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

Advertisement

How To Conquer Indominus Rex

jurassicworldThere’s a cliche out there where people call extremely intense movies “nail-biters”. Well when I watched “Jurassic World” for the first time it was no cliche – I found myself literally biting my nails in anticipation as the dinosaurs wreaked havoc.

Though I’ve written before about how disappointing sequels and remakes can be, “Jurassic World” exceeded my wildest expectations.

I rarely get scared during movies. I don’t even bother seeing a lot of horror movies; not because they’re too scary for me, but because they’re not scary enough.

But I was literally on the edge of my seat as Chris Pratt fought valiantly alongside a T-rex. My nails cut into my wife’s hand as I watched the raptors’ claws attack the guests at the park. “Jurassic World” was so well done that it actually gave me goosebumps and had me jumping around out of fear.

Now it’s obvious the Indominus Rex, the terrifying dinosaur which causes so much chaos in “Jurassic World”, isn’t really alive.

In fact it’s not even a real dinosaur. And of course the threat of a dinosaur attack probably isn’t coming around in this lifetime (fingers crossed).

So why did something fake give me such a fright? If I was being honest I’d tell you fake thing things scare me all the time. Continue reading

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

How To Be The Man

(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of Wrestlemania XXX this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on and see how this fake sport provides rich lessons for anyone who’s grappling with God.)

There have been a lot of great talkers in the history of wrestling. It’s hard to pick out the best of all time.

You have to consider “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes:

Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage must be near the top of the list:

But to be the man, you have to beat the man. And the man nobody could beat at promos was Ric Flair: Continue reading

The Engagement Story

I always dreamed about having the perfect engagement story.

Long before I ever had a girlfriend, I wanted my future fiancé to be able to recount a magical tale – an elaborately orchestrated scenario which led to me on one knee asking her to get married.

At times I envisioned there would be rented-out movie theaters, trips to far-off destinations, family members flown in from across the country. Fireworks, flowers, farm animals – all were involved in various scenarios over the years.

Of course, I could never settle on the perfect engagement setup. I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t find the time to make it happen. I couldn’t make it just right.

Last year I knew I had found the girl I wanted to marry. After years of dating around, I was ready to take the plunge and pop the question.

But I could not get over the crippling fear of finding the perfect engagement story. So I kept putting off the proposal.

In my head I could not propose to my girlfriend until I could create the greatest proposal of all time.

Then, right around Thanksgiving, something clicked. Continue reading

Who Goes To The Opera Anymore?

“Really, do people still go to the opera? Opera is still a thing? What am I doing here?”

All of these thoughts ran through my head this past Saturday night. My girlfriend and I attended the Atlanta Opera’s production of “Tosca”.

The opera was impressive, extravagant, and I must admit, entertaining.

Never in my life did I think I’d be writing a sentence like that. If you were to tell me two years ago I would soon become a regular attendee of the opera I would have believed you, only if you were referring to the soap opera of professional wrestling.

Then I met my girlfriend. She’s an opera student. She opened my eyes to a section of the arts I did not know was still vibrant and relevant.

So there we sat Saturday night, taking in a 3 hour opera performance.

This is not a post for me to brag about what a wonderful boyfriend I am for gritting my teeth, forsaking football and enduring the opera. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the entire experience of dressing up, drinking $9 champagne, and taking in the incredible Italian singing.

This post is just to point out sometimes you do crazy things for the ones you love. 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?

What’s The Story Behind Your Souvenirs?

Every souvenir tells a story. Every keychain or coffee mug means something, whether a memory of a mighty experience or a tangible reminder of a foolish impulse.

When the youth group I lead embarked upon our very first international mission trip to Jamaica, I knew I needed a special souvenir to bring home. When we went shopping on our final day, I spotted this bowl.

IMG00169-20110805-1138

I wanted something in my office I could look at each day as a reminder of the incredible journey God sent me on that week.

What I thought I was getting was an authentic piece of Jamaica craftsmanship. When I got home and unpacked, I realized I had something else. Continue reading

The Most Embarrassing Situation Known To Man

photo-dictionary.com

photo-dictionary.com

There may be no more embarrassing situation than purchasing a plunger at 2 in the morning.

Because there can only ever be one reason to buy a plunger at 2 in the morning: your toilet is overflowing, and it cannot wait.

You can’t buy a plunger in privacy. You can’t just order one off Amazon and wait a couple of weeks (or even just a couple of days if you have Amazon Prime). If your house isn’t prepared with a plunger already, you would only buy one when you really need it.

I ran into a friend in Walmart the other night doing just this. We didn’t say anything about the plunger in his hand. We both knew.

There’s no way to hide buying a plunger at 2 in the morning. And you shouldn’t have to. We’ve all been there.

You shouldn’t have to hide any of the other crap you have backed up in your life either. We all have sins and secrets, the things we do at 2 in the morning we’re embarrassed and ashamed of.

If we all have secrets, then whey do we try to so hard to hid them? And why do we ever try to hide them from God? It’s not like God doesn’t know what we’re struggling with. We act like we can keep it from him.

You can’t. Your life is on record. You are on camera at all times. There is no moment in your life you can hide. Continue reading

A Lesson From Elmo On Happiness

My favorite verse in the bible is Philippians 4:4. It reads:

Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice!

Some people, including myself, have a hard time living this verse out. Take Elmo, for instance:

Our furry friend seems to have some serious emotional problems. One second he’s ecstatically happy, the next he’s nearly suicidal with despair. And why? All because the green frog won’t play with him right that instant.

We’ve all acted like Elmo before, haven’t we? Much like Kermit promises Elmo everything he wants, God promises us everything we could ever desire. Yet we complain because we want it all right now.

Elmo is guilty of an error many of us make in life. Elmo is not finding his joy in the right place. Continue reading