The Retail Worker’s Prayer

photo-10The Folding. Don’t get me started on The Folding.

This holiday, after leaving my full-time job behind, I got a job at a major department store to earn a little extra spending money. I’ve mainly been running the register. But in between customers one of our main duties in the store is The Folding.

It’s incredible, really. You spend a few minutes folding a stack of shirts. Everything on the shelf looks in order. You turn around to check out one customer. You turn back around and a dozen shirts are back on the floor again.

As an employee I begin to wonder what the point is. I wonder why I bother picking up all these clothes off the floor just to see them knocked over and out of place just a few moments later.

But The Folding has to be done. We must go through the motions of The Folding and The Re-Folding day after day after day to keep the store in order. If we deny our duties just one day then the store would go into disarray. Continue reading

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My Favorite Verse In The Message

Some people hate on The Message, the modern translation of the Bible crafted by Eugene Peterson. Not me. While it’s not my everyday Bible translation, I often turn to The Message for a fresh perspective on God’s word. Plus it’s probably the only Bible translation with a quote from Bono on the back.

There’s a lot of great translations in The Message. John 1:14 gets tossed around a lot by Younglife leaders – “The word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”

But my favorite verse in The Message doesn’t come from the Gospels.

It doesn’t come from Genesis.

It doesn’t come from a prophet major or minor.

It doesn’t come the Psalms or the Proverbs or the Song of Solomon.

In fact, it doesn’t come from any of the 66 books of The Bible.

My favorite verse in The Message translation comes before the table of contents: Continue reading

The Greatest Catchphrase Of All Time

“I’ll be back.”

“I could’ve been a contender!”

“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“May the force be with you.”

“Houston, we have a problem.”

In 2005 the American Film Institute named the top 100 movie quotes of all time. You probably remember every one of those quotes and maybe 100 more depending on how big of a film buff you are.

What is it that makes these catchphrases so memorable? Continue reading

How To Find A Hidden Immunity Idol

malcolm-freberg-survivor-caramoanThe immunity idol.

The only way to secure yourself another day in the game of Survivor.

Win an immunity challenge and you hold the idol until the next Tribal Council.

You cannot be voted out. You are safe.

A few seasons ago, Survivor producers tweaked the game by throwing in the wrench of the Hidden Immunity Idol.

Now players could use clues and search around camps for secret idols buried in the sand which could grant them safety.

The hidden immunity idols have grown in importance (and frequency) in recent seasons, creating unmatched excitement as players scramble for the extra edge it provides. The idols have dramatically altered this season in Caramoan, giving us some of the best moments as Malcolm both saved and cursed himself with his idol behavior.

What makes Survivor the greatest reality show of all time is that it reflects and reveals truths in our own lives. We’re all searching for immunity idols. We all look for ways to stay alive a little longer. Continue reading

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

bob dylan press 1 .jpgWhat’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and does what he wants to do. – Bob Dylan

When the world expects Bob Dylan to play he acoustic, he goes electric.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to rage against traditional values, he becomes a born-again Christian.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to be out of surprises, he releases a Christmas album 40 years into his career.

When the world expects Bob Dylan to go quietly into the good night, he tours harder than ever and continues to put out 5 star albums in his 70s. Continue reading

What Do You Doubt?

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. – Khalil Gibran, poet

What do you doubt about God? If you have any faith in God, you surely wrestle with doubt as well.

In a world where innocent Marathon runners and spectators become terrorist victims one day and innocent plant workers become victims of an explosion the next, doubt creeps in about a loving God.

What kind of God does this to His people? What hope is there in this world? What do we have to cling to?

The doubt in our heart is nothing new. The stains of doubt are never fully washed from our cup no matter how powerful our faith is. For as long as people have had faith they have wrestled against doubt.

482376_858133227665_1363584939_nTake Thomas for instance – the doubting disciple. For the past few weeks I’ve been rehearsing for a play called “Eight Days After”. The play is an exploration into the mysterious appearances of Jesus after His resurrection and how they affected the people He once knew. Continue reading