37 Scattered Thoughts

I should maybe be writing something reflective for today. Having reached 37 years old, maybe I’m supposed to be all introspective and mid-life crisis minded. Maybe today, I should be thinking about the impact I’ve made, the lives that have been touched, or about what is to come. Maybe some of that will come out in the next several paragraphs, but maybe not. So, because it’s my birthday and I can, I offer you 37 Scattered Thoughts:

  1. I wrote a book when I was a kid about a tiger that didn’t eat meat. That tiger was really out of place. After 37 years… so am I, sometimes.
  2. I like meat. (To eat, not to wear.)
  3. I read Life of Pi last week and kept thinking about my vegetarian tiger. He would have been pretty safe to float around with in a life boat – but still a little out of place.
  4. If our first child had been a boy, there’s a good chance I would have lost the ‘discussion’ with LuAnn and his name would have been Tiger.
  5. I’m not sure how we went from what would have been a VERY uncommon name for a little white kid in the farmlands to the most common girl’s name of several decades, but that little girl (who’s now 13) is anything but common!
  6. I guess we’ve made up for it with a now 6 year old girl who answers to Lizzard!
  7. I may or may not have used the word ‘synapse’ when I taught children’s church a couple weeks ago, talking about having our minds transformed (Rom. 12).
  8. I most assuredly did make green fire in the chapel that day, though, which definitely perked up the juvenile neural activity!
  9. I should maybe not be allowed around small children too often.
  10. I like words. (Not to eat, though. Or wear.)
  11. I should lose about 10 lbs. The first 5 would disappear if I’d quit drinking so much freaking Mt. Dew! The second 5 will require a little more effort.
  12. I still think the Broncos should have kept Tebow – he’s a weapon that I think Peyton Manning could employ in ways that no one else ever will. (Can you imagine a defense trying to adjust before the snap as Manning moves Tebow around the backfield?)
  13. I love watching Manning figure out defenses and pick them apart for the Broncos.
  14. I like BOTH/AND kinds of solutions a lot more often than EITHER/OR ones.
  15. Big decisions require big commitment. I don’t want to do something halfway, so I’m slow to make the decision if I’m not sure I’ll make the commitment.
  16. My first marriage started when I was only 18, a couple weeks after graduating high school. It was a big decision, but an easy one to commit to!
  17. It’s still going. (That whole “’til death do us part” thing… we meant it.)
  18. The hardest decision I ever made was to move from our first place of ministry. Those people are our spiritual family who launched us into further ministry as much as they let us go. I know that whatever I do in ministry today and tomorrow is growing out of soil they helped prepare. Thanks ACC.
  19. I don’t feel at 37 like what I thought 37 would feel like. (This one’s really dumb, but for some reason, I felt obligated to say it.)
  20. At 37, I’ve pretty much given up on ever having great hair.
  21. Sometimes, I’m not sure I’m actually an adult at all. Maybe it’s just a hazard/benefit of youth ministry!
  22. I hate seeing the next generation belittled and degraded by older generations.
  23. I also hate seeing the next generation live down to the low expectations with which they’re caricatured. If the adults in your life are too lazy or self-obsessed to raise the bar of what’s expected of you, you’ve got to raise it for yourselves.
  24. 37 scattered thoughts can get really long and boring. I won’t be offended if you want to take a break and come back later – just be sure to come back! (Bonus points if you share some thoughts of your own that are sparked by my 37.)
  25. 37 is the highest prime number in the 30’s.
  26. In addition to words, I also like numbers. (Also, not for eating.)
  27. Sometimes, numbers do lie, though. You really have to watch out for that.
  28. I once made a list of ministry goals that included seeing 5 former students located in vocational ministry. Recently, #5 relocated his family halfway across the planet to work with a video ministry to closed people groups in North Africa. Several others are ‘on the tarmac’ just about ready to launch. I can’t wait to see how God will work through them to reconcile people to Himself!
  29. I probably need to update my list.
  30. Despite all its flaws and frailties, I love the church and I’m so glad I chose to make myself available to God for the benefit of His bride. I still feel there is so much more to the church that what most people see (even from within), and I look forward to continuing to work to help people be the church He imagines we can be.
  31. I am not a fan of Jesus. He deserves so much more than a fan would ever give. (If you don’t get this reference – go get the book.)
  32. I encourage people to never go to church again. Maybe the biggest problem the church has is capitulating to the low expectation that church is something you go to. It’s not. It’s a band of disciples united by the mission of Jesus and requires far more than what’s reflected on a perfect attendance plaque.
  33. You can’t  be the church, though, without being with the church.
  34. Benjamin Zander once said, “My job is to awaken possibilities in others.” He conducted the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. I think that’s my job, too – without the violas and crashing cymbals. I love seeing the potential go kinetic!
  35. If I can unlock the incredible possibilities I see in my own 4 kids and help them bend their will to our Father’s, the world will never be the same! (I owe a huge “Thank you” to all the parents who’ve let me ‘practice’ on their teens before mine have begun to reach that age! Haha!)
  36. I have still not published any books (Tigers notwithstanding). Maybe that’s a situation I should work more to change. (I did receive the quickest book proposal rejection in history though a few weeks ago – less than 24 hours.)
  37. I hope that my 37 years of being blessed in the life I live will continue to lead me to be a blessing to others… Maybe even to you!

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