Monthly Archives: April 2015

People who Criticize, People who Congratulate

Interesting piece by UConn coach Geno Auriemma in the current Sports Illustrated. It’s obviously constructed from an interview, sort of a stream-of-consciousness feel, so his words must be taken in the context of being somewhat off-the-cuff. But he made this interesting statement:

“People who have achieved great things and understand how hard it it to be really good at something are the first people to congratulate you. People who have not accomplished much in their lives are the first to criticize you.”

I’ve been trying to figure out if I agree or not. Obviously, he intends it as a generality, so I think it’s accurate in that regard. But sometimes people who have accomplished a lot have very high standards, or have a particular way of doing things, and may not be as congratulatory of people who take different routes to success.

Then there are people, successful or not, who just have a critical spirit. Being successful doesn’t remove that character trait.

And then there are equally successful people who view each other as rivals, and think that recognizing the other person somehow diminishes their own standing. It’s a pride thing.

But on this I’m sure: complimenting people is generally a good thing, and criticizing people is generally a bad thing.

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Rand and Alexandra are Concerned About Me

I just received an email from Rand Paul’s campaign. “Rand asked me to email you,” someone named Alexandra began. She said he is counting on my support.

He is? I kinda like Sen. Paul, but I don’t exactly know him personally. I’ve never made any kind of contact with him.

“However,” Alexandra continued, “our records show you haven’t made a contribution.”

What? They have a record on me? How? Why?

As I scrolled down through Alexandra’s email, I found copies of two previous emails. The first was apparently sent on Tuesday, when Paul announced his candidacy; it asked for my support. Then came an email time-stamped 7:28 this morning (Wednesday), in which Paul asks Alexandra, “Can you please follow up with Steve?” He says he’s sent me two previous emails, but I haven’t responded (and he hasn’t).

Like I said, I generally like Rand Paul. He’s an interesting voice. But this email is SO phony, so inauthentic. And I’m sure there’s more to come. I’m still waiting to hear from Ted Cruz.
randpaul1 randpaul2

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The Battle of the Wedding Cake

First Australian Gay Couple Married In New Zealand

The fate of World Christianity apparently hangs on people who make wedding cakes. Unless they hold firm, we’ll descend into a thousand years of darkness and God’s plan to establish His Kingdom will be vanquished.

Well, maybe it’s not quite that apocalyptic.

There needs to be “space” (as they’re calling it) for sincerely held religious beliefs, for accommodation, and laws can address that. But there also need to be loving responses which Christians can give, so they don’t come off as…well, as unChristlike. Let me suggest a few possible responses for Christians who oppose gay marriage, but don’t care about going on CNN and being hailed as heroic Christian martyrs standing firm against the Forces of Mordor.

– If the cake isn’t that big of a deal to you, treat it as relationship-building and just being a good neighbor. “I wish you the best. I’ll gladly refer you to one of my competitors who would do a great job, but if you really want me to do it–sure, why not.”

– If the cake IS a big deal for you, a bridge too far: “I hope your wedding goes well and that somebody makes you a wonderful cake. But please don’t ask me to do it. I just can’t. However, I know a few other bakers who would do a great job for you.”

– If they are being jerks about it, and threaten to take you to court, then you apply Matthew 5:39-42. “Okay, okay, I’ll make your cake.” Then, to go the extra mile and turn the other cheek, you bake not one but TWO cakes, and you don’t charge them. And you throw in a bulk container of candied breath mints.

“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

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