Yesterday my family spent the day at the beach. A few observations . . .

*I took a couple mile walk up the beach. I love to people watch–it frequently gives me something to think and write about. On my way up the beach I came across a guy and his castle. Actually it was a sandcastle. This guy had done an amazing job of constructing a castle that was at least 10 foot by 12 foot, complete with moats, ornate turrets and bridges. The beer can decorations left a little to be desired but overall it was a very impressive structure. Oh, and the tide was coming in.

On my way back down the beach the same guy had a shovel and was frantically trying to divert the incoming waves from destroying his work of art. As I walked by he stood up in exasperation, locked eyes with me and said, “It’s a losing battle.”

Reminded me of a teaching Jesus used.

*Everyhwere I looked (Ummm, but tried not to linger) there were bellybutton piercings. One young lady that walked by had a gemstone encrusted cross hanging out of her bellybutton. I’m not even sure what to do with that one . . . Maybe she bought it at a Christian bookstore as a witnessing tool?

*While walking the beach I enjoy finding out what people are reading. Hundreds of people were sitting in their beach chairs, dangling their feet in the water, blissfully enjoying their latest beach read. It seemed like every other person I passed was reading a James Patterson novel.

I used to enjoy reading Mr Patterson’s stuff. Pretty mindless “take me away” kinds of reads. I say I “used to enjoy” because I quit reading Patterson about two years ago when he was churning out a new book about every three months. How could he do it? He began to “not really write” his own books. If you see his recent titles you notice that he is listed as the author with so-and-so.

Unfortunately you’re not really reading Patterson anymore, you’re reading a diluted version of the original.

I wondered what people see when they “read” my life. As a Jesus-follower I want to represent the original Jesus as accurately as possible. I wonder how diluted the version I’m portraying to people really is.

*Okay, the day was coming to a close. We had been camped out near the Lifeguard Stand the entire afternoon. I noticed the Lifeguard, who was sitting on a six foot wooden throne, begin to talk to my wife. The dialogue went something like this:

“Are all of those kids yours?” (Our daughter Tabitha had been playing in the sand with four other children.)

My wife responded, “Oh, no, just the one in the purple and blue suit. The others are friends she just met.”

“I didn’t think they were all yours. You look way to good to have that many children.”


“Do you work out?”

“Umm, yeah.”

“You look great.”

A few moments later Julie came over and sat down beside me. “Is my face red?” she asked. (She was concerned about sunburn.)

“No, but it is glowing.”

“What do you mean?”

“I heard what the Lifeguard said to you.”

A smile began to cross her face. “You heard that?”

“Yeah, I’m sitting downwind. Made your day didn’t it?”

Big smile.

It’s not every day that your spouse gets hit on by a Lifeguard–at least I hope not. The truth is that I’m thankful that Julie cares enough to keep herself looking good. I’m even more glad that she cares more about what’s inside than outside (the Lifeguard couldn’t begin to see that). I’m glad that I’m married to a smokin’ hot wife–inside and out!