Lies, Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Have you ever found out that someone was lying to you, but they didn't know that you knew? It's an interesting dilemma really. Here are your options as I see them:

1. Tell them you know, confront the lie, have an open discussion and move on. (Seems like a good choice)

2. Keep silent, hoping they will come clean. (I have not found this to be a good practice as it just makes you more and more angry the longer they take to spill the beans. ESPECIALLY since you are hoping they will choose to come clean!)

3. Keep silent, and let them continue to spin their web of lies until eventually they catch themselves.

4. Or, you can keep silent, enjoying that you know, but that they don't know that you know and watch to see just how long they will keep up the subterfuge. (Trust me when I tell you, this is definitely the worst option!)

All that to say, just tell the truth. It's easier. And the truth always finds a way.

Make the Wise Choice

We teach our kids in church to "make the wise choice." Almost every weekend they hear some version of that statement. "I need to make the wise choice." "I should make the wise choice." "God wants me to make the wise choice."

But making the wise choice just seems to be so difficult. Paul(from the Bible) said this, (my paraphrase) "I find this law at work within me. The good that I set out to do, that I know is the right thing to do . . . I never seem to choose to do that, but instead do the very thing that I DON'T want to do, the very thing that I swore I would never do." Even Paul, this great superhero of the Bible recognized the struggle that is within us, fighting to do good, but doing evil instead.

Each of us, on any given day, can make the wrong choice, the unwise choice. We have stolen conversations with people we shouldn't, linger in places we don't belong, look at and listen to things that aren't good for us, feed our addictions, whatever they may be. You name it. The opportunity to "do evil" is at every turn.

But David said this, "Where can I go that you are not there? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I go down to Sheol, you are there. Whether in darkness or light, you are there. For the darkness and the Light are the same to You (God)."

All that to say, I think that if we stop and remember that indeed God is everywhere we are, making the wise choice wouldn't be so hard.

Being Teachable

I have heard many times over the past few years the phrase, "teachable spirit." It's been used in sentences like, "He really has a teachable spirit." Or "I think you can say that to her, she has such a teachable spirit."

What I have come to understand this to mean is that having a teachable spirit means you are open to learning things about yourself, even things that are not easy to learn. It means you are able to hear hard things about yourself and not shoot the messenger, but instead value that the person cared enough about you to tell you what you needed to hear.

The reality is, most of us don't like to think about our flaws. We know we have them. We just don't like to identify them (or worse yet, have them identified for us) and work on them and change and become better people. Most people are not good at hearing the hard stuff.

Those rare people who are able to take it in, glean the truth, grow from it, and become better for it . . . those are the teachable people. Those are the people with "teachable spirits."

Being teachable isn't easy. It requires introspection. It requires you to lay down your pride. It requires you to take a step back and not react defensively. In short, it requires humility. Jesus said this in Matthew 18:4, "So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

All that to say, true greatness comes not from being an expert, nor from being skilled or accomplished at your craft, nor from being well-educated or clever. True greatness comes from being teachable. And teachability comes from humility. Which in turn, leads to greatness. At least that's what Jesus said. Are you teachable? Am I?

Those Annoying Survey Things

About once a week I get one of those "25 Things About Me" survey things where people tell us "secret" stuff about themselves. I usually, well . . . most of the time . . . I read them and then hit delete. Well I got one the other day that was quite possibly one of the funniest ones of these I have ever read. (This was copied w/o permission, so the author's name is not included. But he knows who he is.)

40 "Secrets" about yourself.
Be honest.
Answer these 40 questions. Have fun

1 - Have you ever been asked out?
I've been asked to leave. Does that count?

2 - Where was your default picture taken?
Holding cell, Third Precinct. Or so they tell me.

3 - What's your middle name?
The one between my first and last names. Duh!

4 - Your current relationship status?
A little rocky. I'm hoggin' the computer.

5 - Does your crush like you back?
Better than she likes my front.

6 - What is your current mood?

8 - What color shirt are you wearing?
Flesh tone.

9 - Missing something?
Yeah, my shirt.

10 - If you could go back in time and change something, what would you do?
I'd answer question three differently.

11 - If you must be an animal for one day, what animal would you be?
What day?

12 - Ever had a near death experience?
Death sat down by me at a movie once. Screamed like a girl during the scary part, jumped out of his seat and knocked my popcorn over with his sickle.

13 - Something you do a lot?
Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself.Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself.Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. Repeat myself. (Told ya.)

14 - The song stuck in your head?
"O Fortuna" by The Clash.

15 - Who did you copy and paste this from?
Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Hahahahahahahah!)

16 - Name someone with the same birthday as you?

17 - When was the last time you cried?
When Death spilled my popcorn.

18 - Have you ever sung in front of a large audience?
Yes. Unfortunately, it was Willie Nelson's audience and I don't think he appreciated the backup vocals on "Whiskey River."

19 - If you could have one super power what would it be?
Popping the car lock with the coat hanger on the first try.

20 - What's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Personality. (And the first thing they notice about me is that I'm a huge liar.)

21 - What do you usually order from Starbucks?
A Happy Meal. You should see the looks on their faces!

22 - What's your biggest secret
I'm not taking this quiz very seriously. (Don't tell!)

23 - Favorite color?
Plaid. (I have trouble with indecisiveness.)

24 - Do you still watch kiddie shows or tv shows?
Only if you count Joel Osteen.

25 - What's on your walls?

26 - What are you?
The square root of sixty-two.

27 - Do you speak any other language?
No hablo nada mas Ingles. Tengo el regalo de lenguas pero no tengo el regalo de interpretation, asi es que no tengo ninguna idea que digo ahora.

28 - What's your favorite smell?
The inside of my nose. Which is a good thing.

29 - Describe your life in one word.
Word. (Doesn't work very well, but I don't think it would help if I got to use "word" a lot of times. "Word word word." Nope.)

30 - Have you ever kissed in the rain?
I've been maced while kissing. Does that count?

31 - What are you thinking about right now?
What I'm thinking about right now. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle makes the question unanswerable.

33 - What should you be doing?
Glen Close is a guy.

34 - Who was the last person that made you upset/angry?
Glen Close for refusing to admit he's a guy.

35 - How often do you talk to God?
Seldom, but I do follow his tweets.

36 - Do you like working in the yard?
Scotland Yard? Longest Yard? Harvard Yard?

37 - If you could have any last name in the world, what would you want?
Even if I could have any last name in the world, I think what I would want would still be a bulldog.

39 - What is your natural hair color?
See the answer to #8.

40- What do you want to be when you grow up?

All that to say, now THIS is revealing information. If we are going to fill out these things and make other people read them, they should be this entertaining!

Box Seats

I have a fairly strong tendency to hyperspiritualize (to make spiritual analogies from EVERYthing). I don't know why I do this, though I credit it in part to my friend Doug Jackson who once made a spiritual analogy from a barbie lying in the middle of the road. And I can't seem to stop myself.

This talent came in quite handy when I had to tell a story once a week to kids at AWANA (I discovered they like those "real life" stories much more than the ones AWANA was sending me . . .sorry, it's true). So I would tell them a story about something that had happened to me during the week, and I would draw a spiritual conclusion from the occurence.

Sometimes it's annoying though, and I am sure it annoys my peeps. And yet, I do it. In fact, I'm going to do it now.

A few weeks ago, I went to an Astros game for my birthday. I kept thinking to myself how awesome it would be if I could get my picture made with Barbara Bush. But the more I thought about this, the more I realized I would never get CLOSE ENOUGH to have my picture taken with her. I'm not that important, and I don't know anyone important enough to make that happen. So I settled for just seeing her from afar. But alas, she didn't even show up to the game (I had heard they don't miss a home game!) I was so disappointed.

Later, I actually wrote this in my journal, "The privilege to tarry with you Lord is something that I take for granted. I realized this today because I had been dreaming about getting my picture taken with Barbara Bush . . . Not only was that not possible, but she didn't even show up at all. And that made me think, I have complete and total access to you Lord. Everything that would have kept me from you, every barrier was torn down when Jesus died. And you always show up when I do Lord. You never fail to meet with me. I should appreciate that freedom so much more than I do."

All that to say, I have a backstage pass. I should use it more.

Flawed in Layers

I am Jacked Up. My more religious followers might say, "Messed Up" or "Flawed" and my less religious followers might say something altogether different! But I am jacked up. This is not a new realization for me. I have known this for a while. A good while actually.

And the interesting thing about being jacked up is that I am jacked up in layers. The discovery of my flaws is an ongoing process, a process I fear might take a lifetime to accomplish. And yet one that I look forward to completing.

Each day I say, "God, if there is something in me that I am aware of or unaware of that you would desire to see changed in me, would you reveal it to me, and then help me to change it."

And yet, here's the thing. Each new day God may or may not reveal something to me. But when He does, I never feel like He is pointing out my flaws. I feel like He is helping me to grow and change and become who He wants me to be. Somehow, throughout my layers of flaws, He sees beauty. And He wants me to see it too. But He never makes me feel like He's disappointed in me. How does He do that? How does He refine me and yet make me feel perfect to Him?

All that to say, I am grateful that there is always someone in my life that loves me unconditionally, who sees who I am, beyond the flaws on the outside, to the beauty on the inside.