Why the Unicorn Frappuccino is Voldemort’s Doing

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So I tried the unicorn frappuccino drink from Starbucks today. Below is the link that’ll show you the video review with my daughter laughing at me in the background.

What’s not in the video is that by the time I got to the bottom, it tasted like curdled milk. Seriously. Which makes me think that Lord Voldemort is behind this little craze. The baristas will tell you that the top is sprinkled with unicorn dust, whatever that is.

But in order to get unicorn dust, you must capture a unicorn. And to capture a unicorn, you’ll inevitably draw blood. (The credit for this idea goes to my wife, by the way.) So according to Harry Potter lore, something pure and defenseless has been slain to make your unicorn frappuccino.

Which also means that you will have a half-life, or a cursed life, from the moment that blood touches your lips.

What’s not in the video below is this horrible realization. What IS in the video is the beginning of my cursed life. And shockingly, my daughter knew enough not to drink any even when I offered it to her. She’s too innocent, too pure. She chose wisely.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

My Secret Obsession

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I have a secret that I think, after two years of blogging, I’m ready to share.

It’s an unusual secret. A personal one, that really only my wife and a few family members know about. And yes, I get teased about it a lot.

My coworkers don’t know about it, and my friends have no clue.

But now I’m about to share it with 10,000+ readers.

It’s sort of an addiction I face every morning.

Let me set the stage for you so you can appreciate the magnitude of this.

My wife is an amazing cook. She makes the best pasta, the best salads, the best everything I’ve ever had. Including the best eggs.

And each morning I have the option to have her make me gooey, cheesy, scrambled eggs or… a box of cereal.

And each morning I choose a box of cereal.

Not the whole-grain crap or bland granola that you can get in the health-food aisles. I’m talking, if it doesn’t have a cartoon character on the front of the box, I won’t eat it.

If Michael Scott ever opens up Mike’s Cereal Shack, I’ll hop on the first flight to Colorado and go there.

Is it any wonder that my favorite movie studio has a full-fledged cereal bar in their kitchen?

Growing up, I always loved that song “Breakfast” by Newsboys.

If my daughter were to be shrunken by my incredible shrinking machine and she fell into my cereal bowl, I’m not sure I wouldn’t mistake her as a cute little marshmallow and gobble her up. (Props to Rick Moranis for eating a colorless cereal, by the way.)

If I were to be a criminal, I’d be a serial… No – that’s too obvious. I’ll spare you that one.

Earlier this year, being 30, I decided to quit cereal all together and eat toast and eggs like a normal grown-up.

That lasted for about two weeks.

But can you blame me? Wendell the Baker came out with Peanut Butter Toast Crunch! And being a cereal connoisseur, I absolutely had to try it.

Then the Captain came out with Cinnamon Roll Crunch.

Tried it. Loved it.

Then good ol’ Tony hit me with Chocolate Frosted Flakes and Bam-Bam hammered out Poppin’ Pebbles.

It seemed the grocery store was out to see me fail. And yes, I succumbed, and continue to succumb, to all the new flavors and even revert back to old ones, because I figure, hey, I’m off the wagon, might as well frolic in the grass while it’s still fresh.

Sigh.

It’s Ash Wednesday, and some of you will be giving up something for Lent.

I’m not Catholic, so I won’t be giving something up, and it certainly wouldn’t be cereal (I’m not strong enough) or ice cream (don’t even get me started on that).

But whatever you do give up, whether for Lent or at any point throughout your life that you want to abstain from, just know that the world, the devil, your flesh, will all act as your mega grocery store.

And when that happens, and your tempted to go back, pray for the strength to resist. Like, really, really pray. Hard. Pray like you know God will get you through the temptation (notice I didn’t say He’ll take you out of it, but rather get you through it).

And for goodness sakes, stay out of the cereal aisle.

The Horrors of the Creation Theory: Part 2

You would think God would require a little something more than belief to get into Heaven. The idea is so flawed and old-fashioned and narrow-minded. It’s like playing a game where the rules don’t make sense or the prize is hardly worthy to be won. The thought that God would send people to Hell just because they don’t believe in Him! That’s ridiculous! Let’s just eat, drink and be merry and we’ll deal with the consequences later. Or when we meet God (if there is a God), we’ll reason with Him and persuade Him to let us in the pearly gates on account of our good deeds.

So many of us are obstinately set against God’s rules (or the existence of God), because we don’t want to be held accountable to anything. To admit there is a God is to admit the existence of a certain standard to live by. And quite frankly, we would all rather live independently from any such authority. One of the reasons we’re turned off from the Creation account is because one of the first things God does is set rules. What if the Creation account read something more along the lines of this?

The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God told the man, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely. Enjoy yourself. Go out and find who you are, and be all that you can be. Realize your potential to the fullest and indulge yourself in every desire and craving that lays itself upon you.”

Suddenly the creation account doesn’t sound so oppressive, does it? There’s nothing offensive about it. Now that’s a God I would worship! …or is it? It’s easy to appreciate that sort of lenient Lord in hindsight, but look what’s missing: all the attributes that make God God are absent! There’s no protection from danger (“Don’t eat of the tree”), the provision is minimal (“Here’s the garden… go at it”), and there’s really no love (God cannot be apart of self-indulgence, as it is meant to be for self, no one else, and there can be no love when there is no involvement). You can take that a step further and say that God would not be the Heavenly Father some of us know Him to be. (For more on that, click here.)

You see, it doesn’t really come down to the fundamentals of evolution vs. creation or atheism vs. theism. It comes down to pride. We don’t believe in God because we don’t want to submit to His authority. Out of sight, out of mind. End of discussion. Yet pride is exactly what the serpent sold to Eve on that fateful day in the garden once blissful and pure. The serpent tells Eve that if she eats the forbidden fruit, she surely won’t die, as God had said. We hear this lie still today. Losing weight will make you happy. Has it? Money satisfies deeply. Does it? Multiple partners is the ultimate euphoria. Is it? Now don’t get me wrong… you may be on top of one of those mountains, enjoying the pleasures of this life and nothing I say will matter. But when will you be skinny enough (or be full enough)? What will happen when the economy goes sour, or your company slips up? Do you feel ultimate love and acceptance from all those one nighters?

Adam and Eve did not die as soon as they ate the fruit. But the consequence was immediately set into motion. With one bite they crossed the cosmic chasm into mortality, and brought all of creation with them. Suddenly lions needed meat. Plants needed water. And we needed God… more than ever. Yet we won’t accept Him, because Satan’s offer sounds so much more appealing.

“You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4b-5

Our innate desire to know everything, to have everything, or to just be plain happy ought to scream to us that we’re sill open to accepting this sale. God is the only one who knows everything, who owns the cosmos, and is content in and amongst Himself. But He is Creator, and we are His creatures. We cannot be content with ourselves, just as we cannot draw life from ourselves. In Him are all things possible, and in Him will we find true joy, peace, and satisfaction.

And the only way to find that is through His Son Jesus Christ who came to make all things new. He came to restore the world to its original state, when lions laid with lambs, when death was just a myth, and God was accepted by everyone in the world (in the case of Eden before the Fall, it was just two people – Genesis 5). Just as taking a bite of that fruit did not immediately bring death upon Adam and Eve, but merely placed it in their future, Jesus’s death on the cross set in motion the redemption that is to come, and it lies ahead of us. But God will not tolerate anyone who does not now accept Him as Lord in His Kingdom.

God intended for this world to be free from evil and pride and the pain and heartache that follows after, and that is what His Kingdom will be. The rest will be cast out, tossed into Hell  for eternity. Both God’s high standard and Satan’s easy offer are set before each one of us. And we must choose. Will we live today in preparation of tomorrow’s heavenly Kingdom? Or will we continue to succumb to our pride and self-exaltation, change God’s rules (or ignore them), and deal with the consequences later… forever?

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Support Your Not-So-Local Missionaries

Hungry. No, starving. She hasn’t had a descent meal in over eight months. Rice is all she’s lived on. She’s grown weak, and she’s exhausted. She’s tried so hard to carry out her mission, but how can she when she feels so alone? Her clothes hang over her frail body like loose rags. It’s nearly impossible to drag herself out of bed in the mornings. She doesn’t just feel like she’s surrounded by people who hate her and don’t want her there, the people do hate her and wave her off, telling her to go back home.

But today is supposed to be a good day. Today she should be receiving a care package in the mail. Gifts from her brothers and sisters who care. Today is going to be a really good day.

She travels nearly twenty miles by bus to the post office. To her delight, the box is there, waiting for her, with her name on it. The contents inside of it are for her! Her fingers flirt with the flaps of the box on the bumpy ride back home, but she wills herself not to open it just yet. What will be inside? Pop tarts? Bars of soap? Letters of encouragement? This is going to be such a good day.

When she gets home she squashes another roach on the kitchen counter. For the first time, she’s not thinking about the heat. She is just thinking about the contents inside that box. She grabs the scissors and cuts the tape. She holds her breath as she looks inside.

The first thing she pulls out is a brown pillowcase with a hole in it. She sets it aside. She tries to feel grateful when she holds up the next item in the box – a little boy’s t-shirt with cartoon characters on it. A packet of saltine crackers is next, followed by two bottles of water and a 4-oz tube of toothpaste that will probably last her a week if she rations it. There are no notes in the box. Nothing to convey sympathy, support, or encouragement. Not even a phone number to call, or an email address. She had been right. No one cares.

 

I’m not making this story up. The girl is fictitious, but there are missionaries scattered throughout the world who live like this every day. These are brothers and sisters who have sold everything they own to move away for several years to be among a people who don’t want their company or their message. They have taken up the call to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth and the best we can do is send them a bottle of water or some used clothes.

I read a while back that missionaries are grateful for support, but the thing they want most is company. Not all of us can drop everything and go visit the missionaries, but we can contact them, and find out from them directly what they need us to send. Let’s not just feel content dropping a few bucks into the offering plate. Contact the guy who’s in charge of missions at your church and get a directory of their names and emails right now. (And if your church doesn’t have a list of missionaries that it supports, find a new church!) Send them a message, a verse, anything – heck, tell them what they can pray for you about! Build friendships with our brothers and sisters… read their blogs, pray for them.

You may not hear very happy stories from many of them. But we are called to bare each other’s burdens. Listen to their stories, find out what they need, and act accordingly. We’re all called to spread the Gospel together. Let’s embolden each other to carry out that all-important task. It just so happens that on this day on March 29, 1943, the U.S. began requiring Americans to ration fat, meat, and cheese to help win World War II. These were just the beginning of the long line of sacrifices made on the home front. “Do with less so they’ll have enough,” read a poster from the Office of War Information. If Americans could sacrifice for a slightly lesser cause, how much more, then, should we sacrifice for our brothers and sisters, on the front lines of the great cosmic war?