Archive | February 2013

Takeoff and Landing and Life

Flying—sitting in a tiny chair suspended at 30,000 feet—has a way of narrowing my focus to important matters; it puts me in deep thought. I think about the loved ones I left safe on the ground below; I worry that they’re worried.

I think about deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that can form in the legs of frequent flyers and, according to an article I once read in an in-flight magazine, aspirate to the lungs and cause death. But, mostly I think about life.

It’s fragile and painful and wonderful.

To me, flying highlights the experience of living. It represents the journey, the ups and downs, the turbulence of the everyday, the shared vulnerability with complete strangers.

The most beautiful metaphor for life I have experienced on an airplane was on a flight to Pensacola, Florida a few years ago. My mother sat on the aisle, my wife in the middle, and I sat by the window on a crowded plane headed south.

Tanya, my wife, does not enjoy flying, but her least favorite part is the takeoff. And as the pilot issued final call and headed towards the runway, I felt Tanya’s fingers clamp around my knee, eyes shut, teeth clenched. The faster we went, the more she tensed up, and as I looked over to comfort her, I noticed my mother placing her hand into Tanya’s sweaty palm, giving her something else to squeeze.

Eventually, the plane leveled out and reached cruising altitude and Tanya’s fear subsided. However, when we approached our destination, as the plane drew closer to the ground, fear set in again, but this time not for Tanya.

My mother’s neck stiffened and she forced her head deep into the headrest and closed her eyes, preparing for impact. Tanya, calm and alert, noticed this and, without hesitation, reached for my mother’s hand. She held it until the plane landed and slowed to a stop.

The roles had reversed. In less than two hours, the comforted became the comforter, and vice versa. Read More…

33 Ways You Know You Were A Youth Group Kid (From Buzzfeed)

I thought this was funny, only because it’s true. Enjoy.

33 Ways You Know You Were A Youth Group Kid

We don’t need more Christian Music

As I write this, the world is buzzing with frantic anticipation for the arrival of music’s biggest night.

Somewhere, right now, Lady Gaga is being lowered into some kind of pre-civil war, steam punk inspired Transformers costume. Nicki Minaj is sifting through a Skittles bag, searching for the perfect wig color.

That’s right, the Grammy Awards are upon us. Millions of viewers will tune in to see which of their favorite artists will be awarded for their recent musical endeavors. They are looking forward to live performances from some of the world’s most talented individuals.

I am one of those viewers. For a long time I had no interest in the Grammy’s or popular music. It seemed like any pretty face with a gym membership and functioning vocal cords could get a record deal. Lately, there seems to be a resurgence underway, people shifting back to an appreciation for musicianship and strong lyricism.

Great bands like Mumford & Sons have gone from playing small festivals to packing out stadiums. This doesn’t make the hipsters happy, the ones who knew them before they were big, but I love it. I love music.

Having grown up in a religious context, I am well aware of the dividing line that splits many Christians between what we call “Christian” and “Secular” music. I have never done too well with this line, but I understand it. Much of the music that exists, regardless of genre, is pathetic. Degradation of women. Celebration of crime. Promotion of infidelity and promiscuity.

My parents didn’t want me singing along in celebration of these things, and I respect that. The solution? Listen to “Christian” music. It’s wholesome.

But while “Christian” music is void of sex and drugs and stickin’ it to the man, for me, much of it is void of originality, art, and honesty. There are exceptions, which I will cover later, but I have felt this way since childhood. Read More…

Have you seen yourself?

What is the one thing every driver has in common?

We all think every other person on the road is a complete moron.

No one can seem to change lanes properly. No one can text and drive quite as good. And when it comes to driving in the snow, forget it. We share the express way with the most incompetent people on planet earth.

It’s as if someone kicked open the doors to a psych ward and handed out car keys to every late-merging, nose-picking, lane-clogging knuckle dragger they could find.

“Get off the phone and drive, idiot!” you yell to the stranger ahead of you sitting at the green light. “Sorry, what were you saying?” you ask the person you’re on the phone with.

People are so stupid. Think about it.

All bosses are clueless.

Most coworkers are useless.

Every other parent is doing it wrong.

If I were the Pastor…

If only others had my knowledge, my world view, my disposition, this world would be a better place.

Consider this: Read More…

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