Monthly Archives: July 2014

Failure to Supervise

911 recordings have been released this week regarding a male driver who ran a jeep into a house, abandoned the vehicle, went home and watched TV until the police arrived. While this may sound like just another call at the 911 office, amazingly, the 911 operator sounded very confused and unsure how to handle the problem at first. To make things even stranger, the male driver wasn’t even cited!

You see, the boy was a 3-year-old toddler. So when the call came from a man who witnessed the whole thing, it sounded something like this:

911 emergency? Uh yes, ma’am. I just seen a little kid in a diaper. He just rolled a Jeep across the street and into a house.

A little kid in a diaper? Like a real Jeep? A full size Jeep?

Yeah, it’s a Jeep. It’s sitting here in the side of a house right now.

So here are the facts: a police officer noticed a toddler playing in a Jeep and warned the adult inside who was apparently a relative watching the boy for his parents. Later that day, the toddler was at it again, and while the relative was doing something else, he slipped back out to the car. He then accidentally knocked the manual shift out of gear, and rode the car down the street, through an intersection, over a curb, and into a house.

Once his joy ride was over, the boy, wearing only a diaper, ran back to his house, got on the couch, and watched cartoons like nothing had happened. The police knocked on the door later, and to the babysitter’s surprise, he found out what happened and was cited with “failure to supervise.”

Failure to supervise. I like that. You should have been watching, training, instructing, or otherwise being “in charge” of a young person who is not held responsible for their actions. You are the adult.

Now, what if we apply this idea in the church? Will God cite some with a failure to supervise? Whether as parents, teachers, preachers, babysitters, or caregivers, God has given us an important supervisory role…watch over and train up the next generation. But many of us choose the spiritual equivalent of “driving toddlers,” when we allow the spiritually immature to guide themselves and play with spiritually dangerous things.

The truth is, you never know when a toddler might accidentally knock into something that causes the vehicle to run away, out of control.

So don’t let your little ones hang out in cars unattended…and watch how you leave the next generation.  “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Pay that Dreamer!

Dreaming lottery winning waiter splits £1m with boss

Fatih Ozcan, a waiter at a Turkish restaurant in York, had a dream. In his dream, he was showing a bunch of cash to his manager, Hayati Kucukkoylu. Fatih believed in his dream “interpretation” so much that the next day, he bought a lottery ticket. He then went to work and pestered his boss for three hours until he agreed to buy some tickets too. And guess what? Amazingly, the manager won $1.7 million!

That is when the trouble began. Kucukkoylu didn’t want to share his winnings with Ozcan. So Ozcan sued. And, believe it or not, a Judge in London actually agreed with Ozcan that he was entitled to half. The manager was ordered to split the winnings with his “psychic waiter.”

In his ruling the Judge said that Ozcan was entitled to half the winnings, because the Plaintiff was a “strong believer in the power of dreams.” Wow. The waiter gets half because he really, really believes his dreams? What if he had interpreted the dream to mean he had to rob the restaurant?

Obviously, this coincidence, while fascinating, doesn’t prove any psychic ability in the waiter. But did you know that it wasn’t that long ago, that God gave real dreams, visions, and interpretations to people in the Bible? Here is the difference – the real prophets always confirmed the glory of God and revealed truth about God, giving proof of His Word through signs and wonders.

Perhaps the best known of the dreamers was a man named Joseph. Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, and he saved Egypt from a great famine. His reward was great – he was made 2nd in command in Egypt, behind Pharaoh himself. But Joseph knew that the power wasn’t his. He offered glory to God, and he said, “Interpretations belong to God” (Genesis 40:8).

These words would be echoed by another dream interpreter several hundred years later. The prophet, Daniel, was asked to interpret a dream, and he said, “neither wise men, conjurers, magicians, nor diviners are able…However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Daniel 2:27-28).

Daniel interpreted that king’s dream, and told him about a Kingdom that would “never be destroyed,” but would “endure forever.” That Kingdom was the Church that Christ built. So don’t put your faith in “psychics” and dreams…no matter how much your waiter believes them. Put your faith in the revealed Word of God and the fulfillment of all the prophecies, His Son, Jesus the Christ.

 

Investing in Potato Salad?

Have you searched for “Potato Salad” in your favorite web explorer lately? If so, you probably noticed that about 10 of the top 12 hits have nothing to do with recipes for potato salad. Pretty strange? Even stranger is what does come up…Zack Brown and his unlikely $59,623 Potato Salad!

Zack Brown isn’t an entrepreneur; he isn’t looking to start a restaurant or a potato salad company; and he isn’t hopeful to revolutionize potato salad ingredients. So why is his potato salad such a big deal all of a sudden? Because Zack Brown hit it big on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a website that can best be described as a poor man’s venture capital. In their own words, they help fund “creative projects and the artists, designers, and creative people who make them.” In other words, the site helps projects that would not normally get funding by traditional methods.

And sometimes, the absurd hits it big: See Zack’s Kickstarter Page

That is the case with Zack Brown. He’s never made potato salad. He isn’t offering anything of real value in return for investors. He just wanted to see if he could raise $10 to make potato salad. His results so far have been an overwhelming 4,840 backers who have sent a staggering $59,623.

My take-away from Zack’s windfall:

1)      At least 4,840 people in this world have more money than sense. In the words of David Hannum (wrongly attributed to P.T. Barnum), “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

2)      Being a good steward (1 Peter 4:10) doesn’t seem to concern many in our society. The Master is returning soon…and we must not live so frivolously (Luke 12:42-46).

3)      Those who have been faithful with very little will be the ones who are trusted with much (Matthew 25:21).

Be wise. Invest your time and money in things of greater consequence. Buy the truth and sell it not. “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, But a foolish man swallows it up” (Proverbs 21:20). Lord, please keep our eyes from looking at the worthless things of this world and direct us to live in your ways (Psalm 119:37)!

Are YOU on a Vexatious Litigant List?

518295330_13_o

Diane Stretton was hired as a live-in nanny. Her job responsibilities included: watching Marcella Bracaconte’s children a few hours a day, light house work, and help cooking dinner. Everything worked well for a month or two, and then things went terribly wrong.

According to Bracaconte, Stretton refused to work for an entire month and closed herself in her room except to come out and eat. Bracaconte fired Stretton and tried to have her removed from the house. But when she looked for help from the police and the courts, Bracaconte had a rude awakening…the law is on the nanny’s side!

You see, this isn’t Stretton’s first legal rodeo. She knows how to use California’s laws to her advantage. According to CNN investigators, she has been in court many times over the years. In fact, the “nightmare nanny,” is so litigious, that she is on California’s notorious “Vexatious Litigant List.” This list is for those who “continually bring legal action, regardless of merit, against others with the sole intention of harassment” (CNN; #Squatting Nanny).

California isn’t the only state that keeps a list of repeat litigants. Some countries have been keeping these lists for years. But here is a little food for thought: Is there a Vexatious Litigant List at your congregation?

Wow. What an awful thought! Have you ever seen people in the church bring frivolous complaints and start arguments, “regardless of merit,” for the intention of harassment? And if so, do we simply put them on a list, or do we deal with them Biblically? And what would that look like?

Of course, Christians are cautioned against bringing suit against each other (1 Corinthians 6:1-11). Believers ought to be able to handle issues internally and not “air their differences” among non-believers. And Jesus prayed for unity among His believers (John 17:21). There is nothing quite so sad or un-Christlike, as disunity.

Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul once commanded Christians to, “keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive” (2 Thessalonians 3:6). We must watch our words and our lives in order to save others, not cause them to stumble (1 Timothy 4:16). Saving others includes distancing the impressionable from the contrarian.

So…before you “go to court” against a fellow believer, or bring a complaint to the elders or others (especially outside of the church), consider this: do I tend to complain a lot? Am I always the contrarian on matters of opinion or expediency? Is it possible I made my congregation’s Vexatious Litigant List? And if so, how will I start living differently today?