Last Sunday was an interesting one.

I visited two churches while in Seattle for the weekend.

First, I visited one of the fourteen Mars Hill locations.  We sang some good songs, and watched a sermon via video recording from Mark Driscoll.  Having seen Mark speak at Catalyst, I have to say he’s more engaging in person, but the video was very well produced.

Later that night, I visited St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.  The sanctuary is one of the most magnificent rooms I’ve ever occupied.  It’s square shape, wooden beams, great columns and glass panels at the front vaguely reminded me of how I imagine Solomon’s temple looked.  I was there to hear a choir of monks singing.

Two churches which could not be more different.  And their differences didn’t stop with style.  If you were the kind of person who gambled, which church would you bet on still being here in a hundred years?

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It’s a good thing I don’t watch a lot of television.

It’s not that I don’t like television.  It’s just a good thing I spend most of my TV time on Netflix streaming.

Because if there’s one thing that infuriates me, makes me want to hurl the remote at the screen, makes me lose faith in humanity, it’s the commercials.

I get it.  We need advertising.  But if I wanted you to give me money, would I do it by mocking, insulting, and threatening you?  No.  But advertisers do it every day.  Apparently, it works.

Here’s my top four ways advertisers insult all of us.  If you immunize yourself against these four, there won’t be too many ads left for you to pay attention to!

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Hola, everyone.

Today, you might see a lot of bloggers in your reader answering the same question.  I’m really glad to be participating with writers like Lindsey Nobles, Nicole Cottrell, Ben Arment and my friends at Prodigal Magazine, talking about what it means to “live a good story.”

I’ll admit, that topic sounds a little fuzzy to me.  But with thousands of people flocking to conferences like Story in Chicago and Storyline, put on by Don Miller, it seems like everyone wants their lives to be a story worth telling (not to mention worth living.)

If you asked me what people today spend more time doing than anything else, I wouldn’t even have to think about it.

We spend days on end updating our statuses.  We go to great lengths to dress ourselves to make a statement.  We try to talk to the right people, say the right things.

We’re just keeping up appearances.

That’s what we call life.  Trying to survive and look great while doing it.  And end the end, we fail at both.

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Okay, chances are high that you’ve seen the magazine cover.  It doesn’t even need to be referenced.

First of all, if that kid is just under four, then it must prove that milk does a body good.  That kid looks ready to deploy to Afghanistan…or at least go to the fridge and pour his own dang glass of milk.

Second, the picture did exactly what the people behind it wanted.  It got people talking.

And third, most people picked up on how ludicrous it is to ask women everywhere if they are “mom enough” to do what this woman does.

But I think it goes deeper than that.  The cover is downright hateful to the hardest working moms out there, and ironically anti-feminist in the modern sense of the word.

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Too Epic to Fail

May 16, 2012

Are you rooting for someone to fail?

Admit it, you are.

That’s not very nice of you.

But we all do it.  We like to think that we all like stories of success.  But just as often, we enjoy a good story of failure.  The internet thrives on fails.  And maybe other people epic fails of themselves makes us feel a bit better about ourselves.  We root for failure when we feel people deserve it.

And the bigger you get, the more fans and customers and money you have, the more people want to see you go down in flames.  Success becomes your own worst PR.

I’ve been watching Celebrity Apprentice the last couple of months, and if you’re anything like me, you finally got your wish last Sunday when the insufferably egotistical, former sorority queen, long-overdue-to-fail-because-she’s-so-untalented-she-had-to-pose-for-Playboy-to-launch-her-music-career Aubrey O’Day was fired.   Best episode ever.

Stick around and succeed long enough, and people will begin to hate you, no matter what.

So, here’s my list of the top epic failures that everyone is rooting for…if only their legions of fans would get out of the way.

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I’ve been taught to believe in God all my life.

And I came to faith at a young age.  Sounds simple, right?

Well, it’s been a little more complicated for me.  For all the believing I’ve done, there’s been a lot of not believing.  Not believing doesn’t feel very Christian, does it?

See, for a long time, I thought I knew God.  I had never not believed in Him.  But then, without a whole lot of effort on my part, I started not believing things about God.  Huge parts of God’s personality, I just dropped.  The more I got to know God, the more things I didn’t believe about Him.  The things about God that I believed became fewer and fewer.

Many times when talking beliefs with atheists, they’ll start a sentence with, “I just can’t believe in a God that…”

And I say, “You’re right…”  I’ve got a lot in common with the atheists.

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