Monthly Archives: March 2011

FYI: OMG! The OED would call this a sentence. LOL

So check out the new words that were added yesterday to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). What is this world coming to? Abbreviations like OMG, LOL, FYI, BFF are being included in the newest update (March 24th 2011) of the OED. They aren’t exactly calling them words. The OED is referring to the abbreviated expressions as “initialisms”.

Its funny that my spell check is underlining the word “initialisms”, but not “FYI”.

Should we officially include initialisms into our language?

Do they help or hurt our language?



Unconditional Love: with conditions

In Greek, there are four different words for “love” with four different meanings. The Bible uses the term “agape” the most. Agape is the term used in the famous Love Chapter of the Bible.

1 Corenthians 13:4 Love  is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Agape is the truest form of love. It is distinguished from friendly love, lustful love, and familial love. It is Godly Love.

We use love to talk about many things. “I love this pizza.” “I love your hair.” “I love to swim.” “I love you.” They all express a form of affection for something, but all are on completely different levels. God’s love is perfect. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is agape.

Do we experience this love anywhere other than God?

Can a human truly love unconditionally?

These are questions that I have been asking myself for years. As Christians we strive to love like Jesus. John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We try to mimic the love He showed for us by dieing on the cross. In my efforts I always seem to come up short. My selfishness, laziness, and ego usually tend to win out at some point or another. Can I love unconditionally? Is it possible for people to love unconditionally? I have had this debate many times with Christians, here is a  common rebuttal…

“I love my spouse unconditionally.”

You may love your spouse, but do you truly love them in any condition? Lets be hypothetical for a moment. If your spouse walked into the house today and said, “Honey, I hate you”. You can probably say you would still love them. Then your spouse pulls out a gun and shoots you in the leg. Maybe, you could forgive them and continue to love them. Your leg starts to heel, meanwhile your spouse is out cheating on you repeatedly with multiple people including your best friend. If you can still find it in your heart to love them you are a better man than me. But then your spouse returns and maybe, just maybe you find it in your heart to love them again. Then they pull out a gun again and shoot your other leg. At some point in this hypothetical situation you are probably saying to yourself, “OK, I would be done.” If not, you are either lying to yourself or stupid, but I’m willing to bet that if this happened over and over you would eventually find yourself not loving your spouse any more.

This scenario is a little extreme, but you get the point. To love unconditionally is to love no matter what happens, no matter how many times they hurt you. No matter how many times they abandon you, beat you , shoot you, and cheat on you. That is agape.

I truly believe as humans we do not have the ability to love unconditionally. Apart from God we will never come close, but even with God our human nature will win out at some point, in some situation. Think about it…

Have you ever lied to the person you love the most? Probably

Have you ever hurt that person by mistake or even on purpose? Most likely

Have you ever made a decision that considered yourself more than that person? Yes

You have failed at loving unconditionally. You have loved with conditions. You are human.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS…God loves us unconditionally!!!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

No matter how many things we do to Him, he has already forgiven us. We choose to sin daily and he still loves us. From Adam and Eve until tomorrow we continue to shoot him, deny him, and sin against him, but He has already showed us unconditional love by sending his Son.

God’s love is unconditional because God is love!

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Apart from God, we will never experience true love. God is the only one with the capacity to love unconditionally because He is true love. So then, as humans, how do we come closest to loving unconditionally? How do we agape someone? This is how…

1 John 4:8-9 because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

We must allow God to love through us. We must share His love with others. We must bring them to God so that they will be able to experience agape. This is why we testify, witness, and evangelize. We are doing it to bring them the unconditional love that is God. A person who does not have God in their hearts will never know true  unconditional love and no matter how hard we try we cannot show them true love without showing them God. Only by opening their heart to God will they know what its like to be loved unconditionally.

We show unconditional love by showing God. God is true love. God is agape.

Sham Rock N’ Roll

Last night was the first ShamRock n Roll music festival the the NC Music Factory in Charlotte. Jes and I took the evening and went early. She had an interview with a family in Charlotte for a nanny position with their new baby. From there we stopped by the original Lupe’s Cafe on the way to the Music Factory. It was great! We both had one of the best burgers we have eaten in a long time and I definitely recommend the sweet tea. They served mine in a mason jar. Other people were ordering tea and it was coming in regular glasses so I’m not sure why mine came in a jar, but I liked it! I’m thinking I will start drinking everything from a mason jar.

After Lupe’s we stopped by to see some friends and then headed to the concert. We got there super early so we claimed out spots in the front and waited for an hour and a half until the show finally got started. Sister Hazel

was Jes’ favorite band in middle and high school and she has kept up with them for all these years. You may remember their biggest hit, “All for You”. We got to see them up close and personal.

I’m so glad Jes got to experience that. We left the concert and I was thinking was that the only thing cooler for her would have been to be able to meet them in person. So we did what any groupie or crazed fan would do and hunted down the tour bus and stalked them until they came out. And wouldn’t you know, it actually worked. After standing outside for a while and almost giving up

Ken Block, the lead singer, came out of the bus and greeted us and a few other hardcore fans that have been standing around with us. He gave Jes a big hug, shook my hand and thanked us for coming to see the show.  It was a very cool moment for Jes and I was so happy to be there with her. The concert was great and I actually have a short video clip of it on my youtube channel. I got about 20 seconds recorded before you can see the bald security guard come over and make me turn off the camera.

Do I have a chance?

This is the current depth chart on the Panther’s website. When are open tryouts. I will play for six figures instead of seven.

Merry Norrismas everyone!!!

Today is Chuck Norris’ 71st birtday. To celebrate one of the greatest days on the calendar I will share my top 10 Chuck Norris facts.

1. Chuck Norris doesn’t blow out his candles on his birthday cake. He dares them to burn.

2. Chuck Norris declines the User Agreement and still installs the program.

3. When Chuck Norris puts milk on his Rice Krispies they shut up.

4. Chuck Norris can burn ants with a magnifying glass… at night.

5. Chuck Norris’ calendars go straight from March 31st to April 2nd, because no one fools Chuck Norris.

6. Chuck Norris won the WSOP with a 2 of Spades and a green number 4 card from UNO.

7. Jesus, Chuck Norris, and The Pope were in a boat and it was storming. Jesus got out and walked from the boat across the water to safety. Chuck Norris followed him to safety. The Pope stepped from the boat, fell in, and drowned. Jesus looked at Chuck Norris and said, “Maybe we should have told him about the rocks?” Chuck Norris replied, “What rocks?”

8. Chuck Norris must get a concealed weapons permit in 47 states, just to wear pants.

9. If you look under China it says “made by Chuck Norris”

10. Chuck Norris knows Victoria’s Secret.

For more random Chuck Norris Facts click here.

A Few Updates…

I have taken some time to update the blog. There are cosmetic updates and functional updates. If you notice, I am going with a different theme and color scheme. They will go nicely with my new website I am working on. I am going to start busking around the Charlotte area this weekend and once the new site is completed it will be my official magic website. I have a temporary address ( that you can access right now and tell me what you think. Once it is complete I will have a new address and I will put a post on here. You can also preview the website by clicking on the “My Magic” tab at the top of the page. These new tabs will help you navigate very easily around the blog. Since I write about a few different topics you can also use the “The Blog” tab to filter to certain categories of interest. So if you don’t want to have to read through the magic posts to get to the posts about my family, just click on “Family”. You will also find all the places I am on the internet under the “Follow me” tab. Hopefully the blog is now more user friendly and will work nicely with the new site that will be finished soon.

Magician’s Magic (a love story)

I have been into magic for almost 20 years. I love the art and mystery, but mostly I love the interaction with my audience. I live for that moment when I get a smile, a laugh, or a gasp. Sometimes a stunned silence can be even better. This is why I study magic. This is why I perform magic. This is why I love magic.

Its easy to forget the reasons we first fell in love. In my day to day life I often have to stop and think about the first night I realized how in love I was with Jes. We stayed up all night talking about our family, our future, and our faith. I have to force myself to remember the things that made me fall in love with her, because its so easy to forget. Its so easy to only think about the here and now.

I never thought about it like this, but I can also remember the first card trick I learned. I read a simple trick out of a self working card trick book and for the next couple days I showed everyone who came within a 100ft radius. I was hooked. I had fallen in love with magic.

No, I’m not saying I love magic like I love my wife. I actually love it more (just kidding Jesalyn).

It is the same way with anything that we commit to for a long time. We forget why we originally fell in love with it. Magic reminded me of this. Last week I watched a young guy (14) perform on the street and get some screaming reactions. He did simple effects that were clear and easy to follow. They were good, not because of the difficulty or the hidden skill, but because of the reaction. The spectators saw a miracle. A 14 year old just made the card in their hand switch with a card in the deck.


Magician’s break down effects to make them symmetric, linear, framed, etc, but we often miss the simple beauty of the trick because we don’t see it like a spectator. We see it like a magician. We concentrate on fooling people who know every trick in the book. We concentrate on heavy misdirection because its hard to misdirect our eyes. We forget that spectators are easily misdirected, easier to fool, and at best they have only seen page one or two of the book.

Here’s a clip of Shawn performing downtown last week. This is just one of the great reactions he received.

So magic has taught me another great lesson. Sometimes we need to take a break and look at the original reasons we fell in love. It could be a person, a hobby, or a career. Take some time to remember why you first fell in love and remember what it was like to realize your passion and start out on that journey.

Dare 2B Daniel (Lions)

The Setup:

As Daniel was moving up the ranks of the kingdom, other leaders became jealous and tried to find the dirt in his past. As you read through the first part of chapter 6 of Daniel, it sounds a lot like an attempted smear campaign in today’s time. I guess things don’t change that much in 2000 years. When the administrators realized they couldn’t find any dirt on Daniel they decided to change the law to make it illegal for Daniel to pray to anyone except King Darius. King Darius declared that anyone who prayed to someone other than him for 30 days would be thrown into the Lion’s Den and left for dead. Even though it was banned, Daniel continued to pray to God in the privacy of his own home. As you probably already know, he was ratted out and sentenced to the mercy of the Lions.

The Content:

Lions… have you ever been face to face with a lion? Me neither. Its a little hard to imagine being locked in a lion’s den with real lions. Our lions can be a little different than Daniel’s.

Lions=Fear         Lions=Obstacles        Lions=Addiction      Lions=Oppression

Daniel 6: 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

Daniel was squeaky clean. He had lived his entire life following God’s plan for him and yet he ended up here. He was face to face with one of the most intimidating creatures in the world. If you were in his shoes, how would you feel? I think most of us would question God.

“God, I don’t deserve this!” “Why am I here.” “All the other ‘bad’ people out there and I’m the one in this pit.”

Sound familiar? When we get faced with lions in our lives we often feel that its because of something we have done wrong or its unfair because we have done nothing wrong. Daniel didn’t feel this way. He kept his faith. He trusted that this was all part of God’s plan and God would deliver… and He did!

The Conclusion:

Daniel 6:19-22 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

Are you facing any lions? Are you overcome with fear and anxiety? Are you battling an addiction that seems to be killing you? Are you stuck in a pit full of obstacles with seemingly no way out? Have you ever been in Daniel’s shoes?

The Point:

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Trust in God. He will save you from your lions.

The Application:

When you are faced with your own lions, how will you react? Will you let it kill you or will you be like Daniel and emerge with no wounds because you trusted in God?

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