I had a great time hosting Mark and his father last week for two events in Mitchell. Mark spoke at our 3rd annual Mitchell Area Youth Night to 525 6th-12th grades and their leaders as well as our weekly chapel service with 135 people in attendance.
A few highlights from the events:
- Just before the youth night began, Pandora began to play “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. All of the students started singing along. Mark leans over to my wife and says “That is not normal!”
- A huge shift is occurring in our culture. We no longer compare ourselves on the vertical, what God wants us to be like; instead, we judge ourselves against each other. Are we doing things, engaging in behaviors, that others approve of?
- Outback Steakhouse does NOT have authentic Australian cooking. A “Bloomin’ Onion” is the equivalent of a “Freakin’ Cheeseburger” in our culture.
- There are pockets in the world of people wanting to remain on the vertical, but many, many Christians and non-Christians alike, are judging on the horizontal.
- We are “atomized.” Instead of building relationships, love, and community with each other, we bump into each other randomly like atoms, never moving into the quality level of relationships where God wants us to be and where we ultimately desire to connect.
I highly recommended both of Mark’s books “The Vertical Self” and “The Trouble with Paris.” He is an authentic Christian man, husband, father, author, and speaker. If you ever get a chance to meet him or hear him speak, take advantage of it!