Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"That scared the hell out of me!"

"That scared the hell out of me!" a student said as I walked by him and his friend in the hallway at school. My first response was to correct the student to not say "hell" while he was at school, but the more I thought about this phrase, my brain kept taking me back to a special moment in my past.

When I was about 5 years old, we were living in the small town of Reedley, California. Dad was working as a youth pastor at the big Reedley MB church, and every Sunday we would go to church and listen to the pastor preach. In my 5 year old mind, the man was amazing. He knew everything in the Bible and never stopped talking about it. He would talk about the life of Jesus and the Ten Commandments. He also preached about things like heaven and hell. I didn't mind hearing about the heaven stuff, but hated listening to sermons where the topic was hell.

Anyways, the preacher must have been preaching something fierce about hell and suffering and being apart from God one night at church, and I started getting really scared. The whole drive home I sat in the back seat, my brain churning with terrible thoughts of the devil, with his pointy three-pronged pitch fork, waving at me from his fiery pit of damnation. It was "scaring the hell out of me", so much that when my mother was tucking me into bed I quickly blurted out, "What do you do if you don't want to go to hell?" My mom smiled, and right there told me about asking Jesus into my heart. It all made sense to me. Jesus = no hell. So that night, I accepted Jesus into my heart.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the best way to get people to come to Jesus is to scare them into a relationship with Christ, but I for one am glad the preacher used a little fire and brimstone talk to grease my wheels. It's just good to know I had "the hell scared out of me" on that late Sunday night in Reedley, California.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Favorite Gift

It's no secret. I love Kung-Fu movies. Even more that that, I love Jackie Chan movies. Sure, getting movies for Christmas is fun, but you can only watch them so many times. But when someone gives you something that is completely unexpected, yet still relates to one of the things you love...those are the gifts to cherish. So imagine the look on my face when I unwrapped this.

Yep. That's right. It's Jackie Chan. A 12 inch movable doll that is one sixth the size of Jackie Chan himself (which really doesn't make sense considering he isn't 6 ft tall). He came with detachable sunglasses and jacket and can be molded into any position that you can think of. He now resides on the top of my desk, eagerly waiting to open a can of kung-fu hurt on any 4th grader who wants to pop some attitude. Watch out 4th grade! Here comes Jackie Chan!

Thanks, Mark!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In 2009, I...

Became a father,

Taught 4th grade for the third year in a row (my 9th year of teaching),

Got a new brother-in-law,

Wrote three songs, some blog posts, and my first (official) short story,

Enjoyed watching TV shows, including Burn Notice, Angel, Leverage, Castle, and the 9th season of Smallville,

Continued loving my wife for the 9th year in a row (6 years married),

Read The Lightening Thief, The Magicians Elephant, the ultimate guides to Superman and Conan, and more trade paperbacks than I can count (thank you, library!),

Rocked out on my guitar at Sunset Presbyterian Church,

and became an official dork by visiting the SciFi Museum in Seattle.