“Stay weird. Stay different…”

Last night at the 87th annual Academy Awards show in California, young writer Graham Moore took home the “Oscar” for Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie “The Imitation Game.”

In his acceptance speech Graham gave a stirring and moving account of some of his earlier struggles in life. Listen in…

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I am standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do! Stay weird. Stay different, and when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along.”


Here’s some good news for the day!
You are weird! You are different!
I am weird! I am different!

Whew… glad we got that out of the way.
The simple truth is really not all that simplistic.
Who told us we were supposed to be “normal?”
Who was in charge of defining the parameters, the limitations and the constrictions of “normal?”
Why did we listen to them?
Why on God’s green earth did we bend over backward, stress out over a few pimples, compromise our ethics, eviscerate our personhood, dumb down our value system and so as to “fit in”, all the while denying the very attributes that collide together to make us the beautiful, fascinating, intriguing, interesting, gorgeous, “weird and different” people that we are?

On Facebook today one of my friends wrote…”I was a really weird little kid…”
I find that funny in the sense that I never thought of her in any other way than just a fun girl friend who was very enjoyable to hang out with.

I have a feeling we all felt like “really weird little kids” at some point in our lives. Perhaps we still do.

When I was in Junior High everyone had to give an oral book report. Everyone got up there and did a marvelous job. I got up in front of the class and just started crying. Seventh grade boys “don’t cry.” Well, I did and I was ridiculed and humiliated. In eighth grade when it came time to do the oral book reports, I just went ahead and took an “F.” In ninth grade in Mr. Leigh’s English class I delayed my oral book report for four days until I finally got up there on a Monday morning after spending twelve hours over the weekend memorizing twelve pages of my book report.

I preach for a living now!! How crazy is that?
I could spend the next few pages writing to you about how weird and different I am.
And guess what?
You could too!

Here’s the joy of the matter.
I told my future wife on our second date, “People are whacked! People are weird. They are different. We all have bizarre idiosyncrasies. And if you will simply accept the fact that I am whacked and then I will accept the fact that you are whacked, then we will get along just fine.”

Ever since that second date… We have gotten along just fine!

God has fearfully and wonderfully made you from scratch. There is no one like you! You are weird. You are different! You are unique! You are “one of a kind!” You are special! You are one in seven billion! You are a masterpiece!!

So… Let me echo Graham Moore’s sentiments to you today…

Stay weird!
Stay different!

Who knows?
You just might get an “Oscar” for being “Best Original!”

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139. 13-16)

Laugh often and Fear not!



The number twenty-one plays an unusual role in our modern day culture.
You have to be 21 years old to legally consume an alcoholic beverage.
At eighteen years of age you can enlist in the armed services, vote, be tried as an adult in a court of law, can live on your own, take out a loan, apply for a credit card, but you cannot drink alcohol legally.
If you served in the military, at your funeral there will be a 21 gun salute.
If you want to buy a house you can contact a realtor at Century 21.
We currently live in the 21st century.
Have enough “21’s” in a row in Las Vegas and you go home a rich person from the Blackjack table.
If you like to shop and feel young at the same time then simply buy all your clothes at “Forever 21.”
According to the movie “21 Grams”, our soul weighs twenty-one grams.

If that be the case then heaven gained four hundred and forty-one grams today as 21 Christians from Egypt were beheaded in Libya today.

Count ’em…1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 -10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 18 – 19 – 20 – 21…


For close to two thousand years men, women and children of the Christian faith have been mocked, tortured, slain, murdered, crucified, beheaded, maimed, burned, beaten, ridiculed, and much more…all because we follow a man named Jesus.

As reprehensible and barbaric as it is to read of 21 Christians being beheaded, it should not be surprising that we, as a people have come under such great persecution.

Jesus said such things would happen to those who would count the cost of discipleship and then choose to do that which the early disciples did…”Follow him.”

Intrinsic to the cost and the joy of following Jesus is the ridicule and the mocking that we find along the way. The question is oftentimes raised, “Why don’t Christians get all riled up when cartoonists depict Jesus in a cartoonish sort of way? Why don’t Christians flinch when so called “art” depicts Jesus in a light that is completely antithetical to the very “Light” He cast?

The answer is quite simple. (Please don’t get simple confused with simplistic. Sometimes being simple is the most complex, complicated and difficult thing to do and be!)

We worship a suffering Savior!
We bow down to the One who was mocked, spit upon, beaten, stripped, whipped, and ultimately nailed to a cross beam of rough hewn wood.
It’s in our DNA as Christians to suffer like Christ in order to be Christ-like.

Being counted as a fool for Christ…
Being ostracized for loving the One who was crucified between two thieves…
Being ridiculed for following the One who offers the most ridiculous amount of grace and mercy and love…
Being taunted for touting the faith in One whom has all the faith in the world in us…
Being discriminated against for discovering the joy of walking with the Light of the World who limps with us…
Being mocked for believing in Jesus who in turns believes in His children…
Being laughed at for trusting in the One who laughed out loud at death itself…

Well…We as Christians call that an honor, a blessing, a joy, a sign of obedience, a celebration and a cause to go out and share even more the love of Jesus with everyone we meet.

Listen now to what Jesus says…

“But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Do you know where you can find that verse?

Here’s the answer…
The gospel according to John,
The fifteenth chapter,
Verse 21

Laugh often and Fear not!