High Five Thursday!

Have you ever been reading a story in the Bible and thought, “Man, if only I could have been there!”

Top 5 Biblical Fly-On-The-Wall Moments

Elemental Escape (Exodus 14:15-31)

How awesome would it be to be standing in the crowd with God on one side in a blazing column of fire while Moses is on the other side blasting an interstate highway through the sea? The chaos, the terror, the power, the elemental forces being tamed and manipulated right before your eyes.

It gives me chills just thinking about it.

Now You See It… (Joshua 6)

There one minute; gone the next. The impenetrable walls of the mighty Jericho stood before the Israelites in all their pride and glory. After some lovely afternoon strolls around the city, a bit of yelling, and some Louis Armstrong, Jericho was reduced to a pile of rubble and ashes. Well, except for that one brothel.

Americans can’t get enough of destruction films in which the White House, the Capitol Building, and the Empire State building are destroyed by natural (or unnatural) forces, e.g. Independence Day, Deep Impact, 2012, etc.

This would be better than any of them.

The Original 300 (Judges 7)

Long before Leonidas and his merry band of Spartans held off hordes of Persians, ninjas, and rhinos (???), there was Gideon. He was chosen by God to lead Israel’s armies in a counter strike against the evil Midianites, all 150,000 of them. Israel turns out 32,000 recruits to defend their nation. Even with that they are outnumbered 5-1. Through a series of questions (Are you afraid?), and grueling physical challenges (drink from this stream), basic training narrowed the field to 300 men, armed with nothing more than a pot, a torch, and a trumpet. Sounds like they got their battle strategy from the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Anyway, the part of the story I would love to overhear and see is the conversation between God and Gideon as he explains his whole plan of attack. A saner man would have just walked away, but I guess Gideon was just crazy enough to believe that God knew what he was doing.

The True Underdog Story (1 Samuel 17)

This is the story to which all other underdog scenarios are compared. The battle of David and Goliath.

We all know the story. The little shepherd boy (who for some reason always looks about 9 on the flannel graph) musters up the courage to fight the giant in a head to head (or head to waist) battle. One little stone goes up, up, up, and the giant comes tumbling down.

The part I wish I were there for is the part we don’t talk about in the children’s songs or Sunday school. After Goliath falls, David runs up, takes Goliath’s ginormous sword and beheads the not-so-friendly giant. Like a boss.

Seeing is Believing (John 20:24-29)

This scene has always fascinated me. We know that Jesus experienced a physical resurrection, yet his body no longer seems to be bound by the laws of physics. He still eats and drinks, he still walks and sits down, but he can also walk through walls or something. Not quite like Casper, but somehow able to appear and disappear in the blink of an eye.

Well, the apostles are all gathered together behind closed and locked doors (rough neighborhood?), but this time, Thomas is with them. As if on cue, Jesus appears and shows Thomas his battle scars. I’m not so interesting in seeing the resurrected Christ. I don’t need to see to believe. I’m more interested in the physical, spiritual, and emotional response given by Thomas. His is the most sincere and profound confession in all the gospels. “My Lord, and my God.”

High Five Thursday!


As many of you know, tomorrow is April 1st. This means that countless numbers of people will fall victim to some type of practical joke…and then become a hit on YouTube. I admit that I get a kick out of watching others become fodder for laughs and humiliation, but it’s no so fun when you’re the victim.

That’s the unfortunate thing about practical jokes. Someone is always singled out.

The guys at Improv Everywhere, however, are masters at the victimless practical joke. Wanna see what I mean?

Top 5 Improv Everywhere Missions

[You can click on the titles to see the whole setup and behind the scenes action or go to improveverywhere.com]

Best Buy


Star Wars Subway Car


Suicide Jumper


Human Mirror


Frozen Grand Central

High Five Thursday!

A bit of a twist this week. This is a shout out to all you English teachers out there, including my own parents, who helped turn me into a grammar-Nazi.

Top 5 Grammatical Pet Peeves:

Less and Fewer

It pains me every time I go to the express checkout line to see the phrase “10 Items or Less.” Everyone knows it should be “10 Items or Fewer,” right? It’s simple, really. Less is used with singular nouns; fewer is used with plural nouns.

“John has less money than I do.”
“John has fewer quarters than I do.”

“There is less of a crowd than I expected.”
“There are fewer people than I expected.”

It’s not that hard, people. Maybe someone should write a letter informing these department stores of their grammatical mishaps…

I and Me

It baffles me. I know English teachers spent months of class time on this one concept alone. Yet I still see rampant misuse of the first person pronouns from Facebook posts to political speeches. “I” is subjective; “me” is objective. End of story.

That means whenever you are using a preposition, “me” is the only appropriate first person singular pronoun. It should always be “between you and me,” or “for him and me.” I think people are trying to sound smart by using “you and I” in every situation. I don’t know why, though. To me, it just shows that you don’t know proper English.

The simple rule of thumb is to remove the conjunction. Would anybody say, “He did that for I?” No! Then don’t say, “He did that for you and I.”

The only misuse of “I” and “me” on which I will cut some slack is when a linking verb is in use. The proper use in this case would be, “It is I.” But if someone says, “It is me,” I’ll let that one slide because it’s a bit more confusing to understand.

The Plural “You”

We English speakers cannot help this. Whoever created modern English apparently forgot to include a second person plural pronoun. Thus we are left to develop our own ways of differentiating between singular and plural, which often gives away our region of origin: “You guys” vs. “Y’all.”

Honestly, I’m in favor of “y’all” simply because it is a legitimate contraction…and it’s gender inclusive. Take that, Northerners!

In normal conversation and writing, it’s really not that bad. Usually there are context clues about which form is being used. Where this gets really annoying is in biblical studies. Greek and Hebrew both have a second person plural pronoun which makes it easy to tell whether the author is addressing a crowd or an individual. However, that often important indicator is lost in translation when we read it in English.

I guess we’ll just have to make due until some form of the plural “you” takes over.

Overuse of Similes

My generation is like obsessed with like similes and stuff. It’s like we don’t even to how to like form a complete like coherent thought without like reverting to like similes and like comparisons.

Okay, it’s annoying to even type that way. I guess most people have their filler words, but I know some people who cannot speak an entire sentence without the word “like.” It has become the replacement for nearly every verb in their vocabulary. “I was like…then he was like…and it was all like…” Ugh. How is that any easier than saying, “I said…then he said…and it all rocked my face off?”

Use verbs, people.

Not everything is like something else. Was it like awesome? Or was it awesome?

Possessive vs. Contractions


I know they are homophones, and they are spelled similarly, but there is really no excuse to get this consistently wrong. If it’s that much trouble, then stop using the contractions! It is as simple as that. You won’t sound any less smart, and it will keep you from sounding less intelligent. Just take some time when you’re typing to make sure your pronouns are correct.

I’m not perfect, either. There are words and rules with which I still struggle, especially punctuation rules. You may have found some grammatical errors in this post for all I know. I just wanted to bring these to your attention.

The more I read Facebook and the more conversations I overhear, the more despair I have for the future of my generation.

English teachers, thank you. Keep drilling these rules into our heads. Keep on assigning books to read and essays to write. Hold on to traditional grammar and writing styles as long as we can before we are completely consumed by txt spk.

High Five Thursday!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody! In the spirit of the day, here is my Irish-themed Top 5

Top 5 of All Things Irish:

Celtic Knots

Knot work has been a part o Celtic history for centuries. But some of the more famous knots weren’t around until St. Patrick brought Christianity to the island. I love the Celtic Cross (I even have one on my Bible) and the Triquetra (the trinity knot).


Celtic Music

I’m a sucker for some Irish music. From Gaelic Storm and The Chieftains to Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys, there’s nothing like a good jig.

And it doesn’t get much more Irish than this:


Irish Blessings

“May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand”

“May your glass be ever full,
May the roof above your head be always strong,
And may you be in heaven
Half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead”

And my personal favorite:
“May those who love us love us,
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles
So we may know them by their limping.”


Not necessarily the beer, but the family in general. Not only did they produce the Guinness Book of World Records, but they are also churned out quite a number of well respected theological books. There is no doubt that the Guinness family has made a name for itself in Ireland and around the world. What’s more, they’ve also spread the name of God throughout Ireland and around the world.



One of the greatest bands of the last 3 decades calls Ireland their home. I mean, what can I say really? They are known the world over, and their music has inspired millions. They bathe their music in the gospel without losing any appeal to non-Christians. I’ve only recently fell in love with the band, and I feel like I’ve missed out on something.

Anyway, here’s one of their latest singles, “Magnificent.”

High Five Thursday!

Interesting turn this week. Here is my list of my

Top 5 Not-So-Preachable Bible Verses

WARNING: Reader discretion may be advised.

Genesis 1:29-30
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Wait…so, every animal was originally created to be strictly vegetarian? Apparently so. I guess this means that in God’s original design, humans were not encouraged to eat steak, hamburgers, or chicken nuggets. I suppose this also applied to lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

A world in which every creature is vegetarian, thus eliminating the need to kill any other living being. Try preaching that right before the monthly pot-luck!

Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Angels came down to earth, had sex with human women, and those women gave birth to what some interpret as “giants”?? Some even go so far as to say that Goliath descended from these Nephilim. I challenge you to try and find a way to preach this verse without sounding completely off your rocker.

Exodus 4:24-25
At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said.

First of all, why would God set out to kill Moses, whom He just commissioned to lead His people out of Egypt? Secondly….eww? Of all the severed body parts to have pressed against my foot….gosh.

Judges 19:29
When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.

This just sounds like straight up inspiration for a horror flick. The priest lets his mistress get gang raped, and then he hacks her into pieces, inciting an all out civil war. Yes, folks. This is in the Bible.

Ruth 3:8-9
In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
    “Who are you?” [Boaz] asked.
   “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.

To be honest, I have heard lessons on Ruth before. But for the most part, the preachers/teachers try to skirt around the issue. But I think any average reader would automatically assume the implications of “lying at his feet” and “spread your garment over me.” Well, whatever Ruth was trying to do, I definitely did not get this type of dating advice from any trusted Christian source….

High Five Thursday!

My Top 5 Inspirational Songs

Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey
A classic power ballad made popular again by the hit show Glee, this song was my anthem a couple summers ago.

Favorite Line: “Working hard to get my fill, but everybody wants a thrill.”


Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson
Say what you want to about his life, but this song is powerful. It echoes the saying “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

My favorite memory of this song was from our trip to Greece. We were on a cruise ship touring some Greek isles when this song came on over the speakers. I turned around to see that the Greek man at the photo booth and I were both singing along to it. We made eye contact, smiled, and kept on.

Favorite Line: “Who am I to be blind, pretending not to see their needs?”


Beautiful Day, by U2
This song reminds me that every day is a gift. Don’t take tomorrow for granted. Find the beauty in today because it’s all around you.

Favorite Line: “After the flood all the colors came out.”


Wonderful, by Gary Go
If you’re a normal human being, you have often questioned your purpose. Most likely there have been moments in your life when you step back and wonder why you’re here, at this place, at this time. You have regrets. You feel like you don’t measure up. But in reality, you are made in the image of God. You are wonderful.

Favorite Line: “We are all miracles wrapped up in chemicals.”


Wavin’ Flag, by K’naan
I can’t help but get pumped up by the chorus of this song. It’s so full of hope and energy and excitement about the future. This has been my absolute favorite song since the first time I heard it.

Favorite Line: “When I get older, I will be stronger. They’ll call me freedom, just like a wavin’ flag.”

There are at least four different versions of this song, but this one is my favorite. It was the official song of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He also has a version featuring Will.I.Am which is really cool and more like the original.
And then there is a version for Haiti performed by a variety of pop artists, reminiscent of We Are the World.


So those are my top five, but I would be remiss if I didn’t throw out some honorable mentions.

Fix You, by Coldplay
One Day, by Matisyahu
Swim, by Jack’s Mannequin
Live Like We’re Dying, by Kris Allen
Hold On, by Wyclef Jean

Ok, so I guess it’s more like a top ten, but it’s my blog. I can do what I want.