Archives For culture

So on Monday, I started the year with a proverb about circuses and monkeys.


Well this is why.

I held my tongue (so to speak) during the whole debacle. The year ended with every other story in my timeline being a comment about the ‘Duck Dynasty’ controversy.   And if I’m being completely honest, I stepped off of social media for a few days, because I just couldn’t stand the sight of it all.

But it’s been a few weeks, and in the world of the internet, a few weeks is a lifetime…

…At least it’s enough time to gain a bit of perspective. I held out on commenting on the story, because I wanted to see how the story would end.  I wanted to see if my quiet suspicions were proven right…

…They were.

Because it doesn’t matter if you were on Phil Robertson’s side or A&E or whomever.





And we lost.  This is why we are no better off after falling for another manufactured American Uproar. Continue Reading…

This week, TIME announced their person of the year is Pope Francis.time-person-of-the-year-cover-pope-francis

He’s been in office less than a year.  But he hasn’t wasted any time attracting attention, ironically, through a demeanor that oozes humility.  The attention he has garnered has been just what the papacy and the church needs, even if there are critics who don’t want the kind of attention he is attracting.

But clearly, Francis is winning over the world.  I’m not even Catholic, and I think the guy is amazing.

The Pope has been the most talked about person on Facebook and other social media this year.  TIME magazine’s choice doesn’t crown a person of the year, so much as it acknowledges what everyone already knows.

Now we are coming up on a new year, which is the perfect time to make a resolution.

What if I resolved that next year, was going to be Person of the Year?

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You may have seen it in the news.  Recess is

A school in New York recently made headlines by banning traditional sports balls from recess (allowing soft Nerf balls instead) as well as games of tag, cartwheels and other forms of “unorganized” play.

And although this is just one school, it is happening everywhere.  Schools in my own city are doing the same thing.  No soccer balls or footballs.  No rough games.  Basically, no fun.

Now, I’m not saying that a trip to the ER is my idea of fun.  But the issue that is raised in my mind is the negative and downright false lessons our kids our learning from our hyper-vigilant safety crusade.

What could be so bad about keeping our kids from getting hurt?  How about this…

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I have a confession to make.

It might not seem like a big deal to you.  But it is a big one to me.

For a long time, I have dealt with a lot of self-doubt.  A lot of insecurity.  A lot of anxiety and even occasional depression.  I thought that all of these things might have many different causes.

It has taken me nearly all of my thirty years to realize that virtually all of the sufferings in my mind all come from one source.

The source of all my frustrations and anxieties is this: I care…

I care about what people think of me.  I care about it a lot.

I care about it at work.  I care about it in church.  I care about what you think of me.  It really is true.  I am not speaking in hyperbole.  I have tried to hide or deny that fact.  I have tried to act like I don’t care.  But trying to cover it up has caused me so much suffering.  I care profoundly about what people think of me.  Maybe that makes me a narcissist.  Now I’m afraid people might think I’m a narcissist.

Perhaps in our age of social media, it’s easier than ever to get caught up in what others think of us.  There are so many more people whose opinions we can care about.

This is what I’m trying to do to recover from my obsession with what people think of me.

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What if the Bible was not actually inerrant?BIBLE

What if there were verses that were really true, historical, God-breathed, and others that snuck in there under the radar, but don’t really belong?

Of course, plenty of people already think that is the reality, that pieces or chunks of the Bible aren’t really reliable.  I don’t see an end in sight to the inerrancy debate.  I have been clung to inerrancy and written about my definition of what it means to be inerrant here before.

But today, I am not so sure of myself.

You see, I think I found a mistake in my Bible.

I think I found a mistake.  It didn’t take much investigation, or a magnifying glass, or parsing words in their original language.  It was pretty easy actually.  The offending verse comes from Jesus’ own mouth.  I am convinced that Jesus had to have been wrong,

What mistake could I have possibly found that would send my whole view of scripture into a tailspin?

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Do you want to get well?

Do we actually want to be well?

Do we actually want to be well?

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.  Because it sounds like a silly question.  If you asked a sick person if they want to get well, chances are you’d get some weird looks.

But as I look at the world around us, I think about the story of Jesus approaching the paralyzed man at the pool.  He’s been laying there for years.  Jesus, inexplicably, picks him out the crowd.  He doesn’t ask how long he’s been there.  He doesn’t ask if he needs help into the pool.  He asks instead,

“Do you want to get well.”

At first, I wondered why Jesus would ask such a question.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not such a dumb question after all.  Our modern culture is positively obsessed with wellness, health, and self-improvement…

But do we actually want to get well?

The answer to that question, I’m not so sure of.

Continue Reading…