Category Archives: Random/Humor

Nocturnal Summer 1

For fun I’m reposting a summer series from 2010 from when I took a paper route while trying to get MainStreet started. Enjoy!

I picked up a weekday paper route this summer to earn some quick cash as we begin to plant a new church.  No, this isn’t the cute little 30 papers in a saddle bag on the back of my bike kind of route.  I’m talking 350 Star Tribunes stacked from floor to ceiling in all seats of my car. I put on some 50 miles of driving each night.  I’ve been leaving home about 1 a.m. and crawling back into bed around 6 a.m.

Fortunately, I’m getting faster each day and hopefully will have the entire thing done and back in bed by 4:30 soon. (Update: This never happened!)

Becoming a nocturnal creature brings some strange experiences and observations that I hope to share in future posts.  Being out and about while the rest of the (human) world sleeps is quite interesting.  For now I will just leave you with a typical scene that occurs almost every night: deer in head lights!

In only 2 weeks I have probably seen 30 deer.  They’re everywhere.  Stunned and spooked as I approach, one almost jumped in my driver’s side open window.  Other night dwellers include dozens of rabbits scurrying across the road, entire families of raccoons skipping along like furry four-footed bank robbers with masks in place.  I’ve had to break for cats out in the country multiple times.

I get to thinking that this is their time of the night, and I’m interrupting their parties.  Each one I look in the eyes seems to glance back thinking, “Shouldn’t you be in bed, human?”

Yes, I probably should.

Welcome to Stumphole Field!

I’ve been creating a baseball field on our lower lawn this summer. I’m letting the outfield grow wild in order to create habitat and let wild flowers and native grasses return. I’m also trying to create a Field of Dreams-like outfield grass fence — our own Green Monster. (Should I plant some corn out there for the full effect?)

One major issue is finding and filling the many stump holes all over the field. This used to be an apple orchard so there are lots of them. To honor this signature characteristic we have named the field “Stumphole Field” or “Turnankle Stadium.”

We debuted the new field with a fun game of church kickball. I’m happy to report that the outfield wall is just the right distance to make home runs challenging but very doable. (Earn an extra run if you clear the horse fence across the driveway.) Congratulations to Adam Noreen who kicked the first home run deep into the center field weeds! I’m also happy to report there were no twisted ankles.

I cannot wait to develop this field as the kids grow up and get to baseball age! I’m already designing dugouts/benches, backstop, foul posts in right and left field and more. :)

Stumphole Field

This recent Sunday School photo shows one person short of our own future ball team!
This recent Sunday School photo shows one person short of our own future ball team!

Good Night David Letterman

Tonight is David Letterman’s final show.

I remember when I first started watching Letterman. It was around 1993 and I was about 14 years old and spending the week at my cousin Tasha’s house. That week we watched him every night and I was hooked for the rest of my high school days.

I had a funny bedtime routine as a teenager. I would pour a huge bowl of Musselman’s apple sauce, go to my room and watch Letterman while inhaling apple sauce. I would then do as many push-ups as I could during each commercial break. I credit my record breaking basketball career to this bedtime formula…especially any upper body strength I imagined I once had! Haha. (Ask my mom how she kept us stocked with applesauce when I went through a big jar every 2 nights!)

Its a strange kind of tribute that David Letterman was the last face I saw before I turned out the lights most nights back then. I probably should have been going to bed earlier but I think laughter is equally good for one’s health.

These were the “glory days” of musical taste development — the mid-90s!  I remember setting the VCR to tape performances by Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., Blues Traveler, Pearl Jam, and others. I watched those old videos well into college and still pull them out in nostalgic moods.

Now, I drifted away from Letterman in the 2000s and have not watched him for many years now. But he was my late night funny man of choice those formative years. I’ve been watching some throwback footage these past weeks as his show comes to a close, and I’ve been reminded just how funny and brilliant he was in his prime. (See a classic old bit with Rupert Jee annoying people below.)

Thanks for all the bed time laughs, push-up inspiration and helping me put down all those bowls of apple sauce.

So, for the last time, good night David Letterman!

The Mound Ninja & the DNA of a Movement

The local kids LOVE the Mound Ninjas!

Our little community of Mound, Minnesota, is again making the local news. This time its the strange presence of a group of friendly “ninjas” dressed up in costumes and walking around town. They’ve been at it for a few months already. At first, people didn’t know what to make of it. Then people starting taking sides.

To some, they are considered suspicious, a nuisance, or even dangerous. To others, they are just out to have some fun and make people laugh as they dance around on street corners, engage in mock fights and gather an increasing number of superheroes around their movement.

A movement. There’s an interesting concept.

I’ve long been interested in the dynamics that are involved in starting a movement — especially a little movement that can capture the attention of an entire community. (I’ve spent the past 10 years of my life spearheading two movements in Mound.)  I’m especially fascinated when someone is able to get an entire town talking about them in our busy society where its hard to get anyone’s sustained attention for more than a minute.

We’re currently in the middle of a sermon series exploring the explosive movement of the early church and how a small band of uneducated fisherman following a crucified leader could turn the world upside down in a generation. We’re interacting with the NBC miniseries “A.D. The Bible Continues” as we explore some of the necessary ingredients to this world impacting movement.

So, back to our friendly Mound Ninja and his comrades. What can we learn from their new found popularity and growing following?

Here are a few of the necessary ingredients to start a successful movement: Continue reading The Mound Ninja & the DNA of a Movement

Fishing Opener Mystery on the Sea of Galilee

It’s sunrise. The day after Fishing Opener. 

Location: Sea of Galilee. 

Date: A.D. 28. 

The schools of fish have gathered for an emergency all school assembly at Rock Pile Point. There is great unrest in the school. The fish of Galilee are extra fidgety this year. There are strange rumors float. You see, every year around this time, all the various schools of fish go through a rigorous series of training exercises where the older wiser fish teach the younger, more foolish fish how to avoid getting caught in the nets of eager anglers out for the first time of the new fishing season. They are taught how to tell real worms from clever rubber decoys. Their fish eyes are trained to spot and avoid every kind of net, hook and fishing line. First aid training is mandatory for every fish in the school for helping victims who are caught but luckily released again with a sore mouth. But something strange happened this year on fishing opener. There’s something…well….very fishy going on. The President of the school swims to the podium and addresses the mass of floundering fishtails.

Dear citizens of Rock Pile Point, As you all know, the strange happenings of yesterday’s fishing opener took us all by surprise. We took all the regular precautions to be ready for the regular rush of angry anglers and those nasty net throwers. Yet, to our amazement we suffered no harm, we had not one catch and release victim and zero fatalities to report.

This remarkable news was met with a loud, joyous display of fin flapping applause!  When the fin flapping died down, he continued:

More curious — even disturbing — is the remarkable report from our trained spotters that hardly any boat bottoms were spotted on the entire lake all day!

This fact brought the crowd to a state of disbelief entirely. No caught fish for a day, however improbable, could still be explained away by good luck, extra caution on the part of the fish, or distracted, poor fishing performances by the fisherman. But what could possibly account for the absence of boats on the water for the fishing opener?!?!   Continue reading Fishing Opener Mystery on the Sea of Galilee

Bible Humor – New Pastor House Visits

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners..  At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.

Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote ‘Revelation 3:20‘ on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned.  Added to it was this cryptic message,’Genesis 3:10.’

Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.  Revelation 3:20 begins ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.’  Genesis 3:10 reads, ‘I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.’

Remember when the funniest jokes were the clean ones? They still are!   Pass it on.

‘A cheerful heart is good medicine’ (Prov. 17:22)

Dandelions: What would Jesus Do?

Here’s a silly repost from years ago in honor of the first signs of spring. -JB

It’s time for my annual non-conformist post on lawn care. Several months back I shared my thoughts on “Why we rake and shovel.”  Today I want to raise the topic of those beautiful yellow “flowers” that are so willing to decorate our yards if we’ll only allow them safe refuge. Yes, let’s talk about dandelions. So, here’s my thoughts — and, warning, this is a tongue-in-cheek post. I’m half-serious about half these thoughts. You have to sort it out.

1. Who decided that a pure green lawn with no dandelions, no crab grass and other species of grass would be the ideal yard? Who decides such things?  Seems as arbitrary as styles of clothing that come and go: ripped jeans one day and stonewashed the next, earth tones one day and Hawaiian shirts the next. If I’m honest, and don’t let the cultural norm sway my opinion, I think dandelions are quite beautiful.  (My mom seemed to have agreed when I picked her a bouquet of them as a child — though it didn’t work this Mother’s Day as a 30 year old.)   Continue reading Dandelions: What would Jesus Do?

A Snowman Explains the Meaning of Life

Jeremy and Snowman (Ernest).1Here’s an old DI Classic from 2006 — I was so young and fun!

My newest friend, Ernest, was born on a cold, snowy day a couple weeks ago. Keri and I rolled him into existence out of our own Sunday afternoon boredom. He is tall like his parents.

Perhaps God created us for a similar reason. While the Father, Son and Holy Spirit always shared a perfect fellowship of love and creativity, they still took great joy in fashioning human beings in their image and inviting us to join in their joyful dance of living, loving and creating for the glory of the Lord.

Did you know that we were made to share in God’s work of creation and caring for his world? How cool is that?! After creating the first human beings, God didn’t give them a list of commands, tell them to be good and go to church every Sunday! Not at all! God blessed them, saying: “Live it up! Create! Fill the Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth” (Gen 1:28). They were endowed with divine creativity and invited to join in the creational work of the Creator God.

Once this truth sinks in, we can start rethinking what being “spiritual” is all about. We discover that being truly spiritual means living in tune with God’s purpose for our lives. Looking back, I now realize that building, creating, fashioning that snowman out of that sticky white stuff God so generously showered from the sky was about the most spiritual thing Keri and I could have done that day. It was a divine activity!

So, how spiritual are you—really? In what ways are you living out your purpose of creating, shaping, restoring, growing, improving, and enjoying the beautiful gifts God has given you? If you’re an artist, are you drawing, painting and sculpting with all your being? If you’re an athlete, are you disciplining yourself, strengthening your body, and maximizing your God-given potential? If you’re an engineer, are you designing, building and producing with all of your might? Musicians, are you composing and singing, dancing and playing for the Lord, letting your song join the angels’ chorus in heaven? Go write a novel, learn a language, play an instrument, run a marathon, love your friends, laugh, cry, and tell jokes! Climb mountains, snowboard, ski, juggle, or fall in love. As Bible says:

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).

So, next time the snow flies and you find yourself feeling bored, go do something truly spiritual: Go build a snowman!