The Following Is Not a Story About My Son and Me Playing Nerf Basketball… and If You Can’t Figure Out What It is About You May Be Part of the Problem

Sometimes my sons and I will invent games to play. Usually these games involve my boys making up the rules as they go to ensure they always have an advantage over me.

Just yesterday my youngest son and I were playing a game with a Nerf hoop and basketball set up in our living room. I had to shoot the ball from the couch. He had to try to block it. I got three points for a make. He got two points for a block and one point for a miss even if he didn’t block it. Fair? Nope. But I’m money at Nerf basketball so I wasn’t worried about it. I thought I might have a chance because in theory I could score points. However, before long he started hit the goal as he tried to block my shot which guaranteed that I couldn’t make it.

I was like: “That’s not fair. You can’t move the hoop. ”

He was like: “You just got to make it.”

I’d shoot. He’d hit the goal.

Eventually I was like: “I don’t want to play like this anymore.”

And he was like: “Then I win.”

It pretty much boiled down to me playing by the rules he set up and changed for his perpetual advantage. If I play by the rules, he wins. If I quit, he wins. I’m happy there was nothing at stake in that game. I mean, right?



Mississippi House Bill 1523: Helpful or Hateful?

As a pastor I get asked my opinion on various political topics from time to time. Sometimes people want to know how I see certain issues from a biblical or theological perspective. I am more than happy to have those conversations. To that end, I have had a number of discussions with individuals recently about MS House Bill 1523- also known as the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act.”

I have read the whole bill a few times. Simply put, the bill seeks to offer protection for those who have a traditional view of marriage whose convictions would lead them to deny certain goods or services to homosexual persons or couples (Section 3). For instance, this bill protects a Christian adoption agency from getting sued for denying an adoption request from a same-sex couple (Section 4.2 and 4.3). It also protects people with rental properties from getting sued for denying applicants whose lifestyle differs from their religious convictions (Section 4.1c). Many other protections are detailed that are pertinent to caterers, florists, tailors, or any industry that affects the “celebration or recognition of any marriage, based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.” (Section 3.1a)

Based on the reactions I have seen to the bill, the above paragraph might have you nodding in approval of HB 1523 or gritting your teeth in angst over it. I have heard the terms “hateful” and “bigoted” used to describe the bill and its supporters. I have heard the word “un-Christian” to describe those who are against it. That is the very reason I generally save commentary about political issues for conversations rather than congregations. Our congregation has people on both sides of the aisle; none of whom would I describe as “hateful” or “un-Christian”

However, what bothers me the most in all of this is when Christian people forget that there are two kingdoms: the kingdom of man and the kingdom of God. That being said, it is right and good for Christians to seek the manifestation of the principles of the Kingdom of God within the kingdom of man. For example, William Wilberforce, an evangelical Christian, used his influence as a member of Parliament to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire because of his Christian convictions about the dignity of all persons. Even still, we mustn’t confuse man-made government with the invisible Kingdom of Heaven, or man-made law with the gospel.

The truth is this world and its kingdoms have never and will never mirror the in-breaking Kingdom of God. The true Church will always fall outside the margins of earthly governments. In following Christ we will always be led to walk across the grain of the culture we find ourselves in be it communist or democratic, secular or theistic. There will never be a Supreme Court, Senate, Congress, Legislature, Governor, or President that works for or speaks on behalf of the Kingdom of God.

HB 1523 does not speak for God. The Supreme Court does not speak for God. The true Church has never needed a man-made government to legislate on its behalf or to validate its convictions. Let us not forget the lessons of church history wherein the community of Christ thrives in the midst of persecutions from the kingdoms of man and loses its way when it is declared the religion of state, empire, or nation. Every time.

That is not to say that the laws of our earthly kingdom have no impact on our Christian living. We are, after all, in the world even if we are not of the world. For example, in Acts 22 Paul appealed to the privilege of his Roman citizenship so that he didn’t get killed for preaching Christ. He was grateful to be born a Roman citizen and thankful that it provided protection for him in a time of need. To that end, HB 1523 “protects” my church (and me for that matter) from a lawsuit that might stem from our conviction about marriage. The leadership of our church affirms what the scriptures teach regarding marriage; that it is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman whereby the two are made one flesh (Gen. 2:24, Mk. 10:8, Eph. 5:31). As a matter of faith, our leadership could not condone a same sex union in our church and I could not conduct a same-sex marriage. We have refused to host or conduct weddings of certain heterosexual couples based on that same biblical framework as well. HB 1523 was an effort to protect congregations like the one I serve and people like me from being sued for making decisions consistent with that conviction. As a reminder, the First Amendment of the US Constitution offers us those same protections. At no time, however, do these protections relieve us of our obligation to love and welcome all people with the radical hospitality of Jesus.

That’s why to Paul, being Roman was a secondary citizenship. Paul reminds the Philippian church, though they too were part of the Roman Empire, “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” He wrote that from a jail cell that he was in for preaching a gospel that the world hates. His heavenly citizenship trumped his Roman citizenship. Every time.

Because of that truth, we as Christians are not to condemn, ostracize, marginalize, de-humanize, or reject those who live in a way that is not consistent with our convictions. Christian, need I remind you that you do not live in a way that is consistent with your conviction either! We follow one who loved, walked beside, served, and forgave all manner of people whose lives opposed the kingdom he came to establish. As followers of Jesus we need to welcome, love, honor, and be gracious toward all people. As business owners, owners of rental properties, restaurateurs, and laborers in service industries we need to extend the same hospitality that Christ extended to all persons. Never once did he water down truth. Never once did he withhold extraordinary grace. God’s kingdom does not afford us an either-or answer in this regard, but rather an other-than.

I am glad to live in a nation where I can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ without threat to my life and that I can stand on my convictions as a matter of law. Even still, I don’t need Washington D.C. or the State of Mississippi to protect my religious liberties. I am an American. I live in Mississippi. I am sincerely grateful for both but certainly needful of neither. Paul was happy to appeal to his Roman citizenship for protection and yet sang hymns at midnight in a prison where he was bound by Roman shackles.

HB 1523 has not relieved me of any burden I bear for following Christ in a world that rejects him. Undoubtedly, many who support this bill will find my openness, hospitality, and love toward homosexual persons an affront to their convictions, just as many who are against this bill will find my convictions regarding covenant marriage narrow-minded and bigoted. “Pick a side!” they say. “Are you for it or against it?” they ask. It all grieves me. I’d like to think one can live with conviction and compassion. At the same time. All at once. That might just be my dual citizenship talking though.


Decisions, Discernment, and Direction

In my house we don’t always fall into stereotypical roles. For instance, my wife hates to ask for directions. Even from Siri. I don’t hesitate to ask for directions. In fact, I enjoy asking for directions. I’ll roll down my window in traffic, ask the gas station store clerk, or talk up the guy pumping gas next to me about the best way to get where I’m going. Usually I just ask my wife though and she’ll tell me the way. She’s not nearly as lost as I am most of the time.

In my ministry life I will often get people asking me for directions. Relationally, vocationally, emotionally, and spiritually people can feel stuck. Sometimes folks ask for a meeting. Sometimes folks roll down a window in traffic.   Sometimes it’s at the gas pump. They just want a little help; some perspective or angle that I may have a vantage point on.


I received one such text message yesterday from someone I hadn’t seen in a few years. They were stuck. It had to do with calling and vocation. I called them and it went something like this:  “I’ve been studying and training to do this certain thing. But some people are questioning whether I should be studying and training for this certain thing. I want to do God’s will and I thought this was it but I’m not sure anymore. I don’t know which way to go. What do you think?”

I find myself coming back to the same basic answer when people ask me for directions. This same answer applies in most circumstances simply because rarely do I have the kind of specific insight they are seeking. There are times when I sense a “word from the Lord” for someone but those times are rare.

These are the directions I give:

  1. Check your heart. Are you open to being led by the Lord or are you dead-set on something and are looking for someone to tell you that it’s ok? Sometimes our “hearts” are led to things that are not of the Lord. I don’t trust your heart. You shouldn’t either. My heart told me to eat that third donut that was suffering in the box all alone this morning. Bad heart. Repent.
  2. Wait on the Lord. If you are not sure whether to do something or not, stay put. God delights when we seek His will above our own and God will make his will known. Trust that he has a plan for this and wait on it to be revealed. Godly discernment always precedes godly decisions. Wait. Listen. Obey.
  3. Seek the saints. I don’t care what your mama says about it. Who are the godly, wise people who speak truth to you? What are they saying? If you are not in committed, accountable, Christian community then you cannot discern God’s voice.
  4. Read the word. God speaks through his word! Are you listening to God in the scriptures? Don’t wait on a Post-It note from the Almighty, read the word he has already spoken. And when you think he’s speaking, seek the saints to confirm it!
  5. Take a knee. Pray for God’s will to be done in your life. Combine fasting with prayer. Invite others to pray for you and with you. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If Jesus told us to pray for God’s will to be done it would stand to reason that God would then reveal his will to those who know and love him. Remember, seek God’s will, don’t just spend time asking God to bless yours.

Do these things and you will be following the Spirit, not your heart. One will show you the way the other will lead you astray. Every time.




“Easier read than done.” I think that is a phrase that I’ll coin. Perhaps it’ll become a popular phrase. It’ll earn it’s own hashtag #ERTD. Christian people around the globe will twitter their tweets of various bible verses and end them with #ERTD.

We say we believe in Jesus. We claim to believe in the sovereign grace and goodness of God. We claim to believe that scripture is infallible and authoritative- the only rule of faith and life for those who believe. We profess faith in that which we cannot see and yet still trust it. But some things in the Bible are just easier read than done.

I often worry about things. Regular things. Things like, “Am I messing my kids up?” Or, “Have I gone too long without an oil change.” Or, “What if my brother’s brain surgery doesn’t go ok?” Or, “Why doesn’t so-and-so come to church any more?” Or, “I want new shoes but some people don’t have any shoes. Is that wrong?” Or, “What if people don’t know what a hashtag is?”

I mean, we all worry, right? We worry about the significant and the insignificant. We worry about money and if it will last. We worry about relationships and if they will last. We worry about decisions and the implications of making the wrong ones. What if I don’t get the job? We worry about our health and the health of our loved ones. We worry about America. We worry about the world. Did I leave the oven on? And we worried about all of those things before smart phones, the twenty-four hour news cycle, and social media! Now we have even more stuff we can worry about. #worryabouteverything

This is what Jesus says about worry: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (#sermononthemount).

This is what the apostle Paul says about worry: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (#Philippians4).

This is what King David says about worry: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” “When I am afraid I put my trust in you.” (#Psalm55 #Psalm56).

This is what Jesus’ right-hand-man Peter says about worry: “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (#fishermanwroteabookofthebible).

It seems that the scriptures have much to say about worry. Basically it just says, “Don’t! Because the God in control of all things loves us more than we can imagine and he’s got it all figured out.” Scripture seems to indicate that we can actually live worry free lives when we trust God with our lives. How do we do this? Well, I think we may need to deal with our anxiety with repentance. That means acknowledging our worry as sin and confessing it, re-believing the gospel all over again.




Footprints on My Ceiling

There was an old, rural church in the Florida panhandle I visited a few times. It was quaint and unremarkable save for its overt simplicity. However, if one were to look at the wooden ceiling, they could see dark footprints on the pine planks. It was said that those were the footprints of the slaves that built it. Ceilings shouldn’t have footprints on them.

As I read the first headline I saw about the massacre at Emmanuel AME in Charleston my heart physically hurt. I knew the story before I read it. I knew a young white male did it. My mind in a moment flew over the various outposts of racial tensions that have been the 1 and 3 of America’s rhythm. Everything in me just wants it to be over. From Dr. King’s dream to Rodney King’s plea I desperately want a post-racial America. But that is like wanting water that’s not wet. If there is such a thing as America there will be issues of race and inequality. The steel of this great nation was forged in part by the mill dehumanization.

That acknowledgement is one of the reasons I liked Rachel Dolezal when I first met her. My junior year was her freshman year of college in Jackson Mississippi. She was very much white. “Whiter” than me. She was a homeschooled kid from Montana.   She was very plain looking. There wasn’t much style to her at all.

Her plain whiteness was what made her art something to behold. There were a few artists at our college making decent contributions. But Rachel’s art was just better. It connected more. It conveyed more. Her installations were the ones people stopped and stared at. Her subject matter was exclusively the capturing of the struggle of people of color. To see this nondescript white-girl telling the story of the pain and pride of black folk through remarkable art was ironic. At the same time, her art was real. It was soulful. It was legit.

dolezal pic

I got to know Rachel beyond simple acquaintance. She and I were white members of the Black Student Association of our college. She and I were part of a push to get an African American history class taught for the first time at our school. We both attended a church whose mission, in part, was to be a community devoted to racial reconciliation. Rachel was relentless in her pursuit of understanding and conveying the hardship and beauty of the black experience. I recall the time she told me about driving north of Jackson toward the delta until she saw a cotton field. She pulled over, climbed through the barbed wire and picked cotton for hours. She wanted to know the struggle.

My brother, like Rachel, was studying fine arts. He had gifted me a portrait of my best friend James. It was a small drawing done with black and white pencil on a green matte board. It hung on the wall in his studio. James was black. Looking for my brother in his studio space I found Rachel instead. She was staring at the portrait of my friend James. She was crying. She explained to me that what my brother captured in that intimate portrait was always what she was trying to convey through her own art. I gave her the portrait of my best friend. I had him. I didn’t need the picture.

Little did I know that James would get arrested a number of times- for robbery, aggravated assault, and grand theft. He’ll get out of prison in 2019. A handful of years ago I reached out to Rachel to see if I could have James’ portrait back. I wanted my kids to know about my best friend growing up. She offered to sell it back to me. I wasn’t interested. Shortly after that she moved to Washington. Shortly after that she unfriended me on Facebook.

And then, out of nowhere, she filled the internet. I couldn’t believe it. Then I could. It made all the sense in the world to me. For as much as Rachel tried to understand and convey the truth of the struggle of the black experience, it was never close enough. What James’ portrait had in it that Rachel’s work lacked was relationship- not a subject matter but a personhood.

Ultimately, I think Rachel became her own canvas. Her life became the medium of her magnum opus; her identity the means through which to capture and tell the story she was so desperately drawn to. She became immersed in telling a history of struggle that was not her own. Her brushes gave way to hair extensions, paints gave way to skin pigments and like any art she became the representation of something she wasn’t. It was earnest. But it wasn’t real.

I understand it though. As wave after wave of headlines poured in about Charleston, everything in me wanted to excuse myself from my whiteness. I wanted the Charleston tragedy to be a story of some crazy, racist kid who was an aberration. But that’s not true. The truth is that our culture is woven from the loom of white supremacy. Dylan Roof was incubated in a culture that didn’t put him in check. I hate that truth. I hate the idea that my life benefits from that truth. I want to make it not so. I want to identify with and stand in solidarity with the struggle of my brothers and sisters of color. That’s what Rachel Dolezal and I have in common.

What we don’t have in common is that she hid. In the wake of Charleston I would love to distance myself from my whiteness by claiming that I self-identify as black. I would love to claim solidarity with those who suffer at the hands not just of hateful persons but at the hands of a system put in place by hateful persons and perpetuated by those who have benefited from it.

As the country watched Baltimore burn a couple of months ago I asked a black man who is a member of my church to go for a walk with me. I told him I needed his help. I asked him to help me interpret these events from his eyes. I asked him to help me understand. I said, “James, I want to walk a mile in your shoes.” I was dead serious. I was hurting. And James laughed. He’s a big man. It was a big laugh. He said, “Scott, you don’t want to walk a mile in my shoes. You’d get a few steps out of my door, take my shoes off and hand them back to me.” He was right.

Charleston doesn’t need me to distance myself from who I am as a white person. Charleston doesn’t need me to claim solidarity. Charleston doesn’t need me to denounce racism as though I am an enlightened one. Charleston doesn’t need me to self-identify as black making the suffering of others a work of self-art. Charleston needs me to be honest about who I am. Solidarity may come, but it comes as the fruit of repentance; repentance that is born of an honest assessment of self and society.

Can I be honest? I am shielded from the hot sun of racial oppression. I am kept dry from the driving rains of inequality. I am protected from the damaging hail of functional segregation. I am not stung by the sleet of assumed inferiority. There is a pine ceiling over my head and there are dark footprints on it. And I like it. I hate that I like it. But I like it.

James was right. I would bring his shoes back because I have the privilege of not having to walk in them. That’s the truth. That’s where my repentance needs to begin. The first flag furled needs to be the one that flies over the foot-printed ceiling of my privilege.

Earlier this week I walked with my children through the MLK Memorial complex in Atlanta. That kind of thing is of value. More valuable for the people they will grow up to be however, will be making them see the ceiling of our life and explaining why there are footprints on it.




Baltimore Burning

Yesterday morning I was in a hospital with the family of a man who lay dying.  We prayed together for a miracle, for peace, for hope.

After leaving, I waited for an elevator and a man introduced himself to me. He had seen me praying with this family. He was also a pastor. We looked to be the same age. We both wore light khaki pants and blue golf shirts with brown belts and slip-on loafers. It was like looking into a mirror except for the fact that he was black and I’m white. His church is run out of a storefront in McGee, MS. He told me God had called him years before to minister to drug dealers, pimps, and prostitutes. He asked about my ministry. I told him that God had called me years before to the Presbyterian church to minister to educated white people. He said, “Amen. Everybody needs the gospel. Nobody needs to stay the same.”

We wound up spending around fifteen minutes together talking ministry. As we spoke my mind kept thinking about what is happening in Baltimore. Once again a line is being drawn between the urban poor and those in law enforcement. Commentators pick a side. We side with the oppressed! We side with law enforcement! Stop killing people! Stop breaking the law! On and on… gas canisters and bottles fly. Civil unrest.


We have a problem. But that problem goes deeper than systemic injustice and white privilege. That problem goes deeper than crime incubated in under-served urban centers. The problem is what it always has been. Sin. We have a sin problem. It is the problem at the center of every human heart that makes a man want to serve himself and better his own station over and above that of others. It is the fuel of both prejudice and pride. It is the fuel of the power and position that leads to oppression. It is the fuel that rebels and rages against authority. It is the enemy of patience. It is the foe of self-control. It is the thing that wars against human decency. It is the hungry fire that seeks to consume life and beauty. It laughs when one group blames another group for the brokenness around them ignoring the root cause of it all.

As the unrest in Baltimore weighed heavy on my heart God chose to speak a word of peace to me through a man who was nothing like me and just like me.  With the weight of death and civil unrest and racial violence overwhelming my heart God spoke to me through a pastor that had never darkened the door of a seminary.   “Everybody needs the gospel. Nobody needs to stay the same.” Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes…” That’s true for black people, white people, rich people, poor people, lawyers and pimps, nurses and prostitutes, drug dealers and drug reps, preachers and patients, them and us.

One of the tragedies is that in situations like Baltimore each side demands change in the other.  “Stop acting violently!”  That’s like me telling that man in the hospital to just start making his heart work better and his lungs to breathe stronger.  Rage in the human heart is a symptom of a spiritual problem.  Systems can be improved.  Policies can change.  Cultures can shift.  Those things need to happen.  But if people don’t change then the root problem remains.

Now, one of the issues is that no one wants to believe they are part of the problem.  Sin, if there is such a thing, is the other person’s problem, not mine.  Jesus in his ministry stood on behalf of the sinful and marginalized against oppressive systems (John 8:1-11).  He also dined with the oppressor and fellowshipped with those who perpetrated systemic injustice (Luke 19:1-10).  In both of these stories Jesus desired heart change- individual, internal change.  This internal change would be the key to systemic, external change.  One thing that would end the woman’s oppression in John 8 was for her to understand that she was loved so that she would stop sinning.   In Luke 19, the one thing that would end the financial exploitation of the poor was for Zacchaeus’ heart to be transformed from selfishness to selflessness.  The key to both kinds of change was the love of Jesus.  His love was big enough to stand with the marginalized against the oppressor and big enough to tell her to stop sinning.  His love was big enough to break bread with the oppressor without accusation until the oppressor’s heart broke enough to change the system.

Everybody needs the gospel.  Nobody needs to stay the same.





There is nothing quite like a 25 year old Tilt-a-Whirl being controlled by a 17-year-old Ukrainian boy named Yosyp at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Crawfish Festival. No one was in line so he just let that purple rust monster run on and on. I’m not sure how many G-forces were involved but I’m pretty sure that NASA would have been impressed with me and my sons as we shifted our weight from one side to the next and whipped that oversized metal football helmet around like a spin cycle.

It was fun until it wasn’t. Little man’s stomach was full of funnel cake and Tiger’s Blood snow cone syrup. He was maxed out. All the sudden little-man stopped having a good time. Middle-man and I could sense it. Little-man had this blank stare on his pale face- paler still in contrast to his Tiger’s Blood red lips. I tried to get the young Ukrainian’s attention. But he was too busy practicing his English by trying to read the tramp stamp of a walking Marlboro in a halter-top. “Tate, it’ll be ok,” I lied. At this point I was just trying to buy some time. “Yosyp is going to stop it soon,” trying to buy more time. And I’ll be darned if Yosyp didn’t know. Could he sense it? One does not leave the Ukraine to become a carny in America without being able to intuit such things. Not only that, Yosyp stopped our hurl-inducing bucket right by the exit gate. He had a gift.

We got farther than I thought we would before it happened. Little-man’s carnival food took a ride of it’s own. My teenage daughter had a gag reflex of her own and I thought it was about to become a family affair. Middle-man and I thought it was awesome that we rode so hard it made his little brother throw up. Little-man was not amused by our high-fives and cheering. My wife, the tireless nurturer, was the good parent- whispering gentle things like, “Spread your feet so it doesn’t splash on your shoes.” Then the seagulls came and began to eat what had not splashed on his shoes. At that, Little-man began to find the humor that his brother and I had already discovered. My daughter was nowhere to be found. She had emancipated herself from her embarrassing family.

The truth is that we rode too long. We pushed that Tilt-a-Whirl cart just a little too hard. At some point every good ride feels too short. But they’re not. The good rides are just the right length. Then they end. Then you stand in line and you go again. You live to ride another day. But Yosyp was content to let it whirl on. And we were content to whirl it. Machines may rage on. But 8-year-old tummies have their limits.

I sat with a man last week that shared with me that he’s had 3 weeks of vacation in the last 7 years. Round and round. The longer we do it the better we get at spinning it. But there is a limit. And at some point it’s not fun anymore. Our eyes stare blankly from the pale canvas of a sweaty face. And we hobble away. And we lose it. And seagulls come and eat it up. And some laugh. And some leave. And we’ll clean our shoes later.

We were made to need rest. We are finite. God made us this way- made us with limits- hard-wired into us the need to stop, to get off, and to stand still in the world that He keeps in motion quite apart from anything we may contribute. I see too many men enthralled with their turn on the ride to the point that they have ceased to enjoy it and have lost touch with the world that exists outside of it. They don’t know how to stop spinning.

In the Bible God’s designed rest is called Sabbath. God designed it to happen for one day of every week. It happens multiple times for weeks during the year. Every six years a big one happens. Every 49 years an even bigger one happens. Then Jesus came along and brought about access to a Sabbath rest that lasts all of eternity. To ignore this design is to deny who we really are- whose we really are. Not resting ruins a man every time.

Sure, we had one of the most epic Tilt-a-Whirl rides ever. But there was a whole festival we missed out on because Little-man puked in his Sperrys.

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.  Let us therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish…” -Hebrews 4:9-11


If You Read My Letter to Jameis, Read This Too

so… i wrote a stupid letter to ‪#‎jameiswinston‬ yesterday. it basically says, “i’m awesome.” i discovered today that in 24 hours 50,000 people have read it. if you know me, you took it for what it was intended to be. funny. maybe a little true, too.  it was definitely more “bacon” than soul”.  truth is, i do not take myself that seriously. it’s all grace- beginning to end. i got nothin’. i am nothin’. but in sorting through the trolling comments, i wish i could print a retraction. or at least hope those people will read some other stuff on my blog that captures my serious thoughts on grace more than my silly thoughts on gridiron…

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  1 timothy 1:15


An Open Letter to Jameis Winston

text from tboz


Dear Jameis “Jaboo” Winston,

You are really good at playing quarterback.  You put your team first.  You make good decisions.  You inspire people.  You win every time.  However, in real life you do the opposite of all of those things.  I don’t think you’ll wake up one day and ever wish you were better at football.  I do think you’ll wake up one day and wish you were better at life.  That’ll be a sad day for you I think.

Jaboo, you are not a role model to my kids.  But it’s cool.  I don’t need you to be.  I don’t want you to be.  (Mainly, because I’m pretty awesome myself.)  But I will need to explain to my 12 year old daughter why you are not starting Saturday.  Not cool, Jameis.  That’s kind of sad actually.  You see, I can’t teach my kids how to read a nickel defense or a two-deep zone.  But I am teaching them about how to love people.  And because of that, at some point my kids are going to wonder why we cheer for you.  They understand that life is more awesome than football.  They will intuit that being good at football doesn’t mean you get a pass for being bad at life.  They’ll read that quicker than you can spot a safety blitz.

My son made a pinewood derby car- garnet and gold- with your number on it.  That car did not win, by the way.  He’s going to ask me why I’m not wearing your jersey any more on game day.  And I’ll tell him why.  And he’ll get one of my many lessons about how to be awesome at life.

Personally, I thought the crab leg thing was funny.  That never bothered me.  I had a buddy in college that worked at a restaurant and he brought me free stuff all the time.  It was cool to have a hook-up like that when I was a kid.  And I couldn’t even throw a football!  He just liked me because I was pretty awesome.  So I give you a pass there.

Here’s the crazy thing though about all of this.  I’ll watch you play football on Saturdays because I’m a Nole and you’re awesome at it.  But my life will not change one bit because of you.  But if roles reversed and you could watch me play life for a season, your life might just change because of me.  After these first two games this year I might even argue that I’m better at life than you are at football.  I put my team first.  I make good decisions.  I inspire people.  (Strikes Heisman pose…)

I’m putting an autographed T-shirt in the mail to you.  That might be an NCAA violation.  But let’s be honest, neither of us care too much about that.

See you in the third quarter, bro.


P.S. Jaboo, the screenshot at the top was a text exchange I had with my daughter.  She texted me right as I was looking for a picture to accompany my letter!  Told you, man, I’m pretty awesome.  (Strikes Heisman pose…)