Monday, November 23, 2009

Not Seen Everyday...

Man "Trapped In Coma" for 23 Years

I can't think of many worse things than this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What It Takes To Be American

I have a friend named Kim who just recently came to the United States from South Korea. There are a lot of interesting things about this guy, the first of which is that he's a genius. He knows a lot about his country's politics, economy and social structure, and more about America than most Americans (which is to say, he at least knows who the Vice President is).

A couple days ago, Kim said the following...

"I have the addiction. I can't stop drinking Dr. Pepper."

I think that Kim is an American now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

YouTube

A few minutes ago, I completed the watching of a YouTube video containing film of a "man-on-the-street" interview. It was done by a church group, asking one question of various people. The question was pretty simple--"what is sin?"

The answers were quite varied, and interesting of themselves, but I made an observation while watching.

First of all, the majority of the people appearing in the video were well-dressed, and appeared to have an abundance of food and grooming. Basically, mostly middle-class people. All of them had a reaction to the use of the word "sin,"--although with some it was less obvious--and all reactions were negative.

One particularly interesting response was "the only sin is using that word." As in, you can't tell me that there is even such a thing as sin.

Aside from the responses from atheists/agnostics, there were also the religious people. Their responses were equally interesting, but much less intelligible. In fact, for someone not raised in church, the churchy responses would have been totally meaningless.

But one answer stood out. It was amazing how clear, precise and simple it was. "Sin is doing whatever God says not to do."

And, the man who said it was sitting on a sidewalk with dirty clothes and no teeth. It was clear that he was one of those homeless people that we don't like to think about.

How is it that he could answer a question so clearly, and not one other person could figure it out?

The Kingdom of God is not hard to understand. It's hard to put into practice, but the concept is very simple. But we have made it difficult, almost inaccessible for many. Why? The fact is, many Christians are not a part of the Kingdom of God, and secretly, they don't want to be. So we hide behind a mask of clever words and red herrings.

With all the deception, politics and selfishness in our churches, I think it might be time to start wondering...do we even know God anymore?

Hey, thanks for reading on this happy, happy day.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Religious Religion-Haters

In many emergent and charismatic churches across the USA, there is a new phrase that has become very popular. It goes like this: "I don't want to be religious. I just want to have a relationship with Jesus."

Doesn't that sound so good?

In case you've never heard that, here's what it means: "I don't want to talk about meaningless junk, act hypocritical, or try to show that I know about God. I just want to have a relationship with Jesus."

It's a wonderful statement, especially considering how much the church has gathered dislike for its generally religious behavior. It's really a wonderful thing to actually desire a relationship with God over looking good in church. But here's the problem...that phrase doesn't mean anything anymore. It's been so overused that now, it is no more than a religious phrase. It's a meaningless statement for most church people.

But there is one difference between the new religion and the old one. The old religion, though it was stale, boring and cold, had something behind it. Whatever you want to say about the old religious people, there's no denying that most of them had solid knowledge of the Bible. The new religion is built 100% on an often nonexistent relationship, because it is impossible to have a relationship with anyone with no knowledge of that person.

Recently, I overheard a very interesting statement:

"I avoid doctrine entirely. I just want Jesus."

Is this really what people think? That there's something wrong with having beliefs?

Many aspects of the new churches are good--like the emphasis on relationships. But there is a major problem with them as well, in that no one knows anything. When an entire church is built around feelings, there's a problem. It is good to know the Bible. It is good to have real knowledge about God.

So seek a relationship with God...but don't stop there. Also learn who He is, and what He has to say.

Thank you for your valuable time,
Mitchell
Apparently, you can blog from a phone. To test this concept, I am writing a post from my phone...isn't it amazing?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Great Paraprosdokian

I kind of wanted to write about something serious today. Maybe use some brilliant logic to ward off the dangerous "Whys" in the philosophical world. Instead, I'm going to talk about my favorite subject. Yes, that's right. The paraprosdokian.

I don't know how to pronounce that, but I do know what it is. A paraprosdokian is a type of sentence in which the second part is surprising or unexpected in such a way that the reader must reinterpret the first part.

This type of phrase is usually used by mistake or in humor, which is basically the same thing most of the time. It is used by mistake because the author or speaker did not fully think through their statement, and in humor because it's just funny.

Here are some examples:

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas I don't know." — Groucho Marx

"If I am reading this graph correctly, I would be very surprised." — Stephen Colbert

"I like going to the park and watching the children run and jump around, because you see, they don't know I'm using blanks." — Emo Philips

"I want to die like my father, quietly, in his sleep—not screaming and terrified like his passengers." — Bob Monkhouse

These things make me smile. I hope that my smile can be shared by you, because also it makes me smile when other people do too. And now my challenge: use a paraprosdokian today in a conversation. It doesn't matter if you rip off one of the above, or if you create your own slice of brilliance. But if anything good comes of it...please, comment and tell me about it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Back!!!

It's been over a year since my last post. This is the first thing I've blogged in 2009...and it's November. Since things are happening constantly, my life is very different than it used to be. Also, it's exactly the same. I read over a lot of my old posts, and it was interesting to see how motionlessly I have changed.

I remember when I used to reminisce a lot.

Anyway, with that said, how about I say it and then be quiet:

I am now, once again, officially a writer. I have a blog, and it is once again active. You may read it if you want, but also you have permission to ignore the very existence of this page. Whatever. But it's here, and now you know.