Parking Wars

Recently, Emily and I have noticed that some of our neighbors have interesting interpretations of how one should park in a cul-de-sac.

Things to note: a) everyone on our street has a two-car garage; b) everyone on our street has enough room to park at least two cars in the driveway (as many folks do); c) we have ridiculously steep driveways, which makes some uncomfortable with parking in the drive); d) the biggest offender of lousy cul-de-sac parking does not have a very steep driveway.

Sometimes folks park parallel to the curb. This allows for an easy flow of traffic…as there aren’t back-ends of cars sticking out into the middle of the cul-de-sac.

Sometimes folks park perpendicular to the curb. This interrupts the flow of traffic…and it just looks silly.

In doing a bit of research this morning, it seems there are numerous people who are interested in exactly how one should park in a cul-de-sac. John Kelly had an interesting article in the Washington Post concerning this issue.

So, it appears that there really isn’t an answer. Do you parallel park? Do you park in a perpendicular manner? Or do you just utilize your garage and driveway?

Oh, the things that boggle the mind!

Speedo the Donkey

On Palm Sunday, Christ UMC had a special guest…Speedo the Donkey. Speedo helped communicate the story of Palm Sunday to our children…and adults. It made for a very festive beginning to our worship services.

For some reason, I’m having difficulties embedding the video (probably due to the format) on this blog. So, if you want to see the video…follow this link:

http://www.wlfi.com/dpp/news/local/christ-united-methodist-church-brings-in-donkey-for-palm-sunday

Donald Miller is no Joel Osteen…Thank God!

Today, I’m thankful that Donald Miller is nothing like Joel Osteen.

I’ve never beaten around the bush about my thoughts on Osteen and the prosperity gospel. So, I won’t really go into that…or I’ll miss the intention of this post.

Here’s what I want to share from Miller’s book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.”

“I don’t believe an act of man will make things on earth perfect, and I don’t believe God will intervene before I die, or for that matter before you die. I believe, instead, we will go on longing for a resolution that will not come, not within life as we know it, anyway. If you think about it, an enormous amount of damage is created by the myth of utopia. There is an intrinsic feeling in nearly every person that your life could be perfect if you only had such-and-such a car or such-and-such a spouse or such-and-such a job. We believe we will be made whole by our accomplishments, our possessions, or our social status. It’s written in the fabric of our DNA that life used to be beautiful and now it isn’t, and if only this and if only that, it would be beautiful again.”

“Growing up in church, we were taught that Jesus was the answer to all our problems. We were taught that there was a circle-shaped hole in our heart and that we had tried to fill it with the square pegs of sex, drugs, and rock and roll; but only the circle peg of Jesus could fill our hole…To be sure, I like Jesus, and I still follow him, but the idea that Jesus will make everything better is a lie. It’s basically biblical theology translated into the language of infomercials. The truth is, the apostles never really promise Jesus is going to make everything better here on earth. Can you imagine an infomercial with Paul, testifying to the amazing product of Jesus, saying that he once had power and authority, and since he tried Jesus he’s been moved from prison to prison, beaten, and routinely bitten by snakes? I don’t think many people would be buying that product. Peter couldn’t do any better. He was crucified upside down, by some reports…I think Jesus can make things better, but I don’t think he is going to make things perfect. Not here, and not now.”

“What I love about the true gospel of Jesus, though, is that it offers hope. Paul has hope our souls will be made complete. It will happen in heaven, where there will be a wedding and a feast.”

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. And when you stop expecting material possessions to complete you, you’d be surprised at how much pleasure you get in material possessions. And when you stop expecting God to end all your troubles, you’d be surprised how much you like spending time with God.”

“Do I still think there will be a day when all wrongs are made right, when our souls find the completion they are looking for? I do. But when things are made right, it won’t be because of some preacher or snake-oil salesman or politician or writer making promises in his book. I think, instead, this will be done by Jesus. And it will be at a wedding. And there will be a feast.”

Tragedy, Suffering, Pain

I know a number of people who are facing difficult periods in their lives. Last night, while reading Donald Miller’s book , A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, I came across two passages that those who feel the weight of life breaking them down might find a bit of hope through.

“After a tragedy, I think God gives us a period of numbing as a kind of grace. Perhaps he knows our small minds, given so easily to false hope, couldn’t handle the full brunt of reality.”

“Pain then, if one could have faith in something greater than himself, might be a path to experiencing a meaning beyond the false gratification of personal comfort.”