We live in a cynical age.

You’ve probably noticed it.  I don’t know how you could avoid it.  It’s everywhere.

It’s in every person who feels jaded by life, by the church or by their jobs.

It’s in every person who’s lost faith in people, in “the system” or in God.

It’s in every one of the myriad of spoof movies that are spewn upon audiences each year.

It’s in every hipster whose wardrobe is made up of the most outdated, mismatched items in the thrift store.

I’ve got plenty of cynicism in me.  But I’m working on it.  Because I think it might be killing my generation.

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Just a Miscellaneous Person

October 24, 2011

It seems like everyone wants to put labels on everyone.  You know, put everyone in a box.

When I tell a new acquaintance that I’m a pastor, I instantly see a thousand calculations pass through their minds about the kind of person I must be, the things I must like to do, the politics I must have, the thoughts I must think.  Almost inevitably, the very first question out of their mouths is what kind of church do I pastor?  By that, they mean to ask if I’m Presbyterian or Baptist or something like that.  Another box with another label.  Even calling myself “non-denominational” puts me in a box, a box marked “miscellaneous.”

Maybe that’s a good label for me: miscellaneous.  Maybe I am just a miscellaneous person.

Let’s check all the other boxes and see if I fit in with them…

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Three Random Confessions

October 21, 2011

You know, I’m not Catholic…

…But I can see how the tradition of confession has its benefits.  But I’m not going to confess all my deep, dark sins to you today.  That would just use up a bunch of blog posts all in one shot, wouldn’t it?

But in the spirit of confession, and having some weird fun on Friday, I will make three random confessions to you right now about myself.  Read on, and then make a random confession of your own!

Here we go…

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…already.

Yeah, stores start peddling Christmas crap early.  But when I saw the eggnog in the grocery store this week, it just seemed weird.  Who is buying Halloween candy and eggnog?

Many Christians are gearing up for another round in the battle for Christmas: demanding that cashiers reverently say, “Merry Christmas” instead of the abhorrently sacriligious “Happy Holidays,” and planning the biggest, most garish Nativity scenes for courthouse steps to show everyone why Christmas kicks Hanukkah’s and Ramadan’s asses.  Christmas is as American as Jesus and apple pie, and if there’s one thing we take as seriously as America, it’s Christmas.

But we’re forfeiting a key battleground in the fight for Christmas’ spirit, and if we give it up, all may be lost.  I’m going to tell you what it is, and propose a new Christmas tradition.

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It’s My Third Birthday

October 17, 2011

Three years ago, give or take a day or two, I started this blog.

No one knew about it, because I told no one about it, including my wife.  No one read it, as I expected.  It truly had no people.

Part of me didn’t want to tell anyone because I figured I’d quit after a month or two.  Do you know how many blog die from abandonment and neglect every day?  More than all the abandoned doggies, kitties and dolphins in the world.*  Please, if you don’t want you blog anymore, put it up for adoption, and always have your blogs spayed or neutered.

*Not a fact.

And here we are, after three years, about 500 posts, and one weird joke about neutering your blog.  Wow.  By far, this is the one activity I have kept up most consistently.  No exercise regimen, no diet, no job has survived my blog.

Maybe you’re just starting out with your blog, and you don’t know how you’re going to manage it.  Maybe you’ve been at it for a while, and you feel your blogging energy start to dip.

So after three years, what keeps me plugging away at three posts every week?

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You know, I’ve been thinking about something.

A lot of days here on the blog, I try to take on some controversial topic.  That usually involves some kind of debate, criticism, or general negativity.  That’s kind of the way it is.  You can’t talk about controversial things without taking a side and being negative toward the other side.

But contrary to what you may think, I’m actually an incredibly positive person…

…Like, excessively positive.  Unreasonably positive.  Eerily positive.

Okay, I’m not like Rob Lowe’s character from Parks and Recreation or Kenneth from 30 Rock.  I’m negative about some things.

I can even be negative about positivity.  Like how it’s been co-opted by self-help gurus and Joel Osteen types to make weak-minded people believe they can do anything just by thinking positively.  I hate that positive thinking has been tarnished like that.

But, when I go to work, and I’m bombarded by dozens of screaming children, all wanting my attention, positivity really is the only approach you can have and stay sane.

Here’s why…

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