Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Church Search Episode V: Hillsong Church

This week we went to a church which was on a list given to us by friends in our Graduate Student Intervarsity group. It is a nice church and is located a whopping 1.3 miles from our house. This is a huge bonus over some of the other churches we have visited which have been as much as 30 minutes away.

Preaching: 0/10 (they did not have a sermon, per se, as this was a "children's sunday" as such we will have to return before we really know how we like this church.

Seating: 8/10 for their very nice (though pretty standard) church chairs.

Worship: 5/10 Not bad, not great, sorta what you might expect, run of the mill worship songs.

Potluck Lunch 10/10 This was the real winner of this church, we stuffed ourselves in the largest potluck either of us had ever seen, and even were convinced to take home a bunch of ham and two servings of lasagna.

The other weird thing about this church is that they are in a transition, just starting a new interim pastor next week. So we will see how we like him.

We will be going back, if only because Laura was strongly reminded of Hope EFC, which means that it gets a 10/10 for the "feels like home" factor. So what it all comes down to is that it takes a lota good preaching to equal a little good food and sme deja vu.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Since we began blogging, Steve and I have converted four others to our addictive blogging "cult." The first is Mouse, who, for stupid firewall reasons, quickly converted to Xanga. The second is my dear bro, then the aformentioned Liz, and the last, most recent convert is known to us both as Dad. Recently he went with mom, and mom & dad (confusing when you get married) to see The Death of a Salesman. This is a must-see (or read) for everyone out there! Dad had so many thoughts in his head that he wanted to spit onto paper, that he created this. If you have a chance, it's a site worth visiting!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Is Love Homogeneous of Degree 1?

So durring the height of my insanity cause by this math course, Laura and I started talking about losing and gaining weight, and how love might be connected to one's body size. Perfectly innocent math-free conversation, but my mind was not having any.

My math crazed head started wondering if Love, described by the function L[x] where x is equal to the mass of the object of the love, is a function which is homogeneous of degree one, greater than one, or less than one, or if it was homogeneous at all.

If L[x] is homogeneous of degree one, then love would experience constant returns to scale, or a 10% increase in body mass would corrospond to a 10% increase in love.

Now I am not asking you to answer this question, but feel free to try if you like, this is really just an illustration of how low the human brain can sink, if forced to endure undue amounts of pain.

Church Search Episode 4: J-Lo meets Health and Wealth Gospel

This week we went to a place called "The Kings Chapel" or something like that. It was billed as an international church, which seemed interesting, and it was interesting.

First, to be nice, they get 10/10 for really being international, heck it could have been a UN convention in there. They even had flags from various countries lining the sactuary around the top and behind the pulpit. Except in the UN they never would have had the Israli, US, and Christian flags in prominent position.

Second, the church gets 10/10 for flashiness. Lots of money, everything was big, and nice and expensive...

10/10 for Worship too. And this is where J-Lo comes in. The lead singer in their worship team could have been Jennifer Lopez's twin sister. Needless to say that was a bit diconscerting. But the music was great, they could have cut an album.

10/10 for the seats, the chairs were cushy movie theater style things. Very nice.

1/10 for the 10-15 minute sermon trying to convince us to give more money. Especially since it was poorly done, overly long, and not very convincing.

2/10 for the actual sermon, which was much more entertaining, but was really just 30 minutes expanded around the theme: "Jesus is my friend who gives me power and good stuff" sorta like health and wealth gospel, only with a little bit of "Jesus is my drug of choice" thrown in. Not real convincing, not well grounded theologically, and frankly the substance of the sermon could have been summarized in 1-2 minutes without losing any depth.

1/10 for our favorite quote of the service: The pastor uses the phrase "Peeky-poo of whats on the inside" puling back his lapel to reveal that he was wearing a pink shirt and yellow tie. The worst part was, no one laughed, no one thought this was strange (except us).

So yeah, we won't be going back.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Lots of new news today, I'll try to keep it short for all y'alls sakes. :)

New Job
I now have a full-time job working for a local Learning Center as a program manager. It doesn't pay great, but it sounds like something I'll really enjoy! I'm very excited. Training (part-time for a week) starts Monday.

Wedding Pics
For anyone that wants, you may view (and order, if you wish) our wedding pics at collages.net. Click on View my event and enter event user name (McMullen) and enter password (4599).
I hope this appeases all of you who have begged me to send you pictures. :) This is easier than sending you the pictures I have. Funny enough, some of my nearest and dearest shots are not these professional ones (which aren't all all that great) but are instead are shots friends have taken. If you have any shots to share, I'd love to see them!

Insanity is almost done
Steve begins his math final in a half an hour. I'm very excited for this class to be done.

P.S. Price of photos = expensive. Um, I don't so much recommend buying them. But the site is fun to see anyway!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Last night my only other NC friend,

[Editor's note: This blog entry used to be complete, and at least a little entertaining, as you can tell by the comments. Then I came in and muddled the whole thing up by trying to link to my "only other NC friend's" new blogsite. Somehow in the process I deleted the rest of the blog without realizing it, and I don't feel like recreating it. So, I'll sumarize. Liz and I discovered that girls in NC dress up way too often, and Capris are really "in." Perhaps they're just freshmen trying to "get the guy." I don't like Capris. I dyed my hair red. What do you all think of Capris?]

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Church Search: Episode 3

This week we split squad, with Laura in Washington DC, visiting a Russian Orthodox church and myself...um...sleeping. Anyway, all I know about the church Laura visited is that the commute gets a 1/10 for being 5 hours away, and the sermon gets 2/10 for being in Russian (fun for Laura, but less fun for Steve). I guess the music was cool, and who doesn't want to hear Russians sing chant-like music in church? So the music gets a 9/10. Not having been there it is difficult to give a grade to the seating, but a lack of knowlege has never stopped me from making arguments before...so I imagine a Russian Orthodox church would have uncomfortable seating, so lets go with a 3/10, based entirely on my peculiar stereotypes about russians and orthodox types.

Well that is pretty good for not having talked to Laura at all about her experience, I better quick post it before she reads it and wants to correct my misconceptions.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Treading Water

We took the mid-term for my math course on Wednesday, and got the tests back today. And the news is not positive, I came up a few points below the mean, well within one standard deviation of the mean. What this means is that I got a low B, which sound fine until you realize that in this program, you get too many C's, and you get kicked out. And the material is only going to get tougher next week. Anyway, I am finally in a place where I am not at the top of my class, and that is new, but it is probably good for me. Time to keep studying.


Monday, August 09, 2004

Anyone out there with experience on fleas? We've recently discovered that the reason we keep getting bug bites all over our ankles and feet, despite the fact we don't spend much time outside, is that we have a small army of fleas in our carpet. (All right, so we've only seen ONE flea, but either that one flea has been really busy, or it has friends.)

We've called the landlady, so (I hope!) we don't need advice on killing the little guys, but if anyone has a good anti-itching cream to recommend, Steve (and his math) would appreciate it.

Oh, yeah, and one more note. If any of y'all would like to comment here but don't have a blog ID, feel free to drop us a line as "anonymous," just do us a favor and put your name or screen name at the end so we know who you are.

Trinity Community Church

Yesterday we visited Trinity Community church, or something like that, it was about a half-hour away, although it took a full 45 minutes due to getting a bit lost. (Needless to say I was driving). Anyway, it was a small place, no more than 100 people in the sanctuary, and there was not room for many more anyway. Here are the ups and downs.

Chairs: these get a 3 out of 10, since we were sitting on folding chairs. Still if the spirit leads you, I suppose that could be bearable. And they may get new chairs with the new building they are building.

Preaching: The pastor gets a 6 out of 10 for his sermon on homosexuality, it was solid, and seemed well grounded, but he did not really teach me anything. Also he loses points for being angry about stuff in general.

Pastor: The guy gets 9/10 outside of the sermon, however, for being from Wisconsin, and having gone to Trinity undergrad and Seminary with my old pastor, John Larson. Also he knew Laura's mom. He seemed like a really neat guy.

Worship: Kinda weird, kinda good, the drummer was fantastic, but not too in-your-face, if you know what I mean. So this gets a 6/10.

Overall, it was nice, we will visit again, and it has the advantage of being the only church in the area which is Evangelical Free, and the only one at which we currently have connections.

Ok, class starts in 3 minutes, wish me luck, the math is getting complicated.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Not much to say here.
I found a way to peel off 8 of my 10 acrylic nails, so typing is a lot easier. That is good, because yesterday I took a typing test as part of the application proceedure for a temp agency. I did fairly well, and can type about 60 wpm. I've always wondered how fast I type.
Steve is still going crazy with math. Only 2 weeks left!
We've got ourselves in a pattern now. Basically, wake up, eat breakfast, Steve does math, Laura cleans house or applys for jobs. Steve goes to class, Laura runs errands or applys for jobs. Steve comes home & eats supper (sometimes exercises) does dishes w/ Laura, then does math, Laura surfs the web for other jobs she can apply for. Then bedtime.
If you wonder why we don't blog much over the next couple of weeks, now you know. There's really nothing of interest to blog about!
I hope all of you are doing well!

Monday, August 02, 2004

We Survived Our First Hurricane
I called my grandma (in MN) today. She asked how the hurricane was treating us. The nice thing about having really slow dial-up internet and no (okay, I'll be fair, HALF) a channel on your t.v. set (it comes in fuzzy and I'm not sure you can really hear what people are saying) is that it's really easy to have NO CLUE what's going on in the real world.

Apparently there's a hurricane off the coast of NC. That's sweet. I had no clue. For those who have wondered, though, we're far enough in-land that it's not hitting us, really. It rained today, and the front was in a sort of half-circle shape coming from the east. I'm guessing that it was the edge of said hurricane. We were outside at a restaurant that seats people on the top of the building. So we were in a prime spot to experience the hurricane in all its wonder. All 15 minutes of it. :)

In other news: Steve survived his first day of grad school, where he spent three hours listening to someone summarize the "easy" math. (Which, incidently, goes about as far as I've ever gone in math. I told Steve to remember to add + C when solving integrals. He didn't need to know that, but it made me feel good because it's the last time I'll be able to even ACT like I know what's going on when he's doing his homework.) That's where my math knowledge ends. Tomorrow he hits linear algebra and I'll be unable to help him. (sigh)
The fun begins!

Hope you're all doing well! Leave me notes here or e-mail me so I can know what's going on in all your lives!

Church Search Episode One: George C. Scott, University Baptist

We did our first church visit yesterday, and were treated to a melodramatic George C. Scott impersonator (The Christmas Carol, Patton). He was great. Good sermon though, he talked about materialism and stuff, and he was good enough even to make me feel a little guilty, and I make $11,500 a year. So I give the preaching a 7 out of 10.

The music was pretty good, helped by the pipe organ and choir, and earns a 8 out of 10.

And just to round off the experience the pews were padded, which is a significant plus, though if I sat up in them, they cut off circulation to much of my legs, forcing me into a semi-permenant slouch position. And that can not be good for my posture, so the pews come out to a 6 out of 10.

Overall it was a positive experience, we may go back eventually.

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