Clasped hands on troubled man

It was the revival that almost never was.  It took place in New York City, back in the late 1800s.  By then the Salvation Army, under the leadership of William Booth in England, was becoming a global force.  Two young officers had been dispatched to the U.S. to establish a work in New York, and nothing was working. Frustrated and tired, facing nothing but hostility and opposition, they sent a telegram to “the General,” requesting that he close the mission.

They received a two-word reply:  “TRY TEARS.”

They did. [click to continue…]

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Daily News Headline

Back in the late sixties and early 70s we gathered around our TV sets with the three available channels on Monday nights for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in on NBC.

One of the repeated gags on the lightning-fast show was the old joke from the diner, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” I remember in one episode, the waiter is behind the counter and seven or eight people sitting at the bar say, one right after another, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” Whoever was playing the waiter went down the counter, spewing out one punch line after another. Sorry, can’t find the YouTube clip for that, but it went something like this:

There’s a fly in your soup? Keep it down sir, or they’ll all be wanting one.

There’s a fly in your soup? Sorry sir, guess I forgot it when I removed the other three.

There’s a fly in your soup? Then we’ve served you too much soup, the fly should be wading.

There’s a fly in your soup? Couldn’t be, sir. The cook used them all in the raisin bread.

There’s a fly in your soup? It’s OK, Sir, there’s no extra charge!

There’s a fly in your soup? No sir, that’s a cockroach, the fly is on your steak.

There’s a fly in your soup? What do you expect? It’s fly soup.

Call me weird, but that’s one of the first things I thought of when I read the headline of the New York Daily News in the immediate wake of the devastating shootings in San Bernadino – yet another American city whose name has become synonymous with mass murder.

GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS, the headline blasted, riffing on and ripping the condolence statements of Republican presidential candidates. [click to continue…]



(Presidential Campaign Edition)

Unless you’ve been under a rock for a year, you are well aware of the fact that here in the U.S. we’re in another election cycle, which means, of course, that for over a year people will be competing for poll numbers and dollars (the gifts that keep on giving) before somebody in one state (and only one state) will decide the destiny of 80% of the candidates.

No, really. I totally love American democracy.

Anyway, with a second Republican debate scheduled for tonight, I thought in preparation the candidates could use some last minute wisdom, since I’m sure they all subscribe to the blog.

I got nothin’.

But before Mr. Trump labels me a loser and tells me I’m fired, I know somebody who does. As I have mentioned before, I keep a file of my favorite student quotations, usually from written assignments. These are those rare occasions when a student writes something so compelling it sort of stops me in my tracks, either because the statement is profound, very well written, or downright funny.

I have shared this before here and here. We’ve looked at leadership, funny stuff, and spiritual passion in previous episodes. If you haven’t seen them, check them out – they’re all fast reads.

Today’s collection has a leadership focus, but sounds a clarion call to those who would be president and those who must choose them. Read these carefully and pray for your president – and those who have the task of selecting him or her. [click to continue…]


Here in My Heart

by Andy Wood on January 14, 2015

in Half-baked Ideas

Businessman playing with car and goes down

(Sort-of-random thoughts after an oddly-shaped holiday season, complete with the Princess and her seven miniature companions… oh, and that reminds me… a trip to Disney, along with other uncertainties of life.)

Nearly every New Year’s night during my growing up years, I would find myself howling at the moon or somebody because of the insanity that was the college football bowl setup.  Finally I have seen with my eyes what for years I had only seen in my dreams – a true semblance of a playoff.  My team didn’t win.  But it had a chance to compete, and that’s all anybody can ask for (unless you’re TCU, but I digress…).

Did you feel the earth rumble from all the photos taken at the Detroit auto show?  Have you picked out your favorite auto eye-candy yet?  The whole idea of a “concept car” fascinates me… slick looking ideas that get people all excited, only to be told they’ll never actually see that vehicle.

I started to get all huffy and offended, until I realized that the world I move in has its own version – the “concept Christian.”  Sleek and slick, shiny and sexy-for-Jesus. But it is only in concept showrooms. How to get it into “real production” remains a mystery. [click to continue…]

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Strike up the band celebrity endorsements, hang those chads, and God bless the United States of America!  It’s that time again!  Voters in many parts of the country are already heading to the polls to vote early for the upcoming election, and the turn-off (um, I mean turnout) is high!

What better way to remind you that these are humans, not just 8 x 10 glossies, than with another round of Hanukkah Hams?

Since it’s been a while, let me give you the talking points on what a Hanukkah Ham is.  Named in honor of somebody who suggested that his Greenwich Village Jewish customers would love a big ham for their next Hanukkah celebration, a Hanukkah Ham is a really bad (translation:  stupid) idea concocted by usually really smart people.

Previous Hanukkah Ham stories have explored the worlds of  electricity, money, college life, Christmas, air travel and hunting, to name a few.

But with so many words flying these days, what could invite more people to ask, “Did he just say that?” than political races across the country?  Ever since I heard Philip Johns promise to get grits au gratin taken off the lunchroom menu in seventh grade, and Richard Tyson promised to build a student center in ninth, I’ve heard people running for office – any office – say some pretty outlandish things.  I guess it just comes with the territory. [click to continue…]

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Thanks for spending the money and manpower to tell us, not once but three times, what we already knew from the rattling and bouncing of our vehicles.

Is it too much to ask you to actually solve the problem?

I guess if you can’t amaze us with the outcomes, you can always astound us with the obvious.

Hmmm. [click to continue…]


An interesting op-ed headline appeared in The Chicago Tribune a few days ago.  It read, “Govern like a leader, not a politician.”  The author, Mike Lawrence, proposed that the current financial mess in Illinois would only be solved by politicians who had the courage to do unpopular things (raise taxes, I presume) rather than trying to please people.

Oh… leadership.

Ooh… politics.

Can they ever really coexist? [click to continue…]


inaugurationOkay, surely this is just a coincidence.

During the days of the Carter administration, “Carter Country” was a popular sitcom.  Reagan’s presidency produced a number of “this-guy’s-gonna-get-us-killed” movies about nuclear war, including “The Day After.”  The Clinton years gave us record numbers of movies made about the U.S. President – including “Dave,”  “Wag the Dog,” and “Primary Colors.”  And the Bush years produced a mixed bag of spiritual themes (“Chronicles of Narnia,” “Lord of the Rings Trilogy,” and “The Passion of the Christ”) and war-on-terrorism flicks and shows like “The Unit.”

So President Obama takes the oath yesterday.  And what’s the first new TV rollout, starting tonight?

Lie to Me.”

No relation whatsoever, I’m sure.

Here are my favorite two quotes from yesterday: [click to continue…]


Life is too serious not to be laughed at.  And 2008 has given us plenty of seriously funny expressions that soften our defenses, then make a point.  Often a sharp one!

So without further ado, here, in reverse order are my 10 personal favorite funny blog posts from 2008.  Many have links elsewhere, or combine videos with photos, etc.  But you’re seeing them where I found them (or put them).

10.  Speculators
David Hayward describes himself as “an artist trapped inside a pastor’s body.”  His cartoons have appeared several times here.  They often combine a funny thought with a sharp, convicting point.  In “Speculators,” he pokes at the way people can and do profit from the message of the cross.  Want more? Here’s one that mocks corporate mentality in the church. [click to continue…]


Bobo Brown and the “ART” of Politics

by Andy Wood on July 25, 2008

in Spoofs

Elections bring out the best and the worst in people. Fortunately, in order to preserve our sanity, they also bring out the funny and the philosopher in us, too.  Check out Walt Handelsman’s take on McCain vs. Obama: The 2008 Summer Olympics.

The amazing folks at jibjab have created this one:

Now for some real wisdom…

Athens had Plato and Aristotle.  Israel had Solomon.  Colonial America had Jefferson and Madison.  We had Bobo Brown.

[click to continue…]