Epic Fail Blog Entry: Meet the Parent, Chase (Guest blogger Becca Chase)

This is a first for cchase101.

My wife, Becca Chase (@rebajune on twitter) suggested that she add an entry to my blog, specifically an Epic fail one.

Now if you’re a regular reader, then you know what these are. They are stories where I overreach and make a fool of myself in some way, shape or form. They aren’t my crowning achievements, let’s put it that way.

Well this specific story (yah, that’s what I’ll call it) as interpreted by her takes place on out dating stomping ground at Bible College and the day I unceremoniously met my future dad-in-law, Don Brown. I’ll let her take it from here…and I will make some “comments” at the end ( look for the “*“!)

It was the fall semester of our second year of Bible College. Chris and I had just made that *AWKWARD transition from friends to ‘couple’. All semester I had been having regular phone chats with both my mom and sister who were being kept up-to-the-minute on the Chris-and-Becca details.  But one very important person was left in the dark- my dad.  I couldn’t talk to my dad about boys.  So when my dad came to the school to pick me up and take me home for Reading Break, the first impression he had of Chris Chase was not the greatest.

 I went to my room to finish packing.  Dad waited in the lounge.  Chris thought he’d use this time to work his charm.  Now, in his defense, he was under the impression that I had told my dad all about him.  I had not.  *I may not have even mentioned him at all…. :\

 So this *very loud, very outgoing young black man walks up to my dad and starts chatting away.  My dad, being polite, asked him where he was from. An ongoing joke in our bible college was that Chris was a honourary Newfie*.  So Chris jokingly tells my dad he was from Cornerbrook, NFLD. Then he threw up the ‘W’ symbol with his hand and followed it up by saying ‘Wesssst Siiiide’. Very smooth*.

 On the car ride home, my dad, again very politely, asked ‘Who was that boy? He was very…. friendly.’ I did eventually fill him in…. although I think it was a good six months later when I realized that he really did think Chris was from Newfoundland.

I take only a small portion of responsibility for this epic fail. 

Okay…now let CLARIFY a couple of things here:

  • I was a lot less self-aware at 22-23 than I am now. And a lot less loud. Just saying…
  • *The transition WAS awkward indeed, but it worked, did it not? Boom, blew your mind! Your boy had moves back in the early 2000’s, man! Now, not so much…though every so often, I can pull a rabbit out of the hat. I’ll blog about the awkwardness one day.
  • * How you not gonna say, “and by the way, I gotta man, daddy.” Or at least TELL your boyfriend that your dad didn’t know. I was set up man. You know it’s true!
  • * I wasn’t THAT loud. On a scale of Becca to Jeff Hackett, I would have been a Kathy/Maria (all inside jokes here!)
  • * I AM an honorary Newfie. Got “screeched” in, kissed a fish, drank cod liver oil…the whole gambit. So take that!
  • * I do not remember the west side thing.Therefore, it never happened.

So there you have it. Thanks Becca for adding to my blog with another embarrassing story of my life. I love you very much.

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Dealing With Boys (Letter to Ellie)

Boys Suck!!

Something that will bug me forever, Eliana, is that you will one day like boys. Even worse: boys will like you. A lot. You’re funny, pretty, smart, creative, confident (just today when mom asked you if you’re silly, you said, “No, I’m beautiful!”)…the list goes on. And while I will already hate the boy who marries you (kinda), I feel that it is my responsibility to give you the inside track on the majority of guys (there are some exceptions, but in many areas, we’re all the same) and what you need to watch out for.

Now I don’t worry about you ever having to stand up for yourself (the other day at day care, I saw you push a boy over when he tried to give you a hug. The fact that it was during bible story time, is besides the point.). But as you get older, a boy will take your attention and possibly break your heart. And it’ll suck. So before that happens, here are some things about boys you need to know.

1 – Boys Suck

Just right off the bat, they do. All of them.

2 – Boys are smelly

They all sweat a lot, some smell a lot worse than others but the all smell. Really bad.

3 – Boys live in a land of passive aggressiveness

You think you know what they are thinking or how they are feeling. You ask them for their opinion and they hem and haw at you. They get mad but mumble under their breath. They ignore you because they don’t know how to express themselves but desperately want your attention. Is he mad at you? At life? Just quiet? Is he a vampire? Rarely will you know how they feel and when you do, you’re sorry you found out. They know what, or who they want…it just takes them a while to know how to ask for it. (See Edward from Twilight…or so I’m told…).

4 – A lot of boys have dad issues

Boys will try to be just like or completely unlike their dad. A lot of what they are trying to find on the path to manhood has to do with figuring out how their dad feels about them (because THEIR dad never knew how their OWN dad felt about them…you see, men only do as they’ve experienced…). (When you’re old enough, see Good Will Hunting).

5 – A lot of boys are scared

They will never say it because men are to be heroes, leaders, soldiers and athletes (when’s the last time you saw a guys accountant or psychologist action figure?), but underneath it all, they fear. They fear failing, commitment, getting over their issues, never making it, being broke, doing life wrong, living in regret, growing up, zombies…you name it. When you meet “him” ask him what he’s scared of. If he says nothing, he’s a liar. If he says, “I don’t fear because_________”, he’s a liar. Now if he says, I fear this, but I bring that to God everyday, you’ve met someone who hopefully has a good sense of self-awareness. They’ll know that they can’t get over their stuff on their own. I should say, however, that because I am a cynic and because you are my daughter, I MIGHT not fully believe him so he and I might have our own coffee date to hash that out:). (When old enough see the movie Antoine Fisher)

6 – Boys suck at giving and reading signals

He won’t know if you like him and he’ll think you want him. Use words, not eye and ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR FACE!!!!! (Example: Every man who has ever lived. Period.).

7 – Boys want to be better

Even the really rough ones, when they are away from their crew, don’t want to be bad. Many of them want a better life for themselves and for ones they may bring into the world. Some are rotten apples who have been dealt a bad hand (whether they were spoiled or left alone). And if you confront them (and wade through the passive aggressiveness) and ask them about it, they’ll tell you. However, once they are back with their crew, it’ll be like it never happened (see The Simpsons episode where Nelson dates Lisa for an example).

8 – Boys often don’t know how to be the “starter“.

You won’t be sure if something should be happening or IS happening and he won’t say anything (see nos. 3, 5 &6). And so you’ll become the man to ask him what’s going on. That should never, ever be. If you have to go to him for that, you’ll have to do that for the rest of your life. And it’ll annoy the heck out of you. Think on that one.

9 – Boys will break your heart (knowingly and unknowingly)

At least some will do it knowingly. I will hunt them for sport. The guys who do it unknowingly…they are the worst. They led you on, didn’t know how to get out of it and they broke it off in an ugly manner. Urgh…boys really suck (Example: Scott Pilgrim Versus The World).

10 – Boys are territorial

They may not want to be with you but at the same time, they won’t want anyone else to be with you either. It’s really weird…and when you’re taken, they won’t know what to with themselves…watch out for guys who are naturally selfish. If they are selfish with stuff, they’ll also be so with you.

Bonus: Beware of the guy best friend. You may end up marrying him OR running after him like in “My Best Friend’s Wedding…”

Bonus 2: Boys suck. It’s true, kid. They do.

Bonus 3: Even the Christian ones can be sucky. That’s a whole other letter, kiddo.

There are so many more things I could say. And I’m no psychologist here. I just know a lot of guys, kiddo. And I was a boy too (and still am sometimes.). My prayer is that as you do life the right way, you’ll meet the right kid of guy who will take care of you and love you sacrificially and unconditionally. And something I have to remind myself of is that you will (i don’t know if it’s consciously or unconsciously) look for a guy who is either a lot like or the complete opposite of me. And so if I do life right (love my life, love your mom, you and your soon-to-be brother or sister), your standards will be set and you’ll be okay. And if I don’t, I’ll meet him and say (to myself, of course…maybe to your mom…), “You’re MY fault.”

And it will be.

I love you kiddo. And when a boy breaks your heart, we’ll sit on the couch, eat ice cream and plot our revenge.

I already have their graves dug out 🙂

P.S. This is not ALL guys, I know. Dudes, I got love for you. I just gotta give my kid the 411 on the bad ones! If you have a daughter, you know EXACTLY what I mean. None of you want a dummy son-in-law right?

D.N.A. of a Man of God…What Does it Even Mean??

That guy is a man of God!

Lately I’ve been thinking about that statement and its significance. What does it mean to be a man of God?

What defines someone as a man of God? It is an Old Testament term used often to describe someone who represented God’s voice to his people. Here’s how I’ve heard people describe it along my travels in life today:

  • Someone who preaches well.
  • Someone who leads well during adversity.
  • Someone who knows their Bible and prays a lot.
  • Someone who acts with integrity.
  • Someone who “looks” like Jesus.
Now I don’t have a PROBLEM with these definitions per se but I wonder if our definition is more “cultural” than “biblical”. I mean…
  • I know people who preach REALLY well on a variety of subjects but are really mean once they are off the pulpit. Is that man of God-ish?
  • I know people who lead well in front of people but can’t lead their bank books. Is that man of God-ish?
  • I know men who can quote scripture and seek the face of God daily but in their reading and seeking, they justify their prejudices and hurtful actions. That is definitely NOT man of God-ish, right?
  • I know men who look like Jesus but don’t act like him…is acting man of God-ish?
I’ve also noticed that much (not ALL but a lot) that has to do with being a man of God has to do with LEADING or something that many others can see. What about the guy who isn’t an upfront person but is never late when they are needed to serve? Or the dad who spends time teaching their kid a hobby or skill? Or the man who quietly opens doors for someone or buys someone’s lunch just because? Or the man who is able to successfully manage his checkbook, taking care of their tithing and bills with precision? Is that man of God material or is it only leading someone to Jesus over coffee? What of the man who cares for his wife or lives right until his wife comes? Or who is a good friend?
If you had to build a man of God template or a book of ‘skills towards man of God-ism’, what would be in it? Ladies, if you were building a man of God, what would he carry? What would he be like? Is it enough for him to be a man of God outside of the home but not kind inside? Or vise-versa? I’m rambling here now…
The reason I’m writing this is because at some point, my Ellie (and quite possibly my second daughter if Becca’s prediction of a boy is wrong) is going to bring a boy home and he might ask for her hand in marriage. Before all of that though, she’ll ask me (and her mom) what kind of guy she should be looking for…eek. And even MORE scary is that he might be a bit like ME…
So then, what should a man of God look like in our current culture? What’s top on YOUR list? What’s not so important? Please comment, share and ponder with me.
P.S. – I’ve also noticed that my generation (and younger) throw around terms that we heard growing up (like man of God) without really knowing what they mean. Like it says in Rococo by Arcade Fire states, we’re “using great big words that we don’t understand…”
P.P.S. – My fellow men, don’t worry about being crowned a ‘man of God’ by someone. Just serve…Micah 6:8, yo. Last
P.P.P.S – Maybe I’m just venting because I’m tired of seeing guys think that if they read a few verses, they are good. Without purposeful intergration of what one reads but way of action, it’s words. And I’m TIRED of seeing people put their families on the back burner for ministry things, cool tweets quotes and the like.

Eliana, The Biebs and Being a Kid – Just Dance!!

You know you used to do it.

You’d be in your room reading, cleaning, chilling and then your JAM would come on. So you’d close the door, turn up your TV, radio, walk or disc man and get on your feet. You’d sing out those lyrics like you were at a concert or making your own music video and go for broke with bad amateur night dance moves, spins, call and response and more.

Then if your parents or siblings walked in, you’d act like you weren’t doing anything. “…GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!

You know you did it. Some of us still do from time to time.

I tweeted last night that my daughter, Ellie, is now into Justin Bieber. And by that I mean she just likes the song ‘Baby’. She won’t cry if she meets him or die if she doesn’t. She just really likes the song.

A LOT!

Well, during her bathtime, we played the song (via Daddy’s iPad) at LEAST four times and each time that chorus came on, her little voice got loud with joy and glee. She has no clue what she’s singing about, she simply loves the ‘OHHHHH’ and ‘NOOOOOO’ parts! And it was adorable. She then got into her pyjamas, found a mirror and went to Funky Town, with jumping and dancing…all while watching her own moves.

(Check Ellie’s Bieber dance right here.)

And it brought me back to dancing in my room or basement to Kris Kross’ ‘Jump‘, MC Hammer’s U Can’t Touch This and yes, ‘Hanging Tough‘ by the New Kids. During those moments, nothing could bring me down. In a good mood? Get your David Bowie on and “Let’s Dance”! Bad mood? Time to get my ‘Hot Rod’ on and Punch dance out my rage (if you haven’t seen this movie, you need to. So irreverent. So stupid. So funny!).

Now that I am an adult, that dancing on my own with completely lack of fear is mostly replaced by two-stepping around the house (although, on a really good day…). But Ellie reminds me, there are some parts of my childhood that I should never lose. It’s still fun sometimes to jump up and down and dance til you drop.

And I have to thank Justin Bieber for that. Oh man, that hurts…

So…comments! What song still gets you moving after all this time???

The LeBron Lessons (Learned Leadership, Spurned Sports fan)

I am not a LeBron James fan. Never have been. Thought he and Melo should have got co-Rookie of the Year awards (Bron had more assists but Melo had more boards AND took his team to the playoffs).

I think ‘Bron is an amazing athlete, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t drink the Kool-Aid like so many did and do. I’ve been a Laker fan since my dad showed me a basketball so naturally, I’m on Team KB24 (which probably plays into my disdain) but I notice when others are great (which is hard to think about someone like a Celtic getting my vote…but if you’re good, you’re good.) and that being said, LeBron IS great. I just don’t have to like that (unless I have him on my fantasy team, like a friend of mine does…).

ANYHOW…since June of this summer, Bron has been the subject of blogs, newspapers, NBA.com, Barbara Walters 10 most fascinating people and even a nominee for Time magazine’s person of the year (along with the miners from Chile, Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. People who ACTUALLY did stuff this year. Let that sink in…). While I’m not ‘hating’, I have learned some things while casually hoping for his team to fall apart (not as a mean person but as a fan of basketball who wants to see the C’s vs. the Show one mo’ time in June ’11).

1 – Your Legacy is ALWAYS being formed: There’s no going around it. Each day you’re building the case on whether or not you moved good things forward or backwards. There’s no pause button.

2 – How you finish a job will dictate how people talk about you forever: If I’m in a church and KILL IT with a huge group, miracles and the like, but have a moral failure, people will only remember the failure. Bron had seven great years in Cleveland but no one remembers that now, except for TNT who needs footage to add to the drama of a game or numbers to show His significance to Ohio. Most of us, especially hearybroken Cavs fans and pure fans of the game, remember The Decision, South Beach, the chalk powder and where we are now. Cleveland won’t remember the good times…only that they got ‘Maury’d’ (new verb, y’all!) on national television. And hell hath no fury like a sports fan scorned (hence the unfortunate chants of A__ ____in front of kids). Run n’ tell that.

3 – If you’re a leader, you can’t shift blame: If you get the ball and miss the shot, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Ownership is scares today (that’s why I’m not a fan of politics) and when you say things like ‘I spoil people with my play’, it’s an indication that you can’t deal with your own failures, at least to me. I did this once early in 2010 and decided I’ll never do it again. If I mess up, then I mess up.

4 – If you have to move, do it the right way: Shout outs to Roy Halladay for a full-page thanking TO for the love. Don’t just leave your APT and not tell your renter that you moved. Don’t just dramatically quit your job. If you can’t volunteer, don’t just NOT show up. Give your two weeks. Let them prepare. Do it right. How you leave says more about your maturity than you think. To his credit, Bron did say in his Heat/Cavs beat down post-game interview My intentions were on point. Maybe the execution just was a little off.” Hey, it’s a start.

5 – Nothing in life comes easy: Anything in life you really want, you gotta work hard for it. All three ‘superstars’ guarantee is high expectation, tougher judging and a sweeter victory when it’s earned. Sometimes you gotta suffer for year and take in real heartbreak (see the ’86 Red Sox) before finally taking it all (’04 Sox). I guess that why people in Miami have to Fan Up.

6 – Don’t talk about yourself in the 3rd person: Chase can’t stand that when people be like that. Chase thinks it should stop. Chase be feelin’ like it’s boastful. Chase believes Chase made his point. All Chase all day, yo!

7 – Choose your close friends wisely: Your friends may love you. They may even be really smart. But it doesn’t mean that every decision they make with you is the BEST one. They may actually be unintentionally hurtful in the long run (See Job and his three amigos in 42:7). They may say what you wanna hear. They may say what THEY wanna hear. Get people around you who will be honest with you when you mess it up but who do it in a way that reminds you that you’re loved.

and lastly, Redemption is STILL nigh: It’s been 6 months (June to Now), 20 games. The Heat may still win the chip this year (Oh GOD, that would kill me. But it’s still possible…anything is posssiiiibbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuullllllllllleeeeaaaa!). And if not this year (there’s still the Champs, the C’s and the Spurs in the running), then NEXT year (pending the strike). But that’s not what I mean. LeBron can still fix his image, fix himself and be as great as we know he will be. No one is beyond making the right decisions, even after major failures…no one.  If Kobe could do it, entertainment-wise from ’05 to now…(5 years….), then anyone can. It’s work, time and earning trust from everyone. It’s realizing that people are booing you and deciding to either be the Pistons from the 80s who couldn’t care less OR anyone else.

The problem is, if you don’t think you’re ever wrong, then to you, you’re fine and this blog is a waste. And that’s the biggest Epic Fail of them all.

And that’s it. No more hating on LeBron. It’s actually really old now. Hate takes a LOT of work.

…Unless they win the chip…oh man, I already feel my heart dying.

P.S. Here’s a funny tidbit. On the Miami Heat, there is a dude named Joel Anthony. He’s their center. Signed a 3 year, 18 mil contract this summer. And we were on the same ball team together. In high school. A Private Christian School of 270 people. I was our leading scorer at 17. And he’s in the NBA today. Funny how life works (says Chase as he cries in the fetal position.). What up Joel, holla at your boy, way to rep MTL and make that gwap!

Ever Have This Feeling…?

Ever walk by or talk to someone you know well and think “They really don’t like me…”?

Or connect with someone and realize they’ve never really known you?

When I was growing up in MTL, I got that a lot. People in my youth group would come up to me after an ‘altar moment’ or Jesus Crisis experience and share with me about how they “didn’t like me when they first met me because I was loud or obnoxious or something else” but now they got to know me and they liked me…or something like that. Now, to their credit, I was louder than I am now, a tad pretentious and obnoxious but the weight of those words stayed. Weird part was and still is this: They never said sorry. They just vented, cleared their conscience and left feeling good about themselves, as if they did a good deed. What they didn’t know then and don’t know till now (if they are readers) is the lowering of self-esteem and fear of relationships that I have to this day.

Those ‘revelations’ effect my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, etc. When someone tells you they don’t like you, if you’re not strong, you change YOU…you know? And if you ARE strong, you become stubborn and prideful. These same people still see as that guy and not THIS guy…urgh. Maybe that’s why I don’t like going home much. Cause of those words and what I might say now…now that I know and have an uncanny way with words and honesty…

The weirdest part is that along with not saying sorry, they thought they were helping me…bad teaching, man.

Why do I write this, besides dealing with repressed memories? Because things like Facebook/Twitter and social media are reminders of it all the time. You see a wall and think, ‘Hey, that person never talks to me beyond this or that…’ or ‘there was a thing that everyone was at except for me?’ It’s the reminder that true friends are like buried treasure, they take a long time to find and when you do, you almost want to hide them again.

On the flip side, because of bad experiences (some brought on myself, others by way of circumstance) , I’ve burned some great bridges and hurt people due to the fear of exposure. Being a pastor doesn’t help either because sometimes you can never be the you YOU are because you are the YOU they expect or demand. I’ve also burned some great bridges because of awkwardness. In the fear of being loud, I say nothing OR too much (I watch too much Michael Scott). It’s even worse on the phone (I actually hyperventilate before calling new people). It really sucks. It’s a weird feeling to know that you don’t have…friends…because of the words of a 16-year-old when you were 16. Or 24-year-old leader (I mean who does that?).

I’m writing this and I KNOW some will read this and not see me in it. They’ll see a cry for attention. I can’t blame them though…this IS a BLOG, right (LOL)? But it’s not. I have some great brothers and sisters who are honest in their blogging. Their names are Ben Wright, Genie Liu and Josh Singh (Josh’s wife Carrie is a stellar honest writer too), and they push me to be honest too. I’ve been dreading this post for 3 months because all I see is me in the youth room and someone telling me about how they didn’t like me.  Living with low self-esteem sucks, doesn’t it. Becca’s right: I should talk to someone at some point 🙂

13 years later and it still hurts. It probably always will. That’s my thorn. And I know what the response will be from my Dad:

My grace is sufficient for you.

Where would I be without that grace?

Unable to be honest with myself and say I really don’t have it together so I NEED that grace. Unable to be…well…me.

P.S. If you have an ISSUE with someone, don’t wait for months or years to bring it up. By then, the person who hurt you has moved on and in your need to be honest, you’re actually hurting them. Doing it like that isn’t helpful. It’s selfish and wrong. Pray and deal with it right away. If they don’t know about it and it’s worth bringing up, do so if it’s going to help them AND you. If they do know, for sure bring it up. But if they don’t know and it’s not a repeat, then forgive and move on. Stop with this clearing conscience crap. It’s not cool.

I’m juss saying…

P.S. and please don’t leave a comment saying sometime dumb. If you have something heartfelt or angry or whatever to share with me email me at cchase@apchurch.com! If its a general thought, leave it on the blog. Just this time, though!