Join the Bones Brigade

While Oxford, KS was definitely not a hotbed of skateboarding innovation in the late 70s and early 80s, I still had a board and I remain a fan of this era’s pioneering creativity. I was recently watching Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. It’s a documentary that follows the team assembled and mentored by skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta. Team member Lance Mountain describes his feelings about being a part of this experience and, finally, its end.

“I shouldn’t even have been in a position to have it, much less fade away. How do you give that opportunity back? I mean, all you guys gave me that opportunity. I shouldn’t even have been in it, in my opinion.”

Lance is describing his unreserved gratitude at being a member of the group that included Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, Rodney Mullen, and Tommy Guerrero, among others. This grown man ends the interview choking back tears. Gratitude is beautiful, my friend.¬†Listening to Lance, my only thought was that his response to the Bones Brigade should be the same as our response to God’s mercy and grace.

I can make this personal. I do not deserve God’s love. I have disobeyed, willfully and repeatedly. I have lost more friends than I’ve retained. I’ve been selfish, prideful, and impatient. I do not belong in God’s loving arms. I do not belong in Jesus’ church.


I am loved. I am accepted. I am included in the whole of Jesus’ followers.¬†For God so loved the world (including me), that He gave His one and only Son… (John 3:16).

Are you listening? Really listening? Do you want to know God? Approach Him in Lance’s posture of humility. Less of you. More of Jesus (John 3:30). You don’t belong, but you can never be snatched from Jesus’ hand (John 10:29).

You’re invited. Join God’s Brigade. It will never end!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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