What Others Miss

“ …Christianity must be more than a religion to us.  Christianity must be a way of life that fills us with hope.” 

 From the Advent daily devotional by Robert V. Dodd that our Sunday School class is doing together this advent.

This sums up what might be the hardest part of my faith to explain to others who don't yet share it.  It's hard for a dedicated Christian to accept criticism of our faith, or to understand a worldview that pushes tolerance of all religions as equal and true.  For a committed Christian, you're either all in or all out.  Once you're all in, it's a lifetime challenge of not compromising your own values, while still not alienating others.


Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm.
Feet on pavement, bike-chains clicking.
Rushing.  Can’t be late.  Didn’t leave early.
Senseless noise.

Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm.
Chattering in a hollow room, chairs screeching across the floor.
Silence.  A single voice in front.  People position themselves in their chairs.
Does this make sense?

Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm.
Alarms shrill, blankets rustle.
Closing door, Squeaky faucets opening.
Do we mean this?

Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm.
Always on our way, places we must go.
Sitting, Standing, Opening, Closing, Noise, and Silence.
Is this all we are?


I honestly don't understand the "Occupy" movement.  It's not that I even disagree with it, I just don't comprehend it.  I wish that I understood it enough to agree or disagree with it.

  • At least a quarter of the protesters have full-time jobs.
  • Every Occupy site has set up their own wifi network, a necessity since the protesters almost universally have smartphones and laptops.
  • There have been no reports of hunger or food problems at the occupy events.
It's hard for me to see the protesters as anything beyond jealous, spoiled Americans pouring out their rage.

Our pastor shared recently that an American making over $50,000 a year is in the richest 1% of the World.  $50,000 is a realistic, attainable wage for most people I know, even those who are just starting in the job market and might be starting a bit below that.  The reality is, almost everyone EXPECTS to earn that much in the future.

Think about it, people all over the world are starving, dying of hunger, lack basic sanitation, antibiotics, and vaccines.  Sleep in boxes or under the stars.  Walk miles for water we wouldn't drink.

We, however, the richest 1% of people on the face of the Earth, are protesting with smartphones in hand in high-end tents, the fact that someone lives better than us.  Jealousy.


I'm struck by how many messages I receive from companies I do business with start with these words!

Oftentimes, the message contains helpful information, and I'm happy to get it:
  • My package is en route, and here's the tracking number,
  • Here's a discount code for our website,
  • We got your message and are working on it, expect a response in 'x' amount of time.
Most of the time, the intent of the messages is better customer service, and the body of the e-mail delivers.  I just can't get past the ugly opening line. 

If you want to provide better customer service, and care enough to setup a messaging system to keep your customers informed, setup the reply address to go wherever you'd like within your company.  Don't make it harder for me to communicate with you than anyone else I do business or correspond with.

"Merry Christmas!"

It's interesting how society, in particular, political correctness, is cyclical. 

As Christmas approaches this year, I've noticed many Christians offended by the salutation, "Happy Holidays."  Most likely their offense derives from Wal-Mart and other retailer's instructions a few years ago exhorting employees to refrain from using "Christmas" in their greetings.  The backlash by consumers was huge, and, in fact, many retailers no longer have policies against speaking the "C" word, or even encourage cashiers to share a Christmas greeting.

The reality, though, is that society often moves at different speeds as a whole, and while large establishments are comfortable in the issue, smaller ones may be left wondering if it permissible to wish a "Merry Christmas," and instead offer a "Happy Holidays" at this time of year.

As the gaudy "Happy Holidays" banners go up downtown, I'm reminded not to make the issue about what it acceptable or politically correct, but instead to seize the opportunity to wish others a "Merry Christmas"  that is more powerful in contrast.  As the world continues to secularize Christmas, maybe a "holiday" season serves as a foil by which we can present Christmas to those unsure of what it might all really be about.

Merry Christmas!


I've started and left many a blog, but as I delve more and more into social media, I've decided to use this as a place to include longer content, or content which has a narrower focus, so as not to overwhelm other social media outlets.

Types of things I think I might share here include my poetry, news articles I'd like to share or archive, and reflections on our communitty.

Readers should be warned that I'm passionate about my faith, my family, and my town.  I have strong opinions in those areas, and hope to be more frank here than I might be in other outlets regarding those topics.  I don't have much use for anonymity in general, so if you'd like to comment or otherwise participate here, the more open you are, the more welcome you will be.

Thanks & Welcome!