How to Break Up with Your Hair Stylist

Sanj Kalra
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How to Break Up with Your Hair Stylist | February 21st, 2013

How to Break Up with Your Hair Stylist

HairI’ve had many hair stylists during my lifetime. I would stay with one for a year or so and then find another one. Until I found Sara—she did my hair for five years because she always cut and styled my hair just the way I wanted.

Once in a while Sara would be unavailable and I would get another stylist named Kris. I began to prefer Kris but couldn’t bring myself to make the switch because I felt bad. Sounds like a Seinfeld episode right?

Recently I ran into Kris and she told me she was working at another salon. She even gave me some coupons to make it easier for me to switch. I got up the nerve to cancel Sara and make an appointment with Kris. But I instantly began to feel really bad. I wanted to tell Sara I was sorry—but if I told her the truth it would hurt her feelings!

My dilemma amounted to the question, When do you tell the truth?

I even googled, How to break up with your hair stylist? The most common answer was, Write her a nice note and just move on. Really?

Anyway, when I arrived at my appointment with Kris [Read more...]

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Lucky Man: Was it JFK?

Bob Bevington
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Lucky Man: Was it JFK? | February 18th, 2013

Lucky Man: Was it JFK?

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

1970. Emerson Lake and Palmer. The official debut of the Moog Synthesizer. Ring a bell anyone?

I’ve had an itch to do a music blog and this is it. Be glad I picked ELP because I was going to do Eleanor Rigby, “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.” Oh wow man. The Lucky Man YouTube is below in case you want to listen while you read. It’s a beautiful song.

I was fourteen years old when Lucky Man came out. My parents and all their friends were big fans of President John F. Kennedy. So I naturally thought the song was about him. And Camelot.

He had white horses. And ladies by the score, all dressed in satin and waiting by the door. Ooooh, what a lucky man he was. Ooooh, what a lucky man he was.

Yes, I knew the scandalous details of the Marilyn Monroe tryst in 1962. Everybody did. Even Jackie. But everyone liked “Jack” anyway. I think an 18-year-old Bill Clinton took notice. Happy Birthday Mr. President.

Everybody knew Kennedy played touch football in the backyard [Read more...]

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Reflections

Pastor Marshall Brandon
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Reflections | February 14th, 2013

Reflections

PrisonSunday morning was a time of reflection for me. As each hour unfolded I remembered the many places where God has been faithful to me.

First thing I reflected on was my personal family and my spiritual family. In my reflections I remembered how God had called and delivered me from a life of self-destruction. I was living a life of lying, stealing, cheating and drug addiction. As I prepared to go to our place of worship, I reflected on how God has poured into me and given me the privilege to serve Him as a pastor.

When I arrived at church after getting things ready for our 11am service (we meet in a school and have to set up our equipment each week), I attended marriage/divorce class at 9am and I was reminded once again through the teaching and testimony of God’s faithfulness in delivering me from my sin and brokenness. I was encouraged as I left the class and reflected on how He restored my broken marriage [Read more...]

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Introductions and Assumptions

Krin Baer
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Introductions and Assumptions | February 5th, 2013

Introductions and Assumptions

Pilate and JesusLife is filled with introductions. Our first was most likely a violent and uncomfortable introduction to the reality of life. From that day, we’ve experienced countless introductions to new places, ideas, and people. Each year at Christmas we are reminded of the world’s introduction to the long expected Messiah. And, today, no doubt, you will be introduced to someone or something new.

Whether we realize it or not, introductions are fraught with assumptions. When we meet new people, we generally have some supposition about who they are and what they do.

But is that wise? Is it possible that we are limiting ourselves in discovering the truth about God, the human experience, and the world around us because of the presumptions we make in regards to each new beginning?

I remember meeting a farmer at a market in the small town of Wichita Falls, Texas. At the time, I held a job that caused me to travel for over half the year and experience many different cultures. I was unhealthily proud of the fact that I had left the small town of my youth and explored the world. In approaching the farmer, I assumed he had probably never left Texas, possibly not even his city. Yet, soon after being introduced to him I realized I was terribly wrong. In fact, he had left Texas and was well acquainted with parts of the world I had never visited. In my pride and judgment, I had cast a stereotype [Read more...]

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The Ess-a-Bagel Lady

Bob Bevington
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The Ess-a-Bagel Lady | January 29th, 2013

The Ess-a-Bagel Lady

Ess-A--Bagel 2I spent the summer of 1979 in New York City. I was a student, unmarried, and never had more than twenty bucks in my pocket.

My school was on Park Avenue and East 26th Street near the very cool and famous

The Flat Iron Building

The Flat Iron Building

Flat Iron Building. Every morning my roommate, Arkady, and I walked up First Avenue from 14th Street. If you’re familiar with Manhattan you know this neighborhood consists of eight-story brick apartment buildings with businesses on the ground floor. That’s where–to this day–you’ll find a bagel shop called, Ess-a-Bagel.

I never actually went into Ess-a-Bagel. But as we walked by there each morning we couldn’t help noticing a lady in the window on the third floor. She’d be leaning out the window, just above the flowerbox. She had long wavy brown hair. I think she was Hispanic or maybe Jewish. To me, at age 24, she looked middle-aged.

She was there every morning. We began calling her The Ess-a-Bagel Lady.

After a month or so, I started nodding to her. She’d smile and nod back. After another month I’d wave.
She’d wave back. I never thought Ess-A-Bagelabout blowing her a kiss—ours was strictly a platonic relationship. Arkady poked fun at my fascination with her.

The Ess-a-Bagel Lady intrigued me. It was like she never left her perch. Like she was standing guard over First Avenue. I felt like we knew each other and if either of us ever needed anything we’d be there for each other.

But then one day she wasn’t there. Her window was closed. [Read more...]

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No, Yes, Yes, Yes . . .Yes, No, No, No . . .

Sanj Kalra
Written By:
No, Yes, Yes, Yes . . .Yes, No, No, No . . . | January 17th, 2013

No, Yes, Yes, Yes . . .Yes, No, No, No . . .

Sanj Kalra

Sanj Kalra

I’m a stutterer. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. I would say my name like this, Ssssanj and Ttttalk like this. It has always kept my confidence down. I would even avoid speaking if I could when I was a child. I could say Yes by just nodding my head and No by moving it side to side.

I wanted to feel accepted but my stammer got in my way. I thought if I could make people laugh, and dress sharp, and have cool hair, and play sports well, then people would look past my ssstttuter. This formula worked and my confidence began to improve a little. By now I was in college on a tennis scholarship, hair past my shoulders, I had a POLO logo on all my clothes, and I was getting the attention I had always wanted.

When I turned 45 I had so much confidence, my favorite word was YES! And this word became my downfall.

Yes, I will try that. Yes, I will look at that. Yes, I will do that with you. Yes, I want that job. Yes, I want that money! [Read more...]

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My Calls to God Went to Voicemail

My Calls to God Went to Voicemail

Zach Churchill

Zach Churchill

NOTE from Bob: Zachary Churchill teaches in the Bible Department at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy where my seventh grade daughter, Grace, attends school.

One day last August, Mr. Churchill gave his testimony at a school retreat–and it opened Grace’s eyes to grace. She has never been the same. Last week I met him for the first time and asked him to share his testimony with us today.

You’ll be astonished. And encouraged.

Every Thursday we will offer up a post from one our Band of Six RLB Bloggers. Next up: Sanj Kalra. On other days of the week you might find other cool stuff like posts from guest bloggers like Zach Churchill.

Everyone has a story. If you’d like to share yours, just send it to me via the contacts link on the top right side of our homepage. Maybe we’ll publish it on a Tuesday.

MY CALLS TO GOD WENT TO VOICEMAIL, by Zachary Churchill

Have you ever tried to get ahold of someone only to have your call go to voicemail? That was my relationship with God growing up. And I was so used to my attempts to connect with Him “go to voicemail” that I was completely unprepared for what happened to me almost twenty years ago at a camp in Nashville.  Here’s the story.

My sophomore year of high school and it was a complete disaster. My family was falling apart and I spent the year enduring a rough adjustment to a new school. So rough that I sunk into a deep depression.

To be honest, the only thing that probably kept me from taking my life that year was the fact that I had connected with the youth group of a new church in my area. The people there were great and gave me a little glimpse of what unconditional love felt like.

But then tragedy struck. [Read more...]

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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

Bob Bevington
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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying | January 3rd, 2013

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

RegretsOver the holidays my family became pre-occupied with watching old home videos. Picture all four of my kids, my son-in-law, and my wife all glued to hour-upon-hour of images of birthdays, Christmases, and vacations of old.

Even my 7-week-old grandson could hardly keep his eyes off the screen.

I, on the other hand, wasn’t much up for it. Neither was my former wife, Rita. Why? Regrets.

Tim Brister is a pastor and a blogger from Cape Coral, Florida. I found this post to be fascinating. His brief review of the book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, is interesting. But his reflections at the the end of each “regret” are really worthwhile–we can learn from the dying and re-direct our lives today!

Dying Regrets and New Year’s Resolutions, by Timmy Brister

Earlier this year, The Guardian reported about Bonnie Ware, a palliative nurse, who had spent 12 years documenting the last words and dying regrets of those under her care (which eventually resulted in a book). Ware said that people at the end of their lives have “phenomenal clarity of vision,” and therefore we should consider what we might learn from their wisdom.

Ware listed the top 5 regrets (most commonly mentioned) of those on their deathbed. At the end of each regret listed by Bonnie Ware, I share a prayerful reflection about this upcoming New Year.

Regret 1: [Read more...]

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