What’s your reputation? When people see you, what do they think? When they hear your name, what comes to their mind? Whatever the answer is to those questions… that’s your brand.
You may not think you have a brand, but you do.
When you see a McDonald’s, what are your thoughts? McDonald’s has an identity — a reputation. And it’s a reputation that, at this point, is fixed in the minds of hundreds of millions of consumers around the world. This is called a “brand.”
You can think about any company or product — and they all have a “brand,” an identity or reputation that they are trying to emphasize, shape, or change. …
“Best. Day. Ever.”
That’s what my four-year-old daughter said in whispered glee as she sat across from me, devouring a plate full of pancakes at Silver Diner near the school where I worked.
Actually, my wife worked there too, but she was on maternity leave, as we had just welcomed our second child — our son — into the world. And this was actually an important part of the context of this Daddy-Daughter date at Silver Diner.
The last few weeks had been hectic with the birth of Jennifer’s brother. …
The day after Barack Obama was elected president, I remember watching a news crew interview an exultant Obama voter. Giddy with excitement, the person declared: “Now I don’t have to pay my mortgage!”
I wonder how long it took before reality set in for that person. Probably not long.
It seems that, after every presidential election, people walk away with unrealistic hopes and expectations about what will follow — especially if their candidate won.
In watching the inauguration coverage this week and in following a lot of conversations on social media and in everyday life, I am once again seeing a lot of seemingly untempered expectations about the future. …
Habakkuk had a burden.
Habakkuk was distraught over the pain and injustice all around him, especially in the nation of Judah. And he wondered how God could allow such sin and suffering to continue.
“O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth. …
Stop the excuses and make your life the best life possible
You are responsible for your emotional, spiritual, and mental health as well as your economic livelihood.
Not the government.
Not your parents (if you’re an adult).
Not your church, synagogue, mosque, or religious community.
Not your friends.
Not even your spouse (though that person is certainly deeply influential in your life).
You can’t outsource personal responsibility.
You must EMBRACE personal responsibility.
And if you struggle to embrace personal responsibility and/or find yourself incapable of adequately addressing your emotional, spiritual, and mental health on your own, then you are responsible for seeking out and receiving the help that you need. …
On Monday, January 18, 2021, the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission released its first (and likely last) official report. As expected, their report is drawing praise from those on the right and little but scorn and condemnation from those on the left.
President Trump established the commission on November 2, 2020 — just one day before Election Day. Those on the commission were named in the following weeks as the country was embroiled in all the allegations, controversies, and court cases related to the 2020 presidential election.
Among the commission’s stated purposes was that it might help “enable a rising generation to understand the history and principles of the founding of the United States in 1776 and to strive to form a more perfect Union.” …
Humanity has known evil and injustice for most of its history, including to the present day. Yet how we grapple with such challenges will determine whether we will become part of the problem or the solution.
How should we respond to racism, greed, injustice, riots, insurrections, or other threats to people’s freedom or safety? And how should we respond to situations and circumstances when those causing us (and others) harm seem to flourish and when things seem to get worse?
For many (both now and in the past), the answer has been to turn to hate. Indeed, to hate those we consider our adversaries or enemies is to follow the emotional path of least resistance. …
Today saw the release of a report of a presidential commission formed in the last days of the Trump administration. That report came from a body known as the 1776 Commission, a group established by President Donald Trump to essentially rebut the controversial and deeply influential 1619 Project — a project of The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, the Trump-appointed 1776 Commission “defends America’s founding on the basis of slavery.” It’s a characterization contained in the paper’s article headline as well as in the first paragraph of the story itself. …
Growing up in a very conservative Baptist church, I repeatedly heard that the Bible was God’s “love letter” to humanity, and it was “perfect,” “inspired,” inerrant,” and “fully authoritative.”
Then I read it.
Seeds of doubt were planted within me, but I pressed on. “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” right? At least that’s what the great hymn said.
By my mid-30s, I was immersed in the Bible. I had stepped away from the “secular” (non-Christian) workforce and was now a teacher in a private Christian high school, taking classes as a distance learning seminary student and pursuing ordination as a pastor.
And I was struggling. …
On January 6, 2021, an angry mob overwhelmed police barricades and stormed the United States Capitol, touching off the evacuation of Members of Congress, multiple armed confrontations, theft, vandalism, and (most tragically) five deaths.
As of this writing, investigations and arrests continue, and for his role in firing up the crowd before the riot, the President of the United States has been impeached.
While some have shamefully defended or (just as bad) grossly downplayed this low point in American history, the fact is that a crowd of protesters chose to eschew peace and instead resorted to violence, threats, intimidation, and criminal behavior to advance their cause. …