Sky Mall zombies, social media gurus and Jack Bauer

You know what? I’ve been followed and unfollowed more in the past week than I ever have. I use Mr. Tweet sometimes to find people to follow. I highly recommend it. I’ve found some really great folks to follow using it. But an unfortunate side effect of following new folks is that the “social media marketing experts” find you, follow you hoping for a courtesy refollow, and then unceremoniously dump you after you don’t refollow them after 24 hours. Because they could care less about you. They’re just artificially increasing their own followings so they can call themselves “social media experts”. To be fair, there actually are a few folks who know what they’re doing, but they typically don’t seek you out first. What a joke. Whateva, end of mini rant.

In other news, I got a sweet deal on a Season 2 DVD set of 24, and I watched an atrocious amount of television this week. Speaking of which, there is a video in this post that is a bit on the violent side. Fair warning.

And now the best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:

RT @stretchmarkmama: Brought home a Where’s Waldo book from the library with every Waldo circled in marker. Jackpot!

RT @muchl8r: Our job isn’t to make ourselves into someone but rather to find out who we were made to be then become that person:)

@weightwhat Actually, I think Sasquatch is agnostic. #tweetsthatmakenosenseunlessyoureadmyblog

@chuckallen CLOWN MIMES??? Sweet Fancy Moses! (in reply to chuckallen RT @katdish: @bryanallain And clowns, mimes, and blue man group. // I once danced with clown mimes at a zoo. That was pretty scary.)

@HeatherSunseri Wow. That must have been horrible. (in reply to HeatherSunseri @katdish Believe it or not, I got trapped in St. Croix b/c of volcanic ash on the runways.I was forced to remain in tropics for extra day)

@marni71 Morning! He’s stuck in Paris because of volcano. I know, right? (in reply to marni71 @redclaydiaries @katdish @sarahmsalter Good morning ladies. So what’s up with @charliewetzel and his travels?)

@redclaydiaries Would you like me to DM @charliewetzel my Sky Mall posts? It’s no problem, really… (in reply to redclaydiaries @sarahmsalter He’s staying in a local hotel overnight. Booked to fly in AM. IF airspace is open by then.)

@noveldoctor Morning Sunshine! (in reply to noveldoctor @katdish [Mumbles coined word that combines benign greeting with mild expletive. Puts on sunglasses. Shuffles out of room.]

@noveldoctor HIYA STEVE!!!!!! HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING! (in reply to noveldoctor It is a great kindness when morning people scale back their perkiness upon greeting non-morning people.)

@bryanallain And clowns, mimes, and blue man group. (in reply to bryanallain The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…and robots cross-breeding with wolverines.)

If loving the movie Zombieland is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

My first car was a 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura piece of crap that I paid for myself. With no AC. In Houston.

The high school is right next to the junior high. Since when does a 16 year old need to drive a Lexus or an Escalade?

Wait, I’m not finished complaining yet…

Well, my son missed the bus this morning & I had to wait in the car line at the junior high. That sucked.

Goodnight @herbiegookins, wherever you are!

We’ll cover zombies on Friday. Did you know Woody Harrelson’s father died in prison? #random&uselessinformation

@NEgraceful He was a handsome beast wasn’t he? (in reply to NEgraceful @katdish Intrigued…and still thinking about the giraffe from the last SkyMall post.)

@CassandraFrear Thanks. I love Sky Mall. Endless blog fodder. (in reply to CassandraFrear @katdish Can’t wait to read it ! Your last “gardening” post was amazing! It’ll be my first cup of coffee for sure.)

@VariantVal It’s a natural progression, don’t you think? (in reply to VariantVal @katdish you’re growing horns?)

Sorry I’ve been so scarce today. And now I’m fixin’ to be scarce again. Off to horn lessons!

Alrighty. I’m pretty exhausted from watching TV for the past 4 hours. (Wow, that’s just sad) Goodnight

My 2 part Sky Mall backyard series has now been expanded to a 3 part. I know. You’re welcome.

And I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty heartbroken.

All of the “social media experts” that followed me in droves are now unfollowing me because I didn’t courtesy refollow.

@VariantVal Okay, dirty how? Ewh… (in reply to VariantVal @katdish He said he didn’t want to get them dirty so LMAO)

@VariantVal WHY DIDN’T HE HAVE PANTS ON?

@elaina_avalos I talk about a lot of things most people just keep to themselves (in reply to elaina_avalos @katdish I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone talk about that. Haha. Maybe the Dog Whisperer knows?)

@Helenatrandom Yeah…I’m a legend in my own mind. (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish Don’t they know who he is? The dog of a famous blogger and twitterer deserves more respect!)

@Helenatrandom Buddy Lane, is in my ears and in my eyes. There beneath the blue suburban skies… (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish Why, I think your dog walking route should be renamed “Buddy Love Lane” …)

RT @noveldoctor: “Romantic idealist” is just a nicer way of saying “single and alone.”

@Helenatrandom There would be a lot of bronzed mailboxes here if everyone felt that way. (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish But of course! I know I would have my mailbox BRONZED if @buddylovethedog phantom peed on it! BRONZED!)

@Helenatrandom they dig it the most. (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish Awww… I bet the neighbors find that SO adorable…)

Patiently walking @buddylovethedog as he phantom pees on everyone’s mailbox.

@jennybekrocks Yeah. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. (in reply to jennybekrocks @katdish And cold sores. I’m going to stop now. I’m grossing myself out.)

@jennybekrocks That’s so true. Lice works like that, too. (in reply to jennybekrocks @beckfromfrogandtoad @katdish everyone knows you can’t get rid of illness until you share it … 😉

RT @amysorrells: @katdish My “sketching out” process is top-secret. I could tell you, but then . . . I’d have to write it. LOL

@amysorrells Mmm hmmm. Define “sketching out (in reply to amysorrells @katdish I’m sketching out a second (or third) one, depending on how you count ’em! Really!)

@amysorrells Okay, fine. How’s the MS coming along then? Are you writing? Hmmm????? (in reply to amysorrells @katdish I’m so not a blogcrastinator. SO not.)

In carpool line. Just noticed my right rear tire is low. Rethinking the “drive your daughter to school in your pjs” thing.

Jack Bauer – You had me at “I’m gonna need a hacksaw”.

RT @noveldoctor: If you have the gift of writing and yet don’t write, you’re the author of a tragedy.

@CandySteele that cat looks like he’s praising Jesus. Amen. (in reply to CandySteele @katdish I found this when I went to DC and thought of you. Looks like awesome cat on crack http://is.gd/bq0tG

@MrTweet_Alert Also? @redclaydiaries called me annoying

@MrTweet_Alert Mr. Tweet. You are very helpful albeit very bossy… (in reply to MrTweet_Alert @katdish – redclaydiaries recommended you to @MrTweet. You should acknowledge it here: http://bit.ly/97qgI9)

Man, it’s 1PM already. I need a sammich

@pwilson re: today’s post. Check out this flag made of baseballs. Awesome. http://twitpic.com/1f2sd7

@weightwhat Happy Birthday Princess!

For the record, I typically only refollow real people, not bots.

Oh-em-Gee! I check my email and suddenly I’m being followed by a gaIllion Internet marketing “gurus”. Wuddup with that?

I’m married. I don’t need the “easily meet in many dating”.

The easily meet in the many dating is here! I’ll get even made a cute girl in your area, so many people register for girls! (Translated)

Um, okay. Now I don’t feel bad for deleting the comment. Thanks for your help @elaina_avalos

I suppose I could send the comment to my mom and ask her what it means, but that would require my mom have working knowledge of a computer.

But what if this person is really trying to leave a comment, and is getting increasingly angry at me for not publishing it?

So…Every single day, I get a comment on one particular post, but it’s written in Japanese. I figure it’s spam, so I delete it…

We actually DID have potatoes after all! You’re welcome. http://twitpic.com/1ep094

@maggiedammit That’s really the only explanation for the McRib (McKnuckle) sandwich. (in reply to maggiedammit I am 100% convinced McDonald’s food contains a mind erasing drug so you forget how gross it is until the next time.)

@duane_scott You are wise beyond your years young man. (in reply to duane_scott @katdish remind me not to hang out with you ever… I value my life still.)

@duane_scott Some things are nature, not nurture. Samurai blood and all…(in reply to duane_scott What are you teaching your kids anyway?!)

Kids say the darndest things don’t they? http://twitpic.com/1el9ty

Backyard Oasis courtesy of the Sky Mall, Part 3


If you’ve been following along at home, I’ve been trying to decide on a new yardscape as a housewarming gift for all my new neighbors courtesy of a development company ripping out the lovely pasture behind our house and replacing it with a subdivision of 170 houses. In case you missed the first two options, you may can find them here:

Option 1 – The African Safari Garden Oasis
Option 2 – The Garden Oasis of Tolerance and Diversity

I think it was Winston Churchill who said, “Go big or go home.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t Churchill, but I think he gives the quote a bit more weight, don’t you?

To round out my Sky Mall backyard oasis series, I would like to present for your consideration the biggest and most well thought out (?) vignette yet. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Zombieland!

For those of you unfamiliar with this modern day classic, I have provided this trailer:

For a realistic oasis, I had to go outside the confines of the Sky Mall catalog, but let’s begin with what I found there, shall we? (Say yes.)

Zombie of Montclaire Moores Statue 3 at $89.95 each

Not for the faint of heart, this gray-toned Zombie of Montclaire Moors statue features the most zombie-like eyes you’ve ever seen. Captured in meticulous detail in quality designer resin, this zombie garden statue brings the flesh-hungry undead to your daffodil bed!

They’re certainly the most zombie-like eyes I’ve ever seen! I think at least three, don’t you think?

The Dweller Below – Large $89.95

Growing up afraid of things that “go bump in the night,” British artist Manchester gives form to the legendary boogeyman said to roam below the streets of London!

Okay, not necessarily a zombie, but good enough for me! That’s really all I could find from the Sky Mall, but a few zombie statues does not a vignette make.

Miscellaneous garden tools and shotguns (free – We’ve got plenty!)

(Woody Harrelson sold separately)

Hostess delivery truck, estimated blue book value $12,000*

*Okay, I just pulled that figure out of my head. I have no idea how much a Hostess truck costs. But isn’t it fabulous? Since the truck was featured early on in the movie, I was thinking of using it as sort of a “gateway to Zombieland”, perhaps with some pink carnations spilling out of the back to represent the much hated snowball treats scoffed at by Tallahassee.

Black Cadillac Escalade EBay $36,000

Tallahassee’s first vehicle in the movie.

Yellow Hummer EBay $29,995

I think both vehicles are necessary to make the kind of statement we’re going for, don’t you agree?

And finally, what I hope will be the focal point of this beautiful Zombieland Garden Oasis,

Ferris Wheel EBay $59,000 obo

Who can forget that final scene? I think this Ferris wheel is the perfect representation of all the valuable lessons learned in this movie.

Grand total for the Zombieland Garden Paradise: $137,354.80

I realize this particular scenario is a bit of a budget buster, but the grand total is roughly 1/3 of what the lowest price home in this new subdivision will cost. I think my new neighbors are worth it. Don’t you?

So there you have it. All three options. Me and my credit card anxiously await your final decision.

Backyard Oasis Courtesy of the Sky Mall, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can find it here:Backyard Oasis Courtesy of the Sky Mall, Part 1

But here’s a brief recap: The acreage behind my house will soon be turned into a 170 home subdivision, and since our yard is not much to look at (unless you like wide open spaces), I thought I would treat our new neighbors with a visual delight with some help from our friends at the Sky Mall. Option 1 was African Safari Oasis.

If you’ve read this blog before, than I’m sure you’re aware that I am a Christian. But I thought to myself, do I have the right to publicly proclaim my faith to those who don’t share my belief system? I don’t recall reading anywhere in the Bible that I should be doing this. (Oh wait…maybe I did…But I digress…)

The Houston area is vastly diverse, with all cultures living in harmony. Why not have a backyard oasis to reflect this fact? Ladies and gentlemen, I submit for your approval Option 2,

The Garden Oasis of Tolerance and Diversity:

I thought I would start with a few Greek gods scattered about the property. Sadly, Zeus is not available, but this guy is:

Poseidon: God of the Sea $350.00

The muscular god of the sea holds his famed trident and stands astride his symbolic triple dolphin in our exclusive, grand-scale sculpt. This Italian-inspired, 18th-century replica exudes the power attributed to one of the fabled gods of mythology.

We don’t have a pool as pictured, but sometimes we get some puddles after a heavy rain.

Goddess Aurora Statue (Estate) $450.00

Balancing atop her grand plinth, our statue is based on a classic 19th-century sculpture of the goddess Aurora that once crowned an elegant garden fountain.

“Hebe, the Goddess of Youth” Statue $395.00

Artist Bertel Thorvaldsen truly captured the eternal beauty of youth with his sculptural likeness of Hebe, cupbearer of the Greek gods. (She’s probably fun at keggers, too.)

And speaking of ancient civilizations, I thought it would be a good idea to have my Asian ancestors represent:

The Enlightened Buddha Statue $135.00

Floating on a stylized lotus, this nearly 3 1/2-foot-tall Buddha sculpture arrives like a refreshing breeze with his calm countenance and endless serenity.

Who among you couldn’t use some endless serenity? I’d be all up in that. But some prefer a happier, jollier Buddha, so I thought I throw this guy in, too:

Jolly Hotei Buddha Statue $115.00

What better friend to have than one who changes all the sorrows of the world into happiness? It is tradition to rub the belly of over two-foot-tall Asian work of art for joy, his ear lobes for wisdom, and the gold in his hands for wealth.

Then I figured, if one jolly fat guy makes you smile, the more the merrier:

“Basho the Sumo Wrestler” Sculpture $95.00

Basho crouches in his mawashi (Sumo belt) in these intricate sculpts with wide stances.

I’m gonna be honest. My Japanese is a little rusty, but I’m pretty sure “Basho” loosely translates into “Tons of Fun”.

“Easter Island Moai Monolith” Statues $98.95

Inspired by the 380 A.D. originals
Assumed to be depictions of local chiefs, heroes or gods, the giant statues on Easter Island are some of the world’s most intriguing archaeological artifacts
.

I’m not exactly sure anyone still worships these giant heads, but I’ve always been a fan of the unibrow.

Rhiannon the Archer Fairy $295.00

In a classic sculptural pose, our traditional work of European garden art depicts a beautiful archer drawing back to let her arrow fly.

What’s that you say? People don’t worship fairies? You’ve obviously never been to the Renaissance Festival…

And just because I wanted to add a little mystery and whimsy to the vignette, you know him, you love him:

“Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti” Statue $98.95

With alleged Bigfoot sightings the world over, from the Himalayas to the Americas, this elusive, mythical legend has been captured for Toscano in a quality designer resin statue and hand-painted for startling realism.

Startling realism? Did Sasquatch pose for this statue? Hmmm….

This brings today’s Garden Oasis Option grand total of $2,032.90. But seriously, can you put a price on tolerance and diversity? Me thinks not…

Tomorrow I will conclude this series with one final option. I know…you’re welcome.

The Me I Don’t Want to Be (by Kevin Martineau)

Today’s guest post is from pastor, blogger and encourager Kevin Martineau. Lest you think pastors have it all together, he’s here to tell you that that’s not the case.

Hi! My name is Kevin Martineau. I am the pastor of Port Hardy Baptist Church on beautiful Vancouver Island. I am married and have three daughters. My blog is Shooting the Breeze and you can follow me on Twitter here.

Have you ever struggled with pretending to be someone that you are not or struggled with being what other people think you should be? I have.

For many years, I thought I had to have everything together as a pastor. I thought that all conflict was bad and it needed to be avoided at all costs. I thought that people wanted me to put on my big fake Christian smile and suck it up and pretend that nothing was wrong.

The problem was: SOMETHING was wrong! I was hurting. I was confused. I was anxious. I was stuffing my emotions and my passions. The result was a 3 month medical leave (or forced Sabbatical as I call it now).

During that time off (with the help of many skilled counsellors and much pain) I began to realize how much I had not been living out my true self – the me that God wanted me to be! I hadn’t been living out my passions because of fear and I wasn’t being true to myself, my family and the people that I had the privilege of leading.

This has been a 3 year journey now (and I am sure it is going to be a lifelong journey). I wish that I could say that I have it all together now but I don’t. I still struggle with some of these issues. Thankfully God continues to lead me forward on this journey and recently He brought a great book into my life to further help me. The book is The me I want to be by John Ortberg (who happens to be one of my favourite authors. I have read ALL of his books.)

I am only two chapters into the book and my world is already being rocked. Today, I read this chapter: “The Me I Don’t Want to Be.” In this chapter Ortberg challenges us to come to grips with the rivals that stop us from becoming the person that God wants us to be. They are:

The me I pretend to be.
The me I think I should be.
The me other people want me to be.
The me I am afraid God wants.
The me that fails to be.

This chapter really hit home for me because of all that I have already mentioned. I recognize that I need to do some more evaluation again. I need to drop the “masks” that have come up again and be the person that God wants me to be! I don’t want to go to back to being the me that I don’t want to be!

“Spiritual greatness has nothing to do with being greater than others. It has everything to do with being as great as each of us can be.” Henri Nouwen

Do you struggle to be the person that God wants you to be? What rival stops you the most?

Backyard Oasis courtesy of the Sky Mall, Part One

I consider the neighborhood where I live to be ideal. Let me rephrase that. I used to consider the neighborhood where I live to be ideal. It’s close to everything, but once you drive back here, it’s like you’re living in the country. The lots are an acre or more, there are no sidewalks or streetlights and the neighbors are neighborly. Best of all, the back of our lot backed up to some woods and a field of cattle. I remember sitting on the back porch at night and hearing coyotes and all manner of wildlife. That may not sound appealing to some, but I liked it.

Since we built here several years ago, the woods have been replaced by a subdivision, but until recently we still had our cattle neighbors. Now it seems a developer has made the owner of the adjacent property a offer too good to refuse. Soon the field behind me will be replaced with 170 homes. I’m not thrilled about it, but since I want to be neighborly, I got the idea of fixing up our rather boring backyard into a bit of an oasis for the new neighbors for enjoy. I know…I’m a giver. Here’s what our back yard currently looks like:


Not exactly visually appealing. Oh, sure the blue pressure tank and the 55 gallon drum we use to burn trash are lovely, just not “fancy”. I want to give our new neighbors some fancy. And I need your help.

My good friends at the Sky Mall have a plethora of fantastical yard art just waiting to put me in unrecoverable debt. The problem is, there’s so much to choose from! This is where you come in. Please give my your opinion which theme you think best suits my back yard:

Option 1: African Safari

That’s a pretty sizable backyard, and the summers here are what I like to call “Africa hot”. This option makes sense in so many ways.

Zairen the Zebra Sculpture $235.00

This exceptional work of art lends a touch of exotic flair to even the most domestic setting!…Imagine your guests’ expressions at spying this meticulously hand-painted, bold black-and-white Toscano exclusive in a flowerbed or along a garden path!

“Kalahari” Meerkat Statues $19.95 to $34.95 (not sure whether the butt or the head is more expensive)

We’ve little doubt why meerkats recently became beloved screen stars–they’re adorable! Our spirited sculptures busily climb “in through the out door” in this imaginative Design Toscano exclusive, two-part sculpt cast in quality designer resin and hand-painted in realistic tones for your home and garden.

“Lioness of Namibia” Statue by artist Samuel Lightfoot $125.00

Transform your home or garden into an exotic paradise with our regal lioness…Lightfoot’s big cat sculpture will securely stretch languidly atop your mantel, garden wall or outdoor tree branch (I’m a big fan of languid security.)

“Mombasa, the Garden Giraffe” $995.00

At almost 8 feet tall, it’s the largest garden sculpture we’ve ever offered!
If you really want your garden to be noticed, Mombasa, our almost 8-foot-tall designer resin giraffe, is sized to impress! Since there’s no hiding this realistically hand-painted, exclusive sculpture, even amidst your tall trees and hedges, your neighbors are sure to be surprised when Mombasa moves in next door. For ornamental use only.
(As opposed to what?

There you have it. Option One for a grand total of $1,409.90 (plus shipping and handling). Tomorrow I will have a guest post, then on Thursday I will present at least 2 more options for you to choose from. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, why don’t you check out some of these wonderful items yourselves at skymall.com. And tell them katdish sent you.

Then again, maybe just leave my name out of it…

What’s that you say? You’ve never read a katdish Sky Mall Post before? Well, you don’t even know me! Here they are, in all their glory:

Blog Fodder First in a Series!

Katdish Holiday Gift Guide Part 2

Katdish Holiday Gift Guide Part 3

Katdish Holiday Gift Guide Part 4

Tuesdays with Sky Mall

One More Thing

The New Sky Mall’s Here! The New Sky Mall’s Here!

From Hair to Eternity: The Summer Sky Mall Post

Sleepwalking (by Billy Coffey)


Take a walk through my town and you’ll likely see more than one person who reminds you of yourself, if only on the inside—generally middle class, generally happy, generally a little worried about the state of things.

We walk the balance beam of prosperity here. Most have neither too much nor too little, and for the most part we’re good with that. We have enough to get by, enough to dream of having more, and enough to feel like we’re living our lives the way we’re supposed to.

There are exceptions, of course. Some have a lot of money and don’t mind telling you. Others struggle to make sure there’s dinner on the table. Me, I’ve always thought it was the rich people who had to be more careful about money than the poorer folks. The more you have, the more you want. That’s what I always say.

Money is a snare, Paul said in his first letter to Timothy. I think that’s true. I’ve seen a lot of people ruined by it. And not just the rich.

Enter Danny.

Danny lives in a modest home in a modest neighborhood, which is appropriate considering he has a modest family. Wife, daughter, son, and two dogs he takes hunting with him every year. Like most everyone else, Danny’s family has enough. More than enough, really. But for him, it’s always been too little. His job at the grocery store provides his family with the necessities of life. They have the shelter and the food and the clothing. But he’s always dreamed of having more.

The 1985 Chevy truck he drives to work can get him there, which is okay. But it can’t get him there in style, which would be even better. And his home, a twenty-year-old double wide with leaky faucets and drafty windows, is comfortable. But it’s not fancy. And if there is anything Danny wants in life, it’s a good dose of fancy.

Unfortunately for him, such a lifestyle cannot normally be gotten by stocking cans of chicken noodle soup and mopping floors. All Danny knows is groceries. Ask him where any item is, and he can tell you. A can of beans not labeled? Danny knows the price. Want to know how to tell a good watermelon from a bad one? Ask him. He’s given his life to the grocery store. Been there nearly twenty years.

But that’s where his talents end. Danny’s been given the opportunity over the years to climb the corporate ladder. Those grocery store managers don’t live in double-wides and drive twenty-year-old trucks, he says. But he’s found that some of the rungs on that ladder are missing, and he’s always ended up back where he started.

“I just don’t have much business sense,” he told me.

To him, he’s stuck. Stuck stocking shelves and emptying boxes and handling the cash register when someone calls in sick. And it makes him miserable. His is not a bad life, and he’ll admit that. But it is neither a good life, and that eats at him.

Still, he dreams of better things. He always carries around one of those free homes books so he can dream of where he wants to live and hate where he lives now. And the other day he got to sit in Travis Campbell’s new Chevy. Which just reminded him of how bad his own truck looks, of course.

I often wonder if what Danny would think if he lost what little he had. If he woke up one day and found his family and his home and his job gone. And I wonder, too, if I’m not a lot like him in some ways. I tend to look around at what everyone has and forget about all I’ve been given, too.

So I’ve made myself a promise. I’m going to be happy with what I have. No doubt I’ll still dream. Dreaming is good. But not when it keeps you asleep to your blessings.

And in the meantime, I’ll say a prayer for Danny. I hope he wakes up, too. Because as far as I can tell, he’s the only poor person I’ve ever known who was ruined by money.

***

To read more from Billy Coffey, visit him at at his website and follow him on the twitter at @billycoffey.

***

P.S. – I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish my friend Wendy A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Now, y’all go over to her blog, Weight…What? and do that same, kay?

Twenty-one? (Repost)


From time to time on this blog, I will do book reviews. I am currently reading Vince Antonucci’s new book Guerilla Lovers, and I plan to review it very soon. Vince’s first book, I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt , remains one of my all time favorite books. The following is an excerpt from that book:


Excerpt from “I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt: Replacing Souvenir Religion with Authentic Spiritual Passion” by Vince Antonucci

Staff members at my church take one day each month to fast and pray. It’s a day designed to get away and get close to God, to focus on him and pray for the church. I decided to spend one prayer and fasting day at Burger King. I know this sounds bizzare, but I wasn’t going to eat. Normally, I go to a park or the beach on my prayer day, but it was cold outside, so I wanted a place where I could be inside but by myself. When I do my fasting day I don’t eat, but I do drink, so I thought, I’ll go to Burger King, get a Coke, sit there for a couple hours, read my Bible, and write in my journal. So I went in, got my Coke, sat down, and started reading.

Two minutes later a dirty, smelly guy came walking up. He was obviously extremely poor, probably homeless. He started pacing in front of my table. I glanced up several times but tried not to make eye contact because I wanted to keep reading my bible. After all, this was a day for me. My goal was to get me closer to God. Finally, I felt guilty and thought, This isn’t right. Vince, you need to take some time, die to yourself, and love this guy. So I asked, “Hey, can I help you with anything?”

Turns out the guy was from India. He started talking, but I could barely decipher his words. Finally, he handed me a piece of paper. It was a job application for Burger King. I said, “Oh, you want to apply here. Do you need help filling this out?” He nodded yes, so we got to work. It was difficult. One question asked about experience. I think he said he used to be a cook. In Florida? India? Indiana? Another requested his home address, but he didn’t have one. It took nearly an hour. Finally, we were done and he walked to the counter to turn it in. I thought, It’s good that I helped him, but I’m glad that’s over. I went back to reading.

One minute later he was sitting back at my table. I said, “Oh, Hi.” He sat and stared at me. I thought, Maybe he’s hungry. “Do you need something to eat?” I asked. He said yes, so I gave him a few dollars. And he appreciated it. He really appreciated it. He grabbed both my hands and started rubbing them all over his face and neck. I thought, Oh…my…goodness! This is so weird! Finally, after the thirty most awkward seconds of my life, he grabbed my money and disappeared. I thought, Wow. Well, it’s a good thing that I helped him. But I am so glad that’s over. I went back to reading.

Two minutes later he was sitting back at my table. This time he had a burger and fries. I thought, Maybe he just needs someone to talk to. I started a conversation, and then he asked me about the Bible I was reading. I started to explain that I believed in Jesus. A smile erupted on his face and he pulled his wallet out. He proudly showed me a picture of Jesus. I said, “Yeah, that’s who I’m telling you about!” Then he proceeded to show me pictures of Buddha, Muhammad, a goat, Reggie Jackson, there may have been some pictures of Regis Philbin, the Dali Lama, and Bea Arthur in there as well. He became very serious and asked, “Do you know what God’s name is?”

I said, “Yes, I’m trying to explain to you –I believe his name is Jesus. Jesus is God’s Son.”

He said, “No! God’s name is twenty-one!”

“Huh?”

“God’s name is twenty-one. Do you understand?” he demanded.

“Yeah, you just said God’s name is Twenty-one.”

His voice was rising, “No. No! God’s name is twenty-one.”

I repeated, “God’s name is Twenty-one.”

“No! God’s name is Twenty-one!”

“Got it. God’s name is Twenty-one.”

“No! God’s name is Twenty-one!”

Finally, I put an end to our Abbot and Costello routine and asked him to please explain what he meant. He tried. I think what he was struggling to say was that he believed that all religions worship the same God and that God is called by twenty-one different names in the various religions of the world, and so he has twenty-one names.

“Okay, I understand now,” I said. “But I believe there is only one God, and Jesus was his Son.”

“He asked, “Do you know who is God today?”

I answered, “Twenty-one?”

“No,” he said. “Today, you are God to me.”

“No, I’m not God,” I responded.

“Yes, you are,” he countered.

“No,” I explained. “I’m trying to show you the love of God, but I’m not God.”

“No. Today you love me,” he said. “You help me. You feed me. Who is God? He loves, he helps, he feeds. Today, you are God to me.”

In one sense he was theologically wrong, because I’m certainly not God. But in another sense, he was right. Because God has asked me to represent him, to be his ambassador.

We need to be the good news before we share the good news so that our gospel has integrity. We need to make the gospel beautiful again. We need to lose all the trappings so people can experience the natural beauty of God’s good news. We need to show people what life in God’s kingdom is like before we invite them into it.

***

To read more from Vince Antonucci, check out his website VinceAntonucci.com, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t mind if you buy either or both of his books, either. Just saying…

Tweets about Peeps, et. al…


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I wasn’t really on the tweetdeck much this week, so you would think I wouldn’t have many tweets to sort through. Sheah, right… (And yes, they’re in backwards order, as always.)

The best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:

@SBeeCreations Snort! And dang it! (in reply to SBeeCreations @katdish sounds like you may need to do an extra load of whites)

If driving up slowly behind my 12 YO son & honking the horn is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

@dlrayburn @Brian_Russell Yesh! That’s the word. Yeah, I can’t do that.(in reply to @dlrayburn @katdish Telekinesis?)

Oh, not mind control. What is that think where you move things with your mind? Besides my innate stubbornness I mean.

Despite repeated attempts at mind control, the sheets have NOT put themselves back on the bed. Bummer.

@Brian_Russell Come to think of it, the stuff in my brain? Not sure the world is ready for that

@Brian_Russell So what I need to do, is to transfer what’s in my brain on to paper, then figure out how to get that on a computer.

@Brian_Russell No, because I don’t see one I want. This is why I create. Because the stuff in my brain is not readily available anywhere. (in reply to Brian_Russell @katdish Well, yeah… you need help deciding?)

@unmarketing I’m pretty smart for a girl. (in reply to unmarketing @katdish glad you noticed that 🙂

@unmarketing Wait…did you write a blog post about not writing blog posts?

@CassandraFrear @billycoffey wrote a post about Sponge Bob boxers. I’m still deleting viagra spam comments. (in reply to CassandraFrear I’m getting spam for Valium. What did I tweet?)

@myapronstrings You’re so good. I really should get you to design my blog. But after you’re done, you would hate me.

@TheBonnieGray The secret is less Facebook. I try not to go there much, unless I having a burning desire to play Farmville, which I never do (in reply to TheBonnieGray When Twitter, Blogging or Facebooking Stresses http://bit.ly/cgc0qW Make This UR ONE Ambition)

It is now, BTW.

So, after over a year on twitter, I noticed that my actual name is not on my account. Duh…

RT @pamelajclements: Great meeting with @billycoffey to plan launch of Snow Day. What a GREAT read. I LOVE the part about the Tonka Truck.

@Brian_Russell @PeterPollock is my go-to geek, I just can’t decide what I want. (in reply to Brian_Russell @katdish Heck, I’m sure some people on the internet would LOVE to help you design a website! 🙂

@PeterPollock Can I just draw a picture of a layout I want and you miracle it up for me?

So apparently, wordpress themes with pictures of couches are a big deal. I don’t see the appeal of that.

@nkehr I’m sorry….who are you? Snort! Just kidding. Thanks so much! (in reply to nkehr Talented but not stuck up! – – > See here right here #FF @katdish – – go…go on!)

@br8kthru Yes. I was trying to behave myself… (in reply to br8kthru @billycoffey that’s a TWSS set-up if I’ve ever seen one… 🙂

RT @billycoffey: In the end, all we can do is hang on tight and smile when it’s over ~ http://bit.ly/bTRpb7

“If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in a library?” – Lily Tomlin

@Peacegardenmama Thank you. And I’d just like to say in advance, Sorry/you’re welcome. (in reply to Peacegardenmama @billycoffey I just followed @katdish. See the influence you have? 🙂

@billycoffey Aw, thanks. You too. (in reply to billycoffey If you’re following me, you should be following @katdish. Because she’s awesome. #FF)

@monicasharman What is a @tweetmeme button? And @llbarkat is not the boss of me. (in reply to monicasharman @katdish You should think about getting a @tweetmeme button. @llbarkat said so (which is reason enough).

@NargesNirumvala Low Carb Monster completes me. (in reply to NargesNirumvala @katdish Hi Katdish, that stuff doesn’t look healthy. 😉

Switching from coffee to low carb monster and….it’s GO time! http://twitpic.com/1e1zc5

@Becks_Beer Agony Uncle Beck? So, you’re giving advice based on your years of life experience? What are you, 25?

@amysorrells Are you following my friend @herbiegookins? She lives in Johnny Cougarville too.

RT @SBeeCreations: @katdish Taiwan version of AI. Boy sounds like Whitney Houston. It’s amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB2Tl0xOqbI

@amysorrells What grows in Texas? Around here mostly fire ant mounds and crawfish holes.

@JodyHedlund Exactly. God is sooo good! (in reply to JodyHedlund @katdish @rachelheldevans Seriously. I thank God in advance for the big movie deal I’m sure he’s planned for me. 😉

@rachelheldevans That’s so true! I often thank God in advance for the awesome parking spot He’s going to miracle me at the mall. (in reply to rachelheldevans A friend’s FB status: “I can’t believe God gave us a house!” One response: “It’s because you are one of God’s favorites!” (???)

@chrissulli Hey, you’re being productive at failing. That counts, right? (in reply to chrissulli @katdish Pretty well, just trying to be productive and failing)

@chrissulli Currently, I’m doing laundry and defaming a childrens book. How goes it with you?

@muchl8r Hey now…I’m liking this avatar! And you’re right. You’re way meaner than Jon Acuff, which is cool. ( in reply to muchl8r One of my co-workers just compared me to Jon Acuff as he’s listening to “Stuff Christians Like” -I’m meaner, but it still made my day :D)

So…I will be posting 3 peeps videos tomorrow. I know. You’re welcome.

@amysorrells Oh, well. I’m all about casting out Devils…Go DAWGS! But don’t expect me to miss Jack Bauer… (in reply to amysorrells @katdish Ha! You crack me up. Wait . . . that’s what you’re supposed to say . . . Anyway, root 4 the DAWGS to cast some DEVILS outta here!

@amysorrells Butler and Duke? Is that a dog fight or is the hired help fighting again?

Why yes, as a matter of fact, I AM easily amused…

Yankees were the clear cut winner. http://twitpic.com/1dg3j9

I decided to settle the Yankees vs Red Sox battle in the only fair way. http://twitpic.com/1dg3d8

Wondering how to work in a Peeps battle into the topic of “Gentleness” for the blog carnival…

@duane_scott Texan? Nah, I’m bad. I’m nationwide. (in reply to duane_scott @katdish Goodmorning Texan!)

Oh, and we’re on the 5th hole.

I’m not a golfer. How many Mulligans are acceptable when playing 9 holes? So far I’ve counted 7 from the guy my son is playing with.

@lorencklein Don’t drink and golf! (in reply to lorencklein @katdish I pulled a Dukes of Hazzard stunt with a golf cart once. I snapped the springs on the rear axle and cracked the axle itself. Fun!)

Getting ready to take my son to play 9 holes of golf, mostly because I really like driving the golf cart…

RT @Matt_SLife: I probably need to work on my indecisiveness… Maybe. I don’t know… Nevermind.

Biting one’s tongue is an acquired taste.

@CassandraFrear I’m a mystery wrapped inside an enigma. Or something like that… (in reply to CassandraFrear @katdish Later, I worried that it could seem snarky. But I didn’t mean it that way. I’m hooked, reading your writing! You fascinate me.)

RT @XIANITY: TECHNOLOGY: Responding to criticism, Apple® renames the iPad® to the more appropriate iDol®

Sorry/you’re welcome! Have a great weekend!

If you give katdish a guest post…


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I’m guest posting elsewhere today:

The inspiration for this guest post is the process my sad, little ADD brain went through when Bridget first asked me to write a guest post. Also the second and third time she asked me…

To read the rest of my rambling diatribe, follow me over One Word at a Time, the blog of my lovely and talented friend, Bridget Chumbley.

Observations from the Carpool Lane


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One week a month, I pick up my daughter and three other neighborhood kids from the elementary school. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I don’t think I would enjoy sitting in that line every afternoon, five days a week, but once a month isn’t so bad.

I’ll typically bring a book to read and I always bring my notebook. You never know when you’ll find something to write about. Such was the case yesterday. The vehicle in front of me in line was a minivan with its back window emblazoned with several window clings. According to the back window, this family had a cheerleader, a football player, a soccer player, a gymnast, a basketball player, a softball player, a baseball player, a choir member and a member of the junior high school band. And while it’s entirely possible this family had nine children, I don’t think that’s the case, unless they were in the habit of naming more than one child by the same name.

And I wonder about us as parents wanting our children to be involved in so many activities; about filling their after school hours with practices and their Saturday mornings with games and other competitions. I think it’s good for our kids to learn new things and to be part of a team. But I think sometimes in our desire for our kids not miss out on any experience, we rob them of the experience of simply being kids, of having nothing in particular to do. When I was a kid, some of my best adventures began with nothing in particular to do.

Kids need structure, there’s no doubt. But they also need unstructure. They need time to discover themselves uninterrupted and unhurried. That goes for us big kids, too.