Wow.

Thank you so much for such an inspired, candid conversation about bullying the last couple of days.  Lots of great stories were shared, and I don’t thank you often enough.  Thank you for making this blog what it is with your insights and candor.

Strangely, the whole topic of bullying led me to an unexpected thought for today’s post.

There are a whole lot of Jesus’ words that we have preserved.  We have them printed in red ink, highlighted, underlined, and quoted in endless devotionals.

Jesus, in one of his classic public speaking flubs, mixes up his words and claims that it is better to give than to receive.

But we still ignore them.

For whatever reason, Jesus said a lot of things that we just don’t take seriously.  Maybe we think Jesus was speaking figuratively, or with hyperbole.  Or he just wasn’t talking to us.  Or he’s just full of it.  Whatever the reason, there’s a whole lot of red words that might as well be changed back to black.

Here are my favorite words and teachings of Jesus to flat out ignore.

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You want to know what the next big cause is?

No, environmentalism isn’t going away. Though it turns out that those eco-friendly wind farms actually contribute to global warming by stirring up all the hot air floating above us. Water and shoes and war and nutrition aren’t going away as causes either.

But people need a sexy new cause to keep their attention. And the spotlight on bullies has been growing brighter for a while, and I think it’s going to stay that way for a long time. And like most pop-culture causes, it didn’t start with Christians. In fact, I have yet to see any prominent Christians throw their hat in the bullying ring at all.

So I have a question for you, Christians. Are we going to let this be another cause that’s too “liberal,” or “secular” for us, and let it pass us by? Or are we actually going to do something?

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Priority Number One!

April 30, 2012

What is your highest priority today?

You may know right off the top of your head.  Maybe it takes some thought.

I’ve got a lot of priorities jostling for my attention.  And there’s some priorities I’m trying to de-prioritize.  There’s only so much me to go around, right?

Everywhere you look, you can find people trying to help other people create a life plan, or be more productive.  I think that’s shorthand for “getting your priorities straight.”

I think I’ve always had good priorities…or I thought I did at the time.  But looking back, it’s kind of funny to see just what my highest priorities were, what I spent the most time and energy trying to accomplish.

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Are you a fan?

I think everyone’s a fan of something.

Maybe you’re a fan of your local sports team. Or maybe it’s that young adult book series. Or that trilogy of movies (plus three more) that everyone should’ve forgotten about twenty years ago.

In my town, we’re all fans of one thing: barbecue.

A funny thing happens when everyone are fans of something. They start to turn into fanboys and fangirls. It starts out innocently enough. You find your favorite restauant or your favorite athlete, and you support them.

But every so slowly, you start to…change. You mutate into some otherworldly creature, some slobbering half-person who yells in public, picks fights, believes and defends ridiculous things. We even start to think we own the things we are fans of.

I think a lot more of us are fanboys and fangirls than we like to admit. Maybe you should go down my handy checklist and see. And maybe…just maybe…you can stop your transformation before it’s too late.

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My state legislature is debating an…interesting bill.

It’s the “don’t say gay” bill.  The intent is to keep public schools focused on core curriculum, like math and science, and not topics like sexual orientation.

It’s an interesting thing because the military just recently repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and at the same time, some of our lawmakers are attempting to add gun owners to the list of people who businesses can’t discriminate against.  That seems kind of redundant, since gun owners can just shoot people who discriminate against them, but whatever.

It makes me wonder if we should just have a blanket “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule when it comes to everything.

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Did your Mom or Dad ever tell you that life wasn’t fair?

Mine sure did.  And my teachers, and everyone else.

And you know what?  They were right.

But it took me until I went to college to find out that life is way more unfair than I really suspected as an eight-year-old.  Unfairness in a child’s world is your brother getting a bigger piece of cake, or more Christmas presents, or sticking his foot on my side of the backseat.  But when I answered a phone call in my dorm room, I discovered just how unfair things can be.

But…it turns out that life is not the only thing that’s unfair.

Today, I’m happy to be blogging over at Prodigal Magazine, where you can read the rest of the story.  I hope you’ll clickety-click yourselves over there, and let us know you were there.