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 EIGHTY-TWO: (I’ll Be) Everywhere

Finally got my hands on a road atlas of the United States last night.

I divided up the trip to Texas pretty equally among 12 weeks to get an idea of about where I’ll be each Friday. This part of the planning allows me to solicit standup gigs for the end of each week. Once done and confirmed, we’ll be able to have a better idea of where we’ll be during the weeks, should we wish to do some comedy shows during weekdays, too.

This list of possible destinations is exciting to consider. Hard to imagine I’ll be riding my bike to all of these locations!

WEEK ONE : Concord, NH

WEEK TWO : Waterbury, CT

WEEK THREE : Philadelphia, PN

WEEK FOUR : Hagerstown, MD

WEEK FIVE : Charlottesville, VA

WEEK SIX : Johnson City, TN

WEEK SEVEN : Knoxville, TN

WEEK EIGHT : Nashville, TN

WEEK NINE : Memphis, TN

WEEK TEN : Little Rock, AK

WEEK ELEVEN : Texarkana, AK

WEEK TWELVE : Rockwall, TX

DAY SIXTY-TWO: Are You Wasting Your Life?

You may have heard me affectionately mention a gentleman and his wife that I met a couple of years ago. They were pedal biking through Brooks in the middle of a major Northeast expedition and gave me great inspiration to live life, not just take cues from the culture that define my purposes and influence my decisions.

In a discussion of his own life, at one point he said, “if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat”.

The Bible speaks of seed scattered across various types of soil, and portrays negatively the environment of a seed that sprouts up quickly, but the growth of which is choked out by thorns. Jesus described this person as one whose life is rendered unfruitful because of an obedience to the worries of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.

Watch this video and share what’s on your mind.