Attack of the 100 Foot Hypocrite


You can’t find a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Godzilla movies.  At least, that’s how I felt when I was five.  WDRB-41 used to run monster movies on the weekends, and I ate up every second.  How could you not love watching a 17 story fire-breathing lizard enjoy a night on the town?  We’re talking classic cinema here.

King Kong was cool, but c’mon, Godzilla breathed fire.  Fire!  When you’re a five-year-old boy, this is as good it gets.

Unfortunately, as I grew older, I began to notice a peculiar drawback with the Godzilla films.  Everybody talked funny.  Their mouths weren’t moving in sync with their words.  In fact, it looked like they were saying one thing, but I was hearing something altogether different.

Yes, as I grew older, bad dubbing ruined Godzilla for me.  My childhood symbol of unstoppable awesomeness changed to inescapable silliness.  Even as a kid, I learned that’s it’s terribly confusing, ridiculous even, when someone’s words and actions don’t match up.

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Chicken of the Sea


When I was a senior in high school, my family took our first trip to the beach in thirteen years.  To say I was excited to get back to the ocean is an understatement.  I grew up splashing around in ponds and rivers.  I knew the beach was going to be amazing.

Little did I know the best was yet to come.  The first day in the water we saw dolphins swimming just off shore.  Dolphins!  You don’t see a lot of dolphins in ponds.

I was already in the ocean, halfway out to them when I spotted them.  They were swimming in a straight line parallel with the beach. Could I actually intercept them before they passed by?  If I hustled, I thought I could at least get close. How cool would it be to swim with dolphins?

I poured on the steam.  It looked like I might actually make it.

But as I swam closer, I started doubting my marine biology skills.  It suddenly hit me.  I’m from Indiana.  What do I know about the ocean?  I assumed they were dolphins, but I wasn’t exactly Jacque Cousteau.   All I could really see were gray fins.  Who in their right mind swims toward gray fins?

So I did a 180 and torpedoed back to shore.  No shark in dolphin’s clothing would be eating me for lunch.

Okay, so I’m the chicken of the sea.  You can’t really blame me though.  I’m not exactly the first person to flee from fear of the unknown.

How many times has that kind of fear held all of us back from plunging into unexplored waters and the adventure waiting for us on the other side?  Whether it’s taking a risk with a new job, a new friendship or a new relationship with God, it’s tough to keep going when the fins of fear start circling.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been afraid, not of a real, tangible threat, but simply the possibility of what might happen, what might be lurking, just beyond the edge of my experience.

The Bible tells a great story about a guy named Joshua who was freaking out because God had put him in charge of leading his people into the new land God had promised them, a land full of endless threats and danger.

Yet, God told him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9 NIV)

In other words, there’s no use being afraid of the unknown when you walk with a God who knows everything.  God has already explored the depths of the waters of our murky future and is beckoning us on as if to say, “Come on in.  The water’s fine.”


(Image: ‘SHARK!‘ Found on

The Mannequin Incident


Sometimes I just don’t know what my wife is thinking.  Leaving me alone to watch a preschooler in a clothing store?  That’s just poor discernment on her part.   I really think the property damage was completely her fault.

The problem all started when we walked into Old Navy last weekend, and my seven-year-old had to go the restroom, which is tucked away in the back of the store.  In the meantime I thought I’d scope out the shirts near the front entrance because I enjoy fine clothing that costs less than five dollars. My four-year-old, Kate, decided to stick with me.  It had nothing to do with my company.  She just wanted to play with the mannequins. When you walk in the door at our Old Navy they have a whole family of mannequins on display, a mom, dad and kids of various sizes.  The smallest one is the exact same height as Kate, and from her perspective, she’s just a giant American Girl doll. As soon as her Mom was out of ear-shot, Kate asked, “Can I go see the little girl?”  No problem, I thought, this will buy me a few minutes to look at t-shirts.  What could possibly go wrong? So, I started browsing while trying to keep an eye on Kate.  At one point I realized I hadn’t heard a peep out of her in awhile.  Never a good sign with a preschooler.  When I looked up, I spotted her wrestling the tiny mannequin.  It looked like she was trying to hold up a drunk.  She’d somehow pulled it off its stand and couldn’t get it back on. I went over to try to rescue her, but things just went from bad to worse.  When I tried to pick up the mannequin, I somehow ripped off its head and sent it rolling across the floor.    I’m not even kidding.  Do you know how loud a mannequin head sounds rolling across tile? For my follow up act, I grabbed the mannequin again and yanked off an arm.  The remaining pieces crashed to the ground. In a period of ten seconds I’d unleashed total chaos on Old Navy so I did the only thing I could think to do.  I threw my daughter under the bus. “Honey, what did you do?” I said in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear.  I’m not proud of it, but that’s what I did.  Chalk it up to a cowardly gut reaction. She looked at me in disbelief as if to say, “Me?  I didn’t do this!” You ever notice when things go wrong, we have a tendency to blame other people, blame our circumstances, blame anything other than ourselves?  This is nothing new.  When God showed up in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, the first thing Adam did was start the blame game. “Don’t look at me, God,” Adam said.  “It’s the woman’s fault.  Remember, the woman YOU put here.” Then Eve said, “Don’t look at me.  It was the snake.  The devil made me do it.” And on and on and on we’ve continued down the same road.  The last thing any of us likes to do is admit our weaknesses or mistakes and apologize for the times we’ve blown it.   Finding a scapegoat is always so much easier than taking responsibility for our own actions. Ironically, the only person who never needed a scapegoat willingly became a scapegoat.  By dying on the cross, Jesus took the fall for all of us, and changed the dynamics of the blame game forever.  When you’ve been forgiven by God, there’s no reason to blame others for your mistakes because your embarrassment and shame have been removed. With that in mind I apologized to my daughter, and we somehow got the dismembered mannequin put back together again.  If there’s one thing this mannequin incident taught me, though, is that when you do something dumb, you might as well own up to it.  After all, there’s no use losing your head.   Image: ‘children inside the spaceship‘

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