My best friend in high school was Dan Leppold. We did everything together. We had friends in a lot of different social groups but we didn’t just hang out with one group, we spread it around. Our senior year he got a girlfriend so if I wanted to hang with him, I had to get a date. Fortunately that wasn’t typically a problem (keeping a girlfriend…another story) so we still spent a ton of time together. One great thing about Dan (amongst many) was that if he used one of my jokes he would most always “footnote” it. If he was mad at me or just feeling snarky he wouldn’t footnote it and would later tell me that he used a joke without footnote.
Growing up, and to this day for that matter, I was the youngest in my family. As a teenager, some would say I talked a lot. By some, I do mean “anyone who had met me”. Being so learned as I am now I realize it was a desperate plea for attention and to some degree approval (that I was worthy of said attention…that I wanted but wasn’t getting). I would say some pretty funny things and people would miss it as they had long since tuned me out. Everyone except my sister Cathy. Orson Wells misspoke when he coined the term “Big Brother”. He should have said, “Big Sister” as mine monitored and scanned everything I said. Rather than do it on behalf of the government (much as I know) she did it to glean hilarious comments. When she heard them she would simply pirate them, repeat them, and the whole room would laugh…AT HER!!! Never did she “footnote” me or give me any credit other than a wry smile.
I say all of that to say this. Most everything that I post on emotional/relational needs has come from my training at The Center for Relational Care in Austin Texas. It is an amazing place. Rachel and I got to go there a few years ago when I was on sabbatical from YoungLife. After our time there I got to further my training through them when they ran a workshop in Atlanta. I wanted to make sure to give them their proper credit for what I post (no, their attorneys did not “encourage” me to do this…yet).
After the first morning session the very first day I turned to Rachel and said, “Well, either no one up north knows this, or they are a bunch of #$&*)@’s (random # of symbols so as not to actually refer to any one expletive) for not telling us. I met with some wise folks up here and explained what we had learned. I had 5 people in mind, met with 3, and was blown away that they were…blown away with what I was saying (I gave up on the other two. I figured if the top three didn’t know, the bottom two had no chance). Obviously, I’m not saying that NO ONE knows or knew what I had been taught, just that no one I knew. Sadly, many think they know, but don’t. Especially the teaching on comfort is as frustrating as it gets. Very few people would admit that they don’t comfort well. No, they are in ministry, they are good at comfort. Sadly, no, no they are not.
Furthermore, you may have noticed quite a bit of parallels between things I post and Scripture. Is this a “Christian website?” No, it is a website created by and run by Christians. However, it is not only FOR Christians. It is for everyone. Very often I will quote chapter and verse where something comes from, other times I will gently refer to the Scripture, other times I will just roll on through the post. I want you to be able to come here, read, learn, relate, relax as if you and I were having a cup of coffee (except I would be drinking a bottle of water but you get my drift).
So, while Dan would most often footnote me for my humor and Cathy would not, I wanted to make sure that The Center for Relational Care and well, God, got credit where credit was due. Also, if you ever read something and it makes no sense, is hard to follow, and doesn’t seem to apply at all? I got that from my dad.