Friday, September 27, 2013

Expect the Unexpected

Our show is very interactive using many volunteers onstage. Brock looks for a certain type of person for each effect. On this night last year, he was looking for a little boy for this particular trick. As he got the six year old boy onstage, I held my breath. Adults are somewhat predictable. You never know what is going to come out of a child's mouth. Brock asked this little boy where he worked. "Walmart!" he answered with no hesitation. When the audience laughed, he looked right out at the crowd and gave them a beaming smile. It was as if he came alive on the stage. Brock continued on with the adorable little guy. At some point Brock commented that his mom needed to get him an agent. I silently agreed as I watched the boy own the stage. After the show, the mother of the boy came running up to us tears in her eyes. She told us that her son was autistic. The doctors said that he would never be able to stand on a stage. The lights and large crowd would overwhelm him. She said what happened that night was a miracle! If you have a special needs child in your life, realize this. Whenever the doctors give the diagnosis, they must tell you what to expect based on his/her symptoms and past experiences. It's their job. However, when you serve the almighty God, expect the unexpected! He has a knack for taking our weaknesses and turning them into huge, supernatural strengths. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Long Good Day

Our day yesterday began at 9:30am and ended at 11pm. During that time, Brock spoke at a church. He did his new passionate message about how to see revival in our country. It ended with people on their knees praying. After the service, a big, strong guy came up to the pastor bawling. At one time, he was the sheriff. He had not been coming to church as much as he used to. After hearing from God that morning, he was ready to get involved and really serve at their church. At 1pm, we drove our dually truck and trailer to the community hall. There we set up our grand illusion show which we have not done in probably seven years. Since we were in this same town, Bay St Louis, Mississippi, earlier this year, we decided to bring out some of the old stuff. Also, because we had done some school assemblies last week promoting the night, we added the water coffin. At 4:15pm we quickly rehearsed the illusions. At 5:56, we finished setting the final prop. "And we have 4 minutes to spare," Brock said laughing. I was beginning to remember why we don't do this particular show anymore...5 hours of set up! The place was packed out. We squeezed kids on the floor in the front. Adults from the church stood along the wall allowing people from the community to use the chairs. Excitement filled the room. We performed the cube zag, where Brock cuts me in half in a vertical fashion; assistant's revenge, or the shower curtain as Todd Prather termed it years ago, where Brock's arms and legs are in locked stocks and belts are strapped around him from head to toe. I pull the curtain in front of him, and just like that, Brock is free. He then pulls back the curtain to reveal me all strapped in now. Before Brock escaped from the water coffin, we did the famous origami illusion. It all went really smoothly! After the water escape, Brock spoke about the only true freedom is found when you give your lives to Jesus. The response was great! I am not sure the official count of ones saying yes to Christ last night, but they ran out of the 100 response cards they had. That made the hard work worth it!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

God Provides

Yesterday I woke up with an anxious heart. In October, we are going on two mission trips to Las Vegas and Brock's going to Nicaragua. This means that not only are we going to have to pay some expenses, but we will not be receiving any income that month. Not to mention, November and December are slow for us as well. When we agreed to it this summer, both of us said that we would trust in the Lord to provide. Now that it's getting closer, I am beginning to worry. As I spent time with the Lord yesterday morning, I scolded myself for doubting. I am writing a book about the miracles the Lord has done in our lives over the last several years and how He always takes care of us. Just the day before, I was telling someone how the Lord provided for us this summer. How quickly I forget. A few hours later, I ran across a speeding ticket Brock got while we were in Louisiana last month. Fear immediately began to boil to the surface. The whole financial situation began to blow up again in my head. I am trying to save every penny I can to get us through the next few months. Who knows how much this ticket will cost? I walked out to the porch where Brock was saying goodbye to someone on the phone. I sighed and handed him the ticket. "Can you take care of this?" "Sure," Brock said as he grabbed it and ripped it to pieces. I stood there looking shocked as he smiled and said, "I was just talking on the phone with an attorney from Jonesburo, Louisiana where we performed last month. He called the officer who gave us the ticket and told him what we do. The guy was fascinated by a Christian illusionist and said that he would change the ticket to a warning." Just like that, my fears subsided. If God would take care of a silly ticket that was a mistake, I know He will provide for us in October when we are going where He has asked us to go. God is so trustworthy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sweet Worship

It was right before we began the 3rd night of camp services last week and my heart was heavy. The first night everyone was so excited because God showed up and we were all very expectant of what God was going to do that week. However, it seemed that all of us were distracted on the second night. The band (The Awakening, who are totally anointed and amazing by the way) felt the same way. We prayed with them and a few youth pastors before the service began. Brock talked with Stone, the leader of the band, and told him that if he felt that same distraction by the audience when he began leading worship to nod at Brock so that Brock could address it. Stone gave the nod shortly into the first song, so Brock went onstage and basically interrupted worship. I nervously prayed that what he said would go over well. Brock can be so extreme and the people pleaser in me sometimes gets nervous. I've learned to trust that Brock is hearing from the LORD. It's just that sometimes my flesh gets anxious. Brock said, "I don't want us to be guilty of what Jesus charged the pharisees with in Mark 7:6-7, so we are going to have a do over." Brock had everyone go back out into the lobby and repent and pray. Whenever they felt like their hearts were right, they were instructed to come back in and worship the Almighty God. I went out with them to watch what happened. This was such a remarkable group of teenagers and leaders that everyone separated and prayed quietly for several minutes, nobody was goofing off. Then, one by one, they began to file back in. I stayed out until there was only a few left. One of the last people to come back into the building was the drummer of the band. The LORD really got a hold of him, so the band played without him for a little while. It was actually really cool, because when the drummer entered the stage, you could tell. The drums coupled with the drummers' attitude of worship took the worship time up to a new level. Worship was so sweet that night and God showed up! In fact, most of the group stayed and worshiped for over 4 hours. It was incredible!

Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm Coming Home

Saturday, when we were stranded at a gas station off of I-40, I went into the store and heard the song, "I'm Coming Home" sung by Skylar Grey playing over the speakers. The lyrics began to wash over me. Wasn't I coming home at some point...hopefully? I youtubed the song when I was back in the bus and found one video that was very nice. Even though this is a very secular, mainstream song (in fact, the cover of her record has her mostly naked on the front, that's why I chose this video with scenery instead of the girl), it called to my soul. Lot's of things pull at our heart, but only the things of God really reach down to our souls. You see, as Christ followers, there is something that is missing in this world. It's not just all of the heartache and the disease of sin, but it's a longing for the New World, that New City, heaven. No matter how comfortable we are here, it's not our home and we have a deep desire to ultimately be with our LORD. Hebrews 13:14 says, "For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." And Hebrews 11:10 says, "For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God." Watch this video and let the words sink deep into your soul. Whether you've had a loved one that's already gone to be with the LORD, or maybe you're like me and are having a little dry spell. Home is with the LORD. Even here on earth, the times we feel most at home is when we are close to our LORD. If you've let this world distract you and are not as close to the LORD as you once were, listen to these words. He's calling you home. Run into his open arms figuratively speaking and dream of the day when it will not be figuratively anymore...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Unsmooth Times

Smooth is the opposite of how things have been going for us. Last night as it began to rain on us and the few who braved the weather to come to the festival, right in the middle of our show, I thought about this. However, I knew that in a few minutes we would be finished and would have a break for a couple of weeks. Also, I comforted in the fact that stellar kart had allowed us to ride in their bus. This meant that we could be home as early as 8am the next morning! The thought of being home warmed my chilled bones. Well, things didn't happen the way I had hoped. It's 8:40am and we are still an hour and a half from home. The bus broke down. As of now, we are stranded at a gas station off of I-40 85 miles from Nashville. Oh well! At least we aren't in the er where we spent the first couple of weekends this month.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Day I Met Andrew

Travel pushes you to the extreme and sometimes beyond. There are days when even the sweet elderly lady serving breakfast at the Hampton Inn gets on my nerves. When everyone is annoying me, the common denominator is me. I know that it's my problem and I need to find some time to get alone. Friday was one of those days. The difficulty was that we had lots of shows and set up that day, so I didn't know if alone time would be possible. We came down to the breakfast area of our hotel, and I was ready to just take a few minutes before our hectic day and have a quiet breakfast. As soon as I set my things down, this guy from across the room wearing an orange shirt made eye contact with me. After a recognition came across his face, he began to wave excitedly. I looked behind me knowing that he was waving at someone he knew. Nobody was there and the guy began to approach me. He was probably in his 20's and it became quickly clear that he was mentally challenged. Selfishly I thought, "There goes my quiet breakfast." However, my whole morning, correction, my whole outlook changed when I met this man. He stuck out his hand and said, "I'm Andrew. What's your name?" We began to talk for a while and Andrew had so much joy that it was infectious. Then, he said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "I pray for people everyday. Can you write your name in my book so that I can pray for you?" I was too choked up to talk so I nodded my head and wrote my name and then gave the book to Brock to write his name. At this time, Andrew's parents entered and Andrew said, "Mom and Dad, I met some new friends!" We began talking with them. Then, another guy came up to Andrew's parents and said, "I work for a minister named Charles Swindoll and have been in the ministry for years, but I have to tell you. After meeting Andrew, I went up to my room and cried for about 20 minutes because compared to him, I am a hypocrite!" At this point, Andrew's parents began crying, I was bawling by now. Brock came over and said, "I don't know this guy, but I'd like to echo what he said. I'm in the ministry as well." Of course, Andrew was walking around talking to other people in the lobby he had not met yet. There has been a few times in my life when I met Jesus with skin on. Friday was one of those times...the day I met Andrew.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Burnout...I'm not sure how many of you have experienced it but it's not the best. It comes from a life out of balance. Since my life is never balanced, I realized years ago that the only way to prevent it, for me, is to quit what we are doing. I cannot do that, and I will not do that. Therefore, I focus on recovering from it once burnout sets in. I'm able to read the signs more quickly now and begin take the necessary steps to healing. What are these steps? Actually there is no formula and I'm still working on it. In some seasons certain avenues work and in other seasons they don't. One thing that always works is prayer. The only problem is that I cannot pray for myself very well. I'm too involved, so I must call on others to battle for me in prayer. I'm in this place right now. I'm asking for you to pray for me. This weekend, we are doing seven shows, averaging one show in the morning and one at night (this is the most difficult since studies have shown that you cannot get rest if you perform at night and the following morning and then the following night). My plan was to survive the weekend and then begin my recovery when I get home. However, you cannot just snap your figures and recover. Sometimes, the healing process begins when you least expect it and in a way you could not predict. My recovery began yesterday morning at 8am when I met a guy named Andrew. More on this later...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

This is War

We are in a spiritual battle. This is war. Sometimes, soldiers get hurt. This thought flashed through my mind as I heard Brock scream in agony as we waited in the emergency room at 7AM this morning. This guy who wouldn't let me take him to the hospital when he was minutes away from death after having an allergic reaction to a wasp sting years ago (we went to a walk-in clinic instead) had agreed to come to the ER. This man who didn't even take ibuprofen after he broke his back 3 years ago was yelling, "Give me a shot, drugs, anything to get relief!" I began to shed quiet tears as I watched my husband in the most excruciating pain. There was nothing I could do but wait on the doctors. Let me back up 12 hours before. I was backstage as Brock was giving the gospel at the end of his show. It was a free event open to the community of Heber Springs, AR held at the local high school. As Brock began sharing his heart, a car alarm sounded right outside. Then, a baby began crying. This was just typical opposition we face especially when we are in a public school. I began praying more fervently. I tweeted and texted calling on others to pray. It worked. 101 people surrendered their lives to Jesus last night. It was quite a victory! Then, at 4:30 this morning, Brock woke with more pain in his back than when he broke it. He paced around the room for 3 hours. After trying everything we could think of, we decided to seek professional help. Finally, Brock was taken back in the ER and given a shot of Demerol. This took his pain from a 10 (well really a 12) to a 6. The doctor came and told me that the CT scan only showed his crushed T-7 from his previous injury. Everything looked good is what he said. He prescribed some pain medication and steroids. We are now back at the hotel and Brock is sleeping peacefully after all of the drugs. I might be a tad dramatic since I've been up since 4:30 but I will tell you this: it's worth the fight! The problem with Satan attacking is that instead of holding us back, it only fuels our fire! Instead of stopping us, it makes us march onward. Also, we have so many praying for us right now. Where there is prayer, there is power. We already know that in the end we will ultimately win. We must fight on!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Lord Reaches Out to a Bully

You could feel the tension as Brock looked around at the 950 middle school students in Arkansas a couple of weeks ago. He had done his normal school message about making the right choices and was now addressing bullying. That's what the school leadership wanted him to speak about. Brock told me, "You cannot stop bullying by one assembly, but I'll talk about it and hope it helps." So, he asked these young people who was a bully and he waited to see if there was a response. After an uncomfortable silence, one sixth grade boy stood up. There are big, tough guy bullies and there are small guys with a complex who are bullies. This boy was the latter. Brock told him to come to the center of the gym and stand beside him. The boy boldly did so. Brock with his 6'4" stance towered over the small boy. Then, something happened. Brock got down on one knee and looked the young man in the eye. He tenderly asked him if bullying was satisfying him. The boy's smirk disappeared as he said, "No." Brock then began to speak to him in front of the whole school. The Lord got all over the boy. Even though Brock didn't talk about God whatsoever, the Holy Spirit inside Brock was oozing out onto this boy. His whole demeanor began to change. At one point, this bully almost broke down crying because his heart was so touched. Brock then said, "Do you want to change?" The boy shook his head in the affirmative. Brock said, "There is hope. There is a group of people in your sixth grade class that will hold you accountable." He then told him how proud he was that he was willing to change. He had the rest of the audience clap for him for his bravery in coming up there and then wanting to change. The whole school exploded in applause! Some people stood to their feet. Others were hooping and hollering. It was like a scene from a movie! Brock's right. We are not going to be able to stop bullying on our own, but the Lord can do anything!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last week, we were in Louisiana and my mother-in-law brought out my recently finished book that I am writing about the crazy stories the Lord has given us and the miracles He has done in our lives. I had emailed the final version to her. When I looked at it, I realized that she had an earlier draft. I looked on Brock's email for the latest version and to my horror, he had the same earlier draft! I sent them my book as soon as I finished it back in December and had not looked at my it since. I had been using an old computer to write the book on and the battery was bad. I quickly surmised that after I had typed out the final changes and the last chapter, it must have gone dead. Then, when I restarted my computer, it reverted back to the old writing. At that moment, so many things ran through my head. The fact that I could not remember all of the changes I had made. Also, the last chapter was about my struggle with anemia. At the time I wrote it, I was having another bout of anemia. I couldn't feel that same way again! My iron was up at this time! The only good part about having a relapse was that I was able to remember how it felt. Now, all of that was gone. So much work down the tubes. I had put my heart and soul into that last draft. I was devastated and allowed myself to cry for a few minutes. Then, I had a talk with the Lord. I knew that He was sovereign and had His reasons for everything. I knew that He would somehow help me recall what I had written. Maybe it would be even better. Brock had already begun texting people to pray that I would find it. I didn't have much hope in finding it. However, if I was receiving this kind of opposition, that was a good sign right? It was difficult to see the good at all in this, but I trusted that the Lord would make something good of it like He always does. When we got home, I ran for my computer and looked. Just as I had thought, it was the old writings and the newest version was nowhere to be found. I searched everywhere I knew to search but it was gone. I was missing lots of pages. I put the computer up for several days and put off writing again until this week. Monday morning, I bravely opened up the computer ready to take a stab at it again. There on the front page was my book but something looked a little different. Next to the title of the document, it said "(recovered)". That had not been there before. I scrolled down and there it was! After being missing for weeks, the final version of my book just showed up on my computer! That is a miracle! I'm still thanking the Lord. He could have ended this story in so many ways, but I'm glad He chose this ending.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God Gets the Applause

Saturday I nervously headed to the venue for our show alone. Brock was back at the hotel sleeping. Now that he's on 20 something day of his fast, he's a little weaker. Since we had two shows that day and he didn't sleep well the night before, I let him sleep in. The only problem is that I never go to an event without him. We usually have so much to do that it keeps the both of us very busy. How was I going to do this all by myself? I prayed that I would have the strength to pull off both of our jobs setting up. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone. The Lord was working alongside me making everything go smoothly. It was one of the easiest setups ever! The promotor was amazing. The production people were some of the best I've worked with. The bands going on before and after us were easy to work with. It was incredible! The most amazing part was when Brock gave the invitation. Where he lacks in physical strength, he more than makes up in spiritual strength. It is just powerful. My prayer always is that we will be dripping with the Holy Spirit. Right now, He's oozing from every pour of Brock's being. 144 people responded to the gospel. During the invitation, the students who remained in their seats jumped to their feet cheering on the ones who had decided to follow my Lord Jesus! We have received standing ovations before, but saturday, the One who truly deserves it got the applause!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Best Birthday Since I was a Kid

I will remember yesterday's birthday forever. As I left my house to go have breakfast with a friend, Andrea Leachman was watching one of my Alias dvd's on our tv. I love those spy shows...lots of action and adventure! My breakfast with Emily was fun. As she got up to leave, she handed me an envelop saying, "Someone in the bathroom told me to give this to you." Before I could ask her any questions, Emily had left the restaurant. Inside the envelop was a note that said... "As a spy you must always find the clues and details. Remember your training, Agent! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this... Find as much intel as you can to locate the double agent in these pictures. We believe he has what we need in a briefcase that will be on his person. Watch for people you may recognize along the way. And no matter what, do not allow yourself to be followed during your mission!!!" The only other thing in the envelop was a picture of Brock with a dark hoody covering most of his face. I looked around the restaurant and did not see anyone I knew. I didn't know what to do, so I began to head for my truck. In the parking lot, Stephanie Smith was sitting in her car honking the horn and yelling, "Hurry! Get in!" She told me to get down because they might see me. I laid down in the passenger seat looking up at the sky as I was driven fast and crazily around town (I found out later that she did crazy eights in an empty parking lot). Then, she took me to a chocolate shop. After talking and eating a few truffles, she said, "You have been spotted! You need to change!" She handed me one of my t-shirts from the backseat and told me to put this on as she began driving us back through town. Before I could say that the shirt was brown and cream and I had on black pants, she said, "He said you have to put it on even if it doesn't match." (Brock knows that I have to match!) Then, she handed me a phone book and told me there was a message inside but it was in code. She took me to J Alexander's where my friend, Danielle Hunt and her baby were waiting for me. I got my favorite dessert in town, the carrot cake, while she ate a salad. Every now and then, she would look around the restaurant nervously. I would look wondering if Brock was there somewhere, but she would go back to talking. After the bill was paid, she said she received some random numbers but felt like it could help me. I looked up the corresponding numbers with the pages in the phone book and on each page, a word was circled. It said, "Party City location at Chicago pizza at 7:30." Then, Danielle said, "Hurry! You've been spotted!" She made me run to the parking lot next door to find a "familiar car" to get away in. After jumping over some bushes, I rounded the corner to see my truck in the parking lot. There was a note on the dash that said I had been spotted and needed to get to the safe house quickly! The gps was programmed to go to this "safe house." It took me to a guitar center. I parked and began to walk in when I saw my friend, Sherri Lynn Sickler sitting in her car by the entrance yelling, "Hurry, get in!" She did much like Steph by making me lay down and I had to change into my biker shorts and tennis shoes. She blindfolded me as she took me into a place that was wall to wall trampolines. We had a blast for an hour even though I looked ridiculous in my brown shirt and black spandex biker shorts. She dropped me off at my car where I found a movie ticket to see "Arno" at the theater in the same parking lot. I realized I only had 5 minutes to get there. When I got into the theater, Brock was sitting in the back. The movie was so on theme like the whole day had been. After the movie, we drove to a new Chicago pizza place in town where 12 other friends joined us for dinner. Right before dinner, I noticed a briefcase in Brock's hand and grabbed it from him! In it was a card and a gift for me. Brock had planned everything to the last detail even down to Alias was playing as I walked back into the house that night because he wanted me to start and end my day with it. He also had water bottles in the cup holders of the truck after I got out of the trampoline place because he knew I'd work up a thirst. He knows that I love adventure and I had an action packed day full of it! It was the best birthday ever!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Different Giftings

Recently, we were given some t-shirts to sell at our table. We are selling them in order to raise money for us to go to Africa and share the gospel. It's wonderful that we have been blessed with all of these t-shirts (more than 30 boxes worth), but someone has to go through them. Today is the day in which I do that. I began at about 8:15 this morning and just now got them all inside so that I can sort through them. It's going to be a while, but I can do this! Brock is going out into the woods today to hear God on vision for our ministry. I started to get overwhelmed by just some of the things Brock said that he was going to be praying about today. As I was walking out to the trailer to collect more t-shirts, I was praying about my overwhelming feelings. The Lord asked me, "Can you go through the t-shirts?" I thought, "Sure!" That's when the Lord told me that He wants Brock to pray about vision and me to go through t-shirts. I can handle that! It struck me funny the overwhelming look Brock had on his face as he saw all of the t-shirts piled up in the living room. It's a good thing the Lord gifts us all differently.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Reset My System

I'm a little sad that my fast is over. I was on a spiritual high like when you go on a retreat or to camp. Now, it's back to the real world. However, I still am carrying some new habits and ideas that I pray I can sustain for the rest of 2013. You know how you are supposed to love your neighbor as yourself, eat healthy, and pray unceasingly? You know you should, but you don't really want to. Your flesh, me, me. Since this fast, I've been craving those good things. The things I'm supposed to think about, I naturally do. The Lord has put that in me. Please pray that this continues in my life. I've reset my system, and I like it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Outcome of the Fast

Today is the last day of my fast. Coming into it, I had goals. I was going to pray for our ministry and the book that I am writing to be successful and minister to people. These sound good because they can further the gospel of Jesus, blah, blah, blah. Here's the thing. Since I've begun the fast, I have barely thought about any of these things. Before fasting, I was obsessed with them. Now, I realize how self seeking I was coming into this. I was going to get the Lord's attention by fasting so that He would bless me. Instead, He got my attention and all I care about is Him. With that has come joy and peace, which is better than all the success in the world!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I Got My Joy Back

I was listening to a speaker several months ago who said, "Some of you need to get your joy back!" I thought, "That's me." Because of some circumstances, I was not feeling my usual jolly self. I began praying for joy and I'm happy to report that since I've been on this fast, I have been overflowing with it! I cannot contain my joy! I went to Walmart the other day and told the clerk who hated her job to have a great day! I wanted to rub some of it off on her. Brock's had the same experience. I almost tweeted, "If you need joy in your life, go on a fast." Yesterday, I went back through the notes from that message on getting your joy back and one thing I had written down stuck out to me. It read, "The key to having joy is obedience." Isn't it so like us to want to create a formula? Fasting=Joy. That's not it. Fasting for me and Brock equals joy just because that's what the Lord told us to do. It's the obedience not the fasting itself. For you, it is probably totally different. I encourage you to go out on that limb and be obedient to the Lord whatever it may be. The joy is worth it!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Called to Fast

A few months ago, Brock and I were running around a mile loop track in opposite directions (we were at different paces so decided to do it this way). As I was running, I was praying and felt like the Lord was telling me to go on a fast. As I thought more about it, I wondered when would be a good time and how long I should go. At that time, I felt the Lord telling me, "Don't worry. I'm telling Brock when and for how long." When Brock and I met up again after our runs, I couldn't hold it in, so I blurted out, "I think I should do a fast." Brock said a little surprised, "I was just thinking that!" When I questioned him on when, he said January 1st. When I questioned him on how long, he said 40 days. I thought, "Oh my! What have I gotten myself into?" Praise the Lord that he later told me that I should do 10 days and he would go for 40. I am on day 8 and it has been amazing!!! I'll tell you more later...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Just Give Me Jesus

I'm doing the Beth Moore Bible study about James. I am coming to the end of the workbook and was questioned what I'd ask James when I see him in heaven. You know what I answered? After learning all about how he lead the church in Jerusalem and was called "righteous" and "camel knees," after hearing the mystery surrounding his death, I'd still ask him the same question I would before I began studying him. After hugging him (because I feel like I know him) I'd ask, "What was Jesus like when you grew up with him?" The fact is that the Bible is filled with wonderful characters, but they all dim in comparison to Jesus...just give me Jesus!