Moving to davidmschell.com

This site will no longer be updated. All posts and comments are now at davidmschell.com, and I have updated several posts with their new location.

If you want a post that doesn’t have the new URL yet, simply go up to the address bar, delete everything in front of the name, and replace it with davidmschell.com. For example:

https://plithwo.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/a-prayer-whispered-in-the-darkness/

a-prayer-whispered-in-the-darkness/

http://www.davidmschell.com/a-prayer-whispered-in-the-darkness

If you are a subscriber, I am in the process of transferring your subscriptions over to the new site. If you were following me on the WordPress.com blog reader, you will only see my new posts in the Reader. You will not receive email updates unless you subscribe to receive them on davidmschell.com.

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

How To Win At Bureaucracy

Have you ever had one of those moments where a big company or institution did something that was really nasty, evil, unethical, illegal, or just plain not nice to you? And then you called to complain and ask for help and heard those awful words “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do to help you”? Well I’m here to help. I have written How To Win At Bureaucracy. You’re welcome.

1. Understand how Bureaucracy works. Bureaucracy is structured. The pee-ons are are the bottom, and the President or CEO is at the top. The pee-ons don’t make the rules, they just enforce them. The outline of your strategy is to (1) be nice to the people who can’t do anything to help you, (2) get them to escalate your call, (3) be even nicer to the people above them, and repeat until you get to someone who can do what you want them to do. Continue reading

Top Ten Benefits of NOT being single on Valentine’s Day

Last year, I wrote about the Top Ten Benefits to Being Single on Valentine’s Day. This year, I don’t need that list, though it would seem from my search statistics that there are some who still do…

I thought it’d be fun to review the list from last year with this year’s perspective. If you’re looking for consolation, this is not the place for you. Go to the link above. NOW.

Number 10. I’m not really worried about being dumped on the day after Valentine’s Day. Or Valentine’s Day, which apparently is a more popular dumping day.

Number 9. My significant other has some pretty amazing eyes. And we have yet to fall into a Bermudan Liger Trap. Continue reading

To Save a Life Review

To Save A Life didn’t suck.

That surprised me a lot. An awful lot. They took the usual Christian movie route but dodged all the potholes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I think we’re heading in the right direction. Finally. On the other hand, it cost twice what Fireproof cost and made 1/11th as much money (though it turned a profit nonetheless). To Save a Life was honest, truthful, and (in my opinion) not preachy. It was preachy when it was appropriate to be so, and selectively preachy at that.

CHRISTIAN MOVIE POTHOLES DODGED

Perfect Christians
Jake Taylor starts out as a non-Christian who becomes a Christian after he stops being a jerk.
The youth pastor doesn’t have all the answers
The senior pastor is a jerk, and his kid was “played by Satan” according to some fellow moviegoers.

Easy Evangelism
(From TVTropes) “Any story where a character is converted unnaturally easily to whatever the writer is trying to teach.”
Jake doesn’t become a Christian overnight. He’s just… exploring Christianity. It just so happens that he meets our lovely youth pastor, who tells him to “just visit church” and then manipulates him into coming: “It’s inconvenient for you to come to church? It’s inconvenient for me to pick up drunk kids from parties…” I approved of that moment. Continue reading

The Voicemail of Paul the Apostle to Philemon. Starring John Wayne

Author’s note: THIS paper is the worst paper EVER. It’s so bad that it loops all the way around from awful to awesome. That’s what I think.

The Voicemail of Paul the Apostle to Philemon

Starring John Wayne

Author’s second note: Yes, I know that there weren’t any voicemail recorders back in the first century, or phones either, for that matter. But if there were, and if the apostle Paul had gotten a cell phone in his jail cell and talked a little like a cowboy in a western, a conversation something like this may have gone down sometime around A.D. 60.

The phone kept ringing. “I think it’s gonna go to voicemail,” Paul said. “I really wanted to talk to him.”

A familiar voice, half-drowned-out by static, answered. “Hey, Philemon here. I can’t come to the phone right now, but if you leave me a message, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

“Hey, it’s me, Paul.” He held it up to the mouth of his much younger friend.

“And me, Timothy!” Then Paul took the phone back.

“Yeah. Hey, this message is for Philemon, our good buddy and coworker – and that great cowgirl Apphia, and our buckaroo Archippus, and the rest of the folks in your ranch church. First off, we wanted to send God’s richest blessings your way. You know, when I remember to pray for you, I always say thanks to God ‘cause of how much you love all His people and how much faith you have, and I pray that your ‘faith gang’ will keep on working better as you really keep getting what Christ put in you. You always make me feel better, bro, ‘cause you’ve just been a breath of fresh air to God’s people.” Paul drew a breath and continued. Continue reading

The Book of Exodus: Street Style

Written for my Biblical History and Literature class. Any similarity between this account and the account found in Genesis 2 is purely intentional. I had 800 words to summarize Exodus. I had fun with this.

The Israelis are slaves in Egypt. A beautiful Israeli baby boy is floating in the river-basket his parents put him in to protect him from the Egyptian Pharaoh’s law that said all the Israeli baby boys had to die. Pharaoh’s daughter finds the boy and figures he must be on the kill list, but she thinks he’s cute and decides to adopt the kid and name him Moses. Fast-forward a few years. Moses is all grown up and he goes out to see the other Israelis. It turns out that they’re being repressed, so Moses kills an Egyptian who’s whipping an Israeli. But there’s a witness to the murder, and Pharaoh tries to kill Moses, but Moses escapes to Midian where he rescues a few damsels in distress and ends up marrying one of them. Her name is Zipporah.

More years go by. Pharaoh dies, but Israel’s still being repressed back in Egypt, so God appears to Moses in a burning bush and tells him to go liberate Israel. Moses is like “You’ve gotta be kidding,” but God’s dead serious. Moses loses the argument, but God lets him take his brother Aaron along as a sidekick. They show up in Pharaoh’s court and tell him “God says to let my people go!” and Pharaoh’s like “No way, dude.” God turns Moses’ staff into a snake and back, but Pharaoh’s not impressed and gives Israel more work. God dumps plagues on Egypt, but Pharaoh’s stubborn. Finally when his oldest kid (and every Egyptian’s oldest kid!) dies, Pharaoh knows he’s licked and tells Moses to beat it, and take his extended family with him. Continue reading