Archive for June, 2008

Why, Oh Why?

Why, oh why is Jay Leno, the host of a “popular” late night comedy night show airing public home videos of animals? Is there still a writers’ strike going on? It’d be slightly more funny if the videos were less than 2 years old and not already seen millions of times by just about everybody.

Come on, man. You’ve turned into Bob Saget, just not near as cool or funny.

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At one of my stops at work there’s a security guard who I see and chat with everyday. We’ve talked about a lot of things in the few minutes I spend there each afternoon, from the heat and how we always wish it was Friday to how he forgot to call his mom on her birthday. He knows I play guitar and he recently bought a new one so we’ve had a few conversations about that. He even brought it to work with him once to show it off.

Yesterday, he was on guard with a second security guard and as I was loading up my truck with packages to leave the building he looked to me for a third opinion to their ongoing discussion.

“Hey, Thomas. Who do you think is better: Jimi Hendrix or Carlos Santana?”

I looked at him with a puzzled look on my face, which quickly turned into my attempt at hiding my smile.

I mean, it’s obvious, right?

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I know there are many out there who hear a joke or watch something on TV and wonder to themselves, “Hmm… was that funny? I think I was supposed to laugh but…” Well, wonder no more. I am here to provide for you clear examples of what is and is not funny. May these lessons guide you to a better life and a more fulfilling sense of humor. Like mine.




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For me, there’s nothing like driving home from work with the windows down blasting Patty Griffin. Tonight, I enjoyed selections from her Flaming Red album. So good. So very good.

That is all.

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So Close.

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Did You Know?

Did you know that 52% of people judge you based on the car you drive? Fascinating, no? I’m intrigued.

But Josh, how do you know such useless information? I’m fascinated!

I know that people see you in your champagne-colored 1998 Toyota Camry with missing front-driver’s-side hubcap and bubbling tint and think to themselves, “Wow. Nice car. He must be doing well for himself.” I know this because I learned it on the radio this morning.

Wow, I didn’t know the radio could be so educational! You must have been listening to NPR or something, right?

No, actually, I was listening to 104.1 KRBE, the local Top 40 station. You see, I was playing a game on the air in an attempt to win some concert tickets.

How exciting and still educational!

Umm… yeah. Well, the game went like this: Two callers/contestants are paired with a DJ. A third DJ asks each DJ a multiple-choice question and the caller/contestant has to either agree or disagree with the answer their DJ gives.

I don’t think I follow…

Shut up. I was contestant #2 and things were going well so far. We were tied 2-2 going into the third round. Contestant #1 got her question correct which brought the score to 3-2. It was then my turn.

I don’t know if I can handle the suspense.

Again, shut up. My DJ’s third question was “52% of people judge you based on this: a.) your religious beliefs b.) your political views or c.) your car.
My DJ answered with “c.) your car” to which I sat and thought about it and then disagreed with him.

You didn’t.

I did.

I’m sorry.

So am I.

But it was just silly concert tickets, right? Nothing worthwhile. I mean, whose show are you missing? Ne-Yo? 3 Doors Down?





Tickets aren’t even on sale yet. Lost, 3-2. All because people are superficial and judge you based on your lousy Explorer that consumes way too much gas and which is essentially a polluting machine so I bet you don’t even care about the environment and you’re probably going to throw away your vote by writing in Mitt Romney on your ballot in November because you just don’t care, do you? Jerk.

How did you know?!

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This is as much a post speaking to myself as it is for anyone reading it. This has been stewing inside of me for quite a while and I’ve found myself vocalizing it in various but similar ways. I’ll try again here because I’m finding it so fundamental in my life.

[It may be obvious but I feel that I have to make the disclaimer that this post is intended for believing Christians. I work off a foundation of Christian belief, i.e., belief in the existence of an active, personal God and the acceptance of Scripture as an authoritative text, divinely inspired. Objections to these are often raised outside the Christian circle but this post is not intended to convert the unbelieving but, rather, to remind the Believer of what is already believed.]

It comes as no shock that life is full of surprises; and by “surprises” I euphemistically conceal the truth that life is full of horror and heartache, trauma and tragedy. Living in this environment for so long can cause a person to perceive it all as reality when, actually, a more “real” reality exists all along.

We quickly and easily forget who exactly our God is.

We’ve become so accustomed to seeing cancer take lives that we forget our God is a God that is able to heal any sort of disease.

The Western notion of success in the shape of the mass accumulation of wealth has blinded so many of us so that we fail to see our true home, a place that goes beyond the present life.

At times we are so clouded by our heartache we miss the reality that there is always hope in Christ, a promise that can’t be shaken.

I often neglect the basics to attempt the lofty. I claim to want to “understand” God better, to really know Him but in the process I find myself often frustrated, confused and questioning the only One who promises peace.

I overlook the basics and, therein, I often miss who God is.

Our God is One who loves me and you like no one else has ever loved us. People often wonder if God really loves them, in a way that is different than the blanket love statement; they look for a love that is as unique as they, as personal as their secrets. And God turns to us and reminds us that there truly is nothing that can take away that love – no sin, no distance, no thoughts, no outside forces, no manipulation, nothing can stop that love God has for you (Rom 8:38-39). And what better example of this unstoppable love than God sacrificing His Son to pay the debt you rightfully owe? (John 3:16) The beauty of this (as if the act itself wasn’t enough) is that He didn’t pay the price on the condition that you be a good person from here on out, or only if you promised to worship only Him. He made the first move. He went all the way, showed His hand from the beginning. He knows You don’t love Him now. He knows you don’t care a thing about Jesus. Yet He did it any way. Simply because He loves you that much.

Why do I doubt that this same God would have less than the best for me? Why do I doubt my future, or see nothing but uncertainty when I know that God, who is in charge of it all, isn’t out to get me but is quite the opposite. He’s out with the very best for me. So why my daily anxieties?


We have a limited scope of the future, to say the least. I may be the only one who does it but I often sit and wonder what, say, five years in the future holds and then I wonder why things haven’t worked a certain way and what I could have done/should do to change it. I look past the reality that God can see beyond what I see. He knows exactly what’s in store for my life and He knows what it takes to get me to that place at the appropriate time. All I need to do is be close to Him and I’ll be where I’m supposed to be.

Too many times we equate reality with what we see and feel. Reality is God who loves us more than we can imagine. Reality is God who knows everything, from what happened to what has yet to be seen. Reality is God who is bigger than, more capable than, stronger than anything we have faced or ever will.

As certain as I am of gravity always being in effect in the world so must I realize that God is an unchanging force that must be accounted for in my life and all around me.

Consider a reality check. What is your truth?

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