When you’re setting up your children’s ministry rooms early on Sunday morning, the last thing you expect to hear is a rooster.  A real, live rooster.  Up close they don’t make a cock-a-doodle-doo sound.  They sound more a woman shrieking.

For five years I worked at a church in Indianapolis that met in a gym.   We had classrooms all around the perimeter and a kitchen right next to the stage.  My children’s worship room was in the very back so it didn’t matter much if we got a little noisy.

Every Sunday morning, I would show up at the crack of dawn to make sure my room was set for the kids.  We had a tiny stage in the corner with a free-standing folding screen to give us a small backstage area.

At that time of day there weren’t many people around.  The church was as quiet as a graveyard, except for the morning I got attacked by the rooster.

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Tuning Into the God Dish

dishDo you remember when people had satellite dishes the size of a circus tent?  They were enormous.  They were expensive.  Back in the day, however, if you lived in the country, they were your only ticket to TV and lots of it.

At my house we had a trusty old antenna that pulled in at least two whole channels, NBC and CBS.  On a good day we might be able to tune into ABC, although it was usually fuzzier than a peach.  On a really, really good day we could pull in the elusive 41, which is now FOX.  Back when it was an independent station, 41 was TV gold because they played cartoons and Gilligan’s Island reruns.

But, like I said, with our antenna we only got UHF stations on rare occasions, like if the skies were clear and Saturn and Neptune were aligned.  It was very hard to predict.  Even with NBC and CBS, though, you’d still have to make someone go outside and turn the antenna just to fine-tune the reception.

For all you youngsters who grew up on cable and Direct-TV, an antenna is a tall, aluminum lightning rod we used to strap to our houses to get TV reception.  You got better reception on different channels depending on which direction you turned the antenna.

This was a two man job.  One person would go outside and rotate the antenna while their co-pilot would stand by the TV and yell a steady stream of commands out the window like, “A little more, a little more, GO BACK, GO BACK, GO BACK!  Too far.  TOO FAR!”  Meanwhile the poor antenna turner was either freezing to death in the winter or, in the summer, getting stung by the wasps who like to build nests by our back porch.

By the time we actually got the station tuned in, the show was either already over or we forgot what we wanted to watch in the first place.

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Midlife Crisis


I’m having a midlife crisis about having a midlife crisis.  Here I am more than a year into my forties and I haven’t even gotten started.  That’s assuming I live to be eighty.  If I only make it to sixty, then midlife started ten years ago.  I am so behind already.

My biggest problem is that none of the traditional midlife crisis strategies work for me.  The classic guy having a midlife crisis gets a girlfriend, a sports car, maybe a bad boy tattoo or piercing, works out like crazy and starts dressing like a teen-ager.

Okay for starters, I already have a girlfriend.  I married her seventeen years ago and I’m crazy in love with her.  So that’s out.  I can’t afford a sports car, although I did just buy a used minivan.  Does that count?  Tattoos and piercings are no good either.  I have a thing about needles.  As far as working out goes, I’m pretty good at bench pressing Krispy Kremes, which also means that skinny jeans and other form-fitting teen styles are out of the question.

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