Friday, May 30, 2014


The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has a statement of Core Values. Ask any deputy, they can easily recite it for you. The first line of the Core Values states, “I commit myself to honorably perform my duties.” The concept of honor is, sadly, considered out-of-date these days. In truth, it has always been in short supply. It is human nature to seek to divert responsibility from oneself.

Honor is not pride. Legitimate pride is founded on honor. Honor is not duty. Commitment to duty comes only with a concept of personal honor. Honor cannot be imposed externally. It is a choice. Once made, it provides an internal anchor that holds one firm in shifting circumstances.

Honor is a personal commitment to do what is right. It shows the correct path to take when your personal safety or reputation might tempt you to do what is less than right. Honor is what makes you stand up and take the heat when you deserve it.

Honor is the hard way. It is much easier to go-with-the-flow, but a person of honor does what is right, not what is easy. Personal honor is actually an anomaly. It is human nature to put yourself first, to shift blame. Honor is something higher than self-interest. A healthy society could not exist apart from the exercise of personal honor. Yet, honor is not merely a ‘good idea.’ “Hey, why don’t we have honor, then we can have society?” It is a calling to go above and beyond what is natural. In that sense, it is a divine calling. God’s call to “be holy for I am holy,” is a call to honor. In one sense, that call is impossible. In another, it is a call to rise above the self and do what is right; simply because it is right.

Leviticus 20:26  “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” 1 Peter 1:16 “it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Monday, January 27, 2014


This post has absolutely NO social or spiritual redeeming value. I'm just feeling silly today.

10. Born To Be Mild

9.  Doctor My Eyes (and Ears, and stomach, and Back)

8.  I know Its Only Muzak, but I Like It

7.  Aint No Burrito Mild Enough

6.  After Midday

5.  Classical Gas

4.  Dedicated To the One I… Can’t Remember

3.  Moan-y Moan-y

2.  Lookin’ Out My Front Door (At The Kids Trampling My Lawn)

And the Number One Song for People My Age… Knock-Knock-Knockin’ on the Bathroom Door.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Does God have a sense of humor? I think so. After all, we are created in his image and likeness. Since God is Spirit, image and likeness refer to personality and abilities. Humor is as much a part of the human condition as altruism or creativity.

There are jokes in the Bible too. Most people miss them because they think religious things must be stuffy and dull. When Jesus talked about people gagging at a gnat but swallowing a camel, that was a joke not a spiritual description. My favorite joke in the Bible is found in Genesis 11, concerning the Tower of Babel. The people boldly declare, "let us build a tower who's top reaches into the heavens." God's response? "Let's go DOWN and see this thing."

I received a lesson in God's sense of humor when I was a young pastor. A woman came to church for counsel. She was distressed because her mother was sleeping with her husband. Today, this is a depressingly common occurrence, but thirty years ago in a small town it was scandal. I counseled the woman for months. I even talked to the husband and mother to no avail.

One day I was shopping at the grocery store. Mindlessly whistling a tune I pushed my cart down the aisles. As I perused the deli counter I felt eyes on me. Looking up, I found the wayward mother and husband starring daggers at me. I gave them a "whatever" look and moved on. I purchased my groceries and moved to the car. Standing over the open trunk I suddenly froze, a goofy grin on my face. I realized what I had been whistling in the store; Simon and Garfunkles "Mrs. Robinson."

Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.