insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

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Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

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Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

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Advertise Here

My wallet feels lighter these days. It’s not because I’ve decided to go green and get one of those ultra-stupid paper wallets (my definition of “going green” is getting a huge suv in hunter green). I guess it’s more of …...

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Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

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A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

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That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

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Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

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Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

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When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

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As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

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Filed Under on March 17th, 2011

Family Maxims #13

By Seth Kabala

My wallet feels lighter these days. It’s not because I’ve decided to go green and get one of those ultra-stupid paper wallets (my definition of “going green” is getting a huge suv in hunter green). I guess it’s more of a figurative lightness than anything else, seeing how I stopped paying with cash where I can help it a long time ago (wife: Where’s that $20 you just had, Hon? Me: Uhhhhhh). I dare say you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t affected by the financial meltdown, inflation, gas prices–you name it.

The church is no exception to this. Sad that this organization that says its missions statement is to meet people where they are and help them become better instruments for God has to be constrained from achieving this stated objective by something as crass as money. No humor here. Just a fact.

What’s even more sad is that the senior pastor has to send out a church-wide email reporting congregational back-stabbing, biting comments, and all manner of negativity directed toward him and his staff after they made the difficult decision to lay off several staff members and curtail the hours of others. The purpose of the email was to not to judge, but rather to remind the congregation that no good can come from spreading discord. A dissonant chord does not magically resolve into consonance.

Prior to this email, I watched the weekly numbers reported in the bulletin turn an ever more arterial shade of red, until the “received to date” and “needed to date” figures for the current fiscal year were nearing a $100,000 discrepancy. Rather than getting out the give-or-else cattle-prods and tasers, the church took the fiscally-responsible measure of cutting expenses to balance the budget–the one financial tool they could control.

And what did they receive in return for this act of reasonableness? This attempt to keep the majority of operations that will help people running with the least amount of hiccup? This unpalatable act brought on by forces out of anyone’s control? They received criticism.

I ask you, is it better for the church to fold and sever the umbilical between all dependents, or is it better to hurt a few in service of the whole? The answer depends on your point of view, and no matter where you’re coming from, the decision they were forced to make really f—ing sucked.

But they did it with an eye on long-term vision, and as much as we might disagree, we need to remember that free coffee and donuts aren’t free, and maybe we should be reaching for those wallets–paper or otherwise–more often, and not claim sainthood status and declare distasteful church leadership decisions, WHICH WE DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE (oh, those wonderful hypotheticals; those “if I were you …”s; they really save our ass, don’t they?), to be deplorable.

Under penalty of a bolt from the blue (an electrical charge that will kill us, for you non-literary types), the Kabala family shall not spread hatred through the use of negative speech or any other form of communication–emphasis, facebook–when the church decides to lay people off because giving is down and they wish to remain solvent.

We might like the view from on top of the mountain, but we should remember that we’re still on the ground.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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