Culture Posts

Why My Kids Go to Public School

Why My Kids Go to Public School

I’m a product of public education up till college and these days I’m working on my Master’s degree. I love learning and I’m one of the people who enjoy the classroom setting. As of this week, I now have three kids in our local elementary school. I’ve watched over the last few years as more and more people leave the public school system for private and charter schools. Many of them are my close friends. This move is usually motivated by at least two desires:

  1. A better education
  2. A way to strengthen their Christian faith

There’s nothing wrong with either of those, but consider what these desires communicate to parents who decide to use public school. Depending on the context, it can seem like you don’t care about your kids’ education or you don’t care about their spiritual health. As a result, many parents feel they should put their kids in a private education and that public schooling might be a modern, yet subtle form of parental neglect.

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Father Forgive

Standing on Sacred Carpet

Standing on Sacred Carpet

My name is Jeremy, and I’m an egomaniac.

Let me explain. I spent this week in DC at the National Prayer Breakfast. It actually should be called the International Prayer Breakfast as it’s a gathering of people from all over the world in Jesus’s Name. I’ve had fascinating conversations about Jesus with people from a variety of nations and perspectives and will post some of my reflections on those conversations next week.

First, I want to write about an experience we had in DC before the event. On Tuesday we had the chance to take a tour of Air Force One. Like you, I had developed an idea of the plane from movies and TV shows. Seeing it up close (and of course sitting in President Obama’s chair) provided a surreal experience. There were many parts of the plane that blew me away, like the room set apart with three chairs for three medical professionals. This room can be quickly converted into a surgical room and comes with platelets for President Obama in case something serious happened to him while in air.

There were lots of aspects like this (did you know there are actually two planes?). But the one that stuck with me the most was the carpet. Air Force One has at least three distinct types of carpet on its floors. As you might imagine, this isn’t because they lacked funding to make it consistent. Rather, the carpet communicates the level of importance of that part of the plane. Each person on Air Force One has an assigned carpet level and can only walk on that level and back. Never forward. It starts with blue in the back and moves up to a gold-ish tan in the front for the President. Everything about this signaled a hierarchy. Prestige and power literally emanated from the ground up.

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Playboy and Bubble Gum

Playboy and Bubble Gum

The New York Times had an article this week about a major shift for the magazine Playboy. In case you missed it, the infamous commercial icon for sex will no longer have nude women in its magazine. Yes, you read that right. And to clarify, I’m quoting an article from the New York Times, not The Onion.

You’re probably wondering why Playboy would make such a dramatic move. Consider the following insights from the article.

  1. “Playboy’s circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 now.” Also, “the United States edition loses about $3 million a year.” We might think this is just an objective business decision.
  2. Cory Jones, the chief content officer of Playboy said, “Don’t get me wrong, 12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.” We might think they had a moral realization which led to a change of heart as a company.

But these aren’t the actual reasons for it.

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Atheists Drink Dunkin Donuts (Leadership Thoughts)

I spend a bit of time working on projects at Starbucks. On top of that, my wife Michelle happens to be a Starbucks aficionado. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when one day as we were there together, Michelle told me the District Manager was sitting at one of the tables. My wife being the ever shy girl she is, walked over and began a conversation. As we talked, I realized that this woman had incredible leadership insights and was leading at a very high level. Her name is Tricia Lowder and she currently oversees eleven local stores (more on the way).

I invited Tricia to speak with our Creative Arts and Student Ministry teams at Central last week and we recorded it. We had some issues with the audio so the sound quality isn’t amazing, but the content of what Tricia shared with us is powerful. The first part of the video is my interview with Tricia and the second part is the Q&A when the team asked her questions. We talked Starbucks, Dutch Brothers, Dunkin Donuts, alcohol, atheists, and a few other things as well.

How Can Christians Serve Gay People?

How Can Christians Serve Gay People?

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:7-8

Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

I’ve had a specific prayer request for awhile now that God would give me insight into how the church should handle the issue of homosexuality. As nearly all of us can attest, the collective church has done a poor job displaying Christ to gay people. Usually the conversation is all about whether or not it’s a sin and what verses or criteria each side uses to make their argument. I’ve been thinking through this topic on my blog for the last five years as you can see through a couple of examples here and here. While there is certainly a time and a place for that, I’m left wondering if that is ultimately a poor starting point. Instead, what if Christians approached the topic proactively? This has caused me to reflect on a simple question recently.

How can Christians serve gay people?

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