How To Turn Hate Into Love

What happens when the commercial you’ve produced to promote your graham cracker company ignites a firestorm over gay marriage?

You turn hate into love. 

Earlier this year Honey Maid released a commercial called “This Is Wholesome”. It depicted a number of modern families enjoying their products including an interracial family and a child with two dads.

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

Of course, as everything does on the internet these days, this simple commercial caused some extremists to lose their minds spouting off hateful tweets and emails about the company’s lack of morals.

It’s incredible. The things we work so hard on to share with the world can sometimes be completely rejected. What we planned to be beautiful and inspiring often becomes ugly and falls on deaf ears.

So what do you do when the gift you offer to the world gets rejected?

You do this: Continue reading

All You Need To Be A Great Friend

Kermit+The+Frog++Fozzie+Bear+Jim+Henson+Frank+Oz+ker+fozThere’s a special kind of love that exists between friends. Friends are the only people in our lives we choose to love.

You’re born into your family’s love. You may or may not love them. They may or may not love you back. If you do love them, it’s not because you chose them to be your family above anyone else.

When you fall in love you usually can’t help yourself. Something stirs in your heart. You’re romantically drawn to the person of your dreams. You don’t always choose who you fall in love with.

Friends are a different story.

When I was in elementary school, I had certain qualifications a person had to meet to become my friend. I quite literally would walk around the playground at recess with potential pals and interview them for a position in my social circle. The three major qualifications for being my friend were:

– You had to like X-Men.

– You had to like wrestling.

– You had to like country music.

These three things of course being the most important things in my life at the age of 8. If you were a fan of all three of these, congratulations: you and I were about to be buds.

No matter how old you are, you still get to choose your friends. You’re not forced to love these people as family or as a spouse. Instead you think so highly of them that you want to associate with them on a regular basis without any patriarchal or romantic ties.

And to think, that’s how Jesus thinks of us:

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:12-15)

Jesus calls us His friends, and this entails a very special type of love. He does not have to love us; He chooses to love us intentionally.

Jesus also says He does not look down on us as servants, though we are called and should be moved to serve Him. Instead He calls us into His inner circle, sharing great truths and secrets with us from His dad like any best friend would.

Read through the gospels and you’ll see Jesus being a friend a friend would like to have. He talks with the disciples. He eats with them. He walks with them. He parties with them. He spends the night with them. He challenges them. He listens to them. He forgives them. He ultimately gives His life for them. And He does all those same things for us – His friends.

What turns an average friend into a great friend? The answer lies in how Jesus treated His friends: He gave to them out of love without any regard for Himself, up to and including His own life.

It may seem impossible to love your friends the same way that Christ did. But that’s what the holy spirit is for. We can call on our friend Jesus anytime we want, since His spirit lives inside of us.

So here’s a piece of friendly advice – try loving your friends unselfishly, no matter how outlandish it may seem. Boldly love your friends the way you want to be loved. Love them without expecting anything back in return. You’ll gain more from it than you give.

What do you think makes a great friend? What sort of friends have modeled Jesus to you?

The Office and The Quest For A Happy Ending

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Not every story gets a happy ending.

After 8 years and nearly 200 episodes, I’m worried “The Office” will become one of those stories.

After dismissing the show when it first premiered as yet another soulless remake of a British series, I fell in love with the Dunder Mifflin drones through DVD  marathons of the first 3 seasons.

My friends and I watched and rewatched Jim’s slow and subtle courtship of Pam, Michael’s tasteless jokes, and Dwight’s beet-loving eccentricities over beach trips and long afternoons when we should have been studying instead.

Now with the finale airing tonight on at 8 PM on NBC, “The Office” comes to the end of its story. For diehard fans, this comes with disappointment and with relief. Continue reading

Truth In Advertising

Don-Draper-2The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons. – Don Draper

On “Mad Men”, Don Draper is the embodiment of confidence. He is the master of the main goal of advertising – making the public believe they simply cannot live without what he is selling. Advertising, at it’s best, points out what the audience needs. The right advertisement can make you think buying a bar of soap will change your life. What Don Draper does on “Mad Men” every week is nothing new. In fact, the principles of advertising can be traced all the way back to the Bible. Continue reading

So I Thought I Could Dance…

There I was, just an ordinary kid, on the precipice of the most important night of my life: the fifth-grade dance. If I had learned anything from watching hours of “Saved By The Bell” every morning before school, it was that true love is born at school dances.

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Desperately desiring a girlfriend, I knew I needed to enhance my appearance for this night. This was my first school dance. It had to be perfect.

I picked out a snazzy shirt from my closet. I doused myself in drug-store cologne. I slicked my hair back and sprayed it down until it was brittle.

I looked good.

My best friend and I gave each other pep talks in the car on the way to the dance. I arrived with confidence, ready to find true love and dance the night away.

Instead, I spent the night stuffing my face with cookies and candy bars, standing scared against the wall for two straight hours. Continue reading

Win Or Go Home

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Win or go home.

It’s the mantra that will be in the head of every NCAA Basketball player as the annual March Madness tournament begins this morning.

If you don’t win the next game then you’re done. You’re heading home; there’s nothing left for you.

“Going home” is usually equivalent to losing. Only losers go home; winners keep on playing. Winners do not retreat. Continue reading