Dear Mom,

You're almost 80 and I think you're old enough to handle what I'm about to tell you. But, just to be safe, go ahead and sit down and take a couple of deep breaths. OK, are you ready? Here goes ... Mary and Joseph had whoopie after Jesus was born. I'm sure you're wondering if the roof fell in on my head when I typed that. Well, so far it hasn't. And to go even further, they had enough romps in the hay to make several brothers and sisters for Jesus to have fun growing up with.

So why would I risk giving you a heart attack right before your 80th birthday? To be honest, I need the money. Just kidding. Actually, I thought about this after listening to my pastor preach recently out of the book of James.

His message was about being a good listener and it was an excellent sermon, but what most struck me was his comment about the author of the book of James. It was this dude named James.

No, that's not the amazing part. The amazing part is I've been an avid Bible reader for more than 30 years and I never knew that this particular "James" was actually one of Jesus' baby brothers. Wow!

Then my pastor made a funny comment about how difficult it must have been growing up with Jesus as your older brother. Every time you did something wrong your mother Mary would say, "Why can't you be more like Jesus?"

I don't know if this ticked James off or not, but history shows that he didn't become a follower of his brother until he was well into his adult life. But when he finally did say "Jesus is my Lord," his whole life changed. He became a part of the Jesus Revolution that ultimately led to him being beaten to death for his faith in his older brother.

Mom, I know that your particular denomination teaches Mary stayed a virgin her whole life; but I gotta go with the Bible on this one and believe she had other kids. I remember growing up one of your favorite sayings was, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." Well, here is the God said it part: ...and she remained a virgin until her son was born; and Joseph named him Jesus. (Matthew 1.25) The final two parts are up to you.

In case you did have a heart attack upon hearing this news ... I will try to spend my inheritance wisely.

Your loving son, Brad.

• Brad Butler is a PGA golf pro who attends Mountain Park Community Church in Ahwatukee Foothills. He can be reached at

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