Friday, September 26, 2008

Post for Leah =) (and everyone else too)

This post is for my sister-in-the-family (my sister-in-law's sister) who wanted me to explain the game Body Body a little more detailed.

First, take a deck of cards and pull out two kings. Then add enough cards (numbers 2-9) to the two kings so everyone in the group can get one. (example - for 12 people playing, use 2 kings and 10 non-face cards.)

Mix up the stack and pass out the cards secretly to everyone. Everyone looks at their card, and the people who got the kings become the mafia - everyone else are townspeople.

For the mafia to find each other, everyone closes their eyes. Then someone announces, "mafia look up and find each other." The two mafia members open their eyes and look around until they find each other. The announcer says, "Mafia go back to sleep" (mafia close their eyes) "Ok, everyone wake up"

Now all 12 people leave the lit room and go into the dark rest of the house. The first job of the townspeople is to stay alive. They move around the house and try to pay attention to who seems to be sneaky and alone in rooms (clues to who might be the members of the mafia).

Meanwhile, the mafia is trying to kill everyone off. They kill people by sneaking up behind them and pinching their shoulder. If you get pinched you have to collapse right where you are. However, the mafia has the option to pinch your shoulder and hold on to you to move you to where they want to dump your body (a bath tub or couch are discrete places to hide a body in the dark).

As soon as someone finds a body they scream "BODY BODY" and everyone flips the lights on.
All the people who are alive gather to debate who the killer is. This is where the mafia must become good liars. "It wasn't me! I was with Jane in the kitchen!" "No! I saw you running down the hall away from this body!" etc.

The killer is voted on, and the person with the most votes is sent away (back to the only lit room in the house). Along with the accused, the dead bodies can go with them to the lit room. However, only those dead bodies that have been found can go, hidden ones have to stay hidden.

Once they have left, play continues.

The mafia wins if they kill off all of the townspeople. The townspeople win if they are able to catch the mafia before they kill everyone.

A couple random rules
1) People can't hide by lying down (or they will be assumed to be dead and it screws up the game)
2) The mafia can kill as many people at a time as they want. If 6 people are standing in a row, they can run by and pinch everyone before anyone can yell Body Body (this is why townspeople need to separate and keep moving).
3) Someone has to touch a body before they can yell "Body Body." Even if they see a murder they have to reach the body in order to call "Body Body," which means they may have to run to avoid getting killed by the mafia first.

This game can be varied with more or less mafia depending on how many people are playing.

I hope this explains it well enough Leah!

Happy mafia playing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mm.... Syrup....

Tonight, this bottle is not my friend. It was one of the dumbest things I've ever done.

If you've never worked with middle schoolers, you may not realize what earns their respect. Being smart or a good speaker doesn't do it. You have to make a fool of yourself. You have to swallow your pride, stop acting like an adult, and prove you're willing to do any of the ridiculous, stupid, absurd things they want to do.

So tonight, after months of making up stupid gross games for our middle schoolers to play - they made up one for us.

I chugged a bottle of maple syrup.

Ok, I only got in about 2/3rds of a bottle before Billy (one of the other leaders) finished his.
But that means in less than a minute I drank 8 servings of syurp - nearly 2000 calories.

And after taking cheers from the crowd of middle schoolers and earning their respect... I proceeded to throw up 4 times in the next 2 hours.

I love Jesus, and I love middle schoolers =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Pride is a Weed.

Our house has a small bed of flowers that our landlord planted earlier this year, and it is our job to do the basic maintenance. I am not a gardener. I do not, nor will I probably ever profess to be a gardener. In fact, growing up it was the chore I hated the most. I do not have the patience to nurture plant life; the end result of yard work is never satisfactory enough to warrant the initial effort.

But having said all that, this small garden combined with my limited childhood experience makes me understand why gardeners hate weeds.

1.a valueless plant growing wild, esp. one that grows on cultivated ground to the exclusion or injury of the desired crop.
2.any undesirable or troublesome plant, esp. one that grows profusely where it is not wanted

Within a couple weeks, these plants can choke out and completely overpower the non-weeds in the garden. Even in places where good plants won't grow, weeds never seem to care. They grow in cracks of sidewalks, up around rocks, in the middle of other plants - just about anywhere. Give them an inch of soil and they'll go to town.

So as I was pulling our flowerbed full of weeds, I thought how much weeds are like those nagging sins in our lives. Everyone has them. Those certain things that no matter how many times you think you've beaten it; they manage to creep back into your life.

Mine is pride. If everyday I do not decide to humble myself before the Lord, I have offered an inch of soil for my pride. If I'm not careful, in a matter of weeks the cracks in my life can be overflowing with the dangerous fruit of pride. One of the best ways I can avoid that is by knowing where are my life's sidewalk cracks. If I am aware of my weak places, I can be more aware of my pride weed growing.

Also, weeds are stubborn. They work REALLY hard to stay put.
1) Sometimes they're prickly - who wants to try and pull a weed that's going to hurt? I mean, how much harm is it really doing there in that small corner of my garden? Maybe the prickly one can stay.
2) Sometimes their roots go deep. It's easy to pull off the green shoots, but without getting to the depth of the problem the weed will keep coming back. Getting the root usually takes longer, but being patient enough to get the root will save time and effort in the long run.

But even if they're stubborn and prickly and 4 inches in the ground; it's very important to seek out and get rid of the weeds. Even a few weeds of sin can do real damage the garden. Also, as difficult as it can be to constantly try and beat those nagging sins, the end result is incredibly gratifying to look back and see the full beauty of the garden.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why I am all wound up.

Ok. So I can't sleep. I am completely wound up at 11:35pm on a Monday night when I should have long since been sleeping. A bunch of people came over to our house tonight and Paul taught us a new game.

It is called Body Body.

If you've ever played the card game Mafia, it's like that, only about 50 times more hilariously scary. You draw cards to see who are the killers (we played 2 killers for 11 people); then the killers find out who each other are; and then commence wandering through the house killing people. You kill someone by pinching them on the top of the shoulder. You can whisper for them to follow you and then dump the body strategically in the house, but you obviously don't want anyone to see you do it. Then if someone trips over a body they scream "BODY BODY" and someone flips the lights on. The whole group gets to deliberate who the killer is - then kills that person off. The dead body and the convicted leave the playing area. Play continues. The goal is for the killer(s) to be the last ones alive.

This game is totally hilarious and sends your adrenaline through the roof. There's nothing quite like passing someone who is hiding in a dark corner. It is also a great way to try and analyze your friends. "She came running down the stairs after the body was found!" "No! I was with him! I couldn't have done it!"

So now I must try to clam down - maybe I'll read some more of my book. But next time you want a good night of bonding with your friends - try just killing them off =)

Monday, September 8, 2008

God's Domain

I'm reading a great book right now (ok, that indicates I'm only reading one - let's be serious - I'm always reading way too many books at once - I think I have 4 or 5 going right now). But this specific book I'm going to talk about is by Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. The book is called Wild Goose Chase and it is about passionately pursuing the life God has for us by listening the to promptings of the Holy Spirit.

One of the first concepts he talks about is the concept of being "responsibly irresponsible." This means trusting God enough that when He calls us by his Spirit, we don't fear the worldly implications because we know we are on a heavenly pursuit. Recently I have been battling this exact idea. Where is God providing human wisdom as his provision, and where is God asking me to discount worldly wisdom and trust He has a different plan?

The chapter I am reading right now is called "Eight-Foot Ceilings" about the idea that we has humans tend to view God from our comfortable box. Mark uses the example of the interaction between Abraham and God in Genesis 15:5
He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Read the first part of that verse again. God "took him outside" before he spoke to Abraham. Before God could reveal his powerful message to Abraham, He pulled him from his comfortable tent. Inside the tent, Abraham was in control, it was his domain. Outside the tent, all the area that stretches between the soil and the stars, is God's domain. When God got Abraham outside, He reveled the great blessings He had in store for Abraham, if only Abraham would follow with obedience.

Maybe one of the keys to not becoming the dreaded "suburbia Christian" is to get out of suburbia. If I am comfortable where I am, I am living on my strength and not on God's. When I am living in God's domain, my very existence depends on His blessing and provision. Why don't I go out into God's domain more often? Don't I want to be as Abraham was and have God rain down his blessings on my life? Perhaps I am fearful of knowing how big my life could really be.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough for it." ~Micah 3:10

Holy cow. Read it again. What if that really did happen? God is almost challenging us to test his heart of giving. The original Hebrew word for "pour out" is ruwq: to make empty; be emptied out

Seriously? Does God really want to empty the blessings of Heaven on my life? The thought is exhilerating and terrifying. When I ask God to open the floodgates of his blessing - am I really prepared for Him to do so?

Maybe chasing the Holy Spirit isn't so much about running in some innane direction. Maybe my first step is simply to allow God to take me out into His domain and start seeing through His eyes. Then I better be ready - because God may just open some floodgates.