Open Line Friday: Grandmas, Honesty and Jobs

November 13, 2009

Open Line Friday! The experiment begins today. I let you decide what I’ll talk about! I got some crazy good responses to my request for topics to talk about today. I’m covering a few today. Some I’m saving for another Friday, and one or two, I just knew I’d have to write a full blown post on them.

Thank you to everyone who responded. If you don’t see your name here today, you just might on another day! Be sure to keep the ideas flowing to me!

Rhode Island Alissa: What’s a crazy thing that’s happened to you in your work place? From working in a mall selling pet hermit crabs at a kiosk to working in a call center for a culinary school where 75 year old men call and ask how to peel an egg for their sandwich, I cant be the only one out there with ridiculous work stories. No, you aren’t the only one with ridiculous work stories.

Let’s see. I met a hooker face to face for the first time while delivering phone books one summer. I have been an off and on freelance graphic designer. One of my most memorable projects was for a women’s retreat, inviting attendees to “escape into Jesus’ alluring love” (i.e. pretending to be on a romantic Sicilian vacation, filled with sensual delights…with Jesus.) It was not my best project, mainly because I kept projectile vomiting onto my computer in disgust. But honestly, the job I have now (besides pastoring) is teaching special education, and it is the craziest, most challenging, educational job I’ve ever had.

Lots of people have better stories than me. There’s a website that’s part of my morning routine that’s full of head-slapping work stories: Not Always Right.

[email protected]: I wrote about a sermon my pastor gave on my blog about a month ago. And then I had a post-blog panic. I ended up backpedaling in an apology to my pastor, who was incredibly gracious, in a subsequent post the next day. Do you ever get the post-blog panic?

Not panic, but always anxiety. I’m always anxious to get the first couple of comments rolling in on a post, so I can see if something’s going to go over well or not. Not that I plan to retract my words if I’m misunderstood. I’ve only gone back and retracted one sentence of this entire blog. That said, I don’t believe I’ve ever implicated personal acquaintances, so I don’t really worry about hurt feelings.

Frankly, I read your criticism of the sermon, and it sounded legit to me. I’m way tougher on my pastor, and my pastor is…me!

Laura Robins: Is it just me, or maybe just in good old England, but does anyone else have “Christian O’Clock”? If in doubt about what time any kind of evening Christian event is happening, guess on half seven and you’ll never be wrong.

There’s got to be some kind of internal Christian clock, although I think yours is a wee bit cockneyed, probably since you’re on Greenwich Mean Time. Anyway, the Christian clock must be another gift of the Holy Spirit. However, my old church wasn’t Pentecostal, so our internal clocks were still bound in the flesh, and our youth group met on Tuesday instead of the universally agreed upon Wednesday night.

However, I am sanctified enough to have recieved a revelation from God on the holiest time for Sunday morning worship:

8:00: Ungodly.
Sunrise: Only on Easter, and there better be pancakes.
8:30: Why? Unless you are so old that your life expectancy is literally until 9:30, there is no cause for this.
9:00: That’s breakfast time, not church time.
9:30: The absolute worst. Too late to be early, too early to be normal. If you have church at this time, God will not be there.
10:00: Maybe if you’re Catholic and don’t want to miss the lunch buffet.
10:15: Why the odd time? Was everyone just showing up 15 minutes late to miss the praise medley anyway?
10:30: The perfect, most godly time for church.
10:45: You’ve lost me. You are doomed to stand in horrendous lines at the lunch buffet afterward. Plan on skipping lunch altogether if you have an altar call.

Joel Walkley: A lot of church’s advertising campaigns use the line “This ain’t your grandma’s church.” I ask “Why ain’t this grandma’s church, and what is with hating on grandma?”

You make a good point. grandmas have lots of positive aspects, including always being glad to see you, homemade food, cheek pinching, and always believing that the sermon that was just given was the best she’s ever heard.

The down side of grandmas in church generally seems to be awful fake plants decorating the place and perfume wafting around that came from the same store as the fake plants. You get too many grandmas hanging out in one place, and it starts to look and smell like a Hobby Lobby, which is no good. And that’s what churches think is important to emphasize about themselves. We have real plants, and everyone wears Axe body spray.

Brett Barner: Is honesty always the best policy? There are lots of questions that seem a little white lie would be a better answer than the truth. “Do I look fat?” “How awesome is my brother’s Christian punk rock band?” “What do you think of the shepherd’s pie I made for potluck?”

Absolutely, honesty is not always the best policy, in the sense that you should not tell the whole truth. Pastors have to master the art of not telling the whole truth when the truth would only serve to hurt someone for no good reason. I learned from the best. My dad, a pastor, in his bachelor years was given a homemade chocolate nativity set by a female admirer in the church. Was it tacky, distasteful and creepy? Yes, yes, yes. Did he tell her that? No, he kept it in a box, unable to bring himself to melt baby Jesus down to make Christmas candy, until my mother unearthed it and irreverently threw it away.

That’s it for this week! What say you? What’s the perfect time for church? What’s your best work story? Is honesty the best policy? Be sure to submit your ideas for the next Open Line Friday! Either send a comment, or an email to [email protected].