Sunday, October 30, 2011

Feast or Famine?

Last night my wife and I watched Episode 203 of The Endless Feast on pbs.  The episode was set in the Arkansas delta, and the accents were as wonderfully diverse as the dishes for the feast.  It was encouraging to see people who were enjoying their work and providing healthy, natural products to their community.

At the end of the episode, the various members of the community came to one long table to enjoy the meal. While I'm not criticizing the motives of the show, I must comment on the irony.  The meal was obviously fresh and delicious, and each person was rightfully proud of what she or he contributed; however, I was saddened by the absence of thanksgiving to the Creator-- from whose hand all of the food and drink was provided.  Perhaps this show is a fitting postmodern metaphor of where we are spiritually in America today-  feasting on all that satisfies for only a short time, and forgetting to invite the Invisible, Eternal, Immortal to the table.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buzz Words

Words matter.  The words we choose often carry an impact beyond their mere meaning.  When I was a youngster in school, I was often perplexed by the way certain words or phrases were suddenly "cool" or (more accurately) over-used.  It's funny how some things don't change.

Recently, I've noticed certain words being used far more than they should and in some very unusual contexts.  For example, why are so many people using the term "drill down" in speaking about data?  Why do so many people think that starting their sentences with the conjunction "so" makes them seem smarter than the average bear? And why is everyone fascinated with the term "pipeline"?  Has the oil industry had such an impact on our language?

Perhaps I'm just on the outside of the cool circle (which has always been the case), but I prefer to abstain from trend-speak.  What buzz words have you noticed lately?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Tower of Google

Have you seen google translate? It's amazing!  The program will instantly translate between more than 60 worldwide languages.  While the technology has the potential for significant positive benefits, I cannot help think of the Tower of Babel event (read the account here).

Could it be that this new technology could virtually undo the linguistic boundaries that God put into place?

While technological advancements can be used for good, we have to realize that in general the hearts of mankind continue to strive for self-sufficiency, self-aggrandizement, and a resistance to submitting to the authority of our Creator. Technology will continue to change, but people are people, and our hearts will only find satisfaction when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Guys & a Whole Lot of Fries!

Last Monday, my family and I came across a wonderful burger joint.  I had noticed signs for 5 Guys Burgers & Fries, but this was the first visit.  It will not be the last!

The menu is simple, some may even say minimal.  You basically can choose between a burger, a hot dog, or a veggie sandwich. The burgers are available in two sizes.  We opted for the "Lil", and it was quite filling.  The free peanuts at your table while you wait is a fun touch.  Having the food prepared in sight was different...kinda like Subway, making burgers.  I found it somewhat odd that a chalkboard displayed where the potatoes were from for that particular day.  It should have been a bit of foreshadowing that we were about to be defeated by the most-delicious-closest-thing-to-homemade french fries we had ever experienced.  There are 6 of us, so I ordered a large fry, thinking we would all get a little taste.  WRONG!

The large fry came in a big, brown, paper bag.  We ate, ate, and ate as much as we could, but still there was more. It was a bag of never-ending fries, and they were delicious!

Do yourself a favor: Get to 5 Guys and prepare yourself for fries.   

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What is good?

The word good is often over-used.  
"Have you heard that new song by... It's really good." 
"How was that movie?"  "It was good!"
"Did you have a good weekend?"
"How was lunch?"  "You guessed it... it was good."

I recently read an interesting blog post by Kevin DeYoung.  In the post, Kevin challenges us to think about the entertainment that we choose to consume or not.

I found it profoundly simple to use his suggested test before I declare whether something was good or not.  Here's the test... after listening, watching, or otherwise, can I truly say, "Thank you Lord for giving me this good gift." ?

Thanks for the thought, Kevin.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's a Crook?

I've always heard of criminals referred to as crooks.  Recently, I was studying the role of the elder or pastor as shepherd and was struck with this thought.  Jesus is the Chief Shepherd according to 1 Peter 5:4.  Not only has He ordained leaders of the church to shepherd, but He has also ordained the governing authorities (Romans 13:1).  When someone is caught breaking the law, it is God's mercy at work.  Through the governing authorities, He is catching the wayward with the crook of the staff and pulling them from a destructive path.  Unfortunately and far too often, many crooks harden their hearts and view this as punishment and not mercy.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and His desire is that all would turn from our sins and turn our hearts toward Him.

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Marks of a Fool

Last week, I caught part of a radio program about fools.  Fool is not a word we hear too much about these days. The guest on the radio program (Jan Silvious) has written a book titled Fool-Proofing Your Life. I have not read the book, so I am limited as to what I will write here.  I do, however, want to share what she suggested as the three marks of a fool.  1) A fool is never wrong (in his own mind). 2) A fool uses anger to control. 3) A fool always follows his own heart.

Something rings true about this three-part definition.
Once we identify a fool in our lives, we would do well to follow the instruction given in Proverbs concerning our interaction with him or her.

Here's a link to her book:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Maybe the Best Free Download You Will Find

In the midst of a hectic week, I visited the Rabbit Room and glanced at Pete Peterson's review of Josh Garrel's lastest album. The word FREE caught my eye, so I commenced with a download. I don't remember ever hearing of Josh before, but with two days of 5 hours in a car ahead of me, I figured it was worth a shot. Wow! What a shot!

Love & War & The Sea In Between Cover Art
Love & War & The Sea In Between is lots of things, but easy to describe is not one of them. So let me fire off a few descriptors: 18 tracks, eclectic, atmospheric, joyful, intense, lyrically-solid, haunting at times, fresh.

If you have enjoyed the music of Norah Jones, Coldplay, Doug Burr, Bob Dylan, The Church, Dave Matthews, Johnny Cash... ok, do you see where I'm going? You'd never list those artists together, right?

Do yourself a favor and get it while you can (for free). Listen to it three times, and you'll be back at Josh's website leaving a tip!

After a few listens, let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Are You Pulling My Leg?

Don't you love an epiphany? Sometimes I can go months without noticing that my wife has moved a framed picture in the house. I will say, "when did you do that?" She'll laugh and say, "about six weeks ago." Sometimes it takes me awhile to notice what one would think obvious.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was studying the account of Jacob and Esau in Genesis, I noticed something for the first time. I was looking at Jacob's name and how it conveyed his character. If you have read much about Jacob, you know he was a trickster, a schemer. We are also told that his name means "one who grasps the heel." This is obviously in reference to his holding of his twin brother Esau's heel when they were born.

I grew up hearing the expression "Are you pulling my leg?" This means "Are you trying to trick me?" Could it be that this expression dates back to Genesis? Seems completely reasonable to me. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"No Problem" is... well, a problem.

It seems that the polite, standard phrase You're welcome is becoming extinct. Have you noticed the number of times at a store or restaurant your Thank you is returned with No problem?

I think this is a problem.

Saying No problem is in a very real sense a refusal of one's offering of thanksgiving. Instead of returning the conversation by focusing on the other person (particularly with the word you, as in You are welcome), saying No problem keeps all of the focus on the recipient.

Furthermore, sometimes people say Thank you even if they were inconvenienced (out of politeness). In that case, there may have been a problem, but they were willing to look beyond it to offer thanks. When the recipient mutters No problem it's like a slap in their face to remind them that there was indeed some type of problem.

I realize this sounds petty, but a final reason to avoid using the tired No problem is that it makes one sound... well, how should I say this... ignorant. I know that sounds cold and superficial, but there's nothing about the expression that communicates that I carefully choose my words because I am honored to speak with you.
I guess I should go ahead and offer a My bad to those of you I may have offended. My guess though is that my offense was no problem. After all, the phrase is so much fun to say that it becomes addictive.

Next time you're at a restaurant or store, pay attention to the response you receive when you offer thanks. After all, words matter.

My wife and I have been trying to train our children to say You're welcome. I hope you'll join us in this small step toward returning a little bit of politeness to our world. After all, saying You're welcome really is no problem at all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Oh, how much we take for granted!

Malachi 1:11

11"For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of hosts.

The Kimyal People Receive the New Testament from UFM Worldwide on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Delayed Gratification is Over-Rated

Step 1

Purchase bag of Starbucks coffee.

Step 2
Be sure it has this label>

Step 3-- Start the pouring process...

Step 4-- Label the ziplock (regular or decaf). Very important step.

Step 5-- Take empty bag to nearest Starbucks for a free coffee ASAP.