Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I first heard the term "chisanbop" through a TV commercial back in the late 70s. It was advertised at around the same time as those spots selling Slim Whitman LPs. That dude's singing made me laugh, although I am certain that wasn't the reaction that Mr. Whitman was hoping for (♫ Una paloma blanca whoa whoa ... ♫). Anyway, chisanbop (pronounced like "cheese and bop") is a system developed by some Korean guy for quickly performing mathematical computations for operations whose answer is between 0 and 99. I remember the commerical showing these really young kids being given a string of numbers, flopping their hands around in a blur, and coming up with the answer that was likely written in a large font size on the teleprompter. It was amazing. What is even more amazing is that I can use chisanbop and demonstrate it like a pro.

So, why am I bring up chisanbop and what does it have to do with the price of tea in China? Well the tie-in with today's blog kind of popped into my head after I had spent some time listening to my pastor pray. I have heard him praying to the congregation during Sunday service and in off-the-cuff moments. His prayers always seem to have a depth and breadth to them that somehow makes his petitions seem more genuine and pious than mine. He knows how to drop in just the right verse or use just the right words to make you think that God must be more in tune with his wavelength. Of course, I realize that God hears my prayers just as much as those of my pastor. But sometimes when I listen to him pray, I think, "Wow that is pretty amazing. I sure wish that I knew how to do that.", which is the reaction that many folks have when they see someone using chisanbop. However, once you have it explained to you, it seems pretty elementary after all.