Your Mistakes Give You Meaning

trump.thm_If you’re in the public eye and you want to find redemption for a public mistake, there’s really only one place to go: Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, a.k.a. the main stage of “Saturday Night Live”.

Actors who take themselves a little too seriously. Celebrities who say the wrong thing on social media. Politicians involved in some sort of scandal.

We’ve seen them all take the stage on SNL over the years.  Just this weekend presidential candidate Donald Trump – a phrase that will never not be hilarious and slightly disturbing at the same time – hosted the show. Over the course of the evening the show roasted his blusterous personality, his reputation as a racist and his tendency to trash his other political candidates.

That’s the catch with coming on Saturday Night Live – you have to be willing make fun of your mistakes. Continue reading

What To Do When You Lose A Toe

FullSizeRender-7My dog is missing a toe.

His name is The Roc. He’s a tough, old miniature pinscher. He didn’t lose his toe through any fault of his own.

You see, I adopted him a few years ago. And for as long as I’ve had him one of his toes has given him problems. Eventually an infection popped up and our vet thought it would be for the best to remove the toe.

What started out as a simple surgery turned into a maelstrom of problems. Continue reading

The Only Coupon You’ll Ever Need

IMG_3235There’s a sale going on this weekend.

The coupons are out there circulating around.

You may not be a charge card holder. You may not have gotten any in the mail. But if you search around you can find a good deal.

Yet some people will make their purchases this weekend without a coupon.

I don’t get it. When I work at the cash register I just want to scream at people to wait until there’s a sale or go find a coupon before making their big purchase.

Because believe me – if there’s not a sale today just give it a few days. There is one coming.

97% of the time what you think you need to buy today can wait until there’s a sale. I think Dave Ramsey told me that. Or maybe I just made it up. But it’s true.

Why would you buy anything without a coupon?  Continue reading

How To Stay Below Par

IMG_4032.JPGBogey. Birdie. Duffer. Mulligan.

The world of golf is full of funny terminology.

I think the funniest of all is the word par.

I know par is not just a golf term. The definition of par is simply “an equality in value or standing”.

But when you hear the terms above par and below par, your mind travels to golf – especially if you live in Augusta.

When you say something is below par, you typically mean it’s below average. If you tell someone the lunch you had was really below par, you’re basically telling someone not to eat where you did.

This has always been confusing to me. Because in golf it’s the complete opposite. Continue reading

Do We Take God For Granted?

The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter

The Oscars will be missing something this year – the greatest actor of our generation.

Despite two highly-regarded performances – as the title character in the harrowing “Captain Phillips” and as the legendary Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” – somehow Tom Hanks missed out on an Oscar nomination this year.

What’s the deal here? I must admit I have not seen many of the Oscar nominated films this year, including “Saving Mr. Banks”. And I know there’s only so many spots that can go out there for nominations.

But have you seen “Captain Phillips”? Tom Hanks is incredible as a reserved ship captain trying to maintain order as Somali pirates hijack his boat. The last scene where Hanks finally releases all the pent-up emotion he’s been carrying through the movie is an acting masterclass.

Even as someone who expects Tom Hanks to deliver an excellent performance in every movie, I was still blown away by his work in “Captain Phillips”.

I think maybe that’s why Tom Hanks didn’t get nominated for an Oscar this year. I think everyone who’s seen “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan” and even “You’ve Got Mail” recognizes how awesome Tom Hanks is.

So when Tom Hanks does his usual excellent work, the audience is not surprised. There’s no overwhelming movement to honor what this amazing actor is doing because the world has been recognizing his outstanding work for decades.

I think we take Tom Hanks for granted. I know I take God for granted too. Continue reading

A Christmas Prayer From Henri Nouwen

I’ve done plenty of talking to you about Christmas this month. How about some wisdom from a far greater mind, that of author Henri Nouwen?

Henri Nouwen lived an incredible life of ministry in the 20th Century and wrote many powerful books. The Road To Daybreak is a journal of his first year living in the L’Arche community, a shelter for adults with special needs where he spent many of his later years serving some of the most needy souls. It’s an honest, heartbreaking, challenging diary of a man all-consumingly following God’s calling.

I just happened to be reading the chapter on Nouwen’s first Christmas in the community the other day. On the entry for December 23 Nouwen offers a humble Christmas prayer, and I wanted to share that with you today. Here is the prayer in full: Continue reading

Fire The Coach

** FILE ** This is an Oct. 11, 2008 file photo showing Georgia head coach Mark Richt gesturing on the the sidelines during an NCAA college football game against Tennessee in Athens, Ga. Judging from the chatter on Internet message boards, Georgia fans are fretting a little more than usual, clearly bothered by the perception that their program is starting to lag ever so slightly behind the other elite schools in the powerful Southeastern Conference. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Last year saw marks the launch of the SEC Network, the latest in a line of 24 hour sports networks. It joined the relatively new Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network as well as the already established ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, and about 100 other “all sports, all the time” channels.

Sports dominate the American culture like nothing else. You could say sports rule the day because of fantasy teams, or because of geographical rivalries, or because live sports are “DVR-proof”.

You might even say sports rule the day simply because of the thrill of victory. But I think it’s the opposite. Continue reading