If the blind lead the blind, both fall into a pothole.


Salt truck succumbs to a pot hole in nearby Youngstown, OH (source:wfmj.com)

It’s not like I haven’t been around potholes before. But, they’ve been extra bad this year. I’ve had conversations with co-workers who agree that it seems far worse than in the past.

As it turns out, we’re correct.  I read online that in 2015, the state of Ohio has been sued 256 times for automobile damage caused by these gaping craters – the most ever. Our local newspaper even has a “Pothole Patrol” so commuters can report the location of the most cavernous routes and whether or not they have been repaired. However, we have seen potholes before, and you’d figure that drivers would have some idea how to navigate them.

On my way to work last week, I took my normal route, which had birthed and expanded potholes overnight. At many points in a one mile stretch, cars slow to a crawl to safely maneuver a pothole minefield. I was at one of those points, and a driver behind me was in too much of a hurry to worry about the potential damage to his vehicle. 

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Intricate un-faith

Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Photo credit: Leonard John Matthews / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“People often have intricate and well-thought-out reasons for not believing, and we treat them with less than respect if we ignore this.”   

N.T. Wright (Outreach Magazine, Nov/Dec 2013, p. 100)

I wonder how often Christians are stopped in our evangelical tracks by an unbeliever who presents greater reasoning to reject Jesus than we do to follow him.  My guess is that it’s not that often.

It doesn’t happen much because it only takes one time experiencing that for a Christian to shy away from ever going through it again.  Instead of challenging someone else with changing their eternal course the conversation turns into us not having the answers.   Continue reading

Noah the movie. Yeah, I’ll watch it.

And as a Christian, I’m even looking forward to it.

As the title of this post suggests, I haven’t seen the movie that opens today. So this isn’t a critique. I’m writing my four reasons to see the movie, before I actually see it, because now is the best time to say what I have to say, which has nothing to do with my estimation movie’s quality or possible lack of Biblical integrity.

My first reason: the trailers look awesome.  Russell Crowe and the rest of the cast have been in their fair share of great movies. This one looks like it will measure up.  I really enjoy movies and stories about people having courage to stand up for what is right, especially when so much is on the line.  Yes, my first reason is that basic.

Secondly: historical fiction is a widely accepted genre.  It’s when creative people make up stories set around real historical figures and events. And if some people have a problem with this movie because it’s fiction based on holy writ, why don’t they have a problem with Christians who do just that – and whose efforts we laud – like with books by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (John’s Story, the entire Left Behind Series) and Tosca Lee (Iscariot). Continue reading

The Epic Undoing of Haley Ann Ewing

The epic undoing of haley ann ewing

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

I’m not much of a reader of fiction.  I’ve read the first 175 pages of Crime and Punishment three times.  For some reason, I just can’t make it to the end.  When I do manage to finish a novel, it usually takes me a few months.  Vanda laughs as me because she’ll read about seven books before I finish one.

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Silly Black Friday

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a thought my daughter Jessica brought home from school a couple of weeks ago. It goes something like this: Only in America do we take a day off to thank God for all that he’s given to us and then take the next day off to fight each other to get more.

Of course, that must have been written before this year.  Like that old movie The Blob, Christmas has been surrounding and absorbing its lesser celebrated holiday neighbor for some time now.

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White supremacist finds out he’s Part Black

Did you love this, or what?  You may not be a fan of these types of shows.  I’m not.  But when someone who is so openly hateful and arrogant against a certain people group finds out he’s actually a member of the group he’s been hatin’ on . . . well, that’s just beautiful.

I’m skeptical about the whole thing, though.  In time we may hear that the results were intentionally skewed for publicity.  Either way, it’s the reaction to the findings that interests me.  Not HIS reaction, mind you, but everyone else’s (including mine).

Sometimes society is thrown a softball in our sweet spot – a situation 99% of people can agree about.  The silliness of Westboro Baptist church has been an easy target of late.  The 9/11 disaster resulted in our country and many others to have the same opinion about Osama Bin Laden.  And what about Ariel Castro, imprisoning three young women in his house for so many years?  It’s easy for us to hate all of these evil doers, and we love to hate them in unison.

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Hope is overrated

English: "Mountain of Despair" -- pa...

English: “Mountain of Despair” — part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington, DC. Image is that visitors pass through the Mountain of Despair to the “Stone of Hope.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope is overrated.

It’s a crap shoot that gambles away our perseverance against the odds that one day our circumstances will improve.  It’s a blind wager that spiritually bankrupts.

It has no substance.  There’s little reason to believe that things will get better.  We just want them to, and we naively believe that’s enough.

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It’s time to leave the Shire

“. . . I was entirely respectable, and nothing unexpected ever happened.”

Am I the only one who recalls the 19th Century American hymn This is My Father’s World when the theme music for the Shire plays in the Lord of the Rings movies?  Listen to the first few seconds of the clips below and see if you get where I’m coming from.

Maybe that was the intention of the movie makers.  The hymn was written by a pastor in upstate NY who loved nature walks.  It’s about how God’s creation reminds us that he is in control.  You’d be hard pressed to find a more tranquil tune.  If it was intentional, it was a brilliant move because it enhances the description of the Shire.

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How solving spiritual problems is like home improvement

English: The Home Depot in Knightdale, North C...

I’m sore today.  Not as much as yesterday, though.  On Saturday I dug a 25′ long, two-foot deep ditch that ran alongside my house.  It served as a lesson in finding the root of a problem (Pun intended. You’ll see in a second.) and fixing it.

Though I’m not as clueless with home improvement projects as when we bought our house seven years ago, I still have a lot to learn.  It took eight hours and nine trips to Home Depot to complete. I’ve developed a Home Depot quotient that measures the difficulty of projects. Divide hours worked by the number of excursions to that huge store (.889 for this one).

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