The healing service

When we were first looking at the church that we presently attend, the pastor was a retired teacher and not exactly the image of vibrancy. One of the members was concerned that this might have a negative influence on our decision to join the church. So, the member commented that while the minister was advanced in years, he will probably retire soon. I responded by saying that ministers come and ministers go, but it is the people that make up the church.

What I meant by that comment is that while the minister may influence the church, the church is ultimately the people of the congregation. If you have a poor minister, he will leave eventually but not so with the congregation. If the congregation is bad, no minister in the world will be able to change that.

A bad congregation will resist all and any efforts to change them. At best, they will drive off any minister that attempts to change them. At worst, they will drive off all of the good people in the church and thus increase their strength.

The pastor in our church arranged for a healing service for the church council. It seems that there was a disagreement over church policy. Several of the council members were verbally attacked by members of the congregation and other council members. I guess the only part of the bible that these people seem to know is the part where Jesus threw out the money changers from the temple. Sad.

I know that the pastor meant well, but having a healing service for only the 14 of us on the council is just a drop in the bucket. What really needs to happen is a healing service for the entire church but that won’t happen. The bad people would not only resist such a service, they would also revolt and drive off the minister. Sad.

The first time that I really encountered the “bad people” was at a congregational meeting about two years ago. As the clerk of council, I got to sit up front and face the congregation. It wasn’t pretty. The venom that emerged was overwhelming. The way that some of the women spoke made me wonder if this was a church or a roller derby locker room. I certainly didn’t feel the love of Christ in their voices.

Over the years, I have seen a lot of good people leave the church. Almost all of the people, that I considered to be an asset, have left. This includes the person who was initially concerned that we might not join the church because the minister was too old.  I suspect that they encountered what I have recently experienced.  They rightfully said that this isn’t the only church in town and that they can do better than this.

The latest out break has convinced me that it is time to leave. This church is too far gone for any hope of rescue. In many respects it has stop functioning as a church and now more resembles a biker gang.

I suspect that the minister will leave soon. Others are already positioning themselves as the leaders of the church. Some even see themselves as dictators with absolute power over the church and its members.

The question that I am faced with is “do I finish out my term as Elder or do I just resign and leave?” Part of me doesn’t like the idea of quiting and I only have 3 months to go but the other part of me says that if I am going to leave, I should leave before I get hurt more than I have.

Sometimes after a council meeting I am so wound up that I don’t get to bed until 3AM. In short, being a member of this church is detrimental to my health. Church should be a positive and nurturing place and not a place where I have to be concerned about being mugged.

Needless to say, I did not attend the healing service. I didn’t see much point in it given my intent on leaving.  When you are in an abusive situation, healing only lasts as long  as the next abusive encounter.  And while I was not personally attacked, I find that the hostile atmosphere of this church is totally unacceptable.

egg salad sandwich, cheap

A co-worker of mind discovered one Fridays, that after 2PM, all of the cold sandwiches in the cafeteria go on sale for $1. So, he bought 2; An egg salad and a tuna salad. He was grinning ear to ear as he ate his sandwichs. To hear him talk, you’d have thought that he just won the lottery. He even went on to berate the rest of us for not taking advantage of such a deal.

Well, about an hour later, those cheap sandwiches made a surprising return to the surface. Unable to make it to the bathroom in time, he grabbed a waste basket and proceeded to blow chop so to speak. The rest of us in the office had to endure the sounds of this wretching soul as his bargan lunch departed from the land of the living.

After about a minute, it was over. All that was left now was the clean up. As we scrambled for the air freshner, he bagged his lunch and threw it in the dumpster.

He claimed that there was nothing wrong with the sandwiches and instead, he blamed it on the flu. However, inspite of his claim, he never bought any of those cheap sandwichs again.


My standard attire for work is a business suit. People ask me why I always wear a suit and I give them my reasons. First, if a wear a suit I will never be under-dressed. Of course, some times I am over dressed for the occasion but I would rather appear stuffy than sloppy.

Second, I wear a suit because the office is cold year round. The suit coat provides me with the warmth that I need. If it weren’t for the suit coat, I would need an electric heater to stay warm. Of course, with all of the menopausal women in the office it is not likely that the temperature will be turned up any time soon.

While appearance and warmth are important aspects for the office, the suit provides one more functions. It cuts down on my butt getting pinched by women.

The first time that it happened was when I was riding in the elevator here at work. Initially, I thought it was my imagination. But when I felt a cheek tweak again a few seconds later, I knew that my butt had been pinched.

When I got off the elevator I turned to see my tweaker. There stood 6 women, all with blank looks on their faces. And any one of them would have had access to my buttocks. And while this was the first, it certainly wasn’t the last. My butt has been pinched several dozen times over the years, sometime by women that I know and sometimes by women who are total strangers.

It’s a liberated world.

Please pass the panties

One day, when my wife was doing the wash, she noticed a dark stain in the crotch of our 8 year old daughter’s panties. Concerned that there might be a health issue, she questioned our daugher about the stains. After a few minutes of vague answers, my daughter finally confessed that the stains were from chocolate chips.

When my wife questioned her further about how chocolate chips got into her panties, she explained that she grabbed a handful of chocolate chips and stuffed them down the front of her pants and into her panties. She then headed out the door to share them with her friends. Yum!

Vorlon passing

We are all extremely saddened over the death of Kathy’s brother Ted, aka the Vorlon. He put up a valiant fight against lung cancer. And even when we knew that death would be his final out come, the reality of it was still very difficult to bear.

What can I say about Ted? I have so many fond and loving memories of the man. He was a man who gave his cars names and assumed the title of Vorlon. He was a hard worker and yet, he took time to enjoy life.

It took me several years to get to know the man. This was mainly because the only contact I really had with him was at family gatherings. These events were usually quite brief so between the parents and the siblings, I had very little opportunity to speak with him. It wasn’t until I got to spend some time with him outside of “family gatherings” that I finally got to know him. One of these occasions was a trip to MA.

Since we traversed the entire state, it is difficult to define every place that we visited. But, one event that I remember was getting on the train in Braintree and taking it to Boston.

Once in Boston, we took in all of the historic sites and visited Quincy Market where we sampled cheese. When we returned to Braintree, we discovered that not only did you have to pay to get on the train, you also had to pay to get out of the train station in Braintree. And while we had purchased the correct number of tokens, we didn’t realize that we needed to save one to actually get out of the train station. And so, having deposited all of our tokens in Boston, we did not have the token needed to get out of the train station at Braintree.

Of course, at this time, all we could think of was the Kingston Trio singing about “poor old Charlie”. Fortunately, we did not have to get back on the train as the station master understood our dilemma and let us leave.

On another occasion, I got to know Ted while at Cedar Point which is an amusement park in Ohio. We both took an avid interest in the roller coasters. Not only did we enjoy riding on them, we were also intrigued with the engineering of them. We watched with fascination as little sensors kept track of the cars on the coaster while pneumatic brakes hissed as they controlled the cars speed.

And who could forget Ted’s breakfast concoctions. Cooked grains with fruit and honey. And lets not forget the breakfast smoothies that he whipped up in the blender.

I particularly enjoyed discussing theology and philosophy with Ted. He was a boarder line Calvinist who had a hard time accepting the concept of predestination. Unfortunately, I was not very good at explaining it to him.

I am going to miss Ted very much.

The final warning

I was at the tire store the other day, getting my tires rotated. It is a free service provided by the tire store so I have it done every few thousand miles.

While I was in the store, a woman came in with her two children ages 7 and 9. The kids were very hyper and were running all over the store chasing each other. Finally, after about 5 minutes, the mother told them to stop and go sit in the chairs. To my relief, they immediately did so. I was impressed. After a few more minutes, the woman and her two children left the store.

In my mind, getting my tires rotated should be a peaceful relaxing event like a massage. I should be able to sit there in the waiting room, drinking a cup of courtesy coffee and reading an outdated Road and Track. The din of children should be relegated to the play area of a fast food place and the not the tranquility of a tire store.

A few minutes later, another woman came in with what appeared to be her two grand children, ages 7 and 9. These two children were also hyper and proceeded to run all around the store chasing each other. After about 5 minutes, the woman told the children to stop and to go sit in the chairs. They ignored her. Another 30 seconds passed and once again she told them to sit down. And once again, they ignored her.

Finally, after another 30 seconds she told them to go sit down and that this was their final warning. They ignored her. She then issued 8 final warnings in 30 second intervals all of which were ignored by the children.

Then she issued a final final warning which the kids ignored. I was hoping that the final final warning would actually be the final final warning. It was bad enough that the children were running wild, but I was also getting tired of the woman yelling at the kids.

As it turned out, the final final warning was indeed the final final warning and the woman shut up. A few minutes later, she left the store with her two little monsters and I could get my tires rotated in peace.

propane buffer

I went to Meijer’s ( regional grocery chain) early this morning. Since it was 8 AM, I was practically the only one in the store who was shopping. The rest of the activity in the store was from the staff as they frantically tried to recover from the weekend.

Every isle had at least two people who were busy restocking the shelves. I found it interesting that half of the people restocking the shelves were wearing suits and ties.

I heard a strange sound coming from one of the isles so I checked it out.  To my surprise, there was a guy using a propane powered buffer.  While I have seen hundreds of electric buffers, I had never seen a propane buffer.

It seemed to work quite well.  At least the guy didn’t have to worry about hitting his cord or  where to plug it into.  And he was flying down the isle.

I suspect that he was being paid by the job and not by the hour.  I know a lot of stores contract out there floor care.   I don’t know if Meijer’s contracts out their floor care but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do.


AA batteries are 1.5 volts, AAA batteries are 1.5 volts, C batteries are 1.5 volts and D batteries are 1.5 volt. But, 9 volt batteries are, well, 9 volts. But, inside that 9 volt battery case are 6 AAAA batteries connected in series. Each AAAA battery is 1.5 volts. Connected together, they produce 9 volts.

I am told that in an emergency requiring a AAA battery, the 9 volt case can be opened and the individual batteries can be seperated and made to work in place of the AAA batteries.


Global warming?

I was watching one of those nature programs on TV. The story was about an island in the South Pacfic. It seems that the island is disappearing because global warming is melting the ice caps and causing the ocean to rise. They even showed an underwater picture of a residential street sign.

The top of this sign was about 8 feet under water. Assuming that the top of the sign was 7 foot off the ground, they are claiming that the ocean has risen by 15 feet!! I don’t think so.

Since the South Pacific is connected to all of the other oceans, if it has come up 15 feet, all of the other oceans will have risen by an equal amount. But, Florida is not underwater, so I have to assume that it has not experienced that 15 foot rise in the ocean level.

As I continue watching the program, I learn that their main business is exporting tar. They dig the tar from the center of the island and load it on to ships. And they have been doing so for years. In short, they are selling their island a freighter at a time.

The ocean isn’t rising, their island is sinking. Soon it will be gone. Sold to an asphalt company on the main land.