The Song That Always Plays in Your Head

It’s in the small hours that you hear the best. When the tiredness of your mind and body opens your ears and your heart. You hear him through the song that always plays in your head that suddenly gets a little louder.

You hear holy

and not only is it easier to hear, but easier to worship. His voice cuts through the quiet like a blade as the small soft breaths of your son are warm on your bare chest, close to your heart.

You know and feel and know and feel that someday all of this will be over and all that’s left will be you and him and that will be your time to curl in his lap or fall at his feet or maybe dance before him to the song that always plays in your head that you can suddenly hear a little better.

You realize that what matters most and is most real is the love you show people–all people. Even if, especially if they haven’t done


to deserve it.

You realize through and at your core the height and depth and width of the love that brought you to this place and you throw your head back and say

oh my God

Because you can’t kneel or do anything else because you’re holding thirty-odd pounds of toddler, even though the song that always plays in your head suddenly gets louder still.

Conviction comes that the love you’ve shown people has been feeble compared to the love shown you and suddenly it crashes into your heart anew and you feel the very hands of

He who was and is and is to come.

Your thumb is flying across the small keyboard because you don’t want to miss anything, even though you know your words can’t do the feeling any sort of justice.

You really just want people to know what it feels like.

You realize you have to tell them, no matter what.

And the song that always plays in your head quiets a little. It’s time to sleep once again, and you want to return to the warmth of your bed and the arms of your wife.

There is so much to do, and so very little time. The soft music in your head leads you down the hall as you deposit your son in his Angry Bird sheets. You see a light under the door of his big brother and realize he probably fell asleep with a book or video game control in his hand again. You remember yourself at almost 9.

You open your bedroom door and see her with an arm thrown over onto your side of the bed and you think that of all the things you’ve done in your life, it’s hard to find something on this earth that compares to laying next to this woman who loves you even though so much about you is wrong.

It occurs to you as you lay down next to her how much you’ve learned and changed and grown since meeting her. You can hear your song now, where before it was only an occasional note on a gentle breeze.

She’s had a rough night with a bad cold and you wish you could take her sickness away, but you can’t so you just pray for her as the song that always plays in your head becomes a lullaby, and you slowly drift back to sleep.

Thanks for the Memories

The last thing I remember doing with my dad is watching the season ending episode of Three’s Company back in May of 1984. The next day I got off the school bus and my sister was waiting to tell me he had a heart attack and take me to the hospital.

I don’t like that being my last good memory of him–watching some dumb sitcom. Neither of us liked the episode much. So I try to think of other things, like how strong he was. One time I saw him slide a dryer out of the back of his pickup with his bare hands. Heck, the day of his heart attack, he drove himself to the hospital. That probably bought him a day.

He loved to sail, and collect things, and listen to big band music.

I remember bringing him coffee on Saturday mornings, and running down to the little store around the corner to buy him a newspaper.

I remember he had a rifle in his closet that had a white stock, and a .22 revolver in a drawer.

He made me and my friends rubber band guns one time, and took 4 of us to see Jaws at the old Parkway Plaza theater.

I have two favorite memories of my dad that I cherish, and thinking about them now as I hold my 2 year old and watch Dora makes me realize how important it is I create memories for both of my guys

The first memory is this little routine we’d do as he went off to work (he was a cement mason). He’d say “see you later, alligator.” I would follow with “after a while, crocodile.” I loved that–it was something that was just ours.

The second was spending the night on his sailboat. We didn’t do it much, but when we did it was great. I remember the sound of the water slapping the sides of the boat, and the ding-ding of buoys or something out in the harbor. Then we would go to Jack-in-the-Box and get breakfast while it was still dark.

He might not have been Ward Cleaver, but he did what he could. I wish he could have met my kids–he was really good with them.

Anyway, I need to get busy with my guys. It’s Saturday, and we’ve got things to do!


Change the World

If it were just me I needed to think about, I wouldn’t try to change the world. I’ve lived long enough and seen enough of how things always seem to be that I don’t really care what the world “does” to me. I’ve gotten a lot better at taking it.

Yet when I wake up in the morning and when I lay my head down at night I think of these people:


Then I think that what really matters is them, and what I leave behind for them when I’m gone. When I think about them, apathy is no longer an option. I have to care about things because they look to me to learn how to do so much.

How to treat people.

How to treat each other.

How to treat the planet.

Things like that.

I may not want to be an example for anyone, but that almost doesn’t matter. I’ve got two people who need me.

I guess the best place to start is simply changing my own world first…

People Say Stupid Things on Twitter

A friend posted this article on Facebook and after chewing on it for a few hours, I think I’ve formulated a few thoughts.

1. People say really stupid things on Twitter.

2. Just because the kid singing the anthem was Mexican does not mean he’s illegal, you asshats.

3. People of many ethnicities sing the national anthem all the time at all kinds of sporting events. This is the first time you noticed?

4. Unless you’re a Native American, you’re descended from immigrants, too.

5. The America I love offers all kinds of people the opportunity to express their patriotism through song, among other ways.

6. You Twittering gas bags make me throw up in my mouth a little. Are you implying only Caucasians can love America, or be American?


I typically try to be uninvolved with this sort of thing. Certain topics bring out the stupid in people. And the hate. The ironic thing about these Twidiots is that right now, there’s an all volunteer army all around the world made up of men and women of every race and ethnicity protecting their right to make racist fools of themselves.

Conviction II: With a Vengeance

CS Lewis once said something like “a man wishing to remain an atheist cannot be too careful of what he reads.” I think it’s much the same with a man wishing to remain unconvicted of something. I read two things the other day, which when taken together busted me up like a piñata at a first grade birthday party.

This first was this. I was able to read through Radical, by David Platt, in a single day (what can I say? Setup days always have a lot of downtime)


I read passages like this one:

“If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations… But Jesus is so different from us. With the task of taking the gospel to the world, he wandered through the streets and byways…All He wanted was a few men who would think as He did, love as He did, see as He did, teach as He did and serve as He did. All He needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world.”

Which made me want to look at this:


Which in turn made me realize my head had been buried in the sand for a very long time. Any time missions or evangelizing the lost around the world came up, my first instinct was to say something like “that’s great for you, but I don’t really feel called to the mission field.”

Is that right?

What occurred to me this week (thanks to Platt) was that when I beg off spreading the Gospel because I don’t feel ‘called’ to it, I’m taking a very clear directive from Jesus to all believers and making it about whether or not I feel I’m supposed to do something.

But I’m not a pastor, I’d say. Because only pastors have experienced the fullness of Christ and can attest to what redemption feels like!

And the truth about that is so what? The disciples didn’t start out that way either. Jesus took regular people and used them to build a church that has endured for millennia. Fishermen. Tax collectors. Ex-whores.

Just tell your story, man. What did Jesus do for you? How did it feel then? How does it feel now?

Ok, you’re saved. What happens next? I realized I didn’t have to be ordained to tell people those things.

Being the hands and feet of Jesus is a piece of cake–said no one, ever.

Platt also makes this point: Every saved person this side of heaven owes the Gospel to every lost person this side of hell.

If that is true, and I am any sort of believer, and any sort of man, who am I to pass on what is commissioned by God?

“God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains, ‘You go there,’ and He says to the seas, ‘You stop here, and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator…until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, ‘No.”

It’s pretty clear what we are to do. What I am to do.