Friday, March 13, 2009


It turns out that I am somewhat of a "sandwich connoisseur" and I didn't even know it. I love all kinds of sandwiches.

Today I'm thinking about subs...this may not be very interesting, but it's what's on my mind.

For years about the (seemingly) only national chain that served decent subs was Subway and in the late 90's a group of friends and I where I used to work ate at Subway up to 3 times a week. Back then, Subway was owned by a group of doctors that wanted good food that could be good for you too. This went on for a while, but things have changed...have they ever.

We've stopped asking my youngest son where he would like to go eat if we are grabbing a bite out because he always wants to go to Subway... It reminds me of conversations between my mom and my brother and I when we were very young. We ALWAYS wanted to eat at McDonald's was McDonald's! Now that I am an adult I realize what McDonald's is and where it resides in the world of cuisine. The idea behind McDonald's is that it supposed to be the same everywhere - not the best - just...very familiar...and it is. If I get a double cheeseburger in Cleveland and another in Amarillo I would expect them to taste EXACTLY THE SAME - and they (generally) do.

Subway is now the McDonald's of subs - they are everywhere and there are rarely any surprises when you eat there. However, I can also remember the growing pains that McD's went through in the late 70's and 80's. Up until then, McD's was known for good food, fast and cheap. The "cheap" part got harder and harder to do with the same quality standards and the prices went up and the menu changed. Yeah they still have hamburgers, but they aren't as big anymore... I can still remember getting a Big Mac in the 70's where the patties looked like silver dollars...

I just finished eating lunch at Subway and my experience there is indicative of that same process. 8 years ago if I had ordered a foot long BMT and attempted to eat it in one sitting I would have rolled out of the place. Today I just kept looking for the meat and wondering if there was a sub buried in all that bread. It was pathetic - what good is a $5 foot long if to get it to me at that price you have cut half the meat off of it and put the toppings on with a toothpic?

Not too long ago when they started the original "5 Dollar Foot Long" campaign I called it. I told my family to watch and that something was going to change after the campaign was over.

I called it right.

They kept the $5 fool longs, but only for their cheapest subs and then raised the prices of all the rest hoping that we would all forget how much they had originally cost before the campaign! Now it's back and here's what I see.

When this one is over - it's over - and the "cheap" subs will be priced just like the other subs. Also, the subs that used to taste so good and fill you up will leave you wanting for more. They built a sub empire that can't be maintained and it shows.

My solution?

Run, do not walk, to your nearest Jersey Mike's or Jimmy John's and never go back to the "McDonald's of subs" again. If you want McDonald's- go to McDonald's - they have had a couple decades to re-invent themselves and they did a pretty good job. Also, JM and JJ are getting to do it right from the beginning after seeing Scrubway flounder around - at least someone is learning from their mistakes...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Too smart for your britches...

The Bible is simple.

Forget the mountains of books, articles, blogs, discussions, sermons, pamphlets and commentaries that try to "explain" it - the facts of the Bible are simple and easy to understand. Why would our God, who loves us deeply, and wants all of us to succeed make His word hard to understand?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

I believe that if you talked to any child that has been taught about God and knows the stories from the Bible they can easily tell you how simple God's message is; God loves us, we should love Him and we should do what He says...

As we mature in our faith we learn to understand HOW we do that and start developing a sense of boundaries (WHERE God wants us) and WHAT we need to do. Then we start analyzing the word, trying to find that nugget of information that will get us closer in our understand of the God we love. This is awesome and worthy of our time and God is worth the effort.

Sometimes we get too smart for our own britches...

After living on this earth for over 4 decades ONE of the things I've learned is this:

Just because something is right
does not make it IMPORTANT.

Here's an easy one. We know that Jesus washed the disciples feet and we know that it was a powerful statement of how he wanted us to treat each other. However, I have never washed my brother's feet, nor has a brother washed mine. Why? Because we understand what that meant and that He was not telling us to specifically wash the feet of those around us, but to attend to their most basic needs. That there is nothing we shouldn't do for our fellow man. That one is easy...

This Sunday in our bible class we were talking about Joseph and the teacher took us off on a tangent that was more confusing than anything. IMHO, it was an attempt to look smart or at the very least just ill-advised.

Through a series of true statements and bible concepts the teacher showed that you could exchange the word testify for prophesy. That prophesying was simply bringing a specific message from the bible to someone that needs that message. It happens all the doubt.

However, he muddied the lines between being a "prophet" and (as he described it) "prophesying". Christianity runs into this problem all the time...SEMANTICS.

You say "prophet" and I think Jeremiah, Abraham, John the Baptist, Jesus. Others (some who claim to be "Christian", others who do not) in our world think Jesus, Joseph Smith, Muhammad, Ellen G, White, Benny Hinn. Any responsible, mature Christian understands the rift between true biblical representations and the world view of "Christianity". Sunday, our teacher made it easy for less mature Christians and non-Christians in the class to make an erroneous connection between prophets declared by God in His word to "modern-day" prophets. I know that he did not tell the class that we have prophets today, but here is my question:

What USEFUL purpose is served by introducing such an extremely loaded word such as "prophesying" to our class when we already understand the concept and call it testifying or ministering.

My answer...none...other than to make yourself look smart or cause confusion. Leave such theological discussions for your trip to Starbucks with other mature Christians.
"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18