Val Kilmer & I

So I’ve been told a lot in my life that I look like Val Kilmer (I’m hoping the Val Kilmer of the Top Gun days!). If you know me well, you probably already know this little fact. Now I am not saying that I think I look like Val Kilmer, I’ve never claimed that, this is just what I have been told.

The first time I can remember being told I looked like Val (after so many years, we’re on a first name basis) was my Sophomore year in Academy by the Peach sisters. It has only escalated since then, in fact now 18 years since that thought was first expressed I still receive the occasional “Val” reference.

So why am I telling you this? To share a quick lesson I’m learning as a parent and as a pastor. Due to the fact that I have been called Val and asked if I look like Val, and even gawked at as if I were the real Val so often, I began to learn lines from Val Kilmer movies I could deliver:

“I don’t like you because you’re dangerous.” –Top Gun

“You can be my wingman anytime.” –ibid

“I’m your huckleberry. That’s just my game.” –Tombstone

“Why Johnny Ringo.” –Tombstone

“You’re no daisy.” –Tombstone

And of course the Val Kilmer pursed lips and stare…

What is the point?

Because people were always asking me if I knew I looked like Val Kilmer, I felt the need to start delivering Val Kilmer lines. To get into Val Kilmer character…

I have discovered with my kids and even in my relationships with folk as their pastor, that in both cases the more I treat and talk to my kids or members as I believe God sees them and less as they may actually be, that eventually they begin to take on this character. If we affirm people even when they may not be quite there, I believe they are more likely to take on the character we are affirming than to go back to whom they may be or may have been.

Isn’t this after all what God has done with all of us?

God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;” –Romans 4:17b

And didn’t Jesus say, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends,” –John 15:15a

“Friends”, even though if you keep reading in the book of John the disciples kept acting like servants.

God calls each of us as He sees us, not as we actually are. I pray that in my life and I pray that in your life you will do the same for your kids and for any others you have influence over!

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