Walking With A Limp

A journey of faith, family, and life with my hitch in my step

Blog Posts

Presence, then absence

When it comes relational sensitivity and supporting people who are hurting, my wife is one of the wisest people I know. A number of years ago before we were married, friends of ours were going through a serious crisis. I was distressed because I visited, offered to bring meals, but it felt so miniscule, and it’s in my nature to try to solve the actual problem. There was no solving this problem, at least on my end. What could I do to really help? Jen said something that will stick with me forever.

“In a few months, that’s when they’ll need you. After a few weeks, the outpouring of support from lots of people will slow down. That’s when they’ll need you.”

That made sense. The churches I have been in have always been good at being available Looking for consolationin the early stages of a crisis. There might be announcements at church; a member’s spouse passed away, they are having a memorial and offering to do meals or visits for the next several weeks. Someone lost his or her job and members rally to help network or help with the bills. There is usually a good response, unless the church is really off track and self-absorbed. The church is often willing and able to provide what I might call, for the lack of a better phrase, immediate presence. We rush to show up to a problem. 

Profile of a limper: more on Jacob

I gave the sermon at my church this past Sunday, and appropriate to the general concept of this blog, the focus was on the story of Jacob. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to speak on a part of Jacob’s narrative. I already did a blog post on Jacob in the form of a “Profile of a limper”, which I intend to do on a number of biblical characters. After saturating myself further in the details of Jacob’s story, I came across a few more tidbits to share, and hence a Part 2. jacobs-dream

Look at just about every major character in the Bible, and you will notice that he or she has flaws in some way that would disqualify the person from the calling given by God. If you are not a Bible reader, or you only read the happy stuff found on coffee mugs and bumper stickers, you miss how the Bible refuses to air brush the messiness out of the narratives. Jacob is unique in that he became the inheritor of the promise originally given to the spiritual giant that was Abraham. Prior to having a dream in which God repeated the promise almost verbatim to Jacob that God had given to Abraham and Isaac, Jacob was a scoundrel. It is completely unexpected and, frankly, unadvisable that Jacob would be the one to father the nation that would be God’s covenant, redeemed people. Let’s look at that dream and Jacob’s response, in Genesis 28. 

I make the mistakes so you don’t have to!

I like to reserve the picture of the facepalming polar bear for a special kind of stupid on my part. The polar bear is making a deserving cameo.

I am back with a working laptop, and I have absolutely no other option than to write with self-deprecation. The hard drive on my laptop facepalmbearcompletely quit for seemingly no reason in the middle of last week, hence, the absence of my usual content going up on the blog. Fortunately, I was able to replace the hard drive pretty easily and rest of the computer is fine. But I lost all of my work from when I bought my current laptop, which was in mid-January.

Another busted laptop, a (hopefully) short blog break

The circumstances of life will always keep a limper like myself from dabbling with overt prosperity theology. My laptop made the sudden and unexpected announcement that its hard drive decided to die. No reason.

I think back to the scene in the last Dark Knight movie where Bane says to the Batman, “Then you have my permission to die.” Apparently my hard drive must think I’m Bane and decided to take matters into its own hands. It died before I gave it permission. It had never given me a reason to.

So anyway, I’ll need a few days to get myself functional again online. When I return, I’ll be back with new content and new stories to tell.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading. You have motivated me to keep going and growing after the first couple weeks. I’m going to expand this blog and keep growing in humility and grace. In the meantime, help me out by sharing your thoughts and comments, and if you particularly like a post, share it on Facebook. I would love to meet and be in dialogue with new people. See you soon!

A hungry man blogs about food, part 3: The buffet

One of the most dangerous things that can be found in the restaurant world is the all-you-can-eat (AYCE) buffet. If you find self-indulgence to be repulsive, you probably already know that you should avoid the buffet. Even gluttony overeats at the buffet and says to itself afterwards, “Tomorrow, I start that diet.”

One of my favorite comics is the late John Pinette. John was a rather hefty man, apinettend he incorporated his size into his comedy bit. In just about every routine, he talked about his affinity for the AYCE buffet. Whatever the cost of the buffet, he always got the better end of the deal.

He would end his comedy routine with his famous bit about his trips to the Chinese buffet. As soon as he entered the restaurant, the chefs got worried. Several hours into his stay, the chefs would start lacing the meat with “enough MSG to put down an elephant.” Finally, the owners would step in and tell him, “YOU GO NOW! YOU HERE FOUR HOUR!” 

A hungry man blogs about food, part 2: Learning to cook

Throughout my twenties, I was an absolute minimalist when it came to food preparation. And I mean minimalist in several ways. The amount of time I spent on preparation was minimal. The complexity of cooking was minimal. The number of ingredients was minimal. And significantly, the number of people I was serving was very cooking-failuresminimal: just me.

I made friends with my Foreman grill, the microwave, and one pot. That’s about it. I had this internal ratio in my head of how long it took to cook something against how long it took for me to eat it. If it took substantially longer to prepare it than to eat it, it made no sense to me. And by “substantially longer”, I meant by 15 minutes. 

A hungry man blogs about food, part 1: the table

I grew up one of three boys. We’re all big. My dad is 6’7”, my brothers and I are all over 6 feet, and all well over 200 lbs. My mom is petite, but the guys more than made up for her. We lived in a reasonably sized home, but the kitchen was a bit small and we generally could not fit all around the kitchen table for dinner. The kids didn’t always have similar afternoon and evening schedules, either. So we tended to either eat dinner at separate times, or eat in the living room off our laps or tray tables. When we were all together, we would put out pizzas on the table in the kitchen, fill our plates, and go to the living room. To me, the dinner table was where the line formed for the family buffet. dinner table

My wife grew up one of three girls. They’re all small. They all fit around the table in their dining room, and they are all very social. They learned to socialize around dinner. To my wife, the dinner table was not just about food. It was about relationships.

So we get married. Almost instantly, I realized that our influences were pulling in opposite directions. And in a rare, almost miraculous moment of maturity, I concluded that my wife’s “pull” was going to win. 

Santa’s already at the mall? But maybe I can turn this into a positive…

I took my daughter to a free play area in the giant mall of the suburbs just a few days after Halloween. I have a hard time describing my relationship to this mall, because if I say that it’s a “love/hate” relationship, that just wouldn’t be accurate. Hate is a strong word. There isn’t a feeling remotely close to love that I have for this busy, pricey epicenter for commercialism. So I just try not to have a relationship with it. But this time, I caved in to take Hannah to the free play area.