Chick-fil-a, A Love Story

When I walk into a Chick-fil-a, I feel like I’m with my people. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that my people would never step into a McDonald’s. Man, my people have been thrown out of McDonald’s before. I won’t tell you which of my people.

It’s just that when I walk into a Chick-fil-a I feel like I’m back with some of the folks who helped to shape me. I worked at the Chick-fil-a in Southlake Mall, just south of Atlanta, Georgia for a few years during high school and college. David ran the place. You were just as likely to see him emptying a trash can as you were to find him in his office. He showed me that no one at Chick-fil-a, even the really important people, were too important to take out the trash. Renae and his brother Brent were assistant managers. If they saw us standing around not doing anything, they would always yell, “If you got time to lean, you got time to clean.” I hated hearing that. But now, a couple of decades later, I’m sure glad that I did. Sam was there too. We spent a lot of time together busting up boxes and unloading trucks out back while singing old country music songs off key.

People told me that once I started working at Chick-fil-a I would get sick of the food and not want to eat it anymore.

They were wrong.

But now that I’m older I’ve had to cut back on the number of chicken sandwiches I eat. In my diet, waffle fries have been replaced with organic, free range unicorn fur. But last week I was on vacation so I put the unicorn fur to the side and took my family to the Chick-fil-a in Panama City Beach, Florida. As soon as I walked into that store, I knew that I was with my people. As crazy as it sounds, I looked behind the counter for David, Renae, Brent and Sam.

They weren’t there.

But in a way, they were.

The guy who took my order was wearing a tie. That meant that he’s pretty important on the Chick-fil-a chain of command. But he wasn’t too important to stop what he was doing, take my order and tell me, “Go Dawgs” when he saw my Georgia hat. I learned that he was from Henry County, just below the Chick-fil-a where I worked and just above the place where I live now. I asked him why he moved out of Henry County.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

“I had to get away from the traffic.”

He made a good move.

There was another lady behind the counter. She too was wearing important clothing. But she was working on filling up cups with sweet tea like her life depended on it. I’m sure that whatever managerial training she had in the past didn’t focus too much on the proper way to fill a cup with ice and tea. But you wouldn’t know it from watching her. She had obviously learned the lesson well that I had learned from David all of those years ago. No one is too important for the job that needs to be done.

While I was eating, I noticed another worker. This girl was wearing the standard issue uniform and she was sweeping nugget crumbs out from under the booth behind us and piling it up next to her. I’ll bet ten people walked through that pile and spread it back out all over the floor. She never said a word. She just swept it back up each time. One day she’ll probably run a Chick-fil-a of her own and get to wear important people clothes. But she’ll still sweep the floor.

Eventually, we walked out of that Chick-fil-a and back into the rest of our vacation.  A few days later, my in-laws stopped in and volunteered to watch the kids so that my wife and I could go out on a date. I don’t take these opportunities for granted so I did my research. I stopped at every beach side restaurant I could find and asked for a menu. Pretty much every one of them said something like this.

Chicken Flëur de la Crępe Scallops 

A one ounce portion of lightly grilled chicken fused with two sprinkles of scallops with a side of Flëur de la Crępe shipped in from a tiny fishing village in Germany.

$72.50

So for our date night, my wife and I went back to that Chick-fil-a in Panama City Beach, Florida.

It was all her idea.

I promise.

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In Defense Of Women In The Kitchen

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In today’s modern, progressive world it turns out that the kitchen is a really bad place.

John Kasich got in trouble earlier in the week when he said that his election to public office back in the 1970s was made possible because women, “left their kitchens” to get the word out about him. Before the word kitchen had fully left his mouth, progressives and feminists pounced on the opportunity and/or offense depending on how you look at it.

Most politicians make a living out of saying what people want to hear and these days, everything that you could possibly hear is offensive to someone. I can’t believe that these guys are still giving speeches.

Maybe it’s just my status as a privileged male who grew up in a lower middle class, single parent family but I don’t see what’s so offensive about linking women to kitchens.

My grandmother spent most of her life in a kitchen. When I would go visit my grandparents, she would have a full breakfast ready at 7 in the morning. I would roll out of bed around nine or ten, just in time for the buffet she had prepared by hand for lunch. At around two we would have what she called recess. Recess was nothing more than us sitting in the kitchen and eating sweets. Almost immediately after that was over it was time for her homemade dinner. And then after that, more recess.

When I think of my grandparent’s house, I can’t help but think about that kitchen. It’s where we spent most of our time. We would eat mashed potatoes, pork chops, fried chicken and drink sweet tea that had more sugar in it than every Dairy Queen franchise combined. My grandmother never said anything about wanting to get out of the kitchen, trade in her apron for a pant suit and run for president. Get this. She actually enjoyed cooking. And we all enjoyed eating what she cooked. What a tragedy.

But that was in a different time. The generation after my grandmothers is when women were finally liberated from those heavy chains us chauvinist pigs think are just apron strings.

My mother was a part of that generation. Unlike my grandmother, she worked outside of the home. It wasn’t because she was trying to make some kind of a statement. That’s just what single moms did. My mom worked for the Leader Tribune newspaper in Fort Valley, Georgia. She was a secretary for a roofing company in the greater metro Atlanta area. And she was a church secretary in College Park, Georgia before she finally had to hang it up.

So yeah, she left the kitchen.

But she came back to it every day.

She didn’t have time to make meals like my grandmother did. We had a lot of Hamburger Helper, fish sticks and tater tots. And we had something that she called Coca-Cola Chicken. Coca-Cola chicken is just a chicken breast marinated in mustard, ketchup and a can of, you guessed it, Coca-Cola. One time a friend of mine called that a white trash meal. Maybe so. But it was good. Oh yeah. I almost forgot. We still drank that same sugary, sweet tea.

My mom spent a lot of time in her kitchen. But she wasn’t some depressed woman who was being held down by her evil male child. She was a mom. She was a chef who knew how to make a gourmet meal (by white trash standards at least) on a shoe string budget. She was a counselor. And not just to me. A lot of people from our neighborhood and our church got some good advice from my mom in that kitchen. And it usually came with a side of her sweet tea.

My wife works outside the home too. She’s a teacher. But cooking is one of her favorite things to do. Last week I asked my son what he liked most about his family. The thing he likes most about his brother is that he plays with him. The thing that he likes most about his mom is her good cooking. How rude! What a pig that boy is! For the record, he still hasn’t been able to say what he likes most about me. Either it’s too hard to narrow down for him or I need to see a counselor.

Sometimes, in typical evil male fashion, I volunteer to cook for the family. My wife takes me up on the offer and enjoys her time off. But most of the time she doesn’t. Part of that probably has something to do with the fact that she doesn’t want to eat my specialty that night. I call it Frosted Flakes. It’s a mixture of corn and sugar and milk. Send me a private message if you’d like the recipe. But there’s another reason. She told me once that she actually likes to be in the kitchen.

Gasp!

I’m 40 years old. That seems like lightyears away from the kitchens of my childhood. But every now and then something takes me back to those days. It’s usually a funeral.

I guess in the rest of the country, when a family member dies, people offer to pay for a government certified grief counselor. Where I live they don’t do that. People cook. Go and visit someone just after they’ve had to bury a loved one and you’ll find a kitchen covered up with casseroles, fried chicken and potato salad. And it’s all home made. Believe it or not, there are women who actually enjoy cooking in their kitchen and the fruits of their labors actually makes a difference in the community.

Today, womanhood is defined either by power or sexuality or some combination of the two. I think that’s the real tragedy.

The women who I’ve loved the most, my wife, mother, grandmother and friends from church display their womanhood through their service and their joy. Some of those cooks have multiple degrees and some have hardly any. But that doesn’t matter. Any female can go to school or get a high paying job but a real woman finds her joy in helping others rather than reminding others of how important she is or should be.

I’m no fan of John Kasich. He won’t be getting my vote for president. But my disagreements with him have more to do with policy than anything he said about women and kitchens.

At this rate, I’ll probably end up writing in a name for president. Maybe I’ll write down the name of Margaret Sanders, the lady who introduced me to 10 a.m. lunches and recess.

The world would be a lot better off if they could all sit at her table together.

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Four Foods That You Should Never, Ever Eat

Here are four foods that you should never, ever eat.

  1. Bread.
  2. Meat.
  3. Fruit.
  4. Anything that you might potentially enjoy.

I’m kidding of course. But some folks aren’t. They’re called Food Nazis and this time of year, with everyone at least thinking about eating healthier, their frightening food advice is all over the Internet. If you’re not careful, they could do just as much damage to you as the greasy fast food joint around the corner.

I’m a healthy eater. Most of what I eat contains very few ingredients, no gluten and no words that I can’t pronounce. I like eating this way because it makes me feel better than I do when someone has to roll me out of a Golden Corral. Eating healthy works for me, so far at least.

But what works for me may not work for you.

And what works for the guy on Facebook who likes to remind you that you’re probably going to give your kids cancer for serving them Frosted Flakes this morning doesn’t work for anyone.

I love when I hear people talking about trying to eat healthy. I think it’s a smart decision. But while you’re planning out your new year of clean eating, there are a few things that you need to remember.

You’re still going to die. 

Happy New Year! Many of our grandparents cooked biscuits in pig fat while smoking non-filtered cigarettes every day and they lived to be 85. Those of us who avoid such delicacies could still drop dead today. Or when we’re 85. Or 115. But either way, it’s going to end some day. Be good to your body and it will be good to you. There’s some truth to that. But it’s only partially true. Here’s the rest of the story. One day, your body will betray you.

Enjoy what God has given to you. 

It’s not my aim to depress you. Quite the opposite, actually. I once heard a guy tell a group of people that food was never intended to be enjoyed. According to him, it exists only for fueling. Now that’s depressing, unless you happen to be a car. Food is used all throughout Scripture to relay a picture of peace and joy. The problem with our culture is that we’ve turned food into a god. So if I could be so bold as to amend the words of my friend, food was never intended to be worshiped. It’s meant to lead you to worship the One who sovereignly provided it for you.

Stop being an investigator and just eat already.

Yes, be wise. Never eat any food where the word beef on the box is in quotation marks. For example, “Beef” patties. Nothing good can come from this. You’ll probably die within 13 seconds of touching just one “Beef” Patty. On this much, we can all agree.

But your quest for more knowledge about what you put into your body can go terribly wrong. Take water for example. If you drink city water, what will the fluoride do to you? You could get a filter for your faucet but what about the ice cubes? Perhaps you should try a filter for your entire home. But what if the guy who installed it accidentally kicked up some dirt and the termite spray from the previous occupants accidentally gets involved in the process? After hearing all of that, you may just decide to opt out and stick with beer but remember this. Nine out of ten dentists do not recommend brushing your teeth with Natural Light. The tenth one went to Auburn University’s School of Dentistry.

It’s even worse if you get your water from a well. Can you imaging the harm that would be done to your body if a gluten eating stray dog decides to relieve himself in your water supply?

My point is that it never ends. Sure, maybe your chicken was raised on a free range farm and fed a diet of unicorn hair but trace it back far enough and you’ll find something you don’t like.

Along with being smart and informed, just trust God with your food. You know, there is a reason why we pray for God to bless our food before we eat it.

Stop listening to the Food Nazis. 

They can’t be pleased. I can’t prove it but I’m pretty sure that they are direct descendants of those people in the Bible who complained when God made it rain food.

People: “Man, I sure am hungry.”

God: makes food rain from the sky

People: “What is this garbage and where’s the nearest Whole Foods?”

Food is a lot like sex. Our culture has perverted both so badly that people are forgetting how to enjoy them. On one side there are those who swim in a sea of McDonald’s french fries. At the other extreme are those who would have us to believe that eating a steak with a potato is the unpardonable sin. And in the middle, most of us are left feeling confused and guilty with every bite we take.

Enjoy your 2016. Don’t let food ruin it for you. If you’re trying to eat healthier, that’s great. Keep at it because it’s well worth your time. Just remember that food is meant to be consumed by you, not the other way around. The fast food addict and the Food Nazi share a common thread. They are both consumed by their food.

Do your best to avoid both traps.

And just enjoy with a thankful heart whatever it is that is put on the plate before you.

Unless it’s “Beef” Patties.

[7] Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9:7 (ESV)

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We All Get Along With Each Other Just Fine

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I eat a Thanksgiving meal two times a year. The more traditional one is with my family on Thanksgiving Day. We eat all of the usual foods and watch the Detroit Lions find creative new ways to embarrass themselves on national television.

The other meal takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving. People from my church make a bunch of food and we take it to the Jackson Housing Authority. We don’t just serve food to our friends over there. We eat it with them. It’s one of my favorite meals of the year.

Most of the people at the housing authority are black. Most of the folks at my church are white. But, despite the best efforts of the professional agitators in our culture, we all get along with each other just fine.

In that small community room and the garage connected to it, people are just eating. There’s really nothing complex about it. It’s not a summit on race relations. No one stands up and apologizes for something terrible that happened 200 years ago. I don’t even preach a sermon. Yet somehow, we all get along with each other just fine.

There are no safe zones in the room where we eat together. There are no debates. There is a lot of laughter. And eating. There’s something about sharing food from the same pot that makes you put aside your differences. It’s hard to hate each other when you both have potato salad on your chin. During this meal, a lot of us have potato salad on our chins and we all get along with each other just fine.

Our Thanksgiving meals probably won’t do much to fix the racial chaos that is happening in our country. It won’t do anything to stop whatever racial slurs may have been said at some college campus. It won’t keep rich kids from going on hunger strikes. But while we’re eating that meal in Jackson, Georgia, we’re all getting along with each other just fine.

For one night at least, the racial turmoil we see on the news is exposed for the foolishness that it really is while we all laugh and eat together. And during that time, we’re all reminded that racial healing will never come through hashtag activism, guilt trips, racial superiority or government programs.

And during that one night, there is no Black Lives Matter, no KKK and no news media.

And we all get along with each other just fine.

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Never Saw It Coming At The Home Of The Throwed Rolls

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First we found out that the General Lee was too offensive. Now, if that wasn’t enough, rolls are too dangerous.

Rolls.

Not rolls of quarters. We all know that those are dangerous. Once I saw the great Ric Flair beat a man half senseless with a roll of quarters live on WTBS in Atlanta.

No, I’m talking about rolls of bread. Fluffy, fresh-baked, buttery bread.

A while back a woman named Troy Tucker went into Lambert’s, a popular restaurant around the south and midwest. I’ve eaten at Lambert’s on several occasions. It’s a fun place. They have waitresses walking around with fake jugs of water pretending to spill it all over customers. They give you okra on a paper towel. I hate okra. But any food eaten on a paper towel instantly moves up two or three points on the Sanders Scale of Food.

And, they throw rolls at you. Not out of hate, mind you. It’s not like the waitress blows a gasket when you shake your empty glass of what was once sweet tea and whirls a chunk of bread at you. Instead, whenever the bread comes out of the oven, workers walk through the gigantic restaurant and throw the buttery bundles of gluten goodness at whoever has a hand raised. Sometimes the bread gets thrown across a table onto grandma’s empty plate and sometimes it gets thrown across the room into the hands of some hungry and aspiring young centerfielder.

Well, one also landed on Troy Tucker’s face.

More specifically, her eye.

And it did some damage.

Tucker’s injuries are described as follows. “A lacerated cornea with a vitreous detachment and all head, neck, eyes and vision were severely damaged.”

Now that’s some kind of roll.

No disrespect to Ms. Tucker. If she really was injured, I hope that she makes a full recovery.

But I can’t help but have my doubts about this injury.

Lacerated cornea?

Vitreous detachment?

Head, neck, eyes and vision severely damaged?

From a roll?

Look, I’ve eaten a lot of rolls in my lifetime. I’ve had even more biscuits, which we all know are far more dangerous than rolls. I’ve spent at least 223 Sunday mornings of my life eating biscuits at Hardee’s. Have you ever eaten a biscuit from Hardee’s? If so, you know that it’s not pretty. In fact, if you really want to fix healthcare in this country, do away with Hardee’s and 93% of your problem is solved right there. All that to say, I know bad bread.

But never once have I looked at some of that bad bread and thought to myself, “I better run back out to the truck and get some eyewear. This bad boy looks like it could cause a vitreous detachment.”

Have you?

Here’s the most important part of the whole story. It has to do with Lambert’s motto.

“Home of the throwed rolls.”

Now, if my grammar Nazi friends will excuse the poor choice of wording, it’s pretty clear what goes on at Lambert’s. When you walk inside, you will have a roll throwed at you. The warning is right there on the sign. For years, people have figured out that if they didn’t want a roll throwed at them, they should find another place to eat. Signs and mottos mean something in the restaurant business. Why do you think my idea for a restaurant named Jay’s Grill: Home of 30 Or So Hidden Rattlesnakes, never got off the ground?

Golden Corral is the home of eating chocolate covered macaroni and cheese while in your pajamas.

McDonald’s is the home of people who are really in a hurry and/or have already given up on life.

Chick-fil-a is the home of getting an idea of what food will taste like in heaven.

And Lambert’s is the home of the throwed roll.

It is your responsibility as an American to know such information before going into these places.

Hopefully, Ms. Tucker is doing okay now.

And hopefully this case will get throwed out of court.

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If Fast Food Executives Told It Like It Is

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You may want to think twice before you eat at a Checkers again.

Last week a video surfaced of an employee intentionally dropping a bun on the floor, smearing it around, picking it back up and using it to build a sandwich soon to be enjoyed by some poor customer of the fast food restaurant.

As you can imagine, the higher ups at Checkers weren’t too thrilled with this development. They came out with a video of their own where Lori Malcolm, the Senior Vice President of Human Resources shared her shock and disgust at the video. You know, all of the things that a Senior Vice President of Human Resources is supposed to say when one of her employees is caught contaminating the product with floor juices.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if Ms. Malcolm would have just told it like it is? I think that it should have gone something like this.

By now, you’ve seen the video of one of our employees contaminating a bun that would soon be served to a customer. I find this both disgusting and embarrassing. But, then again, I haven’t eaten at Checkers since the 8th grade and that was because I lost a bet. I just work here. Everything about this place except for my paycheck is disgusting and embarrassing. 

Still, you the loyal customer should not be concerned about this incident. We know exactly what is on our floor. Grease. Dirt. You get the point. But we don’t have the first clue what’s in our hamburger meat. Ham, maybe? I don’t know. It’s not my place to guess. I just take care of the employees. But my point is that now, at least you have some idea of what’s in your Checkers burger. Grease. Dirt. You get the point. See, it’s all about perspective. And really, I mean you’re eating at Checkers. I’m sure that cleanliness isn’t at the top of your list of dietary priorities. 

Also, the young lady who committed this despicable act will soon be making $15 an hour for her hard work as a contaminated sandwich builder. That’s another way of saying that her job will soon be taken over by a robot. Robots, in case you are unaware, never drop buns on the floor. Sure, they may try to take over the human race but they never, ever drop buns. 

But don’t feel too sorry for our former employee. She’ll land on her feet. Currently, she is entertaining a job offer to oversee the Department of Education’s school lunch program. She’ll be replacing the guy who had the idea to serve pizza, corn and milk in the same meal. It can only get better from there.

Thank you for eating at Checkers.

And may God have mercy on you.

Now that’s the kind of telling it like it is that this country really needs.

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I Sure Am Going To Miss That Old House

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When you live in San Francisco and people come to visit, they want you to take them to the Golden Gate Bridge. Every town, no matter how small, has it’s own Golden Gate Bridge, the place where you take people when they come from out of town. In the tiny town of Warm Springs, Georgia during the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 10, the Golden Gate Bridge burned down.

It was called the Bulloch House. And for the better part of a decade, it was my second home.

I was a single man living in rural midwest Georgia. I knew how to cook two things, cereal and hot dogs. Occasionally, as you might imagine, that got old. Several times a week, I went out looking for food. But it was more than just food that I was looking for. In some small way, I was looking for home. When I first walked in to the Bulloch House, I found what I was looking for.

Home.

I had a lot of meals there over the years. I ate with preachers there. I went there for lunch after church on Sunday afternoons with what seemed like everyone else in midwest Georgia. But mostly, I ate there with friends.

Chris and I talked about everything that was wrong in the world of music while we ate fried chicken.

While the country was still trying to figure out who would be our next president after the 2000 elections, Merv and I went over the worst case scenarios while eating mashed potatoes. The lady who wrote The Hunger Games must have been listening in on us.

Rob and I spent hours there trying to sell Kyle and Charlie on the excellence that is Georgia Bulldogs football while eating six layer chocolate cake. We were unsuccessful. But the cake was good.

Not everyone liked the Bulloch House as much as I did. As they saw it, there was no point in going out for food when Grandma and Mom had cooked something better at home with what Dad and Grandpa had grown in the garden. Maybe they had a point. But geography, Parkinson’s Disease and the grave made it impossible for me to get one of those home cooked meals that went straight from the garden to the table. That’s why I went to the next best thing.

My second home.

The Bulloch House.

It’s been almost ten years since I left midwest Georgia. My first place of residence after leaving was the big city of Louisville, Kentucky. It didn’t take long up there before I went on another search for food. I found a couple of restaurants that featured authentic southern cooking. But it wasn’t the same. The food was overpriced. It didn’t taste as good. And the people weren’t as nice. For the most part, authentic southern cooking in a big city is along the lines of fresh lobster Missouri. It’s just not possible.

Eventually, we made it back down south. One of the first trips that I went on with my friends from church was a long drive halfway across the state to eat at the Bulloch House. This time, instead of talking about sports and politics, I was sitting next to my wife, cutting up chicken for my two sons and sharing laughs with new friends.

Things have changed a lot since the days when I called the Bulloch House my kitchen. I don’t eat out that much anymore. As I see it, why go out when my wife can cook what I grew in the garden. I have become my grandparents. I don’t need a second home anymore.

But back then I did need a second home. And I’m happy to say that it was the Bulloch House. I sure am going to miss that old house.

It’s been said that you can’t go home again.

Now that the Bulloch House is gone, that’s never been more true.

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Doughnuts Are Good For You

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I don’t have a six-pack.

No one has ever referred to my arms as, “those guns.” At least not with a straight face.

Nobody at the gym has ever asked for my opinion on the best chest exercise. Once this lady asked me to get out of her way but that’s about as close as it ever got.

I’m okay with that. I don’t run everyday to look a certain way. I’ve got bigger goals when I exercise.

I run for doughnuts.

I didn’t run at all last week. I didn’t lift one single weight either. Instead, I spent almost every morning eating doughnuts with my wife and kids. Not organic, whole grain doughnuts either. White bread doughnuts. The kind that are filled with Fruit Loops or methamphetamine or whatever it is they put in those things.

It’s good to work out and eat right. God only gave you one body so it’s important to be a good manager of his gift. But being a good manager of the body God has given to you doesn’t mean that you have to be an Organic Pharisee, pronouncing judgments on thyself and all other pagans who partaketh of high fructose corn syrup. Sometimes it means eating a doughnut with your family.

That’s heresy in today’s food culture that’s determined to cure the childhood obesity epidemic, one bowl of organic grapes at a time. But feeding the kids from the Burger King Value Menu every night before bed isn’t the only way to ruin the way that they think about food. Constantly talking about calories or body mass index to your six-year-old will do the trick too.

Years from now my kids will not care about how big my arms were or how fast I ran a 5k. But they haven’t stopped talking about all of the mornings last week that we spent eating doughnuts and listening to old school country music.

So loosen up. Ladies, who cares if you can’t drop those last ten pounds. Men, stop beating yourself up for looking nothing like the guy on the Insanity commercial. We miss the  whole point of taking care of ourselves if we think that it’s all just about the way we look. Instead, we should work hard to have bodies that help us to fulfill our responsibilities for the glory of God.

Jason Peters is probably the best offensive lineman in the NFL. He’s 6′ 4″, 328 pounds and a perennial all-pro. For almost ten years some of the best defensive players in the NFL have had a hard time getting by him.

But Jason Peters would make a terrible wide receiver. He’s nearly 100 pounds overweight for that position and too slow. Peters isn’t built to be a wide receiver. He’s built for something else.

Jason Peters is good at what he does because he knows his job and works hard to do it well. Everything from the food that he eats to the weights that he lifts helps him to do his job well.

Most of us aren’t called to be on the cover of magazines, showing off our rock hard abs. If that is you, fine, stay away from the doughnuts. Most of us are called to be able to come home from a hard day of work and still have enough energy to play soccer with the kids or paint the guest bedroom. If we’re healthy enough to do that and bend over 575 times a day to pick up diapers, laundry and cereal, we should be content.

Maybe we would view ourselves differently if, instead of trying weird diets and exercises in an attempt to be someone we’re not, we prepared ourselves to excel at what we’re supposed to do. Sort of like Jason Peters.

Last week my four-year-old asked me a profound question. I could tell that it was weighing heavy on his mind.

“Dad, what is it that you have in the band if you want to play in Texas?”

“A fiddle. You got to have a fiddle in the band.”

He was relieved.

He got that question from listening to old school country music and eating doughnuts with his dad. Creamy, sugary doughnuts.

That’s why I exercise and try to eat right. So that, if God wills, I can be around for many more years to answer my son’s questions.

And I also exercise so that every now and then I can eat a doughnut with my sons and talk about whatever is troubling them.

Exercise is really good for you.

Every so often, a doughnut is too.

A Word To Fast Food Workers Wanting $15 An Hour

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Money is important. It matters. Some will tell you that the Bible says that money is the root of all sorts of evil. That verse comes right after the passage where Jesus tells the parable of Johnny beating the devil in a fiddle duel. In other words, that verse isn’t in the Bible. There is one like it.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV)

That’s, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”

It may not look like a big difference but it really is. To say that money alone is the root of evil is to imply that the rich, not the poor, will fall into one of those evils. The love of money is different. Anyone can be guilty of loving money in a way that leads to sin. The rich banker and the poor cardboard box dweller are just alike in this regard.

Bad theology isn’t the only way that we get our ideas of money wrong. Here are a few others ways.

1. If you are making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, you are getting paid what you deserve.

You read that right. You don’t deserve to make $15 an hour for dropping fries in a big pot of oil and slapping a room temperature piece of fresh fish between two buns.

2. If you are making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, you are right, you cannot live off of that money.

Therefore, instead of walking around the street holding a sign asking for more money, you should find another job. Find a job that pays more. Find a job that pays the same but allows you to keep your old job too. Two jobs won’t kill you. There’s a good chance that the evil, greedy boss who is paying you either has or is currently working two jobs. You could also find a way to get into school, any school, and learn a trade. Stop looking for your dream job and settle for one that will pay you enough to actually live off of.

And, whatever you do, don’t listen to Pitbull and Ne-Yo when they sing that song about knowing that their rent is going to be late but going to the club anyway to spend their last twenty bucks. That is one of the most ignorant songs that has ever been written. It preaches a mindset of poverty. Sadly, it has become the anthem for many people today. Don’t make it yours.

3. If you are making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant and you go on strike demanding $15 an hour here’s what you do deserve.

You deserve to be fired.

And your job should be given to that person who is looking for a second job to fund night school.

4. If you are making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant, your boss isn’t making too much money.

Neither is his boss. And neither is the guy who started the business. In fact, as long as they’re getting it legally and ethically, there isn’t a CEO on this planet who is making too much money.

As much as you may hate it, you should want your boss to make a lot of money. If your hard work and good attitude helped to make that happen, there’s a good chance that it will pay off for you. If not, find another place where it will. The last thing you want is for your boss to be broke. But that’s just what he’ll be if you get your way and the government makes him pay you $15 an hour for putting salt on fries.

Here’s a simple math question.

Mr. Smith pays Johnny $7 an hour for cleaning the bathrooms and making fries at The Pig N Suds Laundromat and BBQ Cafe. Johnny would like to make twice that much for doing the same job so he asks the government to make Mr. Smith pay him $15 an hour. The government makes Mr. Smith double Johnny’s salary. After two months, Mr. Smith closes The Pig N Suds Laundromat and BBQ Cafe due to high operating expenses. How much money will Johnny make then?

If your answer was, “The train leaving Dallas,” nice try.

The answer is $0.

The love of money makes us do terrible things. It makes us lie, cheat and steal. It also makes us demand what we don’t deserve.

If you want $15 an hour, make the necessary sacrifices in order to become a $15 an hour employee. That’s what providers do.

Lovers of money are different. They just make demands based on their wants. And those demands are never enough. Eventually, $15 will need to be $20. And then $30. Until Mr. Smith finally has to close up shop.

And you’re left with $0.

And that nagging old love of money.

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