All the stuff what I like.


I am studying Psalm 27, reading Spurgeon’s commentary with my WhatDaFunk playlist rockin’ in the background—James Brown at the moment.  

He’s singing ‘Shake your moneymaker.’ I realize I’m bobbing my head to the beat. Shaking my head. My moneymaker. I mean, it’s not making me much money, but have you seen my ass? That ain’t gonna make it rain. 

So here I am, shaking my moneymaker. 

All the stuff what I like.


I arrived at that point, the time when you realize life is too short to sleep any longer on a lousy mattress. I’ll spare you our history of mattresses, other than to tell you we began our marriage thirty-plus years ago with a top-of-the-line, full-motion waterbed from WaterBed City! Bon voyage, newlyweds! 

Arrival at that point comes with a price tag. And sticker shock! When did buying a mattress become like buying a car?

We tried them all. Landed on a mattress called Purple. We like Purple.

Side note: Grabbed myself a new Serta Copper pillow to go along with our new Purple mattress. Copper and Purple go surprisingly well together, methinks.


Did'ya blow?

They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our …

A real conversation, in a local pub, not long ago…

Q: My friend asked, “What would you do?”

A: “I’d start by punching that pastor in the mouth!”

But first, a childhood recollection—

Larry’s dad was a jazz drummer. He had a day job. But every weekend he was off gigging somewhere. One of his drum kits was set up in the house. Going over to play at Larry’s was a lot of fun. And loud. 

That’s not the way his dad played, though. Every now and again the old man would come in, sit down at the kit and show us his skills. He was all jazz, smooth and with delicate touch. I was like, ‘Isn’t the point of drumming … percussion? Feeling it? Like thunder? But Larry’s dad was gentle. And damn talented. Larry wasn’t bad, either. He could play along to Harry Chapin and Jim Croce records. 

“Have you ever seen The Jazz Singer?” Larry asked me once. “Al Jolson?” 

He told the story—a young Jewish musician was disowned by his traditional Jewish family for wanting to be a jazz singer. “It was something like that for my dad,” he said. “My grandfather expected Dad to be a Cantor. Dad did that for a while. Until my grandfather learned he was sneaking out to play in jazz clubs with other jazz musicians.” 

He explained that his grandfather was very devout in his religion; his religion taught you should turn your back on apostates. Cut and dry. 

Larry had living grandparents, at least as far as he knew. And I guess that’s the point—he didn’t know. Larry’s dad’s music came at a tremendous cost; his family of origin had written him out. 

Fast forward forty years. I’m having a beer with a friend. His daughter just came out to him. He went to see his pastor. The pastor advised my friend to “draw a hard line in the sand,” to disown his daughter … “until such a time as she repents, of course.”

My friend asked, “What would you do?”

“I’d start by punching that pastor in the mouth!”

I'm so happy to be here!

Scared Shitless

Most people don’t remember their own potty-training experience. I remember mine.

A traumatic encounter with a toilet is among my earliest recollections. I was two or three, and yes, I remember the incident in stunning, graphic clarity. No exaggeration—it scared me shitless.

A little boy’s right of passage, I was finally tall enough to stand at the potty. My li’l wee-wee was just high enough to … get pinched when the seat falls. Pinched? CRUNCHED! 

Mom was crushed when the shitter bit me. She blamed herself. She explained to me that the fancy throne cover she’d crocheted of baby-blue yarn caused the upright seat to lose its balance and … damn near guillotine my li’l pecker.

Just before impact, all was streaming along. I was ecstatic. I could hear the tinkle. That’s what Mom and Dad stressed—big boys who can stand up to use the potty get to “make tinkles,” referring to the sound pee makes as it hits the water. “Do you want to make tinkles?” Hell yes, I want to make tinkles! 

There I am, peeing like a big boy. Music to my ears! I’m making tinkles! I think I had a premonition. Not even a formed thought, more a sense, really … Am I really safe while my li’l wee is hanging all out there in the open? Just then, I felt a rush of wind. Down there.


Loud! Like a cannon went off! Do remember, at that very instant my ears were hyper-attentive to any and every sound—I’m loving the tinkle. This most violent and percussive strike was amplified by the porcelain and tile, and ricocheted around the bathroom. As did my scream.  

And the sting? HOLY SHIT! 

Mom was there in a flash, administering whatever comfort a loving mom can offer her son … whom she may have just neutered. 

My li’l wee was li’l no more. Swelled up like a balloon. When you’re that young, swelling freaks you the hell out! No concept of ‘this will go back to normal.’

Then Doug came along. He said, “Mom and Dad should have warned you; that toilet is a man-eater!” He went into great detail, describing dozens of times the toilet tried to bite him. But he mastered the art of standing back, far away … projecting his pee. “Aim high and make an arc,” he said, demonstrating an arc with his hands. 

Then he offered me this consolation: “At least you were standing up and peeing when it bit you. That pain is nothing compared to how bad it hurts if it bites you while you are sitting down to poop!” 

HOLY SHIT! This thing is dangerous! I vowed to never sit down on a toilet. 

Slowed my potty training. Shit my pants a lot, too. Eventually I matured through it; discovered the toilet is a friend, not a foe. 

Maybe not public restroom toilets. I’ve seen some scary looking public shitters.

Jesus loves me, this I know...

Four-Letter Words

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

In other words, love God and love others; everything else will fall into place.

You run into trouble when the everything else becomes more important than the love. You’re communicating the message, that to Jesus, the everything else is more important than the love. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth.  

You’re not winning anyone to Jesus talking about the everything else; you’re winning people to Jesus when you love.