"Dave is a master of productivity, a philosopher of motivation, a self-appointed self-help guru, and full-time brand ambassador." -AOL
I live in NYC, make new comedy videos weekly, worked 100 Jobs in one year, and I'm a former NBC Page.
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Every December there seems to always be a discussion- whether lighthearted to gravely serious- on when to say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. The “Happy Holidays” crowd want to be inclusive so no one feels offended, the “Merry Christmas” crew don’t want Jesus’ significance to be ignored, and most of us fall somewhere along the spectrum between those two views.
Yet in the Christmas story there’s an often-ignored line that rarely gets the spotlight. It’s not voiced by an angel, spoken by the wise men, or uttered anywhere in the manger scene. It doesn’t even occur on the night of Jesus’ birth.
Fast-forward to Jesus at forty days old. Joseph and Mary took him to the temple for his purification according to Jewish law. While there, they ran into Simeon, a man who prophesied about Jesus’ future. He then concluded with this cryptic message:
"This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
"A sword will pierce your own soul too"? Before that last line, I’m all for it!
- destined to cause the falling and rising of many: Ooo, our Jesus is going to be a big leader!
- sign that will be spoken against: He’ll have enemies, and we’re on the right side!
- thoughts of many hearts will be revealed: Yeah, show those evil people for who they really are, power-hungry crooks!
But then we get to “a sword will pierce your own soul too”. Nuh-uh. Nope. I don’t want to know that the evil I see out in the world is in me too. God chose me after all, so how could I be evil?
But that’s what I see. That self-excusing, condescending attitude we so hate in others appears in us too. It doesn’t just pop up in conversations about Duck Dynasty, homosexuality, or Christmas. That self-seeking spirit reveals itself in the irritations of daily life. So when Simeon says, “A sword will pierce your own soul too,” he’s telling them, “If you want to see justice out in the world, you better be prepared for it to start with you.”
A sword hurts. But when it’s used to cut away the bad in us, we know it’s for the best. Simeon’s omen isn’t the first time we hear that warning for self-awareness. Later in Jesus’ life he warns us against condemning people before examining ourselves, reminds us that even believers are evil, and he was most severe against those who didn’t practice what they preached.
It’s easy to get worked up. We each have a strong idea of what’s right and why others should listen. But are we willing to let that sword pierce us first before we use it to strike others? Because when we do, we’ll find that our humbling leads to healing, and we’ll want others to see the grace of the gospel more than the rightness of our belief.
The gospel is about God coming to us. Instead of beating down others with his viewpoint, he was willing to be beaten and die for it instead. May that new life, of dying to ourselves in order to live and give life, permeate our thinking as we live out in truth and love.
After watching the Remembrance Day Parade, Steve and I left Front Street one last time to go to Grotto Bay, where we heard there’d be great snorkeling. We kayaked through two small islands to the beach we were told, then navigated with flipper-clad-feet over sharp rocks to the spot we’d been advised to explore. And yes, it was worth it!
Once we brought the kayak back to the shop, we explored the cave nearby. Inside, we passed by a couple of the rugby players who were swimming in the natural pool. Bermuda has more caves per square mile than any other country!
After that, it was time to go. Steve was too generous in letting me stay with him, but I hope the adventurous times we had together made up for it!
Replied to a casting call email today:
We need to ask you a few quick questions to determine if you might be
right for any of the roles being cast.
1) What decade were you born?
1. I was born in the 1980s. Back to the Future came out in the year I was born, although most of the movie takes place in a year I wasn’t born :(
2) What age range would you be best able to play?
2. I’d be able to play a college graduate to young thirties. I can look amazingly youthful without my beard. With my beard I look older. It also has the effect of making me look sexy to women, one of whom described it as a tractor beam. (However, I do not drive tractors. She was referring to the type of pull that the Death Star has on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: A New Hope.)
3) What’s your gender?
3. My gender is male and is non-negotiable.
4) Briefly describe any previous acting experience you’ve had, such as
student films, online videos, television acting, or live theater.
5) What is a daytime cell phone number where you can be reached?