are you trying to teach me something?

Within the last 7 days I’ve heard three separate sermons from the same passage. This doesn’t happen all the time. Well, for starters, usually I don’t even hear three sermons in a week. But the Moody conference last week gave me 12 general session messages to choose from. And when I get three in the same week, I think it’s time that I sit up and listen a little more closely.

The third sermon of the bunch was from a guest speaker at our church on Sunday. It honestly wasn’t even that interesting, was pretty shallow. But, it got me turned back to that passage. The other two messages were from D. A. Carson and Tony Evans. Now those will get your attention. 🙂

The passage in question is Ephesians 3:14-21:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Tony Evans laid it out this way: Paul is praying for us to have more intimacy with Christ. Intimacy provides capacity, and the capacity provides power – God’s power. In other words, if we are lacking intimacy with Christ, our capacity for God to work in our lives is diminished. On the other hand, if we pursue intimacy with Christ, our capacity for God to work in our lives is increased, “more abundantly than all we ask or think”.

D. A. Carson, though, had the illustration while teaching this passage that will stick with me the longest. His question was this: why does Paul pray that “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” when he’s talking to Christians, who presumably already have Christ in their life? He told this story, which I’ll paraphrase in the first person:

“When my wife and I bought our first house, it was what they call a “handyman’s dream”. You know what that means… it needed a lot of work. There was black and silver wallpaper in the bedroom. The previous owners had two dogs who were rarely let out – there was still dog poo in the corners of the house. The walls were dingy. It needed lots and lots of work. When we bought the house and moved our stuff in, it was ours, we lived there, but we didn’t really inhabit the place yet.

“But as we continued to live there, we starting working on the house. We knocked down a wall to expand the kitchen. We painted. We took down the black and silver wallpaper. We cleaned up the dog poo. Had we stayed there longer, we undoubtedly would have built on an addition when the kids were born. After some period of time, we could step back, look at the house, and say, ‘wow, we really live here.'”

This, Dr. Carson says, is the difference Paul is talking about in Ephesians 3. When we first accept Christ, our lives are a lot like that handyman’s dream house. There’s black and silver wallpaper on the walls. There’s dog poo in the corners. (“Dog poo” is an exact quote from Carson, by the way. :-)) Christ is living there, but He doesn’t really “inhabit” the place in the way that Paul means. What God wants to do is to clean us up, to do that painting, take down the wallpaper, and remodel the place so that our Christ is really inhabiting our lives.

This illustration was the most striking, insightful picture to me from the whole conference. I want to let Christ continue transforming my life, until it just radiates from me that “Christ lives here”. With three sermons in a week, I think God was trying to tell me something. I hope I’m paying enough attention.

…and the streak is at 6

You gotta love the Chicago Cubs. They brought a guy up from Triple-A to start last night’s game against the Dodgers, and he gets a win in his first major league start. He was the tenth different starting pitcher the Cubs have used already this season, and we’re only two months in!

For as miserable as the season has seemed at times so far, the Cubs are 3 games over .500, in second place in the NL Central (6.5 games back), have the league’s leading hitter in average, (tied for the lead in) HRs, and RBIs (Derrek Lee), and have managed to bang out 6 wins in a row, including a series sweep of the Dodgers.

I’m a happy Cubs fan this morning. 🙂

projecting, part 3

Last time I updated on the projector saga, I had just put in an order for the new projector. That was a few weeks ago. Let me fill in the details.

The projector was delivered on the 13th of May, COD. Even this was convenient; our church treasurer’s wife works for FedEx, so she was able to hold our package for a couple days until her husband (the treasurer) could get the check cut. The long-throw lens came a week later, on the 2oth. I was excited to work on it, built the shelf to mount it and had everything ready to install the projector on the 21st. My in-laws were here visiting at that point, so my father-in-law was available to help.

Installation really wasn’t that tough. I was a bit worried about getting the cables run through the attic and down the wall, but that went very smoothly. I did end up having to make three trips to Ace Hardware (fortunately only about 8 blocks away) to get the right screws to mount the shelf, but in the end everything was placed nicely. I got the long-throw lens mounted, put the projector up, powered it on, and waited with breathless anticipation.

Of course, it never works the first time. I could see that it was sending a picture, if I put my hand in front of the lens, I could see the picture in miniature on my hand. But the lens seemed utterly incapable of throwing the image the 45 feet to the screen. So it’s Saturday afternoon, and of course nobody’s home at the tech support number. So, I left them a message to call me on Monday, and gave up for the day.

Monday they called me while I was in the car on the way to Chicago for the pastor’s conference. They confirmed it was the right lens, and told me that there was another lens adjustment I needed to make. Then I had to wait until Friday when I got back to test it. Sure enough, adjust the other thing, and it works beautifully.

So we used the projector for the first time during the worship service on Sunday. We looped some announcements before & after the service, and then displayed the song lyrics during the service. The response was overwhelmingly positive. There are a few little things we can work on, of course, but over all it is a smashing success. One benefit I had not counted on was how much easier the slides are to read than the old transparencies; some of our old folks apparently were having difficulty reading the overhead, but never said anything to us. Now they can read it clearly.

Thus ends the saga of the projector. Join us next time when Sam says, “Gee, I wish I had two displays so I could see a preview of the upcoming slides in addition to the main display…” Next year’s budget, Sam, next year. 🙂

Musical Baton

And so today the musical baton was passed to me by Jeff Holland. It seems like a fun idea, but it will be agonizing to have to make some of these choices…

Amount of music on your computer?

OK, this one is easy, thanks to iTunes. 4123 songs, 12.8 days, 15.03 GB. That’s basically my entire collection – now how much of it I regularly listen to is an entirely separate question – it would be a much shorter list. The total list is bloated by a bunch of classical stuff and then my wife’s albums (things like the entire collected works of Jim Brickman, Best of Air Supply, other stuff to scary to admit is on there…)

Currently listening to?

Hurry, Sleeping at Last, Ghosts

Five songs that mean a lot to you?

Wedding Dress, Derek Webb
This springs to mind almost instantly; to me it embodies that spirit of brokenness and repentance that I constantly need to have before God.

Somewhere North of Here, Caedmon’s Call (Derek Webb :-))
One of my favorite CC songs, one of the early ones that hooked me.

There aren’t many others that come to mind, so let’s see what iTunes says I’ve been listening to…

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, Bob Dylan
I was introduced to this song by a guy I know who sings in my favorite coffeeshop. It’s good, simple, early Dylan.

Say, Sleeping At Last
Not necessarily even my favorite Sleeping At Last song (that probably goes to Currents, but it’s the first one on the album, and so it gets played the most.

I Get A Kick Out Of You, Jamie Cullum
The young Brit sensation covers an old Cole Porter song. A fun big-band-type arrangement with some good piano work thrown in. I have a huge appreciation for guys like Jamie who have gone back and revived the old big band and jazz.

Top five albums?

Oh gosh, this is a tough one.

Long Line of Leavers, Caedmon’s Call
This was my first taste of Caedmon’s, and still, I think, my favorite overall album. If only they could have left off Valleys Fill First

The House Show, Derek Webb
OK, this is a cop-out – it’s not either of his actual studio albums, but it’s live, which kicks it up a notch in my book, it has the best of She Must and Shall Go Free, and it includes Derek’s cover of Bob Dylan’s Every Grain of Sand, which is one of my favorites (of Derek’s, not of Dylan’s).

Ghosts, Sleeping at Last
This one has grown on me a ton since I first listened to it. It’s the direction that I like rock music to go, and I reserve it for either times when I need to tune out at work (which must be often, seeing how many times I’ve played the album) or while I’m driving with the windows down in the car.

When Harry Met Sally Soundtrack, Harry Connick, Jr.
Here’s my nod to the jazz and big band that I love so much. To think that Harry was early 20’s and recording this album just blows me away. I fell in love with the mellow saxophone solo on Love is Here to Stay way back in high school and it’s still one of my favorite songs. And the piano solo version of Winter Wonderland just makes me shake my head in wonder. Good stuff.

Photographs, Andrew Osenga
I always skip Kankakee and start the album off with Kara. From there on, it’s solid all the way through New Mexico at the end.

A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay
OK, so I’m listing six albums. I couldn’t decide between Andy O and Coldplay, so you get both. This one gets a lot of playtime, too.

Last album bought?

It’s hard to remember. I think it was Eric Clapton’s Unplugged, which is a very fine album. I just had somebody give me a copy of Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God, and it’s top-notch as well.

Recent discoveries?

Jamie Cullum, Andy Osenga, and Sleeping at Last all appeared on my radar about 2 years ago.
Sandra McCracken was a nice discovery earlier this year. (Don’t know why I neglected to buy her stuff for so long…)

Passing on the musical baton.
Let’s see…
Silly Joe
Chris from L.C.

Moody Review: Gary Haugen

Gary Haugen spoke to us last Tuesday afternoon at the pastor’s conference at Moody. Gary is the president of the International Justice Mission, a Christian organization dedicated to providing “investigation strategies, legal expertise, and cutting-edge technology to rescue individual victims of injustice and abuse around the world.” His topic: God’s priority for justice, and how his organization is working in that area.

A little background on Gary first; the guy is a pit bull. He’s rather a small man, but his physique and flat-top haircut would lead you to believe he’s done a stint in the Marines. (That’s purely conjecture on my part, but you get the image.) He grew up in a Christian family, graduated from Harvard Law, went to work for the Department of Justice, and was the head of the UN task force that went to Rwanda to investigate the genocide back in the 90’s. He’s obviously seen a lot in his time.

Gary described his work in Rwanda briefly; harder than sifting through the dead bodies, he said, was having to interview the ones who survived. He then told us about people who have been subjects of persecution and injustice in various places: an african man who was randomly shot by the police and then jailed so he couldn’t talk about it; a 9-year-old girl sold into slavery, forced to roll cigarettes 12 hours a day; young girls sold into prostitution rings; our stomachs were turning after just the first description or two. I think we often choose to forget or ignore these brutalities, here in the USA. And in a sense, I can understand it. (More on that later.)

Gary then walked us through several scriptures that point out God’s concern for justice, for protecting the innocent and “defending the orphan and the widow”. Key among his texts was Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, o man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Justice is mentioned first. So why do we ignore it so often? I need to examine this in my own life.

I’ve always had sort of a built-in repulsion to “bleeding heart” presentations or pleas. Partly, I suppose, this is due to my engineering nature; I want the bare facts, not all the emotional things that can cloud the issue. But I think there’s another side to it; it’s not that I don’t care about the people; it’s more that I feel overwhelmed. What can I do? And so, if I can’t do anything, I’d much rather forget about it than be nagged by the reminders of a hopeless problem.

What Gary did on Tuesday was remind us that it isn’t hopeless. There are people who are doing good work. His mission is one. I may have to think about supporting it in the future. And prayer is our number one tool. Too often I forget to pray; I just get caught up in the helplessness of it all. Thanks to God for being the Helper of the helpless. There are no helpless situations with Him.

Moody Conference, Day 4

It’s Thursday afternoon and the conference is winding down. There’s only one general session left, and while there is anticipation to hear the speaker (Tony Evans), there is still the sadness, weariness, and relief that accompanies the end of a conference. How to describe it? It might be akin to the feeling at the end of a week at bible camp, at the end of a retreat, or even at the end of a college school year. Sadness because these past few days of enjoyment, learning, and fellowship with brothers will soon be over. Weariness because none of us have gotten enough sleep over the past few days. At 6:30 AM on Tuesday, the dining hall was full of breakfasters. By this morning, it was only half full at 7:00. Relief because I know within the next 12 hours I will be back at home, sleeping in my bed, with my wife at my side, and my daughter in the crib in the next room. Relief in getting back to a routine that is more “normal”, even if it means that I will again become the feeder instead of the one being fed. I think similar feelings accompany all endings; we look back with fondness and lingering regret even as we look forward, knowing that we won’t really be happy if things stay the same; life is made up not of stasis but of change. Memory provides the anchors that give us a mental, emotional, and spiritual stasis even in the midst of life’s perpetual motion.

Even for Thursday afternoon, the student center is still noisy with activity. Only the tenor of the noise has changed, from the buzz of Monday’s anticipation and the rumble of Tuesday’s discussion and rumination, to Thursday’s dull roar of completion and the rattle of luggage wheels crossing the tile floor on their way to the cars in the parking garage across the street. Still the people are here. Students reading. That software vendor finishing up a late lunch before taking down his display and heading home. Two young mothers sharing a table with three three small children and a double stroller. There are two men in a booth behind me who have been critisizing the worship band that’s been playing at sessions this week. “You can’t even hear yourself sing when they play.” “You don’t know whether you’re singing off or on.” “It’s only really good when you’re singing with the pipe organ.” It appears that some things never change.

There have been so many good teaching moments over the past several days, and so many ideas for writing, that I’m going to have to just write some short drafts of them right now, and then flesh them out as I have time over the next few weeks. It’s hard even to know where to start. We have heard from a huge cross-section of evangelical teaching. Ravi Zacharias, the Indian philosopher and logician. D. A. Carson, the intellectual professor par excellance. Gary Haugen, one-time leader of the United Nations team that investigated the Rwandan genocide. James MacDonald, the pastor of Harvest Church here in Chicago who at first glance would have you think that Tony Soprano, or better yet, Michael Chiklis’s character from The Shield had taken to preaching. Direct. Hard-nosed. Bang-on. Colin Smith, his Scottish brogue beginning to be tempered by 15 years in the States. Sam Solomon (I suspect somehow this was a pseudonym), an Afghani who warned us of the evils of the system of Islam. Joe Stowell, the long-time president of Moody, passing the torch to his recent successor. Each of these deserves an essay in their own right, and then separate essays for the things I learned from them.

I hope that, months from now, I can point back to this week as a defining point in my life this year. That sounds very dramatic, and I don’t mean it to be. But this conference has challenged me to a renewed passion for Christ, a renewed desire to lead in my family, a renewed desire to make a priority of the Word and prayer. I have been too dry for too long; when Erwin Lutzer warned this morning of the pitfall of losing clear focus, and neglecting the disciplines, I felt at the same time the prick of conviction that I have done so, and some small (though I keep thinking misplaced) comfort that I am not alone in that struggle. I get so caught up in the things of ministry that the time in prayer and the Word get neglected. I think of it this way: how many hours have I spent in the last month working on church stuff? I’ve worked on two websites, set up a blog, installed a new projector, led worship for an outdoor Sunday service, led a worship team practice or two, and that’s just what I can think of from the top of my head. I have spent hours and hours on good stuff like that. But how many hours have I spent in the Word and prayer? Honestly? An hour? Two? Certainly not more. I say this to my shame, and in the sadness that an active, busy life of ministry can be the mask for an inner man that too often is missing meals and not getting rest. I need to change some priorities. God help me as I try to get things balanced better.

This post is meandering more than the well-formed post would; I wander from observation to insight to self-examination and back again. Hopefully I didn’t lose you halfway through it; I guess I should remember that if you’ve gotten this far, you’ve read it. If you’re my friend and you read this, get back to me in a couple weeks and see how I’m doing. My only trouble with being consistent is being so on a regular basis.

Moody Observations, Day 2

Amber liked my attempt at a descriptive writing post yesterday so I thought I’d give it another go. Just more observations from the Moody conference.

The stupid wifi still doesn’t work. All I want to do is just sit here and write directly to my blog, but it doesn’t work. Arrgh. I’m back in the student center at Moody, at another one of those square tables that host mid-day meals, conversations between old friends, and students with backpacks full of homework. At the table behind me is an Army chaplain with oak leaves on his lapels, that makes him what, a captain? It warms my heart to know that he’s taking the time to minister to our servicemen.

Across the room to my left is the Moody sales table. Either they stocked up on Conference polo shirts this year, or grey isn’t a popular color – Richard assured me the shirts are usually sold out by Monday afternoon; it’s Tuesday afternoon and they still have quite a pile left. Maybe their color choices aren’t always the greatest; they have t-shirts for sale left over from last year that are a not-quite-so-nice shade of brown… but they’re only $3 so I might just pick one up anyway. You can also buy coffee mugs, baseball caps, and some various books and literature. Sadly, for their sales prospects, I don’t drink coffee and it’ll take something more special than a pastor’s conference to supplant the Cubs on my baseball cap brim. Maybe the t-shirt is the right call.

Display booths on my right advertise products attractive to those in ministry: graduate school, online bible courses, bible study software, a publishing house. The representatives at these sales booths are worth a closer study. I don’t think I’d find it a fun assignment to have to man a booth like that. There are two across the room from me. Both are men in their late thirties or early forties; both are somewhat overweight and dressed in their best professional oxford shirts and sweater vests. Both are browsing on their laptops, eating lunch. Maybe I should see if either of them have gotten wifi to work… When a customer approaches, you can see them go into this “Christian sales” mode. It’s somewhat weird to me, because I typically think of salesmen as pushy, annoying, caring little about you and what you want, and more about how they can manipulate you into buying their product. But with these guys, they’re restrained, trying to be helpful, obviously in sales mode with their product, but at the same time remaining mindful that the men they’re selling to are their brothers in Christ who need enhanced ministries, not just a cool (expensive) software program. I wish there were more salesmen like them. I’d love to buy a car from a guy who had my best interests in mind rather than his own… but that’s a totally different subject. 🙂

It’s quieting down now that the next general session has started. There’s a round table with five guys around it and the remnants of their lunch still on it; apparently they’re skipping the session to continue the discussion – a good idea if you ask me. There are several guys sitting around singly, like me, taking time to read, write, think. There are still some t-shirts for sale… I think I’ll go buy one. At $3, they’re a steal, even if they are brown.

Moody Conference Day 2

It’s 1:10 PM and I’m skipping a general session to sit and write. Richard described this conference as “trying to get a drink of water from a firehose”, and he’s not much wrong. So far today we’ve had general sessions with D.A. Carson and Gene Getz, and I went to a workshop also with Dr. Getz. And that was all before lunch! This afternoon there’s another general session and then a workshop before dinner. As I already said, I’m skipping the general session to do some writing, mostly because if I don’t take the time to write things down, I’ll start forgetting… and I don’t want to forget. It’ll be much more valuable for me to cement some things in my mind rather than just go soak up some more things that I won’t have time to remember.

Last night was Ravi Zacharias. He is brilliant. In the areas of metaphysics and logic, few are his equal. His topic was “Questionable Questions: Four questions skeptics ask that point to Christ”. I’ll write a separate post just on his message. Very impressive. Had a snack, decided to skip out on the late movie (National Treasure) since I’d just seen it last weekend, and went to bed.

One other thing I don’t want to forget from last night: we had a pianist providing special music. His name is Anthony Burger, and he usually plays with the Gaithers. His style is very showy, which means I don’t like it much. He plays with an instrumental track, it makes me think that Liberace got saved and started playing Christian music. But the last song of his set was Handel’s glorious Hallelujah Chorus. The power of that music drove away my discontent with the style of the presentation. Within the first few measures of the song, all 2000+ men in the auditorium stood to honor God in that great tradition of the Chorus. All the guys that knew parts were singing along. Words to not do it justice. Being in a room with 2000 men who want to worship God and having such a majestic chorus to do it with? Amazing. Fantastic. Superb. I’ll shut up now. 🙂

This morning we had our first general session with Dr. D. A. Carson. He is probably the most “intellectual” speaker of the week. He apologized at one point early in the presentation for ending a sentence with a preposition! Just that kind of guy. He is a research professor at Trinity Evangelical School of Divinity, which means they basically retain him just to do research and write books. That being said, he’s a very good speaker as well. His ten-dollar words and presentation had John’s eyes permanently glazed over, but Richard and I loved it. I’m really looking forward to hearing Dr. Carson again tomorrow.

As Dr. Carson’s session dismissed, I headed off at a trot to get to the workshop with Dr. Gene Getz on Elders and Leadership in the church. It was a very good session… he reminded us that we need to stop assuming that the “form” that we’ve practiced with in our culture for all these years can substitute for the “supracultural” principles of leadership. There are the principles, which are universal. They transcend culture. Then there are the practices. They have to be customized depending on the culture and circumstance the church is in. I will have to take some time to digest it some more, but I think we can gain some things that we can implement at Noelridge. Dr. Getz then had the second morning session, where he taught on the importance of godly leadership in the church. Nothing super profound, but still encouraging and challenging.

The music times here have been pretty decent so far. Don’t get me wrong, the band is quite good. I always have a little trouble not being critical with bands, I guess they stick out to me more because I’m the musician. They’ve had a good balance of both old and new music; at the second morning session we sang Matt Redmond’s Blessed Be Your Name and followed it up with It Is Well With My Soul. Nice. I wish the worship leader were a little less showy and a little more of a musician, but I get the feeling that it’s just style, not heart attitude, so I can look past it.

Richard and I are going to be slackers tonight; we’re going to a Cubs game. The Astros are in town and Roger Clemens is pitching. Now, that probably means that the Cubbies will lose, but then, what else is new? It will be a little chilly tonight, but should be a great time. I love Wrigley Field. It will be a good break from the fire hose.

Moody Conference Day 1

Monday, May 23rd 3:30 PM

Richard picked me up at the house at 8:20 or so this morning. Said goodbye to Becky, Laura, and Becky’s parents and headed out to Chicago. We picked up Sam and John on the way and then traversed I-88 in a purple Chevy Blazer to get to Chicago.

It’s my first time at Moody and it’s an interesting campus. Land is obviously at a premium in downtown Chicago, so the campus feels a bit cramped. I’m sitting in the student center writing this, where I can view the registration area and various folks milling around, waiting for dinner and the start of the conference’s activites tonight. If only they had wi-fi access… I asked before I came and they said there was wi-fi in here, but I guess they were wrong. Or maybe they have it turned off… who knows? So, I guess I’ll have to resort to dial-up back in my room.

You can see the whole cross-section of evangelical church leadership just here in the student center. At the table next to me is a guy in jeans, a t-shirt, and a University of Wisconsin baseball cap. He looks typically midwestern. Across the room is a group of several black guys dressed to the nines – suits, ties, very slick. One of them is probably 5-9, 325, wearing a lime green pinstriped suit with the lapels turned up. Stylin’, I guess. Basic attire seems to be jeans and t-shirts, which is nicely relaxed for a pastor’s conference. I had a fleeting image of guys whose idea of “casual” dress was an open collar and loafers with their slacks and jacket… I am happy in that regard to have been (at least for now) proved wrong. Here next to me a few minutes ago was one Institute staff member talking with a few friends from out of town. They were discussing the latest Star Wars movie, so I tried to ignore them since I haven’t seen it, and won’t see it until our break on Wednesday. If I wasn’t going to the movie Wednesday, and if I’d brought my basketball shoes along, they’re having an organized 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Wednesday afternoon… that could be fun. Oh well, maybe next time I come.

We had a late lunch this afternoon at a goofy diner called Ed Debevic’s. The highlight of this place is the waitstaff that is intentionally rude to the diners. Our waitress was sullen, cynical, and had us nicknamed. Grey-haired Sam was “Pops”. John, the youth pastor was “Sparky”. I’m not sure she had a nickname for me – I guess I was beyond description. Our waitress was actually pretty tame compared to the other guy who was serving. There was a booth with two younger-ish women across and down from us a bit. At one point, they must have complained or something about their rootbeer float. So, the waiter grabs it off the table, carries it three booths away, sets it down, and yells at the top of his lungs, “Well how’s this, will you enjoy your rootbeer float better when it’s over here?” They weren’t quite sure how to respond. Once the waiter had left, a guy from a neighboring booth went over and returned the float to them – they were a bit too cowed to retrieve it themselves. Later, they made the mistake of asking for extra napkins. He walked away, shaking his head. Then, in a loud voice from behind the counter, he was laughing at top volume, and holding his head in his hands. “More napkins?!? For the love! More napkins?” Then they got their napkins.

Well it’s almost 4:00 now and the stream of men coming into the student center has continued uninterrupted. Across the way, Gene Getz, who is one of our general session speakers, is greeting some friends and mingling with the crowd. The Wisconsin fan is still sitting there, hasn’t moved or spoken since I sat down. Two guys behind me are discussing the future of Moody Broadcasting. Just another day in the big city. Dinner is in two shifts, and ours starts in half an hour. Like I need it after the cheese burger from Ed’s.