Month: October 2008

  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Extreme Makeover/Home Edition is building a new house in an adjacent neighborhood, so my work colleagues and I checked it out at lunch.

    We went to the site by catching a free shuttle—a white van that says School Students on the front—near a white tent in a big abandoned parking lot. The staff in the tent wanted to know if we were volunteers or gawkers. If we were volunteers, we would have received white hard hats and blue EMHE t-shirts. We got nothing. Then again, we paid nothing.

    When we arrived at the site, there were two gated areas across from work site: one for the volunteers and one for spectators. We had bleachers, but were a bit farther away than the volunteers.

    The old house was destroyed on Saturday. Today was Thursday, and the “reveal” is tomorrow. The outside of the new house is refreshingly suitable for the neighborhood. If I was driving through, it wouldn’t stand out as out-of-place or new. There appears to be a sizable one-story roof off the back of the new house.
    The low-slung house to the right is what this house used to look like.

    The front porch pillars look like they are assembled from local sandstone.

    There were workers everywhere and trucks, lots of trucks. I don’t know how a neighborhood handles the intrusion. We saw Mayflower moving trucks, electric company trucks towing (whoa!) phone poles, water utility trucks, shiny yellow dump trucks, and lots of earth movers. The security and vehicles and white tents span a few blocks.

    Blue shirt workers were everywhere, but no Ty Pennington. We were told he does two houses at once: He is there for the destruction and then flies back for the reveal. (I don’t know when he paints and drills and saws stuff.)

    The reveal is tomorrow. I heard someone saying, “Well, no one is camping out yet.” It would be thrilling to be behind the MOVE-THAT-BUS moment, but taking my sleeping bag and a thermos of soup to that work site for the next 50 degree 20 hours sounds daunting.

    We watched as volunteers in their section were tagged for jobs: “Could you four go help move leftover baseboards from the livingroom?”

    The actual show airs in December. Forgive my poor cell phone pics. Here are more of the house:

    And now to prove that Lois and Ariana were there, I took a pic of them with the house, uh, I mean, PortaPottie, in the background. *shaking head*

    Oh man.
    ||||||  lynard

  • Paperless Paper—Reading Will Never Be the Same

    For years now at publishing conferences, D and I have been told about the technologies that will lead us away from paper and bound books. Some technologies have already dampened book sales, but there have been no offerings yet that have been as satisfying as a real book. But things are changing everyday:

    ||||||  lynard

  • Sabbath: Part 3, Work

    “In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the
    Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together
    with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they
    were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath, Therefore
    I warned them against selling food on that day”—Nehemiah 13:15.

    I’ve been writing about observing the Sabbath, which most Christians celebrate on the first day of the week  (but some still celebrate on the seventh day). I discovered this passage in Nehemiah in college, and realized what a strong statement God made about doing business on His day.

    Nehemiah ordered that the gates to city be closed, and no more business be done on the Sabbath. He did not want God’s people to be in a hurry to make money on a holy day.

    A couple decades ago, friends of mine had a roofing business called SIX DAYS. The idea was that their labor was six days, and that on their Sabbath, they didn’t do roofing. They had the right idea, I think.

    We, as Christians, are spiritual Israel. God wants us to rest. He told Israel:

    “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that
    the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand
    and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded
    you to observe the Sabbath day”—Deuteronomy 5:15.

    Part of our release from spiritual slavery—being slaves to sin—is our celebration in this earthly place of our release. Someday, we will enter our eternal rest in its fullness. For now, we have the opportunity to enjoy a symbolic day of rest once a week—our Sabbath.

    So how does this work out in our family life? We ask ourselves what we, individually and corporately, are called to do in our normal six day labor. Whether it is our career, our daily chores, or our education, that is what we put aside on our Sabbath. Our kids are free to not do homework; D and I are free to not answer work emails or edit an extra paragraph for an article; all of us are free not to do laundry or mowing.

    Every family is going to have different freedoms on the Sabbath. Since our kids were heavily into sports on Monday through Saturday, we chose to rest from it on the Sabbath. This was tough when it came to Little League, but our Jewish league was very sympathetic. Our kids worked hard on their baseball on Monday through Saturday, so on Sunday, we rested. Sometimes that meant giving up the starting pitching position on the team. Sometimes it meant sitting on the bench for the next big game. Sometimes it meant missing a big game.

    The important thing was that our kids didn’t have to perform that day. They didn’t have to clean their rooms or finish their math homework. D and I have felt free to do the same. The day has been about rest, vacation, enjoying each other, going to worship with other believers, and doing acts of mercy. It has always been a day we could feel free to visit someone in the hospital, ride bikes in the park with friends, spend some time as a family, take a nap, invite someone home for dinner, or write a letter. We know that we have the time for these things because God gave us the license to do it. It has not always been easy, but yet it has been very liberating and restful.

    What kind of parameters do you set around your Sabbath? What ways do you guard the day? What ways do you celebrate the day?

    ||||||  lynard

  • Death Story Reaches Mile Marker

    A few weeks ago, T’s Lecrae video climbed over the 100,000 mark on YouTube. His senior project has affected many viewers—French and American. (It was picked up by a French Christian video site a while back.) The song confronts our mortality and our beliefs about the ultimate meaning of life. Viewers have been thankful and combative. The comments are fun to read, and have engaged T in some interesting conversations on the side.

    Salut, T!

    Incidently, Lecrae’s newest album released yesterday.

    Yep, I embedded the vid here again…Get over it.

    ||||||  lynard