At first, it was the gift that counted. We wanted to give gifts to the students in our Edge youth group that they would enjoy.  And what do high school students enjoy most of all? Food. And so, we went with candy and hot chocolate mix and spoons made of peppermint. (I can still remember watching one student chug the hot chocolate mix directly from the package – no drink, no hot, just pure chocolate powder – classic!). But then, I decided, “Forget them and what they like! I want to give gifts that I like!” I love rocks; and so one year, I gave rocks with words printed on them and a card explaining why I chose that particular word for them. I love popcorn, and so one year I gave popcorn because popcorn is holy.  And as you well know, I love good quotes; and so this year,


Let’s reminisce: best trip, worst trip, scariest trip and a trip that you would never take again.  I’ll start.  We loved going to Sweden and Norway. It was a great trip. In fact, it was our best trip.  We went to the Wisconsin Dells once. It was miserable. We also went to some awful cabin in Pennsylvania where the water was so contaminated with rust that when we showered, it stained our hair.  It is tied with the Dells for our most miserable trip.  I was nervous going to China the first time (Could I survive two weeks eating Chinese food? More importantly, would I want to survive eating only Chinese food?). I guess I am a picky eater, because I also felt that way about my first trip to Ukraine. Both fears were terribly, terribly unfounded. And my trip that I would never take again? The last time I


I love quotes. There is no mystery there. In fact, I spend a ton of time trying to find just the right quote to share in whatever I am doing—blogs, sermons, talks, or everyday conversations. And I love origin stories, from how the Hekawi Indian tribe got their name (as they migrated west from Massachusetts, the medicine man said: “I think we lost. Where the heck are we?”) to how I came to love quotes. Years ago (and years and years), I used to read a humor column in the newspaper (something like a news website, but on paper that was delivered to your house). One week, there was a story in that column about a guy who found an intriguing quote and memorized it. He thought it was funny and figured, one day, it would come in handy. Years past and he had never once found the opportunity to


I’m having a Grinch moment, and it is a bit disconcerting. Change that: it is very disconcerting. Here are the lines that tell the whole Grinch story (and yes, Dr. Seuss was a genius):  “Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, Was singing --Without any presents at all! He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Let’s say it together: “We LOVE this story!” From the

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