September 29, 2009

Prozac Children

As I was waiting in Villa Park for 6 hours yesterday to get my MAC repaired, I visited the local Dollar Tree retail store, where everything is $1. Everything includes sunglasses (which I bought), an 8-pack variety pack of Now and Later's (which I bought) and a hardcover children's book about the story of Adam and Eve.

Now, to make this a profitable venture for the book distributor, the picture book is only about 8 pages long, and they had to wrap the story up a little too quickly.

In fact, the last page of the book simply said, "Adam and Eve were ashamed because they disobeyed God. They would never be allowed to return to the garden." with frowney-faced Adam and Eve walking away from paradise.

What a horrible and incomplete message of the character of God from a company you can only assume is trying to present a positive message of faith.

September 28, 2009

Running From What?

My wife and I were running in our neighborhood, and as we ran past one house, a little boy playing outside said, "Mommy, what are they running away from?"

I thought it was absolutely adorable, and pretty good logic for a 3-year old. I mean, why else would you run?

I then immediately begin planning my next Saturday run to include sacks with dollar signs on them. Joggler, you've been trumped.

September 25, 2009

Everyone Believes in Jesus

I mean, historians believe in the existence of a historical Jesus. So, why does "belief" seem to be the outward profession we often look to when separating the religious from the not?

I think it's another flaw of Americanized Christianity that reads scripture in translated English, and without a 1st Century Jewish perspective.

Now, if you've ever been to a sporting event, you're probably familiar with the scripture verse, John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

The problem is, that "belief" in Greek, is "pistos", which really means trust. Trusting in Christ, that he is who he said he is. That his victory over death ensures the atonement of sins for those who believe.

Everyone believes in Jesus. But, do you believe what he did?

September 24, 2009

Today is the premiere of the new ABC television series, FlashForward. ABC has built this show up to be its LOST replacement, and because of that, some friends and I have already created a podcast dedicated to this show. Our theory is that most TV show podcasts come out a couple of years into a series - after the show has become a hit. So, because of the investment ABC is making in this show, we are trying a "first to market" strategy, gambling in hopes that, if the show does well, we'll be in the driver's seat in terms of fan podcasts for the show. So far, the strategy seems to be working. We've already got the attention of the writing staff of the show, and have even set up an interview with Quenton Peeples, the executive story editor of FlashForward for tomorrow, to talk about the premiere.

I've read the Robert Sawyer book that the show is being adapted from and it's a terrific premise. Check out the show for yourself tonight at 8/7 Central on ABC. And if you like it, go to iTunes and check out our Flash Forcast podcast.

September 23, 2009

Teachers Recess

For all you teachers out there, Teachers Recess is a must-visit new resource. Now, teachers from all across the country have a place where they share ideas, curriculum and encouragement. The site is quite new. So, it'll take a few dozen youngens to get on board and get this thing started. But, my goodness. The possibilities. The best ideas in the world for getting children engaged in an otherwise boring subjects are about to spread like wildfire. Amen!

September 22, 2009

Consider the Value of Your Time

I have noticed that people often make decisions that completely undervalue the worth of their time. Let's say you know of a gas station 10 miles away that sells gas for $0.10 less a gallon than your neighborhood gas mart. You think you're beating the system, but let's do a little math.

If you have a 15 gallon tank, you save $1.50 because of this expedition. Well done! However, this 10 extra miles each way takes up 20 minutes of your time. If you value an hour of your time for less than $4.50, you did well. If you're employed, I can't imagine this is true.

In everything you do, consider the value of your time.

September 21, 2009

TV Like It's Meant to Be Seen a movie.

I jumped on the LOST bandwagon earlier this year, and have watched all 5 seasons over the past 5 months to get caught up before the final season. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's the epitome of instant satisfaction. In fact, I like it so much that I recently watched the second season of Mad Men within a week as well.

Of course, since I work from home, there's really no downside at all, since there's no watercooler gossip to miss, talking about your favorite shows the next day. You might have it different.

But, for non-sitcoms that play out more like broken up movies anyway, you might as well just wait and watch it like one.

September 18, 2009

Karma Policing

Karma is what we think we want to be in control of the universe, because we think we are morally good people, and will be rewarded as such.

But by what standard are we comparing ourselves? To me, taking the ego crunch of admitting yourself as a failure, and then being both instantly redeemed and progressively reformed to a new life seems more appealing to me - simply from a cost/benefit analysis alone.

Throw in the evidence for the resurrection in there, and Jesus wins in straight sets.

September 17, 2009

Fond Flashbacks

I recently was with a couple of people born in the late 60s. A drug reference was mentioned. One made a "flashback" joke, and both of them looked at each other, beaming and laughing.

These are both people for whom drugs no longer play an active role in their lives. In fact, they likely have great moral/spiritual objections to recreational drug use in general.

So, my question is: what are we still rebelling from?

Why do we treat these battle scars as badges of honor - even for things we regret?

September 16, 2009

Your Gateway Drug to Health Food

I am a big believer in metaphorical gateway drugs. In order to get someone to like a certain movie or band you believe is amazing, you may need an in-betweener to get them there if it's too big of a jump.

Your gateway drug to health food is Baked Cheetos.

September 15, 2009

Near Misses: Another Reason for God

How many times have you been in a near-miss car accident where you say "If I had been there two seconds earlier, I would have been killed!!!"

Now, how many times have you been killed in a car accident?

September 14, 2009

To Catch a Potential Predator

Have you ever seen Dateline NBC do their "To Catch a Predator" sting operations? They instigate setups to try and catch people soliciting minors for sex over the Internet. It's riveting television. But, I just thought of something in terms of the legality of the arrests.

These men (they're always men on the show) are chatting with adults, who are only posing as minors. So how can they actually be charged with soliciting a minor for sex over the Internet if that's not really what they did? It's only what they thought they were doing.

September 11, 2009

Time to Put in a Lift

I tripped going up the stairs a couple weeks ago, and have lost all confidence in this maneuver.

I can no longer race up the stairs two at a time. I think about each move I'm making, and pause before making the next one.

It's an absolutely bizarre feeling. How long will it take for me to forget about my spill, and trust my body again? Once again, a reason why a bad memory is one of the greatest gifts God has given humanity. And what a timely day to think about this.

September 09, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Micro-Economies

The basic goals of this federal initiative were to stimulate the economy while moving more Americans to eco-friendlier cars.

The premise: If you trade in your old, broken-down gas guzzler that gets <18 mpg and move up to a certain MPG-approved vehicle, the federal government would subsidize your trade-in, up to $4,500.

So, now, broken-down trucks sitting in a parts dump were potentially worth $4,500. Do you think any micro-economies developed over this initiative? For example, none of my cars currently get under 18 mpg. But, if I was in the market for a new car, purchasing an old junker at anything less than $4,500 would be worth my time.

September 08, 2009

We Need More Protestants on the Court

With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, that brings the court's religious demography to six Catholics, two Jews and one lone Protestant.

1) John Roberts (C)
2) John Paul Stevens (P)
3) Antonin Scalia (C)
4) Anthony Kennedy (C)
5) Clarence Thomas (C)
6) Ruth Bader Ginsburg (J)
7) Steven Breyer (J)
8) Samuel Alito (C)
9) Sonia Sotomayor (C)

As a white male Protestant, I'm pretty sick of being underrepresented in this country...
But, more importantly, why are Catholics such a safe choice in terms of nominations?

September 04, 2009

I Am a Socialist

I believe that people have a moral and spiritual obligation to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Now, coercing that through legislative mandate? That's something else entirely.

September 03, 2009

The Day I Lost My Faith in Socialism By Force

I ran cross-country in high school, and every year before regionals, the team would all go out together for a carbo-load spaghetti dinner. As a freshman, and being poor, I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu. At the end of the evening, expecting to pay $7, I was informed that we were splitting the bill, and I owed 12.

This because some people got appetizers and other high-end cuisine while I had only my plate of Barilla.

So, next year came along. And as a sophomore, and a little wiser, I decided to get an appetizer, too, knowing I'd be paying for it regardless. When it came out, the seniors came over and grabbed it, saying "it's for everyone, since we're all paying for it, right?"

That is the day I lost my faith in socialism by force.

September 02, 2009

A Woman's Purse-Sty

Most women I know are stereotypically neat-freaks. But, I don't know how to rationalize this characteristic with a women's purse, which is the epitome of schizophrenic disorganization.

Ladies, please help me out here. Does fashion simply outweigh utility in this case? Because, although I believe you know the contents of your purse, finding any particular item is a minute-long chore.

A Christian Approach To The End Of Life

 Note: This post has been contributed. Unsplash - CC0 License Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that ...