“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.

Hope is my choice…

I’ve been down in a hole.

Emotional. A little depressed. Weary. Grumpy. Frustrated. Grieving.

It all came to a head last week as I realized what was happening, & forced myself to take a look at what I was dealing with rather than avoid &/or run & hide.

Change. Pasty Gangster is 99.9% moving to Tennessee in 6 weeks. I’m happy for him, but I’m also grieving the change that his move will bring to our family. I’ve wrestled regret at time lost that can’t ever be recovered. Wished for a do-over; an opportunity to go back in time & make up for the areas I totally biffed it as a dad.

Pasty, being the firstborn, was the child that got to experience, firsthand, my parental mistakes. Overzealousness. Immaturity. Inconsistency.

He got to live with the dad that didn’t know how to balance life. Who had wacky priorities. Who was confused about how it does no good to work hard to provide for a family if there is no time taken to BE with the family & enjoy it.

And now as he prepares to pursue his dream, I realize he is exactly the age I was when I married theBean. When I knew that I knew what I wanted from life, more than anything, was to be with the girl of my dreams for the rest of my life. The rest of the details of work, college, living life, etc. were mostly irrelevant details that I just knew would be resolved in my future by my Father in heaven.

I flash back to being 19 years old, & think of when I proposed to theBean. I didn’t have a job; I was filling in as a delivery driver for my uncle’s pharmacy, & I was desperate. I wanted to get married, to grow up, to be able to provide for my wife (& in the future, a family) but I had nothing. So, I listened to Christian radio. Every teaching I could find on faith. And I prayed.

One day, I ‘heard’ from God – not a voice, but an impression. The impression was of a page in the Bible, one from which I could clearly see the chapter & verse. Matthew 6:25-34… the verses before & after it were blurry, but those particular verses were crystal clear:

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Nothing about my circumstances had changed; but something began to break inside me that day – worry. Anxiety. Fear of not having enough.

Faith grew. God would provide. He’d have my back. I just need to keep taking steps of faith.

So I did.

And now, I look at my son & the knowledge that in the very near future he’s moving. And I’m faced with the option to worry. Be anxious. Fear. Live in regret. Be depressed. Stay down in a hole.

And instead, against my feelings, I’m choosing hope. A hope that doesn’t disappoint. A hope that isn’t based in me or my abilities, but rather in Jesus Christ, the beginning & completion of my faith.

I can trust Pasty to Jesus. I can trust my family to Him too. And I can trust my present & future to Him as well, because He hasn’t changed His commitment to me.

Day 1 – Deutschland Fall 2010 – Travels

Left early on Wednesday morning for the airport with my favorite Transporter, theBean, in the drivers seat. We had the full gamut of emotions on the trip, from laughing to tears. It’s hard to leave home.

My flight from Reno the LAX was uneventful, but the gate for my LAX  to Washington-Dulles flight was on the other side of the concourse. Which meant a sprint. And a prayer to hope that the baggage handlers were sprinting too… :)

On my flight, I felt the LORD dealing with me about faith & believing – specifically in regard to anxiety that I have had about this trip, most pointedly about the “Revolution of the Soul” mini-seminar I’ll be doing in Frankfurt this Saturday. I’d like to say that I’ve been the picture of a man of faith, full of resolve & confidence about what I’m doing, & about what is happening. But if I said that, it wouldn’t be true. I’ve been anxious. Worried. Stressed. About the unknown. And even some of the known.

I felt the LORD saying that He’s given me everything that I need for what I’ll be doing – the mini-seminar included. And that by worrying, stressing, & being anxious, I was not believing Him for that provision, for the words, for the direction, & that somehow, someway, whatever happened good or bad, was somehow MY responsibility.

Ooh. Not good.

So I repented. Asked forgiveness for my ego-centrism, worry & preoccupation. Prayed for a heart & mind  renewal. Thanked God for what He’s preparing for Saturday… & that I get to be a part of it.

After my 4 1/2 hour flight to Washington Dulles, I looked around to see what gate my Washington-Frankfurt flight would be departing from. It wasn’t listed. That made me a little nervous, so I checked with a couple of United personnel to see if they had a clue. No dice. I pushed away my anxiety, & thanked God for the peace that I knew He gave & will give, a peace that I determined to contend for.

Walked to the other end of the C Concourse to the United Customer Service desk – & on the way, called United Customer Service as well. The automated ‘agent’ on the phone was very helpful & told me exactly what I needed to know, & where to go. The personnel at the airport were having some troubles locating the airplane & gate, & my flight never did end up showing up on the Departures board. I did however board my flight. Right where the automated agent said it would be. Thanks Hal!

Landed in Frankfurt, & picked up my bag (Yes!) then headed out to meet Eddy, the pastor of our sister church, Treffpunkt Leben Foursquare Church (TPLF.) We took a few minutes to catch up as he drove us back in to town to pick up his 2 oldest boys from school. On the way, he took me by the site of the old TPLF building – there is literally NOTHING there – The entire building, all the way down into the ground, was torn down & the rubble removed. A new building will be built in its place as soon as a new foundation is being poured. I hope to get a picture or 2 of it when I go on my walk this afternoon.

We took a brief foray by the new TPLF church offices, said hello to the multi-talented & imminently gifted Elena, then made our way back to Eddy (& Laura’s)  house for lunch. I have to confess: one of my favorite things about staying with Eddy & Laura is the FOOD. Spaghetti & meatballs. So. Good.

It was about at that time that I passed out on the couch, & woke up… slowly. It took me a while to realize who (let alone) where I was. Turns out, I slept for about 30 minutes, then stumbled around groggily to get my bearings. Took my daily “EmergenC” & myVitality. And my brain turned on, & I took a few minutes to catch up on the election coverage from the vote Tuesday, & decided to blog a bit.

The sum up: I’m well, encouraged, jet-laggy, in a safe place with great friends, in one of my favorite cities & places in the world. Praying for focus, clarity, & the ability to see what is really important for me to pay attention to & do today. I’ll post pictures later, God-willing.