Archive - February, 2009

Tangent, anyone?

Oooooh, Shiny!

Friday, February 27, 2009
10:17 am – Back on a plane (CO Seat 9F, in case you’re wondering) bound for Houston. The giant bag of Skittles from WDAFRAB was indeed a sign. I am exhausted and ready to see my husband and kids again, but I’ve just experienced all kinds of awesomeness over the past two days.
I couldn’t possibly cover everything in one blog post. Well, I suppose I could, but it would be more like a novella than a blog post, and I don’t want to steal my pastor’s blog M.O. And speaking of pastor’s blogs, here’s a little tidbit of moderately interesting information: When I started reading Jeff’s Convergence244 blog, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I thought that maybe there were a few people out there that had blogs, but surely not anything I would be interested in reading. The only notable exception to this was another blog called Convergence that had a very similar URL address. Why was it so interesting, pray tell? Because the other convergence blog was A) also called Convergence (which is me restating what I just told you, but I don’t like to have just an “A” and a “B”. I have random moments of OCD.), B) The writer of the blog is also named Jeff, C) the other Jeff’s outlook on life was in such stark contrast with Pastor Jeff’s, that I will heretofore refer to him as “Beyondo Jeff”.
Okay, sorry guys. I’m in full tangent mode. Bear with me…
The creation of Jeff’s blog was intentional. When Jeff , Tam and the girls left our old church and moved back to Ohio, it was for the express purpose of Jeff going back to school to further his post graduate education in church leadership, thereby better equipping him to pursue what God was calling him to do, which was…..”Anyone?….Anyone?….Bueller?…..Bueller?….Ferris Bueller?

That’s right: to plant a church. Good job! Some of you have really been paying attention! The Convergence blog was a means for Jeff to gather his thoughts and get some feedback from friends about the eventuality of planting a church. I don’t know that he necessarily came right out and said that, and it’s not as if he had this sneaky little plan to test the waters and reel in a core group. But it was a way for Jeff to “put himself out there” and see if what he had in mind was a good, Christ-centered thing or just a big bag a hooey. (Moderately interesting sidenote: “hooey” is an actual word, whereas “sidenote” is not. Which reminds me of a great Jim Gaffigan bit where he says, “You are so dumb, Spellcheck!”) But I digress in the midst of my tangent…

While Jeff’s blog is full of hope and teaching and encouragement; reminding its readers to rely on God even when He seems very far away, the content of Beyondo Jeff’s blog was as dark as the Blogger skin that he chose for it. One got the impression from reading it that Beyondo Jeff truly believed that life was barely worth living; that people were jerks (himself included), and that he once had a glimpse of a good life but that it was far beyond his grasp now. I left a few comments there, and I know that others have as well, hoping to provide some encouragement to him.

Reading Beyondo Jeff’s blog also served another purpose for me. It was virtual truth that there is much darkness in this world, and millions of people who have yet to experience the freedom of a life seeking to abide in Christ. Our mission is important. If I truly believe in hell (which I do), Then it was high time for me to stop looking sadly upon those whose lives were desperately and hopelessly mired in sin and simply say, “Good luck with all of THAT!” As one of my favorite movie characters Red from “The Shawshank Redemption” would say, It was high time that I “Get busy living (for Christ), or get busy dying.”

Dude. I had no idea I was going to write about that when I started. Katdish: Queen of the tangent. Long may she reign!

A Random Look at my morning.


Hey! That’s 3 posts in a row that start with “R”. I wonder how long I can keep that up?

I typed this on the airplane. There’s more to my day, but it’s late and I gotta get some sleep. I need to have my sarcasm “A” game on tomorrow. So, here ya go:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

12:50 pm – Sitting in seat 8F on CO airlines flight destined for Atlanta. The captain announces that we will be delayed from taxiing to the runway because something just blew into the eyes of a member of the ground crew and they need to find a replacement. Wut?! (The crew member, not his eyes.) Begin reading “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankoski. Thanks for the recommendation, Marni!

1:20 pm- The flight that was supposed to take off at 12:45 is now in route to the runway. I am frantically attempting to type birthday wishes to Frank, husband of Beth, who still hasn’t posted a Snuggie video. Mission accomplished. Still waiting on said video. Wuzzup with dat? Feeling rather gangsta at the moment, fo shizzle.

1:30 pm- Hear the flight attendant shoving that stupid cart up the aisle and smashing a couple of unsuspecting elbows in the process. Grateful to have a window seat with an empty seat between the woman sitting on the aisle seat. I’m not anti-woman sitting one seat over, it’s just nice to have some elbow room. She is a well dressed, attractive woman reading a book (WDAWRAB). Hold on, I’ll try to see what it’s called (gotta be on the lowdown – shhh!) It’s called “I Feel bad about my Neck”. No, I am NOT making that up!

1:40 pm- I order a diet coke and a bag-o-pretzels. The bag contains approximately 5-1/2 pretzels. I couldn’t eat another bite! Meanwhile, WDAWRAB breaks out a deli sandwich chock full of deliciousness. It pays to plan ahead! Well, at least I guess it pays to plan ahead, I wouldn’t know.

1:45 pm- Oh snap! I am not making this up! WDAWRAB just pulled out a giant bag of Skittles! This, I am confident, is a sign from God declaring the awesomeness of the adventure that awaits me! Kewl.

1:50 pm- Captain has turned on the seatbelt sign as we are expected to experience some mild turbulence. I am lamenting the fact that I didn’t pee before I boarded the airplane. My husband told me to leave the house no later than 10:15 am for a 12:45 flight. Shea, right! Turns out he was annoyingly right yet again. Because I left a tad bit later than that (11ish) and by the time I got to the “Tacky Texas Crap Gift Shop” just before Gate C-29 (which is the very last gate at the end of the concourse), the final boarding call was being made and I had to throw my bag-o-tacky into by purse and make a run for it. Obviously, I made it. So there.

2:00 pm- I seriously gotta pee. Proceed with kegal exercises.

2:01 pm- This isn’t happening right now, I just forgot to tell you this: The pilot said earlier that it is 45 degrees in Atlanta. Forty freaking five degrees? It’s 78 in Houston! I did not bring a jacket. Oh well, it’s a good thing sunshine follows me wherever I go. Still have to pee. Now I’m doing the jiggy leg.

2:10 pm – I just asked the flight attendant when we’re supposed to land in Atlanta. She said 3:45. And I’m thinking, “How suck is that?” She must have sensed my alarm, because she informed me that they are an hour ahead of us. Good thing, cuz I really gotta pee. You know, like Forrest Gump after he drank all those Dr. Peppers at the White House?

2:15 pm- I wonder if anyone would pay money to have me write a book where I simply ramble on incessantly with an occasional prosperity gospel rant. That would be awesome. Angela got mad at me because I tagged her on Facebook for “25 Random things about me”. Which is strange, because I could spout off about 325 random things about me right outta the gate. Seriously, turbulence or not. I’m gonna go find the bathroom…

2:20 pm- Okay. I’m back. Could they make the aisles of these airplanes any narrower? I’m not exactly petite, but it’s not like I’m big like Fat Oprah (who I like way better than Thin Oprah). I just touched at least eleven shoulders with my butt. That’s ridiculous. Then, when I get back to my seat, WDAWRAB, who is listening to some time management CD on a portable disc player with some sweet Bose headphones, stands up to let me in and the dang CD player fell on the floor and under another seat. Katdish: Annoying people at 10,000 feet and beyond.

2:25 pm- There is a little yellow triangle with an exclamation point on my computer battery thingy, so I guess that means “Your time is up”. Also, the trash Nazis are coming down the aisle and they look like they mean business. Now the triangle just turned to a red “x”, so I suppose that would indicate that my battery means business as well. Bummer. Oh! We’re descending, and it’s 64 degrees. I don’t need no stinking jacket! Now, go about your business. I won’t be back until I am safely in Alpharetta with my laptop plugged into the wall!

Reader Survey! Reader Survey!

Question: When you are really overwhelmed and angry about something, what works best for you?

Answer: Prayer. Okay. Right. That’s the obvious answer. But have you ever been to a point where you find it difficult to pray? You begin a prayer, then your mind just begins to focus on the very thing or things that brought you to your knees in the first place – not on God. What then?

For me, it is time to hop in the car, pop in a CD and get my angry diva on. Usually, I’m all about lyrics when it comes to songs, but some of my favorite angry diva songs don’t have much to do with what they’re singing about. It has more to do with how loudly I can sing along. It is a cleansing experience. Plus, you get some interesting looks at the stop light. Do you have an angry diva song or songs? Here’s one that I belted out in my car approximately 5 times in a row today:

I would love to know which songs work for you. If you know how, I would love it if you would put a link to a Youtube video of the song. And just to tell you, if anyone says “Walking on Sunshine” or “There is Peace in the Valley”, I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends anymore…

Heh, Heh, Heh!

BTW – This blog post is coming to you through the magic of scheduled posting. As many of you are reading this, I am in-route to a day of intense leadership training, apple computers and fauxhawked awesomeness, culminating in an extravaganza of worship, skittles, sarcasm and corn hole. That’s right, peeps. I’m on my way to Hotlanta for the Catalyst One Day and then I’m off to meet up with Steph at the Red Clay Diaries for Off the Blogs. I will have Wednesday evening to prepare for the event. So please feel free to leave incredibly annoying and stupid questions and comments for the speakers of said event. I’m pretty sure that the ones who know me through their blogs love/hate me already, but this should really put me over the top! Woot! Woot!

Reality Check

Since Friday of last week, I have been pretty much consumed by a viral marketing campaign that I personally find offensive on a very visceral level. After posting about it a couple of times and making several comments on other blogs about it, late last night I made what I hope to be my final public comment about it on Pete Wilson’s blog.

I have come to the realization that my connection to it and to the parties involved is just way too personal for me to discuss publicly without becoming overcome by anger and sadness. I am also aware that to a certain extent, there are those who are using this blog and those who have been linked to it as a means to further their exposure into the spotlight. I simply will no longer be a party to any of this. My church will continue to quietly help those that have been left at the curb, even as others deem our efforts as a complete and utter failure. I frankly don’t give a rat’s patooty what they think.

As to their impassioned pleas for people to give them a chance to prove their critics wrong, I will only say that, if nothing else, I pray that your relationship with Tim will give you a clearer understanding that he and others like him are people, not projects; and that if after this is all said and done you teach others too see people through the eyes of Jesus, I will consider it a tremendous success. In the meantime, all I’ve got is this:

Now, if you will kindly indulge me once again, I will close with the words of someone whom I consider to one of the most underrated Christian visionaries of our time:

I am a Christian because I have seen the love of God lived out in the people who know Him. The Word has become flesh and I have encountered God in the people who have manifested (in many “unreasonable” ways) His Presence; a presence that is more than convincing, it is a Presence that is compelling. I am a Christian not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be the nuts and bolts, who through their explanation of it, held it together so that I could experience it and be compelled by it to obey. “If I be lifted up,” Jesus said, “I will draw all men unto me.”

So, here I offer what is possibly the worst thing that can be offered: an explanation of a joke. And, what makes this more inexcusable than the fact that this is that, is the added fact that this is an explanation of a joke you’ve already gotten. I offer it anyway. I offer it in the hope that it might somehow encourage you to live out your lives and, by your living, tell the joke that I, in my writing, so feebly attempt to explain. Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.

Rich Mullins

They forgot to mention a grocery cart and a new squeegee

(The title is meant tongue in cheek —
as far as I know, Tim neither needs nor wants either of these items.)

I hesitate to even publish this post because:

  1. As Koffijah pointed out, we are so often motivated by outrage and not compassion, and I’m really struggling with that.
  2. I don’t want to encourage anyone to visit the website, because that only helps the marketing campaign.
  3. I don’t want to be defined by what I am against. I want to love what is good and hate what is evil. I also want to hate the sin but love the sinner.

    In case you’re interested, some of the items you can purchase for Tim are: a ham sandwich $3.50, cheeseburger and fries $4.00, GQ Magazine $6.00, karate lesson $45.00, 1 YR Wall Street Journal $125.00, Laser Hair Removal $130.00, 8G Ipod Mini $130.00, Gym Membership $300.00, BlackBerry Bold $500.00, 2 Semesters at University of Houston $10K.

    And here’s their slogan (I guess):

    Sharpie Marker…$1
    Cardboard…$3
    Bum….$100
    Using Internet Marketing to Fight Poverty…Priceless

    I would also like to point out the “Live Bum Cam” as they so eloquently call it has not been up at any time I have visited the site. Perhaps they’ve moved on to what they would consider bigger and better bums. But I’m not going to go back there and check, regardless.

    Alas, keeping my mouth shut is not one of my spiritual gifts, as you may have already surmised. I really wanted to post emails sent to me from the father and son team behind this campaign. But my husband strongly advised me not to do so, and I know he’s right. (Dang it!) I think it’s okay to say that they were both very polite and said that they understood my anger at the project. I don’t think they could ever convince me that somehow the end will justify the means, but on that point I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I will however, tell you what my email said to them:

Yeah. That’s hilarious. Glad the demoralization of a fellow human being is so very amusing to you. Your impassioned pleas for helping Tim get off the street don’t hold much weight when you ask him to hold up a sign that says “Pimp this Bum” and let people know he needs a sharpie and a cheeseburger.

Ah, well. Chalk one up for the dark side. I have friends that were spending time with Tim and his friends, helping them as they could, and treating them like human beings. (Were you aware that they actually are human beings?)

I would be wasting my time to tell you that you should be ashamed of yourselves. Clearly you have no shame.

As difficult as it is for me to do so, I’m praying for you.

(I left out a portion of the email only because it mentions Tim’s location specifically, and I didn’t want to post that.)

I would like to again stress that both men were extremely polite and courteous in their correspondence with me. They also assured me that Tim was “in on the joke”. But I’m at a loss as to whether or not they were sincere in their comments. I would also like to say that while I have yet to meet Tim personally, based upon what my friends have told me he well spoken, is an intelligent, caring, generous and compassionate person. It also does not escape my attention that while Tim looks like someone who lives on the streets, he is young, attractive, has good teeth and does not yet show the harsher physical attributes of someone who has spent a few more years on the streets. I’m fairly confident that this observation did not escape the attention of the marketing guys either. After all, who wants to pimp an ugly homeless guy?

There are so many things that bother me about this viral marketing campaign. Probably first and foremost is that even discussing it will in all likelihood cause their hit counter to rise, which is the desired effect. The hit counter doesn’t measure your distaste for the content, and interestingly enough, there is no comments section. Ultimately, it is my belief that they feel this experiment will look good on their resumes, attract advertisers and help Tim in the process.

I don’t know what will happen to Tim. I truly hope that he gets off the streets and begins to live a life full of hope. If this campaign allows that to happen, then good for him. I only hope that all parties involved understand that money does not address many of the reasons Tim is living on the streets in the first place.

I am continuing to pray for Tim, his friends, and the thousands of people who will sleep without a roof over their heads tonight – many of them women and children. I would be grateful if you would do the same.

Pimp this Bum dot com

One more time, peeps! I promise to write my own post very soon, but I got a call from my pastor today about viral marketing and his first hand experience with it. Please go over there and tell him what you think. I know what I think, but I’m keeping my mouth shut for now, which is no small accomplishment, to be sure.

Here’s the link: Marketing Homelessness

What I would really like to do is to draw attention to this issue. I would very much appreciate it you would consider writing a post about this on your blogs as well.

Peace out.

The Chronicles of Marnia


So….

I know what you’re thinking. Is katdish just going to post links to other people’s blogs or is she actually going to write something? I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am really crazy busy doing things in the non-virtual world currently, and it’s all I can do just to spend a few minutes trying to keep up with my blog reading. I’m also working on another prosperity gospel rant that will be delightful, I’m sure.

For now, check out Marni’s post.

As my friend Ryan B. would say, it’s crazy delicious!

And speaking of Ryan (who loves Dr. Pepper), here’s a random story: A few years ago, as head of the VBS crafts mafia, I decided that I would have the kids make ships in bottles to go with the story of Jesus calming the seas. I called the Dr. Pepper bottling plant located in the great city of Houston, Texas to see if they would donate some 2 liter plastic bottles. They graciously agreed, so I drove down there to pick them up.

Question: How many empty 2 liter Dr. Pepper bottles will fit into a 2005 Chrystler mini van?

Give up?

Three hundred and fourteen. But only if you have no passengers, you don’t mind driving on major freeways in rush hour traffic looking like a recently filled gumball machine, are not so concerned about seeing traffic that is not directly in front of you, do not need to make any sharp turns that would require unrestricted movement of your arms, and have several people waiting at the church to help you pick up EVERY SINGLE BOTTLE. Because they will spill out of said minivan like water from an overfilled balloon as soon as you open the door. So, that was kind of special…

P.S. – If ya’ll haven’t read Koffi House, you’re missing out. IT IS GOOD!

Hey ya’ll, Check this out

My new blogger buddy Jason S. over at Connecting to Impact wrote a very thought provoking post. Check it out and leave your two cents worth. (Or in Sherri’s case, your five dollars and ninety-two cents worth.)

Here’s the link: Withholding the Actual Cost

Me Being Lazy: My maiden voyage into the blogosphere

Annie and Sherri posted their first posts, and since this truly appealed to the lazy slug in me, I thought I would do the same. Here are my first two posts:

Just Me here (4/30/08)

I’m not really sure what this blog is going to be about. But I’ve found myself writing really long comments on other people’s blogs, so I figured I’d start my own and not subject anyone to my rambling commentaries unless they really want to read them. (Yeah, that worked out, huh?)

Since my walk with Jesus is what’s on my heart and mind most of my waking moments, (okay, that’s what SHOULD be on my heart and mind most of my waking moments), I will probably blog about this often. But I’m also a painter and mural artist. So I’ll probably post some pictures of recent work and give some painting how to’s as well. And, oh yea, I’m also part of a core group that’s planting a church! I’m sure I’ll blog about that a bunch!

I guess my blog entries will be very much like my thoughts: A series of seemingly unrelated post-it notes of thoughts and commentaries from my overloaded ADD mind… “Hey look, a chicken!”

After some in-depth research, the results are in: (5/5/08)

I have been cruising all over the blogosphere. Wow! There are some really funny, creative, imaginitive and disturbed people out there!I have come to the conclusion that my blog sucks. I am going to be under some reconstruction for awhile…..

I may not be your Facebook Friend Anymore…

Have you seen this?

Or this?

Here’s a couple of snippets from your Facebook Contract:

“You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to (a) use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute through multiple tiers), any User Content you (i) Post on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or (ii) enable a user to Post, including by offering a Share Link on your website and (b) to use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising, each of (a) and (b) on or in connection with the Facebook Service or the promotion thereof.”

“The following sections will survive any termination of your use of the Facebook Service: Prohibited Conduct, User Content, Your Privacy Practices, Gift Credits, Ownership; Proprietary Rights, Licenses, Submissions, User Disputes; Complaints, Indemnity, General Disclaimers, Limitation on Liability, Termination and Changes to the Facebook Service, Arbitration, Governing Law; Venue and Jurisdiction and Other.”

If I’m interpreting these articles correctly, as of February 4, 2009, anything you post on Facebook past, present and future, including links to your blogs, pictures, ANYTHING – they have irrevocable rights to — FOREVER! If this is correct and legally binding, Facebook could legitimately lay claim to the content of your blog and publishing rights to a book based upon the content therein. Are you reading this Jon?

Perhaps I need to take a chill pill and talk to someone who knows legalese, but for the moment, I’m none too happy about being Facebook’s bee-atch and I’m pretty pissed off. Do I have any lawyer lurkers out there that would care to weigh in on this?

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