Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

I Am In Love With Love, and Therefore Dangerous

Joshua Harris's Book is Being Kissed by Jason - Kinda Strange Actually

I kissed my copy of Joshua Harris’s book goodbye before returning it to the library. I Kissed Dating Goodbye turned out to be a succinct book of thoughts that I have had.

I was chatting with my friend Debbie, who is one of these red-headed tell-you-what-is-on-her-mind kind of people whether you want to hear it or not. I asked her what she thought about some of the ideas behind Joshua Harris’s book I Kissed Dating Goodbye and happened to mention, “I am not sure why I never read it back when it came out years ago.” She turns to me with that sparkle in her eye, and says “Well Jason, that was probably because you were not as desperate as you are today.”

Whoa – ouch!

Remember, jokes aren’t funny unless they have a little bit of truth to them. I did laugh at her comment and my situation. I remembered the quote “Those that can laugh at themselves will frequently be amused.” I was amused enough to share it.

It is very true: I am a bachelor. Thanks to just how life turned out Continue reading

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My Car Wreck and Baptism

White car with front bumper dented in.

The car is fine, but my pride is not. I was baptized far from perfect, and this is obvious proof I have not found perfection yet.

Yesterday was my nine-year anniversary of being baptized, finally deciding to commit my life to God and His way. And yet, while pondering this while driving into work yesterday on a beautiful fall day, I rear-ended a woman driving an Oldsmobile. On a day that was supposed to be sober and encouraging, the fender-bender gave my heart a terrible mixture of embarrassment, fright, alarm, worry and guilt even though there were no injuries. Even after nine years, I have a lot more to learn.

I Was Not Ready – But You Never Are
Many a minister has said making the decision to commit your life to God through baptism is THE most important decision you will ever make in your life. I have talked to many people about how they are approaching baptism, and almost universally there is this thought that you need to be ‘ready’ – you need a sign or omen that lets you know you are ready to take the literal plunge. I guess it would be similar to the things we look at to determine whether he or she is the ‘right’ one for marriage, which has been called the 2nd most important decision you will make in your life.

Was it the wreck that woke me up – or was it just Continue reading

Sabbath Story: Where You End and God Begins

Hot air balloon taking off while four people watch

How much can we plan for and organize – and how much do we have to say, ‘God, you have it from here’ because I have no idea where you are taking me?

Once upon a time, there was a little boy engineer that wore glasses. He was a pretty smart little boy, able to figure out how things worked, was good at solving puzzles, and really liked to draw – but he had a problem with trust. One Friday afternoon, the little boy engineer asked his mommy whether she could make her super-amazing-scrumptious potpie for Sabbath dinner that night. She said she could … but only if daddy bought some vegetables from the store on his way home from work.

Since the little boy engineer absolutely loved his mommy’s super-amazing-scrumptious potpie, he thought and thought about what was the best way to talk to his daddy. He knew his daddy really liked mommy’s super-amazing-scrumptious potpie too, but that daddy sometimes forgot to go to the store on Fridays. So the little boy engineer wrote down his plan to make sure that daddy went to the store.

The plan was pretty detailed and the little boy engineer thought he had it all Continue reading

Industry Speak

Speak up for peace

Maybe we need to tape our mouths shut if all we can say is 'Industry Speak'. Image by Guillaume Brialon via Flickr

It is so easy to misunderstand each other no thanks to …wait for it … ourselves.

Joy Monteiro, in a recent blog post, talks about how when talking about a book, it is described as “Book Title, 246+x pp” – and she could not find out what ‘pp’ meant. She did the due diligence of googling it. She isn’t lazy – but rather a victim of a crime that I (and the rest of modern humanity) has perpetrated for long enough. It’s Industry Speak.

Every industry has these terms and phrases, or forbid-me-to-say-it acronyms that you have to be ‘in the know’ to know. For those of us that are not practicing hobbits – this can be a bane to communication. That’s the problem with industry speak – it’s there to help us … but eventually it kicks us in our butts when we want to go mainstream with what we know about.

So in my work, there is Electric Vehicle Speak or Smart Grid Speak. On the Sabbath, sometimes I hear Church Speak. All this is well and good in the circles we live – but sometimes we come in contact with … gasp … ‘outsiders’. Sometimes the Greasers talk to the Socs … and that is where the problems begin. (ASIDE: according to the author of that book, S.E. Hinton intended for Socs to be pronouced ‘soashes’ as if trying to shorten the word social. When reading the book in Middle School, I remember referring to them as the ‘socks’. [grin])

I love to learn about other people – pick up on their own ‘speak’. I think I like it so that next time I meet someone from that industry I can have a bag of ‘speak’ up my sleeve to increase engagement and interest in the conversation. I love the eyebrow raise when you say something that makes them realize you know a little something about their passion.

Industry speak comes out of trying to make communication better within a close-knit community – but because this shared tribal knowledge is kept within that smaller group of people, when those terms and phrases are spread to the public, a different mental picture comes to mind – or worse, no mental picture at all.

This is usually why Marketing and Communication (INDUSTRY SPEAK WARNING: ie MarCom) teams exist – to un-speak-ify the speak. It’s hard to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God when the term ‘gospel’ brings to Southerner’s mind people telling you in grocery stores that if you don’t accept Jesus, you are going to hell. For that matter, most people do not even have a working knowledge of what the Kingdom of God is – so who could blame them. The Church of God has it’s work cut out for them … just like most industries do.

I’m not sure how we can avoid this … it’s like what God tells Jeremiah: ‘man does not know how to lead his own steps.’ I am of the belief that the vast majority of us are naturally bad at communication – but there are a few, like my friend Jeremy Lallier, that can ‘connect’ in a subtle, smart, and different way.

This ‘connecting’ idea – the main thrust behind industry speak – the main thought behind ‘communication’ in general – is why we do this to ourselves. We are trying to connect thoughts and feelings with words. (ASIDE: this is branding in a nutshell.) And yet, because we try so hard, we have a tendency to alienate outsiders.

We have to connect when we communicate – and that is why knowing your audience is so important. But by just doing that, we haven’t fixed the issue, we just applied a band-aid. Truly connecting, and throwing industry speak out the window, is the stuff God and His Kingdom is made of.

Boy am I looking forward to the King’s Return … and I’m certainly not talking Tolkien.