“You’re HIM!” & other fun stuff from the last week…

Thanksgiving afternoon, while theBean was working for theBux, I took theWeez & iDoey to the moving picture show. I happened to be wearing my Nevada polo; the special one that Opie gave to the PastyGangster for his birthday. It is the special one that I stealthily (& without remorse) took from his closet & owned by sheer will power. I wear that polo 2x/week, because I want to, and I can, and it makes it easy for me to decide what to wear when I don’t have theBean’s yay/nay sayer available. But I digress…

As we gave the nice lady taking tickets our stubs, she saw my shirt & said, “ohhhhh! You’re him.”

ME: “Hmmm. Who me? I’m who?”

LADY: “You’re the guy from the football team. The coach. The Nevada man.”

ME: “Uh, no. I’m not a football coach. I do have a Nevada polo, but that’s about it.”

LADY: “Oh, I know you people have to say such things in public, but I KNOW its you. You’re him.”

ME: “I’m not the football coach for Nevada. I promise.”

LADY: “You must be an assistant then. I can tell. You’re him!”

By this point, a line had formed behind me, drawing curiously (and uncomfortably I might add) close to hear just WHO the nice lady was talking to. TheWeez & iDoey were amused.

I just wanted to get my buttery popcorn & sit in the dark theater, eating to my hearts content. But the nice lady wasn’t going to let it go. So I said:

ME: “Ok. You’re right. You got me. I’m him.”

LADY: “I KNEW it! See (to everyone in the line) I KNEW it. It’s HIM!”

I thought that would be the end of it, but no…

LADY: “Soooo. Why did you kick that guy off the team?”

I knew she was talking about THIS STORY because I’d come across it earlier in the week. So I recapped what I’d read, and told her, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

My kids thought it was hilarious.

I got my remaining wisdom teeth removed on Monday, 11/21. When I was 16, I’d had the two from the left side of my mouth taken out, but time, $, and other things had kept me from getting the other two taken out. So, 24 years later, with many thanks to SBux insurance & God’s timely provision, I am less wise than I was before.

I have several stories from when I was under sedation… Perhaps I’ll share one sometime.

I remember vaguely, like it was a dream, that I talked during the procedure, but I don’t know what I said. Of course, I wondered if I had scandalized the very nice & sweet dental assistant due to the fact that my Oh So Powerful Thought & Word Filter was inoperative due to the amount & type of medication that I’d been given.

When I went into the office yesterday for my checkup, I asked her, wincingly, if I’d been untoward or off in my comments. She only smiled & said, ‘You like football. A lot. And I know more about the 49ers because of you than I ever wanted to know.” Dr. Pete asked, “You remember ANYTHING from the procedure?” And I said, “Nope.” And the two of them, Dr. & assistant, just smiled at me.


Over the last week, I’ve been pondering God’s promises to me & mine. This includes my marriage, my family, my friends, & my church family. Sometimes the circumstances of life threaten to make me afraid, make me doubt, make me worry… the accuser throws out his classic line, “Did God really say….?” and I’m driven to my knees & to God’s Word to remind myself that God’s promises WILL come about, not for my greatness, but for His. Not due to my goodness or worthiness, but because of His. He delights in blessing & caring for His kids, & I am one of them. And I am holding on to what I know to be true. No matter what.

So say we all.

the day at church no one ever forgot, & other musings…

I’ve been a part of the Church for the majority of my life, & I have experienced many incredible, wonderful things; interactions with brothers & sisters in Christ, & time spent in the presence of God in the context of our whole church family.

Some of the most powerful memories I have, however, are when something bad happened.

One Sunday that will live in infamy, I was a 19 year old kid working the sound board. At the beginning of the pastor’s message, a woman walked up to the front of the church & tried to grab a microphone. The pastor told her, “I’m not going to let you share.” She insisted that she had no choice, & that she was being compelled by the spirit to do so. The pastor was resolute, (thankfully) & told her that under no circumstance would she be allowed to bring her message.

The room was deadly quiet. The pastor explained that the woman had come to his office earlier in the week, & had told him that she had a message from God. After hearing what her message was, the pastor told her (& relayed to us) that he didn’t believe it was from the LORD because of the severe tone of condemnation, accusation, and belittling. He told her at that time, (& relayed to us,) that our Father God doesn’t speak to us that way; His heart is for repentance & restoration; further, spiritual gifts (including prophetic words,) were to be encouraging, edifying, and exhorting to the Church. This woman’s message was none of those.

So what happened? She laid down. In the front row of the church. And the pastor went back into his message. And no one in that room EVER forgot what had happened, nor the lesson that we learned about how God speaks to His people.

I’ve wondered how he finished the message… especially when I’m distracted by something as benign as a louder-than-it-needs-to-be conversation that happens during the speech. Hmm.

Acts 5 –
What was happening in the early church was a beautiful thing. The believers were putting into action Christ’s command to “love one another” in a most tangible way; they were using their finances and other resources to care for each others real, felt needs. No one was left out; all were provided for. This spirit of benevolence was so pervasive that people were even selling properties in order to make sure that there would be money available to help others, just in case.

It was truly incredible.

At the very same time, a sobering event shook the church to its core. A married couple, Ananias & Sapphira, sold their own piece of land with the intent of giving the proceeds to the church. At some point however, they decided that they would keep some of the money for themselves; they’d still give some to the church, but not all of it.

The fact that they kept some of the money wasn’t the problem. In no way was there any requirement for them to give it all. However, together they plotted to tell the apostles (& the rest of the church) that the amount they were giving was the entire purchase price, thinking that no one would be the wiser.

They chose willfully & intentionally to lie. To God. It was a big deal to Him. It cost them their lives.

I’ve read this passage (Acts 5:1-11) many times, & I’ve wondered about & guessed at the motivation for Ananias & Sapphira’s lie.

    -Was it people-pleasing mixed with greed? Others in the church were getting attention for their selfless acts; did they just wanted in on that attention?

    -Was the love of money? Did they start out with a good intention & get sidetracked, tripped up by temptation?

    -Were they trying to buy favor, influence, &/or position in the church?

I don’t know. And I also don’t know the WHY behind their deaths. I do know that ultimately, God chose to address their choices and behaviors in a strong way, & that as a result, a great fear came upon the church & all who heard about it. That church didn’t see sin the same way ever again; & they most definitely didn’t think that God was Someone to try to pull one over on.

Both Ananias & Sapphira had the choice to repent, to acknowledge their lie, & given that choice, they stuck to their story. Ouch.

I look at my own life & see many times where, if God wanted to step in & say, “Not in my house!” I would have been dead to rights, & worthy of whatever punishment He chose to give.

It makes me thankful for repentance – the opportunity God gives us to turn FROM sin, & to turn TO God, & to know that if I confess my sin, & turn from it, that Christ is faithful & just to forgive & to purify from all unrighteousness (1John 1:7-10)


/ˈrɛzəˌlut/ Spelled[rez-uh-loot]

  1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.
  2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc.

The New Year is knocking on my cold, cold (have I mentioned it is absolutely frigid?,) front door. Which leaves me taking stock of me & mine, & of life… pondering, musing, thinking & re-thinking through, almost ad nauseum, as I am oft want to do.

New things are here. Sigh.

I start a Masters program through Life Pacific College with a week-long intensive starting 1/10. For the last month, I’ve been trying to read through the ‘pre-intensive pre-requisite’ books. I’ve found 4 of the 5 to be great, more than I could have hoped for.

Thought provoking. Challenging my status quo. Antagonizing, even, in the best sense of the word.

I’ve got pages & pages notes that I’m transcribing from scoey-scratch & notepads to the Mac so I can easily search & access them when it comes time for The Writing.

And then there’s the One book. The 5th of the 5. I got 1 chapter in & laid aside my notepad. Put down my pen. Muttered a ‘you have GOT to be kidding me,’ or 3. Put it away to save for a time when I need: a) a cure for insomnia, or b) something to tick me off so I can get through a 90 minute kettlebell marathon workout.

For reals.

Thinking through the next weeks where my crafted routine will undergo massive change. Part of it is flexing time so that I can take care of the school requirements (reading & writing, no rithmatick :) , but a bigger part of it is wanting to grow, develop, learn, & be becoming as a husband, father, & pastor – which means heading into new areas with new things to do.

I want to be ‘resolute’ – set on becoming the man God made me to be, knowing that I can’t plan for every eventuality, but I can prepare to take whatever waves come my way… & to do all that I can to be ready in-season & out of season. To set my will upon God’s purposes, with a face like flint, not easily discouraged, cowed, or frustrated.

To not be a complainer. Or whiner. Which makes me wonder, “Was I whining about Book 5? Or was it just commentary?” Hmm.

My brain whirs. Music helps.

Rich Mullins. A little Tears For Fears. David Crowder. Akiko Suwanai’s interpretation of some great Bach.

Suddenly, I realize It’s there.

You are a failure.

Where did that thought come from? From some dark recess, some pit of despair & fear, the place where the accusations & lies come from, recounting past & present stumblings, mocking me with memories of my shame, my lowest points. Words biting, some spoken in ignorance, others in spite, by people who have passed through my life’s 41 years.


Failure? No.

It’s taken practice, learning to take thoughts captive. At times, (like today,) its an all-out battle. But who & what I am, the purpose I live, cannot, WILL not be valuated by a liar, no matter how many old stories & current challenges are dredged up.

Cause I’ve been made to be someone who stands. And to remain standing. To look for opportunities to put into practice God’s commands. To hold tight to His Word, hiding it deep & secure in heart & mind. To intentionally & strategically look to encourage & pass on what I’ve learned to others. To never give up, never turn aside, never quit.

Failure? No. Cause I belong to Christ. Forgiven. Changing. Transforming. Growing. Loving. Encouraging. And I’m not gonna stop… I’m

/ˈrɛzəˌlut/ Spelled[rez-uh-loot]

  1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion.
  2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc.

A thought on Joseph & his brothers…

I was reading this morning where Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers – the very same brothers that had sold him into slavery years before…

Instead of getting his revenge on them, Joseph used his position of leadership in the nation of Egypt to provide a way for his father, brothers, & their families to escape the brunt of the worst famine in recent memory by being relocated from their homes in the Promised Land to Egypt.

The 11 brothers were loaded down with loads of the best produce & provision that Egypt had to offer to make the journey as pleasant as possible.

What stood out to me was the last thing that Joseph said to his brothers before they left with their caravan to bring their father & families back:

Don’t quarrel about all this on the way.

I laughed when I read it.

I laughed because here are 11 brothers whose lives have been utterly turned upside-down for the good; whose worries about the famine & what they would eat, & how they’d provide for their families in the present & foreseeable future had been answered; whose past lies, treachery, greed, & jealousy had finally been uncovered; & also whose brother, the one that they’d sold into slavery, was now the 2nd most powerful man in the world.


They had to go back to their father & confess what they’d done to him years prior. Come clean about the carefully crafted ‘stories’ they’d told over the years to keep up their deception. Look into the eyes & face of their father, the man who they had directly caused so much pain to with their actions.

All of that can make one feel fear.

And rather than confronting our fear, which makes us feel weak & powerless, we respond in anger, which makes us feel strong. Placing blame on others, doing anything to shift the weight of personal responsibility, if even in appearance, onto the shoulders of another.

Joseph knew his brothers. Knew what they’d be doing when they got home. And knew that in spite of all the good that was going to happen to them & theirs, they’d first have to confront their own sins & wrongdoing.

It’s a good word – in the face of having to walk through tough stuff:

Don’t quarrel on the way.