Saturday, April 26, 2008

Missionary Biggest Loser #5

It took some time but I found a picture of the scale that Matt Jones says was broken by a "suitcase." I have a hard time believing that a "suitcase" can do that kind of damage, more likely it was caused by a Bigfoot from the hills of Eastern Tennessee. In addition, if you look at where the needle on the scale is pointing, it seems to indicate that the last object to stand on the scale weighed in at 298 lbs. Hmm, do we know anyone who fits that description? I think so, and you can read his blog for more information. Having solved the mystery I have a few quick facts for you this week.

1.) I did the math and by cutting out Pepsi we are saving $65 a month in grocery bills.

2.) Only 125 more pounds to lose until I catch Ginger.

3.) Jared from Subway may have lost more weight than I, but I can beat him in arm wrestling, well maybe.

April 26/Week #5: 258 lbs.

Mental State: I've lost 24 lbs. in five weeks, but I'm giving serious consideration to investing in a Polish "Krispy Kreme."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still Adapting

Just today Ginger and I were made aware of a Polish custom that we had been totally oblivious to in the last year. To further push our language acquisition and to practice Christian hospitality we have been inviting families, from our church, to the apartment each week. This always proves to be an enjoyable but tiring experience. By the end of the night our heads our hurting from all the Polish conversation. For Ginger this is compounded by the pressure of hosting and preparing the dinner. So when our guests talk about leaving we inwardly jump for joy and help them to the door. During our lesson today we learned that this is horrible on the part of the hosts. In Polish culture, when your guests mention that its time to leave, it is the host's responsibility to follow with "no, please have tea or coffee, and stay longer." This little exchange is supposed to go on two or three times for another half an hour to an hour. The funny thing about this custom is that if you are the guest, you need to start mentioning your desire to leave a good half hour before you actually want to leave. Having learned of this custom just today, an awkward experience from a month ago was suddenly made clear. Our guests mentioned their desire to leave and I proceeded to help them get their things together, while doing so I remember being a little unnerved by the look on their faces. So I get the dunce cap, and we realize once again that we are still learning about the culture.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Missionary Biggest Loser #4

Some of you have asked how I have been losing the weight. No I don't take "Herbalife," I don't know Dr. Atkins, and I've never purchased or consumed a bottle of "Fibercon." I've found no secret as of yet. What I do know is that I was eating 3 pączki (polish donuts) a day and drinking at least two 20 oz. Pepsi's. Cutting out those two precious delicacies has reduced my caloric intake by 2,000 a day. Is it worth it you ask? Only if in the end I can pulverize Matt Jones, my nemesis and Christian brother. You can check his progress out on his blog. After reading this week's entry I've got one word for him, SCANDALOUS!

April 19th/ Week #4: 262 lbs.

Mental State: I've lost a total of 20lbs. in four weeks, but right now, I'd rather be at an "Old Country Buffet."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sometimes A Sense of Humor is Needed

We've been in language school for over ten months now and one of the ways I survive is by looking for interesting Polish sayings. Some of which are quite similar to English idioms and some are quite different.

1.) Wyszłam za mąz (wy-shwam za monz)----it's a phrase used for a women getting married, used quite often, and literally translated it means "I am going out to get a husband." (there is a joke in there somewhere but I'm too afraid to attempt it)

2.) kropla w morzu----a drop in the sea

3.) masz ku ku na muniu---you are crazy in the head

4.) pierza twój mózg (pi-eza tf-oo-i moozg)---literally, clean out your brain, somewhat similar to "get your mind out of the gutter"

5.) Stara miłość nie rdzewieje (stara mi-wosh-ch nie rdzewieje)---Old love never rusts. Incidentally men, I don't recommend using this English translation, in a hallmark card to your wife, anytime soon. Don't ask how I know.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Missionary Biggest Loser #3

April 12th/ Week 3: 265 lbs.

Mental State: I've lost 17 pounds in three weeks. Thursday we walked by a Polish bakery and I straight up coveted.

P.S. You can check out my nemesis and Christian brother's progress over on his blog.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ever Feel Like You're Losing It?

Last Monday Ginger drove a lady from our church into Warsaw. She was quite nervous about the drive and if you want to know why you can read an old blog post I wrote titled "Driving in Poland." Of course my lovely wife did fine but when she pulled into the parking lot of our apartment building I noticed that one of the hubcaps were missing. There's a joke in there somewhere, but I'm not brave enough to tell it. Anyways, I can't drive with three hubcaps, it's a weird quirk but the lack of symmetry drives me insane. On Tuesday we went to a little "mom and pop" auto shop which posed a whole new set of language challenges for me. Fortunately, the husband and wife were very friendly and helpful, so much so that he even came out and helped me install the hubcaps. It was at this point that I realized I installed the last set incorrectly which explains why one came off the rim. So as much as I hate to admit it, it wasn't Ginger's driving that lost the hubcap (though her nickname is Thai Mama Speedracer), rather the culprit was my own ineptness. We had some trouble installing the second set because my rims are a strange size, finally we found a set of hubcaps that fit and for only around $20. Later in the day I made the comment to Ginger that the new hubcaps looked more expensive than they actually were and evidently some neighborhood kids agreed. On Friday morning I went out to the car and noticed that all the hubcaps were gone. Someone stole them off our car in the middle of the night--Oh, I was steaming mad at first and mostly at the fact that they were probably up in their apartments getting a kick out of my facial response to the situation. At least I don't have to worry about the lack of symmetry in driving with three hubcaps. Driving with no hubcaps is quite symmetrical too.

The blessing in all of this was being able to talk to the store owner. The conversation was entirely in Polish so it hurt my head at times but it was encouraging to see the progress we've made in the language. While working on the wheels he asked why we were here and what we were doing. I explained that we were learning Polish and were working in a Baptist church in town. He was surprised to find out that Siedlce had a Baptist church, but he asked where it was located and at what time we met. All in all he was quite friendly and quite interested, especially for a Polish Catholic. As we finished I invited he and his wife to our church, so we'll see what happens. Looking back, I praise the Lord because it was the first time I've been able to invite someone to our church entirely in Polish, and now with the hubcap incident I have the opportunity to speak with him again.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Matt Jones Caught Red-handed

I don't live in Thailand so I can't personally testify to how Matt Jones is doing with his diet, but as the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." This picture was on his wife's facebook page and was taken this past week. Folks, I'm afraid it's time for an intervention, because in the words of the three sharks from "Finding Nemo," he's in "denial." So when you are finished here, jump over to his blog and biblically confront him. He's going to say it was a special occasion, but it's exactly those "special occasions" that have caused he and I to shop for clothes in the "tent and awning section" of Sears. Two shady friends from his past, Swiss Miss and Little Debbie, were evidently calling and the picture proves he picked up the phone, or more specifically the fork. As for myself, here's the report for the week.

April 5th / Day 16: 269 lbs.

Mental State: I've lost 13 lbs. in two weeks. I haven’t had good sugar in two weeks now and the withdrawals I am having make me feel like there are 7 or 8 of those little green umpa-loompa’s in my head swinging sledgehammers. On a different subject, I will be posting ministry updates in the middle of each week until this contest ends.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I have had the opportunity, on several occasions, to participate in the Lord's Supper with the saved and baptized believers from our church here in Siedlce. The reverence with which they approach this time has been convicting to me. Typically, they set apart time for the Lord's Supper at the end of the service, much like we do in the States. The pastor begins by asking all those, who wish participate, to stand. However, upon examination of their own hearts, some believers who could participate choose not to do so. I appreciate their willingness to not eat and drink unworthily, as well, I appreciate that they are not hindered by what other "fellow Christians" are thinking about them. In choosing not to participate, they remain seated while their fellow Christians stand, which presents an obvious contrast between the two groups. I praise the Lord for the priority they place in being right before God over their appearance before fellow Christians and am rebuked as I think of different instances when this has not been true of my life. God help me to fear Him above all.