Life Is An Inside Joke

stop eating all our steaks

I find myself so many times these days simply giving thanks to God for laughter.  Lying awake in bed at 3am, afraid that I will wake my wife because I’m shaking the bed with laughter because a funny thought from a funny moment earlier in the evening just keeps returning to my mind.  A knee-slapping, laughing until the danger of vomitting becomes real, people coming from the next room to see what’s going on type of moment.  A moment I shared with my youngest son in this case.   A memory made (a clean one too).  Wouldn’t it be great if we could fill our days and those of our children with memories of uncontrollable laughter?

Life is an inside joke.
When we fail to share laughter with others, we miss out on the joke. We don’t get it.  When we spend a lifetime laughing, the same jokes continue to make us laugh, time after time.  Little things that have no meaning or humor to others trigger a smile or a laugh with you and your partners in joy.  Sharing experiences with our children. Who are they building a wealth of inside jokes with?  Or more importantly, who are you (specifically dads!) sharing yours with? Golfing buddies, co-workers, male friends in general?  Laughing at crude, adult humor that you wouldn’t find so funny in the presence of your kids?  Seems harmless….I guess. But what’s wrong with trying to start an example of purity in yourself that you surely hope to see displayed by and around your kids. Man up. Grow up. Clean it up. Look for opportunities to find humor in life WITH your kids.
Start building a lifetime of laughter and “trigger memories” with your kids (inside jokes). You will GET IT tomorrow, because you were all there together sharing in it today.   Share your life with your kids. If you wouldn’t say it, do it, or watch it when they are around……you get the point.
Search for things in life you can do with your kids, experiences that can be shared……laughed at….remembered……and laughed at again, over and over.  I don’t particularly want my kids to be goofy.  But I sure hope they always know how to act goofy.  And I hope they see their dad doing it plenty.  I’m ok with raising a comedian.  I just don’t want them to think they need to sound like Richard Pryor or Andrew Dice Clay to get a laugh.

A little unicorn Thanksgiving humor always works.  I don’t really “get it”, but I’m sure everybody else in our family does.  And I’m sure we’ll all continue to get laughs from it years down the road.

maddie unicorn

Enter their world.  Let them into yours.  Share the laughter.

Heaven Help Me, I’ve Become A Liberal

What the heck is a liberal?

Disclaimer first:  I don’t dig too deeply into politics.  For those of you who do, please forgive my errors in assumptions, classifications, definitions, and generalizations.

I associate liberalism with the practice of looking at that which is deemed socially or biblically acceptable or unacceptable,

and constantly re-shaping it to meet one’s own desires, habits, and beliefs.

If you can’t live with the rules, change the rules.  There is no absolute measure of right and wrong.  Just be yourself.

Adapt the truths instead of adapting yourself to truths.

Maybe a perfect example of liberal thinking happened recently in the world of college football.

Last year’s Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel  was seemingly in big trouble for signing autographs for money.

This is a practice clearly against NCAA rules for its student athletes.

Manziel is a kid from a wealthy family who apparently wanted something immediately that

exceeded what his budget would allow,so he knowingly broke the rules to make some quick bucks.

The alarming part wasn’t that the NCAA penalty was a whopping half-game suspension.

The disturbing part was the outcry of national media folks  defending Manziel because the “rules weren’t fair”.


He “should” be able to sell autographs for money.  Let’s change the system.

Forget the fact that he thought he was bigger than the system and the rules that were in place.

His university is making big bucks from his affiliation with their football program.

Sooooo, I mean, who can blame him?  Right?  Wrong, blame falls squarely on him.

We should….

Everybody deserves……

But it’s not fair…….

Let’s change it.  Redefine what’s acceptable so people can do what they feel is fair (my favorite word).

And so I silently stew and fuss.  Finally try to make it a teaching point for my teenage son about consequences

and the lengths that people go to to avoid facing them……

and how easy it is to enlist supporters in this quest.

Then.  Then, I wonder if I am in fact a liberal in my own church?

Maybe I’ve seen a tradition or perhaps a widely accepted view and set out to ignore it or change it?

No, I’m not talking about selling the church piano on ebay and sneaking in a bad reincarnation of Stryper to lead worship.


I am talking about people’s views on what is acceptable dress in churches.

I have silently and systematically rebelled against the notion that people have to dress in a certain manner when they enter God’s house for worship.

More specifically, it sort of itches my rear when someone expresses with words, attitutde, or looks a displeasure or disapproval with another’s choice of attire.

Modesty?  Of course.  Nobody wants to see some guy in a wife-beater just because he wants to show off his new tattoos  and big guns.

Ladies, if your skirt is shorter than my underwear,

I would have to question why you would wear that anywhere in public, not just church.

And perhaps even the sloppiest of dressers like myself should make some concessions.

I won’t wear the same shoes to church that I mow the yard in, and I have an Iron Maiden

“Trooper” shirt with blood splatters that I save for special occasions of a different type (date night with my wife-it’s her favorite shirt you know).

I think it’s awesome when people feel the need to put on their “Sunday finest” as a matter of reverence toward God.

benny hinn

But is it sometimes done for show or to meet the expectations of men?  Is it an exclusionary tradition that keeps new people away from church?

Obviously, people grasp for the closest and most convenient reasons why they can’t or won’t at least visit your church.

Most common phrase I hear is, “I don’t have anything to wear”.

Save your money and I’ll check back with you when you have enough to buy nice clothes?

I live with the philosophy that every church needs a good number of people that can honestly say,

“you can dress like me.  I wear what I’m wearing now, blue jeans and t-shirt.”

It’s not a lack of reverence, just a sign of outreach.

Let’s eliminate one reason you have for not taking the first step toward knowing Jesus as your savior.

What if I get up to preach (gasp!) in sandals and a wrinkly t-shirt?  Would you listen?

Would nicer, more traditional “preacher attire” make me a more credible

speaker of God’s word?  Gee, maybe I gave all my money to the poor and an old Stryper shirt is all I have left?

You just don’t know.

Do I honestly own nice clothes?  No.  Doesn’t matter if I can’t afford them or simply choose not to spend for them.

Do I try to poke holes in man-made traditions?  Yes.

Am I drifting into liberal waters?   Perhaps, but I’m not crossing the line of worship evolving into a casual or cool event either.

Am I attempting to change God’s commands or truths?  Absolutely not.

Bottom line.  Why do you do what you do?  Because your parents did it this way?  Because the Bible says?

Know the difference.

For a person to find find a relationship with God, somebody has to have a relationship with THAT person.

Churches need to find the ability and willingness to attract and welcome all types of people.

Besides, Stryper didn’t reach too many with their Christian 80’s hair metal.

Somebody still has to be able to reach out to the Iron Maiden and Slayer fans, right?

Don’t judge me.  Just go along with me.  Sometimes even sit with me.

Oh dear, I’m not a liberal, but I know now why I have the only one-man pew in my entire church.

The Awesome 80’s

I see people share pages on Facebook that say “you know you’re a child of the _____ if you remember this.

So here is my version.  You know you were a teenage boy of the 80’s (with a slant toward the world of sports) if:

You either liked Bird or Magic, but not both.

You owned a pair of Converse All-Stars (bonus points if you painted the star your school colors)



You can name all 6 actresses who were Charlie’s Angels.

You hated the Detroit Pistons.

You have stumbled onto an episode of Happy Days in recent years and wonder how you ever found it tolerable.

You thought the Mattel handheld football and basketball games with lighted lines for players were awesome.



You thought the graphics on Intellivision were awesome.


You thought Daryl Dawkins shattering a backboard was a greater feat than putting a man on the moon.

You heard the story of Darrel Griffith grabbing a coin off the top of a backboard.

darrel griffith

You had at least one argument over pronouncing Nike the right way.

You remember the Zips commercials (Zips a big z)

You realize you could have been rendered sterile from wearing skin tight jeans and basketball shorts.

You argued with at least one guy that swore he could hit a baseball further with a wood bat than with an aluminum bat.

You got excited when you pulled an Oscar Gamble card out of a package of Topps baseball cards.


You became an expert on the different types of tape because you had to put tape on every wiffle ball bat to keep from destroying them and to add distance.

You got pretty excited about the invention of the cassette adapter (so you could play them in your 8-track player).

You stayed up late on Friday night because that was the only time to watch an NBA game.

You made fun of Rick Barry for shooting free throws granny style.

You were determined that you wouldn’t buy cd’s because you owned 200 cassettes.

You still buy cd’s and call them albums.

You can name 6 guys who owned a Chevy Chevette or a Ford Escort.


Your parents still don’t know you watched “10” or “Animal House” when you were 11.

You knew that going down a hill on a skateboard too fast could kill you because all skateboards sucked and the wheels would start wobbling at high speeds.


You know what “backwards masking is” and can still remember the backwards message of at least 3 songs.

You still can’t get your wife or children to truly appreciate the musical brilliance of Van Halen.

Don’t Blink- You’ll Miss Something Funny

This is a collection of short stories (very short) of family humor posted on Facebook over the past year.

Al Bundy or Kal Bundy??

kal bundy

At Dairy Queen with my 7 year-old son Kal,

we ran into one of his buddies.

After visiting their table, he returned to ask me if he could leave

with them to watch a basketball game at a local elementary school.

I said, “sure son.”

Kal, “Thanks dad, I’m gonna go to the bathroom first.”

I hand him $2, “take this buddy, you’ll need it to get in.”

He paused and gave me a  puzzled look.

“I need $2 to get in the bathroom?”


It’s always good to have plenty of good help when you’re putting groceries away.

We haven’t reached epic Duggar quantities of food yet, but for a family of 6,

any help I can get is valued.

“I know I bought biscuits, but I don’t see them in the fridge anywhere.”

biscuits in cabinet

Sometimes it takes creativity to stir the interest of kids in sports.

Sometimes they create on their own.

Poor picture quality so it’s hard to see the tambourine behind his back.

“Look dad, I can dribble and play the tangerine at the same time.”

Anybody have an accordian I can borrow?

kal tambourine

Staying up late watching Reds game with my good buddy Kal since we both had huge naps this afternoon.

So thankful for the steady stream of Viagra and Cialis commercials.

Been looking for a good chance to explain erectile dysfunction to my 6-year old.


Ipod wizard Kal introduced me to the voice command feature on my phone today.

My first command, “play Stormtroopers of Death”. (cd title is “Speak English or Die)

When Kal saw the album art come up on screen he said,

“Dad, that album is probably offensive to Mexicans.”

He may be right.  Political correctness wasn’t real big in 1985.


On my knees crawling around in my shrubs, painting my porch front and steps.

Kept smelling something funky,

Realized that it was the distinct odor of human urine that I was crawling around in.

Then it all came rushing back to me…..bringing up boys…..that first time I uttered those magic words,

“just pee off the porch, son”

and how that evolved into a consistent, “hey dad! can I pee off the porch?”.

“Sure, son.  Pour it on.” (no pun intended).

Better than cat pee or dog crap I guess.

Adventures in Fatherhood: The One-Liners

kal cereal

Bedtime conversations with Kal.
“Kal, I sure am glad that God made me your daddy.  And I’m glad He made you my boy.”
“Dad I’m glad He invented farts.”

Me too son… too.
karrick ryne frog“Son, there’s no way you can catch a frog on a rod and reel with a redworm.”

Classic one liner for a 7 year-old boy tonight.
After a typical boy’s 90 second shower with his mother unfortunately in the vicinity,
Kal got to hear the old “there is no way you could have washed!.
Did you wash your face and tail?”
He honestly answered that he didn’t wash his face and was ordered back into the shower.
Once back in the shower,
I heard him yell,
“Hey mom, could you get me another wash cloth?  I already washed my butt with this one.” 
Instinct….he already knows the unwritten MAN laws of showering, wash your butt last, or in his case……
wash butt only (cause your face doesn’t stink).
And he might have actually been listening those times when he asked if he really had to take a shower
and I told him to just jump in and get his hair wet and wash his butt.
Guess we both are busted.
kr and kal big bass
I know that my wife beat me to the punch on posting this pic….
But pictures can’t describe the laughter and mayhem that ensued when Kal Google image searched “world’s biggest turd” on the drive to our fishing spot.
They’re only young once. Enjoy it and don’t tell mom.
macy shoe
Macy, ya think it might be time for some new soccer shoes?
“No daddy, I think these will be ok.  I got em taped back together pretty good.”