Friday, February 26, 2021

The Future Project

When I was in high school, way back in the 1970's, one of my teachers assigned us a project in which we were to imagine the world in 2017, forty years in the future. She then divided the class in half, with one half charged to describe that future world in glowing, optimistic language and the other half to convey the future in the most pessimistic terms imaginable. 

One of my good friends, Jon S, was also in this class and we were assigned to be part of the group charged with imagining the worst future possible. Our first attempts were based on a lot of the science fiction books and movies that we had assimilated, stuff like nuclear winter scenarios, robotic revolts, meteor end-of-world type disasters, mixed in with some "1984" details. But after we had brain stormed for a couple of days Jon came up with a truly frightening scenario, which he aptly named, "Everyone". 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

A Different Path

Carman Licciardello left this world this week at the bequest of his Father. He was a unique talent in an industry full of cookie-cutters and pretenders. You may know him as the Christian musician, "Carman". His style was unapologetically pro-Jesus and he never deviated from this path. He sold thousands of records, holds the record for the most concert attenders for a Christian concert, (over 71,000 in Texas) and was doing music videos before MTV became a reality in the 80's. 

But I remember him for a far different reason. In the 80's and 90's he toured Chattanooga on a regular basis and you could count on two things at a Carman concert, one, it would be free, and two, there would be a clear presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Champion

 In honor of Carman who got promoted yesterday. More to come on this man of God. 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021

The Battle of Our Stuff

Well, this week I'm in the middle of moving offices where I work. Like many of you there are not many more things that I would rather do than spend my time packing up stuff that I don't even remember acquiring. Let alone sometimes remembering what they are . . . 

My wife would tell you that I have a fondness for keeping way too much of what has passed through my hands. I would argue that I find it difficult to discard items that at some point in my life I deemed valuable enough to keep. (Hoarder, no. Official in charge of archiving valuable mementos of my life on earth, yes.) 

Yet I'm being forced to come to terms during this experience that I have accumulated way more than I need over the past decade at work as I sift through my stuff. And this exercise is also teaching me that there is freedom in purging your life of stuff that you find you no longer need. 

Randy Alcorn has a great quote about this topic, "Every increased possession adds increased anxiety on to our lives." 

Possessions do add stress to our lives—because they need to be cleaned, organized, and cared for. Everything we own becomes our responsibility to deal with and take care of. Possessions are not passive, they are not just acquired, stored, and forgotten while they care for themselves. They require our attention. Everything we own takes up physical space in our home and mental space in our mind.

Which brings us to this less recognized truth, "Owning less means living more."

Monday, February 08, 2021

Friday, February 05, 2021


What gets swept away in the wave of nostalgia? Does truth survive in that tsunami? Does reality and imagination become so intertwined making it impossible to discern the difference? And why is it that our tendencies are to bury the bad and elevate the good things that happened to us throughout our lives? Survival? Forgiveness? A desire to control our own narrative of history?

Let's admit it, pure nostalgia is a blast. To let our minds wander back to the days of our favorite childhood memories, holidays, special events is a wonderful way to spend some free time. But most of us recognize that a visit should not turn into a residence. Longing for the goodness of the past is natural, but remembering the counterbalance of the bad times is a different story.

We want the snowball fights but not the fights in the car. We want the nice without the mess.

So what role does God play in helping us to retain truthful memories?

He is the only one in our lives that remains consistent, faithful, and true. Words of a favorite counselor, guide, mentor, or even our parents may be sweet and wise. Yet few memories come with a true complement of their failures and falsehoods.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021