Wednesday, October 26, 2011

dear brian phillips.

Yesterday, I shared a link to an article by one, Mr. Brian Phillips. The article, "Tim Tebow, Converter of the Passes," was published on Grantland.com and captured my attention for various reasons, but has now kept my attention because of the gravity of Brian's claims/accusations/questions. My heart sank when I read his tweet advertising his new article, "On @Grantland33, my new piece on whether Tim Tebow's W-L record actually *is* a referendum on the existence of God."


So, this is a letter to Mr. Phillips.


Dear Brian,


I hope I can call you Brian. You can call me Lauren, even though most people don't. I read your article on Tim Tebow yesterday and felt compelled to write. If I were a betting woman (which, if I'm anywhere near a casino, I would classify myself as one), I'd guess that this is somewhere around the thousandth e-mail you've gotten on your article. I want you to know first and foremost, I'm not going to tell you that you are stupid or going to Hell (though you might be). I don't want to throw anything at you and I don't want you to think that I am a member of the Tea Party or a Michele Bachmann supporter. I am neither. I am a "churchgoer" for whatever that's worth and will readily admit that the Lord took hold of my heart long ago, which is why I'm bothering to write this in the first place (go back to my first point, I'm writing to tell you about Jesus, NOT to tell you that you're stupid).


Let’s dive in. I pray (yes, I said it) that this all makes sense.


To begin, I’ll address your tweet. Tim Tebow’s win-loss record is absolutely not a referendum on the existence of God. It’s not a referendum of any kind, actually. To suggest that Tebow’s success has something to do with his beliefs is to suggest that God cares about football and specifically cares about Tebow’s passing percentage and I want to assure you that He does not. If God cared about such things, I would have to assume that my high school basketball team would have been much more successful.


“What can a sloppily thrown 15-yard out pattern tell us about God and country?” Brian, I’m not sure it can tell us anything. I think, more than anything, a sloppily thrown 15-yard out pattern can only tell us just that— it was a sloppily thrown pass. I mean, I really thought about that question and I could not see the correlation to God, country and being a successful football player. And I really love God and America.


“As a result, it's basically impossible not to see Tebow's ability or inability to complete a 15-yard out pattern to Matt Willis as a referendum on the Book of Deuteronomy.” Now, I have to ask you, Brian, how much time have you spent studying the book of Deuteronomy? I have been a part of the Church since birth and I have spent very little time in it. I’m assuming you chose this book because it’s kind of a funny word? But, let me again take the stance that Tebow’s ability or inability to complete a pass is NOT a referendum on anything, including: God and the book of Deuteronomy. And again, to imply that this is a referendum at all seems a bit much. Are you really planning on putting this issue to a popular vote?


I hope I haven’t lost my audience yet (I’m talking to you, Brian).


“For about three quarters, Tebow floundered, and it looked like the Living Water Bible Church out on Route 17 was wrong about pretty much everything.” Is Living Water Bible Church a real church? I don’t know what they preach there, but again— I can’t see how Tebow’s abilities on the football field have anything to do with what they say between the opening and closing hymns. It’s never good to judge a church’s doctrine/theology on how one believer acts (or plays in a football game). You should compare a church’s doctrine to the Gospel.


Brian, you kind of made me chuckle when you poked fun at the believers who always seem to interject the Lord into post-game interviews. I don’t like it either most of the time. Because most of the time, these people are only thanking the Lord for good things. Or they are proclaiming His name after a victory, but never again in any sort of context. It’s very frustrating.


“The evangelical movement spends a lot of money and time coaching its kids on how to confront secular culture, but the kids don't usually reach a position at which they can confront it on a national-media scale — not as kids, anyway.” I guess I’m a part of the “evangelical movement” you’re speaking of, but I don’t like the connotation that comes with that phrase. I grew up in church, youth group, FCA, all of that and I’m not sure I was ever “coached on how to confront secular culture.” It was more like I was encouraged to get to know the Lord and then that relationship would help propel me through the waters of life. You know what I’m saying? To suggest that churches spend a lot of money on this is just silly. Most churches don’t have a lot of money and if they are a church that practices their beliefs they are probably not spending their money burning secular books or music or “confronting” secular movements. For me, it’s not about confronting secular culture; it’s about the value I place on secular things versus the value I place on my relationship with Jesus Christ.


Let’s put it out there—Tim Tebow is kind of a polarizing guy. Personally, I don’t think any of it has to do with his belief in the Lord, either. I mean, look at him— he over celebrates, screams, makes ridiculous speeches and in college, beat everybody, all the time. That’s why he annoys me. I don’t think it’s fair for you to suggest that people root for or against him based on his beliefs. If you really broke it down most people root for or against him based on whether or not they think he’s annoying.


I went to the University of Arkansas and don’t care for any other team in the SEC. It’s the burden I bear. When Tebow was in college I didn’t like him. I liked that he wasn’t shy about his faith, but severely disliked him on the football field (and off it, too). I hate that he beat Darren McFadden out for the Heisman and hate that he would celebrate like he just won the World Series after a three-yard-run deep into the first quarter. You’ll note that I think he’s annoying because of his personality and not that he loves the Lord. I’m a Christian and I think other Christians (and people, in general) can be and sometimes are annoying. It’s my burden to bear. It’s also an issue with MY heart and not the other person, usually.


“I'm sure there are people who manage to escape the demographic rooting pattern this creates. But in broad strokes, it's fair to say that how you feel about Tebow depends on how you feel about youth groups and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and, I don't know, WWJD bracelets and raft retreats with a lot of bonfires and swaying.” This is such a loaded statement, Brian. Why in the world would someone who likes or dislikes Tebow also like or dislike Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Why, Brian? Tim Tebow was not in my youth group and was never involved any “raft retreats” I chose not to go on. Yes, that’s right. My youth group took float trips and I didn’t go on them. It’s not fair for you to say that Tim Tebow is a “whole culture.” What does that even mean? I'm not modeling my life after Tim Tebow.


Tebow completing a pass may well be a miracle (I’ve seen his throwing motion), but it’s not in any way comparable to Jesus turning water into wine.


Admittedly, I get kind of lost towards the end of your article. I know what you’re trying to say, but I don’t really follow.


I’ll just address a few things: there is a higher power involved in the universe. God created the universe and he’s still involved in it. Tebow’s successful two-point conversion does NOT prove that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. Just like Josh Hamilton not hitting any home runs in the first five games of the World Series doesn’t prove anything about Jesus either.


What if the free-safety that picked Tebow off is a believer? Does that mean that God favors one believer over another? NO, Brian, it does not. You know why? Because God does not care about football. He just doesn’t. He cares about Tim Tebow’s heart and the way Tim Tebow lives his life, just like the way He cares about my heart and the way I live my life. He cares about your heart and the questions you have. He does not care about football. If God really cared about football, he’d put a little more oomph in the Arkansas Razorbacks’ offensive line.


Brian, you’ll notice I didn’t pound scripture down your throat (because to you scripture is not the living word of God, it’s just words) or tell you that you’re stupid, but I do want to tell you that you’ve got it all wrong. God is not a trivial God. God is a big God that can convert 15-yard out patterns in the same way that he can convert hearts. And Brian, I pray that some of your “religious” friends will start praying for your heart and that God will open up your eyes to the scoreboard more when watching football, because if you’re watching football to answer life’s big questions, well, like I said, you’ve got it all wrong.


God wants your heart. Not your touchdowns.


To further displace your beliefs I am going to forsake signing this e-mail with something like, “Captivated by HIS grace,” and opt for something simpler.


Peace be with you, Brian.


Sincerely,

Lauren


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

linkage.

I think, like, a long time ago blogs started off as a way to pass on information to the masses. Let's all pretend like it's 1998.

Check out this story on Tim Tebow from Grantland.com.
This is a pretty decent article. Meaning, it kept my interest. However, it made me really sad, too. This author clearly doesn't know Jesus or even a little bit about how He works.

Rick Perry is becoming even more of an idiot? That should be the title of this piece from the NY Times.

Two things I love? g-chat and New York Magazine. This article starts off with a g-chat conversation and the rest of it is a mildly* interesting look at the generation I think I am a part of. I never know what generation I am in. However, I know I am not a baby boomer. Should count for something?

*Mildly meaning more interesting than not.

Monday, October 24, 2011

my mother was born.

Many years ago on this day in the quaint town of Nashville, Arkansas my mother was born.

Because of this fact, I am here today. But, I am more than just present because of my mother's birth. I tend to get my looks from her (Evidenced below. I know what I'll look like in a few years.), my creative side comes from her, the small part of me that is a 'people person' comes from her and my naturally beautiful singing voice is definitely a gift from her, although most people would say it's gift from God.

Seriously, my mom is a great lady, who does a lot of great things. I don't think I know anyone as passionate about her job as my mother and I don't know anyone who can destroy bake and break cookies like she can. But, the effort is there.

Happy burrday, biological! I am glad you're alive.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

overheard.

About four mornings a week I watch/listen to the Today Show as I'm getting ready. I do a lot of shuffling between the television and my bathroom, constantly rewinding and turning up the volume, while thinking did they just say what I think they said.

This morning was no different.

I was listening to a reporter analyze the terribleness of the latest GOP debate and Rick Perry's use of the word "brother," when they cut to the news desk to report on President Obama's bus tour of North Carolina.

Apparently, POTUS stopped at a high school in Virginia yesterday on his way back to DC. He was greeted by a group of students and upon introducing themselves they immediately asked him about Justin Beiber. Hold the damn phone. The President of the (freaking) United States of America just shook your hand and you go with a Justin Beiber opener?

I don't care who you are, how old you are (which, these kids looked to be at least 16 or 17) or what you're political beliefs are: when you meet the President and he says, "ask me anything," you do NOT talk about Justin Beiber. Hell, at least ask about Kate Middleton. That's kind of in the realm of foreign policy and 2/9th political.

The Today Show reporter describing the event, no joke, described it as a "giggle fest." A. GIGGLE. FEST.

This is the future of our country.

The future of our country doesn't have enough sense to know that even Lady Gaga is politically minded and they could've asked about that. They don't even know that Justin Beiber isn't even a US citizen.

A giggle fest.

This is America.
Bless it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

the elsie awards: mommy blogs.

Because I am willing to admit I can be a giant asshole and because I don't want to start a riot or offend any number of my friends who enjoy the fruits of motherhood, please send me your nominations for: BEST MOMMY BLOG THAT DOESN'T SUCK.

elsieawards@gmail.com

Do it, ok?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

elsie awards: people's choice(s).

The Elsie Awards are broadening its horizons and want you to join in. That's right it's
THE ELSIE AWARDS PEOPLE's CHOICE(S), y'all!

What does that mean? Well, it means you submit your choices for the following categories:

MOST INTERESTING FACEBOOK ALBUMS: I think this one speaks for itself. Hopefully.

BEST BLOG THAT DOESN'T SUCK: Again, this should speak for itself. If you send me a link to a blog that has a baby on a couch holding a number, it will NOT win.

And of course, you're welcome to submit any other categories or write-in nominations that you wish. I cannot guarantee they will be considered, but send away. Also, try to send me a link to your nominees, or at least some sort of reason for picking whatever you pick.

Send all nominations to: elsieawards@gmail.com


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

humble brag.

The humble brag.
You know it. And you love it.

Maybe the phrase escapes you, but you're following. It's the brag where somebody subtly, yet totally, brags about something they've done. A simple, "Oh, I dropped 10 pounds and I haven't changed a thing! I guess I'm stressed." Yeah right. "Y'all, the silliest thing just happened! I was in line at Target and an agent gave me his card and told me I should be a model! Is that not hilarious?" Humble. Brag.

I'd like to take a few moments to do some humble bragging of my own.

One of my very best friends in the whole entire world/ favorite human to ever walk, Jessica Dean Rutherford, got the call and has been bumped up to everyday anchor for KARK4 in Little Rock. That's right, she's batting clean-up for the 6 and 10pm shows and I couldn't be more thrilled. Or proud. I know few people who have this much talent, yet work as hard as Dean does. I will humble brag the shit out of Jessica Dean and not think twice about it.

Check out her new promo video!

video


Thursday, October 6, 2011

the elsie awards (year 2).

After the success of the inaugural Elsie Awards last year, they are back. They might not better or bigger or badder, but damn it: they are here.

Originally, The Elsie was created to award those people in my life who are making it better. The people who are constantly striving to entertain me, inform me and shock me. The people who make me laugh, cry and shriek in terror.

All Elsie awards were voted on by me and are completely and totally subjective. My awards, my rules.

**And new this year, SURPRISE categories will be announced the day winners are announced for the following categories.

And the nominees are...


BEST PHOTO SENT VIA TEXT

Claire Bennett Beaumont

Matthew S. Wilson

Laura Brittain

Jordan Short


MOST INTERESTING TEXT

Katie Garton

Future


MOST INTERESTING QUESTION ASKED VIA TEXT

Jessica Dean

Ryan Bowen

Laura Brittain


BEST UNPROVOKED WALL POST

April Medina

Evan Cowling

Elizabeth Suffield

Elizabeth Garton


BEST REPLY TO A FACEBOOK POST

Mallory Hardin

Lauren Lee Lashlee


BEST PHOTO POSTED TO FACEBOOK

Gina Fortune

Lauren D. Pardue

Evan Cowling

Ashley Festa Ariail


BEST @ MENTION OF @lncow

Jenessa Bailey

Matthew S. Wilson

Lauren D. Pardue

Brittany Mayes

Elizabeth Garton


BEST TWITTER REPLY

Morgan Stallings

Laura Brittain


BEST AT USING TWITTER AND CITING QUOTES

Andrew G. Bruder

April Medina

Elizabeth Garton

Laura Brittain

Matthew S. Wilson


MOST INTERESTING TWEET

John Quincy Adams

Elizabeth Garton


BEST RT

James Gardner

Austin Ariail


BEST USE OF A HASHTAG (#) THAT IS NOW USED IN EVERYDAY LANGUAGE

#lovewins

#nuance

#wassonwedding

#realtalk

#womensfinalfour

#thecharliedunn


CRAZIEST NIGHT OUT ACCORDING TO SOCIAL MEDIA

Bowen’s 27th Birthday

Jim Lee Experience

Wasson Wedding


MOST INTERESTING LINKS SHARED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA

Natalie Jagers

Jon Wasson

Hillary Rector

Adrian Ramos


BEST OVERALL SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY

Andrew G. Bruder

Laura Brittain




Monday, October 3, 2011

dream world.

I've never really been one that's interested (on any level) in mythical creatures, people, places or things. So, I've never been interested in mythical nouns, I guess. I gave up on Santa at the age of six and I have never seen "Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," or "Harry Potter." This is my burden to bear.

Some people see this as a lack of imagination or creativity on my part and that's great, I just consider myself a real realist. Anyway. I digress.

Lately, I've been throwing the phrase "dream world" around a lot. I've never been much of a daydreamer, but lately it seems like all I do.

Let's break it down.

In my dream world, Obama isn't running this country like my junior high student council ran ole Gardner Junior High. There's a small part of me that like feels I'm doing a disservice to my junior high student council by comparing them to Obama's administration. But, it's all I could think of. In that same dream world though, people are not running around screaming, "You can keep your hope and change!" anymore either. I mean, things are bad, but are they really so bad that we don't want to even hope? If we're still cruising along in this alternate reality, Ron Paul isn't crazy and he doesn't want to completely disband the entire government. He also doesn't say crazy shit and he gets some more media play and ends up being somebody's secretary of something or other. Not sure he's the president in my dream world, but the man's not entirely off-base in his beliefs. I said not entirely, meaning, he's about 90% off-base, 5% on target and 5% terrifying.

Also in my dream world: the Kardashians work for a living, Mindy Kaling calls me for advice, the Arkansas Razorbacks have an offensive line and a running game again, Dallas is closer to Arkansas (but, still just as far, when I need it to be), every Friday is a half-day, stupid people don't have children (or cars, for that matter), pizza is free and my friends always carry cash.

All God's people said "amen."

Amen.


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