Category Archives: Humor

Never Stop Dreaming

When I stopped really looking for the woman of my dreams, I found her. I was told by many people that it sometimes happens like that. And my story is one of many relationships and no happily ever after. I have dated some amazing women, it just never fit.

Well, I have finally stopped looking. Because I found a woman who gets me, likes me and makes everything better. People who are closest to me have probably heard me talk about Lydia. We met through a co-worker. And if you know how small my office is, you know that is a miracle. (Thanks Gary).

The first time we chatted on the phone, we talked for 90 minutes. It seemed like I was re-connecting with a long-lost friend. True confession, I talked probably about 70-80% of the time during that first conversation. Ever since then, Lydia has been getting closer to equal time. She is a world-class listener. I thought I had discipled or mentored a lot of people. Then, I met her. She has me beat by a factor of four. But she is so caring, she never keeps score.

We went on our first in-person date on June 4th, 2021, and it has been a great adventure ever since then. Lydia lives in Atlanta, and I live everywhere. Over the last year, I feel like I have spent almost as much time away from my home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as I have in town. Lots of work, ministry, family and of course long-distance dating travel.

Things we like to do together: cook, sing, road trip, hike, watch Ted Lasso, laugh at dark humor, meet our extended spiritual family tree and so much more. She has never been married, neither have I. But we both have lived full lives and value deep, lasting connections.

Lydia is fun, beautiful and adventuresome in a coffee-drinking, don’t get in my way, “I have sticky notes and know how to use them” sort of way. We are alike in many ways. And then, there are ways where we are polar opposites. She is a coffee snob (she would say aficionado). I don’t like coffee because it makes me sick. She is organized. I can always use a little bit more organization ūüėČ She loves “slow mornings,” I like them occasionally when I am not running around with my hair on fire. She energizes by being with people and loves creating spaces. I prefer to be alone to energize. The biggest thing we have in common is that we both agree, there isn’t anything better than spending time alone with each other.

Thank you for all the people who have prayed for me through the years to find my person. Your prayers have been answered. On Monday, March 14th, I asked Lydia to be my wife. And now, the adventure really begins. If we haven’t chatted in a while, reach out to me if you want to hear more or if you just want to give a “Congrats.”

I am so looking forward to marrying Lydia Shanks sometime later this year.


Zoom Zoom… Back in Time

Mix Leadership Team Zoom Zoom

Sometimes you don’t know how amazing a group of people are until you are no longer together. I felt this way the other night while on a Zoom call with my former youth group leadership team. We were missing a few characters. But these people all in some way impacted my life and the lives of many amazing students.

Doing youth ministry is a calling, but it is also a blessing — especially when you get a chance to share unforgettable experiences with young people who you know are going to leave a legacy in the world.

So, I wanted to just brag a little bit on my old team.

PD (Daniel Susenbach) – He was the leader of the pack, the eternal optimist. Daniel has never met a stranger. He is the kind of guy who can make you bust a gut laughing and then believe you can do almost anything the next minute. He is one of my best friends, and if I had to be stranded on deserted island with a group of people, I certainly would want him there.

Tim Matthews (Timmmmmm!) – I think he could literally preach the cover off a Bible, and the young people would be like, “Oh man! Do that again.” Tim knew how to say something that you never forget. He also has an amazing life story, and is a ton of fun. With Tim, you know that following Jesus is never boring. {Tim is not in the picture, nor was on the Zoom call ūüė¶¬† } Next time Tim, next time.

Joanna Fowler (Mrs. J) – She was always the cool mom and administrator. She made us all look good by being prepared for almost anything. Some people who had her job would be kind of by the book. But she always laughed and made everyone feel special. Mrs. J. was the adult in the room who knew how to keep everyone safe. At the same time, she was able to connect with students.

Jim and Melinda Patterson – Yes, these are two people not one. But they are such a great team. They are an amazing couple who I count as very good friends. I love so much about them, especially how different they are from each other. If I was going into spiritual warfare, I can’t think of a better servant and prayer warrior than Jim (P. Diddy). He knows how to get to the root of the matter, and he is willing to go deep and be there for youngsters. Jim is very wise and loves to pun. I even love that about him (just don’t tell him). Melinda is always the voice of reason in the room. She loves people enough to tell them the truth. And she never seems to let much get to her. Oh, and the Pattersons are hilarious when you see them interact together. I chuckling just thinking about some of my discussion with them in their kitchen.

Mama Karen – She was like a mother or older sister to so many of the Mix students. She has always been a youth worker rockstar.¬† Oh, and she is a great cook. Three words “Baby Angel Cake.” Inside joke, but trust me… so good. Karen is full of love and her name should be caring because she is like 90% heart. Karen knows how to be a safe person in a world full of unhealthy people.

Heidi – Speaking of funny. Literally, I don’t know if I have ever laughed around somebody so much as Heidi. She always knew how to put the truth in a joke. But don’t let her shenanigans fool you, she was wise and knew how to see through student’s crap. Plus, she has this way that her eye twitches when she is upset. It’s sort of like a super power that keeps her from going insane. Heidi connected well with students and is an amazing friend.

Mike Jefferson – Mike really loved the middle school students. In the dictionary under the word “Faithful” is a picture of Mike. Full of the Spirit and always willing to forgive, Mike is one of those guys who makes a bigger impact than anyone realizes. I learned a lot from his gentle demeanor and approach to ministry. He does have a mental disorder because he is a Washington Redskins fan. But nobody is perfect. ūüėČ

Diane Burns – Always represented how parents might feel well in our discussions. She is an amazing prayer warrior who was willing to be there for students. She raised three world-class kids, who are now adults. She has been a super volunteer for years.

Bryan and Darla – Students loved Bryan, and he connected well with some of the outsider kids. Super witty and smart, Bryan is very competitive. He challenged me to be a better youth leader… just don’t tell him I said that. Darla is also competitive and smart. We once played a game of assassin with rubber bands, she killed me by pretending she wanted to have a spiritual discussion. {I never forgot that Darla.} Darla is very logical and dependable. She is just a super solid person who will do what she says she will do.

Super Honorable Mention: Charlie Coker, Emilie Hyatt (Coker) and so many others…







Common Sense Comedy Tour

Wow! I saw Glenn Beck’s live stage show in Richmond tonight. Beck was awesome. He was funny, profound, entertaining and inspiring. He just made sense.

Beck called his audience to join the revolution of common sense ideas with their passion and voice not guns. I loved it when he said that people need to find their voice and not depend on his. He preached personal responsibility mixed with perfectly timed jokes.

Beck said, “Big government can only be dismantled by individuals.” He said that we can’t depend on either major party to fix our problems. It takes people doing the right things and calling for “REAL” change.

His common sense message called for his audience to demand more from their elected representatives. The problem is that we elect people and forget to hold them to their promises. We don’t do our part to ensure that our political leaders really reflect our ideals.

Beck said, “When the government isn’t afraid of nothing, there is tyranny. When the government is afraid of you, there is freedom.”

Enough is enough. Somebody has to tell our political leaders in Washington to STOP!

My favorite joke of the night had to deal with the current clean energy legislation in Congress. Beck said that the current bill is more than 900 pages making it larger than the New Testament. He joked, “The government’s effort to regulate the weather is longer than the story of Jesus, the guy in the New Testament who actually controlled the weather.”

That about  sums up my attitude toward government fixes. Appeal to Heaven!

Money Pit

The Onion recently carried a great piece on the nation’s money pit. Although it is a spoof news piece, I think the punch line has become reality thanks to excessive¬†government spending.

Obama says that he is going to cut the deficit by 50% in his first term. That is pretty easy to do when you just increased spending by more than 50% over the next two years. The secret is that the spending is set to expire after two years. Literally, the deficit spending will be cut in half simply because the stimulus splurge goes away.

Are you like me? Do you feel all the bureaucrats in Washington treat taxpayers like a giant money pit? Unfortunately, this video is too close to reality to be called fiction.

Jesus Does My Taxes

I love how conversations tend to rabbit trail. The fun is discovering where they just might go.

Earlier this evening I talked with a friend in Lynchburg. We discussed how Jesus tended to hang out with undesirables. We talked about what places would Jesus dare visit today. Would he go to a bar? Would Jesus go to the pool hall? Where do tax collectors hang out today? Do you have to visit an H.R. Block or Liberty Tax Service office?  I know РJesus would be one of those people with the statue of liberty hats waving at cars trying to get them to come to the Liberty Tax office.

Then, we started talking about what it would be like if Jesus did your taxes. Can you imagine what would happen if you had an audit by the IRS. I can just see it now. You are talking with an IRS agent. He asks, “Who advised you that you can deduct that.” And you say, “Jesus.” The IRS agent gives you the look that a teacher gives when a student is caught in a lie.

Then you try to convince him. You say, “No, really Jesus did my taxes.” The agent responds, “Sir, if you aren’t going to take this seriously then you are going to just have to pay the fine in full.”

The agent then says, “I see that you have a lot of spiritual deductions. Did you really give $100,000 to charities last year?”

You say, “No – I donated $10,000. That was all that I could afford.” The agent says, “Yeah, I see this receipt $90,000 for good intentions. You can’t deduct good intentions.”

You respond, “That more than just wishful thinking. I wrote a faith check.”

Okay – that’s a bad joke. Anyway, you can see what happens when conversations rabbit trail.

Jesus ends up getting you in trouble with the IRS.

What Kind of Christian Are U?

One of the things that I am most concerned about is how my words and actions reflect on the Christian faith. I am far from perfect. And I know my passion can sometime boil over into something that doesn’t look much like Jesus.

There have been a long line of people that have come before me who have contributed to society’s concept of what it means to be a Christian. Some of these contributions leave a positive impression. Others not so much.

While in DC last week, I read the print version of The Onion, the nation’s national lampoon newspaper.¬†It featured a parody column that made fun of God and the typical Christian caricature that we see in the popular press. Although the depiction of God was a bit unfair and lacked proper¬†exegesis,¬†the column¬†did raise some key concerns that non-Christians mention when they talk about their attitudes toward Christianity.

If you have thick skin, I suggest you read the column to see how Christian statements, actions¬†and teachings can appear to others. Remember that the Onion is not meant to be taken seriously. The real problem is that some¬†people think the “opinions” shared by this phantom author are an accurate depiction of God and most Christians.

A Little IT Humor

“No Steve! File not found is not a good thing.”– John Cleese from Iron Mountain promo video

Last week while looking for various backup solutions for our company, I came across this video from Iron Mountain, a company that supplies¬†online data backup services.¬†I normally wouldn’t write about an advertisement. But it was so clever that I have watched it a number of times.

The video short features John Cleese from the Monty Python movies. He is the director of the Institute of Backup Trauma. I know this is a little different than my usual blog topic. If you have ever lost data, you will enjoy this little short.