A couple of days ago on my Facebook page, I told friends they could ask me any question and I’d answer them on my blog. My apologies for the delay of a couple of days.

First a few quick ones:

Kendra asked for a haiku on the book of Jonah:

Fish eats a prophet
Jonah has a change of heart
Ninevah gets saved

Kendra also asked for my favorite brand of mustard and why (in less than 300 words)

I don’t need 300 words. Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard. The little mustard (made in Milton, PA) has been winning awards since 1869 for very good reason. That’s just science.

Kurline asked for my opinion on smoking pot (since she’d asked 18 years ago):

My guess is that she’s interested in whether or not my opinion has changed over time given the recent political shifts in a few states. In trying to remain consistent in my views regarding of alcohol, if it’s a legal substance used in moderation, then I’d say it’s permissible.

However, assuming the effects are what I’ve read (I have never tried it, so I can’t speak to them first-hand), it would be unwise to use it. All that is unwise is not sin, per se, but I still can’t envision a scenario in which I’d use it personally. Not sure if that’s different from 18 years ago (the number of changes in my theology in 18 years is staggering) but that’s my current thinking on the subject. Which, as an aside, isn’t much. It’s pretty much a non-issue for me.

Marilyn wanted to know if I thought the Rangers would win the World Series this year:

The last week has made baseball fun at Globe Life Park again this summer after an April that looked like we’d be out of contention by the end of the month. Joey Gallo’s night last night are the stuff of legend, and bit players are contributing. The Rangers are the only team in their division that’s trending upward right now and they’re playing extremely well on the road. Heady times for Ranger fans, of which I’m deeply emotionally invested.

The reality is that over the last two-thirds of the season in the Texas heat, the role players excelling now will still be exposed and inconsistent. And, oh man, the pitching staff. I’m not convinced they can hold their current pace. Besides, as currently constructed, we don’t have the pitching needed in a 5 or 7 game playoff series. So, even if we were to win our comparatively weak division, we won’t win a playoff series. My guess is we finish with 83 wins and 5 games out of a playoff spot.

Things could change if we’re still hanging around by the trade deadline and/or Matt Harrison has anything after his injury rehab stint. In short, I don’t think so, but baseball is a 6-month grind, so we’ll see.

Jodie wanted to know why Tracy is a blessing to my life:

Wow. There are multiple ways to answer that question.

Sure, she has gotten more beautiful with age. That woman can take my breath away walking through a room with a laundry basket. Sure, she was a brilliant mom when the kids were in our home, and she might be better now that we’re empty nesters (I’m not positive I could say the same about myself). Sure, she’s funnier than ever. Sure, she’s as smart as she’s always been. She’s long on the characteristics and qualities that will be there when our “death do us part” vows finish up. I could roll through that list for quite a while. She’s my best friend and I like being around her, even when I want to light her on fire. Please don’t get the idea that the romance of her has clouded my glasses.

But the biggest way that she’s been a blessing to me has been in her faithfulness to me, which I have to believe is an outflow of her walk with Him. I’m no day at the beach. She’s stuck around when we were raising support, missing paychecks and all the crud that goes along with early life in youth ministry. She’s never barked when teenagers took over our home from roughly 1988 to 2012, and sometimes they even lived with us (which leads me to believe her spiritual gift is hospitality). She supported me through some very rough seminary years when books were more important to me than the toddlers in my house and my bride who did without latest fashions and my emotional energy and even lower cash flow. She put up with all the criticism a youth pastor gets, especially one who couldn’t care less about behavior management of teenagers and espouses grace as the primary motivator in the inward motivation and outward manifestation of the spiritual life (the tattoos and long hair didn’t help), with far greater grace than the detractors gave to her husband…which was substantial at times because the critics/criticism hurt her far more than they hurt me. She put up with me when the needs of other people’s kids seemed more urgent than my own kids. She has seen the worst in church leadership and still encouraged me to serve local churches. She’s easily a better student of me than I am of her. Again, I could go on, but I think I’ve presented a thesis and defended it.

In short, I have been loved and been sacrificed for far more than I have loved and sacrificed, and I admire her. Her faithfulness and patience have blessed me far beyond any blessing I’ve been to her. That, too, is just science.

Welp, that’s all the time I have today, patrons…I’ll get to the ones that require a bit more nuance in a day or two!

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