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Archive for July, 2010

Many of us are familiar with the old Abbott and Costello routine, Who’s On First.    I had a similar experience in the car a couple of days ago with one of my teens.

As we got in the car to go run a specific errand, they said, “Dad, can we go to do something after we are thru?”.    My answer was “Yo”.      Response from child:  No?    Response from me:   No, Yo.     You can imagine the exchange from there.

Backdrop:   My maternal grandfather was known for his soundbites:   “Hey, kid”, “Kck, Kck”, “Ah, rich” (cup of steaming coffee in hand), and “Yo” being some of the better, more repetitive ones.

So, a generation later, I’m trying those out with my kids.         Yo, in 2010 vernacular meaning, sure, yes, absolutely, I’m jiggy with it.    You get the idea.

My grandfather Pope was known for many things.   Another of my earliest memories was a strange white bottle on the counter in his bathroom.    Something called “Old Spice”.      In 2010 vernacular, that being YouTube and Twitter, that brand has a whole new meaning for a whole new audience.    Stay tuned on those channels in a few weeks for potentially something fun from your Peeps @okchristian.

Who’s on first?   

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…(2 Cor 1:3)

Yo.

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It finally happened. First, the background.

While tooling around Academy Sports a couple of weeks ago, I was tempted by what one might call a “sun hat”. You can probably envision it: Khaki color, big round brim; you get the picture. Using our upcoming vacation and some time in the Grand Canyon as an excuse, I bought it: a bonafide “older man” hat.

One of my coworkers was in my office the other day, and looking at all the momentos and trinkets on the shelves, said “you know you’re a collector, don’t you?”. I had to admit it was true.

One of the first things I began collecting in my teen years was hats; baseball caps to be more precise. Nothing over the top, mind you, but I probably have two or three dozen ball caps. It’s a way to remember and tell others where you’ve been, and they have some utility value. Days you don’t “do you hair”, working in the yard, etc. But, as protection goes, caps don’t do much. Baseball caps make “not so young” guys feel younger, almost no matter what. Just slip one on and see for yourself.

This past winter, my head got cold on walks around the OC campus, so I bought the traditional Euro look wool hat, and I wore it, even if it felt a little odd; a little “old”, the first few times I wore it. But now, I’m comfortable with it.

So back to yesterday. My daughter had a swim meet, and I was expecting to have to sit in the sun for several hours, so I decided it was time to debut the new topper. Reluctant to actually wear this, versus a cap, but feeling the need to transition (there’s that word again) to something to better protect my face from “Mr Golden Sun”, I reasoned that this was the perfect scenario. After all, I don’t really know anyone at these meets, anyway. “I’ll be incognito”, I thought to myself. And there at the meet, sitting there wearing a California Angels MLB cap, sat my stylish friend and co-worker. Oh, well.

As we left the house, I got a short “are you really going to wear that” from a couple of family members, but no real disagreement, protest, or pleading “please, Dad, don’t”. They seemed, like me, to have accepted this new moment.

There is a great line from Jack Sparrow, Captain Jack Sparrow, at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: …we’ve reached a very special place here: spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically. Then he looks at his friend, who is wearing something appropriate for the event, but a little out of character, and he tells him “nice hat”.

When you can be comfortable in your own skin, acknowledging that the best thing may not make you look as young as you feel or wish to be, and you suddenly sense the same comfort zone with your family and friends, you’ve taken a big step, toward “a very special place”.

Bring on the Grand Canyon. Bring on the Sun. Bring on the second looks. Nice Hat.

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The Truth About Thread Count (Linenplace.com)

The high thread count story hit the bedding market in the mid to late 1990s and has since dominated all conversations about sheets.  Now over ten years later it’s still the focus of questions asked the most by our customers. Honestly, we wish there was a simple answer. The truth is that it’s just not that simple, thread count is one metric that should be looked at when considering sheets.

I still remember the first time I heard about thread count. I was getting married, and Sherry talked of how important it was to getting good sheets: ones that are comfortable and made to last. I then suddenly understood why my cheap college dorm sheets were uncomfortable and full of holes. There was not enough raw material to sustain the fabric.

Thread count in sheets can range from 80 to 700, although most stores sell sheets that range from 180 to 320. In general, the higher the thread count, the softer the fabric feels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the sheets will last longer (and sheets with a higher thread count are usually more expensive).

This got me to thinking: How’s my “spiritual thread count”? Is the fabric of my character and feel too thin? Am I prone to become threadbare; to fray around the edges?

2nd Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Recently, many linens manufacturers have touted thread count as the best way to choose a sheet. But others point out that the quality of the fibers and finish are more important to the sheet’s comfort and durability. How’s your social/spiritual thread count? Does high quality spiritual fiber and finish add to your comfort and durability, and make those around you feel at home?

If fraying around the edges is an ongoing problem, try “reweaving” (look it up). Add quality fabrics….and keep the thread count high.

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Love Remains

Shortly before my twins were born over 13 years ago, my youngest sister had her wedding.    In that wedding was music from a singer named Collin Raye.   Moved by the moment and the music, I did what many do: I ran out and began to download on iTunes, I mean steal on Napster, er, purchase a cassette tape (you old people like me know what one of those is) of the album containing that music.    I listened to that tape so much over the next year, I practically wore it out (a common problem of several years ago with the generation I inhabit).    Enough silliness on my part this morning, because I don’t want to water down the point.

Our mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Hazel Bingham, passed on a couple of days ago, and we spent time moving her things from the nursing home last night.   We’ve been preparing for this day for many years, but the reality is still painful.     The nursing home staff showered us with stories of how special she was, how kind she was to them, and how much they loved her.    She was with them for 4 years, and her mind, memory, and wit were sharp till almost the very end.
In my mind last night, I somehow went back to the many hours in the car from 1997, and listening to the song “Love Remains” from that old cassette tape.     Images of family past, my lovely wife Sherry, our kids, and good friends raced thru my mind, along with the thought “how can time have passed so quickly?”.
Ecclesiastes 3:  For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. 
A time to be born and a time to die.   A time to plant and a time to harvest……..

…..A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.

The lyrics to the referenced song follow.    I’ve watched a couple of homemade videos on YouTube this morning, and it’s clear that many are moved in the same way as I by these words.    I hope they mean something to you as well.

“Love Remains”, by Collin Raye:

We are born one fine day

Children of God on our way
Mama smiles daddy cries
Miracle before their eyes
They protect us till we’re of age
Through it all love remains

Boy moves on takes a bride
She stands faithful by his side 
Tears and sweat they build a home
 Raise a family of their own
They share joy they share pain
Through it all love remains

Kingdoms come and go but they don’t last
Before you know the future is the past
In spite of what’s been lost or what’s been gained
We are living proof that love remains

I don’t know baby what I’d do
On this earth without you
We all live we all die
But the end is not goodbye
The sun comes up seasons change
Through it all love remains
An eternal burning flame
Hope lives on and love remains

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