Church Life, Family, Whimsy


A corner of my city.

My older children would be horrified to hear that the 13-year-old and I are both playing SimCity BuildIt on our iPads. Back in the day when Super NES became part of our household, I took on the seemingly innocent city planning game to show that I was a good sport, and to learn how to use the controller so I could also play MarioKart with my little guys. I loved creating neighborhoods, as long as I could avoid the disasters that were part of the game, fire and earthquake and Bowser rampaging through your city like Godzilla. All was fine until I stayed up most of one night; the next morning, my oldest, then 9, said, “Mom, I don’t think this game is good for you.”

In this generation of the game, which is much more sophisticated and complex, you have the choice of which areas of city life to develop, and unless you pay for extra SimCash and coins, those choices have to be made based on the budget you can raise yourself by creating and trading resources. I’ve been focused on ground transportation and education, versus entertainment and gambling.

Some of the in-game challenges involve choosing disasters and wars that will allow you to earn more. I’ve read that you can always rebuild. In fact, that’s the point. You achieve more by allowing the disasters and rebuilding after them, or fighting the wars and reconstructing your city. But I cannot bring myself to do it. The real world is hard enough.

We do something similar in the life of the church when we dream about what we might build, but we also consider the limits for what is possible. What can a particular congregation do well? What is needed in the community? Where can we put our limited resources to make the world we are building a little better, on behalf of Jesus Christ?

Playing the game my way, I don’t think I will ever save up enough to build the airport or the Parisian quarter my residents keep asking for in pop-up bubbles. But I am planning to stick with it at least until Level 40, when the game unlocks Worship. And I promise not to stay up all night to do it.

This post was written for the RevGalBlogPals Weekly e-Reader.


While the Pasta Cooks

In the minutes before dinner,

 boiling water bubbling,

pasta quickly growing soft,

daughter plays the piano,

dog lounges post-walk,

and I strategize:

When do I need to go back to church?

How many things can I do before bedtime?

What do I need to pack for my trip?

What do the pets need?

Do I have house keys? 

And why did I cook a whole box?


Last Wishes

On Facebook, your page shows a random, always-changing sample of your friends. Tonight a college friend's name came up. No picture. He's not active on Facebook, and I've been to his page once, to say hello when he friended me last summer. 

When I looked just now, I found the following in the little box where you can write something about yourself. I think it's a compliment. I think.

"i just mowed the yard. i think i'm having a coronary. my face is purple. i would like to be buried in kamouraska, canada, with martha [spong] speaking over my remains."

Advent, Whimsy

A baff with Hovr Cat

(I'm not a big LOLCatz person, but this week I turned to the LOLcat Bible, while thinking about Advent 3C. This is John 3:7-18.)

7 Lotz of peeplz caem to get bath frm John. He wuz all "U iz snaekz.8
U needz to behaev. N quit sayin Abraham is ur daddi liek dat maeks a
differns. Ceiling Cat cud chaenj a rock into a kittn of Abraham LOL.
9 Teh ax iz reddi to cut down te treez. Ani tree datz no good iz goin on teh fier."

10 Evribodi wuz all "O noes! Whut now?"

11 John wuz all "U shud shaer ur flee collrz wif catz who duzn hav ani. An shaer ur cookies too."

12 Dere wuz sum IRS d00dz dere n dey askded whut dey shud do.13 John wuz liek "Doant steal duh."

Hovrcat_descending14 N sum soljrz askted whut dey shud do.15 John wuz liek "Dont steal an dont tell liez."

15 Sum peepl wundrded if maybi John wuz Christ.16 John wuz liek "No. I givz u baff wif watr, but Christ will giv u a baff with Hovr Cat an wif fier too.17 He iz goin to put all teh wheet in hiz barn an burn teh trash on teh fier.18 At leest he gived dem sum good newz along wif teh bad newz.


Thanks. I needed that. "At leest he gived dem sum good news along wif teh bad newz." Amen.

Chez Songbird, Children, Whimsy

Paws of the Snowflakes

Although we missed #1 Son at Thanksgiving, his brother and sister provided great amusement. LP and her choral group provided the "Ah-Ahs" at Nutcracker this weekend.

In case you don't know where the vocal part comes in, pause and enjoy the St. Petersburg Ballet:

Every time LP ran over the alto part, she could count on someone adding the melody in voice, and by the time he packed up today, Snowman could play both parts on the piano.

Finally, he told her, "You should sing it on 'Meow.'"

And so, we did.

"Meow, meow,

meow, meow, meow…"


A Peculiar Communication

LP avatar Friday I received the following email:

Xin chao, toi ten la Minh Canfield tu van phong Da Ngon Ngu cua Truong hoc
Portland. Toi goi dien de thong bao cho qui vi biet ve cuoc hoi thao dau tien
trong loat hoi thao cua Hoi Phu Huynh ma se to chuc vao thu Sau, ngay 23 thang
10 tu 9:15 den 11 sang tai Portland Adult Education o so 57 Douglass .

Chu de
cua hoi thao la
· Viec Lam Dung Ruou va Thuoc
· Bat dau mot cuoc noi
chuyen voi cac bac phu huynh
Day la mot chu de quan trong ma la tat ca cac
bac phu huynh cua thanh thieu nien can hieu biet.

Toi se co o do thong dich
cho qui vi neu qui vi can giup co thong dich. Hy vong se gap qui vi vao thu Sau,
ngay 23 thang 10 luc 9:15 den 11 sang.

(All followed by the usual boiler plate that comes with emails from the school system.)

Do you suppose this has anything to do with the fact that LP joined the Asian Student Association?