Thursday, March 30, 2006

Blaming the Dog

I don't know what is happening with our dog, but she has been letting some noxious woofers lately. Mrs. Soren and I will be watching t.v. and, out of nowhere, the green cloud of gagging gas will waft over us. Ay Caramba! What has that dog been eating?

But I do take offense when the Mrs. looks at me and says, "Was that you?"

Come on! Mine have never smelled like a half digested, toxic woodchuck has been slow-cooking in my intestines for a month. Good grief!

Report from the Summit

The Preaching Summit was great. I was challenged, encouraged, and motivated to become a better preacher. The speakers from the acapella branch of the brotherhood were especially good (David Fleer and Chris Seidman). And Dr. Wayne Shaw gave some sage wisdom from a seasoned veteran. The fellowship was good too.

The session on using humor was the most UNfunny of all the speeches. That in itself became humorous. The guy droned on & on; people were leaving in droves. He actually said, at one point, "This is even funnier when you read it in the original Hebrew." Ray Merritt and I chuckled about that session all the way home. I could imagine Dr. Shaw saying to his colleague, "Son, I've heard some duds in my day..."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Preaching Summit

I'm going to the National Preaching Summit today. Some of my friends started this event 11 years ago. It's all about training men to become better preachers. Last year, the leadership reigns were turned over to College Press. I'm not familiar with too many of the names in this year's line-up (several of them are from the acapella side of the brotherhood), but I'm sure the sessions will be excellent. An extra bonus is that I get to go with my father-in-law, Ray Merritt. It's always fun to spend time with him.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Wrong Turn at Albuquerque

I was sick this weekend. Some sort of cold/flu/fever thing. So I pretty much vegged out on the couch and OD'd on College Basketball. But Saturday morning I came downstairs and my son was watching cartoons. He was watching something on WB called Loonatics Unleashed. I wasn't really paying that much attention, but then I realized that the characters looked familiar. It was Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tazmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote, and Road Runner. I said to my wife, "What have they done to these guys?" She said, "This is what it is now. They are some sort of superheroes." What the?! They have ruined the Looney Tunes guys. Another sign of the end times, I guess.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bananas About Bananas

Bananas are just another proof that there is a God. Is there a more perfect fruit? Just peel and eat. Tasty and a great source of potassium.

Think of what bananas have given us:
The Banana Split
Banana Pudding
Banana Nut Bread
Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Banana Shakes
The Plain Banana

You gotta love bananas.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fatherly Advice

Yesterday I preached about parenting. I shared this piece I got from Best Life magazine. It was in an article about reducing stress in man’s life. While not exactly known for deep, spiritual insight, I thought they got it right this time.

Dads, listen up, there are a few good tips here.

Stop explaining: If your kids ask you about the interaction between electromagnetism and gravity, by all means take a whack at teaching them physics. But do not, under any circumstances, explain to a 4-year-old why it’s important that he stop dancing on the dining room table. If he asks, just grab him by the arm in a way that will help him understand. Few things are more stressful than trying to persuade somebody who’s three feet tall that you know better than he does. You have authority because you are his father, not because you have more compelling debating points. Taking charge is much less stressful not only for you but for your kids too. They actually like having a gravitational center around which to find an orbit.

Pick the Cereal! Don’t ask your kids which of the 97 cereals – or any other consumer item they want. Buy a cereal. Feed it to them. If they don’t eat it, buy a different one, and so on until you get one they’ll eat. If you allow kids into every purchasing decision, you will slowly go insane.

Don’t make discipline an either-or choice: Lots of parents make the whole deal more stressful than it has to be by making good behavior a choice for kids. As in, “If you don’t clean up your room, we’re not going to the movies.” Then the child has to do a mental cost-benefit analysis, weighing the work of room cleaning versus the fun of seeing Chicken Little. Wrong. There is no “if you don’t.” He’s cleaning up his room. Period. End of sentence. This is not a multiple choice test.

A father (and mother) should love the children with everything they’ve got, but they should not be bringing third graders into the family brain trust.

Busted Bracket

What a weekend! My bracket is really messed up. Iowa and North Carolina losing was a surprise. I had Carolina in my Final Four (and Ohio State, another loser -- I didn't feel good about penciling them in there in the first place). I still have ten teams left in the Sweet Sixteen. At least we got to see some good games over the weekend.

Friday, March 17, 2006

NCAA -- Day One

I didn't do too bad yesterday. I was 12-4 on my picks. My losers were Oklahoma, Nevada, Syracuse, and NC-Wilmington (and that was an exciting OT game).

I wanted to watch the Hoosiers, but the game didn't start until 10:30. I heard that they won on a buzzer-beater.

I'm glad that Mrs. Soren loves basketball!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

March Madness

I'm not a very good bracketologist, but my Final Four picks are:
North Carolina
Ohio State

Bjorn's Bjroke

I was reading a story on Christianity Today's website about Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg will auction off his five Wimbledon trophies and two of his rackets to achieve financial security.
Borg, the only player to win five consecutive Wimbledon titles, will put his trophies on the block at the Bonhams auction house in London on June 21. Kinda sad.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Our church hosted a Marriage Retreat this weekend. It was excellent. Kurt & Kristen Sauder from Southeast Christian Church were our guests. There were about 20 couples from Cedar Creek in atendance (from newlyweds to those who have been married nearly 40 years). Most of the stuff was pretty basic, but that's the stuff we need to hear again & again.

I preached on the subject today as part of my Extreme Home Makeover series.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kirby Puckett

I was stunned when I heard that Kirby Puckett passed away. Especially since he was only five years older than me. I used to love to watch that guy play. He only played one way: full out. And he always looked like he was having fun doing it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

More Soda Flavors

How many more new flavors can they come up with?

Academy Awards

Watched the Oscars last night. YAWN! Jon Stewart was so unfunny. Plus, I have not seen most of the movies. And what was with the HUGE bow on Charlize Theron's dress? Don't they have mirrors in Hollywood?. She should punch the person who told her that was a good look. And what about the Ben Stiller "green suit" bit? What a dork. I'm just glad that the gay cowboy flick didn't win best picture. I read somewhere that the March of the Penquins was seen by more people than the five movies in contention for Best Picture. Go figure.

Friday, March 03, 2006

4th & 5th Grade Retreat

Heading up to Lake James Christian Assembly tonight. Expecting about 50-60 4th & 5th graders. The teen "Pulse Band" from Cedar Creek will be playing for worship. I'll be speaking at at Campfire time and serving as "dorm dad" for the night.

Pizza and pop at 9:00pm (please let there be no Mountain Dew!).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Mole Hunter

I went to the Home & Garden show at the Coliseum today to hear a guy who calls himself The Mole Hunter. The room was packed. Apparently there are a lot of people who want to kill those pesky varmints. I bought the Mole Hunter Combo Pack, complete with six mole traps , a booklet and a DVD (yes, a DVD). Now some might say that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but this year my yard is going to be mole free. DIE YOU BLASTED MOLE!!!!!

Afterwards, I picked up my daughter from school. I told her about the Mole Hunter. She had a look of incredulity on her face and said, "You actually went to hear a guy speak for an hour about killing moles?" Yep, I sure do lead one exciting life.

Feel Good Story of the Week

By now, perhaps you've heard of the unlikely hero from Greece, N.Y., Jason McElwain, an autistic basketball player/team manager who opened people's eyes and ears to reality from the 3-point line.

Last week, the 17-year-old senior scored 20 points in four minutes and was carried off the court in his first and only varsity game.

Check out the video clip here.