Monday, September 29, 2008

Three things

The first in a series of one. The following are three sayings* that our family uses often that I think are quite useful.
  1. A good portion of the book of Proverbs wrapped up in one tidy saying: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
  2. The proper form for an apology is four lines: "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I hurt you when I (name the gruesome offense). Can you please forgive me?"
  3. The members of our family often believe everything is about them, when in reality God is the most important person in the universe. The constant reminder that we are not as important as we may think we are: "I'm sorry, but its not your party."

*none of these are originally from me. I am standing on the shoulders of nameless giants.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayers of the young

As a family, we have been listening to a sermon on prayer called "Pray Like Jesus". This has resulted in some great prayers from the Pups. A few examples:

"Dear Heffenly Fader, Thank you for Jesus and He died on the cross. Oh, yeah, and the beans too. Amen." --- 3-year-old at the dinner table

"Dear Heavenly Father, Please help Daddy's business to do well so we can go to SeaWorld. Or maybe just Arkansas. That would be okay too. Amen." --- 5-year-old

and my favorite:

"Dear Heavenly Father....Oh, never mind. Amen." --- 9-year-old

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

After that last post.... deserve something a little lighter from me. For more opinions, go flip on FoxNews. Here is a great picture to make you giggle snicker:

The utter stupidity of this financial crisis

(Be careful if you dare to read this. I am really ticked off.)

So let me get this straight. Over the past two years, the largest financial institutions in the world have created schemes that were so complex that only a few people could understand them. These schemes were built on a faulty and risky premise that prices in the housing market would go up for ever. They were aimed at giving housing loans to those that should not have even received consideration based on their past stewardship of their finances. These really risky loans were then packages up and spread around to all sorts of banks and financial institutions at a significant markup - - - and huge bonuses for the executives involved. Then, when the people that should not have qualified for the loans in the first place defaulted on their loans when housing values tanked, the banks that held the loans found they had little or no value any longer. The banks took on high risk and it turned out to be a very bad bet. Their short term money making schemes failed and there would be a price to be paid. Logically, those that made the bad bets should lose their business and their elevated standard of living.

But, no, wait! Our STUPID government leaders decided that the free enterprise system is no longer valid. They decide that instead of letting the natural consequences for absolute business foolishness take effect, they would bail out the foolish! No failures based on poor performance. No, instead they make me and you pay for the saving of poorly run businesses - - -to the tune of $700 billion dollars. And so there is no consequence for being a financial moron, as long as your company is well connected and well known. It gets better! The government doesn't really have the money! So either taxes will have to increase or we will have to go into greater national debt!

And just wait, this is only the first domino! As long as we are bailing out the financial industry, thre are other poorly run industries out there as well. Who's next?! How about several hundred billion for the auto industry? How about the airlines? Let's bail them out too! A bailout sets a very bad precedent for future foolishness.

My solution? Let bad companies fail and strip their leadership of any personal fortunes they gained. Yes, there would be a lot of short term pain. Maybe even 1929 type pain. But it would be short term. Companies that were wise in their decisions would rise to the top and assume the business that the foolish companies lost. In the long term, the market would correct itself and we would be better for it. New laws would follow that would protect the average American and provide new regulation for future business transactions.

That's all I have to say about that.


Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
---Proverbs 13:11

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All things?

And we know that for those who love God all things
work together for good, for those who are called
according to his purpose.
---Romans 8:28

This verse is stuck in my head. Like an old LP that keeps skipping and playing the same few notes over and over, this verse is on repeat in my little brain. I have heard this passage a hundred times, and usually it is quoted in the context of some disaster or tragedy that we cannot explain.

I have been thinking about this verse on a personal level. It is easy for me to apply Scripture to other people's lives, but when it becomes personally applicable, the results can be shockinng. The word "all" is the hardest word in the whole verse for me. All things? Really?

Things that must therefore be working for good:
-Dishonest business people
-Mouthy children
-Migraine headaches
-Rapidly declining retirement account balances
-The rotting wood on my backdoor frame
-The Check Engine light in my car

This is just a short list, but they must be working together, under God's sovereign gaze, for my good. There has to be a plan for my spiritual formation, for my sanctification buried in the intertwining events of my life. And it also means that nothing is random. There is nothing that happens to me that is without purpose---even migraines.

Or all isn’t all.

Fatherhood in three panes.

(Just double click on it if you can't see it. If you can't read, you're just out of luck.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A marriage building experiment

In the spirit of the ever present election season, I decided to try a little marriage building experiment last night. After every sentence I said to Mrs. Underdog, I followed with "I'm Chris Tryon and I approved this message."

I think I lost her vote.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Laughing for fun

I might actually use #3. Oh wait, I am management. Never mind.

Automatic Out-of-Office Replys

1. I am currently out of the office at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Please be prepared for my mood.

2. You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received anything at all.

3. Sorry to have missed you, but I'm at the doctor's having my brain and heart removed so I can be promoted to our management team.

4. I will be unable to delete all the e-mails you send me until I return from vacation. Please be patient, and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.

5. Thank you for your e-mail. Your credit card has been charged $5.99 for the first 10 words and $1.99 for each additional word in your message.

6. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection. Your message has not been delivered. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see who did this over and over and over....)

7. Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks.

8. Hi, I'm thinking about what you've just sent me. Please wait by your PC for my response.

9. I've run away to join a different circus.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Why Apple and Nike are better than dessert.

I have been prepping for the race that I have in early October. I have lost six pounds. I am no longer sore. And I might just make the time goal that I had set for myself. Mucho progresso.

So it would reason that just as things were going well that my treadmill would just give up. In the middle of a run. With no provocation.

So I turned to my Nike/iPod thingy. This is a really cool device. You place a small chip inside specially constructed Nike Shoes. There is a second piece that attaches to your iPod and measures your distance, speed, etc. by connecting wirelessly with the pedometer in your shoe. It rocks. Unless it stops working in the middle of a run.

Dead treadmill. Dead Nike/iPod thingy. So I go to the Apple store with my Nike/iPod thingy and tell thing that it doesn't work right.

The Apple guy goes over to the shelf, takes a Nike/iPod thingy off of the shelf, and tells the manager that mine isn't working right. So the manager looks at me to make sure I appear to be the type of person that might exercise. Seeing that I might probably run, he hands me the new one, took the one that didn't work, and told me to have a nice day.

That rocks. I actually felt like a customer.

Playing the violin while....

....Rome burns?

Death is dead to me.

But for those that are in Christ:

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

---I Corinthians 15:51-53

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike is coming....

This is the coolest storm tracker EVER!

Palin is making my head hurt.

Mrs. Underdog and I had a long discussion about Sarah Palin last night. The overbearing, over coverage of this lady is making my head hurt. A few of the thoughts that we chewed on last night:
  1. Palin is running for political office, not a church post. What difference does that make?
  2. Its great that she decided to have Trig, but what about now parenting Trig? Isn't that equally as important?
  3. Why are Christians (even prominent pastors) so divided in their opinion about Palin?
  4. Is is better to not vote than to vote against your conscience?
  5. I bet that the Bible character Deborah has never received so much attention.
  6. Deborah did a pretty good job as far as I can tell.
  7. I wonder what Palin's husband thinks about her aspirations?
  8. Her inexperience in Washington is a positive, not a negative, attribute.
  9. God was not surprised by Palin's nomination.
  10. If everyone adopted the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" rule, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the political conventions would completely disappear.

Any form of government run by foolish, self-centered individuals will gradually become a platform for those least qualified to govern. Our fledgling democracy has reached that point in a record amount of time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Car roof + coffee = rats (sigh)

There is perhaps nothing more defeating than the sight of hot coffee running in little streams down the rear windshield of your car. It somehow managed to balance while you were backing out, but when you put the car in drive and hit the gas, the hot cup of java that you carefully doctored lost it balance and spilled all over the top of your car. And you really need that coffee. You need the warm, milky, caffeinated goodness to jumpstart your nervous system and bring you back to life. But you stare in despair at the drips of light brown that run down the glass. Mocking your drowsy incompetence.

So you pull the car into another parking space and retrieve the cup that once contained such promise. And you ask yourself "If I go back into the coffee shop, can I use this cup again and get a free refill?" As you ponder this question, you decide that the need for a hot beverage is superior to any potential guilt that might result from working the system. So you slink into the coffee shop and redo the coffee making drill.

And as you back out of the parking space, the pool of coffee that had settled on to your roof flows in tiny rivulets on to the windshield, a subtle reminder that you have trouble waking up.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I did not know this about Mr. Obama.

Perhaps this is why he is so liberal in his thinking....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Are you the penguin or the bear?

Be brave. Be of good courage. But try to be wise....

Have a great week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Conventional foolishness

After two weeks of political conventions, a few random observations:

-Most of the people at the highest levels of our government think that the general population is stupid. They make promises that they never plan on keeping because it is what is required to get elected. Either that or our political leadership is optimistic to the point of foolishness in believing that they will be the ones to change Washington.

-Sarah Palin was the only one of the nominees that did not sound like a seasoned aristocrat. The other three haven't been any where near blue class working family in a long time.

-Long experience and wisdom are not synonomous.

-If we are at war, our leaders should be required to have a child or grandchild on the battlefront. It would influence the way they make decisions. A little skin in the game, you know.

-Being in the Senate does not make you a leader.

-Has John McCane done anything since he was a POW? Sure would be nice to hear something about what he has done in the past, say, forty years.

-I wonder how much those balloons that they dropped from the ceiling cost? Bet there are a lot of better uses for that money.

-I hate that I will cast my vote for someone that I do not believe in. Pooh and Diego might just get my vote.

-Barak Obama is an empty suit, but he is great at articulating ideas. And the unthinking masses like to be entertained by great orators.

-Barak cannot believe that his perspectives on life issues align with anything close to Christian.

-I fear that young people with little knowledge of the politicians will turn the election by simply voting for the "coolest" candidate.

-I hated seeing Invesco Field at Mile High hosting that big Obama speech. It's is the Broncos home turf, not a theater for political speeches.

-I miss Mike Huckabee.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Toddler's Nominees for Prez

I had a discussion with my 3-year-old this evening about the nominees for President. He does not know who he will vote for in November. But he does have some very strong opinions about who should lead America. I asked him who he would like to see on the Presidential ticket. The Linebacker Starter Kit said that he would be most likely to vote for....Diego and Winnie the Pooh. I think that he might be on to something....



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Super Bowl prediction....

You can mark it down. It's official. By your tickets now. Because I am announcing my official Super Bowl prediction. You can expect to see these two teams playing in February in Tampa Bay....

One more reason to love hockey....

Each player on the team that wins the NHL's championship gets to have the Stanley Cup to himself for a day. And he can do pretty much whatever he wants with it....

Here is one possible use:

Or perhaps this:

They are gathered around the Stanley Cup, knee to knee, a father, two daughters and his son, the fabled bowl filled to the brim with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and cookie dough ice cream, all topped with a calorie-pounding amount of chocolate syrup and sprinkles.

The McCarty kids bust into laughter as dad Darren clutches his head in mild agony. Frozen brain. Oh, no.

Sure, there were the guys from the Rite Aid pharmacy who strolled in, not believing the Stanley Cup was next door at Stroh's Ice Cream Parlor. ("I thought, sure, nice joke. The Stanley Cup? You wish," one shocked employee said.) And there were the complete strangers, wide-eyed, who were handed white plastic spoons to help out with this mother of all sundaes.

But if you could hold this moment in your hand, a father and his children laughing and dripping ice cream out of the Stanley Cup, it gives you pause to consider just what is possible in a world that sometimes feels all out of possible. (Source)

Funny for your laugher

just looking

That must be the most common phrase spoken in retail settings. From a very early age, we learn that if you claim to be "just looking", then the retail helper guy/girl will leave you alone. It is often a sentence uttered to disguise the fact that we have zero dollars to spend. If we had money, we wouldn't be in The Sharper Image browsing, we would have gone to the movies.

I fear that my Bible study all to often falls into "just looking" mode. I take a Scripture or hear a sermon and I learn something about my Creator and about me. I am given a Divine perspective on something that I had not noticed before. And there is the opportunity to buy into the truth, to do something about what I have learned. To change. But the pattern I see in myself is one of consistently unapplied knowledge. Like the man that looks in the mirror and then, when he turns around, forgets what he looks like, I have a short memory. And typically do nothing.

And this is why I am deeply grateful for God's mercy. My Father is always providing me with love and acceptance that I do not deserve. He knows that I am a little sheep that needs shepherding. He knows that if I am left to my own means, real meaningful change will probably stop when the pain begins. But by His patient hand, I will be sanctified. I will be changed.