#8. Royal Failure?

Rc_cola

Will it last? I can’t help it. My mind just works this way. The entire planet is celebrating. So many people are caught up in the excitement of William & Kate that it is setting web traffic records. Everyone is talking about it. Seven out of ten Twitter Trending Topics are about it. Even the safe haven of sports radio has been invaded. And yet so many people SAY they don’t care, but guess what? Shakira’s hips don’t lie and neither do statistics. People do care. People are enamored with what is being touted the “Wedding of the Century.” And it’s not just the ladies. Dudes are even talking about it.

What is it about marriage that captivates people? Is it just the pomp and fanfare, or could it actually be that that there is a deep-seated hope for unwavering and unconditional commitment to love for a lifetime? Is that what we truly long for? To be accepted and cherished, when deep down we know we don’t deserve it? In a culture where one of every two marriages will end in divorce, do our souls still yearn for a vow… a pledge… a promise?

Secularists say that marriage is just something made up by religion, but you don’t see people going crazy about the “Civil Union of the Century”. Could it be that the God of the Bible has actually written these hopes and desires onto the heart of every man and woman? That he really did institute this sacred relationship between husband and wife to reflect an even greater reality? That husbands love and serve and cherish their wives and sacrifice for her as Christ did for the Church? And that wives respect and honor and submit to their husbands as the Church does to Christ?

Romans 5:8 sums it up so well: But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

So I am encouraged by all of the commotion or hullabaloo, as our friends across the pond might say, because to me it looks like one more piece of evidence on top of the mountain that already exists, pointing to the God of the universe and His never ending pursuit to draw us to Himself.

Why are you so obsessed with the Royal Wedding?

 

#7. Subway Troubadour

Troubadour2

I know what you’re thinking. “There was a homeless guy singing on the train? Sweet!” Close, but not really that close.

I’m just going to come out with it. Men should never have musical ringtones that can be heard in public. I would even go a step further to say that a man’s phone should always be set to vibrate when in public. The short of it comes down to nearly all audible ringtones being obtrusive and annoying to everyone else around you. The long of it is as follows:

I walk into Subway today and order a delicious looking Orchard Chicken Salad sandwhich on Honey Oat bread. I work my way through the mine field of toppings hoping I don’t choose something that will grenade the taste of my delectable lunch and finally make it to the cash register. “Chips & a drink?” Yes, please. Just as I think the hard part is behind me, I come face to face with what will surely be the most difficult decision of my day. Cherry Coke or Sweet Tea? I’m not ashamed to say that I took far too long to decide, but as I began to watch the fizzy cascade of Cherry Coca Cola flow over the ice-cold ice, my moment of relishing the ability to firmly commit to a beverage was shattered by George Strait singing about being a Troubadour. I turned to see a 40 year old man answering his phone.

These thoughts followed:

“Well that’s annoying, and I even like George Strait.”

“How could I take that guy seriously?”

“How can his co-worker sitting across from him take him seriously?”

“I hope his wife or kids put that ringtone on his phone, and he just doesn’t know how to change it.”

“No, he probably asked his kids to put it on there for him.”

“Yes, I can probably blog about this later.”

“I wish I wasn’t so judgemental… but… facts are facts.”

Anyway, here is the hard and fast rule: A gentleman should always keep his cellular device set to vibrate.

Of course there are exceptions to rules. The following is certainly not exhaustive.

1. You are intentionally trying to annoy people.

2. You are in a loud public place. (Please use a standard ringtone if absolutely necessary.)

3. You are at home, and your phone is in another room.

4. You are trying to impress someone. (Hint: If they have passed college-age maturity, they will not be impressed.)

These are the ground rules. And this is the truth.

Agree or disagree? Exceptions to add?

 

#6. Farmer’s Last Chance

Basketball_hoop

A recent post by my friend Andrew (www.heislikeatree.blogspot.com) had me reminiscing earlier today. He mentioned playing a game of H.O.R.S.E. with his wife. I was immediately transported back to elementary school. My brother and I, along with our neighbors, Blake and Caleb, would spend countless hours in our driveway playing basketball. After daydreaming of these years gone by, I remembered there was a phrase that we would say that would give you a second chance to stay in the game after receiving your final letter, but for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with it.

It finally hit me this afternoon. It came from out of the blue. I wasn’t even thinking about the game anymore, but there it was: “Farmer’s Last Chance.”

These words never struck me as odd growing up, but saying them as an adult really made me wonder where they came from. Thank the Lord for Google. Google always has an answer for me. But today it did not. Google failed me. I am certain that someday I will be able to forgive and forget, but it may take minutes or even seconds. So Google, consider yourself warned, and know that I am giving you your Farmer’s Last Chance to make it up to me.

#5. A Shameless Plug

Sock

Two days ago I bought my first pair of white cotton socks in over two years, and I am afraid I am already regretting it.

In August of 2008, I began training for my first half marathon. I’ve run one every December since then using what I have come to believe may be the best athletic sock on the entire planet. If you are not aware, let me introduce you to Feetures Performance Socks (www.feeturesbrand.com). Due to an admittedly high capital investment cost, I have slowly added to my collection over the years, and now own six or seven pairs. Initially I only wore these while exercising, but they quickly became my preferred all-pupose sock, leaving all others to sit in the draw collecting dust. Feetures use a polyester, nylon, lycra blend that is light but extremely durable. I’ve worn the heck out of mine, and the first pair I bought show only slightly more wear than the newest. They have maintained their cushion & elasticity amazingly well.

I’ll try to remember to give a status update on the Fruit of the Loom socks I recently purchased in a year or so. I’m remaining cautiously pessimistic.

#4. Tithing Time

At the Village Church, we’ve had the opportunity to hear from other Act29 pastors around the country. J.R. Vassar, the pastor of Apostles Church NYC, has been one of these to bless us by preaching Gospel-Centered messages on several occasions. He recently tweeted: What if you tithed each day to God giving him 10% of your time exclusively in prayer and the Word? 2hrs and 24 min.

This concept really struck me, but the engineer in me had to do some calculations. 2hrs and 24 min is 10% of a full 24 hour day. I immediately rationalized that since most people sleep 7-8 hours a night, It would make more sense to tithe your time based on the 16 hours of possible productive time. This would equate to 1 hr and 36 min. Still agressive, but more managable and reasonable in my opinion.

Then it hit me. I am talking net time vs. gross time. While sleep is certainly a necessity, so is working, eating, commuting. Although you could argue for multitasking during some of these necessary chores, the problem remains that it becomes too easy to calculate our net time down to a point of insignificance.

In matters of finance, we choose to tithe on our gross income even though we never even see about 25% of it, and another 10% is immediately spent paying rent. I’ve heard it asked, “Would you rather God bless you on your gross or on your net?” This may be overly simplistic, but I think it is a valid question to evaluate where our heart is.

The question I have to ask myself is, “Do I value my time more than my money?” or perhaps stated another way, “Do I worship my time more than my money?” It is scary where we find idols lurking in our lives. Even in the questions I ask, it is obvious that I view them as my time & money rather than God’s.

The path of sanctification for a Christian is a painful one at times, not because we don’t know the truth, but because we do not live the truth. The fundamental progression toward Christ is a posture of the heart and mind that acknowledges God’s sovereignty in all things and our humility. Holy Spirity help us.

Follow @jrvassar for more engaging and Christ centered thoughts.