Here’s how I got my best bowling score in years

Photo credit: Seth Tisue / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Seth Tisue / Foter / CC BY-SA

Okay, it was only a 135. But that’s a great score for me. And by the way, the sign above wasn’t my issue.

Village Church, the missional community my wife and I started with a few friends last year, chose to have a fun night last week for church. As an MC, not only can we do that sort of thing for church – we’re supposed to do it from time to time.

The first game we bowled I did predictably pathetic. I believe my score was 89. For some reason, I slice when I bowl. I’m right-handed, but the ball consistently cuts to the right and I don’t know why. Interestingly, when I golf (which I’m equally bad at) I almost never slice the ball.

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Does God have regrets?


Sorry, not the best quality pic, but it’s funny!


Do you think the New England Patriots regret deflate-gate?

It’s widely accepted by sports outlets that the team intentionally deflated their footballs 2 lbs. less than NFL regulations for the AFC championship game last Sunday. This gave them an advantage of greater ball control in the cold, wet conditions.

The Pats ended up destroying the Colts 45-7, and many claim that the indiscretion was insignificant to the outcome of the contest. Maybe so. Or . . . maybe not. Who can tell how many fumbles or incomplete passes were averted? And if it didn’t make much of a difference, why did they do it?

I’m less than a fan of the Patriots so my opinion is biased. They are consistently in the playoffs, and they have been consistently caught being unscrupulous. I know there’s a lot of moolah involved, but what about honor? What about winning without an asterisk next to your accomplishment? Continue reading

Garbage Can Greeting

Garbage Can GreetingOn our way back from men’s retreat last Saturday I got a text from Vanda telling me to avoid Route 224. It’s a major road that goes through Boardman, OH.  As we approached our house we witnessed a steady stream of traffic on the little side street our house is on.  That’s unusual for our neck of the woods.

But, that wasn’t the only thing different that we saw as Dan Lewis pulled into my driveway to drop me off. Emma, my 13-year-old, had made a sign using our garbage can and some pizza boxes. It read, “Have a nice day.”

I wonder how many people saw that and smiled? Okay, there may have been a few who thought it was some sort of taunting. I mean, we all know people who get their knickers in a twist (as my wife would say) just sitting in the driver’s seat as evil powers emanate from the steering wheel. If I know my fellow Ohioans, it’s a safe bet that a majority of them appreciated her sentiment. Continue reading

I’m a sorry sufferer


strength (Photo credit: Candie_N (Welcome Fall))

Let’s face it, the reason most of us came to Christ was because our lives were so screwed up.  And that’s not a bad thing.  After all, lots of people came to Jesus because they had oppressive circumstances that only he could alleviate.  God has a habit of using our rough times to direct our attention his way.

However, continuing with that M.O. makes for a shallow Christianity.

Though I know better, I still hope for a premature happily ever after experience.  Maybe we love the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) because those salvation stories seem to end at the same place in the fairy tale where the slipper fits and Cinderella ends up marrying the prince.  I think it’s Les and Leslie Parrot who write about how that fantasy doesn’t take into account the difficult road Cinderella will have learning how to be a princess, having servants instead of being one and, of course, being married to a guy she hardly knows.  We want to be saved and slide right into our hunky-dory Christian experience.

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Silly Black Friday

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a thought my daughter Jessica brought home from school a couple of weeks ago. It goes something like this: Only in America do we take a day off to thank God for all that he’s given to us and then take the next day off to fight each other to get more.

Of course, that must have been written before this year.  Like that old movie The Blob, Christmas has been surrounding and absorbing its lesser celebrated holiday neighbor for some time now.

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White supremacist finds out he’s Part Black

Did you love this, or what?  You may not be a fan of these types of shows.  I’m not.  But when someone who is so openly hateful and arrogant against a certain people group finds out he’s actually a member of the group he’s been hatin’ on . . . well, that’s just beautiful.

I’m skeptical about the whole thing, though.  In time we may hear that the results were intentionally skewed for publicity.  Either way, it’s the reaction to the findings that interests me.  Not HIS reaction, mind you, but everyone else’s (including mine).

Sometimes society is thrown a softball in our sweet spot – a situation 99% of people can agree about.  The silliness of Westboro Baptist church has been an easy target of late.  The 9/11 disaster resulted in our country and many others to have the same opinion about Osama Bin Laden.  And what about Ariel Castro, imprisoning three young women in his house for so many years?  It’s easy for us to hate all of these evil doers, and we love to hate them in unison.

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Wanna know one thing Christians can learn from Science?

An illustration of a character from a story; a...

An illustration of a character from a story; also, an illustration of illustrations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Substitute teaching has taught me another lesson.  The school system I’m in is an alternative learning place. There are two teachers in every classroom.  So when I sub there’s an educational professional in there too.

A couple of weeks ago I was in with a science teacher named Pam Foster.  She had written a recommendation for one of the students to be on a robotics team.  One particular accolade intrigued me: “He is good at letting go of unsuccessful hypotheses.”

If I remember correctly, a hypothesis is an educated guess.  It’s a theory scientists come up with based on knowledge in their fields.  An experiment is performed to either validate or refute it. Science students are regularly given a scenario and instructed to offer a hypothesis.  For instance, if you drop a bowling ball and a baseball from a window three stories high, which will hit the ground first?  You could create you own hypothesis.  Then you’d actually drop a bowling ball and a baseball from a three-story building several times to see if your hypothesis was correct.

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People with Autism are different, not less.

English: A boy with autism.

English: A boy with autism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was some free time at the end of class one afternoon.  When the students in the Autism Unit (AU) at Summit Academy in Youngstown, OH, have behaved well they are sometimes afforded a few minutes of down time before changing classes.  Mike* had been arm wrestling everyone he could find and had run out of competitors.

“Mr. Knick,” he asked, “do you wanna arm wrestle me?”

I don’t like to turn the kids down if they want me to participate in what they are doing.  So I obliged.

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Jesus wants you to stop acting your age

Flickr Chinese Dragon Year Statue

Flickr Chinese Dragon Year Statue (Photo credit:

Our church, Evangel Baptist, had our annual Vacation Bible School last week. It’s called A Tale of Two Kingdoms, and the lesson was about putting on the armor of God and staying alert against Satan’s attacks..  The church staff did a great job setting up the church with a medieval theme. There was a castle, a moat and even some small dragons flying around.

I led the team of mostly high school students that performed the drama, and they did an awesome job.  We had a dragon’s lair that had an interesting effect on some of the smaller kids. The dragon’s name was Flame.

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How to be chosen at Harry Potter World, and beyond.

Emma and Vanda at Hogwarts

Emma and Vanda at Hogwarts

She’s read all seven books at least twice.  After years of intrigue with the fantasy world that includes muggles, Dumbledore and hallway pictures that interact with their observers, Emma had the opportunity to visit Universal Studios’ Harry Potter section of their theme park when our family went to Florida last week.

Among other things, Emma had anticipated visiting the shop where you choose, and of course purchase, your wand – though I’ve learned that the wand actually chooses you.  The easy way is to go through the main entrance into the store. But for those Harry Potter enthusiasts who want to wait an hour in line (with their parents), there is the opportunity to watch a wizard do his thing in a another part of the store. He shows you some of the mystery behind finding your wand and helps one lucky child in each group learn how to discover which wand is theirs. With a little Universal Studios magic, the child gets to try out the wand on things in the room with the wizard’s help.

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