Vulnerable Vanity



How comfortable are you at being vulnerable about your shortcomings?

Well, have I got a deal for you.

In this (imaginary) arrangement, you will NEVER have to pay your car tags and taxes again!

And you’ll never have to wait in line at the DMV again either!  And you’ll get your very own personalized vanity plate!

Pretty good deal, huh?

Well, there’s always a catch, and here it is:

You don’t get to choose what goes on the vanity plate.

Your new plate will come in the mail, and you will be required to affix it to the back of your vehicle.

And that vanity plate will say something that points to your deepest fears, shortcomings, or problems.

For the whole world to see.


Well, before you make up your mind, here are some examples of the kind of license plates you might look forward to.

Take a look:













Those are just a few options.

You’ll receive the plate that makes you feel the most vulnerable.

I’m curious.  If this was a real deal, would you take it?

I’m sure the owners of the cars above would.  Heck, they paid their own money to advertise their own shortcomings.

Some of them even seemed proud of their brokenness.

Kind of a “vulnerable” twist on “vanity”, huh?

If that kind of sacrifice seems helpful to you, I suppose it would make for some interesting conversation, in the least. Go for it.

But Psalm 51 says that the kind of a sacrifice God is looking for is brokenness and a contrite heart.

That means you know your shortcomings, and are vulnerable to God about them, and have a sincere desire to grow in faith.

No extra advertising required.

Now, I firmly believe that sharing your growth areas with friends and family, or a 12-step group, or a covenant group is immensely helpful.

If nothing else, it reminds you that you’re not the only car in this race, and not the only one who’s license plate could tell a story.

So, how about we pick out plates that encourage each other, and acknowledge our humanness, and remind us of the love of Jesus Christ?

Whew, that’s a lot to fit on one vanity plate.

I’d pay good money and wait in line for something like this:








(But Good God it’s FREE!)


Have a great week,






A couple work friends and I went out for lunch today.

We talked about haunted houses, and movies, and church, and favorite restaurants.

Lots of laughter in between mouthfuls of Beef Teriyaki.

Later, one friend was talking about the first 45 record they ever bought. (Crimson and Clover)

So I mentioned my first album I ever paid for. (It was a Blondie record)

And our other friend shared their first music purchase, a cassette.  (New Kids On The Block!)

It was only then that it occurred to me to ask:

“Hey, how old are you two?”

The friend across from me was 56.

The friend to my right was 34.

And I’m 44

This was not the first time the three of us had shared a meal, but it was the first time I realized…

There are at least 10 years separating each of us.

Three friends.  Three generations.

A Baby Boomer, a Gen-Xer, and  a Millenial.

I thought this kind of thing wasn’t supposed to happen.

Aren’t Baby Boomers supposed to look down on Gen Xers?  Aren’t Gen Xers supposed to be rolling their eyes back at them?

Aren’t Millenials supposed to be at the gym, or doing something Hipsterish?

Apparently not.  At least not during lunch today.

Today the differences in our ages were apparent, but not as obstacles between us.

They were perspectives.  Sources of wisdom from different starting points.

A passage from Psalm 148 says

Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.

Now, I wouldn’t call any of us necessarily old, or particularly young,

but even though it might have looked like we were just eating, I think we were praising the name of the Lord, too.

There was a fourth with us in that booth, you see,

celebrating the joy of Christian community,

who is far older than the rest of us



Have a great week,





I WASN’T there.



Can I make something clear?

I wasn’t there when they crucified my Lord.

Every year the song asks the question, and every year I think to myself:

Nope.  Wasn’t there.

Wasn’t there when they nailed him to the tree.
Wasn’t there when they laid him in the tomb.
Wasn’t there when the sun refused to shine.

I wasn’t there.  Wasn’t born.

Hadn’t a clue.

I’m very sorry that it happened.  I wish those people hadn’t crucified Jesus.

But I wasn’t there!

Last supper?  Not there.

In the garden?  Not there.



Because I want to put as much space as possible between that Holy Week and this one.

Okay? Clear?

I wasn’t there.

End of discussion.


(But why am I trembling?)


Have a HOLY week,





This Little Piggy



The sign in Piggytown said:

“This Sunday:  All Church Footwashing!”

Here’s how the pigs responded:

This little piggy went to market,
for a pedicure, so she wouldn’t be embarassed when the time came.

This little piggy stayed home,
so he wouldn’t have to deal with it.

This little piggy raised a beef
at the ad board meeting, about how inappropriate it was.

This little piggy had no
clue it was even happening.

And this little piggy went WHEE! WHEE! WHEE! All the way home
from church, because she finally understood forgiveness and Christ’s call to servanthood.


Now I don’t know about you,
but this little piggy tends to avoid those moments of Grace
that can only come through a little vulnerability.

There’s not much time left to this year’s Lenten Season,
so if you’re looking for forgiveness or the call to servanthood,
it’s about time to get your foot in the door.

Have a great week,