Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

29 March 2011

Part 3: Why we should go to, give to, work with and stay at A Local Church

After yesterday's Part 2 discussion about commitment, a commenter made the statement...

"There's a lot of commitment-phobia out there. On the flip side, when you get committed you often get drained too... because there are so many who come but don't commit."

It's very true. The old adage that 10% of the people do 90% of the work is a very true principle, give or take percentage points depending on the situation. Later in the week, I'll talk about giving and the benefits of picking ONE place to invest in primarily, but today I want to look at ways to effectively WORK within the local church in a way that benefits EVERYONE.

For a long time, churches have run by paying a guy to do "the work". We called him Pastor but his role looks nothing like what the word meant in the Bible. We expect him to be do everything from gardening, to visiting seniors in the hospital. to preach The Ghost down, to civic schmoozing... while the attenders... attend. "Members" became consumers, unaccustomed to the idea that they themselves had real roles to play. When they tried, they found themselves to be brittle and out of practice so they blamed the guy they paid. Ugly cycle but the logical outcome of how we've set up, and thought about The Church when it comes to work.

Church structure is a VERY touchy issue to some... then to others it can seem mere semantics. But I see it maybe as THE major failing of MOST of our modern churches that cripples even the ability of willing workers to work!

Here's what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians:

"Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It's not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him."

It's vital to the life of a functioning body of ministry for us all to understand our gifts. We are actually ALL ministers of the gospel and our roles are meant to work symbiotically (A relationship of mutual benefit or dependence). It's only when we're OK with ourselves that we can fully release others to be who THEY are too. What has been happening since Paul was roaming the countryside putting out fires in churches, is that people of like-gifting tend to clump together. And if that gets out of whack, it leads to...

Prophet 1: "those pastoral people drive me nuts... hearts bleeding all over the floor. What a mess. Not a backbone in the bunch"
Prophet 2: "Justice baby. Let's just call down the fire and be done with it. Dang"
Prophet 3: "here here... this church is a mess. Let's see what the minor prophets would have done... hmm... burn it to the ground eh? Done"

Ever heard that conversation? It goes the other way too.

Pastor 1: "That Apostle just doesn't care!
Pastor 2: "Does he EVEN realize how often I've visited Mrs Buzzbubble? I made her a casserole... A CASSEROLE!!! Has he EVER made a casserole??"
Pastor 3: "(Weeping) This church doesn't care... the spirit has left the house. I'm taking my people somewhere where they can't be hurt by those monsters"

Our gifts are DESIGNED to give us different motivations. And they are designed to leave us in need of each other. They only work if they are functioning together and under willing submission to each other. Check out Harold Eberle's church design from his fantastic book, "The Complete Wineskin".

This is one of the most important, revolutionary (ironically since it's Biblical) and liberating structures for a healthy church that makes it worth working in. The Apostles and Prophets and Teachers (and there are fewer of these people) lead to be able release a TON of Pastors and Evangelists (and there are MANY of these) in their ministry. It happens by really getting to know each other, being in committed relationships as a team together, AND even submitting ourselves to each other to make sure that the health of the whole is kept as a priority.

This allows for Apostles... whose call is to go and take new ground, to stop being jammed into a pastoral (Caring/Shepparding) role, that they were never designed for. It saves ENORMOUS frustration AND opens up a role for someone who LOVES showing God's love in a one-on-one way since they WERE designed that way. It structurally releases EVERYONE to be able to dream how they can share Christ with the world and care for His people.

It is important to work with the local church because it's ability to play the role it was designed for... and it's people's ability to play the role they were designed for... is dependent on EVERYONE including YOU playing the role YOU were designed for.

If you missed it, here are Part One and Two. Tomorrow we look at the benefits of picking ONE place to call yours.

27 March 2011

Part 2: Why we should go to, give to, work with and stay at A Local Church

When anyone begins to talk about the more "Commitment" parts of the local church, predictable reactions happen. Leaders begin to thunder rousing Amens. Lay Workers begins to sigh as if help and relief may be on the way. Casual duty-motivated attenders don't know what the fuss is about. And everyone else gets wiggy.

I understand it. Jesus needs new PR. I get it. Next people throw out Ghandi's
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." And I get it. I've been there too. In fact I left The Church for the very same reasons at one point. I've even heard Christians speak ad nauseum about "Post Traumatic Church Disorder" where they bemoan emotional abuse at the hands of church leaders. We've all seen some bad stuff.


... it seemingly just doesn't matter. As I talked about in Part 1, we are called as followers of Christ to gather together, live life together, worship AND work together. In the areas that would persuade us to do otherwise, we are likely being called to grow up a bit and be responsible for the change. And make no mistake, The Church is in a season of massive reformation.

Where Jesus needs new PR, our challenge is to give him good PR. Ghandi was free to observe wisely, but felt no impetus to be a Christian who reflects Christ... because he was not a Christian! Ghandi had little to no effect on reconstruction of The Church because he was free from this responsibility. WE are not free from this. In fact Christ loved The Church and the Kingdom we're called to reflect that He died for it. When The Church (or anyone for that matter) hurts us, our responsibility is to forgive! It was for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Most of the reasons people give for not being tied into a local church are US-centered as opposed to God-centered.

When we planted Freedom House, we wanted to set ourselves apart and carve out a little niche so we abandoned the traditional Sunday Morning service. We wanted to create a culture in our house where people stopped thinking about what The Church WAS and begin to think about what The Church IS. And sometimes to do that, things that don't really matter have to be shaken up. So we did this for a while, and we got a healthy stream of young people, hungry for God... who went to other churches. They came for the energy rush of a Sunday Night blitz in a dirty old bar, but didn't invest any more than 3 hours a week. It was a taking relationship. What happened was cool... but not full. Our vision is to run a Ministry Centre, where every member is a minister (more on this later in the week) invested in the house. And we found that this was not being accomplished this way. There was nothing to build on.

The day we switched to doing church on Sunday Mornings again was a somewhat disappointing morning for some. Many said goodbye because their "Home" was somewhere else. Some stayed, others came, but the spirit changed. Night vs Morning is theoretically inconsequential which is why we did it in the first place. But if that is true... then there is nothing wrong with Sunday Morning either. In our culture, Sunday morning church is the tradition. We came to the realization that IT was not the boogie man in the equation. As we moved from a young church in an old bar to a maturing church... we heard the call of God to "Grow Up".

The weekend I gave my life to Jesus as a 19 year old, our Pastor preached out of 1 Corinthians 13. This verse was the very first verse that every really... resonated... in me as follower of Jesus

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Link There is something very Godly about growing up and being a man. Taking responsibility for your family and how you function in a home and community. Tucked into the picture of Proverbs 31's "Wife of Noble Character" is a verse that I love. The stanza talks about a wife who blesses, lifts ups, honors, serves... And one of the results is vaulting her husband into verse 23

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

This is also the result of a matured, responsible Church. This fall, we hosted a Mayoral Debate during the municipal election at Freedom House. We asked the potential leaders of our city how they saw "The Church" fitting into our city's new season of RE-formation. ALL of them saw a role. And all of those roles required "The Church" to be a strong, unified front where men and women who called themselves Christians could function both as individual houses that could be dispatched to assignment AND ONE organized, unified body, willing to work and serve in an organized fashion.

This is not something that is found in many places in a community. But if The Church can rise up to be this (the very things that the New Testament envisioned it being) it would be a transformational unit in a city. What stops it is US. A fractured, unorganized, irresponsible, hurt, immature group is of little to no value to those charged with leading an administering change... doesn't actually make us (or others) feel fulfilled in our group expression, and handicaps God's tool of advancement in
His Kingdom coming "on earth as it is in heaven".

It's time to grow up, gather together... and GROW!
Tomorrow in Part 3 I want to talk about church structures and how we can ALL have real purpose in our churches moving forward! Here's Part 1 if you missed it.

Part 1: Why we should go to, give to, work with and stay at A Local Church

This week I'm going to pose some arguments that you may not have considered about the value of going to, giving to, working with and staying at a single local church... faithfully. It doesn't mean that there aren't situations where life doesn't allow for this, but (even though we don't like to think of ourselves this way) most of us are the norm as opposed to the exception to the rule. That's what "exception" means :)

A number of years ago, Christian stat guru George Barna painted a picture of what he believed to be the coming "Revolution" in "The Church". It was a picture of people living out Hebrews 10:24-25

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching"

Barna saw people getting together on the golf course, at coffee dates, and in living rooms to encourage each based on preference of hobbies. He predicted the looming death of the traditional local church in favor of a grassroots, organic, and increasingly vibrant movement of believers.

Many took this as a sign that the "institutional" church was dead. The reality is that even if this statistical prophesy fully came to pass... the same values, traditions, instructions given by a Jesus/Paul combo in the New Testament would be present and would require the same detail to governance that our current churches do... only in a living rooms instead of pews. It would be otherwise very irresponsible and against much of the New Testament teaching of "Togetherness"

The same problems would need to be solved. The same principles would need to be ensured. The same human fights that happen when any time 2 humans get in a room together (that Paul taught about how to deal with so we can grow) would need to be dealt with. The same God is lifted up and thus, the same Great Commission to go and reach the world and multiply, will rise up in those who fall in love with The Lord. All that gets messy. Welcome to The Church.

Many genuine Christians who leave the church to get a break from some of it's more taxing trappings invariably get that "I've got to get back to the church" feeling at some point. Some do... some don't. Those who don't... sometimes bad things happen. We often, while doing street ministry, ask the question, "What's your church background?" It doesn't take long to hit emotion. There is something that keeps drawing men back to the idea of "The Church". Watch people's eyes when a stirring Amazing Grace is sung in public. Waterworks. Why? Because they remember being in a little church, worshiping with God's people, feeling His presence.

As much as we've tried to argue "The Church" away... we cannot because it is part of God's plan. We ARE to gather to worship together. We ARE to take care of each other in a community. We ARE to collectively (not individually) work to transform our city together. The life instructions to the Biblical Christian is in the context of TOGETHER... not alone.

So this week, I want to dialogue about something that is hard for our culture. The Local Church and it's importance. Not just for others. For you and me. I want to talk about why we should consider:

  1. Regularly actually GOING TO it in an increasingly busy world.
  2. Regularly actually GIVING TO to it when our money is in high demand
  3. Regularly actually WORKING WITH it even though we have "real jobs"
  4. And STAYING and committing our life, ministry and family to a single local church even though there are many great churches, ministries, and golf courses in town

Let's talk.

22 March 2011

You Googled WHAT and found "You Googled WHAT and found me"?

Some of the blogs I most enjoy writing are my "You Googled WHAT and found me" funniest searches that wind up on Big Ear Creations. Well today I got this comment on one:

Absolutely fabulous. Blogs win again.

15 March 2011

The most important thing I've ever learned about how to be married is "Ridiculous Love

Krissy and I are scrappers. More times than I can count, we've laid our crap on the line to each other and been unafraid to call each other out on theirs. Because one of the things we've always been is real and raw with each other. One of the first long chats we ever had, we decided to just tell each other every bad thing we've ever done. 100% flat out. Then we chose to decide if we still liked each other after or not! Funny thing is that after hearing it, "like" turned into "love" because it made us both want to fight for each others freedom. But we haven't always been able to be that mature about it.

We celebrated our second anniversary in Accra Ghana by eating a machete-cut pineapple from a roadside wheelbarrow... and fighting with each other. It was a doozy too. We were still learning how to “do marriage” together and we were thrust into a situation where we were right beside each other 24/7... in a broken bed sweating together.
In the cars and buses... sweating together.
In the classroom... sweating together.
Sitting in various states of undress playing rummy and watching decade's old reruns of “As the World Turns” on Ghanaian TV... sweating together.

Everyday. All the time. We completely got on each others nerves. And when I say that, when I really mean is, that we got to the point where every time the other did something, we were banking our anger and at the next available outlet, we'd go down the same “you did”, “you said”, “you suck” road again and again.

That muggy night, we retreated to our bedroom to fight and I was a particularly harsh jerk to my wife. I don't remember what I said, but I do remember what she said. I watched her hit her breaking point and look up at me with tears in her eyes and say,

“Dave, I don't need you to criticize me anymore. What I need from you is to love me anyway. I need Ridiculous Love”.

When she said the words “ridiculous love” they hit me hard and not in a fight back kinda way either. They were likely the first words that either of us had ever said during a fight that had settled something then and there.

Our marriage changed that night. We instituted a policy of “Ridiculous Love”. The plan was that whenever she'd do something that made me mad... my job was not to give a death glare, criticize, or store up my anger and let it loose in an argument later. My job was to squeeze her hand and whisper the words “ridiculous love” into her ear. And her job was say out loud, "I receive it". And we made it our responsibilities to mean it, and do it... even if we didn't feel it.

This policy was and is still for both of us. We both continually need to choose to remember that as two people in a covenental relationship, we are contractually obliged to grace. It's the only way it works, since we all stink sometimes. We screw up date night too often by putting ourselves first. It's not an excuse to continue making wrong choices, but the thing that causes us to screw up is somehow woven into us. It leaves us in need of a savior. We're living in the Era of God's grace extended TO us and expected OF US...

... and it's the most important thing I've ever learned about marriage

14 March 2011

The story of Brenda Lee

There is a homeless lady who wanders around downtown Brantford you've likely seen but never spoken to named Brenda Lee. We met about 5 years ago during our "Flippin' Friday" street barbecue. She would come and have burgers with us along with her personal motley crew. We got to know her story... because we talked with her.

At the time, Brenda Lee summered under a pine outside of the Market Square Mall where Freedom House is now located. She would come to the BBQ smelling minty fresh. Well... at least her breath was minty fresh. This is because she gets drunk on Scope mouthwash every night. We'd chat a bit about life. As much as was possible. We'd share a burger and she'd be on her way into the night.

One night during the BBQ, my friend Sam and I were taking a walk around downtown inviting folks down Market Street to biggest free street-meat party in Brantford at 1AM Saturday morning... and we found Brenda Lee. She was picking cigarette butts with some tobacco left in them out of ash trays. We learned that summer that there are people who come in from the reserve and pay the homeless pennies to collect used tobacco out of butts for them. They then take it out, re-roll and sell it for profit. Heartwarming.

We said, "Hey there Brenda Lee!". She turned around sharply and with a wry grin replied, "How the hell do you know my name?" We reminded her of the BBQ she'd been at an hour ago and that we talk every week. Then she said, "Ah yeah... that's nice of ya. Well, um... do you want to grab my ass?" seemingly as a form of returning the favor. As tempting as the offer was, we declined and prayed for her again.

Yesterday morning, Brenda Lee and her motley crew showed up at Freedom House. It's not abnormal for us to have the homeless/semi-homeless crowd in attendance. Freedom House is not a church really intentionally geared toward street ministry. In fact, we've at times been accused of the opposite ironically, since we do more than most. Because on the other hand because we DO do it, we've been labeled that way too. Our thing is the people are people. We all have the same need for God... food... love. From prostitutes to politicians. God's desire is to impact them ALL. One is no more important than another.

We were having a pancake breakfast and word of food seems to travel like a shout across a quiet northern lake. But this could be the first time Brenda Lee has made her way into a Sunday morning service. It's honestly a challenge sometimes to "manage" when cultures come together in a setting but our people are AMAZING. As our post-worship prayer time came to a conclusion, there came a bit of a ruckus from the back. Brenda Lee made her way loudly forward and approached the front. I came up to her and said, "Hello there Brenda Lee." She gave me her traditional, "How the hell do you know my name?" Thankfully the ass-grab offer didn't follow this time.

She smelled overwhelmingly of vodka (which is better than Scope I can testify to) but God doesn't care so why should we. He just wants people to come... as they are. She said to me, "Pastor asked if there were people who wanted to give their life over to Jesus... and I wanna do it". I prayed with Brenda Lee that God would flood her heart with his love, compassion & peace. She smiled at me and told me about more hard times she was going through but she's making it through with God's help.

Brenda Lee turned to my son and the other 2 boys sitting in the front row beside me and taught them to do the "pound it" fist bump thing because there are, "Too many germs when you shake hands". Then she and her crew disappeared into the Sunday morning sunshine.

There's no great moral to this story. No real grand lesson. I don't know if what happened Sunday Morning "took" in Brenda Lee. I don't know if she woke up in pine tree this morning feeling refreshed and new. But here's what I do know. The poor/very poor are real people with real struggles and stories... just like me and you. Too often we look at the problem and not the person. I'm going to suggest that the problem shouldn't define them to us... just like YOUR problem shouldn't define you to others.

I'll say it again. Meeting FELT needs opens the door to meeting REAL needs.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6: 25-26, 31-33

10 March 2011

% of Teens engrossed by National Geographic stories about the Amazon

I made my own graph.

All my hard work and research pays off today.

Date Night Recipes

I cook about... oh... once a year. In fact, my legendary culinary laziness has appalled many maternal female onlookers while birthing ideas of edible shortcuts in sympathetically male spirits. My piece de resistance is the Peanut Butter Burrito. It's recipe is SUPER EASY guys.

  1. Get out a wrap
  2. Put as much peanut butter as possible on it
  3. Lick knife
  4. Roll
  5. Eat

You can eat this 2 or 3 times a day.

I don't HATE cooking... but I don't LIKE it either. I'm not a detail oriented person (can you hear the uncontrollable laughter and "uhhh... ya think" coming from the peanut gallery?) and I'm not around during food prep hours so I just DON'T cook. The 2 minutes of difference it takes between putting paprika on pork and not... I choose not. I could read a story in the newspaper during those minutes!

But once in a while on Date Night, I'll spend the day pouring through the millions of recipes online to try to find something a bit different that I'll cook for our "after the kids go to bed" date night dinner. As a non-cook I have to ask why would anyone ever ever EVER buy a cookbook anymore with the shear number of of bloody recipes online??? Not enough choice for you about ways to boil noodles???

I look for a couple things...

  • Idiotically Easy: I have to be able to actually DO this thing. Truth be told, usually Krissy just feel such pity on me and appreciates my efforts that she helps because she DOES want to actually enjoy the meal and knows I won't actually measure things.
  • Hot n' Spicy: Not all my date night creations are, but we're still mentoring our kids to love hot things. They're coming along but the truly fiery items don't come out until later.
  • Feta Cheese: The finest of the stinky cheeses
  • Steak or Shrimp: And steak is more of a Sunday Night Special so it's more often shrimp... the romantic crustacean.
  • Ghanaian: Cus... we were there.

So here's something I never thought I'd do on Big Ear Creations. Share recipes. I'll punch myself later OK? I'll share one and you share one that might fall into one of those categories because tonight is date night... and I need a recipe.

Grilled Marinated Shrimp Skewers - Meat on a stick. Simple. The way Ron Swanson would have it. It's actually a very flavorful recipe that, when you load it full of hot sauce, packs a great punch too.

Now... what's your idea?
Help a brotha out.

9 March 2011

Then sometimes I do ads I actually LIKE


After a man writes enough bra and spa ads... these kind can be strangely satisfying.

Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney doing the dishes

This may be one of the strangest...
most wonderful...
most unsettling...
most telling...
most intriguing photographs I've ever seen.

It's like how people describe getting lost inside gazing at the Mona Lisa.
What does it make you feel?

5 March 2011

'Why everything sucks'

Craig Ferguson is brilliant

He's actually right.

We are being constantly spun.
Pretty much everything you think... is because of spin.

4 March 2011

The Plight of "Kid Kindness"

Jared got in trouble at school today. Better put, he was rightfully called out for "kindness hypocrisy" by his peers and he's taking it hard.

My son is an emotional but passionate young man who loves being a local superhero and revels in the idea that he's a part of making his city a better place by spreading the message of kindness. He's now taking a more vocal role into any mic he can get his hands on. I love that he's learning how to take a stand for things that are GOOD... and I love that he's learning real life lessons about what can happen when you do.

He was telling his class this morning about our upcoming weekend being the Honorary Chairpeople for Big Brothers and Big Sister's annual "Bowl for Kids Sake" campaign. It's been amazing. Our faces are on posters and Wendy's placemats all over town. We keep getting "I'm eating on your face right now" emails!

But this morning, his classmates caught him being unkind and accused publicly, "You're supposed to be Kid Kindness. THAT'S not what a KINDNESS superhero would do!" He took it hard.

Truth is, Jared experienced this morning what he'll experience many more times throughout his life. Something that I've experienced many times too. Something that anyone with the courage to be evangelical [Not even necessarily in a religious context (Characterized by ardent or crusading enthusiasm)] about anything GOOD experiences...

... not living up to what you preach.

Listen... I prance around town in an inescapable red cape and mask claiming to be "Captain Kindness". Both jokingly and not, numerous people have caught me being... ummm... the opposite of kind... and pointed out a range of truths from irony to hypocrisy.

Captain Kindness doesn't claim to be kindness incarnate. He's a reminder to a community (me included) that when we choose kindness (even though it often goes against our human instincts) it changes things for the better.

This is not the first time I've been on the receiving end of this accusation. I hope you've been called a hypocrite too... or you likely aren't espousing much of any GOOD! We try to do good and WANT to do good, but even Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, was befuddled by his own inability to do the things he really wanted to!

It's a bit comedic for Big Red sometimes because of the public cartoony character nature of the good Captain. But as a Christian, I'm called to BY JESUS share The Message of Christ. This is our great commission... and a high level of good to say the least. It's the story of the sinless Son of God who gave his life for wretches like me so we could ALL share in the bounty of His Kingdom.

Again and again I fall so short of the lifestyle of righteousness Christ modeled for us. Many times, as one who likes to live life out loud, people see the mess that is Dave (warts and all) and they are sure to remind me that I'm not practicing what I'm preaching. I know it. I'm workin' at it.

It's tough. I can relate with the plight of Kid Kindness. It's mankind's plight. We are to share good, grow into good, live good, teach good... while contending internally with the reality that we AREN'T good incarnate deep down.

The prophet Isaiah wrote:

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags"

This is the beautiful part of the story. John the Baptist as the forerunner (according to Jesus) began to show people the way to righteousness... then he baptized Him saying "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". Then this Jesus began to do crazy things things like wash the feet of "unworthy" imperfect fishermen. Craziness. He even said...

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

... KNOWING that we couldn't completely live out the righteousness we'd be sharing, living, preaching. Nutty ideas that people didn't get. THEN Jesus left encouraging his buddies who were about to get societally squashed with,

"... let me say it again, this truth: It's better for you that I leave. If I don't leave, the Friend won't come. But if I go, I'll send him to you. When he comes, he'll expose the error of the godless world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He'll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father..."

We're not saved and anointed by OUR righteousness. It's through HIS righteousness. We'll be persecuted for even trying... but we get to live and work with The Holy Spirit (The Friend) to see good happen. And when we get ripped, we just say, "I know I messed up. Sorry. Doh! I'm just a sinner who has hope for something better because of Jesus. Let's do better together OK?"

It's not that we don't try... work... change ourselves. We do. But the concept that it's only through Christ that we can participate in this Holy Goodness, that's the real key for which Jesus came and died and rose again. I hope to be able to communicate this grace to Kid Kindness later. But the truth is, it'll happen again. And that's OK. And we'll keep speaking and living out the message that kindness can change our city BY good INTO good. And we'll keep succeeding hopefully more than failing.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6: 9-10

3 March 2011

Marriage really is a fairy tale...

... that includes dragons and fighting, and politics, and lost friends and hurt feelings and poverty and morality challenges and, and, and, and.

I tell every young couple that gets engaged as soon as possible that "Getting married is the most political thing you'll ever do outside of running for office". None of them believe me. Then the process begins.

Then one mother snarls at the other about spoons.
Then a bridesmaid snarls at another because of jealousy.
Then you're all snarling at each other while rehashing long-gone familiar familial squabbles over who should stand where and why.

It's enough to make the runaway Vegas wedding seem appealing.

But wait... did you think your wedding (or marriage) was about YOU?

I told one of my young betrothed friends the other day, "It's kinda a right of passage into marriage." In fact, this stuff actually reflects what marriage IS. Marriage bears little resemblance to the gooey-eyed idyllic paintings that little girls suckle themselves to sleep with. The majority of the time, marriage consists of brokering deals, uncomfortable compromises, vigorous debate, weighing notions of morality and severing one's own sense of entitlement.

Marriage is a voluntarily entered into institution that contractually obligates your life to be about SOMEONE ELSE.

Humans are by nature desirous OF ourselves and FOR ourselves. We're so vain. I bet we think this song is about us. We want what WE want. So the fighting starts. Fits are thrown. Stands are taken. Self righteous lines are drawn in the sand... and lonely nights are barely slept through. That's pain of separation.

Where's the good part?

The good part is that in marriage, you've pre-chosen to never leave or forsake (give up something formerly held dear) this person you're squirrelling-around-in-your-own-shorts-mad-at. So to ever have peace in your life & home ... you MUST find an answer or you won't ever sleep well at night again.

The good part is that this forces you to live life for ANOTHER... not yourself.
The good part is that this forces you to change your stupid thoughts you didn't know you had.
The good part is that LIFE ITSELF is about OTHERS.
The good part is that living REAL life together makes each other better people.

The good part is that marriage is a lot like how our relationship with God works. He lives with us, and convicts us of our selfishness and sin just because of His proximity, and won't let us be comfortable in our second-rate thinking. He causes us to want to change.

The good part is that marriage IS like a fairy tale because even though there are many trials to overcome... you live life together... happily BECAUSE of what you overcome.

I love you Kristina... BECAUSE you'll fight it out with me :)

2 March 2011

You Googled WHAT and found me?

Blogs can be great things. They can engage a wide range of interesting people on a wide range of interesting topics. It's also great a destination for basement-dwelling weirdos who search for the most bizarre things you can think of. Here's the funniest things Googled this February that wound up on Big Ear Creations. Hopefully I can answer some of your queries today.

What are those glasses with big nose for making jokes?

- They are called... get this... follow me now... "Joke Glasses".

What people with guts do?

- Have a fully functioning internal organ system and continue being alive.

That's what you were asking right?

What was the whole story of Lost?

- Charlie from Party of Five saves the world

saddam cutting off ears and/or tongues

- I don't have any first hand knowledge and/or photographs of that. My apologies. BUT I still pitch the good folks at Doritos my "Name that Nacho" idea every few months.

Fingers Crossed.

pictures of old women doing stupid things

- Like "Punking" each other? Lighting bags of flaming poo on door steps? Blue Angels in the garage?

pizza covering groin

- Weird. It's kinda like that Seinfeld episode where Costanza eats meat sticks during sex.

mike foligno poem

There once was a man name Mike
Other's helmets were quite quite unlike
When he scored him a goal
He jumped over a pole
To loosen his quads he'd then ride the bike.

It's only a first draft.

mormons moving west

- Loading up the covered wagons are they? Hope they realize that t
here is very little undiscovered land left to poligamize between Utah and the Pacific.

movie "airplane" "what's a" "it's a" "but that's not important right now"

- This was Googled by that guy who botches every joke he's ever told and has to repeatedly start over with a, "wait... no... it goes like this... The HORSE walks into the bar and Raquel Welch is sitting with the Pope... no wait... it's the POPE who walks in the bar..."

mr. t approved blog

- Foo

here's your moose meat t shirt

- I had moose sausage once and to this day I wish it came with a t-shirt featuring an animated ground-up moose. You could call him "Minced Moose"

fhtv porno

- I hope they meant to search "promo". I hope. Dear Jesus do I ever hope.

crazy googler that sends out awkward pics

- I've always found this to be a fairly awkward picture of myself.

Want a copy?

big ol' jesus age

- Boomhauer searches for spiritual answers

a picture of a head cut out of a fake person doing the boogie

- Yep... these are my readers

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