iHop, U-Hop, Let’s Eat and Pray

The Point

Supersize my prayers! I suspect the California lawsuit, IHOP v IHOP, will end in good cheer. Good luck if you’re trying to establish “confusion” between selling pancakes and selling prayers. It isn’t as if Kansas City-ites are pretending to market a classic American breakfast delicacy. Trademarks aren’t about acronyms they’re about product and service. Besides, prayer isn’t for sale and IHOP Corp., isn’t filing for damages, probably because there are no damages to even claim. If anything, the two have synergy.

I was in the prayer room on Redbridge Road in Kansas City, MO, 2003, when my friends on staff said, “Hey, let’s go eat at IHOP.” Think about it.. It’s 4 am, you’re praying, been fasting all day, at IHOP 24/7.. Where will you go eat? How about IHOP 24/7 across the street. As we sat in the pancake house over coffee, KNEE-deep in syrupy prayer discussion, some one said it, “Let’s go back to the IHOP.”

The pancake dealer owns two consecutive trademarks of IHOP® (3429405, 3429406) fair and square.  · · · →

Ryce Reconciled

The American sat in his pew, looking on as the choir and orchestra rehearsed for Sunday morning’s service. A young man in the orchestra, Ryce, a violinist and first in his section, did his best to mask the pain inside. No one would have known but for the back story.

Earlier that week, Ryce had a fight with his father. It wasn’t just any fight a university student would find himself in. This one involved the police. Negative agreement from his friends, ostensibly bannered as “support” encircled Ryce and his entourage when he arrived at the church earlier that afternoon.

Ryce’s father was a soloist in the choir. As if things didn’t seem complicated enough, the father, son, choir, and entire church were Chinese. So, there the American sat, a Chinese Bible on his lap, with a passage having been marked with the help of a friend in the pew beside him.  · · · →

Above Their Own Values?

I do not identify with what we’ve been hearing from some Republican leaders about Mexican immigrants. “I don’t want my kids doing ‘those’ kinds of jobs,” they say. By saying “those” kinds of jobs, what do they mean? Are they referring to productive jobs, like agriculture? Are they referring to the backbone of an economy, such as manual labor or manufacturing jobs? Are they suggesting that the elements of a healthy economy are somehow “beneath” them?

Speak for yourself, but I want my kids doing healthy levels of manual labor in their younger years. King David developed his character watching sheep as a young boy and he had his son, the wise Solomon, spend time in the same fields before becoming King. Joseph spent several years in service and even prison—unjustly. He didn’t become the effective ruler of Egypt “in spite” of his hardship, but “because” of it.

With this foolish mentality being touted among leaders of a party who ostensibly believe in the principals of liberty—that life is a pursuit, not a guarantee—should there be any surprise that the American economy is having difficulty?  · · · →

God-Blessed, God-Darned Authority

Are we referring to Jesus or a person with less sin than the rest of us? Do we mean that “God appointed” the person to.. whatever position the person holds? Was this person appointed by the Senate? Did the denomination regional superintendent rotate him in for two months? I didn’t know that the Senate was God.. maybe God is a denominational regional superintendent. He must be, because everyone appointed that way is “appointed by God.”

When we treat a pastor or a president as if he has some halo of invisible glory that illumines his brow, we may get upset upon discovering that he doesn’t walk on water. He falls from grace and scandal faces public scorn.. we actually think God is judging him? ..right.

It’s one thing to say, “I’m in charge, like it or leave it. Confront me if you disagree, but live with my answer.” It’s a whole other story to fanfare every other sentence with, “Our Godly Authority..  · · · →