I’ve always heard that fame, fortune or females can cause a guy problems. Not sure it’s a fair thing to say, but I’ve often heard that.

I do know that my main female (Chris) has not only NOT brought me down, but continually lifts me up….but hey, that’s not the thought I was going to share.

The first time I spoke publicly (and someone listened) was in our little church in Colorado Springs in 1992 the week before we left as a family to Beirut. I had never been asked to speak anywhere before. I was 30 at the time.

The most famous person I knew was my dad.

I had never seen more than a couple of thousand dollars and didn’t know anyone who would be called a “Millionaire.”

Not only was I not famous, I didn’t know anyone who was or anyone who knew anyone who was famous.

I can remember sitting in churches thinking “I wonder what it’s like to be able to stand up there and talk to all of these people out here and actually make sense?” I wasn’t asking the question of myself – just a general thought. I never knew an author – well the first was probably Ted Dekker (and I tried to talk him out of it when he suggested that he wanted to write).

So it feels funny when people “know me.” They’ve heard me speak. They listened to a CD or read my book – or seen some articles. And they know my name. I don’t always know theirs, but they know mine. They say nice things like “I like listening to you.” Or “I bought several copies of your books and passed them around.”

But, strangely, I’ve found the loneliest place to be when I travel. More and more, I can’t wait to be home. I’ve never been accused of being a home-body. Hardly. But I really have a handful of friends, and my family, who know me. Really know me. And it feels good to be known.

Fame (being “known” by a large number of people) is not bad – it just is. But it tries to fill the void of being “known” and doesn’t succeed. It’s fun having accolades and fans – I think I have a whopping 25 people who now follow this blog – but I need to know and be known.

And I love that it’s Jesus himself who knows me best. It’s not always comfortable knowing that, but it’s good. And may I never trade the false “known-ness” of a large speaking deal for the realness of my closest friends and family….and Jesus!