The Woo-ification of America

When did “woo” become an appropriate response to positive statements and questions? I don’t remember coming home from school with a good grade and hearing my parents say, “Woo!” They said things like “good job” or “I’m proud of you,” but never “Woo!”

Now, “woo” is everywhere.

Dude one: “Hey, dude–Wanna come over and watch the game?”
Dude two: “Woo!”

CEO: “Your bonus checks will be bigger than expected.”
Employees: “Woo!”

Me: “Kids, we’re having Hamburger Helper tonight.”
Kids: “Woo!” (They have low “woo” standards.)

The “woo” has become so ubiquitous it has infiltrated one of the best songs written: Rocky Top. Yes, there was once a time when there was no “woo” between “Good ‘Ol Rocky Top” and Rocky Top Tennessee.” Ah, the good old days.

Who is to blame for the woo-ification of America?

Rick Flair? You remember him, right? He was the professional wrestler who used to hold up four fingers and shout “Woo!” Could he be the cause of the increase in “woo?”

Probably not.

I think it has more to do with our desire to find different ways to express joy and excitement. I don’t really have any problem with the woo-ification of America.

I just hope we get most excited over things with eternal significance.

Or, as John Piper might say, don’t waste your “woos.”

How do you feel about “woo?” And remember, “Woo!” is an acceptable answer.

 

 

Stove Up Fingers

I have come to the conclusion that I broke several of my fingers several times when I was younger. My proof is anecdotal instead of medical.

My oldest daughter has had two broken fingers. Her fingers have been broken while doing normal things almost every other child has done. One broken finger occurred while playing basketball and the other one occurred when she fell down while running to the locker room to get ready to play basketball.

Before taking her to the ER to determine if her fingers were broken I did not think they were broken. I just thought they were “stove up.”

I have no idea what “stove up” means. It was just what I was told about my fingers whenever I hurt them as a kid. It was the terminology every adult I knew used.

Me: “My finger hurts!”

Them: “You’ll be alright; it’s just stove up.”

It wasn’t until I reached adult that I realized “stove up” is not a medical term. So, I’m pretty sure I broke a few of my fingers back in the day.

I never received any treatment for my “stove up”/broken fingers other than a little ice and, on certain occasions, over-the-counter pain relievers. As a result, my fingers are fine; I’ve never had any problems out of them at all. They still perform all of their functions as normal fingers should.

What healed my possibly broken fingers?

Time.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it does heal some.

Whatever it is causing you pain may not heal quickly. However, if you have a “stove up” heart, time may be all you need to experience renewal.

Time.

Just time.

Have you every had “stove up” fingers?

These Dogs Must Be Stopped!

I saw a dog at the park the other day and you’ll never guess what it was doing? It was walking on all four legs! Yeah, that’s right. ALL FOUR LEGS! Can you believe it? I mean, come on! He saw all of us walkers at the park on two legs, but he insisted on staying on four. It was ridiculous. I yelled “HEY DOG! GET WITH THE PROGRAM AND WALK ON 2 LEGS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!” but he acted like he didn’t even hear me.

You know what else? He didn’t stay on the normal walking path like everyone else there. For some reason this stupid dog thought it was ok for him to walk anywhere he wanted, like the rules didn’t apply to him or something. It made me so mad seeing him traipsing all over the grass, running around like he owned the place. Someone should really do something. I’m sure everyone else there was as angry as I was.

Yeah–and that’s not the only thing. This dog, the one walking on four legs willy-nilly all over the place, was completely NAKED! You read that right–he was naked. No pants, no shirt, no shoes–NAKED! That our community would allow a dog to roam free with blatant disregard for proper decorum is appalling. What about the children seeing this vile display of nakedness! It’s an outrage!

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse another dog came running up through the grass on all four legs just as naked as the 1st one. And you know what they did? THEY SMELLED EACH OTHER’S BUTTS! That’s right, instead of shaking hands like normal people who meet each other they took turns sniffing each other’s hindquarters. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Oh, the degradation!

Now, if that hasn’t gotten you outraged enough this last piece of information should do it. But be aware, it is so vile, so putridly disgusting that I am hesitant to share it with you. Nevertheless–I must.

Right before I left the park in a fury over what I had seen, I looked back and saw both of these naked dogs run right to the middle of the park and they both (there is no genteel way to put it) POOPED! I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t saw it with my own two eyes. It was such a disgusting sight that I almost fainted. Oh–the humanity!

What am I going to do about this besides write this blog post? I tell you what I’m going to do. First, I am going to contact my town’s elected officials and if that doesn’t correct the problem I’ll contact my state’s elected officials and if that doesn’t correct the problem I’m going to contact the President and, so help me, if I have to I’ll notify the United Nations! These disgusting dogs must be stopped!

Second, I’m going to protest. I’m talking about a poster-waving, slogan-chanting, parade-type protest. These dogs and this community must come to the realization that us God-fearing, law-abiding citizens will not put up with this type of behavior.

Lastly, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure my children and my children’s children can live in a world without having to see naked dogs walking around wherever they please sniffing each other’s butts and pooping in broad daylight.

These dogs must be stopped!

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How crazy would it be if I really acted this way about dogs behaving like dogs?

About as crazy as it is to see Christians absolutely losing their minds when they see non-Christians behaving like non-Christians.

It’s hard to speak the truth in love while going completely insane over behavior we should be expecting.

 

What We Deserve

My son played in a baseball tournament this weekend for 9&10 year olds. Actually, As of the time I am writing this it is still going on even though it is no longer the weekend, but I figure if people can call Friday night part of the weekend I can call Monday and Tuesday night part of the weekend if I feel like it.

One thing I saw that I wasn’t expecting to see were a few kids on the other teams either crying or near tears after striking out. Striking out is not a good, of course, but in the grand scheme of things there are about as many more things to cry about in this world as there are people in China. And that’s like a billion or something.

Watching these responses to striking out got me thinking about disappointment.

A girl is disappointed after receiving a 2009 Toyota Camry for her 16th birthday instead of that new Volkswagen she’s been dreaming about. A guy is disappointed because his basketball coach doesn’t put him in for the last few minutes of a close basketball games.

That job you were seemingly in line to receive gets filled by someone with less education or experience than you. That relationship doesn’t work out. That health-scare turns out to be valid. That hope or dream or desire falls flat.

Some disappointments are worse than others, but I think most of them stem from the same root cause: a belief that we deserve something better.

We deserve to get that hit, that car, that job, that relationship. We deserve health and happiness and everything else good. We may not say this out loud, but deep down it seems to be that this is how we feel.

And we are wrong. We deserve the wrath of God.

This isn’t popular, of course. Telling people who like to think of God as all-loving (which He is) that they deserve his wrath (which we do) will never make me popular. But it will make me content with what I receive.

Because if I know I deserve Hell I will be far more content whenever I get anything other than Hell. Which will help me look at life differently. Which will me help fight against disappointment.  Which will lead to greater happiness especially since I will never have to face His wrath because I have repented of my sin and placed my faith in Jesus who took God’s wrath in my place.

So, since all I really deserve is the wrath of God I should not be disappointed when I do not get what I deserve. Instead, I should be thrilled when I get anything other than what I deserve.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

 

Beer and Wine at Shoney’s–What Could Go Wrong?

Once a year Shoney’s has a free Hot Fudge Cake Day. This means once a year I put on my sweatpants and hit every Shoney’s restaurant within a 100 mile radius of my house. The previous sentence isn’t true, but I have thought about it.

I’m trying to lose weight (again) which means no more Hot Fudge Cakes for me; at least for now. In fact, it is a good idea for me to stay away from Shoney’s altogether just in case their breakfast bar is out. My self-control is pretty strong, but when I see that big, beautiful pan of bacon sitting there I have great difficulty containing my gluttonous urges. Mmmmmm….bacon.

Recently I read that Shoney’s is pushing for its restaurants to serve beer and wine in order to appeal to millenials. In fact, some Shoney’s locations will also feature a full bar. As if bacon isn’t enough for every demographic. Whatever.

I’ve heard rumors about this happening for several years now, but it seems this time it is true and is possibly coming to a Shoney’s near you.

How is this going to change Shoney’s? What can you expect if you go into a Shoney’s that serves alcoholic beverages? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few possibilities:

1. A big mess. Can you imagine inebriated people trying to dish out their own food at the buffet bar? Having a few macaroni noodles swimming around in the gravy will seem nice and tidy compared to the carnage a bunch of drunks with full access to the buffet will cause. It’ll be BUFFET-MAGEDDON.

2. More Christian tracts. I don’t know about where you live, but in my town the local Shoney’s restaurant seems to be the favorite spot for Christian tract-layer-downers to lay down their Christian tracts. They’re everywhere. On the tables, in the candy dispensers, in the bathroom, on the urinals. EVERYWHERE! And if beer and wine hit the menu I expect to see more tracts there than there are fleas on a homeless hound dog. Or something like that.

3. Drunks buying rounds of Hot Fudge Cakes. This one is not so bad.

4. Epic brawls. I’ve never witnessed a barroom brawl, but I have heard about a few. You probably have, too. Now picture what you heard with a buffet bar thrown in the mix. Fried chicken will be flying everywhere.

I’m really hoping the powers-that-be at Shoney’s will have a change of heart regarding serving beer and wine in their restaurants. Why? Partly because I want people to be wise.

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 20:1

You may not agree with that verse or like what it has to say. It doesn’t matter; the Bible will not change.

Plus–I bet you’ll change your mind if you’re sitting in a Shoney’s one day and the fried chicken hits the fan.

What are some other possible consequences of Shoney’s selling beer/wine? Do you like Hot Fudge Cakes? If not, what’s wrong with you?

 

Five Reasons to Hate the Miami Heat

My favorite baseball team is the Cincinnati Reds. My second favorite team is whoever is playing the New York Yankees. I have long thought people who are Yankees fans would have probably also pulled for Goliath.

I do not dislike the Miami Heat with this same passion, but it is close. And since the Heat are currently in the NBA Finals and since some of you are undecided about whether you should dislike them or not, I thought I would give you a few reasons to do so.

1. Lebron James’ headband. It’s wide. WIDE. Grotesquely wide. Ridiculously wide. So wide it could be used as a tube top on most of the world’s female population. So wide I have written a whole blog post about it. Do I have issues for disliking the wideness of Lebron’s headbands? YES! But I’m trying to get over it.

2. The spelling of Dwyane Wade’s first name. Who am I to say he spells his name incorrectly? Someone who spells his name correctly, that’s who. It’s “Matt,” not “Myatt.” Sheesh.

3. The way they flop. And the Oscar for Best Flopping in a Basketball Game goes to….the Miami Heat.

4. There are rumors that James, Wade, and Chris Bosh are looking at restructuring their contracts to add Carmelo Anthony next season. And if that works out look for them to add a couple of the Monstars from Space Jam.

5. They are very good. There–I said it. Or wrote it. Whatever.

You may not have noticed it, but I purposefully used the word “dislike” instead of “hate.” I don’t really hate the Miami Heat or any other sports team. I don’t even dislike them, really. I just hope the Spurs win. I don’t care that Lebron’s headbands have enough fabric in them to clothe every child in the world. It’s fine that Dwyane Wade spells his name like someone who just pulled out letters from a bag of Scrabble tiles and said, “I’ll just go with it.”

The Miami Heat are made up of guys who are created in the image of God. I hope they know the greatness of the Gospel and have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus.

I used to say I hated this team or that team, but not anymore. It’s hard to hate a team made up of people you have been given a commandment to love.

Mayonnaise, on the other hand, is a different story. I hate Mayonnaise and always will.

How do you feel about the Miami Heat? What is something you hate?

(Note: The stuff about Lebron’s headbands and Dwyane Wade’s name is satire and is not to be taken seriously. Laugh a little, folks–it’s good for the soul.)

 

 

Look at Me! Look at Me!

I’ve been looking at them their whole lives. It’s hard not to look at them. After all, they are begging me to do it.

“Look at me! Look at me!”

When any of my five kids say these words what follows is something they are proud of; a new skill mastered, a funny-ish trick, something they want to show off for approval. If it is something dangerous I will tell them to stop. Normally, though, it isn’t anything dangerous. So I’ll either laugh or say “That’s cool” or “Good job” and then normally go back to whatever it was I was doing before they gained my attention. I don’t mind these interruptions at all; I love my children and want them keep me in the loop whenever they learn how to do new, interesting things. Kids will be kids.

The “Look at me!” phenomenon isn’t a kids-only thing, though. At least it isn’t anymore.

There was once a time when a person could have an amazing meal without taking a picture of it for the sole purpose of letting everyone know how amazing it was. Looking at a friend’s or family member’s vacation pictures used to be done in person a few weeks afterward and you never saw the vacation pictures of a guy you knew in elementary school who you wouldn’t recognize if he walked right by you at the grocery store. Good (or bad)news about jobs, kids, church, or health was once something we shared with those closest to us. And we used to make actual verbal statements without feeling the need to check back every few minutes to see how many likes, comments, or retweets they received. (Full disclosure: This paragraph was written by a guy who is going to share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter–and who hopes others will do the same.)

Social media has caused us to revert back to the childhood habit of saying “Look at me! Look at me!”

Is there anything wrong with this new national pastime; this attention-seeking obsession?

John the Baptist would have a good answer for this question. You remember John the Baptist, don’t you? He’s the man Jesus said was the greatest ever to be born of woman. He pointed people in the direction of Jesus and preached so boldly that he lost his head.

John’s followers once pointed out to him Jesus had gotten into the baptizing business and that all men were coming to Him. It’s possible these informants thought John would jump up and start yelling “Look at me! Look at me!” in an attempt to regain his lost popularity. Instead, John gave them a lesson in who was most important and in doing so gave us a memorable statement we can use when we are tempted to exalt ourselves, our families, our churches, our…whatevers.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30

The “He” is Jesus. The “I” is John the Baptist (and me and you).

A child saying “Look at me! Look at me!” is usually cute and endearing. An adult saying “Look at me! Look at me!” can sometimes be arrogant and idolatrous.

I’m not saying we should stop sharing pictures, thoughts, or good news. By all means–share away! What I am saying is those of us who follow Jesus must guard our hearts against the strange temptations offered to us by the technology we control.

This will require less “Look at me! Look at me!” and more “Look at Him! Look at Him!”

He must increase, but I must decrease.