Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Well, this week I’m staying in dorms 20 minutes from my front door at PT Loma with our high school group and several others from around the country for a program called OGN or operation good news. It’s basically training in prayer, fasting, evangelism, and apologetics for a week each morning and then the students go out onto the local beaches and talk with people about Jesus. There will be 1.4 million people on the beach in the next 4 days, 750,000 alone on the 4th of July. It’s quite an experience. If I saw one case of beer yesterday, I think I saw 150- usually being pushed by someone on a skateboard, in tow on a wagon, or in the arm of a bike rider- all headed to the beach to sit in the sun, drink, play bocce ball, swim, and get a mad game of horse shoes going. Part of me really wanted to just be there to enjoy it. Part of me was really praying God would give me some good conversations with people there.

Here’s one conversation I had yesterday that reminded me that I’m not “normal” or that was is “normal for hundreds of thousands of people” is pretty foreign to me. Made me feel a little irrelevant too. Something I’m stewing on today. But here’s a recap of a conversation that is typical of ones I’ll have over the next few days:

TWO TWENTY SOMETHING GUYS WHO GO TO SDSU. (they were working part time that day, driving mini’s that had been modified to look like Margarita’s on the rocks complete with straw and lime and sugar and stuff. Their bikini clad counter parts are walking around bars in downtown PB passing out free samples. They get paid $25 an hour to drive around and advertise.

ME: “are you going to be here on the 4th?”
THEM: “_______ (insert your own explitive) yeah.”

“what will you do?
“get laid”

“How do you intend to do this? Does it usually work for you?”
“Every year. There’s gonna be 750,000 people on the beach. 300,000+ will be women. 100,000 of those will be my age and hot. If you can’t get laid on the 4th you should probably just jump off a cliff.”

“So, you just take them back to your place?”
“Yeah, or their hotel. I usually come up with a pick up line the night before and use it over and over again until it works”.

“Really, like what’s your line?”
“I don’t know, it will come to me in a dream man. I think it will probably be something like, ‘Hey baby, can I pour beer all over you and drink it up?”

“Really, and that works.”
“Yep, like 2 or 3 times every year”.

“You ever talk to them again?”
“_______ No. You just get their cell phone number and type it into your phone one digit wrong. Then if you run into them again, you just tell them they gave you the wrong number.”

Like I said, made me realize that my “normal” walking shoes are pretty far from a “normal” life or motivations for hundreds of thousands of people in our world- even when I was 23. Made me feel like I’ve got some work to do to better understand the motivations of the culture I live in and the people I’m trying to be used by God to reach. It was stretching. Today I’m going back to pray God shows me people to who need an encouraging word and people who God can use to shape me and my heart to be more like his. I’m praying for increased understanding of the human condition and how to be used to mold it more and more into his image. That’s a big task… starting with my own reflection.

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