29 Things I Miss From My Childhood

Tonight I was reading a book to Charis, and one of the characters in the book said the word “snort”. Apparently Charis thought the word “snort” was the funniest word in the history of mankind, because she kept repeating it to herself and laughing hysterically. This event, combined with the fact that today is my 29th birthday, has me feeling a bit nostalgic. So I decided to compile a list of twenty nine things that I miss from childhood. Here goes…

1. Saying one word over and over, and laughing harder each time I say it. For example: “fart”.

2. Getting super amped up on Saturday morning to watch three hours of cartoons.

3. Watching Darkwing Duck, Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers, and Tale Spin every day after school.

4. Getting really into something for a very short period of time. Examples: Pogs, Star Wars trading cards.

5. Manipulating my parents into buying me an action figure when we went to the store.

6. Breaking that action figure when we got home from the store.

7. Backyard wiffleball.

8. Being coated in sweat and dirt after a long day of playing freeze tag and kick the can.

9. Going to sleep still coated in sweat and dirt.

10. Having a simple faith in the power of prayer. Like the time I prayed that God would allow me to fly.

11. Wearing sweatpants for days on end without one ounce of shame.

12. Watching movies with my dad and having dad try to cover up swear words by saying “BABABABABA” really loudly.

13. Watching movies with my dad and having dad accidentally put the bad parts in slow motion instead of fast forwarding them.

14. My special blanket that had the power to take away all fear and sorrow.

15. Bologna.

16. Being really excited to tell my friends that I had watched a movie rated “PG”.

17. Getting a toy with a McDonald’s meal. (Why don’t they do this for adults?)

18. Playing games with my friends that involved hurting each other.

19. Thinking that I might be a professional basketball player someday.

20. Wearing short shorts and tube socks and not knowing any better.

21. Anticipating the newest release in the “Ernest Goes To…” movie series.

22. Riding my bike to Sheetz for the sole purpose of purchasing a 44oz Slurpee.

23. Getting a refill on my Slurpee.

24. Beating Super Mario Bros.

25. Getting excited about flying on an airplane.

26. Getting a free lollipop from the bank.

27. Drawing intricate designs on my arms and legs with a ballpoint pen.

28. Getting really excited about my first pair of name brand shoes.

29. Not worrying about making lists.

What do you miss from your childhood?

What’s Your Favorite Cold Remedy?

It is now officially cold season, and Jen and I and the girls have been getting slammed the last couple weeks. I’m always in search of the latest, greatest cold remedy.

So would you mind sharing your personal cold remedy? I don’t care how crazy it is. I don’t care if it involves sticking tube meats in your socks or rubbing lard all over your face. I’m willing to try just about anything.

What do you do to fight against a cold?

How to Listen To Twice As Many Sermons

Generally I don’t think it’s a great idea to do spiritual things exceedingly fast or in high volumes. I’m a big fan of slow, deliberate meditation upon the word of God. I think it’s important to pay close attention to preaching, and not to multi-task while listening to sermons.

But there are times when it’s valuable to quickly read large chunks of the Bible, or read a spiritual book quickly, or listen to a large number of sermons.

But how can you listen to a sermon quickly? It’s actually pretty easy. Follow the steps below:

STEP 1: Download and install the Quicktime audio/video player from Apple. You can download it here.

STEP 2: Download your favorite sermon. Make sure that you know where the file is being saved. For simplicity sake, I always download files to the desktop.

STEP 3: Right click (or control click for Mac users) on the downloaded sermon and click “Open With”. Select Quicktime Player.

STEP 4: Once the sermon has opened in Quicktime, select the “Window” menu, and select “Show A/V Controls” (this may be a bit different in Windows).

STEP 5: In the bottom right hand of the A/V Control Window is a “Playback Speed” slider. Bump the speed from 1x to 2x. Adjust the speed as necessary.

There it is. Simple and awesome. It works for just about any audio file. The human brain can process words much faster than they can be said, and this allows you to listen to sermons at a speed that your brain can handle.

Now you can listen to twice as many sermons!

Reflections On The Death Of Phil Harris

Deadliest-Catch-Capt.-Phil-Harris-Dies-From-Stroke

Last Tuesday night The Discovery Channel’s reality show, Deadliest Catch, documented the passing of Phil Harris, captain of the Alaskan crab fishing boat, the Cornelia Marie.

He suffered a massive stroke while his crew was offloading his boat in January and died in early February at age 53 while still in the hospital.

With the consent of his family, the reality show kept their cameras rolling throughout his ordeal, right up till the end.  There were a couple touching scenes with his sons, especially when he told them he loved them.

The Discovery Channel did a tasteful job though it seemed crass to me at first.  But a couple days before the episode I read these verses:

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4)

Initially these verses caught me off guard.  Why is it better to mourn than feast?  Who likes funerals or intensive care units?  Why is sorrow better than laughter and how does sadness make the heart glad?

The answer is that we can grow wise by contemplating death – “the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning.”

In our culture, we’re shielded from death.  We shove it to the backs of our minds.  We’d rather party. But parties don’t make us wise.  Funerals are opportunities to see that death “is the end of all mankind” and we who are “living will take it to heart.”  Intensive care units can remind us of the life to come.

Seeing death should help us contemplate our own death, think about eternity and live wisely.

By “sadness of face the heart is made glad” when we put our hope in Jesus, not in this world.

I feel sad for Phil’s family.  But I’m glad they allowed the cameras to keep rolling.  I’m glad they showed the hospital scenes with all the tubes and machines and his final conversations with his sons.  I hope it helps me grow more wise.  It reminded me that my own life is a vapor, and someday I’ll be with the Lord.

I don’t want to miss opportunities to glorify Christ, and to tell my wife, children and grandchildren I love them.