Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Personal Stalker

There was this guy that always followed me around wherever I went.


The guy was an extreme stalker!
He followed me to work.
He followed me at home.
He followed me on vacation.
I couldn't get away from him.

Sometimes he would tell me how good I am
What a great preacher I am
What a great pastor I am
What a great dad I am
And stuff like that.

He's also the guy who tells me
What a terrible guitar player I am
And how ugly I am
And so on.

And, when I made a mistake
No matter how large or small
He would take a whack at me
Or beat me up real good.

The thing is
That even though he has followed me for years
I didn't know his name.
Until last week.

A couple of weeks ago I made a mistake
And he beat me up
Real good
For days.

Then I learned two things
His name,
And that he doesn't exist.

His name is "perfect jeff."
And "perfect jeff" doesn't exist,
He only existed in my psyche.
And though I always knew
I am not perfect
"perfect jeff" would tell me otherwise
And smack me when I wasn't.

People would tell me to let go of the mistake
And the event in which the mistake occurred
And they were right.

But, what I also needed to do
Was to let go of the guy who kept beating me up over it.

So, I did.

And my life is different.
And I have a new-found freedom
And I am healing
Thanks to the liberating grace
Of God
And of the church.

So, to all of the recovering perfectionists out there
And to those perfectionists who long to recover
It's time to let go of your personal
And be liberated into the grace of God
Who loves us
With and despite
Our many
Faults and flaws.

Who needs to be perfect anyway?
I am pretty sure it is over-rated.

Monday, May 3, 2010



Christians talk about it - especially at Easter
But do we really think it can happen
To someone else?

I have a close friend who went to a lunch where Michelle Obama was the speaker.

(I am pretty sure Michelle Obama had a crush on me in high school.)
(Okay, we didn't go to the same high school,
but I am pretty sure that if we did she would have.)

My friend was a bit apprehensive because
she leans Republican
and had read some of Michelle Obama's writings from like
and she didn't like what she read.
And I
(who love the Obamas even though I don't like everything our President has said or done or stands for)
I thought to myself
So what.
over 40
is the same person they were in college?
or the same person they were at 30?

I know I am not

Thanks be to God!

When me friend called me after the luncheon
She told me how great the luncheon was and
How she had changed her mind about Michelle Obama
And how impressed she was with her
And the work Michelle Obama is doing
I think she felt a genuine kindred spirit with Mrs. Obama


It happens to everyone who is breathing.
We are not who we were then
Or at least mostly not
Or shouldn't be

A few months ago I caught up with a friend from high school
high school was like 30 years ago
We discovered we live only twenty minutes from each other
So we had lunch and we have kept in touch since
And, while we were very close in high school
It really feels like starting all over again
We've both changed
We inhabit different worlds

I say all this because I think that church has forgotten
that God transforms people
every day.
We are not who we were then
Neither are they
whoever they may be
And so when
come to our worship
or our programs
or our dinners
or our fellowship
let's welcome them
as new creations

I mean
if they are coming to us
haven't they chosen Christ at some level?
in some way?
and isn't that the beginning of being a new creation in Christ?
And don't we want to see them
not as they were
nor maybe even so much as they are
but what they
through God's grace
are becoming?

I think that's they way God see me.
And man
Am I grateful!
Because I would hate to think that God still sees me
as that awkward
totally messed up
I was in high school
and thinks to Himself
No way am I coming within twenty miles of
THAT guy!