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Airborne Coat Hooks (Learning to Say No)

Coat HookI find myself sitting here on a plane, once again gazing at what can only be described as the most unnecessary addition to passenger comfort. It’s the kind of thing that is easy to miss, and yet once you have seen it, you never forget it.

I speak of course, of the coat hook.

As my eyes wander down the rows of seats, I notice these coat hooks are found on the side of every single one, that means in this plane there would be over one hundred! Why? Just why? How many people:

  1. Deliberately choose to bring a loose coat on the plane, and
  2. Have the desire to hang in front of them rather than stow it away in the overhead lockers or under the seat?

Even if you do happen to find yourself eligible at this point, then there is the matter of the effectiveness of the hook itself. Prying with my fingernails, freaking out the person in front of me to extend the hook a mere centimetre then hardly allows for any purchase on this hypothetical coat, rendering its purpose and value once again moot! Read More…

The New Song

Compelling SongDo you ever get a song stuck in your head that you just can’t shake? They call them earworms. There you are minding your own business, cooking a burrito then suddenly “Friday, Friday, getting down on Friday…”

The most frustrating thing for me is that I can often only remember part of a lyric that then just plays on repeat in my head. “Hey brother…” Sometimes I try to extend the track by mumbling lyrics that might be accurate. “Hey brother, there’s an endless code to read this summer…” But they clearly aren’t.

My latest earworm, the song that is literally pumping through my head right now? “Cos’ the players gonna play play play. And the haters gonna hate hate hate. Baby I’m just gonna shake shake shake. Shake it off. Shake it off!”

I would argue that there are two things that can make a song compelling. Read More…

How Can a Loving God Send Good People to Hell? (Spoken Word)

Tonight at church I did something really different. I actually can’t remember a time I when I have been so nervous (I’m talking days!) prior to sharing. Having been given the topic “How can a loving God send good people to hell?“, and a grand total of 5 minutes to share from the platform, the scene was primed for creativity.

God, Freedom, Grace and Hell

Each of the statements would appear as I spoke them.

So rather than preaching, I wrote and presented the message in a “spoken word” format while the graphic above progressively appeared behind me. It wasn’t just about communicating with a different style, but rather, with the limited time that I had, to share in a way that would prompt questions, invite people’s hearts to resonate with the imagery, and hopefully make a few key statements stick. The video can be found here, but for those interested here are the lyrics:

When I proposed to Megan I put everything on the line
in the hope that she would say, “Yes, you’re mine.”
Moments like these are stunning moments of love,
but it is still a choice, not a push or a shove.

Read More…

Breaking Free from a Transactional Society (Part 2)

The story of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 10) exposes what we understand about the justice of fairness to be folly, and exposes us to a brand new economy – the economy that Jesus operates out of, one of grace that continually gives beyond what can be earned. This passage reminds me that…

  • Grace begins at the point of encounter, as God relentlessly approaches us. Even so, a gift unopened is worthless, and the way that we respond to the grace shown to us directly affects our ability to pass it on. The Christian life is a life lived in response to grace; after all, grace is God’s currency.
  • The thing that makes grace revolutionary is the very same thing that makes it uncomfortable to experience. Grace offends our sense of fairness; it goes beyond exchange and becomes gift, because grace is inherently unfair.

Christmas is a season to be reminded that Jesus goes beyond fair.

I’m reminded of an episode of The Big Bang Theory that illustrates the breaking of equity in action, and the beautiful transition from transaction to grace.

When you are presented with a gift that you can never repay, when you encounter grace, sometimes all you can do is be thankful.

Perhaps we owe God some hugs.

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