Category Archives: Wisecracks

Google glasses…really?

Google glasses…really?

Not sure if you’ve seen this yet but when I saw it in the newspaper last week, my first thought was: If this actually becomes popular, I am moving to a remote village across the world and living in a hut.

I mean seriously folks, what positive contribution to life would these possibly give us?  Besides Google making some fat cash off of them of course.  It is time (actually it’s well beyond time) that we pause and consider if all these new fandangled technological advances are really advances at all, or if they are just unnecessary wastes of money that more than likely do us more harm than good.  (Raise your hand if you want to be more addicted to your work and personal email and Facebook messages!)

Click here if you haven’t heard about Google’s prototype idea to make glasses that essentially are a cell phone / computer screen that you always see as you go throughout your day.  At least the good news is many others, like me, see these as a great reason to make fun of people that would actually use these:


One thing is for sure, it is going to be a lot more expensive to get punched in the face.


Posted by on April 12, 2012 in Uncategorized, Wisecracks


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Drinking Decaf for Jesus…

On a day when two people have already told me it’s 99 cent day at Biggby (and it’s only 9:30am), I am reminded once more that I’ve given up caffeine for Lent.  This brings up two topics I find interesting: Lent and caffeine. First, Lent.

I grew up Baptist and had no clue what Lent was.  I remember at my public high school asking my Catholic friends why they could only eat fish for lunch (or is it only fish on Fridays?  I don’t remember…), and I remember them telling me it was because they are Catholic.  No mention of Jesus; no mention of why.  I’m not saying this is the reaction of all Catholics, but for that period of my life, these were the only Catholics I conversed with.  So to me, Lent was something religious that Catholics did and I was glad I didn’t have to do it, because I didn’t even like fish very much.  Except fish sticks.  Those have always been good. 

I observed Lent for the first time last year when I gave up dessert.  I realized that the point of Lent is the same as that of other types of fasting, and that is to focus our attention on Christ’s sacrifice for us, and when we sacrifice something (food, dessert, coffee, etc.), it is a physical reminder for us to think about Christ.  I often forget about Christ throughout my daily routine, and while a large part of me does not enjoy fasting (and I don’t do it very often), when I do do it, it is helpful in drawing my attention to God.  What is unique about Lent is it specifically draws our attention to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as the Lenten season builds up to Good Friday and eventually Easter, the ultimate celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  So there you go: I like Lent.  I think people should observe it because they want to and not because they have to.  And no, my Baptist friends, the Bible does not say we need to observe Lent and no one is saying it does.  Breathe.  It’s just a helpful thing to do.

So why was I dumb enough to give up caffeine this year for Lent?  Because my wife suggested it.  Sitting in a Biggby on Ash Wednesday evening, with honestly no intent to give anything up for Lent this year, my wife suggested I give up caffeine.  She is not a caffeine drinker and has noticed how my coffee consumption has increased over the years, up to around 3 mugs a day at this point.  So, like I’ve learned is typically best with my wife, I agreed to what she said.  Part of my reason for agreeing was the guinea pig factor, wanting to test what this would do to my body.  I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 21 and working my first real job as a youth pastor.  I made it all through college being able to stay awake and alert just fine on my own, and have noticed myself being continually fatigued, even with my 3 cups of coffee each day.  I’ve heard that coffee, like ChapStick, conditions your body to need it so once you start, you can’t stop!

The first week was highlighted by me falling asleep whenever I’d go to pray during my lunch break.  I didn’t have any headaches, just could not stay awake.  And yes, I get enough sleep at night.  Also, I made the decision (and some of you will, and already have, call me a cheater for this) that I would “celebrate the Sunday resurrection” by allowing myself to drink coffee on Sunday mornings before my sermon.  My brother Patrick says this is okay.  He said so on Facebook.

The second week was highlighted by me getting really close to making coffee on several occasions when I was having a terrible time motivating myself to work.  My line of thought was, “I’m not actually Catholic…I don’t have to fast…Jesus will understand.”  But I made it through!  Still feeling super groggy.

The third week, this week, is the first time I have felt refreshed in a long time.  This entire experiment I have wondered if I will kick the habit altogether when I’m finished with Lent, and this week is the first time I’ve thought it could be a real possibility.

It does make me wonder if we drink too much caffeine.  Any thoughts?

I’ve heard coffee called “The Christian Crack” in jest by a Christian former drug addict.

I’ve heard the pastor of a well-known church go off on a rant about drinking too much caffeine is sinful.  It was surprising.  I wonder what they serve in their lobby, ginger ale?

A Christian friend of mine told me that caffeine is the one drug we are allowed to do by law and by God so he’s going to enjoy it for all it’s worth, since he can’t do any of the others.

Funny stuff.  Closing thoughts:

Decaf is disgusting.  It got me through my first 2 weeks.  Yes it has <1% caffeine in it, get over it.

I know coffee has antioxidants in it.  Yes, keep telling yourself it is just like eating broccoli.

I have nothing against people drinking coffee, I am simply making observations about life.

Coffee is delicious.  I love the taste and smell of it.  I hear the same thing from people about their cigarettes.

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Theology, Wisecracks


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Crossroads’ new worship leader…

1.  I started laughing histerically

2.  I almost had to stop it mid way through, but I pressed on

3.  The frosting on the cake are his comments at the beginning about how good he is

And I’ll answer the question you are bound to ask:  Yes, we are recruiting this guy to come to Crossroads to be our worship leader.

And yes, there is a small part of me that wonders if this is staged because how could anyone be this talented?… maybe someone from North Carolina can help me out?


Posted by on January 27, 2012 in Wisecracks


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An Ode to My Dead Civic

An Ode to My Dead Civic

I’m not exactly sure what an ode is.  My Mac’s dashboard dictionary tells me an ode is a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter.
• historical – a poem meant to be sung.

So while I’m sure this isn’t an ode, it sounds like if you sing it, it will become one.  So please sing along with me:

Oh to my poor little Civic,

I will miss you so.

I owned you for 6 years,

and you took me everywhere I wanted to go.

You died with 258,256 miles,

that sure is a lot.

I only paid $1100 for you,

a bargain is what I got.

Sure you didn’t have A/C,

and the windshield had two giants cracks. (the rhyming is too hard, I hope you enjoyed it)

You had rust galore,

and even a hole in the hood.

A broken axle was your dying blow,

And no I’m not paying another 500 bucks to fix you again.

You were a great car,

but your 42 MPG are only a memory.

More like 25 MPG, plus tons of extra oil.

Your time had finally come,

and you surely will be missed.

It feels like a I lost a pet.

A goldfish.

You will always be in my heart.

And since I got 200 bucks for you for scraps,

like an organ donor,

your spirit will live on as they give your parts out to other cars.

Sing it out: (with vigor)






It’s okay to cry.


Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Wisecracks


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The Year in Review, 9 days late…

The Year in Review, 9 days late…

It’s fitting that my year in review would come 9 days after New Year’s.  As I reflect back on my first real attempt to be a blogger, I realize this is the type of blogger I am.  When I started out in July, I thought I’d be posting a couple times a week, or at least once a week.  Fast forward and I am posting around a once a month!  I post when I get inspired.  And then only when I have time.  Which between the two definitely dwindles down my opportunities.  I think good blogs that post frequently are ones that have a scheduled goal they are setting out to blog about, like when my blog-friend Ivy blogged through reading the Bible as a non-believer in 2010.  Read the Bible every day, blog about it = regular blogging.  Same goes for sports bloggers.  Your team plays a game, blog about it = regular blogging.  I thought I could do this with my sermons each Sunday, but the videos are never uploaded in time for when I am inspired/have time early in the week, and I don’t like doing a blog post without the video link, so this just hasn’t happened as often as I’d first intended.  All in all though, I really have enjoyed blogging the posts that I have, and I do enjoy keeping score of which blogs garner the most hits the day they are posted.  For my blog year in review, I’d like to highlight some of my favorite blogs that you may have missed.  Since I blog soooo sporadically, I figure it’s easy you could have missed a few of these gems (sarcasm doesn’t always come across well in text), so I thought I’d start your new year out with some reruns:

11.24.11 Being a Dad = Science Fiction – This was the winner for most hits in a day.  Makes me feel great about my writing abilities.  You only click on things where videos and photos of my cute baby are involved.

10.24.11 The Elephant in the Church Room: Homosexuality – I figured this would be a hot topic and it was.  A close second for most hits in a day.  I was grateful for the interaction I received at first, but when I posted a reply, the conversation ended.  I would love for someone to click, read, and continue the dialogue as I raised some questions that I’d love to hear reaction to.

9.8.11 NFL Prophecy – Fun to look back on my NFL picks.  All I have to say is it is a good thing I don’t bet on sports or the Eagles would have made me a very broke man.  But hey, I did pick the Lions to be the #6 seed in the playoffs, which they were, which has to be worth something right?

8.30.11 Why I Believe in God.  (hint: it’s not because of the Bible) – Look at my provocative title.

My new year’s resolution: Shorter blogs.  More blogs.  Pick my nose less.  Happy New Year.

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized, Wisecracks


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Hail to the Victors: Big Ten Commentary

I love that God made it thunderstorm, securing Michigan’s victory today.  I think He knows how bad our defense is and wanted to make sure Western didn’t come back on us.  It is my prayer that the Lord brings thunderstorms every time Michigan gets a lead.  National Championship here we come!!  (let’s make sure we choose to receive when we win the coin toss, ok Brady?)

In all ‘seriousness’ (sports are not serious), I think Michigan defense looked a tiny bit better than last year, but a tiny bit better than horrific is still really bad.  Which is understandable… last year’s scrubs + freshman = what you saw today.  Yes they had some sweet turnovers today over a bad offense, but let’s keep our composure friends, it is Western, who is bound to wet themselves at times… and deliver a gift wrapped ball to Brandon Herron for both his birthday and Christmas.  Hey, I’m not complaining, but I’m also not envisioning Denard and Brady holding up the National Championship Trophy just yet.  My preseason prediction of 8-4 is still intact, and still feels a little optimistic…

A few other Big Ten notes:

  • Can we please stop calling Michigan State “defending Big Ten champions”?  They tied for first with two other teams.  They are not champions.  They are 1/3 champions.  Props to them, it is more than Michigan can say, but it is truth none the less.  They should not get rings, or a banner, or t-shirts, unless they say “1/3 champions” on them or are 1/3 of said item, and the other 2/3’s are in Wisconsin and Ohio State.  This is college sports, we should be past participation medals that make everyone feel good at this point.  A tie is not a championship.  You do not play to tie, do not celebrate it and do not say you were a champion.  Being better than Michigan and Northwestern does not make you a champion, being the best makes you a champion, and you were not the best.
  • Speaking of Ohio State, their new coach Luke Fickell looks crazy similar to Adam Sandler, which is awesome because it makes me hope #1.) He will suit up one game like Bobby Boucher, and #2.) Makes me hope he will sing the ‘Lonesome Kicker’ song sometime at a press conference:
  • Now before you MSU fans go getting all upset because I made fun of your 1/3 title that you keep calling a title (yes I know you beat Michigan, we have been very bad, we have had to watch Nick Sheridan as a QB, something no human should ever have to endure), it’s really not your fault.  It is just a small blip on the endless stream of the NCAA’s list of stupidity.  This stupidity pails in comparison to the BCS system of course (I’m looking forward to the day I can tell my grandkids about the BCS system and they will laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh…). But none of these compare to the ridiculous amount of scandal in college football over the last year and how I couldn’t help but watch the games this weekend with more than a hint of cynicism over the hypocrisy of those in charge and how they’ve let illegal payments of players go on forever, because it brings in big money to their pocketbooks, but then whenever a media outlet uncovers a story (isn’t the NCAA supposed to be discovering these stories, not Yahoo! and Sports Illustrated?), the NCAAers get on their high horses about how these are student athletes and their educations are of utmost importance, blah blah blah blah blah.  It was fun to watch them play football today, though I’m looking forward to the NFL starting next weekend, when I don’t have to feel so dirty as I view the product before me.
  • And yes I refer to my team as “we” and “us” though I have never played for them, or even attended the school.  But if I had to watch Nick Sheridan for an entire season, I get to pretend like I’ve invested enough in the program to call it my own.

Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Sports, Wisecracks


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I’m An Old Man Wishing I Had Ear Plugs

So as I posted today already, I attended our Haiti Benefit Concert two nights ago at the Loft, organized by James Defrees of Crossroads Church, which you can read some deeper thoughts about here.  I couldn’t just post on my Haiti reflections after such a life-changing experience though.  When I say life-changing, I mean that I think I permanently lost my hearing in my right ear, after experiencing my first ever heavy metal concert, up close and personal next to the ginormous speakers.  I felt like such an old man, so wishing I had ear plugs (knowing how rad that would make me look), while the 18-21 year old’s all around me were jumping up and down and yes, even a bit of head-banging–although I’ll be honest I would have liked to see a bit more head-banging (who can really do that without getting a huge headache?!  There must be some technique to it that I am not privy to)–I just kept thinking “I wonder if this ringing in my ears will ever stop?”

Needless to say, I had a great time.  The show consisted of:

Kelsey Rottiers & The Rising Tide – Excellent music!  I bought their CD, which is going to make great music to listen to while working in my office, driving, or reading.  I am no music critic so I don’t know all of the cool vocabulary words they use for genres but this is my style of music to chill to: folky, acoustic, and good.  And it was great to meet a fellow Golden Eagle.

The Plug Ugly – Brett Linsley is the man.  Really enjoyed his solo acoustic set and looking forward to seeing him be a famous musician someday.  And I can say “I knew him when he played at the Haiti Benefit Concert!”.  Brett’s music has a great vibe to it, creative lyrics, and is one I will continue to follow and attend more live shows at.

Kelly Deanne and the Octagon Band – Kelly’s music is the type you’d hear on 94.1, one of my favorite stations.  Rock/Pop/Alternative.  Their full band sound did a great job of bridging the acoustic beginning of our show with the harder end.  Their music was great and as an added bonus: they were rockin’ the accordion baby!

I Am Eternity – My first intro into heavy metal.  Like I hinted at, not my cup of tea genre-wise (because I’m an old man), but they really did a great a job and I also loved how they tactfully and gracefully shared how Jesus has transformed their life.  Also loved their support of the Red Thread Movement, where you buy a red bracelet, which supports girls rescued from sex slavery, who are the ones hand-making the bracelets.  I am currently rocking one on my wrist, which is a great reminder to be in prayer for these girls and conscious of how I need to be investing my life to make an impact.

Bridegroom  – My 2nd experience in the land of heavy metal.  These guys were great — I was very impressed with how the drummer, Daniel Posthuma, was able to do most of the lead singing while also going nuts on the drums.  Whereas I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. I loved the audience interaction and the great show they put on.  Also good instructions on how to dance heavy metal from Will and Bridegroomer Andrew: act like you are fighting phantom ninjas (while they swirled their arms in wild circles)

Thanks to all these great bands for supporting our cause in Haiti.  Please support these bands by purchasing/downloading their music, and attending their upcoming live shows!

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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Social Justice, Wisecracks


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