Posts

Showing posts from 2019

To Meme or not to Meme?

Image
Let's talk about memes.

I'm definitely no memetic expert (believe it or not, that's a real thing that exists now because internet). But I am one of those darn Millennials who's killing off all the good things your parents and grandparents tried to hard to build - like Applebee's. So I think I can speak on the issue a little bit.

I love a good meme. A GIF or a still image with a clever joke, pun, or subtitle that gives you a quick LOL before you scroll further down on Reddit. I have friends who I count on sharing some quick chuckle memes every time I hop on the Face Books.

They make for some good "Haha! Look at this!" moments, and they can really give others a glimpse into your specific brand of humor.


Harmless. No big deal. Moving on.

Right?

Until...

2015/16 happened. As a digital native, I was flabbergasted by the sudden infiltration of political memes into my otherwise mostly peaceful habitat. My entire online ecosystem was overrun with memes about Trum…

What If PAW PATROL Was Actually Good?

Image
Plot Synopsis:
In the very distant future along the coast of the former United States of America sits a city populated by the descendants of those who survived the great wars of the late 21st Century. The United States has dissolved. Local populations banded together to form city-states, which are mostly at peace with each other.
Leading up to, and during the great wars, corporations seized more and more power. Independent research firms, backed by government dollars, competed to become the first to create sentient human-animal hybrids. These hybrids usually retained the physique of the animal with the intelligence and communicative ability of humans. These sentient animals were given legally protected status and were trained in search-and-rescue and military operations.

Other corporations focused their research and development on multi-function vehicles (MFVs). These vehicles can transition from ground to water and air, playing a pivotal role in the great wars. Later, the remaining MFVs…

Dammed Faith

Image
Faith is an interesting thing.

I find it fascinating that as we trace back human civilization - for as far back as we can see there has been some kind of faith, belief, or religious ritual. From cave paintings and burial rites to ancient temple complexes that were built while mammoths still roamed the earth, mankind has nearly always reached out for something greater.

A complete disbelief in God or the gods is a relatively new phenomenon. Religious belief has only come into question within the last few centuries - just a drop in the bucket compared to the full history of humanity. The burden today seems to be placed on those who believe to explain why rather than for those who don’t believe to explain why not.
For myself, I think of my faith in God as a river system. Belief in God is the large river cutting large swaths through the countryside. But that river had to form somewhere. Along the way, there are five smaller streams and tributaries — some larger than the others — that feed …

America: Love It Or...

Image
Maybe it's just me, but I've seen an uptick in heated rhetoric like this:
America: Love It or Leave It  If you don't like our country, then you can just leave. This bothers me, and it always has. I remember when people said they would leave if Obama was elected president. Others said it about Hilary and Trump. It's nothing new, really. But making the empty threat to leave the country if you don't get your way is one thing. What's happening now more than I've seen in the past is more of a threat against others. If you don't like it, then just leave. You better love this country...or else. Why don't you just go back to your own country.

Side note - it did make me chuckle when people said they would move to Canada or Europe if Obama was elected because he was too socialist... Um...should someone tell them?

Telling someone to leave the US if they don't like it bothers me on many levels, both as a US citizen and as a Christian. Let's see if I ca…

Learn Everything. Know Nothing.

Image
I love to learn.

My oldest son gets it from me. When he was a toddler, he asked my mother-in-law, his "Nana," to make a "little case q" out of play dough. Most kids would ask for animals or other shapes. Aiden asked for letters. He learned to read at age 3. He already knew all the sight words they would be learning before he ever set foot in his kindergarten classroom.

When I was younger my mom couldn't bring home enough non-fiction books for me to read. Among my favorite shows were Magic School Bus and Bill Nye the Science Guy. I was a star student on our Bible Bowl team at church. When we would visit other churches, I answered questions in Bible class that the regulars didn't know.

One time I was sent out into the hallway at school for correcting my English teacher too much.

Both of my parents have been educators their whole lives, so I guess you could say it's in my DNA.

My interest in the Bible, Christianity, and Religion in general is a HUGE part …

SMBC 2019 Intermediate Week

via IFTTT

Does God Change? (What about THOSE people?)

via IFTTT

Does God Change? (Reverse the Curse)

via IFTTT

Does God Ever Change? (Babel vs. Pentecost)

via IFTTT

UPLIFT 2019 | Believe

via IFTTT

Five Incredibly Useful Apps for Youth Ministry

via IFTTT

Things I Hate/Love About Youth Ministry

via IFTTT

LEVEL UP

Image
There comes a point in your life of faith when you begin to wonder... Is this all there is?

My brother-in-law gave my sons a Playstation for Christmas. It's really cool because it comes with the motion controllers. We've been playing the typical sports game with each other quite a bit lately. It's cool, but pretty basic. It has disc golf, table tennis, volleyball, archery, and a few others.

Like with most games, when it is your first time playing it offers you a chance to learn the basic skills of the game. It will give you a walkthrough of the controls and motions needed to perform the basic tasks. But after a few minutes of learning, it's time to move on to the actual game.


Most video games begin at a very simple, easy to follow level with basic tasks to complete before moving onto the next level or challenge. The difficulty increases as you play through the game, as it should. If all you could do was the basic gameplay tutorials, that would be a really crappy game. …

The Fruit of the Spirit Is...Mediocrity?

Image
Have you ever wondered if you're good enough?

I believe all the hands in the room would be up. Deep down I think we all wonder if we really measure up, if we're successful, if we're doing ok.

I love these alien cartoons by Nathan Pyle. I'm sure you've seen them, but this one is great:


Graduation is a time when authority figures publicly acknowledge our sufficiency. "My knowledge suffices!" We don't often get that in life outside of school or sports. Maybe your boss will let you know you're doing a good job. Maybe you'll get that promotion or a pay raise. But when we're out on our own, we don't have the same level of feedback and/or course correction like we get in school.

This is even true in regards to our faith. How do we know if we're on the right track? Are we faithful enough? Are we loving enough? Have we done enough good? Have we committed too many sins? It doesn't really help to have a preacher get up every Sunday and s…

Remembering President Grant, the Holocaust, and Eunuchs

Image

Why You Might Be Wrong About the Bible

Image
Getting back into the YouTube game. Enjoy.

Harry Potter and the Ancient Enneagram

Image
What's the number one rule of the Enneagram?

Everybody say it with me now: "I will not type other people."

Learning the Enneagram is a journey of self-discovery. No one can tell you your number. Only you can know your own motivations, fears, and desires. It's not some party trick, Oooh, let me guess everyone's number and tell me if I'm right! You can make assumptions, but you're better off keeping them to yourself. If you tell someone what you think their number is, you are robbing them of a valuable part of the experience.

But while I won't sit here and tell others what I think their type is, it can be a lot of fun to discuss the types of fictional characters. You can't really be "wrong," and even if you are you aren't hurting anyone in the process. When it comes to literary figures, we are often given a glimpse into their inner thoughts, motivations, fears, and desires. We can make certain conclusions about them that we can't f…

PERSECUTED | 40 Days of Focus, Day 25

Image
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:10 | NIV)  You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
(Matthew 5:10 | The Message) Most of us have no idea what it really looks like to be persecuted. We've all experienced bullies and jerks. We've all face insults and passive aggressiveness. But real persecution is deeper than that. Persecution arises out of fear and a lack of understanding. We fear that which we don't understand. We cannot love that which we fear.

One of the most misunderstood types on the Enneagram is Type 5 - the Observer or Investigator. Fives have a deep inner commitment to truth and knowledge. They would rather sit back and people watch than actually engage in social interactions. They read the Encyclopedia for fun as kids. They are typically the type of people who know a little bit about everything and everythin…

PEACEMAKER | 40 Days of Focus, Day 24

Image
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
(Matthew 5:9 | NIV)  You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
(Matthew 5:9 | The Message) Everyone who would rather avoid conflict, let me know by making a passive aggressive comment under your breath!

There are very few people who appreciate conflict and arguments. Type Eights aside, most people would rather avoid those hard, painful conversations. But I think we are all aware that absence of conflict does not equal peace. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Whenever a family never fights or argues, it's probably because nobody is talking to each other, they're all just avoiding the tough topics that need to be addressed. Anger and resentment bubble and simmer just below the surface. From the outside everything might look ok. But unless there is some conflict, there can never be real gr…

PURE | 40 Days of Focus, Day 23

Image
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
(Matthew 5:8 | NIV)  You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
(Matthew 5:8 | The Message) Pure in heart. Now that's a phrase we don't use a lot. We don't tend to talk about purity that often. We want our water to be pure. We want essential oils to be a certain degree of purity. We like pure gold and Purity Milk. But our hearts? Is it even possible to be "pure in heart?"

When I think of this phrase I think of innocence. Deep down we all know that we adults are anything but pure and innocent. In fact, if we meet someone in their late teens or early twenties who actually is "pure," we feel uncomfortable around them. We call them sheltered or socially awkward. There's something unsettling about an adult who is "too" innocent or pure hearted. They're just a little too childlike.


But isn't that the point? Jes…