Two words that can change the world; or why you should eat a burrito for lunch

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There are two things we all know not to talk about in public: politics and religion.

A couple weeks ago I did both.

Nicole and I were out to eat lunch one day and somehow got on the topic of the rapture. Totally random, I know. So there we are, talking about Jesus coming back while eating burritos and queso. As we’re going back and forth, I realized pretty quickly that our opinion on the subject as different. We questioned each other, genuinely interested in what the other believed, and went about eating the burritos.

A little while later we started talking about what’s been happening recently in politics. Again, we disagreed. And we kept talking and asking questions while genuinely listening to each other.

We didn’t agree.

We didn’t get mad.

We didn’t raise our voices.

We talked, asked questions, and agreed to disagree.

On the drive home from the burrito place, I started to process the conversation. How were we able to fundamentally disagree about things but still talk about them? I was looking for a giant existential revelation about how smart we were and how we were better people than most. Instead, it came down to two simple principles: Continue reading

On Southern Christianity; or why country music needs to stop singing about going to church

Untitled-1I sometimes have this horrible feeling that 17-year-old Jonathan would punch 27-year-old Jonathan in the face if they ever met. Sure, there are a ton of different reasons for that, but most of all, it’s because I like to listen to country music now. Don’t get me wrong, the 17-year-old pop punk loving, corporate hating, closet rebel is still alive and present, but now that kid also appreciates southern twang and the town he grew up in.

Country music tells stories better than any other genre. It walks you through life, gives you something to relate to, and plays with your emotions. It makes you want to dance, cry, or ride down back roads with the windows down and nowhere to go. (Side note: I’m pretty sure that last bit is the theme of 12 songs on country radio right now.) More than any other genre, country music feels like America in the south.

As great as country can be at times, there’s one place where I see them missing the mark over and over:

Church.

Continue reading

An open letter to anyone who’s ever seen a raunchy picture on the internet

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Dear People of the Internet,

I write to you today because of an increasing epidemic on social media. Let me first explain the situation:

Yesterday I was sitting at the vet scrolling through Facebook as I waited on the vet to come in the room. There in my newsfeed, I saw a picture. It was two pretty girls in their 20s standing together. They were a little dolled up but nothing too fancy. By all accounts, it was a nice picture.

I continued scrolling and saw a picture from the same pretty 20-something. This picture was much different than the first. This one was a selfie with her Upper Lady Parts (ULP) almost fully exposed and pushed up to her chin.

Same girl in both pictures.

The normal picture had 10 likes.

The ULP picture had 56.

They were posted within minutes of each other. Continue reading

What the All About That Bass chick reminded me about dating, relationships, and sex.

meghan-trainor-title-ep-coverI’m just going to come right out with it: I have a slight musical obsession with Meghan Trainor. You may only know her from the All About That Bass song. I was introduced to her through a different song called “Title.” I was sitting at my desk with a random playlist going on Spotify when I heard the line, “Baby, don’t call me your friend. If I hear that word again you might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed” sang over the happiest ukelele based song I’d ever heard in my life. And there was rhythmic clapping.

Color me intrigued.

I restarted the song and played it through. Then I went and found her four song EP and listened to the whole thing. Multiple times. Here was a pop singer sampling 60’s songs, having key changes in the middle of a song, writing clever lyrics, and on top of all that, writing a song in 6/8.

Thus the obsession.

The more I listened to her, and the more I listened to Title, the more she reminded me a few things about dating, marriage, and sex. Continue reading

What a post about a gay Bible professor and holiness taught me about the internet

IMG_2347.GIFOn Sunday night, I was laying in bed debating whether or not I wanted to write a post about the guy who spoke in church that morning. I’d gone back and forth all day on what to write, when to write, and if I should write. Since I couldn’t sleep, I figured I might as well try. After all, maybe it’d wear me out and I could sleep after.

I opened Evernote, started typing on my phone, and posted the blog.

Then my world exploded. Continue reading

On Ray Rice and Marriage

bal-ray-rice-marries-janay-palmer-amid-assault-001I got married on April 28, 2012; or less than two and a half years ago. I’m by no means an expert on marriage, but it’s something I hold in high regard. For as long as I remember, even back to high school, marriage was something I looked forward to. I watched my parents and their marriage. I watched my grandparents. I watched my friends’ parents. I even watched TV marriages.

If it was about marriage, I wanted to know about it.

Within a couple months of dating Nicole, we started talking about marriage. We knew we weren’t ready for it, but we both had an end goal of marriage. We didn’t put pressure on our relationship to force things, but we also didn’t want to avoid the topic. It was something we valued so it became something we talked about. Continue reading

The story of how Robin Williams reminded me depression is a jerk

20140811-235910-86350106.jpgWhen I read the first tweet that said Robin Williams had died, I let out and audible, “Noooo.” Nicole was in the middle of telling me about her day and I had to interrupt her because my mind had shifted to Googling everything to find out if it was true. 

I clicked on the first article that popped up and quickly realized what I feared was true: he didn’t die of natural causes.  Continue reading