Friday, June 22, 2007

Someone wants to be me

It's true. Someone's trying to be me.

And I resent it.

Tonight I discovered I am, for the second time now, a victim of identity theft and bank fraud. Yes, indeed, someone got their kicks out of opening a new credit card in my name, changing my address on file with the bank, and stealing money out of my checking account.

Initially I took this all in stride, calling the credit card reporting agencies, American Express, and Wells Fargo. Changing passwords and addresses, closing accounts, filing claims. And then after an hour on the phone, I hung up . . . and got really mad. How dare they (whoever “they” are)?! Let me at 'em!!


My little cat Lucy wants to be a bug assassin when she grows up. (It disturbs me greatly, but I think it's my fault. She watched Bourne Identity and Mission Impossible with me at a very impressionable young age. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a cat therapist for a reasonable price. So I just pray for her.) Every night, Lucy drags in a June bug from the balcony, meows till she gets my attention, then proudly exhibits her professional sniper skills--finishing the ugly job by munching up her prey. It's absolutely disgusting.


When I was young, I wanted to sing like Sandi Patty, be a gymnast like Mary Lou Retton, and dance like Michael Jackson. (I think I just dated myself.) My parents were wise enough to know that as I grew up, I'd look for people to emulate. So they fed me and my brothers biography after biography of Christian "heroes"—stories of people who loved Jesus so much that they gave everything, some even their very lives, to follow Him. These "dead saints" (such as Amy Carmichael, Ridley and Lattimer, Madame Guyon, Jonathan Goforth, John and Batty Stam) lifted my sights from my spoiled American culture and inspired me to live for something greater than myself.

In the coming days, I'll be posting memorable, thought-provoking, inspiring quotes from some of these dear "friends." (Through several lonely school years, I still had the best of company!) I hope you drop by often and enjoy their wisdom and insights. And I hope whoever wanted to be me via my bank account, finds the truth and freedom and joy and hope these saints lived for.

That would be worth the hassle.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm hungry.

My dear friend James reminded me this morning that sometimes I think too much. It's true. Which is why God gave me a warped sense of humor, hilariously funny friends, and a family that can laugh at just about anything. Otherwise, my brain would have surely imploded a long time ago.

So tonight I'm taking a break from thinking and bringing you a blog that is devoid of any cerebral value whatsoever.

Yea, it's nigh unto stupid.

Click on the link below to laugh, cry, or torture yourself. (Compliments of David Arevalo, Jonathan, and myself, pictured together above, at one of my least favorite places in the world. But it was late and we were hungry.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Redeye surprise!

I don't think I've ever been so excited to surprise someone.

I hopped on a plane at 9:00 p.m. last Friday and began a 7-hour cross-country trek, which landed me in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. A few hours later, I was huddled up with a huge crowd, ready to yell SURPRISE! as Karen walked in the door. Lemme tell ya, it was a 30th birthday party to remember!

If someone had told Karen and me when we first met 22 years ago that we'd be lifelong friends, one or both of us would surely have laughed. But unlikely friends are often the best kind, and now I cannot even begin to imagine life without Karen. She has encouraged me and cheered me on through many years and seasons; looked past my numerous faults and frailties; been as impetuous and crazy as I've been; made me laugh till I'm nauseated; and shared my passion for truth, intelligent faith, purity, and love for serving Jesus.

Here's to a friend who defines friendship. Happy 30th, dear woman!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hold the caviar, please.

Last week I tried to save $5 on coffee beans by buying a pound of Don Francisco's instead of Peets. At some point in the last four years, I turned into a hopeless coffee snob, and so on this particular day I wanted to prove to myself that I could be a humble coffee drinker. ("Instant Folgers coffee? I'd love some!") I paid for my bag of cheap drugs and left the grocery store feeling very satisfied with myself.

The next morning I took one sip of my new Don Francisco's coffee and promptly pitched the whole bag of beans. Then I went to Starbucks for an iced Americano. So much for saving money.

My job requires me to spend a lot of time in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, and I often run across strange and unusual words--like widdershins, sticky wicket, nudnik, quaggy, and scrofulous.

But today I lingered over a very familiar and somewhat boring word: humble.

Its definition keeps nagging at me. "On the ground; not arrogant or assertive; reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission; ranking low in a hierarchy or scale; insignificant, unpretentious; not costly or luxurious."

On the ground.
Not assertive.
Ranking low.
Not costly.
Not luxurious....

I was curious to know how this compared with the Bible's definition and use of humble, so I did a little research and found that one of the Greek words for humble, tapeino, means "to level, reduce to a plain; to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded; reduce to meaner circumstances."

I went to an Angels baseball game on Tuesday night. An announcer came over the loud speaker and to a crowd of 45,000 said something like, "Kindness and courtesy are contagious. Try being courteous and watch others follow your lead." I'd say no one was listening--trying to get out of the parking lot after the game was like a bad hour-long chicken fight.

And I wonder... how do we pursue humility, what does it look like to be humble, in a culture that feeds our pride and screams, "You're worth it! It's all about you!"?

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Had I searched the world over, I could never have found a better match for my brother than Heather. And not only did David get the wife of his dreams, I got the sister-in-law of mine. I have learned so very much from this precious woman, and I love every minute we get together. Heather is humble, selfless, creative, loyal, talented, athletic, fun, witty, beautiful, thoughtful, patient, forgiving... and loves and honors my brother like nobody's business! To say I adore her is an understatement.

Happy 25th birthday, dearest Sis!