As Palmer and my second wedding anniversary approaches, friends often ask the question of what I’ve learned in marriage. I’ve written about the power of marriage before. Some of our contemporary society’s most divisive and polarizing debates concern the fundamental nature of what marriage is or what marriage is not. More than half of American marriages end in divorce. There are countless posts out there on the internet written by conservatives, liberals, and everyone in-between about the nature of marriage, the decline of marriage, how that decline increases poverty and chances that children will commit crime and numerous other indicators that should worry us as a society. I’m not writing a post about that today.
As my second anniversary approaches, I look at what Christ says about marriage. I look at what Paul says about marriage. I ponder why Christ’s relationship with the Church is a frequent model for husbands and wives in marriages. There are many theological and political debates to be had here, but that is not my intention. What Paul calls the “profound mystery” holds the key to my reflection on marriage, which reveals within me how self-centered I can truly be. But while Palmer loves me in spite of and sometimes even because of my self-centeredness, I’m humbled and begin to grasp 1% of what Christ’s unconditional and sacrificial love is all about.
June 6, 1944. One of the turning points in modern history. You don’t have to be a history nerd like me to realize the importance of that day on everything that came afterwards.
The sacrifices. The courage. The odds stacked against us. The first research paper I ever wrote analyzed D-Day, why it should have failed, and why it succeeded. But I’m hardly qualified, on this day, to provide any sort of wisdom or reflection. Besides, my best friend Jay Salato did that so well last year when he was at the American Cemetery on D-Day and participated in the ceremonies. You can read all about that in this post from last year.
Instead, to commemorate D-Day, I’m going to provide you with the words and images that resonate most strongly in my mind. Three YouTube videos that I urge you to watch and/or listen to on June 6, 1944. It’s a day that should be remembered more often than it is. God Bless those who fought, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of millions, and these United States of America!
I am stepping outside of my normal post category. My posts in the past have consisted of football, basketball, test drives, and sports video games; but today I feel moved to write about something that has been weighing heavy on my heart—the idea of trying to replace God by idealizing non-eternal objects or ideas. Read more
The first ever faith-related blog post I wrote was last summer. In the midst of busily spinning my wheels to keep my head above water in life, I was drastically confronted with the story of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Seeing the story differently from the typical focus on Christ wrestling with his impending arrest, betrayal, and crucifixion, I thought about the disciples who fell asleep. The savior of the universe and the One in whom all things are held together asked them to stay awake and pray. And they couldn’t do that.
In that post, I focused on what our generation’s Gethsemane distractions are. But today, I want to take a few moments to point out what I personally focus on every Good Friday. I’m no theologian. This post is not intended to be complex or persuasive. Whether you’re a Christian, an atheist, a person of another faith, or somewhere in-between. Maybe you pray that you believe, but you desperately pray that God will help your unbelief.
Wherever you fall, this post is simply meant to be my reflection on the Good News that I don’t reflect on enough.
In September of 2012, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested while building orphanages in Iran. After being denied full access to a lawyer, being tortured in prison, promised freedom if he’d only renounce his Christian faith, and being convicted of crimes against the state in a sham trial, Pastor Saeed finds himself persecuted daily in an Iranian prison. His wife and children live here in the United States. His case is one of many human rights violations in Iran. And, on Friday, there’s a bipartisan human rights hearing in Congress discussing Saeed and others who are persecuted in Iran.
Ben Affleck is my boy now. Sure, I liked The Town. I’ve always liked how he loves to play in the World Series of Poker. He’s had some decent performances to combat the horrific, J Lo era ones. (coughGiglicough) His true-underdog-story rise to stardom with Matt Damon for writing Good Will Hunting inspired 10 year-old me that I could graduate from college and be on the Oscars not long afterwards.
Much has been written about Affleck’s fall from grace and climb back to the top of the Hollywood mountain. I have no desire or need to recap those pieces. As I stated in my Oscars recap with my wife, I loved Argo and think it’s a deserving Best Picture winner, even if it was the 4th best movie of 2012 on my list.
But none of this is why Ben Affleck is my boy now. Ben Affleck is my boy because of the touching, rambling, emotional acceptance speech he gave at the end of the Oscars telecast.