Author: Andy Becker

The struggle to choose the right path. Credit: James Wheeler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why do I second guess myself?

Dear Andy Every time I make a decision I doubt myself.  I have very little confidence in myself and many decisions I made have been disastrous.  What can I do to feel more confident and to make better decisions? There are many reasons why someone lacks confidence in their decisions. First I would look at the evidence. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Perhaps you are focusing on the ones that had less than stellar results. Perhaps there is a history of poor decision making. Many people can be very adept at making decisions in some areas of their lives but not in other areas. For example, a business person might make wise decisions regarding finances or planning for the future but make poor ones regarding dating or relationships. If you are like this, then your focus needs to change from the poor decisions and towards the good decisions you made. Look at the difference between the two. Try to find common themes with the good ones. For example, perhaps they …

Be different not divisive

I lived in many places and I traveled a fair bit. Divisions are everywhere. Rural people are different than urban people. Rich people are different than poor people. West coast people are different than prairie people. Add in different ethnics and you have a whole lot of differences. Now what do we do? We’re not all the same. Or are we? Ever notice your neighbors? They’re not like you! Some of our neighbors look like us and act like us, but we’re all different. I lived in some areas in which everybody looked and acted the same. I now live in a more diverse area in which people act different from one another. Here is the famous Andy life equation that you never heard about because I just made it up. Difference does not equal division. This changes everything! Think about your own family. Not too many of your brothers and sisters are the same are they? The same with your kids. One might have light hair or be taller or thinner than the others. …

Yakkity Yak

Several years back I worked with a counseling ministry and was in a session when the woman blurted out: “You haven’t heard a word I said!” I thought that’s a weird way to start a conversation. But just in case I was actually supposed to listen I nodded and grunted. “I knew it!” I should have shook instead of nodded. This reminds me of a certain counselor colleague of mine. He had a client that believed she was boring and half through her session, he fell asleep! Men are just not wired into conversation as much as women. I know there are some men who yak up a storm and there are some women who hardly ever talk at all. Both are rare. Most men I know only talk about their favorite sport. Most women talk about anything except that man’s favorite sport.    A woman talking to you it is a gift. Unless they are mad at you. Then it’s a bit less of a gift. So back to the woman mad at me. …

I am Superman!

I am Superman. It’s true. I have proof of it and you can even ask my wife. I have a Superman key chain and Superman pyjamas, and even a Superman t-shirt. But I did stop short of the Superman onesie. Okay so maybe I don’t stop runaway trains and maybe a bullet could speed faster than me. Some would say I don’t even fly. Never let reality get in the way of the truth! God changed me into a Superman. Here’s how he did that. First of all do you remember the story of Superman? He was an alien sent to earth from a dying planet. Something about earth gave him super human powers and he could do all sorts of things like flying and stopping bullets with his chest. But rather than live the life of a superhero he created an alter ego called Clark Kent. Clark Kent was not the type of alter ego I would chose. He was wimpy, nervous, and unsure of himself. Basically the exact opposite of Superman. I guess …

Gone Bananas

I’m only sixty percent bananas! Woohoo! And my family said I was one hundred percent bonkers! Actually I am a bit more than sixty percent but I’ll take it. Especially since I am more bananas than chicken. I guess a crazy person who isn’t chicken is pretty scary so I better explain this one. A friend of mine ordered one of those DNA tests to find out about her roots and what wonderful diseases to which she can look forward when she gets old. Apparently she will be a healthy old broad. Then I remembered some old science that claimed we had something like ninety six percent similar DNA to a chimpanzee. Of course the evolutionists thought this was great since it proved we came from apes which came from some other animal etc until you got to pond scum. So the bottom line is we are all evolved pond scum. Except I don’t want to be pond scum! I looked at the similarities between DNA of humans and other things like chimps and bananas. …

Three Crosses

On Easter we focus on Jesus and the cross. This is awesome and good. However there were three crosses that Good Friday. The middle cross has Jesus on it and you can’t do what he did on that cross. No one can. But the one on the right and the one of the left each one had a thief hanging on it. The Bible doesn’t say much more about them. If you were there, you’d just think three men were being executed. The reality is much different. Jesus was paying the price for us all. He chose to hang there and to die out of love. He became the sacrifice so we could be set free from the consequences of our sins. So this wasn’t just a bad guy dying. This was the only person who never sinned dying so everybody who did sin could live! The two thieves represent us. It’s hard to believe our lives can be summed up by two thieves I know but hear me out. The guy on the left …

Minature Greyhound Credit: Opus Moreschi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dogged Dog

Ever hear that expression: “like a dog with a bone?” It is used to mean focused perseverance. To keep your eye on the prize and to work until you achieve that goal. In my house though it would be more like dog with my shoe! My little guy, Spot, prefers shoes to bones. So if you come over to our place, you will find him walking around with your shoe on his head! I am not making this up! He is an Italian Greyhound and they have long skinny faces. He literally sticks his nose right into the shoe and carries it to his dungeon of destruction. One time a guest had rather smelly feet and shoes. After Spot put his head into the shoe he sat in the middle of the floor and just grinned, drunk on the smell! Not sure if that was his goal but he achieved it. We can learn a lot from dogs. Cats too and I am even more of a cat person but please don’t tell Spot that. …

Credit: Michael Holler/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down!

Mistakes, I’ve made a few.  Sorry Frank but I made those mistakes doing things my way and not the right way. I used to be an athlete. If you saw me you’d be able to see my chiseled abs and bulging muscles. Okay, so the bulges are not in my biceps and the chiseled looks have faded into my memory where they remained exaggerated to this day. After all I am a story teller.  At one time I was a ranked tennis player…but only on those hot summer days. Yet I made mistakes. Yup, I admit that I was not perfect in either my game or my life. During a tennis match one day I was having trouble putting the spare ball in my pocket. You see in tennis for some reason players stash a spare ball in their shorts. Weird.  When I played hockey I was never allowed to carry an extra puck. The same when I played football. The refs would get really mad if you had your own ball. This one day …

Dutch tulip field Credit: Cor van der Waal/Flickr/Creative Commons / www.fotografiecor.nl

Nicer Than Me?

I’m excited! No, it’s not because the cinnamon buns are just out of the oven! I’m excited because I just had lunch with a friend. The kind of friend who knows how stupid I am and still loves me. Can you imagine that? This guy, who will remain anonymous lest anyone of you tries to steal him from me, is a genuine loving guy. God put us together as friends before we even knew each other. He is so nice that if he had a twin and both arrived at a door at the same time it would turn into a bad knock-knock joke!  “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Nobody because they still can’t decide who’s going first!”  “After you.” “No, after you.” It would never end! People actually think I’m nice. Except my granddaughter who knows the truth. Being nice is a gift that some of us truly have. Some people who aren’t nice act nice in public. Then they go home and yell at their kids or steal their kid’s candy when they’re not …

One of tens of thousands of uses that men have for duct tape Credit: Mike Carroll/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t Do This!

What is wrong with some people! I give them a thoughtful gift and I get flack for it! All you men out there, I’m going to need you to take warning here. Apparently giving duct tape to a new-born man-child is against the law! Here’s the story. A long time ago I worked with Insight for Living Ministries, a radio broadcast program. There were only a few guys and a flock of women. I’m not sure if flock is the right term here. But the women decided to host an at-work baby shower. The men tried valiantly to remove themselves from this trap but since it was at work only the quicker thinking boss managed to escape. Knowing it was a baby boy I had one of those aha moments. You know like when the clouds part and a ray of light hits you on the forehead with inspiration. Only I think the ray may have hit me a bit harder than it should have that day. “I am a man. A boy is a …

Credit: NASA Johnson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t Make Me Come Down There!

I have a sign that reads: Don’t make me come down there! God How many of us remember one of our parents yelling that to us when we were kids? Never, ever, in the history of my life was that a good thing. Just once it would have been good to have my Mom say “Don’t make me come down there and give you treats!” That would have been cool. But maybe parents aren’t supposed to be cool. That sign always make me smile and my sister in law, Carol, taped a personal note to the back side of it tells me how special I am and that God would be pleased with me even if he had to come down here. Imagine God actually coming down here. Go ahead close your eyes. Unless you’re driving, then don’t close your eyes. So God comes down to your house or room. Would he really be pleased with you? Or would he be carrying a big stick bent on punishing you for your latest bit of stupidity? …

Jesus truck in Aurora, IL, USA Credit: Adam Burk/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who You Gonna Call?

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood,Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!If there’s something weird and it don’t look good,Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” This advice comes from Ray Parker who wrote this very popular theme song for the movie Ghostbusters. I bet some of you are singing that song right now! While the idea of a bunch of guys driving a hearse and chasing ghosts made for a fun movie, is it true? Can mere humans defeat spirits? Now I am a sports fan. And there are some games that I would like to see but I must say this would be a blow out. Not worth paying money for that’s for sure. Just like paying hundreds of dollars to watch a fight that ends with the first punch. Better to save your money and not bother. Yeah I know I just made all the Hollywood movie types mad at me and they’ll probably get the Illuminati to delete me, but it’s true. We are just not a match for the unseen world. Let me …

The Devil is a Big Fat Carb!

We all know that the devil is a liar but how on earth is he a big fat carb? Let me explain. There are two things that haunt my everyday life these days and both have to do with my mouth. Political correctness is like a diet of what comes out of my mouth and my arch nemesis, the Keto diet, limits what goes into my mouth. Either way my mouth is not happy even if both might be better for my health. If you are a keto person then you know that protein and fat are good and carbs are bad. The devil is bad so therefore the devil is a carb. Normally the wisdom needed to put this together would be only available when I am sneaking into the kitchen at two in the morning looking for a non-keto snack. The fact that I had this revelation in mid morning while talking with a friend means it must be true. My friend, who, for the sake of anonymity, is called Mike, showed me …

Credit: emeraldimp/flickr/Creative Commons

Don’t Be A Goat!

Don’t be a goat! Be a sheep! Wait, what? I get the end is near routine but what does that have to do with goats and sheep? Let me get right to the point on this one. Jesus, my hero, said that when He comes back He will separate the goats from the sheep. The goats get put on his left which I am told is a place of shame. The sheep get put on the right, which is a place of honor. The goats are people who reject Jesus. The sheep are his followers. Don’t be a goat! I used to be a goat. I bounced around like all the other goats. Doing what I wanted and having a whole bunch of goat fun. Then I became a sheep. But I was not a good sheep. Instead of doing the things that the other sheep were doing like eating grass in the pasture and listening for the Sheppard’s voice I jumped the fence and went to play with the wolves. Remember Little Red Riding …

Credit: Blake Chen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Life is like a Box of Spaghetti

You want to see a man panic quicker than dog eats a treat? Ask him what he’s thinking. Men hardly ever ask each other this question and for good reason: Most of the time we don’t know what we’re thinking. I see the look on young husbands’ faces when their lovely bride stares at them intently and coos: “What are you thinking?” The right answer is always something like: “I was thinking about how lucky I am that you love me!” The truth is most men think about nothing. A lot. I better explain this before I got the boot out of the Man League! Men think in boxes. Take me for example. I have many interests. I think about one interest at a time. I like sports. I like cars. I like food. I like ministry. So when I am watching sports I am in my sports box. I don’t think about other interests. When I am in ministry mode, I don’t think about sports. Unless I can find a way to combine them, …

Credit: Sophie/Flickr/Creative Commons

A Short Tall Tale

I’m a short guy or so I’m told. You know, I am not sure if I really believe it though. Now there is some evidence that this might be true. Like one day I wanted to pick up something for my wife (who doesn’t discount this short conspiracy completely) at a local store. What I wanted was on the top hook. I don’t know who hung this thing but I think it was a Nephilim or at least some giant hybrid. The hook was so high that they even had to raise the ceiling to accommodate it! Okay, maybe this place just had a high ceiling. Picture this. I am a mature man, age counts you know, and I am standing on the bottom shelf stretching and straining. This tall fellow comes along and seeing me struggling there, walks over and calmly unhooks the item and hands it to me. Of course I said thank you. What else could I do? I did grumble to myself that had the hook been at a normal height, …

Credit: FrancoisMalan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Talk the Walk

“Honey we got to talk.” Words every husband loves to hear! Of course my wife never ever says that because she is about as perfect as they come and because she reads my articles. Husbands would rather do almost anything to get out of these talks. Mostly because these talks aren’t really talks at all. They are more listens. One of my strategies to avoid these uncomfortable heart to hearts is to take a sudden interest in things like walking. Or fixing the car. Or even root canals. My garage is full of junk so fixing the car is out of the question. I can’t afford to go to the dentist so that’s out. So I suggest a walk. This buys me time to guess what she wants to talk about. One day I might just ask her but until then, I suggest we walk. Actually I love to walk. Stella, my wife, loves to walk. Our dog loves to walk. The problem is we walk very differently. Spot and I are more meanderers than …

Credit: Renato Domingos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Hate the Wait?

Who here loves waiting? Okay I know there is really nobody in the room with me except Spot, my lovely Italian Greyhound. And yes, if it means he can sleep on the couch, then he loves waiting. I am a weird guy and I don’t mind waiting sometimes. But only if there are people more interesting than me in the waiting room. The other day I was in a doctor’s office with my granddaughter. There were only two moms and two kids in there so when we sat down I wasn’t feeling particularly optimistic about being entertained. But I was saved from the boredom of cats playing piano by a young toddler named George. I might have changed his name to protect his mom, so if you were in a waiting room with a toddler named George and if George is your son, this isn’t about you. Honest! So my granddaughter and I are deciding where to sit in and we decided on a couple of corner seats. Little George was playing with some toys. …

Credit: miranda/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Lying Truth

I love to tell stories Sometimes it’s hard to tell if what I am saying is actually true. When I worked in a clinic for a few years as a counselor, my co-workers would phone my wife to ask if what I was saying was true. Kind of weird since how did they know she was not lying to them? I guess you could say that some of my stories were deceitful. I disguised them as the truth until the very end when I admitted I made the whole thing up. One time my son and his girlfriend, Judith, were camping. I suppose he was bored because he asked us to join them around the campfire. Now I have a reputation as a bit of a story-teller so when we get there, I sit at the campfire and start making up a story. I can make up a story at any time about anything. On this particular night I started rambling on about nothing in general until it formed itself into a story. Although I …

Victoria, BC Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Who’s the Prize?

Many years ago I lived in a far away land. No not the one that is in a distant galaxy! I lived in Lotus Land. All the unfortunate souls who did not live there referred to it as Victoria, BC. Living there was wonderful, especially compared to Saskatchewan in January.  I lived close enough to Beacon Hill Park to hear the peacocks sounding like cats first thing in the morning. The ocean, the climate, the flowers, and the lack of high paying jobs…I could go on but you get the picture. I walked a lot more then. You could actually recognize people from a long way off by more than the colour and shape of their parka. “Must be Andy waddling towards us. I recognize his green parka and those are definitely his huge boots clumping along.” I love being outdoors but it is a challenge in the winter. In fact, if you do see me outside, all you will see is my eyes and that’s only because I found it unwise to cover them …

Fireworks in Spain Credit: Ryan/Flickr/Creative Commons

“Now That’s Worth Celebrating!”

Now that’s worth celebrating! I remember those words being said on the very rare occasion I actually did something worth celebrating. I think one time was when I was managed to convince my wife to actually say I do and not run screaming back up the aisle! Of course the ten pounds of concrete I put in her shoes helped as well but I digress. Back in the day, whatever day you pick, let’s say Saturday. Saturday December 12, 1986, the day Stella married me. I married her too but I wasn’t the pretty one! That day we celebrated! There was food, music, dancing, and fun. We celebrated other life’s milestones and achievements. Whatever the reason, we always knew why we celebrated. Now I think the art of celebration is gone. We celebrate for the sake of celebration. We even celebrate Fridays! Or cheap wing nights! We don’t save it for significant milestones or events. Like the two greatest events of all time. Christmas and Easter are the birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. …