Month: September 2015

Facebook ‘down time’ may be a blessing in disguise

Facebook has gone down three times in a month.

I don’t suppose I’m in the minority by saying I’m a little pleased by this news, am I? It’s good every now and then for people to put down their phones and other digital devices and start living life instead of boasting or griping about it.

Do I use Facebook? Sure. I’m not a hypocrite. But I also know that we as a nation, myself included, have a little bit of a Facebook problem.

Woman sacrifices life trying to save others

Would you risk your own life to save a stranger’s? It’s a deep thought and one I’m not sure is made so easily. But this heroic young woman did just that and wound up giving her life trying to save others. What a sad story, but an uplifting one as well.

“She had a heart of gold. She would do anything for you. She would try to help anybody that needed help,” said Betty Smith, Jessica’s grandmother. “What she was doing wasn’t stupid or careless. She was trying to help somebody else, to maybe save another life and ended up losing her own.”

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13 (NIV)

Megyn Kelly-Donald Trump feud is a little tiring

Frankly, I don’t want to talk anymore about either Donald Trump or Megyn Kelly. For starters, the presidential race has nothing to do with Kelly. She is a member of the media; she’s not running for president. Secondly, Trump is a businessman who is rogue and whose policies, frankly, scare me a little bit.

Let them squabble over petty, unrelated topics and let the other serious candidates talk about the important issues facing our country.

Ben Carson: ‘Political correctness is ruining our country’

I agree with Dr. Carson on this one, to some extent. While I believe that it would behoove Americans to treat each other with respect and consideration and that we should learn to be more tolerant to those with whom we disagree, I also don’t think it’s right for us to continue to walk on eggshells, fearful that we’re going to tick somebody off at any given moment.

If we have something we deeply believe in, there are better ways to say it than with malicious intent, of course. But at the same time, if we are being honest and speaking not out of malice but out of sound reason, then it’s up to others not to take offense.

We need to learn not to be so sensitive as a nation and to understand that people have a right to say and feel what they want. And just because we might disagree with them, we can’t try to stop them from freely speaking.

God cares about what his children care about

There’s been an ongoing feud between Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers since last year’s NFC Championship game, and it has to do with God.

Rewind to last January when the Seahawks defeated the Packers, Wilson told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King: “That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special. I’ve been through a lot in life, and had some ups and downs. It’s what’s led me to this day.”

Rodgers responded to that quote by saying: “I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome. He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”

Rodgers does have faith, though, as he said this before Super Bowl XLV media day: “I just try to follow Jesus’ example, leading by example.”

So, does God truly care about football? Does he have anything to do with the outcome in games every Sunday?

Here’s where I stand on this issue:

I agree with Rodgers in that God doesn’t care about the outcome of a particular game because he loves all his children and isn’t a “fan” of one team more than another. However, for those who might claim that God doesn’t care about football at all, I tend to disagree.

God cares about what his children care about, as long as it isn’t idolatry. If his children place a greater emphasis on football than on him — for example, if they choose to skip church on Sunday and stay home and watch pregame coverage — that doesn’t sit well with him. Football will become a form of idolatry if it is held in higher esteem than God is, and I do believe we have a problem with sports as idolatry in this country.

However, if a Christ-loving man succeeds in his occupation and is happy about it, God will rejoice in his happiness as well. And to me, I believe Wilson is crediting God for blessing him with talent and good character and he is thanking God for those blessings and gifts. God puts us in situations that test our character and resolve. We go through trials and tribulations in all forms and we grow and develop from them.

It seems silly to think God would care about something like football. But if he is front and center in our life, it’s not wrong to think he takes joy in our pleasures, especially if we preach his goodness in those times, something players like Wilson and Tim Tebow do.

‘Pay It Forward’ drive-thru a good way to start my Friday

I always like to say the best way to start a day is with a prayer and a smile — and if you’re married, throw a kiss into that triumvirate as well! And after my semi-routine trip to Dunkin’ Donuts for my morning coffee today — because I, like America, run on Dunkin’ — I left the drive-thru lane feeling very good about the day that was ahead.

When I pulled up to the window, cash in hand, extended toward the cashier, I was pleasantly surprised to hear her tell me that my coffee was paid for by the customer just before me.

I couldn’t believe it! I had read many times before, and heard through the grapevine, of instances where customers in a drive-thru “pay it forward” to other customers after them, but I had never been a part of that process before.

Clearly flattered not by having my coffee paid but by the generosity and act of consideration from others, I instinctively paid for the next car after me, unsure how long the chain had been going before me and how long it had lasted after I had driven away.

One thought that occurred to me while sipping my — somehow — better-tasting coffee this morning was: why did I wait so long after hearing about the pay it forward drive thru, hoping that I would randomly slip into the middle of one someday? Why not be the person that actually starts the chain every now and then?

Food for thought on a future morning coffee run.

Duck tour vehicle collides with charter bus

What a terrible tragedy! I’m curious how this accident happened, and by the looks of the damage, it had to have been a pretty high-speed incident.

I’ve been on duck tours before and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a scenario like this.

I pray for all those involved — whether directly or indirectly — for recovery and comfort.