There is a note circulating on Facebook, in which friends ask one another to list twenty-five random things about themselves. I have been “tagged” with these notes. And I have enjoyed reading them. But I had no intention of writing a list myself. But without much deliberation, I opened a new Word document and began to type. Soon a list emerged. Here are twenty-five random things about me:

1.    H.B. is not my initials. That’s my name. For real. My name is H.B. Charles Jr. It’s on my birth certificate, driver’s license, and everything else. My father did it to me. And I did it to my son.

2.    I was born about an hour and a half after her my mother’s birthday. Her birthday is February 10. My birthday is February 11.

3.    Virtually every day, I notice something new about my wife or am reminded of something I already knew about her, that causes me to fall in love with Crystal all over again.

4.    I am absolutely nervous every time I stand to teach or preach the Bible. But I usually calm down right after I finish praying over the message before I begin.

5.    I really wish I knew how to play the piano and the organ.

6.    I love music. But I am paranoid about it. My father used to speak of singing preachers as if it was a bad word. He was convinced that preachers would sing to filibuster, because they didn’t have anything to say.

7.    I pretend to be a realist. But I am a closet idealist. In my world, things are black and white – not gray.

8.    I would rather have a few, meaningful relationships than to have large group of acquaintances that I only know on a superficial level.

9.    I believe in spiritual warfare through long naps.

10.    I did not learn to drive or get my driver’s license until I was 19 years old. Mind you, I began my first pastorate when I was 17. And for about two years, I hitched rides with others everywhere I needed to go.

11.    I bought my first car on April 29, 1992 – The day the Rodney King riots began. That afternoon, I went to the church office to prepare for prayer meeting and a later speaking engagement. I saw the news and the uprising on Florence and Normandy. I encourage the members not to come out to the revival I was preaching. When I got on the freeway to go home after preaching, it looked like the whole city was on fire.

12.    I think I have RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome.

13.    God has blessed me to have a short memory when I have been wronged or hurt. For some reason, forgiveness comes easy for me. I think it is because I know that I need it so from God and others.

14.    I try not to use slang, because most of the slang I am comfortable with is from the 60’s and 70’s. Can you dig it?

15.    I am convinced that “The Nature Boy,” Ric Flair, is one of the all-time great athletes. No, not wrestlers. Athletes. Woooo!!!

16.    I am afraid of heights. Really afraid of heights.

17.    There are very few things in this world that bring me as much pure joy as writing does.

18.    I become emotional whenever I go into a bookstore. This is one of the reasons why, on most occasions, I prefer to go to bookstores alone. I love books! 

19.    I have absolutely no sense of fashion. I would be content if my entire work wardrobe consisted of black suits, white shirts, black ties, black socks, and black shoes.

20.    I have nightmares about Word of Faith preachers kidnapping me and taking me to WoF concentration camps to torture and convert me.

21.    I may seem to be very serious most of the time. But I actually have a great sense of humor. Believe me, I know funny.

22.    I wore a Jheri Curl most of my teenage years, hoping it would keep me from going bald like my father. It did not work.

23.    I remember a large chunk of everything I read. I forget a large chunk of everything people tell me. I need to work at being a better listener.

24.    I am deeply amused whenever I hear anyone pronounce the word “specific” as “Pacific.” I always want to ask, “What does the ocean have to do with this?” I don’t actually do it. But the thought cracks me up on the inside every time.

25.    I love passionately. So I bruise easily. But I heal quickly.

One more for free: I hate lists!