Wild and Crazy on National Grammar Day


Hold onto your hat, it’s National Grammar Day! I know! Hard to contain the excitement, isn’t it. In case you don’t know, certain people suffer a weird love affair with words. I’m one of them — a confessed victim of philologomania. Anyhoo, in honor of the day, see if you can catch the mistakes in the sentences below and join the cause of Better Grammar for All! Correct the sentence and, if you can, give the grammatical reason/s. Continue reading

Got Caption?

Blow me away with a great caption for this picture, and I might send you a free Inner Mess book. Yep, that’s right. Your very own copy, autographed, and shipped gratis.  So, what you got? (fine print below)

(Fine print: minimum of 12 captions from different people, or fuhgetabout it… so tell your friends to chime in with lousy captions so they make yours look better… winner chosen next Friday… I’ll try to contact you twice via this blog or whatever info you gave me when you posted your caption, and then I’ll give up! My whimsical and capricious decision is final, so no whining).

My Presidential Platform: Replace Daylight Savings Time

wavyclockMy Fellow Americans,

The time to right a grave injustice is NOW. I need your support. With God’s help and your vote, we will quench the hell-spawned fires of Daylight Savings Time. I am announcing that I will run for POTUS in 2010. I know that’s two years early, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  My platform is simple:

  1. Abolish Daylight Savings Time as we know it, and replace it with a new system called President Bill Good Times. PBGT is simple:
  2. Every Saturday, before bedtime — at the time of your choosing — turn your clock back ONE HOUR.  That’s right, fellow Americans, I promise you a 25 HOUR SATURDAY, EVERY SATURDAY!  PBGT will impart a healthy glow to every weekend.  You’ll be refreshed, wide awake, and ready for church.

    You might fret that the extra hour each week will throw off day and night. Have no fear!

  3. Under PBGT, every WEDNESDAY, that dreaded HUMP DAY, all God-fearing Americans will turn their clock ahead one hour precisely at 2:45 p.m.  Imagine a 23 hour Wednesday. Imagine eliminating one hour from that post-lunch, tired as all get out, Lord-get-me-through-this-week slot. Imagine getting out of work faster, and getting home to bed sooner.  That, my friends, is my promise to you.
  4. Adjustments:  If we have to adjust because it’s getting dark at noon or something like that, we’ll either add an hour to Saturday night, or take away an extra hour from Wednesday’s workday.  But none of this “lose an hour of sleep” business, because we all hate it, and it messes up our kids.

So, that’s my platform. Twenty-five hour Saturdays. Twenty-three hour Wednesdays. Never lose another hour of sleep.

Are you with me?

Thank you, and God bless America.

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.

A Delicate Subject

rocketToday I prepare for a routine medical procedure that all normal humans dread. I don’t know which is worse, today’s preparation or tomorrow’s procedure. Both involve yucccchhh.  And both involve indignities which — if done without signed consent — would send the perp to prison for a very long time.

My son has a toy rocket ship that’s powered by vinegar and baking soda.  You put the vinegar in the bottom, the baking soda in the top, and when you attach the two parts, and tip it just right, look out. You have maybe three seconds to get out of the blast zone or else get spewed upon.

rocket2I will be imitating his rocket ship by tonight.  Please don’t think about me.

But, in the interests of men’s health everywhere, I am chronicling my misery — er, uh, journey.

I’m depressed that I don’t get to eat anything today except clear liquids, broth, and jello.  What the…?!?  How can anything clear be considered food?  What planet is this? Today  our church staff’s has a rib cookoff.  Waaaaaahhhhh.  Waaaah.  Sniff.  Sniff.  I’ll be the doofus slurping gelatin — except it can’t be red.

But I’m not bitter.  Because tomorrow I get to show up at 6:30 a.m. and wear a hospital gown.  Yessir.  I — an exalted servant of the King of kings — will be… oh, forget it. Martin Luther referred to his body as “Brother Ass.”  That, right now, seems so appropriate on so many levels.

I’m a big boy.  I can handle it.  Just pray for a clean bill of health. And pray that today’s ribs look burnt.  Thanks.

Here is the Bible verse I’m clinging to for today and tomorrow:

“Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.” Genesis 44:13, KJV.


Beef Jerky Business Cards

meatcardsThat’s what I’m talking about. Finally, a good purpose for a business card.  Meatcards.com is protyping the things now, and is rushing to bring them to production.  I can’t wait.

Who would turn down a beef jerky business card?

“Can I give you my card?”

“No, I’ll just find you on Facebook.”

“But, it’s beef jerky.”

“Heck yes! I’ll take two and give one to a friend.”

My Inner Marketer just turned cartwheels.

beefjerkycard1Think about the multitude of applications.  Beef jerky gospel literature, for one.  In these days when passersby crumple up tracts and fling them to earth in disgust, I say switch over to beef jerky tracts. Christopher Hitchens would claw past Richard Dawkins to get one first.

They use a laser to produce the text. Beef jerky gospel tracts give new meaning to “burnt offering.”

I hear angel choirs singing.

fourlettermeatI’m asking my publisher if my next book can have a beef jerky cover. [Four Letter Words… sign up for the newsletter, and I’ll notify you when it’s out]  Imagine the crowds clamoring for that one.  I’ll be a best seller on the New York Times AND William-Sonoma AND Bassmasters at the same time.

And who wouldn’t want a beef jerky postcard, a beef jerky menu, a beef jerky receipt at the gas pump, and a beef jerky napkin with your Big Mac?

Oh, to be alive at such a time as this!

Reflections on Old Men in Spandex

lancearmstrong72305It shouldn’t happen.

I am sipping early morning Verona at Starbucks, when a 65-ish dude clomps into the store in full bike-riding gear. What is it about being in AARP that makes a guy dress like Lance Armstrong?

So this guy’s skin is weathered, like the lizard-people who populate Florida’s beaches. But it’s weird because he shaved his legs. So picture loose extra lizard-skin chicken legs, flopping above spiked riding shoes that make him walk funny, like he’s wearing in ski-boots with loaded Depends.

But the worst part is his shorts: spandex tights that make the guy look like he’s smuggling grapes.

bkershortsDon’t decency laws cover this? What’s wrong with a T-shirt and gym shorts? Okay, yeah, maybe you need padding down there to protect you from a hard bike seat… so wear the spandex biker shorts, but for decency’s sake, please pull gym shorts over them.

My coffee is cold. Now, it’s time for me to go to church… and to preach on envy.

Hmmm… maybe when I lose a few more pounds, I can get me some of them spandex biker shorts.  What do you think?

Single Green Male Seeks Single Green Female…

frog1Day 10: we have now completed ten days with a Jurassic frog outside our bedroom window. It sounds like a cricket with a bullhorn.

I have always loved frogs. As a boy, I caught them in swamps at Camp Awana and near lakes wherever we vacationed. As a young adult, I found a small  frog hunkered down in a potted plant in the produce department where I worked. I made her my pet, named her Caroline (in honor of the other produce clerk I was working with that day), and kept her in an aquarium. She lived about two years and ate store-bought crickets.

leopardfrogMy favorite frog is the leopard frog. It’s beautiful. But now, my love for frogs is wearing thin.

I do not like anybody or anything that disturbs my sleep.

This frog showed up in our back yard after a rainy day. It seems lost. There’s no chorus of frogs, just one. This makes him louder. Instead of the droning chorus of dozens, I have the spasmodic croaking of one. I’ve hunted this Jurassic frog with a flashlight at night. I’ve searched for it in the waning hours of daylight. When I draw near, he enters Froggy Stealth Mode.

I’ve been told he’s probably an inch long–that the small ones are the loudest. This one has a high pitched resonance. Not really a ribbett. More like a chirp on steroids. With reverb.

frog3I ate frog legs only once, at Taste of Chicago. Yeah, exactly like you know what.

I grew up in Chicago. Not in the cushy suburbs, but in the city itself. Strong stuff. All my life I heard about the beauties of nature, and how peaceful and quiet it is to live in “the country.”

Now, I live in “the country.” I have learned one big lesson: Mother Nature is loud. Howling coyotes. Screaming owls (or was that a coyote eating a rabbit?). Bears turning over trash cans. Redneck rifle shots. And yes, Jurassic frogs. Oh, for the quiet of the big city!

Anybody up for a night of giggin’? Otherwise, I pray for a frog-mate to come along, provide a nice romantic tussle, and shut this guy up once and for all.



Local book signing, one last time…

If you’re in Northern CA, please come to my last local Inner Mess book-signing. This one is at Barnes & Noble in Redding.  This Saturday, April 25, at 10:00 a.m. till noon. Even if you bought your book elsewhere, bring it and I’ll be happy to sign it and to say hi. Hope to see you there. Click here for details.

The Backstory

Okay… regular Maxgrace readers, please bear with me… for the sake of our new visitors, here’s one of two book trailers for the Inner Mess book.  I’ll give you some background below.

You’re probably wondering, who is this goof? If he has to play dress up to get people to listen to him, he’s in trouble!

Okay… I get it.  I got one email that asked me if I really dressed up like that for my sermons. Yes I did.  I do not do this often.  Honest!  I’m a bread and butter kind of preacher.  I preach/teach through books of the Bible.  I’m a big-time Bible lover.

The whole costume thing began on a whim… the Inner Nerd that you saw in the video. I was only going to do it one week, but the Nerd was such a hit, I decided to do one or two more. I never planned it, but I created a monster.

People were wondering what I’d dress up as next. I visited the costume shop in Redding, one in Igo (of all places, right next to Ono), and one in Chico to get all that stuff. It became really hard to figure out what to dress as each week. Of course, then I was stuck trying to figure out how to preach dressed up as a Caveman or as my Inner Darth Vader.  Took some doing, but we got ‘er done.

thug2At the end of the series, we let our church vote online to see one of the characters again. My Inner Mobster won by a wide margin, though there are charges he might have rigged the election.  On the video, that’s my little girl with me… she was excited. My little boy steadfastly refused, even though I bribed him with new dark sunglasses, and his own fedora, and some bling.

In case you’re wondering, the Inner Mess is my term for what the Bible calls your “flesh.” Yes, as in “fleshly lusts.”  But the flesh is waaaaay more than sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. That’s why I wrote the book. Because all kinds of inner characters mess up your life, not just the overtly sinful ones. The book offers a road map to rise above your Inner Mess. Click here for more about the book.

But honestly… I don’t dress up every weekend, and I’m a dedicated Bible teacher. Really. Truly. Sincerely. Genuinely. For sure.

I made the video by first stripping footage from our DVD’s, and then assembling it on iMovie on a Mac. I ran it by the fantastic authors/agent at Books & Such, got their input, and did some more editing. It was a great learning experience. One of my fellow pastors, Josh Thompson (who is an amazing writer), taught me how to use iMovie when we were in Africa together.

Again… a huge thank you for visiting. And another huge thank you to Kim at the Insanity and Bliss blog for doing a book giveaway.