Monday, November 9, 2015

My favorite line in the movie The Usual Suspects is the one where Kevin Spacey says “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.”

This Christmas, the world has got some issues to deal with. Families living in poverty and starving for lack of a milk goat. The aftermath of Hurricane Patricia. But what are Christians upset about? 

The Starbucks red cup.

I have a message for my fellow Christians – quit it. It is NOT Starbucks' responsibility to remind people that Christ was born to save us from our sins and reunite us to God. That responsibility belongs to the church and its members. It belongs to you. So really, you're upset that Starbucks isn't doing your job for you.

The red cup, to you, is a symbol of the fact that everywhere you look people are trying to avoid the story of Jesus, to take away its relevance. Guess what? That is not new. The world has never embraced Christ. John 1 says 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

As Christians, we will always have to fight to keep the gospel relevant. Getting angry over the Starbucks red cup is not how you do it. It is a distraction. Distraction comes from the devil to keep you out of the real fight.

In Matthew 23, Jesus rebukes the teachers of the day by saying that they clean the outside of a cup, but leave the inside full of greed and self-indulgence. That they strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. In other words, they were all about appearances, and because of that they were missing the point.

If you are upset about the Starbucks red cup, you are missing the point. Instead of focusing on the outside, think about what's on the inside. A four dollar cup of coffee that you can make for 20 cents at home. What if you took that money and instead bought a goat for a needy family in Botswana. Packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. Donated to disaster relief. Here's a link to Samaritan's Purse, where you can do just that. 

Instead of focusing on all the ways the world ignores the gospel, be a keeper of the gospel. Read the story of Christ's birth to your kids to remind them why you are celebrating this special season.

Don't let Satan distract you with little gnats when you've got camel-sized problems to deal with. Instead, keep your eyes on the work that God has tasked you to do.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

Surgery as a metaphor

Sometimes, in the process of self-discovery, we discover things about ourselves that we do not like.

Maybe it's an obsession, a pet peeve, a love or hate, a habit, a moral...

Maybe it's nature, maybe it's nurture... regardless of where it came from, it's there. And it's a part of who you are.

Like a bad bowel.

When you have a bad bowel, you can't eat very much. You have little energy. Everyone tells you "it's normal, it's stress, it'll go away."

It doesn't go away.

You go to a doctor with a long, Indian last name who pokes and prods your abdomen and and asks you, with a wooden-sounding accent, to describe your bowel movements.

When you have a bad bowel, they stick cameras up and down your various orifices, take your blood and signature, give you pills and directions, and then send you to a surgeon in San Francisco to have the bad bowel removed.

It's a strange thing, actually. Something you were born with is bad for you. It is harming you, and in order to preserve the rest of yourself, it must be removed from you....


That's right, sports fans. A complete stranger is going to take a knife to your person. They don't know who you are. They don't know your religion, your mother or father, your past relationships, your collection of vintage playing cards. They know neither the nature or nurture that brought you to their operating room.

They just know how to take bad bowels out of good bodies. You can't help, you can't even watch. You have to take a nap and trust them to not kill you while you're asleep.

You wake up with three scars and a lot of pain. It takes three days before you can walk without someone to support you. At the end of a week, you go home. At the end of a month, you are reveling in the freedom to eat and do and live as you couldn't before.

What a metaphor.

Pick an issue. It could be of the heart, the mind, the personality type. You've found it. It makes you sick. It is a natural part of you that threatens the rest of yourself.

However, all efforts on your own part to get rid of it fail. What now? Do you just accept it? Learn to embrace it as part of your person?

Bob Marley was right. You can't run away from yourself.

So if you can't change yourself... WHO CAN?

It goes against our grain to ask for help in a society where independence is the golden rule. We suffer our diseases for the sake of pride and privacy. Sometimes our glorified sense of independence becomes the ugly force that keeps us who we are.

Can you let go of a part of yourself?
Can you find someone who knows how to help you?
Can you trust them with your disease?

Can you learn to live without it.

The recovery is difficult and the scars are forever. But the pain is nothing compared to the joy of freedom.

Trust me.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Checking IN or Checking OUT?

Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but that does not make all opinions equal.

What do you think?


Monday, July 21, 2014

Gotcha videos VS real journalism

My background in Journalism may have lent a personal annoyance to this soapbox.

"Gotcha" videos are entertaining, but you have to watch out for gotcha artists that are going for clicks instead of fairness or truth.

This video does not reflect my personal opinions of Nancy Pelosi, Lois Lerner, the NSA or NBC. I am not defending either side of either controversy.

The point I'm making is in defense of REAL journalism.

I am not defending American news networks, I am not attacking civilian journalism. This rant is just a Socratic encouragement to analyze content objectively.

When it comes to news, go for education. Not entertainment.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

check the mirror

What are the things that make you the most angry about the state of our government?
  • They can't manage a budget
  • They only care about their money and power
  • They lie, steal and cheat

Really, we get mad at our government because we feel that it does not represent us, the people.


Think about the fact that the economy crashed because the public can't manage a budget. That our prisons are overcrowded with people who lie, steal and cheat - things that I'm certainly not innocent of. Are you?

 Sadly, they represent us very well. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How many laws do we need?

The astronomical number of laws in America - from building codes to taxes - is growing all the time. Is it helping to make our world a safer, more peaceful place?

Is there a ceiling to how many laws can be created?

Are lawmakers searching for that final law that transforms the Earth into Utopia?

If we could pare the number down, would 10,000 be enough to keep everyone in line?

Lets look at the numbers.

The nation of Israel began with ten laws

only six of which were social (the rest were religious)

which Jesus narrowed down to two laws

one religious and one social, which was

"Love your neighbor as yourself"

1 (one) law. That is all it would take to have world peace.

                     Think about it

Monday, January 28, 2013

Discover THIS

Self-discovery is underrated in society.

"What? No it's not," you say. "Look at all the ways people express themselves in music, clothing, hair color, and bumper stickers."

That's not what I call self-discovery. More like identity indoctrination.

Self-discovery is not for the timid.

You will find things you do not like, but cannot change, about yourself. You will like things that you're not supposed to. You will cross boundaries into stereotypes you do not belong, or maybe you will fit comfortably and predictably into an established stereotype and vanish to the public eye.

Congratulations if, when people look at your playlist and raise an eyebrow, you can say "What? I like that music."

Congratulations if, when people look at what you're eating and hold their breath, you can say "What? It's delicious."

Congratulations... and keep it to yourself.

Because when you turn to the person next to you with your latest insight into your personality and say "This is the thing about me" ... they may look interested.... but most of us are just being polite.

I sat at a bar one time and kept a tally of how many times a guy said "that's just how I am, people get upset because they don't understand that."

Really? Good job discovering that you are a rude person by nature.

I'm sure you'll have great success teaching the rest of the world to accept that about you and overcome their own natures to love you just the way you are. INSTEAD of learning to be polite.

It's very important to figure out who you are as a person. But the reward is private.

 Your next challenge is to understand the world... not make the world understand you.

Look at it this way: if someone cares, they'll ask. If you find yourself holding public lectures on the inside workings of your own psyche... your audience probably doesn't care.

Just so you know.