Big Brother

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Big BrotherThis oft-repeated mantra of paranoia still makes me smile. The statement both recognizes the mental aberration and affirms its existence.

But are we paranoid ENOUGH? Consider recent, technological “advances.”

  • Cell phones track our physical location.
  • Cellular companies promote thumbprint and facial recognition technology.
  • After searching for a purchase on the Internet, ads for the same product suddenly appear on multiple electronic platforms.
  • Cars’ GPS document our driving patterns.
  • Doorbell cameras share video with parent companies and law enforcement.
  • Security and traffic cameras along with license tag readers record our movement.
  • Alexa, Siri, and their sisters record home conversations.
  • Social media accumulates gigabytes of personal information.
  • Credit companies gather extensive financial information.

In 1984, people would have revolted against governments and businesses that wanted to track our location, record our words, video our actions, and monitor our lives. Today we willfully volunteer this information without a second thought.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

No “I” in “Team”

Sick emojiA stomach virus viciously ambushed me Saturday evening. A high fever accompanied bouts of DELETED BY CENSOR. I took it like a man, moaning and groaning while praying for death.

My wife alerted the other pastors leading worship on Sunday morning. While I spent the night preparing my funeral, the Reverends Catherine Boothe Olson and Jeff Rogers divided the responsibilities. With only 12 hours’ notice, they gracefully led the three services. Other staff members fluidly shifted and shared duties as well.

In my early appointments, I WAS the church staff. Over the years, I’ve un-learned some lessons about self-reliance and independence. In return, the Holy Spirit has taught some lessons about collegiality and community.

Thank God for the amazing staff family at Northside Church. There’s no “I” in “Team,” and I am glad to be one member of Christ’s body in this time and place.

I do have an unused funeral outline available for anyone suffering from a similar, life-threatening ailment.

I could have DIED, you know.

Road Kill

possumA possum tried to cross West Wesley Road and died messily in front of our mailbox. In the past, I would have used a shovel to reverently dispose of the remains. However, I was delighted to discover the City of Atlanta has a dead animal removal service.

I completed the form and waited. And waited. And waited. And, well you get the idea.

After four weeks in 95+ degree temperatures, the carcass sorta melted into the asphalt. Other than the interim stink and mess, I suppose the city’s dead animal removal service works!

Everyone has some sort of possum problem. You can hope someone else will remove it. You can hold your nose until the stink goes away. Or you can grab a shovel and solve the problem yourself.

The good news is I’m SURE the city will fill the potholes on our street any day now.