DAY ONE-HUNDRED-NINETY-ONE: Website Improvements

<a href=””><img alt=”web update” src=”; width=”250″ height=”250″ /></a>Yesterday I moved my website from to a self-hosted WordPress site.

This allows me greater flexibility for use of sidebar widgets to more attractively and interactively show countdown information and tour schedules, etc.

I’m very pleased with the site.

If you were previously a subscriber and are still interested in being one, please visit the site at <a title=”Spokes and Jokes” href=”; target=”_blank”></a>, click the floating FOLLOW button in the bottom-right of the page and enter the appropriate information.

Thanks for following this adventure!


DAY ONE-HUNDRED-EIGHTY-SIX: Small Worlds and Funny Stories

greenI’ve been looking for places to stay and perform for the first couple of weeks of the trip. It’s been going well. Only three more days to arrange now and we’re all set for the first 25% of the Spokes and Jokes adventure.

Yesterday, I searched for housing for the first day of the trip, during which I will end up around Greene, Maine. I found a couple of churches there and the photo on one of the church’s websites showed a youth leader that looked a lot like a man I work with at the Kennebec Journal. I emailed him, making no mention that I thought we might work together, but making my request for lodging.

It was confirmed by a coworker that morning that the man who ministered at the church was a man who is among about thirty that works in the same office that I do.

Later in the afternoon, I got an email from him saying it would be fine if we stayed at his place.

I responded by saying, “You know what’s funny and what I’ve come to learn since I emailed you this morning? We are both in the same room right now. I work in the graphics department at the KJ.”

He responded that he thought he had heard my name before and that he thought it was “awesomely funny”.

It was. I’m enjoying all of these unique personal interactions as this trip comes together.

DAY ONE-HUNDRED-EIGHTY-THREE: CLAIM Speaking Engagement and Laptop Donation

CLAIMTom Obey of the Lighthouse Radio Network gave me the opportunity this morning to speak to the newly formed CLAIM, which is a support and encouragement group for Christian business leaders.

I shared a few jokes and my song parody of “Anyway”, by Martina McBride. Always a good time to take people’s expectation of encouraging spiritual talks with a goofy song partly about shoving a jalapeno pepper up your nose.

I had 50 minutes and used the rest of it to balance out the comedy by openly sharing what God has been doing in my life in the last few years in challenging me to not settle in relational, moral, spiritual, vocational or other ways. Apparently, it was very well received, and I had more than one person say it was refreshing to hear transparency behind a microphone.

That is confirmation for me. I think people are tired of disengaging speakers who feel it is their station in life to act as a public relations department for a Christian ideology. I take responsibility to the measure that I’ve played this game for decades of my own life.

My conviction now is that Christians need to exalt God in the stories they tell, not themselves. This is simpler to do, for who does not have the information and perspective to speak on such issues.

It is quite engaging, though, and my experience has confirmed that such honesty is a catalyst that encourages other to open up as well, letting light into their lives through confession.

Also, at the end of the meeting, I met a lady who offered for me to borrow her laptop on the trip. I will be able to use it to do any graphics work I have, to blog, to process video and to publish Funnies Extra from the road.

Also, I spoke to another lady who has two thousand pounds of contacts down the East Coast.

I do believe those will come in helpful. I’m looking forward to see the continuation of all of these developments.

DAY ONE-HUNDRED-EIGHTY-TWO: Worship Radio Interview

worshipfm_logoI had the opportunity to meet with the fellas from the Breakfast Show on Worship Radio this morning in Augusta. They graciously allowed me to talk about Spokes and Jokes and we also had some great off-air conversations.

After meeting with them, I taped an interview that will run on God’s Country on February 19, 2012.

The guys were supportive and commented on how cool this adventure seemed. It also appears that I got another gig from this meeting. One of the gentlemen from the show is a pastor and would like to get me into his church.

More good things a happnin’!

DAY ONE-HUNDRED-SEVENTY-EIGHT: Grace Evangelical College and Seminary

index~~element15Last night I enjoyed the opportunity to speak at a chapel service at Grace Evangelical College and Seminary in Bangor.

I have taken a couple of classes there during the last year, and they have helped me sort out my thinking about how to proceed into the next season of my life.

I did a little comedy at the beginning, but mostly it was an opportunity to share my testimony of learning how to determine God’s will for my life. I also explained how I came up with the idea for Spokes and Jokes and solicited prayers. When I was done, Dr. Smith placed his right hand on my left shoulder and prayed out loud for God’s blessing on this adventure.

Attendance was light, with only about a dozen people including me and Heather, but it was a nice exercise in speaking before a small crowd, which is actually much different and harder for me than a large crowd. It’s more intimate and can be, therefor, more intimidating.

This was a nice bit of practice for me in working out how to be entertaining, but also inspiring and encouraging at the same time.

Thank you to the people at Grace Evangelical who invited me to come and speak.

DAY ONE-HUNDRED-SEVENTY-FIVE: Popportunities Galore!

nFKjLkOCan I just say this? It’s been hard finding a job that I feel truly fits me, and to find a ministry that does the same.

I left the Bangor Daily News with no real clue what I was going to do next, but felt it was time for a change. It was a scary year as I dealt with my insecurities over not feeling like I could see into the future with any real certainty.

However, in pursuing this Spokes and Jokes adventure, I have been blown away. Both monetary and ministry opportunities are opening up, and quickly, almost like a bag of microwave popcorn halfway through its cooking time.

We are raising the money by performing for it and, in so doing, enjoying the marketing that comes from displaying your work in front of hundreds of people.

I am blown away. Not literally. I have not been blown to the ground by wind, nor have I been victimized by an explosive.

I am, however, humbled, and have a pretty good idea what I am going to try to spend the next few years of my post-tour life doing to pay my bills and meet new people.

A rich and sincere thank you to longtime and new friends, supportive and encouraging family and God, whose grace allows me to wake every day and gives me a hope.

Hope is a nightlight when life would otherwise be dark.

DAY ONE-HUNDRED-SEVENTY-TWO: Performing at the Tea Party

mY3YtAULast night I performed for a gathering of the Midcoast Tea Party. I suppose we need to a better job homeschooling our children, since when my son, Jordan, heard about the gig he reminded me that I don’t even like tea.

To his credit, he joined the conversation halfway through.

As one of the presenters during the evening commented, the people in the Tea Party weren’t nearly as scary as the media would have you believe. People were very kind and quite concerned about the direction this country is headed.

I tried to add what I could to their efforts by singing songs about throwing up beside the road and an obsession with egg foo yung.

I am very busy with gigs cropping up every few days or so. I’m very thankful for this. It’s helping me gain exposure and funding for the April 29 exodus on the Spokes and Jokes Tour.

Plus, I have already started booking places to stay and performances for the first two weeks of the actual trip. Thankfully, because of the generosity of others, I have people’s homes to stay in for almost half of the first two weeks so far, and it’s something I’ve only been trying to arrange for 4 days now.

I’m still looking for a place to stay around Greene, Maine, Southern NY and/or Northern Connecticut. Do you know anyone in those areas who won’t kill us in our sleep?

Thank you for your help.