In 1989 Hurricane Hugo was bearing down on the coast of South Carolina. Hurricanes were nothing new in the Carolinas. You might think of them as summer Nor'easters. Each year one or two hit the coast with varying degrees of intensity. Sometimes we might go to the beach and watch the massive waves break (A brave few would surf them) and other times we'd go out and play in the giant gusts. But every decade or so the big one hits. That was Hugo.
Every week I try to find some sort of life event or world event to write about. This week I dove into my own past to search for a time I trained for something……. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I literally couldn’t think of a time that I actually trained for any athletic event. Where I grew up they have the annual Cooper River Bridge Run 10k where 40,000 people participate. Once, I thought about training to run it. Never did. That’s not to say I don’t keep active, because I do. I’ve just never trained for an athletic event.
Maybe, like me, you've read and seen some of the heartwrenching news regarding our southern border over the past couple of weeks. Boston made national news this week as hundreds of Wayfair employees filled Copley Square to protest their employer's sale of beds to migrant detention centers. Today, there is a lot of passion regarding this issue, and much of it is for good reason.
Allie and I recently celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. It’s crazy that she’s put up with me for that long… but it’s actually been even longer. We also figured out that she has known me for longer in life than she hasn’t known me. We met at the end of the summer of 2002 when she was 15 years old. You can do the math.
Have you ever heard of the Tylenol murders? My millennial self had never heard of them either until a recent episode of the Stuff You Should Know podcast. The murders took place in this ancient time known as 1982. Truthfully, that was only three years before I was born, but it was definitely a different era. An era where everyone trusted stuff on the shelves that had zero protection against tampering.
If this series has been really encouraging to you, piqued your curiosity, and you’d like to keep studying, I’ve done my job. I knew Skeptic had no chance of giving you the final answer for all these questions. The reality is, only Jesus will do that at the end of time, but I hope this series may have sparked a curiosity to know more… because there is a lot more to learn.
A few months back I was talking to a friend about his adjustment to married life. He told me a funny story about how his wife wanted to surprise him with brownies. Brownies, that sounds pretty awesome. Who wouldn't want to be surprised by sweet chocolaty goodness? It was a caring gesture and without hesitation, my friend obliged his bride by eating one of these chocolate delights.
In 1915 Peter L. Jensen invented the first moving coil loudspeaker, and his invention is still used today. Every Sunday a group of amazing and dedicated volunteers put four of them up at Curley so we can have sound amplification. You can have your face melted off by your favorite guitar riff or belt to your new summer jam because of the loudspeaker. It’s an amazing invention that has allowed people to hear and experience wonderful speeches like Dr. King’s “I have a dream,” and music like Queens, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Redemption for the atheist is annihilation. It’s in this annihilation that "…humiliation you suffer in your life will be forgotten. Every mistake you made will not matter in the end. Every bad thing you did will be voided. If our life is all we get to experience, then it's the only thing that matters. If the universe has no principles, the only principles…
As a parent, you do things for your kids that you know they’ll hate, and quite honestly… you’ll probably hate too. But you do them for their good. You do them because you’re an adult and adults do hard things, even when they don’t want to. One of these things for us is bringing our third born Levi to the dentist.
On August 29th, 2005, after strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katrina made its second and third landfalls over the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. It devastated Gulf Port Mississippi and then during the next few days as the waters rose, it overwhelmed the levee system of New Orleans and flooded the city and the surrounding area. As a result, more than 1800 people died, and 10’s of 1000’s were displaced by the evacuation.
The artist Banksy is nothing if not controversial. You may have seen his images in the wild or, most likely, you’ve seen them on the internet. Banksy's most famous stencil painting is the girl letting go of the heart balloon. Recently, he was in the news for a painting sold at auction that halfway shredded at the drop of the gavel… and doubled its value!
One of the least culturally attractive doctrines of Christianity comes from the mouth of Jesus himself.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Jesus is claiming that there is only one true way to God. For our culture, this idea smacks of arrogance and ignorance. People have asked me things like, “You’re telling me all the devout people in religion X are going to hell?”
It was spring semester 2007, I had a flip phone in my pocket, and my professor was waxing eloquent about a new iPod phone. He asked the question, “Who needs an iPod that calls people?” While it’s hard to imagine now, we all laughed, because the idea of a cellphone from Apple seemed silly at the time.
Carl Sagan said, "The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." We live in a city where the predominant worldview is philosophical materialism. The only thing that really exists is that which you can sense, observe, and test. While nihilism can offer us absolute autonomy (No one’s in charge, yay us!), it cannot offer us hope.