No Excuses

Maria C Dawson: Stupefied "No Excuses"

Only by the grace of God, I had an opportunity for a parenting moment today. This Friday, her youth group is having a Bring-A-Friend night. I asked her who she was going to bring. She said she wasn’t going to bring anybody. I asked her why. She gave me a whole litany of reasons why she wouldn’t even bother. All of her reasons were valid. All of her reasons were legitimate. The most difficult thing about bringing somebody to our church is that we live in Irvine and our church is in Torrance. So, I heard her out. For all of her reasons, though, I still did not hear a good enough answer as to why she shouldn’t (or couldn’t) bring a friend. I had a rebuttal for every single argument. Continue reading “No Excuses”

Loyalty versus Selfishness

I was struck by a conversation I had the other night with my two daughters. I’ll try to write it in narrative form rather than the usual movie script form we use on the Interwebs.

I had just gotten home from work and was exhausted due to a stressful situation that had arisen in the past week. As soon as I walked in, my wife announces, “Dad, Ella wants to go to the mall. She wants to go to the Lego Store and Disney Store. Do you want to go? If not, just stay home and rest . . . and do the dishes and the laundry.” Her idea of rest and my idea of rest were a little different.

I looked to my other two daughters to see if they were going to join their mother and their sister. Emma was on the fence, but she had to put in an order to her personal delivery person, “Dad, can you go to the library and get me the first Spiderwick Chronicles book?” They had watched parts of the movie over the weekend.

As the youngest, Anna was whatevers. Actually, I was surprised she wasn’t more excited about tagging along to the Disney Store, one of her most favorite places in the world (after Disneyland).

She looked concerned, though. She turned to me and said in a cute little baby voice, “Daddy, you’re going to be home all alone?” Continue reading “Loyalty versus Selfishness”

“No Allusions in the Classroom”

Okay. So this one’s only a year old, but it refers to an article (see below) that was written almost thirty years ago. I don’t remember how I came across this article, but it intrigued me and I wondered if we would have similar (or worse) findings today. How many in our schools would lack significant amounts of knowledge regarding current events and history? Perhaps more relevant to those who read my posts (I know you’re out there), how many in our churches lack significant amounts of knowledge regarding current issues effecting Christianity in America (or their own country)? How many lack knowledge about church history whether in our own history books (or in the Bible’s history books, the narratives)? How many lack knowledge about the basic beliefs of Christianity? How many would “be ready to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15)? Continue reading ““No Allusions in the Classroom””

Then Die

It’s my birthday, so no post today. For my birthday, I will share with you this anecdote from one of the people I admire most.

Bruce Lee (click to view full image)

Stirling Silliphant (a student of Lee’s) relates an interesting story that perfectly embodies Lee’s attitude toward progressive resistance in cardiovascular training as well as his refusal to let a person—in this case Silliphant—underestimate his own physical potential:
“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” —and we’re still running-“if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

Click the book cover to view and purchase on Amazon:

“My Father: A True Story” by Emma Yi

Here is a picture of my dad!

Chapter One . . . How My Father Looks
My father’s hair is black
He is as tall as my car
He weighs about 30 pounds
My dad looks best when he wears his pjs and pink suit
Dad’s eyes are black

Things in his pocket look like this

Chapter Two . . . All About My Dad
My dad is happy when he gets to see me
Dad’s favorite color is black
My dad really likes to sleep
My dad always forgets to get things from home
What I really like about my dad is he’s funny
He knows that I like candy
and I know that he likes video games
My favorite thing to do with my dad is go to the pool
I love it when he is happy

Happy Father’s Day!


Men as Husbands

Men, whether you’re single or married, you need to listen to this sermon.

Mars Hill: Proverbs

The sermon, “Men as Husbands,” was posted on Facebook by one of my students back in November, but I finally got around to listening to it recently (it’s actually over ten years old). What a great sermon! I am now going through the entire Proverbs sermon series (podcast link for iTunes here). It will probably take me over three years (about two months per sermon) to get through the entire series. Three down. Eighteen to go. Continue reading “Men as Husbands”

Jesus = Religion? Jesus > Religion? Jesus < Religion?

OK. I got called out on Facebook to respond to the latest viral video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” (AKA “Jesus > Religion”). So, what better reason to give the old blog a re-boot than to answer the call here in a place where I can use more than 140 characters (are you following me on Twitter?).

The video in question is on its way to 14 million views. To put that in context, the latest Kia Hamstar commercial only has 13M (like that shameless plug?).

Continue reading “Jesus = Religion? Jesus > Religion? Jesus < Religion?"