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For those who know Biblical Greek or think they should this YouTube movie is for you.  Thanks Jay Merrick at Theology Forum.

I have had an issue on my mind for a while as the missional vs attractional debate rages (see Out of Ur and Reclaiming the Mission for some insights).  The issue is how to express the incredible variety of options in this debate.  While listening to my son’s VeggieTales Incredible Singing Christmas Tree CD I suddenly realised how to express my options – Missional Vs Attractional Caroling.  I hope you enjoy, only some of this is based in my experiences.

Missional: A congregation who knows each other really well goes to the streets and sings carols that mention Christ.

Attractional: The congregation invites people to a building to hear contemporary and traditional carols that mention Christ.

Contemporary: The congregation invites people to a slick presentation including a sermon and carols that mention Christ.

Traditional: The congregation invites people to a service with traditional hymns and a badly performed nativity re-enactment of the birth of Christ.

Activist: Organises a community carols where the drunk unbelieving mayor inadvertently gives an altar call to Christ.

Reflective: Decides that carols are too noisy and a silent retreat is held from December 23 – Jan 1.

Reformed: Invites people to hear the preaching of the word and experience the sacraments rightly administered as backed up by selected very scriptural carols.

Contemporary Pentecostal: Carols are sung in tongues to contemporary music.

Traditional Pentecostal: King James era carols are sung in tongues to traditional music.

Evangelistic: The congregation sings carols and a minister preaches a message requiring people to be born again to really enjoy Christmas.

Social Justice: The pews are filled by the homeless and they don’t really know the words someone tries to get them to sing before they receive a free meal.

Liturgical: The congregation sings traditional hymns, celebrates the mass/communion and believes that everyone else baptised is a Christian and should be at church like them.

Low Church: The congregation sings contemporary Christmas choruses and believes that everyone else should be baptised in a church like them.

Prosperity Gospel: The congregation invites people to a service which includes traditional carols, a sermon and a tithing message on the need to give to support the church over the holiday period.

Hyper-Faith: The congregation has faith that their carol singing will impact the world.

Liberal: The congregation invites people to a service which includes carols with no mention of Christ, has a Rabbi speak on Hanukkah and a sermon based on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

I have had leadership roles in the past.  In the process with the role comes responsibility.

Some of my responsibilities I know other people would be concerned about.  Some of my responsibilities involved looking after now demolished buildings.

So today I was embarrased or surprised or something when I found pictures of the old places and people associated with it on Facebook.

So who knows what else I may find …

I have been surprised while in Melbourne with the number of people who just expect to receive speeding tickets as a matter of course in their driving around the city.  Just as surprising is the people I come in contact with who are fascinated by fast cars and bike whether it is the Grand Prix or other races held down here.

This week I started reflecting more on these people as I started reading Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.  One of the early comments got me thinking as Vanderbilt raises the idea that the roads are the greatest mixing pot in the world and at the same time we have no connection with those around us.  There is no eye contact, no immediate physical presence and no real communication except car horns and hand signals.

Now this is about as far away from the Garden of Eden as I could possibly imagine.  We find ourselves in the way of each other but have no fellowship.  Our Father God looks for us and can’t find us in the midst of a traffic jam not because we are hiding but because Jesus died so that our freeways may be full rather than our lives.  You see we have become the joke:

An honest man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard! Suddenly, the light turns yellow just in front of him. He does the honest thing and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection with him. As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up. He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.  After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects. He says, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.” (this version from Jakes Jokes)

Vanderbilt tells us why this joke is a reality – we are disconnected from people when we are in our cars but as I see it in the process we forget that our Father in heaven is still watching.

We need to remain connected to God by the prompting of the Holy Spirit while driving and not take on a different spirit when we get behind the wheel.  Christian witness needs to be present whether we are aware people are watching or not.

So how is your driving?

The power is out at work today and I am working from home.

There is no truth to the rumor that I am writing this post whilst in my pyjamas.

Regular posts back tomorrow/

When I lived in the USA one of my favourite humourists was Dave Barry.  One of the stories he told was of the Oregon Highway patrol blowing up a whale.  The video of this is now available on YouTube:

Now at some point Dave mentioned that thanks to his writing many people had heard the story.  When it made it to the internet he was bombarded with people telling him – you know you wrote that story about the exploding whale – well now there’s a video about it.

I have forgotten Dave’s reply but I still think it is putting the cart before the horse 🙂

I was delighted to accidentally find it today so I have now shared it with you.

There is a story, probably apocryphal of a child saying to its father, “Dad what is sex?”.  The father goes into an explanation of the birds and the bees as so to speak and then asks, “Why did you ask?”.  The child replies, “Well mum said dinner would be ready in a few secs”.

On Sunday night my super son blurted out, “Daddy we are not like mummy are we.  We don’t have the same things as mummy do we?”  My first reaction was “Oh oh, sexuality awareness kicking in.”  My second reaction was to remember the story told above.  I said, “No we do not.  What makes you say that?”  My super  son then replied “Well we don’t have a handbag, mummy has a handbag.  Boys don’t have handbags.”  My super son continued, “Boys and girls have suitcases though”.

I am so glad I paused before he gave me his revelation.

I have just come across someone whose work I have not been exposed to.  I feel I must now share the two great insights that Taylor Mali has shown me and that I will share with students in the future:

1) The the Impotence of Proofreading

2) Like You Know (about uptalking and speaking with authority)

This is from Tall Skinny Kiwi about Australian work practices.  🙂 Where are you in the crowd?

My wonderful wife was a little worried about me.  While she was away I confessed to watching material on television that we deem inappropriate.  I had been watching Top Gear.  She was wondering where her husband had gone.

Now this is a program about cars and other fast transport.  Except if you watched the episode where they raced to the airport by bike, car, boat and public transport.  The bike won, followed by the public transport, the boat and the car.  It was just great entertainment.

I know I sound like I am justifying an addiction 🙂

This week I turned it on and my wife watched it with me.  We ended up laughing in stitches as they test drove/destroyed three different English cars.  I am still laughing now when I think of the doors falling off and other problems as they went up steep hills and parked, or not, drove over bumpy roads and tried to see how far the car would go if they filled it with water.

I now think of this as a guilty pleasure for us.

So its a shared problem – and my wonderful wife is wondering less about where her husband has gone.