stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

I am afraid of Pop Tarts. They’ve attacked me.

I have a reasonable fear of Pop Tarts.  It is a fear born out of experience.  One attacked me when I was in high school.  No one threw it at me.  It attacked on its own.  I have not been able to enjoy them fully since that time.

One morning before school, I grabbed a Pop Tart from the cupboard.  Actually, I grabbed a Meijer (off) brand toaster pastry, which is (to the best of my knowledge) actually made by Kellogg’s, so it was a Pop Tart in sheep’s clothing. I took said pastry and put it in the toaster, because it is called a toaster pastry, not a cold pastry.  Toasting it magically takes it from bland and cardboardy into a delicious treat – a delicious treat I am afraid to enjoy.

The toaster popped the pastry up, and I grabbed one and put it on my plate.  Then I grabbed the second one, but before it could be placed safely on my plate, it broke in half.  Half went to the floor, which was okay, but the other half landed napalm side down right in the center of my hand right hand.  I didn’t cry, but I did simultaneously get some dust in my eye, which caused it to well up with tears.  Tears meant for cleansing dust from my eye, not meant for indicating sad emotions or pain.  This half of the pasty hit the wall, as I flung it from my hand.

I immediately ran my hand under cold water, which was pointless.  It only stung more.  A blister appeared and grew to a quarter inch high off the palm of my hand, spanning over an inch in length.  My mom, being the worrier, made me go to the doctor.  The diagnosis was bad: I had a third degree burn.  I went to school the next day, unable to do any upper body lifts in gym class.  I showed my teacher the doctor’s note.  He wanted to know what happened.  I told him, and he laughed at me.

Between the emotional scarring of my gym teacher’s laughter and physical scarring of a fruit filling turned napalm applied to my hand, I have never been able to fully enjoy Pop Tarts since.  I have tried, but my fear of burning is strong.  I’ve tried eating them cold, but they taste awful that way.  It is my burden to bare, and it is a difficult burden to carry.  I see others enjoying their hot breakfast treats, and I smugly eat my granola bars, wondering what could have been.

My Saturday with Jakob

I don’t know if most of you know this, but there is something called a post preaching hangover. It takes a lot of energy and emotion. If you preach at night, the next morning is a bit of a drag. My Monday mornings start out with this feeling every week. Saturday was the same, since I preached on Good Friday, but there would be no rest.

Sarah had Easter choir practice, so it was me and Jakob. We hung out for a couple hours. Here is a pictorial account of our day.


sweet to lick – repost

I love the Karate Kid movies – well, all of them except the one with Hillary Swank. To be fair, I’ve never seen it, and I probably never will.  Anyway, growing up in the 80’s, karate was the coolest thing ever because of these movies. Dan and I used to practice our Karate Kid moves in the basement. We’d do the crane kick, the hammer punch, and the flip over the shoulder.  Whoever was playing the part of Daniel Larusso had to yell, “Step back, Daniel-san,” in his best Japanese accent before performing the move.  The person to be flipped would stand on the arm of the couch, and the Daniel-san would stand on couch cushion right in front of it. It was pretty much amazing.

One line that always meant a lot to both me and Dan was, “Sweet to lick. You got a problem with that?” There’s only one problem with that line: he was saying, “Sweep the leg…” We thought “sweet to lick” was a cool way of saying, “finish him!” Turns out we were wrong. We didn’t even discover our error until a couple of years ago. But still, to my brother and I, the line will stay the same. We’re too old to change. You don’t like that? That’s fine. If you bring it up, one of us might say, “sweet to lick,” and the other one will finish you. Shake and bake.

Here’s the video for everyone who likes punk music and sweeping the leg.


i’m a boxing legend

I love the scene in one of the Charlie Brown Christmas specials where Linus tries without much success to go sledding down a big hill in a cardboard box. I wonder if I saw this as a child and hoped to one day outdo Linus with my very own cardboard stunt. Well, whether I did or not, outdo him I did. At the age of 20, I – along with a good friend – became a boxing legend.

Two days ago, I was in Grand Rapids. Sarah and I decided that since we were going, we should swing by the bank I used to work at, so we could put Jakob’s savings bond in our safe deposit box. When we were there, one of my former co-workers, Mary Beth, told me that she thinks of me every time they get a shipment in a big box. If marketing is the same as it used to be, she has been reminded of me and my antics 4 times a year for the last 7 years. Why would a big cardboard box remind her of me? I will gladly tell you.
Ever heard the saying, “when the cat’s away, the mice will play?” Our cat boss seemed to be away a lot, leaving my friend and I – consummate mice – time to play. One day when he was away, we got a shipment with a lot of new forms. After we put away the new forms, we were left with a giant, empty cardboard box. Empty boxes went downstairs in one of our storage rooms, where it would be picked up and recycled by the box fairy. One of us thought it would be funny to ride down the tile stairs in the cardboard box like we were sledding. I took it upon myself to go first, and it was awesome. We both got to go down a few times before we broke through the box.
Every time a new giant box came in, we would ride it down the stairs until it was destroyed. Then one day, we had some promotional materials that had to go downstairs. They were about 2 feet x 2 feet x an inch. Being made of cardboard, they seemed like perfect new sleds, so we tried them out. That was scary. It was so scary that both of us stuck our hands and feet out as we flew down the stairs. Our black dress shoes left black scuff lines on the walls all the way down the stairs. Several years later, after we both had gone, a new manager came along and noticed the scuffs. No one could explain them. They had been there for several years, but the origin was a mystery to all. Regardless of where they came from, they were unacceptable, and had to be painted over. Five years after the incident, all evidence has been removed. The cardboard has probably been broken down and recycled into a new box, and the mystery lines are painted over. But the legend lives on.

it won’t be easy, but it won’t be as hard as some things…

I start my new job tomorrow, and I am pumped! I will be the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry (yes, that is a very long title). I actually interviewed for this job several times. I had a phone interview initially. The second time, I had lunch with the staff, an interview with Brenda, an interview with Dave, and then a Q&A with what felt like 50 people. That wasn’t all, though. I came back up for a meeting with the elders, and a bonus interview with Brenda. A huge thanks to Big Ben for traveling with me, since Sarah was not able to make it in her pregnant condition. Finally, the job was offered, and you might guess that I accepted, since I start tomorrow. It was an intensive process, and it seemed like a long one, too, but it didn’t really take that long. It took just long enough.

One question I was asked in every meeting/interview was if I thought it was possible for one person to lead both children’s and youth ministry. I think it’s possible, but it will certainly be difficult, but that’s no big deal. My job at New Hope was difficult, and at times frustrating. My job at Baymeadows was more frustrating than difficult, but it was certainly trying. I expect every ministry position I take to be difficult, but people make it bearable. The people I’ve ministered to in my last two stops have made it worth every bit of frustration I’ve dealt with, and I expect that the awesome people of Kalamazoo Community will do the same.

Being a pastor is difficult. Few would question that. But there is one thing that is more difficult than being a pastor: having a mustache. It’s true. I’m not the only one that feels this way. Check out this video:

just one of the girls

I noticed something strange when I took our car to Pep Boys for an oil change: all but one of the magazines seemed out of place. They had Women’s Health, People, Home and Garden, etc, and then one lonely car magazine. I wondered to myself, “Why would they have a bunch of ladies magazines at a car place?” Then it occurred to me. There are probably a higher percentage of women that bring their cars in for oil changes than men. In fact, based on the magazines, they must estimate that 95% of their clientele will be women. I guess I’m just another one of the ladies, unable (or at least unwilling) to change the oil in the car.

In all fairness and to my credit, I have changed the oil in my car one time. But, not to my credit, I didn’t like getting my hands all dirty. So yeah, I’m just one of the girls. Quickly, someone pamper me.

top 10 reasons why I’m glad we’re having a son

When we first learned that Sarah was pregnant, I was hoping that we’d have a little girl. Come to think of it, though, I only had two reasons I wanted a little girl: one, she would probably be a daddy’s girl; and, two, she would probably look a lot like Sarah who was a cute baby, little girl, teenager, and adult. Now that I’ve known for a while that we are having a son, I’ve had time to think of all the great reasons a dad would want a son. Here are my top 10. I’m not sure they’re in proper order. To be honest, all of these reasons are great, and they could be in any order.

10. Being boyish is acceptable. No one says, “you know, your son’s kind of a tomboy.”

9. I’ll never have to sit with him while he cries about the weird cramps and bleeding he’s

8. I won’t have to worry about boys. I was a boy, and I know what they are thinking.

7. The bride’s family pays for the wedding. My son will not be a bride.

6. I can walk around the house in my underwear forever!

5. I’ll never worry about him leaving the house dressed one way, and then changing into
something skankier when he’s out the door.

4. Hannah Montana (or whoever takes her mantle) will never be watched in my home.

3. There’s a very good chance that he’ll be just like me.

2. He’ll cause so much trouble for Sarah that I’ll be under the radar and get away with more.

1. I won’t have to go shopping for make-up, girls underwear, pads, dresses, etc.