- Haven’t been motivated to write this past week so this is easy to do a Whatever Wednesday post since I can just bullet point stuff.
- I’m still wrestling through the emotional stuff from the shooting.
- I don’t think about it immediately when I wake up now but I have started dreaming about it…although that has morphed into some weird things.
- The other night it was of Lisa getting shot. That’s even worse than me so I don’t like those thoughts at all.
- I have an appointment with a counselor tomorrow so hopefully he will be able to help keep me on the right track.
- Ok enough of that…what else is going on?
- Was disappointed with the Super Bowl…not necessarily the outcome but just the game itself…really thought it would be a close, exciting game.
- The commercials were a bit lame as well this year.
- I’m taking my own advice from this past Sunday’s message and I’ve done a good job this week not complaining about the snow, ice, cold, shoveling, etc.
- It’s been nice this past week with all the bad weather having Lisa home more.
- After not using it hardly at all our first few winters here in Harrisburg, we are firing up the gas fireplace quite a bit this winter.
- Not so much for the heat but just because it’s relaxing.
- It was a bad night for my sports teams last night…both the Caps and Terps suffered disappointing losses.
- Oh well, at least the Wizards are above .500 for the first time in 4 years!
- I’m excited about our new series that starts this week at Exponential. It’s called “Crazy Love” and is based off the book of the same name by Francis Chan.
- The entire premise I’m going off of for this series is, “You won’t do what God wants you to do until you fully appreciate who He is!”
- Now you can do stuff for God but if you’re doing it because you HAVE to instead of you WANT to, all of the sudden your faith will seem like a burden and will be no fun.
- This is why many Christians struggle with their faith and have no joy.
- This is also why a lot of people reject Christianity…they think it’s just a bunch of rules and rituals…but who wants that? No one…so they end up missing out on the most life-changing and awe inspiring relationship a person could ever want.
- So for 6 weeks I want to help people fall in love with who God IS not what He can do for you or wants from you.
- OK guess that’s all for now…I have a busy day tomorrow but if I have time I think my Theological Thursday post will be my thoughts from last night’s Evolution vs. Creationism debate.
Bullets, car chases & lessons we can learn from Gilbert’s recent near death experience.
Listen to the message at the following link
Let me begin by thanking the hundreds of you who have taken time out of your busy schedules to call, text, e-mail, Facebook, etc your support after the events of this past Friday. I am humbled to have such a large network of support and prayers during this tough time.
At this point the biggest hurdle is overcoming the emotional aspects of what happened. Twice now in the past few days loud and unexpected noises have sent my heart racing. One was a gunshot on TV and the other is funny now that I think back on it. Yesterday as we were setting up for church, I was bent over hooking up a light when our drummer decided to begin his warm up. He started with just a single hit on the snare drum and that set off somewhat of a panic attack. I had to leave the theater we meet in and walk around the lobby areas to calm down. So thankful that Chad was there to talk me through it and pray with me.
I really wasn’t planning on talking about the incident much in yesterday’s message but when I got up to speak I was a complete mess. I was crying harder than a 14 year old girl at a One Direction concert. Finally I was able to compose myself and preach what I know is something God really wanted everyone to hear.
I have decided though that this week as we wrap-up our “Don’t Waste Your Life” series that I’m going to scrap what was planned and instead talk in more detail about the events on Friday and some of the spiritual lessons that can be learned from it. I think it will be therapeutic for me and my prayer is that people can learn from my experience without having to go through it yourself.
In the meantime, keep praying for all involved. From what I understand the 2 shooting victims will be fine. Keep praying for our police who are greatly under-staffed. And I do appreciate your continued prayers for me as I continue, with Jesus help, processing all that happened. Last night I finally got a good night’s sleep…in fact I slept 10+ hours…that felt good. Also, I’ve been praying a lot and from having done so much counseling myself I can see the symptoms in myself like, PTSD, irrational fear, etc, so I’m going to call a counselor friend of mine to see how we might speed up the emotional healing.
Hope to see you on Sunday as I share more. Paraphrasing the words of Joseph in the Old Testament, “I want to take what Satan meant for evil and turn it around and use it for good!”
I’m not sure how much detail to go into for a number of reasons but today was the closest to death I have ever come. In the coming days as I process this more I’ll give more insights that I learned from it all but for now the big picture story.
Again I don’t want to give details of where, when, etc, but the gist is this. I witnessed an attempted double homicide and then was myself chased in my car by the gunmen. This was a very high speed chase where at some points I was doing 70+MPH on 25MPH streets going the wrong way. I eventually outran the potential murderers and hide in an apartment complex parking lot until an officer came and got me. Even now many hours later my heart is still racing thinking about it.
As the officer and I were talking, a call came in saying an arrest had just been made for a gunmen in a car. The officer then asked me to jump in his cruiser to identify whether it was the same vehicle. We went in what would normally be a 15 minute drive in about 5 minutes, sirens blaring when needed. Honestly I think I was just as scared during this ride as I had been on my own. Turned out not to be the gunmen that had chased me. Although they put him in the back of my cruiser for a bit. He asked, “So did you see me do it?” I’m going”, Nope didn’t see a thing”.
The officer then asked me to step out and said, “We don’t want you in the vehicle with him he’s dangerous”. So then I had to go sit in another cruiser, this time in the back. I waited there for awhile until a detective came and picked me up to return me back to my car. From there then I had to go downtown to give a statement. That was another couple of hours.
That’s all I want to share for now. I don’t plan on giving specific details but there were many lessons I learned throughout the ordeal. I’ll share those in the coming days and weeks. For now please just pray for those that were shot, that the gunmen would be apprehended, for the many wonderful police and detectives that serve and protect and for myself to emotionally deal with what has been a very traumatic experience.
My grandfather died peacefully in his sleep, but boy were the kids on his bus screaming.
Many people wonder if being funny is something that people are naturally born with or if it’s an acquired skill. In my opinion it’s a combination of both. Some people are naturally funny but any one can be (or be better at it) if you understand what makes something funny. In fact it’s as simple as this equation…
Expectation + Surprise= Funny
Take the joke I used to begin this post. As you begin reading it, you see the words “My grandfather died peacefully in his sleep…” In your mind without even really thinking about it, you had some preconceived notions of what that means/looks like. In other words, you had an expectation of how the story would go. The surprise though was that he actually died while driving a bus full of kids. Because you didn’t see that part coming, it makes it funny.
The reason this works is that we as humans do a great amount of assuming whenever we hear someone speaking. Our minds just automatically begin filling in details that may or may not actually exist. We do this to try to make sense of what we’re hearing. So being funny is just taking what the hearer is already assuming and taking it abruptly a different direction. In the sample joke, you assumed that dying peacefully in his sleep happened in a bed. You never would have assumed a bus so when your assumptions get shattered the story becomes funny.
So as you’re telling a story, the greater you can get people to assume something in the first part of the story, the funnier it will be when you break down those assumptions in the second part. Here’s another example, this time from horror author Stephen King. One time a reporter asked him, “How to you come up with such imaginative ideas for your stories?” To which King replied, “I still have the heart of a little boy…at home in a jar on my desk”. Did you see it? Expectation + Surprise= Funny.
Now obviously, delivery, timing, body language, etc, are also necessary to being funny but it all begins by first knowing the anatomy of what makes something humorous. So now it’s time for you to try it. Here’s the beginning…
The Polar Vortex returned to the US this week…
Think about what the expectations/assumptions are from this sentence and then how can you shatter them. Comment here or on Facebook with your completed joke or Tweet it to @gilbertthurston