The Unwavering Faith Of Frank Underwood

“You’re thinking about where we are rather than where we’re headed.” – Frank Underwood

Frank Underwood is all about the long game.

From the first moment he confidently addresses the audience in season one of “House Of Cards”, oozing with the southern charm of a slithering snake oil salesman, it’s clear that Frank has a way of getting what he wants.

What I like about “House Of Cards” is how the show makes him, as well as the audience, wait to get there.

hoc_key_013_h.jpgIt’s obvious that Frank is not content with just having a seat in Congress. He has bigger plans and higher offices on his mind.

Rather than dilly-dally with the whole election process, Frank Underwood would rather come up with a plan to manipulate his way to the top. It’s more fun that way, after all.

There’s a master plan going on in the background of “House Of Cards”. Every conversation Frank Underwood has is layered with a deeper meaning. Every relationship he has exists for a greater purpose.

A lesser show might have Frank win time and time again. It might lay out exactly how he plans to get to the top of the Washington food chain. It might have him stumble his way backwards into power.

The fun part of “House Of Cards” though is that it’s not always clear how all the puzzle pieces will fall into place for Frank to get what he wants. You know in the end that he will – he has a plan after all – but you can’t always see exactly how he’ll get it done.

Now don’t get me wrong. Frank Underwood is harsh. He is under-handed. You could argue that he’s downright evil.

But Frank Underwood has a plan. And he sticks to it, despite what life and the government throws in his way.

Frank uses every meeting, every machination and every manipulation to get to what he wants, even when it doesn’t mean getting it immediately.

Frank realizes good things come to those who wait. He knows his long term goal of stealing the the most powerful office in the country cannot come overnight.

Even when his inner circle complains about the momentary setbacks they see in front of them, Frank Underwood sees the big picture and trusts in the plan.

I think too often we act like the periphery characters on House Of Cards. We cry and complain and lose hope because of where we are in the story. We fail to have faith in The Plan.

There is nothing in our lives that is left to chance. There is nothing that happens apart from God’s Master Plan for our lives.

It’s easy to doubt The Plan when we run into opposition. Sometimes we face moments where we can’t possibly fathom our stories having a happy ending.

That’s because our stories are supposed to be dangerous, challenging, exhausting, nerve-wracking all the way up to the very conclusion. All the great ones are.

If we are willing to stay faithful to The Plan, if we hold out hope that something greater is going on in the background, that all of the moving pieces in the background are shifting to something wonderful, then at the end we will see the incredible results of a life lived in faith.

A lot of “House Of Cards” fans compare Frank Underwood to Satan himself. I can’t blame them. This is not a post trying to redeem the villainous politician.

I’m just wondering: if every Christian could have as much hope in God’s plan as Frank Underwood has in his own, could you imagine the places we could go?

Have the faith today to see beyond where you are and look to where you’re headed when you stick to The Plan.

Let’s End It

end itLast week our box spring broke.

After standing up on the bed to pull the switch on our fan the box spring caved in on itself.

We had to laugh about it. We’ve had a nice string of bad luck since getting married. Our shower curtain keeps falling off the wall. Our toaster oven exploded. We can’t seem to catch a break.

Really though, our problems are small in comparison with one of the greatest problems the world faces today: slavery. Continue reading

The Indefatigable Hope Of Parks And Recreation

IMG_0010There are a lot of wonderful things Parks And Recreation championed over its 7 season run. Breakfast food. Miniature horses. Pretty much every item on Ron Swanson’s Pyramid Of Greatness.

But the greatest thing of all Parks And Recreation championed was hope.

Leslie Knope is arguably the most hopeful character in the history of television.

Of course she never had it easy. Nearly every open forum the Parks Department held to talk about their hopeful ideas devolved into hilarious madness, corrupted by the cynical and selfish desires of the townspeople: Continue reading

What It Takes To Win An Oscar

mashable.com

mashable.com

This Sunday night hundreds of nominees will sit inside a Hollywood theater anxiously awaiting to hear their name read. For if a presenter opens an envelope and does shout out their name it means they’ll be taking home the most important prize in the movie business – an Oscar.

For weeks and weeks the actors and writers and producers and directors nominated have been endlessly campaigning to win the golden statue.

Ads have been taken out in magazines and papers. Billboards have been plastered across Hollywood. Talk shows have been littered with performers on their best behavior trying to impress the voting audience.

But when the Academy Awards begin this Sunday there will be nothing anyone can do to alter their fate. Continue reading

How SNL Made Me A Better Youth Minister

As SNL celebrates its 40th Anniversary this weekend, I just wanted to take a few minutes to say thanks.

You see, I’m not a funny person.

I’ve said funny things before, and I’ve gotten a few laughs in my lifetime. But the truth is most of those funny things were stolen. And most of them were stolen from Saturday Night Live.

635583156024811072-ConeheadsI think it’s perfect that as part of the new SNL app there’s a whole keyboard of SNL-inspired emojis. After all, for my friends and I SNL is its own sort of language of catchphrases and inside jokes.

I’ve never been good at quoting classic movies, but I can recite for you Matt Foley’s entire speech about living in a van down by the river and tell you why there needs to be more cowbell and shout out all of the Spartan Cheerleaders’ routines. Continue reading

3 Steps To A Successful Halftime Show

I’m kind of done with football at this point.

Between deflated footballs and ridiculous press conferences and domestic violence and post-concussion syndrome, I’m honestly ready for this season to all be over with.

Yes, I’ll be watching the game on Sunday, just for the grand spectacle of it all. But I don’t really have the heart to write anything football related right now. (If you’d like to read something like that I have done it before.)

katy-perry-nfl-650So instead of writing a piece on the big game, I’m going to focus on something far less upsetting: the Super Bowl Halftime show.

This year Katy Perry will perform in front of the biggest crowd of her life. Between the 70,000 or so in attendance at University of Phoenix stadium and what will likely be a record audience watching on television and online, the “Roar” singer will be placed on an incredible platform for arguably the most important 12 minutes of her career.

You might think it’s a pretty special award for Perry to be able to perform on the halftime stage. After all, she is one of the most recognizable pop stars in the world just 7 years after her breakthrough hit “I Kissed A Girl” placed her in the public eye.

But you would be wrong.

Performing the Super Bowl Halftime Show is not an award. It’s an audition. Continue reading