32 Years a Slave

This old photo from my “other life” circa 1980, reminds me of my “stupid 20s,” when I had no sense, lived for myself, and cared not a whit about anybody else.

I was at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, and decided it would be a good idea to dance on top of a table.

Suddenly, two Federales grabbed my shoulders and escorted me to the shadows.

Thankfully, a Mexican local, whom I did not know, followed us into the “torture room” and negotiated my release. (I’m the smug, shirtless guy standing next to one of the arresting officiales.)

Today, December 2nd, not only marks the day that shiftless guy died in 1990, but also marks my 32nd anniversary as a Christian, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, an unworthy servant, worm, wretch—completely dependent on my Master for life and breath and everything I have.

This picture is a great reminder of what the Lord has done in my life…and in the lives of so many others.

How to Leave Your Church

A BELOVED FAMILY LEFT OUR FELLOWSHIP…and did it the right way: by actually telling the pastor!

AJ and Angela De LaCruz bought a new home over an hour away from Community Church of the Hills. Instead of fading away and never returning again, with members left to wondering what happened to them, they did the right and proper thing, something that the vast majority of church-goers do not do: They allowed the pastor to send them off with a blessing, even standing in front of the congregation to be prayed over before beginning their new venture.

Yes, it was a miracle.

The sad reality is, most people just leave. They may have good reasons or bad, but pastors do want to know when you go away, and would like to know why as well, even if it’s something we’ve done wrong…especially if it’s something we’ve done wrong!

Dead at 61

I TORE THE MINISCUS on my left knee in my sleep. Yeah, in my sleep. The ortho said that this was not uncommon for someone my age. Yeah, my age. I’m 61. People die at age 61.

Ernest Hemingway killed himself, as did Anthony Bourdain–at 61. Infamous mobster John Gotti died of throat cancer while Ma Barker died in a shoot-out. Benito Mussolini was also shot to death. At 61.

I turned 61 last March and I now wonder if the coronavirus might do me in. Or walking up the stairs. Or pizza. Now, it’s my stupid knee. I tried to tough it out, but it was way painful. I’m scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Will I live to see 62?

According to the Bible I’m worthless. Let me re-phrase that: I’m worth less. In the Old Testament, the worth of a man or woman dedicated to God was based on how much work could be expected from them. At age 59 my worth was 50 shekels, a full month’s wages. Alas, I’m now only valued at 15 shekels–for the second year in a row! I can sense feebleness starting to set in with senility not far behind, then, of course, my heart attack.

Am I going to slow down? No! Am I ready to retire? No! Retirement is not Biblical. My hope is to work as unto the Lord until, well, I can’t anymore, 15-shekel man or not.