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Showing posts from 2015

Advanced Planning Gone Right

Sometimes coincidence is just not a comprehensive enough word.

The date was November 30th and it was time to start planning worship sets for the month of December. As a worship planner it is a little difficult to not just use "Hark the Herald," "Joy to the World," and "O Come All Ye Faithful" every week. They're great songs, upbeat, and in 4/4 so you can add a drum backing to them or mash them up with another song pretty easily. But not wanting to sing those same songs 4 weeks in a row, I was spacing them out evenly with some other Christmas tunes and worship songs.

I had this great idea to take "O Come All Ye Faithful" and combine it with "Come As You Are". The idea of beckoning both the faithful and unfaithful to come and adore Him seemed like a great concept. Come out of bondage from wherever you've been and come all ye joyful and triumphant--it was a song mashup destined to communicate to everyone in attendance that Sunday.…

Fun Authenticates Forgiveness

“Fun authenticates forgiveness.” While I have always been drawn to comedy I had never considered the value of fun and humor until I heard this phrase at the Orange Tour in Indianapolis last weekend. The speaker was Reggie Joiner and he was saying that one of the most theologically profound things that we can teach our youth and adults both, is to have fun together. “Now Daniel,” you may interject, “having fun is not a theologically significant thing at all.” But I would insert that you are wrong. As Reggie had to clarify, you can’t have fun with someone you hate; you can’t have fun with someone you are still angry with for enforcing punishment; indeed, you can’t have fun with someone you don’t even enjoy. When  I discipline Isaiah there is a moment where he will not be pleased with me very much, but he needs to know that I have forgiven him for the offense and that we are on good terms again, even though I had to punish him. How do I reassure him that we are on good terms? Have fun w…

My first (three) time(s) riding the Banshee

Last Friday I was asked to be in a photo shoot for Kings Island here in Cincinnati. I was told that I was being cast as a dad and that I would be in some shots as a family unit. I guess I was expecting nothing more than walking around the park in front of rides or certain features that they wanted to highlight. Maybe by photo shoot, they actually meant video, but I opted to take them at their word. I was told to bring 3 changes of clothes including some shorts and sneakers, so I showed up a few minutes early just in case they needed me to change before the first shoot.

When I got there I was surprised to see many other actors show up: from kids to students to Great Wolf Lodge kitchen chefs. We were all corralled over to a picnic area by some of the newest and fiercest rides at Kings Island.

Right at 9:30 a bald-headed gentleman walks up and asks for everyone involved in the photo shoot to follow him. Mind you, the kids (and their actual parents) stayed behind, so I thought that maybe …

the messy business of hospitality and gift cards...

Amazon marketplace is a wonderful place. You can buy virtually anything you can think of from there with frequent perks of free shipping and next day delivery. It's beautiful.

Katie was given a very generous $100 gift card to Amazon for her birthday not too long ago. She stashed it away with all the other gift cards we get--behind the Kitchen Aid mixer in a small plastic bag. It's where gift cards go to rest until we are ready to use them; a logical decision to keep your wallet from becoming a brick-sized leather lump to rest your buns upon.

Katie has been looking at different things she wanted to get with this gift money and putting them in her shopping cart until she had the full dollar amount, figuring she would pay for it all at once. Well just about a week ago Katie was finally ready to check out and make her purchases. Except...the gift card wasn't in the baggy. She asked me if I had recently used it or misplaced it and I assured her that I hadn't seen it or touc…

My friend the polar bear...

I really have no clue what brought this on other than feeling the need to post something again.

My friend the polar bear
is big and white and warm
But don't be too deceived
as he can really do you harm

His jaw is full of iron teeth
his paw hides claws of steel
His muscles buried behind his fur
are oh-so-strong and real

But loving is his graceful gaze
(not to be seen up close)
And handsome is the velvet black
that rests upon his nose

His woolly coat that seems so white
reflects the light surrounding
Translucent tubes of folicals
that warm and dry while swimming

So if you get a chance to meet
my friend the polar bear
Please give a smile, wave, and nod
and keep your distance--please beware.

Missing the Point...

The Supreme Court is currently ruling on whether it is right to allow same-sex relationships the right to apply for marriage licenses that are recognized by the State. There is much hoopla surrounding this event but I am more and more and more convinced that we are missing the point.

As a Christian, I have no alternative interpretation of the Bible to land on than to acknowledge that homosexuality is wrong. This is made pretty clear in both the Old and New Testaments.

As a Christian, I also believe that every human was designed to have equal rights (recognizing that sometimes rights are stripped away based on poor behavior--i.e. prison) and that no human should be treated unequally from another.

As an American, I believe that gay rights should totally be a thing; that health care and hospital rights and birth certificates and bank accounts can all be shared with anyone you choose to claim as your beloved--particularly if that beloved is a fully capable adult whose feelings are mutual …

A Season makes all the difference

As I write this, the temperature outside is a balmy 62 degrees. Somewhere between comfortable weather in a jacket and short sleeves. Definitely great weather for being outside. In fact, I don't even dread the idea of cutting grass, vacuuming out the car, or hauling firewood around the yard.

Last night was our first church softball game of the year and the weather was just about perfect. As the weather continues to be consistently nice, I hope to spend more time outside taking walks with the family, going on adventures with friends, and playing various sports throughout the summer.

I have been training for the Flying Pig marathon over the winter and generally speaking, have not looked forward to any of the runs. While I am supposed to be training 4-6 days a week, I usually was only making it outside for 2 or 3 runs a week. These past couple weeks however, I have found myself looking forward to heading outside for my runs because the weather is so nice. So today, even though I have …

Opening Day Intensity

The Cincinnati Reds just celebrated their 134th opening day game. A city-wide celebration preempted the event with the build up and anticipation leading to the first pitch by right-hander Johnny Cueto. It was a close game in which the Reds pulled ahead with a Todd Frazier 3-run homer to put the Reds ahead 5-2 and that would be the final score after Aroldis Chapman came in to blow down the Pirates in the top of the ninth, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.

I had the privilege of attending Opening Day two years ago when the Reds played the Angels. Nearly every moment in the ballpark was filled with 100+db levels as the crowd got worked up about the slightest offensive rally.

Yes, nothing beats the hype and buzz of opening day.
It's a new year. There are no complaints by fans on the Banana phone. There are no injuries to players. No missed opportunities. Just lots of hope and prospect for the coming year, as if the outcome of this game would determine the fate of the rest of t…

Changed: The Musical

Experience a musical rendition of how the life of John was changed after encountering Jesus for 3 years. See how a Son of Thunder became the Apostle of Love. Come to this totally free event at Parkside Christian Church on April 2nd at 6:30p to see and hear Daniel Read and Ken E. Read present "Changed: The Musical"
6:30pm in the Worship Center  Parkside Christian Church 6986 Salem Rd. Cin., OH 45230

Vagabond Security

A few months before the twins were born I was confronted by a young couple who wandered into the church looking for some financial assistance. Since I didn't have any money on me at the time, I gave them my number and suggested that they come by my house the next day and I could put them to work helping me paint the shed in my backyard and I would pay them for their time--a win-win.

I was legitimately surprised to hear the phone ring the next morning and the voice on the other end report that they were walking this way from the place they were staying at, Picadilly, about 8 miles away. They arrived around lunch time, so Katie and I fed them some PB&J sandwiches before putting them to work. We made great time and transformed a rather shabby looking yellow shed into a nice little red barn in my backyard.

While we were painting together, I was quizzing the young couple about their lives: their hobbies, previous jobs, how they ended up in the homeless bind they were in, etc. The g…

Borderline Blasphemy

As I was listening to the radio on my way home today I heard the song "God's Not Dead (Roaring Like a Lion)" by the Newsboys. The song reminded me of two things.

The first was that I recently heard that one of the founders of the Newsboys has come out and said that he is an atheist. He had left the band in 1990 and professed atheism in 2007, so this is not flashy news by any means, but still...

The second was the movie "God's Not Dead", which featured this song at the end of the film, along with the band backstage. I was reminded of some of the atheist friends I have who disbelieve that God is real or could be real.

And I realized that I, too, feel like God is not real sometimes.
In fact, usually I feel this way.

It is the rare instances in which I feel like God is real, that He is present, or that He is speaking to me.
But I don't think that this is because God isn't real, that He isn't present, or that He isn't speaking to me. I think it&#…

Salute to Terrible Ideas

An ode to the horrendous idea of buying my Dodge Grand Caravan.

It was about this time last year that I gratefully parted ways with my '96 Dodge Grand Caravan. But Daniel, you may ask, how did you come to buy a minivan? I didn't know you ever had one to begin with!

Well, faithful reader, that is because it all happened so quickly.
The month was November and Katie and I had just learned that we were pregnant again. I knew the MooMobile wouldn't last forever, nor would it be practical upon the introduction of a 4th member of the family (since it only seated 3). What would be a good replacement vehicle for me to both enable me to carry cargo and also a bigger family? Why, a minivan of course!

I set about trolling Craigslist and Ebay looking for price ranges and any good bargain cars out there. It definitely seemed like a minivan would be the cost efficient route, as opposed to an SUV so I kept my eyes peeled for minivan deals. That's when I stumbled across fasttrackauctio…

Calling vs Volunteering

I spent this past fall volunteering at Mt Washington elementary school to put together a K-6th grade choir. Not only was the wide age range a terrible idea, but the kids were very ill-mannered and disrespectful to one another and myself. Needless to say we accomplished little to nothing every class period.

After the first two weeks I began to dread going back there. I began to think of ways to get out of teaching the class like: What if I don't show up? What if I am too demanding and the kids want me to leave? What if I do such a bad job teaching that the school asks me to resign? What's the worst that could happen--I don't get paid?! I'm already not getting paid! It would make my life easier to have that hour free each afternoon!!

But I learned at least one very valuable lesson: volunteers need to be treated with all the gratitude you can muster. There are going to be one of two reasons to volunteer for something: 1) You receive enjoyment out of volunteering and that …