Archive for March, 2011

Mar 24 2011

Rebecca Black

Published by under Life

In America, there are 10,000 ways to get rich. Some are unfortunate – selling drugs, prostitution, the guy who had to chop off his arm while hiking. Some are through celebrity – actors, athletes, Antoine Dodson.

Until yesterday, I’d never considered one way to get rich.

For nearly two weeks, a 13-year old named Rebecca Black has endured an onslaught of hate from every corner of America for her song and music video, “Friday.” People despise it. For 8 days, she’s been in Twitter’s Trending Topics – something difficult to do for even TWO consecutive days. The video has 42+ million views on YouTube.

Some people will say her fame (or infamy) is because she lacks talent. That’s wrong. Her fame has been built by the black hearts of millions of Americans who think there’s nothing wrong with publicly insulting teenagers chasing their dreams. As the adage goes, we don’t hate her because she’s famous. She’s famous because we hate her.

We’re a society of loose-lipped fools.

When I was five years old, I learned this: “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Patience. Self-control. Goodness. Gentleness. Kindness. They’re easy ideas to speak of but colossally difficult when we face real life because we speak those words with our minds – as principles. That’s simple. Anyone can talk. But we live from our hearts – in action. Most of us need real help in the heart department (myself included!).

So…..Rebecca Black: I hope you’re finding way #10,001 to be rich. I hope you’re getting rich because of our meanness! No human being made in God’s image should have to endure what you’ve endured. I’m praying right this moment that God will build your heart through this experience and teach you incredible things the rest of us could never understand. I hope that, somehow, all this makes you a wise woman, prepared to do good for the rest of your life! I hope you feel God’s love for you! -andy

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Mar 11 2011

The Anxious and The Kind

Published by under Life

Heat washed over my back. It felt like a dragon had blown its breath on me. It was Fourth of July and my friends thought it would be awesome to make some M-80s and light them off. M-80s are technically fireworks that just make a really loud BOOM noise. They’re like super small grenades. It’s a really intimidating sound. We lit off four or five, each one progressively decreasing our interest. (Hearing the same noise over and over gets kind of boring.) Until one of our buddies said, “Let’s light 10 at the same time.” Of course, he suggested 10 immediately instead of a more logical number like two. So some of the bros knelt on the ground in the pitch black night to wire 10 M-80s together with the hope they’d all go off at the same time.

Roman Candles
Now, I’ve always been the conservative one in every group I’ve been in. I usually don’t raise objections about what’s going on, but I’m not directly in the center of what’s happening. So I wasn’t doing any wiring. I was standing about 30 feet away watching some of my other friends shoot Roman candles at each other – which, yes, is dangerous, but also hilarious. Until someone loses an eye. But no one lost an eye. So it was just hilarious.

Yankee Candles
Well, the M-80 crew finishes wiring things together and they light the hot mess. Without telling anyone. I’m laughing and laughing at the Roman candle war, “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha that’s hilarious ha ha ha ha,” when four of my friends sprint past me and yell, “IT’S LIT!!!! RRRUUUUUNNNN!!!!!!” It’s at this point in the movie where things go to slow motion. The actor can be seen saying a swear word very slowly (I’m sure that didn’t happen with me) and the actor lowers to the ground as their sprinting motion begins. I got in maybe 10 strides before the dragon blew his breath. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!!! Massive noise. I felt heat on my back. “GOOD GRIEF!” I yelled (or some variation of that). And then it was silent. All of us stayed quiet for about 5 seconds and then we went crazy and talked about it for days.

The Christmas Proverb (You’ll See)
Life is nuts. Crazy things happen to us and to people around us. We rarely anticipate tragedy and can’t fully prepare for disappointments. After our world has been changed, there’s a period of time between what WAS normal and what WILL BE normal in which we often get sad, depressed, or anxious.

There are people in my life right now (and in your life) who are trying their best to survive and endure, treading water in a sea of anxiety. Here’s the word…

An anxious heart weighs a man down;
but a kind word cheers him up.
(Proverbs 12:25)

Living real life with real people can feel like heat on your back. It’s rad to watch the Roman candle war when everything’s cool. It’s uncomfortable to walk with peeps through their battles. We don’t know what to do a lot of times. It works, in part, like this. God is the Head Comforter, but each of us can help lift our friends’ hearts when they can’t lift it themselves. Kind words cheer people up. We’re wired that way. I don’t need to be at the center of what’s going on but I need to be involved – if only on the edges. Know someone in your life who’s feeling anxious? Call or email them today and speak a few kind words to them!

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