National Grammar Day Resolved (part 2)

This post closes the loop from the previous post, located here.  [Yes, I wrote Grammer in the title, and, no, it wasn’t on purpose. Didn’t catch it till after it went out to the world. Excellent blog on this here by lit agent Rachelle Gardner.]

frazzled-150x150God gave me a love of words and sentences and grammar when I was young. I read every book I could get my hands on. I spent many days riding my five speed bike with banana seat and sissy bars to the Oriole Park library — a small branch library in Chicago — where I scoured the shelves for mysteries and sci-fi. I think I kept that place in business with overdue fines. Something about reading mesmerized me. Continue reading

Twitter will KILL YOU!!!!

Okay, call me a sucker for slapstick.  I watched the second video first, and it was funny (Twitter will kill you)… but then I watched the first video of the little boy drugged up after visiting a dentist.  That made the 2nd one even funnier.

So watch them in order.  Hey, the 1st video here has had over 27 million views, and you want to be culturally aware, right?  And Twitter is taking over the world, and you want to be ready for the Antichrist, right? So, now I’m a fan of the David Crowder band. Watch them in order, and enjoy…

You Know You’re a Redneck…

hillbillyoverallsOkay… too much seriousness lately, and I know, I know, I have one more fundamental to cover.  But for fun on Thursday, here ya go…

Finally, overalls that fit!

“You know you’re a redneck when……

1. You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.

2. You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.

3. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

4. You burn your yard rather than mow it..

5. You think “The Nutcracker” is a vice on the work bench

6. The Salvation Army declines your furniture.

7. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don’t want it.

8. You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.

9. You come back from the dump with more than you took.

10. You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table..

11. Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.

12. Your grandmother has “ammo” on her Christmas list.

13. You keep flea and tick soap in the shower.

14. You’ve been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.

15. You go to the stock car races and don’t need a program.

16. You know how many bales of hay your car will hold..

17. You have a rag for a gas cap.

18. Your house doesn’t have curtains, but your truck does.

19. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean ?

20. You can spit without opening your mouth.

21. You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.

22. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand..

23. You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say “Cool Whip” on the side.

24. The biggest city you’ve ever been to is Wal*Mart.

25. Your working TV sits on top of your non-working TV

26. You’ve used your ironing board as a buffet table.

27. A tornado hits your neighborhood and does $100,000 worth of improvements.

28. You’ve used a toilet brush to scratch your back.

29. You missed your 5th grade graduation because you were on jury duty.

30. You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65.

Don’t Mess With Texas…

oldladyA radio station played this recording of a phone call describing a car crash. A guy in a white shirt and tie clipped an Impala, with four old ladies. No injuries, at least from the accident. What happened next made me laugh till I had tears, and taught me never to mess with little old ladies from Texas.

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old… (Proverbs 23:22, NKJV).

..or she’ll beat the snot out of you.

Click here to listen.

New Video!

Here’s a second fun video for the Inner Mess book.  Hope you enjoy it…  Thanks to Joe & Amy for their great work on this one!  Love you guys!

The website is now complete at  I’d love it if you’d help add “characters” on the Meet the Characters link.  Thanks so much, and Happy New Year!

Here’s the first video, if you haven’t seen it yet!

Inner Mess, Ultimate Edition


But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh [Inner Mess], to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:14, NKJV).

Welcome to the premier of the ultimate edition of the Inner Mess book trailer. I hope you like it.  If you do, would you kindly blog it, email it, and tell your friends about it?

I’ll put up a high resolution video at ASAP.messcovback

I’d be so grateful if you could get the word out.  PLUS… The book is now available at Christian Book Distributors and at Amazon.  

PLUS… I’LL HAVE COPIES BY WEDNESDAY! So, if you’d like an AUTOGRAPHED, PERSONALLY INSCRIBED COPY, Click here. Choose the priority mail option, and you’ll have your copies in time for Christmas (while supplies last).

I’ll also have copies at church starting on Dec 20,21.

I have to thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.  It means so much to me. This whole writing/publishing experience has been amazing. It’s a huge education for me, a lot of fun, and very humbling. A big thank you to everybody who’s already read the book, and said nice things. Every kind word blows me away. A pastor from Wales sent me a really nice note via Facebook. Didn’t see that one coming! Thank you, and to God be the Glory!

And now, without further ado…

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth. (Psalms 115:1, NKJV).

Man Cold 2008

I am getting a man cold.  My dear wife has been struggling with her petite, ladies’ cold for a few days, and I have been dutifully sympathetic.  Now, my throat is raw, my stomach is “juicy”, as my kids say when they have intestinal problems, and I’m very, very tired.  I preach tomorrow and Sunday, four times in all.  My main concern is that my voice holds out.  

So I’m asking you for two things:

1.  Pity.  Intense, overly dramatic pity.  I am a man.  I have a cold.  Do the math.  If something happens, I want you to know it has been a pleasure to have known you through my blog.  Farewell, for I am going to a better place.

2.  Prayer.  Which is more important than number 1, but I think number 1 (pity) will make me feel better faster, except I can’t say that because it would get me in a lot of trouble with churchy people who have an oversized sense of humorlessness.

Pity and prayer.  Is that asking too much?  

For all who missed it the first time, how about a reprise of the man cold classic….

Travel 1

Very tired right now.  We have 6 checked pieces of luggage.  Heavy stuff, including 2 footlockers. Four of the six contain gifts and conference items for our missionaries to Africa–it’s the most secure way to get them stuff.  Josh and I put the “lug” in luggage.  We had an overnight in Chicago, of all places, and fly to Paris (2 hours, not enough time) and then Gabon later today.  Stayed in the hippest, coolest hotel ever, called the Aloft Hotel.  One week old!  Very cool.  Check out their website.  Clean, very contemporary.  Josh describes it as an Ikea where you sleep the night.  Loved it, except bad coffee, and fake creamer, which is an unpardonable sin in a hip place in this century.  Pray for safe, comfortable journeys and for a great time of refreshment and encouragement of our missionaries to Africa.  I’ll be speaking 8 times on Overcoming Grace Deficit Disorder, from Ruth and a little Galatians thrown in.  I’m out…

I Love Going Places, I Just Hate Getting There

I love going places; I just hate getting there.  Chicago has been a whirlwind of activity.  Lincoln Park Zoo, rode the rapid transit system downtown, let our kids play on the Picasso, Kiddieland (the best kids’ amusement park), family, family, family, friends, friends, Morton’s Arboretum, American Girl Place and, of course, Lou Malnati’s (pizza), Portillos and Buona Beef (Italian Beef sandwiches and sausage sandwiches).  Our kids have been great;  sweet, fantastic, cooperative, though they’re super-tired.  In addition to being broke, we’re wiped out…. Here are other tidbits from our “vacation…”

  • On our drive to the Reno airport, our car broke down… Dead.  Forever.  Wait on side of road in desert for a blink-short-of-eternity… till tow truck arrives.
  • Got towed to shop (30 miles, family of 4)… new water pump, new serpentine… dead car.  The engine’s blown.  Beg mechanic to leave car on his lot while family visits chicago.  Permission granted.
  • Stay overnight in hotel (cheap).  Spend tons of money in kid’s arcade (expensive).
  • Flights delayed.  Arrive Chicago 4:30 AM.  Everybody’s miserable.
  • Hey… all our luggage arrived!  Oh Happy Day!
  • Crawl in beds in my cousin’s (empty) condo.  Overtired. Poor sleep.
  • Work on solution for the van stuck in Reno.  I have 2 hours to deal with this on the return flight home due to other obligations.  I have to get the van out of the mechanic’s lot (it won’t start), I have to dispose of it (Charity? Salvage? Sale?).  I have to get my family back to home safe and sound… as fast as possible.  Please pray.   I do have a buyer, but it’s all been negotiated over the phone… and I hope the buyer comes thru (you go, Craigslist!).
  • Either rent or buy a car to get back to Redding… yikes!
  • Still finishing up powerpoint for an upcoming Africa trip.
  • And to top it all off… I got a man-cold… “Poor little bunny…”

Our biggest life lessons:  1) It’s the humidity, not the heat.  Chicago is 85 and humid AND uncomfortable, worse than Redding in the high 90’s.  2) Don’t drive when the dashboard gages are out.  In my defense, when you’re in the middle of a desert with no signs of life, and your wife and kids, you do desperate things. 3) Be a hobbit, stay in the Shire, eat 9 times a day.  Don’t travel.

Coming up:  7 hours air plus 2 hours car stuff plus 4 hours driving.  Should be a HOOT.  I’ll let you know.

Is anybody out there working on Star Trek type TRANSPORTERS?  I’ll buy…