We knew we would have lines at the North Pole event this year and we wanted to dramatically improve our performance over last year. We had lots of meetings about line management. We made new queues, designed new pathways and made clearer exits. We added content to every waiting area. In the “Christmas Around the World” line, people saw flags from around the world and a slide show of mission projects. In the “Reindeer line” people watched two fun Christmas shorts.
I’ve spent the week getting the nativity scenes ready to transport to church. I have boxes of them. Some of the boxes are in tatters and I am in the process of replacing all of them with sturdy, well-designed cases that protect the delicate characters. Although it is a bit of work, I love getting out each set and looking at the faces. It never ceases to amaze me how differently the artists interpret the “look” of Jesus.
I am a sucker for Serial. I’m not talking about the cereal one might have for breakfast, but for the new podcast. It is topping out the charts and is totally engrossing. It’s a true story. Each Thursday a new chapter of the story is released. I download it and listen to it ASAP. Then I want to find people to talk to about the mystery.
On Sunday night, I gathered with some other church leaders in Waco and began a process that I hope will help extract the church from a no-win situation. We are attempting to get ministers to stop signing marriage licenses issued by the state. I have come to the conclusion that the church and the state have come to a parting of the ways.
I’m headed to Africa in a couple of days. This information has been met with numerous different responses.
1. Some people are afraid for me and afraid of me. They think it is at least irrational and at most pathological to be headed to Africa in an Ebola crisis, to which I have developed the following response. By going to Ethiopia, I will be moving farther away from Ebola than I am now. I will be over 4,000 miles away from the Ebola outbreak when I am in Addis Ababa. The distance between Ethiopia and Ebola is greater than the distance between Athens and Norway or Athens and Anchorage or Athens and Paraguay. The fact that it was in Dallas did not keep me from traveling there.
I pulled into the parking lot and saw the bright gleaming chrome and the bright red paint indicating a fire truck was at the church. My heart skipped. This is never how you want to start a day. I could not see anything but the tops of the trucks, so I was uncertain if the firemen were deployed.
I was confused and I made several assumptions which has led me to a series of improbable events.
First, I thought that I was going to sing a song in a variety show raising money for the Athens Theater. That sounded like fun and I was glad to participate. I thought I was going to sing a song from the Sound of Music, which would be fun to reprise the role. Then, I found out that it was not a single night, but multiple performances. I checked my schedule and, oddly, had off every night of the performances. It sounded like fun. Then, I contacted Carol Wilson to see if she would come back from Abilene to sing with us. She said, “Yes!”
I have never been very interested in Ireland. I have
traveled extensively in the UK and Europe, but never had much of a desire to go to Ireland. It seemed like a J.V. version of England. It also seemed like a cranky place with bombs and stone throwing people on the street corners.
We came up to the sign and scratched our heads. It is clearly a warning and it needed to be heeded, but was it necessary? The sign was about twenty feet away from the cliffs of Moher. The reason that any person comes to this spot is to look over the cliffs. The entry gate is labeled with the word, ‘cliff.’ Before a person can get to the warning sign, they go right past the huge Visitor Center describing the cliffs.
I had such great plans for today. I had been fighting a cough and lung junk, which meant I’d been skipping my workout to get more rest. Also, because I swim and that is at cross purposes with coordinating breathing and swimming. This morning, I felt great. I got up early, I had my swimming headphones charged and ready. I bounded out of the house and scooted down the street toward the Cain Center.