Archive for the ‘Life’ Category


Campus Crusade Changes Their Name

22 July 2011 – 22:30 CDT

Beginning in 2012, Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCi) will officially rename their U.S. operations to “Cru”.  When the news of this broke on twitter, I was kind of confused.  I couldn’t figure out why the organization would be dropping “Christ” from their name, since it seemed to be at the very core of the mission.  I would know about the mission, I spent 4+ years heavily involved at Ohio State on a nearly daily basis and at the regional level for our annual Christmas Conferences.  My weeks in college were generally 12-15 hours of classes, 20 hours of paid work, and 20-50+ hours spent doing volunteer work for  Crusade — depending on what we had going.

I had a few tweets back and forth with a couple of people about the subject, including Todd Starnes.  While his name was familiar, I didn’t know who Todd was, just seemed like a guy on twitter scratching his head like I was.  I pretty much forgot about it until the next morning on my way into work when Glenn Beck opened his show talking about the change.  I replied to the conversation from the previous night and mentioned that Beck was kind of going off about it.

Todd responded and asked me to send him a quick email @foxnews.com and said that he was working on a story for this topic.  In twenty minutes or so, I thumbed out an email on my phone answering Todd’s questions about what I thought about the change.  I was pretty up front that it didn’t make much sense to me, and I explained why it didn’t make sense and how I saw it in the larger context of political correctness’s war on Christian faith.  I figured a sentence or maybe two would end up in a blog post on FoxNation somewhere.

A portion of my email ended up in the article that Todd wrote, which went up on Foxnews.com.  To be completely fair, I do not believe that Todd took anything I said out of context or tried to twist my words.  He asked if it would be okay to quote me and I didn’t have a problem with it.  My words are mine and I own them.

The unexpected fallout from what was published hit home when an old friend who stays in touch with the CCCi staff called to explain that I and the article were the topic of conversation among CCCi leadership yesterday, and that the article was posted on the front page of Foxnews.com.  I never expected my comments to reach so far.  I’m a single insignificant person, with an insignificant voice.

Unfortunately, in part because I know at least a handful of the staff, my published statements were taken as a personal attack.  They were never meant as such.  We just disagree on this matter.  That being said, much of my understanding of my own faith comes from the time spent under wise teaching of campus staff.  I want to extend my heartfelt apology to any of the CCCi folks who were hurt by my words.  I know from working along side you in the past that you are sincere in your efforts to reach the world for the Kingdom.

I will have more on the subject, as well as thoughts from my email that weren’t published which may help explain my position a little bit better than the FNC article does.  That, however, is for another day.

Edit: It was pointed out that the change, as per CCCi’s website, only affects U.S. operations.  The first paragraph was changed to reflect this. (h/t Eric Seymour)

A Few Car Care Tips

10 July 2011 – 22:09 CDT

Jenny Erikson has an insightful piece about taking care of the second-most expensive purchase most of us will ever make – our cars.  At the end, she asked for other car care tips in the comments.  I realized mine were too long for a comment, so here are just a few basics in addition to what she suggests.

– If you notice that your blinker seems to be running double-time, chances are one of your turn signal lights is out.  The double-time blinking speed is supposed to tell you this.  Unfortunately, very few people know this.

– If you notice that one headlight is working great, but the other one is very dim, chances are you have a blown fuse for the circuit that feeds the dimmed headlight.

– Jack rabbit starts and hard stops (slamming the gas or the brake) wastes fuel and is very hard on your car.

– Next time you get into your car (or go to drive someone else’s), look near the fuel gauge for a small triangle pointing to the left or right.  Not all cars have it, but the for ones that do, the triangle will point to which side the fuel fill cap is on.

– When you fill up, reset your trip meter. Note what it says the next time you fill up. Do this every time. You’ll start to get an idea of how far you can go on a tank of gas. If you fuel gauge ever breaks, you’ll still know when you need to fill up. This is also a way to keep track of your gas mileage. # miles driven divided by # of gallons printed on your gas receipt.

– On cold days (below freezing), give your car a couple of minutes to warm up before leaving, especially if you’re getting right onto the freeway.  Oil, especially conventional oil, gets thick when it gets cold and can’t lubricate the engine as well.  More than a couple of minutes really won’t make that much difference, and will just waste fuel.

– Modern engines are much better designed than they used to be.  Changing your oil every 3,000 miles on the dot won’t hurt much except your wallet.  5,000 miles is perfectly fine for normal driving.  If you drive dirt roads or other harsh conditions (extreme heat especially), then it might be worth it for the life of your engine to stick to 3,000 miles.  Synthetic oil is more expensive, but it isn’t unheard of – if you’re using synthetic oil – to go 9,000 or 10,000 miles between oil changes with no ill effects.  Why change the oil in the first place?  The oil lubricates the moving bits of your engine.  This lubrication wears out and breaks down over time, becoming less effective.  The oil also absorbs dirt, debris, and other foreign matter from between the moving parts of your engine. Basically – it helps keep the inside of the engine clean and free from contaminants that could cause damage to the moving parts.  At some point the oil becomes saturated with dirt and can’t absorb anymore.  That is also the reason why you always change the filter when you change the oil.

– Fix-a-flat and other similar “emergency” tire-repair-in-a-can are just that – for emergencies.  Get to a place that can fix or replace your tire as quickly as possible.  First off, that stuff is not a permanent fix, and secondly it unbalances your wheel, which will affect handling slightly but will definitely cause your tire to wear poorly.  Make sure the shop knows you used the can of stuff so they can unmount the tire and clean the crud you just pumped in off the wheel.

– When using jumper cables, be very careful.  Always connect red to red, black to black.  On the car that you’re trying to jump start, connect the black to some metal away from the battery.  A charging car battery can release hydrogen and other gases.  A spark can ignite the hydrogen gas and lead to a fire or explosion.  Moving the black (negative) away from the battery helps reduce the chance of a spark near the battery.  What are the odds?  Probably not very high, especially with modern sealed batteries.  Why risk it?

– Don’t run your car out of gas.

  1. Once or twice won’t hurt, but doing this repeatedly will burn up the fuel pump, which on most vehicles is inside the fuel tank. Gasoline acts as a coolant for the pump. When the level in the tank gets too low (ie the engine stops because you ran out of usable fuel), the pump doesn’t have proper cooling. This could be an expensive repair.
  2. It is unsafe to run around with less than ~1/8 tank of gas or so.  If your car quits in the middle of the freeway you lose critical assist systems for brakes and steering.  You can still brake, you can still steer but both are much more difficult without the power of the engine to drive the assist systems.  You can also find yourself stranded.  Especially don’t do this to anyone driving with you.  As the driver, you’re responsible for your passengers.  Don’t strand them because you’re a lazy bonehead.

– When the “fuel low” light comes on, you have between 1 and 2 gallons of usable fuel remaining. If you know your average per-gallon fuel mileage, you know approximately how far you can go before the engine quits. We want to fill up before then, see previous bullet.

– Oil is the life blood of your engine.  If the oil pressure light comes on, pull over with all due haste and turn off the engine. Obviously, do so only if it safe – don’t dart across traffic and cause a collision. If you completely lose oil pressure (which includes running your car out of oil), your engine has about 3-5 seconds before it starts tearing itself apart as metal bits start grinding on other metal bits.  Eventually that grinding will stop because the engine has seized.  That is, the moving bits inside the engine?  They don’t move anymore.  This is probably the most expensive damage you can do to your car.

– If your car overheats, you can turn on the cabin heater to help cool it off.  It won’t help much, but it may be the difference between getting it to a shop and ruining the engine.  Overheating an engine can and will have the same effect as losing oil pressure.  It will just take a little bit longer to destroy the engine.

– Don’t neglect your brakes.  They are the only device you have for bringing 2,000lb of steel to a stop.  Every time you stop, you’re grinding off just a little bit of brake pad material.  That is just how brakes work.  If your brakes are squealing, they’re probably telling you that they’re getting worn out.  No really, there is a thin piece of metal inside your brakes that is supposed to make noise when they’re worn down.

 

On “Why Men Hate ‘The Notebook'”

14 May 2011 – 17:23 CDT

Doug links to a piece on Yahoo called ‘The Notebook: Why Men Hate It

 

Flat out, I don’t hate it.  I actually like the movie.  The story of a guy who loves a girl with everything he has.  This isn’t about me, it is what the article says about us.

The column is at least jaded, if not down right bitter.  Let’s be honest.  Most guys are lazy slobs.  They see Noah as an impossible standard at worst, and way too much work at best.  Selfishly, they’re satisfied with doing the minimum to get whatever they want out of a relationship.

Guys, women aren’t stupid.  They know the movie is fiction, and that by and large real life doesn’t happen the way it does in the movies.  “The Notebook” is no exception to that.  To suggest otherwise and say you hate the movie because of the unrealistic expectations it sets up means one of two things: either you’re not giving her enough credit to be able to separate life from a movie, or you’re with the wrong girl.

Either way it misses the point.  She might dream of a guy like Noah.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  If she’s with you, does that tell you anything?  Do we believe that as men we have the capacity to love Ally as Noah did?  I do — because we have a clear instruction to love our wives as Christ loved the Church, and gave His life for her.  Guys, we’re going to fail her.  Often.  But we don’t give up.

It may not look like Noah.  It may not be 365 hand written letters and a white house with blue shutters.  It won’t be all fancy dinners and exotic flowers.  Yet in the end,  Noah understood something our grandparents did that precious few of us do.  It wasn’t about the things he could buy for her.  It wasn’t about doing to get for himself.  It was about her.  His love for Ally never quit.  He carried it on through unimaginable heartache into a quiet night, until his last breath.

Very much in the spirit of the house that Noah built, Andrew Peterson sings of one man’s Coral Castle

So night on night and year on year
Well, I worked until my hands no longer bled
And I let the ocean bear away my tears
So that she would know that I could love her best

Enough excuses.  Enough of being jaded.  Are we as men willing to set ourselves aside that our hands would bleed for her?

 

edit: the house is white and the shutters are blue.

Another Life Lesson From Nixa

27 April 2011 – 00:20 CDT

Yesterday I got a real-life lesson in the depth of my relationship with Nixa.  It had been raining all day, and the wood stairs outside the apartment were wet and very slick.  I was taking her outside when I got home from work.  The result was bad.  I ended up slipping and falling most of the way down the stairs.  A nice big long scrape on one arm, and multiple bruises that still hurt today.

Nixa, instead of taking off, came right back to me before I could say anything but a few choice curse words on my way down.  I had plenty of momentum and thus time on the way down for several to come out of my mouth. She stopped and turned around looking at me with ears mostly laid back and eyes wide.  It was immediately apparent she knew and understood what happened.  As she came up to me the only word I can use to describe her demeanor is worried.  She immediately started licking my face.  She’s very affectionate, so that for her isn’t unusual in and of itself.  However, the depth of her concern, the worried look, struck me.

Nixa and I have known each other for over 7 years.  It finally hit me today when I was having a conversation about what happened that she worries about me like I worry about her.  When she is sick, not feeling well, or hurt, I often don’t know what to do – in part because I don’t know what is wrong.  I feel awful because there is so little I can do for her, and I worry about her.  She is much the same with me.  She knew I was in pain, and was genuinely hurting for me.  She didn’t know what to do to make me feel better, so she did the only thing she knew – she loved me.

That is what a best friend does.