Spiritual Olympics

Today in the mail I received an invitation for our “choir” to enter a competition.  That was funny enough, but what really got me laughing was the line where it says this event is held “in a spiritually-competitive format.”


I had no idea what this could possibly mean, so I went online and did a Bible search for the phrase.  Zero results.

“Spiritually-competitive….”  I still can’t imagine what that could mean, but it sounds so antithetical to everything Jesus ever said, I couldn’t help but find it hilarious.

Guess we won’t be claiming any of those cash prizes.

It did give me an idea, though–maybe we could boost our budget by hosting a spiritually-competitive tithing competition.  Hmm….

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 10:00 am  Comments (1)  


A friend of mine gave me a printout this morning with some hilarious and insightful quotes.  The one that really got me laughing:

“The first testicular guard, the ‘cup,’ was used in hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.  That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.”

Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 10:58 am  Comments (1)  

Celebrating 82 Years of the Internet

This morning I was looking at the website of a university that offers online programs.  In trying to support the value of online study, they offer this tidbit:

“In the book, The No Significant Difference Phenomenon, author Thomas L. Russell cites 355 research reports, papers and summaries dating back to 1928 that found no significant difference between online and in-class learning.”

Wow!  I was shocked to discover that people have been taking college courses through the Internet since the Roaring Twenties.  Whoever these online students were, they did a great job keeping their pioneering technology top secret for more than half a century.

You’d think that there wouldn’t even be any argument about the value of online degree programs since they’ve been going strong now for 82 years.

Published in: on August 6, 2010 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  


Today one of the four-year-olds at the Training Station walked in and greeted me with, “Happy Earth Day!”

To use Earth Day as a teaching opportunity, one of the teachers had me and another teacher go out on the playground and throw trash all over the place.  Well, “trash” meaning plastics, paper products, and aluminum stuff.  Then she was taking her class outside to pick it all up and sort it out into bins.  Pretty creative teaching idea.

I felt like such a litterbug.  I’m something of a recycling fascist in my home.  “Carolyn, what are you doing with that half-used napkin?!?  Don’t throw it away–it’s recycling!  Don’t you care about the environment?  Think about our child’s future!”

So it felt quite unnatural to unrecycle.  Especially since a couple parents in the parking lot had to have seen me throwing trash all over the playground.  I have to admit, however, that there was something defiantly satisfying about it.

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  


The other day I was recycling in Ocean Pines and the bin for tin cans was half-filled by air ducts.  I guess someone was replacing their duct work and decided to go green.

Speaking of recycling, only one time in the last six years have I seen anyone at the Ocean Pines recycling center that appeared to be about my age or younger.  Usually it’s the older folks recycling.  What’s up with that?  Certainly dispels any preconceived notions about the younger generations being more environmentally conscious.

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 6:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Impeach Merv!

Today after spending some time at a local elementary school with a second grader I’m mentoring, I had lunch with my friend Merv at Panera Bread.  At least I thought he was my friend.  My man let me sit through the whole meal and walk around the restaurant wearing my “Mr. Nathan” name tag from the school.

Next time I see him, he’s wearing it on his back.

And to think I voted for him for President.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (3)  

Separated At Birth: Inanimate Object Edition

When the local snow plows were scraping Route 50 here in West Ocean City, as usual they smashed up our church mailbox.  I hope this is not becoming an annual tradition.

Anyway, when I looked at the warped, twisted mailbox, there was something strangely familiar about it.  Finally I realized what it was.  Compare below:

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 5:39 am  Leave a Comment  



  • We’re almost halfway through the series “Revealed” at CrossWay.  It’s going well, but I wish I had another two or three months to prepare for it!  Guess I’ll always feel that way.  Sermons are like paintings–it’s hard to reach a point where I can say, “It’s finished.”
  • Laura Marie is eating “solid” food!  Doesn’t look that solid to me, but I guess it’s solid compared to milk.  She really likes the peas, green beans, and carrots, but the sweet potatoes seem to be her favorite so far.  It’s so cute to watch her eat with a spoon!
  • I’m really pulling for a Yankees-Dodgers World Series.  That’s the classic matchup, and it hasn’t happened in 28 years.  Unfortunately the Phillies don’t seem like they’re keen on the idea.  And the Angels aren’t exactly one step away from elimination.  We’ll see.
  • Cheez-its rock.  And now they have some made with whole grain, which are even better.
  • Greg Cooper, the youth pastor at Ocean City Worship Center, is leaving soon to become the pastor of a church in Columbia (Maryland, not South America).  I’m sad.  Happy for Greg and his wife Heather, but sad for the community, the Worship Center, and me.  Greg is such a tremendous asset to our community.  His absence will leave a hole in our ministry to the teenagers in this area.  He’s also a lot of fun to hang out with and very encouraging.  Today we’re having our last hurrah at Plaza Tapatia, which I think is the only place we’ve ever met for lunch except for one time in D.C.  God bless you, Greg and Heather!  (Sniff sniff.)
  • Autumn is totally the best.  I love the smell.  If I ever took two months off, I think I’d take all of October and November and just sit on the back porch watching the trees, drinking Vanilla-Macademia coffee, and listening to the wind.  And maybe reading a 19th-century Russian novel.
  • A couple days ago I finished reading Monster by Frank Peretti.  It was really a great read.  I’d forgotten what an amazingly talented writer Peretti is.
  • About a month or so ago, Carolyn and I started having a community group at our house.  We talk, pray, read the Bible (we’re going through the Gospel of Mark), and eat.  It’s wonderful.
  • Speaking of Mark, I’ve been studying it for a couple months.  It’s been great to slow down and really spend time in Mark.  It’s been spiritually invigorating.

The T-Ball Nats

A friend of mine from Australia is visiting D.C. later this month.  He’s interested in seeing a baseball game, so I was talking with my dad and my brother Dylan about it.  Since the Washington Nationals are so ridiculously bad, I told Dylan and my dad that I wasn’t sure if I should send Tom to watch the Nationals or a little kids’ t-ball game. 

I loved my dad’s response.  He said: “Send him to a Nats game, and tell him it’s t-ball.  He’ll be surprised at how big the kids are and how well they play for that level.”

Nice one, Dad!  (I’m not sure if the second part is true, but it’s still funny.)

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Comments (2)  

Stuff Re: Dates

Laura Marie is due one month from today!

Our worship leader at CrossWay, Josh Engle, turns 35 today.  Happy birthday Josh!

As of last Wednesday, I’ve now been at CrossWay for two years.  Sure has gone by quickly.

Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm  Comments (2)