Archive for November, 2011

13 Stupid Things That A Husband Should NEVER Do

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Sometimes talking with our wives can be like navigating through a field loaded with dangerous landmines. Just one miscalculation or wrong answer and you can land in the doghouse. So on a Monday when you could use a little humor, here are 13 things you should never say or do to your wife or girlfriend.

  1. Never give an appliance, broom or cleaning supply as a gift. I learned this hard lesson early in marriage when I brought a broom home as a surprise for Lea. That broom is still sitting in my garage. She’s never used it. Lesson learned.
  2. Never refer to keeping your own kids as “babysitting.” When a 15 year old girl from church does it, it’s called babysitting. When you do it, it’s called taking care of your own children.
  3. Never say, “It must be that time of the month, eh?” Even if it IS … don’t say that. (more…)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Posted by    |    November 25th, 2011 at 6:30 am

Shoppers make their way through a packed Target store in Lanesborough, Massachusetts on Black Friday. (Credit Reuters/Adam Hunger)Frenzy: (def.) 1. A state of violent mental agitation or wild excitement.  2. Temporary madness or delirium.  3. A mania; a craze. In other words: Black Friday.

Today 45% of the nation’s citizens will shop and spend money.  This means that 55% of you are highly organized and have your shopping done . . . or you are a man and it will be weeks before you are concerned that there is nothing under the tree with a tag reading, “Love, (insert your name here).”

My Mom, my sisters, and I are probably at the mall even as you read this.  I am one of the crazy women who arrive at a store at 5:00 in the morning to shop for the early bargains.  My family, with one exception, is known for rising early and being bargain driven, which makes Black Friday a perfect shopping day for us.  (Lori, my younger sister, is not genetically engineered for the day but does succumb to peer pressure.)  I will have consumed three cups of coffee, shopped, and returned home by the time most of you read this essay.  Thank goodness for leftovers because we won’t be worth much for the rest of the day!

10 Things That Are Guaranteed to Happen Today on Thanksgiving

Posted by    |    November 25th, 2011 at 5:40 am

Much like a David Letterman’s Top 10 List … here are 10 things I can guarantee that will happen with our family Thanksgiving Day…

10. We’ll have WAY too much food.

9. Uncle Allen will tell at least 5 of the corniest one-liner jokes you’ve ever heard in your life.

8. Everyone will gather around to watch the Dallas Cowboys play football.

7. At least 3 times, one of my kids will ask, “When are we going to eat, Dad?”

6. Lea will be stressed out just a bit because she’ll want everything to be just perfect.

5. We’ll miss Taylor.

4. At least 3 times Cooper will say, “Dad, I’m bored.”

3. There will be LOTS of people packed into the Keeney’s big house.

2. Thanksgiving dinner will happen 2 hours after whatever time we have scheduled to eat.

1. We’ll be very thankful.

Black Thursday

Posted by    |    November 23rd, 2011 at 6:45 am

Black Friday shoppers wait for a Target store to open in Lanesborough, Massachusetts November 26, 2010 (Credit: Adam Hunger)How do you feel about “Christmas creep”?  Many stores have been displaying Christmas decorations since before Halloween.  Now some will open Thanksgiving night to get a jump on the traditional “Black Friday” shopping frenzy.  More people than ever before will do their Christmas shopping from their smartphones, avoiding both the crowds and time with their families.

I know one Person who won’t miss Thanksgiving.  During this season, ministers encourage us to thank God for all he has done for us.  This morning, as I was praying about the theme of this essay, a new thought struck me: God is also thankful for us.

I’ve never considered the fact that the Lord of the universe would be thankful that I exist, but it’s true.  Just as I am grateful every day for my sons, so my Father is grateful every day for me, and for you.  He says to us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Will You Really Spend “THAT” Much This Christmas?

Posted by    |    November 23rd, 2011 at 5:40 am

Lea and I spent the day talking about the Black Friday deals we wish we could get. There were several things that caught our eye, but none were worth getting up at 3 a.m. on Friday to go get them. Seems like every year Lea and I talk about not spending “as much” on gifts as we did the previous year, but somehow it happens. This year we’ve briefly talked about taking the amount we spend on gifts and matching that amount in giving towards good places like Bread for a Hungry World.

I guess what bothers me is that even during what some call “hard” economic times, we’ll spend TONS of money on more things we can really live with out. For example … did you know that this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, America will spend 470.4 billion dollars? Slow down and read that last sentence again … 470.4 billion!! Here’s the amazing part, that is 11 million dollars EVERY MINUTE from the beginning of Black Friday until Christmas Day. That’s STAGGERING.

And before you know it … December’s Christmas gifts quickly become January’s payments.

I’m not against buying things, but I do think it’s wrong for us to go over-board. I’m bothered by commercials that make us feel guilty if we don’t buy EVERYONE a gift. I’m tired of the television telling us what we DON’T have, when we really have more than we already need.

Just as a good reminder …

  • While you’re shopping don’t complain about the price of gas, instead simply remember that only 10% of the people in the world own a car and you and I probably have more than just 1 of them!
  • As Americans, every year we spend 12 billion dollars on storage facilities to store our extra worldly possessions that we don’t have room for. Don’t forget that some people don’t even have a home!!!
  • Today when you ask, “Where are we going to eat?” or “When are we going to eat?” just remember that some in this world will ask, “Are we going to get to eat?” We’ll throw out more Thanksgiving leftovers this week than many in this world will eat in an entire week. I am thankful that we’re not finding our food at a garbage dump today.

We are very blessed people and we are living in a blessed nation. It’s okay to shop this Christmas season and enjoy a season of giving and receiving, just don’t go over-board. Remind yourself this time of year just how blessed you really are AND THEN … make an effort to share some of what you have with some who are less fortunate.

It was Jesus who said in Luke 12:15, “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Jesus was so smart.

Breaking Dawn and debt reduction

Posted by    |    November 21st, 2011 at 6:45 am

Cast members Robert Pattinson (L) and Taylor Lautner pose before the German premiere of the movie Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn in Berlin November 18, 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter)Here’s the plot of the most popular movie in America: a brooding teen marries her vampire lover, whose family strikes an uneasy alliance with a jealous werewolf to protect the bride and the baby she’s carrying.  I had to find that summary online since I didn’t see the latest installment of The Twilight saga, which apparently puts me in the minority.

Does anyone else wonder what God thinks of us this morning?  Our politics are dysfunctional, as the deficit reduction supercommittee will reportedly announce today its failure to do its job.  Partisan deadlock apparently killed the effort, raising fears of another stock market dive and prolonged recession.  Efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons are apparently failing as well.  Meanwhile, the top ten Google trends this morning are led by the Giants/Eagles game (no Cowboys?) and include green bean casserole and a cranberry sauce recipe.

Leprechauns and hula hoops

Posted by    |    November 20th, 2011 at 5:40 am

A crowd of 262 people dressed as Leprechauns gather at the Canal Theatre to break the Guinness World Record in Dublin November 16, 2011 (Credit: Guinness World Records/handout)Here’s news you can use: 262 people in Dublin, Ireland dressed in leprechaun costumes yesterday, setting a new world record.  On Guinness World Records Day 2011, other record attempts included the most arrows caught by hand while blindfolded, the most people whistling at one time, and the largest hula hoop workout.

I’d rather read about leprechauns than the deadlocked deficit-reduction supercommittee in Washington, protesters who tried to shut down a New York City subway, or losses in the stock market.  Peace is fleeting these days, at home and abroad.  Monk and theologian Thomas Merton was right: “We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

When pumpkins attack

Posted by    |    November 17th, 2011 at 6:45 am

Some Canadian pumpkins (Credit: Martin Doege aka Morn the Gorn via commons.wikipedia.org)You’re driving down I-696 in Farmington Hills, Michigan when a truck in front of you loses its load of pumpkins.  Suddenly, orange fruit is bouncing all over the highway and exploding against cars.  A state trooper finally stops the renegade pumpkin-spilling truck, whose driver could be fined $150 for having an unstable load.

What worries are you trying to dodge this morning?  The Wall Street Journal reports that European banks are devising risky new ways to continue borrowing from the European Central Bank, heightening fears about the Eurozone.  Closer to home, The New York Times tells us that more American college graduates than ever before are living with their parents, unable to afford a home of their own.

Help With The Jesus Banquet and Get a HONDURAS HOPE Bracelet

Posted by    |    November 17th, 2011 at 5:40 am

(Help me spread the word on this by Tweeting this post or posting it on your Facebook.)

In just three weeks I’ll be back in Honduras with a group of friends for what we call “The Jesus Banquet at the Dump.” On December 7th at the dump in Tegucigalpa, Honduras something very special is going to happen. Some of the poorest people in the world are going to be fed, served and shown the love of Jesus.  This will be a sit down banquet where they will be served. We will have tables, chairs, silverware, napkins, and a place for them to wash up.  The plan is to feed about 1200-1500 and show the people of the dump the same kind of OUTRAGEOUS love that God has shown us.

If you’d like to help buy a plate of food for the dump banquet, you can make a donation of any amount, and I’ll send you a “Honduras Hope” silicone bracelet like the one pictured below. You can use the PayPal button on this site if you’d like, and it’ll automatically include your address. I have two rubber silicone bracelets that I wear on my wrist. One is my yellow LiveStrong bracelet, and the other is my Honduras bracelet. I occasionally take the LiveStrong bracelet off, but the Honduras bracelet is always there. My Honduras bracelet reminds me of three things every time I see it …

  • First, that I’m blessed because I will eat today while others won’t.
  • Second, to pray for the Honduras work and hungry people everywhere.
  • Third, that I should NEVER be satisfied with just feeling sorry for others, BUT I must be willing to do something to make a difference in their lives.

So if you’d like a “Honduras Hope” bracelet, just make a donation of any size and I’ll mail you one or more. You’ll be directly helping feed people at this year’s Jesus Banquet at the Dump.

The one I'll send you is like this one but will be blue with white "debossed" letters that say HONDURAS HOPE.

Someone recently asked, “Why go all out with something this nice for people living in a dump?”  The answer is simple … we offer our best to them because God offered His best to us … His son.

See this picture better by clicking on it.

Jesus said in Luke 14:12-13, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.”

(Help me spread the word on this by Tweeting this post or posting it on your Facebook.)

Occupy arrests, the NBA, and peace

Posted by    |    November 15th, 2011 at 5:45 am

New York City police officers arrest a protestor affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement as he tries to return to Zuccotti Park, in New York November 15, 2011.  (Credit: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters) Peace is hard to find in today’s news.  Police arrested at least 70 Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City this morning, citing health and safety issues.  Kim Kardashian‘s attorney is claiming that her client’s marriage to Kris Humphries was real, even though it lasted only 72 days.  And the NBA season is now in jeopardy.  Commissioner David Stern described yesterday’s collapse of contract negotiations between players and owners this way: “We’re about to go into nuclear winter.”

Where do we find peace in tumultuous times?  Yesterday we claimed Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  We learned that “mind” refers to our attitudes, thoughts, worries, and decisions; “steadfast” translates samak, “to lean upon.”  If my mind were submitted to the Holy Spirit this morning, what attitude would he produce in my life?