Happy Fourth of July

Category : Uncategorized

The singer digs deep inside, and with all her might she blasts out, “…And the rockets’ red glare.  The bombs bursting in air…” We feel a sense of pride.  Our love for America.  The fun and festivities of the community Fourth of July events. Pie eating contests and three-legged races.  Growing up, I even remember a greased pole event and a greased watermelon event.  My small town must have loved grease, I guess.

The last ten years in Alaska, the two communities we’ve lived in does massive community events.  The fourth of July is a great day for fun, family, food, and to remember our freedom.  Our freedom to blow things up!

People love to blow things up on the Fourth of July.  We hand explosives to our kids and give them matches and tell them to be safe and have fun.  The explosives range from little things that make a small bang, up to rockets that fly up high in the sky and light things up with a hiss and a flash of bright lights.  People laugh and instantly want to blow more things up.  We won’t even mention that some people’s blowing things up party is not complete without alcohol.  That can only make the safety factor better.  Right?

I don’t know if it is true in other countries, but we love to blow things up.  Shoot, we’ve even got lyrics of things blowing up in our National Anthem!  When it starts to get dark, we hold sparklers.  We put things in used glass bottles.  We hold things as they shoot out flames.  We want to have fun setting things on fire, and we hope to survive another year without losing a body part or catching anything on fire.

But fireworks happen on more days than the Fourth of July, and I’m not talking about on New Years Day either.  Sometimes we set off fireworks inside of our house.  “Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated.”  Proverbs 14:17 (NLT) or how about Prov. 12:16 “Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly; the prudent quietly shrug off insults.” (The Message)

So, let’s keep our fuses long when dealing with people.  And come to think of it, why not only light things on fire outside that have long fuses too.  Stay safe and in one piece as you blow things into little pieces.  Most of all remember to blow things up, but not each other.

What are some of your favorite Fourth of July memories?
How do you keep from having a short-fuse with others?

The Perfect Title for This Post Is…

Category : Uncategorized

Hello, my faithful readers.  Sorry I haven’t written in awhile.  After beginning my journey of blogging and posting three weeks in a row, I had to take a break for Thanksgiving.  Which was immediately followed by a break for Christmas.  Then there was the first of the year break.  Followed by a very productive break to work on a book I am writing that I’m excited to tell you about it in just a second.  After my writing break, it was time for Spring Break, and right on the heels of it was the End of the School Year break.  And lastly, I’ve been taking a break from my blog due to being on Summer vacation.

The book I’ve been working on is called Procrastination: The Ultimate Handbook on the Essential Art of Making and Using Excuses.  I’ve been working on it for several months and that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  Coming up with an award-winning title is hard work.  Don’t let the professionals fool you!

Titles are tricky little things.  Too many words in the title and it looks like you’ve started writing the book already.  Too few words and you end up with titles like Wiggly or Squeamish or Plunger and it appears you are just trying to be cute or gimmicky. My title has two very tricky words: Ultimate and Essential.  I’ve been diligently studying, for about five minutes, the proper use of these two words.  If my book is the “Ultimate”, then it’s set apart from all others about procrastination because of some unknown reason that I am still trying to wrestle with but wrestling sounds more active than I am wanting to be, so I’ll just use the word anyways. (Breathe-from that very long sentence!) And if my book is “Essential”, then it must contain lots and lots of useful stuff between the covers.  Useful stuff means I cannot just make things up, and when it comes to this book, that’s all I am doing. So Essential is a perfect word for its title.

Procrastination is a hard topic to write about.  If you are truly going to write a book about something, you need to become an expert.  If you are going to become an expert in the art of procrastinating then you must procrastinate.  But since procrastination is the destination, when you are procrastinating you are not procrastinating anymore, because procrastinating is the goal.  How can you procrastinate procrastinating?  It is a very hard thing to do.  I am truly becoming a master at it.

The only thing better than being an expert procrastinator is to be a more knowledgeable one.  So I used my scholarly research skills and Goggled it.  I found a wonderful daily devotional at Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. (http://pastorrick.com/devotional/english/why-do-i-procrastinate.) Pastor Rick Warren says: “The Bible says you procrastinate for one of five reasons: Indecision (James 1:8), perfectionism (Ecclesiastes 11:4), fear (Proverbs 29:25), anger (Proverbs 18:9), and laziness (Proverbs 13:4).”

Indecision:  My wife says that I can be indecisive, but I am not sure if it’s true or not.

Perfectionism:  Just because I am wrestling with the perfect words doesn’t mean I am struggling with perfectionism.

Fear:  I have nothing to fear but fear itself.  And maybe brown bears and being attacked by a moose that wanders into town on a Monday afternoon.  Even though I have never seen a moose anywhere near my rural Alaskan town.  It could happen.

Anger: I get angry sometimes that I struggle big-time with the next one.

Laziness: “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.” Proverbs 13:4 (NASU)

Maybe a better title for my book would be Procrastination: The Soul of the Sluggard…Hey, At Least My Soul Isn’t Fat!

Sleeping ;)

Category : Uncategorized

Have you ever woken up with your neck hurting or your arm feeling like it’s ready to fall off? Here’s what’s funny! We say, pretzel-clipart-1127602-by-bnp-design-studio-royalty-free-rf-ysfyp2-clipart“Wow, I must have slept funny.” There is nothing funny about sleeping funny. I think we should reserve that saying to when someone wakes up wearing a pair of Grouch Marx’s glasses, saying, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” That’s someone who has slept funny.

The expression came about because someone’s spouse looked at their partner sleeping and saw them twisted up like a big, buttered-up pretzel covered in salt. They had had an argument before the offended party went off to bed. So, predicting the pain that was soon going to be in their partner’s body, they snickered sadisticly, thus the phrase, “sleeping funny” was born.

I could understand it if we said, “I slept painfully.” It makes no sense to say, “I slept funny.” Now, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse. Wait a minute, why would someone even desire to beat an alive horse let alone a dead one! But there is more than one way to skin a cat. Good thing a cat has nine lives. One of their lives is gone, because curiosity killed it! Enough about harming animals with our English language. I am talking about harming myself with our language by sleeping funny.

David, in Psalm 63:4, refers to raising his hands to bless God. He must not have slept funny the night before writing that verse. Or it was penned after he got his body moving a little less funnily. A few verses later, he wrote:

“I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the                           shadow of Your wings. I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely.” Psalm 63:6-8 (NLT)

These verses offer some great advice. Whether my sleep was deep and restful or I slept funny, I can choose to meditate on God. Instead of focusing on the loss of feeling in my right arm, I can focus on God’s faithfulness. My stiff neck may want some attention. But I can think about, meditate on, God’s unfailing love.

No matter how you and I have slept, we can choose to sing for joy. Why? Because God never slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4), so we can always count on His strong right hand to hold us securely. Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. We really do have a strange way of saying somethings.

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

Category : Uncategorized

rtlo4mxzc“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” was a slogan for a medical device company that started in the late eighties. Because the first commercials were just a little bit overly dramatic, if my memory serves me right, it begged comedians and others to joke.  Every time someone had to get on the floor, they’d jokingly say, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  Shoot, umpteen years later, I still occasionally say those words when I’m on the floor…and most of the time I am just having fun.

There is nothing funny about falling, falling in love, maybe, falling on your face or backside, not so much.  Now when other people fall that’s a different story.  We laugh hysterically at them and capture it on video and try and win America’s Got Talent.  Not that it takes much talent to fall as gravity does most of the work.  Oh wait, wrong show.  If you’re watching people fall and no one asks if they’re ok or offers to help, but just laughs and laughs and laughs, while filming the whole episode, that’s America’s Funniest Home Videos.  But I digress…because there is nothing funny about falling, especially as a nation.

Just like the medical device, I wish there was a button we could push that would send out a signal for help. As a nation, we have fallen and we cannot get up on our own. We need help, but we don’t have a button we can push. But we’ve got something even greater. It’s called prayer.  We are called to pray for our nation. To pray for our leaders; not complain, but pray.

Tomorrow is the big day. Though many people have already voted, I am waiting for the last minute on this election. Honestly, I’m not thrilled with either candidate, but I am thrilled about one thing.  No matter who wins, Jesus is still on the throne. As a believer, I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. My King is reigning on High! So though America has fallen, Jesus is still Upright!

Here’s even some more good news:
Now, to the one who can keep you from falling
and set you without defect and full of joy
in the presence of His Sh’khinah — Jude 24 (CJB)

Even if our great nation has fallen, it doesn’t mean that you and I have to fall with it. Fall on our knees and pray-yes! Fall into our nations’ sin-no! God is able to keep you and me upright and to present us before His throne spotless and full of joy! That is the best news I’ve heard this whole election season.


What’s Up World–or Half the World–or One or Two People

Category : Uncategorized

reluctent-fishermen-anniversary I am beginning this new adventure called “blogging.”  I like writing and I struggle with finding time to write.  Today, I have this thought in my brain, which is the best place for a thought.  I have a thought in my big toe.  But trust me, you don’t want to hear what it’s thinking!  My brain thought is that if I blog on a regular basis, I will write more often than I currently am writing.  Watch out!  I almost hurt myself with that thought!

My wife Katie and I pastor The Little Chapel in Cordova, Alaska.  Also, I am a stand-up comedian.  Granted,  I do one of those things full-time and the other is a hobby.  My goal is to let the Bible and biblical thoughts be at the front and center of what I write about.  Also, I look at the world with funny glasses on, so I see things that many people don’t see.  I desire to be both biblical and funny.  Some posts will be one or the other.  Many posts will be both.  When I am stressing a biblical truth, I will aim higher than boring.  When I am going for the funny, I will never compromise biblical principles.  There you have my mission in one paragraph.

Feel free to comment on anything you see.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  So whether the whole world, half the world, or just one or two people join me on this journey, you are invited to join the crowd and follow my posts.