Sometimes our cat seemed to be more excited about Christmas morning than the rest of us were. He had no interest at all in whatever happened to fill the boxes under the tree, but he absolutely loved diving into the piles of wadded up wrapping paper and climbing into any and every box left open. The contents of the packages meant nothing to him, but he was thoroughly enamored with the paraphernalia that surrounded them.
Words Are Packages, Too ~
I often think of words as little packages that we fill with invisible ideas, concepts, and feelings that we want to send to someone else. We hope that whoever “opens” them gets to think, see, or feel whatever we are thinking, seeing, or feeling. I’m convinced that God sees words that way, too, and in this season that culminates in a crescendo of opening boxes, it must frustrate Him to see us responding to His verbal “Christmas packages” like our cat did–ignoring the content and spending our time playing in the boxes.
In all fairness, though, while the words of the Christmas narrative are filled with some of the most priceless content that language has ever attempted to convey, sometimes the personal implications of those contents are hard for us to grasp, and understanding what God meant is a struggle. No doubt, the Bethlehem shepherds themselves questioned what some of the words they heard from that delegation of angels might really mean. The babe they were sent to find that night would ultimately Continue reading
Sometimes repetitious lyrics in praise music get a little too repetitious to suit me, and they kick in something called “the law of diminishing returns.” It’s like loving that first bite of a foot-long hot dog, but by the time you get about 10 inches into it and contemplate your next bite, your taste buds are saying, “Really… do we have to do this again?”
Stuck Like a Pop-Up Ad ~
In spite of that, a song we sang in a service over a month ago had a single line that embedded itself in my head with the tenacity of one of those irritating pop-up ads that your ad blocker can’t seem to get rid of. It was a comment made in reference to God’s involvement in the songwriter’s life, and the singer delivered it again and again. “You Continue reading
In that part of the South where I grew up, people hadn’t started using hyphens to stick names together, but dragging a kid’s first and middle name together into a moniker that sounded like a single word was commonplace. For that reason, middle names like “Lee” were all the rage–lots of “Jerry-Lee’s”, “Freddie-Lee’s”, “Tommy-Lee’s”, etc. around in those days.
An Unforgettable Meeting ~
In any case, the middle name of the guy on my mind today was “Dan”. On my first day in school, “Bobby-Dan” became a name I would never forget but not because we developed one of those childhood buddy relationships that stick with you over the years. I remember this guy because he had the poor taste not to like me, a fact I was quick to detect. Even at age six, my keen sense of deductive reasoning locked onto the truth about how he felt about me right away–something about that Continue reading
The way things are trending in the world of seasonal retail, insurance actuaries may have to start considering our shopping habits when calculating our health insurance premiums. On “Black Friday”, going to the mall might be more like going to the “brawl”, and perhaps the mission to acquire some treasured new acquisition ought to fall under the military term, “Black Ops”. If today’s trends in bargain-induced hand-to-hand combat continue, specially designed “doorbuster body armor” may not be far away, and cleverly designed personal protection could eventually become a regular part of our shopping wardrobe. Discriminating people concerned with things like personal survival might be Continue reading
Living examples have always been one of God’s favorite mechanisms for getting a point across, and stories that depict those living examples tend to stick in our heads and get told and retold over the years. One of those simple examples comes to mind again as Thanksgiving week 2017 begins to unfold.
We were off on a Thanksgiving holiday trip and experiencing our familiar love/hate relationship with travel and traffic—loving the idea of going to see family that we don’t get to see often enough and hating the fact that multitudes of others not only co-opted our holiday travel plan, but kept Continue reading
Posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, Holidays, Insights, Right Side Up, Thanksgiving
Tagged Gratefulness, Pay It Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, Thanksgiving, Toll Booth
Apparently, before long, we will be sharing the road with cars that have no human drivers. Self-driving cars have already taken to the roads in some places, and prognosticators show no hesitation in declaring that eventually, they will be commonplace. That would be refreshing. Robotic cars probably wouldn’t cut you off, risking serious injury and material damage, for the possibility of gaining one additional car length in the contentious vehicular blender we call “rush hour”.
My optimistic side wants to believe that another potential advantage to robotic cars is that they may not be programmed with the “entitlement mentality” that has become more and more pervasive among humans in the past decade or two. If that is indeed the case, it will save us further aggravation and lower the manufacturing costs because they won’t have to build in little automatic arms that fly into a frenzy and start Continue reading
Posted in Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up
Tagged Anger, Depression, Entitlement attitude, Entitlement mentality, God's antitdate, Grace, Selfishness