Stories of a Moron

Sunday, November 01, 2009

School Stuff

The school I'm teaching at is a charter school that has been set up to offer students gifted in the arts a chance to express those in an educational setting. But more than that we get students who come to our school because of the small class sizes. My largest class is 16 and the smallest is 3. Most of these students have had some sort of trouble in other schools. At least once a day I'll hear a reference to a PO and not the box numbers. I also get a lot of kids that would be made fun of in the traditional schools. Kids who are socially behind, have a form of autism, kids who struggle with their identity, or are just different. Its kind of a cool place to work in because those kids who would be made fun of or beat up at other schools have a safe environment to learn in. It also makes for some interesting exchanges and interactions between students.

The other day we got a new student, Stan (not his real name). You could tell immediately by watching Stan that something was different. He had slicked back jet black hair and look straight out of the 50's with his blue jeans and button up shirt. At first I thought Stan may have been an ESL student but then realized he simply had a disorder that affected his ability to realize social norms.

There's this senior in my American Government class we'll call Stew. Stew's pretty much a thug, always one of the first to chime in whenever the discussion turns to drinking age or the legalization of certain narcotics. But I've started to notice Stew's not that bad of a guy.

When Stan showed up the other day, very quiet, and looking like an extra from Grease , Stew was the first one to go up and talk to him. Stew walked up and went to shake Stan's hand. Stan didn't shake his hand, a serious sign of disrespect. I think Stan was uncomfortable for several reasons already, but I'm sure that Stew being a 6'2" black 19 year old didn't help the socially awkward white 15 Stan. So Stew tried again. This time he said, "This is how this goes. I say my name, shake your hand then you say yours." So Stew put out his hand again and said his name. As Stan began to put out his hand and say his name, Stew grabbed his hand and began a an incredibly complicated series of dats and pounds followed by a bro pat. Stan was shocked. I think the rest of us were shocked even more. But that kid got an A in the gradebook for that day.

Paul "Soulness Confirmed" Murphy

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I was talking with a good friend the other day and they were venting some frustrations.

I'm tired of more churches having worship committees than service committees.

I'm tired of people spending more time trying to figure out the best way to praise God and less time trying to find ways to serve God.

I get it; for some people their spiritual life is slightly dependent on what happens between 10am and 12pm on Sunday morning. For some people how close they feel to God is about how amazing a "worship" service is. But don't forget, Jesus never once stops and lectures his apostles about singing songs. He never once tells the parable of the off-key worship leader. Our Christian life isn't about Sunday morning service. I honestly think God is more glorified by the work we do, feeding the hungry, helping the oppressed, being a role model, raising a family, and ministering to the lost than by the songs we sing.

If you think more people will come to your church because of the songs you sing and how good the preaching is I think your nuts. Sure, you may get some people from another church, or people moving into town, but you'll never reach the lost with four part harmony.

I guess I'm kind of frustrated with myself too. About two months ago I decided to start playing ultimate frisbee with a group out at the park. They played on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening. So Mark and I would go out and play. We both saw it as a ministry opportunity. It was sort of a missional move. People started joking with us about skipping church. I guess I got tired of dealing with the flak I was taking for skipping church and quit going to play frisbee. How pathetic.

Paul "now I can get my ticket punched on Wed" Murphy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The last month or so...

Ultimate tournament in Little Rock
Dad bought two horses
Quickly finished fencing in another pasture
Becky C's been in town
Rodeo with Aimee
Rob Bell in Charlotte
USC v Kentucky game (parking and game for $20- I didn't pay for parking)
and lots and lots of school

and lots of good food.

Sorry I just haven't had many thoughts in the last month about stuff.

I am upset that most of the bills on health care come with a penalty for people who don't sign up for insurance. If I don't want health care I shouldn't be penalized for not having it. Jerks. I'm healthy, don't visit the doctor, and haven't been to the ER in 7 years. Did I have the option of purchasing a plan through the school I work for. Sure. Did I take it? no. I'm not dishing out $178/month to not go to the doctor or hospital. And I don't like the government telling me what to do with my money. I'm fine with them taking it and doing what they want, but don't not take it and tell me what I've got to do with it. Terrible.

Paul "Life is good" Murphy

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Things I've Learned About Relationships from Jon and Kate; and others

So I'll just state up front that I've occasionally been impressed (like the British Naval way; not the "oh that's neat" way) into watching "John and Kate plus 8." I've compiled a list of things I've learned.

"When you're married, you're can't have a close friend that's a girl. You confide in your close friends, and the only woman you need to confide in is your wife" -Doc K-Stew

I think one of the biggest problems Jon and Kate ran into was that they learned to confide in other people besides their spouse. It seemed like they would use the cameras and their public audience to give information about their lives and vent; mostly about each other.

"Don't be lazy" -My mother

So the few times I watched the show I noticed that Jon always seemed reluctant to work, watch kids, and clean up. This led the most nagging I've ever witnessed. Did he deserve some of it? Sure. Did the nagging help? You tell me.

"...all she does is go 'SQUAK SQUAK SQUAK!' Here, have some more bird seed -----"- Jesse Shuff

Nobody likes and nag. They always come off as a glass-half-empty person. Trey Morgan always says couples need reinforcement, not nagging.

"Men loved to be complimented by their wives. Simple compliments like, 'Your hair looks nice today,' or 'You look handsome in that shirt,' will make your husband's day."- Trey Morgan

"I think I'm going to name the next one (Julia) Miney. I'll start calling Colt Eney, and Allison Meany" (Eney, Meany, Miney...)
"What about Mo" -Me
"There ain't gonna be no 'Mo'"- Philip Murphy

EIGHT KIDS! ARE YOU FREAKING CRAZY!!! You've got to know your limits. I get it, they had trouble having kids then had to turn to fertilization techniques. If you're gonna load the gun, you've got be ready for the possibility of firing off all the shots. But in the end they surpassed their limits, and now it's their kids that will have to pay for it.

'Blah, Blah Blah'- Telemarketer offering me something
"Well is it Free?"- Me
"Honey, ain't nothin in life that's free."- Telemarketer

The van, the house, the trips, Jon's Hair plugs, Kate's surgery, and everything else wasn't free. It came with the cameras, the publicity, and the fame. You can't seriously expect to live your life under surveillance and maintain a close relationship with the people around you. There are things that go on in a house that nobody else needs to know about. Especially not the 5 million woman (and shamed men) who watched the program every week. I'm fairly sure the any intimacy that was there before Season 1 was probably gone by Season 3.

"If he's not getting it at home, he'll get it somewhere else"- Marybeth Greenway

Ladies, don't leave your husband at home during your rare spare time to pursue your book deal. Guys have fairly short attention spans. I think its easy for men to forget how much they love someone when that person isn't around. You've got to make time to make the relationship work. Frankly I'm surprised that Jon lasted as long as he did.

Paul "Waiting for the flood" Murphy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An unsuccessful mission (The wise man built on what?)


I hear people talking about how the Continent of Africa is a great mission field. I hear people using harvest metaphors. But I've got a problem with African missions. We haven't been doing a very good job.

You could say that Christian missions in Africa started in the 15th Century with the expulsion of the Moors by the Portuguese. In fact some of the earliest African missions were started in Portuguese areas of Northern Africa (see Pope Pius II calling for missionaries to Portuguese Guinea in 1462, Benin church 1485, Dominican mission to Senegambia 1486, etc.).

The strange thing is that even though we've had missionaries to the African Continent for the past 550 years it seems like there is an infinite amount of growth for evangelism. Unfortunately its impossible for there to be that much growth in population. What I'm saying is that the long-term effects of missionary efforts in Africa have almost been inconsequential. It seems like every 50 years you turn around and no matter how much progress had been made 50 years before the mission field was the same as it was in 1462 (Not completely but close).

Here's what seems to be the problem: infrastructure. It seems like in every wave of missionaries that we send they fail to set up an infrastructure for success. The Portuguese didn't do it in the 15th and 16th Century. The British, French, Germans, and Belgians didn't do it in the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries. It looks like the only people who went into the African mission field with a legitimate plan for longevity may have been Bart, Mark, Philip, and James TL (The Lesser). The ONLY churches that have honestly survived in Africa for more than 150 years were the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and the Coptic Church. Both churches can trace their heritage back to the time of Acts. The Ethiopian church sites the baptism of an official by Philip as the beginning of their church. The Coptic Church can trace its roots to the missionary efforts of the apostles Mark, Bart, and James TL.

So what did the 1st Century missionaries do that the 15th-20th didn't? I think the answer is infrastructure. What's the difference in a church that we built 40 years ago in Kenya and the Lalibela churches in Ethiopia? One was built out of wood and mud and the other was carved out of the rock. One will stand until the a strong storm blows it down and the other has been standing for nearly 1000 years. What's your point Paul?

If we expect our missions to be successful we need to plan for the long term. We need to build churches that will stand over time, and not just the building. Something in our theology or actions hasn't worked in the last 500 years. Missionaries can go in and plant 50 churches in 5 years (I remember seeing figures like this in my Harding Magazine). That method didn't work 200 years ago what makes us think its going to work now?

In the end I don't think sending the right people is the answer. I think a lot of people go into the mission field with good hearts, and intentions; but that doesn't equal longevity. In order for a long term mission to be affective it has to be self-supporting. It has to have movement from with-in. We can keep sending missionaries to Africa for 500 more years, if we don't find a long term solution.

Education. I think the key is to educate people to be able to help themselves, to be able to preach. I think the goal of missionaries should be to start one solid church and make one solid preacher instead of 50 weak churches and preachers. We've got to set up educational facilities, preaching schools, and maybe even offer accessible ministry degrees to Christians in Africa. We can't keep feeding them the gospel; we have to teach them to feed themselves. We need to make less pew warmers and more bishops.

As the major mission fields are beginning to re-open around the world (see China pop 1.2 billion and India pop: 1 billion a combined 40% of the world population) I think its important to go in with a purpose. We need to make sure we're going in to build churches, not missionary newsletters that look good. It takes a lot more work and effort, but we need to carve our churches out of the rock.

Paul "I'll rail on short term missions later" Murphy

Friday, August 07, 2009

This seems like a joke...

Job Title: Woodshop Teacher- Instr/Training Coor I
Agency: Commission for the Blind
Opening Date: Thu. 08/06/09
Closing Date/Time: Sun. 08/16/09 5:00 PM Eastern Time
State Salary Range: $24,881.00 - $46,033.00 annually
Agency Hiring Range: Min: Max:
Job Type: Temporary Grant - Full-Time
Location: Richland County, South Carolina
Normal Work Schedule: Monday - Friday (8:30 - 5:00)

Print Job Information | Apply

Description Benefits Supplemental Questions Additional

Within the scope of the grant, instructs blind and visually impaired consumers in the safe use of hand and power tools. Conducts well planned woodshop instructuctions/lessons with a goal of preparing consumers for employment. Maintains inventory of woodshop equipment, supplies and material. Provides direction and training in the repair of basic electrical and plumbing fixtures.

Minimum and Additional Requirements:
A bachelor's degree.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Career Idea


living with my parents
hundreds of miles away from my girlfriend

This is the perfect recipe for a great musician

Youtube video links, myspace account, and website to come...

Paul "now all I need is talent" Murphy