Posts Tagged ‘charity’

A Vatican cheese basket from the Monks

A Vatican cheese basket from the Monks

Monks.

When you consider the robe-trodden people of humble beginnings, you typically consider open-toed Birkenstocks, little oral hygiene and climbing the charts with that ethereal monotone moaning they do.

These are guys of limited resources and don’t ask for much, so when the economy tanked and donations came to a screeching halt, you knew these boys had to mix in a job application or something outside of their six hours of daily prayer.

But according to this story from USA Today, members of the Teresian Carmalites monastery in Worcester, Mass. have cornered the market to help ressurect their philanthropic pitfalls – wrinkle cream?!

First, it was make some brew from their Trappist order in Belgium. No go. Next, they thought to make windmills and sell power, but an ill wind was blowing and that didn’t work.

That’s when one of what Brother Dennis Wyrzykowski calls “God-incidences” connected them with a medical school professor, whose work included patented research into a compound in the human heart that has been found to also fight wrinkles. With the professor’s blessing, the religious community recently started selling a high-end skin cream online based on the compound.

No more homemade jam, cheese and wine, these fellas have broken into the world of Avon, Mary Kay and Maybelline.

For $65, you too can purchase a bottle of Easeamine (online no less) and wash those crows feet away. And if they sell 32,000 tubes of this celestial cream, they break even. Heavenly, ain’t it?

You know, now that I think about it – and stare at myself in the mirror – who needs the cream. How about some Duran Duran. Hit it boys.

[Breaking linkage about this story: As of 9/14/09, this story has been linked in many national hot beds. Regretfully, not because of the content, but rather the picture. My source tag vanished but this was indeed lifted from Promise Keepers’ footage in 1997, “Standing in the Gap.” Thanks all for the link love and hat tips. Peace.]

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

NEWS FLASH: The economy sucks.

I know, breaking news, but hey, we’re here for you.

Some of the most affected businesses during these tumultuous times are faith-based and non-profits. Many are cutting corners, getting things on the cheap and dawning the sackcloth & ashes for donations just to “arrive” at the front door.

Before...

Before...

In the heyday of ministry outreach, people would fill stadiums and give $1000s without flinching for the betterment of the Gospel.

One such ministry was Promise Keepers. Actually, it was more like a movement in the 90s.

One that moved upon the men of this nation with brilliant marketing, highly respected leaders and a niche message for men… by men.

Fast forward to the Oughts. No more stadiums. The speakers have checked out. And Coach McCartney even came out of “retirement” to energize the base.

What? You haven’t heard? Yeah, that’s how good the marketing has been these days too.

So, the Colorado-based ministry needed a spark to light the fires of revival again. And, according to the story in Yahoo!, they named that spark, “Woman.” Huh?!

After 20 years of men-only events, Denver-based Promise Keepers is urging men to bring “the women in their lives” to a July 31-Aug. 1 conference marking the group’s anniversary. “It’s time for Promise Keepers men to step up and honor women,” Raleigh Washington, the group’s president, said Monday. “We’re going to heal the gender divide that exists in America. What better way to challenge a man than nose to nose with his wife, his mother, his sister?” he said.

Well, that’s uh, sweet. But riddle me this: Do you really expect us to believe it 20 years for some dude to think up that gem? Out of all the man-law meetings the PK executives have had in the Mile High city, not one guy has thought, “Um, can I invite my wife?” No? Oh, well then perhaps you wouldn’t mind this:

Promise Keepers filled football stadiums and boasted a $117 million budget in the mid-1990s, but has struggled to find an identity since. Revenues declined for several years to about $10.9 million in 2007, according to its tax forms. This year’s budget is $7.5 million, Washington said.

Let’s see, what do men have in common with women? Gender? No. Temperment? Nah. Spirituality? No way. Wait! Money? We have a winner.

...and after

...and after

Forgive the snark, but if you would have just come out and said, “We’re looking to expand our horizons as a means to capture the audiences we had back in the day,” we could respect that. But to church it up with the P.C.-gender divide talk, and keep N.O.W. off your case (because, let’s be honest, NOW doesn’t care unless you are in the news), is foolish at the very least and hypocritical at the most.

And, did anyone catch who’s actually coming to the party? “The women in their lives.”

What used to be about “Men of Integrity” is now open for “men who are shacked up”, “baby daddies” and “fellas who just want to bring a date.” Classy.

Maybe the PK events will be back to where they used to be and the economy will stop being the final determinant. And maybe then, they can go back to the original idea of “Promise Reapers”. If you have a gripe about the focus, let them know. Since its all about integrity, they should respond. And if not, holler at these guys… it’s where the spin came from in the first place.

Memo to PK (and your PR team): It’s not the gender divide of which you have to worry; it’s the divide among men who used to call themselves Promise Keepers thanks to this jackleg move.

The Bible tells us “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).

Fast forward 6,000 years and I presume that means feeling like we haven’t the time to do anything because we are too preoccupied taking up overtime. You know like running to Starbucks, going to a bible group or even taking 15 minutes to pray.

Huzzah! Fear no more. That whole “I feel you” thinking has got your back because God now has an 800 number. Well, kinda.

Dutch artist Johan van der Dong has set up a local telephone number in the Netherlands, where he urges people to leave messages for God on his answering machine. “Like praying, leaving a voicemail message is a way to organize your thoughts,” he said. “It’s a perfect combination for some contemplation.”

Yeah. Even He has one - a great iAm phone.

Yeah. Even He has one - a great iAm phone.

Well, that’s mighty narcissitic of him, isn’t it?

Call God… at his answering machine?!

What, did Robert Tilton decide to create another ministry fleecing the sheep? Oral and Richard Roberts come out of their sabbatical and witness protection to find another small business venture? Did Thomas Weeks come up with a kitschy new idea for a program on TBN?

You know, ratings and all.

Good thing there is Vonage and cell plans with unlimited long distance. Can you imagine the charges for calling heaven?! And then, what happens if his son answers the phone? What would you say, “Um, hey! Is your Daddy home? I’m hungover and I need to promise him… again… that I’ll never do this if he makes this vicious headache go away.”

“SURE,” the bellowing voice says. “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADYYYYYYYY!!!

So, here’s the REAL (no kidding) phone number:

Callers dialing 06-4424-4901 (or +316-4424-4901 if calling from outside the Netherlands) for the message, “Hi, you are speaking to God. I’m not in right now so leave a message after the beep.”

The 80s were amazing for pop culture – parachute pants, breakdancing, a John Hughes filmography and all those TV preachers falling like the Dow Jones statistics. Thank you, TBN.

Oh? You missed this album on iTunes?

Oh? You missed this album on iTunes?

I know there’s always that little voice in the back of your mind saying… well, shouting actually, “Man! I wish I would have recorded those failed days of Jim & Tammy Faye.”

Well, tell that voice to shut up because happy days are here again, thanks an Atlanta investment banker who is auctioning more than 15,000 videotaped copies of the fraudulent “PTL Club” and James Bond spike eyelashes of Tammy Faye Bakker.

The tapes appraised at $8 miiillllllllllllllllioon dollars (can’t you see my pinkie draped to the corner of my mouth?) have a tale of woe to go with it:

The 15,069 hourlong tapes went to a Charlotte church, then a cable content provider, said Ben Dyer, president of Gospel Properties. The cable provider defaulted on a loan from Dyer’s company and he got the tapes, which he plans to auction in San Francisco on March 27.

Fitting for a ministry that began in the opulence of God, was seen all over TV and ended with the visual of fetal boy taken away sucking his thumb.

These days, the Bakker clan have taken some odd paths to obscurity:

  • Tammy Faye died terribly of colon cancer, but not before she became the patron saint of homosexuality and mascara addiction;
  • Jim, since released from prison and absconded from popularity has found deliverance and redemption through reaching out to the lost for Christ;
  • and Jay Bakker, the tattoo-ridden preacher, has taken the torch to carry from… anyone… yeah, his mother.

Who knows? Maybe Paul Crouch and the TBN gang can buy those video tapes and play reruns. Please, you know that would rock the ratings. And in this economy, anything is possible.

Meet Matthew Derosia, a renegade SUV driver with a real weed for making a statement.

Misled folk, like this deranged lunatic, have done oddball things in the name of God for centuries. For example, take the protest of abortion clinics. Listen, I understand being appalled by something – cruelty against animals, abuse of the environment or say all that Pier 1/Bombay Outlet stuff they got half-price to adorn the set of TBN. Oy!

No one I know personally loves children more than yours truly. So, when I see people protest abortion clinics, I get it. The war of life begins the very moment one of those little soldiers make it to the battlefield, not when said soldier makes it out of the foxhole – if you’ll forgive the military metaphor (ba-dum-dum-ching).

Now, this... this is a statement

Now, this... this is a statement

But what this zealous fool did is overboard by just a smidge:

In an apparent abortion protest, a man who police say intentionally crashed his SUV into the Planned Parenthood clinic on Ford Parkway in St. Paul [Minn.], has been arrested.

That’s insane. And why? Evidently, to post a sticky note in the minds of Christians everywhere.

The crash happened… while a group of protesters demonstrated across the street. Thursday was the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, the landmark case regarding abortion.

I presume dolts like this have read the Bible with some sort of decorum and passion. Perhaps, they are familiar with the “begats“? Funny how those deal with genealogy, you know, as in people… who used to be babies. Murder does not begat murder! Are you kidding me?!

Bombs, cyanide and now ramming a truck full speed into an office building. Stay classy, folks. What kind of witness do you think you are really being for the Lord at this rate?

Man, don’t you think God would best served with education, teaching… heck, throw condoms out the window while you are flipping the doctor’s the finger if you really want to sin, but actions like these don’t make people want to join your cause. Those action make people want to slam your knees with a sledgehammer.

How is God glorified by you killing the doctor, his nurses and staff – half of which are probably there without prejudice just trying to earn a check to take care of you know, their CHILDREN!

Man, these dimwits make a preacher wanna cuss on a Sunday.