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Showing posts from July, 2013

For the Love of Pets

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I am not a people person. I really don't even like most people. People are everything that's wrong with this world. They're selfish, greedy, and disappointing. And I'd just as soon avoid interacting with practically all of them.

On the other hand, I love animals. I love reading about them, watching videos of them, and having them as pets. Now, if you've ever had a pet, you know that animals certainly aren't perfect either. Cats scratch up furniture, dogs pee on things, and ferrets bend in a way that grosses out my wife. But there's one significant difference between the imperfections of animals and people: animals are innocent.

I've had my fair share of run-in's with imperfect pets. But nothing takes the cake like the first cat my wife and I got together. You know how dogs are known for clamping down on their prey and refusing to let go? That's what this cat once did to me. It charged at me from down the hall, grabbed my thigh with clawed paws, …

Understanding the Unstoppable

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Last week, Kirk Cameron posted that both Facebook and YouTube had blocked links to the trailer of his upcoming new movie, "Unstoppable." Here's how he presented the problem to his fans:
Calling all friends of Faith, Family, and Freedom! Facebook has officially "blocked" me and you (and everyone else) from posting any link to my new movie...labeling the content as "abusive", "unsafe", and "spammy"!...This is my most personal film about faith, hope, and love, and about why God allows bad things to happen to good people. What is "abusive" or "unsafe" about that?! Within a day, the block had been removed. Cameron, again, comments:
Because of your firm, loving, and clear voice, not only did Facebook welcome us back, YouTube also removed its block on our Unstoppable movie trailer...now let's make sure NOTHING stops UNSTOPPABLE from coming to a theater in your town on Sept. 24th. Buy your tickets today. If we sell…

Men Aren't Pigs

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Most guys remember the awkwardness of "becoming a man." For me, it was realizing that Xena: Warrior Princess had become my favorite TV show. I also found myself ignoring the comics in the newspaper in favor of the Sears catalog.

As I got older, things only got more difficult for those of us who grew up with the internet in our homes. Years ago, good Christian boys could keep the wiles of the world at bay because to do otherwise meant publicly purchasing a copy of Playboy (no, I'm not linking that).

But then cable happened and those lucky enough to have their own TV's could stay up till 3:30 and watch Girls Gone Wild in the privacy of their own rooms. The internet was truly a game changer. Especially if you had your own computer like I did.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of women read that and were disgusted that this has become the common experience of most men. And after battling a 9-year-long pornography addiction and having to explain that to my wife, I under…

14 Reasons Why I Can't Worship

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Growing up in the church means a lot of different things to different people. Depending on the time of the year, for me it meant being at church virtually seven days a week. No, I wasn't a pk (pastor's kid); I was a wpk (worship pastor's kid). And my mom was the choir pianist. So ministry is not a foreign concept to me. I was practically born into it.

In fact, by the time I was 12-years-old, I was already part of the church worship team. That's not to say I was pressured into it by my parents. I just happened to love music as much as they did. It's rare for someone as young as me to be able to say that they have 14 years of worship leading experience. But it's probably even rarer for that same person to say that after all that time, they feel like they understand worship even less because of it.

This hit home for me only in recent years. I remember leading worship at Moody--leading literally hundreds of young people--and thinking, "I should probably feel m…

Quiet Living

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I hate the country. The bugs are bigger and more plentiful. The convenience stores are fewer and further apart. And the music makes me wish I was the one that had run over their dog.

Truth be told, I find the simple life of the country disquieting. That may sound funny to some, but after living in the city for a while, the noisy pace actually becomes quite soothing. In fact, our current apartment is ground level to a busy street that features lots of potholes and a U-Haul. Which is nice because it makes it harder to tell the difference between an empty flatbed and a gunshot.

It's almost intoxicating. As if the city lures unsuspecting people into becoming loud, rude, aggressive folk. But somehow, I don't imagine this is what Jesus had intended for us.

From the average American's perspective, evangelicals are far from quiet, kind, or cooperative. They're more like city folk. Their opinions are uncompromising, their values are universal, and their politics are the best thi…

Acting Out

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Recently, a restaurant in Virginia banned children under the age of 18 from entering. Can't say that I blame them.

Kids are noisy. And when I pay for a nice, romantic evening out with my wife, I expect it to be just that. Come to think of it, why don't they ban kids from flying? On my last flight out of Augusta, there was a baby in the back screaming the entire time. And we sat on the tarmac for an hour before even taking off. It's hard to hear those whiny little punks and not want to rush their parents with a barrage of parenting advice. Honestly, how hard is it to have well-behaved children?

I guess I'll find out soon enough with my first on the way in less than six months. And as snarky as that introduction was, the truth is I'm absolutely terrified about being a parent for one reason: discipline.

When our podcast recorded the episode about this, I told them afterward I was a little disappointed that no one addressed non-physical forms of discipline. For all of …

Lessons from a Loser

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I live in Chicago. And the Blackhawks recently won the Stanley Cup. When you live in a sports town, the mood of the city is completely determined by how well its teams do. Which explains why New York and Boston generally have a lot of self-confidence--they regularly win championships. So naturally, Chicagoans are pretty proud right now. I guess it helps dull the pain that the Cub's World Series commemorative shirt is just a plain white t-shirt.

Yes, there are plenty of other cities with worse teams overall, but few sports franchises have been the butt of "loser" jokes like the Chicago Cubs. At least Robert Zemeckis thought so almost 25 years ago. In our culture, losers are the lowest of the low. Downright worthless. But seeing that I've been down here for a while, I have to say, it's not all that bad.

Some people are really driven. They know what they want, and they'll do whatever is needed to get it. Even at the expense of others, they will succeed. Or simpl…