Pride Goeth Before the Shopping Cart

I have a confession to make—a pride confession at that. I don’t regularly look down on others. I would even argue that compassion and a connection with my fellow human beings is my fallback sentiment. To whom much grace is given, much is required. But there is a surprising place where the ugliness of pride rises up in me.

The grocery store parking lot.

You see, I’m one of those who feels that returning the cart to the little cart stable is a matter of responsibility. I feel oh-so-noble as I Continue reading

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When God is LOL

The three-letter expression, LOL, has been rolling around in text-speak land for quite a while. When it first emerged, I wasn’t clear on its meaning. Licensing of Obese Libertarians was unlikely, although in an election year such things are possible. Lard On Lollipops seemed even less promising. Turns out, it was much simpler: laughing out loud. The problem was, this little three-letter mark of jocularity was often appearing in places where I found it difficult to determine what the text-speaker found to be so funny. . .funny enough that it would cause an actual audible guffaw. Most of the time. . . Continue reading

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Jesus. . .on Your Grilled Cheese?

Few of us will ever know the thrill of seeing the face of Jesus on our drywall. I can tell you first hand, there’s nothing like it.

Well. . .sort of first hand. See, the problem is, in my case, the face that emerged looked less like the Lord Jesus and more like the Sith Lord from Star Wars. And that’s not the first time I’ve seen a clearly-not-Jesus face appear. Karl Marx appeared in my wooden door grain, Mark Twain clearly lives on my bathroom marble floor, and I’d swear I saw John Goodman in a cow pie (my apologies John, but it is what it is). Continue reading

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What TWISTED Mind Invented Soap?

Have you ever stopped to think about how weird it is that we have soap? Think about it. That wondrous little bar of cleansing magic that you hold in your hands in the shower means that once upon a time, some bizarre mind had to come up with a truly strange set of steps.

“Hey,” mutters the wild-haired man staring at the fire. “I know what! Let’s try pouring water through all the leftover ashes from our previous fires.” His eyes squint in concentration as he works out the details in his head. “Then, when the water drains out, instead of being frightened by it—since it can literally peel the skin from your hands (no kidding, this is where we get Lye)—we’ll just put on little hazmat mittens and gather it up by the bucketful.”

Others around the fire look suspiciously at the wild man. Is he serious? Is there a village somewhere whose idiot has gone missing? But most importantly, what would he be planning with such a corrosive liquid? With that thought, they all took three steps backward. Continue reading

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Salvation in a Running Shoe

Have you ever met folks who have only one message? They seem to have the same answer for every single problem that might come your way.

“My life was forever changed when I. . .{insert amazing trendy habit of choice, be it ionized toothbrushes, red pepper colonics, or—I kid you not, purposely induced malaria-therapy.}

No matter what you’ve got going on, this one thing, they are certain, could turn your life around.

I met a guy some time ago who apparently had found the single magic antidote for all life’s issues: running. No really. There was not a single conversation in which he didn’t bring up this miraculous panacea.

Got a drinking problem? You should take up running.

Struggling with focus? You know a good run will really help you zero in on focusing.

Robbed several convenience stores? I know a guy who ran a marathon, and never robbed anyone again. Continue reading

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Love of God, From the Roots Up

“This is where we create the gold bowls that prayers are kept in.” The small group of newcomers moved along behind the winged angel tour guide and nodded as they viewed the large room of worker angels pouring gold into bowl-shaped molds.

The group shuffled along to a massive room that looked like an airplane hangar, open at the far end, with angels coming and going at a rapid rate. “This is our message dispatch room where delivery angels get their assignments to carry personal messages to folks on earth. Lots of serious stuff coming and going in this room.” Indeed, the looks on the faces of these angels were all business, even grim, but the occasional beaming smile crossed the face of a delivery angel when given some obviously joyful news. One can only imagine.

The small group moved down a long hallway, and on to a quieter wing. In a room off to the side sat a group of angels, each with an ipad looking device in their hands. They were chatting merrily with each other. There was no tension, no seeming deadline or urgency. There was even a seeming merriment in the exchanges between them.

“This is the hair counting room.”

“The what?” a confused tour group member immediately interjected. Continue reading

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The Tell

In poker there’s a great word: it’s called a tell. It’s an action or thing someone does that tells you about what’s in their hand, what their next play may be, if they’re nervous. I love this concept, mostly because of how it works elsewhere. Sometimes you see something about an individual and it just speaks volumes to you about this person. For example, there’s this guy with devil’s horns imbedded under the skin of his skull. Now looks can be incredibly deceiving. I know that. But my first instinct when I see this guy is to think he probably doesn’t do scrap booking. Or sell Amway. Or vote Republican.

Or Democrat.

Or any of the first ten possible party affiliations on any standard college political science list. Maybe after Republican and Democrat Continue reading

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