Friday, February 16, 2007

Travel woes

So the final result from my previous post was that I arrived in DC without my bag. It was small enough that I could have carried it on with me and I thought about doing so. Now I know better.
Eventually I got the bag delivered to the hotel on Wednesday morning. I had just gone out to Target to buy new shirts, underwear, socks, and toiletries.

There was lots of snow in the area on Tuesday and it was really cold. The snow kept us at limited staff in the office at PFI so I didn't get to talk to everyone I would have like to, but overall it was a good trip. Working with Kara again was the best part. We had Valentine's Day lunch together. While driving to lunch, some of the melting snow on the roof of the rental minivan I had slid off while going around a corner. At the next light, the rest of the snow fell down on the windshield when I stopped. The windshield was covered with at least 4 inches of snow which I had to brush off while waiting at the light. Luckily, the cross street lights are on really long cycles so I made it with time to spare. The really funny thing was that no one really looked at me like anything was strange.

For the return trip, I decided to stay up all night for my 6am flight . About 2am, I was starting to think this was not such a good idea. I arrived at the Thrifty rental car office about 4:20. There was no one there, inside or out. I called their help desk and they tried calling. I heard the phone ringing but no one answered. I was about to just leave the keys there and try to hitch a ride with another company when another customer arrived. We saw a van with lights on out by the gate so we went there to see if someone was in it. There was a sleeping woman who turned out the be the desk agent.

After knocking on the window a couple times to wake her up, we got her to go back to the desk to process our returns. She was very incoherent and we wondered if it was just the sleepiness or if she was otherwise recovering from the previous night's activities. After checking us out, she called the bus which took another 10 minutes to arrive.

I made the flight with a few minutes to spare but only because I wasn't about to check my bags after what happened on the trip out.

So all is well and I made it home fine, but I don't think I'll be renting from Thrifty again anytime soon.

Kathryne's family is in town now. We had a bite on the house, but it turns out to be too expensive for them after they were preapproved for a loan. But at least things are starting to pick up. We have another open house on Saturday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Airport Blogging

Well, I’m officially an internet junkie. My flight to Chicago was delayed 1 ½ hours so what do you do while waiting at the Seattle airport for 2+ hours. Why you pay $8 to access the internet, check email, and maybe play a little World of Warcraft of course. Bad weather in Chicago caused the delay. My final destination is Washington Dulles and they’re supposed to have bad weather as well tonight. So if I do get there tonight it will be really late.

The trip is the first for my new job with Potomac Fusion. It’s mostly and orientation/meet-n-greet. I’m splitting time working from home and working at the office at ATS. That’s going pretty well so far.

They just announced that we should be able to make the connection in Chicago. Joshua was really upset with me because he didn’t get to say good bye to me this morning. Everyone’s starting to get back to health again after ¾ of us have been sick for the last week. One school near Seattle shut down for a few days after 300/1000 students called in sick with the flu last week.

[Updated 11:56AM PST] I transferred over to a direct flight to Dulles, but my bag may not make it. I should get there before I was originally scheduled to, though.

[Updated 11:39PM EST] I made it but my bag didn't.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Superbowl and Sunday

Tomorrow is the big day. The Superbowl. I remember when the Bears won in '85 and G.I. Joe made a Refrigerator Perry action figure that was special order only.

I remember living in San Angelo, TX and watching the Superbowl with my church youth group, cheering for the Cowboys and seeing Leon Lett get stripped of the football inside the 10 yard line after recovering a fumble. It didn't matter because the Cowboys were way ahead anyway, but it was funny to watch.

I remember squeezing a devotional in that evening at halftime between all the snacks and partying.

I remember some really great commercials, like the boy getting sucked in a Pepsi bottle from sucking too hard on a straw.

Especially when living in Texas I got very into football. I watched a lot of games and played it with the youth group almost every Sunday afternoon. In college, I lost most interest in sports and have very slowly started to regain some interest. While the commercials are usually the best part or the Superbowl, these days I don't even want to record it to watch the commercials.

There's a news story going around about how the NFL is cracking down on churches that show the Superbowl in their buildings on screens larger than 42". It's fine to have a big group in your home on whatever size screen you want, but outside of the home there are restrictions.

Now to my point, churches I've gone to have had a variety of reactions to the Superbowl ranging from canceling services, to having special parties, to meeting in homes or other common places to watch the game and fellowship. Whatever the official stance, there are always going to be people who stay home from morning or evening services to watch the big game. They do that during the regular season too.

But what would God have us do? What does he think about us rescheduling our worship and lives around a football game. Not just any game. A game where advertisers pay millions of dollars per minute to sell us stuff. The commercialization of sports is even worse than that of Christmas. And how many of the ads are for things that God would approve of. Many are fine, but the best ads are always the beer commercials. "Stay home from church. Drink more beer." Great message to send to the youngsters that you're trying to raise in the Lord.

Now I'm not perfect in my church attendance nor do I think God demands it and he is merciful as in all things. However if our goal is to please him and live our lives in service to him, are we reaching this goal by rescheduling our worship times.

Possibly a larger issue in my mind is one of conforming to the world. When football and God collide, God has to move out of the way. I'm not saying that we need to totally abstain from sports or television, but when the world sees us engaging in the same fanaticism as them that's not the message of Christ. In the world but not of it. We can participate in worldly activities, but within the boundaries of the law of Christ. When we compromise, we're sending the wrong message to the world and our children.

Too many sports and club activities for young people are taking place on Sundays and Wednesday nights, the traditional times for our meetings. And too many Christian parents are allowing and encouraging their children to participate without regard to the priorities that God would have us set. In a couple weeks on a Sunday morning, our elementary Bible school classes are taking a field trip to support one of their classmates at a sporting event. While I'm all for supporting our children's activities, I just can't support it by allowing my child to attend a sports event instead of Bible class. Sports has great things to teach youngsters, but the church has greater teachings. And I certainly don't want my own child to get the impression that it's okay to choose worldly activities over Godly ones.

So what will I do tomorrow? It's our normal fellowship group nights where we meet in homes anyway and I think we'll be watching the game on one of 3 different TVs. Maybe we'll have our own half time show where we sing or something, but I can't help feeling that we should do something greater to set ourselves apart. So that we can say to our friends and coworker, "No I didn't watch the game. Our church got together to worship God and it was a great time." Maybe I should try to get something like that together.

[Edited to remove too personal remarks]