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Strip Joints and Thrown Stones.

A few nights ago, as I was driving home from my parents' house, I passed our friendly neighborhood strip joint, as per usual.

But that night, it broke my heart.

Not because of the lost and hurting inside its doors, not because of the objectification of women or the inevitable infidelity of its patrons, but because of the group gathered outside on the street corner.

Their picket signs read:






"NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!""BAD FOR THE ECONOMY"

"GET YOUR FILTH OUT OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD"

and, my personal favorite,"PURIFY."(what are you suggesting, exactly?)






Each was marked with religious insignia, emblazoned with crosses, fish outlines, and the like.

I shook my head and drove on, until the worst of it caught my eye.

A man was holding a giant wooden cross (you know, like the ones we use in our Easter plays?) with the following words painted on it:
"SINNERS! He didn't sacrifice his body so you could sell yours."
Well said, sir. Excellent. I imagine th…
Recent posts

I'll have a nutritious meal with a side of perspective, please

For dinner tonight, I had a chicken and vegetable stir-fry composed of a variety of vegetables, lean chicken breast, and noodles. It was tasty, filling, and nutritious.

I know this isn't a food blog, but hear me out.

In my efforts to save some cash, I decided to "scrounge" for some food at home instead of hitting a restaurant (or, god forbid, a drive-thru) on my way home from school. And, I'm glad I did, because my journey through the cabinets left me with a fresh and challenging perspective.

I live with roommates, so sometimes it's tough to keep track of whose food is whose. Tonight I made a list of everything in the kitchen that belongs to me, and I was blown. away. I compiled a massive list of foods just sitting and waiting to be eaten...many of which I had forgotten I ever purchased, some of which had given up the fight and become host to various cultures of mold. The point is, I thought I had "nothing to eat" at home, and am now forced to adjust my p…

The Go-Giver

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About A Powerful Business Idea
By Bob Burg and John David Mann

Value: Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in.

Compensation: Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

Influence: Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.

Authenticity: The most valuable gift you can offer is yourself.

Reciprocity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

Pandemic

"Epidemic" comes from the Greek words "epi" and "demos" meaning "upon people".

A Pandemic is, basically, a really big epidemic.

I was having a relatively benign conversation with a group of people recently, and though the content was nothing intriguing, one participant seemed to use the word "potentially" a lot. Almost obnoxiously. Like he had just learned it or something.

With all the flu publicity circulating (to vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?) I've been thinking about the 'p' word a lot. The flu has the potential to kill us all. It could even become an epidemic.

The God context:
What if God's church [WE ARE THE CHURCH, FYI] became infectious? What if, instead of being groups of "good" people who meet in pretty churches, we created a torrent of God-exposure by re-examining our traditional ministries and inventing a whole new method of witnessing? Becoming dynamic people, strategically placing ourselves in situ…

Constellations

Driving home
belly up
to a midnight desert sky.

Belts of warriors disappear
star by star as the town approaches.
Each gem of glory fades, as always.

The deadly curled tail
of a tiny poison beast,
dippers big and small…

And there is one sprung for me!
A treasure from heaven’s slingshot!
A rebel firefly’s refusal to be bound to earth.

With each change of light,
a new portrait appears
in the place of the one before
until too many are clustered
to form coherence.

And the chaos is beautiful.

And I wonder if the sky has seams.

Either I was made for this,
Or this was made for me.

Different strokes for different folks

I'm sitting, at this moment, in a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf located in Scottsdale, waiting for the time between now and my interview to pass.

There are two business men sitting in the corner discussing some sort of shift in leadership at their workplace. I can relate.

There are two women who, after a (rather melodramatic) greeting and hug, have become engrossed in the proverbial "catching up". I can relate.

There is a particularly muscular man in gym apparel sitting alone with his laptop who appears to be working on something puzzling, as the distance between his face and the screen steadily lessens. Maybe he's just playing internet poker. I don't know, but I can relate.

There is an older man reading a newspaper who is wearing socks with his leather sandals. Upon further observance, he's doing a crossword. I think he's just trying to pass the time. I cannot relate to the socks thing, but someday I might.

A girl in a mini skirt and cowboy boots just walked in an…

Like a sponge.

Preface:
My age changes again in a few days. I'm entering my third decade on earth. In a random state of reflection, I began to realize that much of what I am is due the combined effort of those who love me. They have taught me quite a lot about how to treat people, and how not to. I know it sounds trite and kind of sappy (I DID watch Marley and Me tonight...) but I have been privileged to interact with people who, perhaps unknowingly, have exemplified the goods, the bads and the uglies of the character trait world. And I have soaked it up like a sponge.

I've touched the stove, even though my mom said it was hot; I've tried to rescue strays who were simply too fond of their ticks, and I wasn't strong enough to keep their grime off my hands; I've said and done things out of pride, out of naivete, and out of plain old carelessness. I've made bad judgment calls. However: I, too, have been thrown under busses (metaphorically speaking, of course. Although, the liter…