Archive for January, 2009

Come And Get It

We have this orange tree in our backyard which hangs slightly over our back fence which runs alongside a two-lane road. Of all the foliage that is visible to the street (between our yard and our neighbors’), the orange tree definitely stands out as the most picturesque, if not most edible.

However, there’s a disturbing reality coming to light in regards to this tree: people love to steal its fruit.

What the heck…

I have witnessed, on more than one occasion, someone greedily picking oranges off of our tree from outside our fence. They park their cars on the road behind our house, sneak over to our fence and jump and grab oranges (it’s a bit tall). orange-treePeople have used stray boards in an attempt to knock down oranges; I’ve even witnessed a man bring his own pole to pull down our oranges. This man I actually stopped and asked what it was he was doing. Not knowing that I lived in the orange tree house, he explained to me that he was the landscaper of this house and that the owner didn’t mind if he took some oranges for himself. When I dramatically revealed to him that I, in fact, lived at the house from which he was stealing oranges, he did a literal double-take and stammered, “Isn’t this the… is this… ooooooh! This is the wrong house!” (No other house on our street has an orange tree, by the way.) I told him to take the oranges he had but that if he ever wanted more to please come over and ask first.

The funny part is that the oranges aren’t really that good. They look fantastic. But they taste like depression.

Just two days ago I saw another car pulled over with a man out jumping to reach the oranges. Fools.

And it made me wonder – what kind of people are these? Who actually steals fruit? Or maybe it’s an accepted part of society and I (and God Almighty) just missed that memo. Which made me wonder all the more…

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Sigh…, Vol. II

This story makes me sad for a few reasons.

artshoemonumentcnnBAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — For the war-beaten orphans of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, this big old shoe fits.

A huge sculpture of the footwear hurled at President Bush in December during a trip to Iraq has been unveiled in a ceremony at the Tikrit Orphanage complex.

Assisted by children at the home, sculptor Laith al-Amiri erected a brown replica of one of the shoes hurled at Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by journalist Muntadhir al-Zaidi during a press conference in Baghdad.

Al-Zaidi was jailed for his actions, and a trial is pending. But his angry gesture touched a defiant nerve throughout the Arab and Muslim world. He is regarded by many people as a hero. Demonstrators in December took to the streets in the Arab world and called for his release.

The shoe monument, made of fiberglass and coated with copper, consists of the shoe and a concrete base. The entire monument is 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high. The shoe is 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) long and 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) wide.

The orphans helped al-Amiri build the $5,000 structure — unveiled Tuesday — in 15 days, said Faten Abdulqader al-Naseri, the orphanage director.

“Those orphans who helped the sculptor in building this monument were the victims of Bush’s war,” al-Naseri said. “The shoe monument is a gift to the next generation to remember the heroic action by the journalist.”

“When the next generation sees the shoe monument, they will ask their parents about it,” al-Naseri said.

“Then their parents will start talking about the hero Muntadhir al-Zaidi, who threw his shoe at George W. Bush during his unannounced farewell visit.”

Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader toppled by the United States in 2003, was from the Tikrit region.

Al-Zaidi marked his 30th birthday in jail earlier this month. One of his brothers said he is “in good health and is being treated well.”

Al-Zaidi’s employer, TV network al-Baghdadia, keeps a picture of him at the top left side of the screen with a calendar showing the number of days he has spent in detention. The network has been calling for his release.

By tradition, throwing a shoe is the most insulting act in the Arab world.


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There Might Be Hope

Stories like this are always a breath of fresh air. May this be more the norm for my life (the goodness part, not so much the football part).

HT: Brant Hansen

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And who told you that if it’s on the internet it can’t be true?.

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Sometimes it takes a conversation.
Sometimes we think we have it all together, that we have it all figured out.
Sometimes it takes a conversation to prove us wrong.

Sometimes it takes a person passionate about Jesus to show that maybe we’re not.
Sometimes we need to be reminded what it looks like.
Sometimes it’s good to remember that life is better that way.

Because knowledge isn’t enough.
Singing songs isn’t enough.
Reading the Bible in a year isn’t enough.
Church isn’t enough.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that it really is all about Jesus.
And sometimes it’s really helpful to see it in action.

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Got this in my Google Reader this morning. Hits a little too close to home for me. Thanks, Seth.

The thing about goals

Having goals is a pain in the neck.

If you don’t have a goal (a corporate goal, a market share goal, a personal career goal, an athletic goal…) then you can just do your best. You can take what comes. You can reprioritize on a regular basis. If you don’t have a goal, you never have to worry about missing it. If you don’t have a goal you don’t need nearly as many excuses, either.

Not having a goal lets you make a ruckus, or have more fun, or spend time doing what matters right now, which is, after all, the moment in which you are living.

The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run.

It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.

Ouch. But true.

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I’m (still) rereading Craig Keener’s Gift & Giver, a book concerning the Holy Spirit’s activity but written in a less academic approach than other works in the field, and, early on, he makes this statement regarding God’s presence:

“If we must ‘feel’ God’s presence before we believe he is with us, we again reduce God to our ability to grasp him, making him an idol instead of acknowledging him as God.”



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