Saturday, December 20, 2008

Drunken realtor

Okay, so now you get to hear another hysterical "only in Germany" story...

Our current house is nice, but way too small for our family, so we've started looking for another one.  If you've followed this blog, you know of all the troubles in finding a house down here in the southern Black Forest.

We had an appointment with the realtor and homeowner of a house we're interested in yesterday.  We showed up at the appointed time (10:30am) and were met by the owner.  He explained that his realtor had called a few minutes earlier and said he had way too much to drink at a Christmas party the night before and still had a hangover, so he wouldn't be joining us... and it's not even the weekend!

It actually worked out great for us, since we had a long time to talk with the landlord by ourselves.  But it seemed extremely unprofessional to my American mind.  I am amazed at how comfortable this culture is with such things.

Anyway, there you have it... only in Germany!


(PS. We'll keep you updated on the house hunt.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Chicken Dance

And now for something pathetic!  Emma is giving a presentation for her 3rd grade class on Texas (most of them are Americans that have lived overseas for many years).  It's kind of funny because they were supposed to give a presentation on a country... Emma chose Texas!

Anyway, with Robin's encouragement, she asked if I would play the Chicken Dance song on the guitar for her class so she could teach them the dance.  I hate country music!  Robin may have to pay for this one... I'm not sure yet :-)

Anyway, it should be hysterical.  And I'm quite glad none of you are here to see it!  Did I mention that I hate country music???

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Purpose of Christmas

I wrote an article entitled The Purpose of Christmas a few years ago... and thought you might enjoy it.  Here's a little teaser...

I gave in. What was I thinking? My wife asked (begged) me to go shopping with her on the day after Thanksgiving.  My answer?  Ok, sure.  What was I thinking?!?!  I hate shopping!  Even worse, I had agreed to go with her on the busiest shopping day of the year.  The only reason I can come up with is that if she went, I would be at home alone with all three kids ALL DAY LONG!  Oh well…

What I experienced last Friday was UGLY!  People were pushing, adults were fighting over toys & parking spaces (we saw two guys almost get in a fist fight over a parking space), and sales people were rude.  Honestly, it wasn’t all bad.  There were some people that seemed to have some perspective, but not many we ran into.

A bright spot in our day was when we were seated in a restaurant next to a new mom & her baby.  It just so happened that since our sitter was kind of young, we had our baby with us too.  She and Robin struck up a conversation and it wasn’t long before our conversation turned to spiritual things.  She was feeling guilty and alone (as an unwed mother).  We were able to share about Christ’s love and we invited her to visit our church.  It was a total God-ordained appointment.

Anyway, the whole consumer-driven, commercialized theme of the holiday shopping rush always seems to frustrate me.  I keep asking myself, “Don’t they get it?”  I mean… do they really think that’s what Christmas is all about?  If we look at the Christmas story from its original source, the Bible, we can determine the true meaning of Christmas.  Let’s look at it.  There are two biblical accounts to look at, Matthew 1:18-2:19 and Luke 1:5-2:40.

To read it online, click here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Leadership Podcast Uploaded

This podcast is from a Youth Leader's Seminar I taught in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany recently.  Although it primarily applies to youth leaders, the principles taught will benefit anyone in church or ministry leadership.  Check it out on our Podcast page at: