The Lucy Principle

Lucy-Scarlett-JohanssonThe new movie Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson hit number 1 in the country this weekend.

The sci-fi thriller asks the question, “What would happen if someone were able to used 100% of their brain’s power?”

The premise is that most people only ever use 10% of their brain. It’s an interesting concept – if not a completely scientifically accurate one. And clearly by it’s box office haul it’s a question that’s intrigued a large audience.

Which makes me wonder – what if they made a movie about someone who was able to use 100% of their spiritual power?

It seems like we only use 10% of the Holy Spirit in our life. Attending church once a week. Reading the Bible for 5 minutes in the morning. Listening to a little Jesus music on the way to work.

In Lucy, Johansson’s character takes a fictional drug which allows her brain to grow in strength everyday.

I don’t think there’s a magic pill which will make us more faithful. I don’t think simply going to church more often or having a daily quiet time will take us to 100%.

So how would someone go about achieving full usage of the Holy Spirit’s power?

I think someone using 100% of the Holy Spirit would look like someone completely unconsumed with themselves.

To let the Holy Spirit have room to work in our lives we have to make less room for our desires and concerns.

Here’s a simple way to think about it: One time at a youth rally I was praying with a group of college students. We were all holding hands in a circle lifting up “popcorn prayers” – everyone taking turns going around the circle and praying.

One of the voices in the group chimed in and challenged us to focus on anyone but ourselves during prayer.

He said we were free to pray for others because if we spent our time praying for someone else, then we could trust someone else was praying for us.

“If you’re praying for someone else, then you’re covered,” as he put it.

“You’re covered.” That’s always stuck with me for some reason – the notion that we can focus on others because we are covered. Covered by His grace. Covered by His discernment. Covered by His love.

Only when we begin to trust that we are covered by God will we be able to move toward full usage of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

As Lucy’s brain power goes closer to its maximum potential, she becomes more concerned with herself. She desires more of the drug which is feeding her brain. She becomes consumed with her own livelihood.

It seems logical. The smart way to survive this life is to watch out for one’s own interests at all costs.

However the faith life often moves in rebellion to the common-sense life. Making room for the Holy Spirit is a daily discipline of self-denial of our own interests as we seek to serve our fellow man.

If using 100% of our brain power means we become completely obsessed with our own well-being, then using 100% of our spiritual power must mean becoming completely obsessed with the well-being of others. 

After all, we are covered. We are free to spend our time inviting others out of the storm and under the covering.

What do you think someone’s life would look like if they used 100% of the Holy Spirit’s power?

7 Things I Learned From 7 Months At Kohls

photo 2-7Seasonal. I was just supposed to be a seasonal employee.

In November of 2013, a few months after leaving my full-time position as a youth pastor, I began working at Kohls part time to help me earn some extra spending money for Christmas.

I thought I would work here for a few weeks.

Today, over seven months later, I’m clocking in at Kohls for the very last time.

Life has not panned out as I planned it in 2014. I did find a full time job as soon as I thought I would.

But now, as I prepare for a new working opportunity, I’ve been wondering how to sum up my experience with Kohls.

Diving back into the world of retail after a 7 year absence has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

I’ve complained. I’ve cried. I’ve whined. I’ve moaned and groaned to my closest friends. I’ve screamed at God, wondering why He would let me flounder in a dead-end job without any hopeful prospects on the horizon.

I’ve struggled to figure out what exactly I’ve learned from this detour in life.

Maybe it is still too soon to tell what all my time at Kohls has taught, I have come up with a few things that have surprised me along the way about myself as an employee, about consumer behavior, and about the retail world. Continue reading

Let’s Get Weird

Would you believe me if I told you “Weird Al” Yankovic could teach all of us a thing or two about how to love others?

Yeah. “Weird Al”. The legendary Jewish song parodist. The guy who brought us “Fat”, “Amish Paradise” and “White and Nerdy”.

The guy whose latest album Mandatory Fun boasts parodies like the fantastic “Word Crimes”, a play on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”:

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

If you think Robin Thicke is upset about being made fun of by “Weird Al”, you’d be wrong.  Continue reading

The One Sobering Question You Must Answer Every Day

Do you think you could pass a 5th grade history test? Do you think you could still do it if you were drunk?

That’s the question “Drunk History” asks. The Comedy Central series (based on a series of Youtube videos) shows what happens when drunk adults try to retell the history lessons they learned in elementary school. The results are jumbled, bungled, and hilarious. (And often full of explicit language, although this clip is clean). Continue reading

How To Live In 3D

How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works

I always take my glasses off during 3D movies. Just for a second, you know?

I’m not sure why or when I started doing this. For a few seconds though I like to see the unfocused version of the movie. Am I the only one who does this?

Maybe it helps me appreciate how incredible the actual technology and picture is.

The whole 3D process is kind of amazing. The images projected on the screen combined with the special glasses trick your eyes into seeing something that isn’t quite there. (Here’s a scientific look at the process from How Stuff Works)

What fascinates me is that the content of a 3D movie doesn’t change whether you wear glasses or not – just your outlook on it. Continue reading

Life Is A Maze

Today, the 4th of July, we celebrate the true American heroes – The American Gladiators:

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

Not to take anything away from the men and women who fight everyday to protect the United States.

I just don’t think the men and women who fought every Sunday morning on syndicated television defending the gladiator arena get enough love.

After all, American Gladiators taught me an important lesson during my youth: Life is a maze.  Continue reading

What Friday Night Lights Gets Right

FNL_S2_DVDFriday Night Lights was a well-respected, Emmy Award Winning drama series that ran for 5 years on NBC. But you might have completely missed it.

During it’s original run it was bumped around the schedule and nearly cancelled multiple times. The show was always a critical darling, but mainstream audiences were slow to catch on.

It’s become one of those shows everyone tells you that you should go binge watch ASAP, like Breaking Bad or The Wire. And rightfully so.

Friday Night Lights is far more than a football show. It’s a realistic drama about a Texas High School coach and the down-to-earth problems his family and team face over the course of a career. It’s gritty, it’s funny, it’s relatable. It’s a pretty great show.

Except for the 2nd Season. The 2nd Season of Friday Night Lights is downright awful. Continue reading