My message for Lance Armstrong: It's more about trust than forgiveness

The recent furor over Lance Armstrong's "confession" to Oprah Winfrey has been analyzed every which way. People are wondering if it's appropriate and even necessary to forgive such a public figure. Media guru Phil Cooke offers his perspective on why, for Lance Armstrong anyway, it's not about forgiveness; it's about trust. As a working film producer and media consultant to some of the largest and most effective nonprofit and faith-based organizations in the world, Phil is an expert in how messaging comes across to a discerning and often critical public. 

Phil's most recent book is Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media. This article originally was published on

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What Do You See in the Mirror?

A friend sent me an article the other day about what the author called "dirty moms". I posted it on my Facebook page, asking for opinions and received a variety of responses in all forms of my inboxes.

Based on what I read - we love beauty and beautiful things but resent feeling obligated to obtain it. Many acknowledged that inner beauty is what is important but still feel sucked in to comparing their outer beauty to what we see in magazines and on the screen. A few shared how this is amplified by physical disabilities, illness and lack of money. Another reminded me that when we criticize our appearance, we’re criticizing the work of God.

I believe God is aware of struggles. Perhaps Jesus experienced this to some point when He lived on earth in human form. Who knows?

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Locks of Love to Give

Last year a friend from church shared that her 8-year-old niece, Avery, was once again fighting leukemia. That evening, as I shared it with Mark, our then 7-year-old daughter, Anastasia, overheard us. Even though she didn’t know this little girl, she was very concerned - it was someone her age.

Part of me want to change the topic and shelter Anastasia from the fear of children and cancer but a stronger side felt the need to address it and answer her questions, so we did.

Later that night she wanted to pray for my friend’s niece. When we were done she was quiet in thought and then asked, “Will she lose her hair?”

“She already has honey, but I hear she’s about to get a wig.” This opened a flurry of more questions as I explained how people grow out their hair and donate it to be made into wigs.

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50/50 Movie Review

“50/50” is not a Judd Apatow movie. 

If you saw the trailer and expected “40 Year Old Version: Cancer Edition” or “Knocked Up – with Cancer” you would be wrong.  Though I generally like Apatow’s movies (a friend of mine accurately described them as “feel bad, feel good” films), this one is different.  Yes, it’s rated R, has coarse language and lots of "potty" humor – but this one feels strikingly personal.

Adam (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is diagnosed with cancer.  The film depicts his "based on a true story" journey through a particular stage of his bout of cancer.  Along the way, there is the help of a best friend (Seth Rogen), Mother (Anjelica Houston), therapist (Anna Kendrick) and girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), among others.  Saying more would be too much.

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What do you pray for?

“It’s easy for us to pray for safety, comfort, health and wealth. But are we willing to pray for anything that will bring us closer to Christ? Even if it includes suffering?” –David Wenzel, cancer patient

Know someone facing cancer? Check out John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Cancer."

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