What Happened to Common Courtesy?

Have you ever considered sending a bill to a party invitee who RSVP’d they will attend, but failed to show or notify you that their plans have changed? Nothing big, but a bill to reimburse the costs you incurred for their price of admission, refreshments, or whatever. Although it happens often in my experience, I’ve never considered sending a bill. This mother in London sees things differently – read the news story about the $24 bill she sent to the parents of a 5-year old boy who no-showed her son’s birthday party.

I’ve long lamented the erosion of common courtesy and respect in today’s society. Send an invitation to a special event with a RSVP request and wait. And wait. Many of the invitees won’t bother to respond. I recently co-sponsored an evening social event for local business professionals. Over half of the people who RSVP’d they would come never showed up. Some were busy. Some made other plans. Some just didn’t bother to show. But this isn’t about me. Let’s get back to the story in London.

Check out the the comments below KLTV’s Facebook post. They’re astounding! The majority of comments are from people who apparently believe it is perfectly acceptable to accept a party invitation and then simply not show up! I’m sure that many of these people are the same people who don’t RSVP to invitations and appear at the event anyway while they RSVP to attend other events that they simply choose to blow off.

This situation brings to light a very interesting legal question. If a person accepts a party invitation and decides to do something else without notifying the host of the change in plans but the host incurred costs based on the representation by the guest that he would actually attend the event, has a breach of contract taken place? In many states, verbal agreements can be legally binding. Was there a legal agreement, and if so, did a breach occur for which restitution is owed? OK, maybe that’s a bit too deep. But on the other hand, I feel the party mom’s pain and I’m glad she’s making a big deal of it.

To be honest, part of me feels just a bit foolish for letting this get under my skin. I guess I’m thankful that I’m not the only one who has tired of such boorish behavior on the part of people who choose to ignore invitations and disregard their commitments. While I don’t advocate taking these folks to court, I do have an idea: Why not agree to demonstrate respect and common courtesy to our fellow man? Not just where parties are concerned, but in all aspects of life. If we’ll do that, life on this planet we call Earth might be just a little more pleasant.

End of rant.

Ohio State Didn’t Run Up The Score And Other Thoughts on the First Ever College Football National Championship Playoff

I had no idea there are so many people that can’t stand Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer. Multiple Meyer critics vented their ire on Facebook, claiming he ran up the score last night as the Buckeyes scored a touchdown that increased their margin of victory as time was about to run out. Final score: Ohio State 42, Oregon 20.

True, when Ohio State scored that final touchdown with 28 seconds left to play, there was virtually no way Oregon could come back to win or tie the game; there just wasn’t enough time. A kneel down would have been safe and Meyer would have avoided his critics. But I don’t see it that way. I can’t read Meyers’ mind, but here are a few points for the critics to consider:

1. Ohio State came into this game viewed by many, including this writer, as not deserving of making the playoff bracket. Many of us felt that the Buckeyes’ leapfrog of TCU was unjustified. If there was any shred of that disappointment remaining, the exclamation point touchdown at the end of the game should have erased that.

2. Ezekiel Elliott is a beast. Watching him run reminded me of watching Earl Campbell some 30-plus years ago. He ran with power. He was dominant. Every fan clad in crimson wanted to see him bust through the line one more time. So did I.

3. Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes’ third string QB, played like a starter – which makes sense because now he is. Or, at least, he was for the final three games of the season. He will likely be back on the bench next year as the two ahead of him heal from their injuries and are ready to play next season. Why not let him play this thing out? In any event, the Buckeyes’ depth at the QB position is impressive and should make for an interesting offseason.

3. Not only can Ohio State put the recent internal adversity behind them for good, they are a young team. Most of their starters will return next season. I believe that final touchdown was more about next season than this game. In allowing his team to finish the game playing at full throttle, Coach Meyer set the table for next year. I think that was a great coaching move. That’s why Meyer is a winner.

4. The critics I’ve heard are not Duck fans. I perused the media this morning seeking commentary on Meyer running up the score. I didn’t find any. I think the Duck fans get it. The sports media gets it. Critics will be critics, I suppose.

I still think TCU should have had the number four spot in the playoff bracket. Would they have prevailed? We’ll never know. But what we do know is Ohio State beat a very good Alabama team and stifled the most prolific offense in college football to win their way to a national championship. It was fun and exciting to watch. After all, what would the BCS have given us this year? Most likely Alabama vs Florida State. Yawn.

Ohio State played a heckuva game and beat a solid football team. And, no, they didn’t run up the score. Congratulations, Buckeye Nation!

2015 Photo-A-Day 1.5.2015

I sat down in the chair and Lucy jumped right up. Dogs are cool. They offer unconditional love, implicit trust, and complete loyalty. They fall asleep in your lap without a care in the world. Yup. This is one cool dog.

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” ~ M.K. Clinton

Relaxing with Lucy

Playing the Blame Game – Genesis 3:9-19

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” ~ Genesis 3:13

In reading this passage during my morning time of Scripture, I immediately empathized with Eve. I recall several occasions on which, as a young boy, my parents caught me doing something wrong, and to avoid the consequences I knew I deserved, I tried to shift the blame from myself onto somebody else. Even in adulthood, with the light of the truth shining in my face, the easiest means of escape often seems to be a shift of blame or a change of subject. We all do it; we all seek to protect ourselves when confronted with the reality of our own sin.

Here is where it all started. The serpent deceived Eve and Eve, knowing it was wrong, ate of the forbidden fruit. Eve in turn offered it to Adam and Adam, also knowing it was wrong, ate the fruit. God confronted Adam with his sin and Adam blamed Eve, and when confronted by God, Eve blamed the serpent. Each of them sinned, and each tried to pass the buck when confronted with their wrongdoing. At least we’re consistent!

Although the serpent initiated the sin, God punished all three – Adam, Eve, and the serpent – and the punishments still apply to their descendants today. The first ever Blame Game failed to deliver the outcome Adam and Eve desired. God saw through the charade and issued a just and severe punishment.

These days, we often respond to sin with a wink and a nod. “Boys will be boys” after all. But sin, all sin, is a big deal in God’s eyes, and in His righteousness He demands accountability. Remember, we always have a choice when faced with temptation. And when we succumb to the siren song of the serpent and commit that sin we know we shouldn’t commit, there are consequences. Sure, we try to shift the blame, and our rationale may sometimes contain a grain of truth. But that does not excuse us from the sin we committed.

As I considered this passage I was struck by the hopelessness of sin. Have you ever caught yourself doing something you know is wrong and wondered, “how the heck did I get here?” I have. It’s frustrating. It’s disheartening. It’s disappointing. The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, even felt this way at times:

For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. ~ Romans 7:19-25

Where, then, is our hope? Our hope is in the One who gave His life as the complete and perfect punishment for all of our sins – past, present, and future. That Hope’s name is Jesus. Without Him, we are lost. With Him, we are forgiven and we look forward to eternal life in His holy presence! With that knowledge, we seek to live our lives in a manner pleasing to Him – not to save ourselves, for that is impossible – but as a loving response to the selfless action of a loving God.

Yes, we will stumble. We will succumb to the serpent’s siren song. We will sin. And when we do, God calls us to lay our sins at the foot of the cross, trusting in the everlasting mercy, love, and grace He offers through His Son, Jesus Christ, to all who believe. Through faith in Him and Him alone, we are justified and made righteous. Therein rests our hope.

2015 Photo-A-Day 1.4.2015

Packing up Christmas. It’s a process that some find rather sad and depressing. Take heed: although the calendar tells us that another Christmas is behind us, the Savior whose birth we celebrated almost two weeks ago is eternal! With that reality in mind, we should pack away the keepsakes and treasure the memories with smiles on our faces. Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem, is Lord! Always has been; always will be.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bringyou good news of great joy which will be for all the peoplefor today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviorwho is Christ the LordThis will be a sign for you: you will findbaby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2:10-12

Putting Away Christmas

2015 Photo-A-Day 1.3.2015

What does contentment look like? Well, that’s hard to say. This picture of our Golden Retriever might offer a clue, though. She hasn’t a care in the world. But, then again, I wonder what she’s thinking right now?

If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. ~ 1 Timothy 6:8

Lucy, our Golden Retriever, is one happy dog!

Lucy, our Golden Retriever, is one happy dog!

2015 Photo-A-Day 1.2.2015

I have a feeling this will be fun to look back at when I do my year in review in 12 months. This $1.25 per gallon is courtesy of Tom Thumb award points redeemed for a discount of 50 cents per gallon. I can’t remember the last time I paid $1.25 per gallon for gas!

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” ~ Psalm 136:1

1.2.2015 Thanks to Tom Thumb loyalty awards, I paid less for gas today than I have in years.

1.2.2015 Thanks to Tom Thumb loyalty awards, I paid less for gas today than I have in years.

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