Kayla Maddox Mayfield, Ginger Walker-French, Cheri Winters-Hayes, Jason Shaw, Justin Shaw, Jordon Shaw, Sammy Smith, Barkey and Crystal Bryant, Jaynee Victory-Marsh, Anne Victory-Sebghati, Sean Byrd, Alissa Rausch Sanderson, Angela Lovelace Russell, Jonathan James,, Joel and Amanda Youngblood, Stephen and Jamie Follis, Jason and Terah Keim, Kyle and Paige Fuqua, Keith Shew, Courtney Hill, Steve and Darla McKeown , and the many friends I have from Big Sandy Elementary School, Puryear Middle School, Henry County High School, Murray State University, COGOP, Camp Hickory Hills, Youth America, Christian Life Center and all the places I have been employed. I am thankful for you all!!
Disclaimer: Whenever you write a thank you and mention people by name, you inevitably leave someone out. There are many people whom I have not listed. That does not mean you did not impact my life. I just ran out of time and room. =)
Do you have close friends?
Here is the number 6 blog for 2011. This is
I can’t imagine what the last 16 years would have been like without Julie. We met at Murray State University, Murray KY in the fall of 1996. I was a third semester senior preparing to graduate and she was a junior who had transferred from John A. Logan College in Carterville, IL. At the time, I was finishing the last requirements for my major in Business Administration and my minor in Youth Agency Administration. I was also working as an intern for a Christian ministry known as Chi Alpha Christian Ministries. Julie and her friend Paige began attending the group. We quickly became friends and started spending much time together. Julie had a very nice car and I was envious. She owned a red 1989 Nissan 240sx. If memory serves me correct, we ate at Shoney’s one night and I managed to lift her keys, hand them to my friend H.L. who went to the bathroom but actually parked her car in the back of the building. He handed the keys to me and I returned them without her knowing. When we left, her car was missing. It was a lot of fun. I’m not sure why, but she let me drive her car that night. Not long after, we started dating. We married on May 30, 1998.
This may seem strange to many, but prior to our marriage Julie spoke about foreign missions. I had been on a couple mission trips, but had never really visited a third world country. She was enamored with Honduras and wanted to one day return to do missions there. The idea of going to a third world country terrified me and I hoped it was just a phase she was going through. I didn’t have any desire to go. One night while praying at church, I distinctively felt that God told me to not only go to Honduras, but to do it early in our marriage, stay for three months and trust Him. After that night, my desires changed. I began planning our trip to Honduras. I called airlines, checked the prices of flights and learned what I could about Honduras. We married in May 1998 and were in Honduras early in 1999. When we got there I knew it was meant to be despite that all our plans fell apart when we arrived. (God provided for us and I will blog in the future about all the miracles that happened on that trip.)
That trip did two major things in my life:
1. It helped me to trust God with my life and lean on him and
2. It sealed my relationship with Julie and brought us closer than either of us could ever imagine.
Our life together has been wonderful and I look forward to the years ahead. I am thankful for Julie, that we went to Honduras together and that we chose two have the two most wonderful children in the world, Caleb and Rachel. I truly live a blessed life and I thank God for it.
Here is the number 7 most popular blog for 2011: Underwear Drawer Personality Test
There are many different personality tests one can take these days. Myers-Briggs, Five-Factor, Color Matrix and the Animal test are all methods for discovering what type of person you are. One thing about these tests is that they can be very complicated and ask a variety of questions. Some even require an instructor. They can also be quite expensive to take. I have decided to develop a personality test of my own and base it on only one criterion and offer it for free right here. I believe that we can determine our personality based on how we maintain our underwear drawers. I guess you could say it all comes down to how we put our drawers in our drawers. Please read the following list and see where you fit in. If you feel comfortable doing so, please comment.
First, you need to go look at your underwear drawer and see how you have it arranged.
1. Someone else puts your underwear away for you: (Lazy Bum)-You are lazy and have no motivation in life. You sit around the house eating Pop Tarts and playing Battlefield all day. You demand service from others but never offer to help when someone needs your assistance.
2. You fold your underwear and put them neatly into your drawer: (Faithful) -You are neat and organized. You always plan ahead and are never latefor an appointment. Others can always rely on you to fulfill your commitments.You are a reliable person.
3. You fold your underwear and organize them by type and color:(Uptight) - You are a perfectionist in everything you do. You expect life to
always go your way and you get upset whenever things are out of order. You also want to be in control of everything and feel that everyone else is wrong when they disagree with your opinion.
4. You wad up your underwear and stuff in your drawer without paying any attention to how it goes in: (Free Spirit) - You are spontaneous and live life on the edge. You don’t take time to worry about the small things because you are too focused on having fun. People love being around you because you are the life of the party. You are also somewhat unorganized and unreliable. You usually arrive on time or a couple minutes late.
5. Your underwear never makes it from the laundry basket to the drawer: (Overcommitted) -You never say no to anything. You spend all of your time at work or doing some type of activity and are almost never home. You may be an organized person, but just don’t have the time to fold your underwear. You have so many balls in the air, you are sure to drop some and your underwear are often one of the casualties of your lifestyle.
6. You don’t wear underwear: (Weirdo) -No explanation needed.
7. You don’t wash your underwear: (Outcast) - No one wants to spend time with you because you stink. You need to go to the store, buy new underwear, throw your current underwear in an incinerator and learn the definition of soap and water.
This personality test was not formulated by a group of psychologists, the result of years of study or based on scientific evidence. I just made it up over the last fifteen minutes, so it’s very accurate.
I need to go and fold my underwear. By the way, I am an Overcommitted Free Spirit. What are you?
Based on popularity, here is the number 8 blog for 2011:
For those who don’t know, there is a presidential election next year. Recently, there has been much discussion on where candidates stand concerning illegal aliens. Candidate, Herman Cain, purportedly stated he would build an electric fence
to keep out the aliens. He also later recanted and stated he was joking about electrocuting the aliens. All of the candidates have painstakingly stated their position, some more strict than others. While I see this as an important issue, I’m not so certain it should be one of the main issues. There has been a decrease
in the number of crop circles sighted over the last decade. Furthermore, we have had little contact with aliens to be able to define how many truly want to immigrate to our world, not to mention the United States in particular. Based on my research, it seems the aliens are far more interested in the United Kingdom
than the United States
. I don’t know if we even have any laws on the books that define if aliens can legally immigrate to the USA
. It seems that if we had extraterrestrial visitors, we would at least give them a chance to become legal citizens. In addition, for them to reach our planet would make one assume they have greater technological advances. They may be far superior in intellect and could be offended that we want to build fences to keep them out. I’m not sure fences, whether electrified or not, will make a difference since they will be coming from outer space in aircraft. I think the candidates need to leave the aliens alone and focus more on what they are going to do the people who legally live in the United States. We are at a time of crisis and need to get our heads out of the sky. That’s my two cents. – Tim
For the end of 2011 I am counting down my top ten blogs of the year. Here is number 9:
I have a problem with certain sects of Christianity. The truth is, I find certain actions by many Christians as harmful. Here are some reasons why I feel this way:
1. Christianity has become a label
2. Much of modern Christianity has very little to do with the message of Jesus Christ
3. Many Christians can be jerks.
If you look at the early Christian church, they referred more to Jesus Christ and less to themselves. It was the Romans that called them Christianos from which we get ‘Christians’ or followers of Christ. Early disciples referred to themselves as hodos or ‘The Way’ which could have been a reference to Christ’s words in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is nothing wrong with being called a follower of Christ, however, today the label focuses more on an organization than it does on God. People who fall under the label of Christianity are often viewed in a very negative light by the rest of the world. That’s because much of the organization has become focused on building itself instead of fulfilling the ministry of Jesus Christ. What happened to taking care of the widows and orphans, helping the sick to heal, and loving others? It seems much of organized Christianity tears people down rather than building them up and focuses more on fulfilling self serving desires than God’s desires.
I used to be a jerk. To be honest, I still am sometimes. Here is the thing: As a Christian, I decided it was my job to become an eye splinter remover. (If you don’t understand my statement, you can look it up in Matthew 7 or Luke 6 in the Bible). If you ever referred to the 2X12 sticking out of my eye, however, I would tell you that it did not exist. Many Christians are jerks. We love to point out other’s faults or sins, but we hate it when ours are pointed out. We spend way too much time worrying and complaining about how poorly other Christians follow the Bible when we often don’t even know what it says. That is not what I see Jesus Christ doing. I don’t see him hanging with the Biblical scholars and telling everyone how bad they are. Instead, he spent time talking and eating with hookers, tax collectors and other people of questionable character. It was the religious people that he did not get along with; it was the people who looked down on everyone else that Jesus spoke forcefully to. I am sick of being a jerk. It’s my job to love people as Christ loves them; to forgive them and help them when they are in need instead of telling them how bad they are. I do concede that helping people does mean that I should lovingly approach other Christians and challenge them to grow and it also means that I am willing to accept the same counsel from others when I am in the wrong. As Christians, we are supposed to love God and others. I should not spew hatred at people who act and believe differently, that is the opposite of love. Jesus reached out in love and so should we. Christians should be a beacon of light the rest of the world because God’s love dwells in us. If I am going to be a follower of Christ, I want to do it for real. – Tim (a proponent of The Way)
Here is a good example of my point:
Since I post on weekdays, I am reposting my top ten blogs from now until the end of the year. Here is number 10:
Worried About Tomorrow
Similar to 1929, the United States is in a Recession and countries which we are closely tied to us are financially collapsing. Greece, Spain and Italy are in an economic turmoil and the validity of the Euro is being threatened. It doesn’t take a financial genius to see we are on the verge of another Depression. If something significant does not happen soon, our world will be turned upside down. I can already hear the 2012 prophets yelling out that this is the beginning of the apocalypse of which the Mayan’s warned us. Honestly, it is a sobering time; there is much reason to be concerned and to plan ahead.
Despite the clamor, I am not worried. Do I think rough times are ahead? Yes. Am I concerned about the future of our country? Yes. Am I worried? No. Here is the reason: two thousand years ago, a man by the name of Jesus Christ spoke on this very subject. This is what he said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV).
Between birth and death is life. Life is full of transitions. There are changes we love and changes we hate. Life is not easy and we will always have obstacles to overcome. The difference between success and failure does not lie in what obstacles you face but how you face them. The moment we begin to worry about our future is the very moment we fail. Worrying is not planning or preparing. It’s giving up hope and expecting the worse. My pastor, Steve McKeown, made a great statement last Sunday. He said something like - if you plan to fail, you will succeed. That is a very true statement; people who see themselves as failures typically fail. It’s not because they can’t do something, it’s because they believe they can’t. I don’t plan to fail, I plan to succeed. A Recession or even Depression is not going to destroy me. My life is in God’s hands and I plan to live it accordingly. ‘I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.’ Do you? - Tim