adventures in the cold

Funny Friday Again – A Time to Laugh

I haven’t been doing as much blogging lately, and I haven’t been stockpiling as much funny material for Fridays either.  But I found a couple of things that make me chuckle anyway so I am throwing them out there this week.  In honor of the fact that the winter up here in North Dakota has been the mildest by far of the 5 total that we have experienced in this part of the country, I present you this story that finally (not really, but one can dream) nails shut the coffin on the “global warming hysteria.”  Never mind that they took to calling it “climate change” a few years back just so they could play this kind of stuff as well.  We are now potentially headed for a mini ice age, just like we were in the 70’s.  I assume the credit for placing these images side by side should go to the website referenced in the watermark although I saw them elsewhere.  Things like this amuse me.  If you want to debate the “science” that asserts that man has a profound impact on the climate and has either made the planet warmer or colder at some point in the past, you are simply going to add to the humor.  You are welcome to comment, but don’t expect me to take it seriously.

In other amusements, I decided to check up on my old standby – youtube for some fun stuff.  The Lutheran satire channel has uploaded several funny videos since I last ran one, but this one on creeds was particularly good in my view.

Since the most popular post on this blog still hasn’t managed to answer the question of what translation Joel Osteen uses (Can anyone tell from looking at his Bible in the video perhaps?  Seriously, in two years time not one commenter has been able to cite a single translation that says what he said and it isn’t like that post hasn’t spawned a lot of traffic from others looking for the same info.  If any of Joel’s churchgoers do stop by here, please ask him for us.  We would simply like to know.), I figured I would throw out a bone in passing about that odd little creed that he uses as well.  I imagine most of the people who say it every week have no conception of it as a creed.  Maybe this can be a fun learning experience.

Oh, and since yesterday was Groundhog Day, I thought I would bookend the post by posting something I saw on twitter yesterday from another North Dakota resident:

We finally have enough snow on the ground that it looks like it is early December or something.  Not complaining about it myself so much either, but all of this thawing and refreezing stuff is not a lot of fun.  Have a great weekend.


Categories: adventures in the cold, Christianity, climate, Fun, Fun in the Northland, global warming, Humor, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pastoring in the Great White North

Fair waring, this is a “day in the life” kind of narrative post.  If you get bored with such things, you should probably come back for the next post, later today.

Yesterday was one of those fun, interesting and somewhat draining days.  We went to Fargo this weekend for an evangelism conference and I was privileged to lead worship and also help with some round-table group discussions, so we had a busy weekend already going.  The trick though is that a winter storm was forecast to arrive on Saturday night and last through this morning sometime, which promised to make Sunday more challenging than the previous two days.

The storm started as promised on Saturday night with a little rain that quickly switched to mostly snow.  It didn’t stick to everything right away (we had gotten to 50 degrees earlier that day), but it did start to make a mess.  When we woke Sunday morning, it was readily apparent that the day would be different than originally planned.  Sunday was supposed to be regular church services followed by a meal, business meeting and then a small troop of us heading out to do services at two area nursing homes.  But with several inches of wet, heavy snow on the ground, plan were in the air.

We got a call from our deacon/song leader that they would not be able to make the drive from 30 minutes away, which was not a surprise.  Another deacon and his wife live out in the country as well and with visibility low and roads packed with this “wet powdered sugar” (that’s what it looked like anyway), there was no way they were going to make it in either.  I knew the business meeting was a no go, the only question that remained was how much other stuff would get dropped during the day.  My other deacon drives a plow to clear the roads and his day had started a 4 AM according to his wife, who did make it to church.  There were three other guys who braved the elements and showed up as well, so we had a good time together worshiping in song and word.  I broke out the guitar (because I just hadn’t played it enough already during the weekend) and played through the songs, changing one because I couldn’t play it.  Note to self: need to play guitar more to keep callouses on my fingers thicker.

We stood around and talked with one another for quite a while afterward and then got out to brave the elements once again.  The snow was blowing almost sideways for most of the day, but the intensity had let up just a bit.  The highways were now mostly wet instead of deep slush, so I called the nursing home that was about 15 miles out of town to possibly cancel our service there.  The nurse who answered informed me that if I had a 4WD, I shouldn’t have any problems getting there.  She had come from the other direction and made it just fine and the plows had been through.  So, I told her I would start up the Expedition and make my way out there for the service at 2:15.

I hit the highway at about 1:30 in order to give myself plenty of time and not be rushed.  The highway wasn’t too bad, although I got hit with slush from an SUV passing in the other direction that sounded like a bag of rocks hitting the windshield.  There was no apparent damage to anything other than my nerves and I continued on my way.  Making the turn south onto the secondary road proved to be no trouble, but after less than a mile on this county road, I was ready to turn back.  The only problem was that turning around wasn’t really an option.  Between the size of my vehicle and the lack of shoulders on the road, it was Osnabrock or bust.  I finally made it to the nursing home and enjoyed spending time with the residents.  Since I didn’t have anyone with me this time, out came the guitar again (my fingers didn’t like me much at this point) and we did some songs and I shared a short devotional.  It was nice to have a break from being on the road in the slush and mess.

As soon as we were done, I had to rush to get out the door in order to give myself plenty of time again to get back to Langdon and head for Maple Manor.  Many thanks go to one of the visitors there who collected the books for me and saved me time.  Normally, this isn’t a real stressful thing; but with the roads like this, it promised to be more interesting driving back.

The road north to highway 5 was better than it had been when I was on it just an hour before, so I was thankful for that.  I encountered a few more vehicles that were out as well, but not many.  When I got to Hwy 5 there was a Cadillac going west, so I pulled out behind it and figured if he didn’t have any trouble, I wouldn’t have any trouble.

Everything passed without incident until about 4 miles or so east of Langdon.  The Cadillac pulled onto the shoulder and came to a stop ahead of me.  I thought it was odd, but I saw a semi coming from the other direction and assumed that the car didn’t want to get plastered with slush like I had earlier.  I went around them cautiously just before the semi arrived coming from the other direction.  I had slowed down a lot and looked back to see the Caddy start to pull onto the roadway again, but they looked like they were having trouble.  It was sliding sideways and looked to be having trouble getting traction.  I slowed to a crawl, preparing to stop and turn around if he didn’t make it on the road.

The next thing I saw was the car fishtailing the other direction so that the car was now completely sideways across the road with his front end pointing north on an east/west highway.  I could see the tires spinning furiously and I was now convinced that I was witnessing an impending wreck.  It looked like he was completely out of control from my perspective.

Next thing I know, the car goes shooting off to the north like a bullet.  At this point I realize that the whole crazy dance I witnessed was a truly mad driver getting up enough speed to tackle a side road full of snow with a Cadillac.  He disappeared going north and I didn’t figure he needed my help as much as he needed my prayers for his safety driving like that.

I made it to Maple Manor without further incident and did the second service.  More singing and guitar playing (my fingers still hate me today for this I think as it hurts a little bit to type with my left hand) and a little visiting afterward.  It was a long day, but a fun and blessed day.  It isn’t like this every week, and for that I am thankful; but it is what you might find yourself doing when you pastor in the great white north.

Categories: adventures in the cold, Christianity, church, Discipleship, Fun, Love, ministry, personal, Southern Baptist, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

One More Gag for the Day

I saw this video courtesy of the comment thread on one of our funny posts at SBC Voices today.  You should go and check out the full April 1 lineup of posts as many of them are quite funny and not all of them are inside jokes for SBC folks.

Anyway, here is a video promotion for Lutheran Airlines (I thought of you, Steve).  I had to put in up because they service North Dakota and all.  Enjoy and remember it is all in good fun.

Categories: adventures in the cold, Fun, Humor | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Spring Already Sprung, But the Job’s Not Done

We are moving toward spring on the calendar and the signs of it are around us even here in the frozen north.  There is a small stream flowing alongside the curb that says the temperatures are just warm enough to allow snow to melt.  There are daily flood updates from the Fargo and Devils Lake areas and plenty of concern to go around.  As a fun distraction, pro baseball is about to begin its regular season and college ball already has.  My Razorbacks are doing well, and I can only hope the same for the STL Cardinals.

Around here spring is a time of celebration and dread wrapped into one.  Celebration for the end of winter and the “death” that it brings to so many things.  Dread for the hazards that accompany “new life.”  It all makes me think of my word, growth.

Let me pull this back to the baseball realm for a minute.  The whole object of baseball in a microcosm is to “get home” to come full circle and finish the circuit of the bases.  This has parallel with life itself.  Life is cyclical and we sometimes circle the bases and other times just get picked off first or strike out at the plate.  It is often said that baseball is a game where you must get used to failure.  A person who only gets a hit 1 of every 3 plate appearances is considered a good hitter for instance, but that percentage means that he fails 2 out of every 3 times at bat as well.

We see this same thing at work in our own life.  We fail far more often than we succeed as we walk in faith.  This doesn’t mean that we should hide in the dugout secure in the knowledge that we can’t be kicked off the team.  If anything knowing that we won’t be cut should provide us the courage to keep going up to bat.  It’s kind of fun to work this many baseball metaphors into a single post, but I presume that you get the point.

I am excited for the start of baseball season to be sure.  I am hoping that the Cardinals have a great year and win the World Series.  In the meantime, I am still growing because I won’t quit when I fail.  I will look to the One who went to bat  (I know, Paul calls it a race, but stick with me) and batted 1.000.

Categories: adventures in the cold, baseball, Christianity, Discipleship, Faith, Fun, Grace, Growth, ministry, One Word, razorbacks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Funny Stuff for Friday

I’m will probably only get one post up today since I am on the road for meetings, but I think I am going to take this opportunity to start a Friday tradition/feature of doing a series of funny links and/or short blurbs in the name of “lazy blogging.”  Kind of like this:

Pearls Before Swine is one of my favorite strips these days.  I particularly like the well set up “pun strips” that he does from time to time.

So now, on to the links and blurbs:

North Dakota’s population is growing despite the fact that almost no one wants to move here, according to most people:

The state’s weather makes it hard to lure new residents. The average January low temperature is four degrees below zero. North Dakota holds job fairs in other states to match workers to available jobs.

Really, I like it here.  I will deal with the frigid weather in exchange for being spared any summer days that top 90 year after year.  We are still the only state that hasn’t lost jobs during Obama’s recession/depression yet.  Let’s hope it stays that way.

I may seriously have to add this to my wish list.  I’ve always wanted to go to space and I doubt I will be able to afford it in the near future.  I think I may have to sign up on this site.  Look for news to come.  Plus, I see that the drawing is on my wife’s birthday, that has to mean something, right?



Clearly, there is something to this.  Well, that is enough silliness for now.  Let me finish with something completely different.  One of my favorite bloggers posted today about how he remains upbeat despite the depressing news and decline around us.  It is well worth a read, but I wanted to post part of it here as well:

But the more history I read, the more I saw that the Israelites’ behavior is the normal pattern of human behavior. Man stands on the shoulders of giants and thinks himself tall, only to learn otherwise when he strides boldly forward. Perhaps that makes you cry, but it tends to make me laugh, even if it does sound a little hollow and sardonic even to me. But how can you not laugh, as atheists and pagans blithely assemble the infrastructure of the old slaughterhouse and call it progress, never imagining for a second that they will not only be its victims again, but will find themselves crying out to God for rescue from the destiny they so ardently desired.

May you have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend, and may the peace that passes all understanding be yours in abundance.


Categories: adventures in the cold, America, Christianity, climate, Culture, friends, Fun, Humor, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to Blog Madness 2011 from SBC Voices

I am going to make this post sticky until round one is over.  If you haven’t voted yet, please go and vote for me.  New posts will appear below this one until March 24th.

It’s tournament time, so over at SBC Voices the game is on.  My blog has been included in the field for the first time.  Hello to all of those coming over from SBC Voices to see what I am about.  Feel free to look around, you will find a little bit of everything under the sun.

For my regular readers, please head over and vote for this blog.  I am listed in the West regional and have some other great blogs in my region, so I need your help.  I am going to be on the road traveling today, so I may not have any more posts up today, but I will plan for something for tomorrow.  Pray for safe travel on the roads as this time of year is pretty unpredictable.

Update: Made it safely and wanted to add something to the post from the SBC Blogs contest.  From the comments over there the moderator mentioned the “ethics rules” as such:

And please, folks, a word about ethics here. We believe that shameless electioneering, begging for votes, manipulating your friends to log on and vote for you – these are all acceptable and expected behaviors.

In that vein, let me say that if you only vote for one blog in the West bracket, and it is mine, that actually helps me out overall as it helps me gain a vote against everyone else.  I am currently sitting out of the top four in my region and need some help.  Go and vote.  You don’t have to be SBC or give any personal info or anything.

Categories: adventures in the cold, Fun, Humor, personal, SBC Blog Madness, Southern Baptist | Leave a comment

It’s Not Easy Going Green – A Parody on Environmentalism

I suppose I am in a parody mood.  I need to get the video recorder out and have a little fun setting these to music.  This one is inspired by the news story about the cost of “lowering the earth’s temp 1 degree” and the absurdity of the environmental movement.  Enjoy and sing along in your head.

It’s not that easy going green
Having to spend more each day than the world has ever seen
When we realize that there’s not enough silver or gold
To take the temperature down even one degree

It’s not easy going green
It seems we spend money on too many ordinary things
Like buying food we need to eat each day
And paying our bills so we can drink some water
And buying gas so we can drive

But green’s the coolest sort of thing
And green can be sort of sneaky like
And green makes you feel guilty about the ocean, or pollution
Of the mountains, woods or streams

When green is all we’re allowed to be
It will make you wonder why, was there another way,
We could have been green and still been fine, let’s consider
There’s another way that we can see

Categories: adventures in the cold, climate, Creation, Culture, Fun, global warming, Humor, Music, Parody, politics, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Heads They Win and Tails You Lose

The only time I can ever recall seeing this gag work is in a TV show or with a kid under the age of 5, but it seems the global warming folks want to see if it will work for them anyway.  Maybe I should call them the “climate change experts” like they would prefer, but that is just another element of the rigged coin toss setup they are working.

At least more people seem to be catching on to their game.  Just a few weeks ago, I read the flashback story from 10 years ago where the “experts” had predicted that by this time most kids in Britain would not even know what snow looks like.

The IPCC Third Assessment Report was as straightforward as one can get asserting that global warming would cause a decline in heavy snow events. As the Senate chairman would say, while waving the IPCC report, “We have it….” But now that real-world evidence has proven IPCC wrong, the alarmists have pulled an about-face and are claiming global warming is causing more frequent heavy snow events.

I highly recommend looking at the above reference article as it contains a mass of links to even more backpedals of note, but the moral of the story is simply this.  Don’t fall for that same old trick, unless you are under the age of 5.

Categories: adventures in the cold, climate, Fun, global warming, Humor, politics, Science | 2 Comments

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Part One

I am going to do two posts tonight that are completely different, so take your pick or read them both.  This one is about football.  Tonight we had our fantasy football draft for a league comprised of folks from here in people in the DBC (Dakota Baptist Convention) here in North Dakota.  I have played in fantasy football leagues several times before over the last 10 years or so.  I even won a public league two years ago on Yahoo against a bunch of strangers I had never met.  Which brings me to this; this is the first time I have played in a league where I knew any of the other managers.  It is also my first time to be the “commissioner” of a league as well.  This will probably make for a very interesting football season.

I generally like fantasy football, but I find that it messes with the way I watch the games.  I always find it weird to be less concerned with how my favorite NFL team (the Cowboys) is doing and more concerned with seeing “my players” scoring points (even against the Cowboys).  I am determined not to go overboard with this and just have fun.  And I look on the bright side, at least the “trash-talking” will be clean.  I like my team, although I made a couple of dumb mistakes with WR’s.  I can fix it via the waiver wire most likely, so everything is good so far.  It’s football time.

Categories: adventures in the cold, Culture, Football, friends, Fun, Humor, personal, Southern Baptist | Leave a comment

Ice Age

For a little fun, I thought I would change pace and talk about the weather.  I think Al Gore must have been making the rounds based upon the vast amounts of snow that the country is getting.

Here in our neck of the woods, we have seen a lot of snow this winter.  This is our third winter living just south of the Canadian border in ND and the piles are higher already this year than the previous two with two more months or so of potential winter yet to go.  I just wanted to share a few recent pictures for those who visit the blog.

The picture of me standing next to the bank was taken today.  The others were taken on Friday, before the most recent snow storm dropped about 5-6 inches of snow this weekend.

Categories: adventures in the cold, family, Fun, Humor, personal | 2 Comments

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