Time for new calendars

Have you ever gotten those promotional desk calendars that many companies give out at the start of a new year? I love getting them if they are the style I like and would use. I know some businesses get these and hand them out to everyone. But with the economy the way it is, you can get as few as 25 and give them to your best customers. Or, a school could purchase these and sell them to the students. (Then the teachers have a reason to yell at the students when they forget an assignment).

If you are interested in purchasing some and sending one my way, I prefer the Gnu Desk Monthly Calendar. I like that all the days are the same size; Saturday and Sunday don’t get smashed down to a smaller box. The weekends are when I have most of my long term scheduling to do so I need those boxes to be as large as any other day.

[This is a sponsored post]

Tough game for a 5 year old

Both of our children have a knack for talking incessantly. They get on each others nerves with it too.

This morning on the way to church our daughter (5 years old) challenged our son (11 years old) to a game of “The Quiet Game.” She offered the challenge and he responded with, “Ok. Go!”

She sat there quiet for a few seconds and then whispered to herself, but loud enough that we all heard it, “Oh, this is gonna be hard.”

Good thing my wife and I weren’t playing, we laughed too loud to have been able to stay in the game.

Yes, dear, the quiet game is hard for chatty 5 year old girls.

Book Review: Born To Run

I heard a lot about the book Born to Run which came out this summer. Some of what I heard made me skeptical about its claims. One of my biggest concerns was how so much emphasis was put on the evolutionary aspect of how we run. I believe we were designed by God to have the bodies we have and not that we have evolved into the state we are in. Guys like Steve Runner, who I totally disagree with his evolutionary position, made me less interested in the book because of this. However, the book is great. Outside of the fact that it is on a subject that captures my attention, it is extremely well written. Even though I don’t agree with all the process involved to arrive at the conclusion the book makes, I cannot deny that the author, Christopher McDougall, is a master with the written word.

The book is about running. It is presented by sharing a story involving an indigenous Mexican tribe in the Copper Canyon that is made up of extremely gifted athletes. The point was that we can learn their secrets and become better runners as well. The use of a great narrative made a potentially dull book about putting one foot in front of the other much more interesting.

I did not read the book, but rather listened to the audio-book version while I was driving around in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. I have to admit that I was very engrossed in the story. I did not have any close calls by not paying attention, but I did get wrapped up in it a couple of times enough to have to wipe the tears away when certain events were portrayed. Even though I already knew the outcome of some of the races that were described in the book, I was still on the edge of my seat waiting to hear how it would unfold.

My standard disclaimer has to be said here though. I cannot really recommend this book for young people. The language in it was appalling. As I have said before, I know people really talk like that, but that does not mean I want to read (or listen to) all the foul language.

Well written book, but I cannot give it a full recommendation because of the language.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, 2009. Christopher McDougall, Knopf publishing. 304 pages.

New Advertisers Spur on Lazy Bloggers

I am starting to look into a new way to sell ads on My Thought Spot. It is unfortunate that I have not been posting as often as I know I should. But I do have excuses. Not sure any of them are grand ones.

I am thinking that if I sign up with a new advertising group that I might be motivated to generate new content. It is not that there is nothing new in my life, I just have not slowed down enough to post about it.

Here are the advertisers I am looking at. Do you have any thoughts on them? Any to avoid at all costs? Any that I should look into that I have not mentioned?

Two churches

This last weekend we visited a church local to our home. I had met the pastor before and since we did not have a meeting to be in a particular church, we decided to give this church a visit. The church was a class act from the very start.

When we arrived at the church a man met us at the door and noted that we were visitors. He looked on his paper to find out where the Sunday School classes were for our kids. He then grabbed a couple of people walking by and had them walk us to the different classrooms. He also suggested an adult class for my wife and I to attend.

Because the church is in the town where we went to Bible college, there were a few people there whom we knew. I don’t think this had anything to do with the reception we felt as visitors. Everyone was friendly and kind. But not the gushy kind that makes you think someone paid them to be that way. It is just the way they were.

After church we were invited to a short reception in an area that they set up for welcoming visitors. The pastor and a few of the church staff members met us there. We were the only visitors that day, but they were prepared with enough homemade muffins and drinks for probably 10 visitors. We had a good talk with the pastor and no one seemed like they were in a hurry to leave; however, they also did not try to monopolize our time and make us stay.

When we left they gave us each a coffee cup and a friendly smile.

That was not the end though. The next night, Monday, a couple from the church stopped by the house with a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread. They stayed just long enough to thank us for visiting the church and extend an invitation to return.

We felt special.

Contrast that with another church we visited several weeks ago. It was a similar situation in that I had previously met the pastor. We were in his town without a meeting for that Sunday morning service. It was a good opportunity to just stop by.

The reception at the church was cold. The only person who came up to us other than to shake our hand briefly and walk off was the visiting preacher. He came over and chatted and acted interested in us. If the pastor came by before Sunday School or church, I don’t really remember it.

After church we hung around a short time just so that the crowd could thin and I could thank the pastor for teaching a class I was in a couple of months before. He acted like he was in a hurry and did not have time to chit-chat at the back of the church even though there was no one waiting to speak with him.

The church, while full of visitors that day, felt dead. They had a special push to bring visitors to hear the guest speaker. I think there were 20 or more visitors for that service, but none of us were made to feel welcome by the church as a whole. I would hope that those who brought friends did a better job in thanking their friends for being there.

Of course I don’t expect that church to visit in my home since I live about 10 hours away, but I doubt they would have visited if I lived 2 blocks away. It just seemed like they were not interested in adding anyone new to their congregation.

I spoke with a friend who had also visited in that church and he felt the same thing.

Two churches, two very different atmospheres. What are you and your church doing to make visitors feel like they are welcome?