I’ve been fascinated by the power of phrases known as “performatives.” In brief, performative phrases actually change reality when uttered by the right person. Let me illustrate with a couple of examples. Take the home plate umpire in baseball who says, “You’re out!” His saying the words actually makes the batter out. If, by contrast, someone in the stands were to yell, “You’re out!” or if the catcher yelled the phrase, the batter wouldn’t be out.
Have you ever wondered? Have you ever asked the question?
Did Jesus have a sense of humor? Did Jesus laugh?
Some Bible teachers suggest that while we know Jesus wept (John 11:35) there’s no reference in the Bible to Him laughing. That might be true, but that doesn’t mean He never laughed, does it?
If Jesus was 100% percent human and 100% percent divine, it’s only logical that He enjoyed His time on earth, experiencing all of the emotions that you and I do, including laughter.
A number of months ago I blogged about Charles Hummel’s little book, Tyranny of the Urgent. In brief, his premise is that urgent things in life tend to throw a tantrum, demanding our immediate attention, energy, and response, while the important things wait patiently for us to move them up the priority list.
There’s a downside to neglecting the important things—like exercising, personal devotions, time spent with family, dental cleanings, changing the oil in the car, or dating your spouse.
I’m in Washington, D.C. today where I had the honor and privilege to join Chuck Colson, Professor Robby George and Bishop Harry Jackson, among scores of others, in issuing the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.
The unveiling came during a news conference at the National Press Club here in the nation’s capital, but this was a lot more than a photo op. It was a demonstration of solidarity among more than 125 Christians of all denominational stripes that we will not only continue to speak out in the public square, we will continue to stand firm for biblical principles in that public square.
I’ve just reviewed the final numbers from last Saturday’s Focus on ParentingTM simulcast and I must say I’m very encouraged by the turnout and impact. Some 31,000 attendees carved out the time for the day-long seminar. Although assembled in 270 different host churches spread across 44 states and 8 Canadian Provinces, these parents were united in their desire to help their families thrive.
So far, one of the big “take away” messages was the idea of intentionally giving each child the blessing before they go to bed at night.
New England Patriots head football coach Bill Belichick is the popular topic of discussion up and down the sports-talk radio dial this week. That’s because on Sunday, the three-time Super Bowl winner ordered his team to go-for-it late in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-two at the Patriots 28 yard line.
At the time, the Patriots were leading 34-28 with just over two minutes to go in the game. Conventional wisdom dictated that Belichick’s team play it safe and punt the ball away.
Although football has always been my passion, I also love the game of baseball. The late Bart Giamatti, Major League baseball’s former commissioner and a clear romantic of the sport, did too. He once lamented the end of the season in near-poetic terms. Here is what he wrote:
It [baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.
With the national unemployment rate hitting 10.2%, the highest level in 26 years, it’s the rare individual who willingly quits a job without having another to take its place. But Abby Johnson said she really had no choice. And Abby Johnson didn’t have a run-of-the-mill job, either.
Abby is 29 years old and lives in Bryan, Texas. After she left the organization she had worked at for nine years, her employer filed what’s called a “restraining order of disclosure” against her, suspicious that she had absconded with confidential files.
Fans of comedian Jerry Seinfeld might remember his humorous recollection of Halloween. Growing up in Massapequa, Long Island, he remembers being admonished to never accept candy from a stranger. Although contrary to the “Get candy! Get Candy!” mantra running through his little brain, the warnings made sense, he said, until he was suddenly introduced to the October 31st holiday.
“You mean everyone we know is just giving away candy?” he asked incredulously. “What’s wrong with them?”
Many Christians, maybe even some of my readers, might ask the same question.
Is there anything more painful to endure than the death of a child?
Having been orphaned and abandoned as a young boy, I’ve been exposed to my share of sorrow. But, so have you. Nobody on earth can escape the human condition. Troubles roll like the relentless tides of the sea. Or, to quote William Shakespeare, “Troubles come not as single spies—but in battalions!”
If your life is happy and currently free of worry, rejoice—but brace yourself.