Bag of Randomness for Thursday, November 12, 2015


  • WifeGeeding’s grandmother is 99-years-old and lives in a mental care facility because of severe dementia.  Earlier this week, WifeGeeding’s father awoke to a phone call at 1:00 AM to alert him that his mother somehow wandered away from the facility (to leave the hallway and gain access to the lobby and outdoors a code has to be used to unlock the door), fell down, broke her nose, and received stitches.
  • While in the restroom at Chick-fil-A last night, I saw a man finish his business and instead of washing his hands, used the automatic hand-sanitizer dispenser four straight times.
  • DaughterGeeding’s school pictures proofs arrived yesterday.  I’m surprised there isn’t an easy digital option to choose, instead, we still have to order physical photos.  However, there is an optional $15 fee for “facial retouching”.
  • DaughterGeeding’s homework the other night included the problem 17+5 which I thought was a bit advanced for a kindergarten class.  She also had a spelling test this week with the hardest word being “want”.
  • Somewhere out there I’m sure a dentist and proctologist are married and joke about have both ends covered.
  • Who is Josh Feuerstein, the man behind the Starbucks red cup frenzy?
  • Speaking of church and Starbucks, I know of many churches that operate a coffee shop inside their building.  The cynic in me automatically thinks of John 2:13-25 where Jesus angrily clears the temple courts as people were exchanging money and make commerce on a place meant for worship and reverence.
  • Steven Furtick is the pastor of the Southern Baptist affiliated megachurch Elevation Church in Charollet, North Carolina.  As a former recovering Baptist, I thought I had a good understanding of how church finances worked, but according to this article, financial matters, including his salary, are decided by a board of out-of-town pastors instead of locals active in the church.  The article also states this regarding why his salary isn’t made available to church members or the public – “Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick said revealing how much money he makes and how much of it he gives away would be unfair to his family and would violate Jesus’ call to be discreet about donations.”
  • Imgur – Adam Savage’s Last Day at MythBusters‏
  • This stat from the CBS Evening News caught my attention since this was about the amount of debt I left college with – According to a new study, the average student loan debt of $35,000 can cost graduates nearly $700,000 in lost retirement savings over a 50-year period.
  • Bravo makes it official: A ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’ is coming
  • Trump’s Dallas tower would have been a standout on the skyline
  • Victoria’s Secret edition – Today’s dose of ‘MURICA!
  • All of a sudden I’m interested in going into a sensory deprivation tank.  There’s a place about twenty minutes away that charge $45 for a half hour.
  • Google’s new ‘about me’ page puts your personal info settings in one place – Visit and you’ll see a new dashboard available for controlling what’s viewable on Google offerings like Drive and Google+, including contact information, photos, and more.
  • Yesterday I watched the documentary The Death of Superman Lives”: What Happened?.  It was about the proposed Superman that would have opened on July 4, 1998 with Nicolas Cage in the lead role and Tim Burton directing.  Ever since I saw this picture of a long-haired Cage in the costume, I just had to find out more about it.  Just a few nuggets:
    • Kevin Smith wrote the script but stated he had some strange constraints, such as Superman could not fly, could not wear the blue uniform, and had to fight a giant spider.
    • Chris Rock agreed to play Jimmy Olsen, but also considered was Matthe Perry and Marlon Wayans.
    • Sandra Bullock was the main choice for Lois Lane, but also considered was Mira Sorvino, Julia Roerts, Cameron Diz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Annison, and Elisabeth Shue.
    • When the funds were eventually pulled for the movie, they went to Will Smith’s Wild Wild West.
    • Tim Burton’s house reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, but without the kids.
    • Burton wanted Sammy Davis Jr. in Beetlejuice.
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8 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Thursday, November 12, 2015

  1. Ben W. says:

    If you're a cynic, then I am, too. I've been to too many churches that have a coffee bar in the lobby, right next to the bookstore which conveniently has plenty of copies of the pastor's latest book, which he'll be glad to mention at least once during the "sermon." In fact, he'll probably teach a 6-week series on the book, all the while mentioning how much more you'll get out of the sermons if you just buy the book.

    And the "offsite" committee determining salary is pretty common for these megachurches. Here's the trick, though: the pastors of 6-7 of these churches all serve on each other's committees, so in reality it's just one big circle****. The local megachurch that I attended for a while worked exactly this way – the pastor there is, in fact, on Furtick's committee, and Furtick is on his. So, in essence, they all sit around deciding how much compensation they should all get. Sweet gig if you can get it.

    The amount of money some of these pastors are raking in is obscene, and it's all done in large part on the backs of their lower-income followers, under the guise of the prosperity doctrine. It's more cleverly disguised than the old-school version peddled by the likes of Jim Bakker or TBN, but it's the same message: if you just give enough, God will bless you – but you have to give sacrificially. And don't forget that mandatory tithe – otherwise not only will you not be blessed, you'll burn in hell.

  2. Towski says:

    Where did you watch the Superman doc?

  3. RPM says:

    Normally, I refrain from talking religion because I believe it's a very personal thing and each person is entitled to their own beliefs. But you struck a chord with me today. I believe those mega-churches are mega-scams. The whole "prosperity preaching" thing like Ben talks about turns me off in a big, big way. Something about a preacher living in luxury just isn't right. Talk about your false profits, oops, prophets.

    I saw the Superman Lives doc and was enthralled. I knew Kevin Smith's part of the story, including the spider and it's inclusion in Wild, Wild West but not the rest of the story. Not sure exactly where I'd heard it before, but assume it was from his Tonight Show appearances.

    The 'Lois and Clark' TV series wasn't bad. Maybe someday they'll make a Superman movie that isn't disappointing. The first Christopher Reeves film is still the best and it's full of flaws. Not hard to buy into the Superman curse theory.

    Crazy OCD tick of mine… Why aren't public bathroom doors designed to push open when exiting so you don't have to grab the doorknob after you've (hopefully) washed your hands?

  4. DF Long Duck Dong says:

    I rescind my vote to end the potty pictures. Today's is good. I like a good challenge. I think I could make it.

  5. Brent says:

    I think it is unfair to paint all mega-churches (and their pastors) with the same brush. The comments may not mean to imply that, but we all tend to generalize when we make an argument. Generally, I agree that some of these salaries are obscene and that the prosperity gospel is false teaching. However, I don't believe all mega-churches teach this way and certainly not all of these pastors are guilty of the kind of greed that would make Gordon Gekko (or Donald Trump?) proud. Depending on how one defines a mega-church, I served on staff at one and have attended several others and did not find them to be on that level at all.

    As for the reference to John 2, I believe the bigger issue at stake was the cheating and outright thievery that was taking place under the guise of assisting the temple worship. But I do agree that much of the reverence and holiness that used to be attributed to many of our houses of worship has faded under the light of appealing to the crowds.

  6. Bryan says:

    I'm surprised that Steve Brown's column on the proposed Trump building in Dallas wasn't really all that serious. The proposal was floated as a means to drive interest and attendance at a real estate conference where Trump was a headliner.

    Not to jump on the dogpile or beat a dead horse, but I've heard of the outside board of directors driving vision and whatnot for mega churches. The first mention I remember hearing of it was during Ed Young Jr.'s private jet controversy a few years ago.

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