Category Archives: Ramblings of a Lazy Guy

These are just the ramblings of a lazy guy

Mini Golf, Go-karts and airsoft… ahhhhhh.

Good stuff this weekend. My sister and nephew visited us Thursday-Saturday.

Friday night we went to the local Craig’s Cruisers, a family-fun center with video games, mini-golf, and go-karts. It was all fun ‘n games till my sister told me the score. I was in SECOND place… the competitive nature in me took over and it was all about the win after that. Alas, there would be no victory dance in Paul-land.

Ruth scored 4 or more hole-in-ones that night… and they were the most ridiculous hole-in-ones I’ve ever seen. One of them, the ball passed over the cup 3 times before turning back toward the cup, missing it, and doing a hairpin turn before sinking in… this is stuff you’d expect to see in an old 50’s comedy like Abbott and Costello or Three Stooges.

Another shot she took, she hit it way too hard and it bounced off a wall, defying all laws of geometry. She hit the wall parallel, but the ball bounced as though she’d hit it perpendicular: the ball ended up bouncing backwards… directly toward the cup. Hole in one.

I stood there shocked, mouth-open, as she danced, skipped, and squeaked over to pick her ball out of the hole.

In the end, she ended up beating me 41 to 42. …one lousy stroke. I was glad she won. She never wins.

…off we went to the go-karts.

My nephew ran past me toward the go-karts and yelled as he was 10 feet in front of me, “RACE YA TO THE GO-KARTS!” As usual, I was in a race with my nephew and lost before I even knew I was racing.

I haven’t done much go-kart racing, but after doing a few laps in those little cars, I realized why people like doing that. I applied all racing knowledge and physics that I’d learned from playing racing video games and found that I’m actually pretty good behind the wheel. There was one other guy there who was a pretty good racer too.

The rule at the course is, “no bumping or reckless driving.” I tried very hard not to bump other cars, but quickly realized that they had no intention of showing me the same courtesy; an irritating thing to deal with until I realized I could use it to my advantage and ended up passing people I was previously afraid of bumping, knowing that I was not in the wrong if THEY bumped ME.

Friday rolled into Saturday which was a pretty relaxing day. The weather was beautiful and Natalie and I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up some new books.

She got a mystery novel, and I got the full complete collection of one of the newer Spiderman comic series in hard-back. I’d seen it before on the shelves but didn’t like the price tag. Saturday, it was 30% off. This is the picture of a happy guy.

Sunday afternoon, we went to our friends’ house for lunch. My buddy, Fred (Pootie), noticed that some kids were playing airsoft in the back-woods. Natalie was tired, so I took her back to our place, grabbed my gear and went back out to their house.

Fred stepped out of the car wearing my shoulder-holster and his airsoft full-face mask. The kids took one look at him and said, “Dude! We’re not playing with you! You look like a professional.”

…then they saw me.

High boots with camo pants, a drop-leg holster boasting a M93r full-auto gas pistol. “No fear” was all over me as I stepped toward them wearing nothing up top but a thin black t-shirt, as if to say, “your meager skills and weapons are of no concern to me. I will break you.” (Usually, you wear heavy clothes when playing airsoft so as not to take too many painful hits that will leave welts…)

As if that wasn’t enough, I popped the trunk and pulled out of my gun case my full-metal MP5, complete with tac light and laser-sight (both of which are completely useless in the middle of the afternoon, but dramatically increase the intimidation-factor).

As it turned out in the first few skirmishes, I met their expectations. I “killed” all 4 of them within the first one or two minutes of each skirmish.

At that point, I decided it was time to come down to their level, so I swapped out for some weaker guns, and we played some elimination and bomb-disposal rounds until one of them cracked the slide on my Tokyo Marui pistol. They needed to be punished. So I pulled my MP5 back out and punished them.

In the end, everyone had a great time. I was taken out by a well-laid sneak attack by Fred, and again in the last skirmish by one of the guy’s little 8-year old brother.

He was a pudgey little guy with a bright yellow t-shirt, scared to death of getting shot… but he had guts. The others were lying in wait under cover. I figured the little guy would stay where he was, but he lept out and rushed me. I saw and heard him coming, but didn’t have the heart to shoot him from 3 or 4 feet away so I let him take his best shot while I blind-fired at the ground toward him.

I never felt it hit me, but he said he got me. So, with no questions asked, I called myself out.

He also took a hit. One of my shots, riccochet off the ground and hit him in the knee. I could see it hurt, and I felt terrible, but he was a tough kid and he laughed it off as he limped back to the safe-zone.

I’d keep my eye on that one. He’ll make a good ally someday.

Gummy bread

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month. As is the custom for many churches on the first Sunday of the month, our church partakes in a communion service following the sermon.

An interesting, yet familiar, thing happened yesterday while we were in the middle of taking communion. About 10 minutes prior to it, I had popped a piece of gum in my mouth, forgetting that we were about to participate in this custom of remembrance.

Have you ever done that?

So they’re passing the bread, and I”m enjoying this delicious piece of gum that hasn’t lost its flavor yet, thinking to myself, “what am I going to do with my gum?”

Now, a reverent and responsible person would have probably just spit it out, but that thought never entered my mind, seeing as I’m probably more lazy than responsible.

The time comes when it’s time to partake of the bread, which signifies the broken body of my savior and Lord, a thought that is still fresh in my mind from having just celebrated Easter… but here I am, concentrating on this stupid peice of gum.

I put the bread in my mouth. On the left side is my gum, and carefully, I chew the bread on my right side, so as not to allow the two to fraternize with one another.

As I was chewing, remembering my Christ’s sacrifice, it dawned on me that much of my life is like the parable of the gum and the bread.

Much of my life is kept completely and carefully seperated from those things that are spiritual, knowing that to mix the two would result in something ugly and repulsive. Rather than discard the things that don’t mix, I tediously try to keep them separate in my life or make them fit so that I can keep them.

I “chewed on that” for a while until the juice came around. Again, my thought was, “how bad will this juice make my gum taste?”

I lodged the gum between my tongue and a tooth and took the juice. Ironic.ally, as I drank the juice, I accidentally swallowed my gum.

Another thought came to me: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” – Matthew 6:24

In times past, I’ve had candy or gum in my mouth when it was time for communion. Those other times I was able to skillfully endure the ceremony and keep my delicious treat all the way through to the end, triumphant in my feat and rewarded in the end with a temporary goodie.

This time the experience was a bit different. This time I had a look into myself and saw myself on both sides of the mirror staring at each other… Hopefully I won’t go away and immediately forget what I look like.

Hide ‘n Seek

I was playing Hide ‘n Seek with my 5-year-old nephew, Matthew, this weekend.

You have to understand something about him. He plays by his own rules and those rules generally are skewed ridiculously in his favor.

So this time, I explained the rules to him: I had him count to 50 (count to 10 five times), and then come find me. When it was his turn to hide, he had to stay hidden until I found him or come out when I called him.

This game went on for a while, and we were both enjoying it. I found some really good hiding places, and he had quite a difficult time finding me.

His hiding places were rather funny. Once he hid under the blanket on our bed. I found him immediately, but “pretended” not to know where he was. So I’m walking around the room “wondering” where Matthew is, and he’s giggling like crazy under the blankets thinking, “uncle Paul is soooo unobservant.”

Eventually, I find him, and he’s all sweaty, hair matted, with a huge smile on his face.

“Ok, I’ll count five times, and you go hide now, Uncle Paul!”

We did this routine a few times. Twice he hid under the covers on our bed, once under the futon with his butt stucking out of the bottom, once in the closet where I had previously hid, and once under the desk where his gramma was working on the computer.

At one point in the game, I was hiding. I thought it’d be funny to hide as out in the open as possible, so I hid in the guest-room, where the toy chest is. There was a jacket hanging on the door, so I just put the jacket over my face, stood there in plain sight, and tucked my feet behind a couple of boxes.

I heard Matthew run around for a while and then he came in the room. I figured he’d find me almost immediately until I heard him digging through the toy chest, getting out some legos. Then I heard him sit down and start playing with legos. I peekd out from under the coat and looked at him, his back to me. I snuck out from my hiding place and hovered over him, but he was completely engaged in whatever he was building.

“What’re you DOING,” I asked.

“I got tired of playing that,” he replied, as he continued playing with his little plastic blocks.

Here we were, heavily engaged in something, enjoying the company of one another, and instantly he was side-tracked and disconnected from me.

On top of that, when I prodded, his response was completely self-absorbed.

I walked away, shaking my head, thinking to myself, “you are soooo five” and then stopped in the middle of the hallway as it dawned on me that I am constantly exhibiting that kind of behavior with God. It was humbling and comforting to think that He never shakes His head and walks away, wishing we would hurry up and mature.

“What’re you building,” I asked as I returned to the room, eager to reconnect.

Tired

Last night when I got home, we watched some TV, had dinner, and I went on to do some work for a couple of hours.

I just recently got the Spiderman 2 game for Xbox and have been all excited about it without much time to put into it. It’s one of those addictive games that once you play for a few minutes, you’re hooked for a good hour or more.

…so I finish my work around 11pm and think, “well, maybe I’ll play some Spidey 2 for 20 minutes or so.” …you can see where I’m going with this. Around 1:30, I’m bleary-eyed and my throat hurts and I’m tearing myself away to go to bed because tomorrow’s a work-day.

7:30 comes around and my body is protesting, as are my wife and cat who don’t REALLY go to sleep until I do… because somehow our sleeping patterns are all tied together.

Needless to say, I’m pretty tired today. This is not a new condition for me, having stayed up too late, playing video games. Maybe not new, but also not recent. I haven’t played video games late into the night in about 6 months… about the last time I played Rainbow Six online.

…tonight I have more work to do. …I also just goto Otto Octavius’ house last night… They say “stupidity” is knowing what the right thing is to do and doing the opposite. I wonder what time I’ll go to bed tonight?

On track in the new timeline

This past weekend has been a whirlwind of activity.

Last Thursday, my inlaws (brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and three of their friends) came to visit. We had a VERY full house. The kids came, we played games, went out for airsoft, ate and ate and ate, watched movies, and enjoyed one anothers’ company. It was a great time.

They left Saturday morning, and both Natalie and I were sad to see them go, but immediately began cleaning as quickly as possible for the next incoming guests who arrived about a half-hour later: my parents.

That evening, my friend Nathan, my sister and nephew came over for Easter dinner (on a Saturday night).

Natalie has always thought it odd that we have ham on Easter, and decided to try something a little more appropriate to the holiday: lamb. It was incredible to say the least.

Natalie had requested that I prepare something to share for Easter, but I found myself really struggling to come up with an appropriate ending to the study I had put together: “The Last Adam.”

I wanted to address the question, “What is the significance of Christ’s ressurection?” He rose from the dead. So what?

I came upon this verse in 1 Corinthians 15:45:
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a lifegiving spirit.

What does “The Last Adam” mean? I mean, we can logically approach it and say, “last” signifies that there won’t be any more… but why “Adam?”

I came to the following conclusion: The first Adam was the beginning of a new creation and begins a line of history that is finite, cursed and that will eventually come to an end. Christ, at the point of the resurrection, begins a whole new line of history; eternal and blessed.

So what?

2 Corinthians 5:17

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

“if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” – In the original greek, the words used for “new creation” are: Kalinos Ktisis. Literally, the verse is saying, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new thing created of a new kind”

The new creation doesn’t begin when you’re born again; it begins at the resurrection of Jesus. The moment you’re born again is the moment your eyes are open to see the new creation and become part of it… that is to say, once we accept Him, we come on track in the new timeline. All of this is made available to us due to His resurrection.

So what? Where do go from here? We’re on the road, but where are we headed and how do we stay focused on the goal?

I think that can be summarized in the presentation of the Bema.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.